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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.
is a Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that causes diverse infections, including pneumonia, bacteremia, and wound infections. Due to multiple intrinsic and acquired antimicrobial-resistance mechanisms, isolates are commonly multidrug resistant, and infections are notoriously difficult to treat. The World Health Organization recently highlighted carbapenem-resistant as a "critical priority" for the development of new antimicrobials because of the risk to human health posed by this organism. Therefore, it is important to discover the mechanisms used by to survive stresses encountered during infection in order to identify new drug targets. In this study, by use of imaging, we identified hydrogen peroxide (HO) as a stressor produced in the lung during infection and defined OxyR as a transcriptional regulator of the HO stress response. Upon exposure to HO, differentially transcribes several hundred genes. However, the transcriptional upregulation of genes predicted to detoxify hydrogen peroxide is abolished in an strain in which the transcriptional regulator is genetically inactivated. Moreover, inactivation of in both antimicrobial-susceptible and multidrug-resistant strains impairs growth in the presence of HO OxyR is a direct regulator of and , which encode the major HO-degrading enzymes in , as confirmed through measurement of promoter binding by recombinant OxyR in electromobility shift assays. Finally, an mutant is less fit than wild-type during infection of the murine lung. This work reveals a mechanism used by this important human pathogen to survive HO stress encountered during infection.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
is responsible for a significant amount of devastating disease. Its ability to colonize the host and cause infection is supported by a variety of proteins that are dependent on the cofactor heme. Heme is a porphyrin used broadly across kingdoms and is synthesized from common cellular precursors and iron. While heme is critical to bacterial physiology, it is also toxic in high concentrations, requiring that organisms encode regulatory processes to control heme homeostasis. In this work, we describe a posttranscriptional regulatory strategy in heme biosynthesis. The first committed enzyme in the heme biosynthetic pathway, glutamyl-tRNA reductase (GtrR), is regulated by heme abundance and the integral membrane protein HemX. GtrR abundance increases dramatically in response to heme deficiency, suggesting a mechanism by which responds to the need to increase heme synthesis. Additionally, HemX is required to maintain low levels of GtrR in heme-proficient cells, and inactivation of leads to increased heme synthesis. Excess heme synthesis in a Δ mutant activates the staphylococcal heme stress response, suggesting that regulation of heme synthesis is critical to reduce self-imposed heme toxicity. Analysis of diverse organisms indicates that HemX is widely conserved among heme-synthesizing bacteria, suggesting that HemX is a common factor involved in the regulation of GtrR abundance. Together, this work demonstrates that regulates heme synthesis by modulating GtrR abundance in response to heme deficiency and through the activity of the broadly conserved HemX. is a leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections, endocarditis, bacteremia, and osteomyelitis, making it a critical health care concern. Development of new antimicrobials against requires knowledge of the physiology that supports this organism's pathogenesis. One component of staphylococcal physiology that contributes to growth and virulence is heme. Heme is a widely utilized cofactor that enables diverse chemical reactions across many enzyme families. relies on many critical heme-dependent proteins and is sensitive to excess heme toxicity, suggesting must maintain proper intracellular heme homeostasis. Because provides heme for heme-dependent enzymes via synthesis from common precursors, we hypothesized that regulation of heme synthesis is one mechanism to maintain heme homeostasis. In this study, we identify that posttranscriptionally regulates heme synthesis by restraining abundance of the first heme biosynthetic enzyme, GtrR, via heme and the broadly conserved membrane protein HemX.
Copyright © 2018 Choby et al.
Heme is a cofactor that is essential for cellular respiration and for the function of many enzymes. If heme levels become too low within the cell, S. aureus switches from producing energy via respiration to producing energy by fermentation. S. aureus encodes two heme oxygenases, IsdI and IsdG, which cleave the porphyrin heme ring releasing iron for use as a nutrient source. Both isdI and isdG are only expressed under low iron conditions and are regulated by the canonical Ferric Uptake Regulator (Fur). Here we demonstrate that unregulated expression of isdI and isdG within S. aureus leads to reduced growth under low iron conditions. Additionally, the constitutive expression of these enzymes leads to decreased heme abundance in S. aureus, an increase in the fermentation product lactate, and increased resistance to gentamicin. This work demonstrates that S. aureus has developed tuning mechanisms, such as Fur regulation, to ensure that the cell has sufficient quantities of heme for efficient ATP production through aerobic respiration.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
infection and high dietary salt intake are risk factors for the development of gastric adenocarcinoma. One possible mechanism by which a high-salt diet could influence gastric cancer risk is by modulating gene expression. In this study, we utilized transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) methodology to compare the transcriptional profiles of grown in media containing different concentrations of sodium chloride. We identified 118 differentially expressed genes (65 upregulated and 53 downregulated in response to high-salt conditions), including multiple members of 14 operons. Twenty-nine of the differentially expressed genes encode proteins previously shown to undergo salt-responsive changes in abundance, based on proteomic analyses. Real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR analyses validated differential expression of multiple genes encoding outer membrane proteins, including adhesins (SabA and HopQ) and proteins involved in iron acquisition (FecA2 and FecA3). Transcript levels of , , and are increased under high-salt conditions, whereas transcript levels of and are decreased under high-salt conditions. Transcription of , , , and is derepressed in an mutant strain, but salt-responsive transcription of these genes is not mediated by the ArsRS two-component system, and the CrdRS and FlgRS two-component systems do not have any detectable effects on transcription of these genes. In summary, these data provide a comprehensive view of transcriptional alterations that occur in response to high-salt environmental conditions.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
Hydrogen sulfide (HS) is thought to protect bacteria from oxidative stress, but a comprehensive understanding of its function in bacteria is largely unexplored. In this study, we show that the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) harbors significant effector molecules of HS signaling, reactive sulfur species (RSS), as low molecular weight persulfides of bacillithiol, coenzyme A, and cysteine, and significant inorganic polysulfide species. We find that proteome S-sulfhydration, a post-translational modification (PTM) in HS signaling, is widespread in S. aureus. RSS levels modulate the expression of secreted virulence factors and the cytotoxicity of the secretome, consistent with an S-sulfhydration-dependent inhibition of DNA binding by MgrA, a global virulence regulator. Two previously uncharacterized thioredoxin-like proteins, denoted TrxP and TrxQ, are S-sulfhydrated in sulfide-stressed cells and are capable of reducing protein hydrodisulfides, suggesting that this PTM is potentially regulatory in S. aureus. In conclusion, our results reveal that S. aureus harbors a pool of proteome- and metabolite-derived RSS capable of impacting protein activities and gene regulation and that HS signaling can be sensed by global regulators to affect the expression of virulence factors.
DNA glycosylases are important editing enzymes that protect genomic stability by excising chemically modified nucleobases that alter normal DNA metabolism. These enzymes have been known only to initiate base excision repair of small adducts by extrusion from the DNA helix. However, recent reports have described both vertebrate and microbial DNA glycosylases capable of unhooking highly toxic interstrand cross-links (ICLs) and bulky minor groove adducts normally recognized by Fanconi anemia and nucleotide excision repair machinery, although the mechanisms of these activities are unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of AlkZ (previously Orf1), a bacterial DNA glycosylase that protects its host by excising ICLs derived from azinomycin B (AZB), a potent antimicrobial and antitumor genotoxin. AlkZ adopts a unique fold in which three tandem winged helix-turn-helix motifs scaffold a positively charged concave surface perfectly shaped for duplex DNA. Through mutational analysis, we identified two glutamine residues and a β-hairpin within this putative DNA-binding cleft that are essential for catalytic activity. Additionally, we present a molecular docking model for how this active site can unhook either or both sides of an AZB ICL, providing a basis for understanding the mechanisms of base excision repair of ICLs. Given the prevalence of this protein fold in pathogenic bacteria, this work also lays the foundation for an emerging role of DNA repair in bacteria-host pathogenesis.
Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of bacterially derived gastroenteritis. A previous mutant screen demonstrated that the heme uptake system (Chu) is required for full colonization of the chicken gastrointestinal tract. Subsequent work identified a PAS domain-containing regulator, termed HeuR, as being required for chicken colonization. Here we confirm that both the heme uptake system and HeuR are required for full chicken gastrointestinal tract colonization, with the heuR mutant being particularly affected during competition with wild-type C. jejuni Transcriptomic analysis identified the chu genes-and those encoding other iron uptake systems-as regulatory targets of HeuR. Purified HeuR bound the chuZA promoter region in electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Consistent with a role for HeuR in chu expression, heuR mutants were unable to efficiently use heme as a source of iron under iron-limiting conditions, and mutants exhibited decreased levels of cell-associated iron by mass spectrometry. Finally, we demonstrate that an heuR mutant of C. jejuni is resistant to hydrogen peroxide and that this resistance correlates to elevated levels of catalase activity. These results indicate that HeuR directly and positively regulates iron acquisition from heme and negatively impacts catalase activity by an as yet unidentified mechanism in C. jejuni IMPORTANCE: Annually, Campylobacter jejuni causes millions of gastrointestinal infections in the United States, due primarily to its ability to reside within the gastrointestinal tracts of poultry, where it can be released during processing and contaminate meat. In the developing world, humans are often infected by consuming contaminated water or by direct contact with livestock. Following consumption of contaminated food or water, humans develop disease that is characterized by mild to severe diarrhea. There is a need to understand both colonization of chickens, to make food safer, and colonization of humans, to better understand disease. Here we demonstrate that to efficiently colonize a host, C. jejuni requires iron from heme, which is regulated by the protein HeuR. Understanding how HeuR functions, we can develop ways to inhibit its function and reduce iron acquisition during colonization, potentially reducing C. jejuni in the avian host, which would make food safer, or limiting human colonization.
Copyright © 2016 Johnson et al.
Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen that causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Within the vertebrate host, S. aureus requires heme as a nutrient iron source and as a cofactor for multiple cellular processes. Although required for pathogenesis, excess heme is toxic. S. aureus employs a two-component system, the heme sensor system (HssRS), to sense and protect against heme toxicity. Upon activation, HssRS induces the expression of the heme-regulated transporter (HrtAB), an efflux pump that alleviates heme toxicity. The ability to sense and respond to heme is critical for the pathogenesis of numerous Gram-positive organisms, yet the mechanism of heme sensing remains unknown. Compound '3981 was identified in a high-throughput screen as an activator of staphylococcal HssRS that triggers HssRS independently of heme accumulation. '3981 is toxic to S. aureus; however, derivatives of '3981 were synthesized that lack toxicity while retaining HssRS activation, enabling the interrogation of the heme stress response without confounding toxic effects of the parent molecule. Using '3981 derivatives as probes of the heme stress response, numerous genes required for '3981-induced activation of HssRS were uncovered. Specifically, multiple genes involved in the production of nitric oxide were identified, including the gene encoding bacterial nitric oxide synthase (bNOS). bNOS protects S. aureus from oxidative stress imposed by heme. Taken together, this work identifies bNOS as crucial for the S. aureus heme stress response, providing evidence that nitric oxide synthesis and heme sensing are intertwined.
UNLABELLED - Helicobacter pylori must be able to rapidly respond to fluctuating conditions within the stomach. Despite this need for constant adaptation, H. pylori encodes few regulatory proteins. Of the identified regulators, the ferric uptake regulator (Fur), the nickel response regulator (NikR), and the two-component acid response system (ArsRS) are each paramount to the success of this pathogen. While numerous studies have individually examined these regulatory proteins, little is known about their combined effect. Therefore, we constructed a series of isogenic mutant strains that contained all possible single, double, and triple regulatory mutations in Fur, NikR, and ArsS. A growth curve analysis revealed minor variation in growth kinetics across the strains; these were most pronounced in the triple mutant and in strains lacking ArsS. Visual analysis showed that strains lacking ArsS formed large aggregates and a biofilm-like matrix at the air-liquid interface. Biofilm quantification using crystal violet assays and visualization via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that all strains lacking ArsS or containing a nonphosphorylatable form of ArsR (ArsR-D52N mutant) formed significantly more biofilm than the wild-type strain. Molecular characterization of biofilm formation showed that strains containing mutations in the ArsRS pathway displayed increased levels of cell aggregation and adherence, both of which are key to biofilm development. Furthermore, SEM analysis revealed prevalent coccoid cells and extracellular matrix formation in the ArsR-D52N, ΔnikR ΔarsS, and Δfur ΔnikR ΔarsS mutant strains, suggesting that these strains may have an exacerbated stress response that further contributes to biofilm formation. Thus, H. pylori ArsRS has a previously unrecognized role in biofilm formation.
IMPORTANCE - Despite a paucity of regulatory proteins, adaptation is key to the survival of H. pylori within the stomach. While prior studies have focused on individual regulatory proteins, such as Fur, NikR, and ArsRS, few studies have examined the combined effect of these factors. Analysis of isogenic mutant strains that contained all possible single, double, and triple regulatory mutations in Fur, NikR, and ArsS revealed a previously unrecognized role for the acid-responsive two-component system ArsRS in biofilm formation.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.