Pirating conserved phage mechanisms promotes promiscuous staphylococcal pathogenicity island transfer

Bowring, J. Z. , Neamah, M. M., Donderis, J., Mir-Sanchis, I., Alite, C., Ciges-Tomas, J. R., Maiques, E., Mehmedov, I., Marina, A. and Penadés, J. R. (2017) Pirating conserved phage mechanisms promotes promiscuous staphylococcal pathogenicity island transfer. eLife, 6, e26487. (doi:10.7554/eLife.26487) (PMID:28826473) (PMCID:PMC5779228)

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Abstract

Targeting conserved and essential processes is a successful strategy to combat enemies. Remarkably, the clinically important Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPIs) use this tactic to spread in nature. SaPIs reside passively in the host chromosome, under the control of the SaPI-encoded master repressor, Stl. It has been assumed that SaPI de-repression is effected by specific phage proteins that bind to Stl, initiating the SaPI cycle. Different SaPIs encode different Stl repressors, so each targets a specific phage protein for its de-repression. Broadening this narrow vision, we report here that SaPIs ensure their promiscuous transfer by targeting conserved phage mechanisms. This is accomplished because the SaPI Stl repressors have acquired different domains to interact with unrelated proteins, encoded by different phages, but in all cases performing the same conserved function. This elegant strategy allows intra- and inter-generic SaPI transfer, highlighting these elements as one of nature’s most fascinating subcellular parasites.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bowring, Janine Zara and Penades, Professor Jose R
Authors: Bowring, J. Z., Neamah, M. M., Donderis, J., Mir-Sanchis, I., Alite, C., Ciges-Tomas, J. R., Maiques, E., Mehmedov, I., Marina, A., and Penadés, J. R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:eLife
Publisher:eLife Sciences Publications
ISSN:2050-084X
ISSN (Online):2050-084X
Published Online:08 August 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 eLife Sciences Publications Ltd.
First Published:First published in eLife 2017
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
693781Understanding a novel mechanim involving pathogenity islands in the transfer of unlinked chromosomal virulence genesJose R PenadesBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/N002873/1RI INFECTION IMMUNITY & INFLAMMATION
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
727241Understanding bacterial host adaptation to combat infectious diseasesJose R PenadesWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)201531/Z/16/ZRI INFECTION IMMUNITY & INFLAMMATION