Quorum sensing in chromobacterium violaceum: DNA recognition and gene regulation by the CviR receptor

Devin L. Stauff, Bonnie Lynn Bassler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


The bacterial pathogen Chromobacterium violaceum uses a LuxIR-type quorum-sensing system to detect and respond to changes in cell population density. CviI synthesizes the autoinducer C10-homoserine lactone (C10-HSL), and CviR is a cytoplasmic DNA binding transcription factor that activates gene expression following binding to C10-HSL. A number of behaviors are controlled by quorum sensing in C. violaceum. However, few genes have been shown to be directly controlled by CviR, in part because the DNA motif bound by CviR is not well characterized. Here, we define the DNA sequence required for promoter recognition by CviR. Using in vivo data generated from a library of point mutations in a CviR-regulated promoter, we find that CviR binds to a palindrome with the ideal sequence CTGNCCNNNNGGNCAG. We constructed a position weight matrix using these in vivo data and scanned the C. violaceum genome to predict CviR binding sites. We measured direct activation of the identified promoters by CviR and found that CviR controls the expression of the promoter for a chitinase, a type VI secretion-related gene, a transcriptional regulator gene, a guanine deaminase gene, and cviI. Indeed, regulation of cviI expression by CviR generates a canonical quorum-sensing positive-feedback loop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3871-3878
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Quorum sensing in chromobacterium violaceum: DNA recognition and gene regulation by the CviR receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this