Virulence gene regulation in Vibrio cholerae is under the control of the ToxR-ToxT regulatory cascade. Chemotaxis and net motility have been shown to influence the infectivity of Vibrio cholerae. V. cholerae toxR mutants do not synthesize proteins required for chemotaxis towards mucus. The inability of the toxR mutant strain to recognize and swim towards mucus is due to their failure to synthesize AcfB, a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein. AcfB has previously been shown to be involved in intestinal colonization using the infant mouse model of cholera infection. Wild type V. cholerae recognizes galactose-6-sulfate in the capillary tube assay whereas V. cholerae acfB mutants fail to migrate into the capillary tubes. Vibrio strains carrying a mutation in tcpI, a ToxR regulated gene found within the Vibrio Pathogenicity Island (VPI), which encodes a methyl accepting chemotaxis protein are fully chemotactic towards mucus and galactose-6-sulfate.
Keywords: Accessory colonization factor; Chemotaxis; ToxR Regulon; Vibrio cholerae.