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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Listeriolysin O as a reporter to identify constitutive and in vivo-inducible promoters in the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is a facultative intracellular gram-positive bacterium capable of growing in the cytoplasm of infected host cells. Bacterial escape from the phagosomal vacuole of infected cells is mainly mediated by the pore-forming hemolysin listeriolysin O ( LLO) encoded by hly. LLO-negative mutants of L. monocytogenes are avirulent in the mouse model. We have developed a genetic system with hly as a reporter gene allowing the identification of both constitutive and in vivo-inducible promoters of this pathogen. Genomic libraries were created by randomly inserting L. monocytogenes chromosomal fragments upstream of the promoterless hly gene cloned into gram-positive and gram-negative shuttle vectors and expressed in an LLO-negative mutant strain. With this hly-based promoter trap system, combined with access to the L. monocytogenes genome database, we identified 20 in vitro-transcribed genes, including genes encoding (i) p60, a previously known virulence gene, (ii) a putative new hemolysin, and (iii) two proteins of the general protein secretion pathway. By using the hly-based system as an in vivo expression technology tool, nine in vivo-induced loci of L. monocytogenes were identified, including genes encoding (i) the previously known in vivo-inducible phosphatidylinositol phospholipase C and (ii) a putative N-acetylglucosamine epimerase, possibly involved in teichoic acid biosynthesis. The use of hly as a reporter is a simple and powerful alternative to classical methods for transcriptional analysis to monitor promoter activity in L. monocytogenes.[1]


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