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Microbiology. 2003 Nov;149(Pt 11):3073-81.

Transcriptional regulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa rhlR, encoding a quorum-sensing regulatory protein.

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Departamento de Microbiología Molecular, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apdo Postal 510-3, Cuernavaca, Morelos 62250, Mexico.


The Pseudomonas aeruginosa rhlR gene encodes the transcriptional regulator RhlR which has a central role in the quorum-sensing response. Different gene products involved in bacterial pathogenesis are regulated at the transcriptional level by two quorum-sensing response systems, Las and Rhl. The expression of rhlR has been reported to be under the control of the Las system, but its transcriptional regulation has not been studied in detail. Here, the rhlR promoter region has been characterized and shown to present four different transcription start sites, two of which are included in the upstream gene (rhlB) coding region. It was found that rhlR expression is not only dependent on LasR but also on different regulatory proteins such as Vfr and RhlR itself, and also on the alternative sigma factor sigma(54). It is reported that rhlR expression is partially LasR-independent under certain culture conditions and is strongly influenced by environmental factors.

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