The synthesis of proteins necessary for the respiratory reduction of nitrate to dinitrogen is induced in most denitrifying bacteria by a shift to anaerobiosis. A homolog of the fur gene, which encodes a redox-active transcriptional activator in Escherichia coli, was isolated from Pseudomonas stutzeri by using the anr gene of Pseudomonas aeruginosa as the hybridization probe (R. G. Sawers, Mol. Microbiol. 5:1469-1481, 1991). The coding region was located on a 3-kb SmaI fragment. An open reading frame of 735 nucleotides, designated fnrA, had the coding potential for a protein of 244 amino acids (M(r) = 27,089) with 51.2% positional identity to the Fnr protein of E. coli and 86.1% to the Anr protein of P. aeruginosa. The fnrA gene gave a single transcript of 0.85 kb and complemented nitrate-dependent anaerobic growth of an fnr deletion mutant of E. coli. An open reading frame immediately downstream of fnrA encoded adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (EC 220.127.116.11). Mutations in fnrA were generated in vitro by insertional mutagenesis followed by gene replacement. Gene inactivation was shown by loss of the fnrA transcript and detection of an arginine deiminase (EC 18.104.22.168)-negative phenotype in the mutants. However, neither the enzymatic activities nor the levels of anaerobic expression of the respiratory enzymes nitrate reductase (EC 22.214.171.124), nitrate reductase (EC 126.96.36.199), NO reductase (EC 188.8.131.52), and N2O reductase (EC 184.108.40.206) were changed in fnrA mutants versus the P. stutzeri wild type. A promoter-probe vector for Fnr-dependent transcription was activated anaerobically in the fnrA mutants, suggesting the existence of a second Fnr homolog in the same bacterium. The Fnr-binding motifs, apparent in the promoter region of genes encoding denitrification components of P. stutzeri, are likely to be recognized by this second Fnr homolog. Preliminary evidence indicates also the presence of the catabolite activator protein, Crp, in P. stutzeri
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