Identification and characterization of novel Helicobacter pylori apo-fur-regulated target genes.
ABSTRACT: In Helicobacter pylori, the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) has evolved additional regulatory functions not seen in other bacteria; it can repress and activate different groups of genes in both its iron-bound and apo forms. Because little is understood about the process of apo-Fur repression and because only two apo-Fur-repressed genes (pfr and sodB) have previously been identified, we sought to expand our understanding of this type of regulation. Utilizing published genomic studies, we selected three potential new apo-Fur-regulated gene targets: serB, hydA, and the cytochrome c553 gene. Transcriptional analyses confirmed Fur-dependent repression of these genes in the absence of iron, as well as derepression in the absence of Fur. Binding studies showed that apo-Fur directly interacted with the suspected hydA and cytochrome c553 promoters but not that of serB, which was subsequently shown to be cotranscribed with pfr; apo-Fur-dependent regulation occurred at the pfr promoter. Alignments of apo-regulated promoter regions revealed a conserved, 6-bp consensus sequence (AAATGA). DNase I footprinting showed that this sequence lies within the protected regions of the pfr and hydA promoters. Moreover, mutation of the sequence in the pfr promoter abrogated Fur binding and DNase protection. Likewise, fluorescence anisotropy studies and binding studies with mutated consensus sequences showed that the sequence was important for apo-Fur binding to the pfr promoter. Together these studies expand the known apo-Fur regulon in H. pylori and characterize the first reported apo-Fur box sequence.
Project description:Helicobacter pylori is a significant human pathogen that has adapted to survive the many stresses found within the gastric environment. Superoxide Dismutase (SodB) is an important factor that helps H. pylori combat oxidative stress. sodB was previously shown to be repressed by the Ferric Uptake Regulator (Fur) in the absence of iron (apo-Fur regulation) . Herein, we show that apo regulation is not fully conserved among all strains of H. pylori. apo-Fur dependent changes in sodB expression are not observed under iron deplete conditions in H. pylori strains G27, HPAG1, or J99. However, Fur regulation of pfr and amiE occurs as expected. Comparative analysis of the Fur coding sequence between G27 and 26695 revealed a single amino acid difference, which was not responsible for the altered sodB regulation. Comparison of the sodB promoters from G27 and 26695 also revealed a single nucleotide difference within the predicted Fur binding site. Alteration of this nucleotide in G27 to that of 26695 restored apo-Fur dependent sodB regulation, indicating that a single base difference is at least partially responsible for the difference in sodB regulation observed among these H. pylori strains. Fur binding studies revealed that alteration of this single nucleotide in G27 increased the affinity of Fur for the sodB promoter. Additionally, the single base change in G27 enabled the sodB promoter to bind to apo-Fur with affinities similar to the 26695 sodB promoter. Taken together these data indicate that this nucleotide residue is important for direct apo-Fur binding to the sodB promoter.
Project description:The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) of Helicobacter pylori is a global regulator that is important for colonization and survival within the gastric mucosa. H. pylori Fur is unique in its ability to activate and repress gene expression in both the iron-bound (Fe-Fur) and apo forms (apo-Fur). In the current study we combined random and site-specific mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues important for both Fe-Fur and apo-Fur function. We identified 25 mutations that affected Fe-Fur repression and 23 mutations that affected apo-Fur repression, as determined by transcriptional analyses of the Fe-Fur target gene amiE, and the apo-Fur target gene, pfr. In addition, eight of these mutations also significantly affected levels of Fur in the cell. Based on regulatory phenotypes, we selected several representative mutations to characterize further. Of those selected, we purified the wild-type (HpFurWT) and three mutant Fur proteins (HpFurE5A, HpFurA92T and HpFurH134Y), which represent mutations in the N-terminal extension, the regulatory metal binding site (S2) and the structural metal binding site (S3) respectively. Purified proteins were evaluated for secondary structure by circular dichroism spectroscopy, iron-binding by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, oligomerization in manganese-substituted and apo conditions by in vitro cross-linking assays, and DNA binding to Fe-Fur and apo-Fur target sequences by fluorescence anisotropy. The results showed that the N-terminal, S2 and S3 regions play distinct roles in terms of Fur structure-function relationships. Overall, these studies provide novel information regarding the role of these residues in Fur function, and provide mechanistic insight into how H. pylori Fur regulates gene expression in both the iron-bound and apo forms of the protein.
Project description:Helicobacter pylori is an important human pathogen. However, the study of this organism is often limited by a relative shortage of genetic tools. In an effort to expand the methods available for genetic study, an endogenous H. pylori plasmid was modified for use as a transcriptional reporter and as a complementation vector. This was accomplished by addition of an Escherichia coli origin of replication, a kanamycin resistance cassette, a promoterless gfpmut3 gene, and a functional multiple cloning site to form pTM117. The promoters of amiE and pfr, two well-characterized Fur-regulated promoters, were fused to the promoterless gfpmut3, and green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression of the fusions in wild-type and delta fur strains was analyzed by flow cytometry under iron-replete and iron-depleted conditions. GFP expression was altered as expected based on current knowledge of Fur regulation of these promoters. RNase protection assays were used to determine the ability of this plasmid to serve as a complementation vector by analyzing amiE, pfr, and fur expression in wild-type and delta fur strains carrying a wild-type copy of fur on the plasmid. Proper regulation of these genes was restored in the delta fur background under high- and low-iron conditions, signifying complementation of both iron-bound and apo Fur regulation. These studies show the potential of pTM117 as a molecular tool for genetic analysis of H. pylori.
Project description:The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) of the medically important pathogen Helicobacter pylori is unique in that it has been shown to function as a repressor both in the presence of an Fe2+ cofactor and in its apo (non-Fe2+-bound) form. However, virtually nothing is known concerning the amino acid residues that are important for Fur functioning. Therefore, mutations in six conserved amino acid residues of H. pylori Fur were constructed and analyzed for their impact on both iron-bound and apo repression. In addition, accumulation of the mutant proteins, protein secondary structure, DNA binding ability, iron binding capacity, and the ability to form higher-order structures were also examined for each mutant protein. While none of the mutated residues completely abrogated the function of Fur, we were able to identify residues that were critical for both iron-bound and apo-Fur repression. One mutation, V64A, did not alter regulation of any target genes. However, each of the five remaining mutations showed an effect on either iron-bound or apo regulation. Of these, H96A, E110A, and E117A mutations altered iron-bound Fur regulation and were all shown to influence iron binding to different extents. Additionally, the H96A mutation was shown to alter Fur oligomerization, and the E110A mutation was shown to impact oligomerization and DNA binding. Conversely, the H134A mutant exhibited changes in apo-Fur regulation that were the result of alterations in DNA binding. Although the E90A mutant exhibited alterations in apo-Fur regulation, this mutation did not affect any of the assessed protein functions. This study is the first for H. pylori to analyze the roles of specific amino acid residues of Fur in function and continues to highlight the complexity of Fur regulation in this organism.
Project description:In Helicobacter pylori, iron balance is controlled by the Ferric uptake regulator (Fur), an iron-sensing repressor protein that typically regulates expression of genes implicated in iron transport and storage. Herein, we carried out extensive analysis of Fur-regulated promoters and identified a 7-1-7 motif with dyad symmetry (5'-TAATAATnATTATTA-3'), which functions as the Fur box core sequence of H. pylori. Addition of this sequence to the promoter region of a typically non-Fur regulated gene was sufficient to impose Fur-dependent regulation in vivo. Moreover, mutation of this sequence within Fur-controlled promoters negated regulation. Analysis of the H. pylori chromosome for the occurrence of the Fur box established the existence of well-conserved Fur boxes in the promoters of numerous known Fur-regulated genes, and revealed novel putative Fur targets. Transcriptional analysis of the new candidate genes demonstrated Fur-dependent repression of HPG27_51, HPG27_52, HPG27_199, HPG27_445, HPG27_825 and HPG27_1063, as well as Fur-mediated activation of the cytotoxin associated gene A, cagA (HPG27_507). Furthermore, electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed specific binding of Fur to the promoters of each of these genes. Future experiments will determine whether loss of Fur regulation of any of these particular genes contributes to the defects in colonization exhibited by the H. pylori fur mutant.
Project description:Gastric Helicobacter pylori colonization leads to iron deficiency anemia (IDA), especially in children and adolescents. However the pathogenesis is poorly understood.We sought to identify specific H. pylori genes involved in IDA development, by comparing bacterial genome-wide expression profiling in patients affected or not.H. pylori were isolated from four children with IDA and four from matched controls without IDA. Based on these isolates, cDNA microarrays under iron-replete or depleted conditions were systematically performed to compare gene expression profiles at the whole genome level. Real-time reverse-transcription (RT-) PCR and protein assays were performed for further assessing the profile differentiation of the identified H. pylori IDA-associated genes.We identified 29 and 11 genes with significantly higher or lower expression in the IDA isolates compared to non-IDA isolates, respectively. Especially notable were higher expression of sabA gene encoding sialic acid-binding adhesin in the IDA isolates, which was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR study. Moreover, iron-depletion in vitro led to up-regulation of fecA1 and frpB1 genes and down-regulation of pfr, as predicted. Known iron-regulated genes such as fur, pfr, fecA, and feoB did not significantly differ between both groups. The IDA isolates had significantly higher expression of vacuolating cytotoxin gene vacA than non-IDA isolates, consistent with the results of VacA protein assays. There were no significant differences in bacterial growth value between IDA and non-IDA isolates.It is likely that H. pylori carrying high expression of sabA causes IDA, especially in children and adolescents who have increased daily iron demand. In addition, it is possible that several host-interactive genes, including vacA, may play a synergistic role for sabA in IDA development.
Project description:Short-range DNA looping has been proposed to affect promoter activity in many bacterial species and operator configurations, but only few examples have been experimentally investigated in molecular detail. Here we present evidence for a metal-responsive DNA condensation mechanism controlled by the Helicobacter pylori ferric uptake regulator (Fur), an orthologue of the widespread Fur family of prokaryotic metal-dependent regulators. H. pylori Fur represses the transcription of the essential arsRS acid acclimation operon through iron-responsive oligomerization and DNA compaction, encasing the arsR transcriptional start site in a repressive macromolecular complex. A second metal-dependent regulator NikR functions as nickel-dependent anti-repressor at this promoter, antagonizing the binding of Fur to the operator elements responsible for the DNA condensation. The results allow unifying H. pylori metal ion homeostasis and acid acclimation in a mechanistically coherent model, and demonstrate, for the first time, the existence of a selective metal-responsive DNA compaction mechanism controlling bacterial transcriptional regulation.
Project description:The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is a predominant bacterial regulator controlling the iron assimilation functions in response to iron availability. Our previous microarray analysis on Yersinia pestis defined the iron-Fur modulon. In the present work, we reannotated the iron assimilation genes in Y. pestis, and the resulting genes in complementation with those disclosed by microarray constituted a total of 34 genome loci (putative operons) that represent the potential iron-responsive targets of Fur. The subsequent real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) in conjunction with the primer extension analysis showed that 32 of them were regulated by Fur in response to iron starvation. A previously predicted Fur box sequence was then used to search against the promoter regions of the 34 operons; the homologue of the above box could be predicted in each promoter tested. The subsequent electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) demonstrated that a purified His(6) tag-fused Fur protein was able to bind in vitro to each of these promoter regions. Therefore, Fur is a global regulator, both an activator and a repressor, and directly controls not only almost all of the iron assimilation functions but also a variety of genes involved in various non-iron functions for governing a complex regulatory cascade in Y. pestis. In addition, real-time RT-PCR, primer extension, EMSA, and DNase I footprinting assay were used to elucidate the Fur regulation of the ybt locus encoding a virulence-required iron uptake system. By combining the published data on the YbtA regulation of ybt, we constructed a concise Fur/YbtA regulatory network with a map of the Fur-promoter DNA interactions within the ybt locus. The data presented here give us an overview of the iron-responsive Fur regulon in Y. pestis.
Project description:The fepA-entD and fes-entF operons in the enterobactin synthesis and transport system are divergently transcribed from overlapping promoters, and both are inhibited by the Fur repressor protein under iron-replete conditions. A plasmid harboring divergent fepA'-phoA and fes-entF'-'lacZ fusions, both under the control of this bidirectional regulatory region, was constructed for the purpose of monitoring changes in expression of the two operons simultaneously. Deletion analysis, site-directed mutagenesis, and primer extension were employed to define both a single promoter governing the expression of fes-entF and two tandemly arranged promoters giving rise to the opposing fepA-entD transcript. A single Fur-binding site that coordinately regulates the expression of all transcripts emanating from this control region was identified by in vitro protection from DNase I nicking. The substitution of one base pair in the Fur recognition sequence relieved Fur repression but did not change the in vitro affinity of Fur for its binding site. Additional mutations in a limited region outside of the promoter determinants for either transcript inhibited expression of both fes and fepA. These observations suggest a mechanism of Fur-mediated regulation in this compact control region that may involve other regulatory components.
Project description:We previously identified a novel regulator of the exotoxin A gene (toxA) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, PtxR, that belongs to the LysR family of prokaryotic regulatory proteins. Preliminary data also suggest that PtxR affects the expression of siderophores in P. aeruginosa. Because toxA expression and siderophore production in this organism are coordinately regulated by the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) and the Fur-regulated alternative sigma factor PvdS, regulation of ptxR itself in the context of these regulators was examined. RNase protection analyses of ptxR transcription revealed that there are two independent transcription initiation sites (T1 and T2). While transcription from the promoter of T1 is constitutive throughout the growth cycle of PAO1, transcription from the second promoter (P2) is negatively affected by iron. Transcription from the P2 promoter is constitutive in a fur mutant under microaerobic conditions but still iron regulated during aerobic growth. High concentrations (>100 nM) of the ferric uptake regulatory protein (Fur) failed to bind to either of the promoter regions of ptxR in either gel mobility shift assays or DNase I footprint experiments. These results indicate that Fur indirectly regulates the iron-dependent expression of ptxR. Iron-regulated transcription of ptxR from the P2 promoter, but not constitutive expression from the P1 promoter, was dependent on the Fur-regulated alternative sigma factor gene pvdS, even under aerobic conditions. Consequently, there are two levels of iron-regulated expression of ptxR. The iron-regulated expression of ptxR under microaerobic conditions from the P2 promoter of ptxR is mediated indirectly by Fur through the iron-regulated expression of pvdS. In contrast, pvdS-mediated iron regulation of ptxR under aerobic conditions is Fur independent.