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Infect Immun. 2010 Jan;78(1):461-7. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00590-09. Epub 2009 Oct 26.

Quorum sensing negatively regulates hemolysin transcriptionally and posttranslationally in Vibrio cholerae.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Recent work has shown that in addition to cholera toxin (CT) and the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), other cytotoxic proteins in Vibrio cholerae also cause disease symptoms, and this is particularly evident in strains lacking CT. One such protein is the hemolysin encoded by hlyA. Here we show that, like CT and TCP, HlyA is repressed by the quorum-sensing-regulated transcription factor HapR. This repression occurs on two levels: one at the transcriptional level that is independent of the metalloprotease HapA and one at the posttranslational level that is mediated by HapA. The transcriptional regulation is significantly more apparent on solid media than in liquid cultures. This is the first time that hemolysis has been shown to be directly regulated by quorum sensing in V. cholerae, and it is interesting that, like other virulence factors, HlyA is also repressed by HapR, which is expressed late in infection.

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