Mab_3083c is a homologue of RNase J and plays a role in colony morphotype, aggregation, and sliding motility of mycobacterium abscessus

Ting Yu Liu, Sheng Hui Tsai, Jenn Wei Chen, Yu Ching Wang, Shiau Ting Hu, Yih Yuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mycobacterium abscessus is an opportunistic pathogen causing human diseases, especially in immunocompromised patients. M. abscessus strains with a rough morphotype are more virulent than those with a smooth morphotype. Morphotype switch may occur during a clinical infection. To investigate the genes involved in colony morphotype switching, we performed transposon mutagenesis in a rough clinical strain of M. abscessus. A morphotype switching mutant (smooth) named mab_3083c::Tn was obtained. This mutant was found to have a lower aggregative ability and a higher sliding motility than the wild type strain. However, its glycopeptidolipid (GPL) content remained the same as those of the wild type. Complementation of the mutant with a functional mab_3083c gene reverted its morphotype back to rough, indicating that mab_3083c is associated with colony morphology of M. abscessus. Bioinformatic analyses showed that mab_3083c has a 75.4% identity in amino acid sequence with the well-characterized ribonuclease J (RNase J) of M. smegmatis (RNase JMsmeg). Complementation of the mutant with the RNase J gene of M. smegmatis also switched its colony morphology from smooth back to rough. These results suggest that Mab_3083c is a homologue of RNase J and involved in regulating M. abscessus colony morphotype switching.

Original languageEnglish
Article number676
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology

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