Mol Microbiol. 2016 Jul 29. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13473. [Epub ahead of print]
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common colonizer of the human nasopharynx and a leading cause of bacterial pneumonia and otitis media, among other invasive diseases. During both colonization and invasive disease S. pneumoniae ferments host-derived carbohydrates as its primary means of generating energy. This pathogen is adept at transporting and metabolizing a wide variety of carbohydrates. We found the highly conserved PTS ManLMN contributes to growth on glucose and is also essential for growth on a variety of non-preferred carbohydrates, suggesting it is a multi-substrate transporter. Exploration of this phenotype revealed ManLMN is required for inducing expression of downstream metabolic genes in response to carbohydrate stimuli. We further demonstrate that ManLMN's role as a constitutively expressed transporter is likely unique and integral to pneumococcus's strategy of carbon catabolite repression (CCR). Using a selection for suppressors, we explored how ManLMN is integrated into the CCR regulatory framework in S. pneumoniae. We identified two hypothetical small proteins and the virulence regulator SmrC as potential mediators of CCR in connection with ManLMN. Characterization of these two hypothetical proteins revealed they influence transcriptional regulation of carbohydrate transporters. We propose a model unifying these observations in which ManLMN is a versatile surveyor of available carbohydrates in S. pneumoniae. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ManLMN; Streptococcus pneumoniae; carbohydrate metabolism; carbon catabolite repression; pneumococcus
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