An attenuated mutant of the Rv1747 ATP-binding cassette transporter of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and a mutant of its cognate kinase, PknF, show increased expression of the efflux pump-related iniBAC operonMore about Open Access at the Crick
Authors listVicky L Spivey Rachael H Whalan Elizabeth MA Hirst Stephen J Smerdon Roger S Buxton
The ABC transporter Rv1747 is required for the growth of M. tuberculosis in mice and in macrophages. Its structure suggests it is an exporter. Rv1747 forms a two gene operon with pknF coding for the serine/threonine protein kinase PknF which positively modulates the function of the transporter. We show that deletion of Rv1747 or pknF results in a number of transcriptional changes which could be complemented by the wild type allele, most significantly up-regulation of the iniBAC genes. This operon is inducible by isoniazid and ethambutol and by a broad range of inhibitors of cell wall biosynthesis and is required for efflux pump functioning. However, neither the Rv1747 or pknF mutant showed increased susceptibility to a range of drugs and cell wall stress reagents including isoniazid and ethambutol, cell wall structure and cell division appear normal by electron microscopy, and no differences in lipoarabinomannan were found. Transcription from the pknF promoter was not induced by a range of stress reagents. We conclude that the loss of Rv1747 affects cell wall biosynthesis leading to the production of intermediates that cause induction of iniBAC transcription, and implicates it in exporting a component of the cell wall which is necessary for virulence. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.