Analysis of Two Component Systems in Group B Streptococcus Shows that RgfAC and the Novel FspSR Modulate Virulence and Bacterial Fitness

Faralla, Cristina (2014) Analysis of Two Component Systems in Group B Streptococcus Shows that RgfAC and the Novel FspSR Modulate Virulence and Bacterial Fitness , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6440.
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Group B Streptococcus (GBS), in its transition from commensal to pathogen, will encounter diverse host environments and thus require coordinately controlling its transcriptional responses to these changes. This work was aimed at better understanding the role of two component signal transduction systems (TCS) in GBS pathophysiology through a systematic screening procedure. We first performed a complete inventory and sensory mechanism classification of all putative GBS TCS by genomic analysis. Five TCS were further investigated by the generation of knock-out strains, and in vitro transcriptome analysis identified genes regulated by these systems, ranging from 0.1-3% of the genome. Interestingly, two sugar phosphotransferase systems appeared differently regulated in the knock-out mutant of TCS-16, suggesting an involvement in monitoring carbon source availability. High throughput analysis of bacterial growth on different carbon sources showed that TCS-16 was necessary for growth of GBS on fructose-6-phosphate. Additional transcriptional analysis provided further evidence for a stimulus-response circuit where extracellular fructose-6-phosphate leads to autoinduction of TCS-16 with concomitant dramatic up-regulation of the adjacent operon encoding a phosphotransferase system. The TCS-16-deficient strain exhibited decreased persistence in a model of vaginal colonization and impaired growth/survival in the presence of vaginal mucoid components. All mutant strains were also characterized in a murine model of systemic infection, and inactivation of TCS-17 (also known as RgfAC) resulted in hypervirulence. Our data suggest a role for the previously unknown TCS-16, here named FspSR, in bacterial fitness and carbon metabolism during host colonization, and also provide experimental evidence for TCS-17/RgfAC involvement in virulence.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Faralla, Cristina
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
two component system, phosphotransferase system, group B Streptococcus, transcriptional regulation, Streptococcus agalactiae, histidine kinase, response regulator
Data di discussione
11 Aprile 2014

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