Burkholderia thailandensis is virulent in Drosophila melanogaster.
ABSTRACT: Melioidosis is a serious infectious disease endemic to Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. This disease is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei; Burkholderia thailandensis is a closely-related organism known to be avirulent in humans. B. thailandensis has not previously been used to infect Drosophila melanogaster. We examined the effect of B. thailandensis infection on fly survival, on antimicrobial peptide expression, and on phagocytic cells. In the fruit fly, which possesses only an innate immune system, B. thailandensis is highly virulent, causing rapid death when injected or fed. One intriguing aspect of this infection is its temperature dependence: infected flies maintained at 25°C exhibit rapid bacterial proliferation and death in a few days, while infected animals maintained at 18°C exhibit very slow bacterial proliferation and take weeks to die; this effect is due in part to differences in immune activity of the host. Death in this infection is likely due at least in part to a secreted toxin, as injection of flies with sterile B. thailandensis-conditioned medium is able to kill. B. thailandensis infection strongly induces the expression of antimicrobial peptides, but this is insufficient to inhibit bacterial proliferation in infected flies. Finally, the function of fly phagocytes is not affected by B. thailandensis infection. The high virulence of B. thailandensis in the fly suggests the possibility that this organism is a natural pathogen of one or more invertebrates.
Project description:Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei are the causative agents of melioidosis and glanders, respectively, and are often fatal to humans and animals. Owing to the high fatality rate, potential for spread by aerosolization, and the lack of efficacious therapeutics, B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are considered biothreat agents of concern. In this study, we investigate the proteome of Burkholderia thailandensis, a closely related surrogate for the two more virulent Burkholderia species, during infection of host cells, and compare to that of B. thailandensis in culture. Studying the proteome of Burkholderia spp. during infection is expected to reveal molecular mechanisms of intracellular survival and host immune evasion; but proteomic profiling of Burkholderia during host infection is challenging. Proteomic analyses of host-associated bacteria are typically hindered by the overwhelming host protein content recovered from infected cultures. To address this problem, we have applied bio-orthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) to B. thailandensis, enabling the enrichment of newly expressed bacterial proteins from virtually any growth condition, including host cell infection. In this study, we show that B. thailandensis proteins were selectively labeled and efficiently enriched from infected host cells using BONCAT. We also demonstrate that this method can be used to label bacteria in situ by fluorescent tagging. Finally, we present a global proteomic profile of B. thailandensis as it infects host cells and a list of proteins that are differentially regulated in infection conditions as compared to bacterial monoculture. Among the identified proteins are quorum sensing regulated genes as well as homologs to previously identified virulence factors. This method provides a powerful tool to study the molecular processes during Burkholderia infection, a much-needed addition to the Burkholderia molecular toolbox.
Project description:Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei are the causative agents of melioidosis and glanders, respectively, and are often fatal to humans and animals. Owing to the high fatality rate, potential for spread by aerosolization, and the lack of efficacious therapeutics, B. pseudomallei and B. mallei are considered biothreat agents of concern. In this study, we investigate the proteome of Burkholderia thailandensis, a closely related surrogate for the two more virulent Burkholderia species, during infection of host cells, and compare to that of B. thailandensis in culture. Studying the proteome of intracellular Burkholderia spp. is expected to reveal molecular mechanisms of intracellular survival and host immune evasion; but proteomic profiling of intracellular Burkholderia is challenging. Proteomic analyses of intracellular bacteria are typically hindered by the overwhelming host protein content recovered from infected cultures. To address this problem, we have applied bio-orthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) to B. thailandensis, enabling the enrichment of newly expressed bacterial proteins from virtually any growth condition, most importantly intracellular contexts. In this study, we show that B. thailandensis proteins were selectively labeled and efficiently enriched from infected host cells using BONCAT. We also demonstrate that this method can be used to label bacteria in situ by fluorescent tagging. Finally, we present a global proteomic profile of B. thailandensis as it infects host cells and a list of proteins that are differentially regulated in infection conditions as compared to bacterial monoculture. Among the identified proteins are quorum sensing regulated genes as well as homologs to previously identified virulence factors. This method provides a powerful tool to study the molecular processes during Burkholderia infection, a much-needed addition to the Burkholderia molecular toolbox.
Project description:Innate immunity responds to pathogens by producing alarm signals and activating pathways that make host cells inhospitable for pathogen replication. The intracellular bacterium Burkholderia thailandensis invades the cytosol, hijacks host actin, and induces cell fusion to spread to adjacent cells, forming multinucleated giant cells (MNGCs) which promotes bacterial replication. We show that type I interferon (IFN) restricts macrophage MNGC formation during B. thailandensis infection. Guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) expressed downstream of type I IFN were required to restrict MNGC formation through inhibition of Arp2/3-dependent actin motility during infection. GTPase activity and the CAAX prenylation domain were required for GBP2 recruitment to B. thailandensis, which restricted bacterial actin polymerization required for MNGC formation. Consistent with in vitro macrophages, Gbp2-/- Gbp5-/-, GbpChr3-KO mice were more susceptible to intranasal infection with B. thailandensis than wildtype mice. Our findings reveal that IFN and GBPs play a critical role in restricting cell-cell fusion during infection Overall design: We used microarrays to gene expression profiles in bone marrow-derived macrophages isolated from wild-type and Ifnar1-/- mice after infection with Burkholderia thailandensis
Project description:Pathogenic Burkholderia rely on host factors for efficient intracellular replication and are highly refractory to antibiotic treatment. To identify host genes that are required by Burkholderia spp. during infection, we performed a RNA interference (RNAi) screen of the human kinome and identified 35 host kinases that facilitated Burkholderia thailandensis intracellular survival in human monocytic THP-1 cells. We validated a selection of host kinases using imaging flow cytometry to assess efficiency of B. thailandensis survival in the host upon siRNA-mediated knockdown. We focused on the role of the novel protein kinase C isoform, PKC-?, in Burkholderia infection and characterized PKC-?/MARCKS signaling as a key event that promotes the survival of unopsonized B. thailandensis CDC2721121 within host cells. While infection of lung epithelial cells with unopsonized Gram-negative bacteria stimulated phosphorylation of Ser175/160 in the MARCKS effector domain, siRNA-mediated knockdown of PKC-? expression reduced the levels of phosphorylated MARCKS by >3-fold in response to infection with Bt CDC2721121. We compared the effect of the conventional PKC-? and novel PKC-? isoforms on the growth of B. thailandensis CDC2721121 within monocytic THP-1 cells and found that ?75% knock-down of PRKCH transcript levels reduced intracellular bacterial load 100% more efficiently when compared to growth in cells siRNA-depleted of the classical PKC-?, suggesting that the PKC-? isoform can specifically mediate Burkholderia intracellular survival. Based on imaging studies of intracellular B. thailandensis, we found that PKC-? function stimulates phagocytic pathways that promote B. thailandensis escape into the cytoplasm leading to activation of autophagosome flux. Identification of host kinases that are targeted by Burkholderia during infection provides valuable molecular insights in understanding Burkholderia pathogenesis, and ultimately, in designing effective host-targeted therapies against infectious disease caused by intracellular pathogens.
Project description:Several vectors that facilitate stable fluorescent labeling of Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia thailandensis were constructed. These vectors combined the effectiveness of the mini-Tn7 site-specific transposition system with fluorescent proteins optimized for Burkholderia spp., enabling bacterial tracking during cellular infection.
Project description:Infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei or B. thailandensis triggers activation of the NLRP3 and NLRC4 inflammasomes leading to release of IL-1? and IL-18 and death of infected macrophages by pyroptosis, respectively. The non-canonical inflammasome composed of caspase-11 is also activated by these bacteria and provides protection through induction of pyroptosis. The recent generation of bona fide caspase-1-deficient mice allowed us to reexamine in a mouse model of pneumonic melioidosis the role of caspase-1 independently of caspase-11 (that was also absent in previously generated Casp1-/- mice). Mice lacking either caspase-1 or caspase-11 were significantly more susceptible than wild type mice to intranasal infection with B. thailandensis. Absence of caspase-1 completely abolished production of IL-1? and IL-18 as well as pyroptosis of infected macrophages. In contrast, in mice lacking caspase-11 IL-1? and IL-18 were produced at normal level and macrophages pyroptosis was only marginally affected. Adoptive transfer of bone marrow indicated that caspase-11 exerted its protective action both in myeloid cells and in radio-resistant cell types. B. thailandensis was shown to readily infect mouse lung epithelial cells triggering pyroptosis in a caspase-11-dependent way in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, we show that lung epithelial cells do not express inflammasomes components or caspase-1 suggesting that this cell type relies exclusively on caspase-11 for undergoing cell death in response to bacterial infection. Finally, we show that IL-18's protective action in melioidosis was completely dependent on its ability to induce IFN? production. In turn, protection conferred by IFN? against melioidosis was dependent on generation of ROS through the NADPH oxidase but independent of induction of caspase-11. Altogether, our results identify two non-redundant protective roles for caspase-1 and caspase-11 in melioidosis: Caspase-1 primarily controls pyroptosis of infected macrophages and production of IL-18. In contrast, caspase-11 mediates pyroptosis of infected lung epithelial cells.
Project description:Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia thailandensis are related pathogens that invade a variety of cell types, replicate in the cytoplasm, and spread to nearby cells. We have investigated temporal and spatial requirements for virulence determinants in the intracellular life cycle, using genetic dissection and photothermal nanoblade delivery, which allows efficient placement of bacterium-sized cargo into the cytoplasm of mammalian cells. The conserved Bsa type III secretion system (T3SS(Bsa)) is dispensable for invasion, but is essential for escape from primary endosomes. By nanoblade delivery of B. thailandensis we demonstrate that all subsequent events in intercellular spread occur independently of T3SS(Bsa) activity. Although intracellular movement was essential for cell-cell spread by B. pseudomallei and B. thailandensis, neither BimA-mediated actin polymerization nor the formation of membrane protrusions containing bacteria was required for B. thailandensis. Surprisingly, the cryptic (fla2) flagellar system encoded on chromosome 2 of B. thailandensis supported rapid intracellular motility and efficient cell-cell spread. Plaque formation by both pathogens was dependent on the activity of a type VI secretion system (T6SS-1) that functions downstream from T3SS(Bsa)-mediated endosome escape. A remarkable feature of Burkholderia is their ability to induce the formation of multinucleate giant cells (MNGCs) in multiple cell types. By infection and nanoblade delivery, we observed complete correspondence between mutant phenotypes in assays for cell fusion and plaque formation, and time-course studies showed that plaque formation represents MNGC death. Our data suggest that the primary means for intercellular spread involves cell fusion, as opposed to pseudopod engulfment and bacterial escape from double-membrane vacuoles.
Project description:Epichloë fungi are endophytes within grasses that can form stromata on culms of their hosts. Botanophila flies visit the stromata for egg laying and in the process can vector spermatial spores, thereby cross fertilising the fungus. Following egg hatch, larval flies consume fungal tissue and spores. Thus, Epichloë individuals with traits that limit larval consumption could be at a selective advantage. We assessed Botanophila fly larvae from sites within the United States and Europe for infection by the bacterial sexual parasite Wolbachia through amplification of the Wolbachia surface protein gene (wsp). Nearly 70% of fly larvae in our samples were infected by Wolbachia. This is the first record of infection by Wolbachia within Botanophila and could have far reaching effects on not only the fly host, but also the Epichloë fungi upon which Botanophila feeds as well as the grass host within which the fungi live. For example, infection by Wolbachia could limit consumption of Epichloë spores by Botanophila larvae if the bacteria promoted premature larval death.
Project description:Burkholderia thailandensis is a model organism for human pathogens Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei. The study of B. thailandensis peroxiredoxin is helpful for understanding the survival, pathogenic infection, and antibiotic resistance of its homologous species. Alkyl hydroperoxide reductase subunit C (AhpC) is an important peroxiredoxin involved in oxidative damage defense. Here, we report that BthAhpC exhibits broad specificity for peroxide substrates, including inorganic and organic peroxides and peroxynitrite. AhpC catalyzes the reduction of oxidants using the N-terminal conserved Cys57 as a peroxidatic Cys and the C-terminal conserved Cys171 and Cys173 as resolving Cys. These three conserved Cys residues play critical roles in the catalytic mechanism. AhpD directly interacts with AhpC as an electron donor, and the conserved Cys residues in active site of AhpD are important for AhpC reduction. AhpC is directly repressed by OxyR as shown by identifying the OxyR binding site in the ahpC promoter with a DNA binding assay. This work sheds light on the function of AhpC in the peroxides and peroxynitrite damage response in B. thailandensis and homologous species.
Project description:Members of the genus Burkholderia are known to be adept at biofilm formation, which presumably assists in the survival of these organisms in the environment and the host. Biofilm formation has been linked to quorum sensing (QS) in several bacterial species. In this study, we characterized Burkholderia thailandensis biofilm development under flow conditions and sought to determine whether QS contributes to this process. B. thailandensis biofilm formation exhibited an unusual pattern: the cells formed small aggregates and then proceeded to produce mature biofilms characterized by "dome" structures filled with biofilm matrix material. We showed that this process was dependent on QS. B. thailandensis has three acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) QS systems (QS-1, QS-2, and QS-3). An AHL-negative strain produced biofilms consisting of cell aggregates but lacking the matrix-filled dome structures. This phenotype was rescued via exogenous addition of the three AHL signals. Of the three B. thailandensis QS systems, we show that QS-1 is required for proper biofilm development, since a btaR1 mutant, which is defective in QS-1 regulation, forms biofilms without these dome structures. Furthermore, our data show that the wild-type biofilm biomass, as well as the material inside the domes, stains with a fucose-binding lectin. The btaR1 mutant biofilms, however, are negative for fucose staining. This suggests that the QS-1 system regulates the production of a fucose-containing exopolysaccharide in wild-type biofilms. Finally, we present data showing that QS ability during biofilm development produces a biofilm that is resistant to dispersion under stress conditions.The saprophyte Burkholderia thailandensis is a close relative of the pathogenic bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis, which is contracted from its environmental reservoir. Since most bacteria in the environment reside in biofilms, B. thailandensis is an ideal model organism for investigating questions in Burkholderia physiology. In this study, we characterized B. thailandensis biofilm development and sought to determine if quorum sensing (QS) contributes to this process. Our work shows that B. thailandensis produces biofilms with unusual dome structures under flow conditions. Our findings suggest that these dome structures are filled with a QS-regulated, fucose-containing exopolysaccharide that may be involved in the resilience of B. thailandensis biofilms against changes in the nutritional environment.