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Mol Microbiol. 2011 Nov;82(4):894-903. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07858.x. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

The N-acetyl-D-glucosamine repressor NagC of Vibrio fischeri facilitates colonization of Euprymna scolopes.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53706-1521, USA.


To successfully colonize and persist within a host niche, bacteria must properly regulate their gene expression profiles. The marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri establishes a mutualistic symbiosis within the light organ of the Hawaiian squid, Euprymna scolopes. Here, we show that the repressor NagC of V. fischeri directly regulates several chitin- and N-acetyl-D-glucosamine-utilization genes that are co-regulated during productive symbiosis. We also demonstrate that repression by NagC is relieved in the presence of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine-6-phosphate, the intracellular form of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. We find that gene repression by NagC is critical for efficient colonization of E. scolopes. Further, our study shows that NagC regulates genes that affect the normal dynamics of host colonization.

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