Expression of the lspB-lspA2 operon encoding a virulence-related two-partner secretion system in Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP is directly regulated by the CpxRA regulatory system (M. Labandeira-Rey, J. R. Mock, and E. J. Hansen, Infect. Immun. 77:3402-3411, 2009). In the present study, we show that this secretion system is also regulated by the small nucleoid-associated protein Fis. Inactivation of the H. ducreyi fis gene resulted in a reduction in expression of both the H. ducreyi LspB and LspA2 proteins. DNA microarray experiments showed that a H. ducreyi fis deletion mutant exhibited altered expression levels of genes encoding other important H. ducreyi virulence factors, including DsrA and Flp1, suggesting a possible global role for Fis in the control of virulence in this obligate human pathogen. While the H. ducreyi Fis protein has a high degree of sequence and structural similarity to the Fis proteins of other bacteria, its temporal pattern of expression was very different from that of enterobacterial Fis proteins. The use of a lacZ-based transcriptional reporter provided evidence which indicated that the H. ducreyi Fis homolog is a positive regulator of gyrB, a gene that is negatively regulated by Fis in enteric bacteria. Taken together, the Fis protein expression data and the observed regulatory effects of Fis in H. ducreyi suggest that this small DNA binding protein has a regulatory role in H. ducreyi which may differ in substantial ways from that of other Fis proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases