Two TIR-like domain containing proteins in a newly emerging zoonotic Staphylococcus aureus strain sequence type 398 are potential virulence factors by impacting on the host innate immune response

Nicholas J. Patterson, Juliane Günther, Amanda J. Gibson, Victoria Offord, Tracey J. Coffey, Gary Splitter, Ian Monk, Hans-martin Seyfert, Dirk Werling

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Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus, sequence type (ST) 398, is an emerging pathogen and the leading cause of livestock-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections in Europe and North America. This strain is characterized by high promiscuity in terms of host-species and also lacks several traditional S. aureus virulence factors. This does not, however, explain the apparent ease with which it crosses species-barriers. Recently, TIR-domain containing proteins (Tcps) which inhibit the innate immune response were identified in some Gram-negative bacteria. Here we report the presence of two proteins, S. aureus TIR-like Protein 1 (SaTlp1) and S. aureus TIR-like Protein 2 (SaTlp2), expressed by ST398 which contain domain of unknown function 1863 (DUF1863), similar to the Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domain. In contrast to the Tcps in Gram-negative bacteria, our data suggest that SaTlp1 and SaTlp2 increase activation of the transcription factor NF-κB as well as downstream pro-inflammatory cytokines and immune effectors. To assess the role of both proteins as potential virulence factors knock-out mutants were created. These showed a slightly enhanced survival rate in a murine infectious model compared to the wild-type strain at one dose. Our data suggest that both proteins may act as factors contributing to the enhanced ability of ST398 to cross species-barriers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number662
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09 Dec 2014

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