Author Summary<br />Lyme disease, caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), remains the most common arthropod-borne illness in the United States. A critical strategy for Bb to maintain its presence in nature is adaptation to its diverse tick and mammalian (mouse) hosts. To accomplish this, Bb encodes a potential gene regulator, BB0647 (BosR). Herein, we confirmed that BosR is essential for Bb to establish mammalian infection. We then found that purified recombinant BosR bound to the promoter DNA (regulatory region) of rpoS, suggesting that BosR directly controls the expression of the rpoS gene. This study has revealed a new mechanism of bacterial gene control. The discovery that BosR governs Bb's virulence may lead to new strategies to interrupt the bacterium's complex life cycle.
Ouyang, Z., Deka, R. K., & Norgard, M. V. (2011). BosR (BB0647) controls the RpoN-RpoS regulatory pathway and virulence expression in Borrelia burgdorferi by a novel DNA-binding mechanism. PLoS Pathogens, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1001272