Project description:Semi-invariant/type I NKT cells are a well-characterized CD1d-restricted T cell subset. The availability of potent Ags and tetramers for semi-invariant/type I NKT cells allowed this population to be extensively studied and revealed their central roles in infection, autoimmunity, and tumor immunity. In contrast, diverse/type II NKT (dNKT) cells are poorly understood because the lipid Ags that they recognize are largely unknown. We sought to identify dNKT cell lipid Ag(s) by interrogating a panel of dNKT mouse cell hybridomas with lipid extracts from the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. We identified Listeria phosphatidylglycerol as a microbial Ag that was significantly more potent than a previously characterized dNKT cell Ag, mammalian phosphatidylglycerol. Further, although mammalian phosphatidylglycerol-loaded CD1d tetramers did not stain dNKT cells, the Listeria-derived phosphatidylglycerol-loaded tetramers did. The structure of Listeria phosphatidylglycerol was distinct from mammalian phosphatidylglycerol because it contained shorter, fully-saturated anteiso fatty acid lipid tails. CD1d-binding lipid-displacement studies revealed that the microbial phosphatidylglycerol Ag binds significantly better to CD1d than do counterparts with the same headgroup. These data reveal a highly potent microbial lipid Ag for a subset of dNKT cells and provide an explanation for its increased Ag potency compared with the mammalian counterpart.
Project description:A method for direct detection of Listeria monocytogenes in 25 ml of raw milk is presented. The detection limit can be situated between 10 and 5 CFU. The detection method is based on chemical extraction of the milk components and PCR amplification with two nested pairs of primers specific for Listeria monocytogenes.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is an intracellular, foodborne gastrointestinal pathogen that is primarily responsible for causing listeriosis or food poisoning in otherwise healthy individuals. Infections that arise during pregnancy or within immune compromised individuals are much more serious resulting in the risk of fetal termination or fetal fatality postpartum in the former and septicemia or meningitis with a 20% fatality rate in the latter. While the roles of internalin proteins and listeriolysin-O in the infection process are well characterized, the specific roles of lysine-modified phospholipids in the membrane of L. monocytogenes are not. Investigation into the lipid bilayer composition of L. monocytogenes indicated that the overall proportions of lipids, including lysylcardiolipin and lysylphosphatidylglycerol (LysPG), vary with growth temperature and growth phase. In addition, we demonstrate that LysPG formation is essential for L. monocytogenes survival in the presence of increased osmolytic stress but has no effect on bacterial adherence, invasion or survival in the presence of physiologically relevant concentrations of human neutrophil peptide (HNP-1). In the absence of LysPG synthesis, L. monocytogenes unexpectedly retained flagellum-mediated motility at 37 °C. Taken together, these findings show that LysPG formation in L. monocytogenes has broader functions in virulence and survival beyond its known role in the modification of membrane potential previously observed in other bacteria.
Project description:Intestinal epithelial cells are the first line of defense against enteric pathogens, yet bacterial pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes, can breach this barrier. We show that Listeria adhesion protein (LAP) induces intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction to promote bacterial translocation. These disruptions are attributed to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-? and IL-6, which is observed in mice challenged with WT and isogenic strains lacking the surface invasion protein Internalin A (?inlA), but not a lap- mutant. Additionally, upon engagement of its surface receptor Hsp60, LAP activates canonical NF-?B signaling, facilitating myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK)-mediated opening of the epithelial barrier via cellular redistribution of the epithelial junctional proteins claudin-1, occludin, and E-cadherin. Pharmacological inhibition of MLCK or NF-?B in cells or genetic ablation of MLCK in mice prevents mislocalization of junctional proteins and L. monocytogenes translocation. Thus, L. monocytogenes uses LAP to exploit epithelial defenses and cross the intestinal epithelial barrier.
Project description:The technique of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) utilizes four (or six) primers targeting six (or eight) regions within a fairly small segment of a genome for amplification, with concentration higher than that used in traditional PCR methods. The high concentrations of primers used leads to an increased likelihood of non-specific amplification induced by primer dimers. In this study, a set of LAMP primers were designed targeting the prfA gene sequence of Listeria monocytogenes, and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as well as Touchdown LAMP were employed to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the LAMP reactions. The results indicate that the detection limit of this novel LAMP assay with the newly designed primers and additives was 10 fg per reaction, which is ten-fold more sensitive than a commercial Isothermal Amplification Kit and hundred-fold more sensitive than previously reported LAMP assays. This highly sensitive LAMP assay has been shown to detect 11 strains of Listeria monocytogenes, and does not detect other Listeria species (including Listeria innocua and Listeria invanovii), providing some advantages in specificity over commercial Isothermal Amplification Kits and previously reported LAMP assay.
Project description:The occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes has been widely investigated in the poultry production chain from the processing plant to the final product. However, limited data are available on Listeria species, including Listeria monocytogenes, in the poultry farm environment. Therefore, fecal and soil samples from 37 pastured poultry flocks from 10 all-natural farms over 3?years were assessed to determine the prevalence and diversity of Listeria within these alternative poultry farm environments using standard cultural and molecular methods. Listeria species were isolated in 15% of poultry farm samples and included Listeria innocua (65.7%), L. monocytogenes (17.4%), and Listeria welshimeri (15.1%). Additional multiplex PCR serotyping showed group 1/2a-3a to be the most dominant L. monocytogenes serovar group. Based on these results, monoculture growth experiments were conducted on four Listeria soil isolates (three L. monocytogenes isolates representing the three recovered serovar groups and one L. innocua isolate) to determine if culture medium [tripticase soy broth (TSB) and University of Vermont modified Listeria enrichment broth (UVM)], inoculum concentration (102 or 105?CFU/ml), or incubation temperature (20, 30, and 42°C) differentially affected these Listeria species. Overall, very few significant growth differences were observed between the behavior of the three L. monocytogenes isolates (representing the three recovered serovar groups) under the growth conditions tested. Alternatively, at 30°C in UVM with the lower inoculum concentration, the L. innocua isolate had a significantly shorter lag phase than the L. monocytogenes isolates. In coculture growth studies under these same incubation conditions, the lag phase of L. innocua and L. monocytogenes was similar, but the final concentration of L. innocua was significantly higher than L. monocytogenes. However, cocultures in UVM for high inoculum concentration did not show preferential growth of L. innocua over L. monocytogenes. These results indicate that the use of UVM as an enrichment medium may preferentially allow L. innocua to outcompete L. monocytogenes at low concentrations, biasing the Listeria prevalence from these farm samples toward L. innocua and potentially underreporting the presence of L. monocytogenes in these environments.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial pathogen that can escape the phagosome and replicate in the cytosol of host cells during infection. We previously observed that a population (up to 35%) of L. monocytogenes strain 10403S colocalize with the macroautophagy marker LC3 at 1 h postinfection. This is thought to give rise to spacious Listeria-containing phagosomes (SLAPs), a membrane-bound compartment harboring slow-growing bacteria that is associated with persistent infection. Here, we examined the host and bacterial factors that mediate LC3 recruitment to bacteria at 1 h postinfection. At this early time point, LC3(+) bacteria were present within single-membrane phagosomes that are LAMP1(+). Protein ubiquitination is known to play a role in targeting cytosolic L. monocytogenes to macroautophagy. However, we found that neither protein ubiquitination nor the ubiquitin-binding adaptor SQSTM1/p62 are associated with LC3(+) bacteria at 1 h postinfection. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by the CYBB/NOX2 NADPH oxidase was also required for LC3 recruitment to bacteria at 1 h postinfection and for subsequent SLAP formation. Diacylglycerol is an upstream activator of the CYBB/NOX2 NADPH oxidase, and its production by both bacterial and host phospholipases was required for LC3 recruitment to bacteria. Our data suggest that the LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) pathway, which is distinct from macroautophagy, targets L. monocytogenes during the early stage of infection within host macrophages and allows establishment of an intracellular niche (SLAPs) associated with persistent infection.
Project description:Pathogens are detected by pattern recognition receptors that, upon activation, orchestrate an appropriate immune response. The TLRs and the nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLRs) are prototypic pattern recognition receptors that detect extracellular and cytosolic pathogens, respectively. Listeria monocytogenes has both extracellular and cytosolic phases and is detected in the cytosol by members of the NLR family. These include two NLR members, NLRC4 and NLRP3, that, upon detection of cytosolic L. monocytogenes, induce the assembly of the inflammasome. Inflammasomes serve as platforms for the activation of the protease caspase 1, which mediates the processing and secretion of pro-IL-1beta and pro-IL-18. We previously provided evidence that L. monocytogenes is also detected by a third inflammasome. We now use biochemical and genetic approaches to demonstrate that the third detector senses bacterial DNA and identify it as Aim2, a receptor that has previously been shown to detect viral DNA.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is well known for having the ability to cross the placental barrier, leading to fetal infections and abortion. However, the mechanisms leading to infectious abortion are poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate that interferon ?-induced GTPase (IGTP) contributes to the invasion of L. monocytogenes into trophoblast giant (TG) cells, which are placental immune cells. Knockdown of IGTP in TG cells decreased the relative efficiencies of L. monocytogenes invasion. Moreover, IGTP accumulated around infected L. monocytogenes in TG cells. Treatment of TG cells with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt inhibitors also reduced bacterial invasion. PI3K/Akt inhibitor or IGTP knockdown reduced the amount of phosphorylated Akt. Monosialotetrahexosylganglioside (GM1) gangliosides, lipid raft markers, accumulated in the membrane of L. monocytogenes-containing vacuoles in TG cells. Furthermore, treatment with a lipid raft inhibitor reduced bacterial invasion. These results suggest that IGTP-induced activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway promotes bacterial invasion into TG cells.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is an important food-borne pathogen whose ability to form disinfectant-tolerant biofilms on a variety of surfaces presents a food safety challenge for manufacturers of ready-to-eat products. We developed here a high-throughput biofilm assay for L. monocytogenes and, as a proof of principle, used it to screen an 80-compound protein kinase inhibitor library to identify molecules that perturb biofilm development. The screen yielded molecules toxic to multiple strains of Listeria at micromolar concentrations, as well as molecules that decreased (? 50% of vehicle control) or increased (? 200%) biofilm formation in a dose-dependent manner without affecting planktonic cell density. Toxic molecules-including the protein kinase C antagonist sphingosine-had antibiofilm activity at sub-MIC concentrations. Structure-activity studies of the biofilm inhibitory compound palmitoyl-d,l-carnitine showed that while Listeria biofilm formation was inhibited with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 5.85 ± 0.24 ?M, d,l-carnitine had no effect, whereas palmitic acid had stimulatory effects. Saturated fatty acids between C(9:0) and C(14:0) were Listeria biofilm inhibitors, whereas fatty acids of C(16:0) or longer were stimulators, showing chain length specificity. De novo-synthesized short-chain acyl carnitines were less effective biofilm inhibitors than the palmitoyl forms. These molecules, whose activities against bacteria have not been previously established, are both useful probes of L. monocytogenes biology and promising leads for the further development of antibiofilm strategies.