Distinctive Regulation of Carbapenem Susceptibility in Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Hfq.
ABSTRACT: Carbapenems are often the antibiotics of choice to combat life threatening infections caused by the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The outer membrane porins OprD and OpdP serve as entry ports for carbapenems. Here, we report that the RNA chaperone Hfq governs post-transcriptional regulation of the oprD and opdP genes in a distinctive manner. Hfq together with the recently described small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) ErsA and Sr0161 is shown to mediate translational repression of oprD, whereas opdP appears not to be regulated by sRNAs. At variance, our data indicate that opdP is translationally repressed by a regulatory complex consisting of Hfq and the catabolite repression protein Crc, an assembly known to be key to carbon catabolite repression in P. aeruginosa. The regulatory RNA CrcZ, which is up-regulated during growth of P. aeruginosa on less preferred carbon sources, is known to sequester Hfq, which relieves Hfq-mediated translational repression of genes. The differential carbapenem susceptibility during growth on different carbon sources can thus be understood in light of Hfq-dependent oprD/opdP regulation and of the antagonizing function of the CrcZ RNA on Hfq regulatory complexes.
Project description:The RNA chaperone Hfq regulates virulence and metabolism in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. During carbon catabolite repression (CCR) Hfq together with the catabolite repression control protein Crc can act as a translational repressor of catabolic genes. Upon relief of CCR, the level of the Hfq-titrating RNA CrcZ is increasing, which in turn abrogates Hfq-mediated translational repression. As the interdependence of Hfq-mediated and RNA based control mechanisms is poorly understood, we explored the possibility whether the regulatory RNA CrcZ can interfere with riboregulation. We first substantiate that the P. aeruginosa Hfq is proficient and required for riboregulation of the transcriptional activator gene antR by the small RNA PrrF1-2. Our studies further revealed that CrcZ can interfere with PrrF1-2/Hfq-mediated regulation of antR. The competition for Hfq can be rationalized by the higher affinity of Hfq for CrcZ than for antR mRNA.
Project description:Carbon Catabolite repression (CCR) allows a fast adaptation of Bacteria to changing nutrient supplies. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1) catabolite repression control protein (Crc) was deemed to act as a translational regulator, repressing functions involved in uptake and utilization of carbon sources. However, Crc of PAO1 was recently shown to be devoid of RNA binding activity. In this study the RNA chaperone Hfq was identified as the principle post-transcriptional regulator of CCR in PAO1. Hfq is shown to bind to A-rich sequences within the ribosome binding site of the model mRNA amiE, and to repress translation in vitro and in vivo. We further report that Crc plays an unknown ancillary role, as full-fledged repression of amiE and other CCR-regulated mRNAs in vivo required its presence. Moreover, we show that the regulatory RNA CrcZ, transcription of which is augmented when CCR is alleviated, binds to Hfq with high affinity. This study on CCR in PAO1 revealed a novel concept for Hfq function, wherein the regulatory RNA CrcZ acts as a decoy to abrogate Hfq-mediated translational repression of catabolic genes and thus highlights the central role of RNA based regulation in CCR of PAO1.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) can thrive in anaerobic biofilms in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Here, we show that CrcZ is the most abundant PA14 RNA bound to the global regulator Hfq in anoxic biofilms grown in cystic fibrosis sputum medium. Hfq was crucial for anoxic biofilm formation. This observation complied with an RNAseq based transcriptome analysis and follow up studies that implicated Hfq in regulation of a central step preceding denitrification. CrcZ is known to act as a decoy that sequesters Hfq during relief of carbon catabolite repression, which in turn alleviates Hfq-mediated translational repression of catabolic genes. We therefore inferred that CrcZ indirectly impacts on biofilm formation by competing for Hfq. This hypothesis was supported by the findings that over-production of CrcZ mirrored the biofilm phenotype of the hfq deletion mutant, and that deletion of the crcZ gene augmented biofilm formation. To our knowledge, this is the first example where competition for Hfq by CrcZ cross-regulates an Hfq-dependent physiological process unrelated to carbon metabolism.
Project description:The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for ~ 10% of hospital-acquired infections worldwide. It is notorious for its high level resistance toward many antibiotics, and the number of multi-drug resistant clinical isolates is steadily increasing. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying drug resistance is crucial for the development of novel antimicrobials and alternative strategies such as enhanced sensitization of bacteria to antibiotics in use. In P. aeruginosa several uptake channels for amino-acids and carbon sources can serve simultaneously as entry ports for antibiotics. The respective genes are often controlled by carbon catabolite repression (CCR). We have recently shown that Hfq in concert with Crc acts as a translational repressor during CCR. This function is counteracted by the regulatory RNA CrcZ, which functions as a decoy to abrogate Hfq-mediated translational repression of catabolic genes. Here, we report an increased susceptibility of P. aeruginosa hfq deletion strains to different classes of antibiotics. Transcriptome analyses indicated that Hfq impacts on different mechanisms known to be involved in antibiotic susceptibility, viz import and efflux, energy metabolism, cell wall and LPS composition as well as on the c-di-GMP levels. Furthermore, we show that sequestration of Hfq by CrcZ, which was over-produced or induced by non-preferred carbon-sources, enhances the sensitivity toward antibiotics. Thus, controlled synthesis of CrcZ could provide a means to (re)sensitize P. aeruginosa to different classes of antibiotics.
Project description:Azotobacter vinelandii is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium of the Pseudomonadaceae family that prefers the use of organic acids rather than carbohydrates. Thus, in a mixture of acetate-glucose, glucose is consumed only after acetate is exhausted. In a previous work, we investigated the molecular basis of this carbon catabolite repression (CCR) process under diazotrophic conditions. In the presence of acetate, Crc-Hfq inhibited translation of the gluP mRNA, encoding the glucose transporter in A. vinelandii. Herein, we investigated the regulation in the expression of the small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) crcZ and crcY, which are known to antagonize the repressing activity of Hfq-Crc. Our results indicated higher expression levels of the sRNAs crcZ and crcY under low CCR conditions (i.e. glucose), in relation to the strong one (acetate one). In addition, we also explored the process of CCR in the presence of ammonium. Our results revealed that CCR also occurs under non-diazotrophic conditions as we detected a hierarchy in the utilization of the supplied carbon sources, which was consistent with the higher expression level of the crcZ/Y sRNAs during glucose catabolism. Analysis of the promoters driving transcription of crcZ and crcY confirmed that they were RpoN-dependent but we also detected a processed form of CrcZ (CrcZ*) in the RpoN-deficient strain derived from a cbrB-crcZ co-transcript. CrcZ* was functional and sufficient to allow the assimilation of acetate.
Project description:Metabolically versatile bacteria use catabolite repression control to select their preferred carbon sources, thus optimizing carbon metabolism. In pseudomonads, this occurs through the combined action of the proteins Hfq and Crc, which form stable tripartite complexes at target mRNAs, inhibiting their translation. The activity of Hfq/Crc is antagonised by small RNAs of the CrcZ family, the amounts of which vary according to carbon availability. The present work examines the role of Pseudomonas putida Hfq protein under conditions of low-level catabolite repression, in which Crc protein would have a minor role since it is sequestered by CrcZ/CrcY. The results suggest that, under these conditions, Hfq remains operative and plays an important role in iron homeostasis. In this scenario, Crc appears to participate indirectly by helping CrcZ/CrcY to control the amount of free Hfq in the cell. Iron homeostasis in pseudomonads relies on regulatory elements such as the Fur protein, the PrrF1-2 sRNAs, and several extracytoplasmic sigma factors. Our results show that the absence of Hfq is paralleled by a reduction in PrrF1-2 small RNAs. Hfq thus provides a regulatory link between iron and carbon metabolism, coordinating the iron supply to meet the needs of the enzymes operational under particular nutritional regimes. Overall design: Total RNA from wild-ype and three mutants of P. putida KT2440 was deep-sequenced and gene expressions were quantified. Differential expression of bacterial genes for each mutant against wild type was determined.
Project description:The Crc protein has been shown to mediate catabolite repression control in Pseudomonas, leading to a preferential assimilation of carbon sources. It has been suggested that Crc acts as a translational repressor of mRNAs, encoding functions involved in uptake and breakdown of different carbon sources. Moreover, the regulatory RNA CrcZ, the level of which is increased in the presence of less preferred carbon sources, was suggested to bind to and sequester Crc, resulting in a relief of catabolite repression. Here, we determined the crystal structure of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Crc, a member of apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease family, at 1.8 Å. Although Crc displays high sequence similarity with its orthologs, there are amino acid alterations in the area corresponding to the active site in AP proteins. Unlike typical AP endonuclease family proteins, Crc has a reduced overall positive charge and the conserved positively charged amino-acid residues of the DNA-binding surface of AP proteins are partially substituted by negatively charged, polar and hydrophobic residues. Crc protein purified to homogeneity from P. aeruginosa did neither display DNase activity, nor did it bind to previously identified RNA substrates. Rather, the RNA chaperone Hfq was identified as a contaminant in His-tagged Crc preparations purified by one step Ni-affinity chromatography from Escherichia coli, and was shown to account for the RNA binding activity observed with the His-Crc preparations. Taken together, these data challenge a role of Crc as a direct translational repressor in carbon catabolite repression in P. aeruginosa.
Project description:The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to utilize a wide range of carbon and nitrogen compounds, allowing it to grow in vastly different environments. The uptake and catabolism of growth substrates are organized hierarchically by a mechanism termed catabolite repression control (Crc) whereby the Crc protein establishes translational repression of target mRNAs at CA (catabolite activity) motifs present in target mRNAs near ribosome binding sites. Poor carbon sources lead to activation of the CbrAB two-component system, which induces transcription of the small RNA (sRNA) CrcZ. This sRNA relieves Crc-mediated repression of target mRNAs. In this study, we have identified novel targets of the CbrAB/Crc system in P. aeruginosa using transcriptome analysis in combination with a search for CA motifs. We characterized four target genes involved in the uptake and utilization of less preferred carbon sources: estA (secreted esterase), acsA (acetyl-CoA synthetase), bkdR (regulator of branched-chain amino acid catabolism) and aroP2 (aromatic amino acid uptake protein). Evidence for regulation by CbrAB, CrcZ and Crc was obtained in vivo using appropriate reporter fusions, in which mutation of the CA motif resulted in loss of catabolite repression. CbrB and CrcZ were important for growth of P. aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis (CF) sputum medium, suggesting that the CbrAB/Crc system may act as an important regulator during chronic infection of the CF lung.
Project description:In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the CbrA/CbrB two-component system is instrumental in the maintenance of the carbon-nitrogen balance and for growth on carbon sources that are energetically less favorable than the preferred dicarboxylate substrates. The CbrA/CbrB system drives the expression of the small RNA CrcZ, which antagonizes the repressing effects of the catabolite repression control protein Crc, an RNA-binding protein. Dicarboxylates appear to cause carbon catabolite repression by inhibiting the activity of the CbrA/CbrB system, resulting in reduced crcZ expression. Here we have identified a conserved palindromic nucleotide sequence that is present in upstream activating sequences (UASs) of promoters under positive control by CbrB and ?(54) RNA polymerase, especially in the UAS of the crcZ promoter. Evidence for recognition of this palindromic sequence by CbrB was obtained in vivo from mutational analysis of the crcZ promoter and in vitro from electrophoretic mobility shift assays using crcZ promoter fragments and purified CbrB protein truncated at the N terminus. Integration host factor (IHF) was required for crcZ expression. CbrB also activated the lipA (lipase) promoter, albeit less effectively, apparently by interacting with a similar but less conserved palindromic sequence in the UAS of lipA. As expected, succinate caused CbrB-dependent catabolite repression of the lipA promoter. Based on these results and previously published data, a consensus CbrB recognition sequence is proposed. This sequence has similarity to the consensus NtrC recognition sequence, which is relevant for nitrogen control.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa can utilize arginine and other amino acids as both carbon and nitrogen sources. Earlier studies have shown that the specific porin OprD facilitates the diffusion of basic amino acids as well as the structurally analogous beta-lactam antibiotic imipenem. The studies reported here showed that the expression of OprD was strongly induced when arginine, histidine, glutamate, or alanine served as the sole source of carbon. The addition of succinate exerted a negative effect on induction of oprD, likely due to catabolite repression. The arginine-mediated induction was dependent on the regulatory protein ArgR, and binding of purified ArgR to its operator upstream of the oprD gene was demonstrated by gel mobility shift and DNase assays. The expression of OprD induced by glutamate as the carbon source, however, was independent of ArgR, indicating the presence of more than a single activation mechanism. In addition, it was observed that the levels of OprD responded strongly to glutamate and alanine as the sole sources of nitrogen. Thus, that the expression of oprD is linked to both carbon and nitrogen metabolism of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.