The BceABRS four-component system regulates the bacitracin-induced cell envelope stress response in Streptococcus mutans
Tian, X. L.
Li, Y. H.
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Streptococcus mutans is known to be resistant to bacitracin, a cyclic polypeptide antibiotic produced by certain species of the genus Bacillus. This property is often exploited in the isolation of S. mutans strains from highly heterogeneous oral microflora. A genetic locus consisting of a four-gene operon, bceABRS (formerly mbrABCD), the component genes of which are homologous to Bacillus subtilis bceRS-bceAB (encoding a two-component system and an ABC transporter), is required for bacitracin resistance in S. mutans. Here we describe the identification of a DNA binding site for the BceR response regulator and its transcriptional control of the bceABRS operon in response to the presence of bacitracin. We provide evidence indicating that phosphorylated BceR binds directly to a conserved invert repeat located between bp -120 and -78 of the bceABRS promoter region and positively regulates expression of the bceABRS operon. We also demonstrate that sensing of bacitracin by the BceS histidine kinase requires the presence of an intact BceAB transporter, since deletion of either bceA or bceB abolishes BceRS-mediated bacitracin sensing. The results suggest that the BceAB transporter acts as a cosensor, together with the BceRS two-component system, for bacitracin perception in S. mutans. By searching the S. mutans genome databases, we have identified three additional genes that share the consensus BceR binding motif at their promoter regions. Our initial work has confirmed that expression of these genes is directly controlled by BceRS, indicating that the bceABRS operon, along with the three additional genes, forms the BceRS regulon in S. mutans. Taking these findings together, we conclude that BceABRS comprises a four-component system that plays an important role in stimulus sensing, signal transduction, the gene regulatory network, and substrate transport for the cell envelope stress response in S. mutans.
Ouyang, J., X. L. Tian, J. Versey, A. Wishart, et al. 2010. "The BceABRS four-component system regulates the bacitracin-induced cell envelope stress response in Streptococcus mutans." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 54(9): 3895-3906.