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posted on 09.12.2021, 05:09 authored by Fan Yang, Lingqing Xu, Lujie Liang, Wanfei Liang, Jiachen Li, Daixi Lin, Min Dai, Dianrong Zhou, Yaxin Li, Yong Chen, Hui Zhao, Guo-bao Tian, Siyuan Feng

Type I and type II CRISPR-Cas systems are employed to evade host immunity by targeting interference of bacteria’s own genes. Although Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis), the causative agent of tuberculosis, possesses integrated type III-A CRISPR-Cas system, its role in mycobacteria remains obscure. Here, we observed that seven cas genes (csm2∼5, cas10, cas6) were upregulated in Mycobacterium bovis BCG under oxidative stress treatment, indicating the role of type III-A CRISPR-Cas system in oxidative stress. To explore the functional role of type III-A CRISPR-Cas system, TCC (Type III-A CRISPR-Cas system, including cas6, cas10, and csm2-6) mutant was generated. Deletion of TCC results in increased sensitivity in response to hydrogen peroxide and reduced cell envelope integrity. Analysis of RNA-seq dataset revealed that TCC impacted on the oxidation-reduction process and the composition of cell wall which is essential for mycobacterial envelop integrity. Moreover, disrupting TCC led to poor intracellular survival in vivo and in vitro. Finally, we showed for the first time that TCC contributed to the regulation of regulatory T cell population, supporting a role of TCC in modulating host immunity. Our finding reveals the important role of TCC in cell envelop homeostasis. Our work also highlights type III-A CRISPR-Cas system as an important factor for intracellular survival and host immunoregulation in mycobacteria, thus may be a potential target for therapy.

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