Identification of novel virulence-associated genes via genome analysis of hypothetical genes.
2004 (English)In: Infection and Immunity, ISSN 0019-9567, Vol. 72, no 3, 1333-1340 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The sequencing of bacterial genomes has opened new perspectives for identification of targets for treatment of infectious diseases. We have identified a set of novel virulence-associated genes (vag genes) by comparing the genome sequences of six human pathogens that are known to cause persistent or chronic infections in humans: Yersinia pestis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Helicobacter pylori, Borrelia burgdorferi, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Treponema pallidum. This comparison was limited to genes annotated as hypothetical in the T. pallidum genome project. Seventeen genes with unknown functions were found to be conserved among these pathogens. Insertional inactivation of 14 of these genes generated nine mutants that were attenuated for virulence in a mouse infection model. Out of these nine genes, five were found to be specifically associated with virulence in mice as demonstrated by infection with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in-frame deletion mutants. In addition, these five vag genes were essential only in vivo, since all the mutants were able to grow in vitro. These genes are broadly conserved among bacteria. Therefore, we propose that the corresponding vag gene products may constitute novel targets for antimicrobial therapy and that some vag mutants could serve as carrier strains for live vaccines.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 72, no 3, 1333-1340 p.
Animals, Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use, Bacteria/*genetics/growth & development/*pathogenicity, Bacterial Infections/drug therapy/microbiology, Bacterial Proteins/genetics/physiology, Computational Biology, Drug Resistance; Multiple; Bacterial, Female, Genes; Bacterial, Genome; Bacterial, Hela Cells, Humans, Mice, Mice; Inbred C57BL, Mutagenesis, Phenotype, Virulence/genetics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16697DOI: 10.1128/IAI.72.3.1333-1340.2004PubMedID: 14977936OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-16697DiVA: diva2:156370