Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) responds to the catecholamine, norepinephrine by increasing bacterial growth and enhancing motility. In this study, iron with or without the siderophore, ferrioxamine E also enhanced bacterial motility. Iron-enhanced motility was growth-rate dependent, while norepinephrine-enhanced motility was growth-rate independent. The outer membrane catecholate receptors, IroN, FepA and CirA (required for norepinephrine-enhanced growth) were not required for norepinephrine-enhanced motility, nor was ExbD of the energy-transducing TonB-ExbB-ExbD ferri-siderophore uptake system. Examination of the QseBC two-component system revealed that qseB and qseBC mutants have motility phenotypes similar to wild-type S. Typhimurium, while motility of the qseC mutant was significantly decreased (P<0.01). Each mutant of the QseBC system, as well as mutants of qseE and pmrA, responded to norepinephrine with increased motility, suggesting that other genes are involved in norepinephrine-enhanced motility of S. Typhimurium. In the swine host, fecal shedding of the qseBC mutant was similar to wild-type S. Typhimurium, whereas fecal shedding of the qseC mutant was significantly decreased (P<0.01). Our data indicate that, in a qseC mutant, the QseB response regulator decreases motility and swine colonization; inactivation of the qseBC operon restores these bacterial phenotypes, classifying QseB as a negative regulator of bacterial motility and swine colonization.
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