Proteomics identifies Bacillus cereus EntD as a pivotal protein for the production of numerous virulence factors.
ABSTRACT: Bacillus cereus is a Gram-positive pathogen that causes a wide variety of diseases in humans. It secretes into the extracellular milieu proteins that may contribute directly or indirectly to its virulence. EntD is a novel exoprotein identified by proteogenomics of B. cereus ATCC 14579. We constructed a ?entD mutant and analyzed the impact of entD disruption on the cellular proteome and exoproteome isolated from early, late, and stationary-phase cultures. We identified 308 and 79 proteins regulated by EntD in the cellular proteome and the exoproteome, respectively. The contribution of these proteins to important virulence-associated functions, including central metabolism, cell structure, antioxidative ability, cell motility, and toxin production, are presented. The proteomic data were correlated with the growth defect, cell morphology change, reduced motility, and reduced cytotoxicity of the ?entD mutant strain. We conclude that EntD is an important player in B. cereus virulence. The function of EntD and the putative EntD-dependent regulatory network are discussed. To our knowledge, this study is the first characterization of an Ent family protein in a species of the B. cereus group.
Project description:Cellular proteomes and exoproteomes are dynamic, allowing pathogens to respond to environmental conditions to sustain growth and virulence. Bacillus cereus is an important food-borne pathogen causing intoxication via emetic toxin and/or multiple protein exotoxins. Here, we compared the dynamics of the cellular proteome and exoproteome of emetic B. cereus cells grown at low (16 °C) and high (30 °C) temperature. Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS)-based shotgun proteomics analysis identified 2063 cellular proteins and 900 extracellular proteins. Hierarchical clustering following principal component analysis indicated that in B. cereus the abundance of a subset of these proteins-including cold-stress responders, and exotoxins non-hemolytic enterotoxin (NHE) and hemolysin I (cereolysin O (CLO))-decreased at low temperature, and that this subset governs the dynamics of the cellular proteome. NHE, and to a lesser extent CLO, also contributed significantly to exoproteome dynamics; with decreased abundances in the low-temperature exoproteome, especially in late growth stages. Our data therefore indicate that B. cereus may reduce its production of secreted protein toxins to maintain appropriate proteome dynamics, perhaps using catabolite repression to conserve energy for growth in cold-stress conditions, at the expense of virulence.
Project description:The aim of this study was to explore the role of SecDF in protein secretion in Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 by in-depth characterization of a markerless secDF knock out mutant. Deletion of secDF resulted in pleiotropic effects characterized by a moderately slower growth rate, aberrant cell morphology, enhanced susceptibility to xenobiotics, reduced virulence and motility. Most toxins, including food poisoning-associated enterotoxins Nhe, Hbl, and cytotoxin K, as well as phospholipase C were less abundant in the secretome of the ?secDF mutant as determined by label-free mass spectrometry. Global transcriptome studies revealed profound transcriptional changes upon deletion of secDF indicating cell envelope stress. Interestingly, the addition of glucose enhanced the described phenotypes. This study shows that SecDF is an important part of the Sec-translocase mediating efficient secretion of virulence factors in the Gram-positive opportunistic pathogen B. cereus, and further supports the notion that B. cereus enterotoxins are secreted by the Sec-system.
Project description:During aerobic respiratory growth, Bacillus cereus is exposed to continuously reactive oxidant, produced by partially reduced forms of molecular oxygen, known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). The sulfur-containing amino acid, methionine (Met), is particularly susceptible to ROS. The major oxidation products, methionine sulfoxides, can be readily repaired by methionine sulfoxide reductases, which reduce methionine sulfoxides [Met(O)] back to methionine. Here, we show that methionine sulfoxide reductase AB (MsrAB) regulates the Met(O) content of both the cellular proteome and exoproteome of B. cereus in a growth phase-dependent manner. Disruption of msrAB leads to metabolism changes resulting in enhanced export of Met(O) proteins at the late exponential growth phase and enhanced degradation of exoproteins. This suggests that B. cereus can modulate its capacity and specificity for protein export/secretion through the growth phase-dependent expression of msrAB. Our results also show that cytoplasmic MsrAB recycles Met residues in enterotoxins, which are major virulence factors in B. cereus.
Project description:At low density, Bacillus cereus cells release a large variety of proteins into the extracellular medium when cultivated in pH-regulated, glucose-containing minimal medium, either in the presence or absence of oxygen. The majority of these exoproteins are putative virulence factors, including toxin-related proteins. Here, B. cereus exoproteome time courses were monitored by nanoLC-MS/MS under low-oxidoreduction potential (ORP) anaerobiosis, high-ORP anaerobiosis, and aerobiosis, with a specific focus on oxidative-induced post-translational modifications of methionine residues. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the exoproteome dynamics indicated that toxin-related proteins were the most representative of the exoproteome changes, both in terms of protein abundance and their methionine sulfoxide (Met(O)) content. PCA also revealed an interesting interconnection between toxin-, metabolism-, and oxidative stress-related proteins, suggesting that the abundance level of toxin-related proteins, and their Met(O) content in the B. cereus exoproteome, reflected the cellular oxidation under both aerobiosis and anaerobiosis.
Project description:Sigma 54 is a transcriptional regulator predicted to play a role in physical interaction of bacteria with their environment, including virulence and biofilm formation. In order to study the role of Sigma 54 in Bacillus cereus, a comparative transcriptome and phenotypic study was performed using B. cereus ATCC 14579 WT, a markerless rpoN deletion mutant, and its complemented strain. The mutant was impaired in many different cellular functions including low temperature and anaerobic growth, carbohydrate metabolism, sporulation and toxin production. Additionally, the mutant showed lack of motility and biofilm formation at air-liquid interphase, and this correlated with absence of flagella, as flagella staining showed only WT and complemented strain to be highly flagellated. Comparative transcriptome analysis of cells harvested at selected time points during growth in aerated and static conditions in BHI revealed large differences in gene expression associated with loss of phenotypes, including significant down regulation of genes in the mutant encoding enzymes involved in degradation of branched chain amino acids, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, flagella synthesis and virulence factors. Our study provides evidence for a pleiotropic role of Sigma 54 in B. cereus supporting its adaptive response and survival in a range of conditions and environments.
Project description:Bacterial collagenases differ considerably in their structure and functions. The collagenases ColH and ColG from Clostridium histolyticum and ColA expressed by Clostridium perfringens are well-characterized collagenases that cleave triple-helical collagen, which were therefore termed as ´true´ collagenases. ColA from Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) has been added to the collection of true collagenases. However, the molecular characteristics of B. cereus ColA are less understood. In this study, we identified ColA as a secreted true collagenase from B. cereus ATCC 14579, which is transcriptionally controlled by the regulon phospholipase C regulator (PlcR). B. cereus ATCC 14579 ColA was cloned to express recombinant wildtype ColA (ColAwt) and mutated to a proteolytically inactive (ColAE501A) version. Recombinant ColAwt was tested for gelatinolytic and collagenolytic activities and ColAE501A was used for the production of a polyclonal anti-ColA antibody. Comparison of ColAwt activity with homologous proteases in additional strains of B. cereus sensu lato (B. cereus s.l.) and related clostridial collagenases revealed that B. cereus ATCC 14579 ColA is a highly active peptidolytic and collagenolytic protease. These findings could lead to a deeper insight into the function and mechanism of bacterial collagenases which are used in medical and biotechnological applications.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Most extracellular virulence factors produced by Bacillus cereus are regulated by the pleiotropic transcriptional activator PlcR. Among strains belonging to the B. cereus group, the plcR gene is always located in the vicinity of genes encoding the YvfTU two-component system. The putative role of YvfTU in the expression of the PlcR regulon was therefore investigated.<h4>Results</h4>Expression of the plcR gene was monitored using a transcriptional fusion with a lacZ reporter gene in a yvfTU mutant and in its B. cereus ATCC 14579 parental strain. Two hours after the onset of the stationary phase, a stage at which the PlcR regulon is highly expressed, the plcR expression in the yvfTU mutant was only 50% of that of its parental strain. In addition to the reduced plcR expression in the yvfTU mutant, a few members of the PlcR regulon showed a differential expression, as revealed by transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. The virulence of the yvfTU mutant in a Galleria mellonella insect model was slightly lower than that of the parental strain.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The YvfTU two-component system is not required for the expression of most of the virulence factors belonging to the PlcR regulon. However, YvfTU is involved in expression of plcR, a major regulator of virulence in B. cereus.
Project description:Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis are closely related gram-positive, spore-forming bacteria of the B. cereus sensu lato group. While independently derived strains of B. anthracis reveal conspicuous sequence homogeneity, environmental isolates of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis exhibit extensive genetic diversity. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of the genomes of two members of the B. cereus group, B. thuringiensis 97-27 subsp. konkukian serotype H34, isolated from a necrotic human wound, and B. cereus E33L, which was isolated from a swab of a zebra carcass in Namibia. These two strains, when analyzed by amplified fragment length polymorphism within a collection of over 300 of B. cereus, B. thuringiensis, and B. anthracis isolates, appear closely related to B. anthracis. The B. cereus E33L isolate appears to be the nearest relative to B. anthracis identified thus far. Whole-genome sequencing of B. thuringiensis 97-27and B. cereus E33L was undertaken to identify shared and unique genes among these isolates in comparison to the genomes of pathogenic strains B. anthracis Ames and B. cereus G9241 and nonpathogenic strains B. cereus ATCC 10987 and B. cereus ATCC 14579. Comparison of these genomes revealed differences in terms of virulence, metabolic competence, structural components, and regulatory mechanisms.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus with spa-type t437 has been identified as a predominant community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus clone from Asia, which is also encountered in Europe. Molecular typing has previously shown that t437 isolates are highly similar regardless of geographical regions or host environments. The present study was aimed at assessing to what extent this high similarity is actually reflected in the production of secreted virulence factors. We therefore profiled the extracellular proteome, representing the main reservoir of virulence factors, of 20 representative clinical isolates by mass spectrometry. The results show that these isolates can be divided into three groups and nine subgroups based on exoproteome abundance signatures. This implies that S. aureus t437 isolates show substantial exoproteome heterogeneity. Nonetheless, 30 highly conserved extracellular proteins, of which about 50% have a predicted role in pathogenesis, were dominantly identified. To approximate the virulence of the 20 investigated isolates, we employed infection models based on Galleria mellonella and HeLa cells. The results show that the grouping of clinical isolates based on their exoproteome profile can be related to virulence. We consider this outcome important as our approach provides a tool to pinpoint differences in virulence among seemingly highly similar clinical isolates of S. aureus.
Project description:Bacillus cereus can use swarming to move over and colonize solid surfaces in different environments. This kind of motility is a collective behavior accompanied by the production of long and hyperflagellate swarm cells. In this study, the genome-wide transcriptional response of B. cereus ATCC 14579 during swarming was analyzed. Swarming was shown to trigger the differential expression (>2-fold change) of 118 genes. Downregulated genes included those required for basic cellular metabolism. In accordance with the hyperflagellate phenotype of the swarm cell, genes encoding flagellin were overexpressed. Some genes associated with K(+) transport, phBC6A51 phage genes, and the binding component of the enterotoxin hemolysin BL (HBL) were also induced. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) experiments indicated an almost 2-fold upregulation of the entire hbl operon during swarming. Finally, BC1435 and BC1436, orthologs of liaI-liaH that are known to be involved in the resistance of Bacillus subtilis to daptomycin, were upregulated under swarming conditions. Accordingly, phenotypic assays showed reduced susceptibility of swarming B. cereus cells to daptomycin, and P(spac)-induced hyper-expression of these genes in liquid medium highlighted the role of BC1435 and BC1436 in the response of B. cereus to daptomycin.