Title Comparative Study of the marR Genes within the Family Enterobacteriaceae
Author Dan Wang, Changjiang Guo, Longjiang Gu, and Xiaohui Zhang*
Address State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, 210093, Nanjing, P. R. China
Bibliography Journal of Microbiology, 52(6),452-459, 2014,
DOI 10.1007/s12275-014-3586-2
Key Words marR, gene family, Enterobacteriaceae, evolution
Abstract marR genes are members of an ancient family originally identified in Escherichia coli. This family is widely distributed in archaea and bacteria. Homologues of this family have a conserved winged helix fold. MarR proteins are involved in non-specific resistance systems conferring resistance to multiple antibiotics. Extensive studies have shown the importance of MarR proteins in physiology and pathogenicity in Enterobacteria, but little is known about their origin or evolution. In this study, all the marR genes in 43 enterobacterial genomes representing 14 genera were identified, and the phylogenetic relationships and genetic parameters were analyzed. Several major findings were made. Three conserved marR genes originated earlier than Enterobacteriaceae and a geneloss event was found to have taken place in Yersinia pestis Antiqua. Three functional genes, rovA, hor, and slyA, were found to be clear orthologs among Enterobacteriaceae. The copy number of marR genes in Enterobacteriaceae was found to vary from 2 to 11. These marR genes exhibited a faster rate of nucleotide substitution than housekeeping genes did. Specifically, the regions of marR domain were found to be subject to strong purifying selection. The phylogenetic relationship and genetic parameter analyses were consistent with conservation and specificity of marR genes. These dual characters helped MarR to maintain a conserved binding motif and variable C-terminus, which are important to adaptive responses to a number of external stimuli in Enterobacteriaceae.