Cloning and characterisation of a novel ompB operon from Vibrio cholerae 569B. (1/2229)

The ompB operon of Vibrio cholerae 569B has been cloned and fully sequenced. The operon encodes two proteins, OmpR and EnvZ, which share sequence identity with the OmpR and EnvZ proteins of a variety of other bacteria. Although the order of the ompR and envZ genes of V. cholerae is similar to that of the ompB operon of E. coli, S. typhimurium and X. nematophilus, the Vibrio operon exhibits a number of novel features. The structural organisation and features of the V. cholerae ompB operon are described.  (+info)

Role of DnaK in in vitro and in vivo expression of virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae. (2/2229)

The dnaK gene of Vibrio cholerae was cloned, sequenced, and used to construct a dnaK insertion mutant which was then used to examine the role of DnaK in expression of the major virulence factors of this important human pathogen. The central regulator of several virulence genes of V. cholerae is ToxR, a transmembrane DNA binding protein. The V. cholerae dnaK mutant grown in standard laboratory medium exhibited phenotypes characteristic of cells deficient in ToxR activity. Using Northern blot analysis and toxR transcriptional fusions, we demonstrated a reduction in expression of the toxR gene in the dnaK mutant strain together with a concomitant increase in expression of a htpG-like heat shock gene that is located immediately upstream and is divergently transcribed from toxR. This may be due to increased heat shock induction in the dnaK mutant. In vivo, however, although expression from heat shock promoters in the dnaK mutant was similar to that observed in vitro, expression of both toxR and htpG was comparable to that by the parental strain. In both strains, in vivo expression of toxR was significantly higher than that observed in vitro, but no reciprocal decrease in htpG expression was observed. These results suggest that the modulation of toxR expression in vivo may be different from that observed in vitro.  (+info)

Evolutionary relationships of pathogenic clones of Vibrio cholerae by sequence analysis of four housekeeping genes. (3/2229)

Studies of the Vibrio cholerae population, using molecular typing techniques, have shown the existence of several pathogenic clones, mainly sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones. However, the relationship of the pathogenic clones to environmental V. cholerae isolates remains unclear. A previous study to determine the phylogeny of V. cholerae by sequencing the asd (aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase) gene of V. cholerae showed that the sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones had very different asd sequences which fell into separate lineages in the V. cholerae population. As gene trees drawn from a single gene may not reflect the true topology of the population, we sequenced the mdh (malate dehydrogenase) and hlyA (hemolysin A) genes from representatives of environmental and clinical isolates of V. cholerae and found that the mdh and hlyA sequences from the three pathogenic clones were identical, except for the previously reported 11-bp deletion in hlyA in the sixth-pandemic clone. Identical sequences were obtained, despite average nucleotide differences in the mdh and hlyA genes of 1.52 and 3.25%, respectively, among all the isolates, suggesting that the three pathogenic clones are closely related. To extend these observations, segments of the recA and dnaE genes were sequenced from a selection of the pathogenic isolates, where the sequences were either identical or substantially different between the clones. The results show that the three pathogenic clones are very closely related and that there has been a high level of recombination in their evolution.  (+info)

Genetic characterization of a new type IV-A pilus gene cluster found in both classical and El Tor biotypes of Vibrio cholerae. (4/2229)

The Vibrio cholerae genome contains a 5.4-kb pil gene cluster that resembles the Aeromonas hydrophila tap gene cluster and other type IV-A pilus assembly operons. The region consists of five complete open reading frames designated pilABCD and yacE, based on the nomenclature of related genes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli K-12. This cluster is present in both classical and El Tor biotypes, and the pilA and pilD genes are 100% conserved. The pilA gene encodes a putative type IV pilus subunit. However, deletion of pilA had no effect on either colonization of infant mice or adherence to HEp-2 cells, demonstrating that pilA does not encode the primary subunit of a pilus essential for these processes. The pilD gene product is similar to other type IV prepilin peptidases, proteins that process type IV signal sequences. Mutational analysis of the pilD gene showed that pilD is essential for secretion of cholera toxin and hemagglutinin-protease, mannose-sensitive hemagglutination (MSHA), production of toxin-coregulated pili, and colonization of infant mice. Defects in these functions are likely due to the lack of processing of N termini of four Eps secretion proteins, four proteins of the MSHA cluster, and TcpB, all of which contain type IV-A leader sequences. Some pilD mutants also showed reduced adherence to HEp-2 cells, but this defect could not be complemented in trans, indicating that the defect may not be directly due to a loss of pilD. Taken together, these data demonstrate the effectiveness of the V. cholerae genome project for rapid identification and characterization of potential virulence factors.  (+info)

Lipolytic action of cholera toxin on fat cells. Re-examination of the concept implicating GM1 ganglioside as the native membrane receptor. (5/2229)

The possible role of galactosyl-N-acetylgalactosaminyl-[N-acetylneuraminyl]-galactosylglucosylceramide (GM1) ganglioside in the lipolytic activity of cholera toxin on isolated fat cells has been examined. Analyses of the ganglioside content and composition of intact fat cells, their membranous ghosts, and the total particulate fraction of these cells indicate that N-acetylneuraminylgalactosylglucosylceramide (GM3) represents the major ganglioside, with substantial amounts of N-acetylgalactosaminyl-[N-acetylneuraminyl]-galactosylglucosylceramide (GM2) and smaller amounts of other higher homologues also present. Native GM1 was not detected in any of these preparations. Examination of the relative capacities of various exogenously added radiolabeled sphingolipids to bind to the cells indicated that GM2 and glucosylsphingosine were accumulated by the cells to extents comparable to GM1. Galactosylsphingosine and sulfatide also exhibited significant, although lesser, binding affinities for the cells. The adipocytes appeared to nonspecifically bind exogenously added GM1; saturation of binding sites for GM1 could not be observed up to the highest concentration tested (2 X 10(-4) M), wherein about 7 X 10(9) molecules were associated with the cells. Essentially all of this exogenously added GM1 was found bound to the plasma membrane "ghost" fraction. Investigation of the biological responses of the cells confirmed their sensitivities to both cholera toxin and epinephrine-stimulated lipolysis, as well as the lag period displayed during the toxin's action. While we could confirm that the toxin's lipolytic activity can be enhanced by prior treatment of the fat cells with GM1, several of the observed characteristics of this phenomenon differ from earlier reported findings. Accordingly, added GM1 was able to enhance only the subsequent rate, but not the extent, of toxin-stimulated glycerol release (lipolysis) from the cells. We also were unable to confirm the ability of GM1 to enhance the toxin's activity at either saturating or at low toxin concentrations. The limited ability of added GM1 to enhance the toxin's activity appeared in a unique bell-shaped dose-response manner. The inability of high levels of GM1 to stimulate a dose of toxin that was ineffective on native cells suggests that the earlier reported ability of crude brain gangliosides to accomplish this was due to some component other than GM1 in the crude extract. While several glycosphingolipids and some other carbohydrate-containing substances that were tested lacked the ability to mimic the enhancing effect of GM1, 4-methylumbelliferyl-beta-D-galactoside exhibited an effect similar to, although less pronounced than, that of GM1. The findings in these studies are unable to lend support to the earlier hypothesis that (a) GM1 is cholera toxin's naturally occurring membrane receptor on native fat cells, and (b) the ability of exogenously added GM1 to enhance the toxin's lipolytic activity represents the specific creation of additional natural receptors on adipocytes...  (+info)

Ribotypes of clinical Vibrio cholerae non-O1 non-O139 strains in relation to O-serotypes. (6/2229)

The emergence of Vibrio cholerae O139 in 1992 and reports of an increasing number of other non-O1 serogroups being associated with diarrhoea, stimulated us to characterize V. cholerae non-O1 non-O139 strains received at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan for serotyping. Ribotyping with the restriction enzyme BglI of 103 epidemiological unrelated mainly clinical strains representing 10 O-serotypes yielded 67 different typing patterns. Ribotype similarity within each serotype was compared by using the Dice coefficient (Sd) and different levels of homogeneity were observed (serotypes O5, O41 and O17, Sd between 82 and 90%: serotypes O13 and O141 Sd of 72; and O2, O6, O7, O11, O24 Sd of 62-66%). By cluster analysis, the strains were divided into several clusters of low similarity suggesting a high level of genetic diversity. A low degree of similarity between serotypes and ribotypes was found as strains within a specific serotypes often did not cluster but clustered with strains from other serotypes. However, epidemiological unrelated O5 strains showed identical or closely related ribotypes suggesting that these strains have undergone few genetic changes and may correspond to a clonal line. Surprisingly, 10 of 16 O141 strains studied contained a cholera toxin (CT) gene, including 7 strains recovered from stool and water samples in the United States. This is to our knowledge the first report of CT-positive clinical O141 strains. The closely related ribotypes shown by eight CT-positive strains is disturbing and suggest that these strains may be of a clonal origin and have the potential to cause cholera-like disease. Despite the low degree of correlation found between ribotypes and serotypes, both methods appears to be valuable techniques in studying the epidemiology of emerging serotypes of V. cholerae.  (+info)

Antibiotic resistance conferred by a conjugative plasmid and a class I integron in Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strains isolated in Albania and Italy. (7/2229)

Multidrug-resistant Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strains isolated during the 1994 outbreak of cholera in Albania and Italy were characterized for the molecular basis of antibiotic resistance. All strains were found to be resistant to tetracycline, streptomycin, spectinomycin, trimethoprim, sulfathiazole, and the vibriostatic compound O/129 (2,4-diamino-6,7-diisopropylteridine). Resistance genes were self-transferable by a conjugative plasmid of about 60 MDa, with the exception of spectinomycin resistance, which was conferred by the aadA1 gene cassette located in the bacterial chromosome within a class 1 integron. The resistance to trimethoprim and O/129 was conferred by the dfrA1 gene, which was present on the plasmid. Although the dfrA1 gene is known to be borne on an integron cassette, class 1, 2, or 3 intI genes were not detected as part of the plasmid DNA from the strains studied.  (+info)

Environmental signals modulate ToxT-dependent virulence factor expression in Vibrio cholerae. (8/2229)

The regulatory protein ToxT directly activates the transcription of virulence factors in Vibrio cholerae, including cholera toxin (CT) and the toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP). Specific environmental signals stimulate virulence factor expression by inducing the transcription of toxT. We demonstrate that transcriptional activation by the ToxT protein is also modulated by environmental signals. ToxT expressed from an inducible promoter activated high-level expression of CT and TCP in V. cholerae at 30 degrees C, but expression of CT and TCP was significantly decreased or abolished by the addition of 0.4% bile to the medium and/or an increase of the temperature to 37 degrees C. Also, expression of six ToxT-dependent TnphoA fusions was modulated by temperature and bile. Measurement of ToxT-dependent transcription of genes encoding CT and TCP by ctxAp- and tcpAp-luciferase fusions confirmed that negative regulation by 37 degrees C or bile occurs at the transcriptional level in V. cholerae. Interestingly, ToxT-dependent transcription of these same promoters in Salmonella typhimurium was relatively insensitive to regulation by temperature or bile. These data are consistent with ToxT transcriptional activity being modulated by environmental signals in V. cholerae and demonstrate an additional level of complexity governing the expression of virulence factors in this pathogen. We propose that negative regulation of ToxT-dependent transcription by environmental signals prevents the incorrect temporal and spatial expression of virulence factors during cholera pathogenesis.  (+info)