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A MARTX Toxin rtxA Gene Is Controlled by Host Environmental Signals through a CRP-Coordinated Regulatory Network in Vibrio vulnificus
- A MARTX Toxin rtxA Gene Is Controlled by Host Environmental Signals through a CRP-Coordinated Regulatory Network in Vibrio vulnificus
- Lee Z.-W.; Hwang S.-H.; Choi G.; Jang K.K.; Lee T.H.; Chung K.M.; Kim B.S.; Choi S.H.
- Ewha Authors
- Issue Date
- Journal Title
- mBio vol. 11, no. 4
- host environmental signals; MARTX toxin; regulatory network; Vibrio vulnificus
- NLM (Medline)
- SCIE; SCOPUS
- Document Type
- A multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin plays an essential role in the virulence of many pathogens, including a fulminating human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus H-NS and HlyU repress and derepress expression of the MARTX toxin gene rtxA in V. vulnificus, respectively. However, little is known about other regulatory proteins and environmental signals involved in rtxA regulation. In this study, we found that a leucine-responsive regulatory protein (Lrp) activates rtxA by binding directly and specifically to the rtxA promoter, P rtxA Phased hypersensitivity resulting from DNase I cleavage of the P rtxA regulatory region suggests that Lrp probably induces DNA bending in P rtxA Lrp activates P rtxA independently of H-NS and HlyU, and leucine inhibits Lrp binding to P rtxA and reduces the Lrp-mediated activation. Furthermore, a cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) represses P rtxA , and exogenous glucose relieves the CRP-mediated repression. Biochemical and mutational analyses demonstrated that CRP binds directly and specifically to the upstream region of P rtxA , which presumably alters the DNA conformation in P rtxA and thus represses rtxA Moreover, CRP represses expression of lrp and hlyU by binding directly to their upstream regions, forming coherent feed-forward loops with Lrp and HlyU. In conclusion, expression of rtxA is controlled by a regulatory network comprising CRP, Lrp, H-NS, and HlyU in response to changes in host environmental signals such as leucine and glucose. This collaborative regulation enables the elaborate expression of rtxA, thereby enhancing the fitness and pathogenesis of V. vulnificus during the course of infection.IMPORTANCE A MARTX toxin, RtxA, is an essential virulence factor of many pathogens, including Vibrio species. H-NS and HlyU repress and derepress, respectively, rtxA expression of a life-threatening pathogen, Vibrio vulnificus We found that Lrp directly activates rtxA independently of H-NS and HlyU, and leucine inhibits the Lrp-mediated activation of rtxA Furthermore, we demonstrated that CRP represses rtxA but derepresses in the presence of exogenous glucose. CRP represses rtxA not only directly by binding to upstream of rtxA but also indirectly by repressing lrp and hlyU This is the first report of a regulatory network comprising CRP, Lrp, H-NS, and HlyU, which coordinates the rtxA expression in response to environmental signals such as leucine and glucose during infection. This elaborate regulatory network will enhance the fitness of V. vulnificus and contribute to its successful infection within the host. Copyright © 2020 Lee et al.
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