The plasmid shuttle vector pWW102B is able to replicate in only a modest number of Moraxella catarrhalis strains. Plasmid pWW115, a spontaneous deletion mutant of pWW102B, was shown to lack both the pACYC184-derived origin of replication and the associated chloramphenicol-resistance gene but was able to replicate in every M. catarrhalis strain tested in this study, including one strain that had been previously refractory to all types of genetic manipulations. To test the utility of this plasmid, a M. catarrhalis gene encoding the UspA2 serum-resistance factor was cloned into pWW115 and the resultant recombinant plasmid was shown to confer serum-resistance on a serum-sensitive M. catarrhalis uspA2 mutant.
"pRB.Tat.1, pRN.Bro11, pTS.BroKK.Ec) was digested with BamHI to release the cloned M. catarrhalis genes from the vector pCC1. Gene fragments were purified from agarose gel slices using the High Pure PCR Product Purification Kit (Roche Applied Science), ligated into the BamHI site of the M. catarrhalis/Haemophilus influenza-compatible shuttle vector pWW115 , and electroporated into H. influenzae strain DB117. Spectinomycin resistant (spcR) colonies were screened by PCR using the pWW115-specific primers P17 (5′-TACGCCCTTTTATACTGTAG-3′) and P18 (5′-AACGACAGGAGCACGATCAT-3′), which flank the BamHI cloning site, to identify clones containing inserts of the appropriate size for the tat and bro2 genes. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Moraxella catarrhalis is a human-specific gram-negative bacterium readily isolated from the respiratory tract of healthy individuals. The organism also causes significant health problems, including 15-20% of otitis media cases in children and ~10% of respiratory infections in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The lack of an efficacious vaccine, the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance in clinical isolates, and high carriage rates reported in children are cause for concern. Virtually all Moraxella catarrhalis isolates are resistant to β-lactam antibiotics, which are generally the first antibiotics prescribed to treat otitis media in children. The enzymes responsible for this resistance, BRO-1 and BRO-2, are lipoproteins and the mechanism by which they are secreted to the periplasm of M. catarrhalis cells has not been described.
Comparative genomic analyses identified M. catarrhalis gene products resembling the TatA, TatB, and TatC proteins of the well-characterized Twin Arginine Translocation (TAT) secretory apparatus. Mutations in the M. catarrhalis tatA, tatB and tatC genes revealed that the proteins are necessary for optimal growth and resistance to β-lactams. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to replace highly-conserved twin arginine residues in the predicted signal sequence of M. catarrhalis strain O35E BRO-2, which abolished resistance to the β-lactam antibiotic carbanecillin.
Moraxella catarrhalis possesses a TAT secretory apparatus, which plays a key role in growth of the organism and is necessary for secretion of BRO-2 into the periplasm where the enzyme can protect the peptidoglycan cell wall from the antimicrobial activity of β-lactam antibiotics.
"The resultant two PCR products were used as templates for an overlapping extension PCR involving primers AA357 and AA354. The final PCR amplicon was then digested with both BamHI and SacI and ligated into pWW115  that had been digested with these same restriction enzymes. The ligation mixture was used to transform O12E.mcbC::kan. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Bacteriocins are antimicrobial proteins and peptides ribosomally synthesized by some bacteria which can effect both intraspecies and interspecies killing.
Moraxella catarrhalis strain E22 containing plasmid pLQ510 was shown to inhibit the growth of M. catarrhalis strain O35E. Two genes (mcbA and mcbB) in pLQ510 encoded proteins predicted to be involved in the secretion of a bacteriocin. Immediately downstream from these two genes, a very short ORF (mcbC) encoded a protein which had some homology to double-glycine bacteriocins produced by other bacteria. A second very short ORF (mcbI) immediately downstream from mcbC encoded a protein which had no significant similarity to other proteins in the databases. Cloning and expression of the mcbI gene in M. catarrhalis O35E indicated that this gene encoded the cognate immunity factor. Reverse transcriptase-PCR was used to show that the mcbA, mcbB, mcbC, and mcbI ORFs were transcriptionally linked. This four-gene cluster was subsequently shown to be present in the chromosome of several M. catarrhalis strains including O12E. Inactivation of the mcbA, mcbB, or mcbC ORFs in M. catarrhalis O12E eliminated the ability of this strain to inhibit the growth of M. catarrhalis O35E. In co-culture experiments involving a M. catarrhalis strain containing the mcbABCI locus and one which lacked this locus, the former strain became the predominant member of the culture after overnight growth in broth.
This is the first description of a bacteriocin and its cognate immunity factor produced by M. catarrhalis. The killing activity of the McbC protein raises the possibility that it might serve to lyse other M. catarrhalis strains that lack the mcbABCI locus, thereby making their DNA available for lateral gene transfer.
"To confirm that lgt6 was responsible for the loss of the α-(1-5)- glucose addition to the KDO 2 -lipid A core, the wild-type lgt6 was reintroduced into each respective mutant in cis by natural transformation. Our group has previously used this approach (Furano and Campagnari 2004; Edwards, Allen et al. 2005) because currently there are no reliable shuttle vectors that work in all strains of M. catarrhalis and we have experienced some instability problems in using the recently reported pWW115 vector (Wang and Hansen 2006). Figure 2 shows that the LOS isolated from each complemented mutant expressed a glycoform that was consistent with that of each parental LOS. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Moraxella catarrhalis express three predominant forms of lipooligosaccharide (LOS) molecules on the bacterial surface. These major glycolipids contain specific carbohydrate epitopes that distinguish each glycoform into serotype A, B, or C LOS. All three serotypes, however, share a common glucose containing inner-core structure, consisting of an alpha-glucose attached to 2-keto-3-deoxyoctulosonic acid (KDO), which is unique among Gram-negative bacteria. Many of the LOS glycosyltransferase genes (lgt) responsible for assembly of the extended M. catarrhalis LOS structure have been identified. In this report, we now describe the identification and characterization of Lgt6, a unique glycosyltransferase that is responsible for the addition of the first glucose to the inner core thus initiating the assembly of full length LOS. Isogenic mutants defective in the expression of lgt6 were constructed in all three M. catarrhalis LOS serotypes and the resulting LOS glycoforms consisted of KDO(2)-lipid A-OH as analyzed by urea sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and mass spectrometry. In addition, the expression of lgt6 in trans in a heptose-deficient Neisseria meningitidis NMB gmhX mutant resulted in the addition of a hexose to the LOS of this strain. These studies demonstrate that Lgt6 functions as an alpha-(1-5)-glucosyltransferase in M. catarrhalis adding the primary glucose to the KDO(2)-lipid A-OH in LOS biosynthesis. The function of Lgt6 is required for the completion of both the major and minor oligosaccharide chains in M. catarrhalis.
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