• Highly conserved nucleotide phosphatase essential for membrane lipid homeostasis in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

      Kuipers, Kirsten; Gallay, Clement; Martínek, Václav; Rohde, M; Martínková, Markéta; van der Beek, Samantha L; Jong, Wouter S P; Venselaar, Hanka; Zomer, Aldert; Bootsma, Hester; et al. (2016-07)
      Proteins belonging to the DHH family, a member of the phosphoesterase superfamily, are produced by most bacterial species. While some of these proteins are well studied in Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, their functions in Streptococcus pneumoniae remain unclear. Recently, the highly conserved DHH subfamily 1 protein PapP (SP1298) has been reported to play an important role in virulence. Here, we provide a plausible explanation for the attenuated virulence of the papP mutant. Recombinant PapP specifically hydrolyzed nucleotides 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (pAp) and 5'-phosphoadenylyl-(3'->5')-adenosine (pApA). Deletion of papP, potentially leading to pAp/pApA accumulation, resulted in morphological defects and mis-localization of several cell division proteins. Incubation with both polar solvent and detergent led to robust killing of the papP mutant, indicating that membrane integrity is strongly affected. This is in line with previous studies showing that pAp inhibits the ACP synthase, an essential enzyme involved in lipid precursor production. Remarkably, partial inactivation of the lipid biosynthesis pathway, by inhibition of FabF or depletion of FabH, phenocopied the papP mutant. We conclude that pAp and pApA phosphatase activity of PapP is required for maintenance of membrane lipid homeostasis providing an explanation how inactivation of this protein may attenuate pneumococcal virulence.
    • A recently isolated human commensal Escherichia coli ST10 clone member mediates enhanced thermotolerance and tetrathionate respiration on a P1 phage derived IncY plasmid.

      Kamal, Shady Mansour; Cimdins-Ahne, Annika; Lee, Changhan; Li, Fengyang; Martin-Rodriguez, Alberto J; Seferbekova, Zaira; Afasizhev, Robert; Tesfaye Wami, Haleluya; Katikaridis, Panagiotis; Meins, Lena; et al. (Wiley, 2020-09-28)
      The ubiquitous human commensal Escherichia coli has been well investigated through its model representative E. coli K-12. In this work, we initially characterized E. coli Fec10, a recently isolated human commensal strain of phylogroup A/sequence type ST10. Compared to E. coli K-12, the 4.88 Mbp Fec10 genome is characterized by distinct single nucleotide polymorphisms and acquisition of genomic islands. In addition, E. coli Fec10 possesses a 155.86 kbp IncY plasmid, a composite element based on phage P1. pFec10 codes for a variety of cargo genes such as a tetrathionate reductase and its corresponding regulatory two-component system. Among cargo gene products is also the Transmissible Locus of Protein Quality Control (TLPQC), which mediates tolerance to lethal temperatures in bacteria. The disaggregase ClpGGI of TLPQC constitutes a major determinant of thermotolerance of E. coli Fec10. We confirm stand-alone disaggregation activity, but observe distinct biochemical characteristics of ClpGGI-Fec10 compared to the nearly identical Pseudomonas aeruginosa ClpGGI-SG17M. Furthermore, we observed a unique contribution of ClpGGI-Fec10 to the exquisite thermotolerance of E. coli Fec10 suggesting functional differences between both disaggregases in vivo. Detection of thermotolerance in 10% of human commensal E. coli isolates suggests successful establishment of food-borne heat resistant strains in the human gut.