: Bacterial SOS response is an inducible system of DNA repair and mutagenesis. Streptococci lack a canonical SOS response, but an SOS-like response was reported in some species. The mef(A)-msr(D)-carrying prophage Ф1207.3 of Streptococcus pyogenes contains a region, spanning orf6 to orf11, showing homology to characterized streptococcal SOS-like cassettes. Genome-wide homology search showed the presence of the whole Φ1207.3 SOS-like cassette in three S. pyogenes prophages, while parts of it were found in other bacterial species. To investigate whether this cassette confers an SOS-mutagenesis phenotype, we constructed Streptococcus pneumoniae R6 isogenic derivative strains: (i) FR172, streptomycin resistant, (ii) FR173, carrying Φ1207.3, and (iii) FR174, carrying a recombinant Φ1207.3, where the SOS-like cassette was deleted. These strains were used in survival and mutation rate assays using a UV-C LED instrument, for which we designed and 3D-printed a customized equipment, constituted of an instrument support and swappable-autoclavable mini-plates and lids. Upon exposure to UV fluences ranging from 0 to 6,400 J/m2 at four different wavelengths, 255, 265, 275, and 285 nm, we found that the presence of Φ1207.3 SOS-like cassette increases bacterial survival up to 34-fold. Mutation rate was determined by measuring rifampicin resistance acquisition upon exposure to UV fluence of 50 J/m2 at the four wavelengths by fluctuation test. The presence of Φ1207.3 SOS-like cassette resulted in a significant increase in the mutation rate (up to 18-fold) at every wavelength. In conclusion, we demonstrated that Φ1207.3 carries a functional SOS-like cassette responsible for an increased survival and increased mutation rate in S. pneumoniae. IMPORTANCE Bacterial mutation rate is generally low, but stress conditions and DNA damage can induce stress response systems, which allow for improved survival and continuous replication. The SOS response is a DNA repair mechanism activated by some bacteria in response to stressful conditions, which leads to a temporary hypermutable phenotype and is usually absent in streptococcal genomes. Here, using a reproducible and controlled UV irradiation system, we demonstrated that the SOS-like gene cassette of prophage Φ1207.3 is functional, responsible for a temporary hypermutable phenotype, and enhances bacterial survival to UV irradiation. Prophage Φ1207.3 also carries erythromycin resistance genes and can lysogenize different pathogenic bacteria, constituting an example of a mobile genetic element which can confer multiple phenotypes to its host.

Fox, V., Santoro, F., Apicella, C., Diaz-Diaz, S., Rodriguez-Martínez, J.M., Iannelli, F., et al. (2023). The mef(A)/msr(D)-carrying streptococcal prophage Φ1207.3 encodes an SOS-like system, induced by UV-C light, responsible for increased survival and increased mutation rate. JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY, 1-13 [10.1128/jb.00191-23].

The mef(A)/msr(D)-carrying streptococcal prophage Φ1207.3 encodes an SOS-like system, induced by UV-C light, responsible for increased survival and increased mutation rate

Fox, Valeria;Santoro, Francesco
;
Apicella, Carmen;Iannelli, Francesco
;
Pozzi, Gianni
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Bacterial SOS response is an inducible system of DNA repair and mutagenesis. Streptococci lack a canonical SOS response, but an SOS-like response was reported in some species. The mef(A)-msr(D)-carrying prophage Ф1207.3 of Streptococcus pyogenes contains a region, spanning orf6 to orf11, showing homology to characterized streptococcal SOS-like cassettes. Genome-wide homology search showed the presence of the whole Φ1207.3 SOS-like cassette in three S. pyogenes prophages, while parts of it were found in other bacterial species. To investigate whether this cassette confers an SOS-mutagenesis phenotype, we constructed Streptococcus pneumoniae R6 isogenic derivative strains: (i) FR172, streptomycin resistant, (ii) FR173, carrying Φ1207.3, and (iii) FR174, carrying a recombinant Φ1207.3, where the SOS-like cassette was deleted. These strains were used in survival and mutation rate assays using a UV-C LED instrument, for which we designed and 3D-printed a customized equipment, constituted of an instrument support and swappable-autoclavable mini-plates and lids. Upon exposure to UV fluences ranging from 0 to 6,400 J/m2 at four different wavelengths, 255, 265, 275, and 285 nm, we found that the presence of Φ1207.3 SOS-like cassette increases bacterial survival up to 34-fold. Mutation rate was determined by measuring rifampicin resistance acquisition upon exposure to UV fluence of 50 J/m2 at the four wavelengths by fluctuation test. The presence of Φ1207.3 SOS-like cassette resulted in a significant increase in the mutation rate (up to 18-fold) at every wavelength. In conclusion, we demonstrated that Φ1207.3 carries a functional SOS-like cassette responsible for an increased survival and increased mutation rate in S. pneumoniae. IMPORTANCE Bacterial mutation rate is generally low, but stress conditions and DNA damage can induce stress response systems, which allow for improved survival and continuous replication. The SOS response is a DNA repair mechanism activated by some bacteria in response to stressful conditions, which leads to a temporary hypermutable phenotype and is usually absent in streptococcal genomes. Here, using a reproducible and controlled UV irradiation system, we demonstrated that the SOS-like gene cassette of prophage Φ1207.3 is functional, responsible for a temporary hypermutable phenotype, and enhances bacterial survival to UV irradiation. Prophage Φ1207.3 also carries erythromycin resistance genes and can lysogenize different pathogenic bacteria, constituting an example of a mobile genetic element which can confer multiple phenotypes to its host.
2023
Fox, V., Santoro, F., Apicella, C., Diaz-Diaz, S., Rodriguez-Martínez, J.M., Iannelli, F., et al. (2023). The mef(A)/msr(D)-carrying streptococcal prophage Φ1207.3 encodes an SOS-like system, induced by UV-C light, responsible for increased survival and increased mutation rate. JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY, 1-13 [10.1128/jb.00191-23].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11365/1246694