Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Program

Biology

Date of Award

8-2015

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris Pritchett

Committee Members

Bert Lampson, Zachary Walls

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterial pathogen that can infect any human tissue. The lungs of cystic fibrosis patients become chronically infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Virulence factor gene expression is under elaborate regulatory control that remains poorly characterized. Understanding the regulatory hierarchy involved during infection is essential for identifying novel drug targets. RsmA is a post-transcriptional regulatory protein that controls expression of several virulence factors. Previous studies demonstrated alginate regulatory components AlgU and AlgR as regulators of rsmA expression. The aim of this study was to determine how AlgR controls rsmA expression. Western blot analysis of HA-tagged RsmA confirmed lower RsmA levels in an algR mutant. An electrophoretic mobility shift assay using purified AlgR demonstrated direct binding of AlgR to the rsmA promoter. These results indicate AlgR directly controls rsmA expression. We propose a mechanism whereby AlgR and AlgU work together to regulate rsmA.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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