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Infect Immun. Feb 1996; 64(2): 495–502.
PMCID: PMC173792

Regulation of the Shiga-like toxin II operon in Escherichia coli.

Abstract

Investigations of the regulation of the bacteriophage-encoded Shiga-like toxin II (SLT-II) in Escherichia coli demonstrated that bacteriophages exhibit a regulatory impact on toxin production by two mechanisms. Firstly, replication of the toxin-converting bacteriophages brings about an increase in toxin production due to concomitant multiplication of toxin gene copies. Secondly, an influence of a phage-encoded regulatory molecule was demonstrated by using low-copy-number plasmid pADR-28, carrying a translational gene fusion between the promoter and proximal portion of slt-IIA and the structural gene for bacterial alkaline phosphatase (phoA). PhoA activity, reflecting the slt-II promoter activity, was significantly enhanced in E. coli strains which and been lysogenized with an SLT-I or SLT-II-converting bacteriophage (H-19B or 933W, respectively) or bacteriophage lambda. Both mechanisms are dependent on bacteriophage induction and hence are recA dependent. Moreover, the study revealed that the DNA-binding protein H-NS has a regulatory impact on both bacteriophage-mediated SLT-II synthesis and the activity of the slt-II promoter of plasmid pADR-28. While a slight impact of growth temperature on SLT-II expression was observed, no impact of either osmolarity, pH, oxygen tension, acetates, iron level, or utilized carbon source could be demonstrated.

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Selected References

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