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Identification of Membrane-Bound Lytic Murein Transglycosylase A (MltA) as a Growth Factor for Francisella novicida in a Silkworm Infection Model

Publication Date - 2021-01-22 00:00:00

Publication Title : Identification of Membrane-Bound Lytic Murein Transglycosylase A (MltA) as a Growth Factor for Francisella novicida in a Silkworm Infection Model

Publicationed By : Shib Shankar Saha

Publication Publication Date : 2021-01-22 00:00:00

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Publication Description :

Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, is transmitted by arthropod vectors  within mammalian hosts. The detailed mechanisms contributing to growth and survival of  Francisella within arthropod remain poorly understood. To identify novel factors  supporting growth and survival of Francisella within arthropods, a transposon mutant  library of F. tularensis subsp. novicida (F. novicida) was screened using an F. novicida–  silkworm infection model. Among 750 transposon mutants screened, the mltA-encoding  membrane-bound lytic murein transglycosylase A (MltA) was identified as a novel growth  factor of F. novicida in silkworms. Silkworms infection with an mltA deletion mutant (DmltA)  resulted in a reduction in the number of bacteria and prolonged survival. The DmltA strain  exhibited limited intracellular growth and cytotoxicity in BmN4 silkworm ovary cells.  Moreover, the DmltA strain induced higher expression of the antimicrobial peptide in  silkworms compared to the wild-type strain. These results suggest that F. novicida MltA  contributes to the survival of F. novicida in silkworms via immune suppression-related  mechanisms. Intracellular growth of the DmltA strain was also reduced in human  monocyte THP-1 cells. These results also suggest the contribution of MltA to  pathogenicity in humans and utility of the F. novicida–silkworm infection model to  explore Francisella infection.

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