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Gene. 1998 Mar 16;209(1-2):51-8.

Identification of Btr-regulated genes using a titration assay. Search for a role for this transcriptional regulator in the growth and virulence of Bordetella pertussis.

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University of Arizona, Health Sciences Center, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.


Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of the respiratory disease pertussis or whopoping cough. Btr, an oxygen-responsive transcriptional regulator of B. pertussis, is homologous to the FNR protein of E. coli. Using a murine respiratory model, we observed in the present study that Btr is important in growth and survival of B. pertussis in vivo. A titration assay was developed that identified genes containing Btr binding sites including B. pertussis sodB and btr, E. coli aspA and a new B. pertussis gene, brg1. The brg1 gene encodes a protein similar to the LysR family of transcriptional regulators and its expression is activated threefold by Btr under anaerobic growth conditions but unaffected by Btr aerobically. The nucleotide sequence flanking brg1 encodes proteins with similarity to various metabolic enzymes. Putative overlapping promoters and a Btr binding site (FNR box) were identified in the DNA sequence between brg1 and the adjacent genes. These intervening sequences may represent sites for regulation by Btr and Brg1.

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