Conserved bacterial de novo guanine biosynthesis pathway enables microbial survival and colonization in the environmental niche of the urinary tract

Deepak S. Ipe, Matthew J. Sullivan, Kelvin G. K. Goh, Saeed M. Hashimi, Alan L. Munn, Glen C. Ulett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In bacteria, guaA encodes guanosine monophosphate synthetase that confers an ability to biosynthesize guanine nucleotides de novo. This enables bacterial colonization in different environments and, while guaA is widely distributed among Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, its contribution to the inhabitation of the human microbiome by commensal bacteria is unclear. We studied Streptococcus as a commensal urogenital tract bacterium and opportunistic pathogen, and explored the role of guaA in bacterial survival and colonization of urine. Analysis of guaA-deficient Streptococcus revealed guanine utilization is essential for bacterial colonization of this niche. The genomic location of guaA in other commensals of the human urogenital tract revealed substantial cross-phyla diversity and organizational structures of guaA that are divergent across phyla. Essentiality of guaA for Streptococcus colonization in the urinary tract establishes that purine biosynthesis is a critical element of the ability of this bacterium to survive and colonize in the host as part of the resident human microbiome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2158-2162
Number of pages5
JournalISME Journal
Issue number7
Early online date1 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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