The F0F1 ATPase plays a central role in both the generation of ATP and the utilisation of ATP for cellular processes such as rotation of bacterial flagella. We have deleted the entire operon encoding the F0F1 ATPase, as well as genes encoding individual F0 or F1 subunits, in Salmonella enteric serovar Typhimurium. These mutants were attenuated for virulence, as assessed by bacterial counts in the livers and spleens of intravenously infected mice. The attenuated in vivo growth of the entire atp operon mutant was complemented by the insertion of the atp operon into the malXY pseudogene region. Following clearance of the attenuated mutants from the organs, mice were protected against challenge with the virulent wild type parent strain. We have shown that the F0F1 ATPase is important for bacterial growth in vivo and that atp mutants are effective live attenuated vaccines against Salmonella infection.
- Salmonella Typhimurium
- F0F1 ATPase