RRC ID 59290
Author Gregory GJ, Morreale DP, Carpenter MR, Kalburge SS, Boyd EF.
Title Quorum Sensing Regulators AphA and OpaR Control Expression of the Operon Responsible for Biosynthesis of the Compatible Solute Ectoine.
Journal Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
Abstract To maintain the turgor pressure of the cell under high osmolarity, bacteria accumulate small organic compounds called compatible solutes, either through uptake or biosynthesis. Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a marine halophile and an important human and shellfish pathogen, has to adapt to abiotic stresses such as changing salinity. Vibrio parahaemolyticus contains multiple compatible solute biosynthesis and transporter systems, including the ectABC-asp_ect operon required for de novo ectoine biosynthesis. Ectoine biosynthesis genes are present in many halotolerant bacteria; however, little is known about the mechanism of regulation. We investigated the role of the quorum sensing master regulators OpaR and AphA in ect gene regulation. In an opaR deletion mutant, transcriptional reporter assays demonstrated that ect expression was induced. In an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, we showed that purified OpaR bound to the ect regulatory region indicating direct regulation by OpaR. In an aphA deletion mutant, expression of the ect genes was repressed, and purified AphA bound upstream of the ect genes. These data indicate that AphA is a direct positive regulator. CosR, a Mar-type regulator known to repress ect expression in V. cholerae, was found to repress ect expression in V. parahaemolyticus In addition, we identified a feed-forward loop in which OpaR is a direct activator of cosR, while AphA is an indirect activator of cosR Regulation of the ectoine biosynthesis pathway via this feed-forward loop allows for precise control of ectoine biosynthesis genes throughout the growth cycle to maximize fitness.IMPORTANCE Accumulation of compatible solutes within the cell allows bacteria to maintain intracellular turgor pressure and prevent water efflux. De novo ectoine production is widespread among bacteria, and the ect operon encoding the biosynthetic enzymes is induced by increased salinity. Here, we demonstrate that the quorum sensing regulators AphA and OpaR integrate with the osmotic stress response pathway to control transcription of ectoine biosynthesis genes in V. parahaemolyticus We uncovered a feed-forward loop wherein quorum sensing regulators also control transcription of cosR, which encodes a negative regulator of the ect operon. Moreover, our data suggest that this mechanism may be widespread in Vibrio species.
Volume 85(22)
Published 2019-11-15
DOI 10.1128/AEM.01543-19
PII AEM.01543-19
PMID 31519665
PMC PMC6821967
IF 4.077
Pathogenic bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus RIMD2210633