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Sample records for virulence regulator aphb

  1. Near infrared fluorescent biliproteins generated from bacteriophytochrome AphB of Nostoc sp. PCC 7120.

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    Yuan, Che; Li, Hui-Zhen; Tang, Kun; Gärtner, Wolfgang; Scheer, Hugo; Zhou, Ming; Zhao, Kai-Hong

    2016-04-01

    The genome of the cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. PCC 7120 encodes a large number of putative bacteriophytochrome and cyanobacteriochrome photoreceptors that, due to their long-wavelength absorption and fluorescence emission, might serve as fluorescent tags in intracellular investigations. We show that the PAS-GAF domain of the bacteriophytochrome, AphB, binds biliverdin covalently and exhibits, besides its reversible photochemistry, a moderate fluorescence in the near infrared (NIR) spectral region. It was selected for further increasing the brightness while retaining the NIR fluorescence. In the first step, amino acids assumed to improve fluorescence were selectively mutated. The resulting variants were then subjected to several rounds of random mutagenesis and screened for enhanced fluorescence in the NIR. The brightness of optimized PAS-GAF variants increased more than threefold compared to that of wt AphB(1-321), with only insignificant spectral shifts (Amax around 695 nm, and Fmax around 720 nm). In general, the brightness increases with decreasing wavelengths, which allows for a selection of the fluorophore depending on the optical properties of the tissue. A spectral heterogeneity was observed when residue His260, located in close proximity to the chromophore, was mutated to Tyr, emphasizing the strong effects of the environment on the electronic properties of the bound biliverdin chromophore.

  2. Genetic Regulation of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii

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    Kröger, Carsten; Kary, Stefani C.; Schauer, Kristina; Cameron, Andrew D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Multidrug resistant microorganisms are forecast to become the single biggest challenge to medical care in the 21st century. Over the last decades, members of the genus Acinetobacter have emerged as bacterial opportunistic pathogens, in particular as challenging nosocomial pathogens because of the rapid evolution of antimicrobial resistances. Although we lack fundamental biological insight into virulence mechanisms, an increasing number of researchers are working to identify virulence factors and to study antibiotic resistance. Here, we review current knowledge regarding the regulation of virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. A survey of the two-component systems AdeRS, BaeSR, GacSA and PmrAB explains how each contributes to antibiotic resistance and virulence gene expression, while BfmRS regulates cell envelope structures important for pathogen persistence. A. baumannii uses the transcription factors Fur and Zur to sense iron or zinc depletion and upregulate genes for metal scavenging as a critical survival tool in an animal host. Quorum sensing, nucleoid-associated proteins, and non-classical transcription factors such as AtfA and small regulatory RNAs are discussed in the context of virulence and antibiotic resistance. PMID:28036056

  3. Regulation of bacterial virulence by Csr (Rsm) systems.

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    Vakulskas, Christopher A; Potts, Anastasia H; Babitzke, Paul; Ahmer, Brian M M; Romeo, Tony

    2015-06-01

    Most bacterial pathogens have the remarkable ability to flourish in the external environment and in specialized host niches. This ability requires their metabolism, physiology, and virulence factors to be responsive to changes in their surroundings. It is no surprise that the underlying genetic circuitry that supports this adaptability is multilayered and exceedingly complex. Studies over the past 2 decades have established that the CsrA/RsmA proteins, global regulators of posttranscriptional gene expression, play important roles in the expression of virulence factors of numerous proteobacterial pathogens. To accomplish these tasks, CsrA binds to the 5' untranslated and/or early coding regions of mRNAs and alters translation, mRNA turnover, and/or transcript elongation. CsrA activity is regulated by noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs) that contain multiple CsrA binding sites, which permit them to sequester multiple CsrA homodimers away from mRNA targets. Environmental cues sensed by two-component signal transduction systems and other regulatory factors govern the expression of the CsrA-binding sRNAs and, ultimately, the effects of CsrA on secretion systems, surface molecules and biofilm formation, quorum sensing, motility, pigmentation, siderophore production, and phagocytic avoidance. This review presents the workings of the Csr system, the paradigm shift that it generated for understanding posttranscriptional regulation, and its roles in virulence networks of animal and plant pathogens. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Catabolite and Oxygen Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

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    Kimberly M. Carlson-Banning

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The biogeography of the gut is diverse in its longitudinal axis, as well as within specific microenvironments. Differential oxygenation and nutrient composition drive the membership of microbial communities in these habitats. Moreover, enteric pathogens can orchestrate further modifications to gain a competitive advantage toward host colonization. These pathogens are versatile and adept when exploiting the human colon. They expertly navigate complex environmental cues and interkingdom signaling to colonize and infect their hosts. Here we demonstrate how enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC uses three sugar-sensing transcription factors, Cra, KdpE, and FusR, to exquisitely regulate the expression of virulence factors associated with its type III secretion system (T3SS when exposed to various oxygen concentrations. We also explored the effect of mucin-derived nonpreferred carbon sources on EHEC growth and expression of virulence genes. Taken together, the results show that EHEC represses the expression of its T3SS when oxygen is absent, mimicking the largely anaerobic lumen, and activates its T3SS when oxygen is available through Cra. In addition, when EHEC senses mucin-derived sugars heavily present in the O-linked and N-linked glycans of the large intestine, virulence gene expression is initiated. Sugars derived from pectin, a complex plant polysaccharide digested in the large intestine, also increased virulence gene expression. Not only does EHEC sense host- and microbiota-derived interkingdom signals, it also uses oxygen availability and mucin-derived sugars liberated by the microbiota to stimulate expression of the T3SS. This precision in gene regulation allows EHEC to be an efficient pathogen with an extremely low infectious dose.

  5. Brucella abortus: pathogenicity and gene regulation of virulence

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    Olga Rivas-Solano

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Brucella abortus is a zoonotic intracellular facultative pathogen belonging to the subdivision α2 of class Proteobacteria. It causes a worldwide distributed zoonotic disease called brucellosis. The main symptoms are abortion and sterility in cattle, as well as an undulant febrile condition in humans. In endemic regions like Central America, brucellosis has a high socioeconomic impact. A basic research project was recently conducted at the ITCR with the purpose of studying gene regulation of virulence, structure and immunogenicity in B. abortus. The present review was written as part of this project. B. abortus virulence seems to be determined by its ability to invade, survive and replicate inside professional and non-professional phagocytes. It reaches its intracellular replicative niche without the activation of host antimicrobial mechanisms of innate immunity. It also has gene regulation mechanisms for a rapid adaptation to an intracellular environment such as the two-component signal transduction system BvrR/BvrS and the quorum sensing regulator called Vjbr, as well as other transcription factors. All of them integrate a complex gene regulation network.

  6. The Central Metabolism Regulator EIIAGlc Switches Salmonella from Growth Arrest to Acute Virulence through Activation of Virulence Factor Secretion

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    Alain Mazé

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The ability of Salmonella to cause disease depends on metabolic activities and virulence factors. Here, we show that a key metabolic protein, EIIAGlc, is absolutely essential for acute infection, but not for Salmonella survival, in a mouse typhoid fever model. Surprisingly, phosphorylation-dependent EIIAGlc functions, including carbohydrate transport and activation of adenylate cyclase for global regulation, do not explain this virulence phenotype. Instead, biochemical studies, in vitro secretion and translocation assays, and in vivo genetic epistasis experiments suggest that EIIAGlc binds to the type three secretion system 2 (TTSS-2 involved in systemic virulence, stabilizes its cytoplasmic part including the crucial TTSS-2 ATPase, and activates virulence factor secretion. This unexpected role of EIIAGlc reveals a striking direct link between central Salmonella metabolism and a crucial virulence mechanism.

  7. Catabolite and Oxygen Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence.

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    Carlson-Banning, Kimberly M; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2016-11-22

    The biogeography of the gut is diverse in its longitudinal axis, as well as within specific microenvironments. Differential oxygenation and nutrient composition drive the membership of microbial communities in these habitats. Moreover, enteric pathogens can orchestrate further modifications to gain a competitive advantage toward host colonization. These pathogens are versatile and adept when exploiting the human colon. They expertly navigate complex environmental cues and interkingdom signaling to colonize and infect their hosts. Here we demonstrate how enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) uses three sugar-sensing transcription factors, Cra, KdpE, and FusR, to exquisitely regulate the expression of virulence factors associated with its type III secretion system (T3SS) when exposed to various oxygen concentrations. We also explored the effect of mucin-derived nonpreferred carbon sources on EHEC growth and expression of virulence genes. Taken together, the results show that EHEC represses the expression of its T3SS when oxygen is absent, mimicking the largely anaerobic lumen, and activates its T3SS when oxygen is available through Cra. In addition, when EHEC senses mucin-derived sugars heavily present in the O-linked and N-linked glycans of the large intestine, virulence gene expression is initiated. Sugars derived from pectin, a complex plant polysaccharide digested in the large intestine, also increased virulence gene expression. Not only does EHEC sense host- and microbiota-derived interkingdom signals, it also uses oxygen availability and mucin-derived sugars liberated by the microbiota to stimulate expression of the T3SS. This precision in gene regulation allows EHEC to be an efficient pathogen with an extremely low infectious dose. Enteric pathogens have to be crafty when interpreting multiple environmental cues to successfully establish themselves within complex and diverse gut microenvironments. Differences in oxygen tension and nutrient composition

  8. [Main virulence factors of Listeria monocytogenes and its regulation].

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    Vera, Alejandra; González, Gerardo; Domínguez, Mariana; Bello, Helia

    2013-08-01

    Listeria monocytogenesis a facultative intracellular pathogen, ubiquitous and aetiological agent of listeriosis. The main way of acquisition is the consumption of contaminated food and can cause serious medical conditions such as septicemia, meningitis and gastroenteritis, especially in children, immunocompromised individuals and seniors and abortions in pregnant women. An increase in cases of listeriosis worldwide has been reported and it is estimated that its prevalence in developed countries is in the range of 2 to 15 cases per one million population. This microorganism is characterized for the transition from the environment into the eukaryotic cell. Several virulence factors have been involved in the intracellular cycle that are regulated, primarily, by the PrfA protein, which in turn is regulated by different mechanisms operating at the transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. Additionally, other regulatory mechanisms have been described as sigma factor, system VirR/S and antisense RNA, but PrfA is the most important control mechanism and is required for the expression of essential virulence factors for the intracellular cycle.

  9. Virulence regulation of phytopathogenic fungi by pH.

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    Alkan, Noam; Espeso, Eduardo A; Prusky, Dov

    2013-09-20

    Postharvest pathogens can start its attack process immediately after spores land on wounded tissue, whereas other pathogens can forcibly breach the unripe fruit cuticle and then remain quiescent for months until fruit ripens and then cause major losses. Postharvest fungal pathogens activate their development by secreting organic acids or ammonia that acidify or alkalinize the host ambient surroundings. These fungal pH modulations of host environment regulate an arsenal of enzymes to increase fungal pathogenicity. This arsenal includes genes and processes that compromise host defenses, contribute to intracellular signaling, produce cell wall-degrading enzymes, regulate specific transporters, induce redox protectant systems, and generate factors needed by the pathogen to effectively cope with the hostile environment found within the host. Further, evidence is accumulating that the secreted molecules (organic acids and ammonia) are multifunctional and together with effect of the ambient pH, they activate virulence factors and simultaneously hijack the plant defense response and induce program cell death to further enhance their necrotrophic attack. Global studies of the effect of secreted molecules on fruit pathogen interaction, will determine the importance of these molecules on quiescence release and the initiation of fungal colonization leading to fruit and vegetable losses.

  10. An orphan chemotaxis sensor regulates virulence and antibiotic tolerance in the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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    Heather Pearl McLaughlin

    Full Text Available The synthesis of virulence factors by pathogenic bacteria is highly regulated and occurs in response to diverse environmental cues. An array of two component systems (TCSs serves to link perception of different cues to specific changes in gene expression and/or bacterial behaviour. Those TCSs that regulate functions associated with virulence represent attractive targets for interference in anti-infective strategies for disease control. We have previously identified PA2572 as a putative response regulator required for full virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the opportunistic human pathogen, to Galleria mellonella (Wax moth larvae. Here we have investigated the involvement of candidate sensors for signal transduction involving PA2572. Mutation of PA2573, encoding a probable methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein, gave rise to alterations in motility, virulence, and antibiotic resistance, functions which are also controlled by PA2572. Comparative transcriptome profiling of mutants revealed that PA2572 and PA2573 regulate expression of a common set of 49 genes that are involved in a range of biological functions including virulence and antibiotic resistance. Bacterial two-hybrid analysis indicated a REC-dependent interaction between PA2572 and PA2573 proteins. Finally expression of PA2572 in the PA2573 mutant background restored virulence to G. mellonella towards wild-type levels. The findings indicate a role for the orphan chemotaxis sensor PA2573 in the regulation of virulence and antibiotic tolerance in P. aeruginosa and indicate that these effects are exerted in part through signal transduction involving PA2572.

  11. RyhB, an iron-responsive small RNA molecule, regulates Shigella dysenteriae virulence.

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    Murphy, Erin R; Payne, Shelley M

    2007-07-01

    Regulation of bacterial gene expression by small RNA (sRNA) molecules is an increasingly recognized phenomenon but one that is not yet fully understood. We show that the sRNA RyhB suppresses several virulence-associated phenotypes of Shigella dysenteriae, a causative agent of bacillary dysentery in humans. The virulence genes repressed by S. dysenteriae RyhB include those encoding the type III secretion apparatus, its secreted effectors, and specific chaperones. Suppression of Shigella virulence occurs via RyhB-dependent repression of the transcriptional activator VirB, leading to reduced expression of genes within the VirB regulon. Efficient repression of virB is mediated by a single-stranded region of RyhB that is distinct from the region required for repression of Shigella sodB. Regulation of virB by RyhB implicates iron as an environmental factor contributing to the complex regulation of Shigella virulence determinants.

  12. Coordinated regulation of virulence during systemic infection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.

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    Hyunjin Yoon

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available To cause a systemic infection, Salmonella must respond to many environmental cues during mouse infection and express specific subsets of genes in a temporal and spatial manner, but the regulatory pathways are poorly established. To unravel how micro-environmental signals are processed and integrated into coordinated action, we constructed in-frame non-polar deletions of 83 regulators inferred to play a role in Salmonella enteriditis Typhimurium (STM virulence and tested them in three virulence assays (intraperitoneal [i.p.], and intragastric [i.g.] infection in BALB/c mice, and persistence in 129X1/SvJ mice. Overall, 35 regulators were identified whose absence attenuated virulence in at least one assay, and of those, 14 regulators were required for systemic mouse infection, the most stringent virulence assay. As a first step towards understanding the interplay between a pathogen and its host from a systems biology standpoint, we focused on these 14 genes. Transcriptional profiles were obtained for deletions of each of these 14 regulators grown under four different environmental conditions. These results, as well as publicly available transcriptional profiles, were analyzed using both network inference and cluster analysis algorithms. The analysis predicts a regulatory network in which all 14 regulators control the same set of genes necessary for Salmonella to cause systemic infection. We tested the regulatory model by expressing a subset of the regulators in trans and monitoring transcription of 7 known virulence factors located within Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2. These experiments validated the regulatory model and showed that the response regulator SsrB and the MarR type regulator, SlyA, are the terminal regulators in a cascade that integrates multiple signals. Furthermore, experiments to demonstrate epistatic relationships showed that SsrB can replace SlyA and, in some cases, SlyA can replace SsrB for expression of SPI-2 encoded

  13. Integrative genomic analysis identifies isoleucine and CodY as regulators of Listeria monocytogenes virulence.

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    Lior Lobel

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Intracellular bacterial pathogens are metabolically adapted to grow within mammalian cells. While these adaptations are fundamental to the ability to cause disease, we know little about the relationship between the pathogen's metabolism and virulence. Here we used an integrative Metabolic Analysis Tool that combines transcriptome data with genome-scale metabolic models to define the metabolic requirements of Listeria monocytogenes during infection. Twelve metabolic pathways were identified as differentially active during L. monocytogenes growth in macrophage cells. Intracellular replication requires de novo synthesis of histidine, arginine, purine, and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs, as well as catabolism of L-rhamnose and glycerol. The importance of each metabolic pathway during infection was confirmed by generation of gene knockout mutants in the respective pathways. Next, we investigated the association of these metabolic requirements in the regulation of L. monocytogenes virulence. Here we show that limiting BCAA concentrations, primarily isoleucine, results in robust induction of the master virulence activator gene, prfA, and the PrfA-regulated genes. This response was specific and required the nutrient responsive regulator CodY, which is known to bind isoleucine. Further analysis demonstrated that CodY is involved in prfA regulation, playing a role in prfA activation under limiting conditions of BCAAs. This study evidences an additional regulatory mechanism underlying L. monocytogenes virulence, placing CodY at the crossroads of metabolism and virulence.

  14. The metabolic regulator CodY links L. monocytogenes metabolism to virulence by directly activating the virulence regulatory gene, prfA

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    Lobel, Lior; Sigal, Nadejda; Borovok, Ilya; Belitsky, Boris R.; Sonenshein, Abraham L.; Herskovits, Anat A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Metabolic adaptations are critical to the ability of bacterial pathogens to grow within host cells and are normally preceded by sensing of host-specific metabolic signals, which in turn can influence the pathogen's virulence state. Previously, we reported that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes responds to low availability of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) within mammalian cells by up-regulating both BCAA biosynthesis and virulence genes. The induction of virulence genes required the BCAA-responsive transcription regulator, CodY, but the molecular mechanism governing this mode of regulation was unclear. In this report, we demonstrate that CodY directly binds the coding sequence of the L. monocytogenes master virulence activator gene, prfA, 15 nt downstream of its start codon, and that this binding results in up-regulation of prfA transcription specifically under low concentrations of BCAA. Mutating this site abolished CodY binding and reduced prfA transcription in macrophages, and attenuated bacterial virulence in mice. Notably, the mutated binding site did not alter prfA transcription or PrfA activity under other conditions that are known to activate PrfA, such as during growth in the presence of glucose-1-phosphate. This study highlights the tight crosstalk between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence' while revealing novel features of CodY-mediated regulation. PMID:25430920

  15. RpoN Regulates Virulence Factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa via Modulating the PqsR Quorum Sensing Regulator

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    Zhao Cai

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The alternative sigma factor RpoN regulates many cell functions, such as motility, quorum sensing, and virulence in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa often evolves rpoN-negative variants during the chronic infection in cystic fibrosis patients. It is unclear how RpoN interacts with other regulatory mechanisms to control virulence of P. aeruginosa. In this study, we show that RpoN modulates the function of PqsR, a quorum sensing receptor regulating production of virulence factors including the phenazine pyocyanin. The ∆rpoN mutant is able to synthesize 4-quinolone signal molecule HHQ but unable to activate PqsR and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (pqs quorum sensing. The ∆rpoN mutant produces minimal level of pyocyanin and is unable to produce the anti-staphylococcal agents. Providing pqsR in trans in the ∆rpoN mutant restores its pqs quorum sensing and virulence factor production to the wild-type level. Our study provides evidence that RpoN has a regulatory effect on P. aeruginosa virulence through modulating the function of the PqsR quorum sensing regulator.

  16. The Multiple Signaling Systems Regulating Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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    Nadal Jimenez, Pol; Koch, Gudrun; Thompson, Jessica A.; Xavier, Karina B.; Cool, Robbert H.

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Cell-to-cell communication is a major process that allows bacteria to sense and coordinately react to the fluctuating conditions of the surrounding environment. In several pathogens, this process triggers the production of virulence factors and/or a switch in bacterial lifestyle that is a major determining factor in the outcome and severity of the infection. Understanding how bacteria control these signaling systems is crucial to the development of novel antimicrobial agents capable of reducing virulence while allowing the immune system of the host to clear bacterial infection, an approach likely to reduce the selective pressures for development of resistance. We provide here an up-to-date overview of the molecular basis and physiological implications of cell-to-cell signaling systems in Gram-negative bacteria, focusing on the well-studied bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All of the known cell-to-cell signaling systems in this bacterium are described, from the most-studied systems, i.e., N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs), the 4-quinolones, the global activator of antibiotic and cyanide synthesis (GAC), the cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and cyclic AMP (cAMP) systems, and the alarmones guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) and guanosine pentaphosphate (pppGpp), to less-well-studied signaling molecules, including diketopiperazines, fatty acids (diffusible signal factor [DSF]-like factors), pyoverdine, and pyocyanin. This overview clearly illustrates that bacterial communication is far more complex than initially thought and delivers a clear distinction between signals that are quorum sensing dependent and those relying on alternative factors for their production. PMID:22390972

  17. Effect of Negative Pressure on Proliferation, Virulence Factor Secretion, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence-Regulated Gene Expression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa In Vitro

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    Guo-Qi Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To investigate the effect of negative pressure conditions induced by NPWT on P. aeruginosa. Methods. P. aeruginosa was cultured in a Luria–Bertani medium at negative pressure of −125 mmHg for 24 h in the experimental group and at atmospheric pressure in the control group. The diameters of the colonies of P. aeruginosa were measured after 24 h. ELISA kit, orcinol method, and elastin-Congo red assay were used to quantify the virulence factors. Biofilm formation was observed by staining with Alexa Fluor® 647 conjugate of concanavalin A (Con A. Virulence-regulated genes were determined by quantitative RT-PCR. Results. As compared with the control group, growth of P. aeruginosa was inhibited by negative pressure. The colony size under negative pressure was significantly smaller in the experimental group than that in the controls (p<0.01. Besides, reductions in the total amount of virulence factors were observed in the negative pressure group, including exotoxin A, rhamnolipid, and elastase. RT-PCR results revealed a significant inhibition in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes. Conclusion. Negative pressure could significantly inhibit the growth of P. aeruginosa. It led to a decrease in the virulence factor secretion, biofilm formation, and a reduction in the expression level of virulence-regulated genes.

  18. Coordinated Regulation of Virulence during Systemic Infection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium

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    Yoon, Hyunjin; McDermott, Jason E.; Porwollik, Steffen; Mcclelland, Michael; Heffron, Fred

    2009-02-20

    Salmonella must respond to a myriad of environmental cues during infection of a mouse and express specific subsets of genes in a temporal and spatial manner to subvert the host defense mechanisms but these regulatory pathways are poorly established. To unravel how micro-environmental signals are processed and integrated into coordinated action, we constructed in-frame non-polar deletions of 84 regulators inferred to play a role in Salmonella typhimurium virulence and tested them in three virulence assays (intraperitoneal (i.p.), and intragastric (i.g.) infection in BALB/c mice, and persistence in SvJ129 mice). Overall 36 regulators were identified that were less virulent in at least one assay, and of those, 15 regulators were required for systemic mouse infection in an acute infection model. As a first step towards understanding the interplay between a pathogen and its host from a systems biology standpoint we focused on these 15 genes. Transcriptional profiles were obtained for each of these 15 regulators from strains grown under four different environmental conditions. These results as well as publicly available transcriptional profiles were analyzed using both network inference and cluster analysis algorithms. The analysis predicts a regulatory network in which all 15 regulators control a specific set of genes necessary for Salmonella to cause systemic infection. We tested the regulatory model by expressing a subset of the regulators in trans and monitoring transcription of 7 known virulence factors located within Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2). These experiments validated the regulatory model and showed that, for these 7 genes, the response regulator SsrB and the marR type regulator SlyA co-regulate in a regulatory cascade by integrating multiple signals.

  19. Regulation of Yersina pestis Virulence by AI-2 Mediated Quorum Sensing

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    Segelke, B; Hok, S; Lao, V; Corzett, M; Garcia, E

    2010-03-29

    The proposed research was motivated by an interest in understanding Y. pestis virulence mechanisms and bacteria cell-cell communication. It is expected that a greater understanding of virulence mechanisms will ultimately lead to biothreat countermeasures and novel therapeutics. Y. pestis is the etiological agent of plague, the most devastating disease in human history. Y. pestis infection has a high mortality rate and a short incubation before mortality. There is no widely available and effective vaccine for Y. pestis and multi-drug resistant strains are emerging. Y. pestis is a recognized biothreat agent based on the wide distribution of the bacteria in research laboratories around the world and on the knowledge that methods exist to produce and aerosolize large amounts of bacteria. We hypothesized that cell-cell communication via signaling molecules, or quorum sensing, by Y. pestis is important for the regulation of virulence factor gene expression during host invasion, though a causative link had never been established. Quorum sensing is a mode of intercellular communication which enables orchestration of gene expression for many bacteria as a function of population density and available evidence suggests there may be a link between quorum sensing and regulation of Y. pesits virulence. Several pathogenic bacteria have been shown to regulate expression of virulence factor genes, including genes encoding type III secretion, via quorum sensing. The Y. pestis genome encodes several cell-cell signaling pathways and the interaction of at least three of these are thought to be involved in one or more modes of host invasion. Furthermore, Y. pestis gene expression array studies carried out at LLNL have established a correlation between expression of known virulence factors and genes involved in processing of the AI-2 quorum sensing signal. This was a basic research project that was intended to provide new insights into bacterial intercellular communication and how it is

  20. RsbV of Listeria monocytogenes contributes to regulation of environmental stress and virulence.

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    Zhang, Zaichao; Meng, Qingling; Qiao, Jun; Yang, Lihong; Cai, Xuepeng; Wang, Guanglei; Chen, Chuangfu; Zhang, Lijuan

    2013-02-01

    SigmaB factor is an important regulatory factor for stress response in Gram-positive bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. However, the activity of SigmaB factor is regulated by RsbV factor. Currently, the functional studies of RsbV factor are mostly focused on non-pathogenic B. subtilis, but the roles of RsbV factor in pathogenic L. monocytogenes during the regulation of environmental stress and virulence are still unclear. In the study, a ∆RsbV mutant of L. monocytogenes was constructed to explore the regulatory role of RsbV in environmental stress and virulence. The environmental stress experiments indicated that the growth and survival capability of ∆RsbV mutant obviously decreased in stress of low temperature, osmotic pressure, alcohol and acid, compared with EGD strain. The macrophage infection experiment indicated that ∆RsbV mutant had weaker survival capability than EGD strain, and the expression of PrfA, actA, PlcA and LLO was down-regulated in infected cells. Animal inoculation experiments indicated that RsbV deletion significantly reduced the pathogenicity of L. monocytogenes. Our data demonstrate that, in addition to regulating tolerance under environmental stress conditions, RsbV also contributes to regulation of L. monocytogenes virulence.

  1. Virulence meets metabolism: Cra and KdpE gene regulation in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

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    Njoroge, Jacqueline W; Nguyen, Y; Curtis, Meredith M; Moreira, Cristiano G; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2012-10-16

    Gastrointestinal (GI) bacteria sense diverse environmental signals as cues for differential gene regulation and niche adaptation. Pathogens such as enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), which causes bloody diarrhea, use these signals for the temporal and energy-efficient regulation of their virulence factors. One of the main virulence strategies employed by EHEC is the formation of attaching and effacing (AE) lesions on enterocytes. Most of the genes necessary for the formation of these lesions are grouped within a pathogenicity island, the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), whose expression requires the LEE-encoded regulator Ler. Here we show that growth of EHEC in glycolytic environments inhibits the expression of ler and consequently all other LEE genes. Conversely, growth within a gluconeogenic environment activates expression of these genes. This sugar-dependent regulation is achieved through two transcription factors: KdpE and Cra. Both Cra and KdpE directly bind to the ler promoter, and Cra's affinity to this promoter is catabolite dependent. Moreover, we show that the Cra and KdpE proteins interact in vitro and that KdpE's ability to bind DNA is enhanced by the presence of Cra. Cra is important for AE lesion formation, and KdpE contributes to this Cra-dependent regulation. The deletion of cra and kdpE resulted in the ablation of AE lesions. One of the many challenges that bacteria face within the GI tract is to successfully compete for carbon sources. Linking carbon metabolism to the precise coordination of virulence expression is a key step in the adaptation of pathogens to the GI environment. IMPORTANCE An appropriate and prompt response to environmental cues is crucial for bacterial survival. Cra and KdpE are two proteins found in both nonpathogenic and pathogenic bacteria that regulate genes in response to differences in metabolite concentration. In this work, we show that, in the deadly pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7

  2. A compendium of antibiotic-induced transcription profiles reveals broad regulation of Pasteurella multocida virulence genes.

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    Melnikow, E; Schoenfeld, C; Spehr, V; Warrass, R; Gunkel, N; Duszenko, M; Selzer, P M; Ullrich, H J

    2008-10-15

    The transcriptional responses of Pasteurella multocida to eight antibiotics with known mode of actions (MoAs) and one novel antibiotic compound with an unknown MoA were collected to create a compendium of transcriptional profiles for MoA studies. At minimal inhibitory concentration the three bactericidal compounds enrofloxacin, cefquinome and the novel compound had a minor impact on gene regulation with approximately 1% of the P. multocida genome affected, whilst the bacteriostatic compounds florfenicol, tilmicosin, rifampin, trimethoprim and brodimoprim regulated 20% of the genome. Novobiocin was special in that it regulated 40% of all P. multocida genes. Regulation of target genes was observed for novobiocin, rifampin, florfenicol and tilmicosin and signature genes were identified for most antibiotics. The transcriptional profile induced by the novel compound was unrelated to the compendium profiles suggesting a new MoA. The transcription of many P. multocida virulence factors, particularly genes involved in capsule synthesis and export, LPS synthesis, competence, adherence and iron transport were altered in the presence of antibiotics. Virulence gene transcription was mainly negatively affected, however the opposite effect was also observed in the case of rifampin where the up-regulation of the tad locus involved in tight adherence was seen. Novobiocin and trimethoprim caused a marked reduction in the transcription of capsule genes, which correlated with a concomitant reduction of the capsular layer on the surface of P. multocida. The broad negative impact on virulence gene transcription supports the notion that the therapeutic effect of some antibiotics could be a combination of growth and virulence inhibition.

  3. Cryptococcus neoformans mediator protein Ssn8 negatively regulates diverse physiological processes and is required for virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin-Ing Wang

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitously distributed human pathogen. It is also a model system for studying fungal virulence, physiology and differentiation. Light is known to inhibit sexual development via the evolutionarily conserved white collar proteins in C. neoformans. To dissect molecular mechanisms regulating this process, we have identified the SSN8 gene whose mutation suppresses the light-dependent CWC1 overexpression phenotype. Characterization of sex-related phenotypes revealed that Ssn8 functions as a negative regulator in both heterothallic a-α mating and same-sex mating processes. In addition, Ssn8 is involved in the suppression of other physiological processes including invasive growth, and production of capsule and melanin. Interestingly, Ssn8 is also required for the maintenance of cell wall integrity and virulence. Our gene expression studies confirmed that deletion of SSN8 results in de-repression of genes involved in sexual development and melanization. Epistatic and yeast two hybrid studies suggest that C. neoformans Ssn8 plays critical roles downstream of the Cpk1 MAPK cascade and Ste12 and possibly resides at one of the major branches downstream of the Cwc complex in the light-mediated sexual development pathway. Taken together, our studies demonstrate that the conserved Mediator protein Ssn8 functions as a global regulator which negatively regulates diverse physiological and developmental processes and is required for virulence in C. neoformans.

  4. Cryptococcus neoformans mediator protein Ssn8 negatively regulates diverse physiological processes and is required for virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lin-Ing; Lin, Yu-Sheng; Liu, Kung-Hung; Jong, Ambrose Y; Shen, Wei-Chiang

    2011-04-29

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitously distributed human pathogen. It is also a model system for studying fungal virulence, physiology and differentiation. Light is known to inhibit sexual development via the evolutionarily conserved white collar proteins in C. neoformans. To dissect molecular mechanisms regulating this process, we have identified the SSN8 gene whose mutation suppresses the light-dependent CWC1 overexpression phenotype. Characterization of sex-related phenotypes revealed that Ssn8 functions as a negative regulator in both heterothallic a-α mating and same-sex mating processes. In addition, Ssn8 is involved in the suppression of other physiological processes including invasive growth, and production of capsule and melanin. Interestingly, Ssn8 is also required for the maintenance of cell wall integrity and virulence. Our gene expression studies confirmed that deletion of SSN8 results in de-repression of genes involved in sexual development and melanization. Epistatic and yeast two hybrid studies suggest that C. neoformans Ssn8 plays critical roles downstream of the Cpk1 MAPK cascade and Ste12 and possibly resides at one of the major branches downstream of the Cwc complex in the light-mediated sexual development pathway. Taken together, our studies demonstrate that the conserved Mediator protein Ssn8 functions as a global regulator which negatively regulates diverse physiological and developmental processes and is required for virulence in C. neoformans.

  5. Function of small GTPase Rho3 in regulating growth, conidiation and virulence of Botrytis cinerea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Bang; Li, Boqiang; Qin, Guozheng; Tian, Shiping

    2015-02-01

    Small GTPases of the Rho family play an important role in regulating biological processes in fungi. In this study, we mainly investigated the biological functions of Rho3 in Botrytis cinerea, and found that deletion of the rho3 from B. cinerea significantly suppressed vegetative growth and conidiation, reduced appressorium formation and decreased virulence. Microscopy analysis revealed that the distance between septa was increased in the Δrho3 mutant. In addition, mitochondria were suggested to be the main sources of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in B. cinerea based on dual staining with 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and MitoTracker orange. The Δrho3 mutant showed less accumulation of ROS in the hyphae tips compared to the WT strain of B. cinerea. These results provide the novel evidence to ascertain the function of small GTPase Rho3 in regulating growth, conidiation and virulence of B. cinerea. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Cryptococcus neoformans Mediator Protein Ssn8 Negatively Regulates Diverse Physiological Processes and Is Required for Virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Lin-Ing Wang; Yu-Sheng Lin; Kung-Hung Liu; Jong, Ambrose Y.; Wei-Chiang Shen

    2011-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitously distributed human pathogen. It is also a model system for studying fungal virulence, physiology and differentiation. Light is known to inhibit sexual development via the evolutionarily conserved white collar proteins in C. neoformans. To dissect molecular mechanisms regulating this process, we have identified the SSN8 gene whose mutation suppresses the light-dependent CWC1 overexpression phenotype. Characterization of sex-related phenotypes revealed t...

  7. SlyA regulates phytotoxin production and virulence in Dickeya zeae EC1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jia-Nuan; Zhang, Hai-Bao; Lv, Ming-Fa; Chen, Yu-Fan; Liao, Li-Sheng; Cheng, Ying-Ying; Liu, Shi-Yin; Chen, Shao-Hua; He, Fei; Cui, Zi-Ning; Jiang, Zi-De; Chang, Chang-Qing; Zhang, Lian-Hui

    2016-12-01

    Dickeya zeae is a causal agent of rice root rot disease. The pathogen is known to produce a range of virulence factors, including phytotoxic zeamines and extracellular enzymes, but the mechanisms of virulence regulation remain vague. In this study, we identified a SlyA/MarR family transcription factor SlyA in D. zeae strain EC1. Disruption of slyA significantly decreased zeamine production, enhanced swimming and swarming motility, reduced biofilm formation and significantly decreased pathogenicity on rice. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis confirmed the role of SlyA in transcriptional modulation of a range of genes associated with bacterial virulence. In trans expression of slyA in expI mutants recovered the phenotypes of motility and biofilm formation, suggesting that SlyA is downstream of the acylhomoserine lactone-mediated quorum sensing pathway. Taken together, the findings from this study unveil a key transcriptional regulatory factor involved in the modulation of virulence factor production and overall pathogenicity of D. zeae EC1. © 2016 BSPP and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. FNR Regulates the Expression of Important Virulence Factors Contributing to the Pathogenicity of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbieri, Nicolle L; Vande Vorde, Jessica A; Baker, Alison R; Horn, Fabiana; Li, Ganwu; Logue, Catherine M; Nolan, Lisa K

    2017-01-01

    Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is the etiologic agent of colibacillosis, an important cause of morbidity and mortality in poultry. Though, many virulence factors associated with APEC pathogenicity are known, their regulation remains unclear. FNR (fumarate and nitrate reduction) is a well-known global regulator that works as an oxygen sensor and has previously been described as a virulence regulator in bacterial pathogens. The goal of this study was to examine the role of FNR in the regulation of APEC virulence factors, such as Type I fimbriae, and processes such as adherence and invasion, type VI secretion, survival during oxidative stress, and growth in iron-restricted environments. To accomplish this goal, APEC O1, a well-characterized, highly virulent, and fully sequenced strain of APEC harboring multiple virulence mechanisms, some of which are plasmid-linked, was compared to its FNR mutant for expression of various virulence traits. Deletion of FNR was found to affect APEC O1's adherence, invasion and expression of ompT, a plasmid-encoded outer membrane protein, type I fimbriae, and aatA, encoding an autotransporter. Indeed, the fnr- mutant showed an 8-fold reduction in expression of type I fimbriae and a highly significant (P APEC O1's growth in iron-deficient media and survival during oxidative stress with the mutant showing a 4-fold decrease in tolerance to oxidative stress, as compared to the wild type. Thus, our results suggest that FNR functions as an important regulator of APEC virulence.

  9. Inactivation of the Rgg2 transcriptional regulator ablates the virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia A Zutkis

    Full Text Available Streptococcus pyogenes adapts to different niches encountered in the human host via the activity of numerous regulatory proteins including the Rgg family of transcriptional regulators. The S. pyogenes chromosome encodes four Rgg paralogues designated Rgg1 (RopB, Rgg2 (MutR, Rgg3, and Rgg4 (ComR. In order to understand the role of the Rgg2 protein in the regulation of metabolic and virulence-associated properties of S. pyogenes, the rgg2 gene was inactivated in the M1 serotype strain SF370. Inactivation of rgg2 increased the growth yield of S. pyogenes in THY broth, increased biofilm formation, and increased production of SIC, which is an important virulence factor that inhibits complement mediated lysis. To identify Rgg2-regulated genes, the transcriptomes of SF370 and the rgg2 mutant strains were compared in the middle-exponential and post-exponential phases of growth. Rgg2 was found to control the expression of dozens of genes primarily in the exponential phase of growth, including genes associated with virulence (sse, scpA, slo, nga, mf-3, DNA transformation, and nucleotide metabolism. Inactivation of rgg2 decreased the ability of S. pyogenes to adhere to epithelial cells. In addition, the mutant strain was more sensitive to killing when incubated with human blood and avirulent in a murine bacteremia model. Finally, inoculation of mice with the avirulent rgg2 mutant of S. pyogenes SF370 conferred complete protection to mice subsequently challenged with the wild-type strain. Restoration of an intact rgg2 gene in mutant strain restored the wild-type phenotypes. Overall, the results demonstrate that Rgg2 is an important regulatory protein in S. pyogenes involved in controlling genes associated with both metabolism and virulence.

  10. Inactivation of the Rgg2 transcriptional regulator ablates the virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zutkis, Anastasia A; Anbalagan, Srivishnupriya; Chaussee, Michael S; Dmitriev, Alexander V

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes adapts to different niches encountered in the human host via the activity of numerous regulatory proteins including the Rgg family of transcriptional regulators. The S. pyogenes chromosome encodes four Rgg paralogues designated Rgg1 (RopB), Rgg2 (MutR), Rgg3, and Rgg4 (ComR). In order to understand the role of the Rgg2 protein in the regulation of metabolic and virulence-associated properties of S. pyogenes, the rgg2 gene was inactivated in the M1 serotype strain SF370. Inactivation of rgg2 increased the growth yield of S. pyogenes in THY broth, increased biofilm formation, and increased production of SIC, which is an important virulence factor that inhibits complement mediated lysis. To identify Rgg2-regulated genes, the transcriptomes of SF370 and the rgg2 mutant strains were compared in the middle-exponential and post-exponential phases of growth. Rgg2 was found to control the expression of dozens of genes primarily in the exponential phase of growth, including genes associated with virulence (sse, scpA, slo, nga, mf-3), DNA transformation, and nucleotide metabolism. Inactivation of rgg2 decreased the ability of S. pyogenes to adhere to epithelial cells. In addition, the mutant strain was more sensitive to killing when incubated with human blood and avirulent in a murine bacteremia model. Finally, inoculation of mice with the avirulent rgg2 mutant of S. pyogenes SF370 conferred complete protection to mice subsequently challenged with the wild-type strain. Restoration of an intact rgg2 gene in mutant strain restored the wild-type phenotypes. Overall, the results demonstrate that Rgg2 is an important regulatory protein in S. pyogenes involved in controlling genes associated with both metabolism and virulence.

  11. Structure of PlcR: Insights into virulence regulation and evolution of quorum sensing in Gram-positive bacteria

    OpenAIRE

    Declerck, Nathalie; Bouillaut, Laurent; Chaix, Denis; Rugani, Nathalie; Slamti, Leyla; Hoh, François; Lereclus, Didier; Arold, Stefan T.

    2007-01-01

    Gram-positive bacteria use a wealth of extracellular signaling peptides, so-called autoinducers, to regulate gene expression according to population densities. These “quorum sensing” systems control vital processes such as virulence, sporulation, and gene transfer. Using x-ray analysis, we determined the structure of PlcR, the major virulence regulator of the Bacillus cereus group, and obtained mechanistic insights into the effects of autoinducer binding. Our structural and phylogenetic analy...

  12. P. brasiliensis Virulence Is Affected by SconC, the Negative Regulator of Inorganic Sulfur Assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menino, João Filipe; Saraiva, Margarida; Gomes-Rezende, Jéssica; Sturme, Mark; Pedrosa, Jorge; Castro, António Gil; Ludovico, Paula; Goldman, Gustavo H.; Rodrigues, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Conidia/mycelium-to-yeast transition of Paracoccidioidesbrasiliensis is a critical step for the establishment of paracoccidioidomycosis, a systemic mycosis endemic in Latin America. Thus, knowledge of the factors that mediate this transition is of major importance for the design of intervention strategies. So far, the only known pre-requisites for the accomplishment of the morphological transition are the temperature shift to 37°C and the availability of organic sulfur compounds. In this study, we investigated the auxotrophic nature to organic sulfur of the yeast phase of Paracoccidioides, with special attention to P. brasiliensis species. For this, we addressed the role of SconCp, the negative regulator of the inorganic sulfur assimilation pathway, in the dimorphism and virulence of this pathogen. We show that down-regulation of SCONC allows initial steps of mycelium-to-yeast transition in the absence of organic sulfur compounds, contrarily to the wild-type fungus that cannot undergo mycelium-to-yeast transition under such conditions. However, SCONC down-regulated transformants were unable to sustain yeast growth using inorganic sulfur compounds only. Moreover, pulses with inorganic sulfur in SCONC down-regulated transformants triggered an increase of the inorganic sulfur metabolism, which culminated in a drastic reduction of the ATP and NADPH cellular levels and in higher oxidative stress. Importantly, the down-regulation of SCONC resulted in a decreased virulence of P. brasiliensis, as validated in an in vivo model of infection. Overall, our findings shed light on the inability of P. brasiliensis yeast to rely on inorganic sulfur compounds, correlating its metabolism with cellular energy and redox imbalances. Furthermore, the data herein presented reveal SconCp as a novel virulence determinant of P. brasiliensis. PMID:24066151

  13. Sugar Allocation to Metabolic Pathways is Tightly Regulated and Affects the Virulence of Streptococcus mutans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miki Kawada-Matsuo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria take up and metabolize sugar as a carbohydrate source for survival. Most bacteria can utilize many sugars, including glucose, sucrose, and galactose, as well as amino sugars, such as glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. After entering the cytoplasm, the sugars are mainly allocated to the glycolysis pathway (energy production and to various bacterial component biosynthesis pathways, including the cell wall, nucleic acids and amino acids. Sugars are also utilized to produce several virulence factors, such as capsule and lipoteichoic acid. Glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase (GlmS and glucosamine-6-phosphate deaminase (NagB have crucial roles in sugar distribution to the glycolysis pathway and to cell wall biosynthesis. In Streptococcus mutans, a cariogenic pathogen, the expression levels of glmS and nagB are coordinately regulated in response to the presence or absence of amino sugars. In addition, the disruption of this regulation affects the virulence of S. mutans. The expression of nagB and glmS is regulated by NagR in S. mutans, but the precise mechanism underlying glmS regulation is not clear. In Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis, the mRNA of glmS has ribozyme activity and undergoes self-degradation at the mRNA level. However, there is no ribozyme activity region on glmS mRNA in S. mutans. In this review article, we summarize the sugar distribution, particularly the coordinated regulation of GlmS and NagB expression, and its relationship with the virulence of S. mutans.

  14. Sugar Allocation to Metabolic Pathways is Tightly Regulated and Affects the Virulence of Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawada-Matsuo, Miki; Oogai, Yuichi; Komatsuzawa, Hitoshi

    2016-12-28

    Bacteria take up and metabolize sugar as a carbohydrate source for survival. Most bacteria can utilize many sugars, including glucose, sucrose, and galactose, as well as amino sugars, such as glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. After entering the cytoplasm, the sugars are mainly allocated to the glycolysis pathway (energy production) and to various bacterial component biosynthesis pathways, including the cell wall, nucleic acids and amino acids. Sugars are also utilized to produce several virulence factors, such as capsule and lipoteichoic acid. Glutamine-fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase (GlmS) and glucosamine-6-phosphate deaminase (NagB) have crucial roles in sugar distribution to the glycolysis pathway and to cell wall biosynthesis. In Streptococcus mutans, a cariogenic pathogen, the expression levels of glmS and nagB are coordinately regulated in response to the presence or absence of amino sugars. In addition, the disruption of this regulation affects the virulence of S. mutans. The expression of nagB and glmS is regulated by NagR in S. mutans, but the precise mechanism underlying glmS regulation is not clear. In Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis, the mRNA of glmS has ribozyme activity and undergoes self-degradation at the mRNA level. However, there is no ribozyme activity region on glmS mRNA in S. mutans. In this review article, we summarize the sugar distribution, particularly the coordinated regulation of GlmS and NagB expression, and its relationship with the virulence of S. mutans.

  15. The Mechanisms of Virulence Regulation by Small Noncoding RNAs in Low GC Gram-Positive Pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Pitman

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of small noncoding regulatory RNAs (sRNAs in bacteria has grown tremendously recently, giving new insights into gene regulation. The implementation of computational analysis and RNA sequencing has provided new tools to discover and analyze potential sRNAs. Small regulatory RNAs that act by base-pairing to target mRNAs have been found to be ubiquitous and are the most abundant class of post-transcriptional regulators in bacteria. The majority of sRNA studies has been limited to E. coli and other gram-negative bacteria. However, examples of sRNAs in gram-positive bacteria are still plentiful although the detailed gene regulation mechanisms behind them are not as well understood. Strict virulence control is critical for a pathogen’s survival and many sRNAs have been found to be involved in that process. This review outlines the targets and currently known mechanisms of trans-acting sRNAs involved in virulence regulation in various gram-positive pathogens. In addition, their shared characteristics such as CU interaction motifs, the role of Hfq, and involvement in two-component regulators, riboswitches, quorum sensing, or toxin/antitoxin systems are described.

  16. The FTF gene family regulates virulence and expression of SIX effectors in Fusarium oxysporum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niño-Sánchez, Jonathan; Casado-Del Castillo, Virginia; Tello, Vega; De Vega-Bartol, José J; Ramos, Brisa; Sukno, Serenella A; Díaz Mínguez, José María

    2016-09-01

    The FTF (Fusarium transcription factor) gene family comprises a single copy gene, FTF2, which is present in all the filamentous ascomycetes analysed, and several copies of a close relative, FTF1, which is exclusive to Fusarium oxysporum. An RNA-mediated gene silencing system was developed to target mRNA produced by all the FTF genes, and tested in two formae speciales: F. oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli (whose host is common bean) and F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (whose host is tomato). Quantification of the mRNA levels showed knockdown of FTF1 and FTF2 in randomly isolated transformants of both formae speciales. The attenuation of FTF expression resulted in a marked reduction in virulence, a reduced expression of several SIX (Secreted In Xylem) genes, the best studied family of effectors in F. oxysporum, and lower levels of SGE1 (Six Gene Expression 1) mRNA, the presumptive regulator of SIX expression. Moreover, the knockdown mutants showed a pattern of colonization of the host plant similar to that displayed by strains devoid of FTF1 copies (weakly virulent strains). Gene knockout of FTF2 also resulted in a reduction in virulence, but to a lesser extent. These results demonstrate the role of the FTF gene expansion, mostly the FTF1 paralogues, as a regulator of virulence in F. oxysporum and suggest that the control of effector expression is the mechanism involved. © 2016 The Authors Molecular Plant Pathology Published by British Society for Plant Pathology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Fis is a global regulator critical for modulation of virulence factor production and pathogenicity of Dickeya zeae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Mingfa; Chen, Yufan; Liao, Lisheng; Liang, Zhibin; Shi, Zurong; Tang, Yingxin; Ye, Sixuan; Zhou, Jianuan; Zhang, Lianhui

    2018-01-10

    Dickeya zeae is the causal agent of rice foot rot disease, which has recently become a great threat to rice planting countries and regions. The pathogen produces a family of phytotoxins named zeamines that is critical for bacterial virulence, but little is known about the signaling pathways and regulatory mechanisms that govern zeamine production. In this study, we showed that a conserved transcriptional regulator Fis is involved in the regulation of zeamine production in D. zeae strain EC1. Deletion mutants were markedly attenuated in the virulence against rice seed germination. Transcriptome and phenotype analyses showed that Fis is a potent global transcriptional regulator modulating various virulence traits, including production of extracellular enzymes and exopolysaccharides, swimming and swarming motility, biofilm formation and cell aggregation. DNA gel retardation analysis showed that Fis directly regulates the transcription of key virulence genes and the genes encoding Vfm quorum sensing system through DNA/protein interaction. Our findings unveil a key regulator associated with the virulence of D. zeae EC1, and present useful clues for further elucidation of the regulatory complex and signaling pathways which govern the virulence of this important pathogen.

  18. Pleiotropic Regulation of Virulence Genes in Streptococcus mutans by the Conserved Small Protein SprV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Manoharan; Hossain, Mohammad S; Biswas, Indranil

    2017-04-15

    Streptococcus mutans, an oral pathogen associated with dental caries, colonizes tooth surfaces as polymicrobial biofilms known as dental plaque. S. mutans expresses several virulence factors that allow the organism to tolerate environmental fluctuations and compete with other microorganisms. We recently identified a small hypothetical protein (90 amino acids) essential for the normal growth of the bacterium. Inactivation of the gene, SMU.2137, encoding this protein caused a significant growth defect and loss of various virulence-associated functions. An S. mutans strain lacking this gene was more sensitive to acid, temperature, osmotic, oxidative, and DNA damage-inducing stresses. In addition, we observed an altered protein profile and defects in biofilm formation, bacteriocin production, and natural competence development, possibly due to the fitness defect associated with SMU.2137 deletion. Transcriptome sequencing revealed that nearly 20% of the S. mutans genes were differentially expressed upon SMU.2137 deletion, thereby suggesting a pleiotropic effect. Therefore, we have renamed this hitherto uncharacterized gene as sprV (streptococcal pleiotropic regulator of virulence). The transcript levels of several relevant genes in the sprV mutant corroborated the phenotypes observed upon sprV deletion. Owing to its highly conserved nature, inactivation of the sprV ortholog in Streptococcus gordonii also resulted in poor growth and defective UV tolerance and competence development as in the case of S. mutans Our experiments suggest that SprV is functionally distinct from its homologs identified by structure and sequence homology. Nonetheless, our current work is aimed at understanding the importance of SprV in the S. mutans biology.IMPORTANCEStreptococcus mutans employs several virulence factors and stress resistance mechanisms to colonize tooth surfaces and cause dental caries. Bacterial pathogenesis is generally controlled by regulators of fitness that are critical

  19. Integrated regulation of the type III secretion system and other virulence determinants in Ralstonia solanacearum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Valls

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available In many plant and animal bacterial pathogens, the Type III secretion system (TTSS that directly translocates effector proteins into the eukaryotic host cells is essential for the development of disease. In all species studied, the transcription of the TTSS and most of its effector substrates is tightly regulated by a succession of consecutively activated regulators. However, the whole genetic programme driven by these regulatory cascades is still unknown, especially in bacterial plant pathogens. Here, we have characterised the programme triggered by HrpG, a host-responsive regulator of the TTSS activation cascade in the plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. We show through genome-wide expression analysis that, in addition to the TTSS, HrpG controls the expression of a previously undescribed TTSS-independent pathway that includes a number of other virulence determinants and genes likely involved in adaptation to life in the host. Functional studies revealed that this second pathway co-ordinates the bacterial production of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes, exopolysaccharide, and the phytohormones ethylene and auxin. We provide experimental evidence that these activities contribute to pathogenicity. We also show that the ethylene produced by R. solanacearum is able to modulate the expression of host genes and can therefore interfere with the signalling of plant defence responses. These results provide a new, integrated view of plant bacterial pathogenicity, where a common regulator activates synchronously upon infection the TTSS, other virulence determinants and a number of adaptive functions, which act co-operatively to cause disease.

  20. Cold Plasma Inactivation of Bacterial Biofilms and Reduction of Quorum Sensing Regulated Virulence Factors.

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    Dana Ziuzina

    Full Text Available The main objectives of this work were to investigate the effect of atmospheric cold plasma (ACP against a range of microbial biofilms commonly implicated in foodborne and healthcare associated human infections and against P. aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS-regulated virulence factors, such as pyocyanin, elastase (Las B and biofilm formation capacity post-ACP treatment. The effect of processing factors, namely treatment time and mode of plasma exposure on antimicrobial activity of ACP were also examined. Antibiofilm activity was assessed for E. coli, L. monocytogenes and S. aureus in terms of reduction of culturability and retention of metabolic activity using colony count and XTT assays, respectively. All samples were treated 'inpack' using sealed polypropylene containers with a high voltage dielectric barrier discharge ACP generated at 80 kV for 0, 60, 120 and 300 s and a post treatment storage time of 24 h. According to colony counts, ACP treatment for 60 s reduced populations of E. coli to undetectable levels, whereas 300 s was necessary to significantly reduce populations of L. monocytogenes and S. aureus biofilms. The results obtained from XTT assay indicated possible induction of viable but non culturable state of bacteria. With respect to P. aeruginosa QS-related virulence factors, the production of pyocyanin was significantly inhibited after short treatment times, but reduction of elastase was notable only after 300 s and no reduction in actual biofilm formation was achieved post-ACP treatment. Importantly, reduction of virulence factors was associated with reduction of the cytotoxic effects of the bacterial supernatant on CHO-K1 cells, regardless of mode and duration of treatment. The results of this study point to ACP technology as an effective strategy for inactivation of established biofilms and may play an important role in attenuation of virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Further investigation is warranted to propose direct evidence

  1. The RNA-Binding Chaperone Hfq Is an Important Global Regulator of Gene Expression in Pasteurella multocida and Plays a Crucial Role in Production of a Number of Virulence Factors, Including Hyaluronic Acid Capsule

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mégroz, Marianne; Kleifeld, Oded; Wright, Amy; Powell, David; Harrison, Paul; Adler, Ben; Harper, Marina; Boyce, John D

    2016-01-01

    .... multocida virulence factors have been identified, including capsule, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and filamentous hemagglutinin, but little is known about how the expression of these virulence factors is regulated...

  2. Sigma E regulators control hemolytic activity and virulence in a shrimp pathogenic Vibrio harveyi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pimonsri Rattanama

    Full Text Available Members of the genus Vibrio are important marine and aquaculture pathogens. Hemolytic activity has been identified as a virulence factor in many pathogenic vibrios including V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus, V. alginolyticus, V. harveyi and V. vulnificus. We have used transposon mutagenesis to identify genes involved in the hemolytic activity of shrimp-pathogenic V. harveyi strain PSU3316. Out of 1,764 mutants screened, five mutants showed reduced hemolytic activity on sheep blood agar and exhibited virulence attenuation in shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei. Mutants were identified by comparing transposon junction sequences to a draft of assembly of the PSU3316 genome. Surprisingly none of the disrupted open reading frames or gene neighborhoods contained genes annotated as hemolysins. The gene encoding RseB, a negative regulator of the sigma factor (σ(E, was interrupted in 2 out of 5 transposon mutants, in addition, the transcription factor CytR, a threonine synthetase, and an efflux-associated cytoplasmic protein were also identified. Knockout mutations introduced into the rpoE operon at the rseB gene exhibited low hemolytic activity in sheep blood agar, and were 3-to 7-fold attenuated for colonization in shrimp. Comparison of whole cell extracted proteins in the rseB mutant (PSU4030 to the wild-type by 2-D gel electrophoresis revealed 6 differentially expressed proteins, including two down-regulated porins (OmpC-like and OmpN and an upregulated protease (DegQ which have been associated with σ(E in other organisms. Our study is the first report linking hemolytic activity to the σ(E regulators in pathogenic Vibrio species and suggests expression of this virulence-linked phenotype is governed by multiple regulatory pathways within the V. harveyi.

  3. Virulence and Stress Responses of Shigella flexneri Regulated by PhoP/PhoQ

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    Zhiwei Lin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The two-component signal transduction system PhoP/PhoQ is an important regulator for stress responses and virulence in most Gram-negative bacteria, but characterization of PhoP/PhoQ in Shigella has not been thoroughly investigated. In the present study, we found that deletion of phoPQ (ΔphoPQ from Shigella flexneri 2a 301 (Sf301 resulted in a significant decline (reduced by more than 15-fold in invasion of HeLa cells and Caco-2 cells, and less inflammation (− or + compared to Sf301 (+++ in the guinea pig Sereny test. In low Mg2+ (10 μM medium or pH 5 medium, the ΔphoPQ strain exhibited a growth deficiency compared to Sf301. The ΔphoPQ strain was more sensitive than Sf301 to polymyxin B, an important antimicrobial agent for treating multi-resistant Gram-negative infections. By comparing the transcriptional profiles of ΔphoPQ and Sf301 using DNA microarrays, 117 differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified, which were involved in Mg2+ transport, lipopolysaccharide modification, acid resistance, bacterial virulence, respiratory, and energy metabolism. Based on the reported PhoP box motif [(T/G GTTTA-5nt-(T/G GTTTA], we screened 38 suspected PhoP target operons in S. flexneri, and 11 of them (phoPQ, mgtA, slyB, yoaE, yrbL, icsA, yhiWX, rstA, hdeAB, pagP, and shf–rfbU-virK-msbB2 were demonstrated to be PhoP-regulated genes based on electrophoretic mobility shift assays and β-galactosidase assays. One of these PhoP-regulated genes, icsA, is a well-known virulence factor in S. flexneri. In conclusion, our data suggest that the PhoP/PhoQ system modulates S. flexneri virulence (in an icsA-dependent manner and stress responses of Mg2+, pH and antibacterial peptides.

  4. Streptococcus pyogenes Malate Degradation Pathway Links pH Regulation and Virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paluscio, Elyse

    2015-01-01

    The ability of Streptococcus pyogenes to infect different niches within its human host most likely relies on its ability to utilize alternative carbon sources. In examining this question, we discovered that all sequenced S. pyogenes strains possess the genes for the malic enzyme (ME) pathway, which allows malate to be used as a supplemental carbon source for growth. ME is comprised of four genes in two adjacent operons, with the regulatory two-component MaeKR required for expression of genes encoding a malate permease (maeP) and malic enzyme (maeE). Analysis of transcription indicated that expression of maeP and maeE is induced by both malate and low pH, and induction in response to both cues is dependent on the MaeK sensor kinase. Furthermore, both maePE and maeKR are repressed by glucose, which occurs via a CcpA-independent mechanism. Additionally, malate utilization requires the PTS transporter EI enzyme (PtsI), as a PtsI– mutant fails to express the ME genes and is unable to utilize malate. Virulence of selected ME mutants was assessed in a murine model of soft tissue infection. MaeP–, MaeK–, and MaeR– mutants were attenuated for virulence, whereas a MaeE– mutant showed enhanced virulence compared to that of the wild type. Taken together, these data show that ME contributes to S. pyogenes' carbon source repertory, that malate utilization is a highly regulated process, and that a single regulator controls ME expression in response to diverse signals. Furthermore, malate uptake and utilization contribute to the adaptive pH response, and ME can influence the outcome of infection. PMID:25583521

  5. The Virulence Regulator Rns Activates the Expression of CS14 Pili

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    Maria Del Rocio Bodero

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Although many viral and bacterial pathogens cause diarrhea, enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC is one of the most frequently encountered in impoverished regions where it is estimated to kill between 300,000 and 700,000 children and infants annually. Critical ETEC virulence factors include pili which mediate the attachment of the pathogen to receptors in the intestinal lumen. In this study we show that the ETEC virulence regulator Rns positively regulates the expression of CS14 pili. Three Rns binding sites were identified upstream of the CS14 pilus promoter centered at −34.5, −80.5, and −155.5 relative to the Rns-dependent transcription start site. Mutagenesis of the promoter proximal site significantly decreased expression from the CS14 promoter. In contrast, the contribution of Rns bound at the promoter distal site was negligible and largely masked by occupancy of the promoter proximal site. Unexpectedly, Rns bound at the site centered at −80.5 had a slight but statistically significant inhibitory effect upon the pilin promoter. Nevertheless, this weak inhibitory effect was not sufficient to overcome the substantial promoter activation from Rns bound to the promoter proximal site. Thus, CS14 pili belong to a group of pili that depend upon Rns for their expression.

  6. Spaceflight Alters Bacterial Gene Expression and Virulence and Reveals Role for Global Regulator Hfq

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, J. W.; Ott, C. M.; zuBentrup, K. Honer; Ramamurthy R.; Quick, L.; Porwollik, S.; Cheng, P.; McClellan, M.; Tsaprailis, G.; Radabaugh, T.; hide

    2007-01-01

    A comprehensive analysis of both the molecular genetic and phenotypic responses of any organism to the spaceflight environment has never been accomplished due to significant technological and logistical hurdles. Moreover, the effects of spaceflight on microbial pathogenicity and associated infectious disease risks have not been studied. The bacterial pathogen Salmonella typhimurium was grown aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-115 and compared to identical ground control cultures. Global microarray and proteomic analyses revealed 167 transcripts and 73 proteins changed expression with the conserved RNA-binding protein Hfq identified as a likely global regulator involved in the response to this environment. Hfq involvement was confirmed with a ground based microgravity culture model. Spaceflight samples exhibited enhanced virulence in a murine infection model and extracellular matrix accumulation consistent with a biofilm. Strategies to target Hfq and related regulators could potentially decrease infectious disease risks during spaceflight missions and provide novel therapeutic options on Earth.

  7. Plant-derived antimicrobials reduce Listeria monocytogenes virulence factors in vitro, and down-regulate expression of virulence genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upadhyay, Abhinav; Johny, Anup Kollanoor; Amalaradjou, Mary Anne Roshni; Ananda Baskaran, Sangeetha; Kim, Kwang Sik; Venkitanarayanan, Kumar

    2012-06-15

    Listeria monocytogenes (LM) is a major foodborne pathogen causing septicemia, meningitis and death in humans. LM infection is preceded by its attachment to and invasion of human intestinal epithelium followed by systemic spread. The major virulence factors in LM include motility, hemolysin and lecithinase production. Reducing LM attachment to and invasion of host tissue and production of virulence factors could potentially control listeriosis in humans. This study investigated the efficacy of sub-inhibitory concentrations (SICs, concentrations not inhibiting bacterial growth) of three, generally regarded as safe (GRAS)-status, plant-derived antimicrobial compounds in reducing LM attachment to and invasion of human colon adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) and human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC). Additionally, the effect of these compounds on the aforementioned LM virulence factors was studied. The compounds and their respective SICs used relative to their MICs were trans-cinnamaldehyde (TC 0.50mM, 0.75mM with the MIC of 0.90mM), carvacrol (CR 0.50mM, 0.65mM with the MIC of 0.75mM), and thymol (TY 0.33mM, 0.50mM with the MIC of 0.60mM). All three-plant antimicrobials reduced LM adhesion to and invasion of Caco-2 and HBMEC (p3.0 folds compared to controls (p<0.05). Results suggest that TC, CR, and TY could potentially be used to control LM infection; however, in vivo studies are necessary to validate these results. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. BarA-UvrY two-component system regulates virulence of uropathogenic E. coli CFT073.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaniyandi, Senthilkumar; Mitra, Arindam; Herren, Christopher D; Lockatell, C Virginia; Johnson, David E; Zhu, Xiaoping; Mukhopadhyay, Suman

    2012-01-01

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), a member of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli, cause ∼80% of community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTI) in humans. UPEC initiates its colonization in epithelial cells lining the urinary tract with a complicated life cycle, replicating and persisting in intracellular and extracellular niches. Consequently, UPEC causes cystitis and more severe form of pyelonephritis. To further understand the virulence characteristics of UPEC, we investigated the roles of BarA-UvrY two-component system (TCS) in regulating UPEC virulence. Our results showed that mutation of BarA-UvrY TCS significantly decreased the virulence of UPEC CFT073, as assessed by mouse urinary tract infection, chicken embryo killing assay, and cytotoxicity assay on human kidney and uroepithelial cell lines. Furthermore, mutation of either barA or uvrY gene reduced the production of hemolysin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) and chemokine (IL-8). The virulence phenotype was restored similar to that of wild-type by complementation of either barA or uvrY gene in trans. In addition, we discussed a possible link between the BarA-UvrY TCS and CsrA in positively and negatively controlling virulence in UPEC. Overall, this study provides the evidences for BarA-UvrY TCS regulates the virulence of UPEC CFT073 and may point to mechanisms by which virulence regulations are observed in different ways may control the long-term survival of UPEC in the urinary tract.

  9. BarA-UvrY two-component system regulates virulence of uropathogenic E. coli CFT073.

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    Senthilkumar Palaniyandi

    Full Text Available Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC, a member of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli, cause ∼80% of community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTI in humans. UPEC initiates its colonization in epithelial cells lining the urinary tract with a complicated life cycle, replicating and persisting in intracellular and extracellular niches. Consequently, UPEC causes cystitis and more severe form of pyelonephritis. To further understand the virulence characteristics of UPEC, we investigated the roles of BarA-UvrY two-component system (TCS in regulating UPEC virulence. Our results showed that mutation of BarA-UvrY TCS significantly decreased the virulence of UPEC CFT073, as assessed by mouse urinary tract infection, chicken embryo killing assay, and cytotoxicity assay on human kidney and uroepithelial cell lines. Furthermore, mutation of either barA or uvrY gene reduced the production of hemolysin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS, proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6 and chemokine (IL-8. The virulence phenotype was restored similar to that of wild-type by complementation of either barA or uvrY gene in trans. In addition, we discussed a possible link between the BarA-UvrY TCS and CsrA in positively and negatively controlling virulence in UPEC. Overall, this study provides the evidences for BarA-UvrY TCS regulates the virulence of UPEC CFT073 and may point to mechanisms by which virulence regulations are observed in different ways may control the long-term survival of UPEC in the urinary tract.

  10. Intrinsic thermal sensing controls proteolysis of Yersinia virulence regulator RovA.

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    Katharina Herbst

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Pathogens, which alternate between environmental reservoirs and a mammalian host, frequently use thermal sensing devices to adjust virulence gene expression. Here, we identify the Yersinia virulence regulator RovA as a protein thermometer. Thermal shifts encountered upon host entry lead to a reversible conformational change of the autoactivator, which reduces its DNA-binding functions and renders it more susceptible for proteolysis. Cooperative binding of RovA to its target promoters is significantly reduced at 37 degrees C, indicating that temperature control of rovA transcription is primarily based on the autoregulatory loop. Thermally induced reduction of DNA-binding is accompanied by an enhanced degradation of RovA, primarily by the Lon protease. This process is also subject to growth phase control. Studies with modified/chimeric RovA proteins indicate that amino acid residues in the vicinity of the central DNA-binding domain are important for proteolytic susceptibility. Our results establish RovA as an intrinsic temperature-sensing protein in which thermally induced conformational changes interfere with DNA-binding capacity, and secondarily render RovA susceptible to proteolytic degradation.

  11. Iron regulation of the major virulence factors in the AIDS-associated pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Won Hee Jung

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Iron overload is known to exacerbate many infectious diseases, and conversely, iron withholding is an important defense strategy for mammalian hosts. Iron is a critical cue for Cryptococcus neoformans because the fungus senses iron to regulate elaboration of the polysaccharide capsule that is the major virulence factor during infection. Excess iron exacerbates experimental cryptococcosis and the prevalence of this disease in Sub-Saharan Africa has been associated with nutritional and genetic aspects of iron loading in the background of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We demonstrate that the iron-responsive transcription factor Cir1 in Cr. neoformans controls the regulon of genes for iron acquisition such that cir1 mutants are "blind" to changes in external iron levels. Cir1 also controls the known major virulence factors of the pathogen including the capsule, the formation of the anti-oxidant melanin in the cell wall, and the ability to grow at host body temperature. Thus, the fungus is remarkably tuned to perceive iron as part of the disease process, as confirmed by the avirulence of the cir1 mutant; this characteristic of the pathogen may provide opportunities for antifungal treatment.

  12. PSM-Mec - A Virulence Determinant that Connects TranscriptionalRegulation, Virulence, and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococci

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    Li Qin

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available PSM-mec is a secreted virulence factor that belongs to the phenol-soluble modulin (PSM family of amphipathic, alpha-helical peptide toxins produced by Staphylococcus species. All known PSMs are core genome-encoded with the exception of PSM-mec, whose gene is found in specific sub-types of SCCmec methicillin resistance mobile genetic elements present in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci. In addition to the cytolytic translational product, PSM-mec, the psm-mec locus encodes a regulatory RNA. In S. aureus, the psm-mec locus influences cytolytic capacity, methicillin resistance, biofilm formation, cell spreading and the expression of other virulence factors, such as other PSMs, which results in a significant impact on immune evasion and disease. However, these effects are highly strain-dependent, which is possibly due to differences in PSM-mec peptide versus psm-mec RNA-controlled effects. Here, we summarize the functional properties of PSM-mec and the psm-mec RNA molecule and their roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis and physiology.

  13. Metabolic Genetic Screens Reveal Multidimensional Regulation of Virulence Gene Expression in Listeria monocytogenes and an Aminopeptidase That Is Critical for PrfA Protein Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Sivan; Linsky, Marika; Lobel, Lior; Rabinovich, Lev; Sigal, Nadejda; Herskovits, Anat A

    2017-06-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and intracellular bacterial pathogen. Upon invading mammalian cells, the bacterium senses abrupt changes in its metabolic environment, which are rapidly transduced to regulation of virulence gene expression. To explore the relationship between L. monocytogenes metabolism and virulence, we monitored virulence gene expression dynamics across a library of genetic mutants grown under two metabolic conditions known to activate the virulent state: charcoal-treated rich medium containing glucose-1-phosphate and minimal defined medium containing limiting concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). We identified over 100 distinct mutants that exhibit aberrant virulence gene expression profiles, the majority of which mapped to nonessential metabolic genes. Mutants displayed enhanced, decreased, and early and late virulence gene expression profiles, as well as persistent levels, demonstrating a high plasticity in virulence gene regulation. Among the mutants, one was noteworthy for its particularly low virulence gene expression level and mapped to an X-prolyl aminopeptidase (PepP). We show that this peptidase plays a role in posttranslational activation of the major virulence regulator, PrfA. Specifically, PepP mediates recruitment of PrfA to the cytoplasmic membrane, a step identified as critical for PrfA protein activation. This study establishes a novel step in the complex mechanism of PrfA activation and further highlights the cross regulation of metabolism and virulence. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  14. Site-specific contributions of glutamine-dependent regulator GlnR and GlnR-regulated genes to virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriksen, Wouter T.; Kloosterman, Tomas G.; Bootsma, Hester J.; Estevao, Silvia; de Groot, Ronald; Kuipers, Oscar P.; Hermans, Peter W. M.

    The transcriptional regulator GlnR of Streptococcus pneumoniae is involved in the regulation of glutamine and glutamate metabolism, controlling the expression of the glnRA and glnPQ-zwf operons, as well as the gdhA gene. To assess the contribution of the GlnR regulon to virulence, D39 wild-type and

  15. A circadian oscillator in the fungus Botrytis cinerea regulates virulence when infecting Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hevia, Montserrat A; Canessa, Paulo; Müller-Esparza, Hanna; Larrondo, Luis F

    2015-07-14

    The circadian clock of the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana modulates defense mechanisms impacting plant-pathogen interactions. Nevertheless, the effect of clock regulation on pathogenic traits has not been explored in detail. Moreover, molecular description of clocks in pathogenic fungi--or fungi in general other than the model ascomycete Neurospora crassa--has been neglected, leaving this type of question largely unaddressed. We sought to characterize, therefore, the circadian system of the plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea to assess if such oscillatory machinery can modulate its virulence potential. Herein, we show the existence of a functional clock in B. cinerea, which shares similar components and circuitry with the Neurospora circadian system, although we found that its core negative clock element FREQUENCY (BcFRQ1) serves additional roles, suggesting extracircadian functions for this protein. We observe that the lesions produced by this necrotrophic fungus on Arabidopsis leaves are smaller when the interaction between these two organisms occurs at dawn. Remarkably, this effect does not depend solely on the plant clock, but instead largely relies on the pathogen circadian system. Genetic disruption of the B. cinerea oscillator by mutation, overexpression of BcFRQ1, or by suppression of its rhythmicity by constant light, abrogates circadian regulation of fungal virulence. By conducting experiments with out-of-phase light:dark cycles, we confirm that indeed, it is the fungal clock that plays the main role in defining the outcome of the Arabidopsis-Botrytis interaction, providing to our knowledge the first evidence of a microbial clock modulating pathogenic traits at specific times of the day.

  16. The Regulatory Repertoire of Pseudomonas aeruginosa AmpC ß-Lactamase Regulator AmpR Includes Virulence Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramanian, Deepak; Schneper, Lisa; Merighi, Massimo; Smith, Roger; Narasimhan, Giri; Lory, Stephen; Mathee, Kalai

    2012-01-01

    In Enterobacteriaceae, the transcriptional regulator AmpR, a member of the LysR family, regulates the expression of a chromosomal β-lactamase AmpC. The regulatory repertoire of AmpR is broader in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen responsible for numerous acute and chronic infections including cystic fibrosis. In addition to regulating ampC, P. aeruginosa AmpR regulates the sigma factor AlgT/U and production of some quorum sensing (QS)-regulated virulence factors. In order to better understand the ampR regulon, we compared the transcriptional profile generated using DNA microarrays of the prototypic P. aeruginosa PAO1 strain with its isogenic ampR deletion mutant, PAOΔampR. Transcriptome analysis demonstrates that the AmpR regulon is much more extensive than previously thought, with the deletion of ampR influencing the differential expression of over 500 genes. In addition to regulating resistance to β-lactam antibiotics via AmpC, AmpR also regulates non-β-lactam antibiotic resistance by modulating the MexEF-OprN efflux pump. Other virulence mechanisms including biofilm formation and QS-regulated acute virulence factors are AmpR-regulated. Real-time PCR and phenotypic assays confirmed the microarray data. Further, using a Caenorhabditis elegans model, we demonstrate that a functional AmpR is required for P. aeruginosa pathogenicity. AmpR, a member of the core genome, also regulates genes in the regions of genome plasticity that are acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Further, we show differential regulation of other transcriptional regulators and sigma factors by AmpR, accounting for the extensive AmpR regulon. The data demonstrates that AmpR functions as a global regulator in P. aeruginosa and is a positive regulator of acute virulence while negatively regulating biofilm formation, a chronic infection phenotype. Unraveling this complex regulatory circuit will provide a better understanding of the bacterial response to antibiotics and how the

  17. A response regulator promotes Francisella tularensis intramacrophage growth by repressing an anti-virulence factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Kathryn M; Dove, Simon L

    2016-08-01

    The orphan response regulator PmrA is essential for the intramacrophage growth and survival of Francisella tularensis. PmrA was thought to promote intramacrophage growth by binding directly to promoters on the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI) and positively regulating the expression of FPI genes, which encode a Type VI secretion system required for intramacrophage growth. Using both ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq we identify those regions of the F. tularensis chromosome occupied by PmrA and those genes that are regulated by PmrA. We find that PmrA associates with 252 distinct regions of the F. tularensis chromosome, but exerts regulatory effects at only a few of these locations. Rather than by functioning directly as an activator of FPI gene expression we present evidence that PmrA promotes intramacrophage growth by repressing the expression of a single target gene we refer to as priM (PmrA-repressed inhibitor of intramacrophage growth). Our findings thus indicate that the role of PmrA in facilitating intracellular growth is to repress a previously unknown anti-virulence factor. PriM is the first bacterially encoded factor to be described that can interfere with the intramacrophage growth and survival of F. tularensis. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Fis is a global regulator critical for modulation of virulence factor production and pathogenicity of Dickeya zeae

    OpenAIRE

    Lv, Mingfa; Chen, Yufan; Liao, Lisheng; Liang, Zhibin; Shi, Zurong; Tang, Yingxin; Ye, Sixuan; Zhou, Jianuan; Zhang, Lianhui

    2018-01-01

    Dickeya zeae is the causal agent of rice foot rot disease, which has recently become a great threat to rice planting countries and regions. The pathogen produces a family of phytotoxins named zeamines that is critical for bacterial virulence, but little is known about the signaling pathways and regulatory mechanisms that govern zeamine production. In this study, we showed that a conserved transcriptional regulator Fis is involved in the regulation of zeamine production in D. zeae strain EC1. ...

  19. Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae RpfE Regulates Virulence and Carbon Source Utilization without Change of the DSF Production

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    Jung-Hee Cho

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available It has been known that most regulation of pathogenicity factor (rpf genes in xanthomonads regulates virulence in response to the diffusible signal factor, DSF. Although many rpf genes have been functionally characterized, the function of rpfE is still unknown. We cloned the rpfE gene from a Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo Korean race KACC10859 and generated mutant strains to elucidate the role of RpfE with respect to the rpf system. Through experiments using the rpfE-deficient mutant strain, we found that mutation in rpfE gene in Xoo reduced virulence, swarm motility, and production of virulence factors such as cellulase and extracellular polysaccharide. Disease progress by the rpfE-deficient mutant strain was significantly slowed compared to disease progress by the wild type and the number of the rpfE-deficient mutant strain was lower than that of the wild type in the early phase of infection in the inoculated rice leaf. The rpfE mutant strain was unable to utilize sucrose or xylose as carbon sources efficiently in culture. The mutation in rpfE, however, did not affect DSF synthesis. Our results suggest that the rpfE gene regulates the virulence of Xoo under different nutrient conditions without change of DSF production.

  20. The MogR Transcriptional Repressor Regulates Nonhierarchal Expression of Flagellar Motility Genes and Virulence in Listeria monocytogenes.

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    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Flagella are surface structures critical for motility and virulence of many bacterial species. In Listeria monocytogenes, MogR tightly represses expression of flagellin (FlaA during extracellular growth at 37 degrees C and during intracellular infection. MogR is also required for full virulence in a murine model of infection. Using in vitro and in vivo infection models, we determined that the severe virulence defect of MogR-negative bacteria is due to overexpression of FlaA. Specifically, overproduction of FlaA in MogR-negative bacteria caused pleiotropic defects in bacterial division (chaining phenotype, intracellular spread, and virulence in mice. DNA binding and microarray analyses revealed that MogR represses transcription of all known flagellar motility genes by binding directly to a minimum of two TTTT-N(5-AAAA recognition sites positioned within promoter regions such that RNA polymerase binding is occluded. Analysis of MogR protein levels demonstrated that modulation of MogR repression activity confers the temperature-specificity to flagellar motility gene expression. Epistasis analysis revealed that MogR repression of transcription is antagonized in a temperature-dependent manner by the DegU response regulator and that DegU further regulates FlaA levels through a posttranscriptional mechanism. These studies provide the first known example to our knowledge of a transcriptional repressor functioning as a master regulator controlling nonhierarchal expression of flagellar motility genes.

  1. Unfolded Protein Response (UPR Regulator Cib1 Controls Expression of Genes Encoding Secreted Virulence Factors in Ustilago maydis.

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    Martin Hampel

    Full Text Available The unfolded protein response (UPR, a conserved eukaryotic signaling pathway to ensure protein homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER, coordinates biotrophic development in the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis. Exact timing of UPR activation is required for virulence and presumably connected to the elevated expression of secreted effector proteins during infection of the host plant Zea mays. In the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expression of UPR target genes is induced upon binding of the central regulator Hac1 to unfolded protein response elements (UPREs in their promoters. While a role of the UPR in effector secretion has been described previously, we investigated a potential UPR-dependent regulation of genes encoding secreted effector proteins. In silico prediction of UPREs in promoter regions identified the previously characterized effector genes pit2 and tin1-1, as bona fide UPR target genes. Furthermore, direct binding of the Hac1-homolog Cib1 to the UPRE containing promoter fragments of both genes was confirmed by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (qChIP analysis. Targeted deletion of the UPRE abolished Cib1-dependent expression of pit2 and significantly affected virulence. Furthermore, ER stress strongly increased Pit2 expression and secretion. This study expands the role of the UPR as a signal hub in fungal virulence and illustrates, how biotrophic fungi can coordinate cellular physiology, development and regulation of secreted virulence factors.

  2. Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) Regulator Cib1 Controls Expression of Genes Encoding Secreted Virulence Factors in Ustilago maydis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampel, Martin; Jakobi, Mareike; Schmitz, Lara; Meyer, Ute; Finkernagel, Florian; Doehlemann, Gunther; Heimel, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The unfolded protein response (UPR), a conserved eukaryotic signaling pathway to ensure protein homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), coordinates biotrophic development in the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis. Exact timing of UPR activation is required for virulence and presumably connected to the elevated expression of secreted effector proteins during infection of the host plant Zea mays. In the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, expression of UPR target genes is induced upon binding of the central regulator Hac1 to unfolded protein response elements (UPREs) in their promoters. While a role of the UPR in effector secretion has been described previously, we investigated a potential UPR-dependent regulation of genes encoding secreted effector proteins. In silico prediction of UPREs in promoter regions identified the previously characterized effector genes pit2 and tin1-1, as bona fide UPR target genes. Furthermore, direct binding of the Hac1-homolog Cib1 to the UPRE containing promoter fragments of both genes was confirmed by quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (qChIP) analysis. Targeted deletion of the UPRE abolished Cib1-dependent expression of pit2 and significantly affected virulence. Furthermore, ER stress strongly increased Pit2 expression and secretion. This study expands the role of the UPR as a signal hub in fungal virulence and illustrates, how biotrophic fungi can coordinate cellular physiology, development and regulation of secreted virulence factors.

  3. Global transcriptional regulation by H-NS and its biological influence on the virulence of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Baoshan; Zhang, Qiufen; Tao, Jing; Zhou, Aiping; Yao, Yu-Feng; Ni, Jinjing

    2016-08-22

    As a global transcriptional regulator, H-NS, the histone-like nucleoid-associated DNA-binding and bridging protein, plays a wide range of biological roles in bacteria. In order to determine the role of H-NS in regulating gene transcription and further find out the biological significance of this protein in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), we conducted transcriptome analysis of hns mutant by RNA sequencing. A total of 983 genes were identified to be regulated by H-NS in EHEC. 213 and 770 genes were down-regulated and up-regulated in the deletion mutant of hns, respectively. Interestingly, 34 of 97 genes on virulence plasmid pO157 were down-regulated by H-NS. Although the deletion mutant of hns showed a decreased survival rate in macrophage compared with the wild type strain, it exhibited the higher ability to colonize mice gut and became more virulent to BALB/c mice. The BALB/c mice infected with the deletion mutant of hns showed a lower survival rate, and a higher bacterial burden in the gut, compared with those infected with wild type strain, especially when the gut microbiota was not disturbed by antibiotic administration. These findings suggest that H-NS plays an important role in virulence of EHEC by interacting with host gut microbiota. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Two-component system response regulators involved in virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae TIGR4 in infective endocarditis.

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    My Trihn

    Full Text Available Streptococci resident in the oral cavity have been linked to infective endocarditis (IE. While other viridans streptococci are commonly studied in relation to IE, less research has been focused on Streptococcus pneumoniae. We established for the first time an animal model of S. pneumoniae IE, and examined the virulence of the TIGR4 strain in this model. We hypothesized that two-component systems (TCS may mediate S. pneumoniae TIGR4 strain virulence in IE and examined TCS response regulator (RR mutants of TIGR4 in vivo with the IE model. Thirteen of the 14 RR protein genes were mutagenized, excluding only the essential gene SP_1227. The requirement of the 13 RRs for S. pneumoniae competitiveness in the IE model was assessed in vivo through use of quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR and competitive index assays. Using real-time PCR, several RR mutants were detected at significantly lower levels in infected heart valves compared with a control strain suggesting the respective RRs are candidate virulence factors for IE. The virulence reduction of the ΔciaR mutant was further confirmed by competitive index assay. Our data suggest that CiaR is a virulence factor of S. pneumoniae strain TIGR4 for IE.

  5. Accessory Gene Regulator-1 Locus Is Essential for Virulence and Pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile

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    Charles Darkoh

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium difficile infection (CDI is responsible for most of the definable cases of antibiotic- and hospital-associated diarrhea worldwide and is a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality in older patients. C. difficile, a multidrug-resistant anaerobic pathogen, causes disease by producing toxins A and B, which are controlled by an accessory gene regulator (Agr quorum signaling system. Some C. difficile strains encode two Agr loci in their genomes, designated agr1 and agr2. The agr1 locus is present in all of the C. difficile strains sequenced to date, whereas the agr2 locus is present in a few strains. The functional roles of agr1 and agr2 in C. difficile toxin regulation and pathogenesis were unknown until now. Using allelic exchange, we deleted components of both agr loci and examined the mutants for toxin production and virulence. The results showed that the agr1 mutant cannot produce toxins A and B; toxin production can be restored by complementation with wild-type agr1. Furthermore, the agr1 mutant is able to colonize but unable to cause disease in a murine CDI model. These findings have profound implications for CDI treatment because we have uncovered a promising therapeutic target for the development of nonantibiotic drugs to treat this life-threatening emerging pathogen by targeting the toxins directly responsible for disease.

  6. Trichothecenes and aspinolides produced by Trichoderma arundinaceum regulate expression of Botrytis cinerea genes involved in virulence and growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malmierca, Mónica G; Izquierdo-Bueno, Inmaculada; McCormick, Susan P; Cardoza, Rosa E; Alexander, Nancy J; Barua, Javier; Lindo, Laura; Casquero, Pedro A; Collado, Isidro G; Monte, Enrique; Gutiérrez, Santiago

    2016-11-01

    Trichoderma arundinaceum (Ta37) and Botrytis cinerea (B05.10) produce the sesquiterpenoids harzianum A (HA) and botrydial (BOT), respectively. TaΔTri5, an HA non-producer mutant, produces high levels of the polyketide compounds aspinolides (Asp) B and C. We analyzed the role of HA and Asp in the B. cinerea-T. arundinaceum interaction, including changes in BOT production as well as transcriptomic changes of BcBOT genes involved in BOT biosynthesis, and also of genes associated with virulence and ergosterol biosynthesis. We found that exogenously added HA up-regulated the expression of the BcBOT and all the virulence genes analyzed when B. cinerea was grown alone. However, a decrease in the amount of BOT and a down-regulation of BcBOT gene expression was observed in the interaction zone of B05.10-Ta37 dual cultures, compared to TaΔTri5. Thus, the confrontation with T. arundinaceum results in an up-regulation of most of the B. cinerea genes involved in virulence yet the presence of T. arundinaceum secondary metabolites, HA and AspC, act separately and together to down-regulate the B. cinerea genes analyzed. The present work emphasizes the existence of a chemical cross-regulation between B. cinerea and T. arundinaceum and contributes to understanding how a biocontrol fungus and its prey interact with each other. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. A non-coding RNA promotes bacterial persistence and decreases virulence by regulating a regulator in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric Romilly

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus produces a high number of RNAs for which the functions are poorly understood. Several non-coding RNAs carry a C-rich sequence suggesting that they regulate mRNAs at the post-transcriptional level. We demonstrate that the Sigma B-dependent RsaA RNA represses the synthesis of the global transcriptional regulator MgrA by forming an imperfect duplex with the Shine and Dalgarno sequence and a loop-loop interaction within the coding region of the target mRNA. These two recognition sites are required for translation repression. Consequently, RsaA causes enhanced production of biofilm and a decreased synthesis of capsule formation in several strain backgrounds. These phenotypes led to a decreased protection of S. aureus against opsonophagocytic killing by polymorphonuclear leukocytes compared to the mutant strains lacking RsaA. Mice animal models showed that RsaA attenuates the severity of acute systemic infections and enhances chronic catheter infection. RsaA takes part in a regulatory network that contributes to the complex interactions of S. aureus with the host immune system to moderate invasiveness and favour chronic infections. It is the first example of a conserved small RNA in S. aureus functioning as a virulence suppressor of acute infections. Because S. aureus is essentially a human commensal, we propose that RsaA has been positively selected through evolution to support commensalism and saprophytic interactions with the host.

  8. Three regulators of G protein signaling differentially affect mating, morphology and virulence in the smut fungus Ustilago maydis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moretti, Marino; Wang, Lei; Grognet, Pierre; Lanver, Daniel; Link, Hannes; Kahmann, Regine

    2017-09-01

    Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins modulate heterotrimeric G protein signaling negatively. To broaden an understanding of the roles of RGS proteins in fungal pathogens, we functionally characterized the three RGS protein-encoding genes (rgs1, rgs2 and rgs3) in the phytopathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis. It was found that RGS proteins played distinct roles in the regulation of development and virulence. rgs1 had a minor role in virulence when deleted in a solopathogenic strain. In crosses, rgs1 was dispensable for mating and filamentation, but was required for teliospore production. Haploid rgs2 mutants were affected in cell morphology, growth, mating and were unable to cause disease symptoms in crosses. However, virulence was unaffected when rgs2 was deleted in a solopathogenic strain, suggesting an exclusive involvement in pre-fusion events. These rgs2 phenotypes are likely connected to elevated intracellular cAMP levels. rgs3 mutants were severely attenuated in mating, in their response to pheromone, virulence and formation of mature teliospores. The mating defect could be traced back to reduced expression of the transcription factor rop1. It was speculated that the distinct roles of the three U. maydis RGS proteins were achieved by direct modulation of the Gα subunit-activated signaling pathways as well as through Gα-independent functions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Staphylococcus aureus Quorum Regulator SarA Targeted Compound, 2-[(Methylaminomethyl]phenol Inhibits Biofilm and Down-Regulates Virulence Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Balamurugan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is a widely acknowledged Gram-positive pathogen for forming biofilm and virulence gene expressions by quorum sensing (QS, a cell to cell communication process. The quorum regulator SarA of S. aureus up-regulates the expression of many virulence factors including biofilm formation to mediate pathogenesis and evasion of the host immune system in the late phases of growth. Thus, inhibiting the production or blocking SarA protein might influence the down-regulation of biofilm and virulence factors. In this context, here we have synthesized 2-[(Methylaminomethyl]phenol, which was specifically targeted toward the quorum regulator SarA through in silico approach in our previous study. The molecule has been evaluated in vitro to validate its antibiofilm activity against clinical S. aureus strains. In addition, antivirulence properties of the inhibitor were confirmed with the observation of a significant reduction in the expression of representative virulence genes like fnbA, hla and hld that are governed under S. aureus QS. Interestingly, the SarA targeted inhibitor showed negligible antimicrobial activity and markedly reduced the minimum inhibitory concentration of conventional antibiotics when used in combination making it a more attractive lead for further clinical tests.

  10. Co-regulation of Xanthomonas campestris virulence by quorum sensing and a novel two-component regulatory system RavS/RavR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ya-Wen; Boon, Calvin; Zhou, Lian; Zhang, Lian-Hui

    2009-03-01

    Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) is known to regulate virulence through a quorum-sensing mechanism. Detection of the quorum-sensing signal DSF by sensor RpfC leads to activation of the response regulator RpfG, which influences virulence by degrading cyclic-di-GMP and by subsequent increasing expression of the global regulator Clp. In this study, we show that mutation of a response regulator RavR containing the GGDEF-EAL domains decreases Xcc virulence factor production. The functionality of RavR is dependent on its EAL domain-associated cyclic-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activity. Deletion of a multidomain sensor gene ravS, which shares the same operon with ravR, results in similar phenotype changes as the ravR mutant. In addition, the sensor mutant phenotypes can be rescued by in trans expression of the response regulator, supporting the notion that RavS and RavR constitute a two-component regulatory system. Significantly, mutation of either the PAS domain or key residues of RavS implicated in sensing low-oxygen tension abrogates the sensor activity in virulence regulation. Moreover, similar to the DSF signalling system, RavS/RavR regulates virulence gene expression through the global regulator Clp. These results outline a co-regulation mechanism that allows Xcc to integrate population density and environmental cues to modulate virulence factor production and adaptation.

  11. Structure of Vibrio cholerae ToxT reveals a mechanism for fatty acid regulation of virulence genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowden, Michael J.; Skorupski, Karen; Pellegrini, Maria; Chiorazzo, Michael G.; Taylor, Ronald K.; Kull, F. Jon (Dartmouth)

    2010-03-04

    Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. In order for V. cholerae to cause disease, it must produce two virulence factors, the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) and cholera toxin (CT), whose expression is controlled by a transcriptional cascade culminating with the expression of the AraC-family regulator, ToxT. We have solved the 1.9 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure of ToxT, which reveals folds in the N- and C-terminal domains that share a number of features in common with AraC, MarA, and Rob as well as the unexpected presence of a buried 16-carbon fatty acid, cis-palmitoleate. The finding that cis-palmitoleic acid reduces TCP and CT expression in V. cholerae and prevents ToxT from binding to DNA in vitro provides a direct link between the host environment of V. cholerae and regulation of virulence gene expression.

  12. HD-GYP domain proteins regulate biofilm formation and virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryan, Robert P.; Lucey, Jean; O'Donovan, Karen

    2009-01-01

    residues (YN-GYP). Here we have investigated the role of these proteins in biofilm formation, virulence factor synthesis and virulence of P. aeruginosa. Mutation of PA4108 and PA4781 led to an increase in the level of cyclic-di-GMP in P. aeruginosa, consistent with the predicted activity of the encoded......2572 had a negative influence on swarming that was cryptic and was revealed only after removal of an uncharacterized C-terminal domain. Mutation of PA4108, PA4781 and PA2572 had distinct effects on biofilm formation and architecture of P. aeruginosa. All three proteins contributed to virulence of P...

  13. Differential Secretomics of Streptococcus pyogenes Reveals a Novel Peroxide Regulator (PerR)-regulated Extracellular Virulence Factor Mitogen Factor3 (MF3)*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Yao-Tseng; Tsou, Chih-Cheng; Kuo, Hsin-Tzu; Wang, Jie-Siou; Wu, Jiunn-Jong; Liao, Pao-Chi

    2011-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is a human pathogen that causes various diseases. Numerous virulence factors secreted by S. pyogenes are involved in pathogenesis. The peroxide regulator (PerR) is associated with the peroxide resistance response and pathogenesis, but little is known about the regulation of the secretome involved in virulence. To investigate how PerR regulates the expression of the S. pyogenes secretome involved in virulence, a perR deficient mutant was used for comparative secretomic analysis with a wild-type strain. The conditioned medium containing secreted proteins of a wild-type strain and a perR deficient mutant at the stationary phase were collected for two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis, where protease inhibitors were applied to avoid the degradation of extracellular proteins. Differentially expressed protein spots were identified by liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem MS. More than 330 protein spots were detected on each gel. We identified 25 unique up-regulated proteins and 13 unique down-regulated proteins that were directly or indirectly controlled by the PerR regulator. Among these identified proteins, mitogen factor 3 (MF3), was selected to verify virulence and the expression of gene products. The data showed that MF3 protein levels in conditioned medium, as measured by immunoblot analysis, correlated well with protein levels determined by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis. We also demonstrated that PerR bound to the promoter region of the mf3 gene. The result of an infection model showed that virulence was attenuated in the mf3 deficient mutant. Additional growth data of the wild-type strain and the mf3 deficient mutant suggested that MF3 played a role in digestion of exogenous DNA for promoting growth. To summarize, we conclude that PerR can positively regulate the expression of the secreted protein MF3 that contributes to the virulence in S. pyogenes. The analysis of the PerR-regulated secretome provided

  14. Regulation of sulphur assimilation is essential for virulence and affects iron homeostasis of the human-pathogenic mould Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Amich

    Full Text Available Sulphur is an essential element that all pathogens have to absorb from their surroundings in order to grow inside their infected host. Despite its importance, the relevance of sulphur assimilation in fungal virulence is largely unexplored. Here we report a role of the bZIP transcription factor MetR in sulphur assimilation and virulence of the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. The MetR regulator is essential for growth on a variety of sulphur sources; remarkably, it is fundamental for assimilation of inorganic S-sources but dispensable for utilization of methionine. Accordingly, it strongly supports expression of genes directly related to inorganic sulphur assimilation but not of genes connected to methionine metabolism. On a broader scale, MetR orchestrates the comprehensive transcriptional adaptation to sulphur-starving conditions as demonstrated by digital gene expression analysis. Surprisingly, A. fumigatus is able to utilize volatile sulphur compounds produced by its methionine catabolism, a process that has not been described before and that is MetR-dependent. The A. fumigatus MetR transcriptional activator is important for virulence in both leukopenic mice and an alternative mini-host model of aspergillosis, as it was essential for the development of pulmonary aspergillosis and supported the systemic dissemination of the fungus. MetR action under sulphur-starving conditions is further required for proper iron regulation, which links regulation of sulphur metabolism to iron homeostasis and demonstrates an unprecedented regulatory crosstalk. Taken together, this study provides evidence that regulation of sulphur assimilation is not only crucial for A. fumigatus virulence but also affects the balance of iron in this prime opportunistic pathogen.

  15. Proteolysis of virulence regulator ToxR is associated with entry of Vibrio cholerae into a dormant state.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Almagro-Moreno

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Vibrio cholerae O1 is a natural inhabitant of aquatic environments and causes the diarrheal disease, cholera. Two of its primary virulence regulators, TcpP and ToxR, are localized in the inner membrane. TcpP is encoded on the Vibrio Pathogenicity Island (VPI, a horizontally acquired mobile genetic element, and functions primarily in virulence gene regulation. TcpP has been shown to undergo regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP in response to environmental conditions that are unfavorable for virulence gene expression. ToxR is encoded in the ancestral genome and is present in non-pathogenic strains of V. cholerae, indicating it has roles outside of the human host. In this study, we show that ToxR undergoes RIP in V. cholerae in response to nutrient limitation at alkaline pH, a condition that occurs during the stationary phase of growth. This process involves the site-2 protease RseP (YaeL, and is dependent upon the RpoE-mediated periplasmic stress response, as deletion mutants for the genes encoding these two proteins cannot proteolyze ToxR under nutrient limitation at alkaline pH. We determined that the loss of ToxR, genetically or by proteolysis, is associated with entry of V. cholerae into a dormant state in which the bacterium is normally found in the aquatic environment called viable but nonculturable (VBNC. Strains that can proteolyze ToxR, or do not encode it, lose culturability, experience a change in morphology associated with cells in VBNC, yet remain viable under nutrient limitation at alkaline pH. On the other hand, mutant strains that cannot proteolyze ToxR remain culturable and maintain the morphology of cells in an active state of growth. Overall, our findings provide a link between the proteolysis of a virulence regulator and the entry of a pathogen into an environmentally persistent state.

  16. Proteomic analysis of growth phase-dependent expression of Legionella pneumophila proteins which involves regulation of bacterial virulence traits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsuyoshi Hayashi

    Full Text Available Legionella pneumophila, which is a causative pathogen of Legionnaires' disease, expresses its virulent traits in response to growth conditions. In particular, it is known to become virulent at a post-exponential phase in vitro culture. In this study, we performed a proteomic analysis of differences in expression between the exponential phase and post-exponential phase to identify candidates associated with L. pneumophila virulence using 2-Dimentional Fluorescence Difference Gel Electrophoresis (2D-DIGE combined with Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS. Of 68 identified proteins that significantly differed in expression between the two growth phases, 64 were up-regulated at a post-exponential phase. The up-regulated proteins included enzymes related to glycolysis, ketone body biogenesis and poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB biogenesis, suggesting that L. pneumophila may utilize sugars and lipids as energy sources, when amino acids become scarce. Proteins related to motility (flagella components and twitching motility-associated proteins were also up-regulated, predicting that they enhance infectivity of the bacteria in host cells under certain conditions. Furthermore, 9 up-regulated proteins of unknown function were found. Two of them were identified as novel bacterial factors associated with hemolysis of sheep red blood cells (SRBCs. Another 2 were found to be translocated into macrophages via the Icm/Dot type IV secretion apparatus as effector candidates in a reporter assay with Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase. The study will be helpful for virulent analysis of L. pneumophila from the viewpoint of physiological or metabolic modulation dependent on growth phase.

  17. Structure-Based Identification of a Potent Inhibitor Targeting Stp1-Mediated Virulence Regulation in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Weihao; Cai, Xiaodan; Xie, Mingsheng; Liang, Yujie; Wang, Tao; Li, Zigang

    2016-08-18

    The increasing threats of antibiotic resistance urge the need for developing new strategies against bacterial infections. Targeting eukaryotic-like Ser/Thr phosphatase Stp1-mediated virulence regulation represents a promising approach for combating staphylococcal infection yet to be explored. Here, we report the 2.32-Å resolution crystal structure of Stp1. Stp1 binds an unexpected fourth metal ion, which is important for Stp1's enzymatic activity as demonstrated by amino acid substitution studies. Inspired by the structural details of Stp1, we identified a potent and selective Stp1 inhibitor, aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA). Transcriptome analysis and biochemical studies supported Stp1 as the target of ATA inhibition within the pathogen, preventing upregulation of virulence genes. Notably, ATA did not affect in vitro growth of Staphylococcus aureus, while simultaneously attenuating staphylococcal virulence in mice. Our findings demonstrate that ATA is a potent anti-virulence compound against staphylococcal infection, laying the foundation for further developing new scaffolds for Stp1-targeted small molecules. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Small Molecule Disruption of Quorum Sensing Cross-Regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Causes Major and Unexpected Alterations to Virulence Phenotypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Michael A.; Eibergen, Nora R.; Moore, Joseph D.; Blackwell, Helen E.

    2015-01-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses three interwoven quorum-sensing (QS) circuits—Las, Rhl, and Pqs—to regulate the global expression of myriad virulence-associated genes. Interception of these signaling networks with small molecules represents an emerging strategy for the development of anti-infective agents against this bacterium. In the current study, we applied a chemical approach to investigate how the Las-Rhl-Pqs QS hierarchy coordinates key virulence phenotypes in wild-type P. aeruginosa. We screened a focused library of synthetic, non-native N-acyl l-homoserine lactones and identified compounds that can drastically alter production of two important virulence factors: pyocyanin and rhamnolipid. We demonstrate that these molecules act by targeting RhlR in P. aeruginosa, a QS receptor that has seen far less scrutiny to date relative to other circuitry. Unexpectedly, modulation of RhlR activity by a single compound induces inverse regulation of pyocyanin and rhamnolipid, a result that was not predicted using genetic approaches to interrogate QS in P. aeruginosa. Further, we show that certain RhlR agonists strongly repress Pqs signaling, revealing disruption of Rhl-Pqs cross-regulation as a novel mechanism for QS inhibition. These compounds significantly expand the known repertoire of chemical probes available to study RhlR in P. aeruginosa. Moreover, our results suggest that designing chemical agents to disrupt Rhl-Pqs crosstalk could be an effective antivirulence strategy to fight this common pathogen. PMID:25574853

  19. Diverse Genetic Regulon of the Virulence-Associated Transcriptional Regulator MucR in Brucella abortus 2308

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caswell, Clayton C.; Elhassanny, Ahmed E. M.; Planchin, Emilie E.; Roux, Christelle M.; Weeks-Gorospe, Jenni N.; Ficht, Thomas A.; Dunman, Paul M.

    2013-01-01

    The Ros-type regulator MucR is one of the few transcriptional regulators that have been linked to virulence in Brucella. Here, we show that a Brucella abortus in-frame mucR deletion strain exhibits a pronounced growth defect during in vitro cultivation and, more importantly, that the mucR mutant is attenuated in cultured macrophages and in mice. The genetic basis for the attenuation of Brucella mucR mutants has not been defined previously, but in the present study the genes regulated by MucR in B. abortus have been elucidated using microarray analysis and real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). In B. abortus 2308, MucR regulates a wide variety of genes whose products may function in establishing and maintaining cell envelope integrity, polysaccharide biosynthesis, iron homeostasis, genome plasticity, and transcriptional regulation. Particularly notable among the MucR-regulated genes identified is arsR6 (nolR), which encodes a transcriptional regulator previously linked to virulence in Brucella melitensis 16 M. Importantly, electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) determined that a recombinant MucR protein binds directly to the promoter regions of several genes repressed by MucR (including arsR6 [nolR]), and in Brucella, as in other alphaproteobacteria, MucR binds to its own promoter to repress expression of the gene that encodes it. Overall, these studies have uncovered the diverse genetic regulon of MucR in Brucella, and in doing so this work has begun to define the MucR-controlled genetic circuitry whose misregulation contributes to the virulence defect of Brucella mucR mutants. PMID:23319565

  20. Regulation of virulence gene expression resulting from Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae interactions in chronic disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily K Cope

    Full Text Available Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS is a common inflammatory disease of the sinonasal cavity mediated, in part, by polymicrobial communities of bacteria. Recent molecular studies have confirmed the importance of Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi in CRS. Here, we hypothesize that interaction between S. pneumoniae and NTHi mixed-species communities cause a change in bacterial virulence gene expression. We examined CRS as a model human disease to validate these polymicrobial interactions. Clinical strains of S. pneumoniae and NTHi were grown in mono- and co-culture in a standard biofilm assay. Reverse transcriptase real-time PCR (RTqPCR was used to measure gene expression of key virulence factors. To validate these results, we investigated the presence of the bacterial RNA transcripts in excised human tissue from patients with CRS. Consequences of physical or chemical interactions between microbes were also investigated. Transcription of NTHi type IV pili was only expressed in co-culture in vitro, and expression could be detected ex vivo in diseased tissue. S. pneumoniae pyruvate oxidase was up-regulated in co-culture, while pneumolysin and pneumococcal adherence factor A were down-regulated. These results were confirmed in excised human CRS tissue. Gene expression was differentially regulated by physical contact and secreted factors. Overall, these data suggest that interactions between H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae involve physical and chemical mechanisms that influence virulence gene expression of mixed-species biofilm communities present in chronically diseased human tissue. These results extend previous studies of population-level virulence and provide novel insight into the importance of S. pneumoniae and NTHi in CRS.

  1. Transcriptomic analysis of the GCN5 gene reveals mechanisms of the epigenetic regulation of virulence and morphogenesis in Ustilago maydis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Soto, Domingo; González-Prieto, Juan Manuel; Ruiz-Herrera, José

    2015-09-01

    Chromatin in the eukaryotic nucleus is highly organized in the form of nucleosomes where histones wrap DNA. This structure may be altered by some chemical modifications of histones, one of them, acetylation by histone acetyltransferases (HATs) that originates relaxation of the nucleosome structure, providing access to different transcription factors and other effectors. In this way, HATs regulate cellular processes including DNA replication, and gene transcription. Previously, we isolated Ustilago maydis mutants deficient in the GCN5 HAT that are avirulent, and grow constitutively as mycelium. In this work, we proceeded to identify the genes differentially regulated by GCN5, comparing the transcriptomes of the mutant and the wild type using microarrays, to analyse the epigenetic control of virulence and morphogenesis. We identified 1203 genes, 574 positively and 629 negatively regulated in the wild type. We found that genes belonging to different categories involved in pathogenesis were downregulated in the mutant, and that genes involved in mycelial growth were negatively regulated in the wild type, offering a working hypothesis on the epigenetic control of virulence and morphogenesis of U. maydis. Interestingly, several differentially regulated genes appeared in clusters, suggesting a common regulation. Some of these belonged to pathogenesis or secondary metabolism. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. A Surfactant-Induced Functional Modulation of a Global Virulence Regulator from Staphylococcus aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sukhendu Mandal

    Full Text Available Triton X-100 (TX-100, a useful non-ionic surfactant, reduced the methicillin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus significantly. Many S. aureus proteins were expressed in the presence of TX-100. SarA, one of the TX-100-induced proteins, acts as a global virulence regulator in S. aureus. To understand the effects of TX-100 on the structure, and function of SarA, a recombinant S. aureus SarA (rSarA and its derivative (C9W have been investigated in the presence of varying concentrations of this surfactant using various probes. Our data have revealed that both rSarA and C9W bind to the cognate DNA with nearly similar affinity in the absence of TX-100. Interestingly, their DNA binding activities have been significantly increased in the presence of pre-micellar concentration of TX-100. The increase of TX-100 concentrations to micellar or post-micellar concentration did not greatly enhance their activities further. TX-100 molecules have altered the secondary and tertiary structures of both proteins to some extents. Size of the rSarA-TX-100 complex appears to be intermediate to those of rSarA and TX-100. Additional analyses show a relatively moderate interaction between C9W and TX-100. Binding of TX-100 to C9W has, however, occurred by a cooperative pathway particularly at micellar and higher concentrations of this surfactant. Taken together, TX-100-induced structural alteration of rSarA and C9W might be responsible for their increased DNA binding activity. As TX-100 has stabilized the somewhat weaker SarA-DNA complex effectively, it could be used to study its structure in the future.

  3. Sir2 paralogues cooperate to regulate virulence genes and antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Tonkin

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Cytoadherance of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in the brain, organs and peripheral microvasculature is linked to morbidity and mortality associated with severe malaria. Parasite-derived P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1 molecules displayed on the erythrocyte surface are responsible for cytoadherance and undergo antigenic variation in the course of an infection. Antigenic variation of PfEMP1 is achieved by in situ switching and mutually exclusive transcription of the var gene family, a process that is controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. Here we report characterisation of the P. falciparum silent information regulator's A and B (PfSir2A and PfSir2B and their involvement in mutual exclusion and silencing of the var gene repertoire. Analysis of P. falciparum parasites lacking either PfSir2A or PfSir2B shows that these NAD(+-dependent histone deacetylases are required for silencing of different var gene subsets classified by their conserved promoter type. We also demonstrate that in the absence of either of these molecules mutually exclusive expression of var genes breaks down. We show that var gene silencing originates within the promoter and PfSir2 paralogues are involved in cis spreading of silenced chromatin into adjacent regions. Furthermore, parasites lacking PfSir2A but not PfSir2B have considerably longer telomeric repeats, demonstrating a role for this molecule in telomeric end protection. This work highlights the pivotal but distinct role for both PfSir2 paralogues in epigenetic silencing of P. falciparum virulence genes and the control of pathogenicity of malaria infection.

  4. Co-regulation of Iron Metabolism and Virulence Associated Functions by Iron and XibR, a Novel Iron Binding Transcription Factor, in the Plant Pathogen Xanthomonas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Sheo Shankar; Patnana, Pradeep Kumar; Lomada, Santosh Kumar; Tomar, Archana; Chatterjee, Subhadeep

    2016-11-01

    Abilities of bacterial pathogens to adapt to the iron limitation present in hosts is critical to their virulence. Bacterial pathogens have evolved diverse strategies to coordinately regulate iron metabolism and virulence associated functions to maintain iron homeostasis in response to changing iron availability in the environment. In many bacteria the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) functions as transcription factor that utilize ferrous form of iron as cofactor to regulate transcription of iron metabolism and many cellular functions. However, mechanisms of fine-tuning and coordinated regulation of virulence associated function beyond iron and Fur-Fe2+ remain undefined. In this study, we show that a novel transcriptional regulator XibR (named Xanthomonas iron binding regulator) of the NtrC family, is required for fine-tuning and co-coordinately regulating the expression of several iron regulated genes and virulence associated functions in phytopathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc). Genome wide expression analysis of iron-starvation stimulon and XibR regulon, GUS assays, genetic and functional studies of xibR mutant revealed that XibR positively regulates functions involved in iron storage and uptake, chemotaxis, motility and negatively regulates siderophore production, in response to iron. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by quantitative real-time PCR indicated that iron promoted binding of the XibR to the upstream regulatory sequence of operon's involved in chemotaxis and motility. Circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that purified XibR bound ferric form of iron. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that iron positively affected the binding of XibR to the upstream regulatory sequences of the target virulence genes, an effect that was reversed by ferric iron chelator deferoxamine. Taken together, these data revealed that how XibR coordinately regulates virulence associated and iron metabolism functions in Xanthomonads in

  5. Triethylene Glycol Up-Regulates Virulence-Associated Genes and Proteins in Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeghinejad, Lida; Cvitkovitch, Dennis G; Siqueira, Walter L; Santerre, J Paul; Finer, Yoav

    2016-01-01

    Triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) is a diluent monomer used pervasively in dental composite resins. Through hydrolytic degradation of the composites in the oral cavity it yields a hydrophilic biodegradation product, triethylene glycol (TEG), which has been shown to promote the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a dominant cariogenic bacterium. Previously it was shown that TEG up-regulated gtfB, an important gene contributing to polysaccharide synthesis function in biofilms. However, molecular mechanisms related to TEG's effect on bacterial function remained poorly understood. In the present study, S. mutans UA159 was incubated with clinically relevant concentrations of TEG at pH 5.5 and 7.0. Quantitative real-time PCR, proteomics analysis, and glucosyltransferase enzyme (GTF) activity measurements were employed to identify the bacterial phenotypic response to TEG. A S. mutans vicK isogenic mutant (SMΔvicK1) and its associated complemented strain (SMΔvicK1C), an important regulatory gene for biofilm-associated genes, were used to determine if this signaling pathway was involved in modulation of the S. mutans virulence-associated genes. Extracted proteins from S. mutans biofilms grown in the presence and absence of TEG were subjected to mass spectrometry for protein identification, characterization and quantification. TEG up-regulated gtfB/C, gbpB, comC, comD and comE more significantly in biofilms at cariogenic pH (5.5) and defined concentrations. Differential response of the vicK knock-out (SMΔvicK1) and complemented strains (SMΔvicK1C) implicated this signalling pathway in TEG-modulated cellular responses. TEG resulted in increased GTF enzyme activity, responsible for synthesizing insoluble glucans involved in the formation of cariogenic biofilms. As well, TEG increased protein abundance related to biofilm formation, carbohydrate transport, acid tolerance, and stress-response. Proteomics data was consistent with gene expression findings for the selected

  6. Triethylene Glycol Up-Regulates Virulence-Associated Genes and Proteins in Streptococcus mutans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lida Sadeghinejad

    Full Text Available Triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA is a diluent monomer used pervasively in dental composite resins. Through hydrolytic degradation of the composites in the oral cavity it yields a hydrophilic biodegradation product, triethylene glycol (TEG, which has been shown to promote the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a dominant cariogenic bacterium. Previously it was shown that TEG up-regulated gtfB, an important gene contributing to polysaccharide synthesis function in biofilms. However, molecular mechanisms related to TEG's effect on bacterial function remained poorly understood. In the present study, S. mutans UA159 was incubated with clinically relevant concentrations of TEG at pH 5.5 and 7.0. Quantitative real-time PCR, proteomics analysis, and glucosyltransferase enzyme (GTF activity measurements were employed to identify the bacterial phenotypic response to TEG. A S. mutans vicK isogenic mutant (SMΔvicK1 and its associated complemented strain (SMΔvicK1C, an important regulatory gene for biofilm-associated genes, were used to determine if this signaling pathway was involved in modulation of the S. mutans virulence-associated genes. Extracted proteins from S. mutans biofilms grown in the presence and absence of TEG were subjected to mass spectrometry for protein identification, characterization and quantification. TEG up-regulated gtfB/C, gbpB, comC, comD and comE more significantly in biofilms at cariogenic pH (5.5 and defined concentrations. Differential response of the vicK knock-out (SMΔvicK1 and complemented strains (SMΔvicK1C implicated this signalling pathway in TEG-modulated cellular responses. TEG resulted in increased GTF enzyme activity, responsible for synthesizing insoluble glucans involved in the formation of cariogenic biofilms. As well, TEG increased protein abundance related to biofilm formation, carbohydrate transport, acid tolerance, and stress-response. Proteomics data was consistent with gene expression findings for

  7. Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Skills To Succeed in the Host: Virulence and Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fàbrega, Anna

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a primary enteric pathogen infecting both humans and animals. Infection begins with the ingestion of contaminated food or water so that salmonellae reach the intestinal epithelium and trigger gastrointestinal disease. In some patients the infection spreads upon invasion of the intestinal epithelium, internalization within phagocytes, and subsequent dissemination. In that case, antimicrobial therapy, based on fluoroquinolones and expanded-spectrum cephalosporins as the current drugs of choice, is indicated. To accomplish the pathogenic process, the Salmonella chromosome comprises several virulence mechanisms. The most important virulence genes are those located within the so-called Salmonella pathogenicity islands (SPIs). Thus far, five SPIs have been reported to have a major contribution to pathogenesis. Nonetheless, further virulence traits, such as the pSLT virulence plasmid, adhesins, flagella, and biofilm-related proteins, also contribute to success within the host. Several regulatory mechanisms which synchronize all these elements in order to guarantee bacterial survival have been described. These mechanisms govern the transitions from the different pathogenic stages and drive the pathogen to achieve maximal efficiency inside the host. This review focuses primarily on the virulence armamentarium of this pathogen and the extremely complicated regulatory network controlling its success. PMID:23554419

  8. The DSF Family of Cell-Cell Signals: An Expanding Class of Bacterial Virulence Regulators.

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    Robert P Ryan

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Many pathogenic bacteria use cell-cell signaling systems involving the synthesis and perception of diffusible signal molecules to control virulence as a response to cell density or confinement to niches. Bacteria produce signals of diverse structural classes. Signal molecules of the diffusible signal factor (DSF family are cis-2-unsaturated fatty acids. The paradigm is cis-11-methyl-2-dodecenoic acid from Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc, which controls virulence in this plant pathogen. Although DSF synthesis was thought to be restricted to the xanthomonads, it is now known that structurally related molecules are produced by the unrelated bacteria Burkholderia cenocepacia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Furthermore, signaling involving these DSF family members contributes to bacterial virulence, formation of biofilms and antibiotic tolerance in these important human pathogens. Here we review the recent advances in understanding DSF signaling and its regulatory role in different bacteria. These advances include the description of the pathway/mechanism of DSF biosynthesis, identification of novel DSF synthases and new members of the DSF family, the demonstration of a diversity of DSF sensors to include proteins with a Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS domain and the description of some of the signal transduction mechanisms that impinge on virulence factor expression. In addition, we address the role of DSF family signals in interspecies signaling that modulates the behavior of other microorganisms. Finally, we consider a number of recently reported approaches for the control of bacterial virulence through the modulation of DSF signaling.

  9. Acetylation regulates protein stability and DNA-binding ability of HilD to modulate Salmonella Typhimurium virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sang, Yu; Ren, Jie; Qin, Ran; Liu, Shuting; Cui, Zhongli; Cheng, Sen; Liu, Xiaoyun; Lu, Jie; Tao, Jing; Yao, Yu-Feng

    2017-02-24

    HilD, a dominant regulator of Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1), can be acetylated by acetyltransferase Pat in Salmonella Typhimurium, and the acetylation is beneficial to its stability. However, the underlying mechanism of HilD stability regulated by acetylation is not clear. We show here that lysine 297 (K297) located in the helix-turn-helix motif, can be acetylated by Pat. Acetylation of K297 increases HilD stability, but reduces its DNA-binding affinity. In turn, the deacetylated K297 enhances the DNA-binding ability, but decreases HilD stability. Under SPI-1 inducing condition, the acetylation level of K297 is down-regulated. The acetylated K297 (mimicked by glutamine substitution) causes attenuated invasion in HeLa cells as well as impaired virulence in mouse model compared with the deacetylated K297 (mimicked by arginine substitution), suggesting that deacetylation of K297 is essential for Salmonella virulence. These findings demonstrate that the acetylation of K297 can regulate both protein stability and DNA-binding ability. This regulation mediated by acetylation not only degrades redundant HilD to keep a moderate protein level to facilitate S. Typhimurium growth but also maintains an appropriate DNA-binding activity of HilD to ensure bacterial pathogenicity. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Phenotypic plasticity regulates Candida albicans interactions and virulence in the vertebrate host

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    Emily M Mallick

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic diversity is critical to the lifestyles of many microbial species, enabling rapid responses to changes in environmental conditions. In the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans, cells exhibit heritable switching between two phenotypic states, white and opaque, which yield differences in mating, filamentous growth, and interactions with immune cells in vitro. Here, we addressed the in vivo properties of the two cell states in a zebrafish model of infection. Multiple attributes were compared including the stability of phenotypic states, filamentation, virulence, dissemination, and phagocytosis by immune cells, and phenotypes equated across three different host temperatures. We show that both white and opaque cells can establish a lethal systemic infection. The relative virulence of the two cell types is temperature dependent; virulence is similar at 25°C, but at higher temperatures (30 and 33°C white cells are significantly more virulent than opaque cells. Despite the difference in virulence, fungal burdens and dissemination are similar between cells in the two states. Additionally, both white and opaque cells exhibit robust filamentation during infection, and mutants unable to filament show decreased virulence, establishing that this program is critical for pathogenesis in both cell states. Interactions between C. albicans cells and immune cells were compared both in vitro and in vivo. Macrophages and neutrophils preferentially phagocytosed white cells over opaque cells in vitro, and neutrophils also showed preferential phagocytosis of white cells in vivo. Together, these studies distinguish the properties of white and opaque cells in a vertebrate host, and establish that the two cell types demonstrate both important similarities and key differences during infection.

  11. Quorum sensing transcriptional regulator QseA is essential for the expression of multiple virulence regulons of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction and Objectives: QseA is one of several transcriptional regulators that regulates the virulence gene expression in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 through quorum sensing. QseA has been shown to regulate the expression of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), non-LEE...

  12. The Hos2 Histone Deacetylase Controls Ustilago maydis Virulence through Direct Regulation of Mating-Type Genes.

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    Alberto Elías-Villalobos

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Morphological changes are critical for host colonisation in plant pathogenic fungi. These changes occur at specific stages of their pathogenic cycle in response to environmental signals and are mediated by transcription factors, which act as master regulators. Histone deacetylases (HDACs play crucial roles in regulating gene expression, for example by locally modulating the accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional regulators. It has been reported that HDACs play important roles in the virulence of plant fungi. However, the specific environment-sensing pathways that control fungal virulence via HDACs remain poorly characterised. Here we address this question using the maize pathogen Ustilago maydis. We find that the HDAC Hos2 is required for the dimorphic switch and pathogenic development in U. maydis. The deletion of hos2 abolishes the cAMP-dependent expression of mating type genes. Moreover, ChIP experiments detect Hos2 binding to the gene bodies of mating-type genes, which increases in proportion to their expression level following cAMP addition. These observations suggest that Hos2 acts as a downstream component of the cAMP-PKA pathway to control the expression of mating-type genes. Interestingly, we found that Clr3, another HDAC present in U. maydis, also contributes to the cAMP-dependent regulation of mating-type gene expression, demonstrating that Hos2 is not the only HDAC involved in this control system. Overall, our results provide new insights into the role of HDACs in fungal phytopathogenesis.

  13. The Hos2 Histone Deacetylase Controls Ustilago maydis Virulence through Direct Regulation of Mating-Type Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elías-Villalobos, Alberto; Fernández-Álvarez, Alfonso; Moreno-Sánchez, Ismael; Helmlinger, Dominique; Ibeas, José I

    2015-08-01

    Morphological changes are critical for host colonisation in plant pathogenic fungi. These changes occur at specific stages of their pathogenic cycle in response to environmental signals and are mediated by transcription factors, which act as master regulators. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) play crucial roles in regulating gene expression, for example by locally modulating the accessibility of chromatin to transcriptional regulators. It has been reported that HDACs play important roles in the virulence of plant fungi. However, the specific environment-sensing pathways that control fungal virulence via HDACs remain poorly characterised. Here we address this question using the maize pathogen Ustilago maydis. We find that the HDAC Hos2 is required for the dimorphic switch and pathogenic development in U. maydis. The deletion of hos2 abolishes the cAMP-dependent expression of mating type genes. Moreover, ChIP experiments detect Hos2 binding to the gene bodies of mating-type genes, which increases in proportion to their expression level following cAMP addition. These observations suggest that Hos2 acts as a downstream component of the cAMP-PKA pathway to control the expression of mating-type genes. Interestingly, we found that Clr3, another HDAC present in U. maydis, also contributes to the cAMP-dependent regulation of mating-type gene expression, demonstrating that Hos2 is not the only HDAC involved in this control system. Overall, our results provide new insights into the role of HDACs in fungal phytopathogenesis.

  14. In Vivo fitness associated with high virulence in a vertebrate virus is a complex trait regulated by host entry, replication, and shedding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wargo, Andrew R.; Kurath, Gael

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between pathogen fitness and virulence is typically examined by quantifying only one or two pathogen fitness traits. More specifically, it is regularly assumed that within-host replication, as a precursor to transmission, is the driving force behind virulence. In reality, many traits contribute to pathogen fitness, and each trait could drive the evolution of virulence in different ways. Here, we independently quantified four viral infection cycle traits, namely, host entry, within-host replication, within-host coinfection fitness, and shedding, in vivo, in the vertebrate virus Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). We examined how each of these stages of the viral infection cycle contributes to the fitness of IHNV genotypes that differ in virulence in rainbow trout. This enabled us to determine how infection cycle fitness traits are independently associated with virulence. We found that viral fitness was independently regulated by each of the traits examined, with the largest impact on fitness being provided by within-host replication. Furthermore, the more virulent of the two genotypes of IHNV we used had advantages in all of the traits quantified. Our results are thus congruent with the assumption that virulence and within-host replication are correlated but suggest that infection cycle fitness is complex and that replication is not the only trait associated with virulence.

  15. ChIP-seq and in vivo transcriptome analyses of the Aspergillus fumigatus SREBP SrbA reveals a new regulator of the fungal hypoxia response and virulence.

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    Dawoon Chung

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The Aspergillus fumigatus sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP SrbA belongs to the basic Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH family of transcription factors and is crucial for antifungal drug resistance and virulence. The latter phenotype is especially striking, as loss of SrbA results in complete loss of virulence in murine models of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA. How fungal SREBPs mediate fungal virulence is unknown, though it has been suggested that lack of growth in hypoxic conditions accounts for the attenuated virulence. To further understand the role of SrbA in fungal infection site pathobiology, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq was used to identify genes under direct SrbA transcriptional regulation in hypoxia. These results confirmed the direct regulation of ergosterol biosynthesis and iron uptake by SrbA in hypoxia and revealed new roles for SrbA in nitrate assimilation and heme biosynthesis. Moreover, functional characterization of an SrbA target gene with sequence similarity to SrbA identified a new transcriptional regulator of the fungal hypoxia response and virulence, SrbB. SrbB co-regulates genes involved in heme biosynthesis and demethylation of C4-sterols with SrbA in hypoxic conditions. However, SrbB also has regulatory functions independent of SrbA including regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Loss of SrbB markedly attenuates A. fumigatus virulence, and loss of both SREBPs further reduces in vivo fungal growth. These data suggest that both A. fumigatus SREBPs are critical for hypoxia adaptation and virulence and reveal new insights into SREBPs' complex role in infection site adaptation and fungal virulence.

  16. AsnB, regulated by diffusible signal factor and global regulator Clp, is involved in aspartate metabolism, resistance to oxidative stress and virulence in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Guoliang; Liu, Chunhui; Wu, Guichun; Yin, Fangqun; Zhao, Yancun; Zhou, Yijing; Zhang, Yanbing; Song, Zhiwei; Fan, Jiaqin; Hu, Baishi; Liu, Fengquan

    2013-02-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) causes bacterial leaf streak in rice, which is a destructive disease worldwide. Xoc virulence factors are regulated by diffusible signal factor (DSF) and the global regulator Clp. In this study, we have demonstrated that asnB (XOC_3054), encoding an asparagine synthetase, is a novel virulence-related gene regulated by both DSF and Clp in Xoc. A sequence analysis revealed that AsnB is highly conserved in Xanthomonas. An asnB mutation in Xoc dramatically impaired pathogen virulence and growth rate in host rice, but did not affect the ability to trigger the hypersensitive response in nonhost (plant) tobacco. Compared with the wild-type strain, the asnB deletion mutant was unable to grow in basic MMX (-) medium (a minimal medium without ammonium sulphate as the nitrogen source) with or without 10 tested nitrogen sources, except asparagine. The disruption of asnB impaired pathogen resistance to oxidative stress and reduced the transcriptional expression of oxyR, katA and katG, which encode three important proteins responsible for hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) sensing and detoxification in Xanthomonas in the presence of H(2)O(2), and nine important known Xoc virulence-related genes in plant cell-mimicking medium. Furthermore, the asnB mutation did not affect extracellular protease activity, extracellular polysaccharide production, motility or chemotaxis. Taken together, our results demonstrate the role of asnB in Xanthomonas for the first time. © 2012 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY © 2012 BSPP AND BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD.

  17. The transcription factor BcLTF1 regulates virulence and light responses in the necrotrophic plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea.

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    Julia Schumacher

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Botrytis cinerea is the causal agent of gray mold diseases in a range of dicotyledonous plant species. The fungus can reproduce asexually by forming macroconidia for dispersal and sclerotia for survival; the latter also participate in sexual reproduction by bearing the apothecia after fertilization by microconidia. Light induces the differentiation of conidia and apothecia, while sclerotia are exclusively formed in the absence of light. The relevance of light for virulence of the fungus is not obvious, but infections are observed under natural illumination as well as in constant darkness. By a random mutagenesis approach, we identified a novel virulence-related gene encoding a GATA transcription factor (BcLTF1 for light-responsive TF1 with characterized homologues in Aspergillus nidulans (NsdD and Neurospora crassa (SUB-1. By deletion and over-expression of bcltf1, we confirmed the predicted role of the transcription factor in virulence, and discovered furthermore its functions in regulation of light-dependent differentiation, the equilibrium between production and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS, and secondary metabolism. Microarray analyses revealed 293 light-responsive genes, and that the expression levels of the majority of these genes (66% are modulated by BcLTF1. In addition, the deletion of bcltf1 affects the expression of 1,539 genes irrespective of the light conditions, including the overexpression of known and so far uncharacterized secondary metabolism-related genes. Increased expression of genes encoding alternative respiration enzymes, such as the alternative oxidase (AOX, suggest a mitochondrial dysfunction in the absence of bcltf1. The hypersensitivity of Δbctlf1 mutants to exogenously applied oxidative stress--even in the absence of light--and the restoration of virulence and growth rates in continuous light by antioxidants, indicate that BcLTF1 is required to cope with oxidative stress that is caused either by

  18. The Transcription Factor BcLTF1 Regulates Virulence and Light Responses in the Necrotrophic Plant Pathogen Botrytis cinerea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Julia; Simon, Adeline; Cohrs, Kim Christopher; Viaud, Muriel; Tudzynski, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea is the causal agent of gray mold diseases in a range of dicotyledonous plant species. The fungus can reproduce asexually by forming macroconidia for dispersal and sclerotia for survival; the latter also participate in sexual reproduction by bearing the apothecia after fertilization by microconidia. Light induces the differentiation of conidia and apothecia, while sclerotia are exclusively formed in the absence of light. The relevance of light for virulence of the fungus is not obvious, but infections are observed under natural illumination as well as in constant darkness. By a random mutagenesis approach, we identified a novel virulence-related gene encoding a GATA transcription factor (BcLTF1 for light-responsive TF1) with characterized homologues in Aspergillus nidulans (NsdD) and Neurospora crassa (SUB-1). By deletion and over-expression of bcltf1, we confirmed the predicted role of the transcription factor in virulence, and discovered furthermore its functions in regulation of light-dependent differentiation, the equilibrium between production and scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and secondary metabolism. Microarray analyses revealed 293 light-responsive genes, and that the expression levels of the majority of these genes (66%) are modulated by BcLTF1. In addition, the deletion of bcltf1 affects the expression of 1,539 genes irrespective of the light conditions, including the overexpression of known and so far uncharacterized secondary metabolism-related genes. Increased expression of genes encoding alternative respiration enzymes, such as the alternative oxidase (AOX), suggest a mitochondrial dysfunction in the absence of bcltf1. The hypersensitivity of Δbctlf1 mutants to exogenously applied oxidative stress - even in the absence of light - and the restoration of virulence and growth rates in continuous light by antioxidants, indicate that BcLTF1 is required to cope with oxidative stress that is caused either by exposure to light

  19. Molecular basis for group-specific activation of the virulence regulator PlcR by PapR heptapeptides.

    OpenAIRE

    Bouillaut, Laurent; Perchat, Stephane; Arold, S.; Zorrilla, S.; Slamti, Leyla; Henry, Celine; Gohar, Michel; Declerck, N.; Lereclus, Didier

    2008-01-01

    The transcriptional regulator PlcR and its cognate cell–cell signalling peptide PapR form a quorum-sensing system that controls the expression of extra-cellular virulence factors in various species of the Bacillus cereus group. PlcR and PapR alleles are clustered into four groups defining four pherotypes. However, the molecular basis for group specificity remains elusive, largely because the biologically relevant PapR form is not known. Here, we show that the in vivo active form of PapR is th...

  20. Virulence and immunity orchestrated by the global gene regulator sigL in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Pallab; Steinberg, Howard; Talaat, Adel M

    2014-07-01

    Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes Johne's disease in ruminants, a chronic enteric disease responsible for severe economic losses in the dairy industry. Global gene regulators, including sigma factors are important in regulating mycobacterial virulence. However, the biological significance of such regulators in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis rremains elusive. To better decipher the role of sigma factors in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis pathogenesis, we targeted a key sigma factor gene, sigL, activated in mycobacterium-infected macrophages. We interrogated an M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis ΔsigL mutant against a selected list of stressors that mimic the host microenvironments. Our data showed that sigL was important in maintaining bacterial survival under such stress conditions. Survival levels further reflected the inability of the ΔsigL mutant to persist inside the macrophage microenvironments. Additionally, mouse infection studies suggested a substantial role for sigL in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis virulence, as indicated by the significant attenuation of the ΔsigL-deficient mutant compared to the parental strain. More importantly, when the sigL mutant was tested for its vaccine potential, protective immunity was generated in a vaccine/challenge model of murine paratuberculosis. Overall, our study highlights critical role of sigL in the pathogenesis and immunity of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection, a potential role that could be shared by similar proteins in other intracellular pathogens. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Epigenetic control of virulence gene expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa by a LysR-type transcription regulator.

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    Keith H Turner

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic variation within an isogenic bacterial population is thought to ensure the survival of a subset of cells in adverse conditions. The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa variably expresses several phenotypes, including antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and the production of CupA fimbriae. Here we describe a previously unidentified bistable switch in P. aeruginosa. This switch controls the expression of a diverse set of genes, including aprA, which encodes the secreted virulence factor alkaline protease. We present evidence that bistable expression of PA2432, herein named bexR (bistable expression regulator, which encodes a LysR-type transcription regulator, controls this switch. In particular, using DNA microarrays, quantitative RT-PCR analysis, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and reporter gene fusions, we identify genes directly under the control of BexR and show that these genes are bistably expressed. Furthermore, we show that bexR is itself bistably expressed and positively autoregulated. Finally, using single-cell analyses of a GFP reporter fusion, we present evidence that positive autoregulation of bexR is necessary for bistable expression of the BexR regulon. Our findings suggest that a positive feedback loop involving a LysR-type transcription regulator serves as the basis for an epigenetic switch that controls virulence gene expression in P. aeruginosa.

  2. Virulence and Immunity Orchestrated by the Global Gene Regulator sigL in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Pallab; Steinberg, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes Johne's disease in ruminants, a chronic enteric disease responsible for severe economic losses in the dairy industry. Global gene regulators, including sigma factors are important in regulating mycobacterial virulence. However, the biological significance of such regulators in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis rremains elusive. To better decipher the role of sigma factors in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis pathogenesis, we targeted a key sigma factor gene, sigL, activated in mycobacterium-infected macrophages. We interrogated an M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis ΔsigL mutant against a selected list of stressors that mimic the host microenvironments. Our data showed that sigL was important in maintaining bacterial survival under such stress conditions. Survival levels further reflected the inability of the ΔsigL mutant to persist inside the macrophage microenvironments. Additionally, mouse infection studies suggested a substantial role for sigL in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis virulence, as indicated by the significant attenuation of the ΔsigL-deficient mutant compared to the parental strain. More importantly, when the sigL mutant was tested for its vaccine potential, protective immunity was generated in a vaccine/challenge model of murine paratuberculosis. Overall, our study highlights critical role of sigL in the pathogenesis and immunity of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection, a potential role that could be shared by similar proteins in other intracellular pathogens. PMID:24799632

  3. LaeA regulation of secondary metabolism modulates virulence in Penicillium expansum and is mediated by sucrose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Dilip; Barad, Shiri; Chen, Yong; Luo, Xingyu; Tannous, Joanna; Dubey, Amit; Glam Matana, Nofar; Tian, Shiping; Li, Boqiang; Keller, Nancy; Prusky, Dov

    2017-10-01

    Penicillium expansum, the causal agent of blue mould rot, is a critical health concern because of the production of the mycotoxin patulin in colonized apple fruit tissue. Although patulin is produced by many Penicillium species, the factor(s) activating its biosynthesis are not clear. Sucrose, a key sugar component of apple fruit, was found to modulate patulin accumulation in a dose-responsive pattern. An increase in sucrose culture amendment from 15 to 175 mm decreased both patulin accumulation and expression of the global regulator laeA by 175- and five-fold, respectively, whilst increasing expression of the carbon catabolite repressor creA. LaeA was found to regulate several secondary metabolite genes, including the patulin gene cluster and concomitant patulin synthesis in vitro. Virulence studies of ΔlaeA mutants of two geographically distant P. expansum isolates (Pe-21 from Israel and Pe-T01 from China) showed differential reduction in disease severity in freshly harvested fruit, ranging from no reduction for Ch-Pe-T01 strains to 15%-25% reduction for both strains in mature fruit, with the ΔlaeA strains of Is-Pe-21 always showing a greater loss in virulence. The results suggest the importance of abiotic factors in LaeA regulation of patulin and other secondary metabolites that contribute to pathogenicity. © 2016 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  4. Leaf Extracts of Mangifera indica L. Inhibit Quorum Sensing – Regulated Production of Virulence Factors and Biofilm in Test Bacteria

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    Iqbal Ahmad

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Quorum sensing (QS is a global gene regulatory mechanism in bacteria for various traits including virulence factors. Disabling QS system with anti-infective agent is considered as a potential strategy to prevent bacterial infection. Mangifera indica L. (mango has been shown to possess various biological activities including anti-QS. This study investigates the efficacy of leaf extracts on QS-regulated virulence factors and biofilm formation in Gram negative pathogens. Mango leaf (ML extract was tested for QS inhibition and QS-regulated virulence factors using various indicator strains. It was further correlated with the biofilm inhibition and confirmed by electron microscopy. Phytochemical analysis was carried out using ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS analysis. In vitro evaluation of anti-QS activity of ML extracts against Chromobacterium violaceum revealed promising dose-dependent interference in violacein production, by methanol extract. QS inhibitory activity is also demonstrated by reduction in elastase (76%, total protease (56%, pyocyanin (89%, chitinase (55%, exopolysaccharide production (58% and swarming motility (74% in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 at 800 μg/ml concentration. Biofilm formation by P. aeruginosa PAO1 and Aeromonas hydrophila WAF38 was reduced considerably (36–82% over control. The inhibition of biofilm was also observed by scanning electron microscopy. Moreover, ML extracts significantly reduced mortality of Caenorhabditis elegans pre-infected with PAO1 at the tested concentration. Phytochemical analysis of active extracts revealed very high content of phenolics in methanol extract and a total of 14 compounds were detected by GC-MS and UPLC. These findings suggest that phytochemicals from the ML could provide bioactive anti-infective and needs further investigation to isolate and uncover their therapeutic efficacy.

  5. Regulation of hemolysin expression and virulence of Staphylococcus aureus by a serine/threonine kinase and phosphatase.

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    Kellie Burnside

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Exotoxins, including the hemolysins known as the alpha (alpha and beta (beta toxins, play an important role in the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infections. A random transposon library was screened for S. aureus mutants exhibiting altered hemolysin expression compared to wild type. Transposon insertions in 72 genes resulting in increased or decreased hemolysin expression were identified. Mutations inactivating a putative cyclic di-GMP synthetase and a serine/threonine phosphatase (Stp1 were found to reduce hemolysin expression, and mutations in genes encoding a two component regulator PhoR, LysR family transcriptional regulator, purine biosynthetic enzymes and a serine/threonine kinase (Stk1 increased expression. Transcription of the hla gene encoding alpha toxin was decreased in a Deltastp1 mutant strain and increased in a Deltastk1 strain. Microarray analysis of a Deltastk1 mutant revealed increased transcription of additional exotoxins. A Deltastp1 strain is severely attenuated for virulence in mice and elicits less inflammation and IL-6 production than the Deltastk1 strain. In vivo phosphopeptide enrichment and mass spectrometric analysis revealed that threonine phosphorylated peptides corresponding to Stk1, DNA binding histone like protein (HU, serine-aspartate rich fibrinogen/bone sialoprotein binding protein (SdrE and a hypothetical protein (NWMN_1123 were present in the wild type and not in the Deltastk1 mutant. Collectively, these studies suggest that Stk1 mediated phosphorylation of HU, SrdE and NWMN_1123 affects S. aureus gene expression and virulence.

  6. Regulation of hemolysin expression and virulence of Staphylococcus aureus by a serine/threonine kinase and phosphatase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnside, Kellie; Lembo, Annalisa; de Los Reyes, Melissa; Iliuk, Anton; Binhtran, Nguyen-Thao; Connelly, James E; Lin, Wan-Jung; Schmidt, Byron Z; Richardson, Anthony R; Fang, Ferric C; Tao, Weiguo Andy; Rajagopal, Lakshmi

    2010-06-11

    Exotoxins, including the hemolysins known as the alpha (alpha) and beta (beta) toxins, play an important role in the pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infections. A random transposon library was screened for S. aureus mutants exhibiting altered hemolysin expression compared to wild type. Transposon insertions in 72 genes resulting in increased or decreased hemolysin expression were identified. Mutations inactivating a putative cyclic di-GMP synthetase and a serine/threonine phosphatase (Stp1) were found to reduce hemolysin expression, and mutations in genes encoding a two component regulator PhoR, LysR family transcriptional regulator, purine biosynthetic enzymes and a serine/threonine kinase (Stk1) increased expression. Transcription of the hla gene encoding alpha toxin was decreased in a Deltastp1 mutant strain and increased in a Deltastk1 strain. Microarray analysis of a Deltastk1 mutant revealed increased transcription of additional exotoxins. A Deltastp1 strain is severely attenuated for virulence in mice and elicits less inflammation and IL-6 production than the Deltastk1 strain. In vivo phosphopeptide enrichment and mass spectrometric analysis revealed that threonine phosphorylated peptides corresponding to Stk1, DNA binding histone like protein (HU), serine-aspartate rich fibrinogen/bone sialoprotein binding protein (SdrE) and a hypothetical protein (NWMN_1123) were present in the wild type and not in the Deltastk1 mutant. Collectively, these studies suggest that Stk1 mediated phosphorylation of HU, SrdE and NWMN_1123 affects S. aureus gene expression and virulence.

  7. PrhN, a putative marR family transcriptional regulator, is involved in positive regulation of type III secretion system and full virulence of Ralstonia solanacearum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yong; Luo, Feng; Wu, Dousheng; Hikichi, Yasufumi; Kiba, Akinori; Igarashi, Yasuo; Ding, Wei; Ohnishi, Kouhei

    2015-01-01

    The MarR-family of transcriptional regulators are involved in various cellular processes, including resistance to multiple antibiotics and other toxic chemicals, adaptation to different environments and pathogenesis in many plant and animal pathogens. Here, we reported a new MarR regulator PrhN, which was involved in the pathogenesis of Ralstonia solanacearum. prhN mutant exhibited significantly reduced virulence and stem colonization compared to that of wild type in tomato plants. prhN mutant caused identical hypersensitive response (HR) on resistant plants to the wild type. Deletion of prhN gene substantially reduced the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS) in vitro and in planta (mainly in tomato plants), which is essential for pathogenicity of R. solanacearum, and the complemented PrhN could restore its virulence and T3SS expression to that of wild type. T3SS is directly controlled by AraC-type transcriptional regulator HrpB, and the transcription of hrpB is activated by HrpG and PrhG. HrpG and PrhG are homologs but are regulated by the PhcA positively and negatively, respectively. Deletion of prhN gene also abolished the expression of hrpB and prhG, but didn't change the expression of hrpG and phcA. Together, these results indicated that PrhN positively regulates T3SS expression through PrhG and HrpB. PrhN and PhcA should regulate prhG expression in a parallel way. This is the first report on the pathogenesis of MarR regulator in R. solanacearum, and this new finding will improve our understanding on the various biological functions of MarR regulator and the complex regulatory network on hrp regulon in R. solanacearum.

  8. PrhN, a putative marR family transcriptional regulator, is involved in positive regulation of type III secretion system and full virulence of Ralstonia solanacearum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang eYong

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The MarR-family of transcriptional regulators are involved in various cellular processes, including resistance to multiple antibiotics and other toxic chemicals, adaptation to different environments and pathogenesis in many plant and animal pathogens. Here, we reported a new MarR regulator PrhN, which was involved in the pathogenesis of Ralstonia solanacearum. prhN mutant exhibited significantly reduced virulence and stem colonization compared to that of wild type in tomato plants. prhN mutant caused identical hypersensitive response (HR on resistant plants to the wild type. Deletion of prhN gene substantially reduced the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS in vitro and in planta (mainly in tomato plants, which is essential for pathogenicity of R. solanacearum, and the complemented PrhN could restore its virulence and T3SS expression to that of wild type. T3SS is directly controlled by AraC-type transcriptional regulator HrpB, and the transcription of hrpB is activated by HrpG and PrhG. HrpG and PrhG are homologues but are regulated by the PhcA positively and negatively respectively. Deletion of prhN gene also abolished the expression of hrpB and prhG, but didn't change the expression of hrpG and phcA. Together, these results indicated that PrhN positively regulates T3SS expression through PrhG and HrpB. PrhN and PhcA should regulate prhG expression in a parallel way. This is the first report on the pathogenesis of MarR regulator in R. solanacearum, and this new finding will improve our understanding on the various biological functions of MarR regulator and the complex regulatory network on hrp regulon in R. solanacearum.

  9. Quantitative proteomics unravels that the post-transcriptional regulator Crc modulates the generation of vesicles and secreted virulence determinants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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    Jose Antonio Reales-Calderón

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Crc is a post-transcriptional regulator in Pseudomonas aeruginosa that modulates its metabolism, but also its susceptibility to antibiotics and virulence. Most of P. aeruginosa virulence factors are secreted or engulfed in vesicles. A Crc deficient mutant was created and the extracellular vesicles associated exoproteome and the vesicle-free secretome was quantified using iTRAQ. Fifty vesicles-associated proteins were more abundant and 14 less abundant in the Crc-defective strain, whereas 37 were more abundant and 17 less abundant in the vesicle-free secretome. Different virulence determinants, such as ToxA, protease IV, azurin, chitin-binding protein, PlcB and Hcp1, were less abundant in the Crc-defective mutant. We also observed that the crc mutant presented an impaired vesicle-associated secretion of quorum sensing signal molecules and less cytotoxicity than its wild-type strain, in agreement with the low secretion of proteins related to virulence. Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms by which Crc regulates P. aeruginosa virulence, through the modulation of vesicle formation and secretion of both virulence determinants and quorum sensing signals.

  10. Fis Is Essential for Capsule Production in Pasteurella multocida and Regulates Expression of Other Important Virulence Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steen, Jason A.; Steen, Jennifer A.; Harrison, Paul; Seemann, Torsten; Wilkie, Ian; Harper, Marina; Adler, Ben; Boyce, John D.

    2010-01-01

    P. multocida is the causative agent of a wide range of diseases of animals, including fowl cholera in poultry and wild birds. Fowl cholera isolates of P. multocida generally express a capsular polysaccharide composed of hyaluronic acid. There have been reports of spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida, but the mechanism by which this occurs has not been determined. In this study, we identified three independent strains that had spontaneously lost the ability to produce capsular polysaccharide. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that these strains had significantly reduced transcription of the capsule biosynthetic genes, but DNA sequence analysis identified no mutations within the capsule biosynthetic locus. However, whole-genome sequencing of paired capsulated and acapsular strains identified a single point mutation within the fis gene in the acapsular strain. Sequencing of fis from two independently derived spontaneous acapsular strains showed that each contained a mutation within fis. Complementation of these strains with an intact copy of fis, predicted to encode a transcriptional regulator, returned capsule expression to all strains. Therefore, expression of a functional Fis protein is essential for capsule expression in P. multocida. DNA microarray analysis of one of the spontaneous fis mutants identified approximately 30 genes as down-regulated in the mutant, including pfhB_2, which encodes a filamentous hemagglutinin, a known P. multocida virulence factor, and plpE, which encodes the cross protective surface antigen PlpE. Therefore these experiments define for the first time a mechanism for spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida and identify Fis as a critical regulator of capsule expression. Furthermore, Fis is involved in the regulation of a range of other P. multocida genes including important virulence factors. PMID:20140235

  11. Fis is essential for capsule production in Pasteurella multocida and regulates expression of other important virulence factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason A Steen

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available P. multocida is the causative agent of a wide range of diseases of animals, including fowl cholera in poultry and wild birds. Fowl cholera isolates of P. multocida generally express a capsular polysaccharide composed of hyaluronic acid. There have been reports of spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida, but the mechanism by which this occurs has not been determined. In this study, we identified three independent strains that had spontaneously lost the ability to produce capsular polysaccharide. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that these strains had significantly reduced transcription of the capsule biosynthetic genes, but DNA sequence analysis identified no mutations within the capsule biosynthetic locus. However, whole-genome sequencing of paired capsulated and acapsular strains identified a single point mutation within the fis gene in the acapsular strain. Sequencing of fis from two independently derived spontaneous acapsular strains showed that each contained a mutation within fis. Complementation of these strains with an intact copy of fis, predicted to encode a transcriptional regulator, returned capsule expression to all strains. Therefore, expression of a functional Fis protein is essential for capsule expression in P. multocida. DNA microarray analysis of one of the spontaneous fis mutants identified approximately 30 genes as down-regulated in the mutant, including pfhB_2, which encodes a filamentous hemagglutinin, a known P. multocida virulence factor, and plpE, which encodes the cross protective surface antigen PlpE. Therefore these experiments define for the first time a mechanism for spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida and identify Fis as a critical regulator of capsule expression. Furthermore, Fis is involved in the regulation of a range of other P. multocida genes including important virulence factors.

  12. Fis is essential for capsule production in Pasteurella multocida and regulates expression of other important virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steen, Jason A; Steen, Jennifer A; Harrison, Paul; Seemann, Torsten; Wilkie, Ian; Harper, Marina; Adler, Ben; Boyce, John D

    2010-02-05

    P. multocida is the causative agent of a wide range of diseases of animals, including fowl cholera in poultry and wild birds. Fowl cholera isolates of P. multocida generally express a capsular polysaccharide composed of hyaluronic acid. There have been reports of spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida, but the mechanism by which this occurs has not been determined. In this study, we identified three independent strains that had spontaneously lost the ability to produce capsular polysaccharide. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that these strains had significantly reduced transcription of the capsule biosynthetic genes, but DNA sequence analysis identified no mutations within the capsule biosynthetic locus. However, whole-genome sequencing of paired capsulated and acapsular strains identified a single point mutation within the fis gene in the acapsular strain. Sequencing of fis from two independently derived spontaneous acapsular strains showed that each contained a mutation within fis. Complementation of these strains with an intact copy of fis, predicted to encode a transcriptional regulator, returned capsule expression to all strains. Therefore, expression of a functional Fis protein is essential for capsule expression in P. multocida. DNA microarray analysis of one of the spontaneous fis mutants identified approximately 30 genes as down-regulated in the mutant, including pfhB_2, which encodes a filamentous hemagglutinin, a known P. multocida virulence factor, and plpE, which encodes the cross protective surface antigen PlpE. Therefore these experiments define for the first time a mechanism for spontaneous capsule loss in P. multocida and identify Fis as a critical regulator of capsule expression. Furthermore, Fis is involved in the regulation of a range of other P. multocida genes including important virulence factors.

  13. Mycobacterium tuberculosis WhiB3 maintains redox homeostasis by regulating virulence lipid anabolism to modulate macrophage response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Amit; Crossman, David K; Mai, Deborah; Guidry, Loni; Voskuil, Martin I; Renfrow, Matthew B; Steyn, Adrie J C

    2009-08-01

    The metabolic events associated with maintaining redox homeostasis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) during infection are poorly understood. Here, we discovered a novel redox switching mechanism by which Mtb WhiB3 under defined oxidizing and reducing conditions differentially modulates the assimilation of propionate into the complex virulence polyketides polyacyltrehaloses (PAT), sulfolipids (SL-1), phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIM), and the storage lipid triacylglycerol (TAG) that is under control of the DosR/S/T dormancy system. We developed an in vivo radio-labeling technique and demonstrated for the first time the lipid profile changes of Mtb residing in macrophages, and identified WhiB3 as a physiological regulator of virulence lipid anabolism. Importantly, MtbDeltawhiB3 shows enhanced growth on medium containing toxic levels of propionate, thereby implicating WhiB3 in detoxifying excess propionate. Strikingly, the accumulation of reducing equivalents in MtbDeltawhiB3 isolated from macrophages suggests that WhiB3 maintains intracellular redox homeostasis upon infection, and that intrabacterial lipid anabolism functions as a reductant sink. MtbDeltawhiB3 infected macrophages produce higher levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, indicating that WhiB3-mediated regulation of lipids is required for controlling the innate immune response. Lastly, WhiB3 binds to pks2 and pks3 promoter DNA independent of the presence or redox state of its [4Fe-4S] cluster. Interestingly, reduction of the apo-WhiB3 Cys thiols abolished DNA binding, whereas oxidation stimulated DNA binding. These results confirmed that WhiB3 DNA binding is reversibly regulated by a thiol-disulfide redox switch. These results introduce a new paradigmatic mechanism that describes how WhiB3 facilitates metabolic switching to fatty acids by regulating Mtb lipid anabolism in response to oxido-reductive stress associated with infection, for maintaining redox balance. The link between the WhiB3

  14. Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae requires H-NS-family protein XrvC to regulate virulence during rice infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yongting; Long, Juying; Shen, Dan; Song, Congfeng

    2016-05-01

    Histone-like nucleoid-structuring (H-NS) proteins, which are conserved in Gram-negative bacteria, bind DNA and act as the global transcriptional repressors. In this study, we identified and characterized the xrvC gene encoding a H-NS protein in Xathomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) Philippines strain PXO99(A) Compared with the wild type, the xrvC-deficient mutant of PXO99(A) (named PXO99ΔxrvC) showed a reduced growth rate in both nutrient-rich and nutrient-limited media. Interestingly, PXO99ΔxrvC exhibited significantly reduced virulence on rice cultivar IRBB214, but its virulence on 31 other rice cultivars was not affected. Transcriptional analysis revealed that the expression of hrpG, hrpX and hpa1 and of 15 out of 18 tested non-TAL (transcription activator-like) effector genes was decreased significantly in the xrvC mutant compared with that in the wild type. In addition, loss of xrvC also impaired the induction of the rice susceptibility gene Os8N3 in IRBB214 by PXO99(A) Our results suggest that the xrvC gene is involved in bacterial growth, and it plays a vital role in virulence by positively regulating the expression of hrp genes and non-TAL effector genes in PXO99(A) and the susceptibility gene Os8N3 in rice. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Polyphosphate and associated enzymes as global regulators of stress response and virulence in Campylobacter jejuni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Anand; Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Torrelles, Jordi B; Rajashekara, Gireesh

    2016-09-07

    Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni), a Gram-negative microaerophilic bacterium, is a predominant cause of bacterial foodborne gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. Despite its importance as a major foodborne pathogen, our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying C. jejuni stress survival and pathogenesis is limited. Inorganic polyphosphate (poly P) has been shown to play significant roles in bacterial resistance to stress and virulence in many pathogenic bacteria. C. jejuni contains the complete repertoire of enzymes required for poly P metabolism. Recent work in our laboratory and others have demonstrated that poly P controls a plethora of C. jejuni properties that impact its ability to survive in the environment as well as to colonize/infect mammalian hosts. This review article summarizes the current literature on the role of poly P in C. jejuni stress survival and virulence and discusses on how poly P-related enzymes can be exploited for therapeutic/prevention purposes. Additionally, the review article identifies potential areas for future investigation that would enhance our understanding of the role of poly P in C. jejuni and other bacteria, which ultimately would facilitate design of effective therapeutic/preventive strategies to reduce not only the burden of C. jejuni-caused foodborne infections but also of other bacterial infections in humans.

  16. Highly frequent mutations in negative regulators of multiple virulence genes in group A streptococcal toxic shock syndrome isolates.

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    Tadayoshi Ikebe

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS is a severe invasive infection characterized by the sudden onset of shock and multiorgan failure; it has a high mortality rate. Although a number of studies have attempted to determine the crucial factors behind the onset of STSS, the responsible genes in group A Streptococcus have not been clarified. We previously reported that mutations of csrS/csrR genes, a two-component negative regulator system for multiple virulence genes of Streptococcus pyogenes, are found among the isolates from STSS patients. In the present study, mutations of another negative regulator, rgg, were also found in clinical isolates of STSS patients. The rgg mutants from STSS clinical isolates enhanced lethality and impaired various organs in the mouse models, similar to the csrS mutants, and precluded their being killed by human neutrophils, mainly due to an overproduction of SLO. When we assessed the mutation frequency of csrS, csrR, and rgg genes among S. pyogenes isolates from STSS (164 isolates and non-invasive infections (59 isolates, 57.3% of the STSS isolates had mutations of one or more genes among three genes, while isolates from patients with non-invasive disease had significantly fewer mutations in these genes (1.7%. The results of the present study suggest that mutations in the negative regulators csrS/csrR and rgg of S. pyogenes are crucial factors in the pathogenesis of STSS, as they lead to the overproduction of multiple virulence factors.

  17. The Staphylococcus aureus Global Regulator MgrA Modulates Clumping and Virulence by Controlling Surface Protein Expression.

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    Heidi A Crosby

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is a human commensal and opportunistic pathogen that causes devastating infections in a wide range of locations within the body. One of the defining characteristics of S. aureus is its ability to form clumps in the presence of soluble fibrinogen, which likely has a protective benefit and facilitates adhesion to host tissue. We have previously shown that the ArlRS two-component regulatory system controls clumping, in part by repressing production of the large surface protein Ebh. In this work we show that ArlRS does not directly regulate Ebh, but instead ArlRS activates expression of the global regulator MgrA. Strains lacking mgrA fail to clump in the presence of fibrinogen, and clumping can be restored to an arlRS mutant by overexpressing either arlRS or mgrA, indicating that ArlRS and MgrA constitute a regulatory pathway. We used RNA-seq to show that MgrA represses ebh, as well as seven cell wall-associated proteins (SraP, Spa, FnbB, SasG, SasC, FmtB, and SdrD. EMSA analysis showed that MgrA directly represses expression of ebh and sraP. Clumping can be restored to an mgrA mutant by deleting the genes for Ebh, SraP and SasG, suggesting that increased expression of these proteins blocks clumping by steric hindrance. We show that mgrA mutants are less virulent in a rabbit model of endocarditis, and virulence can be partially restored by deleting the genes for the surface proteins ebh, sraP, and sasG. While mgrA mutants are unable to clump, they are known to have enhanced biofilm capacity. We demonstrate that this increase in biofilm formation is partially due to up-regulation of SasG, a surface protein known to promote intercellular interactions. These results confirm that ArlRS and MgrA constitute a regulatory cascade, and that they control expression of a number of genes important for virulence, including those for eight large surface proteins.

  18. A Csr-type regulatory system, including small non-coding RNAs, regulates the global virulence regulator RovA of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis through RovM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Böhme, Katja; Rohde, Manfred; Dersch, Petra

    2008-06-01

    The MarR-type regulator RovA controls expression of virulence genes of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in response to environmental signals. Using a genetic strategy to discover components that influence rovA expression, we identified new regulatory factors with homology to components of the carbon storage regulator system (Csr). We showed that overexpression of a CsrB- or a CsrC-type RNA activates rovA, whereas a CsrA-like protein represses RovA synthesis. We further demonstrate that influence of the Csr system on rovA is indirect and occurs through control of the LysR regulator RovM, which inhibits rovA transcription. The CsrA protein had also a major influence on the motility of Yersinia, which was independent of RovM. The CsrB and CsrC RNAs are differentially expressed in Yersinia. CsrC is highly induced in complex but not in minimal media, indicating that medium-dependent rovM expression is mediated through CsrC. CsrB synthesis is generally very low. However, overexpression of the response regulator UvrY was found to activate CsrB production, which in turn represses CsrC synthesis independent of the growth medium. In summary, the post-transcriptional Csr-type components were shown to be key regulators in the co-ordinated environmental control of physiological processes and virulence factors, which are crucial for the initiation of Yersinia infections.

  19. Regulation of Helicobacter pylori Virulence Within the Context of Iron Deficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noto, Jennifer M; Lee, Josephine Y; Gaddy, Jennifer A; Cover, Timothy L; Amieva, Manuel R; Peek, Richard M

    2015-06-01

    Helicobacter pylori strains that harbor the oncoprotein CagA increase gastric cancer risk, and this risk is augmented under iron-deficient conditions. We demonstrate here that iron depletion induces coccoid morphology in strains lacking cagA. To evaluate the stability of augmented H. pylori virulence phenotypes stimulated by low-iron conditions, H. pylori isolated from iron-depleted conditions in vivo were serially passaged in vitro. Long-term passage decreased the ability of hypervirulent strains to translocate CagA or induce interleukin 8, indicating that hypervirulent phenotypes stimulated by low-level iron conditions are reversible. Therefore, rectifying iron deficiency may attenuate disease among H. pylori-infected persons with no response to antibiotics. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Small-Molecule Inhibitor of the Shigella flexneri Master Virulence Regulator VirF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koppolu, Veerendra; Osaka, Ichie; Skredenske, Jeff M.; Kettle, Bria; Hefty, P. Scott; Li, Jiaqin

    2013-01-01

    VirF is an AraC family transcriptional activator that is required for the expression of virulence genes associated with invasion and cell-to-cell spread by Shigella flexneri, including multiple components of the type three secretion system (T3SS) machinery and effectors. We tested a small-molecule compound, SE-1 (formerly designated OSSL_051168), which we had identified as an effective inhibitor of the AraC family proteins RhaS and RhaR, for its ability to inhibit VirF. Cell-based reporter gene assays with Escherichia coli and Shigella, as well as in vitro DNA binding assays with purified VirF, demonstrated that SE-1 inhibited DNA binding and transcription activation (likely by blocking DNA binding) by VirF. Analysis of mRNA levels using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) further demonstrated that SE-1 reduced the expression of the VirF-dependent virulence genes icsA, virB, icsB, and ipaB in Shigella. We also performed eukaryotic cell invasion assays and found that SE-1 reduced invasion by Shigella. The effect of SE-1 on invasion required preincubation of Shigella with SE-1, in agreement with the hypothesis that SE-1 inhibited the expression of VirF-activated genes required for the formation of the T3SS apparatus and invasion. We found that the same concentrations of SE-1 had no detectable effects on the growth or metabolism of the bacterial cells or the eukaryotic host cells, respectively, indicating that the inhibition of invasion was not due to general toxicity. Overall, SE-1 appears to inhibit transcription activation by VirF, exhibits selectivity toward AraC family proteins, and has the potential to be developed into a novel antibacterial agent. PMID:24002059

  1. Iron-Regulated Phospholipase C Activity Contributes to the Cytolytic Activity and Virulence of Acinetobacter baumannii.

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    Steven E Fiester

    Full Text Available Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic Gram-negative pathogen that causes a wide range of infections including pneumonia, septicemia, necrotizing fasciitis and severe wound and urinary tract infections. Analysis of A. baumannii representative strains grown in Chelex 100-treated medium for hemolytic activity demonstrated that this pathogen is increasingly hemolytic to sheep, human and horse erythrocytes, which interestingly contain increasing amounts of phosphatidylcholine in their membranes. Bioinformatic, genetic and functional analyses of 19 A. baumannii isolates showed that the genomes of each strain contained two phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC genes, which were named plc1 and plc2. Accordingly, all of these strains were significantly hemolytic to horse erythrocytes and their culture supernatants tested positive for PC-PLC activity. Further analyses showed that the transcriptional expression of plc1 and plc2 and the production of phospholipase and thus hemolytic activity increased when bacteria were cultured under iron-chelation as compared to iron-rich conditions. Testing of the A. baumannii ATCC 19606T plc1::aph-FRT and plc2::aph isogenic insertion derivatives showed that these mutants had a significantly reduced PC-PLC activity as compared to the parental strain, while testing of plc1::ermAM/plc2::aph demonstrated that this double PC-PLC isogenic mutant expressed significantly reduced cytolytic and hemolytic activity. Interestingly, only plc1 was shown to contribute significantly to A. baumannii virulence using the Galleria mellonella infection model. Taken together, our data demonstrate that both PLC1 and PLC2, which have diverged from a common ancestor, play a concerted role in hemolytic and cytolytic activities; although PLC1 seems to play a more critical role in the virulence of A. baumannii when tested in an invertebrate model. These activities would provide access to intracellular iron stores this pathogen

  2. Fur homolog regulates Porphyromonas gingivalis virulence under low-iron/heme conditions through a complex regulatory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciuraszkiewicz, J; Smiga, M; Mackiewicz, P; Gmiterek, A; Bielecki, M; Olczak, M; Olczak, T

    2014-12-01

    Porphyromonas gingivalis is a key pathogen responsible for initiation and progression of chronic periodontitis. Little is known about the regulatory mechanisms of iron and heme uptake that allow P. gingivalis to express virulence factors and survive in the hostile environment of the oral cavity, so we initiated characterization of a P. gingivalis Fur homolog (PgFur). Many Fur paralogs found in microbial genomes, including Bacteroidetes, confirm that Fur proteins have a tendency to be subjected to a sub- or even neofunctionalization process. PgFur revealed extremely high sequence divergence, which could be associated with its functional dissimilarity in comparison with other Fur homologs. A fur mutant strain constructed by insertional inactivation exhibited retarded growth during the early growth phase and a significantly lower tendency to form a homotypic biofilm on abiotic surfaces. The mutant also showed significantly weaker adherence and invasion to epithelial cells and macrophages. Transcripts of many differentially regulated genes identified in the fur mutant strain were annotated as hypothetical proteins, suggesting that PgFur can play a novel role in the regulation of gene expression. Inactivation of the fur gene resulted in decreased hmuY gene expression, increased expression of other hmu components and changes in the expression of genes encoding hemagglutinins and proteases (mainly gingipains), HtrA, some extracytoplasmic sigma factors and two-component systems. Our data suggest that PgFur can influence in vivo growth and virulence, at least in part by affecting iron/heme acquisition, allowing efficient infection through a complex regulatory network. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. CvfA Protein and Polynucleotide Phosphorylase Act in an Opposing Manner to Regulate Staphylococcus aureus Virulence*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Numata, Shunsuke; Nagata, Makiko; Mao, Han; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa; Kaito, Chikara

    2014-01-01

    We previously identified CvfA (SA1129) as a Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor using a silkworm infection model. S. aureus cvfA-deleted mutants exhibit decreased expression of the agr locus encoding a positive regulator of hemolysin genes and decreased hemolysin production. CvfA protein hydrolyzes a 2′,3′-cyclic phosphodiester bond at the RNA 3′ terminus, producing RNA with a 3′-phosphate (3′-phosphorylated RNA, RNA with a 3′-phosphate). Here, we report that the cvfA-deleted mutant phenotype (decreased agr expression and hemolysin production) was suppressed by disrupting pnpA-encoding polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) with 3′- to 5′-exonuclease activity. The suppression was blocked by introducing a pnpA-encoding PNPase with exonuclease activity but not by a pnpA-encoding mutant PNPase without exonuclease activity. Therefore, loss of PNPase exonuclease activity suppressed the cvfA-deleted mutant phenotype. Purified PNPase efficiently degraded RNA with 2′,3′-cyclic phosphate at the 3′ terminus (2′,3′-cyclic RNA), but it inefficiently degraded 3′-phosphorylated RNA. These findings indicate that 3′-phosphorylated RNA production from 2′,3′-cyclic RNA by CvfA prevents RNA degradation by PNPase and contributes to the expression of agr and hemolysin genes. We speculate that in the cvfA-deleted mutant, 2′,3′-cyclic RNA is not converted to the 3′-phosphorylated form and is efficiently degraded by PNPase, resulting in the loss of RNA essential for expressing agr and hemolysin genes, whereas in the cvfA/pnpA double-disrupted mutant, 2′,3′-cyclic RNA is not degraded by PNPase, leading to hemolysin production. These findings suggest that CvfA and PNPase competitively regulate RNA degradation essential for S. aureus virulence. PMID:24492613

  4. CvfA protein and polynucleotide phosphorylase act in an opposing manner to regulate Staphylococcus aureus virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Numata, Shunsuke; Nagata, Makiko; Mao, Han; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa; Kaito, Chikara

    2014-03-21

    We previously identified CvfA (SA1129) as a Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor using a silkworm infection model. S. aureus cvfA-deleted mutants exhibit decreased expression of the agr locus encoding a positive regulator of hemolysin genes and decreased hemolysin production. CvfA protein hydrolyzes a 2',3'-cyclic phosphodiester bond at the RNA 3' terminus, producing RNA with a 3'-phosphate (3'-phosphorylated RNA, RNA with a 3'-phosphate). Here, we report that the cvfA-deleted mutant phenotype (decreased agr expression and hemolysin production) was suppressed by disrupting pnpA-encoding polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase) with 3'- to 5'-exonuclease activity. The suppression was blocked by introducing a pnpA-encoding PNPase with exonuclease activity but not by a pnpA-encoding mutant PNPase without exonuclease activity. Therefore, loss of PNPase exonuclease activity suppressed the cvfA-deleted mutant phenotype. Purified PNPase efficiently degraded RNA with 2',3'-cyclic phosphate at the 3' terminus (2',3'-cyclic RNA), but it inefficiently degraded 3'-phosphorylated RNA. These findings indicate that 3'-phosphorylated RNA production from 2',3'-cyclic RNA by CvfA prevents RNA degradation by PNPase and contributes to the expression of agr and hemolysin genes. We speculate that in the cvfA-deleted mutant, 2',3'-cyclic RNA is not converted to the 3'-phosphorylated form and is efficiently degraded by PNPase, resulting in the loss of RNA essential for expressing agr and hemolysin genes, whereas in the cvfA/pnpA double-disrupted mutant, 2',3'-cyclic RNA is not degraded by PNPase, leading to hemolysin production. These findings suggest that CvfA and PNPase competitively regulate RNA degradation essential for S. aureus virulence.

  5. A Comprehensive Functional Portrait of Two Heat Shock Factor-Type Transcriptional Regulators Involved in Candida albicans Morphogenesis and Virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Znaidi, Sadri; Nesseir, Audrey; Chauvel, Murielle; Rossignol, Tristan; d'Enfert, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Sfl1p and Sfl2p are two homologous heat shock factor-type transcriptional regulators that antagonistically control morphogenesis in Candida albicans, while being required for full pathogenesis and virulence. To understand how Sfl1p and Sfl2p exert their function, we combined genome-wide location and expression analyses to reveal their transcriptional targets in vivo together with the associated changes of the C. albicans transcriptome. We show that Sfl1p and Sfl2p bind to the promoter of at least 113 common targets through divergent binding motifs and modulate directly the expression of key transcriptional regulators of C. albicans morphogenesis and/or virulence. Surprisingly, we found that Sfl2p additionally binds to the promoter of 75 specific targets, including a high proportion of hyphal-specific genes (HSGs; HWP1, HYR1, ECE1, others), revealing a direct link between Sfl2p and hyphal development. Data mining pointed to a regulatory network in which Sfl1p and Sfl2p act as both transcriptional activators and repressors. Sfl1p directly represses the expression of positive regulators of hyphal growth (BRG1, UME6, TEC1, SFL2), while upregulating both yeast form-associated genes (RME1, RHD1, YWP1) and repressors of morphogenesis (SSN6, NRG1). On the other hand, Sfl2p directly upregulates HSGs and activators of hyphal growth (UME6, TEC1), while downregulating yeast form-associated genes and repressors of morphogenesis (NRG1, RFG1, SFL1). Using genetic interaction analyses, we provide further evidences that Sfl1p and Sfl2p antagonistically control C. albicans morphogenesis through direct modulation of the expression of important regulators of hyphal growth. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that binding of Sfl1p and Sfl2p to their targets occurs with the co-binding of Efg1p and/or Ndt80p. We show, indeed, that Sfl1p and Sfl2p targets are bound by Efg1p and that both Sfl1p and Sfl2p associate in vivo with Efg1p. Taken together, our data suggest that Sfl1p and Sfl2p act as

  6. A comprehensive functional portrait of two heat shock factor-type transcriptional regulators involved in Candida albicans morphogenesis and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Znaidi, Sadri; Nesseir, Audrey; Chauvel, Murielle; Rossignol, Tristan; d'Enfert, Christophe

    2013-08-01

    Sfl1p and Sfl2p are two homologous heat shock factor-type transcriptional regulators that antagonistically control morphogenesis in Candida albicans, while being required for full pathogenesis and virulence. To understand how Sfl1p and Sfl2p exert their function, we combined genome-wide location and expression analyses to reveal their transcriptional targets in vivo together with the associated changes of the C. albicans transcriptome. We show that Sfl1p and Sfl2p bind to the promoter of at least 113 common targets through divergent binding motifs and modulate directly the expression of key transcriptional regulators of C. albicans morphogenesis and/or virulence. Surprisingly, we found that Sfl2p additionally binds to the promoter of 75 specific targets, including a high proportion of hyphal-specific genes (HSGs; HWP1, HYR1, ECE1, others), revealing a direct link between Sfl2p and hyphal development. Data mining pointed to a regulatory network in which Sfl1p and Sfl2p act as both transcriptional activators and repressors. Sfl1p directly represses the expression of positive regulators of hyphal growth (BRG1, UME6, TEC1, SFL2), while upregulating both yeast form-associated genes (RME1, RHD1, YWP1) and repressors of morphogenesis (SSN6, NRG1). On the other hand, Sfl2p directly upregulates HSGs and activators of hyphal growth (UME6, TEC1), while downregulating yeast form-associated genes and repressors of morphogenesis (NRG1, RFG1, SFL1). Using genetic interaction analyses, we provide further evidences that Sfl1p and Sfl2p antagonistically control C. albicans morphogenesis through direct modulation of the expression of important regulators of hyphal growth. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that binding of Sfl1p and Sfl2p to their targets occurs with the co-binding of Efg1p and/or Ndt80p. We show, indeed, that Sfl1p and Sfl2p targets are bound by Efg1p and that both Sfl1p and Sfl2p associate in vivo with Efg1p. Taken together, our data suggest that Sfl1p and Sfl2p act as

  7. In silico clustering of Salmonella global gene expression data reveals novel genes co-regulated with the SPI-1 virulence genes through HilD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Flores, Irma; Pérez-Morales, Deyanira; Sánchez-Pérez, Mishael; Paredes, Claudia C; Collado-Vides, Julio; Salgado, Heladia; Bustamante, Víctor H

    2016-11-25

    A wide variety of Salmonella enterica serovars cause intestinal and systemic infections to humans and animals. Salmonella Patogenicity Island 1 (SPI-1) is a chromosomal region containing 39 genes that have crucial virulence roles. The AraC-like transcriptional regulator HilD, encoded in SPI-1, positively controls the expression of the SPI-1 genes, as well as of several other virulence genes located outside SPI-1. In this study, we applied a clustering method to the global gene expression data of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium from the COLOMBOS database; thus genes that show an expression pattern similar to that of SPI-1 genes were selected. This analysis revealed nine novel genes that are co-expressed with SPI-1, which are located in different chromosomal regions. Expression analyses and protein-DNA interaction assays showed regulation by HilD for six of these genes: gtgE, phoH, sinR, SL1263 (lpxR) and SL4247 were regulated directly, whereas SL1896 was regulated indirectly. Interestingly, phoH is an ancestral gene conserved in most of bacteria, whereas the other genes show characteristics of genes acquired by Salmonella. A role in virulence has been previously demonstrated for gtgE, lpxR and sinR. Our results further expand the regulon of HilD and thus identify novel possible Salmonella virulence genes.

  8. MarA, SoxS and Rob of Escherichia coli - Global regulators of multidrug resistance, virulence and stress response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duval, Valérie; Lister, Ida M

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria have a great capacity for adjusting their metabolism in response to environmental changes by linking extracellular stimuli to the regulation of genes by transcription factors. By working in a co-operative manner, transcription factors provide a rapid response to external threats, allowing the bacteria to survive. This review will focus on transcription factors MarA, SoxS and Rob in Escherichia coli, three members of the AraC family of proteins. These homologous proteins exemplify the ability to respond to multiple threats such as oxidative stress, drugs and toxic compounds, acidic pH, and host antimicrobial peptides. MarA, SoxS and Rob recognize similar DNA sequences in the promoter region of more than 40 regulatory target genes. As their regulons overlap, a finely tuned adaptive response allows E. coli to survive in the presence of different assaults in a co-ordinated manner. These regulators are well conserved amongst Enterobacteriaceae and due to their broad involvement in bacterial adaptation in the host, have recently been explored as targets to develop new anti-virulence agents. The regulators are also being examined for their roles in novel technologies such as biofuel production.

  9. Dual-site phosphorylation of the control of virulence regulator impacts group a streptococcal global gene expression and pathogenesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Horstmann

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Phosphorylation relays are a major mechanism by which bacteria alter transcription in response to environmental signals, but understanding of the functional consequences of bacterial response regulator phosphorylation is limited. We sought to characterize how phosphorylation of the control of virulence regulator (CovR protein from the major human pathogen group A Streptococcus (GAS influences GAS global gene expression and pathogenesis. CovR mainly serves to repress GAS virulence factor-encoding genes and has been shown to homodimerize following phosphorylation on aspartate-53 (D53 in vitro. We discovered that CovR is phosphorylated in vivo and that such phosphorylation is partially heat-stable, suggesting additional phosphorylation at non-aspartate residues. Using mass spectroscopy along with targeted mutagenesis, we identified threonine-65 (T65 as an additional CovR phosphorylation site under control of the serine/threonine kinase (Stk. Phosphorylation on T65, as mimicked by the recombinant CovR T65E variant, abolished in vitro CovR D53 phosphorylation. Similarly, isoallelic GAS strains that were either unable to be phosphorylated at D53 (CovR-D53A or had functional constitutive phosphorylation at T65 (CovR-T65E had essentially an identical gene repression profile to each other and to a CovR-inactivated strain. However, the CovR-D53A and CovR-T65E isoallelic strains retained the ability to positively influence gene expression that was abolished in the CovR-inactivated strain. Consistent with these observations, the CovR-D53A and CovR-T65E strains were hypervirulent compared to the CovR-inactivated strain in a mouse model of invasive GAS disease. Surprisingly, an isoalleic strain unable to be phosphorylated at CovR T65 (CovR-T65A was hypervirulent compared to the wild-type strain, as auto-regulation of covR gene expression resulted in lower covR gene transcript and CovR protein levels in the CovR-T65A strain. Taken together, these data

  10. Biosynthesis and Regulation of Sulfomenaquinone, a Metabolite Associated with Virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sogi, Kimberly M; Holsclaw, Cynthia M; Fragiadakis, Gabriela K; Nomura, Daniel K; Leary, Julie A; Bertozzi, Carolyn R

    2016-11-11

    Sulfomenaquinone (SMK) is a recently identified metabolite that is unique to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) complex and is shown to modulate its virulence. Here, we report the identification of the SMK biosynthetic operon that, in addition to a previously identified sulfotransferase stf3, includes a putative cytochrome P450 gene (cyp128) and a gene of unknown function, rv2269c. We demonstrate that cyp128 and stf3 are sufficient for the biosynthesis of SMK from menaquinone and rv2269c exhibits promoter activity in M. tuberculosis. Loss of Stf3 expression, but not that of Cyp128, is correlated with elevated levels of menaquinone-9, an essential component in the electron-transport chain in M. tuberculosis. Finally, we showed in a mouse model of infection that the loss of cyp128 exhibits a hypervirulent phenotype similar to that in previous studies of the stf3 mutant. These findings provide a platform for defining the molecular basis of SMK's role in M. tuberculosis pathogenesis.

  11. Temperature Regulation of Shigella Virulence: Identification of Temperature-Regulated Shigella Invasion Genes by the Isolation of inv::lacZ Operon Fusions and the Characterization of the Virulence Gene Regulator virR

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-04-10

    iron chelating hydroxamate compound or j% siderophore , has been implicated in the increased virulence of E. coli ColV strains (Williams, 1979). In...and ipaC) of Shigella flexneri. Microbial Pathogen. 4:345-357. 7. Baudry, B. , A. T. Maurelli. P. Clerc. J. C. Sadoff, and P. J. Sansonetti. 1987...serotype 5. Microbial Pathogen. 8:197-211. 146 17. Buysse, J. M., C. K, Stover. E. V. Oaks, M, Venkatesan. and D. J. Kopecko. 1987. Cloning of Invasion

  12. Regulated expression of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A reveals an influence on cell size and the secretion of virulence factors in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jaehyuk; Vogl, A Wayne; Kronstad, James W

    2012-08-01

    Cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) regulates elaboration of the virulence factors melanin and polysaccharide capsule in Cryptococcus neoformans. A mutation in PKA1 encoding the catalytic subunit is known to reduce virulence in mice while a defect in PKR1 encoding the regulatory subunit enhances disease. Here, we constructed strains with galactose-inducible and glucose-repressible versions of PKA1 and PKR1 by inserting the GAL7 promoter upstream of the genes. As expected, no capsule was found in dextrose-containing media for the P(GAL7):PKA1 strain, whereas a large capsule was formed on cells grown in galactose. Along with capsule thickness, high PKA activity also influenced cell size, ploidy and vacuole enlargement, as observed in previous reports of giant/titan cell formation. We employed the regulated strains to test the hypothesis that PKA influences secretion and found that elevated PKA expression positively regulates extracellular protease activity and negatively regulates urease secretion. Furthermore, proper PKA regulation and activity were required for wild-type levels of melanization and laccase activity, as well as correct localization of the enzyme. The latter phenotype is consistent with the discovery that PKA regulates the organization of intracellular membrane compartments. Overall, these results indicate that PKA influences secretion pathways directly related to virulence factor elaboration. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. A Nitrogen Response Pathway Regulates Virulence Functions in Fusarium oxysporum via the Protein Kinase TOR and the bZIP Protein MeaB[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Berges, Manuel S.; Rispail, Nicolas; Prados-Rosales, Rafael C.; Di Pietro, Antonio

    2010-01-01

    During infection, fungal pathogens activate virulence mechanisms, such as host adhesion, penetration and invasive growth. In the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum, the mitogen-activated protein kinase Fmk1 is required for plant infection and controls processes such as cellophane penetration, vegetative hyphal fusion, or root adhesion. Here, we show that these virulence-related functions are repressed by the preferred nitrogen source ammonium and restored by treatment with l-methionine sulfoximine or rapamycin, two specific inhibitors of Gln synthetase and the protein kinase TOR, respectively. Deletion of the bZIP protein MeaB also resulted in nitrogen source–independent activation of virulence mechanisms. Activation of these functions did not require the global nitrogen regulator AreA, suggesting that MeaB-mediated repression of virulence functions does not act through inhibition of AreA. Tomato plants (Solanum lycopersicum) supplied with ammonium rather than nitrate showed a significant reduction in vascular wilt symptoms when infected with the wild type but not with the ΔmeaB strain. Nitrogen source also affected invasive growth in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and the wheat head blight pathogen Fusarium graminearum. We propose that a conserved nitrogen-responsive pathway might operate via TOR and MeaB to control virulence in plant pathogenic fungi. PMID:20639450

  14. Bacterial pathogenesis and interleukin-17: interconnecting mechanisms of immune regulation, host genetics, and microbial virulence that influence severity of infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamoun, Michelle N; Blumenthal, Antje; Sullivan, Matthew J; Schembri, Mark A; Ulett, Glen C

    2018-01-18

    Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine involved in the control of many different disorders, including autoimmune, oncogenic, and diverse infectious diseases. In the context of infectious diseases, IL-17 protects the host against various classes of microorganisms but, intriguingly, can also exacerbate the severity of some infections. The regulation of IL-17 expression stems, in part, from the activity of Interleukin-23 (IL-23), which drives the maturation of different classes of IL-17-producing cells that can alter the course of infection. In this review, we analyze IL-17/IL-23 signalling in bacterial infection, and examine the interconnecting mechanisms that link immune regulation, host genetics, and microbial virulence in the context of bacterial pathogenesis. We consider the roles of IL-17 in both acute and chronic bacterial infections, with a focus on mouse models of human bacterial disease that involve infection of mucosal surfaces in the lungs, urogenital, and gastrointestinal tracts. Polymorphisms in IL-17-encoding genes in humans, which have been associated with heightened host susceptibility to some bacterial pathogens, are discussed. Finally, we examine the implications of IL-17 biology in infectious diseases for the development of novel therapeutic strategies targeted at preventing bacterial infection.

  15. Involvement of Trichoderma harzianum Epl-1 Protein in the Regulation of Botrytis Virulence- and Tomato Defense-Related Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eriston V. Gomes

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Several Trichoderma spp. are well known for their ability to: (i act as important biocontrol agents against phytopathogenic fungi; (ii function as biofertilizers; (iii increase the tolerance of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses; and (iv induce plant defense responses via the production and secretion of elicitor molecules. In this study, we analyzed the gene-regulation effects of Trichoderma harzianum Epl-1 protein during the interactions of mutant Δepl-1 or wild-type T. harzianum strains with: (a the phytopathogen Botrytis cinerea and (b with tomato plants, on short (24 h hydroponic cultures and long periods (4-weeks old plants after Trichoderma inoculation. Our results indicate that T. harzianum Epl-1 protein affects the in vitro expression of B. cinerea virulence genes, especially those involved in the botrydial biosynthesis (BcBOT genes, during the mycoparasitism interaction. The tomato defense-related genes were also affected, indicating that Epl-1 is involved in the elicitation of the salicylic acid pathway. Moreover, Epl-1 also regulates the priming effect in host tomato plants and contributes to enhance the interaction with the host tomato plant during the early stage of root colonization.

  16. Deciphering the regulon of a GntR family regulator via transcriptome and ChIP-exo analyses and its contribution to virulence in Xanthomonas citri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaofeng; Yan, Qing; Wang, Nian

    2017-02-01

    Xanthomonas contains a large group of plant-associated species, many of which cause severe diseases on important crops worldwide. Six gluconate-operon repressor (GntR) family transcriptional regulators are predicted in Xanthomonas, one of which, belonging to the YtrA subfamily, plays a prominent role in bacterial virulence. However, the direct targets and comprehensive regulatory profile of YtrA remain unknown. Here, we performed microarray and high-resolution chromatin immunoprecipitation-exonuclease (ChIP-exo) experiments to identify YtrA direct targets and its DNA binding motif in X. citri ssp. citri (Xac), the causal agent of citrus canker. Integrative microarray and ChIP-exo data analysis revealed that YtrA directly regulates three operons by binding to a palindromic motif GGTG-N16 -CACC at the promoter region. A similar palindromic motif and YtrA homologues were also identified in many other bacteria, including Stenotrophomonas, Pseudoxanthomonas and Frateuria, indicating a widespread phenomenon. Deletion of ytrA in Xac abolishes bacterial virulence and induction of the hypersensitive response (HR). We found that YtrA regulates the expression of hrp/hrc genes encoding the bacterial type III secretion system (T3SS) and controls multiple biological processes, including motility and adhesion, oxidative stress, extracellular enzyme production and iron uptake. YtrA represses the expression of its direct targets in artificial medium or in planta. Importantly, over-expression of yro3, one of the YtrA directly regulated operons which contains trmL and XAC0231, induced weaker canker symptoms and down-regulation of hrp/hrc gene expression, suggesting a negative regulation in Xac virulence and T3SS. Our study has significantly advanced the mechanistic understanding of YtrA regulation and its contribution to bacterial virulence. © 2016 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  17. GigA and GigB are Master Regulators of Antibiotic Resistance, Stress Responses, and Virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebhardt, Michael J; Shuman, Howard A

    2017-05-15

    A critical component of bacterial pathogenesis is the ability of an invading organism to sense and adapt to the harsh environment imposed by the host's immune system. This is especially important for opportunistic pathogens, such as Acinetobacter baumannii, a nutritionally versatile environmental organism that has recently gained attention as a life-threatening human pathogen. The emergence of A. baumannii is closely linked to antibiotic resistance, and many contemporary isolates are multidrug resistant (MDR). Unlike many other MDR pathogens, the molecular mechanisms underlying A. baumannii pathogenesis remain largely unknown. We report here the characterization of two recently identified virulence determinants, GigA and GigB, which comprise a signal transduction pathway required for surviving environmental stresses, causing infection and antibiotic resistance. Through transcriptome analysis, we show that GigA and GigB coordinately regulate the expression of many genes and are required for generating an appropriate transcriptional response during antibiotic exposure. Genetic and biochemical data demonstrate a direct link between GigA and GigB and the nitrogen phosphotransferase system (PTS(Ntr)), establishing a novel connection between a novel stress response module and a well-conserved metabolic-sensing pathway. Based on the results presented here, we propose that GigA and GigB are master regulators of a global stress response in A. baumannii, and coupling this pathway with the PTS(Ntr) allows A. baumannii to integrate cellular metabolic status with external environmental cues.IMPORTANCE Opportunistic pathogens, including Acinetobacter baumannii, encounter many harsh environments during the infection cycle, including antibiotic exposure and the hostile environment within a host. While the development of antibiotic resistance in A. baumannii has been well studied, how this organism senses and responds to environmental cues remain largely unknown. Herein, we

  18. Rv3852 (H-NS) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Is Not Involved in Nucleoid Compaction and Virulence Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odermatt, Nina T; Sala, Claudia; Benjak, Andrej; Kolly, Gaëlle S; Vocat, Anthony; Lupien, Andréanne; Cole, Stewart T

    2017-08-15

    A handful of nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) regulate the vast majority of genes in a bacterial cell. H-NS, the histone-like nucleoid-structuring protein, is one of these NAPs and protects Escherichia coli from foreign gene expression. Though lacking any sequence similarity with E. coli H-NS, Rv3852 was annotated as the H-NS ortholog in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as it resembles human histone H1. The role of Rv3852 was thoroughly investigated by immunoblotting, subcellular localization, construction of an unmarked rv3852 deletion in the M. tuberculosis genome, and subsequent analysis of the resulting Δrv3852 strain. We found that Rv3852 was predominantly present in the logarithmic growth phase with a decrease in protein abundance in stationary phase. Furthermore, it was strongly associated with the cell membrane and not detected in the cytosolic fraction, nor was it secreted. The Δrv3852 strain displayed no growth defect or morphological abnormalities. Quantitative measurement of nucleoid localization in the Δrv3852 mutant strain compared to that in the parental H37Rv strain showed no difference in nucleoid position or spread. Infection of macrophages as well as severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice demonstrated that loss of Rv3852 had no detected influence on the virulence of M. tuberculosis We thus conclude that M. tuberculosis Rv3852 is not involved in pathogenesis and is not a typical NAP. The existence of an as yet undiscovered Rv3852 ortholog cannot be excluded, although this role is likely played by the well-characterized Lsr2 protein.IMPORTANCEMycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of the lung infection tuberculosis, claiming more than 1.5 million lives each year. To understand the mechanisms of latent infection, where M. tuberculosis can stay dormant inside the human host, we require deeper knowledge of the basic biology and of the regulatory networks. In our work, we show that Rv3852, previously annotated as H-NS, is not a typical

  19. mosR, A Novel Transcriptional Regulator of Hypoxia and Virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic tuberculosis represents a high-risk burden for one third of the world population. Previous microarray analysis of murine tuberculosis identified a novel transcriptional regulator encoded by rv0348 that could control the establishment of the chronic phase of tuberculosis. Disruption of the ...

  20. CovRS-Regulated Transcriptome Analysis of a Hypervirulent M23 Strain of Group A Streptococcus pyogenes Provides New Insights into Virulence Determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Yun-Juan; Liang, Zhong; Mayfield, Jeffrey A; Lee, Shaun W; Ploplis, Victoria A; Castellino, Francis J

    2015-10-01

    The two-component control of virulence (Cov) regulator (R)-sensor (S) (CovRS) regulates the virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]). Inactivation of CovS during infection switches the pathogenicity of GAS to a more invasive form by regulating transcription of diverse virulence genes via CovR. However, the manner in which CovRS controls virulence through expression of extended gene families has not been fully determined. In the current study, the CovS-regulated gene expression profiles of a hypervirulent emm23 GAS strain (M23ND/CovS negative [M23ND/CovS(-)]) and a noninvasive isogenic strain (M23ND/CovS(+)), under different growth conditions, were investigated. RNA sequencing identified altered expression of ∼ 349 genes (18% of the chromosome). The data demonstrated that M23ND/CovS(-) achieved hypervirulence by allowing enhanced expression of genes responsible for antiphagocytosis (e.g., hasABC), by abrogating expression of toxin genes (e.g., speB), and by compromising gene products with dispensable functions (e.g., sfb1). Among these genes, several (e.g., parE and parC) were not previously reported to be regulated by CovRS. Furthermore, the study revealed that CovS also modulated the expression of a broad spectrum of metabolic genes that maximized nutrient utilization and energy metabolism during growth and dissemination, where the bacteria encounter large variations in available nutrients, thus restructuring metabolism of GAS for adaption to diverse growth environments. From constructing a genome-scale metabolic model, we identified 16 nonredundant metabolic gene modules that constitute unique nutrient sources. These genes were proposed to be essential for pathogen growth and are likely associated with GAS virulence. The genome-wide prediction of genes associated with virulence identifies new candidate genes that potentially contribute to GAS virulence. The CovRS system modulates transcription of ∼ 18% of the genes in the

  1. Relationship of plcR-Regulated Factors to BacillusEndophthalmitis Virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Callegan, Michelle C.; Kane, Scott T.; Cochran, D. Clay; Gilmore, Michael S.; Gominet, Myriam; Lereclus, Didier

    2003-01-01

    The explosive, destructive course of Bacillus endophthalmitis has been attributed to the production of toxins during infection. In this study we analyzed the contribution of toxins controlled by the global regulator plcR to the pathogenesis of experimental Bacillus endophthalmitis. Isogenic plcR-deficient mutants of Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis were constructed by insertional inactivation of plcR by the kanamycin resistance cassette, aphA3. Rabbit eyes were injected intravitreal...

  2. Shiga toxin in enterohemorrhagic E.coli: regulation and novel anti-virulence strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Alline R.; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2012-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) are responsible for major outbreaks of bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) throughout the world. The mortality associated with EHEC infections stems from the production and release of a potent Shiga toxin (Stx) by these bacteria. Stx induces cell death in endothelial cells, primarily in the urinary tract, causing HUS. Stx was first described in Shigella dysenteriae serotype I by Kiyoshi Shiga and was discovered later in EHEC. Multiple environmental cues regulate the expression of Stx, including temperature, growth phase, antibiotics, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and quorum sensing. Currently, there is no effective treatment or prophylaxis for HUS. Because antibiotics trigger Stx production and their use to treat EHEC infections is controversial, alternative therapeutic strategies have become the focus of intense research. One such strategy explores quorum sensing inhibitors as therapeutics. These inhibitors target quorum sensing regulation of Stx expression without interfering with bacterial growth, leading to the hypothesis that these inhibitors impose less selective pressure for bacteria to develop drug resistance. In this review, we discuss factors that regulate Stx production in EHEC, as well as novel strategies to prevent and/or minimize the development of HUS in infected subjects. PMID:22919672

  3. Bacterial proteases and virulence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frees, Dorte; Brøndsted, Lone; Ingmer, Hanne

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens rely on proteolysis for variety of purposes during the infection process. In the cytosol, the main proteolytic players are the conserved Clp and Lon proteases that directly contribute to virulence through the timely degradation of virulence regulators and indirectly by providing....... These extracellular proteases are activated in complex cascades involving auto-processing and proteolytic maturation. Thus, proteolysis has been adopted by bacterial pathogens at multiple levels to ensure the success of the pathogen in contact with the human host....

  4. MADS-box transcription factor SsMADS is involved in regulating growth and virulence in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qu, Xiaoyan; Yu, Baodong; Liu, Jinliang; Zhang, Xianghui; Li, Guihua; Zhang, Dongjing; Li, Le; Wang, Xueliang; Wang, Lu; Chen, Jingyuan; Mu, Wenhui; Pan, Hongyu; Zhang, Yanhua

    2014-05-08

    MADS-box proteins, a well-conserved family of transcription factors in eukaryotic organisms, specifically regulate a wide range of cellular functions, including primary metabolism, cell cycle, and cell identity. However, little is known about roles of the MADS-box protein family in the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. In this research, the S. sclerotiorum MADS-box gene SsMADS was cloned; it encodes a protein that is highly similar to Mcm1 orthologs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other fungi, and includes a highly conserved DNA-binding domain. MADS is a member of the MADS box protein SRF (serum response factor) lineage. SsMADS function was investigated using RNA interference. Silenced strains were obtained using genetic transformation of the RNA interference vectors pS1-SsMADS and pSD-SsMADS. SsMADS expression levels in silenced strains were analyzed using RT-PCR. The results showed that SsMADS mRNA expression in these silenced strains was reduced to different degrees, and growth rate in these silenced strains was significantly decreased. Infecting tomato leaflets with silenced strains indicated that SsMADS was required for leaf pathogenesis in a susceptible host. Our results suggest that the MADS-box transcription factor SsMADS is involved in S. sclerotiorum growth and virulence.

  5. Circadian clocks and the regulation of virulence in fungi: Getting up to speed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hevia, Montserrat A; Canessa, Paulo; Larrondo, Luis F

    2016-09-01

    You cannot escape time. Therefore, it seems wise to learn how to keep track of it and use it to your advantage. Circadian clocks are molecular circuits that allow organisms to temporally coordinate a plethora of processes, including gene expression, with a close to 24h rhythm, optimizing cellular function in synchrony with daily environmental cycles. The molecular bases of these clocks have been extensively studied in the fungus Neurospora crassa, providing a detailed molecular description. Surprisingly, there is scarce molecular information of clocks in fungi other than Neurospora, despite the existence of rhythmic phenomena in many fungal species, including pathogenic ones. This review will comment on the overall importance of clocks, what is known in Neurospora and what has been described in other fungi including new insights on the evolution of fungal clock components. The molecular description of the circadian system of the phytopathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea will be revisited, as well as time-of-the-day variation in host-pathogen interaction dynamics, utilizing an Arabidopsis-Botrytis system, including also what is known regarding circadian regulation of defense mechanisms in the Arabidopsis thaliana plant model. Finally, this review will mention how little is known about circadian regulation of human pathogenic fungi, commenting on potential future directions and the overall perspective of fungal circadian studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Deletion of the small RNA chaperone protein Hfq down regulates genes related to virulence and confers protection against wild-type Brucella challenge in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuangshuang eLei

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Brucellosis is one of the most common zoonotic epidemics worldwide. Brucella, the etiological pathogen of brucellosis, has unique virulence characteristics, including the ability to survive within the host cell. Hfq is a bacterial chaperone protein that is involved in the survival of the pathogen under stress conditions. Moreover, hfq affects the expression of a large number of target genes. In the present study, we characterized the expression and regulatory patterns of the target genes of Hfq during brucellosis. The results revealed that hfq expression is highly induced in macrophages at the early infection stage and at the late stage of mouse infection. Several genes related to virulence, including omp25, omp31, vjbR, htrA, gntR, and dnaK, were found to be regulated by hfq during infection in BALB/c mice. Gene expression and cytokine secretion analysis revealed that an hfq-deletion mutant induced different cytokine profiles compared with that induced by 16M. Infection with the hfq-deletion mutant induced protective immune responses against 16M challenge. Together, these results suggest that hfq is induced during infection and its deletion results in significant attenuation which affects the host immune response caused by Brucella infection. By regulating genes related to virulence, hfq promotes the virulence of Brucella. The unique characteristics of the hfq-deletion mutant, including its decreased virulence and the ability to induce protective immune response upon infection, suggest that it represents an attractive candidate for the design of a live attenuated vaccine against Brucella.

  7. The Candida albicans Histone Acetyltransferase Hat1 Regulates Stress Resistance and Virulence via Distinct Chromatin Assembly Pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Tscherner

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Human fungal pathogens like Candida albicans respond to host immune surveillance by rapidly adapting their transcriptional programs. Chromatin assembly factors are involved in the regulation of stress genes by modulating the histone density at these loci. Here, we report a novel role for the chromatin assembly-associated histone acetyltransferase complex NuB4 in regulating oxidative stress resistance, antifungal drug tolerance and virulence in C. albicans. Strikingly, depletion of the NuB4 catalytic subunit, the histone acetyltransferase Hat1, markedly increases resistance to oxidative stress and tolerance to azole antifungals. Hydrogen peroxide resistance in cells lacking Hat1 results from higher induction rates of oxidative stress gene expression, accompanied by reduced histone density as well as subsequent increased RNA polymerase recruitment. Furthermore, hat1Δ/Δ cells, despite showing growth defects in vitro, display reduced susceptibility to reactive oxygen-mediated killing by innate immune cells. Thus, clearance from infected mice is delayed although cells lacking Hat1 are severely compromised in killing the host. Interestingly, increased oxidative stress resistance and azole tolerance are phenocopied by the loss of histone chaperone complexes CAF-1 and HIR, respectively, suggesting a central role for NuB4 in the delivery of histones destined for chromatin assembly via distinct pathways. Remarkably, the oxidative stress phenotype of hat1Δ/Δ cells is a species-specific trait only found in C. albicans and members of the CTG clade. The reduced azole susceptibility appears to be conserved in a wider range of fungi. Thus, our work demonstrates how highly conserved chromatin assembly pathways can acquire new functions in pathogenic fungi during coevolution with the host.

  8. Rice bacterial blight pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae produces multiple DSF-family signals in regulation of virulence factor production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cha Jae-Soon

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo is the causal agent of rice bacterial blight disease. Xoo produces a range of virulence factors, including EPS, extracellular enzyme, iron-chelating siderophores, and type III-secretion dependent effectors, which are collectively essential for virulence. Genetic and genomics evidence suggest that Xoo might use the diffusible signal factor (DSF type quorum sensing (QS system to regulate the virulence factor production. However, little is known about the chemical structure of the DSF-like signal(s produced by Xoo and the factors influencing the signal production. Results Xoo genome harbours an rpf cluster comprising rpfB, rpfF, rpfC and rpfG. The proteins encoded by these genes are highly homologous to their counterparts in X. campestris pv. campestris (Xcc, suggesting that Xcc and Xoo might use similar mechanisms for DSF biosynthesis and autoregulation. Consistent with in silico analysis, the rpfF mutant was DSF-deficient and the rpfC mutant produced about 25 times higher DSF-like activity than the wild type Xoo strain KACC10331. From the supernatants of rpfC mutant, we purified three compounds showing strong DSF-like activity. Mass spectrometry and NMR analysis revealed that two of them were the previously characterized DSF and BDSF; the third one was a novel unsaturated fatty acid with 2 double bonds and was designated as CDSF in this study. Further analysis showed that all the three DSF-family signals were synthesized via the enzyme RpfF encoded by Xoo2868. DSF and BDSF at a final concentration of 3 μM to the rpfF mutant could fully restore its extracellular xylanase activity and EPS production to the wild type level, but CDSF was less active than DSF and BDSF in induction of EPS and xylanase. DSF and CDSF shared a similar cell density-dependent production time course with the maximum production being detected at 42 h after inoculation, whereas the maximum production of BDSF was observed

  9. Systems level analysis of two-component signal transduction systems in Erwinia amylovora: Role in virulence, regulation of amylovoran biosynthesis and swarming motility

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    Sundin George W

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two-component signal transduction systems (TCSTs, consisting of a histidine kinase (HK and a response regulator (RR, represent a major paradigm for signal transduction in prokaryotes. TCSTs play critical roles in sensing and responding to environmental conditions, and in bacterial pathogenesis. Most TCSTs in Erwinia amylovora have either not been identified or have not yet been studied. Results We used a systems approach to identify TCST and related signal transduction genes in the genome of E. amylovora. Comparative genomic analysis of TCSTs indicated that E. amylovora TCSTs were closely related to those of Erwinia tasmaniensis, a saprophytic enterobacterium isolated from apple flowers, and to other enterobacteria. Forty-six TCST genes in E. amylovora including 17 sensor kinases, three hybrid kinases, 20 DNA- or ligand-binding RRs, four RRs with enzymatic output domain (EAL-GGDEF proteins, and two kinases were characterized in this study. A systematic TCST gene-knockout experiment was conducted, generating a total of 59 single-, double-, and triple-mutants. Virulence assays revealed that five of these mutants were non-pathogenic on immature pear fruits. Results from phenotypic characterization and gene expression experiments indicated that several groups of TCST systems in E. amylovora control amylovoran biosynthesis, one of two major virulence factors in E. amylovora. Both negative and positive regulators of amylovoran biosynthesis were identified, indicating a complex network may control this important feature of pathogenesis. Positive (non-motile, EnvZ/OmpR, negative (hypermotile, GrrS/GrrA, and intermediate regulators for swarming motility in E. amylovora were also identified. Conclusion Our results demonstrated that TCSTs in E. amylovora played major roles in virulence on immature pear fruit and in regulating amylovoran biosynthesis and swarming motility. This suggested presence of regulatory networks governing

  10. Role and regulation of the Flp/Tad pilus in the virulence of Pectobacterium atrosepticum SCRI1043 and Pectobacterium wasabiae SCC3193.

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    Johanna Nykyri

    Full Text Available In this study, we characterized a putative Flp/Tad pilus-encoding gene cluster, and we examined its regulation at the transcriptional level and its role in the virulence of potato pathogenic enterobacteria of the genus Pectobacterium. The Flp/Tad pilus-encoding gene clusters in Pectobacterium atrosepticum, Pectobacterium wasabiae and Pectobacterium aroidearum were compared to previously characterized flp/tad gene clusters, including that of the well-studied Flp/Tad pilus model organism Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, in which this pilus is a major virulence determinant. Comparative analyses revealed substantial protein sequence similarity and open reading frame synteny between the previously characterized flp/tad gene clusters and the cluster in Pectobacterium, suggesting that the predicted flp/tad gene cluster in Pectobacterium encodes a Flp/Tad pilus-like structure. We detected genes for a novel two-component system adjacent to the flp/tad gene cluster in Pectobacterium, and mutant analysis demonstrated that this system has a positive effect on the transcription of selected Flp/Tad pilus biogenesis genes, suggesting that this response regulator regulate the flp/tad gene cluster. Mutagenesis of either the predicted regulator gene or selected Flp/Tad pilus biogenesis genes had a significant impact on the maceration ability of the bacterial strains in potato tubers, indicating that the Flp/Tad pilus-encoding gene cluster represents a novel virulence determinant in Pectobacterium. Soft-rot enterobacteria in the genera Pectobacterium and Dickeya are of great agricultural importance, and an investigation of the virulence of these pathogens could facilitate improvements in agricultural practices, thus benefiting farmers, the potato industry and consumers.

  11. Transcription Factors Efg1 and Bcr1 Regulate Biofilm Formation and Virulence during Candida albicans-Associated Denture Stomatitis.

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    Junko Yano

    Full Text Available Denture stomatitis (DS is characterized by inflammation of the oral mucosa in direct contact with dentures and affects a significant number of otherwise healthy denture wearers. The disease is caused by Candida albicans, which readily colonizes and form biofilms on denture materials. While evidence for biofilms on abiotic and biotic surfaces initiating Candida infections is accumulating, a role for biofilms in DS remains unclear. Using an established model of DS in immunocompetent animals, the purpose of this study was to determine the role of biofilm formation in mucosal damage during pathogenesis using C. albicans or mutants defective in morphogenesis (efg1-/- or biofilm formation (bcr1-/-. For in vivo analyses, rats fitted with custom dentures, consisting of fixed and removable parts, were inoculated with wild-type C. albicans, mutants or reconstituted strains and monitored weekly for fungal burden (denture and palate, body weight and tissue damage (LDH for up to 8 weeks. C. albicans wild-type and reconstituted mutants formed biofilms on dentures and palatal tissues under in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo conditions as indicated by microscopy demonstrating robust biofilm architecture and extracellular matrix (ECM. In contrast, both efg1-/- and bcr1-/- mutants exhibited poor biofilm growth with little to no ECM. In addition, quantification of fungal burden showed reduced colonization throughout the infection period on dentures and palates of rats inoculated with efg1-/-, but not bcr1-/-, compared to controls. Finally, rats inoculated with efg1-/- and bcr1-/- mutants had minimal palatal tissue damage/weight loss while those inoculated with wild-type or reconstituted mutants showed evidence of tissue damage and exhibited stunted weight gain. These data suggest that biofilm formation is associated with tissue damage during DS and that Efg1 and Bcr1, both central regulators of virulence in C. albicans, have pivotal roles in pathogenesis of DS.

  12. Mitogen-activated protein kinases are associated with the regulation of physiological traits and virulence in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense.

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    Ding, Zhaojian; Li, Minhui; Sun, Fei; Xi, Pinggen; Sun, Longhua; Zhang, Lianhui; Jiang, Zide

    2015-01-01

    Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (FOC) is an important soil-borne fungal pathogen causing devastating vascular wilt disease of banana plants and has become a great concern threatening banana production worldwide. However, little information is known about the molecular mechanisms that govern the expression of virulence determinants of this important fungal pathogen. In this study, we showed that null mutation of three mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase genes, designated as FoSlt2, FoMkk2 and FoBck1, respectively, led to substantial attenuation in fungal virulence on banana plants. Transcriptional analysis revealed that the MAP kinase signaling pathway plays a key role in regulation of the genes encoding production of chitin, peroxidase, beauvericin and fusaric acid. Biochemical analysis further confirmed the essential role of MAP kinases in modulating the production of fusaric acid, which was a crucial phytotoxin in accelerating development of Fusarium wilt symptoms in banana plants. Additionally, we found that the MAP kinase FoSlt2 was required for siderophore biosynthesis under iron-depletion conditions. Moreover, disruption of the MAP kinase genes resulted in abnormal hypha and increased sensitivity to Congo Red, Calcofluor White and H2O2. Taken together, these results depict the critical roles of MAP kinases in regulation of FOC physiology and virulence.

  13. Molecular evolution of the two-component system BvgAS involved in virulence regulation in Bordetella.

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    Julien Herrou

    Full Text Available The whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis is closely related to Bordetella bronchiseptica, which is responsible for chronic respiratory infections in various mammals and is occasionally found in humans, and to Bordetella parapertussis, one lineage of which causes mild whooping cough in humans and the other ovine respiratory infections. All three species produce similar sets of virulence factors that are co-regulated by the two-component system BvgAS. We characterized the molecular diversity of BvgAS in Bordetella by sequencing the two genes from a large number of diverse isolates. The response regulator BvgA is virtually invariant, indicating strong functional constraints. In contrast, the multi-domain sensor kinase BvgS has evolved into two different types. The pertussis type is found in B. pertussis and in a lineage of essentially human-associated B. bronchiseptica, while the bronchiseptica type is associated with the majority of B. bronchiseptica and both ovine and human B. parapertussis. BvgS is monomorphic in B. pertussis, suggesting optimal adaptation or a recent population bottleneck. The degree of diversity of the bronchiseptica type BvgS is markedly different between domains, indicating distinct evolutionary pressures. Thus, absolute conservation of the putative solute-binding cavities of the two periplasmic Venus Fly Trap (VFT domains suggests that common signals are perceived in all three species, while the external surfaces of these domains vary more extensively. Co-evolution of the surfaces of the two VFT domains in each type and domain swapping experiments indicate that signal transduction in the periplasmic region may be type-specific. The two distinct evolutionary solutions for BvgS confirm that B. pertussis has emerged from a specific B. bronchiseptica lineage. The invariant regions of BvgS point to essential parts for its molecular mechanism, while the variable regions may indicate adaptations to different lifestyles. The

  14. Virulence regulation with Venus flytrap domains: structure and function of the periplasmic moiety of the sensor-kinase BvgS.

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    Elian Dupré

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Two-component systems (TCS represent major signal-transduction pathways for adaptation to environmental conditions, and regulate many aspects of bacterial physiology. In the whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis, the TCS BvgAS controls the virulence regulon, and is therefore critical for pathogenicity. BvgS is a prototypical TCS sensor-kinase with tandem periplasmic Venus flytrap (VFT domains. VFT are bi-lobed domains that typically close around specific ligands using clamshell motions. We report the X-ray structure of the periplasmic moiety of BvgS, an intricate homodimer with a novel architecture. By combining site-directed mutagenesis, functional analyses and molecular modeling, we show that the conformation of the periplasmic moiety determines the state of BvgS activity. The intertwined structure of the periplasmic portion and the different conformation and dynamics of its mobile, membrane-distal VFT1 domains, and closed, membrane-proximal VFT2 domains, exert a conformational strain onto the transmembrane helices, which sets the cytoplasmic moiety in a kinase-on state by default corresponding to the virulent phase of the bacterium. Signaling the presence of negative signals perceived by the periplasmic domains implies a shift of BvgS to a distinct state of conformation and activity, corresponding to the avirulent phase. The response to negative modulation depends on the integrity of the periplasmic dimer, indicating that the shift to the kinase-off state implies a concerted conformational transition. This work lays the bases to understand virulence regulation in Bordetella. As homologous sensor-kinases control virulence features of diverse bacterial pathogens, the BvgS structure and mechanism may pave the way for new modes of targeted therapeutic interventions.

  15. Virulence regulation with Venus flytrap domains: structure and function of the periplasmic moiety of the sensor-kinase BvgS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupré, Elian; Herrou, Julien; Lensink, Marc F; Wintjens, René; Vagin, Alexey; Lebedev, Andrey; Crosson, Sean; Villeret, Vincent; Locht, Camille; Antoine, Rudy; Jacob-Dubuisson, Françoise

    2015-03-01

    Two-component systems (TCS) represent major signal-transduction pathways for adaptation to environmental conditions, and regulate many aspects of bacterial physiology. In the whooping cough agent Bordetella pertussis, the TCS BvgAS controls the virulence regulon, and is therefore critical for pathogenicity. BvgS is a prototypical TCS sensor-kinase with tandem periplasmic Venus flytrap (VFT) domains. VFT are bi-lobed domains that typically close around specific ligands using clamshell motions. We report the X-ray structure of the periplasmic moiety of BvgS, an intricate homodimer with a novel architecture. By combining site-directed mutagenesis, functional analyses and molecular modeling, we show that the conformation of the periplasmic moiety determines the state of BvgS activity. The intertwined structure of the periplasmic portion and the different conformation and dynamics of its mobile, membrane-distal VFT1 domains, and closed, membrane-proximal VFT2 domains, exert a conformational strain onto the transmembrane helices, which sets the cytoplasmic moiety in a kinase-on state by default corresponding to the virulent phase of the bacterium. Signaling the presence of negative signals perceived by the periplasmic domains implies a shift of BvgS to a distinct state of conformation and activity, corresponding to the avirulent phase. The response to negative modulation depends on the integrity of the periplasmic dimer, indicating that the shift to the kinase-off state implies a concerted conformational transition. This work lays the bases to understand virulence regulation in Bordetella. As homologous sensor-kinases control virulence features of diverse bacterial pathogens, the BvgS structure and mechanism may pave the way for new modes of targeted therapeutic interventions.

  16. H-NS Nucleoid Protein Controls Virulence Features of Klebsiella pneumoniae by Regulating the Expression of Type 3 Pili and the Capsule Polysaccharide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ares, Miguel A.; Fernández-Vázquez, José L.; Rosales-Reyes, Roberto; Jarillo-Quijada, Ma. Dolores; von Bargen, Kristine; Torres, Javier; González-y-Merchand, Jorge A.; Alcántar-Curiel, María D.; De la Cruz, Miguel A.

    2016-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen causing nosocomial infections. Main virulence determinants of K. pneumoniae are pili, capsular polysaccharide, lipopolysaccharide, and siderophores. The histone-like nucleoid-structuring protein (H-NS) is a pleiotropic regulator found in several gram-negative pathogens. It has functions both as an architectural component of the nucleoid and as a global regulator of gene expression. We generated a Δhns mutant and evaluated the role of the H-NS nucleoid protein on the virulence features of K. pneumoniae. A Δhns mutant down-regulated the mrkA pilin gene and biofilm formation was affected. In contrast, capsule expression was derepressed in the absence of H-NS conferring a hypermucoviscous phenotype. Moreover, H-NS deficiency affected the K. pneumoniae adherence to epithelial cells such as A549 and HeLa cells. In infection experiments using RAW264.7 and THP-1 differentiated macrophages, the Δhns mutant was less phagocytized than the wild-type strain. This phenotype was likely due to the low adherence to these phagocytic cells. Taken together, our data indicate that H-NS nucleoid protein is a crucial regulator of both T3P and CPS of K. pneumoniae. PMID:26904512

  17. Fatty acid DSF binds and allosterically activates histidine kinase RpfC of phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris to regulate quorum-sensing and virulence.

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    Zhen Cai

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available As well as their importance to nutrition, fatty acids (FA represent a unique group of quorum sensing chemicals that modulate the behavior of bacterial population in virulence. However, the way in which full-length, membrane-bound receptors biochemically detect FA remains unclear. Here, we provide genetic, enzymological and biophysical evidences to demonstrate that in the phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, a medium-chain FA diffusible signal factor (DSF binds directly to the N-terminal, 22 amino acid-length sensor region of a receptor histidine kinase (HK, RpfC. The binding event remarkably activates RpfC autokinase activity by causing an allosteric change associated with the dimerization and histidine phosphotransfer (DHp and catalytic ATP-binding (CA domains. Six residues were found essential for sensing DSF, especially those located in the region adjoining to the inner membrane of cells. Disrupting direct DSF-RpfC interaction caused deficiency in bacterial virulence and biofilm development. In addition, two amino acids within the juxtamembrane domain of RpfC, Leu172 and Ala178, are involved in the autoinhibition of the RpfC kinase activity. Replacements of them caused constitutive activation of RpfC-mediated signaling regardless of DSF stimulation. Therefore, our results revealed a biochemical mechanism whereby FA activates bacterial HK in an allosteric manner, which will assist in future studies on the specificity of FA-HK recognition during bacterial virulence regulation and cell-cell communication.

  18. Fatty acid DSF binds and allosterically activates histidine kinase RpfC of phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris to regulate quorum-sensing and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Zhen; Yuan, Zhi-Hui; Zhang, Huan; Pan, Yue; Wu, Yao; Tian, Xiu-Qi; Wang, Fang-Fang; Wang, Li; Qian, Wei

    2017-04-01

    As well as their importance to nutrition, fatty acids (FA) represent a unique group of quorum sensing chemicals that modulate the behavior of bacterial population in virulence. However, the way in which full-length, membrane-bound receptors biochemically detect FA remains unclear. Here, we provide genetic, enzymological and biophysical evidences to demonstrate that in the phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, a medium-chain FA diffusible signal factor (DSF) binds directly to the N-terminal, 22 amino acid-length sensor region of a receptor histidine kinase (HK), RpfC. The binding event remarkably activates RpfC autokinase activity by causing an allosteric change associated with the dimerization and histidine phosphotransfer (DHp) and catalytic ATP-binding (CA) domains. Six residues were found essential for sensing DSF, especially those located in the region adjoining to the inner membrane of cells. Disrupting direct DSF-RpfC interaction caused deficiency in bacterial virulence and biofilm development. In addition, two amino acids within the juxtamembrane domain of RpfC, Leu172 and Ala178, are involved in the autoinhibition of the RpfC kinase activity. Replacements of them caused constitutive activation of RpfC-mediated signaling regardless of DSF stimulation. Therefore, our results revealed a biochemical mechanism whereby FA activates bacterial HK in an allosteric manner, which will assist in future studies on the specificity of FA-HK recognition during bacterial virulence regulation and cell-cell communication.

  19. Fatty acid DSF binds and allosterically activates histidine kinase RpfC of phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris to regulate quorum-sensing and virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Huan; Pan, Yue; Wu, Yao; Tian, Xiu-Qi; Wang, Fang-Fang; Wang, Li

    2017-01-01

    As well as their importance to nutrition, fatty acids (FA) represent a unique group of quorum sensing chemicals that modulate the behavior of bacterial population in virulence. However, the way in which full-length, membrane-bound receptors biochemically detect FA remains unclear. Here, we provide genetic, enzymological and biophysical evidences to demonstrate that in the phytopathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, a medium-chain FA diffusible signal factor (DSF) binds directly to the N-terminal, 22 amino acid-length sensor region of a receptor histidine kinase (HK), RpfC. The binding event remarkably activates RpfC autokinase activity by causing an allosteric change associated with the dimerization and histidine phosphotransfer (DHp) and catalytic ATP-binding (CA) domains. Six residues were found essential for sensing DSF, especially those located in the region adjoining to the inner membrane of cells. Disrupting direct DSF-RpfC interaction caused deficiency in bacterial virulence and biofilm development. In addition, two amino acids within the juxtamembrane domain of RpfC, Leu172 and Ala178, are involved in the autoinhibition of the RpfC kinase activity. Replacements of them caused constitutive activation of RpfC-mediated signaling regardless of DSF stimulation. Therefore, our results revealed a biochemical mechanism whereby FA activates bacterial HK in an allosteric manner, which will assist in future studies on the specificity of FA-HK recognition during bacterial virulence regulation and cell-cell communication. PMID:28369120

  20. RegA, an AraC-Like Protein, Is a Global Transcriptional Regulator That Controls Virulence Gene Expression in Citrobacter rodentium▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Emily; Yang, Ji; Tauschek, Marija; Kelly, Michelle; Wakefield, Matthew J.; Frankel, Gad; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Robins-Browne, Roy M.

    2008-01-01

    Citrobacter rodentium is an attaching and effacing pathogen which causes transmissible colonic hyperplasia in mice. Infection with C. rodentium serves as a model for infection of humans with enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. To identify novel colonization factors of C. rodentium, we screened a signature-tagged mutant library of C. rodentium in mice. One noncolonizing mutant had a single transposon insertion in an open reading frame (ORF) which we designated regA because of its homology to genes encoding members of the AraC family of transcriptional regulators. Deletion of regA in C. rodentium resulted in markedly reduced colonization of the mouse intestine. Examination of lacZ transcriptional fusions using promoter regions of known and putative virulence-associated genes of C. rodentium revealed that RegA strongly stimulated transcription of two newly identified genes located close to regA, which we designated adcA and kfcC. The cloned adcA gene conferred autoaggregation and adherence to mammalian cells to E. coli strain DH5α, and a kfc mutation led to a reduction in the duration of intestinal colonization, but the kfc mutant was far less attenuated than the regA mutant. These results indicated that other genes of C. rodentium whose expression required activation by RegA were required for colonization. Microarray analysis revealed a number of RegA-regulated ORFs encoding proteins homologous to known colonization factors. Transcription of these putative virulence determinants was activated by RegA only in the presence of sodium bicarbonate. Taken together, these results show that RegA is a global regulator of virulence in C. rodentium which activates factors that are required for intestinal colonization. PMID:18765720

  1. RegA, an AraC-like protein, is a global transcriptional regulator that controls virulence gene expression in Citrobacter rodentium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Emily; Yang, Ji; Tauschek, Marija; Kelly, Michelle; Wakefield, Matthew J; Frankel, Gad; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Robins-Browne, Roy M

    2008-11-01

    Citrobacter rodentium is an attaching and effacing pathogen which causes transmissible colonic hyperplasia in mice. Infection with C. rodentium serves as a model for infection of humans with enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. To identify novel colonization factors of C. rodentium, we screened a signature-tagged mutant library of C. rodentium in mice. One noncolonizing mutant had a single transposon insertion in an open reading frame (ORF) which we designated regA because of its homology to genes encoding members of the AraC family of transcriptional regulators. Deletion of regA in C. rodentium resulted in markedly reduced colonization of the mouse intestine. Examination of lacZ transcriptional fusions using promoter regions of known and putative virulence-associated genes of C. rodentium revealed that RegA strongly stimulated transcription of two newly identified genes located close to regA, which we designated adcA and kfcC. The cloned adcA gene conferred autoaggregation and adherence to mammalian cells to E. coli strain DH5alpha, and a kfc mutation led to a reduction in the duration of intestinal colonization, but the kfc mutant was far less attenuated than the regA mutant. These results indicated that other genes of C. rodentium whose expression required activation by RegA were required for colonization. Microarray analysis revealed a number of RegA-regulated ORFs encoding proteins homologous to known colonization factors. Transcription of these putative virulence determinants was activated by RegA only in the presence of sodium bicarbonate. Taken together, these results show that RegA is a global regulator of virulence in C. rodentium which activates factors that are required for intestinal colonization.

  2. The mucoid switch in Pseudomonas aeruginosa represses quorum sensing systems and leads to complex changes to stationary phase virulence factor regulation.

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    Ben Ryall

    Full Text Available The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa chronically infects the airways of Cystic Fibrosis (CF patients during which it adapts and undergoes clonal expansion within the lung. It commonly acquires inactivating mutations of the anti-sigma factor MucA leading to a mucoid phenotype, caused by excessive production of the extracellular polysaccharide alginate that is associated with a decline in lung function. Alginate production is believed to be the key benefit of mucA mutations to the bacterium in the CF lung. A phenotypic and gene expression characterisation of the stationary phase physiology of mucA22 mutants demonstrated complex and subtle changes in virulence factor production, including cyanide and pyocyanin, that results in their down-regulation upon entry into stationary phase but, (and in contrast to wildtype strains continued production in prolonged stationary phase. These findings may have consequences for chronic infection if mucoid P. aeruginosa were to continue to make virulence factors under non-growing conditions during infection. These changes resulted in part from a severe down-regulation of both AHL-and AQ (PQS-dependent quorum sensing systems. In trans expression of the cAMP-dependent transcription factor Vfr restored both quorum sensing defects and virulence factor production in early stationary phase. Our findings have implications for understanding the evolution of P. aeruginosa during CF lung infection and it demonstrates that mucA22 mutation provides a second mechanism, in addition to the commonly occurring lasR mutations, of down-regulating quorum sensing during chronic infection this may provide a selection pressure for the mucoid switch in the CF lung.

  3. The CtsR regulator controls the expression of clpC, clpE and clpP and is required for the virulence of Enterococcus faecalis in an invertebrate model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassenego, Ana Paula Vaz; de Oliveira, Naira Elane Moreira; Laport, Marinella Silva; Abranches, Jaqueline; Lemos, José A; Giambiagi-deMarval, Marcia

    2016-09-01

    The intrinsic ruggedness of Enterococcus faecalis is responsible for its widespread distribution in nature and is often viewed as an important virulence determinant. Previously, we showed that the ClpB ATPase is negatively regulated by CtsR and is required for thermotolerance and virulence in a Galleria mellonella invertebrate model. Here, we used in silico, Northern blot and quantitative real-time PCR analyses to identify additional members of the CtsR regulon, namely the clpP peptidase and the clpC and clpE ATPases. When compared to the parent strain, virulence of the ΔctsR strain in G. mellonella was significantly attenuated.

  4. Two overlapping two-component systems in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae contribute to full fitness in rice by regulating virulence factors expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Dehong; Yao, Xiaoyan; Duan, Meng; Luo, Yufeng; Liu, Biao; Qi, Pengyuan; Sun, Ming; Ruan, Lifang

    2016-01-01

    Two-component signal transduction systems (TCSs) are widely used by bacteria to adapt to the environment. In the present study, StoS (stress tolerance-related oxygen sensor) and SreKRS (salt response kinase, regulator, and sensor) were found to positively regulate extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production and swarming in the rice pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). Surprisingly, the absence of stoS or sreKRS did not attenuate virulence. To better understand the intrinsic functions of StoS and SreKRS, quantitative proteomics isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) was employed. Consistent with stoS and sreK mutants exhibiting a similar phenotype, the signalling circuits of StoS and SreKRS overlapped. Carbohydrate metabolism proteins and chemotaxis proteins, which could be responsible for EPS and swarming regulation, respectively, were reprogrammed in stoS and sreK mutants. Moreover, StoS and SreKRS demonstrated moderate expression of the major virulence factor, hypersensitive response and pathogenicity (Hrp) proteins through the HrpG-HrpX circuit. Most importantly, Xoo equipped with StoS and SreKRS outcompetes strains without StoS or SreKRS in co-infected rice and grows outside the host. Therefore, we propose that StoS and SreKRS adopt a novel strategy involving the moderation of Hrp protein expression and the promotion of EPS and motility to adapt to the environment. PMID:26957113

  5. The RNA-Binding Chaperone Hfq Is an Important Global Regulator of Gene Expression in Pasteurella multocida and Plays a Crucial Role in Production of a Number of Virulence Factors, Including Hyaluronic Acid Capsule

    OpenAIRE

    Mégroz, Marianne; Kleifeld, Oded; Wright, Amy; Powell, David; Harrison, Paul; Adler, Ben; Harper, Marina; Boyce, John D.

    2016-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Pasteurella multocida is the causative agent of a number of economically important animal diseases, including avian fowl cholera. Numerous P. multocida virulence factors have been identified, including capsule, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and filamentous hemagglutinin, but little is known about how the expression of these virulence factors is regulated. Hfq is an RNA-binding protein that facilitates riboregulation via interaction with small noncoding RNA (sRNA) molec...

  6. Candida albicans ISW2 Regulates Chlamydospore Suspensor Cell Formation and Virulence In Vivo in a Mouse Model of Disseminated Candidiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lionakis, Michail S.; Nickerson, Kenneth W.

    2016-01-01

    Formation of chlamydospores by Candida albicans was an established medical diagnostic test to confirm candidiasis before the molecular era. However, the functional role and pathological relevance of this in vitro morphological transition to pathogenesis in vivo remain unclear. We compared the physical properties of in vitro-induced chlamydospores with those of large C. albicans cells purified by density gradient centrifugation from Candida-infected mouse kidneys. The morphological and physical properties of these cells in kidneys of mice infected intravenously with wild type C. albicans confirmed that chlamydospores can form in infected kidneys. A previously reported chlamydospore-null Δisw2/Δisw2 mutant was used to investigate its role in virulence and chlamydospore induction. Virulence of the Δisw2/Δisw2 mutant strain was reduced 3.4-fold compared to wild type C. albicans or the ISW2 reconstituted strain. Altered host inflammatory reactions to the null mutant further indicate that ISW2 is a virulence factor in C. albicans. ISW2 deletion abolished chlamydospore formation within infected mouse kidneys, whereas the reconstituted strain restored chlamydospore formation in kidneys. Under chlamydospore inducing conditions in vitro, deletion of ISW2 significantly delayed chlamydospore formation, and those late induced chlamydospores lacked associated suspensor cells while attaching laterally to hyphae via novel spore-hypha septa. Our findings establish the induction of chlamydospores by C. albicans during mouse kidney colonization. Our results indicate that ISW2 is not strictly required for chlamydospores formation but is necessary for suspensor cell formation. The importance of ISW2 in chlamydospore morphogenesis and virulence may lead to additional insights into morphological differentiation and pathogenesis of C. albicans in the host microenvironment. PMID:27727302

  7. ChLae1 and ChVel1 regulate T-toxin production, virulence, oxidative stress response, and development of the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus.

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    Dongliang Wu

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available LaeA and VeA coordinate secondary metabolism and differentiation in response to light signals in Aspergillus spp. Their orthologs, ChLae1 and ChVel1, were identified in the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus, known to produce a wealth of secondary metabolites, including the host selective toxin, T-toxin. Produced by race T, T-toxin promotes high virulence to maize carrying Texas male sterile cytoplasm (T-cms. T-toxin production is significantly increased in the dark in wild type (WT, whereas Chvel1 and Chlae1 mutant toxin levels are much reduced in the dark compared to WT. Correspondingly, expression of T-toxin biosynthetic genes (Tox1 is up-regulated in the dark in WT, while dark-induced expression is much reduced/minimal in Chvel1 and Chlae1 mutants. Toxin production and Tox1 gene expression are increased in ChVEL1 overexpression (OE strains grown in the dark and in ChLAE1 strains grown in either light or dark, compared to WT. These observations establish ChLae1 and ChVel1 as the first factors known to regulate host selective toxin production. Virulence of Chlae1 and Chvel1 mutants and OE strains is altered on both T-cms and normal cytoplasm maize, indicating that both T-toxin mediated super virulence and basic pathogenic ability are affected. Deletion of ChLAE1 or ChVEL1 reduces tolerance to H(2O(2. Expression of CAT3, one of the three catalase genes, is reduced in the Chvel1 mutant. Chlae1 and Chvel1 mutants also show decreased aerial hyphal growth, increased asexual sporulation and female sterility. ChLAE1 OE strains are female sterile, while ChVEL1 OE strains are more fertile than WT. ChLae1 and ChVel1 repress expression of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN melanin biosynthesis genes, and, accordingly, melanization is enhanced in Chlae1 and Chvel1 mutants, and reduced in OE strains. Thus, ChLae1 and ChVel1 positively regulate T-toxin biosynthesis, pathogenicity and super virulence, oxidative stress responses, sexual development, and

  8. Skin-bacteria communication: Involvement of the neurohormone Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide (CGRP) in the regulation of Staphylococcus epidermidis virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    N’Diaye, Awa R.; Leclerc, Camille; Kentache, Takfarinas; Hardouin, Julie; Poc, Cecile Duclairoir; Konto-Ghiorghi, Yoan; Chevalier, Sylvie; Lesouhaitier, Olivier; Feuilloley, Marc G. J.

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococci can sense Substance P (SP) in skin, but this molecule is generally released by nerve terminals along with another neuropeptide, Calcitonin Gene Related Peptide (CGRP). In this study, we investigated the effects of αCGRP on Staphylococci. CGRP induced a strong stimulation of Staphylococcus epidermidis virulence with a low threshold (Staphylococcus aureus was insensitive to CGRP. We observed that CGRP-treated S. epidermidis induced interleukin 8 release by keratinocytes. This effect was associated with an increase in cathelicidin LL37 secretion. S. epidermidis displayed no change in virulence factors secretion but showed marked differences in surface properties. After exposure to CGRP, the adherence of S. epidermidis to keratinocytes increased, whereas its internalization and biofilm formation activity were reduced. These effects were correlated with an increase in surface hydrophobicity. The DnaK chaperone was identified as the S. epidermidis CGRP-binding protein. We further showed that the effects of CGRP were blocked by gadolinium chloride (GdCl3), an inhibitor of MscL mechanosensitive channels. In addition, GdCl3 inhibited the membrane translocation of EfTu, the Substance P sensor. This work reveals that through interaction with specific sensors S. epidermidis integrates different skin signals and consequently adapts its virulence. PMID:27739485

  9. c-di-AMP: An Essential Molecule in the Signaling Pathways that Regulate the Viability and Virulence of Gram-Positive Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahmi, Tazin; Port, Gary C.

    2017-01-01

    Signal transduction pathways enable organisms to monitor their external environment and adjust gene regulation to appropriately modify their cellular processes. Second messenger nucleotides including cyclic adenosine monophosphate (c-AMP), cyclic guanosine monophosphate (c-GMP), cyclic di-guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP), and cyclic di-adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) play key roles in many signal transduction pathways used by prokaryotes and/or eukaryotes. Among the various second messenger nucleotides molecules, c-di-AMP was discovered recently and has since been shown to be involved in cell growth, survival, and regulation of virulence, primarily within Gram-positive bacteria. The cellular level of c-di-AMP is maintained by a family of c-di-AMP synthesizing enzymes, diadenylate cyclases (DACs), and degradation enzymes, phosphodiesterases (PDEs). Genetic manipulation of DACs and PDEs have demonstrated that alteration of c-di-AMP levels impacts both growth and virulence of microorganisms. Unlike other second messenger molecules, c-di-AMP is essential for growth in several bacterial species as many basic cellular functions are regulated by c-di-AMP including cell wall maintenance, potassium ion homeostasis, DNA damage repair, etc. c-di-AMP follows a typical second messenger signaling pathway, beginning with binding to receptor molecules to subsequent regulation of downstream cellular processes. While c-di-AMP binds to specific proteins that regulate pathways in bacterial cells, c-di-AMP also binds to regulatory RNA molecules that control potassium ion channel expression in Bacillus subtilis. c-di-AMP signaling also occurs in eukaryotes, as bacterially produced c-di-AMP stimulates host immune responses during infection through binding of innate immune surveillance proteins. Due to its existence in diverse microorganisms, its involvement in crucial cellular activities, and its stimulating activity in host immune responses, c-di-AMP signaling pathway has become an

  10. The Fatty Acid Regulator FadR Influences the Expression of the Virulence Cascade in the El Tor Biotype of Vibrio cholerae by Modulating the Levels of ToxT via Two Different Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacikova, Gabriela; Lin, Wei; Taylor, Ronald K; Skorupski, Karen

    2017-04-01

    FadR is a master regulator of fatty acid (FA) metabolism that coordinates the pathways of FA degradation and biosynthesis in enteric bacteria. We show here that a ΔfadR mutation in the El Tor biotype of Vibrio cholerae prevents the expression of the virulence cascade by influencing both the transcription and the posttranslational regulation of the master virulence regulator ToxT. FadR is a transcriptional regulator that represses the expression of genes involved in FA degradation, activates the expression of genes involved in unsaturated FA (UFA) biosynthesis, and also activates the expression of two operons involved in saturated FA (SFA) biosynthesis. Since FadR does not bind directly to the toxT promoter, we determined whether the regulation of any of its target genes indirectly influenced ToxT. This was accomplished by individually inserting a double point mutation into the FadR-binding site in the promoter of each target gene, thereby preventing their activation or repression. Although preventing FadR-mediated activation of fabA, which encodes the enzyme that carries out the first step in UFA biosynthesis, did not significantly influence either the transcription or the translation of ToxT, it reduced its levels and prevented virulence gene expression. In the mutant strain unable to carry out FadR-mediated activation of fabA, expressing fabA ectopically restored the levels of ToxT and virulence gene expression. Taken together, the results presented here indicate that V. cholerae FadR influences the virulence cascade in the El Tor biotype by modulating the levels of ToxT via two different mechanisms.IMPORTANCE Fatty acids (FAs) play important roles in membrane lipid homeostasis and energy metabolism in all organisms. In Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the acute intestinal disease cholera, they also influence virulence by binding into an N-terminal pocket of the master virulence regulator, ToxT, and modulating its activity. FadR is a transcription factor

  11. Global Regulator of Virulence A (GrvA) Coordinates Expression of Discrete Pathogenic Mechanisms in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli through Interactions with GadW-GadE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Jason K; Carroll, Ronan K; Harro, Carly M; Vendura, Khoury W; Shaw, Lindsey N; Riordan, James T

    2015-11-02

    Global regulator of virulence A (GrvA) is a ToxR-family transcriptional regulator that activates locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE)-dependent adherence in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). LEE activation by GrvA requires the Rcs phosphorelay response regulator RcsB and is sensitive to physiologically relevant concentrations of bicarbonate, a known stimulant of virulence systems in intestinal pathogens. This study determines the genomic scale of GrvA-dependent regulation and uncovers details of the molecular mechanism underlying GrvA-dependent regulation of pathogenic mechanisms in EHEC. In a grvA-null background of EHEC strain TW14359, RNA sequencing analysis revealed the altered expression of over 700 genes, including the downregulation of LEE- and non-LEE-encoded effectors and the upregulation of genes for glutamate-dependent acid resistance (GDAR). Upregulation of GDAR genes corresponded with a marked increase in acid resistance. GrvA-dependent regulation of GDAR and the LEE required gadE, the central activator of GDAR genes and a direct repressor of the LEE. Control of gadE by GrvA was further determined to occur through downregulation of the gadE activator GadW. This interaction of GrvA with GadW-GadE represses the acid resistance phenotype, while it concomitantly activates the LEE-dependent adherence and secretion of immune subversion effectors. The results of this study significantly broaden the scope of GrvA-dependent regulation and its role in EHEC pathogenesis. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is an intestinal human pathogen causing acute hemorrhagic colitis and life-threatening hemolytic-uremic syndrome. For successful transmission and gut colonization, EHEC relies on the glutamate-dependent acid resistance (GDAR) system and a type III secretion apparatus, encoded on the LEE pathogenicity island. This study investigates the mechanism whereby the DNA-binding regulator GrvA coordinates activation of the LEE with repression of GDAR

  12. Differential regulation of type I interferon and epidermal growth factor pathways by a human Respirovirus virulence factor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grégory Caignard

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available A number of paramyxoviruses are responsible for acute respiratory infections in children, elderly and immuno-compromised individuals, resulting in airway inflammation and exacerbation of chronic diseases like asthma. To understand the molecular pathogenesis of these infections, we searched for cellular targets of the virulence protein C of human parainfluenza virus type 3 (hPIV3-C. We found that hPIV3-C interacts directly through its C-terminal domain with STAT1 and GRB2, whereas C proteins from measles or Nipah viruses failed to do so. Binding to STAT1 explains the previously reported capacity of hPIV3-C to block type I interferon signaling, but the interaction with GRB2 was unexpected. This adaptor protein bridges Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF receptor to MAPK/ERK pathway, a signaling cascade recently found to be involved in airway inflammatory response. We report that either hPIV3 infection or transient expression of hPIV3-C both increase cellular response to EGF, as assessed by Elk1 transactivation and phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2, 40S ribosomal subunit protein S6 and translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E. Furthermore, inhibition of MAPK/ERK pathway with U0126 prevented viral protein expression in infected cells. Altogether, our data provide molecular basis to explain the role of hPIV3-C as a virulence factor and determinant of pathogenesis and demonstrate that Paramyxoviridae have evolved a single virulence factor to block type I interferon signaling and to boost simultaneous cellular response to growth factors.

  13. A sensor kinase recognizing the cell-cell signal BDSF (cis-2-dodecenoic acid) regulates virulence in Burkholderia cenocepacia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCarthy, Y.; Yang, Liang; Twomey, K.B.

    2010-01-01

    P>Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic human pathogen that uses cis-2-dodecenoic acid (BDSF) as a quorum-sensing signal to control expression of virulence factors. BDSF is a signal molecule of the diffusible signal factor (DSF) family that was first described in the plant pathogen...... with an input domain unrelated to that of RpfC, the DSF sensor found in xanthomonads. Transcriptome profiling established the scope of the BDSF regulon and demonstrated that the sensor controls expression of a subset of these genes. A chimeric sensor kinase in which the input domain of BCAM0227 replaced...

  14. The ability of Proteus mirabilis to sense surfaces and regulate virulence gene expression involves FliL, a flagellar basal body protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belas, Robert; Suvanasuthi, Rooge

    2005-10-01

    Proteus mirabilis is a urinary tract pathogen that differentiates from a short swimmer cell to an elongated, highly flagellated swarmer cell. Swarmer cell differentiation parallels an increased expression of several virulence factors, suggesting that both processes are controlled by the same signal. The molecular nature of this signal is not known but is hypothesized to involve the inhibition of flagellar rotation. In this study, data are presented supporting the idea that conditions inhibiting flagellar rotation induce swarmer cell differentiation and implicating a rotating flagellar filament as critical to the sensing mechanism. Mutations in three genes, fliL, fliF, and fliG, encoding components of the flagellar basal body, result in the inappropriate development of swarmer cells in noninducing liquid media or hyperelongated swarmer cells on agar media. The fliL mutation was studied in detail. FliL- mutants are nonmotile and fail to synthesize flagellin, while complementation of fliL restores wild-type cell elongation but not motility. Overexpression of fliL+ in wild-type cells prevents swarmer cell differentiation and motility, a result also observed when P. mirabilis fliL+ was expressed in Escherichia coli. These results suggest that FliL plays a role in swarmer cell differentiation and implicate FliL as critical to transduction of the signal inducing swarmer cell differentiation and virulence gene expression. In concert with this idea, defects in fliL up-regulate the expression of two virulence genes, zapA and hpmB. These results support the hypothesis that P. mirabilis ascertains its location in the environment or host by assessing the status of its flagellar motors, which in turn control swarmer cell gene expression.

  15. Key role of an ADP - ribose - dependent transcriptional regulator of NAD metabolism for fitness and virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okon, Elza; Dethlefsen, Sarah; Pelnikevich, Anna; Barneveld, Andrea van; Munder, Antje; Tümmler, Burkhard

    2017-01-01

    NAD is an essential co-factor of redox reactions and metabolic conversions of NAD-dependent enzymes. NAD biosynthesis in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has yet not been experimentally explored. The in silico search for orthologs in the P. aeruginosa PAO1 genome identified the operon pncA - pncB1-nadE (PA4918-PA4920) to encode the nicotinamidase, nicotinate phosporibosyltransferase and Nad synthase of salvage pathway I. The functional role of the preceding genes PA4917 and PA4916 was resolved by the characterization of recombinant protein. PA4917 turned out to encode the nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase NadD2 and PA4916 was determined to encode the transcriptional repressor NrtR that binds to an intergenic sequence between nadD2 and pncA. Complex formation between the catalytically inactive Nudix protein NrtR and its DNA binding site was suppressed by the antirepressor ADP-ribose. NrtR plasposon mutagenesis abrogated virulence of P. aeruginosa TBCF10839 in a murine acute airway infection model and constrained its metabolite profile. When grown together with other isogenic plasposon mutants, the nrtR knock-out was most compromised in competitive fitness to persist in nutrient-rich medium in vitro or murine airways in vivo. This example demonstrates how tightly metabolism and virulence can be intertwined by key elements of metabolic control. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Aquaporin8 regulates cellular development and reactive oxygen species production, a critical component of virulence in Botrytis cinerea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Bang; Li, Boqiang; Li, Hua; Zhang, Zhanquan; Qin, Guozheng; Tian, Shiping

    2016-03-01

    Aquaporins (AQPs) are ubiquitous in nearly all organisms, mediating selective and rapid flux of water across biological membranes. The role of AQPs in phytopathogenic fungi is poorly understood. Orthologs of AQP genes in Botrytis cinerea were identified and knocked out. The effects of AQPs on hyphal growth and conidiation, formation of infection structures and virulence on plant hosts were examined. The role of AQP8 in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, distribution and transport were further determined. Among eight AQPs, only AQP8 was essential for the ability of B. cinerea to infect plants. AQP8 was demonstrated to be an intrinsic plasma membrane protein, which may function as a channel and mediate hydrogen peroxide uptake. Deletion of AQP8 in B. cinerea completely inhibited the development of conidia and infection structures, and significantly affected noxR expression. Further observations revealed that both AQP8 and noxR impacted ROS distribution in the hyphal tips of B. cinerea. Moreover, AQP8 affected the expression of a mitochondrial protein, NQO1. A knockout mutant of NQO1 was observed to display reduced virulence. These data lead to a better understanding of the important role of AQP8 in the development and pathogenesis of plant pathogens. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  17. Deletion of the Ustilago maydis ortholog of the Aspergillus sporulation regulator medA affects mating and virulence through pheromone response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chacko, Nadia; Gold, Scott

    2012-06-01

    Mating of compatible haploid cells of Ustilago maydis is essential for infection and disease development in the host. For mating and subsequent filamentous growth and pathogenicity, the transcription factor, prf1 is necessary. Prf1 is in turn regulated by the cAMP and MAPK pathways and other regulators like rop1 and hap1. Here we describe the identification of another putative Prf1 regulator, med1, the ortholog of the Aspergillus nidulans medusa (medA) transcription factor and show that it is required for mating and full virulence in U. maydis. med1 deletion mutants show both pre- and post-mating defects and are unresponsive to external pheromone. The expression of prf1 is down-regulated in Δmed1 compared to the wild type, suggesting that med1 is upstream of prf1. Additionally, indicative of a role in secondary metabolism regulation, deletion of the med1 gene de-represses the production of glycolipids in U. maydis. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Transcription and translation products of the cytolysin gene psm-mec on the mobile genetic element SCCmec regulate Staphylococcus aureus virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chikara Kaito

    Full Text Available The F region downstream of the mecI gene in the SCCmec element in hospital-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA contains two bidirectionally overlapping open reading frames (ORFs, the fudoh ORF and the psm-mec ORF. The psm-mec ORF encodes a cytolysin, phenol-soluble modulin (PSM-mec. Transformation of the F region into the Newman strain, which is a methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA strain, or into the MW2 (USA400 and FRP3757 (USA300 strains, which are community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA strains that lack the F region, attenuated their virulence in a mouse systemic infection model. Introducing the F region to these strains suppressed colony-spreading activity and PSMα production, and promoted biofilm formation. By producing mutations into the psm-mec ORF, we revealed that (i both the transcription and translation products of the psm-mec ORF suppressed colony-spreading activity and promoted biofilm formation; and (ii the transcription product of the psm-mec ORF, but not its translation product, decreased PSMα production. These findings suggest that both the psm-mec transcript, acting as a regulatory RNA, and the PSM-mec protein encoded by the gene on the mobile genetic element SCCmec regulate the virulence of Staphylococcus aureus.

  19. Whole genome transcriptomics reveals global effects including up-regulation of Francisella pathogenicity island gene expression during active stringent response in the highly virulent Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis SCHU S4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murch, Amber L; Skipp, Paul J; Roach, Peter L; Oyston, Petra C F

    2017-11-01

    During conditions of nutrient limitation bacteria undergo a series of global gene expression changes to survive conditions of amino acid and fatty acid starvation. Rapid reallocation of cellular resources is brought about by gene expression changes coordinated by the signalling nucleotides' guanosine tetraphosphate or pentaphosphate, collectively termed (p)ppGpp and is known as the stringent response. The stringent response has been implicated in bacterial virulence, with elevated (p)ppGpp levels being associated with increased virulence gene expression. This has been observed in the highly pathogenic Francisella tularensis sub spp. tularensis SCHU S4, the causative agent of tularaemia. Here, we aimed to artificially induce the stringent response by culturing F. tularensis in the presence of the amino acid analogue l-serine hydroxamate. Serine hydroxamate competitively inhibits tRNAser aminoacylation, causing an accumulation of uncharged tRNA. The uncharged tRNA enters the A site on the translating bacterial ribosome and causes ribosome stalling, in turn stimulating the production of (p)ppGpp and activation of the stringent response. Using the essential virulence gene iglC, which is encoded on the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI) as a marker of active stringent response, we optimized the culture conditions required for the investigation of virulence gene expression under conditions of nutrient limitation. We subsequently used whole genome RNA-seq to show how F. tularensis alters gene expression on a global scale during active stringent response. Key findings included up-regulation of genes involved in virulence, stress responses and metabolism, and down-regulation of genes involved in metabolite transport and cell division. F. tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular pathogen capable of causing debilitating or fatal disease at extremely low infectious doses. However, virulence mechanisms are still poorly understood. The stringent response is widely

  20. Chemical and thermal unfolding of a global staphylococcal virulence regulator with a flexible C-terminal end.

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    Avisek Mahapa

    Full Text Available SarA, a Staphylococcus aureus-specific dimeric protein, modulates the expression of numerous proteins including various virulence factors. Interestingly, S. aureus synthesizes multiple SarA paralogs seemingly for optimizing the expression of its virulence factors. To understand the domain structure/flexibility and the folding/unfolding mechanism of the SarA protein family, we have studied a recombinant SarA (designated rSarA using various in vitro probes. Limited proteolysis of rSarA and the subsequent analysis of the resulting protein fragments suggested it to be a single-domain protein with a long, flexible C-terminal end. rSarA was unfolded by different mechanisms in the presence of different chemical and physical denaturants. While urea-induced unfolding of rSarA occurred successively via the formation of a dimeric and a monomeric intermediate, GdnCl-induced unfolding of this protein proceeded through the production of two dimeric intermediates. The surface hydrophobicity and the structures of the intermediates were not identical and also differed significantly from those of native rSarA. Of the intermediates, the GdnCl-generated intermediates not only possessed a molten globule-like structure but also exhibited resistance to dissociation during their unfolding. Compared to the native rSarA, the intermediate that was originated at lower GdnCl concentration carried a compact shape, whereas, other intermediates owned a swelled shape. The chemical-induced unfolding, unlike thermal unfolding of rSarA, was completely reversible in nature.

  1. Salmonella proteomics under oxidative stress reveals coordinated regulation of antioxidant defense with iron metabolism and bacterial virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Jiaqi; Qi, Linlu; Hu, Mo; Liu, Yanhua; Yu, Kaiwen; Liu, Qian; Liu, Xiaoyun

    2017-03-22

    Salmonella Typhimurium is a bacterial pathogen that can cause widespread gastroenteritis. Salmonella encounters reactive oxygen species both under free-living conditions and within their mammalian host during infection. To study its response to oxidative stress, we performed the first large-scale proteomic profiling of Salmonella upon exposure to H 2 O 2 . Among 1600 detected proteins, 83 proteins showed significantly altered abundance. Interestingly, only a subset of known antioxidants was induced, likely due to distinct regulatory mechanisms. In addition, we found elevation of several Salmonella acquired phage products with potential contribution to DNA repair under oxidative stress. Furthermore, we observed robust induction of iron-uptake systems and disruption of these pathways led to bacterial survival defects under H 2 O 2 challenge. Importantly, this work is the first to report that oxidative stress severely repressed the Salmonella type III secretion system (T3SS), reducing its virulence. Biological significance Salmonella, a Gram-negative bacterial pathogen, encounters reactive oxygen species (ROS) both endogenously and exogenously. To better understand its response to oxidative stress, we performed the first large-scale profiling of Salmonella protein expression upon H 2 O 2 treatment. Among 1600 quantified proteins, the abundance of 116 proteins was altered significantly. Notably, iron acquisition systems were induced to promote bacterial survival under oxidative stress. Furthermore, we are the first to report that oxidative stress severely repressed Salmonella type III secretion system and hence reduced its virulence. We believe that these findings will not only help us better understand the molecular mechanisms that Salmonella has evolved to counteract ROS but also the global impact of oxidative stress on bacterial physiology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Antisense transcription regulates the expression of the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli virulence regulatory gene ler in response to the intracellular iron concentration.

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    Toru Tobe

    Full Text Available Enteric pathogens, such as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC O157:H7, encounter varying concentrations of iron during their life cycle. In the gastrointestinal tract, the amount of available free iron is limited because of absorption by host factors. EHEC and other enteric pathogens have developed sophisticated iron-responsive systems to utilize limited iron resources, and these systems are primarily regulated by the Fur repressor protein. The iron concentration could be a signal that controls gene expression in the intestines. In this study, we explored the role of iron in LEE (locus for enterocyte effacement virulence gene expression in EHEC. In contrast to the expression of Fur-regulated genes, the expression of LEE genes was greatly reduced in fur mutants irrespective of the iron concentration. The expression of the ler gene, the LEE-encoded master regulator, was affected at a post-transcription step by fur mutation. Further analysis showed that the loss of Fur affected the translation of the ler gene by increasing the intracellular concentration of free iron, and the transcription of the antisense strand was necessary for regulation. The results indicate that LEE gene expression is closely linked to the control of intracellular free iron homeostasis.

  3. OxyR-regulated catalase CatB promotes the virulence in rice via detoxifying hydrogen peroxide in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chao; Wang, Nu; Wu, Maosen; Tian, Fang; Chen, Huamin; Yang, Fenghuan; Yuan, Xiaochen; Yang, Ching-Hong; He, Chenyang

    2016-11-08

    To facilitate infection, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), the bacterial blight pathogen of rice, needs to degrade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generated by the host defense response via a mechanism that is mediated by the transcriptional regulator OxyR. The catalase (CAT) gene catB has previously been shown to belong to the OxyR regulon in Xoo. However, its expression patterns and function in H2O2 detoxification and bacterial pathogenicity on rice remain to be elucidated. The catB gene encodes a putative catalase and is highly conserved in the sequenced strains of Xanthomonas spp. β-galactosidase analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) showed that OxyR positively regulated the transcription of catB by directly binding to its promoter region. The quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assays revealed that the expression levels of catB and oxyR were significantly induced by H2O2. Deletion of catB or oxyR drastically impaired bacterial viability in the presence of extracellular H2O2 and reduced CAT activity, demonstrating that CatB and OxyR contribute to H2O2 detoxification in Xoo. In addition, ΔcatB and ΔoxyR displayed shorter bacterial blight lesions and reduced bacterial growth in rice compared to the wild-type stain, indicating that CatB and OxyR play essential roles in the virulence of Xoo. Transcription of catB is enhanced by OxyR in response to exogenous H2O2. CatB functions as an active catalase that is required for the full virulence of Xoo in rice.

  4. ClpP deletion causes attenuation of Salmonella Typhimurium virulence through mis-regulation of RpoS and indirect control of CsrA and the SPI genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Gitte Maegaard; Olsen, John E.; Aabo, Søren

    2013-01-01

    the proteolytic component ClpP, the stationary phase regulator RpoS and the carbon-storage regulator CsrA. However, the mechanism behind the ClpP regulation is not fully understood. To elucidate this we examined differentially expressed genes in a ΔclpP mutant compared with WT using global transcriptomic analysis......, suggesting the repression of invasion was directed through RpoS. The expression of the csrA virulence regulator was increased in the ΔclpP mutant and decreased in the rpoS : : amp and ΔclpP/rpoS : : amp mutants, indicating that ClpP affects the csrA expression level as well. Thus, this study suggests...... that ClpP affects SPI1 expression and thereby virulence indirectly through its regulation of both RpoS and CsrA....

  5. Genes for carbon metabolism and the ToxA virulence factor in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are regulated through molecular interactions of PtxR and PtxS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelali Daddaoua

    Full Text Available Homologs of the transcriptional regulator PtxS are omnipresent in Pseudomonas, whereas PtxR homologues are exclusively found in human pathogenic Pseudomonas species. In all Pseudomonas sp., PtxS with 2-ketogluconate is the regulator of the gluconate degradation pathway and controls expression from its own promoter and also from the P(gad and P(kgu for the catabolic operons. There is evidence that PtxS and PtxR play a central role in the regulation of exotoxin A expression, a relevant primary virulence factor of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show using DNaseI-footprint analysis that in P. aeruginosa PtxR binds to the -35 region of the P(toxA promoter in front of the exotoxin A gene, whereas PtxS does not bind to this promoter. Bioinformatic and DNaseI-footprint analysis identified a PtxR binding site in the P(kgu and P(gad promoters that overlaps the -35 region, while the PtxS operator site is located 50 bp downstream from the PtxR site. In vitro, PtxS recognises PtxR with nanomolar affinity, but this interaction does not occur in the presence of 2-ketogluconate, the specific effector of PtxS. DNAaseI footprint assays of P(kgu and P(gad promoters with PtxS and PtxR showed a strong region of hyper-reactivity between both regulator binding sites, indicative of DNA distortion when both proteins are bound; however in the presence of 2-ketogluconate no protection was observed. We conclude that PtxS modulates PtxR activity in response to 2-ketogluconate by complex formation in solution in the case of the P(toxA promoter, or via the formation of a DNA loop as in the regulation of gluconate catabolic genes. Data suggest two different mechanisms of control exerted by the same regulator.

  6. ChIP-seq analysis of the LuxR-type regulator VjbR reveals novel insights into the Brucella virulence gene expression network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinman, Claudia L; Sycz, Gabriela; Bonomi, Hernán R; Rodríguez, Romina M; Zorreguieta, Angeles; Sieira, Rodrigo

    2017-06-02

    LuxR-type transcription factors control diverse physiological functions necessary for bacterial adaptation to environmental changes. In the intracellular pathogen Brucella, the LuxR homolog VjbR has been shown to regulate the expression of virulence factors acting at early stages of the intracellular infection and, directly or indirectly, hundreds of additional genes. However, the precise determination of VjbR direct targets has so far proved elusive. Here, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation of VjbR followed by next-generation sequencing (ChIP-seq). We detected a large amount of VjbR-binding sites distributed across the Brucella genome and determined a markedly asymmetric binding consensus motif, an unusual feature among LuxR-type regulators. RNA-seq analysis performed under conditions mimicking the eukaryotic intracellular environment revealed that, among all loci associated to VjbR-binding, this regulator directly modulated the expression of only a subset of genes encoding functions consistent with an intracellular adaptation strategy for survival during the initial stages of the host cell infection. Other VjbR-binding events, however, showed to be dissociated from transcription and may require different environmental signals to produce a transcriptional output. Taken together, our results bring new insights into the extent and functionality of LuxR-type-related transcriptional networks. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. MarA, SoxS and Rob of Escherichia coli – Global regulators of multidrug resistance, virulence and stress response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duval, Valérie; Lister, Ida M.

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria have a great capacity for adjusting their metabolism in response to environmental changes by linking extracellular stimuli to the regulation of genes by transcription factors. By working in a co-operative manner, transcription factors provide a rapid response to external threats, allowing the bacteria to survive. This review will focus on transcription factors MarA, SoxS and Rob in Escherichia coli, three members of the AraC family of proteins. These homologous proteins exemplify the ability to respond to multiple threats such as oxidative stress, drugs and toxic compounds, acidic pH, and host antimicrobial peptides. MarA, SoxS and Rob recognize similar DNA sequences in the promoter region of more than 40 regulatory target genes. As their regulons overlap, a finely tuned adaptive response allows E. coli to survive in the presence of different assaults in a co-ordinated manner. These regulators are well conserved amongst Enterobacteriaceae and due to their broad involvement in bacterial adaptation in the host, have recently been explored as targets to develop new anti-virulence agents. The regulators are also being examined for their roles in novel technologies such as biofuel production. PMID:24860636

  8. Comparison of the Regulation, Metabolic Functions, and Roles in Virulence of the Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Homologues gapA and gapB in Staphylococcus aureus▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purves, Joanne; Cockayne, Alan; Moody, Peter C. E.; Morrissey, Julie A.

    2010-01-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus contains two glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) homologues known as GapA and GapB. GapA has been characterized as a functional GAPDH protein, but currently there is no biological evidence for the role of GapB in metabolism in S. aureus. In this study we show through a number of complementary methods that S. aureus GapA is essential for glycolysis while GapB is essential in gluconeogenesis. These proteins are reciprocally regulated in response to glucose concentrations, and both are influenced by the glycolysis regulator protein GapR, which is the first demonstration of the role of this regulator in S. aureus and the first indication that GapR homologues control genes other than those within the glycolytic operon. Furthermore, we show that both GapA and GapB are important in the pathogenesis of S. aureus in a Galleria mellonella model of infection, showing for the first time in any bacteria that both glycolysis and gluconeogenesis have important roles in virulence. PMID:20876289

  9. Comparison of the regulation, metabolic functions, and roles in virulence of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase homologues gapA and gapB in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purves, Joanne; Cockayne, Alan; Moody, Peter C E; Morrissey, Julie A

    2010-12-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus contains two glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) homologues known as GapA and GapB. GapA has been characterized as a functional GAPDH protein, but currently there is no biological evidence for the role of GapB in metabolism in S. aureus. In this study we show through a number of complementary methods that S. aureus GapA is essential for glycolysis while GapB is essential in gluconeogenesis. These proteins are reciprocally regulated in response to glucose concentrations, and both are influenced by the glycolysis regulator protein GapR, which is the first demonstration of the role of this regulator in S. aureus and the first indication that GapR homologues control genes other than those within the glycolytic operon. Furthermore, we show that both GapA and GapB are important in the pathogenesis of S. aureus in a Galleria mellonella model of infection, showing for the first time in any bacteria that both glycolysis and gluconeogenesis have important roles in virulence.

  10. ChIP-seq analysis of the LuxR-type regulator VjbR reveals novel insights into the Brucella virulence gene expression network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sycz, Gabriela; Bonomi, Hernán R.; Rodríguez, Romina M.; Zorreguieta, Angeles

    2017-01-01

    Abstract LuxR-type transcription factors control diverse physiological functions necessary for bacterial adaptation to environmental changes. In the intracellular pathogen Brucella, the LuxR homolog VjbR has been shown to regulate the expression of virulence factors acting at early stages of the intracellular infection and, directly or indirectly, hundreds of additional genes. However, the precise determination of VjbR direct targets has so far proved elusive. Here, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation of VjbR followed by next-generation sequencing (ChIP-seq). We detected a large amount of VjbR-binding sites distributed across the Brucella genome and determined a markedly asymmetric binding consensus motif, an unusual feature among LuxR-type regulators. RNA-seq analysis performed under conditions mimicking the eukaryotic intracellular environment revealed that, among all loci associated to VjbR-binding, this regulator directly modulated the expression of only a subset of genes encoding functions consistent with an intracellular adaptation strategy for survival during the initial stages of the host cell infection. Other VjbR-binding events, however, showed to be dissociated from transcription and may require different environmental signals to produce a transcriptional output. Taken together, our results bring new insights into the extent and functionality of LuxR-type-related transcriptional networks. PMID:28334833

  11. Pseudomonas fluorescens filamentous hemagglutinin, an iron-regulated protein, is an important virulence factor that modulates bacterial pathogenicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-yuan Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas fluorescens is a common bacterial pathogen to a wide range of aquaculture animals including various species of fish. In this study, we employed proteomic analysis and identified filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA as an iron-responsive protein secreted by TSS, a pathogenic P. fluorescens isolate. In vitro study showed that compared to the wild type, the fha mutant TSSfha (i exhibited a largely similar vegetative growth profile but significantly retarded in the ability of biofilm growth and producing extracellular matrix, (ii displayed no apparent flagella and motility, (iii was defective in the attachment to host cells and unable to form self-aggregation, (iv displayed markedly reduced capacity of hemagglutination and surviving in host serum. In vivo infection analysis revealed that TSSfha was significantly attenuated in the ability of dissemination in fish tissues and inducing host mortality, and that antibody blocking of the natural FHA produced by the wild type TSS impaired the infectivity of the pathogen. Furthermore, when introduced into turbot as a subunit vaccine, recombinant FHA elicited a significant protection against lethal TSS challenge. Taken together, these results indicate for the first time that P. fluorescens FHA is a key virulence factor essential to multiple biological processes associated with pathogenicity.

  12. The chemotaxis regulator pilG of Xylella fastidiosa is required for virulence in Vitis vinifera grapevines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Type IV pili of X. fastidiosa are regulated by pilG, a response regulator protein putatively involved in chemotaxis-like operon sensing stimuli through signal transduction pathways. To elucidate roles of pilG in pathogenicity of X. fastidiosa, the pilG-deletion mutant and complementary strain contai...

  13. Evolutionary Landscape of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex from the Viewpoint of PhoPR: Implications for Virulence Regulation and Application to Vaccine Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broset, Esther

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Different members of the Mycobacterium genus have evolved to cause tuberculosis in diverse human populations and in a variety of animal species. Our cumulative knowledge of mycobacterial genomes indicates that mutations in the PhoPR two-component virulence system were acquired not only during the natural evolution of mycobacterial species but also during in vitro subculture, which has given rise to the attenuated reference strain H37Ra or to different daughter strains of Mycobacterium bovis BCG. PhoPR is a well-known regulator of pathogenic phenotypes, including secretion of the virulence factor ESAT-6, biosynthesis of acyltrehalose-based lipids, and modulation of antigen export, in members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). Evolutionarily conserved polymorphisms in PhoPR from Mycobacterium africanum, M. bovis, or M. tuberculosis H37Ra result in loss of functional phenotypes. Interestingly, some members of the MTBC have acquired compensatory mutations to counteract these polymorphisms and, probably, to maintain their pathogenic potential. Some of these compensatory mutations include the insertion of the IS6110 element upstream from phoPR in a particular M. bovis strain that is able to transmit between humans or polymorphisms in M. africanum and M. bovis that affect the regulatory region of the espACD operon, allowing PhoPR-independent ESAT-6 secretion. This review highlights the increasing knowledge of the significance of PhoPR in the evolution of the MTBC and its potential application in the construction of new attenuated vaccines based on phoPR inactivation. In this context, the live attenuated vaccine MTBVAC, based on a phoP fadD26 deletion mutant of M. tuberculosis, is the first vaccine of this kind to successfully enter into clinical development, representing a historic milestone in the field of human vaccinology. PMID:26489860

  14. Identification of a response regulator involved in surface attachment, cell-cell aggregation, exopolysaccharide production and virulence in the plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voegel, Tanja M; Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan; Cheng, Davis W; Lin, Hong; Stenger, Drake C; Kirkpatrick, Bruce C; Roper, M Caroline

    2013-04-01

    Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of Pierce's disease of grapevine, possesses several two-component signal transduction systems that allow the bacterium to sense and respond to changes in its environment. Signals are perceived by sensor kinases that autophosphorylate and transfer the phosphate to response regulators (RRs), which direct an output response, usually by acting as transcriptional regulators. In the X. fastidiosa genome, 19 RRs were found. A site-directed knockout mutant in one unusual RR, designated XhpT, composed of a receiver domain and a histidine phosphotransferase output domain, was constructed. The resulting mutant strain was analysed for changes in phenotypic traits related to biofilm formation and gene expression using microarray analysis. We found that the xhpT mutant was altered in surface attachment, cell-cell aggregation, exopolysaccharide (EPS) production and virulence in grapevine. In addition, this mutant had an altered transcriptional profile when compared with wild-type X. fastidiosa in genes for several biofilm-related traits, such as EPS production and haemagglutinin adhesins. © 2012 BSPP AND BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD.

  15. Involvement ofTrichoderma harzianumEpl-1 Protein in the Regulation ofBotrytisVirulence- and Tomato Defense-Related Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Eriston V; Ulhoa, Cirano J; Cardoza, Rosa E; Silva, Roberto N; Gutiérrez, Santiago

    2017-01-01

    Several Trichoderma spp. are well known for their ability to: (i) act as important biocontrol agents against phytopathogenic fungi; (ii) function as biofertilizers; (iii) increase the tolerance of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses; and (iv) induce plant defense responses via the production and secretion of elicitor molecules. In this study, we analyzed the gene-regulation effects of Trichoderma harzianum Epl-1 protein during the interactions of mutant Δ epl-1 or wild-type T. harzianum strains with: (a) the phytopathogen Botrytis cinerea and (b) with tomato plants, on short (24 h hydroponic cultures) and long periods (4-weeks old plants) after Trichoderma inoculation. Our results indicate that T. harzianum Epl-1 protein affects the in vitro expression of B. cinerea virulence genes, especially those involved in the botrydial biosynthesis ( BcBOT genes), during the mycoparasitism interaction. The tomato defense-related genes were also affected, indicating that Epl-1 is involved in the elicitation of the salicylic acid pathway. Moreover, Epl-1 also regulates the priming effect in host tomato plants and contributes to enhance the interaction with the host tomato plant during the early stage of root colonization.

  16. Global regulation of virulence and the stress response by CsrA in the highly adapted human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barnard, F.M.; Loughlin, M.F.; Fainberg, H.P.

    2004-01-01

    -induced transcriptional responses of napA and ahpC, the acid induction of napA, cagA, vacA, the urease operon, and fur, as well as the heat shock responses of napA, groESL and hspR. Although the level of napA transcript was higher in the csrA mutant, its stability was similar in the wild-type and mutant strains, and less....... We therefore investigated the contribution of the regulatory protein CsrA to global gene regulation in this important human pathogen. CsrA was necessary for full motility and survival of H. pylori under conditions of oxidative stress. Loss of csrA expression deregulated the oxidant...... NapA protein was produced in the mutant strain. Finally, H. pylori strains deficient in the production of CsrA were significantly attenuated for virulence in a mouse model of infection. This work provides evidence that CsrA has a broad role in regulating the physiology of H. pylori in response...

  17. XbmR, a new transcription factor involved in the regulation of chemotaxis, biofilm formation and virulence in Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaryura, Pablo M; Conforte, Valeria P; Malamud, Florencia; Roeschlin, Roxana; de Pino, Verónica; Castagnaro, Atilio P; McCarthy, Yvonne; Dow, J Maxwell; Marano, María R; Vojnov, Adrián A

    2015-11-01

    Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is the causal agent of citrus canker. Biofilm formation on citrus leaves plays an important role in epiphytic survival of Xcc. Biofilm formation is affected by transposon insertion in XAC3733, which encodes a transcriptional activator of the NtrC family, not linked to a gene encoding a sensor protein, thus could be considered as an 'orphan' regulator whose function is poorly understood in Xanthomonas spp. Here we show that mutation of XAC3733 (named xbmR) resulted in impaired structural development of the Xcc biofilm, loss of chemotaxis and reduced virulence in grapefruit plants. All defective phenotypes were restored to wild-type levels by the introduction of PA2567 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which encodes a phosphodiesterase active in the degradation of cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP). A knockout of xbmR led to a substantial downregulation of fliA that encodes a σ(28) transcription factor, as well as fliC and XAC0350 which are potential member of the σ(28) regulon. XAC0350 encodes an HD-GYP domain c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase. These findings suggest that XbmR is a key regulator of flagellar-dependent motility and chemotaxis exerting its action through a regulatory pathway that involves FliA and c-di-GMP. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Transcriptional Analysis of the MrpJ Network: Modulation of Diverse Virulence-Associated Genes and Direct Regulation of mrp Fimbrial and flhDC Flagellar Operons in Proteus mirabilis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Nadine J.; Debnath, Irina; Kuan, Lisa; Schulfer, Anjelique; Ty, Maureen

    2015-01-01

    The enteric bacterium Proteus mirabilis is associated with a significant number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs). Strict regulation of the antagonistic processes of adhesion and motility, mediated by fimbriae and flagella, respectively, is essential for disease progression. Previously, the transcriptional regulator MrpJ, which is encoded by the mrp fimbrial operon, has been shown to repress both swimming and swarming motility. Here we show that MrpJ affects an array of cellular processes beyond adherence and motility. Microarray analysis found that expression of mrpJ mimicking levels observed during UTIs leads to differential expression of 217 genes related to, among other functions, bacterial virulence, type VI secretion, and metabolism. We probed the molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation by MrpJ using transcriptional reporters and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Binding of MrpJ to two virulence-associated target gene promoters, the promoters of the flagellar master regulator flhDC and mrp itself, appears to be affected by the condensation state of the native chromosome, although both targets share a direct MrpJ binding site proximal to the transcriptional start. Furthermore, an mrpJ deletion mutant colonized the bladders of mice at significantly lower levels in a transurethral model of infection. Additionally, we observed that mrpJ is widely conserved in a collection of recent clinical isolates. Altogether, these findings support a role of MrpJ as a global regulator of P. mirabilis virulence. PMID:25847961

  19. Regulator of the mucoid phenotype A gene increases the virulent ability of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing serotype non-K1/K2 Klebsiella pneumonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Hsin-An; Huang, Ya-Li; Yeh, Kao-Ming; Siu, L K; Lin, Jung-Chung; Chang, Feng-Yee

    2016-08-01

    To determine whether the presence of a capsule regulator gene [i.e., regulator of mucoid phenotype A (rmpA) gene] contributes to virulence on extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) with serotype non-K1/K2 strains. Twenty-eight ESBL-KP and non-ESBL-KP isolates were collected from the Tri-Service General Hospital (Taipei, Taiwan). The impact of the virulent rmpA gene in different capsular polysaccharide serotypes on ESBL-KP and non-ESBL-KP isolates was studied by a neutrophil phagocytosis reaction, a serum bactericidal assay, and an animal survival model. Resistance to broad spectrum antibiotics was more prevalent in ESBL-KP strains than in non-ESBL-KP strains (p < 0.01). The ESBL-KP strains had different molecular patterns from non-ESBL-KP strains, based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The frequency of serum-resistant isolates was the highest among ESBL-KP strains with rmpA (i.e., rmpA(+)) [71.4% (5/7)] than among of non-ESBL-KP rmpA(+) strains [42.8% (6/14)], ESBL-KP strains without rmpA (rmpA(-)) [33.3% (7/21)], and non-ESBL-KP rmpA(-) strains [14.2% (2/14)]. The most significant increase in neutrophil resistance occurred in the ESBL-KP rmpA(+) strains in comparison to the non-ESBL-KP rmpA(+), ESBL-KP rmpA(-), and non-ESBL-KP rmpA(-) strains (p < 0.01). The results of the animal survival model were compatible with the neutrophil phagocytosis reaction and serum bactericidal assay. We conclude that the pathogenic potential is greater in rmpA(+) ESBL-KP strains than in rmpA(-) ESBL-KP and non-ESBL-KP strains. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. The Atypical Response Regulator AtvR Is a New Player in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Response to Hypoxia and Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaihami, Gilberto Hideo; Breda, Leandro Carvalho Dantas; de Almeida, José Roberto Fogaça; de Oliveira Pereira, Thays; Nicastro, Gianlucca Gonçalves; Boechat, Ana Laura; de Almeida, Sandro Rogério; Baldini, Regina Lúcia

    2017-08-01

    Two-component systems are widespread in bacteria, allowing adaptation to environmental changes. The classical pathway is composed of a histidine kinase that phosphorylates an aspartate residue in the cognate response regulator (RR). RRs lacking the phosphorylatable aspartate also occur, but their function and contribution during host-pathogen interactions are poorly characterized. AtvR (PA14_26570) is the only atypical response regulator with a DNA-binding domain in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa Macrophage infection with the atvR mutant strain resulted in higher levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha secretion as well as increased bacterial clearance compared to those for macrophages infected with the wild-type strain. In an acute pneumonia model, mice infected with the atvR mutant presented increased amounts of proinflammatory cytokines, increased neutrophil recruitment to the lungs, reductions in bacterial burdens, and higher survival rates in comparison with the findings for mice infected with the wild-type strain. Further, several genes involved in hypoxia/anoxia adaptation were upregulated upon atvR overexpression, as seen by high-throughput transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis. In addition, atvR was more expressed in hypoxia in the presence of nitrate and required for full expression of nitrate reductase genes, promoting bacterial growth under this condition. Thus, AtvR would be crucial for successful infection, aiding P. aeruginosa survival under conditions of low oxygen tension in the host. Taken together, our data demonstrate that the atypical response regulator AtvR is part of the repertoire of transcriptional regulators involved in the lifestyle switch from aerobic to anaerobic conditions. This finding increases the complexity of regulation of one of the central metabolic pathways that contributes to Pseudomonas ubiquity and versatility. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  1. Inducible Expression of Agrobacterium Virulence Gene VirE2 for Stringent Regulation of T-DNA Transfer in Plant Transient Expression Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denkovskienė, Erna; Paškevičius, Šarūnas; Werner, Stefan; Gleba, Yuri; Ražanskienė, Aušra

    2015-11-01

    Agrotransfection with viral vectors is an effective solution for the transient production of valuable proteins in plants grown in contained facilities. Transfection methods suitable for field applications are desirable for the production of high-volume products and for the transient molecular reprogramming of plants. The use of genetically modified (GM) Agrobacterium strains for plant transfections faces substantial biosafety issues. The environmental biosafety of GM Agrobacterium strains could be improved by regulating their T-DNA transfer via chemically inducible expression of virE2, one of the essential Agrobacterium virulence genes. In order to identify strong and stringently regulated promoters in Agrobacterium strains, we evaluated isopropyl-β-d-thiogalactoside-inducible promoters Plac, Ptac, PT7/lacO, and PT5/lacOlacO and cumic acid-inducible promoters PlacUV5/CuO, Ptac/CuO, PT5/CuO, and PvirE/CuO. Nicotiana benthamiana plants were transfected with a virE2-deficient A. tumefaciens strain containing transient expression vectors harboring inducible virE2 expression cassettes and containing a marker green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene in their T-DNA region. Evaluation of T-DNA transfer was achieved by counting GFP expression foci on plant leaves. The virE2 expression from cumic acid-induced promoters resulted in 47 to 72% of wild-type T-DNA transfer. Here, we present efficient and tightly regulated promoters for gene expression in A. tumefaciens and a novel approach to address environmental biosafety concerns in agrobiotechnology.

  2. Identification of CiaR Regulated Genes That Promote Group B Streptococcal Virulence and Interaction with Brain Endothelial Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mu, Rong; Cutting, Andrew S; Del Rosario, Yvette; Villarino, Nicholas; Stewart, Lara; Weston, Thomas A; Patras, Kathryn A; Doran, Kelly S

    2016-01-01

    Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a major causative agent of neonatal meningitis due to its ability to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and enter the central nervous system (CNS). It has been demonstrated that GBS can invade human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMEC), a primary component of the BBB; however, the mechanism of intracellular survival and trafficking is unclear. We previously identified a two component regulatory system, CiaR/H, which promotes GBS intracellular survival in hBMEC. Here we show that a GBS strain deficient in the response regulator, CiaR, localized more frequently with Rab5, Rab7 and LAMP1 positive vesicles. Further, lysosomes isolated from hBMEC contained fewer viable bacteria following initial infection with the ΔciaR mutant compared to the WT strain. To characterize the contribution of CiaR-regulated genes, we constructed isogenic mutant strains lacking the two most down-regulated genes in the CiaR-deficient mutant, SAN_2180 and SAN_0039. These genes contributed to bacterial uptake and intracellular survival. Furthermore, competition experiments in mice showed that WT GBS had a significant survival advantage over the Δ2180 and Δ0039 mutants in the bloodstream and brain.

  3. Structural characterization of Fis - A transcriptional regulator from pathogenic Pasteurella multocida essential for expression of virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagchi, Angshuman

    2015-01-10

    Pasteurella multocida is responsible behind a variety of diseases in animals. The disease causing substance of this bacterium is a capsular polysaccharide. The expression of the gene that codes for the bacterial capsule is regulated by the protein Fis. Fis also regulates the expression of various different genes in P. multocida. So far there have been no previous reports that depict the characterization of Fis from P. multocida from a structural point of view. In the present work, an attempt has been made to characterize Fis by in silico methods. The structure of Fis was built by comparative modeling technique. The model of Fis was then docked onto the corresponding promoter regions of the gene encoding the capsular polysaccharide. The docked complexes of promoter DNA with Fis protein were subjected to molecular dynamics simulations to identify the mode of DNA-protein interactions. The DNA binding amino acid residues from the Fis protein were identified. And a mechanistic detail of the DNA binding interactions was predicted. So far, this is the first report that depicts the mechanistic details of Fis-DNA interactions involved in the regulation of gene expression by Fis protein. This work may therefore be useful to illuminate the still obscure molecular mechanism behind the disease propagation by P. multocida. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Brucella, nitrogen and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronneau, Severin; Moussa, Simon; Barbier, Thibault; Conde-Álvarez, Raquel; Zuniga-Ripa, Amaia; Moriyon, Ignacio; Letesson, Jean-Jacques

    2016-08-01

    The brucellae are α-Proteobacteria causing brucellosis, an important zoonosis. Although multiplying in endoplasmic reticulum-derived vacuoles, they cause no cell death, suggesting subtle but efficient use of host resources. Brucellae are amino-acid prototrophs able to grow with ammonium or use glutamate as the sole carbon-nitrogen source in vitro. They contain more than twice amino acid/peptide/polyamine uptake genes than the amino-acid auxotroph Legionella pneumophila, which multiplies in a similar vacuole, suggesting a different nutritional strategy. During these two last decades, many mutants of key actors in nitrogen metabolism (transporters, enzymes, regulators, etc.) have been described to be essential for full virulence of brucellae. Here, we review the genomic and experimental data on Brucella nitrogen metabolism and its connection with virulence. An analysis of various aspects of this metabolism (transport, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, respiration and regulation) has highlighted differences and similarities in nitrogen metabolism with other α-Proteobacteria. Together, these data suggest that, during their intracellular life cycle, the brucellae use various nitrogen sources for biosynthesis, catabolism and respiration following a strategy that requires prototrophy and a tight regulation of nitrogen use.

  5. Inhibition of expression in Escherichia coli of a virulence regulator MglB of Francisella tularensis using external guide sequence technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Gaoping; Lundblad, Eirik W; Izadjoo, Mina; Altman, Sidney

    2008-01-01

    External guide sequences (EGSs) have successfully been used to inhibit expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. We previously reported that EGS accessible and cleavable sites in the target RNAs can rapidly be identified by screening random EGS (rEGS) libraries. Here the method of screening rEGS libraries and a partial RNase T1 digestion assay were used to identify sites accessible to EGSs in the mRNA of a global virulence regulator MglB from Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative pathogenic bacterium. Specific EGSs were subsequently designed and their activities in terms of the cleavage of mglB mRNA by RNase P were tested in vitro and in vivo. EGS73, EGS148, and EGS155 in both stem and M1 EGS constructs induced mglB mRNA cleavage in vitro. Expression of stem EGS73 and EGS155 in Escherichia coli resulted in significant reduction of the mglB mRNA level coded for the F. tularensis mglB gene inserted in those cells.

  6. Inhibition of expression in Escherichia coli of a virulence regulator MglB of Francisella tularensis using external guide sequence technology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaoping Xiao

    Full Text Available External guide sequences (EGSs have successfully been used to inhibit expression of target genes at the post-transcriptional level in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. We previously reported that EGS accessible and cleavable sites in the target RNAs can rapidly be identified by screening random EGS (rEGS libraries. Here the method of screening rEGS libraries and a partial RNase T1 digestion assay were used to identify sites accessible to EGSs in the mRNA of a global virulence regulator MglB from Francisella tularensis, a Gram-negative pathogenic bacterium. Specific EGSs were subsequently designed and their activities in terms of the cleavage of mglB mRNA by RNase P were tested in vitro and in vivo. EGS73, EGS148, and EGS155 in both stem and M1 EGS constructs induced mglB mRNA cleavage in vitro. Expression of stem EGS73 and EGS155 in Escherichia coli resulted in significant reduction of the mglB mRNA level coded for the F. tularensis mglB gene inserted in those cells.

  7. Crystal Structure of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Inhibitory Factor Cif Reveals Novel Active-Site Features of an Epoxide Hydrolase Virulence Factor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bahl, C.; Morisseau, C; Bomberger, J; Stanton, B; Hammock, B; O& apos; Toole, G; Madden, D

    2010-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) inhibitory factor (Cif) is a virulence factor secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa that reduces the quantity of CFTR in the apical membrane of human airway epithelial cells. Initial sequence analysis suggested that Cif is an epoxide hydrolase (EH), but its sequence violates two strictly conserved EH motifs and also is compatible with other {alpha}/{beta} hydrolase family members with diverse substrate specificities. To investigate the mechanistic basis of Cif activity, we have determined its structure at 1.8-{angstrom} resolution by X-ray crystallography. The catalytic triad consists of residues Asp129, His297, and Glu153, which are conserved across the family of EHs. At other positions, sequence deviations from canonical EH active-site motifs are stereochemically conservative. Furthermore, detailed enzymatic analysis confirms that Cif catalyzes the hydrolysis of epoxide compounds, with specific activity against both epibromohydrin and cis-stilbene oxide, but with a relatively narrow range of substrate selectivity. Although closely related to two other classes of {alpha}/{beta} hydrolase in both sequence and structure, Cif does not exhibit activity as either a haloacetate dehalogenase or a haloalkane dehalogenase. A reassessment of the structural and functional consequences of the H269A mutation suggests that Cif's effect on host-cell CFTR expression requires the hydrolysis of an extended endogenous epoxide substrate.

  8. Involvement of a velvet protein FgVeA in the regulation of asexual development, lipid and secondary metabolisms and virulence in Fusarium graminearum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinhua Jiang

    Full Text Available The velvet protein, VeA, is involved in the regulation of diverse cellular processes. In this study, we explored functions of FgVeA in the wheat head blight pathogen, Fusarium graminearum,using a gene replacement strategy. The FgVEA deletion mutant exhibited a reduction in aerial hyphae formation, hydrophobicity, and deoxynivalenol (DON biosynthesis. Deletion of FgVEA gene led to an increase in conidial production, but a delay in conidial germination. Pathogencity assays showed that the mutant was impaired in virulence on flowering wheat head. Sensitivity tests to various stresses exhibited that the FgVEA deletion mutant showed increased resistance to osmotic stress and cell wall-damaging agents, but increased sensitivity to iprodione and fludioxonil fungicides. Ultrastructural and histochemical analyses revealed that conidia of FgVeA deletion mutant contained an unusually high number of large lipid droplets, which is in agreement with the observation that the mutant accumulated a higher basal level of glycerol than the wild-type progenitor. Serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE in the FgVEA mutant confirmed that FgVeA was involved in various cellular processes. Additionally, six proteins interacting with FgVeA were identified by yeast two hybrid assays in current study. These results indicate that FgVeA plays a critical role in a variety of cellular processes in F. graminearum.

  9. Crystal structure of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator inhibitory factor Cif reveals novel active-site features of an epoxide hydrolase virulence factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahl, Christopher D; Morisseau, Christophe; Bomberger, Jennifer M; Stanton, Bruce A; Hammock, Bruce D; O'Toole, George A; Madden, Dean R

    2010-04-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) inhibitory factor (Cif) is a virulence factor secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa that reduces the quantity of CFTR in the apical membrane of human airway epithelial cells. Initial sequence analysis suggested that Cif is an epoxide hydrolase (EH), but its sequence violates two strictly conserved EH motifs and also is compatible with other alpha/beta hydrolase family members with diverse substrate specificities. To investigate the mechanistic basis of Cif activity, we have determined its structure at 1.8-A resolution by X-ray crystallography. The catalytic triad consists of residues Asp129, His297, and Glu153, which are conserved across the family of EHs. At other positions, sequence deviations from canonical EH active-site motifs are stereochemically conservative. Furthermore, detailed enzymatic analysis confirms that Cif catalyzes the hydrolysis of epoxide compounds, with specific activity against both epibromohydrin and cis-stilbene oxide, but with a relatively narrow range of substrate selectivity. Although closely related to two other classes of alpha/beta hydrolase in both sequence and structure, Cif does not exhibit activity as either a haloacetate dehalogenase or a haloalkane dehalogenase. A reassessment of the structural and functional consequences of the H269A mutation suggests that Cif's effect on host-cell CFTR expression requires the hydrolysis of an extended endogenous epoxide substrate.

  10. Crystal Structure of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Inhibitory Factor Cif Reveals Novel Active-Site Features of an Epoxide Hydrolase Virulence Factor▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahl, Christopher D.; Morisseau, Christophe; Bomberger, Jennifer M.; Stanton, Bruce A.; Hammock, Bruce D.; O'Toole, George A.; Madden, Dean R.

    2010-01-01

    Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) inhibitory factor (Cif) is a virulence factor secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa that reduces the quantity of CFTR in the apical membrane of human airway epithelial cells. Initial sequence analysis suggested that Cif is an epoxide hydrolase (EH), but its sequence violates two strictly conserved EH motifs and also is compatible with other α/β hydrolase family members with diverse substrate specificities. To investigate the mechanistic basis of Cif activity, we have determined its structure at 1.8-Å resolution by X-ray crystallography. The catalytic triad consists of residues Asp129, His297, and Glu153, which are conserved across the family of EHs. At other positions, sequence deviations from canonical EH active-site motifs are stereochemically conservative. Furthermore, detailed enzymatic analysis confirms that Cif catalyzes the hydrolysis of epoxide compounds, with specific activity against both epibromohydrin and cis-stilbene oxide, but with a relatively narrow range of substrate selectivity. Although closely related to two other classes of α/β hydrolase in both sequence and structure, Cif does not exhibit activity as either a haloacetate dehalogenase or a haloalkane dehalogenase. A reassessment of the structural and functional consequences of the H269A mutation suggests that Cif's effect on host-cell CFTR expression requires the hydrolysis of an extended endogenous epoxide substrate. PMID:20118260

  11. Attenuation of Quorum Sensing Regulated Virulence of Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum through an AHL Lactonase Produced by Lysinibacillus sp. Gs50.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sneha S Garge

    Full Text Available Quorum sensing (QS is a mechanism in which Gram negative bacterial pathogens sense their population density through acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs and regulate the expression of virulence factors. Enzymatic degradation of AHLs by lactonases, known as quorum quenching (QQ, is thus a potential strategy for attenuating QS regulated bacterial infections. We characterised the QQ activity of soil isolate Lysinibacillus sp. Gs50 and explored its potential for controlling bacterial soft rot of crop plants. Lysinibacillus sp. Gs50 inactivated AHL, which could be restored upon acidification, suggested that inactivation was due to the lactone ring hydrolysis of AHL. Heterologous expression of cloned gene for putative hydrolase (792 bp designated adeH from Lysinibacillus sp. Gs50 produced a ~29 kDa protein which degraded AHLs of varying chain length. Mass spectrometry analysis of AdeH enzymatic reaction product revealed that AdeH hydrolyses the lactone ring of AHL and hence is an AHL lactonase. Multiple sequence alignment of the amino acid sequence of AdeH showed that it belongs to the metallo- β- lactamase superfamily, has a conserved "HXHXDH" motif typical of AHL lactonases. KM for AdeH for C6HSL was found to be 3.089 μM and the specific activity was 0.8 picomol min-1μg-1. AdeH has not so far been reported from any Lysinibacillus sp. and has less than 40% identity with known AHL lactonases. Finally we found that Lysinibacillus sp. Gs50 can degrade AHL produced by Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc, a common cause of soft rot. This QQ activity causes a decrease in production of plant cell wall degrading enzymes of Pcc and attenuates symptoms of soft rot in experimental infection of potato, carrot and cucumber. Our results demonstrate the potential of Lysinibacillus sp. Gs50 as a preventive and curative biocontrol agent.

  12. The LacI–Family Transcription Factor, RbsR, Is a Pleiotropic Regulator of Motility, Virulence, Siderophore and Antibiotic Production, Gas Vesicle Morphogenesis and Flotation in Serratia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chin M. Lee

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Gas vesicles (GVs are proteinaceous, gas-filled organelles used by some bacteria to enable upward movement into favorable air/liquid interfaces in aquatic environments. Serratia sp. ATCC39006 (S39006 was the first enterobacterium discovered to produce GVs naturally. The regulation of GV assembly in this host is complex and part of a wider regulatory network affecting various phenotypes, including antibiotic biosynthesis. To identify new regulators of GVs, a comprehensive mutant library containing 71,000 insertion mutants was generated by random transposon mutagenesis and 311 putative GV-defective mutants identified. Three of these mutants were found to have a transposon inserted in a LacI family transcription regulator gene (rbsR of the putative ribose operon. Each of these rbsR mutants was GV-defective; no GVs were visible by phase contrast microscopy (PCM or transmission electron microscopy (TEM. GV deficiency was caused by the reduction of gvpA1 and gvrA transcription (the first genes of the two contiguous operons in the GV gene locus. Our results also showed that a mutation in rbsR was highly pleiotropic; the production of two secondary metabolites (carbapenem and prodigiosin antibiotics was abolished. Interestingly, the intrinsic resistance to the carbapenem antibiotic was not affected by the rbsR mutation. In addition, the production of a siderophore, cellulase and plant virulence was reduced in the mutant, whereas it exhibited increased swimming and swarming motility. The RbsR protein was predicted to bind to regions upstream of at least 18 genes in S39006 including rbsD (the first gene of the ribose operon and gvrA. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA confirmed that RbsR bound to DNA sequences upstream of rbsD, but not gvrA. The results of this study indicate that RbsR is a global regulator that affects the modulation of GV biogenesis, but also with complex pleiotropic physiological impacts in S39006.

  13. Multiple virulence factors regulated by quorum sensing may help in establishment and colonisation of urinary tract by Pseudomonas aeruginosa during experimental urinary tract infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Gupta

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Damage caused by an organism during infection is attributed to production of virulence factors. Different virulence factors produced by the organism contribute to its pathogenicity, individually. During infectious conditions, role of virulence factors produced by the pathogen is different, depending upon the site of involvement. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic nosocomial pathogen known to cause infections of the respiratory tract, burn wound, urinary tract and eye. Importance of virulence factors produced by P. Aeruginosa during infections such as keratitis, burn wound and respiratory tract is known. The present study was designed to understand the importance of different virulence factors of P. aeruginosa in urinary tract infection in vivo. Materials and methods: An ascending urinary tract infection model was established in mice using standard parent strain PAO1 and its isogenic mutant, JP2. Mice were sacrificed at different time intervals and renal tissue homogenates were used for estimation of renal bacterial load and virulence factors. Results: Both parent and mutant strains were able to reach the renal tissue. PAO 1 PAO1was isolated from renal tissue till day 5 post-infection. However, the mutant strain was unable to colonise the renal tissue. Failure of mutant strain to colonise was attributed to its inability to produce protease, elastase and rhamnolipid. Conclusion: This study suggests that protease, elastase and rhamnolipid contribute to pathogenesis and survival of P. aeruginosa during urinary tract infection.

  14. Virulence Attributes of Low-Virulence Organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan Larsen

    1994-01-01

    virulence organisms present in the female lower genital tract, we are beginning to identify some of their virulence attributes. Examples from the work of our laboratory include the hemolysin of Gardnerella vaginalis and an immunosuppressive mycotoxin produced by Candida albicans. Demonstrating the coordinate expression (or other control mechanisms of virulence factors in these sometimes innocuous and sometimes inimical organisms represents the next frontier in the study of normal vaginal microbiology.

  15. Iron, copper, zinc, and manganese transport and regulation in pathogenic Enterobacteria: correlations between strains, site of infection and the relative importance of the different metal transport systems for virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porcheron, Gaëlle; Garénaux, Amélie; Proulx, Julie; Sabri, Mourad; Dozois, Charles M

    2013-01-01

    For all microorganisms, acquisition of metal ions is essential for survival in the environment or in their infected host. Metal ions are required in many biological processes as components of metalloproteins and serve as cofactors or structural elements for enzymes. However, it is critical for bacteria to ensure that metal uptake and availability is in accordance with physiological needs, as an imbalance in bacterial metal homeostasis is deleterious. Indeed, host defense strategies against infection either consist of metal starvation by sequestration or toxicity by the highly concentrated release of metals. To overcome these host strategies, bacteria employ a variety of metal uptake and export systems and finely regulate metal homeostasis by numerous transcriptional regulators, allowing them to adapt to changing environmental conditions. As a consequence, iron, zinc, manganese, and copper uptake systems significantly contribute to the virulence of many pathogenic bacteria. However, during the course of our experiments on the role of iron and manganese transporters in extraintestinal Escherichia coli (ExPEC) virulence, we observed that depending on the strain tested, the importance of tested systems in virulence may be different. This could be due to the different set of systems present in these strains, but literature also suggests that as each pathogen must adapt to the particular microenvironment of its site of infection, the role of each acquisition system in virulence can differ from a particular strain to another. In this review, we present the systems involved in metal transport by Enterobacteria and the main regulators responsible for their controlled expression. We also discuss the relative role of these systems depending on the pathogen and the tissues they infect.

  16. In vivo influence of in vitro up-regulated genes in the virulence of an APEC strain associated with swollen head syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paiva, Jacqueline Boldrin; da Silva, Livia Pilatti Mendes; Casas, Monique Ribeiro Tiba; Conceição, Rogério Arcuri; Nakazato, Gerson; de Pace, Fernanda; Sperandio, Vanessa; da Silveira, Wanderley Dias

    2016-01-01

    Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli is responsible for significant economic losses in the poultry industry by causing a range of systemic or localized diseases collectively termed colibacillosis. The virulence mechanisms of these strains that are pathogenic in poultry and possibly pathogenic in humans have not yet been fully elucidated. This work was developed to study if over-expressed genes in a microarray assay could be potentially involved in the pathogenicity of an Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli strain isolated from a swollen head syndrome case. For this study, five over-expressed genes were selected for the construction of null mutants [flgE (flagellar hook), tyrR (transcriptional regulator), potF (putrescine transporter), yehD (putative adhesin) and bfr (bacterioferritin)]. The constructed mutants were evaluated for their capacity for the adhesion and invasion of in vitro cultured cells, their motility capacity, and their pathogenic potential in one-day-old chickens compared with the wild-type strain (WT). The Δbfr strain showed a decreased adhesion capacity on avian fibroblasts compared with WT, in the presence and absence of alpha-D-mannopyranoside, and the ΔpotF strain showed decreased adhesion only in the absence of alpha-D-mannopyranoside. The ΔtyrR mutant had a reduced ability to invade Hep-2 cells. No mutant showed changes in invading CEC-32 cells. The mutants ΔflgE and ΔtyrR showed a decreased ability to survive in HD-11 cells. The motility of the mutant strains Δbfr, ΔyehD and ΔpotF was increased, while the ΔtyrR mutant showed reduction, and the ΔflgE became non-motile. No mutant strain caused the same mortality of the WT in one-day-old chickens, showing attenuation to different degrees.

  17. Lon protease modulates virulence traits in Erwinia amylovora by direct monitoring of major regulators and indirectly through the Rcs and Gac-Csr regulatory systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jae Hoon; Ancona, Veronica; Zhao, Youfu

    2017-05-16

    Lon, an ATP-dependent protease in bacteria, influences diverse cellular processes by degrading damaged, misfolded and short-lived regulatory proteins. In this study, we characterized the effects of lon mutation and determined the molecular mechanisms underlying Lon-mediated virulence regulation in Erwinia amylovora, an enterobacterial pathogen of apple. Erwinia amylovora depends on the type III secretion system (T3SS) and the exopolysaccharide (EPS) amylovoran to cause disease. Our results showed that mutation of the lon gene led to the overproduction of amylovoran, increased T3SS gene expression and the non-motile phenotype. Western blot analyses showed that mutation in lon directly affected the accumulation and stability of HrpS/HrpA and RcsA. Mutation in lon also indirectly influenced the expression of flhD, hrpS and csrB through the accumulation of the RcsA/RcsB proteins, which bind to the promoter of these genes. In addition, lon expression is under the control of CsrA, possibly at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Although mutation in csrA abolished both T3SS and amylovoran production, deletion of the lon gene in the csrA mutant only rescued amylovoran production, but not T3SS. These results suggest that CsrA might positively control both T3SS and amylovoran production partly by suppressing Lon, whereas CsrA may also play a critical role in T3SS by affecting unknown targets. © 2017 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  18. Transcriptional analysis of the MrpJ network: modulation of diverse virulence-associated genes and direct regulation of mrp fimbrial and flhDC flagellar operons in Proteus mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bode, Nadine J; Debnath, Irina; Kuan, Lisa; Schulfer, Anjelique; Ty, Maureen; Pearson, Melanie M

    2015-06-01

    The enteric bacterium Proteus mirabilis is associated with a significant number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs). Strict regulation of the antagonistic processes of adhesion and motility, mediated by fimbriae and flagella, respectively, is essential for disease progression. Previously, the transcriptional regulator MrpJ, which is encoded by the mrp fimbrial operon, has been shown to repress both swimming and swarming motility. Here we show that MrpJ affects an array of cellular processes beyond adherence and motility. Microarray analysis found that expression of mrpJ mimicking levels observed during UTIs leads to differential expression of 217 genes related to, among other functions, bacterial virulence, type VI secretion, and metabolism. We probed the molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation by MrpJ using transcriptional reporters and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Binding of MrpJ to two virulence-associated target gene promoters, the promoters of the flagellar master regulator flhDC and mrp itself, appears to be affected by the condensation state of the native chromosome, although both targets share a direct MrpJ binding site proximal to the transcriptional start. Furthermore, an mrpJ deletion mutant colonized the bladders of mice at significantly lower levels in a transurethral model of infection. Additionally, we observed that mrpJ is widely conserved in a collection of recent clinical isolates. Altogether, these findings support a role of MrpJ as a global regulator of P. mirabilis virulence. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. The two-component response regulator LiaR regulates cell wall stress responses, pili expression and virulence in group B Streptococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klinzing, David C; Ishmael, Nadeeza; Dunning Hotopp, Julie C; Tettelin, Hervé; Shields, Kelly R; Madoff, Lawrence C; Puopolo, Karen M

    2013-07-01

    Group B Streptococcus (GBS) remains the leading cause of early onset sepsis among term infants. Evasion of innate immune defences is critical to neonatal GBS disease pathogenesis. Effectors of innate immunity, as well as numerous antibiotics, frequently target the peptidoglycan layer of the Gram-positive bacterial cell wall. The intramembrane-sensing histidine kinase (IM-HK) class of two-component regulatory systems has been identified as important to the Gram-positive response to cell wall stress. We have characterized the GBS homologue of LiaR, the response regulator component of the Lia system, to determine its role in GBS pathogenesis. LiaR is expressed as part of a three-gene operon (liaFSR) with a promoter located upstream of liaF. A LiaR deletion mutant is more susceptible to cell wall-active antibiotics (vancomycin and bacitracin) as well as antimicrobial peptides (polymixin B, colistin, and nisin) compared to isogenic wild-type GBS. LiaR mutant GBS are significantly attenuated in mouse models of both GBS sepsis and pneumonia. Transcriptional profiling with DNA microarray and Northern blot demonstrated that LiaR regulates expression of genes involved in microbial defence against host antimicrobial systems including genes functioning in cell wall synthesis, pili formation and cell membrane modification. We conclude that the LiaFSR system, the first member of the IM-HK regulatory systems to be studied in GBS, is involved in sensing perturbations in the integrity of the cell wall and activates a transcriptional response that is important to the pathogenesis of GBS infection.

  20. The RNA-Binding Chaperone Hfq Is an Important Global Regulator of Gene Expression in Pasteurella multocida and Plays a Crucial Role in Production of a Number of Virulence Factors, Including Hyaluronic Acid Capsule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mégroz, Marianne; Kleifeld, Oded; Wright, Amy; Powell, David; Harrison, Paul; Adler, Ben; Harper, Marina; Boyce, John D

    2016-05-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Pasteurella multocida is the causative agent of a number of economically important animal diseases, including avian fowl cholera. Numerous P. multocida virulence factors have been identified, including capsule, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and filamentous hemagglutinin, but little is known about how the expression of these virulence factors is regulated. Hfq is an RNA-binding protein that facilitates riboregulation via interaction with small noncoding RNA (sRNA) molecules and their mRNA targets. Here, we show that a P. multocida hfq mutant produces significantly less hyaluronic acid capsule during all growth phases and displays reduced in vivo fitness. Transcriptional and proteomic analyses of the hfq mutant during mid-exponential-phase growth revealed altered transcript levels for 128 genes and altered protein levels for 78 proteins. Further proteomic analyses of the hfq mutant during the early exponential growth phase identified 106 proteins that were produced at altered levels. Both the transcript and protein levels for genes/proteins involved in capsule biosynthesis were reduced in the hfq mutant, as were the levels of the filamentous hemagglutinin protein PfhB2 and its secretion partner LspB2. In contrast, there were increased expression levels of three LPS biosynthesis genes, encoding proteins involved in phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine addition to LPS, suggesting that these genes are negatively regulated by Hfq-dependent mechanisms. Taken together, these data provide the first evidence that Hfq plays a crucial role in regulating the global expression of P. multocida genes, including the regulation of key P. multocida virulence factors, capsule, LPS, and filamentous hemagglutinin. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. A novel sterol regulatory element-binding protein gene (sreA identified in penicillium digitatum is required for prochloraz resistance, full virulence and erg11 (cyp51 regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Liu

    Full Text Available Penicillium digitatum is the most destructive postharvest pathogen of citrus fruits, causing fruit decay and economic loss. Additionally, control of the disease is further complicated by the emergence of drug-resistant strains due to the extensive use of triazole antifungal drugs. In this work, an orthologus gene encoding a putative sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP was identified in the genome of P. digitatum and named sreA. The putative SreA protein contains a conserved domain of unknown function (DUF2014 at its carboxyl terminus and a helix-loop-helix (HLH leucine zipper DNA binding domain at its amino terminus, domains that are functionally associated with SREBP transcription factors. The deletion of sreA (ΔsreA in a prochloraz-resistant strain (PdHS-F6 by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation led to increased susceptibility to prochloraz and a significantly lower EC50 value compared with the HS-F6 wild-type or complementation strain (COsreA. A virulence assay showed that the ΔsreA strain was defective in virulence towards citrus fruits, while the complementation of sreA could restore the virulence to a large extent. Further analysis by quantitative real-time PCR demonstrated that prochloraz-induced expression of cyp51A and cyp51B in PdHS-F6 was completely abolished in the ΔsreA strain. These results demonstrate that sreA is a critical transcription factor gene required for prochloraz resistance and full virulence in P. digitatum and is involved in the regulation of cyp51 expression.

  2. Proteomic Characterization of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chromy, B; Murphy, G; Gonzales, A; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2005-01-05

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, functions via the Type III secretion mechanism whereby virulence factors are induced upon interactions with a mammalian host. Here, the Y. pestis proteome was studied by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) under physiologically relevant growth conditions mimicking the calcium concentrations and temperatures that the pathogen would encounter in the flea vector and upon interaction with the mammalian host. Over 4100 individual protein spots were detected of which hundreds were differentially expressed in the entire comparative experiment. A total of 43 proteins that were differentially expressed between the vector and host growth conditions were identified by mass spectrometry. Expected differences in expression were observed for several known virulence factors including catalase-peroxidase (KatY), murine toxin (Ymt), plasminogen activator (Pla), and F1 capsule antigen (Caf1), as well as putative virulence factors. Chaperone proteins and signaling molecules hypothesized to be involved in virulence due to their role in Type III secretion were also identified. Other differentially expressed proteins not previously reported to contribute to virulence are candidates for more detailed mechanistic studies, representing potential new virulence determinants. For example, several sugar metabolism proteins were differentially regulated in response to lower calcium and higher temperature, suggesting these proteins, while not directly connected to virulence, either represent a metabolic switch for survival in the host environment or may facilitate production of virulence factors. Results presented here contribute to a more thorough understanding of the virulence mechanism of Y. pestis through proteomic characterization of the pathogen under induced virulence.

  3. The Global Acetylome of the Human Pathogen Vibrio cholerae V52 Reveals Lysine Acetylation of Major Transcriptional Regulators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jers, Carsten; Ravikumar, Vaishnavi; Lezyk, Mateusz Jakub

    2018-01-01

    involved in metabolic and cellular processes and there was an over-representation of acetylated proteins involved in protein synthesis. Of interest, we demonstrated that many global transcription factors such as CRP, H-NS, IHF, Lrp and RpoN as well as transcription factors AphB, TcpP, and PhoB involved......Protein lysine acetylation is recognized as an important reversible post translational modification in all domains of life. While its primary roles appear to reside in metabolic processes, lysine acetylation has also been implicated in regulating pathogenesis in bacteria. Several global lysine...... of immuno-enrichment of acetylated peptides and high resolution mass spectrometry, we identified 3,402 acetylation sites on 1,240 proteins. Of the acetylated proteins, more than half were acetylated on two or more sites. As reported for other bacteria, we observed that many of the acetylated proteins were...

  4. Type VI Secretion is a Major Virulence Determinant in Burkholderia Mallei

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schell, Mark A; Ulrich, Ricky L; Ribot, Wilson J; Brueggemann, Ernst E; Hines, Harry B; Chen, Dan; Lipscomb, Lyla; Kim, H. S; Mrazek, Jan; Nierman, William C; DeShazer, David

    2007-01-01

    Burkholderia mallei is a host-adapted pathogen and a category B biothreat agent. Although the B. mallei VirAG two-component regulatory system is required for virulence in hamsters, the virulence genes it regulates are unknown...

  5. Complement-mediated opsonization of invasive group A Streptococcus pyogenes strain AP53 is regulated by the bacterial two-component cluster of virulence responder/sensor (CovRS) system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrahari, Garima; Liang, Zhong; Mayfield, Jeffrey A; Balsara, Rashna D; Ploplis, Victoria A; Castellino, Francis J

    2013-09-20

    Group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) strain AP53 is a primary isolate from a patient with necrotizing fasciitis. These AP53 cells contain an inactivating mutation in the sensor component of the cluster of virulence (cov) responder (R)/sensor (S) two-component gene regulatory system (covRS), which enhances the virulence of the primary strain, AP53/covR(+)S(-). However, specific mechanisms by which the covRS system regulates the survival of GAS in humans are incomplete. Here, we show a key role for covRS in the regulation of opsonophagocytosis of AP53 by human neutrophils. AP53/covR(+)S(-) cells displayed potent binding of host complement inhibitors of C3 convertase, viz. Factor H (FH) and C4-binding protein (C4BP), which concomitantly led to minimal C3b deposition on AP53 cells, further showing that these plasma protein inhibitors are active on GAS cells. This resulted in weak killing of the bacteria by human neutrophils and a corresponding high death rate of mice after injection of these cells. After targeted allelic alteration of covS(-) to wild-type covS (covS(+)), a dramatic loss of FH and C4BP binding to the AP53/covR(+)S(+) cells was observed. This resulted in elevated C3b deposition on AP53/covR(+)S(+) cells, a high level of opsonophagocytosis by human neutrophils, and a very low death rate of mice infected with AP53/covR(+)S(+). We show that covRS is a critical transcriptional regulator of genes directing AP53 killing by neutrophils and regulates the levels of the receptors for FH and C4BP, which we identify as the products of the fba and enn genes, respectively.

  6. Onion Peel Ethylacetate Fraction and Its Derived Constituent Quercetin 4′-O-β-D Glucopyranoside Attenuates Quorum Sensing Regulated Virulence and Biofilm Formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanan M. Al-Yousef

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The resistance and pathogenesis of bacteria could be related to their ability to sense and respond to population density, termed quorum sensing (QS. Inhibition of the QS system is considered as a novel strategy for the development of antipathogenic agents, especially for combating drug-resistant bacterial infections. In the present study, the anti-QS activity of Onion peel ethylacetate fraction (ONE was tested against Chromobacterium violaceum CV12472 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. ONE inhibit the QS-mediated virulence factors production such as violacein in C. violaceum and elastase, pyocyanin in P. aeruginosa. Further, the treatment with sub-MICs of ONE significantly inhibited the QS-mediated biofilm formation, EPS (Extracellular polymeric substances production and swarming motility. Further, quercetin 4′-O-β-D glucopyranoside (QGP was isolated from ONE and its anti-QS potential was confirmed after observing significant inhibition of QS-controlled virulence factors such as violacein, elastase, pyocyanin and biofilm formation in test pathogens. Molecular docking analysis predicted that QGP should be able to bind at the active sites of Vfr and LasR, and if so blocks the entry of active sites in Vfr and LasR.

  7. Crystal structure of B acillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity: AtxA multimerization, phosphorylation and activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hammerstrom, Troy G.; Lori, Horton B.; Swick, Michelle C.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Osipiuk, Jerzy; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2014-12-30

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthetic operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO2/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO2/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (HisAsp) and phosphoablative (HisAla) amino acid changes for activity in B.anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (i) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (ii) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. The AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator, and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.

  8. Glucose starvation boosts Entamoeba histolytica virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayala Tovy

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The unicellular parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, is exposed to numerous adverse conditions, such as nutrient deprivation, during its life cycle stages in the human host. In the present study, we examined whether the parasite virulence could be influenced by glucose starvation (GS. The migratory behaviour of the parasite and its capability to kill mammalian cells and to lyse erythrocytes is strongly enhanced following GS. In order to gain insights into the mechanism underlying the GS boosting effects on virulence, we analyzed differences in protein expression levels in control and glucose-starved trophozoites, by quantitative proteomic analysis. We observed that upstream regulatory element 3-binding protein (URE3-BP, a transcription factor that modulates E.histolytica virulence, and the lysine-rich protein 1 (KRiP1 which is induced during liver abscess development, are upregulated by GS. We also analyzed E. histolytica membrane fractions and noticed that the Gal/GalNAc lectin light subunit LgL1 is up-regulated by GS. Surprisingly, amoebapore A (Ap-A and cysteine proteinase A5 (CP-A5, two important E. histolytica virulence factors, were strongly down-regulated by GS. While the boosting effect of GS on E. histolytica virulence was conserved in strains silenced for Ap-A and CP-A5, it was lost in LgL1 and in KRiP1 down-regulated strains. These data emphasize the unexpected role of GS in the modulation of E.histolytica virulence and the involvement of KRiP1 and Lgl1 in this phenomenon.

  9. Riboregulators: Fine-Tuning Virulence in Shigella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fris, Megan E; Murphy, Erin R

    2016-01-01

    Within the past several years, RNA-mediated regulation (ribo-regulation) has become increasingly recognized for its importance in controlling critical bacterial processes. Regulatory RNA molecules, or riboregulators, are perpetually responsive to changes within the micro-environment of a bacterium. Notably, several characterized riboregulators control virulence in pathogenic bacteria, as is the case for each riboregulator characterized to date in Shigella. The timing of virulence gene expression and the ability of the pathogen to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions is critical to the establishment and progression of infection by Shigella species; ribo-regulators mediate each of these important processes. This mini review will present the current state of knowledge regarding RNA-mediated regulation in Shigella by detailing the characterization and function of each identified riboregulator in these pathogens.

  10. Tpc1 is an important Zn(II2Cys6 transcriptional regulator required for polarized growth and virulence in the rice blast fungus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita Galhano

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The establishment of polarity is a critical process in pathogenic fungi, mediating infection-related morphogenesis and host tissue invasion. Here, we report the identification of TPC1 (Transcription factor for Polarity Control 1, which regulates invasive polarized growth in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. TPC1 encodes a putative transcription factor of the fungal Zn(II2Cys6 family, exclusive to filamentous fungi. Tpc1-deficient mutants show severe defects in conidiogenesis, infection-associated autophagy, glycogen and lipid metabolism, and plant tissue colonisation. By tracking actin-binding proteins, septin-5 and autophagosome components, we show that Tpc1 regulates cytoskeletal dynamics and infection-associated autophagy during appressorium-mediated plant penetration. We found that Tpc1 interacts with Mst12 and modulates its DNA-binding activity, while Tpc1 nuclear localisation also depends on the MAP kinase Pmk1, consistent with the involvement of Tpc1 in this signalling pathway, which is critical for appressorium development. Importantly, Tpc1 directly regulates NOXD expression, the p22phox subunit of the fungal NADPH oxidase complex via an interaction with Mst12. Tpc1 therefore controls spatial and temporal regulation of cortical F-actin through regulation of the NADPH oxidase complex during appressorium re-polarisation. Consequently, Tpc1 is a core developmental regulator in filamentous fungi, linking the regulated synthesis of reactive oxygen species and the Pmk1 pathway, with polarity control during host invasion.

  11. Systemic Approach to Virulence Gene Network Analysis for Gaining New Insight into Cryptococcal Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoni N Malachowski

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is pathogenic yeast, responsible for highly lethal infections in compromised patients around the globe. C. neoformans typically initiates infections in mammalian lung tissue and subsequently disseminates to the central nervous system where it causes significant pathologies. Virulence genes of C. neoformans are being characterized at an increasing rate, however, we are far from a comprehensive understanding of their roles and genetic interactions. Some of these reported virulence genes are scattered throughout different databases, while others are not yet included. This study gathered and analyzed 150 reported virulence associated factors (VAFs of C. neoformans. Using the web resource STRING database, our study identified different interactions between the total VAFs and those involved specifically in lung and brain infections and identified a new strain specific virulence gene, sho1, involved in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. As predicted by our analysis, sho1 expression enhanced C. neoformans virulence in a mouse model of pulmonary infection, contributing to enhanced non-protective immune Th2 bias and progressively enhancing fungal growth in the infected lungs. Sequence analysis indicated 77.4% (116 of total studied VAFs are soluble proteins, and 22.7% (34 are transmembrane proteins. Motifs involved in regulation and signaling such as protein kinases and transcription factors are highly enriched in Cryptococcus VAFs. Altogether, this study represents a pioneering effort in analysis of the virulence composite network of C. neoformans using a systems biology approach.

  12. Systemic Approach to Virulence Gene Network Analysis for Gaining New Insight into Cryptococcal Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malachowski, Antoni N; Yosri, Mohamed; Park, Goun; Bahn, Yong-Sun; He, Yongqun; Olszewski, Michal A

    2016-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is pathogenic yeast, responsible for highly lethal infections in compromised patients around the globe. C. neoformans typically initiates infections in mammalian lung tissue and subsequently disseminates to the central nervous system where it causes significant pathologies. Virulence genes of C. neoformans are being characterized at an increasing rate, however, we are far from a comprehensive understanding of their roles and genetic interactions. Some of these reported virulence genes are scattered throughout different databases, while others are not yet included. This study gathered and analyzed 150 reported virulence associated factors (VAFs) of C. neoformans. Using the web resource STRING database, our study identified different interactions between the total VAFs and those involved specifically in lung and brain infections and identified a new strain specific virulence gene, SHO1, involved in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. As predicted by our analysis, SHO1 expression enhanced C. neoformans virulence in a mouse model of pulmonary infection, contributing to enhanced non-protective immune Th2 bias and progressively enhancing fungal growth in the infected lungs. Sequence analysis indicated 77.4% (116) of total studied VAFs are soluble proteins, and 22.7% (34) are transmembrane proteins. Motifs involved in regulation and signaling such as protein kinases and transcription factors are highly enriched in Cryptococcus VAFs. Altogether, this study represents a pioneering effort in analysis of the virulence composite network of C. neoformans using a systems biology approach.

  13. Red seaweeds Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii and Chondrus crispus down regulate virulence factors of Salmonella Enteritidis and induce immune responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garima eKulshreshtha

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Red seaweeds are a rich source of unique bioactive compounds and secondary metabolites that are known to improve human and animal health. S. Enteritidis is a broad range host pathogen, which contaminates chicken and poultry products that end into the human food chain. Worldwide, Salmonella outbreaks have become an important economic and public health concern. Moreover, the development of resistance in Salmonella serovars towards multiple drugs highlights the need for alternative control strategies. This study evaluated the antimicrobial property of red seaweeds extracts against Salmonella Enteritidis using the Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. Six red seaweed species were tested for their antimicrobial activity against S. Enteritidis. Spread plate assay revealed that Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii (SG and Chondrus crispus (CC (1%, w/v significantly reduced the growth of S. Enteritidis. Seaweed water extracts (SWE of SG and CC, at concentrations from 0.4 mg/ml to 2 mg/ml, significantly reduced the growth of S. Enteritidis (log CFU 4.5-5.3 and log 5.7-6.0, respectively. However, methanolic extracts of CC and SG did not affect the growth of S. Enteritidis. Addition of SWE (0.2 mg/ml, CC and SG significantly decreased biofilm formation and reduced the motility of S. Enteritidis. Quantitative real-time PCR analyses showed that SWE (CC and SG suppressed the expression of quorum sensing gene sdiA and of Salmonella Pathogenesis Island-1 (SPI-1 associated genes sipA and invF, indicating that SWE might reduce the invasion of S. Enteritidis in the host by attenuating virulence factors. Furthermore, CC and SG water extracts significantly improved the survival of infected C. elegans by impairing the ability of S. Enteritidis to colonize the digestive tract of the nematode and by enhancing the expression of C. elegans immune responsive genes. As the innate immune response pathways of C. elegans and mammals show a high degree of conservation, these results

  14. Red Seaweeds Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii and Chondrus crispus down Regulate Virulence Factors of Salmonella Enteritidis and Induce Immune Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulshreshtha, Garima; Borza, Tudor; Rathgeber, Bruce; Stratton, Glenn S; Thomas, Nikhil A; Critchley, Alan; Hafting, Jeff; Prithiviraj, Balakrishnan

    2016-01-01

    Red seaweeds are a rich source of unique bioactive compounds and secondary metabolites that are known to improve human and animal health. S. Enteritidis is a broad range host pathogen, which contaminates chicken and poultry products that end into the human food chain. Worldwide, Salmonella outbreaks have become an important economic and public health concern. Moreover, the development of resistance in Salmonella serovars toward multiple drugs highlights the need for alternative control strategies. This study evaluated the antimicrobial property of red seaweeds extracts against Salmonella Enteritidis using the Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. Six red seaweed species were tested for their antimicrobial activity against S. Enteritidis and two, Sarcodiotheca gaudichaudii (SG) and Chondrus crispus (CC), were found to exhibit such properties. Spread plate assay revealed that SG and CC (1%, w/v) significantly reduced the growth of S. Enteritidis. Seaweed water extracts (SWE) of SG and CC, at concentrations from 0.4 to 2 mg/ml, significantly reduced the growth of S. Enteritidis (log CFU 4.5-5.3 and log 5.7-6.0, respectively). However, methanolic extracts of CC and SG did not affect the growth of S. Enteritidis. Addition of SWE (0.2 mg/ml, CC and SG) significantly decreased biofilm formation and reduced the motility of S. Enteritidis. Quantitative real-time PCR analyses showed that SWE (CC and SG) suppressed the expression of quorum sensing gene sdiA and of Salmonella Pathogenesis Island-1 (SPI-1) associated genes sipA and invF, indicating that SWE might reduce the invasion of S. Enteritidis in the host by attenuating virulence factors. Furthermore, CC and SG water extracts significantly improved the survival of infected C. elegans by impairing the ability of S. Enteritidis to colonize the digestive tract of the nematode and by enhancing the expression of C. elegans immune responsive genes. As the innate immune response pathways of C. elegans and mammals show a high

  15. Down-regulation of MHC Class I by the Marek's Disease Virus (MDV) UL49.5 Gene Product Mildly Affects Virulence in a Haplotype-specific Fashion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marek’s disease is a devastating neoplastic disease of chickens caused by gallid herpesvirus 2 or Marek’s disease virus (MDV), which is characterized by massive visceral tumors, immune suppression, neurologic syndromes, and peracute deaths. It has been reported that MDV down-regulates surface expre...

  16. Transcriptome profiling reveals links between ParS/ParR, MexEF-OprN, and quorum sensing in the regulation of adaptation and virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongping; Seeve, Candace; Pierson, Leland S; Pierson, Elizabeth A

    2013-09-13

    The ParS/ParR two component regulatory system plays critical roles for multidrug resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It was demonstrated that in the presence of antimicrobials, ParR enhances bacterial survival by distinct mechanisms including activation of the mexXY efflux genes, enhancement of lipopolysaccharide modification through the arn operon, and reduction of the expression of oprD porin. In this study, we report on transcriptomic analyses of P. aeruginosa PAO1 wild type and parS and parR mutants growing in a defined minimal medium. Our transcriptomic analysis provides the first estimates of transcript abundance for the 5570 coding genes in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Comparative transcriptomics of P. aeruginosa PAO1 and par mutants identified a total of 464 genes regulated by ParS and ParR. Results also showed that mutations in the parS/parR system abolished expression of the mexEF-oprN operon by down-regulating the regulatory gene mexS. In addition to the known effects on drug resistance genes, transcript abundances of the quorum sensing genes (rhlIR and pqsABCDE-phnAB) were higher in both parS and parR mutants. In accordance with these results, a significant portion of the ParS/ParR regulated genes belonged to the MexEF-OprN and quorum sensing regulons. Deletion of the par genes also led to increased phenazine production and swarming motility, consistent with the up-regulation of the phenazine and rhamnolipid biosynthetic genes, respectively. Our results link the ParS/ParR two component signal transduction system to MexEF-OprN and quorum sensing systems in P. aeruginosa. These results expand our understanding of the roles of the ParS/ParR system in the regulation of gene expression in P. aeruginosa, especially in the absence of antimicrobials.

  17. EutR is a direct regulator of genes that contribute to metabolism and virulence in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luzader, Deborah H; Clark, David E; Gonyar, Laura A; Kendall, Melissa M

    2013-11-01

    Ethanolamine (EA) metabolism is a trait associated with enteric pathogens, including enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC). EHEC causes severe bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome. EHEC encodes the ethanolamine utilization (eut) operon that allows EHEC to metabolize EA and gain a competitive advantage when colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. The eut operon encodes the transcriptional regulator EutR. Genetic studies indicated that EutR expression is induced by EA and vitamin B12 and that EutR promotes expression of the eut operon; however, biochemical evidence for these interactions has been lacking. We performed EA-binding assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) to elucidate a mechanism for EutR gene regulation. These studies confirmed EutR interaction with EA, as well as direct binding to the eutS promoter. EutR also contributes to expression of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) in an EA-dependent manner. We performed EMSAs to examine EutR activation of the LEE. The results demonstrated that EutR directly binds the regulatory region of the ler promoter. These results present the first mechanistic description of EutR gene regulation and reveal a novel role for EutR in EHEC pathogenesis.

  18. Molecular Basis of Ligand-Dependent Regulation of NadR, the Transcriptional Repressor of Meningococcal Virulence Factor NadA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liguori, Alessia; Malito, Enrico; Lo Surdo, Paola; Fagnocchi, Luca; Cantini, Francesca; Haag, Andreas F; Brier, Sébastien; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Delany, Isabel; Bottomley, Matthew J

    2016-04-01

    Neisseria adhesin A (NadA) is present on the meningococcal surface and contributes to adhesion to and invasion of human cells. NadA is also one of three recombinant antigens in the recently-approved Bexsero vaccine, which protects against serogroup B meningococcus. The amount of NadA on the bacterial surface is of direct relevance in the constant battle of host-pathogen interactions: it influences the ability of the pathogen to engage human cell surface-exposed receptors and, conversely, the bacterial susceptibility to the antibody-mediated immune response. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms which regulate nadA expression levels, which are predominantly controlled by the transcriptional regulator NadR (Neisseria adhesin A Regulator) both in vitro and in vivo. NadR binds the nadA promoter and represses gene transcription. In the presence of 4-hydroxyphenylacetate (4-HPA), a catabolite present in human saliva both under physiological conditions and during bacterial infection, the binding of NadR to the nadA promoter is attenuated and nadA expression is induced. NadR also mediates ligand-dependent regulation of many other meningococcal genes, for example the highly-conserved multiple adhesin family (maf) genes, which encode proteins emerging with important roles in host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion and niche adaptation. To gain insights into the regulation of NadR mediated by 4-HPA, we combined structural, biochemical, and mutagenesis studies. In particular, two new crystal structures of ligand-free and ligand-bound NadR revealed (i) the molecular basis of 'conformational selection' by which a single molecule of 4-HPA binds and stabilizes dimeric NadR in a conformation unsuitable for DNA-binding, (ii) molecular explanations for the binding specificities of different hydroxyphenylacetate ligands, including 3Cl,4-HPA which is produced during inflammation, (iii) the presence of a leucine residue essential for dimerization and conserved in

  19. Bacterial virulence in the moonlight: multitasking bacterial moonlighting proteins are virulence determinants in infectious disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Brian; Martin, Andrew

    2011-09-01

    Men may not be able to multitask, but it is emerging that proteins can. This capacity of proteins to exhibit more than one function is termed protein moonlighting, and, surprisingly, many highly conserved proteins involved in metabolic regulation or the cell stress response have a range of additional biological actions which are involved in bacterial virulence. This review highlights the multiple roles exhibited by a range of bacterial proteins, such as glycolytic and other metabolic enzymes and molecular chaperones, and the role that such moonlighting activity plays in the virulence characteristics of a number of important human pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

  20. Transient virulence of emerging pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolker, Benjamin M; Nanda, Arjun; Shah, Dharmini

    2010-05-06

    Should emerging pathogens be unusually virulent? If so, why? Existing theories of virulence evolution based on a tradeoff between high transmission rates and long infectious periods imply that epidemic growth conditions will select for higher virulence, possibly leading to a transient peak in virulence near the beginning of an epidemic. This transient selection could lead to high virulence in emerging pathogens. Using a simple model of the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of emerging pathogens, along with rough estimates of parameters for pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, West Nile virus and myxomatosis, we estimated the potential magnitude and timing of such transient virulence peaks. Pathogens that are moderately evolvable, highly transmissible, and highly virulent at equilibrium could briefly double their virulence during an epidemic; thus, epidemic-phase selection could contribute significantly to the virulence of emerging pathogens. In order to further assess the potential significance of this mechanism, we bring together data from the literature for the shapes of tradeoff curves for several pathogens (myxomatosis, HIV, and a parasite of Daphnia) and the level of genetic variation for virulence for one (myxomatosis). We discuss the need for better data on tradeoff curves and genetic variance in order to evaluate the plausibility of various scenarios of virulence evolution.

  1. Differential regulation of type III secretion and virulence genes in Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica by a secreted anti-σ factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Umesh; Shokeen, Bhumika; Cheng, Ning; Cho, Yeonjoo; Blum, Charles; Coppola, Giovanni; Miller, Jeff F

    2016-03-01

    The BvgAS phosphorelay regulates ∼10% of the annotated genomes of Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica and controls their infectious cycles. The hierarchical organization of the regulatory network allows the integration of contextual signals to control all or specific subsets of BvgAS-regulated genes. Here, we characterize a regulatory node involving a type III secretion system (T3SS)-exported protein, BtrA, and demonstrate its role in determining fundamental differences in T3SS phenotypes among Bordetella species. We show that BtrA binds and antagonizes BtrS, a BvgAS-regulated extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor, to couple the secretory activity of the T3SS apparatus to gene expression. In B. bronchiseptica, a remarkable spectrum of expression states can be resolved by manipulating btrA, encompassing over 80 BtrA-activated loci that include genes encoding toxins, adhesins, and other cell surface proteins, and over 200 BtrA-repressed genes that encode T3SS apparatus components, secretion substrates, the BteA effector, and numerous additional factors. In B. pertussis, BtrA retains activity as a BtrS antagonist and exerts tight negative control over T3SS genes. Most importantly, deletion of btrA in B. pertussis revealed T3SS-mediated, BteA-dependent cytotoxicity, which had previously eluded detection. This effect was observed in laboratory strains and in clinical isolates from a recent California pertussis epidemic. We propose that the BtrA-BtrS regulatory node determines subspecies-specific differences in T3SS expression among Bordetella species and that B. pertussis is capable of expressing a full range of T3SS-dependent phenotypes in the presence of appropriate contextual cues.

  2. Distribution of the type III DNA methyltransferases modA, modB and modD among Neisseria meningitidis genotypes: implications for gene regulation and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Aimee; Hill, Dorothea M C; Harrison, Odile B; Srikhanta, Yogitha N; Jennings, Michael P; Maiden, Martin C J; Seib, Kate L

    2016-02-12

    Neisseria meningitidis is a human-specific bacterium that varies in invasive potential. All meningococci are carried in the nasopharynx, and most genotypes are very infrequently associated with invasive meningococcal disease; however, those belonging to the 'hyperinvasive lineages' are more frequently associated with sepsis or meningitis. Genome content is highly conserved between carriage and disease isolates, and differential gene expression has been proposed as a major determinant of the hyperinvasive phenotype. Three phase variable DNA methyltransferases (ModA, ModB and ModD), which mediate epigenetic regulation of distinct phase variable regulons (phasevarions), have been identified in N. meningitidis. Each mod gene has distinct alleles, defined by their Mod DNA recognition domain, and these target and methylate different DNA sequences, thereby regulating distinct gene sets. Here 211 meningococcal carriage and >1,400 disease isolates were surveyed for the distribution of meningococcal mod alleles. While modA11-12 and modB1-2 were found in most isolates, rarer alleles (e.g., modA15, modB4, modD1-6) were specific to particular genotypes as defined by clonal complex. This suggests that phase variable Mod proteins may be associated with distinct phenotypes and hence invasive potential of N. meningitidis strains.

  3. Distribution of the type III DNA methyltransferases modA, modB and modD among Neisseria meningitidis genotypes: implications for gene regulation and virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Aimee; Hill, Dorothea M. C.; Harrison, Odile B.; Srikhanta, Yogitha N.; Jennings, Michael P.; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Seib, Kate L.

    2016-01-01

    Neisseria meningitidis is a human-specific bacterium that varies in invasive potential. All meningococci are carried in the nasopharynx, and most genotypes are very infrequently associated with invasive meningococcal disease; however, those belonging to the ‘hyperinvasive lineages’ are more frequently associated with sepsis or meningitis. Genome content is highly conserved between carriage and disease isolates, and differential gene expression has been proposed as a major determinant of the hyperinvasive phenotype. Three phase variable DNA methyltransferases (ModA, ModB and ModD), which mediate epigenetic regulation of distinct phase variable regulons (phasevarions), have been identified in N. meningitidis. Each mod gene has distinct alleles, defined by their Mod DNA recognition domain, and these target and methylate different DNA sequences, thereby regulating distinct gene sets. Here 211 meningococcal carriage and >1,400 disease isolates were surveyed for the distribution of meningococcal mod alleles. While modA11-12 and modB1-2 were found in most isolates, rarer alleles (e.g., modA15, modB4, modD1-6) were specific to particular genotypes as defined by clonal complex. This suggests that phase variable Mod proteins may be associated with distinct phenotypes and hence invasive potential of N. meningitidis strains. PMID:26867950

  4. Involvement of a Polyketide Synthetase ClPKS18 in the Regulation of Vegetative Growth, Melanin and Toxin Synthesis, and Virulence inCurvularia lunata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jin-Xin; Chen, Jie

    2017-12-01

    The clpks18 gene was first cloned and identified in Curvularia lunata. It contains 6571 base pairs (bp) and an 6276 bp open reading frame encoding 2091 amino acids. The ClPKS18 deletion mutant displayed an albino phenotype, and almost lost the ability to product 5-(hydroxymethyl) furan-2-carboxylate (M5HF2C) toxin, implying that clpks18 gene in C. lunata is not only involved in 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene melanin synthesis, but also relatively associated with M5HF2C toxin biosynthesis of the pathogen. The pathogenicity assays revealed that ΔClPKS18 was impaired in colonizing the maize leaves, which corresponds to the finding that ClPKS18 controls the production of melanin and M5HF2C in C. lunata . Results indicate that ClPKS18 plays a vital role in regulating pathogenicity of in C. lunata .

  5. Microbial virulence and interactions with metals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    German, N.; Lüthje, F.; Hao, X

    2016-01-01

    Transition metals, such as iron, copper, zinc, and manganese play an important role in many bacterial biological processes that add to an overall evolutional fitness of bacteria. They are often involved in regulation of bacterial virulence as a mechanism of host invasion. However, the same transi...... reconstruction of Fe-S clusters and the use of Mn as a protectant against reactive oxygen species. Therefore, tight regulation of transition metal distribution in bacteria and hosts is a vital part of host-pathogen interactions....

  6. Type VI secretion is a major virulence determinant in Burkholderia mallei

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schell, Mark A; Ulrich, Ricky L; Ribot, Wilson J; Brueggemann, Ernst E; Hines, Harry B; Chen, Dan; Lipscomb, Lyla; Kim, H. Stanley; Mrázek, Jan; Nierman, William C; DeShazer, David

    2007-01-01

    Burkholderia mallei is a host‐adapted pathogen and a category B biothreat agent. Although the B. mallei VirAG two‐component regulatory system is required for virulence in hamsters, the virulence genes it regulates are unknown...

  7. Investigating the ?Trojan Horse? Mechanism of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCutchen-Maloney, S L; Fitch, J P

    2005-02-08

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is a Gram-negative, highly communicable, enteric bacterium that has been responsible for three historic plague pandemics. Currently, several thousand cases of plague are reported worldwide annually, and Y. pestis remains a considerable threat from a biodefense perspective. Y. pestis infection can manifest in three forms: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Of these three forms, pneumonic plague has the highest fatality rate ({approx}100% if left untreated), the shortest intervention time ({approx}24 hours), and is highly contagious. Currently, there are no rapid, widely available vaccines for plague and though plague may be treated with antibiotics, the emergence of both naturally occurring and potentially engineered antibiotic resistant strains makes the search for more effective therapies and vaccines for plague of pressing concern. The virulence mechanism of this deadly bacterium involves induction of a Type III secretion system, a syringe-like apparatus that facilitates the injection of virulence factors, termed Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops), into the host cell. These virulence factors inhibit phagocytosis and cytokine secretion, and trigger apoptosis of the host cell. Y. pestis virulence factors and the Type III secretion system are induced thermally, when the bacterium enters the mammalian host from the flea vector, and through host cell contact (or conditions of low Ca{sup 2+} in vitro). Apart from the temperature increase from 26 C to 37 C and host cell contact (or low Ca{sup 2+} conditions), other molecular mechanisms that influence virulence induction in Y. pestis are largely uncharacterized. This project focused on characterizing two novel mechanisms that regulate virulence factor induction in Y. pestis, immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding and quorum sensing, using a real-time reporter system to monitor induction of virulence. Incorporating a better understanding of the mechanisms of virulence

  8. Genetic interactions between the Golgi Ca2+/H+ exchanger Gdt1 and the plasma membrane calcium channel Cch1/Mid1 in the regulation of calcium homeostasis, stress response and virulence in Candida albicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanan; Wang, Junjun; Cheng, Jianqing; Xu, Dayong; Jiang, Linghuo

    2015-11-01

    The Golgi-localized Saccharomyces cerevisiae ScGdt1 is a member of the cation/Ca(2+) exchanger superfamily. We show here that Candida albicans CaGdt1 is the functional homolog of ScGdt1 in calcium sensitivity, and shows genetic interactions with CaCch1 or CaMid1 in response to ER stresses. In addition, similar to ScCCH1 and ScMID1, deletion of either CaCCH1 or CaMID1 leads to a growth sensitivity of cells to cold stress, which can be suppressed by deletion of CaGDT1. Furthermore, deletion of CaCCH1 leads to a severe delay in filamentation of C. albicans cells, and this defect is abolished by deletion of CaGDT1. In contrast, CaGDT1 does not show genetic interaction with CaMID1 in filamentation. Interestingly, C. albicans cells lacking both CaMID1 and CaGDT1 exhibit an intermediate virulence between C. albicans cells lacking CaCCH1 (non-virulent) and C. albicans cells lacking CaGDT1 (partially virulent), while C. albicans cells lacking both CaCCH1 and CaGDT1 are not virulent in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis. Therefore, CaGdt1 genetically interacts with the plasma membrane calcium channel, CaCch1/CaMid1, in the response of C. albicans cells to cold and ER stresses and antifungal drug challenge as well as in filamentation and virulence. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Attenuation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence by quorum sensing inhibitors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hentzer, Morten; Wu, H.; Andersen, Jens Bo

    2003-01-01

    Traditional treatment of infectious diseases is based on compounds that kill or inhibit growth of bacteria. A major concern with this approach is the frequent development of resistance to antibiotics. The discovery of communication systems (quorum sensing systems) regulating bacterial virulence has...

  10. Aureusimines in Staphylococcus aureus are not involved in virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Sun

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recently, dipeptide aureusimines were reported to activate expression of staphylococcal virulence genes, such as alpha-hemolysin, and increase S. aureus virulence. Surprisingly, most of the virulence genes affected by aureusimines form part of the regulon of the SaeRS two component system (TCS, raising the possibility that SaeRS might be directly or indirectly involved in the aureusimine-dependent signaling process.Using HPLC analyses, we confirmed that a transposon mutant of ausA, the gene encoding the aureusimine dipeptide synthesis enzyme, does not produce dipeptides. However, the transposon mutant showed normal hemolysis activity and alpha-hemolysin/SaeP production. Furthermore, the P1 promoter of the sae operon, one of the targets of the SaeRS TCS, showed normal transcription activity. Moreover, in contrast to the original report, the ausA transposon mutant did not exhibit attenuated virulence in an animal infection model. DNA sequencing revealed that the ausA deletion mutant used in the original study has an 83 nt-duplication in saeS. Hemolysis activity of the original mutant was restored by a plasmid carrying the sae operon. A mutant of the sae operon showed elevated resistance to chloramphenicol and erythromycin, two antibiotics widely used during staphylococcal mutagenesis. At 43°C in the presence of erythromycin and aeration, the conditions typically employed for staphylococcal mutagenesis, an saeR transposon mutant grew much faster than a control mutant and the saeR mutant was highly enriched in a mixed culture experiment.Our results show that the previously reported roles of aureusimines in staphylococcal gene regulation and virulence were due to an unintended mutation in saeS, which was likely selected due to elevated resistance of the mutant to environmental stresses. Thus, there is no evidence indicating that the dipeptide aureusimines play a role in sae-mediated virulence factor production or contribute to staphylococcal

  11. A dynamic and intricate regulatory network determines Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramanian, Deepak; Schneper, Lisa; Kumari, Hansi; Mathee, Kalai

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a metabolically versatile bacterium that is found in a wide range of biotic and abiotic habitats. It is a major human opportunistic pathogen causing numerous acute and chronic infections. The critical traits contributing to the pathogenic potential of P. aeruginosa are the production of a myriad of virulence factors, formation of biofilms and antibiotic resistance. Expression of these traits is under stringent regulation, and it responds to largely unidentified environmental signals. This review is focused on providing a global picture of virulence gene regulation in P. aeruginosa. In addition to key regulatory pathways that control the transition from acute to chronic infection phenotypes, some regulators have been identified that modulate multiple virulence mechanisms. Despite of a propensity for chaotic behaviour, no chaotic motifs were readily observed in the P. aeruginosa virulence regulatory network. Having a ‘birds-eye’ view of the regulatory cascades provides the forum opportunities to pose questions, formulate hypotheses and evaluate theories in elucidating P. aeruginosa pathogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms involved in making P. aeruginosa a successful pathogen is essential in helping devise control strategies. PMID:23143271

  12. The link between morphotype transition and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linqi Wang

    Full Text Available Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous human fungal pathogen. This pathogen can undergo morphotype transition between the yeast and the filamentous form and such morphological transition has been implicated in virulence for decades. Morphotype transition is typically observed during mating, which is governed by pheromone signaling. Paradoxically, components specific to the pheromone signaling pathways play no or minimal direct roles in virulence. Thus, the link between morphotype transition and virulence and the underlying molecular mechanism remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that filamentation can occur independent of pheromone signaling and mating, and both mating-dependent and mating-independent morphotype transition require the transcription factor Znf2. High expression of Znf2 is necessary and sufficient to initiate and maintain sex-independent filamentous growth under host-relevant conditions in vitro and during infection. Importantly, ZNF2 overexpression abolishes fungal virulence in murine models of cryptococcosis. Thus, Znf2 bridges the sex-independent morphotype transition and fungal pathogenicity. The impacts of Znf2 on morphological switch and pathogenicity are at least partly mediated through its effects on cell adhesion property. Cfl1, a Znf2 downstream factor, regulates morphogenesis, cell adhesion, biofilm formation, and virulence. Cfl1 is the first adhesin discovered in the phylum Basidiomycota of the Kingdom Fungi. Together with previous findings in other eukaryotic pathogens, our findings support a convergent evolution of plasticity in morphology and its impact on cell adhesion as a critical adaptive trait for pathogenesis.

  13. The Complex Relationship between Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meredith Schroeder

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotic resistance, prompted by the overuse of antimicrobial agents, may arise from a variety of mechanisms, particularly horizontal gene transfer of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes, which is often facilitated by biofilm formation. The importance of phenotypic changes seen in a biofilm, which lead to genotypic alterations, cannot be overstated. Irrespective of if the biofilm is single microbe or polymicrobial, bacteria, protected within a biofilm from the external environment, communicate through signal transduction pathways (e.g., quorum sensing or two-component systems, leading to global changes in gene expression, enhancing virulence, and expediting the acquisition of antibiotic resistance. Thus, one must examine a genetic change in virulence and resistance not only in the context of the biofilm but also as inextricably linked pathologies. Observationally, it is clear that increased virulence and the advent of antibiotic resistance often arise almost simultaneously; however, their genetic connection has been relatively ignored. Although the complexities of genetic regulation in a multispecies community may obscure a causative relationship, uncovering key genetic interactions between virulence and resistance in biofilm bacteria is essential to identifying new druggable targets, ultimately providing a drug discovery and development pathway to improve treatment options for chronic and recurring infection.

  14. Genetic Modulation of c-di-GMP Turnover Affects Multiple Virulence Traits and Bacterial Virulence in Rice Pathogen Dickeya zeae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yufan Chen

    Full Text Available The frequent outbreaks of rice foot rot disease caused by Dickeya zeae have become a significant concern in rice planting regions and countries, but the regulatory mechanisms that govern the virulence of this important pathogen remain vague. Given that the second messenger cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP is associated with modulation of various virulence-related traits in various microorganisms, here we set to investigate the role of the genes encoding c-di-GMP metabolism in the regulation of the bacterial physiology and virulence by construction all in-frame deletion mutants targeting the annotated c-di-GMP turnover genes in D. zeae strain EC1. Phenotype analyses identified individual mutants showing altered production of exoenzymes and phytotoxins, biofilm formation and bacterial motilities. The results provide useful clues and a valuable toolkit for further characterization and dissection of the regulatory complex that modulates the pathogenesis and persistence of this important bacterial pathogen.

  15. Genetic Modulation of c-di-GMP Turnover Affects Multiple Virulence Traits and Bacterial Virulence in Rice Pathogen Dickeya zeae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yufan; Lv, Mingfa; Liao, Lisheng; Gu, Yanfang; Liang, Zhibin; Shi, Zurong; Liu, Shiyin; Zhou, Jianuan; Zhang, Lianhui

    2016-01-01

    The frequent outbreaks of rice foot rot disease caused by Dickeya zeae have become a significant concern in rice planting regions and countries, but the regulatory mechanisms that govern the virulence of this important pathogen remain vague. Given that the second messenger cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is associated with modulation of various virulence-related traits in various microorganisms, here we set to investigate the role of the genes encoding c-di-GMP metabolism in the regulation of the bacterial physiology and virulence by construction all in-frame deletion mutants targeting the annotated c-di-GMP turnover genes in D. zeae strain EC1. Phenotype analyses identified individual mutants showing altered production of exoenzymes and phytotoxins, biofilm formation and bacterial motilities. The results provide useful clues and a valuable toolkit for further characterization and dissection of the regulatory complex that modulates the pathogenesis and persistence of this important bacterial pathogen.

  16. Differences in virulence of Naegleria fowleri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Jonckheere, J

    1979-10-01

    All pathogenic Naegleria fowleri isolated from the environment were highly virulent to mice when instilled intranasally. Axenic cultivation gradually decreased virulence of highly virulent strains. This decrease was most pronounced in environmental isolates and of minor importance in N. fowleri isolated from human cerebrospinal fluid. The low virulent strains obtained by continuous axenic cultivation appeared after clonation to consist of individuals with different virulence. Virulence could be enhanced in low virulent strains by brain passage and passages in Vero cell cultures, but could not be induced by these methods in nonvirulent strains isolated from the environment. Different mice strains showed different sensitivities to infection with pathogenic Naegleria. In addition, older mice were less sensitive than younger animals to low virulent strains.

  17. Down regulation of Entamoeba histolytica virulence by monoxenic cultivation with Escherichia coli O55 is related to a decrease in expression of the light (35-kilodalton) subunit of the Gal/GalNAc lectin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla-Vaca, F; Ankri, S; Bracha, R; Koole, L A; Mirelman, D

    1999-05-01

    Entamoeba histolytica virulence is related to a number of amebic components (lectins, cysteine proteinases, and amebapore) and host factors, such as intestinal bacterial flora. Trophozoites are selective in their interactions with bacteria, and the parasite recognition of glycoconjugates plays an important role in amebic virulence. Long-term monoxenic cultivation of pathogenic E. histolytica trophozoites, strains HK-9 or HM-1:IMSS, with Escherichia coli serotype O55, which binds strongly to the Gal/GalNAc amebic lectin, markedly reduced the trophozoites' adherence and cytopathic activity on cell monolayers of baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells. Specific probes prepared from E. histolytica lectin genes as well as antibodies directed against the light (35-kDa) and heavy (170-kDa) subunits of the Gal/GalNAc lectin revealed a decrease in the transcription and expression of the light subunit in trophozoites grown monoxenically with E. coli O55. This effect was not observed when E. histolytica was grown with E. coli 346, a mannose-binding type I pilated bacteria. Our results suggest that the light subunit of the amebic lectin is involved in the modulation of parasite adherence and cytopathic activity.

  18. Penicillin V acylases from gram-negative bacteria degrade N-acylhomoserine lactones and attenuate virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sunder, Avinash Vellore; Utari, Putri Dwi; Ramasamy, Sureshkumar; van Merkerk, Ronald; Quax, Wim J.; Pundle, Archana

    Virulence pathways in gram-negative pathogenic bacteria are regulated by quorum sensing mechanisms, through the production and sensing of N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) signal molecules. Enzymatic degradation of AHLs leading to attenuation of virulence (quorum quenching) could pave the way for the

  19. Influence of sublethal concentrations of common disinfectants on expression of virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kastbjerg, Vicky Gaedt; Larsen, M. H.; Gram, Lone

    2010-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne human pathogen that causes listeriosis, a relatively rare infection with a high fatality rate. The regulation of virulence gene expression is influenced by several environmental factors, and the aim of the present study was to determine how disinfectants used...... perspective, the study underlines that disinfectants should be used at the lethal concentrations recommended by the manufacturers. Further studies are needed to elucidate whether the changes in virulence gene expression induced by the disinfectants have impact on virulence or other biological properties...

  20. Communication between microorganisms as a basis for production of virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gospodarek, Eugenia; Bogiel, Tomasz; Zalas-Wiecek, Patrycja

    2009-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS), or cell-to-cell communication in bacteria, is achieved through the production and subsequent response to the accumulation of extracellular signal molecules called autoinductors. The main role of QS is regulation of production of virulence factors in bacteria. Bacterial pathogenicity is often manifested by the expression of various cell-associated and secreted virulence factors, such as exoenzymes, toxins and biofilm. In bacteria, the expression of virulence factors is controlled coordinately by the global regulatory QS systems, which includes the AI-1/LuxIR-, AI-2/LuxS-, AI-3/QsC-, AIP/Agr-based systems. The regulation of production of virulence factors is extremely complex and many components influence it.

  1. Catabolite repression and virulence gene expression in Listeria monocytogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbreth, Stefanie Evans; Benson, Andrew K; Hutkins, Robert W

    2004-08-01

    Previous studies have suggested that carbohydrates may affect expression of virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes. Which carbohydrates influence virulence gene expression and how carbohydrates mediate expression, however, is not clear. The goal of this work was to examine how carbohydrates affect virulence gene expression in L. monocytogenes 10403S. Growth studies were conducted in medium containing glucose and various sugars. Metabolism of arbutin, arabitol, cellobiose, mannose, maltose, trehalose, and salicin were repressed in the presence of glucose. Only when glucose was consumed were these sugars fermented, indicating that catabolite repression by glucose had occurred. To determine whether virulence gene expression was also influenced by catabolite repression, we performed primer extension experiments, using primers for hly and prfA, which encode for a hemolysin and the regulator protein PrfA, respectively. In the presence of cellobiose and arbutin, transcription of hemolysin was reduced. However, none of the sugars affected transcription of prfA. The results demonstrate that catabolite repression occurs in L. monocytogenes and suggests that, at least in strain 10403S, cellobiose and arbutin repress expression of hemolysin.

  2. Metabolism of the vacuolar pathogen Legionella and implications for virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian eManske

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Legionella pneumophila is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium that thrives in fresh water habitats, either as planktonic form or as part of biofilms. The bacteria also grow intracellularly in free-living protozoa as well as in mammalian alveolar macrophages, thus triggering a potentially fatal pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. To establish its intracellular niche termed the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV, L. pneumophila employs a type IV secretion system and translocates ~300 different effector proteins into host cells. The pathogen switches between two distinct forms to grow in its extra- or intracellular niches: transmissive bacteria are virulent for phagocytes, and replicative bacteria multiply within their hosts. The switch between these forms is regulated by different metabolic cues that signal conditions favorable for replication or transmission, respectively, causing a tight link between metabolism and virulence of the bacteria.Amino acids represent the prime carbon and energy source of extra- or intracellularly growing L. pneumophila. Yet, the genome sequences of several Legionella spp. as well as transcriptome and proteome data and metabolism studies indicate that the bacteria possess broad catabolic capacities and also utilize carbohydrates such as glucose. Accordingly, L. pneumophila mutant strains lacking catabolic genes show intracellular growth defects, and thus, intracellular metabolism and virulence of the pathogen are intimately connected. In this review we will summarize recent findings on the extra- and intracellular metabolism of L. pneumophila using genetic, biochemical and cellular microbial approaches. Recent progress in this field sheds light on the complex interplay between metabolism, differentiation and virulence of the pathogen.

  3. Metabolism of the vacuolar pathogen Legionella and implications for virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manske, Christian; Hilbi, Hubert

    2014-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium that thrives in fresh water habitats, either as planktonic form or as part of biofilms. The bacteria also grow intracellularly in free-living protozoa as well as in mammalian alveolar macrophages, thus triggering a potentially fatal pneumonia called "Legionnaires' disease." To establish its intracellular niche termed the "Legionella-containing vacuole" (LCV), L. pneumophila employs a type IV secretion system and translocates ~300 different "effector" proteins into host cells. The pathogen switches between two distinct forms to grow in its extra- or intracellular niches: transmissive bacteria are virulent for phagocytes, and replicative bacteria multiply within their hosts. The switch between these forms is regulated by different metabolic cues that signal conditions favorable for replication or transmission, respectively, causing a tight link between metabolism and virulence of the bacteria. Amino acids represent the prime carbon and energy source of extra- or intracellularly growing L. pneumophila. Yet, the genome sequences of several Legionella spp. as well as transcriptome and proteome data and metabolism studies indicate that the bacteria possess broad catabolic capacities and also utilize carbohydrates such as glucose. Accordingly, L. pneumophila mutant strains lacking catabolic genes show intracellular growth defects, and thus, intracellular metabolism and virulence of the pathogen are intimately connected. In this review we will summarize recent findings on the extra- and intracellular metabolism of L. pneumophila using genetic, biochemical and cellular microbial approaches. Recent progress in this field sheds light on the complex interplay between metabolism, differentiation and virulence of the pathogen.

  4. Campylobacter virulence and survival factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, Declan J

    2015-06-01

    Despite over 30 years of research, campylobacteriosis is the most prevalent foodborne bacterial infection in many countries including in the European Union and the United States of America. However, relatively little is known about the virulence factors in Campylobacter or how an apparently fragile organism can survive in the food chain, often with enhanced pathogenicity. This review collates information on the virulence and survival determinants including motility, chemotaxis, adhesion, invasion, multidrug resistance, bile resistance and stress response factors. It discusses their function in transition through the food processing environment and human infection. In doing so it provides a fundamental understanding of Campylobacter, critical for improved diagnosis, surveillance and control. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. RNase Y of Staphylococcus aureus and its role in the activation of virulence genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marincola, Gabriella; Schäfer, Tina; Behler, Juliane; Bernhardt, Jörg; Ohlsen, Knut; Goerke, Christiane; Wolz, Christiane

    2012-09-01

    RNase Y of Bacillus subtilis is a key member of the degradosome and important for bulk mRNA turnover. In contrast to B. subtilis, the RNase Y homologue (rny/cvfA) of Staphylococcus aureus is not essential for growth. Here we found that RNase Y plays a major role in virulence gene regulation. Accordingly, rny deletion mutants demonstrated impaired virulence in a murine bacteraemia model. RNase Y is important for the processing and stabilization of the immature transcript of the global virulence regulator system SaePQRS. Moreover, RNase Y is involved in the activation of virulence gene expression at the promoter level. This control is independent of both the virulence regulator agr and the saePQRS processing and may be mediated by small RNAs some of which were shown to be degraded by RNase Y. Besides this regulatory effect, mRNA levels of several operons were significantly increased in the rny mutant and the half-life of one of these operons was shown to be extremely extended. However, the half-life of many mRNA species was not significantly altered. Thus, RNase Y in S. aureus influences mRNA expression in a tightly controlled regulatory manner and is essential for coordinated activation of virulence genes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Map-based comparative genomic analysis of virulent haemophilus parasuis serovars 4 and 5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Paulraj; Bey, Russell

    2015-01-01

    inflammatory and immunological response to infection with this organism. The mechanism by which sialyation of LPS contributes to virulence is a key to understanding the pathogenesis of this highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4. This analysis also revealed the presence of virulence associated genes similar to the MerR family transcriptional regulators, macrophage infectivity potentiator protein, hemolysin, opacity associated protein, toxin antitoxin system, and virulence associated protein D and colicins. Haemophilus parasuis serovar 4 variants also possess extensive metal ion uptake and regulation mechanism which controls various virulence and virulence associated genes. A combination of virulence associated factors and/or genes and proteins with overlapping functions may be responsible for the apparent enhanced virulence of this organism. The extensive structural modification of LOS and OMP of variant H. parasuis serovar 4 strains appear to aid in nasal colonization, are associated with the organisms' ability to evade the host immune response and provide serum-resistance. In addition, the combination of capsule modification and phase variation due to LOS substitutions could help variant H. parasuis serovar 4 transform into a highly virulent pathogen. Based on these results, the variant H. parasuis serovar 4 strains harbor a diverse repertoire of virulence associated genes which have not been previously reported.

  7. Lichtheimia species exhibit differences in virulence potential.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volker U Schwartze

    Full Text Available Although the number of mucormycosis cases has increased during the last decades, little is known about the pathogenic potential of most mucoralean fungi. Lichtheimia species represent the second and third most common cause of mucormycosis in Europe and worldwide, respectively. To date only three of the five species of the genus have been found to be involved in mucormycosis, namely L. corymbifera, L. ramosa and L. ornata. However, it is not clear whether the clinical situation reflects differences in virulence between the species of Lichtheimia or whether other factors are responsible. In this study the virulence of 46 strains of all five species of Lichtheimia was investigated in chicken embryos. Additionally, strains of the closest-related genus Dichotomocladium were tested. Full virulence was restricted to the clinically relevant species while all strains of L. hyalospora, L. sphaerocystis and Dichotomocladium species were attenuated. Although virulence differences were present in the clinically relevant species, no connection between origin (environmental vs clinical or phylogenetic position within the species was observed. Physiological studies revealed no clear connection of stress resistance and carbon source utilization with the virulence of the strains. Slower growth at 37°C might explain low virulence of L. hyalospora, L. spaherocystis and Dichotomocladium; however, similarly slow growing strains of L. ornata were fully virulent. Thus, additional factors or a complex interplay of factors determines the virulence of strains. Our data suggest that the clinical situation in fact reflects different virulence potentials in the Lichtheimiaceae.

  8. Structural Genomics of Bacterial Virulence Factors

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Liddington, Robert

    2004-01-01

    We are applying a comprehensive yet focused structural genomics approach to determine the atomic resolution crystal structures of key bacterial virulence factors from high priority bacterial pathogens...

  9. Regulatory principles governing Salmonella and Yersinia virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erhardt, Marc; Dersch, Petra

    2015-01-01

    Enteric pathogens such as Salmonella and Yersinia evolved numerous strategies to survive and proliferate in different environmental reservoirs and mammalian hosts. Deciphering common and pathogen-specific principles for how these bacteria adjust and coordinate spatiotemporal expression of virulence determinants, stress adaptation, and metabolic functions is fundamental to understand microbial pathogenesis. In order to manage sudden environmental changes, attacks by the host immune systems and microbial competition, the pathogens employ a plethora of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control elements, including transcription factors, sensory and regulatory RNAs, RNAses, and proteases, to fine-tune and control complex gene regulatory networks. Many of the contributing global regulators and the molecular mechanisms of regulation are frequently conserved between Yersinia and Salmonella. However, the interplay, arrangement, and composition of the control elements vary between these closely related enteric pathogens, which generate phenotypic differences leading to distinct pathogenic properties. In this overview we present common and different regulatory networks used by Salmonella and Yersinia to coordinate the expression of crucial motility, cell adhesion and invasion determinants, immune defense strategies, and metabolic adaptation processes. We highlight evolutionary changes of the gene regulatory circuits that result in different properties of the regulatory elements and how this influences the overall outcome of the infection process. PMID:26441883

  10. Modulation of the enterohemorrhagic E. coli virulence program through the human gastrointestinal tract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett Foster, Debora

    2013-01-01

    Enteric pathogens must not only survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract but must also coordinate expression of virulence determinants in response to localized microenvironments with the host. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), a serious food and waterborne human pathogen, is well equipped with an arsenal of molecular factors that allows it to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract and successfully colonize the large intestine. This review will explore how EHEC responds to various environmental cues associated with particular microenvironments within the host and how it employs these cues to modulate virulence factor expression, with a view to developing a conceptual framework for understanding modulation of EHEC’s virulence program in response to the host. In vitro studies offer significant insights into the role of individual environmental cues but in vivo studies using animal models as well as data from natural infections will ultimately provide a more comprehensive picture of the highly regulated virulence program of this pathogen. PMID:23552827

  11. Attenuation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence by quorum sensing inhibitors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hentzer, Morten; Wu, Hong; Andersen, Jens Bo

    2003-01-01

    Traditional treatment of infectious diseases is based on compounds that kill or inhibit growth of bacteria. A major concern with this approach is the frequent development of resistance to antibiotics. The discovery of communication systems (quorum sensing systems) regulating bacterial virulence has...... afforded a novel opportunity to control infectious bacteria without interfering with growth. Compounds that can override communication signals have been found in the marine environment. Using Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 as an example of an opportunistic human pathogen, we show that a synthetic derivate...... and inhibited virulence factor expression. Application of the drug to P.aeruginosa biofilms increased bacterial susceptibility to tobramycin and SDS. In a mouse pulmonary infection model, the drug inhibited quorum sensing of the infecting bacteria and promoted their clearance by the mouse immune response....

  12. Molecular Mechanism of Quorum-Sensing in Enterococcus faecalis: Its Role in Virulence and Therapeutic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Liaqat; Goraya, Mohsan Ullah; Arafat, Yasir; Ajmal, Muhammad; Chen, Ji-Long; Yu, Daojin

    2017-01-01

    Quorum-sensing systems control major virulence determinants in Enterococcus faecalis, which causes nosocomial infections. The E. faecalis quorum-sensing systems include several virulence factors that are regulated by the cytolysin operon, which encodes the cytolysin toxin. In addition, the E. faecalis Fsr regulator system controls the expression of gelatinase, serine protease, and enterocin O16. The cytolysin and Fsr virulence factor systems are linked to enterococcal diseases that affect the health of humans and other host models. Therefore, there is substantial interest in understanding and targeting these regulatory pathways to develop novel therapies for enterococcal infection control. Quorum-sensing inhibitors could be potential therapeutic agents for attenuating the pathogenic effects of E. faecalis. Here, we discuss the regulation of cytolysin, the LuxS system, and the Fsr system, their role in E. faecalis-mediated infections, and possible therapeutic approaches to prevent E. faecalis infection. PMID:28467378

  13. Role of Arf GTPases in fungal morphogenesis and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labbaoui, Hayet; Bogliolo, Stéphanie; Ghugtyal, Vikram; Solis, Norma V; Filler, Scott G; Arkowitz, Robert A; Bassilana, Martine

    2017-02-01

    Virulence of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans depends on the switch from budding to filamentous growth, which requires sustained membrane traffic and polarized growth. In many organisms, small GTPases of the Arf (ADP-ribosylation factor) family regulate membrane/protein trafficking, yet little is known about their role in fungal filamentous growth. To investigate these GTPases in C. albicans, we generated loss of function mutants in all 3 Arf proteins, Arf1-Arf3, and 2 Arf-like proteins, Arl1 and Arl3. Our results indicate that of these proteins, Arf2 is required for viability and sensitivity to antifungal drugs. Repressible ARF2 expression results in defects in filamentous growth, cell wall integrity and virulence, likely due to alteration of the Golgi. Arl1 is also required for invasive filamentous growth and, although arl1/arl1 cells can initiate hyphal growth, hyphae are substantially shorter than that of the wild-type, due to the inability of this mutant to maintain hyphal growth at a single site. We show that this defect does not result from an alteration of phospholipid distribution and is unlikely to result from the sole Golgin Imh1 mislocalization, as Imh1 is not required for invasive filamentous growth. Rather, our results suggest that the arl1/arl1 hyphal growth defect results from increased secretion in this mutant. Strikingly, the arl1/arl1 mutant is drastically reduced in virulence during oropharyngeal candidiasis. Together, our results highlight the importance of Arl1 and Arf2 as key regulators of hyphal growth and virulence in C. albicans and identify a unique function of Arl1 in secretion.

  14. Role of Arf GTPases in fungal morphogenesis and virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayet Labbaoui

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Virulence of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans depends on the switch from budding to filamentous growth, which requires sustained membrane traffic and polarized growth. In many organisms, small GTPases of the Arf (ADP-ribosylation factor family regulate membrane/protein trafficking, yet little is known about their role in fungal filamentous growth. To investigate these GTPases in C. albicans, we generated loss of function mutants in all 3 Arf proteins, Arf1-Arf3, and 2 Arf-like proteins, Arl1 and Arl3. Our results indicate that of these proteins, Arf2 is required for viability and sensitivity to antifungal drugs. Repressible ARF2 expression results in defects in filamentous growth, cell wall integrity and virulence, likely due to alteration of the Golgi. Arl1 is also required for invasive filamentous growth and, although arl1/arl1 cells can initiate hyphal growth, hyphae are substantially shorter than that of the wild-type, due to the inability of this mutant to maintain hyphal growth at a single site. We show that this defect does not result from an alteration of phospholipid distribution and is unlikely to result from the sole Golgin Imh1 mislocalization, as Imh1 is not required for invasive filamentous growth. Rather, our results suggest that the arl1/arl1 hyphal growth defect results from increased secretion in this mutant. Strikingly, the arl1/arl1 mutant is drastically reduced in virulence during oropharyngeal candidiasis. Together, our results highlight the importance of Arl1 and Arf2 as key regulators of hyphal growth and virulence in C. albicans and identify a unique function of Arl1 in secretion.

  15. Evolution of viral virulence: empirical studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurath, Gael; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    The concept of virulence as a pathogen trait that can evolve in response to selection has led to a large body of virulence evolution theory developed in the 1980-1990s. Various aspects of this theory predict increased or decreased virulence in response to a complex array of selection pressures including mode of transmission, changes in host, mixed infection, vector-borne transmission, environmental changes, host vaccination, host resistance, and co-evolution of virus and host. A fundamental concept is prediction of trade-offs between the costs and benefits associated with higher virulence, leading to selection of optimal virulence levels. Through a combination of observational and experimental studies, including experimental evolution of viruses during serial passage, many of these predictions have now been explored in systems ranging from bacteriophage to viruses of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrate hosts. This chapter summarizes empirical studies of viral virulence evolution in numerous diverse systems, including the classic models myxomavirus in rabbits, Marek's disease virus in chickens, and HIV in humans. Collectively these studies support some aspects of virulence evolution theory, suggest modifications for other aspects, and show that predictions may apply in some virus:host interactions but not in others. Finally, we consider how virulence evolution theory applies to disease management in the field.

  16. Anaerobiosis induced virulence of Salmonella typhi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kapoor, Sarika; Singh, R D; Sharma, P C

    2002-01-01

    BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Anaerobic conditions are frequently encountered by pathogens invading the gastrointestinal tract due to low/limiting oxygen conditions prevalent in the small intestine. This anaerobic stress has been suggested to enhance the virulence of gut pathogens. In the present stud...... dismutase (SOD) and catalase. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that exposure of S. Typhi to anaerobic conditions enhances its virulence....

  17. Virulence of Fusarium species to alfalfa seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krnjaja Vesna

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In in vitro conditions, virulence of 91 isolates of species Fusarium genus (F. oxysporum, F. solani, F. acuminatum, F. equiseti, F. arthrosporioides, F. prolifera- tum, F. avenaceum, F. semitectum, F. tricinctum, F. sporotrichioides and F. graminearum towards alfalfa seedlings was investigated. Isolates of investigated species originated from diseased alfalfa plants collected at four locations in Serbia based on symptoms of wilting caused by Fusarium and root rotting. Pathogenicity and virulence of investigated isolates of Fusarium spp. were determined by visual evaluation of inoculated seedlings of cultivar K28 in laboratory conditions. All isolated of investigated species had pathogenic effect on alfalfa seedlings which expressed symptoms such as necrosis of root, moist rotting and "melting of seedlings". Colour of necrotic root tissue varied from light brown, brown lipstick red to explicit black, depending on the Fusarium species. Strong virulence was established in 48 isolates, medium virulence in 31 and weak virulence in 12 isolates.

  18. Virulence of Fusarium species to alfalfa seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krnjaja Vesna

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In in vitro conditions, virulence of 91 isolates of species Fusarium genus (F. oxysporum, F. solani, F. acuminatum, F. equiseti, F. arthrosporioides, F. proliferatum, F. avenaceum, F. semitectum, F. tricinctum, F. sporotrichioides and F. graminearum towards alfalfa seedlings was investigated. Isolates of investigated species originated from diseased alfalfa plants collected on four locations in Serbia based on symptoms of wilting caused by fusarium and root rotting. Pathogenicity and virulence of investigated isolates of Fusarium spp. were determined by visual evaluation of inoculated seedlings of cultivars K28 in laboratory conditions. All isolated of investigated species had pathogenic effect on alfalfa seedlings, which expressed symptoms such as necrosis of root, moist rotting and "melting of seedlings". Colour of necrotic root tissue varied from light brown, brown, lipstick red to explicit black, depending on the Fusarium species. Strong virulence was established in 48 isolates, medium virulence in 31 and weak virulence in 12 isolates.

  19. A Precise Temperature-Responsive Bistable Switch Controlling Yersinia Virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Mischa Nuss

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Different biomolecules have been identified in bacterial pathogens that sense changes in temperature and trigger expression of virulence programs upon host entry. However, the dynamics and quantitative outcome of this response in individual cells of a population, and how this influences pathogenicity are unknown. Here, we address these questions using a thermosensing virulence regulator of an intestinal pathogen (RovA of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model. We reveal that this regulator is part of a novel thermoresponsive bistable switch, which leads to high- and low-invasive subpopulations within a narrow temperature range. The temperature range in which bistability is observed is defined by the degradation and synthesis rate of the regulator, and is further adjustable via a nutrient-responsive regulator. The thermoresponsive switch is also characterized by a hysteretic behavior in which activation and deactivation occurred on vastly different time scales. Mathematical modeling accurately mirrored the experimental behavior and predicted that the thermoresponsiveness of this sophisticated bistable switch is mainly determined by the thermo-triggered increase of RovA proteolysis. We further observed RovA ON and OFF subpopulations of Y. pseudotuberculosis in the Peyer's patches and caecum of infected mice, and that changes in the RovA ON/OFF cell ratio reduce tissue colonization and overall virulence. This points to a bet-hedging strategy in which the thermoresponsive bistable switch plays a key role in adapting the bacteria to the fluctuating conditions encountered as they pass through the host's intestinal epithelium and suggests novel strategies for the development of antimicrobial therapies.

  20. Technologies and Approaches to Elucidate and Model the Virulence Program of Salmonella.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDermott, Jason E.; Yoon, Hyunjin; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Metz, Thomas O.; Hyduke, Daniel R.; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Palsson, Bernhard O.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred

    2011-04-01

    Salmonella is a primary cause of enteric diseases in a variety of animals. During its evolution into a pathogenic bacterium, Salmonella acquired an elaborate regulatory network that responds to multiple environmental stimuli within host animals and integrates them resulting in fine regulation of the virulence program. The coordinated action by this regulatory network involves numerous virulence regulators, necessitating genome-wide profiling analysis to assess and combine efforts from multiple regulons. In this review we discuss recent high-throughput analytic approaches to understand the regulatory network of Salmonella that controls virulence processes. Application of high-throughput analyses have generated a large amount of data and driven development of computational approaches required for data integration. Therefore, we also cover computer-aided network analyses to infer regulatory networks, and demonstrate how genome-scale data can be used to construct regulatory and metabolic systems models of Salmonella pathogenesis. Genes that are coordinately controlled by multiple virulence regulators under infectious conditions are more likely to be important for pathogenesis. Thus, reconstructing the global regulatory network during infection or, at the very least, under conditions that mimic the host cellular environment not only provides a bird’s eye view of Salmonella survival strategy in response to hostile host environments but also serves as an efficient means to identify novel virulence factors that are essential for Salmonella to accomplish systemic infection in the host.

  1. The Early Dendritic Cell Signaling Induced by Virulent Francisella tularensis Strain Occurs in Phases and Involves the Activation of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinases (ERKs) and p38 In the Later Stage

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fabrik, I.; Link, M.; Putzova, D.; Plzakova, L.; Lubovska, Zuzana; Philimonenko, Vlada; Pavkova, I.; Řehulka, P.; Krocová, Z.; Hozák, Pavel; Santic, M.; Stulík, J.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 1 (2018), s. 95-108 ISSN 1535-9476 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015062 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : factor-alpha production * live vaccine strain * phosphorylation sites * negative regulator * innate immunity * lvs infection * pathway * identification * reveals * mapk Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.540, year: 2016

  2. Virulence Factors of A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruna M. Roesler

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori is a spiral-shaped Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human stomach and can establish a long-term infection of the gastric mucosa, a condition that affects the relative risk of developing various clinical disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT lymphoma, and gastric adenocarcinoma. H. pylori presents a high-level of genetic diversity, which can be an important factor in its adaptation to the host stomach and also for the clinical outcome of infection. There are important H. pylori virulence factors that, along with host characteristics and the external environment, have been associated with the different occurrences of diseases. This review is aimed to analyzing and summarizing the main of them and possible associations with the clinical outcome.

  3. Evaluation of phytochemicals from medicinal plants of Myrtaceae family on virulence factor production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musthafa, Khadar Syed; Sianglum, Wipawadee; Saising, Jongkon; Lethongkam, Sakkarin; Voravuthikunchai, Supayang Piyawan

    2017-05-01

    Virulence factors regulated by quorum sensing (QS) play a critical role in the pathogenesis of an opportunistic human pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa in causing infections to the host. Hence, in the present work, the anti-virulence potential of the medicinal plant extracts and their derived phytochemicals from Myrtaceae family was evaluated against P. aeruginosa. In the preliminary screening of the tested medicinal plant extracts, Syzygium jambos and Syzygium antisepticum demonstrated a maximum inhibition in QS-dependent violacein pigment production by Chromobacterium violaceum DMST 21761. These extracts demonstrated an inhibitory activity over a virulence factor, pyoverdin, production by P. aeruginosa ATCC 27853. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis revealed the presence of 23 and 12 phytochemicals from the extracts of S. jambos and S. antisepticum respectively. Three top-ranking phytochemicals, including phytol, ethyl linoleate and methyl linolenate, selected on the basis of docking score in molecular docking studies lowered virulence factors such as pyoverdin production, protease and haemolytic activities of P. aeruginosa to a significant level. In addition, the phytochemicals reduced rhamnolipid production by the organism. The work demonstrated an importance of plant-derived compounds as anti-virulence drugs to conquer P. aeruginosa virulence towards the host. © 2017 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Delineating the effect of host environmental signals on a fully virulent strain of Bacillus anthracis using an integrated transcriptomics and proteomics approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Panda, G.; Basak, T.; Tanwer, P.; Sengupta, S.; Martins dos Santos, V.A.P.; Bhatnagar, R.

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria sense the host environment and regulate expression of virulence-related genes. Environmental signals like temperature, bicarbonate/CO2 and glucose induce toxin production in Bacillus anthracis, but the mechanisms by which these signals contribute to virulence and overall

  5. Effects of Epigallocatechin gallate against Enterococcus faecalis biofilm and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Pei; Tan, Kai Soo

    2015-03-01

    Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most abundant polyphenol in green tea (Camellia sinesis) has been shown to exert antimicrobial effects on numerous bacterial pathogens. However its efficacy against Enterococcus faecalis biofilm, which is associated with persistent root canal infection is unknown. The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of EGCG against E. faecalis biofilm and virulence. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of EGCG on E. faecalis were determined. The efficacy of EGCG on E. faecalis biofilms was tested by exposing 7-day old E. faecalis biofilm to EGCG. Flow cytometry analysis of hydroxyphenyl fluorescein (HPF) labelled E. faecalis was used to determine if EGCG induced intracellular hydroxyl radical formation. Co-treatment of EGCG with the iron chelator 2,2-dipyridyl (DIP) was carried out to determine if hydroxyl radical generated through Fenton reaction played a role in EGCG-mediated killing of E. faecalis. Furthermore, the effects of EGCG on the expression of virulence genes in E. faecalis were evaluated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. EGCG exhibited a MIC and MBC of 5 μg/mL and 20 μg/mL respectively and effectively eradicated E. faecalis biofilms. EGCG induced the formation of hydroxyl radicals in E. faecalis. The addition of DIP protected E. faecalis against EGCG-mediated antibacterial effects. At sub-MIC, EGCG induced significant down-regulation of E. faecalis virulence genes. EGCG is an effective antimicrobial agent against both the planktonic and biofilm forms of E. faecalis, inhibiting bacterial growth and suppressing the expression of specific genes related to virulence and biofilm formation. The antimicrobial action of EGCG on E. faecalis occurred through the generation of hydroxyl radical. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Distribution of virulence plasmids within Salmonellae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, M J; McLaren, I; Wray, C

    1989-03-01

    The virulence region of the Salmonella dublin 50 MDa plasmid shared homology with 678 of 1021 salmonellae tested in colony hybridization experiments. The majority of S. dublin, S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis isolates tested hybridized with the region whereas, with the exception of S. hessarek, S. pullorum and S. gallinarum, other serotypes did not. Homologous virulence regions were plasmid encoded. In S. typhimurium a common 60 MDa plasmid was present in all phage types tested but not in DT4, DT37 and DT170. Smaller plasmids showing partial homology were found in DT12, DT18, DT193 and DT204C. In S. enteritidis a distinct plasmid profile for each of eight phage types was observed. Hybridizing plasmids were found in DT3, DT4, DT8, DT9 and DT11 whereas DT7, which was plasmid free, and DT10 and DT14, which harboured plasmids, did not hybridize. The extent of homology shared between S. dublin, S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis virulence plasmids was about 10 MDa and appeared conserved. Virulence plasmids from S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis did not show homology with a region of the S. dublin 50 MDa plasmid which was not associated with virulence functions whereas plasmids of about 24 MDa and 38 MDa in some S. typhimurium phage types did. The association of conserved virulence regions upon differing plasmids within salmonellae is discussed with reference to possible mechanisms of distribution and evolution of virulence genes.

  7. Surface export of GAPDH/SDH, a glycolytic enzyme, is essential for Streptococcus pyogenes virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hong; Agarwal, Shivangi; Agarwal, Shivani; Pancholi, Vijay

    2011-01-01

    Streptococcal surface dehydrogenase (SDH) (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase [GAPDH]) is an anchorless major multifunctional surface protein in group A Streptococcus (GAS) with the ability to bind important mammalian proteins, including plasmin(ogen). Although several biological properties of SDH are suggestive of its possible role in GAS virulence, its direct role in GAS pathogenesis has not been ascertained because it is essential for GAS survival. Thus, it has remained enigmatic as to "how and why" SDH/GAPDH is exported onto the bacterial surface. The present investigation highlights "why" SDH is exported onto the GAS surface. Differential microarray-based genome-wide transcript abundance analysis was carried out using a specific mutant, which was created by inserting a hydrophobic tail at the C-terminal end of SDH (M1-SDH(HBtail)) and thus preventing its exportation onto the GAS surface. This analysis revealed downregulation of the majority of genes involved in GAS virulence and genes belonging to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism and upregulation of those related to lipid metabolism. The complete attenuation of this mutant for virulence in the mouse model and the decreased and increased virulence of the wild-type and mutant strains postcomplementation with SDH(HBtail) and SDH, respectively, indicated that the SDH surface export indeed regulates GAS virulence. M1-SDH(HBtail) also displayed unaltered growth patterns, increased intracellular ATP concentration and Hpr double phosphorylation, and significantly reduced pH tolerance, streptolysin S, and SpeB activities. These phenotypic and physiological changes observed in the mutant despite the unaltered expression levels of established transcriptional regulators further highlight the fact that SDH interfaces with many regulators and its surface exportation is essential for GAS virulence. Streptococcal surface dehydrogenase (SDH), a classical anchorless cytoplasmically localized glycolytic enzyme, is

  8. The extinction differential induced virulence macroevolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Feng; Xu, Liufang; Wang, Jin

    2014-04-01

    We apply the potential-flux landscape theory to deal with the large fluctuation induced extinction phenomena. We quantify the most probable extinction pathway on the landscape and measure the extinction risk by the landscape topography. In this Letter, we investigate the disease extinction through an epidemic model described by a set of chemical reaction. We found the virulence-differential-dependent symbioses between mother and daughter pathogen species: mutualism and parasitism. The symbioses, whether mutualism or parasitism, benefit the higher virulence species. This implies that speciation towards lower virulence is an effective strategy for a pathogen species to reduce its extinction risk.

  9. Induction of group A Streptococcus virulence by a human antimicrobial peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gryllos, Ioannis; Tran-Winkler, Hien J; Cheng, Ming-Fang; Chung, Hachung; Bolcome, Robert; Lu, Wuyuan; Lehrer, Robert I; Wessels, Michael R

    2008-10-28

    Group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes or GAS) freshly isolated from individuals with streptococcal sore throat or invasive ("flesh-eating") infection often grow as mucoid colonies on primary culture but lose this colony appearance after laboratory passage. The mucoid phenotype is due to abundant production of the hyaluronic acid capsular polysaccharide, a key virulence determinant associated with severe GAS infections. These observations suggest that signal(s) from the human host trigger increased production of capsule and perhaps other virulence factors during infection. Here we show that subinhibitory concentrations of the human antimicrobial cathelicidin peptide LL-37 stimulate expression of the GAS capsule synthesis operon (hasABC). Up-regulation is mediated by the CsrRS 2-component regulatory system: it requires a functional CsrS sensor protein and can be antagonized by increased extracellular Mg(2+), the other identified environmental signal for CsrS. Up-regulation was also evident for other CsrRS-regulated virulence genes, including the IL-8 protease PrtS/ScpC and the integrin-like/IgG protease Mac/IdeS, findings that suggest a coordinated GAS virulence response elicited by this antimicrobial immune effector peptide. LL-37 signaling through CsrRS led to a marked increase in GAS resistance to opsonophagocytic killing by human leukocytes, an in vitro measure of enhanced GAS virulence, consistent with increased expression of the antiphagocytic capsular polysaccharide and Mac/IdeS. We propose that the human cathelicidin LL-37 has the paradoxical effect of stimulating CsrRS-regulated virulence gene expression, thereby enhancing GAS pathogenicity during infection. The ability of GAS to sense and respond to LL-37 may explain, at least in part, the unique susceptibility of the human species to streptococcal infection.

  10. Hypoxia Reduces the Pathogenicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Decreasing the Expression of Multiple Virulence Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaible, Bettina; Rodriguez, Javier; Garcia, Amaya; von Kriegsheim, Alexander; McClean, Siobhán; Hickey, Caitríona; Keogh, Ciara E; Brown, Eric; Schaffer, Kirsten; Broquet, Alexis; Taylor, Cormac T

    2017-05-01

    Our understanding of how the course of opportunistic bacterial infection is influenced by the microenvironment is limited. We demonstrate that the pathogenicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains derived from acute clinical infections is higher than that of strains derived from chronic infections, where tissues are hypoxic. Exposure to hypoxia attenuated the pathogenicity of strains from acute (but not chronic) infections, implicating a role for hypoxia in regulating bacterial virulence. Mass spectrometric analysis of the secretome of P. aeruginosa derived from an acute infection revealed hypoxia-induced repression of multiple virulence factors independent of altered bacterial growth. Pseudomonas aeruginosa lacking the Pseudomonas prolyl-hydroxylase domain-containing protein, which has been implicated in bacterial oxygen sensing, displays reduced virulence factor expression. Furthermore, pharmacological hydroxylase inhibition reduces virulence factor expression and pathogenicity in a murine model of pneumonia. We hypothesize that hypoxia reduces P. aeruginosa virulence at least in part through the regulation of bacterial hydroxylases. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Stationary phase-specific virulence factor overproduction by a lasR mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew T Cabeen

    Full Text Available Secreted virulence factors of the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa are often under quorum sensing control. Cells lacking the quorum-sensing regulator LasR show reduced virulence factor production under typical laboratory conditions and are hypo-virulent in short-term animal infection models, yet lasR mutants are frequently associated with long-term infection in cystic fibrosis patients. Here, I show that in stationary-phase or slow-growth conditions, lasR cells continuously and strongly produce the important virulence factor pyocyanin while wild-type cells do not. Pyocyanin overproduction by lasR cells is permitted by loss of repression by RsaL, a LasR-dependent negative regulator. lasR cells also contribute pyocyanin in mixed cultures, even under "cheating" conditions where they depend on their wild-type neighbors for nutrients. Finally, some clinical P. aeruginosa isolates with lasR mutations can overproduce pyocyanin in the laboratory. These results imply that slow-growing clinical populations of lasR cells in chronic infections may contribute to virulence by producing pyocyanin under conditions where lasR⁺ cells do not.

  12. Stationary Phase-Specific Virulence Factor Overproduction by a lasR Mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabeen, Matthew T.

    2014-01-01

    Secreted virulence factors of the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa are often under quorum sensing control. Cells lacking the quorum-sensing regulator LasR show reduced virulence factor production under typical laboratory conditions and are hypo-virulent in short-term animal infection models, yet lasR mutants are frequently associated with long-term infection in cystic fibrosis patients. Here, I show that in stationary-phase or slow-growth conditions, lasR cells continuously and strongly produce the important virulence factor pyocyanin while wild-type cells do not. Pyocyanin overproduction by lasR cells is permitted by loss of repression by RsaL, a LasR-dependent negative regulator. lasR cells also contribute pyocyanin in mixed cultures, even under “cheating” conditions where they depend on their wild-type neighbors for nutrients. Finally, some clinical P. aeruginosa isolates with lasR mutations can overproduce pyocyanin in the laboratory. These results imply that slow-growing clinical populations of lasR cells in chronic infections may contribute to virulence by producing pyocyanin under conditions where lasR+ cells do not. PMID:24533146

  13. Deletion of the Regulatory Subunit of Protein Kinase A in Aspergillus fumigatus Alters Morphology, Sensitivity to Oxidative Damage, and Virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, Wei; Panepinto, John C.; Fortwendel, Jarrod R.; Fox, Lauren; Oliver, Brian G.; Askew, David S.; Rhodes, Judith C.

    2006-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an important opportunistic fungal pathogen. The cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling pathway plays an important role in regulating morphology, growth, and virulence in a number of fungal pathogens of plants and animals. We have constructed a mutant of A. fumigatus that lacks the regulatory subunit of PKA, pkaR, and analyzed the growth and development, sensitivity to oxidative damage, and virulence of the mutant, along with those of the wild type and a complem...

  14. Biochemical Basis of Virulence in Epidemic Typhus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-01-01

    properties include antibiotic resistance, toxin production , fertility, bacteriocin production , and production of virulence factors. (4). Numerous...sample. The rickettsial leukotoxin was probably not a soluble product , was active in the absence of phagocytosis, and was inhibited by inactivation of

  15. Virulence Factors IN Fungi OF Systemic Mycoses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KUROKAWA Cilmery Suemi

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic fungi that cause systemic mycoses retain several factors which allow their growth in adverse conditions provided by the host, leading to the establishment of the parasitic relationship and contributing to disease development. These factors are known as virulence factors which favor the infection process and the pathogenesis of the mycoses. The present study evaluates the virulence factors of pathogenic fungi such as Blastomyces dermatitidis, Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis in terms of thermotolerance, dimorphism, capsule or cell wall components as well as enzyme production. Virulence factors favor fungal adhesion, colonization, dissemination and the ability to survive in hostile environments and elude the immune response mechanisms of the host. Both the virulence factors presented by different fungi and the defense mechanisms provided by the host require action and interaction of complex processes whose knowledge allows a better understanding of the pathogenesis of systemic mycoses.

  16. A Cell-Cell Signaling Sensor Is Required for Virulence and Insect Transmission of Xylella fastidiosa

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Subhadeep Chatterjee; Christina Wistrom; Steven E. Lindow

    2008-01-01

    ...), is required to colonize insect vectors and to suppress virulence to grape. Here, we show that a hybrid two-component regulatory protein RpfC is involved in negative regulation of DSF synthesis by RpfF in X. fastidiosa. X...

  17. P-Ser-HPr-a link between carbon metabolism and the virulence of some pathogenic bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mijakovic, Ivan

    2005-01-01

    HPr kinase/phosphorylase phosphorylates HPr, a phosphocarrier protein of the phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system, at serine-46. P-Ser-HPr is the central regulator of carbon metabolism in Gram-positive bacteria, but also plays a role in virulence development of certain...

  18. Structural Genomics of Bacterial Virulence Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-05-01

    plant proteins. Its presence in the virulence-related pXO1 plasmid of Bacillus anthracis (pX01-01) as well as in several other pathogens makes it a...from several other bacilli; Enterococcus, Listeria , Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, or other Bacillus species. Function of proteins from this family is...virulence plasmids. Infect Immun 71: 2736-2743. Braun, L. and P. Cossart. 2000. Interactions between Listeria monocytogenes and host mammalian cells

  19. Hyperexpression of α-hemolysin explains enhanced virulence of sequence type 93 community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Kyra Y L; Monk, Ian R; Lin, Ya-Hsun; Seemann, Torsten; Tuck, Kellie L; Porter, Jessica L; Stepnell, Justin; Coombs, Geoffrey W; Davies, John K; Stinear, Timothy P; Howden, Benjamin P

    2014-02-10

    The community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) ST93 clone is becoming dominant in Australia and is clinically highly virulent. In addition, sepsis and skin infection models demonstrate that ST93 CA-MRSA is the most virulent global clone of S. aureus tested to date. While the determinants of virulence have been studied in other clones of CA-MRSA, the basis for hypervirulence in ST93 CA-MRSA has not been defined. Here, using a geographically and temporally dispersed collection of ST93 isolates we demonstrate that the ST93 population hyperexpresses key CA-MRSA exotoxins, in particular α-hemolysin, in comparison to other global clones. Gene deletion and complementation studies, and virulence comparisons in a murine skin infection model, showed unequivocally that increased expression of α-hemolysin is the key staphylococcal virulence determinant for this clone. Genome sequencing and comparative genomics of strains with divergent exotoxin profiles demonstrated that, like other S. aureus clones, the quorum sensing agr system is the master regulator of toxin expression and virulence in ST93 CA-MRSA. However, we also identified a previously uncharacterized AraC/XylS family regulator (AryK) that potentiates toxin expression and virulence in S. aureus. These data demonstrate that hyperexpression of α-hemolysin mediates enhanced virulence in ST93 CA-MRSA, and additional control of exotoxin production, in particular α-hemolysin, mediated by regulatory systems other than agr have the potential to fine-tune virulence in CA-MRSA.

  20. The GGDEF-domain protein GdpX1 attenuates motility, exopolysaccharide production and virulence in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, F; Qian, S; Tian, F; Chen, H; Hutchins, W; Yang, C-H; He, C

    2016-06-01

    Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP), a ubiquitous bacterial second messenger that is synthesized by diguanylate cyclase (DGC) with the GGDEF-domain, regulates diverse virulence phenotypes in pathogenic bacteria. Although 11 genes encoding GGDEF-domain proteins have been shown in the genome of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) strain PXO99(A) , the causal pathogen of bacterial blight of rice, however, little is known about their roles in the c-di-GMP regulation of virulence in the pathogen. GdpX1, one of the GGDEF-domain proteins in Xoo was investigated in this study to reveal its regulatory function of bacterial virulence expression through genetic analysis. GdpX1 was functionally characterized in virulence expression through deletion and overexpression analysis. Bioinformatics analysis revealed the GGDEF-domain in GdpX1 was well conserved, indicating it is a putative DGC. Deletion of gdpX1 resulted in significant increases in virulence, exopolysaccharide (EPS) production and flagellar motility. In contrast, overexpression of gdpX1 dramatically reduced these virulence phenotypes. qRT-PCR analysis showed genes related to the type III secretion system (T3SS), EPS synthesis, and flagellar motility, were up-regulated in ∆gdpX1 and down-regulated in the gdpX1-overexpressed strains. In addition, overexpression of gdpX1 promoted biofilm formation and xylanase activity. GdpX1 is the first GGDEF-domain protein functionally characterized in Xoo, which functions as a negative regulator of bacterial virulence via suppression of virulence-related gene transcription. Identification and functional characterization of GdpX1 provided additional insights into molecular mechanisms of c-di-GMP regulation of bacterial virulence expression. © 2016 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  1. Bordetella PlrSR regulatory system controls BvgAS activity and virulence in the lower respiratory tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bone, M Ashley; Wilk, Aaron J; Perault, Andrew I; Marlatt, Sara A; Scheller, Erich V; Anthouard, Rebecca; Chen, Qing; Stibitz, Scott; Cotter, Peggy A; Julio, Steven M

    2017-02-21

    Bacterial pathogens coordinate virulence using two-component regulatory systems (TCS). The Bordetella virulence gene (BvgAS) phosphorelay-type TCS controls expression of all known protein virulence factor-encoding genes and is considered the "master virulence regulator" in Bordetella pertussis, the causal agent of pertussis, and related organisms, including the broad host range pathogen Bordetella bronchiseptica We recently discovered an additional sensor kinase, PlrS [for persistence in the lower respiratory tract (LRT) sensor], which is required for B. bronchiseptica persistence in the LRT. Here, we show that PlrS is required for BvgAS to become and remain fully active in mouse lungs but not the nasal cavity, demonstrating that PlrS coordinates virulence specifically in the LRT. PlrS is required for LRT persistence even when BvgAS is rendered constitutively active, suggesting the presence of BvgAS-independent, PlrS-dependent virulence factors that are critical for bacterial survival in the LRT. We show that PlrS is also required for persistence of the human pathogen B. pertussis in the murine LRT and we provide evidence that PlrS most likely functions via the putative cognate response regulator PlrR. These data support a model in which PlrS senses conditions present in the LRT and activates PlrR, which controls expression of genes required for the maintenance of BvgAS activity and for essential BvgAS-independent functions. In addition to providing a major advance in our understanding of virulence regulation in Bordetella, which has served as a paradigm for several decades, these results indicate the existence of previously unknown virulence factors that may serve as new vaccine components and therapeutic or diagnostic targets.

  2. The KdpD/KdpE two-component system: integrating K⁺ homeostasis and virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoë N Freeman

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The two-component system (TCS KdpD/KdpE, extensively studied for its regulatory role in potassium (K(+ transport, has more recently been identified as an adaptive regulator involved in the virulence and intracellular survival of pathogenic bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, entero-haemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Yersinia pestis, Francisella species, Photorhabdus asymbiotica, and mycobacteria. Key homeostasis requirements monitored by KdpD/KdpE and other TCSs such as PhoP/PhoQ are critical to survival in the stressful conditions encountered by pathogens during host interactions. It follows these TCSs may therefore acquire adaptive roles in response to selective pressures associated with adopting a pathogenic lifestyle. Given the central role of K(+ in virulence, we propose that KdpD/KdpE, as a regulator of a high-affinity K(+ pump, has evolved virulence-related regulatory functions. In support of this hypothesis, we review the role of KdpD/KdpE in bacterial infection and summarize evidence that (i KdpD/KdpE production is correlated with enhanced virulence and survival, (ii KdpE regulates a range of virulence loci through direct promoter binding, and (iii KdpD/KdpE regulation responds to virulence-related conditions including phagocytosis, exposure to microbicides, quorum sensing signals, and host hormones. Furthermore, antimicrobial stress, osmotic stress, and oxidative stress are associated with KdpD/KdpE activity, and the system's accessory components (which allow TCS fine-tuning or crosstalk provide links to stress response pathways. KdpD/KdpE therefore appears to be an important adaptive TCS employed during host infection, promoting bacterial virulence and survival through mechanisms both related to and distinct from its conserved role in K(+ regulation.

  3. Mutations in the control of virulence sensor gene from Streptococcus pyogenes after infection in mice lead to clonal bacterial variants with altered gene regulatory activity and virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey A Mayfield

    Full Text Available The cluster of virulence sensor (CovS/responder (CovR two-component operon (CovRS regulates ∼15% of the genes of the Group A Streptococcal pyogenes (GAS genome. Bacterial clones containing inactivating mutations in the covS gene have been isolated from patients with virulent invasive diseases. We report herein an assessment of the nature and types of covS mutations that can occur in both virulent and nonvirulent GAS strains, and assess whether a nonvirulent GAS can attain enhanced virulence through this mechanism. A group of mice were infected with a globally-disseminated clonal M1T1 GAS (isolate 5448, containing wild-type (WT CovRS (5448/CovR+S+, or less virulent engineered GAS strains, AP53/CovR+S+ and Manfredo M5/CovR+S+. SpeB negative GAS clones from wound sites and/or from bacteria disseminated to the spleen were isolated and the covS gene was subjected to DNA sequence analysis. Numerous examples of inactivating mutations were found in CovS in all regions of the gene. The mutations found included frame-shift insertions and deletions, and in-frame small and large deletions in the gene. Many of the mutations found resulted in early translation termination of CovS. Thus, the covS gene is a genomic mutagenic target that gives GAS enhanced virulence. In cases wherein CovS- was discovered, these clonal variants exhibited high lethality, further suggesting that randomly mutated covS genes occur during the course of infection, and lead to the development of a more invasive infection.

  4. Identification of Secreted Exoproteome Fingerprints of Highly-Virulent and Non-Virulent Staphylococcus aureus Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonar, Emilia; Wojcik, Iwona; Jankowska, Urszula; Kedracka-Krok, Sylwia; Bukowski, Michal; Polakowska, Klaudia; Lis, Marcin W; Kosecka-Strojek, Maja; Sabat, Artur J; Dubin, Grzegorz; Friedrich, Alexander W; Miedzobrodzki, Jacek; Dubin, Adam; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal inhabitant of skin and mucous membranes in nose vestibule but also an important opportunistic pathogen of humans and livestock. The extracellular proteome as a whole constitutes its major virulence determinant; however, the involvement of particular proteins is still relatively poorly understood. In this study, we compared the extracellular proteomes of poultry-derived S. aureus strains exhibiting a virulent (VIR) and non-virulent (NVIR) phenotype in a chicken embryo experimental infection model with the aim to identify proteomic signatures associated with the particular phenotypes. Despite significant heterogeneity within the analyzed proteomes, we identified alpha-haemolysin and bifunctional autolysin as indicators of virulence, whereas glutamylendopeptidase production was characteristic for non-virulent strains. Staphopain C (StpC) was identified in both the VIR and NVIR proteomes and the latter fact contradicted previous findings suggesting its involvement in virulence. By supplementing NVIR, StpC-negative strains with StpC, and comparing the virulence of parental and supplemented strains, we demonstrated that staphopain C alone does not affect staphylococcal virulence in a chicken embryo model.

  5. How Do the Virulence Factors of Shigella Work Together to Cause Disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattock, Emily; Blocker, Ariel J

    2017-01-01

    Shigella is the major cause of bacillary dysentery world-wide. It is divided into four species, named S. flexneri, S. sonnei, S. dysenteriae, and S. boydii, which are distinct genomically and in their ability to cause disease. Shigellosis, the clinical presentation of Shigella infection, is characterized by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Shigella's ability to cause disease has been attributed to virulence factors, which are encoded on chromosomal pathogenicity islands and the virulence plasmid. However, information on these virulence factors is not often brought together to create a detailed picture of infection, and how this translates into shigellosis symptoms. Firstly, Shigella secretes virulence factors that induce severe inflammation and mediate enterotoxic effects on the colon, producing the classic watery diarrhea seen early in infection. Secondly, Shigella injects virulence effectors into epithelial cells via its Type III Secretion System to subvert the host cell structure and function. This allows invasion of epithelial cells, establishing a replicative niche, and causes erratic destruction of the colonic epithelium. Thirdly, Shigella produces effectors to down-regulate inflammation and the innate immune response. This promotes infection and limits the adaptive immune response, causing the host to remain partially susceptible to re-infection. Combinations of these virulence factors may contribute to the different symptoms and infection capabilities of the diverse Shigella species, in addition to distinct transmission patterns. Further investigation of the dominant species causing disease, using whole-genome sequencing and genotyping, will allow comparison and identification of crucial virulence factors and may contribute to the production of a pan-Shigella vaccine.

  6. Antimicrobial medium- and long-chain free fatty acids prevent PrfA-dependent activation of virulence genes in Listeria monocytogenes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sternkopf Lillebæk, Eva Maria; Lambert Nielsen, Stine; Scheel Thomasen, Rikke

    2017-01-01

    of virulence factors required for bacterial entry, intracellular replication and cell-to-cell spread. PrfA-dependent activation of virulence genes occurs primarily in the blood and during intracellular infection. In contrast, PrfA does not play a significant role in regulation of virulence gene expression......The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of the invasive disease listeriosis. Infection by L. monocytogenes involves bacterial crossing of the intestinal barrier and intracellular replication in a variety of host cells. The PrfA protein is the master regulator...

  7. Clp chaperones and proteases are central in stress survival, virulence and antibiotic resistance of Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frees, Dorte; Gerth, Ulf; Ingmer, Hanne

    2014-01-01

    proteins. The ATP-dependent ClpP protease is highly conserved among eubacteria and in the chloroplasts and mitochondria of eukaryotic cells. In the serious human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus inactivation of clpP rendered the bacterium avirulent emphasizing the central role of proteolysis in virulence....... The contribution of the Clp proteins to virulence is likely to occur at multiple levels. First of all, both Clp ATPases and the Clp protease are central players in stress responses required to cope with the adverse conditions met in the host. The ClpP protease has a dual role herein, as it both eliminates stress......-damaged proteins as well as ensures the timely degradation of major stress regulators such as Spx, LexA and CtsR. Additionally, as we will summarize in this review, Clp proteases and Clp chaperones impact on such central processes as virulence gene expression, cell wall metabolism, survival in stationary phase...

  8. Identification and characterization of an operon, msaABCR, that controls virulence and biofilm development in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahukhal, Gyan S; Elasri, Mohamed O

    2014-06-11

    Community-acquired, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains often cause localized infections in immunocompromised hosts, but some strains show enhanced virulence leading to severe infections even among healthy individuals with no predisposing risk factors. The genetic basis for this enhanced virulence has yet to be determined. S. aureus possesses a wide variety of virulence factors, the expression of which is carefully coordinated by a variety of regulators. Several virulence regulators have been well characterized, but others have yet to be thoroughly investigated. Previously, we identified the msa gene as a regulator of several virulence genes, biofilm development, and antibiotic resistance. We also found evidence of the involvement of upstream genes in msa function. To investigate the mechanism of regulation of the msa gene (renamed msaC), we examined the upstream genes whose expression was affected by its deletion. We showed that msaC is part of a newly defined four-gene operon (msaABCR), in which msaC is a non-protein-coding RNA that is essential for the function of the operon. Furthermore, we found that an antisense RNA (msaR) is complementary to the 5' end of the msaB gene and is expressed in a growth phase-dependent manner suggesting that it is involved in regulation of the operon. These findings allow us to define a new operon that regulates fundamental phenotypes in S. aureus such as biofilm development and virulence. Characterization of the msaABCR operon will allow us to investigate the mechanism of function of this operon and the role of the individual genes in regulation and interaction with its targets. This study identifies a new element in the complex regulatory circuits in S. aureus, and our findings may be therapeutically relevant.

  9. Identification of the Virulence Landscape Essential for Entamoeba histolytica Invasion of the Human Colon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hon, Chung-Chau; Dillies, Marie-Agnès; Avé, Patrick; Coppée, Jean-Yves; Labruyère, Elisabeth; Guillén, Nancy

    2013-01-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is the pathogenic amoeba responsible for amoebiasis, an infectious disease targeting human tissues. Amoebiasis arises when virulent trophozoites start to destroy the muco-epithelial barrier by first crossing the mucus, then killing host cells, triggering inflammation and subsequently causing dysentery. The main goal of this study was to analyse pathophysiology and gene expression changes related to virulent (i.e. HM1:IMSS) and non-virulent (i.e. Rahman) strains when they are in contact with the human colon. Transcriptome comparisons between the two strains, both in culture conditions and upon contact with human colon explants, provide a global view of gene expression changes that might contribute to the observed phenotypic differences. The most remarkable feature of the virulent phenotype resides in the up-regulation of genes implicated in carbohydrate metabolism and processing of glycosylated residues. Consequently, inhibition of gene expression by RNA interference of a glycoside hydrolase (β-amylase absent from humans) abolishes mucus depletion and tissue invasion by HM1:IMSS. In summary, our data suggest a potential role of carbohydrate metabolism in colon invasion by virulent E. histolytica. PMID:24385905

  10. Salmonella promotes virulence by repressing cellulose production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontes, Mauricio H; Lee, Eun-Jin; Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A

    2015-04-21

    Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. In bacteria, cellulose confers protection against environmental insults and is a constituent of biofilms typically formed on abiotic surfaces. We report that, surprisingly, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium makes cellulose when inside macrophages. We determine that preventing cellulose synthesis increases virulence, whereas stimulation of cellulose synthesis inside macrophages decreases virulence. An attenuated mutant lacking the mgtC gene exhibited increased cellulose levels due to increased expression of the cellulose synthase gene bcsA and of cyclic diguanylate, the allosteric activator of the BcsA protein. Inactivation of bcsA restored wild-type virulence to the Salmonella mgtC mutant, but not to other attenuated mutants displaying a wild-type phenotype regarding cellulose. Our findings indicate that a virulence determinant can promote pathogenicity by repressing a pathogen's antivirulence trait. Moreover, they suggest that controlling antivirulence traits increases long-term pathogen fitness by mediating a trade-off between acute virulence and transmission.

  11. Salmonella promotes virulence by repressing cellulose production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontes, Mauricio H.; Lee, Eun-Jin; Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A.

    2015-01-01

    Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. In bacteria, cellulose confers protection against environmental insults and is a constituent of biofilms typically formed on abiotic surfaces. We report that, surprisingly, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium makes cellulose when inside macrophages. We determine that preventing cellulose synthesis increases virulence, whereas stimulation of cellulose synthesis inside macrophages decreases virulence. An attenuated mutant lacking the mgtC gene exhibited increased cellulose levels due to increased expression of the cellulose synthase gene bcsA and of cyclic diguanylate, the allosteric activator of the BcsA protein. Inactivation of bcsA restored wild-type virulence to the Salmonella mgtC mutant, but not to other attenuated mutants displaying a wild-type phenotype regarding cellulose. Our findings indicate that a virulence determinant can promote pathogenicity by repressing a pathogen's antivirulence trait. Moreover, they suggest that controlling antivirulence traits increases long-term pathogen fitness by mediating a trade-off between acute virulence and transmission. PMID:25848006

  12. Antibiotic modulation of capsular exopolysaccharide and virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward Geisinger

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen of increasing importance due to its propensity for intractable multidrug-resistant infections in hospitals. All clinical isolates examined contain a conserved gene cluster, the K locus, which determines the production of complex polysaccharides, including an exopolysaccharide capsule known to protect against killing by host serum and to increase virulence in animal models of infection. Whether the polysaccharides determined by the K locus contribute to intrinsic defenses against antibiotics is unknown. We demonstrate here that mutants deficient in the exopolysaccharide capsule have lowered intrinsic resistance to peptide antibiotics, while a mutation affecting sugar precursors involved in both capsule and lipopolysaccharide synthesis sensitizes the bacterium to multiple antibiotic classes. We observed that, when grown in the presence of certain antibiotics below their MIC, including the translation inhibitors chloramphenicol and erythromycin, A. baumannii increases production of the K locus exopolysaccharide. Hyperproduction of capsular exopolysaccharide is reversible and non-mutational, and occurs concomitantly with increased resistance to the inducing antibiotic that is independent of the presence of the K locus. Strikingly, antibiotic-enhanced capsular exopolysaccharide production confers increased resistance to killing by host complement and increases virulence in a mouse model of systemic infection. Finally, we show that augmented capsule production upon antibiotic exposure is facilitated by transcriptional increases in K locus gene expression that are dependent on a two-component regulatory system, bfmRS. These studies reveal that the synthesis of capsule, a major pathogenicity determinant, is regulated in response to antibiotic stress. Our data are consistent with a model in which gene expression changes triggered by ineffectual antibiotic treatment cause A. baumannii to transition

  13. Identification of O-mannosylated Virulence Factors in Ustilago maydis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Álvarez, Alfonso; Marín-Menguiano, Miriam; Lanver, Daniel; Jiménez-Martín, Alberto; Elías-Villalobos, Alberto; Pérez-Pulido, Antonio J.; Kahmann, Regine; Ibeas, José I.

    2012-01-01

    The O-mannosyltransferase Pmt4 has emerged as crucial for fungal virulence in the animal pathogens Candida albicans or Cryptococcus neoformans as well as in the phytopathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis. Pmt4 O-mannosylates specific target proteins at the Endoplasmic Reticulum. Therefore a deficient O-mannosylation of these target proteins must be responsible for the loss of pathogenicity in pmt4 mutants. Taking advantage of the characteristics described for Pmt4 substrates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we performed a proteome-wide bioinformatic approach to identify putative Pmt4 targets in the corn smut fungus U. maydis and validated Pmt4-mediated glycosylation of candidate proteins by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. We found that the signalling mucin Msb2, which regulates appressorium differentiation upstream of the pathogenicity-related MAP kinase cascade, is O-mannosylated by Pmt4. The epistatic relationship of pmt4 and msb2 showed that both are likely to act in the same pathway. Furthermore, constitutive activation of the MAP kinase cascade restored appressorium development in pmt4 mutants, suggesting that during the initial phase of infection the failure to O-mannosylate Msb2 is responsible for the virulence defect of pmt4 mutants. On the other hand we demonstrate that during later stages of pathogenic development Pmt4 affects virulence independently of Msb2, probably by modifying secreted effector proteins. Pit1, a protein required for fungal spreading inside the infected leaf, was also identified as a Pmt4 target. Thus, O-mannosylation of different target proteins affects various stages of pathogenic development in U. maydis. PMID:22416226

  14. Identification of O-mannosylated virulence factors in Ustilago maydis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Fernández-Álvarez

    Full Text Available The O-mannosyltransferase Pmt4 has emerged as crucial for fungal virulence in the animal pathogens Candida albicans or Cryptococcus neoformans as well as in the phytopathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis. Pmt4 O-mannosylates specific target proteins at the Endoplasmic Reticulum. Therefore a deficient O-mannosylation of these target proteins must be responsible for the loss of pathogenicity in pmt4 mutants. Taking advantage of the characteristics described for Pmt4 substrates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we performed a proteome-wide bioinformatic approach to identify putative Pmt4 targets in the corn smut fungus U. maydis and validated Pmt4-mediated glycosylation of candidate proteins by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. We found that the signalling mucin Msb2, which regulates appressorium differentiation upstream of the pathogenicity-related MAP kinase cascade, is O-mannosylated by Pmt4. The epistatic relationship of pmt4 and msb2 showed that both are likely to act in the same pathway. Furthermore, constitutive activation of the MAP kinase cascade restored appressorium development in pmt4 mutants, suggesting that during the initial phase of infection the failure to O-mannosylate Msb2 is responsible for the virulence defect of pmt4 mutants. On the other hand we demonstrate that during later stages of pathogenic development Pmt4 affects virulence independently of Msb2, probably by modifying secreted effector proteins. Pit1, a protein required for fungal spreading inside the infected leaf, was also identified as a Pmt4 target. Thus, O-mannosylation of different target proteins affects various stages of pathogenic development in U. maydis.

  15. The Vibrio cholerae RND efflux systems impact virulence factor production and adaptive responses via periplasmic sensor proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bina, X Renee; Howard, Mondraya F; Taylor-Mulneix, Dawn L; Ante, Vanessa M; Kunkle, Dillon E; Bina, James E

    2018-01-01

    Resistance-nodulation-division (RND) efflux systems are ubiquitous transporters in Gram-negative bacteria that are essential for antibiotic resistance. The RND efflux systems also contribute to diverse phenotypes independent of antimicrobial resistance, but the mechanism by which they affect most of these phenotypes is unclear. This is the case in Vibrio cholerae where the RND systems function in antimicrobial resistance and virulence factor production. Herein, we investigated the linkage between RND efflux and V. cholerae virulence. RNA sequencing revealed that the loss of RND efflux affected the activation state of periplasmic sensing systems including the virulence regulator ToxR. Activation of ToxR in an RND null mutant resulted in ToxR-dependent transcription of the LysR-family regulator leuO. Increased leuO transcription resulted in the repression of the ToxR virulence regulon and attenuated virulence factor production. Consistent with this, leuO deletion restored virulence factor production in an RND-null mutant, but not its ability to colonize infant mice; suggesting that RND efflux was epistatic to virulence factor production for colonization. The periplasmic sensing domain of ToxR was required for the induction of leuO transcription in the RND null mutant, suggesting that ToxR responded to metabolites that accumulated in the periplasm. Our results suggest that ToxR represses virulence factor production in response to metabolites that are normally effluxed from the cell by the RND transporters. We propose that impaired RND efflux results in periplasmic metabolite accumulation, which then activates periplasmic sensors including ToxR and two-component regulatory systems to initiate the expression of adaptive responses.

  16. Virulence factors of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrellad, Marina A.; Klepp, Laura I.; Gioffré, Andrea; Sabio y García, Julia; Morbidoni, Hector R.; Santangelo, María de la Paz; Cataldi, Angel A.; Bigi, Fabiana

    2013-01-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) consists of closely related species that cause tuberculosis in both humans and animals. This illness, still today, remains to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The mycobacteria enter the host by air, and, once in the lungs, are phagocytated by macrophages. This may lead to the rapid elimination of the bacillus or to the triggering of an active tuberculosis infection. A large number of different virulence factors have evolved in MTBC members as a response to the host immune reaction. The aim of this review is to describe the bacterial genes/proteins that are essential for the virulence of MTBC species, and that have been demonstrated in an in vivo model of infection. Knowledge of MTBC virulence factors is essential for the development of new vaccines and drugs to help manage the disease toward an increasingly more tuberculosis-free world. PMID:23076359

  17. Targeting Staphylococcus aureus Toxins: A Potential form of Anti-Virulence Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Cin; Neoh, Hui-min; Nathan, Sheila

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen and the leading cause of a wide range of severe clinical infections. The range of diseases reflects the diversity of virulence factors produced by this pathogen. To establish an infection in the host, S. aureus expresses an inclusive set of virulence factors such as toxins, enzymes, adhesins, and other surface proteins that allow the pathogen to survive under extreme conditions and are essential for the bacteria’s ability to spread through tissues. Expression and secretion of this array of toxins and enzymes are tightly controlled by a number of regulatory systems. S. aureus is also notorious for its ability to resist the arsenal of currently available antibiotics and dissemination of various multidrug-resistant S. aureus clones limits therapeutic options for a S. aureus infection. Recently, the development of anti-virulence therapeutics that neutralize S. aureus toxins or block the pathways that regulate toxin production has shown potential in thwarting the bacteria’s acquisition of antibiotic resistance. In this review, we provide insights into the regulation of S. aureus toxin production and potential anti-virulence strategies that target S. aureus toxins. PMID:26999200

  18. Effects of Oxygen on Virulence Traits of Streptococcus mutans▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Sang-Joon; Wen, Zezhang T.; Burne, Robert A.

    2007-01-01

    Oxygen profoundly affects the composition of oral biofilms. Recently, we showed that exposure of Streptococcus mutans to oxygen strongly inhibits biofilm formation and alters cell surface biogenesis. To begin to dissect the underlying mechanisms by which oxygen affects known virulence traits of S. mutans, transcription profiling was used to show that roughly 5% of the genes of this organism are differentially expressed in response to aeration. Among the most profoundly upregulated genes were autolysis-related genes and those that encode bacteriocins, the ClpB protease chaperone subunit, pyruvate dehydrogenase, the tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes, NADH oxidase enzymes, and certain carbohydrate transporters and catabolic pathways. Consistent with our observation that the ability of S. mutans to form biofilms was severely impaired by oxygen exposure, transcription of the gtfB gene, which encodes one of the primary enzymes involved in the production of water-insoluble, adhesive glucan exopolysaccharides, was down-regulated in cells growing aerobically. Further investigation revealed that transcription of gtfB, but not gtfC, was responsive to oxygen and that aeration causes major changes in the amount and degree of cell association of the Gtf enzymes. Moreover, inactivation of the VicK sensor kinase affected the expression and localization the GtfB and GtfC enzymes. This study provides novel insights into the complex transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulatory networks used by S. mutans to modulate virulence gene expression and exopolysaccharide production in response to changes in oxygen availability. PMID:17921307

  19. Effects of oxygen on virulence traits of Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Sang-Joon; Wen, Zezhang T; Burne, Robert A

    2007-12-01

    Oxygen profoundly affects the composition of oral biofilms. Recently, we showed that exposure of Streptococcus mutans to oxygen strongly inhibits biofilm formation and alters cell surface biogenesis. To begin to dissect the underlying mechanisms by which oxygen affects known virulence traits of S. mutans, transcription profiling was used to show that roughly 5% of the genes of this organism are differentially expressed in response to aeration. Among the most profoundly upregulated genes were autolysis-related genes and those that encode bacteriocins, the ClpB protease chaperone subunit, pyruvate dehydrogenase, the tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes, NADH oxidase enzymes, and certain carbohydrate transporters and catabolic pathways. Consistent with our observation that the ability of S. mutans to form biofilms was severely impaired by oxygen exposure, transcription of the gtfB gene, which encodes one of the primary enzymes involved in the production of water-insoluble, adhesive glucan exopolysaccharides, was down-regulated in cells growing aerobically. Further investigation revealed that transcription of gtfB, but not gtfC, was responsive to oxygen and that aeration causes major changes in the amount and degree of cell association of the Gtf enzymes. Moreover, inactivation of the VicK sensor kinase affected the expression and localization the GtfB and GtfC enzymes. This study provides novel insights into the complex transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulatory networks used by S. mutans to modulate virulence gene expression and exopolysaccharide production in response to changes in oxygen availability.

  20. Identification of Pathways Critical to Quorum Sensing and Virulence Induction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ognibene, Ted J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Young, N. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Holtz-Morris, A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Daley, P. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2009-02-27

    Quorum sensing is a mode of intercellular communication between bacteria that allows them to collectively regulate behavior such as virulence, sporulation, motility and biofilm formation. It is mediated by bacterially synthesized, diffusible, signaling molecules (autoinducers) that increase in concentration as a bacterial population expands until a critical threshold concentration is reached. However, in most bacterial species that produce autoinducer molecules, the physiologic concentration of these molecules is unknown. Moreover, many bacterial species, including Y. pestis, produce an array of quorum sensing molecules and the physiologic concentration of each individual type of autoinducer molecule is not known. There is a need to accurately and precisely quantitate these molecules, as it may be that different types of autoinducer molecules have different effects on virulence in the bacterium. We focused our efforts on the construction of a platform to identify and quantitate autoinducer molecules using FTICR, 14C isotope labeling and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Specifically, we focused on autoinducer-1 type molecules, acylhomoserine lactone (HSL), derived from S-adenosylmethionine (SAM).

  1. Chemical Inhibition of Kynureninase Reduces Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing and Virulence Factor Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasper, Stephen H; Bonocora, Richard P; Wade, Joseph T; Musah, Rabi Ann; Cady, Nathaniel C

    2016-04-15

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes multiple quorum sensing (QS) pathways to coordinate an arsenal of virulence factors. We previously identified several cysteine-based compounds inspired by natural products from the plant Petiveria alliacea which are capable of antagonizing multiple QS circuits as well as reducing P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. To understand the global effects of such compounds on virulence factor production and elucidate their mechanism of action, RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis was performed on P. aeruginosa PAO1 exposed to S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide, the most potent inhibitor from the prior study. Exposure to this inhibitor down-regulated expression of several QS-regulated virulence operons (e.g., phenazine biosynthesis, type VI secretion systems). Interestingly, many genes that were differentially regulated pertain to the related metabolic pathways that yield precursors of pyochelin, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, phenazines, and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Activation of the MexT-regulon was also indicated, including the multidrug efflux pump encoded by mexEF-oprN, which has previously been shown to inhibit QS and pathogenicity. Deeper investigation of the metabolites involved in these systems revealed that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide has structural similarity to kynurenine, a precursor of anthranilate, which is critical for P. aeruginosa virulence. By supplementing exogenous anthranilate, the QS-inhibitory effect was reversed. Finally, it was shown that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide competitively inhibits P. aeruginosa kynureninase (KynU) activity in vitro and reduces PQS production in vivo. The kynurenine pathway has been implicated in P. aeruginosa QS and virulence factor expression; however, this is the first study to show that targeted inhibition of KynU affects P. aeruginosa gene expression and QS, suggesting a potential antivirulence strategy.

  2. Gene Regulation in Streptococcus pneumoniae: interplay between nutrition and virulence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.T. Hendriksen (Wouter)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractStreptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is a Gram-positive bacterium, which belongs to the species of streptococci. Other pathogenic bacteria belonging to this class include Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus suis, Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus

  3. Evidence of cross gene regulation of some virulence factors of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    David Mtz

    2013-07-10

    Jul 10, 2013 ... Streptococcus intermedius is a bacteria of this group that can promote the development of deep- seated infections in the brain and liver and has been associated with periodontal disease and implantitis. (Tomoyasu et al., 2010; Pecharki et al., 2008). S. intermedius also contributes to the formation of biofilms.

  4. Evidence of cross gene regulation of some virulence factors of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    David Mtz

    2013-07-10

    Jul 10, 2013 ... 2Facultad de Odontología/Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de ..... App. Environ. Microbiol. 69:769-778. Eke PI, Dye BA, Wei L, Thornton-Evans GO, Genco RJ (2012) Preva- lence of periodontitis in adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J. Dent. Res.

  5. Evidence of cross gene regulation of some virulence factors of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Periodontal disease has been associated with poor dental care, which promotes the accumulation of bacteria and the development of diseases of the mouth. Porphyromonas gingivalis are anaerobic Gramnegative bacteria found in the subgingival plaque. They are largely responsible for chronic periodontal disease.

  6. Rare Helicobacter pylori Virulence Genotypes in Bhutan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsunari, Osamu; Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Vilaichone, Ratha-Korn; Uchida, Tomohisa; Ratanachu-ek, Thawee; Tshering, Lotay; Mahachai, Varocha; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2016-03-02

    Both the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and the incidence of gastric cancer are high in Bhutan. The high incidence of atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer suggest the phylogeographic origin of an infection with a more virulent strain of H. pylori. More than 90% of Bhutanese strains possessed the highly virulent East Asian-type CagA and all strains had the most virulent type of vacA (s1 type). More than half also had multiple repeats in East Asian-type CagA, which are rare in other countries and are reported characteristictly found in assciation with atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer consistent with Bhutanese strains having multiple H. pylori virulence factors associated with an increase in gastric cancer risk. Phylogeographic analyses showed that most Bhutanese strains belonged to the East Asian population type with some strains (17.5%) sharing East Asian and Amerindian components. Only 9.5% belonged to the European type consistant with H. pylori in Bhutan representing an intermediate evolutionary stage between H. pylori from European and East Asian countries.

  7. NEW VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, Peter Wilhelmus Maria; Bootsma, Jeanette Hester; Burghout, Pieter Jan; Kuipers, Oscar; Bijlsma, Johanna Jacoba Elisabeth; Kloosterman, Tomas Gerrit; Andersen, Christian O.

    2011-01-01

    The present invention provides proteins/genes, which are essential for survival, and consequently, for virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae in vivo, and thus are ideal vaccine candidates for a vaccine preparation against pneumococcal infection. Further, also antibodies against said protein(s) are

  8. Salmonella virulence plasmid: pathogenesis and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Claudia; Puente, José Luis; Calva, Edmundo

    2017-06-22

    A current view on the role of the Salmonella virulence plasmid in the pathogenesis of animal and human hosts is discussed; including the possible relevance in secondary ecological niches. Various strategies towards further studies in this respect are proposed within the One Health Concept. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Efflux inhibitor suppresses Streptococcus mutans virulence properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Huihui; Liu, Jia; Ling, Junqi

    2017-04-01

    It is well established that efflux pumps play important roles in bacterial pathogenicity and efflux inhibitors (EIs) have been proved to be effective in suppressing bacterial virulence properties. However, little is known regarding the EI of Streptococcus mutans, a well-known caries-inducing bacterium. In this study, we identified the EI of S. mutans through ethidium bromide efflux assay and investigated how EI affected S. mutans virulence regarding the cariogenicity and stress response. Results indicated that reserpine, the identified EI, suppressed acid tolerance, mutacin production and transformation efficiency of S. mutans, and modified biofilm architecture and extracellular polysaccharide distribution. Suppressed glycosyltransferase activity was also noted after reserpine exposure. The data from quantitative real-time-PCR demonstrated that reserpine significantly altered the expression profile of quorum-sensing and virulence-associated genes. These findings suggest that reserpine represents a promising adjunct anticariogenic agent in that it suppresses virulence properties of S. mutans. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Prevalence of clonal complexes and virulence genes among commensal and invasive Staphylococcus aureus isolates in Sweden.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunlög Rasmussen

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus encodes a remarkable number of virulence factors which may contribute to its pathogenicity and ability to cause invasive disease. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the association between S. aureus invasiveness and bacterial genotype, in terms of the presence of virulence genes and affiliation to clonal complexes. Also, the significance of different virulence genes, mainly adhesins, for the development of infective endocarditis was investigated. DNA microarray technology was used to analyze 134 S. aureus isolates, all methicillin-susceptible, derived from three groups of clinically well-characterized patients: nasal carriers (n=46, bacteremia (n=55, and bacteremia with infective endocarditis (n=33. Invasive isolates were dominant in four of the major clonal complexes: 5, 8, 15, and 25. Of the 170 virulence genes examined, those encoding accessory gene regulator group II (agr II, capsule polysaccharide serotype 5 (cap5, and adhesins such as S. aureus surface protein G (sasG and fibronectin-binding protein B (fnbB were found to be associated with invasive disease. The same was shown for the leukocidin genes lukD/lukE, as well as the genes encoding serine protease A and B (splA/splB, staphylococcal complement inhibitor (scn and the staphylococcal exotoxin-like protein (setC or selX. In addition, there was a trend of higher prevalence of certain genes or gene clusters (sasG, agr II, cap5 among isolates causing infective endocarditis compared to other invasive isolates. In most cases, the presence of virulence genes was linked to clonal complex affiliation. In conclusion, certain S. aureus clonal lineages harboring specific sets of virulence genes seem to be more successful in causing invasive disease.

  11. Xanthomonas campestris attenuates virulence by sensing light through a bacteriophytochrome photoreceptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonomi, Hernán R; Toum, Laila; Sycz, Gabriela; Sieira, Rodrigo; Toscani, Andrés M; Gudesblat, Gustavo E; Leskow, Federico C; Goldbaum, Fernando A; Vojnov, Adrián A; Malamud, Florencia

    2016-11-01

    Phytochromes constitute a major photoreceptor family found in plants, algae, fungi, and prokaryotes, including pathogens. Here, we report that Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), the causal agent of black rot disease which affects cruciferous crops worldwide, codes for a functional bacteriophytochrome (XccBphP). XccBphP possesses an N-terminal PAS2-GAF-PHY photosensory domain triad and a C-terminal PAS9 domain as its output module. Our results show that illumination of Xcc, prior to plant infection, attenuates its virulence in an XccBphP-dependent manner. Moreover, in response to light, XccBphP downregulates xanthan exopolysaccharide production and biofilm formation, two known Xcc virulence factors. Furthermore, the XccbphP null mutant shows enhanced virulence, similar to that of dark-adapted Xcc cultures. Stomatal aperture regulation and callose deposition, both well-established plant defense mechanisms against bacterial pathogens, are overridden by the XccbphP strain. Additionally, an RNA-Seq analysis reveals that far-red light or XccBphP overexpression produces genomewide transcriptional changes, including the inhibition of several Xcc virulence systems. Our findings indicate that Xcc senses light through XccBphP, eliciting bacterial virulence attenuation via downregulation of bacterial virulence factors. The capacity of XccBphP to respond to light both in vitro and in vivo was abolished by a mutation on the conserved Cys13 residue. These results provide evidence for a novel bacteriophytochrome function affecting an infectious process. © 2016 The Authors.

  12. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Valdez, Yolanda E [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Shou, Yulin [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Yoshida, Thomas M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Marrone, Babetta L [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dunbar, John [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  13. Salmonella typhimurium activates virulence gene transcription within acidified macrophage phagosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpuche Aranda, C M; Swanson, J A; Loomis, W P; Miller, S I

    1992-01-01

    Survival of Salmonella typhimurium within macrophage phagosomes requires the coordinate expression of bacterial gene products. This report examines the contribution of phagosomal pH as a signal for expression of genes positively regulated by the S. typhimurium virulence regulators PhoP and PhoQ. Several hours after bacterial phagocytosis by murine bone marrow-derived macrophages, PhoP-activated gene transcription increased 50- to 77-fold. In contrast, no difference in PhoP-activated gene expression was observed after infection of cultured epithelial cells, suggesting that the membrane sensor PhoQ recognized signals unique to macrophage phagosomes. The increase in PhoP-regulated gene expression was abolished when macrophage culture medium contained NH4Cl or chloroquine, weak bases that raise the pH of acidic compartments. Measurements of pH documented that S. typhimurium delayed and attenuated acidification of its intracellular compartment. Phagosomes containing S. typhimurium required 4-5 hr to reach pH < 5.0. In contrast, within 1 hr vacuoles containing heat-killed bacteria were measured at pH < 4.5. The eventual acidification of phagosomes to pH < 5.0 correlated with the period of maximal PhoP-dependent gene expression. These observations implicate phagosome acidification as an intracellular inducer of PhoP-regulated gene expression and suggest that Salmonella survival is dependent on its ability to attenuate phagosome acidification. Images PMID:1438196

  14. Genome-Wide Identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence-Related Genes Using a Caenorhabditis elegans Infection Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinbaum, Rhonda L.; Urbach, Jonathan M.; Liberati, Nicole T.; Djonovic, Slavica; Adonizio, Allison; Carvunis, Anne-Ruxandra; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2012-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes) necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700) were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes. PMID:22911607

  15. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinbaum, Rhonda L; Urbach, Jonathan M; Liberati, Nicole T; Djonovic, Slavica; Adonizio, Allison; Carvunis, Anne-Ruxandra; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes) necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700) were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  16. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhonda L Feinbaum

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700 were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  17. Enterococcus faecalis Inhibits Hyphal Morphogenesis and Virulence of Candida albicans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Melissa R.; Graham, Carrie E.; Gagliano, Bryce C.

    2013-01-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecalis and the fungus Candida albicans are both found as commensals in many of the same niches of the human body, such as the oral cavity and gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, both are opportunistic pathogens and have frequently been found to be coconstituents of polymicrobial infections. Despite these features in common, there has been little investigation into whether these microbes affect one another in a biologically significant manner. Using a Caenorhabditis elegans model of polymicrobial infection, we discovered that E. faecalis and C. albicans negatively impact each other's virulence. Much of the negative effect of E. faecalis on C. albicans was due to the inhibition of C. albicans hyphal morphogenesis, a developmental program crucial to C. albicans pathogenicity. We discovered that the inhibition was partially dependent on the Fsr quorum-sensing system, a major regulator of virulence in E. faecalis. Specifically, two proteases regulated by Fsr, GelE and SerE, were partially required. Further characterization of the inhibitory signal revealed that it is secreted into the supernatant, is heat resistant, and is between 3 and 10 kDa. The substance was also shown to inhibit C. albicans filamentation in the context of an in vitro biofilm. Finally, a screen of an E. faecalis transposon mutant library identified other genes required for suppression of C. albicans hyphal formation. Overall, we demonstrate a biologically relevant interaction between two clinically important microbes that could affect treatment strategies as well as impact our understanding of interkingdom signaling and sensing in the human-associated microbiome. PMID:23115035

  18. Streptococcus mutans copes with heat stress by multiple transcriptional regulons modulating virulence and energy metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chengcheng; Niu, Yulong; Zhou, Xuedong; Zheng, Xin; Wang, Shida; Guo, Qiang; Li, Yuqing; Li, Mingyun; Li, Jiyao; Yang, Yi; Ding, Yi; Lamont, Richard J.; Xu, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries is closely associated with the virulence of Streptococcus mutans. The virulence expression of S. mutans is linked to its stress adaptation to the changes in the oral environment. In this work we used whole-genome microarrays to profile the dynamic transcriptomic responses of S. mutans during physiological heat stress. In addition, we evaluated the phenotypic changes, including, eDNA release, initial biofilm formation, extracellular polysaccharides generation, acid production/acid tolerance, and ATP turnover of S. mutans during heat stress. There were distinct patterns observed in the way that S. mutans responded to heat stress that included 66 transcription factors for the expression of functional genes being differentially expressed. Especially, response regulators of two component systems (TCSs), the repressors of heat shock proteins and regulators involved in sugar transporting and metabolism co-ordinated to enhance the cell’s survival and energy generation against heat stress in S. mutans. PMID:26251057

  19. Small RNA pyrosequencing in the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica reveals strain-specific small RNAs that target virulence genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Small RNA mediated gene silencing is a well-conserved regulatory pathway. In the parasite Entamoeba histolytica an endogenous RNAi pathway exists, however, the depth and diversity of the small RNA population remains unknown. Results To characterize the small RNA population that associates with E. histolytica Argonaute-2 (EhAGO2-2), we immunoprecipitated small RNAs that associate with it and performed one full pyrosequencing run. Data analysis revealed new features of the 27nt small RNAs including the 5′-G predominance, distinct small RNA distribution patterns on protein coding genes, small RNAs mapping to both introns and exon-exon junctions, and small RNA targeted genes that are clustered particularly in sections of genome duplication. Characterization of genomic loci to which both sense and antisense small RNAs mapped showed that both sets of small RNAs have 5′-polyphosphate termini; strand-specific RT-PCR detected transcripts in both directions at these loci suggesting that both transcripts may serve as template for small RNA generation. In order to determine whether small RNA abundance patterns account for strain-specific gene expression profiles of E. histolytica virulent and non-virulent strains, we sequenced small RNAs from a non-virulent strain and found that small RNAs mapped to genes in a manner consistent with their regulation of strain-specific virulence genes. Conclusions We provided a full spectrum analysis for E. histolytica AGO2-2 associated 27nt small RNAs. Additionally, comparative analysis of small RNA populations from virulent and non-virulent amebic strains indicates that small RNA populations may regulate virulence genes. PMID:23347563

  20. Virulence Effects and Signaling Partners Modulated by Brucella melitensis Light-sensing Histidine Kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gourley, Christopher R.

    The facultative intracellular pathogen Brucella melitensis utilizes diverse virulence factors. A Brucella light sensing histidine kinase can influence in vitro virulence of the bacteria during intracellular infection. First, we demonstrated that the B. melitensis light sensing kinase (BM-LOV-HK) affects virulence in an IRF-1-/- mouse model of infection. Infection with a Δ BM-LOV-HK strain resulted in less bacterial colonization of IRF-1-/- spleens and extended survivorship compared to mice infected with wild type B. melitensis 16M. Second, using PCR arrays, we observed less expression of innate and adaptive immune system activation markers in ΔBM-LOV-HK infected mouse spleens than wild type B. melitensis 16M infected mouse spleens 6 days after infection. Third, we demonstrated by microarray analysis of B. melitensis that deletion of BM-LOV-HK alters bacterial gene expression. Downregulation of genes involved in control of the general stress response system included the alternative sigma factor RpoE1 and its anti-anti sigma factor PhyR. Conversely, genes involved in flagella production, quorum sensing, and the type IV secretion system (VirB operon) were upregulated in the Δ BM-LOV-HK strain compared to the wild type B. melitensis 16M. Analysis of genes differentially regulated in Δ BM-LOV-HK versus the wild type strain indicated an overlap of 110 genes with data from previous quorum sensing regulator studies of Δ vjbR and/ΔblxR(babR) strains. Also, several predicted RpoE1 binding sites located upstream of genes were differentially regulated in the ΔBM-LOV-HK strain. Our results suggest BM-LOV-HK is important for in vivo Brucella virulence, and reveals that BM-LOV-HK directly or indirect regulates members of the Brucella quorum sensing, type IV secretion, and general stress systems.

  1. Methods to Study Quorum Sensing-Dependent Virulence and Movement of Phytopathogens In Planta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manulis-Sasson, Shulamit; Chalupowicz, Laura

    2018-01-01

    Cell-to-cell communication mediated by the diffusible signal factor (DSF) is a common form of gene regulation and plays an important role in virulence of many plant pathogenic bacteria including Xanthomonas spp. Here we describe several approaches to study the involvement of DSF-dependent QS system of the plant pathogenic bacteria Xanthomonas campestris pv. pelargonii (Xhp) as an example of the Xanthomonas spp. The methods described include detection and measurement of DSF, movement in planta, colonization, and aggregate formation.

  2. Role of Indole Production on Virulence of Vibrio cholerae Using Galleria mellonella Larvae Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuidate, Taiyeebah; Tansila, Natta; Saengkerdsub, Suwat; Kongreung, Jetnaphang; Bakkiyaraj, Dhamodharan; Vuddhakul, Varaporn

    2016-09-01

    Cell to cell communication facilitated by chemical signals plays crucial roles in regulating various cellular functions in bacteria. Indole, one such signaling molecule has been demonstrated to control various bacterial phenotypes such as biofilm formation and virulence in diverse bacteria including Vibrio cholerae. The present study explores some key factors involved in indole production and the subsequent pathogenesis of V. cholerae. Indole production was higher at 37 °C than at 30 °C, although the growth at 37 °C was slightly higher. A positive correlation was observed between indole production and biofilm formation in V. cholerae. Maximum indole production was detected at pH 7. There was no significant difference in indole production between clinical and environmental V. cholerae isolates, although indole production in one environmental isolate was significantly different. Both growth and indole production showed relevant changes with differences in salinity. An indole negative mutant strain was constructed using transposon mutagenesis and the direct effect of indole on the virulence of V. cholerae was evaluated using Galleria mellonella larvae model. Comparison to the wild type strain, the mutant significantly reduced the mortality of G. mellonella larvae which regained its virulence after complementation with exogenous indole. A gene involved in indole production and the virulence of V. cholerae was identified.

  3. AhrC and Eep are biofilm infection-associated virulence factors in Enterococcus faecalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Kristi L; Guiton, Pascale S; Barnes, Aaron M T; Manias, Dawn A; Chuang-Smith, Olivia N; Kohler, Petra L; Spaulding, Adam R; Hultgren, Scott J; Schlievert, Patrick M; Dunny, Gary M

    2013-05-01

    Enterococcus faecalis is part of the human intestinal microbiome and is a prominent cause of health care-associated infections. The pathogenesis of many E. faecalis infections, including endocarditis and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), is related to the ability of clinical isolates to form biofilms. To identify chromosomal genetic determinants responsible for E. faecalis biofilm-mediated infection, we used a rabbit model of endocarditis to test strains with transposon insertions or in-frame deletions in biofilm-associated loci: ahrC, argR, atlA, opuBC, pyrC, recN, and sepF. Only the ahrC mutant was significantly attenuated in endocarditis. We demonstrate that the transcriptional regulator AhrC and the protease Eep, which we showed previously to be an endocarditis virulence factor, are also required for full virulence in murine CAUTI. Therefore, AhrC and Eep can be classified as enterococcal biofilm-associated virulence factors. Loss of ahrC caused defects in early attachment and accumulation of biofilm biomass. Characterization of ahrC transcription revealed that the temporal expression of this locus observed in wild-type cells promotes initiation of early biofilm formation and the establishment of endocarditis. This is the first report of AhrC serving as a virulence factor in any bacterial species.

  4. Hunger for iron: the alternative siderophore iron scavenging systems in highly virulent Yersinia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eRakin

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Low molecular weight siderophores are used by many living organisms to scavenge scarcely available ferric iron. Presence of at least a single siderophore-based iron acquisition system is usually acknowledged as a virulence-associated trait and a prerequisite to become an efficient and successful pathogen. Currently it is assumed that yersiniabactin (Ybt is the solely functional endogenous siderophore iron uptake system in highly virulent Yersinia (Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica biotype 1B. Genes responsible for biosynthesis, transport and regulation of the yersiniabactin (ybt production are clustered on a mobile genetic element, the High Pathogenicity Island (HPI that is responsible for broad dissemination of the ybt genes in Enterobacteriaceae. However, the ybt gene cluster is absent from nearly half of Y. pseudotuberculosis O3 isolates and epidemic Y. pseudotuberculosis O1 isolates responsible for the Far East Scarlet-like Fever. Several potential siderophore-mediated iron uptake gene clusters are documented in Yersinia genomes, however neither of them have been proven to be functional. It has been suggested that at least two siderophores alternative to Ybt may operate in the highly virulent Yersinia pestis / Y. pseudotuberculosis group, and are referred to as pseudochelin (Pch and yersiniachelin (Ych. Furthermore, most sporadic Y. pseudotuberculosis O1 strains possess gene clusters encoding all three iron scavenging systems. Thus, the Ybt system appears not to be the sole endogenous siderophore iron uptake system in the highly virulent yersiniae and may be efficiently substituted and / or supplemented by alternative iron scavenging systems.

  5. Temporal Profile of Biofilm Formation, Gene Expression and Virulence Analysis in Candida albicans Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Barros, Patrícia Pimentel; Rossoni, Rodnei Dennis; De Camargo Ribeiro, Felipe; Junqueira, Juliana Campos; Jorge, Antonio Olavo Cardoso

    2017-04-01

    The characterization of Candida albicans strains with different degrees of virulence became very useful to understand the mechanisms of fungal virulence. Then, the objective of this study was to assess and compare the temporal profiles of biofilms formation, gene expression of ALS1, ALS3, HWP1, BCR1, EFG1, TEC1, SAP5, PLB2 and LIP9 and virulence in Galleria mellonella of C. albicans ATCC18804 and a clinical sample isolated from an HIV-positive patient (CA60). Although the CFU/mL counting was higher in biofilms formed in vitro by ATCC strain, the temporal profile of the analysis of the transcripts of the C. albicans strains was elevated to Ca60 compared to strain ATCC, especially in the genes HWP1, ALS3, SAP5, PLB2 and LIP9 (up regulation). Ca60 was more pathogenic for G. mellonella in the survival assay (p = 0.0394) and hemocytes density (p = 0.0349), agreeing with upregulated genes that encode the expression of hyphae and hydrolase genes of Ca60. In conclusion, the C. albicans strains used in this study differ in the amount of biofilm formation, virulence in vivo and transcriptional profiles of genes analyzed that can change factors associated with colonization, proliferation and survival of C. albicans at different niches. SAP5 and HWP1 were the genes more expressed in the formation of biofilm in vitro.

  6. Copper tolerance and virulence in bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ladomersky, Erik; Petris, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for all aerobic organisms. It functions as a cofactor in enzymes that catalyze a wide variety of redox reactions due to its ability to cycle between two oxidation states, Cu(I) and Cu(II). This same redox property of copper has the potential to cause toxicity if copper homeostasis is not maintained. Studies suggest that the toxic properties of copper are harnessed by the innate immune system of the host to kill bacteria. To counter such defenses, bacteria rely on copper tolerance genes for virulence within the host. These discoveries suggest bacterial copper intoxication is a component of host nutritional immunity, thus expanding our knowledge of the roles of copper in biology. This review summarizes our current understanding of copper tolerance in bacteria, and the extent to which these pathways contribute to bacterial virulence within the host. PMID:25652326

  7. Induction of virulence factors in Giardia duodenalis independent of host attachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Samantha J.; Mirzaei, Mehdi; Vuong, Daniel; Pascovici, Dana; Chick, Joel M.; Lacey, Ernest; Haynes, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Giardia duodenalis is responsible for the majority of parasitic gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. Host-parasite interaction models in vitro provide insights into disease and virulence and help us to understand pathogenesis. Using HT-29 intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) as a model we have demonstrated that initial sensitisation by host secretions reduces proclivity for trophozoite attachment, while inducing virulence factors. Host soluble factors triggered up-regulation of membrane and secreted proteins, including Tenascins, Cathepsin-B precursor, cystatin, and numerous Variant-specific Surface Proteins (VSPs). By comparison, host-cell attached trophozoites up-regulated intracellular pathways for ubiquitination, reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification and production of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP). We reason that these results demonstrate early pathogenesis in Giardia involves two independent host-parasite interactions. Motile trophozoites respond to soluble secreted signals, which deter attachment and induce expression of virulence factors. Trophozoites attached to host cells, in contrast, respond by up-regulating intracellular pathways involved in clearance of ROS, thus anticipating the host defence response. PMID:26867958

  8. Role of DetR in defence is critical for virulence of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Minh-Phuong; Park, Jongchan; Cho, Man-Ho; Lee, Sang-Won

    2016-05-01

    Like other bacteria, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), the causal agent of bacterial leaf blight disease in rice, possesses intracellular signalling systems, known as two-component regulatory systems (TCSs), which regulate pathogenesis and biological processes. Completion of the genome sequences of three Xoo strains has facilitated the functional study of genes, including those of TCSs, but the biological functions of most Xoo TCSs have not yet been uncovered. To identify TCSs involved in Xoo pathogenesis, we generated knockout strains lacking response regulators (RRs, a cytoplasmic signalling component of the TCS) and examined the virulence of the RR knockout strains. This study presents a knockout strain (detR(-) ) lacking the PXO_04659 gene which shows dramatically reduced virulence relative to the wild-type. Our studies to elucidate detR function in Xoo pathogenesis revealed a reduction in extracellular polysaccharide (EPS), intolerance to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and deregulation of iron homeostasis in the detR(-) strain. Moreover, gene expression of regulatory factors, including other RRs and transcription factors (TFs), was altered in the absence of DetR protein, as determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and/or real-time quantitative RT-PCR analyses. All evidence leads to the conclusion that DetR is essential for Xoo virulence through the regulation of the Xoo defence system including EPS synthesis, ROS detoxification and iron homeostasis, solely or cooperatively with other regulatory factors. © 2015 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  9. Helicobacter pylori virulence factors in gastric carcinogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Wen, Sicheng; Moss, Steven F.

    2008-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori infection is the most important risk factor in the development of non-cardia gastric adenocarcinoma; host genetic variability and dietary co-factors also modulate risk. Because most H. pylori infections do not cause cancer, H. pylori heterogeneity has been investigated to identify possible virulence factors. The strongest candidates are genes within the cag (cytotoxin associated antigen) pathogenicity island, including the gene encoding the CagA protein, as well as polymor...

  10. Capsules, toxins and AtxA as virulence factors of emerging Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Brézillon

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain and Côte d'Ivoire (CI strain. These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have

  11. Capsules, Toxins and AtxA as Virulence Factors of Emerging Bacillus cereus Biovar anthracis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E.; Klee, Silke R.; Goossens, Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d’Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged. PMID

  12. Capsules, toxins and AtxA as virulence factors of emerging Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brézillon, Christophe; Haustant, Michel; Dupke, Susann; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E; Klee, Silke R; Goossens, Pierre L

    2015-04-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d'Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged.

  13. Amino Acid Permeases and Virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

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    Kevin Felipe Cruz Martho

    Full Text Available Fungal opportunistic pathogens colonize various environments, from plants and wood to human and animal tissue. Regarding human pathogens, one great challenge during contrasting niche occupation is the adaptation to different conditions, such as temperature, osmolarity, salinity, pressure, oxidative stress and nutritional availability, which may constitute sources of stress that need to be tolerated and overcome. As an opportunistic pathogen, C. neoformans faces exactly these situations during the transition from the environment to the human host, encountering nutritional constraints. Our previous and current research on amino acid biosynthetic pathways indicates that amino acid permeases are regulated by the presence of the amino acids, nitrogen and temperature. Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans have twenty-four and twenty-seven genes encoding amino acid permeases, respectively; conversely, they are scarce in number in Basidiomycetes (C. neoformans, Coprinopsis cinerea and Ustilago maydis, where nine to ten permease genes can be found depending on the species. In this study, we have demonstrated that two amino acid permeases are essential for virulence in C. neoformans. Our data showed that C. neoformans uses two global and redundant amino acid permeases, Aap4 and Aap5 to respond correctly to thermal and oxidative stress. Double deletion of these permeases causes growth arrest in C. neoformans at 37°C and in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The inability to uptake amino acid at a higher temperature and under oxidative stress also led to virulence attenuation in vivo. Our data showed that thermosensitivity caused by the lack of permeases Aap4 and Aap5 can be remedied by alkaline conditions (higher pH and salinity. Permeases Aap4 and Aap5 are also required during fluconazole stress and they are the target of the plant secondary metabolite eugenol, a potent antifungal inhibitor that targets amino acid permeases. In summary, our work

  14. Transcriptional Activation of Virulence Genes of Rhizobium etli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Luyao; Lacroix, Benoît; Guo, Jianhua; Citovsky, Vitaly

    2017-03-15

    regulation and induction of virulence genes in R. etli and show similarities to and differences from those of their A. tumefaciens counterparts, contributing to an understanding and a comparison of these two systems. Whereas most vir genes in R. etli follow an induction pattern similar to that of A. tumefaciens vir genes, a few significant differences may at least in part explain the variations in T-DNA transfer efficiency. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  15. Iron is a signal for Stenotrophomonas maltophilia biofilm formation, oxidative stress response, OMPs expression and virulence

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    Carlos Adrian Garcia

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an emerging nosocomial pathogen. In many bacteria iron availability regulates, trough the Fur system, not only iron homeostasis but also virulence. The aim of this work was to assess the role of iron on S. maltophilia biofilm formation, EPS production, oxidative stress response, OMPs regulation, quorum sensing (QS, and virulence. Studies were done on K279 and its isogenic fur mutant F60 cultured in the presence or absence of dipyridyl. This is the first report of spontaneous fur mutants obtained in S. maltophilia. F60 produced higher amounts of biofilms than K279a and CLSM analysis demonstrated improved adherence and biofilm organization. Under iron restricted conditions, K279a produced biofilms with more biomass and enhanced thickness. In addition, F60 produced higher amounts of EPS than K279a but with a similar composition, as revealed by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. With respect to the oxidative stress response, MnSOD was the only SOD isoenzyme detected in K279a. F60 presented higher SOD activity than the wt strain in planktonic and biofilm cultures, and iron deprivation increased K279a SOD activity. Under iron starvation, SDS-PAGE profile from K279a presented two iron-repressed proteins. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed homology with FepA and another putative TonB-dependent siderophore receptor of K279a. In silico analysis allowed the detection of potential Fur boxes in the respective coding genes. K279a encodes the QS diffusible signal factor (DSF. Under iron restriction K279a produced higher amounts of DSF than under iron rich condition. Finally, F60 was more virulent than K279a in the Galleria mellonella killing assay. These results put in evidence that iron levels regulate, likely through the Fur system, S. maltophilia biofilm formation, oxidative stress response, OMPs expression, DSF production and virulence.

  16. Detection of virulence associated genes, haemolysin and protease amongst Vibrio cholerae isolated in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyer, L; Vadivelu, J; Puthucheary, S D

    2000-08-01

    Eighty-four strains of Vibrio cholerae O1, O139 and non-O1/non-O139 from clinical and environmental sources were investigated for the presence of the toxin co-regulated pilus gene, tcpA, the virulence cassette genes ctxA, zot, ace and cep and also for their ability to elaborate haemolysin and protease. The ctxA and zot genes were detected using DNA-DNA hybridization while the ace, cep and tcpA genes were detected using PCR. Production of haemolysin and protease was detected using mammalian erythrocytes and an agar diffusion assay respectively. Analysis of their virulence profiles showed six different groups designated Type I to Type VI and the major distinguishing factor among these profiles was in the in vitro production of haemolysin and/or protease. Clinical O1, O139 and environmental O1 strains were similar with regard to presence of the virulence cassette genes. All environmental O1 strains with the exception of one were found to possess ctxA, zot and ace giving rise to the probability that these strains may actually be of clinical origin. One strain which had only cep but none of the toxin genes may be a true environmental isolate. The virulence cassette and colonization factor genes were absent in all non-O1/non-O139 environmental strains but production of both the haemolysin and protease was present, indicating that these may be putative virulence factors. These findings suggest that with regard to its pathogenic potential, only strains of the O1 and O139 serogroup that possess the tcpA gene which encodes the phage receptor, have the potential to acquire the CTX genetic element and become choleragenic.

  17. Impact of AmpC Derepression on Fitness and Virulence: the Mechanism or the Pathway?

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    Marcelo Pérez-Gallego

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the interplay between antibiotic resistance and bacterial fitness and virulence is essential to guide individual treatments and improve global antibiotic policies. A paradigmatic example of a resistance mechanism is the intrinsic inducible chromosomal β-lactamase AmpC from multiple Gram-negative bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major nosocomial pathogen. The regulation of ampC expression is intimately linked to peptidoglycan recycling, and AmpC-mediated β-lactam resistance is frequently mediated by inactivating mutations in ampD, encoding an N-acetyl-anhydromuramyl-l-alanine amidase, affecting the levels of ampC-activating muropeptides. Here we dissect the impact of the multiple pathways causing AmpC hyperproduction on P. aeruginosa fitness and virulence. Through a detailed analysis, we demonstrate that the lack of all three P. aeruginosa AmpD amidases causes a dramatic effect in fitness and pathogenicity, severely compromising growth rates, motility, and cytotoxicity; the latter effect is likely achieved by repressing key virulence factors, such as protease LasA, phospholipase C, or type III secretion system components. We also show that ampC overexpression is required but not sufficient to confer the growth-motility-cytotoxicity impaired phenotype and that alternative pathways leading to similar levels of ampC hyperexpression and resistance, such as those involving PBP4, had no fitness-virulence cost. Further analysis indicated that fitness-virulence impairment is caused by overexpressing ampC in the absence of cell wall recycling, as reproduced by expressing ampC from a plasmid in an AmpG (muropeptide permease-deficient background. Thus, our findings represent a major step in the understanding of β-lactam resistance biology and its interplay with fitness and pathogenesis.

  18. Virulence plasmid of Rhodococcus equi contains inducible gene family encoding secreted proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, B A; Prescott, J F; Palmer, G H; Takai, S; Nicholson, V M; Alperin, D C; Hines, S A

    2001-02-01

    Rhodococcus equi causes severe pyogranulomatous pneumonia in foals. This facultative intracellular pathogen produces similar lesions in immunocompromised humans, particularly in AIDS patients. Virulent strains of R. equi bear a large plasmid that is required for intracellular survival within macrophages and for virulence in foals and mice. Only two plasmid-encoded proteins have been described previously; a 15- to 17-kDa surface protein designated virulence-associated protein A (VapA) and an antigenically related 20-kDa protein (herein designated VapB). These two proteins are not expressed by the same R. equi isolate. We describe here the substantial similarity between VapA and VapB. Moreover, we identify three additional genes carried on the virulence plasmid, vapC, -D, and -E, that are tandemly arranged downstream of vapA. These new genes are members of a gene family and encode proteins that are approximately 50% homologous to VapA, VapB, and each other. vapC, -D, and -E are found only in R. equi strains that express VapA and are highly conserved in VapA-positive isolates from both horses and humans. VapC, -D, and -E are secreted proteins coordinately regulated by temperature with VapA; the proteins are expressed when R. equi is cultured at 37 degrees C but not at 30 degrees C, a finding that is compatible with a role in virulence. As secreted proteins, VapC, -D, and -E may represent targets for the prevention of rhodococcal pneumonia. An immunologic study using VapA-specific antibodies and recombinant Vap proteins revealed no evidence of cross-reactivity despite extensive sequence similarity over the carboxy terminus of all four proteins.

  19. Variation in the salivary proteomes of differentially virulent greenbug (Schizaphis graminum Rondani) biotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Scott J; Puterka, Gary J

    2014-06-13

    Greenbug (Schizaphis graminum Rondani) biotypes are classified by their differential virulence to wheat, barley, and sorghum varieties possessing greenbug resistance genes. Virulent greenbug biotypes exert phytotoxic effects upon their hosts during feeding, directly inducing physiological and metabolic alterations and accompanying foliar damage. Comparative analyses of the salivary proteomes of four differentially virulent greenbug biotypes C, E, G, and H showed significant proteomic divergence between biotypes. Thirty-two proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS; the most prevalent of which were three glucose dehydrogenase paralogs (GDH), lipophorin, complementary sex determiner, three proteins of unknown function, carbonic anhydrase, fibroblast growth factor receptor, and abnormal oocyte (ABO). Seven nucleotide-binding proteins were identified, including ABO which is involved in mRNA splicing. Quantitative variation among greenbug biotypes was detected in six proteins; two GDH paralogs, carbonic anhydrase, ABO, and two proteins of unknown function. Our findings reveal that the greenbug salivary proteome differs according to biotype and diverges substantially from those reported for other aphids. The proteomic profiles of greenbug biotypes suggest that interactions between aphid salivary proteins and the plant host result in suppression of plant defenses and cellular transport, and may manipulate transcriptional regulation in the plant host, ultimately allowing the aphid to maintain phloem ingestion. Greenbug (Schizaphis graminum Rondani, GB) is a major phytotoxic aphid pest of wheat, sorghum, and barley. Unlike non-phytotoxic aphids, GB directly damages its host, causing uniformly characteristic symptoms leading to host death. As saliva is the primary interface between the aphid and its plant host, saliva is also the primary aphid biotypic determinant, and differences in biotypic virulence are the result of biotypic variations in salivary content. This study analyzed

  20. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence Analyzed in a Dictyostelium discoideum Host System

    OpenAIRE

    Cosson, Pierre; Zulianello, Laurence; Join-Lambert, Olivier; Faurisson, François; Gebbie, Leigh; Benghezal, Mohammed; Van Delden, Christian; Kocjancic Curty, Lasta; Köhler, Thilo

    2002-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen that produces a variety of cell-associated and secreted virulence factors. P. aeruginosa infections are difficult to treat effectively because of the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains. In this study, we analyzed whether the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum can be used as a simple model system to analyze the virulence of P. aeruginosa strains. The virulent wild-type strain PAO1 was shown to inhibit growth of D. discoide...

  1. Exploring the Possible Role of Lysine Acetylation on Entamoeba histolytica Virulence: A Focus on the Dynamics of the Actin Cytoskeleton

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    L. López-Contreras

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Cytoskeleton remodeling can be regulated, among other mechanisms, by lysine acetylation. The role of acetylation on cytoskeletal and other proteins of Entamoeba histolytica has been poorly studied. Dynamic rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton are crucial for amebic motility and capping formation, processes that may be effective means of evading the host immune response. Here we report the possible effect of acetylation on the actin cytoskeleton dynamics and in vivo virulence of E. histolytica. Using western blot, immunoprecipitation, microscopy assays, and in silico analysis, we show results that strongly suggest that the increase in Aspirin-induced cytoplasm proteins acetylation reduced cell movement and capping formation, likely as a consequence of alterations in the structuration of the actin cytoskeleton. Additionally, intrahepatic inoculation of Aspirin-treated trophozoites in hamsters resulted in severe impairment of the amebic virulence. Taken together, these results suggest an important role for lysine acetylation in amebic invasiveness and virulence.

  2. COORDINATED VIRULENCE FACTORS OF ZOONOTIC PATHOGEN Salmonella Typhimurium ASSOCIATED WITH SYSTEMIC DISEASE

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    Ermin Schadich

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available  The pivotal virulence factors of foodborne zoonotic pathogen Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium associated with pathogenesis of systemic disease of humans and mice are the effectors of type three secretion systems. They are encoded by genes located on two different gene clusters named Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 and 2 (SPI-1 and SPI-2 and Salmonella plasmid virulence locus whose expressions are coordinated by regulatory networks in spatial and temporal manners. Secretion of the SPI-1 effectors required for bacterial internalization into specific compartments called Salmonella- containing vacuole (SCV of infected intestinal epithelial cells, is induced by environmental conditions via Hil transcription factors network. Secretion of SPI-2 and plasmid effectors required for bacterial survival inside of the SCVs of these cells and subsequently infected phagocytic cells, systemic spread, immunosuppression and cytotoxicity, is coordinated by broader regulatory network with the two response regulators, SsrB and SlyA, as the terminal regulators that integrate multiple environmental signals. Key words: Salmonella Typhimurium, effectors, virulence, systemic disease

  3. VarR controls colonization and virulence in the marine macroalgal pathogen Nautella italica R11

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    Melissa eGardiner

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available There is increasing evidence to suggest that macroalgae (seaweeds are susceptible to infectious disease. However, to date, little is known about the mechanisms that facilitate the colonization and virulence of microbial seaweed pathogens. One well-described example of a seaweed disease is the bleaching of the red alga Delisea pulchra, which can be caused by the bacterium Nautella italica R11, a member of the Roseobacter clade. This pathogen contains a unique luxR-type gene, varR, which we hypothesize controls its colonization and virulence. We show here that a varR knock-out strain is deficient in its ability to cause disease in D. pulchra and is defective in biofilm formation and attachment to a common algal polysaccharide. Moreover complementation of the varR gene in trans can restore these functions to the wild type levels. Proteomic analysis of bacterial cells in planktonic and biofilm growth highlight the potential importance of nitrogen scavenging, mobilization of energy reserves, and stress resistance in the biofilm lifestyle of N. italica R11. Moreover, we show that VarR regulates the expression of a specific subset of biofilm-associated proteins. Taken together these data suggest that VarR controls colonization and persistence of N. italica R11 on the surface of a macroalgal host and that it is an important regulator of virulence.

  4. Clp chaperones and proteases are central in stress survival, virulence and antibiotic resistance of Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frees, Dorte; Gerth, Ulf; Ingmer, Hanne

    2014-03-01

    Intracellular proteolysis carried out by energy-dependent proteases is one of the most conserved biological processes. In all cells proteolysis maintains and shapes the cellular proteome by ridding the cell of damaged proteins and by regulating abundance of functional proteins such as regulatory proteins. The ATP-dependent ClpP protease is highly conserved among eubacteria and in the chloroplasts and mitochondria of eukaryotic cells. In the serious human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus inactivation of clpP rendered the bacterium avirulent emphasizing the central role of proteolysis in virulence. The contribution of the Clp proteins to virulence is likely to occur at multiple levels. First of all, both Clp ATPases and the Clp protease are central players in stress responses required to cope with the adverse conditions met in the host. The ClpP protease has a dual role herein, as it both eliminates stress-damaged proteins as well as ensures the timely degradation of major stress regulators such as Spx, LexA and CtsR. Additionally, as we will summarize in this review, Clp proteases and Clp chaperones impact on such central processes as virulence gene expression, cell wall metabolism, survival in stationary phase, and cell division. These observations together with recent findings that Clp proteins contribute to adaptation to antibiotics highlights the importance of this interesting proteolytic machinery both for understanding pathogenicity of the organism and for treating staphylococcal infections. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. A trans-acting leader RNA from a Salmonella virulence gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Eunna; Han, Yoontak; Cho, Yong-Joon; Nam, Daesil; Lee, Eun-Jin

    2017-09-19

    Bacteria use flagella to move toward nutrients, find its host, or retract from toxic substances. Because bacterial flagellum is one of the ligands that activate the host innate immune system, its synthesis should be tightly regulated during host infection, which is largely unknown. Here, we report that a bacterial leader mRNA from the mgtCBR virulence operon in the intracellular pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium binds to the fljB coding region of mRNAs in the fljBA operon encoding the FljB phase 2 flagellin, a main component of bacterial flagella and the FljA repressor for the FliC phase 1 flagellin, and degrades fljBA mRNAs in an RNase E-dependent fashion during infection. A nucleotide substitution of the fljB flagellin gene that prevents the mgtC leader RNA-mediated down-regulation increases the fljB-encoded flagellin synthesis, leading to a hypermotile phenotype inside macrophages. Moreover, the fljB nucleotide substitution renders Salmonella hypervirulent, indicating that FljB-based motility must be compromised in the phagosomal compartment where Salmonella resides. This suggests that this pathogen promotes pathogenicity by producing a virulence protein and limits locomotion by a trans-acting leader RNA from the same virulence gene during infection.

  6. Molecular Basis of Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus Mastitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Maréchal, Caroline; Seyffert, Nubia; Jardin, Julien; Hernandez, David; Jan, Gwenaël; Rault, Lucie; Azevedo, Vasco; François, Patrice; Schrenzel, Jacques; van de Guchte, Maarten; Even, Sergine; Berkova, Nadia; Thiéry, Richard; Fitzgerald, J. Ross

    2011-01-01

    Background S. aureus is one of the main pathogens involved in ruminant mastitis worldwide. The severity of staphylococcal infection is highly variable, ranging from subclinical to gangrenous mastitis. This work represents an in-depth characterization of S. aureus mastitis isolates to identify bacterial factors involved in severity of mastitis infection. Methodology/Principal Findings We employed genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to comprehensively compare two clonally related S. aureus strains that reproducibly induce severe (strain O11) and milder (strain O46) mastitis in ewes. Variation in the content of mobile genetic elements, iron acquisition and metabolism, transcriptional regulation and exoprotein production was observed. In particular, O11 produced relatively high levels of exoproteins, including toxins and proteases known to be important in virulence. A characteristic we observed in other S. aureus strains isolated from clinical mastitis cases. Conclusions/Significance Our data are consistent with a dose-dependant role of some staphylococcal factors in the hypervirulence of strains isolated from severe mastitis. Mobile genetic elements, transcriptional regulators, exoproteins and iron acquisition pathways constitute good targets for further research to define the underlying mechanisms of mastitis severity. PMID:22096559

  7. Comparative Transcriptome Profiling Reveals Different Expression Patterns in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae Strains with Putative Virulence-Relevant Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fan; Du, Zhenglin; Huang, Liyu; Cruz, Casiana Vera; Zhou, Yongli; Li, Zhikang

    2013-01-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is the causal agent of rice bacterial blight, which is a major rice disease in tropical Asian countries. An attempt has been made to investigate gene expression patterns of three Xoo strains on the minimal medium XOM2, PXO99 (P6) and PXO86 (P2) from the Philippines, and GD1358 (C5) from China, which exhibited different virulence in 30 rice varieties, with putative virulence factors using deep sequencing. In total, 4,781 transcripts were identified in this study, and 1,151 and 3,076 genes were differentially expressed when P6 was compared with P2 and with C5, respectively. Our results indicated that Xoo strains from different regions exhibited distinctly different expression patterns of putative virulence-relevant genes. Interestingly, 40 and 44 genes involved in chemotaxis and motility exhibited higher transcript alterations in C5 compared with P6 and P2, respectively. Most other genes associated with virulence, including exopolysaccharide (EPS) synthesis, Hrp genes and type III effectors, including Xanthomonas outer protein (Xop) effectors and transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors, were down-regulated in C5 compared with P6 and P2. The data were confirmed by real-time quantitative RT-PCR, tests of bacterial motility, and enzyme activity analysis of EPS and xylanase. These results highlight the complexity of Xoo and offer new avenues for improving our understanding of Xoo-rice interactions and the evolution of Xoo virulence. PMID:23734193

  8. Virulence Plasmids of Spore-Forming Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Vicki; Li, Jihong; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Moore, Robert J; McClane, Bruce A; Rood, Julian I

    2014-12-01

    Plasmid-encoded virulence factors are important in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by spore-forming bacteria. Unlike many other bacteria, the most common virulence factors encoded by plasmids in Clostridium and Bacillus species are protein toxins. Clostridium perfringens causes several histotoxic and enterotoxin diseases in both humans and animals and produces a broad range of toxins, including many pore-forming toxins such as C. perfringens enterotoxin, epsilon-toxin, beta-toxin, and NetB. Genetic studies have led to the determination of the role of these toxins in disease pathogenesis. The genes for these toxins are generally carried on large conjugative plasmids that have common core replication, maintenance, and conjugation regions. There is considerable functional information available about the unique tcp conjugation locus carried by these plasmids, but less is known about plasmid maintenance. The latter is intriguing because many C. perfringens isolates stably maintain up to four different, but closely related, toxin plasmids. Toxin genes may also be plasmid-encoded in the neurotoxic clostridia. The tetanus toxin gene is located on a plasmid in Clostridium tetani, but the botulinum toxin genes may be chromosomal, plasmid-determined, or located on bacteriophages in Clostridium botulinum. In Bacillus anthracis it is well established that virulence is plasmid determined, with anthrax toxin genes located on pXO1 and capsule genes on a separate plasmid, pXO2. Orthologs of these plasmids are also found in other members of the Bacillus cereus group such as B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In B. thuringiensis these plasmids may carry genes encoding one or more insecticidal toxins.

  9. MarA, SoxS and Rob function as virulence factors in an Escherichia coli murine model of ascending pyelonephritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casaz, Paul; Garrity-Ryan, Lynne K; McKenney, David; Jackson, Caroline; Levy, Stuart B; Tanaka, S Ken; Alekshun, Michael N

    2006-12-01

    MarA, SoxS and Rob are transcription factors belonging to the AraC family. While these proteins have been associated historically with control of multiple antibiotic resistance, and tolerance to oxidative stress agents and organic solvents, only a paucity of experimental data support a role in regulating virulence. Clinical Escherichia coli isolates, and isogenic strains lacking marA, soxS and rob, were studied in a murine model of ascending pyelonephritis, which is a clinically relevant model of urinary tract infection. Organisms lacking all three transcription factors (triple knockouts) were significantly less virulent than parental strains, and complementation studies demonstrated that the addition of marA, soxS and rob individually restored wild-type virulence in the triple-knockout strain. Deletion of soxS or rob alone was more detrimental than the removal of marA. Thus, all three proteins contribute to virulence in vivo.

  10. Brucella spp. Virulence Factors and Immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byndloss, Mariana X; Tsolis, Renee M

    2016-01-01

    Brucellosis, caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella, is an important zoonotic infection that causes reproductive disease in domestic animals and chronic debilitating disease in humans. An intriguing aspect of Brucella infection is the ability of these bacteria to evade the host immune response, leading to pathogen persistence. Conversely, in the reproductive tract of infected animals, this stealthy pathogen is able to cause an acute severe inflammatory response. In this review, we discuss the different mechanisms used by Brucella to cause disease, with emphasis on its virulence factors and the dichotomy between chronic persistence and reproductive disease.

  11. Metal acquisition and virulence in Brucella

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roop, R. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Similar to other bacteria, Brucella strains require several biologically essential metals for their survival in vitro and in vivo. Acquiring sufficient levels of some of these metals, particularly iron, manganese and zinc, is especially challenging in the mammalian host, where sequestration of these micronutrients is a well-documented component of both the innate and acquired immune responses. This review describes the Brucella metal transporters that have been shown to play critical roles in the virulence of these bacteria in experimental and natural hosts. PMID:22632611

  12. Identification of Secreted Exoproteome Fingerprints of Highly-Virulent and Non-Virulent Staphylococcus aureus Strains

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonar, Emilia; Wojcik, Iwona; Jankowska, Urszula; Kedracka-Krok, Sylwia; Bukowski, Michal; Polakowska, Klaudia; Lis, Marcin W; Kosecka-Strojek, Maja; Sabat, Artur J; Dubin, Grzegorz; Friedrich, Alexander W; Miedzobrodzki, Jacek; Dubin, Adam; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal inhabitant of skin and mucous membranes in nose vestibule but also an important opportunistic pathogen of humans and livestock. The extracellular proteome as a whole constitutes its major virulence determinant; however, the involvement of particular proteins is

  13. Expression of virulence genes by Listeria monocytogenes J0161 in natural environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prem Saran Tirumalai

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Majority of studies concerning the gene expression of Listeria monocytogenes have been done on pure culture states. Our objective was to study L.monocytogenes in a co-cultured state and to understand if microbes in their natural state of existence are different in their expression than that of the purely cultured lab grown forms. For a long period discussions have been on the expression of prfA, (which is a virulence gene regulator in a mammalian host and its role in causing the switch from a saprophytic to pathogenic form of L.monocytogenes. We, in this paper for the first time report the expression of prfA and other virulence genes by L.monocytogenes under different extracellular conditions, and also as a pure culture biofilms, that is different from the previous reports. We also report that the expression of prfA seems to vary considerably when co-cultured with Bacillus subtilis.

  14. Role of Transition Metal Exporters In Virulence: The Example of Neisseria meningitidis.

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    Cyril eGuilhen

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Transition metals such as iron, manganese, and zinc are essential micronutrients for bacteria. However, at high concentration, they can generate nonfunctional proteins or toxic compounds. Metal metabolism is therefore regulated to prevent shortage or overload, both of which can impair cell survival. In addition, equilibrium among these metals has to be tightly controlled to avoid molecular replacement in the active site of enzymes. Bacteria must actively maintain intracellular metal concentrations to meet physiological needs within the context of the local environment. When intracellular buffering capacity is reached, they rely primarily on membrane-localized exporters to maintain metal homeostasis. Recently, several groups have characterized new export systems and emphasized their importance in the virulence of several pathogens. This article discusses the role of export systems as general virulence determinants. Furthermore, it highlights the contribution of these exporters in pathogens emergence with emphasis on the human nasopharyngeal colonizer Neisseria meningitidis.

  15. A dual inhibitor of Staphylococcus aureus virulence and biofilm attenuates expression of major toxins and adhesins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofbauer, Barbara; Vomacka, Jan; Stahl, Matthias; Korotkov, Vadim S; Jennings, Megan C; Wuest, William; Sieber, Stephan A

    2018-02-16

    Staphylococcus aureus is a major bacterial pathogen that invades and damages host tissue by the expression of devastating toxins. We here performed a phenotypic screen of 35 molecules that were structurally inspired by previous hydroxyamide-based S. aureus virulence inhibitors compiled from commercial sources or designed and synthesized de novo. One of the most potent compounds, AV73, did not only reduce hemolytic alpha-hemolysin production in S. aureus but also impeded in vitro biofilm formation. The effect of AV73 on bacterial proteomes and extracellular protein levels were analyzed by quantitative proteomics and revealed a significant down-regulation of major virulence and biofilm promoting proteins. To elucidate the mode of action of AV73, target identification was performed using affinity-based protein profiling (AfBPP).

  16. yadBC of Yersinia pestis, a new virulence determinant for bubonic plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forman, Stanislav; Wulff, Christine R; Myers-Morales, Tanya; Cowan, Clarissa; Perry, Robert D; Straley, Susan C

    2008-02-01

    In all Yersinia pestis strains examined, the adhesin/invasin yadA gene is a pseudogene, yet Y. pestis is invasive for epithelial cells. To identify potential surface proteins that are structurally and functionally similar to YadA, we searched the Y. pestis genome for open reading frames with homology to yadA and found three: the bicistronic operon yadBC (YPO1387 and YPO1388 of Y. pestis CO92; y2786 and y2785 of Y. pestis KIM5), which encodes two putative surface proteins, and YPO0902, which lacks a signal sequence and likely is nonfunctional. In this study we characterized yadBC regulation and tested the importance of this operon for Y. pestis adherence, invasion, and virulence. We found that loss of yadBC caused a modest loss of invasiveness for epithelioid cells and a large decrease in virulence for bubonic plague but not for pneumonic plague in mice.

  17. Flavone reduces the production of virulence factors, staphyloxanthin and α-hemolysin, in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin-Hyung; Park, Joo-Hyeon; Cho, Moo Hwan; Lee, Jintae

    2012-12-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of nosocomial infections due to its resistance to diverse antibiotics. This bacterium produces a large number of extracellular virulence factors that are closely associated with specific diseases. In this study, diverse plant flavonoids were investigated to identify a novel anti-virulence compound against two S. aureus strains. Flavone, a backbone compound of flavonoids, at subinhibitory concentration (50 μg/mL), markedly reduced the production of staphyloxanthin and α-hemolysin. This staphyloxanthin reduction rendered the S. aureus cells 100 times more vulnerable to hydrogen peroxide in the presence of flavone. In addition, flavone significantly decreased the hemolysis of human red blood by S. aureus, and the transcriptional level of α-hemolysin gene hla and a global regulator gene sae in S. aureus cells. This finding supported the usefulness of flavone as a potential antivirulence agent against antibiotic-resistant S. aureus.

  18. Contribution of the nos-pdt operon to virulence phenotypes in methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapp, April M; Mogen, Austin B; Almand, Erin A; Rivera, Frances E; Shaw, Lindsey N; Richardson, Anthony R; Rice, Kelly C

    2014-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is emerging as an important regulator of bacterial stress resistance, biofilm development, and virulence. One potential source of endogenous NO production in the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is its NO-synthase (saNOS) enzyme, encoded by the nos gene. Although a role for saNOS in oxidative stress resistance, antibiotic resistance, and virulence has been recently-described, insights into the regulation of nos expression and saNOS enzyme activity remain elusive. To this end, transcriptional analysis of the nos gene in S. aureus strain UAMS-1 was performed, which revealed that nos expression increases during low-oxygen growth and is growth-phase dependent. Furthermore, nos is co-transcribed with a downstream gene, designated pdt, which encodes a prephenate dehydratase (PDT) enzyme involved in phenylalanine biosynthesis. Deletion of pdt significantly impaired the ability of UAMS-1 to grow in chemically-defined media lacking phenylalanine, confirming the function of this enzyme. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that the operon organization of nos-pdt appears to be unique to the staphylococci. As described for other S. aureus nos mutants, inactivation of nos in UAMS-1 conferred sensitivity to oxidative stress, while deletion of pdt did not affect this phenotype. The nos mutant also displayed reduced virulence in a murine sepsis infection model, and increased carotenoid pigmentation when cultured on agar plates, both previously-undescribed nos mutant phenotypes. Utilizing the fluorescent stain 4-Amino-5-Methylamino-2',7'-Difluorofluorescein (DAF-FM) diacetate, decreased levels of intracellular NO/reactive nitrogen species (RNS) were detected in the nos mutant on agar plates. These results reinforce the important role of saNOS in S. aureus physiology and virulence, and have identified an in vitro growth condition under which saNOS activity appears to be upregulated. However, the significance of the operon organization of nos-pdt and potential

  19. Polyamine transporter potABCD is required for virulence of encapsulated but not nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haley R Pipkins

    Full Text Available Streptococcus pneumoniae is commonly found in the human nasopharynx and is the causative agent of multiple diseases. Since invasive pneumococcal infections are associated with encapsulated pneumococci, the capsular polysaccharide is the target of licensed pneumococcal vaccines. However, there is an increasing distribution of non-vaccine serotypes, as well as nonencapsulated S. pneumoniae (NESp. Both encapsulated and nonencapsulated pneumococci possess the polyamine oligo-transport operon (potABCD. Previous research has shown inactivation of the pot operon in encapsulated pneumococci alters protein expression and leads to a significant reduction in pneumococcal murine colonization, but the role of the pot operon in NESp is unknown. Here, we demonstrate deletion of potD from the NESp NCC1 strain MNZ67 does impact expression of the key proteins pneumolysin and PspK, but it does not inhibit murine colonization. Additionally, we show the absence of potD significantly increases biofilm production, both in vitro and in vivo. In a chinchilla model of otitis media (OM, the absence of potD does not significantly affect MNZ67 virulence, but it does significantly reduce the pathogenesis of the virulent encapsulated strain TIGR4 (serotype 4. Deletion of potD also significantly reduced persistence of TIGR4 in the lungs but increased persistence of PIP01 in the lungs. We conclude the pot operon is important for the regulation of protein expression and biofilm formation in both encapsulated and NCC1 nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, in contrast to encapsulated pneumococcal strains, polyamine acquisition via the pot operon is not required for MNZ67 murine colonization, persistence in the lungs, or full virulence in a model of OM. Therefore, NESp virulence regulation needs to be further established to identify potential NESp therapeutic targets.

  20. Contribution of the nos-pdt operon to virulence phenotypes in methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    April M Sapp

    Full Text Available Nitric oxide (NO is emerging as an important regulator of bacterial stress resistance, biofilm development, and virulence. One potential source of endogenous NO production in the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is its NO-synthase (saNOS enzyme, encoded by the nos gene. Although a role for saNOS in oxidative stress resistance, antibiotic resistance, and virulence has been recently-described, insights into the regulation of nos expression and saNOS enzyme activity remain elusive. To this end, transcriptional analysis of the nos gene in S. aureus strain UAMS-1 was performed, which revealed that nos expression increases during low-oxygen growth and is growth-phase dependent. Furthermore, nos is co-transcribed with a downstream gene, designated pdt, which encodes a prephenate dehydratase (PDT enzyme involved in phenylalanine biosynthesis. Deletion of pdt significantly impaired the ability of UAMS-1 to grow in chemically-defined media lacking phenylalanine, confirming the function of this enzyme. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that the operon organization of nos-pdt appears to be unique to the staphylococci. As described for other S. aureus nos mutants, inactivation of nos in UAMS-1 conferred sensitivity to oxidative stress, while deletion of pdt did not affect this phenotype. The nos mutant also displayed reduced virulence in a murine sepsis infection model, and increased carotenoid pigmentation when cultured on agar plates, both previously-undescribed nos mutant phenotypes. Utilizing the fluorescent stain 4-Amino-5-Methylamino-2',7'-Difluorofluorescein (DAF-FM diacetate, decreased levels of intracellular NO/reactive nitrogen species (RNS were detected in the nos mutant on agar plates. These results reinforce the important role of saNOS in S. aureus physiology and virulence, and have identified an in vitro growth condition under which saNOS activity appears to be upregulated. However, the significance of the operon organization of nos-pdt and

  1. Virulence-associated gene profiling of Streptococcus suis isolates by PCR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silva, L.M.G.; Baums, C.G.; Rehm, T.; Wisselink, H.J.; Goethe, R.; Valentin-Weigand, P.

    2006-01-01

    Definition of virulent Streptococcus suis strains is controversial. One successful approach for identification of virulent European strains is differentiation of capsular serotypes (or the corresponding cps types) and subsequent detection of virulence-associated factors, namely the extracellular

  2. Metabolism and virulence in Neisseria meningitidis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eSchoen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A longstanding question in infection biology addresses the genetic basis for invasive behaviour in commensal pathogens. A prime example for such a pathogen is Neisseria meningitidis. On the one hand it is a harmless commensal bacterium exquisitely adapted to humans, and on the other hand it sometimes behaves like a ferocious pathogen causing potentially lethal disease such as sepsis and acute bacterial meningitis. Despite the lack of a classical repertoire of virulence genes in N. meningitidis separating commensal from invasive strains, molecular epidemiology suggests that carriage and invasive strains belong to genetically distinct populations. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that metabolic adaptation enables meningococci to exploit host resources, supporting the concept of nutritional virulence as a crucial determinant of invasive capability. Here, we discuss the contribution of core metabolic pathways in the context of colonization and invasion with special emphasis on results from genome-wide surveys. The metabolism of lactate, the oxidative stress response, and, in particular, glutathione metabolism as well as the denitrification pathway provide examples of how meningococcal metabolism is intimately linked to pathogenesis. We further discuss evidence from genome-wide approaches regarding potential metabolic differences between strains from hyperinvasive and carriage lineages and present new data assessing in vitro growth differences of strains from these two populations. We hypothesize that strains from carriage and hyperinvasive lineages differ in the expression of regulatory genes involved particularly in stress responses and amino acid metabolism under infection conditions.

  3. Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Properties in Escherichia col i ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study determined E. coli resistance to commonly used antibiotics together with their virulence properties in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. A total of 137 E. coli isolates from cases of urinary tract infection were tested for their sensitivity to commonly used antibiotics and possession of virulence factors using standard methods.

  4. Use of the phytopathogenic effect for studies of Burkholderia virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molchanova, E V; Ageeva, N P

    2015-02-01

    The phytopathogenic effect of the pseudomallei group Burkholderia is demonstrated on the Peireskia aculeata model. A method for evaluation of the effect is suggested. The effect correlates with the levels of Burkholderia pseudomallei, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia thailandensis virulence for laboratory animals. P. aculeata can be used as a model for preliminary studies of the virulence of the above species.

  5. Expression of virulence factors by Staphylococcus aureus grown in serum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oogai, Yuichi; Matsuo, Miki; Hashimoto, Masahito; Kato, Fuminori; Sugai, Motoyuki; Komatsuzawa, Hitoshi

    2011-11-01

    Staphylococcus aureus produces many virulence factors, including toxins, immune-modulatory factors, and exoenzymes. Previous studies involving the analysis of virulence expression were mainly performed by in vitro experiments using bacterial medium. However, when S. aureus infects a host, the bacterial growth conditions are quite different from those in a medium, which may be related to the different expression of virulence factors in the host. In this study, we investigated the expression of virulence factors in S. aureus grown in calf serum. The expression of many virulence factors, including hemolysins, enterotoxins, proteases, and iron acquisition factors, was significantly increased compared with that in bacterial medium. In addition, the expression of RNA III, a global regulon for virulence expression, was significantly increased. This effect was partially restored by the addition of 300 μM FeCl₃ into serum, suggesting that iron depletion is associated with the increased expression of virulence factors in serum. In chemically defined medium without iron, a similar effect was observed. In a mutant with agr inactivated grown in serum, the expression of RNA III, psm, and sec4 was not increased, while other factors were still induced in the mutant, suggesting that another regulatory factor(s) is involved. In addition, we found that serum albumin is a major factor for the capture of free iron to prevent the supply of iron to bacteria grown in serum. These results indicate that S. aureus expresses virulence factors in adaptation to the host environment.

  6. Detection of some virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2010-06-21

    Jun 21, 2010 ... present study was to detect some of the virulence factors in the S. aureus isolated from 360 mastitis milk samples in ... Key words: Bovine mastitis, Staphylococcus aureus, virulence factors, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Iran. INTRODUCTION ..... staphylococcal hemolysins. Zentralbl Bakteriol Orig A.

  7. Beyond Mortality: Sterility As a Neglected Component of Parasite Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbate, Jessica L; Kada, Sarah; Lion, Sébastien

    2015-12-01

    Virulence is generally defined as the reduction in host fitness following infection by a parasite (see Box 1 for glossary) [1]. In general, parasite exploitation of host resources may reduce host survival (mortality virulence), decrease host fecundity (sterility virulence), or even have sub-lethal effects that disturb the way individuals interact within a community (morbidity) [2,3]. In fact, the virulence of many parasites involves a combination of these various effects (Box 2). In practice, however, virulence is most often defined as disease-induced mortality [1, 4-6]. This is especially true in the theoretical literature, where the evolution of sterility virulence, morbidity, and mixed strategies of host exploitation have received relatively little attention. While the focus on mortality effects has allowed for easy comparison between models and, thus, rapid advancement of the field, we ask whether these theoretical simplifications have led us to inadvertently minimize the evolutionary importance of host sterilization and secondary virulence effects. As explicit theoretical work on morbidity is currently lacking (but see [7]), our aim in this Opinion piece is to discuss what is understood about sterility virulence evolution, its adaptive potential, and the implications for parasites that utilize a combination of host survival and reproductive resources.

  8. Virulence Genotype and Phylogenetic Groups in relation to Chinese ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conclusion: PapA and papC are significant VFs with an essential role in contributing to Chinese herb-resistance. Chinese herb-resistance is associated with a shift towards more virulent strains and B2 phylogenetic group. Key words: Escherichia coli; Virulence factors; Phylogenetic group; Chinese herb-resistance.

  9. Nitrogen Metabolite Repression of Metabolism and Virulence in the Human Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, I. Russel; Chow, Eve W. L.; Morrow, Carl A.; Djordjevic, Julianne T.; Fraser, James A.

    2011-01-01

    Proper regulation of metabolism is essential to maximizing fitness of organisms in their chosen environmental niche. Nitrogen metabolite repression is an example of a regulatory mechanism in fungi that enables preferential utilization of easily assimilated nitrogen sources, such as ammonium, to conserve resources. Here we provide genetic, transcriptional, and phenotypic evidence of nitrogen metabolite repression in the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. In addition to loss of transcriptional activation of catabolic enzyme-encoding genes of the uric acid and proline assimilation pathways in the presence of ammonium, nitrogen metabolite repression also regulates the production of the virulence determinants capsule and melanin. Since GATA transcription factors are known to play a key role in nitrogen metabolite repression, bioinformatic analyses of the C. neoformans genome were undertaken and seven predicted GATA-type genes were identified. A screen of these deletion mutants revealed GAT1, encoding the only global transcription factor essential for utilization of a wide range of nitrogen sources, including uric acid, urea, and creatinine—three predominant nitrogen constituents found in the C. neoformans ecological niche. In addition to its evolutionarily conserved role in mediating nitrogen metabolite repression and controlling the expression of catabolic enzyme and permease-encoding genes, Gat1 also negatively regulates virulence traits, including infectious basidiospore production, melanin formation, and growth at high body temperature (39°–40°). Conversely, Gat1 positively regulates capsule production. A murine inhalation model of cryptococcosis revealed that the gat1Δ mutant is slightly more virulent than wild type, indicating that Gat1 plays a complex regulatory role during infection. PMID:21441208

  10. The roles of AtxA orthologs in virulence of anthrax-like Bacillus cereus G9241.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarff, Jennifer M; Raynor, Malik J; Seldina, Yuliya I; Ventura, Christy L; Koehler, Theresa M; O'Brien, Alison D

    2016-11-01

    AtxA is a critical transcriptional regulator of plasmid-encoded virulence genes in Bacillus anthracis. Bacillus cereus G9241, which caused an anthrax-like infection, has two virulence plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBC210, that each harbor toxin genes and a capsule locus. G9241 also produces two orthologs of AtxA: AtxA1, encoded on pBCXO1, and AtxA2, encoded on pBC210. The amino acid sequence of AtxA1 is identical to that of AtxA from B. anthracis, while the sequences of AtxA1 and AtxA2 are 79% identical and 91% similar to one another. We found by qRT-PCR that AtxA1 and AtxA2 function as positive regulators of toxin (AtxA1) and capsule operon (both) transcription in G9241 and that a ΔatxA1 mutant produced lower levels of the anthrax toxins and no hyaluronic acid capsule. Deletion of atxA1 or atxA2 decreased the virulence of spores administered intranasally or subcutaneously to C57BL/6 mice but not to A/J mice, and deletion of both genes rendered spores avirulent in A/J mice. In addition, unlike AtxA1, AtxA2 did not form stable homomultimers in vitro, although AtxA1 and AtxA2 formed heterodimers. Our data show that AtxA1 is the primary regulator of G9241 virulence factor expression and that AtxA1 and AtxA2 are both required for full virulence. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Thyme Oil Reduces Biofilm Formation and Impairs Virulence of Xanthomonas oryzae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akanksha Singh

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo, a common bacterial plant pathogen regulates its virulence and biofilm formation attribute via a chemical method of communication. Disabling this mechanism offers a promising alternative to reduce the virulence and pathogencity of the microorganism. In this study, the effect of thyme (THY oil on Quorum Sensing mediated synthesis of various virulence factors and biofilm formation was analyzed. Treatment of Xoo with 500 ppm THY oil displayed a significant diminution in swimming, swarming, exopolysaccharide and xanthomonadin secretion. However, no effect was observed on bacterial growth kinetics and metabolic activity of the cells. Results were further authenticated by RT-qPCR as significant reduction in motA, motB, and flgE genes was observed upon THY oil treatment. Similarly, the expression of some extracellular enzyme genes such as endoglucanase, xylanase, cellobiosidase, and polygalacturonase was also found to be significantly reduced. However, biochemical plate assays revealed insignificant effect of 500 ppm THY oil on secretion of protease, cellulase, and lipase enzymes. The rpfF gene known to play a crucial role in the virulence of the phytopathogenic bacteria was also significantly reduced in the THY oil treated Xoo cells. HPTLC analysis further revealed significant reduction in DSF and BDSF signaling molecules when Xoo cells were treated with 500 ppm THY oil. Disease reduction was observed in in vitro agar plate assay as lesion length was reduced in THY oil treated Xoo cells when compared with the alone treatment. GC–MS result revealed thymol as the active and major component of THY oil which showed potential binding with rpfF gene. Application of 75 μM thymol resulted in downregulation of gumC, motA, estA, virulence acvB and pglA along with rpfF. The other genes such as cheD, flgA, cheY, and pilA, were not found to be significantly affected. Overall, the results clearly indicated THY oil and its

  12. A bistable switch and anatomical site control Vibrio cholerae virulence gene expression in the intestine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex T Nielsen

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available A fundamental, but unanswered question in host-pathogen interactions is the timing, localization and population distribution of virulence gene expression during infection. Here, microarray and in situ single cell expression methods were used to study Vibrio cholerae growth and virulence gene expression during infection of the rabbit ligated ileal loop model of cholera. Genes encoding the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP and cholera toxin (CT were powerfully expressed early in the infectious process in bacteria adjacent to epithelial surfaces. Increased growth was found to co-localize with virulence gene expression. Significant heterogeneity in the expression of tcpA, the repeating subunit of TCP, was observed late in the infectious process. The expression of tcpA, studied in single cells in a homogeneous medium, demonstrated unimodal induction of tcpA after addition of bicarbonate, a chemical inducer of virulence gene expression. Striking bifurcation of the population occurred during entry into stationary phase: one subpopulation continued to express tcpA, whereas the expression declined in the other subpopulation. ctxA, encoding the A subunit of CT, and toxT, encoding the proximal master regulator of virulence gene expression also exhibited the bifurcation phenotype. The bifurcation phenotype was found to be reversible, epigenetic and to persist after removal of bicarbonate, features consistent with bistable switches. The bistable switch requires the positive-feedback circuit controlling ToxT expression and formation of the CRP-cAMP complex during entry into stationary phase. Key features of this bistable switch also were demonstrated in vivo, where striking heterogeneity in tcpA expression was observed in luminal fluid in later stages of the infection. When this fluid was diluted into artificial seawater, bacterial aggregates continued to express tcpA for prolonged periods of time. The bistable control of virulence gene expression points to a

  13. Degradation of the Plant Defense Signal Salicylic Acid Protects Ralstonia solanacearum from Toxicity and Enhances Virulence on Tobacco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany M. Lowe-Power

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Plants use the signaling molecule salicylic acid (SA to trigger defenses against diverse pathogens, including the bacterial wilt pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum. SA can also inhibit microbial growth. Most sequenced strains of the heterogeneous R. solanacearum species complex can degrade SA via gentisic acid to pyruvate and fumarate. R. solanacearum strain GMI1000 expresses this SA degradation pathway during tomato pathogenesis. Transcriptional analysis revealed that subinhibitory SA levels induced expression of the SA degradation pathway, toxin efflux pumps, and some general stress responses. Interestingly, SA treatment repressed expression of virulence factors, including the type III secretion system, suggesting that this pathogen may suppress virulence functions when stressed. A GMI1000 mutant lacking SA degradation activity was much more susceptible to SA toxicity but retained the wild-type colonization ability and virulence on tomato. This may be because SA is less important than gentisic acid in tomato defense signaling. However, another host, tobacco, responds strongly to SA. To test the hypothesis that SA degradation contributes to virulence on tobacco, we measured the effect of adding this pathway to the tobacco-pathogenic R. solanacearum strain K60, which lacks SA degradation genes. Ectopic addition of the GMI1000 SA degradation locus, including adjacent genes encoding two porins and a LysR-type transcriptional regulator, significantly increased the virulence of strain K60 on tobacco. Together, these results suggest that R. solanacearum degrades plant SA to protect itself from inhibitory levels of this compound and also to enhance its virulence on plant hosts like tobacco that use SA as a defense signal molecule.

  14. The Colletotrichum graminicola striatin orthologue Str1 is necessary for anastomosis and is a virulence factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chih-Li; Shim, Won-Bo; Shaw, Brian D

    2016-08-01

    Striatin family proteins are key regulators in signalling pathways in fungi and animals. These scaffold proteins contain four conserved domains: a caveolin-binding domain, a coiled-coil motif and a calmodulin-binding domain at the N-terminus, and a WD-repeat domain at the C-terminus. Fungal striatin orthologues are associated with sexual development, hyphal growth and plant pathogenesis. In Fusarium verticillioides, the striatin orthologue Fsr1 promotes virulence in the maize stalk. The relationship between fungal striatins and pathogenicity remains largely unexplored. In this study, we demonstrate that the Colletotrichum graminicola striatin orthologue Str1 is required for full stalk rot and leaf blight virulence in maize. Pathogenicity assays show that the striatin mutant strain (Δstr1) produces functional appressoria, but infection and colonization are attenuated. Additional phenotypes of the Δstr1 mutant include reduced radial growth and compromised hyphal fusion. In comparison with the wild-type, Δstr1 also shows a defect in sexual development and produces fewer and shorter conidia. Together with the fact that F. verticillioides fsr1 can complement Δstr1, our results indicate that C. graminicola Str1 shares five phenotypes with striatin orthologues in other fungal species: hyphal growth, hyphal fusion, conidiation, sexual development and virulence. We propose that fungal striatins, like mammalian striatins, act as scaffolding molecules that cross-link multiple signal transduction pathways. © 2015 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

  15. Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 is a non-virulent strain suitable for mono-rhamnolipids production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosso-Becerra, María-Victoria; González-Valdez, Abigail; Granados-Martínez, María-Jessica; Morales, Estefanía; Servín-González, Luis; Méndez, José-Luis; Delgado, Gabriela; Morales-Espinosa, Rosario; Ponce-Soto, Gabriel-Yaxal; Cocotl-Yañez, Miguel; Soberón-Chávez, Gloria

    2016-12-01

    Rhamnolipids produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are biosurfactants with a high biotechnological potential, but their extensive commercialization is limited by the potential virulence of P. aeruginosa and by restrictions in producing these surfactants in heterologous hosts. In this work, we report the characterization of P. aeruginosa strain ATCC 9027 in terms of its genome-sequence, virulence, antibiotic resistance, and its ability to produce mono-rhamnolipids when carrying plasmids with different cloned genes from the type strain PAO1. The genes that were expressed from the plasmids are those coding for enzymes involved in the synthesis of this biosurfactant (rhlA and rhlB), as well as the gene that codes for the RhlR transcriptional regulator. We confirm that strain ATCC 9027 forms part of the PA7 clade, but contrary to strain PA7, it is sensitive to antibiotics and is completely avirulent in a mouse model. We also report that strain ATCC 9027 mono-rhamnolipid synthesis is limited by the expression of the rhlAB-R operon. Thus, this strain carrying the rhlAB-R operon produces similar rhamnolipids levels as PAO1 strain. We determined that strain ATCC 9027 with rhlAB-R operon was not virulent to mice. These results show that strain ATCC 9027, expressing PAO1 rhlAB-R operon, has a high biotechnological potential for industrial mono-rhamnolipid production.

  16. Role of the Ubiquitin-Proteasome Systems in the Biology and Virulence of Protozoan Parasites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Muñoz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In eukaryotic cells, proteasomes perform crucial roles in many cellular pathways by degrading proteins to enforce quality control and regulate many cellular processes such as cell cycle progression, signal transduction, cell death, immune responses, metabolism, protein-quality control, and development. The catalytic heart of these complexes, the 20S proteasome, is highly conserved in bacteria, yeast, and humans. However, until a few years ago, the role of proteasomes in parasite biology was completely unknown. Here, we summarize findings about the role of proteasomes in protozoan parasites biology and virulence. Several reports have confirmed the role of proteasomes in parasite biological processes such as cell differentiation, cell cycle, proliferation, and encystation. Proliferation and cell differentiation are key steps in host colonization. Considering the importance of proteasomes in both processes in many different parasites such as Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Toxoplasma, and Entamoeba, parasite proteasomes might serve as virulence factors. Several pieces of evidence strongly suggest that the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is also a viable parasitic therapeutic target. Research in recent years has shown that the proteasome is a valid drug target for sleeping sickness and malaria. Then, proteasomes are a key organelle in parasite biology and virulence and appear to be an attractive new chemotherapeutic target.

  17. Coregulation of host-adapted metabolism and virulence by pathogenic yersiniae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Kathrin eHeroven

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Deciphering the principles how pathogenic bacteria adapt their metabolism to a specific host microenvironment is critical for understanding bacterial pathogenesis. The enteric pathogenic Yersinia species Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica and the causative agent of plague, Y. pestis, are able to survive in a large variety of environmental reservoirs (e.g. soil, plants, insects as well as warm-blooded animals (e.g. rodents, pigs, humans with a particular preference for lymphatic tissues. In order to manage rapidly changing environmental conditions and inter-bacterial competition, Yersinia senses the nutritional composition during the course of an infection by special molecular devices, integrates this information and adapts its metabolism accordingly. In addition, nutrient availability has an impact on expression of virulence genes in response to C-sources, demonstrating a tight link between the pathogenicity of yersiniae and utilization of nutrients. Recent studies revealed that global regulatory factors such as the cAMP receptor protein (Crp and the carbon storage regulator (Csr system are part of a large network of transcriptional and posttranscriptional control strategies adjusting metabolic changes and virulence in response to temperature, ion and nutrient availability. Gained knowledge about the specific metabolic requirements and the correlation between metabolic and virulence gene expression that enable efficient host colonization led to the identification of new potential antimicrobial targets.

  18. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Enolase Influences Bacterial Tolerance to Oxidative Stresses and Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Yuding; Chen, Fei; Liu, Yiwei; Zhao, Qiang; Chen, Ronghao; Pan, Xiaolei; Liu, Chang; Cheng, Zhihui; Jin, Shouguang; Jin, Yongxin; Wu, Weihui

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram negative opportunistic pathogenic bacterium, which causes acute and chronic infections. Upon entering the host, bacteria alter global gene expression to adapt to host environment and avoid clearance by the host. Enolase is a glycolytic enzyme involved in carbon metabolism. It is also a component of RNA degradosome, which is involved in RNA processing and gene regulation. Here, we report that enolase is required for the virulence of P. aeruginosa in a murine acute pneumonia model. Mutation of enolase coding gene (eno) increased bacterial susceptibility to neutrophil mediated killing, which is due to reduced tolerance to oxidative stress. Catalases and alkyl hydroperoxide reductases play a major role in protecting the cell from oxidative damages. In the eno mutant, the expression levels of catalases (KatA and KatB) were similar as those in the wild type strain in the presence of H2O2, however, the expression levels of alkyl hydroperoxide reductases (AhpB and AhpC) were significantly reduced. Overexpression of ahpB but not ahpC in the eno mutant fully restored the bacterial resistance to H2O2 as well as neutrophil mediated killing, and partially restored bacterial virulence in the murine acute pneumonia model. Therefore, we have identified a novel role of enolase in the virulence of P. aeruginosa.

  19. CitB is required for full virulence of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahebi, Masood; Taheri, Elaheh; Tarighi, Saeed

    2015-10-01

    To identify novel virulence associated genes in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), a Xoo isolate (XooIR42), obtained from north of Iran, was selected to generate a mini-Tn5 transposon mutation library. One mutant (XooM176) that indicated reduced virulence on rice plants, while grew similar to wild type was selected. This mutant had an insertion in a coding region with 96% amino acid identity to a response regulator of Xoo KACC10331, citB (Xoo_RS12710). Genome analysis of Xoo KACC10331 indicated several genes including a flagelin protein (FlgL) and a chemotaxis protein (Xoo_RS12720) which were identified as virulence genes 4297 and 1403 nucleotides from the citB, respectively. The swarming motility, resistance to hydrogen peroxide, induced a hypersensitive response, in planta growth and pathogenicity were reduced in XooM176 mutant compared to that of wild-type. A plasmid containing the full citB gene of Xoo KACC10331was sufficient to complement the XooM176 mutant for lesion formation and resistance to hydrogen peroxide. We therefore propose that Xoo requires CitB for full pathogenicity in rice plants and also for protection against oxidative stress.

  20. Growth of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in human plasma: impacts on virulence and metabolic gene expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coppée Jean-Yves

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In man, infection by the Gram-negative enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is usually limited to the terminal ileum. However, in immunocompromised patients, the microorganism may disseminate from the digestive tract and thus cause a systemic infection with septicemia. Results To gain insight into the metabolic pathways and virulence factors expressed by the bacterium at the blood stage of pseudotuberculosis, we compared the overall gene transcription patterns (the transcriptome of bacterial cells cultured in either human plasma or Luria-Bertani medium. The most marked plasma-triggered metabolic consequence in Y. pseudotuberculosis was the switch to high glucose consumption, which is reminiscent of the acetogenic pathway (known as "glucose overflow" in Escherichia coli. However, upregulation of the glyoxylate shunt enzymes suggests that (in contrast to E. coli acetate may be further metabolized in Y. pseudotuberculosis. Our data also indicate that the bloodstream environment can regulate major virulence genes (positively or negatively; the yadA adhesin gene and most of the transcriptional units of the pYV-encoded type III secretion apparatus were found to be upregulated, whereas transcription of the pH6 antigen locus was strongly repressed. Conclusion Our results suggest that plasma growth of Y. pseudotuberculosis is responsible for major transcriptional regulatory events and prompts key metabolic reorientations within the bacterium, which may in turn have an impact on virulence.

  1. Talaromyces marneffei Genomic, Transcriptomic, Proteomic and Metabolomic Studies Reveal Mechanisms for Environmental Adaptations and Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna K. P. Lau

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Talaromyces marneffei is a thermally dimorphic fungus causing systemic infections in patients positive for HIV or other immunocompromised statuses. Analysis of its ~28.9 Mb draft genome and additional transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies revealed mechanisms for environmental adaptations and virulence. Meiotic genes and genes for pheromone receptors, enzymes which process pheromones, and proteins involved in pheromone response pathway are present, indicating its possibility as a heterothallic fungus. Among the 14 Mp1p homologs, only Mp1p is a virulence factor binding a variety of host proteins, fatty acids and lipids. There are 23 polyketide synthase genes, one for melanin and two for mitorubrinic acid/mitorubrinol biosynthesis, which are virulence factors. Another polyketide synthase is for biogenesis of the diffusible red pigment, which consists of amino acid conjugates of monascorubin and rubropunctatin. Novel microRNA-like RNAs (milRNAs and processing proteins are present. The dicer protein, dcl-2, is required for biogenesis of two milRNAs, PM-milR-M1 and PM-milR-M2, which are more highly expressed in hyphal cells. Comparative transcriptomics showed that tandem repeat-containing genes were overexpressed in yeast phase, generating protein polymorphism among cells, evading host’s immunity. Comparative proteomics between yeast and hyphal cells revealed that glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, up-regulated in hyphal cells, is an adhesion factor for conidial attachment.

  2. Anti-biofilm, anti-hemolysis, and anti-virulence activities of black pepper, cananga, myrrh oils, and nerolidol against Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kayeon; Lee, Jin-Hyung; Kim, Soon-Il; Cho, Moo Hwan; Lee, Jintae

    2014-11-01

    The long-term usage of antibiotics has resulted in the evolution of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Unlike antibiotics, anti-virulence approaches target bacterial virulence without affecting cell viability, which may be less prone to develop drug resistance. Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen that produces diverse virulence factors, such as α-toxin, which is hemolytic. Also, biofilm formation of S. aureus is one of the mechanisms of its drug resistance. In this study, anti-biofilm screening of 83 essential oils showed that black pepper, cananga, and myrrh oils and their common constituent cis-nerolidol at 0.01 % markedly inhibited S. aureus biofilm formation. Furthermore, the three essential oils and cis-nerolidol at below 0.005 % almost abolished the hemolytic activity of S. aureus. Transcriptional analyses showed that black pepper oil down-regulated the expressions of the α-toxin gene (hla), the nuclease genes, and the regulatory genes. In addition, black pepper, cananga, and myrrh oils and cis-nerolidol attenuated S. aureus virulence in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This study is one of the most extensive on anti-virulence screening using diverse essential oils and provides comprehensive data on the subject. This finding implies other beneficial effects of essential oils and suggests that black pepper, cananga, and myrrh oils have potential use as anti-virulence strategies against persistent S. aureus infections.

  3. The role for TolA in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli pathogenesis and virulence gene transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, Jason K; Ortiz, Jose A; Riordan, James T

    2014-12-01

    Loss of the periplasm spanning protein TolA in Escherichia coli leads to activation of the Rcs phosphorelay, and is required for full virulence in Gram-negative pathogens such as Salmonella enterica and Dickeya dadantii. This study explores the role for TolA in the pathogenesis of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and the effect of its mutation on the transcription of key EHEC virulence genes controlled by Rcs phosphorelay, including the type III secretion system (T3SS) (espA and tir), the E. coli common pilus (ecpA), and motility (fliC). Promoter activity for T3SS regulator ler was substantially higher following inactivation of tolA, and corresponded with a similar elevation in espA and tir transcription. Likewise, ecpA transcription was increased in EHECΔtolA. Conversely, and in-line with previous studies, inactivation of tolA resulted in complete loss of motility and decreased fliC transcription. For all genes examined, altered transcription observed for EHECΔtolA was dependent on the outer-membrane lipoprotein RcsF. Despite elevated virulence gene transcription, in tolA deleted strains virulence of EHEC in the Galleria mellonella wax worm model was substantially attenuated in a manner at least partly dependent on RcsF, and adherence to cultured HT-29 colonic epithelial cells was markedly reduced. The results of this study broaden the role for TolA in EHEC pathogenesis, and suggest that significant outer-membrane perturbations are able to promote transcription of important EHEC adherence factors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Characterization of systemic and pneumonic murine models of plague infection using a conditionally virulent strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellado-Sanchez, Gabriela; Ramirez, Karina; Drachenberg, Cinthia B; Diaz-McNair, Jovita; Rodriguez, Ana L; Galen, James E; Nataro, James P; Pasetti, Marcela F

    2013-03-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic and pneumonic plague in humans. The pneumonic infection is the most severe and invariably fatal if untreated. Because of its high virulence, ease of delivery and precedent of use in warfare, Y. pestis is considered as a potential bioterror agent. No licensed plague vaccine is currently available in the US. Laboratory research with virulent strains requires appropriate biocontainment (i.e., Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) for procedures that generate aerosol/droplets) and secure facilities that comply with federal select agent regulations. To assist in the identification of promising vaccine candidates during the early phases of development, we characterized mouse models of systemic and pneumonic plague infection using the Y. pestis strain EV76, an attenuated human vaccine strain that can be rendered virulent in mice under in vivo iron supplementation. Mice inoculated intranasally or intravenously with Y. pestis EV76 in the presence of iron developed a systemic and pneumonic plague infection that resulted in disease and lethality. Bacteria replicated and severely compromised the spleen, liver and lungs. Susceptibility was age dependent, with younger mice being more vulnerable to pneumonic infection. We used these models of infection to assess the protective capacity of newly developed Salmonella-based plague vaccines. The protective outcome varied depending on the route and dose of infection. Protection was associated with the induction of specific immunological effectors in systemic/mucosal compartments. The models of infection described could serve as safe and practical tools for identifying promising vaccine candidates that warrant further potency evaluation using fully virulent strains in BSL-3 settings. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. MultipleLegionella pneumophilaeffector virulence phenotypes revealed through high-throughput analysis of targeted mutant libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shames, Stephanie R; Liu, Luying; Havey, James C; Schofield, Whitman B; Goodman, Andrew L; Roy, Craig R

    2017-11-28

    Legionella pneumophila is the causative agent of a severe pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. A single strain of L. pneumophila encodes a repertoire of over 300 different effector proteins that are delivered into host cells by the Dot/Icm type IV secretion system during infection. The large number of L. pneumophila effectors has been a limiting factor in assessing the importance of individual effectors for virulence. Here, a transposon insertion sequencing technology called INSeq was used to analyze replication of a pool of effector mutants in parallel both in a mouse model of infection and in cultured host cells. Loss-of-function mutations in genes encoding effector proteins resulted in host-specific or broad virulence phenotypes. Screen results were validated for several effector mutants displaying different virulence phenotypes using genetic complementation studies and infection assays. Specifically, loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding LegC4 resulted in enhanced L. pneumophila in the lungs of infected mice but not within cultured host cells, which indicates LegC4 augments bacterial clearance by the host immune system. The effector proteins RavY and Lpg2505 were important for efficient replication within both mammalian and protozoan hosts. Further analysis of Lpg2505 revealed that this protein functions as a metaeffector that counteracts host cytotoxicity displayed by the effector protein SidI. Thus, this study identified a large cohort of effectors that contribute to L. pneumophila virulence positively or negatively and has demonstrated regulation of effector protein activities by cognate metaeffectors as being critical for host pathogenesis.

  6. iTRAQ-based comparative proteomic analysis of Vero cells infected with virulent and CV777 vaccine strain-like strains of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xiaozhen; Hu, Han; Chen, Fangzhou; Li, Zhonghua; Ye, Shiyi; Cheng, Shuang; Zhang, Mengjia; He, Qigai

    2016-01-01

    The re-emerging porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) variant related diarrhea has been documented in China since late 2010 and now with global distribution. Currently, a virulent PEDV CH/YNKM-8/2013 and a CV777 vaccine strain-like AH-M have been successfully isolated from the clinical samples. To dissect out the underlying pathogenic mechanism of virulent PEDV and clarify the differences between virulent and CV777 vaccine strain-like PEDV infections, we performed an iTRAQ-based comparative quantitative proteomic study of Vero cells infected with both PEDV strains. A total of 661 and 474 differentially expressed proteins were identified upon virulent and CV777 vaccine strain-like isolates infection, respectively. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis was employed to investigate the canonical pathways and functional networks involved in both PEDV infections. Comprehensive studies have revealed that the PEDV virulent strain suppressed protein synthesis of Vero cells through down-regulating mTOR as well as its downstream targets 4EBP1 and p70S6K activities, which were validated by immunoblotting. In addition, the virulent strain could activate NF-κB pathway more intensively than the CV777 vaccine strain-like isolate, and elicit stronger inflammatory cascades as well. These data might provide new insights for elucidating the specific pathogenesis of PEDV infection, and pave the way for the development of effective therapeutic strategies. Porcine epidemic diarrhea is now worldwide distributed and causing huge economic losses to swine industry. The immunomodulation and pathogenesis between PEDV and host, as well as the difference between virulent and attenuated strains of PEDV infections are still largely unknown. In this study, we presented for the first application of proteomic analysis to compare whole cellular protein alterations induced by virulent and CV777 vaccine strain-like PEDV infections, which might contribute to understand the pathogenesis of PEDV and anti

  7. Virulence evolution at the front line of spreading epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griette, Quentin; Raoul, Gaël; Gandon, Sylvain

    2015-11-01

    Understanding and predicting the spatial spread of emerging pathogens is a major challenge for the public health management of infectious diseases. Theoretical epidemiology shows that the speed of an epidemic is governed by the life-history characteristics of the pathogen and its ability to disperse. Rapid evolution of these traits during the invasion may thus affect the speed of epidemics. Here we study the influence of virulence evolution on the spatial spread of an epidemic. At the edge of the invasion front, we show that more virulent and transmissible genotypes are expected to win the competition with other pathogens. Behind the front line, however, more prudent exploitation strategies outcompete virulent pathogens. Crucially, even when the presence of the virulent mutant is limited to the edge of the front, the invasion speed can be dramatically altered by pathogen evolution. We support our analysis with individual-based simulations and we discuss the additional effects of demographic stochasticity taking place at the front line on virulence evolution. We confirm that an increase of virulence can occur at the front, but only if the carrying capacity of the invading pathogen is large enough. These results are discussed in the light of recent empirical studies examining virulence evolution at the edge of spreading epidemics. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. In vitro markers for virulence in Yersinia ruckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobback, E; Decostere, A; Hermans, K; Van den Broeck, W; Haesebrouck, F; Chiers, K

    2010-03-01

    In this study, different traits that have been associated with bacterial virulence were studied in Yersinia ruckeri. Two isolates that had been shown to cause disease and mortality in experimentally infected rainbow trout were compared with five avirulent isolates. Both virulent isolates showed high adhesion to gill and intestinal mucus of rainbow trout, whereas the majority of non-virulent strains demonstrated significantly lower adhesion. A decrease in adherence capability following bacterial treatment with sodium metaperiodate and proteolytic enzymes suggested the involvement of carbohydrates and proteins. All strains were able to adhere to and invade chinook salmon embryo cell line (CHSE-214), fathead minnow epithelial cell line (FHM) and rainbow trout liver cell line (R1). One non-virulent strain was highly adhesive and invasive in the three cell lines, whereas the virulent strains showed moderate adhesive and invasive capacity. The internalization of several isolates was inhibited by colchicine and cytochalasin-D, suggesting that microtubules and microfilaments play a role. For all strains, intracellular survival assays showed a decrease of viable bacteria in the cells 6 h after inoculation, suggesting that Y. ruckeri is not able to multiply or survive inside cultured cells. Analysis of the susceptibility to the bactericidal effect of rainbow trout serum demonstrated that virulent Y. ruckeri strains were serum resistant, whereas non-virulent strains were generally serum sensitive.

  9. Fucose sensing regulates bacterial intestinal colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Alline R; Curtis, Meredith M; Ritchie, Jennifer M; Munera, Diana; Waldor, Matthew K; Moreira, Cristiano G; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2012-12-06

    The mammalian gastrointestinal tract provides a complex and competitive environment for the microbiota. Successful colonization by pathogens requires scavenging nutrients, sensing chemical signals, competing with the resident bacteria and precisely regulating the expression of virulence genes. The gastrointestinal pathogen enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) relies on inter-kingdom chemical sensing systems to regulate virulence gene expression. Here we show that these systems control the expression of a novel two-component signal transduction system, named FusKR, where FusK is the histidine sensor kinase and FusR the response regulator. FusK senses fucose and controls expression of virulence and metabolic genes. This fucose-sensing system is required for robust EHEC colonization of the mammalian intestine. Fucose is highly abundant in the intestine. Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron produces multiple fucosidases that cleave fucose from host glycans, resulting in high fucose availability in the gut lumen. During growth in mucin, B. thetaiotaomicron contributes to EHEC virulence by cleaving fucose from mucin, thereby activating the FusKR signalling cascade, modulating the virulence gene expression of EHEC. Our findings suggest that EHEC uses fucose, a host-derived signal made available by the microbiota, to modulate EHEC pathogenicity and metabolism.

  10. A Bistable Switch and Anatomical Site Control Vibrio cholerae Virulence Gene Expression in the Intestine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Alex Toftgaard; Dolganov, N. A.; Rasmussen, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    master regulator of virulence gene expression also exhibited the bifurcation phenotype. The bifurcation phenotype was found to be reversible, epigenetic and to persist after removal of bicarbonate, features consistent with bistable switches. The bistable switch requires the positive-feedback circuit...... controlling ToxT expression and formation of the CRP-cAMP complex during entry into stationary phase. Key features of this bistable switch also were demonstrated in vivo, where striking heterogeneity in tcpA expression was observed in luminal fluid in later stages of the infection. When this fluid was diluted...

  11. Genome sequence of Brucella abortus vaccine strain S19 compared to virulent strains yields candidate virulence genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswald R Crasta

    Full Text Available The Brucella abortus strain S19, a spontaneously attenuated strain, has been used as a vaccine strain in vaccination of cattle against brucellosis for six decades. Despite many studies, the physiological and molecular mechanisms causing the attenuation are not known. We have applied pyrosequencing technology together with conventional sequencing to rapidly and comprehensively determine the complete genome sequence of the attenuated Brucella abortus vaccine strain S19. The main goal of this study is to identify candidate virulence genes by systematic comparative analysis of the attenuated strain with the published genome sequences of two virulent and closely related strains of B. abortus, 9-941 and 2308. The two S19 chromosomes are 2,122,487 and 1,161,449 bp in length. A total of 3062 genes were identified and annotated. Pairwise and reciprocal genome comparisons resulted in a total of 263 genes that were non-identical between the S19 genome and any of the two virulent strains. Amongst these, 45 genes were consistently different between the attenuated strain and the two virulent strains but were identical amongst the virulent strains, which included only two of the 236 genes that have been implicated as virulence factors in literature. The functional analyses of the differences have revealed a total of 24 genes that may be associated with the loss of virulence in S19. Of particular relevance are four genes with more than 60 bp consistent difference in S19 compared to both the virulent strains, which, in the virulent strains, encode an outer membrane protein and three proteins involved in erythritol uptake or metabolism.

  12. Role of the luxS Quorum-Sensing System in Biofilm Formation and Virulence of Staphylococcus epidermidis

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Lin; Li, Hualin; Vuong, Cuong; Vadyvaloo, Viveka; Wang, Jianping; Yao, Yufeng; Otto, Michael; Gao, Qian

    2006-01-01

    Nosocomial infections caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis are characterized by biofilm formation on implanted medical devices. Quorum-sensing regulation plays a major role in the biofilm development of many bacterial pathogens. Here, we describe luxS, a quorum-sensing system in staphylococci that has a significant impact on biofilm development and virulence. We constructed an isogenic ΔluxS mutant strain of a biofilm-forming clinical isolate of S. epidermidis and demonstrated that luxS signa...

  13. Sialic acid mediated transcriptional modulation of a highly conserved sialometabolism gene cluster in Haemophilus influenzae and its effect on virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moxon Richard

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sialic acid has been shown to be a major virulence determinant in the pathogenesis of otitis media caused by the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae. This study aimed to characterise the expression of genes required for the metabolism of sialic acid and to investigate the role of these genes in virulence. Results Using qRT-PCR, we observed decreased transcriptional activity of genes within a cluster that are required for uptake and catabolism of 5-acetyl neuraminic acid (Neu5Ac, when bacteria were cultured in the presence of the sugar. We show that these uptake and catabolic genes, including a sialic acid regulatory gene (siaR, are highly conserved in the H. influenzae natural population. Mutant strains were constructed for seven of the nine genes and their influence upon LPS sialylation and resistance of the bacteria to the killing effect of normal human serum were assessed. Mutations in the Neu5Ac uptake (TRAP transporter genes decreased virulence in the chinchilla model of otitis media, but the attenuation was strain dependent. In contrast, mutations in catabolism genes and genes regulating sialic acid metabolism (siaR and crp did not attenuate virulence. Conclusion The commensal and pathogenic behaviour of H. influenzae involves LPS sialylation that can be influenced by a complex regulatory interplay of sialometabolism genes.

  14. Synergistic Effect of Different Plant Cell Wall-Degrading Enzymes Is Important for Virulence of Fusarium graminearum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paccanaro, Maria Chiara; Sella, Luca; Castiglioni, Carla; Giacomello, Francesca; Martínez-Rocha, Ana Lilia; D'Ovidio, Renato; Schäfer, Wilhelm; Favaron, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Endo-polygalacturonases (PGs) and xylanases have been shown to play an important role during pathogenesis of some fungal pathogens of dicot plants, while their role in monocot pathogens is less defined. Pg1 and xyr1 genes of the wheat pathogen Fusarium graminearum encode the main PG and the major regulator of xylanase production, respectively. Single- and double-disrupted mutants for these genes were obtained to assess their contribution to fungal infection. Compared with wild-type strain, the ∆pg mutant showed a nearly abolished PG activity, slight reduced virulence on soybean seedlings, but no significant difference in disease symptoms on wheat spikes; the ∆xyr mutant was strongly reduced in xylanase activity and moderately reduced in cellulase activity but was as virulent as wild type on both soybean and wheat plants. Consequently, the ΔpgΔxyr double mutant was impaired in xylanase, PG, and cellulase activities but, differently from single mutants, was significantly reduced in virulence on both plants. These findings demonstrate that the concurrent presence of PG, xylanase, and cellulase activities is necessary for full virulence. The observation that the uronides released from wheat cell wall after a F. graminearum PG treatment were largely increased by the fungal xylanases suggests that these enzymes act synergistically in deconstructing the plant cell wall.

  15. Identifying Virulence-Associated Genes Using Transcriptomic and Proteomic Association Analyses of the Plant Parasitic Nematode Bursaphelenchus mucronatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lifeng Zhou

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Bursaphelenchus mucronatus (B. mucronatus isolates that originate from different regions may vary in their virulence, but their virulence-associated genes and proteins are poorly understood. Thus, we conducted an integrated study coupling RNA-Seq and isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ to analyse transcriptomic and proteomic data of highly and weakly virulent B. mucronatus isolates during the pathogenic processes. Approximately 40,000 annotated unigenes and 5000 proteins were gained from the isolates. When we matched all of the proteins with their detected transcripts, a low correlation coefficient of r = 0.138 was found, indicating probable post-transcriptional gene regulation involved in the pathogenic processes. A functional analysis showed that five differentially expressed proteins which were all highly expressed in the highly virulent isolate were involved in the pathogenic processes of nematodes. Peroxiredoxin, fatty acid- and retinol-binding protein, and glutathione peroxidase relate to resistance against plant defence responses, while β-1,4-endoglucanase and expansin are associated with the breakdown of plant cell walls. Thus, the pathogenesis of B. mucronatus depends on its successful survival in host plants. Our work adds to the understanding of B. mucronatus’ pathogenesis, and will aid in controlling B. mucronatus and other pinewood nematode species complexes in the future.

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

    The susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans to different virulent phenotypes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa makes the worms an excellent model for studying host-pathogen interactions. Including the recently described liquid killing, five different killing assays are now available offering superb

  17. Staphylococcus hyicus virulence in relation to exudative epidermitis in pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wegener, Henrik Caspar; Andresen, Lars Ole; Bille-Hansen, Vivi

    1993-01-01

    Staphylococcus hyicus strains with different phage types, plasmid profiles, and antibiotic resistance patterns were isolated from piglets with exudative epidermitis. The strains could be divided into virulent strains, producing exudative epidermitis, and avirulent strains, producing no dermal...... changes when injected in experimental piglets. The results showed that both virulent and avirulent strains were present simultaneously on diseased piglets. This constitutes a diagnostic problem. Concentrated culture supernatants from nine virulent strains injected in the skin of healthy piglets produced...... a crusting reaction in all piglets. Acanthosis was observed in the histopathological examination of the crustaceous skin. Concentrated culture supernatants from nine avirulent strains produced no macroscopic or microscopic skin changes. Protein profiles from all virulent strains and seven out of nine...

  18. Bicarbonate-mediated transcriptional activation of divergent operons by the virulence regulatory protein, RegA, from Citrobacter rodentium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ji; Hart, Emily; Tauschek, Marija; Price, G Dean; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Strugnell, Richard A; Robins-Browne, Roy M

    2008-04-01

    Regulation of virulence gene expression plays a central role in the pathogenesis of enteric bacteria as they encounter diverse environmental conditions in the gastrointestinal tract of their hosts. In this study, we investigated environmental regulation of two putative virulence determinants adcA and kfc by RegA, an AraC/XylS-like regulator, from Citrobacter rodentium, and identified bicarbonate as the environmental signal which induced transcription of adcA and kfc through RegA. Primer extension experiments showed that adcA and kfc were divergently transcribed from sigma(70) promoters. In vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrated that bicarbonate facilitated and stabilized the binding of RegA to an operator located between the two promoters. The interaction of RegA with its DNA target resulted in the formation of a nucleosome-like structure, which evidently displaced the histone-like proteins, H-NS and StpA, from the adcA and kfc promoter regions, leading to transcriptional derepression. In addition, our results indicated that RegA also behaved as a Class I activator by directly stimulating transcription initiation by RNA polymerase. This is the first report to describe the molecular mechanism by which an environmental chemical stimulates transcription of virulence-associated genes of an enteric pathogen through an AraC/XlyS-like activator.

  19. Predicting Virulence of Aeromonas Isolates Based-on Changes in Transcription of c-jun and c-fos in Human Tissue Culture Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aims: To assess virulence of Aeromonas isolates based on the change in regulation of c-jun and c-fos in the human intestinal tissue culture cell line Caco-2. Methods and Results: Aeromonas cells were added to Caco-2 cells at approximately a one to one ratio. After 1, 2 and 3 ...

  20. Halogenated furanones from the red alga, Delisea pulchra, inhibit carbapenem antibiotic synthesis and exoenzyme virulence factor production in the phytopathogen Erwinia carotovora

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manefield, M.; Welch, M.; Givskov, Michael Christian

    2001-01-01

    The plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora regulates expression of virulence factors and antibiotic production via an N-3- oxohexanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C6-HSL) dependent quorum sensing mechanism. The marine alga Delisea pulchra produces halogenated furanones known to antagonise 3-oxo-C6-HSL...

  1. Subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics affect stress and virulence gene expression in Listeria monocytogenes and cause enhanced stress sensitivity but do not affect Caco‐2 cell invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Gitte Maegaard; Holch, Anne; Gram, Lone

    2012-01-01

    with promoter fusions, 14 of 16 antibiotics induced or repressed expression of one or more stress and/or virulence genes. Despite ampicillin‐induced up‐regulation of PinlA‐lacZ expression, Caco‐2 cell invasion was not affected. Subinhibitory concentrations of ampicillin and tetracycline caused up‐ and down...

  2. Microbiology: EHEC downregulates virulence in response to intestinal fucose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeney, Kristie M; Finlay, B Brett

    2013-02-04

    Recent work has revealed that enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli encodes a two-component system, termed FusKR, which responds to fucose and represses expression of virulence genes. Furthermore, a representative member of the microbiota appears to cleave fucose from host glycans, indicating that the microbiota and EHEC may act in concert to suppress virulence gene expression. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Mechanisms of pathogenesis and the evolution of parasite virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, S A; Schmid-Hempel, P

    2008-03-01

    When studying how much a parasite harms its host, evolutionary biologists turn to the evolutionary theory of virulence. That theory has been successful in predicting how parasite virulence evolves in response to changes in epidemiological conditions of parasite transmission or to perturbations induced by drug treatments. The evolutionary theory of virulence is, however, nearly silent about the expected differences in virulence between different species of parasite. Why, for example, is anthrax so virulent, whereas closely related bacterial species cause little harm? The evolutionary theory might address such comparisons by analysing differences in tradeoffs between parasite fitness components: transmission as a measure of parasite fecundity, clearance as a measure of parasite lifespan and virulence as another measure that delimits parasite survival within a host. However, even crude quantitative estimates of such tradeoffs remain beyond reach in all but the most controlled of experimental conditions. Here, we argue that the great recent advances in the molecular study of pathogenesis provide a way forward. In light of those mechanistic studies, we analyse the relative sensitivity of tradeoffs between components of parasite fitness. We argue that pathogenic mechanisms that manipulate host immunity or escape from host defences have particularly high sensitivity to parasite fitness and thus dominate as causes of parasite virulence. The high sensitivity of immunomodulation and immune escape arise because those mechanisms affect parasite survival within the host, the most sensitive of fitness components. In our view, relating the sensitivity of pathogenic mechanisms to fitness components will provide a way to build a much richer and more general theory of parasite virulence.

  4. Symbolic Violence as Subtle Virulence: The Philosophy of Terrorism

    OpenAIRE

    Beever, Jonathan

    2011-01-01

    Jean Baudrillard’s semiotic analysis of violence leads us to understand the form of violence as three-fold: aggressive, historical, and semiotically virulent. Violence of the third form is the violence endemic to terrorism. If violence has been typically understood as of the first two types, terrorism should be understood as the virulence of simulacra. The conflation of these types of violence explains the failure of militaristic responses to terrorism. This paper will explore Baudrillard’s ...

  5. Amoebapore is an important virulence factor of Entamoeba histolytica

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We have previously demonstrated that inhibition of expression of amoebapore A (AP-A) by antisense RNA caused a marked decrease in the virulence of the parasite. A four-fold over-expression of AP-A was obtained with plasmid (pA7) which has the ap-a gene under the control of gene EhgLE-3-RP-L21. The virulence of ...

  6. Diverse virulent pneumophages infect Streptococcus mitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siham Ouennane

    Full Text Available Streptococcus mitis has emerged as one of the leading causes of bacterial endocarditis and is related to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Antibiotic resistance has also increased among strains of S. mitis and S. pneumoniae. Phages are being reinvestigated as alternatives to antibiotics for managing infections. In this study, the two virulent phages Cp-1 (Podoviridae and Dp-1 (Siphoviridae, previously isolated from S. pneumoniae, were found to also infect S. mitis. Microbiological assays showed that both pneumophages could not only replicate in S. mitis but also produced more visible plaques on this host. However, the burst size and phage adsorption data were lower in S. mitis as compared to S. pneumoniae. A comparison of the genomes of each phage grown on both hosts produced identical nucleotide sequences, confirming that the same phages infect both bacterial species. We also discovered that the genomic sequence of podophage Cp-1 of the Félix d'Hérelle collection is different than the previously reported sequence and thus renamed SOCP.

  7. Silkworm Apolipophorin Protein Inhibits Staphylococcus aureus Virulence*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanada, Yuichi; Sekimizu, Kazuhisa; Kaito, Chikara

    2011-01-01

    Silkworm hemolymph inhibits hemolysin production by Staphylococcus aureus. We purified a factor in the silkworm hemolymph responsible for this inhibitory activity. The final fraction with the greatest specific activity contained 220- and 74-kDa proteins. Determination of the N-terminal amino acid sequence revealed that the 220- and 74-kDa proteins were apolipophorin I and apolipophorin II, respectively, indicating that the factor was apolipophorin (ApoLp). The purified ApoLp fraction showed decreased expression of S. aureus hla encoding α-hemolysin, hlb encoding β-hemolysin, saeRS, and RNAIII, which activate the expression of these hemolysin genes. Injection of an anti-ApoLp antibody into the hemolymph increased the sensitivity of silkworms to the lethal effect of S. aureus. Hog gastric mucin, a mammalian homologue of ApoLp, decreased the expression of S. aureus hla and hlb. These findings suggest that ApoLp in the silkworm hemolymph inhibits S. aureus virulence and contributes to defense against S. aureus infection and that its activity is conserved in mammalian mucin. PMID:21937431

  8. Virulence potential of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from Buruli ulcer patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amissah, Nana Ama; Chlebowicz, Monika A; Ablordey, Anthony; Tetteh, Caitlin S; Prah, Isaac; van der Werf, Tjip S; Friedrich, Alex W; van Dijl, Jan Maarten; Stienstra, Ymkje; Rossen, John W

    2017-06-01

    Buruli ulcer (BU) is a necrotizing infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. BU wounds may also be colonized with other microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus. This study aimed to characterize the virulence factors of S. aureus isolated from BU patients. Previously sequenced genomes of 21 S. aureus isolates from BU patients were screened for the presence of virulence genes. The results show that all S. aureus isolates harbored on their core genomes genes for known virulence factors like α-hemolysin, and the α- and β-phenol soluble modulins. Besides the core genome virulence genes, mobile genetic elements (MGEs), i.e. prophages, genomic islands, pathogenicity islands and a Staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) were found to carry different combinations of virulence factors, among them genes that are known to encode factors that promote immune evasion, superantigens and Panton-Valentine Leucocidin. The present observations imply that the S. aureus isolates from BU patients harbor a diverse repertoire of virulence genes that may enhance bacterial survival and persistence in the wound environment and potentially contribute to delayed wound healing. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  9. A temperature-responsive network links cell shape and virulence traits in a primary fungal pathogen.

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    Sinem Beyhan

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Survival at host temperature is a critical trait for pathogenic microbes of humans. Thermally dimorphic fungal pathogens, including Histoplasma capsulatum, are soil fungi that undergo dramatic changes in cell shape and virulence gene expression in response to host temperature. How these organisms link changes in temperature to both morphologic development and expression of virulence traits is unknown. Here we elucidate a temperature-responsive transcriptional network in H. capsulatum, which switches from a filamentous form in the environment to a pathogenic yeast form at body temperature. The circuit is driven by three highly conserved factors, Ryp1, Ryp2, and Ryp3, that are required for yeast-phase growth at 37°C. Ryp factors belong to distinct families of proteins that control developmental transitions in fungi: Ryp1 is a member of the WOPR family of transcription factors, and Ryp2 and Ryp3 are both members of the Velvet family of proteins whose molecular function is unknown. Here we provide the first evidence that these WOPR and Velvet proteins interact, and that Velvet proteins associate with DNA to drive gene expression. Using genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation studies, we determine that Ryp1, Ryp2, and Ryp3 associate with a large common set of genomic loci that includes known virulence genes, indicating that the Ryp factors directly control genes required for pathogenicity in addition to their role in regulating cell morphology. We further dissect the Ryp regulatory circuit by determining that a fourth transcription factor, which we name Ryp4, is required for yeast-phase growth and gene expression, associates with DNA, and displays interdependent regulation with Ryp1, Ryp2, and Ryp3. Finally, we define cis-acting motifs that recruit the Ryp factors to their interwoven network of temperature-responsive target genes. Taken together, our results reveal a positive feedback circuit that directs a broad transcriptional switch between

  10. Comparative profiling of the transcriptional response to iron restriction in six serotypes of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae with different virulence potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angen Øystein

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative analysis of gene expression among serotypes within a species can provide valuable information on important differences between related genomes. For the pig lung pathogen Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, 15 serotypes with a considerable variation in virulence potential and immunogenicity have been identified. This serotypic diversity can only partly be explained by amount of capsule and differences in the RTX toxin genes in their genomes. Iron acquisition in vivo is an important bacterial function and in pathogenic bacteria, iron-limitation is often a signal for the induction of virulence genes. We used a pan-genomic microarray to study the transcriptional response to iron restriction in vitro in six serotypes of A. pleuropneumoniae (1, 2, 3, 5b, 6, and 7, representing at least two levels of virulence. Results In total, 45 genes were significantly (p A. pleuropneumoniae was the up-regulation of a putative cirA-like siderophore in all six serotypes. Three genes, recently described in A. pleuropneumoniae as possibly coding for haemoglobin-haptoglobin binding proteins, displayed significant serotype related up-regulation to iron limitation. For all three genes, the expression appeared at its lowest in serotype 3, which is generally considered one of the least virulent serotypes of A. pleuropneumoniae. The three genes share homology with the hmbR haemoglobin receptor of Neisseria meningitidis, a possible virulence factor which contributes to bacterial survival in rats. Conclusions By comparative analysis of gene expression among 6 different serotypes of A. pleuropneumoniae we identified a common set of presumably essential core genes, involved in iron regulation. The results support and expand previous observations concerning the identification of new potential iron acquisition systems in A. pleuropneumoniae, showing that this bacterium has evolved several strategies for scavenging the limited iron resources of the

  11. Virulence-transmission trade-offs and population divergence in virulence in a naturally occurring butterfly parasite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Roode, Jacobus C; Yates, Andrew J; Altizer, Sonia

    2008-05-27

    Why do parasites harm their hosts? Conventional wisdom holds that because parasites depend on their hosts for survival and transmission, they should evolve to become benign, yet many parasites cause harm. Theory predicts that parasites could evolve virulence (i.e., parasite-induced reductions in host fitness) by balancing the transmission benefits of parasite replication with the costs of host death. This idea has led researchers to predict how human interventions-such as vaccines-may alter virulence evolution, yet empirical support is critically lacking. We studied a protozoan parasite of monarch butterflies and found that higher levels of within-host replication resulted in both higher virulence and greater transmission, thus lending support to the idea that selection for parasite transmission can favor parasite genotypes that cause substantial harm. Parasite fitness was maximized at an intermediate level of parasite replication, beyond which the cost of increased host mortality outweighed the benefit of increased transmission. A separate experiment confirmed genetic relationships between parasite replication and virulence, and showed that parasite genotypes from two monarch populations caused different virulence. These results show that selection on parasite transmission can explain why parasites harm their hosts, and suggest that constraints imposed by host ecology can lead to population divergence in parasite virulence.

  12. Cytokine responses in primary chicken embryo intestinal cells infected with Campylobacter jejuni strains of human and chicken origin and the expression of bacterial virulence-associated genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Yiping; Ingmer, Hanne; Madsen, Mogens

    2008-01-01

    -free media from another co-cultivation experiment also increased the expression of the virulence-associated genes in the C. jejuni chicken isolate, indicating that the expression of bacterial genes is regulated by component(s) secreted upon co-cultivation of bacteria and CEICs. Conclusion We show that under...... in vitro culture condition C. jejuni strains of both human and chicken origins can invade avian host cells with a pro-inflammatory response and that the virulence-associated genes of C. jejuni may play a role in this process....

  13. Selected lactic acid-producing bacterial isolates with the capacity to reduce Salmonella translocation and virulence gene expression in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaojian; Brisbin, Jennifer; Yu, Hai; Wang, Qi; Yin, Fugui; Zhang, Yonggang; Sabour, Parviz; Sharif, Shayan; Gong, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Probiotics have been used to control Salmonella colonization/infection in chickens. Yet the mechanisms of probiotic effects are not fully understood. This study has characterized our previously-selected lactic acid-producing bacterial (LAB) isolates for controlling Salmonella infection in chickens, particularly the mechanism underlying the control. In vitro studies were conducted to characterize 14 LAB isolates for their tolerance to low pH (2.0) and high bile salt (0.3-1.5%) and susceptibility to antibiotics. Three chicken infection trials were subsequently carried out to evaluate four of the isolates for reducing the burden of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in the broiler cecum. Chicks were gavaged with LAB cultures (10(6-7) CFU/chick) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 1 day of age followed by Salmonella challenge (10(4) CFU/chick) next day. Samples of cecal digesta, spleen, and liver were examined for Salmonella counts on days 1, 3, or 4 post-challenge. Salmonella in the cecum from Trial 3 was also assessed for the expression of ten virulence genes located in its pathogenicity island-1 (SPI-1). These genes play a role in Salmonella intestinal invasion. Tested LAB isolates (individuals or mixed cultures) were unable to lower Salmonella burden in the chicken cecum, but able to attenuate Salmonella infection in the spleen and liver. The LAB treatments also reduced almost all SPI-1 virulence gene expression (9 out of 10) in the chicken cecum, particularly at the low dose. In vitro treatment with the extracellular culture fluid from a LAB culture also down-regulated most SPI-1 virulence gene expression. The possible correlation between attenuation of Salmonella infection in the chicken spleen and liver and reduction of Salmonella SPI-1 virulence gene expression in the chicken cecum by LAB isolates is a new observation. Suppression of Salmonella virulence gene expression in vivo can be one of the strategies for controlling Salmonella infection in chickens.

  14. Revised phylogeny and novel horizontally acquired virulence determinants of the model soft rot phytopathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae SCC3193.

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    Johanna Nykyri

    Full Text Available Soft rot disease is economically one of the most devastating bacterial diseases affecting plants worldwide. In this study, we present novel insights into the phylogeny and virulence of the soft rot model Pectobacterium sp. SCC3193, which was isolated from a diseased potato stem in Finland in the early 1980s. Genomic approaches, including proteome and genome comparisons of all sequenced soft rot bacteria, revealed that SCC3193, previously included in the species Pectobacterium carotovorum, can now be more accurately classified as Pectobacterium wasabiae. Together with the recently revised phylogeny of a few P. carotovorum strains and an increasing number of studies on P. wasabiae, our work indicates that P. wasabiae has been unnoticed but present in potato fields worldwide. A combination of genomic approaches and in planta experiments identified features that separate SCC3193 and other P. wasabiae strains from the rest of soft rot bacteria, such as the absence of a type III secretion system that contributes to virulence of other soft rot species. Experimentally established virulence determinants include the putative transcriptional regulator SirB, two partially redundant type VI secretion systems and two horizontally acquired clusters (Vic1 and Vic2, which contain predicted virulence genes. Genome comparison also revealed other interesting traits that may be related to life in planta or other specific environmental conditions. These traits include a predicted benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase of eukaryotic origin. The novelties found in this work indicate that soft rot bacteria have a reservoir of unknown traits that may be utilized in the poorly understood latent stage in planta. The genomic approaches and the comparison of the model strain SCC3193 to other sequenced Pectobacterium strains, including the type strain of P. wasabiae, provides a solid basis for further investigation of the virulence, distribution and phylogeny

  15. Campylobacter Polysaccharide Capsules: Virulence and Vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerry, Patricia; Poly, Frédéric; Riddle, Mark; Maue, Alexander C.; Chen, Yu-Han; Monteiro, Mario A.

    2012-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni remains a major cause of bacterial diarrhea worldwide and is associated with numerous sequelae, including Guillain Barré Syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, reactive arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. C. jejuni is unusual for an intestinal pathogen in its ability to coat its surface with a polysaccharide capsule (CPS). These capsular polysaccharides vary in sugar composition and linkage, especially those involving heptoses of unusual configuration and O-methyl phosphoramidate linkages. This structural diversity is consistent with CPS being the major serodeterminant of the Penner scheme, of which there are 47 C. jejuni serotypes. Both CPS expression and expression of modifications are subject to phase variation by slip strand mismatch repair. Although capsules are virulence factors for other pathogens, the role of CPS in C. jejuni disease has not been well defined beyond descriptive studies demonstrating a role in serum resistance and for diarrhea in a ferret model of disease. However, perhaps the most compelling evidence for a role in pathogenesis are data that CPS conjugate vaccines protect against diarrheal disease in non-human primates. A CPS conjugate vaccine approach against this pathogen is intriguing, but several questions need to be addressed, including the valency of CPS types required for an effective vaccine. There have been numerous studies of prevalence of CPS serotypes in the developed world, but few studies from developing countries where the disease incidence is higher. The complexity and cost of Penner serotyping has limited its usefulness, and a recently developed multiplex PCR method for determination of capsule type offers the potential of a more rapid and affordable method. Comparative studies have shown a strong correlation of the two methods and studies are beginning to ascertain CPS-type distribution worldwide, as well as examination of correlation of severity of illness with specific CPS types. PMID:22919599

  16. Epidemiology and Virulence of Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, Steven; Murphy, Caitlin N

    2016-02-01

    Strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae are frequently opportunistic pathogens implicated in urinary tract and catheter-associated urinary-tract infections of hospitalized patients and compromised individuals. Infections are particularly difficult to treat since most clinical isolates exhibit resistance to several antibiotics leading to treatment failure and the possibility of systemic dissemination. Infections of medical devices such as urinary catheters is a major site of K. pneumoniae infections and has been suggested to involve the formation of biofilms on these surfaces. Over the last decade there has been an increase in research activity designed to investigate the pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae in the urinary tract. These investigations have begun to define the bacterial factors that contribute to growth and biofilm formation. Several virulence factors have been demonstrated to mediate K. pneumoniae infectivity and include, but are most likely not limited to, adherence factors, capsule production, lipopolysaccharide presence, and siderophore activity. The development of both in vitro and in vivo models of infection will lead to further elucidation of the molecular pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae. As for most opportunistic infections, the role of host factors as well as bacterial traits are crucial in determining the outcome of infections. In addition, multidrug-resistant strains of these bacteria have become a serious problem in the treatment of Klebsiella infections and novel strategies to prevent and inhibit bacterial growth need to be developed. Overall, the frequency, significance, and morbidity associated with K. pneumoniae urinary tract infections have increased over many years. The emergence of these bacteria as sources of antibiotic resistance and pathogens of the urinary tract present a challenging problem for the clinician in terms of management and treatment of individuals.

  17. Campylobacter polysaccharide capsules: virulence and vaccines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia eGuerry

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Campylobacter jejuni remains a major cause of bacterial diarrhea worldwide and is associated with numerous sequelae, including Guillain Barre Syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, reactive arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. C. jejuni is unusual for an intestinal pathogen in its ability to coat its surface with a polysaccharide capsule (CPS. These capsular polysaccharides vary in sugar composition and linkage, especially those involving heptoses of unusual configuration and O-methyl phosphoramidate linkages. This structural diversity is consistent with CPS being the major serodeterminant of the Penner scheme, of which there are 47 C. jejuni serotypes. Both CPS expression and expression of modifications are subject to phase variation by slip strand mismatch repair. Although capsules are virulence factors for other pathogens, the role of CPS in C. jejuni disease has not been well defined beyond descriptive studies demonstrating a role in serum resistance and for diarrhea in a ferret model of disease. However, perhaps the most compelling evidence for a role in pathogenesis are data that CPS conjugate vaccines protect against diarrheal disease in non-human primates. A CPS conjugate vaccine approach against this pathogen is intriguing, but several questions need to be addressed, including the valency of CPS types required for an effective vaccine. There have been numerous studies of prevalence of CPS serotypes in the developed world, but few studies from developing countries where the disease incidence is higher. The complexity and cost of Penner serotyping has limited its usefulness, and a recently developed multiplex PCR method for determination of capsule type offers the potential of a more rapid and affordable method. Comparative studies have shown a strong correlation of the two methods and studies are beginning to ascertain CPS-type distribution worldwide, as well as examination of correlation of severity of illness with specific CPS types.

  18. A comparison of computational methods for identifying virulence factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu-Lu Zheng

    Full Text Available Bacterial pathogens continue to threaten public health worldwide today. Identification of bacterial virulence factors can help to find novel drug/vaccine targets against pathogenicity. It can also help to reveal the mechanisms of the related diseases at the molecular level. With the explosive growth in protein sequences generated in the postgenomic age, it is highly desired to develop computational methods for rapidly and effectively identifying virulence factors according to their sequence information alone. In this study, based on the protein-protein interaction networks from the STRING database, a novel network-based method was proposed for identifying the virulence factors in the proteomes of UPEC 536, UPEC CFT073, P. aeruginosa PAO1, L. pneumophila Philadelphia 1, C. jejuni NCTC 11168 and M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Evaluated on the same benchmark datasets derived from the aforementioned species, the identification accuracies achieved by the network-based method were around 0.9, significantly higher than those by the sequence-based methods such as BLAST, feature selection and VirulentPred. Further analysis showed that the functional associations such as the gene neighborhood and co-occurrence were the primary associations between these virulence factors in the STRING database. The high success rates indicate that the network-based method is quite promising. The novel approach holds high potential for identifying virulence factors in many other various organisms as well because it can be easily extended to identify the virulence factors in many other bacterial species, as long as the relevant significant statistical data are available for them.

  19. The association of virulence factors with genomic islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shannan J Ho Sui

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available It has been noted that many bacterial virulence factor genes are located within genomic islands (GIs; clusters of genes in a prokaryotic genome of probable horizontal origin. However, such studies have been limited to single genera or isolated observations. We have performed the first large-scale analysis of multiple diverse pathogens to examine this association. We additionally identified genes found predominantly in pathogens, but not non-pathogens, across multiple genera using 631 complete bacterial genomes, and we identified common trends in virulence for genes in GIs. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between GIs and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPRs proposed to confer resistance to phage.We show quantitatively that GIs disproportionately contain more virulence factors than the rest of a given genome (p<1E-40 using three GI datasets and that CRISPRs are also over-represented in GIs. Virulence factors in GIs and pathogen-associated virulence factors are enriched for proteins having more "offensive" functions, e.g. active invasion of the host, and are disproportionately components of type III/IV secretion systems or toxins. Numerous hypothetical pathogen-associated genes were identified, meriting further study.This is the first systematic analysis across diverse genera indicating that virulence factors are disproportionately associated with GIs. "Offensive" virulence factors, as opposed to host-interaction factors, may more often be a recently acquired trait (on an evolutionary time scale detected by GI analysis. Newly identified pathogen-associated genes warrant further study. We discuss the implications of these results, which cement the significant role of GIs in the evolution of many pathogens.

  20. cis-Acting Elements That Control Expression of the Master Virulence Regulatory Gene atxA in Bacillus anthracis

    OpenAIRE

    Dale, Jennifer L.; Raynor, Malik J.; Dwivedi, Prabhat; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2012-01-01

    Transcription of the Bacillus anthracis structural genes for the anthrax toxin proteins and biosynthetic operon for capsule is positively regulated by AtxA, a transcription regulator with unique properties. Consistent with the role of atxA in virulence factor expression, a B. anthracis atxA-null mutant is avirulent in a murine model for anthrax. In culture, multiple signals impact atxA transcript levels, and the timing and steady-state level of atxA expression are critical for optimal toxin a...

  1. Ergothioneine Maintains Redox and Bioenergetic Homeostasis Essential for Drug Susceptibility and Virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

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    Vikram Saini

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The mechanisms by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb maintains metabolic equilibrium to survive during infection and upon exposure to antimycobacterial drugs are poorly characterized. Ergothioneine (EGT and mycothiol (MSH are the major redox buffers present in Mtb, but the contribution of EGT to Mtb redox homeostasis and virulence remains unknown. We report that Mtb WhiB3, a 4Fe-4S redox sensor protein, regulates EGT production and maintains bioenergetic homeostasis. We show that central carbon metabolism and lipid precursors regulate EGT production and that EGT modulates drug sensitivity. Notably, EGT and MSH are both essential for redox and bioenergetic homeostasis. Transcriptomic analyses of EGT and MSH mutants indicate overlapping but distinct functions of EGT and MSH. Last, we show that EGT is critical for Mtb survival in both macrophages and mice. This study has uncovered a dynamic balance between Mtb redox and bioenergetic homeostasis, which critically influences Mtb drug susceptibility and pathogenicity.

  2. Ergothioneine maintains redox and bioenergetic homeostasis essential for drug susceptibility and virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saini, Vikram; Cumming, Bridgette M.; Guidry, Loni; Lamprecht, Dirk; Adamson, John H.; Reddy, Vineel P.; Chinta, Krishna C.; Mazorodzo, James; Glasgow, Joel N.; Richard-Greenblatt, Melissa; Gomez-Velasco, Anaximandro; Bach, Horacio; Av-Gay, Yossef; Eoh, Hyungjin; Rhee, Kyu; Steyn, Adrie J.C.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The mechanisms by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) maintains metabolic equilibrium to survive during infection and upon exposure to antimycobacterial drugs are poorly characterized. Ergothioneine (EGT) and mycothiol (MSH) are the major redox buffers present in Mtb, but the contribution of EGT to Mtb redox homeostasis and virulence remains unknown. We report that Mtb WhiB3, a 4Fe-4S redox sensor protein, regulates EGT production and maintains bioenergetic homeostasis. We show that central carbon metabolism and lipid precursors regulate EGT production and that EGT modulates drug sensitivity. Notably, EGT and MSH are both essential for redox and bioenergetic homeostasis. Transcriptomic analyses of EGT and MSH mutants indicate overlapping, but distinct functions of EGT and MSH. Lastly, we show that EGT is critical for Mtb survival in both macrophages and mice. This study has uncovered a dynamic balance between Mtb redox and bioenergetic homeostasis, which critically influences Mtb drug susceptibility and pathogenicity. PMID:26774486

  3. A secreted bacterial protease tailors the Staphylococcus aureus virulence repertoire to modulate bone remodeling during osteomyelitis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassat, James E.; Hammer, Neal D.; Campbell, J. Preston; Benson, Meredith A.; Perrien, Daniel S.; Mrak, Lara N.; Smeltzer, Mark S.; Torres, Victor J.; Skaar, Eric P.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Osteomyelitis is a common manifestation of invasive Staphylococcus aureus infection. Pathogen-induced bone destruction limits antimicrobial penetration to the infectious focus and compromises treatment of osteomyelitis. To investigate mechanisms of S. aureus-induced bone destruction, we developed a murine model of osteomyelitis. Micro-computed tomography of infected femurs revealed that S. aureus triggers profound alterations in bone turnover. The bacterial regulatory locus sae was found to be critical for osteomyelitis pathogenesis, as Sae-regulated factors promote pathologic bone remodeling and intraosseous bacterial survival. Exoproteome analyses revealed the Sae-regulated protease aureolysin as a major determinant of the S. aureus secretome and identified the phenol soluble modulins as aureolysin-degraded, osteolytic peptides that trigger osteoblast cell death and bone destruction. These studies establish a murine model for pathogen-induced bone remodeling, define Sae as critical for osteomyelitis pathogenesis, and identify protease-dependent exoproteome remodeling as a major determinant of the staphylococcal virulence repertoire. PMID:23768499

  4. Zinc Detoxification Is Required for Full Virulence and Modification of the Host Leaf Ionome by Xylella fastidiosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarrete, Fernando; De La Fuente, Leonardo

    2015-04-01

    Zinc (Zn) is an essential element for all forms of life because it is a structural or catalytic cofactor of many proteins, but it can have toxic effects at high concentrations; thus, microorganisms must tightly regulate its levels. Here, we evaluated the role of Zn homeostasis proteins in the virulence of the xylem-limited bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, causal agent of Pierce's disease of grapevine, among other diseases. Two mutants of X. fastidiosa 'Temecula' affected in genes which regulate Zn homeostasis (zur) and Zn detoxification (czcD) were constructed. Both knockouts showed increased sensitivity to Zn at physiologically relevant concentrations and increased intracellular accumulation of this metal compared with the wild type. Increased Zn sensitivity was correlated with decreased growth in grapevine xylem sap, reduced twitching motility, and downregulation of exopolysaccharide biosynthetic genes. Tobacco plants inoculated with either knockout mutant showed reduced foliar symptoms and a much reduced (czcD) or absent (zur) modification of the leaf ionome (i.e., the mineral nutrient and trace element composition), as well as reduced bacterial populations. The results show that detoxification of Zn is crucial for the virulence of X. fastidiosa and verifies our previous findings that modification of the host leaf ionome correlates with bacterial virulence.

  5. The 50kDa metalloproteinase TvMP50 is a zinc-mediated Trichomonas vaginalis virulence factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puente-Rivera, Jonathan; Villalpando, José Luis; Villalobos-Osnaya, Alma; Vázquez-Carrillo, Laura Isabel; León-Ávila, Gloria; Ponce-Regalado, María Dolores; López-Camarillo, César; Elizalde-Contreras, Jose Miguel; Ruiz-May, Eliel; Arroyo, Rossana; Alvarez-Sánchez, María Elizbeth

    2017-10-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite that can adapt to the trichomonicidal Zn2+ concentrations of the male urogenital tract microenvironment. This adaptation is mediated by molecular mechanisms, including proteinase expression, that are regulated by cations such as Zn2+. Herein, we characterized the previously identified 50kDa metalloproteinase aminopeptidase P (M24 family) member TvMP50 as a new Zn2+-mediated parasite virulence factor. Quantitative RT-PCR and indirect immunofluorescence assays corroborated the positive regulation of both mp50 gene expression and native TvMP50 protein overexpression in the cytoplasm and secretion products of parasites grown in the presence of Zn2+. Furthermore, this active metalloproteinase was characterized as a new virulence factor by assaying cytotoxicity toward prostatic DU145 cell monolayers as well as the inhibition of parasite and secreted soluble protein proteolytic activity in the 50kDa proteolytic region by the specific metalloproteinase inhibitor 1,10-phenanthroline and the chelating agents EDTA and EGTA. Parasite and secreted soluble protein cytotoxicity toward DU145 cells were reduced by treatment with an α-rTvMP50 polyclonal antibody. Our results show that the metalloproteinase TvMP50 is a new virulence factor modulated by Zn2+, which is present during male trichomoniasis, possibly explaining T. vaginalis survival even within the adverse conditions of the male urogenital microenvironment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A novel signal transduction pathway that modulates rhl quorum sensing and bacterial virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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    Qiao Cao

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The rhl quorum-sensing (QS system plays critical roles in the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa. However, the regulatory effects that occur directly upstream of the rhl QS system are poorly understood. Here, we show that deletion of gene encoding for the two-component sensor BfmS leads to the activation of its cognate response regulator BfmR, which in turn directly binds to the promoter and decreases the expression of the rhlR gene that encodes the QS regulator RhlR, causing the inhibition of the rhl QS system. In the absence of bfmS, the Acka-Pta pathway can modulate the regulatory activity of BfmR. In addition, BfmS tunes the expression of 202 genes that comprise 3.6% of the P. aeruginosa genome. We further demonstrate that deletion of bfmS causes substantially reduced virulence in lettuce leaf, reduced cytotoxicity, enhanced invasion, and reduced bacterial survival during acute mouse lung infection. Intriguingly, specific missense mutations, which occur naturally in the bfmS gene in P. aeruginosa cystic fibrosis (CF isolates such as DK2 strains and RP73 strain, can produce BfmS variants (BfmSL181P, BfmSL181P/E376Q, and BfmSR393H that no longer repress, but instead activate BfmR. As a result, BfmS variants, but not the wild-type BfmS, inhibit the rhl QS system. This study thus uncovers a previously unexplored signal transduction pathway, BfmS/BfmR/RhlR, for the regulation of rhl QS in P. aeruginosa. We propose that BfmRS TCS may have an important role in the regulation and evolution of P. aeruginosa virulence during chronic infection in CF lungs.

  7. Signal Integration in Quorum Sensing Enables Cross-Species Induction of Virulence in Pectobacterium wasabiae

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    Rita S. Valente

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial communities can sense their neighbors, regulating group behaviors in response to cell density and environmental changes. The diversity of signaling networks in a single species has been postulated to allow custom responses to different stimuli; however, little is known about how multiple signals are integrated and the implications of this integration in different ecological contexts. In the plant pathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae (formerly Erwinia carotovora, two signaling networks—the N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL quorum-sensing system and the Gac/Rsm signal transduction pathway—control the expression of secreted plant cell wall-degrading enzymes, its major virulence determinants. We show that the AHL system controls the Gac/Rsm system by affecting the expression of the regulatory RNA RsmB. This regulation is mediated by ExpR2, the quorum-sensing receptor that responds to the P. wasabiae cognate AHL but also to AHLs produced by other bacterial species. As a consequence, this level of regulation allows P. wasabiae to bypass the Gac-dependent regulation of RsmB in the presence of exogenous AHLs or AHL-producing bacteria. We provide in vivo evidence that this pivotal role of RsmB in signal transduction is important for the ability of P. wasabiae to induce virulence in response to other AHL-producing bacteria in multispecies plant lesions. Our results suggest that the signaling architecture in P. wasabiae was coopted to prime the bacteria to eavesdrop on other bacteria and quickly join the efforts of o