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Mol Microbiol. 2015 Apr;96(1):189-209. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12927. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

The Campylobacter jejuni CprRS two-component regulatory system regulates aspects of the cell envelope.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of food-borne gastroenteritis in humans. It lives commensally in the gastrointestinal tract of animals, and tolerates variable conditions during transit/colonization of susceptible hosts. The C. jejuni CprRS two-component system contains an essential response regulator (CprR), and deletion of the cprS sensor kinase enhances biofilms. We sought to identify CprRS-regulated genes and better understand how the system affects survival. Expression from the cprR promoter was highest during logarithmic growth and dependent on CprS. CprR(D52A) did not support viability, indicating that CprR phosphorylation is essential despite the dispensability of CprS. We identified a GTAAAC consensus bound by the CprR C-terminus; the Asp52 residue of full-length CprR was required for binding, suggesting phosphorylation is required. Transcripts differing in expression in ΔcprS compared with wildtype (WT) contained a putative CprR binding site upstream of their promoter region and encoded htrA (periplasmic protease upstream of cprRS) and peb4 (SurA-like chaperone). Consistent with direct regulation, the CprR consensus in the htrA promoter was bound by CprR(CTD). Finally, ΔhtrA formed enhanced biofilms, and ΔcprS biofilms were suppressed by Mg(2+). CprRS is the first C. jejuni regulatory system shown to control genes related to the cell envelope, the first line of interaction between pathogen and changing environments.

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