Mercury induces multiple antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli through activation of SoxR, a redox-sensing regulatory protein

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Sep 15;154(2):385-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1997.tb12671.x.


Sub-inhibitory mercury concentrations are capable of partially activating SoxR, as shown by the augmented expression of a soxS'::lacZ fusion, and a diminished sensitivity to antibiotics caused by mercury treatment. Mercury may elevate the intracellular concentration of superoxide or perhaps act as a putative metal ligand for SoxR.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Mercury / pharmacology*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • SoxR protein, Bacteria
  • Mercury