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Open AccessArticle

Regulation of the Staphylococcal Superantigen-Like Protein 1 Gene of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Murine Abscesses

1
Department of Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA
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Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(7), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11070391
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcus aureus Toxins)
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) causes substantial skin and soft tissue infections annually in the United States and expresses numerous virulence factors, including a family of toxins known as the staphylococcal superantigen-like (SSL) proteins. Many of the SSL protein structures have been determined and implicated in immune system avoidance, but the full scope that these proteins play in different infection contexts remains unknown and continues to warrant investigation. Analysis of ssl gene regulation may provide valuable information related to the function of these proteins. To determine the transcriptional regulation of the ssl1 gene of CA-MRSA strain MW2, an ssl1 promoter::lux fusion was constructed and transformed into S. aureus strains RN6390 and Newman. Resulting strains were grown in a defined minimal medium (DSM) broth and nutrient-rich brain-heart infusion (BHI) broth and expression was determined by luminescence. Transcription of ssl1 was up-regulated and occurred earlier during growth in DSM broth compared to BHI broth suggesting expression is regulated by nutrient availability. RN6390 and Newman strains containing the ssl1::lux fusion were also used to analyze regulation in vivo using a mouse abscess model of infection. A marked increase in ssl1 transcription occurred early during infection, suggesting SSL1 is important during early stages of infection, perhaps to avoid the immune system. View Full-Text
Keywords: mouse abscess; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; lux fusion; superantigen-like protein; gene regulation; defined minimal medium mouse abscess; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; lux fusion; superantigen-like protein; gene regulation; defined minimal medium
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Bretl, D.J.; Elfessi, A.; Watkins, H.; Schwan, W.R. Regulation of the Staphylococcal Superantigen-Like Protein 1 Gene of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Murine Abscesses. Toxins 2019, 11, 391.

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