Functional Genomic Screen Identifies Klebsiella pneumoniae Factors Implicated in Blocking Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB) Signaling

Anna Tomás, Leticia Lery, Verónica Regueiro, Camino Pérez-Gutiérrez, Veronica Martinez, David Moranta, Enrique Llobet, Mar González-Nicolau, Jose L. Insua , Juan M. Tomas, Philippe J. Sansonetti, Régis Tournebize, José A. Bengoechea

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Klebsiella pneumoniae is etiologic agent of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. It has been shown that K. pneumoniae infections are characterized by reduced early inflammatory response. Recently our group have shown that K. pneumoniae dampens the activation of inflammatory responses by antagonizing the activation of the NF-κB canonical pathway. Our results revealed that K. pneumoniae capsule (CPS) was necessary but not sufficient to attenuate inflammation. To identify additional Klebsiella factors required to dampen inflammation, we standardized and applied a high-throughput gain-on-function screen to examine a Klebsiella transposon mutant library. We identified 114 mutants that triggered the activation of NF-κB. Two gene ontology categories accounted for half of the loci identified in the screening, that of metabolism and transport (32% of the mutants), and of enveloperelated genes (17%). Characterization of the mutants revealed that the lack of the enterobactin siderophore was linked to a reduced CPS expression which in turn underlined the NF- κB activation induced by the mutant. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-polysaccharide and the pullulanase (PulA) type 2 secretion system (T2SS) are required for full effectiveness of immune evasion. Importantly, these factors do not play a redundant role. The fact that LPS Opolysaccharide and T2SS mutants-induced responses were dependent on TLR2-TLR4- MyD88 activation suggested that LPS Opolysaccharide and PulA perturbed TLRdependent recognition of K. pneumoniae. Finally, we demonstrate that LPS O-polysaccharide and pulA mutants are attenuated in the pneumonia mouse model. We propose that LPS Opolysaccharide and PulA T2SS could be new targets for designing new antimicrobials. Increasing TLR-governed defence responses might provide also selective alternatives for the management of K. pneumoniae pneumonia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16678-16697
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 03 Jul 2015

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