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The role of transcriptional regulation in maintaining the availability of mycobacterial adenylate cyclases

Created on 11th March 2014

This paper has been published in PeerJ.

Sarah J. Casey; Mica J. Ford; Michaela A. Gazdik;

Mycobacterium species have a complex cAMP regulatory network indicated by the high number of adenylate cyclases annotated in their genomes. However the need for a high level of redundancy in adenylate cyclase genes remains unknown. We have used semiquantitiative RT-PCR to examine the expression of eight Mycobacterium smegmatis cyclases with orthologs in the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, where cAMP has recently been shown to be important for virulence. All eight cyclases were transcribed in all environments tested, and only four demonstrated environmental-mediated changes in transcription. M. smegmatis genes MSMEG_0545 and MSMEG_4279 were upregulated during starvation conditions while MSMEG_0545 and MSMEG_4924 were downregulated in H2O2 and MSMEG_3780 was downregulated in low pH and starvation. Promoter fusion constructs containing M. tuberculosis H37Rv promoters showed consistent regulation compared to their M. smegmatis orthologs. Overall our findings indicate that while low levels of transcriptional regulation occur, regulation at the mRNA level does not play a major role in controlling cellular cyclase availability in a given environment.

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