Project description:SXT-R391 Integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) are self-transmissible mobile genetic elements able to confer multidrug resistance and other adaptive features to bacterial hosts, including Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of cholera. ICEs are arranged in a mosaic genetic structure composed of a conserved backbone interspersed with variable DNA clusters located in conserved hot spots. In this study, we investigated ICE acquisition and subsequent microevolution in pandemic V. cholerae. Ninety-six ICEs were retrieved from publicly available sequence databases from V. cholerae clinical strains and were compared to a set of reference ICEs. Comparative genomics highlighted the existence of five main ICE groups with a distinct genetic makeup, exemplified by ICEVchInd5, ICEVchMoz10, SXT, ICEVchInd6, and ICEVchBan11. ICEVchInd5 (the most frequent element, represented by 70 of 96 elements analyzed) displayed no sequence rearrangements and was characterized by 46 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNP analysis revealed that recent inter-ICE homologous recombination between ICEVchInd5 and other ICEs circulating in gammaproteobacteria generated ICEVchMoz10, ICEVchInd6, and ICEVchBan11. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses indicated that ICEVchInd5 and SXT were independently acquired by the current pandemic V. cholerae O1 and O139 lineages, respectively, within a period of only a few years.SXT-R391 ICEs have been recognized as key vectors of antibiotic resistance in the seventh-pandemic lineage of V. cholerae, which remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity on a global scale. ICEs were acquired only recently in this clade and are acknowledged to be major contributors to horizontal gene transfer and the acquisition of new traits in bacterial species. We have reconstructed the temporal dynamics of SXT-R391 ICE acquisition and spread and have identified subsequent recombination events generating significant diversity in ICEs currently circulating among V. cholerae clinical strains. Our results showed that acquisition of SXT-R391 ICEs provided the V. cholerae seventh-pandemic lineage not only with a multidrug resistance phenotype but also with a powerful molecular tool for rapidly accessing the pan-genome of a large number of gammaproteobacteria.
Project description:Integrating conjugative elements (ICEs) are self-transmissible, mobile elements that are widespread among bacteria. Following their excision from the chromosome, ICEs transfer by conjugation, a process initiated by a single-stranded DNA break at a specific locus called the origin of transfer (oriT). The SXT/R391 family of ICEs includes SXT(MO10), R391, and more than 25 related ICEs found in gammaproteobacteria. A previous study mapped the oriT locus of SXT(MO10) to a 550-bp intergenic region between traD and s043. We suspected that this was not the correct oriT locus, because the identical traD-s043 region in R391 and other SXT/R391 family ICEs was annotated as a gene of an unknown function. Here, we investigated the location and structure of the oriT locus in the ICEs of the SXT/R391 family and demonstrated that oriT(SXT) corresponds to a 299-bp sequence that contains multiple imperfect direct and inverted repeats and is located in the intergenic region between s003 and rumB'. The oriT(SXT) locus is well conserved among SXT/R391 ICEs, like R391, R997, and pMERPH, and cross-recognition of oriT(SXT) and oriT(R391) by R391 and SXT(MO10) was demonstrated. Furthermore, we identified a previously unannotated gene, mobI, located immediately downstream from oriT(SXT), which proved to be essential for SXT(MO10) transfer and SXT(MO10)-mediated chromosomal DNA mobilization. Deletion of mobI did not impair the SXT(MO10)-dependent transfer of the mobilizable plasmid CloDF13, suggesting that mobI has no role in the assembly of the SXT(MO10) mating pair apparatus. Instead, mobI appears to be involved in the recognition of oriT(SXT).
Project description:Integrative and Conjugative Elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family disseminate multidrug resistance among pathogenic Gammaproteobacteria such as Vibrio cholerae. SXT/R391 ICEs are mobile genetic elements that reside in the chromosome of their host and eventually self-transfer to other bacteria by conjugation. Conjugative transfer of SXT/R391 ICEs involves a transient extrachromosomal circular plasmid-like form that is thought to be the substrate for single-stranded DNA translocation to the recipient cell through the mating pore. This plasmid-like form is thought to be non-replicative and is consequently expected to be highly unstable. We report here that the ICE R391 of Providencia rettgeri is impervious to loss upon cell division. We have investigated the genetic determinants contributing to R391 stability. First, we found that a hipAB-like toxin/antitoxin system improves R391 stability as its deletion resulted in a tenfold increase of R391 loss. Because hipAB is not a conserved feature of SXT/R391 ICEs, we sought for alternative and conserved stabilization mechanisms. We found that conjugation itself does not stabilize R391 as deletion of traG, which abolishes conjugative transfer, did not influence the frequency of loss. However, deletion of either the relaxase-encoding gene traI or the origin of transfer (oriT) led to a dramatic increase of R391 loss correlated with a copy number decrease of its plasmid-like form. This observation suggests that replication initiated at oriT by TraI is essential not only for conjugative transfer but also for stabilization of SXT/R391 ICEs. Finally, we uncovered srpMRC, a conserved locus coding for two proteins distantly related to the type II (actin-type ATPase) parMRC partitioning system of plasmid R1. R391 and plasmid stabilization assays demonstrate that srpMRC is active and contributes to reducing R391 loss. While partitioning systems usually stabilizes low-copy plasmids, srpMRC is the first to be reported that stabilizes a family of ICEs.
Project description:SXT/R391 integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) are self-transmissible mobile genetic elements that are found in most members of Enterobacteriaceae. Here, we determined fifteen SXT/R391 ICEs carried by Proteus isolates from food (4.2%) and diarrhoea patients (17.3%). BLASTn searches against GenBank showed that the fifteen SXT/R391 ICEs were closely related to that from different Enterobacteriaceae species, including Proteus mirabilis. Using core gene phylogenetic analysis, the fifteen SXT/R391 ICEs were grouped into six distinct clusters, including a dominant cluster and three clusters that have not been previously reported in Proteus isolates. The SXT/R391 ICEs shared a common structure with a set of conserved genes, five hotspots and two variable regions, which contained more foreign genes, including drug-resistance genes. Notably, a class A ?-lactamase gene was identified in nine SXT/R391 ICEs. Collectively, the ICE-carrying isolates carried resistance genes for 20 tested drugs. Six isolates were resistant to chloramphenicol, kanamycin, streptomycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, sulfisoxazole and tetracycline, which are drug resistances commonly encoded by ICEs. Our results demonstrate abundant genetic diversity and multidrug resistance of the SXT/R391 ICEs carried by Proteus isolates, which may have significance for public health. It is therefore necessary to continuously monitor the antimicrobial resistance and related mobile elements among Proteus isolates.
Project description:Integrating and conjugative elements (ICEs) are one of the three principal types of self-transmissible mobile genetic elements in bacteria. ICEs, like plasmids, transfer via conjugation; but unlike plasmids and similar to many phages, these elements integrate into and replicate along with the host chromosome. Members of the SXT/R391 family of ICEs have been isolated from several species of gram-negative bacteria, including Vibrio cholerae, the cause of cholera, where they have been important vectors for disseminating genes conferring resistance to antibiotics. Here we developed a plasmid-based system to capture and isolate SXT/R391 ICEs for sequencing. Comparative analyses of the genomes of 13 SXT/R391 ICEs derived from diverse hosts and locations revealed that they contain 52 perfectly syntenic and nearly identical core genes that serve as a scaffold capable of mobilizing an array of variable DNA. Furthermore, selection pressure to maintain ICE mobility appears to have restricted insertions of variable DNA into intergenic sites that do not interrupt core functions. The variable genes confer diverse element-specific phenotypes, such as resistance to antibiotics. Functional analysis of a set of deletion mutants revealed that less than half of the conserved core genes are required for ICE mobility; the functions of most of the dispensable core genes are unknown. Several lines of evidence suggest that there has been extensive recombination between SXT/R391 ICEs, resulting in re-assortment of their respective variable gene content. Furthermore, our analyses suggest that there may be a network of phylogenetic relationships among sequences found in all types of mobile genetic elements.
Project description:Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family are key drivers of the spread of antibiotic resistance in Vibrio cholerae, the infectious agent of cholera, and other pathogenic bacteria. The SXT/R391 family of ICEs was defined based on the conservation of a core set of 52 genes and site-specific integration into the 5' end of the chromosomal gene prfC Hence, the integrase gene int has been intensively used as a marker to detect SXT/R391 ICEs in clinical isolates. ICEs sharing most core genes but differing by their integration site and integrase gene have been recently reported and excluded from the SXT/R391 family. Here we explored the prevalence and diversity of atypical ICEs in GenBank databases and their relationship with typical SXT/R391 ICEs. We found atypical ICEs in V. cholerae isolates that predate the emergence and expansion of typical SXT/R391 ICEs in the mid-1980s in seventh-pandemic toxigenic V. cholerae strains O1 and O139. Our analyses revealed that while atypical ICEs are not associated with antibiotic resistance genes, they often carry cation efflux pumps, suggesting heavy metal resistance. Atypical ICEs constitute a polyphyletic group likely because of occasional recombination events with typical ICEs. Furthermore, we show that the alternative integration and excision genes of atypical ICEs remain under the control of SetCD, the main activator of the conjugative functions of SXT/R391 ICEs. Together, these observations indicate that substitution of the integration/excision module and change of specificity of integration do not preclude atypical ICEs from inclusion into the SXT/R391 family.IMPORTANCEVibrio cholerae is the causative agent of cholera, an acute intestinal infection that remains to this day a world public health threat. Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family have played a major role in spreading antimicrobial resistance in seventh-pandemic V. cholerae but also in several species of Enterobacteriaceae Most epidemiological surveys use the integrase gene as a marker to screen for SXT/R391 ICEs in clinical or environmental strains. With the recent reports of closely related elements that carry an alternative integrase gene, it became urgent to investigate whether ICEs that have been left out of the family are a liability for the accuracy of such screenings. In this study, based on comparative genomics, we broaden the SXT/R391 family of ICEs to include atypical ICEs that are often associated with heavy metal resistance.
Project description:Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family are the main contributors to acquired multidrug resistance in the seventh pandemic lineage of Vibrio cholerae, the etiological agent of the diarrheal disease cholera. Conjugative transfer of SXT/R391 ICEs is triggered by antibiotics and agents promoting DNA damage through RecA-dependent autoproteolysis of SetR, an ICE-encoded ? CI-like repressor. Here, we describe the role of CroS, a distant ? Cro homolog, as a key component contributing to the regulation of expression of the activator SetCD that orchestrates the expression of the conjugative transfer genes. We show that deletion of croS abolishes the SOS response-dependent induction of SXT despite the presence of a functional setR gene. Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and lacZ reporter assays, we also show that CroS represses setR and setCD expression by binding to operator sites shared with SetR. Furthermore, we provide evidence of an additional operator site bound by SetR and CroS. Finally, we show that SetCD expression generates a positive feedback loop due to SXT excision and replication in a fraction of the cell population. Together, these results refine our understanding of the genetic regulation governing the propagation of major vectors of multidrug resistance.Healthcare systems worldwide are challenged by an alarming drug resistance crisis caused by the massive and rapid propagation of antibiotic resistance genes and the associated emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogenic bacteria. SXT/R391 ICEs contribute to this phenomenon not only in clinical and environmental vibrios but also in several members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. We have identified and characterized here the regulator CroS as a key factor in the stimulation of conjugative transfer of these ICEs in response to DNA-damaging agents. We have also untangled conflicting evidence regarding autoactivation of transfer by the master activator of SXT/R391 ICEs, SetCD. Discovery of CroS provides a clearer and more complete understanding of the regulatory network that governs the dissemination of SXT/R391 ICEs in bacterial populations.
Project description:Vibrio alginolyticus is ubiquitous in marine and estuarine environments. In 2012-2013, SXT/R391-like integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) in environmental V. alginolyticus strains were discovered and found to occur in 8.9 % of 192 V. alginolyticus strains, which suggests that V. alginolyticus may be a natural pool possessing resourceful ICEs. However, complete ICE sequences originating from this bacterium have not been reported, which represents a significant barrier to characterizing the ICEs of this bacterium and exploring their relationships with other ICEs. In the present study, we acquired six ICE sequences from five V. alginolyticus strains and performed a comparative analysis of these ICE genomes.A sequence analysis showed that there were only 14 variable bases dispersed between ICEValE0601 and ICEValHN492. ICEValE0601 and ICEValHN492 were treated as the same ICE. ICEValA056-1, ICEValE0601 and ICEValHN492 integrate into the 5' end of the host's prfC gene, and their Int and Xis share at least 97 % identity with their counterparts from SXT. ICEValE0601 or ICEValHN492 contain 50 of 52 conserved core genes in the SXT/R391 ICEs (not s025 or s026). ICEValA056-2, ICEValHN396 and ICEValHN437 have a different tRNA-ser integration site and a distinct int/xis module; however, the remaining backbone genes are highly similar to their counterparts in SXT/R391 ICEs. DNA sequences inserted into hotspot and variable regions of the ICEs are of various sizes. The variable genes of six ICEs encode a large array of functions to bestow various adaptive abilities upon their hosts, and only ICEValA056-1 contains drug-resistant genes. Many variable genes have orthologous and functionally related genes to those found in SXT/R391 ICEs, such as genes coding for a toxin-antitoxin system, a restriction-modification system, helicases and endonucleases. Six ICEs also contain a large number of unique genes or gene clusters that were not found in other ICEs. Six ICEs harbor more abundant transposase genes compared with other parts of their host genomes. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that transposase genes in these ICEs are highly diverse.ICEValA056-1, ICEValE0601 and ICEValHN492 are typical members of the SXT/R391 family. ICEValA056-2, ICEValHN396 and ICEValHN437 form a new atypical group belonging to the SXT/R391 family. In addition to the many genes found to be present in other ICEs, six ICEs contain a large number of unique genes or gene clusters that were not found in other ICEs. ICEs may serve as a carrier for transposable genetic elements (TEs) and largely facilitate the dissemination of TEs.
Project description:Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family have been recognized as key drivers of antibiotic resistance dissemination in the seventh-pandemic lineage of Vibrio cholerae. SXT/R391 ICEs propagate by conjugation and integrate site-specifically into the chromosome of a wide range of environmental and clinical Gammaproteobacteria. SXT/R391 ICEs bear setC and setD, two conserved genes coding for a transcriptional activator complex that is essential for activation of conjugative transfer. We used chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with exonuclease digestion (ChIP-exo) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to characterize the SetCD regulon of three representative members of the SXT/R391 family. We also identified the DNA sequences bound by SetCD in MGIVflInd1, a mobilizable genomic island phylogenetically unrelated to SXT/R391 ICEs that hijacks the conjugative machinery of these ICEs to drive its own transfer. SetCD was found to bind a 19-bp sequence that is consistently located near the promoter -35 element of SetCD-activated genes, a position typical of class II transcriptional activators. Furthermore, we refined our understanding of the regulation of excision from and integration into the chromosome for SXT/R391 ICEs and demonstrated that de novo expression of SetCD is crucial to allow integration of the incoming ICE DNA into a naive host following conjugative transfer.
Project description:The genus Marinomonas comprises Gram negative bacteria which are widespread in the marine environment and there is no report on the genomic analysis of SXT/R391 ICEs derived from this group of bacteria. This study describes the genomic features of three new SXT/R391 integrating conjugating elements (ICEs) identified in the genome of Marinomonas fungiae JCM 18476T (ICEMfuInd1a and ICEMfuInd1b) and in Marinomonas profundimaris strain D104 (ICEMprChn1). Structural organizations of the three ICEs were similar to the typical SXT/R391 family of ICEs and showed high degree of conservation in the core genes. Sequence analysis revealed ICEMfuInd1b and ICEMprChn1 were inserted into the genome at 5'-end of an typical host prfC gene, while ICEMfuInd1a was inserted at 5'-end of an atypical hipA-like gene. Despite their coexistence, the ICEMfuInd1a and ICEMfuInd1b were not present in a tandem fashion in the genome of M. fungiae. Phylogenetic analyses revealed the three ICEs either evolved independently or high degrees of recombination events had masked their evolution from a common SXT ancestor. Further, we found that the typical entry exclusion mechanism mediated by the TraG/EeX protein pair was likely defective in preventing the conjugative transfer of a second copy of the same S (SXT) group ICE into the M. fungiae genome due to mutations. Our analysis showed the presence of 16, 25, and 27 variable genes in the hotspots of ICEMfuInd1a, ICEMfuInd1b, and ICEMprChn1, respectively, many of which were not reported earlier for SXT/R391 ICEs. Sequence analysis predicted these hotspot regions were shaped by acquisition of genes through homologous recombination between the SXT and R391 related ICEs or mobile genetic elements present in disparate marine bacteria. Multidrug resistance genes which are hallmark feature of SXT/R391 ICEs were not present in either of the two ICEs from M. fungiae but were present within a transposon cassette in the HS-1 of the ICEMprChn1 from M. profundimaris. Finally, our data provided information on the genetic diversity and predicted functions encoded by variable genes present in the hotspot regions of these new ICEs.