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

Virulence dependent and independent regulation of the Bordetella pertussis cya operon.

The Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase (cya) operon is composed of four open reading frames, cyaA, B, D and E (Glaser et al., 1988, EMBO J., 7, 3997-4004). The cyaA gene encodes a virulence factor, cyclolysin, a bifunctional protein exhibiting both adenylate cyclase and haemolytic activities while the cyaB, D and E gene products are necessary for cyclolysin transport. We show that the cyaA gene is activated by a promoter located 115 bp upstream from the translational start codon and that transcription is only activated in virulent strains. Termination of transcription occurs 3' to the cyaA structural gene, however there appears to be some read-through into the downstream genes, resulting in full length cyaABDE transcripts. We also identify a second start site of transcription 30 bp upstream from the cyaB gene, in the intergenic cyaA--cyaB region. Transcription is activated from this site in both Vir+ and Vir- strains. Thus, the expression of the virulence associated cyclolysin is positively controlled via a trans-acting protein encoded by the bvg locus while the transport genes show a lower level of constitutive expression which is independent of virulence control.[1]


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