Role of the hprT-ftsH locus in Staphylococcus aureus

Microbiology (Reading). 2004 Feb;150(Pt 2):373-381. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26674-0.


The roles of two adjacent genes in the Staphylococcus aureus chromosome with functions in starvation survival and the response to stressful conditions have been characterized. One of these, hprT, encoding a hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase homologue, was initially identified in a transposon mutagenesis screen. Mutation of hprT affects starvation survival in amino-acid-limiting conditions and the ability of S. aureus to grow in high-salt concentrations. Downstream of hprT is ftsH, which encodes a membrane-bound, ATP- and Zn(2+)-dependent 'AAA'-type protease. Mutation of ftsH in S. aureus leads to pleiotropic defects including slower growth, sensitivity to salt, acid, methyl viologen and potassium tellurite stresses, and reduced survival in amino-acid- or phosphate-limiting conditions. Both hprT-lacZ and ftsH-lacZ gene fusions are expressed maximally in the post-exponential phase of growth. Although secretion of exoproteins is not affected, an ftsH mutant is attenuated in a murine skin lesion model of pathogenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA Primers
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Genotype
  • Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / enzymology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases