Mycobacterium tuberculosis phosphate uptake system component PstA2 is not required for gene regulation or virulence

Anna D. Tischler, Rachel L. Leistikow, Pavithra Ramakrishnan, Martin I. Voskuil, John D. McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome encodes two complete high-affinity Pst phosphate- specific transporters. We previously demonstrated that a membrane-spanning component of one Pst system, PstA1, was essential both for M. tuberculosis virulence and for regulation of gene expression in response to external phosphate availability. To determine if the alternative Pst system is similarly required for virulence or gene regulation, we constructed a deletion of pstA2. Transcriptome analysis revealed that PstA2 is not required for regulation of gene expression in phosphate-replete growth conditions. PstA2 was also dispensable for replication and virulence of M. tuberculosis in a mouse aerosol infection model. However, a ΔpstA1ΔpstA2 double mutant was attenuated in mice lacking the cytokine interferon-gamma, suggesting that M. tuberculosis requires high-affinity phosphate transport to survive phosphate limitation encountered in the host. Surprisingly, ΔpstA2 bacteria were more resistant to acid stress in vitro. This phenotype is intrinsic to the alternative Pst transporter since a ΔpstS1 mutant exhibited similar acid resistance. Our data indicate that the two M. tuberculosis Pst transporters have distinct physiological functions, with the PstA1 transporter being specifically involved in phosphate sensing and gene regulation while the PstA2 transporter influences survival in acidic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0161467
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Tischler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Dive into the research topics of 'Mycobacterium tuberculosis phosphate uptake system component PstA2 is not required for gene regulation or virulence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this