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    The heat shock response (HSR) is a universal cellular response that promotes survival following temperature increase. In filamentous Streptomyces, which accounts for ∼70% of commercial antibiotic production, HSR is regulated by transcriptional repressors; in particular, the widespread MerR-family regulator HspR has been identified as a key repressor. However, functions of HspR in other biological processes are unknown. The present study demonstrates that HspR pleiotropically controls avermectin production, morphological development, and heat shock and H2O2 stress responses in the industrially important species Streptomyces avermitilis. HspR directly activated ave structural genes (aveA1 and aveA2) and H2O2 stress-related genes (katA1, catR, katA3, oxyR, ahpC, and ahpD), whereas it directly repressed heat shock genes (HSGs) (the dnaK1-grpE1-dnaJ1-hspR operon, clpB1p, clpB2p, and lonAp) and developmental genes (wblB, ssgY, and ftsH). HspR interacted with PhoP (response regulator of the widespread PhoPR two-component system) at dnaK1p to corepress the important dnaK1-grpE1-dnaJ1-hspR operon. PhoP exclusively repressed target HSGs (htpG, hsp18_1, and hsp18_2) different from those of HspR (clpB1p, clpB2p, and lonAp). A consensus HspR-binding site, 5'-TTGANBBNNHNNNDSTSHN-3', was identified within HspR target promoter regions, allowing prediction of the HspR regulon involved in broad cellular functions. Taken together, our findings demonstrate a key role of HspR in the coordination of a variety of important biological processes in Streptomyces species. IMPORTANCE Our findings are significant to clarify the molecular mechanisms underlying HspR function in Streptomyces antibiotic production, development, and H2O2 stress responses through direct control of its target genes associated with these biological processes. HspR homologs described to date function as transcriptional repressors but not as activators. The results of the present study demonstrate that HspR acts as a dual repressor/activator. PhoP cross talks with HspR at dnaK1p to coregulate the heat shock response (HSR), but it also has its own specific target heat shock genes (HSGs). The novel role of PhoP in the HSR further demonstrates the importance of this regulator in Streptomyces. Overexpression of hspR strongly enhanced avermectin production in Streptomyces avermitilis wild-type and industrial strains. These findings provide new insights into the regulatory roles and mechanisms of HspR and PhoP and facilitate methods for antibiotic overproduction in Streptomyces species.


    Xiaorui Lu, Qian Wang, Mengyao Yang, Zhi Chen, Jilun Li, Ying Wen. Heat Shock Repressor HspR Directly Controls Avermectin Production, Morphological Development, and H2O2 Stress Response in Streptomyces avermitilis. Applied and environmental microbiology. 2021 Aug 11;87(17):e0047321

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    PMID: 34160269

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