RomA, A Periplasmic Protein Involved in the Synthesis of the Lipopolysaccharide, Tunes Down the Inflammatory Response Triggered by Brucella

Ezequiel Valguarnera, Juan M. Spera, Cecilia Czibener, Fabiana R. Fulgenzi, Adriana C. Casabuono, Silvia G. Altabe, Karina A. Pasquevich, Francisco Guaimas, Juliana Cassataro, Alicia S. Couto, Juan E. Ugalde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Brucellaceae are stealthy pathogens with the ability to survive and replicate in the host in the context of a strong immune response. This capacity relies on several virulence factors that are able to modulate the immune system and in their structural components that have low proinflammatory activities. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the main component of the outer membrane, is a central virulence factor of Brucella, and it has been well established that it induces a low inflammatory response. We describe here the identification and characterization of a novel periplasmic protein (RomA) conserved in alpha-proteobacteria, which is involved in the homeostasis of the outer membrane. A mutant in this gene showed several phenotypes, such as membrane defects, altered LPS composition, reduced adhesion, and increased virulence and inflammation. We show that RomA is involved in the synthesis of LPS, probably coordinating part of the biosynthetic complex in the periplasm. Its absence alters the normal synthesis of this macromolecule and affects the homeostasis of the outer membrane, resulting in a strain with a hyperinflammatory phenotype. Our results suggest that the proper synthesis of LPS is central to maximize virulence and minimize inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1266
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume217
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2018

Keywords

  • Brucella
  • inflammation
  • lipopolysaccharide

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