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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential roles of multiple signal peptidases in the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes.

Most bacteria contain one type I signal peptidase (Spase I) for cleavage of signal peptides from exported and secreted proteins. Here, we identified a locus encoding three contiguous Spase I genes in the genome of Listeria monocytogenes. The deduced Sip proteins (denoted SipX, SipY and SipZ) are significantly similar to SipS and SipT, the major SPase I proteins of Bacillus subtilis (38% to 44% peptidic identity). We studied the role of these multiple signal peptidases in bacterial pathogenicity by constructing a series of single- and double-chromosomal knock-out mutants. Inactivation of sipX did not affect intracellular multiplication of L. monocytogenes but significantly reduced bacterial virulence (approximately 100-fold). Inactivation of sipZ impaired the secretion of phospholipase C (PC- PLC) and listeriolysin O ( LLO), restricted intracellular multiplication and almost abolished virulence (LD(50) of 10(8.3)), inactivation of sipY had no detectable effects. Most importantly, a mutant expressing only SipX was impaired in intracellular survival and strongly attenuated in the mouse (LD(50) of 10(7.2)), whereas, a mutant expressing only SipZ behaved like wild-type EGD in all the assays performed. The data establish that SipX and SipZ perform distinct functions in bacterial pathogenicity and that SipZ is the major Spase I of L. monocytogenes. This work constitutes the first report on the differential role of multiple Spases I in a pathogenic bacterium and suggests a possible post-translational control mechanism of virulence factors expression.[1]


  1. Differential roles of multiple signal peptidases in the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes. Bonnemain, C., Raynaud, C., Réglier-Poupet, H., Dubail, I., Frehel, C., Lety, M.A., Berche, P., Charbit, A. Mol. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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