A pair of highly conserved two-component systems participates in the regulation of the hypervariable FIR proteins in different Legionella species.
ABSTRACT Legionella pneumophila and other pathogenic Legionella species multiply inside protozoa and human macrophages by using the Icm/Dot type IV secretion system. The IcmQ protein, which possesses pore-forming activity, and IcmR, which functions as its chaperone, are two essential components of this system. It was previously shown that in 29 Legionella species, a large hypervariable-gene family (fir genes) is located upstream from a conserved icmQ gene, but although nonhomologous, the FIR proteins were found to function similarly together with their corresponding IcmQ proteins. Alignment of the regulatory regions of 29 fir genes revealed that they can be divided into three regulatory groups; the first group contains a binding site for the CpxR response regulator, which was previously shown to regulate the L. pneumophila fir gene (icmR); the second group, which includes most of the fir genes, contains the CpxR binding site and an additional regulatory element that was identified here as a PmrA binding site; and the third group contains only the PmrA binding site. Analysis of the regulatory region of two fir genes, which included substitutions in the CpxR and PmrA consensus sequences, a controlled expression system, as well as examination of direct binding with mobility shift assays, revealed that both CpxR and PmrA positively regulate the expression of the fir genes that contain both regulatory elements. The change in the regulation of the fir genes that occurred during the course of evolution might be required for the adaptation of the different Legionella species to their specific environmental hosts.
Article: CpxR/OmpR interplay regulates curli gene expression in response to osmolarity in Escherichia coli.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Curli fibers could be described as a virulence factor able to confer adherence properties to both abiotic and eukaryotic surfaces. The ability to adapt rapidly to changing environmental conditions through signal transduction pathways is crucial for the growth and pathogenicity of bacteria. OmpR was shown to activate csgD expression, resulting in curli production. The CpxR regulator was shown to negatively affect curli gene expression when binding to its recognition site that overlaps the csgD OmpR-binding site. This study was undertaken to clarify how the interplay between the two regulatory proteins, OmpR and CpxR, can affect the transcription of the curli gene in response to variation of the medium osmolarity. Band-shift assays with purified CpxR proteins indicate that CpxR binds to the csgD promoter region at multiple sites that are ideally positioned to explain the csg repression activity of CpxR. To understand the physiological meaning of this in vitro molecular phenomenon, we analyzed the effects of an osmolarity shift on the two-component pathway CpxA/CpxR. We establish here that the Cpx pathway is activated at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels in response to a high osmolarity medium and that CpxR represses csgD expression in high-salt-content medium, resulting in low curli production. However, csgD repression in response to high sucrose content is not mediated by CpxR but by the global regulatory protein H-NS. Therefore, multiple systems (EnvZ/OmpR, Cpx, Rcs, and H-NS) appear to be involved in sensing environmental osmolarity, leading to sophisticated regulation of the curli genes.Journal of Bacteriology 04/2005; 187(6):2038-49. · 3.83 Impact Factor
Article: Targeting of host Rab GTPase function by the intravacuolar pathogen Legionella pneumophila.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The intracellular pathogen Legionella pneumophila replicates in a vacuole that recruits material from the host cell endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Biogenesis of this unique vacuole depends on the bacterial Dot/Icm type IV secretion system that translocates proteins across host cell membranes. Here, we show that two translocated substrates, SidM and LidA, target host cell Rab1, a small GTPase regulating ER-to-Golgi traffic. SidM is a guanosine nucleotide exchange factor for Rab1 that recruits Rab1 to Legionella-containing vacuoles, a process that is enhanced by LidA. Expression of sidM in mammalian cells interferes with the secretory pathway and causes Golgi fragmentation. Consistent with a collaborative relationship between the two proteins, immobilized SidM and LidA synergize to promote Rab1-dependent binding of early secretory vesicles. These results indicate that proteins translocated into the host cell by the intravacuolar pathogen L. pneumophila are able to recapitulate events involved in host secretory trafficking.Developmental Cell 08/2006; 11(1):47-56. · 14.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Legionella pneumophila proliferates within alveolar macrophages as a central property of Legionnaires' disease. Intracellular growth involves formation of a replicative phagosome, which requires the bacterial Dot/Icm system, a multiprotein secretion apparatus that translocates proteins from the bacterium across the macrophage plasma membrane. Two components of this system, IcmR and IcmQ, are proposed to exhibit a chaperone/substrate relationship similar to that observed in other protein translocation systems. We report here that IcmQ inserts into lipid membranes and forms pores that allow the efflux of the dye calcein but not Dextran 3000. Both membrane insertion and pore formation were inhibited by IcmR. Trypsin digestion mapping demonstrated that IcmQ is subdivided into two functional domains. The N-terminal region of IcmQ was necessary and sufficient for insertion into lipid membranes and calcein efflux. The C-terminal domain was necessary for efficient association of the protein with lipid bilayers. IcmR was found to bind to the N-terminal portion of the protein thus providing a mechanism for its ability to inhibit IcmQ pore-forming activity. Localization of IcmQ on the surface of the L. pneumophila shortly after infection as well as its pore-forming capacities suggest a role for IcmQ in forming a channel that leads translocated effectors out of the bacterium.Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2004; 279(6):4686-95. · 4.77 Impact Factor