ResearchPad - legionella https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Structure and functional analysis of the <i>Legionella pneumophila</i> chitinase ChiA reveals a novel mechanism of metal-dependent mucin degradation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14652 A broad range of organisms produce chitinase enzymes that digest chitin, the second most abundant carbohydrate on earth. Chitinases have also been identified that are important factors in major bacterial diseases but it is unclear how. Legionella pneumophila causes Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, and its chitinase ChiA is essential for the survival of L. pneumophila during infection of the lung. Using structural biology and microbiology methods we have determined that ChiA can associate with the L. pneumophila surface and along with other outer membrane proteins can also bind mammalian mucins. We also identified a new and unique enzyme mechanism where L. pneumophila ChiA can hydrolyse the peptide bonds of mucin-like proteins. Mucins are major components of the mucous that lines the surface of the respiratory, digestive, and urogenital tracts and acts as a first line of defence during infection. This is the first mechanistic understanding of how a chitinase can promote disease through additional peptidase activity and suggests that L. pneumophila ChiA can modulate host immune responses and disperse host mucosa during infection.

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<![CDATA[Search for MicroRNAs Expressed by Intracellular Bacterial Pathogens in Infected Mammalian Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daafab0ee8fa60baa994

MicroRNAs are expressed by all multicellular organisms and play a critical role as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Moreover, different microRNA species are known to influence the progression of a range of different diseases, including cancer and microbial infections. A number of different human viruses also encode microRNAs that can attenuate cellular innate immune responses and promote viral replication, and a fungal pathogen that infects plants has recently been shown to express microRNAs in infected cells that repress host cell immune responses and promote fungal pathogenesis. Here, we have used deep sequencing of total expressed small RNAs, as well as small RNAs associated with the cellular RNA-induced silencing complex RISC, to search for microRNAs that are potentially expressed by intracellular bacterial pathogens and translocated into infected animal cells. In the case of Legionella and Chlamydia and the two mycobacterial species M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis, we failed to detect any bacterial small RNAs that had the characteristics expected for authentic microRNAs, although large numbers of small RNAs of bacterial origin could be recovered. However, a third mycobacterial species, M. marinum, did express an ∼23-nt small RNA that was bound by RISC and derived from an RNA stem-loop with the characteristics expected for a pre-microRNA. While intracellular expression of this candidate bacterial microRNA was too low to effectively repress target mRNA species in infected cultured cells in vitro, artificial overexpression of this potential bacterial pre-microRNA did result in the efficient repression of a target mRNA. This bacterial small RNA therefore represents the first candidate microRNA of bacterial origin.

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<![CDATA[Sequencing Illustrates the Transcriptional Response of Legionella pneumophila during Infection and Identifies Seventy Novel Small Non-Coding RNAs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4bab0ee8fa60bda675

Second generation sequencing has prompted a number of groups to re-interrogate the transcriptomes of several bacterial and archaeal species. One of the central findings has been the identification of complex networks of small non-coding RNAs that play central roles in transcriptional regulation in all growth conditions and for the pathogen's interaction with and survival within host cells. Legionella pneumophila is a Gram-negative facultative intracellular human pathogen with a distinct biphasic lifestyle. One of its primary environmental hosts in the free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii and its infection by L. pneumophila mimics that seen in human macrophages. Here we present analysis of strand specific sequencing of the transcriptional response of L. pneumophila during exponential and post-exponential broth growth and during the replicative and transmissive phase of infection inside A. castellanii. We extend previous microarray based studies as well as uncovering evidence of a complex regulatory architecture underpinned by numerous non-coding RNAs. Over seventy new non-coding RNAs could be identified; many of them appear to be strain specific and in configurations not previously reported. We discover a family of non-coding RNAs preferentially expressed during infection conditions and identify a second copy of 6S RNA in L. pneumophila. We show that the newly discovered putative 6S RNA as well as a number of other non-coding RNAs show evidence for antisense transcription. The nature and extent of the non-coding RNAs and their expression patterns suggests that these may well play central roles in the regulation of Legionella spp. specific traits and offer clues as to how L. pneumophila adapts to its intracellular niche. The expression profiles outlined in the study have been deposited into Genbank's Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database under the series accession GSE27232.

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<![CDATA[Approach to determine the diversity of Legionella species by nested PCR-DGGE in aquatic environments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb8a7

In this study, we describe a nested PCR-DGGE strategy to detect Legionella communities from river water samples. The nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene was amplified using bacterial primer in the first step. After, the amplicons were employed as DNA templates in the second PCR using Legionella specific primer. The third round of gene amplification was conducted to gain PCR fragments apposite for DGGE analysis. Then the total numbers of amplified genes were observed in DGGE bands of products gained with primers specific for the diversity of Legionella species. The DGGE patterns are thus potential for a high-throughput preliminary determination of aquatic environmental Legionella species before sequencing. Comparative DNA sequence analysis of excised DGGE unique band patterns showed the identity of the Legionella community members, including a reference profile with two pathogenic species of Legionella strains. In addition, only members of Legionella pneumophila and uncultured Legionella sp. were detected. Development of three step nested PCR-DGGE tactic is seen as a useful method for studying the diversity of Legionella community. The method is rapid and provided sequence information for phylogenetic analysis.

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<![CDATA[Necessity and Effect of Combating Legionella pneumophila in Municipal Shower Systems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da23ab0ee8fa60b7f9da

The objective was to obtain research-based, holistic knowledge about necessity and effect of practiced measures against L. pneumophila in municipal shower systems in Stavanger, Norway. The effects of hot water treatment and membrane-filtering were investigated and compared to no intervention at all. The studies were done under real-world conditions. Additionally, a surveillance pilot study of municipal showers in Stavanger was performed. The validity of high total plate count (TPC) as an indication of L. pneumophila was evaluated. A simplified method, named “dripping method”, for detection and quantification of L. pneumophila was developed. The sensitivity of the dripping method is 5 colony-forming units of L. pneumophila/ml. The transference of L. pneumophila from shower water to aerosols was studied. Interviews and observational studies among the stakeholders were done in order to identify patterns of communication and behavior in a Legionella risk perspective. No substantial effects of the measures against L. pneumophila were demonstrated, except for a distally placed membrane filter. No significant positive correlation between TPC and L. pneumophila concentrations were found. L. pneumophila serogroup 2–14 was demonstrated in 21% of the 29 buildings tested in the surveillance pilot. Relatively few cells of L. pneumophila were transferred from shower water to aerosols. Anxiety appeared as the major driving force in the risk governance of Legionella. In conclusion, the risk of acquiring Legionnaires' disease from municipal shower systems is evaluated as low and uncertain. By eliminating ineffective approaches, targeted Legionella risk governance can be practiced. Risk management by surveillance is evaluated as appropriate.

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<![CDATA[Legionella pneumophila-Derived Outer Membrane Vesicles Promote Bacterial Replication in Macrophages]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3eab0ee8fa60bd5c38

The formation and release of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) is a phenomenon of Gram-negative bacteria. This includes Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila), a causative agent of severe pneumonia. Upon its transmission into the lung, L. pneumophila primarily infects and replicates within macrophages. Here, we analyzed the influence of L. pneumophila OMVs on macrophages. To this end, differentiated THP-1 cells were incubated with increasing doses of Legionella OMVs, leading to a TLR2-dependent classical activation of macrophages with the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Inhibition of TLR2 and NF-κB signaling reduced the induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, treatment of THP-1 cells with OMVs prior to infection reduced replication of L. pneumophila in THP-1 cells. Blocking of TLR2 activation or heat denaturation of OMVs restored bacterial replication in the first 24 h of infection. With prolonged infection-time, OMV pre-treated macrophages became more permissive for bacterial replication than untreated cells and showed increased numbers of Legionella-containing vacuoles and reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine induction. Additionally, miRNA-146a was found to be transcriptionally induced by OMVs and to facilitate bacterial replication. Accordingly, IRAK-1, one of miRNA-146a’s targets, showed prolonged activation-dependent degradation, which rendered THP-1 cells more permissive for Legionella replication. In conclusion, L. pneumophila OMVs are initially potent pro-inflammatory stimulators of macrophages, acting via TLR2, IRAK-1, and NF-κB, while at later time points, OMVs facilitate L. pneumophila replication by miR-146a-dependent IRAK-1 suppression. OMVs might thereby promote spreading of L. pneumophila in the host.

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<![CDATA[The Influence of Programmed Cell Death in Myeloid Cells on Host Resilience to Infection with Legionella pneumophila or Streptococcus pyogenes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daebab0ee8fa60bbf207

Pathogen clearance and host resilience/tolerance to infection are both important factors in surviving an infection. Cells of the myeloid lineage play important roles in both of these processes. Neutrophils, monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells all have important roles in initiation of the immune response and clearance of bacterial pathogens. If these cells are not properly regulated they can result in excessive inflammation and immunopathology leading to decreased host resilience. Programmed cell death (PCD) is one possible mechanism that myeloid cells may use to prevent excessive inflammation. Myeloid cell subsets play roles in tissue repair, immune response resolution, and maintenance of homeostasis, so excessive PCD may also influence host resilience in this way. In addition, myeloid cell death is one mechanism used to control pathogen replication and dissemination. Many of these functions for PCD have been well defined in vitro, but the role in vivo is less well understood. We created a mouse that constitutively expresses the pro-survival B-cell lymphoma (bcl)-2 protein in myeloid cells (CD68(bcl2tg), thus decreasing PCD specifically in myeloid cells. Using this mouse model we explored the impact that decreased cell death of these cells has on infection with two different bacterial pathogens, Legionella pneumophila and Streptococcus pyogenes. Both of these pathogens target multiple cell death pathways in myeloid cells, and the expression of bcl2 resulted in decreased PCD after infection. We examined both pathogen clearance and host resilience and found that myeloid cell death was crucial for host resilience. Surprisingly, the decreased myeloid PCD had minimal impact on pathogen clearance. These data indicate that the most important role of PCD during infection with these bacteria is to minimize inflammation and increase host resilience, not to aid in the clearance or prevent the spread of the pathogen.

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<![CDATA[Genomic Analysis Reveals Novel Diversity among the 1976 Philadelphia Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Isolates and Additional ST36 Strains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa8ab0ee8fa60ba868e

Legionella pneumophila was first recognized as a cause of severe and potentially fatal pneumonia during a large-scale outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) at a Pennsylvania veterans’ convention in Philadelphia, 1976. The ensuing investigation and recovery of four clinical isolates launched the fields of Legionella epidemiology and scientific research. Only one of the original isolates, “Philadelphia-1”, has been widely distributed or extensively studied. Here we describe the whole-genome sequencing (WGS), complete assembly, and comparative analysis of all Philadelphia LD strains recovered from that investigation, along with L. pneumophila isolates sharing the Philadelphia sequence type (ST36). Analyses revealed that the 1976 outbreak was due to multiple serogroup 1 strains within the same genetic lineage, differentiated by an actively mobilized, self-replicating episome that is shared with L. pneumophila str. Paris, and two large, horizontally-transferred genomic loci, among other polymorphisms. We also found a completely unassociated ST36 strain that displayed remarkable genetic similarity to the historical Philadelphia isolates. This similar strain implies the presence of a potential clonal population, and suggests important implications may exist for considering epidemiological context when interpreting phylogenetic relationships among outbreak-associated isolates. Additional extensive archival research identified the Philadelphia isolate associated with a non-Legionnaire case of “Broad Street pneumonia”, and provided new historical and genetic insights into the 1976 epidemic. This retrospective analysis has underscored the utility of fully-assembled WGS data for Legionella outbreak investigations, highlighting the increased resolution that comes from long-read sequencing and a sequence type-matched genomic data set.

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<![CDATA[Neutrophil and Alveolar Macrophage-Mediated Innate Immune Control of Legionella pneumophila Lung Infection via TNF and ROS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab2ab0ee8fa60babdfb

Legionella pneumophila is a facultative intracellular bacterium that lives in aquatic environments where it parasitizes amoeba. However, upon inhalation of contaminated aerosols it can infect and replicate in human alveolar macrophages, which can result in Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia. Upon experimental airway infection of mice, L. pneumophila is rapidly controlled by innate immune mechanisms. Here we identified, on a cell-type specific level, the key innate effector functions responsible for rapid control of infection. In addition to the well-characterized NLRC4-NAIP5 flagellin recognition pathway, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) are also essential for effective innate immune control of L. pneumophila. While ROS are essential for the bactericidal activity of neutrophils, alveolar macrophages (AM) rely on neutrophil and monocyte-derived TNF signaling via TNFR1 to restrict bacterial replication. This TNF-mediated antibacterial mechanism depends on the acidification of lysosomes and their fusion with L. pneumophila containing vacuoles (LCVs), as well as caspases with a minor contribution from cysteine-type cathepsins or calpains, and is independent of NLRC4, caspase-1, caspase-11 and NOX2. This study highlights the differential utilization of innate effector pathways to curtail intracellular bacterial replication in specific host cells upon L. pneumophila airway infection.

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<![CDATA[microRNA-125a-3p is regulated by MyD88 in Legionella pneumophila infection and targets NTAN1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf12b

Background

Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) is a causative agent of severe pneumonia. It is highly adapted to intracellular replication and manipulates host cell functions like vesicle trafficking and mRNA translation to its own advantage. However, it is still unknown to what extent microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the Legionella-host cell interaction.

Methods

WT and MyD88-/- murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM) were infected with L. pneumophila, the transcriptome was analyzed by high throughput qPCR array (microRNAs) and conventional qPCR (mRNAs), and mRNA-miRNA interaction was validated by luciferase assays with 3´-UTR mutations and western blot.

Results

L. pneumophila infection caused a pro-inflammatory reaction and significant miRNA changes in murine macrophages. In MyD88-/- cells, induction of inflammatory markers, such as Ccxl1/Kc, Il6 and miR-146a-5p was reduced. Induction of miR-125a-3p was completely abrogated in MyD88-/- cells. Target prediction analyses revealed N-terminal asparagine amidase 1 (NTAN1), a factor from the n-end rule pathway, to be a putative target of miR-125a-3p. This interaction could be confirmed by luciferase assay and western blot.

Conclusion

Taken together, we characterized the miRNA regulation in L. pneumophila infection with regard to MyD88 signaling and identified NTAN1 as a target of miR-125a-3p. This finding unravels a yet unknown feature of Legionella-host cell interaction, potentially relevant for new treatment options.

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<![CDATA[Neutrophils and Ly6Chi monocytes collaborate in generating an optimal cytokine response that protects against pulmonary Legionella pneumophila infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf348

Early responses mounted by both tissue-resident and recruited innate immune cells are essential for host defense against bacterial pathogens. In particular, both neutrophils and Ly6Chi monocytes are rapidly recruited to sites of infection. While neutrophils and monocytes produce bactericidal molecules, such as reactive nitrogen and oxygen species, both cell types are also capable of synthesizing overlapping sets of cytokines important for host defense. Whether neutrophils and monocytes perform redundant or non-redundant functions in the generation of anti-microbial cytokine responses remains elusive. Here, we sought to define the contributions of neutrophils and Ly6Chi monocytes to cytokine production and host defense during pulmonary infection with Legionella pneumophila, responsible for the severe pneumonia Legionnaires’ disease. We found that both neutrophils and monocytes are critical for host defense against L. pneumophila. Both monocytes and neutrophils contribute to maximal IL-12 and IFNγ responses, and monocytes are also required for TNF production. Moreover, natural killer (NK) cells, NKT cells, and γδ T cells are sources of IFNγ, and monocytes direct IFNγ production by these cell types. Thus, neutrophils and monocytes cooperate in eliciting an optimal cytokine response that promotes effective control of bacterial infection.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptional Profiling of Coxiella burnetii Reveals Extensive Cell Wall Remodeling in the Small Cell Variant Developmental Form]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da96ab0ee8fa60ba1bc9

A hallmark of Coxiella burnetii, the bacterial cause of human Q fever, is a biphasic developmental cycle that generates biologically, ultrastructurally, and compositionally distinct large cell variant (LCV) and small cell variant (SCV) forms. LCVs are replicating, exponential phase forms while SCVs are non-replicating, stationary phase forms. The SCV has several properties, such as a condensed nucleoid and an unusual cell envelope, suspected of conferring enhanced environmental stability. To identify genetic determinants of the LCV to SCV transition, we profiled the C. burnetii transcriptome at 3 (early LCV), 5 (late LCV), 7 (intermediate forms), 14 (early SCV), and 21 days (late SCV) post-infection of Vero epithelial cells. Relative to early LCV, genes downregulated in the SCV were primarily involved in intermediary metabolism. Upregulated SCV genes included those involved in oxidative stress responses, arginine acquisition, and cell wall remodeling. A striking transcriptional signature of the SCV was induction (>7-fold) of five genes encoding predicted L,D transpeptidases that catalyze nonclassical 3–3 peptide cross-links in peptidoglycan (PG), a modification that can influence several biological traits in bacteria. Accordingly, of cross-links identified, muropeptide analysis showed PG of SCV with 46% 3–3 cross-links as opposed to 16% 3–3 cross-links for LCV. Moreover, electron microscopy revealed SCV with an unusually dense cell wall/outer membrane complex as compared to LCV with its clearly distinguishable periplasm and inner and outer membranes. Collectively, these results indicate the SCV produces a unique transcriptome with a major component directed towards remodeling a PG layer that likely contributes to Coxiella’s environmental resistance.

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<![CDATA[Cooperation between Monocyte-Derived Cells and Lymphoid Cells in the Acute Response to a Bacterial Lung Pathogen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db2eab0ee8fa60bd1d2f

Legionella pneumophila is the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal lung infection. Alveolar macrophages support intracellular replication of L. pneumophila, however the contributions of other immune cell types to bacterial killing during infection are unclear. Here, we used recently described methods to characterise the major inflammatory cells in lung after acute respiratory infection of mice with L. pneumophila. We observed that the numbers of alveolar macrophages rapidly decreased after infection coincident with a rapid infiltration of the lung by monocyte-derived cells (MC), which, together with neutrophils, became the dominant inflammatory cells associated with the bacteria. Using mice in which the ability of MC to infiltrate tissues is impaired it was found that MC were required for bacterial clearance and were the major source of IL12. IL12 was needed to induce IFNγ production by lymphoid cells including NK cells, memory T cells, NKT cells and γδ T cells. Memory T cells that produced IFNγ appeared to be circulating effector/memory T cells that infiltrated the lung after infection. IFNγ production by memory T cells was stimulated in an antigen-independent fashion and could effectively clear bacteria from the lung indicating that memory T cells are an important contributor to innate bacterial defence. We also determined that a major function of IFNγ was to stimulate bactericidal activity of MC. On the other hand, neutrophils did not require IFNγ to kill bacteria and alveolar macrophages remained poorly bactericidal even in the presence of IFNγ. This work has revealed a cooperative innate immune circuit between lymphoid cells and MC that combats acute L. pneumophila infection and defines a specific role for IFNγ in anti-bacterial immunity.

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<![CDATA[IFNs Modify the Proteome of Legionella-Containing Vacuoles and Restrict Infection Via IRG1-Derived Itaconic Acid]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4eab0ee8fa60bdb64b

Macrophages can be niches for bacterial pathogens or antibacterial effector cells depending on the pathogen and signals from the immune system. Here we show that type I and II IFNs are master regulators of gene expression during Legionella pneumophila infection, and activators of an alveolar macrophage-intrinsic immune response that restricts bacterial growth during pneumonia. Quantitative mass spectrometry revealed that both IFNs substantially modify Legionella-containing vacuoles, and comparative analyses reveal distinct subsets of transcriptionally and spatially IFN-regulated proteins. Immune-responsive gene (IRG)1 is induced by IFNs in mitochondria that closely associate with Legionella-containing vacuoles, and mediates production of itaconic acid. This metabolite is bactericidal against intravacuolar L. pneumophila as well as extracellular multidrug-resistant Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. Our study explores the overall role IFNs play in inducing substantial remodeling of bacterial vacuoles and in stimulating production of IRG1-derived itaconic acid which targets intravacuolar pathogens. IRG1 or its product itaconic acid might be therapeutically targetable to fight intracellular and drug-resistant bacteria.

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<![CDATA[The Legionella pneumophila genome evolved to accommodate multiple regulatory mechanisms controlled by the CsrA-system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcdc3

The carbon storage regulator protein CsrA regulates cellular processes post-transcriptionally by binding to target-RNAs altering translation efficiency and/or their stability. Here we identified and analyzed the direct targets of CsrA in the human pathogen Legionella pneumophila. Genome wide transcriptome, proteome and RNA co-immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing of a wild type and a csrA mutant strain identified 479 RNAs with potential CsrA interaction sites located in the untranslated and/or coding regions of mRNAs or of known non-coding sRNAs. Further analyses revealed that CsrA exhibits a dual regulatory role in virulence as it affects the expression of the regulators FleQ, LqsR, LetE and RpoS but it also directly regulates the timely expression of over 40 Dot/Icm substrates. CsrA controls its own expression and the stringent response through a regulatory feedback loop as evidenced by its binding to RelA-mRNA and links it to quorum sensing and motility. CsrA is a central player in the carbon, amino acid, fatty acid metabolism and energy transfer and directly affects the biosynthesis of cofactors, vitamins and secondary metabolites. We describe the first L. pneumophila riboswitch, a thiamine pyrophosphate riboswitch whose regulatory impact is fine-tuned by CsrA, and identified a unique regulatory mode of CsrA, the active stabilization of RNA anti-terminator conformations inside a coding sequence preventing Rho-dependent termination of the gap operon through transcriptional polarity effects. This allows L. pneumophila to regulate the pentose phosphate pathway and the glycolysis combined or individually although they share genes in a single operon. Thus the L. pneumophila genome has evolved to acclimate at least five different modes of regulation by CsrA giving it a truly unique position in its life cycle.

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<![CDATA[Genome Analysis of Legionella pneumophila Strains Using a Mixed-Genome Microarray]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daefab0ee8fa60bc0a9d

Background

Legionella, the causative agent for Legionnaires’ disease, is ubiquitous in both natural and man-made aquatic environments. The distribution of Legionella genotypes within clinical strains is significantly different from that found in environmental strains. Developing novel genotypic methods that offer the ability to distinguish clinical from environmental strains could help to focus on more relevant (virulent) Legionella species in control efforts. Mixed-genome microarray data can be used to perform a comparative-genome analysis of strain collections, and advanced statistical approaches, such as the Random Forest algorithm are available to process these data.

Methods

Microarray analysis was performed on a collection of 222 Legionella pneumophila strains, which included patient-derived strains from notified cases in the Netherlands in the period 2002–2006 and the environmental strains that were collected during the source investigation for those patients within the Dutch National Legionella Outbreak Detection Programme. The Random Forest algorithm combined with a logistic regression model was used to select predictive markers and to construct a predictive model that could discriminate between strains from different origin: clinical or environmental.

Results

Four genetic markers were selected that correctly predicted 96% of the clinical strains and 66% of the environmental strains collected within the Dutch National Legionella Outbreak Detection Programme.

Conclusions

The Random Forest algorithm is well suited for the development of prediction models that use mixed-genome microarray data to discriminate between Legionella strains from different origin. The identification of these predictive genetic markers could offer the possibility to identify virulence factors within the Legionella genome, which in the future may be implemented in the daily practice of controlling Legionella in the public health environment.

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<![CDATA[Aminoacyl-tRNA-Charged Eukaryotic Elongation Factor 1A Is the Bona Fide Substrate for Legionella pneumophila Effector Glucosyltransferases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da24ab0ee8fa60b7ff46

Legionella pneumophila, which is the causative organism of Legionnaireś disease, translocates numerous effector proteins into the host cell cytosol by a type IV secretion system during infection. Among the most potent effector proteins of Legionella are glucosyltransferases (lgt's), which selectively modify eukaryotic elongation factor (eEF) 1A at Ser-53 in the GTP binding domain. Glucosylation results in inhibition of protein synthesis. Here we show that in vitro glucosylation of yeast and mouse eEF1A by Lgt3 in the presence of the factors Phe-tRNAPhe and GTP was enhanced 150 and 590-fold, respectively. The glucosylation of eEF1A catalyzed by Lgt1 and 2 was increased about 70-fold. By comparison of uncharged tRNA with two distinct aminoacyl-tRNAs (His-tRNAHis and Phe-tRNAPhe) we could show that aminoacylation is crucial for Lgt-catalyzed glucosylation. Aminoacyl-tRNA had no effect on the enzymatic properties of lgt's and did not enhance the glucosylation rate of eEF1A truncation mutants, consisting of the GTPase domain only or of a 5 kDa peptide covering Ser-53 of eEF1A. Furthermore, binding of aminoacyl-tRNA to eEF1A was not altered by glucosylation. Taken together, our data suggest that the ternary complex, consisting of eEF1A, aminoacyl-tRNA and GTP, is the bona fide substrate for lgt's.

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<![CDATA[Teaching Fido New ModiFICation Tricks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae5ab0ee8fa60bbd148 ]]> <![CDATA[Legionella pneumophila Persists within Biofilms Formed by Klebsiella pneumoniae, Flavobacterium sp., and Pseudomonas fluorescens under Dynamic Flow Conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da66ab0ee8fa60b91e35

Legionella pneumophila, the agent of Legionnaires' disease pneumonia, is transmitted to humans following the inhalation of contaminated water droplets. In aquatic systems, L. pneumophila survives much of time within multi-organismal biofilms. Therefore, we examined the ability of L. pneumophila (clinical isolate 130b) to persist within biofilms formed by various types of aquatic bacteria, using a bioreactor with flow, steel surfaces, and low-nutrient conditions. L. pneumophila was able to intercalate into and persist within a biofilm formed by Klebsiella pneumoniae, Flavobacterium sp. or Pseudomonas fluorescens. The levels of L. pneumophila within these biofilms were as much as 4×104 CFU per cm2 of steel coupon and lasted for at least 12 days. These data document that K. pneumoniae, Flavobacterium sp., and P. fluorescens can promote the presence of L. pneumophila in dynamic biofilms. In contrast to these results, L. pneumophila 130b did not persist within a biofilm formed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, confirming that some bacteria are permissive for Legionella colonization whereas others are antagonistic. In addition to colonizing certain mono-species biofilms, L. pneumophila 130b persisted within a two-species biofilm formed by K. pneumoniae and Flavobacterium sp. Interestingly, the legionellae were also able to colonize a two-species biofilm formed by K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa, demonstrating that a species that is permissive for L. pneumophila can override the inhibitory effect(s) of a non-permissive species.

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<![CDATA[Phenylalanine Hydroxylase from Legionella pneumophila Is a Thermostable Enzyme with a Major Functional Role in Pyomelanin Synthesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da29ab0ee8fa60b81c8d

Background

Legionella pneumophila is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause Legionnaires’ disease and other non-pneumonic infections in humans. This bacterium produces a pyomelanin pigment, a potential virulence factor with ferric reductase activity. In this work, we have investigated the role of phenylalanine hydroxylase from L. pneumophila (lpPAH), the product of the phhA gene, in the synthesis of the pyomelanin pigment and the growth of the bacterium in defined compositions.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Comparative studies of wild-type and phhA mutant corroborate that lpPAH provides the excess tyrosine for pigment synthesis. phhA and letA (gacA) appear transcriptionally linked when bacteria were grown in buffered yeast extract medium at 37°C. phhA is expressed in L. pneumophila growing in macrophages. We also cloned and characterized lpPAH, which showed many characteristics of other PAHs studied so far, including Fe(II) requirement for activity. However, it also showed many particular properties such as dimerization, a high conformational thermal stability, with a midpoint denaturation temperature (Tm) = 79±0.5°C, a high specific activity at 37°C (10.2±0.3 µmol L-Tyr/mg/min) and low affinity for the substrate (Km (L-Phe) = 735±50 µM.

Conclusions/Significance

lpPAH has a major functional role in the synthesis of pyomelanin and promotes growth in low-tyrosine media. The high thermal stability of lpPAH might reflect the adaptation of the enzyme to withstand relatively high survival temperatures.

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