An RpoH-like heat shock sigma factor is involved in stress response and virulence in Brucella melitensis 16M

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B. melitensis 16M genome analysis revealed the presence of six putative sigma factor-encoding genes: rpoD, rpoH1, rpoH2, rpoE1, rpoE2, and rpoN. We mutated all these genes except rpoD. Phenotypic analysis of the mutants reveals that a strain carrying an rpoH2 null mutation (DeltarpoH2) is impaired for growth at 21 and 42 degrees C and shows increased sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide. Compared to the wild-type strain, the DeltarpoH2 mutant is attenuated in all virulence models tested. Three other null mutants (DeltarpoH1, DeltarpoE1, and DeltarpoE2 mutants) are also defective for survival in mice at 4 weeks postinfection. We also demonstrated that rpoH2 deletion strongly reduces the expression of two major virulence factors in B. melitensis, the type IV secretion system and the flagellum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7707-10
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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