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The Essential yhcSR Two-Component Signal Transduction System Directly Regulates the lac and opuCABCD Operons of Staphylococcus aureus

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050608
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Proteins
  • Regulatory Proteins
  • Computational Biology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Gene Regulation
  • Microbiology
  • Bacterial Pathogens
  • Staphylococci
  • Bacteriology
  • Bacterial Physiology
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Microbial Growth And Development
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Biology


Our previous studies suggested that the essential two-component signal transduction system, YhcSR, regulates the opuCABCD operon at the transcriptional level, and the Pspac-driven opuCABCD partially complements the lethal effects of yhcS antisense RNA expression in Staphylococcus aureus. However, the reason why yhcSR regulon is required for growth is still unclear. In this report, we present that the lac and opuC operons are directly transcriptionally regulated by YhcSR. Using real-time RT-PCR we showed that the down-regulation of yhcSR expression affected the transcription of lacA encoding galactose-6-phosphotase isomerase subunit LacA, and opuCA encoding a subunit of a glycine betaine/carnitine/choline ABC transporter. Promoter-lux reporter fusion studies further confirmed the transcriptional regulation of lac by YhcSR. Gel shift assays revealed that YhcR binds to the promoter regions of the lac and opuC operons. Moreover, the Pspac-driven lacABC expression in trans was able to partially complement the lethal effect of induced yhcS antisense RNA. Likewise, the Pspac-driven opuCABCD expression in trans complemented the growth defect of S. aureus in a high osmotic strength medium during the depletion of YhcSR. Taken together, the above data indicate that the yhcSR system directly regulates the expression of lac and opuC operons, which, in turn, may be partially associated with the essentiality of yhcSR in S. aureus. These results provide a new insight into the biological functions of the yhcSR, a global regulator.

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