A LacI-family regulator activates maltodextrin metabolism of Enterococcus faecium.
ABSTRACT: Enterococcus faecium is a gut commensal of humans and animals. In the intestinal tract, E. faecium will have access to a wide variety of carbohydrates, including maltodextrins and maltose, which are the sugars that result from the enzymatic digestion of starch by host-derived and microbial amylases. In this study, we identified the genetic determinants for maltodextrin utilization of E. faecium E1162. We generated a deletion mutant of the mdxABCD-pulA gene cluster that is homologous to maltodextrin uptake genes in other Gram-positive bacteria, and a deletion mutant of the mdxR gene, which is predicted to encode a LacI family regulator of mdxABCD-pulA. Both mutations impaired growth on maltodextrins but had no effect on the growth on maltose and glucose. Comparative transcriptome analysis showed that eight genes (including mdxABCD-pulA) were expressed at significantly lower levels in the isogenic ?mdxR mutant strain compared to the parental strain when grown on maltose. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR confirmed the results of transcriptome analysis and showed that the transcription of a putative maltose utilization gene cluster is induced in a semi-defined medium supplemented with maltose but is not regulated by MdxR. Understanding the maltodextrin metabolism of E. faecium could yield novel insights into the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the gut commensal lifestyle of E. faecium.
Project description:Maltodextrin is a mixture of maltooligosaccharides, which are produced by the degradation of starch or glycogen. They are mostly composed of ?-1,4- and some ?-1,6-linked glucose residues. Genes presumed to code for the Enterococcus faecalis maltodextrin transporter were induced during enterococcal infection. We therefore carried out a detailed study of maltodextrin transport in this organism. Depending on their length (3 to 7 glucose residues), E. faecalis takes up maltodextrins either via MalT, a maltose-specific permease of the phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP):carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS), or the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter MdxEFG-MsmX. Maltotriose, the smallest maltodextrin, is primarily transported by the PTS permease. A malT mutant therefore exhibits significantly reduced growth on maltose and maltotriose. The residual uptake of the trisaccharide is catalyzed by the ABC transporter, because a malT mdxF double mutant no longer grows on maltotriose. The trisaccharide arrives as maltotriose-6?-P in the cell. MapP, which dephosphorylates maltose-6'-P, also releases Pi from maltotriose-6?-P. Maltotetraose and longer maltodextrins are mainly (or exclusively) taken up via the ABC transporter, because inactivation of the membrane protein MdxF prevents growth on maltotetraose and longer maltodextrins up to at least maltoheptaose. E. faecalis also utilizes panose and isopanose, and we show for the first time, to our knowledge, that in contrast to maltotriose, its two isomers are primarily transported via the ABC transporter. We confirm that maltodextrin utilization via MdxEFG-MsmX affects the colonization capacity of E. faecalis, because inactivation of mdxF significantly reduced enterococcal colonization and/or survival in kidneys and liver of mice after intraperitoneal infection.IMPORTANCE Infections by enterococci, which are major health care-associated pathogens, are difficult to treat due to their increasing resistance to clinically relevant antibiotics, and new strategies are urgently needed. A largely unexplored aspect is how these pathogens proliferate and which substrates they use in order to grow inside infected hosts. The use of maltodextrins as a source of carbon and energy was studied in Enterococcus faecalis and linked to its virulence. Our results demonstrate that E. faecalis can efficiently use glycogen degradation products. We show here that depending on the length of the maltodextrins, one of two different transporters is used: the maltose-PTS transporter MalT, or the MdxEFG-MsmX ABC transporter. MdxEFG-MsmX takes up longer maltodextrins as well as complex molecules, such as panose and isopanose.
Project description:In the environment as well as in the vertebrate intestine, Listeriae have access to complex carbohydrates like maltodextrins. Bacterial exploitation of such compounds requires specific uptake and utilization systems.We could show that Listeria monocytogenes and other Listeria species contain genes/gene products with high homology to the maltodextrin ABC transporter and utilization system of B. subtilis. Mutant construction and growth tests revealed that the L. monocytogenes gene cluster was required for the efficient utilization of maltodextrins as well as maltose. The gene for the ATP binding protein of the transporter was located distant from the cluster. Transcription analyses demonstrated that the system was induced by maltose/maltodextrins and repressed by glucose. Its induction was dependent on a LacI type transcriptional regulator. Repression by glucose was independent of the catabolite control protein CcpA, but was relieved in a mutant defective for Hpr kinase/phosphorylase.The data obtained show that in L. monocytogenes the uptake of maltodextrin and, in contrast to B. subtilis, also maltose is exclusively mediated by an ABC transporter. Furthermore, the results suggest that glucose repression of the uptake system possibly is by inducer exclusion, a mechanism not described so far in this organism.
Project description:Enterococci are Gram-positive bacteria present in the healthy human microbiota, but they are also a leading cause of nosocomial infections. Maltodextrin utilization by <i>Enterococcus faecalis</i> has been identified as an important factor for colonization of mammalians hosts. Here, we show that the LacI/GalR transcriptional regulator MalR, the maltose gene regulator, is also the main regulator of the operons encoding an ABC transporter (<i>mdxEFG</i>) and three metabolic enzymes (<i>mmdH-gmdH-mmgT</i>) required for the uptake and catabolism of maltotetraose and longer maltodextrins. The utilization of maltose and maltodextrins is consequently coordinated and induced by the disaccharide maltose, which binds to MalR. Carbon catabolite repression of the <i>mdxEFG</i> and <i>mmdH-gmdH-mmgT</i> operons is mediated by both P-Ser-HPr/MalR and P-Ser-HPr/CcpA. The latter complex exerts only moderate catabolite repression, which became visible when comparing maltodextrin operon expression levels of a <i>malR</i> <sup>-</sup> mutant (with a mutant allele for the <i>malR</i> gene) and a <i>malR</i> <sup>-</sup> ?<i>ccpA</i> double mutant grown in the presence of maltose, which is transported via a phosphotransferase system and, thus, favors the formation of P-Ser-HPr. Moreover, maltodextrin transport via MdxEFG slows rapidly when glucose is added, suggesting an additional regulation via inducer exclusion. This complex regulation of metabolic operons likely allows <i>E. faecalis</i> to fine-tune gene expression in response to changing environmental conditions.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> <i>Enterococcus faecalis</i> represents a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections worldwide