1887

Abstract

The GacS/GacA two-component signal transduction system regulates virulence, biofilm formation and symbiosis in species. The present study investigated this regulatory pathway in a human pathogen that causes life-threatening disease associated with the consumption of raw oysters and wound infections. Small non-coding RNAs (, , and ) commonly regulated by the GacS/GacA pathway were decreased (<0.0003) in a CMCP6 Δ : :  mutant compared with the wild-type parent, and expression was restored by complementation of the deletion mutation Of the 20 genes examined by RT-PCR, significant reductions in the transcript levels of the mutant in comparison with the wild-type strain were observed only for genes related to motility (), stationary phase () and protease () (=0.04, 0.01 and 0.002, respectively). Swimming motility, flagellation and opaque colony morphology indicative of capsular polysaccharide (CPS) were unchanged in the mutant, while cytotoxicity, protease activity, CPS phase variation and the ability to acquire iron were decreased compared with the wild-type (<0.01). The role of in virulence of was also demonstrated by significant impairment in the ability of the mutant strain to cause either skin (<0.0005) or systemic infections (<0.02) in subcutaneously inoculated, non-iron-treated mice. However, the virulence of the mutant was equivalent to that of the wild-type in iron-treated mice, demonstrating that the GacA pathway in regulates the virulence of this organism in an iron-dependent manner.

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2010-12-01
2020-06-02
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