Staphylococcus aureus uses two-component systems (TCSs) to adapt to stressful environmental conditions. To colonize a host, S. aureus must resist bacteriocins produced by commensal bacteria. In a comprehensive analysis using individual TCS inactivation mutants, the inactivation of two TCSs, graRS and braRS, significantly increased the susceptibility to the class I bacteriocins, nukacin ISK-1 and nisin A, and inactivation of vraSR slightly increased the susceptibility to nukacin ISK-1. In addition, two ABC transporters (BraAB and VraDE) regulated by BraRS and one transporter (VraFG) regulated by GraRS were associated with resistance to nukacin ISK-1 and nisin A. We investigated the role of these three TCSs of S. aureus in co-culture with S. warneri, which produces nukacin ISK-1, and Lactococcus lactis, which produces nisin A. When co-cultured with S. warneri or L. lactis, the braRS mutant showed a significant decrease in its population compared with the wild-type, whereas the graRS and vraSR mutants showed slight decreases. Expression of vraDE was elevated significantly in S. aureus co-cultured with nisin A/nukacin ISK-1-producing strains. These results suggest that three distinct TCSs are involved in the resistance to nisin A and nukacin ISK-1. Additionally, braRS and its related transporters played a central role in S. aureus survival in co-culture with the strains producing nisin A and nukacin ISK-1.
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