Functional redundancy of Burkholderia pseudomallei phospholipase C enzymes and their role in virulence

Varintip Srinon, Patoo Withatanung, Somjit Chaiwattanarungruengpaisan, Metawee Thongdee, Chatruthai Meethai, Joanne M Stevens, Richard W Titball, Sunee Korbsrisate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Phospholipase C (PLC) enzymes are key virulence factors in several pathogenic bacteria. Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, possesses at least three plc genes (plc1, plc2 and plc3). We found that in culture medium plc1 gene expression increased with increasing pH, whilst expression of the plc3 gene was pH (4.5 to 9.0) independent. Expression of the plc2 gene was not detected in culture medium. All three plc genes were expressed during macrophage infection by B. pseudomallei K96243. Comparing B. pseudomallei wild-type with plc mutants revealed that plc2, plc12 or plc123 mutants showed reduced intracellular survival in macrophages and reduced plaque formation in HeLa cells. However, plc1 or plc3 mutants showed no significant differences in plaque formation compared to wild-type bacteria. These findings suggest that Plc2, but not Plc1 or Plc3 are required for infection of host cells. In Galleria mellonella, plc1, plc2 or plc3 mutants were not attenuated compared to the wild-type strain, but multiple plc mutants showed reduced virulence. These findings indicate functional redundancy of the B. pseudomallei phospholipases in virulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19242
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020


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