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CarRS Two-Component System Essential for Polymyxin B Resistance of Vibrio vulnificus Responds to Multiple Host Environmental Signals

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Authors

Ko, Duhyun; Sung, Dayoung; Kim, Tae Young; Choi, Garam; Bang, Ye-Ji; Choi, Sang Ho

Issue Date
2023-06
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Citation
Microbiology spectrum, Vol.11 No.4, p. e0030523
Abstract
Enteropathogenic bacteria express two-component systems (TCSs) to sense and respond to host environments, developing resistance to host innate immune systems like cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs). Although an opportunistic human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus shows intrinsic resistance to the CAMP-like polymyxin B (PMB), its TCSs responsible for resistance have barely been investigated. Here, a mutant exhibiting a reduced growth rate in the presence of PMB was screened from a random transposon mutant library of V. vulnificus, and response regulator CarR of the CarRS TCS was identified as essential for its PMB resistance. Transcriptome analysis revealed that CarR strongly activates the expression of the eptA, tolCV2, and carRS operons. In particular, the eptA operon plays a major role in developing the CarR-mediated PMB resistance. Phosphorylation of CarR by the sensor kinase CarS is required for the regulation of its downstream genes, leading to the PMB resistance. Nevertheless, CarR directly binds to specific sequences in the upstream regions of the eptA and carRS operons, regardless of its phosphorylation. Notably, the CarRS TCS alters its own activation state by responding to several environmental stresses, including PMB, divalent cations, bile salts, and pH change. Furthermore, CarR modulates the resistance of V. vulnificus to bile salts and acidic pH among the stresses, as well as PMB. Altogether, this study suggests that the CarRS TCS, in responding to multiple host environmental signals, could provide V. vulnificus with the benefit of surviving within the host by enhancing its optimal fitness during infection.IMPORTANCE Enteropathogenic bacteria have evolved multiple TCSs to recognize and appropriately respond to host environments. CAMP is one of the inherent host barriers that the pathogens encounter during the course of infection. In this study, the CarRS TCS of V. vulnificus was found to develop resistance to PMB, a CAMP-like antimicrobial peptide, by directly activating the expression of the eptA operon. Although CarR binds to the upstream regions of the eptA and carRS operons regardless of phosphorylation, phosphorylation of CarR is required for the regulation of the operons, resulting in the PMB resistance. Furthermore, the CarRS TCS determines the resistance of V. vulnificus to bile salts and acidic pH by differentially regulating its own activation state in response to these environmental stresses. Altogether, the CarRS TCS responds to multiple host-related signals, and thus could enhance the survival of V. vulnificus within the host, leading to successful infection. Enteropathogenic bacteria have evolved multiple TCSs to recognize and appropriately respond to host environments. CAMP is one of the inherent host barriers that the pathogens encounter during the course of infection.
ISSN
2165-0497
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/194674
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.00305-23
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  • College of Medicine
  • Department of Medicine
Research Area Host-microbe Interaction, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Microbiome, Mucosal Immunity, Nutritional Immunology

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