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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 May 15;186(2):197-201.

The genome of Neisseria gonorrhoeae retains the remnants of a two-component regulatory system that once controlled piliation.

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1
Bacterial Pathogenesis Research Group, Department of Microbiology, Monash University, P.O. Box 53, Clayton, Vic., Australia.

Abstract

An intact activator-binding site upstream of the sigma(54) promoter of the pilin-encoding pilE gene of Neisseria gonorrhoeae suggests gonococci produce a protein capable of binding this sequence. We cloned a chimeric gene, rsp, that has sequence similarity to both the pilS and pilR genes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa encoding a two-component regulatory system that controls piliation. This gene is transcribed in N. gonorrhoeae and indirect evidence suggests that Rsp binds to the activator-binding site of the pilE gene. Despite this, mutation of rsp has no effect on piliation in N. gonorrhoeae, suggesting that the remnants of this regulatory system have persisted in the genome, despite the loss of its original function.

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