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colonizes about half of humans worldwide, and its presence in the gastric mucosa is associated with an increased risk of gastric adenocarcinoma, gastric lymphoma, and peptic ulcer disease. strains carrying the pathogenicity island (PAI) are associated with increased risk of disease progression. The PAI encodes the Cag type IV secretion system (Cag), which delivers the CagA oncoprotein and other effector molecules into human gastric epithelial cells. We visualized structures of native and mutant Cag machines on the cell envelope by cryoelectron tomography. Individual cells contain multiple Cag nanomachines, each composed of a wheel-shaped outer membrane complex (OMC) with 14-fold symmetry and an inner membrane complex (IMC) with 6-fold symmetry. CagX, CagY, and CagM are required for assembly of the OMC, whereas strains lacking Cag3 and CagT produce outer membrane complexes lacking peripheral components. The IMC, which has never been visualized in detail, is configured as six tiers in cross-section view and three concentric rings surrounding a central channel in end-on view. The IMC contains three T4SS ATPases: (i) VirB4-like CagE, arranged as a hexamer of dimers at the channel entrance; (ii) a hexamer of VirB11-like Cagα, docked at the base of the CagE hexamer; and (iii) VirD4-like Cagβ and other unspecified Cag subunits, associated with the stacked CagE/Cagα complex and forming the outermost rings. The Cag and recently solved Dot/Icm system comprise new structural prototypes for the T4SS superfamily. Bacterial type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) have been phylogenetically grouped into two subfamilies. The T4ASSs, represented by the VirB/VirD4, include "minimized" machines assembled from 12 VirB- and VirD4-like subunits and compositionally larger systems such as the Cag T4BSSs encompass systems closely related in subunit composition to the Dot/Icm Here, we present structures of native and mutant Cag machines determined by cryoelectron tomography. We identify distinct outer and inner membrane complexes and, for the first time, visualize structural contributions of all three "signature" ATPases of T4SSs at the cytoplasmic entrance of the translocation channel. Despite their evolutionary divergence, the Cag aligns structurally much more closely to the Dot/Icm than an available VirB/VirD4 subcomplex. Our findings highlight the diversity of T4SSs and suggest a structural classification scheme in which T4SSs are grouped as minimized VirB/VirD4-like or larger Cag-like and Dot/Icm-like systems.
Copyright © 2019 Hu et al.
The gastric bacterium causes a persistent infection that is directly responsible for gastric ulcers and gastric cancer in some patients and protective against allergic and other immunological disorders in others. The two outcomes of the -host interaction can be modeled in mice that are infected as immunocompetent adults and as neonates, respectively. Here, we have investigated the contribution of the immunomodulator VacA to -specific local and systemic immune responses in both models. We found that neonatally infected mice are colonized at higher levels than mice infected as adults and fail to generate effector T-cell responses to the bacteria; rather, T-cell responses in neonatally infected mice are skewed toward Foxp3-positive (Foxp3) regulatory T cells that are neuropilin negative and express RORγt. We found these peripherally induced regulatory T cells (pTregs) to be enriched, in a VacA-dependent manner, not only in the gastric mucosa but also in the lungs of infected mice. Pulmonary pTreg accumulation was observed in mice that have been infected neonatally with wild-type but not in mice that have been infected as adults or mice infected with a VacA null mutant. Finally, we traced VacA to gastric lamina propria myeloid cells and show that it suppressed interleukin-23 (IL-23) expression by dendritic cells and induced IL-10 and TGF-β expression in macrophages. Taken together, the results are consistent with the idea that creates a tolerogenic environment through its immunomodulator VacA, which skews T-cell responses toward Tregs, favors persistence, and affects immunity at distant sites. has coexisted with humans for at least 60.000 years and has evolved persistence strategies that allow it to evade host immunity and colonize its host for life. The VacA protein is expressed by all strains and is required for high-level persistent infection in experimental mouse models. Here, we show that VacA targets myeloid cells in the gastric mucosa to create a tolerogenic environment that facilitates regulatory T-cell differentiation, while suppressing effector T-cell priming and functionality. Tregs that are induced in the periphery during infection can be found not only in the stomach but also in the lungs of infected mice, where they are likely to affect immune responses to allergens.
Copyright © 2019 Altobelli et al.
Manganese (Mn) is an essential micronutrient critical for the pathogenesis of , a significant cause of human morbidity and mortality. Paradoxically, excess Mn is toxic; therefore, maintenance of intracellular Mn homeostasis is required for survival. Here we describe a Mn exporter in , MntE, which is a member of the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) protein family and conserved among Gram-positive pathogens. Upregulation of transcription in response to excess Mn is dependent on the presence of MntR, a transcriptional repressor of the Mn uptake system. Inactivation of or leads to reduced growth in media supplemented with Mn, demonstrating MntE is required for detoxification of excess Mn. Inactivation of results in elevated levels of intracellular Mn, but reduced intracellular iron (Fe) levels, supporting the hypothesis that MntE functions as a Mn efflux pump and Mn efflux influences Fe homeostasis. Strains inactivated for are more sensitive to the oxidants NaOCl and paraquat, indicating Mn homeostasis is critical for resisting oxidative stress. Furthermore, and are required for full virulence of during infection, suggesting experiences Mn toxicity Combined, these data support a model in which MntR controls Mn homeostasis by balancing transcriptional repression of and induction of , both of which are critical for pathogenesis. Thus, Mn efflux contributes to bacterial survival and virulence during infection, establishing MntE as a potential antimicrobial target and expanding our understanding of Mn homeostasis. Manganese (Mn) is generally viewed as a critical nutrient that is beneficial to pathogenic bacteria due to its function as an enzymatic cofactor and its capability of acting as an antioxidant; yet paradoxically, high concentrations of this transition metal can be toxic. In this work, we demonstrate utilizes the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) family protein MntE to alleviate Mn toxicity through efflux of excess Mn. Inactivation of leads to a significant reduction in resistance to oxidative stress and mediated mortality within a mouse model of systemic infection. These results highlight the importance of MntE-mediated Mn detoxification in intracellular Mn homeostasis, resistance to oxidative stress, and virulence. Therefore, this establishes MntE as a potential target for development of anti- therapeutics.
Copyright © 2019 Grunenwald et al.
Infection by is the primary cause of gastric adenocarcinoma. The most potent virulence factor is cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), which is translocated by a type 4 secretion system (T4SS) into gastric epithelial cells and activates oncogenic signaling pathways. The gene encodes for a key component of the T4SS and can undergo gene rearrangements. We have shown that the cancer chemopreventive agent α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), known to inhibit the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, reduces -mediated gastric cancer incidence in Mongolian gerbils. In the present study, we questioned whether DFMO might directly affect pathogenicity. We show that output strains isolated from gerbils treated with DFMO exhibit reduced ability to translocate CagA in gastric epithelial cells. Further, we frequently detected genomic modifications in the middle repeat region of the gene of output strains from DFMO-treated animals, which were associated with alterations in the CagY protein. Gerbils did not develop carcinoma when infected with a DFMO output strain containing rearranged or the parental strain in which the wild-type was replaced by with DFMO-induced rearrangements. Lastly, we demonstrate that in vitro treatment of by DFMO induces oxidative DNA damage, expression of the DNA repair enzyme MutS2, and mutations in , demonstrating that DFMO directly affects genomic stability. Deletion of abrogated the ability of DFMO to induce rearrangements directly. In conclusion, DFMO-induced oxidative stress in leads to genomic alterations and attenuates virulence.
Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen and a leading cause of ventilator-associated pneumonia. Murine models of A. baumannii lung infection allow researchers to experimentally assess A. baumannii virulence and host response. Intranasal administration of A. baumannii models acute lung infection. This chapter describes the methods to test A. baumannii virulence in a murine model of lung infection, including assessing the competitive index of a bacterial mutant and the associated inflammatory responses.
VacA is a secreted pore-forming toxin that induces cell vacuolation and contributes to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. We observed that purified VacA has relatively little effect on the viability of AGS gastric epithelial cells, but the presence of exogenous weak bases such as ammonium chloride (NHCl) enhances the susceptibility of these cells to VacA-induced vacuolation and cell death. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that NHCl augments VacA toxicity by altering the intracellular trafficking of VacA or inhibiting intracellular VacA degradation. We observed VacA colocalization with LAMP1- and LC3-positive vesicles in both the presence and absence of NHCl, indicating that NHCl does not alter VacA trafficking to lysosomes or autophagosomes. Conversely, we found that supplemental NHCl significantly increases the intracellular stability of VacA. By conducting experiments using chemical inhibitors, stable ATG5 knockdown cell lines, and ATG16L1 knockout cells (generated using CRISPR/Cas9), we show that VacA degradation is independent of autophagy and proteasome activity but dependent on lysosomal acidification. We conclude that weak bases like ammonia, potentially generated during infection by urease and other enzymes, enhance VacA toxicity by inhibiting toxin degradation.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.
Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming anaerobic bacterium that infects the colon, causing symptoms ranging from infectious diarrhea to fulminant colitis. In the last decade, the number of C. difficile infections has dramatically risen, making it the leading cause of reported hospital acquired infection in the United States. Bacterial toxins produced during C. difficile infection (CDI) damage host epithelial cells, releasing erythrocytes and heme into the gastrointestinal lumen. The reactive nature of heme can lead to toxicity through membrane disruption, membrane protein and lipid oxidation, and DNA damage. Here we demonstrate that C. difficile detoxifies excess heme to achieve full virulence within the gastrointestinal lumen during infection, and that this detoxification occurs through the heme-responsive expression of the heme activated transporter system (HatRT). Heme-dependent transcriptional activation of hatRT was discovered through an RNA-sequencing analysis of C. difficile grown in the presence of a sub-toxic concentration of heme. HatRT is comprised of a TetR family transcriptional regulator (hatR) and a major facilitator superfamily transporter (hatT). Strains inactivated for hatR or hatT are more sensitive to heme toxicity than wild-type. HatR binds heme, which relieves the repression of the hatRT operon, whereas HatT functions as a heme efflux pump. In a murine model of CDI, a strain inactivated for hatT displayed lower pathogenicity in a toxin-independent manner. Taken together, these data suggest that HatR senses intracellular heme concentrations leading to increased expression of the hatRT operon and subsequent heme efflux by HatT during infection. These results describe a mechanism employed by C. difficile to relieve heme toxicity within the host, and set the stage for the development of therapeutic interventions to target this bacterial-specific system.
is one of the most important human pathogens that is responsible for a variety of diseases ranging from skin and soft tissue infections to endocarditis and sepsis. In recent decades, the treatment of staphylococcal infections has become increasingly difficult as the prevalence of multi-drug resistant strains continues to rise. With increasing mortality rates and medical costs associated with drug resistant strains, there is an urgent need for alternative therapeutic options. Many innovative strategies for alternative drug development are being pursued, including disruption of biofilms, inhibition of virulence factor production, bacteriophage-derived antimicrobials, anti-staphylococcal vaccines, and light-based therapies. While many compounds and methods still need further study to determine their feasibility, some are quickly approaching clinical application and may be available in the near future.
Members of the orthosomycin family of natural products are decorated polysaccharides with potent antibiotic activity and complex biosynthetic pathways. The defining feature of the orthosomycins is an orthoester linkage between carbohydrate moieties that is necessary for antibiotic activity and is likely formed by a family of conserved oxygenases. Everninomicins are octasaccharide orthosomycins produced by Micromonospora carbonacea that have two orthoester linkages and a methylenedioxy bridge, three features whose formation logically requires oxidative chemistry. Correspondingly, the evd gene cluster encoding everninomicin D encodes two monofunctional nonheme iron, α-ketoglutarate-dependent oxygenases and one bifunctional enzyme with an N-terminal methyltransferase domain and a C-terminal oxygenase domain. To investigate whether the activities of these domains are linked in the bifunctional enzyme EvdMO1, we determined the structure of the N-terminal methyltransferase domain to 1.1 Å and that of the full-length protein to 3.35 Å resolution. Both domains of EvdMO1 adopt the canonical folds of their respective superfamilies and are connected by a short linker. Each domain's active site is oriented such that it faces away from the other domain, and there is no evidence of a channel connecting the two. Our results support EvdMO1 working as a bifunctional enzyme with independent catalytic activities.
CagA is a secreted effector protein that contributes to gastric carcinogenesis. Previous studies showed that there is variation among strains in the steady-state levels of CagA and that a strain-specific motif downstream of the transcriptional start site (the +59 motif) is associated with both high levels of CagA and premalignant gastric histology. The 5' untranslated region contains a predicted stem-loop-forming structure adjacent to the +59 motif. In the current study, we investigated the effect of the +59 motif and the adjacent stem-loop on transcript levels and mRNA stability. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we found that mutations predicted to disrupt the stem-loop structure resulted in decreased steady-state levels of both the transcript and the CagA protein. Additionally, these mutations resulted in a decreased mRNA half-life. Mutagenesis of the +59 motif without altering the stem-loop structure resulted in reduced steady-state transcript and CagA protein levels but did not affect transcript stability. transcript stability was not affected by increased sodium chloride concentrations, an environmental factor known to augment transcript levels and CagA protein levels. These results indicate that both a predicted stem-loop structure and a strain-specific +59 motif in the 5' untranslated region influence the levels of expression.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.