Mutation in pvcABCD operon of Pseudomonas aeruginosa modulates MexEF-OprN efflux system and hence resistance to chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin.

Research paper by Anam A Iftikhar, Azka A Asif, Asma A Manzoor, Muhammad M Azeem, Ghulam G Sarwar, Naeem N Rashid, Uzma U Qaisar

Indexed on: 18 Sep '20Published on: 18 Sep '20Published in: Microbial Pathogenesis


Pseudomonas aeruginosa harbors pvcABCD operon that is responsible for the synthesis of paerucumarin. Here we report the involvement of pvcABCD operon in chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin resistance. P. aeruginosa mutant defective in pvcB (PW4832) was more sensitive to chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin in comparison with its parent strain (MPAO1). A mutation in pvcA gene in MPAO1 (PW4830) did not alter the sensitivity to either antibiotic. As chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin are substrates of MexEF-OprN efflux pump, so we decided to investigate the modulation of MexEF-OprN and its transcriptional regulator MexT in PW4832, PW4830 and MPAO1 strains. We isolated and sequenced mexT gene from MPAO1, PW4830 and PW4832. The nucleotide sequence of mexT gene in all three strains was identical. Expression levels of mexEF-oprN, mexT and mexS genes were checked via quantitative real-time RT-PCR. All these genes showed significant repression in mRNA levels in PW4832 as compared to MPAO1. These results indicate that chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin sensitivity in PW4832 is due to transcriptional repression of mexT and mexEF-oprN genes. Exogenous addition of paerucumarin resumed the expression of mexT and mexEF-oprN genes as well as resistance against chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin in PW4832 strain. This is a novel finding linking pvcB gene of P. aeruginosa with chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin resistance and MexEF-OprN pump modulation which needs to be further explored. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.