Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of the respiratory disease pertussis or whooping cough. Btr, an oxygen-responsive transcriptional regulator of B. pertussis, is homologous to the FNR protein of E. coli. Using a murine respiratory model, we observed in the present study that Btr is important in growth and survival of B. pertussis in vivo. A titration assay was developed that identified genes containing Btr binding sites including B. pertussis sodB and btr, E. coli aspA and a new B. pertussis gene, brgl. The brgl gene encodes a protein similar to the LysR family of transcriptional regulators, and its expression is activated threefold by Btr under anaerobic growth conditions but unaffected by Btr aerobically. The nucleotide sequence flanking brgl encodes proteins with similarity to various metabolic enzymes. Putative overlapping promoters and a Btr binding site (FNR box) were identified in the DNA sequence between brgl and the adjacent genes. These intervening sequences may represent sites for regulation by Btr and Brgl.
- FNR homologue
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