The cyclic-AMP receptor protein (CRP) regulon in Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans includes leukotoxin

Leigh A. Feuerbacher, Alex Burgum, David Kolodrubetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The cyclic-AMP receptor protein (CRP) acts as a global regulatory protein among bacteria. Here, the CRP regulon has been defined in Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans using microarray analysis of A. actinomycetemcomitans strain JP2 wild type cells compared to an isogenic crp deletion mutant. Genes whose expression levels changed at least 2-fold with p≤ 0.05 were considered significant. Of the 300 genes identified as being CRP-regulated, 139 were CRP-activated, including leukotoxin, with the remaining being CRP-repressed. The 300 genes represent 14.2% of ORFs probed which is significantly higher than what has been reported for CRP regulons in other bacteria. If the CRP-regulated genes are put into 17 functional classes, all 17 categories had at least 1 CRP-regulated gene. Several functional categories, mainly transport and binding proteins and energy metabolism proteins, were disproportionately represented in the CRP-regulated subset of genes relative to their overall representation in the genome. This is similar to the patterns seen in other bacteria. Finally, quantitative RT-PCR was used to show that the leukotoxin RNA levels were repressed 16-fold in the CRP mutant indicating that CRP activates leukotoxin transcription. However, this regulation appears to be acting through another regulatory protein since the leukotoxin promoter, unlike ∼129 other promoters of CRP-regulated genes, does not have a match to the consensus CRP-binding site. Several candidate genes for this intermediary transcription factor have been identified in the CRP regulon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans
  • CRP regulon
  • Cyclic-AMP receptor protein
  • Leukotoxin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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