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Cor, a novel carbon monoxide resistance gene, is essential for Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis
Vineetha M. Zacharia; Paolo S. Manzanillo; Vidhya R. Nair; Denise K. Marciano; Lisa N. Kinch; Nick V. Grishin; Jeffery S. Cox; Michael U. Shiloh(Profiled Authors: Nick V Grishin; Denise K Marciano; Michael U Shiloh)
Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, remains a devastating human infectious disease, causing two million deaths annually. We previously demonstrated that M. tuberculosis induces an enzyme, heme oxygenase (HO1), that produces carbon monoxide (CO) gas and that M. tuberculosis adapts its transcriptome during CO exposure. We now demonstrate that M. tuberculosis carries a novel resistance gene to combat CO toxicity. We screened an M. tuberculosis transposon library for CO-susceptible mutants and found that disruption of Rv1829 (carbon monoxide resistance, Cor) leads to marked CO sensitivity. Heterologous expression of Cor in Escherichia coli rescued it from CO toxicity. Importantly, the virulence of the cor mutant is attenuated in a mouse model of tuberculosis. Thus, Cor is necessary and sufficient to protect bacteria from host-derived CO. Taken together, this represents the first report of a role for HO1-derived CO in controlling infection of an intracellular pathogen and the first identification of a CO resistance gene in a pathogenic organism. IMPORTANCE Macrophages produce a variety of antimicrobial molecules, including nitric oxide (NO), hydrogen peroxide (H
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