The alleles of the bft gene are distributed differently among enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis strains from human sources and can be present in double copies.
ABSTRACT: Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) strains are associated with diarrheal disease in children. These strains produce a zinc metalloprotease enterotoxin, or fragilysin, that can be detected by a cytotoxicity assay with HT-29 cells. Recently, three different isoforms or variants of the enterotoxin gene, designated bft-1, bft-2, and bft-3, have been identified and sequenced. We used restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the PCR-amplified enterotoxin gene to detect the isoforms bft-1 and bft-2 or bft-3 borne by ETBF. By sequencing the portion of the bft gene corresponding to the mature toxin in some strains and applying allele-specific PCR for strains categorized as bft-2 or bft-3, we found in our collection two strains harboring bft-3, a variant that had been described for isolates from East Asia. Analysis of 66 ETBF strains from different sources showed that bft-1 is the most frequent allele, being present in 65% of isolates; it is largely predominant in isolates from feces of adults, while bft-2 is present in isolates from feces of children. This association is statistically significant (P, 0.0064). Sixteen strains were examined by Southern hybridization using, as probes, the bft and second metalloprotease genes, both included in a pathogenicity islet. Five strains were found to harbor double copies of both genes, suggesting that the whole islet was duplicated. Four of these strains, harboring bft-1 (three strains) or bft-2 (one strain), were found to produce a large amount of biologically active toxin, as determined by a cytotoxicity assay with HT-29 cells. The strains harboring bft-3, either in a single copy or in double copies, produced the smallest amount of toxin in our collection.
Project description:To further understand the epidemiology of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF), 89 extraintestinal B. fragilis strains from Seoul, Korea, were examined for secretion of B. fragilis toxin (BFT) by the HT29/C1 biologic assay and for the B. fragilis toxin gene (bft) by colony blot hybridization and PCR. Complete agreement between the three techniques was found. Overall, 34 B. fragilis strains (38%) were identified as ETBF. Eleven of the 34 ETBF strains (32%) expressed a new isoform of BFT (Korea-BFT). This new isoform is more related to BFT-2 than to BFT-1. Like BFT-1 and BFT-2, Korea-BFT cleaves E-cadherin, the zonula adherens protein.
Project description:Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) is human intestinal commensal bacterium and a potent initiator of colitis through secretion of the metalloprotease Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT). BFT induces cleavage of E-cadherin in colon cells, which subsequently leads to NF-κB activation. Zerumbone is a key component of the Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith plant and can exhibit anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. However, whether zerumbone has anti-inflammatory effects in ETBF-induced colitis remains unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the anti-inflammatory effect of orally administered zerumbone in a murine model of ETBF infection. Wild-type C57BL/6 mice were infected with ETBF and orally administered zerumbone (30 or 60 mg/kg) once a day for 7 days. Treatment of ETBF-infected mice with zerumbone prevented weight loss and splenomegaly and reduced colonic inflammation with decreased macrophage infiltration. Zerumbone treatment significantly decreased expression of IL-17A, TNF-α, KC, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in colonic tissues of ETBF-infected mice. In addition, serum levels of KC and nitrite was also diminished. Zerumbone-treated ETBF-infected mice also showed decreased NF-κB signaling in the colon. HT29/C1 colonic epithelial cells treated with zerumbone suppressed BFT-induced NF-κB signaling and IL-8 secretion. However, BFT-mediated E-cadherin cleavage was unaffected. Furthermore, zerumbone did not affect ETBF colonization in mice. In conclusion, zerumbone decreased ETBF-induced colitis through inhibition of NF-κB signaling.
Project description:Enterotoxigenic (ETBF) strains of Bacteroides fragilis are the subset of strains that secrete a toxin called fragilysin (Bft). Although ETBF strains are known to cause diarrheal disease and have recently been associated with colorectal cancer, they have not been well characterized. By sequencing the complete genome of four ETBF strains, we found that these strains exhibit considerable variation at the genomic level. Only a small number of genes that are located primarily in the Bft pathogenicity island (BFT PAI) and the flanking CTn86 conjugative transposon are conserved in all four strains and a fifth strain whose genome was previously sequenced. Interestingly, phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests that the BFT PAI was acquired by non-toxigenic (NTBF) strains multiple times during the course of evolution. At the phenotypic level, we found that the ETBF strains were less fit than the NTBF strain NCTC 9343 and were susceptible to a growth-inhibitory protein that it produces. The ETBF strains also showed a greater tendency to form biofilms, which may promote tumor formation, than NTBF strains. Although the genomic diversity of ETBF strains raises the possibility that they vary in their pathogenicity, our experimental results also suggest that they share common properties that are conferred by different combinations of non-universal genetic elements.
Project description:Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) strains, which produce a 20-kDa zinc metalloprotease toxin (BFT), have been associated with diarrheal disease in animals and young children. Studying a collection of ETBF and nontoxigenic B. fragilis (NTBF) strains, we found that bft and a second metalloprotease gene (mpII) are contained in an approximately 6-kb pathogenicity island (termed B. fragilis pathogenicity island or BfPAI) which is present exclusively in all 113 ETBF strains tested (pattern I). Of 191 NTBF strains, 100 (52%) lack both the BfPAI and at least a 12-kb region flanking BfPAI (pattern II), and 82 of 191 NTBF strains (43%) lack the BfPAI but contain the flanking region (pattern III). The nucleotide sequence flanking the left end of the BfPAI revealed a region with the same organization as the mobilization region of the 5-nitroimidazole resistance plasmid pIP417 and the clindamycin resistance plasmid pBFTM10, that is, two mobilization genes (bfmA and bfmB) organized in one operon and a putative origin of transfer (oriT) located in a small, compact region. The region flanking the right end of the BfPAI contains a gene (bfmC) whose predicted protein shares significant identity to the TraD mobilization proteins encoded by plasmids F and R100 from Escherichia coli. Nucleotide sequence analysis of one NTBF pattern III strain (strain I-1345) revealed that bfmB and bfmC are adjacent to each other and separated by a 16-bp GC-rich sequence. Comparison of this sequence with the appropriate sequence of ETBF strain 86-5443-2-2 showed that in this ETBF strain the 16-bp sequence is replaced by the BfPAI. This result defined the BfPAI as being 6,036 bp in length and its precise integration site as being between the bfmB and bfmC stop codons. The G+C content of the BfPAI (35%) and the flanking DNA (47 to 50%) differ greatly from that reported for the B. fragilis chromosome (42%), suggesting that the BfPAI and its flanking region are two distinct genetic elements originating from very different organisms. ETBF strains may have evolved by horizontal transfer of these two genetic elements into a pattern II NTBF strain.
Project description:Objective: The human intestinal microbiome plays an important role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC) development. One of the first discovered bacterial mediators involves Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT, also named as fragilysin), a metalloprotease encoded by enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) that causes barrier disruption and inflammation of the colon, leads to tumorigenesis in susceptible mice, and is enriched in the mucosa of IBD and CRC patients. Thus, targeted inhibition of BFT may benefit ETBF carrying patients. Design: By applying two complementary in silico drug design techniques, drug repositioning and molecular docking, we predicted potential BFT inhibitory compounds. Top candidates were tested in vitro on the CRC epithelial cell line HT29/c1 for their potential to inhibit key aspects of BFT activity, being epithelial morphology changes, E-cadherin cleavage (a marker for barrier function) and increased IL-8 secretion. Results: The primary bile acid and existing drug chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), currently used for treating gallstones, cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis, and constipation, was found to significantly inhibit all evaluated cell responses to BFT exposure. The inhibition of BFT resulted from a direct interaction between CDCA and BFT, as confirmed by an increase in the melting temperature of the BFT protein in the presence of CDCA. Conclusion: Together, our results show the potential of in silico drug discovery to combat harmful human and microbiome-derived proteins and more specifically suggests a potential for retargeting CDCA to inhibit the pro-oncogenic toxin BFT.
Project description:Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) causes diarrhea and is implicated in inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer. The only known ETBF virulence factor is the Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT), which induces E-cadherin cleavage, interleukin-8 secretion, and epithelial cell proliferation. A murine model for ETBF has not been characterized. Specific pathogen-free (SPF) C57BL/6J or germfree 129S6/SvEv mice were orally inoculated with wild-type ETBF (WT-ETBF) strains, a nontoxigenic WT strain of B. fragilis (WT-NTBF), WT-NTBF overexpressing bft (rETBF), or WT-NTBF overexpressing a biologically inactive mutated bft (rNTBF). In SPF and germfree mice, ETBF caused colitis but was lethal only in germfree mice. Colonic histopathology demonstrated mucosal thickening with inflammatory cell infiltration, crypt abscesses, and epithelial cell exfoliation, erosion, and ulceration. SPF mice colonized with rETBF mimicked WT-ETBF, whereas rNTBF caused no histopathology. Intestinal epithelial E-cadherin was rapidly cleaved in vivo in WT-ETBF-colonized mice and in vitro in intestinal tissues cultured with purified BFT. ETBF mice colonized for 16 months exhibited persistent colitis. BFT did not directly induce lymphocyte proliferation, dendritic cell stimulation, or Toll-like receptor activation. In conclusion, WT-ETBF induced acute then persistent colitis in SPF mice and rapidly lethal colitis in WT germfree mice. Our data support the hypothesis that chronic colonization with the human commensal ETBF can induce persistent, subclinical colitis in humans.
Project description:The only recognized virulence factor of enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) that accompanies bloodstream infections is the zinc-dependent non-lethal metalloprotease B. fragilis toxin (BFT). The isolated toxin stimulates intestinal secretion, resulting in epithelial damage and necrosis. Numerous publications have focused on the interrelation of BFT with intestinal inflammation and colorectal neoplasia, but nothing is known about the mechanism of its secretion and delivery to host cells. However, recent studies of gram-negative bacteria have shown that outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) could be an essential mechanism for the spread of a large number of virulence factors. Here, we show for the first time that BFT is not a freely secreted protease but is associated with OMVs. Our findings indicate that only outer surface-exposed BFT causes epithelial cell contact disruption. According to our in silico models confirmed by Trp quenching assay and NMR, BFT has special interactions with outer membrane components such as phospholipids and is secreted during vesicle formation. Moreover, the strong cooperation of BFT with polysaccharides is similar to the behavior of lectins. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of BFT secretion provides new perspectives for investigating intestinal inflammation pathogenesis and its prevention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) produces the Bacteroides fragilis toxin, which has been associated with acute diarrheal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer (CRC). ETBF induces colon carcinogenesis in experimental models. Previous human studies have demonstrated frequent asymptomatic fecal colonization with ETBF, but no study has investigated mucosal colonization that is expected to impact colon carcinogenesis.<h4>Methods</h4>We compared the presence of the bft gene in mucosal samples from colorectal neoplasia patients (cases, n = 49) to a control group undergoing outpatient colonoscopy for CRC screening or diagnostic workup (controls, n = 49). Single bacterial colonies isolated anaerobically from mucosal colon tissue were tested for the bft gene with touch-down polymerase chain reaction.<h4>Results</h4>The mucosa of cases was significantly more often bft-positive on left (85.7%) and right (91.7%) tumor and/or paired normal tissues compared with left and right control biopsies (53.1%; P = .033 and 55.5%; P = .04, respectively). Detection of bft was concordant in most paired mucosal samples from individual cases or controls (75% cases; 67% controls). There was a trend toward increased bft positivity in mucosa from late- vs early-stage CRC patients (100% vs 72.7%, respectively; P = .093). In contrast to ETBF diarrheal disease where bft-1 detection dominates, bft-2 was the most frequent toxin isotype identified in both cases and controls, whereas multiple bft isotypes were detected more frequently in cases (P ? .02).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The bft gene is associated with colorectal neoplasia, especially in late-stage CRC. Our results suggest that mucosal bft exposure is common and may be a risk factor for developing CRC.
Project description:Intestinal microbes are recognized for their role in human disease. Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) has been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer; however, colonization alone is insufficient to cause these illnesses. We hypothesized that homeostasis in healthy carriers is maintained by colonic mucus, the major constituent of which is the glycoprotein Muc2. We found that Muc2-deficient mice succumb to lethal disease from ETBF colonization in a B. fragilis toxin (BFT)-dependent manner. We identify a toxin regulator, the two-component system RprXY, which suppresses BFT expression in vitro and in vivo. Overexpression of either component was sufficient to prevent lethal disease in Muc2-deficient mice. Our studies demonstrate that homeostasis in the context of ETBF colonization is dependent on a dynamic interaction between intestinal mucus, a bacterial toxin, and a toxin regulatory system. Regulation of virulence may offer a therapeutic target to maintain intestinal homeostasis in susceptible patients.
Project description:The azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) murine model is commonly used to study colitis-associated cancer. The human commensal bacterium, enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) secretes the Bacteroides fragilis toxin (BFT) which is necessary and sufficient to cause colitis. We report that BALB/c mice infected with WT-ETBF and administered three cycles of AOM/DSS developed numerous, large-sized polyps predominantly in the colorectal region. In addition, AOM/DSS-treated BALB/c mice orally inoculated with wild-type nontoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (WT-NTBF) overexpressing bft (rETBF) developed numerous polyps whereas mice infected with WT-NTBF overexpressing a biologically inactive bft (rNTBF) did not promote polyp formation. Unexpectedly, the combination of AOM+ETBF did not induce polyp formation whereas ETBF+DSS did induce polyp development in a subset of BALB/c mice. In conclusion, WT-ETBF promoted polyp development in AOM/DSS murine model with increased colitis in BALB/c mice. The model described herein provides an experimental platform for understanding ETBF-induced colonic tumorigenesis and studying colorectal cancer in wild-type mice.