Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 69, Issue 8, pp 829–838 | Cite as

Cu2+ regulated sulfonamides resistance gene (sul) via reactive oxygen species induced ArcA in a pathogenic Vibrio splendidus

  • Huijie Liu
  • Tongxiang Song
  • Tengteng Lv
  • Xuelin Zhao
  • Yina Shao
  • Chenghua Li
  • Weiwei ZhangEmail author
Original Article



To detect the sulfonamide resistance of Vibrio splendidus strain Vs, and characterize the factors that regulate the expression of sulfonamide resistance gene sulVs.


Minimal inhibitory concentration was measured using growth inhibition method, gene expression was measured using real-time reverse transcriptase PCR, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production under Cu2+ or Cu2+/NAC conditions was measured using an excitation wavelength of 485 nm, and an emission wavelength of 525 nm, and the binding of sulVs promoter and the transcriptional factor ArcA was measured using electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA).


sulVs gene was cloned and its expression was upregulated to 6.98- and 3.57-fold in the presence of sulfadiazine and sulfamethoxazole, respectively. Moreover, Cu2+ could also upregulate the expression of sulVs to 14.27-fold, the production of ROS to 4.37-fold, and the expressions of antioxidant-related genes and a transcriptional regulator arcA gene. After addition of N-Acetyl-L-cysteine, a ROS inhibitor, the production of ROS decreased to 53.1%, and the expression of arcA gene was also downregulated to 26%. EMSA showed that the purified recombinant ArcA could directly bind to the promoter region of sulVs with specificity.


V. splendidus strain Vs showed sulfonamide resistance due to sulVs, and Cu2+ could increase the level of ROS followed by ArcA activation as a transcriptional factor to increase the expression of sulVs.


Vibrio splendidus strain Vs Sulfonamides resistance gene (sularcA Reactive oxygen species (ROS) 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41676141), and the K.C. Wong Magna Fund at Ningbo University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Università degli studi di Milano 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Marine SciencesNingbo UniversityNingboPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production ProcessesQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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