Transcriptional Regulation and Functional Characterization of the Plasmid-Borne oqxAB Genes in Salmonella Typhimurium

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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  • Bill Kwan-wai Chan
  • Marcus Ho-yin Wong
  • Edward Wai-chi Chan
  • Sheng Chen


Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number2
Online published22 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022



Coexistence of oqxAB and aac(6')-Ib-cr is often associated with the expression of fluoroquinolone resistance in Salmonella. The actual role of the plasmid-borne oqxAB gene and its regulatory mechanism compared to its chromosomally encoded counterpart in Klebsiella pneumoniae remain unclear We found that cloning of oqxAB gene only or chromosomally encoded oqxABR (ABRc) locus did not lead to an increase of ciprofloxacin (CIP) minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in S. Typhimurium, while cloning of the plasmid-encoded oqxABR (ABRp) locus led to a 4-fold increase in CIP MIC, reaching 0.0065 μg/mL. The co-carriage of these constructs with aac(6')-Ib-cr further increased the CIP MIC to 0.25 μg/mL in S. Typhimurium carrying aac(6')-Ib-cr and ABRp. Analysis of the transcription start site sequences showed that the expression level of suppressor protein gene, oqxR, in strains carrying ABRp was lower than that of its chromosomal counterpart due to the truncated promoter region in ABRp. The lower expression of OqxR in ABRp led to the overexpression of OqxAB, which elevated CIP MIC and exhibited a synergistic antimicrobial effect with the aac(6')-Ib-cr gene product to confer intermediate CIP (MIC = 0.25 μg/mL) in S. Typhimurium. Global transcriptional regulators in S. Typhimurium did not seem to play a role in regulating the plasmid-borne oqxAB genes. In conclusion, findings in this work showed that neither aac(6')-Ib-cr nor oqxABRp, but the combination of both genes, could mediate intermediated resistance to fluoroquinolone in Salmonella. The truncated promoter region in the oqxR gene of the plasmid-encoded locus led to the constituted expression of oqxAB genes.

Research Area(s)

  • Salmonella, OqxAB, TMQR, regulation, PMQR

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