Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 1644747
J. Bacteriol. 1992 Aug;174(16):5211-8
The Vibrio cholerae acfA, B, C, and D genes are involved in the synthesis of a colonization factor; their expression is under the control of ToxR, the cholera toxin transcriptional activator. By a combination of Southern blot analysis, cloning, and nucleotide sequence analysis, we determined that the acf genes are clustered on a 5-kb region, the acfA and acfD genes are transcribed divergently, and the translation start sites of the two genes are separated by only 173 bp. Expression from the acfA and acfD promoters in V. cholerae was studied by using acfA:phoA translational and acfD-lacZ transcriptional fusions; when carried by the chromosome, the acfA-acfD intergenic region flanked by the two reporter genes was found to contain the cis-acting element(s) necessary for the environmental regulation of the two promoters. However, this regulation was almost completely abolished when the same construction was carried by a low-copy-number plasmid. These results suggested that differences in DNA topology between the plasmid versus the chromosomal constructs might influence the expression of the acfA and acfD promoters. Support for this conclusion was obtained by showing that ToxR-dependent but not basal expression of both promoters was strongly inhibited by nalidixic acid and novobiocin, two DNA gyrase inhibitors, suggesting that the activation of these promoters is affected by changes in DNA supercoiling. Expression of the acfA and acfD promoters was also investigated in the heterologous host Escherichia coli harboring plasmids expressing either ToxR or ToxT, two transcriptional activators of the V. cholerae virulence genes. ToxR activated the acfD promoter 2.5-fold but inhibited the acfA promoter 2-fold. In contrast, the expression of the acfA promoter was activated 10-fold and that of the acfD promoter was activated 3-fold by ToxT, supporting the previously proposed cascade model for organization of the ToxR regulon.