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PLoS One. 2019 Jan 25;14(1):e0211430. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211430. eCollection 2019.

Role of CsrA in stress responses and metabolism important for Salmonella virulence revealed by integrated transcriptomics.

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Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States of America.
Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, United States of America.


To cause infection, Salmonella must survive and replicate in host niches that present dramatically different environmental conditions. This requires a flexible metabolism and physiology, responsive to conditions of the local milieu. The sequence specific RNA binding protein CsrA serves as a global regulator that governs gene expression required for pathogenicity, metabolism, biofilm formation, and motility in response to nutritional conditions. Its activity is determined by two noncoding small RNAs (sRNA), CsrB and CsrC, which sequester and antagonize this protein. Here, we used ribosome profiling and RNA-seq analysis to comprehensively examine the effects of CsrA on mRNA occupancy with ribosomes, a measure of translation, transcript stability, and the steady state levels of transcripts under in vitro SPI-1 inducing conditions, to simulate growth in the intestinal lumen, and under in vitro SPI-2-inducing conditions, to simulate growth in the Salmonella containing vacuole (SCV) of the macrophage. Our findings uncovered new roles for CsrA in controlling the expression of structural and regulatory genes involved in stress responses, metabolism, and virulence systems required for infection. We observed substantial variation in the CsrA regulon under the two growth conditions. In addition, CsrB/C sRNA levels were greatly reduced under the simulated intracellular conditions and were responsive to nutritional factors that distinguish the intracellular and luminal environments. Altogether, our results reveal CsrA to be a flexible regulator, which is inferred to be intimately involved in maintaining the distinct gene expression patterns associated with growth in the intestine and the macrophage.

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