JCVI: Role of LuxS In Bacillus anthracis Growth and Virulence Factor Expression
 
 
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Citation

Jones, M. B., Peterson, S. N., Benn, R., Braisted, J. C., Jarrahi, B., Shatzkes, K., Ren, D., Wood, T. K., Blaser, M. J.

Role of LuxS In Bacillus anthracis Growth and Virulence Factor Expression

Virulence. 2010 Oct 27; 1(2): 72-83.

PubMed Citation

Abstract

Quorum-sensing (QS), the regulation of bacterial gene expression in response to changes in cell density, involves pathways that synthesize signaling molecules (auto-inducers). The luxS/AI-2-mediated QS system has been identified in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, possesses genes involved in luxS/AI-2-mediated QS, and deletion of luxS in B. anthracis Sterne strain 34F2 results in inhibition of AI-2 synthesis and a growth defect. In the present study, we created a DeltaluxS B. anthracis strain complemented in trans by insertion of a cassette, including luxS and a gene encoding erythromycin resistance, into the truncated plcR regulator locus. The complemented DeltaluxS strain has restored AI-2 synthesis and wild-type growth. A B. anthracis microarray study revealed consistent differential gene expression between the wild-type and DeltaluxS strain, including downregulation of the B. anthracis S-layer protein gene EA1 and pXO1 virulence genes. These data indicate that B. anthracis may use luxS/AI-2-mediated QS to regulate growth, density-dependent gene expression and virulence factor expression.