Central metabolism controls transcription of a virulence gene regulator in Vibrio cholerae.
ABSTRACT ToxT is the central regulatory protein involved in activation of the main virulence genes in Vibrio cholerae. We have identified transposon insertions in central metabolism genes, whose disruption increases toxT transcription. These disrupted genes encode the primary respiration-linked sodium pump (NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase or NQR) and certain tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzymes. Observations made following stimulation of respiration in the nqr mutant or chemical inhibition of NQR activity in the TCA cycle mutants led to the hypothesis that NQR affects toxT transcription via the TCA cycle. That toxT transcription increased when the growth medium was supplemented with citrate, but decreased with oxaloacetate, focused our attention on the TCA cycle substrate acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) and its non-TCA cycle metabolism. Indeed, both the nqr and TCA cycle mutants increased acetate excretion. A similar correlation between acetate excretion and toxT transcription was observed in the tolC mutant and upon amino acid (NRES) supplementation. Since acetate and its tendency to decrease pH exerted no strong effect on toxT transcription, and since disruption of the major acetate excretion pathway increased toxT transcription, we propose that toxT transcription is regulated by either acetyl-CoA or some close derivative.
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ABSTRACT: We previously found that inhibition of the TCA cycle, either through mutations or chemical inhibition, increased toxT transcription in Vibrio cholerae. In this study, we found that the addition of malonate, an inhibitor of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), decreased toxT transcription in V. cholerae, an observation inconsistent with the previous pattern observed. Unlike another SDH inhibitor, 2-thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA), which increased toxT transcription and slightly inhibited V. cholerae growth, malonate inhibited toxT transcription in both the wild-type strain and TCA cycle mutants, suggesting malonate-mediated inhibition of virulence gene expression is independent to TCA cycle activity. Addition of malonate also inhibited ctxB and tcpA expressions but did not affect aphA, aphB, tcpP and toxR expressions. Malonate inhibited cholera toxin (CT) production in both V. cholerae classical biotype strains O395N1 and CA401, and El Tor biotype strain, N16961. Consistent with previous reports, we confirmed that these strains of V. cholerae did not utilize malonate as a primary carbon source. However, we found that the addition of malonate to the growth medium stimulated V. cholerae growth. All together, these results suggest that metabolizing malonate as a nutrient source negatively affects virulence gene expression in V. cholerae.PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e63336. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063336 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the ancient anaerobic environment, ferrous iron (Fe(2+)) was one of the first metal cofactors. Oxygenation of the ancient world challenged bacteria to acquire the insoluble ferric iron (Fe(3+)) and later to defend against reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by the Fenton chemistry. To acquire Fe(3+), bacteria produce low-molecular weight compounds, known as siderophores, which have extremely high affinity for Fe(3+). However, during infection the host restricts iron from pathogens by producing iron- and siderophore-chelating proteins, by exporting iron from intracellular pathogen-containing compartments, and by limiting absorption of dietary iron. Ferric Uptake Regulator (Fur) is a transcription factor which utilizes Fe(2+) as a corepressor and represses siderophore synthesis in pathogens. Fur, directly or indirectly, controls expression of enzymes that protect against ROS damage. Thus, the challenges of iron homeostasis and defense against ROS are addressed via Fur. Although the role of Fur as a repressor is well-documented, emerging evidence demonstrates that Fur can function as an activator. Fur activation can occur through three distinct mechanisms (1) indirectly via small RNAs, (2) binding at cis regulatory elements that enhance recruitment of the RNA polymerase holoenzyme (RNAP), and (3) functioning as an antirepressor by removing or blocking DNA binding of a repressor of transcription. In addition, Fur homologs control defense against peroxide stress (PerR) and control uptake of other metals such as zinc (Zur) and manganese (Mur) in pathogenic bacteria. Fur family members are important for virulence within bacterial pathogens since mutants of fur, perR, or zur exhibit reduced virulence within numerous animal and plant models of infection. This review focuses on the breadth of Fur regulation in pathogenic bacteria.Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 10/2013; 3:59. DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2013.00059 · 2.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Two virulence factors produced by Vibrio cholerae, cholera toxin (CT) and toxin-corregulated pilus (TCP), are indispensable for cholera infection. ToxT is the central regulatory protein involved in activation of CT and TCP expression. We previously reported that lack of a respiration-linked sodium-translocating NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (Na(+)-NQR) significantly increases toxT transcription. In this study, we further characterized this link and found that Na(+)-NQR affects toxT expression only at the early-log growth phase, whereas lack of Na(+)-NQR decreases CT production after the mid-log growth phase. Such decreased CT production was independent of toxT and ctxB transcription. Supplementing a respiratory substrate, L-lactate, into the growth media restored CT production in the nqrA-F mutant, suggesting that decreased CT production in the Na(+)-NQR mutant is dependent on electron transport chain (ETC) activity. This notion was supported by the observations that two chemical inhibitors, a Na(+)-NQR specific inhibitor 2-n-Heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline N-oxide (HQNO) and a succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) inhibitor, thenoyltrifluoroacetone (TTFA), strongly inhibited CT production in both classical and El Tor biotype strains of V. cholerae. Accordingly, we propose the main respiratory enzyme of V. cholerae, as a potential drug target to treat cholera because human mitochondria do not contain Na(+)-NQR orthologs.Microbial Pathogenesis 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.micpath.2013.12.002 · 2.00 Impact Factor