A DNA-binding peroxiredoxin of Coxiella burnetii is involved in countering oxidative stress during exponential-phase growth.
ABSTRACT: Coxiella burnetii is a Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen that resides within the harsh, acidic confines of a lysosome-like compartment of the host cell that is termed a parasitophorous vacuole. In this study, we characterized a thiol-specific peroxidase of C. burnetii that belongs to the atypical 2-cysteine subfamily of peroxiredoxins, commonly referred to as bacterioferritin comigratory proteins (BCPs). Coxiella BCP was initially identified as a potential DNA-binding protein by two-dimensional Southwestern (SW) blots of the pathogen's proteome, probed with biotinylated C. burnetii genomic DNA. Confirmation of the identity of the DNA-binding protein as BCP (CBU_0963) was established by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-tandem time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF MS). Recombinant Coxiella BCP (rBCP) was generated, and its DNA binding was demonstrated by two independent methods, including SW blotting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs). rBCP also demonstrated peroxidase activity in vitro that required thioredoxin-thioredoxin reductase (Trx-TrxR). Both the DNA-binding and peroxidase activities of rBCP were lost upon heat denaturation (100 degrees C, 10 min). Functional expression of Coxiella bcp was demonstrated by trans-complementation of an Escherichia coli bcp mutant, as evidenced by the strain's ability to grow in an oxidative-stress growth medium containing tert-butyl hydroperoxide to levels that were indistinguishable from, or significantly greater than, those observed with its wild-type parental strain and significantly greater than bcp mutant levels (P < 0.05). rBCP was also found to protect supercoiled plasmid DNA from oxidative damage (i.e., nicking) in vitro. Maximal expression of the bcp gene coincided with the pathogen's early (day 2 to 3) exponential-growth phase in an experiment involving synchronized infection of an epithelial (Vero) host cell line. Taken as a whole, the results show that Coxiella BCP binds DNA and likely serves to detoxify endogenous hydroperoxide byproducts of Coxiella's metabolism during intracellular replication.
Project description:Legionella pneumophila expresses two catalase-peroxidase enzymes that exhibit strong peroxidatic but weak catalatic activities, suggesting that other enzymes participate in decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Comparative genomics revealed that L. pneumophila and its close relative Coxiella burnetii each contain two peroxide-scavenging alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (AhpC) systems: AhpC1, which is similar to the Helicobacter pylori AhpC system, and AhpC2 AhpD (AhpC2D), which is similar to the AhpC AhpD system of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To establish a catalatic function for these two systems, we expressed L. pneumophila ahpC1 or ahpC2 in a catalase/peroxidase mutant of Escherichia coli and demonstrated restoration of H2O2 resistance by a disk diffusion assay. ahpC1::Km and ahpC2D::Km chromosomal deletion mutants were two- to eightfold more sensitive to H2O2, tert-butyl hydroperoxide, cumene hydroperoxide, and paraquat than the wild-type L. pneumophila, a phenotype that could be restored by trans-complementation. Reciprocal strategies to construct double mutants were unsuccessful. Mutant strains were not enfeebled for growth in vitro or in a U937 cell infection model. Green fluorescence protein reporter assays revealed expression to be dependent on the stage of growth, with ahpC1 appearing after the exponential phase and ahpC2 appearing during early exponential phase. Quantitative real-time PCR showed that ahpC1 mRNA levels were approximately 7- to 10-fold higher than ahpC2D mRNA levels. However, expression of ahpC2D was significantly increased in the ahpC1 mutant, whereas ahpC1 expression was unchanged in the ahpC2D mutant. These results indicate that AhpC1 or AhpC2D (or both) provide an essential hydrogen peroxide-scavenging function to L. pneumophila and that the compensatory activity of the ahpC2D system is most likely induced in response to oxidative stress.
Project description:In Escherichia coli, bacterioferritin comigratory protein (BCP) is a peroxiredoxin (Prx) that catalyzes the reduction of H(2)O(2) and organic hydroperoxides. This protein, along with plant PrxQ, is a founding member of one of the least studied subfamilies of Prxs. Recent structural data have suggested that proteins in the BCP/PrxQ group can exist as monomers or dimers; we report here that, by analytical ultracentrifugation, both oxidized and reduced E. coli BCP behave as monomers in solution at concentrations as high as 200 ?M. Unexpectedly, thioredoxin (Trx1)-dependent peroxidase assays conducted by stopped-flow spectroscopy demonstrated that V(max,app) increases with increasing Trx1 concentrations, indicating a nonsaturable interaction (K(m) > 100 ?M). At a physiologically reasonable Trx1 concentration of 10 ?M, the apparent K(m) value for H(2)O(2) is ~80 ?M, and overall, the V(max)/K(m) for H(2)O(2), which remains constant at the various Trx1 concentrations (consistent with a ping-pong mechanism), is ~1.3 × 10(4) M(-1) s(-1). Our kinetic analyses demonstrated that BCP can utilize a variety of reducing substrates, including Trx1, Trx2, Grx1, and Grx3. BCP exhibited a high redox potential of -145.9 ± 3.2 mV, the highest to date observed for a Prx. Moreover, BCP exhibited a broad peroxide specificity, with comparable rates for H(2)O(2) and cumene hydroperoxide. We determined a pK(a) of ~5.8 for the peroxidatic cysteine (Cys45) using both spectroscopic and activity titration data. These findings support an important role for BCP in interacting with multiple substrates and remaining active under highly oxidizing cellular conditions, potentially serving as a defense enzyme of last resort.
Project description:A comparison was made between the THP-1(Human monocytic leukemia cells - TIB-202; ATCC) transcriptional responses of; (i) uninfected versus Coxiella burnetii NMII infected and (ii) uninfected versus Coxiella burnetii NMII infected THP-1 cells transiently treated with bacteriostatic levels (10μg/ml) of chloramphenicol (CAM). Briefly, infections were initiated and cultured in parallel with uninfected cells. At 48 hours post infection (hpi), media containing CAM (10μg/ml) was added to one set of cells (uninfected and infected THP-1 cells) and culturing was continued. The other set of cells were mock treated with normal media. Total RNA was isolated at 72 hpi from all conditions. Microarrays were performed for both condition sets and the results from each of the two microarrays were compared to define the host genes modulated by de novo C. burnetii NMII protein synthesis. Overall design: Two-condition experiment, Human THP-1 cells: Uninfected vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected compared to Uninfected with Chloramphenicol vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected with Chloramphenicol. Biological replicates: 3, Technical replicates: 2 for both Microarrays - Uninfected vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected and Uninfected with Chloramphenicol vs. Coxiella burnetii NMII infected with Chloramphenicol. One Technical replicate per array. One Biological replicate per 2 arrays.
Project description:We cloned a gene encoding a 17-kDa protein from a cDNA library of the plant Sedum lineare and found that its deduced amino acid sequence showed similarities to those of Escherichia coli bacterioferritin co-migratory protein (Bcp) and its homologues, which comprise a discrete group associated with the peroxiredoxin (Prx) family. Studies of the recombinant 17-kDa protein produced in E. coli cells revealed that it actually had a thioredoxin-dependent peroxidase activity, the hallmark of the Prx family. PrxQ, as we now designate the 17-kDa protein, had two cysteine residues (Cys-44 and Cys-49) well conserved among proteins of the Bcp group. These two cysteines were demonstrated to be essential for the thioredoxin-dependent peroxidase activity by analysis of mutant proteins, suggesting that these residues are involved in the formation of an intramolecular disulphide bond as an intermediate in the reaction cycle. Expression of PrxQ suppressed the hypersensitivity of an E. coli bcp mutant to peroxides, indicating that it might exert an antioxidant activity in vivo.
Project description:Q fever is a worldwide zoonotic disease reported in humans and many animal species including cattle. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence of Coxiella (C.) burnetii shedding in Polish dairy cattle herds and to identify the pathogen's genotypes and sequence types (STs) using multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and multispacer sequence typing (MST) methods. The presence of C. burnetii DNA was detected using a commercial real-time PCR kit, targeting the IS1111 element. Overall, 1,439 samples from 279 herds were tested including: 897 individual milk specimens, 101 bulk tank milk samples, 409 genital tract swabs and 32 placentas. Furthermore, 30 consumer milk samples, including 10 from vending machines and 77 dairy products were also analyzed. C. burnetii shedding was confirmed in 31.54% of tested cattle herds as well as in 69.16% of consumer milk and dairy products. Among real-time PCR-positive samples, 49 specimens obtained from 49 cattle herds and 8 samples of purchased dairy products were selected for genotyping. Overall, five previously known MLVA genotypes (I, J, BG, BE, and NM) and three new ones (proposed as PL1, PL2, and PL3) were identified. Two MST sequence types were recorded: ST16 and a novel sequence (ST61). The new genotypes and sequence types need further research particularly into their pathogenicity to humans.
Project description:The intracellular bacterial pathogen Coxiella burnetii is a category B select agent that causes human Q fever. In vivo, C.?burnetii targets alveolar macrophages wherein the pathogen replicates in a lysosome-like parasitophorous vacuole (PV). In vitro, C.?burnetii infects a variety of cultured cell lines that have collectively been used to model the pathogen's infectious cycle. However, differences in the cellular response to infection have been observed, and virulent C.?burnetii isolate infection of host cells has not been well defined. Because alveolar macrophages are routinely implicated in disease, we established primary human alveolar macrophages (hAMs) as an in vitro model of C.?burnetii-host cell interactions. C.?burnetii pathotypes, including acute disease and endocarditis isolates, replicated in hAMs, albeit with unique PV properties. Each isolate replicated in large, typical PV and small, non-fused vacuoles, and lipid droplets were present in avirulent C.?burnetii?PV. Interestingly, a subset of small vacuoles harboured single organisms undergoing degradation. Prototypical PV formation and bacterial growth in hAMs required a functional type IV secretion system, indicating C.?burnetii secretes effector proteins that control macrophage functions. Avirulent C.?burnetii promoted sustained activation of Akt and Erk1/2 pro-survival kinases and short-termphosphorylation of stress-related p38. Avirulent organisms also triggered a robust, early pro-inflammatory response characterized by increased secretion of TNF-? and IL-6, while virulent isolates elicited substantially reduced secretion of these cytokines. A corresponding increase in pro- and mature IL-1? occurred in hAMs infected with avirulent C.?burnetii, while little accumulation was observed following infection with virulent isolates. Finally, treatment of hAMs with IFN-? controlled intracellular replication, supporting a role for this antibacterial insult in the host response to C.?burnetii. Collectively, the current results demonstrate the hAM model is a human disease-relevant platform for defining novel innate immune responses to C.?burnetii.
Project description:Ticks are important disease vectors in Kenya with documented evidence of carriage of zoonotic pathogens. Coxiella burnetii is an important tick-borne pathogen that is underreported in Kenya and yet this infection likely contributes to undiagnosed febrile disease in pastoral communities. Archived human blood (278) and tick pool samples (380) collected from five pastoral communities in Kenya were screened for C. burnetii by PCR using primers targeting the transposon-like IS1111 region. All the human blood samples were negative for C. burnetii DNA. However, C. burnetii was detected in 5.53% (21/380) of the tick pools tested. Four of the twenty-one PCR positive samples were sequenced. The findings indicate that Coxiella burnetii was not present in the human blood samples tested. However, C. burnetii was detected in ticks from Mai Mahiu, Marigat, Ijara, Isiolo, and Garissa indicating a natural infection present in the tick vector that poses a risk to livestock and humans in these communities.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Q fever is a widespread zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii. Ticks may act as vectors, and many epidemiological studies aim to assess C. burnetii prevalence in ticks. Because ticks may also be infected with Coxiella-like bacteria, screening tools that differentiate between C. burnetii and Coxiella-like bacteria are essential. METHODS:In this study, we screened tick specimens from 10 species (Ornithodoros rostratus, O. peruvianus, O. capensis, Ixodes ricinus, Rhipicephalus annulatus, R. decoloratus, R. geigy, O. sonrai, O. occidentalis, and Amblyomma cajennense) known to harbor specific Coxiella-like bacteria, by using quantitative PCR primers usually considered to be specific for C. burnetii and targeting, respectively, the IS1111, icd, scvA, p1, and GroEL/htpB genes. RESULTS:We found that some Coxiella-like bacteria, belonging to clades A and C, yield positive PCR results when screened with primers initially believed to be C. burnetii-specific. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that PCR-based surveys that aim to detect C. burnetii in ticks by using currently available methods must be interpreted with caution if the amplified products cannot be sequenced. Future molecular methods that aim at detecting C. burnetii need to take into account the possibility that cross-reactions may exist with Coxiella-like bacteria.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To increase understanding of human bacterial and parasitic pathogens in bats, we investigated the prevalence of Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma spp. and Coxiella burnetii in bats from China. METHODS:Bats were captured from Mengyin County, Shandong Province of China using nets. DNA was extracted from the blood and spleen of bats for molecular detection of Babesia spp., Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma spp. and Coxiella burnetii with specific primers for each species. RESULTS:A total of 146 spleen samples and 107 blood samples of insectivorous bats, which belonged to 6 species within two families, were collected from Mengyin County, Shandong Province of China. We found that two Eptesicus serotinus (2/15, 13.3%) were positive for Babesia vesperuginis. We were unable to detect genomic sequences for Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma spp. and Coxiella burnetii. CONCLUSIONS:To our knowledge, our study showed for the first time the presence of Babesia vesperuginis in Eptesicus serotinus collected from China, suggesting that Babesia vesperuginis has a broad host species and geographical distribution.
Project description:Real-time PCR shows the widespread presence of Coxiella burnetii DNA in a broad range of commercially available milk and milk products. MLVA genotyping shows that this is the result of the presence of a predominant C. burnetii genotype in the dairy cattle population.