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Front Microbiol. 2017 Sep 13;8:1766. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01766. eCollection 2017.

Targeting Inhibition of SmpB by Peptide Aptamer Attenuates the Virulence to Protect Zebrafish against Aeromonas veronii Infection.

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Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresources, College of Biological Sciences, Hainan UniversityHaikou, China.
Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesHaikou, China.
Department of Biology, College of Science, Shantou UniversityShantou, China.
Department of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan UniversityChengdu, China.


Aeromonas veronii is an important pathogen of aquatic animals, wherein Small protein B (SmpB) is required for pathogenesis by functioning as both a component in stalled-ribosome rescue and a transcription factor in upregulation of virulence gene bvgS expression. Here a specific peptide aptamer PA-1 was selected from peptide aptamer library by bacterial two-hybrid system employing pBT-SmpB as bait. The binding affinity between SmpB and PA-1 was evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The key amino acids of SmpB that interact with PA-1 were identified. After PA-1 was introduced into A. veronii, the engineered strain designated as A. veronii (pN-PA-1) was more sensitive and grew slower under salt stress in comparison with wild type, as the disruption of SmpB by PA-1 resulted in significant transcription reductions of virulence-related genes. Consistent with these observations, A. veronii (pN-PA-1) was severely attenuated in model organism zebrafish, and vaccination of zebrafish with A. veronii (pN-PA-1) induced a strong antibody response. The vaccinated zebrafish were well protected against subsequent lethal challenges with virulent parental strain. Collectively, we propose that targeting inhibition of SmpB by peptide aptamer PA-1 possesses the desired qualities for a live attenuated vaccine against pathogenic A. veronii.


Aeromonas veronii; SmpB; bacterial two-hybrid system; live attenuated vaccines; selection of peptide aptamers library

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