Identification and role in virulence of putative iron acquisition genes from Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis

Stephen J. Billington, Paula A. Esmay, J. Songer, B. Jost, Michael Hoppert, Wolfgang Liebl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four genes, fagA, B, C and D, encoding products with 32-47% identity to proteins involved in bacterial iron uptake systems, were identified immediately downstream of the Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis phospholipase D gene. β-Galactosidase assays on a C. pseudotuberculosis strain carrying a fagA-lacZ fusion indicated that the putative fagABC operon was poorly expressed in iron-rich media. However, similar experiments in iron-limited media resulted in an approximately three-fold increase in β-galactosidase activity, suggesting that this operon is regulated by iron in vitro. Although no defect in iron utilization could be determined for a C. pseudotuberculosis fagB(C) mutant in vitro, this mutant showed reduced virulence compared to wild-type in a goat model of caseous lymphadenitis. Thus, expression of the fag genes in the host appears to contribute to virulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume208
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Caseous lymphadenitis
  • Intracellular survival
  • Iron transport
  • Virulence

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