Analysis of the nitric oxide-sensing non-heme iron center in the NorR regulatory protein

Nick Tucker, Benoît D'Autréaux, Faridoon K. Yousafzai, Shirley A. Fairhurst, Stephen Spiro, Ray Dixon

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The NorR regulatory protein senses nitric oxide ( NO) to activate genes required for NO detoxification under anaerobic and microaerobic conditions in Escherichia coli. NorR belongs to the sigma(54)-dependent family of transcriptional activators and contains an N-terminal regulatory GAF (c (G) under bar MP phosphodiesterase, adenylate cyclase, (F) under bar hlA) domain that controls the ATPase activity of the central AAA+ domain to regulate productive interactions with sigma(54). Binding of NO to a non-heme iron center in the GAF domain results in the formation of a mononitrosyl-iron complex and releases intramolecular repression of the AAA+ domain to enable activation of transcription. In this study, we have further characterized NorR spectroscopically and substituted conserved residues in the GAF domain. This analysis, in combination with structural modeling of the GAF domain, has identified five candidate ligands to the non-heme iron and suggests a model in which the metal ion is coordinated in a pseudo-octahedral environment by three aspartate residues, an arginine, and a cysteine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-918
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • furiosus superoxide reductase
  • soluble guanylate-cyclase
  • escherichia-coli
  • transcription factor
  • active-site
  • crystal structure
  • gene expression
  • molecular basis


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