• A novel protein quality control mechanism contributes to heat shock resistance of worldwide-distributed Pseudomonas aeruginosa clone C strains.

      Lee, Changhan; Wigren, Edvard; Trček, Janja; Peters, Verena; Kim, Jihong; Hasni, Muhammad Sharif; Nimtz, Manfred; Lindqvist, Ylva; Park, Chankyu; Curth, Ute; et al. (2015-11)
      Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a highly successful nosocomial pathogen capable of causing a wide variety of infections with clone C strains most prevalent worldwide. In this study, we initially characterize a molecular mechanism of survival unique to clone C strains. We identified a P. aeruginosa clone C-specific genomic island (PACGI-1) that contains the highly expressed small heat shock protein sHsp20c, the founding member of a novel subclass of class B bacterial small heat shock proteins. sHsp20c and adjacent gene products are involved in resistance against heat shock. Heat stable sHsp20c is unconventionally expressed in stationary phase in a wide temperature range from 20 to 42°C. Purified sHsp20c has characteristic features of small heat shock protein class B as it is monodisperse, forms sphere-like 24-meric oligomers and exhibits significant chaperone activity. As the P. aeruginosa clone C population is significantly more heat shock resistant than genetically unrelated P. aeruginosa strains without sHsp20c, the horizontally acquired shsp20c operon might contribute to the survival of worldwide-distributed clone C strains.
    • Protein homeostasis-more than resisting a hot bath.

      Lee, Changhan; Wigren, Edvard; Lünsdorf, Heinrich; Römling, Ute; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-04)
      Maintenance of protein homeostasis is essential for survival of all organisms. In bacteria, the protein quality control system has a broad physiological impact beyond heat shock resistance, being involved in virulence, antibiotic resistance, as well as protection against environmental stresses. Its contribution to rejuvenation and growth arrest suggests interference with protein quality control to be a novel antimicrobial strategy. Remarkably, a protein quality control module originating from environmental strains has been found to be horizontally transferred to predominant clonal groups of bacteria providing exquisite thermotolerance to recently emerged global pathogens suggesting that novel features related to protein homeostasis contribute to the transition to new environments.