Article

Identification and characterization of a novel adhesin unique to oral fusobacteria.

Department of Biological Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4905, USA.
Journal of Bacteriology (Impact Factor: 2.69). 09/2005; 187(15):5330-40.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fusobacterium nucleatum is a gram-negative anaerobe that is prevalent in periodontal disease and infections of different parts of the body. The organism has remarkable adherence properties, binding to partners ranging from eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells to extracellular macromolecules. Understanding its adherence is important for understanding the pathogenesis of F. nucleatum. In this study, a novel adhesin, FadA (Fusobacterium adhesin A), was demonstrated to bind to the surface proteins of the oral mucosal KB cells. FadA is composed of 129 amino acid (aa) residues, including an 18-aa signal peptide, with calculated molecular masses of 13.6 kDa for the intact form and 12.6 kDa for the secreted form. It is highly conserved among F. nucleatum, Fusobacterium periodonticum, and Fusobacterium simiae, the three most closely related oral species, but is absent in the nonoral species, including Fusobacterium gonidiaformans, Fusobacterium mortiferum, Fusobacterium naviforme, Fusobacterium russii, and Fusobacterium ulcerans. In addition to FadA, F. nucleatum ATCC 25586 and ATCC 49256 also encode two paralogues, FN1529 and FNV2159, each sharing 31% identity with FadA. A double-crossover fadA deletion mutant, F. nucleatum 12230-US1, was constructed by utilizing a novel sonoporation procedure. The mutant had a slightly slower growth rate, yet its binding to KB and Chinese hamster ovarian cells was reduced by 70 to 80% compared to that of the wild type, indicating that FadA plays an important role in fusobacterial colonization in the host. Furthermore, due to its uniqueness to oral Fusobacterium species, fadA may be used as a marker to detect orally related fusobacteria. F. nucleatum isolated from other parts of the body may originate from the oral cavity.

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    ABSTRACT: The diverse Fusobacterium genus contains species implicated in multiple clinical pathologies, including periodontal disease, preterm birth, and colorectal cancer. The lack of genetic tools for manipulating these organisms leaves us with little understanding of the genes responsible for adherence to and invasion of host cells. Actively invading Fusobacterium species can enter host cells independently, whereas passively invading species need additional factors, such as compromise of mucosal integrity or coinfection with other microbes. We applied whole-genome sequencing and comparative analysis to study the evolution of active and passive invasion strategies and to infer factors associated with active forms of host cell invasion. The evolution of active invasion appears to have followed an adaptive radiation in which two of the three fusobacterial lineages acquired new genes and underwent expansions of ancestral genes that enable active forms of host cell invasion. Compared to passive invaders, active invaders have much larger genomes, encode FadA-related adhesins, and possess twice as many genes encoding membrane-related proteins, including a large expansion of surface-associated proteins containing the MORN2 domain of unknown function. We predict a role for proteins containing MORN2 domains in adhesion and active invasion. In the largest and most comprehensive comparison of sequenced Fusobacterium species to date, we have generated a testable model for the molecular pathogenesis of Fusobacterium infection and illuminate new therapeutic or diagnostic strategies.
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