Neisseria gonorrhoeae filamentous phage Ngo?6 is capable of infecting a variety of Gram-negative bacteria.
ABSTRACT: We constructed a phagemid consisting of the whole genome of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteriophage Ngo?6 cloned into a pBluescript plasmid derivative lacking the f1 origin of replication (named pBS::?6). Escherichia coli cells harboring pBS::?6 were able to produce a biologically active phagemid, Ngo?6fm, capable of infecting, integrating its DNA into the chromosome of, and producing progeny phagemids in, a variety of taxonomically distant Gram-negative bacteria, including E. coli, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria sicca, Pseudomonas sp., and Paracoccus methylutens. A derivative of pBS::?6 lacking the phage orf7 gene, a positional homolog of filamentous phage proteins that mediate the interaction between the phage and the bacterial pilus, was capable of producing phagemid particles that were able to infect E. coli, Haemophilus influenzae, N. sicca, Pseudomonas sp., and Paracoccus methylutens, indicating that Ngo?6 infects cells of these species using a mechanism that does not involve the Orf7 gene product and that Ngo?6 initiates infection through a novel process in these species. We further demonstrate that the establishment of the lysogenic state does not require an active phage integrase. Since phagemid particles were capable of infecting diverse hosts, this indicates that Ngo?6 is the first broad-host-range filamentous bacteriophage described.
Project description:All Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains contain multiple copies of integrated filamentous phage genomes with undefined structures. In this study, we sought to characterize the capsid proteins of filamentous N. gonorrhoeae bacteriophage Ngo?6 and phagemids propagated in different bacteria. The data demonstrate that purified phage contain phage-encoded structural proteins and bacterial host proteins; host proteins consistently copurified with the phage particles. The bacterial host proteins associated with the phage filament (as identified by mass spectrometry) tended to be one of the predominant outer membrane components of the host strain, plus minor additional host proteins. We were able to copurify a functional ß-lactamase, a phagemid-encoded protein, with phage filaments. We used protein modeling and immunological analysis to identify the major phage encoded structural proteins. The antigenic properties of these proteins depended on the bacterium where the phages were propagated. Polyclonal antibodies against N. gonorrhoeae phage Ngo?6 recognized phage-encoded proteins if the phage was propagated in N. gonorrhoeae or H. influenzae cells but not if it was propagated in Salmonella or E. coli. We show that the phage filaments isolated from gonococci and Haemophilus are glycosylated, and this may explain the antigenic diversity seen. Taken en toto, the data demonstrate that while the neisserial filamentous phage are similar to other Inovirus with respect to overall genomic organization, their ability to closely associate with host proteins suggests that they have unique surface properties and are secreted by a here-to-fore unknown secretory pathway.
Project description:All Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains whose DNA sequences have been determined possess filamentous phage DNA sequences. To ascertain if phage encoded proteins could form the basis of a gonococcal vaccine, rabbits were orally infected with S. enterica Typhimurium strain ?3987 harboring phagemid Ngo?6?fm. The elicited sera contained large quantities of anti-phage IgG and IgA antibodies that bound to the surface of N. gonorrhoeae cells, as shown by indirect fluorescent analysis and flow cytometry. The elicited sera was able to bind to several phage proteins. The sera also had bactericidal activity. These data demonstrate that N. gonorrhoeae filamentous phage can induce antibodies with anti-gonococcal activity and that phage proteins may be a candidate for vaccine development.
Project description:The mef gene, originally described for gram-positive organisms and coding for an efflux pump, has been identified in clinical isolates of Acinetobacter junii and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. These strains could transfer the mef gene at frequencies ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-9) into one or more of the following recipients: gram-negative Moraxella catarrhalis, Neisseria perflava/sicca and Neisseria mucosa and gram-positive Enterococcus faecalis. Three Streptococcus pneumoniae strains could transfer the mef gene into Eikenella corrodens, Haemophilus influenzae, Kingella denitrificans, M. catarrhalis, Neisseria meningitidis, N. perflava/sicca, and N. mucosa at similar frequencies. The mef gene can thus be transferred to and expressed in a variety of gram-negative recipients.
Project description:In an attempt to identify and characterize components of a heme uptake system of Haemophilus somnus, an Escherichia coli cosmid library of H. somnus genomic DNA was screened for the ability to bind hemin (Hmb+). The Hmb+ phenotype was associated with a 7,814-bp HindIII fragment of H. somnus DNA that was subcloned and sequenced. Thirteen open reading frames (orfs) were identified, all transcribed in one direction, and transposon mutagenesis identified orf7 as the gene associated with the Hmb+ phenotype. Orf7 (178 amino acids) has extensive homology with the lysozymes of bacteriophages P-A2, P21, P22, PZA, phi-29, phi-vML3, T4, or HP1. The orf7 gene complemented the lytic function of the K gene of phage P2 and the R gene of phage lambda. A lysozyme assay using supernatants from whole-cell lysates of E. coli cultures harboring plasmid pRAP501 or pGCH2 (both of which express the orf7 gene product) exhibited significant levels of lysozyme activity. The orf6 gene upstream of orf7 has the dual start motif common to the holins encoded by lambdoid S genes, and the orf6 gene product has significant homology to the holins of phages HP1 and P21. When expressed from a tac promoter, the orf6 gene product caused immediate cell death without lysis, while cultures expressing the orf7 gene product grew at normal rates but lysed immediately after the addition of chloroform. Based on this data, we concluded that the Hmb+ phenotype was an artifact resulting from the expression of cloned lysis genes which were detrimental to the E. coli host. The DNA flanking the cloned lysis genes contains orfs that are similar to structural and DNA packaging genes of phage P2. Polyclonal antiserum against Orf2, which is homologous to the major capsid precursor protein (gpN) of phage P2, detected a 40,000-M(r) protein expressed from pRAP401 but did not detect Orf2 in H. somnus, lysates. The phage-like DNA was detected in the serum-susceptible preputial strains HS-124P and HS-127P but was absent from the serum-resistant preputial strains HS-20P and HS-22P. Elucidation of a potential role for this cryptic prophage in the H. somnus life cycle requires more study.
Project description:Aggregatibacter and Haemophilus species are relevant human commensals and opportunistic pathogens. Consequently, their bacteriophages may have significant impact on human microbial ecology and pathologies. Our aim was to reveal the prevalence and diversity of bacteriophages infecting Aggregatibacter and Haemophilus species that colonize the human body. Genome mining with comparative genomics, screening of clinical isolates, and profiling of metagenomes allowed characterization of 346 phages grouped in 52 clusters and 18 superclusters. Less than 10% of the identified phage clusters were represented by previously characterized phages. Prophage diversity patterns varied significantly for different phage types, host clades, and environmental niches. A more diverse phage community lysogenizes Haemophilus influenzae and Haemophilus parainfluenzae strains than Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and "Haemophilus ducreyi". Co-infections occurred more often in "H. ducreyi". Phages from Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans preferably lysogenized strains of specific serotype. Prophage patterns shared by subspecies clades of different bacterial species suggest similar ecoevolutionary drivers. Changes in frequencies of DNA uptake signal sequences and guanine-cytosine content reflect phage-host long-term coevolution. Aggregatibacter and Haemophilus phages were prevalent at multiple oral sites. Together, these findings should help exploring the ecoevolutionary forces shaping virus-host interactions in the human microbiome. Putative lytic phages, especially phiKZ-like, may provide new therapeutic options.
Project description:Downstream of flhA, the Paracoccus denitrificans gene encoding glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase, an open reading frame was identified and called fghA. The gene product of fghA showed appreciable similarity with human esterase D and with the deduced amino acid sequences of open reading frames found in Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mutating fghA strongly reduced S-formylglutathione hydrolase activity. The mutant was unable to grow on methanol and methylamine, indicating that the enzyme is essential for methylotrophic growth. S-Formylglutathione hydrolase appears to be part of a formaldehyde detoxification pathway that is universal in nature.
Project description:Hypermutable loci are widespread in bacteria as mechanisms for rapid generation of phenotypic diversity within a population that enables survival of fluctuating, often antagonistic, selection pressures. Localized hypermutation can mediate phase variation and enable survival of bacteriophage predation due to high frequency, reversible alterations in the expression of phage receptors. As phase variation can also generate population-to-population heterogeneity, we hypothesized that this phenomenon may facilitate survival of spatially-separated bacterial populations from phage invasion in a manner analogous to herd immunity to infectious diseases in human populations. The <i>lic2A</i> gene of <i>Haemophilus influenzae</i> is subject to "ON" and "OFF" switches in expression mediated by mutations in a 5'CAAT repeat tract present within the reading frame. The enzyme encoded by <i>lic2A</i> mediates addition of a galactose moiety of the lipopolysaccharide. This moiety is required for attachment of the HP1C1 phage such that the ON state of the <i>lic2A</i> gene is associated with HP1c1 susceptibility while the OFF state is resistant to infection. We developed an "oscillating prey assay" to examine phage spread through a series of sub-populations of <i>Haemophilus influenzae</i> whose phage receptor is in an ON or OFF state. Phage extinction was frequently observed when the proportion of phage-resistant sub-populations exceeded 34%. <i>In silico</i> modeling indicated that phage extinction was interdependent on phage loss during transfer between sub-populations and the frequency of resistant sub-populations. In a fixed-area oscillating prey assay, heterogeneity in phage resistance was observed to generate vast differences in phage densities across a meta-population of multiple bacterial sub-populations resulting in protective quarantining of some sub-populations from phage attack. We conclude that phase-variable hypermutable loci produce bacterial "herd immunity" with resistant intermediary-populations acting as a barricade to reduce the viral load faced by phage-susceptible sub-populations. This paradigm of meta-population protection is applicable to evolution of hypermutable loci in multiple bacteria-phage and host-pathogen interactions.
Project description:HP1 is a temperate bacteriophage, belonging to the Myoviridae family and infecting Haemophilus influenzae Rd. By in silico analysis and molecular cloning, we characterized lys and hol gene products, present in the previously proposed lytic module of HP1 phage. The amino acid sequence of the lys gene product revealed the presence of signal-arrest-release (SAR) and muraminidase domains, characteristic for some endolysins. HP1 endolysin was able to induce lysis on its own when cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, but the new phage release from infected H. influenzae cells was suppressed by inhibition of the secretion (sec) pathway. Protein encoded by hol gene is a transmembrane protein, with unusual C-out and N-in topology, when overexpressed/activated. Its overexpression in E. coli did not allow the formation of large pores (lack of leakage of ?-galactosidase), but caused cell death (decrease in viable cell count) without lysis (turbidity remained constant). These data suggest that lys gene encodes a SAR-endolysin and that the hol gene product is a pinholin. HP1 SAR-endolysin is responsible for cell lysis and HP1 pinholin seems to regulate the cell lysis and the phage progeny release from H. influenzae cells, as new phage release from the natural host was inhibited by deletion of the hol gene.
Project description:Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an obligate parasite of the oropharynx of humans, in whom it commonly causes mucosal infections such as otitis media, sinusitis, and bronchitis. We used a subtractive phage display approach to affinity select for peptides binding to the cell surface of a novel invasive NTHi strain R2866 (also called Int1). Over half of the selected phage peptides tested were bactericidal toward R2866 in a dose-dependent manner. Five of the clones encoded the same peptide sequence (KQRTSIRATEGCLPS; clone hi3/17), while the remaining four clones encoded unique peptides. All of the bactericidal phage peptides but one were cationic and had similar physical-chemical properties. Clone hi3/17 possessed a similar level of activity toward a panel of clinical NTHi isolates and H. influenzae type b strains but lacked bactericidal activity toward gram-positive (Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus) and gram-negative (Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella enterica) bacteria. These data indicate that peptides binding to bacterial surface structures isolated by phage display may prove of value in developing new antibiotics.