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Future Microbiol. 2007 Jun;2(3):335-44.

Regulation of virulence in Vibrio cholerae: the ToxR regulon.

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Department of Microbiology & Immunology, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


Vibrio cholerae is a gram-negative bacterium that is the causative agent of cholera. This disease consists of enormous fluid loss through stools, which can be fatal. Cholera epidemics appear in explosive outbreaks that have occurred repeatedly throughout history. The virulence factors toxin coregulated pilus (TCP) and cholera toxin (CT) are essential for colonization of the host and enterotoxicity, respectively. These virulence factors are under the control of ToxT, an AraC/XylS family protein that activates transcription of the genes encoding TCP and CT. ToxT is under the control of a virulence regulatory cascade known as the ToxR regulon, which responds to environmental stimuli to ensure maximal virulence-factor induction within the human intestine. An understanding of this intricate signaling pathway is essential for the development of methods to treat and prevent this devastating disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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