[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three Type VI Secretion System (T6SS) loci called H1- to H3-T6SS coexist in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. H1-T6SS targets prokaryotic cells whereas H2-T6SS mediates interactions with both eukaryotic and prokaryotic host cells. Little is known about the third system, except that it may be connected to H2-T6SS during the host infection. Here we show that H3-T6SS is required for P. aeruginosa PAO1 virulence in the worm model. We demonstrate that the two putative H3-T6SS operons, called "left" and "right", are coregulated with H2-T6SS by the Las and Rhl Quorum Sensing systems. Interestingly, the RpoN σ54 factor has divergent effects on the three operons. As for many T6SSs, RpoN activates the expression of H3-T6SS left. However, RpoN unexpectedly represses the expression of H3-T6SS right and also H2-T6SS. Sfa2 and Sfa3 are putative enhancer binding proteins encoded on H2-T6SS and H3-T6SS left. In other T6SSs EBPs can act as σ54 activators to promote T6SS transcription. Strikingly, we found that the RpoN effects of H3-T6SS are Sfa-independent while the RpoN mediated repression of H2-T6SS is Sfa2-dependent. This is the first example of RpoN repression of a T6SS being mediated by a T6SS-encoded EBP.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e76030. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 contains three type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) called H1-, H2-, and H3-T6SS. The H1-T6SS secretes three identified toxins that target other bacteria, providing a fitness advantage for P. aeruginosa, and likely contributes to bacterial pathogenesis in chronic infections. However, no specific substrates or defined roles have been described for the two other systems. Here, we demonstrate that the expression of H2-T6SS genes of strain PAO1 is up-regulated during the transition from exponential to stationary phase growth and regulated by the Las and Rhl quorum sensing systems. In addition, we identify two putative Fur boxes in the promoter region and find that H2-T6SS transcription is negatively regulated by iron. We also show that the H2-T6SS system enhances bacterial uptake into HeLa cells (75% decrease in internalization with a H2-T6SS mutant) and into lung epithelial cells through a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent pathway that induces Akt activation in the host cell (50% decrease in Akt phosphorylation). Finally, we show that H2-T6SS plays a role in P. aeruginosa virulence in the worm model. Thus, in contrast to H1-T6SS, H2-T6SS modulates interaction with eukaryotic host cells. Together, T6SS can carry out different functions that may be important in establishing chronic P. aeruginosa infections in the human host.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2012; 287(32):27095-105. · 4.65 Impact Factor