1887

Abstract

Flagella provide advantages to by facilitating taxis towards nutrients and away from unfavourable niches. On the other hand, flagellation is an energy sink to the bacterial cell, and flagella also stimulate host innate inflammatory responses against infecting bacteria. The flagellar assembly pathway is ordered and under a complex regulatory circuit that involves three classes of temporally regulated promoters as well as the flagellar master regulator FlhDC. We report here that transcription of the operon from the class 1 promoter is under negative regulation by MatA, a key activator of the common (or ) fimbria operon that enhances biofilm formation by . Ectopic expression of MatA completely precluded motility and flagellar synthesis in the meningitis-associated isolate IHE 3034. Northern blotting, analysis of chromosomal promoter– fusions and electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed an interaction between MatA and the promoter region that apparently repressed flagellum biosynthesis. However, inactivation of in the chromosome of IHE 3034 had only a minor effect on flagellation, which underlines the complexity of regulatory signals that promote flagellation in . We propose that the opposite regulatory actions of MatA on and on promoters advance the adaptation of from a planktonic to an adhesive lifestyle.

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2012-06-01
2019-10-20
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