The Modes of Action of MARTX Toxin Effector Domains.
ABSTRACT: Many Gram-negative bacterial pathogens directly deliver numerous effector proteins from the bacterium to the host cell, thereby altering the target cell physiology. The already well-characterized effector delivery systems are type III, type IV, and type VI secretion systems. Multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are another effector delivery platform employed by some genera of Gram-negative bacteria. These single polypeptide exotoxins possess up to five effector domains in a modular fashion in their central regions. Upon binding to the host cell plasma membrane, MARTX toxins form a pore using amino- and carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing arms and translocate the effector domains into the cells. Consequently, MARTX toxins affect the integrity of the host cells and often induce cell death. Thus, they have been characterized as crucial virulence factors of certain human pathogens. This review covers how each of the MARTX toxin effector domains exhibits cytopathic and/or cytotoxic activities in cells, with their structural features revealed recently. In addition, future directions for the comprehensive understanding of MARTX toxin-mediated pathogenesis are discussed.
Project description:Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described.
Project description:Vibrio cholerae is the causative agent of the severe diarrheal disease cholera. For V. cholerae to colonize the intestinal epithelium, accessory toxins such as the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX(Vc)) toxin are required. MARTX toxins are composite toxins comprised of arrayed effector domains that carry out distinct functions inside the host cell. Among the three effector domains of MARTX(Vc) is the Rho inactivation domain (RID(Vc)) known to cause cell rounding through inactivation of small RhoGTPases. Using alanine scanning mutagenesis in the activity subdomain of RID(Vc), four residues, His-2782, Leu-2851, Asp-2854, and Cys-3022, were identified as impacting RID(Vc) function in depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton and inactivation of RhoA. Tyr-2807 and Tyr-3015 were identified as important potentially for forming the active structure for substrate contact but are not involved in catalysis or post translational modifications. Finally, V. cholerae strains modified to carry a catalytically inactive RID(Vc) show that the rate and efficiency of MARTX(Vc) actin cross-linking activity does not depend on a functional RID(Vc), demonstrating that these domains function independently in actin depolymerization. Overall, our results indicate a His-Asp-Cys catalytic triad is essential for function of the RID effector domain family shared by MARTX toxins produced by many Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:Vibrio vulnificus infects humans and causes lethal septicemia. The primary virulence factor is a multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin consisting of conserved repeats-containing regions and various effector domains. Recent genomic analyses for the newly emerged V. vulnificus biotype 3 strain revealed that its MARTX toxin has two previously unknown effector domains. Herein, we characterized one of these domains, Domain X (DmXVv ). A structure-based homology search revealed that DmXVv belongs to the C58B cysteine peptidase subfamily. When ectopically expressed in cells, DmXVv was autoprocessed and induced cytopathicity including Golgi dispersion. When the catalytic cysteine or the region flanking the scissile bond was mutated, both autoprocessing and cytopathicity were significantly reduced indicating that DmXVv cytopathicity is activated by amino-terminal autoprocessing. Consistent with this, host cell protein export was affected by Vibrio cells producing a toxin with wild-type, but not catalytically inactive, DmXVv . DmXVv was found to localize to Golgi and to directly interact with Golgi-associated ADP-ribosylation factors ARF1, ARF3 and ARF4, although ARF binding was not necessary for the subcellular localization. Rather, this interaction was found to induce autoprocessing of DmXVv . These data demonstrate that the V. vulnificus hijacks the host ARF proteins to activate the cytopathic DmXVv effector domain of MARTX toxin.
Project description:Large bacterial protein toxins autotranslocate functional effector domains to the eukaryotic cell cytosol, resulting in alterations to cellular functions that ultimately benefit the infecting pathogen. Among these toxins, the clostridial glucosylating toxins (CGTs) produced by Gram-positive bacteria and the multifunctional-autoprocessing RTX (MARTX) toxins of Gram-negative bacteria have distinct mechanisms for effector translocation, but a shared mechanism of post-translocation autoprocessing that releases these functional domains from the large holotoxins. These toxins carry an embedded cysteine protease domain (CPD) that is activated for autoprocessing by binding inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP(6)), a molecule found exclusively in eukaryotic cells. Thus, InsP(6)-induced autoprocessing represents a unique mechanism for toxin effector delivery specifically within the target cell. This review summarizes recent studies of the structural and molecular events for activation of autoprocessing for both CGT and MARTX toxins, demonstrating both similar and potentially distinct aspects of autoprocessing among the toxins that utilize this method of activation and effector delivery.
Project description:Upon invading target cells, multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins secreted by bacterial pathogens release their disease-related modularly structured effector domains. However, it is unclear how a diverse repertoire of effector domains within these toxins are processed and activated. Here, we report that Makes caterpillars floppy-like effector (MCF)-containing MARTX toxins require ubiquitous ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) proteins for processing and activation of intermediate effector modules, which localize in different subcellular compartments following limited processing of holo effector modules by the internal cysteine protease. Effector domains structured tandemly with MCF in intermediate modules become disengaged and fully activated by MCF, which aggressively interacts with ARF proteins present at the same location as intermediate modules and is converted allosterically into a catalytically competent protease. MCF-mediated effector processing leads ultimately to severe virulence in mice via an MCF-mediated ARF switching mechanism across subcellular compartments. This work provides insight into how bacteria take advantage of host systems to induce systemic pathogenicity.
Project description:Multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are pore-forming bacterial toxins that translocate multiple functionally independent effector domains into a target eukaryotic cell. Vibrio cholerae colonizes intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and uses a MARTX toxin with three effector domains-an actin cross-linking domain (ACD), a Rho inactivation domain (RID), and an ?/? hydrolase domain (ABH)-to suppress innate immunity and enhance colonization. We investigated whether these multiple catalytic enzymes delivered from a single toxin functioned in a coordinated manner to suppress intestinal innate immunity. Using cultured human IECs, we demonstrated that ACD-induced cytoskeletal collapse activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase, p38, and c-Jun amino-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling to elicit a robust proinflammatory response characterized by the secretion of interleukin-8 (IL-8; also called CXCL8) and the expression of CXCL8, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and other proinflammatory genes. However, RID and ABH, which are naturally delivered together with ACD, blocked MAPK activation through Rac1 and thus prevented ACD-induced inflammation. RID also abolished IL-8 secretion induced by heat-killed bacteria, TNF, or latrunculin A. Thus, MARTX toxins use enzymatic multifunctionality to silence the host response to bacterial factors and to the damage caused by the toxins. Furthermore, these data show how V. cholerae MARTX toxin suppresses intestinal inflammation and contributes to cholera being classically defined as a noninflammatory diarrheal disease.
Project description:The multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX(Vv)) toxin that harbours a varied repertoire of effector domains is the primary virulence factor of Vibrio vulnificus. Although ubiquitously present among Biotype I toxin variants, the 'Makes caterpillars floppy-like' effector domain (MCF(Vv)) is previously unstudied. Using transient expression and protein delivery, MCF(Vv) and MCF(Ah) from the Aeromonas hydrophila?MARTX(Ah)) toxin are shown for the first time to induce cell rounding. Alanine mutagenesis across the C-terminal subdomain of MCF(Vv) identified an Arg-Cys-Asp (RCD) tripeptide motif shown to comprise a cysteine protease catalytic site essential for autoprocessing of MCF(Vv). The autoprocessing could be recapitulated in vitro by the addition of host cell lysate to recombinant MCF(Vv), indicating induced autoprocessing by cellular factors. The RCD motif is also essential for cytopathicity, suggesting autoprocessing is essential first to activate the toxin and then to process a cellular target protein resulting in cell rounding. Sequence homology places MCF(Vv) within the C58 cysteine protease family that includes the type III secretion effectors YopT from Yersinia spp. and AvrPphB from Pseudomonas syringae. However, the catalytic site RCD motif is unique compared with other C58 peptidases and is here proposed to represent a new subgroup of autopeptidase found within a number of putative large bacterial toxins.
Project description:The nucleotidyl cyclase toxin ExoY is one of the virulence factors injected by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa type III secretion system into host cells. Inside cells, it is activated by an unknown eukaryotic cofactor to synthesize various cyclic nucleotide monophosphates. ExoY-like adenylate cyclases are also found in Multifunctional-Autoprocessing Repeats-in-ToXin (MARTX) toxins produced by various Gram-negative pathogens. Here we demonstrate that filamentous actin (F-actin) is the hitherto unknown cofactor of ExoY. Association with F-actin stimulates ExoY activity more than 10,000 fold in vitro and results in stabilization of actin filaments. ExoY is recruited to actin filaments in transfected cells and alters F-actin turnover. Actin also activates an ExoY-like adenylate cyclase MARTX effector domain from Vibrio nigripulchritudo. Finally, using a yeast genetic screen, we identify actin mutants that no longer activate ExoY. Our results thus reveal a new sub-group within the class II adenylyl cyclase family, namely actin-activated nucleotidyl cyclase (AA-NC) toxins.
Project description:The multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are bacterial protein toxins that serve as delivery platforms for cytotoxic effector domains. The domain of unknown function in position 5 (DUF5) effector domain is present in at least six different species' MARTX toxins and as a hypothetical protein in Photorhabdus spp. Its presence increases the potency of the Vibrio vulnificus MARTX toxin in mouse virulence studies, indicating DUF5 directly contributes to pathogenesis. In this work, DUF5 is shown to be cytotoxic when transiently expressed in HeLa cells. DUF5 localized to the plasma membrane dependent upon its C1 domain and the cells become rounded dependent upon its C2 domain. Both full-length DUF5 and the C2 domain caused growth inhibition when expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A structural model of DUF5 was generated based on the structure of Pasteurella multocida toxin facilitating localization of the cytotoxic activity to a 186 amino acid subdomain termed C2A. Within this subdomain, an alanine scanning mutagenesis revealed aspartate-3721 and arginine-3841 as residues critical for cytotoxicity. These residues were also essential for HeLa cell intoxication when purified DUF5 fused to anthrax toxin lethal factor was delivered cytosolically. Thermal shift experiments indicated that these conserved residues are important to maintain protein structure, rather than for catalysis. The Aeromonas hydrophila MARTX toxin DUF5(Ah) domain was also cytotoxic, while the weakly conserved C1-C2 domains from P. multocida toxin were not. Overall, this study is the first demonstration that DUF5 as found in MARTX toxins has cytotoxic activity that depends on conserved residues in the C2A subdomain.
Project description:Vibrio vulnificus causes highly lethal bacterial infections in which the Multifunctional Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxins (MARTX) toxin product of the rtxA1 gene is a key virulence factor. MARTX toxins are secreted proteins up to 5208 amino acids in size. Conserved MARTX N- and C-terminal repeat regions work in concert to form pores in eukaryotic cell membranes, through which the toxin's central region of modular effector domains is translocated. Upon inositol hexakisphosphate-induced activation of the of the MARTX cysteine protease domain (CPD) in the eukaryotic cytosol, effector domains are released from the holotoxin by autoproteolytic activity. We previously reported that the native MARTX toxin effector domain repertoire is dispensable for epithelial cellular necrosis in vitro, but essential for cell rounding and apoptosis prior to necrotic cell death. Here we use an intragastric mouse model to demonstrate that the effector domain region is required for bacterial virulence during intragastric infection. The MARTX effector domain region is essential for bacterial dissemination from the intestine, but dissemination occurs in the absence of overt intestinal tissue pathology. We employ an in vitro model of V. vulnificus interaction with polarized colonic epithelial cells to show that the MARTX effector domain region induces rapid intestinal barrier dysfunction and increased paracellular permeability prior to onset of cell lysis. Together, these results negate the inherent assumption that observations of necrosis in vitro directly predict bacterial virulence, and indicate a paradigm shift in our conceptual understanding of MARTX toxin function during intestinal infection. Results implicate the MARTX effector domain region in mediating early bacterial dissemination from the intestine to distal organs-a key step in V. vulnificus foodborne pathogenesis-even before onset of overt intestinal pathology.