The ABC-Type Efﬂux Pump MacAB Protects Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium from Oxidative Stress
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Multidrug efflux pumps are integral membrane proteins known to actively excrete antibiotics. The macrolide-specific pump MacAB, the only ABC-type drug efflux pump in Salmonella, has previously been linked to virulence in mice. The molecular mechanism of this link between macAB and infection is unclear. We demonstrate that macAB plays a role in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS), compounds that salmonellae are exposed to at various stages of infection. macAB is induced upon exposure to H2O2 and is critical for survival of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in the presence of peroxide. Furthermore, we determined that macAB is required for intracellular replication inside J774.A1 murine macrophages but is not required for survival in ROS-deficient J774.D9 macrophages. macAB mutants also had reduced survival in the intestine in the mouse colitis model, a model characterized by a strong neutrophilic intestinal infiltrate where bacteria may experience the cytotoxic actions of ROS. Using an Amplex red-coupled assay, macAB mutants appear to be unable to induce protection against exogenous H2O2 in vitro, in contrast to the isogenic wild type. In mixed cultures, the presence of the wild-type organism, or media preconditioned by the growth of the wild-type organism, was sufficient to rescue the macAB mutant from peroxide-mediated killing. Our data indicate that the MacAB drug efflux pump has functions beyond resistance to antibiotics and plays a role in the protection of Salmonella against oxidative stress. Intriguingly, our data also suggest the presence of a soluble anti-H2O2 compound secreted by Salmonella cells through a MacAB-dependent mechanism.
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