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J Med Microbiol. 2007 Jun;56(Pt 6):707-14.

CodY-affected transcriptional gene expression of Streptococcus pyogenes during growth in human blood.

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Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, USA.


In an attempt to expand the available knowledge of pathogen-host interactions during ex vivo growth of Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) in nonimmune whole human blood, the extents to which the expression of 51 genes including regulators with known targets, established virulence factors, physiologically important transporters and metabolic enzyme genes was differentially affected in the presence or absence of a functional codY gene were determined. The results obtained by quantitative real-time PCR using the M49 strain NZ131 showed that CodY influenced GAS gene activity in a dynamic fashion, with differential responses detected for 26 genes and occasionally characterized by discordance in the blood environment compared to laboratory medium. Degenerate derivatives of the recently discovered CodY box potentially serving as a cis-regulatory element for CodY action were identified in the upstream regions of 15 genes of the NZ131 genome, and these genes featured sequence motifs identical to the NZ131 CodY box in all completely sequenced S. pyogenes genomes. As none of these genes represented a genuine virulence factor, it seems likely, therefore, that the observed differential transcription of the majority of virulence genes was caused by indirect actions of CodY as part of a regulatory network.

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