Sep 26, 2017

Genetic plasticity of the Shigella virulence plasmid is mediated by intra- and inter-molecular events between insertion sequences

PLoS Genetics
Giulia PillaChristoph M Tang


Acquisition of a single copy, large virulence plasmid, pINV, led to the emergence of Shigella spp. from Escherichia coli. The plasmid encodes a Type III secretion system (T3SS) on a 30 kb pathogenicity island (PAI), and is maintained in a bacterial population through a series of toxin:antitoxin (TA) systems which mediate post-segregational killing (PSK). The T3SS imposes a significant cost on the bacterium, and strains which have lost the plasmid and/or genes encoding the T3SS grow faster than wild-type strains in the laboratory, and fail to bind the indicator dye Congo Red (CR). Our aim was to define the molecular events in Shigella flexneri that cause loss of Type III secretion (T3S), and to examine whether TA systems exert positional effects on pINV. During growth at 37°C, we found that deletions of regions of the plasmid including the PAI lead to the emergence of CR-negative colonies; deletions occur through intra-molecular recombination events between insertion sequences (ISs) flanking the PAI. Furthermore, by repositioning MvpAT (which belongs to the VapBC family of TA systems) near the PAI, we demonstrate that the location of this TA system alters the rearrangements that lead to loss of T3S, indicating that MvpAT acts bo...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Fluorescent Dyes
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Protein Secretion by the Type III Secretion System
Synovial Fluid of T2-T3 Vertebral Arch Joint

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