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Journal Articles Journal of Bacteriology Year : 2018

Two rsaM Homologues Encode Central Regulatory Elements Modulating Quorum Sensing in Burkholderia thailandensis


The bacterium Burkholderia thailandensis possesses three N-acyl-l-homoserine lactone (AHL) quorum sensing (QS) systems designated BtaI1/BtaR1 (QS-1), BtaI2/BtaR2 (QS-2), and BtaI3/BtaR3 (QS-3). These QS systems are associated with the biosynthesis of N-octanoyl-homoserine lactone (C8-HSL), N-3-hydroxy-decanoyl-homoserine lactone (3OHC10-HSL), and N-3-hydroxy-octanoyl-homoserine lactone (3OHC8-HSL), which are produced by the LuxI-type synthases BtaI1, BtaI2, and BtaI3 and modulated by the LuxR-type transcriptional regulators BtaR1, BtaR2, and BtaR3. The btaR1-btaI1 and btaR2-btaI2 gene clusters each carry an additional gene encoding a homologue of the QS repressor RsaM originally identified in the phytopathogen Pseudomonas fuscovaginae and thus here named rsaM1 and rsaM2, respectively. We have characterized the functions of these two conserved rsaM homologues and demonstrated their involvement in the regulation of AHL biosynthesis in B. thailandensis strain E264. We quantified the production of C8-HSL, 3OHC10-HSL, and 3OHC8-HSL by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in the wild-type strain and in the rsaM1 and rsaM2 mutants, and we monitored btaI1, btaI2, and btaI3 expression using chromosomal mini-CTX-lux transcriptional reporters. The transcription of btaR1, btaR2, and btaR3 was also measured by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). We observed that RsaM1 mainly represses the QS-1 system, whereas RsaM2 principally represses the QS-2 system. We also found that both rsaM1 and rsaM2 are QS controlled and negatively autoregulated. We conclude that RsaM1 and RsaM2 are an integral part of the QS circuitry of B. thailandensis and play a major role in the hierarchical and homeostatic organization of the QS-1, QS-2, and QS-3 systems.IMPORTANCE Quorum sensing (QS) is commonly involved in the coordination of gene transcription associated with the establishment of host-pathogen interactions and acclimatization to the environment. We present the functional characterization of two rsaM homologues in the regulation of the multiple QS systems coexisting in the nonpathogenic bacterium Burkholderia thailandensis, which is widely used as a model system for the study of the human pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei We found that inactivation of these rsaM homologues, which are clustered with the other QS genes, profoundly affects the QS circuitry of B. thailandensis We conclude that they constitute essential regulatory components of the QS modulatory network and provide additional layers of regulation to modulate the transcription of QS-controlled genes, particularly those linked to environmental adaptation.

Dates and versions

pasteur-01855964 , version 1 (08-08-2018)



Servane Le Guillouzer, Marie-Christine Groleau, Eric Déziel. Two rsaM Homologues Encode Central Regulatory Elements Modulating Quorum Sensing in Burkholderia thailandensis. Journal of Bacteriology, 2018, 200 (14), pp.e00727-17. ⟨10.1128/JB.00727-17⟩. ⟨pasteur-01855964⟩


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