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J Infect Dis. 2011 Apr 15;203(8):1147-54. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiq160.

Importance of two Enterococcus faecium loci encoding Gls-like proteins for in vitro bile salts stress response and virulence.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


General stress proteins, Gls24 and GlsB, were previously shown to be involved in bile salts resistance of Enterococcus faecalis and in virulence. Here, we identified 2 gene clusters in Enterococcus faecium each encoding a homolog of Gls24 (Gls33 and Gls20; designated on the basis of their predicted sizes) and of GlsB (GlsB and GlsB1). The sequences of the gls33 and gls20 gene clusters from available genomes indicate distinct lineages, with those of hospital-associated CC17 isolates differing from non-CC17 by ∼7% and ∼3.5%, respectively. Deletion of an individual locus did not have a significant effect on virulence in a mouse peritonitis model, whereas a double-deletion mutant was highly attenuated (P<.004) versus wild-type. However, mutants lacking either gls33-glsB, gls20-glsB1, or both all exhibited increased sensitivity to bile salts. These results suggest that gls-encoded loci may be important for adaptation to the intestinal environment, in addition to being important for virulence functions.

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