The Generation and Characterization of Recombinant Protein and Antibodies of Clostridium perfringens Beta2 Toxin.
ABSTRACT: Introduction. Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) beta2 toxin (CPB2) is an important virulent factor of necrotic enteritis in both animals and humans. However, studies of its pathogenic roles and functional mechanisms have been hampered due to the difficulty of purification and lack of specific antibodies against this toxin. Methods. A recombinant His-tagged C. perfringens beta2 (rCPB2) toxin and monoclonal antibodies (McAbs) against CPB2 were generated and characterized by assays of cytotoxicity, immunoblotting, ELISA, neutralization, and immunofluorescence. Results. A His-tagged rCPB2 with integrity and cytotoxicity of native CPB2 was purified from E. coli expressing system, which exhibited a moderate cytotoxicity on NCM460 human intestinal epithelial cells. The rCPB2 could induce apoptotic cell death rather than necrotic death in part through a pathway involved in caspase-3 signaling. Mechanistically, rCPB2 was able to first bind to cell membrane and dynamically translocate into cytoplasm for its cytotoxic activity. Three McAbs 1E23, 2G7 and 2H7 were characterized to be able to immunologically react with CPB2 and neutralize rCPB2 cytotoxicity on NCM460 cells. Conclusion. These results indicated the rCPB2 and antibodies generated in this study are useful tools for studies of biological functions and pathogenic mechanisms of CPB2 in future, which warrants for further investigations.
Project description:Beta2-toxin, encoded by cpb2, is implicated in the pathogenesis of Clostridium perfringens enteritis. However, cpb2 genes from nonporcine C. perfringens isolates were not always expressed, at least in vitro. Nucleotide sequencing identified atypical cpb2 genes with 70.2 to 70.7% DNA identity to previously identified (consensus) cpb2. Atypical beta2-toxin displayed 62.3% identity and 80.4% similarity to consensus beta2-toxin. No porcine type C isolates (n = 16) and only 3.3% of porcine type A isolates (n = 60) carried atypical cpb2 genes. However, 88.5% of nonporcine isolates carried atypical cpb2 (n = 78), but beta2-toxin was not expressed. Almost half of the nonporcine consensus cpb2 genes (44.4%) carried a frameshift mutation (n = 9), resulting in an absence of beta2-toxin expression. These findings strengthen the role of beta2-toxin in the pathogenesis of enteritis in neonatal pigs. However, the identification of apparently nonexpressed, atypical cpb2 genes raises the question of whether this protein plays the same role in enteritis in other animal species.
Project description:The incidence of a new, yet unassigned toxin type of Clostridium perfringens containing the genes for the alpha-toxin and the recently described beta2-toxin in horses with intestinal disorders is reported. The study included 18 horses suffering from typical typhlocolitis, 7 horses with atypical typhlocolitis, 16 horses with other intestinal disorders, and 58 horses without intestinal disease. In total, 20 samples of ingesta of the small and large intestines, five biopsy specimens of the intestinal wall, and 74 fecal samples were analyzed bacteriologically. C. perfringens isolates were typed for the presence of the alpha-, beta-, beta2-, and epsilon-toxin and enterotoxin genes by PCR, including a newly developed PCR for the detection of the beta2-toxin gene cpb2. beta2-Toxigenic C. perfringens was detected in samples from 13 of 25 (52%) horses with typical or atypical typhlocolitis, with a particularly high incidence in specimens of ingesta and biopsy specimens (75%), whereas only 6 of 16 specimens from horses with other intestinal diseases yielded beta2-toxigenic C. perfringens. No beta2-toxigenic C. perfringens was found in the samples from the 58 control horses, of which only one fecal sample contained C. perfringens type A. Among the samples from the 15 horses with fatal cases of typical and atypical typhlocolitis 9 (60%) were positive for beta2-toxigenic C. perfringens, whereas samples from only 4 of the 10 (40%) animals with nonfatal cases of infection were positive. We found an interesting correlation between the antibiotic-treated horses which were positive for beta2-toxigenic C. perfringens and lethal progression of the disease. No C. perfringens strains isolated in this study contained genes for the beta- and epsilon-toxins and enterotoxin. The high incidence of beta2-toxigenic C. perfringens in samples of ingesta, biopsy specimens of the intestinal wall, and feces from horses suffering or dying from typhlocolitis together with the absence of this organism in healthy horses provides strong evidence that beta2-toxigenic C. perfringens play an important role in the pathogenesis of typhlocolitis.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The pathogenesis of avian necrotic enteritis involves NetB, a pore-forming toxin produced by virulent avian isolates of Clostridium perfringens type A. To determine the location and mobility of the netB structural gene, we examined a derivative of the tetracycline-resistant necrotic enteritis strain EHE-NE18, in which netB was insertionally inactivated by the chloramphenicol and thiamphenicol resistance gene catP. Both tetracycline and thiamphenicol resistance could be transferred either together or separately to a recipient strain in plate matings. The separate transconjugants could act as donors in subsequent matings, which demonstrated that the tetracycline resistance determinant and the netB gene were present on different conjugative elements. Large plasmids were isolated from the transconjugants and analyzed by high-throughput sequencing. Analysis of the resultant data indicated that there were actually three large conjugative plasmids present in the original strain, each with its own toxin or antibiotic resistance locus. Each plasmid contained a highly conserved 40-kb region that included plasmid replication and transfer regions that were closely related to the 47-kb conjugative tetracycline resistance plasmid pCW3 from C. perfringens. The plasmids were as follows: (i) a conjugative 49-kb tetracycline resistance plasmid that was very similar to pCW3, (ii) a conjugative 82-kb plasmid that contained the netB gene and other potential virulence genes, and (iii) a 70-kb plasmid that carried the cpb2 gene, which encodes a different pore-forming toxin, beta2 toxin. IMPORTANCE:The anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens can cause an avian gastrointestinal disease known as necrotic enteritis. Disease pathogenesis is not well understood, although the plasmid-encoded pore-forming toxin NetB, is an important virulence factor. In this work, we have shown that the plasmid that carries the netB gene is conjugative and has a 40-kb region that is very similar to replication and transfer regions found within each of the sequenced conjugative plasmids from C. perfringens. We also showed that this strain contained two additional large plasmids that were also conjugative and carried a similar 40-kb region. One of these plasmids encoded beta2 toxin, and the other encoded tetracycline resistance. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a bacterial strain that carries three closely related but different independently conjugative plasmids. These results have significant implications for our understanding of the transmission of virulence and antibiotic resistance genes in pathogenic bacteria.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is responsible for food-borne gastroenteritis and other infectious diseases, and toxins produced by this bacterium play a key role in pathogenesis. Although various toxins have been described for C. perfringens isolates from humans and animals, prevalence of individual toxins among clinical isolates has not yet been well explored. In the present study, a total of 798 C. perfringens clinical isolates were investigated for prevalence of eight toxin genes and their genetic diversity by PCR, nucleotide sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis. Besides the alpha-toxin gene (plc) present in all the isolates, the most common toxin gene was cpe (enterotoxin) (34.2%), followed by cpb2 (beta2 toxin) (1.4%), netB (NetB) (0.3%), and bec/cpile (binary enterotoxin BEC/CPILE) (0.1%), while beta-, epsilon-, and iota-toxin genes were not detected. Genetic analysis of toxin genes indicated a high level of conservation of plc, cpe, and netB. In contrast, cpb2 was revealed to be considerably divergent, containing at least two lineages. Alpha-toxin among 46 isolates was classified into ten sequence types, among which common types were distinct from those reported for avian isolates. A single isolate with bec/cpile harbored a plc variant containing an insertion of 834-bp sequence, suggesting its putative origin from chickens.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens type C isolates cause necrotizing enteritis in humans and domestic animals. In vitro, type C isolates often produce beta toxin (CPB), beta2 toxin (CPB2), alpha toxin (CPA), perfringolysin O (PFO) and TpeL during (or after) late log-phase growth. In contrast, the current study found that many type C isolates respond to close contact with enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells by producing all toxins, except TpeL, much more rapidly than occurs during in vitro growth. This in vivo effect involves rapid transcriptional upregulation of the cpb, cpb2, pfoA and plc toxin genes. Rapid Caco-2 cell-induced upregulation of CPB and PFO production involves the VirS/VirR two-component system, since upregulated in vivo transcription of the pfoA and cpb genes was blocked by inactivating the virR gene and was reversible by complementation to restore VirR expression. However, the luxS quorum-sensing system is not required for the rapid upregulation of type C toxin production induced by contact with Caco-2 cells. These results provide the first indication of host cell:pathogen cross-talk affecting toxin production kinetics by any pathogenic Clostridium spp., identify in vivo versus in vitro differences in C. perfringens toxin expression, and implicate VirS/VirR as a possible contributor to some C. perfringens enteric diseases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Clostridium perfringens, a serious pathogen, causes enteric diseases in domestic animals and food poisoning in humans. The epidemiological relationship between C. perfringens isolates from the same source has previously been investigated chiefly by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In this study the genetic diversity of C. perfringens isolated from various animals, from food poisoning outbreaks and from sludge was investigated. RESULTS: We used PFGE to examine the genetic diversity of 95 C. perfringens type A isolates from eight different sources. The isolates were also examined for the presence of the beta2 toxin gene (cpb2) and the enterotoxin gene (cpe). The cpb2 gene from the 28 cpb2-positive isolates was also partially sequenced (519 bp, corresponding to positions 188 to 706 in the consensus cpb2 sequence). The results of PFGE revealed a wide genetic diversity among the C. perfringens type A isolates. The genetic relatedness of the isolates ranged from 58 to 100% and 56 distinct PFGE types were identified. Almost all clusters with similar patterns comprised isolates with a known epidemiological correlation. Most of the isolates from pig, horse and sheep carried the cpb2 gene. All isolates originating from food poisoning outbreaks carried the cpe gene and three of these also carried cpb2. Two evolutionary different populations were identified by sequence analysis of the partially sequenced cpb2 genes from our study and cpb2 sequences previously deposited in GenBank. CONCLUSION: As revealed by PFGE, there was a wide genetic diversity among C. perfringens isolates from different sources. Epidemiologically related isolates showed a high genetic similarity, as expected, while isolates with no obvious epidemiological relationship expressed a lesser degree of genetic similarity. The wide diversity revealed by PFGE was not reflected in the 16S rRNA sequences, which had a considerable degree of sequence similarity. Sequence comparison of the partially sequenced cpb2 gene revealed two genetically different populations. This is to our knowledge the first study in which the genetic diversity of C. perfringens isolates both from different animals species, from food poisoning outbreaks and from sludge has been investigated.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens is an important pathogen of animals and humans and is the causative agent of necrotic enteritis (NE) in poultry. This study focuses on the typing of intestinal C. perfringens isolates (n = 61) from outbreaks of NE collected from several areas of Southern Ontario, using a recently developed multilocus sequence typing (MLST) technique. For comparison, C. perfringens isolates from healthy birds were also obtained and typed. An additional locus, the pfoS locus, was included in our analysis, in an attempt to increase the discriminatory ability of the method previously published. Birds were collected from two major poultry processors in Canada, and isolates from processor 2 formed a distinct MLST cluster. Isolates from healthy birds also collected from the outbreak flocks clustered together with isolates from the birds with NE. Although isolates from eight outbreaks clustered together, MLST types were also occasionally different between outbreaks. Strong linkage disequilibrium was observed between loci, suggesting a clonal C. perfringens population structure. Detection assays for toxin genes cpb2 (beta-2 toxin), tpeL, and the newly described netB (NetB toxin) were also performed. netB was almost always found in outbreak isolates, whereas cpb2 was found exclusively in healthy bird isolates. The toxin gene tpeL, which has not been previously identified in C. perfringens type A strains, was also found, but only in the presence of netB. Resistance to bacitracin was found in 34% of isolates from antimicrobial agent-free birds and in 100% of isolates from conventionally raised birds.
Project description:Background and Aim:Clostridium perfringens can cause enteritis in ostriches. The toxin release is believed to play a major role in determining pathogenesis properties of these pathogenic bacteria. This study was conducted to isolate and characterize C. perfringens strains from ostriches in Vietnam for identifying if particular virulence factors of these pathogenic bacteria are associated with enteritis progress in ostriches. Materials and Methods:The prevalence of cpa, cpb, iA, etx, cpe, and cpb2 genes among C. perfringens isolates was determined by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. The NetB toxin-encoding gene was detected by PCR and then sequenced to observe their variation. The expression of NetB toxin was checked by SDS-PAGE. Results:A total of 116 C. perfringens isolates were obtained from 318 fecal samples and 105 intestinal organs. Of 80 isolates from fecal samples, 33 isolates were from healthy and 47 isolates were from diseased ostriches. The results of multiplex PCR showed that all 116 C. perfringens strains from healthy and enteric disordered ostriches were positive for the alpha toxin-encoding gene (cpa). The cpe and cpb2 genes were found in only one and five diseased ostriches, respectively. The netB gene was detected in 1/33 (3.03%) C. perfringens isolates from healthy ostriches, in 8/47 (17.05%) isolates from feces, and in 7/36 (19.44%) intestinal contents of diseased ostriches. The full-length sequences of 5 out of 15 netB-positive isolates from diseased ostriches showed 100% identity to each other as well as to the netB sequences available in GenBank. All of these five isolates produced NetB toxin in vitro. Conclusion:Type A is the most prevalent among C. perfringens isolates from ostriches in Vietnam. Especially, the study provides data emphasizing the role of NetB toxin in causing necrotic enteritis by C. perfringens in ostriches.
Project description:Clostridium perfringens type B causes enteritis and enterotoxemia in domestic animals. By definition, these bacteria must produce alpha toxin (CPA), beta toxin (CPB) and epsilon toxin (ETX) although most type B strains also produce perfringolysin O (PFO) and beta2 toxin (CPB2). A recently identified Agr-like quorum-sensing (QS) system in C. perfringens controls all toxin production by surveyed type A, C, and D strains, but whether this QS is involved in regulating toxin production by type B strains has not been explored. Therefore, the current study introduced agrB null mutations into type B strains CN1795 and CN1793. Both type B agrB null mutants exhibited reduced levels of CPB, PFO, and CPA in their culture supernatants, and this effect was reversible by complementation. The reduced presence of CPB in culture supernatant involved decreased cpb transcription. In contrast, the agrB null mutants of both type B strains retained wild-type production levels of ETX and CPB2. In a Caco-2 cell model of enteritis, culture supernatants of the type B agrB null mutants were less cytotoxic than supernatants of their wild-type parents. However, in an MDCK cell in vitro model for enterotoxemic effects, supernatants from the agrB null mutants or wild-type parents were equally cytotoxic after trypsin activation. Coupling these and previous results, it is now evident that strain-dependent variations exist in Agr-like QS system regulation of C. perfringens toxin production. The cell culture results further support a role for trypsin in determining which toxins contribute to disease involving type B strains.
Project description:The gram-positive anaerobe Clostridium perfringens produces a large arsenal of toxins that are responsible for histotoxic and enteric infections, including enterotoxemias, in humans and domestic animals. C. perfringens type C isolates, which cause rapidly fatal diseases in domestic animals and enteritis necroticans in humans, contain the genes for alpha toxin (plc), perfringolysin O (pfoA), beta toxin (cpb), and sometimes beta2 toxin (cpb2) and/or enterotoxin (cpe). Due to the economic impact of type C-induced diseases, domestic animals are commonly vaccinated with crude type C toxoid (prepared from inactivated culture supernatants) or bacterin/toxoid vaccines, and it is not clear which toxin(s) present in these vaccines actually elicits the protective immune response. To improve type C vaccines, it would be helpful to assess the contribution of each toxin present in type C supernatants to lethality. To address this issue, we surveyed a large collection of type C isolates to determine their toxin-producing abilities. When late-log-phase vegetative culture supernatants were analyzed by quantitative Western blotting or activity assays, most type C isolates produced at least three lethal toxins, alpha toxin, beta toxin, and perfringolysin O, and several isolates also produced beta2 toxin. In the mouse intravenous injection model, beta toxin was identified as the main lethal factor present in type C late-log-phase culture supernatants. This conclusion was based on monoclonal antibody neutralization studies and regression analyses in which the levels of alpha toxin, beta toxin, perfringolysin O, and beta2 toxin production were compared with lethality. Collectively, our results highlight the importance of beta toxin for type C-induced toxemia.