Activation of prophage eib genes for immunoglobulin-binding proteins by genes from the IbrAB genetic island of Escherichia coli ECOR-9.
ABSTRACT: Four distinct Escherichia coli immunoglobulin-binding (eib) genes, each of which encodes a surface-exposed protein that binds immunoglobulins in a nonimmune manner, are carried by separate prophages in E. coli reference (ECOR) strain ECOR-9. Each eib gene was transferred to test E. coli strains, both in the form of multicopy recombinant plasmids and as lysogenized prophage. The derived lysogens express little or no Eib protein, in sharp contrast to the parental lysogen, suggesting that ECOR-9 has an expression-enhancing activity that the derived lysogens lack. Supporting this hypothesis, we cloned from ECOR-9 overlapping genes, ibrA and ibrB (designation is derived from "immunoglobulin-binding regulator"), which together activated eib expression in the derived lysogens. The proteins encoded by ibrA and ibrB are very similar to uncharacterized proteins encoded by genes of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and E. coli O157:H7 (in a prophage-like element of the Sakai strain and in two O islands of strain EDL933). The genomic segment containing ibrA and ibrB has been designated the IbrAB island. It contains regions of homology to the Shiga toxin-converting prophage, Stx2, as well as genes homologous to phage antirepressor genes. The left boundary between the IbrAB island and the chromosomal framework is located near min 35.8 of the E. coli K-12 genome. Homology to IbrAB was found in certain other ECOR strains, including the other five eib-positive strains and most strains of the phylogenetic group B2. Sequencing of a 1.1-kb portion of ibrAB revealed that the other eib-positive strains diverge by
Project description:The eib genes of Escherichia coli encode surface-exposed proteins which bind immunoglobulins (Ig) such as the Fc fragment of human IgG (IgG Fc) in a nonimmune manner. The Eib proteins belong to a family which includes YadA of Yersinia, UspA2 of Moraxella, and DsrA of Haemophilus ducreyi. This family of surface-exposed proteins shares several features, such as the ability to impart resistance to human serum complement and a tendency to exist as stable multimers. Four genes, eibA, eibC, eibD and eibE, were previously identified and cloned from ECOR-9, a strain from the E. coli reference collection. EibC, -D, and -E bind human serum IgA in addition to IgG, but no IgA binding has been observed for EibA. Here, we report the cloning of a new eib gene, eibF, from a second strain of E. coli, ECOR-2. The product, EibF, has a relatively strong preference for IgA. Like the other eib genes, eibF attenuates serum sensitivity, occurs as a stable multimer, and is associated with a prophage. By subcloning portions of the eibA and eibF genes, we have identified distinct sequence segments sufficient to cause Ig binding, multimerization, and discrimination between IgA and IgG. The ability to multimerize is associated with a sequence close to the C terminus that is homologous to other family members such as YadA. Binding of IgG Fc is associated with a sequence that is highly conserved among all Eib proteins but otherwise unique. Binding of IgA is associated with a sequence of EibF that is not similar to any EibA sequence.
Project description:Sequences of the icd gene, encoding isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH), were obtained for 33 strains representing the major phylogenetic lineages of Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. Evolutionary relationships of the strains based on variation in icd are generally similar to those previously obtained for several other housekeeping and for invasion genes, but the sequences of S. enterica subspecies V strains are unusual in being almost intermediate between those of the other S. enterica subspecies and E. coli. For S. enterica, the ratio of synonymous (silent) to nonsynonymous (replacement) nucleotide substitutions between pairs of strains was larger than comparable values for 12 other housekeeping and invasion genes, reflecting unusually strong purifying selection against amino acid replacement in the IDH enzyme. All amino acids involved in the catalytic activity and conformational changes of IDH are strictly conserved within and between species. In E. coli, the level of variation at the 3' end of the gene is elevated by the presence in some strains of a 165-bp replacement sequence supplied by the integration of either lambdoid phage 21 or defective prophage element e14. The 72 members of the E. coli Reference Collection (ECOR) and five additional E. coli strains were surveyed for the presence of phage 21 (as prophage) by PCR amplification of a phage 21-specific fragment in and adjacent to the host icd, and the sequence of the phage 21 segment extending from the 3' end of icd through the integrase gene (int) was determined in nine strains of E. coli. Phage 21 was found in 39% of E. coli strains, and its distribution among the ECOR strains is nonrandom. In two ECOR strains, the phage 21 int gene is interrupted by a 1,313-bp insertion element that has 99.3% nucleotide sequence identity with IS3411 of E. coli. The phylogenetic relationships of phage 21 strains derived from sequences of two different genomic regions were strongly incongruent, providing evidence of frequent recombination.
Project description:Certain Escherichia coli strains bind the Fc fragment of immunoglobulin G (IgG) at the bacterial cell surface. Previous work established that this nonimmune Ig binding depends on several large proteins with apparent molecular masses that can exceed 200 kDa. For E. coli strain ECOR-9, four distinct genes (designated eibA, eibC, eibD, and eibE) are responsible for Ig binding. Two eib genes are linked to eaa genes, which are homologous to genes for the autotransporter family of secreted proteins. With reference to the E. coli K-12 chromosome, the eibA-eaaA cluster is adjacent to trpA (min 28.3) while the eibC-eaaC cluster is adjacent to aspS (min 42. 0). Sequence adjacent to the eibA-eaaA cluster converges with that of strain K-12 precisely as observed for the Atlas family of prophages, suggesting that eibA is part of one of these. All four eib genes, when cloned into plasmid vectors, impart IgG binding to E. coli K-12 strains, and three impart IgA binding also. The IgG binding occurs at the bacterial cell surface, and its expression increases survival in serum by up to 3 orders of magnitude. The eib sequences predict a C-terminal peptide motif that is characteristic of outer membrane proteins, and the protein sequences show significant similarity near the C terminus to both the YadA virulence factor of Yersinia species and the universal surface protein A II of Moraxella catarrhalis. The sizes predicted for Eib proteins from DNA sequence are much smaller than their apparent sizes on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, possibly reflecting stable oligomerization.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (E. coli) are intestinal pathogenic bacteria that cause life-threatening disease in humans. Their cardinal virulence factor is Shiga toxin (Stx), which is encoded on lambdoid phages integrated in the chromosome. Stx phages can infect and lysogenize susceptible bacteria, thus either increasing the virulence of already pathogenic bacterial hosts or transforming commensal strains into potential pathogens. There is increasing evidence that Stx phage-encoded factors adaptively regulate bacterial host gene expression. Here, we investigated the effects of Stx phage carriage in E. coli K-12 strain MG1655. We compared the transcriptome and phenotype of naive MG1655 and two lysogens carrying closely related Stx2a phages: ?O104 from the exceptionally pathogenic 2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak strain and ?PA8 from an E. coli O157:H7 isolate.<h4>Results</h4>Analysis of quantitative RNA sequencing results showed that, in comparison to naive MG1655, genes involved in mixed acid fermentation were upregulated, while genes encoding NADH dehydrogenase I, TCA cycle enzymes and proteins involved in the transport and assimilation of carbon sources were downregulated in MG1655::?O104 and MG1655::?PA8. The majority of the changes in gene expression were found associated with the corresponding phenotypes. Notably, the Stx2a phage lysogens displayed moderate to severe growth defects in minimal medium supplemented with single carbon sources, e.g. galactose, ribose, L-lactate. In addition, in phenotype microarray assays, the Stx2a phage lysogens were characterized by a significant decrease in the cell respiration with gluconeogenic substrates such as amino acids, nucleosides, carboxylic and dicarboxylic acids. In contrast, MG1655::?O104 and MG1655::?PA8 displayed enhanced respiration with several sugar components of the intestinal mucus, e.g. arabinose, fucose, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. We also found that prophage-encoded factors distinct from CI and Cro were responsible for the carbon utilization phenotypes of the Stx2a phage lysogens.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study reveals a profound impact of the Stx phage carriage on E. coli carbon source utilization. The Stx2a prophage appears to reprogram the carbon metabolism of its bacterial host by turning down aerobic metabolism in favour of mixed acid fermentation.
Project description:Multiple transporters mediate osmoregulatory solute accumulation in Escherichia coli K-12. The larger genomes of naturally occurring strains such as pyelonephritis isolates CFT073 and HU734 may encode additional osmoregulatory systems. CFT073 is more osmotolerant than HU734 in the absence of organic osmoprotectants, yet both strains grew in high osmolality medium at low K(+) (micromolar concentrations) and retained locus trkH, which encodes an osmoregulatory K(+) transporter. Both lacked the trkH homologue trkG. Transporters ProP and ProU account for all glycine-betaine uptake activity in E. coli K-12 and CFT073, but not in HU734, yet elimination of ProP and ProU impairs the growth of HU734, but not CFT073, in high osmolality human urine. No known osmoprotectant stimulated the growth of CFT073 in high osmolality minimal medium, but putative transporters YhjE, YiaMNO, and YehWXYZ may mediate uptake of additional osmoprotectants. Gene betU was isolated from HU734 by functional complementation and shown to encode a betaine uptake system that belongs to the betaine-choline-carnitine transporter family. The incidence of trkG and betU within the ECOR collection, representatives of the E. coli pathotypes (PATH), and additional strains associated with urinary tract infection (UTI) were determined. Gene trkG was present in 66% of the ECOR collection but only in 16% of the PATH and UTI collections. Gene betU was more frequently detected in ECOR groups B2 and D (50% of isolates) than in groups A, B1, and E (20%), but it was similar in overall incidence in the ECOR collection and in the combined UTI and PATH collections (32 and 34%, respectively). Genes trkG and betU may have been acquired by lateral gene transfer, since trkG is part of the rac prophage and betU is flanked by putative insertion sequences. Thus, BetU and TrkG contribute, with other systems, to the osmoregulatory capacity of the species E. coli, but they are not characteristic of a particular phylogenetic group or pathotype.
Project description:Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104:H4 caused one of the world's largest outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome in Germany in 2011. These strains have evolved from enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) by the acquisition of the Stx2 genes and have been designated enteroaggregative hemorrhagic E. coli. Nucleotide sequencing has shown that the Stx2 gene is carried by prophages integrated into the chromosome of STEC O104:H4. We studied the properties of Stx2-encoding bacteriophages which are responsible for the emergence of this new type of E. coli pathogen. For this, we analyzed Stx bacteriophages from STEC O104:H4 strains from Germany (in 2001 and 2011), Norway (2006), and the Republic of Georgia (2009). Viable Stx2-encoding bacteriophages could be isolated from all STEC strains except for the Norwegian strain. The Stx2 phages formed lysogens on E. coli K-12 by integration into the wrbA locus, resulting in Stx2 production. The nucleotide sequence of the Stx2 phage P13374 of a German STEC O104:H4 outbreak was determined. From the bioinformatic analyses of the prophage sequence of 60,894 bp, 79 open reading frames were inferred. Interestingly, the Stx2 phages from the German 2001 and 2011 outbreak strains were found to be identical and closely related to the Stx2 phages from the Georgian 2009 isolates. Major proteins of the virion particles were analyzed by mass spectrometry. Stx2 production in STEC O104:H4 strains was inducible by mitomycin C and was compared to Stx2 production of E. coli K-12 lysogens.
Project description:Bacterial genomes are highly plastic allowing the generation of variants through mutations and acquisition of genetic information. The fittest variants are then selected by the econiche thereby allowing the bacterial adaptation and colonization of the habitat. Larger genomes, however, may impose metabolic burden and hence bacterial genomes are optimized by the loss of frivolous genetic information. The activity of temperate bacteriophages has acute consequences on the bacterial population as well as the bacterial genome through lytic and lysogenic cycles. Lysogeny is a selective advantage as the prophage provides immunity to the lysogen against secondary phage attack. Since the non-lysogens are eliminated by the lytic phages, lysogens multiply and colonize the habitat. Nevertheless, all lysogens have an imminent risk of lytic cycle activation and cell lysis. However, a mutation in the attachment sites or in the genes that encode the specific recombinase responsible for prophage excision could result in 'grounding' of the prophage. Since the lysogens with grounded prophage are immune to respective phage infection as well as dodge the induction of lytic cycle, we hypothesize that the selection of these mutant lysogens is favored relative to their normal lysogenic counterparts. These grounded prophages offer several advantages to the bacterial genome evolution through propensity for genetic variations including inversions, deletions, and insertions via horizontal gene transfer. We propose that the grounded prophages expedite bacterial genome evolution by acting as 'genetic buffer zones' thereby increasing the frequency as well as the diversity of variations on which natural selection favors the beneficial variants. The grounded prophages are also hotspots for horizontal gene transfer wherein several ecologically significant genes such as those involved in stress tolerance, antimicrobial resistance, and novel metabolic pathways, are integrated. Moreover, the high frequency of genetic changes within prophages also allows proportionate probability for the de novo genesis of genetic information. Through sequence analyses of well-characterized E. coli prophages we exemplify various roles of grounded prophages in E. coli ecology and evolution. Therefore, the temperate prophages are one of the most significant drivers of bacterial genome evolution and sites of biogenesis of genetic information.
Project description:Cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs) are inhibitory cyclomodulins, which block eukaryotic cell proliferation and are produced by a diverse group of Gram-negative bacteria, including Escherichia coli strains associated with intestinal and extraintestinal infections. However, the mode of transmission of the toxin gene clusters among diverse bacterial pathogens is unclear. We found that Cdt-I produced by enteropathogenic E. coli strains associated with diarrhea is encoded by a lambdoid prophage, which is inducible and infectious. The genome of Cdt-I converting phage (CDT-1Phi) comprises 47,021 nucleotides with 60 predicted ORFs organized into six genomic regions encoding the head and tail, virulence, integrase, unknown functions, regulation, and lysis. The genomic organization of CDT-1Phi is similar to those of SfV, a serotype-converting phage of Shigella flexneri, and UTI89, a prophage identified in uropathogenic E. coli. Besides the cdtI gene cluster, the virulence region of CDT-1Phi genome contains sequences homologous to a truncated cycle inhibiting factor and a type 3 effector protein. Mutation analysis of susceptible E. coli strain C600 suggested that the outer membrane protein OmpC is a putative receptor for CDT-1Phi. CDT-1Phi genome was also found to integrate into the host bacterial chromosome forming lysogens, which produced biologically active Cdt-I. Furthermore, phage induction appeared to cause enhanced toxigenicity of the E. coli strains carrying lysogenic CDT-1Phi. Our results suggest that CDT-1Phi is the latest member of a growing family of lambdoid phages encoding bacterial cyclomodulins and that the phage may have a role in horizontal transfer of these virulence genes.
Project description:In toxigenic Vibrio cholerae, the cholera enterotoxin (CT) is encoded by CTXPhi, a lysogenic bacteriophage. The propagation of this filamentous phage can result in the origination of new toxigenic strains. To understand the nature of possible environmental factors associated with the propagation of CTXPhi, we examined the effects of temperature, pH, salinity, and exposure to direct sunlight on the induction of the CTX prophage and studied the transmission of the phage to potential recipient strains. Exposure of cultures of CTXPhi lysogens to direct sunlight resulted in approximately 10,000-fold increases in phage titers. Variation in temperature, pH, or salinity of the culture did not have a substantial effect on the induction of the prophage, but these factors influenced the stability of CTXPhi particles. Exposure of mixed cultures of CTXPhi lysogens and potential recipient strains to sunlight significantly increased both the in vitro and in vivo (in rabbit ileal loops) transduction of the recipient strains by CTXPhi. Included in these transduction experiments were two environmental nontoxigenic (CTXPhi(-)) strains of V. cholerae O139. These two O139 strains were transduced at high efficiency by CTXPhi, and the phage genome integrated into the O139 host chromosome. The resulting CTXPhi lysogens produced biologically active CT both in vitro and in rabbit ileal loops. This finding suggests a possible mechanism explaining the origination of toxigenic V. cholerae O139 strains from nontoxigenic progenitors. This study indicates that sunlight is a significant inducer of the CTX prophage and suggests that sunlight-induced transmission of CTXPhi may constitute part of a natural mechanism for the origination of new toxigenic strains of V. cholerae.
Project description:Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a notorious foodborne pathogen containing stx genes located in the sequence region of Shiga toxin (Stx) prophages. Stx prophages, as one of the mobile elements, are involved in the transfer of virulence genes to other strains. However, little is known about the diversity of prophages among STEC strains. The objectives of this study were to predict various prophages from different STEC genomes and to evaluate the effect of different stress factors on Stx prophage induction. Forty bacterial whole-genome sequences of STEC strains obtained from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) were used for the prophage prediction using PHASTER webserver. Eight of the STEC strains from different serotypes were subsequently selected to quantify the induction of Stx prophages by various treatments, including antibiotics, temperature, irradiation, and antimicrobial agents. After induction, Stx1-converting phage Lys8385Vzw and Stx2-converting phage Lys12581Vzw were isolated and further confirmed for the presence of stx genes using conventional PCR. Phage morphology was observed by transmission electron microscopy. The prediction results showed an average of 8-22 prophages, with one or more encoding stx, were predicted from each STEC genome obtained in this study. Additionally, the phylogenetic analysis revealed high genetic diversity of Stx prophages among the 40 STEC genomes. However, the sequences of Stx prophages in the genomes of STEC O45, O111, and O121 strains, in general, shared higher genetic homology than those in other serotypes. Interestingly, most STEC strains with two or more stx genes carried at least one each of Stx1 and Stx2 prophages. The induction results indicated EDTA and UV were the most effective inducers of Stx1 and Stx2 prophages of the 8 selected STECs, respectively. Additionally, both Stx-converting phages could infect non-pathogenic E. coli (WG5, DH5α, and MG1655) and form new lysogens. The findings of this study confirm that Stx prophages can be induced by environmental stress, such as exposure to solar radiation, and lysogenize other commensal E. coli strains.