Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24293345
J. Basic Microbiol. 2014 Oct;54(10):1136-9
Corynebacterium diphtheriae is the etiological agent of diphtheria, a potential fatal disease caused by a corynephage toxin. The expression of this diphtheria toxin is controlled via an iron-dependent repressor with various functions (DtxR). Some mutations in the dtxR gene are associated with diminished activity or even with total loss of DtxR function. We conducted a molecular study to characterize the dtxR alleles harbored by 34 isolates of C. diphtheriae recovered from Romanian patients between 1961 and 2007. Three of the seven alleles identified in this study have not previously been described. Two new DtxR types were identified, one of which has an unusual polypeptide length. All the new DtxR types were found in toxigenic isolates, suggesting that they effectively regulate the expression of diphtheria toxin. Furthermore, one of the new DtxR identified was also found in a non-toxigenic isolate, making it a potential source of toxigenic isolates after lysogenic conversion.