Acinetobacter spp. porin Omp33-36: Classification and transcriptional response to carbapenems and host cells

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Acinetobacter baumannii has been recognized as one of the most challeging pathogens in clinical settings worldwide. Outer membrane porins play a significant role in Acinetobacter antibiotic resistance and virulence. A. baumannii carbapenem resistance and virulence factor porin Omp33-36 was the subject of this study. We investigated the omp33-36 gene transcriptional response in the growth phase, its response to carbapenems, and the effect of contact with host cells. Additionally, the cytotoxic effect of A. baumannii towards keratinocytes was assessed, as well as correlation between omp33-36 gene transcription and cytotoxicity. Further, Acinetobacter spp. Omp33-36 was classified and its characteristics relevant for vaccine candidature were determined. The level of the omp33-36 gene transcription varied between growth phases, but a common pattern could not be established among different strains. Treatment with subinhibitory concentrations of carbapenems decreased, while contact with keratinocytes increased omp33-36 expression in the analysed A. baumannii strains. Variations in omp33-36 mRNA levels did not correlate with cytotoxicity levels. Decrease of omp33-36 mRNA during treatment with subinhibitory concentrations of carbapenems, indicated the importance of transcriptional changes in reversible resistance to carbapenems due to the absence of Omp33-36. The transcription of omp33-36 increased after contact with keratinocytes, indicating the important role of de novo transcription during the initial phase of A. baumannii infection. Primary structural analysis of Acinetobacter spp. Omp33-36 revealed three distinct groups (among four A. baumannii variants). Although we have shown that Omp33-36 was highly polymorphic, we propose a potential antigen (PLAEAAFL motif) for vaccine development. According to PROVEAN analysis, the highly polymorphic structure of Omp33-36 porin should not influence its function significantly.




Novović, K., Mihajlović, S., Dinić, M., Malešević, M., Miljković, M., Kojić, M., & Jovčić, B. (2018). Acinetobacter spp. porin Omp33-36: Classification and transcriptional response to carbapenems and host cells. PLoS ONE, 13(8).

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