BaeSR activates type VI secretion system expression in porcine extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli to enhance bacterial resistance to zinc stress

Linlin Hu, Chenchen Wang, Wenjia Lu, Hao Lu, Huanchun Chen, Chen Tan
Microbial Pathogenesis 2020 June 27, : 104357
The two-component system BaeSR is an extra-cytoplasmic stress response system in Escherichia coli, whose function is to be adapted to environmental stress. Recently, we have identified an active type VI secretion system in porcine extra-intestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli PCN033. DNA-protein interactions shows that BaeR directly binds to the promoter region of the T6SS and then induces its expression. Deletion of baeR/baeSR decreased zinc resistance of bacteria. Moreover, T6SS mutant Δhcp1/hcp2/hcp3 is more sensitive than wild type after exposure to external zinc, and complementation of hcp1 largely restored growth defect. Our study uncovers a new regulation mechanism of BaeSR system in response to metal stress. It reveals that BaeR-regulated T6SS is critical for bacteria survival under toxic zinc condition. In conclusion, T6SS contributes to zinc stress resistance in a BaeSR system-dependent manner.

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