Send to

Choose Destination
Microbiology. 2014 Dec;160(Pt 12):2710-7. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.080556-0. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

The importance of the magnesium transporter MgtB for virulence of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis.

Author information

Biomedical Sciences, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JQ, UK.
Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK.
Biomedical Sciences, Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury SP4 0JQ, UK


Mg(2+) has been shown to be an important signal controlling gene regulation via the PhoPQ two-component regulatory system for a range of Gram-negative bacteria, including Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The magnesium ion transporter MgtB is part of the complex PhoPQ regulon, being upregulated in response to low Mg(2+). Despite the presence of other Mg(2+) transport systems in Yersinia, inactivation of mgtB had a significant effect on the ability of the bacteria to scavenge this crucial ion. Whereas inactivation of PhoPQ is reported to adversely affect intracellular survival, we show that Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔmgtB mutants survived equally as well as the respective parent strain within macrophages, although they were more sensitive to killing in the Galleria model of infection. Surprisingly, despite MgtB being only one member of the Mg(2+) stimulon and PhoPQ controlling the expression levels of a range of genes including mgtB, the Yersinia ΔmgtB mutants were more highly attenuated than the equivalent Yersinia ΔphoP mutants in mouse models of infection. MgtB may be a suitable target for development of novel antimicrobials, and investigation of its role may help elucidate the contribution of this component of the PhoPQ regulon to pathogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Ingenta plc
Loading ...
Support Center