Thiamine plays a critical role in the acid tolerance of Listeria monocytogenes
Karatzas, K. A. G. (2012) Thiamine plays a critical role in the acid tolerance of Listeria monocytogenes. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 326 (2). pp. 137-143. ISSN 0378-1097
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2011.02442.x
Understanding the molecular basis of acid tolerance in the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is important as this property contributes to survival in the food-chain and enhances survival within infected hosts. The aim of this study was to identify genes contributing to acid tolerance in L. monocytogenes using transposon mutagenesis and subsequently to elucidate the physiological role of these genes in acid tolerance. One mutant harboring a Tn917 insertion in the thiT gene (formerly lmo1429), which encodes a thiamine (vitamin B1) uptake system, was found to be highly sensitive to acid. The acid-sensitive phenotype associated with loss of this gene was confirmed with an independently isolated mutant, from which the thiT gene was deleted (ΔthiT). Cells of both wild-type and ΔthiT mutant that were thiamine depleted were found to be significantly more acid sensitive than control cultures. Thiamine-depleted cultures failed to produce significant concentrations of acetoin, consistent with the known thiamine dependence of acetolactate synthase, an enzyme required for acetoin synthesis from pyruvate. As acetoin synthesis is a proton-consuming process, we suggest that the acid sensitivity observed in thiamine-depleted cultures may be owing to an inability to produce acetoin.