Analysis of the FnrL regulon in Rhodobacter capsulatus reveals limited regulon overlap with orthologues from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Escherichia coli
Biosynthetic pathways for heme and chlorophyll share common intermediates from 5-aminolevulinic acid through protoporphyrin IX. To obtain a better understanding of how photosynthetic organisms coordinate heme and chlorophyll biosynthesis, we have undertaken detailed analysis of the expression pattern of numerous heme biosynthesis genes in the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus. beta-Galactosidase reporter assays demonstrated that expression of hemA, hemB, hemC, hemE and hemZ genes is elevated under conditions that give rise to elevated bacteriochlorophyll synthesis. Heme gene expression is shown to be affected by mutations in previously identified transcriptional regulators RegA, FnrL, CrtJ, and AerR, which also control expression of genes involved in bacteriochlorophyll and carotenoid synthesis, and synthesis of the apoprotein subunits of the photosynthetic and electron transport apparatus. High-resolution primer extension analysis of hem mRNA reveals the presence of numerous putative RegA, FnrL and CrtJ binding sites in several hem promoter regions.