Data_Sheet_1_Joint Genomic and Proteomic Analysis Identifies Meta-Trait Characteristics of Virulent and Non-virulent Staphylococcus aureus Strains.PDF
Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen of humans and warm-blooded animals and presents a growing threat in terms of multi-drug resistance. Despite numerous studies, the basis of staphylococcal virulence and switching between commensal and pathogenic phenotypes is not fully understood. Using genomics, we show here that S. aureus strains exhibiting virulent (VIR) and non-virulent (NVIR) phenotypes in a chicken embryo infection model genetically fall into two separate groups, with the VIR group being much more cohesive than the NVIR group. Significantly, the genes encoding known staphylococcal virulence factors, such as clumping factors, are either found in different allelic variants in the genomes of NVIR strains (compared to VIR strains) or are inactive pseudogenes. Moreover, the pyruvate carboxylase and gamma-aminobutyrate permease genes, which were previously linked with virulence, are pseudogenized in NVIR strain ch22. Further, we use comprehensive proteomics tools to characterize strains that show opposing phenotypes in a chicken embryo virulence model. VIR strain CH21 had an elevated level of diapolycopene oxygenase involved in staphyloxanthin production (protection against free radicals) and expressed a higher level of immunoglobulin-binding protein Sbi on its surface compared to NVIR strain ch22. Furthermore, joint genomic and proteomic approaches linked the elevated production of superoxide dismutase and DNA-binding protein by NVIR strain ch22 with gene duplications.