The sensitivity of Bacillus subtilis to diverse antimicrobial compounds is influenced by Abh

Ewan J. Murray, Nicola R. Stanley-Wall

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    Abstract

    Abh is a transition state regulator of Bacillus subtilis that controls biofilm formation and the production of several diverse antimicrobial compounds. Using a high-throughput non-biased technique, we show for the first time that Abh influences the sensitivity of B. subtilis to diverse antimicrobial compounds. Following up on these findings with a combination of classical genetics and antibiotic susceptibility assays, we demonstrate that Abh influences cellular processes such as the remodelling of the cell wall. We present data demonstrating that the extracytoplasmic function sigma factor sigma(X) controls resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics by activating abh transcription. Downstream from Abh, activation of slrR expression by Abh is responsible for controlling the sensitivity of B. subtilis to such antibiotics due to the role that SlrR plays in regulating autolysin biosynthesis. The abh mutant additionally exhibits increased resistance to aminoglycoside antimicrobials. We confirm that aminoglycoside killing of B. subtilis is likely to be caused by oxidative damage but rule out the possibility that the increased resistance of the abh mutant to aminoglycosides is due to a general increase in resistance to oxidative stress.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1059-1067
    Number of pages9
    JournalArchives of Microbiology
    Volume192
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

    Keywords

    • Bacillus subtilis
    • Antibiotic sensitivity
    • Abh
    • AbrB
    • FUNCTION SIGMA-FACTORS
    • POPULATION HETEROGENEITY
    • BIOFILM FORMATION
    • CELL-SEPARATION
    • ABRB GENE
    • REGULATOR
    • PROMOTER
    • REGULON
    • PROTEIN
    • IDENTIFICATION

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