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Meticulous control of the T3SS of Yersinia is essential for full virulence
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology). (Hans Wolf-Watz)
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Minutiös kontroll av Yersinias T3SS är essentiellt för fullständig virulens (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The type III secretion system (T3SS) of pathogenic Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is involved in virulence. The syringe-like secretion system spans both bacterial membranes and is responsible for the ability of Yersinia to transfer toxic proteins (Yop proteins) into the eukaryotic target cell. The T3SS is believed to have evolved from the flagellum and regulation of the T3SS is a complex event that involves a series of regulatory proteins, whereby two are YscP and YscU. In a regulatory model, called the substrate specificity switch, both proteins act together to ensure proper T3SS structure and function by regulating a stop in YscF needle protein export with a shift to Yop effector secretion. YscU undergoes autoproteolysis at a conserved motif consisting of amino acids Asparagine-Proline-Threonine-Histidine (NPTH). Processing generates a C-terminal 10 kDa peptide, YscUCC. Processing is crucial for proper T3SS regulation and function both in vitro and in vivo. Full-length YscU does not support Yop secretion and after cleavage, YscUCC remains attached to the rest of YscU and acts as a negative block on T3S. Relief of this negative block is suggested to occur through displacement of YscUCC from the rest of YscU. Thorough control of many different cellular processes is brought by the heat shock proteins (HSPs) DnaK and DnaJ. Due to their multiple regulatory functions, mutations in the hsp-genes lead to pleiotropic effects. DnaK and DnaJ are essential for proper flagellum driven motion of bacteria, but more so; they ensure proper Yersinia T3SS function in vivo. Furthermore, DnaJ interacts with YscU and may be directly involved in T3SS regulation. Virulence of Yersinia is regulated on many levels. A previously identified virulence associated protein, VagH, is now characterized as an S-adenosyl-methionine dependent methyltransferase. The targets of the methylation activity of VagH are release factors 1 and 2 (RF1 and RF2), that are important for translation termination. The enzymatic activity of VagH is important for Yop secretion and a vagH mutant up-regulates a T3SS negative regulatory protein, YopD. Furthermore, a vagH mutant is avirulent in a mouse infection model, but is not affected in macrophage intracellular survival. The importance of VagH in vivo makes it a possible target for novel antimicrobial therapy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för molekylärbiologi, Teknisk-naturvetenskaplig fakultet, Umeå universitet , 2011. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
Yersinia, type III secretion, YscU, substrate specificity switch, heat shock proteins, VagH, methyltransferase, virulence
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject
Molecular Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42577ISBN: 978-91-7459-168-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-42577DiVA: diva2:409815
Public defence
2011-05-13, Naturvetarhuset, N320, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-04-19 Created: 2011-04-11 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Autoproteolysis of YscU of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is important for regulation of expression and secretion of Yop proteins
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Autoproteolysis of YscU of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis is important for regulation of expression and secretion of Yop proteins
2009 (English)In: Journal of Bacteriology, ISSN 0021-9193, E-ISSN 1098-5530, Vol. 191, no 13, 4259-4267 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

YscU of Yersinia can be autoproteolysed to generate a 10-kDa C-terminal polypeptide designated YscU(CC). Autoproteolysis occurs at the conserved N downward arrowPTH motif of YscU. The specific in-cis-generated point mutants N263A and P264A were found to be defective in proteolysis. Both mutants expressed and secreted Yop proteins (Yops) in calcium-containing medium (+Ca(2+) conditions) and calcium-depleted medium (-Ca(2+) conditions). The level of Yop and LcrV secretion by the N263A mutant was about 20% that of the wild-type strain, but there was no significant difference in the ratio of the different secreted Yops, including LcrV. The N263A mutant secreted LcrQ regardless of the calcium concentration in the medium, corroborating the observation that Yops were expressed and secreted in Ca(2+)-containing medium by the mutant. YscF, the type III secretion system (T3SS) needle protein, was secreted at elevated levels by the mutant compared to the wild type when bacteria were grown under +Ca(2+) conditions. YscF secretion was induced in the mutant, as well as in the wild type, when the bacteria were incubated under -Ca(2+) conditions, although the mutant secreted smaller amounts of YscF. The N263A mutant was cytotoxic for HeLa cells, demonstrating that the T3SS-mediated delivery of effectors was functional. We suggest that YscU blocks Yop release and that autoproteolysis is required to relieve this block.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32213 (URN)10.1128/JB.01730-08 (DOI)19395493 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2010-03-03 Last updated: 2011-04-26Bibliographically approved
2. Involvement of the heat shock proteins DnaK/DnaJ in Yersinia T3S
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Involvement of the heat shock proteins DnaK/DnaJ in Yersinia T3S
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Yersinia  pseudotuberculosis  uses  a  type  III  secretion  system  (T3SS)  to  secrete  and  deliver  effectors  called Yops into target cells. These processes are highly regulated and the pathogen senses cell contact and respond accordingly by inducing Yop-effector expression.  A key component of the T3SS is the YscF needle present on the  surface of  the  pathogen. It has  been  suggested  that the  bacterium  can  switch  from  needle  export  to  Yop expression  and  secretion  and  that this  substrate  switch  is  important  for proper  regulation  during infection. YscU  is  an  essential  protein  regulating  the  substrate  switch  and  autoproteolysis  of  YscU  is  essential  for accurate  T3SS  regulation.  To  study  regulation  of  Yop  translocation  in  more  detail,  we  generated  mutants defective for expression of the heat shock proteins (HSPs) DnaJ and DnaK, since earlier studies had indicated a role of these proteins in regulation of effector translocation in Salmonella. The dnaJ mutant and the double dnaK/J  mutant  showed  significant  defects  in  Yop  translocation,  but  surprisingly  both  mutants  were  able  to secrete Yops in vitro much like the wild type.  However, both mutants showed a changed export pattern of the YscF  needle  with  a  pronounced  increased  export  of  the  YscF  needle  protein  after  incubation  in  calcium containing media. This phenotype was linked to defects in YscU autoproteolysis and in this respect the  hsp-mutants  were  identical  to  earlier  identified  autoprocessing  defective  mutants  in  YscU  (Single  amino  acid exchange mutants N263A and P264A). The hsp-mutants and the processing mutants accumulated full-length YscU,  which  surprisingly  was  associated  with  the  outer  membrane,  while  the  processed  form  of  YscU  was found  in  the  inner  membrane  fraction.  The  dnaJ  and  dnaK/J  mutants  were  strongly  affected  in  YscU autoproteolysis, which indicates a possible direct role for DnaJ in this process. Indeed a specific interaction between  YscU  and  DnaJ  could  be  found  suggesting  a  direct  role  of  the  HSPs  in  regulation  of  the  substrate switch in the T3SS.

National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject
Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-42567 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-11 Created: 2011-04-11 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved
3. Phenotypic characterization of a virulence-associated protein, VagH, of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals a tight link between VagH and the type III secretion system.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phenotypic characterization of a virulence-associated protein, VagH, of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis reveals a tight link between VagH and the type III secretion system.
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2007 (English)In: Microbiology, ISSN 1350-0872, E-ISSN 1465-2080, Vol. 153, no Pt 5, 1464-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recently, a number of attenuated mutants of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis have been identified using a bioinformatics approach. One of the target genes identified in that study was vagH, which the authors now characterized further. VagH shows homology to HemK of Escherichia coli, possessing methyltransferase activity similar to that of HemK, and targeting release factors 1 and 2. Microarray studies comparing the wild-type and the vagH mutant revealed that the mRNA levels of only a few genes were altered in the mutant. By proteome analysis, expression of the virulence determinant YopD was found to be increased, indicating a possible connection between VagH and the virulence plasmid-encoded type III secretion system (T3SS). Further analysis showed that Yop expression and secretion were repressed in a vagH mutant. This phenotype could be suppressed by trans-complementation with the wild-type vagH gene or by deletion of the negative regulator yopD. Also, in a similar manner to a T3SS-negative mutant, the avirulent vagH mutant was rapidly cleared from Peyer's patches and could not reach the spleen after oral infection of mice. In a manner analogous to that of T3SS mutants, the vagH mutant could not block phagocytosis by macrophages. However, a vagH mutant showed no defects in the T3SS-independent ability to proliferate intracellularly and replicated to levels similar to those of the wild-type in macrophages. In conclusion, the vagH mutant exhibits a virulence phenotype similar to that of a T3SS-negative mutant, indicating a tight link between VagH and type III secretion in Y. pseudotuberculosis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Society for General Microbiology, 2007
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16675 (URN)10.1099/mic.0.2006/000323-0 (DOI)17464060 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2007-10-08 Created: 2007-10-08 Last updated: 2011-04-19Bibliographically approved

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