Enterococcus faecalis zinc-responsive proteins mediate bacterial defence against zinc overload, lysozyme and oxidative stress

Marta C. Abrantes, Jan Kok, Maria de Fatima Silva Lopes

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Two Enterococcus faecalis genes encoding the P-type ATPase EF1400 and the putative SapB protein EF0759 were previously shown to be strongly upregulated in the presence of high concentrations of zinc. In the present work, we showed that a Zn(2+)-responsive DNA-binding motif (zim) is present in the promoter regions of these genes. Both proteins were further studied with respect to their involvement in zinc homeostasis and invasion of the host. EF0759 contributed to intramacrophage survival by an as-yet unknown mechanism(s). EF1400, here renamed ZntAEf, is an ATPase with specificity for zinc and plays a role in dealing with several host defences, i.e. zinc overload, oxidative stress and lysozyme; it provides E. faecalis cells with the ability to survive inside macrophages. As these three host defence mechanisms are important at several sites in the host, i.e. inside macrophages and in saliva, this work suggested that ZntAEf constitutes a crucial E. faecalis defence mechanism that is likely to contribute to the ability of this bacterium to endure life inside its host.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2755-2762
Number of pages8
Issue number12
Early online date13-Oct-2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2014

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