Genome-scale metabolic modelling approach to understand the metabolism of the opportunistic human pathogen Staphylococcus epidermidis RP62A

Teresa Díaz Calvo, Noemi Tejera, Iain Mcnamara, Gemma C. Langridge, John Wain, Mark Poolman, Dipali Singh

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Staphylococcus epidermidis is a common commensal of collagen-rich regions of the body, such as the skin, but also represents a threat to patients with medical implants (joints and heart), and to preterm babies. Far less studied than Staphylococcus aureus, the mechanisms behind this increasingly recognised pathogenicity are yet to be fully understood. Improving our knowledge of the metabolic processes that allow S. epidermidis to colonise different body sites is key to defining its pathogenic potential. Thus, we have constructed a fully curated, genome-scale metabolic model for S. epidermidis RP62A, and investigated its metabolic properties with a focus on substrate auxotrophies and its utilisation for energy and biomass production. Our results show that, although glucose is available in the medium, only a small portion of it enters the glycolytic pathways, whils most is utilised for the production of biofilm, storage and the structural components of biomass. Amino acids, proline, valine, alanine, glutamate and arginine, are preferred sources of energy and biomass production. In contrast to previous studies, we have shown that this strain has no real substrate auxotrophies, although removal of proline from the media has the highest impact on the model and the experimental growth characteristics. Further study is needed to determine the significance of proline, an abundant amino acid in collagen, in S. epidermidis colonisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number136
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022

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