Lipid A Remodeling Is a Pathoadaptive Mechanism That Impacts Lipopolysaccharide Recognition and Intracellular Survival of Burkholderia pseudomallei.Infect Immun. 2018 10; 86(10)II
Burkholderia pseudomallei causes the severe disease melioidosis. The bacterium subverts the host immune system and replicates inside cells, and host mortality results primarily from sepsis-related complications. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major virulence factor and mediator of sepsis that many pathogens capable of intracellular growth modify to reduce their immunological "footprint." The binding strength of B. pseudomallei LPS for human LPS binding protein (hLBP) was measured using surface plasmon resonance. The structures of lipid A isolated from B. pseudomallei under different temperatures were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), and the gene expression of two lipid A remodeling genes, lpxO and pagL, was investigated. The LPS was characterized for its ability to trigger tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) release and to activate caspase-11-triggered pyroptosis by introduction of LPS into the cytosol. Lipid A from long-term chronic-infection isolates was isolated and characterized by MALDI-TOF MS and also by the ability to trigger caspase-11-mediated cell death. Lipid A from B. pseudomallei 1026b lpxO and pagL mutants were characterized by positive- and negative-mode MALDI-TOF MS to ultimately identify their role in lipid A structural modifications. Replication of lpxO and pagL mutants and their complements within macrophages showed that lipid A remodeling can effect growth in host cells and activation of caspase-11-mediated cytotoxicity.