Title Characteristic and role of chromosomal type II toxin-antitoxin systems locus in Enterococcus faecalis ATCC29212
Author Zhen Li1*, Chao Shi2, Shanjun Gao1, Xiulei Zhang1, Di Lu1, and Guangzhi Liu1
Address 1Microbiome Laboratory, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou University People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou, Henan 450003, P. R. China, 2Department of Molecular Pathology, The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan 450008, P. R. China
Bibliography Journal of Microbiology, 58(12),1027–1036, 2020,
DOI 10.1007/s12275-020-0079-3
Key Words Enterococcus faecalis, toxin-antitoxin system, plasmid stability, environmental stress
Abstract The Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is currently one of the major pathogens of nosocomial infections. The lifestyle of E. faecalis relies primarily on its remarkable capacity to face and survive in harsh environmental conditions. Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have been linked to the growth control of bacteria in response to adverse environments but have rarely been reported in Enterococcus. Three functional type II TA systems were identified among the 10 putative TA systems encoded by E. faecalis ATCC29212. These toxin genes have conserved domains homologous to MazF (DR75_ 1948) and ImmA/IrrE family metallo-endopeptidases (DR75_ 1673 and DR75_2160). Overexpression of toxin genes could inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli. However, the toxin DR75_1673 could not inhibit bacterial growth, and the bacteriostatic effect occurred only when it was coexpressed with the antitoxin DR75_1672. DR75_1948–DR75_1949 and DR75_ 160–DR75_2161 could maintain the stable inheritance of the unstable plasmid pLMO12102 in E. coli. Moreover, the transcription levels of these TAs showed significant differences when cultivated under normal conditions and with different temperatures, antibiotics, anaerobic agents and H2O2. When DR75_2161 was knocked out, the growth of the mutant strain at high temperature and oxidative stress was limited. The experimental characterization of these TAs loci might be helpful to investigate the key roles of type II TA systems in the physiology and environmental stress responses of Enterococcus.