Genome-wide analysis of the PreA/PreB (QseB/QseC) regulon of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.
ABSTRACT: The Salmonella PreA/PreB two-component system (TCS) is an ortholog of the QseBC TCS of Escherichia coli. In both Salmonella and E. coli, this system has been shown to affect motility and virulence in response to quorum-sensing and hormonal signals, and to affect the transcription of the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) pmrAB operon, which encodes an important virulence-associated TCS.To determine the PreA/PreB regulon in S. Typhimurium, we performed DNA microarrays comparing the wild type strain and various preA and/or preB mutants in the presence of ectopically expressed preA (qseB). These data confirmed our previous findings of the negative effect of PreB on PreA gene regulation and identified candidate PreA-regulated genes. A proportion of the activated loci were previously identified as PmrA-activated genes (yibD, pmrAB, cptA, etc.) or were genes located in the local region around preA, including the preAB operon. The transcriptional units were defined in this local region by RT-PCR, suggesting three PreA activated operons composed of preA-preB, mdaB-ygiN, and ygiW-STM3175. Several putative virulence-related phenotypes were examined for preAB mutants, resulting in the observation of a host cell invasion and slight virulence defect of a preAB mutant. Contrary to previous reports on this TCS, we were unable to show a PreA/PreB-dependent effect of the quorum-sensing signal AI-2 or of epinephrine on S. Typhimurium with regard to bacterial motility.This work further characterizes this unorthadox OmpR/EnvZ class TCS and provides novel candidate regulated genes for further study. This first in-depth study of the PreA/PreB regulatory system phenotypes and regulation suggests significant comparative differences to the reported function of the orthologous QseB/QseC in E. coli.
Project description:Bacterial two-component systems (TCSs) mediate specific responses to distinct conditions and/or stresses. TCS interactions are highly specific between cognate partners to avoid unintended cross-talk. Although cross-talk between a sensor kinase and a noncognate response regulator has been previously demonstrated, the majority of reported interactions have not been robust. Here, we report that in the case of the quorum-sensing Escherichia coli (Qse)BC TCS, absence of the cognate sensor QseC leads to robust, constitutive activation of the QseB response regulator by the noncognate polymyxin resistance (Pmr) sensor kinase PmrB. Remarkably, the noncognate PmrB exhibits a kinetic preference for QseB that is similar to QseC. However, although PmrB readily phosphorylates QseB in vitro, it is significantly less efficient at dephosphorylating QseB, compared with QseC, thereby explaining the increased levels of active QseB in the qseC mutant. In addition to PmrB activating QseB on the protein level, we found that the PmrA response regulator contributes to qseB transcription in the absence of QseC and PmrA specifically binds the qseBC promoter, indicative of a direct regulation of qseBC gene transcription by PmrAB under physiological conditions. Addition of ferric iron in the growth medium of wild-type uropathogenic E. coli induced the expression of qseBC in a PmrB-dependent manner. Taken together, our findings suggest that (i) robust cross-talk between noncognate partners is possible and (ii) this interaction can be manipulated for the development of antivirulence strategies aimed at targeting uropathogenic Escherichia coli and potentially other QseBC-PmrAB-bearing pathogens.
Project description:The QseBC two-component system (TCS) is associated with quorum sensing and functions as a global regulator of virulence. Based on sequence similarity within the sensor domain and conservation of an acidic motif essential for signal recognition, QseBC is primarily distributed in the Enterobacteriaceae and Pasteurellaceae. In Escherichia coli, QseC responds to autoinducer-3 and/or epinephrine/norepinephrine. Binding of epinephrine/norepinephrine is inhibited by adrenergic antagonists; hence QseC functions as a bacterial adrenergic receptor. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans QseC is activated by a combination of epinephrine/norepinephrine and iron, whereas only iron activates the Haemophilus influenzae sensor. QseC phosphorylates QseB but there is growing evidence that QseB is activated by non-cognate sensors and regulated by dephosphorylation via QseC. Interestingly, the QseBC signaling cascades and regulons differ significantly. In enterohemorrhagic E. coli, QseC induces expression of a second adrenergic TCS and phosphorylates two non-cognate response regulators, each of which induces specific sets of virulence genes. This signaling pathway integrates with other regulatory mechanisms mediated by transcriptional regulators QseA and QseD and a fucose-sensing TCS and likely controls the level and timing of virulence gene expression. In contrast, A. actinomycetemcomitans QseC signals through QseB to regulate genes involved in anaerobic metabolism and energy production, which may prime cellular metabolism for growth in an anaerobic host niche. QseC represents a novel target for therapeutic intervention and small molecule inhibitors already show promise as broad-spectrum antimicrobials. Further characterization of QseBC signaling may identify additional differences in QseBC function and inform further development of new therapeutics to control microbial infections.
Project description:The QseC sensor kinase regulates virulence in multiple Gram-negative pathogens, by controlling the activity of the QseB response regulator. We have previously shown that qseC deletion interferes with dephosphorylation of QseB thus unleashing what appears to be an uncontrolled positive feedback loop stimulating increased QseB levels. Deletion of QseC downregulates virulence gene expression and attenuates enterohaemorrhagic and uropathogenic Escherichia coli (EHEC and UPEC), Salmonella typhimurium, and Francisella tularensis. Given that these pathogens employ different infection strategies and virulence factors, we used genome-wide approaches to better understand the role of the QseBC interplay in pathogenesis. We found that deletion of qseC results in misregulation of nucleotide, amino acid, and carbon metabolism. Comparable metabolic changes are seen in EHEC ?qseC, suggesting that deletion of qseC confers similar pleiotropic effects in these two different pathogens. Disruption of representative metabolic enzymes phenocopied UPEC ?qseC in vivo and resulted in virulence factor downregulation. We thus propose that in the absence of QseC, the constitutively active QseB leads to pleiotropic effects, impairing bacterial metabolism, and thereby attenuating virulence. These findings provide a basis for the development of antimicrobials targeting the phosphatase activity of QseC, as a means to attenuate a wide range of QseC-bearing pathogens.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The PmrAB (BasSR) two-component regulatory system is required for Salmonella typhimurium virulence. PmrAB-controlled modifications of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) layer confer resistance to cationic antibiotic polypeptides, which may allow bacteria to survive within macrophages. The PmrAB system also confers resistance to Fe3+-mediated killing. New targets of the system have recently been discovered that seem not to have a role in the well-described functions of PmrAB, suggesting that the PmrAB-dependent regulon might contain additional, unidentified targets. RESULTS: We performed an in silico analysis of possible targets of the PmrAB system. Using a motif model of the PmrA binding site in DNA, genome-wide screening was carried out to detect PmrAB target genes. To increase confidence in the predictions, all putative targets were subjected to a cross-species comparison (phylogenetic footprinting) using a Gibbs sampling-based motif-detection procedure. As well as the known targets, we detected additional targets with unknown functions. Four of these were experimentally validated (yibD, aroQ, mig-13 and sseJ). Site-directed mutagenesis of the PmrA-binding site (PmrA box) in yibD revealed specific sequence requirements. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated the efficiency of our procedure by recovering most of the known PmrAB-dependent targets and by identifying unknown targets that we were able to validate experimentally. We also pinpointed directions for further research that could help elucidate the S. typhimurium virulence pathway.
Project description:Comparisons of overexpression of PreA (in wt or preAB mutant Salmonella) to Salmonella lacking preA or preAB in late log phase growth in LB Overall design: preA was externally supplied to wt or preAB mutant Salmonella typhimurium on a pBAD18 plasmid, which was then induced by 10mM arabinose and grown to late log phase (OD0.74). Transcription profiles were compared with those obtained from preA or preAB mutant Salmonella harboring pBAD18 only as vector control.
Project description:Bacteria use two-component systems (TCSs) to react appropriately to environmental stimuli. Typical TCSs comprise a sensor histidine kinase that acts as a receptor coupled to a partner response regulator that coordinates changes in bacterial behavior, often through its activity as a transcriptional regulator. TCS interactions are typically confined to cognate pairs of histidine kinases and response regulators. We describe two distinct TCSs in uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) that interact to mediate a response to ferric iron. The PmrAB and QseBC TCSs were both required for proper transcriptional response to ferric iron. Ferric iron induced the histidine kinase PmrB to phosphotransfer to both its cognate response regulator PmrA and the noncognate response regulator QseB, leading to transcriptional responses coordinated by both regulators. Pretreatment of the UPEC strain UTI89 with ferric iron led to increased resistance to polymyxin B that required both PmrA and QseB. Similarly, pretreatment of several UPEC isolates with ferric iron increased tolerance to polymyxin B. This study defines physiologically relevant cross talk between TCSs in a bacterial pathogen and provides a potential mechanism for antibiotic resistance of some strains of UPEC.
Project description:Antimicrobial cationic peptides are a host defense mechanism of many animal species including mammals, insects, and amphibians. Salmonella typhimurium is an enteric and intracellular pathogen that interacts with antimicrobial peptides within neutrophil and macrophage phagosomes and at intestinal mucosal surfaces. The Salmonella spp. virulence regulators, PhoP and PhoQ, activate the transcription of genes (pag) within macrophage phagosomes necessary for resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides. One PhoP-activated gene, pagB, forms an operon with pmrAB (5' pagB-pmrA-pmrB 3'), a two-component regulatory system involved in resistance to the antimicrobial peptides polymyxin, azurocidin (CAP37), bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI or CAP57), protamine, and polylysine. Expression of pmrAB increased transcription of pagB-pmrAB by activation of a promoter 5' to pagB. pmrAB is also expressed from a second promoter, not regulated by PhoP-PhoQ or PmrA-PmrB, located within the pagB coding sequence. S. typhimurium strains with increased pag locus expression were demonstrated to be polymyxin resistant because of induction of pagB-pmrAB; however, PmrA-PmrB was not responsible for the increased sensitivity of PhoP-null mutants to NP-1 defensin. Therefore, PhoP regulates at least two separate networks of genes responsible for cationic antimicrobial peptide resistance. These data suggest that resistance to the polymyxin-CAP family is controlled by a cascade of regulatory protein expression that activates transcription upon environmental sensing.
Project description:Quorum sensing is a phenomenon in which bacteria sense and respond to their own population density by releasing and sensing pheromones. In gram-negative bacteria, quorum sensing is often performed by the LuxR family of transcriptional regulators, which affect phenotypes as diverse as conjugation, bioluminescence, and virulence gene expression. The gene encoding one LuxR family member, named sdiA (suppressor of cell division inhibition), is present in the Escherichia coli genome. In this report, we have cloned the Salmonella typhimurium homolog of SdiA and performed a systematic screen for sdiA-regulated genes. A 4.4-kb fragment encoding the S. typhimurium sdiA gene was sequenced and found to encode the 3' end of YecC (homologous to amino acid transporters of the ABC family), all of SdiA and SirA (Salmonella invasion regulator), and the 5' end of UvrC. This gene organization is conserved between E. coli and S. typhimurium. We determined that the S. typhimurium sdiA gene was able to weakly complement the E. coli sdiA gene for activation of ftsQAZ at promoter 2 and for suppression of filamentation caused by an ftsZ(Ts) allele. To better understand the function of sdiA in S. typhimurium, we screened 10,000 random lacZY transcriptional fusions (MudJ transposon mutations) for regulation by sdiA. Ten positively regulated fusions were isolated. Seven of the fusions were within an apparent operon containing ORF8, ORF9, rck (resistance to complement killing), and ORF11 of the S. typhimurium virulence plasmid. The three ORFs have now been named srgA, srgB, and srgC (for sdiA-regulated gene), respectively. The DNA sequence adjacent to the remaining three fusions shared no similarity with previously described genes.
Project description:Comparisons of overexpression of PreA (in wt or preAB mutant Salmonella) to Salmonella lacking preA or preAB in late log phase growth in LB preA was externally supplied to wt or preAB mutant Salmonella typhimurium on a pBAD18 plasmid, which was then induced by 10mM arabinose and grown to late log phase (OD0.74). Transcription profiles were compared with those obtained from preA or preAB mutant Salmonella harboring pBAD18 only as vector control.
Project description:The Enterobacter cloacae complex (ECC) consists of closely related bacteria commonly associated with the human microbiota. ECC are increasingly isolated from healthcare-associated infections, demonstrating that these Enterobacteriaceae are emerging nosocomial pathogens. ECC can rapidly acquire multidrug resistance to conventional antibiotics. Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) have served as therapeutic alternatives because they target the highly conserved lipid A component of the Gram-negative outer membrane. Many Enterobacteriaceae fortify their outer membrane with cationic amine-containing moieties to prevent CAMP binding, which can lead to cell lysis. The PmrAB two-component system (TCS) directly activates 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-arabinose (l-Ara4N) biosynthesis to result in cationic amine moiety addition to lipid A in many Enterobacteriaceae such as E. coli and Salmonella. In contrast, PmrAB is dispensable for CAMP resistance in E. cloacae. Interestingly, some ECC clusters exhibit colistin heteroresistance, where a subpopulation of cells exhibit clinically significant resistance levels compared to the majority population. We demonstrate that E. cloacae lipid A is modified with l-Ara4N to induce CAMP heteroresistance and the regulatory mechanism is independent of the PmrABEcl TCS. Instead, PhoPEcl binds to the arnBEcl promoter to induce l-Ara4N biosynthesis and PmrAB-independent addition to the lipid A disaccharolipid. Therefore, PhoPQEcl contributes to regulation of CAMP heteroresistance in some ECC clusters.