Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) colonizes the large intestine, causing attaching and effacing (AE) lesions. Most of the genes involved in AE lesion formation are encoded within a chromosomal pathogenicity island termed the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE). The LysR-type transcriptional factor QseA regulates the LEE by binding to the regulatory region of ler. We performed transcriptome analyses comparing wild-type (WT) EHEC and the qseA mutant to elucidate QseA's role in gene regulation. During both growth phases, several genes carried in O-islands were activated by QseA, whereas genes involved in cell metabolism were repressed. During late-logarithmic growth, QseA activated expression of the LEE genes as well as non-LEE-encoded effector proteins. We also performed electrophoretic mobility shift assays, competition experiments and DNase I footprints. The results demonstrated that QseA directly binds both the ler proximal and distal promoters, its own promoter, as well as promoters of genes encoded in EHEC-specific O-islands. Additionally, we mapped the transcriptional start site of qseA, leading to the identification of two promoter sequences. Taken together, these results indicate that QseA acts as a global regulator in EHEC, co-ordinating expression of virulence genes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology