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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Jul;45(2):471-83.

Vibrio cholerae CytR is a repressor of biofilm development.

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Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases, New England Medical Center, 750 Washington St., Box 041, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Vibrio cholerae is both a human pathogen and a natural inhabitant of aquatic environments. In the aquatic environment, microorganisms are found attached to surfaces in structures known as biofilms. We have identified a transcriptional repressor in V. cholerae that inhibits exopolysaccharide synthesis and biofilm development. Our studies show that this repressor is the V. cholerae homologue of Escherichia coli CytR, a protein that represses nucleoside uptake and catabolism when nucleosides are scarce. We propose that the role of CytR in V. cholerae biofilm development is to co-ordinate bacterial biofilm accumulation with the presence of nucleosides. Thus, nucleosides may be a signal to planktonic cells to join the biofilm.

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