Proteomic analysis of and immune responses to Ehrlichia chaffeensis lipoproteins.
ABSTRACT: Ehrlichia chaffeensis is an obligately intracellular gram-negative bacterium and is the etiologic agent of human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME). Although E. chaffeensis induces the generation of several cytokines and chemokines by leukocytes, E. chaffeensis lacks lipopolysaccharide and peptidoglycan. Bioinfomatic analysis of the E. chaffeensis genome, however, predicted genes encoding 15 lipoproteins and 3 posttranslational lipoprotein-processing enzymes. The present study showed that by use of multidimensional liquid chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry, all predicted lipoproteins as well as lipoprotein-processing enzymes were expressed by E. chaffeensis cultured in the human promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60. Consistent with this observation, a signal peptidase II inhibitor, globomycin, was found to inhibit E. chaffeensis infection and lipoprotein processing in HL-60 cell culture. To study in vivo E. chaffeensis lipoprotein expression and host immune responses to E. chaffeensis lipoproteins, 13 E. chaffeensis lipoprotein genes were cloned into a mammalian expression vector. When the DNA constructs were inoculated into naïve dogs, or when dogs were infected with E. chaffeensis, the animals developed delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions at cutaneous sites of the DNA construct deposition and serum antibodies to these lipoproteins. This is the first demonstration of lipoprotein expression and elicitation of immune responses by a member of the order Rickettsiales. Multiple lipoproteins expressed by E. chaffeensis in vitro and in vivo may play key roles in pathogenesis and immune responses in HME.
Project description:The deduced sequences of the Omp10, Omp16, and Omp19 outer membrane proteins of Brucella spp. contain a potential bacterial lipoprotein processing sequence. After extraction with Triton X-114, these three proteins partitioned into the detergent phase. Processing of the three proteins is inhibited by globomycin, a specific inhibitor of lipoprotein signal peptidase. The three proteins were radioimmunoprecipitated from [(3)H]palmitic acid-labeled Brucella abortus lysates with monoclonal antibodies. These results demonstrate that Omp10, Omp16, and Omp19 are lipoproteins.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis are debilitating diseases caused by filarial nematodes. Disease pathogenesis is induced by inflammatory responses following the death of the parasite. Wolbachia endosymbionts of filariae are potent inducers of innate and adaptive inflammation and bacterial lipoproteins have been identified as the ligands that bind toll-like receptors (TLR) 2 and TLR6. Lipoproteins are important structural and functional components of bacteria and therefore enzymes involved in Wolbachia lipoprotein biosynthesis are potential chemotherapeutic targets. RESULTS: Globomycin, a signal peptidase II (LspA) inhibitor, has activity against Gram-negative bacteria and a putative lspA gene has been identified from the Wolbachia genome of Brugia malayi (wBm). The amino acids required for function are strictly conserved and functionality was verified by complementation tests in a temperature-sensitive Escherichia coli lspA mutant. Also, transformation of wild type E. coli with Wolbachia lspA conferred significant globomycin resistance. A cell-based screen has been developed utilizing a Wolbachia-containing Aedes albopictus cell line to assay novel compounds active against Wolbachia. Globomycin was screened using this assay, which resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in Wolbachia load. Furthermore, globomycin was also effective in reducing the motility and viability of adult B. malayi in vitro. CONCLUSIONS: These studies validate lipoprotein biosynthesis as a target in an organism for which no genetic tools are available. Further studies to evaluate drugs targeting this pathway are underway as part of the A-WOL drug discovery and development program.
Project description:In the U.S.A., human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis (HME) caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis. In Cameroon, where E. canis, E. chaffeensis and E. ewingii have recently been detected in dogs and/or ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), the potential exists for human infections. Patients from the coastal region of Cameroon who had acute fevers of unknown aetiology were therefore checked for ehrlichial infection, using a real-time PCR that amplifies part of a genus-specific gene (dsb) that codes for a disulphide-bond formation protein. Ehrlichial blood was detected in the peripheral blood from 12 (10%) of the 118 patients investigated by PCR. When the 12 amplicons from the positive cases were sequenced, they were found to be identical to each other and to the corresponding dsb sequence of an Arkansas strain of E. chaffeensis. The 12 patients who were PCR-positive for E. chaffeensis suffered from fever (100%), headache (67%), myalgia (42%), arthralgia (58%), pulmonary involvement (17%) and/or a diffuse rash (17%).
Project description:The processing of lipoproteins (Lpps) in Gram-negative bacteria is generally considered an essential pathway. Mature lipoproteins in these bacteria are triacylated, with the final fatty acid addition performed by Lnt, an apolipoprotein N-acyltransferase. The mature lipoproteins are then sorted by the Lol system, with most Lpps inserted into the outer membrane (OM). We demonstrate here that the lnt gene is not essential to the Gram-negative pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis strain Schu or to the live vaccine strain LVS. An LVS ?lnt mutant has a small-colony phenotype on sucrose medium and increased susceptibility to globomycin and rifampin. We provide data indicating that the OM lipoprotein Tul4A (LpnA) is diacylated but that it, and its paralog Tul4B (LpnB), still sort to the OM in the ?lnt mutant. We present a model in which the Lol sorting pathway of Francisella has a modified ABC transporter system that is capable of recognizing and sorting both triacylated and diacylated lipoproteins, and we show that this modified system is present in many other Gram-negative bacteria. We examined this model using Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which has the same Lol architecture as that of Francisella, and found that the lnt gene is not essential in this organism. This work suggests that Gram-negative bacteria fall into two groups, one in which full lipoprotein processing is essential and one in which the final acylation step is not essential, potentially due to the ability of the Lol sorting pathway in these bacteria to sort immature apolipoproteins to the OM.This paper describes the novel finding that the final stage in lipoprotein processing (normally considered an essential process) is not required by Francisella tularensis or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The paper provides a potential reason for this and shows that it may be widespread in other Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:The enzyme thymidylate kinase phosphorylates the substrate thymidine 5'-phosphate (dTMP) to form thymidine 5'-diphosphate (dTDP), which is further phosphorylated to dTTP for incorporation into DNA. Ehrlichia chaffeensis is the etiologic agent of human monocytotropic erlichiosis (HME), a potentially life-threatening tick-borne infection. HME is endemic in the United States from the southern states up to the eastern seaboard. HME is transmitted to humans via the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum. Here, the 2.15 Å resolution crystal structure of thymidylate kinase from E. chaffeensis in the apo form is presented.
Project description:Recently, major species-specific antibody epitopes in three immunoreactive tandem repeat proteins (TRPs) of Ehrlichia chaffeensis, TRP32, TRP47, and TRP120, have been identified and molecularly characterized within tandem repeat (TR) regions. In this study, we mapped the major immunodeterminants of the E. chaffeensis 200-kDa ankyrin protein (Ank200) and the minor immunodeterminants in the N- and C-terminal regions of E. chaffeensis TRP47. Major antibody epitopes of Ank200 were localized to four polypeptide regions (18-mer, 20-mer, 20-mer, and 21-mer, respectively) in terminal acidic domains, which reacted with antibodies in sera from human monocytotropic ehrlichiosis (HME) patients and an E. chaffeensis-infected dog. Two minor epitope-containing regions were identified in the N terminus and the C terminus of TRP47. The sensitivities and specificities of synthetic peptides representing these and other well-defined major immunodeterminants of E. chaffeensis were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Thirty-one HME patient serum samples that had detectable E. chaffeensis antibodies (titers from 64 to 8,192) by indirect fluorescent-antibody assay (IFA) were tested. All 31 serum samples reacted with at least one E. chaffeensis peptide, 30 (96.8%) with TRP120 peptides, 27 (87.1%) with TRP32 peptides, 24 (77.4%) with TRP47 peptides, 19 (61.3%) with Ank200 peptides, and 28 (90.3%) with recombinant TRP120-TR protein. A mixture of the two most sensitive peptides from TRP120 and TRP32 did not provide enhanced analytical sensitivity compared to that provided by TRP120 alone. Our results demonstrate that the TRP120 peptide can be utilized for development of standardized sensitive point-of-care and reference laboratory immunodiagnostics for HME. This is the first study to compare analysis of molecularly defined major antibody epitopes with IFA for diagnosis of HME.
Project description:RATIONALE:Hepatic lipase (HL) and endothelial lipase (EL) are extracellular lipases that both hydrolyze triglycerides and phospholipids and display potentially overlapping or complementary roles in lipoprotein metabolism. OBJECTIVE:We sought to dissect the overlapping roles of HL and EL by generating mice deficient in both HL and EL (HL/EL-dko) for comparison with single HL-knockout (ko) and EL-ko mice, as well as wild-type mice. METHODS AND RESULTS:Reproduction and viability of the HL/EL-dko mice were impaired compared with the single-knockout mice. The plasma levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and phospholipids in the HL/EL-dko mice were markedly higher than those in the single-knockout mice. Most notably, the HL/EL-dko mice exhibited an unexpected substantial increase in small low-density lipoproteins. Kinetic studies with [(3)H]cholesteryl ether-labeled very-low-density lipoproteins demonstrated that the HL/EL-dko mice accumulated counts in the smallest low-density lipoprotein-sized fractions, as assessed by size exclusion chromatography, suggesting that it arises from lipolysis of very-low-density lipoproteins. HDL from all 3 lipase knockout models had an increased cholesterol efflux capacity but reduced clearance of HDL cholesteryl esters versus control mice. Despite their higher HDL cholesterol levels, neither HL-ko, EL-ko, nor HL/EL-dko mice demonstrated an increased rate of macrophage reverse cholesterol transport in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:These studies reveal an additive effect of HL and EL on HDL metabolism but not macrophage reverse cholesterol transport in mice and an unexpected redundant role of HL and EL in apolipoprotein B lipoprotein metabolism.
Project description:Lipoprotein processing by the type II signal peptidase (SPase II) is known to be critical for intracellular growth and virulence for many bacteria, but its role in rickettsiae is unknown. Here, we describe the analysis of lspA, encoding a putative SPase II, an essential component of lipoprotein processing in gram-negative bacteria, from Rickettsia typhi. Alignment of deduced amino acid sequences shows the presence of highly conserved residues and domains that are essential for SPase II activity in lipoprotein processing. The transcription of lspA, lgt (encoding prolipoprotein transferase), and lepB (encoding type I signal peptidase), monitored by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, reveals a differential expression pattern during various stages of rickettsial intracellular growth. The higher transcriptional level of all three genes at the preinfection time point indicates that only live and metabolically active rickettsiae are capable of infection and inducing host cell phagocytosis. lspA and lgt, which are involved in lipoprotein processing, show similar levels of expression. However, lepB, which is involved in nonlipoprotein secretion, shows a higher level of expression, suggesting that LepB is the major signal peptidase for protein secretion and supporting our in silico prediction that out of 89 secretory proteins, only 14 are lipoproteins. Overexpression of R. typhi lspA in Escherichia coli confers increased globomycin resistance, indicating its function as SPase II. In genetic complementation, recombinant lspA from R. typhi significantly restores the growth of temperature-sensitive E. coli Y815 at the nonpermissive temperature, supporting its biological activity as SPase II in prolipoprotein processing.
Project description:Changes in proportions of lipoprotein classes have been described in disease states in humans. In veterinary medicine, hyperlipidemia can cause complications, such as cutaneous xanthomas, liver disease, cholelithiasis, pancreatitis, glomerular disease, lipemia retinalis, or peripheral neuropathy, but there are few reports regarding lipoproteins in diseased animals. For canine serum, we partially validated continuous lipoprotein density profiling (CLPDP), a novel density gradient ultracentrifugation technique. We examined canine lipoproteins separated by CLPDP by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We compared lipoprotein profiles between healthy control dogs ( n = 29) and dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI; n = 28) using CLPDP. Dogs with EPI included those untreated (EPI-NT; n = 6) and those treated with enzyme supplementation (EPI-T; n = 22). Our preliminary assay validation showed that CLPDP was repeatable (CV = 11.2%) and reproducible (CV = 10.6%) in canine serum. The diameters of lipoproteins analyzed by TEM were similar to those reported previously. Dogs in the EPI-NT group had more severe dyslipidemia than dogs in the EPI-T group. Dogs in the EPI-T group had lipoprotein profiles similar to healthy control dogs. CLPDP might be a useful tool for evaluating dyslipidemia in dogs.
Project description:Macrophage infectivity potentiator (MIP) was originally reported to be a chlamydial lipoprotein from experiments showing incorporation of radiolabeled palmitic acid into native and recombinant MIP; inhibition of posttranslational processing of recombinant MIP by globomycin, known to inhibit signal peptidase II; and solubility of native MIP in Triton X-114. However, the detailed structural characterization of the lipid moiety on MIP has never been fully elucidated. In this study, bioinformatics and mass spectrometry analysis, as well as radiolabeling and immunochemical experiments, were conducted to further characterize MIP structure and subcellular localization. In silico analysis showed that the amino acid sequence of MIP is conserved across chlamydial species. A potential signal sequence with a contained lipobox was identified, and a recombinant C20A variant was prepared by replacing the probable lipobox cysteine with an alanine. Both incorporation of U-(14)C-esterified glycerol and [U-(14)C]palmitic acid and posttranslational processing that was inhibitable by globomycin were observed for recombinant wild-type MIP but not for the recombinant C20A MIP variant. The fatty acid contents of native and recombinant MIP were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the presence of amide-linked fatty acids in recombinant MIP was investigated by alkaline methanolysis. These results demonstrated a lipid modification in MIP similar to that of other prokaryotic lipoproteins. In addition, MIP was detected in an outer membrane preparation of Chlamydia trachomatis elementary bodies and was shown to be present at the surfaces of elementary bodies by surface biotinylation and surface immunoprecipitation experiments.