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Contribution of the NO-detoxifying enzymes HmpA, NorV and NrfA to nitrosative stress protection of Salmonella Typhimurium in raw sausages

Mühlig, Anna, Kabisch, Jan, Pichner, Rohtraud, Scherer, Siegfried, Müller-Herbst, Stefanie
Food microbiology 2014 v.42 pp. 26-33
Salmonella Typhimurium, cytochrome c, cytotoxicity, fermentation, genes, mutants, nitric oxide, nitrite reductase, pH, phenotype, sausages, sodium nitrite, stress tolerance, transcription (genetics)
The antimicrobial action of the curing agent sodium nitrite (NaNO2) in raw sausage fermentation is thought to mainly depend on the release of cytotoxic nitric oxide (NO) at acidic pH. Salmonella Typhimurium is capable of detoxifying NO via the flavohemoglobin HmpA, the flavorubredoxin NorV and the periplasmic cytochrome C nitrite reductase NrfA. In this study, the contribution of these systems to nitrosative stress tolerance in raw sausages was investigated. In vitro growth assays of the S. Typhimurium 14028 deletion mutants ΔhmpA, ΔnorV and ΔnrfA revealed a growth defect of ΔhmpA in the presence of acidified NaNO2. Transcriptional analysis of the genes hmpA, norV and nrfA in the wild-type showed a 41-fold increase in hmpA transcript levels in the presence of 150 mg/l acidified NaNO2, whereas transcription of norV and nrfA was not enhanced. However, challenge assays performed with short-ripened spreadable sausages produced with 0 or 150 mg/kg NaNO2 failed to reveal a phenotype for any of the mutants compared to the wild-type. Hence, none of the NO detoxification systems HmpA, NorV and NrfA is solely responsible for nitrosative stress tolerance of S. Typhimurium in raw sausages. Whether these systems act cooperatively, or if there are other yet undescribed mechanisms involved is currently unknown.