Project description:Cytolethal distending toxins (CDTs), which block eukaryotic cell proliferation by acting as inhibitory cyclomodulins, are produced by diverse groups of Gram-negative bacteria. Active CDT is composed of three polypeptides--CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC--encoded by the genes cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC, respectively. We developed a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay for the detection and differentiation of five alleles of cdtB (Cdt-I through Cdt-V) in Escherichia coli and used the assay to investigate the prevalence and characteristic of CDT-producing E. coli in children with diarrhea (A. Hinenoya et al., Microbiol. Immunol. 53:206-215, 2009). In these assays, two untypable cdtB genes were detected and the organisms harboring the cdtB gene were identified as Providencia alcalifaciens (strains AH-31 and AS-1). Nucleotide sequence analysis of the cdt gene cluster revealed that the cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC genes of P. alcalifaciens are of 750, 810, and 549 bp, respectively. To understand the possible horizontal transfer of the cdt genes among closely related species, the presence of cdt genes was screened in various Providencia spp. by colony hybridization assay, and the cdt gene cluster was found in only limited strains of P. alcalifaciens. Genome walking revealed that the cdt gene cluster of P. alcalifaciens is located adjacent to a putative transposase gene, suggesting the locus might be horizontally transferable. Interestingly, the CDT of P. alcalifaciens (PaCDT) showed some homology with the CDT of Shigella boydii. Whereas filter-sterilized lysates of strains AH-31 and AS-1 showed distention of CHO but not of HeLa cells, E. coli CDT-I exhibited distention of both cells. This activity of PaCDT was confirmed by generating recombinant PaCDT protein, which could also be neutralized by rabbit anti-PaCdtB antibody. Furthermore, recombinant PaCDT was found to induce G(2)/M cell cycle arrest and phosphorylation of host histone H2AX, a sensitive marker of DNA double-strand breaks. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that certain clinical P. alcalifaciens strains could produce variants of the CDTs compared.
Project description:The existence of N-formylated sugars in the O-antigens of Gram-negative bacteria has been known since the middle 1980s, but only recently have the biosynthetic pathways for their production been reported. In these pathways, glucose-1-phosphate is first activated by attachment to a dTMP moiety. This step is followed by a dehydration reaction and an amination. The last step in these pathways is catalyzed by N-formyltransferases that utilize N(10) -formyltetrahydrofolate as the carbon source. Here we describe the three-dimensional structure of one of these N-formyltransferases, namely VioF from Providencia alcalifaciens O30. Specifically, this enzyme catalyzes the conversion of dTDP-4-amino-4,6-dideoxyglucose (dTDP-Qui4N) to dTDP-4,6-dideoxy-4-formamido-d-glucose (dTDP-Qui4NFo). For this analysis, the structure of VioF was solved to 1.9 Å resolution in both its apoform and in complex with tetrahydrofolate and dTDP-Qui4N. The crystals used in the investigation belonged to the space group R32 and demonstrated reticular merohedral twinning. The overall catalytic core of the VioF subunit is characterized by a six stranded mixed β-sheet flanked on one side by three α-helices and on the other side by mostly random coil. This N-terminal domain is followed by an α-helix and a β-hairpin that form the subunit:subunit interface. The active site of the enzyme is shallow and solvent-exposed. Notably, the pyranosyl moiety of dTDP-Qui4N is positioned into the active site by only one hydrogen bond provided by Lys 77. Comparison of the VioF model to that of a previously determined N-formyltransferase suggests that substrate specificity is determined by interactions between the protein and the pyrophosphoryl group of the dTDP-sugar substrate.
Project description:The bacterial genus Providencia is Gram-negative opportunistic pathogens, which have been isolated from a variety of environments and organisms, ranging from humans to animals. Providencia alcalifaciens, Providencia rettgeri, and Providencia stuartii are the most common clinical isolates, however, these three species differ in their pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance and environmental adaptation. Genomes of 91 isolates of the genus Providencia were investigated to clarify their genetic diversity, focusing on virulence factors, antibiotic resistance genes, and environmental adaptation genes. Our study revealed an open pan-genome for the genus Providencia containing 14,720 gene families. Species of the genus Providencia exhibited different functional constraints, with the core genes, accessory genes, and unique genes. A maximum-likelihood phylogeny reconstructed with concatenated single-copy core genes classified all Providencia isolates into 11 distant groups. Comprehensive and systematic comparative genomic analyses revealed that specific distributions of virulence genes, which were highly homologous to virulence genes of the genus Proteus, contributed to diversity in pathogenicity of Providencia alcalifaciens, Providencia rettgeri, and Providencia stuartii. Furthermore, multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotypes of isolates of Providencia rettgeri and Providencia stuartii were predominantly due to resistance genes from class 1 and 2 integrons. In addition, Providencia rettgeri and Providencia stuartii harbored more genes related to material transport and energy metabolism, which conferred a stronger ability to adapt to diverse environments. Overall, our study provided valuable insights into the genetic diversity and functional features of the genus Providencia, and revealed genetic mechanisms underlying diversity in pathogenicity, antibiotic resistance and environmental adaptation of members of this genus.