Image_3_In silico Identification of the Indispensable Quorum Sensing Proteins of Multidrug Resistant Proteus mirabilis.PNG

Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) is an alarming hospital based disease with the increase of multidrug resistance (MDR) strains of Proteus mirabilis. Cases of long term hospitalized patients with multiple episodes of antibiotic treatments along with urinary tract obstruction and/or undergoing catheterization have been reported to be associated with CAUTI. The cases are complicated due to the opportunist approach of the pathogen having robust swimming and swarming capability. The latter giving rise to biofilms and probably inducible through autoinducers make the scenario quite complex. High prevalence of long-term hospital based CAUTI for patients along with moderate percentage of morbidity, cropping from ignorance about drug usage and failure to cure due to MDR, necessitates an immediate intervention strategy effective enough to combat the deadly disease. Several reports and reviews focus on revealing the important genes and proteins, essential to tackle CAUTI caused by P. mirabilis. Despite longitudinal countrywide studies and methodical strategies to circumvent the issues, effective means of unearthing the most indispensable proteins to target for therapeutic uses have been meager. Here, we report a strategic approach for identifying the most indispensable proteins from the genome of P. mirabilis strain HI4320, besides comparing the interactomes comprising the autoinducer-2 (AI-2) biosynthetic pathway along with other proteins involved in biofilm formation and responsible for virulence. Essentially, we have adopted a theoretical network model based approach to construct a set of small protein interaction networks (SPINs) along with the whole genome (GPIN) to computationally identify the crucial proteins involved in the phenomenon of quorum sensing (QS) and biofilm formation and thus, could be therapeutically targeted to fight out the MDR threats to antibiotics of P. mirabilis. Our approach utilizes the functional modularity coupled with k-core analysis and centrality scores of eigenvector as a measure to address the pressing issues.