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© Michel-Robert Popoff
Clostridium difficile en microscopie à contraste de phase. On distingue des bactéries sporulées, non sporulées et d'autres en cours de lyse (destruction). Bactérie de l'environnement (sol, eau, foin, sable), elle est à l'origine d'infections nosocomiales survenant après un traitement antibiotique : Clostridium difficile prédomine alors que les autres bactéries de la flore intestinale ont été détruites. L'infection peut provoquer deux types de pathologies graves : les colites pseudo-membraneuses dont l'origine est quasiment due à 100 % à C. difficile et la diarrhée post-antibiothérapie due à C. difficile dans 30 % des cas de ces diarrhées.
Publication : PLoS pathogens

Pleiotropic roles of Clostridium difficile sin locus

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in PLoS pathogens - 12 Mar 2018

Girinathan BP, Ou J, Dupuy B, Govind R

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29529083

PLoS Pathog. 2018 03;14(3):e1006940

Clostridium difficile is the primary cause of nosocomial diarrhea and pseudomembranous colitis. It produces dormant spores, which serve as an infectious vehicle responsible for transmission of the disease and persistence of the organism in the environment. In Bacillus subtilis, the sin locus coding SinR (113 aa) and SinI (57 aa) is responsible for sporulation inhibition. In B. subtilis, SinR mainly acts as a repressor of its target genes to control sporulation, biofilm formation, and autolysis. SinI is an inhibitor of SinR, so their interaction determines whether SinR can inhibit its target gene expression. The C. difficile genome carries two sinR homologs in the operon that we named sinR and sinR’, coding for SinR (112 aa) and SinR’ (105 aa), respectively. In this study, we constructed and characterized sin locus mutants in two different C. difficile strains R20291 and JIR8094, to decipher the locus’s role in C. difficile physiology. Transcriptome analysis of the sinRR’ mutants revealed their pleiotropic roles in controlling several pathways including sporulation, toxin production, and motility in C. difficile. Through various genetic and biochemical experiments, we have shown that SinR can regulate transcription of key regulators in these pathways, which includes sigD, spo0A, and codY. We have found that SinR’ acts as an antagonist to SinR by blocking its repressor activity. Using a hamster model, we have also demonstrated that the sin locus is needed for successful C. difficile infection. This study reveals the sin locus as a central link that connects the gene regulatory networks of sporulation, toxin production, and motility; three key pathways that are important for C. difficile pathogenesis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29529083