Discovery of catalases in members of the Chlamydiales order.
ABSTRACT: Catalase is an important virulence factor for survival in macrophages and other phagocytic cells. In Chlamydiaceae, no catalase had been described so far. With the sequencing and annotation of the full genomes of Chlamydia-related bacteria, the presence of different catalase-encoding genes has been documented. However, their distribution in the Chlamydiales order and the functionality of these catalases remain unknown. Phylogeny of chlamydial catalases was inferred using MrBayes, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony algorithms, allowing the description of three clade 3 and two clade 2 catalases. Only monofunctional catalases were found (no catalase-peroxidase or Mn-catalase). All presented a conserved catalytic domain and tertiary structure. Enzymatic activity of cloned chlamydial catalases was assessed by measuring hydrogen peroxide degradation. The catalases are enzymatically active with different efficiencies. The catalase of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae is the least efficient of all (its catalytic activity was 2 logs lower than that of Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Based on the phylogenetic analysis, we hypothesize that an ancestral class 2 catalase probably was present in the common ancestor of all current Chlamydiales but was retained only in Criblamydia sequanensis and Neochlamydia hartmannellae. The catalases of class 3, present in Estrella lausannensis and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, probably were acquired by lateral gene transfer from Rhizobiales, whereas for Waddlia chondrophila they likely originated from Legionellales or Actinomycetales. The acquisition of catalases on several occasions in the Chlamydiales suggests the importance of this enzyme for the bacteria in their host environment.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Amoebae are phagocytic protists where genetic exchanges might take place between amoeba-resistant bacteria. These amoebal pathogens are able to escape the phagocytic behaviour of their host. They belong to different bacterial phyla and often show a larger genome size than human-infecting pathogens. This characteristic is proposed to be the result of frequent gene exchanges with other bacteria that share a sympatric lifestyle and contrasts with the genome reduction observed among strict human pathogens. RESULTS: We sequenced the genome of a new amoebal pathogen, Legionella drancourtii, and compared its gene content to that of a Chlamydia-related bacterium, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae. Phylogenetic reconstructions identified seven potential horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) between the two amoeba-resistant bacteria, including a complete operon of four genes that encodes an ABC-type transporter. These comparisons pinpointed potential cases of gene exchange between P. acanthamoebae and Legionella pneumophila, as well as gene exchanges between other members of the Legionellales and Chlamydiales orders. Moreover, nine cases represent possible HGTs between representatives from the Legionellales or Chlamydiales and members of the Rickettsiales order. CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies numerous gene exchanges between intracellular Legionellales and Chlamydiales bacteria, which could preferentially occur within common inclusions in their amoebal hosts. Therefore it contributes to improve our knowledge on the intra-amoebal gene properties associated to their specific lifestyle.
Project description:Bovine abortion of unknown infectious etiology still remains a major economic problem. Thus, we investigated whether Brucella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. and Coxiella burnetii are associated with abortion and/or stillbirth in Tunisian dairy cattle. Using a pan-Chlamydiales PCR, we also investigated the role of Chlamydiaceae, Waddlia chondrophila, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae and other members of the Chlamydiales order in this setting. Veterinary samples taken from mid to late-term abortions from twenty dairy herds were tested. From a total of 150 abortion cases collected, infectious agents were detected by PCR in 73 (48.66%) cases, 13 (8.66%) of which represented co-infections with two infectious agents. Detected pathogens include Brucella spp (31.3%), Chlamydiaceae (4.66%), Waddlia chondrophila (8%), Parachlamydia acanthamoebae (5.33%), Listeria monocytogenes (4.66%) and Salmonella spp. (3.33%). In contrast, Campylobacter spp. and Coxiella burnetii DNA were not detected among the investigated veterinary samples. This demonstrates that different bacterial agents may cause bovine abortion in Tunisia. This is the first report suggesting the role of Parachlamydia acanthamoebae in bovine abortion in Africa. Further studies with a larger number of samples are necessary to confirm whether this emerging pathogen is directly linked to abortion in cattle.
Project description:Occurrence of bacteria belonging to the order Chlamydiales was investigated for the first time in common toad (Bufo bufo) tadpole populations collected from 41 ponds in the Geneva metropolitan area, Switzerland. A Chlamydiales-specific real-time PCR was used to detect and amplify the Chlamydiales 16S ribosomal RNA-encoding gene from the tails of 375 tadpoles. We found the studied amphibian populations to host Chlamydia-like organisms (CLOs) attributable to the genera Similichlamydia, Neochlamydia, Protochlamydia and Parachlamydia (all belonging to the family Parachlamydiaceae), Simkania (family Simkaniaceae) and Estrella (family Criblamydiaceae); additionally, DNA from the genus Thermoanaerobacter (family Thermoanaerobacteriaceae) was detected. Global autocorrelation analysis did not reveal a spatial structure in the observed CLOs occurrence rates, and association tests involving land cover characteristics did not evidence any clear effect on CLOs occurrence rates in B. bufo. Although preliminary, these results suggest a random and ubiquitous distribution of CLOs in the environment, which would support the biogeographical expectation 'everything is everywhere' for the concerned microorganisms.
Project description:Upon infection of a host, the pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus is attacked by the reactive oxygen species produced by phagocytic cells. Detoxification of hydrogen peroxide by catalases was proposed as a way to overcome this host response. A. fumigatus produces three active catalases; one is produced by conidia, and two are produced by mycelia. The mycelial catalase Cat1p was studied previously. Here we characterized the two other catalases, their genes, and the phenotypes of gene-disrupted mutants. CatAp, a spore-specific monofunctional catalase, is resistant to heat, metal ions, and detergent. This enzyme is a dimeric protein with 84.5-kDa subunits. The 749-amino-acid polypeptide exhibits high levels of similarity to the Aspergillus nidulans CatA catalase and to bacterial catalase HPII of Escherichia coli. In spite of increased sensitivity to H(2)O(2), killing of DeltacatA conidia by alveolar macrophages and virulence in animals were similar to the killing of conidia by alveolar macrophages and virulence in animals observed for the wild type. In contrast to the Cat1p and CatAp catalases, the mycelial Cat2p enzyme is a bifunctional catalase-peroxidase and is sensitive to heat, metal ions, and detergent. This enzyme, an 82-kDa monomer, is homologous to catalase-peroxidases of several fungi and bacteria. Surprisingly, mycelium of the double Deltacat1Deltacat2 mutant with no catalase activity exhibited only slightly increased sensitivity to H(2)O(2) and was as sensitive to killing by polymorphonuclear neutrophils as mycelium of the wild-type strain. However, this mutant exhibited delayed infection in the rat model of aspergillosis compared to infection by the wild-type strain. These results indicate that conidial catalase is not a virulence factor and that mycelial catalases transiently protect the fungus from the host.
Project description:Nonmitochondrial ADP/ATP translocase is an energy parasite enzyme. Its encoding gene, tlc, is found only in Rickettsiales, Chlamydiales, and plant and alga plastids. We demonstrate the presence of tlc in Parachlamydia acanthamoebae. This gene shares more similarity with the tlc1 gene of Chlamydiaceae and the tlc of plant and alga plastids than with the tlc2 gene of Chlamydiaceae. Phylogenetic analysis, including all other tlc homologs found in GenBank, showed that tlc was duplicated in a Chlamydiales ancestor before the appearance of multicellular eukaryotes. A time scale, calibrated with seven independent time points obtained from fossil estimates and from the 16S rRNA molecular clock, was congruent with the molecular clock provided by tlc. Plant and alga plastids acquired tlc approximately when Parachlamydiaceae and Chlamydiaceae diverged, at the eucaryotic radiation time, ca. 1 billion years ago.
Project description:The recently proposed reorganization of the order Chlamydiales and description of new taxa are broadening our perception of this once narrowly defined taxon. We have recovered four strains of gram-negative cocci endosymbiotic in Acanthamoeba spp., representing 5% of the Acanthamoeba sp. isolates examined, which displayed developmental life cycles typical of members of the Chlamydiales. One of these endosymbiont strains was found stably infecting an amoebic isolate recovered from a case of amoebic keratitis in North America, with three others found in acanthamoebae recovered from environmental sources in North America (two isolates) and Europe (one isolate). Analyses of nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences of these isolates by neighbor joining, parsimony, and distance matrix methods revealed their clustering with other members of the Chlamydiales but in a lineage separate from those of the genera Chlamydia, Chlamydophila, Simkania, and Waddlia (sequence similarities, <88%) and including the recently described species Parachlamydia acanthamoebae (sequence similarities, 91.2 to 93.1%). With sequence similarities to each other of 91.4 to 99.4%, these four isolates of intra-amoebal endosymbionts may represent three distinct species and, perhaps, new genera within the recently proposed family Parachlamydiaceae. Fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide probes targeted to 16S rRNA signature regions were able to readily differentiate two groups of intra-amoebal endosymbionts which corresponded to two phylogenetic lineages. These results reveal significant phylogenetic diversity occurring among the Chlamydiales in nontraditional host species and supports the existence of a large environmental reservoir of related species. Considering that all described species of Chlamydiales are known to be pathogenic, further investigation of intra-amoebal parachlamydiae as disease-producing agents is warranted.
Project description:Chlamydia was the only genus in the order Chlamydiales until the recent characterization of Simkania negevensis Z(T) and Parachlamydia acanthamoebae strains. The present study of Chlamydiales 23S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) focuses on a naturally occurring group I intron in the I-CpaI target site of 23S rDNA from S. negevensis. The intron, SnLSU. 1, belonged to the IB4 structural subgroup and was most closely related to large ribosomal subunit introns that express single-motif, LAGLIDADG endonucleases in chloroplasts of algae and in mitochondria of amoebae. RT-PCR and electrophoresis of in vivo rRNA indicated that the intron was not spliced out of the 23S rRNA. The unspliced 658-nt intron is the first group I intron to be found in bacterial rDNA or rRNA, and it may delay the S. negevensis developmental replication cycle by affecting ribosomal function.
Project description:Chlamydiae comprise important pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria that alternate between morphologically and physiologically different life stages during their developmental cycle. Using electron cryotomography, we characterize the ultrastructure of the developmental stages of three environmental chlamydiae: Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, Protochlamydia amoebophila and Simkania negevensis. We show that chemical fixation and dehydration alter the cell shape of Parachlamydia and that the crescent body is not a developmental stage, but an artefact of conventional electron microscopy. We further reveal type III secretion systems of environmental chlamydiae at macromolecular resolution and find support for a chlamydial needle-tip protein. Imaging bacteria inside their host cells by cryotomography for the first time, we observe marked differences in inclusion morphology and development as well as host organelle recruitment between the three chlamydial organisms, with Simkania inclusions being tightly enveloped by the host endoplasmic reticulum. The study demonstrates the power of electron cryotomography to reveal structural details of bacteria-host interactions that are not accessible using traditional methods.
Project description:Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common disease responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. However, the definite etiology of CAP often remains unresolved, suggesting that unknown agents of pneumonia remain to be identified. The recently discovered members of the order Chlamydiales, Chlamydia-related bacteria (CRB), are considered as possible emerging agents of CAP. Parachlamydia acanthamoebae is the most studied candidate. It survives and replicates inside free-living amoeba, which it might potentially use as a vehicle to infect animals and humans. A Mycoplasma pneumoniae outbreak was observed in Kymenlaakso region in Southeastern Finland during August 2017-January 2018. We determined the occurrence of Chlamydiales bacteria and their natural host, free-living amoeba in respiratory specimens collected during this outbreak with molecular methods. Altogether, 22/278 (7.9%) of the samples contained Chlamydiales DNA. By sequence analysis, majority of the CRBs detected were members of the Parachlamydiaceae family. Amoebal DNA was not detected within the sample material. Our study further proposes that Parachlamydiaceae could be a potential agent causing atypical CAP in children and adolescents.
Project description:Excessive hydrogen peroxide is harmful for almost all cell components, so its rapid and efficient removal is of essential importance for aerobically living organisms. Conversely, hydrogen peroxide acts as a second messenger in signal-transduction pathways. H(2)O(2) is degraded by peroxidases and catalases, the latter being able both to reduce H(2)O(2) to water and to oxidize it to molecular oxygen. Nature has evolved three protein families that are able to catalyze this dismutation at reasonable rates. Two of the protein families are heme enzymes: typical catalases and catalase-peroxidases. Typical catalases comprise the most abundant group found in Eubacteria, Archaeabacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia, whereas catalase-peroxidases are not found in plants and animals and exhibit both catalatic and peroxidatic activities. The third group is a minor bacterial protein family with a dimanganese active site called manganese catalases. Although catalyzing the same reaction (2 H(2)O(2)--> 2 H(2)O+ O(2)), the three groups differ significantly in their overall and active-site architecture and the mechanism of reaction. Here, we present an overview of the distribution, phylogeny, structure, and function of these enzymes. Additionally, we report about their physiologic role, response to oxidative stress, and about diseases related to catalase deficiency in humans.