Identification and characterization of a novel hydroxylamine oxidase, DnfA, that catalyzes the oxidation of hydroxylamine to N2Nitrogen (N2) gas in the atmosphere is partially replenished by microbial denitrification of ammonia. Recent study has shown that Alcaligenes ammonioxydans oxidizes ammonia to dinitrogen via a process featuring the intermediate hydroxylamine, termed “Dirammox” (direct ammonia oxidation). However, the unique biochemistry of this process remains unknown. Here, we report an enzyme involved in Dirammox that catalyzes the conversion of hydroxylamine to N2. We tested previously annotated proteins involved in redox reactions, DnfA, DnfB, and DnfC, to determine their ability to catalyze the oxidation of ammonia or hydroxylamine.
Evolution of Streptococcus pyogenes has maximized the efficiency of the Sortase A cleavage motif for cell wall transpeptidationTrafficking of M-protein (Mprt) from the cytosol of Group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) occurs via Sec translocase membrane channels that associate with Sortase A (SrtA), an enzyme that catalyzes cleavage of Mprt at the proximal C-terminal [-LPST355∗GEAA-] motif and subsequent transpeptidation of the Mprt-containing product to the cell wall (CW). These steps facilitate stable exposure of the N-terminus of Mprt to the extracellular milieu where it interacts with ligands. Previously, we found that inactivation of SrtA in GAS cells eliminated Mprt CW transpeptidation but effected little reduction in its cell surface exposure, indicating that the C-terminus of Mprt retained in the cytoplasmic membrane (CM) extends its N-terminus to the cell surface.
In vivo growth of Staphylococcus lugdunensis is facilitated by the concerted function of heme and non-heme iron acquisition mechanismsStaphylococcus lugdunensis has increasingly been recognized as a pathogen that can cause serious infection indicating this bacterium overcomes host nutritional immunity. Despite this, there exists a significant knowledge gap regarding the iron acquisition mechanisms employed by S. lugdunensis, especially during infection of the mammalian host. Here we show that S. lugdunensis can usurp hydroxamate siderophores and staphyloferrin A and B from Staphylococcus aureus. These transport activities all required a functional FhuC ATPase.
The bacterial cell division protein fragment EFtsN binds to and activates the major peptidoglycan synthase PBP1bPeptidoglycan (PG) is an essential constituent of the bacterial cell wall. During cell division, the machinery responsible for PG synthesis localizes mid-cell, at the septum, under the control of a multiprotein complex called the divisome. In Escherichia coli, septal PG synthesis and cell constriction rely on the accumulation of FtsN at the division site. Interestingly, a short sequence of FtsN (Leu75–Gln93, known as EFtsN) was shown to be essential and sufficient for its functioning in vivo, but what exactly this sequence is doing remained unknown.
Peptidoglycan analysis reveals that synergistic deacetylase activity in vegetative Clostridium difficile impacts the host responseClostridium difficile is an anaerobic and spore-forming bacterium responsible for 15–25% of postantibiotic diarrhea and 95% of pseudomembranous colitis. Peptidoglycan is a crucial element of the bacterial cell wall that is exposed to the host, making it an important target for the innate immune system. The C. difficile peptidoglycan is largely N-deacetylated on its glucosamine (93% of muropeptides) through the activity of enzymes known as N-deacetylases, and this N-deacetylation modulates host–pathogen interactions, such as resistance to the bacteriolytic activity of lysozyme, virulence, and host innate immune responses.
Structure of the unusual Sinorhizobium fredii HH103 lipopolysaccharide and its role in symbiosisRhizobia are soil bacteria that form important symbiotic associations with legumes, and rhizobial surface polysaccharides, such as K-antigen polysaccharide (KPS) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), might be important for symbiosis. Previously, we obtained a mutant of Sinorhizobium fredii HH103, rkpA, that does not produce KPS, a homopolysaccharide of a pseudaminic acid derivative, but whose LPS electrophoretic profile was indistinguishable from that of the WT strain. We also previously demonstrated that the HH103 rkpLMNOPQ operon is responsible for 5-acetamido-3,5,7,9-tetradeoxy-7-(3-hydroxybutyramido)-l-glycero-l-manno-nonulosonic acid [Pse5NAc7(3OHBu)] production and is involved in HH103 KPS and LPS biosynthesis and that an HH103 rkpM mutant cannot produce KPS and displays an altered LPS structure.
Cross-utilization of β-galactosides and cellobiose in Geobacillus stearothermophilusStrains of the Gram-positive, thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus stearothermophilus possess elaborate systems for the utilization of hemicellulolytic polysaccharides, including xylan, arabinan, and galactan. These systems have been studied extensively in strains T-1 and T-6, representing microbial models for the utilization of soil polysaccharides, and many of their components have been characterized both biochemically and structurally. Here, we characterized routes by which G. stearothermophilus utilizes mono- and disaccharides such as galactose, cellobiose, lactose, and galactosyl-glycerol.
Roles of LysM and LytM domains in resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf) activity and Rpf-mediated peptidoglycan cleavage and dormant spore reactivationBacterial dormancy can take many forms, including formation of Bacillus endospores, Streptomyces exospores, and metabolically latent Mycobacterium cells. In the actinobacteria, including the streptomycetes and mycobacteria, the rapid resuscitation from a dormant state requires the activities of a family of cell-wall lytic enzymes called resuscitation-promoting factors (Rpfs). Whether Rpf activity promotes resuscitation by generating peptidoglycan fragments (muropeptides) that function as signaling molecules for spore germination or by simply remodeling the dormant cell wall has been the subject of much debate.
Thrombin-derived C-terminal fragments aggregate and scavenge bacteria and their proinflammatory productsThrombin-derived C-terminal peptides (TCPs), including a major 11-kDa fragment (TCP96), are produced through cleavage by human neutrophil elastase and aggregate lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli. However, the physiological roles of TCP96 in controlling bacterial infections and reducing LPS-induced inflammation are unclear. Here, using various biophysical methods, in silico molecular modeling, microbiological and cellular assays, and animal models, we examined the structural features and functional roles of recombinant TCP96 (rTCP96) in the aggregation of multiple bacteria and the Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists they produce.
Chlamydia pneumoniae infection–induced endoplasmic reticulum stress causes fatty acid–binding protein 4 secretion in murine adipocytesFatty acid–binding protein 4 (FABP4) is predominantly expressed in adipocytes and macrophages and regulates metabolic and inflammatory pathways. FABP4 is secreted from adipocytes during lipolysis, and elevated circulating FABP4 levels are associated with obesity, metabolic disease, and cardiac dysfunction. We previously reported that the bacterial respiratory pathogen Chlamydia pneumoniae infects murine adipocytes and exploits host FABP4 to mobilize fat and replicate within adipocytes. However, whether C.
Mechanism underlying autoinducer recognition in the Vibrio cholerae DPO-VqmA quorum-sensing pathwayQuorum sensing is a bacterial communication process whereby bacteria produce, release, and detect extracellular signaling molecules called autoinducers to coordinate collective behaviors. In the pathogen Vibrio cholerae, the quorum-sensing autoinducer 3,5-dimethyl-pyrazin-2-ol (DPO) binds the receptor and transcription factor VqmA. The DPO-VqmA complex activates transcription of vqmR, encoding the VqmR small RNA, which represses genes required for biofilm formation and virulence factor production.
The bacterial deubiquitinase Ceg23 regulates the association of Lys-63–linked polyubiquitin molecules on the Legionella phagosomeLegionella pneumophila is the causative agent of the lung malady Legionnaires' disease, it modulates host function to create a niche termed the Legionella-containing vacuole (LCV) that permits intracellular L. pneumophila replication. One important aspect of such modulation is the co-option of the host ubiquitin network with a panel of effector proteins. Here, using recombinantly expressed and purified proteins, analytic ultracentrifugation, structural analysis, and computational modeling, along with deubiquitinase (DUB), and bacterial infection assays, we found that the bacterial defective in organelle trafficking/intracellular multiplication effector Ceg23 is a member of the ovarian tumor (OTU) DUB family.
The manifold roles of microbial ribosomal peptide–based natural products in physiology and ecologyThe ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs), also called ribosomal peptide natural products (RPNPs), form a growing superfamily of natural products that are produced by many different organisms and particularly by bacteria. They are derived from precursor polypeptides whose modification by various dedicated enzymes helps to establish a vast array of chemical motifs. RiPPs have attracted much interest as a source of potential therapeutic agents, and in particular as alternatives to conventional antibiotics to address the bacterial resistance crisis.
A novel mechanism of ribonuclease regulation: GcvB and Hfq stabilize the mRNA that encodes RNase BN/Z during exponential phaseRNase BN, the Escherichia coli RNase Z family member, plays a limited role in tRNA metabolism, in contrast to most other organisms. However, RNase BN does act on 6S RNA, the global transcription regulator, degrading it in exponential-phase cells and maintaining it at low levels during this phase of growth. RNase BN levels decrease in stationary-phase cells, leading to elevation of 6S RNA and subsequent regulation of RNA polymerase. These findings were the first indication that RNase BN itself is growth phase–regulated.
The cytoplasmic domain of MxiG interacts with MxiK and directs assembly of the sorting platform in the Shigella type III secretion systemMany Gram-negative bacteria use type III secretion systems (T3SSs) to inject virulence effector proteins into eukaryotic cells. The T3SS apparatus (T3SA) is structurally conserved among diverse bacterial pathogens and consists of a cytoplasmic sorting platform, an envelope-spanning basal body, and an extracellular needle with tip complex. The sorting platform is essential for effector recognition and powering secretion. Studies using bacterial “minicells” have revealed an unprecedented level of structural detail of the sorting platform; however, many of the structure-function relationships within this complex remain enigmatic.
The small molecule nitazoxanide selectively disrupts BAM-mediated folding of the outer membrane usher proteinBacterial pathogens assemble adhesive surface structures termed pili or fimbriae to initiate and sustain infection of host tissues. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli, the primary causative agent of urinary tract infections, expresses type 1 and P pili required for colonization of the bladder and kidney, respectively. These pili are assembled by the conserved chaperone–usher (CU) pathway, in which a periplasmic chaperone works together with an outer membrane (OM) usher protein to build and secrete the pilus fiber.
Recognition of the β-lactam carboxylate triggers acylation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae penicillin-binding protein 2Resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESCs) has become a major threat to human health. The primary mechanism by which N. gonorrhoeae becomes resistant to ESCs is by acquiring a mosaic penA allele, encoding penicillin-binding protein 2 (PBP2) variants containing up to 62 mutations compared with WT, of which a subset contribute to resistance. To interpret molecular mechanisms underpinning cephalosporin resistance, it is necessary to know how PBP2 is acylated by ESCs.
A general protein O-glycosylation machinery conserved in Burkholderia species improves bacterial fitness and elicits glycan immunogenicity in humansThe Burkholderia genus encompasses many Gram-negative bacteria living in the rhizosphere. Some Burkholderia species can cause life-threatening human infections, highlighting the need for clinical interventions targeting specific lipopolysaccharide proteins. Burkholderia cenocepacia O-linked protein glycosylation has been reported, but the chemical structure of the O-glycan and the machinery required for its biosynthesis are unknown and could reveal potential therapeutic targets. Here, using bioinformatics approaches, gene-knockout mutants, purified recombinant proteins, LC-MS–based analyses of O-glycans, and NMR-based structural analyses, we identified a B.
The structure of Acinetobacter-secreted protease CpaA complexed with its chaperone CpaB reveals a novel mode of a T2SS chaperone–substrate interactionMembers of the Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus complex are nosocomial pathogens frequently causing multidrug-resistant infections that are increasing at alarming rates. A. baumannii has become the Gram-negative bacterium with the highest rate of multidrug resistance. As such, it is categorized by the World Health Organization as a critical priority for the research and development of new antimicrobial therapies. The zinc-dependent metalloendopeptidase CpaA is a predominant substrate of the type II secretion system (T2SS).
Xenogeneic modulation of the ClpCP protease of Bacillus subtilis by a phage-encoded adaptor-like proteinLike eukaryotic and archaeal viruses, which coopt the host's cellular pathways for their replication, bacteriophages have evolved strategies to alter the metabolism of their bacterial host. SPO1 bacteriophage infection of Bacillus subtilis results in comprehensive remodeling of cellular processes, leading to conversion of the bacterial cell into a factory for phage progeny production. A cluster of 26 genes in the SPO1 genome, called the host takeover module, encodes for potentially cytotoxic proteins that specifically shut down various processes in the bacterial host, including transcription, DNA synthesis, and cell division.
Functional characterization of a subtilisin-like serine protease from Vibrio choleraeVibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the human diarrheal disease cholera, exports numerous enzymes that facilitate its adaptation to both intestinal and aquatic niches. These secreted enzymes can mediate nutrient acquisition, biofilm assembly, and V. cholerae interactions with its host. We recently identified a V. cholerae-secreted serine protease, IvaP, that is active in V. cholerae-infected rabbits and human choleric stool. IvaP alters the activity of several host and pathogen enzymes in the gut and, along with other secreted V.
A Streptococcus aquaporin acts as peroxiporin for efflux of cellular hydrogen peroxide and alleviation of oxidative stressAquaporins (AQPs) are transmembrane proteins widely distributed in various organisms, and they facilitate bidirectional diffusion of water and uncharged solutes. The catalase-negative bacterium Streptococcus oligofermentans produces the highest H2O2 levels reported to date, which has to be exported to avoid oxidative stress. Here, we report that a S. oligofermentans aquaporin functions as a peroxiporin facilitating bidirectional transmembrane H2O2 transport. Knockout of this aquaporin homolog, So-AqpA, reduced H2O2 export by ∼50% and increased endogenous H2O2 retention, as indicated by the cellular H2O2 reporter HyPer.
The human innate immune protein calprotectin induces iron starvation responses in Pseudomonas aeruginosaMost microbial pathogens have a metabolic iron requirement, necessitating the acquisition of this nutrient in the host. In response to pathogen invasion, the human host limits iron availability. Although canonical examples of nutritional immunity are host strategies that limit pathogen access to Fe(III), little is known about how the host restricts access to another biologically relevant oxidation state of this metal, Fe(II). This redox species is prevalent at certain infection sites and is utilized by bacteria during chronic infection, suggesting that Fe(II) withholding by the host may be an effective but unrecognized form of nutritional immunity.
Functional divergence of annotated l-isoaspartate O-methyltransferases in an α-proteobacteriumSpontaneous formation of isoaspartates (isoDs) often causes protein damage. l-Isoaspartate O-methyltransferase (PIMT) repairs isoD residues by catalyzing the formation of an unstable l-isoaspartyl methyl ester that spontaneously converts to an l-aspartyl residue. PIMTs are widely distributed in all three domains of life and have been studied most intensively in connection with their role in protein repair and aging in plants and animals. Studies of bacterial PIMTs have been limited to Escherichia coli, which has one PIMT.
The antimicrobial activity of chemerin-derived peptide p4 requires oxidative conditionsChemerin is a leukocyte attractant, adipokine, and antimicrobial protein abundantly produced in the skin epidermis. Despite the fact that most of the bactericidal activity present in human skin exudates is chemerin-dependent, just how chemerin shapes skin defenses remains obscure. Here we demonstrate that p4, a potent antimicrobial human chemerin peptide derivative, displays killing activity against pathogenic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains and suppresses microbial growth in a topical skin infection model.