Regulatory role of transcription factor SutR (YdcN) in sulfur utilization in Escherichia coli

Microbiology (Reading). 2015 Jan;161(Pt 1):99-111. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.083550-0. Epub 2014 Nov 18.


Sulfur makes up 1 % of the dry mass of bacteria, and it is an abundant element (0.1 %) on earth. Sulfur in the environment is, however, mostly in oxidized forms and inaccessible to living organisms. At present, the entire assimilation pathway of external sulfur to sulfur-containing biomolecules and its regulation in Escherichia coli remain poorly understood, except for the metabolic pathway of cysteine synthesis, the first-step metabolite of sulfur assembly. During the search for regulation targets of uncharacterized transcription factors by Genomic SELEX screening, we found that the hitherto uncharacterized YdcN regulates a set of genes involved in the utilization of sulfur, including the generation of sulfate and its reduction, the synthesis of cysteine, the synthesis of enzymes containing Fe-S as cofactors, and the modification of tRNA with use of sulfur-containing substrates. Taking these findings together, we propose renaming YdcN as SutR (regulator of sulfur utilization).

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • DNA, Intergenic
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Gene Order
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genomics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • SELEX Aptamer Technique
  • Sulfur / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription Initiation Site
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Intergenic
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Sulfur