Inactivation of SmeSyRy two-component regulatory system inversely regulates the expression of SmeYZ and SmeDEF efflux pumps in stenotrophomonas maltophilia

Chao Jung Wu, Yi Wei Huang, Yi Tsung Lin, Hsiao Chen Ning, Tsuey Ching Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


SmeYZ efflux pump is a critical pump responsible for aminoglycosides resistance, virulence- related characteristics (oxidative stress susceptibility, motility, and secreted protease activity), and virulence in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. However, the regulatory circuit involved in SmeYZ expression is little known. A two-component regulatory system (TCS), smeRySy, transcribed divergently from the smeYZ operon is the first candidate to be considered. To assess the role of SmeRySy in smeYZ expression, the smeRySy isogenic deletion mutant, KJΔRSy, was constructed by gene replacement strategy. Inactivation of smeSyRy correlated with a higher susceptibility to aminoglycosides concomitant with an increased resistance to chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and macrolides. To elucidate the underlying mechanism responsible for the antimicrobials susceptibility profiles, the SmeRySy regulon was firstly revealed by transcriptome analysis and further confirmed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and promoter transcription fusion constructs assay. The results demonstrate that inactivation of smeRySy decreased the expression of SmeYZ pump and increased the expression of SmeDEF pump, which underlies the ΔsmeSyRy-mediated antimicrobials susceptibility profile. To elucidate the cognate relationship between SmeSy and SmeRy, a single mutant, KJΔRy, was constructed and the complementation assay of KJΔRSy with smeRy were performed. The results support that SmeSy-SmeRy TCS is responsible for the regulation of smeYZ operon; whereas SmeSy may be cognate with another unidentified response regulator for the regulation of smeDEF operon. The impact of inverse expression of SmeYZ and SmeDEF pumps on physiological functions was evaluated by mutants construction, H2O2 susceptibility test, swimming, and secreted protease activity assay. The increased expression of SmeDEF pump in KJΔRSy may compensate, to some extents, the SmeYZ downexpression-mediated compromise with respect to its role in secreted protease activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0160943
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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