5 years ago

In vivo analysis of Staphylococcus aureus infected mice reveals differential temporal and spatial expression patterns of fhuD2.

Bacconi M, Bensi G, Bagnoli F, Delany I, Donato P, Chiarot E, Haag AF
Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic human pathogen and a major cause of invasive infections such as bacteremia, endocarditis, pneumonia and wound infections. FhuD2 is a staphylococcal lipoprotein involved in the uptake of iron-hydroxymate and is under the control of the iron uptake regulator Fur. The protein is part of an investigational multi-component vaccine formulation that has shown protective efficacy in several murine models of infection. Even though fhuD2 expression was shown to be upregulated in murine kidneys infected with S. aureus, it is unknown whether the bacterium undergoes increased iron deprivation during prolonged infection. Furthermore, different infection niches of S. aureus might provide different environments and iron availability resulting in different fhuD2 expression pattern within different host organs. To address these questions, we characterized the in vitro expression of the fhuD2 gene and confirmed Fur-dependent iron-regulation of its expression. We further investigated its expression in mice infected with a bioluminescent reporter strain of S. aureus expressing the luciferase operon under the control of the fhuD2 promoter. The emission of bioluminescence in different organs was followed over a seven-day time course, as well as quantitative real-time PCR analysis of the RNA transcribed from the endogenous fhuD2 gene. Using this approach, we could show that fhuD2 expression was induced during infection in all organs analyzed and that differences in expression were observed in the temporal expression profiles, and between infected organs. Our data suggest that S. aureus undergoes increased iron deprivation during progression of infection in diverse host organs and accordingly induces dedicated iron acquisition mechanisms. Since FhuD2 plays a central role in providing the pathogen with the required iron, further knowledge of the patterns of fhuD2 expression in vivo during infection is instrumental in better defining the role of this antigen in S. aureus pathogenesis and as a vaccine antigen.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28784927

DOI: PubMed:28784927

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