Anaerobic regulation of Shigella flexneri virulence: ArcA regulates Fur and iron acquisition genes.

The University of Texas at Austin, Section .
Journal of Bacteriology (Impact Factor: 3.19). 11/2007; 189(19):6957-67. DOI: 10.1128/JB.00621-07
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Invasion and plaque formation in epithelial monolayers are routinely used to assess the virulence of Shigella flexneri, a causative agent of dysentery. A modified plaque assay was developed to identify factors contributing to the virulence of S. flexneri under the anaerobic conditions present in the colon. This assay demonstrated the importance of the ferrous iron transport system Feo, as well as the global transcription factors Fur, ArcA, and Fnr, for Shigella plaque formation in anoxic environments. Transcriptional analyses of S. flexneri iron transport genes indicated that anaerobic conditions activated feoABC while repressing genes encoding two other iron transport systems, the ABC transporter Sit and the Iuc/Iut aerobactin siderophore synthesis and transport system. The anaerobic transcription factors ArcA and Fnr activated expression of feoABC, while ArcA repressed iucABCD iutA. Transcription of fur, encoding the iron-responsive transcriptional repressor of bacterial iron acquisition, was also repressed anaerobically in an ArcA-dependent manner.

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