In Gram-positive bacteria, tyrosine kinases are split into two proteins, the cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase and a transmembrane adaptor protein. In Streptococcus pneumoniae this transmembrane adaptor is CpsC, with the C-terminus of CpsC critical for interaction and subsequent tyrosine kinase activity of CpsD. Topology predictions suggest CpsC has two transmembrane domains, with the N and C-termini present in the cytoplasm. In order to investigate CpsC topology, we used a chromosomal HA-tagged Cps2C protein in D39. Incubation of both protoplasts and membranes with the CP-B resulted in complete degradation of HA-Cps2C in all cases, indicating that the C-terminus of Cps2C was likely extra-cytoplasmic, and hence the protein's topology was not as predicted. Similar results were seen with membranes from TIGR4, indicating Cps4C also showed similar topology. A chromosomally encoded fusion of HA-Cps2C and Cps2D was not degraded by CP-B, suggesting that the fusion fixed the C-terminus within the cytoplasm. However, capsule synthesis was unaltered by this fusion. Detection of the CpsC C-terminus by flow cytometry indicated that it was extra-cytoplasmic in approximately 30% of cells. Interestingly, a mutant in the protein tyrosine phosphatase CpsB had a significantly greater proportion of positive cells, although this affect was independent of its phosphatase activity. Our data indicate that CpsC possesses a varied topology, with the C-terminus flipping across the cytoplasmic membrane where it interacts with CpsD in order to regulate tyrosine kinase activity.
The O antigen (Oag) component of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major virulence determinant of Shigella flexneri and is synthesized by the O antigen polymerase, WzySf. Oag chain length is regulated by chromosomally encoded WzzSf and pHS-2 plasmid encoded WzzpHS2. To identify functionally important amino acid residues in WzySf, random mutagenesis was performed on the wzySf in a pWaldo-TEV-GFPe plasmid followed by screening with colicin E2. Analysis of the LPS conferred by mutated WzySf proteins in the wzySf deficient (?wzy) strain identified 4 different mutant classes, with mutations found in the Periplasmic Loops (PL) - 1, 2, 3, and 6; Trans-membrane (TM) regions - 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9; and Cytoplasmic Loops (CL) - 1 and 5. The association of WzySf and WzzSf was investigated by transforming these mutated wzySf plasmids into a wzySf and wzzSf deficient strain (?wzy/?wzz). Comparison of the LPS profiles in the ?wzy and ?wzy/?wzz backgrounds identified WzySf mutants whose polymerization activity was WzzSf-dependent. Colicin E2 and bacteriophage Sf6c sensitivities were consistent with the LPS profiles. Analysis of the expression levels of the WzySf-GFPe mutants in the ?wzy and ?wzy/?wzz backgrounds identified a role for WzzSf in WzySf stability. Hence, in addition to its role in regulating Oag modal chain length, WzzSf also affects WzySf activity and stability.
For a long time tyrosine phosphorylation has been recognized as a crucial post translational regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes. However, only in the past decade has recognition been given to the crucial importance of bacterial tyrosine phosphorylation as an important regulatory feature of pathogenesis. This study describes the effect of tyrosine phosphorylation on the activity of a major virulence factor of the pneumococcus, the autolysin LytA, and a possible connection to the Streptococcus pneumoniae capsule synthesis regulatory proteins (CpsB, CpsC & CpsD). We show that in vitro pneumococcal tyrosine kinase, CpsD, and the protein tyrosine phosphatase, CpsB, act to phosphorylate and dephosphorylate LytA. Furthermore, this modulates LytA function in vitro with phosphorylated LytA binding more strongly to the choline analogue DEAE. A phospho-mimetic (Y264E) mutation of the LytA phosphorylation site displayed similar phenotypes as well as an enhanced dimerization capacity. Similarly, tyrosine phosphorylation increased LytA amidase activity, as evidenced by a turbidometric amidase activity assay. Similarly, when the phospho-mimetic mutation was introduced in the chromosomal lytA of S. pneumoniae, autolysis occurred earlier and at an enhanced rate. This study thus describes to our knowledge the first functional regulatory effect of tyrosine phosphorylation on a non-capsule related protein in the pneumococcus, and suggests a link between the regulation of LytA-dependent autolysis of the cell, and the biosynthesis of capsular polysaccharide.
Shigella infection in epithelial cells induces cell death which is accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction. In this study the role of the mitochondrial fission protein, Drp1 during Shigella infection in HeLa cells was examined. Significant lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release was detected in the culture supernatant when HeLa cells were infected with Shigella at a high multiplicity of infection. Drp1 inhibition with Mdivi-1 and siRNA knockdown significantly reduced LDH release. HeLa cell death was also accompanied by mitochondrial fragmentation. Tubular mitochondrial networks were partially restored when Drp1 was depleted with either siRNA or inhibited with Mdivi-1. Surprisingly either Mdivi-1 treatment or Drp1 siRNA-depletion of HeLa cells also reduced Shigella plaque formation. The effect of Mdivi-1 on Shigella infection was assessed using the murine Sereny model, however it had no impact on ocular inflammation. Overall our results suggest that Drp1 and the mitochondria play important roles during Shigella infection.
A key feature of Shigella pathogenesis is the ability to spread from cell-to-cell post-invasion. This is dependent on the bacteria's ability to initiate de novo F-actin tail polymerisation, followed by protrusion formation, uptake of bacteria-containing protrusion and finally, lysis of the double membrane vacuole in the adjacent cell. In epithelial cells, cytoskeletal tension is maintained by the actin-myosin II networks. In this study, the role of myosin II and its specific kinase, myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), during Shigella intercellular spreading was investigated in HeLa cells. Inhibition of MLCK and myosin II, as well as myosin IIA knockdown, significantly reduced Shigella plaque and infectious focus formation. Protrusion formation and intracellular bacterial growth was not affected. Low levels of myosin II were localised to the Shigella F-actin tail. HeLa cells were also infected with Shigella strains defective in cell-to-cell spreading. Unexpectedly loss of myosin IIA labelling was observed in HeLa cells infected with these mutant strains. This phenomenon was not observed with WT Shigella or with the less abundant myosin IIB isoform, suggesting a critical role for myosin IIA.
The discovery that the surfaces of Gram-negative bacteria often carry unique polysaccharide signatures pre-dates most seminal discoveries of molecular biology and biochemistry of the 20th century. The O-antigen component of the lipopolysaccharide has been one of the most intensely studied bacterial polysaccharide surface structures for over 80 years. Yet, many questions about the mechanism of biosynthesis of the O-antigen and its transport to the cell surface remain unanswered. In this review we provide an overview of how the molecular basis of the O-antigen assembly and trafficking were unraveled in a historical context. We pay particular attention to the emergence of novel technological approaches and how they fueled the elucidation of the O-antigen maturation process. Moreover, we provide a brief perspective on the biosynthesis of enterobacterial common antigen and underline the similarities and differences between the pathways used to assemble these two surface polysaccharides. Finally, we highlight key discoveries that led to the understanding of the mechanistic basis of bacteriophage-induced O-antigen modifications. We place special emphasis on the regulation of the length of O-antigen polymers and provide a detailed overview of the models explaining the O-antigen length determination. Finally, we highlight outstanding questions that need to be addressed both structurally and functionally to advance our understanding of the O-antigen assembly, trafficking and export within cellular and molecular contexts.
Following contact with the epithelium, the enteric intracellular bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri invades epithelial cells and escapes intracellular phagosomal destruction using its type III secretion system (T3SS). The bacterium replicates within the host cell cytosol and spreads between cells using actin-based motility, which is mediated by the virulence factor IcsA (VirG). Whereas S. flexneri invasion is well characterized, adhesion mechanisms of the bacterium remain elusive. We found that IcsA also functions as an adhesin that is both necessary and sufficient to promote contact with host cells. As adhesion can be beneficial or deleterious depending on the host cell type, S. flexneri regulates IcsA-dependent adhesion. Activation of the T3SS in response to the bile salt deoxycholate triggers IcsA-dependent adhesion and enhances pathogen invasion. IcsA-dependent adhesion contributes to virulence in a mouse model of shigellosis, underscoring the importance of this adhesin to S. flexneri pathogenesis.
The Shigella flexneri polysaccharide co-polymerase class 1a (PCP1a) protein, WzzBSF, regulates LPS O-antigen (Oag) chain length to confer short (S)-type Oag chains of ~10-17 Oag repeat units (RUs). The S-type Oag chains affect Shigella flexneri virulence as they influence IcsA-mediated actin-based motility. However, they do not confer resistance to complement; this is conferred by the very-long (VL)-type Oag chains determined by WzzB(pHS2). Colicins are bacterial proteins produced by some Escherichia coli strains to kill related strains. While the presence of Oag chains has been shown to shield outer-membrane proteins from colicins, the impact of Oag chain length against colicins is unknown. In this study, initial testing indicated that a Shigella flexneri Y wzz?:?:?kan(r) mutant was more sensitive to colicin E2 compared with the WT strain. Plasmids encoding Wzz mutant and WT PCP1a proteins conferring different Oag modal chain lengths were then expressed in the mutant background, and tested against purified colicin E2. Analysis of swab and spot sensitivity assays showed that strains expressing either S-type or long (L)-type Oag chains (16-28 Oag RUs) conferred greater resistance to colicin E2 compared with strains having very-short-type (2-8 Oag RUs), intermediate-short-type (8-14 Oag RUs) or VL-type (>80 Oag RUs) Oag chains. These results suggest a novel role for LPS Oag chain length control that may have evolved due to selection pressure from colicins in the environment.
SfII is a serotype-converting temperate bacteriophage of the highly prevalent Shigella flexneri serotype 2a. We isolated the SfII phage from a wild-type strain of S. flexneri serotype 2a. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of this phage.
In this issue, Bushell and colleagues report the structure of Escherichia coli Wzi, an outer membrane protein, and provide evidence that it functions as a lectin for K30 capsule polysaccharide, thereby anchoring it to the cell surface.
The Escherichia coli O157?:?H7 FepE protein regulates lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-antigen (Oag) chain length to confer a very long modal chain length of >80 Oag repeat units (RUs). The mechanism by which FepE regulates Oag modal chain length and the regions within it that are important for its function remain unclear. Studies on the structure of FepE show that the protein oligomerizes. However, the exact size of the oligomer is in dispute, further hampering our understanding of its mechanism. Guided by information previously obtained for regions known to be important for Oag modal chain length determination in the homologous Shigella flexneri WzzBSF protein, a set of FepE mutant constructs with single amino acid substitutions was created. Analysis of the resulting LPS conferred by these mutant His6-FepE proteins showed that amino acid substitutions of leucine 168 (L168) and aspartic acid 268 (D268) resulted in LPS with consistently shortened Oag chain lengths of <80 Oag RUs. Substitution of FepEs transmembrane cysteine residues did not affect function. Chemical cross-linking experiments on mutant FepE proteins showed no consistent correlation between oligomer size and functional activity, and MS analysis of FepE oligomers indicated that the in vivo size of FepE is consistent with a maximum size of a hexamer. Our findings suggest that different FepE residues, mainly located within the internal cavity of the oligomer, contribute to Oag modal chain length determination but not the oligomeric state of the protein.
The Shigella flexneri IcsA (VirG) protein is a polarly distributed outer membrane protein that is a fundamental virulence factor which interacts with neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP). The activated N-WASP then activates the Arp2/3 complex which initiates de novo actin nucleation and polymerisation to form F-actin comet tails and allows bacterial cell-to-cell spreading. In a previous study, IcsA was found to have three N-WASP interacting regions (IRs): IR I (aa 185-312), IR II (aa 330-382) and IR III (aa 508-730). The aim of this study was to more clearly define N-WASP interacting regions II and III by site-directed mutagenesis of specific amino acids. Mutant IcsA proteins were expressed in both smooth lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS) and rough LPS (R-LPS) S. flexneri strains and characterised for IcsA production level, N-WASP recruitment and F-actin comet tail formation. We have successfully identified new amino acids involved in N-WASP recruitment within different N-WASP interacting regions, and report for the first time using co-expression of mutant IcsA proteins, that N-WASP activation involves interactions with different regions on different IcsA molecules as shown by Arp3 recruitment. In addition, our findings suggest that autochaperone (AC) mutant protein production was not rescued by another AC region provided in trans, differing to that reported for two other autotransporters, PrtS and BrkA autotransporters.
Shigella flexneri remains a significant human pathogen due to high morbidity among children < 5 years in developing countries. One of the key features of Shigella infection is the ability of the bacterium to initiate actin tail polymerisation to disseminate into neighbouring cells. Dynamin II is associated with the old pole of the bacteria that is associated with F-actin tail formation. Dynamin II inhibition with dynasore as well as siRNA knockdown significantly reduced Shigella cell to cell spreading in vitro. The ocular mouse Sereny model was used to determine if dynasore could delay the progression of Shigella infection in vivo. While dynasore did not reduce ocular inflammation, it did provide significant protection against weight loss. Therefore dynasores effects in vivo are unlikely to be related to the inhibition of cell spreading observed in vitro. We found that dynasore decreased S. flexneri-induced HeLa cell death in vitro which may explain the protective effect observed in vivo. These results suggest the administration of dynasore or a similar compound during Shigella infection could be a potential intervention strategy to alleviate disease symptoms.
The Shigella flexneri outer membrane (OM) protease IcsP (SopA) is a member of the enterobacterial Omptin family of proteases which cleaves the polarly localised OM protein IcsA that is essential for Shigella virulence. Unlike IcsA however, the specific localisation of IcsP on the cell surface is unknown. To determine the distribution of IcsP, a haemagglutinin (HA) epitope was inserted into the non-essential IcsP OM loop 5 using Splicing by Overlap Extension (SOE) PCR, and IcsP(HA) was characterised. Quantum Dot (QD) immunofluorescence (IF) surface labelling of IcsP(HA) was then undertaken. Quantitative fluorescence analysis of S. flexneri 2a 2457T treated with and without tunicaymcin to deplete lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O antigen (Oag) showed that IcsP(HA) was asymmetrically distributed on the surface of septating and non-septating cells, and that this distribution was masked by LPS Oag in untreated cells. Double QD IF labelling of IcsP(HA) and IcsA showed that IcsP(HA) preferentially localised to the new pole of non-septating cells and to the septum of septating cells. The localisation of IcsP(HA) in a rough LPS S. flexneri 2457T strain (with no Oag) was also investigated and a similar distribution of IcsP(HA) was observed. Complementation of the rough LPS strain with rmlD resulted in restored LPS Oag chain expression and loss of IcsP(HA) detection, providing further support for LPS Oag masking of surface proteins. Our data presents for the first time the distribution for the Omptin OM protease IcsP, relative to IcsA, and the effect of LPS Oag masking on its detection.
A number of single amino acid substitutions throughout Streptococcus pneumoniae Cps2C were found to affect its function and confer either a mucoid or a small colony phenotype. These mutants exhibit significant changes in capsular polysaccharide (CPS) profile relative to that of wild-type pneumococci. The introduced mutations affect either polymerization or ligation of CPS to the cell wall and/or Cps2D phosphorylation.
In Shigella flexneri, the polysaccharide copolymerase (PCP) protein Wzz(SF) confers a modal length of 10 to 17 repeat units (RUs) to the O-antigen (Oag) component of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). PCPs form oligomeric structures believed to be related to their function. To identify functionally important regions within Wzz(SF), random in-frame linker mutagenesis was used to create mutants with 5-amino-acid insertions (termed Wzz(i) proteins), and DNA sequencing was used to locate the insertions. Analysis of the resulting LPS conferred by Wzz(i) proteins identified five mutant classes. The class I mutants were inactive, resulting in nonregulated LPS Oag chains, while classes II and III conferred shorter LPS Oag chains of 2 to 10 and 8 to 14 RUs, respectively. Class IV mutants retained near-wild-type function, and class V mutants increased the LPS Oag chain length to 16 to 25 RUs. In vivo formaldehyde cross-linking indicated class V mutants readily formed high-molecular-mass oligomers; however, class II and III Wzz(i) mutants were not effectively cross-linked. Wzz dimer stability was also investigated by heating cross-linked oligomers at 100 degrees C in the presence of SDS. Unlike the Wzz(SF) wild type and class IV and V Wzz(i) mutants, the class II and III mutant dimers were not detectable. The location of each insertion was mapped onto available PCP three-dimensional (3D) structures, revealing that class V mutations were most likely located within the inner cavity of the PCP oligomer. These data suggest that the ability to produce stable dimers may be important in determining Oag modal chain length.
Many microbial pathogens recognize oligosaccharides displayed on the surface of host cells as receptors for toxins and adhesins. These ligand-receptor interactions are critical for disease pathogenesis, making them promising targets for novel anti-infectives. One strategy with particular utility against enteric infections involves expression of molecular mimics of host oligosaccharides on the surface of harmless bacteria capable of surviving in the gut. This can be achieved in Gram-negative bacteria by manipulating the outer core region of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) through expression of cloned heterologous glycosyltransferases. The resultant chimeric LPS molecules are incorporated into the outer membrane by the normal assembly route and presented as a closely packed 2-D array of receptor mimics. Several such "designer probiotics" have been constructed, and these bind bacterial toxins in the gut lumen with very high avidity, blocking their uptake by host cells and thereby preventing disease.
Polysaccharides are ubiquitously distributed on the cell surface of bacteria. These polymers are involved in many processes, including immune avoidance and bacteria-host interactions, which are especially important for pathogenic organisms. In many instances, the lengths of these polysaccharides are not random, but rather distribute around some mean value, termed the modal length. A large family of proteins, called polysaccharide co-polymerases (PCPs), found in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive species regulate polysaccharide modal length. Recent crystal structures of Wzz proteins from Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium provide the first atomic-resolution information for one family of PCPs, the PCP1 group. These crystal structures have important implications for the structures of other PCP families.
Increasing antibiotic resistance is making the identification of novel antimicrobial targets critical. Recently, we discovered an inhibitor of protein tyrosine phosphatase CpsB, fascioquinol E (FQE), which unexpectedly inhibited the growth of Gram-positive pathogens. CpsB is a member of the polymerase and histidinol phosphate phosphatase (PHP) domain family. Another member of this family found in a variety of Gram-positive pathogens is DNA polymerase PolC. We purified the PHP domain from PolC (PolC(PHP)), and showed that this competes away FQE inhibition of CpsB phosphatase activity. Furthermore, we showed that this domain hydrolyses the 5-p-nitrophenyl ester of thymidine-5-monophosphate (pNP-TMP), which has been used as a measure of exonuclease activity. Finally, we showed that FQE not only inhibits the phosphatase activity of CpsB, but also ability of PolC(PHP) to catalyse the hydrolysis of pNP-TMP. This suggests that PolC may be the essential target of FQE, and that the PHP domain may represent an as yet untapped target for the development of novel antibiotics.
The Shigella flexneri IcsA (VirG) protein is a polarly distributed autotransporter protein. IcsA functions as a virulence factor by interacting with the host actin regulatory protein N-WASP, which in turn activates the Arp2/3 complex, initiating actin polymerization. Formation of F-actin comet tails allows bacterial cell-to-cell spreading. Although various accessory proteins such as periplasmic chaperones and the ?-barrel assembly machine (BAM) complex have been shown to be involved in the export of IcsA, the IcsA translocation mechanism remains to be fully elucidated. A putative autochaperone (AC) region (amino acids 634-735) located at the C-terminal end of the IcsA passenger domain, which forms part of the self-associating autotransporter (SAAT) domain, has been suggested to be required for IcsA biogenesis, as well as for N-WASP recruitment, based on mutagenesis studies. IcsA(i) proteins with linker insertion mutations within the AC region have a significant reduction in production and are defective in N-WASP recruitment when expressed in smooth LPS (S-LPS) S. flexneri. In this study, we have found that the LPS O antigen plays a role in IcsA(i) production based on the use of an rmlD (rfbD) mutant having rough LPS (R-LPS) and a novel assay in which O antigen is depleted using tunicamycin treatment and then regenerated. In addition, we have identified a new N-WASP binding/interaction site within the IcsA AC region.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) are a significant health concern, exacerbated by the rapid emergence of multidrug resistant strains refractory to antibiotic treatment. P fimbriae are strongly associated with upper urinary tract colonization due to specific binding to ?-D-galactopyranosyl-(1-4)-?-D-galactopyranoside receptors in the kidneys. Thus, inhibiting P-fimbrial adhesion may reduce the incidence of UPEC-mediated UTI. E. coli 83972 is an asymptomatic bacteriuria isolate successfully used as a prophylactic agent to prevent UTI in human studies. We constructed a recombinant E. coli 83972 strain displaying a surface-located oligosaccharide P fimbriae receptor mimic that bound to P-fimbriated E. coli producing any of the 3 PapG adhesin variants. The recombinant strain, E. coli 83972::lgtCE, impaired P fimbriae-mediated adhesion to human erythrocytes and kidney epithelial cells. Additionally, E. coli 83972::lgtCE impaired urine colonization by UPEC in a mouse UTI model, demonstrating its potential as a prophylactic agent to prevent UTI.
Naturally occurring microorganisms have been used therapeutically for over a century, but the advent of modern techniques for genetic manipulation has created unprecedented opportunities to develop novel bioengineered microbes with high therapeutic efficacy. Engineered bacteria can be tailored to deliver drugs, therapeutic proteins, and gene therapy vectors with great efficiency, and with a higher degree of site-specificity than conventional administration regimes. Moreover, they provide new opportunities to interfere with critical steps in disease pathogenesis. In this review, we present a cross-section of recent work on the development of bacterial-mediated treatments for inflammatory disorders, infectious diseases, and cancer. These treatments have the potential to significantly impact global morbidity and mortality if successfully translated from the laboratory into the clinic.
The bacterial capsule is a recognized virulence factor in pathogenic bacteria. It likely works as an antiphagocytic barrier by minimizing complement deposition on the bacterial surface. With the continual rise of bacterial pathogens resistant to multiple antibiotics, there is an increasing need for novel drugs. In the Wzy-dependent pathway, the biosynthesis of capsular polysaccharide (CPS) is regulated by a phosphoregulatory system, whose main components consist of bacterial-tyrosine kinases (BY-kinases) and their cognate phosphatases. The ability to regulate capsule biosynthesis has been shown to be vital for pathogenicity, because different stages of infection require a shift in capsule thickness, making the phosphoregulatory proteins suitable as drug targets. Here, we review the role of regulatory proteins focusing on Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli and discuss their suitability as targets in structure-based drug design.
Capsule polysaccharide is a major virulence factor for a wide range of bacterial pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumoniae. The biosynthesis of Wzy-dependent capsules in both gram-negative and -positive bacteria is regulated by a system involving a protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) and a protein tyrosine kinase. However, how the system functions is still controversial. In Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major human pathogen, the system is present in all but 2 of the 93 serotypes found to date. In order to study this regulation further, we performed a screen to find inhibitors of the phosphatase, CpsB. This led to the observation that a recently discovered marine sponge metabolite, fascioquinol E, inhibited CpsB phosphatase activity both in vitro and in vivo at concentrations that did not affect the growth of the bacteria. This inhibition resulted in decreased capsule synthesis in D39 and Type 1 S. pneumoniae. Furthermore, concentrations of Fascioquinol E that inhibited capsule also lead to increased attachment of pneumococci to a macrophage cell line, suggesting that this compound would inhibit the virulence of the pathogen. Interestingly, this compound also inhibited the phosphatase activity of the structurally unrelated gram-negative PTP, Wzb, which belongs to separate family of protein tyrosine phosphatases. Furthermore, incubation with Klebsiella pneumoniae, which contains a homologous phosphatase, resulted in decreased capsule synthesis. Taken together, these data provide evidence that PTPs are critical for Wzy-dependent capsule production across a spectrum of bacteria, and as such represents a valuable new molecular target for the development of anti-virulence antibacterials.
The IcsA autotransporter protein is a major virulence factor of the human intracellular pathogen Shigella flexneri. IcsA is distributed at the poles in the outer membrane (OM) of S. flexneri and interacts with components of the host actin-polymerization machinery to facilitate intracellular actin-based motility and subsequent cell-to-cell spreading of the bacterium. We sought to characterize the biochemical properties of IcsA in the bacterial OM. Chemical cross-linking data suggested that IcsA exists in a complex in the OM. Furthermore, reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation of differentially epitope-tagged IcsA proteins indicated that IcsA is able to self-associate. The identification of IcsA linker-insertion mutants that were negatively dominant provided genetic evidence of IcsA-IcsA interactions. From these results, we propose a model whereby IcsA self-association facilitates efficient actin-based motility.
Herein we outline the antibacterial activity of amino acid containing thiazolidinediones and rhodanines against Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 31890, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633. The rhodanine derivatives were generally more active than the analogous thiazolidinediones. Compounds of series 5 showed some selectivity for Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, the extent of which is enhanced by the inclusion of a non-polar amino acid at the 5-position of the core thiazolidinediones and rhodanines scaffolds. SAR data of series 8 demonstrated improved activity against the clinically more significant Staphylococci with selectivity over Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 induced by introduction of a bulky aryl substituent at the 5-position of the core scaffolds.
There is a well documented need to replenish the antibiotic pipeline with new agents to combat the rise of drug resistant bacteria. One strategy to combat resistance is to discover new chemical classes immune to current resistance mechanisms that inhibit essential metabolic enzymes. Many of the obvious drug targets that have no homologous isozyme in the human host have now been investigated. Bacterial drug targets that have a closely related human homologue represent a new frontier in antibiotic discovery. However, to avoid potential toxicity to the host, these inhibitors must have very high selectivity for the bacterial enzyme over the human homolog. We have demonstrated that the essential enzyme biotin protein ligase (BPL) from the clinically important pathogen Staphylococcus aureus could be selectively inhibited. Linking biotin to adenosine via a 1,2,3 triazole yielded the first BPL inhibitor selective for S. aureus BPL over the human equivalent. The synthesis of new biotin 1,2,3-triazole analogues using click chemistry yielded our most potent structure (K(i) 90 nM) with a >1100-fold selectivity for the S. aureus BPL over the human homologue. X-ray crystallography confirmed the mechanism of inhibitor binding. Importantly, the inhibitor showed cytotoxicity against S. aureus but not cultured mammalian cells. The biotin 1,2,3-triazole provides a novel pharmacophore for future medicinal chemistry programs to develop this new antibiotic class.
Autotransporters are attractive cell surface display vehicles as they lack complex adaptor proteins necessary for protein export. Recent reports have suggested that the native effector domain (? domain) and translocation domain (? domain) interact with each other to drive translocation of the effector domain to the outer membrane. In this report we compared the expression, surface localisation and folding of TEM-1 ?-lactamase (Bla) and maltose binding protein (MalE or MBP) fused to either full length Shigella flexneri IcsA (IcsA) autotransporter or to the ? domain alone (IcsA?) to determine the contribution of the native IcsA ? domain in presenting the fusion proteins on the surface of E. coli K-12 UT5600 (?ompT).
Significance. Tyrosine phosphorylation and associated protein tyrosine phosphatases are gaining prominence as critical mechanisms in the regulation of fundamental processes in a wide variety of bacteria. In particular, these phosphatases have been associated with the control of the biosynthesis of capsular polysaccharides and extracellular polysaccharides, critically important virulence factors for bacteria. Recent Advances. Deletion and over-expression of the phosphatases result in altered polysaccharide biosynthesis in a range of bacteria. The recent structures of associated auto-phosphorylating tyrosine kinases has suggested that the phosphatases may be critical for the cycling of the kinases between monomers and higher order oligomers. Critical Issues. Additional substrates of the phosphatases apart from cognate kinases are currently being identified. These are likely to be critical to our understanding of the mechanism by which polysaccharide biosynthesis is regulated. Future Directions. Ultimately, these protein tyrosine phosphatases are an attractive target for the development of novel anti-microbials. This is particularly the case for the polymerase and histidinol phosphatase family, which are predominantly found in bacteria. Furthermore, the determination of bacterial tyrosine phosphoproteomes will likely help to uncover the fundamental roles, mechanism and critical importance of these phosphatases in a wide range of bacteria.
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