Baucheron, S., Coste, F., Canepa, S., Maurel, M.C., Giraud, E., Culard, F., Castaing, B., Roussel, A. and Cloeckaert, A.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 56 (2) 942-948
publié le , mis à jour le
The transcriptional activator RamA is involved in multidrug resistance (MDR) by increasing expression of the AcrAB-TolC RND-type efflux system in several pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), ramA expression is negatively regulated at the local level by RamR, a transcriptional repressor of the TetR family. We here studied the DNA-binding activity of the RamR repressor with the ramA promoter (P(ramA)). As determined by high-resolution footprinting, the 28-bp-long RamR binding site covers essential features of P(ramA), including the -10 conserved region, the transcriptional start site of ramA, and two 7-bp inverted repeats. Based on the RamR footprint and on electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs), we propose that RamR interacts with P(ramA) as a dimer of dimers, in a fashion that is structurally similar to the QacR-DNA binding model. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements indicated that RamR has a 3-fold-lower affinity (K(D) [equilibrium dissociation constant] = 191 nM) for the 2-bp-deleted P(ramA) of an MDR S. Typhimurium clinical isolate than for the wild-type P(ramA) (K(D) = 66 nM). These results confirm the direct regulatory role of RamR in the repression of ramA transcription and precisely define how an alteration of its binding site can give rise to an MDR phenotype.