Helicobacter pylori is a significant human pathogen that has adapted to survive the many stresses found within the gastric environment. Superoxide Dismutase (SodB) is an important factor that helps H. pylori combat oxidative stress. sodB was previously shown to be repressed by the Ferric Uptake Regulator (Fur) in the absence of iron (apo-Fur regulation) . Herein, we show that apo regulation is not fully conserved among all strains of H. pylori. apo-Fur dependent changes in sodB expression are not observed under iron deplete conditions in H. pylori strains G27, HPAG1, or J99. However, Fur regulation of pfr and amiE occurs as expected. Comparative analysis of the Fur coding sequence between G27 and 26695 revealed a single amino acid difference, which was not responsible for the altered sodB regulation. Comparison of the sodB promoters from G27 and 26695 also revealed a single nucleotide difference within the predicted Fur binding site. Alteration of this nucleotide in G27 to that of 26695 restored apo-Fur dependent sodB regulation, indicating that a single base difference is at least partially responsible for the difference in sodB regulation observed among these H. pylori strains. Fur binding studies revealed that alteration of this single nucleotide in G27 increased the affinity of Fur for the sodB promoter. Additionally, the single base change in G27 enabled the sodB promoter to bind to apo-Fur with affinities similar to the 26695 sodB promoter. Taken together these data indicate that this nucleotide residue is important for direct apo-Fur binding to the sodB promoter
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