Understanding bacterial pathogenesis requires adequate genetic tools to assess the role of individual virulence determinants by mutagenesis and complementation assays, as well as for homologous and heterologous expression of cloned genes. Our knowledge of Acinetobacter baumannii pathogenesis has so far been limited by the scarcity of genetic tools to manipulate multidrug-resistant (MDR) epidemic strains, which are responsible for most infections. Here, we report on the construction of new multipurpose shuttle plasmids, namely, pVRL1 and pVRL2, which can efficiently replicate in Acinetobacter spp. and in Escherichia coli The pVRL1 plasmid has been constructed by combining (i) the cryptic plasmid pWH1277 from Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, which provides an origin of replication for Acinetobacter spp.; (ii) a ColE1-like origin of replication; (iii) the gentamicin or zeocin resistance cassette for antibiotic selection; and (iv) a multilinker containing several unique restriction sites. Modification of pVRL1 led to the generation of the pVRL2 plasmid, which allows arabinose-inducible gene transcription with an undetectable basal expression level of cloned genes under uninduced conditions and a high dynamic range of responsiveness to the inducer. Both pVRL1 and pVRL2 can easily be selected in MDR A. baumannii, have a narrow host range and a high copy number, are stably maintained in Acinetobacter spp., and appear to be compatible with indigenous plasmids carried by epidemic strains. Plasmid maintenance is guaranteed by the presence of a toxin-antitoxin system, providing more insights into the mechanism of plasmid stability in Acinetobacter spp.

New shuttle vectors for gene cloning and expression in multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter species

Frangipani Emanuela;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Understanding bacterial pathogenesis requires adequate genetic tools to assess the role of individual virulence determinants by mutagenesis and complementation assays, as well as for homologous and heterologous expression of cloned genes. Our knowledge of Acinetobacter baumannii pathogenesis has so far been limited by the scarcity of genetic tools to manipulate multidrug-resistant (MDR) epidemic strains, which are responsible for most infections. Here, we report on the construction of new multipurpose shuttle plasmids, namely, pVRL1 and pVRL2, which can efficiently replicate in Acinetobacter spp. and in Escherichia coli The pVRL1 plasmid has been constructed by combining (i) the cryptic plasmid pWH1277 from Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, which provides an origin of replication for Acinetobacter spp.; (ii) a ColE1-like origin of replication; (iii) the gentamicin or zeocin resistance cassette for antibiotic selection; and (iv) a multilinker containing several unique restriction sites. Modification of pVRL1 led to the generation of the pVRL2 plasmid, which allows arabinose-inducible gene transcription with an undetectable basal expression level of cloned genes under uninduced conditions and a high dynamic range of responsiveness to the inducer. Both pVRL1 and pVRL2 can easily be selected in MDR A. baumannii, have a narrow host range and a high copy number, are stably maintained in Acinetobacter spp., and appear to be compatible with indigenous plasmids carried by epidemic strains. Plasmid maintenance is guaranteed by the presence of a toxin-antitoxin system, providing more insights into the mechanism of plasmid stability in Acinetobacter spp.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2664933
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