Bordetella interspecies allelic variation in AlcR inducer requirements: identification of a critical determinant of AlcR inducer responsiveness and construction of an alcR(Con) mutant allele.
ABSTRACT: Previous studies established the critical roles of AlcR and alcaligin inducer in positive regulation of alcaligin siderophore biosynthesis and transport genes in Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Transcriptional analyses using plasmid-borne alcR genes of B. pertussis UT25 and B. bronchiseptica B013N to complement the alcR defect of B. bronchiseptica strain BRM13 (Delta alcR1 alcA::mini-Tn5 lacZ1) revealed interspecies differences in AlcR inducer requirements for activation of alcABCDER operon transcription. Whereas the B. pertussis UT25 AlcR protein retained strong inducer dependence when produced from multicopy plasmids, B. bronchiseptica B013N alcR partially suppressed the alcaligin requirement for transcriptional activation. Functional analysis of AlcR chimeras produced by interspecies domain swapping and interspecies reciprocal site-specific mutagenesis determined that the phenotypic difference in AlcR inducer dependence was due to a single amino acid difference within the proposed inducer-binding and multimerization domain of AlcR. Structural predictions guided the design of a mutant AlcR protein with a single amino acid substitution at this critical position, AlcR(S103T), that was fully constitutive not only when produced from multicopy plasmids but also at a single-copy gene dosage. These results indicate that AlcR residue 103 affects a critical determinant of alcaligin inducer dependence of AlcR-mediated transcriptional activation. The alcR(S103T) mutant allele is the first alcR(Con) mutant allele identified.
Project description:Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica, which are respiratory mucosal pathogens of mammals, produce and utilize the siderophore alcaligin to acquire iron in response to iron starvation. A predicted permease of the major facilitator superfamily class of membrane efflux pumps, AlcS (synonyms, OrfX and Bcr), was reported to be encoded within the alcaligin gene cluster. In this study, alcS null mutants were found to be defective in growth under iron starvation conditions, in iron source utilization, and in alcaligin export. trans complementation using cloned alcS genes of B. pertussis or B. bronchiseptica restored the wild-type phenotype to the alcS mutants. Although the levels of extracellular alcaligin measured in alcS strain culture fluids were severely reduced compared with the wild-type levels, alcS mutants had elevated levels of cell-associated alcaligin, implicating AlcS in alcaligin export. Interestingly, a deltaalcA mutation that eliminated alcaligin production suppressed the growth defects of alcS mutants. This suppression and the alcaligin production defect were reversed by trans complementation of the deltaalcA mutation in the double-mutant strain, confirming that the growth-defective phenotype of alcS mutants is associated with alcaligin production. In an alcA::mini-Tn5 lacZ1 operon fusion strain background, an alcS null mutation resulted in enhanced AlcR-dependent transcriptional responsiveness to alcaligin inducer; conversely, AlcS overproduction blunted the transcriptional response to alcaligin. These transcription studies indicate that the alcaligin exporter activity of AlcS is required to maintain appropriate intracellular alcaligin levels for normal inducer sensing and responsiveness necessary for positive regulation of alcaligin system gene expression.
Project description:A Bordetella bronchiseptica iron transport mutant was isolated following an enrichment procedure based on streptonigrin resistance. The mutant displayed a growth defect on iron-restricted medium containing ferric alcaligin as the sole iron source. In addition to the apparent inability to acquire iron from the siderophore, the mutant failed to produce alcaligin as well as two known iron-regulated proteins, one of which is the AlcC alcaligin biosynthesis protein. A 1.6-kb KpnI-PstI Bordetella pertussis DNA fragment mapping downstream of the alcaligin biosynthesis genes alcABC restored both siderophore biosynthesis and expression of the iron-regulated proteins to the mutant. Nucleotide sequencing of this complementing 1.6-kb region identified an open reading frame predicted to encode a protein with strong similarity to members of the AraC family of transcriptional regulators, for which we propose the gene designation alcR. Primer extension analysis localized an iron-regulated transcription initiation site upstream of the alcR open reading frame and adjacent to sequences homologous to the consensus Fur repressor binding site. The AlcR protein was produced by using an Escherichia coli expression system and visualized in electrophoretic gels. In-frame alcR deletion mutants of B. pertussis and B. bronchiseptica were constructed, and the defined mutants exhibited the alcR mutant phenotype, characterized by the inability to produce and transport alcaligin and express the two iron-repressed proteins. The cloned alcR gene provided in trans restored these siderophore system activities to the mutants. Together, these results indicate that AlcR is involved in the regulation of Bordetella alcaligin biosynthesis and transport genes and is required for their full expression.
Project description:A Fur titration assay was used to isolate DNA fragments bearing putative Fur binding sites (FBS) from a partial Bordetella bronchiseptica genomic DNA library. A recombinant plasmid bearing a 3.5-kb DNA insert was further studied. Successive deletions in the cloned fragment enabled us to map a putative FBS at about 2 kb from one end. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of an FBS upstream from a new gene encoding an AraC-type transcriptional regulator. The deduced protein displays similarity to PchR, an activator of pyochelin siderophore and ferripyochelin receptor synthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Homologous genes in Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis were PCR amplified, and sequence comparisons indicated a very high conservation in the three species. The B. pertussis and B. bronchiseptica chromosomal genes were inactivated by allelic exchange. Under low-iron growth conditions, the mutants did not secrete the alcaligin siderophore and lacked AlcC, an alcaligin biosynthetic enzyme. Alcaligin production was restored after transformation with a plasmid bearing the wild-type gene. On the basis of its role in regulation of alcaligin biosynthesis, the new gene was designated alcR. Additional sequence determination showed that alcR is located about 2 kb downstream from the alcABC operon and is transcribed in the same orientation. Two tightly linked open reading frames, alcD and alcE, were identified between alcC and alcR. AlcE is a putative iron-sulfur protein; AlcD shows no homology with the proteins in the database. The production of major virulence factors and colonization in the mouse respiratory infection model are AlcR independent.
Project description:Phenotypic analysis using heterologous host systems localized putative Bordetella pertussis ferric alcaligin transport genes and Fur-binding sequences to a 3.8-kb genetic region downstream from the alcR regulator gene. Nucleotide sequencing identified a TonB-dependent receptor family homolog gene, fauA, predicted to encode a polypeptide with high amino acid sequence similarity with known bacterial ferric siderophore receptors. In Escherichia coli, the fauA genes of both B. pertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica directed the production of a 79-kDa polypeptide, approximating the predicted size of the mature FauA protein. B. bronchiseptica fauA insertion mutant BRM17 was unable to utilize ferric alcaligin, and in complementation analyses ferric alcaligin utilization was restored to this mutant by supplying the wild-type fauA gene in trans. Mutant BRM18, carrying a nonpolar in-frame fauA deletion mutation, was defective in ferric alcaligin utilization and (55)Fe-ferric alcaligin uptake and no longer produced a 79-kDa iron-regulated outer membrane protein. In complementation analyses, BRM18 merodiploids bearing the wild-type fauA gene in trans regained ferric alcaligin siderophore transport and utilization functions and produced the 79-kDa protein. Analysis of a plasmid-borne fauA-lacZ operon fusion confirmed that fauA is subject to iron regulation at the transcriptional level and that cis-acting transcriptional control elements mediating fauA iron repressibility reside within the 3.8-kb PstI fauA DNA region. Moreover, expression of the fauA-lacZ fusion gene under iron starvation conditions was shown to be alcR dependent. FauA is a 79-kDa iron-regulated outer membrane receptor protein required for transport and utilization of ferric alcaligin siderophore complexes by Bordetella species.
Project description:Chromosomal insertions defining Bordetella bronchiseptica siderophore phenotypic complementation group III mutants BRM3 and BRM5 were found to reside approximately 200 to 300 bp apart by restriction mapping of cloned genomic regions associated with the insertion markers. DNA hybridization analysis using B. bronchiseptica genomic DNA sequences flanking the cloned BRM3 insertion marker identified homologous Bordetella pertussis UT25 cosmids that complemented the siderophore biosynthesis defect of the group III B. bronchiseptica mutants. Subcloning and complementation analysis localized the complementing activity to a 2.8-kb B. pertussis genomic DNA region. Nucleotide sequencing identified an open reading frame predicted to encode a polypeptide exhibiting strong similarity at the primary amino acid level with several pyridoxal phosphate-dependent amino acid decarboxylases. Alcaligin production was fully restored to group III mutants by supplementation of iron-depleted culture media with putrescine (1,4-diaminobutane), consistent with defects in an ornithine decarboxylase activity required for alcaligin siderophore biosynthesis. Concordantly, the alcaligin biosynthesis defect of BRM3 was functionally complemented by the heterologous Escherichia coli speC gene encoding an ornithine decarboxylase activity. Enzyme assays confirmed that group III B. bronchiseptica siderophore-deficient mutants lack an ornithine decarboxylase activity required for the biosynthesis of alcaligin. Siderophore production by an analogous mutant of B. pertussis constructed by allelic exchange was undetectable. We propose the designation odc for the gene defined by these mutations that abrogate alcaligin siderophore production. Putrescine is an essential precursor of alcaligin in Bordetella spp.
Project description:Bordetella bronchiseptica mutants BRM1, BRM6, and BRM9 fail to produce the native dihydroxamate siderophore alcaligin. A 4.5-kb BamHI-Smal Bordetella pertussis genomic DNA fragment carried multiple genes required to restore alcaligin production to these siderophore-deficient mutants. Phenotypic complementation analysis using subclones of the 4.5-kb genomic region demonstrated that the closely linked BRM1 and BRM9 mutations were genetically separable from the BRM6 mutation, and both insertions exerted strong polar effects on expression of the downstream gene defined by the BRM6 mutation, suggesting a polycistronic transcriptional organization of these alcaligin biosynthesis genes. Subcloning and complementation experiments localized the putative Bordetella promoter to a 0.7-kb BamHI-SphI subregion of the cloned genomic DNA fragment. Nucleotide sequencing, phenotypic analysis of mutants, and protein expression by the 4.5-kb DNA fragment in Escherichia coli suggested the presence of three alcaligin system genes, namely, alcA, alcB, and alcC. The deduced protein products of alcA, alcB, and alcC have significant primary amino acid sequence similarities with known microbial siderophore biosynthesis enzymes. Primer extension analysis mapped the transcriptional start site of the putative alcaligin biosynthesis operon containing alcABC to a promoter region overlapping a proposed Fur repressor-binding site and demonstrated iron regulation at the transcriptional level.
Project description:Bordetella bronchiseptica can use catecholamines to obtain iron from transferrin and lactoferrin via uptake pathways involving the BfrA, BfrD, and BfrE outer membrane receptor proteins, and although Bordetella pertussis has the bfrD and bfrE genes, the role of these genes in iron uptake has not been demonstrated. In this study, the bfrD and bfrE genes of B. pertussis were shown to be functional in B. bronchiseptica, but neither B. bronchiseptica bfrD nor bfrE imparted catecholamine utilization to B. pertussis. Gene fusion analyses found that expression of B. bronchiseptica bfrA was increased during iron starvation, as is common for iron receptor genes, but that expression of the bfrD and bfrE genes of both species was decreased during iron limitation. As shown previously for B. pertussis, bfrD expression in B. bronchiseptica was also dependent on the BvgAS virulence regulatory system; however, in contrast to the case in B. pertussis, the known modulators nicotinic acid and sulfate, which silence Bvg-activated genes, did not silence expression of bfrD in B. bronchiseptica. Further studies using a B. bronchiseptica bvgAS mutant expressing the B. pertussis bvgAS genes revealed that the interspecies differences in bfrD modulation are partly due to BvgAS differences. Mouse respiratory infection experiments determined that catecholamine utilization contributes to the in vivo fitness of B. bronchiseptica and B. pertussis. Additional evidence of the in vivo importance of the B. pertussis receptors was obtained from serologic studies demonstrating pertussis patient serum reactivity with the B. pertussis BfrD and BfrE proteins.
Project description:Utilization of the enterobactin siderophore by the respiratory pathogens Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica is dependent on the BfeA outer membrane receptor. This study determined that production of BfeA was increased significantly in iron-starved bacteria upon supplementation of cultures with enterobactin. A 1.01-kb open reading frame, designated bfeR, encoding a predicted positive transcriptional regulator of the AraC family was identified upstream and divergently oriented from bfeA. In iron-depleted cultures containing enterobactin, a Bordetella bfeR mutant exhibited markedly decreased BfeA receptor production compared to that of the wild-type strain. Additionally, B. pertussis and B. bronchiseptica bfeR mutants exhibited impaired growth with ferric enterobactin as the sole source of iron, demonstrating that effective enterobactin utilization is bfeR dependent. Transcriptional analysis using bfeA-lacZ reporter fusions in wild-type strains demonstrated that bfeA transcription was stimulated in iron-depleted conditions in the presence of enterobactin, compared to modest expression levels in cultures lacking enterobactin. In contrast, bfeA transcription in B. pertussis and B. bronchiseptica bfeR mutants was completely unresponsive to the enterobactin inducer. bfeA transcriptional analyses of a bfeA mutant demonstrated that induction by enterobactin did not require BfeA receptor-mediated uptake of the siderophore. These studies establish that bfeR encodes an enterobactin-dependent positive regulator of bfeA transcription in these Bordetella species.
Project description:Serological studies of patients with pertussis and the identification of antigenic Bordetella pertussis proteins support the hypothesis that B. pertussis perceives an iron starvation cue and expresses multiple iron source utilization systems in its natural human host environment. Furthermore, previous studies using a murine respiratory tract infection model showed that several of these B. pertussis iron systems are required for colonization and persistence and are differentially expressed over the course of infection. The present study examined genome-wide changes in B. pertussis gene transcript abundance in response to iron starvation in vitro. In addition to known iron source utilization genes, we identified a previously uncharacterized iron-repressed cytoplasmic membrane transporter system, fbpABC, that is required for the utilization of multiple structurally distinct siderophores including alcaligin, enterobactin, ferrichrome, and desferrioxamine B. Expression of type III secretion system genes was also found to be upregulated during iron starvation in both B. pertussis strain Tohama I and Bordetella bronchiseptica strain RB50. In a survey of type III secretion system protein production by an assortment of B. pertussis laboratory-adapted and low-passage clinical isolate strains, iron limitation increased the production and secretion of the type III secretion system-specific translocation apparatus tip protein Bsp22 in all Bvg-proficient strains. These results indicate that iron starvation in the infected host is an important environmental cue influencing not only Bordetella iron transport gene expression but also the expression of other important virulence-associated genes.
Project description:Before contacting host tissues, invading pathogens directly or indirectly interact with host microbiota, but the effects of such interactions on the initial stages of infection are poorly understood. Bordetella pertussis is highly infectious among humans but requires large doses to colonize rodents, unlike a closely related zoonotic pathogen, Bordetella bronchiseptica, raising important questions about the contributions of bacterial competition to initial colonization and host selection. We observed that <100 colony-forming units (CFU) of B. bronchiseptica efficiently infected mice and displaced culturable host microbiota, whereas 10 000 CFU of B. pertussis were required to colonize murine nasal cavities and did not displace host microorganisms. Bacteria isolated from murine nasal cavities but not those from the human lower respiratory tract limited B. pertussis growth in vitro, indicating that interspecies competition may limit B. pertussis colonization of mice. Further, a broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment delivered before B. pertussis inoculation reduced the infectious dose to <100 CFU, and reintroduction of single Staphylococcus or Klebsiella species was sufficient to inhibit B. pertussis colonization of antibiotic-treated mice. Together, these results reveal that resident microorganisms can prevent B. pertussis colonization and influence host specificity, and they provide rationale for manipulating microbiomes to create more-accurate animal models of infectious diseases.