• Contribution of plasminogen activation towards the pathogenic potential of oral streptococci.

      Itzek, Andreas; Gillen, Christine M; Fulde, Marcus; Friedrichs, Claudia; Rodloff, Arne C; Chhatwal, Gursharan S; Nitsche-Schmitz, Daniel Patric; Department of Medical Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2010)
      Oral streptococci are a heterogeneous group of human commensals, with a potential to cause serious infections. Activation of plasminogen has been shown to increase the virulence of typical human pathogenic streptococci such as S. pneumoniae. One important factor for plasminogen activation is the streptococcal α-enolase. Here we report that plasminogen activation is also common in oral streptococci species involved in clinical infection and that it depends on the action of human plasminogen activators. The ability to activate plasminogen did not require full conservation of the internal plasminogen binding sequence motif FYDKERKVY of α-enolase that was previously described as crucial for increased plasminogen binding, activation and virulence. Instead, experiments with recombinant α-enolase variants indicate that the naturally occurring variations do not impair plasminogen binding. In spite of these variations in the internal plasminogen binding motif oral streptococci showed similar activation of plasminogen. We conclude that the pathomechanism of plasminogen activation is conserved in oral streptococci that cause infections in human. This may contribute to their opportunistic pathogenic character that is unfurled in certain niches.
    • Contribution of plasminogen activation towards the pathogenic potential of oral streptococci.

      Itzek, Andreas; Gillen, Christine M; Fulde, Marcus; Friedrichs, Claudia; Rodloff, Arne C; Chhatwal, Gursharan S; Nitsche-Schmitz, Daniel Patric; Department of Medical Microbiology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2010)
      Oral streptococci are a heterogeneous group of human commensals, with a potential to cause serious infections. Activation of plasminogen has been shown to increase the virulence of typical human pathogenic streptococci such as S. pneumoniae. One important factor for plasminogen activation is the streptococcal α-enolase. Here we report that plasminogen activation is also common in oral streptococci species involved in clinical infection and that it depends on the action of human plasminogen activators. The ability to activate plasminogen did not require full conservation of the internal plasminogen binding sequence motif FYDKERKVY of α-enolase that was previously described as crucial for increased plasminogen binding, activation and virulence. Instead, experiments with recombinant α-enolase variants indicate that the naturally occurring variations do not impair plasminogen binding. In spite of these variations in the internal plasminogen binding motif oral streptococci showed similar activation of plasminogen. We conclude that the pathomechanism of plasminogen activation is conserved in oral streptococci that cause infections in human. This may contribute to their opportunistic pathogenic character that is unfurled in certain niches.
    • Contribution of Streptococcus anginosus to infections caused by groups C and G streptococci, southern India.

      Reissmann, Silvana; Friedrichs, Claudia; Rajkumari, Reena; Itzek, Andreas; Fulde, Marcus; Rodloff, Arne C; Brahmadathan, Kootallur N; Chhatwal, Gursharan S; Nitsche-Schmitz, D Patric; Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2010-04)
      Vellore, a region in southern India, has a high incidence of severe human infections with Beta-hemolytic group C and G streptococci (GCGS). To determine the causative species in these infections, we conducted 16S rRNA gene sequencing: Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (81%) and S. anginosus (19%) were the causative organisms in the 2-year study period (2006-2007). We used PCR to detect the virulence-related emm gene; results showed that it was restricted to S. dysgalactieae subsp. equisimilis isolates of 99.2% tested positive. Due to a novel marker, S. anginosus and S. constellatus can be quickly and accurately distinguished from other members of the genus. The notable contribution of the anginosus group to human infections suggests that this group of obligate pathogens deserves more attention in healthcare and research.
    • Conversion of chlorobiphenyls into phenylhexadienoates and benzoates by the enzymes of the upper pathway for polychlorobiphenyl degradation encoded by the bph locus of Pseudomonas sp. strain LB400.

      Seeger, M; Timmis, K N; Hofer, B; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (1995-07)
      Metabolism of 21 chlorobiphenyls by the enzymes of the upper biphenyl catabolic pathway encoded by the bph locus of Pseudomonas sp. strain LB400 was investigated by using recombinant strains harboring gene cassettes containing bphABC or bphABCD. The enzymes of the upper pathway were generally able to metabolize mono- and dichlorinated biphenyls but only partially transform most trichlorinated congeners investigated: 14 of 15 mono- and dichlorinated and 2 of 6 trichlorinated congeners were converted into benzoates. All mono- and at least 8 of 12 dichlorinated congeners were attacked by the bphA-encoded biphenyl dioxygenase virtually exclusively at ortho and meta carbons. This enzyme exhibited a high degree of selectivity for the aromatic ring to be attacked, with the order of ring preference being non- > ortho- > meta- > para-substituted for mono- and dichlorinated congeners. The influence of the chlorine substitution pattern of the metabolized ring on benzoate formation resembled its influence on the reactivity of initial dioxygenation, suggesting that the rate of benzoate formation may frequently be determined by the rate of initial attack. The absorption spectra of phenylhexadienoates formed correlated with the presence or absence of a chlorine substituent at an ortho position.
    • Cooperative binding and activation of fibronectin by a bacterial surface protein.

      Marjenberg, Zoe R; Ellis, Ian R; Hagan, Robert M; Prabhakaran, Sabitha; Höök, Magnus; Talay, Susanne R; Potts, Jennifer R; Staunton, David; Schwarz-Linek, Ulrich; Biomedical Sciences Research Complex, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews KY16 9ST, Scotland, United Kingdom. (2011-01-21)
      Integrin-dependent cell invasion of some pathogenic bacteria is mediated by surface proteins targeting the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin (FN). Although the structural basis for bacterial FN recognition is well understood, it has been unclear why proteins such as streptococcal SfbI contain several FN-binding sites. We used microcalorimetry to reveal cooperative binding of FN fragments to arrays of binding sites in SfbI. In combination with thermodynamic analyses, functional cell-based assays show that SfbI induces conformational changes in the N-terminal 100-kDa region of FN (FN100kDa), most likely by competition with intramolecular interactions defining an inactive state of FN100kDa. This study provides insights into how long range conformational changes resulting in FN activation may be triggered by bacterial pathogens.
    • Cooperative plasminogen recruitment to the surface of Streptococcus canis via M protein and enolase enhances bacterial survival.

      Fulde, Marcus; Rohde, Manfred; Polok, Andy; Preissner, Klaus T; Chhatwal, Gursharan Singh; Bergmann, Simone; Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Department of Medical Microbiology, Braunschweig, Germany. marcus.fulde@web.de (2013)
      Streptococcus canis is a zoonotic pathogen capable of causing serious invasive diseases in domestic animals and humans. Surface-exposed M proteins and metabolic enzymes have been characterized as major virulence determinants in various streptococcal species. Recently, we have identified SCM, the M-like protein of S. canis, as the major receptor for miniplasminogen localized on the bacterial surface. The present study now characterizes the glycolytic enzyme enolase as an additional surface-exposed plasminogen-binding protein. According to its zoonotic properties, purified S. canis enolase binds to both human and canine plasminogen and facilitates degradation of aggregated fibrin matrices after activation with host-derived urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). Unlike SCM, which binds to the C terminus of human plasminogen, the S. canis enolase interacts N terminally with the first four kringle domains of plasminogen, representing angiostatin. Radioactive binding analyses confirmed cooperative plasminogen recruitment to both surface-exposed enolase and SCM. Furthermore, despite the lack of surface protease activity via SpeB in S. canis, SCM is released and reassociated homophilically to surface-anchored SCM and heterophilically to surface-bound plasminogen. In addition to plasminogen-mediated antiphagocytic activity, reassociation of SCM to the bacterial surface significantly enhanced bacterial survival in phagocytosis analyses using human neutrophils.
    • CRISPR-Cas9: how research on a bacterial RNA-guided mechanism opened new perspectives in biotechnology and biomedicine.

      Charpentier, Emmanuelle; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-04)
    • Crucial role of the CB3-region of collagen IV in PARF-induced acute rheumatic fever.

      Dinkla, Katrin; Talay, Susanne R; Mörgelin, Matthias; Graham, Rikki M A; Rohde, Manfred; Nitsche-Schmitz, D Patric; Chhatwal, Gursharan S; Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. (2009)
      Acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease are serious autoimmune sequelae to infections with Streptococcus pyogenes. Streptococcal M-proteins have been implicated in ARF pathogenesis. Their interaction with collagen type IV (CIV) is a triggering step that induces generation of collagen-specific auto-antibodies. Electron microscopy of the protein complex between M-protein type 3 (M3-protein) and CIV identified two prominent binding sites of which one is situated in the CB3-region of CIV. In a radioactive binding assay, M3-protein expressing S. pyogenes and S. gordonii bound the CB3-fragment. Detailed analysis of the interactions by surface plasmon resonance measurements and site directed mutagenesis revealed high affinity interactions with dissociation constants in the nanomolar range that depend on the recently described collagen binding motif of streptococcal M-proteins. Because of its role in the induction of disease-related collagen autoimmunity the motif is referred to as "peptide associated with rheumatic fever" (PARF). Both, sera of mice immunized with M3-protein as well as sera from patients with ARF contained anti-CB3 auto-antibodies, indicating their contribution to ARF pathogenesis. The identification of the CB3-region as a binding partner for PARF directs the further approaches to understand the unusual autoimmune pathogenesis of PARF-dependent ARF and forms a molecular basis for a diagnostic test that detects rheumatogenic streptococci.
    • Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of phosphoglycerate kinase from Streptococcus pneumoniae.

      Bernardo-García, Noelia; Bartual, Sergio G; Fulde, Marcus; Bergmann, Simone; Hermoso, Juan A; Department of Crystallography and Structural Biology, Instituto de Química-Física Rocasolano, CSIC, Serrano 119, 28006 Madrid, Spain. (2011-10-01)
      Phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) is a widespread two-domain enzyme that plays a critical role in the glycolytic pathway. Several glycolytic enzymes from streptococci have been identified as surface-exposed proteins that are involved in streptococcal virulence by their ability to bind host proteins. This binding allows pneumococcal cells to disseminate through the epithelial and endothelial layers. Crystallization of PGK from Streptococcus pneumoniae yielded orthorhombic crystals (space group I222, unit-cell parameters a = 62.73, b = 75.38, c = 83.63 Å). However, the unit cell of these crystals was not compatible with the presence of full-length PGK. Various analytical methods showed that only the N-terminal domain of PGK was present in the I222 crystals. The ternary complex of PGK with adenylyl imidodiphosphate (AMP-PNP) and 3-phospho-D-glycerate (3PGA) produced monoclinic crystals (space group P2(1), unit-cell parameters a = 40.35, b = 78.23, c = 59.03 Å, β = 96.34°). Molecular replacement showed that this new crystal form contained full-length PGK, thereby indicating the relevance of including substrates in order to avoid proteolysis during the crystallization process.
    • A Csr-type regulatory system, including small non-coding RNAs, regulates the global virulence regulator RovA of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis through RovM.

      Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Böhme, Katja; Rohde, Manfred; Dersch, Petra; Institut für Mikrobiologie, Technische Universität Braunschweig, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany. (2008-06)
      The MarR-type regulator RovA controls expression of virulence genes of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in response to environmental signals. Using a genetic strategy to discover components that influence rovA expression, we identified new regulatory factors with homology to components of the carbon storage regulator system (Csr). We showed that overexpression of a CsrB- or a CsrC-type RNA activates rovA, whereas a CsrA-like protein represses RovA synthesis. We further demonstrate that influence of the Csr system on rovA is indirect and occurs through control of the LysR regulator RovM, which inhibits rovA transcription. The CsrA protein had also a major influence on the motility of Yersinia, which was independent of RovM. The CsrB and CsrC RNAs are differentially expressed in Yersinia. CsrC is highly induced in complex but not in minimal media, indicating that medium-dependent rovM expression is mediated through CsrC. CsrB synthesis is generally very low. However, overexpression of the response regulator UvrY was found to activate CsrB production, which in turn represses CsrC synthesis independent of the growth medium. In summary, the post-transcriptional Csr-type components were shown to be key regulators in the co-ordinated environmental control of physiological processes and virulence factors, which are crucial for the initiation of Yersinia infections.
    • The CXC chemokine-degrading protease SpyCep of Streptococcus pyogenes promotes its uptake into endothelial cells.

      Kaur, Simran Jeet; Nerlich, Andreas; Bergmann, Simone; Rohde, Manfred; Fulde, Marcus; Zähner, Dorothea; Hanski, Emanuel; Zinkernagel, Annelies; Nizet, Victor; Chhatwal, Gursharan S; et al. (2010-09-03)
      Streptococcus pyogenes expresses the LPXTG motif-containing cell envelope serine protease SpyCep (also called ScpC, PrtS) that degrades and inactivates the major chemoattractant interleukin 8 (IL-8), thereby impairing host neutrophil recruitment. In this study, we identified a novel function of SpyCep: the ability to mediate uptake into primary human endothelial cells. SpyCep triggered its uptake into endothelial cells but not into human epithelial cells originating from pharynx or lung, indicating an endothelial cell-specific uptake mechanism. SpyCep mediated cellular invasion by an endosomal/lysosomal pathway distinct from the caveolae-mediated invasion pathway of S. pyogenes. Recombinant expression and purification of proteolytically active SpyCep and a series of subfragments allowed functional dissection of the domains responsible for endothelial cell invasion and IL-8 degradation. The N-terminal PR domain was sufficient to mediate endothelial cell invasion, whereas for IL-8-degrading activity, the protease domain and the flanking A domain were required. A polyclonal rabbit serum raised against the recombinant protease efficiently blocked the invasion-mediating activity of SpyCep but not its proteolytic function, further indicating that SpyCep-mediated internalization is independent from its enzymatic activity. SpyCep may thus specifically mediate its own uptake as secreted protein into human endothelial cells.
    • Differences in the aromatic domain of homologous streptococcal fibronectin-binding proteins trigger different cell invasion mechanisms and survival rates.

      Rohde, Manfred; Graham, Rikki M; Branitzki-Heinemann, Katja; Borchers, Patricia; Preuss, Claudia; Schleicher, Ina; Zähner, Dorothea; Talay, Susanne R; Fulde, Marcus; Dinkla, Katrin; et al. (2011-03)
      Group A streptococci (GAS, Streptococcus pyogenes) and Group G streptococci (GGS, Streptococcus dysgalactiae ssp. equisimilis) adhere to and invade host cells by binding to fibronectin. The fibronectin-binding protein SfbI from GAS acts as an invasin by using a caveolae-mediated mechanism. In the present study we have identified a fibronectin-binding protein, GfbA, from GGS, which functions as an adhesin and invasin. Although there is a high degree of similarity in the C-terminal sequence of SfbI and GfbA, the invasion mechanisms are different. Unlike caveolae-mediated invasion by SfbI-expressing GAS, the GfbA-expressing GGS isolate trigger cytoskeleton rearrangements. Heterologous expression of GfbA on the surface of a commensal Streptococcus gordonii and purified recombinant protein also triggered actin rearrangements. Expression of a truncated GfbA (lacking the aromatic domain) and chimeric GfbA/SfbI protein (replacing the aromatic domain of SfbI with the GfbA aromatic domain) on S. gordonii or recombinant proteins alone showed that the aromatic domain of GfbA is responsible for different invasion mechanisms. This is the first evidence for a biological function of the aromatic domain of fibronectin-binding proteins. Furthermore, we show that streptococci invading via cytoskeleton rearrangements and intracellular trafficking along the classical endocytic pathway are less persistence than streptococci entering via caveolae.
    • Digitoxin metabolism by rat liver microsomes.

      Schmoldt, A; Benthe, H F; Haberland, G; Poser, W; Poser, S; Eickhoff, K; Piggott, S M; Kerkut, G A; Walker, R J (1975-09-01)
    • Distribution and Antigenicity of Fibronectin Binding Proteins (SfbI and SfbII) of Streptococcus pyogenes Clinical Isolates from the Northern Territory, Australia

      Goodfellow, Alison M.; Hibble, Megan; Talay, Susanne R.; Kreikemeyer, Bernd; Currie, Bart J.; Sriprakash, Kadaba S.; Chhatwal, Gursharan S. (American Society for Microbiology, 2000-01)
    • DnaK from Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis is a surface-exposed human plasminogen receptor upregulated in response to bile salts.

      Candela, Marco; Centanni, Manuela; Fiori, Jessica; Biagi, Elena; Turroni, Silvia; Orrico, Catia; Bergmann, Simone; Hammerschmidt, Sven; Brigidi, Patrizia; Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy. (2010-06)
      Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis lives in the gastrointestinal tract of most mammals, including humans. Recently, for the probiotic strain B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07, a dose-dependent plasminogen-binding activity was demonstrated and five putative plasminogen-binding proteins were identified. Here we investigated the role of surface DnaK as a B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07 plasminogen receptor. DnaK was visualized on the bacterial cell surface by transmission electron microscopy. The His-tagged recombinant DnaK protein showed a high affinity for human plasminogen, with an equilibrium dissociation constant in the nanomolar range. The capability to tolerate physiological concentrations of bile salts is a crucial feature for an intestinal symbiont micro-organism. By proteome analysis we demonstrated that the long-term exposure of B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07 to bile salts results in the upregulation of important surface plasminogen receptors such as DnaK and enolase. Moreover, adaptation of B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07 to physiological concentrations of bile salts significantly increased its capacity to interact with the host plasminogen system. By enhancing the bacterial capacity to interact with the host plasminogen, the gut bile environment may facilitate the colonization of the human host by B. animalis subsp. lactis BI07.
    • DNase Sda1 provides selection pressure for a switch to invasive group A streptococcal infection.

      Walker, Mark J; Hollands, Andrew; Sanderson-Smith, Martina L; Cole, Jason N; Kirk, Joshua K; Henningham, Anna; McArthur, Jason D; Dinkla, Katrin; Aziz, Ramy K; Kansal, Rita G; et al. (2007-08)
      Most invasive bacterial infections are caused by species that more commonly colonize the human host with minimal symptoms. Although phenotypic or genetic correlates underlying a bacterium's shift to enhanced virulence have been studied, the in vivo selection pressures governing such shifts are poorly understood. The globally disseminated M1T1 clone of group A Streptococcus (GAS) is linked with the rare but life-threatening syndromes of necrotizing fasciitis and toxic shock syndrome. Mutations in the GAS control of virulence regulatory sensor kinase (covRS) operon are associated with severe invasive disease, abolishing expression of a broad-spectrum cysteine protease (SpeB) and allowing the recruitment and activation of host plasminogen on the bacterial surface. Here we describe how bacteriophage-encoded GAS DNase (Sda1), which facilitates the pathogen's escape from neutrophil extracellular traps, serves as a selective force for covRS mutation. The results provide a paradigm whereby natural selection exerted by the innate immune system generates hypervirulent bacterial variants with increased risk of systemic dissemination.