Functional Characterization of Plasmid-Borne rmpADC Homologues in Klebsiella pneumoniae

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere03081-22
Journal / PublicationMicrobiology Spectrum
Volume11
Issue number3
Online published24 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

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Abstract

Expression of the hypermucoviscosity (HMV) phenotype and capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biosynthesis in Klebsiella pneumoniae were reported to be encoded by genes located in the chromosomal rmp locus. However, the functions of the rmp locus in the virulence plasmid remained unclear, and most of the rmp loci in clinical K. pneumoniae are plasmid carried. In this study, we investigated the functional characteristics of plasmid-borne rmp homologues in clinical hypervirulent K. pneumoniae (hvKP) strains by cloning and introducing such gene homologues into K. pneumoniae strains of different capsule types, followed by the evaluation of phenotypic changes in these strains. Acquisition of the plasmid-borne prmpADC and prmpA2D2 loci were found to result in an increase in mucoviscosity and CPS production in K1 and K2 K. pneumoniae, while only the prmpA2D2 locus contributed to phenotypic changes in the ST11/KL64 strain. Consistently, both rmpD and rmpD2 increased HMV in K1 and K2 K. pneumoniae, while only rmpD2 contributed to HMV in the ST11/KL64 strain; rmpC contributed to CPS overproduction in K1 and K2 strains but not in the ST11/KL64 strain. Furthermore, we proposed a logistic molecular basis of the HMV phenotype of K. pneumoniae on which prmpD2-mediated HMV is attributed to the increase of cell-free CPS production. Our data confirm that the rmp homologues carried by the virulence plasmid play a key role in virulence expression in K. pneumoniae, but the phenotype is highly dependent on the genetic background of the host strain and explained why most of the clinical ST11 strains carry only the prmpA2D2 locus. 

© 2023 Yang et al.

Research Area(s)

  • Klebsiella pneumoniae, rmpADC homologues, virulence plasmid, capsule, hypermucoviscosity, LIVER-ABSCESS, VIRULENCE

Citation Format(s)

Functional Characterization of Plasmid-Borne rmpADC Homologues in Klebsiella pneumoniae. / Yang, Xuemei; Liu, Xiaoxuan; Chan, Edward Wai-Chi et al.
In: Microbiology Spectrum, Vol. 11, No. 3, e03081-22, 05.2023.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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