UreR activates transcription at multiple promoters within the plasmid‐encoded urease locus of the Enterobacteriaceae

Sarah E.F. D'Orazio, Carleen M. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Urease activity is produced by members of the family Enterobacteriaceae that contain the plasmid‐encoded urease locus only when urea is present in the growth medium. The plasmid‐encoded urease locus contains seven tandem urease structural and accessory genes (ureDABCEFG). Previously we showed that transcription of the first gene in this cluster. ureD, is initiated at a urea‐dependent promoter (ureD p). Expression from ureD p requires the product of ure R, which is transcribed divergently from the plasmid‐encoded ureDABCEFG. From DNA sequence analysis, UreR is predicted to be a 34kDa protein with identity to the AraC family of transcriptional activators. In this report we demonstrate that there are two additional urea and UreR‐dependent promoters within the plasmid‐encoded urease locus: ureR p and ureG p. A low‐level constitutive promoter was also identified upstream of ureE (ureE p). Three major mRNA transcripts were induced when urea was present in the growth medium: a transcript containing ureDABCEF, a transcript corresponding to ureG, and a transcript corresponding to ureR. These results indicate that expression of each of the plasmid‐encoded urease genes is transcriptionally regulated in response to urea and suggest that there is autogenous regulation of ureR. Therefore UreR is one of three AraC family members described thus far that are positively auto‐regulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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