Golden pigment production and virulence gene expression are affected by metabolisms in Staphylococcus aureus.
ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of staphylococcal infections is multifactorial. Golden pigment is an eponymous feature of the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus that shields the microbe from oxidation-based clearance, an innate host immune response to infection. Here, we screened a collection of S. aureus transposon mutants for pigment production variants. A total of 15 previously unidentified genes were discovered. Notably, disrupting metabolic pathways such as the tricarboxylic acid cycle, purine biosynthesis, and oxidative phosphorylation yields mutants with enhanced pigmentation. The dramatic effect on pigment production seems to correlate with altered expression of virulence determinants. Microarray analysis further indicates that purine biosynthesis impacts the expression of approximately 400 genes involved in a broad spectrum of functions including virulence. The purine biosynthesis mutant and oxidative phosphorylation mutant strains exhibit significantly attenuated virulence in a murine abscess model of infection. Inhibition of purine biosynthesis with a known small-molecule inhibitor results in altered virulence gene expression and virulence attenuation during infection. Taken together, these results suggest an intimate link between metabolic processes and virulence gene expression in S. aureus. This study also establishes the importance of purine biosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation for in vivo survival.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a noted human and animal pathogen. Despite decades of research on this important bacterium, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the pathogenic mechanisms it uses to infect the mammalian host. This can be attributed to it possessing a plethora of virulence factors and complex virulence factor and metabolic regulation. PurR, the purine biosynthesis regulator, was recently also shown to regulate virulence factors in S. aureus, and mutations in purR result in derepression of fibronectin binding proteins (FnBPs) and extracellular toxins, required for a so-called hypervirulent phenotype. Here, we show that hypervirulent strains containing purR mutations can be attenuated with the addition of purine biosynthesis mutations, implicating the necessity for de novo purine biosynthesis in this phenotype and indicating that S. aureus in the mammalian host experiences purine limitation. Using cell culture, we showed that while purR mutants are not altered in epithelial cell binding, compared to that of wild-type (WT) S. aureus, purR mutants have enhanced invasion of these nonprofessional phagocytes, consistent with the requirement of FnBPs for invasion of these cells. This correlates with purR mutants having increased transcription of fnb genes, resulting in higher levels of surface-exposed FnBPs to promote invasion. These data provide important contributions to our understanding of how the pathogenesis of S. aureus is affected by sensing of purine levels during infection of the mammalian host.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a significant cause of human infection. Here, we demonstrate that mutations in the transcriptional repressor of purine biosynthesis, purR, enhance the pathogenic potential of S. aureus. Indeed, systemic infection with purR mutants causes accelerated mortality in mice, which is due to aberrant up-regulation of fibronectin binding proteins (FnBPs). Remarkably, purR mutations can arise upon exposure of S. aureus to stress, such as an intact immune system. In humans, naturally occurring anti-FnBP antibodies exist that, while not protective against recurrent S. aureus infection, ostensibly protect against hypervirulent S. aureus infections. Vaccination studies support this notion, where anti-Fnb antibodies in mice protect against purR hypervirulence. These findings provide a novel link between purine metabolism and virulence in S. aureus.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a significant cause of human infection. Here, we demonstrate that mutations in the transcriptional repressor of purine biosynthesis, purR, enhance the pathogenic potential of S. aureus. Indeed, systemic infection with purR mutants causes accelerated mortality in mice, which is due to aberrant up-regulation of fibronectin binding proteins (FnBPs). Remarkably, purR mutations can arise upon exposure of S. aureus to stress, such as an intact immune system. In humans, naturally occurring anti-FnBP antibodies exist that, while not protective against recurrent S. aureus infection, ostensibly protect against hypervirulent S. aureus infections. Vaccination studies support this notion, where anti-Fnb antibodies in mice protect against purR hypervirulence. These findings provide a novel link between purine metabolism and virulence in S. aureus. Overall design: 3 biological replicates of both the WT and the mutant were analysed
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is an important and common Gram-positive bacteria which causes clinical infections and food-poisoning cases. Therapeutic schedules for treatment of S. aureus infections are facing a challenge because of the emergence of multidrug resistance strains. It is urgent to find new antiinfective drugs to control S. aureus infection. S. aureus strains are capable of producing the golden carotenoid pigment: staphyloxanthin, which acts as an important virulence factor and a potential target for antivirulence drug design. This review is aimed at presenting an updated overview of this golden carotenoid pigment of S. aureus from the biosynthesis of staphyloxanthin, its function, and the genes involved in pigment production to staphyloxanthin: a novel target for antivirulence therapy.
Project description:The pathogen Staphylococcus aureus colonizes and infects a variety of different sites within the human body. To adapt to these different environments, S. aureus relies on a complex and finely tuned regulatory network. While some of these networks have been well-elucidated, the functions of more than 50% of the transcriptional regulators in S. aureus remain unexplored. Here, we assess the contribution of the LacI family of metabolic regulators to staphylococcal virulence. We found that inactivating the purine biosynthesis regulator purR resulted in a strain that was acutely virulent in bloodstream infection models in mice and in ex vivo models using primary human neutrophils. Remarkably, these enhanced pathogenic traits are independent of purine biosynthesis, as the purR mutant was still highly virulent in the presence of mutations that disrupt PurR's canonical role. Through the use of transcriptomics coupled with proteomics, we revealed that a number of virulence factors are differentially regulated in the absence of purR Indeed, we demonstrate that PurR directly binds to the promoters of genes encoding virulence factors and to master regulators of virulence. These results guided us into further ex vivo and in vivo studies, where we discovered that S. aureus toxins drive the death of human phagocytes and mice, whereas the surface adhesin FnbA contributes to the increased bacterial burden observed in the purR mutant. Thus, S. aureus repurposes a metabolic regulator to directly control the expression of virulence factors, and by doing so, tempers its pathogenesis.
Project description:Persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteremia (PB) represents an important subset of S. aureus endovascular infections. In this study, we investigated potential genetic mechanisms underlying the persistent outcomes. Compared with resolving bacteremia (RB) isolates (defined as isolates associated with negative results of blood cultures 2-4 days after initiation of therapy), PB strains (defined as isolates associated with positive results of blood cultures ?7 days after initiation of therapy) had significantly earlier onset activation of key virulence regulons and structural genes (eg, sigB, sarA, sae, and cap5), higher expression of purine biosynthesis genes (eg, purF), and faster growth rates, with earlier entrance into stationary phase. Importantly, an isogenic strain set featuring a wild-type MRSA isolate, a purF mutant strain, and a purF-complemented strain and use of strategic purine biosynthesis inhibitors implicated a causal relationship between purine biosynthesis and the in vivo persistent outcomes. These observations suggest that purine biosynthesis plays a key role in the outcome of PB and may represent a new target for enhanced efficacy in treating life-threatening MRSA infections.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus produces hospital- and community-acquired infections, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus posing a serious public health threat. The golden carotenoid pigment of S. aureus, staphyloxanthin, promotes resistance to reactive oxygen species and host neutrophil-based killing, and early enzymatic steps in staphyloxanthin production resemble those for cholesterol biosynthesis. We determined the crystal structures of S. aureus dehydrosqualene synthase (CrtM) at 1.58 angstrom resolution, finding structural similarity to human squalene synthase (SQS). We screened nine SQS inhibitors and determined the structures of three, bound to CrtM. One, previously tested for cholesterol-lowering activity in humans, blocked staphyloxanthin biosynthesis in vitro (median inhibitory concentration approximately 100 nM), resulting in colorless bacteria with increased susceptibility to killing by human blood and to innate immune clearance in a mouse infection model. This finding represents proof of principle for a virulence factor-based therapy against S. aureus.
Project description:Bacterial two-component regulatory systems (TCRS) are associated with the expression of virulence factors and antibiotic susceptibility. In Staphylococcus aureus, 16 TCRS types have been identified. The histidine kinase/response regulator SAV1321/SAV1322 in the S. aureus shares considerable homology with the TCRS DesKR in Bacillus subtilis. However, a function for the SAV1322 locus has not yet been assigned.Deletion of the SAV1322 locus in S. aureus results in reduced growth when cultured under low (25 °C) and high (46 °C) temperature conditions. The sav1322 deletion mutant is more tolerant to oxidative stress in vitro and is less pathogenic in a murine infection model when compared with wild-type parent strain Mu50. Furthermore, the sav1322 mutant exhibits lower MICs for gentimicin, tetracyclines and glycopeptides, increased autolysis, and a thinner cell wall when compared with the wild-type strain. Microarray and proteomic analyses show that the expression of cell-wall-associated genes glmS and murZ are lower, and the expression of heat shock and stress-related genes (hrcA, ctsR, dnaK, dnaJ, grpE, clpB, and clpC) are higher in the sav1322 mutant when compared with the wild-type strain. In addition, the sav1322 mutant displays altered expression of proteins involved in carbohydrate/energy metabolism, cell wall metabolism, and stress or heat shock response, as well as other metabolic processes including lipid metabolism, amino acid biosynthesis, purine or pyrimidine metabolism, transcription, and protein biosynthesis.The S. aureus SAV1322 locus plays a pronounced role in temperature adaptation, antibiotic resistance, and virulence by regulating a wide range of genes and proteins involved in metabolism and stress tolerance.
Project description:Microbial species utilize secreted-signaling molecules to coordinate their behavior. Our previous investigations demonstrated a key role for the Candida albicans-secreted quorum-sensing molecule farnesol in modulating Staphylococcus aureus response to antimicrobials in mixed biofilms. In this study, we aimed to provide mechanistic insights into the impact of farnesol on S. aureus within the context of inter-species interactions. To mimic biofilm dynamics, farnesol-sensitized S. aureus cells were generated via sequential farnesol exposure. The sensitized phenotype exhibited dramatic loss of the typical pigment, which we identified as staphyloxanthin, an important virulence factor synthesized by the Crt operon in S. aureus. Additionally, farnesol exposure exerted oxidative-stress as indicated by transcriptional analysis demonstrating alterations in redox-sensors and major virulence regulators. Paradoxically, the activated stress-response conferred S. aureus with enhanced tolerance to H2O2 and phagocytic killing. Since expression of enzymes in the staphyloxanthin biosynthesis pathway was not impacted by farnesol, we generated a theoretical-binding model which indicated that farnesol may block staphyloxanthin biosynthesis via competitive-binding to the CrtM enzyme crucial for staphyloxanthin synthesis, due to high structural similarity to the CrtM substrate. Finally, mixed growth with C. albicans was found to similarly induce S. aureus depigmentation, but not during growth with a farnesol-deficient C. albicans strain. Collectively, the findings demonstrate that a fungal molecule acts as a redox-cycler eliciting a bacterial stress response via activation of the thiol-based redox system under the control of global regulators. Therefore, farnesol-induced transcriptional modulations of key regulatory networks in S. aureus may modulate the pathogenesis of C. albicans-S. aureus co-infections.
Project description:Staphyloxanthin (STX), a golden carotenoid pigment produced by Staphylococcus aureus, is suggested to act as an important virulence factor due to its antioxidant properties. Restraining biosynthesis of STX was considered as an indicator of virulence decline in pigmented S. aureus isolates. However, it is not clear whether natural non-pigmented S. aureus isolates have less virulence than pigmented ones. In this study, it is aimed to compare the pigmented and non-pigmented S. aureus isolates to clarify the genetic and virulent differences between the two groups. Here, 132 S. aureus isolates were divided into two phenotype groups depending on the absorbance (OD450) of the extracted carotenoids. Then, all isolates were subjected to spa typing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and then the detection of presence of 30 virulence factors and the gene integrity of crtN and crtM. Furthermore, 24 typical S. aureus isolates and 4 S. argenteus strains were selected for the murine infection assay of in vivo virulence, in which the histological observation and enumeration of CFUs were carried out. These isolates were distributed in 26 sequence types (STs) and 49 spa types. The pigmented isolates were scattered in 25 STs, while the non-pigmented isolates were more centralized, which mainly belonged to ST20 (59%) and ST25 (13%). Among the 54 non-pigmented isolates, about 20% carried intact crtN and crtM genes. The in vivo assay suggested that comparing with pigmented S. aureus, non-pigmented S. aureus and S. argenteus strains did not show a reduced virulence in murine sepsis models. Therefore, it suggested that there were no significant genetic and virulent differences between pigmented and non-pigmented S. aureus.