Streptococcus suis contains multiple phase-variable methyltransferases that show a discrete lineage distribution.
Atack, John M
Husna, Asma U
Wileman, Thomas M
F Hadjirin, Nazreen
Hoa, Ngo T
Maskell, Duncan J
Blackall, Patrick J
Jennings, Michael P
Nucleic Acids Research
Oxford University Press
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Atack, J. M., Weinert, L., Tucker, A., Husna, A. U., Wileman, T. M., F Hadjirin, N., Hoa, N. T., et al. (2018). Streptococcus suis contains multiple phase-variable methyltransferases that show a discrete lineage distribution.. Nucleic Acids Research https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky913
Streptococcus suis is a major pathogen of swine, responsible for a number of chronic and acute infections, and is also emerging as a major zoonotic pathogen, particularly in South-East Asia. Our study of a diverse population of S. suis shows that this organism contains both Type I and Type III phase-variable methyltransferases. In all previous examples, phase-variation of methyltransferases results in genome wide methylation differences, and results in differential regulation of multiple genes, a system known as the phasevarion (phase-variable regulon). We hypothesized that each variant in the Type I and Type III systems encoded a methyltransferase with a unique specificity, and could therefore control a distinct phasevarion, either by recombination-driven shuffling between different specificities (Type I) or by biphasic on-off switching via simple sequence repeats (Type III). Here, we present the identification of the target specificities for each Type III allelic variant from S. suis using single-molecule, real-time methylome analysis. We demonstrate phase-variation is occurring in both Type I and Type III methyltransferases, and show a distinct association between methyltransferase type and presence, and population clades. In addition, we show that the phase-variable Type I methyltransferase was likely acquired at the origin of a highly virulent zoonotic sub-population.
Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project [180100976 to J.M.A., P.J.B.]; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Australia) Program Grant [1071659 to M.P.J.]; Principal Research Fellowship [1138466 to M.P.J.]; Wellcome Grant [098051 to J.P.]; Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship funded by the Royal Society [DH140195 to L.A.W.]; Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Royal Society [109385/Z/15/Z to L.A.W.]. Funding for open access charge: NHMRC Program grant 1071659.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/G019274/1)
Royal Society (DH140195)
Wellcome Trust (109385/Z/15/Z)
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Societal Challenges (727966)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky913
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/286435
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/