Characterisation of the E. coli and Salmonella qseC and qseE mutants reveals a metabolic rather than adrenergic receptor role

Abdalla Hamed, Gillian Pullinger, Mark Stevens, Fathima Farveen, Primrose Freestone

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

Catecholamine stress hormones (norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine) are signals that have been shown to be used as environmental cues which affect the growth and virulence of normal microbiota as well as pathogenic bacteria. It has been reported that Escherichia coli and Salmonella use the two-component system proteins QseC and QseE to recognize catecholamines and so act as bacterial adrenergic receptors. In this study, we mutated the E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium genes encoding QseC and QseE and found that this did not block stress hormone responsiveness in either species. Motility, biofilm formation and analysis of virulence of the mutants using two infection models were similar to the wild-type strains. The main differences in phenotypes of the qseC and qseE mutants were responses to changes in temperature and growth in different media particularly with respect to salt, carbon and nitrogen salt sources. In this physiological respect it was also found that the phenotypes of the qseC and qseE mutants differed between E. coli and Salmonella. These findings collectively suggest that QseC and QseE are not essential for E. coli and Salmonella to respond to stress hormones and that the proteins may be playing a role in regulating metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Early online date8 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Feb 2022

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