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  • 1.
    Ahmad, Irfan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Institute of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
    Nadeem, Aftab
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Mushtaq, Fizza
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Institute of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Shahzad, Muhammad
    Department of Pharmacology, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
    Zavialov, Anton V.
    Department of Biochemistry, University of Turku, Tykistökatu 6A, Turku, Finland.
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Csu pili dependent biofilm formation and virulence of Acinetobacter baumannii2023In: npj Biofilms and Microbiomes, E-ISSN 2055-5008, Vol. 9, no 1, article id 101Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Acinetobacter baumannii has emerged as one of the most common extensive drug-resistant nosocomial bacterial pathogens. Not only can the bacteria survive in hospital settings for long periods, but they are also able to resist adverse conditions. However, underlying regulatory mechanisms that allow A. baumannii to cope with these conditions and mediate its virulence are poorly understood. Here, we show that bi-stable expression of the Csu pili, along with the production of poly-N-acetyl glucosamine, regulates the formation of Mountain-like biofilm-patches on glass surfaces to protect bacteria from the bactericidal effect of colistin. Csu pilus assembly is found to be an essential component of mature biofilms formed on glass surfaces and of pellicles. By using several microscopic techniques, we show that clinical isolates of A. baumannii carrying abundant Csu pili mediate adherence to epithelial cells. In addition, Csu pili suppressed surface-associated motility but enhanced colonization of bacteria into the lungs, spleen, and liver in a mouse model of systemic infection. The screening of c-di-GMP metabolizing protein mutants of A. baumannii 17978 for the capability to adhere to epithelial cells led us to identify GGDEF/EAL protein AIS_2337, here denoted PdeB, as a major regulator of Csu pili-mediated virulence and biofilm formation. Moreover, PdeB was found to be involved in the type IV pili-regulated robustness of surface-associated motility. Our findings suggest that the Csu pilus is not only a functional component of mature A. baumannii biofilms but also a major virulence factor promoting the initiation of disease progression by mediating bacterial adherence to epithelial cells.

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  • 2. Dimova, Lidiya G.
    et al.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Verkade, Henkjan J.
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Tietge, Uwe J. F.
    High- cholesterol diet does not alter gut microbiota composition in mice2017In: Nutrition & Metabolism, E-ISSN 1743-7075, Vol. 14, article id 15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Western diet containing both saturated fat and cholesterol impairs cardio- metabolic health partly by modulating diversity and function of the microbiota. While diet containing only high fat has comparable effects, it is unclear how diets only enriched in cholesterol impact the microbiota. Therefore, we aimed to characterize the response of host and microbiota to a high cholesterol ( HC) diet in mice susceptible to cardio- metabolic disease. Methods: LDLR knockout mice received either 1.25% HC or no cholesterol containing control diet ( NC) for 12 weeks before characterizing host cholesterol metabolism and intestinal microbiota composition ( next generation sequencing). Results: HC diet substantially increased plasma ( 1.6- fold) and liver cholesterol levels ( 21- fold), biliary cholesterol secretion ( 4.5- fold) and fecal neutral sterol excretion ( 68- fold, each p < 0.001) but not fecal bile acid excretion. Interestingly, despite the profound changes in intestinal cholesterol homeostasis no differences in microbial composition between control and HC- fed mice were detected. In both groups the main phyla were Bacteroidetes ( 55%), Firmicutes ( 27%) and Verrucomicrobia ( 14%). Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that in mice HC diet alone does not alter the microbiota composition despite inducing substantial adaptive changes in whole body cholesterol homeostasis. The impact of Western diet on intestinal microbiota thus appears to be mediated exclusively by its high fat content.

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  • 3.
    Enow Oben Ayuk, Constance
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Oscarsson, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Westermark, Marie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Duperthuy, Marylise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Elevated recombinant clyA gene expression in the uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain 536, a clue to explain pathoadaptive mutations in a subset of extraintestinal E. coli strains2014In: BMC Microbiology, E-ISSN 1471-2180, Vol. 14, p. 216-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There are at least four different variants of ΔclyA, suggesting that such deletions in clyA have arisen at more than one occasion. On the basis of this occurrence of the truncated clyA genes, we considered that there may be a patho-adaptive selection for deletions in clyA in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. In E. coli K-12 the clyA gene has been viewed as “cryptic” since it is tightly silenced by the nucleoid structuring protein H-NS. We constructed a restored clyA+ locus in derivatives of the UPEC strain 536 for further investigation of this hypothesis and, in particular, how the gene would be expressed. Our results show that the level of clyA+ expression is highly increased in the UPEC derivatives in comparison with the non-pathogenic E. coli K-12. Transcription of the clyA+ gene was induced to even higher levels when the SfaX regulatory protein was overproduced. The derivative with a restored clyA+ locus displayed a somewhat slower growth than the parental UPEC strain 536 when a sub-inhibitory concentration of the antimicrobial peptide Polymyxin B was added to the growth medium.

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  • 4.
    Mushtaq, Fizza
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Institute of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
    Nadeem, Aftab
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Yabrag, Abdelbasset
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Bala, Anju
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Karah, Nabil
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Ahmad, Irfan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Institute of Biomedical and Allied Health Sciences, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan; Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Colony phase variation switch modulates antimicrobial tolerance and biofilm formation in Acinetobacter baumannii2024In: Microbiology Spectrum, E-ISSN 2165-0497, Vol. 12, no 2, article id e02956-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii causes one of the most difficult-to-treat nosocomial infections. Polycationic drugs like polymyxin B or colistin and tetracycline drugs such as doxycycline or minocycline are commonly used to treat infections caused by carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii. Here, we show that a subpopulation of cells associated with the opaque/translucent colony phase variation by A. baumannii AB5075 displays differential tolerance to subinhibitory concentrations of colistin and tetracycline. Using a variety of microscopic techniques, we demonstrate that extracellular polysaccharide moieties mediate colistin tolerance to opaque A. baumannii at single-cell level and that mushroom-shaped biofilm structures protect opaque bacteria at the community level. The colony switch phenotype is found to alter several traits of A. baumannii, including long-term survival under desiccation, tolerance to ethanol, competition with Escherichia coli, and intracellular survival in the environmental model host Acanthamoeba castellanii. Additionally, our findings suggest that extracellular DNA associated with membrane vesicles can promote colony switching in a DNA recombinase-dependent manner.

    Importance: As a WHO top-priority drug-resistant microbe, Acinetobacter baumannii significantly contributes to hospital-associated infections worldwide. One particularly intriguing aspect is its ability to reversibly switch its colony morphotype on agar plates, which has been remarkably underexplored. In this study, we employed various microscopic techniques and phenotypic assays to investigate the colony phase variation switch under different clinically and environmentally relevant conditions. Our findings reveal that the presence of a poly N-acetylglucosamine-positive extracellular matrix layer contributes to the protection of bacteria from the bactericidal effects of colistin. Furthermore, we provide intriguing insights into the multicellular lifestyle of A. baumannii, specifically in the context of colony switch variation within its predatory host, Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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  • 5.
    Myint, Si Lhyam
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Aung, Kyaw Min
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Toh, Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Sjöström, Annika E
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Nadeem, Aftab
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Duperthuy, Marylise
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Département de Microbiologie, Infectiologie et Immunologie, Université de Montréal, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Ecotin and LamB in Escherichia coli influence the susceptibility to Type VI secretion-mediated interbacterial competition and killing by Vibrio cholerae2021In: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects, ISSN 0304-4165, E-ISSN 1872-8006, Vol. 1865, no 7, article id 129912Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: A prevailing action of the Type VI secretion system (T6SS) in several Gram-negative bacterial species is inter-bacterial competition. In the past several years, many effectors of T6SS were identified in different bacterial species and their involvement in inter-bacterial interactions were described. However, possible defence mechanisms against T6SS attack among prey bacteria were not well clarified yet. Methods: Escherichia coli was assessed for susceptibility to T6SS-mediated killing by Vibrio cholerae. TheT6SS-mediated bacterial killing assays were performed in absence or presence of different protease inhibitors and with different mutant E. coli strains. Expression levels of selected proteins were monitored using SDS-PAGE and immunoblot analyses. Results: The T6SS-mediated killing of E. coli by V. cholerae was partly blocked when the serine protease inhibitor Pefabloc was present. E. coli lacking the periplasmic protease inhibitor Ecotin showed enhanced susceptibility to killing by V. cholerae. Mutations affecting E. coli membrane stability also caused increased susceptibility to killing by V. cholerae. E. coli lacking the maltodextrin porin protein LamB showed reduced susceptibility to killing by V. cholerae whereas E. coli with induced high levels of LamB showed reduced survival in inter-bacterial competition. Conclusions: Our study identified two proteins in E. coli, the intrinsic protease inhibitor Ecotin and the outer membrane porin LamB, that influenced E. coli susceptibility to T6SS-mediated killing by V. cholerae. General significance: We envision that it is feasible to explore these findings to target and modulate their expression to obtain desired changes in inter-bacterial competition in vivo, e.g. in the gastrointestinal microbiome.

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  • 6.
    Nadeem, Aftab
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Berg, Alexandra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Pace, Hudson
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM).
    Alam, Athar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Toh, Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Ådén, Jörgen
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Myint, Si Lhyam
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Persson, Karina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Gröbner, Gerhard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Sjöstedt, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Bacteriology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Bally, Marta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Barandun, Jonas
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Protein-lipid interaction at low pH induces oligomerization of the MakA cytotoxin from Vibrio cholerae2022In: eLIFE, E-ISSN 2050-084X, Vol. 11, article id e73439Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The α-pore-forming toxins (α-PFTs) from pathogenic bacteria damage host cell membranes by pore formation. We demonstrate a remarkable, hitherto unknown mechanism by an α-PFT protein from Vibrio cholerae. As part of the MakA/B/E tripartite toxin, MakA is involved in membrane pore formation similar to other α-PFTs. In contrast, MakA in isolation induces tube-like structures in acidic endosomal compartments of epithelial cells in vitro. The present study unravels the dynamics of tubular growth, which occurs in a pH-, lipid-, and concentration-dependent manner. Within acidified organelle lumens or when incubated with cells in acidic media, MakA forms oligomers and remodels membranes into high-curvature tubes leading to loss of membrane integrity. A 3.7 Å cryo-electron microscopy structure of MakA filaments reveals a unique protein-lipid superstructure. MakA forms a pinecone-like spiral with a central cavity and a thin annular lipid bilayer embedded between the MakA transmembrane helices in its active α-PFT conformation. Our study provides insights into a novel tubulation mechanism of an α-PFT protein and a new mode of action by a secreted bacterial toxin.

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  • 7.
    Nadeem, Aftab
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Nagampalli, Raghavendra
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Toh, Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Alam, Athar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Myint, Si Lhyam
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Heidler, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Dongre, Mitesh
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Pace, Hudson
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM).
    Bano, Fouzia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Sjöstedt, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Bally, Marta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine at Umeå University (WCMM). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Persson, Karina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    A tripartite cytolytic toxin formed by Vibrio cholerae proteins with flagellum-facilitated secretion2021In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 118, no 47, article id e2111418118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vibrio cholerae, responsible for outbreaks of cholera disease, is a highly motile organism by virtue of a single flagellum. We describe how the flagellum facilitates the secretion of three V. cholerae proteins encoded by a hitherto-unrecognized genomic island. The proteins MakA/B/E can form a tripartite toxin that lyses erythrocytes and is cytotoxic to cultured human cells. A structural basis for the cytolytic activity of the Mak proteins was obtained by X-ray crystallography. Flagellum-facilitated secretion ensuring spatially coordinated delivery of Mak proteins revealed a role for the V. cholerae flagellum considered of particular significance for the bacterial environmental persistence. Our findings will pave the way for the development of diagnostics and therapeutic strategies against pathogenic Vibrionaceae.

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  • 8.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Regulatory mechanisms involved in pathoadaptation of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Establishment of commensal bacteria within a new niche of their host usually promotes the transition from commensalism to pathogenicity. Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) represent different pathovars with biphasic lifestyle – they can reside in the gut as commensals or they can escape and cause diseases elsewhere in the human body. Depending on the disease they are linked to, ExPEC can be divided into Uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), Newborn Meningitis-causing E. coli (NMEC) and Sepsis-associated E. coli (SEPEC).

    Pathoadaptive mutations linked to c-di-GMP signaling were investigated in the NMEC strain IHE3034 which lacks the main global stress regulator RpoS. We investigated the role of ycgG2 in the lifestyle of NMEC. Deletion of ycgG2, shown by us to encode an YcgG allozyme with c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity, and the restored RpoS led to a decrease in the S-fimbriae, otherwise robustly produced in artificial urine, hinting that the urinary tract could serve as a habitat for NMEC. We showed that NMEC were capable of aerobic citrate utilization in the presence of a co-substrate - a property that normally does not exist in E. coli. Our data hint that this metabolic upgrade is enhanced by the lack, or reduced activity, of c-di-GMP PDEs. We also found that citrate utilization is a property of ExPEC, since we reconstituted it in E. coli UTI89 (a cystitis isolate) via inactivation of its RpoS, and since a set of pyelonephritis E. coli isolates use citrate aerobically in the presence of glucose. The main reason for this metabolic capability is the absence of RpoS which leads to the production of the citrate transporter CitT. Furthermore, we highlighted the deletion of the fec operon (required for the ferric citrate uptake) in a large group of different ExPEC strains and we showed that NMEC can use CitT for in vitro ferric citrate uptake dependent on YcgG2 as an alternative system.

    Another pathoadaptive mutation which influences the fitness of ExPEC is the clyA (cytolysin A) gene inactivation, resulting from different deletions in different ExPEC genomes. When we restored the clyA+ locus, the UPEC strain 536 displayed increased susceptibility to antimicrobial peptides and urea. We also showed that the ClyA expression in 536 was increased by the presence of the DNA-binding regulator SfaX and another stand-alone PDE similar to YcgG2, called SfaY. The results were further confirmed by ClyA downregulation in NMEC deficient in SfaY and SfaX.

    We also studied the role of sfaY - a gene coding for another stand-alone c-di-GMP PDE. The expression of sfaY is under the regulation of the main promoter of the horizontally acquired sfa gene cluster. The latter is responsible for the regulation and assembly of the virulence-associated S-fimbriae, via which ExPEC bacteria bind to sialylated receptors. We found that NMEC are competent for filamentation because of a c-di-GMP-dependent program under the control of a phase-variation event which selectively turns ‘ON’ the sfa promoter in a subpopulation of bacteria. When SfaY is present, c-di-GMP levels are reduced, thus inducing the SOS stress response via the canonical LexA-RecA pathway. The signaling resulted in an internal differentiation of the bacterial population into a subpopulation exhibiting a filamentous morphotype (bacteria with induced SOS stress response) and a subpopulation of small motile and non-motile bacteria. Hence, this molecular program could serve as a clue to explain the formation of the intracellular bacterial communities observed during urinary tract infection by UPEC.

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  • 9.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Gunnari, Wilma
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Resch, Ulrike
    Department of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research, Center of Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
    Comparative label-free proteomics of the neonatal meningitis-causing Escherichia coli K1 IHE3034 and RS218 morphotypes2024In: Microbiology Resource Announcements, E-ISSN 2576-098X, Vol. 13, no 2, article id e00960-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The proteome of two newborn meningitis Escherichia coli K1 (NMEC) morphotypes was examined via a label-free proteomics approach. Besides shared NMEC virulence factors, the two strains have different evolutionary strategies-strain IHE3034 tends to perform anaerobic respiration continuously, while strain RS218 maintains its filamentous morphotype due to active SOS response.

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  • 10.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Nadeem, Aftab
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Eco-evolutionary feedbacks mediated by bacterial membrane vesicles2021In: FEMS Microbiology Reviews, ISSN 0168-6445, E-ISSN 1574-6976, Vol. 45, no 2, article id fuaa047Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bacterial membrane vesicles (BMVs) are spherical extracellular organelles whose cargo is enclosed by a biological membrane. The cargo can be delivered to distant parts of a given habitat in a protected and concentrated manner. This review presents current knowledge about BMVs in the context of bacterial eco-evolutionary dynamics among different environments and hosts. BMVs may play an important role in establishing and stabilizing bacterial communities in such environments; for example, bacterial populations may benefit from BMVs to delay the negative effect of certain evolutionary trade-offs that can result in deleterious phenotypes. BMVs can also perform ecosystem engineering by serving as detergents, mediators in biochemical cycles, components of different biofilms, substrates for cross-feeding, defense systems against different dangers and enzyme-delivery mechanisms that can change substrate availability. BMVs further contribute to bacteria as mediators in different interactions, with either other bacterial species or their hosts. In short, BMVs extend and deliver phenotypic traits that can have ecological and evolutionary value to both their producers and the ecosystem as a whole.

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  • 11.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Näsman, Moa Elsa Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Metabolic and morphotypic trade-offs within the eco-evolutionary dynamics of Escherichia coli2022In: Microbiology Spectrum, E-ISSN 2165-0497, Vol. 10, no 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Escherichia coli arbitrarily encompasses facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped bacteria with defined respiratory and fermentative types of metabolism. The species diversification has been further advanced by atypical strains whose features deviate from the essential species-specific morphological and metabolic cutoff. The morphological cutoff is exemplified by bacterial filamentation. E. coli filamentation has been studied from two different perspectives: the first considers filamentation as a result of adaptive strategies and response to stress, while the second is based on findings from the cell division of E. coli’s conditional mutants. Another cutoff is represented by E. coli’s inability to use citrate as a sole carbon and energy source. In this study, we compared two atypical E. coli strains that belong to the same neuroinvasive ecovar but exhibit either of the two phenotypes that deviate from the species’ features. While E. coli RS218 exists in the form of filaments incapable of growth on citrate, strain IHE3034 is represented as normal-sized bacteria able to ferment citrate under oxic conditions in the presence of glucose; in this paper, we show that these two phenotypes result from a bona fide trade-off. With the help of comparative proteomics and metabolomics, we discovered the proteome required for the upkeep of these phenotypes. The metabolic profiles of both strains reveal that under aerobic conditions, RS218 undergoes oxidative metabolism, while IHE3034 undergoes anaerobic respiration. Finally, we show that the use of citrate and filament formation are both linked in a trade-off occurring via a c-di-GMP-dependent phase variation event. IMPORTANCE Aerobic use of citrate and filamentous growth are arbitrary cutoffs for the Escherichia coli species. The strains that exhibit them as stable phenotypes are called atypical. In this study, we compare two atypical neuroinvasive E. coli strains, which alternatively display either of these phenotypes. We present the proteome and metabolome required for the maintenance of filamentous growth and show that anaerobic nitrate respiration is the main requirement for the use of citrate. The fact that the two phenotypes are differentially expressed by each strain prompted us to check if they are part of a trade-off. Indeed, these atypical characters are reversible and result from a c-di-GMP phase variation event. Thus, we revealed hidden links between stable morphological and metabolic phenotypes and provided information about alternative evolutionary pathways for the survival of E. coli strains in various host niches.

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  • 12.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    et al.
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Absence of Global Stress Regulation in Escherichia coli Promotes Pathoadaptation and Novel c-di-GMP-dependent Metabolic Capability2019In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 9, article id 2600Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    athoadaptive mutations linked to c-di-GMP signalling were investigated in neonatal meningitis-causing Escherichia coli (NMEC). The results indicated that NMEC strains deficient in RpoS (the global stress regulator) maintained remarkably low levels of c-di-GMP, a major bacterial sessility-motility switch. Deletion of ycgG2, shown here to encode a YcgG allozyme with c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activity, and the restoration of RpoS led to a decrease in S-fimbriae, robustly produced in artificial urine, hinting that the urinary tract could serve as a habitat for NMEC. We showed that NMEC were skilled in aerobic citrate utilization in the presence of glucose, a property that normally does not exist in E. coli. Our data suggest that this metabolic novelty is a property of extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli since we reconstituted this ability in E. coli UTI89 (a cystitis isolate) via deactivation rpoS; additionally, a set of pyelonephritis E. coli isolates were shown here to aerobically use citrate in the presence of glucose. We found that the main reason for this metabolic capability is RpoS inactivation leading to the production of the citrate transporter CitT, exploited by NMEC for ferric citrate uptake dependent on YcgG2 (an allozyme with c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activity).

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  • 13.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    C-di-GMP-mediated Morphotypic Pathoadaptability of Neonatal Meningitis Escherichia coliManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Zlatkov, Nikola
    et al.
    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, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Unconventional Cyclic di-GMP Signaling in Escherichia coli2020In: Microbial Cyclic Di-Nucleotide Signaling / [ed] Chou, Shan-Ho; Guiliani, Nicolas; Lee, Vincent T.; Römling, Ute, Chambridge: Springer International Publishing , 2020, 1, p. 487-517Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The species Escherichia coli represents an unfathomable variety of commensal, pathogenic, and environmental strains. The conventional cyclic di-GMP signaling in E. coli controls sessility-motility changes linked to commensalism and/or pathogenicity. Extraintestinal Pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) are “commensals” that can cause an array of infections outside the gastrointestinal tract. To accommodate their pathogenic lifestyle with the commensal one, ExPEC biology is shaped not only by the presence of specific virulence genes and pathoadaptive mutations but also by regulatory adaptations. Bioinformatic and genetic studies indicate that the cyclic di-GMP signaling network is included in the adaptation process. For example, some neuroinvasive ExPEC were found to maintain reduced cyclic di-GMP levels due to RpoS deactivation, resulting in loss of appearance of the rugose morphotype. Moreover, ExPEC has a diversified repertoire of cyclic di-GMP degrading enzymes obtained by acquisition of novel genes often associated with fimbrial biogenesis gene clusters (e.g., sfaY/papY/focY) and by modification or deletion of specific core genome genes. For example, the majority of ExPEC contains a shortened allelic variant of the ycgG gene and some ExPEC strains do not even carry the genetic locus. New combinations of regulators offer a new cyclic di-GMP platform for S-fimbrial biogenesis and for new metabolic capabilities leading to citrate utilization and ferric citrate uptake. In this review, we outline the prerequisites for the unconventional signaling network, the rationale behind its existence in ExPEC, and future perspectives in studies of ExPEC.

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