Tools for regulated gene expression in Enterococcus faecalis are extremely limited. In this report, we describe the construction of an expression vector for E. faecalis, designated pCIE, utilizing the PQ pheromone-responsive promoter of plasmid pCF10. We demonstrate that this promoter is tightly repressed, responds to nanogram quantities of the peptide pheromone, and has a large dynamic range. To demonstrate its utility, the promoter was used to control expression of the toxic peptides of two par family toxin-antitoxin (TA) loci present in E. faecalis, parpAD1 of the pAD1 plasmid and parEF0409 located on the E. faecalis chromosome. The results demonstrated differences in the modes of regulation of toxin expression and in the effects of toxins of these two related systems. We anticipate that this vector will be useful for further investigation of par TA system function as well as the regulated expression of other genes in E. faecalis.
- Expression vector
- Toxin-antitoxin systems