Characterization of the tol-pal region of Escherichia coli K-12: translational control of tolR expression by TolQ and identification of a new open reading frame downstream of pal encoding a periplasmic protein.
ABSTRACT: The TolQ, TolR, TolA, TolB, and Pal proteins appear to function in maintaining the integrity of the outer membrane, as well as facilitating the uptake of the group A colicins and the DNA of the infecting filamentous bacteriophages. Sequence data showed that these genes are clustered in a 6-kb segment of DNA with the gene order orf1 tolQ tolR tolA tolB pal orf2 (a newly identified open reading frame encoding a 29-kD9 protein). Like those containing orf1, bacteria containing an insertion mutation in this gene showed no obvious phenotype. Analysis of beta-galactosidase activity from fusion constructs in which the lac operon was fused to various genes in the cluster showed that the genes in this region constitute two separate operons: orf1 tolQRA and tolB pal orf2. In the orf1 tolQRA operon, translation of MR was dependent on translation of the upstream tolQ region. Consistent with this result, no functional ribosome-binding site for TolR synthesis was detected.
Project description:The tol-oprL region in Pseudomonas aeruginosa appears to be involved in pyocin uptake and required for cell viability. The complete nucleotide sequences of the tolQRA and oprL genes as well as the incomplete sequences of tolB and orf2 have been previously reported. In addition, the sequence of a P. aeruginosa iron-regulated gene (pig6) has been described and found to share homology with an open reading frame located upstream of the Escherichia coli tolQRA genes (U. A. Ochsner and M. L. Vasil, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93:4409-4414, 1996). In this study, we cloned the remainder of the P. aeruginosa tol-oprL gene cluster and determined its nucleotide sequence. This cluster was found to consist of seven genes in the order orf1 tolQ tolR tolA tolB oprL orf2. Transcriptional analysis of this gene cluster was performed by detecting the presence of mRNAs spanning adjacent genes as well as by using a promoterless lacZ reporter gene fused to each of the seven genes contained in the tol-oprL locus. The results show that there are three major transcriptional units or operons in this region, orf1-tolQRA, tolB, and oprL-orf2, in contrast to the E. coli tol-pal region, where there are only two operons, orf1-tolQRA and tolB-pal-orf2. Analysis of gene expression indicated that the tol-oprL genes of P. aeruginosa are both iron and growth phase modulated. The first operon, orf1-tolQRA, is iron regulated throughout growth, but iron-regulated expression of tolB and oprL fusions occurs only in late log phase. The expression of the three operons was significantly less repressed by iron in fur mutants than in the wild-type strain, suggesting the involvement of Fur in the iron regulation of all three operons. RegA is a positive yet nonessential regulator of tol-oprL expression.
Project description:Proteins of the Tol system play a key role in the maintenance of outer membrane integrity and cell morphology in gram-negative bacteria. In Pseudomonas putida, the seven genes, orf1, tolQ, tolR, tolA, tolB, oprL, and orf2, which encode the proteins of this complex, are clustered in a 5.8-kb region of chromosomal DNA. Analysis of polar mutations, reverse transcriptase PCR assays, and transcriptional fusion constructs with a promoterless lacZ gene revealed that the genes are arranged in two operons: orf1 tolQ tolR tolA tolB and oprL orf2. We were also able to find a transcript that was initiated at the orf1 promoter and covered the two operons in a single mRNA. On the basis of the OprL protein level, we surmised that this transcript contributed only about 10 to 15% of the total OprL protein. Primer extension analysis identified the oprL orf2 operon promoter within the tolB gene, and the -10 and -35 regions exhibited some similarity to those of sigma(70)-recognized promoters. The transcription start point of orf1 was located 91 bp upstream of the orf1 start codon, and the -10/-35 region also exhibited sigma(70) -10/-35 recognition sequences. The expression from both promoters in rich and minimal media was constitutive and was very little influenced by the growth phase or iron-deficient conditions. In addition, analyses of the beta-galactosidase activities of different translational fusion constructs revealed that translation of tolA and orf2 genes was dependent on the translation of their corresponding upstream genes (tolR and oprL, respectively).
Project description:Salmonellae regulate membrane lipids during infection, but the exact proteins and mechanisms that promote their survival during bacteremia remain largely unknown. Mutations in genes encoding the conserved Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S Typhimurium) Tol-Pal apparatus caused the outer membrane (OM) sensor lipoprotein, RcsF, to become activated. The capsule activation phenotype for the mutants suggested that Tol-Pal might influence envelope lipid homeostasis. The mechanism involves reducing OM glycerophospholipid (GPL) levels, since the mutant salmonellae similarly accumulated phosphatidylglycerols (PGl) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE) within the OM in comparison to the wild type. The data support the Escherichia coli model, whereby Tol-Pal directs retrograde GPL translocation across the periplasm. The S Typhimurium mechanism involves contributions from YbgC, a cytoplasmic acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) thioesterase, and CpoB, a periplasmic TolA-binding protein. The functional relationship between Tol-Pal and YbgC and CpoB was previously unresolved. The S Typhimurium Tol-Pal proteins contribute similarly toward promoting OM-GPL homeostasis and Rcs signaling inactivity but differently toward promoting bacterial morphology, rifampin resistance, survival in macrophages, and survival in mice. For example, tolQ, tolR, tolA, and cpoB mutants were significantly more attenuated than ybgC, tolB, and pal mutants in a systemic mouse model of disease. Therefore, key roles exist for TolQ, TolR, TolA, and CpoB during murine bacteremia, which are independent of maintaining GPL homeostasis. The ability of TolQR to channel protons across the inner membrane (IM) is necessary for S Typhimurium TolQRA function, since mutating conserved channel-facing residues rendered TolQ ineffective at rescuing deletion mutant phenotypes. Therefore, Tol-Pal promotes S Typhimurium survival during bacteremia, in part, by reducing OM GPL concentrations, while TolQRA and CpoB enhance systemic virulence by additional mechanisms.
Project description:The tolQRAB-pal operon is conserved in Gram-negative genomes. The TolQRA proteins of Escherichia coli form an inner membrane complex in which TolQR uses the proton-motive force to regulate TolA conformation and the in vivo interaction of TolA C-terminal region with the outer membrane Pal lipoprotein. The stoichiometry of the TolQ, TolR, and TolA has been estimated and suggests that 4-6 TolQ molecules are associated in the complex, thus involving interactions between the transmembrane helices (TMHs) of TolQ, TolR, and TolA. It has been proposed that an ion channel forms at the interface between two TolQ and one TolR TMHs involving the TolR-Asp(23), TolQ-Thr(145), and TolQ-Thr(178) residues. To define the organization of the three TMHs of TolQ, we constructed epitope-tagged versions of TolQ. Immunodetection of in vivo and in vitro chemically cross-linked TolQ proteins showed that TolQ exists as multimers in the complex. To understand how TolQ multimerizes, we initiated a cysteine-scanning study. Results of single and tandem cysteine substitution suggest a dynamic model of helix interactions in which the hairpin formed by the two last TMHs of TolQ change conformation, whereas the first TMH of TolQ forms intramolecular interactions.
Project description:CTXphi is a lysogenic filamentous bacteriophage that encodes cholera toxin. Filamentous phages that infect Escherichia coli require both a pilus and the products of tolQRA in order to enter host cells. We have previously shown that toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP), a type IV pilus that is an essential Vibrio cholerae intestinal colonization factor, serves as a receptor for CTXphi. To test whether CTXphi also depends upon tol gene products to infect V. cholerae, we identified and inactivated the V. cholerae tolQRAB orthologues. The predicted amino acid sequences of V. cholerae TolQ, TolR, TolA, and TolB showed significant similarity to the corresponding E. coli sequences. V. cholerae strains with insertion mutations in tolQ, tolR, or tolA were reduced in their efficiency of CTXphi uptake by 4 orders of magnitude, whereas a strain with an insertion mutation in tolB showed no reduction in CTXphi entry. We could detect CTXphi infection of TCP(-) V. cholerae, albeit at very low frequencies. However, strains with mutations in both tcpA and either tolQ, tolR, or tolA were completely resistant to CTXphi infection. Thus, CTXphi, like the E. coli filamentous phages, uses both a pilus and TolQRA to enter its host. This suggests that the pathway for filamentous phage entry into cells is conserved between host bacterial species.
Project description:The Tol-PAL system of Escherichia coli is a multiprotein system involved in maintaining the cell envelope integrity and is necessary for the import of some colicins and phage DNA into the bacterium. It is organized into two complexes, one near the outer membrane between TolB and PAL and one in the cytoplasmic membrane between TolA, TolQ, and TolR. In the cytoplasmic membrane, all of the Tol proteins have been shown to interact with each other. Cross-linking experiments have shown that the TolA transmembrane domain interacts with TolQ and TolR. Suppressor mutant analyses have localized the TolQ-TolA interaction to the first transmembrane domain of TolQ and have shown that the third transmembrane domain of TolQ interacts with the transmembrane domain of TolR. To get insights on the composition of the cytoplasmic membrane complex and its possible contacts with the outer membrane complex, we focused our attention on TolR. Cross-linking and immunoprecipitation experiments allowed the identification of Tol proteins interacting with TolR. The interactions of TolR with TolA and TolQ were confirmed, TolR was shown to dimerize, and the resulting dimer was shown to interact with TolQ. Deletion mutants of TolR were constructed, and they allowed us to determine the TolR domains involved in each interaction. The TolR transmembrane domain was shown to be involved in the TolA-TolR and TolQ-TolR interactions, while TolR central and C-terminal domains appeared to be involved in TolR dimerization. The role of the TolR C-terminal domain in the TolA-TolR interaction and its association with the membranes was also demonstrated. Furthermore, phenotypic studies clearly showed that the three TolR domains (N terminal, central, and C terminal) and the level of TolR production are important for colicin A import and for the maintenance of cell envelope integrity.
Project description:The tolQ, tolR, and tolA genes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO were cloned using degenerate oligonucleotide PCR primers designed based on conserved transmembrane regions of Escherichia coli TolQ and TolR and E. coli and Pseudomonas putida ExbB and ExbD. The resulting PCR product was used as a probe to isolate a 6.5-kb DNA fragment containing P. aeruginosa tolQ, tolR, and tolA. The nucleotide sequence of a 2.9-kb DNA fragment containing the tolQ, tolR, and tolA genes was determined. The DNA sequence predicts TolQ to be a 25,250-Da protein exhibiting 53% identity to E. coli TolQ. TolR is predicted to be a 15,788-Da protein, sharing 38% identity with the E. coli TolR protein. The P. aeruginosa tolA sequence predicts a 37,813-Da protein with 27% identity to the E. coli TolA. The P. aeruginosa TolQRA proteins were expressed in E. coli minicells. Analysis of plasmid-encoded tolQ::lacZ and tolA::lacZ promoter fusions in E. coli indicated that these genes are expressed at different levels, suggesting transcription from different promoters. Transcriptional analysis of the tol genes in P. aeruginosa revealed that the tolQ and tolR genes are cotranscribed as an approximately 1.5-kb transcript and that tolA is transcribed from its own promoter as an approximately 1.2-kb transcript. The P. aeruginosa Tol proteins were functionally unable to complement E. coli tol mutants, although P. aeruginosa TolQ was able to complement the iron-limited growth of an E. coli exbB mutant. Introduction of the tolQRA genes in the tol-like mutant PAO 1652 restored pyocin AR41 killing, indicating that the Tol proteins are involved in the uptake of pyocin AR41 in P. aeruginosa. Attempts to inactivate the chromosomal copy of the tolA or tolQ gene in the parent strain PAO proved to be unsuccessful, and we propose that inactivation of these genes in P. aeruginosa results in a lethal phenotype.
Project description:Urinary tracts infection (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is a common infectious disease. With the shortage of new antimicrobial agents, the increase in UPEC resistance to commonly used drugs, such as fluoroquinolones and ?-lactams including carbapenems is a critical issue. UPEC invades urinary tract cells, where it aggregates, and subsequently, forms biofilm-like multicellular colonies termed intracellular bacterial communities (IBCs). This process allows the bacteria to establish infections and so may be a good potential target for new drugs to treat infections. Here, we show that deletion of the tolB gene, encoding a protein of the Tol-Pal system that was originally characterized as a protein complex for colicin uptake and maintenance of the outer membrane, decreases the level of bacterial internalization into and aggregation within cultured bladder epithelial cells and also inhibits the colonization of mice urinary tracts. The tolB mutant also exhibited defective motility because of impaired flagellum syntheses. The fliC and motA mutants, which are non-motile strains, also exhibited lower levels of bacterial internalization and aggregation than their wild-type parent. Additional deletion of tolB in the fliC mutant did not further decrease these, suggesting that the attenuated virulence of the tolB mutant is a result of defective motility. The tolA, tolQ, tolR, and pal mutants that lack other members of the Tol-Pal system also exhibited lower levels of motility and aggregation within bladder epithelial cells compared to their wild-type parent. These combined results suggest another role of the Tol-Pal system, i.e., that it is responsible for optimal internalization, aggregation followed by IBC formation within urinary tract cells, and bacterial motility.
Project description:The outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria functions as a permeability barrier that protects cells against a large number of antibacterial agents. OprL protein of Pseudomonas putida has been shown to be crucial to maintain the stability of this cell component (J. J. Rodríguez-Herva, M.-I. Ramos-González, and J. L. Ramos. J. Bacteriol. 178:1699-1706, 1996). In the present study we cloned and mutagenized the orf1, tolQ, tolR, tolA, and tolB genes from P. putida KT2440, which were located upstream of the oprL gene. Polar and nonpolar mutations of the P. putida tolQ, tolR, tolA, and tolB genes were generated in vitro by using the omega-Km(r) interposon, which carries two transcriptional stop signals, or a promoterless xylE cassette, lacking any transcriptional stop signal, respectively. The mutant constructs were used to inactivate, by reverse genetics procedures, the corresponding chromosomal copies of the genes. The phenotype of each mutant strain was analyzed and compared with those of the wild-type strain and the previously characterized P. putida oprL::xylE mutant. All mutant strains exhibited a similar phenotype: altered cell morphology, bleb formation at the cell surface, release of periplasmic and outer membrane proteins to the extracellular medium, increased sensitivity to a variety of compounds (i.e., EDTA, sodium dodecyl sulfate, deoxycholate, and some antibiotics), filament formation, and severely reduced cell motility. Altogether, these results demonstrate the importance of the Tol-OprL system for the maintenance of outer membrane integrity in P. putida and suggest a possible role of these proteins in assembling outer membrane components.
Project description:Mutations involving the Tol-Pal complex of Escherichia coli result in a subtle phenotype in which cells chain when grown under low-salt conditions. Here, the nonpolar deletion of individual genes encoding the cytoplasmic membrane-associated components of the complex (TolQ, TolR, TolA) produced a similar phenotype. Surprisingly, the overexpression of one of these proteins, TolQ, resulted in a much more overt phenotype in which cells occurred as elongated rods coupled in long chains when grown under normal salt conditions. Neither TolR nor TolA overexpression produced a phenotype, nor was the presence of either protein required for the TolQ-dependent phenotype. Consistent with their native membrane topology, the amino-terminal domain of TolQ specifically associated in vivo with the periplasmic domain of FtsN in a cytoplasm-based two-hybrid analysis. Further, the concomitant overexpression of FtsN rescued the TolQ-dependent phenotype, suggesting a model wherein the overexpression of TolQ sequesters FtsN, depleting this essential protein from the divisome during Gram-negative cell division. The role of the Tol-Pal system in division is discussed.