Chapter 18 : Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance

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This chapter highlights the current literature vis-à-vis periplasmic mechanisms of antimicrobial and stress resistance and periplasmic constituents of signaling pathways that influence expression of resistance (periplasmic and other) determinants. An unrelated periplasmic heavy metal (Zn, Cu, Co, Ni)-binding protein, CzcE, is also encoded by the locus in , although it appears not to function in CzcCBA-mediated heavy metal efflux, its loss in mutant strains having no impact on resistance. A variety of mutant and gene-splicing studies have confirmed that the periplasmic domains of the CM-spanning resistance-nodulation-division (RND) components of tripartite RND-membrane fusion protein (MFP)-OM factor (OMF) pumps are responsible for substrate recognition. The observation that the Cu sensitivity of CopA ATPase mutants is not ameliorated by the presence of CusCFBA argues that this RND-type efflux system is unable to replace CopA in exporting Cu from the cytosol, its efflux activity apparently restricted to periplasmic Cu. Bacteria sense their immediate environments and trigger appropriate responses through the up- or down-regulation of specific genes and/or their products. Many of the determinants of heavy metal resistance, including those involved in efflux and metal trafficking/detoxification, are metal inducible and this is mediated by two-component regulatory systems responsive to the metal substrates of these resistance determinants. Finally, the plethora of periplasmic enzymes for protection against ROS emphasizes the significance of environmental oxidative stress in the life of gram-negative bacteria, and while these are promoted as virulence determinants, it is far from clear that this is their only function.

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18
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Image of FIGURE 1

Schematic representation of periplasm-spanning gram-negative efflux systems that accommodate agents with antimicrobial activity. Pumps are highlighted either as representative of the different families of such efflux systems known to operate in gram-negative bacteria or to emphasize the substrates accommodated by these pumps. The figure is not intended to suggest that substrates are exported from the cytoplasm. MD, multiple drugs; AH, aromatic hydrocarbons (i.e., solvents);PHY, phytolectins;HM, heavy metals;ML, macrolides;OM, outer membrane; PP, periplasm; CM, cytoplasmic membrane; ????, the OMF component has yet to be identified.

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18
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Image of FIGURE 2

Periplasmic metal trafficking and detoxification. (A) MerP binds Hg in the periplasm and delivers it to CM transporter MerT, which delivers it to the MerA mercury reductase in the cytoplasm. Reduction to Hg renders Hg nontoxic and volatile. (B) PcoABCDE functions in the detoxification of periplasmic Cu, absolutely dependent on PcoA, a multicopper oxidase that likely oxidizes toxic Cu to less toxic Cu. PcoB is an OM protein of unknown function that may be involved in the delivery of Cu to PcoA or export of Cu across the OM. PcoE is a periplasmic Cu-binding protein that likely shuttles Cu to PcoA. PcoCD functions in the binding of Cu in the periplasm and its subsequent transport across the CM where it may be delivered to apo-PcoA in the cytoplasm, prior to its export to the periplasm. (C) CueO is a periplasmic multicopper oxidase with Cu oxidase activity that functions to oxidize Cu to Cu. OM, outer membrane; PP, periplasm; CM, cytoplasmic membrane; CY, cytosol.

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18
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Image of FIGURE 3

Regulation of resistance/stress determinants through signal recognition in the periplasm (PP) and transduction across the cytoplasmic membrane (CM). (A) CusSR as a representative two-component regulatory system that mediates the periplasmic Cu inducibility of the CusCBA/F efflux system. The CM-spanning histidine kinase, CusS, senses Cu in the periplasm and autophosphorylates a cytoplasmic domain before phosphorylating the response regulator CusR, which in turn activates gene expression. (B) AlgU-MucAB as a representative ECF sigma factor (AlgU) controlled by a CM-spanning anti-sigma factor (MucA). Periplasmic MucB interacts with and is believed to control the activity of MucA in response to certain periplasmic stress signals. AlgU sequestration (physically and functionally) by MucA is thus alleviated in response to periplasmic stress, permitting AlgU recruitment of RNA polymerase apoenzyme and subsequent transcription of target (i.e., stress response) genes. It is not clear, however, that this requires physical dissociation of AlgU from MucA.

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18
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Table 1

Substrate profiles and distribution of RND family pumps in gram-negative bacteria

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18
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Non-efflux-mediated periplasmic resistance mechanisms

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18
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Table 3

Classification and properties of β-lactamases of gram-negative bacteria

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18
Generic image for table
Table 4

Two-component regulatory systems involved in resistance to antimicrobials, heavy metals, and environmental stresses

Citation: Poole K. 2007. Antimicrobial and Stress Resistance, p 304-324. In Ehrmann M (ed), The Periplasm. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815806.ch18

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