• Bacteroides fragilis;
  • DNA damage;
  • transcriptional regulator;
  • metronidazole;
  • mitomycin C


A putative transcriptional regulator of the AraC/XylS family was identified in a genomic genebank of Bacteroides fragilis Bf-1, which partially relieved the sensitivity of Escherichia coli DNA repair mutants to the DNA-damaging agents, metronidazole and mitomycin C. A homologue of this gene with the same phenotype was identified as BF638R3281 in B. fragilis 638R. Transcription of BF638R3281 was constitutive with respect to exposure to sublethal doses of metronidazole. BF638R3281 was interrupted by single cross-over gene-specific insertion mutation, and the gene disruption was confirmed by PCR and DNA-sequencing analysis. The mutant grew more slowly than the wild type, and the mutation rendered B. fragilis more sensitive to metronidazole and mitomycin C. This indicates that the BF638R3281 gene product plays a role in the survival of B. fragilis following DNA damage by these agents.