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J Bacteriol. Jun 1997; 179(12): 3928–3935.
PMCID: PMC179201

Vfr controls quorum sensing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa controls several genes in a cell density-dependent manner through a phenomenon termed quorum sensing. The transcriptional activator protein of the las quorum-sensing system is encoded for by the lasR gene, which is at the top of a quorum-sensing hierarchy. The activation of LasR as a transcriptional activator induces the expression of multiple genes that code for factors important for virulence, and rhlR, which encodes the transcriptional activator protein of the P. aeruginosa rhl quorum-sensing system. Elucidating the method of lasR regulation is crucial to understanding P. aeruginosa quorum sensing. In this report, we present studies on the transcriptional control of lasR. We identified two distinct transcriptional start sites for lasR that were located 201 bp (transcript T1) and 231 bp (transcript T2) upstream from the lasR start of translation. With the use of transcriptional lasRp-lacZ fusions, we showed that in P. aeruginosa, lasR expression is cell density dependent. This gene was expressed at a basal level until it was induced during the second half of log-phase growth, with expression becoming maximal during stationary-phase growth. We also showed that lasR expression was regulated through the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP)-binding consensus sequence in its promoter region. Our results from P. aeruginosa mutant studies and gel retardation assays indicated that this regulation was mediated by Vfr, a homolog of the Escherichia coli CRP.

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Selected References

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