Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro

C. pseudotuberculosis Phop confers virulence and may be targeted by natural compounds.

PMID 25212181


The bacterial two-component system (TCS) regulates genes that are crucial for virulence in several pathogens. One of such TCS, the PhoPR system, consisting of a transmembrane sensory histidine kinase protein (PhoR) and an intracellular response regulator protein (PhoP), has been reported to have a major role in mycobacterial pathogenesis. We knocked out the phoP in C. pseudotuberculosis, the causal organism of caseous lymphadenitis (CLA), and using a combination of in vitro and in vivo mouse system, we showed for the first time, that the PhoP of C. pseudotuberculosis plays an important role in the virulence and pathogenicity of this bacterium. Furthermore, we modeled the PhoP of C. pseudotuberculosis and our docking results showed that several natural compounds including Rhein, an anthraquinone from Rheum undulatum, and some drug-like molecules may target PhoP to inhibit the TCS of C. pseudotuberculosis, and therefore may facilitate a remarkable attenuation of bacterial pathogenicity being the CLA. Experiments are currently underway to validate these in silico docking results.