Characterization of the Campylobacter jejuni heptosyltransferase II gene, waaF, provides genetic evidence that extracellular polysaccharide is lipid A core independent.
ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni produces both lipooligosaccharide (LOS) and a higher-molecular-weight polysaccharide that is believed to form a capsule. The role of these surface polysaccharides in C. jejuni-mediated enteric disease is unclear; however, epitopes associated with the LOS are linked to the development of neurological complications. In Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium the waaF gene encodes a heptosyltransferase, which catalyzes the transfer of the second L-glycero-D-manno-heptose residue to the core oligosaccharide moiety of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and mutation of waaF results in a truncated core oligosaccharide. In this report we confirm experimentally that C. jejuni gene Cj1148 encodes the heptosyltransferase II enzyme, WaaF. The Campylobacter waaF gene complements an S. enterica serovar Typhimurium waaF mutation and restores the ability to produce full-sized lipopolysaccharide. To examine the role of WaaF in C. jejuni, waaF mutants were constructed in strains NCTC 11168 and NCTC 11828. Loss of heptosyltransferase activity resulted in the production of a truncated core oligosaccharide, failure to bind specific ligands, and loss of serum reactive GM(1), asialo-GM(1), and GM(2) ganglioside epitopes. The mutation of waaF did not affect the higher-molecular-weight polysaccharide supporting the production of a LOS-independent capsular polysaccharide by C. jejuni. The exact structural basis for the truncation of the core oligosaccharide was verified by comparative chemical analysis. The NCTC 11168 core oligosaccharide differs from that known for HS:2 strain CCUG 10936 in possessing an extra terminal disaccharide of galactose-beta(1,3) N-acetylgalactosamine. In comparison, the waaF mutant possessed a truncated molecule consistent with that observed with waaF mutants in other bacterial species.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni GB11, a strain isolated from a patient with Guillain-Barré syndrome, has been shown to be genetically closely related to the completely sequenced strain C. jejuni NCTC 11168 by various molecular typing and serotyping methods. However, we observed that the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) biosynthesis genes strongly diverged between GB11 and NCTC 11168. We sequenced the LOS biosynthesis locus of GB11 and found that it was nearly identical to the class A LOS locus from the C. jejuni HS:19 Penner serotype strain (ATCC 43446). Analysis of the DNA sequencing data showed that a horizontal exchange event involving at least 14.26 kb had occurred in the LOS biosynthesis locus of GB11 between galE (Cj1131c in NCTC 11168) and gmhA (Cj1149 in NCTC 11168). Mass spectrometry of the GB11 LOS showed that GB11 expressed an LOS outer core that mimicked the carbohydrate portion of the gangliosides GM1a and GD1a, similar to C. jejuni ATCC 43446. The serum from the GB11-infected patient was shown to react with the LOS from both GB11 and ATCC 43446 but not with that from NCTC 11168. These data indicate that the antiganglioside response in the GB11-infected patient was raised against the structures synthesized by the acquired class A LOS locus.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is the most common bacterium that causes diarrhea worldwide, and chickens are considered the main reservoir of this pathogen. This study investigated the effects of serial truncation of lipooligosaccharide (LOS), a major component of the outer membrane of C. jejuni, on its bile resistance and intestinal colonization ability in chickens. Genes encoding manno-heptose synthetases or glycosyltransferases were inactivated to generate isogenic mutants. Serial truncation of the LOS core oligosaccharide caused a stepwise increase in susceptibilities of two C. jejuni strains, NCTC 11168 and 81-176, to bile acids. Inactivation of hldE, hldD, or waaC caused severe truncation of the core oligosaccharide, which greatly increased the susceptibility to bile acids. Both wild-type strains grew normally in chicken intestinal extracts, whereas the mutants with severe oligosaccharide truncation were not detected 12 h after inoculation. These mutants attained viable bacterial counts in the bile acid-free extracts 24 h after inoculation. The wild-type strain 11-164 was present in the cecal contents at >10(7) CFU/g on 5 days after challenge infection and after this time period, whereas its hldD mutant was present at <10(3) CFU/g throughout the experimental period. Trans-complementation of the hldD mutant with the wild-type hldD allele completely restored the in vivo colonization level to that of the wild-type strain. Mutants with a shorter LOS had higher hydrophobicities. Thus, the length of the LOS core oligosaccharide affected the surface hydrophobicity and bile resistance of C. jejuni as well as its ability to colonize chicken intestines.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni 81-176 lipooligosaccharide (LOS) is composed of two covalently linked domains: lipid A, a hydrophobic anchor, and a nonrepeating core oligosaccharide, consisting of an inner and outer core region. We report the isolation and characterization of the deepest rough C. jejuni 81-176 mutant by insertional mutagenesis into the waaC gene, encoding heptosyltransferase I that catalyzes the transfer of the first L-glycero-D-manno-heptose residue to 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic residue (Kdo)-lipid A. Tricine gel electrophoresis, followed by silver staining, showed that site-specific mutation in the waaC gene resulted in the expression of a severely truncated LOS compared to wild-type strain 81-176. Gas-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed that the waaC LOS species lacked all sugars distal to Kdo-lipid A. Parallel structural studies of the capsular polysaccharides of the wild-type strain 81-176 and waaC mutant revealed loss of the 3-O-methyl group in the waaC mutant. Complementation of the C. jejuni mutant by insertion of the wild-type C. jejuni waaC gene into a chromosomal locus resulted in LOS and capsular structures identical to those expressed in the parent strain. We also report here the presence of O-methyl phosphoramidate in wild-type strain 81-176 capsular polysaccharide.
Project description:The fastidious nature of the foodborne bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni contrasts with its ability to survive in the food chain. The formation of biofilms, or the integration into existing biofilms by C. jejuni, is thought to contribute to food chain survival. As extracellular DNA (eDNA) has previously been proposed to play a role in C. jejuni biofilms, we have investigated the role of extracellular DNases (eDNases) produced by C. jejuni in biofilm formation. A search of 2791 C. jejuni genomes highlighted that almost half of C. jejuni genomes contains at least one eDNase gene, but only a minority of isolates contains two or three of these eDNase genes, such as C. jejuni strain RM1221 which contains the cje0256, cje0566 and cje1441 eDNase genes. Strain RM1221 did not form biofilms, whereas the eDNase-negative strains NCTC 11168 and 81116 did. Incubation of pre-formed biofilms of NCTC 11168 with live C. jejuni RM1221 or with spent medium from a RM1221 culture resulted in removal of the biofilm. Inactivation of the cje1441 eDNase gene in strain RM1221 restored biofilm formation, and made the mutant unable to degrade biofilms of strain NCTC 11168. Finally, C. jejuni strain RM1221 was able to degrade genomic DNA from C. jejuni NCTC 11168, 81116 and RM1221, whereas strain NCTC 11168 and the RM1221 cje1441 mutant were unable to do so. This was mirrored by an absence of eDNA in overnight cultures of C. jejuni RM1221. This suggests that the activity of eDNases in C. jejuni affects biofilm formation and is not conducive to a biofilm lifestyle. These eDNases do however have a potential role in controlling biofilm formation by C. jejuni strains in food chain relevant environments.
Project description:Campylobacteriosis incited by C. jejuni is a significant enteric disease of human beings. A person working with two reference strains of C. jejuni National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) 11168 developed symptoms of severe enteritis including bloody diarrhea. The worker was determined to be infected by C. jejuni. In excess of 50 isolates were recovered from the worker's stool. All of the recovered isolates and the two reference strains were indistinguishable from each other based on comparative genomic fingerprint subtyping. Whole genome sequence analysis indicated that the worker was infected with a C. jejuni NCTC 11168 obtained from the American Type Culture Collection; this strain (NCTC 11168-GSv) is the genome sequence reference. After passage through the human host, major genetic changes including indel mutations within twelve contingency loci conferring phase variations were detected in the genome of C. jejuni. Specific and robust single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) changes in the human host were also observed in two loci (Cj0144c, Cj1564). In mice inoculated with an isolate of C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv from the infected person, the isolate underwent further genetic variation. At nine loci, mutations specific to inoculated mice including five SNP changes were observed. The two predominant SNPs observed in the human host reverted in mice. Genetic variations occurring in the genome of C. jejuni in mice corresponded to increased densities of C. jejuni cells associated with cecal mucosa. In conclusion, C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv was found to be highly virulent in a human being inciting severe enteritis. Host-specific mutations in the person with enteritis occurred/were selected for in the genome of C. jejuni, and many were not maintained in mice. Information obtained in the current study provides new information on host-specific genetic adaptation by C. jejuni.
Project description:Campylobacter species are a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness worldwide. Despite the global efforts to curb them, Campylobacter infections have increased continuously in both developed and developing countries. The development of effective strategies to control the infection by this pathogen is warranted. The essential genes of bacteria are the most prominent targets for this purpose. In this study, we used transposon sequencing (Tn-seq) of a genome-saturating library of Tn5 insertion mutants to define the essential genome of C. jejuni at a high resolution.We constructed a Tn5 mutant library of unprecedented complexity in C. jejuni NCTC 11168 with 95,929 unique insertions throughout the genome and used the genomic DNA of the library for the reconstruction of Tn5 libraries in the same (C. jejuni NCTC 11168) and different strain background (C. jejuni 81-176) through natural transformation. We identified 166 essential protein-coding genes and 20 essential transfer RNAs (tRNA) in C. jejuni NCTC 11168 which were intolerant to Tn5 insertions during in vitro growth. The reconstructed C. jejuni 81-176 library had 384 protein coding genes with no Tn5 insertions. Essential genes in both strain backgrounds were highly enriched in the cluster of orthologous group (COG) categories of 'Translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis (J)', 'Energy production and conversion (C)', and 'Coenzyme transport and metabolism (H)'.Comparative analysis among this and previous studies identified 50 core essential genes of C. jejuni, which can be further investigated for the development of novel strategies to control the spread of this notorious foodborne bacterial pathogen.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Campylobacter jejuni is the predominant cause of antecedent infection in post-infectious neuropathies such as the Guillain-Barré (GBS) and Miller Fisher syndromes (MFS). GBS and MFS are probably induced by molecular mimicry between human gangliosides and bacterial lipo-oligosaccharides (LOS). This study describes a new C. jejuni-specific high-throughput AFLP (htAFLP) approach for detection and identification of DNA polymorphism, in general, and of putative GBS/MFS-markers, in particular. RESULTS: We compared 6 different isolates of the "genome strain" NCTC 11168 obtained from different laboratories. HtAFLP analysis generated approximately 3000 markers per stain, 19 of which were polymorphic. The DNA polymorphisms could not be confirmed by PCR-RFLP analysis, suggesting a baseline level of 0.6% AFLP artefacts. Comparison of NCTC 11168 with 4 GBS-associated strains revealed 23 potentially GBS-specific markers, 17 of which were identified by DNA sequencing. A collection of 27 GBS/MFS-associated and 17 enteritis control strains was analyzed with PCR-RFLP tests based on 11 of these markers. We identified 3 markers, located in the LOS biosynthesis genes cj1136, cj1138 and cj1139c, that were significantly associated with GBS (P = 0.024, P = 0.047 and P < 0.001, respectively). HtAFLP analysis of 13 highly clonal South African GBS/MFS-associated and enteritis control strains did not reveal GBS-specific markers. CONCLUSION: This study shows that bacterial GBS markers are limited in number and located in the LOS biosynthesis genes, which corroborates the current consensus that LOS mimicry may be the prime etiologic determinant of GBS. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that htAFLP, with its high reproducibility and resolution, is an effective technique for the detection and subsequent identification of putative bacterial disease markers.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is a highly prevalent human pathogen for which pathogenic and stress survival strategies remain relatively poorly understood. We previously found that a C. jejuni strain 81-176 mutant defective for key virulence and stress survival attributes was also hyper-biofilm and hyperreactive to the UV fluorescent dye calcofluor white (CFW). We hypothesized that screening for CFW hyperreactive mutants would identify additional genes required for C. jejuni pathogenesis properties. Surprisingly, two such mutants harbored lesions in lipooligosaccharide (LOS) genes (waaF and lgtF), indicating a complete loss of the LOS outer core region. We utilized this as an opportunity to explore the role of each LOS core-specific moiety in the pathogenesis and stress survival of this strain and thus also constructed DeltagalT and DeltacstII mutants with more minor LOS truncations. Interestingly, we found that mutants lacking the LOS outer core (DeltawaaF and DeltalgtF but not DeltagalT or DeltacstII mutants) exhibited enhanced biofilm formation. The presence of the complete outer core was also necessary for resistance to complement-mediated killing. In contrast, any LOS truncation, even that of the terminal sialic acid (DeltacstII), resulted in diminished resistance to polymyxin B. The cathelicidin LL-37 was found to be active against C. jejuni, with the LOS mutants exhibiting modest but tiled alterations in LL-37 sensitivity. The DeltawaaF mutant but not the other LOS mutant strains also exhibited a defect in intraepithelial cell survival, an aspect of C. jejuni pathogenesis that has only recently begun to be clarified. Finally, using a mouse competition model, we now provide the first direct evidence for the importance of the C. jejuni LOS in host colonization. Collectively, this study has uncovered novel roles for the C. jejuni LOS, highlights the dynamic nature of the C. jejuni cell envelope, and provides insight into the contribution of specific LOS core moieties to stress survival and pathogenesis.
Project description:We report isolation and characterization of Campylobacter jejuni 81-176 lgtF and galT lipooligosaccharide (LOS) core mutants. It has been suggested that the lgtF gene of C. jejuni encodes a two-domain glucosyltransferase that is responsible for the transfer of a beta-1,4-glucose residue on heptosyltransferase I (Hep I) and for the transfer of a beta-1,2-glucose residue on Hep II. A site-specific mutation in the lgtF gene of C. jejuni 81-176 resulted in expression of a truncated LOS, and complementation of the mutant in trans restored the core mobility to that of the wild type. Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance of the truncated LOS confirmed the loss of two glucose residues, a beta-1,4-glucose on Hep I and a beta-1,2-glucose on Hep II. Mutation of another gene, galT, encoding a glycosyltransferase, which maps outside the region defined as the LOS biosynthetic locus in C. jejuni 81-176, resulted in loss of the beta-(1,4)-galactose residue and all distal residues in the core. Both mutants invaded intestinal epithelial cells in vitro at levels comparable to the wild-type levels, in marked contrast to a deeper inner core waaC mutant. These studies have important implications for the role of LOS in the pathogenesis of Campylobacter-mediated infection.
Project description:The outer cores of the lipooligosaccharides (LOS) of many strains of Campylobacter jejuni mimic human gangliosides in structure. A population of cells of C. jejuni strain 81-176 produced a mixture of LOS cores which consisted primarily of structures mimicking GM(2) and GM(3) gangliosides, with minor amounts of structures mimicking GD(1b) and GD(2). Genetic analyses of genes involved in the biosynthesis of the outer core of C. jejuni 81-176 revealed the presence of a homopolymeric tract of G residues within a gene encoding CgtA, an N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase. Variation in the number of G residues within cgtA affected the length of the open reading frame, and these changes in cgtA corresponded to a change in LOS structure from GM(2) to GM(3) ganglioside mimicry. Site-specific mutation of cgtA in 81-176 resulted in a major LOS core structure that lacked GalNAc and resembled GM(3) ganglioside. Compared to wild-type 81-176, the cgtA mutant showed a significant increase in invasion of INT407 cells. In comparison, a site-specific mutation of the neuC1 gene resulted in the loss of sialic acid in the LOS core and reduced resistance to normal human serum but had no affect on invasion of INT407 cells.