Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 1;6:26964. doi: 10.1038/srep26964.

Polyamine transporter in Streptococcus pneumoniae is essential for evading early innate immune responses in pneumococcal pneumonia.

Rai AN1, Thornton JA2, Stokes J1, Sunesara I3, Swiatlo E4, Nanduri B1.

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Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacterial etiology of pneumococcal pneumonia in adults worldwide. Genomic plasticity, antibiotic resistance and extreme capsular antigenic variation complicates the design of effective therapeutic strategies. Polyamines are ubiquitous small cationic molecules necessary for full expression of pneumococcal virulence. Polyamine transport system is an attractive therapeutic target as it is highly conserved across pneumococcal serotypes. In this study, we compared an isogenic deletion strain of S. pneumoniae TIGR4 in polyamine transport operon (ΔpotABCD) with the wild type in a mouse model of pneumococcal pneumonia. Our results show that the wild type persists in mouse lung 24 h post infection while the mutant strain is cleared by host defense mechanisms. We show that intact potABCD is required for survival in the host by providing resistance to neutrophil killing. Comparative proteomics analysis of murine lungs infected with wild type and ΔpotABCD pneumococci identified expression of proteins that could confer protection to wild type strain and help establish infection. We identified ERM complex, PGLYRP1, PTPRC/CD45 and POSTN as new players in the pathogenesis of pneumococcal pneumonia. Additionally, we found that deficiency of polyamine transport leads to up regulation of the polyamine synthesis genes speE and cad in vitro.

PMID: 27247105 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC4887915