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Sample records for virulence regulator aphb

  1. Virulence regulation in Staphylococcus aureus: the need for in vivo analysis of virulence factor regulation.

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    Pragman, Alexa A; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2004-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogenic microorganism that is responsible for a wide variety of clinical infections. These infections can be relatively mild, but serious, life-threatening infections may result from the expression of staphylococcal virulence factors that are coordinated by virulence regulators. Much work has been done to characterize the actions of staphylococcal virulence regulators in broth culture. Recently, several laboratories showed that transcriptional analyses of virulence regulators in in vivo animal models or in human infection did not correlate with transcriptional analyses accomplished in vitro. In describing the differences between in vitro and in vivo transcription of staphylococcal virulence regulators, we hope to encourage investigators to study virulence regulators using infection models whenever possible.

  2. Exploring potential virulence regulators in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolates of varying virulence through quantitative proteomics.

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    Castilho, Daniele G; Chaves, Alison F A; Xander, Patricia; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S; Serrano, Solange M T; Tashima, Alexandre K; Batista, Wagner L

    2014-10-03

    Few virulence factors have been identified for Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, the agent of paracoccidioidomycosis. In this study, we quantitatively evaluated the protein composition of P. brasiliensis in the yeast phase using minimal and rich media to obtain a better understanding of its virulence and to gain new insights into pathogen adaptation strategies. This analysis was performed on two isolates of the Pb18 strain showing distinct infection profiles in B10.A mice. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis, we identified and quantified 316 proteins in minimal medium, 29 of which were overexpressed in virulent Pb18. In rich medium, 29 out of 295 proteins were overexpressed in the virulent fungus. Three proteins were found to be up-regulated in both media, suggesting the potential roles of these proteins in virulence regulation in P. brasiliensis. Moreover, genes up-regulated in virulent Pb18 showed an increase in its expression after the recovery of virulence of attenuated Pb18. Proteins up-regulated in both isolates were grouped according to their functional categories. Virulent Pb18 undergoes metabolic reorganization and increased expression of proteins involved in fermentative respiration. This approach allowed us to identify potential virulence regulators and provided a foundation for achieving a molecular understanding of how Paracoccidioides modulates the host-pathogen interaction to its advantage.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Phosphotyrosine-Mediated Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

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    Robertson, Colin D.; Hazen, Tracy H.; Kaper, James B.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Enteric pathogens with low infectious doses rely on the ability to orchestrate the expression of virulence and metabolism-associated genes in response to environmental cues for successful infection. Accordingly, the human pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) employs a complex multifaceted regulatory network to link the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS) components to nutrient availability. While phosphorylation of histidine and aspartate residues on two-component system response regulators is recognized as an integral part of bacterial signaling, the involvement of phosphotyrosine-mediated control is minimally explored in Gram-negative pathogens. Our recent phosphotyrosine profiling study of E. coli identified 342 phosphorylated proteins, indicating that phosphotyrosine modifications in bacteria are more prevalent than previously anticipated. The present study demonstrates that tyrosine phosphorylation of a metabolite-responsive LacI/GalR family regulator, Cra, negatively affects T3SS expression under glycolytic conditions that are typical for the colonic lumen environment where production of the T3SS is unnecessary. Our data suggest that Cra phosphorylation affects T3SS expression by modulating the expression of ler, which encodes the major activator of EHEC virulence gene expression. Phosphorylation of the Cra Y47 residue diminishes DNA binding to fine-tune the expression of virulence-associated genes, including those of the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island that encode the T3SS, and thereby negatively affects the formation of attaching and effacing lesions. Our data indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation provides an additional mechanism to control the DNA binding of Cra and other LacI/GalR family regulators, including LacI and PurR. This study describes an initial effort to unravel the role of global phosphotyrosine signaling in the control of EHEC virulence potential. PMID:29487233

  6. Phosphotyrosine-Mediated Regulation of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Virulence

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    Colin D. Robertson

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Enteric pathogens with low infectious doses rely on the ability to orchestrate the expression of virulence and metabolism-associated genes in response to environmental cues for successful infection. Accordingly, the human pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC employs a complex multifaceted regulatory network to link the expression of type III secretion system (T3SS components to nutrient availability. While phosphorylation of histidine and aspartate residues on two-component system response regulators is recognized as an integral part of bacterial signaling, the involvement of phosphotyrosine-mediated control is minimally explored in Gram-negative pathogens. Our recent phosphotyrosine profiling study of E. coli identified 342 phosphorylated proteins, indicating that phosphotyrosine modifications in bacteria are more prevalent than previously anticipated. The present study demonstrates that tyrosine phosphorylation of a metabolite-responsive LacI/GalR family regulator, Cra, negatively affects T3SS expression under glycolytic conditions that are typical for the colonic lumen environment where production of the T3SS is unnecessary. Our data suggest that Cra phosphorylation affects T3SS expression by modulating the expression of ler, which encodes the major activator of EHEC virulence gene expression. Phosphorylation of the Cra Y47 residue diminishes DNA binding to fine-tune the expression of virulence-associated genes, including those of the locus of enterocyte effacement pathogenicity island that encode the T3SS, and thereby negatively affects the formation of attaching and effacing lesions. Our data indicate that tyrosine phosphorylation provides an additional mechanism to control the DNA binding of Cra and other LacI/GalR family regulators, including LacI and PurR. This study describes an initial effort to unravel the role of global phosphotyrosine signaling in the control of EHEC virulence potential.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Mechanosensing regulates virulence in Escherichia coli O157:H7.

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    Islam, Md Shahidul; Krachler, Anne Marie

    2016-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a food-borne pathogen transmitted via the fecal-oral route, and can cause bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in the human host. Although a range of colonization factors, Shiga toxins and a type III secretion system (T3SS) all contribute to disease development, the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) encoded T3SS is responsible for the formation of lesions in the intestinal tract. While a variety of chemical cues in the host environment are known to up-regulate LEE expression, we recently demonstrated that changes in physical forces at the site of attachment are required for localized, full induction of the system and thus spatial regulation of virulence in the intestinal tract. Here, we discuss our findings in the light of other recent studies describing mechanosensing of the host and force-dependent induction of virulence mechanisms. We discuss potential mechanisms of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction, and the level of conservation across bacterial species.

  12. Systems analysis of multiple regulator perturbations allows discovery of virulence factors in Salmonella

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    Yoon, Hyunjin; Ansong, Charles; McDermott, Jason E.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Smith, Richard D.; Heffron, Fred; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2011-06-28

    Background: Systemic bacterial infections are highly regulated and complex processes that are orchestrated by numerous virulence factors. Genes that are coordinately controlled by the set of regulators required for systemic infection are potentially required for pathogenicity. Results: In this study we present a systems biology approach in which sample-matched multi-omic measurements of fourteen virulence-essential regulator mutants were coupled with computational network analysis to efficiently identify Salmonella virulence factors. Immunoblot experiments verified network-predicted virulence factors and a subset was determined to be secreted into the host cytoplasm, suggesting that they are virulence factors directly interacting with host cellular components. Two of these, SrfN and PagK2, were required for full mouse virulence and were shown to be translocated independent of either of the type III secretion systems in Salmonella or the type III injectisome-related flagellar mechanism. Conclusions: Integrating multi-omic datasets from Salmonella mutants lacking virulence regulators not only identified novel virulence factors but also defined a new class of translocated effectors involved in pathogenesis. The success of this strategy at discovery of known and novel virulence factors suggests that the approach may have applicability for other bacterial pathogens.

  13. Quorum-sensing regulators control virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae

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    Zhu, Jun; Miller, Melissa B.; Vance, Russell E.; Dziejman, Michelle; Bassler, Bonnie L.; Mekalanos, John J.

    2002-01-01

    The production of virulence factors including cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus in the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae is strongly influenced by environmental conditions. The well-characterized ToxR signal transduction cascade is responsible for sensing and integrating the environmental information and controlling the virulence regulon. We show here that, in addition to the known components of the ToxR signaling circuit, quorum-sensing regulators are involved in regulation of V. ch...

  14. Regulators Involved in Dickeya solani Virulence, Genetic Conservation and Functional Variability.

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    Potrykus, Marta; Golanowska, Małgorzata; Hugouvieux-Cotte-Pattat, Nicole; Lojkowska, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria from the genus Dickeya (formerly Erwinia chrysanthemi) are plant pathogens causing severe diseases in many economically important crops. A majority of the strains responsible for potato disease in Europe belong to a newly identified Dickeya solani species. Although some ecological and epidemiological studies have been carried out, little is known about the regulation of D. solani virulence. The characterization of four D. solani strains indicates significant differences in their virulence on potato although they are genetically similar based on genomic fingerprinting profiles. A phenotypic examination included an analysis of virulence on potato, growth rate in culture, motility, Fe 3+ chelation, and pectate lyase, cellulase, protease, biosurfactant and blue pigment production. Mutants of four D. solani strains were constructed by inactivating the genes coding either for one of the main negative regulators of D. dadantii virulence (kdgR, pecS and pecT) or for the synthesis and perception of signaling molecules (expI and expR). Analysis of these mutants indicated that PecS, PecT and KdgR play a similar role in both species, repressing to different degrees the synthesis of virulence factors. The thermoregulator PecT seems to be a major regulator of D. solani virulence. This work also reveals the role of quorum sensing mediated by ExpI and ExpR in D. solani virulence on potato.

  15. Cyt toxin expression reveals an inverse regulation of insect and plant virulence factors of Dickeya dadantii.

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    Costechareyre, Denis; Dridi, Bedis; Rahbé, Yvan; Condemine, Guy

    2010-12-01

    The plant pathogenic bacteria Dickeya dadantii is also a pathogen of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. The genome of the bacteria contains four cyt genes, encoding homologues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt toxins, which are involved in its pathogenicity to insects. We show here that these genes are transcribed as an operon, and we determined the conditions necessary for their expression. Their expression is induced at high temperature and at an osmolarity equivalent to that found in the plant phloem sap. The regulators of cyt genes have also been identified: their expression is repressed by H-NS and VfmE and activated by PecS. These genes are already known to regulate plant virulence factors, but in an opposite way. When tested in a virulence assay by ingestion, the pecS mutant was almost non-pathogenic while hns and vfmE mutants behaved in the same way as the wild-type strain. Mutants of other regulators of plant virulence, GacA, OmpR and PhoP, that do not control Cyt toxin production, also showed reduced pathogenicity. In an assay by injection of bacteria, the gacA strain was less pathogenic but, surprisingly, the pecS mutant was slightly more virulent. These results show that Cyt toxins are not the only virulence factors required to kill aphids, and that these factors act at different stages of the infection. Moreover, their production is controlled by general virulence regulators known for their role in plant virulence. This integration could indicate that virulence towards insects is a normal mode of life for D. dadantii. © 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The virulence regulator PrfA promotes biofilm formation by Listeria monocytogenes.

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    Lemon, Katherine P; Freitag, Nancy E; Kolter, Roberto

    2010-08-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne facultative intracellular pathogen. It is widespread in the environment and has several distinct life-styles. The key transcriptional activator PrfA positively regulates L. monocytogenes virulence genes to mediate the transition from extracellular, flagellum-propelled cell to intracellular pathogen. Here we report the first evidence that PrfA also has a significant positive impact on extracellular biofilm formation. Mutants lacking prfA were defective in surface-adhered biofilm formation. The DeltaprfA mutant exhibited wild-type flagellar motility, and its biofilm defect occurred after initial surface adhesion. We also observed that mutations that led to the constitutive expression of PrfA-dependent virulence genes had a minimal impact on biofilm formation. Furthermore, biofilm development was enhanced in a mutant encoding a PrfA protein variant unable to fully transition from the extracellular form to the virulent, intracellular activity conformation. These results indicate that PrfA positively regulates biofilm formation and suggest that PrfA has a global role in modulating the life-style of L. monocytogenes. The requirement of PrfA for optimal biofilm formation may provide selective pressure to maintain this critical virulence regulator when L. monocytogenes is outside host cells in the environment.

  2. Lvr, a Signaling System That Controls Global Gene Regulation and Virulence in Pathogenic Leptospira

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    Adhikarla, Haritha; Wunder, Elsio A.; Mechaly, Ariel E.; Mehta, Sameet; Wang, Zheng; Santos, Luciane; Bisht, Vimla; Diggle, Peter; Murray, Gerald; Adler, Ben; Lopez, Francesc; Townsend, Jeffrey P.; Groisman, Eduardo; Picardeau, Mathieu; Buschiazzo, Alejandro; Ko, Albert I.

    2018-01-01

    Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease with more than 1 million cases annually. Currently there is lack of evidence for signaling pathways involved during the infection process of Leptospira. In our comprehensive genomic analysis of 20 Leptospira spp. we identified seven pathogen-specific Two-Component System (TCS) proteins. Disruption of two these TCS genes in pathogenic Leptospira strain resulted in loss-of-virulence in a hamster model of leptospirosis. Corresponding genes lvrA and lvrB (leptospira virulence regulator) are juxtaposed in an operon and are predicted to encode a hybrid histidine kinase and a hybrid response regulator, respectively. Transcriptome analysis of lvr mutant strains with disruption of one (lvrB) or both genes (lvrA/B) revealed global transcriptional regulation of 850 differentially expressed genes. Phosphotransfer assays demonstrated that LvrA phosphorylates LvrB and predicted further signaling downstream to one or more DNA-binding response regulators, suggesting that it is a branched pathway. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that lvrA and lvrB evolved independently within different ecological lineages in Leptospira via gene duplication. This study uncovers a novel-signaling pathway that regulates virulence in pathogenic Leptospira (Lvr), providing a framework to understand the molecular bases of regulation in this life-threatening bacterium. PMID:29600195

  3. Two-component regulators involved in the global control of virulence in Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora.

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    Eriksson, A R; Andersson, R A; Pirhonen, M; Palva, E T

    1998-08-01

    Production of extracellular, plant cell wall degrading enzymes, the main virulence determinants of the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora, is coordinately controlled by a complex regulatory network. Insertion mutants in the exp (extracellular enzyme production) loci exhibit pleiotropic defects in virulence and the growth-phase-dependent transcriptional activation of genes encoding extracellular enzymes. Two new exp mutations, designated expA and expS, were characterized. Introduction of the corresponding wild-type alleles to the mutants complemented both the lack of virulence and the impaired production of plant cell wall degrading enzymes. The expA gene was shown to encode a 24-kDa polypeptide that is structurally and functionally related to the uvrY gene product of Escherichia coli and the GacA response regulator of Pseudomonas fluorescens. Functional similarity of expA and uvrY was demonstrated by genetic complementation. The expA gene is organized in an operon together with a uvrC-like gene, identical to the organization of uvrY and uvrC in E. coli. The unlinked expS gene encodes a putative sensor kinase that shows 92% identity to the recently described rpfA gene product from another E. carotovora subsp. carotovora strain. Our data suggest that ExpS and ExpA are members of two-component sensor kinase and response regulator families, respectively. These two proteins might interact in controlling virulence gene expression in E. carotovora subsp. carotovora.

  4. A combination of independent transcriptional regulators shapes bacterial virulence gene expression during infection.

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    Samuel A Shelburne

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptional regulatory networks are fundamental to how microbes alter gene expression in response to environmental stimuli, thereby playing a critical role in bacterial pathogenesis. However, understanding how bacterial transcriptional regulatory networks function during host-pathogen interaction is limited. Recent studies in group A Streptococcus (GAS suggested that the transcriptional regulator catabolite control protein A (CcpA influences many of the same genes as the control of virulence (CovRS two-component gene regulatory system. To provide new information about the CcpA and CovRS networks, we compared the CcpA and CovR transcriptomes in a serotype M1 GAS strain. The transcript levels of several of the same genes encoding virulence factors and proteins involved in basic metabolic processes were affected in both DeltaccpA and DeltacovR isogenic mutant strains. Recombinant CcpA and CovR bound with high-affinity to the promoter regions of several co-regulated genes, including those encoding proteins involved in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Compared to the wild-type parental strain, DeltaccpA and DeltacovRDeltaccpA isogenic mutant strains were significantly less virulent in a mouse myositis model. Inactivation of CcpA and CovR alone and in combination led to significant alterations in the transcript levels of several key GAS virulence factor encoding genes during infection. Importantly, the transcript level alterations in the DeltaccpA and DeltacovRDeltaccpA isogenic mutant strains observed during infection were distinct from those occurring during growth in laboratory medium. These data provide new knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria respond to environmental signals to regulate virulence factor production and basic metabolic processes during infection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Regulation of Three Virulence Strategies of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: A Success Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dam, Jesse C. J.; Martins dos Santos, Vitor A. P.

    2018-01-01

    Tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest diseases. Emergence of drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains makes treating tuberculosis increasingly challenging. In order to develop novel intervention strategies, detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind the success of this pathogen is required. Here, we review recent literature to provide a systems level overview of the molecular and cellular components involved in divalent metal homeostasis and their role in regulating the three main virulence strategies of M. tuberculosis: immune modulation, dormancy and phagosomal rupture. We provide a visual and modular overview of these components and their regulation. Our analysis identified a single regulatory cascade for these three virulence strategies that respond to limited availability of divalent metals in the phagosome. PMID:29364195

  7. Haemophilus ducreyi Hfq contributes to virulence gene regulation as cells enter stationary phase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Labandeira-Rey, Maria; Zhang, Xinjun; Fortney, Kate R; Ellinger, Sheila; Zwickl, Beth; Baker, Beth; Liu, Yunlong; Janowicz, Diane M; Katz, Barry P; Brautigam, Chad A; Munson, Robert S; Hansen, Eric J; Spinola, Stanley M

    2014-02-11

    To adapt to stresses encountered in stationary phase, Gram-negative bacteria utilize the alternative sigma factor RpoS. However, some species lack RpoS; thus, it is unclear how stationary-phase adaptation is regulated in these organisms. Here we defined the growth-phase-dependent transcriptomes of Haemophilus ducreyi, which lacks an RpoS homolog. Compared to mid-log-phase organisms, cells harvested from the stationary phase upregulated genes encoding several virulence determinants and a homolog of hfq. Insertional inactivation of hfq altered the expression of ~16% of the H. ducreyi genes. Importantly, there were a significant overlap and an inverse correlation in the transcript levels of genes differentially expressed in the hfq inactivation mutant relative to its parent and the genes differentially expressed in stationary phase relative to mid-log phase in the parent. Inactivation of hfq downregulated genes in the flp-tad and lspB-lspA2 operons, which encode several virulence determinants. To comply with FDA guidelines for human inoculation experiments, an unmarked hfq deletion mutant was constructed and was fully attenuated for virulence in humans. Inactivation or deletion of hfq downregulated Flp1 and impaired the ability of H. ducreyi to form microcolonies, downregulated DsrA and rendered H. ducreyi serum susceptible, and downregulated LspB and LspA2, which allow H. ducreyi to resist phagocytosis. We propose that, in the absence of an RpoS homolog, Hfq serves as a major contributor of H. ducreyi stationary-phase and virulence gene regulation. The contribution of Hfq to stationary-phase gene regulation may have broad implications for other organisms that lack an RpoS homolog. Pathogenic bacteria encounter a wide range of stresses in their hosts, including nutrient limitation; the ability to sense and respond to such stresses is crucial for bacterial pathogens to successfully establish an infection. Gram-negative bacteria frequently utilize the alternative sigma

  8. Structure of Rot, a global regulator of virulence genes in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yuwei; Fan, Xiaojiao; Zhang, Xu; Jiang, Xuguang; Niu, Liwen; Teng, Maikun; Li, Xu

    2014-09-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a highly versatile pathogen that can infect human tissue by producing a large arsenal of virulence factors that are tightly regulated by a complex regulatory network. Rot, which shares sequence similarity with SarA homologues, is a global regulator that regulates numerous virulence genes. However, the recognition model of Rot for the promoter region of target genes and the putative regulation mechanism remain elusive. In this study, the 1.77 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of Rot is reported. The structure reveals that two Rot molecules form a compact homodimer, each of which contains a typical helix-turn-helix module and a β-hairpin motif connected by a flexible loop. Fluorescence polarization results indicate that Rot preferentially recognizes AT-rich dsDNA with ~30-base-pair nucleotides and that the conserved positively charged residues on the winged-helix motif are vital for binding to the AT-rich dsDNA. It is proposed that the DNA-recognition model of Rot may be similar to that of SarA, SarR and SarS, in which the helix-turn-helix motifs of each monomer interact with the major grooves of target dsDNA and the winged motifs contact the minor grooves. Interestingly, the structure shows that Rot adopts a novel dimerization model that differs from that of other SarA homologues. As expected, perturbation of the dimer interface abolishes the dsDNA-binding ability of Rot, suggesting that Rot functions as a dimer. In addition, the results have been further confirmed in vivo by measuring the transcriptional regulation of α-toxin, a major virulence factor produced by most S. aureus strains.

  9. 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.

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

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. The host-encoded Heme Regulated Inhibitor (HRI facilitates virulence-associated activities of bacterial pathogens.

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    Niraj Shrestha

    Full Text Available Here we show that cells lacking the heme-regulated inhibitor (HRI are highly resistant to infection by bacterial pathogens. By examining the infection process in wild-type and HRI null cells, we found that HRI is required for pathogens to execute their virulence-associated cellular activities. Specifically, unlike wild-type cells, HRI null cells infected with the gram-negative bacterial pathogen Yersinia are essentially impervious to the cytoskeleton-damaging effects of the Yop virulence factors. This effect is due to reduced functioning of the Yersinia type 3 secretion (T3S system which injects virulence factors directly into the host cell cytosol. Reduced T3S activity is also observed in HRI null cells infected with the bacterial pathogen Chlamydia which results in a dramatic reduction in its intracellular proliferation. We go on to show that a HRI-mediated process plays a central role in the cellular infection cycle of the Gram-positive pathogen Listeria. For this pathogen, HRI is required for the post-invasion trafficking of the bacterium to the infected host cytosol. Thus by depriving Listeria of its intracellular niche, there is a highly reduced proliferation of Listeria in HRI null cells. We provide evidence that these infection-associated functions of HRI (an eIF2α kinase are independent of its activity as a regulator of protein synthesis. This is the first report of a host factor whose absence interferes with the function of T3S secretion and cytosolic access by pathogens and makes HRI an excellent target for inhibitors due to its broad virulence-associated activities.

  13. The TOR signaling pathway regulates vegetative development and virulence in Fusarium graminearum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Fangwei; Gu, Qin; Yun, Yingzi; Yin, Yanni; Xu, Jin-Rong; Shim, Won-Bo; Ma, Zhonghua

    2014-07-01

    The target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway plays critical roles in controlling cell growth in a variety of eukaryotes. However, the contribution of this pathway in regulating virulence of plant pathogenic fungi is unknown. We identified and characterized nine genes encoding components of the TOR pathway in Fusarium graminearum. Biological, genetic and biochemical functions of each component were investigated. The FgFkbp12-rapamycin complex binds to the FgTor kinase. The type 2A phosphatases FgPp2A, FgSit4 and FgPpg1 were found to interact with FgTap42, a downstream component of FgTor. Among these, we determined that FgPp2A is likely to be essential for F. graminearum survival, and FgSit4 and FgPpg1 play important roles in cell wall integrity by positively regulating the phosphorylation of FgMgv1, a key MAP kinase in the cell wall integrity pathway. In addition, the FgPpg1 interacting protein, FgTip41, is involved in regulating mycelial growth and virulence. Notably, FgTip41 does not interact with FgTap42 but with FgPpg1, suggesting the existence of FgTap42:FgPpg1:FgTip41 heterotrimer in F. graminearum, a complex not observed in the yeast model. Collectively, we defined a genetic regulatory framework that elucidates how the TOR pathway regulates virulence and vegetative development in F. graminearum. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. 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

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

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    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.

  16. Responsiveness to acidity via metal ion regulators mediates virulence in the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bury-Moné, Stéphanie; Thiberge, Jean-Michel; Contreras, Monica; Maitournam, Aboubakar; Labigne, Agnès; De Reuse, Hilde

    2004-07-01

    The virulence of pathogenic bacteria is dependent on their adaptation to and survival in the stressful conditions encountered in their hosts. Helicobacter pylori exclusively colonizes the acid stomach of primates, making it an ideal study model. Little is known about how H. pylori responds to the moderately acidic conditions encountered at its colonization site, the gastric mucus layer. Thus, we compared gene expression profiles of H. pylori 26695 grown at neutral and acidic pH, and validated the data for a selection of genes by real-time polymerase chain reaction, dot-blots or enzymatic assays. During growth in acidic conditions, 56 genes were upregulated and 45 genes downregulated. We found that acidity is a signal modulating the expression of several virulence factors. Regulation of genes related to metal ion homeostasis suggests protective mechanisms involving diminished transport and enhanced storage. Genes encoding subunits of the F0F1 ATPase and of a newly identified Na+/H+ antiporter (NhaC-HP0946) were downregulated, revealing that this bacterium uses original mechanisms to control proton entry. Five of the upregulated genes encoded proteins controlling intracellular ammonia synthesis, including urease, amidase and formamidase, underlining the major role of this buffering compound in the protection against acidity in H. pylori. Regulatory networks and transcriptome analysis as well as enzymatic assays implicated two metal-responsive transcriptional regulators (NikR and Fur) and an essential two-component response regulator (HP0166, OmpR-like) as effectors of the H. pylori acid response. Finally, a nikR-fur mutant is attenuated in the mouse model, emphasizing the link between response to acidity, metal metabolism and virulence in this gastric pathogen.

  17. Regulation of virulence by a two-component system in group B streptococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Sheng-Mei; Cieslewicz, Michael J; Kasper, Dennis L; Wessels, Michael R

    2005-02-01

    Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is frequently carried in the gastrointestinal or genitourinary tract as a commensal organism, yet it has the potential to cause life-threatening infection in newborn infants, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic illness. Regulation of virulence factor expression may affect whether GBS behaves as an asymptomatic colonizer or an invasive pathogen, but little is known about how such factors are controlled in GBS. We now report the characterization of a GBS locus that encodes a two-component regulatory system similar to CsrRS (or CovRS) in Streptococcus pyogenes. Inactivation of csrR, encoding the putative response regulator, in two unrelated wild-type strains of GBS resulted in a marked increase in production of beta-hemolysin/cytolysin and a striking decrease in production of CAMP factor, an unrelated cytolytic toxin. Quantitative RNA hybridization experiments revealed that these two phenotypes were associated with a marked increase and decrease in expression of the corresponding genes, cylE and cfb, respectively. The CsrR mutant strains also displayed increased expression of scpB encoding C5a peptidase. Similar, but less marked, changes in gene expression were observed in CsrS (putative sensor component) mutants, evidence that CsrR and CsrS constitute a functional two-component system. Experimental infection studies in mice demonstrated reduced virulence of both CsrR and CsrS mutant strains relative to the wild type. Together, these results indicate that CsrRS regulates expression of multiple GBS virulence determinants and is likely to play an important role in GBS pathogenesis.

  18. Quorum-sensing-regulated virulence factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are toxic to Lucilia sericata maggots

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, A S; Joergensen, B; Bjarnsholt, T

    2010-01-01

    Maggot debridement therapy (MDT) is widely used for debridement of chronic infected wounds; however, for wounds harbouring specific bacteria limited effect or failure of the treatment has been described. Here we studied the survival of Lucilia sericata maggots encountering Pseudomonas aeruginosa...... PAO1 in a simple assay with emphasis on the quorum-sensing (QS)-regulated virulence. The maggots were challenged with GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa wild-type (WT) PAO1 and a GFP-tagged P. aeruginosa DeltalasR rhlR (DeltaRR) QS-deficient mutant in different concentrations. Maggots were killed...

  19. 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.

  20. Identification of anti-virulence compounds that disrupt quorum-sensing regulated acute and persistent pathogenicity.

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    Melissa Starkey

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Etiological agents of acute, persistent, or relapsing clinical infections are often refractory to antibiotics due to multidrug resistance and/or antibiotic tolerance. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic Gram-negative bacterial pathogen that causes recalcitrant and severe acute chronic and persistent human infections. Here, we target the MvfR-regulated P. aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS virulence pathway to isolate robust molecules that specifically inhibit infection without affecting bacterial growth or viability to mitigate selective resistance. Using a whole-cell high-throughput screen (HTS and structure-activity relationship (SAR analysis, we identify compounds that block the synthesis of both pro-persistence and pro-acute MvfR-dependent signaling molecules. These compounds, which share a benzamide-benzimidazole backbone and are unrelated to previous MvfR-regulon inhibitors, bind the global virulence QS transcriptional regulator, MvfR (PqsR; inhibit the MvfR regulon in multi-drug resistant isolates; are active against P. aeruginosa acute and persistent murine infections; and do not perturb bacterial growth. In addition, they are the first compounds identified to reduce the formation of antibiotic-tolerant persister cells. As such, these molecules provide for the development of next-generation clinical therapeutics to more effectively treat refractory and deleterious bacterial-human infections.

  1. 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 ( s treptococcal p leiotropic r egulator of v irulence). 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. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus 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

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Carbon storage regulator A contributes to the virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans by multiple mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Li, Wei; Fortney, Kate R; Janowicz, Diane M; Ellinger, Sheila; Zwickl, Beth; Katz, Barry P; Spinola, Stanley M

    2013-02-01

    The carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) controls a wide variety of bacterial processes, including metabolism, adherence, stress responses, and virulence. Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, harbors a homolog of csrA. Here, we generated an unmarked, in-frame deletion mutant of csrA to assess its contribution to H. ducreyi pathogenesis. In human inoculation experiments, the csrA mutant was partially attenuated for pustule formation compared to its parent. Deletion of csrA resulted in decreased adherence of H. ducreyi to human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF); Flp1 and Flp2, the determinants of H. ducreyi adherence to HFF cells, were downregulated in the csrA mutant. Compared to its parent, the csrA mutant had a significantly reduced ability to tolerate oxidative stress and heat shock. The enhanced sensitivity of the mutant to oxidative stress was more pronounced in bacteria grown to stationary phase compared to that in bacteria grown to mid-log phase. The csrA mutant also had a significant survival defect within human macrophages when the bacteria were grown to stationary phase but not to mid-log phase. Complementation in trans partially or fully restored the mutant phenotypes. These data suggest that CsrA contributes to virulence by multiple mechanisms and that these contributions may be more profound in bacterial cell populations that are not rapidly dividing in the human host.

  5. Staphylococcus aureus hyaluronidase is a CodY-regulated virulence factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibberson, Carolyn B; Jones, Crystal L; Singh, Shweta; Wise, Matthew C; Hart, Mark E; Zurawski, Daniel V; Horswill, Alexander R

    2014-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive pathogen that causes a diverse range of bacterial infections. Invasive S. aureus strains secrete an extensive arsenal of hemolysins, immunomodulators, and exoenzymes to cause disease. Our studies have focused on the secreted enzyme hyaluronidase (HysA), which cleaves the hyaluronic acid polymer at the β-1,4 glycosidic bond. In the study described in this report, we have investigated the regulation and contribution of this enzyme to S. aureus pathogenesis. Using the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library (NTML), we identified eight insertions that modulate extracellular levels of HysA activity. Insertions in the sigB operon, as well as in genes encoding the global regulators SarA and CodY, significantly increased HysA protein levels and activity. By altering the availability of branched-chain amino acids, we further demonstrated CodY-dependent repression of HysA activity. Additionally, through mutation of the CodY binding box upstream of hysA, the repression of HysA production was lost, suggesting that CodY is a direct repressor of hysA expression. To determine whether HysA is a virulence factor, a ΔhysA mutant of a community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) USA300 strain was constructed and found to be attenuated in a neutropenic, murine model of pulmonary infection. Mice infected with this mutant strain exhibited a 4-log-unit reduction in bacterial burden in their lungs, as well as reduced lung pathology and increased levels of pulmonary hyaluronic acid, compared to mice infected with the wild-type, parent strain. Taken together, these results indicate that S. aureus hyaluronidase is a CodY-regulated virulence factor. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by mobile genetic element confers elevated virulence in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saranathan, Rajagopalan; Pagal, Sudhakar; Sawant, Ajit R; Tomar, Archana; Madhangi, M; Sah, Suresh; Satti, Annapurna; Arunkumar, K P; Prashanth, K

    2017-10-03

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen and considered as a major threat due to its extreme drug resistance. In this study, the genome of a hyper-virulent MDR strain PKAB07 of A. baumannii isolated from an Indian patient was sequenced and analyzed to understand its mechanisms of virulence, resistance and evolution. Comparative genome analysis of PKAB07 revealed virulence and resistance related genes scattered throughout the genome, instead of being organized as an island, indicating the highly mosaic nature of the genome. Many intermittent horizontal gene transfer events, insertion sequence (IS) element insertions identified were augmenting resistance machinery and elevating the SNP densities in A. baumannii eventually aiding in their swift evolution. ISAba1, the most widely distributed insertion sequence in A. baumannii was found in multiple sites in PKAB07. Out of many ISAba1 insertions, we identified novel insertions in 9 different genes wherein insertional inactivation of adeN (tetR type regulator) was significant. To assess the significance of this disruption in A. baumannii, adeN mutant and complement strains were constructed in A. baumannii ATCC 17978 strain and studied. Biofilm levels were abrogated in the adeN knockout when compared with the wild type and complemented strain of adeN knockout. Virulence of the adeN knockout mutant strain was observed to be high, which was validated by in vitro experiments and Galleria mellonella infection model. The overexpression of adeJ, a major component of AdeIJK efflux pump observed in adeN knockout strain could be the possible reason for the elevated virulence in adeN mutant and PKB07 strain. Knocking out of adeN in ATCC strain led to increased resistance and virulence at par with the PKAB07. Disruption of tetR type regulator adeN by ISAba1 consequently has led to elevated virulence in this pathogen.

  8. Functional analysis of the conserved transcriptional regulator CfWor1 in Cladosporium fulvum reveals diverse roles in the virulence of plant pathogenic fungi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ökmen, B.; Collemare, J.; Griffiths, S.A.; Burgt, van der A.; Cox, R.; Wit, de P.J.G.M.

    2014-01-01

    Fungal Wor1-like proteins are conserved transcriptional regulators that are reported to regulate the virulence of several plant pathogenic fungi by affecting the expression of virulence genes. Here, we report the functional analysis of CfWor1, the homologue of Wor1 in Cladosporium fulvum. ¿cfwor1

  9. Defying stereotypes: the elusive search for a universal model of LysR-type regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momany, Cory; Neidle, Ellen L

    2012-02-01

    LysR-type transcriptional regulators (LTTRs) compose the largest family of homologous regulators in bacteria. Considering their prevalence, it is not surprising that LTTRs control diverse metabolic functions. Arguably, the most unexpected aspect of LTTRs is the paucity of available structural information. Solubility issues are notoriously problematic, and structural studies have only recently begun to flourish. In this issue of Molecular Microbiology, Taylor et al. (2012) present the structure of AphB, a LysR-type regulator of virulence in Vibrio cholerae. This contribution adds significantly to the group of known full-length atomic LTTR structures, which remains small. Importantly, this report also describes an active-form variant. Small conformational changes in the effector-binding domain translate to global reorganization of the DNA-binding domain. Emerging from these results is a model of theme-and-variation among LTTRs rather than a unified regulatory scheme. Despite common structural folds, LTTRs exhibit differences in oligomerization, promoter recognition and communication with RNA polymerase. Such variation mirrors the diversity in sequence and function associated with members of this very large family. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Characterization of virulence factor regulation by SrrAB, a two-component system in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pragman, Alexa A; Yarwood, Jeremy M; Tripp, Timothy J; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2004-04-01

    Workers in our laboratory have previously identified the staphylococcal respiratory response AB (SrrAB), a Staphylococcus aureus two-component system that acts in the global regulation of virulence factors. This system down-regulates production of agr RNAIII, protein A, and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), particularly under low-oxygen conditions. In this study we investigated the localization and membrane orientation of SrrA and SrrB, transcription of the srrAB operon, the DNA-binding properties of SrrA, and the effect of SrrAB expression on S. aureus virulence. We found that SrrA is localized to the S. aureus cytoplasm, while SrrB is localized to the membrane and is properly oriented to function as a histidine kinase. srrAB has one transcriptional start site which results in either an srrA transcript or a full-length srrAB transcript; srrB must be cotranscribed with srrA. Gel shift assays of the agr P2, agr P3, protein A (spa), TSST-1 (tst), and srr promoters revealed SrrA binding at each of these promoters. Analysis of SrrAB-overexpressing strains by using the rabbit model of bacterial endocarditis demonstrated that overexpression of SrrAB decreased the virulence of the organisms compared to the virulence of isogenic strains that do not overexpress SrrAB. We concluded that SrrAB is properly localized and oriented to function as a two-component system. Overexpression of SrrAB, which represses agr RNAIII, TSST-1, and protein A in vitro, decreases virulence in the rabbit endocarditis model. Repression of these virulence factors is likely due to a direct interaction between SrrA and the agr, tst, and spa promoters.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Phosphorylation of KasB Regulates Virulence and Acid-Fastness in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilchèze, Catherine; Molle, Virginie; Carrère-Kremer, Séverine; Leiba, Jade; Mourey, Lionel; Shenai, Shubhada; Baronian, Grégory; Tufariello, Joann; Hartman, Travis; Veyron-Churlet, Romain; Trivelli, Xavier; Tiwari, Sangeeta; Weinrick, Brian; Alland, David; Guérardel, Yann; Jacobs, William R.; Kremer, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli display two signature features: acid-fast staining and the capacity to induce long-term latent infections in humans. However, the mechanisms governing these two important processes remain largely unknown. Ser/Thr phosphorylation has recently emerged as an important regulatory mechanism allowing mycobacteria to adapt their cell wall structure/composition in response to their environment. Herein, we evaluated whether phosphorylation of KasB, a crucial mycolic acid biosynthetic enzyme, could modulate acid-fast staining and virulence. Tandem mass spectrometry and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that phosphorylation of KasB occurred at Thr334 and Thr336 both in vitro and in mycobacteria. Isogenic strains of M. tuberculosis with either a deletion of the kasB gene or a kasB_T334D/T336D allele, mimicking constitutive phosphorylation of KasB, were constructed by specialized linkage transduction. Biochemical and structural analyses comparing these mutants to the parental strain revealed that both mutant strains had mycolic acids that were shortened by 4–6 carbon atoms and lacked trans-cyclopropanation. Together, these results suggested that in M. tuberculosis, phosphorylation profoundly decreases the condensing activity of KasB. Structural/modeling analyses reveal that Thr334 and Thr336 are located in the vicinity of the catalytic triad, which indicates that phosphorylation of these amino acids would result in loss of enzyme activity. Importantly, the kasB_T334D/T336D phosphomimetic and deletion alleles, in contrast to the kasB_T334A/T336A phosphoablative allele, completely lost acid-fast staining. Moreover, assessing the virulence of these strains indicated that the KasB phosphomimetic mutant was attenuated in both immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice following aerosol infection. This attenuation was characterized by the absence of lung pathology. Overall, these results highlight for the first time the role of Ser/Thr kinase

  17. Phosphorylation of KasB regulates virulence and acid-fastness in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Vilchèze

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacilli display two signature features: acid-fast staining and the capacity to induce long-term latent infections in humans. However, the mechanisms governing these two important processes remain largely unknown. Ser/Thr phosphorylation has recently emerged as an important regulatory mechanism allowing mycobacteria to adapt their cell wall structure/composition in response to their environment. Herein, we evaluated whether phosphorylation of KasB, a crucial mycolic acid biosynthetic enzyme, could modulate acid-fast staining and virulence. Tandem mass spectrometry and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that phosphorylation of KasB occurred at Thr334 and Thr336 both in vitro and in mycobacteria. Isogenic strains of M. tuberculosis with either a deletion of the kasB gene or a kasB_T334D/T336D allele, mimicking constitutive phosphorylation of KasB, were constructed by specialized linkage transduction. Biochemical and structural analyses comparing these mutants to the parental strain revealed that both mutant strains had mycolic acids that were shortened by 4-6 carbon atoms and lacked trans-cyclopropanation. Together, these results suggested that in M. tuberculosis, phosphorylation profoundly decreases the condensing activity of KasB. Structural/modeling analyses reveal that Thr334 and Thr336 are located in the vicinity of the catalytic triad, which indicates that phosphorylation of these amino acids would result in loss of enzyme activity. Importantly, the kasB_T334D/T336D phosphomimetic and deletion alleles, in contrast to the kasB_T334A/T336A phosphoablative allele, completely lost acid-fast staining. Moreover, assessing the virulence of these strains indicated that the KasB phosphomimetic mutant was attenuated in both immunodeficient and immunocompetent mice following aerosol infection. This attenuation was characterized by the absence of lung pathology. Overall, these results highlight for the first time the role of

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Natural mutations in a Staphylococcus aureus virulence regulator attenuate cytotoxicity but permit bacteremia and abscess formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Sudip; Lindemann, Claudia; Young, Bernadette C.; Muller, Julius; Österreich, Babett; Ternette, Nicola; Winkler, Ann-Cathrin; Paprotka, Kerstin; Reinhardt, Richard; Allen, Elizabeth; Flaxman, Amy; Yamaguchi, Yuko; Rollier, Christine S.; van Diemen, Pauline; Blättner, Sebastian; Remmele, Christian W.; Selle, Martina; Dittrich, Marcus; Müller, Tobias; Vogel, Jörg; Ohlsen, Knut; Crook, Derrick W.; Massey, Ruth; Wilson, Daniel J.; Rudel, Thomas; Wyllie, David H.; Fraunholz, Martin J.

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a major bacterial pathogen, which causes severe blood and tissue infections that frequently emerge by autoinfection with asymptomatically carried nose and skin populations. However, recent studies report that bloodstream isolates differ systematically from those found in the nose and skin, exhibiting reduced toxicity toward leukocytes. In two patients, an attenuated toxicity bloodstream infection evolved from an asymptomatically carried high-toxicity nasal strain by loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the transcription factor repressor of surface proteins (rsp). Here, we report that rsp knockout mutants lead to global transcriptional and proteomic reprofiling, and they exhibit the greatest signal in a genome-wide screen for genes influencing S. aureus survival in human cells. This effect is likely to be mediated in part via SSR42, a long-noncoding RNA. We show that rsp controls SSR42 expression, is induced by hydrogen peroxide, and is required for normal cytotoxicity and hemolytic activity. Rsp inactivation in laboratory- and bacteremia-derived mutants attenuates toxin production, but up-regulates other immune subversion proteins and reduces lethality during experimental infection. Crucially, inactivation of rsp preserves bacterial dissemination, because it affects neither formation of deep abscesses in mice nor survival in human blood. Thus, we have identified a spontaneously evolving, attenuated-cytotoxicity, nonhemolytic S. aureus phenotype, controlled by a pleiotropic transcriptional regulator/noncoding RNA virulence regulatory system, capable of causing S. aureus bloodstream infections. Such a phenotype could promote deep infection with limited early clinical manifestations, raising concerns that bacterial evolution within the human body may contribute to severe infection. PMID:27185949

  1. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthesis 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-bin...

  2. 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.

  3. Opposing Roles of the Staphylococcus aureus Virulence Regulators, Agr and Sar, in Triton X-100- and Penicillin-Induced Autolysis

    OpenAIRE

    Fujimoto, David F.; Bayles, Kenneth W.

    1998-01-01

    The regulation of murein hydrolases is a critical aspect of peptidoglycan growth and metabolism. In the present study, we demonstrate that mutations within the Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor regulatory genes, agr and sar, affect autolysis, resulting in decreased and increased autolysis rates, respectively. Zymographic analyses of these mutant strains suggest that agr and sar exert their effects on autolysis, in part, by modulating murein hydrolase expression and/or activity.

  4. 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.

  5. GlmS and NagB regulate amino sugar metabolism in opposing directions and affect Streptococcus mutans virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miki Kawada-Matsuo

    Full Text Available Streptococcus mutans is a cariogenic pathogen that produces an extracellular polysaccharide (glucan from dietary sugars, which allows it to establish a reproductive niche and secrete acids that degrade tooth enamel. While two enzymes (GlmS and NagB are known to be key factors affecting the entrance of amino sugars into glycolysis and cell wall synthesis in several other bacteria, their roles in S. mutans remain unclear. Therefore, we investigated the roles of GlmS and NagB in S. mutans sugar metabolism and determined whether they have an effect on virulence. NagB expression increased in the presence of GlcNAc while GlmS expression decreased, suggesting that the regulation of these enzymes, which functionally oppose one another, is dependent on the concentration of environmental GlcNAc. A glmS-inactivated mutant could not grow in the absence of GlcNAc, while nagB-inactivated mutant growth was decreased in the presence of GlcNAc. Also, nagB inactivation was found to decrease the expression of virulence factors, including cell-surface protein antigen and glucosyltransferase, and to decrease biofilm formation and saliva-induced S. mutans aggregation, while glmS inactivation had the opposite effects on virulence factor expression and bacterial aggregation. Our results suggest that GlmS and NagB function in sugar metabolism in opposing directions, increasing and decreasing S. mutans virulence, respectively.

  6. 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

  7. The regulation of virulence in phytopathogenic Erwinia species: quorum sensing, antibiotics and ecological considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Neil A; Byers, Joseph T; Commander, Paul; Corbett, Mark J; Coulthurst, Sarah J; Everson, Lee; Harris, Abigail K P; Pemberton, Clare L; Simpson, Natalie J L; Slater, Holly; Smith, Debra S; Welch, Martin; Williamson, Neil; Salmond, George P C

    2002-08-01

    Erwinia carotovora is a Gram-negative bacterial phytopathogen that causes soft-rot disease and potato blackleg. The organism is environmentally widespread and exhibits an opportunistic plant pathogenesis. The ability to secrete multiple plant cell wall-degrading enzymes is a key virulence trait and exoenzyme production is responsive to multiple environmental and physiological cues. One important cue is the cell population density of the pathogen. Cell density is monitored via an acylated homoserine lactone (acyl HSL) signalling molecule, which is thought to diffuse between Erwinia cells in a process now commonly known as 'quorum sensing'. This molecule also acts as the chemical communication signal controlling production of a broad-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic (1-carbapen-2-em-3-carboxylic acid; carbapenem) synthesised in concert with exoenzyme elaboration, possibly for niche defence. In antibiotic production control, quorum sensing acts at the level of transcriptional activation of the antibiotic biosynthetic cluster. This is achieved via a dedicated LuxR-type protein, CarR that is bound to the signalling molecule. The molecular relay connecting acyl HSL production and exoenzyme induction is not clear, despite the identification of a multitude of global regulatory genes, including those of the RsmA/rsmB system, impinging on enzyme synthesis. Quorum sensing control mediated by acyl HSLs is widespread in Gram-negative bacteria and is responsible for the regulation of diverse phenotypes. Although there is still a paucity of meaningful information on acyl HSL availability and in-situ biological function, there is growing evidence that such molecules play significant roles in microbial ecology.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  10. Data in support of quantitative proteomics to identify potential virulence regulators in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis isolates

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    Alexandre Keiji Tashima

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Paracoccidioides genus are the etiologic agents of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM, a systemic mycosis endemic in Latin America. Few virulence factors have been identified in these fungi. This paper describes support data from the quantitative proteomics of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis attenuated and virulent isolates [1]. The protein compositions of two isolates of the Pb18 strain showing distinct infection profiles were quantitatively assessed by stable isotopic dimethyl labeling and proteomic analysis. The mass spectrometry and the analysis dataset have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium via the PRIDE partner repository with identifier PXD000804.

  11. 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.

  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. A Unique Fungal Two-Component System Regulates Stress Responses, Drug Sensitivity, Sexual Development, and Virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahn, Yong-Sun; Kojima, Kaihei; Cox, Gary M.

    2006-01-01

    The stress-activated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is widely used by eukaryotic organisms as a central conduit via which cellular responses to the environment effect growth and differentiation. The basidiomycetous human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans uniquely uses the stress-activated Pbs2-Hog1 MAPK system to govern a plethora of cellular events, including stress responses, drug sensitivity, sexual reproduction, and virulence. Here, we characterized a fungal “two-component” system that controls these fundamental cellular functions via the Pbs2-Hog1 MAPK cascade. A typical response regulator, Ssk1, modulated all Hog1-dependent phenotypes by controlling Hog1 phosphorylation, indicating that Ssk1 is the major upstream signaling component of the Pbs2-Hog1 pathway. A second response regulator, Skn7, governs sensitivity to Na+ ions and the antifungal agent fludioxonil, negatively controls melanin production, and functions independently of Hog1 regulation. To control these response regulators, C. neoformans uses multiple sensor kinases, including two-component–like (Tco) 1 and Tco2. Tco1 and Tco2 play shared and distinct roles in stress responses and drug sensitivity through the Hog1 MAPK system. Furthermore, each sensor kinase mediates unique cellular functions for virulence and morphological differentiation. Our findings highlight unique adaptations of this global two-component MAPK signaling cascade in a ubiquitous human fungal pathogen. PMID:16672377

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. A Dual Role for the Bacillus anthracis Master Virulence Regulator AtxA: Control of Sporulation and Anthrax Toxin Production.

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    Dale, Jennifer L; Raynor, Malik J; Ty, Maureen C; Hadjifrangiskou, Maria; Koehler, Theresa M

    2018-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is an endemic soil bacterium that exhibits two different lifestyles. In the soil environment, B. anthracis undergoes a cycle of saprophytic growth, sporulation, and germination. In mammalian hosts, the pathogenic lifestyle of B. anthracis is spore germination followed by vegetative cell replication, but cells do not sporulate. During infection, and in specific culture conditions, transcription of the structural genes for the anthrax toxin proteins and the biosynthetic operon for capsule synthesis is positively controlled by the regulatory protein AtxA. A critical role for the atxA gene in B. anthracis virulence has been established. Here we report an inverse relationship between toxin production and sporulation that is linked to AtxA levels. During culture in conditions favoring sporulation, B. anthracis produces little to no AtxA. When B. anthracis is cultured in conditions favoring toxin gene expression, AtxA is expressed at relatively high levels and sporulation rate and efficiency are reduced. We found that a mutation within the atxA promoter region resulting in AtxA over-expression leads to a marked sporulation defect. The sporulation phenotype of the mutant is dependent upon pXO2-0075 , an atxA -regulated open reading frame located on virulence plasmid pXO2. The predicted amino acid sequence of the pXO2-0075 protein has similarity to the sensor domain of sporulation sensor histidine kinases. It was shown previously that pXO2-0075 overexpression suppresses sporulation. We have designated pXO2-0075 " skiA " for "sporulation kinase inhibitor." Our results indicate that in addition to serving as a positive regulator of virulence gene expression, AtxA modulates B. anthracis development.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husain, Fohad M.; Ahmad, Iqbal; Al-thubiani, Abdullah S.; Abulreesh, Hussein H.; AlHazza, Ibrahim M.; Aqil, Farrukh

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28484444

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reales-Calderón, Jose Antonio; Corona, Fernando; Monteoliva, Lucía; Gil, Concha; Martínez, Jose Luis

    2015-09-08

    Recent research indicates that the post-transcriptional regulator Crc modulates susceptibility to antibiotics and virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Several P. aeruginosa virulence factors are secreted or engulfed in vesicles. To decipher the Crc modulation of P. aeruginosa virulence, we constructed a crc deficient mutant and measure the proteome associated extracellular vesicles and the vesicle-free secretome using iTRAQ. Fifty vesicle-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. Among them, virulence determinants, such as ToxA, protease IV, azurin, chitin-binding protein, PlcB and Hcp1, were less abundant in the crc-defective mutant. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that some of the observed changes were post-transcriptional and, thus, could be attributed to a direct Crc regulatory role; whereas, for other differentially secreted proteins, the regulatory role was likely indirect. 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. 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. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: HUPO 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Chlamydia trachomatis In Vivo to In Vitro Transition Reveals Mechanisms of Phase Variation and Down-Regulation of Virulence Factors.

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    Vítor Borges

    Full Text Available Research on the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis demands culture in cell-lines, but the adaptive process behind the in vivo to in vitro transition is not understood. We assessed the genomic and transcriptomic dynamics underlying C. trachomatis in vitro adaptation of strains representing the three disease groups (ocular, epithelial-genital and lymphogranuloma venereum propagated in epithelial cells over multiple passages. We found genetic features potentially underlying phase variation mechanisms mediating the regulation of a lipid A biosynthesis enzyme (CT533/LpxC, and the functionality of the cytotoxin (CT166 through an ON/OFF mechanism. We detected inactivating mutations in CT713/porB, a scenario suggesting metabolic adaptation to the available carbon source. CT135 was inactivated in a tropism-specific manner, with CT135-negative clones emerging for all epithelial-genital populations (but not for LGV and ocular populations and rapidly increasing in frequency (~23% mutants per 10 passages. RNA-sequencing analyses revealed that a deletion event involving CT135 impacted the expression of multiple virulence factors, namely effectors known to play a role in the C. trachomatis host-cell invasion or subversion (e.g., CT456/Tarp, CT694, CT875/TepP and CT868/ChlaDub1. This reflects a scenario of attenuation of C. trachomatis virulence in vitro, which may take place independently or in a cumulative fashion with the also observed down-regulation of plasmid-related virulence factors. This issue may be relevant on behalf of the recent advances in Chlamydia mutagenesis and transformation where culture propagation for selecting mutants/transformants is mandatory. Finally, there was an increase in the growth rate for all strains, reflecting gradual fitness enhancement over time. In general, these data shed light on the adaptive process underlying the C. trachomatis in vivo to in vitro transition, and indicates that it would be prudent to

  2. SigB is a dominant regulator of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus small-colony variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Gabriel; Fugère, Alexandre; Pépin Gaudreau, Karine; Brouillette, Eric; Frost, Eric H; Cantin, André M; Malouin, François

    2013-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus small-colony variants (SCVs) are persistent pathogenic bacteria characterized by slow growth and, for many of these strains, an increased ability to form biofilms and to persist within host cells. The virulence-associated gene expression profile of SCVs clearly differs from that of prototypical strains and is often influenced by SigB rather than by the agr system. One objective of this work was to confirm the role of SigB in the control of the expression of virulence factors involved in biofilm formation and intracellular persistence of SCVs. This study shows that extracellular proteins are involved in the formation of biofilm by three SCV strains, which, additionally, have a low biofilm-dispersing activity. It was determined that SigB activity modulates biofilm formation by strain SCV CF07-S and is dominant over that of the agr system without being solely responsible for the repression of proteolytic activity. On the other hand, the expression of fnbA and the control of nuclease activity contributed to the SigB-dependent formation of biofilm of this SCV strain. SigB was also required for the replication of CF07-S within epithelial cells and may be involved in the colonization of lungs by SCVs in a mouse infection model. This study methodically investigated SigB activity and associated mechanisms in the various aspects of SCV pathogenesis. Results confirm that SigB activity importantly influences the production of virulence factors, biofilm formation and intracellular persistence for some clinical SCV strains.

  3. Effect of the Streptococcus agalactiae Virulence Regulator CovR on the Pathogenesis of Urinary Tract Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Matthew J; Leclercq, Sophie Y; Ipe, Deepak S; Carey, Alison J; Smith, Joshua P; Voller, Nathan; Cripps, Allan W; Ulett, Glen C

    2017-02-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae can cause urinary tract infection (UTI). The role of the S. agalactiae global virulence regulator, CovR, in UTI pathogenesis is unknown. We used murine and human bladder uroepithelial cell models of UTI and S. agalactiae mutants in covR and related factors, including β-hemolysin/cytolysin (β-h/c), surface-anchored adhesin HvgA, and capsule to study the role of CovR in UTI. We found that covR-deficient serotype III S. agalactiae 874391 was significantly attenuated for colonization in mice and adhesion to uroepithelial cells. Mice infected with covR-deficient S. agalactiae produced less proinflammatory cytokines than those infected with wild-type 874391. Acute cytotoxicity in uroepithelial cells triggered by covR-deficient but not wild-type 874391 was associated with significant caspase 3 activation. Mechanistically, covR mutation significantly altered the expression of several genes in S. agalactiae 874391 that encode key virulence factors, including β-h/c and HvgA, but not capsule. Subsequent mutational analyses revealed that HvgA and capsule, but not the β-h/c, exerted significant effects on colonization of the murine urinary tract in vivo. S. agalactiae CovR promotes bladder infection and inflammation, as well as adhesion to and viability of uroepithelial cells. The pathogenesis of S. agalactiae UTI is complex, multifactorial, and influenced by virulence effects of CovR, HvgA, and capsule. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  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

    2016-01-01

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

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    Sheo Shankar Pandey

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available 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

  6. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    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 CO(2)/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO(2)/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 (His→Asp) and phosphoablative (His→Ala) 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. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    Xanthomonas campestris. The mechanism of perception of this signal and the range of functions regulated in B. cenocepacia are, however, unknown. A screen for transposon mutants unable to respond to exogenous signal identified BCAM0227 as a potential BDSF sensor. BCAM0227 is a histidine sensor kinase...... 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...... the input domain of RpfC was active in BDSF signal perception when expressed in X. campestris. Mutation of BCAM0227 gave rise to reduced cytotoxicity to Chinese hamster ovary cells and reduced virulence to Wax moth larvae and in the agar-bead mouse model of pulmonary infection. The findings identify BCAM...

  12. Listeria monocytogenes Induces a Virulence-Dependent microRNA Signature That Regulates the Immune Response in Galleria mellonella

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gopala K. Mannala

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available microRNAs (miRNAs coordinate several physiological and pathological processes by regulating the fate of mRNAs. Studies conducted in vitro indicate a role of microRNAs in the control of host-microbe interactions. However, there is limited understanding of miRNA functions in in vivo models of bacterial infections. In this study, we systematically explored changes in miRNA expression levels of Galleria mellonella larvae (greater-wax moth, a model system that recapitulates the vertebrate innate immunity, following infection with L. monocytogenes. Using an insect-specific miRNA microarray with more than 2000 probes, we found differential expression of 90 miRNAs (39 upregulated and 51 downregulated in response to infection with L. monocytogenes. We validated the expression of a subset of miRNAs which have mammalian homologs of known or predicted function. In contrast, non-pathogenic L. innocua failed to induce these miRNAs, indicating a virulence-dependent miRNA deregulation. To predict miRNA targets using established algorithms, we generated a publically available G. mellonella transcriptome database. We identified miRNA targets involved in innate immunity, signal transduction and autophagy, including spätzle, MAP kinase, and optineurin, respectively, which exhibited a virulence-specific differential expression. Finally, in silico estimation of minimum free energy of miRNA-mRNA duplexes of validated microRNAs and target transcripts revealed a regulatory network of the host immune response to L. monocytogenes. In conclusion, this study provides evidence for a role of miRNAs in the regulation of the innate immune response following bacterial infection in a simple, rapid and scalable in vivo model that may predict host-microbe interactions in higher vertebrates.

  13. SuhB Is a Regulator of Multiple Virulence Genes and Essential for Pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kewei; Xu, Chang; Jin, Yongxin; Sun, Ziyu; Liu, Chang; Shi, Jing; Chen, Gukui; Chen, Ronghao; Jin, Shouguang; Wu, Weihui

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT During initial colonization and chronic infection, pathogenic bacteria encounter distinct host environments. Adjusting gene expression accordingly is essential for the pathogenesis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa has evolved complicated regulatory networks to regulate different sets of virulence factors to facilitate colonization and persistence. The type III secretion system (T3SS) and motility are associated with acute infections, while biofilm formation and the type VI secretion system (T6SS) are associated with chronic persistence. To identify novel regulatory genes required for pathogenesis, we screened a P. aeruginosa transposon (Tn) insertion library and found suhB to be an essential gene for the T3SS gene expression. The expression of suhB was upregulated in a mouse acute lung infection model, and loss of suhB resulted in avirulence. Suppression of T3SS gene expression in the suhB mutant is linked to a defective translation of the T3SS master regulator, ExsA. Further studies demonstrated that suhB mutation led to the upregulation of GacA and its downstream small RNAs, RsmY and RsmZ, triggering T6SS expression and biofilm formation while inhibiting the T3SS. Our results demonstrate that an in vivo-inducible gene, suhB, reciprocally regulates genes associated with acute and chronic infections and plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa. PMID:24169572

  14. A nitrogen response pathway regulates virulence functions in Fusarium oxysporum via the protein kinase TOR and the bZIP protein MeaB.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

    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 DeltameaB 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.

  15. 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

  16. The stationary phase sigma factor, RpoS, regulates the production of a carbapenem antibiotic, a bioactive prodigiosin and virulence in the enterobacterial pathogen Serratia sp. ATCC 39006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilf, Nabil M; Salmond, George P C

    2012-03-01

    Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 (S39006) is a Gram-negative bacterium that is virulent in plant (potato) and invertebrate animal (Caenorhabditis elegans) models. It produces two secondary metabolite antibiotics, a prodigiosin and a carbapenem, and the exoenzymes pectate lyase and cellulase. We showed previously that deletion of the RNA chaperone Hfq abolished antibiotic production and attenuated virulence in both animal and plant hosts. Hfq and dependent small RNAs (sRNAs) are known to regulate the post-transcriptional expression of rpoS, which encodes σ(S), the stationary phase sigma factor subunit of RNA polymerase. An S39006 hfq deletion mutant showed decreased transcript levels of rpoS. Therefore, in this study we investigated whether the phenotypes regulated by Hfq were mediated through its control of rpoS. Whereas loss of Hfq abolished prodigiosin and carbapenem production and attenuated virulence in both C. elegans and potato, characterization of an S39006 rpoS mutant showed unexpectedly elevated prodigiosin and carbapenem production. Furthermore, the rpoS mutant exhibited attenuated animal pathogenesis, but not plant pathogenesis. Additionally, a homologue of the Hfq-dependent sRNA, RprA, was identified and shown to regulate prodigiosin production in a manner consistent with its role in positively regulating translation of rpoS mRNA. Combined, these results demonstrate that Hfq regulation of secondary metabolism and plant pathogenesis is independent of RpoS and establishes RpoS and RprA as regulators of antibiotic production.

  17. 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

    conserved in virulent strains of Shigella and EIEC. Evaluation of the serum Immune response to Shigella proteins in Rhesus monkeys and humans revealed...sera from both humans and monkeys following a Shigella infection (Hale et al. , 1985; Oaks et al., 1986). Moreover, Tn5 insertions In various...Microbiology, Washington, D.C. 108. Oaks, E, V,, T, L. Hale, and S. B. Formal. 1986. Serum Immune response to Shigella protein antigens In Rhesus monkeys

  18. 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.

  19. Involvement of Trichoderma harzianum Epl-1 Protein in the Regulation of Botrytis Virulence- 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.

  20. Crystal Structures of SlyA Protein, a Master Virulence Regulator of Salmonella, in Free and DNA-bound States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dolan, Kyle T.; Duguid, Erica M.; He, Chuan (UC)

    2011-11-17

    SlyA is a master virulence regulator that controls the transcription of numerous genes in Salmonella enterica. We present here crystal structures of SlyA by itself and bound to a high-affinity DNA operator sequence in the slyA gene. SlyA interacts with DNA through direct recognition of a guanine base by Arg-65, as well as interactions between conserved Arg-86 and the minor groove and a large network of non-base-specific contacts with the sugar phosphate backbone. Our structures, together with an unpublished structure of SlyA bound to the small molecule effector salicylate (Protein Data Bank code 3DEU), reveal that, unlike many other MarR family proteins, SlyA dissociates from DNA without large conformational changes when bound to this effector. We propose that SlyA and other MarR global regulators rely more on indirect readout of DNA sequence to exert control over many genes, in contrast to proteins (such as OhrR) that recognize a single operator.

  1. 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

  2. The interacting Cra and KdpE regulators are involved in the expression of multiple virulence factors in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Njoroge, Jacqueline W; Gruber, Charley; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2013-06-01

    The human pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 codes for two interacting DNA binding proteins, Cra and KdpE, that coregulate expression of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) genes in a metabolite-dependent manner. Cra is a transcription factor that uses fluctuations in the concentration of carbon metabolism intermediates to positively regulate virulence of EHEC. KdpE is a response regulator that activates the transcription of homeostasis genes in response to salt-induced osmolarity and virulence genes in response to changes in metabolite concentrations. Here, we probed the transcriptional profiles of the Δcra, ΔkdpE, and Δcra ΔkdpE mutant strains and show that Cra and KdpE share several targets besides the LEE, but both Cra and KdpE also have independent targets. Several genes within O-islands (genomic islands present in EHEC but absent from E. coli K-12), such as Z0639, Z0640, Z3388, Z4267, and espFu (encoding an effector necessary for formation of attaching and effacing lesions on epithelial cells), were directly regulated by both Cra and KdpE, while Z2077 was only regulated by Cra. These studies identified and confirmed new direct targets for Cra and KdpE that included putative virulence factors as well as characterized virulence factors, such as EspFu and EspG. These results map out the role of the two interacting regulators, Cra and KdpE, in EHEC pathogenesis and global gene regulation.

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nykyri, Johanna; Mattinen, Laura; Niemi, Outi; Adhikari, Satish; Kõiv, Viia; Somervuo, Panu; Fang, Xin; Auvinen, Petri; Mäe, Andres; Palva, E Tapio; Pirhonen, Minna

    2013-01-01

    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.

  6. MiR-155 induction by F. novicida but not the virulent F. tularensis results in SHIP down-regulation and enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine response.

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    Thomas J Cremer

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The intracellular gram-negative bacterium Francisella tularensis causes the disease tularemia and is known for its ability to subvert host immune responses. Previous work from our laboratory identified the PI3K/Akt pathway and SHIP as critical modulators of host resistance to Francisella. Here, we show that SHIP expression is strongly down-regulated in monocytes and macrophages following infection with F. tularensis novicida (F.n.. To account for this negative regulation we explored the possibility that microRNAs (miRs that target SHIP may be induced during infection. There is one miR that is predicted to target SHIP, miR-155. We tested for induction and found that F.n. induced miR-155 both in primary monocytes/macrophages and in vivo. Using luciferase reporter assays we confirmed that miR-155 led to down-regulation of SHIP, showing that it specifically targets the SHIP 3'UTR. Further experiments showed that miR-155 and BIC, the gene that encodes miR-155, were induced as early as four hours post-infection in primary human monocytes. This expression was dependent on TLR2/MyD88 and did not require inflammasome activation. Importantly, miR-155 positively regulated pro-inflammatory cytokine release in human monocytes infected with Francisella. In sharp contrast, we found that the highly virulent type A SCHU S4 strain of Francisella tularensis (F.t. led to a significantly lower miR-155 response than the less virulent F.n. Hence, F.n. induces miR-155 expression and leads to down-regulation of SHIP, resulting in enhanced pro-inflammatory responses. However, impaired miR-155 induction by SCHU S4 may help explain the lack of both SHIP down-regulation and pro-inflammatory response and may account for the virulence of Type A Francisella.

  7. Control of Virulence Gene Expression by the Master Regulator, CfaD, in the Prototypical Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Strain, H10407

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    Carla Hodson

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhea in children in developing countries, as well as in travelers to these countries. To cause disease, ETEC needs to produce a series of virulence proteins including enterotoxins, colonization factors and secretion pathways, which enable this pathogen to colonize the human small intestine and deliver enterotoxins to epithelial cells. Previously, a number of studies have demonstrated that CfaD, an AraC-like transcriptional regulator, plays a key role in virulence gene expression by ETEC. In this study, we carried out a transcriptomic analysis of ETEC strain, H10407, grown under different conditions, and determined the complete set of genes that are regulated by CfaD. In this way, we identified a number of new target genes, including rnr-1, rnr-2, etpBAC, agn43, flu, traM and ETEC_3214, whose expression is strongly activated by CfaD. Using promoter-lacZ reporters, primer extension and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we characterized the CfaD-mediated activation of several selected target promoters. We also showed that the gut-associated environmental signal, sodium bicarbonate, stimulates CfaD-mediated upregulation of its virulence target operons. Finally, we screened a commercial small molecule library and identified a compound (CH-1 that specifically inhibited the regulatory function of CfaD, and by 2-D analoging, we identified a second inhibitor (CH-2 with greater potency.

  8. The response regulator expM is essential for the virulence of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora and acts negatively on the sigma factor RpoS (sigma s).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, R A; Palva, E T; Pirhonen, M

    1999-07-01

    The main virulence factors of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora, the secreted, extracellular cell-wall-degrading enzymes, are controlled by several regulatory mechanisms. We have isolated transposon mutants with reduced virulence on tobacco. One of these mutants, with a mutation in a gene designated expM, was characterized in this study. This mutant produces slightly reduced amounts of extracellular enzymes in vitro and the secretion of the enzymes is also affected. The expM wild-type allele was cloned together with an upstream gene, designated expL, that has an unknown function. The expM gene was sequenced and found to encode a protein with similarity to the RssB/SprE protein of Escherichia coli and the MviA protein of Salmonella typhimurium. These proteins belong to a new type of two-component response regulators that negatively regulate the stability of the Sigma factor RpoS (sigma s) at the protein level. The results of this study suggest that ExpM has a similar function in E. carotovora subsp. carotovora. We also provide evidence that the overproduction of RpoS in the expM mutant is an important factor for the reduced virulence phenotype and that it partly causes the observed phenotype seen in vitro. However, an expM/rpoS double mutant is still affected in secretion of extracellular enzymes, suggesting that ExpM in addition to RpoS also acts on other targets.

  9. The MAP kinase-activated protein kinase Rck2p regulates cellular responses to cell wall stresses, filamentation and virulence in the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xichuan; Du, Wei; Zhao, Jingwen; Zhang, Lilin; Zhu, Zhiyan; Jiang, Linghuo

    2010-06-01

    Rck2p is the Hog1p-MAP kinase-activated protein kinase required for the attenuation of protein synthesis in response to an osmotic challenge in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Rck2p also regulates rapamycin sensitivity in both S. cerevisiae and Candida albicans. In this study, we demonstrate that the deletion of CaRCK2 renders C. albicans cells sensitive to, and CaRck2p translocates from the cytosol to the nucleus in response to, cell wall stresses caused by Congo red, Calcoflor White, elevated heat and zymolyase. However, the kinase activity of CaRck2p is not required for the cellular response to these cell wall stresses. Furthermore, transcripts of cell wall protein-encoding genes CaBGL2, CaHWP1 and CaXOG1 are reduced in C. albicans cells lacking CaRCK2. The deletion of CaRCK2 also reduces the in vitro filamentation of C. albicans and its virulence in a mouse model of systemic candidasis. The kinase activity of CaRck2p is required for the virulence, but not for the in vitro filamentation, in C. albicans. Therefore, Rck2p regulates cellular responses to cell wall stresses, filamentation and virulence in the human fungal pathogen C. albicans.

  10. 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

  11. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-Mediated Transformation of Pseudocercospora fijiensis to Determine the Role of PfHog1 in Osmotic Stress Regulation and Virulence Modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onyilo, Francis; Tusiime, Geoffrey; Chen, Li-Hung; Falk, Bryce; Stergiopoulos, Ioannis; Tripathi, Jaindra N; Tushemereirwe, Wilberforce; Kubiriba, Jerome; Changa, Charles; Tripathi, Leena

    2017-01-01

    Black Sigatoka disease, caused by Pseudocercospora fijiensis is a serious constraint to banana production worldwide. The disease continues to spread in new ecological niches and there is an urgent need to develop strategies for its control. The high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is well known to respond to changes in external osmolarity. HOG pathway activation leads to phosphorylation, activation and nuclear transduction of the HOG1 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). The activated HOG1 triggers several responses to osmotic stress, including up or down regulation of different genes, regulation of protein translation, adjustments to cell cycle progression and synthesis of osmolyte glycerol. This study investigated the role of the MAPK-encoding PfHog1 gene on osmotic stress adaptation and virulence of P. fijie nsis. RNA interference-mediated gene silencing of PfHog1 significantly suppressed growth of P. fijiensis on potato dextrose agar media supplemented with 1 M NaCl, indicating that PfHog1 regulates osmotic stress. In addition, virulence of the PfHog1 -silenced mutants of P. fijiensis on banana was significantly reduced, as observed from the low rates of necrosis and disease development on the infected leaves. Staining with lacto phenol cotton blue further confirmed the impaired mycelial growth of the PfHog1 in the infected leaf tissues, which was further confirmed with quantification of the fungal biomass using absolute- quantitative PCR. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that PfHog1 plays a critical role in osmotic stress regulation and virulence of P. fijiensis on its host banana. Thus, PfHog1 could be an interesting target for the control of black Sigatoka disease in banana.

  12. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-Mediated Transformation of Pseudocercospora fijiensis to Determine the Role of PfHog1 in Osmotic Stress Regulation and Virulence Modulation

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    Francis Onyilo

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Black Sigatoka disease, caused by Pseudocercospora fijiensis is a serious constraint to banana production worldwide. The disease continues to spread in new ecological niches and there is an urgent need to develop strategies for its control. The high osmolarity glycerol (HOG pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is well known to respond to changes in external osmolarity. HOG pathway activation leads to phosphorylation, activation and nuclear transduction of the HOG1 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs. The activated HOG1 triggers several responses to osmotic stress, including up or down regulation of different genes, regulation of protein translation, adjustments to cell cycle progression and synthesis of osmolyte glycerol. This study investigated the role of the MAPK-encoding PfHog1 gene on osmotic stress adaptation and virulence of P. fijiensis. RNA interference-mediated gene silencing of PfHog1 significantly suppressed growth of P. fijiensis on potato dextrose agar media supplemented with 1 M NaCl, indicating that PfHog1 regulates osmotic stress. In addition, virulence of the PfHog1-silenced mutants of P. fijiensis on banana was significantly reduced, as observed from the low rates of necrosis and disease development on the infected leaves. Staining with lacto phenol cotton blue further confirmed the impaired mycelial growth of the PfHog1 in the infected leaf tissues, which was further confirmed with quantification of the fungal biomass using absolute- quantitative PCR. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that PfHog1 plays a critical role in osmotic stress regulation and virulence of P. fijiensis on its host banana. Thus, PfHog1 could be an interesting target for the control of black Sigatoka disease in banana.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The flagellar master operon flhDC is a pleiotropic regulator involved in motility and virulence of the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jozwick, A K S; Graf, J; Welch, T J

    2017-03-01

    To investigate the function of the master flagellar operon flhDC in the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri and compare the effect of a constructed flhD mutation to a naturally occurring fliR mutation causing loss-of-motility in emergent biotype 2 (BT2) strains. Yersinia ruckeri flhD and fliR mutants were constructed in a motile strain. Both mutations caused loss-of-motility, ablation of flagellin synthesis and phospholipase secretion, similar to naturally occurring BT2 strains. Transcriptome analysis confirmed flhDC regulation of flagellar, chemotaxis and phospholipase loci as well as other genes of diverse function. The flhD mutation confers a competitive advantage within the fish host when compared with its parent strain, while this advantage was not seen with the naturally occurring fliR mutation. An intact flhD is necessary for expression of the flagellar secretion system as well as other diverse loci, consistent with a role for flhD as a pleiotropic regulator. The maintenance of the flhD locus in Y. ruckeri strains suggests its importance for aspects of Y. ruckeri biology other than virulence, since the flhD mutation conferred a competitive advantage during experimental challenge of rainbow trout. Yersinia ruckeri is the causative agent of enteric red mouth disease, an invasive septicaemia that affects farmed salmonid fish species. Disease outbreaks can cause severe economic losses in aquaculture. BT2 variants, which have independently emerged worldwide, are an increasing threat to farmed fish production. Knowledge of mechanisms involved in virulence, conserved functions and gene regulation among strains may be exploited for the development of novel disease control strategies to prevent pathogen growth or virulence phenotypes within aquaculture. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  16. The Effects of Chinese Herbal Medicines on the Quorum Sensing-Regulated Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

    OpenAIRE

    Yee Meng Chong; Kah Yan How; Wai Fong Yin; Kok Gan Chan

    2018-01-01

    The quorum sensing (QS) system has been used by many opportunistic pathogenic bacteria to coordinate their virulence determinants in relation to cell-population density. As antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, interference with QS has been regarded as a novel way to control bacterial infections. As such, many plant-based natural products have been widely explored for their therapeutic roles. These natural products may contain anti-QS compounds that could block QS signals generation ...

  17. 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

  18. The Acinetobacter baumannii Two-Component System AdeRS Regulates Genes Required for Multidrug Efflux, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence in a Strain-Specific Manner

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    Grace E. Richmond

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The opportunistic pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii is able to persist in the environment and is often multidrug resistant (MDR, causing difficulties in the treatment of infections. Here, we show that the two-component system AdeRS, which regulates the production of the AdeABC multidrug resistance efflux pump, is required for the formation of a protective biofilm in an ex vivo porcine mucosal model, which mimics a natural infection of the human epithelium. Interestingly, deletion of adeB impacted only on the ability of strain AYE to form a biofilm on plastic and only on the virulence of strain Singapore 1 for Galleria mellonella. RNA-Seq revealed that loss of AdeRS or AdeB significantly altered the transcriptional landscape, resulting in the changed expression of many genes, notably those associated with antimicrobial resistance and virulence interactions. For example, A. baumannii lacking AdeRS displayed decreased expression of adeABC, pil genes, com genes, and a pgaC-like gene, whereas loss of AdeB resulted in increased expression of pil and com genes and decreased expression of ferric acinetobactin transport system genes. These data define the scope of AdeRS-mediated regulation, show that changes in the production of AdeABC mediate important phenotypes controlled by AdeRS, and suggest that AdeABC is a viable target for antimicrobial drug and antibiofilm discovery.

  19. Discovery and biophysical characterization of 2-amino-oxadiazoles as novel antagonists of PqsR, an important regulator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zender, Michael; Klein, Tobias; Henn, Claudia; Kirsch, Benjamin; Maurer, Christine K; Kail, Dagmar; Ritter, Christiane; Dolezal, Olan; Steinbach, Anke; Hartmann, Rolf W

    2013-09-12

    The human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa employs alkyl quinolones for cell-to-cell communication. The Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) regulates various virulence factors via interaction with the transcriptional regulator PqsR. Therefore, we consider the development of PqsR antagonists a novel strategy to limit the pathogenicity of P. aeruginosa. A fragment identification approach using surface plasmon resonance screening led to the discovery of chemically diverse PqsR ligands. The optimization of the most promising hit (5) resulted in the oxadiazole-2-amine 37 showing pure antagonistic activity in Escherichia coli (EC50 = 7.5 μM) and P. aeruginosa (EC50 = 38.5 μM) reporter gene assays. 37 was able to diminish the production of the PQS precursor HHQ in a PqsH-deficient P. aeruginosa mutant. The level of the major virulence factor pyocyanin was significantly reduced in wild-type P. aeruginosa. In addition, site-directed mutagenesis in combination with isothermal titration calorimetry and NMR INPHARMA experiments revealed that the identified ligands bind to the same site of PqsR by adopting different binding modes. These findings will be utilized in a future fragment-growing approach aiming at novel therapeutic options for the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections.

  20. Involvement of protein tyrosine phosphatases BcPtpA and BcPtpB in regulation of vegetative development, virulence and multi-stress tolerance in Botrytis cinerea.

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    Qianqian Yang

    Full Text Available Tyrosine phosphorylation and dephosphorylation have emerged as fundamentally important mechanisms of signal transduction and regulation in eukaryotic cells, governing many processes, but little has been known about their functions in filamentous fungi. In this study, we deleted two putative protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP genes (BcPTPA and BcPTPB in Botrytis cinerea, encoding the orthologs of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ptp2 and Ptp3, respectively. Although BcPtpA and BcPtpB have opposite functions in conidiation, they are essential for sclerotial formation in B. cinerea. BcPTPA and BcPTPB deletion mutants ΔBcPtpA-10 and ΔBcPtpB-4 showed significantly increased sensitivity to osmotic and oxidative stresses, and to cell wall damaging agents. Inoculation tests showed that both mutants exhibited dramatically decreased virulence on tomato leaves, apples and grapes. In S. cerevisiae, it has been shown that Ptp2 and Ptp3 negatively regulate the high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG pathway and the cell wall integrity (CWI pathway. Although both BcPtpA and BcPtpB were able to inactive Hog1 and Mpk1 in S. cerevisiae, in contrast to S. cerevisiae, they positively regulate phosphorylation of BcSak1 (the homologue of Hog1 and BcBmp3 (the homologue of Mpk1 in B. cinerea under stress conditions. These results demonstrated that functions of PTPs in B. cinerea are different from those in S. cerevisiae, and BcPtpA and BcPtpB play important roles in regulation of vegetative development, virulence and in adaptation to oxidative, osmotic and cell-wall damage stresses in B. cinerea.

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

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    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.

  2. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Spa47 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Type III Secretion System ATPase Activation and Shigella Virulence Regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Jamie L; Burgess, R Alan; Morales, Yalemi; Bouvang, Jenna M; Johnson, Sean J; Dickenson, Nicholas E

    2016-12-09

    Like many Gram-negative pathogens, Shigella rely on a complex type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject effector proteins into host cells, take over host functions, and ultimately establish infection. Despite these critical roles, the energetics and regulatory mechanisms controlling the T3SS and pathogen virulence remain largely unclear. In this study, we present a series of high resolution crystal structures of Spa47 and use the structures to model an activated Spa47 oligomer, finding that ATP hydrolysis may be supported by specific side chain contributions from adjacent protomers within the complex. Follow-up mutagenesis experiments targeting the predicted active site residues validate the oligomeric model and determined that each of the tested residues are essential for Spa47 ATPase activity, although they are not directly responsible for stable oligomer formation. Although N-terminal domain truncation was necessary for crystal formation, it resulted in strictly monomeric Spa47 that is unable to hydrolyze ATP, despite maintaining the canonical ATPase core structure and active site residues. Coupled with studies of ATPase inactive full-length Spa47 point mutants, we find that Spa47 oligomerization and ATP hydrolysis are needed for complete T3SS apparatus formation, a proper translocator secretion profile, and Shigella virulence. This work represents the first structure-function characterization of Spa47, uniquely complementing the multitude of included Shigella T3SS phenotype assays and providing a more complete understanding of T3SS ATPase-mediated pathogen virulence. Additionally, these findings provide a strong platform for follow-up studies evaluating regulation of Spa47 oligomerization in vivo as a much needed means of treating and perhaps preventing shigellosis. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Spa47 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Type III Secretion System ATPase Activation and Shigella Virulence Regulation*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Jamie L.; Burgess, R. Alan; Morales, Yalemi; Bouvang, Jenna M.; Johnson, Sean J.; Dickenson, Nicholas E.

    2016-01-01

    Like many Gram-negative pathogens, Shigella rely on a complex type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject effector proteins into host cells, take over host functions, and ultimately establish infection. Despite these critical roles, the energetics and regulatory mechanisms controlling the T3SS and pathogen virulence remain largely unclear. In this study, we present a series of high resolution crystal structures of Spa47 and use the structures to model an activated Spa47 oligomer, finding that ATP hydrolysis may be supported by specific side chain contributions from adjacent protomers within the complex. Follow-up mutagenesis experiments targeting the predicted active site residues validate the oligomeric model and determined that each of the tested residues are essential for Spa47 ATPase activity, although they are not directly responsible for stable oligomer formation. Although N-terminal domain truncation was necessary for crystal formation, it resulted in strictly monomeric Spa47 that is unable to hydrolyze ATP, despite maintaining the canonical ATPase core structure and active site residues. Coupled with studies of ATPase inactive full-length Spa47 point mutants, we find that Spa47 oligomerization and ATP hydrolysis are needed for complete T3SS apparatus formation, a proper translocator secretion profile, and Shigella virulence. This work represents the first structure-function characterization of Spa47, uniquely complementing the multitude of included Shigella T3SS phenotype assays and providing a more complete understanding of T3SS ATPase-mediated pathogen virulence. Additionally, these findings provide a strong platform for follow-up studies evaluating regulation of Spa47 oligomerization in vivo as a much needed means of treating and perhaps preventing shigellosis. PMID:27770024

  4. The Effects of Chinese Herbal Medicines on the Quorum Sensing-Regulated Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yee Meng Chong

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The quorum sensing (QS system has been used by many opportunistic pathogenic bacteria to coordinate their virulence determinants in relation to cell-population density. As antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, interference with QS has been regarded as a novel way to control bacterial infections. As such, many plant-based natural products have been widely explored for their therapeutic roles. These natural products may contain anti-QS compounds that could block QS signals generation or transmission to combat QS pathogens. In this study, we report the anti-QS activities of four different Chinese herbal plant extracts: Poria cum Radix pini, Angelica dahurica, Rhizoma cibotii and Schizonepeta tenuifolia, on Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. All the plants extracted using hexane, chloroform and methanol were tested and found to impair swarming motility and pyocyanin production in P. aeruginosa PAO1, particularly by Poria cum Radix pini. In addition, all the plant extracts also inhibited violacein production in C. violaceum CV026 up to 50% while bioluminescence activities were reduced in lux-based E. coli biosensors, pSB401 and pSB1075, up to about 57%. These anti-QS properties of the four medicinal plants are the first documentation that demonstrates a potential approach to attenuate pathogens’ virulence determinants.

  5. A Novel Small RNA Regulates Tolerance and Virulence in Shigella flexneri by Responding to Acidic Environmental Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ligui eWang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Shigella flexneri is an important cause of bacillary dysentery in developing countries. Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs play essential roles in diverse cellular processes. We found a novel sRNA Ssr1 based on RT-PCR, northern blot, and 5´RACE in S. flexneri. Ssr1 responds to acidic environmental changes, as shown by a strong linear correlation between the pH value and Ssr1 expression (R = 0.785, P < 0.05 using the qRT-PCR method. Deletion of Ssr1 results in growth retardation at pH values ranging from 5.0 to 7.0 (P < 0.05, and the survival rate was reduced by 22% in acidic conditions (pH 3.0. Additionally, virulence was significantly increased in an Ssr1 mutant strain, as revealed in a murine lung invasion model and survival model assays. By using the sTarPicker method and proteomic analysis, we considered that DnaK, which is a major factor that confers acidic stress tolerance, may be a direct target of Ssr1. We also found that Ssr1 may enhance virulence by directly targeting OmpA; this leads to altered expression of genes in the type three secretion system. This work provides new insight into the mechanism of adaptation to environmental stress and into the pathogenesis of Shigella.

  6. 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.

  7. The PacC transcription factor regulates secondary metabolite production and stress response, but has only minor effects on virulence in the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zhibing; Ren, Hui; Mousa, Jarrod J; Rangel, Drauzio E N; Zhang, Yongjun; Bruner, Steven D; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2017-02-01

    The PacC transcription factor is an important component of the fungal ambient pH-responsive regulatory system. Loss of pacC in the insect pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana resulted in an alkaline pH-dependent decrease in growth and pH-dependent increased susceptibility to osmotic (salt, sorbitol) stress and SDS. Extreme susceptibility to Congo Red was noted irrespective of pH, and ΔBbpacC conidia showed subtle increases in UV susceptibility. The ΔBbPacC mutant showed a reduced ability to acidify media during growth due to failure to produce oxalic acid. The ΔBbPacC mutant also did not produce the insecticidal compound dipicolinic acid, however, production of a yellow-colored compound was noted. The compound, named bassianolone B, was purified and its structure determined. Despite defects in growth, stress resistance, and oxalate/insecticidal compound production, only a small decrease in virulence was seen for the ΔBbpacC strain in topical insect bioassays using larvae from the greater waxmoth, Galleria mellonella or adults of the beetle, Tenebrio molitor. However, slightly more pronounced decreases were seen in virulence via intrahemcoel injection assays (G. mellonella) and in assays using T. molitor larvae. These data suggest important roles for BbpacC in mediating growth at alkaline pH, regulating secondary metabolite production, and in targeting specific insect stages. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. The Human Antimicrobial Protein Calgranulin C Participates in Control of Helicobacter pylori Growth and Regulation of Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Kathryn P; Delgado, Alberto G; Piazuelo, M Blanca; Mortensen, Brittany L; Correa, Pelayo; Damo, Steven M; Chazin, Walter J; Skaar, Eric P; Gaddy, Jennifer A

    2015-07-01

    During infectious processes, antimicrobial proteins are produced by both epithelial cells and innate immune cells. Some of these antimicrobial molecules function by targeting transition metals and sequestering these metals in a process referred to as "nutritional immunity." This chelation strategy ultimately starves invading pathogens, limiting their growth within the vertebrate host. Recent evidence suggests that these metal-binding antimicrobial molecules have the capacity to affect bacterial virulence, including toxin secretion systems. Our previous work showed that the S100A8/S100A9 heterodimer (calprotectin, or calgranulin A/B) binds zinc and represses the elaboration of the H. pylori cag type IV secretion system (T4SS). However, there are several other S100 proteins that are produced in response to infection. We hypothesized that the zinc-binding protein S100A12 (calgranulin C) is induced in response to H. pylori infection and also plays a role in controlling H. pylori growth and virulence. To test this, we analyzed gastric biopsy specimens from H. pylori-positive and -negative patients for S100A12 expression. These assays showed that S100A12 is induced in response to H. pylori infection and inhibits bacterial growth and viability in vitro by binding nutrient zinc. Furthermore, the data establish that the zinc-binding activity of the S100A12 protein represses the activity of the cag T4SS, as evidenced by the gastric cell "hummingbird" phenotype, interleukin 8 (IL-8) secretion, and CagA translocation assays. In addition, high-resolution field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM) was used to demonstrate that S100A12 represses biogenesis of the cag T4SS. Together with our previous work, these data reveal that multiple S100 proteins can repress the elaboration of an oncogenic bacterial surface organelle. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  9. 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 (H 2 O 2 ) 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 H 2 O 2 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 H 2 O 2 . Deletion of catB or oxyR drastically impaired bacterial viability in the presence of extracellular H 2 O 2 and reduced CAT activity, demonstrating that CatB and OxyR contribute to H 2 O 2 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 H 2 O 2 . CatB functions as an active catalase that is required for the full virulence of Xoo in rice.

  10. 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

    , 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...... 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...... that ClpP affects SPI1 expression and thereby virulence indirectly through its regulation of both RpoS and CsrA....

  11. 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.

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

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    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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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; Martín, Carlos; Gonzalo-Asensio, Jesús

    2015-10-20

    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. Copyright © 2015 Broset et al.

  15. A conserved two-component regulatory system, PidS/PidR, globally regulates pigmentation and virulence-related phenotypes of Burkholderia glumae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karki, Hari Sharan; Barphagha, Inderjit Kaur; Ham, Jong Hyun

    2012-09-01

    Burkholderia glumae is a rice pathogenic bacterium that causes bacterial panicle blight. Some strains of this pathogen produce dark brown pigments when grown on casamino-acid peptone glucose (CPG) agar medium. A pigment-positive and highly virulent strain of B. glumae, 411gr-6, was randomly mutagenized with mini-Tn5gus, and the resulting mini-Tn5gus derivatives showing altered pigmentation phenotypes were screened on CPG agar plates to identify the genetic elements governing the pigmentation of B. glumae. In this study, a novel two-component regulatory system (TCRS) composed of the PidS sensor histidine kinase and the PidR response regulator was identified as an essential regulatory factor for pigmentation. Notably, the PidS/PidR TCRS was also required for the elicitation of the hypersensitive response on tobacco leaves, indicating the dependence of the hypersensitive response and pathogenicity (Hrp) type III secretion system of B. glumae on this regulatory factor. In addition, B. glumae mutants defective in the PidS/PidR TCRS showed less production of the phytotoxin, toxoflavin, and less virulence on rice panicles and onion bulbs relative to the parental strain, 411gr-6. The presence of highly homologous PidS and PidR orthologues in other Burkholderia species suggests that PidS/PidR-family TCRSs may exert the same or similar functions in different Burkholderia species, including both plant and animal pathogens. © 2012 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY © 2012 BSPP AND BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Regulation of the Vibrio vulnificus hupA gene by temperature alteration and cyclic AMP receptor protein and evaluation of its role in virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Man Hwan; Lee, Sung Min; Lee, Dong Hwan; Choi, Sang Ho

    2009-03-01

    Availability of free iron is extremely limited in the mammalian host, and the acquisition of iron in the host is essential for successful infection by pathogenic bacteria. Expression of many genes involved in acquiring iron is regulated in response to the level of iron availability, and iron regulation is mediated by Fur. In this study, cellular levels of Vibrio vulnificus HupA, a heme receptor protein, and the hupA transcript were found to increase in cells grown at 40 degrees C compared to cells grown at 30 degrees C. The results suggested that change in growth temperature, in addition to iron availability, is an environmental cue controlling the expression of the hupA gene. The influence of global regulatory proteins on the expression of hupA was examined, and the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) was found to activate the expression of hupA at the transcriptional level. CRP exerts its effects by directly binding to DNA upstream of the hupA promoter P(hupA), and a CRP binding site, centered at 174 bp upstream of the transcription start site, was identified by a DNase I protection assay. Finally, a hupA mutant showed reduced virulence in mice and in tissue cultures, in which growth of the hupA mutant was impaired, indicating that HupA of V. vulnificus is essential for survival and multiplication during infection.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gomes, Eriston V.; Ulhoa, Cirano J.; Cardoza, Rosa E.; Silva, Roberto N.; Guti?rrez, 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 Δepl-1 or wild-type T. harzianum stra...

  2. Campylobacter jejuni CsrA Regulates Metabolic and Virulence Associated Proteins and Is Necessary for Mouse Colonization

    OpenAIRE

    Fields, Joshua A.; Li, Jiaqi; Gulbronson, Connor J.; Hendrixson, David R.; Thompson, Stuart A.

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni infection is a leading bacterial cause of gastroenteritis and a common antecedent leading to Gullian-Barré syndrome. Our previous data suggested that the RNA-binding protein CsrA plays an important role in regulating several important phenotypes including motility, biofilm formation, and oxidative stress resistance. In this study, we compared the proteomes of wild type, csrA mutant, and complemented csrA mutant C. jejuni strains in an effort to elucidate the mechanisms by...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Brucella abortus virulence regulator, LovhK, is a sensor kinase in the general stress response signalling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye-Sook; Willett, Jonathan W; Jain-Gupta, Neeta; Fiebig, Aretha; Crosson, Sean

    2014-11-01

    In the intracellular pathogen Brucella abortus, the general stress response (GSR) signalling system determines survival under acute stress conditions in vitro, and is required for long-term residence in a mammalian host. To date, the identity of the Brucella sensor kinase(s) that function to perceive stress and directly activate GSR signalling have remained undefined. We demonstrate that the flavin-binding sensor histidine kinase, LovhK (bab2_0652), functions as a primary B. abortus GSR sensor. LovhK rapidly and specifically phosphorylates the central GSR regulator, PhyR, and activates transcription of a set of genes that closely overlaps the known B. abortus GSR regulon. Deletion of lovhK severely compromises cell survival under defined oxidative and acid stress conditions. We further show that lovhK is required for cell survival during the early phase of mammalian cell infection and for establishment of long-term residence in a mouse infection model. Finally, we present evidence that particular regions of primary structure within the two N-terminal PAS domains of LovhK have distinct sensory roles under specific environmental conditions. This study elucidates new molecular components of a conserved signalling pathway that regulates B. abortus stress physiology and infection biology. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. A Nitrogen Response Pathway Regulates Virulence Functions in Fusarium oxysporum via the Protein Kinase TOR and the bZIP Protein MeaB

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 s...

  8. 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

    2018-04-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Borrelia host adaptation Regulator (BadR) regulates rpoS to modulate host adaptation and virulence factors in Borrelia burgdorferi

    OpenAIRE

    Miller, Christine L.; Rajasekhar Karna, S. L.; Seshu, J.

    2013-01-01

    The RpoS transcription factor of Borrelia burgdorferi is a “gatekeeper” because it activates genes required for spirochetes to transition from tick to vertebrate hosts. However, it remains unknown how RpoS becomes repressed to allow the spirochetes to transition back from the vertebrate host to the tick vector. Here we show that a putative carbohydrate-responsive regulatory protein, designated BadR (Borrelia host adaptation Regulator), is a transcriptional repressor of rpoS. BadR levels are e...

  11. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Regulator-Encoding Genes Have an Additive Effect on Virulence Gene Expression in a Vibrio cholerae Clinical Isolate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carignan, Bailey M; Brumfield, Kyle D; Son, Mike S

    2016-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae is the etiological agent of the infectious disease cholera, which is characterized by vomiting and severe watery diarrhea. Recently, V. cholerae clinical isolates have demonstrated increased virulence capabilities, causing more severe symptoms with a much higher rate of disease progression than previously observed. We have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four virulence-regulatory genes (hapR, hns, luxO, and vieA) of a hypervirulent V. cholerae clinical isolate, MQ1795. Herein, all SNPs and SNP combinations of interest were introduced into the prototypical El Tor reference strain N16961, and the effects on the production of numerous virulence-related factors, including cholera toxin (CT), the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), and ToxT, were analyzed. Our data show that triple-SNP (hapR hns luxO and hns luxO vieA) and quadruple-SNP combinations produced the greatest increases in CT, TCP, and ToxT production. The hns and hns luxO SNP combinations were sufficient for increased TCP and ToxT production. Notably, the hns luxO vieA triple-SNP combination strain produced TCP and ToxT levels similar to those of MQ1795. Certain SNP combinations (hapR and hapR vieA) had the opposite effect on CT, TCP, and ToxT expression. Interestingly, the hns vieA double-SNP combination strain increased TCP production while decreasing CT production. Our findings suggest that SNPs identified in the four regulatory genes, in various combinations, are associated with increased virulence capabilities observed in V. cholerae clinical isolates. These studies provide insight into the evolution of highly virulent strains. IMPORTANCE Cholera, an infectious disease of the small intestine caused by the aquatic bacterium Vibrio cholerae, often results in vomiting and acute watery diarrhea. If left untreated or if the response is too slow, the symptoms can quickly lead to extreme dehydration and ultimately death of the patient. Recent anecdotal evidence of cholera

  12. [Virulence and its relationship to antibiotic resistance].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly-Guillou, M L

    1998-12-01

    PATHOGENIC ISLANDS: Certain DNA blocks inserted into the chromosome of most Gram negative bacteria originated in pathogens found in plants. VIRULENCE-ANTIBIOTIC INTERACTIONS: During the invasive phase, the bacterial cell covers itself with adhesins which facilitate its adherence to tissues. The bacterial cell produces a fibronectin which protects its defense systems. Antibiotics favor bacterial resistance by increasing the expression of surface adhesins and fibronectin production. PENICILLIN RESISTANT PNEUMOCOCCI: Experimental models have demonstrated that mortality in mice and host resistance to pneumococcal infection are related to the type of capsule and not to antibiotic resistance. QUORUM SENSING: The bacterial inoculum regulates the production of virulence factors in vivo via quorum sensing. This regulation can play an important role in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. ACINETOBACTER BAUMANNI VIRULENCE: Long poorly understood, factors favoring A. baumanni virulence appear to result from bacterial production of IROMPs in the extracellular growth medium in response to iron depletion during the exponential growth phase.

  13. The MAPKK FgMkk1 of Fusarium graminearum regulates vegetative differentiation, multiple stress response, and virulence via the cell wall integrity and high-osmolarity glycerol signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Yingzi; Liu, Zunyong; Zhang, Jingze; Shim, Won-Bo; Chen, Yun; Ma, Zhonghua

    2014-07-01

    Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases play crucial roles in regulating fungal development, growth and pathogenicity, and in responses to the environment. In this study, we characterized a MAP kinase kinase FgMkk1 in Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of wheat head blight. Phenotypic analyses of the FgMKK1 mutant (ΔFgMKK1) showed that FgMkk1 is involved in the regulation of hyphal growth, pigmentation, conidiation, deoxynivalenol biosynthesis and virulence of F. graminearum. ΔFgMKK1 also showed increased sensitivity to cell wall-damaging agents, and to osmotic and oxidative stresses, but exhibited decreased sensitivity to the fungicides iprodione and fludioxonil. In addition, the mutant revealed increased sensitivity to a biocontrol agent, Trichoderma atroviride. Western blot assays revealed that FgMkk1 positively regulates phosphorylation of the MAP kinases Mgv1 and FgOs-2, the key component in the cell wall integrity (CWI) and high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signalling pathway respectively. Yeast two-hybrid assay indicated that Mgv1 interacts with a transcription factor FgRlm1. The FgRLM1 mutant (ΔFgRLM1) showed increased sensitivity to cell wall-damaging agents and exhibited decreased virulence. Taken together, our data indicated that FgMkk1 is an upstream component of Mgv1, and regulates vegetative differentiation, multiple stress response and virulence via the CWI and HOG signalling pathways. FgRlm1 may be a downstream component of Mgv1 in the CWI pathway in F. graminearum. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. The chitinolytic activity of Listeria monocytogenes EGD is regulated by carbohydrates but also by the virulence regulator PrfA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Marianne Halberg; Leisner, Jørgen; Ingmer, Hanne

    2010-01-01

    Chitin, an insoluble polymer of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc), is one of the most abundant carbohydrate polymers in marine and terrestrial environments. Chitin hydrolysis by Listeria monocytogenes depends on two chitinase-encoding genes, chiA and chiB, and the aim of this study was to investigate...... their regulation. Chitin induces the expression of both chitinases in late exponential growth phase, and chiA but not chiB is furthermore induced by the monomer GlcNAc. Furthermore, their expression is subjected to catabolite control. Chitinases expressed by bacterial pathogens have proven to be important not only...... in wild-type cells. In agreement with this, Northern blot analysis showed that the amounts of chiA and chiB transcripts upon induction by chitin were significantly lower in the prfA mutant than in the wild type. The chitinolytic activity and chiA and chiB expression were reduced in the absence of the sig...

  15. Deoxycholate-Enhanced Shigella Virulence Is Regulated by a Rare π-Helix in the Type Three Secretion System Tip Protein IpaD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Abram R; Jessop, T Carson; Kumar, Prashant; Dickenson, Nicholas E

    2017-12-12

    Type three secretion systems (T3SS) are specialized nanomachines that support infection by injecting bacterial proteins directly into host cells. The Shigella T3SS has uniquely evolved to sense environmental levels of the bile salt deoxycholate (DOC) and upregulate virulence in response to DOC. In this study, we describe a rare i + 5 hydrogen bonding secondary structure element (π-helix) within the type three secretion system tip protein IpaD that plays a critical role in DOC-enhanced virulence. Specifically, engineered mutations within the π-helix altered the pathogen's response to DOC, with one mutant construct in particular exhibiting an unprecedented reduction in virulence following DOC exposure. Fluorescence polarization binding assays showed that these altered DOC responses are not the result of differences in affinity between IpaD and DOC, but rather differences in the DOC-dependent T3SS tip maturation resulting from binding of IpaD to translocator/effector protein IpaB. Together, these findings begin to uncover the complex mechanism of DOC-enhanced Shigella virulence while identifying an uncommon structural element that may provide a much needed target for non-antibiotic treatment of Shigella infection.

  16. 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...

  17. Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamaldehyde derivatives reduce virulence in Vibrio spp. by decreasing the DNA-binding activity of the quorum sensing response regulator LuxR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Calenbergh Serge

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To date, only few compounds targeting the AI-2 based quorum sensing (QS system are known. In the present study, we screened cinnamaldehyde and substituted cinnamaldehydes for their ability to interfere with AI-2 based QS. The mechanism of QS inhibition was elucidated by measuring the effect on bioluminescence in several Vibrio harveyi mutants. We also studied in vitro the ability of these compounds to interfere with biofilm formation, stress response and virulence of Vibrio spp. The compounds were also evaluated in an in vivo assay measuring the reduction of Vibrio harveyi virulence towards Artemia shrimp. Results Our results indicate that cinnamaldehyde and several substituted derivatives interfere with AI-2 based QS without inhibiting bacterial growth. The active compounds neither interfered with the bioluminescence system as such, nor with the production of AI-2. Study of the effect in various mutants suggested that the target protein is LuxR. Mobility shift assays revealed a decreased DNA-binding ability of LuxR. The compounds were further shown to (i inhibit biofilm formation in several Vibrio spp., (ii result in a reduced ability to survive starvation and antibiotic treatment, (iii reduce pigment and protease production in Vibrio anguillarum and (iv protect gnotobiotic Artemia shrimp against virulent Vibrio harveyi BB120. Conclusion Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamaldehyde derivatives interfere with AI-2 based QS in various Vibrio spp. by decreasing the DNA-binding ability of LuxR. The use of these compounds resulted in several marked phenotypic changes, including reduced virulence and increased susceptibility to stress. Since inhibitors of AI-2 based quorum sensing are rare, and considering the role of AI-2 in several processes these compounds may be useful leads towards antipathogenic drugs.

  18. Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamaldehyde derivatives reduce virulence in Vibrio spp. by decreasing the DNA-binding activity of the quorum sensing response regulator LuxR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brackman, Gilles; Defoirdt, Tom; Miyamoto, Carol; Bossier, Peter; Van Calenbergh, Serge; Nelis, Hans; Coenye, Tom

    2008-01-01

    Background To date, only few compounds targeting the AI-2 based quorum sensing (QS) system are known. In the present study, we screened cinnamaldehyde and substituted cinnamaldehydes for their ability to interfere with AI-2 based QS. The mechanism of QS inhibition was elucidated by measuring the effect on bioluminescence in several Vibrio harveyi mutants. We also studied in vitro the ability of these compounds to interfere with biofilm formation, stress response and virulence of Vibrio spp. The compounds were also evaluated in an in vivo assay measuring the reduction of Vibrio harveyi virulence towards Artemia shrimp. Results Our results indicate that cinnamaldehyde and several substituted derivatives interfere with AI-2 based QS without inhibiting bacterial growth. The active compounds neither interfered with the bioluminescence system as such, nor with the production of AI-2. Study of the effect in various mutants suggested that the target protein is LuxR. Mobility shift assays revealed a decreased DNA-binding ability of LuxR. The compounds were further shown to (i) inhibit biofilm formation in several Vibrio spp., (ii) result in a reduced ability to survive starvation and antibiotic treatment, (iii) reduce pigment and protease production in Vibrio anguillarum and (iv) protect gnotobiotic Artemia shrimp against virulent Vibrio harveyi BB120. Conclusion Cinnamaldehyde and cinnamaldehyde derivatives interfere with AI-2 based QS in various Vibrio spp. by decreasing the DNA-binding ability of LuxR. The use of these compounds resulted in several marked phenotypic changes, including reduced virulence and increased susceptibility to stress. Since inhibitors of AI-2 based quorum sensing are rare, and considering the role of AI-2 in several processes these compounds may be useful leads towards antipathogenic drugs. PMID:18793453

  19. A nitrogen response pathway regulates virulence in plant pathogenic fungi: role of TOR and the bZIP protein MeaB.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

    Virulence in plant pathogenic fungi is controlled through a variety of cellular pathways in response to the host environment. Nitrogen limitation has been proposed to act as a key signal to trigger the in planta expression of virulence genes. Moreover, a conserved Pathogenicity mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is strictly required for plant infection in a wide range of pathogens. We investigated the relationship between nitrogen signaling and the Pathogenicity MAPK cascade in controlling infectious growth of the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum. Several MAPK-activated virulence functions such as invasive growth, vegetative hyphal fusion and host adhesion were strongly repressed in the presence of the preferred nitrogen source ammonium. Repression of these functions by ammonium was abolished by L-Methionine sulfoximine (MSX) or rapamycin, two specific inhibitors of Gln synthetase and the protein kinase TOR (Target Of Rapamycin), respectively, and was dependent on the bZIP protein MeaB. Supplying tomato plants with ammonium rather than nitrate resulted in a significant delay of vascular wilt symptoms caused by the F. oxysporum wild type strain, but not by the ΔmeaB mutant. Ammonium also repressed invasive growth in two other pathogens, the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and the wheat head blight pathogen Fusarium graminearum. Our results suggest the presence of a conserved nitrogen-responsive pathway that operates via TOR and MeaB to control infectious growth in plant pathogenic fungi.

  20. SlyA regulates motA and motB, virulence and stress-related genes under conditions induced by the PhoP-PhoQ system in Dickeya dadantii 3937.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haque, Md Manjurul; Hirata, Hisae; Tsuyumu, Shinji

    2015-01-01

    We previously showed that SlyA of Dickeya dadantii 3937 plays an important role in virulence toward plants, and that the ΔslyA mutant is hypermotile, whereas flagellum synthesis and flagellin production are indistinguishable from the wild type. Here we show that motility factors, including the distance of continuous directed movement, time for that movement and speed, were significantly higher in the ΔslyA mutant than in the wild type. Remarkably, transcription levels of motA and motB, that are involved in flagellar rotation, were elevated in the ΔslyA mutant, suggesting that the mutant's hypermotility was due to an increase in flagellar rotation. In low (10 μM) magnesium medium that activates the PhoP-PhoQ system, growth and virulence of the ΔslyA mutant were much lower than for the wild type; expression of motA, motB, mgtA, pelA, pelB, pelC, pelD, pelE, pelI, indA, tolC, sodC, acsA and hrpN were also reduced in the mutant. Interestingly, motA, motB, pelD, pelE, pelI, sodC and indA were also reduced in phoP and phoQ mutants. Because the SlyA protein directly binds to the promoter region of PhoP, SlyA regulates virulence by controlling multiple pathogenicity-related genes directly and/or at least by controlling PhoP in D. dadantii 3937 when magnesium is low. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Microbial virulence and interactions with metals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    German, N.; Lüthje, Freja Lea; 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The LuxS/AI-2 Quorum-Sensing System of Streptococcus pneumoniae Is Required to Cause Disease, and to Regulate Virulence- and Metabolism-Related Genes in a Rat Model of Middle Ear Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mukesh K. Yadav

    2018-05-01

    DNA replication and repair, ATP synthesis, capsule biosynthesis, cell division, the cell cycle, signal transduction, transcription regulation, competence, virulence, and carbohydrate metabolism were downregulated in the absence of LuxS/AI-2.Conclusion: The S. pneumoniae LuxS/AI-2 quorum-sensing system is necessary for biofilm formation and the colonization of the ear epithelium, and caused middle ear infection in the rat model. LuxS/AI-2 regulates the expression of the genes involved in virulence and bacterial fitness during pneumococcal biofilm formation.

  6. Reversion to virulence of a subtype B avian metapneumovirus vaccine: is it time for regulators to require availability of vaccine progenitors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cecchinato, M; Catelli, E; Lupini, C; Ricchizzi, E; Prosperi, S; Naylor, C J

    2014-08-06

    Empirically derived live avian metapneumovirus (AMPV) vaccines developed during the late 80s and early 90s have generally performed well in controlling turkey rhinotracheitis. Nonetheless, unstable attenuation was previously demonstrated in an AMPV subtype A vaccine. Until now this had not been investigated in subtype B vaccines due to lack of any similar availability of a vaccine progenitor or its sequence. The publication of the full genome sequence for the VCO3 vaccine progenitor facilitated a conclusive investigation of two AMPVs isolated from poults on a farm which had been vaccinated with VCO3 derived vaccine. Full genome sequencing of the isolates and their comparison to sequences of the vaccine and its progenitor, confirmed their vaccine origin. After determining the absence of extraneous infectious agents, one of these virus isolates was inoculated into 1-day-old turkeys in disease secure isolators and shown to cause disease with a severity similar to that caused by virulent field virus. This suggests that instability in live AMPV vaccines may be generalized and highlights the need for availability of vaccine progenitor sequences for the field assessment of all live viral vaccines. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 regul...

  8. The effect of mutation on Rhodococcus equi virulence plasmid gene expression and mouse virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jun; Prescott, John F

    2004-11-15

    An 81 kb virulence plasmid containing a pathogenicity island (PI) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals but its specific function in virulence and regulation of plasmid-encoded virulence genes is unclear. Using a LacZ selection marker developed for R. equi in this study, in combination with an apramycin resistance gene, an efficient two-stage homologous recombination targeted gene mutation procedure was used to mutate three virulence plasmid genes, a LysR regulatory gene homologue (ORF4), a ResD-like two-component response regulator homologue (ORF8), and a gene (ORF10) of unknown function that is highly expressed by R. equi inside macrophages, as well as the chromosomal gene operon, phoPR. Virulence testing by liver clearance after intravenous injection in mice showed that the ORF4 and ORF8 mutants were fully attenuated, that the phoPR mutant was hypervirulent, and that virulence of the ORF10 mutant remained unchanged. A virulence plasmid DNA microarray was used to compare the plasmid gene expression profile of each of the four gene-targeted mutants against the parental R. equi strain. Changes were limited to PI genes and gene induction was observed for all mutants, suggesting that expression of virulence plasmid genes is dominated by a negative regulatory network. The finding of attenuation of ORF4 and ORF8 mutants despite enhanced transcription of vapA suggests that factors other than VapA are important for full expression of virulence. ORF1, a putative Lsr antigen gene, was strongly and similarly induced in all mutants, implying a common regulatory pathway affecting this gene for all four mutated genes. ORF8 is apparently the centre of this common pathway. Two distinct highly correlated gene induction patterns were observed, that of the ORF4 and ORF8 mutants, and that of the ORF10 and phoPR mutants. The gene induction pattern distinguishing these two groups paralleled their virulence in mice.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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)

    Jarosinski, Keith W; Hunt, Henry D; Osterrieder, Nikolaus

    2010-09-30

    Marek's disease is a devastating neoplastic disease of chickens caused by Marek's disease virus (MDV). MDV down-regulates surface expression of MHC class I molecules, although the mechanism has remained elusive. MDV harbors a UL49.5 homolog that has been shown to down-regulate MHC class I expression in other Varicelloviruses. Using in vitro assays, we showed that MDV pUL49.5 down-regulates MHC class I directly and identified its cytoplasmic tail as essential for this function. In vivo, viruses lacking the cytoplasmic tail of pUL49.5 showed no differences in MD pathogenesis compared to revertant viruses in highly susceptible chickens of the B(19)B(19) MHC class I haplotype, while there was a mild reduction in pathogenic potential of the deletion viruses in chickens more resistant to MD pathogenesis (MHC:B(21)B(21)). We concluded that the pathogenic effect of MHC class I down-regulation mediated by pUL49.5 is small because virus immune evasion possibly requires more than one viral protein. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Definition of a consensus DNA-binding site for PecS, a global regulator of virulence gene expression in Erwinia chrysanthemi and identification of new members of the PecS regulon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouanet, Carine; Reverchon, Sylvie; Rodionov, Dmitry A; Nasser, William

    2004-07-16

    In Erwinia chrysanthemi, production of pectic enzymes is modulated by a complex network involving several regulators. One of them, PecS, which belongs to the MarR family, also controls the synthesis of various other virulence factors, such as cellulases and indigoidine. Here, the PecS consensus-binding site is defined by combining a systematic evolution of ligands by an exponential enrichment approach and mutational analyses. The consensus consists of a 23-base pair palindromic-like sequence (C(-11)G(-10)A(-9)N(-8)W(-7)T(-6)C(-5)G(-4)T(-3)A(-2))T(-1)A(0)T(1)(T(2)A(3)C(4)G(5)A(6)N(7)N(8)N(9)C(10)G(11)). Mutational experiments revealed that (i) the palindromic organization is required for the binding of PecS, (ii) the very conserved part of the consensus (-6 to 6) allows for a specific interaction with PecS, but the presence of the relatively degenerated bases located apart significantly increases PecS affinity, (iii) the four bases G, A, T, and C are required for efficient binding of PecS, and (iv) the presence of several binding sites on the same promoter increases the affinity of PecS. This consensus is detected in the regions involved in PecS binding on the previously characterized target genes. This variable consensus is in agreement with the observation that the members of the MarR family are able to bind various DNA targets as dimers by means of a winged helix DNA-binding motif. Binding of PecS on a promoter region containing the defined consensus results in a repression of gene transcription in vitro. Preliminary scanning of the E. chrysanthemi genome sequence with the consensus revealed the presence of strong PecS-binding sites in the intergenic region between fliE and fliFGHIJKLMNOPQR which encode proteins involved in the biogenesis of flagellum. Accordingly, PecS directly represses fliE expression. Thus, PecS seems to control the synthesis of virulence factors required for the key steps of plant infection.

  15. 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.

  16. Plasma membrane lipids and their role in fungal virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rella, Antonella; Farnoud, Amir M; Del Poeta, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    There has been considerable evidence in recent years suggesting that plasma membrane lipids are important regulators of fungal pathogenicity. Various glycolipids have been shown to impart virulent properties in several fungal species, while others have been shown to play a role in host defense. In addition to their role as virulence factors, lipids also contribute to other virulence mechanisms such as drug resistance, biofilm formation, and release of extracellular vesicles. In addition, lipids also affect the mechanical properties of the plasma membrane through the formation of packed microdomains composed mainly of sphingolipids and sterols. Changes in the composition of lipid microdomains have been shown to disrupt the localization of virulence factors and affect fungal pathogenicity. This review gathers evidence on the various roles of plasma membrane lipids in fungal virulence and how lipids might contribute to the different processes that occur during infection and treatment. Insight into the role of lipids in fungal virulence can lead to an improved understanding of the process of fungal pathogenesis and the development of new lipid-mediated therapeutic strategies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. 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

  18. Role of the PhoP-PhoQ system in the virulence of Erwinia chrysanthemi strain 3937: involvement in sensitivity to plant antimicrobial peptides, survival at acid Hh, and regulation of pectolytic enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llama-Palacios, Arancha; López-Solanilla, Emilia; Rodríguez-Palenzuela, Pablo

    2005-03-01

    Erwinia chrysanthemi is a phytopathogenic bacterium that causes soft-rot diseases in a broad number of crops. The PhoP-PhoQ system is a key factor in pathogenicity of several bacteria and is involved in the bacterial resistance to different factors, including acid stress. Since E. chrysanthemi is confronted by acid pH during pathogenesis, we have studied the role of this system in the virulence of this bacterium. In this work, we have isolated and characterized the phoP and phoQ mutants of E. chrysanthemi strain 3937. It was found that: (i) they were not altered in their growth at acid pH; (ii) the phoQ mutant showed diminished ability to survive at acid pH; (iii) susceptibility to the antimicrobial peptide thionin was increased; (iv) the virulence of the phoQ mutant was diminished at low and high magnesium concentrations, whereas the virulence of the phoP was diminished only at low magnesium concentrations; (v) in planta Pel activity of both mutant strains was drastically reduced; and (vi) both mutants lagged behind the wild type in their capacity to change the apoplastic pH. These results suggest that the PhoP-PhoQ system plays a role in the virulence of this bacterium in plant tissues, although it does not contribute to bacterial growth at acid pH.

  19. Virulence Factors of Streptococcus mutans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-08-01

    763512/715242 Final Report U VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS U Samuel Rosen Department of Oral Biology For the Period April 1, 1983 - June 30...00 FINAL REPORT VIRULENCE FACTORS OF STREPTOCOCCUS MUTANS Sam Rosen, Irving Shklair, E. X. Beck and F. M. Beck Ohio State University Columbus,Oh and...206-212. Johnson CP, Gorss S, Hillman JD (1978). Cariogenic properties of LDH deficient mutants of streptococcus mutans . J Dent Res 57, Special Issue

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Fei; Cho, Hoonsik; Jeong, Do-Won; Li, Chunling; He, Chuan; Bae, Taeok

    2010-12-29

    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 virulence.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. OrfX, a Nucleomodulin Required for Listeria monocytogenes Virulence

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    Andrzej Prokop

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial pathogen causing severe foodborne infections in humans and animals. Listeria can enter into host cells and survive and multiply therein, due to an arsenal of virulence determinants encoded in different loci on the chromosome. Several key Listeria virulence genes are clustered in Listeria pathogenicity island 1. This important locus also contains orfX (lmo0206, a gene of unknown function. Here, we found that OrfX is a small, secreted protein whose expression is positively regulated by PrfA, the major transcriptional activator of Listeria virulence genes. We provide evidence that OrfX is a virulence factor that dampens the oxidative response of infected macrophages, which contributes to intracellular survival of bacteria. OrfX is targeted to the nucleus and interacts with the regulatory protein RybP. We show that in macrophages, the expression of OrfX decreases the level of RybP, which controls cellular infection. Collectively, these data reveal that Listeria targets RybP and evades macrophage oxidative stress for efficient infection. Altogether, OrfX is after LntA, the second virulence factor acting directly in the nucleus.

  4. Pathogenomic inference of virulence-associated genes in Leptospira interrogans.

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    Jason S Lehmann

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is a globally important, neglected zoonotic infection caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. Since genetic transformation remains technically limited for pathogenic Leptospira, a systems biology pathogenomic approach was used to infer leptospiral virulence genes by whole genome comparison of culture-attenuated Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai with its virulent, isogenic parent. Among the 11 pathogen-specific protein-coding genes in which non-synonymous mutations were found, a putative soluble adenylate cyclase with host cell cAMP-elevating activity, and two members of a previously unstudied ∼15 member paralogous gene family of unknown function were identified. This gene family was also uniquely found in the alpha-proteobacteria Bartonella bacilliformis and Bartonella australis that are geographically restricted to the Andes and Australia, respectively. How the pathogenic Leptospira and these two Bartonella species came to share this expanded gene family remains an evolutionary mystery. In vivo expression analyses demonstrated up-regulation of 10/11 Leptospira genes identified in the attenuation screen, and profound in vivo, tissue-specific up-regulation by members of the paralogous gene family, suggesting a direct role in virulence and host-pathogen interactions. The pathogenomic experimental design here is generalizable as a functional systems biology approach to studying bacterial pathogenesis and virulence and should encourage similar experimental studies of other pathogens.

  5. Pathogenomic inference of virulence-associated genes in Leptospira interrogans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Jason S; Fouts, Derrick E; Haft, Daniel H; Cannella, Anthony P; Ricaldi, Jessica N; Brinkac, Lauren; Harkins, Derek; Durkin, Scott; Sanka, Ravi; Sutton, Granger; Moreno, Angelo; Vinetz, Joseph M; Matthias, Michael A

    2013-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a globally important, neglected zoonotic infection caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. Since genetic transformation remains technically limited for pathogenic Leptospira, a systems biology pathogenomic approach was used to infer leptospiral virulence genes by whole genome comparison of culture-attenuated Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai with its virulent, isogenic parent. Among the 11 pathogen-specific protein-coding genes in which non-synonymous mutations were found, a putative soluble adenylate cyclase with host cell cAMP-elevating activity, and two members of a previously unstudied ∼15 member paralogous gene family of unknown function were identified. This gene family was also uniquely found in the alpha-proteobacteria Bartonella bacilliformis and Bartonella australis that are geographically restricted to the Andes and Australia, respectively. How the pathogenic Leptospira and these two Bartonella species came to share this expanded gene family remains an evolutionary mystery. In vivo expression analyses demonstrated up-regulation of 10/11 Leptospira genes identified in the attenuation screen, and profound in vivo, tissue-specific up-regulation by members of the paralogous gene family, suggesting a direct role in virulence and host-pathogen interactions. The pathogenomic experimental design here is generalizable as a functional systems biology approach to studying bacterial pathogenesis and virulence and should encourage similar experimental studies of other pathogens.

  6. Cell Density Control of Staphylococcal Virulence Mediated by an Octapeptide Pheromone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Guangyong; Beavis, Ronald C.; Novick, Richard P.

    1995-12-01

    Some bacterial pathogens elaborate and secrete virulence factors in response to environmental signals, others in response to a specific host product, and still others in response to no discernible cue. In this study, we have demonstrated that the synthesis of Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors is controlled by a density-sensing system that utilizes an octapeptide produced by the organism itself. The octapeptide activates expression of the agr locus, a global regulator of the virulence response. This response involves the reciprocal regulation of genes encoding surface proteins and those encoding secreted virulence factors. As cells enter the postexponential phase, surface protein genes are repressed by agr and secretory protein genes are subsequently activated. The intracellular agr effector is a regulatory RNA, RNAIII, whose transcription is activated by an agr-encoded signal transduction system for which the octapeptide is the ligand.

  7. 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.

  8. Salmonella-secreted Virulence Factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heffron, Fred; Niemann, George; Yoon, Hyunjin; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Brown, Roslyn N.; McDermott, Jason E.; Smith, Richard D.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2011-05-01

    In this short review we discuss secreted virulence factors of Salmonella, which directly affect Salmonella interaction with its host. Salmonella secretes protein to subvert host defenses but also, as discussed, to reduce virulence thereby permitting the bacteria to persist longer and more successfully disperse. The type III secretion system (TTSS) is the best known and well studied of the mechanisms that enable secretion from the bacterial cytoplasm to the host cell cytoplasm. Other secretion systems include outer membrane vesicles, which are present in all Gram-negative bacteria examined to date, two-partner secretion, and type VI secretion will also be addressed. Excellent reviews of Salmonella secreted effectors have focused on themes such as actin rearrangements, vesicular trafficking, ubiquitination, and the activities of the virulence factors themselves. This short review is based on S. Typhimurium infection of mice because it is a model of typhoid like disease in humans. We have organized effectors in terms of events that happen during the infection cycle and how secreted effectors may be involved.

  9. Evaluating virulence of waterborne and clinical Aeromonas isolates using gene expression and mortality in neonatal mice followed by assessing cell culture’s ability to predict virulence based on transcriptional response

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hayes, S L; Rodgers, M R; Lye, D J; Stelma, G N; McKinstry, Craig A.; Malard, Joel M.; Vesper, Sephen J.

    2007-10-01

    Aims: To assess the virulence of Aeromonas spp. using two models, a neonatal mouse assay and a mouse intestinal cell culture. Methods and Results: After artificial infection with a variety of Aeromonas spp., mRNA extracts from the two models were processed and hydridized to murine microarrays to determine host gene response. Definition of virulence was determined based on host mRNA production in murine neonatal intestinal tissue and mortality of infected animals. Infections of mouse intestinal cell cultures were then performed to determine whether this simpler model system’s mRNA responses correlated to neonatal results and therefore be predictive of virulence of Aeromonas spp. Virulent aeromonads up-regulated transcripts in both models including multiple host defense gene products (chemokines, regulation of transcription and apoptosis and cell signalling). Avirulent species exhibited little or no host response in neonates. Mortality results correlated well with both bacterial dose and average fold change of up-regulated transcripts in the neonatal mice. Conclusions: Cell culture results were less discriminating but showed promise as potentially being able to be predictive of virulence. Jun oncogene up-regulation in murine cell culture is potentially predictive of Aeromonas virulence. Significance and Impact of the Study: Having the ability to determine virulence of waterborne pathogens quickly would potentially assist public health officials to rapidly assess exposure risks.

  10. A novel anti-virulence gene revealed by proteomic analysis in Shigella flexneri 2a

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    Ying Tianyi

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Shigella flexneri is a gram-negative, facultative pathogen that causes the majority of communicable bacterial dysenteries in developing countries. The virulence factors of S. flexneri have been shown to be produced at 37 degrees C but not at 30 degrees C. To discover potential, novel virulence-related proteins of S. flexneri, we performed differential in-gel electrophoresis (DIGE analysis to measure changes in the expression profile that are induced by a temperature increase. Results The ArgT protein was dramatically down-regulated at 37 degrees C. In contrast, the ArgT from the non-pathogenic E. coli did not show this differential expression as in S. flexneri, which suggested that argT might be a potential anti-virulence gene. Competitive invasion assays in HeLa cells and in BALB/c mice with argT mutants were performed, and the results indicated that the over-expression of ArgTY225D would attenuate the virulence of S. flexneri. A comparative proteomic analysis was subsequently performed to investigate the effects of ArgT in S. flexneri at the molecular level. We show that HtrA is differentially expressed among different derivative strains. Conclusion Gene argT is a novel anti-virulence gene that may interfere with the virulence of S. flexneri via the transport of specific amino acids or by affecting the expression of the virulence factor, HtrA.

  11. Helicobacter pylori virulence and cancer pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Yoshio; Graham, David Y

    2014-06-01

    Helicobacter pylori is human gastric pathogen that causes chronic and progressive gastric mucosal inflammation and is responsible for the gastric inflammation-associated diseases, gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. Specific outcomes reflect the interplay between host-, environmental- and bacterial-specific factors. Progress in understanding putative virulence factors in disease pathogenesis has been limited and many false leads have consumed scarce resources. Few in vitro-in vivo correlations or translational applications have proved clinically relevant. Reported virulence factor-related outcomes reflect differences in relative risk of disease rather than specificity for any specific outcome. Studies of individual virulence factor associations have provided conflicting results. Since virulence factors are linked, studies of groups of putative virulence factors are needed to provide clinically useful information. Here, the authors discuss the progress made in understanding the role of H. pylori virulence factors CagA, vacuolating cytotoxin, OipA and DupA in disease pathogenesis and provide suggestions for future studies.

  12. Identification of Burkholderia cenocepacia strain H111 virulence factors using nonmammalian infection hosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwager, Stephan; Agnoli, Kirsty; Köthe, Manuela

    2013-01-01

    Burkholderia cenocepacia H111, a strain isolated from a cystic fibrosis patient, has been shown to effectively kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used the C. elegans model of infection to screen a mini-Tn5 mutant library of B. cenocepacia H111 for attenuated virulence....... Of the approximately 5,500 B. cenocepacia H111 random mini-Tn5 insertion mutants that were screened, 22 showed attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Except for the quorum-sensing regulator cepR, none of the mutated genes coded for the biosynthesis of classical virulence factors such as extracellular proteases...... or siderophores. Instead, the mutants contained insertions in metabolic and regulatory genes. Mutants attenuated in virulence in the C. elegans infection model were also tested in the Drosophila melanogaster pricking model, and those also attenuated in this model were further tested in Galleria mellonella. Six...

  13. Survival and Virulence of Campylobacter spp. in the Environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bui, Thanh Xuan

    of environmental stress factors, namely heat shock, starvation, osmosis, and oxidation, on the expression of three virulence genes (ciaB, dnaJ, and htrA) of C. jejuni and its uptake by and intracellular survival within A. castellanii. I also investigated the mechanism(s) involved in phagocytosis and killing of C....... jejuni by A. castellanii. I observed that heat and osmotic stresses reduced the survival of C. jejuni significantly, whereas oxidative stress had no effect. The results of qRT-PCR experiments showed that the transcription of virulence genes of C. jejuni was slightly up-regulated under heat and oxidative...... soil flagellates may play a role for the survival of these food-borne pathogens on plant surfaces and in soil. It would be very interesting to further investigate the impacts of this soil flagellate on the survival of different food-borne pathogens in soil and in plant surface that may explain...

  14. Protein kinase A and fungal virulence: a sinister side to a conserved nutrient sensing pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Kevin K; Rhodes, Judith C

    2012-01-01

    Diverse fungal species are the cause of devastating agricultural and human diseases. As successful pathogenesis is dependent upon the ability of the fungus to adapt to the nutritional and chemical environment of the host, the understanding of signaling pathways required for such adaptation will provide insights into the virulence of these pathogens and the potential identification of novel targets for antifungal intervention. The cAMP-PKA signaling pathway is well conserved across eukaryotes. In the nonpathogenic yeast, S. cerevisiae, PKA is activated in response to extracellular nutrients and subsequently regulates metabolism and growth. Importantly, this pathway is also a regulator of pathogenesis, as defects in PKA signaling lead to an attenuation of virulence in diverse plant and human pathogenic fungi. This review will compare and contrast PKA signaling in S. cerevisiae vs. various pathogenic species and provide a framework for the role of this pathway in regulating fungal virulence.

  15. 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.

  16. Anaerobiosis induced virulence of Salmonella typhi

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2002-01-01

    , we examined the effect of anaerobiosis on the virulence of Salmonella Typhi, a Gram negative bacteria which invades through the gut mucosa and is responsible for typhoid fever. METHODS: Salmonella Typhi (ty2) was cultured in aerobic and anaerobic conditions to compare its virulence by rabbit ileal...

  17. 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.

  18. Virulence, serotype and phylogenetic groups of diarrhoeagenic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dr DADIE Thomas

    2014-02-17

    Feb 17, 2014 ... The virulence, serotype and phylogenetic traits of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli were detected in 502 strains isolated during digestive infections. Molecular detection of the target virulence genes, rfb gene of operon O and phylogenetic grouping genes Chua, yjaA and TSPE4.C2 was performed.

  19. Production Of Some Virulence Factors Under Different Growth ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Production Of Some Virulence Factors Under Different Growth Conditions And Antibiotic Susceptibility Pattern Of ... Animal Research International ... Keywords: Virulence, Haemolytic activity, Susceptibility, Antibiotics, Aeromonas hydrophila

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuss, Aaron Mischa; Schuster, Franziska; Roselius, Louisa; Klein, Johannes; Bücker, René; Herbst, Katharina; Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Pisano, Fabio; Wittmann, Christoph; Münch, Richard; Müller, Johannes; Jahn, Dieter; Dersch, Petra

    2016-12-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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...... pathogens. In Listeria monocytogenes, several virulence genes, which depend on the transcription activator PrfA, are repressed by glucose, fructose, etc., in a catabolite repressor (CcpA)-independent mechanism. However, the catabolite co-repressor P-Ser-HPr was found to inhibit the activity of Prf...... is preceded by an operator site, which serves as target for the CcpA/P-Ser-HPr complex. Numerous Gram-negative pathogens also contain hprK, which is often organised in an operon with transcription regulators necessary for the development of virulence, indicating that in these organisms P-Ser-HPr also plays...

  5. 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...... of natural furanone compounds can act as a potent antagonist of bacterial quorum sensing. We employed GeneChip((R)) microarray technology to identify furanone target genes and to map the quorum sensing regulon. The transcriptome analysis showed that the furanone drug specifically targeted quorum sensing...

  6. Regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballereau, P.

    1999-01-01

    The different regulations relative to nuclear energy since the first of January 1999 are given here. Two points deserve to be noticed: the decree of the third august 1999 authorizing the national Agency for the radioactive waste management to install and exploit on the commune of Bures (Meuse) an underground laboratory destined to study the deep geological formations where could be stored the radioactive waste. The second point is about the uranium residues and the waste notion. The judgment of the administrative tribunal of Limoges ( 9. july 1998) forbidding the exploitation of a storage installation of depleted uranium considered as final waste and qualifying it as an industrial waste storage facility has been annulled bu the Court of Appeal. It stipulated that, according to the law number 75663 of the 15. july 1965, no criteria below can be applied to depleted uranium: production residue (possibility of an ulterior enrichment), abandonment of a personal property or simple intention to do it ( future use aimed in the authorization request made in the Prefecture). This judgment has devoted the primacy of the waste notion on this one of final waste. (N.C.)

  7. 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 OBOR OECD: Cell biology Impact factor: 6.540, year: 2016

  8. 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.

  9. Virulence Factors of Helicobacter pylori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Sinclair

    1991-01-01

    environment with respect to pH. The spiral shape of the cells and their flagellar motility allow them to wind themselves into the mucous layer of the stomach. Some evidence exists for the production of strong proteolytic activity, hence degrading the mucous barrier and increasing permeability for the organism. Cyroroxin excreted by the bacteria may have some effect on the surrounding cells, with the possible lysis and release of bacterial growth factors. There is evidence that a chemotactic response is present due to these growth factors and their higher concentration in the intracellular spaces. The presence of specific and nonspecific adhesion has also been demonstrated, thus allowing the bacterium, once at the epithelial cell surface, to attach and avoid being washed off by movement within the stomach. Although treatment with antimicrobials eradicates the organism and improves symptoms of peptic ulcer patients, there is no indication that the same occurs in nonulcer dyspepsia patients. Further work is essential to describe the virulence mechanisms of H pylori and the possible pathogenic role of the organism.

  10. 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 use......, such as antibiotic resistance....... by Northern blot analysis. Eleven disinfectants representing four different groups of active components were evaluated in this study. Disinfectants with the same active ingredients had a similar effect on gene expression. Peroxy and chlorine compounds reduced the expression of the virulence genes...

  11. Decrease of Staphylococcus aureus Virulence by Helcococcus kunzii in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngba Essebe, Christelle; Visvikis, Orane; Fines-Guyon, Marguerite; Vergne, Anne; Cattoir, Vincent; Lecoustumier, Alain; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Sotto, Albert; Lavigne, Jean-Philippe; Dunyach-Remy, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Social bacterial interactions are considered essential in numerous infectious diseases, particularly in wounds. Foot ulcers are a common complication in diabetic patients and these ulcers become frequently infected. This infection is usually polymicrobial promoting cell-to-cell communications. Staphylococcus aureus is the most prevalent pathogen isolated. Its association with Helcococcus kunzii , commensal Gram-positive cocci, is frequently described. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of co-infection on virulence of both H. kunzii and S. aureus strains in a Caenorhabditis elegans model. To study the host response, qRT-PCRs targeting host defense genes were performed. We observed that H. kunzii strains harbored a very low (LT50: 5.7 days ± 0.4) or an absence of virulence (LT50: 6.9 days ± 0.5). In contrast, S. aureus strains (LT50: 2.9 days ± 0.4) were significantly more virulent than all H. kunzii ( P aureus strains were associated, H. kunzii significantly reduced the virulence of the S. aureus strain in nematodes (LT50 between 4.4 and 5.2 days; P aureus led to a strong induction of defense genes ( lys-5, sodh-1 , and cyp-37B1 ) while H. kunzii did not. No statistical difference of host response genes expression was observed when C. elegans were infected with either S. aureus alone or with S. aureus + H. kunzii . Moreover, two well-characterized virulence factors ( hla and agr ) present in S. aureus were down-regulated when S. aureus were co-infected with H. kunzii . This study showed that H. kunzii decreased the virulence of S. aureus without modifying directly the host defense response. Factor(s) produced by this bacterium modulating the staphylococci virulence must be investigated.

  12. 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.

  13. Discovery of Salmonella Virulence Factors Translocated via Outer Membrane Vesicles to Murine Macrophages.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoon, Hyunjin; Ansong, Charles; Adkins, Joshua N.; Heffron, Fred

    2011-06-01

    We have previously shown that the regulators SpvR, FruR, IHF, PhoP/PhoQ, SsrA/SsrB, SlyA, Hnr, RpoE, SmpB, CsrA, RpoS, Crp, OmpR/EnvZ, and Hfq are essential for Salmonella Typhimurium virulence in mice. Here we use quantitative LC-MS-based proteomics profiling of in-frame deletion mutants of these 14 regulators to identify proteins that are coordinately regulated by these virulence regulators and are thus presumably novel factors contributing to Salmonella pathogenesis. Putative candidate proteins from proteomics analysis were determined, which exhibited similar abundance profiles to those of Salmonella pathogenicity island (SPI)-2 type III secretion system (TTSS) proteins. A subset of 5 proteins including STM0082, STM1548, PdgL, STM1633, and STM3595 was selected for further analysis. All 5 proteins were expressed inside macrophage cells and STM0082 (SrfN) was secreted into host cytoplasm. Furthermore, deletion of STM0082 attenuated virulence in mice when administered intraperitoneally as determined by competitive index. srfN transcription was positively regulated by SsrAB, however, secretion was independent of SPI-2 TTSS as well as SPI-1 TTSS and flagella. Proteins including PagK and STM2585A, which are positively regulated by PhoP/PhoQ, have sec signal peptides as predicted for SrfN and were secreted into macrophage cytoplasm regardless of SPI-2 TTSS. Isolation of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) revealed the presence of SrfN, PagK, and STM2585A inside vesicle compartments. This result is the first case showing delivery of virulence effectors via OMVs in S. Typhimurium. Moreover, Hfq regulation of SrfN translation suggests that small non-coding RNAs may be responsible for regulating effector protein expression.

  14. The sensor kinase MprB is required for Rhodococcus equi virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacArthur, Iain; Parreira, Valeria R; Lepp, Dion; Mutharia, Lucy M; Vazquez-Boland, José A; Prescott, John F

    2011-01-10

    Rhodococcus equi is a soil bacterium and, like Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a member of the mycolata. Through possession of a virulence plasmid, it has the ability to infect the alveolar macrophages of foals, resulting in pyogranulomatous bronchopneumonia. The virulence plasmid has an orphan two-component system (TCS) regulatory gene, orf8, mutation of which completely attenuates virulence. This study attempted to find the cognate sensor kinase (SK) of orf8. Annotation of the R. equi strain 103 genome identified 23 TCSs encoded on the chromosome, which were used in a DNA microarray to compare TCS gene transcription in murine macrophage-like cells to growth in vitro. This identified six SKs as significantly up-regulated during growth in macrophages. Mutants of these SKs were constructed and their ability to persist in macrophages was determined with one SK, MprB, found to be required for intracellular survival. The attenuation of the mprB- mutant, and its complementation, was confirmed in a mouse virulence assay. In silico analysis of the R. equi genome sequence identified an MprA binding box motif homologous to that of M. tuberculosis, on mprA, pepD, sigB and sigE. The results of this study also show that R. equi responds to the macrophage environment differently from M. tuberculosis. MprB is the first SK identified as required for R. equi virulence and intracellular survival. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. Novel cyclic di-GMP effectors of the YajQ protein family control bacterial virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-qi An

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Bis-(3',5' cyclic di-guanylate (cyclic di-GMP is a key bacterial second messenger that is implicated in the regulation of many critical processes that include motility, biofilm formation and virulence. Cyclic di-GMP influences diverse functions through interaction with a range of effectors. Our knowledge of these effectors and their different regulatory actions is far from complete, however. Here we have used an affinity pull-down assay using cyclic di-GMP-coupled magnetic beads to identify cyclic di-GMP binding proteins in the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc. This analysis identified XC_3703, a protein of the YajQ family, as a potential cyclic di-GMP receptor. Isothermal titration calorimetry showed that the purified XC_3703 protein bound cyclic di-GMP with a high affinity (K(d∼2 µM. Mutation of XC_3703 led to reduced virulence of Xcc to plants and alteration in biofilm formation. Yeast two-hybrid and far-western analyses showed that XC_3703 was able to interact with XC_2801, a transcription factor of the LysR family. Mutation of XC_2801 and XC_3703 had partially overlapping effects on the transcriptome of Xcc, and both affected virulence. Electromobility shift assays showed that XC_3703 positively affected the binding of XC_2801 to the promoters of target virulence genes, an effect that was reversed by cyclic di-GMP. Genetic and functional analysis of YajQ family members from the human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia showed that they also specifically bound cyclic di-GMP and contributed to virulence in model systems. The findings thus identify a new class of cyclic di-GMP effector that regulates bacterial virulence.

  17. Regulation of gene expression in Streptococcus pneumoniae by response regulator 09 is strain dependent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.T. Hendriksen (Wouter); N. Silva (Nuno); H.J. Bootsma (Hester); C.E. Blue (Clare); G.K. Paterson (Gavin); A.R. Kerr (Alison); A.S. de Jong (Arjan); O.P. Kuipers (Oscar); P.W.M. Hermans (Peter); T.J. Mitchell

    2007-01-01

    textabstractRecent murine studies have demonstrated that the role of response regulator 09 (RR09) of Streptococcus pneumoniae in virulence is different in different strains. In the present study, we used a murine pneumonia model of infection to assess the virulence of a TIGR4 rr09 mutant, and we

  18. Regulation of gene expression in Streptococcus pneumoniae by response regulator 09 is strain dependent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hendriksen, Wouter T.; Silva, Nuno; Bootsma, Hester J.; Blue, Clare E.; Paterson, Gavin K.; Kerr, Alison R.; de Jong, Anne; Kuipers, Oscar P.; Hermans, Peter W. M.; Mitchell, Tim J.

    Recent murine studies have demonstrated that the role of response regulator 09 (RR09) of Streptococcus pneumoniae in virulence is different in different strains. In the present study, we used a murine pneumonia model of infection to assess the virulence of a TIGR4 rr09 mutant, and we found that

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Potential drivers of virulence evolution in aquaculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, David A.; Kurath, Gael; Brito, Ilana L.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Read, Andrew F.; Winton, James R.; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases are economically detrimental to aquaculture, and with continued expansion and intensification of aquaculture, the importance of managing infectious diseases will likely increase in the future. Here, we use evolution of virulence theory, along with examples, to identify aquaculture practices that might lead to the evolution of increased pathogen virulence. We identify eight practices common in aquaculture that theory predicts may favor evolution toward higher pathogen virulence. Four are related to intensive aquaculture operations, and four others are related specifically to infectious disease control. Our intention is to make aquaculture managers aware of these risks, such that with increased vigilance, they might be able to detect and prevent the emergence and spread of increasingly troublesome pathogen strains in the future.

  2. 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

  3. Three Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Latency-Associated Transcript Mutants with Distinct and Asymmetric Effects on Virulence in Mice Compared with Rabbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perng, Guey-Chuen; Esmaili, Daniel; Slanina, Susan M.; Yukht, Ada; Ghiasi, Homayon; Osorio, Nelson; Mott, Kevin R.; Maguen, Barak; Jin, Ling; Nesburn, Anthony B.; Wechsler, Steven L.

    2001-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 latency-associated transcript (LAT)-null mutants have decreased reactivation but normal virulence in rabbits and mice. We report here on dLAT1.5, a mutant with LAT nucleotides 76 to 1667 deleted. Following ocular infection of rabbits, dLAT1.5 reactivated at a lower rate than its wild-type parent McKrae (6.1 versus 11.8%; P = 0.0025 [chi-square test]). Reactivation was restored in the marker-rescued virus dLAT1.5R (12.6%; P = 0.53 versus wild type), confirming the importance of the deleted region in spontaneous reactivation. Compared with wild-type or marker-rescued virus, dLAT1.5 had similar or slightly reduced virulence in rabbits (based on survival following ocular infection). In contrast, in mice, dLAT1.5 had increased virulence (P Wechsler, J. Virol. 73:920–929, 1999), had decreased virulence in mice (P = 0.03). In addition, we also found that dLAT371, a LAT mutant that we previously reported to have wild-type virulence in rabbits (G. C. Perng, S. M. Slanina, H. Ghiasi, A. B. Nesburn, and S. L. Wechsler, J. Virol. 70:2014–2018, 1996), had decreased virulence in mice (P < 0.05). Thus, these three mutants, each of which encodes a different LAT RNA, have different virulence phenotypes. dLAT1.5 had wild-type virulence in rabbits but increased virulence in mice. In contrast, LAT2.9A had increased virulence in rabbits but decreased virulence in mice, and dLAT371 had wild-type virulence in rabbits but decreased virulence in mice. Taken together, these results suggest that (i) the 5′ end of LAT and/or a gene that overlaps part of this region is involved in viral virulence, (ii) this virulence appears to have species-specific effects, and (iii) regulation of this virulence may be complex. PMID:11533165

  4. 2-Furaldehyde diethyl acetal from tender coconut water (Cocos nucifera) attenuates biofilm formation and quorum sensing-mediated virulence of Chromobacterium violaceum and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethupathy, Sivasamy; Nithya, Chari; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-biofilm and quorum sensing inhibitory (QSI) potential of tender coconut water (TCW) against Chromobacterium violaceum and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. TCW significantly inhibited the QS regulated violacein, virulence factors and biofilm production without affecting their growth. qRT-PCR analysis revealed the down-regulation of autoinducer synthase, transcriptional regulator and virulence genes. Mass-spectrometric analysis of a petroleum ether extract of the TCW hydrolyte revealed that 2-furaldehyde diethyl acetal (2FDA) and palmitic acid (PA) are the major compounds. In vitro bioassays confirmed the ability of 2FDA to inhibit the biofilm formation and virulence factors. In addition, the combination of PA with 2FDA resulted in potent inhibition of biofilm formation and virulence factors. The results obtained strongly suggest that TCW can be exploited as a base for designing a novel antipathogenic drug formulation to treat biofilm mediated infections caused by P. aeruginosa.

  5. 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...... antimicrobial free fatty acids act to downregulate transcription of PrfA-activated virulence genes. Interestingly, the inhibitory effect is also evident in cells encoding a constitutively active variant of PrfA. Collectively, our data suggest that antimicrobial medium- and long-chain free fatty acids may act...... as signals to prevent PrfA-mediated activation of virulence genes in environments where PrfA activation is not required, such as in food and the gastrointestinal tract....

  6. The Regulatory Small RNA MarS Supports Virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappesch, Roberto; Warnke, Philipp; Mikkat, Stefan; Normann, Jana; Wisniewska-Kucper, Aleksandra; Huschka, Franziska; Wittmann, Maja; Khani, Afsaneh; Schwengers, Oliver; Oehmcke-Hecht, Sonja; Hain, Torsten; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Patenge, Nadja

    2017-09-25

    Small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) play a role in the control of bacterial virulence gene expression. In this study, we investigated an sRNA that was identified in Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus, GAS) but is conserved throughout various streptococci. In a deletion strain, expression of mga, the gene encoding the multiple virulence gene regulator, was reduced. Accordingly, transcript and proteome analyses revealed decreased expression of several Mga-activated genes. Therefore, and because the sRNA was shown to interact with the 5' UTR of the mga transcript in a gel-shift assay, we designated it MarS for m ga-activating regulatory sRNA. Down-regulation of important virulence factors, including the antiphagocytic M-protein, led to increased susceptibility of the deletion strain to phagocytosis and reduced adherence to human keratinocytes. In a mouse infection model, the marS deletion mutant showed reduced dissemination to the liver, kidney, and spleen. Additionally, deletion of marS led to increased tolerance towards oxidative stress. Our in vitro and in vivo results indicate a modulating effect of MarS on virulence gene expression and on the pathogenic potential of GAS.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cin Kong

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. 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).

  9. XocR, a LuxR solo required for virulence in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Huiyong; Zhao, Yancun; Qian, Guoliang; Liu, Fengquan

    2015-01-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) causes bacterial leaf streak (BLS) in rice, a serious bacterial disease of rice in Asia and parts of Africa. The virulence mechanisms of Xoc are not entirely clear and control measures for BLS are poorly developed. The solo LuxR proteins are widespread and shown to be involved in virulence in some plant associated bacteria (PAB). Here, we have cloned and characterized a PAB LuxR solo from Xoc, named as XocR. Mutation of xocR almost completely impaired the virulence ability of Xoc on host rice, but did not alter the ability to trigger HR (hypersensitive response, a programmed cell death) on non-host (plant) tobacco, suggesting the diversity of function of xocR in host and non-host plants. We also provide evidence to show that xocR is involved in the regulation of growth-independent cell motility in response to a yet-to-be-identified rice signal, as mutation of xocR impaired cell swimming motility of wild-type Rs105 in the presence but not absence of rice macerate. We further found that xocR regulated the transcription of two characterized virulence-associated genes (recN and trpE) in the presence of rice macerate. The promoter regions of recN and trpE possessed a potential binding motif (an imperfect pip box-like element) of XocR, raising the possibility that XocR might directly bind the promoter regions of these two genes to regulate their transcriptional activity. Our studies add a new member of PAB LuxR solos and also provide new insights into the role of PAB LuxR solo in the virulence of Xanthomonas species.

  10. 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.

  11. Allele-dependent differences in quorum-sensing dynamics result in variant expression of virulence genes in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geisinger, Edward; Chen, John; Novick, Richard P

    2012-06-01

    Agr is an autoinducing, quorum-sensing system that functions in many Gram-positive species and is best characterized in the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, in which it is a global regulator of virulence gene expression. Allelic variations in the agr genes have resulted in the emergence of four quorum-sensing specificity groups in S. aureus, which correlate with different strain pathotypes. The basis for these predilections is unclear but is hypothesized to involve the phenomenon of quorum-sensing interference between strains of different agr groups, which may drive S. aureus strain isolation and divergence. Whether properties intrinsic to each agr allele directly influence virulence phenotypes within S. aureus is unknown. In this study, we examined group-specific differences in agr autoinduction and virulence gene regulation by utilizing congenic strains, each harboring a unique S. aureus agr allele, enabling a dissection of agr locus-dependent versus genotype-dependent effects on quorum-sensing dynamics and virulence factor production. Employing a reporter fusion to the principal agr promoter, P3, we observed allele-dependent differences in the timing and magnitude of agr activation. These differences were mediated by polymorphisms within the agrBDCA genes and translated to significant variations in the expression of a key transcriptional regulator, Rot, and of several important exoproteins and surface factors involved in pathogenesis. This work uncovers the contribution of divergent quorum-sensing alleles to variant expression of virulence determinants within a bacterial species.

  12. The Toxin and Virulence Database: A Resource for Signature Development and Analysis of Virulence

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wolinsky, Murray A

    2004-01-01

    In this joint effort with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Walter Reed, MITRE and USAMRIID, we are developing a comprehensive database for microbial toxins and virulence factors (www.tvfac.lanl.gov...

  13. Are secondary metabolites dispensable for virulence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    The production of toxins by conidial fungal pathogens and their association with virulence has been assumed to occur in vivo and is widely accepted as dogma, but this association has yet to be definitively proven by either genetic or chemical means. Several studies from our labs have used targeted g...

  14. Mechanisms of disease: Helicobacter pylori virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2010-11-01

    Helicobacter pylori plays an essential role in the development of various gastroduodenal diseases; however, only a small proportion of people infected with H. pylori develop these diseases. Some populations that have a high prevalence of H. pylori infection also have a high incidence of gastric cancer (for example, in East Asia), whereas others do not (for example, in Africa and South Asia). Even within East Asia, the incidence of gastric cancer varies (decreasing in the south). H. pylori is a highly heterogeneous bacterium and its virulence varies geographically. Geographic differences in the incidence of gastric cancer can be explained, at least in part, by the presence of different types of H. pylori virulence factor, especially CagA, VacA and OipA. However, it is still unclear why the pathogenicity of H. pylori increased as it migrated from Africa to East Asia during the course of evolution. H. pylori infection is also thought to be involved in the development of duodenal ulcer, which is at the opposite end of the disease spectrum to gastric cancer. This discrepancy can be explained in part by the presence of H. pylori virulence factor DupA. Despite advances in our understanding of the development of H. pylori-related diseases, further work is required to clarify the roles of H. pylori virulence factors.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    David Mtz

    2013-07-10

    Jul 10, 2013 ... They are largely responsible for chronic periodontal disease. .... nucleotide sequence is not reported by the manufacturer (Roche). Previous to the use of .... thesis of different metabolic pathways; in the case of downregulated ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Bile Sensing: The Activation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bey-Hing Goh

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Bacteria must develop resistance to various inhospitable conditions in order to survive in the human gastrointestinal tract. Bile, which is secreted by the liver, and plays an important role in food digestion also has antimicrobial properties and is able to disrupt cellular homeostasis. Paradoxically, although bile is one of the guts defenses, many studies have reported that bacteria such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus can sense bile and use its presence as an environmental cue to upregulate virulence genes during infection. This article aims to discuss how bile is detected by V. parahaemolyticus and its role in regulating type III secretion system 2 leading to human infection. This bile–bacteria interaction pathway gives us a clearer understanding of the biochemical and structural analysis of the bacterial receptors involved in mediating a response to bile salts which appear to be a significant environmental cue during initiation of an infection.

  5. PecS is an important player in the regulatory network governing the coordinated expression of virulence genes during the interaction between Dickeya dadantii 3937 and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhedbi-Hajri, Nadia; Malfatti, Pierrette; Pédron, Jacques; Gaubert, Stéphane; Reverchon, Sylvie; Van Gijsegem, Frédérique

    2011-11-01

    Successful infection of a pathogen relies on the coordinated expression of numerous virulence factor-encoding genes. In plant-bacteria interactions, this control is very often achieved through the integration of several regulatory circuits controlling cell-cell communication or sensing environmental conditions. Dickeya dadantii (formerly Erwinia chrysanthemi), the causal agent of soft rot on many crops and ornamentals, provokes maceration of infected plants mainly by producing and secreting a battery of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes. However, several other virulence factors have also been characterized. During Arabidopsis infection, most D. dadantii virulence gene transcripts accumulated in a coordinated manner during infection. This activation requires a functional GacA-GacS two-component regulatory system but the Gac system is not involved in the growth phase dependence of virulence gene expression. Here we show that, contrary to Pectobacterium, the AHL-mediated ExpIR quorum-sensing system does not play a major role in the growth phase-dependent control of D. dadantii virulence genes. On the other hand, the global regulator PecS participates in this coordinated expression since, in a pecS mutant, an early activation of virulence genes is observed both in vitro and in planta. This correlated with the known hypervirulence phenotype of the pecS mutant. Analysis of the relationship between the regulatory circuits governed by the PecS and GacA global regulators indicates that these two regulators act independently. PecS prevents a premature expression of virulence genes in the first stages of colonization whereas GacA, presumably in conjunction with other regulators, is required for the activation of virulence genes at the onset of symptom occurrence. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. AhrC and Eep Are Biofilm Infection-Associated Virulence Factors in Enterococcus faecalis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23460519

  8. Identification and characterization of Nip, necrosis-inducing virulence protein of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattinen, Laura; Tshuikina, Marina; Mäe, Andres; Pirhonen, Minna

    2004-12-01

    Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora is a gram-negative bacterium that causes soft rot disease of many cultivated crops. When a collection of E. carotovora subsp. carotovora isolates was analyzed on a Southern blot using the harpin-encoding gene hrpN as probe, several harpinless isolates were found. Regulation of virulence determinants in one of these, strain SCC3193, has been characterized extensively. It is fully virulent on potato and in Arabidopsis thaliana. An RpoS (SigmaS) mutant of SCC3193, producing elevated levels of secreted proteins, was found to cause lesions resembling the hypersensitive response when infiltrated into tobacco leaf tissue. This phenotype was evident only when bacterial cells had been cultivated on solid minimal medium at low pH and temperature. The protein causing'the cell death was purified and sequenced, and the corresponding gene was cloned. The deduced sequence of the necrosis-inducing protein (Nip) showed homology to necrosis- and ethylene-inducing elicitors of fungi and oomycetes. A mutant strain of E. carotovora subsp. carotovora lacking the nip gene showed reduced virulence in potato tuber assay but was unaffected in virulence in potato stem or on other tested host plants.

  9. 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.

  10. Virulence Inhibitors from Brazilian Peppertree Block Quorum Sensing and Abate Dermonecrosis in Skin Infection Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhs, Amelia; Lyles, James T.; Parlet, Corey P.; Nelson, Kate; Kavanaugh, Jeffery S.; Horswill, Alexander R.; Quave, Cassandra L.

    2017-01-01

    Widespread antibiotic resistance is on the rise and current therapies are becoming increasingly limited in both scope and efficacy. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) represents a major contributor to this trend. Quorum sensing controlled virulence factors include secreted toxins responsible for extensive damage to host tissues and evasion of the immune system response; they are major contributors to morbidity and mortality. Investigation of botanical folk medicines for wounds and infections led us to study Schinus terebinthifolia (Brazilian Peppertree) as a potential source of virulence inhibitors. Here, we report the inhibitory activity of a flavone rich extract “430D-F5” against all S. aureus accessory gene regulator (agr) alleles in the absence of growth inhibition. Evidence for this activity is supported by its agr-quenching activity (IC50 2–32 μg mL−1) in transcriptional reporters, direct protein outputs (α-hemolysin and δ-toxin), and an in vivo skin challenge model. Importantly, 430D-F5 was well tolerated by human keratinocytes in cell culture and mouse skin in vivo; it also demonstrated significant reduction in dermonecrosis following skin challenge with a virulent strain of MRSA. This study provides an explanation for the anti-infective activity of peppertree remedies and yields insight into the potential utility of non-biocide virulence inhibitors in treating skin infections. PMID:28186134

  11. The Rcs regulon in Proteus mirabilis: implications for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howery, Kristen E; Clemmer, Katy M; Rather, Philip N

    2016-11-01

    The overall role of the Rcs phosphorelay in Proteus mirabilis is largely unknown. Previous work had demonstrated that the Rcs phosphorelay represses the flhDC operon and activates the minCDE cell division inhibition system. To identify additional cellular functions regulated by the Rcs phosphorelay, an analysis of RNA-seq data was undertaken. In this report, the results of the RNA-sequencing are discussed with an emphasis on the predicted roles of the Rcs phosphorelay in swarmer cell differentiation, motility, biofilm formation, and virulence. RcsB is shown to activate genes important for differentiation and fimbriae formation, while repressing the expression of genes important for motility and virulence. Additionally, to follow up on the RNA-Seq data, we demonstrate that an rcsB mutant is deficient in its ability to form biofilm and exhibits enhanced virulence in a Galleria mellonella waxworm model. Overall, these results indicate the Rcs regulon in P. mirabilis extends beyond flagellar genes to include those involved in biofilm formation and virulence. Furthermore, the information presented in this study may provide clues to additional roles of the Rcs phosphorelay in other members of the Enterobacteriaceae.

  12. [Effect of the 10 kb sequence of piscine Streptococcus agalactiae on bacterial virulence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Guangjin; Zhu, Jielian; Shi, Ziwei; Ding, Ming; Wang, Ruyi; Yao, Huochun; Lu, Chengping; Xu, Pao

    2016-01-04

    From the previous comparative genomic analysis, we found a specific unknown 10 kb sequence (including 11 Open reading Frames) in Chinese piscine strain GD201008-001 genome. To study the role of 10 kb in the pathogenicity of piscine S. agalactiae, the 10 kb sequence was deleted from the GD201008-001 genome. The isogenic mutant Δ10 kb was constructed by using the temperature-sensitive Streptococcus-E. coli shuttle vector pSET4s. We compared the growth characteristics, adherence to HEp-2 cell and bacterial virulence in a zebrafish infection model between wild strain and mutant. Meanwhile the expressions of the known virulence genes from GD201008-001 and Δ10 kb were also quantified by real-time PCR. The Δ10 kb showed no significant differences in bacterial morphology and adherence to HEp-2 cells compared with the wild-type strain, but the speed of growth was slightly slower than the wild strain. Furthermore the 50% lethal dose of Δ10 kb was decreased up to 10-fold (P kb sequence of piscine Streptococcus agalactiae exerts a significant effect on bacterial virulence and probably regulates the virulence genes expression of GD20 1008-001.

  13. 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

  14. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria Piqué

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Erwinia amylovora, a Gram negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causal agent of fire blight, a devastating plant disease affecting a wide range of host species within Rosaceae and a major global threat to commercial apple and pear production. Among the limited number of control options currently available, prophylactic application of antibiotics during the bloom period appears the most effective. Pathogen cells enter plants through the nectarthodes of flowers and other natural openings, such as wounds, and are capable of rapid movement within plants and the establishment of systemic infections. Many virulence determinants of E. amylovora have been characterized, including the Type III secretion system (T3SS, the exopolysaccharide (EPS amylovoran, biofilm formation, and motility. To successfully establish an infection, E. amylovora uses a complex regulatory network to sense the relevant environmental signals and coordinate the expression of early and late stage virulence factors involving two component signal transduction systems, bis-(3′-5′-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP and quorum sensing. The LPS biosynthetic gene cluster is one of the relatively few genetic differences observed between Rubus- and Spiraeoideae-infecting genotypes of E. amylovora. Other differential factors, such as the presence and composition of an integrative conjugative element associated with the Hrp T3SS (hrp genes encoding the T3SS apparatus, have been recently described. In the present review, we present the recent findings on virulence factors research, focusing on their role in bacterial pathogenesis and indicating other virulence factors that deserve future research to characterize them.

  15. Amino Acid Permeases and Virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  16. Iron is a signal for Stenotrophomonas maltophilia biofilm formation, oxidative stress response, OMPs expression and virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Vibrio campbellii hmgA-mediated pyomelanization impairs quorum sensing, virulence and cellular fitness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng eWang

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Melanization due to the inactivation of the homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase gene (hmgA has been demonstrated to increase stress resistance, persistence and virulence in some bacterial species but such pigmented mutants have not been observed in pathogenic members of the Vibrio Harveyi clade. In this study, we used Vibrio campbellii ATCC BAA-1116 as model organism to understand how melanization affected cellular phenotype, metabolism and virulence. An in-frame deletion of the hmgA gene resulted in the overproduction of a pigment in cell culture supernatants and cellular membranes that was identified as pyomelanin. Unlike previous demonstrations in Vibrio cholerae, Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the pigmented V. campbellii mutant did not show increased UV resistance and was found to be ~2.7 times less virulent than the wild type strain in Penaeus monodon shrimp virulence assays. However, the extracted pyomelanin pigment did confer a higher resistance to oxidative stress when incubated with wild type cells. Microarray-based transcriptomic analyses revealed that the hmgA gene deletion and subsequent pyomelanin production negatively effected the expression of 129 genes primarily involved in energy production, amino acid and lipid metabolism, and protein translation and turnover. This transcriptional response was mediated in part by an impairment of the quorum sensing regulon as transcripts of the quorum sensing high cell density master regulator LuxR and other operonic members of this regulon were significantly repressed in the hmgA mutant. Taken together, the results suggest that the pyomelanization of V. campbellii sufficiently impairs the metabolic activities of this organism and renders it less fit and virulent than its isogenic wild type strain.

  18. Vibrio campbellii hmgA-mediated pyomelanization impairs quorum sensing, virulence, and cellular fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zheng; Lin, Baochuan; Mostaghim, Anahita; Rubin, Robert A; Glaser, Evan R; Mittraparp-Arthorn, Pimonsri; Thompson, Janelle R; Vuddhakul, Varaporn; Vora, Gary J

    2013-01-01

    Melanization due to the inactivation of the homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase gene (hmgA) has been demonstrated to increase stress resistance, persistence, and virulence in some bacterial species but such pigmented mutants have not been observed in pathogenic members of the Vibrio Harveyi clade. In this study, we used Vibrio campbellii ATCC BAA-1116 as model organism to understand how melanization affected cellular phenotype, metabolism, and virulence. An in-frame deletion of the hmgA gene resulted in the overproduction of a pigment in cell culture supernatants and cellular membranes that was identified as pyomelanin. Unlike previous demonstrations in Vibrio cholerae, Burkholderia cepacia, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the pigmented V. campbellii mutant did not show increased UV resistance and was found to be ~2.7 times less virulent than the wild type strain in Penaeus monodon shrimp virulence assays. However, the extracted pyomelanin pigment did confer a higher resistance to oxidative stress when incubated with wild type cells. Microarray-based transcriptomic analyses revealed that the hmgA gene deletion and subsequent pyomelanin production negatively effected the expression of 129 genes primarily involved in energy production, amino acid, and lipid metabolism, and protein translation and turnover. This transcriptional response was mediated in part by an impairment of the quorum sensing regulon as transcripts of the quorum sensing high cell density master regulator LuxR and other operonic members of this regulon were significantly less abundant in the hmgA mutant. Taken together, the results suggest that the pyomelanization of V. campbellii sufficiently impairs the metabolic activities of this organism and renders it less fit and virulent than its isogenic wild type strain.

  19. Virulence of Rhodococcus equi Isolated from Cats and Dogs

    OpenAIRE

    Takai, Shinji; Martens, Ronald J.; Julian, Alan; Garcia Ribeiro, Márcio; Rodrigues de Farias, Marconi; Sasaki, Yukako; Inuzuka, Kazuho; Kakuda, Tsutomu; Tsubaki, Shiro; Prescott, John F.

    2003-01-01

    Nine cat isolates and nine dog isolates of Rhodococcus equi from clinical material were investigated for the presence of the virulence-associated antigens (VapA and VapB) and virulence plasmids. Five of the cat isolates and one dog isolate were VapA positive and contained an 85-kb type I or an 87-kb type I plasmid. The remaining 12 isolates were avirulent R. equi strains and contained no virulence plasmids.

  20. Exploring the Possible Role of Lysine Acetylation on Entamoeba histolytica Virulence: A Focus on the Dynamics of the Actin Cytoskeleton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Quorum sensing in Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. achromogenes and the effect of the autoinducer synthase AsaI on bacterial virulence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwenteit, Johanna; Gram, Lone; Nielsen, Kristian Fog

    2011-01-01

    The Gram-negative fish pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida possesses the LuxIRtype quorum sensing (QS) system, termed AsaIR. In this study the role of QS in A. salmonicida subsp. achromogenes virulence and pigment production was investigated. Five wild-type Asa strains induced the N......Ideficient mutant was 20-fold higher than that of the isogenic wt strain and the mean day to death of the mutant was significantly prolonged. Furthermore, the expression of two virulence factors (a toxic protease, AsaP1, and a cytotoxic factor) and a brown pigment were reduced in the mutant. AsaP1 productionwas...... virulence in fish and QS has not previously been associated with A. salmonicida infections in fish. Furthermore, AsaP1 production has not previously been shown to be QS regulated. The simplicity of the A. salmonicida subsp. achromogenes LuxIR-type QS system and the observation that synthetic QSI can inhibit...

  2. Mutations induced by ultraviolet radiation affecting virulence in Puccinia striiformis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shang Hongsheng; Jing Jinxue; Li Zhenqi

    1994-01-01

    Uredospores of parent culture, cy 29-1, were treated by ultraviolet radiation and mutations to virulent were tested on resistant wheat cultivars inoculated with treated spores. 7 mutant cultures virulent to the test cultivars were developed with estimated mutation rate 10~6~10~4. The virulence of mutant cultures was different from the all known races of stripe rust. Resistance segregation to mutant cultures was detected in two test cultivars. The results suggested that mutation was important mechanism of virulence variation operative in asexual population of rust fungi

  3. Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro-Ilan, David; Raymond, Ben

    2016-03-01

    Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can lead to social conflict when cheating mutants exploit collective secretion, but do not contribute to it. If cheats outcompete cooperators within hosts, this can cause loss of virulence. Insect parasitic nematodes are important biocontrol tools that secrete a range of significant virulence factors. Critically, effective nematodes are hard to maintain without live passage, which can lead to virulence attenuation. Using experimental evolution, we tested whether social cheating might explain unstable virulence in the nematode Heterorhabditis floridensis by manipulating relatedness via multiplicity of infection (MOI), and the scale of competition. Passage at high MOI, which should reduce relatedness, led to loss of fitness: virulence and reproductive rate declined together and all eight independent lines suffered premature extinction. As theory predicts, relatedness treatments had more impact under stronger global competition. In contrast, low MOI passage led to more stable virulence and increased reproduction. Moreover, low MOI lineages showed a trade-off between virulence and reproduction, particularly for lines under stronger between-host competition. Overall, this study indicates that evolution of virulence theory is valuable for the culture of biocontrol agents: effective nematodes can be improved and maintained if passage methods mitigate possible social conflicts.

  4. Absence of Protoheme IX Farnesyltransferase CtaB Causes Virulence Attenuation but Enhances Pigment Production and Persister Survival in MRSA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Tao; Han, Jian; Zhang, Jia; Chen, Jiazhen; Wu, Nan; Zhang, Wenhong; Zhang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    The membrane protein CtaB in S. aureus is a protoheme IX farnesyltransferase involved in the synthesis of the heme containing terminal oxidases of bacterial respiratory chain. In this study, to assess the role of CtaB in S. aureus virulence, pigment production, and persister formation, we constructed a ctaB mutant in the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain USA500. We found that deletion of ctaB attenuated growth and virulence in mice but enhanced pigment production and formation of quinolone tolerant persister cells in stationary phase. RNA-seq analysis showed that deletion of ctaB caused decreased transcription of several virulence genes including RNAIII which is consistent with its virulence attenuation. In addition, transcription of 20 ribosomal genes and 24 genes involved in amino acid biosynthesis was significantly down-regulated in the ctaB knockout mutant compared with the parent strain. These findings suggest the importance of heme biosynthesis in virulence and persister formation of S. aureus .

  5. A putative regulatory genetic locus modulates virulence in the pathogen Leptospira interrogans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eshghi, Azad; Becam, Jérôme; Lambert, Ambroise; Sismeiro, Odile; Dillies, Marie-Agnès; Jagla, Bernd; Wunder, Elsio A; Ko, Albert I; Coppee, Jean-Yves; Goarant, Cyrille; Picardeau, Mathieu

    2014-06-01

    Limited research has been conducted on the role of transcriptional regulators in relation to virulence in Leptospira interrogans, the etiological agent of leptospirosis. Here, we identify an L. interrogans locus that encodes a sensor protein, an anti-sigma factor antagonist, and two genes encoding proteins of unknown function. Transposon insertion into the gene encoding the sensor protein led to dampened transcription of the other 3 genes in this locus. This lb139 insertion mutant (the lb139(-) mutant) displayed attenuated virulence in the hamster model of infection and reduced motility in vitro. Whole-transcriptome analyses using RNA sequencing revealed the downregulation of 115 genes and the upregulation of 28 genes, with an overrepresentation of gene products functioning in motility and signal transduction and numerous gene products with unknown functions, predicted to be localized to the extracellular space. Another significant finding encompassed suppressed expression of the majority of the genes previously demonstrated to be upregulated at physiological osmolarity, including the sphingomyelinase C precursor Sph2 and LigB. We provide insight into a possible requirement for transcriptional regulation as it relates to leptospiral virulence and suggest various biological processes that are affected due to the loss of native expression of this genetic locus.

  6. VarR controls colonization and virulence in the marine macroalgal pathogen Nautella italica R11

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Inactivation of pecS restores the virulence of mutants devoid of osmoregulated periplasmic glucans in the phytopathogenic bacterium Dickeya dadantii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Madec, Edwige; Lacroix, Jean-Marie

    2014-04-01

    Dickeya dadantii is a phytopathogenic enterobacterium that causes soft rot disease in a wide range of plant species. Maceration, an apparent symptom of the disease, is the result of the synthesis and secretion of a set of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (PCWDEs), but many additional factors are required for full virulence. Among these, osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) and the PecS transcriptional regulator are essential virulence factors. Several cellular functions are controlled by both OPGs and PecS. Strains devoid of OPGs display a pleiotropic phenotype including total loss of virulence, loss of motility and severe reduction in the synthesis of PCWDEs. PecS is one of the major regulators of virulence in D. dadantii, acting mainly as a repressor of various cellular functions including virulence, motility and synthesis of PCWDEs. The present study shows that inactivation of the pecS gene restored virulence in a D. dadantii strain devoid of OPGs, indicating that PecS cannot be de-repressed in strains devoid of OPGs.

  8. Molecular basis of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus mastitis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Le Maréchal

    Full Text Available 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.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.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.

  9. Basis of Virulence in Enterotoxin-Mediated Staphylococcal Food Poisoning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie L. Fisher

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins are a superfamily of secreted virulence factors that share structural and functional similarities and possess potent superantigenic activity causing disruptions in adaptive immunity. The enterotoxins can be separated into two groups; the classical (SEA-SEE and the newer (SEG-SElY and counting enterotoxin groups. Many members from both these groups contribute to the pathogenesis of several serious human diseases, including toxic shock syndrome, pneumonia, and sepsis-related infections. Additionally, many members demonstrate emetic activity and are frequently responsible for food poisoning outbreaks. Due to their robust tolerance to denaturing, the enterotoxins retain activity in food contaminated previously with S. aureus. The genes encoding the enterotoxins are found mostly on a variety of different mobile genetic elements. Therefore, the presence of enterotoxins can vary widely among different S. aureus isolates. Additionally, the enterotoxins are regulated by multiple, and often overlapping, regulatory pathways, which are influenced by environmental factors. In this review, we also will focus on the newer enterotoxins (SEG-SElY, which matter for the role of S. aureus as an enteropathogen, and summarize our current knowledge on their prevalence in recent food poisoning outbreaks. Finally, we will review the current literature regarding the key elements that govern the complex regulation of enterotoxins, the molecular mechanisms underlying their enterotoxigenic, superantigenic, and immunomodulatory functions, and discuss how these activities may collectively contribute to the overall manifestation of staphylococcal food poisoning.

  10. Omics strategies for revealing Yersinia pestis virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Lei; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Dongsheng; Cui, Yujun

    2012-01-01

    Omics has remarkably changed the way we investigate and understand life. Omics differs from traditional hypothesis-driven research because it is a discovery-driven approach. Mass datasets produced from omics-based studies require experts from different fields to reveal the salient features behind these data. In this review, we summarize omics-driven studies to reveal the virulence features of Yersinia pestis through genomics, trascriptomics, proteomics, interactomics, etc. These studies serve as foundations for further hypothesis-driven research and help us gain insight into Y. pestis pathogenesis. PMID:23248778

  11. Virulence determinants of pandemic influenza viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tscherne, Donna M.; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2011-01-01

    Influenza A viruses cause recurrent, seasonal epidemics and occasional global pandemics with devastating levels of morbidity and mortality. The ability of influenza A viruses to adapt to various hosts and undergo reassortment events ensures constant generation of new strains with unpredictable degrees of pathogenicity, transmissibility, and pandemic potential. Currently, the combination of factors that drives the emergence of pandemic influenza is unclear, making it impossible to foresee the details of a future outbreak. Identification and characterization of influenza A virus virulence determinants may provide insight into genotypic signatures of pathogenicity as well as a more thorough understanding of the factors that give rise to pandemics. PMID:21206092

  12. 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

  13. The Trk Potassium Transporter Is Required for RsmB-Mediated Activation of Virulence in the Phytopathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Rita S; Xavier, Karina B

    2016-01-15

    Pectobacterium wasabiae (previously known as Erwinia carotovora) is an important plant pathogen that regulates the production of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes through an N-acyl homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing system and through the GacS/GacA two-component system (also known as ExpS/ExpA). At high cell density, activation of GacS/GacA induces the expression of RsmB, a noncoding RNA that is essential for the activation of virulence in this bacterium. A genetic screen to identify regulators of RsmB revealed that mutants defective in components of a putative Trk potassium transporter (trkH and trkA) had decreased rsmB expression. Further analysis of these mutants showed that changes in potassium concentration influenced rsmB expression and consequent tissue damage in potato tubers and that this regulation required an intact Trk system. Regulation of rsmB expression by potassium via the Trk system occurred even in the absence of the GacS/GacA system, demonstrating that these systems act independently and are both required for full activation of RsmB and for the downstream induction of virulence in potato infection assays. Overall, our results identified potassium as an essential environmental factor regulating the Rsm system, and the consequent induction of virulence, in the plant pathogen P. wasabiae. Crop losses from bacterial diseases caused by pectolytic bacteria are a major problem in agriculture. By studying the regulatory pathways involved in controlling the expression of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes in Pectobacterium wasabiae, we showed that the Trk potassium transport system plays an important role in the regulation of these pathways. The data presented further identify potassium as an important environmental factor in the regulation of virulence in this plant pathogen. We showed that a reduction in virulence can be achieved by increasing the extracellular concentration of potassium. Therefore, this work highlights how elucidation of the

  14. Elongation factor P mediates a novel post-transcriptional regulatory pathway critical for bacterial virulence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zou, S Betty; Roy, Hervé; Ibba, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens detect and integrate multiple environmental signals to coordinate appropriate changes in gene expression including the selective expression of virulence factors, changes to metabolism and the activation of stress response systems. Mutations that abolish the ability of the path......Bacterial pathogens detect and integrate multiple environmental signals to coordinate appropriate changes in gene expression including the selective expression of virulence factors, changes to metabolism and the activation of stress response systems. Mutations that abolish the ability...... our laboratory and others now suggests that EF-P, previously thought to be essential, instead plays an ancillary role in translation by regulating the synthesis of a relatively limited subset of proteins. Other observations suggest that the eukaryotic homolog of EF-P, eIF5A, may illicit similar...

  15. Staphylococcus aureus clonal dynamics and virulence factors in children with atopic dermatitis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lomholt, Hans Bredsted; Andersen, KE; Kilian, Mogens

    2005-01-01

    A prospective cohort study was undertaken to determine the clonal dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus colonization and infection during 1 y in children with atopic dermatitis, and to correlate specific clones, accessory gene regulator (agr) groups, and production of virulence factors with eczema......, toxins, and were assigned to agr groups. S. aureus colonization patterns ranged from rare colonization over transient colonization to persistent colonization by a single clone or a dynamic exchange of up to five clones. Production of no single virulence factor including superantigens and toxins...... activity. Eleven children were examined every 6 wk with swaps taken from active eczema, anterior nose, axillae and perineum, and scoring of eczema activity by severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD). Individual S. aureus clonal types were identified and examined for production of superantigens...

  16. A unique virulence factor for proliferation and dwarfism in plants identified from a phytopathogenic bacterium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshi, Ayaka; Oshima, Kenro; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Ishii, Yoshiko; Ozeki, Johji; Hashimoto, Masayoshi; Komatsu, Ken; Kagiwada, Satoshi; Yamaji, Yasuyuki; Namba, Shigetou

    2009-01-01

    One of the most important themes in agricultural science is the identification of virulence factors involved in plant disease. Here, we show that a single virulence factor, tengu-su inducer (TENGU), induces witches' broom and dwarfism and is a small secreted protein of the plant-pathogenic bacterium, phytoplasma. When tengu was expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, these plants showed symptoms of witches' broom and dwarfism, which are typical of phytoplasma infection. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana lines expressing tengu exhibited similar symptoms, confirming the effects of tengu expression on plants. Although the localization of phytoplasma was restricted to the phloem, TENGU protein was detected in apical buds by immunohistochemical analysis, suggesting that TENGU was transported from the phloem to other cells. Microarray analyses showed that auxin-responsive genes were significantly down-regulated in the tengu-transgenic plants compared with GUS-transgenic control plants. These results suggest that TENGU inhibits auxin-related pathways, thereby affecting plant development. PMID:19329488

  17. Controlled branched-chain amino acids auxotrophy in Listeria monocytogenes allows isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, Moran; Lobel, Lior; Borovok, Ilya; Sigal, Nadejda; Herskovits, Anat A

    2018-03-01

    Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a saprophyte and intracellular pathogen. Transition to the pathogenic state relies on sensing of host-derived metabolites, yet it remains unclear how these are recognized and how they mediate virulence gene regulation. We previously found that low availability of isoleucine signals Lm to activate the virulent state. This response is dependent on CodY, a global regulator and isoleucine sensor. Isoleucine-bound CodY represses metabolic pathways including branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) biosynthesis, however under BCAA depletion, as occurs during infection, BCAA biosynthesis is upregulated and isoleucine-unbound CodY activates virulence genes. While isoleucine was revealed as an important input signal, it was not identified how internal levels are controlled during infection. Here we show that Lm regulates BCAA biosynthesis via CodY and via a riboregulator located upstream to the BCAA biosynthesis genes, named Rli60. rli60 is transcribed when BCAA levels drop, forming a ribosome-mediated attenuator that cis-regulates the downstream genes according to BCAA supply. Notably, we found that Rli60 restricts BCAA production, essentially starving Lm, a mechanism that is directly linked to virulence, as it controls the internal isoleucine pool and thereby CodY activity. This controlled BCAA auxotrophy likely evolved to enable isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

  18. Controlled branched-chain amino acids auxotrophy in Listeria monocytogenes allows isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moran Brenner

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes (Lm is a saprophyte and intracellular pathogen. Transition to the pathogenic state relies on sensing of host-derived metabolites, yet it remains unclear how these are recognized and how they mediate virulence gene regulation. We previously found that low availability of isoleucine signals Lm to activate the virulent state. This response is dependent on CodY, a global regulator and isoleucine sensor. Isoleucine-bound CodY represses metabolic pathways including branched-chain amino acids (BCAA biosynthesis, however under BCAA depletion, as occurs during infection, BCAA biosynthesis is upregulated and isoleucine-unbound CodY activates virulence genes. While isoleucine was revealed as an important input signal, it was not identified how internal levels are controlled during infection. Here we show that Lm regulates BCAA biosynthesis via CodY and via a riboregulator located upstream to the BCAA biosynthesis genes, named Rli60. rli60 is transcribed when BCAA levels drop, forming a ribosome-mediated attenuator that cis-regulates the downstream genes according to BCAA supply. Notably, we found that Rli60 restricts BCAA production, essentially starving Lm, a mechanism that is directly linked to virulence, as it controls the internal isoleucine pool and thereby CodY activity. This controlled BCAA auxotrophy likely evolved to enable isoleucine to serve as a host signal and virulence effector.

  19. Biatriosporin D displays anti-virulence activity through decreasing the intracellular cAMP levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Ming; Chang, Wenqiang; Shi, Hongzhuo; Zhou, Yanhui; Zheng, Sha; Li, Ying; Li, Lin; Lou, Hongxiang, E-mail: louhongxiang@sdu.edu.cn

    2017-05-01

    Candidiasis has long been a serious human health problem, and novel antifungal approaches are greatly needed. During both superficial and systemic infection, C. albicans relies on a battery of virulence factors, such as adherence, filamentation, and biofilm formation. In this study, we found that a small phenolic compound, Biatriosporin D (BD), isolated from an endolichenic fungus, Biatriospora sp., displayed anti-virulence activity by inhibiting adhesion, hyphal morphogenesis and biofilm formation of C. albicans. Of note is the high efficacy of BD in preventing filamentation with a much lower dose than its MIC value. Furthermore, BD prolonged the survival of worms infected by C. albicans in vivo. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis, exogenous cAMP rescue experiments and intracellular cAMP measurements revealed that BD regulates the Ras1-cAMP-Efg1 pathway by reducing cAMP levels to inhibit the hyphal formation. Further investigation showed that BD could upregulate Dpp3 to synthesize much more farnesol, which could inhibit the activity of Cdc35 and reduce the generation of cAMP. Taken together, these findings indicate that BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol that directly inhibits the Cdc35 activity, reducing intracellular cAMP and thereby disrupting the morphologic transition and attenuating the virulence of C. albicans. Our study uncovers the underlying mechanism of BD as a prodrug in fighting against pathogenic C. albicans and provides a potential application of BD in fighting clinically relevant fungal infections by targeting fungal virulence. - Highlights: • BD inhibits the filamentation of C. albicans in multiple hypha-inducing conditions. • BD can prolong the survival of nematodes infected by C. albicans. • BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol. • BD reduces intracellular cAMP and regulates Ras1-cAMP-PKA pathway.

  20. 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.

  1. In vivo transcriptional profiling of Listeria monocytogenes and mutagenesis identify new virulence factors involved in infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Camejo

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Listeria monocytogenes is a human intracellular pathogen able to colonize host tissues after ingestion of contaminated food, causing severe invasive infections. In order to gain a better understanding of the nature of host-pathogen interactions, we studied the L. monocytogenes genome expression during mouse infection. In the spleen of infected mice, approximately 20% of the Listeria genome is differentially expressed, essentially through gene activation, as compared to exponential growth in rich broth medium. Data presented here show that, during infection, Listeria is in an active multiplication phase, as revealed by the high expression of genes involved in replication, cell division and multiplication. In vivo bacterial growth requires increased expression of genes involved in adaptation of the bacterial metabolism and stress responses, in particular to oxidative stress. Listeria interaction with its host induces cell wall metabolism and surface expression of virulence factors. During infection, L. monocytogenes also activates subversion mechanisms of host defenses, including resistance to cationic peptides, peptidoglycan modifications and release of muramyl peptides. We show that the in vivo differential expression of the Listeria genome is coordinated by a complex regulatory network, with a central role for the PrfA-SigB interplay. In particular, L. monocytogenes up regulates in vivo the two major virulence regulators, PrfA and VirR, and their downstream effectors. Mutagenesis of in vivo induced genes allowed the identification of novel L. monocytogenes virulence factors, including an LPXTG surface protein, suggesting a role for S-layer glycoproteins and for cadmium efflux system in Listeria virulence.

  2. Biatriosporin D displays anti-virulence activity through decreasing the intracellular cAMP levels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Ming; Chang, Wenqiang; Shi, Hongzhuo; Zhou, Yanhui; Zheng, Sha; Li, Ying; Li, Lin; Lou, Hongxiang

    2017-01-01

    Candidiasis has long been a serious human health problem, and novel antifungal approaches are greatly needed. During both superficial and systemic infection, C. albicans relies on a battery of virulence factors, such as adherence, filamentation, and biofilm formation. In this study, we found that a small phenolic compound, Biatriosporin D (BD), isolated from an endolichenic fungus, Biatriospora sp., displayed anti-virulence activity by inhibiting adhesion, hyphal morphogenesis and biofilm formation of C. albicans. Of note is the high efficacy of BD in preventing filamentation with a much lower dose than its MIC value. Furthermore, BD prolonged the survival of worms infected by C. albicans in vivo. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis, exogenous cAMP rescue experiments and intracellular cAMP measurements revealed that BD regulates the Ras1-cAMP-Efg1 pathway by reducing cAMP levels to inhibit the hyphal formation. Further investigation showed that BD could upregulate Dpp3 to synthesize much more farnesol, which could inhibit the activity of Cdc35 and reduce the generation of cAMP. Taken together, these findings indicate that BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol that directly inhibits the Cdc35 activity, reducing intracellular cAMP and thereby disrupting the morphologic transition and attenuating the virulence of C. albicans. Our study uncovers the underlying mechanism of BD as a prodrug in fighting against pathogenic C. albicans and provides a potential application of BD in fighting clinically relevant fungal infections by targeting fungal virulence. - Highlights: • BD inhibits the filamentation of C. albicans in multiple hypha-inducing conditions. • BD can prolong the survival of nematodes infected by C. albicans. • BD stimulates the expression of Dpp3 to synthesize more farnesol. • BD reduces intracellular cAMP and regulates Ras1-cAMP-PKA pathway.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. [Virulence of Sporothrix globosa in murine models].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz Choappa, Rodrigo; Pérez Gaete, Salomón; Rodríguez Badilla, Valentina; Vieille Oyarzo, Peggy; Opazo Sanchez, Héctor

    The sporothricosis disease is an infection caused by species included in Sporothrix schenkii complex. Verify the virulence of a strain of S. globosa using two different concentrations of inoculum by intraperitoneally and subcutaneously, into a mouse model. Nonrandomized pilot study, in murine inoculated with a strain of S. globosa (CBS 14.076M) by intraperitoneally and subcutaneously with inoculum concentrations of 0.5 and 4 McFarland. For this purpose 18 rodents CF-1 (ISP, Santiago, Chile) were used. The studied strain did not induce illness or injury on animals, they all survived and neither the tissue culture nor the histopathological analysis showed fungal growth or suggestive infection by organ abnormalities. The S. globosa strain did not present any virulence enough to cause disease at 0.5 and 4.0 McFarland concentration inoculum when inoculated in both intraperitoneally and subcutaneously, in murine models. Copyright © 2016 Asociación Argentina de Microbiología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  6. Porphyromonas gingivalis : Its virulence and vaccine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nymphea Pandit

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The microbial florae in adult periodontitis lesions are comprised of anaerobic rods with Porphyromonas gingivalis as one of the major components (Slots 1976; Slots 1979; and Tanner et al., 1979. P. gingivalis is a black-pigmented gram-negative anaerobic rod and a secondary colonizer of dental plaque requiring antecedent organisms. The presence of this organism either alone or as a mixed infection with other bacteria and with the absence of beneficial species appears to be essential for disease activity. It is a predominant member of the subgingival microbiota in disease. It possesses and "excretes" numerous potentially toxic virulence factors. Aim of this study is to perform a systematic review of studies on P. gingivalis and its virulence factors with a special focus on its vaccine. Materials and Methods: An electronic and manual search based on agreed search phrases between the primary investigator and a secondary investigator was performed for the literature review till January 2014. The articles that were identified by this systematic review (total of 190 were analyzed in detail, which included the study of inference and conclusion. Conclusions: Within the limits of this systematic review, it can be concluded that P. gingivalis induce immune inflammatory response in periodontitis subjects. Therapeutic vaccines need to be developed and studied for their efficacy in controlling periodontitis.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Detection of virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ibrahim Eldaghayes

    2018-03-20

    Mar 20, 2018 ... isolated from goats. This discrepancies may indicate that B. melitensis field strains prevailing in Egypt are more virulent than the strains of B. melitensis isolated from caprines in Iran. As, it was emphasized that the. T4SS of Brucella encoded by the virB operon is a major virulence factor (Delrue et al., 2005).

  10. Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can often lead to social conflict as cheating mutants that benefit from collective action, but do not contribute to it, can arise and locally outcompete cooperators within hosts, leading to loss of virulence. There is a wide range of in vivo st...

  11. Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Properties in Escherichia coli ...

    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.

  12. 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

  13. A two-component regulatory system, pehR-pehS, controls endopolygalacturonase production and virulence in the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flego, D; Marits, R; Eriksson, A R; Kõiv, V; Karlsson, M B; Heikinheimo, R; Palva, E T

    2000-04-01

    Genes coding for the main virulence determinants of the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora, the plant cell wall-degrading enzymes, are under the coordinate control of global regulator systems including both positive and negative factors. In addition to this global control, some virulence determinants are subject to specific regulation. We have previously shown that mutations in the pehR locus result in reduced virulence and impaired production of one of these enzymes, an endopolygalacturonase (PehA). In contrast, these pehR strains produce essentially wild-type levels of other extracellular enzymes including pectate lyases and cellulases. In this work, we characterized the pehR locus and showed that the DNA sequence is composed of two genes, designated pehR and pehS, present in an operon. Mutations in either pehR or pehS caused a Peh-negative phenotype and resulted in reduced virulence on tobacco seedlings. Complementation experiments indicated that both genes are required for transcriptional activation of the endopolygalacturonase gene, pehA, as well as restoration of virulence. Structural characterization of the pehR-pehS operon demonstrated that the corresponding polypeptides are highly similar to the two-component transcriptional regulators PhoP-PhoQ of both Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Functional similarity of PehR-PehS with PhoP-PhoQ of E. coli and S. typhimurium was demonstrated by genetic complementation.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Significance of hyphae formation in virulence of Candida tropicalis and transcriptomic analysis of hyphal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Cen; Li, Zhen; Zhang, Lihua; Tian, Yuan; Dong, Danfeng; Peng, Yibing

    2016-11-01

    Recently, the proportion of Candida tropicalis in clinical isolates has significantly increased. Some C. tropicalis strains colonize the skin or mucosal surfaces as commensals; others trigger invasive infection. To date, the pathogenicity of C. tropicalis has not been thoroughly researched. This study reports several virulence factors, including biofilm and hyphae formation, proteinase, phospholipase, lipase and hemolytic activity, in 52 clinical isolates of C. tropicalis collected from five hospitals in four provinces of China. Some C. tropicalis tended to produce more hyphae than others in the same circumstance. Six C. tropicalis strains with different morphologies were injected into mice via the tail vein, and the survival proportions and fungal burdens of the strains were evaluated. Hyphal production by C. tropicalis was associated with stronger virulence. RNA sequencing revealed that C. tropicalis with more hyphae up-regulated several genes involved in morphological differentiation and oxidative response, including IF2, Atx1, and Sod2. It appears that hyphal formation plays a vital role in the pathogenicity of C. tropicalis, and interacts with the oxidative stress response to strengthen the organism's virulence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Coregulation of host-adapted metabolism and virulence by pathogenic yersiniae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Dersch, Petra

    2014-01-01

    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 Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica and the causative agent of plague, Yersinia 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 interbacterial 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. PMID:25368845

  20. Signal Integration in Quorum Sensing Enables Cross-Species Induction of Virulence in Pectobacterium wasabiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Rita S; Nadal-Jimenez, Pol; Carvalho, André F P; Vieira, Filipe J D; Xavier, Karina B

    2017-05-23

    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 other species, which are already exploiting host resources. IMPORTANCE Quorum-sensing mechanisms enable bacteria to communicate through small signal molecules and coordinate group behaviors. Often, bacteria have various quorum-sensing receptors and integrate information with other signal transduction pathways, presumably allowing them to respond to different ecological contexts. The plant pathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae has two N-acyl homoserine lactone

  1. A Novel ESAT-6 Secretion System-Secreted Protein EsxX of Community-Associated Staphylococcus aureus Lineage ST398 Contributes to Immune Evasion and Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yingxin Dai

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The ESAT-6 secretion system (ESS has been reported to contribute to the virulence and pathogenicity of several Staphylococcus aureus strains such as USA300 and Newman. However, the role of the ESS in community-associated S. aureus (CA-SA lineage ST398 in China is not well understood. By comparing the ess locus of ST398 with the published S. aureus sequence in the NCBI database, we found one gene in the ess locus encoding a novel WXG superfamily protein that is highly conserved only in ST398. LC-MS/MS and Western blot analysis revealed that this protein is a novel secreted protein controlled by the ST398 ESS, and we named the protein EsxX. Although EsxX was not under the control of the accessory gene regulator like many other virulence factors and had no influence on several phenotypes of ST398, such as growth, hemolysis, and biofilm formation, it showed important impacts on immune evasion and virulence in ST398. An esxX deletion mutant led to significantly reduced resistance to neutrophil killing and decreased virulence in murine skin and blood infection models, indicating its essential contribution to the evasion of innate host defense and virulence to support the pathogenesis of ST398 infections. The function of this novel secreted protein EsxX might help us better understand the role of the ESS in the virulence and epidemic success of the CA-SA lineage ST398.

  2. A Novel ESAT-6 Secretion System-Secreted Protein EsxX of Community-Associated Staphylococcus aureus Lineage ST398 Contributes to Immune Evasion and Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Yingxin; Wang, Yanan; Liu, Qian; Gao, Qianqian; Lu, Huiying; Meng, Hongwei; Qin, Juanxiu; Hu, Mo; Li, Min

    2017-01-01

    The ESAT-6 secretion system (ESS) has been reported to contribute to the virulence and pathogenicity of several Staphylococcus aureus strains such as USA300 and Newman. However, the role of the ESS in community-associated S. aureus (CA-SA) lineage ST398 in China is not well understood. By comparing the ess locus of ST398 with the published S. aureus sequence in the NCBI database, we found one gene in the ess locus encoding a novel WXG superfamily protein that is highly conserved only in ST398. LC-MS/MS and Western blot analysis revealed that this protein is a novel secreted protein controlled by the ST398 ESS, and we named the protein EsxX. Although EsxX was not under the control of the accessory gene regulator like many other virulence factors and had no influence on several phenotypes of ST398, such as growth, hemolysis, and biofilm formation, it showed important impacts on immune evasion and virulence in ST398. An esxX deletion mutant led to significantly reduced resistance to neutrophil killing and decreased virulence in murine skin and blood infection models, indicating its essential contribution to the evasion of innate host defense and virulence to support the pathogenesis of ST398 infections. The function of this novel secreted protein EsxX might help us better understand the role of the ESS in the virulence and epidemic success of the CA-SA lineage ST398.

  3. New insights into virulence mechanisms of rice pathogen Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae strain RS-1 following exposure to ß-lactam antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bin; Ge, Mengyu; Zhang, Yang; Wang, Li; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Wang, Yanli; Sun, Guochang; Chen, Gongyou

    2016-02-26

    Recent research has shown that pathogen virulence can be altered by exposure to antibiotics, even when the growth rate is unaffected. Investigating this phenomenon provides new insights into understanding the virulence mechanisms of bacterial pathogens. This study investigates the phenotypic and transcriptomic responses of the rice pathogenic bacterium Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae (Aaa) strain RS-1 to ß-lactam antibiotics especially Ampicillin (Amp). Our results indicate that exposure to Amp does not influence bacterial growth and biofilm formation, but alters the virulence, colonization capacity, composition of extracellular polymeric substances and secretion of Type VI secretion system (T6SS) effector Hcp. This attenuation in virulence is linked to unique or differential expression of known virulence-associated genes based on genome-wide transcriptomic analysis. The reliability of expression data generated by RNA-Seq was verified with quantitative real-time PCR of 21 selected T6SS genes, where significant down-regulation in expression of hcp gene, corresponding to the reduction in secretion of Hcp, was observed under exposure to Amp. Hcp is highlighted as a potential target for Amp, with similar changes observed in virulence-associated phenotypes between exposure to Amp and mutation of hcp gene. In addition, Hcp secretion is reduced in knockout mutants of 4 differentially expressed T6SS genes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, James J; Ebert, Dieter

    2008-02-01

    The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonoptimal virulence. Fitness improvements soon after invasion may proceed through many steps with wide changes in virulence, because fitness depends on transmission as well as virulence, and transmission improvements can overwhelm nonoptimal virulence. This process is highly sensitive to mutation supply and the strength of selection. Importantly, the same invasion principle applies to the evolution of established parasites, whenever mutants arise that overcome host immunity/resistance. A host population may consequently experience repeated invasions of new parasite variants and possible large shifts in virulence as it evolves in an arms race with the parasite. An experimental study of phage lysis time and examples of mammalian viruses matching some of these characteristics are reviewed.

  7. Toxin-independent virulence of Bacillus anthracis in rabbits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Levy

    Full Text Available The accepted paradigm states that anthrax is both an invasive and toxinogenic disease and that the toxins play a major role in pathogenicity. In the guinea pig (GP model we have previously shown that deletion of all three toxin components results in a relatively moderate attenuation in virulence, indicating that B. anthracis possesses an additional toxin-independent virulence mechanism. To characterize this toxin-independent mechanism in anthrax disease, we developed a new rabbit model by intravenous injection (IV of B. anthracis encapsulated vegetative cells, artificially creating bacteremia. Using this model we were able to demonstrate that also in rabbits, B. anthracis mutants lacking the toxins are capable of killing the host within 24 hours. This virulent trait depends on the activity of AtxA in the presence of pXO2, as, in the absence of the toxin genes, deletion of either component abolishes virulence. Furthermore, this IV virulence depends mainly on AtxA rather than the whole pXO1. A similar pattern was shown in the GP model using subcutaneous (SC administration of spores of the mutant strains, demonstrating the generality of the phenomenon. The virulent strains showed higher bacteremia levels and more efficient tissue dissemination; however our interpretation is that tissue dissemination per se is not the main determinant of virulence whose exact nature requires further elucidation.

  8. Electronic cigarette inhalation alters innate immunity and airway cytokines while increasing the virulence of colonizing bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, John H; Lyes, Matthew; Sladewski, Katherine; Enany, Shymaa; McEachern, Elisa; Mathew, Denzil P; Das, Soumita; Moshensky, Alexander; Bapat, Sagar; Pride, David T; Ongkeko, Weg M; Crotty Alexander, Laura E

    2016-06-01

    Electronic (e)-cigarette use is rapidly rising, with 20 % of Americans ages 25-44 now using these drug delivery devices. E-cigarette users expose their airways, cells of host defense, and colonizing bacteria to e-cigarette vapor (EV). Here, we report that exposure of human epithelial cells at the air-liquid interface to fresh EV (vaped from an e-cigarette device) resulted in dose-dependent cell death. After exposure to EV, cells of host defense-epithelial cells, alveolar macrophages, and neutrophils-had reduced antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (SA). Mouse inhalation of EV for 1 h daily for 4 weeks led to alterations in inflammatory markers within the airways and elevation of an acute phase reactant in serum. Upon exposure to e-cigarette vapor extract (EVE), airway colonizer SA had increased biofilm formation, adherence and invasion of epithelial cells, resistance to human antimicrobial peptide LL-37, and up-regulation of virulence genes. EVE-exposed SA were more virulent in a mouse model of pneumonia. These data suggest that e-cigarettes may be toxic to airway cells, suppress host defenses, and promote inflammation over time, while also promoting virulence of colonizing bacteria. Acute exposure to e-cigarette vapor (EV) is cytotoxic to airway cells in vitro. Acute exposure to EV decreases macrophage and neutrophil antimicrobial function. Inhalation of EV alters immunomodulating cytokines in the airways of mice. Inhalation of EV leads to increased markers of inflammation in BAL and serum. Staphylococcus aureus become more virulent when exposed to EV.

  9. Polyamines Are Required for Virulence in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jelsbak, Lotte; Thomsen, Line Elnif; Wallrodt, Inke

    2012-01-01

    for studying typhoid fever. Central to its virulence are two major virulence loci Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 and 2 (SPI1 and SPI2). SPI1 promotes invasion of epithelial cells, whereas SPI2 enables S. Typhimurium to survive and proliferate within specialized compartments inside host cells. In this study......, we show that an S. Typhimurium polyamine mutant is defective for invasion, intracellular survival, killing of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and systemic infection of the mouse model of typhoid fever. Virulence of the mutant could be restored by genetic complementation, and invasion...

  10. Rap phosphatase of virulence plasmid pXO1 inhibits Bacillus anthracis sporulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongiorni, Cristina; Stoessel, Ricarda; Shoemaker, Dorinda; Perego, Marta

    2006-01-01

    This study shows that the Bacillus anthracis pXO1 virulence plasmid carries a Rap-Phr system, BXA0205, which regulates sporulation initiation in this organism. The BXA0205Rap protein was shown to dephosphorylate the Spo0F response regulator intermediate of the phosphorelay signal transduction system that regulates the initiation of the developmental pathway in response to environmental, metabolic, and cell cycle signals. The activity of the Rap protein was shown to be inhibited by the carboxy-terminal pentapeptide generated through an export-import processing pathway from the associated BXA0205Phr protein. Deregulation of the Rap activity by either overexpression or lack of the Phr pentapeptide resulted in severe inhibition of sporulation. Five additional Rap-Phr encoding systems were identified on the chromosome of B. anthracis, one of which, BA3790-3791, also affected sporulation initiation. The results suggest that the plasmid-borne Rap-Phr system may provide a selective advantage to the virulence of B. anthracis.

  11. Rap Phosphatase of Virulence Plasmid pXO1 Inhibits Bacillus anthracis Sporulation†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bongiorni, Cristina; Stoessel, Ricarda; Shoemaker, Dorinda; Perego, Marta

    2006-01-01

    This study shows that the Bacillus anthracis pXO1 virulence plasmid carries a Rap-Phr system, BXA0205, which regulates sporulation initiation in this organism. The BXA0205Rap protein was shown to dephosphorylate the Spo0F response regulator intermediate of the phosphorelay signal transduction system that regulates the initiation of the developmental pathway in response to environmental, metabolic, and cell cycle signals. The activity of the Rap protein was shown to be inhibited by the carboxy-terminal pentapeptide generated through an export-import processing pathway from the associated BXA0205Phr protein. Deregulation of the Rap activity by either overexpression or lack of the Phr pentapeptide resulted in severe inhibition of sporulation. Five additional Rap-Phr encoding systems were identified on the chromosome of B. anthracis, one of which, BA3790-3791, also affected sporulation initiation. The results suggest that the plasmid-borne Rap-Phr system may provide a selective advantage to the virulence of B. anthracis. PMID:16385039

  12. Biochemical basis for activation of virulence genes by bile salts in Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Cancel, Giomar; Orth, Kim

    2017-07-04

    Bile salts act as a stressor to bacteria that transit the intestinal tract. Enteric pathogens have hijacked bile as an intestinal signal to regulate virulence factors. We recently demonstrated that Vibrio parahemolyticus senses bile salts via a heterodimeric receptor formed by the periplasmic domains of inner-membrane proteins VtrA and VtrC. Crystal structures of the periplasmic complex reveal that VtrA and VtrC form a β-barrel that binds bile salts in its hydrophobic interior to activate the VtrA cytoplasmic DNA-binding domain. Proteins with the same domain arrangement as VtrA and VtrC are widespread in Vibrio and related bacteria, where they are involved in regulating virulence and other unknown functions. Here we discuss our findings and review current knowledge on VtrA and VtrC homologs. We propose that signaling by these membrane-bound transcription factors can be advantageous for the regulation of membrane and secretory proteins.

  13. Biochemical basis for activation of virulence genes by bile salts in Vibrio parahaemolyticus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bile salts act as a stressor to bacteria that transit the intestinal tract. Enteric pathogens have hijacked bile as an intestinal signal to regulate virulence factors. We recently demonstrated that Vibrio parahemolyticus senses bile salts via a heterodimeric receptor formed by the periplasmic domains of inner-membrane proteins VtrA and VtrC. Crystal structures of the periplasmic complex reveal that VtrA and VtrC form a β-barrel that binds bile salts in its hydrophobic interior to activate the VtrA cytoplasmic DNA-binding domain. Proteins with the same domain arrangement as VtrA and VtrC are widespread in Vibrio and related bacteria, where they are involved in regulating virulence and other unknown functions. Here we discuss our findings and review current knowledge on VtrA and VtrC homologs. We propose that signaling by these membrane-bound transcription factors can be advantageous for the regulation of membrane and secretory proteins. PMID:28129014

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternkopf Lillebæk, Eva Maria; Lambert Nielsen, Stine; Scheel Thomasen, Rikke; Færgeman, Nils J; Kallipolitis, Birgitte H

    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 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 in the intestinal environment. In the gastrointestinal phase of infection, the bacterium encounters a variety of antimicrobial agents, including medium- and long-chain free fatty acids that are commonly found in our diet and as active components of bile. Here we show that subinhibitory concentrations of specific antimicrobial free fatty acids act to downregulate transcription of PrfA-activated virulence genes. Interestingly, the inhibitory effect is also evident in cells encoding a constitutively active variant of PrfA. Collectively, our data suggest that antimicrobial medium- and long-chain free fatty acids may act as signals to prevent PrfA-mediated activation of virulence genes in environments where PrfA activation is not required, such as in food and the gastrointestinal tract. Copyright © 2017 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. Pouring Salt on a Wound: Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence Factors Alter Na+ and Cl− Flux in the Lung

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballok, Alicia E.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen with multiple niches in the human body, including the lung. P. aeruginosa infections are particularly damaging or fatal for patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis (CF). To establish an infection, P. aeruginosa relies on a suite of virulence factors, including lipopolysaccharide, phospholipases, exoproteases, phenazines, outer membrane vesicles, type III secreted effectors, flagella, and pili. These factors not only damage the epithelial cell lining but also induce changes in cell physiology and function such as cell shape, membrane permeability, and protein synthesis. While such virulence factors are important in initial infection, many become dysregulated or nonfunctional during the course of chronic infection. Recent work on the virulence factors alkaline protease (AprA) and CF transmembrane conductance regulator inhibitory factor (Cif) show that P. aeruginosa also perturbs epithelial ion transport and osmosis, which may be important for the long-term survival of this microbe in the lung. Here we discuss the literature regarding host physiology-altering virulence factors with a focus on Cif and AprA and their potential roles in chronic infection and immune evasion. PMID:23836869

  16. FvSTR1, a striatin orthologue in Fusarium virguliforme, is required for asexual development and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Kazi T; Bond, Jason P; Fakhoury, Ahmad M

    2017-08-01

    The soil-borne fungus Fusarium virguliforme causes sudden death syndrome (SDS), one of the most devastating diseases of soybean in North and South America. Despite the importance of SDS, a clear understanding of the fungal pathogenicity factors that affect the development of this disease is still lacking. We have identified FvSTR1, a F. virguliforme gene, which encodes a protein similar to a family of striatin proteins previously reported to regulate signalling pathways, cell differentiation, conidiation, sexual development, and virulence in filamentous fungi. Striatins are multi-domain proteins that serve as scaffolding units in the striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex in fungi and animals. To address the function of a striatin homologue in F. virguliforme, FvSTR1 was disrupted and functionally characterized using a gene knock out strategy. The resulting Fvstr1 mutants were largely impaired in conidiation and pigmentation, and displayed defective conidia and conidiophore morphology compared to the wild-type and ectopic transformants. Greenhouse virulence assays revealed that the disruption of FvSTR1 resulted in complete loss of virulence in F. virguliforme. Microtome studies using fluorescence microscopy showed that the Fvstr1 mutants were defective in their ability to colonize the vascular system. The Fvstr1 mutants also showed a reduced transcript level of genes involved in asexual reproduction and in the production of secondary metabolites. These results suggest that FvSTR1 has a critical role in asexual development and virulence in F. virguliforme.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Helicobacter pylori virulence factors in development of gastric carcinoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ming-Yi; Liu, Xiao-Fei; Gao, Xiao-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of gastric carcinoma. However, only a relatively small proportion of individuals infected with H. pylori develop gastric carcinoma. Differences in the incidence of gastric carcinoma among infected individuals can be explained, at least partly, by the different genotypes of H. pylori virulence factors. Thus far, many virulence factors of H. pylori, such as Cag PAI, VacA, OMPs and DupA, have been reported to be involved in the development of gastric cancer. The risk of developing gastric cancer during H. pylori infection is affected by specific host-microbe interactions that are independent of H. pylori virulence factors. In this review, we discuss virulence factors of H. pylori and their role in the development of gastric carcinoma that will provide further understanding of the biological interactions of H. pylori with the host.

  20. Molecular Detection of Virulence Genes and Antibiotic Resistance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Pathogen, E. coli O157:H7, virulence genes, antibiotic-resistance, beef meat. Correspondence: ... box to the laboratory for further processing. Isolation and identification of ... Technologies (IDT) Inc, U.S.A. The sequences and annealing ...

  1. Sporangiospore size dimorphism is linked to virulence of Mucor circinelloides

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, C.H.; Cervantes, M.; Springer, D.J.; Boekhout, T.; Ruiz-Vazquez, R.M.; Torres-Martinez, S.R.; Heitman, J.; Lee, S.S.

    2011-01-01

    Mucor circinelloides is a zygomycete fungus and an emerging opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised patients, especially transplant recipients and in some cases otherwise healthy individuals. We have discovered a novel example of size dimorphism linked to virulence. M. circinelloides is a

  2. Virulence Factors Associated with Enterococcus Faecalis Infective Endocarditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Kristian T; Skov, Marianne N; Gill, Sabine

    2017-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The enterococci are accountable for up to 20% of all cases of infective endocarditis, with Enterococcus faecalis being the primary causative isolate. Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening infection of the endocardium that results in the formation of vegetations. Based...... on a literature review, this paper provides an overview of the virulence factors associated with E. faecalis infective endocarditis. Furthermore, it reports the effects of active or passive immunization against some of these involved factors. INDIVIDUAL VIRULENCE FACTORS: Nine virulence factors have in particular...... been associated with E. faecalis infective endocarditis. Absence of these factors entailed attenuation of strains in both mixed- and mono-bacterial infection endocarditis models as well as in in vitro and ex vivo assays when compared to their virulence factor expressing parental strains. PATHOGENESIS...

  3. Invasion thresholds and the evolution of nonequilibrium virulence

    OpenAIRE

    Bull, J. J.; Ebert, D.

    2008-01-01

    Abstract The enterprise of virulence management attempts to predict how social practices and other factors affect the evolution of parasite virulence. These predictions are often based on parasite optima or evolutionary equilibria derived from models of host-parasite dynamics. Yet even when such models accurately capture the parasite optima, newly invading parasites will typically not be at their optima. Here we show that parasite invasion of a host population can occur despite highly nonopti...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Proteomics Analysis Reveals Previously Uncharacterized Virulence Factors in Vibrio proteolyticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ann Ray

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Members of the genus Vibrio include many pathogens of humans and marine animals that share genetic information via horizontal gene transfer. Hence, the Vibrio pan-genome carries the potential to establish new pathogenic strains by sharing virulence determinants, many of which have yet to be characterized. Here, we investigated the virulence properties of Vibrio proteolyticus, a Gram-negative marine bacterium previously identified as part of the Vibrio consortium isolated from diseased corals. We found that V. proteolyticus causes actin cytoskeleton rearrangements followed by cell lysis in HeLa cells in a contact-independent manner. In search of the responsible virulence factor involved, we determined the V. proteolyticus secretome. This proteomics approach revealed various putative virulence factors, including active type VI secretion systems and effectors with virulence toxin domains; however, these type VI secretion systems were not responsible for the observed cytotoxic effects. Further examination of the V. proteolyticus secretome led us to hypothesize and subsequently demonstrate that a secreted hemolysin, belonging to a previously uncharacterized clan of the leukocidin superfamily, was the toxin responsible for the V. proteolyticus-mediated cytotoxicity in both HeLa cells and macrophages. Clearly, there remains an armory of yet-to-be-discovered virulence factors in the Vibrio pan-genome that will undoubtedly provide a wealth of knowledge on how a pathogen can manipulate host cells.

  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 cell-cell signaling sensor is required for virulence and insect transmission of Xylella fastidiosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Subhadeep; Wistrom, Christina; Lindow, Steven E

    2008-02-19

    Cell-cell signaling in Xylella fastidiosa, a xylem-colonizing plant pathogenic bacterium, mediated by a fatty acid Diffusible Signaling Factor (DSF), 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. fastidiosa rpfC mutants hyperexpress rpfF and overproduce DSF and are deficient in virulence and movement in the xylem vessels of grape. The expression of the genes encoding the adhesins FimA, HxfA, and HxfB is much higher in rpfC mutants, which also exhibit a hyperattachment phenotype in culture that is associated with their inability to migrate in xylem vessels and cause disease. rpfF mutants deficient in DSF production have the opposite phenotypes for all of these traits. RpfC is also involved in the regulation of other signaling components including rpfG, rpfB, a GGDEF domain protein that may be involved in intracellular signaling by modulating the levels of cyclic-di-GMP, and the virulence factors tolC and pglA required for disease. rpfC mutants are able to colonize the mouthparts of insect vectors and wild-type strains but are not transmitted as efficiently to new host plants, apparently because of their high levels of adhesiveness. Because of the conflicting contributions of adhesiveness and other traits to movement within plants and vectoring to new host plants, X. fastidiosa apparently coordinates these traits in a population-size-dependent fashion involving accumulation of DSF.

  10. IPNV with high and low virulence: host immune responses and viral mutations during infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skjesol Astrid

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV is an aquatic member of the Birnaviridae family that causes widespread disease in salmonids. IPNV is represented by multiple strains with markedly different virulence. Comparison of isolates reveals hyper variable regions (HVR, which are presumably associated with pathogenicity. However little is known about the rates and modes of sequence divergence and molecular mechanisms that determine virulence. Also how the host response may influence IPNV virulence is poorly described. Methods In this study we compared two field isolates of IPNV (NFH-Ar and NFH-El. The sequence changes, replication and mortality were assessed following experimental challenge of Atlantic salmon. Gene expression analyses with qPCR and microarray were applied to examine the immune responses in head kidney. Results Significant differences in mortality were observed between the two isolates, and viral load in the pancreas at 13 days post infection (d p.i. was more than 4 orders of magnitude greater for NFH-Ar in comparison with NFH-El. Sequence comparison of five viral genes from the IPNV isolates revealed different mutation rates and Ka/Ks ratios. A strong tendency towards non-synonymous mutations was found in the HRV of VP2 and in VP3. All mutations in VP5 produced precocious stop codons. Prior to the challenge, NFH-Ar and NFH-El possessed high and low virulence motifs in VP2, respectively. Nucleotide substitutions were noticed already during passage of viruses in CHSE-214 cells and their accumulation continued in the challenged fish. The sequence changes were notably directed towards low virulence. Co-ordinated activation of anti-viral genes with diverse functions (IFN-a1 and c, sensors - Rig-I, MDA-5, TLR8 and 9, signal transducers - Srk2, MyD88, effectors - Mx, galectin 9, galectin binding protein, antigen presentation - b2-microglobulin was observed at 13 d p.i. (NFH-Ar and 29 d p.i. (both isolates

  11. 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

  12. The expression and evolution of virulence in multiple infections: the role of specificity, relative virulence and relative dose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Ami, Frida; Routtu, Jarkko

    2013-05-03

    Multiple infections of the same host by different strains of the same microparasite species are believed to play a crucial role during the evolution of parasite virulence. We investigated the role of specificity, relative virulence and relative dose in determining the competitive outcome of multiple infections in the Daphnia magna-Pasteuria ramosa host-parasite system. We found that infections by P. ramosa clones (single genotype) were less virulent and produced more spores than infections by P. ramosa isolates (possibly containing multiple genotypes). We also found that two similarly virulent isolates of P. ramosa differed considerably in their within-host competitiveness and their effects on host offspring production when faced with coinfecting P. ramosa isolates and clones. Although the relative virulence of a P. ramosa isolate/clone appears to be a good indicator of its competitiveness during multiple infections, the relative dose may alter the competitive outcome. Moreover, spore counts on day 20 post-infection indicate that the competitive outcome is largely decided early in the parasite's growth phase, possibly mediated by direct interference or apparent competition. Our results emphasize the importance of epidemiology as well as of various parasite traits in determining the outcome of within-host competition. Incorporating realistic epidemiological and ecological conditions when testing theoretical models of multiple infections, as well as using a wider range of host and parasite genotypes, will enable us to better understand the course of virulence evolution.

  13. MrSkn7 controls sporulation, cell wall integrity, autolysis, and virulence in Metarhizium robertsii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Yanfang; Chen, Peilin; Chen, Yixiong; Lu, Yuzhen; Wang, Chengshu

    2015-04-01

    Two-component signaling pathways generally include sensor histidine kinases and response regulators. We identified an ortholog of the response regulator protein Skn7 in the insect-pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii, which we named MrSkn7. Gene deletion assays and functional characterizations indicated that MrSkn7 functions as a transcription factor. The MrSkn7 null mutant of M. robertsii lost the ability to sporulate and had defects in cell wall biosynthesis but was not sensitive to oxidative and osmotic stresses compared to the wild type. However, the mutant was able to produce spores under salt stress. Insect bioassays using these spores showed that the virulence of the mutant was significantly impaired compared to that of the wild type due to the failures to form the infection structure appressorium and evade host immunity. In particular, deletion of MrSkn7 triggered cell autolysis with typical features such as cell vacuolization, downregulation of repressor genes, and upregulation of autolysis-related genes such as extracellular chitinases and proteases. Promoter binding assays confirmed that MrSkn7 could directly or indirectly control different putative target genes. Taken together, the results of this study help us understand the functional divergence of Skn7 orthologs as well as the mechanisms underlying the development and control of virulence in insect-pathogenic fungi. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Acidic pH sensing in the bacterial cytoplasm is required for Salmonella virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A

    2016-09-01

    pH regulates gene expression, biochemical activities and cellular behaviors. A mildly acidic pH activates the master virulence regulatory system PhoP/PhoQ in the facultative intracellular pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The sensor PhoQ harbors an extracytoplasmic domain implicated in signal sensing, and a cytoplasmic domain controlling activation of the regulator PhoP. We now report that, surprisingly, a decrease in Salmonella's own cytoplasmic pH induces transcription of PhoP-activated genes even when the extracytoplasmic pH remains neutral. Amino acid substitutions in PhoQ's cytoplasmic domain hindered activation by acidic pH and attenuated virulence in mice, but did not abolish activation by low Mg(2+) or the antimicrobial peptide C18G. Conversely, removal of PhoQ's extracytoplasmic domains prevented the response to the latter PhoQ-activating signals but not to acidic pH. PhoP-dependent genes were minimally induced by acidic pH in the non-pathogenic species Salmonella bongori but were activated by low Mg(2+) and C18G as in pathogenic S. enterica. Our findings indicate that the sensor PhoQ enables S. enterica to respond to both host- and bacterial-derived signals that alter its cytoplasmic pH. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Dynamic protein S-palmitoylation mediates parasite life cycle progression and diverse mechanisms of virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert W B; Sharma, Aabha I; Engman, David M

    2017-04-01

    Eukaryotic parasites possess complex life cycles and utilize an assortment of molecular mechanisms to overcome physical barriers, suppress and/or bypass the host immune response, including invading host cells where they can replicate in a protected intracellular niche. Protein S-palmitoylation is a dynamic post-translational modification in which the fatty acid palmitate is covalently linked to cysteine residues on proteins by the enzyme palmitoyl acyltransferase (PAT) and can be removed by lysosomal palmitoyl-protein thioesterase (PPT) or cytosolic acyl-protein thioesterase (APT). In addition to anchoring proteins to intracellular membranes, functions of dynamic palmitoylation include - targeting proteins to specific intracellular compartments via trafficking pathways, regulating the cycling of proteins between membranes, modulating protein function and regulating protein stability. Recent studies in the eukaryotic parasites - Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii, Trypanosoma brucei, Cryptococcus neoformans and Giardia lamblia - have identified large families of PATs and palmitoylated proteins. Many palmitoylated proteins are important for diverse aspects of pathogenesis, including differentiation into infective life cycle stages, biogenesis and tethering of secretory organelles, assembling the machinery powering motility and targeting virulence factors to the plasma membrane. This review aims to summarize our current knowledge of palmitoylation in eukaryotic parasites, highlighting five exemplary mechanisms of parasite virulence dependent on palmitoylation.

  16. Modulation of Candida albicans virulence by bacterial biofilms on titanium surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalcanti, Yuri Wanderley; Wilson, Melanie; Lewis, Michael; Del-Bel-Cury, Altair Antoninha; da Silva, Wander José; Williams, David W

    2016-01-01

    Whilst Candida albicans occurs in peri-implant biofilms, its role in peri-implantitis remains unclear. This study therefore examined the virulence of C. albicans in mixed-species biofilms on titanium surfaces. Biofilms of C. albicans (Ca), C. albicans with streptococci (Streptococcus sanguinis, S. mutans) (Ca-Ss-Sm) and those incorporating Porphyromonas gingivalis (Ca-Pg and Ca-Ss-Sm-Pg) were developed. Expression of C. albicans genes associated with adhesion (ALS1, ALS3, HWP1) and hydrolytic enzymes (SAP2, SAP4, SAP6, PLD1) was measured and hyphal production by C. albicans quantified. Compared with Ca biofilms, significant (pbiofilms containing streptococci (Ca-Ss-Sm). In Ca-Pg biofilms, down-regulation of HWP1 and SAP4 expression, with reduced hyphal production occurred. Ca-Ss-Sm-Pg biofilms had increased hyphal proportions and up-regulation of ALS3, SAP2 and SAP6. In conclusion, C. albicans expressed virulence factors in biofilms that could contribute to peri-implantitis, but this was dependent on associated bacterial species.

  17. Bottlenecks and Hubs in Inferred Networks Are Important for Virulence in Salmonella typhimurium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McDermott, Jason E.; Taylor, Ronald C.; Yoon, Hyunjin; Heffron, Fred

    2009-02-01

    Recent advances in experimental methods have provided sufficient data to consider systems as large networks of interconnected components. High-throughput determination of protein-protein interaction networks has led to the observation that topological bottlenecks, that is proteins defined by high centrality in the network, are enriched in proteins with systems-level phenotypes such as essentiality. Global transcriptional profiling by microarray analysis has been used extensively to characterize systems, for example, cellular response to environmental conditions and genetic mutations. These transcriptomic datasets have been used to infer regulatory and functional relationship networks based on co-regulation. We use the context likelihood of relatedness (CLR) method to infer networks from two datasets gathered from the pathogen Salmonella typhimurium; one under a range of environmental culture conditions and the other from deletions of 15 regulators found to be essential in virulence. Bottleneck nodes were identified from these inferred networks and we show that these nodes are significantly more likely to be essential for virulence than their non-bottleneck counterparts. A network generated using Pearson correlation did not display this behavior. Overall this study demonstrates that topology of networks inferred from global transcriptional profiles provides information about the systems-level roles of bottleneck genes. Analysis of the differences between the two CLR-derived networks suggests that the bottleneck nodes are either mediators of transitions between system states or sentinels that reflect the dynamics of these transitions.

  18. Stress response and virulence in Vibrio anguillarum

    OpenAIRE

    Weber, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    Bacteria use quorum sensing, a cell to cell signaling mechanism mediated by small molecules that are produced by specific signal molecule synthases, to regulate gene expression in response to population density. In Vibrio anguillarum, the quorum-sensing phosphorelay channels information from three hybrid sensor kinases VanN, VanQ, CqsS that sense signal molecules produced by the synthases VanM, VanS and CqsA, onto the phosphotransferase VanU, to regulate activity of the response regulator Van...

  19. Sporangiospore size dimorphism is linked to virulence of Mucor circinelloides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Charles H; Cervantes, Maria; Springer, Deborah J; Boekhout, Teun; Ruiz-Vazquez, Rosa M; Torres-Martinez, Santiago R; Heitman, Joseph; Lee, Soo Chan

    2011-06-01

    Mucor circinelloides is a zygomycete fungus and an emerging opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised patients, especially transplant recipients and in some cases otherwise healthy individuals. We have discovered a novel example of size dimorphism linked to virulence. M. circinelloides is a heterothallic fungus: (+) sex allele encodes SexP and (-) sex allele SexM, both of which are HMG domain protein sex determinants. M. circinelloides f. lusitanicus (Mcl) (-) mating type isolates produce larger asexual sporangiospores that are more virulent in the wax moth host compared to (+) isolates that produce smaller less virulent sporangiospores. The larger sporangiospores germinate inside and lyse macrophages, whereas the smaller sporangiospores do not. sexMΔ mutants are sterile and still produce larger virulent sporangiospores, suggesting that either the sex locus is not involved in virulence/spore size or the sexP allele plays an inhibitory role. Phylogenetic analysis supports that at least three extant subspecies populate the M. circinelloides complex in nature: Mcl, M. circinelloides f. griseocyanus, and M. circinelloides f. circinelloides (Mcc). Mcc was found to be more prevalent among clinical Mucor isolates, and more virulent than Mcl in a diabetic murine model in contrast to the wax moth host. The M. circinelloides sex locus encodes an HMG domain protein (SexP for plus and SexM for minus mating types) flanked by genes encoding triose phosphate transporter (TPT) and RNA helicase homologs. The borders of the sex locus between the three subspecies differ: the Mcg sex locus includes the promoters of both the TPT and the RNA helicase genes, whereas the Mcl and Mcc sex locus includes only the TPT gene promoter. Mating between subspecies was restricted compared to mating within subspecies. These findings demonstrate that spore size dimorphism is linked to virulence of M. circinelloides species and that plasticity of the sex locus and adaptations in pathogenicity have

  20. Coordinated zinc homeostasis is essential for the wild-type virulence of Brucella abortus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, Lauren M; Budnick, James A; Roop, R Martin; Caswell, Clayton C

    2015-05-01

    Metal homeostasis in bacterial cells is a highly regulated process requiring intricately coordinated import and export, as well as precise sensing of intracellular metal concentrations. The uptake of zinc (Zn) has been linked to the virulence of Brucella abortus; however, the capacity of Brucella strains to sense Zn levels and subsequently coordinate Zn homeostasis has not been described. Here, we show that expression of the genes encoding the zinc uptake system ZnuABC is negatively regulated by the Zn-sensing Fur family transcriptional regulator, Zur, by direct interactions between Zur and the promoter region of znuABC. Moreover, the MerR-type regulator, ZntR, controls the expression of the gene encoding the Zn exporter ZntA by binding directly to its promoter. Deletion of zur or zntR alone did not result in increased zinc toxicity in the corresponding mutants; however, deletion of zntA led to increased sensitivity to Zn but not to other metals, such as Cu and Ni, suggesting that ZntA is a Zn-specific exporter. Strikingly, deletion of zntR resulted in significant attenuation of B. abortus in a mouse model of chronic infection, and subsequent experiments revealed that overexpression of zntA in the zntR mutant is the molecular basis for its decreased virulence. The importance of zinc uptake for Brucella pathogenesis has been demonstrated previously, but to date, there has been no description of how overall zinc homeostasis is maintained and genetically controlled in the brucellae. The present work defines the predominant zinc export system, as well as the key genetic regulators of both zinc uptake and export in Brucella abortus. Moreover, the data show the importance of precise coordination of the zinc homeostasis systems as disregulation of some elements of these systems leads to the attenuation of Brucella virulence in a mouse model. Overall, this study advances our understanding of the essential role of zinc in the pathogenesis of intracellular bacteria

  1. 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

    of the bacterial genes. We have investigated the invasiveness of primary chicken embryo intestinal cells (CEICs) by C. jejuni strains of human and chicken origins and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines as well as the expression of the bacterial virulence-associated genes during co-cultivation. Results C......-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....

  2. Empirical support for optimal virulence in a castrating parasite.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knut Helge Jensen

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The trade-off hypothesis for the evolution of virulence predicts that parasite transmission stage production and host exploitation are balanced such that lifetime transmission success (LTS is maximised. However, the experimental evidence for this prediction is weak, mainly because LTS, which indicates parasite fitness, has been difficult to measure. For castrating parasites, this simple model has been modified to take into account that parasites convert host reproductive resources into transmission stages. Parasites that kill the host too early will hardly benefit from these resources, while postponing the killing of the host results in diminished returns. As predicted from optimality models, a parasite inducing castration should therefore castrate early, but show intermediate levels of virulence, where virulence is measured as time to host killing. We studied virulence in an experimental system where a bacterial parasite castrates its host and produces spores that are not released until after host death. This permits estimating the LTS of the parasite, which can then be related to its virulence. We exposed replicate individual Daphnia magna (Crustacea of one host clone to the same amount of bacterial spores and followed individuals until their death. We found that the parasite shows strong variation in the time to kill its host and that transmission stage production peaks at an intermediate level of virulence. A further experiment tested for the genetic basis of variation in virulence by comparing survival curves of daphniids infected with parasite spores obtained from early killing versus late killing infections. Hosts infected with early killer spores had a significantly higher death rate as compared to those infected with late killers, indicating that variation in time to death was at least in part caused by genetic differences among parasites. We speculate that the clear peak in lifetime reproductive success at intermediate killing times

  3. 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.

  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. Bacterial Prostatitis: Bacterial Virulence, Clinical Outcomes, and New Directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krieger, John N; Thumbikat, Praveen

    2016-02-01

    Four prostatitis syndromes are recognized clinically: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and asymptomatic prostatitis. Because Escherichia coli represents the most common cause of bacterial prostatitis, we investigated the importance of bacterial virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance in E. coli strains causing prostatitis and the potential association of these characteristics with clinical outcomes. A structured literature review revealed that we have limited understanding of the virulence-associated characteristics of E. coli causing acute prostatitis. Therefore, we completed a comprehensive microbiological and molecular investigation of a unique strain collection isolated from healthy young men. We also considered new data from an animal model system suggesting certain E. coli might prove important in the etiology of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Our human data suggest that E. coli needs multiple pathogenicity-associated traits to overcome anatomic and immune responses in healthy young men without urological risk factors. The phylogenetic background and accumulation of an exceptional repertoire of extraintestinal pathogenic virulence-associated genes indicate that these E. coli strains belong to a highly virulent subset of uropathogenic variants. In contrast, antibiotic resistance confers little added advantage to E. coli strains in these healthy outpatients. Our animal model data also suggest that certain pathogenic E. coli may be important in the etiology of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome through mechanisms that are dependent on the host genetic background and the virulence of the bacterial strain.

  6. Screening of virulence genes in Staphylococcus aureus isolates from rabbits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Viana Martín

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile pathogen able to cause disease in both humans and animals. In rabbits, this bacterium infects animals of different ages, producing several purulent lesions. The ability of S. aureus to cause disease depends on a combination of virulence factors. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the distribution of bacterial virulence determinants in 69 S. aureus isolates from rabbits. Some virulence factors (7 adhesins, 1 toxin and 1 protease were positive in all rabbit S. aureus isolates analysed, while others (1 adhesin and 10 toxins were always negative. The remaining virulence factors were more variable among isolates. An association between genotype and the different profiles of virulence factors was observed, but not with the type of lesion (P<0.05. One strain of each genotype was further analysed by multilocus sequence typing, generating ST121, ST96 and ST2951, determining a greater number of enterotoxins in ST121 isolates compared to ST96 and ST2951 isolates, which could justify the different pathogenicity between strains. 

  7. Role of dupA in virulence of Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talebi Bezmin Abadi, Amin; Perez-Perez, Guillermo

    2016-12-14

    Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori ) is a gastric human pathogen associated with acute and chronic gastritis, 70% of all gastric ulcers, 85% of all duodenal ulcers, and both forms of stomach cancer, mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and adenocarcinoma. Recently, attention has focused on possible relationship between presence of certain virulence factor and H. pylori -associated diseases. Some contradictory data between this bacterium and related disorders has been observed since not all the colonized individuals develop to severe disease. The reported diseases plausibility related to H. pylori specific virulence factors became an interesting story about this organism. Although a number of putative virulence factors have been identified including cytotoxin-associated gene a ( cagA ) and vacA , there are conflicting data about their actual participation as specific risk factor for H. pylori -related diseases. Duodenal ulcer promoting gene a ( dupA ) is a virulence factor of H. pylori that is highly associated with duodenal ulcer development and reduced risk of gastric cancer. The prevalence of dupA in H. pylori strains isolated from western countries is relatively higher than in H. pylori strains from Asian countries. Current confusing epidemiological reports will continue unless future sophisticated and molecular studies provide data on functional and complete dupA cluster in H. pylori infected individuals. This paper elucidates available knowledge concerning role of dupA in virulence of H. pylori after a decade of its discovery.

  8. Molecular determinants of Ebola virus virulence in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideki Ebihara

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV causes severe hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates, with fatality rates in humans of up to 90%. The molecular basis for the extreme virulence of ZEBOV remains elusive. While adult mice resist ZEBOV infection, the Mayinga strain of the virus has been adapted to cause lethal infection in these animals. To understand the pathogenesis underlying the extreme virulence of Ebola virus (EBOV, here we identified the mutations responsible for the acquisition of the high virulence of the adapted Mayinga strain in mice, by using reverse genetics. We found that mutations in viral protein 24 and in the nucleoprotein were primarily responsible for the acquisition of high virulence. Moreover, the role of these proteins in virulence correlated with their ability to evade type I interferon-stimulated antiviral responses. These findings suggest a critical role for overcoming the interferon-induced antiviral state in the pathogenicity of EBOV and offer new insights into the pathogenesis of EBOV infection.

  9. The Role of Antibiotics in Modulating Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodille, Elisabeth; Rose, Warren; Diep, Binh An; Goutelle, Sylvain; Lina, Gerard; Dumitrescu, Oana

    2017-10-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is often involved in severe infections, in which the effects of bacterial virulence factors have great importance. Antistaphylococcal regimens should take into account the different effects of antibacterial agents on the expression of virulence factors and on the host's immune response. A PubMed literature search was performed to select relevant articles on the effects of antibiotics on staphylococcal toxin production and on the host immune response. Information was sorted according to the methods used for data acquisition (bacterial strains, growth models, and antibiotic concentrations) and the assays used for readout generation. The reported mechanisms underlying S. aureus virulence modulation by antibiotics were reviewed. The relevance of in vitro observations is discussed in relation to animal model data and to clinical evidence extracted from case reports and recommendations on the management of toxin-related staphylococcal diseases. Most in vitro data point to a decreased level of virulence expression upon treatment with ribosomally active antibiotics (linezolid and clindamycin), while cell wall-active antibiotics (beta-lactams) mainly increase exotoxin production. In vivo studies confirmed the suppressive effect of clindamycin and linezolid on virulence expression, supporting their utilization as a valuable management strategy to improve patient outcomes in cases of toxin-associated staphylococcal disease. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  10. 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 other species, which are already exploiting host resources.

  11. Use of signature-tagged mutagenesis to identify virulence determinants in Haemophilus ducreyi responsible for ulcer formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Angela; Cameron, D William; Desjardins, Marc; Lee, B Craig

    2011-02-01

    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for chancroid, a genital ulcer disease caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, has been hampered in part by the relative genetic intractability of the organism. A whole genome screen using signature-tagged mutagenesis in the temperature-dependent rabbit model (TDRM) of H. ducreyi infection uncovered 26 mutants with a presumptive attenuated phenotype. Insertions in two previously recognized virulence determinants, hgbA and lspA1, validated this genome scanning technique. Database interrogation allowed assignment of 24 mutants to several functional classes, including transport, metabolism, DNA repair, stress response and gene regulation. The attenuated virulence for a 3 strain with a mutation in hicB was confirmed by individual infection in the TDRM. The results from this preliminary study indicate that this high throughput strategy will further the understanding of the pathogenesis of H. ducreyi infection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Circumventing Y. pestis Virulence by Early Recruitment of Neutrophils to the Lungs during Pneumonic Plague.

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    Yaron Vagima

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Pneumonic plague is a fatal disease caused by Yersinia pestis that is associated with a delayed immune response in the lungs. Because neutrophils are the first immune cells recruited to sites of infection, we investigated the mechanisms responsible for their delayed homing to the lung. During the first 24 hr after pulmonary infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain, no significant changes were observed in the lungs in the levels of neutrophils infiltrate, expression of adhesion molecules, or the expression of the major neutrophil chemoattractants keratinocyte cell-derived chemokine (KC, macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2 and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF. In contrast, early induction of chemokines, rapid neutrophil infiltration and a reduced bacterial burden were observed in the lungs of mice infected with an avirulent Y. pestis strain. In vitro infection of lung-derived cell-lines with a YopJ mutant revealed the involvement of YopJ in the inhibition of chemoattractants expression. However, the recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs of mice infected with the mutant was still delayed and associated with rapid bacterial propagation and mortality. Interestingly, whereas KC, MIP-2 and G-CSF mRNA levels in the lungs were up-regulated early after infection with the mutant, their protein levels remained constant, suggesting that Y. pestis may employ additional mechanisms to suppress early chemoattractants induction in the lung. It therefore seems that prevention of the early influx of neutrophils to the lungs is of major importance for Y. pestis virulence. Indeed, pulmonary instillation of KC and MIP-2 to G-CSF-treated mice infected with Y. pestis led to rapid homing of neutrophils to the lung followed by a reduction in bacterial counts at 24 hr post-infection and improved survival rates. These observations shed new light on the virulence mechanisms of Y. pestis during pneumonic plague, and have implications for the

  13. Iron – a key nexus in the virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

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    Hubertus eHaas

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Iron is an essential but in excess toxic nutrient. Therefore, fungi evolved fine-tuned mechanisms for uptake and storage of iron, such as the production of siderophores (low-molecular mass iron-specific chelators. In Aspergillus fumigatus, iron starvation causes extensive transcriptional remodeling involving two central transcription factors, which are interconnected in a negative transcriptional feed-back loop: the GATA-factor SreA and the bZip-factor HapX. During iron sufficiency SreA represses iron uptake, including reductive iron assimilation and siderophore-mediated iron uptake, to avoid toxic effects. During iron starvation HapX represses iron-consuming pathways, including heme biosynthesis and respiration, to spare iron and activates synthesis of ribotoxin AspF1 and siderophores, the latter partly by ensuring supply of the precursor ornithine. In agreement with the expression pattern and mode of action, detrimental effects of inactivation of SreA and HapX are confined to growth during iron sufficiency and iron starvation, respectively. Deficiency in HapX, but not SreA, attenuates virulence of A. fumigatus in a murine model of aspergillosis, which underlines the crucial role of adaptation to iron limitation in virulence. Consistently, production of both extra- and intracellular siderophores is crucial for virulence of A. fumigatus. Recently, the sterol-regulatory element-binding protein SrbA was found to be essential for adaptation to iron starvation, thereby linking regulation of iron metabolism, ergosterol biosynthesis, azole drug resistance and hypoxia adaptation.

  14. [Research on the relevance between the virulent genes differential expression and pathogenecity of Leptospira with microarray].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, De-li; Bao, Lang

    2015-01-01

    To find the change of virulent gene expression and to analyze the relevance between the virulent change and the gene expression. Grouped guinea pigs were inoculated with 1 mL Leptospira cultured in vivo, Leptospira cultured in vitro and the Leptospira culture medium through abdominal subcutaneous respectively. The survival rate, body mass and temperature change of guinea pigs in different groups were measured within 15 d after the inoculation, then the survived guinea pigs were scarified, and the organ coefficient was also measured to know the virulence of Leptospira cultured in different environment. The amplified gene segments from Leptospira were used as probes and wrote the microarray. The total RNA was extracted from Leptospira standard strain cultured in culture medium and guinea pigs. After reverse transcription to cDNA, they were labeled with Cy3 and Cy5 respectively. Labeled cDNA was mixed and hybridized with the microarray. The hybridized mircroarray was scanned and analysed. The survival rate of inoculated guinea pig was different from group to group (in vivo group: 0%; in vitro group: 88.9%; culture medium group: 100%). The guinea pigs in vivo group had a higher temperature (PLeptospira: LA1027, LA1029, LA4004, LA3050, LA3540, LA0327, LA0378, LA1650, LA3937, LA2089, LA2144, LA3576, LA0011 and gene of Loa22 were up regulation after continuously cultured in guinea pigs. The pathogenic ability of Leptospira cultured in different environment is different and the gene expression of Leptospira is different between in vivo and in vitro as well. The understanding of the meaning of this change might help to know the pathogenecity of Leptospira.

  15. Computational determination of the effects of virulent Escherichia coli and salmonella bacteriophages on human gut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafa, Marwa Mostafa; Nassef, Mohammad; Badr, Amr

    2016-10-01

    Salmonella and Escherichia coli are different types of bacteria that cause food poisoning in humans. In the elderly, infants and people with chronic conditions, it is very dangerous if Salmonella or E. coli gets into the bloodstream and then they must be treated by phage therapy. Treating Salmonella and E. coli by phage therapy affects the gut flora. This research paper presents a system for detecting the effects of virulent E. coli and Salmonella bacteriophages on human gut. A method based on Domain-Domain Interactions (DDIs) model is implemented in the proposed system to determine the interactions between the proteins of human gut bacteria and the proteins of bacteriophages that infect virulent E. coli and Salmonella. The system helps gastroenterologists to realize the effect of injecting bacteriophages that infect virulent E. coli and Salmonella on the human gut. By testing the system over Enterobacteria phage 933W, Enterobacteria phage VT2-Sa and Enterobacteria phage P22, it resulted in four interactions between the proteins of the bacteriophages that infect E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O104:H4 and Salmonella typhimurium and the proteins of human gut bacterium strains. Several effects were detected such as: antibacterial activity against a number of bacterial species in human gut, regulation of cellular differentiation and organogenesis during gut, lung, and heart development, ammonia assimilation in bacteria, yeasts, and plants, energizing defense system and its function in the detoxification of lipopolysaccharide, and in the prevention of bacterial translocation in human gut. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Low virulent oral Candida albicans strains isolated from smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Azevedo Izidoro, Ana Claudia Santos; Semprebom, Andressa Marafon; Baboni, Fernanda Brasil; Rosa, Rosimeire Takaki; Machado, Maria Angela Naval; Samaranayake, Lakshman Perera; Rosa, Edvaldo Antonio Ribeiro

    2012-02-01

    It is widely accepted that tabagism is a predisposing factor to oral candidosis and cumulate data suggest that cigarette compounds may increase candidal virulence. To verify if enhanced virulence occurs in Candida albicans from chronic smokers, a cohort of 42 non-smokers and other of 58 smokers (all with excellent oral conditions and without signs of candidosis) were swabbed on tong dorsum and jugal mucosa. Results showed that oral candidal loads do not differ between smoker and non-smokers. Activities of secreted aspartyl-protease (Sap), phospholipase, chondroitinase, esterase-lipase, and haemolysin secretions were screened for thirty-two C. albicans isolates. There were detected significant increments in phospholipasic and chondroitinasic activities in isolates from non-smokers. For other virulence factors, no differences between both cohorts were achieved. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Pathogenicity of Virulent Species of Group C Streptococci in Human

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    Marta Kłos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Group C streptococci (GCS are livestock pathogens and they often cause zoonotic diseases in humans. They are Gram-positive, in mostly β-hemolytic and facultative anaerobes. Because of their close evolutionary kinship with group A streptococci (GAS, GCS share many common virulence factors with GAS and cause a similar range of diseases. Due to the exchange of genetic material with GAS, GCS belong to bacteria that are difficult to be distinguished from group A streptococci; GCS are often treated in microbiological diagnostics as contamination of the culture. This report focuses mainly on the pathogenicity of virulent species of GCS and their association with human diseases. The condition that is most frequently quoted is pharyngitis. In this paper, the virulence factors have also been mentioned and an interesting link has been made between GCS and the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases among the native people of India and Aboriginal populations.

  18. Natural Selection in Virulence Genes of Francisella tularensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunnell, Mark K; Robison, Richard A; Adams, Byron J

    2016-06-01

    A fundamental tenet of evolution is that alleles that are under negative selection are often deleterious and confer no evolutionary advantage. Negatively selected alleles are removed from the gene pool and are eventually extinguished from the population. Conversely, alleles under positive selection do confer an evolutionary advantage and lead to an increase in the overall fitness of the organism. These alleles increase in frequency until they eventually become fixed in the population. Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic pathogen and a potential biothreat agent. The most virulent type of F. tularensis, Type A, is distributed across North America with Type A.I occurring mainly in the east and Type A.II appearing mainly in the west. F. tularensis is thought to be a genome in decay (losing genes) because of the relatively large number of pseudogenes present in its genome. We hypothesized that the observed frequency of gene loss/pseudogenes may be an artifact of evolution in response to a changing environment, and that genes involved in virulence should be under strong positive selection. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced and compared whole genomes of Type A.I and A.II isolates. We analyzed a subset of virulence and housekeeping genes from several F. tularensis subspecies genomes to ascertain the presence and extent of positive selection. Eleven previously identified virulence genes were screened for positive selection along with 10 housekeeping genes. Analyses of selection yielded one housekeeping gene and 7 virulence genes which showed significant evidence of positive selection at loci implicated in cell surface structures and membrane proteins, metabolism and biosynthesis, transcription, translation and cell separation, and substrate binding and transport. Our results suggest that while the loss of functional genes through disuse could be accelerated by negative selection, the genome decay in Francisella could also be the byproduct of adaptive evolution

  19. Viability and Virulence of Entomopathogenic Nematodes Exposed to Ultraviolet Radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro-Ilan, David I; Hazir, Selcuk; Lete, Luis

    2015-09-01

    Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) can be highly effective biocontrol agents, but their efficacy can be reduced due to exposure to environmental stress such as from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Our objectives were to 1) compare UV tolerance among a broad array of EPN species, and 2) investigate the relationship between reduced nematode viability (after exposure to UV) and virulence. Nematodes exposed to a UV radiation (254 nm) for 10 or 20 min were assessed separately for viability (survival) and virulence to Galleria mellonella. We compared 9 different EPN species and 15 strains: Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Baine, fl11, Oswego, and Vs strains), H. floridensis (332), H. georgiana (Kesha), H. indica (HOM1), H. megidis (UK211), Steinernema carpocapsae (All, Cxrd, DD136, and Sal strains), S. feltiae (SN), S. rarum (17C&E), and S. riobrave (355). In viability assessments, steinernematids, particularly strains of S. carpocapsae, generally exhibited superior UV tolerance compared with the heterorhabditids. However, some heterorhabditids tended to be more tolerant than others, e.g., H. megidis and H. bacteriophora (Baine) were most susceptible and H. bacteriophora (Vs) was the only heterorhabditid that did not exhibit a significant effect after 10 min of exposure. All heterorhabditids experienced reduced viability after 20 min exposure though several S. carpocapsae strains did not. In total, after 10 or 20 min exposure, the viability of seven nematode strains did not differ from their non-UV exposed controls. In virulence assays, steinernematids (particularly S. carpocapsae strains) also tended to exhibit higher UV tolerance. However, in contrast to the viability measurements, all nematodes experienced a reduction in virulence relative to their controls. Correlation analysis revealed that viability among nematode strains is not necessarily related to virulence. In conclusion, our results indicate that the impact of UV varies substantially among EPNs, and viability alone

  20. Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphisms of Virulence Plasmids in Rhodococcus equi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takai, Shinji; Shoda, Masato; Sasaki, Yukako; Tsubaki, Shiro; Fortier, Guillaume; Pronost, Stephane; Rahal, Karim; Becu, Teotimo; Begg, Angela; Browning, Glenn; Nicholson, Vivian M.; Prescott, John F.

    1999-01-01

    Virulent Rhodococcus equi, which is a well-known cause of pyogranulomatous pneumonia in foals, possesses a large plasmid encoding virulence-associated 15- to 17-kDa antigens. Foal and soil isolates from five countries—Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, and Japan—were investigated for the presence of 15- to 17-kDa antigens by colony blotting, using the monoclonal antibody 10G5, and the gene coding for 15- to 17-kDa antigens by PCR. Plasmid DNAs extracted from positive isolates were digested with restriction endonucleases BamHI, EcoRI, EcoT22I, and HindIII, and the digestion patterns that resulted divided the plasmids of virulent isolates into five closely related types. Three of the five types had already been reported in Canadian and Japanese isolates, and the two new types had been found in French and Japanese isolates. Therefore, we tentatively designated these five types 85-kb type I (pREAT701), 85-kb type II (a new type), 87-kb type I (EcoRI and BamHI type 2 [V. M. Nicholson and J. F. Prescott, J. Clin. Microbiol. 35:738–740, 1997]), 87-kb type II (a new type), and 90-kb (pREL1) plasmids. The 85-kb type I plasmid was found in isolates from Argentina, Australia, Canada, and France. Plasmid 87-kb type I was isolated in specimens from Argentina, Canada, and France. The 85-kb type II plasmid appeared in isolates from France. On the other hand, plasmids 87-kb type II and 90-kb were found only in isolates from Japan. These results revealed geographic differences in the distribution of the virulence plasmids found in the five countries and suggested that the restriction fragment length polymorphism of virulence plasmids might be useful to elucidate the molecular epidemiology of virulent R. equi in the world. PMID:10488224

  1. Variations in virulence between different electrophoretic types of Listeria monocytogenes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørrung, Birgit; Andersen, Jens Kirk

    2000-01-01

    A total of 245 strains of Listeria monocytogenes, representing 33 different electrophoretic types (ETs), were examined quantitatively for haemolytic activity. No significant difference was observed in the mean haemolytic activity between different ETs. Eighty four out of 91 strains examined were...... compared with 3.64 among food isolates). The explanation for this may be that more virulent strains are more prone to cause human infection. It is, however, also possible that strains oft. monocytogenes may become more virulent while multiplying in a living organism compared with multiplying in foods....

  2. The combined effects of starvation and pH on the virulence of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ACER

    2013-04-17

    Apr 17, 2013 ... the virulence of Shigella sonnei ATCC25931. Ali Ellafi* .... P-values of < 0.05 were considered as significant. ..... Virulence factors of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other ... gene expression in Porphyromonas gingivalis. Infect.

  3. FvBck1, a Component of Cell Wall Integrity MAP Kinase Pathway, is Required for Virulence and Oxidative Stress Response in Sugarcane Pokkah Boeng Pathogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chengkang eZhang

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Fusarium verticillioides (formerly F. moniliforme is suggested as one of the causal agents of Pokkah Boeng, a serious disease of sugarcane worldwide. Currently, detailed molecular and physiological mechanism of pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, we focused on cell wall integrity MAPK pathway as one of the potential signaling mechanisms associated with Pokkah Boeng pathogenesis. We identified FvBCK1 gene that encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase homolog and determined that it is not only required for growth, micro- and macro-conidia production, and cell wall integrity but also for response to osmotic and oxidative stresses. The deletion of FvBCK1 caused a significant reduction in virulence and FB1 production, a carcinogenic mycotoxin produced by the fungus. Moreover, we found the expression levels of three genes, which are known to be involved in superoxide scavenging, were down regulated in the mutant. We hypothesized that the loss of superoxide scavenging capacity was one of the reasons for reduced virulence, but overexpression of catalase or peroxidase gene failed to restore the virulence defect in the deletion mutant. When we introduced Magnaporthe oryzae MCK1 into the FvBck1 deletion mutant, while certain phenotypes were restored, the complemented strain failed to gain full virulence. In summary, FvBck1 plays a diverse role in F. verticillioides, and detailed investigation of downstream signaling pathways will lead to a better understanding of how this MAPK pathway regulates Pokkah Boeng on sugarcane.

  4. CorA, the magnesium/nickel/cobalt transporter, affects virulence and extracellular enzyme production in the soft rot pathogen Pectobacterium carotovorum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersey, Caleb M; Agyemang, Paul A; Dumenyo, C Korsi

    2012-01-01

    Pectobacterium carotovorum (formerly Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora) is a phytopathogenic bacterium that causes soft rot disease, characterized by water-soaked soft decay, resulting from the action of cell wall-degrading exoenzymes secreted by the pathogen. Virulence in soft rot bacteria is regulated by environmental factors, host and bacterial chemical signals, and a network of global and gene-specific bacterial regulators. We isolated a mini-Tn5 mutant of P. carotovorum that is reduced in the production of extracellular pectate lyase, protease, polygalacturonase and cellulase. The mutant is also decreased in virulence as it macerates less host tissues than its parent and is severely impaired in multiplication in planta. The inactivated gene responsible for the reduced virulent phenotype was identified as corA. CorA, a magnesium/nickel/cobalt membrane transporter, is the primary magnesium transporter for many bacteria. Compared with the parent, the CorA(-) mutant is cobalt resistant. The mutant phenotype was confirmed in parental strain P. carotovorum by marker exchange inactivation of corA. A functional corA(+) DNA from P. carotovorum restored exoenzyme production and pathogenicity to the mutants. The P. carotovorum corA(+) clone also restored motility and cobalt sensitivity to a CorA(-) mutant of Salmonella enterica. These data indicate that CorA is required for exoenzyme production and virulence in P. carotovorum. © 2011 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY © 2011 BSPP AND BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD.

  5. The role of CRISPR-Cas systems in virulence of pathogenic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louwen, Rogier; Staals, Raymond H J; Endtz, Hubert P; van Baarlen, Peter; van der Oost, John

    2014-03-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes are present in many bacterial and archaeal genomes. Since the discovery of the typical CRISPR loci in the 1980s, well before their physiological role was revealed, their variable sequences have been used as a complementary typing tool in diagnostic, epidemiologic, and evolutionary analyses of prokaryotic strains. The discovery that CRISPR spacers are often identical to sequence fragments of mobile genetic elements was a major breakthrough that eventually led to the elucidation of CRISPR-Cas as an adaptive immunity system. Key elements of this unique prokaryotic defense system are small CRISPR RNAs that guide nucleases to complementary target nucleic acids of invading viruses and plasmids, generally followed by the degradation of the invader. In addition, several recent studies have pointed at direct links of CRISPR-Cas to regulation of a range of stress-related phenomena. An interesting example concerns a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a CRISPR-associated ribonucleoprotein complex that may play a dual role in defense and/or virulence. In this review, we describe recently reported cases of potential involvement of CRISPR-Cas systems in bacterial stress responses in general and bacterial virulence in particular.

  6. Temperature control of molecular circuit switch responsible for virulent phenotype expression in uropathogenic Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samoilov, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The behavior and fate of biological organisms are to a large extent dictated by their environment, which can be often viewed as a collection of features and constraints governed by physics laws. Since biological systems comprise networks of molecular interactions, one such key physical property is temperature, whose variations directly affect the rates of biochemical reactions involved. For instance, temperature is known to control many gene regulatory circuits responsible for pathogenicity in bacteria. One such example is type 1 fimbriae (T1F) -- the foremost virulence factor in uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), which accounts for 80-90% of all community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs). The expression of T1F is randomly `phase variable', i.e. individual cells switch between virulent/fimbriate and avirulent/afimbriate phenotypes, with rates regulated by temperature. Our computational investigation of this process, which is based on FimB/FimE recombinase-mediated inversion of fimS DNA element, offers new insights into its discrete-stochastic kinetics. In particular, it elucidates the logic of T1F control optimization to the host temperature and contributes further understanding toward the development of novel therapeutic approaches to UPEC-caused UTIs.

  7. A novel small molecule methyltransferase is important for virulence in Candida albicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissina, Elena; Weiss, David; Young, Brian; Rella, Antonella; Cheung-Ong, Kahlin; Del Poeta, Maurizio; Clarke, Steven G; Giaever, Guri; Nislow, Corey

    2013-12-20

    Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogen capable of causing life-threatening infections in immunocompromised individuals. Despite its significant health impact, our understanding of C. albicans pathogenicity is limited, particularly at the molecular level. One of the largely understudied enzyme families in C. albicans are small molecule AdoMet-dependent methyltransferases (smMTases), which are important for maintenance of cellular homeostasis by clearing toxic chemicals, generating novel cellular intermediates, and regulating intra- and interspecies interactions. In this study, we demonstrated that C. albicans Crg1 (CaCrg1) is a bona fide smMTase that interacts with the toxin in vitro and in vivo. We report that CaCrg1 is important for virulence-related processes such as adhesion, hyphal elongation, and membrane trafficking. Biochemical and genetic analyses showed that CaCrg1 plays a role in the complex sphingolipid pathway: it binds to exogenous short-chain ceramides in vitro and interacts genetically with genes of glucosylceramide pathway, and the deletion of CaCRG1 leads to significant changes in the abundance of phytoceramides. Finally we found that this novel lipid-related smMTase is required for virulence in the waxmoth Galleria mellonella, a model of infection.

  8. Flavonoids Suppress Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence through Allosteric Inhibition of Quorum-sensing Receptors*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paczkowski, Jon E.; Mukherjee, Sampriti; McCready, Amelia R.; Cong, Jian-Ping; Aquino, Christopher J.; Kim, Hahn; Henke, Brad R.; Smith, Chari D.; Bassler, Bonnie L.

    2017-01-01

    Quorum sensing is a process of cell-cell communication that bacteria use to regulate collective behaviors. Quorum sensing depends on the production, detection, and group-wide response to extracellular signal molecules called autoinducers. In many bacterial species, quorum sensing controls virulence factor production. Thus, disrupting quorum sensing is considered a promising strategy to combat bacterial pathogenicity. Several members of a family of naturally produced plant metabolites called flavonoids inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation by an unknown mechanism. Here, we explore this family of molecules further, and we demonstrate that flavonoids specifically inhibit quorum sensing via antagonism of the autoinducer-binding receptors, LasR and RhlR. Structure-activity relationship analyses demonstrate that the presence of two hydroxyl moieties in the flavone A-ring backbone are essential for potent inhibition of LasR/RhlR. Biochemical analyses reveal that the flavonoids function non-competitively to prevent LasR/RhlR DNA binding. Administration of the flavonoids to P. aeruginosa alters transcription of quorum sensing-controlled target promoters and suppresses virulence factor production, confirming their potential as anti-infectives that do not function by traditional bacteriocidal or bacteriostatic mechanisms. PMID:28119451

  9. A biphasic epigenetic switch controls immunoevasion, virulence and niche adaptation in non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atack, John M; Srikhanta, Yogitha N; Fox, Kate L; Jurcisek, Joseph A; Brockman, Kenneth L; Clark, Tyson A; Boitano, Matthew; Power, Peter M; Jen, Freda E-C; McEwan, Alastair G; Grimmond, Sean M; Smith, Arnold L; Barenkamp, Stephen J; Korlach, Jonas; Bakaletz, Lauren O; Jennings, Michael P

    2015-07-28

    Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae contains an N(6)-adenine DNA-methyltransferase (ModA) that is subject to phase-variable expression (random ON/OFF switching). Five modA alleles, modA2, modA4, modA5, modA9 and modA10, account for over two-thirds of clinical otitis media isolates surveyed. Here, we use single molecule, real-time (SMRT) methylome analysis to identify the DNA-recognition motifs for all five of these modA alleles. Phase variation of these alleles regulates multiple proteins including vaccine candidates, and key virulence phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance (modA2, modA5, modA10), biofilm formation (modA2) and immunoevasion (modA4). Analyses of a modA2 strain in the chinchilla model of otitis media show a clear selection for ON switching of modA2 in the middle ear. Our results indicate that a biphasic epigenetic switch can control bacterial virulence, immunoevasion and niche adaptation in an animal model system.

  10. The Role of CRISPR-Cas Systems in Virulence of Pathogenic Bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staals, Raymond H. J.; Endtz, Hubert P.; van Baarlen, Peter; van der Oost, John

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated (Cas) genes are present in many bacterial and archaeal genomes. Since the discovery of the typical CRISPR loci in the 1980s, well before their physiological role was revealed, their variable sequences have been used as a complementary typing tool in diagnostic, epidemiologic, and evolutionary analyses of prokaryotic strains. The discovery that CRISPR spacers are often identical to sequence fragments of mobile genetic elements was a major breakthrough that eventually led to the elucidation of CRISPR-Cas as an adaptive immunity system. Key elements of this unique prokaryotic defense system are small CRISPR RNAs that guide nucleases to complementary target nucleic acids of invading viruses and plasmids, generally followed by the degradation of the invader. In addition, several recent studies have pointed at direct links of CRISPR-Cas to regulation of a range of stress-related phenomena. An interesting example concerns a pathogenic bacterium that possesses a CRISPR-associated ribonucleoprotein complex that may play a dual role in defense and/or virulence. In this review, we describe recently reported cases of potential involvement of CRISPR-Cas systems in bacterial stress responses in general and bacterial virulence in particular. PMID:24600041

  11. Identification of the Staphylococcus aureus vfrAB operon, a novel virulence factor regulatory locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose, Jeffrey L; Daly, Seth M; Hall, Pamela R; Bayles, Kenneth W

    2014-05-01

    During a screen of the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library, we identified 71 mutations in the Staphylococcus aureus genome that altered hemolysis on blood agar medium. Although many of these mutations disrupted genes known to affect the production of alpha-hemolysin, two of them were associated with an apparent operon, designated vfrAB, that had not been characterized previously. Interestingly, a ΔvfrB mutant exhibited only minor effects on the transcription of the hla gene, encoding alpha-hemolysin, when grown in broth, as well as on RNAIII, a posttranscriptional regulatory RNA important for alpha-hemolysin translation, suggesting that VfrB may function at the posttranscriptional level. Indeed, a ΔvfrB mutant had increased aur and sspAB protease expression under these conditions. However, disruption of the known secreted proteases in the ΔvfrB mutant did not restore hemolytic activity in the ΔvfrB mutant on blood agar. Further analysis revealed that, in contrast to the minor effects of VfrB on hla transcription when strains were cultured in liquid media, the level of hla transcription was decreased 50-fold in the absence of VfrB on solid media. These results demonstrate that while VfrB represses protease expression when strains are grown in broth, hla regulation is highly responsive to factors associated with growth on solid media. Intriguingly, the ΔvfrB mutant displayed increased pathogenesis in a model of S. aureus dermonecrosis, further highlighting the complexity of VfrB-dependent virulence regulation. The results of this study describe a phenotype associated with a class of highly conserved yet uncharacterized proteins found in Gram-positive bacteria, and they shed new light on the regulation of virulence factors necessary for S. aureus pathogenesis.

  12. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Cool Virulence Factors of Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3 Biovar 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Fanhong; Babujee, Lavanya; Jacobs, Jonathan M; Allen, Caitilyn

    2015-01-01

    While most strains of the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum are tropical, the race 3 biovar 2 (R3bv2) subgroup attacks plants in cooler climates. To identify mechanisms underlying this trait, we compared the transcriptional profiles of R. solanacearum R3bv2 strain UW551 and tropical strain GMI1000 at 20°C and 28°C, both in culture and during tomato pathogenesis. 4.2% of the ORFs in the UW551 genome and 7.9% of the GMI1000 ORFs were differentially expressed by temperature in planta. The two strains had distinct transcriptional responses to temperature change. GMI1000 up-regulated several stress response genes at 20°C, apparently struggling to cope with plant defenses. At the cooler temperature, R3bv2 strain UW551 up-regulated a cluster encoding a mannose-fucose binding lectin, LecM; a quorum sensing-dependent protein, AidA; and a related hypothetical protein, AidC. The last two genes are absent from the GMI1000 genome. In UW551, all three genes were positively regulated by the adjacent SolI/R quorum sensing system. These temperature-responsive genes were required for full virulence in R3bv2. Mutants lacking lecM, aidA, or aidC were each significantly more reduced in virulence on tomato at 20°C than at 28°C in both a naturalistic soil soak inoculation assay and when they were inoculated directly into tomato stems. The lecM and aidC mutants also survived poorly in potato tubers at the seed tuber storage temperature of 4°C, and the lecM mutant was defective in biofilm formation in vitro. Together, these results suggest novel mechanisms, including a lectin, are involved in the unique temperate epidemiology of R3bv2.

  13. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Cool Virulence Factors of Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3 Biovar 2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanhong Meng

    Full Text Available While most strains of the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum are tropical, the race 3 biovar 2 (R3bv2 subgroup attacks plants in cooler climates. To identify mechanisms underlying this trait, we compared the transcriptional profiles of R. solanacearum R3bv2 strain UW551 and tropical strain GMI1000 at 20°C and 28°C, both in culture and during tomato pathogenesis. 4.2% of the ORFs in the UW551 genome and 7.9% of the GMI1000 ORFs were differentially expressed by temperature in planta. The two strains had distinct transcriptional responses to temperature change. GMI1000 up-regulated several stress response genes at 20°C, apparently struggling to cope with plant defenses. At the cooler temperature, R3bv2 strain UW551 up-regulated a cluster encoding a mannose-fucose binding lectin, LecM; a quorum sensing-dependent protein, AidA; and a related hypothetical protein, AidC. The last two genes are absent from the GMI1000 genome. In UW551, all three genes were positively regulated by the adjacent SolI/R quorum sensing system. These temperature-responsive genes were required for full virulence in R3bv2. Mutants lacking lecM, aidA, or aidC were each significantly more reduced in virulence on tomato at 20°C than at 28°C in both a naturalistic soil soak inoculation assay and when they were inoculated directly into tomato stems. The lecM and aidC mutants also survived poorly in potato tubers at the seed tuber storage temperature of 4°C, and the lecM mutant was defective in biofilm formation in vitro. Together, these results suggest novel mechanisms, including a lectin, are involved in the unique temperate epidemiology of R3bv2.

  14. Involvement of polyphosphate kinase in virulence and stress tolerance of uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Liang; Jiang, Qiao; Pan, Jia-Yun; Deng, Cong; Yu, Jing-Yi; Wu, Xiao-Man; Huang, Sheng-He; Deng, Xiao-Yan

    2016-04-01

    Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis), a gram-negative enteric bacterium, frequently causes urinary tract infections. Many virulence factors of uropathogenic P. mirabilis have been identified, including urease, flagella, hemolysin and fimbriae. However, the functions of polyphosphate kinase (PPK), which are related to the pathogenicity of many bacteria, remain entirely unknown in P. mirabilis. In this study, a ppk gene encoding the PPK insertional mutant in P. mirabilis strain HI4320 was constructed, and its biological functions were examined. The results of survival studies demonstrated that the ppk mutant was deficient in resistance to oxidative, hyperosmotic and heat stress. The swarming and biofilm formation abilities of P. mirabilis were also attenuated after the ppk interruption. In vitro and in vivo experiments suggested that ppk was required for P. mirabilis to invade the bladder. The negative phenotypes of the ppk mutant could be restored by ppk gene complementation. Furthermore, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry were used to analyze the proteomes of the wild-type strain and the ppk mutant. Compared with the wild-type strain, seven proteins including TonB-dependent receptor, universal stress protein G, major mannose-resistant/Proteus-like fimbrial protein (MR/P fimbriae), heat shock protein, flagellar capping protein, putative membrane protein and multidrug efflux protein were down-regulated, and four proteins including exported peptidase, repressor protein for FtsI, FKBP-type peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase and phosphotransferase were up-regulated in the ppk mutant. As a whole, these results indicate that PPK is an important regulator and plays a crucial role in stress tolerance and virulence in uropathogenic P. mirabilis.

  15. Long-range transcriptional control of an operon necessary for virulence-critical ESX-1 secretion in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Debbie M; Sweeney, Nathan P; Mori, Luisa; Whalan, Rachael H; Comas, Iñaki; Norman, Laura; Cortes, Teresa; Arnvig, Kristine B; Davis, Elaine O; Stapleton, Melanie R; Green, Jeffrey; Buxton, Roger S

    2012-05-01

    The ESX-1 secretion system of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has to be precisely regulated since the secreted proteins, although required for a successful virulent infection, are highly antigenic and their continued secretion would alert the immune system to the infection. The transcription of a five-gene operon containing espACD-Rv3613c-Rv3612c, which is required for ESX-1 secretion and is essential for virulence, was shown to be positively regulated by the EspR transcription factor. Thus, transcription from the start site, found to be located 67 bp upstream of espA, was dependent upon EspR enhancer-like sequences far upstream (between 884 and 1,004 bp), which we term the espA activating region (EAR). The EAR contains one of the known binding sites for EspR, providing the first in vivo evidence that transcriptional activation at the espA promoter occurs by EspR binding to the EAR and looping out DNA between this site and the promoter. Regulation of transcription of this operon thus takes place over long regions of the chromosome. This regulation may differ in some members of the M. tuberculosis complex, including Mycobacterium bovis, since deletions of the intergenic region have removed the upstream sequence containing the EAR, resulting in lowered espA expression. Consequent differences in expression of ESX-1 in these bacteria may contribute to their various pathologies and host ranges. The virulence-critical nature of this operon means that transcription factors controlling its expression are possible drug targets.

  16. Reconstruction of the metabolic network of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to interrogate virulence factor synthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartell, Jennifer; Blazier, Anna S; Yen, Phillip

    2017-01-01

    Virulence-linked pathways in opportunistic pathogens are putative therapeutic targets that may be associated with less potential for resistance than targets in growth-essential pathways. However, efficacy of virulence-linked targets may be affected by the contribution of virulence-related genes t...

  17. A Strong Case for Viral Genetic Factors in HIV Virulence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua T. Herbeck

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available HIV infections show great variation in the rate of progression to disease, and the role of viral genetic factors in this variation had remained poorly characterized until recently. Now a series of four studies [1–4] published within a year has filled this important gap and has demonstrated a robust effect of the viral genotype on HIV virulence.

  18. Detection of some virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    USER

    2010-06-21

    Jun 21, 2010 ... Mastitis is one of the common diseases of dairy cattle and an inflammatory ... Key words: Bovine mastitis, Staphylococcus aureus, virulence factors, ... frequent cause of subclinical intramammary infections in ... genotypes has not been investigated. ... genes in S. aureus, we were particularly interested in the.

  19. Detection of some virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Detection of some virulence factors in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from clinical and subclinical bovine mastitis in Iran. ... Mastitis is one of the common diseases of dairy cattle and an inflammatory response of the mammary glands tissue. ... and B genes, 10 samples contained agrI gene, 42 samples contained agrII gene, ...

  20. Virulence properties and random amplification of polymorphic DNA ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Genotypic and phenotypic characterization as well as studies on the virulence factors of Candida albicans isolates obtained from oral cavity of patients was carried out using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) fingerprinting and epithelial cells adherence assay, respectively. RAPD patterns revealed the presence of ...

  1. Detection of viable toxigenic Vibrio cholerae and virulent Shigella ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    . cholerae and the invasion plasmid antigen gene (ipaH) of virulent Shigella spp., was performed and the PCR products were visualised by agarose gel electrophoresis. The assay allowed the detection of as few as 1 cfu/100 ml of V. cholerae ...

  2. Gene encoding virulence markers among Escherichia coli isolates ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    River water sources and diarrhoeic stools of residents in the Venda Region, Limpopo Province of South Africa were analysed for the prevalence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and the presence of virulence genes among the isolates. A control group of 100 nondiarrhoeic stool samples was included. Escherichia coli was ...

  3. Amoebapore is an important virulence factor of Entamoeba histolytica

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ... ap-a genes. The silenced transfectant was not virulent at all. These results demonstrate that important factors need to be expressed at the correct cellular location and that the parasite has additional internal control mechanisms such as transcriptional gene silencing which can prevent excess amounts of gene expression.

  4. Virulence of Xanthomonas translucens pv. poae Isolated from Poa annua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arielle Chaves

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial wilt is a vascular wilt disease caused by Xanthomonas translucens pv. poae that infects Poa annua, a grass that is commonly found on golf course greens throughout the world. Bacterial wilt causes symptoms of etiolation, wilting, and foliar necrosis. The damage is most prevalent during the summer and the pathogen can kill turf under conditions optimal for disease development. Fifteen isolates of X. translucens pv. poae were collected from northern regions in the United States and tested for virulence against P. annua. All 15 isolates were pathogenic on P. annua, but demonstrated variable levels of virulence when inoculated onto P. annua under greenhouse conditions. The isolates were divided into two virulence groups. The first group containing four isolates generally resulted in less than 40% mortality following inoculation. The second group, containing the other eleven isolates, produced between 90 and 100% mortality following inoculation. These results suggest that differences in the virulence of bacterial populations present on a golf course may result in more or less severe amounts of observed disease.

  5. Reconstructing the highly virulent Classical Swine Fever Virus strain Koslov

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fahnøe, Ulrik; Pedersen, Anders Gorm; Nielsen, Jens

    -prone nature of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase resulting in the majority of circulating forms being non-functional. However, since any infectious virus particle should necessarily be the offspring of a functional virus, we hypothesized that it should be possible to synthesize a highly virulent form...

  6. Prevalence of Escherichia coli virulence genes in patients with ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study, we investigated the prevalence of the virulence genes specific for five major pathogroups of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) in primary cultures from diarrhoeagenic patients in Burkina Faso. Methodology: From September 2016 to Mars 2017, a total of 211 faecal samples from diarrhoeagenic patients from ...

  7. Virulence potential of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from Buruli ulcer patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

    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.

  8. Genospecies and virulence factors of Aeromonas species in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: Aeromonads of medical importance have been reported from numerous clinical, food, and water sources, but identification of genospecies and virulence factors of Aeromonas species from countries in North Africa and the Middle East are few. Methods: In total 99 Aeromonas species isolates from different ...

  9. Molecular Detection of Virulence Genes and Antibiotic Resistance ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an important food-borne pathogen that can cause diarrhea, haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic uremic syndrome. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence, virulence genes and antibiotic resistance patterns of E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef meat sold in Abeokuta, South west Nigeria ...

  10. Molecular Characterization of Putative Virulence Determinants in Burkholderia pseudomallei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suat Moi Puah

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The Gram-negative saprophyte Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, an infectious disease which is endemic in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. This bacterium possesses many virulence factors which are thought to contribute to its survival and pathogenicity. Using a virulent clinical isolate of B. pseudomallei and an attenuated strain of the same B. pseudomallei isolate, 6 genes BPSL2033, BP1026B_I2784, BP1026B_I2780, BURPS1106A_A0094, BURPS1106A_1131, and BURPS1710A_1419 were identified earlier by PCR-based subtractive hybridization. These genes were extensively characterized at the molecular level, together with an additional gene BPSL3147 that had been identified by other investigators. Through a reverse genetic approach, single-gene knockout mutants were successfully constructed by using site-specific insertion mutagenesis and were confirmed by PCR. BPSL2033::Km and BURPS1710A_1419::Km mutants showed reduced rates of survival inside macrophage RAW 264.7 cells and also low levels of virulence in the nematode infection model. BPSL2033::Km demonstrated weak statistical significance (P=0.049 at 8 hours after infection in macrophage infection study but this was not seen in BURPS1710A_1419::Km. Nevertheless, complemented strains of both genes were able to partially restore the gene defects in both in vitro and in vivo studies, thus suggesting that they individually play a minor role in the virulence of B. pseudomallei.

  11. Virulence Types of Magnaporthe oryzae to Hybrid Rice in Sichuan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-lian BAI

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 638 isolates of rice blast (Magnaporthe oryzae were isolated in 2002–2009 from different rice varieties in different regions of Sichuan, China and inoculated onto seven rice varieties (Lijiangxintuanheigu, IR24, Minghui 63, Duohui 1, Chenghui 448, Neihui 99-14 and RHR-1 to differentiate the virulence types of the fungus and trace the changes. The virulence to the seven varieties was respectively scored at 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64. The total scores of individual M. grisea isolates which were the sum of scores infecting differential varieties could, in turn, be used for the nomenclature of the virulence types due to their accordance to the special virulence patterns. The 638 tested isolates were then differentiated into 56 different virulence types. Type 15 virulent to Lijiangxintuanheigu, IR24 and Minghui 63, and Type 127 virulent to all of the seven varieties were the most dominant virulence types respectively with the occurrence frequencies of 15.99% and 15.83%. Type 19 and other seven virulence types were not monitored during 2002–2009. Type 15 was the predominant virulence type in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007, whereas Type 127 had been the most dominant virulence type after 2005 except for the year 2007 when the province underwent severe drought. Five hundred and seven out of the 638 tested isolates were virulent to Minghui 63, and 89.58% of the 384 isolates virulent to either Duohui 1, Chenghui 448 or Neihui 99-14 were virulent to Minghui 63, which indicated the impact of the extensive plantation of hybrid rice Minghui 63 as the restorer line on the virulence evolution of M. oryzae in Sichuan. The virulence pattern of the dominant virulence types suggested that the acquiring of virulence to all the major resistant restorer lines was the main routes of the evolution in virulence of M. oryzae to hybrid rice in Sichuan. The virulence frequencies of the 638 tested isolates to IR24, Minghui 63, Duohui 1, Chenghui 448, Neihui 99

  12. Proteomics identifies Bacillus cereus EntD as a pivotal protein for the production of numerous virulence factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hélène eOmer

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Bacillus cereus is a gram-positive pathogen that causes a wide variety of diseases in humans. It secretes into the extracellular milieu proteins that may contribute directly or indirectly to its virulence. EntD is a novel exoprotein identified by proteogenomics of B. cereus ATCC 14579. We constructed a ΔentD mutant and analyzed the impact of entD disruption on the cellular proteome and exoproteome isolated from early, late and stationary-phase cultures. We identified 308 and 79 proteins regulated by EntD in the cellular proteome and the exoproteome, respectively. The contribution of these proteins to important virulence-associated functions, including central metabolism, cell structure, antioxidative ability, cell motility and toxin production, are presented. The proteomic data were correlated with the growth defect, cell morphology change, reduced motility and reduced cytotoxicity of the ΔentD mutant strain. We conclude that EntD is an important player in B. cereus virulence. The function of EntD and the putative EntD-dependent regulatory network are discussed. To our knowledge, this study is the first characterization of an Ent family protein in a species of the B. cereus group.

  13. Host age modulates parasite infectivity, virulence and reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izhar, Rony; Ben-Ami, Frida

    2015-07-01

    Host age is one of the most striking differences among hosts within most populations, but there is very little data on how age-dependent effects impact ecological and evolutionary dynamics of both the host and the parasite. Here, we examined the influence of host age (juveniles, young and old adults) at parasite exposure on host susceptibility, fecundity and survival as well as parasite transmission, using two clones of the water flea Daphnia magna and two clones of its bacterial parasite Pasteuria ramosa. Younger D. magna were more susceptible to infection than older ones, regardless of host or parasite clone. Also, younger-infected D. magna became castrated faster than older hosts, but host and parasite clone effects contributed to this trait as well. Furthermore, the early-infected D. magna produced considerably more parasite transmission stages than late-infected ones, while host age at exposure did not affect virulence as it is defined in models (host mortality). When virulence is defined more broadly as the negative effects of infection on host fitness, by integrating the parasitic effects on host fecundity and mortality, then host age at exposure seems to slide along a negative relationship between host and parasite fitness. Thus, the virulence-transmission trade-off differs strongly among age classes, which in turn affects predictions of optimal virulence. Age-dependent effects on host susceptibility, virulence and parasite transmission could pose an important challenge for experimental and theoretical studies of infectious disease dynamics and disease ecology. Our results present a call for a more explicit stage-structured theory for disease, which will incorporate age-dependent epidemiological parameters. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  14. Virulence Genes and Antibiotic Susceptibilities of Uropathogenic E. coli Strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzun, Cengiz; Oncül, Oral; Gümüş, Defne; Alan, Servet; Dayioğlu, Nurten; Küçüker, Mine Anğ

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to detect the presence of and possible relation between virulence genes and antibiotic resistance in E. coli strains isolated from patients with acute, uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI). 62 E. coli strains isolated from patients with acute, uncomplicated urinary tract infections (50 strains isolated from acute uncomplicated cystitis cases (AUC); 12 strains from acute uncomplicated pyelonephritis cases (AUP)) were screened for virulence genes [pap (pyelonephritis-associated pili), sfa/foc (S and F1C fimbriae), afa (afimbrial adhesins), hly (hemolysin), cnf1 (cytotoxic necrotizing factor), aer (aerobactin), PAI (pathogenicity island marker), iroN (catecholate siderophore receptor), ompT (outer membrane protein T), usp (uropathogenic specific protein)] by PCR and for antimicrobial resistance by disk diffusion method according to CLSI criteria. It was found that 56 strains (90.3%) carried at least one virulence gene. The most common virulence genes were ompT (79%), aer (51.6%), PAI (51.6%) and usp (56.5%). 60% of the strains were resistant to at least one antibiotic. The highest resistance rates were against ampicillin (79%) and co-trimoxazole (41.9%). Fifty percent of the E. coli strains (31 strains) were found to be multiple resistant. Eight (12.9%) out of 62 strains were found to be ESBL positive. Statistically significant relationships were found between the absence of usp and AMP - SXT resistance, iroN and OFX - CIP resistance, PAI and SXT resistance, cnf1 and AMP resistance, and a significant relationship was also found between the presence of the afa and OFX resistance. No difference between E. coli strains isolated from two different clinical presentations was found in terms of virulence genes and antibiotic susceptibility.

  15. Virulence Factors of Aeromonas hydrophila: in the Wake of Reclassification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody R Rasmussen-Ivey

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The ubiquitous jack-of-all-trades, Aeromonas hydrophila, is a freshwater, Gram-negative bacterial pathogen under revision in regard to its phylogenetic and functional affiliation with other aeromonads. While virulence factors are expectedly diverse across A. hydrophila strains and closely related species, our mechanistic knowledge of the vast majority of these factors is based on the molecular characterization of the strains A. hydrophila AH-3 and SSU, which were reclassified as A. piscicola AH-3 in 2009 and A. dhakensis SSU in 2013. Individually, these reclassifications raise important questions involving the applicability of previous research on A. hydrophila virulence mechanisms; however, this issue is exacerbated by a lack of genomic data on other research strains. Collectively, these changes represent a fundamental gap in the literature on A. hydrophila and confirm the necessity of biochemical, molecular, and morphological techniques in the classification of research strains that are used as a foundation for future research. This review revisits what is known about virulence in A. hydrophila and the feasibility of using comparative genomics in light of this phylogenetic revision. Conflicting data between virulence factors, secretion systems, quorum sensing, and their effect on A. hydrophila pathogenicity appears to be an artifact of inappropriate taxonomic comparisons and/or be due to the fact that these properties are strain-specific. This review audits emerging data on dominant virulence factors that are present in both A. dhakensis and A. hydrophila in order to synthesize existing data with the aim of locating where future research is needed.

  16. Genes involved in virulence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valero-Jiménez, Claudio A; Wiegers, Harm; Zwaan, Bas J; Koenraadt, Constantianus J M; van Kan, Jan A L

    2016-01-01

    Pest insects cause severe damage to global crop production and pose a threat to human health by transmitting diseases. Traditionally, chemical pesticides (insecticides) have been used to control such pests and have proven to be effective only for a limited amount of time because of the rapid spread of genetic insecticide resistance. The basis of this resistance is mostly caused by (co)dominant mutations in single genes, which explains why insecticide use alone is an unsustainable solution. Therefore, robust solutions for insect pest control need to be sought in alternative methods such as biological control agents for which single-gene resistance is less likely to evolve. The entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana has shown potential as a biological control agent of insects, and insight into the mechanisms of virulence is essential to show the robustness of its use. With the recent availability of the whole genome sequence of B. bassiana, progress in understanding the genetics that constitute virulence toward insects can be made more quickly. In this review we divide the infection process into distinct steps and provide an overview of what is currently known about genes and mechanisms influencing virulence in B. bassiana. We also discuss the need for novel strategies and experimental methods to better understand the infection mechanisms deployed by entomopathogenic fungi. Such knowledge can help improve biocontrol agents, not only by selecting the most virulent genotypes, but also by selecting the genotypes that use combinations of virulence mechanisms for which resistance in the insect host is least likely to develop. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. How Listeria monocytogenes organizes its surface for virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Filipe; Sousa, Sandra; Cabanes, Didier

    2014-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive pathogen responsible for the manifestation of human listeriosis, an opportunistic foodborne disease with an associated high mortality rate. The key to the pathogenesis of listeriosis is the capacity of this bacterium to trigger its internalization by non-phagocytic cells and to survive and even replicate within phagocytes. The arsenal of virulence proteins deployed by L. monocytogenes to successfully promote the invasion and infection of host cells has been progressively unveiled over the past decades. A large majority of them is located at the cell envelope, which provides an interface for the establishment of close interactions between these bacterial factors and their host targets. Along the multistep pathways carrying these virulence proteins from the inner side of the cytoplasmic membrane to their cell envelope destination, a multiplicity of auxiliary proteins must act on the immature polypeptides to ensure that they not only maturate into fully functional effectors but also are placed or guided to their correct position in the bacterial surface. As the major scaffold for surface proteins, the cell wall and its metabolism are critical elements in listerial virulence. Conversely, the crucial physical support and protection provided by this structure make it an ideal target for the host immune system. Therefore, mechanisms involving fine modifications of cell envelope components are activated by L. monocytogenes to render it less recognizable by the innate immunity sensors or more resistant to the activity of antimicrobial effectors. This review provides a state-of-the-art compilation of the mechanisms used by L. monocytogenes to organize its surface for virulence, with special focus on those proteins that work “behind the frontline”, either supporting virulence effectors or ensuring the survival of the bacterium within its host. PMID:24809022

  18. [Virulence markers of Escherichia coli O1 strains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makarova, M A; Kaftyreva, L A; Grigor'eva, N S; Kicha, E V; Lipatova, L A

    2011-01-01

    To detect virulence genes in clinical isolates of Escherichia coli O1 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). One hundred and twenty strains of E.coli O1 strains isolated from faeces of patients with acute diarrhea (n = 45) and healthy persons (n = 75) were studied. PCR with primers for rfb and fliC genes, which control synthesis of O- and H- antigens respectively, was used. Fourteen virulence genes (pap, aaf, sfa, afa, eaeA, bfpA, ial, hly, cnf, stx1, stx2, lt, st, and aer) were detected by PCR primers. K1-antigen was determined by Pastorex Meningo B/E. coli O1 kit (Bio-Rad). rfb gene controlling O-antigen synthesis in serogroup O1 as well as fliC gene controlling synthesis of H7 and K1 antigens were detected in all strains. Thus all E. coli strains had antigenic structure O1:K1 :H-:F7. Virulence genes aafl, sfa, afa, eaeA, bfpA, ial, hly, cnf, stx1, stx2, lt, and st were not detected. All strains owned pap and aer genes regardless of the presence of acute diarrhea symptoms. It was shown that E. coli O1:KI:H-:F7 strains do not have virulence genes which are characteristic for diarrhea-causing Escherichia. In accordance with the presence of pap and aer genes they could be attributed to uropathogenic Escherichia (UPEC) or avian-pathogenic Escherichia (APEC). It is necessary to detect virulence factors in order to determine E. coli as a cause of intestinal infection.

  19. Genomic comparison of virulent and non-virulent Streptococcus agalactiae in fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delannoy, C M J; Zadoks, R N; Crumlish, M; Rodgers, D; Lainson, F A; Ferguson, H W; Turnbull, J; Fontaine, M C

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae infections in fish are predominantly caused by beta-haemolytic strains of clonal complex (CC) 7, notably its namesake sequence type (ST) 7, or by non-haemolytic strains of CC552, including the globally distributed ST260. In contrast, CC23, including its namesake ST23, has been associated with a wide homeothermic and poikilothermic host range, but never with fish. The aim of this study was to determine whether ST23 is virulent in fish and to identify genomic markers of fish adaptation of S. agalactiae. Intraperitoneal challenge of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus), showed that ST260 is lethal at doses down to 10(2) cfu per fish, whereas ST23 does not cause disease at 10(7) cfu per fish. Comparison of the genome sequence of ST260 and ST23 with those of strains derived from fish, cattle and humans revealed the presence of genomic elements that are unique to subpopulations of S. agalactiae that have the ability to infect fish (CC7 and CC552). These loci occurred in clusters exhibiting typical signatures of mobile genetic elements. PCR-based screening of a collection of isolates from multiple host species confirmed the association of selected genes with fish-derived strains. Several fish-associated genes encode proteins that potentially provide fitness in the aquatic environment. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Virulence marker candidates in N-protein of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV): virulence variability within VHSV Ib clones

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ito, Takafumi; Kurita, Jun; Mori, Koh-ichiro

    2018-01-01

    , upon cloning by limited dilution, both isolates appeared to be heterogeneous in terms of reactivity with nucleo (N)-protein-specific MAbs as well their gene sequences. Infection trials in rainbow trout further revealed differences in the virulence of these virus clones derived from the same primary...

  1. PhoB activates Escherichia coli O157:H7 virulence factors in response to inorganic phosphate limitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Mohammed Chekabab

    Full Text Available Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC, an emerging food- and water-borne hazard, is highly pathogenic to humans. In the environment, EHEC must survive phosphate (Pi limitation. The response to such Pi starvation is an induction of the Pho regulon including the Pst system that senses Pi variation. The interplay between the virulence of EHEC, Pho-Pst system and environmental Pi remains unknown. To understand the effects of Pi deprivation on the molecular mechanisms involved in EHEC survival and virulence under Pho regulon control, we undertook transcriptome profiling of the EDL933 wild-type strain grown under high Pi and low Pi conditions and its isogenic ΔphoB mutant grown in low Pi conditions. The differentially expressed genes included 1067 Pi-dependent genes and 603 PhoB-dependent genes. Of these 131 genes were both Pi and PhoB-dependent. Differentially expressed genes that were selected included those involved in Pi homeostasis, cellular metabolism, acid stress, oxidative stress and RpoS-dependent stress responses. Differentially expressed virulence systems included the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE encoding the type-3 secretion system (T3SS and its effectors, as well as BP-933W prophage encoded Shiga toxin 2 genes. Moreover, PhoB directly regulated LEE and stx2 gene expression through binding to specific Pho boxes. However, in Pi-rich medium, constitutive activation of the Pho regulon decreased LEE gene expression and reduced adherence to HeLa cells. Together, these findings reveal that EHEC has evolved a sophisticated response to Pi limitation involving multiple biochemical strategies that contribute to its ability to respond to variations in environmental Pi and to coordinating the virulence response.

  2. Heterologous expression of Ralp3 in Streptococcus pyogenes M2 and M6 strains affects the virulence characteristics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolai Siemens

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Ralp3 is a transcriptional regulator present in a serotype specific fashion on the chromosome of the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci, GAS. In serotypes harbouring the ralp3 gene either positive or negative effects on important metabolic and virulence genes involved in colonization and immune evasion in the human host were observed. A previous study revealed that deletion of ralp3 in a GAS M49 serotype significantly attenuated many virulence traits and caused metabolic disadvantages. This leads to two questions: (i which kind of consequences could Ralp3 expression have in GAS serotypes naturally lacking this gene, and (ii is Ralp3 actively lost during evolution in these serotypes. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the role of Ralp3 in GAS M2 and M6 pathogenesis. Both serotypes lack ralp3 on their chromosome. The heterologous expression of ralp3 in both serotypes resulted in reduced attachment to and internalization into the majority of tested epithelial cells. Both ralp3 expression strains showed a decreased ability to survive in human blood and exclusively M2::ralp3 showed decreased survival in human serum. Both mutants secreted more active SpeB in the supernatant, resulting in a higher activity compared to wild type strains. The respective M2 and M6 wild type strains outcompeted the ralp3 expression strains in direct metabolic competition assays. The phenotypic changes observed in the M2:ralp3 and M6:ralp3 were verified on the transcriptional level. Consistent with the virulence data, tested genes showed transcript level changes in the same direction. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Together these data suggest that Ralp3 can take over transcriptional control of virulence genes in serotypes lacking the ralp3 gene. Those serotypes most likely lost Ralp3 during evolution since obviously expression of this gene is disadvantageous for metabolism and pathogenesis.

  3. Heterologous expression of Ralp3 in Streptococcus pyogenes M2 and M6 strains affects the virulence characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siemens, Nikolai; Kreikemeyer, Bernd

    2013-01-01

    Ralp3 is a transcriptional regulator present in a serotype specific fashion on the chromosome of the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococci, GAS). In serotypes harbouring the ralp3 gene either positive or negative effects on important metabolic and virulence genes involved in colonization and immune evasion in the human host were observed. A previous study revealed that deletion of ralp3 in a GAS M49 serotype significantly attenuated many virulence traits and caused metabolic disadvantages. This leads to two questions: (i) which kind of consequences could Ralp3 expression have in GAS serotypes naturally lacking this gene, and (ii) is Ralp3 actively lost during evolution in these serotypes. We investigated the role of Ralp3 in GAS M2 and M6 pathogenesis. Both serotypes lack ralp3 on their chromosome. The heterologous expression of ralp3 in both serotypes resulted in reduced attachment to and internalization into the majority of tested epithelial cells. Both ralp3 expression strains showed a decreased ability to survive in human blood and exclusively M2::ralp3 showed decreased survival in human serum. Both mutants secreted more active SpeB in the supernatant, resulting in a higher activity compared to wild type strains. The respective M2 and M6 wild type strains outcompeted the ralp3 expression strains in direct metabolic competition assays. The phenotypic changes observed in the M2:ralp3 and M6:ralp3 were verified on the transcriptional level. Consistent with the virulence data, tested genes showed transcript level changes in the same direction. Together these data suggest that Ralp3 can take over transcriptional control of virulence genes in serotypes lacking the ralp3 gene. Those serotypes most likely lost Ralp3 during evolution since obviously expression of this gene is disadvantageous for metabolism and pathogenesis.

  4. Proteomics as a tool for studying bacterial virulence and antimicrobial resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco José Pérez -Llarena

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Proteomic studies have improved our understanding of the microbial world. The most recent advances in this field have helped us to explore aspects beyond genomics. For example, by studying proteins and their regulation, researchers now understand how some pathogenic bacteria have adapted to the lethal actions of antibiotics. Proteomics has also advanced our knowledge of mechanisms of bacterial virulence and some important aspects of how bacteria interact with human cells and, thus, of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. This review article addresses these issues in some of the most important human pathogens. It also reports some applications of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry that may be important for the diagnosis of bacterial resistance in clinical laboratories in the future. The reported advances will enable new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to be developed in the fight against some of the most lethal bacteria affecting humans.

  5. Media ion composition controls regulatory and virulence response of Salmonella in spaceflight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James W Wilson

    Full Text Available The spaceflight environment is relevant to conditions encountered by pathogens during the course of infection and induces novel changes in microbial pathogenesis not observed using conventional methods. It is unclear how microbial cells sense spaceflight-associated changes to their growth environment and orchestrate corresponding changes in molecular and physiological phenotypes relevant to the infection process. Here we report that spaceflight-induced increases in Salmonella virulence are regulated by media ion composition, and that phosphate ion is sufficient to alter related pathogenesis responses in a spaceflight analogue model. Using whole genome microarray and proteomic analyses from two independent Space Shuttle missions, we identified evolutionarily conserved molecular pathways in Salmonella that respond to spaceflight under all media compositions tested. Identification of conserved regulatory paradigms opens new avenues to control microbial responses during the infection process and holds promise to provide an improved understanding of human health and disease on Earth.

  6. Norlichexanthone Reduces Virulence Gene Expression and Biofilm Formation in Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baldry, Mara; Nielsen, Anita; Bojer, Martin S.

    2016-01-01

    characterise the mode of action of norlichexanthone and its effect on biofilm formation. We find that norlichexanthone reduces expression of both hla and RNAIII also in strain USA300. Structurally, norlichexanthone resembles ω-hydroxyemodin that recently was shown to bind the agr two component response......-hydroxyemodin however, norlichexanthone reduces staphylococcal biofilm formation. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that genes regulated by the SaeRS two-component system are repressed by norlichexanthone when compared to untreated cells, an effect that was mitigated in strain Newman carrying a partially constitutive...... SaeRS system. Our data show that norlichexanthone treatment reduces expression of key virulence factors in CA-MRSA strain USA300 via AgrA binding and represses biofilm formation....

  7. Differential virulence of Candida albicans and C. dubliniensis: A role for Tor1 kinase?

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Sullivan, Derek J

    2011-01-01

    Candida albicans and Candida dubliniensis are two very closely related species of pathogenic yeast. C. albicans is the most prevalent species in the human gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for far more opportunistic infections in comparison with C. dubliniensis. This disparity is likely to be due to the reduced ability of C. dubliniensis to undergo the yeast to hypha transition, a change in morphology that plays an important role in C. albicans virulence. We have recently shown that hypha formation by C. dubliniensis is specifically repressed by nutrients at alkaline pH. In this article, we present new data showing that this can be partly reversed by treatment with rapamycin, an inhibitor of the nutrient sensing kinase Tor1 (Target Of Rapamycin). We also provide a speculative model to describe why C. albicans filaments more efficiently in nutrient rich environments, citing recently described data on Mds3, a pH responsive regulator of Tor1 kinase activity.

  8. Genome sequence of the endosymbiont Rickettsia peacockii and comparison with virulent Rickettsia rickettsii: identification of virulence factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roderick F Felsheim

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Rickettsia peacockii, also known as the East Side Agent, is a non-pathogenic obligate intracellular bacterium found as an endosymbiont in Dermacentor andersoni ticks in the western USA and Canada. Its presence in ticks is correlated with reduced prevalence of Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It has been proposed that a virulent SFG rickettsia underwent changes to become the East Side Agent. We determined the genome sequence of R. peacockii and provide a comparison to a closely related virulent R. rickettsii. The presence of 42 chromosomal copies of the ISRpe1 transposon in the genome of R. peacockii is associated with a lack of synteny with the genome of R. rickettsii and numerous deletions via recombination between transposon copies. The plasmid contains a number of genes from distantly related organisms, such as part of the glycosylation island of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Genes deleted or mutated in R. peacockii which may relate to loss of virulence include those coding for an ankyrin repeat containing protein, DsbA, RickA, protease II, OmpA, ScaI, and a putative phosphoethanolamine transferase. The gene coding for the ankyrin repeat containing protein is especially implicated as it is mutated in R. rickettsii strain Iowa, which has attenuated virulence. Presence of numerous copies of the ISRpe1 transposon, likely acquired by lateral transfer from a Cardinium species, are associated with extensive genomic reorganization and deletions. The deletion and mutation of genes possibly involved in loss of virulence have been identified by this genomic comparison. It also illustrates that the introduction of a transposon into the genome can have varied effects; either correlating with an increase in pathogenicity as in Francisella tularensis or a loss of pathogenicity as in R. peacockii and the recombination enabled by multiple transposon copies can cause significant deletions in some genomes while not in others.

  9. Additive Effects of Quorum Sensing Anti-Activators on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence Traits and Transcriptome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle L. Asfahl

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available In the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, quorum sensing (QS via acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL signals coordinates virulence gene expression. AHL signals must reach a critical threshold before enough is bound by cognate regulators LasR and RhlR to drive transcription of target genes. In addition, three anti-activator proteins, QteE, QscR, and QslA, sequester QS regulators to increase the threshold for induction and delay expression of QS target genes. It remains unclear how multiple anti-activators work together to achieve the quorum threshold. Here, we employed a combination of mutational, kinetic, phenotypic, and transcriptomic analysis to examine regulatory effects and interactions of the three distinct anti-activators. We observed combinatorial, additive effects on QS gene expression. As measured by reporter gene fusion, individual deletion of each anti-activator gene increased lasB expression and QS-controlled virulence factor production. Deletion of qslA in combination with the deletion of any other anti-activator gene resulted in the greatest increase and earliest activation of lasB gene expression. Western analysis revealed that relative increases in soluble LasR in anti-activator mutants correlate with increased lasB expression and QS-controlled virulence factor production. RNA-seq of the previously uncharacterized QslA and QteE regulons revealed overlapping, yet distinct groups of differentially expressed genes. Simultaneous inactivation of qteE and qslA had the largest effect on gene expression with 999 genes induced and 798 genes repressed in the double mutant vs. wild-type. We found that LasR and RhlR-activated QS genes formed a subset of the genes induced in the qteE, qslA, and double mutant. The activation of almost all of these QS genes was advanced from stationary phase to log phase in the qteE qslA double mutant. Taken together, our results identify additive effects of anti-activation on QS gene expression, likely

  10. Δ(1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate/glutamate biogenesis is required for fungal virulence and sporulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziting Yao

    Full Text Available Proline dehydrogenase (Prodh and Δ(1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase (P5Cdh are two key enzymes in the cellular biogenesis of glutamate. Recombinant Prodh and P5Cdh proteins of the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica were investigated and showed activity in in vitro assays. Additionally, the C. parasitica Prodh and P5Cdh genes were able to complement the Saccharomyces cerevisiae put1 and put2 null mutants, respectively, to allow these proline auxotrophic yeast mutants to grow on media with proline as the sole source of nitrogen. Deletion of the Prodh gene in C. parasitica resulted in hypovirulence and a lower level of sporulation, whereas deletion of P5Cdh resulted in hypovirulence though no effect on sporulation; both Δprodh and Δp5cdh mutants were unable to grow on minimal medium with proline as the sole nitrogen source. In a wild-type strain, the intracellular level of proline and the activity of Prodh and P5Cdh increased after supplementation of exogenous proline, though the intracellular Δ(1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C content remained unchanged. Prodh and P5Cdh were both transcriptionally down-regulated in cells infected with hypovirus. The disruption of other genes with products involved in the conversion of arginine to ornithine, ornithine and glutamate to P5C, and P5C to proline in the cytosol did not appear to affect virulence; however, asexual sporulation was reduced in the Δpro1 and Δpro2 mutants. Taken together, our results showed that Prodh, P5Cdh and related mitochondrial functions are essential for virulence and that proline/glutamate pathway components may represent down-stream targets of hypovirus regulation in C. parasitica.

  11. Processing of Candida albicans Ece1p Is Critical for Candidalysin Maturation and Fungal Virulence

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    Jonathan P. Richardson

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen responsible for superficial and life-threatening infections in humans. During mucosal infection, C. albicans undergoes a morphological transition from yeast to invasive filamentous hyphae that secrete candidalysin, a 31-amino-acid peptide toxin required for virulence. Candidalysin damages epithelial cell plasma membranes and stimulates the activating protein 1 (AP-1 transcription factor c-Fos (via p38–mitogen-activated protein kinase [MAPK], and the MAPK phosphatase MKP1 (via extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 [ERK1/2]–MAPK, which trigger and regulate proinflammatory cytokine responses, respectively. The candidalysin toxin resides as a discrete cryptic sequence within a larger 271-amino-acid parental preproprotein, Ece1p. Here, we demonstrate that kexin-like proteinases, but not secreted aspartyl proteinases, initiate a two-step posttranslational processing of Ece1p to produce candidalysin. Kex2p-mediated proteolysis of Ece1p after Arg61 and Arg93, but not after other processing sites within Ece1p, is required to generate immature candidalysin from Ece1p, followed by Kex1p-mediated removal of a carboxyl arginine residue to generate mature candidalysin. C. albicans strains harboring mutations of Arg61 and/or Arg93 did not secrete candidalysin, were unable to induce epithelial damage and inflammatory responses in vitro, and showed attenuated virulence in vivo in a murine model of oropharyngeal candidiasis. These observations identify enzymatic processing of C. albicans Ece1p by kexin-like proteinases as crucial steps required for candidalysin production and fungal pathogenicity.

  12. The Trk Potassium Transporter Is Required for RsmB-Mediated Activation of Virulence in the Phytopathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae

    OpenAIRE

    Valente, Rita S.; Xavier, Karina B.

    2015-01-01

    Pectobacterium wasabiae (previously known as Erwinia carotovora) is an important plant pathogen that regulates the production of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes through an N-acyl homoserine lactone-based quorum sensing system and through the GacS/GacA two-component system (also known as ExpS/ExpA). At high cell density, activation of GacS/GacA induces the expression of RsmB, a noncoding RNA that is essential for the activation of virulence in this bacterium. A genetic screen to identify reg...

  13. The animal model determines the results of Aeromonas virulence factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Romero

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The selection of an experimental animal model is of great importance in the study of bacterial virulence factors. Here, a bath infection of zebrafish larvae is proposed as an alternative model to study the virulence factors of A. hydrophila. Intraperitoneal infections in mice and trout were compared with bath infections in zebrafish larvae using specific mutants. The great advantage of this model is that bath immersion mimics the natural route of infection, and injury to the tail also provides a natural portal of entry for the bacteria. The implication of T3SS in the virulence of A. hydrophila was analysed using the AH-1::aopB mutant. This mutant was less virulent than the wild-type strain when inoculated into zebrafish larvae, as described in other vertebrates. However, the zebrafish model exhibited slight differences in mortality kinetics only observed using invertebrate models. Infections using the mutant AH-1∆vapA lacking the gene coding for the surface S-layer suggested that this protein was not totally necessary to the bacteria once it was inside the host, but it contributed to the inflammatory response. Only when healthy zebrafish larvae were infected did the mutant produce less mortality than the wild type. Variations between models were evidenced using the AH-1∆rmlB, which lacks the O-antigen lipopolysaccharide (LPS, and the AH-1∆wahD, which lacks the O-antigen LPS and part of the LPS outer-core. Both mutants showed decreased mortality in all of the animal models, but the differences between them were only observed in injured zebrafish larvae, suggesting that residues from the LPS outer core must be important for virulence. The greatest differences were observed using the AH-1ΔFlaB-J (lacking polar flagella and unable to swim and the AH-1::motX (non-motile but producing flagella. They were as pathogenic as the wild-type strain when injected into mice and trout, but no mortalities were registered in zebrafish larvae. This study

  14. Exploring virulence and immunogenicity in the emerging pathogen Sporothrix brasiliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Della Terra, Paula Portella; Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Fernandes, Geisa Ferreira; Nishikaku, Angela Satie; Burger, Eva; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires

    2017-08-01

    Sporotrichosis is a polymorphic chronic infection of humans and animals classically acquired after traumatic inoculation with soil and plant material contaminated with Sporothrix spp. propagules. An alternative and successful route of transmission is bites and scratches from diseased cats, through which Sporothrix yeasts are inoculated into mammalian tissue. The development of a murine model of subcutaneous sporotrichosis mimicking the alternative route of transmission is essential to understanding disease pathogenesis and the development of novel therapeutic strategies. To explore the impact of horizontal transmission in animals (e.g., cat-cat) and zoonotic transmission on Sporothrix fitness, the left hind footpads of BALB/c mice were inoculated with 5×106 yeasts (n = 11 S. brasiliensis, n = 2 S. schenckii, or n = 1 S. globosa). Twenty days post-infection, our model reproduced both the pathophysiology and symptomology of sporotrichosis with suppurating subcutaneous nodules that progressed proximally along lymphatic channels. Across the main pathogenic members of the S. schenckii clade, S. brasiliensis was usually more virulent than S. schenckii and S. globosa. However, the virulence in S. brasiliensis was strain-dependent, and we demonstrated that highly virulent isolates disseminate from the left hind footpad to the liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain of infected animals, inducing significant and chronic weight loss (losing up to 15% of their body weight). The weight loss correlated with host death between 2 and 16 weeks post-infection. Histopathological features included necrosis, suppurative inflammation, and polymorphonuclear and mononuclear inflammatory infiltrates. Immunoblot using specific antisera and homologous exoantigen investigated the humoral response. Antigenic profiles were isolate-specific, supporting the hypothesis that different Sporothrix species can elicit a heterogeneous humoral response over time, but cross reaction was observed

  15. The Csr/Rsm system of Yersinia and related pathogens: a post-transcriptional strategy for managing virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

    This review emphasizes the function and regulation of the Csr regulatory system in the human enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and compares its features with the homologous Csr/Rsm systems of related pathogens. The Csr/Rsm systems of eubacteria form a complex regulatory network in which redundant non-translated Csr/Rsm-RNAs bind the RNA-binding protein CsrA/RsmA, thereby preventing its interaction with mRNA targets. The Csr system is controlled by the BarA/UvrY-type of two-component sensor-regulator systems. Apart from that, common or pathogen-specific regulators control the abundance of the Csr components. The coordinate control of virulence factors and infection-linked physiological traits by the Csr/Rsm systems helps the pathogens to adapt individually to rapidly changing conditions to which they are exposed during the different stages of an infection. As Csr/Rsm function is relevant for full virulence, it represents a target suitable for antimicrobial drug development.

  16. Prophage Rs551 and Its Repressor Gene orf14 Reduce Virulence and Increase Competitive Fitness of Its Ralstonia solanacearum Carrier Strain UW551.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Abdelmonim Ali; Stulberg, Michael J; Huang, Qi

    2017-01-01

    We previously characterized a filamentous lysogenic bacteriophage, ϕRs551, isolated directly from the race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strain UW551 of Ralstonia solanacearum grown under normal culture conditions. The genome of ϕRs551 was identified with 100% identity in the deposited genomes of 11 race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strains of R. solanacearum , indicating evolutionary and biological importance, and ORF14 of ϕRs551 was annotated as a putative type-2 repressor. In this study, we determined the effect of the prophage and its ORF14 on the virulence and competitive fitness of its carrier strain UW551 by deleting the orf14 gene only (the UW551 orf14 mutant), and nine of the prophage's 14 genes including orf14 and six out of seven structural genes (the UW551 prophage mutant), respectively, from the genome of UW551. The two mutants were increased in extracellular polysaccharide production, twitching motility, expression of targeted virulence and virulence regulatory genes ( pilT, egl, pehC, hrPB, and phcA ), and virulence, suggesting that the virulence of UW551 was negatively regulated by ϕRs551, at least partially through ORF14. Interestingly, we found that the wt ϕRs551-carrying strain UW551 of R. solanacearum significantly outcompeted the wt strain RUN302 which lacks the prophage in tomato plants co-inoculated with the two strains. When each of the two mutant strains was co-inoculated with RUN302, however, the mutants were significantly out-competed by RUN302 for the same colonization site. Our results suggest that ecologically, ϕRs551 may play an important role by regulating the virulence of and offering a competitive fitness advantage to its carrier bacterial strain for persistence of the bacterium in the environment, which in turn prolongs the symbiotic relationship between the phage ϕRs551 and the R. solanacearum strain UW551. Our study is the first toward a better understanding of the co-existence between a lysogenic phage and

  17. Prophage Rs551 and Its Repressor Gene orf14 Reduce Virulence and Increase Competitive Fitness of Its Ralstonia solanacearum Carrier Strain UW551

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelmonim Ali Ahmad

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available We previously characterized a filamentous lysogenic bacteriophage, ϕRs551, isolated directly from the race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strain UW551 of Ralstonia solanacearum grown under normal culture conditions. The genome of ϕRs551 was identified with 100% identity in the deposited genomes of 11 race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strains of R. solanacearum, indicating evolutionary and biological importance, and ORF14 of ϕRs551 was annotated as a putative type-2 repressor. In this study, we determined the effect of the prophage and its ORF14 on the virulence and competitive fitness of its carrier strain UW551 by deleting the orf14 gene only (the UW551 orf14 mutant, and nine of the prophage’s 14 genes including orf14 and six out of seven structural genes (the UW551 prophage mutant, respectively, from the genome of UW551. The two mutants were increased in extracellular polysaccharide production, twitching motility, expression of targeted virulence and virulence regulatory genes (pilT, egl, pehC, hrPB, and phcA, and virulence, suggesting that the virulence of UW551 was negatively regulated by ϕRs551, at least partially through ORF14. Interestingly, we found that the wt ϕRs551-carrying strain UW551 of R. solanacearum significantly outcompeted the wt strain RUN302 which lacks the prophage in tomato plants co-inoculated with the two strains. When each of the two mutant strains was co-inoculated with RUN302, however, the mutants were significantly out-competed by RUN302 for the same colonization site. Our results suggest that ecologically, ϕRs551 may play an important role by regulating the virulence of and offering a competitive fitness advantage to its carrier bacterial strain for persistence of the bacterium in the environment, which in turn prolongs the symbiotic relationship between the phage ϕRs551 and the R. solanacearum strain UW551. Our study is the first toward a better understanding of the co-existence between a

  18. Prophage Rs551 and Its Repressor Gene orf14 Reduce Virulence and Increase Competitive Fitness of Its Ralstonia solanacearum Carrier Strain UW551

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Abdelmonim Ali; Stulberg, Michael J.; Huang, Qi

    2017-01-01

    We previously characterized a filamentous lysogenic bacteriophage, ϕRs551, isolated directly from the race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strain UW551 of Ralstonia solanacearum grown under normal culture conditions. The genome of ϕRs551 was identified with 100% identity in the deposited genomes of 11 race 3 biovar 2 phylotype IIB sequevar 1 strains of R. solanacearum, indicating evolutionary and biological importance, and ORF14 of ϕRs551 was annotated as a putative type-2 repressor. In this study, we determined the effect of the prophage and its ORF14 on the virulence and competitive fitness of its carrier strain UW551 by deleting the orf14 gene only (the UW551 orf14 mutant), and nine of the prophage’s 14 genes including orf14 and six out of seven structural genes (the UW551 prophage mutant), respectively, from the genome of UW551. The two mutants were increased in extracellular polysaccharide production, twitching motility, expression of targeted virulence and virulence regulatory genes (pilT, egl, pehC, hrPB, and phcA), and virulence, suggesting that the virulence of UW551 was negatively regulated by ϕRs551, at least partially through ORF14. Interestingly, we found that the wt ϕRs551-carrying strain UW551 of R. solanacearum significantly outcompeted the wt strain RUN302 which lacks the prophage in tomato plants co-inoculated with the two strains. When each of the two mutant strains was co-inoculated with RUN302, however, the mutants were significantly out-competed by RUN302 for the same colonization site. Our results suggest that ecologically, ϕRs551 may play an important role by regulating the virulence of and offering a competitive fitness advantage to its carrier bacterial strain for persistence of the bacterium in the environment, which in turn prolongs the symbiotic relationship between the phage ϕRs551 and the R. solanacearum strain UW551. Our study is the first toward a better understanding of the co-existence between a lysogenic phage and

  19. Invasive mold infections: virulence and pathogenesis of mucorales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morace, Giulia; Borghi, Elisa

    2012-01-01

    Mucorales have been increasingly reported as cause of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised subjects, particularly in patients with haematological malignancies or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and in those under deferoxamine treatment or undergoing dialysis. The disease often leads to a fatal outcome, but the pathogenesis of the infection is still poorly understood as well as the role of specific virulence determinants and the interaction with the host immune system. Members of the order Mucorales are responsible of almost all cases of invasive mucormycoses, the majority of the etiological agents belonging to the Mucoraceae family. Mucorales are able to produce various proteins and metabolic products toxic to animals and humans, but the pathogenic role of these potential virulence factors is unknown. The availability of free iron in plasma and tissues is believed to be crucial for the pathogenesis of these mycoses. Vascular invasion and neurotropism are considered common pathogenic features of invasive mucormycoses.

  20. Invasive Mold Infections: Virulence and Pathogenesis of Mucorales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Morace

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mucorales have been increasingly reported as cause of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised subjects, particularly in patients with haematological malignancies or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and in those under deferoxamine treatment or undergoing dialysis. The disease often leads to a fatal outcome, but the pathogenesis of the infection is still poorly understood as well as the role of specific virulence determinants and the interaction with the host immune system. Members of the order Mucorales are responsible of almost all cases of invasive mucormycoses, the majority of the etiological agents belonging to the Mucoraceae family. Mucorales are able to produce various proteins and metabolic products toxic to animals and humans, but the pathogenic role of these potential virulence factors is unknown. The availability of free iron in plasma and tissues is believed to be crucial for the pathogenesis of these mycoses. Vascular invasion and neurotropism are considered common pathogenic features of invasive mucormycoses.

  1. Evidence for acquisition of virulence effectors in pathogenic chytrids

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    Summers Kyle

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The decline in amphibian populations across the world is frequently linked to the infection of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd. This is particularly perplexing because Bd was only recently discovered in 1999 and no chytrid fungus had previously been identified as a vertebrate pathogen. Results In this study, we show that two large families of known virulence effector genes, crinkler (CRN proteins and serine peptidases, were acquired by Bd from oomycete pathogens and bacteria, respectively. These two families have been duplicated after their acquisition by Bd. Additional selection analyses indicate that both families evolved under strong positive selection, suggesting that they are involved in the adaptation of Bd to its hosts. Conclusions We propose that the acquisition of virulence effectors, in combination with habitat disruption and climate change, may have driven the Bd epidemics and the decline in amphibian populations. This finding provides a starting point for biochemical investigations of chytridiomycosis.

  2. Virulence differences among Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis clades in mice.

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    Claudia R Molins

    Full Text Available Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis (type A and holarctica (type B are of clinical importance in causing tularemia. Molecular typing methods have further separated type A strains into three genetically distinct clades, A1a, A1b and A2. Epidemiological analyses of human infections in the United States suggest that A1b infections are associated with a significantly higher mortality rate as compared to infections caused by A1a, A2 and type B. To determine if genetic differences as defined by molecular typing directly correlate with differences in virulence, A1a, A1b, A2 and type B strains were compared in C57BL/6 mice. Here we demonstrate significant differences between survival curves for infections caused by A1b versus A1a, A2 and type B, with A1b infected mice dying earlier than mice infected with A1a, A2 or type B; these results were conserved among multiple strains. Differences were also detected among type A clades as well as between type A clades and type B with respect to bacterial burdens, and gross anatomy in infected mice. Our results indicate that clades defined within F. tularensis subsp. tularensis by molecular typing methods correlate with virulence differences, with A1b strains more virulent than A1a, A2 and type B strains. These findings indicate type A strains are not equivalent with respect to virulence and have important implications for public health as well as basic research programs.

  3. Spontaneous Loss of Virulence in Natural Populations of Listeria monocytogenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maury, Mylène M; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Bracq-Dieye, Hélène; Han, Lei; Leclercq, Alexandre; Vales, Guillaume; Moura, Alexandra; Gouin, Edith; Scortti, Mariela; Disson, Olivier; Vázquez-Boland, José A; Lecuit, Marc

    2017-11-01

    The pathogenesis of Listeria monocytogenes depends on the ability of this bacterium to escape from the phagosome of the host cells via the action of the pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O (LLO). Expression of the LLO-encoding gene ( hly ) requires the transcriptional activator PrfA, and both hly and prfA genes are essential for L. monocytogenes virulence. Here, we used the hemolytic activity of LLO as a phenotypic marker to screen for spontaneous virulence-attenuating mutations in L. monocytogenes Sixty nonhemolytic isolates were identified among a collection of 57,820 confirmed L. monocytogenes strains isolated from a variety of sources (0.1%). In most cases (56/60; 93.3%), the nonhemolytic phenotype resulted from nonsense, missense, or frameshift mutations in prfA Five strains carried hly mutations leading to a single amino acid substitution (G299V) or a premature stop codon causing strong virulence attenuation in mice. In one strain, both hly and gshF (encoding a glutathione synthase required for full PrfA activity) were missing due to genomic rearrangements likely caused by a transposable element. The PrfA/LLO loss-of-function (PrfA - /LLO - ) mutants belonged to phylogenetically diverse clades of L. monocytogenes , and most were identified among nonclinical strains (57/60). Consistent with the rare occurrence of loss-of-virulence mutations, we show that prfA and hly are under purifying selection. Although occurring at a low frequency, PrfA - /LLO - mutational events in L. monocytogenes lead to niche restriction and open an evolutionary path for obligate saprophytism in this facultative intracellular pathogen. Copyright © 2017 Maury et al.

  4. Invasive mold infections : virulence and pathogenesis of mucorales

    OpenAIRE

    Morace, G.; Borghi, E.

    2012-01-01

    Mucorales have been increasingly reported as cause of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised subjects, particularly in patients with haematological malignancies or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus and in those under deferoxamine treatment or undergoing dialysis. The disease often leads to a fatal outcome, but the pathogenesis of the infection is still poorly understood as well as the role of specific virulence determinants and the interaction with the host immune system. Members of the...

  5. Species Identification and Virulence Attributes of Saccharomyces boulardii (nom. inval.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullough, Michael J.; Clemons, Karl V.; McCusker, John H.; Stevens, David A.

    1998-01-01

    Saccharomyces boulardii (nom. inval.) has been used for the treatment of several types of diarrhea. Recent studies have confirmed that S. boulardii is effective in the treatment of diarrhea, in particular chronic or recurrent diarrhea, and furthermore that it is a safe and well-tolerated treatment. The aim of the present study was to identify strains of S. boulardii to the species level and assess their virulence in established murine models. Three strains of S. boulardii were obtained from commercially available products in France and Italy. The three S. boulardii strains did not form spores upon repeated testing. Therefore, classical methods used for the identification of Saccharomyces spp. could not be undertaken. Typing by using the restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) of the PCR-amplified intergenic transcribed spacer regions (including the 5.8S ribosomal DNA) showed that the three isolates of S. boulardii were not separable from authentic isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with any of the 10 restriction endonucleases assessed, whereas 9 of the 10 recognized species of Saccharomyces could be differentiated. RFLP analysis of cellular DNA with EcoRI showed that all three strains of S. boulardii had identical patterns and were similar to other authentic S. cerevisiae isolates tested. Therefore, the commercial strains of S. boulardii available to us cannot be genotypically distinguished from S. cerevisiae. Two S. boulardii strains were tested in CD-1 and DBA/2N mouse models of systemic disease and showed intermediate virulence compared with virulent and avirulent strains of S. cerevisiae. The results of the present study show that these S. boulardii strains are asporogenous strains of the species S. cerevisiae, not representatives of a distinct and separate species, and possess moderate virulence in murine models of systemic infection. Therefore, caution should be advised in the clinical use of these strains in immunocompromised patients until

  6. Detection of virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The current study involved detection of three virulence genes (bvfA, virB, ure) by PCR in 52 isolates of Brucella melitensis biovar 3, recovered from different animal species (28 sheep, 10 goats, 9 cattle and 5 buffaloes). Of the 52 B. melitensis strains; 48 (92.3%) isolates carried bvfA genes, 51 (98.1%) isolates had virB genes ...

  7. The C-terminal MIR-containing region in the Pmt1 O-mannosyltransferase restrains sporulation and is dispensable for virulence in Beauveria bassiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhangjiang; Luo, Linli; Keyhani, Nemat O; Yu, Xiaodong; Ying, Shenghua; Zhang, Yongjun

    2017-02-01

    Protein O-mannosyltransferases (Pmts) belong to a highly conserved protein family responsible for the initiation of O-glycosylation of many proteins. Pmts contain one dolichyl-phosphate-mannose-protein mannosyltransferases (PMT) domain and three MIR motifs (mannosyltransferase, inositol triphosphate, and ryanodine receptor) that are essential for activity in yeast. We report that in the insect fungal pathogen, Beauveria bassiana, deletion of the C-terminal Pmt1 MIR-containing region (Pmt1∆ 311-902 ) does not alter O-mannosyltransferase activity, but does increase total cell wall protein O-mannosylation levels and results in phenotypic changes in fungal development and cell wall stability. B. bassiana mutants harboring the Pmt1 ∆ 311-902 mutation displayed a significant increase in conidiation with up-regulation of conidiation-associated genes and an increase in biomass accumulation as compared to the wild-type parent. However, decreased vegetative growth and blastospore production was noted, and Pmt1 ∆ 311-902 mutants were altered in cell wall composition and cell surface features. Insect bioassays revealed little effect on virulence for the Pmt1 ∆ 311-902 strain via cuticle infection or intrahemocoel injection assays, although differences in hyphal body differentiation in the host hemolymph and up-regulation of virulence-associated genes were noted. These data suggest novel roles for Pmt1 in negatively regulating conidiation and demonstrate that the C-terminal Pmt1 MIR-containing region is dispensable for enzymatic activity and organismal virulence.

  8. Pathogenic Leptospira: Advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis and virulence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazaei, Ciamak

    2018-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a common zoonotic disease has emerged as a major public health problem, with developing countries bearing disproportionate burdens. Although the diverse range of clinical manifestations of the leptospirosis in humans is widely documented, the mechanisms through which the pathogen causes disease remain undetermined. In addition, leptospirosis is a much-neglected life-threatening disease although it is one of the most important zoonoses occurring in a diverse range of epidemiological distribution. Recent advances in molecular profiling of pathogenic species of the genus Leptospira have improved our understanding of the evolutionary factors that determine virulence and mechanisms that the bacteria employ to survive. However, a major impediment to the formulation of intervention strategies has been the limited understanding of the disease determinants. Consequently, the association of the biological mechanisms to the pathogenesis of Leptospira, as well as the functions of numerous essential virulence factors still remain implicit. This review examines recent advances in genetic screening technologies, the underlying microbiological processes, the virulence factors and associated molecular mechanisms driving pathogenesis of Leptospira species. PMID:29445617

  9. A functional gene array for detection of bacterial virulence elements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaing, C

    2007-11-01

    We report our development of the first of a series of microarrays designed to detect pathogens with known mechanisms of virulence and antibiotic resistance. By targeting virulence gene families as well as genes unique to specific biothreat agents, these arrays will provide important data about the pathogenic potential and drug resistance profiles of unknown organisms in environmental samples. To validate our approach, we developed a first generation array targeting genes from Escherichia coli strains K12 and CFT073, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus. We determined optimal probe design parameters for microorganism detection and discrimination, measured the required target concentration, and assessed tolerance for mismatches between probe and target sequences. Mismatch tolerance is a priority for this application, due to DNA sequence variability among members of gene families. Arrays were created using the NimbleGen Maskless Array Synthesizer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Purified genomic DNA from combinations of one or more of the four target organisms, pure cultures of four related organisms, and environmental aerosol samples with spiked-in genomic DNA were hybridized to the arrays. Based on the success of this prototype, we plan to design further arrays in this series, with the goal of detecting all known virulence and antibiotic resistance gene families in a greatly expanded set of organisms.

  10. An investigation of virulence factors of Legionella pneumophila environmental isolates

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    Elif Özlem Arslan-Aydoğdu

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Nine Legionella pneumophila strains isolated from cooling towers and a standard strain (L. pneumophila serogroup 1, ATCC 33152, Philadelphia 1 were analyzed and compared in terms of motility, flagella structure, ability to form biofilms, enzymatic activities (hemolysin, nucleases, protease, phospholipase A, phospholipase C, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase and lipase, hemagglutination capabilities, and pathogenicity in various host cells (Acanthamoeba castellanii ATCC 30234, mouse peritoneal macrophages and human peripheral monocytes. All the isolates of bacteria appeared to be motile and polar-flagellated and possessed the type-IV fimbria. Upon the evaluation of virulence factors, isolate 4 was found to be the most pathogenic strain, while 6 out of the 9 isolates (the isolates 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 were more virulent than the ATCC 33152 strain. The different bacterial strains exhibited differences in properties such as adhesion, penetration and reproduction in the hosts, and preferred host type. To our knowledge, this is the first study to compare the virulence of environmental L. pneumophila strains isolated in Turkey, and it provides important information relevant for understanding the epidemiology of L. pneumophila.

  11. cipC is important for Aspergillus fumigatus virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canela, Heliara Maria Spina; Takami, Luciano Akira; da Silva Ferreira, Márcia Eliana

    2017-02-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the main causative agent of invasive aspergillosis, a disease that affects immunocompromised patients and has a high mortality rate. We previously observed that the transcription of a cipC-like gene was increased when A. fumigatus encountered an increased CO 2 concentration, as occurs during the infection process. CipC is a protein of unknown function that might be associated with fungal pathogenicity. In this study, the cipC gene was disrupted in A. fumigatus to evaluate its importance for fungal pathogenicity. The gene was replaced, and the germination, growth phenotype, stress responses, and virulence of the resultant mutant were assessed. Although cipC was not essential, its deletion attenuated A. fumigatus virulence in a low-dose murine infection model, suggesting the involvement of the cipC gene in the virulence of this fungus. This study is the first to disrupt the cipC gene in A. fumigatus. © 2017 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Development of virulence to Meloidogyne incognita on resistant pepper rootstocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ros-Ibanez, C.; Robertson, L.; Martinez-Lluch, M. C.; Cano-Garcia, A.; Lacasa-Plasencia, A.

    2014-06-01

    The root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita is a major soil parasite of pepper crops in greenhouses in Southeast Spain. Due to the limitations of the use of soil fumigants, grafting plants on resistant rootstocks (R-rootstocks) has become an important alternative to chemical nematicides. The repeated use of R-rootstocks can bring about the selection of virulent populations capable of overcoming resistance. We carried out a six-year investigation on resistant rootstocks in a naturally M. incognita infested greenhouse, and found that two successive years of growing plants grafted on R-rootstocks Atlante (ATL) were sufficient to overcome resistance (galling index 1.5 and 5.6 in the first and second years respectively). A large variability was observed between several R-rootstocks. Two R-rootstocks (C19 and Snooker) behaved like ATL while two others (Terrano and DRO 8801) were not infected by RKN. Laboratory studies with the same R-rootstocks, inoculated with two nematode isolates (avirulent and virulent against ATL) confirmed the greenhouse results, indicating that some rootstocks may be infested by virulent populations and others may not. It suggests that different R-genes, which are differentially overcome by RKN, have been introgressed into the rootstocks. This may have consequences for the management of resistant rootstocks in the field. (Author)

  13. Virulence of Flavobacterium columnare genomovars in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evenhuis, Jason P; LaFrentz, Benjamin R

    2016-08-09

    Flavobacterium columnare is the causative agent of columnaris disease and is responsible for significant economic losses in aquaculture. F. columnare is a Gram-negative bacterium, and 5 genetic types or genomovars have been described based on restriction fragment length polymorphism of the 16S rRNA gene. Previous research has suggested that genomovar II isolates are more virulent than genomovar I isolates to multiple species of fish, including rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. In addition, improved genotyping methods have shown that some isolates previously classified as genomovar I, and used in challenge experiments, were in fact genomovar III. Our objective was to confirm previous results with respect to genomovar II virulence, and to determine the susceptibility of rainbow trout to other genomovars. The virulence of 8 genomovar I, 4 genomovar II, 3 genomovar II-B, and 5 genomovar III isolates originating from various sources was determined through 3 independent challenges in rainbow trout using an immersion challenge model. Mean cumulative percent mortality (CPM) of ~49% for genomovar I isolates, ~1% for genomovar II, ~5% for the II-B isolates, and ~7% for the III isolates was observed. The inability of genomovar II isolates to produce mortalities in rainbow trout was unanticipated based on previous studies, but may be due to a number of factors including rainbow trout source and water chemistry. The source of fish and/or the presence of sub-optimal environment may influence the susceptibility of rainbow trout to different F. columnare genomovars.

  14. Virulence Factors Associated with Pediatric Shigellosis in Brazilian Amazon

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    Carolinie Batista Nobre da Cruz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Shigellosis is a global human health problem and the incidence is highest among children. In the present work, main Shigella virulence genes was examined by PCR and compared to symptoms of pediatric shigellosis. Thirty Shigella isolates were identified from an etiologic study at which 1,339 children ranging 0–10 years old were enrolled. S. flexneri was the most frequent species reaching 60.0% of isolates, 22.2% were S. sonnei, and 6.6% were both S. dysenteriae and S. boydii. All Shigella infected children had diarrhea, but not all were accompanied by others symptoms of bacillary dysentery. Among major virulence genes, the PCR typing revealed ipaBCD was present in all isolates, followed by IpaH7.8, set-1A, set-1B, sen/ospD3, virF, and invE. The pathogenic potential of the ShET-1B subunit was observed in relation to dehydration (P<0.001 and ShET-2 related to the intestinal injury (P=0.033 evidenced by the presence of bloody diarrhea. Our results show associations among symptoms of shigellosis and virulence genes of clinical isolates of Shigella spp.

  15. Effect of salt and acidic pH on the stability of virulence plasmid (pYV) in Yersinia enterocolitica and expression of virulence-associated characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    The stability of the Yersinia enterocolitica virulence plasmid (pYV) under different NaCl concentrations and under acidic pH conditions was investigated. Exposure of five strains representing five serotypes of pYV-bearing virulent Y. enterocolitica to 0.5, 2 and 5% NaCl and under conditions of pH 4...

  16. Comparison of acute infection of calves exposed to a high-virulence or low-virulence bovine viral diarrhea virus or a HoBi-like virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this research was to compare clinical presentation following acute infection of cattle with either a high virulence (HV) BVDV or a low virulence (LV) BVDV to clinical presentation following infection with a viral strain that belongs to an emerging species of pestivirus. The viral st...

  17. Screening for spontaneous virulent mutants of barley powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis DC)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torp, J.; Jensen, H.P.

    1989-01-01

    Full text: Seedlings of 4 barley lines possessing resistance genes M1-a6, M1-a12 or M1-g were inoculated with powdery mildew culture CR3, which is a-virulent to the 4 host lines. In total, 50 million conidia were screened for the occurrence of virulent mutants, 43 putative virulent mutants were found. They could be grouped into 5 genotypes according to the virulence spectrum. They might have originated by one of the following events: 1. admixture, 2. physiological events that allow a few conidia to establish colonies in spite of the presence of a functional gene for resistance, 3. mutation in a gene for specificity, 4. deletion or mutation in some kind of suppressing element in which case more than one virulence may be affected. Based upon the virulence spectra, mating type, biochemical tests and analysis of test crosses, 3 of the genotypes were clearly classified as not being of mutational origin. Of the two remaining genotypes one differed in 4 virulences, the other by two virulences and one avirulence. Based upon expectations from the gene-for-gene concept, it is concluded that both were not of mutational origin. If in fact there are derived from a mutation, the concept of gene-for-gene interactions would have to be revised. Assuming that no mutations for virulence were found in this experiment, the spontaneous mutation frequency from avirulence to virulence would be below 2x10 -8 . (author)

  18. Galleria mellonella model identifies highly virulent strains among all major molecular types of Cryptococcus gattii.

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    Carolina Firacative

    Full Text Available Cryptococcosis is mainly caused by Cryptococcus neoformans. However, the number of cases due to C. gattii is increasing, affecting mainly immunocompetent hosts. C. gattii is divided into four major molecular types, VGI to VGIV, which differ in their host range, epidemiology, antifungal susceptibility and geographic distribution. Besides studies on the Vancouver Island outbreak strains, which showed that the subtype VGIIa is highly virulent compared to the subtype VGIIb, little is known about the virulence of the other major molecular types. To elucidate the virulence potential of the major molecular types of C. gattii, Galleria mellonella larvae were inoculated with ten globally selected strains per molecular type. Survival rates were recorded and known virulence factors were studied. One VGII, one VGIII and one VGIV strain were more virulent (p 0.05, 21 (five VGI, five VGII, four VGIII and seven VGIV were less virulent (p <0.05 while one strain of each molecular type were avirulent. Cell and capsule size of all strains increased markedly during larvae infection (p <0.001. No differences in growth rate at 37°C were observed. Melanin synthesis was directly related with the level of virulence: more virulent strains produced more melanin than less virulent strains (p <0.05. The results indicate that all C. gattii major molecular types exhibit a range of virulence, with some strains having the potential to be more virulent. The study highlights the necessity to further investigate the genetic background of more and less virulent strains in order to recognize critical features, other than the known virulence factors (capsule, melanin and growth at mammalian body temperature, that maybe crucial for the development and progression of cryptococcosis.

  19. Characterization of Foodborne Strains of Staphylococcus aureus by Shotgun Proteomics: Functional Networks, Virulence Factors and Species-Specific Peptide Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrera, Mónica; Böhme, Karola; Gallardo, José M.; Barros-Velázquez, Jorge; Cañas, Benito; Calo-Mata, Pilar

    2017-01-01

    In the present work, we applied a shotgun proteomics approach for the fast and easy characterization of 20 different foodborne strains of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), one of the most recognized foodborne pathogenic bacteria. A total of 644 non-redundant proteins were identified and analyzed via an easy and rapid protein sample preparation procedure. The results allowed the differentiation of several proteome datasets from the different strains (common, accessory, and unique datasets), which were used to determine relevant functional pathways and differentiate the strains into different Euclidean hierarchical clusters. Moreover, a predicted protein-protein interaction network of the foodborne S. aureus strains was created. The whole confidence network contains 77 nodes and 769 interactions. Most of the identified proteins were surface-associated proteins that were related to pathways and networks of energy, lipid metabolism and virulence. Twenty-seven virulence factors were identified, and most of them corresponded to autolysins, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidases, phenol-soluble modulins, extracellular fibrinogen-binding proteins and virulence factor EsxA. Potential species-specific peptide biomarkers were screened. Twenty-one species-specific peptide biomarkers, belonging to eight different proteins (nickel-ABC transporter, N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase, autolysin, clumping factor A, gram-positive signal peptide YSIRK, cysteine protease/staphopain, transcriptional regulator MarR, and transcriptional regulator Sar-A), were proposed to identify S. aureus. These results constitute the first major dataset of peptides and proteins of foodborne S. aureus strains. This repository may be useful for further studies, for the development of new therapeutic treatments for S. aureus food intoxications and for microbial source-tracking in foodstuffs. PMID:29312172

  20. A role for the RNA chaperone Hfq in controlling adherent-invasive Escherichia coli colonization and virulence.

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    Karina T Simonsen

    Full Text Available Adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC has been linked with the onset and perpetuation of inflammatory bowel diseases. The AIEC strain LF82 was originally isolated from an ileal biopsy from a patient with Crohn's disease. The pathogenesis of LF82 results from its abnormal adherence to and subsequent invasion of the intestinal epithelium coupled with its ability to survive phagocytosis by macrophages once it has crossed the intestinal barrier. To gain further insight into AIEC pathogenesis we employed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo infection model. We demonstrate that AIEC strain LF82 forms a persistent infection in C. elegans, thereby reducing the host lifespan significantly. This host killing phenotype was associated with massive bacterial colonization of the nematode intestine and damage to the intestinal epithelial surface. C. elegans killing was independent of known LF82 virulence determinants but was abolished by deletion of the LF82 hfq gene, which encodes an RNA chaperone involved in mediating posttranscriptional gene regulation by small non-coding RNAs. This finding reveals that important aspects of LF82 pathogenesis are controlled at the posttranscriptional level by riboregulation. The role of Hfq in LF82 virulence was independent of its function in regulating RpoS and RpoE activity. Further, LF82Δhfq mutants were non-motile, impaired in cell invasion and highly sensitive to various chemical stress conditions, reinforcing the multifaceted function of Hfq in mediating bacterial adaptation. This study highlights the usefulness of simple non-mammalian infection systems for the identification and analysis of bacterial virulence factors.

  1. Selected lactic acid-producing bacterial isolates with the capacity to reduce Salmonella translocation and virulence gene expression in chickens.

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    Xiaojian Yang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  2. Changing the game: using integrative genomics to probe virulence mechanisms of the stem rust pathogen Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici

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    Melania eFigueroa

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The recent resurgence of wheat stem rust caused by new virulent races of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt poses a threat to food security. These concerns have catalyzed an extensive global effort towards controlling this disease. Substantial research and breeding programs target the identification and introduction of new stem rust resistance (Sr genes in cultivars for genetic protection against the disease. Such resistance genes typically encode immune receptor proteins that recognize specific components of the pathogen, known as avirulence (Avr proteins. A significant drawback to deploying cultivars with single Sr genes is that they are often overcome by evolution of the pathogen to escape recognition through alterations in Avr genes. Thus, a key element in achieving durable rust control is the deployment of multiple effective Sr genes in combination, either through conventional breeding or transgenic approaches, to minimize the risk of resistance breakdown. In this situation, evolution of pathogen virulence would require simultaneous changes in multiple Avr genes in order to bypass recognition. However, choosing the optimal Sr gene combinations to deploy is a challenge that requires detailed knowledge of the pathogen Avr genes with which they interact and the virulence phenotypes of Pgt existing in nature. Identifying specific Avr genes from Pgt will provide screening tools to enhance pathogen virulence monitoring, assess heterozygosity and propensity for mutation in pathogen populations, and confirm individual Sr gene functions in crop varieties carrying multiple effective resistance genes. Towards this goal, much progress has been made in assembling a high quality reference genome sequence for Pgt, as well as a Pan-genome encompassing variation between multiple field isolates with diverse virulence spectra. In turn this has allowed prediction of Pgt effector gene candidates based on known features of Avr genes in other plant pathogens

  3. Modulation of Replicative Lifespan in Cryptococcus neoformans: Implications for Virulence

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    Bouklas, Tejas; Jain, Neena; Fries, Bettina C.

    2017-01-01

    The fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, has been shown to undergo replicative aging. Old cells are characterized by advanced generational age and phenotypic changes that appear to mediate enhanced resistance to host and antifungal-based killing. As a consequence of this age-associated resilience, old cells accumulate during chronic infection. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that shifting the generational age of a pathogenic yeast population would alter its vulnerability to the host and affect its virulence. SIR2 is a well-conserved histone deacetylase, and a pivotal target for the development of anti-aging drugs. We tested its effect on C. neoformans’ replicative lifespan (RLS). First, a mutant C. neoformans strain (sir2Δ) was generated, and confirmed a predicted shortened RLS in sir2Δ cells consistent with its known role in aging. Next, RLS analysis showed that treatment of C. neoformans with Sir2p-agonists resulted in a significantly prolonged RLS, whereas treatment with a Sir2p-antagonist shortened RLS. RLS modulating effects were dependent on SIR2 and not observed in sir2Δ cells. Because SIR2 loss resulted in a slightly impaired fitness, effects of genetic RLS modulation on virulence could not be compared with wild type cells. Instead we chose to chemically modulate RLS, and investigated the effect of Sir2p modulating drugs on C. neoformans cells in a Galleria mellonella infection model. Consistent with our hypothesis that shifts in the generational age of the infecting yeast population alters its vulnerability to host cells, we observed decreased virulence of C. neoformans in the Galleria host when RLS was prolonged by treatment with Sir2p agonists. In contrast, treatment with a Sir2p antagonist, which shortens RLS enhanced virulence in Galleria. In addition, combination of Sir2p agonists with antifungal therapy enhanced the antifungal’s effect. Importantly, no difference in virulence was observed with drug treatment when sir2Δ cells

  4. Calcineurin Targets Involved in Stress Survival and Fungal Virulence.

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    Hee-Soo Park

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Calcineurin governs stress survival, sexual differentiation, and virulence of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Calcineurin is activated by increased Ca2+ levels caused by stress, and transduces signals by dephosphorylating protein substrates. Herein, we identified and characterized calcineurin substrates in C. neoformans by employing phosphoproteomic TiO2 enrichment and quantitative mass spectrometry. The identified targets include the transactivator Crz1 as well as novel substrates whose functions are linked to P-bodies/stress granules (PBs/SGs and mRNA translation and decay, such as Pbp1 and Puf4. We show that Crz1 is a bona fide calcineurin substrate, and Crz1 localization and transcriptional activity are controlled by calcineurin. We previously demonstrated that thermal and other stresses trigger calcineurin localization to PBs/SGs. Several calcineurin targets localized to PBs/SGs, including Puf4 and Pbp1, contribute to stress resistance and virulence individually or in conjunction with Crz1. Moreover, Pbp1 is also required for sexual development. Genetic epistasis analysis revealed that Crz1 and the novel targets Lhp1, Puf4, and Pbp1 function in a branched calcineurin pathway that orchestrates stress survival and virulence. These findings support a model whereby calcineurin controls stress and virulence, at the transcriptional level via Crz1, and post-transcriptionally by localizing to PBs/SGs and acting on targets involved in mRNA metabolism. The calcineurin targets identified in this study share little overlap with known calcineurin substrates, with the exception of Crz1. In particular, the mRNA binding proteins and PBs/SGs residents comprise a cohort of novel calcineurin targets that have not been previously linked to calcineurin in mammals or in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This study suggests either extensive evolutionary rewiring of the calcineurin pathway, or alternatively that these novel calcineurin targets have yet

  5. Comparative proteomic analysis of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ppGpp-deficient mutant to identify a novel virulence protein required for intracellular survival in macrophages

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    Kumagai Yoshinori

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The global ppGpp-mediated stringent response in pathogenic bacteria plays an important role in the pathogenesis of bacterial infections. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium, several genes, including virulence genes, are regulated by ppGpp when bacteria are under the stringent response. To understand the control of virulence genes by ppGpp in S. Typhimurium, agarose 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE combined with mass spectrometry was used and a comprehensive 2-DE reference map of amino acid-starved S. Typhimurium strain SH100, a derivative of ATCC 14028, was established. Results Of the 366 examined spots, 269 proteins were successfully identified. The comparative analysis of the wild-type and ppGpp0 mutant strains revealed 55 proteins, the expression patterns of which were affected by ppGpp. Using a mouse infection model, we further identified a novel virulence-associated factor, STM3169, from the ppGpp-regulated and Salmonella-specific proteins. In addition, Salmonella strains carrying mutations in the gene encoding STM3169 showed growth defects and impaired growth within macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells. Furthermore, we found that expression of stm3169 was controlled by ppGpp and SsrB, a response regulator of the two-component system located on Salmonella pathogenicity island 2. Conclusions A proteomic approach using a 2-DE reference map can prove a powerful tool for analyzing virulence factors and the regulatory network involved in Salmonella pathogenesis. Our results also provide evidence of a global response mediated by ppGpp in S. enterica.

  6. Structural and Molecular Mechanism of CdpR Involved in Quorum-Sensing and Bacterial Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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    Jingru Zhao

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Although quorum-sensing (QS systems are important regulators of virulence gene expression in the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, their detailed regulatory mechanisms have not been fully characterized. Here, we show that deletion of PA2588 resulted in increased production of pyocyanin and biofilm, as well as enhanced pathogenicity in a mouse model. To gain insights into the function of PA2588, we performed a ChIP-seq assay and identified 28 targets of PA2588, including the intergenic region between PA2588 and pqsH, which encodes the key synthase of Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS. Though the C-terminal domain was similar to DNA-binding regions of other AraC family members, structural studies revealed that PA2588 has a novel fold at the N-terminal region (NTR, and its C-terminal HTH (helix-turn-helix domain is also unique in DNA recognition. We also demonstrated that the adaptor protein ClpS, an essential regulator of ATP-dependent protease ClpAP, directly interacted with PA2588 before delivering CdpR to ClpAP for degradation. We named PA2588 as CdpR (ClpAP-degradation and pathogenicity Regulator. Moreover, deletion of clpP or clpS/clpA promotes bacterial survival in a mouse model of acute pneumonia infection. Taken together, this study uncovered that CdpR is an important QS regulator, which can interact with the ClpAS-P system to regulate the expression of virulence factors and pathogenicity.

  7. Contribution of SecDF to Staphylococcus aureus resistance and expression of virulence factors

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    Berger-Bächi Brigitte

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SecDF is an accessory factor of the conserved Sec protein translocation machinery and belongs to the resistance-nodulation-cell division (RND family of multidrug exporters. SecDF has been shown in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis to be involved in the export of proteins. RND proteins can mediate resistance against various substances and might be of relevance in antimicrobial therapy. The role of RND proteins in Staphylococcus aureus has not yet been determined. Results Markerless deletion mutants were constructed to analyze the impact of the so far uncharacterized RND proteins in S. aureus. While the lack of Sa2056 and Sa2339 caused no phenotype regarding growth and resistance, the secDF mutant resulted in a pleiotropic phenotype. The secDF mutant was cold sensitive, but grew normally in rich medium at 37°C. Resistance to beta-lactams, glycopeptides and the RND substrates acriflavine, ethidium bromide and sodium dodecyl sulfate was reduced. The secDF mutant showed an aberrant cell separation and increased spontaneous and Triton X-100 induced autolysis, although the amounts of penicillin-binding proteins in the membrane were unchanged. The impact of secDF deletion on transcription and expression of specific virulence determinants varied: While coagulase transcription and activity were reduced, the opposite was observed for the autolysin Atl. A reduction of the transcription of the cell wall anchored protein A (spa was also found. The accumulation of SpA in the membrane and lowered amounts in the cell wall pointed to an impaired translocation. Conclusions The combination of different effects of secDF deletion on transcription, regulation and translocation lead to impaired cell division, reduced resistance and altered expression of virulence determinants suggesting SecDF to be of major relevance in S. aureus. Thus SecDF could be a potential target for the control and eradication of S. aureus in the future.

  8. Genotypic and virulence characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes recovered from food items in Lebanon.

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    Haidar-Ahmad, Nathaline; Kissoyan, Kohar Annie B; Fadlallah, Sukayna M; El-Hajj, Rima; Saleh, Majd; Ghosn, Nada; Matar, Ghassan M

    2016-08-02

    Listeria monocytogenes is the agent of listeriosis, a life threatening foodborne disease for immunocompromised patients and pregnant women. This bacterium is not routinely screened for in Lebanon and there is lack of data about the prevalent strains and their potential pathogenicity. To that purpose, this study was undertaken to characterize L. monocytogenes from various food products, by assessing the in vitro biofilm forming ability, detecting their virulence potential, and characterizing them at the strain level. Fifty-nine isolates were obtained from the Lebanese Agriculture Research Institute (LARI). They were collected in 2012-2013 from local and imported food products in the Lebanese market. Biofilm formation was measured using the Microtiter Plate Assay. PCR amplification was performed for three main virulence genes; hly, actA, and inlB. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and BIONUMERICS analysis were carried out. Lebanese isolates from cheese and raw meat showed higher biofilm formation than imported and Lebanese seafood isolates. A total of 100% of the isolates were PCR positive for hly and actA genes and 98.3% for inlB gene. PFGE analysis demonstrated the prevalence of 13 different subtypes with 100% similarity. Detected subtypes were grouped into 6 clusters of 90% genomic similarity. Clustered subtypes were particular to the country of origin. This study highlights the presence of L. monocytogenes in the Lebanese food market with high pathogenic potential and stresses the importance of enhanced surveillance and the implementation of strict regulations on local and imported food. Future investigations may be conducted on a larger food selection.

  9. Pyocyanina contributory factor in haem acquisition and virulence enhancement of Porphyromonas gingivalis in the lung [corrected].

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    Malgorzata Benedyk

    Full Text Available Several recent studies show that the lungs infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa are often co-colonised by oral bacteria including black-pigmenting anaerobic (BPA Porphyromonas species. The BPAs have an absolute haem requirement and their presence in the infected lung indicates that sufficient haem, a virulence up-regulator in BPAs, must be present to support growth. Haemoglobin from micro-bleeds occurring during infection is the most likely source of haem in the lung. Porphyromonas gingivalis displays a novel haem acquisition paradigm whereby haemoglobin must be firstly oxidised to methaemoglobin, facilitating haem release, either by gingipain proteolysis or capture via the haem-binding haemophore HmuY. P. aeruginosa produces the blue phenazine redox compound, pyocyanin. Since phenazines can oxidise haemoglobin, it follows that pyocyanin may also facilitate haem acquisition by promoting methaemoglobin production. Here we show that pyocyanin at concentrations found in the CF lung during P. aeruginosa infections rapidly oxidises oxyhaemoglobin in a dose-dependent manner. We demonstrate that methaemoglobin formed by pyocyanin is also susceptible to proteolysis by P. gingivalis Kgp gingipain and neutrophil elastase, thus releasing haem. Importantly, co-incubation of oxyhaemoglobin with pyocyanin facilitates haem pickup from the resulting methemoglobin by the P. gingivalis HmuY haemophore. Mice intra-tracheally challenged with viable P. gingivalis cells plus pyocyanin displayed increased mortality compared to those administered P. gingivalis alone. Pyocyanin significantly elevated both methaemoglobin and total haem levels in homogenates of mouse lungs and increased the level of arginine-specific gingipain activity from mice inoculated with viable P. gingivalis cells plus pyocyanin compared with mice inoculated with P. gingivalis only. These findings indicate that pyocyanin, by promoting haem availability through methaemoglobin formation and

  10. Role of cyclic di-GMP in Xylella fastidiosa biofilm formation, plant virulence, and insect transmission.

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    Chatterjee, Subhadeep; Killiny, Nabil; Almeida, Rodrigo P P; Lindow, Steven E

    2010-10-01

    Xylella fastidiosa must coordinately regulate a variety of traits contributing to biofilm formation, host plant and vector colonization, and transmission between plants. Traits such as production of extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), adhesins, extracellular enzymes, and pili are expressed in a cell-density-dependent fashion mediated by a cell-to-cell signaling system involving a fatty acid diffusible signaling factor (DSF). The expression of gene PD0279 (which has a GGDEF domain) is downregulated in the presence of DSF and may be involved in intracellular signaling by modulating the levels of cyclic di-GMP. PD0279, designated cyclic di-GMP synthase A (cgsA), is required for biofilm formation, plant virulence, and vector transmission. cgsA mutants exhibited a hyperadhesive phenotype in vitro and overexpressed gumJ, hxfA, hxfB, xadA, and fimA, which promote attachment of cells to surfaces and, hence, biofilm formation. The mutants were greatly reduced in virulence to grape albeit still transmissible by insect vectors, although at a reduced level compared with transmission rates of the wild-type strain, despite the fact that similar numbers of cells of the cgsA mutant were acquired by the insects from infected plants. High levels of EPS were measured in cgsA mutants compared with wild-type strains, and scanning electron microscopy analysis also revealed a thicker amorphous layer surrounding the mutants. Overexpression of cgsA in a cgsA-complemented mutant conferred the opposite phenotypes in vitro. These results suggest that decreases of cyclic di-GMP result from the accumulation of DSF as cell density increases, leading to a phenotypic transition from a planktonic state capable of colonizing host plants to an adhesive state that is insect transmissible.

  11. Virulence factors and genetic variability of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from raw sheep's milk cheese.

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    Spanu, Vincenzo; Spanu, Carlo; Virdis, Salvatore; Cossu, Francesca; Scarano, Christian; De Santis, Enrico Pietro Luigi

    2012-02-01

    Contamination of dairy products with Staphylococcus aureus can be of animal or human origin. The host pathogen relationship is an important factor determining genetic polymorphism of the strains and their potential virulence. The aim of the present study was to carry out an extensive characterization of virulence factors and to study the genetic variability of S. aureus strains isolated from raw ewe's milk cheese. A total of 100 S. aureus strains isolated from cheese samples produced in 10 artisan cheese factories were analyzed for the presence of enterotoxins (sea-see) and enterotoxins-like genes (seh, sek, sel, sem, seo, sep), leukocidins, exfoliatins, haemolysins, toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1) and the accessory gene regulator alleles (agr). Strains were also typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). AMOVA analysis carried out on PFGE and PCR data showed that the major component explaining genetic distance between strains was the dairy of origin. Of the total isolates 81% had a pathogenicity profile ascribable to "animal" biovar while 16% could be related to "human" biovar. The biovar allowed to estimate the most likely origin of the contamination. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of nine antimicrobial agents and the presence of the corresponding genes coding for antibiotic resistance was also investigated. 18 strains carrying blaZ gene showed resistance to ampicillin and penicillin and 6 strains carrying tetM gene were resistant to tetracycline. The presence of mecA gene and methicillin resistance, typical of strains of human origin, was never detected. The results obtained in the present study confirm that S. aureus contamination in artisan cheese production is mainly of animal origin. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Staphylococcus aureus clonal dynamics and virulence factors in children with atopic dermatitis.

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    Lomholt, Hans; Andersen, Klaus Ejner; Kilian, Mogens

    2005-11-01

    A prospective cohort study was undertaken to determine the clonal dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus colonization and infection during 1 y in children with atopic dermatitis, and to correlate specific clones, accessory gene regulator (agr) groups, and production of virulence factors with eczema activity. Eleven children were examined every 6 wk with swaps taken from active eczema, anterior nose, axillae and perineum, and scoring of eczema activity by severity scoring of atopic dermatitis (SCORAD). Individual S. aureus clonal types were identified and examined for production of superantigens, toxins, and were assigned to agr groups. S. aureus colonization patterns ranged from rare colonization over transient colonization to persistent colonization by a single clone or a dynamic exchange of up to five clones. Production of no single virulence factor including superantigens and toxins was significantly associated with exacerbation of eczema. In four children there was a shift between visits in agr group of colonizing clones. These shifts were associated with an increased SCORAD value of 19 (SE = 7, p = 0.009). Change of clones belonging to the same agr group was not associated with a higher SCORAD value. In 11 of 12 cases with two different clones co-colonizing a child the clones belonged to the same agr group. In conclusion, this limited group of children with atopic dermatitis showed highly variable colonization patterns of S. aureus, and communication between strains by use of agr encoded octa peptides appeared to be active in vivo. Increased severity of eczema was related to a change in agr group and may have been because of inflammation triggered by the takeover of an antigenically different clone, as agr groups represent ancient phylogenetic lineages.

  13. The exoribonuclease Polynucleotide Phosphorylase influences the virulence and stress responses of yersiniae and many other pathogens

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    Jason A. Rosenzweig

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Microbes are incessantly challenged by both biotic and abiotic stressors threatening their existence. Therefore, bacterial pathogens must possess mechanisms to successfully subvert host immune defenses as well as overcome the stress associated with host-cell encounters. To achieve this, bacterial pathogens typically experience a genetic re-programming whereby anti-host/stress factors become expressed and eventually translated into effector proteins. In that vein, the bacterial host-cell induced stress-response is similar to any other abiotic stress to which bacteria respond by up-regulating specific stress-responsive genes. Following the stress encounter, bacteria must degrade unnecessary stress responsive transcripts through RNA decay mechanisms. The 3 pathogenic yersiniae (Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudo-tuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica are all psychrotropic bacteria capable of growth at 4˚C; however, cold growth is dependent on the presence of an exoribonuclease, polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase. PNPase has also been implicated as a virulence factor in several notable pathogens including the salmonellae, Helicobacter pylori, and the yersiniae (where it typically influences the type three secretion system. Further, PNPase has been shown to associate with ribonuclease E (endoribonuclease, RhlB (RNA helicase, and enolase (glycolytic enzyme in several Gram-negative bacteria forming a large, multi-protein complex known as the RNA degradosome. This review will highlight studies demonstrating the influence of PNPase on the virulence potentials and stress responses of various bacterial pathogens as well as focusing on the degradosome- dependent and -independent roles played by PNPase in yersiniae stress responses.

  14. A wide extent of inter-strain diversity in virulent and vaccine strains of alphaherpesviruses.

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    Moriah L Szpara

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Alphaherpesviruses are widespread in the human population, and include herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1 and 2, and varicella zoster virus (VZV. These viral pathogens cause epithelial lesions, and then infect the nervous system to cause lifelong latency, reactivation, and spread. A related veterinary herpesvirus, pseudorabies (PRV, causes similar disease in livestock that result in significant economic losses. Vaccines developed for VZV and PRV serve as useful models for the development of an HSV-1 vaccine. We present full genome sequence comparisons of the PRV vaccine strain Bartha, and two virulent PRV isolates, Kaplan and Becker. These genome sequences were determined by high-throughput sequencing and assembly, and present new insights into the attenuation of a mammalian alphaherpesvirus vaccine strain. We find many previously unknown coding differences between PRV Bartha and the virulent strains, including changes to the fusion proteins gH and gB, and over forty other viral proteins. Inter-strain variation in PRV protein sequences is much closer to levels previously observed for HSV-1 than for the highly stable VZV proteome. Almost 20% of the PRV genome contains tandem short sequence repeats (SSRs, a class of nucleic acids motifs whose length-variation has been associated with changes in DNA binding site efficiency, transcriptional regulation, and protein interactions. We find SSRs throughout the herpesvirus family, and provide the first global characterization of SSRs in viruses, both within and between strains. We find SSR length variation between different isolates of PRV and HSV-1, which may provide a new mechanism for phenotypic variation between strains. Finally, we detected a small number of polymorphic bases within each plaque-purified PRV strain, and we characterize the effect of passage and plaque-purification on these polymorphisms. These data add to growing evidence that even plaque-purified stocks of stable DNA viruses exhibit

  15. A wide extent of inter-strain diversity in virulent and vaccine strains of alphaherpesviruses.

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    Szpara, Moriah L; Tafuri, Yolanda R; Parsons, Lance; Shamim, S Rafi; Verstrepen, Kevin J; Legendre, Matthieu; Enquist, L W

    2011-10-01

    Alphaherpesviruses are widespread in the human population, and include herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and 2, and varicella zoster virus (VZV). These viral pathogens cause epithelial lesions, and then infect the nervous system to cause lifelong latency, reactivation, and spread. A related veterinary herpesvirus, pseudorabies (PRV), causes similar disease in livestock that result in significant economic losses. Vaccines developed for VZV and PRV serve as useful models for the development of an HSV-1 vaccine. We present full genome sequence comparisons of the PRV vaccine strain Bartha, and two virulent PRV isolates, Kaplan and Becker. These genome sequences were determined by high-throughput sequencing and assembly, and present new insights into the attenuation of a mammalian alphaherpesvirus vaccine strain. We find many previously unknown coding differences between PRV Bartha and the virulent strains, including changes to the fusion proteins gH and gB, and over forty other viral proteins. Inter-strain variation in PRV protein sequences is much closer to levels previously observed for HSV-1 than for the highly stable VZV proteome. Almost 20% of the PRV genome contains tandem short sequence repeats (SSRs), a class of nucleic acids motifs whose length-variation has been associated with changes in DNA binding site efficiency, transcriptional regulation, and protein interactions. We find SSRs throughout the herpesvirus family, and provide the first global characterization of SSRs in viruses, both within and between strains. We find SSR length variation between different isolates of PRV and HSV-1, which may provide a new mechanism for phenotypic variation between strains. Finally, we detected a small number of polymorphic bases within each plaque-purified PRV strain, and we characterize the effect of passage and plaque-purification on these polymorphisms. These data add to growing evidence that even plaque-purified stocks of stable DNA viruses exhibit limited sequence

  16. Reciprocal interaction between dental alloy biocorrosion and Streptococcus mutans virulent gene expression.

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    Zhang, Songmei; Qiu, Jing; Ren, Yanfang; Yu, Weiqiang; Zhang, Fuqiang; Liu, Xiuxin

    2016-04-01

    Corrosion of dental alloys is a major concern in dental restorations. Streptococcus mutans reduces the pH in oral cavity and induces demineralization of the enamel as well as corrosion of restorative dental materials. The rough surfaces of dental alloys induced by corrosion enhance the subsequent accumulation of plaque. In this study, the corrosion process of nickel-chromium (Ni-Cr) and cobalt-chromium (Co-Cr) alloys in a nutrient-rich medium containing S. mutans was studied using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electrochemical corrosion test. Our results showed that the release of Ni and Co ions increased, particularly after incubation for 3 days. The electrochemical corrosion results showed a significant decrease in the corrosion resistance (Rp) value after the alloys were immersed in the media containing S. mutans for 3 days. Correspondingly, XPS revealed a reduction in the relative dominance of Ni, Co, and Cr in the surface oxides after the alloys were immersed in the S. mutans culture. After removal of the biofilm, the pre-corroded alloys were re-incubated in S. mutans medium, and the expressions of genes associated with the adhesion and acidogenesis of S. mutans, including gtfBCD, gbpB, fif and ldh, were evaluated by detecting the mRNA levels using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We found that the gtfBCD, gbpB, ftf and Idh expression of S. mutans were noticeably increased after incubation with pre-corroded alloys for 24 h. This study demonstrated that S. mutans enhanced the corrosion behavior of the dental alloys, on the other hand, the presence of corroded alloy surfaces up-regulated the virulent gene expression in S. mutans. Compared with smooth surfaces, the rough corroded surfaces of dental alloys accelerated the bacteria-adhesion and corrosion process by changing the virulence gene expression of S. mutans.

  17. The RNA chaperone Hfq impacts growth, metabolism and production of virulence factors in Yersinia enterocolitica.

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    Tamara Kakoschke

    Full Text Available To adapt to changes in environmental conditions, bacteria regulate their gene expression at the transcriptional but also at the post-transcriptional level, e.g. by small RNAs (sRNAs which modulate mRNA stability and translation. The conserved RNA chaperone Hfq mediates the interaction of many sRNAs with their target mRNAs, thereby playing a global role in fine-tuning protein production. In this study, we investigated the significance of Hfq for the enteropathogen Yersina enterocolitica serotype O:8. Hfq facilitated optimal growth in complex and minimal media. Our comparative protein analysis of parental and hfq-negative strains suggested that Hfq promotes lipid metabolism and transport, cell redox homeostasis, mRNA translation and ATP synthesis, and negatively affects carbon and nitrogen metabolism, transport of siderophore and peptides and tRNA synthesis. Accordingly, biochemical tests indicated that Hfq represses ornithine decarboxylase activity, indole production and utilization of glucose, mannitol, inositol and 1,2-propanediol. Moreover, Hfq repressed production of the siderophore yersiniabactin and its outer membrane receptor FyuA. In contrast, hfq mutants exhibited reduced urease production. Finally, strains lacking hfq were more susceptible to acidic pH and oxidative stress. Unlike previous reports in other Gram-negative bacteria, Hfq was dispensable for type III secretion encoded by the virulence plasmid. Using a chromosomally encoded FLAG-tagged Hfq, we observed increased production of Hfq-FLAG in late exponential and stationary phases. Overall, Hfq has a profound effect on metabolism, resistance to stress and modulates the production of two virulence factors in Y. enterocolitica, namely urease and yersiniabactin.

  18. CRISPR interference can prevent natural transformation and virulence acquisition during in vivo bacterial infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bikard, David; Hatoum-Aslan, Asma; Mucida, Daniel; Marraffini, Luciano A

    2012-08-16

    Pathogenic bacterial strains emerge largely due to transfer of virulence and antimicrobial resistance genes between bacteria, a process known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci of bacteria and archaea encode a sequence-specific defense mechanism against bacteriophages and constitute a programmable barrier to HGT. However, the impact of CRISPRs on the emergence of virulence is unknown. We programmed the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae with CRISPR sequences that target capsule genes, an essential pneumococcal virulence factor, and show that CRISPR interference can prevent transformation of nonencapsulated, avirulent pneumococci into capsulated, virulent strains during infection in mice. Further, at low frequencies bacteria can lose CRISPR function, acquire capsule genes, and mount a successful infection. These results demonstrate that CRISPR interference can prevent the emergence of virulence in vivo and that strong selective pressure for virulence or antibiotic resistance can lead to CRISPR loss in bacterial pathogens. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Harbouring public good mutants within a pathogen population can increase both fitness and virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, Richard J; Kershaw, Michael J; Pawlowska, Bogna J; Talbot, Nicholas J; Gudelj, Ivana

    2016-12-28

    Existing theory, empirical, clinical and field research all predict that reducing the virulence of individuals within a pathogen population will reduce the overall virulence, rendering disease less severe. Here, we show that this seemingly successful disease management strategy can fail with devastating consequences for infected hosts. We deploy cooperation theory and a novel synthetic system involving the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae . In vivo infections of rice demonstrate that M. oryzae virulence is enhanced, quite paradoxically, when a public good mutant is present in a population of high-virulence pathogens. We reason that during infection, the fungus engages in multiple cooperative acts to exploit host resources. We establish a multi-trait cooperation model which suggests that the observed failure of the virulence reduction strategy is caused by the interference between different social traits. Multi-trait cooperative interactions are widespread, so we caution against the indiscriminant application of anti-virulenc