Transcription-replication interactions reveal bacterial genome regulation
Organisms determine the transcription rates of thousands of genes through a few modes of regulation that recur across the genome1. In bacteria, the relationship between the regulatory architecture of a gene and its expression is well understood for individual model gene circuits2,3. However, a broader perspective of these dynamics at the genome scale is lacking, in part because bacterial transcriptomics has hitherto captured only a static snapshot of expression averaged across millions of cells4. As a result, the full diversity of gene expression dynamics and their relation to regulatory architecture remains unknown. Here we present a novel genome-wide classification of regulatory modes based on the transcriptional response of each gene to its own replication, which we term the transcription-replication interaction profile (TRIP). Analysing single-bacterium RNA-sequencing data, we found that the response to the universal perturbation of chromosomal replication integrates biological regulatory factors with biophysical molecular events on the chromosome to reveal the local regulatory context of a gene. Whereas the TRIPs of many genes conform to a gene dosage-dependent pattern, others diverge in distinct ways, and this is shaped by factors such as intra-operon position and repression state. By revealing the underlying mechanistic drivers of gene expression heterogeneity, this work provides a quantitative, biophysical framework for modelling replication-dependent expression dynamics.
Transcription"“replication interactions reveal bacterial genome regulation
Organisms determine the transcription rates of thousands of genes through a few modes of regulation that recur across the genome1. In bacteria, the relationship between the regulatory architecture of a gene and its expression is well understood for individual model gene circuits2,3. However, a broader perspective of these dynamics at the genome scale is lacking, in part because bacterial transcriptomics has hitherto captured only a static snapshot of expression averaged across millions of cells4. As a result, the full diversity of gene expression dynamics and their relation to regulatory architecture remains unknown. Here we present a novel genome-wide classification of regulatory modes based on the transcriptional response of each gene to its own replication, which we term the transcription"“replication interaction profile (TRIP). Analysing single-bacterium RNA-sequencing data, we found that the response to the universal perturbation of chromosomal replication integrates biological regulatory factors with biophysical molecular events on the chromosome to reveal the local regulatory context of a gene. Whereas the TRIPs of many genes conform to a gene dosage-dependent pattern, others diverge in distinct ways, and this is shaped by factors such as intra-operon position and repression state. By revealing the underlying mechanistic drivers of gene expression heterogeneity, this work provides a quantitative, biophysical framework for modelling replication-dependent expression dynamics.
TLR4 sensing of IsdB of Staphylococcus aureus induces a proinflammatory cytokine response via the NLRP3-caspase-1 inflammasome cascade
The prevalence of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is of global concern, and vaccines are urgently needed. The iron-regulated surface determinant protein B (IsdB) of S. aureus was investigated as a vaccine candidate because of its essential role in bacterial iron acquisition but failed in clinical trials despite strong immunogenicity. Here, we reveal an unexpected second function for IsdB in pathogen-host interaction: the bacterial fitness factor IsdB triggers a strong inflammatory response in innate immune cells via Toll-like receptor 4 and the inflammasome, thus acting as a novel pathogen-associated molecular pattern of S. aureus. Our discovery contributes to a better understanding of how S. aureus modulates the immune response, which is necessary for vaccine development against the sophisticated pathogen.
SarS and Rot are necessary for the repression of lukED and lukSF-PV in Staphylococcus aureus
The leukocidins play an important role in disarming the host immune system and promoting infection. While both SarS and Rot have been established as repressors of leukocidins, the importance of each repressor in infection is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that repression by SarS and Rot is not additive and show that in addition to upregulating expression of each other, they are also able to bind concurrently to the leukocidin promoters. These findings suggest that both repressors are necessary for maximal repression of lukED and lukSF-PV and illuminate another complex relationship among Staphylococcus aureus virulence regulators.
Unlatching of the stem domains in the Staphylococcus aureus pore-forming leukocidin LukAB influences toxin oligomerization
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a serious global pathogen that causes a diverse range of invasive diseases. S. aureus utilizes a family of pore-forming toxins, known as bi-component leukocidins, to evade the host immune response and promote infection. Among these is LukAB (leukocidin A/leukocidin B), a toxin that assembles into an octameric β-barrel pore in the target cell membrane, resulting in host cell death. The established cellular receptor for LukAB is CD11b of the Mac-1 complex. Here, we show that hydrogen voltage-gated channel 1 is also required for the cytotoxicity of all major LukAB variants. We demonstrate that while each receptor is sufficient to recruit LukAB to the plasma membrane, both receptors are required for maximal lytic activity. Why LukAB requires two receptors, and how each of these receptors contributes to pore-formation remains unknown. To begin to resolve this, we performed an alanine scanning mutagenesis screen to identify mutations that allow LukAB to maintain cytotoxicity without CD11b. We discovered 30 mutations primarily localized in the stem domains of LukA and LukB that enable LukAB to exhibit full cytotoxicity in the absence of CD11b. Using crosslinking, electron microscopy, and hydroxyl radical protein footprinting, we show these mutations increase the solvent accessibility of the stem domain, priming LukAB for oligomerization. Together, our data support a model in which CD11b binding unlatches the membrane penetrating stem domains of LukAB, and this change in flexibility promotes toxin oligomerization.
Antimicrobial overproduction sustains intestinal inflammation by inhibiting Enterococcus colonization
Loss of antimicrobial proteins such as REG3 family members compromises the integrity of the intestinal barrier. Here, we demonstrate that overproduction of REG3 proteins can also be detrimental by reducing a protective species in the microbiota. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experiencing flares displayed heightened levels of secreted REG3 proteins that mediated depletion of Enterococcus faecium (Efm) from the gut microbiota. Efm inoculation of mice ameliorated intestinal inflammation through activation of the innate immune receptor NOD2, which was associated with the bacterial DL-endopeptidase SagA that generates NOD2-stimulating muropeptides. NOD2 activation in myeloid cells induced interleukin-1β (IL-1β) secretion to increase the proportion of IL-22-producing CD4+ T helper cells and innate lymphoid cells that promote tissue repair. Finally, Efm was unable to protect mice carrying a NOD2 gene variant commonly found in IBD patients. Our findings demonstrate that inflammation self-perpetuates by causing aberrant antimicrobial activity that disrupts symbiotic relationships with gut microbes.
Single-Cell Analysis of CX3CR1+ Cells Reveals a Pathogenic Role for BIRC5+ Myeloid Proliferating Cells Driven by Staphylococcus aureus Leukotoxins
Our previous studies identified a population of stem cell-like proliferating myeloid cells within inflamed tissues that could serve as a reservoir for tissue macrophages to adopt different activation states depending on the microenvironment. By lineage-tracing cells derived from CX3CR1+ precursors in mice during infection and profiling by single-cell RNA sequencing, in this study, we identify a cluster of BIRC5+ myeloid cells that expanded in the liver during chronic infection with either the parasite Schistosoma mansoni or the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. In the absence of tissue-damaging toxins, S. aureus infection does not elicit these BIRC5+ cells. Moreover, deletion of BIRC5 from CX3CR1-expressing cells results in improved survival during S. aureus infection. Hence the combination of single-cell RNA sequencing and genetic fate-mapping CX3CR1+ cells revealed a toxin-dependent pathogenic role for BIRC5 in myeloid cells during S. aureus infection.
Bacterial contact induces polar plug disintegration to mediate whipworm egg hatching
The bacterial microbiota promotes the life cycle of the intestine-dwelling whipworm Trichuris by mediating hatching of parasite eggs ingested by the mammalian host. Despite the enormous disease burden associated with Trichuris colonization, the mechanisms underlying this transkingdom interaction have been obscure. Here, we used a multiscale microscopy approach to define the structural events associated with bacteria-mediated hatching of eggs for the murine model parasite Trichuris muris. Through the combination of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and serial block face SEM (SBFSEM), we visualized the outer surface morphology of the shell and generated 3D structures of the egg and larva during the hatching process. These images revealed that exposure to hatching-inducing bacteria catalyzed asymmetric degradation of the polar plugs prior to exit by the larva. Unrelated bacteria induced similar loss of electron density and dissolution of the structural integrity of the plugs. Egg hatching was most efficient when high densities of bacteria were bound to the poles. Consistent with the ability of taxonomically distant bacteria to induce hatching, additional results suggest chitinase released from larva within the eggs degrade the plugs from the inside instead of enzymes produced by bacteria in the external environment. These findings define at ultrastructure resolution the evolutionary adaptation of a parasite for the microbe-rich environment of the mammalian gut.
Characterization of tigurilysin, a novel human CD59-specific cholesterol-dependent cytolysin, reveals a role for host specificity in augmenting toxin activity
Cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) are a large family of pore-forming toxins, produced by numerous Gram-positive pathogens. CDCs depend on host membrane cholesterol for pore formation; some CDCs also require surface-associated human CD59 (hCD59) for binding, conferring specificity for human cells. We purified a recombinant version of a putative CDC encoded in the genome of Streptococcus oralis subsp. tigurinus, tigurilysin (TGY), and used CRISPR/Cas9 to construct hCD59 knockout (KO) HeLa and JEG-3 cell lines. Cell viability assays with TGY on wild-type and hCD59 KO cells showed that TGY is a hCD59-dependent CDC. Two variants of TGY exist among S. oralis subsp. tigurinus genomes, only one of which is functional. We discovered that a single amino acid change between these two TGY variants determines its activity. Flow cytometry and oligomerization Western blots revealed that the single amino acid difference between the two TGY isoforms disrupts host cell binding and oligomerization. Furthermore, experiments with hCD59 KO cells and cholesterol-depleted cells demonstrated that TGY is fully dependent on both hCD59 and cholesterol for activity, unlike other known hCD59-dependent CDCs. Using full-length CDCs and toxin constructs differing only in the binding domain, we determined that having hCD59 dependence leads to increased lysis efficiency, conferring a potential advantage to organisms producing hCD59-dependent CDCs.
A comparative study of in vitro air-liquid interface culture models of the human airway epithelium evaluating cellular heterogeneity and gene expression at single cell resolution
BACKGROUND:The airway epithelium is composed of diverse cell types with specialized functions that mediate homeostasis and protect against respiratory pathogens. Human airway epithelial (HAE) cultures at air-liquid interface are a physiologically relevant in vitro model of this heterogeneous tissue and have enabled numerous studies of airway disease. HAE cultures are classically derived from primary epithelial cells, the relatively limited passage capacity of which can limit experimental methods and study designs. BCi-NS1.1, a previously described and widely used basal cell line engineered to express hTERT, exhibits extended passage lifespan while retaining the capacity for differentiation to HAE. However, gene expression and innate immune function in BCi-NS1.1-derived versus primary-derived HAE cultures have not been fully characterized. METHODS:BCi-NS1.1-derived HAE cultures (n = 3 independent differentiations) and primary-derived HAE cultures (n = 3 distinct donors) were characterized by immunofluorescence and single cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq). Innate immune functions were evaluated in response to interferon stimulation and to infection with viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens. RESULTS:We confirm at high resolution that BCi-NS1.1- and primary-derived HAE cultures are largely similar in morphology, cell type composition, and overall gene expression patterns. While we observed cell-type specific expression differences of several interferon stimulated genes in BCi-NS1.1-derived HAE cultures, we did not observe significant differences in susceptibility to infection with influenza A virus and Staphylococcus aureus. CONCLUSIONS:Taken together, our results further support BCi-NS1.1-derived HAE cultures as a valuable tool for the study of airway infectious disease.