Molecular and functional characterization of Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium poxA gene: Effect on attenuation of virulence and protection

Koné Kaniga, Melissa S. Compton, Roy Curtiss, Preeti Sundaram

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47 Scopus citations


Salmonella enterica poxA mutants exhibit a pleiotropic phenotype, including reduced pyruvate oxidase activity; reduced growth rate; and hypersensitivity to the herbicide sulfometuron methyl, α-ketobutyrate, and amino acid analogs. These mutants also failed to grow in the presence of the host antimicrobial peptide, protamine. In this study, PoxA- mutants of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) were found to be 10,000-fold attenuated in orally inoculated BALB/c mice and 1,000-fold attenuated in intraperitoneally inoculated BALB/c mice, compared to wild-type S. typhimurium UK-1. In addition, poxA mutants were found to be capable of colonizing the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, and Peyer's patches; to induce strong humoral immune responses; and to protect mice against a lethal wild- type Salmonella challenge. A 2-kb DNA fragment was isolated from wild-type S. typhimurium UK-1 based on its ability to complement an isogenic poxA mutant. The nucleotide sequence of this DNA fragment revealed an open reading frame of 325 amino acids capable of encoding a polypeptide of 36.8 kDa that was confirmed in the bacteriophage T7 expression system. Comparison of the translated sequence to the available databases indicated high homology to a family of lysyl-tRNA synthetases. Our results indicate that a mutation of poxA has an attenuating effect on Salmonella virulence. Further, poxA mutants are immunogenic and could be useful in designing live vaccines with a variety of bacterial species. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the effect of poxA mutation on bacterial virulence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5599-5606
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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