A Feedback Regulatory Loop Containing McdR and WhiB2 Controls Cell Division and DNA Repair in Mycobacteria

Academic Article


  • Cell division must be coordinated with DNA repair, which is strictly regulated in response to different drugs and environmental stresses in bacteria. However, the mechanisms by which mycobacteria orchestrate these two processes remain largely uncharacterized. Here, we report a regulatory loop between two essential mycobacterial regulators, McdR (Rv1830) and WhiB2, in coordinating the processes of cell division and DNA repair. McdR inhibits cell division-associated whiB2 expression by binding to the AATnACAnnnnTGTnATT motif in the promoter region. Furthermore, McdR overexpression simultaneously activates imuAB and dnaE2 expression to promote error-prone DNA repair, which facilitates genetic adaptation to stress conditions. Through a feedback mechanism, WhiB2 activates mcdR expression by binding to the cGACACGc motif in the promoter region. Importantly, analyses of mutations in clinical Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains indicate that disruption of this McdR-WhiB2 feedback regulatory loop influences expression of both cell growth- and DNA repair-associated genes, which further supports the contribution of McdR-WhiB2 regulatory loop in regulating mycobacterial cell growth and drug resistance. This highly conserved feedback regulatory loop provides fresh insight into the link between mycobacterial cell growth control and stress responses.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • mBio  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zhou W; Huang S; Cumming BM; Zhang Y; Tang W; Steyn AJC; Chen S; Hu Y
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 2