Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25445566
Res. Microbiol. 2015 May;166(4):375-83
Synthesis of the major toxin proteins of the diarrheal pathogen, Clostridium difficile, is dependent on the activity of TcdR, an initiation (sigma) factor of RNA polymerase. The synthesis of TcdR and the activation of toxin gene expression are responsive to multiple components in the bacterium’s nutritional environment, such as the presence of certain sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids. This review summarizes current knowledge about the mechanisms responsible for repression of toxin synthesis when glucose or branched-chain amino acids or proline are in excess and the pathways that lead to synthesis of butyrate, an activator of toxin synthesis. The regulatory proteins implicated in these mechanisms also play key roles in modulating bacterial metabolic pathways, suggesting that C. difficile pathogenesis is intimately connected to the bacterium’s metabolic state.