A Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Strain Evades a Major Caenorhabditis elegans Defense Pathway.
ABSTRACT: Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous bacterium and an emerging nosocomial pathogen. This bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics, associated with a number of infections, and a significant health risk, especially for immunocompromised patients. Given that Caenorhabditis elegans shares many conserved genetic pathways and pathway components with higher organisms, the study of its interaction with bacterial pathogens has biomedical implications. S. maltophilia has been isolated in association with nematodes from grassland soils, and it is likely that C. elegans encounters this bacterium in nature. We found that a local S. maltophilia isolate, JCMS, is more virulent than the other S. maltophilia isolates (R551-3 and K279a) tested. JCMS virulence correlates with intestinal distension and bacterial accumulation and requires the bacteria to be alive. Many of the conserved innate immune pathways that serve to protect C. elegans from various pathogenic bacteria also play a role in combating S. maltophilia JCMS. However, S. maltophilia JCMS is virulent to normally pathogen-resistant DAF-2/16 insulin-like signaling pathway mutants. Furthermore, several insulin-like signaling effector genes were not significantly differentially expressed between S. maltophilia JCMS and avirulent bacteria (Escherichia coli OP50). Taken together, these findings suggest that S. maltophilia JCMS evades the pathogen resistance conferred by the loss of DAF-2/16 pathway components. In summary, we have discovered a novel host-pathogen interaction between C. elegans and S. maltophilia and established a new animal model with which to study the mode of action of this emerging nosocomial pathogen.
Project description:The goal of this study was to elucidate genes that are employed by the bacterivorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to respond to the emerging nosocomial bacterial pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Overall design: 12 microarrays (4 per bacterial treatment) were used to identify genes that were differentially expressed when exposed to virulent (JCMS) and avirulent (K279a) strains of S. maltophilia and an avirulent (OP50) strain of E. coli.
Project description:The bacterivorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent model for the study of innate immune responses to a variety of bacterial pathogens, including the emerging nosocomial bacterial pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. The study of this interaction has ecological and medical relevance as S. maltophilia is found in association with C. elegans and other nematodes in the wild and is an emerging opportunistic bacterial pathogen. We identified 393 genes that were differentially expressed when exposed to virulent and avirulent strains of S. maltophilia and an avirulent strain of E. coli. We then used a probabilistic functional gene network model (WormNet) to determine that 118 of the 393 differentially expressed genes formed an interacting network and identified a set of highly connected genes with eight or more predicted interactions. We hypothesized that these highly connected genes might play an important role in the defense against S. maltophila and found that mutations of six of seven highly connected genes have a significant effect on nematode survival in response to these bacteria. Of these genes, C48B4.1, mpk-2, cpr-4, clec-67, and lys-6 are needed for combating the virulent S. maltophilia JCMS strain, while dod-22 was solely involved in response to the avirulent S. maltophilia K279a strain. We further found that dod-22 and clec-67 were up regulated in response to JCMS vs. K279a, while C48B4.1, mpk-2, cpr-4, and lys-6 were down regulated. Only dod-22 had a documented role in innate immunity, which demonstrates the merit of our approach in the identification of novel genes that are involved in combating S. maltophilia infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an emerging nosocomial pathogen that causes infection in immunocompromised patients. S. maltophilia isolates are genetically diverse, contain diverse virulence factors, and are variably pathogenic within several host species. Members of the Stenotrophomonas genus are part of the native microbiome of C. elegans, being found in greater relative abundance within the worm than its environment, suggesting that these bacteria accumulate within C. elegans. Thus, study of the C. elegans-Stenotrophomonas interaction is of both medical and ecological significance. To identify host defense mechanisms, we analyzed the C. elegans transcriptomic response to S. maltophilia strains of varying pathogenicity: K279a, an avirulent clinical isolate, JCMS, a virulent strain isolated in association with soil nematodes near Manhattan, KS, and JV3, an even more virulent environmental isolate. RESULTS:Overall, we found 145 genes that are commonly differentially expressed in response to pathogenic S. maltophilia strains, 89% of which are upregulated, with many even further upregulated in response to JV3 as compared to JCMS. There are many more JV3-specific differentially expressed genes (225, 11% upregulated) than JCMS-specific differentially expressed genes (14, 86% upregulated), suggesting JV3 has unique pathogenic mechanisms that could explain its increased virulence. We used connectivity within a gene network model to choose pathogen-specific and strain-specific differentially expressed candidate genes for functional analysis. Mutations in 13 of 22 candidate genes caused significant differences in C. elegans survival in response to at least one S. maltophilia strain, although not always the strain that induced differential expression, suggesting a dynamic response to varying levels of pathogenicity. CONCLUSIONS:Variation in observed pathogenicity and differences in host transcriptional responses to S. maltophilia strains reveal that strain-specific mechanisms play important roles in S. maltophilia pathogenesis. Furthermore, utilizing bacteria closely related to strains found in C. elegans natural environment provides a more realistic interaction for understanding host-pathogen response.
Project description:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an emerging nosocomial pathogen. In many bacteria iron availability regulates, through the Fur system, not only iron homeostasis but also virulence. The aim of this work was to assess the role of iron on S. maltophilia biofilm formation, EPS production, oxidative stress response, OMPs regulation, quorum sensing (QS), and virulence. Studies were done on K279a and its isogenic fur mutant F60 cultured in the presence or absence of dipyridyl. This is the first report of spontaneous fur mutants obtained in S. maltophilia. F60 produced higher amounts of biofilms than K279a and CLSM analysis demonstrated improved adherence and biofilm organization. Under iron restricted conditions, K279a produced biofilms with more biomass and enhanced thickness. In addition, F60 produced higher amounts of EPS than K279a but with a similar composition, as revealed by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. With respect to the oxidative stress response, MnSOD was the only SOD isoenzyme detected in K279a. F60 presented higher SOD activity than the wt strain in planktonic and biofilm cultures, and iron deprivation increased K279a SOD activity. Under iron starvation, SDS-PAGE profile from K279a presented two iron-repressed proteins. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed homology with FepA and another putative TonB-dependent siderophore receptor of K279a. In silico analysis allowed the detection of potential Fur boxes in the respective coding genes. K279a encodes the QS diffusible signal factor (DSF). Under iron restriction K279a produced higher amounts of DSF than under iron rich condition. Finally, F60 was more virulent than K279a in the Galleria mellonella killing assay. These results put in evidence that iron levels regulate, likely through the Fur system, S. maltophilia biofilm formation, oxidative stress response, OMPs expression, DSF production and virulence.
Project description:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an emerging opportunistic and nosocomial pathogen. S. maltophilia is also a risk factor for lung exacerbations in cystic fibrosis patients. S. maltophilia attaches to various mammalian cells, and we recently documented that the bacterium encodes a type II secretion system which triggers detachment-induced apoptosis in lung epithelial cells. We have now confirmed that S. maltophilia also encodes a type IVA secretion system (VirB/VirD4 [VirB/D4] T4SS) that is highly conserved among S. maltophilia strains and, looking beyond the Stenotrophomonas genus, is most similar to the T4SS of Xanthomonas To define the role(s) of this T4SS, we constructed a mutant of strain K279a that is devoid of secretion activity due to loss of the VirB10 component. The mutant induced a higher level of apoptosis upon infection of human lung epithelial cells, indicating that a T4SS effector(s) has antiapoptotic activity. However, when we infected human macrophages, the mutant triggered a lower level of apoptosis, implying that the T4SS also elaborates a proapoptotic factor(s). Moreover, when we cocultured K279a with strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the T4SS promoted the growth of S. maltophilia and reduced the numbers of heterologous bacteria, signaling that another effector(s) has antibacterial activity. In all cases, the effect of the T4SS required S. maltophilia contact with its target. Thus, S. maltophilia VirB/D4 T4SS appears to secrete multiple effectors capable of modulating death pathways. That a T4SS can have anti- and prokilling effects on different targets, including both human and bacterial cells, has, to our knowledge, not been seen before.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous Gram-negative bacterium previously named as Xanthomonas maltophilia. This organism is an important nosocomial pathogen associated with infections in immunocompromised patients. Clinical isolates of S. maltophilia are mostly resistant to multiple antibiotics and treatment of its infections is becoming problematic. Several virulent bacteriophages, but not temperate phage, of S. maltophilia have been characterized. RESULTS:In this study, a temperate myophage of S. maltophilia (Smp131) was isolated and characterized. Sequence analysis showed that its genome is 33,525-bp long with 47 open reading frames (ORFs). Its similarity to P2-like phages and prophages in S. maltophilia and several Xanthomonas pathovars includes genomic organization, arrangement of several operons, and possession of a slippery sequence T₇G for translational frameshifting in tail assembly genes. Smp131 encodes a tyrosine family integrase that shares low degrees of similarity with those of other phages and a lysin belonging to family 19 chitinase that is observed in plants and some bacteria, although not in phages. tRNA are the preferred sites for host integration of Smp131 and the related phages: tRNA-Thr for Smp131 and prophage of S. maltophilia K279a; tRNA-Lys for prophages of X. campestris pv. campestris ATCC33913, X. oryzae pv. oryzae strains MAFF311018, and KACC10331; and tRNA-Asn for prophage of X. oryzae pv. oryzae PXO99A and remnant of X. axonopodis pv. citri 306. Regions flanking the prophages are varied highly in nucleotide sequence and rich in transposase genes, suggesting that frequent insertion/excision had occurred. CONCLUSIONS:Prevalence of closely related prophages in Stenotrophomonas and Xanthomonads may have contributed to the diversity of these closely related species owing to possible horizontal gene transfer mediated by the phages.
Project description:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, a Gram-negative, multi-drug-resistant bacterium, is increasingly recognized as a key opportunistic pathogen. Thus, we embarked upon an investigation of S. maltophilia iron acquisition. To begin, we determined that the genome of strain K279a is predicted to encode a complete siderophore system, including a biosynthesis pathway, an outer-membrane receptor for ferrisiderophore, and other import and export machinery. Compatible with these data, K279a and other clinical isolates of S. maltophilia secreted a siderophore-like activity when grown at 25-37?°C in low-iron media, as demonstrated by a chrome azurol S assay, which detects iron chelation, and Arnow and Rioux assays, which detect catecholate structures. Importantly, these supernatants rescued the growth of iron-starved S. maltophilia, documenting the presence of a biologically active siderophore. A mutation in one of the predicted biosynthesis genes (entC) abolished production of the siderophore and impaired bacterial growth in low-iron conditions. Inactivation of the putative receptor gene (fepA) prevented the utilization of siderophore-containing supernatants for growth in low-iron conditions. Although the biosynthesis and import loci showed some similarity to those of enterobactin, a well-known catecholate made by enteric bacteria, the siderophore of K279a was unable to rescue the growth of an enterobactin-utilizing indicator strain, and conversely iron-starved S. maltophilia could not use purified enterobactin. Furthermore, the S. maltophilia siderophore displayed patterns of solubility in organic compounds and mobility upon thin-layer chromatography that were distinct from those of enterobactin and its derivative, salmochelin. Together, these data demonstrate that S. maltophilia secretes a novel catecholate siderophore.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterium Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is increasingly identified as a multidrug-resistant pathogen, being associated with pneumonia, among other infections. Despite this increasing clinical problem, the genetic and molecular basis of S. maltophilia virulence is quite minimally defined. We now report that strain K279a, the first clinical isolate of S. maltophilia to be sequenced, encodes a functional type II protein secretion (T2S) system. Indeed, mutants of K279a that contain a mutation in the xps locus exhibit a loss of at least seven secreted proteins and three proteolytic activities. Unlike culture supernatants from the parental K279a, supernatants from multiple xps mutants also failed to induce the rounding, detachment, and death of A549 cells, a human lung epithelial cell line. Supernatants of the xps mutants were also unable to trigger a massive rearrangement in the host cell's actin cytoskeleton that was associated with K279a secretion. In all assays, a complemented xpsF mutant behaved as the wild type did, demonstrating that Xps T2S is required for optimal protein secretion and the detrimental effects on host cells. The activities that were defined as being Xps dependent in K279a were evident among other respiratory isolates of S. maltophilia. Utilizing a similar type of genetic analysis, we found that a second T2S system (Gsp) encoded by the K279a genome is cryptic under all of the conditions tested. Overall, this study represents the first examination of T2S in S. maltophilia, and the data obtained indicate that Xps T2S likely plays an important role in S. maltophilia pathogenesis.
Project description:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is found ubiquitously in the environment and is an important emerging nosocomial pathogen. S. maltophilia has been recently described as an Amoebae-Resistant Bacteria (ARB) that exists as part of the microbiome of various free-living amoebae (FLA) from waters. Co-culture approaches with Vermamoeba vermiformis demonstrated the ability of this bacterium to resist amoebal digestion. In the present study, we assessed the survival and growth of six environmental and one clinical S. maltophilia strains within two amoebal species: Acanthamoeba castellanii and Willaertia magna. We also evaluated bacterial virulence properties using the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. A co-culture approach was carried out over 96 hours and the abundance of S. maltophilia cells was measured using quantitative PCR and culture approach. The presence of bacteria inside the amoeba was confirmed using confocal microscopy. Our results showed that some S. maltophilia strains were able to multiply within both amoebae and exhibited multiplication rates up to 17.5 and 1166 for A. castellanii and W. magna, respectively. In contrast, some strains were unable to multiply in either amoeba. Out of the six environmental S. maltophilia strains tested, one was found to be virulent. Surprisingly, this strain previously isolated from a soil amoeba, Micriamoeba, was unable to infect both amoebal species tested. We further performed an assay with a mutant strain of S. maltophilia BurA1 lacking the efflux pump ebyCAB gene and found the mutant to be more virulent and more efficient for intra-amoebal multiplication. Overall, the results obtained strongly indicated that free-living amoebae could be an important ecological niche for S. maltophilia.
Project description:Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is an emerging, opportunistic nosocomial pathogen that can cause severe disease in immunocompromised individuals. We recently identified the StmPr1 and StmPr2 serine proteases to be the substrates of the Xps type II secretion system in S. maltophilia strain K279a. Here, we report that a third serine protease, StmPr3, is also secreted in an Xps-dependent manner. By constructing a panel of protease mutants in strain K279a, we were able to determine that StmPr3 contributes to the previously described Xps-mediated rounding and detachment of cells of the A549 human lung epithelial cell line as well as the Xps-mediated degradation of fibronectin, fibrinogen, and the cytokine interleukin-8 (IL-8). We also determined that StmPr1, StmPr2, and StmPr3 account for all Xps-mediated effects toward A549 cells and that StmPr1 contributes the most to Xps-mediated activities. Thus, we purified StmPr1 from the S. maltophilia strain K279a culture supernatant and evaluated the protease's activity toward A549 cells. Our analyses revealed that purified StmPr1 behaves more similarly to subtilisin than to trypsin. We also determined that purified StmPr1 likely induces cell rounding and detachment of A549 cells by targeting cell integrin-extracellular matrix connections (matrilysis) as well as adherence and tight junction proteins for degradation. In this study, we also identified anoikis as the mechanism by which StmPr1 induces the death of A549 cells and found that StmPr1 induces A549 IL-8 secretion via activation of protease-activated receptor 2. Altogether, these results suggest that the degradative and cytotoxic activities exhibited by StmPr1 may contribute to S. maltophilia pathogenesis in the lung by inducing tissue damage and inflammation.