Control of gdhR Expression in Neisseria gonorrhoeae via Autoregulation and a Master Repressor (MtrR) of a Drug Efflux Pump Operon
MetadataShow full item record
The MtrCDE efflux pump of Neisseria gonorrhoeae contributes to gonococcal resistance to a number of antibiotics used previously or currently in treatment of gonorrhea, as well as to host-derived antimicrobials that participate in innate defense. Overexpression of the MtrCDE efflux pump increases gonococcal survival and fitness during experimental lower genital tract infection of female mice. Transcription of mtrCDE can be repressed by the DNA-binding protein MtrR, which also acts as a global regulator of genes involved in important metabolic, physiologic, or regulatory processes. Here, we investigated whether a gene downstream of mtrCDE, previously annotated gdhR in Neisseria meningitidis, is a target for regulation by MtrR. In meningococci, GdhR serves as a regulator of genes involved in glucose catabolism, amino acid transport, and biosynthesis, including gdhA, which encodes an L-glutamate dehydrogenase and is located next to gdhR but is transcriptionally divergent. We report here that in N. gonorrhoeae, expression of gdhR is subject to autoregulation by GdhR and direct repression by MtrR. Importantly, loss of GdhR significantly increased gonococcal fitness compared to a complemented mutant strain during experimental murine infection. Interestingly, loss of GdhR did not influence expression of gdhA, as reported for meningococci. This variance is most likely due to differences in promoter localization and utilization between gonococci and meningococci. We propose that transcriptional control of gonococcal genes through the action of MtrR and GdhR contributes to fitness of N. gonorrhoeae during infection.
© 2017 Rouquette-Loughlin et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Microbiology not elsewhere classified