Evidence of complex transcriptional, translational, and posttranslational regulation of the extracytoplasmic function sigma factor sigmaE in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
ABSTRACT: The extracytoplasmic factor (ECF) sigma factor sigma(E) is one of the most studied sigma factors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It has been shown to be involved in virulence as well as in survival under conditions of high temperature, alkaline pH, and exposure to detergents and oxidative stress. Unlike many ECF sigma factors, sigma(E) does not directly regulate the transcription of its own gene. Two promoters have been identified upstream of the sigE gene; one is regulated by the two-component system MprAB, while the other has been shown to be sigma(H) dependent. In this paper, we further characterize the regulation of sigma(E) by identifying its anti-sigma factor and a previously unknown promoter. Finally, we show that sigE can be translated from three different translational start codons, depending on the promoter used. Taken together, our data demonstrate that sigma(E) not only is subjected to complex transcriptional regulation but is also controlled at the translational and posttranslational levels.
Project description:The extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors constitute a diverse group of alternative sigma factors that have been demonstrated to regulate gene expression in response to environmental conditions in several bacterial species. Genes encoding an ECF sigma factor of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium avium, and Mycobacterium smegmatis, designated sigE, were cloned and analyzed. Southern blot analysis demonstrated the presence of a single copy of this gene in these species and in Mycobacterium bovis BCG, Mycobacterium leprae, and Mycobacterium fortuitum. Sequence analysis showed the sigE gene to be highly conserved among M. tuberculosis, M. avium, M. smegmatis, and M. leprae. Recombinant M. tuberculosis SigE, when combined with core RNA polymerase from M. smegmatis, reconstituted specific RNA polymerase activity on sigE in vitro, demonstrating that this gene encodes a functional sigma factor. Two in vivo transcription start sites for sigE were also identified in M. smegmatis and M. bovis BCG. Comparison of wild-type M. smegmatis with a sigE mutant strain demonstrated decreased survival of the mutant under conditions of high-temperature heat shock, acidic pH, exposure to detergent, and oxidative stress. An inducible protective response to oxidative stress present in the wild type was absent in the mutant. The mycobacterial SigE protein, although nonessential for viability in vitro, appears to play a role in the ability of these organisms to withstand a variety of stresses.
Project description:Currently, one-third of the world's population is believed to be latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The mechanisms by which M. tuberculosis establishes latent infection remain largely undefined. mprAB encodes a two-component signal transduction system required by M. tuberculosis for aspects of persistent infection. MprAB regulates a large and diverse group of genetic determinants in response to membrane stress, including the extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor sigE and the HtrA-like serine protease pepD. Recent studies have demonstrated that PepD functions as both a protease and chaperone in vitro. In addition, inactivation of pepD alters the virulence of M. tuberculosis in a mouse model system of infection. Here, we demonstrate that PepD plays an important role in the stress response network of Mycobacterium mediated through MprAB and SigE. In particular, we demonstrate that the protease activity of PepD requires the PDZ domain, in addition to the catalytic serine at position 317. pepD expression initiates from at least three promoters in M. tuberculosis, including one that is regulated by SigE and is located upstream of the mprA coding sequence. Deletion of pepD or mprAB in Mycobacterium smegmatis and M. tuberculosis alters the stress response phenotypes of these strains, including increasing sensitivity to SDS and cell wall antibiotics and upregulating the expression of stress-responsive determinants, including sigE. Taking these data together, we hypothesize that PepD utilizes its PDZ domain to recognize and process misfolded proteins at the cell membrane, leading to activation of the MprAB and SigE signaling pathways and subsequent establishment of a positive feedback loop that facilitates bacterial adaptation.
Project description:Extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors are a heterogeneous group of alternative sigma factors that regulate gene expression in response to a variety of conditions, including stress. We previously characterized a mycobacterial ECF sigma factor, SigE, that contributes to survival following several distinct stresses. A gene encoding a closely related sigma factor, sigH, was cloned from Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis. A single copy of this gene is present in these and other fast- and slow-growing mycobacteria, including M. fortuitum and M. avium. While the M. tuberculosis and M. smegmatis sigH genes encode highly similar proteins, there are multiple differences in adjacent genes. The single in vivo transcriptional start site identified in M. smegmatis and one of two identified in M. bovis BCG were found to have -35 promoter sequences that match the ECF-dependent -35 promoter consensus. Expression from these promoters was strongly induced by 50 degrees C heat shock. In comparison to the wild type, an M. smegmatis sigH mutant was found to be more susceptible to cumene hydroperoxide stress but to be similar in logarithmic growth, stationary-phase survival, and survival following several other stresses. Survival of an M. smegmatis sigH sigE double mutant was found to be markedly decreased following 53 degrees C heat shock and following exposure to cumene hydroperoxide. Expression of the second gene in the sigH operon is required for complementation of the sigH stress phenotypes. SigH is an alternative sigma factor that plays a role in the mycobacterial stress response.
Project description:Porphyromonas gingivalis has been implicated as a major pathogen in the development and progression of chronic periodontitis. P. gingivalis biofilm formation in the subgingival crevice plays an important role in the ability of the bacteria to tolerate stress signals outside the cytoplasmic membrane. Some bacteria use a distinct subfamily of sigma factors to regulate their extracytoplasmic functions (the ECF subfamily). The objective of this study was to determine if P. gingivalis ECF sigma factors affect P. gingivalis biofilm formation.To elucidate the role of ECF sigma factors in P. gingivalis, chromosomal mutants carrying a disruption of each ECF sigma factor-encoding gene were constructed. Bacterial growth curves were measured by determining the turbidity of bacterial cultures. The quantity of biofilm growing on plates was evaluated by crystal violet staining.Comparison of the growth curves of wild-type P. gingivalis strain 33277 and the ECF mutants indicated that the growth rate of the mutants was slightly lower than that of the wild-type strain. The PGN_0274- and PGN_1740-defective mutants had increased biofilm formation compared with the wild-type (p < 0.001); however, the other ECF sigma factor mutants or the complemented strains did not enhance biofilm formation.These results suggest that PGN_0274 and PGN_1740 play a key role in biofilm formation by P. gingivalis.
Project description:Pseudomonas putida is a Gram-negative soil bacterium which is well-known for its versatile lifestyle, controlled by a large repertoire of transcriptional regulators. Besides one- and two-component regulatory systems, the genome of P. putida reveals 19 extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors involved in the adaptation to changing environmental conditions. In this study, we demonstrate that knockout of extracytoplasmic function sigma factor ECF-10, encoded by open reading frame PP4553, resulted in 2- to 4-fold increased antibiotic resistance to quinolone, ?-lactam, sulfonamide, and chloramphenicol antibiotics. In addition, the ECF-10 mutant exhibited enhanced formation of biofilms after 24 h of incubation. Transcriptome analysis using Illumina sequencing technology resulted in the detection of 12 genes differentially expressed (>2-fold) in the ECF-10 knockout mutant strain compared to their levels of expression in wild-type cells. Among the upregulated genes were ttgA, ttgB, and ttgC, which code for the major multidrug efflux pump TtgABC in P. putida KT2440. Investigation of an ECF-10 and ttgA double-knockout strain and a ttgABC-overexpressing strain demonstrated the involvement of efflux pump TtgABC in the stress resistance and biofilm formation phenotypes of the ECF-10 mutant strain, indicating a new role for this efflux pump beyond simple antibiotic resistance in P. putida KT2440.
Project description:The genetic mechanisms mediating the adaptation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within the host are poorly understood. The best-characterized regulatory systems in this organism include sigma factors and two-component signal transduction systems. mprAB is a two-component system required by M. tuberculosis for growth in vivo during the persistent stage of infection. In this report, we demonstrate that MprAB is stress responsive and regulates the expression of numerous stress-responsive genes in M. tuberculosis. With DNA microarrays and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR, genes regulated by MprA in M. tuberculosis that included two stress-responsive sigma factors were identified. Response regulator MprA bound to conserved motifs in the upstream regions of both sigB and sigE in vitro and regulated the in vivo expression of sigB and sigE in M. tuberculosis. In addition, mprA itself was induced following exposure to stress, establishing a direct role for this regulatory system in stress response pathways of M. tuberculosis. Induction of mprA and sigE by MprA in response to stress was mediated through the cognate sensor kinase MprB and required expression of the extracytoplasmic loop domain. These results provide the first evidence that recognition of and adaptation to specific stress in M. tuberculosis are mediated through activation of a two-component signal transduction system that directly regulates the expression of stress-responsive determinants.
Project description:Bacteria must sense alterations in their environment and respond with changes in function and/or structure in order to cope. Extracytoplasmic function sigma factors (ECF ?s) modulate transcription in response to cellular and environmental signals. The symbiotic nitrogen-fixing alphaproteobacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti carries genes for 11 ECF-like ?s (RpoE1 to -E10 and FecI). We hypothesized that some of these play a role in mediating the interaction between the bacterium and its plant symbiotic partner. The bacterium senses changes in its immediate environment as it establishes contact with the plant root, initiates invasion of the plant as the root nodule is formed, traverses several root cell layers, and enters plant cortical cells via endocytosis. We used genetics, transcriptomics, and functionality to characterize the entire S. meliloti cohort of ECF ?s. We discovered new targets for individual ?s, confirmed others by overexpressing individual ECF ?s, and identified or confirmed putative promoter motifs for nine of them. We constructed precise deletions of each ECF ? gene and its demonstrated or putative anti-? gene and also a strain in which all 11 ECF ? and anti-? genes were deleted. This all-ECF ? deletion strain showed no major defects in free-living growth, in Biolog Phenotype MicroArray assays, or in response to multiple stresses. None of the ECF ?s were required for symbiosis on the host plants Medicago sativa and Medicago truncatula: the strain deleted for all ECF ? and anti-? genes was symbiotically normal.IMPORTANCE Fixed (reduced) soil nitrogen plays a critical role in soil fertility and successful food growth. Much soil fertility relies on symbiotic nitrogen fixation: the bacterial partner infects the host plant roots and reduces atmospheric dinitrogen in exchange for host metabolic fuel, a process that involves complex interactions between the partners mediated by changes in gene expression in each partner. Here we test the roles of a family of 11 extracytoplasmic function (ECF) gene regulatory proteins (sigma factors [?s]) that interact with RNA polymerase to determine if they play a significant role in establishing a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis or in responding to various stresses, including cell envelope stress. We discovered that symbiotic nitrogen fixation occurs even when all 11 of these regulatory genes are deleted, that most ECF sigma factors control accessory functions, and that none of the ECF sigma factors are required to survive envelope stress.
Project description:Bacillus subtilis harbors seven extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors. At least three ECF sigma factors (sigma(M), sigma(W), and sigma(X)) are induced by, and provide resistance to, antibiotics and other agents eliciting cell envelope stress. Here, we report that ECF sigma factors also contribute to antibiotic production. B. subtilis 168 strains that are lysogenic for the SPbeta bacteriophage produce sublancin, which inhibits the growth of other, nonlysogenic strains. Genetic studies demonstrate that synthesis of sublancin is largely dependent on sigma(X), with a smaller contribution from sigma(M). A sigM sigX double mutant is unable to produce sublancin. This defect is primarily due to the fact that the sublancin biosynthesis is positively activated by the transition state regulator and AbrB paralog Abh, which counteracts transcriptional repression of the sublancin biosynthesis operon by AbrB. Ectopic expression of abh bypasses the requirement for sigma(M) or sigma(X) in sublancin synthesis, as does an abrB mutation. In addition to their major role in regulating sublancin expression by activating abh transcription, sigma(X) and sigma(M) also have a second role as positive regulators of sublancin expression that is independent of AbrB and Abh. Since sublancin resistance in nonlysogens is largely dependent on sigma(W), ECF sigma factors control both sublancin production and resistance.
Project description:PG0162, annotated as an extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor in Porphyromonas gingivalis, is composed of 193 amino acids. As previously reported, the PG0162-deficient mutant, P. gingivalis FLL350 showed significant reduction in gingipain activity compared with the parental strain. Because this ECF sigma factor could be involved in the virulence regulation in P. gingivalis, its genetic properties were further characterized. A 5'-RACE analysis showed that the start of transcription of the PG0162 gene occurred from a guanine (G) residue 69 nucleotides upstream of the ATG translation initiation codon. The function of PG0162 as a sigma factor was confirmed in a run-off in vitro transcription assay using the purified rPG0162 and RNAP core enzyme from Escherichia coli with the PG0162 promoter as template. As an appropriate PG0162 inducing environmental signal is unknown, a strain overexpressing the PG0162 gene designated P. gingivalis FLL391 was created. Compared with the wild-type strain, transcriptome analysis of P. gingivalis FLL391 showed that approximately 24% of the genome displayed altered gene expression (260 upregulated genes; 286 downregulated genes). Two other ECF sigma factors (PG0985 and PG1660) were upregulated more than two-fold. The autoregulation of PG0162 was confirmed with the binding of the rPG0162 protein to the PG0162 promoter in electrophoretic mobility shift assay. In addition, the rPG0162 protein also showed the ability to bind to the promoter region of two genes (PG0521 and PG1167) that were most upregulated in P. gingivalis FLL391. Taken together, our data suggest that PG0162 is a sigma factor that may play an important role in the virulence regulatory network in P. gingivalis.
Project description:Next to the two-component and quorum sensing systems, cell-surface signaling (CSS) has been recently identified as an important regulatory system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. CSS systems sense signals from outside the cell and transmit them into the cytoplasm. They generally consist of a TonB-dependent outer membrane receptor, a sigma factor regulator (or anti-sigma factor) in the cytoplasmic membrane, and an extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor. Upon perception of the extracellular signal by the receptor the ECF sigma factor is activated and promotes the transcription of a specific set of gene(s). Although most P. aeruginosa CSS systems are involved in the regulation of iron uptake, we have identified a novel system involved in the regulation of virulence. This CSS system, which has been designated PUMA3, has a number of unusual characteristics. The most obvious difference is the receptor component which is considerably smaller than that of other CSS outer membrane receptors and lacks a beta-barrel domain. Homology modeling of PA0674 shows that this receptor is predicted to be a bilobal protein, with an N-terminal domain that resembles the N-terminal periplasmic signaling domain of CSS receptors, and a C-terminal domain that resembles the periplasmic C-terminal domains of the TolA/TonB proteins. Furthermore, the sigma factor regulator both inhibits the function of the ECF sigma factor and is required for its activity. By microarray analysis we show that PUMA3 regulates the expression of a number of genes encoding potential virulence factors, including a two-partner secretion (TPS) system. Using zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos as a host we have demonstrated that the P. aeruginosa PUMA3-induced strain is more virulent than the wild-type. PUMA3 represents the first CSS system dedicated to the transcriptional activation of virulence functions in a human pathogen.