Refine Search

New Search

Results in Journal mBio: 5,910

(searched for: journal_id:(1697592))
Page of 119
Articles per Page
by
Show export options
  Select all
, Nhung T. T. Trinh, , Aline Desmyter, Geneviève Ball, Pascale Barbier, , Eric Durand, Katrina T. Forest, Christian Cambillau, et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
The type II secretion system (T2SS) releases large folded exoproteins across the envelope of many Gram-negative pathogens. This secretion process therefore requires specific gating, interacting, and dynamics properties mainly operated by a bipartite outer membrane channel called secretin. We have a good understanding of the structure-function relationship of the pore-forming C-terminal domain of secretins. In contrast, the high flexibility of their periplasmic N-terminal domain has been an obstacle in obtaining the detailed structural information required to uncover its molecular function. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa , the Xcp T2SS plays an important role in bacterial virulence by its capacity to deliver a large panel of toxins and degradative enzymes into the surrounding environment. Here, we revealed that the N-terminal domain of XcpQ secretin spontaneously self-assembled into a hexamer of dimers independently of its C-terminal domain. Furthermore, and by using multidisciplinary approaches, we elucidate the structural organization of the XcpQ N domain and demonstrate that secretin flexibility at interdimer interfaces is mandatory for its function. IMPORTANCE Bacterial secretins are large homooligomeric proteins constituting the outer membrane pore-forming element of several envelope-embedded nanomachines essential in bacterial survival and pathogenicity. They comprise a well-defined membrane-embedded C-terminal domain and a modular periplasmic N-terminal domain involved in substrate recruitment and connection with inner membrane components. We are studying the XcpQ secretin of the T2SS present in the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa . Our data highlight the ability of the XcpQ N-terminal domain to spontaneously oligomerize into a hexamer of dimers. Further in vivo experiments revealed that this domain adopts different conformations essential for the T2SS secretion process. These findings provide new insights into the functional understanding of bacterial T2SS secretins.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Mycobacterium lepraemurium is the causative agent of murine leprosy, a chronic, granulomatous disease similar to human leprosy. Due to the similar clinical manifestations of human and murine leprosy and the difficulty of growing both bacilli axenically, Mycobacterium leprae and M. lepraemurium were once thought to be closely related, although it was later suggested that M. lepraemurium might be related to Mycobacterium avium . In this study, the complete genome of M. lepraemurium was sequenced using a combination of PacBio and Illumina sequencing. Phylogenomic analyses confirmed that M. lepraemurium is a distinct species within the M. avium complex (MAC). The M. lepraemurium genome is 4.05 Mb in length, which is considerably smaller than other MAC genomes, and it comprises 2,682 functional genes and 1,139 pseudogenes, which indicates that M. lepraemurium has undergone genome reduction. An error-prone repair homologue of the DNA polymerase III α-subunit was found to be nonfunctional in M. lepraemurium , which might contribute to pseudogene formation due to the accumulation of mutations in nonessential genes. M. lepraemurium has retained the functionality of several genes thought to influence virulence among members of the MAC. IMPORTANCEMycobacterium lepraemurium seems to be evolving toward a minimal set of genes required for an obligatory intracellular lifestyle within its host, a niche seldom adopted by most mycobacteria, as they are free-living. M. lepraemurium could be used as a model to elucidate functions of genes shared with other members of the MAC. Its reduced gene set can be exploited for studying the essentiality of genes in related pathogenic species, which might lead to discovery of common virulence factors or clarify host-pathogen interactions. M. lepraemurium can be cultivated in vitro only under specific conditions and even then with difficulty. Elucidating the metabolic (in)capabilities of M. lepraemurium will help develop suitable axenic media and facilitate genetic studies.
Tanja V. Maier, , Lang Ho Lee, Nathan C. VerBerkmoes, Colin J. Brislawn, Jörg Bernhardt, Regina Lamendella, , Nathalie Bergeron, Silke S. Heinzmann, et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Diet can influence the composition of the human microbiome, and yet relatively few dietary ingredients have been systematically investigated with respect to their impact on the functional potential of the microbiome. Dietary resistant starch (RS) has been shown to have health benefits, but we lack a mechanistic understanding of the metabolic processes that occur in the gut during digestion of RS. Here, we collected samples during a dietary crossover study with diets containing large or small amounts of RS. We determined the impact of RS on the gut microbiome and metabolic pathways in the gut, using a combination of “omics” approaches, including 16S rRNA gene sequencing, metaproteomics, and metabolomics. This multiomics approach captured changes in the abundance of specific bacterial species, proteins, and metabolites after a diet high in resistant starch (HRS), providing key insights into the influence of dietary interventions on the gut microbiome. The combined data showed that a high-RS diet caused an increase in the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes , including increases in relative abundances of some specific members of the Firmicutes and concurrent increases in enzymatic pathways and metabolites involved in lipid metabolism in the gut. IMPORTANCE This work was undertaken to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the complex interplay between diet and the microorganisms residing in the intestine. Although it is known that gut microbes play a key role in digestion of the food that we consume, the specific contributions of different microorganisms are not well understood. In addition, the metabolic pathways and resultant products of metabolism during digestion are highly complex. To address these knowledge gaps, we used a combination of molecular approaches to determine the identities of the microorganisms in the gut during digestion of dietary starch as well as the metabolic pathways that they carry out. Together, these data provide a more complete picture of the function of the gut microbiome in digestion, including links between an RS diet and lipid metabolism and novel linkages between specific gut microbes and their metabolites and proteins produced in the gut.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Sophisticated nanomachines are used by bacteria for protein secretion. In Gram-negative bacteria, the type 2 secretion system (T2SS) is composed of a pseudopilus assembly platform in the inner membrane and a secretin complex in the outer membrane. The engagement of these two megadalton-sized complexes is required in order to secrete toxins, effectors, and hydrolytic enzymes. Pseudomonas aeruginosa has at least two T2SSs, with the ancestral nanomachine having a secretin complex composed of XcpQ. Until now, no high-resolution structural information was available to distinguish the features of this Pseudomonas -type secretin, which varies greatly in sequence from the well-characterized Klebsiella -type and Vibrio -type secretins. We have purified the ~1-MDa secretin complex and analyzed it by cryo-electron microscopy. Structural comparisons with the Klebsiella -type secretin complex revealed a striking structural homology despite the differences in their sequence characteristics. At 3.6-Å resolution, the secretin complex was found to have 15-fold symmetry throughout the membrane-embedded region and through most of the domains in the periplasm. However, the N1 domain and N0 domain were not well ordered into this 15-fold symmetry. We suggest a model wherein this disordering of the subunit symmetry for the periplasmic N domains provides a means to engage with the 6-fold symmetry in the inner membrane platform, with a metastable engagement that can be disrupted by substrate proteins binding to the region between XcpP, in the assembly platform, and the XcpQ secretin. IMPORTANCE How the outer membrane and inner membrane components of the T2SS engage each other and yet can allow for substrate uptake into the secretin chamber has challenged the protein transport field for some time. This vexing question is of significance because the T2SS collects folded protein substrates in the periplasm for transport out of the bacterium and yet must discriminate these few substrate proteins from all the other hundred or so folded proteins in the periplasm. The structural analysis here supports a model wherein substrates must compete against a metastable interaction between XcpP in the assembly platform and the XcpQ secretin, wherein only structurally encoded features in the T2SS substrates compete well enough to disrupt XcpQ-XcpP for entry into the XcpQ chamber, for secretion across the outer membrane.
Jonathan D. Lenz, Kathleen T. Hackett,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Neisseria gonorrhoeae gonococcus (GC) is a Gram-negative betaproteobacterium and causative agent of the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea. During growth, GC releases lipooligosaccharide (LOS) and peptidoglycan (PG) fragments, which contribute significantly to the inflammatory damage observed during human infection. In ascending infection of human Fallopian tubes, inflammation leads to increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and sterility. Of the PG fragments released by GC, most are disaccharide peptide monomers, and of those, 80% have tripeptide stems despite the observation that tetrapeptide stems make up 80% of the assembled cell wall. We identified a serine-protease l , d -carboxypeptidase, NGO1274 (LdcA), as the enzyme responsible for converting cell wall tetrapeptide-stem PG to released tripeptide-stem PG. Unlike characterized cytoplasmic LdcA homologs in gammaproteobacteria, LdcA in GC is exported to the periplasm, and its localization is critical for its activity in modifying PG fragments for release. Distinct among other characterized l , d -carboxypeptidases, LdcA from GC is also capable of catalyzing the cleavage of specific peptide cross-bridges (endopeptidase activity). To define the role of ldcA in pathogenesis, we demonstrate that ldcA disruption results in both loss of NOD1-dependent NF-κB activation and decreased NOD2-dependent NF-κB activation while not affecting Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist release. Since the human intracellular peptidoglycan receptor NOD1 (hNOD1) specifically recognizes PG fragments with a terminal meso -DAP rather than d -alanine, we conclude that LdcA is required for GC to provoke NOD1-dependent responses in cells of the human host. IMPORTANCE The macromolecular meshwork of peptidoglycan serves essential functions in determining bacterial cell shape, protecting against osmotic lysis, and defending cells from external assaults. The conserved peptidoglycan structure, however, is also recognized by eukaryotic pattern recognition receptors, which can trigger immune responses against bacteria. Many bacteria can induce an inflammatory response through the intracellular peptidoglycan receptor NOD1, but Neisseria gonorrhoeae serves as an extreme example, releasing fragments of peptidoglycan into the environment during growth that specifically antagonize human NOD1. Understanding the peptidoglycan breakdown mechanisms that allow Neisseria to promote NOD1 activation, rather than avoiding or suppressing immune detection, is critical to understanding the pathogenesis of this increasingly drug-resistant organism. We identify a peptidoglycan l , d -carboxypeptidase responsible for converting liberated peptidoglycan fragments into the human NOD1 agonist and find that the same enzyme has endopeptidase activity on certain peptidoglycan cross-links, the first described combination of those two activities in a single enzyme.
Jianfei Hua, Alexis Huet, Carlos A. Lopez, , , , Roger W. Hendrix,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Large icosahedral viruses that infect bacteria represent an extreme of the coevolution of capsids and the genomes they accommodate. One subset of these large viruses is the jumbophages, tailed phages with double-stranded DNA genomes of at least 200,000 bp. We explored the mechanism leading to increased capsid and genome sizes by characterizing structures of several jumbophage capsids and the DNA packaged within them. Capsid structures determined for six jumbophages were consistent with the canonical phage HK97 fold, and three had capsid geometries with novel triangulation numbers (T=25, T=28, and T=52). Packaged DNA (chromosome) sizes were larger than the genome sizes, indicating that all jumbophages use a head-full DNA packaging mechanism. For two phages (PAU and G), the sizes appeared very much larger than their genome length. We used two-dimensional DNA gel electrophoresis to show that these two DNAs migrated abnormally due to base modifications and to allow us to calculate their actual chromosome sizes. Our results support a ratchet model of capsid and genome coevolution whereby mutations lead to increased capsid volume and allow the acquisition of additional genes. Once the added genes and larger capsid are established, mutations that restore the smaller size are disfavored. IMPORTANCE A large family of viruses share the same fold of the capsid protein as bacteriophage HK97, a virus that infects bacteria. Members of this family use different numbers of the capsid protein to build capsids of different sizes. Here, we examined the structures of extremely large capsids and measured their DNA content relative to the sequenced genome lengths, aiming to understand the process that increases size. We concluded that mutational changes leading to larger capsids become locked in by subsequent changes to the genome organization.
Jonathan L. Portman, Samuel B. Dubensky, Bret N. Peterson, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Upon entry into the host cell cytosol, the facultative intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes coordinates the expression of numerous essential virulence factors by allosteric binding of glutathione (GSH) to the Crp-Fnr family transcriptional regulator PrfA. Here, we report that robust virulence gene expression can be recapitulated by growing bacteria in a synthetic medium containing GSH or other chemical reducing agents. Bacteria grown under these conditions were 45-fold more virulent in an acute murine infection model and conferred greater immunity to a subsequent lethal challenge than bacteria grown in conventional media. During cultivation in vitro , PrfA activation was completely dependent on the intracellular levels of GSH, as a glutathione synthase mutant (Δ gshF ) was activated by exogenous GSH but not reducing agents. PrfA activation was repressed in a synthetic medium supplemented with oligopeptides, but the repression was relieved by stimulation of the stringent response. These data suggest that cytosolic L. monocytogenes interprets a combination of metabolic and redox cues as a signal to initiate robust virulence gene expression in vivo . IMPORTANCE Intracellular pathogens are responsible for much of the worldwide morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases. These pathogens have evolved various strategies to proliferate within individual cells of the host and avoid the host immune response. Through cellular invasion or the use of specialized secretion machinery, all intracellular pathogens must access the host cell cytosol to establish their replicative niches. Determining how these pathogens sense and respond to the intracellular compartment to establish a successful infection is critical to our basic understanding of the pathogenesis of each organism and for the rational design of therapeutic interventions. Listeria monocytogenes is a model intracellular pathogen with robust in vitro and in vivo infection models. Studies of the host-sensing and downstream signaling mechanisms evolved by L. monocytogenes often describe themes of pathogenesis that are broadly applicable to less tractable pathogens. Here, we describe how bacteria use external redox states as a cue to activate virulence.
Maria L. Simões, Godfree Mlambo, , Yuemei Dong,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Malaria parasite ookinetes must traverse the vector mosquito midgut epithelium to transform into sporozoite-producing oocysts. The Anopheles innate immune system is a key regulator of this process, thereby determining vector competence and disease transmission. The role of Anopheles innate immunity factors as agonists or antagonists of malaria parasite infection has been previously determined using specific single Anopheles - Plasmodium species combinations. Here we show that the two C-type lectins CTL4 and CTLMA2 exert differential agonistic and antagonistic regulation of parasite killing in African and South American Anopheles species. The C-type lectins regulate both parasite melanization and lysis through independent mechanisms, and their implication in parasite melanization is dependent on infection intensity rather than mosquito-parasite species combination. We show that the leucine-rich repeat protein LRIM1 acts as an antagonist on the development of Plasmodium ookinetes and as a regulator of oocyst size and sporozoite production in the South American mosquito Anopheles albimanus . Our findings explain the rare observation of human Plasmodium falciparum melanization and define a key factor mediating the poor vector competence of Anopheles albimanus for Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum . IMPORTANCE Malaria, one of the world’s deadliest diseases, is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are vectored to humans by the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes. The mosquito’s innate immune system is actively engaged in suppressing Plasmodium infection. Studies on mosquito immunity revealed multiple factors that act as either facilitators or inhibitors of Plasmodium infection, but these findings were mostly based on single Anopheles - Plasmodium species combinations, not taking into account the diversity of mosquito and parasite species. We show that the functions of CTL4 and CTLMA2 have diverged in different vector species and can be both agonistic and antagonistic for Plasmodium infection. Their protection against parasite melanization in Anopheles gambiae is dependent on infection intensity, rather than the mosquito-parasite combination. Importantly, we describe for the first time how LRIM1 plays an essential role in Plasmodium infection of Anopheles albimanus , suggesting it is a key regulator of the poor vector competence of this species.
, Alvaro Molina-Cruz, Joseph Brzostowski, Jianbing Mu,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Drug development efforts have focused mostly on the asexual blood stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum . Except for primaquine, which has its own limitations, there are no available drugs that target the transmission of the parasite to mosquitoes. Therefore, there is a need to validate new parasite proteins that can be targeted for blocking transmission. P. falciparum calcium-dependent protein kinases ( Pf CDPKs) play critical roles at various stages of the parasite life cycle and, importantly, are absent in the human host. These features mark them as attractive drug targets. In this study, using CRISPR/Cas9 we successfully knocked out Pf CDPK2 from blood-stage parasites, which was previously thought to be an indispensable protein. The growth rate of the Pf CDPK2 knockout (KO) parasites was similar to that of wild-type parasites, confirming that Pf CDPK2 function is not essential for the asexual proliferation of the parasite in vitro . The mature male and female gametocytes of Pf CDPK2 KO parasites become round after induction. However, they fail to infect female Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes due to a defect(s) in male gametocyte exflagellation and possibly in female gametes. IMPORTANCE Despite reductions in the number of deaths it causes, malaria continues to be a leading infectious disease of the developing world. For effective control and elimination of malaria, multiple stages of the parasite need to be targeted. One such stage includes the transmission of the parasite to mosquitoes. Here, we demonstrate the successful knockout of Pf CDPK2, which was previously thought to be indispensable for parasite growth in red blood cells. The Pf CDPK2 KO parasites are incapable of establishing an infection in mosquitoes. Therefore, our study suggests that targeting Pf CDPK2 may be a good strategy to control malaria transmission in countries with high transmission. Moreover, molecular understanding of the signaling pathway of Pf CDPK2 may provide additional targets for malaria control.
Tomoaki Naito, Céline Mulet, Cristina De Castro, Antonio Molinaro, Azadeh Saffarian, Giulia Nigro, Marion Bérard, , , , et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
We identified a crypt-specific core microbiota (CSCM) dominated by strictly aerobic, nonfermentative bacteria in murine cecal and proximal colonic (PC) crypts and hypothesized that, among its possible functions, it may affect epithelial regeneration. In the present work, we isolated representative CSCM strains using selective media based upon our initial 16S rRNA-based molecular identification (i.e., Acinetobacter , Delftia , and Stenotrophomonas ). Their tropism for the crypt was confirmed, and their influence on epithelial regeneration was demonstrated in vivo by monocolonization of germfree mice. We also showed that lipopolysaccharide (LPS), through its endotoxin activity, was the dominant bacterial agonist controlling proliferation. The relevant molecular mechanisms were analyzed using colonic crypt-derived organoids exposed to bacterial sonicates or highly purified LPS as agonists. We identified a Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-dependent program affecting crypts at different stages of epithelial differentiation. LPS played a dual role: it repressed cell proliferation through RIPK3-mediated necroptosis of stem cells and cells of the transit-amplifying compartment and concurrently enhanced cell differentiation, particularly the goblet cell lineage. IMPORTANCE The LPS from crypt-specific core microbiota controls intestinal epithelium proliferation through necroptosis of stem cells and enhances cell differentiation, mainly the goblet cell lineage.
, , Valentine V. Trotter, Gregory P. Krantz, Adam P. Arkin, Gareth P. Butland, , ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Biofilms of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) are of particular interest as members of this group are culprits in corrosion of industrial metal and concrete pipelines as well as being key players in subsurface metal cycling. Yet the mechanism of biofilm formation by these bacteria has not been determined. Here we show that two supposedly identical wild-type cultures of the SRB Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough maintained in different laboratories have diverged in biofilm formation. From genome resequencing and subsequent mutant analyses, we discovered that a single nucleotide change within DVU1017, the ABC transporter of a type I secretion system (T1SS), was sufficient to eliminate biofilm formation in D. vulgaris Hildenborough. Two T1SS cargo proteins were identified as likely biofilm structural proteins, and the presence of at least one (with either being sufficient) was shown to be required for biofilm formation. Antibodies specific to these biofilm structural proteins confirmed that DVU1017, and thus the T1SS, is essential for localization of these adhesion proteins on the cell surface. We propose that DVU1017 is a member of the lapB category of microbial surface proteins because of its phenotypic similarity to the adhesin export system described for biofilm formation in the environmental pseudomonads. These findings have led to the identification of two functions required for biofilm formation in D. vulgaris Hildenborough and focus attention on the importance of monitoring laboratory-driven evolution, as phenotypes as fundamental as biofilm formation can be altered. IMPORTANCE The growth of bacteria attached to a surface (i.e., biofilm), specifically biofilms of sulfate-reducing bacteria, has a profound impact on the economy of developed nations due to steel and concrete corrosion in industrial pipelines and processing facilities. Furthermore, the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria in oil wells causes oil souring from sulfide production, resulting in product loss, a health hazard to workers, and ultimately abandonment of wells. Identification of the required genes is a critical step for determining the mechanism of biofilm formation by sulfate reducers. Here, the transporter by which putative biofilm structural proteins are exported from sulfate-reducing Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough cells was discovered, and a single nucleotide change within the gene coding for this transporter was found to be sufficient to completely stop formation of biofilm.
Kurtis M. Host, Sarah R. Jacobs, John A. West, Zhigang Zhang, Lindsey M. Costantini, Charles M. Stopford, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is associated with the human malignancy Kaposi’s sarcoma and the lymphoproliferative disorders primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman’s disease. KSHV establishes lytic infection of monocytes in vivo , which may represent an important cellular reservoir during KS disease progression. KS tumors consist of latently infected endothelial cells; however, lytic phase gene products are important for KS onset. Early KS lesion progression is driven by proinflammatory cytokines supplied by immune cell infiltrates including T cells and monocytes. KSHV-infected monocytes may supply the lytic viral products and the inflammatory milieu conducive to KS tumor progression. To establish successful infection, KSHV extensively modulates the host immune system. KSHV antigens activate both innate and adaptive immune responses including KSHV-specific T cells, but lifelong infection is still established. Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a prosurvival cell surface protein that suppresses T-cell-mediated killing. PD-L1 is variably present on various tumor cells and is a targetable marker for cancer treatment. We show that KSHV infection of human monocytes increases PD-L1 expression and transcription in a dose-dependent manner. We also saw evidence of lytic gene expression in the KSHV-infected monocytes. Intact KSHV is needed for full PD-L1 response in human monocytes. KSHV induces a general proinflammatory cytokine milieu including interleukins 1α, 1β, and 6, which have been implicated in early KS lesion progression. KSHV-mediated PD-L1 increase may represent a novel mechanism of KSHV-mediated immune modulation to allow for virus survival and eventually malignant progression. IMPORTANCE KSHV is the etiologic agent of Kaposi’s sarcoma and the lymphoproliferative disorders primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman’s disease. Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is an immunosuppressive cell surface marker that inhibits T cell activation. We report that KSHV infection of primary human monocytes upregulates PD-L1 transcription and protein expression. Analysis of the cytokine and chemokine milieu following KSHV infection of monocytes revealed that KSHV induces interleukins 1α, 1β, and 6, all of which have been implicated in KS development. Our work has identified another potential immune evasion strategy for KSHV and a potential target for immunotherapy of KSHV-derived disease.
E. Recacha, J. Machuca, P. Díaz de Alba, M. Ramos-Güelfo, , , , A. Pascual,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Suppression of the SOS response has been postulated as a therapeutic strategy for potentiating antimicrobial agents. We aimed to evaluate the impact of its suppression on reversing resistance using a model of isogenic strains of Escherichia coli representing multiple levels of quinolone resistance. E. coli mutants exhibiting a spectrum of SOS activity were constructed from isogenic strains carrying quinolone resistance mechanisms with susceptible and resistant phenotypes. Changes in susceptibility were evaluated by static (MICs) and dynamic (killing curves or flow cytometry) methodologies. A peritoneal sepsis murine model was used to evaluate in vivo impact. Suppression of the SOS response was capable of resensitizing mutant strains with genes encoding three or four different resistance mechanisms (up to 15-fold reductions in MICs). Killing curve assays showed a clear disadvantage for survival (Δlog 10 CFU per milliliter [CFU/ml] of 8 log units after 24 h), and the in vivo efficacy of ciprofloxacin was significantly enhanced (Δlog 10 CFU/g of 1.76 log units) in resistant strains with a suppressed SOS response. This effect was evident even after short periods (60 min) of exposure. Suppression of the SOS response reverses antimicrobial resistance across a range of E. coli phenotypes from reduced susceptibility to highly resistant, playing a significant role in increasing the in vivo efficacy. IMPORTANCE The rapid rise of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens is now considered a major global health crisis. New strategies are needed to block the development of resistance and to extend the life of antibiotics. The SOS response is a promising target for developing therapeutics to reduce the acquisition of antibiotic resistance and enhance the bactericidal activity of antimicrobial agents such as quinolones. Significant questions remain regarding its impact as a strategy for the reversion or resensitization of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To address this question, we have generated E. coli mutants that exhibited a spectrum of SOS activity, ranging from a natural SOS response to a hypoinducible or constitutively suppressed response. We tested the effects of these mutations on quinolone resistance reversion under therapeutic concentrations in a set of isogenic strains carrying different combinations of chromosome- and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance mechanisms with susceptible, low-level quinolone resistant, resistant, and highly resistant phenotypes. Our comprehensive analysis opens up a new strategy for reversing drug resistance by targeting the SOS response.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
When presented with nutrient mixtures, several human gut Bacteroides species exhibit hierarchical utilization of glycans through a phenomenon that resembles catabolite repression. However, it is unclear how closely these observed physiological changes, often measured by altered transcription of glycan utilization genes, mirror actual glycan depletion. To understand the glycan prioritization strategies of two closely related human gut symbionts, Bacteroides ovatus and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron , we performed a series of time course assays in which both species were individually grown in a medium with six different glycans that both species can degrade. Disappearance of the substrates and transcription of the corresponding polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) were measured. Each species utilized some glycans before others, but with different priorities per species, providing insight into species-specific hierarchical preferences. In general, the presence of highly prioritized glycans repressed transcription of genes involved in utilizing lower-priority nutrients. However, transcriptional sensitivity to some glycans varied relative to the residual concentration in the medium, with some PULs that target high-priority substrates remaining highly expressed even after their target glycan had been mostly depleted. Coculturing of these organisms in the same mixture showed that the hierarchical orders generally remained the same, promoting stable coexistence. Polymer length was found to be a contributing factor for glycan utilization, thereby affecting its place in the hierarchy. Our findings not only elucidate how B. ovatus and B. thetaiotaomicron strategically access glycans to maintain coexistence but also support the prioritization of carbohydrate utilization based on carbohydrate structure, advancing our understanding of the relationships between diet and the gut microbiome. IMPORTANCE The microorganisms that reside in the human colon fulfill their energy requirements mainly from diet- and host-derived complex carbohydrates. Members of this ecosystem possess poorly understood strategies to prioritize and compete for these nutrients. Based on direct carbohydrate measurements and corresponding transcriptional analyses, our findings showed that individual bacterial species exhibit different preferences for the same set of glycans and that this prioritization is maintained in a competitive environment, which may promote stable coexistence. Such understanding of gut bacterial glycan utilization will be essential to eliciting predictable changes in the gut microbiota to improve health through the diet.
M. Fernanda Palominos, Lidia Verdugo, Carolaing Gabaldon, , Javiera Ortíz-Severín, Macarena A. Varas, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
The dynamic response of organisms exposed to environmental pathogens determines their survival or demise, and the outcome of this interaction depends on the host’s susceptibility and pathogen-dependent virulence factors. The transmission of acquired information about the nature of a pathogen to progeny may ensure effective defensive strategies for the progeny’s survival in adverse environments. Environmental RNA interference (RNAi) is a systemic and heritable mechanism and has recently been linked to antibacterial and antifungal defenses in both plants and animals. Here, we report that the second generation of Caenorhabditis elegans living on pathogenic bacteria can avoid bacterial infection by entering diapause in an RNAi pathway-dependent mechanism. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the information encoding this survival strategy is transgenerationally transmitted to the progeny via the maternal germ line. IMPORTANCE Bacteria vastly influence physiology and behavior, and yet, the specific mechanisms by which they cause behavioral changes in hosts are not known. We use C. elegans as a host and the bacteria they eat to understand how microbes trigger a behavioral change that helps animals to survive. We found that animals faced with an infection for two generations could enter a hibernationlike state, arresting development by forming dauer larvae. Dauers have closed mouths and effectively avoid infection. Animals accumulate information that is transgenerationally transmitted to the next generations to form dauers. This work gives insight on how bacteria communicate in noncanonical ways with their hosts, resulting in long-lasting effects providing survival strategies to the community.
Magdalena A. Gutowska, Brateen Shome, Sebastian Sudek, , Maria Hamilton, Stephen J. Giovannoni, Tadhg P. Begley,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Vitamin B 1 (thiamin) is a cofactor for critical enzymatic processes and is scarce in surface oceans. Several eukaryotic marine algal species thought to rely on exogenous thiamin are now known to grow equally well on the precursor 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine (HMP), including the haptophyte Emiliania huxleyi . Because the thiamin biosynthetic capacities of the diverse and ecologically important haptophyte lineage are otherwise unknown, we investigated the pathway in transcriptomes and two genomes from 30 species representing six taxonomic orders. HMP synthase is missing in data from all studied taxa, but the pathway is otherwise complete, with some enzymatic variations. Experiments on axenic species from three orders demonstrated that equivalent growth rates were supported by 1 µM HMP or thiamin amendment. Cellular thiamin quotas were quantified in the oceanic phytoplankter E. huxleyi using the thiochrome assay. E. huxleyi exhibited luxury storage in standard algal medium [(1.16 ± 0.18) × 10 −6 pmol thiamin cell −1 ], whereas quotas in cultures grown under more environmentally relevant thiamin and HMP supplies [(2.22 ± 0.07) × 10 −7 or (1.58 ± 0.14) × 10 −7 pmol thiamin cell −1 , respectively] were significantly lower than luxury values and prior estimates. HMP and its salvage-related analog 4-amino-5-aminomethyl-2-methylpyrimidine (AmMP) supported higher growth than thiamin under environmentally relevant supply levels. These compounds also sustained growth of the stramenopile alga Pelagomonas calceolata . Together with identification of a salvage protein subfamily (TENA_E) in multiple phytoplankton, the results indicate that salvaged AmMP and exogenously acquired HMP are used by several groups for thiamin production. Our studies highlight the potential importance of thiamin pathway intermediates and their analogs in shaping phytoplankton community structure. IMPORTANCE The concept that vitamin B 1 (thiamin) availability in seawater controls the productivity and structure of eukaryotic phytoplankton communities has been discussed for half a century. We examined B 1 biosynthesis and salvage pathways in diverse phytoplankton species. These comparative genomic analyses as well as experiments show that phytoplankton thought to require exogenous B 1 not only utilize intermediate compounds to meet this need but also exhibit stronger growth on these compounds than on thiamin. Furthermore, oceanic phytoplankton have lower cellular thiamin quotas than previously reported, and salvage of intermediate compounds is likely a key mechanism for meeting B 1 requirements under environmentally relevant scenarios. Thus, several lines of evidence now suggest that availability of specific precursor molecules could be more important in structuring phytoplankton communities than the vitamin itself. This understanding of preferential compound utilization and thiamin quotas will improve biogeochemical model parameterization and highlights interaction networks among ocean microbes.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Peptides that are synthesized independently of the ribosome in plants, fungi, and bacteria can have clinically relevant anticancer, antihemochromatosis, and antiviral activities, among many other. Despite their natural origin, discovering new natural products is challenging, and there is a need to expand the chemical diversity that is accessible. In this work, we created a novel, compressed synthetic pathway for the heterologous expression and diversification of nonribosomal peptides (NRPs) based on homologs of siderophore pathways from Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae . To enhance the likelihood of successful molecule production, we established a selective pressure via the iron-chelating properties of siderophores. By supplementing cells containing our synthetic pathway with different precursors that are incorporated into the pathway independently of NRP enzymes, we generated over 20 predesigned, novel, and structurally diverse NRPs. This engineering approach, where phylogenetically related genes from different organisms are integrated and supplemented with novel precursors, should enable heterologous expression and molecular diversification of NRPs. IMPORTANCE Nonribosomal peptides (NRPs) constitute a source of bioactive molecules with potential therapeutic applications. However, discovering novel NRPs by rational engineering of biosynthetic pathways remains challenging. Here, we show that a synthetic compressed pathway in which we replaced biosynthetic genes with their ancestral homologs and orthologs enabled successful heterologous NRP expression. Polyamines added exogenously were incorporated into nascent NRPs, and molecular production was pressured by growing the host under conditions that make such NRPs beneficial for survival. This multilayered approach resulted in the assembly of over 20 distinct and novel molecules. We envision this strategy being used to enable the production of NRPs from heterologous pathways.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Dysbiosis is a key term in human microbiome research, especially when microbiome patterns are associated with disease states. Although some questions have been raised about how this term is applied, its use continues undiminished in the literature. We investigate the ways in which microbiome researchers discuss dysbiosis and then assess the impact of different concepts of dysbiosis on microbiome research. After an overview of the term’s historical roots, we conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses of a large selection of contemporary dysbiosis statements. We categorize both short definitions and longer conceptual statements about dysbiosis. Further analysis allows us to identify the problematic implications of how dysbiosis is used, particularly with regard to causal hypotheses and normal-abnormal distinctions. We suggest that researchers should reflect carefully on the ways in which they discuss dysbiosis, in order for the field to continue to develop greater predictive scope and explanatory depth.
, Richard P. Bonocora, David D. Kim, Qing Chen, , Scott Stibitz,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Nearly all virulence factors in Bordetella pertussis are activated by a master two-component system, BvgAS, composed of the sensor kinase BvgS and the response regulator BvgA. When BvgS is active, BvgA is phosphorylated (BvgA~P), and virulence-activated genes ( vag s) are expressed [Bvg(+) mode]. When BvgS is inactive and BvgA is not phosphorylated, virulence-repressed genes ( vrg s) are induced [Bvg(−) mode]. Here, we have used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) and reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) to define the BvgAS-dependent regulon of B. pertussis Tohama I. Our analyses reveal more than 550 BvgA-regulated genes, of which 353 are newly identified. BvgA-activated genes include those encoding two-component systems (such as kdpED ), multiple other transcriptional regulators, and the extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor brpL , which is needed for type 3 secretion system (T3SS) expression, further establishing the importance of BvgA~P as an apex regulator of transcriptional networks promoting virulence. Using in vitro transcription, we demonstrate that the promoter for brpL is directly activated by BvgA~P. BvgA-FeBABE cleavage reactions identify BvgA~P binding sites centered at positions −41.5 and −63.5 in bprL . Most importantly, we show for the first time that genes for multiple and varied metabolic pathways are significantly upregulated in the B. pertussis Bvg(−) mode. These include genes for fatty acid and lipid metabolism, sugar and amino acid transporters, pyruvate dehydrogenase, phenylacetic acid degradation, and the glycolate/glyoxylate utilization pathway. Our results suggest that metabolic changes in the Bvg(−) mode may be participating in bacterial survival, transmission, and/or persistence and identify over 200 new vrg s that can be tested for function. IMPORTANCE Within the past 20 years, outbreaks of whooping cough, caused by Bordetella pertussis , have led to respiratory disease and infant mortalities, despite good vaccination coverage. This is due, at least in part, to the introduction of a less effective acellular vaccine in the 1990s. It is crucial, then, to understand the molecular basis of B. pertussis growth and infection. The two-component system BvgA (response regulator)/BvgS (histidine kinase) is the master regulator of B. pertussis virulence genes. We report here the first RNA-seq analysis of the BvgAS regulon in B. pertussis , revealing that more than 550 genes are regulated by BvgAS. We show that genes for multiple and varied metabolic pathways are highly regulated in the Bvg(−) mode (absence of BvgA phosphorylation). Our results suggest that metabolic changes in the Bvg(−) mode may be participating in bacterial survival, transmission, and/or persistence.
, Bram Slütter, Birgit Schilling, , Jed A. Rasmussen, , Alexandria K. D’Souza, Lorri M. Reinders, , Bradford W. Gibson, et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia and a potential bioterrorism agent. In the present study, we isolated, identified, and quantified the proteins present in the membranes of the virulent type A strain, Schu S4, and the attenuated type B strain, LVS (live vaccine strain). Spectral counting of mass spectrometric data showed enrichment for membrane proteins in both strains. Mice vaccinated with whole LVS membranes encapsulated in poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles containing the adjuvant polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I·C)] showed significant protection against a challenge with LVS compared to the results seen with naive mice or mice vaccinated with either membranes or poly(I·C) alone. The PLGA-encapsulated Schu S4 membranes with poly(I·C) alone did not significantly protect mice from a lethal intraperitoneal challenge with Schu S4; however, this vaccination strategy provided protection from LVS challenge. Mice that received the encapsulated Schu S4 membranes followed by a booster of LVS bacteria showed significant protection with respect to a lethal Schu S4 challenge compared to control mice. Western blot analyses of the sera from the Schu S4-vaccinated mice that received an LVS booster showed four immunoreactive bands. One of these bands from the corresponding one-dimensional (1D) SDS-PAGE experiment represented capsule. The remaining bands were excised, digested with trypsin, and analyzed using mass spectrometry. The most abundant proteins present in these immunoreactive samples were an outer membrane OmpA-like protein, FopA; the type IV pilus fiber building block protein; a hypothetical membrane protein; and lipoproteins LpnA and Lpp3. These proteins should serve as potential targets for future recombinant protein vaccination studies. IMPORTANCE The low infectious dose, the high potential mortality/morbidity rates, and the ability to be disseminated as an aerosol make Francisella tularensis a potential agent for bioterrorism. These characteristics led the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to classify F. tularensis as a Tier 1 pathogen. Currently, there is no vaccine approved for general use in the United States.
Comment
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Despite tight biosecurity measures, an outbreak of respiratory disease rapidly spread across the Icelandic equine population in 2010. Horse transportation was brought to a halt in order to contain the spread of the infectious agent. In a recent article, Björnsdóttir and colleagues (S. Björnsdóttir et al., mBio 8:e00826-17, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00826-17 ) employ the power and resolution of “genomic epidemiology,” the combination of whole genomic sequencing and epidemiological approaches, to examine the source and spread of the outbreak. Intriguingly, the outbreak was not viral in origin, but linked to a bacterial “commensal” Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus infection. A national sampling strategy coupled with population genomics revealed that the outbreak was most likely driven by a S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus sequence type 209 (ST209) infection that spread nationally from a single source. This retrospective study demonstrates the power of genomics applied on a national scale to unravel the cause of a significant biosecurity threat.
Olga Sarenko, Gisela Klauck, Franziska M. Wilke, Vanessa Pfiffer, Anja M. Richter, Susanne Herbst, Volkhard Kaever,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
The bacterial second messenger bis-(3′-5′)-cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) ubiquitously promotes bacterial biofilm formation. Intracellular pools of c-di-GMP seem to be dynamically negotiated by diguanylate cyclases (DGCs, with GGDEF domains) and specific phosphodiesterases (PDEs, with EAL or HD-GYP domains). Most bacterial species possess multiple DGCs and PDEs, often with surprisingly distinct and specific output functions. One explanation for such specificity is “local” c-di-GMP signaling, which is believed to involve direct interactions between specific DGC/PDE pairs and c-di-GMP-binding effector/target systems. Here we present a systematic analysis of direct protein interactions among all 29 GGDEF/EAL domain proteins of Escherichia coli . Since the effects of interactions depend on coexpression and stoichiometries, cellular levels of all GGDEF/EAL domain proteins were also quantified and found to vary dynamically along the growth cycle. Instead of detecting specific pairs of interacting DGCs and PDEs, we discovered a tightly interconnected protein network of a specific subset or “supermodule” of DGCs and PDEs with a coregulated core of five hyperconnected hub proteins. These include the DGC/PDE proteins representing the c-di-GMP switch that turns on biofilm matrix production in E. coli . Mutants lacking these core hub proteins show drastic biofilm-related phenotypes but no changes in cellular c-di-GMP levels. Overall, our results provide the basis for a novel model of local c-di-GMP signaling in which a single strongly expressed master PDE, PdeH, dynamically eradicates global effects of several DGCs by strongly draining the global c-di-GMP pool and thereby restricting these DGCs to serving as local c-di-GMP sources that activate specific colocalized effector/target systems. IMPORTANCE c-di-GMP signaling in bacteria is believed to occur via changes in cellular c-di-GMP levels controlled by antagonistic and potentially interacting pairs of diguanylate cyclases (DGCs) and c-di-GMP phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Our systematic analysis of protein-protein interaction patterns of all 29 GGDEF/EAL domain proteins of E. coli , together with our measurements of cellular c-di-GMP levels, challenges both aspects of this current concept. Knocking out distinct DGCs and PDEs has drastic effects on E. coli biofilm formation without changing the cellular c-di-GMP level. In addition, rather than generally coming in interacting DGC/PDE pairs, a subset of DGCs and PDEs operates as central interaction hubs in a larger "supermodule," with other DGCs and PDEs behaving as “lonely players” without contacts to other c-di-GMP-related enzymes. On the basis of these data, we propose a novel concept of “local” c-di-GMP signaling in bacteria with multiple enzymes that make or break the second messenger c-di-GMP.
, Yuji Yamamoto, , Takashi Takaki, Tadasu Urashima, Satoru Fukiya, Atsushi Yokota, Nobuhiko Okada, Takao Mukai
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Bifidobacterium is a natural inhabitant of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract. We studied the role of the extracellular sialidase (SiaBb2, 835 amino acids [aa]) from Bifidobacterium bifidum ATCC 15696 in mucosal surface adhesion and carbohydrate catabolism. Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) or porcine mucin oligosaccharides as the sole carbon source enhanced B. bifidum growth. This was impaired in a B. bifidum ATCC 15696 strain harboring a mutation in the siabb2 gene. Mutant cells in early to late exponential growth phase also showed decreased adhesion to human epithelial cells and porcine mucin relative to the wild-type strain. These results indicate that SiaBb2 removes sialic acid from HMOs and mucin for metabolic purposes and may promote bifidobacterial adhesion to the mucosal surface. To further characterize SiaBb2-mediated bacterial adhesion, we examined the binding of His-tagged recombinant SiaBb2 peptide to colonic mucins and found that His-SiaBb2 as well as a conserved sialidase domain peptide (aa 187 to 553, His-Sia) bound to porcine mucin and murine colonic sections. A glycoarray assay revealed that His-Sia bound to the α2,6-linked but not to the α2,3-linked sialic acid on sialyloligosaccharide and blood type A antigen [GalNAcα1-3(Fucα1-2)Galβ] at the nonreducing termini of sugar chains. These results suggest that the sialidase domain of SiaBb2 is responsible for this interaction and that the protein recognizes two distinct carbohydrate structures. Thus, SiaBb2 may be involved in Bifidobacterium -mucosal surface interactions as well as in the assimilation of a variety of sialylated carbohydrates. IMPORTANCE Adhesion to the host mucosal surface and carbohydrate assimilation are important for bifidobacterium colonization and survival in the host gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we investigated the mechanistic basis for B. bifidum extracellular sialidase (SiaBb2)-mediated adhesion. SiaBb2 cleaved sialyl-human milk oligosaccharides and mucin glycans to produce oligosaccharides that supported B. bifidum growth. Moreover, SiaBb2 enhanced B. bifidum adhesion to mucosal surfaces via specific interactions with the α2,6 linkage of sialyloligosaccharide and blood type A antigen on mucin carbohydrates. These findings provide insight into the bifunctional role of SiaBb2 and the adhesion properties of B. bifidum strains.
Teddy Charbonnier, Dominique Le Coq, Stephen McGovern, Magali Calabre, Olivier Delumeau, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
At the heart of central carbon metabolism, pyruvate is a pivotal metabolite in all living cells. Bacillus subtilis is able to excrete pyruvate as well as to use it as the sole carbon source. We herein reveal that ysbAB (renamed pftAB ), the only operon specifically induced in pyruvate-grown B. subtilis cells, encodes a hetero-oligomeric membrane complex which operates as a facilitated transport system specific for pyruvate, thereby defining a novel class of transporter. We demonstrate that the LytST two-component system is responsible for the induction of pftAB in the presence of pyruvate by binding of the LytT response regulator to a palindromic region upstream of pftAB . We show that both glucose and malate, the preferred carbon sources for B. subtilis , trigger the binding of CcpA upstream of pftAB , which results in its catabolite repression. However, an additional CcpA-independent mechanism represses pftAB in the presence of malate. Screening a genome-wide transposon mutant library, we find that an active malic enzyme replenishing the pyruvate pool is required for this repression. We next reveal that the higher the influx of pyruvate, the stronger the CcpA-independent repression of pftAB , which suggests that intracellular pyruvate retroinhibits pftAB induction via LytST. Such a retroinhibition challenges the rational design of novel nature-inspired sensors and synthetic switches but undoubtedly offers new possibilities for the development of integrated sensor/controller circuitry. Overall, we provide evidence for a complete system of sensors, feed-forward and feedback controllers that play a major role in environmental growth of B. subtilis . IMPORTANCE Pyruvate is a small-molecule metabolite ubiquitous in living cells. Several species also use it as a carbon source as well as excrete it into the environment. The bacterial systems for pyruvate import/export have yet to be discovered. Here, we identified in the model bacterium Bacillus subtilis the first import/export system specific for pyruvate, PftAB, which defines a novel class of transporter. In this bacterium, extracellular pyruvate acts as the signal molecule for the LytST two-component system (TCS), which in turn induces expression of PftAB. However, when the pyruvate influx is high, LytST activity is drastically retroinhibited. Such a retroinhibition challenges the rational design of novel nature-inspired sensors and synthetic switches but undoubtedly offers new possibilities for the development of integrated sensor/controller circuitry.
Ryan Finethy, Sarah Luoma, Nichole Orench-Rivera, Eric Feeley, , Masahiro Yamamoto, , ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
The Gram-negative bacterial cell wall component lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is recognized by the noncanonical inflammasome protein caspase-11 in the cytosol of infected host cells and thereby prompts an inflammatory immune response linked to sepsis. Host guanylate binding proteins (GBPs) promote infection-induced caspase-11 activation in tissue culture models, and yet their in vivo role in LPS-mediated sepsis has remained unexplored. LPS can be released from lysed bacteria as “free” LPS aggregates or actively secreted by live bacteria as a component of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Here, we report that GBPs control inflammation and sepsis in mice injected with either free LPS or purified OMVs derived from Gram-negative Escherichia coli . In agreement with our observations from in vivo experiments, we demonstrate that macrophages lacking GBP2 expression fail to induce pyroptotic cell death and proinflammatory interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 secretion when exposed to OMVs. We propose that in order to activate caspase-11 in vivo , GBPs control the processing of bacterium-derived OMVs by macrophages as well as the processing of circulating free LPS by as-yet-undetermined cell types. IMPORTANCE The bacterial cell wall component LPS is a strong inducer of inflammation and is responsible for much of the toxicity of Gram-negative bacteria. Bacteria shed some of their cell wall and its associated LPS in the form of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). Recent work demonstrated that secreted OMVs deliver LPS into the host cell cytosol by an unknown mechanism, resulting in the activation of the proinflammatory LPS sensor caspase-11. Here, we show that activation of cytosolic caspase-11 by OMVs requires additional host factors, the so-called guanylate binding proteins (GBPs). The discovery of GBPs as regulators of OMV-mediated inflammation paves the way toward a mechanistic understanding of the host response toward bacterial OMVs and may lead to effective strategies to ameliorate inflammation induced by bacterial infections.
, Kimberley Bruce, Clara Lawler, , Rhonda Cardin, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Herpesviruses have coevolved with their hosts over hundreds of millions of years and exploit fundamental features of their biology. Cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) colonize blood-borne myeloid cells, and it has been hypothesized that systemic dissemination arises from infected stem cells in bone marrow. However, poor CMV transfer by stem cell transplantation argues against this being the main reservoir. To identify alternative pathways for CMV spread, we tracked murine CMV (MCMV) colonization after mucosal entry. We show that following intranasal MCMV infection, lung CD11c + dendritic cells (DC) migrated sequentially to lymph nodes (LN), blood, and then salivary glands. Replication-deficient virus followed the same route, and thus, DC infected peripherally traversed LN to enter the blood. Given that DC are thought to die locally following their arrival and integration into LN, recirculation into blood represents a new pathway. We examined host and viral factors that facilitated this LN traverse. We show that MCMV-infected DC exited LN by a distinct route to lymphocytes, entering high endothelial venules and bypassing the efferent lymph. LN exit required CD44 and the viral M33 chemokine receptor, without which infected DC accumulated in LN and systemic spread was greatly reduced. Taken together, our studies provide the first demonstration of virus-driven DC recirculation. As viruses follow host-defined pathways, high endothelial venules may normally allow DC to pass from LN back into blood. IMPORTANCE Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) causes devastating disease in the unborn fetus and in the immunocompromised. There is no licensed vaccine, and preventive measures are impeded by our poor understanding of early events in host colonization. HCMV and murine CMV (MCMV) both infect blood-borne myeloid cells. HCMV-infected blood cells are thought to derive from infected bone marrow stem cells. However, infected stem cells have not been visualized in vivo nor shown to produce virus ex vivo , and hematopoietic transplants poorly transfer infection. We show that MCMV-infected dendritic cells in the lungs reach the blood via lymph nodes, surprisingly migrating into high endothelial venules. Dissemination did not require viral replication. It depended on the constitutively active viral chemokine receptor M33 and on the host hyaluronan receptor CD44. Thus, viral chemokine receptors are a possible target to limit systemic CMV infections.
Steve Cornick, France Moreau, Herbert Y. Gaisano,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Intestinal mucus secretion is critical in maintaining mucosal host defense against a myriad of pathogens by preventing direct association with the epithelium. Entamoeba histolytica specifically binds colonic MUC2 mucin and also induces potent hypersecretion from goblet cells; however, characterization of the nature of the mechanisms controlling mucus release remains elusive. In this report, we identify vesicle SNARE vesicle-associated membrane protein 8 (VAMP8) present on mucin granules as orchestrating regulated exocytosis in human goblet cells in response to the presence of E. histolytica . VAMP8 was specifically activated during E. histolytica infection, and ablation of VAMP8 led to impaired mucin secretion. As a consequence, loss of VAMP8 increased E. histolytica adherence to epithelial cells associated with enhanced cell death through apoptosis characterized by caspase 3 and 9 cleavages and DNA fragmentation. With the mucosal barrier compromised in Vamp8−/− animals, E. histolytica induced an aggressive proinflammatory response with elevated levels of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1α), IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) secretion. This report is the first to characterize regulated mucin exocytosis in intestinal goblet cells in response to a pathogen and the downstream consequences of improper mucin secretion in mucosal barrier defense. IMPORTANCE The intestinal tract is exposed to countless substances and pathogens, and yet homeostasis is maintained, in part by the mucus layer that houses the microbiota and spatially separates potential threats from the underlying single layer of epithelium. Despite the critical role of mucus in innate host defense, characterization of the mechanisms by which mucus is secreted from specialized goblet cells in the gut remains elusive. Here, we describe the machinery that regulates mucus secretion as well as the consequence during infection with the colonic pathogen Entamoeba histolytica . Abolishment of the key machinery protein VAMP8 abrogated mucus release in cultured human colonic goblet cells and during E. histolytica infection in Vamp8−/− mice, which showed enhanced amoeba contact and killing of epithelial cells, triggering a potent proinflammatory response. This report highlights the importance of the VAMP8 secretory machinery in facilitating mucus release from intestinal goblet cells and the dire consequences that occur during disease pathogenesis if these pathways are not functional.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Bacteria interact with each other in nature and often compete for limited nutrient and space resources. However, it is largely unknown whether and how bacteria also interact with human fungal pathogens naturally found in the environment. Here, we identified a soil bacterium, Bacillus safensis , which potently blocked several key Cryptococcus neoformans virulence factors, including formation of the antioxidant pigment melanin and production of the antiphagocytic polysaccharide capsule. The bacterium also inhibited de novo cryptococcal biofilm formation but had only modest inhibitory effects on already formed biofilms or planktonic cell growth. The inhibition of fungal melanization was dependent on direct cell contact and live bacteria. B. safensis also had anti-virulence factor activity against another major human-associated fungal pathogen, Candida albicans . Specifically, dual-species interaction studies revealed that the bacterium strongly inhibited C. albicans filamentation and biofilm formation. In particular, B. safensis physically attached to and degraded candidal filaments. Through genetic and phenotypic analyses, we demonstrated that bacterial chitinase activity against fungal cell wall chitin is a factor contributing to the antipathogen effect of B. safensis . IMPORTANCE Pathogenic fungi are estimated to contribute to as many human deaths as tuberculosis or malaria. Two of the most common fungal pathogens, Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans , account for up to 1.4 million infections per year with very high mortality rates. Few antifungal drugs are available for treatment, and development of novel therapies is complicated by the need for pathogen-specific targets. Therefore, there is an urgent need to identify novel drug targets and new drugs. Pathogens use virulence factors during infection, and it has recently been proposed that targeting these factors instead of the pathogen itself may represent a new approach to develop antimicrobials. Here, we identified a soil bacterium that specifically blocked virulence factor production and biofilm formation by C. neoformans and C. albicans . We demonstrate that the bacterial antipathogen mechanism is based in part on targeting the fungal cell wall, a structure not found in human cells.
Guanhua Yang, Gabriel Billings, Troy P. Hubbard, Joseph S. Park, Ka Yin Leung, Qin Liu, Brigid M. Davis, Yuanxing Zhang, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Transposon insertion sequencing (TIS) is a powerful high-throughput genetic technique that is transforming functional genomics in prokaryotes, because it enables genome-wide mapping of the determinants of fitness. However, current approaches for analyzing TIS data assume that selective pressures are constant over time and thus do not yield information regarding changes in the genetic requirements for growth in dynamic environments (e.g., during infection). Here, we describe structured analysis of TIS data collected as a time series, termed pattern analysis of conditional essentiality (PACE). From a temporal series of TIS data, PACE derives a quantitative assessment of each mutant’s fitness over the course of an experiment and identifies mutants with related fitness profiles. In so doing, PACE circumvents major limitations of existing methodologies, specifically the need for artificial effect size thresholds and enumeration of bacterial population expansion. We used PACE to analyze TIS samples of Edwardsiella piscicida (a fish pathogen) collected over a 2-week infection period from a natural host (the flatfish turbot). PACE uncovered more genes that affect E. piscicida ’s fitness in vivo than were detected using a cutoff at a terminal sampling point, and it identified subpopulations of mutants with distinct fitness profiles, one of which informed the design of new live vaccine candidates. Overall, PACE enables efficient mining of time series TIS data and enhances the power and sensitivity of TIS-based analyses. IMPORTANCE Transposon insertion sequencing (TIS) enables genome-wide mapping of the genetic determinants of fitness, typically based on observations at a single sampling point. Here, we move beyond analysis of endpoint TIS data to create a framework for analysis of time series TIS data, termed pattern analysis of conditional essentiality (PACE). We applied PACE to identify genes that contribute to colonization of a natural host by the fish pathogen Edwardsiella piscicida. PACE uncovered more genes that affect E. piscicida ’s fitness in vivo than were detected using a terminal sampling point, and its clustering of mutants with related fitness profiles informed design of new live vaccine candidates. PACE yields insights into patterns of fitness dynamics and circumvents major limitations of existing methodologies. Finally, the PACE method should be applicable to additional “omic” time series data, including screens based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats with Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9).
, Charlotte Nejad, Jonathan Ferrand, Belinda J. Thomas, H. James Stunden, , Chwan-Hong Foo, Cameron R. Stewart, Jason E. Cain, Philip G. Bardin, et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Inflammatory responses, while essential for pathogen clearance, can also be deleterious to the host. Chemical inhibition of topoisomerase 1 (Top1) by low-dose camptothecin (CPT) can suppress transcriptional induction of antiviral and inflammatory genes and protect animals from excessive and damaging inflammatory responses. We describe the unexpected finding that minor DNA damage from topoisomerase 1 inhibition with low-dose CPT can trigger a strong antiviral immune response through cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) detection of cytoplasmic DNA. This argues against CPT having only anti-inflammatory activity. Furthermore, expression of the simian virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen was paramount to the proinflammatory antiviral activity of CPT, as it potentiated cytoplasmic DNA leakage and subsequent cGAS recruitment in human and mouse cell lines. This work suggests that the capacity of Top1 inhibitors to blunt inflammatory responses can be counteracted by viral oncogenes and that this should be taken into account for their therapeutic development. IMPORTANCE Recent studies suggest that low-dose DNA-damaging compounds traditionally used in cancer therapy can have opposite effects on antiviral responses, either suppressing (with the example of CPT) or potentiating (with the example of doxorubicin) them. Our work demonstrates that the minor DNA damage promoted by low-dose CPT can also trigger strong antiviral responses, dependent on the presence of viral oncogenes. Taken together, these results call for caution in the therapeutic use of low-dose chemotherapy agents to modulate antiviral responses in humans.
Zhihai Li, Daning Wang, Ying Gu, Shuo Song, Maozhou He, Jingjie Shi, Xinlin Liu, Shuangping Wei, Jinjin Li, Hai Yu, et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Persistent, high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the primary cause of cervical cancer. Neutralizing antibodies elicited by L1-only virus-like particles (VLPs) can block HPV infection; however, the lack of high-resolution structures has limited our understanding of the mode of virus infection and the requirement for type specificity at the molecular level. Here, we describe two antibodies, A12A3 and 28F10, that specifically bind to and neutralize HPV58 and HPV59, respectively, through two distinct binding stoichiometries. We show that the epitopes of A12A3 are clustered in the DE loops of two adjacent HPV58 L1 monomers, whereas 28F10 recognizes the HPV59 FG loop of a single monomer. Via structure-based mutagenesis and analysis of antibody binding, we further identified the residues HPV58 D154, S168, and N170 and HPV59 M267, Q270, E273, Y276, K278, and R283, which play critical roles in virus infection. By substituting these strategic epitope residues into other HPV genotypes, we could then redirect the type-specific binding of the antibodies to these genotypes, thus highlighting the importance of these specific residues, HPV58 R161, S168, and N308 and HPV59 Q270, E273, and D281. Overall, our findings provide molecular insights into potential structural determinants of HPV required for infectivity and type specificity. IMPORTANCE High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are considered the major causative pathogens of cancers that affect epithelial mucosa, such as cervical cancer. However, because of the lack of high-resolution structural information on the sites of neutralization, we have yet to determine the precise mode of HPV infection and how different types of HPV cause infection. Our crystal structures in this study have uncovered discrete binding stoichiometries for two different antibodies. We show that one A12A3 Fab binds to the center of one HPV58 pentamer, whereas five 28F10 Fabs bind along the top fringe of one HPV59 pentamer. Furthermore, through targeted epitope analysis, we show that 6 to 7 discontinuous residues of the L1 major capsid protein of HPV are determinants, at least in part, for virus infection and type specificity. This knowledge will help us to unravel the process of HPV infection and can potentially be used to drive the development of therapeutics that target neutralization-sensitive sites.
Patrick Younan, , Andrew Nishida, , Rodrigo I. Santos, Mukta Dutta, Ndongala Michel Lubaki, Richard A. Koup, Michael G. Katze,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Ebola virus (EBOV) disease (EVD) results from an exacerbated immunological response that is highlighted by a burst in the production of inflammatory mediators known as a “cytokine storm.” Previous reports have suggested that nonspecific activation of T lymphocytes may play a central role in this phenomenon. T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing protein 1 (Tim-1) has recently been shown to interact with virion-associated phosphatidylserine to promote infection. Here, we demonstrate the central role of Tim-1 in EBOV pathogenesis, as Tim-1 −/− mice exhibited increased survival rates and reduced disease severity; surprisingly, only a limited decrease in viremia was detected. Tim-1 −/− mice exhibited a modified inflammatory response as evidenced by changes in serum cytokines and activation of T helper subsets. A series of in vitro assays based on the Tim-1 expression profile on T cells demonstrated that despite the apparent absence of detectable viral replication in T lymphocytes, EBOV directly binds to isolated T lymphocytes in a phosphatidylserine–Tim-1-dependent manner. Exposure to EBOV resulted in the rapid development of a CD4 Hi CD3 Low population, non-antigen-specific activation, and cytokine production. Transcriptome and Western blot analysis of EBOV-stimulated CD4 + T cells confirmed the induction of the Tim-1 signaling pathway. Furthermore, comparative analysis of transcriptome data and cytokine/chemokine analysis of supernatants highlight the similarities associated with EBOV-stimulated T cells and the onset of a cytokine storm. Flow cytometry revealed virtually exclusive binding and activation of central memory CD4 + T cells. These findings provide evidence for the role of Tim-1 in the induction of a cytokine storm phenomenon and the pathogenesis of EVD. IMPORTANCE Ebola virus infection is characterized by a massive release of inflammatory mediators, which has come to be known as a cytokine storm. The severity of the cytokine storm is consistently linked with fatal disease outcome. Previous findings have demonstrated that specific T-cell subsets are key contributors to the onset of a cytokine storm. In this study, we investigated the role of Tim-1, a T-cell-receptor-independent trigger of T-cell activation. We first demonstrated that Tim-1-knockout (KO) mice survive lethal Ebola virus challenge. We then used a series of in vitro assays to demonstrate that Ebola virus directly binds primary T cells in a Tim-1–phosphatidylserine-dependent manner. We noted that binding induces a cytokine storm-like phenomenon and that blocking Tim-1–phosphatidylserine interactions reduces viral binding, T-cell activation, and cytokine production. These findings highlight a previously unknown role of Tim-1 in the development of a cytokine storm and “immune paralysis.”
, Victoria I. Verhoeve, Mark L. Guillotte, Stephanie S. Lehman, Sherri A. Rennoll, Magda Beier-Sexton, M. Sayeedur Rahman, Abdu F. Azad,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Reductive genome evolution has purged many metabolic pathways from obligate intracellular Rickettsia ( Alphaproteobacteria ; Rickettsiaceae ). While some aspects of host-dependent rickettsial metabolism have been characterized, the array of host-acquired metabolites and their cognate transporters remains unknown. This dearth of information has thwarted efforts to obtain an axenic Rickettsia culture, a major impediment to conventional genetic approaches. Using phylogenomics and computational pathway analysis, we reconstructed the Rickettsia metabolic and transport network, identifying 51 host-acquired metabolites (only 21 previously characterized) needed to compensate for degraded biosynthesis pathways. In the absence of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway, cell envelope glycoconjugates are synthesized from three imported host sugars, with a range of additional host-acquired metabolites fueling the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Fatty acid and glycerophospholipid pathways also initiate from host precursors, and import of both isoprenes and terpenoids is required for the synthesis of ubiquinone and the lipid carrier of lipid I and O-antigen. Unlike metabolite-provisioning bacterial symbionts of arthropods, rickettsiae cannot synthesize B vitamins or most other cofactors, accentuating their parasitic nature. Six biosynthesis pathways contain holes (missing enzymes); similar patterns in taxonomically diverse bacteria suggest alternative enzymes that await discovery. A paucity of characterized and predicted transporters emphasizes the knowledge gap concerning how rickettsiae import host metabolites, some of which are large and not known to be transported by bacteria. Collectively, our reconstructed metabolic network offers clues to how rickettsiae hijack host metabolic pathways. This blueprint for growth determinants is an important step toward the design of axenic media to rescue rickettsiae from the eukaryotic cell. IMPORTANCE A hallmark of obligate intracellular bacteria is the tradeoff of metabolic genes for the ability to acquire host metabolites. For species of Rickettsia , arthropod-borne parasites with the potential to cause serious human disease, the range of pilfered host metabolites is unknown. This information is critical for dissociating rickettsiae from eukaryotic cells to facilitate rickettsial genetic manipulation. In this study, we reconstructed the Rickettsia metabolic network and identified 51 host metabolites required to compensate patchwork Rickettsia biosynthesis pathways. Remarkably, some metabolites are not known to be transported by any bacteria, and overall, few cognate transporters were identified. Several pathways contain missing enzymes, yet similar pathways in unrelated bacteria indicate convergence and possible novel enzymes awaiting characterization. Our work illuminates the parasitic nature by which rickettsiae hijack host metabolism to counterbalance numerous disintegrated biosynthesis pathways that have arisen through evolution within the eukaryotic cell. This metabolic blueprint reveals what a Rickettsia axenic medium might entail.
Devanshi Khokhani, , Tuan Minh Tran,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
The PhcA virulence regulator in the vascular wilt pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum responds to cell density via quorum sensing. To understand the timing of traits that enable R. solanacearum to establish itself inside host plants, we created a Δ phcA mutant that is genetically locked in a low-cell-density condition. Comparing levels of gene expression of wild-type R. solanacearum and the Δ phcA mutant during tomato colonization revealed that the PhcA transcriptome includes an impressive 620 genes (>2-fold differentially expressed; false-discovery rate [FDR], ≤0.005). Many core metabolic pathways and nutrient transporters were upregulated in the Δ phcA mutant, which grew faster than the wild-type strain in tomato xylem sap and on dozens of specific metabolites, including 36 found in xylem. This suggests that PhcA helps R. solanacearum to survive in nutrient-poor environmental habitats and to grow rapidly during early pathogenesis. However, after R. solanacearum reaches high cell densities in planta , PhcA mediates a trade-off from maximizing growth to producing costly virulence factors. R. solanacearum infects through roots, and low-cell-density-mode-mimicking Δ phcA cells attached to tomato roots better than the wild-type cells, consistent with their increased expression of several adhesins. Inside xylem vessels, Δ phcA cells formed aberrantly dense mats. Possibly as a result, the mutant could not spread up or down tomato stems as well as the wild type. This suggests that aggregating improves R. solanacearum survival in soil and facilitates infection and that it reduces pathogenic fitness later in disease. Thus, PhcA mediates a second strategic switch between initial pathogen attachment and subsequent dispersal inside the host. PhcA helps R. solanacearum optimally invest resources and correctly sequence multiple steps in the bacterial wilt disease cycle. IMPORTANCERalstonia solanacearum is a destructive soilborne crop pathogen that wilts plants by colonizing their water-transporting xylem vessels. It produces its costly virulence factors only after it has grown to a high population density inside a host. To identify traits that this pathogen needs in other life stages, we studied a mutant that mimics the low-cell-density condition. This mutant (the Δ phcA mutant) cannot sense its own population density. It grew faster than and used many nutrients not available to the wild-type bacterium, including metabolites present in tomato xylem sap. The mutant also attached much better to tomato roots, and yet it failed to spread once it was inside plants because it was trapped in dense mats. Thus, PhcA helps R. solanacearum succeed over the course of its complex life cycle by ensuring avid attachment to plant surfaces and rapid growth early in disease, followed by high virulence and effective dispersal later in disease.
, Frédéric Subra, Charlotte Charpentier, Gilles Collin, Diane Descamps, Vincent Calvez, Anne-Geneviève Marcelin, Olivier Delelis
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Resistance to the integrase strand transfer inhibitors raltegravir and elvitegravir is often due to well-identified mutations in the integrase gene. However, the situation is less clear for patients who fail dolutegravir treatment. Furthermore, most in vitro experiments to select resistance to dolutegravir have resulted in few mutations of the integrase gene. We performed an in vitro dolutegravir resistance selection experiment by using a breakthrough method. First, MT4 cells were infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Lai. After integration into the host cell genome, cells were washed to remove unbound virus and 500 nM dolutegravir was added to the cell medium. This high concentration of the drug was maintained throughout selection. At day 80, we detected a virus highly resistant to dolutegravir, raltegravir, and elvitegravir that remained susceptible to zidovudine. Sequencing of the virus showed no mutations in the integrase gene but highlighted the emergence of five mutations, all located in the nef region, of which four were clustered in the 3′ polypurine tract (PPT). Mutations selected in vitro by dolutegravir, located outside the integrase gene, can confer a high level of resistance to all integrase inhibitors. Thus, HIV-1 can use an alternative mechanism to develop resistance to integrase inhibitors by selecting mutations in the 3′ PPT region. Further studies are required to determine to what extent these mutations may explain virological failure during integrase inhibitor therapy. IMPORTANCE Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) are increasingly used both as first-line drugs and in rescue therapy because of their low toxicity and high efficacy in both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients. Until now, resistance mutations selected by INSTI exposure have either been described in patients or selected in vitro and involve the integrase gene. Most mutations selected by raltegravir, elvitegravir, or dolutegravir exposure are located inside the catalytic site of the integrase gene, but mutations outside the catalytic site of the integrase gene have also been selected with dolutegravir. Following in vitro selection with dolutegravir, we report, for the first time, a virus with selected mutations outside the HIV-1 integrase gene that confer resistance to all integrase inhibitors currently used to treat patients, such as raltegravir, elvitegravir, and dolutegravir. Our observation may explain why some viruses responsible for virological failure in patients treated with dolutegravir did not show mutations in the integrase gene.
Juan De Dios Caballero, Rafael Vida, Marta Cobo, Luis Máiz, Lucrecia Suárez, , Fernando Baquero, Rafael Cantón,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung microbiota composition has recently been redefined by the application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) tools, identifying, among others, previously undescribed anaerobic and uncultivable bacteria. In the present study, we monitored the fluctuations of this ecosystem in 15 CF patients during a 1-year follow-up period, describing for the first time, as far as we know, the presence of predator bacteria in the CF lung microbiome. In addition, a new computational model was developed to ascertain the hypothetical ecological repercussions of a prey-predator interaction in CF lung microbial communities. Fifteen adult CF patients, stratified according to their pulmonary function into mild ( n = 5), moderate ( n = 9), and severe ( n = 1) disease, were recruited at the CF unit of the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital (Madrid, Spain). Each patient contributed three or four induced sputum samples during a 1-year follow-up period. Lung microbiota composition was determined by both cultivation and NGS techniques and was compared with the patients’ clinical variables. Results revealed a particular microbiota composition for each patient that was maintained during the study period, although some fluctuations were detected without any clinical correlation. For the first time, Bdellovibrio and Vampirovibrio predator bacteria were shown in CF lung microbiota and reduced-genome bacterial parasites of the phylum Parcubacteria were also consistently detected. The newly designed computational model allows us to hypothesize that inoculation of predators into the pulmonary microbiome might contribute to the control of chronic colonization by CF pathogens in early colonization stages. IMPORTANCE The application of NGS to sequential samples of CF patients demonstrated the complexity of the organisms present in the lung (156 species) and the constancy of basic individual colonization patterns, although some differences between samples from the same patient were observed, probably related to sampling bias. Bdellovibrio and Vampirovibrio predator bacteria were found for the first time by NGS as part of the CF lung microbiota, although their ecological significance needs to be clarified. The newly designed computational model allows us to hypothesize that inoculation of predators into the lung microbiome can eradicate CF pathogens in early stages of the process. Our data strongly suggest that lower respiratory microbiome fluctuations are not necessarily related to the patient’s clinical status.
Hemant Kumar Gupta, Shruti Shrivastava,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Ca 2+ plays an important role in the physiology of bacteria. Intracellular Ca 2+ concentrations are tightly maintained in the nanomolar range. Molecular mechanisms of Ca 2+ uptake in bacteria remain elusive. Here we show that CtpE is responsible for Ca 2+ uptake in Mycobacterium smegmatis . It represents a previously uncharacterized P-type ATPase family in bacteria. Disruption of ctpE in M. smegmatis resulted in a mutant with impaired growth under Ca 2+ -deficient conditions. The growth defect of the mutant could be rescued by Ca 2+ or by ectopic expression of ctpE from M. smegmatis or the orthologous gene ( Rv0908 ) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Radioactive transport assays revealed that CtpE is a Ca 2+ -specific transporter. Ca 2+ deficiency increased expression of ctpE , resulting in increased 45 Ca 2+ accumulation in cells. ctpE is a gene that is part of an operon, which is negatively regulated by Ca 2+ . The ctpE mutant also showed hypersensitivity to polymyxin B, increased biofilm formation, and higher cell aggregation, indicating cell envelope defects. Our work establishes, for the first time, the presence of Ca 2+ uptake pumps of the energy-dependent P-type ATPase superfamily in bacteria and also implicates that intracellular Ca 2+ is essential for growth and cell envelope integrity in M. smegmatis . IMPORTANCE Ca 2+ is essential for gene regulation, enzymatic activity, and maintenance of structural integrity of cell walls in bacteria. Bacteria maintain intracellular calcium concentrations in a narrow range, creating a gradient with low cytoplasmic calcium concentration and high extracellular calcium concentration. Due to this steep gradient, active pumps belonging to family 2 of P-type ATPases and antiporters are used for Ca 2+ efflux, whereas Ca 2+ uptake is usually carried out by channels. Molecular mechanisms of Ca 2+ uptake in bacteria are still elusive and are mainly limited to a nonproteinaceous channel in Escherichia coli and a pH-dependent channel protein from Bacillus subtilis . Energy-dependent active transporters are not reported for Ca 2+ uptake from any organism. Here we show that CtpE belonging to a family of previously uncharacterized bacterial P-type ATPases is involved in specific uptake of Ca 2+ into Mycobacterium smegmatis . We also demonstrate that intracellular Ca 2+ obtained through CtpE is essential for growth and maintenance of cell surface properties under Ca 2+ -deficient conditions.
Ralph Krafczyk, Jakub Macošek, , Daniel Gast, Swetlana Wunder, Prithiba Mitra, Amit Kumar Jha, , , , et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Glycosylation is a universal strategy to posttranslationally modify proteins. The recently discovered arginine rhamnosylation activates the polyproline-specific bacterial translation elongation factor EF-P. EF-P is rhamnosylated on arginine 32 by the glycosyltransferase EarP. However, the enzymatic mechanism remains elusive. In the present study, we solved the crystal structure of EarP from Pseudomonas putida . The enzyme is composed of two opposing domains with Rossmann folds, thus constituting a B pattern-type glycosyltransferase (GT-B). While dTDP-β- l -rhamnose is located within a highly conserved pocket of the C-domain, EarP recognizes the KOW-like N-domain of EF-P. Based on our data, we propose a structural model for arginine glycosylation by EarP. As EarP is essential for pathogenicity in P. aeruginosa , our study provides the basis for targeted inhibitor design. IMPORTANCE The structural and biochemical characterization of the EF-P-specific rhamnosyltransferase EarP not only provides the first molecular insights into arginine glycosylation but also lays the basis for targeted-inhibitor design against Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection.
Correction
Mareike D. Maler, Peter J. Nielsen, Nicole Stichling, , Zsolt Ruzsics, Connor Wood, Peggy Engelhard, Maarit Suomalainen, Ildiko Gyory, Michael Huber, et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Bin Hirota, Genta Okude, , , Minoru Moriyama, Xian-Ying Meng, Naruo Nikoh, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
The saw-toothed grain beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Silvanidae), is a cosmopolitan stored-product pest. Early studies on O. surinamensis in the 1930s described the presence of peculiar bacteriomes harboring endosymbiotic bacteria in the abdomen. Since then, however, the microbiological nature of the symbiont has been elusive. Here we investigated the endosymbiotic system of O. surinamensis in detail. In the abdomen of adults, pupae, and larvae, four oval bacteriomes were consistently identified, whose cytoplasm was full of extremely elongated tubular bacterial cells several micrometers wide and several hundred micrometers long. Molecular phylogenetic analysis identified the symbiont as a member of the Bacteroidetes , in which the symbiont was the most closely related to the endosymbiont of a grain pest beetle, Rhyzopertha dominica (Bostrichidae). The symbiont was detected in developing embryos, corroborating vertical symbiont transmission through host generations. The symbiont gene showed AT-biased nucleotide composition and accelerated molecular evolution, plausibly reflecting degenerative evolution of the symbiont genome. When the symbiont infection was experimentally removed, the aposymbiotic insects grew and reproduced normally, but exhibited a slightly but significantly more reddish cuticle and lighter body mass. These results indicate that the symbiont of O. surinamensis is not essential for the host’s growth and reproduction but contributes to the host’s cuticle formation. Symbiont genome sequencing and detailed comparison of fitness parameters between symbiotic and aposymbiotic insects under various environmental conditions will provide further insights into the symbiont’s biological roles for the stored-product pest. IMPORTANCE Some beetles notorious as stored-product pests possess well-developed symbiotic organs called bacteriomes for harboring specific symbiotic bacteria, although their biological roles have been poorly understood. Here we report a peculiar endosymbiotic system of a grain pest beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis , in which four oval bacteriomes in the abdomen are full of extremely elongated tubular bacterial cells. Experimental symbiont elimination did not hinder the host’s growth and reproduction, but resulted in emergence of reddish beetles, uncovering the symbiont’s involvement in host’s cuticle formation. We speculate that the extremely elongated symbiont cell morphology might be due to the degenerative symbiont genome deficient in bacterial cell division and/or cell wall formation, which highlights an evolutionary consequence of intimate host-symbiont coevolution.
Comment
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Carbadox is an antibiotic used to control dysentery and promote growth in swine in the United States; however, the drug also causes tumors and birth defects in laboratory animals. Despite this and because the drug has no analogs in human medicine, it is not considered “medically important” and can be used in livestock without veterinarian oversight. In their recent study, T. A. Johnson et al. (mBio 8:e00709-17, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00709-17 ) demonstrated that carbadox has profound effects on the swine gut microbiome, including the induction of transducing phage carrying tetracycline, aminoglycoside, and beta-lactam resistance genes. In swine production, carbadox can be used in conjunction with other antibiotics (e.g., oxytetracycline) that could fuel the emergence of strains carrying phage-encoded resistance determinants. Johnson et al.’s findings underscore the potential unforeseen consequences of using antibiotics in livestock production and call into question our current methods for classifying whether or not a veterinary drug has relevance to human health.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Scientific societies provide numerous services to the scientific enterprise, including convening meetings, publishing journals, developing scientific programs, advocating for science, promoting education, providing cohesion and direction for the discipline, and more. For most scientific societies, publishing provides revenues that support these important activities. In recent decades, the proportion of papers on microbiology published in scientific society journals has declined. This is largely due to two competing pressures: authors’ drive to publish in “glam journals”—those with high journal impact factors—and the availability of “mega journals,” which offer speedy publication of articles regardless of their potential impact. The decline in submissions to scientific society journals and the lack of enthusiasm on the part of many scientists to publish in them should be matters of serious concern to all scientists because they impact the service that scientific societies can provide to their members and to science.
, Clémentine Dressaire, Susana Barahona, , Volkhard Kaever, Urs Jenal,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
The bacterial second messenger cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) is a nearly ubiquitous intracellular signaling molecule involved in the transition from the motile to the sessile/biofilm state in bacteria. C-di-GMP regulates various cellular processes, including biofilm formation, motility, and virulence. BolA is a transcription factor that promotes survival in different stresses and is also involved in biofilm formation. Both BolA and c-di-GMP participate in the regulation of motility mechanisms leading to similar phenotypes. Here, we establish the importance of the balance between these two factors for accurate regulation of the transition between the planktonic and sessile lifestyles. This balance is achieved by negative-feedback regulation of BolA and c-di-GMP. BolA not only contributes directly to the motility of bacteria but also regulates the expression of diguanylate cyclases and phosphodiesterases. This expression modulation influences the synthesis and degradation of c-di-GMP, while this signaling metabolite has a negative influence in bolA mRNA transcription. Finally, we present evidence of the dominant role of BolA in biofilm, showing that, even in the presence of elevated c-di-GMP levels, biofilm formation is reduced in the absence of BolA. C-di-GMP is one of the most important bacterial second messengers involved in several cellular processes, including virulence, cell cycle regulation, biofilm formation, and flagellar synthesis. In this study, we unravelled a direct connection between the bolA morphogene and the c-di-GMP signaling molecule. We show the important cross-talk that occurs between these two molecular regulators during the transition between the motile/planktonic and adhesive/sessile lifestyles in Escherichia coli . This work provides important clues that can be helpful in the development of new strategies, and the results can be applied to other organisms with relevance for human health. IMPORTANCE Bacterial cells have evolved several mechanisms to cope with environmental stresses. BolA-like proteins are widely conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, and in Escherichia coli , in addition to its pleiotropic effects, this protein plays a determinant role in bacterial motility and biofilm formation regulation. Similarly, the bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP is a molecule with high importance in coordinating the switch between planktonic and sessile life in bacteria. Here we have unravelled the importance of accurate regulation of cross-talk between BolA and c-di-GMP for a proper response in the regulation of these bacterial lifestyles. This finding underlines the complexity of bacterial cell regulation, revealing the existence of one additional tool for fine-tuning such important cellular molecular mechanisms. The relationship between BolA and c-di-GMP gives new perspectives regarding biofilm formation and opens the possibility to extend our studies to other organisms with relevance for human health.
, , Steven Aalvink, , Vieno Piironen, , Willem M. de Vos
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Akkermansia muciniphila has evolved to specialize in the degradation and utilization of host mucus, which it may use as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen. Mucus degradation and fermentation by A. muciniphila are known to result in the liberation of oligosaccharides and subsequent production of acetate, which becomes directly available to microorganisms in the vicinity of the intestinal mucosa. Coculturing experiments of A . muciniphila with non-mucus-degrading butyrate-producing bacteria Anaerostipes caccae , Eubacterium hallii , and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii resulted in syntrophic growth and production of butyrate. In addition, we demonstrate that the production of pseudovitamin B 12 by E. hallii results in production of propionate by A. muciniphila , which suggests that this syntrophy is indeed bidirectional. These data are proof of concept for syntrophic and other symbiotic microbe-microbe interactions at the intestinal mucosal interface. The observed metabolic interactions between A . muciniphila and butyrogenic bacterial taxa support the existence of colonic vitamin and butyrate production pathways that are dependent on host glycan production and independent of dietary carbohydrates. We infer that the intestinal symbiont A. muciniphila can indirectly stimulate intestinal butyrate levels in the vicinity of the intestinal epithelial cells with potential health benefits to the host. IMPORTANCE The intestinal microbiota is said to be a stable ecosystem where many networks between microorganisms are formed. Here we present a proof of principle study of microbial interaction at the intestinal mucus layer. We show that indigestible oligosaccharide chains within mucus become available for a broad range of intestinal microbes after degradation and liberation of sugars by the species Akkermansia muciniphila . This leads to the microbial synthesis of vitamin B 12 , 1,2-propanediol, propionate, and butyrate, which are beneficial to the microbial ecosystem and host epithelial cells.
, Victoria A. Meliopoulos, Nicholas C. van de Velde, Lee-Ann van de Velde, Beth Mann, Geli Gao, Jason Rosch, Elaine Tuomanen, Jon McCullers, , et al.
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Obesity is a risk factor for developing severe disease following influenza virus infection; however, the comorbidity of obesity and secondary bacterial infection, a serious complication of influenza virus infections, is unknown. To fill this gap in knowledge, lean and obese C57BL/6 mice were infected with a nonlethal dose of influenza virus followed by a nonlethal dose of Streptococcus pneumoniae . Strikingly, not only did significantly enhanced death occur in obese coinfected mice compared to lean controls, but also high mortality was seen irrespective of influenza virus strain, bacterial strain, or timing of coinfection. This result was unexpected, given that most influenza virus strains, especially seasonal human A and B viruses, are nonlethal in this model. Both viral and bacterial titers were increased in the upper respiratory tract and lungs of obese animals as early as days 1 and 2 post-bacterial infection, leading to a significant decrease in lung function. This increased bacterial load correlated with extensive cellular damage and upregulation of platelet-activating factor receptor, a host receptor central to pneumococcal invasion. Importantly, while vaccination of obese mice against either influenza virus or pneumococcus failed to confer protection, antibiotic treatment was able to resolve secondary bacterial infection-associated mortality. Overall, secondary bacterial pneumonia could be a widespread, unaddressed public health problem in an increasingly obese population. IMPORTANCE Worldwide obesity rates have continued to increase. Obesity is associated with increased severity of influenza virus infection; however, very little is known about respiratory coinfections in this expanding, high-risk population. Our studies utilized a coinfection model to show that obesity increases mortality from secondary bacterial infection following influenza virus challenge through a “perfect storm” of host factors that lead to excessive viral and bacterial outgrowth. In addition, we found that vaccination of obese mice against either virus or bacteria failed to confer protection against coinfection, but antibiotic treatment did alleviate mortality. Combined, these results represent an understudied and imminent public health concern in a weighty portion of the global population.
Sarah N. Croft, ,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
Infected cells can undergo apoptosis as a protective response to viral infection, thereby limiting viral infection. As viruses require a viable cell for replication, the death of the cell limits cellular functions that are required for virus replication and propagation. Picornaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that modify the host cell apoptotic response, probably in order to promote viral replication, largely as a function of the viral proteases 2A, 3C, and 3CD. These proteases are essential for viral polyprotein processing and also cleave cellular proteins. Picornavirus proteases cleave proapoptotic adaptor proteins, resulting in downregulation of apoptosis. Picornavirus proteases also cleave nucleoporins, disrupting the orchestrated manner in which signaling pathways use active nucleocytoplasmic trafficking, including those involved in apoptosis. In addition to viral proteases, the transmembrane 2B protein alters intracellular ion signaling, which may also modulate apoptosis. Overall, picornaviruses, via the action of virally encoded proteins, exercise intricate control over and subvert cell death pathways, specifically apoptosis, thereby allowing viral replication to continue.
Yu Tanouchi,
Published: 8 November 2017
Abstract:
During its lysogenic life cycle, the phage genome is integrated into the host chromosome by site-specific recombination. In this report, we analyze lambda phage integration into noncanonical sites using next-generation sequencing and show that it generates significant genetic diversity by targeting over 300 unique sites in the host Escherichia coli genome. Moreover, these integration events can have important phenotypic consequences for the host, including changes in cell motility and increased antibiotic resistance. Importantly, the new technologies that we developed to enable this study—sequencing secondary sites using next-generation sequencing and then selecting relevant lysogens using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas9-based selection—are broadly applicable to other phage-bacterium systems. IMPORTANCE Bacteriophages play an important role in bacterial evolution through lysogeny, where the phage genome is integrated into the host chromosome. While phage integration generally occurs at a specific site in the host chromosome, it is also known to occur at other, so-called secondary sites. In this study, we developed a new experimental technology to comprehensively study secondary integration sites and discovered that phage can integrate into over 300 unique sites in the host genome, resulting in significant genetic diversity in bacteria. We further developed an assay to examine the phenotypic consequence of such diverse integration events and found that phage integration can cause changes in evolutionarily relevant traits such as bacterial motility and increases in antibiotic resistance. Importantly, our method is readily applicable to other phage-bacterium systems.
Page of 119
Articles per Page
by
Show export options
  Select all
Back to Top Top