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Appl Environ Microbiol 2013 Sep;79(18):5584-92

prfA-Like Transcription Factor Gene lmo0753 Contributes to L-Rhamnose Utilization in Listeria monocytogenes Strains Associated with Human Food-Borne Infections.

Salazar JK, Wu Z, McMullen PD, Luo Q, Freitag NE, Tortorello ML, Hu S, Zhang W


Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of human and animal listeriosis. Among the three major genetic lineages of L. monocytogenes (i.e., LI, LII, and LIII), LI and LII are predominantly associated with food-borne listeriosis outbreaks, whereas LIII is rarely implicated in human infections. In a previous study, we identified a Crp/Fnr family transcription factor gene, lmo0753, that was highly specific to outbreak-associated LI and LII but absent from LIII. Lmo0753 shares two conserved functional domains, including a DNA binding domain, with the well-characterized master virulence regulator PrfA in L. monocytogenes. In this study, we constructed lmo0753 deletion and complementation mutants in two fully sequenced L. monocytogenes LII strains, 10403S and EGDe, and compared the flagellar motility, phospholipase C production, hemolysis, and intracellular growth of the mutants and their respective wild types. Our results suggested that lmo0753 plays a role in hemolytic activity in both EGDe and 10403S. More interestingly, we found that deletion of lmo0753 led to the loss of l-rhamnose utilization in EGDe, but not in 10403S. RNA-seq analysis of EGDe Delta0753 incubated in phenol red medium containing l-rhamnose as the sole carbon source revealed that 126 (4.5%) and 546 (19.5%) out of 2,798 genes in the EGDe genome were up- and downregulated more than 2-fold, respectively, compared to the wild-type strain. Genes related to biotin biosynthesis, general stress response, and rhamnose metabolism were shown to be differentially regulated. Findings from this study collectively suggested varied functional roles of lmo0753 in different LII L. monocytogenes strain backgrounds associated with human listeriosis outbreaks.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #23835178 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01812-13
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Food
Entry Created: 2013-09-16