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Biochemistry Seminar of Special Interest: Dr. Lici Schurig-Briccio (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), "From Metabolism to Virulence: Understanding the Role of Respiratory NADH oxidation in Staphylococcus aureus"

Event Type
biochemistry, biological sciences, host-pathogen interactions, microbial physiology, microbiology, molecular biology, molecular evolution, protein structure, regulation of gene expression, signal trasduction
Dr. Satish Nair, Department of Biochemistry
Zoom Meeting Link https://illinois.zoom.us/j/93301854509 Meeting ID: 933 0185 4509 (Request Meeting Passcode – via sunkraut@illinois.edu or your department office admin assistant)
Oct 23, 2020   12:00 pm  
Dr. Lici Schurig-Briccio, Department of Biochemistry, UIUC
Sherry Unkraut
Originating Calendar
Biochemistry Department Seminars

The success of Staphylococcus aureus as a pathogen is due to its capability of fine-tuning its cellular physiology to meet the challenges presented by diverse environments, which allows it to colonize multiple niches within a single vertebrate host. Elucidating the roles of energy-yielding metabolic pathways could uncover attractive therapeutic strategies and targets. In this work, we seek to determine the effects of disabling NADH-dependent aerobic respiration on the physiology of S. aureus. Differing from many pathogens, S. aureus has two type-2 respiratory NADH dehydrogenases (NDH-2s) but lacks the respiratory ion-pumping NDHs. Here, we show that the NDH-2s, individually or together, are not essential either for respiration or growth. Nevertheless, their absence eliminates biofilm formation, production of α-toxin, and reduces the ability to colonize specific organs in a mouse model of systemic infection. Moreover, we demonstrate that the reason behind these phenotypes is the alteration of the fatty acid metabolism. Importantly, the SaeRS two-component system, which responds to fatty acids regulation, is responsible for the link between NADH-dependent respiration and virulence in S. aureus.


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