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MprAB regulates the espA operon in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and modulates ESX-1 function and host cytokine response.

ABSTRACT: The ESX-1 secretion system exports the immunomodulatory protein ESAT-6 and other proteins important in the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Components and substrates of ESX-1 are encoded at several loci, but the regulation of the encoding genes is only partially understood. In this study, we investigated the role of the MprAB two-component system in the regulation of ESX-1 activity. We determined that MprAB directly regulates the espA gene cluster, a locus necessary for ESX-1 function. Transcript mapping determined that the five genes in the cluster form an operon with two transcriptional start points, and several MprA binding sites were detected in the espA promoter. Expression analyses and promoter constructs indicated that MprAB represses the espA operon. However, the MprAB mutant Rv-D981 secreted lower levels of EspA, ESAT-6, and the ESX-1 substrate EspB than control strains. Secretion of CFP10, which is normally cosecreted with ESAT-6, was similar in Rv-D981 and control strains, further demonstrating aberrant ESX-1 activity in the mutant. ESAT-6 induces proinflammatory cytokines, and macrophages infected with Rv-D981 elicited lower levels of interleukin 1? (IL-1?) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), consistent with the reduced levels of ESAT-6. These findings indicate that MprAB modulates ESX-1 function and reveal a new role for MprAB in host-pathogen interactions.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC3536182 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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