[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Invasion of intestinal epithelial cells is a critical step in Salmonella infection and requires the expression of genes located in Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1). A key factor for SPI-1 expression is DNA adenine (Dam) methylation, which activates synthesis of the SPI-1 transcriptional activator HilD. Dam-dependent regulation of hilD is postranscriptional (and therefore indirect), indicating the involvement of unknown cell functions under Dam methylation control. A genetic screen has identified the std fimbrial operon as the missing link between Dam methylation and SPI-1. We show that all genes in the std operon are part of a single transcriptional unit, and describe three previously uncharacterized ORFs (renamed stdD, stdE, and stdF). We present evidence that two such loci (stdE and stdF) are involved in Dam-dependent control of Salmonella SPI-1: in a Dam(-) background, deletion of stdE or stdF suppresses SPI-1 repression; in a Dam(+) background, constitutive expression of StdE and/or StdF represses SPI-1. Repression of SPI-1 by products of std operon explains the invasion defect of Salmonella Dam(-) mutants, which constitutively express the std operon. Dam-dependent repression of std in the ileum may be required to permit invasion, as indicated by two observations: constitutive expression of StdE and StdF reduces invasion of epithelial cells in vitro (1,000 fold) and attenuates Salmonella virulence in the mouse model (>60 fold). In turn, crosstalk between std and SPI-1 may play a role in intestinal infections by preventing expression of SPI-1 in the caecum, an intestinal compartment in which the std operon is known to be expressed.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30499. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently showed that disruption of damX causes bile sensitivity in Salmonella enterica. The damX gene is part of an operon that contains genes with heterogeneous functions: DNA adenine methylation, biosynthesis of aromatic compounds, carbohydrate metabolism, and tRNA charging. The damX gene encodes a protein with a predicted size of 46 kDa. In Salmonella, DamX is found in the inner membrane of both dividing and non-dividing cells. The DamX protein contains a peptidoglycan-binding SPOR domain, and accumulates in the E. coli septal ring. E. coli mutants lacking DamX are bile-sensitive like their Salmonella counterparts.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA adenine methylase (Dam(-)) mutants of Salmonella enterica are attenuated in the mouse model and present multiple virulence-related defects. Impaired interaction of Salmonella Dam(-) mutants with the intestinal epithelium has been tentatively correlated with reduced secretion of pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) effectors. In this study, we show that S. enterica Dam(-) mutants contain lowered levels of the SPI-1 transcriptional regulators HilA, HilC, HilD, and InvF. Epistasis analysis indicates that Dam-dependent regulation of SPI-1 requires HilD, while HilA, HilC, and InvF are dispensable. A transcriptional hilDlac fusion is expressed at similar levels in Dam(+) and Dam(-) hosts. However, lower levels of hilD mRNA are found in a Dam(-) background, thus providing unsuspected evidence that Dam methylation might exert post-transcriptional regulation of hilD expression. This hypothesis is supported by the following lines of evidence: (i) lowered levels of hilD mRNA are found in Salmonella Dam(-) mutants when hilD is transcribed from a heterologous promoter; (ii) increased hilD mRNA turnover is observed in Dam(-) mutants; (iii) lack of the Hfq RNA chaperone enhances hilD mRNA instability in Dam(-) mutants; and (iv) lack of the RNA degradosome components polynucleotide phosphorylase and ribonuclease E suppresses hilD mRNA instability in a Dam(-) background. Our report of Dam-dependent control of hilD mRNA stability suggests that DNA adenine methylation plays hitherto unknown roles in post-transcriptional control of gene expression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The damX gene product of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a protein located in the inner membrane. DamX migrates as a 70-kDa protein in SDS-PAGE even though the predicted protein size is 46 kDa. Synthesis of DamX protein occurs in both exponential- and stationary-phase cultures. Disruption of damX causes severe sensitivity to bile. Lack of the outer membrane protein AsmA suppresses bile sensitivity in Salmonella damX mutants.
Journal of bacteriology 11/2009; 192(3):893-5. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcriptomic analyses during growth in Luria-Bertani medium were performed in strain SL1344 of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and in two isogenic derivatives lacking Dam methylase. More genes were repressed than were activated by Dam methylation (139 versus 37). Key genes that were differentially regulated by Dam methylation were verified independently. The largest classes of Dam-repressed genes included genes belonging to the SOS regulon, as previously described in Escherichia coli, and genes of the SOS-inducible Salmonella prophages ST64B, Gifsy-1, and Fels-2. Dam-dependent virulence-related genes were also identified. Invasion genes in pathogenicity island SPI-1 were activated by Dam methylation, while the fimbrial operon std was repressed by Dam methylation. Certain flagellar genes were repressed by Dam methylation, and Dam(-) mutants of S. enterica showed reduced motility. Altered expression patterns in the absence of Dam methylation were also found for the chemotaxis genes cheR (repressed by Dam) and STM3216 (activated by Dam) and for the Braun lipoprotein gene, lppB (activated by Dam). The requirement for DNA adenine methylation in the regulation of specific virulence genes suggests that certain defects of Salmonella Dam(-) mutants in the mouse model may be caused by altered patterns of gene expression.
Journal of Bacteriology 01/2007; 188(23):8160-8. · 3.19 Impact Factor