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Microbiology. 2004 Apr;150(Pt 4):831-841. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26906-0.

Global regulation of quorum sensing and virulence by VqsR in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Author information

Clinical Research Group, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany.
Department of Microbiology, Technical University Munich, Am Hochanger 4, D-85350 Freising, Germany.
Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany.
German Research Centre for Biotechnology, Mascheroder Weg 1, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany.
Department of Microbiology, Institute of Plant Biology, University Zürich, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland.


Pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is controlled to a major extent by the two quorum-sensing systems las and rhl. The previously uncharacterized gene PA2591 was identified as a major virulence regulator, vqsR, in the quorum-sensing hierarchy. vqsR is a member of the LuxR family and possesses a las box in its upstream region. Transposon inactivation of vqsR abrogated the production of N-acylhomoserine lactones and the secretion of exoproducts and diminished bacterial virulence for Caenorhabditis elegans. Cytotoxicity towards macrophages was not affected. vqsR mRNA was expressed more strongly in the presence of human serum and oxidative stress than under standard growth conditions. High-density oligonucleotide microarrays were used to compare the global expression profile of a wild-type strain and a vqsR mutant. One-hundred-and-fifty-one and 113 genes were significantly differentially expressed in the presence of H(2)O(2) and human serum, respectively. The disruption of vqsR repressed the expression of genes that are known to be promoted by quorum sensing and activated the expression of genes that are known to be repressed by quorum sensing. Moreover, the vqsR mutant harboured less mRNA transcript for the production of siderophores and membrane-bound elements of antibiotic resistance. The protein encoded by PA2591 regulates several traits of pathogenicity; hence, the name vqsR ('virulence and quorum-sensing regulator') was assigned to PA2591.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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