A Cytosine Methytransferase Modulates the Cell Envelope Stress Response in the Cholera Pathogen

Michael C. Chao, Shijia Zhu, Satoshi Kimura, Brigid M. Davis, Eric E. Schadt, Gang Fang, Matthew K. Waldor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


DNA methylation is a key epigenetic regulator in all domains of life, yet the effects of most bacterial DNA methyltransferases on cellular processes are largely undefined. Here, we used diverse techniques, including bisulfite sequencing, transcriptomics, and transposon insertion site sequencing to extensively characterize a 5-methylcytosine (5mC) methyltransferase, VchM, in the cholera pathogen, Vibrio cholerae. We have comprehensively defined VchM’s DNA targets, its genetic interactions and the gene networks that it regulates. Although VchM is a relatively new component of the V. cholerae genome, it is required for optimal V. cholerae growth in vitro and during infection. Unexpectedly, the usually essential σEcell envelope stress pathway is dispensable in ∆vchM V. cholerae, likely due to its lower activation in this mutant and the capacity for VchM methylation to limit expression of some cell envelope modifying genes. Our work illuminates how an acquired DNA methyltransferase can become integrated within complex cell circuits to control critical housekeeping processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1005666
JournalPLoS genetics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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