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A mannose-sensing AraC-type transcriptional activator regulates cell-cell aggregation of Vibrio cholerae

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Lee, Hye-Young; Yoon, Chang-Kyu; Cho, Yong-Joon; Lee, Jin-Woo; Lee, Kyung-Ah; Lee, Won-Jae; Seok, Yeong-Jae

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Nature Publishing Group | Nanyang Technological University
npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, Vol.8 No.1, p. 65
In addition to catalyzing coupled transport and phosphorylation of carbohydrates, the phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) regulates various physiological processes in most bacteria. Therefore, the transcription of genes encoding the PTS is precisely regulated by transcriptional regulators depending on substrate availability. As the distribution of the mannose-specific PTS (PTSMan) is limited to animal-associated bacteria, it has been suggested to play an important role in host-bacteria interactions. In Vibrio cholerae, mannose is known to inhibit biofilm formation. During host infection, the transcription level of the V. cholerae gene encoding the putative PTSMan (hereafter referred to as manP) significantly increases, and mutations in this gene increase host survival rate. Herein, we show that an AraC-type transcriptional regulator (hereafter referred to as ManR) acts as a transcriptional activator of the mannose operon and is responsible for V. cholerae growth and biofilm inhibition on a mannose or fructose-supplemented medium. ManR activates mannose operon transcription by facilitating RNA polymerase binding to the promoter in response to mannose 6-phosphate and, to a lesser extent, to fructose 1-phosphate. When manP or manR is impaired, the mannose-induced inhibition of biofilm formation was reversed and intestinal colonization was significantly reduced in a Drosophila melanogaster infection model. Our results show that ManR recognizes mannose and fructose in the environment and facilitates V. cholerae survival in the host.
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