Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera, has a sheathed, polar flagellum, and motility has been linked to virulence. An operon with two genes, flgO and flgP (VC2207 and VC2206), is positively regulated by FlrC, the activator of class III flagellar genes. Deletion of flgP results in a nonmotile phenotype, demonstrating the requirement of this gene for V. cholerae motility. V. cholerae ΔflgP cells synthesize fragile and defective flagella but transcribe flagellar genes similar to the wild-type strain. PhoA fusion analysis indicated that the putative lipoprotein FlgP is localized external to the cytoplasm, and fractionation demonstrated that it was localized to the outer membrane. Mutagenesis of the site of lipidation of FlgP (C18G) prevented [ 3H]palmitate incorporation and outer membrane localization. Interestingly, FlgP with the mutation C18G [FlgP(C18G)] could complement the ΔflgP mutant for motility, and the cells synthesized wild-type flagella. The ΔflgP mutant strain was defective for intestinal colonization (∼20-fold), but FlgP(C18G) was unable to complement this defect, demonstrating that lipidation of FlgP is essential for its role in intestinal colonization but not flagellar synthesis. FlgP thus represents a novel V. cholerae intestinal colonization factor that is regulated by the flagellar transcription hierarchy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology