A crtB homolog essential for photochromogenicity in Mycobacterium marinum: isolation, characterization, and gene disruption via homologous recombination.
ABSTRACT: A gene essential for light-induced pigment production was isolated from the photochromogen Mycobacterium marinum by heterologous complementation of an M. marinum cosmid library in the nonchromogen Mycobacterium smegmatis. This gene is part of an operon and homologous to the Streptomyces griseus and Myxococcus xanthus crtB genes encoding phytoene synthase. Gene replacement at this locus was achieved via homologous recombination, demonstrating that its expression is essential for photochromogenicity. The ease of targeted gene disruption in this pathogenic Mycobacterium allows for the dissection of the molecular basis of mycobacterial pathogenesis.
Project description:Myxococcus xanthus responds to blue light by producing carotenoid pigments. A mutation at a gene named carC is known to block the metabolism of phytoene, a carotenoid precursor, and this gene has now been cloned and sequenced. We show here that gene carC, which is homologous to phytoene dehydrogenase genes from other organisms, is tightly regulated by light through a mechanism that operates only when the cells have reached the stationary phase or are starved of a carbon source. A genetic element that mediates the effect of the growth phase has been identified. Gene carC is integrated with another unlinked carotenogenic gene in a single 'light regulon' controlled by common trans-acting genetic elements. A potential -35 site for the binding of sigma factors has been found upstream of the carC transcriptional start. However, the -10 region shows no similarity with analogous sites at promoters of other Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis express a Ku protein and a DNA ligase D and are able to repair DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). This pathway protects against DNA damage when bacteria are in stationary phase. Mycobacterium marinum is a member of this mycobacterium family and like M. tuberculosis is pathogenic. M. marinum lives in water, forms biofilms and infects fish and frogs. M. marinum is a biosafety level 2 (BSL2) organism as it can infect humans, although infections are limited to the skin. M. marinum is accepted as a model to study mycobacterial pathogenesis, as M. marinum and M. tuberculosis are genetically closely related and have similar mechanisms of survival and persistence inside macrophage. The aim of this study was to determine whether M. marinum could be used as a model to understand M. tuberculosis NHEJ repair. We identified and cloned the M. marinum genes encoding NHEJ proteins and generated E. coli strains that express the M. marinum Ku (Mm-Ku) and ligase D (Mm-Lig) individually or together (LHmKumLig strain) from expression vectors integrated at phage attachment sites in the genome. We demonstrated that Mm-Ku and Mm-Lig are both required to re-circularize Cla I-linearized plasmid DNA in E. coli. We compared repair of strain LHmKumLig with that of an E. coli strain (BWKuLig#2) expressing the M. tuberculosis Ku (Mt-Ku) and ligase D (Mt-Lig), and found that LHmKumLig performed 3.5 times more repair and repair was more accurate than BWKuLig#2. By expressing the Mm-Ku with the Mt-Lig, or the Mt-Ku with the Mm-Lig in E. coli, we have shown that the NHEJ proteins from M. marinum and M. tuberculosis can function together to join DNA DSBs. NHEJ repair is therefore conserved between the two species. Consequently, M. marinum is a good model to study NHEJ repair during mycobacterial pathogenesis.
Project description:Mycobacterium marinum, a ubiquitous pathogen of fish and amphibia, is a near relative of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiologic agent of tuberculosis in humans. The genome of the M strain of M. marinum comprises a 6,636,827-bp circular chromosome with 5424 CDS, 10 prophages, and a 23-kb mercury-resistance plasmid. Prominent features are the very large number of genes (57) encoding polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthases (NRPSs) and the most extensive repertoire yet reported of the mycobacteria-restricted PE and PPE proteins, and related-ESX secretion systems. Some of the NRPS genes comprise a novel family and seem to have been acquired horizontally. M. marinum is used widely as a model organism to study M. tuberculosis pathogenesis, and genome comparisons confirmed the close genetic relationship between these two species, as they share 3000 orthologs with an average amino acid identity of 85%. Comparisons with the more distantly related Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis reveal how an ancestral generalist mycobacterium evolved into M. tuberculosis and M. marinum. M. tuberculosis has undergone genome downsizing and extensive lateral gene transfer to become a specialized pathogen of humans and other primates without retaining an environmental niche. M. marinum has maintained a large genome so as to retain the capacity for environmental survival while becoming a broad host range pathogen that produces disease strikingly similar to M. tuberculosis. The work described herein provides a foundation for using M. marinum to better understand the determinants of pathogenesis of tuberculosis.
Project description:Carotenoids comprise one of the most widespread classes of pigments found in nature. The first reactions of C40 carotenoid biosynthesis proceed through common intermediates in all organisms, suggesting the evolutionary conservation of early enzymes from this pathway. We report here the nucleotide sequence of three genes from the carotenoid biosynthesis gene cluster of Erwinia herbicola, a nonphotosynthetic epiphytic bacterium, which encode homologs of the CrtB, CrtE, and CrtI proteins of Rhodobacter capsulatus, a purple nonsulfur photosynthetic bacterium. CrtB (prephytoene pyrophosphate synthase), CrtE (phytoene synthase), and CrtI (phytoene dehydrogenase) are required for the first three reactions specific to the carotenoid branch of general isoprenoid metabolism. The homologous proteins from E. herbicola and R. capsulatus show sequence identities of 41.7% for CrtI, 33.7% for CrtB, and 30.8% for CrtE. E. herbicola and R. capsulatus CrtI also display 27.2% and 27.9% sequence identity, respectively, with R. capsulatus CrtD (methoxyneurosporene dehydrogenase). All three dehydrogenases possess a hydrophobic N-terminal domain containing a putative ADP-binding beta alpha beta fold characteristic of enzymes known to bind FAD or NAD(P) cofactors. In addition, E. herbicola and R. capsulatus CrtB show 25.2% and 23.3% respective sequence identities with the protein product of pTOM5, a tomato cDNA of unknown function that is differentially expressed during fruit ripening. These data indicate the structural conservation of early carotenoid biosynthesis enzymes in evolutionarily diverse organisms.
Project description:Mycobacterium marinum is the causative agent for the tuberculosis-like disease mycobacteriosis in fish and skin lesions in humans. Ubiquitous in its geographical distribution, M. marinum is known to occupy diverse fish as hosts. However, information about its genomic diversity is limited. Here, we provide the genome sequences for 15 M. marinum strains isolated from infected humans and fish. Comparative genomic analysis of these and four available genomes of the M. marinum strains M, E11, MB2 and Europe reveal high genomic diversity among the strains, leading to the conclusion that M. marinum should be divided into two different clusters, the "M"- and the "Aronson"-type. We suggest that these two clusters should be considered to represent two M. marinum subspecies. Our data also show that the M. marinum pan-genome for both groups is open and expanding and we provide data showing high number of mutational hotspots in M. marinum relative to other mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This high genomic diversity might be related to the ability of M. marinum to occupy different ecological niches.
Project description:Mycobacterium marinum is a waterborne mycobacterial pathogen. Due to their common niche, protozoa likely represent natural hosts for M. marinum. We demonstrate that the ESX-1 secretion system is required for M. marinum pathogenesis and that M. marinum utilizes actin-based motility in amoebae. Therefore, at least two virulence pathways used by M. marinum in macrophages are conserved during M. marinum infection of amoebae.
Project description:Oxidative stress response in pathogenic mycobacteria is believed to be of significance for host-pathogen interactions at various stages of infection. It also plays a role in determining the intrinsic susceptibility to isoniazid in mycobacterial species. In this work, we characterized the oxyR-ahpC and furA-katG loci in the nontuberculous pathogen Mycobacterium marinum. In contrast to Mycobacterium smegmatis and like Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae, M. marinum was shown to possess a closely linked and divergently oriented equivalents of the regulator of peroxide stress response oxyR and its subordinate gene ahpC, encoding a homolog of alkyl hydroperoxide reductase. Purified mycobacterial OxyR was found to bind to the oxyR-ahpC promoter region from M. marinum and additional mycobacterial species. Mobility shift DNA binding analyses using OxyR binding sites from several mycobacteria and a panel of in vitro-generated mutants validated the proposed consensus mycobacterial recognition sequence. M. marinum AhpC levels detected by immunoblotting, were increased upon treatment with H2O2, in keeping with the presence of a functional OxyR and its binding site within the promoter region of ahpC. In contrast, OxyR did not bind to the sequences upstream of the katG structural gene, and katG expression did not follow the pattern seen with ahpC. Instead, a new open reading frame encoding a homolog of the ferric uptake regulator Fur was identified immediately upstream of katG in M. marinum. The furA-katG linkage and arrangement are ubiquitous in mycobacteria, suggesting the presence of additional regulators of oxidative stress response and potentially explaining the observed differences in ahpC and katG expression. Collectively, these findings broaden our understanding of oxidative stress response in mycobacteria. They also suggest that M. marinum will be useful as a model system for studying the role of oxidative stress response in mycobacterial physiology, intracellular survival, and other host-pathogen interactions associated with mycobacterial diseases.
Project description:Nearly one-third of the world's population is latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb), which represents a huge disease reservoir for reactivation and a major obstacle for effective control of tuberculosis. During latent infection, M. tb is thought to enter nonreplicative dormant states by virtue of its response to hypoxia and nutrient-deprived conditions. Knowledge of the genetic programs used to facilitate entry into and exit from the nonreplicative dormant states remains incomplete. In this study, we examined the transcriptional changes of Mycobacterium marinum (M. marinum), a pathogenic mycobacterial species closely related to M. tb, at different stages of resuscitation from hypoxia-induced dormancy. RNA-seq analyses were performed on M. marinum cultures recovered at multiple time points after resuscitation. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) at each time period were identified and analyzed. Co-expression networks of transcription factors and DEGs in each period were constructed. In addition, we performed a weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) on all genes and obtained 12 distinct gene modules. Collectively, these data provided valuable insight into the transcriptome changes of M. marinum upon resuscitation as well as gene module function of the bacteria during active metabolism and growth.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Corynebacterium glutamicum contains the glycosylated C50 carotenoid decaprenoxanthin as yellow pigment. Starting from isopentenyl pyrophosphate, which is generated in the non-mevalonate pathway, decaprenoxanthin is synthesized via the intermediates farnesyl pyrophosphate, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, lycopene and flavuxanthin. RESULTS: Here, we showed that the genes of the carotenoid gene cluster crtE-cg0722-crtBIYeYfEb are co-transcribed and characterized defined gene deletion mutants. Gene deletion analysis revealed that crtI, crtEb, and crtYeYf, respectively, code for the only phytoene desaturase, lycopene elongase, and carotenoid C45/C50 ?-cyclase, respectively. However, the genome of C. glutamicum also encodes a second carotenoid gene cluster comprising crtB2I2-1/2 shown to be co-transcribed, as well. Ectopic expression of crtB2 could compensate for the lack of phytoene synthase CrtB in C. glutamicum ?crtB, thus, C. glutamicum possesses two functional phytoene synthases, namely CrtB and CrtB2. Genetic evidence for a crtI2-1/2 encoded phytoene desaturase could not be obtained since plasmid-borne expression of crtI2-1/2 did not compensate for the lack of phytoene desaturase CrtI in C. glutamicum ?crtI. The potential of C. glutamicum to overproduce carotenoids was estimated with lycopene as example. Deletion of the gene crtEb prevented conversion of lycopene to decaprenoxanthin and entailed accumulation of lycopene to 0.03?±?0.01 mg/g cell dry weight (CDW). When the genes crtE, crtB and crtI for conversion of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate to lycopene were overexpressed in C. glutamicum ?crtEb intensely red-pigmented cells and an 80 fold increased lycopene content of 2.4?±?0.3 mg/g CDW were obtained. CONCLUSION: C. glutamicum possesses a certain degree of redundancy in the biosynthesis of the C50 carotenoid decaprenoxanthin as it possesses two functional phytoene synthase genes. Already metabolic engineering of only the terminal reactions leading to lycopene resulted in considerable lycopene production indicating that C. glutamicum may serve as a potential host for carotenoid production.
Project description:Mycobacterium marinum is closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of tuberculosis in humans. M. marinum has become an important model system for the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in causing tuberculosis in humans. Through molecular genetic analysis of the differences between pathogenic and nonpathogenic mycobacteria, we identified two loci that affect the ability of M. marinum to infect macrophages, designated mel(1) and mel(2). In silico analyses of the 11 putative genes in these loci suggest that mel(1) encodes secreted proteins that include a putative membrane protein and two putative transglutaminases, whereas mel(2) is involved in secondary metabolism or biosynthesis of fatty acids. Interestingly, mel(2) is unique to M. marinum and the M. tuberculosis complex and not present in any other sequenced mycobacterial species. M. marinum mutants with mutations in mel(1) and mel(2), constructed by allelic exchange, are defective in the ability to infect both murine and fish macrophage cell lines. These data suggest that the genes in mel(1) and mel(2) are important for the ability of M. marinum to infect host cells.