Interplay of CodY and CcpA in Regulating Central Metabolism and Biofilm Formation in Staphylococcus aureus

Logan L. Bulock, Jongsam Ahn, Dhananjay Shinde, Sanjit Pandey, Cleofes Sarmiento, Vinai C. Thomas, Chittibabu Guda, Kenneth W. Bayles, Marat R. Sadykov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Staphylococcus aureus is a medically important pathogen with high metabolic versatility allowing it to infect various niches within a host. S. aureus utilizes two major transcriptional regulators, namely, CodY and CcpA, to remodel metabolic and virulence gene expression in response to changing environmental conditions. Previous studies revealed that inactivation of either codY or ccpA has a pronounced impact on different aspects of staphylococcal physiology and pathogenesis. To determine the contribution and interplay of these two regulators in modulating central metabolism, virulence, and biofilm development, we constructed and characterized the codY ccpA double mutant in S. aureus UAMS-1. In line with previous studies, we found that CcpA and CodY control the cellular metabolic status by altering carbon flux through the central and overflow metabolic pathways. Our results demonstrate that ccpA inactivation impairs biofilm formation and decreases incorporation of extracellular DNA (eDNA) into the biofilm matrix, whereas disrupting codY resulted in a robust structured biofilm tethered together with eDNA and polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA). Interestingly, inactivation of both codY and ccpA decreases biofilm biomass and reduces eDNA release in the double mutant. Compared with the inactivation of codY, the codY ccpA mutant did not overexpress toxins but maintained overexpression of amino acid metabolism pathways. Furthermore, the codY ccpA mutant produced large amounts of PIA, in contrast to the wild-type strain and ccpA mutant. Combined, the results of this study suggest that the coordinated action of CodY and CcpA modulate central metabolism, virulence gene expression, and biofilm-associated genes to optimize growth on preferred carbon sources until starvation sets in. IMPORTANCE Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of biofilm-associated infections, including infective endocarditis, worldwide. A greater understanding of metabolic forces driving biofilm formation in S. aureus is essential for the identification of novel therapeutic targets and for the development of new strategies to combat this medically important pathogen. This study characterizes the interplay and regulation of central metabolism and biofilm development by two global transcriptional regulators, CodY and CcpA. We found that the lack of CcpA and/or CodY have different impacts on intracellular metabolic status leading to a formation of morphologically altered biofilms. Overall, the results of this study provide new insights into our understanding of metabolism-mediated regulation of biofilm development in S. aureus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Metabolism
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • biofilm development
  • transcriptional regulation
  • virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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