Effects of Deletion of the Streptococcus pneumoniae Lipoprotein Diacylglyceryl Transferase Gene lgt on ABC Transporter Function and on Growth In Vivo

Chimalapati, Suneeta; Cohen, Jonathan M.; Camberlein, Emilie; MacDonald, Nathanael; Durmort, Claire; Vernet, Thierry; Hermans, Peter W. M.; Mitchell, Timothy; Brown, Jeremy S.
July 2012
PLoS ONE;Jul2012, Vol. 7 Issue 7, p1
Academic Journal
Lipoproteins are an important class of surface associated proteins that have diverse roles and frequently are involved in the virulence of bacterial pathogens. As prolipoproteins are attached to the cell membrane by a single enzyme, prolipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase (Lgt), deletion of the corresponding gene potentially allows the characterisation of the overall importance of lipoproteins for specific bacterial functions. We have used a Δlgt mutant strain of Streptococcus pneumoniae to investigate the effects of loss of lipoprotein attachment on cation acquisition, growth in media containing specific carbon sources, and virulence in different infection models. Immunoblots of triton X-114 extracts, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed the Δlgt mutant had markedly reduced lipoprotein expression on the cell surface. The Δlgt mutant had reduced growth in cation depleted medium, increased sensitivity to oxidative stress, reduced zinc uptake, and reduced intracellular levels of several cations. Doubling time of the Δlgt mutant was also increased slightly when grown in medium with glucose, raffinose and maltotriose as sole carbon sources. These multiple defects in cation and sugar ABC transporter function for the Δlgt mutant were associated with only slightly delayed growth in complete medium. However the Δlgt mutant had significantly reduced growth in blood or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and a marked impairment in virulence in mouse models of nasopharyngeal colonisation, sepsis and pneumonia. These data suggest that for S. pneumoniae loss of surface localisation of lipoproteins has widespread effects on ABC transporter functions that collectively prevent the Δlgt mutant from establishing invasive infection.


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