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The Intraperitoneal Transcriptome of the Opportunistic Pathogen Enterococcus faecalis in Mice

Abstract : Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive lactic acid intestinal opportunistic bacterium with virulence potential. For a better understanding of the adapation of this bacterium to the host conditions, we performed a transcriptome analysis of bacteria isolated from an infection site (mouse peritonitis) by RNA-sequencing. We identified a total of 211 genes with significantly higher transcript levels and 157 repressed genes. Our in vivo gene expression database reflects well the infection process since genes encoding important virulence factors like cytolysin, gelatinase or aggregation substance as well as stress response proteins, are significantly induced. Genes encoding metabolic activities are the second most abundant in vivo induced genes demonstrating that the bacteria are metabolically active and adapt to the special nutrient conditions of the host. α- and β- glucosides seem to be important substrates for E. faecalis inside the host. Compared to laboratory conditions, the flux through the upper part of glycolysis seems to be reduced and more carbon may enter the pentose phosphate pathway. This may reflect the need of the bacteria under infection conditions to produce more reducing power for biosynthesis. Another important substrate is certainly glycerol since both pathways of glycerol catabolism are strongly induced. Strongly in vivo induced genes should be important for the infection process. This assumption has been verified in a virulence test using well characterized mutants affected in glycerol metabolism. This showed indeed that mutants unable to metabolize this sugar alcohol are affected in organ colonisation in a mouse model.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 3:46:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 12:36:38 PM

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Cécile Muller, Margherita Cacaci, Nicolas Sauvageot, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Thomas Rattei, et al.. The Intraperitoneal Transcriptome of the Opportunistic Pathogen Enterococcus faecalis in Mice. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (5), pp.e0126143. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0126143⟩. ⟨hal-02180644⟩

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