Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli infection stimulates Shiga toxin 1 macropinocytosis and transcytosis across intestinal epithelial cells.
ABSTRACT Gastrointestinal infection with Shiga toxins producing enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli causes the spectrum of gastrointestinal and systemic complications, including hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is fatal in ∼10% of patients. However, the molecular mechanisms of Stx endocytosis by enterocytes and the toxins cross the intestinal epithelium are largely uncharacterized. We have studied Shiga toxin 1 entry into enterohemorrhagic E. coli-infected intestinal epithelial cells and found that bacteria stimulate Shiga toxin 1 macropinocytosis through actin remodeling. This enterohemorrhagic E. coli-caused macropinocytosis occurs through a nonmuscle myosin II and cell division control 42 (Cdc42)-dependent mechanism. Macropinocytosis of Shiga toxin 1 is followed by its transcytosis to the basolateral environment, a step that is necessary for its systemic spread. Inhibition of Shiga toxin 1 macropinocytosis significantly decreases toxin uptake by intestinal epithelial cells and in this way provides an attractive, antibiotic-independent strategy for prevention of the harmful consequences of enterohemorrhagic E. coli infection.
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ABSTRACT: Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is an important, generally non-invasive, bacterial pathogen that causes diarrhea in humans. The microbe infects mainly the enterocytes of the small intestine. Here we have applied our newly developed infrared surface plasmon resonance (IR-SPR) spectroscopy approach to study how EPEC infection affects epithelial host cells. The IR-SPR experiments showed that EPEC infection results in a robust reduction in the refractive index of the infected cells. Assisted by confocal and total internal reflection microscopy, we discovered that the microbe dilates the intercellular gaps and induces the appearance of fluid-phase-filled pinocytic vesicles in the lower basolateral regions of the host epithelial cells. Partial cell detachment from the underlying substratum was also observed. Finally, the waveguide mode observed by our IR-SPR analyses showed that EPEC infection decreases the host cell's height to some extent. Together, these observations reveal novel impacts of the pathogen on the host cell architecture and endocytic functions. We suggest that these changes may induce the infiltration of a watery environment into the host cell, and potentially lead to failure of the epithelium barrier functions. Our findings also indicate the great potential of the label-free IR-SPR approach to study the dynamics of host-pathogen interactions with high spatiotemporal sensitivity.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e78431. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Life-threatening intestinal and systemic effects of the Shiga toxins produced by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) require toxin uptake and transcytosis across intestinal epithelial cells. We have recently demonstrated that EHEC infection of intestinal epithelial cells stimulates toxin macropinocytosis, an actin-dependent endocytic pathway. Host actin rearrangement necessary for EHEC attachment to enterocytes is mediated by the type 3 secretion system which functions as a molecular syringe to translocate bacterial effector proteins directly into host cells. Actin-dependent EHEC attachment also requires the outer membrane protein intimin, a major EHEC adhesin. Here, we investigate the role of type 3 secretion in actin turnover occurring during toxin macropinocytosis. Toxin macropinocytosis is independent of EHEC type 3 secretion and intimin attachment. EHEC soluble factors are sufficient to stimulate macropinocytosis and deliver toxin into enterocytes in vitro and in vivo; intact bacteria are not required. Intimin-negative enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) O104:H4 robustly stimulate Shiga toxin macropinocytosis into intestinal epithelial cells. The apical macropinosomes formed in intestinal epithelial cells move through the cells and release their cargo at these cells' basolateral sides. Further analysis of EHEC secreted proteins shows that a serine protease EspP alone is able to stimulate host actin remodeling and toxin macropinocytosis. The observation that soluble factors, possibly serine proteases including EspP, from each of two genetically distinct toxin-producing strains, can stimulate Shiga toxin macropinocytosis and transcellular transcytosis alters current ideas concerning mechanisms whereby Shiga toxin interacts with human enterocytes. Mechanisms important for this macropinocytic pathway could suggest new potential therapeutic targets for Shiga toxin-induced disease.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e69196. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Haemolytic uraemic syndrome caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is dependent on release of Shiga toxins (Stxs) during intestinal infection and subsequent absorption into the bloodstream. An understanding of Stx-related events in the human gut is limited due to lack of suitable experimental models. In this study, we have used a vertical diffusion chamber system with polarised human colon carcinoma cells to simulate the microaerobic (MA) environment in the human intestine and investigate its influence on Stx release and translocation during STEC O157:H7 and O104:H4 infection. Stx2 was the major toxin type released during infection. Whereas microaerobiosis significantly reduced bacterial growth as well as Stx production and release into the medium, Stx translocation across the epithelial monolayer was enhanced under MA versus aerobic conditions. Increased Stx transport was dependent on STEC infection and occurred via a transcellular pathway other than macropinocytosis. While MA conditions had a similar general effect on Stx release and absorption during infection with STEC O157:H7 and O104:H4, both serotypes showed considerable differences in colonisation, Stx production, and Stx translocation which suggest alternative virulence strategies. Taken together, our study suggests that the MA environment in the human colon may modulate Stx-related events and enhance Stx absorption during STEC infection.Cellular Microbiology 02/2014; · 4.81 Impact Factor