Table_1_MgrB Inactivation Confers Trimethoprim Resistance in Escherichia coli.DOCX
After several decades of use, trimethoprim (TMP) remains one of the key access antimicrobial drugs listed by the World Health Organization. To circumvent the problem of trimethoprim resistance worldwide, a better understanding of drug-resistance mechanisms is required. In this study, we screened the single-gene knockout library of Escherichia coli, and identified mgrB and other several genes involved in trimethoprim resistance. Subsequent comparative transcriptional analysis between ΔmgrB and the wild-type strain showed that expression levels of phoP, phoQ, and folA were significantly upregulated in ΔmgrB. Further deleting phoP or phoQ could partially restore trimethoprim sensitivity to ΔmgrB, and co-overexpression of phoP/Q caused TMP resistance, suggesting the involvement of PhoP/Q in trimethoprim resistance. Correspondingly, MgrB and PhoP were shown to be able to modulated folA expression in vivo. After that, efforts were made to test if PhoP could directly modulate the expression of folA. Though phosphorylated PhoP could bind to the promotor region of folA in vitro, the former only provided a weak protection on the latter as shown by the DNA footprinting assay. In addition, deleting the deduced PhoP box in ΔmgrB could only slightly reverse the TMP resistance phenotype, suggesting that it is less likely for PhoP to directly modulate the transcription of folA. Taken together, our data suggested that, in E. coli, MgrB affects susceptibility to trimethoprim by modulating the expression of folA with the involvement of PhoP/Q. This work broadens our understanding of the regulation of folate metabolism and the mechanisms of TMP resistance in bacteria.