Systematic Reconstruction of the Complete Two-Component Sensorial Network in Staphylococcus aureus

B. Rapun-Araiz, A. F. Haag (Lead / Corresponding author), V. De Cesare, C. Gil, P. Dorado-Morales, J. R. Penades, I. Lasa (Lead / Corresponding author)

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27 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


In bacteria, adaptation to changes in the environment is mainly controlled through two-component signal transduction systems (TCSs). Most bacteria contain dozens of TCSs, each of them responsible for sensing a different range of signals and controlling the expression of a repertoire of target genes (regulon). Over the years, identification of the regulon controlled by each individual TCS in different bacteria has been a recurrent question. However, limitations associated with the classical approaches used have left our knowledge far from complete. In this report, using a pioneering approach in which a strain devoid of the complete nonessential TCS network was systematically complemented with the constitutively active form of each response regulator, we have reconstituted the regulon of each TCS of S. aureus in the absence of interference between members of the family. Transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) and proteomics allowed us to determine the size, complexity, and insulation of each regulon and to identify the genes regulated exclusively by one or many TCSs. This gain-of-function strategy provides the first description of the complete TCS regulon in a living cell, which we expect will be useful to understand the pathobiology of this important pathogen.IMPORTANCE Bacteria are able to sense environmental conditions and respond accordingly. Their sensorial system relies on pairs of sensory and regulatory proteins, known as two-component systems (TCSs). The majority of bacteria contain dozens of TCSs, each of them responsible for sensing and responding to a different range of signals. Traditionally, the function of each TCS has been determined by analyzing the changes in gene expression caused by the absence of individual TCSs. Here, we used a bacterial strain deprived of the complete TC sensorial system to introduce, one by one, the active form of every TCS. This gain-of-function strategy allowed us to identify the changes in gene expression conferred by each TCS without interference of other members of the family.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00511-20
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Early online date18 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • regulon
  • two-component systems
  • Regulon
  • Two-component systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Microbiology
  • Modelling and Simulation


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