Project description:The kinetic behaviour of S. pneumoniae during vaccine production was studied using a dynamic systemic approach. Quantification of key intracellular glycolytic metabolites coupled to global transcriptomic analysis led to an improved knowledge of pneumococcal physiology. In controlled growth conditions, a direct correlation between the accumulation of key glycolytic intermediates and the expression of capsular polysaccharide genes (cps operon encoding the main pneumococcal antigen) was established. Interestingly, the same correlation was confirmed for the genes involved in the assimilation and the modification of choline, an indispensable nutritional requirement for both growth and virulence of S. pneumoniae. Such a correlation suggests a direct or indirect control of the expression of these genes by the global transcriptional regulator CcpA (catabolite control protein A) since putative cre sites upstream of the promoter were identified, even though the exact nature of this regulation remains to be confirmed. Preliminary results indicate that a ccpA mutation provokes a significant decrease in the expression of these genes. The global transcriptomic analysis coupled with motif research has revealed an extended CcpA regulon in S. pneumoniae including genes involved in diverse metabolic functions. Keywords: Capsular polysaccharide industrial production Overall design: One condition experiment examining the transcriptome between two growth phases of the same serotype (slide 1 to slide 4). Thus, cross analysis between the two serotypes during exponential growth was performed in order to complete the analysis
Project description:The kinetic behaviour of S. pneumoniae during vaccine production was studied using a dynamic systemic approach. Quantification of key intracellular glycolytic metabolites coupled to global transcriptomic analysis led to an improved knowledge of pneumococcal physiology. In controlled growth conditions, a direct correlation between the accumulation of key glycolytic intermediates and the expression of capsular polysaccharide genes (cps operon encoding the main pneumococcal antigen) was established. Interestingly, the same correlation was confirmed for the genes involved in the assimilation and the modification of choline, an indispensable nutritional requirement for both growth and virulence of S. pneumoniae. Such a correlation suggests a direct or indirect control of the expression of these genes by the global transcriptional regulator CcpA (catabolite control protein A) since putative cre sites upstream of the promoter were identified, even though the exact nature of this regulation remains to be confirmed. Preliminary results indicate that a ccpA mutation provokes a significant decrease in the expression of these genes. The global transcriptomic analysis coupled with motif research has revealed an extended CcpA regulon in S. pneumoniae including genes involved in diverse metabolic functions. Keywords: Capsular polysaccharide industrial production One condition experiment examining the transcriptome between two growth phases of the same serotype (slide 1 to slide 4). Thus, cross analysis between the two serotypes during exponential growth was performed in order to complete the analysis
Project description:Although central to pathogenesis, the molecular mechanisms used by microbes to regulate virulence factor production in specific environments during host-pathogen interaction are poorly defined. Several recent ex vivo and in vivo studies have found that the level of group A Streptococcus (GAS) virulence factor gene transcripts is temporally related to altered expression of genes encoding carbohydrate utilization proteins. These findings stimulated us to analyze the role in pathogenesis of catabolite control protein A (CcpA), a GAS ortholog of a key global regulator of carbohydrate metabolism in Bacillus subtilis. Inasmuch as the genomewide effects of CcpA in a human pathogen are unknown, we analyzed the transcriptome of a DeltaccpA isogenic mutant strain grown in nutrient-rich medium. CcpA influences the transcript levels of many carbohydrate utilization genes and several well characterized GAS virulence factors, including the potent cytolysin streptolysin S. Compared with the wild-type parental strain, the DeltaccpA isogenic mutant strain was significantly less virulent in a mouse model of invasive infection. Moreover, the isogenic mutant strain was significantly impaired in ability to colonize the mouse oropharynx. When grown in human saliva, a nutrient-limited environment, CcpA influenced production of several key virulence factors not influenced during growth in nutrient-rich medium. Purified recombinant CcpA bound to the promoter region of the gene encoding streptolysin S. Our discovery that GAS virulence and complex carbohydrate utilization are directly linked through CcpA provides enhanced understanding of a mechanism used by a Gram-positive pathogen to modulate virulence factor production in specific environments.
Project description:We examined the contribution of serotype on Streptococcus pneumoniae adhesion and virulence during respiratory tract infection using a panel of isogenic TIGR4 (serotype 4) mutants expressing the capsule types 6A (+6A), 7F (+7F) and 23F (+23F) as well as a deleted and restored serotype 4 (+4) control strain. Immunoblots, bacterial capture assays with immobilized antibody, and measurement of mean fluorescent intensity by flow cytometry following incubation of bacteria with antibody, all determined that the surface accessibility, but not total protein levels, of the virulence determinants Pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA), Choline binding protein A (CbpA), and Pneumococcal serine-rich repeat protein (PsrP) changed with serotype. In vitro, bacterial adhesion to Detroit 562 pharyngeal or A549 lung epithelial cells was modestly but significantly altered for +6A, +7F and +23F. In a mouse model of nasopharyngeal colonization, the number of +6A, +7F, and +23F pneumococci in the nasopharynx was reduced 10 to 100-fold versus +4; notably, only mice challenged with +4 developed bacteremia. Intratracheal challenge of mice confirmed that capsule switch strains were highly attenuated for virulence. Compared to +4, the +6A, +7F, and +23F strains were rapidly cleared from the lungs and were not detected in the blood. In mice challenged intraperitoneally, a marked reduction in bacterial blood titers was observed for those challenged with +6A and +7F versus +4 and +23F was undetectable. These findings show that serotype impacts the accessibility of surface adhesins and, in particular, affects virulence within the respiratory tract. They highlight the complex interplay between capsule and protein virulence determinants.
Project description:Carbon catabolite protein A (CcpA) is known to function as a major regulator of gene expression in different gram-positive organisms. Deletion of the ccpA homologue (saCOL1786) in Staphylococcus aureus was found to affect growth, glucose metabolization, and transcription of selected virulence determinants. In liquid culture, deletion of CcpA decreased the growth rate and yield; however, the effect was only transient during the exponential-growth phase as long as glucose was present in the medium. Depletion of glucose and production of lactate was delayed, while the level of excretion of acetate was less affected and was even higher in the mutant culture. On solid medium, in contrast, growth of the DeltaccpA mutant resulted in smaller colonies containing a lower number of CFU per colony. Deletion of CcpA had an effect on the expression of important virulence factors of S. aureus by down-regulating RNAIII, the effector molecule of the agr locus, and altering the transcription patterns of hla, encoding alpha-hemolysin, and spa, encoding protein A. CcpA inactivation markedly reduced the oxacillin resistance levels in the highly methicillin-resistant S. aureus strain COLn and the teicoplanin resistance level in a glycopeptide-intermediate-resistant S. aureus strain. The presence of CcpA in the capsular polysaccharide serotype 5 (CP5)-producing strain Newman abolished capsule formation and decreased cap operon transcription in the presence of glucose. The staphylococcal CcpA thus not only is involved in the regulation of carbon metabolism but seems to function as a modulator of virulence gene expression as well.
Project description:The pneumococcal capsular serotype is an important determinant of complement resistance and invasive disease potential, but other virulence factors have also been found to contribute. Pneumococcal surface protein C (PspC), a highly variable virulence protein that binds complement factor H to evade C3 opsonization, is divided into two subgroups: choline-bound subgroup I and LPxTG-anchored subgroup II. The prevalence of different PspC subgroups in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and functional differences in complement evasion are unknown. The prevalence of PspC subgroups in IPD isolates was determined in a collection of 349 sequenced strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolated from adult patients. pspC deletion mutants and isogenic pspC switch mutants were constructed to study differences in factor H binding and complement evasion in relation to capsule thickness. Subgroup I pspC was far more prevalent in IPD isolates than subgroup II pspC The presence of capsule was associated with a greater ability of bound factor H to reduce complement opsonization. Pneumococcal subgroup I PspC bound significantly more factor H and showed more effective complement evasion than subgroup II PspC in isogenic encapsulated pneumococci. We conclude that variation in the PspC subgroups, independent of capsule serotypes, affects pneumococcal factor H binding and its ability to evade complement deposition.
Project description:Streptococcus pneumoniae frequently colonizes the upper respiratory tract of young children and is an important cause of otitis media and invasive disease. Carriage is more common than disease, yet the genetic factors that predispose a given clone for disease are not known. The relationship between capsule type, genetic background, and virulence is complex, and important questions remain regarding how pneumococcal clones differ in their ability to cause disease. Pneumococcal neuraminidase cleaves sialic acid-containing substrates and is thought to be important for pneumococcal virulence. We describe the distribution of multilocus sequence types (ST), capsule type, and neuraminidase genes among 342 carriage, middle ear, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pneumococcal strains from young children. We found 149 STs among our S. pneumoniae isolates. nanA was present in all strains, while nanB and nanC were present in 96% and 51% of isolates, respectively. The distribution of nanC varied among the strain collections from different tissue sources (P = 0.03). The prevalence of nanC was 1.41 (95% confidence interval, 1.11, 1.79) times higher among CSF isolates than among carriage isolates. We identified isolates of the same ST that differed in the presence of nanB and nanC. These studies demonstrate that virulence determinants, other than capsule loci, vary among strains of identical ST. Our studies suggest that the presence of nanC may be important for tissue-specific virulence. Studies that both incorporate MLST and take into account additional virulence determinants will provide a greater understanding of the pneumococcal virulence potential.
Project description:Nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae (NESp) is an emerging human pathogen that colonizes the nasopharynx and is associated with noninvasive diseases such as otitis media (OM), conjunctivitis, and nonbacteremic pneumonia. Since capsule expression was previously thought to be necessary for establishment of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), serotype-specific polysaccharide capsules are targeted by currently licensed pneumococcal vaccines. Yet, NESp expressing oligopeptide binding proteins AliC and AliD have been isolated during IPD. Thus, we hypothesize AliC and AliD are major NESp virulence determinants that facilitate persistence and development of IPD. Our study reveals that NESp expressing AliC and AliD have intensified virulence compared to isogenic mutants. Specifically, we demonstrate AliC and AliD enhance murine nasopharyngeal colonization and pulmonary infection and are required for OM in a chinchilla model. Furthermore, AliC and AliD increase pneumococcal survival in chinchilla whole blood and aid in resistance to killing by human leukocytes. Comparative proteome analysis revealed significant alterations in protein levels when AliC and AliD were absent. Virulence-associated proteins, including a pneumococcal surface protein C variant (CbpAC), were significantly downregulated, while starvation response indicators were upregulated in the double mutant relative to wild-type levels. We also reveal that differentially expressed CbpAC was essential for NESp adherence to epithelial cells, virulence during OM, reduction of C3b deposition on the NESp surface, and binding to nonspecific IgA. Altogether, the rise in NESp prevalence urges the need to understand how NESp establishes disease and persists in a host. This study highlights the roles of AliC, AliD, and CbpAC in the pathogenesis of NESp.IMPORTANCE Despite the effective, widespread use of licensed pneumococcal vaccines over many decades, pneumococcal infections remain a worldwide burden resulting in high morbidity and mortality. NESp subpopulations are rapidly rising in the wake of capsule-targeted vaccine strategies, yet there is very little knowledge on NESp pathogenic potential and virulence mechanisms. Although NESp lacks a protective capsule, NESp lineages expressing AliC and AliD have been associated with systemic infections. Furthermore, higher antibiotic resistance rates and transformation efficiencies associated with emerging NESp threaten treatment strategies needed to control pneumococcal infections and transmission. Elucidating how NESp survives within a host and establishes disease is necessary for development of broadened pneumococcal prevention methods. Our study identifies virulence determinants and host survival mechanisms employed by NESp with a high pathogenic potential. Moreover, our study also identifies virulence determinants shared by NESp and encapsulated strains that may serve as broad prevention and therapeutic targets.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The catabolite control protein A (CcpA) is a member of the LacI/GalR family of transcriptional regulators controlling carbon-metabolism pathways in low-GC Gram-positive bacteria. It functions as a catabolite repressor or activator, allowing the bacteria to utilize the preferred carbon source over secondary carbon sources. This study is the first CcpA-dependent transcriptome and proteome analysis in Staphylococcus aureus, focussing on short-time effects of glucose under stable pH conditions. RESULTS: The addition of glucose to exponentially growing S. aureus increased the expression of genes and enzymes of the glycolytic pathway, while genes and proteins of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, required for the complete oxidation of glucose, were repressed via CcpA. Phosphotransacetylase and acetate kinase, converting acetyl-CoA to acetate with a concomitant substrate-level phosphorylation, were neither regulated by glucose nor by CcpA. CcpA directly repressed genes involved in utilization of amino acids as secondary carbon sources. Interestingly, the expression of a larger number of genes was found to be affected by ccpA inactivation in the absence of glucose than after glucose addition, suggesting that glucose-independent effects due to CcpA may have a particular impact in S. aureus. In the presence of glucose, CcpA was found to regulate the expression of genes involved in metabolism, but also that of genes coding for virulence determinants. CONCLUSION: This study describes the CcpA regulon of exponentially growing S. aureus cells. As in other bacteria, CcpA of S. aureus seems to control a large regulon that comprises metabolic genes as well as virulence determinants that are affected in their expression by CcpA in a glucose-dependent as well as -independent manner.
Project description:Many human pathogens have strict host specificity, which affects not only their epidemiology but also the development of animal models and vaccines. Complement Factor H (FH) is recruited to pneumococcal cell surface in a human-specific manner via the N-terminal domain of the pneumococcal protein virulence factor choline-binding protein A (CbpAN). FH recruitment enables Streptococcus pneumoniae to evade surveillance by human complement system and contributes to pneumococcal host specificity. The molecular determinants of host specificity of complement evasion are unknown. In the present study, we show that a single human FH (hFH) domain is sufficient for tight binding of CbpAN, present the crystal structure of the complex and identify the critical structural determinants for host-specific FH recruitment. The results offer new approaches to the development of better animal models for pneumococcal infection and redesign of the virulence factor for pneumococcal vaccine development and reveal how FH recruitment can serve as a mechanism for both pneumococcal complement evasion and adherence.