Structural and functional analysis of SmeT, the repressor of the Stenotrophomonas maltophilia multidrug efflux pump SmeDEF.
ABSTRACT: Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an opportunistic pathogen characterized for its intrinsic low susceptibility to several antibiotics. Part of this low susceptibility relies on the expression of chromosomally encoded multidrug efflux pumps, with SmeDEF being the most relevant antibiotic resistance efflux pump so far studied in this bacterial species. Expression of smeDEF is down-regulated by the SmeT repressor, encoded upstream smeDEF, in its complementary DNA strand. In the present article we present the crystal structure of SmeT and analyze its interactions with its cognate operator. Like other members of the TetR family of transcriptional repressors, SmeT behaves as a dimer and presents some common structural features with other TetR proteins like TtgR, QacR, and TetR. Differing from other TetR proteins for which the structure is available, SmeT turned out to have two extensions at the N and C termini that might be relevant for its function. Besides, SmeT presents the smallest binding pocket so far described in the TetR family of transcriptional repressors, which may correlate with a specific type and range of effectors. In vitro studies revealed that SmeT binds to a 28-bp pseudopalindromic region, forming two complexes. This operator region was found to overlap the promoters of smeT and smeDEF. This finding is consistent with a role for SmeT simultaneously down-regulating smeT and smeDEF transcription, likely by steric hindrance on RNA polymerase binding to DNA.
Project description:The Pseudomonas aeruginosa nalD gene encodes a TetR family repressor with homology to the SmeT and TtgR repressors of the smeDEF and ttgABC multidrug efflux systems of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Pseudomonas putida, respectively. A sequence upstream of mexAB-oprM and overlapping a second promoter for this efflux system was very similar to the SmeT and TtgR operator sequences, and NalD binding to this region was, in fact, demonstrated. Moreover, increased expression from this promoter was seen in a nalD mutant, consistent with NalD directly controlling mexAB-oprM expression from a second promoter.
Project description:We report on the cloning of the gene smeT, which encodes the transcriptional regulator of the Stenotrophomonas maltophilia efflux pump SmeDEF. SmeT belongs to the TetR and AcrR family of transcriptional regulators. The smeT gene is located upstream from the structural operon of the pump genes smeDEF and is divergently transcribed from those genes. Experiments with S. maltophilia and the heterologous host Escherichia coli have demonstrated that SmeT is a transcriptional repressor. S1 nuclease mapping has demonstrated that expression of smeT is driven by a single promoter lying close to the 5' end of the gene and that expression of smeDEF is driven by an unique promoter that overlaps with promoter PSMET: The level of expression of smeT is higher in smeDEF-overproducing S. maltophilia strain D457R, which suggests that SmeT represses its own expression. Band-shifting assays have shown that wild-type strain S. maltophilia D457 contains a cellular factor(s) capable of binding to the intergenic smeT-smeD region. That cellular factor(s) was absent from smeDEF-overproducing S. maltophilia strain D457R. The sequence of smeT from D457R showed a point mutation that led to a Leu166Gln change within the SmeT protein. This change allowed overexpression of both smeDEF and smeT in D457R. It was noteworthy that expression of wild-type SmeT did not fully complement the smeT mutation in D457R. This suggests that the wild-type protein is not dominant over the mutant SmeT.
Project description:The wide utilization of biocides poses a concern on the impact of these compounds on natural bacterial populations. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that biocides can select, at least in laboratory experiments, antibiotic resistant bacteria. This situation has raised concerns, not just on scientists and clinicians, but also on regulatory agencies, which are demanding studies on the impact that the utilization of biocides may have on the development on resistance and consequently on the treatment of infectious diseases and on human health. In the present article, we explored the possibility that the widely used biocide triclosan might induce antibiotic resistance using as a model the opportunistic pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Biochemical, functional and structural studies were performed, focusing on SmeDEF, the most relevant antibiotic- and triclosan-removing multidrug efflux pump of S. maltophilia. Expression of smeDEF is regulated by the repressor SmeT. Triclosan released SmeT from its operator and induces the expression of smeDEF, thus reducing the susceptibility of S. maltophilia to antibiotics in the presence of the biocide. The structure of SmeT bound to triclosan is described. Two molecules of triclosan were found to bind to one subunit of the SmeT homodimer. The binding of the biocide stabilizes the N terminal domain of both subunits in a conformation unable to bind DNA. To our knowledge this is the first crystal structure obtained for a transcriptional regulator bound to triclosan. This work provides the molecular basis for understanding the mechanisms allowing the induction of phenotypic resistance to antibiotics by triclosan.
Project description:The SmeDEF pump of <i>Stenotrophomonas maltophilia</i> is negatively regulated by SmeT. In this study, strains KJ?T (<i>smeT</i> deletion mutant) and KJT-D<sup>m</sup> (mutant with a defective SmeT-binding site) showed increased resistance to chloramphenicol/nalidixic acid/macrolides and susceptibility to aminoglycoside. Overexpression of the SmeDEF pump, in either KJ?T or KJT-D<sup>m</sup>, downregulated <i>smeYZ</i> expression, which is responsible for the reduced aminoglycoside resistance. Furthermore, the SmeRySy two-component regulatory system was downregulated in response to SmeDEF overexpression, which supports its involvement in the regulatory circuit.
Project description:Co-trimoxazole is one of the antimicrobials of choice for treating Stenotrophomonas maltophilia infections. Most works on the molecular epidemiology of the resistance to this drug combination are based on the analysis of sul genes. Nevertheless, the existence of clinical co-trimoxazole-resistant S. maltophilia isolates that do not harbor sul genes has been reported. To investigate potential mutations that can reduce the susceptibility of S. maltophilia to co-trimoxazole, spontaneous S. maltophilia co-trimoxazole-resistant mutants isolated under different co-trimoxazole concentrations were studied. All mutants presented phenotypes compatible with the overexpression of either SmeVWX (94.6%) or SmeDEF (5.4%). Indeed, the analysis of a selected set of strains showed that the overexpression of either of these efflux pumps, which was due to mutations in their regulators smeRv and smeT, respectively, was the cause of co-trimoxazole resistance. No other efflux pump was overexpressed in any of the studied mutants, indicating that they do not participate in the observed resistance phenotype. The analysis of mutants overexpressing or lacking SmeDEF or SmeVWX shows that SmeDEF contributes to the intrinsic and acquired resistance to co-trimoxazole in S. maltophilia, whereas SmeVWX only contributes to acquired resistance. It is important to highlight that all mutants were less susceptible to other antibiotics, including chloramphenicol and quinolones. Since both SmeVWX and SmeDEF are major determinants of quinolone resistance, the potential cross-selection of resistance to co-trimoxazole and quinolones, when either of the antimicrobials is used, is of particular concern for the treatment of S. maltophilia infections.
Project description:We have developed a general profile for the proteins of the TetR family of repressors. The stretch that best defines the profile of this family is made up of 47 amino acid residues that correspond to the helix-turn-helix DNA binding motif and adjacent regions in the three-dimensional structures of TetR, QacR, CprB, and EthR, four family members for which the function and three-dimensional structure are known. We have detected a set of 2,353 nonredundant proteins belonging to this family by screening genome and protein databases with the TetR profile. Proteins of the TetR family have been found in 115 genera of gram-positive, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-proteobacteria, cyanobacteria, and archaea. The set of genes they regulate is known for 85 out of the 2,353 members of the family. These proteins are involved in the transcriptional control of multidrug efflux pumps, pathways for the biosynthesis of antibiotics, response to osmotic stress and toxic chemicals, control of catabolic pathways, differentiation processes, and pathogenicity. The regulatory network in which the family member is involved can be simple, as in TetR (i.e., TetR bound to the target operator represses tetA transcription and is released in the presence of tetracycline), or more complex, involving a series of regulatory cascades in which either the expression of the TetR family member is modulated by another regulator or the TetR family member triggers a cell response to react to environmental insults. Based on what has been learned from the cocrystals of TetR and QacR with their target operators and from their three-dimensional structures in the absence and in the presence of ligands, and based on multialignment analyses of the conserved stretch of 47 amino acids in the 2,353 TetR family members, two groups of residues have been identified. One group includes highly conserved positions involved in the proper orientation of the helix-turn-helix motif and hence seems to play a structural role. The other set of less conserved residues are involved in establishing contacts with the phosphate backbone and target bases in the operator. Information related to the TetR family of regulators has been updated in a database that can be accessed at www.bactregulators.org.
Project description:PfmR is one of four TetR family transcriptional regulators found in the extremely thermophilic bacterium, Thermus thermophilus HB8. We identified three promoters with strong negative regulation by PfmR, both in vivo and in vitro. PfmR binds pseudopalindromic sequences, with the consensus sequence of 5'-TACCGACCGNTNGGTN-3' surrounding the promoters. According to the amino acid sequence and three-dimensional structure analyses of the PfmR-regulated gene products, they are predicted to be involved in phenylacetic acid and fatty acid metabolism. In vitro analyses revealed that PfmR weakly cross-regulated with the TetR family repressor T. thermophilus PaaR, which controls the expression of the paa gene cluster putatively involved in phenylacetic acid degradation but not with another functionally identified TetR family repressor, T. thermophilus FadR, which is involved in fatty acid degradation. The X-ray crystal structure of the N-terminal DNA-binding domain of PfmR and the nucleotide sequence of the predicted PfmR-binding site are quite similar to those of the TetR family repressor QacR from Staphylococcus aureus. Similar to QacR, two PfmR dimers bound per target DNA. The bases recognized by QacR within the QacR-binding site are conserved in the predicted PfmR-binding site, and they were important for PfmR to recognize the binding site and properly assemble on it. The center of the PfmR molecule contains a tunnel-like pocket, which may be the ligand-binding site of this regulator.
Project description:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an emerging nosocomial pathogen that displays high-level intrinsic resistance to a variety of structurally unrelated antimicrobial agents. Efflux mechanisms are known to contribute to acquired multidrug resistance in this organism, and indeed, one such multidrug efflux system, SmeDEF, was recently identified. Still, the importance of SmeDEF to intrinsic antibiotic resistance in S. maltophilia had not yet been determined. Reverse transcription-PCR confirmed expression of the smeDEF genes in wild-type S. maltophilia, and deletion of smeE or smeF in wild-type strains rendered the mutants hypersusceptible to several antimicrobials, suggesting that SmeDEF contributes to intrinsic antimicrobial resistance in this organism. Expression of smeDEF was also enhanced in an in vitro-selected multidrug-resistant mutant, although deletion of smeF but not of smeE in these mutants compromised antimicrobial resistance. Apparently, hyperexpressed SmeF is capable of functioning with additional multidrug efflux components to promote multidrug resistance in S. maltophilia.
Project description:The Staphylococcus aureus multidrug-binding protein QacR represses transcription of the qacA multidrug transporter gene and is induced by multiple structurally dissimilar drugs. QacR is a member of the TetR/CamR family of transcriptional regulators, which share highly homologous N-terminal DNA-binding domains connected to seemingly non-homologous ligand-binding domains. Unlike other TetR members, which bind approximately 15 bp operators, QacR recognizes an unusually long 28 bp operator, IR1, which it appears to bind cooperatively. To elucidate the DNA-binding mechanism of QacR, we determined the 2.90 A resolution crystal structure of a QacR-IR1 complex. Strikingly, our data reveal that the DNA recognition mode of QacR is distinct from TetR and involves the binding of a pair of QacR dimers. In this unique binding mode, recognition at each IR1 half-site is mediated by a complement of DNA contacts made by two helix-turn-helix motifs. The inferred cooperativity does not arise from cross-dimer protein-protein contacts, but from the global undertwisting and major groove widening elicited by the binding of two QacR dimers.
Project description:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, a nonfermenting Gram-negative rod, is frequently isolated from the environment and is emerging as a multidrug-resistant global opportunistic pathogen. S. maltophilia harbors eight RND-type efflux pumps that contribute to multidrug resistance and physiological functions. Among the eight efflux pumps, SmeYZ pump is constitutively highly expressed. In our previous study, we demonstrated that loss-of-function of the SmeYZ pump results in pleiotropic phenotypes, including abolished swimming motility, decreased secreted protease activity, and compromised tolerance to oxidative stress and antibiotics. In this study, we attempted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms responsible for <i>ΔsmeYZ</i>-mediated pleiotropic phenotypes. RNA-seq transcriptome analysis and subsequent confirmation with qRT-PCR revealed that <i>smeYZ</i> mutant experienced an iron starvation response because the genes involved in the synthesis and uptake of stenobactin, the sole siderophore of S. maltophilia, were significantly upregulated. We further verified that <i>smeYZ</i> mutant had low intracellular iron levels via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Also, KJΔYZ was more sensitive to 2,2'-dipyridyl (DIP), a ferrous iron chelator, in comparison with the wild type. The contribution of SmeYZ, SmeDEF, and SbiAB pumps to stenobactin secretion was suggested by qRT-PCR and further verified by Chrome Azurol S (CAS) activity, iron source utilization, and cell viability assays. We also demonstrated that loss-of-function of SmeYZ led to the compensatory upregulation of SbiAB and SmeDEF pumps for stenobactin secretion. The overexpression of the SbiAB pump resulted in a reduction in intracellular iron levels, which may be the key factor responsible for the <i>ΔsmeYZ</i>-mediated pleiotropic phenotypes, except for antibiotic extrusion. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> Efflux pumps display high efficiency of drug extrusion, which underlies their roles in multidrug resistance. In addition, efflux pumps have physiological functions, and their expression is tightly regulated by various environmental and physiological signals. Functional redundancy of efflux pumps is commonly observed, and mutual regulation occurs among these functionally redundant pumps in a bacterium. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an opportunistic pathogen that shows intrinsic multi-drug resistance. In this study, we demonstrated that SmeYZ, SbiAB, and SmeDEF efflux pumps of S. maltophilia display functional redundancy in siderophore secretion. Inactivation of <i>smeYZ</i> led to the upregulation of <i>smeDEF</i> and <i>sbiAB</i>. Unexpectedly, <i>sbiAB</i> overexpression resulted in the reduction of intracellular iron levels, which led to pleiotropic defects in <i>smeYZ</i> mutant. This study demonstrates a previously unidentified connection between efflux pumps, siderophore secretion, and intracellular iron levels in S. maltophilia.