In the last step of the biosynthesis reactions, the aminotransferase encoded by the rfbE gene synthesizes GDP-α-perosamine from GDP-4-keto-6-deoxymannnose (Albermann & Piepersberg, 2001). The
rfbE (per) mutant of EHEC O157:H7 shows decreased viability in mouse and bovine intestine (Sheng et al., 2008). WecA protein polymerizes nucleotide-activated monosaccharides on the surface of the inner membrane of bacteria (Bengoechea et al., 2002), and WaaL protein ligates the polysaccharide to core-lipid A (Hug & Feldman, 2011). The waaL deletion mutant of uropathogenic E. coli has reduced viability in the mouse urinary tract (Billips et al., 2008). Based on these reports, the virulence properties of EHEC O157:H7 are thought to involve the LPS O-antigen, but whether RO4929097 price the LPS O-antigen is required for animal killing by EHEC has not yet been determined. To understand the molecular mechanisms of animal killing by pathogenic bacteria, bacterial virulence must be evaluated in animal
models. A recent study revealed that oral administration of EHEC O157:H7 kills germ-free mice (Eaton et al., 2008; Fukuda et al., 2011). The use of Cell Cycle inhibitor germ-free mice for a genetic survey of EHEC virulence genes, however, would require very large numbers of animals and is thus associated with serious ethical and financial issues. Although insects lack an acquired immune system, they have innate immune systems that are Sinomenine highly conserved with mammals (Okada & Natori, 1983; Lehrer & Ganz, 2002). Antimicrobial peptides have a central role in the humoral innate immune system and are conserved among many living organisms, including insects and mammals (Okada & Natori, 1983; Meister et al., 1997; Natori et al., 1999; Natori, 2010). Similar to mammals, insects have a cytokine-like peptide that activates the expression of antimicrobial peptides (Meister et al., 1997; Tauszig et al., 2000; Ishii et al., 2010). Therefore, insects can be effectively used to investigate the molecular interactions between pathogenic bacteria and innate immune
systems. Silkworms, larvae of the lepidopteran species Bombyx mori, are rarely killed by laboratory strains of E. coli, whereas they are killed by human pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, V. cholerae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Kaito et al., 2002). We identified S. aureus virulence genes using a silkworm infection model (Kaito et al., 2005, 2006; Matsumoto et al., 2007, 2010; Nagata et al., 2008; Ikuo et al., 2010; Miyazaki et al., 2011). Silkworms have several advantages as an infection model. They have a larger body than nematodes and fruit flies and can therefore be injected with quantitative amounts of bacterial solution for assessment of the bacterial virulence; that is, the 50% lethal dose (LD50) can be determined (Kaito & Sekimizu, 2007; Miyazaki et al., 2011).