The expression of virulence genes increases membrane permeability and sensitivity to envelope stress in Salmonella Typhimurium

Sobota, Malgorzata and Rodilla Ramirez, Pilar Natalia and Cambré, Alexander and Rocker, Andrea and Mortier, Julien and Gervais, Théo and Haas, Tiphaine and Cornillet, Delphine and Chauvin, Dany and Hug, Isabelle and Julou, Thomas and Aertsen, Abram and Diard, Médéric. (2022) The expression of virulence genes increases membrane permeability and sensitivity to envelope stress in Salmonella Typhimurium. PLoS Biology, 20 (4). e3001608.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY (Attribution).


Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/93519/

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Virulence gene expression can represent a substantial fitness cost to pathogenic bacteria. In the model entero-pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium (S.Tm), such cost favors emergence of attenuated variants during infections that harbor mutations in transcriptional activators of virulence genes (e.g., hilD and hilC). Therefore, understanding the cost of virulence and how it relates to virulence regulation could allow the identification and modulation of ecological factors to drive the evolution of S.Tm toward attenuation. In this study, investigations of membrane status and stress resistance demonstrate that the wild-type (WT) expression level of virulence factors embedded in the envelope increases membrane permeability and sensitizes S.Tm to membrane stress. This is independent from a previously described growth defect associated with virulence gene expression in S.Tm. Pretreating the bacteria with sublethal stress inhibited virulence expression and increased stress resistance. This trade-off between virulence and stress resistance could explain the repression of virulence expression in response to harsh environments in S.Tm. Moreover, we show that virulence-associated stress sensitivity is a burden during infection in mice, contributing to the inherent instability of S.Tm virulence. As most bacterial pathogens critically rely on deploying virulence factors in their membrane, our findings could have a broad impact toward the development of antivirulence strategies.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Computational & Systems Biology > Bioinformatics (van Nimwegen) > Determinants and implications of bacterial individuality (Julou)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Pathogen Evolution (Diard)
UniBasel Contributors:Julou, Thomas and Diard, Médéric
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:28 Feb 2023 09:41
Deposited On:09 Feb 2023 09:08

Repository Staff Only: item control page