ABSTRACT: Chaperone-usher (CU) fimbriae are adhesive surface organelles common to many Gram-negative bacteria. Escherichia coli genomes contain a large variety of characterised and putative CU fimbrial operons, however, the classification and annotation of individual loci remains problematic. Here we describe a classification model based on usher phylogeny and genomic locus position to categorise the CU fimbrial types of E. coli. Using the BLASTp algorithm, an iterative usher protein search was performed to identify CU fimbrial operons from 35 E. coli (and one Escherichia fergusonnii) genomes representing different pathogenic and phylogenic lineages, as well as 132 Escherichia spp. plasmids. A total of 458 CU fimbrial operons were identified, which represent 38 distinct fimbrial types based on genomic locus position and usher phylogeny. The majority of fimbrial operon types occupied a specific locus position on the E. coli chromosome; exceptions were associated with mobile genetic elements. A group of core-associated E. coli CU fimbriae were defined and include the Type 1, Yad, Yeh, Yfc, Mat, F9 and Ybg fimbriae. These genes were present as intact or disrupted operons at the same genetic locus in almost all genomes examined. Evaluation of the distribution and prevalence of CU fimbrial types among different pathogenic and phylogenic groups provides an overview of group specific fimbrial profiles and insight into the ancestry and evolution of CU fimbriae in E. coli.
Project description:Proteus mirabilis is a Gram-negative enteric bacterium that causes complicated urinary tract infections, particularly in patients with indwelling catheters. Sequencing of clinical isolate P. mirabilis HI4320 revealed the presence of 17 predicted chaperone-usher fimbrial operons. We classified these fimbriae into three groups by their genetic relationship to other chaperone-usher fimbriae. Sixteen of these fimbriae are encoded by all seven currently sequenced P. mirabilis genomes. The predicted protein sequence of the major structural subunit for 14 of these fimbriae was highly conserved (? 95% identity), whereas three other structural subunits (Fim3A, UcaA and Fim6A) were variable. Further examination of 58 clinical isolates showed that 14 of the 17 predicted major structural subunit genes of the fimbriae were present in most strains (>85%). Transcription of the predicted major structural subunit genes for all 17 fimbriae was measured under different culture conditions designed to mimic conditions in the urinary tract. The majority of the fimbrial genes were induced during stationary phase, static culture or colony growth when compared to exponential-phase aerated culture. Major structural subunit proteins for six of these fimbriae were detected using MS of proteins sheared from the surface of broth-cultured P. mirabilis, demonstrating that this organism may produce multiple fimbriae within a single culture. The high degree of conservation of P. mirabilis fimbriae stands in contrast to uropathogenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica, which exhibit greater variability in their fimbrial repertoires. These findings suggest there may be evolutionary pressure for P. mirabilis to maintain a large fimbrial arsenal.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Fimbriae are bacterial cell surface organelles involved in the pathogenesis of many bacterial species, including Gallibacterium anatis, in which a F17-like fimbriae of the chaperone-usher (CU) family was recently shown to be an important virulence factor and vaccine candidate. To reveal the distribution and variability of CU fimbriae 22 genomes of the avian host-restricted bacteria Gallibacterium spp. were investigated. Fimbrial clusters were classified using phylogeny-based and conserved domain (CD) distribution-based approaches. To characterize the fimbriae in depth evolutionary analysis and in vitro expression of the most prevalent fimbrial clusters was performed. RESULTS: Overall 48 CU fimbriae were identified in the genomes of the examined Gallibacterium isolates. All fimbriae were assigned to γ4 clade of the CU fimbriae of Gram-negative bacteria and were organized in four-gene clusters encoding a putative major fimbrial subunit, a chaperone, an usher and a fimbrial adhesin. Five fimbrial clusters (Flf-Flf4) and eight conserved domain groups were defined to accommodate the identified fimbriae. Although, the number of different fimbrial clusters in individual Gallibacterium genomes was low, there was substantial amino acid sequence variability in the major fimbrial subunit and the adhesin proteins. The distribution of CDs among fimbrial clusters, analysis of their flanking regions, and evolutionary comparison of the strains revealed that Gallibacterium fimbrial clusters likely underwent evolutionary divergence resulting in highly host adapted and antigenically variable fimbriae. In vitro, only the fimbrial subunit FlfA was expressed in most Gallibacterium strains encoding this protein. The absence or scarce expression of the two other common fimbrial subunits (Flf1A and Flf3A) indicates that their expression may require other in vitro or in vivo conditions. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first approach establishing a systematic fimbria classification system within Gallibacterium spp., which indicates a species-wide distribution of γ4 CU fimbriae among a diverse collection of Gallibacterium isolates. The expression of only one out of up to three fimbriae present in the individual genomes in vitro suggests that fimbriae expression in Gallibacterium is highly regulated. This information is important for future attempts to understand the role of Gallibacterium fimbriae in pathogenesis, and may prove useful for improved control of Gallibacterium infections in chickens.
Project description:Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common bacterial infections in humans, causing cystitis, pyelonephritis, and renal failure. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the leading cause of UTIs. Accurate and rapid discrimination of UPEC lineages is useful for epidemiological surveillance. Fimbriae are necessary for the adherence of UPEC strains to host uroepithelia, and seem to be abundant and diverse in UPEC strains. By analyzing all the possible fimbrial operons in UPEC strains, we found that closely related strains had similar types of chaperone-usher fimbriae, and the diversity of fimbrial genes was higher than that of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) genes. A typing assay based on the polymorphism of four gene sequences (three fimbrial genes and one housekeeping gene) and the diversity of fimbriae present was developed. By comparison with the MLST, whole-genome sequence (WGS) and fumC/fimH typing methods, this was shown to be accurate and have high resolution, and it was also relatively inexpensive and easy to perform. The assay can supply more discriminatory information for UPEC lineages, and have the potential to be applied in epidemiological surveillance of UPEC isolates.
Project description:Chaperone/usher (CU) assembly pathway is used by a wide range of Enterobacteriaceae to assemble adhesive surface structures called pili or fimbriae that play a role in bacteria-host cell interactions. In silico analysis revealed that the genome of Klebsiella pneumoniae LM21 harbors eight chromosomal CU loci belonging to ??? and ? clusters. Of these, only two correspond to previously described operons, namely type 1 and type 3-encoding operons. Isogenic usher deletion mutants of K. pneumoniae LM21 were constructed for each locus and their role in adhesion to animal (Intestine 407) and plant (Arabidopsis thaliana) cells, biofilm formation and murine intestinal colonization was investigated. Type 3 pili usher deleted mutant was impaired in all assays, whereas type 1 pili usher deleted mutant only showed attenuation in adhesion to plant cells and in intestinal colonization. The LM21?kpjC mutant was impaired in its capacity to adhere to Arabidopsis cells and to colonize the murine intestine, either alone or in co-inoculation experiments. Deletion of LM21kpgC induced a significant decrease in biofilm formation, in adhesion to animal cells and in colonization of the mice intestine. The LM21?kpaC and LM21?kpeC mutants were only attenuated in biofilm formation and the adhesion abilities to Arabidopsis cells, respectively. No clear in vitro or in vivo effect was observed for LM21?kpbC and LM21?kpdC mutants. The multiplicity of CU loci in K. pneumoniae genome and their specific adhesion pattern probably reflect the ability of the bacteria to adhere to different substrates in its diverse ecological niches.
Project description:Fimbriae are long, adhesive structures widespread throughout members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. They are multimeric extrusions, which are moved out of the bacterial cell through an integral outer membrane protein called usher. The complex folding mechanics of the usher protein were recently revealed to be catalysed by the membrane-embedded translocation and assembly module (TAM). Here, we examine the diversity of usher proteins across a wide range of extraintestinal (ExPEC) and enteropathogenic (EPEC) Escherichia coli, and further focus on a so far undescribed chaperone-usher system, with this usher referred to as UshC. The fimbrial system containing UshC is distributed across a discrete set of EPEC types, including model strains like E2348/67, as well as ExPEC ST131, currently the most prominent multi-drug-resistant uropathogenic E. coli strain worldwide. Deletion of the TAM from a naive strain of E. coli results in a drastic time delay in folding of UshC, which can be observed for a protein from EPEC as well as for two introduced proteins from related organisms, Yersinia and Enterobacter We suggest that this models why the TAM machinery is essential for efficient folding of proteins acquired via lateral gene transfer.
Project description:Fimbriae and pili are macromolecular structures on the surface of Gram negative bacteria that are important for cellular adhesion. A 2.7Å resolution crystal structure of a complex of Escherichia coli fimbrial proteins containing FimH, FimG, FimF, and FimC provides the most complete model to date for the arrangement of subunits assembled in the native structure. The first three proteins form the tip of the fimbriae while FimC is the chaperone protein involved in the usher/chaperone assembly process. The subunits interact through donor strand complementation where a ?-strand from a subunit completes the ?-sandwich structure of the neighboring subunit or domain closer to the tip of the fimbria. The function of FimC is to provide a surrogate donor strand before delivery of each subunit to the FimD usher and the growing fimbria. Comparison of the subunits in this structure and their chaperone-bound complexes show that the two FimH domains change their relative orientation and position in forming the tip structure. Also, the non-chaperone subunits undergo a conformational change in their first ?-strand when the chaperone is replaced by the native donor strand. Some residues move as much as 14Å in the process. This structural shift has not been noted in structural studies of other bacterial adhesion sub-structures assembled via donor strand complementation. The domains undergo a significant structural change in the donor strand binding groove during fimbrial assembly, and this likely plays a role in determining the specificity of subunit-subunit interactions among the fimbrial proteins.
Project description:The human-specific pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi causes typhoid, a major public health issue in developing countries. Several aspects of its pathogenesis are still poorly understood. S. Typhi possesses 14 fimbrial gene clusters including 12 chaperone-usher fimbriae (stg, sth, bcf, fim, saf, sef, sta, stb, stc, std, ste, and tcf). These fimbriae are weakly expressed in laboratory conditions and only a few are actually characterized. In this study, expression of all S. Typhi chaperone-usher fimbriae and their potential roles in pathogenesis such as interaction with host cells, motility, or biofilm formation were assessed. All S. Typhi fimbriae were better expressed in minimal broth. Each system was overexpressed and only the fimbrial gene clusters without pseudogenes demonstrated a putative major subunits of about 17 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Six of these (Fim, Saf, Sta, Stb, Std, and Tcf) also show extracellular structure by electron microscopy. The impact of fimbrial deletion in a wild-type strain or addition of each individual fimbrial system to an S. Typhi afimbrial strain were tested for interactions with host cells, biofilm formation and motility. Several fimbriae modified bacterial interactions with human cells (THP-1 and INT-407) and biofilm formation. However, only Fim fimbriae had a deleterious effect on motility when overexpressed. Overall, chaperone-usher fimbriae seem to be an important part of the balance between the different steps (motility, adhesion, host invasion and persistence) of S. Typhi pathogenesis.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria assemble a variety of surface structures, including the hair-like organelles known as pili or fimbriae. Pili typically function in adhesion and mediate interactions with various surfaces, with other bacteria, and with other types of cells such as host cells. The chaperone/usher (CU) pathway assembles a widespread class of adhesive and virulence-associated pili. Pilus biogenesis by the CU pathway requires a dedicated periplasmic chaperone and integral outer membrane protein termed the usher, which forms a multifunctional assembly and secretion platform. This review addresses the molecular and biochemical aspects of the CU pathway in detail, focusing on the type 1 and P pili expressed by uropathogenic Escherichia coli as model systems. We provide an overview of representative CU pili expressed by E. coli and Salmonella, and conclude with a discussion of potential approaches to develop antivirulence therapeutics that interfere with pilus assembly or function.
Project description:Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the leading causative agent of urinary tract infections (UTI) in the developed world. Among the major virulence factors of UPEC, surface expressed adhesins mediate attachment and tissue tropism. UPEC strains typically possess a range of adhesins, with type 1 fimbriae and P fimbriae of the chaperone-usher class the best characterised. We previously identified and characterised F9 as a new chaperone-usher fimbrial type that mediates biofilm formation. However, the regulation and specific role of F9 fimbriae remained to be determined in the context of wild-type clinical UPEC strains. In this study we have assessed the distribution and genetic context of the f9 operon among diverse E. coli lineages and pathotypes and demonstrated that f9 genes are significantly more conserved in a UPEC strain collection in comparison to the well-defined E. coli reference (ECOR) collection. In the prototypic UPEC strain CFT073, the global regulator protein H-NS was identified as a transcriptional repressor of f9 gene expression at 37°C through its ability to bind directly to the f9 promoter region. F9 fimbriae expression was demonstrated at 20°C, representing the first evidence of functional F9 fimbriae expression by wild-type E. coli. Finally, glycan array analysis demonstrated that F9 fimbriae recognise and bind to terminal Gal?1-3GlcNAc structures.
Project description:The Gram-negative enteric bacterium Citrobacter rodentium is a natural mouse pathogen that has been extensively used as a surrogate model for studying the human pathogens enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. All three pathogens produce similar attaching and effacing (A/E) lesions in the intestinal epithelium. During infection, these bacteria employ surface structures called fimbriae to adhere and colonize the host intestinal epithelium. For C. rodentium, the roles of only a small number of its genome-carried fimbrial operons have been evaluated. Here, we report the identification of a novel C. rodentium colonization factor, called gut colonization fimbria (Gcf), which is encoded by a chaperone-usher fimbrial operon. A gcfA mutant shows a severe colonization defect within the first 10 days of infection. The gcf promoter is not active in C. rodentium under several in vitro growth conditions; however, it is readily expressed in a C. rodentium ?hns1 mutant lacking the closest ortholog of the Escherichia coli histone-like nucleoid structuring protein (H-NS) but not in mutants with deletion of the other four genes encoding H-NS homologs. H-NS binds to the regulatory region of gcf, further supporting its direct role as a repressor of the gcf promoter that starts transcription 158 bp upstream of the start codon of its first open reading frame. The gcf operon possesses interesting novel traits that open future opportunities to expand our knowledge of the structure, regulation, and function during infection of these important bacterial structures.Fimbriae are surface bacterial structures implicated in a variety of biological processes. Some have been shown to play a critical role during host colonization and thus in disease. Pathogenic bacteria possess the genetic information for an assortment of fimbriae, but their function and regulation and the interplay between them have not been studied in detail. This work provides new insights into the function and regulation of a novel fimbria called Gcf that is important for early establishment of a successful infection by C. rodentium in mice, despite being poorly expressed under in vitro growth conditions. This discovery offers an opportunity to better understand the individual role and the regulatory mechanisms controlling the expression of specific fimbrial operons that are critical during infection.