Catecholamine-Modulated Novel Surface-Exposed Adhesin LIC20035 of Leptospira spp. Binds Host Extracellular Matrix Components and Is Recognized by the Host during Infection.
ABSTRACT: In this study, the effect of the host stress hormone catecholamine on Leptospira gene transcripts encoding outer membrane proteins was investigated. There was no impact of catecholamine supplementation on the in vitro growth pattern of Leptospira interrogans; however, 7 genes out of 41 were differentially transcribed, and the effect was reversed to the basal level in the presence of the antagonist propranolol. Comprehensive analysis of one of the differentially regulated proteins, LIC20035 (in serovar Copenhageni)/LB047 (in serovar Lai) (due to catecholamine supplementation), revealed immunogenicity and ability to adhere to host extracellular matrices. Protease accessibility assay and phase partition of integral membrane proteins of Leptospira showed LIC20035/LB047 to be an outer membrane surface-exposed protein. The recombinant LIC20035 protein can be serologically detected using human/bovine sera positive for leptospirosis. Moreover, the recombinant LIC20035 can bind to diverse host extracellular matrices, with a higher affinity toward collagen and chondroitin sulfate.IMPORTANCE Leptospirosis is a neglected tropical disease of global importance. This study aimed to identify outer membrane proteins of pathogenic Leptospira responding to host chemical signals like catecholamines, with the potential to serve as virulence factors, new serodiagnostic antigens, and vaccine candidates. This study mimicked the plausible means by which Leptospira during infection and hormonal stress intercepts host catecholamines to disseminate in host tissues.
Project description:Select species of the bacterial genus Leptospira are causative agents of leptospirosis, an emerging global zoonosis affecting nearly one million people worldwide annually. We examined two Leptospira pathogens, Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai str. 56601 and Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo-bovis str. L550, as well as the free-living leptospiral saprophyte, Leptospira biflexa serovar Patoc str. 'Patoc 1 (Ames)'. The transport proteins of these leptospires were identified and compared using bioinformatics to gain an appreciation for which proteins may be related to pathogenesis and saprophytism. L. biflexa possesses a disproportionately high number of secondary carriers for metabolite uptake and environmental adaptability as well as an increased number of inorganic cation transporters providing ionic homeostasis and effective osmoregulation in a rapidly changing environment. L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii possess far fewer transporters, but those that they all have are remarkably similar, with near-equivalent representation in most transporter families. These two Leptospira pathogens also possess intact sphingomyelinases, holins, and virulence-related outer membrane porins. These virulence-related factors, in conjunction with decreased transporter substrate versatility, indicate that pathogenicity arose in Leptospira correlating to progressively narrowing ecological niches and the emergence of a limited set of proteins responsible for host invasion. The variability of host tropism and mortality rates by infectious leptospires suggests that small differences in individual sets of proteins play important physiological and pathological roles.
Project description:Select species of the bacterial genus Leptospira are causative agents of leptospirosis, an emerging global zoonosis affecting nearly one million people worldwide annually. We examined two Leptospira pathogens, Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai str. 56601 and Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo-bovis str. L550, as well as the free-living leptospiral saprophyte, Leptospira biflexa serovar Patoc str. 'Patoc 1 (Ames)'. The transport proteins of these leptospires were identified and compared using bioinformatics to gain an appreciation for which proteins may be related to pathogenesis and saprophytism. L. biflexa possesses a disproportionately high number of secondary carriers for metabolite uptake and environmental adaptability as well as an increased number of inorganic cation transporters providing ionic homeostasis and effective osmoregulation in a rapidly changing environment. L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii possess far fewer transporters, but those that they have are remarkably similar, with near-equivalent representation in most transporter families. These two Leptospira pathogens also possess intact sphingomyelinases, holins, and virulence-related outer membrane porins. These virulence-related factors, in conjunction with decreased transporter substrate versatility, indicate that pathogenicity was accompanied by progressively narrowing ecological niches and the emergence of a limited set of proteins responsible for host invasion. The variability of host tropism and mortality rates by infectious leptospires suggests that small differences in individual sets of proteins play important physiological and pathological roles.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic and neglected infectious disease of human and veterinary concern that is caused by pathogenic Leptospira species. After entrance in the host, pathogenic leptospires evade the host natural defense mechanisms in order to propagate and disseminate to multiple organs. Myeloperoxidase is an enzyme stored in neutrophils azurophilic granules, and is released upon neutrophil activation to produce mainly hypochlorous acid, a strong oxidant and potent antimicrobial agent. In the present investigation, we studied the modulation of myeloperoxidase activity by L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni. We show that leptospires and their culture supernatants are able to inhibit both peroxidase and chlorination activities of myeloperoxidase, without interfering with neutrophil degranulation. By leptospiral outer membrane protein extraction and fractionation, we identified the proteins LipL21 and LipL45 as myeloperoxidase inhibitors, constituting new Leptospira virulence factors. Accordingly, we propose a function for the protein LipL21, one of the most expressed leptospiral outer membrane proteins. Our results show a novel innate immune evasion mechanism by which leptospires interfere with the host response in order to cope with the host oxidative stress and efficiently achieve dissemination and colonization.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by pathogenic Leptospira. The whole-genome sequence of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni together with bioinformatics tools represent a great opportunity to search for novel antigen candidates that could be used as subunit vaccine against leptospirosis. We focused on six genes encoding for conserved hypothetical proteins predicted to be exported to the outer membrane. The genes were amplified by PCR from Leptospira interrogans genomic DNA and were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant proteins tagged with N-terminal hexahistidine were purified by metal-charged chromatography. The immunization of hamsters followed by challenge with lethal dose of virulent strain of Leptospira showed that the recombinant proteins Lsa21, Lsa66 and rLIC11030 elicited partial protection to animals. These proteins could be used combined or in a mixture with novel adjuvants in order to improve their effectiveness.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a zoonosis with worldwide distribution caused by pathogenic spirochetes belonging to the genus Leptospira. The leptospiral life cycle involves transmission via fresh water and colonization of the renal tubules of their reservoir hosts or infection of accidental hosts, including humans. Bacterial outer membrane proteins (OMPs), particularly those with surface-exposed regions, play crucial roles in virulence mechanisms of pathogens and the adaptation to various environmental conditions, including those of the mammalian host. Little is known about the surface-exposed OMPs in Leptospira, particularly those with outer membrane-spanning domains. Herein, we describe a comprehensive strategy for identification and characterization of leptospiral transmembrane OMPs. The genomic sequence of L. interrogans serovar Copenhageni strain Fiocruz L1-130 allowed us to employ the beta-barrel prediction programs, PRED-TMBB and TMBETA-NET, to identify potential transmembrane OMPs. Several complementary methods were used to characterize four novel OMPs, designated OmpL36, OmpL37, OmpL47 and OmpL54. In addition to surface immunofluorescence and surface biotinylation, we describe surface proteolysis of intact leptospires as an improved method for determining the surface exposure of leptospiral proteins. Membrane integration was confirmed using techniques for removal of peripheral membrane proteins. We also demonstrate deficiencies in the Triton X-114 fractionation method for assessing the outer membrane localization of transmembrane OMPs. Our results establish a broadly applicable strategy for the elucidation of novel surface-exposed outer membrane-spanning proteins of Leptospira, an essential step in the discovery of potential virulence factors, diagnostic antigens and vaccine candidates.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In bacterial pathogens, both cell surface-exposed outer membrane proteins and proteins secreted into the extracellular environment play crucial roles in host-pathogen interaction and pathogenesis. Considerable efforts have been made to identify outer membrane (OM) and extracellular (EX) proteins produced by Leptospira interrogans, which may be used as novel targets for the development of infection markers and leptospirosis vaccines. RESULT: In this study we used a novel computational framework based on combined prediction methods with deduction concept to identify putative OM and EX proteins encoded by the Leptospira interrogans genome. The framework consists of the following steps: (1) identifying proteins homologous to known proteins in subcellular localization databases derived from the "consensus vote" of computational predictions, (2) incorporating homology based search and structural information to enhance gene annotation and functional identification to infer the specific structural characters and localizations, and (3) developing a specific classifier for cytoplasmic proteins (CP) and cytoplasmic membrane proteins (CM) using Linear discriminant analysis (LDA). We have identified 114 putative EX and 63 putative OM proteins, of which 41% are conserved or hypothetical proteins containing sequence and/or protein folding structures similar to those of known EX and OM proteins. CONCLUSION: Overall results derived from the combined computational analysis correlate with the available experimental evidence. This is the most extensive in silico protein subcellular localization identification to date for Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai genome that may be useful in protein annotation, discovery of novel genes and understanding the biology of Leptospira.
Project description:Leptospira species colonize a significant proportion of rodent populations worldwide and produce life-threatening infections in accidental hosts, including humans. Complete genome sequencing of Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni and comparative analysis with the available Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai genome reveal that despite overall genetic similarity there are significant structural differences, including a large chromosomal inversion and extensive variation in the number and distribution of insertion sequence elements. Genome sequence analysis elucidates many of the novel aspects of leptospiral physiology relating to energy metabolism, oxygen tolerance, two-component signal transduction systems, and mechanisms of pathogenesis. A broad array of transcriptional regulation proteins and two new families of afimbrial adhesins which contribute to host tissue colonization in the early steps of infection were identified. Differences in genes involved in the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide O side chains between the Copenhageni and Lai serovars were identified, offering an important starting point for the elucidation of the organism's complex polysaccharide surface antigens. Differences in adhesins and in lipopolysaccharide might be associated with the adaptation of serovars Copenhageni and Lai to different animal hosts. Hundreds of genes encoding surface-exposed lipoproteins and transmembrane outer membrane proteins were identified as candidates for development of vaccines for the prevention of leptospirosis.
Project description:New vaccine strategies are needed for the prevention of leptospirosis, a widespread human and animal disease caused by pathogenic leptospires. Our previous work determined that a protein leptospiral extract conferred cross-protection in a gerbil model of leptospirosis. The 31- to 34-kDa protein fraction of Leptospira interrogans serovar autumnalis was shown sufficient for this purpose. In the present study, N-terminal sequencing of a 32-kDa fraction and Southern blotting of genomic DNA with corresponding degenerated oligonucleotide probes identified two of its constituents: hemolysis-associated protein 1 (Hap1) and the outer membrane Leptospira protein 1 (OmpL1). Adenovirus-mediated Hap1 vaccination induces significant protection against a virulent heterologous Leptospira challenge in gerbils, whereas a similar OmpL1 construct failed to protect the animals. These data indicate that Hap1 could be a good candidate for developing a new generation of vaccines able to induce broad protection against leptospirosis disease.
Project description:Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonotic infection of human and veterinary concern. Caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira, the disease presents greater incidence in tropical and subtropical regions. The identification of proteins that could be involved in the bacteria host interactions may facilitate the search for immune protective antigens. We report the proteomic analysis of Leptospira interrogans serovar Pomona virulent strain LPF cultured from kidney and liver of infected hamsters. Total protein extracts were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE), 895 spots were analyzed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry (MS), and 286 were identified as leptospiral proteins, corresponding to 108 distinct proteins. These proteins are allocated in all the bacterial cell compartments and are distributed in every functional category. Furthermore, the previously described, known outer membrane proteins, OmpL1, LipL21, LipL31, LipL32/Hap-1, LipL41, LipL45, LipL46, LruA/LipL71, and OmpA-like protein Loa22 were all recognized. Most importantly, this research work identified 27 novel leptospiral proteins annotated as hypothetical open reading frames (ORFs). We report for the first time an array of proteins of the Leptospira expressed by virulent, low-passage strain. We believe that our studies, together with the genome data will enlighten our understanding of the disease.
Project description:Leptospira is the etiologic agent of leptospirosis, a bacterial zoonosis distributed worldwide. Leptospiral lipopolysaccharide is a protective immunogen, but the extensive serological diversity of leptospires has inspired a search for conserved outer membrane proteins (OMPs) that may stimulate heterologous immunity. Previously, a global analysis of leptospiral OMPs (P. A. Cullen, S. J. Cordwell, D. M. Bulach, D. A. Haake, and B. Adler, Infect. Immun. 70:2311-2318, 2002) identified pL21, a novel 21-kDa protein that is the second most abundant constituent of the Leptospira interrogans serovar Lai outer membrane proteome. In this study, we identified the gene encoding pL21 and found it to encode a putative lipoprotein; accordingly, the protein was renamed LipL21. Southern hybridization analysis revealed the presence of lipL21 in all of the pathogenic species but in none of the saprophytic species examined. Alignment of the LipL21 sequence from six strains of Leptospira revealed 96 to 100% identity. When specific polyclonal antisera to recombinant LipL21 were used, LipL21 was isolated together with other known leptospiral OMPs by both Triton X-114 extraction and sucrose density gradient membrane fractionation. All nine strains of pathogenic leptospires investigated by Western blotting, whether culture attenuated or virulent, were found to express LipL21. In contrast, the expression of LipL21 or an antigenically related protein could not be detected in nonpathogenic L. biflexa. Infected hamster sera and two of eight human leptospirosis sera tested were found to react with recombinant LipL21. Native LipL21 was found to incorporate tritiated palmitic acid, consistent with the prediction of a lipoprotein signal peptidase cleavage site. Biotinylation of the leptospiral surface resulted in selective labeling of LipL21 and the previously known OMPs LipL32 and LipL41. These findings show that LipL21 is a surface-exposed, abundant outer membrane lipoprotein that is expressed during infection and conserved among pathogenic Leptospira species.