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Infect Immun. 2012 Oct;80(10):3576-86. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00670-12. Epub 2012 Jul 30.

Identification of critical host mitochondrion-associated genes during Ehrlichia chaffeensis infections.

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  • 1Kansas State University, Division of Biology, Manhattan, Kansas, USA.

Abstract

Ehrlichia chaffeensis is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME). To determine what host components are important for bacterial replication, we performed microarray analysis on Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells by comparing host gene transcript levels between permissive and nonpermissive conditions for E. chaffeensis growth. Five-hundred twenty-seven genes had increased transcript levels unique to permissive growth conditions 24 h postinfection. We screened adult flies that were mutants for several of the "permissive" genes for the ability to support Ehrlichia replication. Three additional D. melanogaster fly lines with putative mutations in pyrimidine metabolism were also tested. Ten fly lines carrying mutations in the genes CG6479, separation anxiety, chitinase 11, CG6364 (Uck2), CG6543 (Echs1), withered (whd), CG15881 (Ccdc58), CG14806 (Apop1), CG11875 (Nup37), and dumpy (dp) had increased resistance to infection with Ehrlichia. Analysis of RNA by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) confirmed that the bacterial load was decreased in these mutant flies compared to wild-type infected control flies. Seven of these genes (san, Cht11, Uck2, Echs1, whd, Ccdc58, and Apop1) encoded proteins that had mitochondrial functions or could be associated with proteins with mitochondrial functions. Treatment of THP-1 cells with double-stranded RNA to silence the human UCK2 gene indicates that the disruption of the uridine-cytidine kinase affects E. chaffeensis replication in human macrophages. Experiments with cyclopentenyl cytosine (CPEC), a CTP synthetase inhibitor and cytosine, suggest that the nucleotide salvage pathway is essential for E. chaffeensis replication and that it may be important for the provision of CTP, uridine, and cytidine nucleotides.

PMID:
22851751
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3457586
Free PMC Article

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