Quantitative expression of cholera toxin mrna in vibrio cholerae isolates with different ctx cassette arrangements
Cholera toxin (CT) is the major virulence factor produced by Vibrio cholerae. Several genomic arrangements within the CTX cassette have been elucidated in V. cholerae. Previously, it was shown that three different CTX cassette arrangements, one complete CTX cassette (arrangement A), one complete and two incomplete CTX cassettes (arrangement B), and two complete CTX cassettes (arrangement C), exist within V. cholerae isolates. In the present study, the level of CT expression by V. cholerae isolates carrying different CTX cassette arrangements was evaluated. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed unequal production of CT mRNA in V. cholerae isolates with different CTX arrangements. V. cholerae with the CTX arrangement C expressed more CT mRNA than isolates with the other CTX arrangements. In addition, CT mRNA was expressed more in the isolates with CTX arrangement B than in those with arrangement A. Overall, these results suggest that the arrangement and number of regulatory elements (rstA) within the CTX cassette could affect the level of expression of CT.