Streptococcus intermedius is a facultatively anaerobic, opportunistic pathogen that causes purulent infections and abscess formation. The DnaK chaperone system has been characterized in several pathogenic bacteria and seems to have important functions in stress resistance and pathogenicity. However, the role of DnaK in S. intermedius remains unclear. Therefore, we constructed a dnaK knockout mutant that exhibited slow growth, thermosensitivity, accumulation of GroEL in the cell, and reduced cytotoxicity to HepG2 cells. The level of secretion of a major pathogenic factor, intermedilysin, was not affected by dnaK mutation. We further examined the function and property of the S. intermedius DnaK chaperone system by using Escherichia coli δdnaK and δrpoH mutant strains. S. intermedius DnaK could not complement the thermosensitivity of E. coli δdnaK mutant. However, the intact S. intermedius DnaK chaperone system could complement the thermosensitivity and acid sensitivity of E. coli δdnaK mutant. The S. intermedius DnaK chaperone system could regulate the activity and stability of the heat shock transcription factor σ32 in E. coli, although S. intermedius does not utilize σ32 for heat shock transcription. The S. intermedius DnaK chaperone system was also able to efficiently eliminate the aggregated proteins from δrpoH mutant cells. Overall, our data showed that the S. intermedius DnaK chaperone system has important functions in quality control of cellular proteins but has less participation in the modulation of expression of pathogenic factors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology