The cia operon of Streptococcus mutans encodes a unique component required for calcium-mediated autoregulation

Xuesong He, Chenggang Wu, Daniel Yarbrough, Lucy Sim, Guoqing Niu, Justin Merritt, Wenyuan Shi, Fengxia Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Streptococcus mutans is a primary pathogen for dental caries in humans. CiaR and CiaH of S. mutans comprise a two-component signal transduction system (TCS) involved in regulating various virulent factors. However, the signal that triggers the CiaRH response remains unknown. In this study, we show that calcium is a signal for regulation of the ciaRH operon, and that a double-glycine- containing small peptide encoded within the ciaRH operon (renamed ciaX) mediates this regulation. CiaX contains a serine + aspartate (SD) domain that is shared by calcium-binding proteins. A markerless in-frame deletion of ciaX reduced ciaRH operon expression and diminished the calcium repression of operon transcription. Point mutations of the SD domain resulted in the same phenotype as the in-frame deletion, indicating that the SD domain is required for CiaX function. Further characterization of ciaX demonstrated that it is involved in calcium-mediated biofilm formation. Furthermore, inactivation of ciaR or ciaH led to the same phenotype as the in-frame deletion of ciaX, suggesting that all three genes are involved in the same regulatory pathway. Sequence analysis and real-time RT-PCR identified a putative CiaR binding site upstream of ciaX. We conclude that the ciaXRH operon is a three-component, self-regulatory system modulating cellular functions in response to calcium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-126
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Streptococcus mutans
Operon
Homeostasis
Calcium
Phenotype
Calcium-Binding Proteins
Deciduous Tooth
Dental Caries
Biofilms
Point Mutation
Aspartic Acid
Glycine
Serine
Sequence Analysis
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Signal Transduction
Binding Sites
Peptides
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology

Cite this

The cia operon of Streptococcus mutans encodes a unique component required for calcium-mediated autoregulation. / He, Xuesong; Wu, Chenggang; Yarbrough, Daniel; Sim, Lucy; Niu, Guoqing; Merritt, Justin; Shi, Wenyuan; Qi, Fengxia.

In: Molecular Microbiology, Vol. 70, No. 1, 10.2008, p. 112-126.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

He, Xuesong ; Wu, Chenggang ; Yarbrough, Daniel ; Sim, Lucy ; Niu, Guoqing ; Merritt, Justin ; Shi, Wenyuan ; Qi, Fengxia. / The cia operon of Streptococcus mutans encodes a unique component required for calcium-mediated autoregulation. In: Molecular Microbiology. 2008 ; Vol. 70, No. 1. pp. 112-126.
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