Comparative phenotypic, proteomic, and phosphoproteomic analysis reveals different roles of serine/threonine phosphatase and kinase in the growth, cell division, and pathogenicity of Streptococcus suis

Qiao Hu, Lun Yao, Xia Liao, Liang-Sheng Zhang, Hai-Tian Li, Ting-Ting Li, Qing-Gen Jiang, Mei-Fang Tan, Lu Li, Roger Draheim, Qi Huang*, Rui Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Eukaryote-like serine/threonine kinases (STKs) and cognate phosphatases (STPs) comprise an important regulatory system in many bacterial pathogens. The complexity of this regulatory system has not been fully understood due to the presence of multiple STKs/STPs in many bacteria and their multiple substrates involved in many different physiological and pathogenetic processes. Streptococci are the best materials for the study due to a single copy of the gene encoding STK and its cognate STP. Although several studies have been done to investigate the roles of STK and STP in zoonotic Streptococcus suis, respectively, few studies were performed on the coordinated regulatory roles of this system. In this study, we carried out a systemic study on STK/STP in S. suis by using a comparative phenotypic, proteomic, and phosphoproteomic analysis. Mouse infection assays revealed that STK played a much more important role in S. suis pathogenesis than STP. The ∆stk and ∆stpstk strains, but not ∆stp, showed severe growth retardation. Moreover, both ∆stp and ∆stk strains displayed defects in cell division, but they were abnormal in different ways. The comparative proteomics and phosphoproteomics revealed that deletion of stk or stp had a significant influence on protein expression. Interestingly, more virulence factors were found to be downregulated in ∆stk than ∆stp. In ∆stk strain, a substantial number of the proteins with a reduced phosphorylation level were involved in cell division, energy metabolism, and protein translation. However, only a few proteins showed increased phosphorylation in ∆stp, which also included some proteins related to cell division. Collectively, our results show that both STP and STK are critical regulatory proteins for S. suis and that STK seems to play more important roles in growth, cell division, and pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2442
Number of pages21
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Streptococcus suis
  • serine/threonine phosphatase
  • serine/threonine kinase
  • coordinated regulation
  • growth
  • cell division
  • pathogenicity

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