Molecular mechanisms of β-lactam resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae.
ABSTRACT Alterations in the target enzymes for β-lactam antibiotics, the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), have been recognized as a major resistance mechanism in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Mutations in PBPs that confer a reduced affinity to β-lactams have been identified in laboratory mutants and clinical isolates, and document an astounding variability of sites involved in this phenotype. Whereas point mutations are selected in the laboratory, clinical isolates display a mosaic structure of the affected PBP genes, the result of interspecies gene transfer and recombination events. Depending on the selective β-lactam, different combinations of PBP genes and mutations within are involved in conferring resistance, and astoundingly in non-PBP genes as well.
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ABSTRACT: Traditional genetic association studies are very difficult in bacteria, as the generally limited recombination leads to large linked haplotype blocks, confounding the identification of causative variants. Beta-lactam antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae arises readily as the bacteria can quickly incorporate DNA fragments encompassing variants that make the transformed strains resistant. However, the causative mutations themselves are embedded within larger recombined blocks, and previous studies have only analysed a limited number of isolates, leading to the description of "mosaic genes" as being responsible for resistance. By comparing a large number of genomes of beta-lactam susceptible and non-susceptible strains, the high frequency of recombination should break up these haplotype blocks and allow the use of genetic association approaches to identify individual causative variants. Here, we performed a genome-wide association study to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and indels that could confer beta-lactam non-susceptibility using 3,085 Thai and 616 USA pneumococcal isolates as independent datasets for the variant discovery. The large sample sizes allowed us to narrow the source of beta-lactam non-susceptibility from long recombinant fragments down to much smaller loci comprised of discrete or linked SNPs. While some loci appear to be universal resistance determinants, contributing equally to non-susceptibility for at least two classes of beta-lactam antibiotics, some play a larger role in resistance to particular antibiotics. All of the identified loci have a highly non-uniform distribution in the populations. They are enriched not only in vaccine-targeted, but also non-vaccine-targeted lineages, which may raise clinical concerns. Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms underlying resistance will be essential for future use of genome sequencing to predict antibiotic sensitivity in clinical microbiology.PLoS Genetics 08/2014; 10(8):e1004547. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a primary cause of bacterial infection in humans. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of S. pneumoniae strain A026, which is a multidrug-resistant strain isolated from cerebrospinal fluid.Genome announcements. 01/2013; 1(6).
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ABSTRACT: The transpeptidase activity of the essential penicillin-binding protein 2x (PBP2x) of Streptococcus pneumoniae is believed to be important for murein biosynthesis required for cell division. To study the molecular mechanism driving localization of PBP2x in live cells, we constructed a set of N-terminal GFP-PBP2x fusions under the control of a zinc-inducible promoter. The ectopic fusion protein localized at midcell. Cells showed no growth defects even in the absence of the genomic pbp2x, demonstrating that GFP-PBP2x is functional. Depletion of GFP-PBP2x resulted in severe morphological alterations, confirming the essentiality of PBP2x and demonstrating that PBP2x is required for cell division and not for cell elongation. A genetically or antibiotic inactived GFP-PBP2x still localized at septal sites. Remarkably, the same was true for a GFP-PBP2x derivative containing a deletion of the central transpeptidase domain, however only in the absence of the protease/chaperone HtrA. Thus localization is independent on the catalytic transpeptidase domain but requires the C-terminal PASTA domains, identifying HtrA as targeting GFP-PBP2x derivatives. Finally, PBP2x was positioned at the septum similar to PBP1a and the PASTA-domain containing StkP protein, confirming that PBP2x is a key element of the divisome complex.Molecular Microbiology 03/2014; · 5.03 Impact Factor