Methionine sulfoxide reductases protect against oxidative stress in Staphylococcus aureus encountering exogenous oxidants and human neutrophils

J Innate Immun. 2014;6(3):353-64. doi: 10.1159/000355915. Epub 2013 Nov 15.


To establish infection successfully, Staphylococcus aureus must evade clearance by polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). We studied the expression and regulation of the methionine sulfoxide reductases (Msr) that are involved in the repair of oxidized staphylococcal proteins and investigated their influence on the fate of S. aureus exposed to oxidants or PMN. We evaluated a mutant deficient in msrA1 and msrB for susceptibility to hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid and PMN. The expression of msrA1 in wild-type bacteria ingested by human PMN was assessed by real-time PCR. The regulation of msr was studied by screening a library of two-component regulatory system (TCS) mutants for altered msr responses. Relative to the wild-type bacteria, bacteria deficient in Msr were more susceptible to oxidants and PMN. Upregulation of staphylococcal msrA1 occurred within the phagosomes of normal PMN and PMN deficient in NADPH oxidase activity. Furthermore, PMN granule-rich extract stimulated the upregulation of msrA1. Modulation of msrA1 within PMN was shown to be partly dependent on the VraSR TCS. Msr contributes to staphylococcal responses to oxidative attack and PMN. Our study highlights a novel interaction between the oxidative protein repair pathway and the VraSR TCS that is involved in cell wall homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Hypochlorous Acid / metabolism
  • Immune Evasion / genetics
  • Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases / genetics
  • Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases / metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / microbiology
  • Oxidants / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Staphylococcal Infections / enzymology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Oxidants
  • VraR protein, Staphylococcus aureus
  • VraS protein, Staphylococcus aureus
  • Hypochlorous Acid
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases