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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, August 2016, Vol.60(8), pp.4690-700
    Description: During infection, the sexually transmitted pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the gonococcus) encounters numerous host-derived antimicrobials, including cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) produced by epithelial and phagocytic cells. CAMPs have both direct and indirect killing mechanisms and help link the innate and adaptive immune responses during infection. Gonococcal CAMP resistance is likely important for avoidance of host nonoxidative killing systems expressed by polymorphonuclear granulocytes (e.g., neutrophils) and intracellular survival. Previously studied gonococcal CAMP resistance mechanisms include modification of lipid A with phosphoethanolamine by LptA and export of CAMPs by the MtrCDE efflux pump. In the related pathogen Neisseria meningitidis, a two-component regulatory system (2CRS) termed MisR-MisS has been shown to contribute to the capacity of the meningococcus to resist CAMP killing. We report that the gonococcal MisR response regulator but not the MisS sensor kinase is involved in constitutive and inducible CAMP resistance and is also required for intrinsic low-level resistance to aminoglycosides. The 4- to 8-fold increased susceptibility of misR-deficient gonococci to CAMPs and aminoglycosides was independent of phosphoethanolamine decoration of lipid A and the levels of the MtrCDE efflux pump and seemed to correlate with a general increase in membrane permeability. Transcriptional profiling and biochemical studies confirmed that expression of lptA and mtrCDE was not impacted by the loss of MisR. However, several genes encoding proteins involved in membrane integrity and redox control gave evidence of being MisR regulated. We propose that MisR modulates the levels of gonococcal susceptibility to antimicrobials by influencing the expression of genes involved in determining membrane integrity.
    Keywords: Aminoglycosides -- Metabolism ; Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides -- Metabolism ; Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Gonorrhea -- Metabolism ; Neisseria Gonorrhoeae -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00664804
    E-ISSN: 1098-6596
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, August 2015, Vol.83(8), pp.3281-92
    Description: The (p)ppGpp-mediated stringent response is important for bacterial survival in nutrient limiting conditions. For maximal effect, (p)ppGpp interacts with the cofactor DksA, which stabilizes (p)ppGpp's interaction with RNA polymerase. We previously demonstrated that (p)ppGpp was required for the virulence of Haemophilus ducreyi in humans. Here, we constructed an H. ducreyi dksA mutant and showed it was also partially attenuated for pustule formation in human volunteers. To understand the roles of (p)ppGpp and DksA in gene regulation in H. ducreyi, we defined genes potentially altered by (p)ppGpp and DksA deficiency using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq). In bacteria collected at stationary phase, lack of (p)ppGpp and DksA altered expression of 28% and 17% of H. ducreyi open reading frames, respectively, including genes involved in transcription, translation, and metabolism. There was significant overlap in genes differentially expressed in the (p)ppGpp mutant relative to the dksA mutant. Loss of (p)ppGpp or DksA resulted in the dysregulation of several known virulence determinants. Deletion of dksA downregulated lspB and rendered the organism less resistant to phagocytosis and increased its sensitivity to oxidative stress. Both mutants had reduced ability to attach to human foreskin fibroblasts; the defect correlated with reduced expression of the Flp adhesin proteins in the (p)ppGpp mutant but not in the dksA mutant, suggesting that DksA regulates the expression of an unknown cofactor(s) required for Flp-mediated adherence. We conclude that both (p)ppGpp and DksA serve as major regulators of H. ducreyi gene expression in stationary phase and have both overlapping and unique contributions to pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Guanosine Tetraphosphate -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, May 2016, Vol.84(5), pp.1514-1525
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid in adults and cutaneous ulcers in children. In humans, H. ducreyi resides in an abscess and must adapt to a variety of stresses. Previous studies (D. Gangaiah, M. Labandeira-Rey, X. Zhang, K. R. Fortney, S. Ellinger, B. Zwickl, B. Baker, Y. Liu, D. M. Janowicz, B. P. Katz, C. A. Brautigam, R. S. MunsonJr, E. J. Hansen, and S. M. Spinola, mBio 5:e01081-13, 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01081-13) suggested that H. ducreyi encounters growth conditions in human lesions resembling those found in stationary phase. However, how H. ducreyi transcriptionally responds to stress during human infection is unknown. Here, we determined the H. ducreyi transcriptome in biopsy specimens of human lesions and compared it to the transcriptomes of bacteria grown to mid-log, transition, and stationary phases. Multidimensional scaling showed that the in vivo transcriptome is distinct from those of in vitro growth. Compared to the inoculum (mid-log-phase bacteria), H. ducreyi harvested from pustules differentially expressed ∼93 genes, of which 62 were upregulated. The upregulated genes encode homologs of proteins involved in nutrient transport, alternative carbon pathways (l-ascorbate utilization and metabolism), growth arrest response, heat shock response, DNA recombination, and anaerobiosis. H. ducreyi upregulated few genes (hgbA, flp-tad, and lspB-lspA2) encoding virulence determinants required for human infection. Most genes regulated by CpxRA, RpoE, Hfq, (p)ppGpp, and DksA, which control the expression of virulence determinants and adaptation to a variety of stresses, were not differentially expressed in vivo, suggesting that these systems are cycling on and off during infection. Taken together, these data suggest that the in vivo transcriptome is distinct from those of in vitro growth and that adaptation to nutrient stress and anaerobiosis is crucial for H. ducreyi survival in humans.
    Keywords: Adaptation, Physiological ; Gene Expression Profiling ; Stress, Physiological ; Carbon -- Metabolism ; Chancroid -- Microbiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Physiology
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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