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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2006 Nov;48(2):192-204.

A subset of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae in vivo induced promoters respond to branched-chain amino acid limitation.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is the causative agent of a necrotizing hemorrhagic pleuropneumonia in swine. In this study, we investigate the possibility that the limitation of branched-chain amino acids is a stimulus that A. pleuropneumoniae will encounter during infection and will respond to by up-regulation of genes involved in branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis and virulence. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae genetic loci that are specifically induced during infection were screened in vitro for expression in response to limitation of branched-chain amino acids. Of 32 in vivo induced promoter clones screened in vitro, eight were induced on chemically defined medium without isoleucine, leucine and valine as compared to complete chemically defined medium. We identify the genomic context of each clone and discuss its relevance to branched-chain amino acid limitation and virulence. We conclude that limitation of branched-chain amino acids is a cue for expression of a subset in vivo induced genes, including not only genes involved in the biosynthesis of branched-chain amino acids, but also other genes that are induced during infection of the natural host. These results suggest that limitation of branched-chain amino acids may be one of an array of environmental cues responsible for the induction of virulence-associated genes in A. pleuropneumoniae.

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