Tat-exported peptidoglycan amidase-dependent cell division contributes to <i>Salmonella</i> Typhimurium fitness in the inflamed gut

by Mayuka Fujimoto, Ryosuke Goto, Riku Hirota, Masahiro Ito, Takeshi Haneda, Nobuhiko Okada, Tsuyoshi Miki

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Tm) is a cause of food poisoning accompanied with gut inflammation. Although mucosal inflammation is generally thought to be protective against bacterial infection, S. Tm exploits the inflammation to compete with commensal microbiota, thereby growing up to high densities in the gut lumen and colonizing the gut continuously at high levels. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect of gut inflammation on S. Tm competitive growth are poorly understood. Notably, the twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system, which enables the transport of folded proteins outside bacterial cytoplasm, is well conserved among many bacterial pathogens, with Tat substrates including virulence factors and virulence-associated proteins. Here, we show that Tat and Tat-exported peptidoglycan amidase, AmiA- and AmiC-dependent cell division contributes to S. Tm competitive fitness advantage in the inflamed gut. S. Tm tatC or amiA amiC mutants feature a gut colonization defect, wherein they display a chain form of cells. The chains are attributable to a cell division defect of these mutants and occur in inflamed but not in normal gut. We demonstrate that attenuated resistance to bile acids confers the colonization defect on the S. Tm amiA amiC mutant. In particular, S. Tm cell chains are highly sensitive to bile acids as compared to single or paired cells. Furthermore, we show that growth media containing high concentrations of NaCl and sublethal concentrations of antimicrobial peptides induce the S. Tm amiA amiC mutant chain form, suggesting that gut luminal conditions such as high osmolarity and the presence of antimicrobial peptides impose AmiA- and AmiC-dependent cell division on S. Tm. Together, our data indicate that Tat and the Tat-exported amidases, AmiA and AmiC, are required for S. Tm luminal fitness in the inflamed gut, suggesting that these proteins might comprise effective targets for novel antibacterial agents against infectious diarrhea.

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