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1.  ramR mutations affecting fluoroquinolone susceptibility in epidemic multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky ST198 
A screening for non-target mutations affecting fluoroquinolone susceptibility was conducted in epidemic multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Kentucky ST198. Among a panel of representative isolates (n = 27), covering the epidemic, only three showed distinct mutations in ramR resulting in enhanced expression of genes encoding the AcrAB-TolC efflux system and low increase in ciprofloxacin MIC. No mutations were detected in other regulatory regions of this efflux system. Ciprofloxacin resistance in serovar Kentucky ST198 is thus currently mainly due to multiple target gene mutations.
PMCID: PMC3728480  PMID: 23914184
Salmonella; ciprofloxacin resistance; efflux pump; regulation; ram
2.  Deciphering the Roles of BamB and Its Interaction with BamA in Outer Membrane Biogenesis, T3SS Expression and Virulence in Salmonella 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e46050.
The folding and insertion of β-barrel proteins in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is mediated by the BAM complex, which is composed of the outer membrane protein BamA and four lipoproteins BamB to BamE. In Escherichia coli and/or Salmonella, the BamB lipoprotein is involved in (i) β-barrel protein assembly in the outer membrane, (ii) outer membrane permeability to antibiotics, (iii) the control of the expression of T3SS which are major virulence factors and (iv) the virulence of Salmonella. In E. coli, this protein has been shown to interact directly with BamA. In this study, we investigated the structure-function relationship of BamB in order to assess whether the roles of BamB in these phenotypes were inter-related and whether they require the interaction of BamB with BamA. For this purpose, recombinant plasmids harbouring point mutations in bamB were introduced in a ΔSalmonella bamB mutant. We demonstrated that the residues L173, L175 and R176 are crucial for all the roles of BamB and for the interaction of BamB with BamA. Moreover, the results obtained with a D229A BamB variant, which is unable to immunoprecipitate BamA, suggest that the interaction of BamB with BamA is not absolutely necessary for BamB function in outer-membrane protein assembly, T3SS expression and virulence. Finally, we showed that the virulence defect of the ΔbamB mutant is not related to its increased susceptibility to antimicrobials, as the D227A BamB variant fully restored the virulence of the mutant while having a similar antibiotic susceptibility to the ΔbamB strain. Overall, this study demonstrates that the different roles of BamB are not all inter-related and that L173, L175 and R176 amino-acids are privileged sites for the design of BamB inhibitors that could be used as alternative therapeutics to antibiotics, at least against Salmonella.
PMCID: PMC3489874  PMID: 23144780
3.  Binding of the RamR Repressor to Wild-Type and Mutated Promoters of the ramA Gene Involved in Efflux-Mediated Multidrug Resistance in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium 
The transcriptional activator RamA is involved in multidrug resistance (MDR) by increasing expression of the AcrAB-TolC RND-type efflux system in several pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), ramA expression is negatively regulated at the local level by RamR, a transcriptional repressor of the TetR family. We here studied the DNA-binding activity of the RamR repressor with the ramA promoter (PramA). As determined by high-resolution footprinting, the 28-bp-long RamR binding site covers essential features of PramA, including the −10 conserved region, the transcriptional start site of ramA, and two 7-bp inverted repeats. Based on the RamR footprint and on electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs), we propose that RamR interacts with PramA as a dimer of dimers, in a fashion that is structurally similar to the QacR-DNA binding model. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements indicated that RamR has a 3-fold-lower affinity (KD [equilibrium dissociation constant] = 191 nM) for the 2-bp-deleted PramA of an MDR S. Typhimurium clinical isolate than for the wild-type PramA (KD = 66 nM). These results confirm the direct regulatory role of RamR in the repression of ramA transcription and precisely define how an alteration of its binding site can give rise to an MDR phenotype.
PMCID: PMC3264254  PMID: 22123696
4.  Evidence for Active Efflux as the Primary Mechanism of Resistance to Ciprofloxacin in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium 
The occurrence of active efflux and cell wall modifications were studied in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium mutants that were selected with enrofloxacin and whose phenotypes of resistance to fluoroquinolones could not be explained only by mutations in the genes coding for gyrase or topoisomerase IV. Mutant BN18/21 exhibited a decreased susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (MIC = 0.125 μg/ml) but did not have a mutation in the gyrA gene. Mutants BN18/41 and BN18/71 had the same substitution, Gly81Cys in GyrA, but exhibited different levels of resistance to ciprofloxacin (MICs = 2 and 8 μg/ml, respectively). None of the mutants had mutations in the parC gene. Evidence for active efflux was provided by a classical fluorimetric method, which revealed a three- to fourfold decrease in ciprofloxacin accumulation in the three mutants compared to that in the parent strain, which was annuled by addition of the efflux pump inhibitor carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone. In mutant BN18/71, a second fluorimetric method also showed a 50% reduction in the level of accumulation of ethidium bromide, a known efflux pump substrate. Immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiments with an anti-AcrA antibody revealed that the resistance phenotype was strongly correlated with the expression level of the AcrAB efflux pump and suggested that decreased susceptibility to ciprofloxacin due to active efflux probably related to overproduction of this pump could occur before that due to gyrA mutations. Alterations were also found in the outer membrane protein and lipopolysaccharide profiles of the mutants, and these alterations were possibly responsible for the decrease in the permeability of the outer membrane that was observed in the mutants and that could act synergistically with active efflux to decrease the level of ciprofloxacin accumulation.
PMCID: PMC89848  PMID: 10770755
5.  Comparative Studies of Mutations in Animal Isolates and Experimental In Vitro- and In Vivo-Selected Mutants of Salmonella spp. Suggest a Counterselection of Highly Fluoroquinolone-Resistant Strains in the Field 
The occurrence of mutations in the genes coding for gyrase (gyrA and gyrB) and topoisomerase IV (parE and parC) of Salmonella typhimurium experimental mutants selected in vitro and in vivo and of 138 nalidixic acid-resistant Salmonella field isolates was investigated. The sequencing of the quinolone resistance-determining region of these genes in highly fluoroquinolone-resistant mutants (MICs of 4 to 16 μg/ml) revealed the presence of gyrA mutations at codons corresponding to Gly-81 or Ser-83, some of which were associated with a mutation at Asp-87. No mutations were found in the gyrB, parC, and parE genes. An assay combining allele-specific PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism was developed to rapidly screen mutations at codons 81, 83, and 87 of gyrA. The MICs of ciprofloxacin for the field isolates reached only 2 μg/ml, versus 16 μg/ml for some in vitro-selected mutants. The field isolates, like the mutants selected in vivo, had only a single gyrA mutation at codon 83 or 87. Single gyrA mutations were also found in highly resistant in vitro-selected mutants (MIC of ciprofloxacin, 8 μg/ml), which indicates that mechanisms other than the unique modification of the intracellular targets could participate in fluoroquinolone resistance in Salmonella spp. A comparison of experimental mutants selected in vitro, field strains, and mutants selected in vivo suggests that highly fluoroquinolone-resistant strains are counterselected in field conditions in the absence of selective pressure.
PMCID: PMC89435  PMID: 10471553

Results 1-5 (5)