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Characterization of relA and codY mutants of Listeria monocytogenes: identification of the CodY regulon and its role in virulence

Bennett, Hayley J.; Pearce, David M.; Glenn, Sarah; Taylor, Clare M.; Kuhn, Michael; Sonenshein, Abraham L.; Andrew, Peter W.; Roberts, Ian S.


Hayley J. Bennett

David M. Pearce

Sarah Glenn

Michael Kuhn

Abraham L. Sonenshein

Peter W. Andrew

Ian S. Roberts


Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive intracellular parasite and the causative organism of human listeriosis. In this article we demonstrate that L. monocytogenes encodes a functional member of the CodY family of global regulatory proteins that is responsive to both GTP and branched chain amino acids. By transcript analyses we identified the CodY regulon in L. monocytogenes and demonstrated that it comprises genes involved in amino acid metabolism, nitrogen assimilation as well as genes involved in sugar uptake and incorporation, indicating a role for CodY in L. monocytogenes in both carbon and nitrogen assimilation. A ΔrelA mutation reduced expression of the CodY regulon in early stationary phase and introduction of a ΔcodY mutation into a ΔrelA strain restored virulence. These data indicate that the avirulence of the ΔrelA mutant can in part be explained by the continued repression of the CodY regulon. The phenotypes of ΔrelA and ΔcodY mutants were studied in J774.A1 and Caco-2 cells and the ΔrelA mutation shown to effect intracellular growth. These results provide the first direct evidence that the activity of a CodY-type protein influences pathogenesis and provides new information on the physiological adaptation of L. monocytogenes to post-exponential phase growth and virulence.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 5, 2007
Online Publication Date Jan 15, 2007
Publication Date 2007-03
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2016
Journal Molecular Microbiology
Print ISSN 0950-382X
Electronic ISSN 1365-2958
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 63
Issue 5
Pages 1453-1467
Keywords Parasite, global regulatory proteins, amino acids,
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