A comprehensive analysis of pneumococcal two-component system regulatory networks

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Two-component systems are key signal-transduction systems that enable bacteria to respond to a wide variety of environmental stimuli. The human pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) encodes 13 two-component systems and a single orphan response regulator, most of which are significant for pneumococcal pathogenicity. Mapping the regulatory networks governed by these systems is key to understand pneumococcal host adaptation. Here we employ a novel bioinformatic approach to predict the regulons of each two-component system based on publicly available whole-genome sequencing data. By employing pangenome-wide association studies (panGWAS) to predict genotype-genotype associations for each two-component system, we predicted regulon genes of 11 of the pneumococcal two-component systems. Through validation via next-generation RNA-sequencing on response regulator overexpression mutants, several top candidate genes predicted by the panGWAS analysis were confirmed as regulon genes. The present study presents novel details on multiple pneumococcal two-component systems, including an expansion of regulons, identification of candidate response regulator binding motifs, and identification of candidate response regulator-regulated small non-coding RNAs. We also demonstrate a use for panGWAS as a complementary tool in target gene identification via identification of genotype-to-genotype links. Expanding our knowledge on two-component systems in pathogens is crucial to understanding how these bacteria sense and respond to their host environment, which could prove useful in future drug development.

TidsskriftNAR Genomics and Bioinformatics
Udgave nummer2
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2024


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