Ligand-receptor recognition for activation of quorum sensing in Staphylococcus aureus
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- Chen, L., Tsou, L. & Chen, F. J Microbiol. (2009) 47: 572. doi:10.1007/s12275-009-0004-2
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The accessory gene regulator (agr) locus controls many of the virulence toxins involved in Staphylococcus aureus pathogenesis, and can be divided into four specificity groups. AgrC is the only group-specific receptor to mediate both intra-group activation and inter-group inhibition. We studied the ligand-receptor recognition of the agr system in depth by using a luciferase reporter system to identify the key residues responsible for AgrC activation in two closely related agr groups, AgrC-I, and AgrC-IV. Fusion PCR and site-directed mutagenesis were used to screen for functional residues of AgrC. Our data suggest that for AgrC-IV activation, residue 101 is critical for activating the receptor. In contrast, the key residues for the activation of AgrC-I are located at residues 49∼59, 107, and 116. However, three residue changes, T101A, V107S, I116S, are sufficient to convert the AIP recognizing specificity from AgrC-IV to AgrC-I.