Mario F Feldman

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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Publications (26)107.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The opportunistic human pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii is a concern to health care systems worldwide due to its persistence in clinical settings and the growing frequency of multiple drug resistant infections. To combat this threat it is necessary to understand factors associated with disease and environmental persistence of A. baumannii. Recently it was shown that a single biosynthetic pathway was responsible for the generation of capsule polysaccharide and O-linked protein glycosylation. Due to the requirement of these carbohydrates for virulence and the non-template driven nature of glycan biogenesis we investigated the composition, diversity and properties of the Acinetobacter glycoproteome. Utilizing global and targeted mass spectrometry methods we examined 15 strains and found extensive glycan diversity in the O-linked glycoproteome of Acinetobacter. Comparison of the 26 glycoproteins identified revealed that different A. baumannii strains target similar protein substrates, both in characteristics of the sites of O-glycosylation and protein identity. Surprisingly, glycan micro-heterogeneity was also observed within nearly all isolates examined demonstrating glycan heterogeneity is a widespread phenomena in Acinetobacter O-linked glycosylation. By comparing the 11 main glycoforms and over 20 alternative glycoforms characterized within the 15 strains, trends within the glycan utilized for O-linked glycosylation could be observed. These trends reveal Acinetobacter O-linked glycosylation favors short (3 to 5 residue) glycans with limited branching containing negatively charged sugars such as GlcNAc3NAcA4OAc or legionaminic/ pseudaminic acid derivatives. These observations suggest that although highly diverse, the capsule/O-linked glycan biosynthetic pathways generate glycans with similar characteristics across all A. baumannii.
    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteria of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) are pathogens of humans, plants, and animals. Burkholderia cenocepacia is one of the most common Bcc species infecting cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and its carriage is associated with poor prognosis. In this study, we characterized a general O-linked protein glycosylation system in B. cenocepacia K56-2. The PglLBc O-oligosaccharyltransferase (O-OTase), encoded by the cloned gene bcal0960, was shown to be capable of transferring a heptasaccharide from the Campylobacter jejuni N-glycosylation system to a Neisseria meningitides-derived acceptor protein in an Escherichia coli background, indicating that the enzyme has relaxed specificities for both the sugar donor and protein acceptor. In B cenocepacia K56-2, PglLBc is responsible for the glycosylation of 23 proteins involved in diverse cellular processes. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that these proteins are modified with a trisaccharide HexNAc-HexNAc-Hex, which is unrelated to the O-antigen biosynthetic process. The glycosylation sites that were identified existed within regions of low complexity, rich in serine, alanine, and proline. Disruption of bcal0960 abolished glycosylation and resulted in reduced swimming motility and attenuated virulence towards both plant and insect model organisms. This study demonstrates the first example of post-translational modification in Bcc with implications for pathogenesis.
    Molecular Microbiology 04/2014; 92(1):116-37. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis that affects livestock and human beings. Laboratory diagnosis of bovine brucellosis mainly relies on serological diagnosis using serum and/or milk samples. Although there are several serological tests with different diagnostic performance and capacity to differentiate vaccinated from infected animals, there is still no standardized reference antigen for the disease. Here we validate the first recombinant glycoprotein antigen, an N-formylperosamine O-polysaccharide-protein conjugate (OAg-AcrA), for diagnosis of bovine brucellosis. This antigen can be produced in homogeneous batches without the need of culturing pathogenic brucellae; all characteristics that make it appropriate for standardization. An indirect immunoassay based on the detection of anti O-polysaccharide IgG antibodies in bovine samples was developed coupling OAg-AcrA to magnetic beads or ELISA plates. As a proof of concept and to validate the antigen, we analyzed serum, whole blood and milk samples obtained from non-infected, experimentally infected and vaccinated animals included in a vaccination/infection trial performed in our laboratory as well as more than 1000 serum and milk samples obtained from naturally infected and S19-vaccinated animals from Argentina. Our results demonstrate that OAg-AcrA-based assays are highly accurate for diagnosis of bovine brucellosis, even in vaccinated herds, using different types of samples and in different platforms. We propose this novel recombinant glycoprotein as an antigen suitable for the development of new standard immunological tests for screening and confirmatory diagnosis of bovine brucellosis in regions or countries with brucellosis-control programs.
    Veterinary Microbiology. 01/2014;
  • Frontiers in Microbiology. 01/2014; 5(381).
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial O-Oligosaccharyltransferases (O-OTases) constitute a growing family of enzymes that catalyse the transfer of a glycan from a lipid carrier to protein acceptors. O-OTases are inner membrane proteins that display limited sequence similarity, except for the Wzy_C signature domain also present in a predicted periplasmic loop of the WaaL ligase, the enzyme responsible for transferring the O antigen to the lipid A core. The mechanism of O-OTase-dependent glycosylation is poorly understood. In this work, conserved amino acid residues in the O-OTases were replaced with alanine in PglL, the O-OTase of Neisseria meningitidis. The activities of wild-type PglL and its mutant derivatives were analysed in vivo in engineered E. coli cells, and in in vitro assays. We identified two additional sites of pilin glycosylated exclusively by PglL in E. coli. Both sites are modified with phosphoglycerol (PG) by different enzymes in N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis. Limited proteolysis experiments revealed a conformational change that is triggered upon interaction of the C-terminal region of PglL with the lipid-linked oligosaccharide (LLO) substrate. These experiments showed that Q178 and Y405 are required for optimal function, whereas H349 is essential for activity and performs a critical role in the interaction with LLO. The equivalent His residue is also essential for WaaL activity, which suggests a common mechanism for both enzymes, and supports the hypothesis that O-glycosylation and LPS synthesis are evolutionarily related. These results contribute to the elucidation of the mechanism of O-OTases, which are promising targets for novel antibiotics and present an enormous potential for glycoengineering novel vaccines and therapeutics.
    Glycobiology 10/2013; · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: O-glycopeptides are often acidic owing to the frequent occurrence of acidic saccharides in the glycan, rendering traditional proteomic workflows that rely on positive mode tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) less effective. In this report, we demonstrate the utility of negative mode ultraviolet photodissociation (UVPD) MS for the characterization of acidic O-linked glycopeptide anions. This method was evaluated for a series of singly- and multiply-deprotonated glycopeptides from the model glycoprotein kappa casein, resulting in production of both peptide and glycan product ions that afforded 100% sequence coverage of the peptide and glycan moieties from a single MS/MS event. The most abundant and frequent peptide sequence ions were a/x-type products, which, importantly, were found to retain the labile glycan modifications. The glycan-specific ions mainly arose from glycosidic bond cleavages (B, Y, C, and Z ions) in addition to some less common cross-ring cleavages. Based on the UVPD fragmentation patterns, an automated database searching strategy (based on the MassMatrix algorithm) was designed that is specific for the analysis of glycopeptide anions by UVPD. This algorithm was used to identify glycopeptides from mixtures of glycosylated and non-glycosylated peptides, sequence both glycan and peptide moieties simultaneously, and pinpoint the correct site(s) of glycosylation. This methodology was applied to uncover novel site-specificity of the O-linked glycosylated OmpA/MotB from the "superbug" A. baumannii to help aid in the elucidation of the functional role that protein glycosylation plays in pathogenesis.
    Analytical Chemistry 09/2013; · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multi-drug resistant strains of Acinetobacter baumannii are increasingly being isolated in hospitals worldwide. Among the virulence factors identified in this bacterium there is a general O-glycosylation system that appears to be important for biofilm formation and virulence, and the capsular polysaccharide, which is essential for resistance to complement killing. In this work, we identified a locus that is responsible for the synthesis of the O-pentasaccharide found on the glycoproteins. Besides the enzymes required for the assembly of the glycan, additional proteins typically involved in polymerization and transport of capsule were identified within or adjacently to the locus. Mutagenesis of PglC, the initiating glycosyltransferase prevented the synthesis of both glycoproteins and capsule, resulting in abnormal biofilm structures and attenuated virulence in mice. These results, together with the structural analysis of A. baumannii 17978 capsular polysaccharide via NMR, demonstrated that the pentasaccharides that decorate the glycoproteins are also the building blocks for capsule biosynthesis. Two linked subunits, but not longer glycan chains, were detected on proteins via MS. The discovery of a bifurcated pathway for O-glycosylation and capsule synthesis not only provides insight into the biology of A. baumannii but also identifies potential novel candidates for intervention against this emerging pathogen.
    Molecular Microbiology 06/2013; · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein glycosylation was once considered as an eccentricity of a few bacteria. However in the recent years multiple O-glycosylation mechanisms have been identified in bacterial species from the most diverse genera, including various important human pathogens. This review focuses on summarizing the structural diversity, the various pathways, and the physiological roles of this post-translational protein modification. We propose a classification of O-glycosylation based on the requirement of an oligosaccharyltransferase (OTase). OTase-dependent glycosylation utilizes an oligosaccharide synthesized on a lipid carrier that is transferred to proteins en bloc by an OTase. Multiple proteins, including the pilins, are glycosylated using this mechanism. OTase-independent glycosylation refers to the pathway in which glycosyltransferases sequentially add monosaccharides onto the target proteins. This pathway is employed for glycosylation of flagella and autotransporters. Both systems play key roles in pathogenesis. Exploiting glycosylation machineries it is now possible to generate glycoconjugates made of different proteins attached to polysaccharides derived from LPS or capsule biosynthesis. These recombinant glycoproteins can be exploited for vaccines and diagnostics of bacterial infections. Furthermore, O-glycosylation systems are promising targets for antibiotic development. Technological advances in MS and NMR will facilitate the discovery of novel glycosylation systems. Likely, the O-glycosylation pathways we currently know constitute just the tip of the iceberg of a still largely uncharacterized bacterial glycosylation world.
    Molecular Microbiology 05/2013; · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oligosaccharyltransferases (OTases) are enzymes that catalyze the transfer of an oligosaccharide from a lipid carrier to an acceptor molecule, commonly a protein. OTases are classified as N-OTases and O-OTases, depending on the nature of the glycosylation reaction. The N-OTases catalyze the glycan transfer to amide groups in asparagines in a reaction named N-linked glycosylation. The O-OTases are responsible for protein O-linked glycosylation, which involves the attachment of glycans to hydroxyl groups of serine or threonine residues. These enzymes exhibit a relaxed specificity, being able to transfer a variety of glycan structures to different protein acceptors. This property confers OTases with great biotechnological potential as these enzymes can produce glycoconjugates relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, OTases are thought to be involved in pathogenesis mechanisms. Several aspects of the functionality of OTases are not fully understood. In this work we developed a novel approach to perform kinetic studies on PglL, the O-OTase from Neisseria meningitidis. We investigated the importance of the acyl moiety of the lipid glycan donor substrate on the functionality of PglL by testing efficiency of glycosylation reaction using synthetic substrates carrying the same glycan structure but different acyl moieties. We found that PglL can function with many lipids as glycan donors, although the length and the conformation of the lipid moiety significantly influenced the catalytic efficiency. Interestingly, PglL was also able to transfer a monosaccharide employing its nucleotide-activated form, acting as a Leloir glycosyltransferase. These results provide new insights on the function and the evolution of the oligosaccharyltransferases.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis and still a major human health problem in endemic areas of the world. Although several diagnostic tools are available, most of them are difficult to implement especially in developing countries where complex health facilities are limited. Taking advantage of the identical structure and composition of the and O:9 -polysaccharide, we explored the application of a recombinant -polysaccharide-protein conjugate (OAg-AcrA) as a novel antigen for diagnosis of human brucellosis. We have developed and validated an indirect immunoassay using OAg-AcrA coupled to magnetic beads. OAg-AcrA was produced and purified with high yields in O:9 cells co-expressing the oligosaccharyltransferase PglB and the protein acceptor AcrA of without the need for culturing . Expression of PglB and AcrA in resulted in the transfer of the host -polysaccharide from its lipid carrier to AcrA. To validate the assay and determine the cutoff values, a receiver-operating characteristic analysis was performed using a panel of characterized serum samples obtained from healthy individuals and patients of different clinical groups. Our results indicate that, using this assay, it is possible to detect infection caused by the three main human brucellosis agents (, and ) and select different cutoff points to adjust sensitivity and specificity levels as needed. A cutoff value of 13.20% gave a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 98.57%, and a cutoff value of 16.15% resulted in a test sensitivity and specificity of 93.48% and 100%, respectively. The high diagnostic accuracy, low cost, reduced assay time and simplicity of this new glycoconjugate-magnetic beads assay makes it an attractive diagnostic tool for using not only in clinics and brucellosis reference laboratories but also in locations with limited laboratory infrastructure and/or minimally trained community health workers.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 02/2013; 7(2):e2048. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The genus Acinetobacter is comprised of a diverse group of species, several of which have raised interest due to potential applications in bioremediation and agricultural purposes. In this work, we show that many species within the genus Acinetobacter possess the genetic requirements to assemble a functional type VI secretion system (T6SS). This secretion system is widespread among Gram negative bacteria, and can be used for toxicity against other bacteria and eukaryotic cells. The most studied species within this genus is A. baumannii, an emerging nosocomial pathogen that has become a significant threat to healthcare systems worldwide. The ability of A. baumannii to develop multidrug resistance has severely reduced treatment options, and strains resistant to most clinically useful antibiotics are frequently being isolated. Despite the widespread dissemination of A. baumannii, little is known about the virulence factors this bacterium utilizes to cause infection. We determined that the T6SS is conserved and syntenic among A. baumannii strains, although expression and secretion of the hallmark protein Hcp varies between strains, and is dependent on TssM, a known structural protein required for T6SS function. Unlike other bacteria, A. baumannii ATCC 17978 does not appear to use its T6SS to kill Escherichia coli or other Acinetobacter species. Deletion of tssM does not affect virulence in several infection models, including mice, and did not alter biofilm formation. These results suggest that the T6SS fulfils an important but as-yet-unidentified role in the various lifestyles of the Acinetobacter spp.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e55142. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oligosaccharyltransferases (OTases) constitute a family of glycosyltransferases that catalyze the transfer of an oligosaccharide from a lipid donor to an acceptor molecule, commonly a protein. These enzymes can transfer a variety of glycan structures, including polysaccharides, to different protein acceptors. Therefore, this property endows the OTases with great biotechnological potential as these enzymes could be applied to produce several glycoconjugates relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, bacterial OTases are thought to be involved in pathogenesis mechanisms. Here we describe how to purify a representative OTase and its protein acceptor and glycan donor to perform in vitro glycosylation studies.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 1022:161-71. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging cause of nosocomial infections. The isolation of strains resistant to multiple antibiotics is increasing at alarming rates. Although A. baumannii is considered as one of the more threatening "superbugs" for our healthcare system, little is known about the factors contributing to its pathogenesis. In this work we show that A. baumannii ATCC 17978 possesses an O-glycosylation system responsible for the glycosylation of multiple proteins. 2D-DIGE and mass spectrometry methods identified seven A. baumannii glycoproteins, of yet unknown function. The glycan structure was determined using a combination of MS and NMR techniques and consists of a branched pentasaccharide containing N-acetylgalactosamine, glucose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine, and a derivative of glucuronic acid. A glycosylation deficient strain was generated by homologous recombination. This strain did not show any growth defects, but exhibited a severely diminished capacity to generate biofilms. Disruption of the glycosylation machinery also resulted in reduced virulence in two infection models, the amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and the larvae of the insect Galleria mellonella, and reduced in vivo fitness in a mouse model of peritoneal sepsis. Despite A. baumannii genome plasticity, the O-glycosylation machinery appears to be present in all clinical isolates tested as well as in all of the genomes sequenced. This suggests the existence of a strong evolutionary pressure to retain this system. These results together indicate that O-glycosylation in A. baumannii is required for full virulence and therefore represents a novel target for the development of new antibiotics.
    PLoS Pathogens 06/2012; 8(6):e1002758. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) have been identified in a wide range of bacteria, yet little is known of their biogenesis. It has been proposed that OMVs can act as long-range toxin delivery vectors and as a novel stress response. We have found that the formation of OMVs in the gram-negative opportunistic pathogen Serratia marcescens is thermoregulated, with a significant amount of OMVs produced at 22 or 30°C and negligible quantities formed at 37°C under laboratory conditions. Inactivation of the synthesis of the enterobacterial common antigen (ECA) resulted in a hypervesiculation phenotype, supporting the hypothesis that OMVs are produced in response to stress. We demonstrate that the phenotype can be reversed to wild-type (WT) levels upon the loss of the Rcs phosphorelay response regulator RcsB, but not RcsA, suggesting a role for the Rcs phosphorelay in the production of OMVs. MS fingerprinting of the OMVs provided evidence of cargo selection within wild-type cells, suggesting a possible role for Serratia OMVs in toxin delivery. In addition, OMV-associated cargo proved toxic upon injection into the haemocoel of Galleria mellonella larvae. These experiments demonstrate that OMVs are the result of a regulated process in Serratia and suggest that OMVs could play a role in virulence.
    Journal of bacteriology 04/2012; 194(12):3241-9. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial protein glycosylation systems from varying species have been functionally reconstituted in Escherichia coli. Both N- and O-linked glycosylation pathways, in which the glycans are first assembled onto lipid carriers and subsequently transferred to acceptor proteins by an oligosaccharyltransferase (OTase), have been documented in bacteria. The identification and characterization of novel OTases with different properties may provide new tools for engineering glycoproteins of biotechnological interest. In the case of OTases involved in O-glycosylation (O-OTases), there is very low sequence homology between those from different bacterial species. The Wzy_C signature domain common to these enzymes is also present in WaaL ligases; enzymes involved in lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis. Therefore, the identification of O-OTases using solely bioinformatic methods is problematic. The hypothetical proteins BTH_I0650 from Burkholderia thailandensis E264 and VC0393 from Vibrio cholerae N16961 contain the Wzy_C domain. In this work, we demonstrate that both proteins have O-OTase activity and renamed them PglL(Bt) and PglL(Vc), respectively, similar to the Neisseria meningitidis counterpart (PglL(Nm)). In E. coli, PglL(Bt) and PglL(Vc) display relaxed glycan and protein specificity. However, effective glycosylation depends upon a specific combination of the protein acceptor, glycan and O-OTase analyzed. This knowledge has important implications in the design of glycoconjugates and provides novel tools for use in glycoengineering applications. The codification of enzymatically active O-OTase in the genomes of members of the Vibrio and Burkholderia genera suggests the presence of still unknown O-glycoproteins in these organisms, which might have a role in bacterial physiology or pathogenesis.
    Glycobiology 03/2012; 22(7):962-74. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Escherichia coli Adhesin Involved in Diffuse Adherence (AIDA-I) is a multifunctional protein that belongs to the family of monomeric autotransporters. This adhesin can be glycosylated by the AIDA-associated heptosyltransferase (Aah). Glycosylation appears to be restricted to the extracellular domain of AIDA-I, which comprises imperfect repeats of a 19-amino-acid consensus sequence and is predicted to form a β-helix. Here, we show that Aah homologues can be found in many Gram-negative bacteria, including Citrobacter rodentium. We demonstrated that an AIDA-like protein is glycosylated in this species by the Aah homologue. We then investigated the substrate recognition mechanism of the E. coli Aah heptosyltransferase. We found that a peptide corresponding to one repeat of the 19-amino-acid consensus is sufficient for recognition and glycosylation by Aah. Mutagenesis studies suggested that, unexpectedly, Aah recognizes a structural motif typical of β-helices, but not a specific sequence. In agreement with this finding, we observed that the extracellular domain of the Bordetella pertussis pertactin, a β-helical polypeptide lacking the 19-amino-acid consensus sequence, could be glycosylated by Aah. Overall, our findings suggest that Aah represents the prototype of a new large family of bacterial protein O-glycosyltransferases that modify various substrates recognized through a structural motif.
    Molecular Microbiology 03/2012; 83(5):894-907. · 4.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immune responses directed towards surface polysaccharides conjugated to proteins are effective in preventing colonization and infection of bacterial pathogens. Presently, the production of these conjugate vaccines requires intricate synthetic chemistry for obtaining, activating, and attaching the polysaccharides to protein carriers. Glycoproteins generated by engineering bacterial glycosylation machineries have been proposed to be a viable alternative to traditional conjugation methods. In this work we expressed the C. jejuni oligosaccharyltansferase (OTase) PglB, responsible for N-linked protein glycosylation together with a suitable acceptor protein (AcrA) in Yersinia enterocolitica O9 cells. MS analysis of the acceptor protein demonstrated the transfer of a polymer of N-formylperosamine to AcrA in vivo. Because Y. enterocolitica O9 and Brucella abortus share an identical O polysaccharide structure, we explored the application of the resulting glycoprotein in vaccinology and diagnostics of brucellosis, one of the most common zoonotic diseases with over half a million new cases annually. Injection of the glycoprotein into mice generated an IgG response that recognized the O antigen of Brucella, although this response was not protective against a challenge with a virulent B. abortus strain. The recombinant glycoprotein coated onto magnetic beads was efficient in differentiating between naïve and infected bovine sera. Bacterial engineered glycoproteins show promising applications for the development on an array of diagnostics and immunoprotective opportunities in the future.
    Microbial Cell Factories 01/2012; 11:13. · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilus influenzae is a Gram-negative human-restricted bacterium that can act as a commensal and a pathogen of the respiratory tract. Especially nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHi) is a major threat to public health and is responsible for several infectious diseases in humans, such as pneumonia, sinusitis, and otitis media. Additionally, NTHi strains are highly associated with exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Currently, there is no licensed vaccine against NTHi commercially available. Thus, this study investigated the utilization of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) as a potential vaccine candidate against NTHi infections. We analyzed the immunogenic and protective properties of OMVs derived from various NTHi strains by means of nasopharyngeal immunization and colonization studies with BALB/c mice. The results presented herein demonstrate that an intranasal immunization with NTHi OMVs results in a robust and complex humoral and mucosal immune response. Immunoprecipitation revealed the most important immunogenic proteins, such as the heme utilization protein, protective surface antigen D15, heme binding protein A, and the outer membrane proteins P1, P2, P5 and P6. The induced immune response conferred not only protection against colonization with a homologous NTHi strain, which served as an OMV donor for the immunization mixtures, but also against a heterologous NTHi strain, whose OMVs were not part of the immunization mixtures. These findings indicate that OMVs derived from NTHi strains have a high potential to act as a vaccine against NTHi infections.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e42664. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycoproteins constitute a class of compounds of increasing importance for pharmaceutical applications. The manipulation of bacterial protein glycosylation systems from Gram-negative bacteria for the synthesis of recombinant glycoproteins is a promising alternative to the current production methods. Proteins carrying Lewis antigens have been shown to have potential applications for the treatment of diverse autoimmune diseases. In this work, we developed a mixed approach consisting of in vivo and in vitro steps for the synthesis of glycoproteins containing the Lewis x antigen. Using glycosyltransferases from Haemophilus influenzae, we engineered Escherichia coli to assemble a tetrasaccharide on the lipid carrier undecaprenylphosphate. This glycan was transferred in vivo from the lipid to a carrier protein by the Campylobacter jejuni oligosaccharyltransferase PglB. The glycoprotein was then fucosylated in vitro by a truncated fucosyltransferase from Helicobacter pylori. Diverse mass spectrometry techniques were used to confirm the structure of the glycan. The strategy presented here could be adapted in the future for the synthesis of diverse glycoproteins. Our experiments demonstrate that bacterial enzymes can be exploited for the production of glycoproteins carrying glycans present in human cells for potential therapeutic applications.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2011; 286(43):37887-94. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Isabelle Hug, Mario F Feldman
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteria generate and attach countless glycan structures to diverse macromolecules. Despite this diversity, the mechanisms of glycoconjugate biosynthesis are often surprisingly similar. The focus of this review is on the commonalities between lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and glycoprotein assembly pathways and their evolutionary relationship. Three steps that are essential for both pathways are completed by membrane proteins. These include the initiation of glycan assembly through the attachment of a first sugar residue onto the lipid carrier undecaprenyl pyrophosphate, the translocation across the plasma membrane and the final transfer onto proteins or lipid A-core. Two families of initiating enzymes have been described: the polyprenyl-P N-acetylhexosamine-1-P transferases and the polyprenyl-P hexosamine-1-P transferases, represented by Escherichia coli WecA and Salmonella enterica WbaP, respectively. Translocases are either Wzx-like flippases or adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette transporters (ABC transporters). The latter can consist either of two polypeptides, Wzt and Wzm, or of a single polypeptide homolog to the Campylobacter jejuni PglK. Finally, there are two families of conjugating enzymes, the N-oligosaccharyltransferases (N-OTase), best represented by C. jejuni PglB, and the O-OTases, including Neisseria meningitidis PglL and the O antigen ligases involved in LPS biosynthesis. With the exception of the N-OTases, probably restricted to glycoprotein synthesis, members of all these transmembrane protein families can be involved in the synthesis of both glycoproteins and LPS. Because many translocation and conjugation enzymes display relaxed substrate specificity, these bacterial enzymes could be exploited in engineered living bacteria for customized glycoconjugate production, generating potential vaccines and therapeutics.
    Glycobiology 02/2011; 21(2):138-51. · 3.54 Impact Factor