Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 1276–1283 | Cite as

Characterization of superoxide-stress sensing recombinant Escherichia coli constructed using promoters for genes zwf and fpr fused to lux operon

  • Javed H. Niazi
  • Byoung Chan Kim
  • Man Bock GuEmail author
Applied Genetics and Molecular Biotechnology


To measure the toxicity experienced by superoxide-generating compounds, two plasmids were constructed in which the superoxide-inducible fpr and zwf promoters from Escherichia coli were fused to promoterless Vibrio fischeri luxCDABE operon present in plasmid pUCD615. The bioluminescent response of E. coli harboring these constructs was studied as a function of the toxicity and was shown to be specific for superoxide generating chemicals. The two promoters employed, fpr and zwf, responded differentially to the redox-chemicals tested. Furthermore, a ΔmarA strain bearing the fpr::luxCDABE fusion had a weaker response to paraquat (methyl viologen) than its isogenic parent strain, whereas zwf induction was not inhibited in ΔmarA or Δrob strains. The fpr and zwf promoters were also induced by alkylating agents but were unresponsive in ΔmarA or Δrob strains. Using optimized assay conditions, the abilities of these strains to differentially respond to superoxide stress and alkylating agents that may be present in contaminants proves them to be good biosensor candidates for monitoring toxicity.


Paraquat Methyl Viologen Benzyl Viologen luxCDABE Gene Bioluminescent Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Korea–Israeli Joint Fund Program of Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and in part by KOSEF through the Advanced Environmental Monitoring Research Center (ADEMRC) at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST). The authors express their gratitude for this support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javed H. Niazi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Byoung Chan Kim
    • 3
  • Man Bock Gu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyKorea UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Hazardous Substances Research CenterKorea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)SeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Advanced Environmental Monitoring Research Center (ADEMRC)Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST)GwangjuRepublic of Korea

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