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Deciphering the mechanisms by which Borrelia burgdorferi controls the synthesis of proteins associated with mammalian infection will be an important step toward understanding the pathogenic properties of
Lyme disease-causing bacteria. We present results of studies indicating that B. burgdorferi senses a wide variety of environmental stimuli, including soluble chemicals, which enables it to independently control synthesis of the Erp and OspC proteins. Regulation of OspC and Erp expression appears to occur at the level of transcription. In this regard, we observed that one or more DNA-binding proteins interact specifically with erp promoter DNA but not with the ospC promoter.