Identification and characterisation of endogenous inducible promoters in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is one of the world’s most devastating pathogens. Despite completion of the genome sequence in 1998, research progress has been hampered by a lack of genetic tools and the difficulty of working with the organism. Existing genetic systems are limited by their lack of tight regulation or genetic instability. The aim of this study was to characterise and utilise a range of promoters to express mycobacterial genes in a controllable fashion by generating knockdown strains of a number of target genes, using both sense and antisense approaches. This would help to elucidate the function of a particular gene of interest and identify or validate new drug targets. Sets of genes shown to be inducible by certain stimuli such as tetracycline (Rv0277c, Rv0608, Rv0748, Rv1015c, Rv2487c and Rv3898c), streptomycin (whiB7), sodium dodecyl sulphate or ethanol (whiB6), hypoxia, nitric oxide and stationary phase (Rv2625c, Rv2626c, Rv2627c and hspX), or salicylate (Rv0560c) were selected from the literature. The upstream region of each gene was cloned in front of a reporter gene and activity was tested in M. smegmatis and/or M. tuberculosis. No inducible promoter activity was found for the upstream regions of the tetracycline, streptomycin, sodium dodecyl sulphate or ethanolresponsive genes. Inducible promoter activity was found for some of the hypoxiaresponsive genes and was monitored in relation to growth phase in M. tuberculosis wild type, a dosR deletion mutant and a Rv2625c deletion mutant. The upstream region of Rv0560c was found to contain a salicylateinducible promoter. Promoter elements of this promoter were identified and characterised in M. tuberculosis. Attempts to use the most promising promoters in an antisense setting using the reporter gene lacZ or the mycobacterial gene rpoB were unsuccessful.
AuthorsSchuessler, Dorothée Laura
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