1887

Abstract

toxin synthesis is growth phase-dependent and is regulated by various environmental signals. The toxin genes and are located in a pathogenicity locus, which also includes three accessory genes, , and . TcdR has been shown to act as an alternative factor that mediates positive regulation of both the toxin genes and its own gene. The , and genes are transcribed during the stationary growth phase. The gene, however, is expressed during exponential phase. This expression pattern suggested that TcdC may act as a negative regulator of toxin gene expression. TcdC is a small acidic protein without any conserved DNA-binding motif. It is able to form dimers and its N-terminal region includes a putative transmembrane domain. Genetic and biochemical evidence showed that TcdC negatively regulates toxin synthesis by interfering with the ability of TcdR-containing RNA polymerase to recognize the and promoters. In addition, the NAP1/027 epidemic strains that produce higher levels of toxins have mutations in . Interestingly, a frameshift mutation at position 117 of the coding sequence seems to be, at least in part, responsible for the hypertoxigenicity phenotype of these epidemic strains.

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2008-06-01
2021-03-07
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