Dual membrane-spanning anti-sigma factors regulate vesiculation in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron

Evan J. Pardue, Mariana G. Sartorio, Biswanath Jana, Nichollas E. Scott, Wandy L. Beatty, Juan C. Ortiz-Marquez, Tim Van Opijnen, Fong Hsu, Robert F. Potter, Mario Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacteroidota are abundant members of the human gut microbiota that shape the enteric landscape by modulating host immunity and degrading dietary- and host-derived glycans. These processes are mediated in part by Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMVs). Here, we developed a high-throughput screen to identify genes required for OMV biogenesis and its regulation in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt). We identified a family of Dual membrane-spanning anti-sigma factors (Dma) that control OMV biogenesis. We conducted molecular and multiomic analyses to demonstrate that deletion of Dma1, the founding member of the Dma family, modulates OMV production by controlling the activity of the ECF21 family sigma factor, Das1, and its downstream regulon. Dma1 has a previously uncharacterized domain organization that enables Dma1 to span both the inner and outer membrane of Bt. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that this common feature of the Dma family is restricted to the phylum Bacteroidota. This study provides mechanistic insights into the regulation of OMV biogenesis in human gut bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2321910121
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 5 2024


  • Bacteroides
  • microbiota
  • regulation
  • signaling
  • vesicles


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