The two-component system PrlS/PrlR of Brucella melitensis is required for persistence in mice and appears to respond to ionic strength

Aurélie Mirabella, Rosse-Mary Yañez Villanueva, Rose-May Delrue, Sophie Uzureau, Michel S Zygmunt, Axel Cloeckaert, Xavier De Bolle, Jean-Jacques Letesson

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Bacterial adaptation to environmental conditions is essential to ensure maximal fitness in the face of several stresses. In this context, two-component systems (TCSs) represent a predominant signal transduction mechanism, allowing an appropriate response to be mounted when a stimulus is sensed. As facultative intracellular pathogens, Brucella spp. face various environmental conditions, and an adequate response is required for a successful infection process. Recently, bioinformatic analysis of Brucella genomes predicted a set of 15 bona fide TCS pairs, among which some have been previously investigated. In this report, we characterized a new TCS locus called prlS/R, for probable proline sensor-regulator. It encodes a hybrid histidine kinase (PrlS) with an unusual Na(+)/solute symporter N-terminal domain and a transcriptional regulator (belonging to the LuxR family) (PrlR). In vitro, Brucella spp. with a functional PrlR/S system form bacterial aggregates, which seems to be an adaptive response to a hypersaline environment, while a prlS/R mutant does not. We identified ionic strength as a possible signal sensed by this TCS. Finally, this work correlates the absence of a functional PrlR/S system with the lack of hypersaline-induced aggregation in particular marine Brucella spp.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2642-51
Number of pages10
Issue numberPt 10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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