beta-lactam antibiotics induce the SOS response and horizontal transfer of virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus
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AuthorMaiques, E.; Ubeda, C.; Campoy, S.; Salvador, N.; Lasa, I.; Novick, R. P.; Barbe, J.; Penadés, José R.
Cita bibliográficaMaiques, E., Ubeda, C., Campoy, S., Salvador, N., Lasa, I., Novick, R. P., Barbe, J., Penades, J.R. (2006). beta-lactam antibiotics induce the SOS response and horizontal transfer of virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Bacteriology, 188(7), 2726-2729.
Antibiotics that interfere with DNA replication and cell viability activate the SOS response. In Staphylococcus aureus, the antibiotic-induced SOS response promotes replication and high-frequency horizontal transfer of pathogenicity island-encoded virulence factors. Here we report that beta-lactams induce a bona fide SOS response in S. aureus, characterized by the activation of the RecA and LexA proteins, the two master regulators of the SOS response. Moreover, we show that beta-lactams are capable of triggering staphylococcal prophage induction in S. aureus lysogens. Consequently, and as previously described for SOS induction by commonly used fluoroquinolone antibiotics, beta-lactam-mediated phage induction also resulted in replication and high-frequency transfer of the staphylococcal pathogenicity islands, showing that such antibiotics may have the unintended consequence of promoting the spread of bacterial virulence factors.