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Deletion of the Zinc Transporter Lipoprotein AdcAII Causes Hyperencapsulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae Associated with Distinct Alleles of the Type I Restriction-Modification System

Durmort, C; Ercoli, G; Ramos-Sevillano, E; Chimalapati, S; Haigh, RD; De Ste Croix, M; Gould, K; ... Brown, JS; + view all (2020) Deletion of the Zinc Transporter Lipoprotein AdcAII Causes Hyperencapsulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae Associated with Distinct Alleles of the Type I Restriction-Modification System. mBio , 11 (2) , Article e00445-20. 10.1128/mBio.00445-20. Green open access

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Abstract

The capsule is the dominant Streptococcus pneumoniae virulence factor, yet how variation in capsule thickness is regulated is poorly understood. Here, we describe an unexpected relationship between mutation of adcAII, which encodes a zinc uptake lipoprotein, and capsule thickness. Partial deletion of adcAII in three of five capsular serotypes frequently resulted in a mucoid phenotype that biochemical analysis and electron microscopy of the D39 adcAII mutants confirmed was caused by markedly increased capsule thickness. Compared to D39, the hyperencapsulated ΔadcAII mutant strain was more resistant to complement-mediated neutrophil killing and was hypervirulent in mouse models of invasive infection. Transcriptome analysis of D39 and the ΔadcAII mutant identified major differences in transcription of the Sp_0505-0508 locus, which encodes an SpnD39III (ST5556II) type I restriction-modification system and allelic variation of which correlates with capsule thickness. A PCR assay demonstrated close linkage of the SpnD39IIIC and F alleles with the hyperencapsulated ΔadcAII strains. However, transformation of ΔadcAII with fixed SpnD39III alleles associated with normal capsule thickness did not revert the hyperencapsulated phenotype. Half of hyperencapsulated ΔadcAII strains contained the same single nucleotide polymorphism in the capsule locus gene cps2E, which is required for the initiation of capsule synthesis. These results provide further evidence for the importance of the SpnD39III (ST5556II) type I restriction-modification system for modulating capsule thickness and identified an unexpected linkage between capsule thickness and mutation of ΔadcAII Further investigation will be needed to characterize how mutation of adcAII affects SpnD39III (ST5556II) allele dominance and results in the hyperencapsulated phenotype.IMPORTANCE The Streptococcus pneumoniae capsule affects multiple interactions with the host including contributing to colonization and immune evasion. During infection, the capsule thickness varies, but the mechanisms regulating this are poorly understood. We have identified an unsuspected relationship between mutation of adcAII, a gene that encodes a zinc uptake lipoprotein, and capsule thickness. Mutation of adcAII resulted in a striking hyperencapsulated phenotype, increased resistance to complement-mediated neutrophil killing, and increased S. pneumoniae virulence in mouse models of infection. Transcriptome and PCR analysis linked the hyperencapsulated phenotype of the ΔadcAII strain to specific alleles of the SpnD39III (ST5556II) type I restriction-modification system, a system which has previously been shown to affect capsule thickness. Our data provide further evidence for the importance of the SpnD39III (ST5556II) type I restriction-modification system for modulating capsule thickness and identify an unexpected link between capsule thickness and ΔadcAII, further investigation of which could further characterize mechanisms of capsule regulation.

Type: Article
Title: Deletion of the Zinc Transporter Lipoprotein AdcAII Causes Hyperencapsulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae Associated with Distinct Alleles of the Type I Restriction-Modification System
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00445-20
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00445-20
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: AdcAII, SpnD39III, Streptococcus pneumoniae, capsule expression, restriction modification, virulence
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Respiratory Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095014
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