vttRa and vttRB encode ToxR family proteins that mediate bile-induced expression of type three secretion system genes in a non-O1/non-O139 Vibrio cholerae strain

Ashfaqul Alam, Vincent Tam, Elaine Hamilton, Michelle Dziejman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Strain AM-19226 is a pathogenic non-O1/non-O139 serogroup Vibrio cholerae strain that does not encode the toxin-coregulated pilus or cholera toxin but instead causes disease using a type three secretion system (T3SS). Two genes within the T3SS pathogenicity island, herein named vttRA (locus tag A33-1664) and vttRB (locus tag A33-1675), are predicted to encode proteins that show similarity to the transcriptional regulator ToxR, which is found in all strains of V. cholerae. Strains with a deletion of vttRA or vttRB showed attenuated colonization in vivo, indicating that the T3SS-encoded regulatory proteins play a role in virulence. lacZ transcriptional reporter fusions to intergenic regions upstream of genes encoding the T3SS structural components identified growth in the presence of bile as a condition that modulates gene expression. Under this condition, VttRA and VttRB were necessary for maximal gene expression. In contrast, growth in bile did not substantially alter the expression of a reporter fusion to the vopF gene, which encodes an effector protein. Increased vttRB reporter fusion activity was observed in a ΔvttRB strain background, suggesting that VttRB may regulate its own expression. The collective results are consistent with the hypothesis that T3SS-encoded regulatory proteins are essential for pathogenesis and control the expression of selected T3SS genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2554-2570
Number of pages17
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume78
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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