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ABC transporter content diversity in Streptococcus pneumoniae impacts competence regulation and bacteriocin production [Microbiology]

The opportunistic pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) participates in horizontal gene transfer through genetic competence and produces antimicrobial peptides called “bacteriocins.” Here, we show that the competence and bacteriocin-related ABC transporters ComAB and BlpAB share the same substrate pool, resulting in bidirectional crosstalk between competence and bacteriocin regulation. We also clarify the role of each transporter in bacteriocin secretion and show that, based on their transporter content, pneumococcal strains can be separated into a majority opportunist group that uses bacteriocins only to support competence and a minority aggressor group that uses bacteriocins in broader contexts. Our findings will impact how bacteriocin regulation and production is modeled in the many other bacterial species that use ComAB/BlpAB-type transporters.

Authors:   Charles Y. Wang; Nisha Patel; Wei-Yun Wholey; Suzanne Dawid
Journal:   Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences current issue
Volume:   115
edition:   25
Year:   2018
Pages:   E5776
DOI:   10.1073/pnas.1804668115
Publication date:   19-Jun-2018
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