Contact-Dependent Growth Inhibition (CDI) and CdiB/CdiA Two-Partner Secretion Proteins.
ABSTRACT: Bacteria have developed several strategies to communicate and compete with one another in complex environments. One important mechanism of inter-bacterial competition is contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI), in which Gram-negative bacteria use CdiB/CdiA two-partner secretion proteins to suppress the growth of neighboring target cells. CdiB is an Omp85 outer-membrane protein that exports and assembles CdiA exoproteins onto the inhibitor cell surface. CdiA binds to receptors on susceptible bacteria and subsequently delivers its C-terminal toxin domain (CdiA-CT) into the target cell. CDI systems also encode CdiI immunity proteins, which specifically bind to the CdiA-CT and neutralize its toxin activity, thereby protecting CDI(+) cells from auto-inhibition. Remarkably, CdiA-CT sequences are highly variable between bacteria, as are the corresponding CdiI immunity proteins. Variations in CDI toxin/immunity proteins suggest that these systems function in bacterial self/non-self recognition and thereby play an important role in microbial communities. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the biochemistry, structural biology and physiology of CDI.
Project description:Contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is a widespread mechanism of inter-bacterial competition mediated by the CdiB/CdiA family of two-partner secretion proteins. CdiA effectors carry diverse C-terminal toxin domains (CdiA-CT), which are delivered into neighboring target cells to inhibit growth. CDI(+) bacteria also produce CdiI immunity proteins that bind specifically to cognate CdiA-CT toxins and protect the cell from auto-inhibition. Here, we compare the structures of homologous CdiA-CT/CdiI complexes from Escherichia coli EC869 and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis YPIII to explore the evolution of CDI toxin/immunity protein interactions. Both complexes share an unusual ?-augmentation interaction, in which the toxin domain extends a ?-hairpin into the immunity protein to complete a six-stranded anti-parallel sheet. However, the specific contacts differ substantially between the two complexes. The EC869 ?-hairpin interacts mainly through direct H-bond and ion-pair interactions, whereas the YPIII ?-hairpin pocket contains more hydrophobic contacts and a network of bridging water molecules. In accord with these differences, we find that each CdiI protein only protects target bacteria from its cognate CdiA-CT toxin. The compact ?-hairpin binding pocket within the immunity protein represents a tractable system for the rationale design of small molecules to block CdiA-CT/CdiI complex formation. We synthesized a macrocyclic peptide mimic of the ?-hairpin from EC869 toxin and solved its structure in complex with cognate immunity protein. These latter studies suggest that small molecules could potentially be used to disrupt CDI toxin/immunity complexes.
Project description:Bacterial contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is mediated by the CdiA/CdiB family of two-partner secretion proteins. CDI(+) cells bind to susceptible target bacteria and deliver a toxic effector domain derived from the carboxyl terminus of CdiA (CdiA-CT). More than 60 distinct CdiA-CT sequence types have been identified, and all CDI toxins characterized thus far display RNase, DNase, or pore-forming activities. CDI systems also encode CdiI immunity proteins, which specifically bind and inactivate cognate CdiA-CT toxins to prevent autoinhibition. CDI activity appears to be limited to target cells of the same species, suggesting that these systems play a role in competition between closely related bacteria. Recent work on the CDI system from uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC 536) has revealed that its CdiA-CT toxin binds tightly to a cysteine biosynthetic enzyme (CysK) in the cytoplasm of target cells. The unanticipated complexity in the UPEC CDI pathway raises the possibility that these systems perform other functions in addition to growth inhibition. Finally, we propose that the phenomenon of CDI is more widespread than previously appreciated. Rhs (rearrangement hotspot) systems encode toxin-immunity pairs, some of which share significant sequence identity with CdiA-CT/CdiI proteins. A number of recent observations suggest that Rhs proteins mediate a distinct form of CDI.
Project description:Bacterial contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is mediated by the CdiA/CdiB family of two-partner secretion proteins. Each CdiA protein exhibits a distinct growth inhibition activity, which resides in the polymorphic C-terminal region (CdiA-CT). CDI(+) cells also express unique CdiI immunity proteins that specifically block the activity of cognate CdiA-CT, thereby protecting the cell from autoinhibition. Here we show that many CDI systems contain multiple cdiA gene fragments that encode CdiA-CT sequences. These "orphan" cdiA-CT genes are almost always associated with downstream cdiI genes to form cdiA-CT/cdiI modules. Comparative genome analyses suggest that cdiA-CT/cdiI modules are mobile and exchanged between the CDI systems of different bacteria. In many instances, orphan cdiA-CT/cdiI modules are fused to full-length cdiA genes in other bacterial species. Examination of cdiA-CT/cdiI modules from Escherichia coli EC93, E. coli EC869, and Dickeya dadantii 3937 confirmed that these genes encode functional toxin/immunity pairs. Moreover, the orphan module from EC93 was functional in cell-mediated CDI when fused to the N-terminal portion of the EC93 CdiA protein. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that the genetic organization of CDI systems shares features with rhs (rearrangement hotspot) loci. Rhs proteins also contain polymorphic C-terminal regions (Rhs-CTs), some of which share significant sequence identity with CdiA-CTs. All rhs genes are followed by small ORFs representing possible rhsI immunity genes, and several Rhs systems encode orphan rhs-CT/rhsI modules. Analysis of rhs-CT/rhsI modules from D. dadantii 3937 demonstrated that Rhs-CTs have growth inhibitory activity, which is specifically blocked by cognate RhsI immunity proteins. Together, these results suggest that Rhs plays a role in intercellular competition and that orphan gene modules expand the diversity of toxic activities deployed by both CDI and Rhs systems.
Project description:Bacteria have developed mechanisms to communicate and compete with one another in diverse environments. A new form of intercellular communication, contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI), was discovered recently in Escherichia coli. CDI is mediated by the CdiB/CdiA two-partner secretion (TPS) system. CdiB facilitates secretion of the CdiA 'exoprotein' onto the cell surface. An additional small immunity protein (CdiI) protects CDI(+) cells from autoinhibition. The mechanisms by which CDI blocks cell growth and by which CdiI counteracts this growth arrest are unknown. Moreover, the existence of CDI activity in other bacteria has not been explored. Here we show that the CDI growth inhibitory activity resides within the carboxy-terminal region of CdiA (CdiA-CT), and that CdiI binds and inactivates cognate CdiA-CT, but not heterologous CdiA-CT. Bioinformatic and experimental analyses show that multiple bacterial species encode functional CDI systems with high sequence variability in the CdiA-CT and CdiI coding regions. CdiA-CT heterogeneity implies that a range of toxic activities are used during CDI. Indeed, CdiA-CTs from uropathogenic E.?coli and the plant pathogen Dickeya dadantii have different nuclease activities, each providing a distinct mechanism of growth inhibition. Finally, we show that bacteria lacking the CdiA-CT and CdiI coding regions are unable to compete with isogenic wild-type CDI(+) cells both in laboratory media and on a eukaryotic host. Taken together, these results suggest that CDI systems constitute an intricate immunity network with an important function in bacterial competition.
Project description:Contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is one mechanism of inter-bacterial competition. CDI(+) cells export large CdiA effector proteins, which carry a variety of C-terminal toxin domains (CdiA-CT). CdiA-CT toxins are specifically neutralized by cognate CdiI immunity proteins to protect toxin-producing cells from autoinhibition. Here, we use structure determination to elucidate the activity of a CDI toxin from Enterobacter cloacae (ECL). The structure of CdiA-CT(ECL) resembles the C-terminal nuclease domain of colicin E3, which cleaves 16S ribosomal RNA to disrupt protein synthesis. In accord with this structural homology, we show that CdiA-CT(ECL) uses the same nuclease activity to inhibit bacterial growth. Surprisingly, although colicin E3 and CdiA(ECL) carry equivalent toxin domains, the corresponding immunity proteins are unrelated in sequence, structure, and toxin-binding site. Together, these findings reveal unexpected diversity among 16S rRNases and suggest that these nucleases are robust and versatile payloads for a variety of toxin-delivery platforms.
Project description:Contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is a form of interbacterial competition mediated by CdiB-CdiA two-partner secretion systems. CdiA effector proteins carry polymorphic C-terminal toxin domains (CdiA-CT), which are neutralized by specific CdiI immunity proteins to prevent self-inhibition. Here, we present the crystal structures of CdiA-CT?CdiI complexes from Klebsiella pneumoniae 342 and Escherichia coli 3006. The toxins adopt related folds that resemble the ribonuclease domain of colicin D, and both are isoacceptor-specific tRNases that cleave the acceptor stem of deacylated tRNAGAUIle. Although the toxins are similar in structure and substrate specificity, CdiA-CTKp342 activity requires translation factors EF-Tu and EF-Ts, whereas CdiA-CTEC3006 is intrinsically active. Furthermore, the corresponding immunity proteins are unrelated in sequence and structure. CdiIKp342 forms a dimeric ? sandwich, whereas CdiIEC3006 is an ?-solenoid monomer. Given that toxin-immunity genes co-evolve as linked pairs, these observations suggest that the similarities in toxin structure and activity reflect functional convergence.
Project description:Bacterial contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is mediated by the CdiB/CdiA family of two-partner secretion proteins. CDI systems deploy a variety of distinct toxins, which are contained within the polymorphic C-terminal region (CdiA-CT) of CdiA proteins. Several CdiA-CTs are nucleases, suggesting that the toxins are transported into the target cell cytoplasm to interact with their substrates. To analyze CdiA transfer to target bacteria, we used the CDI system of uropathogenic Escherichia coli 536 (UPEC536) as a model. Antibodies recognizing the amino- and carboxyl-termini of CdiA(UPEC536) were used to visualize transfer of CdiA from CDI(UPEC536+) inhibitor cells to target cells using fluorescence microscopy. The results indicate that the entire CdiA(UPEC536) protein is deposited onto the surface of target bacteria. CdiA(UPEC536) transfer to bamA101 mutants is reduced, consistent with low expression of the CDI receptor BamA on these cells. Notably, our results indicate that the C-terminal CdiA-CT toxin region of CdiA(UPEC536) is translocated into target cells, but the N-terminal region remains at the cell surface based on protease sensitivity. These results suggest that the CdiA-CT toxin domain is cleaved from CdiA(UPEC536) prior to translocation. Delivery of a heterologous Dickeya dadantii CdiA-CT toxin, which has DNase activity, was also visualized. Following incubation with CDI(+) inhibitor cells targets became anucleate, showing that the D.dadantii CdiA-CT was delivered intracellularly. Together, these results demonstrate that diverse CDI toxins are efficiently translocated across target cell envelopes.
Project description:Contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is an important mechanism of intercellular competition between neighboring Gram-negative bacteria. CDI systems encode large surface-exposed CdiA effector proteins that carry a variety of C-terminal toxin domains (CdiA-CTs). All CDI(+) bacteria also produce CdiI immunity proteins that specifically bind to the cognate CdiA-CT and neutralize its toxin activity to prevent auto-inhibition. Here, the X-ray crystal structure of a CdiI immunity protein from Neisseria meningitidis MC58 is presented at 1.45 Å resolution. The CdiI protein has structural homology to the Whirly family of RNA-binding proteins, but appears to lack the characteristic nucleic acid-binding motif of this family. Sequence homology suggests that the cognate CdiA-CT is related to the eukaryotic EndoU family of RNA-processing enzymes. A homology model is presented of the CdiA-CT based on the structure of the XendoU nuclease from Xenopus laevis. Molecular-docking simulations predict that the CdiA-CT toxin active site is occluded upon binding to the CdiI immunity protein. Together, these observations suggest that the immunity protein neutralizes toxin activity by preventing access to RNA substrates.
Project description:Contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) is a widespread mechanism of inter-bacterial competition. CDI(+) bacteria deploy large CdiA effector proteins, which carry variable C-terminal toxin domains (CdiA-CT). CDI(+) cells also produce CdiI immunity proteins that specifically neutralize cognate CdiA-CT toxins to prevent auto-inhibition. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CdiA-CT/CdiI(E479) toxin/immunity protein complex from Burkholderia pseudomallei isolate E479. The CdiA-CT(E479) tRNase domain contains a core ?/?-fold that is characteristic of PD(D/E)XK superfamily nucleases. Unexpectedly, the closest structural homolog of CdiA-CT(E479) is another CDI toxin domain from B. pseudomallei 1026b. Although unrelated in sequence, the two B. pseudomallei nuclease domains share similar folds and active-site architectures. By contrast, the CdiI(E479) and CdiI(1026b) immunity proteins share no significant sequence or structural homology. CdiA-CT(E479) and CdiA-CT(1026b) are both tRNases; however, each nuclease cleaves tRNA at a distinct position. We used a molecular docking approach to model each toxin bound to tRNA substrate. The resulting models fit into electron density envelopes generated by small-angle x-ray scattering analysis of catalytically inactive toxin domains bound stably to tRNA. CdiA-CT(E479) is the third CDI toxin found to have structural homology to the PD(D/E)XK superfamily. We propose that CDI systems exploit the inherent sequence variability and active-site plasticity of PD(D/E)XK nucleases to generate toxin diversity. These findings raise the possibility that many other uncharacterized CDI toxins may belong to the PD(D/E)XK superfamily.
Project description:Xenorhabdus is a bacterial symbiont of entomopathogenic Steinernema nematodes and is pathogenic for insects. Its life cycle involves a stage inside the insect cadaver, in which it competes for environmental resources with microorganisms from soil and the insect gut. Xenorhabdus is, thus, a useful model for identifying new interbacterial competition systems. For the first time, in an entomopathogenic bacterium, Xenorhabdus doucetiae strain FRM16, we identified a cdi-like locus. The cdi loci encode contact-dependent inhibition (CDI) systems composed of proteins from the two-partner secretion (TPS) family. CdiB is the outer membrane protein and CdiA is the toxic exoprotein. An immunity protein, CdiI, protects bacteria against inhibition. We describe here the growth inhibition effect of the toxic C-terminus of CdiA from X. doucetiae FRM16, CdiA-CTFRM16, following its production in closely and distantly related enterobacterial species. CdiA-CTFRM16 displayed Mg2+-dependent DNase activity, in vitro. CdiA-CTFRM16-mediated growth inhibition was specifically neutralized by CdiIFRM16. Moreover, the cdi FRM16 locus encodes an ortholog of toxin-activating proteins C that we named CdiCFRM16. In addition to E. coli, the cdiBCAI-type locus was found to be widespread in environmental bacteria interacting with insects, plants, rhizospheres and soils. Phylogenetic tree comparisons for CdiB, CdiA and CdiC suggested that the genes encoding these proteins had co-evolved. By contrast, the considerable variability of CdiI protein sequences suggests that the cdiI gene is an independent evolutionary unit. These findings further characterize the sparsely described cdiBCAI-type locus.