Regulation of Gene and Protein Expression in the Lyme Disease Spirochete

  • Brian StevensonEmail author
  • Janakiram SeshuEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 415)


The infectious cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi necessitates persistent infection of both vertebrates and ticks, and efficient means of transmission between those two very different types of hosts. The Lyme disease spirochete has evolved mechanisms to sense its location in the infectious cycle, and use that information to control production of the proteins and other factors required for each step. Numerous components of borrelial regulatory pathways have been characterized to date. Their effects are being pieced together, thereby providing glimpses into a complex web of cooperative and antagonistic interactions. In this chapter, we present a broad overview of B. burgdorferi gene and protein regulation during the natural infectious cycle, discussions of culture-based methods for elucidating regulatory mechanisms, and summaries of many of the known regulatory proteins and small molecules. We also highlight areas that are in need of substantially more research.



We are grateful to Catherine Brissette, Will Arnold, and Christina Savage for their comments.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, MS 421 Chandler Medical CenterUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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