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Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Bacteriology


Geisel School of Medicine


AphB is a LysR-type activator that initiates the expression of the virulence cascade in Vibrio cholerae by cooperating with the quorum-sensing-regulated activator AphA at the tcpPH promoter on the Vibrio pathogenicity island (VPI). To identify the ancestral chromosomal genes in V. cholerae regulated by AphB, we carried out a microarray analysis and show here that AphB influences the expression of a number of genes that are not associated with the VPI. One gene strongly activated by AphB is cadC, which encodes the ToxR-like transcriptional activator responsible for activating the expression of lysine decarboxylase, which plays an important role in survival at low pH. Other genes activated by AphB encode a Na+/H+ antiporter, a carbonic anhydrase, a member of the ClC family of chloride channels, and a member of the Gpr1/Fun34/YaaH family. AphB influences each of these genes directly by recognizing a conserved binding site within their promoters, as determined by gel mobility shift assays. Transcriptional lacZ fusions indicate that AphB activates the expression of these genes under aerobic conditions in response to low pH and also under anaerobic conditions at neutral pH. Further experiments show that the regulation of cadC by AphB in response to low pH and anaerobiosis is mirrored in the heterologous organism Escherichia coli, is independent of the global regulators Fnr and ArcAB, and depends upon the region of the promoter that contains the AphB binding site. These results raise the possibility that the activity of AphB is influenced by the pH and oxygen tension of the environment.