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Cell. 1999 Dec 10;99(6):625-34.

Regulation and temporal expression patterns of Vibrio cholerae virulence genes during infection.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111.


The temporal expression patterns of the critical Vibrio cholerae virulence genes, tcpA and ctxA, were determined during infection using a recombinase reporter. TcpA was induced biphasically in two temporally and spatially separable events in the small intestine, whereas ctxA was induced monophasically only after, and remarkably, dependent upon, tcpA expression; however, this dependence was not observed during in vitro growth. The requirements of the virulence regulators, ToxR, TcpP, and ToxT, for expression of tcpA and ctxA were determined and were found to differ significantly during infection versus during growth in vitro. These results illustrate the importance of examining virulence gene expression in the context of bona fide host-pathogen interactions.

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