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J Bacteriol. 2003 Jan;185(2):610-9.

Global regulation of Staphylococcus aureus genes by Rot.

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Public Health Research Institute at the International Center of Public Health, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA.


Staphylococcus aureus produces a wide array of cell surface and extracellular proteins involved in virulence. Expression of these virulence factors is tightly controlled by numerous regulatory loci, including agr, sar, sigB, sae, and arl, as well as by a number of proteins with homology to SarA. Rot (repressor of toxins), a SarA homologue, was previously identified in a library of transposon-induced mutants created in an agr-negative strain by screening for restored protease and alpha-toxin. To date, all of the SarA homologues have been shown to act as global regulators of virulence genes. Therefore, we investigated the extent of transcriptional regulation of staphylococcal genes by Rot. We compared the transcriptional profile of a rot agr double mutant to that of its agr parental strain by using custom-made Affymetrix GeneChips. Our findings indicate that Rot is not only a repressor but a global regulator with both positive and negative effects on the expression of S. aureus genes. Our data also indicate that Rot and agr have opposing effects on select target genes. These results provide further insight into the role of Rot in the regulatory cascade of S. aureus virulence gene expression.

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