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A Vibrio cholerae protease needed for killing of Caenorhabditis elegans has a role in protection from natural predator grazing
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3155-7699
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2006 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 103, no 24, p. 9280-9285Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Vibrio cholerae is the causal bacterium of the diarrheal disease cholera, and its growth and survival are thought to be curtailed by bacteriovorous predators, e.g., ciliates and flagellates. We explored Caenorhabditis elegans as a test organism after finding that V. cholerae can cause lethal infection of this nematode. By reverse genetics we identified an extracellular protease, the previously uncharacterized PrtV protein, as being necessary for killing. The killing effect is associated with the colonization of bacteria within the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine. We also show that PrtV is essential for V. cholerae in the bacterial survival from grazing by the flagellate Cafeteria roenbergensis and the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis. The PrtV protein appears to have an indirect role in the interaction of V. cholerae with mammalian host cells as judged from tests with tight monolayers of human intestinal epithelial cells. Our results demonstrate a key role for PrtV in V. cholerae interaction with grazing predators, and we establish Caenorhabditis elegans as a convenient organism for identification of V. cholerae factors involved in host interactions and environmental persistence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 103, no 24, p. 9280-9285
Keyword [en]
Animals, Bacterial Proteins/genetics/metabolism, Biofilms, Caenorhabditis elegans/cytology/microbiology/physiology, Cell Communication, Cell Line; Tumor, Cholera Toxin/metabolism, Feeding Behavior, Fimbriae; Bacterial/metabolism, Humans, Interleukin-8/secretion, Intestines/cytology/microbiology, Peptide Hydrolases/genetics/metabolism, Predatory Behavior, Repressor Proteins/genetics/metabolism, Survival Rate, Trans-Activators/genetics/metabolism, Transcription Factors/genetics/metabolism, Vibrio cholerae/enzymology/genetics/pathogenicity
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6243DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0601754103PubMedID: 16754867OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-6243DiVA, id: diva2:145912
Available from: 2008-12-14 Created: 2008-12-14 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Modulators of Vibrio cholerae predator interaction and virulence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modulators of Vibrio cholerae predator interaction and virulence
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vibrio cholerae, the causal agent of cholera typically encodes two critical virulence factors: cholera toxin (CT), which is primarily responsible for the diarrhoeal purge, and toxin-co-regulated pilus (TCP), an essential colonisation factor. Nontoxigenic strains expressing TCP can efficiently acquire the CT gene through lysogenic conversion with CTXΦ, a filamentous phage that encodes CT and uses TCP as a receptor.  V. cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium and a natural inhabitant of estuarine and coastal waters throughout both temperate and tropical regions of the world. In the aquatic environment, V. cholerae encounters several environmental stresses, such as change in salinity, UV stress, nutrient limitation, temperature fluctuations, viral infections and protozoan predation. To fully understand the pathogenic and virulence potential of V. cholerae, knowledge is required of its interactions with, not only human, but also environmental factors. By using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as host model, we were able to identify a previously uncharacterised protein, the extracellular protease PrtV. PrtV was shown to be required for the killing of. elegans and also necessary for survival from grazing by the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis and the flagellate Cafeteria roenbergensis. The PrtV protein, which belongs to a M6 family of metallopeptidases was cloned and purified for further characterisations. The purified PrtV was cytotoxic against the human intestinal cell line HCT8. By using human blood plasma, fibrinogen, fibronectin and plasminogen were identified as candidate substrates for the PrtV protease.

Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are released to the surroundings by most Gram-negative bacteria through “bulging and pinching” of the outer membrane.  OMVs have been shown to contain many virulence factors important in pathogenesis. Therefore, we investigated the association of PrtV with OMVs. PrtV was not associated with OMVs from the wild type O1 strain. In contrast, in an LPS mutant lacking two sugar chains in the core oligosaccharide PrtV was found to be associated with the OMVs. The OMV-associated PrtV was shown to be proteolytically and cytotoxically active.

V. cholerae strains are grouped into >200 serogroups. Only the O1 and O139 serogroups have been associated with pandemic cholera, a severe diarrhoeal disease.  All other serogroups are collectively referred to as non-O1 non-O139 V. cholerae. Non-O1 non-O139 V. cholerae can cause gastroenteritis and extraintestinal infections, but unlike O1 and O139 strains of V. cholerae, little is known about the virulence gene content and their potential to become human pathogens. We analysed clinical and environmental non-O1 non-O139 isolates for their putative virulence traits. None of them carry the genes encoding CT or the TCP, but other putative virulence factors were present in these isolates. The incidence of serum resistance was found to vary considerably and was independent of encapsulation. Three strains were strongly serum-resistant, and these same strains could also kill C. elegans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2009. p. 64
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1312
Keyword
Vibrio cholerae, Caenorhabditis elegans, PrtV, outer membrane vesicles, non-O1 non-O139, serum resistance
National Category
Cell and Molecular Biology
Research subject
Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30211 (URN)978-91-7264-918-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-01-22, Major Groove, Försörjningsvägen byggnad 6L, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-12-22 Created: 2009-12-14 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
2. Effects of Vibrio cholerae protease and pigment production on environmental survival and host interaction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of Vibrio cholerae protease and pigment production on environmental survival and host interaction
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Only two out of more than 200 V. cholerae serogroups, classified on the basis of LPS structure, are associated with epidemic or pandemic cholera. These toxigenic serogroups carry phage-derived pathogenicity islands coding for the main virulence factors for establishment of cholera disease – cholera toxin (CTX) and toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP). The latter also serves as a bacterial surface receptor for the CTXΦ – the filamentous phage which carries the cholera toxin genes into otherwise harmless to human, environmental bacterium V. cholerae. In its natural aquatic habitat V. cholerae is subject to predator grazing, bacteriophage killing, temperature and pH changes, seasonality of plankton blooms and other environmental factors. Therefore understanding V. cholerae pathogenic and virulence potential requires the knowledge of its interaction not only with human host but also members of aquatic environment and environmental factors.

V. cholerae is capable of killing the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Using a reverse genetics approach, we demonstrated that the quorum sensing regulated protease PrtV is essential for this killing. Other proteases did not seem to contribute to virulence in this model. The data from this study suggest that the PrtV could be important to V. cholerae in its natural niche for its resistance to the grazing predators.

The PrtV protease belongs to an M6 family of metallopeptidases which is represented by an Immune Inhibitor A protease from the insect killing bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. To characterize the protease in more detail, the PrtV was cloned, overexpressed in V. cholerae and purified from the culture supernatant. The enzyme was calcium stabilized and inhibited by metal ion chelators. In tests with in vitro cultured cells of the human intestinal cell line HCT8, the PrtV protein showed a cytotoxic effect leading to cell detachment and death. Using human blood plasma as a source of potential substrates, and by tests with purified candidate substrate proteins, we have identified fibrinogen (all α, β and γ chains), fibronectin and plasminogen to be degraded by the protease. Additionally, PrtV was found to alter the stability of V. cholerae cytolysin implicating its role in modulation of the reactogenicity of V. cholerae secreted factors.

Pigmentation has been considered to be important in microbial pathogenesis because it has been associated with virulence in many microorganisms. Using transposon mutagenesis we identified the mutated locus of a pigment producing V. cholerae strain to encode a gene of a tyrosine catabolic pathway. The mutation in a putative homogentisate 1,2-dioxigenase gene lead to accumulation of homogentisic acid, its spontaneous oxidation and formation of a dark pigment. The pigment producing strain was altered in its ability to survive UV exposure and H2O2 stress, and was more efficient in colonizing the suckling mouse intestine compared to the wild type strain. Under the in vitro growth conditions the major virulence factor TcpA and CT expression was found to be somewhat enhanced too.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Molekylärbiologi (Medicinska fakulteten), 2007. p. 73
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1144
Keyword
Bacteria-host interaction, Nematode, Metalloprotease
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1474 (URN)978-91-7264-464-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-01-10, Major Groove, 6L, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Dept. Molecular Biology, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-01-07 Created: 2008-01-07 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
3. Human intestinal epithelial cells in innate immunity: interactions with normal microbiota and pathogenic bacteria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human intestinal epithelial cells in innate immunity: interactions with normal microbiota and pathogenic bacteria
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rod-shaped bacteria were previously shown to be associated with the small intestinal epithelium of children with celiac disease (CD). Using culture-dependent and independent methods, we characterized the microbiota of small intestine in children with CD and controls. The normal microbiota constitutes an unique organ-specific biofilm. Dominant bacteria are Streptococcus, Neisseria, Veillonella, Gemella, Actinomyces, Rothia and Haemophilus. Altogether 162 Genus Level Operational Taxonomic Units (GELOTU) of six different phyla were identified in a total of 63 children. In biopsies collected during 2004- 2007 we did not find major differences in the microbiota between CD patients and controls. However, in biopsies collected earlier from children born during the “Swedish CD epidemic” and demonstrated to have rod-shaped bacteria by electron microscopy, we found that unclassified-Clostridales and Prevotella species were associated with CD. These anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria showed marked affinity for the intestinal epithelium. Changes in breast-feeding practice and/or regiments for introduction of gluten containing food probably affect the composition of the bacterial flora in small intestine. We hypotesize that these bacteria contribute to contraction of CD.

An in vitro model for studies of immune mechanisms of the intestinal epithelium was established. Polarized tight monolayers of the human colon carcinoma cell lines, T84 and Caco2, were developed by culture in a two-chamber system. The two cell lines showed the features of mature- and immature columnar epithelial cells respectively. Polarized monolayers were challenged with bacteria and proinflammatory cytokines. Immune responses were estimated as quantitative changes in mRNA expression levels of a secreted mucin (MUC2), glycocalyx components (CEACAMs, MUC3), antimicrobial factors and cytokines (IFN-g, TNF-a, IL-6 and IL-8). Tight monolayer cells were more resistant to bacterial attack than ordinary tissue culture cells and only B. megaterium induced the defensin, hBD2. Tight monolayer cells responded to cytokine challenge suggesting awareness of basolateral attack. TNF-a induced markedly increased levels of IL-8 and TNF- a itself in both cell lines suggesting recruitment and activation of immune cells. Cytokine challenge also increased levels of CEACAM1, which includes two functionally different forms, CEACAM1-L and CEACAM1-S. In T84 cells, IFN-g was selective for CEACAM1- L while TNF-a upregulated both forms. Increased CEACAM1 expression may influence epithelial function and communication between epithelial cells and intraepithelial lymphocytes.

As a pathogenic enteric bacterium, Vibrio cholerae secretes cholera toxin that is the major factor of cholera diarrhea. However, some strains of O1 serogroup lacking the cholera toxin still cause enterocolitis and most V. cholerae vaccines candidates exhibit reactogenicity in clinical trails. An extracellular metalloprotease PrtV was characterized. It was associated with killing of bacteria predators such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Its role in human intestine was addressed by using the T84 tight monolayer in vitro model. We found that Vibrio Cholera Cytolysin (VCC), a pore-forming toxin, induces an inflammatory response in intestinal epithelial cells that includes increased epithelial permeability and induction of IL-8 and TNF-a and hence could be responsible for enterocolitis. The inflammatory response was abolished by PrtV thus VCC is indeed an autologous substrate for PrtV. In protein rich environment PrtV degradation of VCC was inhibited, suggesting that the magnitude of the inflammatory response is modulated by the milieu in the small intestine. Thus, VCC is likely to be part of the pathogenesis of cholera diarrhea and the causative agent of enteropathy in V. cholerae strains lacking the cholera toxin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2009. p. 71
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1242
Keyword
Immunology
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
Research subject
Immunology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18388 (URN)978-91-7264-721-3 (ISBN)
Distributor:
Institutionen för klinisk mikrobiologi, 90185, Umeå
Public defence
2009-02-27, A103-by 6A (Norrlands universitetssjukhus), Umeå universitet, 901 85 Umeå, Astrid Fagraeussalen (A 103), 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-02-10 Created: 2009-02-04 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Vaitkevicius, KarolisLindmark, BarbroOu, GangweiSong, TianyanAndersson, AgnetaHammarström, Marie-LouiseTuck, SimonWai, Sun Nyunt

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