Pulmonary Surfactant Promotes Virulence Gene Expression and Biofilm Formation in Klebsiella pneumoniae.
ABSTRACT: The interactions between Klebsiella pneumoniae and the host environment at the site of infection are largely unknown. Pulmonary surfactant serves as an initial point of contact for inhaled bacteria entering the lung and is thought to contain molecular cues that aid colonization and pathogenesis. To gain insight into this ecological transition, we characterized the transcriptional response of K. pneumoniae MGH 78578 to purified pulmonary surfactant. This work revealed changes within the K. pneumoniae transcriptome that likely contribute to host colonization, adaptation, and virulence in vivo Notable transcripts expressed under these conditions include genes involved in capsule synthesis, lipopolysaccharide modification, antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation, and metabolism. In addition, we tested the contributions of other surfactant-induced transcripts to K. pneumoniae survival using engineered isogenic KPPR1 deletion strains in a murine model of acute pneumonia. In these infection studies, we identified the MdtJI polyamine efflux pump and the ProU glycine betaine ABC transporter to be significant mediators of K. pneumoniae survival within the lung and confirmed previous evidence for the importance of de novo leucine synthesis to bacterial survival during infection. Finally, we determined that pulmonary surfactant promoted type 3 fimbria-mediated biofilm formation in K. pneumoniae and identified two surfactant constituents, phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol, that drive this response. This study provides novel insight into the interactions occurring between K. pneumoniae and the host at an important infection site and demonstrates the utility of purified lung surfactant preparations for dissecting host-lung pathogen interactions in vitro.
Project description:The interactions between Gram-negative respiratory pathogens and the host environment at the site of infection largely unknown. Pulmonary surfactant serves as an initial point of contact for inhaled bacteria entering the lung and is thought to contain molecular cues that aid colonization and pathogenesis. To gain insight into this ecological transition, we characterized the transcriptional responses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, Burkholderia thailandensis E264, Klebsiella pneumoniae MGH 78578, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia K279A exposed to purified pulmonary surfactant (Survanta) through microarrays. This study provides novel insight into the interactions occurring between Gram-negative opportunistic pathogens and the host at an important infection site, and demonstrates the utility of purified lung surfactant preparations for dissecting host-lung pathogen interactions in vitro. The goal of this study was to compare the transcriptional responses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, Burkholderia thailandensis E264, Klebsiella pneumoniae MGH 78578, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia K279A exposed to pulmonary surfactant using a custom affymetrix chip designed for their genomes. The goal of this study was to compare the transcriptional responses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, Burkholderia thailandensis E264, Klebsiella pneumoniae MGH 78578, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia K279A exposed to pulmonary surfactant using a custom affymetrix chip designed for their genomes. Overall design: Microarrays were performed with total RNA collected from two independent gene induction experiments, where each strain was cultured in MOPS minimal media in the presence and absence of Survanta (purified pulmonary surfactant). Total RNA collected from these experiments were then mixed together 1:1 (P. aeruginosa & B. thailandensis, or K. pneumoniae & S. maltophilia) prior to hybridization to custom Affymetrix microarray chips (PaKpSmBta521148F). The resulting eight chips were then processed via RMA using Affymetrix's Expression Console and Transcriptome Analysis Console.
Project description:Epithelial host defense proteins comprise a critical component of the pulmonary innate immune response to infection. The short palate, lung, nasal epithelium clone (PLUNC) 1 (SPLUNC1) protein is a member of the bactericidal/permeability-increasing (BPI) fold-containing (BPIF) protein family, sharing structural similarities with BPI-like proteins. SPLUNC1 is a 25 kDa secretory protein that is expressed in nasal, oropharyngeal, and lung epithelia, and has been implicated in airway host defense against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other organisms. SPLUNC1 is reported to have surfactant properties, which may contribute to anti-biofilm defenses. The objective of this study was to assess the importance of SPLUNC1 surfactant activity in airway epithelial secretions and to explore its biological relevance in the context of a bacterial infection model. Using cultured airway epithelia, we confirmed that SPLUNC1 is critically important for maintenance of low surface tension in airway fluids. Furthermore, we demonstrated that recombinant SPLUNC1 (rSPLUNC1) significantly inhibited Klebsiella pneumoniae biofilm formation on airway epithelia. We subsequently found that Splunc1(-/-) mice were significantly more susceptible to infection with K. pneumoniae, confirming the likely in vivo relevance of this anti-biofilm effect. Our data indicate that SPLUNC1 is a crucial component of mucosal innate immune defense against pulmonary infection by a relevant airway pathogen, and provide further support for the novel hypothesis that SPLUNC1 protein prevents bacterial biofilm formation through its ability to modulate surface tension of airway fluids.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae has a reputation for causing a wide range of infectious conditions, with numerous highly virulent and antibiotic-resistant strains. Metabolic models have the potential to provide insights into the growth behavior, nutrient requirements, essential genes, and candidate drug targets in these strains. Here we develop a metabolic model for KPPR1, a highly virulent strain of K. pneumoniae. We apply a combination of Biolog phenotype data and fitness data to validate and refine our KPPR1 model. The final model displays a predictive accuracy of 75% in identifying potential carbon and nitrogen sources for K. pneumoniae and of 99% in predicting nonessential genes in rich media. We demonstrate how this model is useful in studying the differences in the metabolic capabilities of the low-virulence MGH 78578 strain and the highly virulent KPPR1 strain. For example, we demonstrate that these strains differ in carbohydrate metabolism, including the ability to metabolize dulcitol as a primary carbon source. Our model makes numerous other predictions for follow-up verification and analysis.
Project description:During pulmonary infections, a careful balance between activation of protective host defense mechanisms and potentially injurious inflammatory processes must be maintained. Surfactant protein A (SP-A) is an immune modulator that increases pathogen uptake and clearance by phagocytes while minimizing lung inflammation by limiting dendritic cell (DC) and T cell activation. Recent publications have shown that SP-A binds to and is bacteriostatic for Mycoplasma pneumoniae in vitro. In vivo, SP-A aids in maintenance of airway homeostasis during M. pneumoniae pulmonary infection by preventing an overzealous proinflammatory response mediated by TNF-?. Although SP-A was shown to inhibit maturation of DCs in vitro, the consequence of DC/SP-A interactions in vivo has not been elucidated. In this article, we show that the absence of SP-A during M. pneumoniae infection leads to increased numbers of mature DCs in the lung and draining lymph nodes during the acute phase of infection and, consequently, increased numbers of activated T and B cells during the course of infection. The findings that glycyrrhizin, a specific inhibitor of extracellular high-mobility group box-1 (HMGB-1) abrogated this effect and that SP-A inhibits HMGB-1 release from immune cells suggest that SP-A inhibits M. pneumoniae-induced DC maturation by regulating HMGB-1 cytokine activity.
Project description:Microbial competition is most often studied at the genus or species level, but interstrain competition has been less thoroughly examined. Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important pathogen in the context of hospital-acquired pneumonia, and a better understanding of strain competition in the lungs could explain why some strains of this bacterium are more frequently isolated from pneumonia patients than others. We developed a barcode-free method called "StrainSeq" to simultaneously track the abundances of 10 K. pneumoniae strains in a murine pneumonia model. We demonstrate that one strain (KPPR1) repeatedly achieved a marked numerical dominance at 20?h postinoculation during pneumonia but did not exhibit a similar level of dominance in in vitro mixed-growth experiments. The emergence of a single dominant strain was also observed with a second respiratory pathogen, Acinetobacter baumannii, indicating that the phenomenon was not unique to K. pneumoniae When KPPR1 was removed from the inoculum, a second strain emerged to achieve high numbers in the lungs, and when KPPR1 was introduced into the lungs 1 h after the other nine strains, it no longer exhibited a dominant phenotype. Our findings indicate that certain strains of K. pneumoniae have the ability to outcompete others in the pulmonary environment and cause severe pneumonia and that a similar phenomenon occurs with A. baumannii In the context of the pulmonary microbiome, interstrain competitive fitness may be another factor that influences the success and spread of certain lineages of these hospital-acquired respiratory pathogens.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae is ubiquitous in the environment and is a member of a three-species biofilm model. We compared the genome sequence of an environmental isolate, K. pneumoniae strain KP-1, to those of two clinical strains (NTUH-K2044 and MGH 78578). KP-1 possesses strain-specific prophage sequences that distinguish it from the clinical strains.
Project description:To investigate the whole-genome gene expression difference between the wild-type and capsule deletion mutant in Klebsiella pneumoniae MGH 78578. The mutants analyzed in this study are further described in Huang T.W., Stapleton J.C., Chang H.Y., Tsai S.F., Palsson B.O., Charusanti P. Capsule removal via lambda-Red knockout system perturbs biofilm formation and fimbriae extression in Klesiella pneumoniae MGH 78578 (manuscript submission) A six chip study using total RNA recovered from three separate wild-type cultures and three separate cultures of a capsule deltion mutant of Klebsiella pneumoniae MGH 78578. The capsule gene cluster (KPN_02493 to KPN_02515) was entirely removed in the capsule deletion mutant. Each chip measures the expression level of 5,305 genes from Klebsiella pneumoniae MGH 78578 and the associated five plasmids (pKPN3, pKPN4, pKPN5, pKPN6 and pKPN7) with 50-mer oligo tiling array with 30-mer spacer.
Project description:Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) causes persistent respiratory infections in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), probably linked to its capacity to invade and reside within pneumocytes. In the alveolar fluid, NTHi is in contact with pulmonary surfactant, a lipoprotein complex that protects the lung against alveolar collapse and constitutes the front line of defense against inhaled pathogens and toxins. Decreased levels of surfactant phospholipids have been reported in smokers and patients with COPD. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of surfactant phospholipids on the host-pathogen interaction between NTHi and pneumocytes. For this purpose, we used two types of surfactant lipid vesicles present in the alveolar fluid: (i) multilamellar vesicles (MLVs, > 1 ?m diameter), which constitute the tensioactive material of surfactant, and (ii) small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs, 0.1 ?m diameter), which are generated after inspiration/expiration cycles, and are endocytosed by pneumocytes for their degradation and/or recycling. Results indicated that extracellular pulmonary surfactant binds to NTHi, preventing NTHi self-aggregation and inhibiting adhesion of NTHi to pneumocytes and, consequently, inhibiting NTHi invasion. In contrast, endocytosed surfactant lipids, mainly via the scavenger receptor SR-BI, did not affect NTHi adhesion but inhibited NTHi invasion by blocking bacterial uptake in pneumocytes. This blockade was made possible by inhibiting Akt phosphorylation and Rac1 GTPase activation, which are signaling pathways involved in NTHi internalization. Administration of the hydrophobic fraction of lung surfactant in vivo accelerated bacterial clearance in a mouse model of NTHi pulmonary infection, supporting the notion that the lipid component of lung surfactant protects against NTHi infection. These results suggest that alterations in surfactant lipid levels in COPD patients may increase susceptibility to infection by this pathogen.
Project description:It was reported that host defense against pulmonary Klebsiella pneumoniae infection requires IL-22, which was proposed to be of T cell origin. Supporting a role for IL-22, we found that Il22(-/-) mice had decreased survival compared with wild-type mice after intratracheal infection with K. pneumoniae. Surprisingly, however, Rag2(-/-) mice did not differ from wild-type mice in survival or levels of IL-22 in the lungs postinfection with K. pneumoniae. In contrast, K. pneumoniae-infected Rag2(-/-)Il2rg(-/-) mice failed to produce IL-22. These data suggested a possible role for NK cells or other innate lymphoid cells in host defense and production of IL-22. Unlike NK cell-like innate lymphoid cells that produce IL-22 and display a surface phenotype of NK1.1(-)NKp46(+)CCR6(+), lung NK cells showed the conventional phenotype, NK1.1(+)NKp46(+)CCR6(-). Mice depleted of NK cells using anti-asialo GM1 showed decreased survival and higher lung bacterial counts, as well as increased dissemination of K. pneumoniae to blood and liver, compared with control-treated mice. NK cell depletion also led to decreased production of IL-22 in the lung. Within 1 d postinfection, although there was no increase in the number of lung NK cells, a subset of lung NK cells became competent to produce IL-22, and such cells were found in both wild-type and Rag2(-/-) mice. Our data suggest that, during pulmonary infection of mice with K. pneumoniae, conventional NK cells are required for optimal host defense, which includes the production of IL-22.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Klebsiella pneumoniae is an urgent public health threat because of resistance to carbapenems, antibiotics of last resort against Gram-negative bacterial infections. Despite the fact that K. pneumoniae is a leading cause of pneumonia in hospitalized patients, the bacterial factors required to cause disease are poorly understood. Insertion site sequencing combines transposon mutagenesis with high-throughput sequencing to simultaneously screen thousands of insertion mutants for fitness defects during infection. Using the recently sequenced K. pneumoniae strain KPPR1 in a well-established mouse model of pneumonia, insertion site sequencing was performed on a pool of >25,000 transposon mutants. The relative fitness requirement of each gene was ranked based on the ratio of lung to inoculum read counts and concordance between insertions in the same gene. This analysis revealed over 300 mutants with at least a 2-fold fitness defect and 69 with defects ranging from 10- to >2,000-fold. Construction of 6 isogenic mutants for use in competitive infections with the wild type confirmed their requirement for lung fitness. Critical fitness genes included those for the synthesis of branched-chain and aromatic amino acids that are essential in mice and humans, the transcriptional elongation factor RfaH, and the copper efflux pump CopA. The majority of fitness genes were conserved among reference strains representative of diverse pathotypes. These results indicate that regulation of outer membrane components and synthesis of amino acids that are essential to its host are critical for K. pneumoniae fitness in the lung. IMPORTANCE:Klebsiella pneumoniae is a bacterium that commonly causes pneumonia in patients after they are admitted to the hospital. K. pneumoniae is becoming resistant to all available antibiotics, and when these infections spread to the bloodstream, over half of patients die. Since currently available antibiotics are failing, we must discover new ways to treat these infections. In this study, we asked what genes the bacterium needs to cause an infection, since the proteins encoded by these genes could be targets for new antibiotics. We identified over 300 genes that K. pneumoniae requires to grow in a mouse model of pneumonia. Many of the genes that we identified are found in K. pneumoniae isolates from throughout the world, including antibiotic-resistant forms. If new antibiotics could be made against the proteins that these genes encode, they may be broadly effective against K. pneumoniae.