In response to phosphate limitation, bacteria employ the Pho regulon, a specific regulatory network for phosphate acquisition. The two-component signal transduction system of PhoRB plays a crucial role in the induction of Pho regulon genes, leading to the adaptation to phosphate starvation. Herein, we identified the PhoRB system in Bacteroides fragilis, a commensal gut bacterium, and evaluated its role in gut colonization and survival in peritoneal abscesses. BF1575 and BF1576 encoded PhoR (sensor histidine kinase) and PhoB (response regulator) in the sequenced B. fragilis strain YCH46, respectively. Transcriptome analysis revealed that deletion of phoB affected the expression of 585 genes (more than 4-fold change) in B. fragilis, which included genes for stress response (chaperons and heat shock proteins), virulence (capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis) and phosphate metabolism. Deletion of phoB reduced the ability of the bacterium to persist in peritoneal abscesses induced by an intra-abdominal challenge of B. fragilis. Furthermore, PhoB was necessary for survival of this anaerobe in peritoneal abscesses but not for in vitro growth in rich media or in intestinal colonization. These results indicate that PhoB plays an important role in the survival of B. fragilis under stressful extraintestinal conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences