Release of the lipopolysaccharide deacylase PagL from latency compensates for a lack of lipopolysaccharide aminoarabinose modification-dependent resistance to the antimicrobial peptide polymyxin B in Salmonella enterica.J Bacteriol. 2007 Jul; 189(13):4911-9.JB
Salmonella enterica modifies its lipopolysaccharide (LPS), including the lipid A portion, to adapt to its environments. The lipid A 3-O-deacylase PagL exhibits latency; deacylation of lipid A is not usually observed in vivo despite the expression of PagL, which is under the control of a two-component regulatory system, PhoP-PhoQ. In contrast, PagL is released from latency in pmrA and pmrE mutants, both of which are deficient in aminoarabinose-modified lipid A, although the biological significance of this is not clear. The attachment of aminoarabinose to lipid A decreases the net anionic charge at the membrane's surface and reduces electrostatic repulsion between neighboring LPS molecules, leading to increases in bacterial resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides, including polymyxin B. Here we examined the effects of the release of PagL from latency on resistance to polymyxin B. The pmrA pagL and pmrE pagL double mutants were more susceptible to polymyxin B than were the parental pmrA and pmrE mutants, respectively. Furthermore, introduction of the PagL expression plasmid into the pmrA pagL double mutant increased the resistance to polymyxin B. In addition, PagL-dependent deacylation of lipid A was observed in a mutant in which lipid A could not be modified with phosphoethanolamine, which partly contributes to the PmrA-dependent resistance to polymyxin B. These results, taken together, suggest that the release of PagL from latency compensates for the loss of resistance to polymyxin B that is due to a lack of other modifications to LPS.