More than 200 direct CodY target genes in Staphylococcus aureus were identified by genome-wide analysis of in vitro DNA binding. This analysis, which was confirmed for some genes by DNase I footprinting assays, revealed that CodY is a direct regulator of numerous transcription units associated with amino acid biosynthesis, transport of macromolecules, and virulence. The virulence genes regulated by CodY fell into three groups. One group was dependent on the Agr system for its expression; these genes were indirectly regulated by CodY through its repression of the agr locus. A second group was regulated directly by CodY. The third group, which includes genes for alpha-toxin and capsule synthesis, was regulated by CodY in two ways, i.e., by direct repression and by repression of the agr locus. Since S. aureus CodY was activated in vitro by the branched chain amino acids and GTP, CodY appears to link changes in intracellular metabolite pools with the induction of numerous adaptive responses, including virulence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology