You are here: Home Published Research Otitis media associated polymorphisms in the hemin receptor HemR of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.

Nathan C LaCross, Carl F Marrs, and Janet R Gilsdorf (2014)

Otitis media associated polymorphisms in the hemin receptor HemR of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 26:47–57.

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) colonize the human pharynx asymptomatically, and are also an important cause of otitis media (OM). Previous studies have demonstrated that some genes are more prevalent in OM-causing NTHi strains than in commensal strains, suggesting a role in virulence. These studies, however, are unable to investigate the possible associations between gene polymorphisms and disease. This study examined amino acid polymorphisms and sequence diversity in a potential virulence gene, the hemin receptor hemR, from a previously characterized NTHi strain collection containing both commensal and OM organisms to identify possible associations between the polymorphisms and otitis media. The full open reading frame of hemR was sequenced from a total of 146 NTHi isolates, yielding a total of 47 unique HemR amino acid sequences. The predicted structure of HemR showed substantial similarity to a class of monomeric TonB dependent, ligand-gated channels involved in iron acquisition in other gram negative bacteria. Fifteen amino acid polymorphisms were significantly more prevalent at the 90% confidence level among commensal compared to OM isolates. Upon controlling for the confounding effect of population structure, over half of the polymorphism-otitis media relationships lost statistical significance, emphasizing the importance of assessing the effect of population structure in association studies. The seven polymorphisms that retained significance were dispersed throughout the protein in various functional and structural domains, including the signal peptide, N-terminal plug domain, and intra- and extracellular loops. The alternate amino acid of only one of these seven polymorphisms was more common among OM isolates, demonstrating a strong trend toward the consensus sequence among disease causing NTHi. We hypothesize that variability at these positions in HemR may result in a reduced ability to acquire iron, rendering NTHi with such versions of the gene less fit for survival in the middle ear environment.

Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, Evolution, Molecular, Haemophilus Infections, Haemophilus influenzae, Humans, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Open Reading Frames, Otitis Media, Polymorphism, Genetic, Protein Conformation, Sequence Analysis, DNA
Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins, Evolution, Molecular, Haemophilus Infections, Haemophilus influenzae, Humans, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Open Reading Frames, Otitis Media, Polymorphism, Genetic, Protein Conformation, Sequence Analysis, DNA
 
Document Actions