Lipidomics reveals control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence lipids via metabolic coupling.
ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis synthesizes specific polyketide lipids that interact with the host and are required for virulence. Using a mass spectrometric approach to simultaneously monitor hundreds of lipids, we discovered that the size and abundance of two lipid virulence factors, phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM) and sulfolipid-1 (SL-1), are controlled by the availability of a common precursor, methyl malonyl CoA (MMCoA). Consistent with this view, increased levels of MMCoA led to increased abundance and mass of both PDIM and SL-1. Furthermore, perturbation of MMCoA metabolism attenuated pathogen replication in mice. Importantly, we detected increased PDIM synthesis in bacteria growing within host tissues and in bacteria grown in culture on odd-chain fatty acids. Because M. tuberculosis catabolizes host lipids to grow during infection, we propose that growth of M. tuberculosis on fatty acids in vivo leads to increased flux of MMCoA through lipid biosynthetic pathways, resulting in increased virulence lipid synthesis. Our results suggest that the shift to host lipid catabolism during infection allows for increased virulence lipid anabolism by the bacterium.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, is unique among bacterial pathogens in that it contains a wide array of complex lipids and lipoglycans on its cell wall. Among them, the sulfated glycolipid, termed the sulfolipid, is thought to mediate specific host-pathogen interactions during infection. Sulfolipids (SLs), including sulfolipid I (SL-I) and sulfolipid II (SL-II), are 2,3,6,6'-tetraacyltrehalose 2'-sulfates. SL-I was identified as a family of homologous 2-palmitoyl(stearoyl)-3-phthioceranoyl-6,6'-bis(hydroxyphthioceranoy1)trehalose 2'-sulfates and was believed to be the principal sulfolipid of M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv. We cultured and extracted sulfolipids using various conditions, including those originally described, and employed high-resolution multiple-stage linear ion-trap mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization to characterize the structure of the principal SL. We revealed that SL-II, a family of homologous 2-stearoyl(palmitoyl)-3,6,6'-tris(hydroxyphthioceranoy1)trehalose 2'-sulfates, rather than SL-I is the principal sulfolipid class. We identified a great number of isomers resulting from permutation of the various hydroxyphthioceranoyl substituents at positions 6 and 6' of the trehalose backbone for each of the SL-II species in the entire family. We redefined the structure of this important lipid family that was misassigned using the traditional methods 40 years ago.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis possesses unique cell-surface lipids that have been implicated in virulence. One of the most abundant is sulfolipid-1 (SL-1), a tetraacyl-sulfotrehalose glycolipid. Although the early steps in SL-1 biosynthesis are known, the machinery underlying the final acylation reactions is not understood. We provide genetic and biochemical evidence for the activities of two proteins, Chp1 and Sap (corresponding to gene loci rv3822 and rv3821), that complete this pathway. The membrane-associated acyltransferase Chp1 accepts a synthetic diacyl sulfolipid and transfers an acyl group regioselectively from one donor substrate molecule to a second acceptor molecule in two successive reactions to yield a tetraacylated product. Chp1 is fully active in vitro, but in M. tuberculosis, its function is potentiated by the previously identified sulfolipid transporter MmpL8. We also show that the integral membrane protein Sap and MmpL8 are both essential for sulfolipid transport. Finally, the lipase inhibitor tetrahydrolipstatin disrupts Chp1 activity in M. tuberculosis, suggesting an avenue for perturbing SL-1 biosynthesis in vivo. These data complete the SL-1 biosynthetic pathway and corroborate a model in which lipid biosynthesis and transmembrane transport are coupled at the membrane-cytosol interface through the activity of multiple proteins, possibly as a macromolecular complex.
Project description:Nitric oxide (NO), which is an important component of immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has both cytotoxic and immune regulatory functions. We examined the way that this molecule interacts with M. tuberculosis in vivo by screening for bacterial mutations that alter growth in mice that are unable to produce inducible NO synthase (iNOS), the dominant source of NO during infection. We found that very few bacterial genes appeared to be specifically required for resistance to NO in vivo. Instead, mutations in several virulence factors caused greater attenuation in the absence of iNOS. Among these were mutants incapable of transporting the lipid phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM). Although PDIM has been implicated in NO defense, this result indicates that PDIM has other roles during infection. We additionally found that PDIM transport is required for virulence in mice lacking interferon-gamma . Thus, PDIM is important for resisting an interferon-gamma-independent mechanism of immunity.
Project description:Virulent mycobacteria utilize surface-exposed polyketides to interact with host cells, but the mechanism by which these hydrophobic molecules are transported across the cell envelope to the surface of the bacteria is poorly understood. Phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM), a surface-exposed polyketide lipid necessary for Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence, is the product of several polyketide synthases including PpsE. Transport of PDIM requires MmpL7, a member of the MmpL family of RND permeases. Here we show that a domain of MmpL7 biochemically interacts with PpsE, the first report of an interaction between a biosynthetic enzyme and its cognate transporter. Overexpression of the interaction domain of MmpL7 acts as a dominant negative to PDIM synthesis by poisoning the interaction between synthase and transporter. This suggests that MmpL7 acts in complex with the synthesis machinery to efficiently transport PDIM across the cell membrane. Coordination of synthesis and transport may not only be a feature of MmpL-mediated transport in M. tuberculosis, but may also represent a general mechanism of polyketide export in many different microorganisms.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mt) produces complex virulence-enhancing lipids with scaffolds consisting of phthiocerol and phthiodiolone dimycocerosate esters (PDIMs). Sequence analysis suggested that PapA5, a so-called polyketide-associated protein (Pap) encoded in the PDIM synthesis gene cluster, as well as PapA5 homologs found in Mt and other species, are a subfamily of acyltransferases. Studies with recombinant protein confirmed that PapA5 is an acyltransferase [corrected]. Deletion analysis in Mt demonstrated that papA5 is required for PDIM synthesis. We propose that PapA5 catalyzes diesterification of phthiocerol and phthiodiolone with mycocerosate. These studies present the functional characterization of a Pap and permit inferences regarding roles of other Paps in the synthesis of complex lipids, including the antibiotic rifamycin.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis produces numerous exotic lipids that have been implicated as virulence determinants. One such glycolipid, Sulfolipid-1 (SL-1), consists of a trehalose-2-sulfate (T2S) core acylated with four lipid moieties. A diacylated intermediate in SL-1 biosynthesis, SL(1278), has been shown to activate the adaptive immune response in human patients. Although several proteins involved in SL-1 biosynthesis have been identified, the enzymes that acylate the T2S core to form SL(1278) and SL-1, and the biosynthetic order of these acylation reactions, are unknown. Here we demonstrate that PapA2 and PapA1 are responsible for the sequential acylation of T2S to form SL(1278) and are essential for SL-1 biosynthesis. In vitro, recombinant PapA2 converts T2S to 2'-palmitoyl T2S, and PapA1 further elaborates this newly identified SL-1 intermediate to an analog of SL(1278). Disruption of papA2 and papA1 in M. tuberculosis confirmed their essential role in SL-1 biosynthesis and their order of action. Finally, the Delta papA2 and Delta papA1 mutants were screened for virulence defects in a mouse model of infection. The loss of SL-1 (and SL(1278)) did not appear to affect bacterial replication or trafficking, suggesting that the functions of SL-1 are specific to human infection.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is a highly evolved human pathogen characterized by its formidable cell wall. Many unique lipids and glycolipids from the Mtb cell wall are thought to be virulence factors that mediate host-pathogen interactions. An intriguing example is Sulfolipid-1 (SL-1), a sulfated glycolipid that has been implicated in Mtb pathogenesis, although no direct role for SL-1 in virulence has been established. Previously, we described the biochemical activity of the sulfotransferase Stf0 that initiates SL-1 biosynthesis. Here we show that a stf0-deletion mutant exhibits augmented survival in human but not murine macrophages, suggesting that SL-1 negatively regulates the intracellular growth of Mtb in a species-specific manner. Furthermore, we demonstrate that SL-1 plays a role in mediating the susceptibility of Mtb to a human cationic antimicrobial peptide in vitro, despite being dispensable for maintaining overall cell envelope integrity. Thus, we hypothesize that the species-specific phenotype of the stf0 mutant is reflective of differences in antimycobacterial effector mechanisms of macrophages.
Project description:Isolated in vitro more than half a century ago, the H37Rv strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis still remains the strain of choice for the majority of laboratories conducting in vivo studies of TB pathogenesis. In this report we reveal that H37Rv is highly prone to losing the ability to synthesize the cell wall lipid phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM) during extended periods of in vitro culture. In addition, H37Rv stocks that have been held in vitro for even a short length of time should be thought of as a heterogeneous population of PDIM-positive and PDIM-negative cell types. We demonstrate that after weekly subculture of PDIM-positive isolates over a period of 20 weeks, the proportion of PDIM-negative cells rises above 30 %. That PDIM biosynthesis is negatively selected in vitro is evident from the broad range of mutation types we observe within cultures originating from a single PDIM-positive parental clone. Moreover, the appearance of these multiple mutation types coupled with an enhanced growth rate of PDIM-negative bacteria ensures that 'PDIM-less' clones rapidly dominate in vitro cultures. It has been known for almost a decade that strains of M. tuberculosis that lack PDIM are severely attenuated during in vivo infection. Therefore, the loss of PDIM raises a very serious issue in regard to the interpretation of putative virulence factors where heterogeneous parental cultures are potentially being compared in vivo to recombinant clones isolated within a PDIM-negative background. It is essential that researchers undertaking in vivo virulence studies confirm the presence of PDIM within all recombinant clones and the parental strains they are derived from.
Project description:A key to the pathogenic success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis, is the capacity to survive within host macrophages. Although several factors required for this survival have been identified, a comprehensive knowledge of such factors and how they work together to manipulate the host environment to benefit bacterial survival are not well understood. To systematically identify Mtb factors required for intracellular growth, we screened an arrayed, non-redundant Mtb transposon mutant library by high-content imaging to characterize the mutant-macrophage interaction. Based on a combination of imaging features, we identified mutants impaired for intracellular survival. We then characterized the phenotype of infection with each mutant by profiling the induced macrophage cytokine response. Taking a systems-level approach to understanding the biology of identified mutants, we performed a multiparametric analysis combining pathogen and host phenotypes to predict functional relationships between mutants based on clustering. Strikingly, mutants defective in two well-known virulence factors, the ESX-1 protein secretion system and the virulence lipid phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM), clustered together. Building upon the shared phenotype of loss of the macrophage type I interferon (IFN) response to infection, we found that PDIM production and export are required for coordinated secretion of ESX-1-substrates, for phagosomal permeabilization, and for downstream induction of the type I IFN response. Multiparametric clustering also identified two novel genes that are required for PDIM production and induction of the type I IFN response. Thus, multiparametric analysis combining host and pathogen infection phenotypes can be used to identify novel functional relationships between genes that play a role in infection.
Project description:The fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS-II) pathway in Mycobacterium tuberculosis generates long chain fatty acids that serve as the precursors to mycolic acids, essential components of the mycobacterial cell wall. Enzymes in the FAS-II pathway are thought to form one or more noncovalent multi-enzyme complexes within the cell, and a bacterial two-hybrid screen was used to search for missing components of the pathway and to furnish additional data on interactions involving these enzymes in vivo. Using the FAS-II beta-ketoacyl synthase, KasA, as bait, an extensive bacterial two-hybrid screen of a M. tuberculosis genome fragment library unexpectedly revealed a novel interaction between KasA and PpsB as well as PpsD, two polyketide modules involved in the biosynthesis of the virulence lipid phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM). Sequence analysis revealed that KasA interacts with PpsB and PpsD in the region of the acyl carrier domain of each protein, raising the possibility that lipids could be transferred between the FAS-II and PDIM biosynthetic pathways. Subsequent studies utilizing purified proteins and radiolabeled lipids revealed that fatty acids loaded onto PpsB were transferred to KasA and also incorporated into long chain fatty acids synthesized using a Mycobacterium smegmatis lysate. These data suggest that in addition to producing PDIMs, the growing phthiocerol product can also be shuttled into the FAS-II pathway via KasA as an entry point for further elongation. Interactions between these biosynthetic pathways may exist as a simple means to increase mycobacterial lipid diversity, enhancing functionality and the overall complexity of the cell wall.