Article

The small RNA chaperone Hfq is required for the virulence of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Infection and immunity (Impact Factor: 4.16). 03/2010; 78(5):2034-44. DOI: 10.1128/IAI.01046-09
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bacterial small, noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) participate in the posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression, often by affecting protein translation, transcript stability, and/or protein activity. For proper function, many sRNAs rely on the chaperone Hfq, which mediates the interaction of the sRNA with its target mRNA. Recent studies have demonstrated that Hfq contributes to the pathogenesis of a number of bacterial species, suggesting that sRNAs play an essential role in the regulation of virulence. The enteric pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis causes the disease yersiniosis. Here we show that Hfq is required by Y. pseudotuberculosis to cause mortality in an intragastric mouse model of infection, and a strain lacking Hfq is attenuated 1,000-fold compared to the wild type. Hfq is also required for virulence through the intraperitoneal route of infection and for persistence of the bacterium in the Peyer's patches, mesenteric lymph nodes, and spleen, suggesting a role for Hfq in systemic infection. Furthermore, the Deltahfq mutant of Y. pseudotuberculosis is hypermotile and displays increased production of a biosurfactant-like substance, reduced intracellular survival in macrophages, and decreased production of type III secretion effector proteins. Together, these data demonstrate that Hfq plays a critical role in the virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis by participating in the regulation of multiple steps in the pathogenic process and further highlight the unique role of Hfq in the virulence of individual pathogens.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
112 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Deciphering the principles how pathogenic bacteria adapt their metabolism to a specific host microenvironment is critical for understanding bacterial pathogenesis. The enteric pathogenic Yersinia species Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica and the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis, are able to survive in a large variety of environmental reservoirs (e.g., soil, plants, insects) as well as warm-blooded animals (e.g., rodents, pigs, humans) with a particular preference for lymphatic tissues. In order to manage rapidly changing environmental conditions and interbacterial competition, Yersinia senses the nutritional composition during the course of an infection by special molecular devices, integrates this information and adapts its metabolism accordingly. In addition, nutrient availability has an impact on expression of virulence genes in response to C-sources, demonstrating a tight link between the pathogenicity of yersiniae and utilization of nutrients. Recent studies revealed that global regulatory factors such as the cAMP receptor protein (Crp) and the carbon storage regulator (Csr) system are part of a large network of transcriptional and posttranscriptional control strategies adjusting metabolic changes and virulence in response to temperature, ion and nutrient availability. Gained knowledge about the specific metabolic requirements and the correlation between metabolic and virulence gene expression that enable efficient host colonization led to the identification of new potential antimicrobial targets.
    Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 10/2014; 4:146. · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many Gram-negative bacteria produce outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) during cell growth and division, and some bacterial pathogens deliver virulence factors to the host via the release of OMVs during infection. Here we show that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the disease plague, produces and releases native OMVs under physiological conditions. These OMVs, approximately 100 nm in diameter, contain multiple virulence-associated outer membrane proteins including the adhesin Ail, the F1 outer fimbrial antigen, and the protease Pla. We found that OMVs released by Y. pestis contain catalytically active Pla that is competent for plasminogen activation and α2-antiplasmin degradation. The abundance of OMV-associated proteins released by Y. pestis is significantly elevated at 37°C compared to 26°C and is increased in response to membrane stress and mutations in RseA, Hfq, and the major Braun lipoprotein (Lpp). In addition, we show that Y. pestis OMVs are able to bind to components of the extracellular matrix such as fibronectin and laminin. These data suggest that Y. pestis may produce OMVs during mammalian infection and we propose that dispersal of Pla via OMV release may influence the outcome of infection through interactions with Pla substrates such as plasminogen and Fas ligand.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e107002. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Type III secretion systems (T3SS) are essential for virulence in dozens of pathogens, but are not required for growth outside the host. Therefore, the T3SS of many bacterial species are under tight regulatory control. To increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind T3SS regulation, we performed a transposon screen to identify genes important for T3SS function in the food-borne pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. We identified two unique transposon insertions in YPTB2860, a gene that displays 79% identity with the E. coli iron-sulfur cluster regulator, IscR. A Y. pseudotuberculosis iscR in-frame deletion mutant (ΔiscR) was deficient in secretion of Ysc T3SS effector proteins and in targeting macrophages through the T3SS. To determine the mechanism behind IscR control of the Ysc T3SS, we carried out transcriptome and bioinformatic analysis to identify Y. pseudotuberculosis genes regulated by IscR. We discovered a putative IscR binding motif upstream of the Y. pseudotuberculosis yscW-lcrF operon. As LcrF controls transcription of a number of critical T3SS genes in Yersinia, we hypothesized that Yersinia IscR may control the Ysc T3SS through LcrF. Indeed, purified IscR bound to the identified yscW-lcrF promoter motif and mRNA levels of lcrF and 24 other T3SS genes were reduced in Y. pseudotuberculosis in the absence of IscR. Importantly, mice orally infected with the Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔiscR mutant displayed decreased bacterial burden in Peyer's patches, mesenteric lymph nodes, spleens, and livers, indicating an essential role for IscR in Y. pseudotuberculosis virulence. This study presents the first characterization of Yersinia IscR and provides evidence that IscR is critical for virulence and type III secretion through direct regulation of the T3SS master regulator, LcrF.
    PLoS Pathogens 06/2014; 10(6):e1004194. · 8.06 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
21 Downloads
Available from
May 15, 2014