CbrA is a flavin adenine dinucleotide protein that modifies the Escherichia coli outer membrane and confers specific resistance to Colicin M.
ABSTRACT: Colicin M (Cma) is a protein toxin produced by Escherichia coli that kills sensitive E. coli cells by inhibiting murein biosynthesis in the periplasm. Recombinant plasmids carrying cbrA (formerly yidS) strongly increased resistance of cells to Cma, whereas deletion of cbrA increased Cma sensitivity. Transcription of cbrA is positively controlled by the two-component CreBC system. A ?creB mutant was highly Cma sensitive because little CbrA was synthesized. Treatment of CbrA-overproducing cells by osmotic shock failed to render cells Cma sensitive because the cells were resistant to osmotic shock. In a natural environment with a growth-limiting nutrient supply, cells producing CbrA defend themselves against colicin M synthesized by competing cells. Isolated CbrA is a protein with noncovalently bound flavin adenine dinucleotide. Sequence comparison and structure prediction assign the closest relative of CbrA with a known crystal structure as digeranylgeranyl-glycerophospholipid reductase of Thermoplasma acidophilum. CbrA is found in Escherichia coli, Citrobacter, and Salmonella bongori but not in other enterobacteria. The next homologs with the highest identity (over 50%) are found in the anaerobic Clostridium botulinum group 1 and a few other Firmicutes.
Project description:Colicin M is an enzymatic bacteriocin produced by some <i>Escherichia coli</i> strains which provokes cell lysis of competitor strains by hydrolysis of the cell wall peptidoglycan undecaprenyl-PP-MurNAc(-pentapeptide)-GlcNAc (lipid II) precursor. The overexpression of a gene, <i>cbrA</i> (formerly <i>yidS</i>), was shown to protect <i>E. coli</i> cells from the deleterious effects of this colicin, but the underlying resistance mechanism was not established. We report here that a major structural modification of the undecaprenyl-phosphate carrier lipid and of its derivatives occurred in membranes of CbrA-overexpressing cells, which explains the acquisition of resistance toward this bacteriocin. Indeed, a main fraction of these lipids, including the lipid II peptidoglycan precursor, now displayed a saturated isoprene unit at the α-position, i.e., the unit closest to the colicin M cleavage site. Only unsaturated forms of these lipids were normally detectable in wild-type cells. <i>In vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> assays showed that colicin M did not hydrolyze α-saturated lipid II, clearly identifying this substrate modification as the resistance mechanism. These saturated forms of undecaprenyl-phosphate and lipid II remained substrates of the different enzymes participating in peptidoglycan biosynthesis and carrier lipid recycling, allowing this colicin M-resistance mechanism to occur without affecting this essential pathway.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Overexpression of the chromosomal <i>cbrA</i> gene allows <i>E. coli</i> to resist colicin M (ColM), a bacteriocin specifically hydrolyzing the undecaprenyl-PP-MurNAc(-pentapeptide)-GlcNAc (lipid II) peptidoglycan precursor of targeted cells. This resistance results from a CbrA-dependent modification of the precursor structure, i.e., reduction of the α-isoprenyl bond of C<sub>55</sub>-carrier lipid moiety that is proximal to ColM cleavage site. This modification, observed here for the first time in eubacteria, annihilates the ColM activity without affecting peptidoglycan biogenesis. These data, which further increase our knowledge of the substrate specificity of this colicin, highlight the capability of <i>E. coli</i> to generate reduced forms of C<sub>55</sub>-carrier lipid and its derivatives. Whether the function of this modification is only relevant with respect to ColM resistance is now questioned.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bacteriocins are protein antimicrobial agents that are produced by all prokaryotic lineages. Escherichia coli strains frequently produce the bacteriocins known as colicins. One of the most prevalent colicins, colicin M, can kill susceptible cells by hydrolyzing the peptidoglycan lipid II intermediate, which arrests peptidoglycan polymerization steps and provokes cell lysis. Due to the alarming rise in antibiotic resistance and the lack of novel antimicrobial agents, colicin M has recently received renewed attention as a promising antimicrobial candidate. Here the effects of subinhibitory concentrations of colicin M on whole genome transcription in E. coli were investigated, to gain insight into its ecological role and for purposes related to antimicrobial therapy. RESULTS: Transcriptome analysis revealed that exposure to subinhibitory concentrations of colicin M altered expression of genes involved in envelope, osmotic and other stresses, including genes of the CreBC two-component system, exopolysaccharide production and cell motility. Nonetheless, there was no induction of biofilm formation or genes involved in mutagenesis. CONCLUSION: At subinhibitory concentrations colicin M induces an adaptive response primarily to protect the bacterial cells against envelope stress provoked by peptidoglycan damage. Among the first induced were genes of the CreBC two-component system known to promote increased resistance against colicins M and E2, providing novel insight into the ecology of colicin M production in natural environments. While an adaptive response was induced nevertheless, colicin M application did not increase biofilm formation, nor induce SOS genes, adverse effects that can be provoked by a number of traditional antibiotics, providing support for colicin M as a promising antimicrobial agent.
Project description:Colicin M (Cma) is specifically imported into the periplasm of Escherichia coli and kills the cells. Killing depends on the periplasmic peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase/chaperone FkpA. To identify the Cma prolyl bonds targeted by FkpA, we replaced the 15 proline residues individually with alanine. Seven mutant proteins were fully active; Cma(P129A), Cma(P176A), and Cma(P260A) displayed 1%, and Cma(P107A) displayed 10% of the wild-type activity. Cma(P107A), Cma(P129A), and Cma(P260A), but not Cma(P176A), killed cells after entering the periplasm via osmotic shock, indicating that the former mutants were translocation-deficient; Cma(P129A) did not bind to the FhuA outer membrane receptor. The crystal structures of Cma and Cma(P176A) were identical, excluding inactivation of the activity domain located far from Pro-176. In a new peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase assay, FkpA isomerized the Cma prolyl bond in peptide Phe-Pro-176 at a high rate, but Lys-Pro-107 and Leu-Pro-260 isomerized at only <10% of that rate. The four mutant proteins secreted into the periplasm via a fused signal sequence were toxic but much less than wild-type Cma. Wild-type and mutant Cma proteins secreted or translocated across the outer membrane by energy-coupled import or unspecific osmotic shock were only active in the presence of FkpA. We propose that Cma unfolds during transfer across the outer or cytoplasmic membrane and refolds to the active form in the periplasm assisted by FkpA. Weak refolding of Cma(P176A) would explain its low activity in all assays. Of the four proline residues identified as being important for Cma activity, Phe-Pro-176 is most likely targeted by FkpA.
Project description:Colicin M (Cma) lyses Escherichia coli cells by inhibiting murein biosynthesis through hydrolysis of the phosphate ester between C(55)-polyisoprenol and N-acetylmuramyl (MurNAc)-pentapeptide-GlcNAc in the periplasm. To identify Cma functional domains, we isolated 54 point mutants and small deletion mutants and examined their cytotoxicity levels. Activity and uptake mutants were distinguished by osmotic shock, which transfers Cma into the periplasm independent of the specific FhuA receptor and the Ton system. Deletion of the hydrophobic helix ?1, which extends from the compact Cma structure, abolished interference with the antibiotic albomycin, which is transported across the outer membrane by the same system as Cma, thereby identifying ?1 as the Cma site that binds to FhuA. Deletion of the C-terminal Lys-Arg strongly reduced Cma translocation across the outer membrane after binding to FhuA. Conversion of Asp226 to Glu, Asn, or Ala inactivated Cma. Asp226 is exposed at the Cma surface and is surrounded by Asp225, Asp229, His235, Tyr228, and Arg236; replacement of each with alanine inactivated Cma. We propose that Asp226 directly participates in phosphate ester hydrolysis and that the surrounding residues contribute to the active site. These residues are strongly conserved in Cma-like proteins of other species. Replacement of other conserved residues with alanine inactivated Cma; these mutations probably altered the Cma structure, as particularly apparent for mutants in the unique open ?-barrel of Cma, which were isolated in lower yields. Our results identify regions in Cma responsible for uptake and activity and support the concept of a three-domain arrangement of Cma.
Project description:In this experiment, we investigated how CbrA contributed to the expression of P. aeruginosa virulence factors in vivo using microarrays. Two independent microarray analyses were performed to identify the global gene expression of the cbrA mutant in comparison to PA14 wild type strain during D. discoideum infection.
Project description:Sinorhizobium meliloti produces an exopolysaccharide called succinoglycan that plays a critical role in promoting symbiosis with its host legume, alfalfa (Medicago sativa). We performed a transposon mutagenesis and screened for mutants with altered succinoglycan production and a defect in symbiosis. In this way, we identified a putative two-component histidine kinase associated with a PAS sensory domain, now designated CbrA (calcofluor-bright regulator A). The cbrA::Tn5 mutation causes overproduction of succinoglycan and results in increased accumulation of low-molecular-weight forms of this exopolysaccharide. Our results suggest the cbrA::Tn5 allele leads to this succinoglycan phenotype through increased expression of exo genes required for succinoglycan biosynthesis and modification. Interestingly, CbrA-dependent regulation of exo and exs genes is observed almost exclusively during stationary-phase growth. The cbrA::Tn5 mutant also has an apparent cell envelope defect, based on increased sensitivity to a number of toxic compounds, including the bile salt deoxycholate and the hydrophobic dye crystal violet. Growth of the cbrA mutant is also slowed under oxidative-stress conditions. The CbrA-regulated genes exsA and exsE encode putative inner membrane ABC transporters with a high degree of similarity to lipid exporters. ExsA is homologous to the Escherichia coli MsbA protein, which is required for lipopolysaccharide transport, while ExsE is a member of the eukaryotic family of ABCD/hALD peroxisomal membrane proteins involved in transport of very long-chain fatty acids, which are a unique component of the lipopolysaccharides of alphaproteobacteria. Thus, CbrA could play a role in regulating the lipopolysaccharide or lipoprotein components of the cell envelope.
Project description:Among colicin producing E. coli, colicin M producing strains are the most frequently present in natural populations. Bacteria must be able to sense and respond to unfavourable conditions, resulting in adaptive responses. To gain insight into colicin M ecological role and the purposes related to antimicrobial therapy, the effects of subinhibitory concentrations of colicin M on E. coli whole genome transcription was investigated. We used microarray analysis to follow differential gene expression in E. coli upon colicin M exposure. Colicin M inhibits peptidoglycan synthesis altering expression of genes involved in envelope stress, osmotic and other stresses, exopolysaccharide prodoction, biofilm formation, and cell motility. Overall design: A sub-lethal concentration of colicin M was used to treat E. coli MG1655 cultures at an early logarithmic phase. The experiments were performed in parallel with untreated control E. coli MG1655 cultures. Total RNA was extracted after 30 min and 60 min treatment with colicin M and used for hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays.
Project description:The CbrA/CbrB system is a two-component signal transduction system known to participate in the regulation of the cellular carbon/nitrogen balance and to play a central role in carbon catabolite repression in Pseudomonas species. CbrA is composed of a domain with similarity to proteins of the solute/sodium symporter family (SLC5) and domains typically found in bacterial sensor kinases. Here, the functional properties of the sensor kinase CbrA and its domains are analyzed at the molecular level using the system of the soil bacterium P. putida KT2440 as a model. It is demonstrated that CbrA can bind and transport L-histidine. Transport is specific for L-histidine and probably driven by an electrochemical proton gradient. The kinase domain is not required for L-histidine uptake by the SLC5 domain of CbrA, and has no significant impact on transport kinetics. Furthermore, it is shown that the histidine kinase can autophosphorylate and transfer the phosphoryl group to the response regulator CbrB. The SLC5 domain is not essential for these activities but appears to modulate the autokinase activity. A phosphatase activity of CbrA is not detected. None of the activities is significantly affected by L-histidine. The results demonstrate that CbrA functions as a L-histidine transporter and sensor kinase.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that possesses a large arsenal of virulence factors enabling the pathogen to cause serious infections in immunocompromised patients, burn victims, and cystic fibrosis patients. CbrA is a sensor kinase that has previously been implied to play a role with its cognate response regulator CbrB in the metabolic regulation of carbon and nitrogen utilization in P. aeruginosa. Here it is demonstrated that CbrA and CbrB play an important role in various virulence and virulence-related processes of the bacteria, including swarming, biofilm formation, cytotoxicity, and antibiotic resistance. The cbrA deletion mutant was completely unable to swarm while exhibiting an increase in biofilm formation, supporting the inverse regulation of swarming and biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa. The cbrA mutant also exhibited increased cytotoxicity to human lung epithelial cells as early as 4 and 6 h postinfection. Furthermore, the cbrA mutant demonstrated increased resistance toward a variety of clinically important antibiotics, including polymyxin B, ciprofloxacin, and tobramycin. Microarray analysis revealed that under swarming conditions, CbrA regulated the expression of many genes, including phoPQ, pmrAB, arnBCADTEF, dnaK, and pvdQ, consistent with the antibiotic resistance and swarming impairment phenotypes of the cbrA mutant. Phenotypic and real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analyses of a PA14 cbrB mutant suggested that CbrA may be modulating swarming, biofilm formation, and cytotoxicity via CbrB and that the CrcZ small RNA is likely downstream of this two-component regulator. However, as CbrB did not have a resistance phenotype, CbrA likely modulates antibiotic resistance in a manner independent of CbrB.
Project description:Sinorhizobium meliloti participates in a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with legume plant host species of the genera Medicago, Melilotus, and Trigonella. We recently identified an S. meliloti two-component sensory histidine kinase, CbrA, which is absolutely required to establish a successful symbiosis with Medicago sativa (K. E. Gibson, G. R. Campbell, J. Lloret, and G. C. Walker, J. Bacteriol. 188:4508-4521, 2006). In addition to having a symbiotic defect, the cbrA::Tn5 mutant also has free-living phenotypes that suggest a cell envelope perturbation. Because the bases for these phenotypes are not well understood, we undertook an identification of CbrA-regulated genes. We performed a microarray analysis and compared the transcriptome of the cbrA::Tn5 mutant to that of the wild type. Our global analysis of gene expression identified 162 genes that are differentially expressed in the cbrA::Tn5 mutant, including those encoding proteins involved in motility and chemotaxis, metabolism, and cell envelope function. With regard to those genes with a known role in symbiosis, we observed increased expression of nine genes with overlapping functions in bacterial invasion of its host, which suggests that the mutant could be competent for invasion. Since these CbrA-repressed genes are vital to the invasion process, it appears that down-regulation of CbrA activity is important at this stage of nodule development. In contrast, our previous work showed that CbrA is required for bacteria to establish themselves within the host as nitrogen-fixing symbionts. Therefore, we propose a model in which CbrA functions as a developmental switch during symbiosis.