Ribulokinase and transcriptional regulation of arabinose metabolism in clostridium acetobutylicum

Lei Zhang, Semen A. Leyn, Yang Gu, Weihong Jiang, Dmitry A. Rodionov, Chen Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The transcription factor AraR controls utilization of L-arabinose in Bacillus subtilis. In this study, we combined a comparative genomic reconstruction of AraR regulons in nine Clostridium species with detailed experimental characterization of AraRmediated regulation in Clostridium acetobutylicum. Based on the reconstructed AraR regulons, a novel ribulokinase, AraK, present in all analyzed Clostridium species was identified, which was a nonorthologous replacement of previously characterized ribulokinases. The predicted function of the araK gene was confirmed by inactivation of the araK gene in C. acetobutylicum and biochemical assays using purified recombinant AraK. In addition to the genes involved in arabinose utilization and arabinoside degradation, extension of the AraR regulon to the pentose phosphate pathway genes in several Clostridium species was revealed. The predicted AraR-binding sites in the C. acetobutylicum genome and the negative effect of L-arabinose on DNA-regulator complex formation were verified by in vitro binding assays. The predicted AraR-controlled genes in C. acetobutylicum were experimentally validated by testing gene expression patterns in both wild-type and araR-inactivated mutant strains during growth in the absence or presence of L-arabinose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1064
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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