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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Journal of bacteriology, December 2014, Vol.196(23), pp.4012-25
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes the sexually transmitted disease chancroid and a chronic limb ulceration syndrome in children. In humans, H. ducreyi is found in an abscess and overcomes a hostile environment to establish infection. To sense and respond to membrane stress, bacteria utilize two-component systems (TCSs) and extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors. We previously showed that activation of CpxRA, the only intact TCS in H. ducreyi, does not regulate homologues of envelope protein folding factors but does downregulate genes encoding envelope-localized proteins, including many virulence determinants. H. ducreyi also harbors a homologue of RpoE, which is the only ECF sigma factor in the organism. To potentially understand how H. ducreyi responds to membrane stress, here we defined RpoE-dependent genes using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq). We identified 180 RpoE-dependent genes, of which 98% were upregulated; a major set of these genes encodes homologues of envelope maintenance and repair factors. We also identified and validated a putative RpoE promoter consensus sequence, which was enriched in the majority of RpoE-dependent targets. Comparison of RpoE-dependent genes to those controlled by CpxR showed that each transcription factor regulated a distinct set of genes. Given that RpoE activated a large number of genes encoding envelope maintenance and repair factors and that CpxRA represses genes encoding envelope-localized proteins, these data suggest that RpoE and CpxRA appear to play distinct yet complementary roles in regulating envelope homeostasis in H. ducreyi.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial ; Stress, Physiological ; Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Cell Membrane -- Physiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Physiology ; Protein Kinases -- Metabolism ; Sigma Factor -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00219193
    E-ISSN: 1098-5530
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Journal of bacteriology, August 2013, Vol.195(15), pp.3486-502
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a genital ulcer disease that facilitates the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. In humans, H. ducreyi is surrounded by phagocytes and must adapt to a hostile environment to survive. To sense and respond to environmental cues, bacteria frequently use two-component signal transduction (2CST) systems. The only obvious 2CST system in H. ducreyi is CpxRA; CpxR is a response regulator, and CpxA is a sensor kinase. Previous studies by Hansen and coworkers showed that CpxR directly represses the expression of dsrA, the lspB-lspA2 operon, and the flp operon, which are required for virulence in humans. They further showed that CpxA functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vitro to maintain the expression of virulence determinants. Since a cpxA mutant is avirulent while a cpxR mutant is fully virulent in humans, CpxA also likely functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vivo. To better understand the role of H. ducreyi CpxRA in controlling virulence determinants, here we defined genes potentially regulated by CpxRA by using RNA-Seq. Activation of CpxR by deletion of cpxA repressed nearly 70% of its targets, including seven established virulence determinants. Inactivation of CpxR by deletion of cpxR differentially regulated few genes and increased the expression of one virulence determinant. We identified a CpxR binding motif that was enriched in downregulated but not upregulated targets. These data reinforce the hypothesis that CpxA phosphatase activity plays a critical role in controlling H. ducreyi virulence in vivo. Characterization of the downregulated genes may offer new insights into pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial ; Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics ; Phosphoprotein Phosphatases -- Metabolism ; Protein Kinases -- Metabolism ; Repressor Proteins -- Metabolism ; Virulence Factors -- Biosynthesis
    ISSN: 00219193
    E-ISSN: 1098-5530
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Infection and immunity, September 2010, Vol.78(9), pp.3898-904
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi must adapt to the environment of the human host to establish and maintain infection in the skin. Bacteria generally utilize stress response systems, such as the CpxRA two-component system, to adapt to hostile environments. CpxRA is the only obvious two-component system contained in the H. ducreyi genome and negatively regulates the lspB-lspA2 operon, which encodes proteins that enable the organism to resist phagocytosis. We constructed an unmarked, in-frame H. ducreyi cpxA deletion mutant, 35000HPDeltacpxA. In human inoculation experiments, 35000HPDeltacpxA formed papules at a rate and size that were significantly less than its parent and was unable to form pustules compared to the parent. CpxA usually has kinase and phosphatase activities for CpxR, and the deletion of CpxA leads to the accumulation of activated CpxR due to the loss of phosphatase activity and the ability of CpxR to accept phosphate groups from other donors. Using a reporter construct, the lspB-lspA2 promoter was downregulated in 35000HPDeltacpxA, confirming that CpxR was activated. Deletion of cpxA downregulated DsrA, the major determinant of serum resistance in the organism, causing the mutant to become serum susceptible. Complementation in trans restored parental phenotypes. 35000HPDeltacpxA is the first H. ducreyi mutant that is impaired in its ability to form both papules and pustules in humans. Since a major function of CpxRA is to control the flow of protein traffic across the periplasm, uncontrolled activation of this system likely causes dysregulated expression of multiple virulence determinants and cripples the ability of the organism to adapt to the host.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Physiology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity ; Protein Kinases -- Physiology
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 1098-5522
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  • 4
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2006, Vol. 74(2), p.1394
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi produces two outer membrane proteins, called DltA (H. ducreyi lectin A) and DsrA (H. ducreyi serum resistance A), that contribute to the ability of the organism to evade complement-mediated serum killing. In contrast to their isogenic parent strain, 35000HP, the DsrA mutant FX517 exhibits 0% survival in 50% normal human serum and the DltA mutant FX533 exhibits 23% survival. Compared to 35000HP, FX517 does not cause pustule formation in human volunteers. To test whether DltA was required for virulence in humans, seven volunteers were experimentally infected with 35000HP and FX533. Four subjects were inoculated with fixed doses of 35000HP (101 CFU or 130 CFU) at three sites on one arm and escalating doses of FX533 (range, 46 CFU to 915 CFU) at three sites on the other arm. Pustules only developed at mutant-injected sites at doses nearly twofold higher than that of the parent, suggesting that FX533 was partially attenuated. Three subjects were inoculated with similar doses of the parent (67 CFU) and mutant (104 CFU) at three sites. Pustules formed at five of nine parent sites and one of nine mutant sites. Overall, the papule and pustule formation rates for 35000HP and FX533 were similar for the trial. However, for the five subjects who received similar doses of the parent and mutant, pustules developed at 7 of 15 sites (46.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 16.9% to 76.5%) inoculated with the parent and at 1 of 15 (6.7%; 95% CI, 0.1% to 18.4%) sites inoculated with the mutant (P = 0.043). We concluded that the DltA mutant was attenuated in its ability to cause disease at doses similar to that of the parent.
    Keywords: Mutation ; Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins -- Genetics ; Chancroid -- Pathology ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Pathogenicity;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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