Deletion of mtrC in Haemophilus ducreyi increases sensitivity to human antimicrobial peptides and activates the CpxRA regulon

Sherri D. Rinker, Michael P. Trombley, Xiaoping Gu, Kate R. Fortney, Margaret E. Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Haemophilus ducreyi resists killing by antimicrobial peptides encountered during human infection, including cathelicidin LL-37, α-defensins, and β-defensins. In this study, we examined the role of the proton motive force-dependent multiple transferable resistance (MTR) transporter in antimicrobial peptide resistance in H. ducreyi. We found a proton motive force-dependent effect on H. ducreyi's resistance to LL-37 and β-defensin HBD-3, but not α-defensin HNP-2. Deletion of the membrane fusion protein MtrC rendered H. ducreyi more sensitive to LL-37 and human β-defensins but had relatively little effect on α-defensin resistance. The mtrC mutant 35000HPmtrC exhibited phenotypic changes in outer membrane protein profiles, colony morphology, and serum sensitivity, which were restored to wild type by trans-complementation with mtrC. Similar phenotypes were reported in a cpxA mutant; activation of the two-component CpxRA regulator was confirmed by showing transcriptional effects on CpxRA-regulated genes in 35000HPmtrC. A cpxR mutant had wild-type levels of antimicrobial peptide resistance; a cpxA mutation had little effect on defensin resistance but led to increased sensitivity to LL-37. 35000HPmtrC was more sensitive than the cpxA mutant to LL-37, indicating that MTR contributed to LL-37 resistance independent of the CpxRA regulon. The CpxRA regulon did not affect proton motive force-dependent antimicrobial peptide resistance; however, 35000HPmtrC had lost proton motive force-dependent peptide resistance, suggesting that the MTR transporter promotes proton motive forcedependent resistance to LL-37 and human β-defensins. This is the first report of a β-defensin resistance mechanism in H. ducreyi and shows that LL-37 resistance in H. ducreyi is multifactorial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2324-2334
Number of pages11
JournalInfection and immunity
Volume79
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Deletion of mtrC in Haemophilus ducreyi increases sensitivity to human antimicrobial peptides and activates the CpxRA regulon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this