SaeR binds a consensus sequence within virulence gene promoters to advance USA300 pathogenesis.
ABSTRACT: This investigation examines the role of the SaeR/S 2-component system in USA300, a prominent circulating clone of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Using a saeR/S isogenic deletion mutant of USA300 (USA300DeltasaeR/S) in murine models of sepsis and soft-tissue infection revealed that this sensory system is critical to pathogenesis of USA300 during both superficial and invasive infection. Oligonucleotide microarray and real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction identified numerous extracellular virulence genes that are down-regulated in USA300DeltasaeR/S. Unexpectedly, an up-regulation of mecA and mecR1 corresponded to increased methicillin resistance in USA300DeltasaeR/S. 5'-RACE analysis defined transcript start sites for sbi, efb, mecA, lukS-PV, hlb, SAUSA300_1975, and hla, to underscore a conserved consensus sequence within promoter regions of genes under strong SaeR/S transcriptional regulation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay experiments illustrated direct binding of SaeR(His) to promoter regions containing the conserved consensus sequence. Collectively, the findings of this investigation demonstrate that SaeR/S directly interacts with virulence gene promoters to significantly influence USA300 pathogenesis.
Project description:Background:The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to evade killing by human neutrophils significantly contributes to disease progression. In this study, we characterize an influential role for the S. aureus SaeR/S 2-component gene regulatory system in suppressing monocyte production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) to subsequently influence human neutrophil priming. Methods:Using flow cytometry and TNF-? specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays we identify the primary cellular source of TNF-? in human blood and in purified peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) during interaction with USA300 and an isogenic saeR/S deletion mutant (USA300?saeR/S). Assays with conditioned media from USA300 and USA300?saeR/S exposed PBMCs were used to investigate priming on neutrophil bactericidal activity. Results:TNF-? production from monocytes was significantly reduced following challenge with USA300 compared to USA300?saeR/S. We observed that priming of neutrophils using conditioned medium from peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with USA300?saeR/S significantly increased neutrophil bactericidal activity against USA300 relative to unprimed neutrophils and neutrophils primed with USA300 conditioned medium. The increased neutrophil bactericidal activity was associated with enhanced reactive oxygen species production that was significantly influenced by elevated TNF-? concentrations. Conclusions:Our findings identify an immune evasion strategy used by S. aureus to impede neutrophil priming and subsequent bactericidal activity.
Project description:The ability of Staphylococcus aureus to infect tissues is dependent on precise control of virulence through gene-regulatory systems. While the SaeR/S two-component system has been shown to be a major regulator of S. aureus virulence, the influence of the host environment on SaeR/S-regulated genes (saeR/S targets) remains incompletely defined. Using QuantiGene 2.0 transcriptional assays, we examined expression of genes with the SaeR binding site in USA300 exposed to human and mouse neutrophils and host-derived peptides and during subcutaneous skin infection. We found that only some of the saeR/S targets, as opposed to the entire SaeR/S virulon, were activated within 5 and 10 min of interacting with human neutrophils as well as ?-defensin. Furthermore, mouse neutrophils promoted transcription of saeR/S targets despite lacking ?-defensin, and the murine skin environment elicited a distinctive expression profile of saeR/S targets. These findings indicate that saeR/S-mediated transcription is unique to and dependent on specific host stimuli. By using isogenic USA300?saeR/S and USA300?agr knockout strains, we also determined that SaeR/S is the major regulator of virulence factors, while Agr, a quorum-sensing two-component system, has moderate influence on transcription of the saeR/S targets under the tested physiological conditions.
Project description:We determined allelic polymorphisms in the mec complexes of 524 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates by partial or complete sequencing of three mec genes, mecA, mecI, and mecR1. The isolates had been collected over a 10-year period from patients living in rural Wisconsin, where the use of antibiotics was expected to be lower than in the bigger cities. Of the 18 mutation types identified, 16 had not been described previously. The five most common mutations were a mutation 7 nucleotides (nt) upstream from the start site (G-->T) in the mecA promoter (34.7%), an E246G change encoded by mecA (2.2%), a cytosine insertion at codon 257 in mecA (13.2%), an N121K change encoded by mecI (7.8%), and a major mecI-mecR1 deletion designated as a class B1 mec complex deletion type (25.4%). There was a high degree of conservation of the amino acid sequence of MecR1. Strains with the same mutations had variable resistance to oxacillin, and the median MIC for isolates that harbored the 7-nt-upstream mutation was lower than that for strains harboring other mutations. Our data suggest that the mecA promoter mutation plays a more important role in determining methicillin resistance than mutations in mecI and mecA do. Eighty-five percent of the tested isolates (n = 148) with the mecA promoter mutation and the class B1 mec complex deletion belonged to the same major clonal group, identified as MCG-2, and harbored the type IV staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec DNA. There was also a wide range of oxacillin MICs for strains with wild-type mecA, mecI, and mecR1 sequences, suggesting that the genetic backgrounds of clinical strains are significant in determining susceptibility to methicillin.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a common Gram-positive bacteria that is a major cause of human morbidity and mortality. The SaeR/S two-component sensory system of S. aureus is important for virulence gene transcription and pathogenesis. However, the influence of SaeR phosphorylation on virulence gene transcription is not clear. To determine the importance of potential SaeR phosphorylation sites for S. aureus virulence, we generated genomic alanine substitutions at conserved aspartic acid residues in the receiver domain of the SaeR response regulator in clinically significant S. aureus pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) type USA300. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated a dramatic reduction in the transcript abundance of various toxins, adhesins, and immunomodulatory proteins for SaeR with an aspartic acid to alanine substitution at residue 51. These findings corresponded to a significant decrease in cytotoxicity against human erythrocytes and polymorphonuclear leukocytes, the ability to block human myeloperoxidase activity, and pathogenesis during murine soft-tissue infection. Analysis of SaeR sequences from over 8,000 draft S. aureus genomes revealed that aspartic acid residue 51 is 100% conserved. Collectively, these results demonstrate that aspartic acid residue 51 of SaeR is essential for S. aureus virulence and underscore a conserved target for novel antimicrobial strategies that treat infection caused by this pathogen.
Project description:We report on the structural diversity of mecA gene complexes carried by 38 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 91 methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus strains of seven different species with a special reference to its correlation with phenotypic expression of methicillin resistance. The most prevalent and widely disseminated mec complex had the structure mecI-mecR1-mecA-IS431R (or IS431mec), designated the class A mecA gene complex. In contrast, in S. haemolyticus, mecA was bracketed by two copies of IS431, forming the structure IS431L-mecA-IS431R. Of the 38 S. haemolyticus strains, 5 had low-level methicillin resistance (MIC, 1 to 4 mg/liter) and characteristic heterogeneous methicillin resistance as judged by population analysis. In these five strains, IS431L was located to the left of an intact mecI gene, forming the structure IS431L-class A mecA-gene complex. In other S. haemolyticus strains, IS431L was associated with the deletion of mecI and mecR1, forming the structure IS431L-DeltamecR1-mecA-IS431mec, designated the class C mecA gene complex. Mutants with the class C mecA gene complex were obtained in vitro by selecting strain SH621, containing the IS431L-class A mecA gene complex with low concentrations of methicillin (1 and 3 mg/liter). The mutants had intermediate level of methicillin resistance (MIC, 16 to 64 mg/liter). The mecA gene transcription was shown to be derepressed in a representative mutant strain, SH621-37. Our study indicated that the mecI-encoded repressor function is responsible for the low-level methicillin resistance of some S. haemolyticus clinical strains and that the IS431-mediated mecI gene deletion causes the expression of methicillin resistance through the derepression of mecA gene transcription.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes invasive, drug-resistant skin and soft tissue infections. Reports that S. aureus bacteria survive inside macrophages suggest that the intramacrophage environment may be a niche for persistent infection; however, mechanisms by which the bacteria might evade macrophage phagosomal defenses are unclear. We examined the fate of the S. aureus-containing phagosome in THP-1 macrophages by evaluating bacterial intracellular survival and phagosomal acidification and maturation and by testing the impact of phagosomal conditions on bacterial viability. Multiple strains of S. aureus survived inside macrophages, and in studies using the MRSA USA300 clone, the USA300-containing phagosome acidified rapidly and acquired the late endosome and lysosome protein LAMP1. However, fewer phagosomes containing live USA300 bacteria than those containing dead bacteria associated with the lysosomal hydrolases cathepsin D and β-glucuronidase. Inhibiting lysosomal hydrolase activity had no impact on intracellular survival of USA300 or other S. aureus strains, suggesting that S. aureus perturbs acquisition of lysosomal enzymes. We examined the impact of acidification on S. aureus intramacrophage viability and found that inhibitors of phagosomal acidification significantly impaired USA300 intracellular survival. Inhibition of macrophage phagosomal acidification resulted in a 30-fold reduction in USA300 expression of the staphylococcal virulence regulator agr but had little effect on expression of sarA, saeR, or sigB. Bacterial exposure to acidic pH in vitro increased agr expression. Together, these results suggest that S. aureus survives inside macrophages by perturbing normal phagolysosome formation and that USA300 may sense phagosomal conditions and upregulate expression of a key virulence regulator that enables its intracellular survival.
Project description:Most clinically relevant methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains have become resistant to ?-lactams antibiotics through horizontal acquisition of the mecA gene encoding PBP2a, a peptidoglycan transpeptidase with low affinity for ?-lactams. The level of resistance conferred by mecA is, however, strain dependent, and the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain poorly understood. We show here that ?-lactam resistance correlates to expression of the Sle1 cell wall amidase in the fast-spreading and highly virulent community-acquired MRSA USA300 clone. Sle1 is a substrate of the ClpXP protease, and while the high Sle1 levels in cells lacking ClpXP activity confer ?-lactam hyper-resistance, USA300 cells lacking Sle1 are as susceptible to ?-lactams as cells lacking mecA This finding prompted us to assess the cellular roles of Sle1 in more detail, and we demonstrate that high Sle1 levels accelerate the onset of daughter cells splitting and decrease cell size. Vice versa, oxacillin decreases the Sle1 level and imposes a cell separation defect that is antagonized by high Sle1 levels, suggesting that high Sle1 levels increase tolerance to oxacillin by promoting cell separation. In contrast, increased oxacillin sensitivity of sle1 cells appears linked to a synthetic lethal effect on septum synthesis. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that Sle1 is a key factor in resistance to ?-lactam antibiotics in the JE2 USA300 model strain and that PBP2a is required for the expression of Sle1 in JE2 cells exposed to oxacillin.
Project description:Aim:This study was designed to detect the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus, to estimate the frequency of methicillin resistance gene (mecA), femA (specific gene for S. aureus), and lukS gene, and the prevalence of urinary tract infection (UTI) in human and bovine mastitis caused by S. aureus. Materials and Methods:A total of 102 cases of S. aureus were included in this study; 72 specimens were isolated from human with UTIs and 30 specimens were isolated from milk of cattle with acute mastitis. Diagnosis was done by VITEK 2 Compact after subculture and purification. All isolates were examined for the presence of mecA, femA, and lukS (Panton-Valentine leukocidin) using multiplex polymerase chain reaction. Results:Culture and biochemical evaluation of the samples revealed the presence of S. aureus, among which the genes mecA, femA, and lukS were positively detected in 68 (94.4%), 36 (50%), and 20 (27.7%) of S. aureus isolates from methicillin-resistant humans, respectively. In the same manner, the genes mecA, femA, and lukS were positively detected in 27 (90%), 14 (46.7%), and 11 (36.7%) of S. aureus isolates from methicillin-resistant cattle. Sequencing of partial order of femA gene isolated from human isolate and from cattle with mecA isolated from human revealed high sequence identity with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)-Basic Local Alignment Search Tool. S. aureus isolates and the phylogenetic analysis showed that there was a significant genetic similarity (0.5 genetic change) between human and animals isolates, and then, the gene sequences were deposited into NCBI-Genbank accession numbers MG696860.1 for mecA and femA from human, MG696861.1 for mecA and femA from cattle, MK474469.1 for mecA and femA gene from human, and MG696862.1 for mecA and femA gene from cattle. Conclusion:The study represents the first report of genetic relationship between S. aureus from humans and cattle of Iraq. Therefore, it is essential to define the role of animals as an important source of the distribution of pathogen related to public health. The continuous monitoring of methicillin susceptibility pattern of S. aureus isolates that have high standards of infections might prevent methicillin-resistant S. aureus transmission in either direction between human and cattle, the risk of dairy milk on humans, or self-direction between the same species.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an important human pathogen, which is cross-resistant to virtually all ?-lactam antibiotics. MRSA strains are defined by the presence of mecA gene. The transcription of mecA can be regulated by a sensor-inducer (MecR1) and a repressor (MecI), involving a unique series of proteolytic steps. The induction of mecA by MecR1 has been described as very inefficient and, as such, it is believed that optimal expression of ?-lactam resistance by MRSA requires a non-functional MecR1-MecI system. However, in a recent study, no correlation was found between the presence of functional MecR1-MecI and the level of ?-lactam resistance in a representative collection of epidemic MRSA strains. Here, we demonstrate that the mecA regulatory locus consists, in fact, of an unusual three-component arrangement containing, in addition to mecR1-mecI, the up to now unrecognized mecR2 gene coding for an anti-repressor. The MecR2 function is essential for the full induction of mecA expression, compensating for the inefficient induction of mecA by MecR1 and enabling optimal expression of ?-lactam resistance in MRSA strains with functional mecR1-mecI regulatory genes. Our data shows that MecR2 interacts directly with MecI, destabilizing its binding to the mecA promoter, which results in the repressor inactivation by proteolytic cleavage, presumably mediated by native cytoplasmatic proteases. These observations point to a revision of the current model for the transcriptional control of mecA and open new avenues for the design of alternative therapeutic strategies for the treatment of MRSA infections. Moreover, these findings also provide important insights into the complex evolutionary pathways of antibiotic resistance and molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in bacteria.
Project description:Neutrophils are the first line of defense after a pathogen has breached the epithelial barriers, and unimpaired neutrophil functions are essential to clear infections. Staphylococcus aureus is a prevalent human pathogen that is able to withstand neutrophil killing, yet the mechanisms used by S. aureus to inhibit neutrophil clearance remain incompletely defined. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a vital neutrophil antimicrobial mechanism. Herein, we test the hypothesis that S. aureus uses the SaeR/S two-component gene regulatory system to produce virulence factors that reduce neutrophil ROS production. With the use of ROS probes, the temporal and overall production of neutrophil ROS was assessed during exposure to the clinically relevant S. aureus USA300 (strain LAC) and its isogenic mutant LAC?saeR/S Our results demonstrated that SaeR/S-regulated factors do not inhibit neutrophil superoxide (O2-) production. However, subsequent neutrophil ROS production was significantly reduced during exposure to LAC compared with LAC?saeR/S In addition, neutrophil H2O2 production was reduced significantly by SaeR/S-regulated factors by a mechanism independent of catalase. Consequently, the reduction in neutrophil H2O2 resulted in decreased production of the highly antimicrobial agent hypochlorous acid/hypochlorite anion (HOCl/-OCl). These findings suggest a new evasion strategy used by S. aureus to diminish a vital neutrophil antimicrobial mechanism.