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RpoS Regulates Essential Virulence Factors Remaining to Be Identified in Borrelia burgdorferi

Authors
Journal
PLoS ONE
1932-6203
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Volume
7
Issue
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053212
Keywords
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Computational Biology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Gene Regulation
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Bacterial Pathogens
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Microbial Pathogens
  • Pathogenesis
  • Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Bacterial Diseases
  • Borrelia Infection
  • Lyme Disease
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Background Since the RpoN-RpoS regulatory network was revealed in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi a decade ago, both upstream and downstream of the pathway have been intensively investigated. While significant progress has been made into understanding of how the network is regulated, most notably, discovering a relationship of the network with Rrp2 and BosR, only three crucial virulence factors, including outer surface protein C (OspC) and decorin-binding proteins (Dbps) A and B, are associated with the pathway. Moreover, for more than 10 years no single RpoS-controlled gene has been found to be critical for infection, raising a question about whether additional RpoS-dependent virulence factors remain to be identified. Methodology/Principal Findings The rpoS gene was deleted in B. burgdorferi; resulting mutants were modified to constitutively express all the known virulence factors, OspC, DbpA and DbpB. This genetic modification was unable to restore the rpoS mutant with infectivity. Conclusions/Significance The inability to restore the rpoS mutant with infectivity by simultaneously over-expressing all the three virulence factors allows us to conclude RpoS also regulates essential genes that remain to be identified in B. burgdorferi.

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