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Inactivation of NMB0419, Encoding a Sel1-Like Repeat (SLR) Protein, in Neisseria meningitidis Is Associated with Differential Expression of Genes Belonging to the Fur Regulon and Reduced Intraepithelial Replication.


ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis is a commensal microbe that colonizes the human nasopharynx but occasionally invades the bloodstream to cause life-threatening infection. N. meningitidis MC58 NMB0419 encodes a Sel1-like repeat (SLR)-containing protein, previously implicated in invasion of epithelial cells. A gene-regulatory function was revealed in Escherichia coli expressing plasmid-borne NMB0419 and showing significantly increased epithelial adherence compared to the wild type, due to increased expression of mannose-sensitive type 1 pili. While a meningococcal NMB0419 mutant did not have altered epithelial adherence, in a transcriptome-wide comparison of the wild type and an NMB0419 mutant, a large proportion of genes differentially regulated in the mutant were involved in iron acquisition and metabolism. Fifty-one percent and 38% of genes, respectively, up- and downregulated in the NMB0419 mutant had previously been identified as being induced and repressed by meningococcal Fur. An in vitro growth defect of the NMB0419 mutant under iron restriction was consistent with the downregulation of tbpAB and hmbR, while an intraepithelial replication defect was consistent with the downregulation of tonB, exbB, and exbD, based on a known phenotype of a meningococcal tonB mutant. Disruption of the N-terminal NMB0419 signal peptide, predicted to export the protein beyond the cytoplasmic membrane, resulted in loss of functional traits in N. meningitidis and E. coli Our study indicates that the expression of NMB0419 is associated with transcriptional changes counterbalancing the regulatory function of Fur, offering a new perspective on regulatory mechanisms involved in meningococcal interaction with epithelial cells, and suggests new insights into the roles of SLR-containing genes in other bacteria.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5400846 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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