[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli α-hemolysin (HlyA) is a pore-forming protein of 110 kDa belonging to the family of RTX toxins. A hydrophobic region between the amino acid residues 238 and 410 in the N-terminal half of HlyA has previously been suggested to form hydrophobic and/or amphipathic α-helices and has been shown to be important for hemolytic activity and pore formation in biological and artificial membranes. The structure of the HlyA transmembrane channel is, however, largely unknown. For further investigation of the channel structure, we deleted in HlyA different stretches of amino acids that could form amphipathic β-strands according to secondary structure predictions (residues 71-110, 158-167, 180-203, and 264-286). These deletions resulted in HlyA mutants with strongly reduced hemolytic activity. Lipid bilayer measurements demonstrated that HlyAΔ71-110 and HlyAΔ264-286 formed channels with much smaller single-channel conductance than wildtype HlyA, whereas their channel-forming activity was virtually as high as that of the wildtype toxin. HlyAΔ158-167 and HlyAΔ180-203 were unable to form defined channels in lipid bilayers. Calculations based on the single-channel data indicated that the channels generated by HlyAΔ71-110 and HlyAΔ264-286 had a smaller size (diameter about 1.4 to 1.8 nm) than wildtype HlyA channels (diameter about 2.0 to 2.6 nm), suggesting that in these mutants part of the channel-forming domain was removed. Osmotic protection experiments with erythrocytes confirmed that HlyA, HlyAΔ71-110, and HlyAΔ264-286 form defined transmembrane pores and suggested channel diameters that largely agreed with those estimated from the single-channel data. Taken together, these results suggest that the channel-forming domain of HlyA might contain β-strands, possibly in addition to α-helical structures.
PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e112248. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112248 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytolysin A (known as ClyA, HlyE, and SheA) is a cytolytic pore-forming protein toxin found in several Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica strains. The structure of its water-soluble monomeric form and that of dodecameric ClyA pores is known, but the mechanisms of ClyA export from bacterial cells and of pore assembly are only partially understood. Here we used site-directed mutagenesis to study the importance of different regions of the E. coli ClyA protein for export and activity. The data indicate that ClyA translocation to the periplasm requires several protein segments located closely adjacent to each other in the "tail" domain of the ClyA monomer, namely, the N- and C-terminal regions and the hydrophobic sequence ranging from residues 89 to 101. Deletion of most of the "head" domain of the monomer (residues 181 to 203), on the other hand, did not strongly affect ClyA secretion, suggesting that the tail domain plays a particular role in export. Furthermore, we found that the N-terminal amphipathic helix alphaA1 of ClyA is crucial for the formation and the properties of the transmembrane channel, and hence for hemolytic activity. Several mutations affecting the C-terminal helix alphaG, the "beta-tongue" region in the head domain, or the hydrophobic region in the tail domain of the ClyA monomer strongly impaired the hemolytic activity and reduced the activity toward planar lipid bilayer membranes but did not totally prevent formation of wild-type-like channels in these artificial membranes. The latter regions thus apparently promote membrane interaction without being directly required for pore formation in a lipid bilayer.
Journal of bacteriology 08/2010; 192(15):4001-11. DOI:10.1128/JB.01283-09 · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytolysin A (ClyA, HlyE, SheA) is a hemolytic pore-forming toxin found in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A. In the present study, analysis of several Shigella strains revealed that they harbor only nonfunctional clyA gene copies that have been inactivated either by the integration of insertion sequence (IS) elements (Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella boydii, and Shigella sonnei strains) or by a frameshift mutation (Shigella flexneri). Shigella dysenteriae and S. boydii strains also exhibited IS-associated deletions at the clyA locus. PCR and Southern blot analyses as well as database searches indicated that clyA-related DNA sequences are completely absent in strains belonging to various other genera of the family Enterobacteriaceae. According to these data, ClyA may play a role only for a rather small subset of the enteric bacteria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional homologs of the Escherichia coli cytolysin A (clyA, hlyE, sheA) gene have recently been detected in Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi (S. Typhi) and Paratyphi A (S. Paratyphi A). In this study, analysis of a collection of Salmonella strains showed that all S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A strains tested harbor an intact copy of the corresponding clyA variant, i.e. clyA(STy) and clyA(SPaA), respectively. On the other hand, clyA proved to be absent in the S. enterica serovar Paratyphi B and serovar Paratyphi C strains, in various non-typhoid S. enterica subsp. enterica serovars (Typhimurium, Enteritidis, Choleraesuis, Dublin, and Gallinarum), and in S. enterica subsp. arizonae and Salmonella bongori strains. When grown under normal laboratory conditions, the S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A strains produced only basal amounts of ClyA protein and did not exhibit a clyA-dependent hemolytic phenotype. RT-PCR and immunoblot analyses as well as phenotypic data revealed, however, that the expression of clyA(STy) and clyA(SPaA) can be activated by the Salmonella transcription factor SlyA. In addition, osmotic protection assays and lipid bilayer experiments demonstrated that the hemolytic ClyA(STy) and ClyA(SPaA) proteins are effective pore-forming toxins which, similar to E. coli ClyA, generate large, stable, moderately cation-selective channels in target membranes. Taken together with our recent serological findings which have indicated that S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A strains produce substantial amounts of ClyA during human infection, these data suggest that ClyA may play a role in S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A pathogenesis.
International journal of medical microbiology: IJMM 09/2008; 299(1):21-35. DOI:10.1016/j.ijmm.2008.06.004 · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction of the Borrelia burgdorferi blyAB locus into Escherichia coli has recently been reported to cause a hemolytic phenotype that is dependent on the E. coli clyA (hlyE, sheA) gene (a cytolysin gene present in many E. coli strains, including E. coli K-12, which is repressed under standard in vitro growth conditions). The blyA gene product has been suggested to be a prophage-encoded holin, but the processes triggered in E. coli by the expression of blyA and/or blyB, which lead to the hemolytic phenotype, remained unclear. Here we show that expression of blyA in E. coli causes damage to the E. coli cell envelope and a clyA-dependent hemolytic phenotype, regardless whether blyB is present or absent. The expression of blyB in E. coli, on the other hand, did not have obvious phenotypic effects. Transcriptional studies demonstrated that the clyA gene is not induced in E. coli cells expressing blyA. Furthermore, protein analyses suggested that the impairment of the E. coli cell envelope by BlyA is responsible for the emergence of the hemolytic activity as it allows latent intracellular ClyA protein, derived from basal-level expression of the clyA gene, to leak into the medium and to lyse erythrocytes. These findings are compatible with the presumption that BlyA functions as a membrane-active holin.
International journal of medical microbiology: IJMM 08/2008; 298(5-6):473-81. DOI:10.1016/j.ijmm.2007.07.014 · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Linezolid resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is typically associated with mutations in the 23S rRNA gene. Here we show that the accumulation of a single point mutation, G2576T, in the different copies of this gene causes stepwise increases in resistance, impairment of the biological fitness, and cross-resistance to quinupristin-dalfopristin and chloramphenicol.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymidine-auxotrophic small colony variants (SCVs) of Staphylococcus aureus are frequently isolated from the chronically infected airways of patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. To date, little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms leading to the formation of this special phenotype, but the auxotrophism for thymidine suggests that impaired thymidine metabolism might play a major role. Sequence analysis of the thymidylate synthase-encoding thyA gene of six clinical thymidine-auxotrophic S. aureus SCVs revealed that all isolates had mutations within thyA. In five isolates the function of the thymidylate synthase was definitely impaired: three of them showed a truncation of the thyA coding sequence by nonsense or frame-shift mutations, in one further isolate the active site of the enzyme was affected by an internal 12-bp deletion, and another isolate had a 173-bp deletion spanning the 5'-terminal region of thyA and the preceding DNA sequence. The sixth isolate showed two amino acid substitutions within the thyA gene product. To confirm the importance of impaired thymidylate synthase synthesis or activity for the formation of the thymidine-auxotrophic SCV phenotype, we constructed a thyA knock-out mutant of a wild-type S. aureus strain. This mutant showed all characteristics of clinical SCVs, such as slow growth, decreased pigment production, reduced hemolytic activity, auxotrophism for thymidine, resistance to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazol, and reduced plasma coagulase activity. Complementation of the thyA knock-out mutant with intact thyA in trans nearly restored the normal phenotype. In conclusion, these data confirm at the molecular level that impaired thymidylate synthase function is causative for the formation of the thymidine-auxotrophic SCV phenotype in S. aureus.
International Journal of Medical Microbiology 08/2007; 297(4):217-25. DOI:10.1016/j.ijmm.2007.02.003 · 3.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ClyASTy and ClyASPaA are closely related pore-forming cytolysins of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A whose expression is strongly repressed under standard in vitro growth conditions. We show here that human infections by these pathogens cause a specific antibody response to ClyA, indicating effective toxin production during infection.
Infection and Immunity 12/2006; 74(11):6505-8. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00779-06 · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several different families of genetically, structurally, and functionally related bacterial pore-forming cytolysins have been identified. The RTX toxins, which are found in a variety of Gram-negative pathogens, represent one of the largest of these toxin families. The designation "RTX toxins" thereby refers to the presence of a characteristic and functionally important tandem array of glycine-rich nonapeptide repeats in these toxins. RTX toxins are synthesized as inactive protoxins that require posttranslational activation (modification) prior to export from the toxin-producing bacteria. This activation is directed by a specific accessory protein that is co-synthesized with the protoxin. So far, two RTX toxins, E. coli a-hemolysin and B. pertussis AC toxin, have been shown to be activated by covalent fatty acylation of specific lysine residues. This chapter reviews the structure and mode of action of RTX toxins. A large quantity of new data regarding the structure and mode of action of RTX toxins has been compiled in the past years. Several things are, however, still poorly or incompletely understood. Examples are the mechanism of pore formation, the function of the fatty acylation and of the binding of calcium ions to RTX toxins, and the processes involved in the RTX toxin-mediated activation of host cells. Current work is aimed at further clarifying these issues.
The Comprehensive Sourcebook of Bacterial Protein Toxins, 01/2006: pages 547-569; , ISBN: 9780120884452
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that individual amino acid exchanges within elongation factor G (EF-G) cause fusidic acid resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. The data from the present study illustrate that the fusidic acid resistance-mediating amino acid substitutions P406L and H457Y are associated with a marked impairment of the biological fitness of S. aureus. In particular, strains producing EF-G derivatives with these mutations showed reduced growth, decreased plasma coagulase activity, and an impaired capability to compete with the isogenic wild-type strain. Second-site mutations within EF-G, such as A67T and S416F, that have been encountered in clinical fusidic acid-resistant isolates containing the amino acid exchanges P406L and H457Y, respectively, were shown not to contribute to resistance. Furthermore, the substitution A67T had no impact on the biological fitness in vitro. The exchange S416F, however, was found to function as a fitness-compensating mutation in S. aureus carrying the substitution H457Y in EF-G. In conclusion, the data presented in this report provide evidence at the molecular level that the deleterious effects of fusidic acid resistance-mediating exchanges within EF-G of S. aureus can be reduced considerably by specific compensating mutations in this target protein. This compensatory adaptation most likely plays a significant role in the stabilization of resistant bacteria within a given population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytolysin A (ClyA) of Escherichia coli is a pore-forming hemolytic protein encoded by the clyA (hlyE, sheA) gene that was first identified in E. coli K-12. In this study we examined various clinical E. coli isolates with regard to the presence and integrity of clyA. PCR and DNA sequence analyses demonstrated that 19 of 23 tested Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) strains, all 7 tested enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) strains, 6 of 8 enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) strains, and 4 of 7 tested enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) strains possess a complete clyA gene. The remaining STEC, EAEC, and ETEC strains and 9 of the 17 tested enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) strains were shown to harbor mutant clyA derivatives containing 1-bp frameshift mutations that cause premature termination of the coding sequence. The other eight
EPEC strains and all tested uropathogenic and new-born meningitis-associated E. coli strains (n = 14 and 3, respectively) carried only nonfunctional clyA fragments due to the deletion of two sequences of 493 bp and 204 or 217 bp at the clyA locus. Expression of clyA from clinical E. coli isolates proved to be positively controlled by the transcriptional regulator SlyA. Several tested E. coli strains harboring a functional clyA gene produced basal amounts of ClyA when grown under standard laboratory conditions, but most of them showed a clyA-dependent hemolytic phenotype only when SlyA was overexpressed. The presented data indicate that cytolysin A can play a role
only for some of the pathogenic E. coli strains.
Journal of Bacteriology 09/2004; 186(16):5311-20. DOI:10.1128/JB.186.16.5311-5320.2004 · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fusidic acid is a potent antibiotic against severe Gram-positive infections that interferes with the function of elongation factor G (EF-G), thereby leading to the inhibition of bacterial protein synthesis. In this study, we demonstrate that fusidic acid resistance in Staphylococcus aureus results from point mutations within the chromosomal fusA gene encoding EF-G. Sequence analysis of fusA revealed mutational changes that cause amino acid substitutions in 10 fusidic acid-resistant clinical S. aureus strains as well as in 10 fusidic acid-resistant S. aureus mutants isolated under fusidic acid selective pressure in vitro. Fourteen different amino acid exchanges were identified that were restricted to 13 amino acid residues within EF-G. To confirm the importance of observed amino acid exchanges in EF-G for the generation of fusidic acid resistance in S. aureus, three mutant fusA alleles encoding EF-G derivatives with the exchanges P406L, H457Y and L461K were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis. In each case, introduction of the mutant fusA alleles on plasmids into the fusidic acid-susceptible S. aureus strain RN4220 caused a fusidic acid-resistant phenotype. The elevated minimal inhibitory concentrations of fusidic acid determined for the recombinant bacteria were analogous to those observed for the fusidic acid-resistant clinical S. aureus isolates and the in vitro mutants containing the same chromosomal mutations. Thus, the data presented provide evidence for the crucial importance of individual amino acid exchanges within EF-G for the generation of fusidic acid resistance in S. aureus.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Resistance determinants that interfere with normal physiological processes in the bacterial cell usually cause a reduction
in biological fitness. Fitness assays revealed that 17 of 18 in vitro-selected chromosomal mutations within the rpoB gene accounting for rifampin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus were associated with a reduction in the level of fitness. There was no obvious correlation between the level of resistance
to rifampin and the level of fitness loss caused by rpoB mutations. Among 23 clinical rifampin-resistant S. aureus isolates from six countries, only seven different rpoB genotypes could be identified, whereby the mutation 481His→Asn was present in 21 (91%) of these 23 isolates. The mutation
481His→Asn, in turn, which confers low-level rifampin resistance on its own, was not shown to be associated with a cost of
resistance in vitro. The restriction to distinct mutations that confer rifampin resistance in vivo, as demonstrated here,
appears to be determined by the Darwinian fitness of the organisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SlyA is a transcriptional regulator of Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, and other bacteria belonging to the ENTEROBACTERIACEAE: The SlyA protein has been shown to be involved in the virulence of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium, but its role in E. coli is unclear. In this study, we employed the proteome technology to analyze the SlyA regulons of enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and Salmonella serovar Typhimurium. In both cases, comparative analysis of the two-dimensional protein maps of a wild-type strain, a SlyA-overproducing derivative, and a corresponding slyA mutant revealed numerous proteins whose expression appeared to be either positively or negatively controlled by SlyA. Twenty of the putative SlyA-induced proteins and 13 of the putative SlyA-repressed proteins of the tested EIEC strain were identified by mass spectrometry. The former proteins included several molecular chaperones (GroEL, GroES, DnaK, GrpE, and CbpA), proteins involved in acid resistance (HdeA, HdeB, and GadA), the "starvation lipoprotein" (Slp), cytolysin ClyA (HlyE or SheA), and several enzymes involved in metabolic pathways, whereas most of the latter proteins proved to be biosynthetic enzymes. Consistently, the resistance of the EIEC slyA mutant to heat and acid stress was impaired compared to that of the wild-type strain. Furthermore, the implication of SlyA in the regulation of several of the identified E. coli proteins was confirmed at the level of transcription with lacZ fusions. Twenty-three of the Salmonella serovar Typhimurium proteins found to be affected by SlyA were also identified by mass spectrometry. With the exception of GroEL these differed from those identified in the EIEC strain and included proteins involved in various processes. The data suggest that gene regulation by SlyA might be crucial for intracellular survival and/or replication of both EIEC and Salmonella serovar Typhimurium in phagocytic host cells.
Journal of Bacteriology 08/2002; 184(13):3549-59. DOI:10.1128/JB.184.13.3549-3559.2002 · 2.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: α-Hemolysin (HlyA) is a secreted protein virulence factor observed in certain uropathogenic strains ofEscherichia coli. The active, mature form of HlyA is produced by posttranslational modification of the protoxin that is mediated by acyl carrier
protein and an acyltransferase, HlyC. We have now shown using mass spectrometry that these modifications, when observed in
protein isolated in vivo, consist of acylation at the ε-amino groups of two internal lysine residues, at positions 564 and 690, with saturated 14-
(68%), 15- (26%), and 17- (6%) carbon amide-linked side chains. Thus, HlyA activated in vivo consists of a heterogeneous family of up to nine different covalent structures, and the substrate specificity of the HlyC
acyltransferase appears to differ from that of the closely related CyaC acyltransferase expressed by Bordetella pertussis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Escherichia coli K-12 harbours a chromosomal gene, clyA (sheA, hlyE), that encodes a haemolytic 34 kDa protein. Recombinant E. coli overexpressing the cloned clyA gene accumulated this haemolysin in the periplasm and released only very small amounts of it into the external medium. The secretion of ClyA was confined to the log phase and paralleled by the partial release of several other periplasmic proteins. Sequencing of ClyA revealed the translational start point of the clyA gene and demonstrated that the clyA gene product is not N-terminally processed during transport. The transcription of clyA from its native promoter region was positively controlled by SlyA, a regulatory protein found in E. coli, Salmonella typhimurium and other Enterobacteriaceae. SlyA-controlled transcription started predominantly 72 bp upstream from clyA, as shown by primer extension. The corresponding putative promoter contains an unusual -10 sequence (TATGAAT) that is separated from a conventional -35 sequence by a GC-rich spacer. Site-directed deletion of the G in the -10 sequence abrogated the SlyA requirement for strong ClyA production, whereas a reduction in the G + C content of the spacer diminished the capability of SlyA to activate the clyA expression. Osmotic protection assays and lipid bilayer experiments suggested that ClyA forms stable, moderately cation-selective transmembrane pores that have a diameter of about 2.5-3 nm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) of Bordetella pertussis belongs to the RTX family of toxins. These toxins are characterized by a series of glycine- and aspartaterich nonapeptide repeats located at the C-terminal half of the toxin molecules. For activity, RTX toxins require Ca2+, which is bound through the repeat region. Here, we identified a stretch of 15 amino acids (block A) that is located C-terminally to the repeat and is essential for the toxic activity of CyaA. Block A is required for the insertion of CyaA into the plasma membranes of host cells. Mixing of a short polypeptide composed of block A and eight Ca2+ binding repeats with a mutant of CyaA lacking block A restores toxic activity fully. This in vitro interpolypeptide complementation is achieved only when block A is present together with the Ca2+ binding repeats on the same polypeptide. Neither a short polypeptide composed of block A only nor a polypeptide consisting of eight Ca2+ binding repeats, or a mixture of these two polypeptides, complement toxic activity. It is suggested that functional complementation occurs because of binding between the Ca2+ binding repeats of the short C-terminal polypeptide and the Ca2+ binding repeats of the CyaA mutant lacking block A.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that Salmonella typhimurium invades the M cells of Peyer's patches (PP) of the murine ileum. The slyA gene of S. typhimurium has also recently been reported to affect virulence of this pathogen in mice and survival in macrophages. We therefore compared the effect on PP tissue of four strains of S. typhimurium: a wild-type strain, two slyA insertion mutants, and a recombinant S. typhimurium derivative carrying multiple copies of slyA. Invasion assays performed 2 and 7 days after orogastric infection revealed significantly lower numbers of bacteria of the slyA mutants and of the SlyA-overproducing strain in PP than of the wild type. However, similar numbers of bacteria of all strains were still present in the lumen of the small intestine after these times. Invasion assays of PP tissue after 90-min ileal loop infection yielded comparable numbers of bacteria of all strains in PP. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy of PP tissue after ileal loop infection demonstrated that the two slyA mutants and the SlyA-overproducing strain were able to attach to, induce membrane ruffling of, and invade M cells in a way morphologically and quantitatively similar to that of the wild type. In contrast to the wild type, both slyA mutants and, to a lesser extent, the SlyA-overproducing strain were significantly impaired in their ability to destroy M cells and adjacent enterocytes. Taken together, these data suggest that slyA is involved in intracellular survival and M-cell cytotoxicity but not in the invasion process and that the amount of SlyA needs to be precisely balanced for virulence.
Infection and Immunity 01/1997; 64(12):5075-84. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemolysin (HlyA) from Escherichia coli containing the hlyCABD operon separated from the nonhemolytic pro-HlyA upon two-dimensional (2-D) polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The migration distance indicated a net loss of two positive charges in HlyA as a result of the HlyC-mediated activation (modification). HlyA activated in vitro in the presence of [U-14C]palmitoyl-acyl carrier protein comigrated with in vivo-activated hemolysin on 2-D gels and was specifically labelled, in agreement with the assumption that the activation is accomplished in vitro and in vivo by covalent fatty acid acylation. The in vivo-modified amino acid residues were identified by peptide mapping and 2-D polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of mutant and truncated HlyA derivatives, synthesized in E. coli in the presence and absence of HlyC. These analyses indicated that the internal residues Lys-564 and Lys-690 of HlyA, which have recently been shown by others to be fatty acid acylated by HlyC in vitro, are also the only modification sites in vivo. HlyA activated in E. coli was quantitatively fatty acid acylated at both sites, and the double modification was required for wild-type hemolytic activity. Single modifications in mutant and truncated HlyA derivatives suggested that both lysine residues are independently fatty acid acylated by a mechanism requiring additional sequences or structures flanking the corresponding acylation site. The intact repeat domain of HlyA was not required for the activation. The pore-forming activities of pro-HlyA and singly modified HlyA mutants in planar lipid bilayer membranes suggested that the activation is not essential for transmembrane pore formation but rather required for efficient binding of the toxin to target membranes.
Journal of Bacteriology 10/1996; 178(18):5422-30. · 2.81 Impact Factor