Comparison of the proteomes of wild-type Photorhabdus luminescens and its hcaR derivative, grown in insect hemolymph, showed that hcaR disruption decreased the production of toxins (tcdA1, mcf, and pirAB) and proteins involved in oxidative stress response (SodA, AhpC, Gor). The disruption of hcaR did not affect growth rate in insects, but did delay the virulence of P. luminescens in Bombyx mori and Spodoptera littoralis larvae. This delayed virulence was associated with a lower toxemia rather than delay in bacteremia. The disruption of hcaR also increased bacterial sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide. A sodA mutant and an hcaR mutant had similar phenotypes in terms of sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide, virulence, toxin gene expression, and growth rate in insects. Thus, the two processes affected by hcaR disruption - toxemia and oxidative stress response - appear to be related. Besides, expression of toxin genes tcdA1, mcf, and pirAB was decreased by paraquat challenge. We provide here the first demonstration of the importance of toxemia for P. luminescens virulence. Our results also highlight the power of proteomic analysis for detecting unexpected links between different, concomitant processes in bacteria.