Phenol-soluble modulin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) are a family of protein toxins that are soluble in phenols that are produced by staphylococcus bacteria. In all species of Staphylococcus, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), they are encoded within the core genome and are an important virulence factor.[1] As they are part of the core genome and not found on mobile genetic elements, all species of Staphylococcus carry these genes.[2]

MRSA production of PSMs is thought to be a possible cause of severe infections.[3] PSM production is higher in community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) than in healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA),[4] and consequently CA-MRSA associated osteomyelitis[4] is more severe than HA-MRSA associated osteomyelitis.

Genetic analysis demonstrated that the PSM-alpha protein, product of the psm-alpha gene cluster, was associated with enhanced virulence and enhanced destruction of white blood cells, presumably the key to the higher infectivity. However, expression of the psm-alpha genes appeared to vary, dependent upon unknown factors specific to each particular infection.[5]


  1. ^ Berube, Bryan J.; Sampedro, Georgia R.; Otto, Michael; Bubeck Wardenburg, Juliane (2014-08-01). "The psmα locus regulates production of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin during infection". Infection and Immunity. 82 (8): 3350–3358. doi:10.1128/IAI.00089-14. ISSN 1098-5522. PMC 4136214Freely accessible. PMID 24866799. 
  2. ^ "Phenol-soluble modulins and staphylococcal infection" (PDF). 
  3. ^ Graves, S. F.; Kobayashi, S. D.; Deleo, F. R. (2010). "Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus immune evasion and virulence". Journal of Molecular Medicine. 88 (2): 109–114. doi:10.1007/s00109-009-0573-x. PMC 2852573Freely accessible. PMID 20049412. 
  4. ^ a b Rasigade, Jean-Philippe; Trouillet-Assant, Sophie; Ferry, Tristan; Diep, Binh An; Sapin, Anaïs; Lhoste, Yannick; Ranfaing, Jérémy; Badiou, Cédric; Benito, Yvonne (2013-01-01). "PSMs of hypervirulent Staphylococcus aureus act as intracellular toxins that kill infected osteoblasts". PLoS One. 8 (5): e63176. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063176. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3653922Freely accessible. PMID 23690994. 
  5. ^ Wang, R.; Braughton, K. R.; Kretschmer, D.; Bach, T. H. L.; Queck, S. Y.; Li, M.; Kennedy, A. D.; Dorward, D. W.; Klebanoff, S. J.; Peschel, A.; Deleo, F. R.; Otto, M. (2007). "Identification of novel cytolytic peptides as key virulence determinants for community-associated MRSA". Nature Medicine. 13 (12): 1510–1514. doi:10.1038/nm1656. PMID 17994102.