Structural characterization of lipo-oligosaccharide (LOS) from Yersinia pestis: regulation of LOS structure by the PhoPQ system.
ABSTRACT The two-component regulatory system PhoPQ has been shown to regulate the expression of virulence factors in a number of bacterial species. For one such virulence factor, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the PhoPQ system has been shown to regulate structural modifications in Salmonella enterica var Typhimurium. In Yersinia pestis, which expresses lipo-oligosaccharide (LOS), a PhoPQ regulatory system has been identified and an isogenic mutant constructed. To investigate potential modifications to LOS from Y. pestis, which to date has not been fully characterized, purified LOS from wild-type plague and the phoP defective mutant were analysed by mass spectrometry. Here we report the structural characterization of LOS from Y. pestis and the direct comparison of LOS from a phoP mutant. Structural modifications to lipid A, the host signalling portion of LOS, were not detected but analysis of the core revealed the expression of two distinct molecular species in wild-type LOS, differing in terminal galactose or heptose. The phoP mutant was restricted to the expression of a single molecular species, containing terminal heptose. The minimum inhibitory concentration of cationic antimicrobial peptides for the two strains was determined and compared with the wild-type: the phoP mutant was highly sensitive to polymyxin. Thus, LOS modification is under the control of the PhoPQ regulatory system and the ability to alter LOS structure may be required for survival of Y. pestis within the mammalian and/or flea host.
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ABSTRACT: The two-component regulatory system PhoPQ has been identified in many bacterial species. However, the role of PhoPQ in regulating virulence gene expression in pathogenic bacteria has been characterized only in Salmonella species. We have identified, cloned, and sequenced PhoP orthologues from Yersinia pestis, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, and Yersinia enterocolitica. To investigate the role of PhoP in the pathogenicity of Y. pestis, an isogenic phoP mutant was constructed by using a reverse-genetics PCR-based strategy. The protein profiles of the wild-type and phoP mutant strains, grown at either 28 or 37 degrees C, revealed more than 20 differences, indicating that PhoP has pleiotrophic effects on gene expression in Y. pestis. The mutant showed a reduced ability to survive in J774 macrophage cell cultures and under conditions of low pH and oxidative stress in vitro. The mean lethal dose of the phoP mutant in mice was increased 75-fold in comparison with that of the wild-type strain, indicating that the PhoPQ system plays a key role in regulating the virulence of Y. pestis.Infection and Immunity 07/2000; 68(6):3419-25. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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