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J Bacteriol. 2006 Apr;188(8):2875-84.

Comparison of OG1RF and an isogenic fsrB deletion mutant by transcriptional analysis: the Fsr system of Enterococcus faecalis is more than the activator of gelatinase and serine protease.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Disease, Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens, MSB 2.112, University of Texas Medical School, 6431 Fannin St., Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The FsrABC system of Enterococcus faecalis controls the expression of gelatinase and a serine protease via a quorum-sensing mechanism, and recent studies suggest that the Fsr system may also regulate other genes important for virulence. To investigate the possibility that Fsr influences the expression of additional genes, we used transcriptional profiling, with microarrays based on the E. faecalis strain V583 sequence, to compare the E. faecalis strain OG1RF with its isogenic mutant, TX5266, an fsrB deletion mutant. We found that the presence of an intact fsrB influences expression of numerous genes throughout the growth phases tested, namely, late log to early stationary phase. In addition, the Fsr regulon is independent of the activity of the proteases, GelE and SprE, whose expression was confirmed to be activated at all three time points tested. While expression of some genes (i.e., ef1097 and ef0750 to -757, encoding hypothetical proteins) was activated in late log phase in OG1RF versus the fsrB deletion mutant, expression of ef1617 to -1634 (eut-pdu orthologues) was highly repressed by the presence of an intact Fsr at entry into stationary phase. This is the first time that Fsr has been characterized as a negative regulator. The newly recognized Fsr-regulated targets include other factors, besides gelatinase, described as important for biofilms (BopD), and genes predicted to encode the surface proteins EF0750 to -0757 and EF1097, along with proteins implicated in several metabolic pathways, indicating that the FsrABC system may be an important regulator in strain OG1RF, with both positive and negative effects.

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