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Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 9;10(1):3627. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11547-5.

MpsAB is important for Staphylococcus aureus virulence and growth at atmospheric CO2 levels.

Author information

1
Microbial Genetics, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen (IMIT), University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, D-72076, Tübingen, Germany.
2
Institute for Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB), University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Strasse 2, D-97080, Würzburg, Germany.
3
Center for Bioinformatics Tübingen, University of Tübingen, Sand 14, D-72076, Tübingen, Germany.
4
Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Kahlaische Strasse 10, D-07745, Jena, Germany.
5
Microbial Genetics, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen (IMIT), University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, D-72076, Tübingen, Germany. friedrich.goetz@uni-tuebingen.de.

Abstract

The mechanisms behind carbon dioxide (CO2) dependency in non-autotrophic bacterial isolates are unclear. Here we show that the Staphylococcus aureus mpsAB operon, known to play a role in membrane potential generation, is crucial for growth at atmospheric CO2 levels. The genes mpsAB can complement an Escherichia coli carbonic anhydrase (CA) mutant, and CA from E. coli can complement the S. aureus delta-mpsABC mutant. In comparison with the wild type, S. aureus mps mutants produce less hemolytic toxin and are less virulent in animal models of infection. Homologs of mpsA and mpsB are widespread among bacteria and are often found adjacent to each other on the genome. We propose that MpsAB represents a dissolved inorganic carbon transporter, or bicarbonate concentrating system, possibly acting as a sodium bicarbonate cotransporter.

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