Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli senses low biotin status in the large intestine for colonization and infection.
ABSTRACT: Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is an important foodborne pathogen that infects humans by colonizing the large intestine. Here we identify a virulence-regulating pathway in which the biotin protein ligase BirA signals to the global regulator Fur, which in turn activates LEE (locus of enterocyte effacement) genes to promote EHEC adherence in the low-biotin large intestine. LEE genes are repressed in the high-biotin small intestine, thus preventing adherence and ensuring selective colonization of the large intestine. The presence of this pathway in all nine EHEC serotypes tested indicates that it is an important evolutionary strategy for EHEC. The pathway is incomplete in closely related small-intestinal enteropathogenic E. coli due to the lack of the Fur response to BirA. Mice fed with a biotin-rich diet show significantly reduced EHEC adherence, indicating that biotin might be useful to prevent EHEC infection in humans.
Project description:Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is a food-borne cause of bloody diarrhea and the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) in humans. Most strains of EHEC belong to a group of bacterial pathogens that cause distinctive lesions on the host intestine termed attaching-and-effacing (A/E) lesions. A/E strains of EHEC, including the predominant serotype, O157:H7, are responsible for the majority of HUS outbreaks worldwide. However, several serotypes of EHEC are not A/E pathogens because they lack the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island. Nevertheless, such strains have been associated with sporadic cases and small outbreaks of hemorrhagic colitis and HUS. Of these LEE-negative organisms, O113:H21 is one of the most commonly isolated EHEC serotypes in many regions. Clinical isolates of LEE-negative EHEC typically express Shiga toxin 2 and carry an approximately 90-kb plasmid that encodes EHEC hemolysin, but in the absence of LEE, little is known about the way in which these pathogens colonize the host intestine. In this study we describe the identification of a novel fimbrial gene cluster related to long polar fimbriae in EHEC O113:H21. This chromosomal region comprises four open reading frames, lpfA to lfpD, and has the same location in the EHEC O113:H21 genome as O island 154 in the prototype EHEC O157:H7 strain, EDL933. In a survey of EHEC of other serotypes, homologues of lpfA(O113) were found in 26 of 28 LEE-negative and 8 of 11 non-O157:H7 LEE-positive EHEC strains. Deletion of the putative major fimbrial subunit gene, lpfA, from EHEC O113:H21 resulted in decreased adherence of this strain to epithelial cells, suggesting that lpf(O113) may function as an adhesin in LEE-negative isolates of EHEC.
Project description:Although the adhesion of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is central to the EHEC-host interaction during infection, it remains unclear how such adhesion regulates virulence factors. Adhesion to abiotic surfaces by E. coli has been reported to be an outer membrane lipoprotein NlpE-dependent activation cue of the Cpx pathway. Therefore, we investigated the role of NlpE in EHEC on the adhesion-mediated expression of virulence genes. NlpE in EHEC contributed to upregulation of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) genes encoded type III secretion system and to downregulated expression of the flagellin gene by activation of the Cpx pathway during adherence to hydrophobic glass beads and undifferentiated Caco-2 cells. Moreover, LysR homologue A (LrhA) in EHEC was involved in regulating the expression of the LEE genes and flagellin gene in response to adhesion. Gel mobility shift analysis revealed that response regulator CpxR bound to the lrhA promoter region and thereby regulated expressions of the LEE genes and flagellin gene via the transcriptional regulator LrhA in EHEC. Therefore, these results suggest that the sensing of adhesion signals via NlpE is important for regulation of the expression of the type III secretion system and flagella in EHEC during infection.
Project description:Global regulator of virulence A (GrvA) is a ToxR-family transcriptional regulator that activates locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE)-dependent adherence in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). LEE activation by GrvA requires the Rcs phosphorelay response regulator RcsB and is sensitive to physiologically relevant concentrations of bicarbonate, a known stimulant of virulence systems in intestinal pathogens. This study determines the genomic scale of GrvA-dependent regulation and uncovers details of the molecular mechanism underlying GrvA-dependent regulation of pathogenic mechanisms in EHEC. In a grvA-null background of EHEC strain TW14359, RNA sequencing analysis revealed the altered expression of over 700 genes, including the downregulation of LEE- and non-LEE-encoded effectors and the upregulation of genes for glutamate-dependent acid resistance (GDAR). Upregulation of GDAR genes corresponded with a marked increase in acid resistance. GrvA-dependent regulation of GDAR and the LEE required gadE, the central activator of GDAR genes and a direct repressor of the LEE. Control of gadE by GrvA was further determined to occur through downregulation of the gadE activator GadW. This interaction of GrvA with GadW-GadE represses the acid resistance phenotype, while it concomitantly activates the LEE-dependent adherence and secretion of immune subversion effectors. The results of this study significantly broaden the scope of GrvA-dependent regulation and its role in EHEC pathogenesis.Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is an intestinal human pathogen causing acute hemorrhagic colitis and life-threatening hemolytic-uremic syndrome. For successful transmission and gut colonization, EHEC relies on the glutamate-dependent acid resistance (GDAR) system and a type III secretion apparatus, encoded on the LEE pathogenicity island. This study investigates the mechanism whereby the DNA-binding regulator GrvA coordinates activation of the LEE with repression of GDAR. Investigating how these systems are regulated leads to an understanding of pathogenic behavior and novel strategies aimed at disease prevention and control.
Project description:The majority of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains associated with severe disease carry the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island, which encodes the ability to induce attaching and effacing lesions on the host intestinal mucosa. While LEE is essential for colonization of the host in these pathogens, strains of EHEC that do not carry LEE are regularly isolated from patients with severe disease, although little is known about the way these organisms interact with the host epithelium. In this study, we compared the adherence properties of clinical isolates of LEE-negative EHEC with those of LEE-positive EHEC O157:H7. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that LEE-negative EHEC O113:H21 was internalized by Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) epithelial cells and that intracellular bacteria were located within a membrane-bound vacuole. In contrast, EHEC O157:H7 remained extracellular and intimately attached to the epithelial cell surface. Quantitative gentamicin protection assays confirmed that EHEC O113:H21 was invasive and also showed that several other serogroups of LEE-negative EHEC were internalized by CHO-K1 cells. Invasion by EHEC O113:H21 was significantly reduced in the presence of the cytoskeletal inhibitors cytochalasin D and colchicine and the pan-Rho GTPase inhibitor compactin, whereas the tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein had no significant impact on bacterial invasion. In addition, we found that EHEC O113:H21 was invasive for the human colonic cell lines HCT-8 and Caco-2. Overall these studies suggest that isolates of LEE-negative EHEC may employ a mechanism of host cell invasion to colonize the intestinal mucosa.
Project description:Expression of genes of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) is essential for adherence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) to intestinal epithelial cells. Gut factors that may modulate LEE gene expression may therefore influence the outcome of the infection. Because nitric oxide (NO) is a critical effector of the intestinal immune response that may induce transcriptional regulation in enterobacteria, we investigated its influence on LEE expression in EHEC O157:H7. We demonstrate that NO inhibits the expression of genes belonging to LEE1, LEE4, and LEE5 operons, and that the NO sensor nitrite-sensitive repressor (NsrR) is a positive regulator of these operons by interacting directly with the RNA polymerase complex. In the presence of NO, NsrR detaches from the LEE1/4/5 promoter regions and does not activate transcription. In parallel, two regulators of the acid resistance pathway, GadE and GadX, are induced by NO through an indirect NsrR-dependent mechanism. In this context, we show that the NO-dependent LEE1 down-regulation is due to absence of NsrR-mediated activation and to the repressor effect of GadX. Moreover, the inhibition of expression of LEE4 and LEE5 by NO is due to loss of NsrR-mediated activation, to LEE1 down-regulation and to GadE up-regulation. Lastly, we establish that chemical or cellular sources of NO inhibit the adherence of EHEC to human intestinal epithelial cells. These results highlight the critical effect of NsrR in the regulation of the LEE pathogenicity island and the potential role of NO in the limitation of colonization by EHEC.
Project description:Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 (O157) is a major foodborne pathogen that causes severe illness in humans worldwide. The genome of O157 contains 177 genomic islands known as O islands (OIs), including Shiga toxin-converting phages (OI-45 and OI-93) and the locus for enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island (OI-148). However, most genes in OIs are uncharacterized and code for unknown functions. In this study, we demonstrated, for the first time, that OI-9 encodes a novel transcriptional activator, Z0346 (named OvrB), which is required for bacterial adherence to host cells and LEE gene expression in O157. OvrB directly binds to the promoter region of LEE1 and activates the transcription of ler (encoding a master regulator of LEE genes), which in turn activates LEE1-5 genes to promote O157 adherence. Furthermore, mouse oral infection assays showed that OvrB promotes O157 colonization in the mouse intestine. Finally, OvrB is shown to be a widespread transcriptional activator of virulence genes in other enterohemorrhagic and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli serotypes. Our work significantly expands the understanding of bacterial virulence control and provides new evidence suggesting that horizontally transferred regulator genes mediate LEE gene expression.
Project description:In enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), sigma factor N (σ(N)) regulates glutamate-dependent acid resistance (GDAR) and the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE); discrete genetic systems that are required for transmission and virulence of this intestinal pathogen. Regulation of these systems requires nitrogen regulatory protein C, NtrC, and is a consequence of NtrC-σ(N) -dependent reduction in the activity of sigma factor S (σ(S)). This study elucidates pathway components and stimuli for σ(N)-directed regulation of GDAR and the LEE in EHEC. Deletion of fliZ, the product of which reduces σ(S) activity, phenocopied rpoN (σ(N)) and ntrC null strains for GDAR and LEE control, acid resistance, and adherence. Upregulation of fliZ by NtrC-σ(N) was shown to be indirect and required an intact flagellar regulator flhDC. Activation of flhDC by NtrC-σ(N) and FlhDC-dependent regulation of GDAR and the LEE was dependent on σ(N)-promoter flhDP 2 , and a newly described NtrC upstream activator sequence. Addition of ammonium chloride significantly altered expression of GDAR and LEE, acid resistance, and adherence, independently of rpoN, ntrC, and the NtrC sensor kinase, ntrB. Altering the availability of NtrC phosphodonor acetyl phosphate by growth without glucose, with acetate addition, or by deletion of acetate kinase ackA, abrogated NtrC-σ(N)-dependent control of flhDC, fliZ, GDAR, and the LEE.
Project description:Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 are human pathogens responsible for bloody diarrhea and renal failures. EHEC employ a type 3 secretion system to attach directly to the human colonic epithelium. This structure is encoded by the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) whose expression is regulated in response to specific nutrients. In this study, we show that the mucin-derived sugars N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) and N-acetylneuraminic acid (NANA) inhibit EHEC adhesion to epithelial cells through down-regulation of LEE expression. The effect of NAG and NANA is dependent on NagC, a transcriptional repressor of the NAG catabolism in E. coli. We show that NagC is an activator of the LEE1 operon and a critical regulator for the colonization of mice intestine by EHEC. Finally, we demonstrate that NAG and NANA as well as the metabolic activity of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron affect the in vivo fitness of EHEC in a NagC-dependent manner. This study highlights the role of NagC in coordinating metabolism and LEE expression in EHEC and in promoting EHEC colonization in vivo.
Project description:Biotin protein ligase (BPL) is widespread in the three domains of the life. The paradigm BPL is the Escherichia coli BirA protein, which also functions as a repressor for the biotin biosynthesis pathway. Here we report that Lactococcus lactis possesses two different orthologues of birA (birA1_LL and birA2_LL). Unlike the scenario in E. coli, L. lactis appears to be auxotrophic for biotin in that it lacks a full biotin biosynthesis pathway. In contrast, it retains two biotin transporter-encoding genes (bioY1_LL and bioY2_LL), suggesting the use of a scavenging strategy to obtain biotin from the environment. The in vivo function of the two L. lactis birA genes was judged by their abilities to complement the conditional lethal E. coli birA mutant. Thin-layer chromatography and mass spectroscopy assays demonstrated that these two recombinant BirA proteins catalyze the biotinylation reaction of the acceptor biotin carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP), through the expected biotinoyl-AMP intermediate. Gel shift assays were used to characterize bioY1_LL and BirA1_LL. We also determined the ability to uptake (3)H-biotin by L. lactis. Taken together, our results deciphered a unique biotin scavenging pathway with redundant genes present in the probiotic bacterium L. lactis.
Project description:Biotin protein ligase is universal in three domains of life. The paradigm version of BPL is the Escherichia coli BirA that is also a repressor for the biotin biosynthesis pathway. Streptococcus suis, a leading bacterial agent for swine diseases, seems to be an increasingly-important opportunistic human pathogen. Unlike the scenario in E. coli, S. suis lacks the de novo biotin biosynthesis pathway. In contrast, it retains a bioY, a biotin transporter-encoding gene, indicating an alternative survival strategy for S. suis to scavenge biotin from its inhabiting niche. Here we report functional definition of S. suis birA homologue. The in vivo functions of the birA paralogue with only 23.6% identity to the counterpart of E. coli, was judged by its ability to complement the conditional lethal mutants of E. coli birA. The recombinant BirA protein of S. suis was overexpressed in E. coli, purified to homogeneity and verified with MS. Both cellulose TLC and MALDI-TOFF-MS assays demonstrated that the S. suis BirA protein catalyzed the biotinylation reaction of its acceptor biotin carboxyl carrier protein. EMSA assays confirmed binding of the bioY gene to the S. suis BirA. The data defined the first example of the bifunctional BirA ligase/repressor in Streptococcus.