Targeting of csgD by the small regulatory RNA RprA links stationary phase, biofilm formation and cell envelope stress in Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: RprA is a small regulatory RNA known to weakly affect the translation of ?(S) (RpoS) in Escherichia coli. Here we demonstrate that csgD, which encodes a stationary phase-induced biofilm regulator, as well as ydaM, which encodes a diguanylate cyclase involved in activating csgD transcription, are novel negatively controlled RprA targets. As shown by extensive mutational analysis, direct binding of RprA to the 5'-untranslated and translational initiation regions of csgD mRNA inhibits translation and reduces csgD mRNA levels. In the case of ydaM mRNA, RprA base-pairs directly downstream of the translational start codon. In a feedforward loop, RprA can thus downregulate >?30 YdaM/CsgD-activated genes including those for adhesive curli fimbriae. However, during early stationary phase, when csgD transcription is strongly activated, the synthesis of csgD mRNA exceeds that of RprA, which allows the accumulation of CsgD protein. This situation is reversed when csgD transcription is shut off - for instance, later in stationary phase or during biofilm formation - or by conditions that further activate RprA expression via the Rcs two-component system. Thus, antagonistic regulation of csgD and RprA at the mRNA level integrates cell envelope stress signals with global gene expression during stationary phase and biofilm formation.
Project description:Production of curli, extracellular protein structures important for Escherichia coli biofilm formation, is governed by a highly complex regulatory mechanism that integrates multiple environmental signals through the involvement of numerous proteins and small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs). No less than seven sRNAs (McaS, RprA, GcvB, RydC, RybB, OmrA and OmrB) are known to repress the expression of the curli activator CsgD. Many of the sRNAs repress CsgD production by binding to the csgD mRNA at sites far upstream of the ribosomal binding site. The precise mechanism behind sRNA-mediated regulation of CsgD synthesis is largely unknown. In this study, we identify a conserved A/U-rich region in the csgD mRNA 5' untranslated region, which is cleaved upon binding of the small RNAs, McaS, RprA or GcvB, to sites located more than 30 nucleotides downstream. Mutational analysis shows that the A/U-rich region as well as an adjacent stem-loop structure are required for McaS-stimulated degradation, also serving as a binding platform for the RNA chaperone Hfq. Prevention of McaS-activated cleavage completely relieves repression, suggesting that endoribonucleolytic cleavage of csgD mRNA is the primary regulatory effect exerted by McaS. Moreover, we find that McaS-mediated degradation of the csgD 5' untranslated region requires RNase E.
Project description:Escherichia coli produces proteinaceous surface structures called curli that are involved in adhesion and biofilm formation. CsgD is the transcriptional activator of curli genes. We show here that csgD expression is, in part, controlled post-transcriptionally by two redundant small RNAs (sRNAs), OmrA and OmrB. Their overexpression results in curli deficiency, in accordance with the inhibition of chromosomally encoded, FLAG-tagged CsgD. Downregulation of csgD occurs by a direct antisense interaction within the csgD 5'-UTR, far upstream of the ribosome-binding site (RBS). OmrA/B downregulate plasmid-borne csgD-gfp fusions in vivo, and inhibit CsgD translation in vitro. The RNA chaperone Hfq is required for normal csgD mRNA and OmrA/B levels in the cell, and enhances sRNA-dependent inhibition of csgD translation in vitro. Translational inhibition involves two phylogenetically conserved secondary structure modules that are supported by chemical and enzymatic probing. The 5'-most element is necessary and sufficient for regulation, the one downstream comprises the RBS and affects translational efficiency. OmrA/B are two antisense RNAs that regulate a transcription factor to alter a morphotype and group behaviour.
Project description:Bacteria can switch from a single-cell (planktonic) mode to a multicellular community (biofilm) mode via production of cell-cell aggregation and surface adhesion factors. In this report, we present evidence that the CsgD protein, a transcription regulator involved in biofilm formation in Escherichia coli, modulates the expression of the rpoS (sigma(S)) regulon. Protein pattern analysis of E. coli cells in stationary phase shows that CsgD affects the expression of several proteins encoded by sigma(S)-dependent genes. CsgD regulation of sigma(S)-dependent genes takes place at gene transcription level, does not bypass the need for rpoS, and is abolished in an rpoS-null mutant. Consistent with these results, we find that CsgD expression leads to an increase in sigma(S) intracellular concentration. Increase in sigma(S) cellular amount is mediated by CsgD-dependent transcription activation of iraP, encoding a factor involved in sigma(S) protein stabilization. Our results strongly suggest that the CsgD regulatory protein plays a major role as a relay between adhesion factors production and sigma(S)-dependent gene expression via sigma(S) protein stabilization. Direct coordination between biofilm formation and expression of the rpoS regulon could positively impact important biological processes, such as host colonization or response to environmental stresses.
Project description:Escherichia coli adapts its lifestyle to the variations of environmental growth conditions, swapping between swimming motility or biofilm formation. The stationary-phase sigma factor RpoS is an important regulator of this switch, since it stimulates adhesion and represses flagellar biosynthesis. By measuring the dynamics of gene expression, we show that RpoS inhibits the transcription of the flagellar sigma factor, FliA, in exponential growth phase. RpoS also partially controls the expression of CsgD and CpxR, two transcription factors important for bacterial adhesion. We demonstrate that these two regulators repress the transcription of fliA, flgM, and tar and that this regulation is dependent on the growth medium. CsgD binds to the flgM and fliA promoters around their -10 promoter element, strongly suggesting direct repression. We show that CsgD and CpxR also affect the expression of other known modulators of cell motility. We propose an updated structure of the regulatory network controlling the choice between adhesion and motility.
Project description:RpoS, the sigma factor of enteric bacteria that responds to stress and stationary phase, is subject to complex regulation acting at multiple levels, including transcription, translation, and proteolysis. Increased translation of rpoS mRNA during growth at low temperature, after osmotic challenge, or with a constitutively activated Rcs phosphorelay depends on two trans-acting small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) in Escherichia coli. The DsrA and RprA sRNAs are both highly conserved in Salmonella enterica, as is their target, an inhibitory antisense element within the rpoS untranslated leader. Analysis of dsrA and rprA deletion mutants indicates that while the increased translation of RpoS in response to osmotic challenge is conserved in S. enterica, dependence on these two sRNA regulators is much reduced. Furthermore, low-temperature growth or constitutive RcsC activation had only modest effects on RpoS expression, and these increases were, respectively, independent of dsrA or rprA function. This lack of conservation of sRNA function suggests surprising flexibility in RpoS regulation.
Project description:Bacterial persistence in the environment and in the infected host is often aided by the formation of exopolymer-enclosed communities known as biofilms. Heterogeneous gene expression takes place in microcompartments formed within the complex biofilm structure. This study describes cell differentiation within an isogenic bacterial cell population based on the example of biofilm formation by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. We analyzed the expression of the major biofilm regulator CsgD at the single-cell level with a chromosomal CsgD-green fluorescent protein (GFP) translational fusion. In individual cells, CsgD-GFP expression is mostly found in the cytoplasm. Quantitative expression analysis and results from three different models of S. Typhimurium biofilms demonstrated that CsgD is expressed in a bistable manner during biofilm development. CsgD expression is, however, monomodal when CsgD is expressed in larger amounts due to a promoter mutation or elevated levels of the secondary signaling molecule c-di-GMP. High levels of CsgD-GFP are associated with cellular aggregation in all three biofilm models. Furthermore, the subpopulation of cells expressing large amounts of CsgD is engaged in cellulose production during red, dry, and rough (rdar) morphotype development and in microcolony formation under conditions of continuous flow. Consequently, bistability at the level of CsgD expression leads to a corresponding pattern of task distribution in S. Typhimurium biofilms.
Project description:The secondary messenger cyclic di-GMP promotes biofilm formation by up regulating the expression of csgD, encoding the major regulator of rdar biofilm formation in Salmonella typhimurium. The GGDEF/EAL domain proteins regulate the c-di-GMP turnover. There are twenty- two GGDEF/EAL domain proteins in the genome of S. typhimurium. In this study, we dissect the role of individual GGDEF/EAL proteins for csgD expression and rdar biofilm development.Among twelve GGDEF domains, two proteins upregulate and among fifteen EAL domains, four proteins down regulate csgD expression. We identified two additional GGDEF proteins required to promote optimal csgD expression. With the exception of the EAL domain of STM1703, solely, diguanylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase activities are required to regulate csgD mediated rdar biofilm formation. Identification of corresponding phosphodiesterases and diguanylate cyclases interacting in the csgD regulatory network indicates various levels of regulation by c-di-GMP. The phosphodiesterase STM1703 represses transcription of csgD via a distinct promoter upstream region.The enzymatic activity and the protein scaffold of GGDEF/EAL domain proteins regulate csgD expression. Thereby, c-di-GMP adjusts csgD expression at multiple levels presumably using a multitude of input signals.
Project description:Synthetic acid tolerance, especially during active cell growth, is a desirable phenotype for many biotechnological applications. Natively, acid resistance in Escherichia coli is largely a stationary-phase phenotype attributable to mechanisms mostly under the control of the stationary-phase sigma factor RpoS. We show that simultaneous overexpression of noncoding small RNAs (sRNAs), DsrA, RprA and ArcZ, which are translational RpoS activators, increased acid tolerance (based on a low-pH survival assay) supra-additively up to 8500-fold during active cell growth, and provided protection against carboxylic acid and oxidative stress. Overexpression of rpoS without its regulatory 5'-UTR resulted in inferior acid tolerance. The supra-additive effect of overexpressing the three sRNAs results from the impact their expression has on RpoS-protein levels, and the beneficial perturbation of the interconnected RpoS and H-NS networks, thus leading to superior tolerance during active growth. Unlike the overexpression of proteins, overexpression of sRNAs imposes hardly any metabolic burden on cells, and constitutes a more effective strain engineering strategy.
Project description:MqsA, the antitoxin of the MqsR/MqsA toxin/antitoxin (TA) system, is a global regulator that reduces expression of several stress response genes (e.g., mqsRA, cspD, and rpoS) by binding to the promoter palindromic motif [5'-AACCT (N)? AGGTT-3']. We identified a similar mqsRA-like palindrome [5'-AACCT TA AGGTT-3'] 78?bp upstream of the transcription initiation site in the csgD promoter (p-csgD). CsgD is a master regulator for biofilm formation via its control of curli and cellulose production. We show here that MqsA binds to this palindrome in p-csgD to repress csgD transcription. As expected, p-csgD repression by MqsA resulted in reduced transcription from CsgD-regulated curli genes csgA and csgB (encoding the major and minor curlin subunits, respectively). Curli production was reduced in colonies and in planktonic cells upon MqsA production. Hence, MqsA directly represses p-csgD, and thereby influences curli formation. This demonstrates that TA systems can impact overall cell physiology by fine-tuning cellular stress responses.
Project description:The extracellular matrix protects Escherichia coli from immune cells, oxidative stress, predation, and other environmental stresses. Production of the E. coli extracellular matrix is regulated by transcription factors that are tuned to environmental conditions. The biofilm master regulator protein CsgD upregulates curli and cellulose, the two major polymers in the extracellular matrix of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) biofilms. We found that cyclic AMP (cAMP) regulates curli, cellulose, and UPEC biofilms through csgD The alarmone cAMP is produced by adenylate cyclase (CyaA), and deletion of cyaA resulted in reduced extracellular matrix production and biofilm formation. The catabolite repressor protein (CRP) positively regulated csgD transcription, leading to curli and cellulose production in the UPEC isolate, UTI89. Glucose, a known inhibitor of CyaA activity, blocked extracellular matrix formation when added to the growth medium. The mutant strains ?cyaA and ?crp did not produce rugose biofilms, pellicles, curli, cellulose, or CsgD. Three putative CRP binding sites were identified within the csgD-csgB intergenic region, and purified CRP could gel shift the csgD-csgB intergenic region. Additionally, we found that CRP binded upstream of kpsMT, which encodes machinery for K1 capsule production. Together our work shows that cAMP and CRP influence E. coli biofilms through transcriptional regulation of csgD IMPORTANCE The catabolite repressor protein (CRP)-cyclic AMP (cAMP) complex influences the transcription of ?7% of genes on the Escherichia coli chromosome (D. Zheng, C. Constantinidou, J. L. Hobman, and S. D. Minchin, Nucleic Acids Res 32:5874-5893, 2004, https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkh908). Glucose inhibits E. coli biofilm formation, and ?cyaA and ?crp mutants show impaired biofilm formation (D. W. Jackson, J.W. Simecka, and T. Romeo, J Bacteriol 184:3406-3410, 2002, https://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.184.12.3406-3410.2002). We determined that the cAMP-CRP complex regulates curli and cellulose production and the formation of rugose and pellicle biofilms through csgD Additionally, we propose that cAMP may work as a signaling compound for uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) to transition from the bladder lumen to inside epithelial cells for intracellular bacterial community formation through K1 capsule regulation.