The Staphylococcus aureus AirSR two-component system mediates reactive oxygen species resistance via transcriptional regulation of staphyloxanthin production

Jeffrey W. Hall, Junshu Yang, Haiyong Guo, Yinduo Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is an important opportunistic pathogen and is the etiological agent of many hospital- and community-acquired infections. The golden pigment, staphyloxanthin, of S. aureus colonies distinguishes it from other staphylococci and related Gram-positive cocci. Staphyloxanthin is the product of a series of biosynthetic steps that produce a unique membrane-embedded C30 golden carotenoid and is an important antioxidant. We observed that a strain with an inducible airR overexpression cassette had noticeably increased staphyloxanthin production compared to the wild-type strain under aerobic culturing conditions. Further analysis revealed that depletion or overproduction of the AirR response regulator resulted in a corresponding decrease or increase in staphyloxanthin production and susceptibility to killing by hydrogen peroxide, respectively. Furthermore, the genetic elimination of staphyloxanthin during AirR overproduction abolished the protective phenotype of increased staphyloxanthin production in a whole-blood survival assay. Promoter reporter and gel shift assays determined that the AirR response regulator is a direct positive regulator of the staphyloxanthin-biosynthetic operon, crtOPQMN, but is epistatic to alternative sigma factor B. Taken together, these data indicate that AirSR positively regulates the staphyloxanthin-biosynthetic operon crtOPQMN, promoting survival of S. aureus in the presence of oxidants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00838-16
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume85
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Alexander R. Horswill for kindly providing strains AH1263 and AH2084. This work was partially supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (AI057451) and by a grant from the USDA/Minnesota agriculture station. H.G. was supported by China Scholarship Council grant no. 201308220113. We declare no conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords

  • AirSR
  • S. aureus
  • Staphyloxanthin
  • Transcriptional regulation
  • Twocomponent regulatory systems

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Staphylococcus aureus AirSR two-component system mediates reactive oxygen species resistance via transcriptional regulation of staphyloxanthin production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this