Hybrid Cluster Proteins and Flavodiiron Proteins Afford Protection to Desulfovibrio vulgaris upon Macrophage Infection

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Desulfovibrio species are Gram-negative anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria that colonize the human gut. Recently, Desulfovibrio spp. have been implicated in gastrointestinal diseases and shown to stimulate the epithelial immune response, leading to increased production of inflammatory cytokines by macrophages. Activated macrophages are key cells of the immune system that impose nitrosative stress during phagocytosis. Hence, we have analyzed the in vitro and in vivo responses of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough to nitric oxide (NO) and the role of the hybrid cluster proteins (HCP1 and HCP2) and rubredoxin oxygen oxidoreductases (ROO1 and ROO2) in NO protection. Among the four genes, hcp2 was the gene most highly induced by NO, and the hcp2 transposon mutant exhibited the lowest viability under conditions of NO stress. Studies in murine macrophages revealed that D. vulgaris survives incubation with these phagocytes and triggers NO production at levels similar to those stimulated by the cytokine gamma interferon (IFN-gamma). Furthermore, D. vulgaris hcp and roo mutants exhibited reduced viability when incubated with macrophages, revealing that these gene products contribute to the survival of D. vulgaris during macrophage infection.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)2684-2690
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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