Integration of a complex regulatory cascade involving the SirA/BarA and Csr global regulatory systems that controls expression of the Salmonella SPI-1 and SPI-2 virulence regulons through HilD

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Salmonella pathogenicity islands 1 and 2 (SPI-1 and SPI-2) play key roles in the pathogenesis of Salmonella enterica. Previously, we showed that when Salmonella grows in Luria-Bertani medium, HilD, encoded in SPI-1, first induces the expression of hilA, located in SPI-1, and subsequently of the ssrAB operon, located in SPI-2. These genes code for HilA and the SsrA/B two-component system, the positive regulators of the SPI-1 and SPI-2 regulons respectively. In this study, we demonstrate that CsrA, a global regulatory RNA binding protein, post-transcriptionally regulates hilD expression by directly binding near the Shine-Dalgarno and translation initiation codon sequences of the hilD mRNA, preventing its translation and leading to its accelerated turnover. Negative regulation is counteracted by the global SirA/BarA two-component system, which directly activates the expression of CsrB and CsrC, two non-coding regulatory RNAs that sequester CsrA, thereby preventing it from binding to its target mRNAs. Our results illustrate the integration of global and specific regulators into a multifactorial regulatory cascade controlling the expression of virulence genes acquired by horizontal transfer events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1637-1656
Number of pages20
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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