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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Jan 6;417(1):318-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.11.107. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

The MgtR regulatory peptide negatively controls expression of the MgtA Mg2+ transporter in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea.


MgtR is a 30 amino acid peptide that is encoded from the mgtCBR operon. This peptide has recently been demonstrated to interact with the MgtC virulence protein and lead to MgtC degradation. In the present study, we reveal that the MgtA Mg(2+) transporter is another protein under the direct control of the MgtR peptide. Salmonella expresses the MgtA transporter only in Mg(2+) depleted conditions. We determined that the MgtR peptide limits levels of the MgtA protein at low Mg(2+) concentrations. MgtA expression increased in a Salmonella strain lacking MgtR but decreased in a strain overexpressing MgtR. Moreover, we found that the MgtR peptide is necessary for the MgtA protein to be induced at the normal timing upon Mg(2+) starvation. The MgtR peptide did not affect transcription of the mgtA gene but specifically bound to the MgtA transporter in vivo, resembling the features of MgtR-regulated MgtC expression. MgtR-mediated regulation of MgtA expression was biologically significant because the lack of MgtR enhanced Salmonella growth in low Mg(2+).

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