Neisseria meningitidis Polynucleotide Phosphorylase Affects Aggregation, Adhesion, and Virulence
Number of Authors: 9
2016 (English)In: Infection and Immunity, ISSN 0019-9567, E-ISSN 1098-5522, Vol. 84, no 5, 1501-1513 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Neisseria meningitidis autoaggregation is an important step during attachment to human cells. Aggregation is mediated by type IV pili and can be modulated by accessory pilus proteins, such as PilX, and posttranslational modifications of the major pilus subunit PilE. The mechanisms underlying the regulation of aggregation remain poorly characterized. Polynucleotide phosphorylase ( PNPase) is a 3'-5' exonuclease that is involved in RNA turnover and the regulation of small RNAs. In this study, we biochemically confirm that NMC0710 is the N. meningitidis PNPase, and we characterize its role in N. meningitidis pathogenesis. We show that deletion of the gene encoding PNPase leads to hyperaggregation and increased adhesion to epithelial cells. The aggregation induced was found to be dependent on pili and to be mediated by excessive pilus bundling. PNPase expression was induced following bacterial attachment to human cells. Deletion of PNPase led to global transcriptional changes and the differential regulation of 469 genes. We also demonstrate that PNPase is required for full virulence in an in vivo model of N. meningitidis infection. The present study shows that PNPase negatively affects aggregation, adhesion, and virulence in N. meningitidis.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 84, no 5, 1501-1513 p.
Biological Sciences Microbiology in the medical area
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131999DOI: 10.1128/IAI.01463-15ISI: 000377106600024PubMedID: 26930706OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-131999DiVA: diva2:952118