Autoinducer-2 Quorum Sensing Influences Viability of Escherichia coli O157:H7 under Osmotic and In Vitro Gastrointestinal Stress Conditions.
ABSTRACT: Bacteria use autoinducer molecules to communicate both at intra-species and inter-species levels by quorum sensing. One such cell density-dependent signaling system is the luxS-mediated universal quorum sensing using autoinducer-2 (AI-2). Virulence of several pathogens is determined by an AI-2 system and is related to colonization and infection of the host. From this concept, numerous papers have suggested that AI-2 inhibition is an important strategy toward designing of new antimicrobial agents. However, recent studies indicate that the AI-2 system is also involved in adaptation and survival under environmental stress conditions. Therefore, we hypothesized that interaction between quorum sensing and environmental conditions may be critical in influencing predicted results in a control and when combating of target pathogens. We investigated the growth of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EHEC) and its luxS-deficient (non AI-2 producing) mutant strain under various stress conditions, and found significant differences in the growth rate under osmotic stress. Moreover, we could also show the impact of the AI-2 molecule on viability in the gastrointestinal tract model representing a complex environmental condition. Differences in vital responses of the strains suggest that AI-2 quorum sensing has a significant influence on the viability of EHEC under environmental stress conditions.
Project description:The interbacterial communication system known as quorum sensing (QS) utilizes hormone-like compounds referred to as autoinducers to regulate bacterial gene expression. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) serotype O157:H7 is the agent responsible for outbreaks of bloody diarrhea in several countries. We previously proposed that EHEC uses a QS regulatory system to "sense" that it is within the intestine and activate genes essential for intestinal colonization. The QS system used by EHEC is the LuxS/autoinducer 2 (AI-2) system extensively involved in interspecies communication. The autoinducer AI-2 is a furanosyl borate diester whose synthesis depends on the enzyme LuxS. Here we show that an EHEC luxS mutant, unable to produce the bacterial autoinducer, still responds to a eukaryotic cell signal to activate expression of its virulence genes. We have identified this signal as the hormone epinephrine and show that beta- and alpha-adrenergic antagonists can block the bacterial response to this hormone. Furthermore, using purified and in vitro synthesized AI-2 we showed that AI-2 is not the autoinducer involved in the bacterial signaling. EHEC produces another, previously undescribed autoinducer (AI-3) whose synthesis depends on the presence of LuxS. These results imply a potential cross-communication between the luxS/AI-3 bacterial QS system and the epinephrine host signaling system. Given that eukaryotic cell-to-cell signaling typically occurs through hormones, and that bacterial cell-to-cell signaling occurs through QS, we speculate that QS might be a "language" by which bacteria and host cells communicate.
Project description:Autoinducer-2 (AI-2)-mediated quorum sensing has been extensively studied in relation to the regulation of microbial behavior. There are, however, two potential roles for the AI-2 synthase (LuxS). The first is in the production of AI-2 and the second is as an enzyme in the activated methyl cycle, where it catalyzes the conversion of S-ribosylhomocysteine to homocysteine. The by-product of the reaction catalyzed by LuxS is (S)-4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione, which spontaneously forms the furanones known collectively as AI-2. The mammalian gut contains a complex collection of bacterial species so a method of interspecies communication might influence community structure and function. Lactobacillus reuteri 100-23 is an autochthonous inhabitant of the rodent forestomach, where it adheres to the nonsecretory epithelium, forming a biofilm. Microarray comparisons of gene expression profiles of the L. reuteri 100-23 wild type and a luxS mutant under different culture conditions revealed altered transcription of genes encoding proteins associated with cysteine biosynthesis/oxidative stress response, urease activity, and sortase-dependent proteins. Metabolomic analysis showed that the luxS mutation affected cellular levels of fermentation products, fatty acids and amino acids. Cell density-dependent changes (log phase versus stationary phase growth) in gene transcription were not detected, indicating that AI-2 was unlikely to be involved in gene regulation mediated by quorum sensing in L. reuteri 100-23.
Project description:Autoinducer molecules are utilized by gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria to regulate density-dependent gene expression by a mechanism known as quorum sensing. PCR and DNA sequencing results showed that Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli possessed luxS, which is responsible for autoinducer-2 (AI-2) production. Using a Vibrio harveyi luminescence assay, the production of AI-2 was observed in milk, chicken broth, and brucella broth by C. coli, C. jejuni, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 under different conditions.
Project description:In Vibrio cholerae, the genes required for biofilm development are repressed by quorum sensing at high cell density due to the accumulation in the medium of two signaling molecules, cholera autoinducer 1 (CAI-1) and autoinducer 2 (AI-2). A significant fraction of toxigenic V. cholerae isolates, however, exhibit dysfunctional quorum sensing pathways. It was reported that transition state analogs of the enzyme methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (MtnN) required to make AI-2 inhibited biofilm formation in the prototype quorum sensing-deficient strain N16961. This finding prompted us to examine the role of both autoinducers and MtnN in biofilm development and virulence gene expression in a quorum sensing-deficient genetic background. Here we show that deletion of mtnN encoding methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase, cqsA (CAI-1), and/or luxS (AI-2) do not prevent biofilm development. However, two independent mtnN mutants exhibited diminished growth rate and motility in swarm agar plates suggesting that, under certain conditions, MtnN could influence biofilm formation indirectly. Nevertheless, MtnN is not required for the development of a mature biofilm.
Project description:The autoinducer-2 (AI-2) quorum-sensing system has been linked to diverse phenotypes and regulatory changes in pathogenic bacteria. In the present study, we performed a molecular and biochemical characterization of the AI-2 system in Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. In strain CO92, the AI-2 signal is produced in a luxS-dependent manner, reaching maximal levels of 2.5 ?M in the late logarithmic growth phase, and both wild-type and pigmentation (pgm) mutant strains made equivalent levels of AI-2. Strain CO92 possesses a chromosomal lsr locus encoding factors involved in the binding and import of AI-2, and confirming this assignment, an lsr deletion mutant increased extracellular pools of AI-2. To assess the functional role of AI-2 sensing in Y. pestis, microarray studies were conducted by comparing ?pgm strain R88 to a ?pgm ?luxS mutant or a quorum-sensing-null ?pgm ?ypeIR ?yspIR ?luxS mutant at 37°C. Our data suggest that AI-2 quorum sensing is associated with metabolic activities and oxidative stress genes that may help Y. pestis survive at the host temperature. This was confirmed by observing that the luxS mutant was more sensitive to killing by hydrogen peroxide, suggesting a potential requirement for AI-2 in evasion of oxidative damage. We also show that a large number of membrane protein genes are controlled by LuxS, suggesting a role for quorum sensing in membrane modeling. Altogether, this study provides the first global analysis of AI-2 signaling in Y. pestis and identifies potential roles for the system in controlling genes important to disease.
Project description:Autoinducer 2 (AI-2) is the only species-nonspecific autoinducer known in bacteria and is produced by both gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. Consequently, it is proposed to function as a universal quorum-sensing signal for interaction between bacterial species. AI-2 is produced as the by-product of a metabolic transformation carried out by the LuxS enzyme. To separate the metabolic function of the LuxS enzyme from the signaling role of AI-2, we carried out a global transcriptome analysis of a luxS null mutant culture of Streptococcus mutans UA159, an important cariogenic bacterium and a crucial component of the dental plaque biofilm community, in comparison to a luxS null mutant culture supplemented with chemically pure 4,5-dihydroxy-2,3-pentanedione, the precursor of AI-2. The data revealed fundamental changes in gene expression affecting 585 genes (30% of the genome) which could not be restored by the signal molecule AI-2 and are therefore not caused by quorum sensing but by lack of the transformation carried out by the LuxS enzyme in the activated methyl cycle. All functional classes of enzymes were affected, including genes known to be important for biofilm formation, bacteriocin synthesis, competence, and acid tolerance. At the same time, 59 genes were identified whose transcription clearly responded to the addition of AI-2. Some of them were related to protein synthesis, stress, and cell division. Three membrane transport proteins were upregulated which are not related to any of the known AI-2 transporters. Three transcription factors were identified whose transcription was stimulated repeatedly by AI-2 addition during growth. Finally, a global regulatory protein, the delta subunit of the RNA polymerase (rpoE), was induced 147-fold by AI-2, representing the largest differential gene expression observed. The data show that many phenotypes related to the luxS mutation cannot be ascribed to quorum sensing and have identified for the first time regulatory proteins potentially mediating AI-2-based signaling in gram-positive bacteria.
Project description:Streptococcus pneumoniae forms organized biofilms in the human upper respiratory tract that may play an essential role in both persistence and acute respiratory infection. However, the production and regulation of biofilms on human cells is not yet fully understood. In this work, we developed a bioreactor with living cultures of human respiratory epithelial cells (HREC) and a continuous flow of nutrients, mimicking the microenvironment of the human respiratory epithelium, to study the production and regulation of S. pneumoniae biofilms (SPB). SPB were also produced under static conditions on immobilized HREC. Our experiments demonstrated that the biomass of SPB increased significantly when grown on HREC compared to the amount on abiotic surfaces. Additionally, pneumococcal strains produced more early biofilms on lung cells than on pharyngeal cells. Utilizing the bioreactor or immobilized human cells, the production of early SPB was found to be regulated by two quorum-sensing systems, Com and LuxS/AI-2, since a mutation in either comC or luxS rendered the pneumococcus unable to produce early biofilms on HREC. Interestingly, while LuxS/autoinducer 2 (AI-2) regulated biofilms on both HREC and abiotic surfaces, Com control was specific for those structures produced on HREC. The biofilm phenotypes of strain D39-derivative ?comC and ?luxS QS mutants were reversed by genetic complementation. Of note, SPB formed on immobilized HREC and incubated under static conditions were completely lysed 24 h postinoculation. Biofilm lysis was also regulated by the Com and LuxS/AI-2 quorum-sensing systems.
Project description:In bacteria, the regulation of gene expression in response to changes in cell density is called quorum sensing. Quorum-sensing bacteria produce, release, and respond to hormone-like molecules (autoinducers) that accumulate in the external environment as the cell population grows. In the marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi two parallel quorum-sensing systems exist, and each is composed of a sensor-autoinducer pair. V. harveyi reporter strains capable of detecting only autoinducer 1 (AI-1) or autoinducer 2 (AI-2) have been constructed and used to show that many species of bacteria, including Escherichia coli MG1655, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium 14028, and S. typhimurium LT2 produce autoinducers similar or identical to the V. harveyi system 2 autoinducer AI-2. However, the domesticated laboratory strain E. coli DH5alpha does not produce this signal molecule. Here we report the identification and analysis of the gene responsible for AI-2 production in V. harveyi, S. typhimurium, and E. coli. The genes, which we have named luxSV.h., luxSS.t., and luxSE.c. respectively, are highly homologous to one another but not to any other identified gene. E. coli DH5alpha can be complemented to AI-2 production by the introduction of the luxS gene from V. harveyi or E. coli O157:H7. Analysis of the E. coli DH5alpha luxSE.c. gene shows that it contains a frameshift mutation resulting in premature truncation of the LuxSE.c. protein. Our results indicate that the luxS genes define a new family of autoinducer-production genes.
Project description:Probiotics have evoked great interest in the past years for their beneficial effects. The aim of this study was to investigate whether luxS overexpression promotes the stress resistance of Lactobacillus paraplantarum L-ZS9. Here we show that overexpression of luxS gene increased the production of autoinducer-2 (AI-2, quorum sensing signal molecule) by L. paraplantarum L-ZS9. At the same time, overexpression of luxS promoted heat-, bile salt-resistance and biofilm formation of the strain. RNAseq results indicated that multiple genes encoding transporters, membrane proteins, and transcriptional regulator were regulated by luxS. These results reveal a new role for LuxS in promoting stress resistance and biofilm formation of probiotic starter.
Project description:Bacterial cell-to-cell communication (quorum sensing) refers to the regulation of bacterial gene expression in response to changes in microbial population density. Quorum sensing bacteria produce, release and respond to chemical signal molecules called autoinducers. Bacteria use two types of autoinducers, namely autoinducer-1 (AI-1) and autoinducer-2 (AI-2) where the former are N-acylhomoserine lactones and the latter is a product of the luxS gene. Most of the reported literatures show that the majority of oral bacteria use AI-2 for quorum sensing but rarely the AI-1 system. Here we report the isolation of Pseudomonas putida strain T2-2 from the oral cavity. Using high resolution mass spectrometry, it is shown that this isolate produced N-octanoylhomoserine lactone (C8-HSL) and N-dodecanoylhomoserine lactone (C12-HSL) molecules. This is the first report of the finding of quorum sensing of P. putida strain T2-2 isolated from the human tongue surface and their quorum sensing molecules were identified.