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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Infectious Diseases - Microbiology - Urology

BarA-UvrY Two-Component System Regulates Virulence of Uropathogenic E. coli CFT073
Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Author: Senthilkumar Palaniyandi et al.

by Senthilkumar Palaniyandi, Arindam Mitra, Christopher D. Herren, C. Virginia Lockatell, David E. Johnson, Xiaoping Zhu, Suman Mukhopadhyay

Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), a member of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli, cause ~80% of community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTI) in humans. UPEC initiates its colonization in epithelial cells lining the urinary tract with a complicated life cycle, replicating and persisting in intracellular and extracellular niches. Consequently, UPEC causes cystitis and more severe form of pyelonephritis. To further understand the virulence characteristics of UPEC, we investigated the roles of BarA-UvrY two-component system (TCS) in regulating UPEC virulence. Our results showed that mutation of BarA-UvrY TCS significantly decreased the virulence of UPEC CFT073, as assessed by mouse urinary tract infection, chicken embryo killing assay, and cytotoxicity assay on human kidney and uroepithelial cell lines. Furthermore, mutation of either barA or uvrY gene reduced the production of hemolysin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-a and IL-6) and chemokine (IL-8). The virulence phenotype was restored similar to that of wild-type by complementation of either barA or uvrY gene in trans. In addition, we discussed a possible link between the BarA-UvrY TCS and CsrA in positively and negatively controlling virulence in UPEC. Overall, this study provides the evidences for BarA-UvrY TCS regulates the virulence of UPEC CFT073 and may point to mechanisms by which virulence regulations are observed in different ways may control the long-term survival of UPEC in the urinary tract.
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