Vibrio cholerae is a bacterial pathogen that colonizes the chitinous exoskeleton of zooplankton as well as the human gastrointestinal tract. Colonization of these different niches involves an N-acetylglucosamine binding protein (GbpA) that has been reported to mediate bacterial attachment to both marine chitin and mammalian intestinal mucin through an unknown molecular mechanism. We report structural studies that reveal that GbpA possesses an unusual, elongated, four-domain structure, with domains 1 and 4 showing structural homology to chitin binding domains. A glycan screen revealed that GbpA binds to GlcNAc oligosaccharides. Structure-guided GbpA truncation mutants show that domains 1 and 4 of GbpA interact with chitin in vitro, whereas in vivo complementation studies reveal that domain 1 is also crucial for mucin binding and intestinal colonization. Bacterial binding studies show that domains 2 and 3 bind to the V. cholerae surface. Finally, mouse virulence assays show that only the first three domains of GbpA are required for colonization. These results explain how GbpA provides structural/functional modular interactions between V. cholerae, intestinal epithelium and chitinous exoskeletons.
Vibrio cholerae is the bacterium that causes cholera, a disease endemic in developing countries with poor sanitation. The bacterium colonizes aquatic organisms that serve as a reservoir of transmission to humans. Our work has focused on GbpA, a protein that is secreted by V. cholerae and appears to facilitate growth of the bacteria both in the human intestine and on the exoskeletons of marine organisms. We show that the protein possesses an unusual three-dimensional structure consisting of four separate domains. Two of the domains are similar to proteins that are known to bind chitin, an exoskeleton biopolymer, and our data show that these domains indeed harbour the chitin binding properties of GbpA. One of these domains is also capable of binding intestinal mucus. The two remaining domains are required for interacting with the bacterium itself, creating a stable interface between the bacterium and the human/marine host, facilitating colonization. Finally, work with a cholera mouse model shows that only the first three domains of GbpA are required for colonization. These results show how GbpA provides structural/functional modular interactions between V. cholerae, the intestinal epithelium and chitinous exoskeletons.
The nucleotide second messengers cAMP and c-di-GMP allow many bacteria, including the human intestinal pathogen Vibrio cholerae, to respond to environmental stimuli with appropriate physiological adaptations. In response to limitation of specific carbohydrates, cAMP and its receptor CRP control the transcription of genes important for nutrient acquisition and utilization; c-di-GMP controls the transition between motile and sessile lifestyles often, but not exclusively, through transcriptional mechanisms. In this study, we investigated the convergence of cAMP and c-di-GMP signaling pathways in regulating the expression of gbpA. GbpA is a colonization factor that participates in the attachment of V. cholerae to N-acetylglucosamine-containing surfaces in its native aquatic environment and the host intestinal tract.
We show that c-di-GMP inhibits gbpA activation in a fashion independent of the known transcription factors that directly sense c-di-GMP. Interestingly, inhibition of gbpA activation by c-di-GMP only occurs during growth on non-PTS dependent nutrient sources. Consistent with this result, we show that CRP binds to the gbpA promoter in a cAMP-dependent manner in vitro and drives transcription of gbpA in vivo. The interplay between cAMP and c-di-GMP does not broadly impact the CRP-cAMP regulon, but occurs more specifically at the gbpA promoter.
These findings suggest that c-di-GMP directly interferes with the interaction of CRP-cAMP and the gbpA promoter via an unidentified regulator. The use of two distinct second messenger signaling mechanisms to regulate gbpA transcription may allow V. cholerae to finely modulate GbpA production, and therefore colonization of aquatic and host surfaces, in response to discrete environmental stimuli.
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Inactivation of the gbpA gene of Streptococcus mutans increases virulence in a gnotobiotic rat model and also promotes in vivo accumulation of organisms in which gtfB and gtfC have recombined to reduce virulence (K. R. O. Hazlett, S. M. Michalek, and J. A. Banas, Infect. Immun. 66:2180–2185, 1998). These changes in virulence were hypothesized to result from changes in plaque structure. We have utilized an in vitro plaque model to test the hypothesis that the absence of GbpA alters S. mutans plaque structure and that the presence of gtfBC recombinant organisms within a gbpA background restores a wild-type (wt)-like plaque structure. When grown in the presence of sucrose within hydroxyapatite-coated wells, the wt S. mutans plaque consisted primarily of large aggregates which did not completely coat the hydroxyapatite surface, whereas the gbpA mutant plaque consisted of a uniform layer of smaller aggregates which almost entirely coated the hydroxyapatite. If 25% of the gbpA mutants used as inoculum were also gtfBC recombinants (gbpA/25%gtfBC), a wt-like plaque was formed. These changes in plaque structure correlated with differences in susceptibility to ampicillin; gbpA plaque organisms were more susceptible than organisms in either the wt or gbpA/25%gtfBC plaques. These data allow the conclusion that GbpA contributes to S. mutans plaque biofilm development. Since the changes in plaque structure detailed in this report correlate well with previously observed changes in virulence, it seems likely that S. mutans biofilm structure influences virulence. A potential model for this influence, which can account for the gtfBC recombination compensating gbpA inactivation, is that the ratio of glucan to glucan-binding protein is a critical factor in plaque development.
Glucan-binding protein A (GbpA) of Streptococcus mutans has been hypothesized to promote sucrose-dependent adherence and the cohesiveness of plaque and therefore to contribute to caries formation. We have analyzed the adherence properties and virulence of isogenic gbpA mutants relative to those of wild-type S. mutans. Contrary to expectations, the gbpA mutant strains displayed enhanced sucrose-dependent adherence in vitro and enhanced cariogenicity in vivo. In vitro, S. mutans was grown in the presence of [3H]thymidine and sucrose within glass vials. When grown with constant rotation, significantly higher levels of gbpA mutant organisms than of wild type remained adherent to the vial walls. Postgrowth vortexing of rotated cultures significantly decreased adherence of wild-type organisms, whereas the adherence of gbpA mutant organisms was unaffected. In the gnotobiotic rat model, the gbpA mutant strain was hypercariogenic though the colonization levels were not significantly different from those of the wild type. The gbpA mutant strain became enriched in vivo with organisms that had undergone a recombination involving the gtfB and gtfC genes. The incidence of gtfBC recombinant organisms increased as a function of dietary sucrose availability and was inversely correlated with caries development. We propose that the absence of GbpA elevates the cariogenic potential of S. mutans by altering the structure of plaque. However, the hypercariogenic plaque generated by gbpA mutant organisms may be suboptimal for S. mutans, leading to the accumulation of gtfBC recombinants whose reduced glucosyltransferase activity restores a less cariogenic plaque structure.
The glucan-binding protein-A (GbpA) of Streptococcus mutans has been shown to contribute to the architecture of glucan-dependent biofilms formed by this species and influence virulence in a rat model. Since S. mutans synthesizes multiple glucosyltransferases (GTF) and non-GTF glucan-binding proteins (GBPs), it’s possible that there is functional redundancy that overshadows the full extent of GbpA contributions to S. mutans biology. Glucan-associated properties such as adhesion, aggregation, and biofilm formation were examined independently of other S. mutans GBPs by cloning the gbpA gene into a heterologous host, Streptococcus gordonii, and derivatives with altered or diminished GTF activity. The presence of GbpA did not alter dextran-dependent aggregation nor the initial sucrose-dependent adhesion of S. gordonii. However, expression of GbpA altered the biofilm formed by wild-type S. gordonii as well as the biofilm formed by strain CH107 that produced primarily α-1,6-linked glucan. Expression of gbpA did not alter the biofilm formed by strain DS512 that produced significantly lower quantities of parental glucan. These data are consistent with a role for GbpA in facilitating the development of biofilms that harbor taller microcolonies via binding to α-1,6-linkages within glucan. The magnitude of the GbpA effect appears dependent on the quantity and linkage of available glucan.
The chitin-binding protein GbpA of Vibrio cholerae has been recently described as a common adherence factor for chitin and intestinal surface. Using an isogenic in-frame gbpA deletion mutant, we first show that V. cholerae O1 El Tor interacts with mouse intestinal mucus quickly, using GbpA in a specific manner. The gbpA mutant strain showed a significant decrease in intestinal adherence, leading to less colonization and fluid accumulation in a mouse in vivo model. Purified recombinant GbpA (rGbpA) specifically bound to N-acetyl-d-glucosamine residues of intestinal mucin in a dose-dependent, saturable manner with a dissociation constant of 11.2 μM. Histopathology results from infected mouse intestine indicated that GbpA binding resulted in a time-dependent increase in mucus secretion. We found that rGbpA increased the production of intestinal secretory mucins (MUC2, MUC3, and MUC5AC) in HT-29 cells through upregulation of corresponding genes. The upregulation of MUC2 and MUC5AC genes was dependent on NF-κB nuclear translocation. Interestingly, mucin could also increase GbpA expression in V. cholerae in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, we propose that there is a coordinated interaction between GbpA and mucin to upregulate each other in a cooperative manner, leading to increased levels of expression of both of these interactive factors and ultimately allowing successful intestinal colonization and pathogenesis by V. cholerae.
Recently, we recognized two genes, gbpA and gbpB, encoding putative cGMP-binding proteins with a Zn2+-hydrolase domain and two cyclic nucleotide binding domains. The Zn2+-hydrolase domains belong to the superfamily of β-lactamases, also harboring a small family of class II phosphodiesterases from bacteria and lower eukaryotes. Gene inactivation and overexpression studies demonstrate that gbpA encodes the cGMP-stimulated cGMP-phosphodiesterase that was characterized biochemically previously and was shown to be involved in chemotaxis. cAMP neither activates nor is a substrate of GbpA. The gbpB gene is expressed mainly in the multicellular stage and seems to encode a dual specificity phosphodiesterase with preference for cAMP. The enzyme hydrolyses cAMP ∼9-fold faster than cGMP and is activated by cAMP and cGMP with a KA value of ∼0.7 and 2.3 μM, respectively. Cells with a deletion of the gbpB gene have increased basal and receptor stimulated cAMP levels and are sporogeneous. We propose that GbpA and GbpB hydrolyze the substrate in the Zn2+-hydrolase domain, whereas the cyclic nucleotide binding domains mediate activation. The human cGMP-stimulated cAMP/cGMP phosphodiesterase has similar biochemical properties, but a completely different topology: hydrolysis takes place by a class I catalytic domain and GAF domains mediate cGMP activation.
Streptococcus mutans glucan-binding protein A (GbpA) has sequence similarity in its carboxyl-terminal domain with glucosyltransferases (GTFs), the enzymes responsible for catalyzing the synthesis of the glucans to which GbpA and GTFs can bind and which promote S. mutans attachment to and accumulation on the tooth surface. It was predicted that this C-terminal region, comprised of what have been termed YG repeats, represents the GbpA glucan-binding domain (GBD). In an effort to test this hypothesis and to quantitate the ligand-binding specificities of the GbpA GBD, several fusion proteins were generated and tested by affinity electrophoresis or by precipitation of protein-ligand complexes, allowing the determination of binding constants. It was determined that the 16 YG repeats in GbpA comprise its GBD and that GbpA has a greater affinity for dextran (a water-soluble form of glucan) than for mutan (a water-insoluble form of glucan). Placement of the GBD at the carboxyl terminus was necessary for maximum glucan binding, and deletion of as few as two YG repeats from either end of the GBD reduced the affinity for dextran by over 10-fold. Interestingly, the binding constant of GbpA for dextran was 34-fold higher than that calculated for the GBDs of two S. mutans GTFs, one of which catalyzes the synthesis of water-soluble glucan and the other of which catalyzes the synthesis of water-insoluble glucan.
Vibrio cholerae is the etiologic agent of cholera in humans. Intestinal colonization occurs in a stepwise fashion, initiating with attachment to the small intestinal epithelium. This attachment is followed by expression of the toxin-coregulated pilus, microcolony formation, and cholera toxin (CT) production. We have recently characterized a secreted attachment factor, GlcNAc binding protein A (GbpA), which functions in attachment to environmental chitin sources as well as to intestinal substrates. Studies have been initiated to define the regulatory network involved in GbpA induction. At low cell density, GbpA was detected in the culture supernatant of all wild-type (WT) strains examined. In contrast, at high cell density, GbpA was undetectable in strains that produce HapR, the central regulator of the cell density-dependent quorum-sensing system of V. cholerae. HapR represses the expression of genes encoding regulators involved in V. cholerae virulence and activates the expression of genes encoding the secreted proteases HapA and PrtV. We show here that GbpA is degraded by HapA and PrtV in a time-dependent fashion. Consistent with this, ΔhapA ΔprtV strains attach to chitin beads more efficiently than either the WT or a ΔhapA ΔprtV ΔgbpA strain. These results suggest a model in which GbpA levels fluctuate in concert with the bacterial production of proteases in response to quorum-sensing signals. This could provide a mechanism for GbpA-mediated attachment to, and detachment from, surfaces in response to environmental cues.
The interactions between pathogens and hosts lead to a massive upregulation of antimicrobial host effector molecules. Among these, the 65 kDa guanylate binding proteins (GBPs) are interesting candidates as intricate components of the host effector molecule repertoire. Members of the GBP family are highly conserved in vertebrates. Previous reports indicate an antiviral activity of human GBP1 (hGBP1) and murine GBP2 (mGBP2). We recently demonstrated that distinct murine GBP (mGBP) family members are highly upregulated upon Toxoplasma gondii infection and localize around the intracellular protozoa T. gondii. Moreover, we characterised five new mGBP family members within the murine 65 kDa GBP family. Here, we identified a new mGBP locus named mGbp11. Based on bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), expressed sequence tag (EST), and RT-PCR analyses this study provides a detailed insight into the genomic localization and organization of the mGBPs. These analyses revealed a 166-kb spanning region on chromosome 3 harboring five transcribed mGBPs (mGbp1, mGbp2, mGbp3, mGbp5, and mGbp7) and one pseudogene (pseudomGbp1), as well as a 332-kb spanning region on chromosome 5 consisting of six transcribed mGBPs (mGbp4, mGbp6, mGbp8, mGbp9, mGbp10, and mGbp11), and one pseudogene (pseudomgbp2). Besides the strikingly high homology of 65% to 98% within the coding sequences, the mGBPs on chromosome 5 cluster also exhibit a highly homologous exon-intron structure whereas the mGBP on chromosome 3 reveals a more divergent exon-intron structure. This study details the comprehensive genomic organization of mGBPs and suggests that a continuously changing microbial environment has exerted evolutionary pressure on this gene family leading to multiple gene amplifications. A list of links for this article can be found in the Availability and requirements section.
Glucan plays a central role in sucrose-dependent biofilm formation by the
dental pathogen Streptococcus mutans. This organism synthesizes
several proteins capable of binding glucan. These are divided into the
glucosyltransferases (Gtfs) that catalyze the synthesis of glucan and the
non-Gtf glucan-binding proteins (Gbps). The biological significance of the Gbps
has not been thoroughly defined, but studies suggest these proteins influence
virulence and play a role in maintaining biofilm architecture by linking
bacteria and extracellular molecules of glucan. We engineered a panel of Gbp
mutants, targeting GbpA, GbpC, and GbpD, in which each gene encoding a Gbp was
deleted individually and in combination. These strains were then analyzed by
confocal microscopy and the biofilm properties quantified by the biofilm
quantification software COMSTAT. All biofilms produced by mutant strains lost
significant depth, but the basis for the reduction in height depended on which
particular Gbp was missing. The loss of the cell-bound GbpC appeared dominant as
might be expected based on losing the principal receptor for glucan. The loss of
an extracellular Gbp, either GbpA or GbpD, also profoundly changed the biofilm
architecture, each in a unique manner.
The Vibrio cholerae N-acetyl glucosamine-binding protein A (GbpA) is a chitin-binding protein involved in V. cholerae attachment to environmental chitin surfaces and human intestinal cells. We previously investigated the distribution and genetic variations of gbpA in a large collection of V. cholerae strains and found that the gene is consistently present and highly conserved in this species. Primers and probe were designed from the gbpA sequence of V. cholerae and a new Taq-based qPCR protocol was developed for diagnostic detection and quantification of the bacterium in environmental and stool samples. In addition, the positions of primers targeting the gbpA gene region were selected to obtain a short amplified fragment of 206 bp and the protocol was optimized for the analysis of formalin-fixed samples, such as historical Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) samples. Overall, the method is sensitive (50 gene copies), highly specific for V. cholerae and failed to amplify strains of the closely-related species Vibrio mimicus. The sensitivity of the assay applied to environmental and stool samples spiked with V. cholerae ATCC 39315 was comparable to that of pure cultures and was of 102 genomic units/l for drinking and seawater samples, 101 genomic units/g for sediment and 102 genomic units/g for bivalve and stool samples. The method also performs well when tested on artificially formalin-fixed and degraded genomic samples and was able to amplify V. cholerae DNA in historical CPR samples, the earliest of which date back to August 1966. The detection of V. cholerae in CPR samples collected in cholera endemic areas such as the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) is of particular significance and represents a proof of concept for the possible use of the CPR technology and the developed qPCR assay in cholera studies.
SGP (for Streptococcus GTP-binding protein) is a Streptococcus mutans essential GTPase which has significant sequence identity to the previously identified Escherichia coli Era protein and to numerous other prokaryotic GTPase proteins of unknown function. Recent studies in our laboratory have addressed the possible role of SGP in the stress response of the oral pathogen S. mutans. Here we report that during growth in the early stationary phase, and in response to elevated temperatures or acidic pH, the distribution of SGP between the cytoplasm and the membranes of S. mutans cells varies. Immunoblot analysis of soluble and membrane protein fractions collected from the mid-log and early stationary growth phases of bacterial populations grown at normal temperature (37°C) and at the elevated temperature of 43°C, or at acidic pH, demonstrated that the total amount of SGP increased with the age of the bacterial culture, elevated temperature, or acidic pH. Furthermore, it was established that a substantial amount of SGP is associated with the membrane fraction under stress conditions. In order to investigate the physiological role of SGP, we constructed an S. mutans strain capable of chromosomal sgp antisense RNA expression, which interferes with the normal information processing of the sgp gene. Utilizing this strain, we determined conditions whereby the streptococcal cells can be depleted of SGP, thus avoiding the problem of constructing a conditional lethal system. From the results of measurements of the nucleotide pools extracted from the antisense strain and its isogenic counterpart, we propose that one of the physiological roles of SGP is regulation and modulation of the GTP/GDP ratio under different growth conditions. Moreover, we observed that in SGP-depleted cells the levels of glucan-binding protein A (GbpA) substantially increased, suggesting that GbpA may have stress response-related physiological functions. Finally, the potential applications of the antisense RNA approach that we employed are discussed.
Studies of trace metals in drinking water and tooth enamel have suggested a caries-promoting potential for manganese (Mn). Additionally, Mn has been shown to be essential for the expression of mutans streptococci virulence factors such as the glucan-binding lectin (GBL) of Streptococcus sobrinus. The Streptococcus mutans glucan-binding protein (Gbp) GbpC is the functional analogue of the S. sobrinus GBL. S. mutans Gbps have been shown to contribute to biofilm architecture and virulence. This study was undertaken to examine the effects of Mn on the transcription of genes encoding S. mutans Gbps, including gbpC, along with other critical S. mutans virulence genes.
Microarray analyses suggested the potential for an Mn effect on Gbp genes. Further investigation of the Mn effects on selected genes was undertaken by performing Northern blots, Western blots, and RT-PCR under conditions of planktonic and biofilm growth in Mn-depleted media or in media containing 50 μM Mn.
Mn resulted in increased expression of gbpC and gtfB, and decreased expression of wapA, in both planktonic and biofilm cultures. The expression levels of gbpA and gbpD were also decreased in the presence of Mn, but only in biofilms. The expression of gtfC was increased in the presence of Mn only in planktonic cultures. The spaP gene was expressed more highly in Mn-supplemented planktonic cultures but less in Mn-supplemented biofilms.
Mn availability affects the expression of multiple S. mutans genes involved in adhesion and biofilm formation. Furthermore, these effects depend on the growth state of the organism.
Biofilm; Manganese; Streptococcus mutans virulence
Guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) belong to the dynamin family of large GTPases and represent the major IFN-γ-induced proteins. Here we systematically investigated the mechanisms regulating the subcellular localization of GBPs. Three GBPs (GBP-1, GBP-2 and GBP-5) carry a C-terminal CaaX-prenylation signal, which is typical for small GTPases of the Ras family, and increases the membrane affinity of proteins. In this study, we demonstrated that GBP-1, GBP-2 and GBP-5 are prenylated in vivo and that prenylation is required for the membrane association of GBP-1, GBP-2 and GBP-5. Using co-immunoprecipitation, yeast-two-hybrid analysis and fluorescence complementation assays, we showed for the first time that GBPs are able to homodimerize in vivo and that the membrane association of GBPs is regulated by dimerization similarly to dynamin. Interestingly, GBPs could also heterodimerize. This resulted in hierarchical positioning effects on the intracellular localization of the proteins. Specifically, GBP-1 recruited GBP-5 and GBP-2 into its own cellular compartment and GBP-5 repositioned GBP-2. In addition, GBP-1, GBP-2 and GBP-5 were able to redirect non-prenylated GBPs to their compartment in a prenylation-dependent manner. Overall, these findings prove in vivo the ability of GBPs to dimerize, indicate that heterodimerization regulates sub-cellular localization of GBPs and underscore putative membrane-associated functions of this family of proteins.
Streptococcus mutans, a major oral pathogen responsible for dental caries formation, possesses a variety of mechanisms for survival in the human oral cavity, where the conditions of the external environment are diverse and in a constant state of flux. The formation of biofilms, survival under conditions of acidic pH, and production of mutacins are considered to be important virulence determinants displayed by this organism. Biofilm formation is facilitated by the production of GbpC, an important cell surface-associated protein that binds to glucan, an adhesive polysaccharide produced by the organism itself. To better understand the nature of the environmental cues that induce GbpC production, we examined the roles of 14 sensor kinases in the expression of gbpC in S. mutans strain UA159. We found that only the LiaS sensor kinase regulates gbpC expression, while the other sensor kinases had little or no effect on gbpC expression. We also found that while LiaS negatively regulates gbpC expression, the inactivation of its cognate response regulator, LiaR, does not appear to affect the expression of gbpC. Since both gbpC expression and mutacin IV production are regulated by a common regulatory network, we also tested the effect of the liaS mutation on mutacin production and found that LiaS positively regulates mutacin IV production. Furthermore, reverse transcription-PCR analysis suggests that LiaS does so by regulating the expression of nlmA, which encodes a peptide component of mutacin IV, and nlmT, which encodes an ABC transporter. As with the expression of gbpC, LiaR did not have any apparent effect on mutacin IV production. Based on the results of our study, we speculate that LiaS is engaged in cross talk with one or more response regulators belonging to the same family as LiaR, enabling LiaS to regulate the expression of several genes coding for virulence factors.
IFN-γ activates cells to restrict intracellular pathogens by upregulating cellular effectors including the p65 family of guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs). Here we test the role of Gbp1 in the IFN-γ-dependent control of T. gondii in the mouse model. Virulent strains of T. gondii avoided recruitment of Gbp1 to the parasitophorous vacuole in a strain-dependent manner that was mediated by the parasite virulence factors ROP18, an active serine/threonine kinase, and the pseudokinase ROP5. Increased recruitment of Gbp1 to Δrop18 or Δrop5 parasites was associated with clearance in IFN-γ-activated macrophages in vitro, a process dependent on the autophagy protein Atg5. The increased susceptibility of Δrop18 mutants in IFN-γ-activated macrophages was reverted in Gbp1−/− cells, and decreased virulence of this mutant was compensated in Gbp1−/− mice, which were also more susceptible to challenge with type II strain parasites of intermediate virulence. These findings demonstrate that Gbp1 plays an important role in the IFN-γ-dependent, cell-autonomous control of toxoplasmosis and predict a broader role for this protein in host defense.
Emerging evidence suggests that the p65 family of guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs), which is upregulated by interferon gamma, play an important role in host defense against intracellular pathogens. We demonstrate that the ability of virulent strains of Toxoplasma gondii to avoid recruitment of mouse Gbp1 is mediated by two parasite virulence factors; the serine threonine kinase ROP18 and the pseudokinase ROP5, which controls its activity. GBP proteins required the autophagy protein Atg5 for proper cellular trafficking, recruitment to parasite-containing vacuoles, and pathogen control, strengthening the link between innate immunity and autophagy. The attenuation of mutants lacking ROP18, which show increased susceptibility to clearance by macrophages and decreased virulence in mice, was reverted by deletion of Gbp1, indicating this host factor is needed for resistance to T. gondii. Collectively, these findings demonstrate a key molecular interaction between host defenses mediated by GBPs and parasite virulence factors that thwart innate immunity. As GBPs are phylogenetically conserved among vertebrates, including humans, they likely play a broader role in host resistance.
Vibrio vulnificus naturally inhabits a variety of aquatic organisms, including oysters, and is the leading cause of seafood-related death in the United States. Strains of this bacterium are genetically classified into environmental (E) and clinical (C) genotypes, which correlate with source of isolation. E-genotype strains integrate into marine aggregates more efficiently than do C-genotype strains, leading to a greater uptake of strains of this genotype by oysters feeding on these aggregates. The causes of this increased integration of E-type strains into marine “snow” have not been demonstrated. Here, we further investigate the physiological and genetic causalities for this genotypic heterogeneity by examining the ability of strains of each genotype to attach to chitin, a major constituent of marine snow. We found that E-genotype strains attach to chitin with significantly greater efficiency than do C-genotype strains when incubated at 20°C. Type IV pili were implicated in chitin adherence, and even in the absence of chitin, the expression level of type IV pilin genes (pilA, pilD, and mshA) was found to be inherently higher by E genotypes than by C genotypes. In contrast, the level of expression of N-acetylglucosamine binding protein A (gbpA) was significantly higher in C-genotype strains. Interestingly, incubation at a clinically relevant temperature (37°C) resulted in a significant increase in C-genotype attachment to chitin, which subsequently provided a protective effect against exposure to acid or bile, thus offering a clue into their increased incidence in human infections. This study suggests that C- and E-genotype strains have intrinsically divergent physiological programs, which may help explain the observed differences in the ecology and pathogenic potential between these two genotypes.
IFN-γ is a major cytokine that mediates resistance against the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The p65 guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) are strongly induced by IFN-γ. We studied the behavior of murine GBP1 (mGBP1) upon infection with T. gondii in vitro and confirmed that IFN-γ-dependent re-localization of mGBP1 to the parasitophorous vacuole (PV) correlates with the virulence type of the parasite. We identified three parasitic factors, ROP16, ROP18, and GRA15 that determine strain-specific accumulation of mGBP1 on the PV. These highly polymorphic proteins are held responsible for a large part of the strain-specific differences in virulence. Therefore, our data suggest that virulence of T. gondii in animals may rely in part on recognition by GBPs. However, phagosomes or vacuoles containing Trypanosoma cruzi did not recruit mGBP1. Co-immunoprecipitation revealed mGBP2, mGBP4, and mGBP5 as binding partners of mGBP1. Indeed, mGBP2 and mGBP5 co-localize with mGBP1 in T. gondii-infected cells. T. gondii thus elicits a cell-autonomous immune response in mice with GBPs involved. Three parasitic virulence factors and unknown IFN-γ-dependent host factors regulate this complex process. Depending on the virulence of the strains involved, numerous GBPs are brought to the PV as part of a large, multimeric structure to combat T. gondii.
In kinetoplastid protozoa, mitochondrial (mt) mRNAs are post-transcriptionally
edited by insertion and deletion of uridylate residues, the information
being provided by guide (g)RNAs. Currently popular mechanisms for
the editing process envisage a series of consecutive ‘cut-and-paste’ reactions, carried
out by a complex RNP machinery. Here we report on the purification,
cloning and functional analysis of two gRNA-binding proteins of
28.8 (gBP29) and 26.8 kDa (gBP27) from mitochondria of the insect
trypanosome Crithidia fasciculata. gBP29 and gBP27
proved to be similar, Arg + Ala-rich proteins, with pI
values of ∼10.0. gBP27 has no homology
to known proteins, but gBP29 is the C.fasciculata orthologue
of gBP21 from Trypanosoma brucei, a gRNA-binding
protein that associates with active RNA editing complexes. As measured
in UV cross-linking assays, His-tagged recombinant gBP29 and gBP27
bind to radiolabelled poly(U) and synthetic gRNAs, while competition
experiments suggest a role for the gRNA 3′-(U)-tail
in binding to these proteins. Immunoprecipitates of mt extracts generated
with antibodies against gBP29 also contained gBP27 and vice versa.
The immunoprecipitates further harbored a large proportion of the cellular
content of four different gRNAs and of edited and pre-edited NADH
dehydrogenase subunit 7 mRNAs, but only small amounts of
mt rRNAs. In addition, the bulk of gBP29 and gBP27 co-eluted
with gRNAs from gel filtration columns in the high molecular weight
range. Together, these results suggest that the proteins
are part of a large macromolecular complex(es). We infer that gBP29
and gBP27 are components of the C.fasciculata editing
machinery that may interact with gRNAs.
A novel glucan-binding protein (GBP) having an apparent molecular mass of 59 kDa (GBP59) has been purified from Streptococcus mutans SJ by a combination of affinity chromatography on alpha-1,6-linked glucan, gel filtration chromatography, and ion-exchange chromatography. GBP59 was distinct from the quantitatively predominant S. mutans GBP (GBP74) on the basis of size, elution position in a salt gradient, and antigenicity. Rat antisera to purified GBP59 and GBP74 did not cross-react. GBP59 is apparently immunogenic in humans, since immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibody in 20 of 24 adult parotid saliva samples was shown to react with GBP59 in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The glucan-binding activity of GBP59 was confirmed by anti-GBP59 immunogold labelling of Sephadex G-50 that had been preincubated with S. mutans culture supernatant. GBP59 could be detected in culture supernatants of all laboratory strains of S. mutans (e.g., Ingbritt), as well as all strains of S. mutans that had been recently isolated from young children. GBP59 was often the only component in protease inhibitor-containing 4-h S. mutans culture supernatants that reacted with human parotid salivary IgA antibody in Western blot (immunoblot) analyses. These studies suggest that GBP59 is a structurally and antigenically distinct S. mutans GBP that can elicit significant levels of salivary IgA antibody in humans.
Gamma interferon (IFN-γ) regulates immune defenses against viruses, intracellular pathogens, and tumors by modulating cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and vesicle trafficking processes. The large GTPase guanylate binding protein 1 (GBP-1) is among the cellular proteins that is the most abundantly induced by IFN-γ and mediates its cell biologic effects. As yet, the molecular mechanisms of action of GBP-1 remain unknown. Applying an interaction proteomics approach, we identified actin as a strong and specific binding partner of GBP-1. Furthermore, GBP-1 colocalized with actin at the subcellular level and was both necessary and sufficient for the extensive remodeling of the fibrous actin structure observed in IFN-γ-exposed cells. These effects were dependent on the oligomerization and the GTPase activity of GBP-1. Purified GBP-1 and actin bound to each other, and this interaction was sufficient to impair the formation of actin filaments in vitro, as demonstrated by atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and fluorescence-monitored polymerization. Cosedimentation and band shift analyses demonstrated that GBP-1 binds robustly to globular actin and slightly to filamentous actin. This indicated that GBP-1 may induce actin remodeling via globular actin sequestering and/or filament capping. These results establish GBP-1 as a novel member within the family of actin-remodeling proteins specifically mediating IFN-γ-dependent defense strategies.
The primary structures of interferon (IFN)-induced guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) were deduced from cloned human and murine cDNAs. These proteins contained only two of the three sequence motifs typically found in GTP/GDP-binding proteins. The N(T)KXD motif, which is believed to confer guanine specificity in other nucleotide-binding proteins, was absent. Nevertheless, the IFN-induced GBPs exhibited a high degree of selectivity for binding to agarose-immobilized guanine nucleotides. An interesting feature of IFN-induced GBPs is that they strongly bound to GMP agarose in addition to GDP and GTP agaroses but failed to bind to ATP agarose and all other nucleotide agaroses tested. Both GTP and GMP, but not ATP, competed for binding of murine GBP-1 to agarose-immobilized GMP. The IFN-induced GBPs thus define a distinct novel family of proteins with GTP-binding activity. We further demonstrate that human and murine cells contain at least two genes encoding IFN-induced GBPs. The cloned murine cDNA codes for GBP-1, an IFN-induced protein previously shown to be absent from mice of Gbp-1b genotype.
Human guanylate-binding protein 1 (hGBP1) is an interferon-inducible protein involved in the host immune response against viral infection. In response to infection by influenza A virus (IAV), hGBP1 transcript and protein were significantly upregulated. Overexpression of hGBP1 inhibited IAV replication in a dose-dependent manner in vitro. The lysine residue at position 51 (K51) of hGBP1 was essential for inhibition of IAV replication. Mutation of K51 resulted in an hGBP1 that was unable to inhibit IAV replication. The viral nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) was found to interact directly with hGBP1. K51 of hGBP1 and a region between residues 123 and 144 in NS1 were demonstrated to be essential for the interaction between NS1 and hGBP1. Binding of NS1 to hGBP1 resulted in a significant reduction in both GTPase activity and the anti-IAV activity of hGBP1. These findings indicated that hGBP1 contributed to the host immune response against IAV replication and that hGBP1-mediated antiviral activity was antagonized by NS1 via binding to hGBP1.
Three purified glucan binding proteins (GBP-2, GBP-3, and GBP-5) from Streptococcus sobrinus 6715 were compared structurally by mass spectroscopy of tryptic fragments and antigenically by Western blot analysis with rat antisera to each GBP or to peptides containing putative glucan binding epitopes of mutans streptococcal glucosyltransferases. Structural and antigenic analyses indicated that GBP-3 and GBP-5 are very similar but that both are essentially unrelated to GBP-2. None of these S. sobrinus GBPs appeared to have a strong antigenic relationship with GBPs from Streptococcus mutans. Thus, S. sobrinus GBP-2 and GBP-3 appear to be distinct proteins with potentially different functions. S. sobrinus GBP-5 may be a proteolytic fragment of GBP-3, or, alternatively, the genes coding for these proteins may be closely related.