Mécanismes d'acquisition du fer de l'hôte chez Bacillus cereus : rôle du couple bacillibactine-FeuA et expression des gènes impliqués dans l'homéostasie du fer in vivo durant l’infection intestinale chez l’insecte.

Abstract : Iron acquisition is essential for most living organisms, including many pathogenic bacteria. However, free iron is toxic: it is bound into storage or transport proteins (e.g. ferritin, hemoproteins…) and iron homeostasis is tightly regulated. To scavenge iron from these sources, bacteria possess several systems to acquire the bound iron, by surface proteins or siderophores. Bacillus cereus is a sporeforming Gram-positive bacterium, opportunistic human pathogen, 2nd cause of food-borne disease in France. It has been demonstrated that the B. cereus surface protein IlsA and the siderophore bacillibactin (BB) are involved in iron acquisition from ferritin and that these two molecules are important for infection of the insect model G. mellonella. My thesis project focused on two parts: first the study of the BB-Fe3+ complex import into the cell by the siderophore binding protein FeuA highlights the central role of both BB and FeuA. The deletion of the genes encoding for these two molecules limits iron acquisition by B. cereus from ferritin, heme, hemoglobin and inorganic iron in vitro. On the other hand, the virulence phenotype during intra-haemocelic infection of G. mellonella is similar to the Wild-type strain. These results suggest a possible feedback on the expression of virulence factor genes when B. cereus is unable to synthetize both BB and FeuA, and therefore are under high stress. The second part of my work focused on the expression of genes involved in iron homeostasis in vivo, during gut infection of germ-free larvae of G. mellonella. We chose to perform a microgenomic approach, using laser-capture microdissection to get small samples in targeted areas, and then analysing the expression of chosen genes by RT-qPCR and ddPCR at two time points post ingestion The results show that : i) the colonisation of G. mellonella gut is impacted when B. cereus is deprived of both BB and FeuA ; ii) ilsA is expressed during gut infection ; iii) iron homeostasis is involved in adaptation and pathogenicity from the early step of infection of the insect gut ; iv) only weak gene expression modulation occured between the two timepoints This work gives new fundamental knowledge about B. cereus iron homeostasis, and highlights the use of new techniques regarding the in situ study of host-pathogen interactions.
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Laurent Consentino. Mécanismes d'acquisition du fer de l'hôte chez Bacillus cereus : rôle du couple bacillibactine-FeuA et expression des gènes impliqués dans l'homéostasie du fer in vivo durant l’infection intestinale chez l’insecte.. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université Paris-Saclay, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLA018⟩. ⟨tel-02305543⟩

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