Pertussis Toxin Exploits Host Cell Signaling Pathways Induced by Meningitis-Causing E. coli K1-RS218 and Enhances Adherence of Monocytic THP-1 Cells to Human Cerebral Endothelial Cells.
ABSTRACT: Pertussis toxin (PTx), the major virulence factor of the whooping cough-causing bacterial pathogen Bordetella pertussis, permeabilizes the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vitro and in vivo. Breaking barriers might promote translocation of meningitis-causing bacteria across the BBB, thereby facilitating infection. PTx activates several host cell signaling pathways exploited by the neonatal meningitis-causing Escherichia coli K1-RS218 for invasion and translocation across the BBB. Here, we investigated whether PTx and E. coli K1-RS218 exert similar effects on MAPK p38, NF-?B activation and transcription of downstream targets in human cerebral endothelial TY10 cells using qRT-PCR, Western blotting, and ELISA in combination with specific inhibitors. PTx and E. coli K1-RS218 activate MAPK p38, but only E. coli K1-RS218 activates the NF-?B pathway. mRNA and protein levels of p38 and NF-?B downstream targets including IL-6, IL-8, CxCL-1, CxCL-2 and ICAM-1 were increased. The p38 specific inhibitor SB203590 blocked PTx-enhanced activity, whereas E. coli K1-RS218's effects were inhibited by the NF-?B inhibitor Bay 11-7082. Further, we found that PTx enhances the adherence of human monocytic THP-1 cells to human cerebral endothelial TY10 cells, thereby contributing to enhanced translocation. These modulations of host cell signaling pathways by PTx and meningitis-causing E. coli support their contributions to pathogen and monocytic THP-1 cells translocation across the BBB.
Project description:BACKGROUND:NF-?B activation, pathogen invasion, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) transmigration (PMNT) across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) are the pathogenic triad hallmark features of bacterial meningitis, but the mechanisms underlying these events remain largely unknown. Vimentin, which is a novel NF-?B regulator, is the primary receptor for the major Escherichia coli K1 virulence factor IbeA that contributes to the pathogenesis of neonatal bacterial sepsis and meningitis (NSM). We have previously shown that IbeA-induced NF-?B signaling through its primary receptor vimentin as well as its co-receptor PTB-associated splicing factor (PSF) is required for pathogen penetration and leukocyte transmigration across the BBB. This is the first in vivo study to demonstrate how vimentin and related factors contributed to the pathogenic triad of bacterial meningitis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:The role of vimentin in IbeA+ E. coli K1-induced NF-?B activation, pathogen invasion, leukocyte transmigration across the BBB has now been demonstrated by using vimentin knockout (KO) mice. In the in vivo studies presented here, IbeA-induced NF-?B activation, E. coli K1 invasion and polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) transmigration across the BBB were significantly reduced in Vim-/- mice. Decreased neuronal injury in the hippocampal dentate gyrus was observed in Vim-/- mice with meningitis. The major inflammatory regulator ?7 nAChR and several signaling molecules contributing to NF-?B activation (p65 and p-CamKII) were significantly reduced in the brain tissues of the Vim-/- mice with E. coli meningitis. Furthermore, Vim KO resulted in significant reduction in neuronal injury and in ?7 nAChR-mediated calcium signaling. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE:Vimentin, a novel NF-?B regulator, plays a detrimental role in the host defense against meningitic infection by modulating the NF-?B signaling pathway to increase pathogen invasion, PMN recruitment, BBB permeability and neuronal inflammation. Our findings provide the first evidence for Vim-dependent mechanisms underlying the pathogenic triad of bacterial meningitis.
Project description:Escherichia coli K1 is the most common gram-negative organism causing neonatal meningitis, but the mechanism by which E. coli K1 crosses the blood-brain barrier is incompletely understood. We have previously described the cloning and molecular characterization of a determinant, ibeA (also called ibe10), from the chromosome of an invasive cerebrospinal fluid isolate of E. coli K1 strain RS218 (O18:K1:H7). Here we report the identification of another chromosomal locus, ibeB, which allows RS218 to invade brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMEC). The noninvasive TnphoA mutant 7A-33 exhibited <1% the invasive ability of the parent strain in vitro in BMEC and was significantly less invasive in the central nervous system in the newborn rat model of hematogenous E. coli meningitis than the parent strain. The TnphoA insert with flanking sequences was cloned and sequenced. A 1,383-nucleotide open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 50-kDa protein was identified and termed ibeB. This ORF was found to be 97% identical to a gene encoding a 50-kDa hypothetical protein (p77211) and located in the 13-min region of the E. coli K-12 genome. However, no homology was observed between ibeB and other known invasion genes when DNA and protein databases in GenBank were searched. Like the TnphoA insertion mutant 7A-33, an isogenic ibeB deletion mutant (IB7D5) was unable to invade BMEC. A 7. 0-kb locus containing ibeB was isolated from a LambdaGEM-12 genomic library of E. coli RS218 and subcloned into a pBluescript KS vector (pKS7-7B). pKS7-7B was capable of completely restoring the BMEC invasion of the noninvasive TnphoA mutant 7A-33 and the ibeB deletion mutant IB7D5 to the level of the parent strain. More importantly, the ibeB deletion mutant IB7D5 was fully complemented by pFN476 carrying the ibeB ORF (pFN7C), indicating that ibeB is required for E. coli K1 invasion of BMEC. Taken together, these findings indicate that several E. coli determinants, including ibeA and ibeB, contribute to crossing of the blood-brain barrier.
Project description:Escherichia coli K1 is the most common Gram-negative organism causing neonatal meningitis. Binding to human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) is an essential step for E. coli K1 traversal of the blood-brain barrier. In this study, we examined expression profiles of E. coli K1 strain RS218 during its binding to HBMEC. Comparison of HBMEC-bound E. coli K1 with collagen-bound E. coli revealed more than one hundred genes whose expression patterns were significantly changed in HBMEC-bound E. coli K1, but not in collagen-bound E. coli K1. These genes are involved mainly in cell surface decorations, cellular function, and nitrogen metabolism. The roles of several representative genes including frdA, clpB, carA, and ompT in HBMEC binding were verified with their isogenic mutants, which exhibited significantly less HBMEC binding capability compared to that of the parent strain. This transcriptome analysis provided us with the first genomic-level view of E. coli and HBMEC interactions.
Project description:Most cases of Escherichia coli meningitis develop as a result of hematogenous spread, but it is not clear how circulating E. coli crosses the blood-brain barrier. A TnphoA mutant of E. coli K1 RS218 was shown to be significantly less invasive than its parent strain in bovine and human brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMEC), which constitute the blood-brain barrier. More importantly, traversal of the blood-brain barrier was significantly less with this mutant than with the parent strain in newborn rats with experimental hematogenous meningitis. A DNA segment containing the TnphoA insertion site was cloned from RS218, and the cloned DNA complemented the TnphoA mutant in invasion of BMEC. Nucleotide sequence revealed a near identity to that of a hypothetical yijP gene (also called f577) in the E. coli K-12 genome. Sequence analysis indicated that the E. coli K1 yijP gene likely encodes a 66. 6-kDa membrane protein. Deletion and complementation experiments indicated that the yijP gene was involved in E. coli K1 invasion of BMEC, i.e., the invasive ability of E. coli K1 was significantly reduced after yijP was deleted and was restored by complementation with a plasmid containing the yijP open reading frame. This is the first demonstration that the yijP gene locus plays a role in the pathogenesis of E. coli K1 meningitis.
Project description:IbeA-induced NF-?B signaling through its primary receptor vimentin as well as its co-receptor PSF is required for meningitic E. coli K1 penetration and leukocyte transmigration across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which are the hallmarks of bacterial meningitis. However, it is unknown how vimentin and PSF cooperatively contribute to IbeA-induced cytoplasmic activation and nuclear translocation of NF-?B, which are required for bacteria-mediated pathogenicities.IbeA-induced E. coli K1 invasion, polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) transmigration and IKK/NF-?B activation are blocked by Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), an inhibitor of NF-?B. IKK?/? phosphorylation is blocked by ERK inhibitors. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis shows that vimentin forms a complex with I?B, NF-?B and tubulins in the resting cells. A dissociation of this complex and a simultaneous association of PSF with NF-?B could be induced by IbeA in a time-dependent manner. The head domain of vimentin is required for the complex formation. Two cytoskeletal components, vimentin filaments and microtubules, contribute to the regulation of NF-?B. SiRNA-mediated knockdown studies demonstrate that IKK?/? phosphorylation is completely abolished in HBMECs lacking vimentin and PSF. Phosphorylation of ERK and nuclear translocation of NF-?B are entirely dependent on PSF. These findings suggest that vimentin and PSF cooperatively contribute to IbeA-induced cytoplasmic activation and nuclear translocation of NF-?B activation. PSF is essential for translocation of NF-?B and ERK to the nucleus.These findings reveal previously unappreciated facets of the IbeA-binding proteins. Cooperative contributions of vimentin and PSF to IbeA-induced cytoplasmic activation and nuclear translocation of NF-?B may represent a new paradigm in pathogen-induced signal transduction and lead to the development of novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of bacterial meningitis.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate whether Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG conditioned medium(LGG-CM)has preventive effect against E. coli K1-induced neuropathogenicity in vitro by inhibiting nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) signaling pathway. METHODS:An in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) model was constructed using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). The effect of LGG-CM on E. coli-actived NF-?B signaling pathway was assayed using Western blotting. Invasion assay and polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) transmigration assay were performed to explore whether LGG-CM could inhibit E. coli invasion and PMN transmigration across the BBB in vitro. The expressions of ZO-1 and CD44 were detected using Western blotting and immunofluorescence. The changes of trans-epithelial electric resistance (TEER) and bacterial translocation were determined to evaluate the BBB permeability. RESULTS:Pre-treament with LGG-CM inhibited E. coli-activated NF-?B signaling pathway in HBMECs and decreased the invasion of E. coli K1 and transmigration of PMN. Western blotting showed that LGG-CM could alleviate E. coli-induced up-regulation of CD44 and down-regulation of ZO-1 expressions in HBMECs. In addition, pre-treatment with LGG-CM alleviated E. coli K1-induced reduction of TEER and suppressed bacterial translocation across the BBB in vitro. CONCLUSION:LGG-CM can block E. coli-induced activation of NF-?B signaling pathway and thereby prevents E. coli K1-induced neuropathogenicity by decreasing E. coli K1 invasion rates and PMN transmigration.
Project description:Type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) are involved in the pathogenicity of several gram-negative bacteria. Based on sequence analysis, we found that a cluster of Escherichia coli virulence factors (EVF) encoding a putative T6SS exists in the genome of the meningitis-causing E. coli K1 strain RS218. The T6SS-associated deletion mutants exhibited significant defects in binding to and invasion of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) compared with the parent strain. Hcp family proteins (the hallmark of T6SS), including Hcp1 and Hcp2, were localized in the bacterial outer membrane, but the involvements of Hcp1 and Hcp2 have been shown to differ in E. coli-HBMEC interaction. The deletion mutant of hcp2 showed defects in the bacterial binding to and invasion of HBMEC, while Hcp1 was secreted in a T6SS-dependent manner and induced actin cytoskeleton rearrangement, apoptosis, and the release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8 in HBMEC. These findings demonstrate that the T6SS is functional in E. coli K1, and two Hcp family proteins participate in different steps of E. coli interaction with HBMEC in a coordinate manner, e.g., binding to and invasion of HBMEC, the cytokine and chemokine release followed by cytoskeleton rearrangement, and apoptosis in HBMEC. This is the first demonstration of the role of T6SS in meningitis-causing E. coli K1, and T6SS-associated Hcp family proteins are likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of E. coli meningitis.
Project description:Neonatal meningitis Escherichia coli K1 (NMEC) are thought to be transmitted from mothers to newborns during delivery or by nosocomial infections. However, the source of E. coli K1 causing these infections is not clear. Avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) have the potential to cause infection in humans while human E. coli have potential to cause colibacillosis in poultry, suggesting that these strains may lack host specificity. APEC strains are capable of causing meningitis in newborn rats; however, it is unclear whether these bacteria use similar mechanisms to that of NMEC to establish disease. Using four representative APEC and NMEC strains that belong to serotype O18, we demonstrate that these strains survive in human serum similar to that of the prototypic NMEC strain E44, a derivative of RS218. These bacteria also bind and enter both macrophages and human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (HCMEC/D3) with similar frequency as that of E44. The amino acid sequences of the outer membrane protein A (OmpA), an important virulence factor in the pathogenesis of meningitis, are identical within these representative APEC and NMEC strains. Further, these strains also require Fc?RI-? chain (CD64) and Ecgp96 as receptors for OmpA in macrophages and HCMEC/D3, respectively, to bind and enter these cells. APEC and NMEC strains induce meningitis in newborn mice with varying degree of pathology in the brains as assessed by neutrophil recruitment and neuronal apoptosis. Together, these results suggest that serotype O18 APEC strains utilize similar pathogenic mechanisms as those of NMEC strains in causing meningitis.
Project description:Escherichia coli RS218 is the prototypic strain of neonatal meningitis-causing E. coli (NMEC) and has been used in many studies related to NMEC pathogenesis. In the present study, the genome of E. coli RS218 was sequenced together with its plasmid, pRS218. Here, we report the fully closed genome sequence of E. coli RS218.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Escherichia coli is the most predominant Gram-negative bacterial pathogen associated with neonatal meningitis. Previous studies indicated that the prototypic neonatal meningitis E. coli (NMEC) strain RS218 (O18:K1:H7) harbors one large plasmid. Objectives of the present study were to analyze the complete nucleotide sequence of this large plasmid (pRS218) and its contribution to NMEC pathogenesis using in vitro and in vivo models of neonatal meningitis. RESULTS: The plasmid is 114,231 bp in size, belongs to the incompatibility group FIB/IIA (IncFIB/IIA), and contains a genetic load region that encodes several virulence and fitness traits such as enterotoxicity, iron acquisition and copper tolerance. The nucleotide sequence of pRS218 showed a 41- 46% similarity to other neonatal meningitis-causing E. coli (NMEC) plasmids and remarkable nucleotide sequence similarity (up to 100%) to large virulence plasmids of E. coli associated with acute cystitis. Some genes located on pRS218 were overly represented by NMEC strains compared to fecal E. coli isolated from healthy individuals. The plasmid-cured strain was significantly attenuated relative to the RS218 wild-type strain as determined in vitro by invasion potential to human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells and in vivo by mortalities, histopathological lesions in the brain tissue, and bacterial recovery from the cerebrospinal fluid of infected rat pups. CONCLUSIONS: The pRS218 is an IncFIB/IIA plasmid which shares a remarkable nucleotide sequence similarity to large plasmids of E. coli associated with cystitis. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments indicated that pRS218 plays an important role in NMEC pathogenesis.