The Campylobacter jejuni Ferric Uptake Regulator Promotes Acid Survival and Cross-Protection against Oxidative Stress

Infection and Immunity
Momen AskouraAlain Stintzi

Abstract

Campylobacter jejuni is a prevalent cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. The mechanisms by which C. jejuni survives stomach acidity remain undefined. In the present study, we demonstrated that the C. jejuni ferric uptake regulator (Fur) plays an important role in C. jejuni acid survival and acid-induced cross-protection against oxidative stress. A C. jejuni Δfur mutant was more sensitive to acid than the wild-type strain. Profiling of the acid stimulon of the C. jejuni Δfur mutant allowed us to uncover Fur-regulated genes under acidic conditions. In particular, Fur was found to upregulate genes involved in flagellar and cell envelope biogenesis upon acid stress, and mutants with deletions of these genes were found to be defective in surviving acid stress. Interestingly, prior acid exposure of C. jejuni cross-protected against oxidative stress in a catalase (KatA)- and Fur-dependent manner. Western blotting and reverse transcription-quantitative PCR revealed increased expression of KatA upon acid stress. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) demonstrated that the binding affinity between Fur and the katA promoter is reduced in vitro under conditions of low pH, rationalizing the higher levels of express...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Fur protein, E coli
Acids
Bacterial Proteins
DNA, Bacterial
Early Promoters, Genetic
Plasma Protein Binding Capacity
Transcriptional Silencing Factors
Western Blot
Campylobacter jejuni
Gene Deletion

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