First insights into the pleiotropic role of vrf (yedF), a newly characterized gene of Salmonella Typhimurium

Clara Ballesté-Delpierre, Dietmar Fernandez-Orth, Mario Ferrer-Navarro, Ramón Díaz-Peña, Antonia Odena-Caballol, Eliandre Oliveira, Anna Fàbrega, Jordi Vila

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    © 2017 The Author(s). Salmonella possesses virulence determinants that allow replication under extreme conditions and invasion of host cells, causing disease. Here, we examined four putative genes predicted to encode membrane proteins (ydiY, ybdJ, STM1441 and ynaJ) and a putative transcriptional factor (yedF). These genes were identified in a previous study of a S. Typhimurium clinical isolate and its multidrug-resistant counterpart. For STM1441 and yedF a reduced ability to interact with HeLa cells was observed in the knock-out mutants, but an increase in this ability was absent when these genes were overexpressed, except for yedF which phenotype was rescued when yedF was restored. In the absence of yedF, decreased expression was seen for: i) virulence-related genes involved in motility, chemotaxis, attachment and survival inside the host cell; ii) global regulators of the invasion process (hilA, hilC and hilD); and iii) factors involved in LPS biosynthesis. In contrast, an increased expression was observed for anaerobic metabolism genes. We propose yedF is involved in the regulation of Salmonella pathogenesis and contributes to the activation of the virulence machinery. Moreover, we propose that, when oxygen is available, yedF contributes sustained repression of the anaerobic pathway. Therefore, we recommend this gene be named vrf, for virulence-related factor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number15291
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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