Yersinia enterocoliticaCsrA regulates expression of the Ysa and Ysc type 3 secretion system in unique ways

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This study investigated how carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) affects expression of the Ysa and Ysc type 3 secretion (T3S) system genetic regulatory cascades that control Ysps (Yersinia secreted proteins) and Yops (Yersinia outer proteins) export, respectively. Given that most often CsrA acts as a mediator of mRNA stability, an activity that can be monitored using lacZ transcriptional fusions, we employed a collection of reporter strains to assess Ysa and Ysc gene expression. To this end, bacteria were cultivated to induce either the Ysa or the Ysc T3S system. Comparison of csrA mutants to the wild-type strain revealed that, in response to the respective inducing conditions, genes spanning the Ysa and Ysc gene cascades displayed increased expressions. Then, the possibility that CsrA affects secretion of Ysps and Yops was tested and the profiles of secreted proteins by wild-type and csrA mutant strains were compared by proteomic analysis. Ysps were over-secreted and Yops were under-secreted, for the csrA mutant. These results support the hypothesis that CsrA affects both the Ysa and Ysc T3S systems in Yersinia enterocolitica. They further support the conclusion that CsrA plays an important role in controlling adaptation of this pathogenic bacterium during its lifecycle shift between a terrestrial and parasitic existence.

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