Pat- and Pta-mediated protein acetylation is required for horizontally-acquired virulence gene expression in Salmonella Typhimurium

Hyojeong Koo, Eunna Choi, Shinae Park, Eun Jin Lee, Jung Shin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Salmonella Typhimurium is a Gram-negative facultative pathogen that causes a range of diseases, from mild gastroenteritis to severe systemic infection in a variety of animal hosts. S. Typhimurium regulates virulence gene expression by a silencing mechanism using nucleoid-associated proteins such as Histone-like Nucleoid Structuring protein (H-NS) silencing. We hypothesize that the posttranslational modification, specifically protein acetylation, of proteins in gene silencing systems could affect the pathogenic gene expression of S. Typhimurium. Therefore, we created acetylation-deficient mutant by deleting two genes, pat and pta, which are involved in the protein acetylation pathway. We observed that the pat and pta deletion attenuates mouse virulence and also decreases Salmonella’s replication within macrophages. In addition, the Δpat Δpta strain showed a decreased expression of the horizontally-acquired virulence genes, mgtC, pagC, and ugtL, which are highly expressed in low Mg2+. The decreased virulence gene expression is possibly due to higher H-NS occupancy to those promoters because the pat and pta deletion increases H-NS occupancy whereas the same mutation decreases occupancy of RNA polymerase. Our results suggest that Pat- and Pta-mediated protein acetylation system promotes the expression of virulence genes by regulating the binding affinity of H-NS in S. Typhimurium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-831
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning [NRF-2018R1D1A1A02048280 to J.- S.L., NRF-2020R1I1A-3072234 to H. K., NRF-2021R1C1C2005724 to S.P., NRF-2020M3A9H5104235 to E.- J.L., and NRF-2021R1I1A1A-01043879 to E.C.] and a grant from Korea University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Author(s).


  • Salmonella Typhimurium
  • pat
  • protein acetylation
  • pta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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