Exoproteome Heterogeneity among Closely Related Staphylococcus aureus t437 Isolates and Possible Implications for Virulence

Xin Zhao, Laura Palma, Tim Stobernack, Corinna Glasner, Anne de Jong, Putri Utari, Rita Setroikromo, Wim J. Quax, Andreas Otto, Dörte Becher, Girbe Buist, Jan Maarten van Dijl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
476 Downloads (Pure)


Staphylococcus aureus with spa-type t437 has been identified as a predominant community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus clone from Asia, which is also encountered in Europe. Molecular typing has previously shown that t437 isolates are highly similar regardless of geographical regions or host environments. The present study was aimed at assessing to what extent this high similarity is actually reflected in the production of secreted virulence factors. We therefore profiled the extracellular proteome, representing the main reservoir of virulence factors, of 20 representative clinical isolates by mass spectrometry. The results show that these isolates can be divided into three groups and nine subgroups based on exoproteome abundance signatures. This implies that S. aureus t437 isolates show substantial exoproteome heterogeneity. Nonetheless, 30 highly conserved extracellular proteins, of which about 50% have a predicted role in pathogenesis, were dominantly identified. To approximate the virulence of the 20 investigated isolates, we employed infection models based on Galleria mellonella and HeLa cells. The results show that the grouping of clinical isolates based on their exoproteome profile can be related to virulence. We consider this outcome important as our approach provides a tool to pinpoint differences in virulence among seemingly highly similar clinical isolates of S. aureus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2859-2874
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2019


  • article
  • controlled study
  • Galleria mellonella
  • infection
  • mass spectrometry
  • nonhuman
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • virulence
  • proteome
  • virulence factor

Cite this