SlpE is a calcium-dependent cytotoxic metalloprotease associated with clinical isolates of Serratia marcescens.
ABSTRACT: Serralysin-like proteases are found in a wide variety of bacteria. These metalloproteases are frequently implicated in virulence and are members of the widely conserved RTX-toxin family. We identified a serralysin-like protease in the genome of a clinical isolate of Serratia marcescens that is highly similar to the canonical serralysin protein, PrtS. This gene was named serralysin-like protease E, SlpE, and was found in the majority (67%) of tested clinical isolates, but was absent from most tested non-clinical isolates including the insect pathogen and reference S. marcescens strain Db11. Purified recombinant SlpE exhibited calcium-dependent protease activity similar to metalloproteases PrtS and SlpB. Induction of slpE in the low-protease-producing S. marcescens strain PIC3611 highly elevated extracellular protease activity, and extracellular secretion required the lipD type 1 secretion system gene. Transcription of slpE was highly reduced in an eepR transcription factor mutant. Mutation of the slpE gene in a highly proteolytic clinical isolate reduced its protease activity, and evidence suggests that SlpE confers cytotoxicity of S. marcescens to the A549 airway carcinoma cell line. Together, these data reveal SlpE to be an EepR-regulated cytotoxic metalloprotease associated with clinical isolates of an important opportunistic pathogen.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterium and opportunistic pathogen Serratia marcescens causes ocular infections in healthy individuals. Secreted protease activity was characterized from 44 ocular clinical isolates, and a higher frequency of protease-positive strains was observed among keratitis isolates than among conjunctivitis isolates. A positive correlation between protease activity and cytotoxicity to human corneal epithelial cells in vitro was determined. Deletion of prtS in clinical keratitis isolate K904 reduced, but did not eliminate, cytotoxicity and secreted protease production. This indicated that PrtS is necessary for full cytotoxicity to ocular cells and implied the existence of another secreted protease(s) and cytotoxic factors. Bioinformatic analysis of the S. marcescens Db11 genome revealed three additional open reading frames predicted to code for serralysin-like proteases noted here as slpB, slpC, and slpD. Induced expression of prtS and slpB, but not slpC and slpD, in strain PIC3611 rendered the strain cytotoxic to a lung carcinoma cell line; however, only prtS induction was sufficient for cytotoxicity to a corneal cell line. Strain K904 with deletion of both prtS and slpB genes was defective in secreted protease activity and cytotoxicity to human cell lines. PAGE analysis suggests that SlpB is produced at lower levels than PrtS. Purified SlpB demonstrated calcium-dependent and AprI-inhibited protease activity and cytotoxicity to airway and ocular cell lines in vitro. Lastly, genetic analysis indicated that the type I secretion system gene, lipD, is required for SlpB secretion. These genetic data introduce SlpB as a new cytotoxic protease from S. marcescens.
Project description:Micavibrio aeruginosavorus is an obligate Gram-negative predatory bacterial species that feeds on other Gram-negative bacteria by attaching to the surface of its prey and feeding on the prey's cellular contents. In this study, Serratia marcescens with defined mutations in genes for extracellular cell structural components and secreted factors were used in predation experiments to identify structures that influence predation. No change was measured in the ability of the predator to prey on S. marcescens flagella, fimbria, surface layer, prodigiosin and phospholipase-A mutants. However, higher predation was measured on S. marcescens metalloprotease mutants. Complementation of the metalloprotease gene, prtS, into the protease mutant, as well as exogenous addition of purified serralysin metalloprotease, restored predation to wild type levels. Addition of purified serralysin also reduced the ability of M. aeruginosavorus to prey on Escherichia coli. Incubating M. aeruginosavorus with purified metalloprotease was found to not impact predator viability; however, pre-incubating prey, but not the predator, with purified metalloprotease was able to block predation. Finally, using flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy, we were able to confirm that the ability of the predator to bind to the metalloprotease mutant was higher than that of the metalloprotease producing wild-type. The work presented in this study shows that metalloproteases from S. marcescens could offer elevated protection from predation.
Project description:Serratia marcescens is a soil- and water-derived bacterium that secretes several host-directed factors and causes hospital infections and community-acquired ocular infections. The putative two-component regulatory system composed of EepR and EepS regulates hemolysis and swarming motility through transcriptional control of the swrW gene and pigment production through control of the pigA-pigN operon. Here, we identify and characterize a role for EepR in regulation of exoenzyme production, stress survival, cytotoxicity to human epithelial cells, and virulence. Genetic analysis supports the model that EepR is in a common pathway with the widely conserved cyclic-AMP receptor protein that regulates protease production. Together, these data introduce a novel regulator of host-pathogen interactions and secreted-protein production.
Project description:The bacterium Serratia marcescens is a common contaminant of contact lens cases and lenses. Serratamolide is one of the secreted hemolytic/cytotoxic factors which contribute to the virulence of this opportunistic pathogen (PMID 22615766). A newly identified transcription factor (eepR) is essential for serratamolide production (PMID 25897029). In the present study, we used immortalized human corneal-limbal epithelial (HCLE) cells (PMID 12766048) as targets for the secreted products of either wild-type (WT) S. marcescens or an isogenic eepR mutant. Microarray data showed that at sub - cytotoxic levels, the secretome of WT bacteria stimulated a > 2-fold response in 712 unique characterized genes. Analysis showed that immune/inflammatory response pathways are significantly enriched in these genes. The scaled response of eepR, ((eepR - control)/(WT â?? control)), was < 0.5 for 418 of these 712 genes (59%). Pathway analysis of these 2-fold attenuated genes confirmed that they too represented immune/inflammatory responses. These data demonstrate that the serratamolide-deficient eepR mutant evokes a much weaker immune/inflammatory response from a clinically relevant cellular target than does the wild-type bacterium. A common batch of HCLE cells was used. Independent preparations of Serratia marcescens secretomes were made for each experiment.
Project description:Serratia marcescens generates secondary metabolites and secreted enzymes, and it causes hospital infections and community-acquired ocular infections. Previous studies identified cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein (CRP) as an indirect inhibitor of antimicrobial secondary metabolites. Here, we identified a putative two-component regulator that suppressed crp mutant phenotypes. Evidence supports that the putative response regulator eepR was directly transcriptionally inhibited by cAMP-CRP. EepR and the putative sensor kinase EepS were necessary for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, including prodigiosin- and serratamolide-dependent phenotypes, swarming motility, and hemolysis. Recombinant EepR bound to the prodigiosin and serratamolide promoters in vitro. Together, these data introduce a novel regulator of secondary metabolites that directly connects the broadly conserved metabolism regulator CRP with biosynthetic genes that may contribute to competition with other microbes.This study identifies a new transcription factor that is directly controlled by a broadly conserved transcription factor, CRP. CRP is well studied in its role to help bacteria respond to the amount of nutrients in their environment. The new transcription factor EepR is essential for the bacterium Serratia marcescens to produce two biologically active compounds, prodigiosin and serratamolide. These two compounds are antimicrobial and may allow S. marcescens to compete for limited nutrients with other microorganisms. Results from this study tie together the CRP environmental nutrient sensor with a new regulator of antimicrobial compounds. Beyond microbial ecology, prodigiosin and serratamolide have therapeutic potential; therefore, understanding their regulation is important for both applied and basic science.
Project description:Serratia marcescens is a Gram negative bacterium (Enterobacteriaceae) often associated with infection of insects. In order to find pathogenic bacteria with the potential to control scarab larvae, several bacterial strains were isolated from the hemocoel of diseased Phyllophaga spp (Coleoptera:Scarabaeidae) larvae collected from cornfields in Mexico. Five isolates were identified as Serratia marcescens by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and biochemical tests. Oral and injection bioassays using healthy Phyllophaga blanchardi larvae fed with the S. marcescens isolates showed different degrees of antifeeding effect and mortality. No insecticidal activity was observed for Spodoptera frugiperda larvae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) by oral inoculation. S. marcescens (Sm81) cell-free culture supernatant caused significant antifeeding effect and mortality to P. blanchardi larvae by oral bioassay and also mortality by injection bioassay. Heat treated culture broths lost the ability to cause disease symptoms, suggesting the involvement of proteins in the toxic activity. A protein of 50.2 kDa was purified from the cell-free broth and showed insecticidal activity by injection bioassay towards P. blanchardi. Analysis of the insecticidal protein by tandem- mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) showed similarity to a Serralysin-like protein from S. marcescens spp. This insecticidal protein could have applications in agricultural biotechnology.
Project description:Photorhabdus sp. strain Az29 is symbiotic with an Azorean nematode of the genus Heterorhabditis in a complex that is highly virulent to insects even at low temperatures. The virulence of the bacteria is mainly attributed to toxins and bacterial enzymes secreted during parasitism. The bacteria secrete proteases during growth, with a peak at the end of the exponential growth phase. Protease secretion was higher in cultures growing at lower temperatures. At 10 degrees C the activity was highest and remained constant for over 7 days, whereas at 23 and 28 degrees C it showed a steady decrease. Two proteases, PrtA and PrtS, that are produced in the growth medium were purified by liquid chromatography. PrtA was inhibited by 1,10-phenantroline and by EDTA and had a molecular mass of 56 kDa and an optimal activity at pH 9 and 50 degrees C. Sequences of three peptides of PrtA showed strong homologies with alkaline metalloproteases from Photorhabdus temperata K122 and Photorhabdus luminescens W14. Peptide PrtA-36 contained the residues characteristic of metzincins, known to be involved in bacterial virulence. In vitro, PrtA inhibited antibacterial factors of inoculated Lepidoptera and of cecropins A and B. PrtS had a molecular mass of 38 kDa and was inhibited by 1,10-phenanthroline but not by EDTA. Its activity ranged between 10 and 80 degrees C and was optimal at pH 7 and 50 degrees C. PrtS also destroyed insect antibacterial factors. Three fragments of PrtS showed homology with a putative metalloprotease of P. luminescens TTO1. Polyclonal antibody raised against PrtA did not recognize PrtS, showing they are distinct molecules.
Project description:The serralysin family of bacterial metalloproteases is associated with virulence in multiple modes of infection. These extracellular proteases are members of the Repeats-in-ToXin (RTX) family of toxins and virulence factors, which mediated virulence in E. coli, B. pertussis, and P. aeruginosa, as well as other animal and plant pathogens. The serralysin proteases are structurally dynamic and their folding is regulated by calcium binding to a C-terminal domain that defines the RTX family of proteins. Previous studies have suggested that interactions between N-terminal sequences and this C-terminal domain are important for the high thermal and chemical stabilities of the RTX proteases. Extending from this, stabilization of these interactions in the native structure may lead to hyperstabilization of the folded protein. To test this hypothesis, cysteine pairs were introduced into the N-terminal helix and the RTX domain and protease folding and activity were assessed. Under stringent pH and temperature conditions, the disulfide-bonded mutant showed increased protease activity and stability. This activity was dependent on the redox environment of the refolding reaction and could be blocked by selective modification of the cysteine residues before protease refolding. These data demonstrate that the thermal and chemical stability of these proteases is, in part, mediated by binding between the RTX domain and the N-terminal helix and demonstrate that stabilization of this interaction can further stabilize the active protease, leading to additional pH and thermal tolerance.
Project description:The bacterium Serratia marcescens is a common contaminant of contact lens cases and lenses. Serratamolide is one of the secreted hemolytic/cytotoxic factors which contribute to the virulence of this opportunistic pathogen (PMID 22615766). A newly identified transcription factor (eepR) is essential for serratamolide production (PMID 25897029). In the present study, we used immortalized human corneal-limbal epithelial (HCLE) cells (PMID 12766048) as targets for the secreted products of either wild-type (WT) S. marcescens or an isogenic eepR mutant. Microarray data showed that at sub - cytotoxic levels, the secretome of WT bacteria stimulated a > 2-fold response in 712 unique characterized genes. Analysis showed that immune/inflammatory response pathways are significantly enriched in these genes. The scaled response of eepR, ((eepR - control)/(WT – control)), was < 0.5 for 418 of these 712 genes (59%). Pathway analysis of these 2-fold attenuated genes confirmed that they too represented immune/inflammatory responses. These data demonstrate that the serratamolide-deficient eepR mutant evokes a much weaker immune/inflammatory response from a clinically relevant cellular target than does the wild-type bacterium. A common batch of HCLE cells was used. Independent preparations of Serratia marcescens secretomes were made for each experiment.
Project description:The prt1 gene encoding extracellular protease from Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora EC14 in cosmid pCA7 was subcloned to create plasmid pSK1. The partial nucleotide sequence of the insert in pSK1 (1,878 bp) revealed a 1,041-bp open reading frame (ORF1) that correlated with protease activity in deletion mutants. ORF1 encodes a polypeptide of 347 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 38,826 Da. Escherichia coli transformed with pSK1 or pSK23, a subclone of pSK1, produces a protease (Prt1) intracellularly with a molecular mass of 38 kDa and a pI of 4.8. Prt1 activity was inhibited by phenanthroline, suggesting that it is a metalloprotease. The prt1 promoter was localized between 173 and 1,173 bp upstream of ORF1 by constructing transcriptional lacZ fusions. Primer extension identified the prt1 transcription start site 205 bp upstream of ORF1. The deduced amino acid sequence of ORF1 showed significant sequence identity to metalloproteases from Bacillus thermoproteolyticus (thermolysin), B. subtilis (neutral protease), Legionella pneumophila (metalloprotease), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (elastase). It has less sequence similarity to metalloproteases from Serratia marcescens and Erwinia chrysanthemi. Locations for three zinc ligands and the active site for E. carotovora subsp. carotovora protease were predicted from thermolysin.