Single, double and triple mutants of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium degP (htrA), degQ (hhoA) and degS (hhoB) have diverse phenotypes on exposure to elevated temperature and their growth in vivo is attenuated to different extents

Microb Pathog. Oct-Nov 2006;41(4-5):174-82. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2006.07.004. Epub 2006 Sep 1.


DegP (HtrA) is a well-studied protease involved in survival of bacteria under stress conditions in vitro and in vivo. There are two paralogues of DegP in the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium genome, DegQ and DegS. In order to understand more about the biological significance of this gene family, a series of deg-deletion mutants was generated in S. Typhimurium strain SL3261 by allelic replacement. At elevated temperature in vitro, the viability of degP and degS mutants was reduced when compared with the parent strain whereas the viability of a degQ mutant was not significantly affected. The viability of a double degP-degS mutant at elevated temperature was severely decreased when compared with the respective single mutants or, interestingly, with a triple degP-degQ-degS mutant. All the deg deletions were transduced into the mouse-virulent strain SL1344 and the resultant mutants were injected intravenously into BALB/c mice to test virulence. degP and degS single mutants and all combinations of double and triple mutants were attenuated to different degrees, whereas the single degQ mutant was as virulent as the wild-type strain. Thus, within this gene family, degP and degS appear important for survival at elevated temperature and are necessary for full virulence, whereas a single degQ deletion appears to have no clear role in survival and growth at elevated temperature or in mice.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology*
  • Heat-Shock Response / physiology
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Periplasmic Proteins / genetics
  • Periplasmic Proteins / physiology*
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Salmonella Infections / microbiology*
  • Salmonella Infections / pathology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / enzymology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / growth & development*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / pathogenicity
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Serine Endopeptidases / physiology*
  • Spleen / microbiology
  • Virulence


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Periplasmic Proteins
  • DegP protease
  • Serine Endopeptidases