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The Role of Catabolite Repression in Clostridium perfringens Food Poisoning

Investigators
Melville, Stephen
Institutions
University of Tennessee
Start date
2000
End date
2003
Objective
The three objectives of this proposal are designed to determine what role CcpA plays in C. perfringens' ability to grow in food products and regulate carbohydrate utilization. The objectives of the proposed research are: (1) determine if glucose acts as a catabolite repressor of alternative sugar metabolism during growth and sporulation of C. perfringens; (2) determine the role the CcpA regulatory protein plays in C. perfringens ability to grow rapidly in foodstuffs; and (3) identify the molecular mechanism of CcpA activity in C. perfringens.
More information
Clostridium perfringens is one of the most frequent causes of food poisoning in people. C. perfringens often contaminates prepared food, due to its ability to produce a heat-resistant spore. After cooking, the spores germinate and the bacterium grows at an extremely rapid rate if the food is not refrigerated. When contaminated food is eaten, C. perfringens sporulates and produces a potent enterotoxin in the intestines, which causes the disease symptoms. An essential feature of C. perfringens food poisoning is the bacterium's ability to regulate the uptake and metabolism of nutrients from the food it is growing in. The global transcriptional regulatory protein, CcpA, has been shown to be a primary regulator of carbohydrate utilization in other gram positive bacteria. The three objectives of this proposal are designed to determine what role CcpA plays in C. perfringens' ability to grow in food products and regulate carbohydrate utilization. The objectives of the proposed research are: (1) determine if glucose acts as a catabolite repressor of alternative sugar metabolism during growth and sporulation of C. perfringens; (2) determine the role the CcpA regulatory protein plays in C. perfringens ability to grow rapidly in foodstuffs; and (3) identify the molecular mechanism of CcpA activity in C. perfringens. Together, these studies will help to characterize an essential regulatory component in C. perfringens food poisoning. These results may also help us to come up with better food handling techniques to lower the incidence of this very common disease.
Project number
01-35201-10114
Accession number
2000-02621
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Clostridium