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Res Microbiol. 1994 Jun-Aug;145(5-6):473-80.

The role of the PhoP/PhoQ regulon in Salmonella virulence.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110.


Salmonella typhimurium is a facultative intracellular pathogen that is able to survive in a wide variety of inhibitory and nutritionally deprived host environments. The ability to survive under such hostile conditions, which are often encountered during the course of infection, contributes to its pathogenic properties. Some of the virulence determinants of S. typhimurium are under the transcriptional control of the PhoPQ two-component regulatory system. Several virulence phenotypes have been associated with mutations in the phoPQ operon including the inability to survive within macrophages and increased susceptibility to antimicrobial peptides and acid pH. Only 25% of PhoP-modulated genes are involved in virulence and the phoPQ operon is present in both pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbes. These data suggest that PhoP is not exclusively involved in virulence and that it is required for the physiological control of activities common to other bacteria.

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