A novel regulator controls Clostridium difficile sporulation, motility and toxin production

Adrianne N. Edwards, Rita Tamayo, Shonna M. McBride

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  • 8 Citations

Abstract

Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic pathogen that forms spores which promote survival in the environment and transmission to new hosts. The regulatory pathways by which C. difficile initiates spore formation are poorly understood. We identified two factors with limited similarity to the Rap sporulation proteins of other spore-forming bacteria. In this study, we show that disruption of the gene CD3668 reduces sporulation and increases toxin production and motility. This mutant was more virulent and exhibited increased toxin gene expression in the hamster model of infection. Based on these phenotypes, we have renamed this locus rstA, for regulator of sporulation and toxins. Our data demonstrate that RstA is a bifunctional protein that upregulates sporulation through an unidentified pathway and represses motility and toxin production by influencing sigD transcription. Conserved RstA orthologs are present in other pathogenic and industrial Clostridium species and may represent a key regulatory protein controlling clostridial sporulation.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages954-971
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume100
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

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Clostridium difficile
Spores
Proteins
Clostridium
Cricetinae
Up-Regulation
Bacteria
Phenotype
Gene Expression
Infection
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

A novel regulator controls Clostridium difficile sporulation, motility and toxin production. / Edwards, Adrianne N.; Tamayo, Rita; McBride, Shonna M.

In: Molecular Microbiology, Vol. 100, No. 6, 01.06.2016, p. 954-971.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Edwards, Adrianne N. ; Tamayo, Rita ; McBride, Shonna M./ A novel regulator controls Clostridium difficile sporulation, motility and toxin production. In: Molecular Microbiology. 2016 ; Vol. 100, No. 6. pp. 954-971
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