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Les régulateurs transcriptionnels Rgg. Confirmation de leur implication dans des phénomènes de quorum-sensing et identification de leurs cibles.

Abstract : The discovery of a genetic context – encoding a small hydrophobic peptide (SHP) and a transcriptional regulator belonging to the Rgg family (in nearly all streptococcal genomes) –, following by the study of one of this loci in S. thermophilus LMD-9, led to the hypothesis that the regulatory proteins Rgg in association with a putative pheromone SHP could define a novel quorum-sensing (QS) regulatory mechanism in Gram-positive bacteria. The first part of my PhD consisted to validate this hypothesis. For this purpose, we analyzed the SHP/Rgg system in all the steps that are commonly involved in QS mechanisms: (i) secretion of the putative pheromone, (ii) maturation of the pheromone, (iii) capture of the pheromone from the external environment at a threshold concentration, (iv) importation of the pheromone inside the cell and (v) interaction of the transcriptional regulator to the promoter regions of targeted genes. Experimentally, we focused on the so-called shp/rgg1358 locus of S. thermophilus LMD-9, which is the streptococcal species containing the largest number of shp/rgg pairs in its genome. By using genetic and biochemistry approaches, we uncovered a new QS mechanism that involves the pheromone SHP, the oligopeptide transporter AmiCDEF for the uptake of the pheromone and the transcriptional regulator Rgg for the control of target gene expression. Furthermore, we showed that the membrane protease Eep participates in the production of the mature pheromone, which has been identified by mass spectrometry. Once characterized, the second part of my PhD was to explore the functionality of this new QS system in other streptococcal strain or species, in order to determine if cross-reactivity phenomenon between streptococci can occur. By using heterologous expression in S. thermophilus LMD-9, we extended the functionality of the SHP/Rgg system to two pathogenic streptococcal species, i.e. S. agalactiae and S. mutans. The last part of my PhD consisted in identifying the regulon of all SHP/Rgg systems. Following the construction of a phylogenetic tree of the Rgg-like proteins in low GC Gram-positive bacteria, we identified 68 SHP/Rgg systems that we classified in three groups. Analyzing the promoter regions of all shp genes led to the identification of a putative Rgg DNA binding site specific to each SHP/Rgg group. An in silico approach was used to scan all sequenced streptococcal genomes for the three identified patterns. Whereas proximal target genes were detected for groups II and III, distal target genes were found in groups I and II. In addition, we uncovered that putative Rgg DNA binding sites can be localized in coding or non-coding region. Currently, validations are in progress. To sum-up, my PhD studies provided evidences that the Rgg proteins in association with small peptide pheromones define a new QS mechanism that seems to regulate the expression of distal and proximal genes in a species-dependent manner. Important insights should be obtained concerning a putative crosstalk among streptococci that involves the SHP/Rgg QS system. My studies may constitute a basis for the development of small peptides to optimize the use of S. thermophilus in dairy factories and reduce the virulence of pathogenic streptococci.
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  • HAL Id : pastel-00782705, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 320925

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Betty Fleuchot. Les régulateurs transcriptionnels Rgg. Confirmation de leur implication dans des phénomènes de quorum-sensing et identification de leurs cibles.. Sciences agricoles. AgroParisTech, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011AGPT0072⟩. ⟨pastel-00782705⟩

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