A novel CsrA titration mechanism regulates fimbrial gene expression in Salmonella typhimurium

Torsten Sterzenbach, Kim T. Nguyen, Sean Paul Nuccio, Maria G. Winter, Christopher A. Vakulskas, Steven Clegg, Tony Romeo, Andreas J Baumler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

A hierarchical control of fimbrial gene expression limits laboratory grown cultures of Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium (S. typhimurium) to the production of type I fimbriae encoded by the fimAICDHF operon. Here we show that an unlikely culprit, namely the 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR) of a messenger (m)RNA, coordinated the regulation. Binding of CsrA to the 5′-UTR of the pefACDEF transcript was required for expression of plasmid-encoded fimbriae. The 5′-UTR of the fimAICDHF transcript cooperated with two small untranslated RNAs, termed CsrB and CsrC, in antagonizing the activity of the RNA binding protein CsrA. Through this post-transcriptional mechanism, the 5′-UTR of the fimAICDHF transcript prevented production of PefA, the major structural subunit of plasmid-encoded fimbriae. This regulatory mechanism limits the costly expression of plasmid-encoded fimbriae to host environments in a mouse model. Collectively, our data suggest that the 5′-UTR of an mRNA coordinates a hierarchical control of fimbrial gene expression in S. typhimurium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2872-2883
Number of pages12
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume32
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2013

Keywords

  • fimbriae
  • gene regulation
  • Salmonella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Sterzenbach, T., Nguyen, K. T., Nuccio, S. P., Winter, M. G., Vakulskas, C. A., Clegg, S., Romeo, T., & Baumler, A. J. (2013). A novel CsrA titration mechanism regulates fimbrial gene expression in Salmonella typhimurium. EMBO Journal, 32(21), 2872-2883. https://doi.org/10.1038/emboj.2013.206