MtsR is a dual regulator that controls virulence genes and metabolic functions in addition to metal homeostasis in the group A streptococcus

Mol Microbiol. 2010 May;76(4):971-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07157.x. Epub 2010 Apr 14.


MtsR is a metal-dependent regulator in the group A streptococcus (GAS) that directly represses the transcription of genes involved in haem and metal uptake. While MtsR has been implicated in GAS virulence, the DNA recognition and full regulatory scope exerted by the protein are unknown. In this study we identified the shr promoter (P(shr)) and mapped MtsR binding to a 69 bp segment in P(shr) that overlaps the core promoter elements. A global transcriptional analysis demonstrated that MtsR modulates the expression of 64 genes in GAS, 44 of which were upregulated and 20 were downregulated in the mtsR mutant. MtsR controls genes with diverse functions including metal homeostasis, nucleic acid and amino acid metabolism, and protein fate. Importantly, the MtsR regulon includes mga, emm49 and ska, which are central for GAS pathogenesis. MtsR binding to the promoter region of both negatively and positively regulated genes demonstrates that it functions as a dual regulator. MtsR footprints are large (47-130 bp) and vary between target promoters. A 16 bp motif that consists of an interrupted palindrome is implicated in the DNA recognition by the metalloregulator. In conclusion, we report here that MtsR is a global regulator in GAS that shapes the expression of vital virulence factors and genes involved in metabolic functions and metal transport, and we discuss the implications for the GAS disease process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Metals / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Operon
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Regulon / genetics
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / genetics*
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / metabolism
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / genetics*


  • Metals
  • Virulence Factors