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J Bacteriol. 1998 Jan;180(2):350-8.

YopD of Yersinia pestis plays a role in negative regulation of the low-calcium response in addition to its role in translocation of Yops.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Albert B. Chandler Medical Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40536-0084, USA.


Yersinia pestis produces a set of virulence proteins (Yops and LcrV) that are expressed at high levels and secreted by a type III secretion system (Ysc) upon bacterium-host cell contact, and four of the Yops are vectorially translocated into eukaryotic cells. YopD, YopB, and YopK are required for the translocation process. In vitro, induction and secretion occur at 37 degrees C in the absence of calcium. LcrH (also called SycD), a protein required for the stability and secretion of YopD, had initially been identified as a negative regulator of Yop expression. In this study, we constructed a yopD mutation in both wild-type and secretion-defective (ysc) Y. pestis to determine if the lcrH phenotype could be attributed to the decreased stability of YopD. These mutants were constitutively induced for expression of Yops and LcrV, despite the presence of the secreted negative regulator LcrQ, demonstrating that YopD is involved in negative regulation, regardless of a functioning Ysc system. Normally, secretion of Yops and LcrV is blocked in the presence of calcium. The single yopD mutant was not completely effective in blocking secretion: LcrV was secreted equally well in the presence and absence of calcium, while there was partial secretion of Yops in the presence of calcium. YopD is probably not rate limiting for negative regulation, as increasing levels of YopD did not result in decreased Yop expression. Overexpression of LcrQ in the yopD mutant had no significant effect on Yop expression, whereas increased levels of LcrQ in the parent resulted in decreased levels of Yops. These results indicate that LcrQ requires YopD to function as a negative regulator.

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