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Transcriptional activation of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence-associated small RNA MTS1338 by the response regulators DosR and PhoP.

FEBS Letters 2024 April 20
MTS1338, a distinctive small RNA in pathogenic mycobacteria, plays a crucial role in host-pathogen interactions during infection. Mycobacterial cells encounter heterogeneous stresses in macrophages, which highly upregulate MTS1338. A dormancy regulatory factor DosR regulates the intracellular abundance of MTS1338. Herein, we investigated the interplay of DosR and a low pH-inducible gene regulator PhoP binding to the MTS1338 promoter. We identified that DosR strongly binds to two regions upstream of the MTS1338 gene. The proximal region possesses a threefold higher affinity than the distal site, but the presence of both regions increased the affinity for DosR by > 10-fold. PhoP did not bind to the MTS1338 gene but binds to the DosR-bound MTS1338 gene, suggesting a concerted mechanism for MTS1338 expression.

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