SUMMARY: A promoter probe vector, which utilized the genes from as reporters of gene expression, was constructed for use in . Using this system gene expression can be monitored non-destructively and in real-time, simply by measuring cellular bioluminescence. Derivatives of the promoter probe were constructed that contained the cloned promoters from the and genes of . The activity of these promoters was dependent on the transcriptional activator PrfA. Accordingly, in a strain containing an intact copy of the gene, expression from both the and promoters was 25–45-fold higher than in mutants. Heat shock was identified as an environmental signal which induced expression of and . Conversely, oxidative stress had no effect upon the expression of the virulence factors. In addition, the composition of the growth media was found to have a dramatic effect upon the expression of and , suggesting the presence of an unidentified signal which may regulate induction of expression of virulence genes in .


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