RmpA regulation of capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis in Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43.
ABSTRACT: Sequence analysis of the large virulence plasmid pLVPK in Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43 revealed the presence of another mucoid factor encoding gene rmpA besides rmpA2. Promoter activity measurement indicated that the deletion of rmpA reduced K2 capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biosynthesis, resulting in decreased colony mucoidy and virulence in mice. Introduction of a multicopy plasmid carrying rmpA restored CPS production in the rmpA or rmpA2 mutant but not in the rcsB mutant. Transformation of the rmpA deletion mutant with an rcsB-carrying plasmid also failed to enhance CPS production, suggesting that a cooperation of RmpA with RcsB is required for regulatory activity. This was further corroborated by the demonstration of in vivo interaction between RmpA and RcsB using two-hybrid analysis and coimmunoprecipitation analysis. A putative Fur binding box was only found at the 5' noncoding region of rmpA. The promoter activity analysis indicated that the deletion of fur increased the rmpA promoter activity. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assay, we further demonstrated that Fur exerts its regulatory activity by binding directly to the promoter. As a result, the fur deletion mutant exhibited an increase in colony mucoidy, CPS production, and virulence in mice. In summary, our results suggested that RmpA activates CPS biosynthesis in K. pneumoniae CG43 via an RcsB-dependent manner. The expression of rmpA is regulated by the availability of iron and is negatively controlled by Fur.
Project description:The rmpA2 gene, which encodes an activator for capsular polysaccharide (CPS) synthesis, was isolated from a 200-kb virulence plasmid of Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43. Based on the sequence homology with LuxR at the carboxyl-terminal DNA-binding motif, we hypothesized that RmpA2 exerts its effect by activating the expression of cps genes that are responsible for CPS biosynthesis. Two luxAB transcriptional fusions, each containing a putative promoter region of the K. pneumoniae K2 cps genes, were constructed and were found to be activated in the presence of multicopy rmpA2. The activation is likely due to direct binding of RmpA2 to the cps gene promoter through its C-terminal DNA binding motif. Moreover, the loss of colony mucoidy in a K. pneumoniae strain deficient in RcsB, a regulator for cps gene expression, could be recovered by complementing the strain with a multicopy plasmid carrying rmpA2. The CPS production in Lon protease-deficient K. pneumoniae significantly increased, and the effect was accompanied by an increase of RmpA2 stability. The expression of the rmpA2 gene was negatively autoregulated and could be activated when the organism was grown in M9 minimal medium. An IS3 element located upstream of the rmpA2 was required for the full activation of the rmpA2 promoter. In summary, our results suggest that the enhancement of K2 CPS synthesis in K. pneumoniae CG43 by RmpA2 can be attributed to its transcriptional activation of K2 cps genes, and the expression level of rmpA2 is autoregulated and under the control of Lon protease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) and iron acquisition systems are important determinants of Klebsiella pneumoniae infections, and we have previously reported that the ferric uptake repressor (Fur) can play dual role in iron acquisition and CPS biosynthesis. In many bacteria, Fur negatively controls the transcription of the small non-coding RNA RyhB to modulate cellular functions and virulence. However, in K. pneumoniae, the role played by RyhB in the Fur regulon has not been characterised. This study investigated Fur regulation of ryhB transcription and the functional role of RyhB in K. pneumoniae. RESULTS: Deletion of fur from K. pneumoniae increased the transcription of ryhB; the electric mobility shift assay and the Fur-titration assay revealed that Fur could bind to the promoter region of ryhB, suggesting that Fur directly represses ryhB transcription. Additionally, in a ?fur strain with elevated CPS production, deletion of ryhB obviously reduced CPS production. The following promoter-reporter assay and quantitative real-time PCR of cps genes verified that RyhB activated orf1 and orf16 transcription to elevate CPS production. However, deletion of ryhB did not affect the mRNA levels of rcsA, rmpA, or rmpA2. These results imply that Fur represses the transcription of ryhB to mediate the biosynthesis of CPS, which is independent of RcsA, RmpA, and RmpA2. In addition, the ?fur strain's high level of serum resistance was attenuated by the deletion of ryhB, indicating that RyhB plays a positive role in protecting the bacterium from serum killing. Finally, deletion of ryhB in ?fur reduced the expression of several genes corresponding to 3 iron acquisition systems in K. pneumoniae, and resulted in reduced siderophore production. CONCLUSIONS: The regulation and functional role of RyhB in K. pneumoniae is characterized in this study. RyhB participates in Fur regulon to modulate the bacterial CPS biosynthesis and iron acquisition systems in K. pneumoniae.
Project description:Capsule (cps) gene expression in Escherichia coli is controlled by a complex network of regulators. Transcription of the cps operon is controlled by at least two positive regulators, RcsA and RcsB. We show here that RcsA functions to activate its own expression, as seen by the 100-fold-increased expression of a rcsA::lacZ transcriptional fusion in strains with high levels of RcsA protein, either due to a mutation in lon or due to overexpression of RcsA from a multicopy plasmid. Expression of the rcsA::lacZ fusion is increased by but not dependent on the presence of RcsB. In addition, the effects of H-NS and RcsB on the expression of rcsA are independent of each other. A sequence motif, conserved between the E. coli cps promoter and the Erwinia amylovora ams promoter and previously shown to be the RcsA-RcsB binding site, was identified in the rcsA promoter region and shown to be required for high-level expression of rcsA.
Project description:Invasive syndrome caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae (KP), including liver abscess, is mainly caused by community-acquired strains with characteristics of positive hypermucoviscosity (HV) phenotype and regulator of mucoid phenotype A (rmpA) and transcriptional activator (rmpA2) genes. Extended- spectrum ?-lactamase-producing KP (ESBL-KP) is commonly nosocomial and rarely HV-positive. We aimed to explore the reasons of the rarer prevalence of HV phenotype, rmpA and rmpA2 as well as the virulence phenotype among the ESBL-KP isolates from clinical specimens than those non-ESBL isolates. The ?-lactamase genes, rmpA, rmpA2 and genes for K capsule serotype of 440 KP isolates were analyzed. The virulence of the isolates was characterized by the mouse lethality experiments. The prevalence rates of HV phenotype (? 50% vs. < 10%) as well as rmpA and rmpA2 genes (? 50-60% vs. < 20-30%) were significantly higher in non-ESBL group than in the ESBL group (p < 0.0001). Expression of HV phenotype in the rmpA-positive KP isolates was significantly rarer in the ESBL group than in non-ESBL group (33.3% vs. 91.9%, p < 0.0001). The frameshift mutations of rmpA and/or rmpA2 corresponded to negative HV phenotype of KP isolates that harbored the rmpA and/or rmpA2, resulting in variable mouse lethality (LD50, ? 10(3) - >5 × 10(7) CFU). The mutation rates might significantly differ among KP isolates from various sources. Virulence was dependent on rmpA-related HV phenotype. In conclusion, ESBL-KP isolates were less hypermucoviscous and less virulent than non-ESBL KP isolates, mostly due to concurrently lower carriage and higher mutation rates of the rmpA and rmpA2 genes.
Project description:We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of a 2.1-kb HindIII-EcoRI fragment that was cloned from a resident large plasmid of Klebsiella pneumoniae Chedid, a highly virulent and mucoviscous strain of the O1:K2 serotype. This fragment encoded an ability to enhance K2 capsular polysaccharide synthesis in K. pneumoniae, and a 636-bp open reading frame (rmpA2) was found. The 411-bp rmpA reported to be involved in the virulence and mucoid phenotypes of K. pneumoniae by Nassif et al. (Mol. Microbiol. 3:1349-1359, 1989) was a part of rmpA2. Eighty percent homology in nucleotide sequence was found between rmpA2 and rmpA in the corresponding regions. The central domain of the deduced amino acid sequence of RmpA2 showed considerable homology to the central domains of NtrC of K. pneumoniae and Escherichia coli, to which the sigma factor of RNA polymerase binds. The C-terminal domain of RmpA2 also demonstrated considerable homology with the putative helix-turn-helix motifs of LuxR of Vibrio fischeri and FixJ of Rhizobium meliloti. Moreover, RmpA2 also showed some homology in its N- and C-terminal regions to those of RcsA, a transcriptional activator for colanic acid synthesis in E. coli. On the other hand, a sequence upstream of rmpA2 was found to be highly homologous to insertion sequence 3 of members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Southern hybridization analysis suggested that rmpA2 exists on the large plasmids of all mucoviscous virulent K2 strains but not on those of the slightly mucoviscous avirulent strains. Freeze substitution electron microscopy and fluorescent-antibody staining with anti-K2 serum revealed that K. pneumoniae Chedid has a dense and thick capsule (180 nm) with dense extracapsular substance, whereas K. pneumoniae K2-215, one of the slightly mucoviscous and avirulent strains, has a capsule which is looser and thinner (120 nm) than that of strain Chedid and no extracapsular substance. Introduction of rmpA2 into K2-215 as well as reference strains K. pneumoniae K9 and K72 resulted in a change of the colony phenotype to highly mucoviscous through abundant production of extracapsular substance which reacted with anti-K2, -K9, or -K72, respectively, as did their parental strains. From these results, it is suggested that RmpA2 belongs to the family of transcriptional regulators and confers a highly mucoviscous phenotype on cells of various serotypes of K. pneumoniae by enhancing extracapsular polysaccharide synthesis.
Project description:A 1.2-kb EcoRI genomic DNA fragment of Coxiella burnetti, when cloned onto a multicopy plasmid, was found to induce capsule synthesis (mucoidy) in Escherichia coli. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed the presence of an open reading frame that could encode a protein of 270 amino acids. Insertion of a tet cassette into a unique NruI restriction site resulted in the loss of induction of mucoidy. Because of its ability to induce mucoidy, we designated this gene mucZ. Computer search for homologies to mucZ revealed 42% identity to an open reading frame located at 1 min of the E. coli chromosome. Interestingly, the C-terminal amino acid residues of MucZ share significant homology with the J domain of the DnaJ protein and its homologs, suggesting potential interactions between MucZ and components of the DnaK-chaperone machinery. Results presented in this paper suggest that E. coli requires DnaK-chaperone machinery for Lon-RcsA-mediated induction of capsule synthesis, as noticed first by S. Gottesman (personal communication). The induction caused by MucZ is independent of Lon-RcsA and is mediated through the two-component regulators RcsC and RcsB. DnaK and GrpE but not DnaJ are also required for the RcsB-mediated MucZ induction, and we propose that MucZ is a DnaJ-like chaperone protein that might be required for the formation of an active RcsA-RcsB complex and for the RcsC-dependent phosphorylation of RcsB. Discussions are presented that suggest three different roles for alternative forms of the DnaK-chaperone machinery in capsule production.
Project description:We report on a carbapenemase-producing hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae (CP-hvKP) isolate collected from a U.S. patient at an outpatient clinic. The isolate was identified as K. pneumoniae serotype K1 sequence type 23 and included both a hypervirulence (with rmpA, rmpA2 iroBCDN, peg-344, and iucABCD-iutA genes) and a carbapenemase-encoding (bla KPC-2) plasmid. The emergence of CP-hvKP underscores the importance of clinical awareness of this pathotype and the need for continued monitoring of CP-hvKP in the United States.
Project description:In Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43S3, deletion of the response regulator gene rcsB reduced the capsular polysaccharide amount and survival on exposure to acid stress. A comparison of the pH 4.4-induced proteomes between CG43S3 and CG43S3?rcsB revealed numerous differentially expressed proteins and one of them, YfdX, which has recently been reported as a periplasmic protein, was absent in CG43S3?rcsB. Acid survival analysis was then conducted to determine its role in the acid stress response. Deletion of yfdX increased the sensitivity of K. pneumoniae CG43S3 to a pH of 2.5, and transforming the mutant with a plasmid carrying yfdX restored the acid resistance (AR) levels. In addition, the effect of yfdX deletion was cross-complemented by the expression of the periplasmic chaperone HdeA. Furthermore, the purified recombinant protein YfdX reduced the acid-induced protein aggregation, suggesting that YfdX as well as HdeA functions as a chaperone. The following promoter activity measurement revealed that rcsB deletion reduced the expression of yfdX after the bacteria were subjected to pH 4.4 adaptation. Western blot analysis also revealed that YfdX production was inhibited by rcsB deletion and only the plasmid expressing RcsB or the nonphosphorylated form of RcsB, RcsBD56A, could restore the YfdX production, and the RcsB-mediated complementation was no longer observed when the sensor kinase RcsD gene was deleted. In conclusion, this is the first study demonstrating that YfdX may be involved in the acid stress response as a periplasmic chaperone and that RcsB positively regulates the acid stress response partly through activation of yfdX expression. Moreover, the phosphorylation status of RcsB may affect the YfdX expression under acidic conditions.
Project description:The polysaccharide capsule is an essential virulence factor for Klebsiella pneumoniae in both community-acquired hypervirulent strains as well as health care-associated classical strains that are posing significant challenges due to multidrug resistance. Capsule production is known to be transcriptionally regulated by a number of proteins, but very little is known about how these proteins collectively control capsule production. RmpA and RcsB are two known regulators of capsule gene expression, and RmpA is required for the hypermucoviscous (HMV) phenotype in hypervirulent K. pneumoniae strains. In this report, we confirmed that these regulators performed their anticipated functions in the ATCC 43816 derivative, KPPR1S: rcsB and rmpA mutants are HMV negative and have reduced capsule gene expression. We also identified a novel transcriptional regulator, RmpC, encoded by a gene near rmpA The ?rmpC strain has reduced capsule gene expression but retains the HMV phenotype. We further showed that a regulatory cascade exists in which KvrA and KvrB, the recently characterized MarR-like regulators, and RcsB contribute to capsule regulation through regulation of the rmpA promoter and through additional mechanisms. In a murine pneumonia model, the regulator mutants have a range of colonization defects, suggesting that they regulate virulence factors in addition to capsule. Further testing of the rmpC and rmpA mutants revealed that they have distinct and overlapping functions and provide evidence that HMV is not dependent on overproduction of capsule. This distinction will facilitate a better understanding of HMV and how it contributes to enhanced virulence of hypervirulent strains.IMPORTANCE Klebsiella pneumoniae continues to be a substantial public health threat due to its ability to cause health care-associated and community-acquired infections combined with its ability to acquire antibiotic resistance. Novel therapeutics are needed to combat this pathogen, and a greater understanding of its virulence factors is required for the development of new drugs. A key virulence factor for K. pneumoniae is the capsule, and community-acquired hypervirulent strains produce a capsule that causes hypermucoidy. We report here a novel capsule regulator, RmpC, and provide evidence that capsule production and the hypermucoviscosity phenotype are distinct processes. Infection studies showing that this and other capsule regulator mutants have a range of phenotypes indicate that additional virulence factors are in their regulons. These results shed new light on the mechanisms controlling capsule production and introduce targets that may prove useful for the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of this increasingly problematic pathogen.
Project description:A hypervirulent <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> (hvKp) pathotype is undergoing global dissemination. In contrast to the usual health care-associated epidemiology of classical <i>K. pneumoniae</i> (cKp) infections, hvKp causes tissue-invasive infections in otherwise healthy individuals from the community, often involving multiple sites. An accurate test to identify hvKp strains is needed for improved patient care and epidemiologic studies. To fill this knowledge gap, clinical criteria or random blood isolates from North American and United Kingdom strain collections were used to assemble hvKp-rich (<i>n</i> = 85) and cKp-rich (<i>n</i> = 90) strain cohorts, respectively. The isolates were then assessed for multiple candidate biomarkers hypothesized to accurately differentiate the two cohorts. The genes <i>peg-344</i>, <i>iroB</i>, <i>iucA</i>, plasmid-borne <i>rmpA</i> gene ( <sub><i>p</i></sub><i>rmpA</i>), and <sub>p</sub><i>rmpA2</i> all demonstrated >0.95 diagnostic accuracy for identifying strains in the hvKp-rich cohort. Next, to validate this epidemiological analysis, all strains were assessed experimentally in a murine sepsis model. <i>peg-344</i>, <i>iroB</i>, <i>iucA</i>, <sub><i>p</i></sub><i>rmpA</i>, and <sub><i>p</i></sub><i>rmpA2</i> were all associated with a hazard ratio of >25 for severe illness or death, additionally supporting their utility for identifying hvKp strains. Quantitative siderophore production of ?30 ?g/ml also strongly predicted strains as members of the hvKp-rich cohort (accuracy, 0.96) and exhibited a hazard ratio of 31.7 for severe illness or death. The string test, a widely used marker for hvKp strains, performed less well, achieving an accuracy of only 0.90. Last, using the most accurate biomarkers to define hvKp, prevalence studies were performed on two Western strain collections. These data strongly support the utility of several laboratory markers for identifying hvKp strains with a high degree of accuracy.