[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium smegmatis is often used as a surrogate host for pathogenic mycobacteria, especially since the isolation of the transformable smooth morphotype strain mc(2)155 from the isogenic rough wild-type strain ATCC 607. Biochemical analysis of the cell envelope components revealed a lack of polar glycolipids, namely the lipooligosaccharides and the polar subfamilies of glycopeptidolipids, in the mc(2)155 strain. In addition, the latter strain differs from its parent by the distribution of various species of glycolipids and phospholipids between the outermost and deeper layers of the cell envelope. The presence of filamentous and rope-like structures at the cell surface of mc(2)155 cells grown in complex media further supported an ultrastructural change in the cell envelope of the mutant. Importantly, a significantly more rapid uptake of the hydrophobic chenodeoxycholate was observed for the mutant compared to wild-type cells. Taken together, these data indicate that the nature of the surface-exposed and envelope constituents is crucial for the surface properties, cell wall permeability and bacterial phenotype, and suggest that the transformable character of the mc(2)155 strain may be in part explained by these profound modifications of its cell envelope.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two subfamilies of the polar glycopeptidolipids (GPLs) located on the surface of Mycobacterium smegmatis, along with unknown phospholipids, were recently shown to participate in the nonopsonic phagocytosis of mycobacteria by human macrophages (Villeneuve, C., G. Etienne, V. Abadie, H. Montrozier, C. Bordier, F. Laval, M. Daffe, I. Maridonneau-Parini, and C. Astarie-Dequeker. 2003. Surface-exposed glycopeptidolipids of Mycobacterium smegmatis specifically inhibit the phagocytosis of mycobacteria by human macrophages. Identification of a novel family of glycopeptidolipids. J. Biol. Chem. 278: 51291-51300). As demonstrated herein, a phospholipid mixture that derived from the methanol-insoluble fraction inhibited the phagocytosis of M. smegmatis. Inhibition was essentially attributable to phosphatidylinositol mannosides (PIMs), namely PIM2 and PIM6, because the purified phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, and phosphatidylinositol were inactive. This was further confirmed using purified PIM2 and PIM6 from M. bovis BCG that decreased by half the internalization of M. smegmatis. Both compounds also inhibited the uptake of M. tuberculosis and M. avium but had no effect on the internalization of zymosan used as a control particle of the phagocytic process. When coated on latex beads, PIM2 and polar GPL (GPL III) favored the particle entry through complement receptor 3. GPL III, but not PIM2, also directed particle entry through the mannose receptor. Therefore, surface-exposed mycobacterial PIM and polar GPL participate in the receptor-dependent internalization of mycobacteria in human macrophages.
The Journal of Lipid Research 04/2005; 46(3):475-83. DOI:10.1194/jlr.M400308-JLR200 · 4.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phagocytosis by macrophages represents the early step of the mycobacterial infection. It is governed both by the nature of the host receptors used and the ligands exposed on the bacteria. The outermost molecules of the nonpathogenic Mycobacterium smegmatis were extracted by a mechanical treatment and found to specifically and dose dependently inhibit the phagocytosis of both M. smegmatis and the opportunistic pathogen M. kansasii by human macrophages derived from monocytes. The inhibitory activity was attributed to surface lipids because it is extracted by chloroform and reduced by alkaline hydrolysis but not by protease treatment. Fractionation of surface lipids by adsorption chromatography indicated that the major inhibitory compounds consisted of phospholipids and glycopeptidolipids (GPLs). Mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy analyses, combined with chemical degradation methods, demonstrated the existence of a novel family of GPLs that consists of a core composed of the long-chain tripeptidyl amino-alcohol with a di-O-acetyl-6-deoxytalosyl unit substituting the allo-threoninyl residue and a 2-succinyl-3,4-di-O-CH3-rhamnosyl unit linked to the alaninol end of the molecules. These compounds, as well as diglycosylated GPLs at the alaninol end and de-O-acylated GPLs, but not the non-serovar-specific di-O-acetylated GPLs, inhibited the phagocytosis of M. smegmatis and M. avium by human macrophages at a few nanomolar concentration without affecting the rate of zymosan internalization. At micromolar concentrations, the native GPLs also inhibit the uptake of both M. tuberculosis and M. kansasii. De-O-acylation experiments established the critical roles of both the succinyl and acetyl substituents. Collectively, these data provide evidence that surface-exposed mycobacterial glycoconjugates are efficient competitors of the interaction between macrophages and mycobacteria and, as such, could represent pharmacological tools for the control of mycobacterial infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycopeptidolipids (GPLs) are a class of species- or type-specific mycobacterial lipids and major constituents of the cell envelopes of many non-tuberculous mycobacteria. To determine the function of GPLs in the physiology of these bacteria, a mutant of Mycobacterium smegmatis in which the gene encoding a mycobacterial nonribosomal peptide synthetase has been inactivated by transposon mutagenesis was analysed. Labelling experiments indicated that half of the bacterial GPLs were located on the cell surface and represented 85% of the surface-exposed lipids of the parent strain whereas the mutant was defective in the production of the GPLs. Compared to the parent smooth morphotype strain, the GPL-deficient mutant strain exhibited a rough colony morphology, an increase of the cell hydrophobicity and formed huge aggregates. As a consequence, the mutant cells were no longer able to bind ruthenium red, as observed by transmission electron microscopy. The altered surface properties of the mutant cells also affected the phagocytosis of individual bacilli by human monocyte-derived macrophages since mutant cells were internalized more rapidly than cells from the parent strain. Nevertheless, no specific release of surface constituents into the culture broth of the mutant was observed, indicating that the cell surface is composed of substances other than GPLs and that these are essential for maintaining the architecture of the outermost layer of the cell envelope. Importantly, the absence of these major extractable lipids of M. smegmatis from the mutant strain has a profound effect on the uptake of the hydrophobic chenodeoxycholate by cells, indicating that GPLs are involved in the cell wall permeability barrier of M. smegmatis. Altogether, these data showed that, in addition to being distinctive markers of numerous mycobacterial species, GPLs play a role in the bacterial phenotype, surface properties and cell wall permeability.