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Mol Microbiol. 2018 Dec;110(5):811-830. doi: 10.1111/mmi.14126. Epub 2018 Oct 21.

AbmR (Rv1265) is a novel transcription factor of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that regulates host cell association and expression of the non-coding small RNA Mcr11.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, PO Box 22002, Albany, NY, 12201-2002, USA.
2
Department of Immunology and Microbial Disease, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY, USA.
3
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, USA.

Abstract

Gene regulatory networks used by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) during infection include many genes of unknown function, confounding efforts to determine their roles in Mtb biology. Rv1265 encodes a conserved hypothetical protein that is expressed during infection and in response to elevated levels of cyclic AMP. Here, we report that Rv1265 is a novel auto-inhibitory ATP-binding transcription factor that upregulates expression of the small non-coding RNA Mcr11, and propose that Rv1265 be named ATP-binding mcr11 regulator (AbmR). AbmR directly and specifically bound DNA, as determined by electrophoretic mobility shift assays, and this DNA-binding activity was enhanced by AbmR's interaction with ATP. Genetic knockout of abmR in Mtb increased abmR promoter activity and eliminated growth phase-dependent increases in mcr11 expression during hypoxia. Mutagenesis identified arginine residues in the carboxy terminus that are critical for AbmR's DNA-binding activity and gene regulatory function. Limited similarity to other DNA- or ATP-binding domains suggests that AbmR belongs to a novel class of DNA- and ATP-binding proteins. AbmR was also found to form large organized structures in solution and facilitate the serum-dependent association of Mtb with human lung epithelial cells. These results indicate a potentially complex role for AbmR in Mtb biology.

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