AsrR Is an Oxidative Stress Sensing Regulator Modulating Enterococcus faecium Opportunistic Traits, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Pathogenicity

Maurizio Sanguinetti, Brunella Posteraro, Riccardo Torelli, François Lebreton, Willem Van Schaik, Florian Le Bras, Nicolas Verneuil, Xinglin Zhang, Jean-Christophe Giard, Anne Dhalluin, Rob J. L. Willems, Roland Leclercq, Vincent Cattoir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Oxidative stress serves as an important host/environmental signal that triggers a wide range of responses in microorganisms. Here, we identified an oxidative stress sensor and response regulator in the important multidrug-resistant nosocomial pathogen Enterococcus faecium belonging to the MarR family and called AsrR (antibiotic and stress response regulator). The AsrR regulator used cysteine oxidation to sense the hydrogen peroxide which results in its dissociation to promoter DNA. Transcriptome analysis showed that the AsrR regulon was composed of 181 genes, including representing functionally diverse groups involved in pathogenesis, antibiotic and antimicrobial peptide resistance, oxidative stress, and adaptive responses. Consistent with the upregulated expression of the pbp5 gene, encoding a low-affinity penicillin-binding protein, the asrR null mutant was found to be more resistant to β-lactam antibiotics. Deletion of asrR markedly decreased the bactericidal activity of ampicillin and vancomycin, which are both commonly used to treat infections due to enterococci, and also led to over-expression of two major adhesins, acm and ecbA, which resulted in enhanced in vitro adhesion to human intestinal cells. Additional pathogenic traits were also reinforced in the asrR null mutant including greater capacity than the parental strain to form biofilm in vitro and greater persistance in Galleria mellonella colonization and mouse systemic infection models. Despite overexpression of oxidative stress-response genes, deletion of asrR was associated with a decreased oxidative stress resistance in vitro, which correlated with a reduced resistance to phagocytic killing by murine macrophages. Interestingly, both strains showed similar amounts of intracellular reactive oxygen species. Finally, we observed a mutator phenotype and enhanced DNA transfer frequencies in the asrR deleted strain. These data indicate that AsrR plays a major role in antimicrobial resistance and adaptation for survival within the host, thereby contributes importantly to the opportunistic traits of E. faecium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1002834-e1002834
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Enterococcus faecium

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'AsrR Is an Oxidative Stress Sensing Regulator Modulating Enterococcus faecium Opportunistic Traits, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Pathogenicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this