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The luxS Gene of Streptococcus pyogenes Regulates Expression of Genes That Affect Internalization by Epithelial Cells

By Mehran J. Marouni and Shlomo Sela


The gram-positive pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes was recently reported to possess a homologue of the luxS gene that is responsible for the production of autoinducer 2, which participates in quorum sensing of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. To test the effect of LuxS on streptococcal internalization, a LuxS mutant was constructed in strain SP268, an invasive M3 serotype. Functional analysis of the mutant revealed that it was internalized by HEp-2 cells with higher efficiency than the wild type (wt). Several genes, including hasA (hyaluronic acid synthesis), speB (streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B), and csrR (capsule synthesis regulator), a part of a two-component regulatory system, are known to affect the internalization of strain SP268 (J. Jadoun, O. Eyal, and S. Sela, Infect. Immun. 70:462-469, 2002). Therefore, the expression of these genes in the mutant and in the wt was examined. LuxS mutation significantly reduced the mRNA level of speB and increased the mRNA level of emm3. No substantial effect was observed on transcription of hasA and csrR. Yet less hyaluronic acid capsule was expressed in the mutant. Further analysis revealed that luxS is under the regulation of the two-component global regulator CsrR. Our results indicate that LuxS activity in strain SP268 plays an important role in the expression of virulence factors associated with epithelial cell internalization

Topics: Molecular Pathogenesis
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/IAI.71.10.5633-5639.2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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