Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25971969
J. Biol. Chem. 2015 Jul;290(27):16678-97
Klebsiella pneumoniae is an etiologic agent of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. It has been shown that K. pneumoniae infections are characterized by reduced early inflammatory response. Recently our group has shown that K. pneumoniae dampens the activation of inflammatory responses by antagonizing the activation of the NF-κB canonical pathway. Our results revealed that K. pneumoniae capsule polysaccharide (CPS) was necessary but not sufficient to attenuate inflammation. To identify additional Klebsiella factors required to dampen inflammation, we standardized and applied a high-throughput gain-of-function screen to examine a Klebsiella transposon mutant library. We identified 114 mutants that triggered the activation of NF-κB. Two gene ontology categories accounted for half of the loci identified in the screening: metabolism and transport genes (32% of the mutants) and envelope-related genes (17%). Characterization of the mutants revealed that the lack of the enterobactin siderophore was linked to a reduced CPS expression, which in turn underlined the NF-κB activation induced by the mutant. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-polysaccharide and the pullulanase (PulA) type 2 secretion system (T2SS) are required for full effectiveness of the immune evasion. Importantly, these factors do not play a redundant role. The fact that LPS O-polysaccharide and T2SS mutant-induced responses were dependent on TLR2-TLR4-MyD88 activation suggested that LPS O-polysaccharide and PulA perturbed Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent recognition of K. pneumoniae. Finally, we demonstrate that LPS O-polysaccharide and pulA mutants are attenuated in the pneumonia mouse model. We propose that LPS O-polysaccharide and PulA T2SS could be new targets for the design of new antimicrobials. Increasing TLR-governed defense responses might provide also selective alternatives for the management of K. pneumoniae pneumonia.