- RgsA, an RpoS-dependent sRNA, negatively regulates rpoS expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 23
- As a master regulator, the alternative sigma factor RpoS coordinates the transcription of genes associated with protection against environmental stresses in bacteria. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, RpoS ...
As a master regulator, the alternative sigma factor RpoS coordinates the transcription of genes associated with protection against environmental stresses in bacteria. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, RpoS is also involved in quorum sensing and virulence. The cellular RpoS level is regulated at multiple levels, whereas the post-transcriptional regulation of rpoS in P. aeruginosa remains unclear. To identify and characterize small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) regulating RpoS in P. aeruginosa, an sRNA library expressing a total of 263 sRNAs was constructed to examine their regulatory roles on rpoS expression. Our results demonstrate that rpoS expression is repressed by the RpoS-dependent sRNA RgsA at the post-transcriptional level. Unlike OxyS, an sRNA previously known to repress rpoS expression under oxidative stress in Escherichia coli, RgsA represses rpoS expression during the exponential phase. This repression requires the RNA chaperone Hfq. Furthermore, the 71-77 conserved region of RgsA is necessary for full repression of rpoS expression, and the -25 to +27 region of rpoS mRNA is sufficient for RgsA-mediated rpoS repression. Together, our results not only add RgsA to the RpoS regulatory circuits but also highlight the complexity of interplay between sRNAs and transcriptional regulators in bacteria.
- Transcriptional profiling of the clpX mutant in Bacillus anthracis reveals regulatory connection with the lrgAB operon. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 23
- ClpX functions as either an independent chaperone or a component of the ClpXP protease, a conserved intracellular protease that acts as a global regulator in the bacterial cell by degrading regulator...
ClpX functions as either an independent chaperone or a component of the ClpXP protease, a conserved intracellular protease that acts as a global regulator in the bacterial cell by degrading regulatory proteins, stress response proteins and rate-limiting enzymes. Previously, we found that loss of clpX in Bacillus anthracis Sterne leads to increased susceptibility to antimicrobial agents that target the cell envelope. The aim of this study was to identify genes within the regulatory network of clpX that contribute to antimicrobial resistance. Using microarray analysis, we found 119 genes that are highly differentially expressed in the ∆clpX mutant, with the majority involved in metabolic, transport or regulatory functions. Several of these differentially expressed genes, including glpF, sigM, mrsA, lrgA and lrgB, are associated with cell wall-active antibiotics in other bacterial species. We focused on lrgA and lrgB, which form the lrgAB operon and are downregulated in ∆clpX, because loss of lrgAB increases autolytic activity and penicillin susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus. While we observed no changes in autolytic activity in either ∆clpX or ∆lrgAB B. anthracis Sterne, we find that both mutants have increased susceptibility to the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 and daptomycin. However, phenotypes between ∆clpX and ∆lrgAB are not identical as ∆clpX also displays increased susceptibility to penicillin and nisin but ∆lrgAB does not. Therefore, while decreased expression of lrgAB may be partially responsible for the increased antimicrobial susceptibility seen in the ∆clpX mutant, disruption of other pathways must also contribute to this phenotype.
- Non-canonical Escherichia coli transcripts lacking a Shine-Dalgarno motif have very different translational efficiencies and do not form a coherent group. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 22
- Translation initiation in 50-70 % of transcripts in Escherichia coli requires base pairing between the Shine-Dalgarno (SD) motif in the mRNA and the anti-SD motif at the 3' end of the 16S rRNA. Howev...
Translation initiation in 50-70 % of transcripts in Escherichia coli requires base pairing between the Shine-Dalgarno (SD) motif in the mRNA and the anti-SD motif at the 3' end of the 16S rRNA. However, 30-50 % of E. coli transcripts are non-canonical and are not preceded by an SD motif. The 5' ends of 44 E. coli transcripts were determined, all of which contained a 5'-UTR (no leaderless transcripts), but only a minority contained an SD motif. The 5'-UTR lengths were compared with those listed in RegulonDB and reported in previous publications, and the identities and differences were obtained in all possible combinations. We aimed to quantify the translational efficiencies of non-canonical 5'-UTRs using GusA reporter gene assays and Northern blot analyses. Ten non-canonical 5'-UTRs and two control 5'-UTRs with an SD motif were cloned upstream of the gusA gene. The translational efficiencies were quantified under five different conditions (different growth rates via two different temperatures and two different carbon sources, and heat shock). The translational efficiencies of the non-canonical 5'-UTRs varied widely, from 5 to 384 % of the positive control. In addition, the non-canonical transcripts did not exhibit a common regulatory pattern with changing environmental parameters. No correlation could be observed between the translational efficiencies of the non-canonical 5'-UTRs and their lengths, sequences, GC content, or predicted secondary structures. The introduction of an SD motif enhanced the translational efficiency of a poorly translated non-canonical transcript, while the efficiency of a well-translated non-canonical transcript remained unchanged. Taken together, the mechanisms of translation initiation at non-canonical transcripts in E. coli still need to be elucidated.
- Identification of novel genes in the carotenogenic and oleaginous yeast Rhodotorula toruloides through genome-wide insertional mutagenesis. [Journal Article]
- BMBMC Microbiol 2018 Feb 21; 18(1):14
- CONCLUSIONS: T-DNA insertional mutagenesis is an efficient forward genetic tool for gene discovery in R. toruloides and related oleaginous yeast species. It is also valuable for metabolic engineering in these hosts. Further analysis of the 27 mutants identified in this study should augment our knowledge of the lipid and carotenoid biosynthesis, which may be exploited for oil and isoprenoid metabolic engineering.
- Microbe Profile: Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Humanity's deadly microbial foe. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 21
- MΦ, Macrophage; DC, Dendritic cell; CORD, Cord factor; MDR, Multidrug resistance.Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an expert and deadly pathogen, causing the disease tuberculosis (TB) in humans. It has s...
MΦ, Macrophage; DC, Dendritic cell; CORD, Cord factor; MDR, Multidrug resistance.Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an expert and deadly pathogen, causing the disease tuberculosis (TB) in humans. It has several notable features: the ability to enter non-replicating states for long periods and cause latent infection; metabolic remodelling during chronic infection; a thick, waxy cell wall; slow growth rate in culture; and intrinsic drug resistance and antibiotic tolerance. As a pathogen, M. tuberculosis has a complex relationship with its host, is able to replicate inside macrophages, and expresses diverse immunomodulatory molecules. M. tuberculosis currently causes over 1.8 million deaths a year, making it the world's most deadly human pathogen.
- Lack of glyoxylate shunt dysregulates iron homeostasis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 21
- The aceA and glcB genes, encoding isocitrate lyase (ICL) and malate synthase, respectively, are not in an operon in many bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, unlike in Escherichia coli. Here, ...
The aceA and glcB genes, encoding isocitrate lyase (ICL) and malate synthase, respectively, are not in an operon in many bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, unlike in Escherichia coli. Here, we show that expression of aceA in P. aeruginosa is specifically upregulated under H2O2-induced oxidative stress and under iron-limiting conditions. In contrast, the addition of exogenous redox active compounds or antibiotics increases the expression of glcB. The transcriptional start sites of aceA under iron-limiting conditions and in the presence of iron were found to be identical by 5' RACE. Interestingly, the enzymatic activities of ICL and isocitrate dehydrogenase had opposite responses under different iron conditions, suggesting that the glyoxylate shunt (GS) might be important under iron-limiting conditions. Remarkably, the intracellular iron concentration was lower while the iron demand was higher in the GS-activated cells growing on acetate compared to cells growing on glucose. Absence of GS dysregulated iron homeostasis led to changes in the cellular iron pool, with higher intracellular chelatable iron levels. In addition, GS mutants were found to have higher cytochrome c oxidase activity on iron-supplemented agar plates of minimal media, which promoted the growth of the GS mutants. However, deletion of the GS genes resulted in higher sensitivity to a high concentration of H2O2, presumably due to iron-mediated killing. In conclusion, the GS system appears to be tightly linked to iron homeostasis in the promotion of P. aeruginosa survival under oxidative stress.
- Microbe Profile: Corynebacterium diphtheriae - an old foe always ready to seize opportunity. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 21
- Diphtheria AB toxin mode of action. The diphtheria AB exotoxin consists of two polypeptide chains - A and B which are linked by a disulfide bridge. The B chain binds to the heparin-binding epidermal ...
Diphtheria AB toxin mode of action. The diphtheria AB exotoxin consists of two polypeptide chains - A and B which are linked by a disulfide bridge. The B chain binds to the heparin-binding epidermal growth factor precursor on eukaryotic cells and is endocytosed. Acidification of the endosome results in a conformational change to the A and B chains and breaking of the disulphide bridge. The B chain remains in the endosome, but the A chain is translocated to the cytoplasm where it ADP-ribosylates host eEF-2, blocking protein synthesis which leads to cell death.Corynebacterium diphtheriae is a globally important Gram-positive aerobic Actinobacterium capable of causing the toxin-mediated disease, diphtheria. Diphtheria was a major cause of childhood mortality prior to the introduction of the toxoid vaccine, yet it is capable of rapid resurgence following the breakdown of healthcare provision, vaccination or displacement of people. The mechanism and treatment of toxin-mediated disease is well understood, however there are key gaps in our knowledge on the basic biology of C. diphtheriae particularly relating to host colonisation, the nature of asymptomatic carriage, population genomics and host adaptation.
- Essentiality of WalRK for growth in Bacillus subtilis and its role during heat stress. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 20
- WalRK is an essential two-component signal transduction system that plays a central role in coordinating cell wall synthesis and cell growth in Bacillus subtilis. However, the physiological role of W...
WalRK is an essential two-component signal transduction system that plays a central role in coordinating cell wall synthesis and cell growth in Bacillus subtilis. However, the physiological role of WalRK and its essentiality for growth have not been elucidated. We investigated the behaviour of WalRK during heat stress and its essentiality for cell proliferation. We determined that the inactivation of the walHI genes which encode the negative modulator of WalK, resulted in growth defects and eventual cell lysis at high temperatures. Screening of suppressor mutations revealed that the inactivation of LytE, an dl-endopeptidase, restored the growth of the ΔwalHI mutant at high temperatures. Suppressor mutations that reduced heat induction arising from the walRK regulon were also mapped to the walK ORF. Therefore, we hypothesized that overactivation of LytE affects the phenotype of the ΔwalHI mutant. This hypothesis was corroborated by the overexpression of the negative regulator of LytE, IseA and PdaC, which rescued the growth of the ΔwalHI mutant at high temperatures. Elucidating the cause of the temperature sensitivity of the ΔwalHI mutant could explain the essentiality of WalRK. We proved that the constitutive expression of lytE or cwlO using a synthetic promoter uncouples these expressions from WalRK, and renders WalRK nonessential in the pdaC and iseA mutant backgrounds. We propose that the essentiality of WalRK is derived from the coordination of cell wall metabolism with cell growth by regulating dl-endopeptidase activity under various growth conditions.
- Anti-inflammatory effect of two Lactobacillus strains during infection with Gardnerella vaginalis and Candida albicans in a HeLa cell culture model. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Jan 23
- Lactobacilli are the dominant bacteria of the vaginal tract of healthy women and they play a major role in the maintenance of mucosal homeostasis, preventing genital infections, such as bacterial vag...
Lactobacilli are the dominant bacteria of the vaginal tract of healthy women and they play a major role in the maintenance of mucosal homeostasis, preventing genital infections, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). It is now known that one mechanism of this protection is the influence that lactobacilli can exert on host immune responses. In this context, we evaluated two Lactobacillus strains (L. plantarum 59 and L. fermentum 137) for their immunomodulatory properties in response to Gardnerella vaginalis (BV) or Candida albicans (VVC) infections in a HeLa cell infection model. G. vaginalis and C. albicans triggered the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8) and the activation of NF-κB in HeLa cells, in contrast to L. plantarum 59 and L. fermentum 137. Treatments with the Lactobacillus strains or their cell-free supernatants before (pre-treatment) or after (post-treatment) the challenge with the pathogens resulted in decreased secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and decreased activation of NF-κB. The treatments with Lactobacillus strains not only decreased the secretion of IL-8, but also its expression, as confirmed by gene reporter luciferase assay, suggesting transcription-level control by lactobacilli. In conclusion, L. plantarum 59 and L. fermentum 137 were confirmed to have an anti-inflammatory effect against G. vaginalis and C. albicans and they were able to influence signalling in NF-κB pathway, making them interesting candidates as probiotics for the prevention or treatment of BV and VVC.
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- The YscE/YscG chaperone and YscF N-terminal sequences target YscF to the Yersinia pestis type III secretion apparatus. [Journal Article]
- MMicrobiology 2018 Feb 05
- The needle structures of type III secretion (T3S) systems are formed by the secretion and polymerization of a needle subunit protein, YscF in Yersinia pestis. A subset of T3S systems employ unique he...
The needle structures of type III secretion (T3S) systems are formed by the secretion and polymerization of a needle subunit protein, YscF in Yersinia pestis. A subset of T3S systems employ unique heterodimeric chaperones, YscE and YscG in Y. pestis, to prevent the polymerization of needle subunits within the bacterial cell. We demonstrate that the YscE/YscG chaperone is also required for stable YscF expression and for secretion of YscF. Overexpression of a functional maltose-binding protein (MBP)-YscG hybrid protein stabilized cytoplasmic YscF but YscF was not secreted in the absence of YscE. Furthermore, a YscE mutant protein was identified that functioned with YscG to stabilize cytosolic YscF; however, YscF was not secreted. These findings confirm a role for the YscE/YscG chaperone in YscF secretion and suggest that YscE may have a specific role in this process. Recent studies have shown that YscF deleted of its N-terminal 15 residues is still secreted and functional, suggesting that YscF may not require an N-terminal secretion signal. However, we demonstrate that YscF contains an N-terminal secretion signal and that a functional N-terminal signal is required for YscF secretion.