Methylthioadenosine Suppresses Salmonella Virulence.
In order to deploy virulence factors at appropriate times and locations, microbes must rapidly sense and respond to various metabolite signals. Previously, we showed a transient elevation of the methionine-derived metabolite methylthioadenosine (MTA) concentration in serum during systemic Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection. Here we explored the functional consequences of increased MTA concentrations on S Typhimurium virulence. We found that MTA, but not other related metabolites involved in polyamine synthesis and methionine salvage, reduced motility, host cell pyroptosis, and cellular invasion. Further, we developed a genetic model of increased bacterial endogenous MTA production by knocking out the master repressor of the methionine regulon, metJ Like MTA-treated S Typhimurium, the ΔmetJ mutant displayed reduced motility, host cell pyroptosis, and invasion. These phenotypic effects of MTA correlated with suppression of flagellar and Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) networks. S Typhimurium ΔmetJ had reduced virulence in oral and intraperitoneal infection of C57BL/6J mice independently of the effects of MTA on SPI-1. Finally, ΔmetJ bacteria induced a less severe inflammatory cytokine response in a mouse sepsis model. Together, these data indicate that exposure of S Typhimurium to MTA or disruption of the bacterial methionine metabolism pathway suppresses S Typhimurium virulence.
Bourgeois, JS; Zhou, D; Thurston, TLM; Gilchrist, JJ; Ko, DC
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