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1.  The dppBCDF gene cluster of Haemophilus influenzae: Role in heme utilization 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:166.
Background
Haemophilus influenzae requires a porphyrin source for aerobic growth and possesses multiple mechanisms to obtain this essential nutrient. This porphyrin requirement may be satisfied by either heme alone, or protoporphyrin IX in the presence of an iron source. One protein involved in heme acquisition by H. influenzae is the periplasmic heme binding protein HbpA. HbpA exhibits significant homology to the dipeptide and heme binding protein DppA of Escherichia coli. DppA is a component of the DppABCDF peptide-heme permease of E. coli. H. influenzae homologs of dppBCDF are located in the genome at a point distant from hbpA. The object of this study was to investigate the potential role of the H. influenzae dppBCDF locus in heme utilization.
Findings
An insertional mutation in dppC was constructed and the impact of the mutation on the utilization of both free heme and various proteinaceous heme sources as well as utilization of protoporphyrin IX was determined in growth curve studies. The dppC insertion mutant strain was significantly impacted in utilization of all tested heme sources and protoporphyin IX. Complementation of the dppC mutation with an intact dppCBDF gene cluster in trans corrected the growth defects seen in the dppC mutant strain.
Conclusion
The dppCBDF gene cluster constitutes part of the periplasmic heme-acquisition systems of H. influenzae.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-2-166
PMCID: PMC2738685  PMID: 19703293
2.  Heme Utilization by Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae Is Essential and Dependent on Sap Transporter Function▿† 
Journal of Bacteriology  2011;193(10):2527-2535.
Bacterial strategies of innate immune evasion and essential metabolic functions are critical for commensal-host homeostasis. Previously, we showed that Sap translocator function is necessary for nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) behaviors that mediate diseases of the human airway. Antimicrobial peptide (AP) lethality is limited by binding mediated by the Sap complex. SapA shares homology with the dipeptide-binding protein (DppA) and the heme-binding lipoprotein (HbpA), both of which have previously been shown to bind the iron-containing compound heme, whose acquisition is essential for Haemophilus survival. Computational modeling revealed conserved SapA residues, similarly modeled to mediate heme binding in HbpA. Here, we directly demonstrate that SapA bound heme and was essential for heme utilization by iron-starved NTHI. Further, the Sap translocator permease mediated heme transport into the bacterial cytoplasm, thus defining a heretofore unknown mechanism of intracytoplasmic membrane heme transport in Haemophilus. Since we demonstrate multiple ligand specificity for the SapA-binding protein, we tested whether APs would compete with heme for SapA binding. We showed that human β-defensins 2 and 3, human cathelicidin LL-37, human neutrophil protein 1, and melittin displaced heme bound to SapA, thus supporting a hierarchy wherein immune evasion supercedes even the needed iron acquisition functions of the Sap system.
doi:10.1128/JB.01313-10
PMCID: PMC3133164  PMID: 21441512
3.  The Vibrio cholerae Colonization Factor GbpA Possesses a Modular Structure that Governs Binding to Different Host Surfaces 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(1):e1002373.
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.
Author Summary
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002373
PMCID: PMC3257281  PMID: 22253590
4.  Ligand-Binding Properties of the Carboxyl-Terminal Repeat Domain of Streptococcus mutans Glucan-Binding Protein A 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(3):728-733.
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.
PMCID: PMC94336  PMID: 10633107
5.  Identification and Characterization of Two Unusual cGMP-stimulated Phoshodiesterases in Dictyostelium 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2002;13(11):3878-3889.
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.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E02-05-0302
PMCID: PMC133600  PMID: 12429832
6.  Streptococcus Mutans Glucan-Binding Protein-A Affects Streptococcus Gordonii Biofilm Architecture 
FEMS microbiology letters  2006;267(1):80-88.
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.
doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2006.00557.x
PMCID: PMC1780135  PMID: 17166223
7.  Identification and characterization of dppA, an Escherichia coli gene encoding a periplasmic dipeptide transport protein. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1991;173(1):234-244.
We describe the isolation and analysis of an Escherichia coli gene, dppA, and its role in dipeptide transport. dppA maps near min 79 and encodes a protein (DppA) that has regions of amino acid similarity with a peptide-binding protein from Salmonella typhimurium (OppA). Like OppA, DppA is found in the periplasmic space and thus is most likely a dipeptide-binding protein. Insertional inactivation of dppA results in the inability of a proline auxotroph to utilize Pro-Gly as a proline source. dppA-dependent Pro-Gly utilization does not require any of the three major proline transport systems, demonstrating that DppA is not simply a dipeptidase. An in vivo competition assay was used to show that DppA is probably involved in the transport of dipeptides other than Pro-Gly. Transcription of dppA is repressed by the presence of casamino acids, suggesting that the cell alters its dipeptide transport capabilities in response to an environmental signal.
Images
PMCID: PMC207180  PMID: 1702779
8.  Intestinal Adherence of Vibrio cholerae Involves a Coordinated Interaction between Colonization Factor GbpA and Mucin▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2008;76(11):4968-4977.
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.
doi:10.1128/IAI.01615-07
PMCID: PMC2573318  PMID: 18765724
9.  Inactivation of the gbpA Gene of Streptococcus mutans Increases Virulence and Promotes In Vivo Accumulation of Recombinations between the Glucosyltransferase B and C Genes 
Infection and Immunity  1998;66(5):2180-2185.
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.
PMCID: PMC108179  PMID: 9573105
10.  Levels of the Secreted Vibrio cholerae Attachment Factor GbpA Are Modulated by Quorum-Sensing-Induced Proteolysis ▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(22):6911-6917.
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.
doi:10.1128/JB.00747-09
PMCID: PMC2772460  PMID: 19734310
11.  The hbpA gene of Haemophilus influenzae type b encodes a heme-binding lipoprotein conserved among heme-dependent Haemophilus species. 
Infection and Immunity  1992;60(6):2257-2266.
A membrane-associated lipoprotein of Haemophilus influenzae type b has previously been shown to bind heme in vitro and to promote binding of this compound by Escherichia coli recombinants expressing this protein. The H. influenzae type b heme-binding protein A (HbpA) was found to be highly conserved with respect to both antigenicity and apparent molecular weight among heme-requiring Haemophilus species pathogenic for humans. To further the characterization of the structure and function of HbpA, the complete nucleotide sequence of its gene, hbpA, was determined. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence revealed a single large open reading frame of 1,638 bp encoding a protein of 546 amino acid residues, with a molecular weight of 60,695. The sequence of the amino-terminal end of this protein contained a potential site for lipid acylation and for cleavage by signal peptidase II, consistent with earlier biochemical evidence which indicated that HbpA is a lipoprotein. A search of GenBank for proteins with amino acid sequence similarity to HbpA revealed that the periplasmic dipeptide transport protein of E. coli, DppA, has 53% sequence identity to HbpA.
Images
PMCID: PMC257152  PMID: 1339409
12.  The heme-binding protein (HbpA) of Haemophilus influenzae as a virulence determinant 
Haemophilus influenzae has an absolute growth requirement for heme and the heme-binding lipoprotein (HbpA) and has been implicated in the utilization of this essential nutrient. We constructed an insertional mutation of hbpA in a type b and a nontypeable H. influenzae strain. In the type b strain, the hbpA mutant was impaired in utilization of heme complexed to either hemopexin or to albumin and in the utilization of low levels of heme but not in the utilization of heme at high levels or of hemoglobin or hemoglobin–haptoglobin complexes. In contrast, the hbpA mutant derivative of the nontypeable strain was impaired in utilization of all tested heme sources. We further examined the impact of the hbpA mutation in animal models of H. influenzae disease. The hbpA mutant of the nontypeable strain was indistinguishable from the wild-type strain in the chinchilla model of otitis media. The hbpA mutant derivative of the type b strain caused bacteremia as well as the wild-type strain in 5-day old infant rats. However, in 30-day old rats the hbpA caused significantly lower rates of bacteremia than the wild-type strain indicating a role for hbpA and heme acquisition in virulence in this model of H. influenzae disease. In conclusion, HbpA is important for heme utilization by multiple H. influenzae strains and is a virulence determinant in a model of H. influenzae invasive disease.
doi:10.1016/j.ijmm.2009.03.004
PMCID: PMC2749905  PMID: 19451029
Haemophilus influenzae; Heme; Virulence
13.  The Membrane-Associated Lipoprotein-9 GmpC from Staphylococcus aureus Binds the Dipeptide GlyMet via Side Chain Interactions†,‡ 
Biochemistry  2004;43(51):16193-16202.
Bacterial dipeptide ABC transporters function to import a wide range of dipeptide substrates. This ability to transport a wide variety of dipeptides is conferred by the cognate substrate binding protein (SBP) of these transporters. SBPs bind dipeptides with little regard for their amino acid content. Here, we report the 1.7 Å resolution structure of lipoprotein-9 (SA0422) of Staphylococcus aureus in complex with the dipeptide glycylmethionine. Experimental characterization of the subcellular location of the protein confirmed that SA0422 is an acylated, peripheral membrane protein. This is the first structure determined for an SBP of a Gram-positive dipeptide ABC transporter. Usually, binding of dipeptides occurs in a binding pocket that is largely hydrated and able to accommodate the side chains of several different amino acid residues. Unlike any other known SBP, lipoprotein-9 binds the side chains of the glycylmethionine dipeptide through very specific interactions. Lipoprotein-9 shares significant structural and sequence homology with the MetQ family of methionine SBP. Sequence comparisons between MetQ-like proteins and lipoprotein-9 suggest that the residues forming the tight interactions with the methionine side chains of the ligand are highly conserved between lipoprotein-9 and MetQ homologues, while the residues involved in coordinating the glycine residue are not. Modeling of the Vibrio cholerae MetQ and lipoprotein-9 binding pockets can account for lipoprotein-9 substrate specificity toward glycylmethionine. For this reason, we have designated lipoprotein-9 GmpC, for glycylmethionine binding protein.
doi:10.1021/bi048877o
PMCID: PMC2792005  PMID: 15610013
14.  Domains III and I-2α, at the Entrance of the Binding Cleft, Play an Important Role in Cold Adaptation of the Periplasmic Dipeptide-Binding Protein (DppA) from the Deep-Sea Psychrophilic Bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. Strain SM9913 ▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2010;76(13):4354-4361.
The peptide transporter from a cold-adapted bacterium has never been reported. In the present study, the dpp operon from the psychrophilic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. strain SM9913 was cloned and analyzed. The dipeptide binding protein DppA of SM9913 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and its cold adaptation characteristics were studied. The recombinant DppA of SM9913 (PsDppA) displayed the highest ligand-binding affinity at 15°C, whereas the recombinant DppA of E. coli (EcDppA) displayed the highest ligand-binding affinity at 35°C. Thermal and guanidium hydrochloride unfolding analyses indicated that PsDppA has more structural instability than EcDppA. Six domain-exchanged mutants of PsDppA were expressed and purified. Analyses of these mutants indicated that domains III, I-2, and I-3 of PsDppA were less stable than those from EcDppA and that domains III and I-2 made a significant contribution to the high binding affinity of PsDppA at low temperatures. Structural and sequence analyses suggested that the state transition-involved regions in domain III and the α part of domain I-2 are the hot spots of optimization during cold adaptation and that decreasing the side-chain size in these regions is an important strategy for the cold adaptation of PsDppA.
doi:10.1128/AEM.02884-09
PMCID: PMC2897420  PMID: 20453143
15.  Glucan-Binding Proteins are Essential for Shaping Streptococcus mutans Biofilm Architecture 
FEMS microbiology letters  2006;268(2):158-165.
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.
doi:10.1111/j.1574-6968.2006.00576.x
PMCID: PMC1804096  PMID: 17214736
16.  Identification of the lrp gene in Bradyrhizobium japonicum and its role in regulation of delta-aminolevulinic acid uptake. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1997;179(5):1828-1831.
The heme precursor delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is taken up by the dipeptide permease (Dpp) system in Escherichia coli. In this study, we identified a Bradyrhizobium japonicum genomic library clone that complemented both ALA and dipeptide uptake activities in E. coli dpp mutants. The complementing B. japonicum DNA encoded a product with 58% identity to the E. coli global transcriptional regulator Lrp (leucine-responsive regulatory protein), implying the presence of Dpp-independent ALA uptake activity in those cells. Data support the conclusion that the Lrp homolog induced the oligopeptide permease system in the complemented cells by interfering with the repressor activity of the endogenous Lrp, thus conferring oligopeptide and ALA uptake activities. ALA uptake by B. japonicum was effectively inhibited by a tripeptide and, to a lesser extent, by a dipeptide, and a mutant strain that expressed the lrp homolog from a constitutive promoter was deficient in ALA uptake activity. The data show that Lrp negatively affects ALA uptake in E. coli and B. japonicum. Furthermore, the product of the isolated B. japonicum gene is both a functional and structural homolog of E. coli Lrp, and thus the regulator is not restricted to enteric bacteria.
PMCID: PMC178902  PMID: 9045849
17.  Relevance of Peptide Uptake Systems to the Physiology and Virulence of Streptococcus agalactiae 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(5):1398-1408.
Streptococcus agalactiae is a major cause of invasive infections in human newborns. To satisfy its growth requirements, S. agalactiae takes up 9 of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids from the environment. Defined S. agalactiae mutants in one or several of four putative peptide permease systems were constructed and tested for peptide uptake, growth in various media, and expression of virulence traits. Oligopeptide uptake by S. agalactiae was shown to be mediated by the ABC transporter OppA1-F, which possesses two substrate-binding proteins (OppA1 and OppA2) with overlapping substrate specificities. Dipeptides were found to be taken up in parallel by the oligopeptide permease OppA1-F, by the dipeptide ABC transporter DppA-E, and by the dipeptide symporter DpsA. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed a polycistronic organization of the genes oppA1-F and dppA-E and a monocistronic organization of dpsA in S. agalactiae. The results of quantitative real-time PCR revealed a medium-dependent expression of the operons dppA-E and oppA1-F in S. agalactiae. Growth of S. agalactiae in human amniotic fluid was shown to require an intact dpsA gene, indicating an important role of DpsA during the infection of the amniotic cavity by S. agalactiae. Deletion of the oppB gene reduced the adherence of S. agalactiae to epithelial cells by 26%, impaired its adherence to fibrinogen and fibronectin by 42 and 33%, respectively, and caused a 35% reduction in expression of the fbsA gene, which encodes a fibrinogen-binding protein in S. agalactiae. These data indicate that the oligopeptide permease is involved in modulating virulence traits and virulence gene expression in S. agalactiae.
doi:10.1128/JB.186.5.1398-1408.2004
PMCID: PMC344423  PMID: 14973032
18.  Intracellular Trafficking of Guanylate-Binding Proteins Is Regulated by Heterodimerization in a Hierarchical Manner 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(12):e14246.
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014246
PMCID: PMC2998424  PMID: 21151871
19.  Uptake of cell wall peptides by Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1987;169(8):3861-3865.
During bacterial growth, cell wall peptides are released from the murein and reused for the synthesis of new cell wall material. Mutants defective in peptide transport were unable to reutilize cell wall peptides, demonstrating that these peptides are taken up intact into the cytoplasm prior to reincorporation into murein. Furthermore, cell wall peptide recycling was shown to play an important physiological role; peptide transport mutants which were unable to recycle these peptides showed growth defects under appropriate conditions. Using mutants specifically defective in each of the three peptide transport systems, we showed that the uptake of cell wall peptides was mediated solely by the oligopeptide permease (Opp) and that neither the dipeptide permease (Dpp) nor the tripeptide permease (Tpp) played a significant role in this process. Our data indicate that the periplasmic oligopeptide-binding protein has more than one substrate-binding site, each with different though overlapping specificities.
PMCID: PMC212484  PMID: 3301822
20.  Functional Differences between Heme Permeases: Serratia marcescens HemTUV Permease Exhibits a Narrower Substrate Specificity (Restricted to Heme) Than the Escherichia coli DppABCDF Peptide-Heme Permease▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2008;190(6):1866-1870.
Serratia marcescens hemTUV genes encoding a potential heme permease were cloned in Escherichia coli recombinant mutant FB827 dppF::Km(pAM 238-hasR). This strain, which expresses HasR, a foreign heme outer membrane receptor, is potentially capable of using heme as an iron source. However, this process is invalidated due to a dppF::Km mutation which inactivates the Dpp heme/peptide permease responsible for heme, dipeptide, and δ-aminolevulinic (ALA) transport through the E. coli inner membrane. We show here that hemTUV genes complement the Dpp permease for heme utilization as an iron source and thus are functional in E. coli. However, hemTUV genes do not complement the Dpp permease for ALA uptake, indicating that the HemTUV permease does not transport ALA. Peptides do not inhibit heme uptake in vivo, indicating that, unlike Dpp permease, HemTUV permease does not transport peptides. HemT, the periplasmic binding protein, binds heme. Heme binding is saturable and not inhibited by peptides that inhibit heme uptake by the Dpp system. Thus, the S. marcescens HemTUV permease and, most likely, HemTUV orthologs present in many gram-negative pathogens form a class of heme-specific permeases different from the Dpp peptide/heme permease characterized in E. coli.
doi:10.1128/JB.01636-07
PMCID: PMC2258887  PMID: 18178744
21.  Heme Binding Proteins of Bartonella henselae Are Required when Undergoing Oxidative Stress During Cell and Flea Invasion 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48408.
Bartonella are hemotropic bacteria responsible for emerging zoonoses. These heme auxotroph alphaproteobacteria must import heme for their growth, since they cannot synthesize it. To import exogenous heme, Bartonella genomes encode for a complete heme uptake system enabling transportation of this compound into the cytoplasm and degrading it to release iron. In addition, these bacteria encode for four or five outer membrane heme binding proteins (Hbps). The structural genes of these highly homologous proteins are expressed differently depending on oxygen, temperature and heme concentrations. These proteins were hypothesized as being involved in various cellular processes according to their ability to bind heme and their regulation profile. In this report, we investigated the roles of the four Hbps of Bartonella henselae, responsible for cat scratch disease. We show that Hbps can bind heme in vitro. They are able to enhance the efficiency of heme uptake when co-expressed with a heme transporter in Escherichia coli. Using B. henselae Hbp knockdown mutants, we show that these proteins are involved in defense against the oxidative stress, colonization of human endothelial cell and survival in the flea.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048408
PMCID: PMC3483173  PMID: 23144761
22.  IFN-γ and TNF-α induced GBP-1 inhibits epithelial cell proliferation through suppression of β-catenin/TCF signaling 
Mucosal immunology  2012;5(6):681-690.
Proinflammatory cytokines induce Guanylate Binding Protein 1 (GBP-1) protein expression in intestinal epithelial tissues. GBP-1 has been described as influencing a number of cellular processes important for epithelial homeostasis, including cell proliferation. However, many questions remain as to the role of GBP-1 in intestinal mucosal homeostasis. We therefore sought to investigate the function of proinflammatory cytokine induced GBP-1 during intestinal epithelial cell proliferation. Through the use of complementary GBP-1 overexpression and siRNA-mediated knockdown studies, we now show that GBP-1 acts to inhibit pro-mitogenic β-catenin/T cell factor (TCF) signaling. Interestingly, proinflammatory cytokine induced GBP-1 was found to be a potent suppressor of β-catenin protein levels and β-catenin serine 552 phosphorylation. Neither GSK3-β nor proteasomal inhibition alleviated GBP-1-mediated suppression of cell proliferation or β- catenin/TCF signaling, indicating a non-canonical mechanism of β-catenin inhibition. Together, these data show that cytokine-induced GBP-1 retards cell proliferation by forming a negative feedback loop that suppresses β-catenin/TCF signaling.
doi:10.1038/mi.2012.41
PMCID: PMC3481006  PMID: 22692453
23.  Analyses of murine GBP homology clusters based on in silico, in vitro and in vivo studies 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:158.
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-158
PMCID: PMC2387175  PMID: 18402675
24.  Transport of 5-aminolevulinic acid by the dipeptide permease in Salmonella typhimurium. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1993;175(2):325-331.
In a previous search for mutants of Salmonella typhimurium that are defective in heme synthesis, one class that is apparently defective in 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) uptake (alu) was found. Here, I describe the characterization of these mutations. The mutations all map to a single locus near 77.5 min on the genetic map, which is transcribed counterclockwise. Nutritional tests, genetic and physical mapping, and partial DNA sequence analysis revealed that alu mutants are defective in a periplasmic binding protein-dependent permease that also transports dipeptides, encoded by the dpp operon. The uptake of labeled ALA is defective in dpp mutants and is markedly increased in a strain that has elevated transcription of the dpp locus. Unlabeled L-leucyl-glycine competes with labeled ALA for uptake. In a strain carrying both a dpp-lac operon fusion and a functional copy of the dpp locus, the expression of beta-galactosidase is not induced by ALA, nor, in a hemL mutant, does expression of dpp change substantially during starvation for ALA. The dipeptide permease displays a relaxed substrate specificity that allows transport of the important nonpeptide nutrient ALA, whose structure is closely related to that of glycyl-glycine.
PMCID: PMC196145  PMID: 8380400
25.  Characterization of a Glutathione Metabolic Mutant of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Its Resistance to Glutathione and Nitrosoglutathione 
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(4):1364-1372.
Glutathione is a tripeptide and antioxidant, synthesized at high levels by cells during the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates. Glutathione also serves as a carrier molecule for nitric oxide in the form of S-nitrosoglutathione. Previous studies from this laboratory have shown that glutathione and S-nitrosoglutathione are directly toxic to mycobacteria. Glutathione is not transported into the cells as a tripeptide. Extracellular glutathione is converted to a dipeptide due to the action of transpeptidase, and the dipeptide is then transported into the bacterial cells. The processing of glutathione and S-nitrosoglutathione is brought about by the action of the enzyme γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. The function of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase is to cleave glutathione and S-nitrosoglutathione to the dipeptide (Cys-Gly), which is then transported into the bacterium by the multicomponent ABC transporter dipeptide permease. We have created a mutant strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis lacking this metabolic enzyme. We investigated the sensitivity of this strain to glutathione and S-nitrosoglutathione compared to that of the wild-type bacteria. In addition, we examined the role of glutathione and/or S-nitrosoglutathione in controlling the growth of intracellular M. tuberculosis inside mouse macrophages.
doi:10.1128/JB.188.4.1364-1372.2006
PMCID: PMC1367217  PMID: 16452418

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