Bistability in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Bistability in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Title: Bistability in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Author: Turner, Keith Holte
Citation: Turner, Keith Holte. 2012. Bistability in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: The opportunistic pathogen P. aeruginosa is a leading cause of hospital-accquired infections, and is also the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). In this thesis, I describe the identification and characterization of a novel LysR-type transcription regulator (LTTR) of P. aeruginosa named BexR. I show that BexR exhibits reversible ON/OFF bistable expression, which leads to the bistable expression of several genes including one encoding a virulence factor. I present results suggesting that this bistable expression depends on positive feedback of BexR. This work illuminates the simplicity with which a transcription regulatory network can exhibit a complex behavior and generate phenotypic diversity in a clonal population.
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