Bacterial flagellar capping proteins adopt diverse oligomeric states.
ABSTRACT: Flagella are crucial for bacterial motility and pathogenesis. The flagellar capping protein (FliD) regulates filament assembly by chaperoning and sorting flagellin (FliC) proteins after they traverse the hollow filament and exit the growing flagellum tip. In the absence of FliD, flagella are not formed, resulting in impaired motility and infectivity. Here, we report the 2.2 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of FliD from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the first high-resolution structure of any FliD protein from any bacterium. Using this evidence in combination with a multitude of biophysical and functional analyses, we find that Pseudomonas FliD exhibits unexpected structural similarity to other flagellar proteins at the domain level, adopts a unique hexameric oligomeric state, and depends on flexible determinants for oligomerization. Considering that the flagellin filaments on which FliD oligomers are affixed vary in protofilament number between bacteria, our results suggest that FliD oligomer stoichiometries vary across bacteria to complement their filament assemblies.
Project description:Unlike external flagellated bacteria, spirochetes have periplasmic flagella (PF). Very little is known about how PF are assembled within the periplasm of spirochaetal cells. Herein, we report that FliD (BB0149), a flagellar cap protein (also named hook-associated protein 2), controls flagellin stability and flagellar filament assembly in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Deletion of fliD leads to non-motile mutant cells that are unable to assemble flagellar filaments and pentagon-shaped caps (10 nm in diameter, 12 nm in length). Interestingly, FlaB, a major flagellin protein of B. burgdorferi, is degraded in the fliD mutant but not in other flagella-deficient mutants (i.e., in the hook, rod, or MS-ring). Biochemical and genetic studies reveal that HtrA, a serine protease of B. burgdorferi, controls FlaB turnover. Specifically, HtrA degrades unfolded but not polymerized FlaB, and deletion of htrA increases the level of FlaB in the fliD mutant. Collectively, we propose that the flagellar cap protein FliD promotes flagellin polymerization and filament growth in the periplasm. Deletion of fliD abolishes this process, which leads to leakage of unfolded FlaB proteins into the periplasm where they are degraded by HtrA, a protease that prevents accumulation of toxic products in the periplasm.
Project description:Flagella are the bacterial organelles of motility and can play important roles in pathogenesis. Flagella biosynthesis requires the coordinated export of huge protein amounts from the cytosol to the nascent flagellar structure at the cell surface and employs a type III secretion system (T3SS). Here we show that the integral membrane protein FlhA from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis acts as an adaptor for late export substrates at the T3SS. The major filament protein (flagellin) and the filament-cap protein (FliD) bind to the FlhA cytoplasmic domain (FlhA-C) only in complex with their cognate chaperones (FliS and FliT). To understand the molecular details of these interactions we determined the FlhA-C crystal structure at 2.3 A resolution. FlhA-C consists of an N-terminal linker region, three subdomains with a novel fold, and a disordered region essential for the adaptor function. We show that the export protein FliJ associates with the linker region and modulates the binding properties of FlhA-C. While the interaction of FliD/FliT is enhanced, flagellin/FliS is not affected. FliJ also keeps FliT associated with FlhA-C and excess of FliT inhibits binding of FliD/FliT, suggesting that empty FliT chaperones stay associated with FliJ after export of FliD. Taken together, these results allow to propose a model that explains how the T3SS may switch from the stoichiometric export of FliD to the high-throughput secretion of flagellin.
Project description:Helicobacter pylori colonizes the human stomach and can cause gastroduodenal disease. Flagellar motility is regarded as a major factor in the colonizing ability of H. pylori. The functional roles of flagellar structural proteins other than FlaA, FlaB, and FlgE are not well understood. The fliD operon of H. pylori consists of flaG, fliD, and fliS genes, in the order stated, under the control of a sigma(28)-dependent promoter. In an effort to elucidate the function of the FliD protein, a hook-associated protein 2 homologue, in flagellar morphogenesis and motility, the fliD gene (2,058 bp) was cloned and isogenic mutants were constructed by disruption of the fliD gene with a kanamycin resistance cassette and electroporation-mediated allelic-exchange mutagenesis. In the fliD mutant, morphologically abnormal flagellar appendages in which very little filament elongation was apparent were observed. The fliD mutant strain was completely nonmotile, indicating that these abnormal flagella were functionally defective. Furthermore, the isogenic fliD mutant of H. pylori SS1, a mouse-adapted strain, was not able to colonize the gastric mucosae of host mice. These results suggest that H. pylori FliD is an essential element in the assembly of the functional flagella that are required for colonization of the gastric mucosa.
Project description:One of the important virulence properties of the pathogen is its ability to travel to a favorable environment, cross the viscous mucus barrier (intestinal barrier for enteric pathogens), and reach the epithelia to initiate pathogenesis with the help of an appendage, like flagella. Nonetheless, flagella can act as an "Achilles heel," revealing the pathogen's presence to the host through the stimulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. We assessed whether curcumin, a dietary polyphenol, could alter the motility of Salmonella, a foodborne pathogen. It reduced the motility of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium by shortening the length of the flagellar filament (from ?8 ?m to ?5 ?m) and decreasing its density (4 or 5 flagella/bacterium instead of 8 or 9 flagella/bacterium). Upon curcumin treatment, the percentage of flagellated bacteria declined from ?84% to 59%. However, no change was detected in the expression of the flagellin gene and protein. A fluorescence binding assay demonstrated binding of curcumin to the flagellar filament. This might make the filament fragile, breaking it into smaller fragments. Computational analysis predicted the binding of curcumin, its analogues, and its degraded products to a flagellin molecule at an interface between domains D1 and D2. Site-directed mutagenesis and a fluorescence binding assay confirmed the binding of curcumin to flagellin at residues ASN120, ASP123, ASN163, SER164, ASN173, and GLN175.This work, to our knowledge the first report of its kind, examines how curcumin targets flagellar density and affects the pathogenesis of bacteria. We found that curcumin does not affect any of the flagellar synthesis genes. Instead, it binds to the flagellum and makes it fragile. It increases the torsional stress on the flagellar filament that then breaks, leaving fewer flagella around the bacteria. Flagella, which are crucial ligands for Toll-like receptor 5, are some of the most important appendages of Salmonella Curcumin is an important component of turmeric, which is a major spice used in Asian cooking. The loss of flagella can, in turn, change the pathogenesis of bacteria, making them more robust and fit in the host.
Project description:Bacterial flagella are helical proteinaceous fibers, composed of the protein flagellin, that confer motility to many bacterial species. The genomes of about half of all flagellated species include more than one flagellin gene, for reasons mostly unknown. Here we show that two flagellins (FlaA and FlaB) are spatially arranged in the polar flagellum of Shewanella putrefaciens, with FlaA being more abundant close to the motor and FlaB in the remainder of the flagellar filament. Observations of swimming trajectories and numerical simulations demonstrate that this segmentation improves motility in a range of environmental conditions, compared to mutants with single-flagellin filaments. In particular, it facilitates screw-like motility, which enhances cellular spreading through obstructed environments. Similar mechanisms may apply to other bacterial species and may explain the maintenance of multiple flagellins to form the flagellar filament.
Project description:Pseudomonas fluorescens F113 is motile by means of type b flagella. Analysis of the region encoding the synthesis of the flagellar filament has shown a transcriptional organization different from that of type a flagella. Additionally to the promoters driving fliC, fliD, and fleQ expression, we have found promoters upstream of the flaG gene and the fliST operon. These promoters were functional in vivo. Both promoters have been mapped and appear to be dependent on the vegetative sigma factor and independent of FleQ, the master regulator of flagellum synthesis.
Project description:The expression of flagellin genes in most bacteria is typically regulated by the flagellum-specific sigma(28) factor FliA, and an anti-sigma(28) factor, FlgM. However, the regulatory hierarchy in several bacteria that have multiple flagellins is more complex. In these bacteria, the flagellin genes are often transcribed by at least two different sigma factors. The flagellar filament in spirochetes consists of one to three FlaB core proteins and at least one FlaA sheath protein. Here, the genetically amenable bacterium Brachyspira hyodysenteriae was used as a model spirochete to investigate the regulation of its four flagellin genes, flaA, flaB1, flaB2, and flaB3. We found that the flaB1 and flaB2 genes are regulated by sigma(28), whereas the flaA and flaB3 genes are controlled by sigma(70). The analysis of a flagellar motor switch fliG mutant further supported this proposition; in the mutant, the transcription of flaB1 and flaB2 was inhibited, but that of flaA and flaB3 was not. In addition, the continued expression of flaA and flaB3 in the mutant resulted in the formation of incomplete flagellar filaments that were hollow tubes and consisted primarily of FlaA. Finally, our recent studies have shown that each flagellin unit contributes to the stiffness of the periplasmic flagella, and this stiffness directly correlates with motility. The regulatory mechanism identified here should allow spirochetes to change the relative ratio of these flagellin proteins and, concomitantly, vary the stiffness of their flagellar filament.
Project description:The predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus swims rapidly by rotation of a single, polar flagellum comprised of a helical filament of flagellin monomers, contained within a membrane sheath and powered by a basal motor complex. Bdellovibrio collides with, enters and replicates within bacterial prey, a process previously suggested to firstly require flagellar motility and then flagellar shedding upon prey entry. Here we show that flagella are not always shed upon prey entry and we study the six fliC flagellin genes of B. bacteriovorus, finding them all conserved and expressed in genome strain HD100 and the widely studied lab strain 109J. Individual inactivation of five of the fliC genes gave mutant Bdellovibrio that still made flagella, and which were motile and predatory. Inactivation of the sixth fliC gene abolished normal flagellar synthesis and motility, but a disordered flagellar sheath was still seen. We find that this non-motile mutant was still able to predate when directly applied to lawns of YFP-labelled prey bacteria, showing that flagellar motility is not essential for prey entry but important for efficient encounters with prey in liquid environments.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae establishes symbiotic nitrogen fixing partnerships with plant species belonging to the Tribe Vicieae, which includes the genera Vicia, Lathyrus, Pisum and Lens. Motility and chemotaxis are important in the ecology of R. leguminosarum to provide a competitive advantage during the early steps of nodulation, but the mechanisms of motility and flagellar assembly remain poorly studied. This paper addresses the role of the seven flagellin genes in producing a functional flagellum. RESULTS: R. leguminosarum strains 3841 and VF39SM have seven flagellin genes (flaA, flaB, flaC, flaD, flaE, flaH, and flaG), which are transcribed separately. The predicted flagellins of 3841 are highly similar or identical to the corresponding flagellins in VF39SM. flaA, flaB, flaC, and flaD are in tandem array and are located in the main flagellar gene cluster. flaH and flaG are located outside of the flagellar/motility region while flaE is plasmid-borne. Five flagellin subunits (FlaA, FlaB, FlaC, FlaE, and FlaG) are highly similar to each other, whereas FlaD and FlaH are more distantly related. All flagellins exhibit conserved amino acid residues at the N- and C-terminal ends and are variable in the central regions. Strain 3841 has 1-3 plain subpolar flagella while strain VF39SM exhibits 4-7 plain peritrichous flagella. Three flagellins (FlaA/B/C) and five flagellins (FlaA/B/C/E/G) were detected by mass spectrometry in the flagellar filaments of strains 3841 and VF39SM, respectively. Mutation of flaA resulted in non-motile VF39SM and extremely reduced motility in 3841. Individual mutations of flaB and flaC resulted in shorter flagellar filaments and consequently reduced swimming and swarming motility for both strains. Mutant VF39SM strains carrying individual mutations in flaD, flaE, flaH, and flaG were not significantly affected in motility and filament morphology. The flagellar filament and the motility of 3841 strains with mutations in flaD and flaG were not significantly affected while flaE and flaH mutants exhibited shortened filaments and reduced swimming motility. CONCLUSION: The results obtained from this study demonstrate that FlaA, FlaB, and FlaC are major components of the flagellar filament while FlaD and FlaG are minor components for R. leguminosarum strains 3841 and VF39SM. We also observed differences between the two strains, wherein FlaE and FlaH appear to be minor components of the flagellar filaments in VF39SM but these flagellin subunits may play more important roles in 3841. This paper also demonstrates that the flagellins of 3841 and VF39SM are possibly glycosylated.
Project description:Binding of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAK to mucin has been shown to be mediated by the flagellar cap protein, product of the fliD gene. Since the flagellar cap is very likely an exposed structure, the FliD polypeptide should be recognized by the host immune system, analogous to the recognition of dominant epitopes located in the exposed parts of the flagellin polypeptide within the assembled flagellum. In P. aeruginosa, a number of distinct flagellin variants are made, and these variable sequences presumably allow the newly infected P. aeruginosa to escape recognition by the antibody induced during a previous infection. Since similar mechanisms may direct the selection of FliD variants, we examined the extent of sequence heterogeneity among various FliD sequences among a selected group of P. aeruginosa. The results of PCR and nucleotide sequencing of the fliD region of eight different P. aeruginosa strains (laboratory strains PAK, PAO1, and PA103; clinical strains 1244, CS2, and CS32; cystic fibrosis strains CS29 and MDR) suggested that there were two distinct types of FliD in P. aeruginosa, which we named A type and B type. The results of Western blotting using the polyclonal antibodies raised against the purified FliD of A type (PAK) or B type (PAO1) further confirmed the existence of two distinct antigenic types of FliD proteins, with no cross-reactivity between the two serotypes. Further Western immunoblot analysis of the same strains using polyclonal FliC antibody showed that the strains with A-type FliD possessed a-type FliC and those with B-type FliD had b-type FliC. Similar Western blot analyses of 50 more P. aeruginosa strains obtained from varied sources revealed that all strains contained either A-type or B-type FliD, suggesting the existence of only two types of FliD in P. aeruginosa and indicating that fliC and fliD were coinherited. This limited diversity of FliC and FliD serotypes seems to be a unique feature of flagellar proteins. A chromosomal mutant having an insertion in the fliD gene of P. aeruginosa PAO1 was constructed. The motility defect of this mutant and a previously constructed PAK fliD mutant was better complemented with the fliD gene of the homologous types.