Novel iron-regulated and Fur-regulated small regulatory RNAs in Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans.
ABSTRACT: Iron can regulate biofilm formation via non-coding small RNA (sRNA). To determine if iron-regulated sRNAs are involved in biofilm formation by the periodontopathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, total RNA was isolated from bacteria cultured with iron supplementation or chelation. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated that the expression of four sRNA molecules (JA01-JA04) identified by bioinformatics was significantly upregulated in iron-limited medium compared with iron-rich medium. A DNA fragment encoding each sRNA promoter was able to titrate Escherichia coli ferric uptake regulator (Fur) from a Fur-repressible reporter fusion in an iron uptake regulator titration assay. Cell lysates containing recombinant AaFur shifted the mobility of sRNA-specific DNAs in a gel shift assay. Potential targets of these sRNAs, determined in silico, included genes involved in biofilm formation. The A. actinomycetemcomitans overexpressing JA03 sRNA maintained a rough phenotype on agar, but no longer adhered to uncoated polystyrene or glass, although biofilm determinant gene expression was only modestly decreased. In summary, these sRNAs have the ability to modulate biofilm formation, but their functional target genes remain to be confirmed.
Project description:For most pathogens, iron (Fe) homeostasis is crucial for maintenance within the host and the ability to cause disease. The primary transcriptional regulator that controls intracellular Fe levels is the Fur (ferric uptake regulator) protein, which exerts its action on transcription by binding to a promoter-proximal sequence termed the Fur box. Fur-regulated transcriptional responses are often fine-tuned at the post-transcriptional level through the action of small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs). Consequently, identifying sRNAs contributing to the control of Fe homeostasis is important for understanding the Fur-controlled bacterial Fe-response network.In this study, we sequenced size-selected directional libraries representing sRNA samples from Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain FA 1090, and examined the Fe- and temporal regulation of these sRNAs. RNA-seq data for all time points identified a pool of at least 340 potential sRNAs. Differential analysis demonstrated that expression appeared to be regulated by Fe availability for at least fifteen of these sRNAs. Fourteen sRNAs were induced in high Fe conditions, consisting of both cis and trans sRNAs, some of which are predicted to control expression of a known virulence factor, and one SAM riboswitch. An additional putative cis-acting sRNA was repressed by Fe availability. In the pathogenic Neisseria species, one sRNA that contributes to Fe-regulated post-transcriptional control is the Fur-repressible sRNA NrrF. The expression of five Fe-induced sRNAs appeared to be at least partially controlled by NrrF, while the remainder was expressed independently of NrrF. The expression of the 14 Fe-induced sRNAs also exhibited temporal control, as their expression levels increased dramatically as the bacteria entered stationary phase.Here we report the temporal expression of Fe-regulated sRNAs in N. gonorrhoeae FA 1090 with several appearing to be controlled by the Fe-repressible sRNA NrrF. Temporal regulation of these sRNAs suggests a regulatory role in controlling functions necessary for survival, and may be important for phenotypes often associated with altered growth rates, such as biofilm formation or intracellular survival. Future functional studies will be needed to understand how these regulatory sRNAs contribute to gonococcal biology and pathogenesis.
Project description:Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is a major periodontal pathogen that has several virulence factors such as leukotoxin and cytolethal distending toxin. Although the genes responsible for virulence have been identified, little is known about their regulatory mechanisms. Small RNA (sRNA) has been recognized as an important factor for gene regulation. To identify new regulatory mechanisms via sRNA in A. actinomycetemcomitans HK1651, we performed a systematic search for sRNAs by RNA-seq and identified 90 intergenic region sRNAs and 30 antisense sRNAs. Of the 85 analysable sRNAs, we successfully detected and quantified 70 sRNAs by developing an RT-PCR system, and we identified 17 sRNAs that were differentially expressed during different growth phases. In addition, we found notable intraspecies variation in the sRNA repertoire of A. actinomycetemcomitans, thus suggesting that frequent acquisition or deletion of sRNAs occurred during the evolution of this species. The predicted target genes of the intergenic region sRNAs indicated the possibility of sRNA interaction with several virulence genes including leukotoxin and cytolethal distending toxin. Our results should serve as an important genomic and genetic basis for future studies to fully understand the regulatory network in A. actinomycetemcomitans and provide new insights into the intraspecies variation of the bacterial sRNA repertoire in bacteria.
Project description:Clinical isolates of the periodontopathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans form matrix-encased biofilms on abiotic surfaces in vitro. A major component of the A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilm matrix is poly-beta-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (PGA), a hexosamine-containing polysaccharide that mediates intercellular adhesion. In this report, we describe studies on the purification, structure, genetics and function of A. actinomycetemcomitans PGA. We found that PGA was very tightly attached to A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilm cells and could be efficiently separated from the cells only by phenol extraction. A. actinomycetemcomitans PGA copurified with LPS on a gel filtration column. (1)H NMR spectra of purified A. actinomycetemcomitans PGA were consistent with a structure containing a linear chain of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine residues in beta(1,6) linkage. Genetic analyses indicated that all four genes of the pgaABCD locus were required for PGA production in A. actinomycetemcomitans. PGA mutant strains still formed biofilms in vitro. Unlike wild-type biofilms, however, PGA mutant biofilms were sensitive to detachment by DNase I and proteinase K. Treatment of A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilms with the PGA-hydrolyzing enzyme dispersin B made them 3 log units more sensitive to killing by the cationic detergent cetylpyridinium chloride. Our findings suggest that PGA, extracellular DNA and proteinaceous adhesins all contribute to the structural integrity of the A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilm matrix.
Project description:Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans is an opportunistic pathogen that resides primarily in the mammalian oral cavity. In this environment, A. actinomycetemcomitans faces numerous host- and microbe-derived stresses, including intense competition for nutrients and exposure to the host immune system. While it is clear that A. actinomycetemcomitans responds to precise cues that allow it to adapt and proliferate in the presence of these stresses, little is currently known about the regulatory mechanisms that underlie these responses. Many bacteria use noncoding regulatory RNAs (ncRNAs) to rapidly alter gene expression in response to environmental stresses. Although no ncRNAs have been reported in A. actinomycetemcomitans, we propose that they are likely important for colonization and persistence in the oral cavity. Using a bioinformatic and experimental approach, we identified three putative metabolite-sensing riboswitches and nine small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) in A. actinomycetemcomitans during planktonic and biofilm growth. Molecular characterization of one of the riboswitches revealed that it is a lysine riboswitch and that its target gene, lysT, encodes a novel lysine-specific transporter. Finally, we demonstrated that lysT and the lysT lysine riboswitch are conserved in over 40 bacterial species, including the phylogenetically related pathogen Haemophilus influenzae.
Project description:Iron is an essential nutrient for bacterial pathogenesis, but in the host, iron is tightly sequestered, limiting its availability for bacterial growth. Although this is an important arm of host immunity, most studies examine how bacteria respond to iron restriction in laboratory rather than host settings, where the microbiome can potentially alter pathogen strategies for acquiring iron. One of the most important transcriptional regulators controlling bacterial iron homeostasis is Fur. Here we used a combination of RNA-seq and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-seq to characterize the iron-restricted and Fur regulons of the biofilm-forming opportunistic pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. We discovered that iron restriction and Fur regulate 4% and 3.5% of the genome, respectively. While most genes in these regulons were related to iron uptake and metabolism, we found that Fur also directly regulates the biofilm-dispersing enzyme Dispersin B, allowing A. actinomycetemcomitans to escape from iron-scarce environments. We then leveraged these datasets to assess the availability of iron to A. actinomycetemcomitans in its primary infection sites, abscesses and the oral cavity. We found that A. actinomycetemcomitans is not restricted for iron in a murine abscess mono-infection, but becomes restricted for iron upon co-infection with the oral commensal Streptococcus gordonii. Furthermore, in the transition from health to disease in human gum infection, A. actinomycetemcomitans also becomes restricted for iron. These results suggest that host iron availability is heterogeneous and dependent on the infecting bacterial community.
Project description:The in vitro antibacterial effects of diallyl sulfide (DAS) against the Gram-negative periodontopathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, the key etiologic agent of the severe form of localized aggressive periodontitis and other nonoral infections, were studied. A. actinomycetemcomitans was treated with garlic extract, allicin, or DAS, and the anti-A. actinomycetemcomitans effects of the treatment were evaluated. Garlic extract, allicin, and DAS significantly inhibited the growth of A. actinomycetemcomitans (greater than 3 log; P < 0.01) compared to control cells. Heat inactivation of the garlic extracts significantly reduced the protein concentration; however, the antimicrobial effect was retained. Purified proteins from garlic extract did not exhibit antimicrobial activity. Allicin lost all its antimicrobial effect when it was subjected to heat treatment, whereas DAS demonstrated an antimicrobial effect similar to that of the garlic extract, suggesting that the antimicrobial activity of garlic extract is mainly due to DAS. An A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilm-killing assay performed with DAS showed a significant reduction in biofilm cell numbers, as evidenced by both confocal microscopy and culture. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of DAS-treated A. actinomycetemcomitans biofilms showed alterations of colony architecture indicating severe stress. Flow cytometry analysis of OBA9 cells did not demonstrate apoptosis or cell cycle arrest at therapeutic concentrations of DAS (0.01 and 0.1 ?g/ml). DAS-treated A. actinomycetemcomitans cells demonstrated complete inhibition of glutathione (GSH) S-transferase (GST) activity. However, OBA9 cells, when exposed to DAS at similar concentrations, showed no significant differences in GST activity, suggesting that DAS-induced GST inhibition might be involved in A. actinomycetemcomitans cell death. These findings demonstrate that DAS exhibits significant antibacterial activity against A. actinomycetemcomitans and that this property might be utilized for exploring its therapeutic potential in treatment of A. actinomycetemcomitans-associated oral and nonoral infections.
Project description:Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a Gram-negative bacterium, and Candida albicans, a polymorphic fungus, are both commensals of the oral cavity but both are opportunistic pathogens that can cause oral diseases. A. actinomycetemcomitans produces a quorum-sensing molecule called autoinducer-2 (AI-2), synthesized by LuxS, that plays an important role in expression of virulence factors, in intra- but also in interspecies communication. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of AI-2 based signaling in the interactions between C. albicans and A. actinomycetemcomitans. A. actinomycetemcomitans adhered to C. albicans and inhibited biofilm formation by means of a molecule that was secreted during growth. C. albicans biofilm formation increased significantly when co-cultured with A. actinomycetemcomitans luxS, lacking AI-2 production. Addition of wild-type-derived spent medium or synthetic AI-2 to spent medium of the luxS strain, restored inhibition of C. albicans biofilm formation to wild-type levels. Addition of synthetic AI-2 significantly inhibited hypha formation of C. albicans possibly explaining the inhibition of biofilm formation. AI-2 of A. actinomycetemcomitans is synthesized by LuxS, accumulates during growth and inhibits C. albicans hypha- and biofilm formation. Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between bacteria and fungi may provide important insight into the balance within complex oral microbial communities.
Project description:Periodontitis is an infectious disease that causes the inflammatory destruction of the tooth-supporting (periodontal) tissues, caused by polymicrobial biofilm communities growing on the tooth surface. Aggressive periodontitis is strongly associated with the presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in the subgingival biofilms. Nevertheless, whether and how A. actinomycetemcomitans orchestrates molecular changes within the biofilm is unclear. The aim of this work was to decipher the interactions between A. actinomycetemcomitans and other bacterial species in a multi-species biofilm using proteomic analysis. An in vitro 10-species "subgingival" biofilm model, or its derivative that included additionally A. actinomycetemcomitans, were anaerobically cultivated on hydroxyapatite discs for 64 h. When present, A. actinomycetemcomitans formed dense intra-species clumps within the biofilm mass, and did not affect the numbers of the other species in the biofilm. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to identify the proteomic content of the biofilm lysate. A total of 3225 and 3352 proteins were identified in the biofilm, in presence or absence of A. actinomycetemcomitans, respectively. Label-free quantitative proteomics revealed that 483 out of the 728 quantified bacterial proteins (excluding those of A. actinomycetemcomitans) were accordingly regulated. Interestingly, all quantified proteins from Prevotella intermedia were up-regulated, and most quantified proteins from Campylobacter rectus, Streptococcus anginosus, and Porphyromonas gingivalis were down-regulated in presence of A. actinomycetemcomitans. Enrichment of Gene Ontology pathway analysis showed that the regulated groups of proteins were responsible primarily for changes in the metabolic rate, the ferric iron-binding, and the 5S RNA binding capacities, on the universal biofilm level. While the presence of A. actinomycetemcomitans did not affect the numeric composition or absolute protein numbers of the other biofilm species, it caused qualitative changes in their overall protein expression profile. These molecular shifts within the biofilm warrant further investigation on their potential impact on its virulence properties, and association with periodontal pathogenesis.
Project description:Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease caused by polymicrobial biofilms. The periodontal pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans displays two proteinaceous surface structures, the fimbriae and the nonfimbrial extracellular matrix binding protein A (EmaA), as observed by electron microscopy. Fimbriae participate in biofilm biogenesis and the EmaA adhesins mediate collagen binding. However, in the absence of fimbriae, A. actinomycetemcomitans still retains the potential to form robust biofilms, suggesting that other surface macromolecules participate in biofilm development. Here, isogenic mutant strains lacking EmaA structures, but still expressing fimbriae, were observed to have reduced biofilm potential. In strains lacking both EmaA and fimbriae, biofilm mass was reduced by 80%. EmaA enhanced biofilm formation in different strains, independent of the fimbriation state or serotype. Confocal microscopy revealed differences in cell density within microcolonies between the EmaA positive and mutant strains. EmaA-mediated biofilm formation was found to be independent of the glycosylation state and the precise three-dimensional conformation of the protein, and thus this function is uncorrelated with collagen binding activity. The data suggest that EmaA is a multifunctional adhesin that utilizes different mechanisms to enhance bacterial binding to collagen and to enhance biofilm formation, both of which are important for A. actinomycetemcomitans colonization and subsequent infection.
Project description:The RNA chaperone Hfq is a key regulator of the function of small RNAs (sRNAs). Hfq has been shown to facilitate sRNAs binding to target mRNAs and to directly regulate translation through the action of sRNAs. Here, we present evidence that Hfq acts as the repressor of cirA mRNA translation in the absence of sRNA. Hfq binding to cirA prevents translation initiation, which correlates with cirA mRNA instability. In contrast, RyhB pairing to cirA mRNA promotes changes in RNA structure that displace Hfq, thereby allowing efficient translation as well as mRNA stabilization. Because CirA is a receptor for the antibiotic colicin Ia, in addition to acting as an Fur (Ferric Uptake Regulator)-regulated siderophore transporter, translational activation of cirA mRNA by RyhB promotes colicin sensitivity under conditions of iron starvation. Altogether, these results indicate that Fur and RyhB modulate an unexpected feed-forward loop mechanism related to iron physiology and colicin sensitivity.