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Ferric Uptake Regulator Fur Is Conditionally Essential in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
ABSTRACT: In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) protein controls both metabolism and virulence in response to iron availability. Differently from other bacteria, attempts to obtain fur deletion mutants of P. aeruginosa failed, leading to the assumption that Fur is an essential protein in this bacterium. By investigating a P. aeruginosa conditional fur mutant, we demonstrate that Fur is not essential for P. aeruginosa growth in liquid media, biofilm formation, and pathogenicity in an insect model of infection. Conversely, Fur is essential for growth on solid media since Fur-depleted cells are severely impaired in colony formation. Transposon-mediated random mutagenesis experiments identified pyochelin siderophore biosynthesis as a major cause of the colony growth defect of the conditional fur mutant, and deletion mutagenesis confirmed this evidence. Impaired colony growth of pyochelin-proficient Fur-depleted cells does not depend on oxidative stress, since Fur-depleted cells do not accumulate higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and are not rescued by antioxidant agents or overexpression of ROS-detoxifying enzymes. Ectopic expression of pch genes revealed that pyochelin production has no inhibitory effects on a fur deletion mutant of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci, suggesting that the toxicity of the pch locus in Fur-depleted cells involves a P. aeruginosa-specific pathway(s).IMPORTANCE Members of the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) protein family are bacterial transcriptional repressors that control iron uptake and storage in response to iron availability, thereby playing a crucial role in the maintenance of iron homeostasis. While fur null mutants of many bacteria have been obtained, Fur appears to be essential in Pseudomonas aeruginosa for still unknown reasons. We obtained Fur-depleted P. aeruginosa cells by conditional mutagenesis and showed that Fur is dispensable for planktonic growth, while it is required for colony formation. This is because Fur protects P. aeruginosa colonies from toxicity exerted by the pyochelin siderophore. This work provides a functional basis to the essentiality of Fur in P. aeruginosa and highlights unique properties of the Fur regulon in this species.
Project description:Pyochelin (Pch) and enantio-pyochelin (EPch) are enantiomer siderophores that are produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas fluorescens, respectively, under iron limitation. Pch promotes growth of P. aeruginosa when iron is scarce, and EPch carries out the same biological function in P. fluorescens. However, the two siderophores are unable to promote growth in the heterologous species, indicating that siderophore-mediated iron uptake is highly stereospecific. In the present work, using binding and iron uptake assays, we found that FptA, the Fe-Pch outer membrane transporter of P. aeruginosa, recognized (K(d) = 2.5 +/- 1.1 nm) and transported Fe-Pch but did not interact with Fe-EPch. Likewise, FetA, the Fe-EPch receptor of P. fluorescens, was specific for Fe-EPch (K(d) = 3.7 +/- 2.1 nm) but did not bind and transport Fe-Pch. Growth promotion experiments performed under iron-limiting conditions confirmed that FptA and FetA are highly specific for Pch and EPch, respectively. When fptA and fetA along with adjacent transport genes involved in siderophore uptake were swapped between the two bacterial species, P. aeruginosa became able to utilize Fe-EPch as an iron source, and P. fluorescens was able to grow with Fe-Pch. Docking experiments using the FptA structure and binding assays showed that the stereospecificity of Pch recognition by FptA was mostly due to the configuration of the siderophore chiral centers C4'' and C2'' and was only weakly dependent on the configuration of the C4' carbon atom. Together, these findings increase our understanding of the stereospecific interaction between Pch and its outer membrane receptor FptA.
Project description:The Pseudomonas aeruginosa siderophore pyochelin is structurally unique among siderophores and possesses neither hydroxamate- nor catecholate-chelating groups. The structural gene encoding the 75-kDa outer membrane Fe(III)-pyochelin receptor FptA has been isolated by plasmid rescue techniques and sequenced. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the isolated FptA protein corresponded to that deduced from the nucleotide sequence of the fptA structural gene. The mature FptA protein has 682 amino acids and a molecular mass of 75,993 Da and has considerable overall homology with the hydroxamate siderophore receptors FpvA of P. aeruginosa, PupA and PupB of Pseudomonas putida, and FhuE of Escherichia coli. This observation indicates that homologies between siderophore receptors are an unreliable predictor of siderophore ligand class recognition by a given receptor. The fptA gene was strongly regulated by iron; fptA transcription was totally repressed by 30 microM FeCl3, as determined by Northern (RNA) blotting. The promoter of the fptA gene contained the sequence 5'-ATAATGATAAGCATTATC-3', which matches the consensus E. coli Fur-binding site at 17 of 18 positions. The -10 promoter region and transcriptional start site of the fptA gene reside within this Fur-binding site.
Project description:Iron sequestration by host proteins contributes to the defence against bacterial pathogens, which need iron for their metabolism and virulence. A Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutant lacking all three known iron acquisition systems retains the ability to grow in media containing iron chelators, suggesting the presence of additional pathways involved in iron uptake. Here we screen P. aeruginosa mutants defective in growth in iron-depleted media and find that gene PA2374, proximal to the type VI secretion system H3 (H3-T6SS), functions synergistically with known iron acquisition systems. PA2374 (which we have renamed TseF) appears to be secreted by H3-T6SS and is incorporated into outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) by directly interacting with the iron-binding Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS), a cell-cell signalling compound. TseF facilitates the delivery of OMV-associated iron to bacterial cells by engaging the Fe(III)-pyochelin receptor FptA and the porin OprF. Our results reveal links between type VI secretion, cell-cell signalling and classic siderophore receptors for iron acquisition in P. aeruginosa.
Project description:The biosynthetic genes pchDCBA and pchEF, which are known to be required for the formation of the siderophore pyochelin and its precursors salicylate and dihydroaeruginoate (Dha), are clustered with the pchR regulatory gene on the chromosome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The 4.6-kb region located downstream of the pchEF genes was found to contain three additional, contiguous genes, pchG, pchH, and pchI, probably forming a pchEFGHI operon. The deduced amino acid sequences of PchH and PchI are similar to those of ATP binding cassette transport proteins with an export function. PchG is a homolog of the Yersinia pestis and Y. enterocolitica proteins YbtU and Irp3, which are involved in the biosynthesis of yersiniabactin. A null mutation in pchG abolished pyochelin formation, whereas mutations in pchH and pchI did not affect the amounts of salicylate, Dha, and pyochelin produced. The pyochelin biosynthetic genes were expressed from a vector promoter, uncoupling them from Fur-mediated repression by iron and PchR-dependent induction by pyochelin. In a P. aeruginosa mutant lacking the entire pyochelin biosynthetic gene cluster, the expressed pchDCBA and pchEFG genes were sufficient for salicylate, Dha, and pyochelin production. Pyochelin formation was also obtained in the heterologous host Escherichia coli expressing pchDCBA and pchEFG together with the E. coli entD gene, which provides a phosphopantetheinyl transferase necessary for PchE and PchF activation. The PchG protein was purified and used in combination with PchD and phosphopantetheinylated PchE and PchF in vitro to produce pyochelin from salicylate, L-cysteine, ATP, NADPH, and S-adenosylmethionine. Based on this assay, a reductase function was attributed to PchG. In summary, this study completes the identification of the biosynthetic genes required for pyochelin formation from chorismate in P. aeruginosa.
Project description:BAL30072 is a monosulfactam conjugated with an iron-chelating dihydroxypyridone moiety. It is active against Gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We selected mutants with decreased susceptibilities to BAL30072 in P. aeruginosa PAO1 under a variety of conditions. Under iron-deficient conditions, mutants with overexpression of AmpC ?-lactamase predominated. These mutants were cross-resistant to aztreonam and ceftazidime. Similar mutants were obtained after selection at >16× the MIC in iron-sufficient conditions. At 4× to 8× the MIC, mutants with elevated MIC for BAL30072 but unchanged MICs for aztreonam or ciprofloxacin were selected. The expression of ampC and the major efflux pump genes were also unchanged. These BAL30072-specific mutants were characterized by transcriptome analysis, which revealed upregulation of the Fe-dicitrate operon, FecIRA. Whole-genome sequencing showed that this resulted from a single nucleotide change in the Fur-box of the fecI promoter. Overexpression of either the FecI ECF sigma factor or the FecA receptor increased BAL30072 MICs 8- to 16-fold. A fecI mutant and a fecA mutant of PAO1 were hypersusceptible to BAL30072 (MICs < 0.06 ?g/ml). The most downregulated gene belonged to the pyochelin synthesis operon, although mutants in pyochelin receptor or synthesis genes had unchanged MICs. The piuC gene, coding for a Fe(II)-dependent dioxygenase located next to the piuA iron receptor gene, was also downregulated. The MICs of BAL30072 for piuC and piuA transposon mutants were increased 8- and 16-fold, respectively. We conclude that the upregulation of the Fe-dicitrate system impacts the expression of other TonB-dependent iron transporters and that PiuA and PiuC contribute to the susceptibility of P. aeruginosa PAO1 to BAL30072.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa K372 is deficient in the production of both the 75-kDa ferripyochelin receptor protein and pyochelin. A 1.8-kb EcoRI-SalI fragment which restored production of both the receptor protein and pyochelin was cloned. Nucleotide sequencing of the fragment revealed an open reading frame of 888 bp, designated pchR (pyochelin), capable of encoding a 296-amino-acid protein of a 32,339-Da molecular mass. By using a phage T7-based expression system, a protein of ca. 32 kDa was produced off the 1.8-kb fragment, confirming that this open reading frame was indeed expressed. A region exhibiting homology to the consensus Fur-binding site of Escherichia coli was identified upstream of the pchR coding region overlapping a putative promoter. In addition, the C-terminal 80 amino acid residues of PchR showed approximately 50% homology (identity, 31%; conserved changes, 19%) to the carboxy terminus of AraC, a known transcriptional activator of gene expression in E. coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Citrobacter freundii, and Erwinia chrysanthemi. Within the C-terminal region of PchR, AraC, and a number of other members of the AraC family of transcriptional activators, there exists a highly conserved 17-residue domain where, in fact, two residues are strictly maintained and two others exhibit only conserved changes, suggesting a common functional significance to this region in all of these proteins. These data are consistent with a role for PchR as a transcriptional activator of pyochelin and ferripyochelin receptor synthesis in P. aeruginosa. In agreement with this, a PchR mutant obtained by in vitro mutagenesis and gene replacement was deficient in production of the ferripyochelin receptor and pyochelin.
Project description:Gallium (Ga) is an iron mimetic that has successfully been repurposed for antibacterial chemotherapy. To improve the antibacterial potency of Ga on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the effect of complexation with a variety of siderophores and synthetic chelators was tested. Ga complexed with the pyochelin siderophore (at a 1:2 ratio) was more efficient than Ga(NO3)3 in inhibiting P. aeruginosa growth, and its activity was dependent on increased Ga entrance into the cell through the pyochelin translocon.
Project description:Aspergillus fumigatus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are central fungal and bacterial members of the pulmonary microbiota. The interactions between A. fumigatus and P. aeruginosa have only just begun to be explored. A balance between inhibitory and stimulatory effects on fungal growth was observed in mixed A. fumigatus-P. aeruginosa cultures. Negative interactions have been seen for homoserine-lactones, pyoverdine and pyochelin resulting from iron starvation and intracellular inhibitory reactive oxidant production. In contrast, several types of positive interactions were recognized. Dirhamnolipids resulted in the production of a thick fungal cell wall, allowing the fungus to resist stress. Phenazines and pyochelin favor iron uptake for the fungus. A. fumigatus is able to use bacterial volatiles to promote its growth. The immune response is also differentially regulated by co-infections.
Project description:Ferric uptake regulator (Fur) plays a key role in the iron homeostasis of prokaryotes, such as bacterial pathogens, but the molecular mechanisms and structural basis of Fur-DNA binding remain incompletely understood. Here, we report high-resolution structures of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 Fur in four different states: apo-Fur, holo-Fur, the Fur-feoAB1 operator complex and the Fur-Pseudomonas aeruginosa Fur box complex. Apo-Fur is a transition metal ion-independent dimer whose binding induces profound conformational changes and confers DNA-binding ability. Structural characterization, mutagenesis, biochemistry and in vivo data reveal that Fur recognizes DNA by using a combination of base readout through direct contacts in the major groove and shape readout through recognition of the minor-groove electrostatic potential by lysine. The resulting conformational plasticity enables Fur binding to diverse substrates. Our results provide insights into metal ion activation and substrate recognition by Fur that suggest pathways to engineer magnetotactic bacteria and antipathogenic drugs.
Project description:Bacterial-fungal interactions have important physiologic and medical ramifications, but the mechanisms of these interactions are poorly understood. The gut is host to trillions of microorganisms, and bacterial-fungal interactions are likely to be important. Using a neutropenic mouse model of microbial gastrointestinal colonization and dissemination, we show that the fungus Candida albicans inhibits the virulence of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa by inhibiting P. aeruginosa pyochelin and pyoverdine gene expression, which plays a critical role in iron acquisition and virulence. Accordingly, deletion of both P. aeruginosa pyochelin and pyoverdine genes attenuates P. aeruginosa virulence. Heat-killed C. albicans has no effect on P. aeruginosa, whereas C. albicans secreted proteins directly suppress P. aeruginosa pyoverdine and pyochelin expression and inhibit P. aeruginosa virulence in mice. Interestingly, suppression or deletion of pyochelin and pyoverdine genes has no effect on P. aeruginosa's ability to colonize the GI tract but does decrease P. aeruginosa's cytotoxic effect on cultured colonocytes. Finally, oral iron supplementation restores P. aeruginosa virulence in P. aeruginosa and C. albicans colonized mice. Together, our findings provide insight into how a bacterial-fungal interaction can modulate bacterial virulence in the intestine. Previously described bacterial-fungal antagonistic interactions have focused on growth inhibition or colonization inhibition/modulation, yet here we describe a novel observation of fungal-inhibition of bacterial effectors critical for virulence but not important for colonization. These findings validate the use of a mammalian model system to explore the complexities of polymicrobial, polykingdom infections in order to identify new therapeutic targets for preventing microbial disease.