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Outer membrane vesicles mediate transport of biologically active Vibrio cholerae cytolysin (VCC) from V. cholerae strains
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Division of Pathophysiology, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
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2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 9, e106731- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) released from Gram-negative bacteria can serve as vehicles for the translocation of virulence factors. Vibrio cholerae produce OMVs but their putative role in translocation of effectors involved in pathogenesis has not been well elucidated. The V. cholerae cytolysin (VCC), is a pore-forming toxin that lyses target eukaryotic cells by forming transmembrane oligomeric β-barrel channels. It is considered a potent toxin that contributes to V. cholerae pathogenesis. The mechanisms involved in the secretion and delivery of the VCC have not been extensively studied.

Methodology/Principal Findings OMVs from V. cholerae strains were isolated and purified using a differential centrifugation procedure and Optiprep centrifugation. The ultrastructure and the contents of OMVs were examined under the electron microscope and by immunoblot analyses respectively. We demonstrated that VCC from V. cholerae strain V:5/04 was secreted in association with OMVs and the release of VCC via OMVs is a common feature among V. cholerae strains. The biological activity of OMV-associated VCC was investigated using contact hemolytic assay and epithelial cell cytotoxicity test. It showed toxic activity on both red blood cells and epithelial cells. Our results indicate that the OMVs architecture might play a role in stability of VCC and thereby can enhance its biological activities in comparison with the free secreted VCC. Furthermore, we tested the role of OMV-associated VCC in host cell autophagy signalling using confocal microscopy and immunoblot analysis. We observed that OMV-associated VCC triggered an autophagy response in the target cell and our findings demonstrated for the first time that autophagy may operate as a cellular defence mechanism against an OMV-associated bacterial virulence factor.

Conclusion/Significance Biological assays of OMVs from the V. cholerae strain V:5/04 demonstrated that OMV-associated VCC is indeed biologically active and induces toxicity on mammalian cells and furthermore can induce autophagy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public library of science , 2014. Vol. 9, no 9, e106731- p.
National Category
Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93659DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106731ISI: 000341271500078OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-93659DiVA: diva2:750635
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Studies of pore-forming bacterial protein toxins in Escherichia coli
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Studies of pore-forming bacterial protein toxins in Escherichia coli
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Escherichia coli, a Gram-negative bacterium, which can be classified into three groups: the commensal, intestinal pathogenic (IPEC) and extra-intestinal pathogenic (ExPEC) E. coli. The cytolysin A (ClyA) protein, a 34-kDa pore-forming toxin, encoded by a gene found in both non-pathogenic and pathogenic E. coli and in Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi. It mediates a cytotoxic effect on various mammalian cells. ClyA is released by E. coli via outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) after reaching the periplasm via an unknown mechanism through the inner membrane. The gene is silenced by mutations in some of the most studied ExPEC strains suggesting that the locus would be subject to patho-adaptive alterations.

To study if the mutations of the clyA gene in E. coli strains was particular to certain strains, the sequences of the clyA gene locus of a set of ExPEC isolates and of the E. coli collection of reference strains (ECOR) were compared. The ExPEC strains – uropathogenic and neonatal meningitis E. coli (UPEC and NMEC) strains contained various ΔclyA alleles. Next, a functional clyA gene locus was restored and tagged with luxAB in the chromosome of the UPEC strain 536. Luciferase activity of the bacteria carrying the restored gene showed that the clyA gene expression is highly increased at the late logarithmic growth phase when compared to the non-pathogenic E. coli K-12 strain. A higher transcriptional level of the clyA+ gene was observed when the SfaX regulatory protein was heterologously overproduced. It was concluded that the clyA+ gene is expressed at elevated levels in the UPEC strain and this is at least in part due to the SfaX/PapX transcriptional regulators.

Studies of clyA::phoA fusions obtained by transposon TnphoA insertion mutagenesis showed that the first 12 amino acid residues of ClyA was sufficient for translocation of the protein chimera into the periplasm and to the OMVs. The role of the two cysteine residues in ClyA for protein translocation was tested by introducing substitution mutations. The results indicated that the C-terminal Cys (ClyAC 285S) is important for localization and/or stability of the protein in the periplasm. Structural analysis of ClyAwt purified from the periplasm revealed that the protein forms dimeric complexes. Upon treatment with the reducing agent DTT the ClyA protein readily assembled into typical pore complexes as revealed by electron miscroscopic analysis. In conclusion, the ClyA protein is present in the periplasm in a conformation that prevents it from forming pores in the bacterial membranes.

Vibrio cholerae cytolysin (VCC) is a pore-forming toxin which induces lysis of mammalian cells by forming transmembrane channels. Although the biophysical activities of VCC were well studied, there was no detailed analysis of VCC secretion. Our study demonstrated that a fraction of the VCC was secreted in association with OMVs. OMV-associated VCC from the wild type V. cholerae strain V:5/04 is biologically active as shown by toxic effects on mammalian cells, interestingly, OMV-associated VCC was more active than purified VCC. Both environmental and clinical V. cholerae isolates transport VCC via OMVs. In addition, when the vcc gene is heterologously expressed in E. coli, OMV-associated secretion of VCC was also observed. We suggest that OMV-mediated release of VCC is a feature shared with ClyA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2014. 72 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1677
National Category
Cell and Molecular Biology
Research subject
Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-93629 (URN)978-91-7601-131-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-24, Hörsal E 04, Unod R1, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), IG2008-2049Swedish Research Council, 2010-303Swedish Research Council, 349-2007-8673Swedish Research Council, 2006-4702Swedish Research Council, 2013-2392
Available from: 2014-10-03 Created: 2014-09-29 Last updated: 2014-10-13Bibliographically approved
2. Roles of membrane vesicles in bacterial pathogenesis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Roles of membrane vesicles in bacterial pathogenesis
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The production of membranous vesicles is observed to occur among organisms from all domains of the tree of life spanning prokaryotes (bacteria, archaea) and eukaryotes (plants, animals and fungi). Bacterial release of membrane-derived vesicles (MVs) has been studied most extensively in cases of Gram-negative species and implicating their outer membrane in formation of extracellular MVs. However, recent studies focusing on Gram-positive bacteria have established that they also undergo MV formation. Membrane vesicles are released during normal bacterial growth, they are derived from the bacterial membrane(s) and may function as transporters of different proteins, DNA and RNA to the neighbouring bacteria or to the cells of a mammalian host. The transport of virulence factors in a condensed manner via MVs to the host cells presumably protects these proteins from degradation and, thereby, targets the host cells in a specific manner.

The aim of my thesis is to investigate secretion of MV-associated virulence factors and to study interactions of MVs produced by two selected Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, i.e. Vibrio cholerae and Listeria monocytogenes, with eukaryotic host cells. Depending on whether the bacterium acts as an extracellular or intracellular pathogen, MVs may be considered to have specific functions, which may lead to the different outcomes of MV-host interactions.

V. cholerae transport systems for virulence factors include the Type VI secretion system and MVs (also referred to as the “Type 0” secretion system). We have identified that the biologically active form of PrtV protease in different V. cholerae serogroups is transported via MVs. PrtV protease is essential for V. cholerae environmental survival and protection from natural predator grazing. We demonstrated that PrtV is primarily translocated via the inner membrane to the periplasmic space, where it undergoes autoproteolysis, and the truncated version of PrtV protein is packaged inside the MVs and released from the surface of bacteria. MV-associated PrtV protease showed a contribution to bacterial resistance towards the antimicrobial peptide LL-37, thereby, enhancing bacterial survival by avoiding this innate immune defense of the host.

We also studied another virulence factor of V. cholerae, the pore-forming toxin VCC, which was found to be transported by MVs. MV-associated VCC is biologically active and triggers an autophagic response in the target cells. We suggested that autophagy serves as a cellular defense mechanism against the MV-associated bacterial virulence factor of V. cholerae.

Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive intracellular and facultative anaerobic food-borne pathogen causing listeriosis. It causes only sporadic outbreaks in healthy individuals, however, it is dangerous for a fetus or newborn child, and for pregnant and immunocompromised people, leading to a deadly infection in one third of the cases. We have analyzed MVs produced by L. monocytogenes and their interaction with eukaryotic cells. Confocal microscopy analysis showed that MVs are internalized into HeLa and HEK293 cells and are accumulated in lysosomes. Moreover, L. monocytogenes produces MVs inside the host cells and even inside the phagosomes. We found that the major virulence factor of L. monocytogenes, the cholesterol-dependent pore-forming protein listeriolysin O (LLO), is entrapped inside the MVs and resides there in an oxidized inactive state. LLO is known to induce autophagy by making pores in the phagosomal membrane of targeted eukaryotic cells. In our studies, we have shown that MVs effectively abrogated autophagy induced by Torin1, by purified LLO or by another pore-forming toxin from V. cholerae. We also found that MVs promote bacterial intracellular survival inside mouse embryonic fibroblasts. In addition, MVs have been shown to have a strong protective activity against host cell necrosis initiated by pore-forming toxin. Taken together, these findings suggested that in vivo MVs production from L. monocytogenes might be a relevant strategy of bacteria to manipulate host responses and to promote bacterial survival inside the host cells. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2017. 83 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1910
Keyword
Membrane vesicles, autophagy, pore-forming toxin, pore formation, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio cholerae, virulence factor, PrtV protease, listeriolysin O, V. cholerae cytolysin
National Category
Cell and Molecular Biology Microbiology
Research subject
Microbiology; Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138714 (URN)978-91-7601-747-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-09-22, föreläsningsal A103 (Astrid Fagreus-salen), byggnad 6A, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-01 Created: 2017-08-28 Last updated: 2017-09-26Bibliographically approved

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Elluri, SridharEnow Oben Ayuk, ConstanceVdovikova, SvitlanaRompikuntal, Pramod KDongre, MiteshCarlsson, SvenUhlin, Bernt EricWai, Sun Nyunt
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