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Mol Microbiol. 1995 Dec;18(5):859-65.

yst gene expression in Yersinia enterocolitica is positively regulated by a chromosomal region that is highly homologous to Escherichia coli host factor 1 gene (hfq).

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Department of Infectious Diseases Research, National Children's Medical Research Centre, Tokyo, Japan.


Yersinia enterocolitica produces heat-stable enterotoxin (Y-ST) as one of its virulence factors. The yst gene, however, frequently and spontaneously becomes inactive (silent) during storage, which is accompanied by concurrent changes in some biological properties such as colony morphology, growth rate, carbon fermentation and ornithine decarboxylase activity. Northern blot analysis revealed that the level of mRNA for yst was repressed. To investigate the regulatory region, we transformed a yst-silent strain with a chromosomal gene library of Y-ST producing an isogenic counterpart. Out of 3604 clones, one clone resumed the Y-ST production and concurrently other biological properties. An open reading frame in this clone was designated as yrp, yersinia regulator for pleiotropic phenotype. Deduced from the nucleotide sequence, Yrp was a small protein of I01 amino acids with no similarity with any regulatory factor described, but showed high homology with an Escherichia coli host factor 1 required for Q beta-replicase, and with an Azorhizobium caulinodans NrfA required for the expression of nifA. The yrp gene mutation caused decreased negative supercoiling of plasmids, as did hfq. The yrp gene could similarly complement Y-ST production in two other silent strains of Y. enterocolitica. In all three silent strains examined, we found various mutations in the yrp region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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