RRC ID 53201
Author Getz LJ, Thomas NA.
Title The Transcriptional Regulator HlyU Positively Regulates Expression of exsA, Leading to Type III Secretion System 1 Activation in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
Journal J Bacteriol
Abstract Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a marine bacterium that is globally recognized as the leading cause of seafood-borne gastroenteritis. V. parahaemolyticus uses various toxins and two type 3 secretion systems (T3SS-1 and T3SS-2) to subvert host cells during infection. We previously determined that V. parahaemolyticus T3SS-1 activity is upregulated by increasing the expression level of the master regulator ExsA under specific growth conditions. In this study, we set out to identify V. parahaemolyticus genes responsible for linking environmental and growth signals to exsA gene expression. Using transposon mutagenesis in combination with a sensitive and quantitative luminescence screen, we identify HlyU and H-NS as two antagonistic regulatory proteins controlling the expression of exsA and, hence, T3SS-1 in V. parahaemolyticus Disruption of hns leads to constitutive unregulated exsA gene expression, consistent with its known role in repressing exsA transcription. In contrast, genetic disruption of hlyU completely abrogated exsA expression and T3SS-1 activity. A V. parahaemolyticushlyU null mutant was significantly deficient for T3SS-1-mediated host cell death during in vitro infection. DNA footprinting studies with purified HlyU revealed a 56-bp protected DNA region within the exsA promoter that contains an inverted repeat sequence. Genetic evidence suggests that HlyU acts as a derepressor, likely by displacing H-NS from the exsA promoter, leading to exsA gene expression and appropriately regulated T3SS-1 activity. Overall, the data implicate HlyU as a critical positive regulator of V. parahaemolyticus T3SS-1-mediated pathogenesis.IMPORTANCE Many Vibrio species are zoonotic pathogens, infecting both animals and humans, resulting in significant morbidity and, in extreme cases, mortality. While many Vibrio species virulence genes are known, their associated regulation is often modestly understood. We set out to identify genetic factors of V. parahaemolyticus that are involved in activating exsA gene expression, a process linked to a type III secretion system involved in host cytotoxicity. We discover that V. parahaemolyticus employs a genetic regulatory switch involving H-NS and HlyU to control exsA promoter activity. While HlyU is a well-known positive regulator of Vibrio species virulence genes, this is the first report linking it to a transcriptional master regulator and type III secretion system paradigm.
Volume 200(15)
Published 2018-8-1
DOI 10.1128/JB.00653-17
PII JB.00653-17
PMID 29440251
PMC PMC6040195
MeSH Bacterial Proteins / genetics Bacterial Proteins / metabolism* Cell Survival DNA Footprinting DNA, Bacterial / genetics Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / physiology* HeLa Cells Humans Promoter Regions, Genetic Trans-Activators / genetics Trans-Activators / metabolism* Transcription Factors / genetics Transcription Factors / metabolism* Type III Secretion Systems / genetics Type III Secretion Systems / metabolism* Vibrio parahaemolyticus / genetics Vibrio parahaemolyticus / metabolism*
IF 3.006
Times Cited 4
Pathogenic bacteria 病原細菌