The stringent response regulator DksA is required for Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium growth in minimal medium, motility, biofilm formation, and intestinal colonization

Shalhevet Azriel, Alina Goren, Galia Rahav, Ohad Gal-Mor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a facultative intracellular human and animal bacterial pathogen posing a major threat to public health worldwide. Salmonella pathogenicity requires complex coordination of multiple physiological and virulence pathways. DksA is a conserved Gram-negative regulator that belongs to a distinct group of transcription factors that bind directly to the RNA polymerase secondary channel, potentiating the effect of the signaling molecule ppGpp during a stringent response. Here, we established that in S. Typhimurium, dksA is induced during the logarithmic phase and DksA is essential for growth in minimal defined medium and plays an important role in motility and biofilm formation. Furthermore, we determined that DksA positively regulates the Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 and motility-chemotaxis genes and is necessary for S. Typhimurium invasion of human epithelial cells and uptake by macrophages. In contrast, DksA was found to be dispensable for S. Typhimurium host cell adhesion. Finally, using the colitis mouse model, we found that dksA is spatially induced at the midcecum during the early stage of the infection and required for gastrointestinal colonization and systemic infection in vivo. Taken together, these data indicate that the ancestral stringent response regulator DksA coordinates various physiological and virulence S. Typhimurium programs and therefore is a key virulence regulator of Salmonella.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-384
Number of pages10
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

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