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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2015, Vol.10(4), pp.e0124373
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi resists the cytotoxic effects of human antimicrobial peptides (APs), including α-defensins, β-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Resistance to LL-37, mediated by the sensitive to antimicrobial peptide (Sap) transporter, is required for H. ducreyi virulence in humans. Cationic APs are attracted to the negatively charged bacterial cell surface. In other gram-negative bacteria, modification of lipopolysaccharide or lipooligosaccharide (LOS) by the addition of positively charged moieties, such as phosphoethanolamine (PEA), confers AP resistance by means of electrostatic repulsion. H. ducreyi LOS has PEA modifications at two sites, and we identified three genes (lptA, ptdA, and ptdB) in H. ducreyi with homology to a family of bacterial PEA transferases. We generated non-polar, unmarked mutants with deletions in one, two, or all three putative PEA transferase genes. The triple mutant was significantly more susceptible to both α- and β-defensins; complementation of all three genes restored parental levels of AP resistance. Deletion of all three PEA transferase genes also resulted in a significant increase in the negativity of the mutant cell surface. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LptA was required for PEA modification of lipid A; PtdA and PtdB did not affect PEA modification of LOS. In human inoculation experiments, the triple mutant was as virulent as its parent strain. While this is the first identified mechanism of resistance to α-defensins in H. ducreyi, our in vivo data suggest that resistance to cathelicidin LL-37 may be more important than defensin resistance to H. ducreyi pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Drug Resistance, Bacterial -- Genetics ; Ethanolaminephosphotransferase -- Genetics ; Haemophilus Ducreyi -- Genetics ; Lipid A -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2017, Vol.12(6), pp.e0179621
    Description: Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the causative agent of gonorrhea, has a number of factors known to contribute to pathogenesis; however, a full understanding of these processes and their regulation has proven to be elusive. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of bacterial proteins are now recognized as one mechanism of protein regulation. In the present study, Western blot analyses, with an anti-acetyl-lysine antibody, indicated that a large number of gonococcal proteins are post-translationally modified. Previous work has shown that Nε-lysine acetylation can occur non-enzymatically with acetyl-phosphate (AcP) as the acetyl donor. In the current study, an acetate kinase mutant (1291ackA), which accumulates AcP, was generated in N. gonorrhoeae. Broth cultures of N. gonorrhoeae 1291wt and 1291ackA were grown, proteins extracted and digested, and peptides containing acetylated-lysines (K-acetyl) were affinity-enriched from both strains. Mass spectrometric analyses of these samples identified a total of 2686 unique acetylation sites. Label-free relative quantitation of the K-acetyl peptides derived from the ackA and wild-type (wt) strains demonstrated that 109 acetylation sites had an ackA/wt ratio〉2 and p-values 〈0.05 in at least 2/3 of the biological replicates and were designated as "AckA-dependent". Regulated K-acetyl sites were found in ribosomal proteins, central metabolism proteins, iron acquisition and regulation proteins, pilus assembly and regulation proteins, and a two-component response regulator. Since AckA is part of a metabolic pathway, comparative growth studies of the ackA mutant and wt strains were performed. The mutant showed a growth defect under aerobic conditions, an inability to grow anaerobically, and a defect in biofilm maturation. In conclusion, the current study identified AckA-dependent acetylation sites in N. gonorrhoeae and determined that these sites are found in a diverse group of proteins. This work lays the foundation for future studies focusing on specific acetylation sites that may have relevance in gonococcal pathogenesis and metabolism.
    Keywords: Acetate Kinase -- Metabolism ; Bacterial Proteins -- Metabolism ; Metabolic Networks and Pathways -- Physiology ; Neisseria Gonorrhoeae -- Metabolism
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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