The PmrA-Regulated pmrC Gene Mediates Phosphoethanolamine Modification of Lipid A and Polymyxin Resistance in Salmonella enterica

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The PmrA-Regulated pmrC Gene Mediates Phosphoethanolamine Modification of Lipid A and Polymyxin Resistance in Salmonella enterica

Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2004
Source
PMC
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Biology
License
Unknown

Abstract

The PmrA/PmrB regulatory system of Salmonella enterica controls the modification of lipid A with aminoarabinose and phosphoethanolamine. The aminoarabinose modification is required for resistance to the antibiotic polymyxin B, as mutations of the PmrA-activated pbg operon or ugd gene result in strains that lack aminoarabinose in their lipid A molecules and are more susceptible to polymyxin B. Additional PmrA-regulated genes appear to participate in polymyxin B resistance, as pbgP and ugd mutants are not as sensitive to polymyxin B as a pmrA mutant. Moreover, the role that the phosphoethanolamine modification of lipid A plays in the resistance to polymyxin B has remained unknown. Here we address both of these questions by establishing that the PmrA-activated pmrC gene encodes an inner membrane protein that is required for the incorporation of phosphoethanolamine into lipid A and for polymyxin B resistance. The PmrC protein consists of an N-terminal region with five transmembrane domains followed by a large periplasmic region harboring the putative enzymatic domain. A pbgP pmrC double mutant resembled a pmrA mutant both in its lipid A profile and in its susceptibility to polymyxin B, indicating that the PmrA-dependent modification of lipid A with aminoarabinose and phosphoethanolamine is responsible for PmrA-regulated polymyxin B resistance.

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