Metalloregulatory DNA-binding protein encoded by the merR gene: Isolation and characterization

Thomas V O'Halloran*, Christopher Walsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The MerR protein mediates the induction of the mercury resistance phenotype in bacteria; it has been isolated in order to study the effects of metal-ion induced changes in the metabolism of prokaryotic cells at the molecular level. After DNA sequences responsible for negative autoregulation were removed, the 16-kilodalton protein was overproduced and purified to more than 90 percent homogeneity by a salt extraction procedure that yields about 5 milligrams of protein per gram of cells. Complementation data, ammo terminal analysis, gel filtration, and deoxyribonuclease I protection studies demonstrate that the purified merR gene product is a dimer under nondenaturing conditions and that it binds specifically to DNA, in the presence and absence of mercury, at a palindromic site which is directly between the -10 and -35 regions of the structural genes and adjacent to its own promoter. These initial results indicate that MerR is a DNA-binding metalloregulatory protein that plays a central role in this heavy metal responsive system and they delineate an operator site in the mer operon. Nerve Growth Factor Treatment After Brain Injury Prevents Neuronal Death LAWRENCE F. KROMER Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Georgetown University Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Washington, DC 20007. Cholinergic neuronal (generation after axotomy has been proposed to be due to the loss of a retrogradely transported neurotrophic factor, possibly nerve growth factor (NGF). To test this hypothesis, NGF was continuously infused into the lateral ventricles of adult rats that had received bilateral lesions of all cholinergic axons projecting from the medial septum to the dorsal hippocampus. After 2 weeks of NGF treatment, identification of cholinergic neurons by the presence of the biosynthetic enzyme choline acetyltransferase revealed a dramatic increase (350%) in the survival of the axotomized septal cholinergic neurons. Thus, NGF or an NGF-like molecule can act as a neurotrophic factor for these neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-216
Number of pages3
Issue number4785
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • General


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