The fur transcription regulator and fur-regulated genes in Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 3502.
ABSTRACT: Clostridium botulinum is a spore-forming bacterium that can produce a very powerful neurotoxin that causes botulism. In this study, we have investigated the Fur transcription regulators in Clostridium botulinum and Fur-regulated genes in Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 3502. We found that gene loss may be the main cause leading to the different numbers of Fur transcription regulators in different Clostridium botulinum strains. Meanwhile, 46 operons were found to be regulated by the Fur transcription regulator in Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 3502, involved in several functional classifications, including iron acquisition, iron utilization, iron transport, and transcription regulator. Under an iron-restricted medium, we experimentally found that a Fur transcription regulator (CBO1372) and two operons (DedA, CBO2610-CBO2614 and ABC transporter, CBO0845-CBO0847) are shown to be differentially expressed in Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 3502. This study has provided-us novel insights into the diversity of Fur transcription regulators in different Clostridium botulinum strains and diversity of Fur-targeted genes, as well as a better understanding of the dynamic changes in iron restriction occurring in response to this stress.
Project description:Type A1 Clostridium botulinum strains are a group of Gram-positive, spore-forming anaerobic bacteria that produce a genetically, biochemically, and biophysically indistinguishable 150 kD protein that causes botulism. The genomes of three type A1 C. botulinum strains have been sequenced and show a high degree of synteny. The purpose of this study was to characterize differences among these genomes and compare these differentiating features with two additional unsequenced strains used in previous studies.Several strategies were deployed in this report. First, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth laboratory Hall strain (UMASS strain) neurotoxin gene was amplified by PCR and sequenced; its sequence was aligned with the published ATCC 3502 Sanger Institute Hall strain and Allergan Hall strain neurotoxin gene regions. Sequence alignment showed that there was a synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the region encoding the heavy chain between Allergan strain and ATCC 3502 and UMASS strains. Second, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) demonstrated that the UMASS strain and a strain expected to be derived from ATCC 3502 in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory (ATCC 3502*) differed in gene content compared to the ATCC 3502 genome sequence published by the Sanger Institute. Third, alignment of the three sequenced C. botulinum type A1 strain genomes revealed the presence of four comparable blocks. Strains ATCC 3502 and ATCC 19397 share the same genome organization, while the organization of the blocks in strain Hall were switched. Lastly, PCR was designed to identify UMASS and ATCC 3502* strain genome organizations. The PCR results indicated that UMASS strain belonged to Hall type and ATCC 3502* strain was identical to ATCC 3502 (Sanger Institute) type.Taken together, C. botulinum type A1 strains including Sanger Institute ATCC 3502, ATCC 3502*, ATCC 19397, Hall, Allergan, and UMASS strains demonstrate differences at the level of the neurotoxin gene sequence, in gene content, and in genome arrangement.
Project description:Profound understanding of the mechanisms foodborne pathogenic bacteria utilize in adaptation to the environmental stress they encounter during food processing and storage is of paramount importance in design of control measures. Chill temperature is a central control measure applied in minimally processed foods; however, data on the mechanisms the foodborne pathogen Clostridium botulinum activates upon cold stress are scarce. Transcriptomic analysis on the C. botulinum ATCC 3502 strain upon temperature downshift from 37°C to 15°C was performed to identify the cold-responsive gene set of this organism. Significant up- or down-regulation of 16 and 11 genes, respectively, was observed 1 h after the cold shock. At 5 h after the temperature downshift, 199 and 210 genes were up- or down-regulated, respectively. Thus, the relatively small gene set affected initially indicated a targeted acute response to cold shock, whereas extensive metabolic remodeling appeared to take place after prolonged exposure to cold. Genes related to fatty acid biosynthesis, oxidative stress response, and iron uptake and storage were induced, in addition to mechanisms previously characterized as cold-tolerance related in bacteria. Furthermore, several uncharacterized DNA-binding transcriptional regulator-encoding genes were induced, suggesting involvement of novel regulatory mechanisms in the cold shock response of C. botulinum. The role of such regulators, CBO0477 and CBO0558A, in cold tolerance of C. botulinum ATCC 3502 was demonstrated by deteriorated growth of related mutants at 17°C.
Project description:A group of five clonally related Clostridium botulinum type A strains isolated from different sources over a period of nearly 40 years harbored several conserved genetic properties. These strains contained a variant bont/A1 with five nucleotide polymorphisms compared to the gene in C. botulinum strain ATCC 3502. The strains also had a common toxin gene cluster composition (ha-/orfX+) similar to that associated with bont/A in type A strains containing an unexpressed bont/B [termed A(B) strains]. However, bont/B was not identified in the strains examined. Comparative genomic hybridization demonstrated identical genomic content among the strains relative to C. botulinum strain ATCC 3502. In addition, microarray data demonstrated the absence of several genes flanking the toxin gene cluster among the ha-/orfX+ A1 strains, suggesting the presence of genomic rearrangements with respect to this region compared to the C. botulinum ATCC 3502 strain. All five strains were shown to have identical flaA variable region nucleotide sequences. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns of the strains were indistinguishable when digested with SmaI, and a shift in the size of at least one band was observed in a single strain when digested with XhoI. These results demonstrate surprising genomic homogeneity among a cluster of unique C. botulinum type A strains of diverse origin.
Project description:The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is a predominant bacterial regulator controlling the iron assimilation functions in response to iron availability. Our previous microarray analysis on Yersinia pestis defined the iron-Fur modulon. In the present work, we reannotated the iron assimilation genes in Y. pestis, and the resulting genes in complementation with those disclosed by microarray constituted a total of 34 genome loci (putative operons) that represent the potential iron-responsive targets of Fur. The subsequent real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) in conjunction with the primer extension analysis showed that 32 of them were regulated by Fur in response to iron starvation. A previously predicted Fur box sequence was then used to search against the promoter regions of the 34 operons; the homologue of the above box could be predicted in each promoter tested. The subsequent electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) demonstrated that a purified His(6) tag-fused Fur protein was able to bind in vitro to each of these promoter regions. Therefore, Fur is a global regulator, both an activator and a repressor, and directly controls not only almost all of the iron assimilation functions but also a variety of genes involved in various non-iron functions for governing a complex regulatory cascade in Y. pestis. In addition, real-time RT-PCR, primer extension, EMSA, and DNase I footprinting assay were used to elucidate the Fur regulation of the ybt locus encoding a virulence-required iron uptake system. By combining the published data on the YbtA regulation of ybt, we constructed a concise Fur/YbtA regulatory network with a map of the Fur-promoter DNA interactions within the ybt locus. The data presented here give us an overview of the iron-responsive Fur regulon in Y. pestis.
Project description:The two-component system CBO0366/CBO0365 was recently demonstrated to have a role in cold tolerance of group I Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502. The mechanisms under its control, ultimately resulting in increased sensitivity to low temperature, are unknown. A transcriptomic analysis with DNA microarrays was performed to identify the differences in global gene expression patterns of the wild-type ATCC 3502 and a derivative mutant with insertionally inactivated cbo0365 at 37 and 15°C. Altogether, 150 or 141 chromosomal coding sequences (CDSs) were found to be differently expressed in the cbo0365 mutant at 37 or 15°C, respectively, and thus considered to be under the direct or indirect transcriptional control of the response regulator CBO0365. Of the differentially expressed CDSs, expression of 141 CDSs was similarly affected at both temperatures investigated, suggesting that the putative CBO0365 regulon was practically not affected by temperature. The regulon involved genes related to acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation, motility, arsenic resistance, and phosphate uptake and transport. Deteriorated growth at 17°C was observed for mutants with disrupted ABE fermentation pathway components (crt, bcd, bdh, and ctfA), arsenic detoxifying machinery components (arsC and arsR), or phosphate uptake mechanism components (phoT), suggesting roles for these mechanisms in cold tolerance of group I C. botulinum. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed recombinant CBO0365 to bind to the promoter regions of crt, arsR, and phoT, as well as to the promoter region of its own operon, suggesting direct DNA-binding transcriptional activation or repression as a means for CBO0365 in regulating these operons. The results provide insight to the mechanisms group I C. botulinum utilizes in coping with cold.
Project description:The role of the two-component system (TCS) CBO0366/CBO0365 in the cold shock response and growth of the mesophilic Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502 at 15°C was demonstrated by induced expression of the TCS genes upon cold shock and impaired growth of the TCS mutants at 15°C.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is a transcription factor and the main regulator of iron acquisition in prokaryotes. When bound to ferric iron, Fur recognizes its DNA binding site and generally executes its function by repressing transcription of its target genes. Due to its importance in virulence, the Fur regulon is well studied for several model bacteria. In our previous work, we used computational predictions and microarray to gain insights into Fur-regulation in Aliivibrio salmonicida, and have identified a number of genes and operons that appear to be under direct control of Fur. To provide a more accurate and deeper global understanding of the biological role of Fur we have now generated an A. salmonicida fur knock-out strain and used RNA-sequencing to compare gene expression between the wild-type and fur null mutant strains. RESULTS:An A. salmonicida fur null mutant strain was constructed. Biological assays demonstrate that deletion of fur results in loss of fitness, with reduced growth rates, and reduced abilities to withstand low-iron conditions, and oxidative stress. When comparing expression levels in the wild-type and the fur null mutant we retrieved 296 differentially expressed genes distributed among 18 of 21 functional classes of genes. A gene cluster encoding biosynthesis of the siderophore bisucaberin represented the highest up-regulated genes in the fur null mutant. Other highly up-regulated genes all encode proteins important for iron acquisition. Potential targets for the RyhB sRNA was predicted from the list of down-regulated genes, and significant complementarities were found between RyhB and mRNAs of the fur, sodB, cysN and VSAL_I0422 genes. Other sRNAs with potential functions in iron homeostasis were identified. CONCLUSION:The present work provides by far the most comprehensive and deepest understanding of the Fur regulon in A. salmonicida to date. Our data also contribute to a better understanding of how Fur plays a key role in iron homeostasis in bacteria in general, and help to show how Fur orchestrates iron uptake when iron levels are extremely low.
Project description:A key survival mechanism of Clostridium botulinum, the notorious neurotoxic food pathogen, is the ability to form heat-resistant spores. While the genetic mechanisms of sporulation are well understood in the model organism Bacillus subtilis, nothing is known about these mechanisms in C. botulinum. Using the ClosTron gene-knockout tool, sigK, encoding late-stage (stage IV) sporulation sigma factor K in B. subtilis, was disrupted in C. botulinum ATCC 3502 to produce two different mutants with distinct insertion sites and orientations. Both mutants were unable to form spores, and their elongated cell morphology suggested that the sporulation pathway was blocked at an early stage. In contrast, sigK-complemented mutants sporulated successfully. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of sigK in the parent strain revealed expression at the late log growth phase in the parent strain. Analysis of spo0A, encoding the sporulation master switch, in the sigK mutant and the parent showed significantly reduced relative levels of spo0A expression in the sigK mutant compared to the parent strain. Similarly, sigF showed significantly lower relative transcription levels in the sigK mutant than the parent strain, suggesting that the sporulation pathway was blocked in the sigK mutant at an early stage. We conclude that ?(K) is essential for early-stage sporulation in C. botulinum ATCC 3502, rather than being involved in late-stage sporulation, as reported for the sporulation model organism B. subtilis. Understanding the sporulation mechanism of C. botulinum provides keys to control the public health risks that the spores of this dangerous pathogen cause through foods.
Project description:The two-component system CBO0366/CBO0365 was recently demonstrated to have a role in cold tolerance of Group I Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502. The mechanisms under its control, ultimately resulting in increased sensitivity to low temperature, are unknown. A transcriptomic analysis with DNA microarrays was performed to identify the differences in global gene expression patterns of the wild-type ATCC 3502 and a derivative mutant with insertionally inactivated cbo0365 at 37 °C and 15 °C. Altogether 150 or 141 chromosomal CDSs were found to be differently expressed in the cbo0365 mutant at 37 °C or 15 °C, respectively, and thus considered to be under direct or indirect transcriptional control of the response regulator CBO0365. Of the differentially-expressed CDSs, expression of 141 CDSs was similarly affected at both temperatures investigated, suggesting that the putative CBO0365 regulon was practically not affected by temperature. The regulon involved genes related to acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation, motility, to arsenic resistance, and phosphate uptake and transport. Deteriorated growth at 17 °C was observed for mutants with disrupted ABE fermentation pathway components (crt, bdh and ctfA), arsenic detoxifying machinery components (arsC and arsR), or phosphate uptake mechanism components (phoT), suggesting roles for these mechanisms in cold tolerance of Group I C. botulinum. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed recombinant CBO0365 to bind to the promoter regions of crt, arsR, and phoT, as well as to the promoter region of its own operon, suggesting direct DNA-binding transcriptional activation or repression as means for CBO0365 in regulating these operons. The results provide insight to the mechanisms Group I C. botulinum utilize in coping with cold. Overall design: C. botulinum ATCC 3502 cbo0365 mutant vs. wild type; 3 replicates of each strain; growth at 37C in TPGY broth batch culture and subjected to cold shock to 15C; sampling at mid-log growth phase before cold shock, and 1 h after temperature downshift to 15C (= 2 time points). Dye-swapped hybridization.
Project description:Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic, Gram-positive, spore-forming opportunistic pathogen and is the most common cause of hospital-acquired infectious diarrhea. Although iron acquisition in the host is a key to survival of bacterial pathogens, high levels of intracellular iron can increase oxidative damage. Therefore, expression of iron acquisition mechanisms is tightly controlled by transcriptional regulators. We identified a C. difficile homologue of the master bacterial iron regulator Fur. Using targetron mutagenesis, we generated a fur insertion mutant of C. difficile. To identify the genes regulated by Fur in C. difficile, we used microarray analysis to compare transcriptional differences between the fur mutant and the wild type when grown in high-iron medium. The fur mutant had increased expression of greater than 70 transcriptional units. Using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR), we analyzed several of the Fur-regulated genes identified by the microarray and verified that they are both iron and Fur regulated in C. difficile. Among those Fur- and iron-repressed genes were C. difficile genes encoding 7 putative cation transport systems of different classes. We found that Fur was able to bind the DNA upstream of three Fur-repressed genes in electrophoretic mobility shift assays. We also demonstrate that expression of Fur-regulated putative iron acquisition systems was increased during C. difficile infection using the hamster model. Our data suggest that C. difficile expresses multiple iron transport mechanisms in response iron depletion in vitro and in vivo.Clostridium difficile is the most common cause of hospital-acquired infectious diarrhea and has been recently classified as an "urgent" antibiotic resistance threat by the CDC. To survive and cause disease, most bacterial pathogens must acquire the essential enzymatic cofactor iron. While import of adequate iron is essential for most bacterial growth, excess intracellular iron can lead to extensive oxidative damage. Thus, bacteria must regulate iron import to maintain iron homeostasis. We demonstrate here that C. difficile regulates expression of several putative iron acquisition systems using the transcriptional regulator Fur. These import mechanisms are induced under iron-limiting conditions in vitro and during C. difficile infection of the host. This suggests that during a C. difficile infection, iron availability is limited in vivo.