Inorganic polyphosphate in Vibrio cholerae: genetic, biochemical, and physiologic features.
ABSTRACT: Vibrio cholerae O1, biotype El Tor, accumulates inorganic polyphosphate (poly P) principally as large clusters of granules. Poly P kinase (PPK), the enzyme that synthesizes poly P from ATP, is encoded by the ppk gene, which has been cloned from V. cholerae, overexpressed, and knocked out by insertion-deletion mutagenesis. The predicted amino acid sequence of PPK is 701 residues (81.6 kDa), with 64% identity to that of Escherichia coli, which it resembles biochemically. As in E. coli, ppk is part of an operon with ppx, the gene that encodes exopolyphosphatase (PPX). However, unlike in E. coli, PPX activity was not detected in cell extracts of wild-type V. cholerae. The ppk null mutant of V. cholerae has diminished adaptation to high concentrations of calcium in the medium as well as motility and abiotic surface attachment.
Project description:Chains of inorganic polyphosphate (poly-P) with hundreds of P(i) residues linked by phosphoanhydride bonds, as in ATP, are found in every bacterial, fungal, plant, and animal cell, in which they perform various functions. In the spore-forming Bacillus cereus, we have identified three principal enzymes and genes involved in the metabolism of poly-P, namely, (i) poly-P kinase (PPK), which synthesizes poly-P reversibly from ATP, (ii) exopolyphosphatase (PPX), which hydrolyzes poly-P to P(i), and (iii) poly-P/AMP phosphotransferase (PAP), which uses poly-P as a donor to convert AMP to ADP, reversibly. In the null mutant of ppk, poly-P levels are reduced to <5% of the WT; in the ppx mutant, the PPK activity is elevated 10-fold, and the accumulation of poly-P is elevated approximately 1,000-fold. All of the null mutants of ppk, ppx, and pap showed defects in motility and biofilm formation, but sporulation efficiency was impaired only in the ppx mutant. These enzymes and genes in B. cereus are nearly identical to those in the very closely related pathogen Bacillus anthracis, and, thus, they may provide attractive targets for the treatment of anthrax.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa accumulates polyphosphates in response to nutrient limitations. To elucidate the function of polyphosphate in this microorganism, we have investigated polyphosphate metabolism by isolating from P. aeruginosa 8830 the genes encoding polyphosphate kinase (PPK) and exopolyphosphatase (PPX), which are involved in polyphosphate synthesis and degradation, respectively. The 690- and 506-amino-acid polypeptides encoded by the two genes have been expressed in Escherichia coli and purified, and their activities have been tested in vitro. Gene replacement was used to construct a PPK-negative strain of P. aeruginosa 8830. Low residual PPK activity in the ppk mutant suggests a possible alternative pathway of polyphosphate synthesis in this microorganism. Primer extension analysis indicated that ppk is transcribed from a sigmaE-dependent promoter, which could be responsive to environmental stresses. However, no coregulation between ppk and ppx promoters has been demonstrated in response to osmotic shock or oxidative stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP), a polymer of tens or hundreds of phosphate residues linked by ATP-like bonds, is found in all organisms and performs a wide variety of functions. PolyP is synthesized in bacterial cells by the actions of polyphosphate kinases (PPK1 and PPK2) and degraded by an exopolyphosphatase (PPX). Bacterial cells with polyP deficiencies are impaired in many structural and important cellular functions such as motility, quorum sensing, biofilm formation and virulence. Knockout mutants of the ppk1 gene have been the most frequent strategy employed to generate polyP deficient cells. RESULTS: As an alternative method to construct polyP-deficient bacteria we developed constitutive and regulated broad-host-range vectors for depleting the cellular polyP content. This was achieved by the overexpression of yeast exopolyphosphatase (PPX1). Using this approach in a polyphosphate accumulating bacteria (Pseudomonas sp. B4), we were able to eliminate most of the cellular polyP (>95%). Furthermore, the effect of overexpression of PPX1 resembled the functional defects found in motility and biofilm formation in a ppk1 mutant from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The plasmids constructed were also successfully replicated in other bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Burkholderia and Salmonella. CONCLUSION: To deplete polyP contents in bacteria broad-host-range expression vectors can be used as an alternative and more efficient method compared with the deletion of ppk genes. It is of great importance to understand why polyP deficiency affects vital cellular processes in bacteria. The construction reported in this work will be of great relevance to study the role of polyP in microorganisms with non-sequenced genomes or those in which orthologs to ppk genes have not been identified.
Project description:Synechococcus OS-B', a thermophilic unicellular cyanobacterium, recently isolated from the microbial mats in Octopus Spring (Yellowstone National Park), induces a suite of genes, including phosphatases and transporters, in response to phosphorus (P) starvation. Here we describe two different approaches to examine the ability of Synechococcus OS-B' to synthesize and break down polyphosphate (poly P), a key storage compound in many prokaryotes. First, we developed a transformation protocol to create mutants in the polyphosphate kinase (ppk), the major enzyme responsible for the synthesis of poly P. The ppk mutant exhibited a pleiotropic phenotype with defects in poly P accumulation, aberrant levels of Pho regulon transcripts, growth defects, and changes in cell size and exopolysaccharide levels, among others. Second, we measured transcripts of ppk and ppx (encoding the polyphosphatase) directly from mat samples and found that the levels varied dramatically over a diel cycle. We also used Western blot analysis to quantify levels of PPK and PPX and found that these enzymes differentially accumulated during the diel cycle. Levels of polyphosphate kinase peaked at night, while polyphosphatase levels were highest during the early morning hours. We hypothesize that the opposing activities of these two enzymes allow cells to store and utilize poly P to optimize growth over a diel cycle.
Project description:Phosphate metabolism was studied to determine whether polyphosphate (polyP) pools play a role in the enhanced resistance against Cd2+ and metal-removal capacity of Cd2+-preadapted (CdPA) Methanosarcina acetivorans. Polyphosphate kinase (PPK), exopolyphosphatase (PPX) and phosphate transporter transcript levels and their activities increased in CdPA cells compared to control (Cnt) cells. K+ inhibited recombinant Ma-PPK and activated Ma-PPX, whereas divalent cations activated both enzymes. Metal-binding polyP and thiol-containing molecule contents, Cd2+-removal, and biofilm synthesis were significantly higher in CdPA cells >Cnt cells plus a single addition of Cd2+>Cnt cells. Also, CdPA cells showed a higher number of cadmium, sulfur, and phosphorus enriched-acidocalcisomes than control cells. Biochemical and physiological phenotype exhibited by CdPA cells returned to that of Cnt cells when cultured without Cd2+. Furthermore, no differences in the sequenced genomes upstream and downstream of the genes involved in Cd2+ resistance were found between CdPA and Cnt cells, suggesting phenotype loss rather than genome mutations induced by chronic Cd2+-exposure. Instead, a metabolic adaptation induced by Cd2+ stress was apparent. The dynamic ability of M. acetivorans to change its metabolism, depending on the environmental conditions, may be advantageous to remove cadmium in nature and biodigesters.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate (poly-P), guanosine pentaphosphate (pppGpp) and guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) are ubiquitous in bacteria. These molecules play a variety of important physiological roles associated with stress resistance, persistence, and virulence. In the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the identities of the proteins responsible for the metabolism of polyphosphate and (p)ppGpp remain to be fully established. M. tuberculosis encodes two PPX-GppA homologues, Rv0496 (MTB-PPX1) and Rv1026, which share significant sequence similarity with bacterial exopolyphosphatase (PPX) and guanosine pentaphosphate 5'-phosphohydrolase (GPP) proteins. Here we delineate the respective biochemical activities of the Rv0496 and Rv1026 proteins and benchmark these against the activities of the PPX and GPP proteins from Escherichia coli. We demonstrate that Rv0496 functions as an exopolyphosphatase, showing a distinct preference for relatively short-chain poly-P substrates. In contrast, Rv1026 has no detectable exopolyphosphatase activities. Analogous to the E. coli PPX and GPP enzymes, the exopolyphosphatase activities of Rv0496 are inhibited by pppGpp and, to a lesser extent, by ppGpp alarmones, which are produced during the bacterial stringent response. However, neither Rv0496 nor Rv1026 have the ability to hydrolyze pppGpp to ppGpp; a reaction catalyzed by E. coli PPX and GPP. Both the Rv0496 and Rv1026 proteins have modest ATPase and to a lesser extent ADPase activities. pppGpp alarmones inhibit the ATPase activities of Rv1026 and, to a lesser extent, the ATPase activities of Rv0496. We conclude that PPX-GppA family proteins may not possess all the catalytic activities implied by their name and may play distinct biochemical roles involved in polyphosphate and (p)ppGpp metabolic pathways.
Project description:Polyphosphate is an inorganic procoagulant polymer. Here we develop specific inhibitors of polyphosphate and show that this strategy confers thromboprotection in a factor XII-dependent manner. Recombinant Escherichia coli exopolyphosphatase (PPX) specifically degrades polyphosphate, while a PPX variant lacking domains 1 and 2 (PPX_?12) binds to the polymer without degrading it. Both PPX and PPX_?12 interfere with polyphosphate- but not tissue factor- or nucleic acid-driven thrombin formation. Targeting polyphosphate abolishes procoagulant platelet activity in a factor XII-dependent manner, reduces fibrin accumulation and impedes thrombus formation in blood under flow. PPX and PPX_?12 infusions in wild-type mice interfere with arterial thrombosis and protect animals from activated platelet-induced venous thromboembolism without increasing bleeding from injury sites. In contrast, targeting polyphosphate does not provide additional protection from thrombosis in factor XII-deficient animals. Our data provide a proof-of-concept approach for combating thrombotic diseases without increased bleeding risk, indicating that polyphosphate drives thrombosis via factor XII.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate (Poly P) is a polymer of various phosphate residues linked by phosphoanhydride bonds as in ATP. It is found in all cells in nature with roles in the origin and survival of species, particularly in bacteria. To study the role of the inorganic polyphosphate in bacteria, we obtained knockout mutants of polyP metabolism genes in Escherichia coli K12. We performed DNA microarray experiments of single mutants in polyphosphate kinase 1 (PPK1), exopolyphosphatase (PPX) and also with the double mutant (PPK1 and PPX). The mutant strains growth normally in LB medium but have different colony morphology phenotypes. All mutants have flagellation problems and a detail description of all gain and lost phenotypes o these strains will be published soon because we performed a complete phenotypic microarray study of all three mutant strains. Overall design: In the study presented here, the expression of all the genes of Escherichia coli K12 was measured in three mutant strains lacking the enzymes related to the inorganic polyphosphate metabolism. We used reverse dye labelling for all co-hybridizations. Supplementary files: There are two raw data file versions -- a 'full version' including Gene Symbols, ECK numbers, Platform GPL534 IDs, and the expression values -and- an 'abbreviated version'with only the Gene Symbol name and the expression values.
Project description:Inorganic polyphosphate (PolyP) plays an essential role in microbial stress adaptation, virulence and drug tolerance. The genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis encodes for two polyphosphate kinases (PPK-1, Rv2984 and PPK-2, Rv3232c) and polyphosphatases (ppx-1, Rv0496 and ppx-2, Rv1026) for maintenance of intracellular PolyP levels. Microbial polyphosphate kinases constitute a molecular mechanism, whereby microorganisms utilize PolyP as phosphate donor for synthesis of ATP. In the present study we have constructed ppk-2 mutant strain of M. tuberculosis and demonstrate that PPK-2 enzyme contributes to its ability to cause disease in guinea pigs. We observed that ppk-2 mutant strain infected guinea pigs had significantly reduced bacterial loads and tissue pathology in comparison to wild type infected guinea pigs at later stages of infection. We also report that in comparison to the wild type strain, ppk-2 mutant strain was more tolerant to isoniazid and impaired for survival in THP-1 macrophages. In the present study we have standardized a luciferase based assay system to identify chemical scaffolds that are non-cytotoxic and inhibit M. tuberculosis PPK-2 enzyme. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study demonstrating feasibility of high throughput screening to obtain small molecule PPK-2 inhibitors.
Project description:In most natural environments, association with a surface in a structure known as biofilm is the prevailing microbial life-style of bacteria. Polyphosphate (polyP), an ubiquitous linear polymer of hundreds of orthophosphate residues, has a crucial role in stress responses, stationary-phase survival, and it was associated to bacterial biofilm formation and production of virulence factors. In previous work, we have shown that Escherichia coli cells grown in media containing a critical phosphate concentration >37 mM maintained an unusual high polyP level in stationary phase. The aim of the present work was to analyze if fluctuations in polyP levels in stationary phase affect biofilm formation capacity in E. coli. Polymer levels were modulated by the media phosphate concentration or using mutant strains in polyP metabolism. Cells grown in media containing phosphate concentrations higher than 25 mM were defective in biofilm formation. Besides, there was a disassembly of 24 h preformed biofilm by the addition of high phosphate concentration to the medium. These phenotypes were related to the maintenance or re-synthesis of polyP in stationary phase in static conditions. No biofilm formation was observed in ppk(-)ppx(-) or ppk(-)ppx(-)/ppk(+) strains, deficient in polyP synthesis and hydrolysis, respectively. luxS and lsrK mutants, impaired in autoinducer-2 quorum sensing signal metabolism, were unable to form biofilm unless conditioned media from stationary phase wild type cells grown in low phosphate were used. We conclude that polyP degradation is required for biofilm formation in sufficient phosphate media, activating or triggering the production of autoinducer-2. According to our results, phosphate concentration of the culture media should be carefully considered in bacterial adhesion and virulence studies.