Identification of potential therapeutic targets for Burkholderia cenocepacia by comparative transcriptomics
ABSTRACT:  Transcription profiling of one Burkholderia cenocepacia clinical isolate, J2315, versus a soil isolate, HI2424, in conditions mimicking CF sputum  Transcription profiling of Burkholderia cenocepacia isolates J2315 and HI2424 in media mimicking CF sputum or the soil environment Overall design:  J2315 vs. HI2424 cells in the same condition.  Two-condition experiment. Biological replicates: 4 replicates.
Project description: Transcription profiling of one Burkholderia cenocepacia clinical isolate, J2315, versus a soil isolate, HI2424, in conditions mimicking CF sputum  Transcription profiling of Burkholderia cenocepacia isolates J2315 and HI2424 in media mimicking CF sputum or the soil environment  J2315 vs. HI2424 cells in the same condition.  Two-condition experiment. Biological replicates: 4 replicates.
Project description:Burkholderia cenocepacia is an endemic soil dweller and emerging opportunistic pathogen in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The identification of virulence factors and potential therapeutic targets has been hampered by the genomic diversity within the species as many factors are not shared among the pathogenic members of the species.In this study, global identification of putative virulence factors was performed by analyzing the transcriptome of two related strains of B. cenocepacia (one clinical, one environmental) under conditions mimicking cystic fibrosis sputum versus soil. Soil is a natural reservoir for this species; hence, genes induced under CF conditions relative to soil may represent adaptations that have occurred in clinical strains. Under CF conditions, several genes encoding proteins thought to be involved in virulence were induced and many new ones were identified. Our analysis, in combination with previous studies, reveals 458 strain-specific genes, 126 clinical-isolate-specific, and at least four species-specific genes that are induced under CF conditions. The chromosomal distribution of the induced genes was disproportionate to the size of the chromosome as genes expressed under soil conditions by both strains were more frequent on the second chromosome and those differentially regulated between strains were more frequent on the third chromosome. Conservation of these induced genes was established using the 11 available Bcc genome sequences to indicate whether potential therapeutic targets would be species-wide.Comparative transcriptomics is a useful way to identify new potential virulence factors and therapeutic targets for pathogenic bacteria. We identified eight genes induced under CF conditions that were also conserved in the Bcc and may constitute particularly attractive therapeutic targets due to their signal sequence, predicted cellular location, and homology to known therapeutic targets.
Project description:Bacteria from the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) are the only group of cystic fibrosis (CF) respiratory pathogens that may cause death by an invasive infection known as cepacia syndrome. Their large genome (> 7000 genes) and multiple pathways encoding the same putative functions make virulence factor identification difficult in these bacteria.A novel microarray was designed to the genome of Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 and transcriptomics used to identify genes that were differentially regulated when the pathogen was grown in a CF sputum-based infection model. Sputum samples from CF individuals infected with the same B. cenocepacia strain as genome isolate were used, hence, other than a dilution into a minimal growth medium (used as the control condition), no further treatment of the sputum was carried out.A total of 723 coding sequences were significantly altered, with 287 upregulated and 436 downregulated; the microarray-observed expression was validated by quantitative PCR on five selected genes. B. cenocepacia genes with putative functions in antimicrobial resistance, iron uptake, protection against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, secretion and motility were among the most altered in sputum. Novel upregulated genes included: a transmembrane ferric reductase (BCAL0270) implicated in iron metabolism, a novel protease (BCAL0849) that may play a role in host tissue destruction, an organic hydroperoxide resistance gene (BCAM2753), an oxidoreductase (BCAL1107) and a nitrite/sulfite reductase (BCAM1676) that may play roles in resistance to the host defenses. The assumptions of growth under iron-depletion and oxidative stress formulated from the microarray data were tested and confirmed by independent growth of B. cenocepacia under each respective environmental condition.Overall, our first full transcriptomic analysis of B. cenocepacia demonstrated the pathogen alters expression of over 10% of the 7176 genes within its genome when it grows in CF sputum. Novel genetic pathways involved in responses to antimicrobial resistance, oxidative stress, and iron metabolism were revealed by the microarray analysis. Virulence factors such as the cable pilus and Cenocepacia Pathogenicity Island were unaltered in expression. However, B. cenocepacia sustained or increased expression of motility-associated genes in sputum, maintaining a potentially invasive phenotype associated with cepacia syndrome.
Project description:Determining how an organism responds to its environment by altering gene expression is key to understanding its ecology. Here, we used RNA-seq to comprehensively and quantitatively assess the transcriptional response of the bacterial opportunistic cystic fibrosis (CF) pathogen and endemic soil dweller, Burkholderia cenocepacia, in conditions mimicking these 2 environments. By sequencing 762 million bases of cDNA from 2 closely related B. cenocepacia strains (one isolated from a CF patient and one from soil), we identified a number of potential virulence factors expressed under CF-like conditions, whereas genes whose protein products are involved in nitrogen scavenging and 2-component sensing were among those induced under soil-like conditions. Interestingly, 13 new putative noncoding RNAs were discovered using this technique, 12 of which are preferentially induced in the soil environment, suggesting that ncRNAs play an important role in survival in the soil. In addition, we detected a surprisingly large number of regulatory differences between the 2 strains, which may represent specific adaptations to the niches from which each strain was isolated, despite their high degree of DNA sequence similarity. Compared with the CF strain, the soil strain shows a stronger global gene expression response to its environment, which is consistent with the need for a more dynamic reaction to the heterogeneous conditions of soil.
Project description:Burkholderia cenocepacia belongs to the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), a group of at least 18 distinct species that establish chronic infections in the lung of people with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF). The sputum of CF patients is rich in amino acids and was previously shown to increase flagellar gene expression in B. cenocepacia. We examined flagellin expression and flagellar morphology of B. cenocepacia grown in synthetic cystic fibrosis sputum medium (SCFM) compared to minimal medium. We found that CF nutritional conditions induce increased motility and flagellin expression. Individual amino acids added at the same concentrations as found in SCFM also increased motility but not flagellin expression, suggesting a chemotactic effect of amino acids. Electron microscopy and flagella staining demonstrated that the increase in flagellin corresponds to a change in the number of flagella per cell. In minimal medium, the ratio of multiple: single: aflagellated cells was 2:3.5:4.5; while under SCFM conditions, the ratio was 7:2:1. We created a deletion mutant, ?flhF, to study whether this putative GTPase regulates the flagellation pattern of B. cenocepacia K56-2 during growth in CF conditions. The ?flhF mutant exhibited 80% aflagellated, 14% single and 6% multiple flagellated bacterial subpopulations. Moreover, the ratio of multiple to single flagella in WT and ?flhF was 3.5 and 0.43, respectively in CF conditions. The observed differences suggest that FlhF positively regulates flagellin expression and the flagellation pattern in B. cenocepacia K56-2 during CF nutritional conditions.
Project description:Burkholderia cenocepacia is an opportunistic bacterium that can thrive in different environments, including the amino acid-rich mucus of the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung. B. cenocepacia responds to the nutritional conditions that mimic the CF sputum by increasing flagellin expression and swimming motility. Individual amino acids also induce swimming but not flagellin expression. Here, we show that modulation of the second messenger cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) levels by the PAS-containing c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase, BCAL1069 (CdpA), regulates the swimming motility of B. cenocepacia K56-2 in response to CF sputum nutritional conditions. Heterologous expression of WspR, a diguanylate cyclase, in B. cenocepacia K56-2 caused an increase in c-di-GMP levels and reduced swimming motility but did not affect flagellin expression or flagellar biosynthesis. After insertional mutagenesis of 12 putative genes encoding c-di-GMP metabolizing enzymes, one mutant of the locus BCAL1069 (cdpA), exhibited decreased swimming motility independent of flagellin expression in CF sputum nutritional conditions and an increase in intracellular c-di-GMP levels. The reduced swimming motility phenotype of the BCAL1069 mutant was observed in the presence of arginine and glutamate, but not of histidine, phenylalanine, or proline. The B. cenocepacia CdpA was also found to be involved in regulation of protease activity but not in biofilm formation. Altogether, these results highlight a role of B. cenocepacia BCAL1069 (CdpA) in sensing the nutritional conditions of the CF sputum and eliciting a pathogenic response that includes swimming motility toward amino acids and an increase in protease activity.
Project description:Respiratory infection with Burkholderia cenocepacia is associated with accelerated decline in lung function and increased mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients (A. M. Jones, M. E. Dodd, J. R. W. Govan, V. Barcus, C. J. Doherty, J. Morris, and A. K. Webb, Thorax 59:948-951, 2004, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thx.2003.017210). B. cenocepacia often possesses innate resistance to multiple antimicrobial classes, making eradication uncommon in established infection (P. B. Davis, Am J Respir Crit Care Med 173:475-482, 2006, http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.200505-840OE). We report the use of clinafloxacin in a CF patient with advanced B. cenocepacia infection, present pharmacokinetic (PK) data, and discuss the potential therapeutic role of clinafloxacin in patients with this condition.
Project description:Cepacia syndrome (CS) is a fatal septic condition that develops in approximately 20% of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients chronically infected with the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc). The most common causative agent is Burkholderia cenocepacia, a clinically dominant Bcc species that contains the globally distributed epidemic strain sequence type 32 (ST32). Using microarrays, we compared the transcriptomes of ST32 isolates from the bloodstream at the time of CS with their sputum counterparts recovered 1 to 2 months prior to the development of CS. Global gene expression profiles of blood isolates revealed greater activities of the virulence genes involved in the type III secretion system, the bacterial exopolysaccharide cepacian, and quorum sensing, while reduced expression was demonstrated for flagellar genes. Furthermore, a nonmotile phenotype (as evaluated by a swimming motility assay) was identified in blood isolates from 6 out of 8 patients with CS; this phenotype was traceable to 24 months prior to the onset of CS. Loss of motility was not observed in any of the 89 ST32 isolates recovered over the course of chronic infection from 17 patients without CS. In conclusion, the gene expression of Bcc bacteria disseminated during CS has been elucidated for the first time. This study demonstrated marked differences at the transcriptome level between isogenic ST32 isolates that are attributable to the stage and site of infection. The finding of a nonmotile B. cenocepacia isolate may serve as a warning sign for the development of CS in the near future.
Project description:Bacterial infections of the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients cause major complications in the treatment of this common genetic disease. Burkholderia cenocepacia infection is particularly problematic since this organism has high levels of antibiotic resistance, making it difficult to eradicate; the resulting chronic infections are associated with severe declines in lung function and increased mortality rates. B. cenocepacia strain J2315 was isolated from a CF patient and is a member of the epidemic ET12 lineage that originated in Canada or the United Kingdom and spread to Europe. The 8.06-Mb genome of this highly transmissible pathogen comprises three circular chromosomes and a plasmid and encodes a broad array of functions typical of this metabolically versatile genus, as well as numerous virulence and drug resistance functions. Although B. cenocepacia strains can be isolated from soil and can be pathogenic to both plants and man, J2315 is representative of a lineage of B. cenocepacia rarely isolated from the environment and which spreads between CF patients. Comparative analysis revealed that ca. 21% of the genome is unique in comparison to other strains of B. cenocepacia, highlighting the genomic plasticity of this species. Pseudogenes in virulence determinants suggest that the pathogenic response of J2315 may have been recently selected to promote persistence in the CF lung. The J2315 genome contains evidence that its unique and highly adapted genetic content has played a significant role in its success as an epidemic CF pathogen.
Project description:Burkholderia cenocepacia K56-2, an opportunistic bacterium for people with cystic fibrosis (CF), belongs to the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) and is consistently used as a model pathogen. We describe here the closed genome sequence for this strain, which will help advance research in B. cenocepacia biology and omics studies.