Molecular cloning and characterization of the Helicobacter pylori fliD gene, an essential factor in flagellar structure and motility.
ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori colonizes the human stomach and can cause gastroduodenal disease. Flagellar motility is regarded as a major factor in the colonizing ability of H. pylori. The functional roles of flagellar structural proteins other than FlaA, FlaB, and FlgE are not well understood. The fliD operon of H. pylori consists of flaG, fliD, and fliS genes, in the order stated, under the control of a sigma(28)-dependent promoter. In an effort to elucidate the function of the FliD protein, a hook-associated protein 2 homologue, in flagellar morphogenesis and motility, the fliD gene (2,058 bp) was cloned and isogenic mutants were constructed by disruption of the fliD gene with a kanamycin resistance cassette and electroporation-mediated allelic-exchange mutagenesis. In the fliD mutant, morphologically abnormal flagellar appendages in which very little filament elongation was apparent were observed. The fliD mutant strain was completely nonmotile, indicating that these abnormal flagella were functionally defective. Furthermore, the isogenic fliD mutant of H. pylori SS1, a mouse-adapted strain, was not able to colonize the gastric mucosae of host mice. These results suggest that H. pylori FliD is an essential element in the assembly of the functional flagella that are required for colonization of the gastric mucosa.
Project description:Flagellar biogenesis is controlled by a negative feedback loop. When FliD was secreted at the late step of flagellar assembly, the FliD-FliT complex disassembled and free FliT bound to the FlhDC complex, a master regulator of flagellar biogenesis, subsequently inhibiting the overall expression of flagellar proteins. In this study, we analyzed the role of the FliD C-terminal domain in pentamer formation and interaction with FliT. Our study showed that the FliD L443R mutant exists as a monomer in solution, indicating that the Leu443 residue of FliD, which contributes to its interaction with FliT, plays a crucial role in the pentameric oligomerization of FliD. Consistently, the increased levels of free FliT proteins caused by FliD L443R mutation had negative effects on the gene expression of flagellar synthesis and reduced the expression of flagellar proteins. The lengths of flagella in each cell were significantly reduced in L443R mutant strain, suggesting that normal flagellar biogenesis was impeded. These results suggest that the C-terminal domain of FliD plays a crucial role in the pentameric oligmerization of FliD and the binding of FliT to the C-terminal domain of FliD is critical to inhibit the premature assembly of the FliD pentamer in the cytosol.
Project description:During a genetic screen to identify metalloregulated loci in Bacillus subtilis, we isolated a Tn917-lacZ insertion in the second gene of an operon downstream of the flagellin (hag) gene. Sequence analysis indicates that this gene encodes a homolog of the enteric flagellar filament cap protein FliD. The fliD gene is followed by homologs of the fliS and fliT genes. Transcription of the fliD-lacZ fusion is sigma D dependent, with peak expression at the end of logarithmic-phase growth. Like other sigma D-dependent genes, expression of fliD-lacZ is greatly reduced by mutations in genes essential for assembly and function of the basal body and hook complex (class II functions). These results suggest that B. subtilis flagellar genes are organized in a hierarchy of gene expression similar to that found in enteric bacteria with hag and fliD as class III genes. Expression from the fliD operon promoter, but not the hag promoter, is repressed by iron, which suggests that the target of metalloregulation is the promoter rather than the sigma D protein.
Project description:Helicobacter pylori contains four genes that are predicted to encode proteins secreted by the autotransporter (type V) pathway. One of these, the pore-forming toxin VacA, has been studied in great detail, but thus far there has been very little investigation of three VacA-like proteins. We show here that all three VacA-like proteins are >250 kDa in mass and localized on the surface of H. pylori. The expression of the three vacA-like genes is upregulated during H. pylori colonization of the mouse stomach compared to H. pylori growth in vitro, and a wild-type H. pylori strain outcompeted each of the three corresponding isogenic mutant strains in its ability to colonize the mouse stomach. One of the VacA-like proteins localizes to a sheath that overlies the flagellar filament and bulb, and therefore, we designate it FaaA (flagella-associated autotransporter A). In comparison to a wild-type H. pylori strain, an isogenic faaA mutant strain exhibits decreased motility, decreased flagellar stability, and an increased proportion of flagella in a nonpolar site. The flagellar localization of FaaA differs markedly from the localization of other known autotransporters, and the current results reveal an important role of FaaA in flagellar localization and motility.The pathogenesis of most bacterial infections is dependent on the actions of secreted proteins, and proteins secreted by the autotransporter pathway constitute the largest family of secreted proteins in pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. In this study, we analyzed three autotransporter proteins (VacA-like proteins) produced by Helicobacter pylori, a Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human stomach and contributes to the pathogenesis of gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. We demonstrate that these three proteins each enhance the capacity of H. pylori to colonize the stomach. Unexpectedly, one of these proteins (FaaA) is localized to a sheath that overlies H. pylori flagella. The absence of FaaA results in decreased H. pylori motility as well as a reduction in flagellar stability and a change in flagellar localization. The atypical localization of FaaA reflects a specialized function of this autotransporter designed to optimize H. pylori colonization of the gastric niche.
Project description:Functional flagella formation is a widespread virulence factor that plays a critical role in survival and host colonization. Flagellar synthesis is a complex and highly coordinated process. The assembly of the axial structure beyond the cell membrane is mediated by export chaperone proteins that transport their cognate substrates to the export gate complex. The export chaperone FliS interacts with flagellin, the basic component used to construct the filament. Unlike enterobacteria, the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori produces two different flagellins, FlaA and FlaB, which exhibit distinct spatial localization patterns in the filament. Previously, we demonstrated a molecular interaction between FliS and an uncharacterized protein, HP1076, in H. pylori. Here, we present the crystal structure of FliS in complex with both the C-terminal D0 domain of FlaB and HP1076. Although this ternary complex reveals that FliS interacts with flagellin using a conserved binding mode demonstrated previously in Aquifex aeolicus, Bacillus subtilis, and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, the helical conformation of FlaB in this complex was different. Moreover, HP1076 and the D1 domain of flagellin share structural similarity and interact with the same binding interface on FliS. This observation was further validated through competitive pull-down assays and kinetic binding analyses. Interestingly, we did not observe any detrimental flagellation or motility phenotypes in an hp1076-null strain. Our localization studies suggest that HP1076 is a membrane-associated protein with a cellular localization independent of FliS. As HP1076 is uniquely expressed in H. pylori and related species, we propose that this protein may contribute to the divergence of the flagellar system, although its relationship with FliS remains incompletely elucidated.
Project description:Flagella are the bacterial organelles of motility and can play important roles in pathogenesis. Flagella biosynthesis requires the coordinated export of huge protein amounts from the cytosol to the nascent flagellar structure at the cell surface and employs a type III secretion system (T3SS). Here we show that the integral membrane protein FlhA from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis acts as an adaptor for late export substrates at the T3SS. The major filament protein (flagellin) and the filament-cap protein (FliD) bind to the FlhA cytoplasmic domain (FlhA-C) only in complex with their cognate chaperones (FliS and FliT). To understand the molecular details of these interactions we determined the FlhA-C crystal structure at 2.3 A resolution. FlhA-C consists of an N-terminal linker region, three subdomains with a novel fold, and a disordered region essential for the adaptor function. We show that the export protein FliJ associates with the linker region and modulates the binding properties of FlhA-C. While the interaction of FliD/FliT is enhanced, flagellin/FliS is not affected. FliJ also keeps FliT associated with FlhA-C and excess of FliT inhibits binding of FliD/FliT, suggesting that empty FliT chaperones stay associated with FliJ after export of FliD. Taken together, these results allow to propose a model that explains how the T3SS may switch from the stoichiometric export of FliD to the high-throughput secretion of flagellin.
Project description:Binding of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAK to mucin has been shown to be mediated by the flagellar cap protein, product of the fliD gene. Since the flagellar cap is very likely an exposed structure, the FliD polypeptide should be recognized by the host immune system, analogous to the recognition of dominant epitopes located in the exposed parts of the flagellin polypeptide within the assembled flagellum. In P. aeruginosa, a number of distinct flagellin variants are made, and these variable sequences presumably allow the newly infected P. aeruginosa to escape recognition by the antibody induced during a previous infection. Since similar mechanisms may direct the selection of FliD variants, we examined the extent of sequence heterogeneity among various FliD sequences among a selected group of P. aeruginosa. The results of PCR and nucleotide sequencing of the fliD region of eight different P. aeruginosa strains (laboratory strains PAK, PAO1, and PA103; clinical strains 1244, CS2, and CS32; cystic fibrosis strains CS29 and MDR) suggested that there were two distinct types of FliD in P. aeruginosa, which we named A type and B type. The results of Western blotting using the polyclonal antibodies raised against the purified FliD of A type (PAK) or B type (PAO1) further confirmed the existence of two distinct antigenic types of FliD proteins, with no cross-reactivity between the two serotypes. Further Western immunoblot analysis of the same strains using polyclonal FliC antibody showed that the strains with A-type FliD possessed a-type FliC and those with B-type FliD had b-type FliC. Similar Western blot analyses of 50 more P. aeruginosa strains obtained from varied sources revealed that all strains contained either A-type or B-type FliD, suggesting the existence of only two types of FliD in P. aeruginosa and indicating that fliC and fliD were coinherited. This limited diversity of FliC and FliD serotypes seems to be a unique feature of flagellar proteins. A chromosomal mutant having an insertion in the fliD gene of P. aeruginosa PAO1 was constructed. The motility defect of this mutant and a previously constructed PAK fliD mutant was better complemented with the fliD gene of the homologous types.
Project description:FliD and CagA are important virulence factors of H. pylori. We aimed to evaluate the screening values of FliD and CagA for gastric cancer (GC). Serum samples were obtained from 232 cases and 266 controls in a case-control study. Unconditional multivariate logistic regression with odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was used to analyze the relationships between FliD, CagA and GC. The sensitivities, specificities and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated. Finally, the combined screening values of FliD, FlaA, NapA and CagA were assessed based on discriminant analysis. In all subjects, the associations of FliD and CagA with GC were evident with ORs (95% CIs) of 7.6 (4.7-12.3) and 2.5 (1.6-3.8), respectively (*p<0.001). The areas under ROC curves (AUCs) for FliD and CagA were 0.800 and 0.653, respectively. The AUC for the combination of FliD, FlaA and NapA was 0.915, which represented an increase of 0.115 over that of FliD alone (*p<0.001). These findings indicate that the FliD antibody is associated with GC and could exhibit high validity as a biomarker in screening for GC patients. The combination of FliD, FlaA and NapA improved the screening validity.
Project description:Unlike external flagellated bacteria, spirochetes have periplasmic flagella (PF). Very little is known about how PF are assembled within the periplasm of spirochaetal cells. Herein, we report that FliD (BB0149), a flagellar cap protein (also named hook-associated protein 2), controls flagellin stability and flagellar filament assembly in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Deletion of fliD leads to non-motile mutant cells that are unable to assemble flagellar filaments and pentagon-shaped caps (10 nm in diameter, 12 nm in length). Interestingly, FlaB, a major flagellin protein of B. burgdorferi, is degraded in the fliD mutant but not in other flagella-deficient mutants (i.e., in the hook, rod, or MS-ring). Biochemical and genetic studies reveal that HtrA, a serine protease of B. burgdorferi, controls FlaB turnover. Specifically, HtrA degrades unfolded but not polymerized FlaB, and deletion of htrA increases the level of FlaB in the fliD mutant. Collectively, we propose that the flagellar cap protein FliD promotes flagellin polymerization and filament growth in the periplasm. Deletion of fliD abolishes this process, which leads to leakage of unfolded FlaB proteins into the periplasm where they are degraded by HtrA, a protease that prevents accumulation of toxic products in the periplasm.
Project description:Helicobacter pylori is a human gastric pathogen which is dependent on motility for infection. The H. pylori genome encodes a near-complete complement of flagellar proteins compared to model enteric bacteria. One of the few flagellar genes not annotated in H. pylori is that encoding FliK, a hook length control protein whose absence leads to a polyhook phenotype in Salmonella enterica. We investigated the role of the H. pylori gene HP0906 in flagellar biogenesis because of linkage to other flagellar genes, because of its transcriptional regulation pattern, and because of the properties of an ortholog in Campylobacter jejuni (N. Kamal and C. W. Penn, unpublished data). A nonpolar mutation of HP0906 in strain CCUG 17874 was generated by insertion of a chloramphenicol resistance marker. Cells of the mutant were almost completely nonmotile but produced sheathed, undulating polyhook structures at the cell pole. Expression of HP0906 in a Salmonella fliK mutant restored motility, confirming that HP0906 is the H. pylori fliK gene. Mutation of HP0906 caused a dramatic reduction in H. pylori flagellin protein production and a significant increase in production of the hook protein FlgE. The HP0906 mutant showed increased transcription of the flgE and flaB genes relative to the wild type, down-regulation of flaA transcription, and no significant change in transcription of the flagellar intermediate class genes flgM, fliD, and flhA. We conclude that the H. pylori HP0906 gene product is the hook length control protein FliK and that its function is required for turning off the sigma(54) regulon during progression of the flagellar gene expression cascade.
Project description:E. coli is a model platform for engineering microbes, so genetic circuit design and analysis will be greatly facilitated by simple and effective approaches to introduce genetic constructs into the E. coli chromosome at well-characterised loci. We combined the Red recombinase system of bacteriophage ? and Isothermal Gibson Assembly for rapid integration of novel DNA constructs into the E. coli chromosome. We identified the flagellar region as a promising region for integration and expression of genetic circuits. We characterised integration and expression at four candidate loci, fliD, fliS, fliT, and fliY, of the E. coli flagellar region 3a. The integration efficiency and expression from the four integrations varied considerably. Integration into fliD and fliS significantly decreased motility, while integration into fliT and fliY had only a minor effect on the motility. None of the integrations had negative effects on the growth of the bacteria. Overall, we found that fliT was the most suitable integration site.