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  • 1
    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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  • 2
    In: Infection and Immunity, 2008, Vol. 76(4), p.1608
    Description: The ability to bind extracellular matrix proteins is a critical virulence determinant for skin pathogens. Haemophilus ducreyi, the etiological agent of the genital ulcer disease chancroid, binds extracellular matrix components, including fibronectin (FN). We investigated H. ducreyi FN binding and report several important findings about this interaction. First, FN binding by H. ducreyi was greatly increased in bacteria grown on heme and almost completely inhibited by hemoglobin. Second, wild-type strain 35000HP bound significantly more FN than did a dsrA mutant in two different FN binding assays. Third, the expression of dsrA in the dsrA mutant restored FN binding and conferred the ability to bind FN to a non-FN-binding Haemophilus influenzae strain. Fourth, an anti-DsrA monoclonal antibody partially blocked FN binding by H. ducreyi. The hemoglobin receptor, the collagen-binding protein, the H. ducreyi lectin, the fine-tangle pili, and the outer membrane protein OmpA2 were not involved in H. ducreyi FN binding, since single mutants bound FN as well as the parent strain did. However, the major outer membrane protein may have a minor role in FN binding by H. ducreyi, since a double dsrA momp mutant bound less FN than did the single dsrA mutant. Finally, despite major sequence differences, DsrA proteins from both class I and class II H. ducreyi strains mediated FN and vitronectin binding. We concluded that DsrA is the major factor involved in FN binding by both classes of H. ducreyi strains.
    Keywords: Medicine ; Biology;
    ISSN: 0019-9567
    ISSN: 00199567
    E-ISSN: 10985522
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