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Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Feb 18;43(3):1357-69. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv001. Epub 2015 Jan 27.

A defense-offense multi-layered regulatory switch in a pathogenic bacterium.

Author information

1
Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904, Israel Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, IMRIC, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
2
Architecture et Réactivité de l'ARN, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IBMC, Strasbourg F-67084, France.
3
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, IMRIC, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
4
CIRI, International Center for Infectiology Research,Lyon, France Inserm, U1111, Lyon, France École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Lyon, France Université Lyon 1, Lyon, France CNRS, UMR5308, Lyon, France.
5
Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.
6
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, IMRIC, Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91120, Israel hanahm@ekmd.huji.ac.il.

Abstract

Cells adapt to environmental changes by efficiently adjusting gene expression programs. Staphylococcus aureus, an opportunistic pathogenic bacterium, switches between defensive and offensive modes in response to quorum sensing signal. We identified and studied the structural characteristics and dynamic properties of the core regulatory circuit governing this switch by deterministic and stochastic computational methods, as well as experimentally. This module, termed here Double Selector Switch (DSS), comprises the RNA regulator RNAIII and the transcription factor Rot, defining a double-layered switch involving both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulations. It coordinates the inverse expression of two sets of target genes, immuno-modulators and exotoxins, expressed during the defensive and offensive modes, respectively. Our computational and experimental analyses show that the DSS guarantees fine-tuned coordination of the inverse expression of its two gene sets, tight regulation, and filtering of noisy signals. We also identified variants of this circuit in other bacterial systems, suggesting it is used as a molecular switch in various cellular contexts and offering its use as a template for an effective switching device in synthetic biology studies.

PMID:
25628364
PMCID:
PMC4330369
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gkv001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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