Divergent Roles of Escherichia Coli Encoded Lon Protease in Imparting Resistance to Uncouplers of Oxidative Phosphorylation: Roles of marA, rob, soxS and acrB

Taru Verma, Santhi Sanil Nandini, Varsha Singh, Abinaya Raghavan, Harshita Annappa, Chetana Bhaskarla, Ashim Kumar Dubey, Dipankar Nandi (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation dissipate the proton gradient, causing lower ATP production. Bacteria encounter several non-classical uncouplers in the environment, leading to stress-induced adaptations. Here, we addressed the molecular mechanisms responsible for the effects of uncouplers in Escherichia coli. The expression and functions of genes involved in phenotypic antibiotic resistance were studied using three compounds: two strong uncouplers, i.e., Carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone (CCCP) and 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), and one moderate uncoupler, i.e., Sodium salicylate (NaSal). Quantitative expression studies demonstrated induction of transcripts encoding marA, soxS and acrB with NaSal and DNP, but not CCCP. Since MarA and SoxS are degraded by the Lon protease, we investigated the roles of Lon using a lon-deficient strain (Δlon). Compared to the wild-type strain, Δlon shows compromised growth upon exposure to NaSal or 2, 4-DNP. This sensitivity is dependent on marA but not rob and soxS. On the other hand, the Δlon strain shows enhanced growth in the presence of CCCP, which is dependent on acrB. Interestingly, NaSal and 2,4-DNP, but not CCCP, induce resistance to antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin and tetracycline. This study addresses the effects of uncouplers and the roles of genes involved during bacterial growth and phenotypic antibiotic resistance. Strong uncouplers are often used to treat wastewater, and these results shed light on the possible mechanisms by which bacteria respond to uncouplers. Also, the rampant usage of some uncouplers to treat wastewater may lead to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Volume81
Early online date19 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Efflux
  • Lon protease
  • Microbial stress
  • Uncoupler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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