Genome features of Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni.
ABSTRACT: We report novel features of the genome sequence of Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni, a highly invasive spirochete. Leptospira species colonize a significant proportion of rodent populations worldwide and produce life-threatening infections in mammals. Genomic sequence analysis reveals the presence of a competent transport system with 13 families of genes encoding for major transporters including a three-member component efflux system compatible with the long-term survival of this organism. The leptospiral genome contains a broad array of genes encoding regulatory system, signal transduction and methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins, reflecting the organism's ability to respond to diverse environmental stimuli. The identification of a complete set of genes encoding the enzymes for the cobalamin biosynthetic pathway and the novel coding genes related to lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis should bring new light to the study of Leptospira physiology. Genes related to toxins, lipoproteins and several surface-exposed proteins may facilitate a better understanding of the Leptospira pathogenesis and may serve as potential candidates for vaccine.
Project description:Bacteria activate a regulatory network in response to the challenges imposed by DNA damage to genetic material, known as the SOS response. This system is regulated by the RecA recombinase and by the transcriptional repressor lexA. Leptospira interrogans is a pathogen capable of surviving in the environment for weeks, being exposed to a great variety of stress agents and yet retaining its ability to infect the host. This study aims to investigate the behavior of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni after the stress induced by DNA damage. We show that L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni genome contains two genes encoding putative LexA proteins (lexA1 and lexA2) one of them being potentially acquired by lateral gene transfer. Both genes are induced after DNA damage, but the steady state levels of both LexA proteins drop, probably due to auto-proteolytic activity triggered in this condition. In addition, seven other genes were up-regulated following UV-C irradiation, recA, recN, dinP, and four genes encoding hypothetical proteins. This set of genes is potentially regulated by LexA1, as it showed binding to their promoter regions. All these regions contain degenerated sequences in relation to the previously described SOS box, TTTGN 5CAAA. On the other hand, LexA2 was able to bind to the palindrome TTGTAN10TACAA, found in its own promoter region, but not in the others. Therefore, the L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni SOS regulon may be even more complex, as a result of LexA1 and LexA2 binding to divergent motifs. New possibilities for DNA damage response in Leptospira are expected, with potential influence in other biological responses such as virulence.
Project description:Leptospira species colonize a significant proportion of rodent populations worldwide and produce life-threatening infections in accidental hosts, including humans. Complete genome sequencing of Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni and comparative analysis with the available Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai genome reveal that despite overall genetic similarity there are significant structural differences, including a large chromosomal inversion and extensive variation in the number and distribution of insertion sequence elements. Genome sequence analysis elucidates many of the novel aspects of leptospiral physiology relating to energy metabolism, oxygen tolerance, two-component signal transduction systems, and mechanisms of pathogenesis. A broad array of transcriptional regulation proteins and two new families of afimbrial adhesins which contribute to host tissue colonization in the early steps of infection were identified. Differences in genes involved in the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide O side chains between the Copenhageni and Lai serovars were identified, offering an important starting point for the elucidation of the organism's complex polysaccharide surface antigens. Differences in adhesins and in lipopolysaccharide might be associated with the adaptation of serovars Copenhageni and Lai to different animal hosts. Hundreds of genes encoding surface-exposed lipoproteins and transmembrane outer membrane proteins were identified as candidates for development of vaccines for the prevention of leptospirosis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is a world-widely distributed zoonosis. Humans become infected via exposure to pathogenic Leptospira spp. from contaminated water or soil. The availability of genomic sequences of Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai and serovar Copenhageni opened up opportunities to identify genetic diversity among different pathogenic strains of L. interrogans representing various kinds of serotypes (serogroups and serovars). RESULTS: Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis was used to compare the gene content of L. interrogans serovar Lai strain Lai with that of other 10 L. interrogans strains prevailed in China and one identified from Brazil using a microarray spotted with 3,528 protein coding sequences (CDSs) of strain Lai. The cutoff ratio of sample/reference (S/R) hybridization for detecting the absence of genes from one tested strain was set by comparing the ratio of S/R hybridization and the in silico sequence similarities of strain Lai and serovar Copenhageni strain Fiocruz L1-130. Among the 11 strains tested, 275 CDSs were found absent from at least one strain. The common backbone of the L. interrogans genome was estimated to contain about 2,917 CDSs. The genes encoding fundamental cellular functions such as translation, energy production and conversion were conserved. While strain-specific genes include those that encode proteins related to either cell surface structures or carbohydrate transport and metabolism. We also found two genomic islands (GIs) in strain Lai containing genes divergently absent in other strains. Because genes encoding proteins with potential pathogenic functions are located within GIs, these elements might contribute to the variations in disease manifestation. Differences in genes involved in O-antigen biosynthesis were also identified for strains belonging to different serogroups, which offers an opportunity for future development of genomic typing tools for serological classification. CONCLUSION: CGH analyses for pathogenic leptospiral strains prevailed in China against the L. interrogans serovar Lai strain Lai CDS-spotted microarrays revealed 2,917 common backbone CDSs and strain specific genes encoding proteins mainly related to cell surface structures and carbohydrated transport/metabolism. Of the 275 CDSs considered absent from at least one of the L. interrogans strains tested, most of them were clustered in the rfb gene cluster and two putative genomic islands (GI A and B) in strain Lai. The strain-specific genes detected via this work will provide a knowledge base for further investigating the pathogenesis of L interrogans and/or for the development of effective vaccines and/or diagnostic tools.
Project description:A new repetitive DNA element was identified in an isolate of Leptospira interrogans serovar copenhageni from a patient in Salvador, Brazil. A Sau3A genomic library from this strain was constructed and screened for repetitive DNA elements. An insert of 438 bp (Rep1) from one library clone hybridized to multiple chromosomal DNA fragments resolved electrophoretically after digestion with BamHI, HindIII, and MfeI. A single oligonucleotide primer, designated iRepl, was designed to generate multiple PCR amplicons of various electrophoretic mobilities in a PCR typing method. The method distinguished strains belonging to the eight pathogenic and three saprophytic species of the genus Leptospira. Clinical isolates obtained during urban epidemics between 1996 and 1998 in Salvador, Brazil, were analyzed by this PCR method. Although the iRep1 primer was unable to discriminate strains among L. interrogans serovar copenhageni isolates, it was able to differentiate strains belonging to different species and serogroups of Leptospira identified in Salvador. This PCR-based method may provide a faster and less expensive alternative to serologic tests used in reference laboratories.
Project description:Transmission of pathogenic Leptospira between mammalian hosts usually involves dissemination via soil or water contaminated by the urine of carrier animals. The ability of Leptospira to adapt to the diverse conditions found inside and outside the host is reflected in its relatively large genome size and high percentage of signal transduction genes. An exception is Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo, which is transmitted by direct contact and appears to have lost genes necessary for survival outside the mammalian host. Invasion of host tissues by Leptospira interrogans involves a transition from a low osmolar environment outside the host to a higher physiologic osmolar environment within the host. Expression of the lipoprotein LigA and LigB adhesins is strongly induced by an upshift in osmolarity to the level found in mammalian host tissues. These data suggest that Leptospira utilizes changes in osmolarity to regulate virulence characteristics. To better understand how L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni adapts to osmolar conditions that correspond with invasion of a mammalian host, we quantified alterations in transcript levels using whole-genome microarrays. Overnight exposure in leptospiral culture medium supplemented with sodium chloride to physiologic osmolarity significantly altered the transcript levels of 6% of L. interrogans genes. Repressed genes were significantly more likely to be absent or pseudogenes in L. borgpetersenii, suggesting that osmolarity is relevant in studying the adaptation of L. interrogans to host conditions. Genes induced by physiologic osmolarity encoded a higher than expected number of proteins involved in signal transduction. Further, genes predicted to encode lipoproteins and those coregulated by temperature were overrepresented among both salt-induced and salt-repressed genes. In contrast, leptospiral homologues of hyperosmotic or general stress genes were not induced at physiologic osmolarity. These findings suggest that physiologic osmolarity is an important signal for regulation of gene expression by pathogenic leptospires during transition from ambient conditions to the host tissue environment.
Project description:Leptospiral 16S rRNA genes were detected in 13 blood samples from 74 febrile patients in north-central Bangladesh, and their sequences phylogenetically clustered with those of Leptospira interrogans or Leptospira wolffii. Genetic diversity in O-antigen polymerase (wzy) was found in an L. interrogans sample.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by pathogenic species of Leptospira In Brazil, this disease is endemic, presenting epidemic potential in rainy seasons. Here, we announce the whole-genome sequences of two L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni strains isolated from blood samples from two icteric patients associated with severe leptospirosis in Brazil.
Project description:Here, we present the complete genome sequence of a highly virulent Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni strain isolated from a dog with severe leptospirosis. In this work, a gapless genome draft was assembled with a combination of Nanopore and Illumina data of relatively low coverage.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Leptospirosis, a re-emerging disease of global importance caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp., is considered the world's most widespread zoonotic disease. Rats serve as asymptomatic carriers of pathogenic Leptospira and are critical for disease spread. In such reservoir hosts, leptospires colonize the kidney, are shed in the urine, persist in fresh water and gain access to a new mammalian host through breaches in the skin.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Previous studies have provided evidence for post-translational modification (PTM) of leptospiral proteins. In the current study, we used proteomic analyses to determine the presence of PTMs on the highly abundant leptospiral protein, LipL32, from rat urine-isolated L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni compared to in vitro-grown organisms. We observed either acetylation or tri-methylation of lysine residues within multiple LipL32 peptides, including peptides corresponding to regions of LipL32 previously identified as epitopes. Intriguingly, the PTMs were unique to the LipL32 peptides originating from in vivo relative to in vitro grown leptospires. The identity of each modified lysine residue was confirmed by fragmentation pattern analysis of the peptide mass spectra. A synthetic peptide containing an identified tri-methylated lysine, which corresponds to a previously identified LipL32 epitope, demonstrated significantly reduced immunoreactivity with serum collected from leptospirosis patients compared to the peptide version lacking the tri-methylation. Further, a subset of the identified PTMs are in close proximity to the established calcium-binding and putative collagen-binding sites that have been identified within LipL32.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The exclusive detection of PTMs on lysine residues within LipL32 from in vivo-isolated L. interrogans implies that infection-generated modification of leptospiral proteins may have a biologically relevant function during the course of infection. Although definitive determination of the role of these PTMs must await further investigations, the reduced immune recognition of a modified LipL32 epitope suggests the intriguing possibility that LipL32 modification represents a novel mechanism of immune evasion within Leptospira.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic and neglected infectious disease of human and veterinary concern that is caused by pathogenic Leptospira species. After entrance in the host, pathogenic leptospires evade the host natural defense mechanisms in order to propagate and disseminate to multiple organs. Myeloperoxidase is an enzyme stored in neutrophils azurophilic granules, and is released upon neutrophil activation to produce mainly hypochlorous acid, a strong oxidant and potent antimicrobial agent. In the present investigation, we studied the modulation of myeloperoxidase activity by L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni. We show that leptospires and their culture supernatants are able to inhibit both peroxidase and chlorination activities of myeloperoxidase, without interfering with neutrophil degranulation. By leptospiral outer membrane protein extraction and fractionation, we identified the proteins LipL21 and LipL45 as myeloperoxidase inhibitors, constituting new Leptospira virulence factors. Accordingly, we propose a function for the protein LipL21, one of the most expressed leptospiral outer membrane proteins. Our results show a novel innate immune evasion mechanism by which leptospires interfere with the host response in order to cope with the host oxidative stress and efficiently achieve dissemination and colonization.