The Vibrio cholerae chitin utilization program

Karin L. Meibom, Xibing B. Li, Alex Toftgaard Nielsen, Chen-Yen Wu, Saul Roseman, Gary K. Schoolnik

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Chitin, an insoluble polymer of GIcNAc, is an abundant source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy for marine microorganisms. Microarray expression profiling and mutational studies of Vibrio cholerae growing on a natural chitin surface, or with the soluble chitin oligosaccharides (GIcNAc)2-6, GIcNAc, or the glucosamine dimer (GIcN)2 identified three sets of differentially regulated genes. We show that (i) ChiS, a sensor histidine kinase, regulates expression of the (GIcNAc)2-6 gene set, including a (GIcNAc)2 catabolic operon, two extracellular chitinases, a chitoporin, and a PiIA-containing type IV pilus, designated ChiRP (chitin-regulated pilus) that confers a significant growth advantage to V. cholerae on a chitin surface; (ii) GIcNAc causes the coordinate expression of genes involved with chitin chemotaxis and adherence and with the transport and assimilation of GIcNAc; (iii) (GIcN)2 induces genes required for the transport and catabolism of nonacetylated chitin residues; and (iv) the constitutively expressed MSHA pilus facilitates adhesion to the chitin surface independent of surface chemistry. Collectively, these results provide a global portrait of a complex, multistage V. cholerae program for the efficient utilization of chitin.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume101
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2524-2529
Number of pages6
ISSN0027-8424
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

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