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© Pierre Gounon
Entrée de Listeria dans une cellule épithéliale (Grossissement X 10000). Image colorisée.
Publication : Microbiology (Reading, England)

A naturally occurring mutation K220T in the pleiotropic activator PrfA of Listeria monocytogenes results in a loss of virulence due to decreasing DNA-binding affinity

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Microbiology (Reading, England) - 01 Apr 2007

Velge P, Herler M, Johansson J, Roche SM, Témoin S, Fedorov AA, Gracieux P, Almo SC, Goebel W, Cossart P

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 17379709

Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) 2007 Apr;153(Pt 4):995-1005

The sequencing of prfA, encoding the transcriptional regulator of virulence genes, in 26 low-virulence field Listeria monocytogenes strains showed that eight strains exhibited the same single amino-acid substitution: PrfAK220T. These strains exhibited no expression of PrfA-regulated proteins and thus no virulence. This substitution inactivated PrfA, since expression of the PrfAK220T mutant gene in an EGDDeltaprfA strain did not restore the haemolytic and phosphatidylcholine phospholipase C activities, in contrast to the wild-type prfA gene. The substitution of the lysine at position 220 occurred in the helix alphaH. However, the data showed that the PrfAK220T protein is dimerized just as well as its wild-type counterpart, but does not bind to PrfA-boxes. PrfAK220T did not form a PrfA-DNA complex in electrophoretic mobility shift assays, but low concentrations of CI complexes (PrfAK220T-RNA polymerase-DNA complex) were formed by adding RNA polymerase, suggesting that PrfA interacted with RNA polymerase in solution in the absence of DNA. Formation of some transcriptionally active complexes was confirmed by in vitro runoff transcription assays and quantitative RT-PCR. Crystallographic analyses described the structure of native PrfA and highlighted the key role of allosteric changes in the activity of PrfA and especially the role of the Lys220 in the conformation of the helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17379709