A Novel Integrated Way for Deciphering the Glycan Code for the FimH Lectin.
ABSTRACT: The fimbrial lectin FimH from uro- and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli binds with nanomolar affinity to oligomannose glycans exposing Man?1,3Man dimannosides at their non-reducing end, but only with micromolar affinities to Man?1,2Man dimannosides. These two dimannoses play a significantly distinct role in infection by E. coli. Man?1,2Man has been described early on as shielding the (Man?1,3Man) glycan that is more relevant to strong bacterial adhesion and invasion. We quantified the binding of the two dimannoses (Man?1,2Man and Man?1,3Man to FimH using ELLSA and isothermal microcalorimetry and calculated probabilities of binding modes using molecular dynamics simulations. Our experimentally and computationally determined binding energies confirm a higher affinity of FimH towards the dimannose Man?1,3Man. Man?1,2Man displays a much lower binding enthalpy combined with a high entropic gain. Most remarkably, our molecular dynamics simulations indicate that Man?1,2Man cannot easily take its major conformer from water into the FimH binding site and that FimH is interacting with two very different conformers of Man?1,2Man that occupy 42% and 28% respectively of conformational space. The finding that Man?1,2Man binding to FimH is unstable agrees with the earlier suggestion that E. coli may use the Man?1,2Man epitope for transient tethering along cell surfaces in order to enhance dispersion of the infection.
Project description:Chaperone-usher pathway pili are a widespread family of extracellular, Gram-negative bacterial fibers with important roles in bacterial pathogenesis. Type 1 pili are important virulence factors in uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), which cause the majority of urinary tract infections (UTI). FimH, the type 1 adhesin, binds mannosylated glycoproteins on the surface of human and murine bladder cells, facilitating bacterial colonization, invasion, and formation of biofilm-like intracellular bacterial communities. The mannose-binding pocket of FimH is invariant among UPEC. We discovered that pathoadaptive alleles of FimH with variant residues outside the binding pocket affect FimH-mediated acute and chronic pathogenesis of two commonly studied UPEC strains, UTI89 and CFT073. In vitro binding studies revealed that, whereas all pathoadaptive variants tested displayed the same high affinity for mannose when bound by the chaperone FimC, affinities varied when FimH was incorporated into pilus tip-like, FimCGH complexes. Structural studies have shown that FimH adopts an elongated conformation when complexed with FimC, but, when incorporated into the pilus tip, FimH can adopt a compact conformation. We hypothesize that the propensity of FimH to adopt the elongated conformation in the tip corresponds to its mannose binding affinity. Interestingly, FimH variants, which maintain a high-affinity conformation in the FimCGH tip-like structure, were attenuated during chronic bladder infection, implying that FimH's ability to switch between conformations is important in pathogenesis. Our studies argue that positively selected residues modulate fitness during UTI by affecting FimH conformation and function, providing an example of evolutionary tuning of structural dynamics impacting in vivo survival.
Project description:FimH is the tip adhesin of mannose-specific type 1 fimbriae of Escherichia coli, which are critical to the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections. Point FimH mutations increasing monomannose (1M)-specific uroepithelial adhesion are commonly found in uropathogenic strains of E. coli. Here, we demonstrate the emergence of a mixed population of clonally identical E. coli strains in the urine of a patient with acute cystitis, where half of the isolates carried a glycine-to-arginine substitution at position 66 of the mature FimH. The R66 mutation induced an unusually strong 1M-binding phenotype and a 20-fold advantage in mouse bladder colonization. However, E. coli strains carrying FimH-R66, but not the parental FimH-G66, had disappeared from the patient's rectal and urine samples collected from 29 to 44 days later, demonstrating within-host instability of the R66 mutation. No FimH variants with R66 were identified in a large (>600 strains) sequence database of fimH-positive E. coli strains. However, several strains carrying genes encoding FimH with either S66 or C66 mutations appeared to be relatively stable in the E. coli population. Relative to FimH-R66, the FimH-S66 and FimH-C66 variants mediated only moderate increases in 1M binding but preserved the ability to enhance binding under flow-induced shear conditions. In contrast, FimH-R66 completely lost shear-enhanced binding properties, with bacterial adhesion being inhibited by shear forces and lacking a rolling mode of binding. These functional trade-offs may determine the natural populational instability of this mutation or other pathoadaptive FimH mutations that confer dramatic increases in 1M binding strength.
Project description:Binding of meningitis-causing Escherichia coli K1 to human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) contributes to traversal of the blood-brain barrier, which occurs in part by the mannose-sensitive binding of FimH. In this study, we showed that FimH also binds to HBMEC, independent of mannose, and identified ATP synthase beta-subunit and actin proteins from the surface biotinylated HBMEC as the mannose-insensitive binding targets for FimH. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments in the presence of alpha-methyl mannose verified the binding of FimH to ATP synthase beta-subunit of HBMEC. ATP synthase beta-subunit antibody decreased E. coli K1 binding to HBMEC in the presence of alpha-methyl mannose. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that FimH of E. coli K1 binds to HBMEC in both mannose-sensitive and -insensitive manner.
Project description:Escherichia coli strains adhere to the normally sterile human uroepithelium using type 1 pili, that are long, hairy surface organelles exposing a mannose-binding FimH adhesin at the tip. A small percentage of adhered bacteria can successfully invade bladder cells, presumably via pathways mediated by the high-mannosylated uroplakin-Ia and alpha3beta1 integrins found throughout the uroepithelium. Invaded bacteria replicate and mature into dense, biofilm-like inclusions in preparation of fluxing and of infection of neighbouring cells, being the major cause of the troublesome recurrent urinary tract infections.We demonstrate that alpha-D-mannose based inhibitors of FimH not only block bacterial adhesion on uroepithelial cells but also antagonize invasion and biofilm formation. Heptyl alpha-D-mannose prevents binding of type 1-piliated E. coli to the human bladder cell line 5637 and reduces both adhesion and invasion of the UTI89 cystitis isolate instilled in mouse bladder via catheterization. Heptyl alpha-D-mannose also specifically inhibited biofilm formation at micromolar concentrations. The structural basis of the great inhibitory potential of alkyl and aryl alpha-D-mannosides was elucidated in the crystal structure of the FimH receptor-binding domain in complex with oligomannose-3. FimH interacts with Man alpha1,3Man beta1,4GlcNAc beta1,4GlcNAc in an extended binding site. The interactions along the alpha1,3 glycosidic bond and the first beta1,4 linkage to the chitobiose unit are conserved with those of FimH with butyl alpha-D-mannose. The strong stacking of the central mannose with the aromatic ring of Tyr48 is congruent with the high affinity found for synthetic inhibitors in which this mannose is substituted for by an aromatic group.The potential of ligand-based design of antagonists of urinary tract infections is ruled by the structural mimicry of natural epitopes and extends into blocking of bacterial invasion, intracellular growth and capacity to fluxing and of recurrence of the infection.
Project description:Despite sharing the name and the ability to mediate mannose-sensitive adhesion, the type 1 fimbrial FimH adhesins of Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli share only 15% sequence identity. In the present study, we demonstrate that even with this limited identity in primary sequence, these two proteins share remarkable similarity of complex receptor binding and structural properties. In silico simulations suggest that, like E. coli FimH, Salmonella FimH has a two-domain tertiary structure topology, with a mannose-binding pocket located on the apex of a lectin domain. Structural analysis of mutations that enhance S. Typhimurium FimH binding to eukaryotic cells and mannose-BSA demonstrated that they are not located proximal to the predicted mannose-binding pocket but rather occur in the vicinity of the predicted interface between the lectin and pilin domains of the adhesin. This implies that the functional effect of such mutations is indirect and probably allosteric in nature. By analogy with E. coli FimH, we suggest that Salmonella FimH functions as an allosteric catch bond adhesin, where shear-induced separation of the lectin and pilin domains results in a shift from a low affinity to a high affinity binding conformation of the lectin domain. Indeed, we observed shear-enhanced binding of whole bacteria expressing S. Typhimurium type 1 fimbriae. In addition, we observed that anti-FimH antibodies activate rather than inhibit S. Typhimurium FimH mannose binding, consistent with the allosteric catch bond properties of this adhesin.
Project description:Type 1 pili mediate binding, invasion, and biofilm formation of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in the host urothelium during urinary tract infection (UTI) via the adhesin FimH. In this study, we characterized the molecular basis of functional differences between FimH of the UPEC isolate UTI89 and the Klebsiella pneumoniae cystitis isolate TOP52. Type 1 pili characteristically mediate mannose-sensitive hemagglutination of guinea pig erythrocytes. Although the adhesin domain of K. pneumoniae TOP52 FimH (FimH(52)) is highly homologous to that of E. coli, with an identical mannose binding pocket and surrounding hydrophobic ridge, it lacks the ability to agglutinate guinea pig erythrocytes. In addition, FimH-dependent biofilm formation in K. pneumoniae is inhibited by heptyl mannose, but not methyl mannose, suggesting the need for contacts outside of the mannose binding pocket. The binding specificity differences observed for FimH(52) resulted in significant functional differences seen in the pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae UTI compared to E. coli UTI. Infections in a murine model of UTI demonstrated that although the K. pneumoniae strain TOP52 required FimH(52) for invasion and IBC formation in the bladder, FimH(52) was not essential for early colonization. This work reveals that a limited amount of sequence variation between the FimH of E. coli and K. pneumoniae results in significant differences in function and ability to colonize the urinary tract.
Project description:FimH-mediated adhesion of Escherichia coli to bladder epithelium is a prerequisite for urinary tract infections. FimH is also essential for blood-borne bacterial dissemination, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of different FimH mutations on bacterial adhesion using a novel adhesion assay, which models the physiological flow conditions bacteria are exposed to. We introduced 12 different point mutations in the mannose binding pocket of FimH in an E. coli strain expressing type 1 fimbriae only (MSC95-FimH). We compared the bacterial adhesion of each mutant across several commonly used adhesion assays, including agglutination of yeast, adhesion to mono- and tri-mannosylated substrates, and static adhesion to bladder epithelial and endothelial cells. We performed a comparison of these assays to a novel method that we developed to study bacterial adhesion to mammalian cells under flow conditions. We showed that E. coli MSC95-FimH adheres more efficiently to microvascular endothelium than to bladder epithelium, and that only endothelium supports adhesion at physiological shear stress. The results confirmed that mannose binding pocket mutations abrogated adhesion. We demonstrated that FimH residues E50 and T53 are crucial for adhesion under flow conditions. The coating of endothelial cells on biochips and modelling of physiological flow conditions enabled us to identify FimH residues crucial for adhesion. These results provide novel insights into screening methods to determine the effect of FimH mutants and potentially FimH antagonists.
Project description:The protein FimH is expressed by the majority of commensal and uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli on the tips of type 1 fimbriae and mediates adhesion via a catch bond to its ligand mannose. Crystal structures of FimH show an allosteric conformational change, but it remains unclear whether all of the observed structural differences are part of the allosteric mechanism. Here we use the protein structural analysis tool RosettaDesign combined with human insight to identify and synthesize 10 mutations in four regions that we predicted would stabilize one of the conformations of that region. The function of each variant was characterized by measuring binding to the ligand mannose, whereas the allosteric state was determined using a conformation-specific monoclonal antibody. These studies demonstrated that each region investigated was indeed part of the FimH allosteric mechanism. However, the studies strongly suggested that some regions were more tightly coupled to mannose binding and others to antibody binding. In addition, we identified many FimH variants that appear locked in the low affinity state. Knowledge of regulatory sites outside the active and effector sites as well as the ability to make FimH variants locked in the low affinity state may be crucial to the future development of novel antiadhesive and antimicrobial therapies using allosteric regulation to inhibit FimH.
Project description:Ligand-receptor interactions that are reinforced by mechanical stress, so-called catch-bonds, play a major role in cell-cell adhesion. They critically contribute to widespread urinary tract infections by pathogenic Escherichia coli strains. These pathogens attach to host epithelia via the adhesin FimH, a two-domain protein at the tip of type I pili recognizing terminal mannoses on epithelial glycoproteins. Here we establish peptide-complemented FimH as a model system for fimbrial FimH function. We reveal a three-state mechanism of FimH catch-bond formation based on crystal structures of all states, kinetic analysis of ligand interaction and molecular dynamics simulations. In the absence of tensile force, the FimH pilin domain allosterically accelerates spontaneous ligand dissociation from the FimH lectin domain by 100,000-fold, resulting in weak affinity. Separation of the FimH domains under stress abolishes allosteric interplay and increases the affinity of the lectin domain. Cell tracking demonstrates that rapid ligand dissociation from FimH supports motility of piliated E. coli on mannosylated surfaces in the absence of shear force.
Project description:Type-1 fimbriae are important virulence factors for the establishment of Escherichia coli urinary tract infections. Bacterial adhesion to the high-mannosylated uroplakin Ia glycoprotein receptors of bladder epithelium is mediated by the FimH adhesin. Previous studies have attributed differences in mannose-sensitive adhesion phenotypes between faecal and uropathogenic E. coli to sequence variation in the FimH receptor-binding domain. We find that FimH variants from uropathogenic, faecal and enterohaemorrhagic isolates express the same specificities and affinities for high-mannose structures. The only exceptions are FimHs from O157 strains that carry a mutation (Asn135Lys) in the mannose-binding pocket that abolishes all binding. A high-mannose microarray shows that all substructures are bound by FimH and that the largest oligomannose is not necessarily the best binder. Affinity measurements demonstrate a strong preference towards oligomannosides exposing Manalpha1-3Man at their non-reducing end. Binding is further enhanced by the beta1-4-linkage to GlcNAc, where binding is 100-fold better than that of alpha-d-mannose. Manalpha1-3Manbeta1-4GlcNAc, a major oligosaccharide present in the urine of alpha-mannosidosis patients, thus constitutes a well-defined FimH epitope. Differences in affinities for high-mannose structures are at least 10-fold larger than differences in numbers of adherent bacteria between faecal and uropathogenic strains. Our results imply that the carbohydrate expression profile of targeted host tissues and of natural inhibitors in urine, such as Tamm-Horsfall protein, are stronger determinants of adhesion than FimH variation.