Functional identification in Lactobacillus reuteri of a PocR-like transcription factor regulating glycerol utilization and vitamin B12 synthesis

Microb Cell Fact. 2011 Jul 21;10:55. doi: 10.1186/1475-2859-10-55.


Background: Lactobacillus reuteri harbors the genes responsible for glycerol utilization and vitamin B12 synthesis within a genetic island phylogenetically related to gamma-Proteobacteria. Within this island, resides a gene (lreu_1750) that based on its genomic context has been suggested to encode the regulatory protein PocR and presumably control the expression of the neighboring loci. However, this functional assignment is not fully supported by sequence homology, and hitherto, completely lacks experimental confirmation.

Results: In this contribution, we have overexpressed and inactivated the gene encoding the putative PocR in L. reuteri. The comparison of these strains provided metabolic and transcriptional evidence that this regulatory protein controls the expression of the operons encoding glycerol utilization and vitamin B12 synthesis.

Conclusions: We provide clear experimental evidence for assigning Lreu_1750 as PocR in Lactobacillus reuteri. Our genome-wide transcriptional analysis further identifies the loci contained in the PocR regulon. The findings reported here could be used to improve the production-yield of vitamin B12, 1,3-propanediol and reuterin, all industrially relevant compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / classification
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genetic Loci
  • Glyceraldehyde / analogs & derivatives
  • Glyceraldehyde / metabolism
  • Glycerol / pharmacology*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Limosilactobacillus reuteri / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Propane / metabolism
  • Propylene Glycols / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Transcription Factors / classification
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Vitamin B 12 / biosynthesis*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Propylene Glycols
  • Transcription Factors
  • 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde
  • Glyceraldehyde
  • 1,3-propanediol
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Glycerol
  • Propane