One-Component Systems that Regulate the Expression of Degradation Pathways for Aromatic Compounds

  • G. Durante-Rodríguez
  • H. Gómez-Álvarez
  • J. Nogales
  • M. Carmona
  • E. Díaz
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


The expression of pathways for the catabolism of aromatic compounds is energetically expensive, and aromatic compounds are generally toxic even to bacteria that can use them as growth substrates. Hence, complex regulatory circuits that control the expression of the degradation pathways have evolved. Transcriptional regulation appears to be the most common mechanism for control of gene expression. Effector-specific transcriptional regulation of aromatic catabolic pathways depends on the performance of a specific regulator acting on a specific promoter and responding to a specific effector signal. One-component regulatory systems combine within the same cytosolic protein the effector-binding input domain and a DNA-binding output domain. A great variety of one-component regulatory systems can be classified within different families of prokaryotic transcriptional regulators revealing a wide diversity in their evolutionary origins and showing that a regulatory issue, i.e., having an operon induced in the presence of a given aromatic compound, can be solved through different types of regulators and mechanisms of transcriptional control in different bacteria. The effector-specific regulation can be tightly fine-tuned by the action of certain modulators and is, in turn, under control of overimposed mechanisms that connect the metabolic and energetic status of the cell to the activity of the individual catabolic clusters, leading to complex regulatory networks. Elucidating such regulatory networks will pave the way for a better understanding of the regulatory intricacies that control microbial biodegradation of aromatic compounds, which are key issues that should be taken into account for the rational design of more efficient recombinant biodegraders, bacterial biosensors, and biocatalysts for modern green chemistry.



Work in E. Díaz laboratory was supported by Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain Grant BIO2012-39501, BIO2016-79736-R and PCIN2014-113, European Union FP7 Grant 311815, and Fundación Ramón-Areces XVII CN.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Durante-Rodríguez
    • 1
  • H. Gómez-Álvarez
    • 1
  • J. Nogales
    • 1
  • M. Carmona
    • 1
  • E. Díaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Biology DepartmentCentro de Investigaciones Biológicas-CSICMadridSpain

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