Pleiotropic effects of the twin-arginine translocation system on biofilm formation, colonization, and virulence in Vibrio cholerae

State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Diarrheal Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, PR China.
BMC Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.73). 02/2009; 9(1):114. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2180-9-114
Source: PubMed


The Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system serves to translocate folded proteins, including periplasmic enzymes that bind redox cofactors in bacteria. The Tat system is also a determinant of virulence in some pathogenic bacteria, related to pleiotropic effects including growth, motility, and the secretion of some virulent factors. The contribution of the Tat pathway to Vibrio cholerae has not been explored. Here we investigated the functionality of the Tat system in V. cholerae, the etiologic agent of cholera.
In V. cholerae, the tatABC genes function in the translocation of TMAO reductase. Deletion of the tatABC genes led to a significant decrease in biofilm formation, the ability to attach to HT-29 cells, and the ability to colonize suckling mouse intestines. In addition, we observed a reduction in the output of cholera toxin, which may be due to the decreased transcription level of the toxin gene in tatABC mutants, suggesting an indirect effect of the mutation on toxin production. No obvious differences in flagellum biosynthesis and motility were found between the tatABC mutant and the parental strain, showing a variable effect of Tat in different bacteria.
The Tat system contributes to the survival of V. cholerae in the environment and in vivo, and it may be associated with its virulence.

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Available from: Jingyun Zhang, Oct 06, 2015
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    • "All protein synthesis takes place in the cytoplasm, so all non-cytoplasmic proteins must pass through one or two lipid bilayers by a mechanism commonly called "secretion". Protein secretion is involved in various processes including plant-microbe interactions [4,5]), biofilm formation [6,7] and virulence of plant and human pathogens [8-10]. Two main systems are involved in protein translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane, namely the essential and universal Sec (Secretion) pathway and the Tat (Twin-arginine translocation) pathway found in some prokaryotes (monoderms and diderms) and eukaryotes alike [11-16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The functions of proteins are strongly related to their localization in cell compartments (for example the cytoplasm or membranes) but the experimental determination of the sub-cellular localization of proteomes is laborious and expensive. A fast and low-cost alternative approach is in silico prediction, based on features of the protein primary sequences. However, biologists are confronted with a very large number of computational tools that use different methods that address various localization features with diverse specificities and sensitivities. As a result, exploiting these computer resources to predict protein localization accurately involves querying all tools and comparing every prediction output; this is a painstaking task. Therefore, we developed a comprehensive database, called CoBaltDB, that gathers all prediction outputs concerning complete prokaryotic proteomes. The current version of CoBaltDB integrates the results of 43 localization predictors for 784 complete bacterial and archaeal proteomes (2.548.292 proteins in total). CoBaltDB supplies a simple user-friendly interface for retrieving and exploring relevant information about predicted features (such as signal peptide cleavage sites and transmembrane segments). Data are organized into three work-sets ("specialized tools", "meta-tools" and "additional tools"). The database can be queried using the organism name, a locus tag or a list of locus tags and may be browsed using numerous graphical and text displays. With its new functionalities, CoBaltDB is a novel powerful platform that provides easy access to the results of multiple localization tools and support for predicting prokaryotic protein localizations with higher confidence than previously possible. CoBaltDB is available at
    BMC Microbiology 03/2010; 10(1):88. DOI:10.1186/1471-2180-10-88 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: TatC (STM3975) is a highly conserved component of the Twin Arginine Transport (Tat) systems that is required for transport of folded proteins across the inner membrane in gram-negative bacteria. We previously identified a ΔtatC mutant as defective in competitive infections with wild type ATCC14028 during systemic infection of Salmonella-susceptible BALB/c mice. Here we confirm these results and show that the ΔtatC mutant is internalized poorly by cultured J774-A.1 mouse macrophages a phenotype that may be related to the systemic infection defect. This mutant is also defective for short-term intestinal and systemic colonization after oral infection of BALB/c mice and is shed in reduced numbers in feces from orally infected Salmonella-resistant (CBA/J) mice. We show that the ΔtatC mutant is highly sensitive to bile acids perhaps resulting in the defect in intestinal infection that we observe. Finally, the ΔtatC mutant has an unusual combination of motility phenotypes in Salmonella; it is severely defective for swimming motility but is able to swarm well. The ΔtatC mutant has a lower amount of flagellin on the bacterial surface during swimming motility but normal levels under swarming conditions.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e15800. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0015800 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The bacterial twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system contributes to translocate folded proteins and plays pleiotropic roles in growth, motility, and the secretion of some virulent factors. In this study, the authors identified the Tat gene cluster in fish pathogen Vibrio alginolyticus and explored its roles in pathogenesis toward fish. Vibrio alginolyticus Tat mutants showed growth deficiency in TMAO medium, while the complement strain restored the ability to grow in the medium, demonstrating the conservative function of the Tat system in translocation of redox enzymes or cofactors in this bacterium. In V. alginolyticus, deletion of the tatABC genes led to a drastic decrease in biofilm biogenesis. Interestingly, the secretion of extracellular protease Asp, an established exotoxin of the bacterium, was significantly decreased in the TatC mutant, suggesting that TatC might play a part in the production of virulence factors in the bacterium. Furthermore, the Tat mutants displayed attenuated virulence toward the fish model and EPC cells. These findings suggest that the Tat secretion related to the extracellular protease activity as well as virulence in V. alginolyticus provided new insights into the pathogenesis of vibriosis in fish.
    Current Microbiology 04/2011; 62(4):1193-9. DOI:10.1007/s00284-010-9844-6 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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