Defining ICR-Mo, an intrinsic colistin resistance determinant from Moraxella osloensis.
ABSTRACT: Polymyxin is the last line of defense against severe infections caused by carbapenem-resistant gram-negative pathogens. The emergence of transferable MCR-1/2 polymyxin resistance greatly challenges the renewed interest in colistin (polymyxin E) for clinical treatments. Recent studies have suggested that Moraxella species are a putative reservoir for MCR-1/2 genetic determinants. Here, we report the functional definition of ICR-Mo from M. osloensis, a chromosomally encoded determinant of colistin resistance, in close relation to current MCR-1/2 family. ICR-Mo transmembrane protein was prepared and purified to homogeneity. Taken along with an in vitro enzymatic detection, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry of bacterial lipid A pools determined that the ICR-Mo enzyme might exploit a possible "ping-pong" mechanism to accept the phosphoethanolamine (PEA) moiety from its donor phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and then transfer it to the 1(or 4')-phosphate position of lipid A via an ICR-Mo-bound PEA adduct. Structural decoration of LPS-lipid A by ICR-Mo renders the recipient strain of E. coli resistant to polymyxin. Domain swapping assays indicate that the two domains of ICR-Mo cannot be functionally-exchanged with its counterparts in MCR-1/2 and EptA, validating its phylogenetic position in a distinct set of MCR-like genes. Structure-guided functional mapping of ICR-Mo reveals a PE lipid substrate recognizing cavity having a role in enzymatic catalysis and the resultant conference of antibiotic resistance. Expression of icr-Mo in E. coli significantly prevents the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by colistin. Taken together, our results define a member of a group of intrinsic colistin resistance genes phylogenetically close to the MCR-1/2 family, highlighting the evolution of transferable colistin resistance.
Project description:Polymyxins, a family of cationic antimicrobial cyclic peptides, act as a last line of defense against severe infections by Gram-negative pathogens with carbapenem resistance. In addition to the intrinsic resistance to polymyxin E (colistin) conferred by Neisseria eptA, the plasmid-borne mobilized colistin resistance gene mcr-1 has been disseminated globally since the first discovery in Southern China, in late 2015. However, the molecular mechanisms for both intrinsic and transferable resistance to colistin remain largely unknown. Here, we aim to address this gap in the knowledge of these proteins. Structural and functional analyses of EptA and MCR-1 and -2 have defined a conserved 12-residue cavity that is required for the entry of the lipid substrate, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). The in vitro and in vivo data together have allowed us to visualize the similarities in catalytic activity shared by EptA and MCR-1 and -2. The expression of either EptA or MCR-1 or -2 is shown to remodel the surface of enteric bacteria (e.g., Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Klebsiella pneumoniae, etc.), rendering them resistant to colistin. The parallels in the PE substrate-binding cavities among EptA, MCR-1, and MCR-2 provide a comprehensive understanding of both intrinsic and transferable colistin resistance. Domain swapping between EptA and MCR-1 and -2 reveals that the two domains (transmembrane [TM] region and phosphoethanolamine [PEA] transferase) are not functionally exchangeable. Taken together, the results represent a common mechanism for intrinsic and transferable PEA resistance to polymyxin, a last-resort antibiotic against multidrug-resistant pathogens.IMPORTANCE EptA and MCR-1 and -2 remodel the outer membrane, rendering bacteria resistant to colistin, a final resort against carbapenem-resistant pathogens. Structural and functional analyses of EptA and MCR-1 and -2 reveal parallel PE lipid substrate-recognizing cavities, which explains intrinsic and transferable colistin resistance in gut bacteria. A similar mechanism is proposed for the catalytic activities of EptA and MCR-1 and -2. Together, they constitute a common mechanism for intrinsic and transferable polymyxin resistance.
Project description:Polymyxins such as colistin are antibiotics used as a final line of defense in the management of infections with multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Although natural resistance to polymyxins is rare, the discovery of a mobilized colistin resistance gene (mcr-1) in gut bacteria has raised significant concern. As an intramembrane enzyme, MCR-1 catalyzes the transfer of phosphoethanolamine (PEA) to the 1 (or 4')-phosphate group of the lipid A moiety of lipopolysaccharide, thereby conferring colistin resistance. However, the structural and biochemical mechanisms used by this integral membrane enzyme remain poorly understood. Here, we report the modeled structure of the full-length MCR-1 membrane protein. Together with molecular docking, our structural and functional dissection of the complex of MCR-1 with its phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) substrate suggested the presence of a 12 residue-containing cavity for substrate entry, which is critical for both enzymatic activity and its resultant phenotypic resistance to colistin. More importantly, two periplasm-facing helices (PH2 and PH2') of the trans-membrane domain were essential for MCR-1 activity. MALDI-TOF MS and thin-layer chromatography assays provide both in vivo and in vitro evidence that MCR-1 catalyzes the transfer of PEA from the PE donor substrate to its recipient substrate lipid A. Also, the chemical modification of lipid A species was detected in clinical species of bacteria carrying mcr-1 Our results provide mechanistic insights into transferable MCR-1 polymyxin resistance, raising the prospect of rational design of small molecules that reverse bacterial polymyxin resistance, as a last-resort clinical option to combat pathogens with carbapenem resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mobilized resistance to colistin is evolving rapidly and its global dissemination poses a severe threat to human health and safety. Transferable colistin resistance gene, mcr-3, first identified in Shandong, China, has already been found in several countries in multidrug-resistant human infections. Here we track the spread of mcr-3 within 13 provinces in China and provide a complete characterization of its evolution, structure and function. METHODS:A total of 6497 non-duplicate samples were collected from thirteen provinces in China, from 2016 to 2017 and then screened for the presence of mcr-3 gene by PCR amplification. mcr-3-positive isolates were analyzed for antibiotic resistance and by southern blot hybridization, transfer analysis and plasmid typing. We then examined the molecular evolution of MCR-3 through phylogenetic analysis. Furthermore, we also characterized the structure and function of MCR-3 through circular dichroism analyses, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS), confocal microscopy and chemical rescue tests. FINDINGS:49 samples (49/6497?=?0.75%) were mcr-3 positive, comprising 40 samples (40/4144?=?0.97%) from 2017 and 9 samples (9/2353?=?0.38%) from 2016. Overall, mcr-3-positive isolates were distributed in animals and humans in 8 of the 13 provinces. Three mcr-3-positive IncP-type and one mcr-1-bearing IncHI2-like plasmids were identified and characterized. MCR-3 clusters with PEA transferases from Aeromonas and other bacteria and forms a phylogenetic entity that is distinct from the MCR-1/2/P(M) family, the largest group of transferable colistin resistance determinants. Despite that the two domains of MCR-3 not being exchangeable with their counterparts in MCR-1/2, structure-guided functional mapping of MCR-3 defines a conserved PE-lipid recognizing cavity prerequisite for its enzymatic catalysis and its resultant phenotypic resistance to colistin. We therefore propose that MCR-3 uses a possible "ping-pong" mechanism to transfer the moiety of PEA from its donor PE to the 1(or 4')-phosphate of lipid A via an adduct of MCR-3-bound PEA. Additionally, the expression of MCR-3 in E. coli prevents the colistin-triggered formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and interferes bacterial growth and viability. INTERPRETATION:Our results provide an evolutionary, structural and functional definition of MCR-3 and its epidemiology in China, paving the way for smarter policies, better surveillance and effective treatments.
Project description:Antibiotic resistance is a prevalent problem in public health worldwide. In general, the carbapenem ?-lactam antibiotics are considered a final resort against lethal infections by multidrug-resistant bacteria. Colistin is a cationic polypeptide antibiotic and acts as the last line of defense for treatment of carbapenem-resistant bacteria. Very recently, a new plasmid-borne colistin resistance gene, mcr-2, was revealed soon after the discovery of the paradigm gene mcr-1, which has disseminated globally. However, the molecular mechanisms for MCR-2 colistin resistance are poorly understood. Here we show a unique transposon unit that facilitates the acquisition and transfer of mcr-2 Evolutionary analyses suggested that both MCR-2 and MCR-1 might be traced to their cousin phosphoethanolamine (PEA) lipid A transferase from a known polymyxin producer, Paenibacillus Transcriptional analyses showed that the level of mcr-2 transcripts is relatively higher than that of mcr-1 Genetic deletions revealed that the transmembrane regions (TM1 and TM2) of both MCR-1 and MCR-2 are critical for their location and function in bacterial periplasm, and domain swapping indicated that the TM2 is more efficient than TM1. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) confirmed that all four MCR proteins (MCR-1, MCR-2, and two chimeric versions [TM1-MCR-2 and TM2-MCR-1]) can catalyze chemical modification of lipid A moiety anchored on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with the addition of phosphoethanolamine to the phosphate group at the 4' position of the sugar. Structure-guided site-directed mutagenesis defined an essential 6-residue-requiring zinc-binding/catalytic motif for MCR-2 colistin resistance. The results further our mechanistic understanding of transferable colistin resistance, providing clues to improve clinical therapeutics targeting severe infections by MCR-2-containing pathogens.IMPORTANCE Carbapenem and colistin are the last line of refuge in fighting multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. MCR-2 is a newly emerging variant of the mobilized colistin resistance protein MCR-1, posing a potential challenge to public health. Here we report transfer of the mcr-2 gene by a unique transposal event and its possible origin. Distribution of MCR-2 in bacterial periplasm is proposed to be a prerequisite for its role in the context of biochemistry and the colistin resistance. We also define the genetic requirement of a zinc-binding/catalytic motif for MCR-2 colistin resistance. This represents a glimpse of transferable colistin resistance by MCR-2.
Project description:BACKGROUND:With the dissemination of carbapenemase producers, a revival of colistin was observed for the treatment of infections caused by MDR Gram-negatives. Unfortunately, the increasing usage of colistin led to the emergence of resistance. In Klebsiella pneumoniae, colistin resistance arises through addition of 4-amino-l-arabinose (l-Ara4N) or phosphoethanolamine (pEtN) to the native lipid A. The underlying mechanisms involve numerous chromosome-encoded genes or the plasmid-encoded pEtN transferase MCR. Currently, detection of colistin resistance is time-consuming since it still relies on MIC determination by broth microdilution. Recently, a rapid diagnostic test based on MALDI-TOF MS detection of modified lipid A was developed (the MALDIxin test) and tested on Escherichia coli and Acinetobacter baumannii. OBJECTIVES:Optimize the MALDIxin test for the rapid detection of colistin resistance in K. pneumoniae. METHODS:This optimization consists of an additional mild-acid hydrolysis of 15?min in 1% acetic acid. The optimized method was tested on a collection of 81 clinical K. pneumoniae isolates, including 49 colistin-resistant isolates (45 with chromosome-encoded resistance, 3 with MCR-related resistance and 1 with both mechanisms). RESULTS:The optimized method allowed the rapid (<30?min) identification of l-Ara4N- and pEtN-modified lipid A of K. pneumoniae, which are known to be the real triggers of polymyxin resistance. At the same time, it discriminates between chromosome-encoded and MCR-related polymyxin resistance. CONCLUSIONS:The MALDIxin test has the potential to become an accurate tool for the rapid determination of colistin resistance in clinically relevant Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:Lipid A phosphoethanolamine (PEtN) transferases render bacteria resistant to the last resort antibiotic colistin. The recent discoveries of pathogenic bacteria harboring plasmid-borne PEtN transferase ( mcr) genes have illustrated the serious potential for wide dissemination of these resistance elements. The origin of mcr-1 is traced to Moraxella species co-occupying environmental niches with Enterobacteriaceae. Here, we describe the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of the chromosomally encoded colistin resistance PEtN transferase, ICR Mc (for intrinsic colistin resistance) of Moraxella catarrhalis. The ICR Mc structure in complex with PEtN reveals key molecular details including specific residues involved in catalysis and PEtN binding. It also demonstrates that ICR Mc catalytic domain dimerization is required for substrate binding. Our structure-guided phylogenetic analysis provides sequence signatures defining potentially colistin-active representatives in this enzyme family. Combined, these results advance the molecular and mechanistic understanding of PEtN transferases and illuminate their origins.
Project description:The rapid emergence of Gram-negative 'superbugs' has become a significant threat to human health globally, and polymyxins have become a last-line therapy for these very problematic pathogens. Polymyxins exhibit their antibacterial killing by initial interaction with lipid A in Gram-negative bacteria. Polymyxin resistance can be mediated by phosphoethanolamine (PEA) modification of lipid A, which abolishes the initial electrostatic interaction with polymyxins. Both chromosome-encoded (e.g. EptA, EptB and EptC) and plasmid-encoded (e.g. MCR-1 and MCR-2) PEA transferases have been reported in Gram-negative bacteria; however, their sequence and functional heterogeneity remain unclear. This article reports a comparative analysis of PEA transferases across 10 clinically relevant Gram-negative bacterial species using multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis. The results show that the pairwise identities among chromosome-mediated EptA, EptB and EptC from Escherichia coli are low, and EptA shows the greatest similarity with MCR-1 and MCR-2. Among PEA transferases from representative strains of 10 clinically relevant species, the catalytic domain is more conserved compared with the transmembrane domain. In particular, PEA acceptor sites and zinc-binding pockets show high conservation between different species, indicating their potential importance for the function of PEA transferases. The evolutionary relationship of MCR-1, MCR-2 and EptA from the 10 selected bacterial species was evaluated by phylogenetic analysis. Cluster analysis illustrates that 325 EptA from 275 strains of 10 species within each individual species are highly conserved, whereas interspecies conservation is low. This comparative analysis provides key bioinformatic information to better understand the mechanism of polymyxin resistance via PEA modification of lipid A.
Project description:Polymyxins are last-resort antimicrobial agents used to treat infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae Due to the worldwide dissemination of polymyxin resistance in animal and human isolates, we aimed to characterize polymyxin resistance associated with the presence of mcr-1 in Enterobacteriaceae and nonfermenter Gram-negative bacilli, using isolates collected retrospectively in Colombia from 2002 to 2016. A total of 5,887 Gram-negative clinical isolates were studied, and 513 were found to be resistant to the polymyxins. Susceptibility to colistin was confirmed by broth microdilution for all mcr-1-positive isolates, and these were further subjected to whole-genome sequencing (WGS). The localization of mcr-1 was confirmed by S1 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (S1-PFGE) and CeuI-PFGE hybridization. Transferability was evaluated by mating assays. A total of 12 colistin-resistant isolates recovered after 2013 harbored mcr-1, including 8 Escherichia coli, 3 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, and 1 Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate. E. coli isolates were unrelated by PFGE and belonged to 7 different sequence types (STs) and phylogroups. S Typhimurium and K. pneumoniae isolates belonged to ST34 and ST307, respectively. The mcr-1 gene was plasmid borne in all isolates but two E. coli isolates which harbored it on the chromosome. Conjugation of mcr-1 was successful in 8 of 10 isolates (8.2 × 10-5 to 2.07 × 10-1 cell per recipient). Plasmid sequences showed that the mcr-1 plasmids belonged to four different Inc groups (a new IncP-1 variant and the IncFII, IncHI1, and IncH families). Our results indicate that mcr-1 is circulating in clinical isolates of colistin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Colombia and is mainly harbored in transferable plasmids.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>The discovery of mobile colistin resistance mcr-1, a plasmid-borne polymyxin resistance gene, highlights the potential for widespread resistance to the last-line polymyxins. In the present study, we investigated the impact of mcr-1 acquisition on polymyxin resistance and biological fitness in Klebsiella pneumoniae.<h4>Methods</h4>K. pneumoniae B5055 was used as the parental strain for the construction of strains carrying vector only (pBBR1MCS-5) and mcr-1 recombinant plasmids (pmcr-1). Plasmid stability was determined by serial passaging for 10 consecutive days in antibiotic-free LB broth, followed by patching on gentamicin-containing and antibiotic-free LB agar plates. Lipid A was analysed using LC-MS. The biological fitness was examined using an in vitro competition assay analysed with flow cytometry. The in vivo fitness cost of mcr-1 was evaluated in a neutropenic mouse thigh infection model.<h4>Results</h4>Increased polymyxin resistance was observed following acquisition of mcr-1 in K. pneumoniae B5055. The modification of lipid A with phosphoethanolamine following mcr-1 addition was demonstrated by lipid A profiling. The plasmid stability assay revealed the instability of the plasmid after acquiring mcr-1. Reduced in vitro biological fitness and in vivo growth were observed with the mcr-1-carrying K. pneumoniae strain.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Although mcr-1 confers a moderate level of polymyxin resistance, it is associated with a significant biological fitness cost in K. pneumoniae. This indicates that mcr-1-mediated resistance in K. pneumoniae could be attenuated by limiting the usage of polymyxins.
Project description:Colistin is the last-resort antibiotic against lethal infections with multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens. A rainbow coalition of mobile colistin resistance (mcr) genes raises global health concerns. Here, we describe the action and mechanism of colistin resistance imparted by MCR-4, a recently-identified member from the broader MCR family. We found that MCR-4 originates from the silenced variant of Shewanella frigidimarina via progressive evolution and forms a phylogenetically-distinct group from the well-studied MCR-1/2 family. Domain-swapping experiments further confirmed that MCR-1 and MCR-4 transmembrane and catalytic domains are not functionally-interchangeable. However, structural and functional analyses demonstrated that MCR-4 possesses a similar PE lipid substrate-recognizable cavity and exploits an almost-identical ping-pong catalysis mechanism. MCR-4 also can alleviate colistin-triggered accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Taken together, this finding constitutes a functional proof that MCR-4 proceeds in a distinct evolutionary path to fulfill a consistent molecular mechanism, resulting in phenotypic colistin resistance.