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Microbiology. 2010 Oct;156(Pt 10):3011-20. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.043117-0. Epub 2010 Aug 5.

A ToxR-dependent role for the putative phosphoporin VCA1008 in bile salt resistance in Vibrio cholerae El Tor N16961.

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Unidade Multidisciplinar de Genômica, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The putative phosphoporin encoded by vca1008 of Vibrio cholerae O1 is expressed in vivo during infection and is essential for the intestinal colonization of infant mice. In vitro, its expression is induced under inorganic phosphate (P(i)) limitation in a PhoB/R-dependent manner. In this work we demonstrated that VCA1008 has a strain-specific role in the physiology and pathogenicity of V. cholerae O1. Disruption of vca1008 led to a growth defect, an inability to colonize and a high susceptibility to sodium deoxycholate (DOC; the major bile compound) in the El Tor biotype strain N16961, but did not affect the classical strain O395 in the same way. Furthermore, vca1008 promoter activity was higher in N16961 cells grown under a low P(i) supply in the presence of DOC than in the absence of the detergent. In the P(i)-limited cells, vca1008 was positively regulated by PhoB, but when DOC was added to the medium, it negatively affected the PhoB-mediated activation of the gene, and enhanced vca1008 expression in a ToxR-dependent manner. These findings reveal for the first time a complex strain-specific interplay between ToxR and PhoB/R systems to control porin genes, as well as the influence of DOC on the expression of PhoB- and ToxR-regulated genes and pathogenesis in pandemic strains of V. cholerae.

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