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1.  Interaction of microbes with mucus and mucins 
Gut Microbes  2013;5(1):48-52.
Due to the recent rapid expansion in our understanding of the composition of the gut microflora and the consequences of altering that composition the question of how bacteria colonise mucus layers and interact with components of mucus, such as mucin, is now receiving widespread attention. Using a combination of mucus secreting cells, and a novel mucin microarray platform containing purified native mucins from different sources we recently demonstrated that two gastrointestinal pathogens, Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni, colonise mucus by different mechanisms. This result emphasizes the potential for even closely related bacteria to interact with mucus in divergent ways to establish successful infection. Expanding the use of the mucin arrays described in the study to other microorganisms, both pathogenic and commensal, should lead to the discovery of biologically important motifs in bacterial-host interactions and complement the use of novel in vitro cell models, such as mucus secreting cell lines.
PMCID: PMC4049936  PMID: 24149677
Helicobacter pylori; Campylobacter jejuni; mucus; mucin; microarray
2.  Divergent Mechanisms of Interaction of Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni with Mucus and Mucins 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(8):2838-2850.
Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni colonize the stomach and intestinal mucus, respectively. Using a combination of mucus-secreting cells, purified mucins, and a novel mucin microarray platform, we examined the interactions of these two organisms with mucus and mucins. H. pylori and C. jejuni bound to distinctly different mucins. C. jejuni displayed a striking tropism for chicken gastrointestinal mucins compared to mucins from other animals and preferentially bound mucins from specific avian intestinal sites (in order of descending preference: the large intestine, proximal small intestine, and cecum). H. pylori bound to a number of animal mucins, including porcine stomach mucin, but with less avidity than that of C. jejuni for chicken mucin. The strengths of interaction of various wild-type strains of H. pylori with different animal mucins were comparable, even though they did not all express the same adhesins. The production of mucus by HT29-MTX-E12 cells promoted higher levels of infection by C. jejuni and H. pylori than those for the non-mucus-producing parental cell lines. Both C. jejuni and H. pylori bound to HT29-MTX-E12 mucus, and while both organisms bound to glycosylated epitopes in the glycolipid fraction of the mucus, only C. jejuni bound to purified mucin. This study highlights the role of mucus in promoting bacterial infection and emphasizes the potential for even closely related bacteria to interact with mucus in different ways to establish successful infections.
PMCID: PMC3719574  PMID: 23716616
3.  Cj1411c Encodes for a Cytochrome P450 Involved in Campylobacter jejuni 81-176 Pathogenicity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75534.
Cytochrome P450s are b-heme-containing enzymes that are able to introduce oxygen atoms into a wide variety of organic substrates. They are extremely widespread in nature having diverse functions at both biochemical and physiological level. The genome of C. jejuni 81-176 encodes a single cytochrome P450 (Cj1411c) that has no close homologues. Cj1411c is unusual in its genomic location within a cluster involved in the biosynthesis of outer surface structures. Here we show that E. coli expressed and affinity-purified C. jejuni cytochrome P450 is lipophilic, containing one equivalent Cys-ligated heme. Immunoblotting confirmed the association of cytochrome P450 with membrane fractions. A Cj1411c deletion mutant had significantly reduced ability to infect human cells and was less able to survive following exposure to human serum when compared to the wild type strain. Phenotypically following staining with Alcian blue, we show that a Cj1411c deletion mutant produces significantly less capsular polysaccharide. This study describes the first known membrane-bound bacterial cytochrome P450 and its involvement in Campylobacter virulence.
PMCID: PMC3784454  PMID: 24086558
4.  Mucosal reactive oxygen species decrease virulence by disrupting Campylobacter jejuni phosphotyrosine signaling 
Cell host & microbe  2012;12(1):47-59.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play key roles in mucosal defense, yet how they are induced and the consequences for pathogens are unclear. We report that ROS generated by epithelial NADPH oxidases (Nox1/Duox2) during Campylobacter jejuni infection impair bacterial capsule formation and virulence by altering bacterial signal transduction. Upon C. jejuni invasion, ROS released from the intestinal mucosa inhibit the bacterial phosphotyrosine network that is regulated by the outer membrane tyrosine kinase Cjtk (Cj1170/OMP50). ROS-mediated Cjtk inactivation results in an overall decrease in the phosphorylation of C. jejuni outer membrane / periplasmic proteins including UDP-GlcNAc/Glc 4-epimerase (Gne), an enzyme required for N-glycosylation and capsule formation. Cjtk positively regulates Gne by phosphorylating an active site tyrosine, while loss of Cjtk or ROS treatment inhibits Gne activity, causing altered polysaccharide synthesis. Thus, epithelial NADPH oxidases are an early antibacterial defense system in the intestinal mucosa that modifies virulence by disrupting bacterial signaling.
PMCID: PMC3749511  PMID: 22817987
A subset (~3–5%) of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) develops severe liver disease (CFLD) with portal hypertension.
To assess whether any of 9 polymorphisms in 5 candidate genes (SERPINA1, ACE, GSTP1, MBL2, and TGFB1) are associated with severe liver disease in CF patients.
Design, Setting, and Participants
A 2-stage design was used in this case–control study. CFLD subjects were enrolled from 63 U.S., 32 Canadian, and 18 CF centers outside of North America, with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) as the coordinating site. In the initial study, we studied 124 CFLD patients (enrolled 1/1999–12/2004) and 843 CF controls (patients without CFLD) by genotyping 9 polymorphisms in 5 genes previously implicated as modifiers of liver disease in CF. In the second stage, the SERPINA1 Z allele and TGFB1 codon 10 genotype were tested in an additional 136 CFLD patients (enrolled 1/2005–2/2007) and 1088 CF controls.
Main Outcome Measures
We compared differences in distribution of genotypes in CF patients with severe liver disease versus CF patients without CFLD.
The initial study showed CFLD to be associated with the SERPINA1 (also known as α1-antiprotease and α1-antitrypsin) Z allele (P value=3.3×10−6; odds ratio (OR) 4.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.31–9.61), and with transforming growth factor β-1 (TGFB1) codon 10 CC genotype (P=2.8×10−3; OR 1.53, CI 1.16–2.03). In the replication study, CFLD was associated with the SERPINA1 Z allele (P=1.4×10−3; OR 3.42, CI 1.54–7.59), but not with TGFB1 codon 10. A combined analysis of the initial and replication studies by logistic regression showed CFLD to be associated with SERPINA1 Z allele (P=1.5×10−8; OR 5.04, CI 2.88–8.83).
The SERPINA1 Z allele is a risk factor for liver disease in CF. Patients who carry the Z allele are at greater odds (OR ~5) to develop severe liver disease with portal hypertension.
PMCID: PMC3711243  PMID: 19738092
6.  Defense and Adaptation: The Complex Inter-Relationship between Campylobacter jejuni and Mucus 
Mucus colonization is an essential early step toward establishing successful infection and disease by mucosal pathogens. There is an emerging literature implicating specific mucin sub-types and mucin modifications in protecting the host from Campylobacter jejuni infection. However, mucosal pathogens have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to breach the mucus layer and C. jejuni in particular appears to harbor specific adaptations to better colonize intestinal mucus. For example, components of mucus are chemotactic for C. jejuni and the rheological properties of mucus promote motility of the organism. Furthermore, recent studies demonstrate that mucins modulate the pathogenicity of C. jejuni in a species-specific manner and likely help determine whether these bacteria become pathogenic (as in humans), or adopt a commensal mode of existence (as in chickens and other animals). This review focuses on recent advances in understanding the complex interplay between C. jejuni and components of the mucus layer.
PMCID: PMC3417559  PMID: 22919607
Campylobacter; mucus; mucins; pathogenicity; motility; chickens
7.  Differences in presentation and progression between severe FIC1 and BSEP deficiencies 
Journal of hepatology  2010;53(1):170-178.
Background & Aims
Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) with normal serum levels of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase can result from mutations in ATP8B1 (encoding familial intrahepatic cholestasis 1 [FIC1]) or ABCB11 (encoding bile salt export pump [BSEP]). We evaluated clinical and laboratory features of disease in patients diagnosed with PFIC, who carried mutations in ATP8B1 (FIC1 deficiency) or ABCB11 (BSEP deficiency). Our goal was to identify features that distinguish presentation and course of these 2 disorders, thus facilitating diagnosis and elucidating the differing consequences of ATP8B1 and ABCB11 mutations.
A retrospective multi-center study was conducted, using questionnaires and chart review. Available clinical and biochemical data from 145 PFIC patients with mutations in either ATP8B1 (61 “FIC1 patients”) or ABCB11 (84 “BSEP patients”) were evaluated.
At presentation, serum aminotransferase and bile salt levels were higher in BSEP patients; serum alkaline phosphatase values were higher, and serum albumin values were lower, in FIC1 patients. Elevated white blood cell counts, and giant or multinucleate cells at liver biopsy, were more common in BSEP patients. BSEP patients more often had gallstones and portal hypertension. Diarrhea, pancreatic disease, rickets, pneumonia, abnormal sweat tests, hearing impairment, and poor growth were more common in FIC1 patients. Among BSEP patients, the course of disease was less rapidly progressive in patients bearing the D482G mutation.
Severe forms of FIC1 and BSEP deficiency differed. BSEP patients manifested more severe hepatobiliary disease, while FIC1 patients showed greater evidence of extrahepatic disease.
PMCID: PMC3042805  PMID: 20447715
cholestasis; genetics; transport protein; pediatrics; P-type ATPase; ATP binding cassette protein; ATP8B1; FIC1; ABCB11; BSEP
8.  Probiotic Colonization of the Adherent Mucus Layer of HT29MTXE12 Cells Attenuates Campylobacter jejuni Virulence Properties▿  
Infection and Immunity  2010;78(6):2812-2822.
The HT29MTXE12 (E12) cell line harbors an adherent mucus layer, providing a novel technique to model mucosal infection in vitro. In this study, we have characterized the interaction of Campylobacter jejuni with the E12 cell line and exploited its unique mucus layer to examine the potential efficacy of probiotic treatment to attenuate C. jejuni virulence properties. C. jejuni 81-176 colonized and reproduced in E12 mucus. Adhesion to and internalization of C. jejuni were enhanced in E12 cells harboring mucus compared to parental cells without mucus. Translocation of C. jejuni occurred at early time points following infection. C. jejuni aligned with tight junctions and colocalized with the tight junction protein occludin, suggesting a paracellular route of translocation. Probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011, Lactobacillus helveticus R0052, Lactobacillus salivarius AH102, Bifidobacterium longum AH1205, a commercial combination of L. rhamnosus R0011 and L. helveticus R0052 (Lacidofil), and a cocktail consisting of L. rhamnosus, L. helveticus, and L. salivarius (RhHeSa) colonized E12 mucus and bound to underlying cells. Probiotics attenuated C. jejuni association with and internalization into E12 cells and translocation to the basolateral medium of transwells. Live bacteria and prolonged precolonization of E12 cells with probiotics were necessary for probiotic action. These results demonstrate the potential for E12 cells as a model of mucosal pathogenesis and provide a rationale for the further investigation of probiotics as prophylaxis against human campylobacteriosis.
PMCID: PMC2876579  PMID: 20308300
9.  Interaction of Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum with Primary Human and Bovine Intestinal Cells  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(1):99-107.
Cryptosporidiosis in humans is caused by the zoonotic pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum and the anthroponotic pathogen Cryptosporidium hominis. To what extent the recently recognized C. hominis species differs from C. parvum is unknown. In this study we compared the mechanisms of C. parvum and C. hominis invasion using a primary cell model of infection. Cultured primary bovine and human epithelial intestinal cells were infected with C. parvum or C. hominis. The effects of the carbohydrate lectin galactose-N-acetylgalactosamine (Gal/GalNAc) and inhibitors of cytoskeletal function and signal transduction mechanisms on entry of the parasites into host cells were tested. HCT-8 cells (human ileocecal adenocarcinoma cells) were used for the purpose of comparison. Pretreatment of parasites with Gal/GalNAc inhibited entry of C. parvum into HCT-8 cells and primary bovine cells but had no effect on entry of either C. parvum or C. hominis into primary human cells or on entry of C. hominis into HCT-8 cells. Both Cryptosporidium species entered primary cells by a protein kinase C (PKC)- and actin-dependent mechanism. Staurosporine, in particular, attenuated infection, likely through a combination of PKC inhibition and induction of apoptosis. Diversity in the mechanisms used by Cryptosporidium species to infect cells of different origins has important implications for understanding the relevance of in vitro studies of Cryptosporidium pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC1346631  PMID: 16368962
10.  Host Cell Tropism Underlies Species Restriction of Human and Bovine Cryptosporidium parvum Genotypes  
Infection and Immunity  2004;72(10):6125-6131.
It has been recognized recently that human cryptosporidiosis is usually caused by Cryptosporidium parvum genotype I (“human” C. parvum), which is not found in animals. Compared to C. parvum genotype II, little is known of the biology of invasion of the human-restricted C. parvum genotype I. The aims of the present study were (i) to explore and compare with genotype II the pathogenesis of C. parvum genotype I infection by using an established in vitro model of infection and (ii) to examine the possibility that host-specific cell tropism determines species restriction among C. parvum genotypes by using a novel ex vivo small intestinal primary cell model of infection. Oocysts of C. parvum genotypes I and II were used to infect HCT-8 cells and primary intestinal epithelial cells in vitro. Primary cells were harvested from human endoscopic small-bowel biopsies and from bovine duodenum postmortem. C. parvum genotype I infected HCT-8 cells with lower efficiency than C. parvum genotype II. Actin colocalization at the host parasite interface and reduction in levels of invasion after treatment with microfilament inhibitors (cytochalasin B and cytochalasin D) were observed for both genotypes. C. parvum genotype II invaded primary intestinal epithelial cells, regardless of the species of origin. In contrast, C. parvum genotype I invaded only human small-bowel cells. The pathogenesis of C. parvum genotype I differs from C. parvum genotype II. C parvum genotype I does not enter primary bovine intestinal cells, suggesting that the species restriction of this genotype is due to host tissue tropism of the infecting isolate.
PMCID: PMC517554  PMID: 15385517
11.  Basis of the Superiority of Cefoperazone Amphotericin Teicoplanin for Isolating Campylobacter upsaliensis from Stools 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(7):2713-2716.
The optimum method for isolating Campylobacter upsaliensis from stools has not been clearly defined. In a preliminary study, cefoperazone amphotericin teicoplanin (CAT) selective medium isolated six C. upsaliensis strains which were not detected using modified cefoperazone charcoal deoxycholate (mCCDA). In order to identify the factors that underlie the superiority of CAT over mCCDA for isolating C. upsaliensis, we examined the effect of incubation time and antibiotic content of culture media on the growth of C. upsaliensis isolates using semiquantitative methods. The recovery of a subgroup of C. upsaliensis isolates from seeded stool specimens was also evaluated. Differences in growth of C. upsaliensis on CAT and mCCDA were modest and were not explained by the antibiotic profiles of the two media. Recovery of C. upsaliensis from spiked human feces on CAT was superior to that on mCCDA at lower concentrations of organisms (103 CFU/ml). We conclude that although CAT is more suitable than mCCDA for the isolation of C. upsaliensis from stools, the superiority of CAT for detecting this organism is not accounted for by the antibiotic composition of the medium.
PMCID: PMC88219  PMID: 11427603
12.  Campylobacter upsaliensis: Waiting in the Wings 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  1998;11(3):440-449.
Despite strong epidemiological evidence supporting an important role for Campylobacter upsaliensis as a human enteropathogen, it remains relatively unknown in the realm of clinical microbiology. Clinical studies indicate that infection with this organism usually is associated with benign self-limiting diarrhea. However, more serious illnesses, including spontaneous abortion and hemolytic-uremic syndrome, recently have been associated with human infections. Understanding of the virulence properties and molecular biology of C. upsaliensis is beginning to evolve. There is now a pressing need for controlled, prospective epidemiologic studies in addition to further in-depth investigation of the pathogenesis of this enteric campylobacter to more precisely define its role in human disease. Furthermore, since C. upsaliensis is sensitive to the antibiotics routinely used in Campylobacter selective media, widespread appreciation of the importance of this organism will rely on the development of widely applicable, effective techniques for its isolation.
PMCID: PMC88890  PMID: 9665977

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