Aerobic-anaerobic gene regulation in Escherichia coli: control by the ArcAB and Fnr regulons

Res Microbiol. Jun-Aug 1994;145(5-6):437-50. doi: 10.1016/0923-2508(94)90092-2.


A variety of pathways for carbon and electron flow in the bacterium Escherichia coli and in other enteric bacteria are differentially expressed depending on whether molecular oxygen is present in the cell environment. This review briefly summarizes the metabolic pathways operative during aerobic versus anaerobic cell growth, and provides a regulatory overview for how the cell controls expression of the many genes involved in these processes. The cell has two distinctly different transcriptional regulators, consisting of the Fnr and the ArcA/ArcB regulatory proteins to accomplish this task. Together, they coordinate gene expression to adjust carbon flow with electron flow and energy generation so that cells can balance growth in an efficiently coupled manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerobiosis / genetics*
  • Anaerobiosis / genetics*
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Protein Kinases*
  • Regulon / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins*


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • FNR protein, E coli
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • arcA protein, E coli
  • Protein Kinases
  • arcB protein, E coli