Danielli A, Amore G, Scarlato V
Built shallow to maintain homeostasis and persistent infection: insight into the transcriptional regulatory network of the gastric human pathogen Helicobacter pylori.
PLoS Pathog. 2010;6(6):e1000938
Authors: Danielli A, Amore G, Scarlato V
Transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs) transduce environmental signals into coordinated output expression of the genome. Accordingly, they are central for the adaptation of bacteria to their living environments and in host-pathogen interactions. Few attempts have been made to describe a TRN for a human pathogen, because even in model organisms, such as Escherichia coli, the analysis is hindered by the large number of transcription factors involved. In light of the paucity of regulators, the gastric human pathogen Helicobacter pylori represents a very appealing system for understanding how bacterial TRNs are wired up to support infection in the host. Herein, we review and analyze the available molecular and "-omic" data in a coherent ensemble, including protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions relevant for transcriptional control of pathogenic responses. The analysis covers approximately 80% of the annotated H. pylori regulators, and provides to our knowledge the first in-depth description of a TRN for an important pathogen. The emerging picture indicates a shallow TRN, made of four main modules (origons) that process the physiological responses needed to colonize the gastric niche. Specific network motifs confer distinct transcriptional response dynamics to the TRN, while long regulatory cascades are absent. Rather than having a plethora of specialized regulators, the TRN of H. pylori appears to transduce separate environmental inputs by using different combinations of a small set of regulators.
PMID: 20548942 [PubMed - in process]