MpsAB is important for Staphylococcus aureus virulence and growth at atmospheric CO 2 levels

Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 9;10(1):3627. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11547-5.


The mechanisms behind carbon dioxide (CO2) dependency in non-autotrophic bacterial isolates are unclear. Here we show that the Staphylococcus aureus mpsAB operon, known to play a role in membrane potential generation, is crucial for growth at atmospheric CO2 levels. The genes mpsAB can complement an Escherichia coli carbonic anhydrase (CA) mutant, and CA from E. coli can complement the S. aureus delta-mpsABC mutant. In comparison with the wild type, S. aureus mps mutants produce less hemolytic toxin and are less virulent in animal models of infection. Homologs of mpsA and mpsB are widespread among bacteria and are often found adjacent to each other on the genome. We propose that MpsAB represents a dissolved inorganic carbon transporter, or bicarbonate concentrating system, possibly acting as a sodium bicarbonate cotransporter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bicarbonates / metabolism
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism*
  • Carbonic Anhydrases / classification
  • Carbonic Anhydrases / genetics
  • Carbonic Anhydrases / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Larva
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Moths
  • Mutation
  • NADH Dehydrogenase / classification
  • NADH Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • NADH Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Operon
  • Phylogeny
  • Staphylococcal Infections
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology*
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bicarbonates
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • NADH Dehydrogenase
  • Carbonic Anhydrases