Document Type


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Publication Title

Journal of Bacteriology


Geisel School of Medicine


FadR is a master regulator of fatty acid (FA) metabolism that coordinates the pathways of FA degradation and biosynthesis in enteric bacteria. We show here that a ΔfadR mutation in the El Tor biotype of Vibrio cholerae prevents the expression of the virulence cascade by influencing both the transcription and the posttranslational regulation of the master virulence regulator ToxT. FadR is a transcriptional regulator that represses the expression of genes involved in FA degradation, activates the expression of genes involved in unsaturated FA (UFA) biosynthesis, and also activates the expression of two operons involved in saturated FA (SFA) biosynthesis. Since FadR does not bind directly to the toxT promoter, we determined whether the regulation of any of its target genes indirectly influenced ToxT. This was accomplished by individually inserting a double point mutation into the FadR-binding site in the promoter of each target gene, thereby preventing their activation or repression. Although preventing FadR-mediated activation of fabA, which encodes the enzyme that carries out the first step in UFA biosynthesis, did not significantly influence either the transcription or the translation of ToxT, it reduced its levels and prevented virulence gene expression. In the mutant strain unable to carry out FadR-mediated activation of fabA, expressing fabA ectopically restored the levels of ToxT and virulence gene expression. Taken together, the results presented here indicate that V. cholerae FadR influences the virulence cascade in the El Tor biotype by modulating the levels of ToxT via two different mechanisms.



Original Citation

Kovacikova G, Lin W, Taylor RK, Skorupski K. The Fatty Acid Regulator FadR Influences the Expression of the Virulence Cascade in the El Tor Biotype of Vibrio cholerae by Modulating the Levels of ToxT via Two Different Mechanisms. J Bacteriol. 2017 Mar 14;199(7):e00762-16. doi: 10.1128/JB.00762-16. PMID: 28115548; PMCID: PMC5350278.