Identification of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity in Listeria monocytogenes: a novel type of virulence factor?

Molecular microbiology

PubMedID: 1645839

Mengaud J, Braun-Breton C, Cossart P. Identification of phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C activity in Listeria monocytogenes: a novel type of virulence factor?. Mol Microbiol. 1991;5(2):367-72.
A phospholipase C which cleaves phosphatidylinositol and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors was identified in Listeria monocytogenes. This 36 kDa protein is encoded by the gene plcA, and is homologous to the Bacillus cereus, Bacillus thuringiensis and eukaryotic phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipases C (PI-PLC). Expression of the plcA gene in Escherichia coli correlates with the appearance of PI-PLC activity in the cells. In Listeria monocytogenes, the activity is secreted to the culture medium. PI-PLC activity was only found in the two pathogenic species of the genus Listeria, namely L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii. PI-PLC activity was lost and virulence decreased when the plcA gene was disrupted in the chromosome. This suggests that the PI-PLC of L. monocytogenes might be involved in virulence.