Complete Genome Sequence of the Clostridium difficile Type Strain DSM 1296T.
ABSTRACT: In this study, we sequenced the complete genome of the Clostridium difficile type strain DSM 1296(T). A combination of single-molecule real-time (SMRT) and Illumina sequencing technology revealed the presence of one chromosome and two extrachromosomal elements, the bacteriophage phiCDIF1296T and a putative plasmid-like structure harboring genes of another bacteriophage.
Project description:Clostridium difficile contains many integrated and extrachromosomal genetic elements. In this study, we determined, annotated, and analyzed the complete genome of the C. difficile bacteriophage phiCDIF1296T using single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. To our knowledge, this represents the largest genome (131 kb) of a temperate C. difficile phage recognized so far.
Project description:Clostridium difficile infection is increasing in both frequency and severity, with the emergence of new highly virulent strains highlighting the need for more rapid and effective methods of control. Here, we show that bacteriophage endolysin can be used to inhibit and kill C. difficile. The genome sequence of a novel bacteriophage that is active against C. difficile was determined, and the bacteriophage endolysin gene was subcloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The partially purified endolysin was active against 30 diverse strains of C. difficile, and importantly, this group included strains of the major epidemic ribotype 027 (B1/NAP1). In contrast, a range of commensal species that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, including several representatives of the clostridium-like Firmicutes, were insensitive to the endolysin. This endolysin provides a platform for the generation of both therapeutic and detection systems to combat the C. difficile problem. To investigate a method for the protected delivery and production of the lysin in the gastrointestinal tract, we demonstrated the expression of active CD27L endolysin in the lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis MG1363.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Clostridium difficile is the cause of most frequently occurring nosocomial diarrhea worldwide. As an enteropathogen, C. difficile must be exposed to multiple exogenous genetic elements in bacteriophage-rich gut communities. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) systems allow bacteria to adapt to foreign genetic invaders. Our recent data revealed active expression and processing of CRISPR RNAs from multiple type I-B CRISPR arrays in C. difficile reference strain 630. Here, we demonstrate active expression of CRISPR arrays in strain R20291, an epidemic C. difficile strain. Through genome sequencing and host range analysis of several new C. difficile phages and plasmid conjugation experiments, we provide evidence of defensive function of the CRISPR-Cas system in both C. difficile strains. We further demonstrate that C. difficile Cas proteins are capable of interference in a heterologous host, Escherichia coli. These data set the stage for mechanistic and physiological analyses of CRISPR-Cas-mediated interactions of important global human pathogen with its genetic parasites. IMPORTANCE:Clostridium difficile is the major cause of nosocomial infections associated with antibiotic therapy worldwide. To survive in bacteriophage-rich gut communities, enteropathogens must develop efficient systems for defense against foreign DNA elements. CRISPR-Cas systems have recently taken center stage among various anti-invader bacterial defense systems. We provide experimental evidence for the function of the C. difficile CRISPR system against plasmid DNA and bacteriophages. These data demonstrate the original features of active C. difficile CRISPR system and bring important insights into the interactions of this major enteropathogen with foreign DNA invaders during its infection cycle.
Project description:The butyrogenic genes from Clostridium difficile DSM 1296(T) have been cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The enzymes acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) C-acetyltransferase, 3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase, crotonase, phosphate butyryltransferase, and butyrate kinase and the butyryl-CoA dehydrogenase complex composed of the dehydrogenase and two electron-transferring flavoprotein subunits were individually produced in E. coli and kinetically characterized in vitro. While most of these enzymes were measured using well-established test systems, novel methods to determine butyrate kinase and butyryl-CoA dehydrogenase activities with respect to physiological function were developed. Subsequently, the individual genes were combined to form a single plasmid-encoded operon in a plasmid vector, which was successfully used to confer butyrate-forming capability to the host. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that C. difficile possesses a bifurcating butyryl-CoA dehydrogenase which catalyzes the NADH-dependent reduction of ferredoxin coupled to the reduction of crotonyl-CoA also by NADH. Since the reoxidation of ferredoxin by a membrane-bound ferredoxin:NAD(+)-oxidoreductase enables electron transport phosphorylation, additional ATP is formed. The butyryl-CoA dehydrogenase from C. difficile is oxygen stable and apparently uses oxygen as a co-oxidant of NADH in the presence of air. These properties suggest that this enzyme complex might be well suited to provide butyryl-CoA for solventogenesis in recombinant strains. The central role of bifurcating butyryl-CoA dehydrogenases and membrane-bound ferredoxin:NAD oxidoreductases (Rhodobacter nitrogen fixation [RNF]), which affect the energy yield of butyrate fermentation in the clostridial metabolism, is discussed.
Project description:Germination of Clostridium difficile spores is a crucial early requirement for colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. Likewise, C. difficile cannot cause disease pathologies unless its spores germinate into metabolically active, toxin-producing cells. Recent advances in our understanding of C. difficile spore germination mechanisms indicate that this process is both complex and unique. This review defines unique aspects of the germination pathways of C. difficile and compares them to those of two other well-studied organisms, Bacillus anthracis and Clostridium perfringensC. difficile germination is unique, as C. difficile does not contain any orthologs of the traditional GerA-type germinant receptor complexes and is the only known sporeformer to require bile salts in order to germinate. While recent advances describing C. difficile germination mechanisms have been made on several fronts, major gaps in our understanding of C. difficile germination signaling remain. This review provides an updated, in-depth summary of advances in understanding of C. difficile germination and potential avenues for the development of therapeutics, and discusses the major discrepancies between current models of germination and areas of ongoing investigation.
Project description:Transcriptional analysis of Clostridium difficile R20291 in biofilm formation, planktonic state and grown on blood agar RNA sequencing was performed on Clostridium difficile R20291 in three different conditions: Biofilm formation, plantonic state and grown on blood agar plates. Each condtion has 3 replicates.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in humans and responsible for large outbreaks of enteritis in neonatal pigs in both North America and Europe. Disease caused by C. difficile typically occurs during antibiotic therapy and its emergence over the past 40 years is linked with the widespread use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine. RESULTS:We sequenced the genome of Clostridium difficile 5.3 using the Illumina Nextera XT and MiSeq technologies. Assembly of the sequence data reconstructed a 4,009,318 bp genome in 27 scaffolds with an N50 of 786 kbp. The genome has extensive similarity to other sequenced C. difficile genomes, but also has several genes that are potentially related to virulence and pathogenicity that are not present in the reference C. difficile strain. CONCLUSION:Genome sequencing of human and animal isolates is needed to understand the molecular events driving the emergence of C. difficile as a gastrointestinal pathogen of humans and food animals and to better define its zoonotic potential.
Project description:Clostridium difficile is an important nosocomial pathogen and the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea. Antibiotic use is the primary risk factor for the development of C. difficile-associated disease because it disrupts normal protective gut flora and enables C. difficile to colonize the colon. C. difficile damages host tissue by secreting toxins and disseminates by forming spores. The toxin-encoding genes, tcdA and tcdB are part of a pathogenicity locus, which also encodes the gene tcdR that codes for the toxin genes positive regulator. TcdR is an alternate sigma factor that initiates transcription of tcdA and tcdB at their promoters. Alternative sigma factors are known to regulate virulence and virulence associated genes in many pathogenic bacteria. We created a tcdR mutant in the epidemic-type C. difficile R20291 strain in an attempt to identify the global role of tcdR. A site-directed mutation in tcdR affected both toxin production and sporulation in C. difficile R20291. Spores derived from the tcdR mutant were found to be mildly temperature sensitive. Moreover, nearly two fold more taurocholate was needed to germinate spores from the tcdR mutant than the spores prepared from the wild-type parent strain. Comparison of the tcdR mutant transcriptome with the parent strain revealed many differentially expressed late sporulation genes in the tcdR mutant. These data suggests that gene regulatory networks of toxin production and sporulation in Clostridium difficile are linked with each other. Overall design: Total RNA was extracted from 2 independent biological replicates of ∆tcdR and WT of the R20291 C. difficile strain.
Project description:Clostridium difficile is an emergent pathogen, and the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhea. In an effort to understand the role of small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) in C. difficile physiology and pathogenesis, we used an in silico approach to identify 511 sRNA candidates in both intergenic and coding regions. In parallel, RNA-seq and differential 5'-end RNA-seq were used for global identification of C. difficile sRNAs and their transcriptional start sites at three different growth conditions (exponential growth phase, stationary phase, and starvation). This global experimental approach identified 251 putative regulatory sRNAs including 94 potential trans riboregulators located in intergenic regions, 91 cis-antisense RNAs, and 66 riboswitches. Expression of 35 sRNAs was confirmed by gene-specific experimental approaches. Some sRNAs, including an antisense RNA that may be involved in control of C. difficile autolytic activity, showed growth phase-dependent expression profiles. Expression of each of 16 predicted c-di-GMP-responsive riboswitches was observed, and experimental evidence for their regulatory role in coordinated control of motility and biofilm formation was obtained. Finally, we detected abundant sRNAs encoded by multiple C. difficile CRISPR loci. These RNAs may be important for C. difficile survival in bacteriophage-rich gut communities. Altogether, this first experimental genome-wide identification of C. difficile sRNAs provides a firm basis for future RNome characterization and identification of molecular mechanisms of sRNA-based regulation of gene expression in this emergent enteropathogen.
Project description:Infection of the colon with the Gram-positive bacterium Clostridium difficile is potentially life threatening, especially in elderly people and in patients who have dysbiosis of the gut microbiota following antimicrobial drug exposure. C. difficile is the leading cause of health-care-associated infective diarrhoea. The life cycle of C. difficile is influenced by antimicrobial agents, the host immune system, and the host microbiota and its associated metabolites. The primary mediators of inflammation in C. difficile infection (CDI) are large clostridial toxins, toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB), and, in some bacterial strains, the binary toxin CDT. The toxins trigger a complex cascade of host cellular responses to cause diarrhoea, inflammation and tissue necrosis - the major symptoms of CDI. The factors responsible for the epidemic of some C. difficile strains are poorly understood. Recurrent infections are common and can be debilitating. Toxin detection for diagnosis is important for accurate epidemiological study, and for optimal management and prevention strategies. Infections are commonly treated with specific antimicrobial agents, but faecal microbiota transplants have shown promise for recurrent infections. Future biotherapies for C. difficile infections are likely to involve defined combinations of key gut microbiota.