Response of human corneal epithelial cells to the secretomes of wild-type Serratia marcescens and an eepR mutant strain
ABSTRACT: The bacterium Serratia marcescens is a common contaminant of contact lens cases and lenses. Serratamolide is one of the secreted hemolytic/cytotoxic factors which contribute to the virulence of this opportunistic pathogen (PMID 22615766). A newly identified transcription factor (eepR) is essential for serratamolide production (PMID 25897029). In the present study, we used immortalized human corneal-limbal epithelial (HCLE) cells (PMID 12766048) as targets for the secreted products of either wild-type (WT) S. marcescens or an isogenic eepR mutant. Microarray data showed that at sub - cytotoxic levels, the secretome of WT bacteria stimulated a > 2-fold response in 712 unique characterized genes. Analysis showed that immune/inflammatory response pathways are significantly enriched in these genes. The scaled response of eepR, ((eepR - control)/(WT â?? control)), was < 0.5 for 418 of these 712 genes (59%). Pathway analysis of these 2-fold attenuated genes confirmed that they too represented immune/inflammatory responses. These data demonstrate that the serratamolide-deficient eepR mutant evokes a much weaker immune/inflammatory response from a clinically relevant cellular target than does the wild-type bacterium. A common batch of HCLE cells was used. Independent preparations of Serratia marcescens secretomes were made for each experiment.
Project description:The bacterium Serratia marcescens is a common contaminant of contact lens cases and lenses. Serratamolide is one of the secreted hemolytic/cytotoxic factors which contribute to the virulence of this opportunistic pathogen (PMID 22615766). A newly identified transcription factor (eepR) is essential for serratamolide production (PMID 25897029). In the present study, we used immortalized human corneal-limbal epithelial (HCLE) cells (PMID 12766048) as targets for the secreted products of either wild-type (WT) S. marcescens or an isogenic eepR mutant. Microarray data showed that at sub - cytotoxic levels, the secretome of WT bacteria stimulated a > 2-fold response in 712 unique characterized genes. Analysis showed that immune/inflammatory response pathways are significantly enriched in these genes. The scaled response of eepR, ((eepR - control)/(WT – control)), was < 0.5 for 418 of these 712 genes (59%). Pathway analysis of these 2-fold attenuated genes confirmed that they too represented immune/inflammatory responses. These data demonstrate that the serratamolide-deficient eepR mutant evokes a much weaker immune/inflammatory response from a clinically relevant cellular target than does the wild-type bacterium. A common batch of HCLE cells was used. Independent preparations of Serratia marcescens secretomes were made for each experiment.
Project description:Serratia marcescens generates secondary metabolites and secreted enzymes, and it causes hospital infections and community-acquired ocular infections. Previous studies identified cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein (CRP) as an indirect inhibitor of antimicrobial secondary metabolites. Here, we identified a putative two-component regulator that suppressed crp mutant phenotypes. Evidence supports that the putative response regulator eepR was directly transcriptionally inhibited by cAMP-CRP. EepR and the putative sensor kinase EepS were necessary for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, including prodigiosin- and serratamolide-dependent phenotypes, swarming motility, and hemolysis. Recombinant EepR bound to the prodigiosin and serratamolide promoters in vitro. Together, these data introduce a novel regulator of secondary metabolites that directly connects the broadly conserved metabolism regulator CRP with biosynthetic genes that may contribute to competition with other microbes.This study identifies a new transcription factor that is directly controlled by a broadly conserved transcription factor, CRP. CRP is well studied in its role to help bacteria respond to the amount of nutrients in their environment. The new transcription factor EepR is essential for the bacterium Serratia marcescens to produce two biologically active compounds, prodigiosin and serratamolide. These two compounds are antimicrobial and may allow S. marcescens to compete for limited nutrients with other microorganisms. Results from this study tie together the CRP environmental nutrient sensor with a new regulator of antimicrobial compounds. Beyond microbial ecology, prodigiosin and serratamolide have therapeutic potential; therefore, understanding their regulation is important for both applied and basic science.
Project description:Swarming motility and hemolysis are virulence-associated determinants for a wide array of pathogenic bacteria. The broad host-range opportunistic pathogen Serratia marcescens produces serratamolide, a small cyclic amino-lipid, that promotes swarming motility and hemolysis. Serratamolide is negatively regulated by the transcription factors HexS and CRP. Positive regulators of serratamolide production are unknown. Similar to serratamolide, the antibiotic pigment, prodigiosin, is regulated by temperature, growth phase, HexS, and CRP. Because of this co-regulation, we tested the hypothesis that a homolog of the PigP transcription factor of the atypical Serratia species ATCC 39006, which positively regulates prodigiosin biosynthesis, is also a positive regulator of serratamolide production in S. marcescens. Mutation of pigP in clinical, environmental, and laboratory strains of S. marcescens conferred pleiotropic phenotypes including the loss of swarming motility, hemolysis, and severely reduced prodigiosin and serratamolide synthesis. Transcriptional analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assays place PigP in a regulatory pathway with upstream regulators CRP and HexS. The data from this study identifies a positive regulator of serratamolide production, describes novel roles for the PigP transcription factor, shows for the first time that PigP directly regulates the pigment biosynthetic operon, and identifies upstream regulators of pigP. This study suggests that PigP is important for the ability of S. marcescens to compete in the environment.
Project description:Here we present a draft genome sequence of laboratory strain Serratia marcescens SM6. Using the antiSMASH 5.0 prediction tool, we identi?ed five biosynthetic gene clusters involved in secondary metabolite production (two siderophores and a biosurfactant serratamolide, a glucosamine derivative, and a thiopeptide). Whole-genome sequencing information will be useful for the detailed study of metabolites produced by Serratia marcescens.
Project description:Serratia marcescens is a soil- and water-derived bacterium that secretes several host-directed factors and causes hospital infections and community-acquired ocular infections. The putative two-component regulatory system composed of EepR and EepS regulates hemolysis and swarming motility through transcriptional control of the swrW gene and pigment production through control of the pigA-pigN operon. Here, we identify and characterize a role for EepR in regulation of exoenzyme production, stress survival, cytotoxicity to human epithelial cells, and virulence. Genetic analysis supports the model that EepR is in a common pathway with the widely conserved cyclic-AMP receptor protein that regulates protease production. Together, these data introduce a novel regulator of host-pathogen interactions and secreted-protein production.
Project description:Serralysin-like proteases are found in a wide variety of bacteria. These metalloproteases are frequently implicated in virulence and are members of the widely conserved RTX-toxin family. We identified a serralysin-like protease in the genome of a clinical isolate of Serratia marcescens that is highly similar to the canonical serralysin protein, PrtS. This gene was named serralysin-like protease E, SlpE, and was found in the majority (67%) of tested clinical isolates, but was absent from most tested non-clinical isolates including the insect pathogen and reference S. marcescens strain Db11. Purified recombinant SlpE exhibited calcium-dependent protease activity similar to metalloproteases PrtS and SlpB. Induction of slpE in the low-protease-producing S. marcescens strain PIC3611 highly elevated extracellular protease activity, and extracellular secretion required the lipD type 1 secretion system gene. Transcription of slpE was highly reduced in an eepR transcription factor mutant. Mutation of the slpE gene in a highly proteolytic clinical isolate reduced its protease activity, and evidence suggests that SlpE confers cytotoxicity of S. marcescens to the A549 airway carcinoma cell line. Together, these data reveal SlpE to be an EepR-regulated cytotoxic metalloprotease associated with clinical isolates of an important opportunistic pathogen.
Project description:Serratia marcescens is a common contaminant of contact lens cases and lenses. Hemolytic factors of S. marcescens contribute to the virulence of this opportunistic bacterial pathogen. We took advantage of an observed hyper-hemolytic phenotype of crp mutants to investigate mechanisms of hemolysis. A genetic screen revealed that swrW is necessary for the hyper-hemolysis phenotype of crp mutants. The swrW gene is required for biosynthesis of the biosurfactant serratamolide, previously shown to be a broad-spectrum antibiotic and to contribute to swarming motility. Multicopy expression of swrW or mutation of the hexS transcription factor gene, a known inhibitor of swrW expression, led to an increase in hemolysis. Surfactant zones and expression from an swrW-transcriptional reporter were elevated in a crp mutant compared to the wild type. Purified serratamolide was hemolytic to sheep and murine red blood cells and cytotoxic to human airway and corneal limbal epithelial cells in vitro. The swrW gene was found in the majority of contact lens isolates tested. Genetic and biochemical analysis implicate the biosurfactant serratamolide as a hemolysin. This novel hemolysin may contribute to irritation and infections associated with contact lens use.
Project description:Serratia marcescens, a gram-negative bacterium, found in a wide range of ecological niches can produce several high-value products, including prodigiosin, althiomycin, and serratamolide. Among them, prodigiosin has attracted attention due to its immunosuppressive, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. However, the regulatory mechanisms behind prodigiosin synthesis in Serratia marcescens remains limited. Here, a transposon mutant library was constructed to identify the genes related to prodigiosin synthesis, and BVG90_02415 gene encoding a peptidoglycan synthesizing enzyme D-Ala-D-Ala carboxypeptidase DacA was found to negatively regulates prodigiosin synthesis. Quantitative measurements revealed that disruption of dacA increased prodigiosin production 1.46-fold that of the wild-type strain JNB5-1 in fermentation medium. By comparing differences in cell growth, pigA gene expression level, cell morphology, membrane permeability, and intracellular prodigiosin concentration between wild-type strain JNB5-1 and dacA mutant SK4-72, results revealed that the mechanism for hyper-producing of prodigiosin by the dacA mutant was probably that dacA disruption enhanced prodigiosin leakage, which in turn alleviated feedback inhibition of prodigiosin and increased expression of pig gene cluster. Collectively, this work provides a novel insight into regulatory mechanisms of prodigiosin synthesis and uncovers new roles of DacA protein in regulating cell growth, cell morphology, and membrane permeability in Serratia marcescens. Finally, this study offers a new strategy for improving production of high-value compounds in Serratia marcescens.
Project description:Prodigiosin, a secondary metabolite produced by Serratia marcescens, has attracted attention due to its immunosuppressive, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. However, information on the regulatory mechanism behind prodigiosin biosynthesis in S. marcescens remains limited. In this work, a prodigiosin-hyperproducing strain with the BVG90_22495 gene disrupted (ZK66) was selected from a collection of Tn5G transposon insertion mutants. Using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis, ?-galactosidase assays, transcriptomics analysis, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs), the LysR-type regulator MetR encoded by the BVG90_22495 gene was found to affect prodigiosin synthesis, and this correlated with MetR directly binding to the promoter region of the prodigiosin-synthesis positive regulator PigP and hence negatively regulated the expression of the prodigiosin-associated pig operon. More analyses revealed that MetR regulated some other important cellular processes, including methionine biosynthesis, cell motility, H2O2 tolerance, heat tolerance, exopolysaccharide synthesis, and biofilm formation in S. marcescens Although MetR protein is highly conserved in many bacteria, we report here on the LysR-type regulator MetR exhibiting novel roles in negatively regulating prodigiosin synthesis and positively regulating heat tolerance, exopolysaccharide synthesis, and biofilm formation.IMPORTANCE Serratia marcescens, a Gram-negative bacterium, is found in a wide range of ecological niches and can produce several secondary metabolites, including prodigiosin, althiomycin, and serratamolide. Among them, prodigiosin shows diverse functions as an immunosuppressant, antimicrobial, and anticancer agent. However, the regulatory mechanisms behind prodigiosin synthesis in S. marcescens are not completely understood. Here, we adapted a transposon mutant library to identify the genes related to prodigiosin synthesis, and the BVG90_22495 gene encoding the LysR-type regulator MetR was found to negatively regulate prodigiosin synthesis. The molecular mechanism of the metR mutant hyperproducing prodigiosin was investigated. Additionally, we provided evidence supporting new roles for MetR in regulating methionine biosynthesis, cell motility, heat tolerance, H2O2 tolerance, and exopolysaccharide synthesis in S. marcescens Collectively, this work provides novel insight into regulatory mechanisms of prodigiosin synthesis and uncovers novel roles for the highly conserved MetR protein in regulating prodigiosin synthesis, heat tolerance, exopolysaccharide (EPS) synthesis, and biofilm formation.
Project description:Prodigiosin is an important secondary metabolite produced by Serratia marcescens. It can help strains resist stresses from other microorganisms and environmental factors to achieve self-preservation. Prodigiosin is also a promising secondary metabolite due to its pharmacological characteristics. However, pigmentless S. marcescens mutants always emerge after prolonged starvation, which might be a way for the bacteria to adapt to starvation conditions, but it could be a major problem in the industrial application of S. marcescens. To identify the molecular mechanisms of loss of prodigiosin production, two mutants were isolated after 16 days of prolonged incubation of wild-type (WT) S. marcescens 1912768R; one mutant (named 1912768WR) exhibited reduced production of prodigiosin, and a second mutant (named 1912768W) was totally defective. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that the two mutants had either mutations or deletions in rpoS. Knockout of rpoS in S. marcescens 1912768R had pleiotropic effects. Complementation of rpoS in the ?rpoS mutant further confirmed that RpoS was a positive regulator of prodigiosin production and that its regulatory role in prodigiosin biosynthesis was opposite that in Serratia sp. ATCC 39006, which had a different type of pig cluster; further, rpoS from Serratia sp. ATCC 39006 and other strains complemented the prodigiosin defect of the ?rpoS mutant, suggesting that the pig promoters are more important than the genes in the regulation of prodigiosin production. Deletion of rpoS strongly impaired the resistance of S. marcescens to stresses but increased membrane permeability for nutritional competence; competition assays in rich and minimum media showed that the ?rpoS mutant outcompeted its isogenic WT strain. All these data support the idea that RpoS is pleiotropic and that the loss of prodigiosin biosynthesis in S. marcescens 1912768R during prolonged incubation is due to a mutation in rpoS, which appears to be a self-preservation and nutritional competence (SPANC) trade-off.