Nuclease modulates biofilm formation in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
ABSTRACT: Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is an emerging contributor to biofilm-related infections. We recently reported that strains lacking sigma factor B (sigB) in the USA300 lineage of CA-MRSA are unable to develop a biofilm. Interestingly, when spent media from a USA300 sigB mutant was incubated with other S. aureus strains, biofilm formation was inhibited. Following fractionation and mass spectrometry analysis, the major anti-biofilm factor identified in the spent media was secreted thermonuclease (Nuc). Considering reports that extracellular DNA (eDNA) is an important component of the biofilm matrix, we investigated the regulation and role of Nuc in USA300. The expression of the nuc gene was increased in a sigB mutant, repressed by glucose supplementation, and was unaffected by the agr quorum-sensing system. A FRET assay for Nuc activity was developed and confirmed the regulatory results. A USA300 nuc mutant was constructed and displayed an enhanced biofilm-forming capacity, and the nuc mutant also accumulated more high molecular weight eDNA than the WT and regulatory mutant strains. Inactivation of nuc in the USA300 sigB mutant background partially repaired the sigB biofilm-negative phenotype, suggesting that nuc expression contributes to the inability of the mutant to form biofilm. To test the generality of the nuc mutant biofilm phenotypes, the mutation was introduced into other S. aureus genetic backgrounds and similar increases in biofilm formation were observed. Finally, using multiple S. aureus strains and regulatory mutants, an inverse correlation between Nuc activity and biofilm formation was demonstrated. Altogether, our findings confirm the important role for eDNA in the S. aureus biofilm matrix and indicates Nuc is a regulator of biofilm formation.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen that produces abundant virulence factors, which cause various diseases that burden human health worldwide. The stress response regulon called sigma factor B (SigB) is a well-characterized global regulator that is involved in the regulation of S. aureus virulence, pigmentation, and biofilm formation. However, the regulatory network upon SigB in S. aureus is incompletely described. Here, we identified a novel substitution mutation, SigB(Q225P), which contributed the nonpigmented phenotype of S. aureus. The S. aureus mutant carrying SigB(Q225P) substitution lacks staphyloxanthin, a key virulence factor in protecting bacteria from host-oxidant killing, but retains bacterial pathogenicity with pleiotropic alterations in virulence factors, resulting in similar lethality and abscess formation ability in animal models. We also reported the SigB(Q225P) promotion of biofilm formation in S. aureus. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) revealed that the expression of nuc gene, which encodes thermonuclease, was significantly downregulated, resulting in accumulation of eDNA in the biofilm of SigB(Q225P) mutant strain. LacZ reporter assay showed that SigB(Q225P) influenced the activity of nuc promoter. Furthermore, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and Bio-layer interferometry (BLI) assay revealed that both SigB and SigB(Q225P) proteins could directly bind to nuc gene promoter; however, the binding activity decreased for SigB(Q225P). Our data renewed the understanding of the relationship between S. aureus golden pigment and its virulence and suggested that a single substitution mutation in SigB might enhance the biofilm formation of S. aureus by directly downregulating nuc expression.
Project description:Previous studies showed that sub-MIC levels of ?-lactam antibiotics stimulate biofilm formation in most methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. Here, we investigated this process by measuring the effects of sub-MIC amoxicillin on biofilm formation by the epidemic community-associated MRSA strain USA300. We found that sub-MIC amoxicillin increased the ability of USA300 cells to attach to surfaces and form biofilms under both static and flow conditions. We also found that USA300 biofilms cultured in sub-MIC amoxicillin were thicker, contained more pillar and channel structures, and were less porous than biofilms cultured without antibiotic. Biofilm formation in sub-MIC amoxicillin correlated with the production of extracellular DNA (eDNA). However, eDNA released by amoxicillin-induced cell lysis alone was evidently not sufficient to stimulate biofilm. Sub-MIC levels of two other cell wall-active agents with different mechanisms of action-d-cycloserine and fosfomycin-also stimulated eDNA-dependent biofilm, suggesting that biofilm formation may be a mechanistic adaptation to cell wall stress. Screening a USA300 mariner transposon library for mutants deficient in biofilm formation in sub-MIC amoxicillin identified numerous known mediators of S. aureus ?-lactam resistance and biofilm formation, as well as novel genes not previously associated with these phenotypes. Our results link cell wall stress and biofilm formation in MRSA and suggest that eDNA-dependent biofilm formation by strain USA300 in low-dose amoxicillin is an inducible phenotype that can be used to identify novel genes impacting MRSA ?-lactam resistance and biofilm formation.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that the administration of antibiotics at subinhibitory concentrations stimulates biofilm formation by the majority of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. Here, we investigated the effect of subinhibitory concentrations of mupirocin on biofilm formation by the community-associated (CA) mupirocin-sensitive MRSA strain USA300 and the highly mupirocin-resistant clinical S. aureus SA01 to SA05 isolates. We found that mupirocin increased the ability of MRSA cells to attach to surfaces and form biofilms. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) demonstrated that mupirocin treatment promoted thicker biofilm formation, which also correlated with the production of extracellular DNA (eDNA). Furthermore, quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) results revealed that this effect was largely due to the involvement of holin-like and antiholin-like proteins (encoded by the cidA gene), which are responsible for modulating cell death and lysis during biofilm development. We found that cidA expression levels significantly increased by 6.05- to 35.52-fold (P?<?0.01) after mupirocin administration. We generated a cidA-deficient mutant of the USA300 S. aureus strain. Exposure of the ?cidA mutant to mupirocin did not result in thicker biofilm formation than that in the parent strain. We therefore hypothesize that the mupirocin-induced stimulation of S. aureus biofilm formation may involve the upregulation of cidA.
Project description:Bacterial biofilms do serious harm to the diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) because they play a crucial role in infection invasion and spread. Staphylococcus aureus, the predominant Gram-positive bacteria in diabetic foot infection (DFI), is often associated with colonization and biofilm formation. Through biofilm formation tests in vitro, we observed that S. aureus bacteria isolated from DFU wounds were more prone to form biofilms than those from non-diabetic patients, while there was no difference in blood sugar between the biofilm (+) diabetics (DB+) and biofilm (-) diabetics (DB-). Furthermore, we found that advanced glycation end products (AGEs) promoted the biofilm formation of S. aureus in clinical isolates and laboratory strains in vitro, including a methicillin-resistant strain. Analysis of biofilm components demonstrated that the biofilms formed mainly by increasing extracellular DNA (eDNA) release; remarkably, the S. aureus global regulator sigB was upregulated, and its downstream factor lrgA was downregulated after AGE treatments. Mechanism studies using a sigB-deleted mutant (Newman-?sigB) confirmed that AGEs decreased expression of lrgA via induction of sigB, which is responsible for eDNA release and is a required component for S. aureus biofilm development. In conclusion, the present study suggests that AGEs promote S. aureus biofilm formation via an eDNA-dependent pathway by regulating sigB. The data generated by this study will provide experimental proof and theoretical support to improve DFU infection healing.
Project description:In methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is known to negatively regulate production of the major biofilm-matrix exopolysaccharide, PIA/PNAG. However, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) produce a primarily proteinaceous biofilm matrix, and contribution of the TCA-cycle therein remains unclear. Utilizing USA300-JE2 Tn-mutants (NARSA) in genes encoding TCA- and urea cycle enzymes for transduction into a prolific biofilm-forming USA300 strain (UAS391-Erys), we studied the contribution of the TCA- and urea cycle and of proteins, eDNA and PIA/PNAG, to the matrix. Genes targeted in the urea cycle encoded argininosuccinate lyase and arginase (argH::Tn and rocF::Tn), and in the TCA-cycle encoded succinyl-CoA synthetase, succinate dehydrogenase, aconitase, isocitrate dehydrogenase, fumarate hydratase class II, and citrate synthase II (sucC::Tn, sdhA/B::Tn, acnA::Tn, icd::Tn, fumC::Tn and gltA::Tn). Biofilm formation was significantly decreased under no flow and flow conditions by argH::Tn, fumC::Tn, and sdhA/B::Tn (range OD492 0.374-0.667; integrated densities 2.065-4.875) compared to UAS391-EryS (OD492 0.814; integrated density 10.676) (p ? 0.008). Cellular and matrix stains, enzymatic treatment (Proteinase K, DNase I), and reverse-transcriptase PCR-based gene-expression analysis of fibronectin-binding proteins (fnbA/B) and the staphylococcal accessory regulator (sarA) on pre-formed UAS391-Erys and Tn-mutant biofilms showed: (i) < 1% PIA/PNAG in the proteinaceous/eDNA matrix; (ii) increased proteins under no flow and flow in the matrix of Tn mutant biofilms (on average 50 and 51 (±11)%) compared to UAS391-Erys (on average 22 and 25 (±4)%) (p < 0.001); and (iii) down- and up-regulation of fnbA/B and sarA, respectively, in Tn-mutants compared to UAS391-EryS (0.62-, 0.57-, and 2.23-fold on average). In conclusion, we show that the biofilm matrix of MRSA-USA300 and the corresponding Tn mutants is PIA/PNAG-independent and are mainly composed of proteins and eDNA. The primary impact of TCA-cycle inactivation was on the protein component of the biofilm matrix of MRSA-USA300.
Project description:Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a predominant human pathogen with high morbidity that is listed in the WHO high priority pathogen list. Being a primary cause of persistent human infections, biofilm forming ability of S. aureus plays a pivotal role in the development of antibiotic resistance. Hence, targeting biofilm is an alternative strategy to fight bacterial infections. The present study for the first time demonstrates the non-antibacterial biofilm inhibitory efficacy of 5-Dodecanolide (DD) against ATCC strain and clinical isolates of S. aureus. In addition, DD is able to inhibit adherence of MRSA on human plasma coated Titanium surface. Further, treatment with DD significantly reduced the eDNA synthesis, autoaggregation, staphyloxanthin biosynthesis and ring biofilm formation. Reduction in staphyloxanthin in turn increased the susceptibility of MRSA to healthy human blood and H2O2 exposure. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed the induced expression of agrA and agrC upon DD treatment. This resulted down regulation of genes involved in biofilm formation such as fnbA and fnbB and up regulation of RNAIII, hld, psm? and genes involved in biofilm matrix degradation such as aur and nuc. Inefficacy of DD on the biofilm formation of agr mutant further validated the agr mediated antibiofilm potential of DD. Notably, DD was efficient in reducing the in vivo colonization of MRSA in Caenorhabditis elegans. Results of gene expression studies and physiological assays unveiled the agr mediated antibiofilm efficacy of DD.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) is the largest genomic region distinguishing epidemic USA300 strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from other S. aureus strains. However, the functional relevance of ACME to infection and disease has remained unclear. Using phylogenetic analysis, we have shown that the modular segments of ACME were assembled into a single genetic locus in Staphylococcus epidermidis and then horizontally transferred to the common ancestor of USA300 strains in an extremely recent event. Acquisition of one ACME gene, speG, allowed USA300 strains to withstand levels of polyamines (e.g., spermidine) produced in skin that are toxic to other closely related S. aureus strains. speG-mediated polyamine tolerance also enhanced biofilm formation, adherence to fibrinogen/fibronectin, and resistance to antibiotic and keratinocyte-mediated killing. We suggest that these properties gave USA300 a major selective advantage during skin infection and colonization, contributing to the extraordinary evolutionary success of this clone. IMPORTANCE:Over the past 15 years, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major public health problem. It is likely that adaptations in specific MRSA lineages (e.g., USA300) drove the spread of MRSA across the United States and allowed it to replace other, less-virulent S. aureus strains. We suggest that one major factor in the evolutionary success of MRSA may have been the acquisition of a gene (speG) that allows S. aureus to evade the toxicity of polyamines (e.g., spermidine and spermine) that are produced in human skin. Polyamine tolerance likely gave MRSA multiple fitness advantages, including the formation of more-robust biofilms, increased adherence to host tissues, and resistance to antibiotics and killing by human skin cells.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes invasive, drug-resistant skin and soft tissue infections. Reports that S. aureus bacteria survive inside macrophages suggest that the intramacrophage environment may be a niche for persistent infection; however, mechanisms by which the bacteria might evade macrophage phagosomal defenses are unclear. We examined the fate of the S. aureus-containing phagosome in THP-1 macrophages by evaluating bacterial intracellular survival and phagosomal acidification and maturation and by testing the impact of phagosomal conditions on bacterial viability. Multiple strains of S. aureus survived inside macrophages, and in studies using the MRSA USA300 clone, the USA300-containing phagosome acidified rapidly and acquired the late endosome and lysosome protein LAMP1. However, fewer phagosomes containing live USA300 bacteria than those containing dead bacteria associated with the lysosomal hydrolases cathepsin D and β-glucuronidase. Inhibiting lysosomal hydrolase activity had no impact on intracellular survival of USA300 or other S. aureus strains, suggesting that S. aureus perturbs acquisition of lysosomal enzymes. We examined the impact of acidification on S. aureus intramacrophage viability and found that inhibitors of phagosomal acidification significantly impaired USA300 intracellular survival. Inhibition of macrophage phagosomal acidification resulted in a 30-fold reduction in USA300 expression of the staphylococcal virulence regulator agr but had little effect on expression of sarA, saeR, or sigB. Bacterial exposure to acidic pH in vitro increased agr expression. Together, these results suggest that S. aureus survives inside macrophages by perturbing normal phagolysosome formation and that USA300 may sense phagosomal conditions and upregulate expression of a key virulence regulator that enables its intracellular survival.
Project description:Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-USA300 is notorious for its ability to cause community- and healthcare-acquired infections, which are even more difficult to treat when associated with a biofilm phenotype. We aimed to characterize the genetic determinants of biofilm formation in a USA300 skin abscess isolate (UAS391) that formed prolific biofilms.USA300 S. aureus strains, TCH1516 and FPR3757, were found to be closely related based on whole genome mapping (Argus™ Optical Mapping System, Opgen Inc, Gaithersburg, USA) to UAS391 (96.3-99.1 % similarity, P=0.0151), however differed markedly in biofilm formation (P=0.0001) on a dynamic assay (BioFlux 200, Fluxion Biosciences, USA). Comparison of whole genome sequences of these strains identified differences in a total of 18 genes. Corresponding Tn (bursa aurealis-bearing) knockout mutants in these target genes were obtained from a publicly available mutant library of the same clonal lineage (USA300-JE2) and were characterized phenotypically for biofilm formation. Tn mutants showing significant differences in biofilm formation were utilized for transduction into a plasmid-cured erythromycin-sensitive derivative of UAS391 and for complementation experiments. All strains were tested on the dynamic assay, and 17h-biofilms were stained (SYTO9, Life Technologies) and fluorescence intensity quantified by microscopy (Zeiss, ImageJ). Gene expression levels in Tn and transduced mutants were studied by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (StepOnePlusTM, Applied Biosystems®).Comparison of the sequenced genomes of TCH1516, FPR3757 and UAS391 yielded a limited number of variant genes (n=18) that were hypothesized to account for the observed difference in biofilm-forming capacity. Screening of Tn mutants disrupted in these target genes identified one mutant (NE229) bearing a transposon insertion in SAUSA300_1119 (fakA), which exhibited increased biofilm formation similar to UAS391 (P=0.9320). Transduction experiments confirmed that fakA::Tn corresponded to 1.9- to 4.6-fold increase in biofilm formation depending on the USA300 strain background (P?0.0007), while complementation of the TCH1516 wild-type fakA allele in UAS391 resulted in a 4.3-fold reduction in biofilm formation (P<0.0001).This sequential approach, consisting of strain typing, genome comparison and functional genomics, identified fakA, a recently described fatty acid kinase in S. aureus that is essential for phospholipid synthesis and also impacts the transcription of numerous virulence factors, as a negative regulator of biofilm formation in S. aureus USA300.
Project description:Biofilms complicate treatment of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) wound infections. Previously, we determined alpha-toxin (AT)-promoted SA biofilm formation on mucosal tissue. Therefore, we evaluated SA wound isolates for AT production and biofilm formation on epithelium and assessed the role of AT in biofilm formation. Thirty-eight wound isolates were molecularly typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (ST), and spa typing. We measured biofilm formation of these SA isolates in vitro and ex vivo and quantified ex vivo AT production. We also investigated the effect of an anti-AT monoclonal antibody (MEDI4893*) on ex vivo biofilm formation by methicillin-resistant SA (USA 300 LAC) and tested whether purified AT rescued the biofilm defect of hla mutant SA strains. The predominant PFGE/ST combinations were USA100/ST5 (50%) and USA300/ST8 (33%) for methicillin-resistant SA (MRSA, n = 18), and USA200/ST30 (20%) for methicillin-susceptible SA (MSSA, n = 20). Ex vivo AT production correlated significantly with ex vivo SA wound isolate biofilm formation. Anti-alpha-toxin monoclonal antibody (MEDI4893*) prevented ex vivo biofilm formation by MRSA USA300 strain LAC. Wild-type AT rescued the ex vivo biofilm defect of non-AT producing SA strains. These findings provide evidence that AT plays a role in SA biofilm formation on epithelial surfaces and suggest that neutralization of AT may be useful in preventing and treating SA infections.