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J Bacteriol. 1992 May;174(10):3355-63.

A novel protein, LcrQ, involved in the low-calcium response of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis shows extensive homology to YopH.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Umeå, Sweden.


The plasmid-encoded yop genes of pathogenic yersiniae are regulated by the environmental stimuli calcium and temperature. A novel protein, LcrQ, which exhibits a key function in the negative calcium-controlled pathway, was identified. DNA sequence analysis revealed that LcrQ has a molecular mass of 12,412 daltons and its isoelectric point is 6.51. Overexpression of LcrQ in trans in wild-type Yersinia pseudotuberculosis YPIII(pIB102) changed the phenotype from calcium dependence to calcium independence and inhibited Yop expression. LcrQ is expressed from a monocistronic operon. Trans overexpression of LcrQ in yopN and lcrH mutants affected the phenotype of the yopN mutant (temperature sensitive to calcium independence) but not that of the lcrH mutant (temperature sensitive), suggesting that LcrQ acts between YopN and LcrH in the calcium-regulated pathway. An lcrQ mutant was found to be temperature sensitive for growth and showed derepressed Yop expression at 37 degrees C in the presence of calcium in the growth medium. During these culture conditions, the lcrQ mutant secreted only LcrV and YopD into the culture supernatant. Removal of Ca2+ from the growth medium resulted in a Yop expression pattern of the mutant that was identical to that of the wild-type strain. The LcrQ protein was recovered from the culture supernatant. LcrQ shows 42% identity to the first 128 amino acids of the YopH virulence protein.

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