Regulation of Yersina pestis Virulence by AI-2 Mediated Quorum Sensing

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The proposed research was motivated by an interest in understanding Y. pestis virulence mechanisms and bacteria cell-cell communication. It is expected that a greater understanding of virulence mechanisms will ultimately lead to biothreat countermeasures and novel therapeutics. Y. pestis is the etiological agent of plague, the most devastating disease in human history. Y. pestis infection has a high mortality rate and a short incubation before mortality. There is no widely available and effective vaccine for Y. pestis and multi-drug resistant strains are emerging. Y. pestis is a recognized biothreat agent based on the wide distribution of the bacteria in research ... continued below

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Segelke, B; Hok, S; Lao, V; Corzett, M & Garcia, E March 29, 2010.

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Description

The proposed research was motivated by an interest in understanding Y. pestis virulence mechanisms and bacteria cell-cell communication. It is expected that a greater understanding of virulence mechanisms will ultimately lead to biothreat countermeasures and novel therapeutics. Y. pestis is the etiological agent of plague, the most devastating disease in human history. Y. pestis infection has a high mortality rate and a short incubation before mortality. There is no widely available and effective vaccine for Y. pestis and multi-drug resistant strains are emerging. Y. pestis is a recognized biothreat agent based on the wide distribution of the bacteria in research laboratories around the world and on the knowledge that methods exist to produce and aerosolize large amounts of bacteria. We hypothesized that cell-cell communication via signaling molecules, or quorum sensing, by Y. pestis is important for the regulation of virulence factor gene expression during host invasion, though a causative link had never been established. Quorum sensing is a mode of intercellular communication which enables orchestration of gene expression for many bacteria as a function of population density and available evidence suggests there may be a link between quorum sensing and regulation of Y. pesits virulence. Several pathogenic bacteria have been shown to regulate expression of virulence factor genes, including genes encoding type III secretion, via quorum sensing. The Y. pestis genome encodes several cell-cell signaling pathways and the interaction of at least three of these are thought to be involved in one or more modes of host invasion. Furthermore, Y. pestis gene expression array studies carried out at LLNL have established a correlation between expression of known virulence factors and genes involved in processing of the AI-2 quorum sensing signal. This was a basic research project that was intended to provide new insights into bacterial intercellular communication and how it is used to regulate virulence in Y. pestis. It is known that many bacteria use intercellular signaling molecules to orchestrate gene expression and cellular function. A fair amount is known about production and uptake of signaling molecules, but very little is known about how intercellular signaling regulates other pathways. Although several studies demonstrate that intercellular signaling plays a role in regulating virulence in other pathogens, the link between signaling and regulation of virulence has not been established. Very little work had been done directly with Y. pestis intercellular signaling apart from the work carried out at LLNL. The research we proposed was intended to both establish a causative link between AI-2 intercellular signaling and regulation of virulence in Y. pestis and elucidate the fate of the AI-2 signaling molecule after it is taken up and processed by Y. pestis. Elucidating the fate of AI-2 was expected to lead directly to the understanding of how AI-2 signal processing regulates other pathways as well as provide new insights in this direction.

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-427510
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/978400 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 978400
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc935317

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Creation Date

  • March 29, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 7, 2016, 8:19 p.m.

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Segelke, B; Hok, S; Lao, V; Corzett, M & Garcia, E. Regulation of Yersina pestis Virulence by AI-2 Mediated Quorum Sensing, report, March 29, 2010; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc935317/: accessed December 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.