Journal of bacteriology

Transcriptional regulation of the vanillate utilization genes (vanABK Operon) of Corynebacterium glutamicum by VanR, a PadR-like repressor.

PMID 25535273


Corynebacterium glutamicum is able to utilize vanillate, the product of lignin degradation, as the sole carbon source. The vanillate utilization components are encoded by the vanABK operon. The vanA and vanB genes encode the subunits of vanillate O-demethylase, converting vanillate to protocatechuate, while VanK is the specific vanillate transporter. The vanABK operon is regulated by a PadR-type repressor, VanR. Heterologous gene expression and variations of the vanR open reading frame revealed that the functional VanR contains 192 residues (21 kDa) and forms a dimer, as analyzed by size exclusion chromatography. In vivo, ferulate, vanillin, and vanillate induced PvanABK in C. glutamicum, while only vanillate induced the activity of PvanABK in Escherichia coli lacking the ferulate catabolic system. Differential scanning fluorimetry verified that vanillate is the only effector of VanR. Interaction between the PvanABK DNA fragment and the VanR protein had an equilibrium dissociation constant (KD) of 15.1 ± 1.7 nM. The VanR-DNA complex had a dissociation rate constant (Kd) of (267 ± 23) × 10(-6) s(-1), with a half-life of 43.5 ± 3.6 min. DNase I footprinting localized the VanR binding site at PvanABK, extending from +9 to +45 on the coding strand. Deletion of the nucleotides +18 to +27 inside the VanR binding site rendered PvanABK constitutive. Fusion of the T7 promoter and the wild-type VanR operator, as well as its shortened versions, indicated that the inverted repeat AACTAACTAA(N4)TTAGGTATTT is the specific VanR binding site. It is proposed that the VanR-DNA complex contains two VanR dimers at the VanR operator.

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