A Non-Coding RNA Promotes Bacterial Persistence and Decreases Virulence by Regulating a Regulator in Staphylococcus aureus
2014 (English)In: PLoS Pathogens, ISSN 1553-7366, E-ISSN 1553-7374, Vol. 10, no 3, e1003979- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Staphylococcus aureus produces a high number of RNAs for which the functions are poorly understood. Several non-coding RNAs carry a C-rich sequence suggesting that they regulate mRNAs at the post-transcriptional level. We demonstrate that the Sigma B-dependent RsaA RNA represses the synthesis of the global transcriptional regulator MgrA by forming an imperfect duplex with the Shine and Dalgarno sequence and a loop-loop interaction within the coding region of the target mRNA. These two recognition sites are required for translation repression. Consequently, RsaA causes enhanced production of biofilm and a decreased synthesis of capsule formation in several strain backgrounds. These phenotypes led to a decreased protection of S. aureus against opsonophagocytic killing by polymorphonuclear leukocytes compared to the mutant strains lacking RsaA. Mice animal models showed that RsaA attenuates the severity of acute systemic infections and enhances chronic catheter infection. RsaA takes part in a regulatory network that contributes to the complex interactions of S. aureus with the host immune system to moderate invasiveness and favour chronic infections. It is the first example of a conserved small RNA in S. aureus functioning as a virulence suppressor of acute infections. Because S. aureus is essentially a human commensal, we propose that RsaA has been positively selected through evolution to support commensalism and saprophytic interactions with the host.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 10, no 3, e1003979- p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228821DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003979ISI: 000337470300028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-228821DiVA: diva2:735062