Staphylococcus aureus colonies can spread on soft agar plates. We compared colony spreading of clinically isolated methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). All MSSA strains showed colony spreading, but most MRSA strains (73%) carrying SCCmec type-II showed little colony spreading. Deletion of the entire SCCmec type-II region from these MRSA strains restored colony spreading. Introduction of a novel gene, fudoh, carried by SCCmec type-II into Newman strain suppressed colony spreading. MRSA strains with high spreading ability (27%) had no fudoh or a point-mutated fudoh that did not suppress colony spreading. The fudoh-transformed Newman strain had decreased exotoxin production and attenuated virulence in mice. Most community-acquired MRSA strains carried SCCmec type-IV, which does not include fudoh, and showed high colony spreading ability. These findings suggest that fudoh in the SCCmec type-II region suppresses colony spreading and exotoxin production, and is involved in S. aureus pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences