Diversity in the Bordetella virulence regulon: transcriptional control of a Bvg-intermediate phase gene

Mol Microbiol. 2001 May;40(3):669-83. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2001.02415.x.


The BvgAS signal transduction system controls the expression of at least three distinct phenotypic phases that lie along a continuum of gene expression states. The Bvg+ phase is characterized by the expression of adhesins and toxins, whereas the Bvg- phase is characterized by motility in Bordetella bronchiseptica and the expression of vrg loci in Bordetella pertussis. The Bvg-intermediate (Bvgi) phase is characterized by the absence of Bvg-repressed phenotypes, the expression of some, but not all, Bvg-activated virulence factors and the presence of a recently discovered set of antigens and phenotypes that are unique to this phase. We report here the transcriptional regulation of bipA, the first-identified Bvgi phase gene. We have mapped the bipA promoter and identified numerous BvgA binding sites in the transcriptional control region. Based on these data, we present a model in which phase-dependent expression of bipA results from the spatial distribution and relative affinities of multiple BvgA binding sites relative to the start site of transcription.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin
  • Adhesins, Bacterial / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Bordetella / genetics*
  • Bordetella / pathogenicity
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Escherichia coli
  • Escherichia coli Proteins*
  • Flagellin / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Hemagglutinins / genetics
  • Lac Operon
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Precursors / genetics
  • Regulon*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Virulence
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella*


  • Adenylate Cyclase Toxin
  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • BipA protein, Bordetella
  • BvgA protein, Bacteria
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • EvgA protein, E coli
  • Hemagglutinins
  • Protein Precursors
  • Transcription Factors
  • Virulence Factors, Bordetella
  • bvgS protein, Bordetella pertussis
  • filamentous hemagglutinin adhesin, Bordetella pertussis
  • Flagellin
  • flaA protein, bacteria
  • Deoxyribonuclease I