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Res Microbiol. 2009 Apr;160(3):179-86. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Regulation of expression of the tricarballylate utilization operon (tcuABC) of Salmonella enterica.

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Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The tricarballylate utilization locus (tcuRABC) of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is comprised of a 3-gene operon (tcuABC) that encodes functions that allow this bacterium to use tricarballylate as a source of carbon and energy, and the tcuR gene, which encodes a putative LysR-type transcriptional regulator. In our studies, transcription of the tcuABC operon peaked at mid-log phase, and declined moderately during stationary phase. This pattern was not due to a change in the amount of TcuR in the cell, as tcuR expression did not change under the conditions tested, and TcuR did not control tcuR expression. Tricarballylate was the co-inducer. tcuABC expression was negatively affected by the cAMP receptor protein (Crp). Expression of tcuABC was one order of magnitude higher in a crp mutant strain than in the crp(+) strain; derepression of tcuABC expression was also observed in a strain lacking adenylate cyclase (Cya). At present, it is unclear whether the effect of Crp is direct or indirect. Studies with molecular mimics of tricarballylate showed that the co-inducer site restricts binding of structural mimics that contain a hydroxyl group. Two classes of TcuR constitutive variants were isolated. Class I variants responded to tricarballylate, while Class II did not.

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