Phage inducible islands in the gram-positive cocci

Martínez-Rubio, R., Quiles-Puchalt, N. , Martí, M., Humphrey, S., Ram, G., Smyth, D., Chen, J., Novick, R. P. and Penadés, J. R. (2017) Phage inducible islands in the gram-positive cocci. ISME Journal, 11(4), pp. 1029-1042. (doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.163) (PMID:27959343) (PMCID:PMC5363835)

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Abstract

The SaPIs are a cohesive subfamily of extremely common phage-inducible chromosomal islands (PICIs) that reside quiescently at specific att sites in the staphylococcal chromosome and are induced by helper phages to excise and replicate. They are usually packaged in small capsids composed of phage virion proteins, giving rise to very high transfer frequencies, which they enhance by interfering with helper phage reproduction. As the SaPIs represent a highly successful biological strategy, with many natural Staphylococcus aureus strains containing two or more, we assumed that similar elements would be widespread in the Gram-positive cocci. On the basis of resemblance to the paradigmatic SaPI genome, we have readily identified large cohesive families of similar elements in the lactococci and pneumococci/streptococci plus a few such elements in Enterococcus faecalis. Based on extensive ortholog analyses, we found that the PICI elements in the four different genera all represent distinct but parallel lineages, suggesting that they represent convergent evolution towards a highly successful lifestyle. We have characterized in depth the enterococcal element, EfCIV583, and have shown that it very closely resembles the SaPIs in functionality as well as in genome organization, setting the stage for expansion of the study of elements of this type. In summary, our findings greatly broaden the PICI family to include elements from at least three genera of cocci.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Humphrey, Dr Suzanne and Penades, Professor Jose R and Quiles, Miss Nuria
Authors: Martínez-Rubio, R., Quiles-Puchalt, N., Martí, M., Humphrey, S., Ram, G., Smyth, D., Chen, J., Novick, R. P., and Penadés, J. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:ISME Journal
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:1751-7362
ISSN (Online):1751-7370
Published Online:13 December 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 International Society for Microbial Ecology
First Published:First published in ISME Journal 11(4): 1029-1042
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
660772Molecular biology of the PICIs, a novel and widespread family of mobile genetic elements involved in bacterial virulenceJose R PenadesMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/M003876/1RI INFECTION IMMUNITY & INFLAMMATION