Characterization of BCAM0224, a multifunctional trimeric autotransporter from the human pathogen Burkholderia cenocepacia.
ABSTRACT: Members of the trimeric autotransporter adhesin (TAA) family play a crucial role in adhesion of Gram-negative pathogens to host cells. Moreover, these proteins are multifunctional virulence factors involved in several other biological traits, including invasion into host cells and evasion of the host immune system. In cystic fibrosis epidemic Burkholderia cenocepacia strain J2315, we identified a unique TAA (BCAM0224)-encoding gene, previously described as being implicated in virulence. Here, we characterized this multifunctional protein, trying to establish its role in B. cenocepacia pathogenicity. We show that BCAM0224 occurs on the bacterial surface and adopts a trimeric conformation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that BCAM0224 is needed for earlier stages of biofilm formation and is required for swarming motility. In addition, BCAM0224 plays an important role in evasion of the human innate immune system, providing resistance against the bactericidal activity of serum via the complement classical pathway. Finally, BCAM0224 mediates bacterial adhesion to and invasion of cultured human bronchial epithelial cells. Together, these data reveal the high versatility of the BCAM0224 protein as a virulence factor in the pathogenic bacterium B. cenocepacia.
Project description:Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria are a problematic group of microorganisms causing severe infections in patients with Cystic Fibrosis. In early stages of infection, Bcc bacteria must be able to adhere to and colonize the respiratory epithelium. Although this is not fully understood, this primary stage of infection is believed to be in part mediated by a specific type of adhesins, named trimeric autotransporter adhesins (TAAs). These homotrimeric proteins exist on the surface of many gram negative pathogens and often mediate a number of critical functions, including biofilm formation, serum resistance and adherence to an invasion of host cells. We have previously identified in the genome of the epidemic clinical isolate B. cenocepacia J2315, a novel cluster of genes putatively encoding three TAAs (BCAM0219, BCAM0223 and BCAM0224). In this study, the genomic organization of the TAA cluster has been determined. To further address the direct role of the putative TAA BCAM0223 in B. cenocepacia pathogenicity, an isogenic mutant was constructed via insertional inactivation. The BCAM0223::Tp mutant is deficient in hemagglutination, affected in adherence to vitronectin and in biofilm formation and showed attenuated virulence in the Galleria mellonella model of infection. Moreover, the BCAM0223::Tp mutant also showed a significant reduction in its resistance to human serum as well as in adherence, but not in invasion of, cultured human bronchial epithelial cells. Altogether these results demonstrate that the BCAM0223 protein is a multifunctional virulence factor that may contribute to the pathogenicity of B. cenocepacia.
Project description:Trimeric autotransporter adhesins (TAAs) are multimeric surface proteins exclusively found in bacteria. They are involved in various biological traits of pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria including adherence, biofilm formation, invasion, survival within eukaryotic cells, serum resistance, and cytotoxicity. TAAs have a modular architecture composed by a conserved membrane-anchored C-terminal domain and a variable number of stalk and head domains. In this study, a bioinformatic approach has been used to analyze the distribution and architecture of TAAs among Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) genomes. Fifteen genomes were probed revealing a total of 74 encoding sequences. Compared with other bacterial species, the Bcc genomes contain a large number of TAAs (two genes to up to eight genes, such as in B. cenocepacia). Phylogenetic analysis showed that the TAAs grouped into at least eight distinct clusters. TAAs with serine-rich repeats are clearly well separated from others, thereby representing a different evolutionary lineage. Comparative gene mapping across Bcc genomes reveals that TAA genes are inserted within conserved synteny blocks. We further focused our analysis on the epidemic strain B. cenocepacia J2315 in which seven TAAs were annotated. Among these, three TAA-encoding genes (BCAM019, BCAM0223, and BCAM0224) are organized into a cluster and are candidates for multifunctional virulence factors. Here we review the current insights into the functional role of BCAM0224 as a model locus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Burkholderia cenocepacia is a threatening nosocomial epidemic pathogen in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) or a compromised immune system. Its high level of antibiotic resistance is an increasing concern in treatments against its infection. Strain B. cenocepacia J2315 is the most infectious isolate from CF patients. There is a strong demand to reconstruct a genome-scale metabolic network of B. cenocepacia J2315 to systematically analyze its metabolic capabilities and its virulence traits, and to search for potential clinical therapy targets. RESULTS: We reconstructed the genome-scale metabolic network of B. cenocepacia J2315. An iterative reconstruction process led to the establishment of a robust model, iKF1028, which accounts for 1,028 genes, 859 internal reactions, and 834 metabolites. The model iKF1028 captures important metabolic capabilities of B. cenocepacia J2315 with a particular focus on the biosyntheses of key metabolic virulence factors to assist in understanding the mechanism of disease infection and identifying potential drug targets. The model was tested through BIOLOG assays. Based on the model, the genome annotation of B. cenocepacia J2315 was refined and 24 genes were properly re-annotated. Gene and enzyme essentiality were analyzed to provide further insights into the genome function and architecture. A total of 45 essential enzymes were identified as potential therapeutic targets. CONCLUSIONS: As the first genome-scale metabolic network of B. cenocepacia J2315, iKF1028 allows a systematic study of the metabolic properties of B. cenocepacia and its key metabolic virulence factors affecting the CF community. The model can be used as a discovery tool to design novel drugs against diseases caused by this notorious pathogen.
Project description:Bacterial infections of the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients cause major complications in the treatment of this common genetic disease. Burkholderia cenocepacia infection is particularly problematic since this organism has high levels of antibiotic resistance, making it difficult to eradicate; the resulting chronic infections are associated with severe declines in lung function and increased mortality rates. B. cenocepacia strain J2315 was isolated from a CF patient and is a member of the epidemic ET12 lineage that originated in Canada or the United Kingdom and spread to Europe. The 8.06-Mb genome of this highly transmissible pathogen comprises three circular chromosomes and a plasmid and encodes a broad array of functions typical of this metabolically versatile genus, as well as numerous virulence and drug resistance functions. Although B. cenocepacia strains can be isolated from soil and can be pathogenic to both plants and man, J2315 is representative of a lineage of B. cenocepacia rarely isolated from the environment and which spreads between CF patients. Comparative analysis revealed that ca. 21% of the genome is unique in comparison to other strains of B. cenocepacia, highlighting the genomic plasticity of this species. Pseudogenes in virulence determinants suggest that the pathogenic response of J2315 may have been recently selected to promote persistence in the CF lung. The J2315 genome contains evidence that its unique and highly adapted genetic content has played a significant role in its success as an epidemic CF pathogen.
Project description:Burkholderia cenocepacia and Burkholderia multivorans are opportunistic drug-resistant pathogens that account for the majority of Burkholderia cepacia complex infections in cystic fibrosis patients and also infect other immunocompromised individuals. While they share similar genetic compositions, B. cenocepacia and B. multivorans exhibit important differences in pathogenesis. We have developed reconciled genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions of B. cenocepacia J2315 and B. multivorans ATCC 17616 in parallel (designated iPY1537 and iJB1411, respectively) to compare metabolic abilities and contextualize genetic differences between species. The reconstructions capture the metabolic functions of the two species and give insight into similarities and differences in their virulence and growth capabilities. The two reconstructions have 1,437 reactions in common, and iPY1537 and iJB1411 have 67 and 36 metabolic reactions unique to each, respectively. After curating the extensive reservoir of metabolic genes in Burkholderia, we identified 6 genes essential to growth that are unique to iPY1513 and 13 genes uniquely essential to iJB1411. The reconstructions were refined and validated by comparing in silico growth predictions to in vitro growth capabilities of B. cenocepacia J2315, B. cenocepacia K56-2, and B. multivorans ATCC 17616 on 104 carbon sources. Overall, we identified functional pathways that indicate B. cenocepacia can produce a wider array of virulence factors compared to B. multivorans, which supports the clinical observation that B. cenocepacia is more virulent than B. multivorans. The reconciled reconstructions provide a framework for generating and testing hypotheses on the metabolic and virulence capabilities of these two related emerging pathogens.
Project description:A Burkholderia cenocepacia infection usually leads to reduced survival and fatal cepacia syndrome in cystic fibrosis patients. The identification of B. cenocepacia essential genes for in vivo survival is key to designing new anti-infectives therapies. We used the Transposon-Directed Insertion Sequencing (TraDIS) approach to identify genes required for B. cenocepacia survival in the model infection host, Caenorhabditis elegans. A B. cenocepacia J2315 transposon pool of ?500,000 mutants was used to infect C. elegans. We identified 178 genes as crucial for B. cenocepacia survival in the infected nematode. The majority of these genes code for proteins of unknown function, many of which are encoded by the genomic island BcenGI13, while other gene products are involved in nutrient acquisition, general stress responses and LPS O-antigen biosynthesis. Deletion of the glycosyltransferase gene wbxB and a histone-like nucleoid structuring (H-NS) protein-encoding gene (BCAL0154) reduced bacterial accumulation and attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Further analysis using quantitative RT-PCR indicated that BCAL0154 modulates B. cenocepacia pathogenesis via transcriptional regulation of motility-associated genes including fliC, fliG, flhD, and cheB1. This screen has successfully identified genes required for B. cenocepacia survival within the host-associated environment, many of which are potential targets for developing new antimicrobials.
Project description:Serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) is a major cause of severe sepsis and invasive meningococcal disease, which is associated with 5-15% mortality and devastating long-term sequelae. Neisserial adhesin A (NadA), a trimeric autotransporter adhesin (TAA) that acts in adhesion to and invasion of host epithelial cells, is one of the three antigens discovered by genome mining that are part of the MenB vaccine that recently was approved by the European Medicines Agency. Here we present the crystal structure of NadA variant 5 at 2 Å resolution and transmission electron microscopy data for NadA variant 3 that is present in the vaccine. The two variants show similar overall topology with a novel TAA fold predominantly composed of trimeric coiled-coils with three protruding wing-like structures that create an unusual N-terminal head domain. Detailed mapping of the binding site of a bactericidal antibody by hydrogen/deuterium exchange MS shows that a protective conformational epitope is located in the head of NadA. These results provide information that is important for elucidating the biological function and vaccine efficacy of NadA.
Project description:Fang2011 - Genome-scale metabolic network of
Burkholderia cenocepacia (iKF1028)
This model is described in the article:
Exploring the metabolic
network of the epidemic pathogen Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315
via genome-scale reconstruction.
Fang K, Zhao H, Sun C, Lam CM, Chang
S, Zhang K, Panda G, Godinho M, Martins dos Santos VA, Wang
BMC Syst Biol 2011; 5: 83
BACKGROUND: Burkholderia cenocepacia is a threatening
nosocomial epidemic pathogen in patients with cystic fibrosis
(CF) or a compromised immune system. Its high level of
antibiotic resistance is an increasing concern in treatments
against its infection. Strain B. cenocepacia J2315 is the most
infectious isolate from CF patients. There is a strong demand
to reconstruct a genome-scale metabolic network of B.
cenocepacia J2315 to systematically analyze its metabolic
capabilities and its virulence traits, and to search for
potential clinical therapy targets. RESULTS: We reconstructed
the genome-scale metabolic network of B. cenocepacia J2315. An
iterative reconstruction process led to the establishment of a
robust model, iKF1028, which accounts for 1,028 genes, 859
internal reactions, and 834 metabolites. The model iKF1028
captures important metabolic capabilities of B. cenocepacia
J2315 with a particular focus on the biosyntheses of key
metabolic virulence factors to assist in understanding the
mechanism of disease infection and identifying potential drug
targets. The model was tested through BIOLOG assays. Based on
the model, the genome annotation of B. cenocepacia J2315 was
refined and 24 genes were properly re-annotated. Gene and
enzyme essentiality were analyzed to provide further insights
into the genome function and architecture. A total of 45
essential enzymes were identified as potential therapeutic
targets. CONCLUSIONS: As the first genome-scale metabolic
network of B. cenocepacia J2315, iKF1028 allows a systematic
study of the metabolic properties of B. cenocepacia and its key
metabolic virulence factors affecting the CF community. The
model can be used as a discovery tool to design novel drugs
against diseases caused by this notorious pathogen.
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Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is a Gram-negative pathogen that causes a multitude of nosocomial infections. The Acinetobacter trimeric autotransporter adhesin (Ata) belongs to the superfamily of trimeric autotransporter adhesins which are important virulence factors in many Gram-negative species. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that ata is present in 78% of all sequenced A. baumannii isolates but only in 2% of the closely related species A. calcoaceticus and A. pittii. Employing a markerless ata deletion mutant of A. baumannii ATCC 19606 we show that adhesion to and invasion into human endothelial and epithelial cells depend on Ata. Infection of primary human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with A. baumannii led to the secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 in a time- and Ata-dependent manner. Furthermore, infection of HUVECs by WT A. baumannii was associated with higher rates of apoptosis via activation of caspases-3 and caspase-7, but not necrosis, in comparison to ?ata. Ata deletion mutants were furthermore attenuated in their ability to kill larvae of Galleria mellonella and to survive in larvae when injected at sublethal doses. This indicates that Ata is an important multifunctional virulence factor in A. baumannii that mediates adhesion and invasion, induces apoptosis and contributes to pathogenicity in vivo.
Project description:Bacteria from the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) are the only group of cystic fibrosis (CF) respiratory pathogens that may cause death by an invasive infection known as cepacia syndrome. Their large genome (> 7000 genes) and multiple pathways encoding the same putative functions make virulence factor identification difficult in these bacteria.A novel microarray was designed to the genome of Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 and transcriptomics used to identify genes that were differentially regulated when the pathogen was grown in a CF sputum-based infection model. Sputum samples from CF individuals infected with the same B. cenocepacia strain as genome isolate were used, hence, other than a dilution into a minimal growth medium (used as the control condition), no further treatment of the sputum was carried out.A total of 723 coding sequences were significantly altered, with 287 upregulated and 436 downregulated; the microarray-observed expression was validated by quantitative PCR on five selected genes. B. cenocepacia genes with putative functions in antimicrobial resistance, iron uptake, protection against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, secretion and motility were among the most altered in sputum. Novel upregulated genes included: a transmembrane ferric reductase (BCAL0270) implicated in iron metabolism, a novel protease (BCAL0849) that may play a role in host tissue destruction, an organic hydroperoxide resistance gene (BCAM2753), an oxidoreductase (BCAL1107) and a nitrite/sulfite reductase (BCAM1676) that may play roles in resistance to the host defenses. The assumptions of growth under iron-depletion and oxidative stress formulated from the microarray data were tested and confirmed by independent growth of B. cenocepacia under each respective environmental condition.Overall, our first full transcriptomic analysis of B. cenocepacia demonstrated the pathogen alters expression of over 10% of the 7176 genes within its genome when it grows in CF sputum. Novel genetic pathways involved in responses to antimicrobial resistance, oxidative stress, and iron metabolism were revealed by the microarray analysis. Virulence factors such as the cable pilus and Cenocepacia Pathogenicity Island were unaltered in expression. However, B. cenocepacia sustained or increased expression of motility-associated genes in sputum, maintaining a potentially invasive phenotype associated with cepacia syndrome.