Up-regulation of the Yersinia enterocolitica yop regulon by deletion of the flagellum master operon flhDC.
ABSTRACT: The Yop virulon enables extracellularly located Yersinia, in close contact with a eukaryotic target cell, to inject bacterial toxic proteins directly into the cytosol of this cell. Several Ysc proteins, forming the Yop secretion apparatus, display homology with proteins of the flagellar basal body. To determine whether this relationship could extend to the regulatory pathways, we analyzed the influence of flhDC, the master regulatory operon of the flagellum, on the yop regulon. In an flhDC mutant, the yop regulon was up-regulated. The transcription of virF and the steady-state level of the transcriptional activator VirF were enhanced. yop transcription was increased at 37 degrees C and could also be detected at a low temperature. Yop secretion was increased at 37 degrees C and occurred even at a low temperature. The Ysc secretion machinery was thus functional at room temperature in the absence of flagella, implying that in wild-type bacteria, FlhD and/or FlhC, or the product of a gene downstream of flhDC, represses the yop regulon. In agreement with this notion, increased expression of flhDC in wild-type bacteria resulted in the oversecretion of flagellins at room temperature and in decreased Yop secretion at 37 degrees C.
Project description:Yersinia pseudotuberculosis forms biofilms on Caenorhabditis elegans which block nematode feeding. This genetically amenable host-pathogen model has important implications for biofilm development on living, motile surfaces. Here we show that Y. pseudotuberculosis biofilm development on C. elegans is governed by N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing (QS) since (i) AHLs are produced in nematode associated biofilms and (ii) Y. pseudotuberculosis strains expressing an AHL-degrading enzyme or in which the AHL synthase (ypsI and ytbI) or response regulator (ypsR and ytbR) genes have been mutated, are attenuated. Although biofilm formation is also attenuated in Y. pseudotuberculosis strains carrying mutations in the QS-controlled motility regulator genes, flhDC and fliA, and the flagellin export gene, flhA, flagella are not required since fliC mutants form normal biofilms. However, in contrast to the parent and fliC mutant, Yop virulon proteins are up-regulated in flhDC, fliA and flhA mutants in a temperature and calcium independent manner. Similar observations were found for the Y. pseudotuberculosis QS mutants, indicating that the Yop virulon is repressed by QS via the master motility regulator, flhDC. By curing the pYV virulence plasmid from the ypsI/ytbI mutant, by growing YpIII under conditions permissive for type III needle formation but not Yop secretion and by mutating the type III secretion apparatus gene, yscJ, we show that biofilm formation can be restored in flhDC and ypsI/ytbI mutants. These data demonstrate that type III secretion blocks biofilm formation and is reciprocally regulated with motility via QS.
Project description:The 70-kb virulence plasmid enables Yersinia spp. (Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica) to survive and multiply in the lymphoid tissues of their host. It encodes the Yop virulon, an integrated system allowing extracellular bacteria to disarm the cells involved in the immune response, to disrupt their communications, or even to induce their apoptosis by the injection of bacterial effector proteins. This system consists of the Yop proteins and their dedicated type III secretion apparatus, called Ysc. The Ysc apparatus is composed of some 25 proteins including a secretin. Most of the Yops fall into two groups. Some of them are the intracellular effectors (YopE, YopH, YpkA/YopO, YopP/YopJ, YopM, and YopT), while the others (YopB, YopD, and LcrV) form the translocation apparatus that is deployed at the bacterial surface to deliver the effectors into the eukaryotic cells, across their plasma membrane. Yop secretion is triggered by contact with eukaryotic cells and controlled by proteins of the virulon including YopN, TyeA, and LcrG, which are thought to form a plug complex closing the bacterial secretion channel. The proper operation of the system also requires small individual chaperones, called the Syc proteins, in the bacterial cytosol. Transcription of the genes is controlled both by temperature and by the activity of the secretion apparatus. The virulence plasmid of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis also encodes the adhesin YadA. The virulence plasmid contains some evolutionary remnants including, in Y. enterocolitica, an operon encoding resistance to arsenic compounds.
Project description:The Yersinia pestis low-Ca2+ response stimulon is responsible for the environmentally regulated expression and secretion of antihost proteins (V antigen and Yops). We have previously shown that yscO encodes a secreted core component of the Yop secretion (Ysc) mechanism. In this study, we constructed and characterized in-frame deletions in the adjacent gene, yscP, in the yscN-yscU operon. The DeltaP1 mutation, which removed amino acids 246 to 333 of YscP, had no effect on Yop expression or secretion, and the mutant protein, YscP1, was secreted, as was YscP in the parent. In contrast, the DeltaP2 strain expressed and secreted less of each Yop than did the parent under the inductive conditions of 37 degrees C and the absence of Ca2+, with an exception being YopE, which was only minimally affected by the mutation. The YscP2 protein, missing amino acids 57 to 324 of YscP, was expressed but not secreted by the DeltaP2 mutant. The effect of the DeltaP2 mutation was at the level of Yop secretion because YopM and V antigen still showed limited secretion when overproduced in trans. Excess YscP also affected secretion: overexpression of YscP in the parent, in either yscP mutant, or in an lcrG mutant effectively shut off secretion. However, co-overexpression of YscO and YscP had no effect on secretion, and YscP overexpression in an lcrE mutant had little effect on Yop secretion, suggesting that YscP acts, in conjunction with YscO, at the level of secretion control of LcrE at the bacterial surface. These findings place YscP among the growing family of mobile Ysc components that both affect secretion and themselves are secreted by the Ysc.
Project description:Pathogenic Yersinia species employ the Ysc-Yop type III secretion system (T3SS) encoded by a highly conserved pYV virulence plasmid to export the virulence effectors into host cells. The Ysc-Yop T3SS is tightly regulated by multiple contributing proteins that function at different levels. However, systematic transcriptional regulation analysis of Ysc-Yop T3SS is lacking and the detailed mechanism under this regulation process is still elusive. Aimed at systematically characterizing transcriptional regulations of all T3SS genes in Y. pseudotuberculosis, we amplified 97 non-coding fragments from the pYV plasmid and analyzed transcriptional responses of the T3SS genes under different growth conditions. Transcriptions of T3SS genes were induced at 37°C and genes encoding T3SS effectors were highly induced by further depletion of Ca2+. The temperature induced gene transcription process is mediated by modules encoded on the chromosome, while the Ca2+ depletion-induced process is controlled by the positive regulatory protein LcrF as well as the negative regulatory protein LcrQ. In this process, LcrQ shares the same targets with LcrF and the effect of LcrQ is dependent on the presence of LcrF. Furthermore, over-expression of LcrF showed the same phenotype as that of the lcrQ mutant strain and intracellular amount balance of LcrQ and LcrF is important in T3SS regulation. When the expression level of LcrF exceeds LcrQ, expression of the Ysc-Yop T3SS genes is activated and vice versa. Together, these data support a model in which LcrQ blocks the activation role of LcrF in regulating the transcription of T3SS genes in Yersinia.
Project description:All pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica strains carry the pYV plasmid encoding the Ysc-Yop type III secretion (TTS) system, which operates at 37 degrees C. In addition, biovar 1B Y. enterocolitica strains possess a second, chromosomally encoded, TTS system called Ysa, which operates, at least in vitro, under low-temperature and high-salt (LTHS) conditions. Six open reading frames, sycB, yspB, yspC, yspD, yspA, and acpY, neighbor the ysa genes encoding the Ysa TTS apparatus. Here we show that YspA, YspB, YspC, and YspD are secreted by the Ysa TTS system under LTHS conditions. SycB is a chaperone for YspB and YspC and stabilizes YspB. YspB, YspC, and SycB share some similarity with TTS substrates and the chaperone encoded by the Mxi-Spa locus of Shigella flexneri and SPI-1 of Salmonella enterica. In addition, Ysa also secretes the pYV-encoded YopE under LTHS conditions, indicating that YopE is a potential effector of both Y. enterocolitica TTS systems. YspC could also be secreted by S. flexneri, but no functional complementation of ipaC was observed, which indicates that despite their similarity the Ysa and the Mxi-Spa systems are not interchangeable. When expressed from the yopE promoter, YspB and YspC could also be secreted via the Ysc injectisome. However, they could not form detectable pores in eukaryotic target cells and could not substitute for YopB and YopD for translocation of Yop effectors.
Project description:The Yop virulon allows Yersinia spp. to resist the immune response of the host by injecting harmful proteins into host cells. We identified three new elements of the Yop virulon: SycN, required for normal secretion of YopN, and YscX and YscY, two new components of the secretion machinery.
Project description:The Yersinia Yop virulon is an anti-host system made up of four elements: (i) a type III secretion system called Ysc; (ii) a system designed to deliver bacterial proteins into eukaryotic target cells (YopB, YopD); (iii) a control element (YopN); and (iv) a set of intracellularly delivered proteins designed to disarm these cells or disrupt their communications (YopE, YopH and possibly others). YopM, another Yop protein, binds thrombin and is thus presumed to act as an extracellular effector. Here, we analyzed YopM from Y.enterocolitica and we wondered whether it could also be delivered inside eukaryotic cells. To answer this question we applied the Yop-Cya reporter strategy. Hybrids made of 141 or 100 N-terminal residues of YopM fused to Cya were delivered inside PU5-1.8 macrophages by recombinant Y.enterocolitica strains. YopB and YopD were required as translocators. Leakage of the reporters into the macrophage culture supernatant during the bacterial infection increased strongly when YopN was missing, showing that YopN is involved in the control of delivery of YopM inside eukaryotic cells. YopN itself was not delivered into the macrophages. In conclusion, YopM is translocated inside the eukaryotic cells and its physiopathological role should be revised or completed.
Project description:Expression of the predominantly plasmid-encoded virulence regulon of Shigella flexneri 2a is induced by growth at 37 degrees C and repressed by growth at 30 degrees C. During growth at 37 degrees C, spontaneous S. flexneri mutants arise which have undergone virulence plasmid curing or rearrangement and no longer display the virulent phenotype. In the laboratory, the unstable nature of the virulence plasmid causes complete loss of virulence in a growing population. We have undertaken an analysis of virulence plasmid instability, classifying events which produced individual avirulent derivatives within a virulent population and identifying the factor(s) which controlled conversion. Multiplex PCR analysis of DNA obtained from spontaneous avirulent derivatives indicated that virF and virB were deleted or otherwise inactivated in over 97% of the isolates. The virF and virB loci encode regulatory proteins required for transcriptional activation of the virulence regulon. Inactivation of these key regulatory loci in the vast majority of avirulent derivatives which arose during growth at 37 degrees C suggested that virulence gene expression induced virulence plasmid instability. Consistent with this hypothesis, we observed stable virulence plasmid maintenance during growth of a wild-type strain at 30 degrees C where virulence gene expression was repressed. The virulence plasmid was also stably maintained in virF and virB mutants grown at 37 degrees C. Conversely, virulence plasmid destabilization was induced at 30 degrees C and accelerated at 37 degrees C through expression of VirF or VirB from multicopy plasmids. These results indicate that exposure of S. flexneri to conditions favoring induction of the virulent phenotype also favor its loss. The significance of this paradox of Shigella pathogenicity is discussed.
Project description:Yersinia bacteria target Yop effector toxins to the interior of host immune cells by the Ysc-Yop type III secretion system. A YopN-TyeA heterodimer is central to controlling Ysc-Yop targeting activity. A + 1 frameshift event in the 3-prime end of yopN can also produce a singular secreted YopN-TyeA polypeptide that retains some regulatory function even though the C-terminal coding sequence of this YopN differs greatly from wild type. Thus, this YopN C-terminal segment was analyzed for its role in type III secretion control. Bacteria producing YopN truncated after residue 278, or with altered sequence between residues 279 and 287, had lost type III secretion control and function. In contrast, YopN variants with manipulated sequence beyond residue 287 maintained full control and function. Scrutiny of the YopN-TyeA complex structure revealed that residue W279 functioned as a likely hydrophobic contact site with TyeA. Indeed, a YopN W279G mutant lost all ability to bind TyeA. The TyeA residue F8 was also critical for reciprocal YopN binding. Thus, we conclude that specific hydrophobic contacts between opposing YopN and TyeA termini establishes a complex needed for regulating Ysc-Yop activity.
Project description:The flagellum is believed to be the common ancestor of all type III secretion systems (TTSSs). In Yersinia enterocolitica, expression of the flagellar TTSS and the Ysc (Yop secretion) TTSS are inversely regulated. We therefore hypothesized that the Ysc TTSS may adopt flagellar motor components in order to use the pathogenicity-related translocon in a drill-like manner. As a prerequisite for this hypothesis, we first tested a requirement for the proton motive force by both systems using the protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP). Motility as well as type III-dependent secretion of Yop proteins was inhibited by CCCP. We deleted motAB, which resulted in an immotile phenotype. This mutant, however, secreted amounts of Yops to the supernatant comparable to those of the wild type. Translocation of Yops into host cells was also not affected by the motAB deletion. Virulence of the mutant was comparable to that of the wild type in the mouse oral infection model. Thus, the hypothesis that the Ysc TTSS might adopt flagellar motor components was not confirmed. The finding that, in addition to consumption of ATP, Ysc TTSS requires the proton motive force is discussed.