Yersinia pestis Autoagglutination Is Mediated by HCP-Like Protein and Siderophore Yersiniachelin (Ych)
Autoagglutination (AA) is a virulence-associated trait typical of various pathogenic bacteria, including Yersinia pestis. In this study, we show that AA in Y. pestis is a complex phenomenon determined by the HCP-like protein of T6SS which is encoded by ypo0502 and by the siderophore Yersiniachelin (Ych) which is encoded by the ysu locus. Down-regulation of YPO0502 expression by antisense RNA abrogates AA in G8786 (Hms+) and EV76 (Hms−) Y. pestis strains. The deletion of Ych biosynthetic genes ypo1530-1532 in EV76 though does not abolish AA results in its noticeable depression.