1887

Abstract

The signal recognition particle (SRP) is a ribonucleoprotein complex that targets proteins for secretion in a co-translational manner. While originally thought to be essential in all bacteria, recent data show that the SRP is dispensable in at least some streptococcal species. The SRP from the human pathogen group A (GAS, ) is predicted to be composed of protein Ffh and 4.5S RNA. Deletion of alters the secretion of several GAS proteins, and leads to a severe reduction in virulence. Here, we report that mutation of the gene encoding 4.5S RNA results in phenotypes both similar to and distinct from that observed following mutation. Similarities include a reduction in secretion of the haemolysin streptolysin O, and attenuation of virulence as assessed by a murine soft tissue infection model. Differences include a reduction in transcript levels for the genes encoding streptolysin O and NAD-glycohydrolase, and the reduced secretion of the SpeB protease. Several differences in transcript abundance between the parental and mutant strain were shown to be dependent on the sensor-kinase-encoding gene . Using growth in human saliva as an model of upper respiratory tract infection we identified that 4.5S RNA mutation leads to a 10-fold reduction in colony-forming units over time, consistent with the 4.5S RNA contributing to GAS growth and persistence during upper respiratory tract infections. Finally, we determined that the 4.5S RNA was essential for GAS to cause lethal infections in a murine bacteraemia model of infection. The data presented extend our knowledge of the contribution of the SRP to the virulence of an important Gram-positive pathogen.

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2010-05-01
2019-10-21
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Primers [ PDF] (34 kb) Mutation of the 4.5S RNA-encoding gene reduces colony size on blood agar plates [ PDF] (41 kb)

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