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Functional characterization of Burkholderia pseudomallei trimeric autotransporters.


ABSTRACT: Burkholderia pseudomallei is a tier 1 select agent and the causative agent of melioidosis, a severe and often fatal disease with symptoms ranging from acute pneumonia and septic shock to a chronic infection characterized by abscess formation in the lungs, liver, and spleen. Autotransporters (ATs) are exoproteins belonging to the type V secretion system family, with many playing roles in pathogenesis. The genome of B. pseudomallei strain 1026b encodes nine putative trimeric AT proteins, of which only four have been described. Using a bioinformatic approach, we annotated putative domains within each trimeric AT protein, excluding the well-studied BimA protein, and found short repeated sequences unique to Burkholderia species, as well as an unexpectedly large proportion of ATs with extended signal peptide regions (ESPRs). To characterize the role of trimeric ATs in pathogenesis, we constructed disruption or deletion mutations in each of eight AT-encoding genes and evaluated the resulting strains for adherence to, invasion of, and plaque formation in A549 cells. The majority of the ATs (and/or the proteins encoded downstream) contributed to adherence to and efficient invasion of A549 cells. Using a BALB/c mouse model of infection, we determined the contributions of each AT to bacterial burdens in the lungs, liver, and spleen. At 48 h postinoculation, only one strain, Bp340::pDbpaC, demonstrated a defect in dissemination and/or survival in the liver, indicating that BpaC is required for wild-type virulence in this model.

SUBMITTER: Campos CG 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3719557 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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