Gene regulation and transcriptomics

D. Scott Samuels, Meghan C. Lybecker, X. Frank Yang, Zhiming Ouyang, Travis J. Bourret, William K. Boyle, Brian Stevenson, Dan Drecktrah, Melissa J. Caimano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Borrelia (Borreliella) burgdorferi, along with closely related species, is the etiologic agent of Lyme disease. The spirochete subsists in an enzootic cycle that encompasses acquisition from a vertebrate host to a tick vector and transmission from a tick vector to a vertebrate host. To adapt to its environment and persist in each phase of its enzootic cycle, B. burgdorferi wields three systems to regulate the expression of genes: the RpoN-RpoS alternative sigma (σ) factor cascade, the Hk1/Rrp1 two-component system and its product c-di-GMP, and the stringent response mediated by RelBbu and DksA. These regulatory systems respond to enzootic phase-specific signals and are controlled or fine-tuned by transcription factors, including BosR and BadR, as well as small RNAs, including DsrABb and Bb6S RNA. In addition, several other DNA-binding and RNA-binding proteins have been identified, although their functions have not all been defined. Global changes in gene expression revealed by high-throughput transcriptomic studies have elucidated various regulons, albeit technical obstacles have mostly limited this experimental approach to cultivated spirochetes. Regardless, we know that the spirochete, which carries a relatively small genome, regulates the expression of a considerable number of genes required for the transitions between the tick vector and the vertebrate host as well as the adaptation to each.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-266
Number of pages44
JournalCurrent Issues in Molecular Biology
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Caister Academic Press. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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