Article

Role of BvgA phosphorylation and DNA binding affinity in control of Bvg-mediated phenotypic phase transition in Bordetella pertussis.

Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93109-9610, USA.
Molecular Microbiology (Impact Factor: 5.03). 12/2005; 58(3):700-13. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2005.04875.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate the mechanism by which the Bordetella BvgAS phosphorelay controls expression of at least three distinct phenotypic phases, we isolated and characterized two B. pertussis mutants that were able to express Bvg- and Bvg(i) phase phenotypes but not Bvg+ phase phenotypes. In both cases, the mutant phenotype was due to a single nucleotide change in bvgA resulting in a single amino acid substitution in BvgA. In vitro phosphorylation assays showed that BvgA containing the T194M substitution was significantly impaired in its ability to use either BvgS or acetyl phosphate as a substrate for phosphorylation. Binding studies indicated that this mutant protein was able to bind an oligonucleotide containing a high-affinity BvgA binding site in a manner similar to wild-type BvgA, but was defective for binding the fhaB promoter in the absence of RNA polymerase (RNAP). By contrast, BvgA containing the R152H substitution had wild-type phosphorylation properties but was severely defective in its ability to bind either the high-affinity BvgA binding site-containing oligonucleotide or the fhaB promoter by itself. Both mutant BvgA proteins were able to bind the fhaB promoter in the presence of RNAP however, demonstrating the profound effect that RNAP has on stabilizing the ternary complexes between promoter DNA, BvgA and RNAP. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that BvgAS controls expression of multiple phenotypic phases by adjusting the intracellular concentration of BvgA-P and they demonstrate the additive nature of BvgA binding site affinity and protein-protein interactions at different Bvg-regulated promoters.

Full-text

Available from: Allison M Jones, Dec 16, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
54 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bordetella is a Gram-negative bacterium responsible for causing whooping cough in a broad range of host organisms. For successful infection, Bordetella controls expression of four distinct classes of genes (referred to as class 1, 2, 3, and 4 genes) at distinct times in the infection cycle. This control is executed by a single two-component system, BvgAS. Interestingly, the transmembrane component of the two-component system, BvgS, consists of three phospho-transfer domains leading to phosphorylation of the response regulator, BvgA. Phosphorylated BvgA then controls expression of virulence genes and also controls bvgAS transcription. In this work, we perform simulations to characterize the role of the network architecture in governing gene expression in Bordetella. Our results show that the wild-type network is locally optimal for controlling the timing of expression of the different classes of genes involved in infection. In addition, the interplay between environmental signals and positive feedback aids the bacterium identify precise conditions for and control expression of virulence genes.
    Molecular BioSystems 09/2013; 9(11). DOI:10.1039/c3mb70213h · 3.18 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Polysaccharide (PS) capsules are important virulence determinants for many bacterial pathogens. Bordetella pertussis, the agent of whooping cough, produces a surface associated microcapsule but its role in pertussis pathogenesis remained unknown. Here we showed that the B. pertussis capsule locus is expressed in vivo in murine lungs and that absence of the membrane-associated protein KpsT, involved in the transport of the PS polymers across the envelope, but not the surface-exposed PS capsule itself, affects drastically B. pertussis colonization efficacy in mice. Microarray analysis revealed that absence of KpsT in B. pertussis resulted in global down-regulation of gene expression including key virulence genes regulated by BvgA/S, the master two-component system. Using a BvgS phase-locked mutant, we demonstrated a functional link between KpsT and BvgA/S-mediated signal transduction. Whereas pull-down assays do not support physical interaction between BvgS sensor and any of the capsule locus encoded proteins, absence of KpsT impaired BvgS oligomerization, necessary for BvgS function. Furthermore, complementation studies indicated that instead of KpsT alone, the entire PS capsule transport machinery spanning the cell envelope likely plays a role in BvgS-mediated signal transduction. Our work thus provides the first experimental evidence of a role for a virulence-repressed gene in pertussis pathogenesis.
    PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e115243. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115243 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bordetella species cause respiratory infections in mammals. Their master regulatory system BvgAS controls expression of at least three distinct phenotypic phases in response to environmental cues. The Bvg(+) phase is necessary and sufficient for respiratory infection while the Bvg(-) phase is required for survival ex vivo. We obtained large colony variants (LCVs) from the lungs of mice infected with B. bronchiseptica strain RBX9, which contains an in-frame deletion mutation in fhaB, encoding filamentous hemagglutinin. RBX9 also yielded LCVs when switched from Bvg(-) phase conditions to Bvg(+) phase conditions in vitro. We determined that LCVs are composed of both Bvg(+) and Bvg(-) phase bacteria and that they result from defective bvgAS positive autoregulation. The LCV phenotype was linked to the presence of a divergent promoter 5' to bvgAS, suggesting a previously undescribed mechanism of transcriptional interference that, in this case, leads to feedback-based bistability (FBM). Our results also indicate that a small proportion of RBX9 bacteria modulates to the Bvg(-) phase in vivo. In addition to providing insight into transcriptional interference and FBM, our data provide an example of an in-frame deletion mutation exerting a 'polar' effect on nearby genes.
    Molecular Microbiology 09/2013; DOI:10.1111/mmi.12394 · 5.03 Impact Factor