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Infect Immun. 2012 Feb;80(2):575-84. doi: 10.1128/IAI.05510-11. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Pathoadaptive conditional regulation of the type VI secretion system in Vibrio cholerae O1 strains.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

The most recently discovered secretion pathway in gram-negative bacteria, the type VI secretion system (T6SS), is present in many species and is considered important for the survival of non-O1 non-O139 Vibrio cholerae in aquatic environments. Until now, it was not known whether there is a functionally active T6SS in wild-type V. cholerae O1 strains, the cause of cholera disease in humans. Here, we demonstrate the presence of a functionally active T6SS in wild-type V. cholerae O1 strains, as evidenced by the secretion of the T6SS substrate Hcp, which required several gene products encoded within the putative vas gene cluster. Our analyses showed that the T6SS of wild-type V. cholerae O1 strain A1552 was functionally activated when the bacteria were grown under high-osmolarity conditions. The T6SS was also active when the bacteria were grown under low temperature (23°C), suggesting that the system may be important for the survival of the bacterium in the environment. A test of the interbacterial virulence of V. cholerae strain A1552 against an Escherichia coli K-12 strain showed that it was strongly enhanced under high osmolarity and that it depended on the hcp genes. Interestingly, we found that the newly recognized osmoregulatory protein OscR plays a role in the regulation of T6SS gene expression and secretion of Hcp from V. cholerae O1 strains.

PMID:
22083711
PMCID:
PMC3264300
DOI:
10.1128/IAI.05510-11
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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