The H-NS protein silences the pyp regulatory network of Yersinia enterocolitica and is involved in controlling biofilm formation

Authors

  • Inga Blädel,

    1. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Entzündung (ZMBE), Institut für Infektiologie, Münster, Germany
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  • Karin Wagner,

    1. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Entzündung (ZMBE), Institut für Infektiologie, Münster, Germany
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  • Anna Beck,

    1. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Entzündung (ZMBE), Institut für Infektiologie, Münster, Germany
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  • Jennifer Schilling,

    1. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Entzündung (ZMBE), Institut für Infektiologie, Münster, Germany
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  • M. Alexander Schmidt,

    1. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Entzündung (ZMBE), Institut für Infektiologie, Münster, Germany
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  • Gerhard Heusipp

    Corresponding author
    1. Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Kleve, Germany
    • Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Entzündung (ZMBE), Institut für Infektiologie, Münster, Germany
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Correspondence: Gerhard Heusipp, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, Center for Research, Innovation and Transfer, Marie-Curie-Str. 1, 47533 Kleve, Germany. Tel.: +49 2821 80673 116; fax: +49 2821 80673 160; e-mail: gerhard.heusipp@hochschule-rhein-waal.de

Abstract

Horizontal gene transfer plays an important role in bacterial evolution. DNA acquired by horizontal gene transfer has to be incorporated into existing regulatory networks. The histone-like nucleoid structuring protein H-NS acts as a silencer of horizontally acquired genes to avoid potential damage. However, specific regulators can overcome H-NS repression, resulting in the integration of newly acquired genes into existing regulatory networks. Here, we analyzed the influence of H-NS on the transcription of the Yersinia enterocolitica hreP gene and its regulators pypA, pypB, and pypC by establishing a dominant-negative H-NS version. Using transcriptional fusions and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we show that H-NS silences hreP, pypA, pypB, and pypC by direct interactions. While the H-NS antagonist RovA activates pypC, it has no effect on pypA and pypB. Furthermore, H-NS affects biofilm formation in Y. enterocolitica.

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