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Abstract

Coordination of the expression of invasion genes on pathogenicity island 1 (SPI1) depends on a complex circuit involving several regulators that converge on expression of the gene, which encodes a transcriptional activator (HilA) that modulates expression of the SPI1 virulence genes. Two of the global regulators that influence expression are the nucleoid-associated proteins Hha and H-NS. They interact and form a complex that modulates gene expression. A chromosomal transcriptional fusion was constructed to assess the effects of these modulators on transcription under several environmental conditions as well as at different stages of growth. The results obtained showed that these proteins play a role in silencing expression at both low temperature and low osmolarity, irrespective of the growth phase. H-NS accounts for the main repressor activity. At high temperature and osmolarity, H-NS-mediated silencing completely ceases when cells enter the stationary phase, and expression is induced. Mutants lacking IHF did not induce in cells entering the stationary phase, and this lack of induction was dependent on the presence of H-NS. Band-shift assays and transcription data showed that for induction under certain growth conditions, IHF is required to alleviate H-NS-mediated silencing.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (Award BIO2007-63458 and CSD2008-00013)
  • Generalitat de Catalunya (Award SGR200500635))
  • Programme Alßan, the European Union Programme of High Level Scholarships for Latin America (Award E06D101038BR)
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2011-09-01
2021-07-30
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