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The product of the ybdE gene of the Escherichia coli chromosome is involved in detoxification of silver ions.

Franke S., Grass G., Nies D.H.

Transcription of the ybcZ--ylcA ylcBCD--ybdE region of the Escherichia coli K38 chromosome was analysed by Northern RNA--DNA hybridization, RT-PCR and primer extension. Transcription of a dicistronic ybcZ--ylcA mRNA and a tetracistronic ylcBCD--ybdE mRNA was induced by silver and was initiated from the sigma-70 promoters ylcAp and ylcBp. Expression of beta-galactosidase activity from a Phi(ylcBp--lacZ) operon fusion was also induced by Ag(+) and Cu(2+), but not by Zn(2+). In-frame deletion of ybdE from the chromosome yielded a silver-sensitive E. coli mutant strain which did not differ in its copper resistance from its wild-type strain. On the other hand, deletion of the copA gene for the copper-exporting P-type ATPase CopA resulted in copper sensitivity, but not in silver sensitivity. A Delta ybdE Delta copA double mutant strain behaved towards copper as the Delta copA strain and towards silver as the Delta ybdE strain. Thus, in E. coli, the YlcBCD--YbdE system may be involved in silver-but not in copper resistance, and CopA may be involved in copper-but not in silver resistance.

Microbiology 147:965-972(2001) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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