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Bacterial twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system contributes to translocate folded proteins to the periplasm and plays pleiotropic roles in physiological fitness. Here, we showed that the fish pathogen Edwardsiella tarda Tat pathway was functional and was essential for H2S production and hemolytic activity. E. tarda Tat mutant was more susceptible to diverse stresses such as high temperature, SDS, ethanol, and high-salt conditions. However, E. tarda Tat mutant displayed marginal in vivo virulence attenuation in fish models. Comparative proteomics analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry were performed to identify proteins undergoing changes in expression levels under high-salt conditons when the Tat pathway was mutilated. Of the 96 differently expressed proteins on the 2-DGE map, 15 proteins were successfully identified with a MASCOT score >45 (pā€‰<ā€‰0.05) and fold change higher than 2. These significantly differentially expressed proteins were functionally related to basal metabolism and the biosynthesis of proteins and macromolecules. The results of plate counting further confirmed that the Tat mutant was high-salt-sensitive, indicating that Tat mutant merits as a novel salt-sensitive biological containment system for live attenuated vaccine (LAV) in marine fish vaccinology. To test this, we deleted the type III secretion system genes and cured endogenous plasmid pEIB202 to construct a LAV candidate in the context of Tat abrogation in E. tarda. The results indicated that the LAV candidate was highly attenuated when injected intraperitoneally and elicited significant protection against challenge of wild-type E. tarda in turbot while being rapidly eliminated in seawater.


Yamin Wang, Qiyao Wang, Weizheng Yang, Bing Liu, Yuanxing Zhang. Functional characterization of Edwardsiella tarda twin-arginine translocation system and its potential use as biological containment in live attenuated vaccine of marine fish. Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 2013 Apr;97(8):3545-57

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PMID: 23053108

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