Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Bacterial Mercury Resistance Proteins

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_312



Bacteria carry out chemical transformations of mercury compounds. Often these transformations result from bacterial resistance systems to inorganic mercury (Hg2+) and to organomercurials (such as methylmercury and phenylmercury). There are four types of mercury-specific proteins: detoxifying enzymes producing less toxic products, membrane transport proteins that bring Hg2+ into the cells to be detoxified, mercury-binding proteins at the outer cell surface, and DNA-binding transcriptional regulatory proteins governing mRNA synthesis (Barkay et al. 2003; Silver and Phung 2005; Silver and Hobman 2007).

Mercury Resistance (the mer Operon)

The genes for bacterial mercury resistance are clustered in a “ meroperon” of contiguous genes that are regulated together and are found widely on the plasmids and the chromosomes of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The number of genes...
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of IllinoisChicagoUSA