Reversal of the ?degP phenotypes by a novel rpoE allele of Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: RseA sequesters RpoE (?(E)) to the inner membrane of Escherichia coli when envelope stress is low. Elevated envelope stress triggers RseA cleavage by the sequential action of two membrane proteases, DegS and RseP, releasing ?(E) to activate an envelope stress reducing pathway. Revertants of a ?degP ?bamB strain, which fails to grow at 37°C due to high envelope stress, harbored mutations in the rseA and rpoE genes. Null and missense rseA mutations constitutively hyper-activated the ?(E) regulon and significantly reduced the major outer membrane protein (OMP) levels. In contrast, a novel rpoE allele, rpoE3, resulting from the partial duplication of the rpoE gene, increased ?(E) levels greater than that seen in the rseA mutant background but did not reduce OMP levels. A ?(E)-dependent RybB::LacZ construct showed only a weak activation of the ?(E) pathway by rpoE3. Despite this, rpoE3 fully reversed the growth and envelope vesiculation phenotypes of ?degP. Interestingly, rpoE3 also brought down the modestly activated Cpx envelope stress pathway in the ?degP strain to the wild type level, showing the complementary nature of the ?(E) and Cpx pathways. Through employing a labile mutant periplasmic protein, AcrA(L222Q), it was determined that the rpoE3 mutation overcomes the ?degP phenotypes, in part, by activating a ?(E)-dependent proteolytic pathway. Our data suggest that a reduction in the OMP levels is not intrinsic to the ?(E)-mediated mechanism of lowering envelope stress. They also suggest that under extreme envelope stress, a tight homeostasis loop between RseA and ?(E) may partly be responsible for cell death, and this loop can be broken by mutations that either lower RseA activity or increase ?(E) levels.
Project description:The Cpx and sigma(E) regulons help maintain outer membrane integrity; the Cpx pathway monitors the biogenesis of cell surface structures, such as pili, while the sigma(E) pathway monitors the biogenesis of beta-barrel outer membrane proteins (OMPs). In this study we revealed the importance of the Cpx regulon in the event of beta-barrel OMP mis-assembly, by utilizing mutants expressing either a defective beta-barrel OMP assembly machinery (Bam) or assembly defective beta-barrel OMPs. Analysis of specific mRNAs showed that Delta cpxR bam double mutants failed to induce degP expression beyond the wild type level, despite activation of the sigma(E) pathway. The synthetic conditional lethal phenotype of Delta cpxR in mutant Bam or beta-barrel OMP backgrounds was reversed by wild type DegP expressed from a heterologous plasmid promoter. Consistent with the involvement of the Cpx regulon in the event of aberrant beta-barrel OMP assembly, the expression of cpxP, the archetypal member of the cpx regulon, was upregulated in defective Bam backgrounds or in cells expressing a single assembly-defective beta-barrel OMP species. Together, these results showed that both the Cpx and sigma(E) regulons are required to reduce envelope stress caused by aberrant beta-barrel OMP assembly, with the Cpx regulon principally contributing by controlling degP expression.
Project description:Bordetella pertussis is a human pathogen that can infect the respiratory tract and cause the disease known as whooping cough. B. pertussis uses pertussis toxin (PT) and adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT) to kill and modulate host cells to allow the pathogen to survive and persist. B. pertussis encodes many uncharacterized transcription factors, and very little is known about their functions. RpoE is a sigma factor which, in other bacteria, responds to oxidative, heat, and other environmental stresses. RseA is a negative regulator of RpoE that sequesters the sigma factor to regulate gene expression based on conditions. In B. pertussis, deletion of the rseA gene results in high transcriptional activity of RpoE and large amounts of secretion of ACT. By comparing parental B. pertussis to an rseA gene deletion mutant (PM18), we sought to characterize the roles of RpoE in virulence and determine the regulon of genes controlled by RpoE. Despite high expression of ACT, the rseA mutant strain did not infect the murine airway as efficiently as the parental strain and PM18 was killed more readily when inside phagocytes. RNA sequencing analysis was performed and 263 genes were differentially regulated by RpoE, and surprisingly, the rseA mutant strain where RpoE activity was elevated expressed very little pertussis toxin. Western blots and proteomic analysis corroborated the inverse relationship of PT to ACT expression in the high-RpoE-activity rseA deletion strain. Our data suggest that RpoE can modulate PT and ACT expression indirectly through unidentified mechanisms in response to conditions.
Project description:Zinc supplements are an effective clinical treatment for infantile diarrheal disease caused by enteric pathogens. Previous studies demonstrated that zinc acts on enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) bacteria directly to suppress several virulence-related genes at a concentration that can be achieved by oral delivery of dietary zinc supplements. Our in vitro studies showed that a micromolar concentration of zinc induced the envelope stress response and suppressed virulence in EPEC, providing a possible mechanistic explanation for zinc's therapeutic action. In this report, we investigated the molecular and physiological changes in EPEC induced by zinc. We found that micromolar concentrations of zinc reduced the bacterial growth rate without affecting viability. We observed increased membrane permeability caused by zinc. Zinc upregulated the RpoE-dependent envelope stress response pathway and suppressed EPEC virulence gene expression. RpoE alone was sufficient to inhibit virulence factor expression and to attenuate attaching and effacing lesion formation on human host cells. By mutational analysis we demonstrate that the DNA-binding motif of RpoE is necessary for suppression of the LEE1, but not the LEE4, operon. Predictably, inhibition of the RpoE-mediated envelope stress response in combination with micromolar concentrations of zinc reduced EPEC viability. In conclusion, zinc induces the RpoE and stress response pathways in EPEC, and the alternate sigma factor RpoE downregulates EPEC LEE and non-LEE virulence genes by multiple mechanisms.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The inner membrane-anchored periplasmic folding factor PpiD is described as a parvulin-like peptidyl prolyl isomerase (PPIase) that assists in the maturation of the major beta-barrel outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of Escherichia coli. More recent work however, calls these findings into question. Here, we re-examined the role of PpiD in the E. coli periplasm by analyzing its functional interplay with other folding factors that influence OMP maturation as well as general protein folding in the periplasmic compartment of the cell, such as SurA, Skp, and DegP. RESULTS: The analysis of the effects of both deletion and overexpression of ppiD on cell envelope phenotypes revealed that PpiD in contrast to prior observations plays only a minor role, if any, in the maturation of OMPs and cannot compensate for the lack of SurA in the periplasm. On the other hand, our results show that overproduction of PpiD rescues a surA skp double mutant from lethality. In the presence of increased PpiD levels surA skp cells show reduced activities of both the SigmaE-dependent and the Cpx envelope stress responses, and contain increased amounts of folded species of the major OMP OmpA. These effects require the anchoring of PpiD in the inner membrane but are independent of its parvulin-like PPIase domain. Moreover, a PpiD protein lacking the PPIase domain also complements the growth defects of an fkpA ppiD surA triple PPIase mutant and exhibits chaperone activity in vitro. In addition, PpiD appears to collaborate with DegP, as deletion of ppiD confers a temperature-dependent conditional synthetic phenotype in a degP mutant. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides first direct evidence that PpiD functions as a chaperone and contributes to the network of periplasmic chaperone activities without being specifically involved in OMP maturation. Consistent with previous work, our data support a model in which the chaperone function of PpiD is used to aid in the early periplasmic folding of many newly translocated proteins.
Project description:The alternative sigma factor sigma(E) is activated by unfolded outer membrane proteins (OMPs) and plays an essential role in Salmonella pathogenesis. The canonical pathway of sigma(E) activation in response to envelope stress involves sequential proteolysis of the anti-sigma factor RseA by the PDZ proteases DegS and RseP. Here we show that sigma(E) in Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium can also be activated by acid stress. A sigma(E)-deficient mutant exhibits increased susceptibility to acid pH and reduced survival in an acidified phagosomal vacuole. Acid activation of sigma(E)-dependent gene expression is independent of the unfolded OMP signal or the DegS protease but requires processing of RseA by RseP. The RseP PDZ domain is indispensable for acid induction, suggesting that acid stress may disrupt an inhibitory interaction between RseA and the RseP PDZ domain to allow RseA proteolysis in the absence of antecedent action of DegS. These observations demonstrate a novel environmental stimulus and activation pathway for the sigma(E) regulon that appear to be critically important during Salmonella-host cell interactions.
Project description:Haemophilus ducreyi causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid and a chronic limb ulceration syndrome in children. In humans, H. ducreyi is found in an abscess and overcomes a hostile environment to establish infection. To sense and respond to membrane stress, bacteria utilize two-component systems (TCSs) and extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors. We previously showed that activation of CpxRA, the only intact TCS in H. ducreyi, does not regulate homologues of envelope protein folding factors but does downregulate genes encoding envelope-localized proteins, including many virulence determinants. H. ducreyi also harbors a homologue of RpoE, which is the only ECF sigma factor in the organism. To potentially understand how H. ducreyi responds to membrane stress, here we defined RpoE-dependent genes using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq). We identified 180 RpoE-dependent genes, of which 98% were upregulated; a major set of these genes encodes homologues of envelope maintenance and repair factors. We also identified and validated a putative RpoE promoter consensus sequence, which was enriched in the majority of RpoE-dependent targets. Comparison of RpoE-dependent genes to those controlled by CpxR showed that each transcription factor regulated a distinct set of genes. Given that RpoE activated a large number of genes encoding envelope maintenance and repair factors and that CpxRA represses genes encoding envelope-localized proteins, these data suggest that RpoE and CpxRA appear to play distinct yet complementary roles in regulating envelope homeostasis in H. ducreyi.
Project description:Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris is an epiphytic bacterium that can become a vascular pathogen responsible for black rot disease of crucifers. To adapt gene expression in response to ever-changing habitats, phytopathogenic bacteria have evolved signal transduction regulatory pathways, such as extracytoplasmic function (ECF) ? factors. The alternative sigma factor ?(E), encoded by rpoE, is crucial for envelope stress response and plays a role in the pathogenicity of many bacterial species. Here, we combine different approaches to investigate the role and mechanism of ?(E)-dependent activation in X. campestris pv. campestris. We show that the rpoE gene is organized as a single transcription unit with the anti-? gene rseA and the protease gene mucD and that rpoE transcription is autoregulated. rseA and mucD transcription is also controlled by a highly conserved ?(E)-dependent promoter within the ?(E) gene sequence. The ?(E)-mediated stress response is required for stationary-phase survival, resistance to cadmium, and adaptation to membrane-perturbing stresses (elevated temperature and ethanol). Using microarray technology, we started to define the ?(E) regulon of X. campestris pv. campestris. These genes encode proteins belonging to different classes, including periplasmic or membrane proteins, biosynthetic enzymes, classical heat shock proteins, and the heat stress ? factor ?(H). The consensus sequence for the predicted ?(E)-regulated promoter elements is GGAACTN(15-17)GTCNNA. Determination of the rpoH transcription start site revealed that rpoH was directly regulated by ?(E) under both normal and heat stress conditions. Finally, ?(E) activity is regulated by the putative regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) proteases RseP and DegS, as previously described in many other bacteria. However, our data suggest that RseP and DegS are not only dedicated to RseA cleavage and that the proteolytic cascade of RseA could involve other proteases.
Project description:When envelope biogenesis is compromised or damage to envelope components occurs, bacteria trigger signaling cascades, which lead to the production of proteins that combat such extracytoplasmic stresses. In Escherichia coli, there are three pathways known to deal with envelope stresses: the Bae, Cpx, and sigma(E) responses. Although the effectors of the Bae and Cpx responses are not essential in E. coli, the effector of the sigma(E) response, the sigma factor RpoE (sigma(E)), is essential for viability. However, mutations that suppress the lethality of an rpoE-null allele can be easily obtained, and here we describe how we have isolated at least four classes of these suppressors. We present the first description of one such suppressor class, loss-of-function mutations in ydcQ, a gene encoding a putative DNA-binding protein. In wild-type rpoE(+) strains, ydcQ mutants have two distinct phenotypes: extracytoplasmic stress responses are significantly downregulated, and the production of outer membrane vesicles is severely reduced. We present a model in which sigma(E) is not essential per se but, rather, we propose that rpoE mutant cells die, possibly because they overreact to the absence of this sigma factor by triggering a cell death signal.
Project description:To potentially understand how H. ducreyi responds to membrane stress, here we defined RpoE-dependent genes using RNA-Seq. We identified 180 RpoE-dependent genes, of which 98% were upregulated; a major set of these genes encodes homologues of envelope maintenance and repair factors. We also identified and validated a putative RpoE promoter consensus sequence, which was enriched in the majority of RpoE-dependent targets. Comparison of RpoE-dependent genes to those controlled by CpxR showed that each transcription factor regulated a distinct set of genes. Given that RpoE activated a large number of genes encoding envelope maintenance and repair factors and CpxRA represses genes encoding envelope-localized proteins, these data suggest that RpoE and CpxRA appear to play distinct yet complementary roles in regulating envelope homeostasis in H. ducreyi. RNA of Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP wild-type strain containing a rpoE inducible plasmid and wild-type strain containing a control plasmid were collected at 0 minutes, 5 minutes, and 10 minutes after induction in quadruplicate.
Project description:The CpxA/R two-component signal transduction system of Escherichia coli can combat a variety of extracytoplasmic protein-mediated toxicities. The Cpx system performs this function, in part, by increasing the synthesis of the periplasmic protease, DegP. However, other factors are also employed by the Cpx system for this stress-combative function. In an effort to identify these remaining factors, we screened a collection of random lacZ operon fusions for those fusions whose transcription is regulated by CpxA/R. Through this approach, we have identified a new locus, cpxP, whose transcription is stimulated by activation of the Cpx pathway. cpxP specifies a periplasmic protein that can combat the lethal phenotype associated with the synthesis of a toxic envelope protein. In addition, we show that cpxP transcription is strongly induced by alkaline pH in a CpxA-dependent manner and that cpxP and cpx mutant strains display hypersensitivity to growth in alkaline conditions.