The CovR response regulator of group A streptococcus (GAS) acts directly to repress its own promoter.
ABSTRACT The CovR/S (CsrR/S) two component system is a global regulator of virulence gene expression in the group A streptococcus (GAS, Streptococcus pyogenes). The response regulator, CovR, regulates about 15% of the genes of GAS, including its own operon. Using in vitro DNA binding assays with purified CovR protein, we found that CovR binds a DNA fragment including the covR promoter (Pcov). DNaseI footprint analyses showed that phosphorylation of CovR enhanced and extended the protected regions. The proposed CovR consensus binding sequence (ATTARA) was present at most, but not all protected regions. The effect of replacing the two thymine residues in the consensus binding sequence (CB) with guanine residues was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Most, but not all, CB mutations reduced binding of CovR in vitro. Using a transcriptional reporter introduced in single copy into the GAS chromosome, we found that mutations at each CB completely or partially relieved CovR-mediated repression in vivo. This suggests that CovR regulation of Pcov is direct. Further support for this conclusion comes from use of an in vitro GAS transcription system in which CovR was sufficient to mediate repression of Pcov. This repression was enhanced by phosphorylation of the protein. In addition, we found that the CovR binding region overlapping the promoter was essential for wild type repression of Pcov both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that promoter occlusion is a primary mechanism of Pcov repression by CovR.
Article: CovR alleviates transcriptional silencing by a nucleoid-associated histone-like protein in Streptococcus mutans.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In Streptococcus mutans, the global response regulator CovR plays an important role in biofilm formation, stress tolerance response, and caries production. We have previously demonstrated that CovR activates a large gene cluster, which is a part of a genomic island, TnSmu2. In this article, we have further characterized CovR at the molecular level to understand the gene activation mechanism. Toward this end, we mapped the transcription start site of the operon that lies upstream of the SMU.1348 gene (P(SMU.1348)), the first gene of the cluster. We constructed a transcriptional reporter fusion and showed that CovR induces expression from P(SMU.1348). We also demonstrated that purified CovR protects the sequence surrounding the -10 region of P(SMU.1348). In an in vitro transcription assay, we showed that histone-like protein (HLP), a homologue of Escherichia coli HU protein, represses transcription from P(SMU.1348). In vivo overexpression of HLP in trans also represses transcription from P(SMU.1348). Addition of CovR to the HLP-repressed P(SMU.1348) resulted in increased transcription from the promoter, suggesting a role for CovR in countering HLP silencing. Moreover, addition of SMU.1349, a transcriptional activator of the operon, to the in vitro assay further stimulated the transcription. Based on our in vivo and in vitro results, we propose a model for transcriptional activation of the operon.Journal of bacteriology 02/2012; 194(8):2050-61. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In Streptococcus mutans, the global response regulator CovR plays an important role in biofilm formation, stress-tolerance response, and caries production. We have previously shown that CovR acts as a transcriptional repressor by binding to the upstream promoter regions of its target genes. Here, we report that in vivo, CovR activates the transcription of SMU.1882, which encodes a small peptide containing a double-glycine motif. We also show that SMU.1882 is transcriptionally linked to comA that encodes a putative ABC transporter protein. Several genes from man gene clusters that encode mannose phosphotranferase system flank SMU.1882 -comA genes. Genomic comparison with other streptococci indicates that SMU.1882 is uniquely present in S. mutans, while the man operon is conserved among all streptococci, suggesting that a genetic rearrangement might have taken place at this locus. With the use of a transcriptional reporter system and semi-quantitative RT-PCR, we demonstrated the transcriptional regulation of SMU.1882 by CovR. In vitro gel shift and DNase I foot-printing analyses with purified CovR suggest that CovR binds to a large region surrounding the -10 region of the P(1882). Using this information and comparing with other CovR regulated promoters, we have developed a putative consensus binding sequence for CovR. Although CovR binds to P(1882), in vitro experiments using purified S. mutans RpoD, E. coli RNA polymerase, and CovR did not activate transcription from this promoter. Thus, we speculate that in vivo, CovR may interfere with the binding of a repressor or requires a cofactor.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(11):e15528. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: CovR/S is a two-component signal transduction system (TCS) that controls the expression of various virulence related genes in many streptococci. However, in the dental pathogen Streptococcus mutans, the response regulator CovR appears to be an orphan since the cognate sensor kinase CovS is absent. In this study, we explored the global transcriptional regulation by CovR in S. mutans. Comparison of the transcriptome profiles of the wild-type strain UA159 with its isogenic covR deleted strain IBS10 indicated that at least 128 genes (∼6.5% of the genome) were differentially regulated. Among these genes, 69 were down regulated, while 59 were up regulated in the IBS10 strain. The S. mutans CovR regulon included competence genes, virulence related genes, and genes encoded within two genomic islands (GI). Genes encoded by the GI TnSmu2 were found to be dramatically reduced in IBS10, while genes encoded by the GI TnSmu1 were up regulated in the mutant. The microarray data were further confirmed by real-time RT-PCR analyses. Furthermore, direct regulation of some of the differentially expressed genes was demonstrated by electrophoretic mobility shift assays using purified CovR protein. A proteomic study was also carried out that showed a general perturbation of protein expression in the mutant strain. Our results indicate that CovR truly plays a significant role in the regulation of several virulence related traits in this pathogenic streptococcus.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e20127. · 4.09 Impact Factor