1887

Abstract

ClpX functions as either an independent chaperone or a component of the ClpXP protease, a conserved intracellular protease that acts as a global regulator in the bacterial cell by degrading regulatory proteins, stress response proteins and rate-limiting enzymes. Previously, we found that loss of clpX in Bacillus anthracis Sterne leads to increased susceptibility to antimicrobial agents that target the cell envelope. The aim of this study was to identify genes within the regulatory network of clpX that contribute to antimicrobial resistance. Using microarray analysis, we found 119 genes that are highly differentially expressed in the ∆clpX mutant, with the majority involved in metabolic, transport or regulatory functions. Several of these differentially expressed genes, including glpF, sigM, mrsA, lrgA and lrgB, are associated with cell wall-active antibiotics in other bacterial species. We focused on lrgA and lrgB, which form the lrgAB operon and are downregulated in ∆clpX, because loss of lrgAB increases autolytic activity and penicillin susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus. While we observed no changes in autolytic activity in either ∆clpX or ∆lrgAB B. anthracis Sterne, we find that both mutants have increased susceptibility to the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 and daptomycin. However, phenotypes between ∆clpX and ∆lrgAB are not identical as ∆clpX also displays increased susceptibility to penicillin and nisin but ∆lrgAB does not. Therefore, while decreased expression of lrgAB may be partially responsible for the increased antimicrobial susceptibility seen in the ∆clpX mutant, disruption of other pathways must also contribute to this phenotype.

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2018-02-23
2019-10-14
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