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J Bacteriol. 2011 Dec;193(23):6471-82. doi: 10.1128/JB.05414-11. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

VasH is a transcriptional regulator of the type VI secretion system functional in endemic and pandemic Vibrio cholerae.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 6-22 Heritage Medical Research Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2S2.

Abstract

The gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae is the etiological agent of cholera, a disease characterized by the release of high volumes of watery diarrhea. Many medically important proteobacteria, including V. cholerae, carry one or multiple copies of the gene cluster that encodes the bacterial type VI secretion system (T6SS) to confer virulence or interspecies competitiveness. Structural similarity and sequence homology between components of the T6SS and the cell-puncturing device of T4 bacteriophage suggest that the T6SS functions as a molecular syringe to inject effector molecules into prokaryotic and eukaryotic target cells. Although our understanding of how the structural T6SS apparatus assembles is developing, little is known about how this system is regulated. Here, we report on the contribution of the activator of the alternative sigma factor 54, VasH, as a global regulator of the V. cholerae T6SS. Using bioinformatics and mutational analyses, we identified domains of the VasH polypeptide that are essential for its ability to initiate transcription of T6SS genes and established a universal role for VasH in endemic and pandemic V. cholerae strains.

PMID:
21949076
PMCID:
PMC3232897
DOI:
10.1128/JB.05414-11
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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