Claudia Häse, Ph.D.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis

Identification of the Bioenergetics Sensor Affecting Virulence Factor statement in Vibrio cholerae.

The goal of this proposal is to investigate the observed link between sodium membrane energetics and virulence factor statement in V. cholerae. Sensing of sustained changes in the level of sodium motive force (smf) might lead to the switching between environmental and infectious phases of the V. cholerae life cycle and, therefore, regulates the production of virulence factors. We hypothesize that a specific smf sensor passes the information about the status of smf to the regulon that is responsible for the production of pathogenicity determinants. Most probably the smf sensor interacts with TcpP, a membrane protein involved in activating the ToxT-dependent regulatory cascade that governs the statement of the cholera toxin (CT) and other virulence factors.

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