Project description:We used NGS to find that the PilS-PilR two component system of P. aeruginosa controls the expression of many non-pilus related genes and has a role in regulating swimming motility Overall design: RNA profiles of P. aeruginosa strains grown on LB 1.5% agar plates for 16h were generated using deep sequencing on the Illumina HiSeq
Project description:Motility is an important virulence trait for many bacterial pathogens, allowing them to position themselves in appropriate locations at appropriate times. The motility structures type IV pili and flagella are also involved in sensing surface contact, which modulates pathogenicity. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the PilS-PilR two-component system (TCS) regulates expression of the type IV pilus (T4P) major subunit PilA, while biosynthesis of the single polar flagellum is regulated by a hierarchical system that includes the FleSR TCS. Previous studies of Geobacter sulfurreducens and Dichelobacter nodosus implicated PilR in regulation of non-T4P-related genes, including some involved in flagellar biosynthesis. Here we used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis to identify genes in addition to pilA with changes in expression in the absence of pilR Among the genes identified were 10 genes whose transcription increased in the pilA mutant but decreased in the pilR mutant, despite both mutants lacking T4P and pilus-related phenotypes. The products of these inversely dysregulated genes, many of which were hypothetical, may be important for virulence and surface-associated behaviors, as mutants had altered swarming motility, biofilm formation, type VI secretion system expression, and pathogenicity in a nematode model. Further, the PilSR TCS positively regulated transcription of fleSR, and thus many genes in the FleSR regulon. As a result, pilSR deletion mutants had defects in swimming motility that were independent of the loss of PilA. Together, these data suggest that in addition to controlling T4P expression, PilSR could have a broader role in the regulation of P. aeruginosa motility and surface sensing behaviors.IMPORTANCE Surface appendages such as type IV pili and flagella are important for establishing surface attachment and infection in a host in response to appropriate cues. The PilSR regulatory system that controls type IV pilus expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa has an established role in expression of the major pilin PilA. Here we provide evidence supporting a new role for PilSR in regulating flagellum-dependent swimming motility in addition to pilus-dependent twitching motility. Further, even though both pilA and pilR mutants lack PilA and pili, we identified sets of genes downregulated in the pilR mutant and upregulated in a pilA mutant as well as genes downregulated only in a pilR mutant, independent of pilus expression. This finding suggests that change in the inner membrane levels of PilA is only one of the cues to which PilR responds to modulate gene expression. Identification of PilR as a regulator of multiple motility pathways may make it an interesting therapeutic target for antivirulence compounds.
Project description:The CreBC two-component system (TCS) is a conserved regulatory system found in Escherichia coli, Aeromonas spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. In this study, we determined how CreBC TCS regulates secreted protease activities and swimming motility using creB, creC, and creBC in-frame deletion mutants (KJ?CreB, KJ?CreC, and KJ?BC) of S. maltophilia KJ. Compared to wild-type KJ, KJ?CreB had a comparable secreted protease activity; however, the secreted protease activities were obviously reduced in KJ?CreC and KJ?BC, suggesting that CreC works together with another unidentified response regulator (not CreB) to regulate secreted protease activity. Single gene inactivation of creB or creC resulted in mutants with an enhanced swimming motility, and this phenotype was exacerbated in a double mutant KJ?BC. To elucidate the underlying mechanism responsible for the ?creBC-mediated swimming enhancement, flagella morphology observation, RNA-seq based transcriptome assay, qRT-PCR, and membrane integrity and potential assessment were performed. Flagella morphological observation ruled out the possibility that swimming enhancement was due to altered flagella morphology. CreBC inactivation upregulated the expression of creD and flagella-associated genes encoding the basal body- and motor-associated proteins. Furthermore, KJ?BC had an increased membrane susceptibility to Triton X-100 and CreD upregulation in KJ?BC partially alleviated the compromise of membrane integrity. The impact of creBC TCS on bacterial membrane potential was assessed by carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazine (CCCP50) concentration at which 50% of bacterial swimming is inhibited. CCCP50 of wild-type KJ increased when creBC was deleted, indicating an association between the higher membrane potential of KJ?BC cells and enhanced motility. Upregulation of the basal body- and motor-associated genes of flagella in KJ?BC cells may explain the increased membrane potential. Collectively, inactivation of creBC increased swimming motility through membrane potential increase and creD upregulation in S. maltophilia. The increased membrane potential may supply more energy for flagella propelling and CreD upregulation supports membrane stability, providing a strong membrane for flagellum function.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes a multitude of infections. These infections can occur at almost any site in the body and are usually associated with a breach of the innate immune system. One of the prominent sites where P. aeruginosa causes chronic infections is within the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. P. aeruginosa uses two-component systems that sense environmental changes to differentially express virulence factors that cause both acute and chronic infections. The P. aeruginosa AlgZR two component system is one of its global regulatory systems that affects the organism's fitness in a broad manner. This two-component system is absolutely required for two P. aeruginosa phenotypes: twitching motility and alginate production, indicating its importance in both chronic and acute infections. Additionally, global transcriptome analyses indicate that it regulates the expression of many different genes, including those associated with quorum sensing, type IV pili, type III secretion system, anaerobic metabolism, cyanide and rhamnolipid production. This review examines the complex AlgZR regulatory network, what is known about the structure and function of each protein, and how it relates to the organism's ability to cause infections.
Project description:In response to environmental changes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to switch from a planktonic (free swimming) to a sessile (biofilm) lifestyle. The two-component system (TCS) GacS/GacA activates the production of two small non-coding RNAs, RsmY and RsmZ, but four histidine kinases (HKs), RetS, GacS, LadS and PA1611, are instrumental in this process. RetS hybrid HK blocks GacS unorthodox HK autophosphorylation through the formation of a heterodimer. PA1611 hybrid HK, which is structurally related to GacS, interacts with RetS in P. aeruginosa in a very similar manner to GacS. LadS hybrid HK phenotypically antagonizes the function of RetS by a mechanism that has never been investigated. The four sensors are found in most Pseudomonas species but their characteristics and mode of signaling may differ from one species to another. Here, we demonstrated in P. aeruginosa that LadS controls both rsmY and rsmZ gene expression and that this regulation occurs through the GacS/GacA TCS. We additionally evidenced that in contrast to RetS, LadS signals through GacS/GacA without forming heterodimers, either with GacS or with RetS. Instead, we demonstrated that LadS is involved in a genuine phosphorelay, which requires both transmitter and receiver LadS domains. LadS signaling ultimately requires the alternative histidine-phosphotransfer domain of GacS, which is here used as an Hpt relay by the hybrid kinase. LadS HK thus forms, with the GacS/GacA TCS, a multicomponent signal transduction system with an original phosphorelay cascade, i.e. H1LadS?D1LadS?H2GacS?D2GacA. This highlights an original strategy in which a unique output, i.e. the modulation of sRNA levels, is controlled by a complex multi-sensing network to fine-tune an adapted biofilm and virulence response.
Project description:Spiroplasma eriocheiris is a pathogen that causes mass mortality in Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis. S. eriocheiris causes tremor disease and infects almost all of the artificial breeding crustaceans, resulting in disastrous effects on the aquaculture economy in China. S. eriocheiris is a wall-less helical bacterium, measuring 2.0 to 10.0 ?m long, and can swim up to 5 ?m per second in a viscous medium without flagella by switching the cell helicity at a kink traveling from the front to the tail. In this study, we showed that S. eriocheiris performs chemotaxis without the conventional two-component system, a system commonly found in bacterial chemotaxis. The chemotaxis of S. eriocheiris was observed more clearly when the cells were cultivated under anaerobic conditions. The cells were polarized as evidenced by a tip structure, swimming in the direction of the tip, and were shown to reverse their swimming direction in response to attractants. Triton X-100 treatment revealed the internal structure, a dumbbell-shaped core in the tip that is connected by a flat ribbon, which traces the shortest line in the helical cell shape from the tip to the other pole. Sixteen proteins were identified as the components of the internal structure by mass spectrometry, including Fibril protein and four types of MreB proteins.
Project description:Biofilms are structured communities found associated with a wide range of surfaces. Here we report the identification of a three-component regulatory system required for biofilm maturation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14. A transposon mutation that altered biofilm formation in a 96-well dish assay originally defined this locus, which is comprised of genes for a putative sensor histidine kinase and two response regulators and has been designated sadARS. Nonpolar mutations in any of the sadARS genes result in biofilms with an altered mature structure but do not confer defects in growth or early biofilm formation, swimming, or twitching motility. After 2 days of growth under flowing conditions, biofilms formed by the mutants are indistinguishable from those formed by the wild-type (WT) strain. However, by 5 days, mutant biofilms appear to be more homogeneous than the WT in that they fail to form large and distinct macrocolonies and show a drastic reduction in water channels. We propose that the sadARS three-component system is required for later events in biofilm formation on an abiotic surface. Semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis showed that there is no detectable change in expression of the sadARS genes when cells are grown in a planktonic culture versus a biofilm, indicating that this locus is not itself induced during or in response to biofilm formation. DNA microarray studies were used to identify downstream targets of the SadARS system. Among the genes regulated by the SadARS system are those required for type III secretion. Mutations in type III secretion genes result in strains with enhanced biofilm formation. We propose a possible mechanism for the role that the SadARS system plays in biofilm formation.
Project description:Swimming motility is considered a beneficial trait among bacterial species as it enables movement across fluid environments and augments invasion of tissues within the host. However, non-swimming bacteria also flourish in fluid habitats, but how they effectively spread and colonize distant ecological niches remains unclear. We show that non-motile staphylococci can gain motility by hitchhiking on swimming bacteria, leading to extended and directed motion with increased velocity. This phoretic interaction was observed between Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus epidermidis and P. aeruginosa, as well as S. aureus and Escherichia coli, suggesting hitchhiking as a general translocation mechanism for non-motile staphylococcal species. By leveraging the motility of swimming bacteria, it was observed that staphylococci can colonize new niches that are less available in the absence of swimming carriers. This work highlights the importance of considering interactions between species within polymicrobial communities, in which bacteria can utilize each other as resources.
Project description:We recently demonstrated that the N-acyl-homoserine lactone [autoinducer (AI)-1] and LuxS (AI-2)-based quorum-sensing (QS) systems exerted positive and negative regulation, respectively, on the virulence of a diarrhoeal isolate SSU of Aeromonas hydrophila. However, the role of a newly identified, two-component-based QseBC QS system in the regulation of bacterial virulence in general is not well understood, with only a limited number of studies showing its function in bacterial pathogenesis. In this report, we identified and characterized the QseBC QS system in A. hydrophila SSU and found that, as was the case with enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, the open reading frames for the qseB (the response regulator) and qseC (the sensor histidine kinase) genes overlapped by 4 bp at the ATGA motif. Our data provide evidence that deletion of the qseB gene from A. hydrophila resulted in attenuation of bacterial virulence in a septicaemic mouse model of infection and diminished swimming and swarming motility, and the mutant bacteria formed denser biofilms compared with those from the parental strain of A. hydrophila. The decrease in the virulence of the A. hydrophila ?qseB mutant correlated with reduced production of protease and the cytotoxic enterotoxin, which has associated haemolytic activity. The swimming and swarming motility, haemolytic activity, protease production and biofilm formation were restored in the qseBC-complemented strain to a level similar to that of the wild-type A. hydrophila SSU. Our study is the first, to our knowledge, to report a functional QseBC QS system in A. hydrophila which may be linked to AI-1 and AI-2 QS systems in modulating bacterial virulence, possibly through the cyclic diguanosine monophosphate.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa can grow either as planktonic- or biofilm-form in response to environmental changes. Recent studies show that switching from biofilm to planktonic lifestyle requires rhamnolipids. Here we report the identification of a novel twocomponent system BqsS-BqsR that regulates biofilm decay in P. aeruginosa. BqsS is a multidomain sensor kinase and BqsR is an OmpR-like response regulator. Deletion of either bqsS or bqsR in P. aeruginosa mPAO1 resulted in a significant increase in biofilm formation. Time course analysis showed that the bqsS-bqsR mutants were defective in biofilm dispersal and in rhamnolipid production. Mutation of the BqsS-BqsR two-component system did not affect the biosynthesis of long chain quorum sensing (QS) signal N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-homoserine lactone (3OC12HSL) but resulted in reduced production of the short chain QS signal N-butyryl-L-homoserine lactone (C4HSL) and the Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Exogenous addition of C4HSL, PQS or rhamnolipids to the bqsS mutant reduced the biofilm formation to the wild-type level. Evidence suggests that the BqsS-BqsR two-component system might promote conversion of anthranilate to PQS. Taken together, these results establish BqsS-BqsR as a novel two-component system that regulates biofilm decay in P. aeruginosa by modulating biosynthesis of QS signals and rhamnolipids.