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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 Feb;53(2):197-202. Epub 2004 Jan 16.

Role of the 'cre/blr-tag' DNA sequence in regulation of gene expression by the Aeromonas hydrophila beta-lactamase regulator, BlrA.

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Bristol Centre for Antimicrobial Research and Evaluation, Department of Pathology and Microbiology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD, UK.



To further understand the mechanisms used to regulate expression of the blr regulon of Aeromonas hydrophila T429125, including three unlinked beta-lactamase genes, ampH, cepH and imiH, and to examine the role of the 'cre/blr-tag' DNA sequence (TTCAC) in transcriptional control exerted by the two-component system, BlrAB.


Genes linked to blrAB-ampH were cloned using standard methods; gene expression was measured by RT-PCR or beta-lactamase assays; transcription start sites were determined by reversed-transcript analysis; cepH promoter probe reporter constructs including cre/blr-tag deletions were generated by PCR; and BlrA was overexpressed in Escherichia coli using the pBAD plasmid.


The blrD gene, encoding a putative inner membrane protein, was found to be located downstream of blrAB-ampH. RT-PCR analysis showed that blrD is part of the A. hydrophila blr regulon, and transcript start-point determinations revealed that blr-regulon promoters (including that of blrD) are preceded by at least one cre/blr-tag. Targeted deletion of the 16 bp cepH cre/blr-tag dimer blocked BlrA-induced overproduction of cepH in E. coli.


This is the first report of non-beta-lactamase genes being co-ordinately regulated with a normally co-resident beta-lactamase gene, and the first direct evidence for a role of the cre/blr-tag sequence in the regulation of transcription by BlrA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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