Christine Jacobs-Wagner, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
The AcrAB efflux pump confers self-resistance to stilbenes in Photorhabdus laumondii.
Research in microbiology
The Resistance-nodulation-division (RND)-type AcrAB-TolC efflux pump contributes to multidrug resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. Recently, the bacterium Photorhabdus laumondii TT01 has emerged as a goldmine for novel anti-infective drug discovery. Outside plants, Photorhabdus is the only Gram-negative known to produce stilbene-derivatives including 3,5-dihydroxy-4-ethyl-trans-stilbene and 3,5-dihydroxy-4-isopropyl-trans-stilbene (IPS). IPS is a bioactive polyketide which received considerable attention, mainly because of its antimicrobial properties, and is currently in late-stage clinical development as a topical treatment for psoriasis and dermatitis. To date, little is known about how Photorhabdus survives in the presence of stilbenes. We combined genetic and biochemical approaches to assess whether AcrAB efflux pump exports stilbenes in P. laumondii. We demonstrated that the wild-type (WT) exerts an antagonistic activity against its derivative DeltaacrA mutant, and that is able to outcompete it in a dual-strain co-culture assay. The DeltaacrA mutant also showed high sensitivity to 3,5-dihydroxy-4-ethyl-trans-stilbene and IPS as well as decreased IPS concentrations in its supernatant comparing to the WT. We report here a mechanism of self-resistance against stilbene derivatives of P. laumondii TT01, which enables these bacteria to survive under high concentrations of stilbenes by extruding them out via the AcrAB efflux pump.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.resmic.2023.104081
View details for PubMedID 37196776
Photorhabdus antibacterial Rhs polymorphic toxin inhibits translation through ADP-ribosylation of 23S ribosomal RNA
NUCLEIC ACIDS RESEARCH
2021; 49 (14): 8384-8395
Bacteria have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to deliver potent toxins into bacterial competitors or into eukaryotic cells in order to destroy rivals and gain access to a specific niche or to hijack essential metabolic or signaling pathways in the host. Delivered effectors carry various activities such as nucleases, phospholipases, peptidoglycan hydrolases, enzymes that deplete the pools of NADH or ATP, compromise the cell division machinery, or the host cell cytoskeleton. Effectors categorized in the family of polymorphic toxins have a modular structure, in which the toxin domain is fused to additional elements acting as cargo to adapt the effector to a specific secretion machinery. Here we show that Photorhabdus laumondii, an entomopathogen species, delivers a polymorphic antibacterial toxin via a type VI secretion system. This toxin inhibits protein synthesis in a NAD+-dependent manner. Using a biotinylated derivative of NAD, we demonstrate that translation is inhibited through ADP-ribosylation of the ribosomal 23S RNA. Mapping of the modification further showed that the adduct locates on helix 44 of the thiostrepton loop located in the GTPase-associated center and decreases the GTPase activity of the EF-G elongation factor.
View details for DOI 10.1093/nar/gkab608
View details for Web of Science ID 000692599800046
View details for PubMedID 34255843
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8661411
Novel Identification of Bacterial Epigenetic Regulations Would Benefit From a Better Exploitation of Methylomic Data
FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY
2021; 12: 685670
DNA methylation can be part of epigenetic mechanisms, leading to cellular subpopulations with heterogeneous phenotypes. While prokaryotic phenotypic heterogeneity is of critical importance for a successful infection by several major pathogens, the exact mechanisms involved in this phenomenon remain unknown in many cases. Powerful sequencing tools have been developed to allow the detection of the DNA methylated bases at the genome level, and they have recently been extensively applied on numerous bacterial species. Some of these tools are increasingly used for metagenomics analysis but only a limited amount of the available methylomic data is currently being exploited. Because newly developed tools now allow the detection of subpopulations differing in their genome methylation patterns, it is time to emphasize future strategies based on a more extensive use of methylomic data. This will ultimately help to discover new epigenetic gene regulations involved in bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity, including during host-pathogen interactions.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2021.685670
View details for Web of Science ID 000655624300001
View details for PubMedID 34054792
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8160106
Role of the Photorhabdus Dam methyltransferase during interactions with its invertebrate hosts
2019; 14 (10): e0212655
Photorhabdus luminescens is an entomopathogenic bacterium found in symbiosis with the nematode Heterorhabditis. Dam DNA methylation is involved in the pathogenicity of many bacteria, including P. luminescens, whereas studies about the role of bacterial DNA methylation during symbiosis are scarce. The aim of this study was to determine the role of Dam DNA methylation in P. luminescens during the whole bacterial life cycle including during symbiosis with H. bacteriophora. We constructed a strain overexpressing dam by inserting an additional copy of the dam gene under the control of a constitutive promoter in the chromosome of P. luminescens and then achieved association between this recombinant strain and nematodes. The dam overexpressing strain was able to feed the nematode in vitro and in vivo similarly as a control strain, and to re-associate with Infective Juvenile (IJ) stages in the insect. No difference in the amount of emerging IJs from the cadaver was observed between the two strains. Compared to the nematode in symbiosis with the control strain, a significant increase in LT50 was observed during insect infestation with the nematode associated with the dam overexpressing strain. These results suggest that during the life cycle of P. luminescens, Dam is not involved the bacterial symbiosis with the nematode H. bacteriophora, but it contributes to the pathogenicity of the nemato-bacterial complex.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0212655
View details for Web of Science ID 000532444100001
View details for PubMedID 31596856
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6785176
The complete methylome of an entomopathogenic bacterium reveals the existence of loci with unmethylated Adenines
2018; 8: 12091
DNA methylation can serve to control diverse phenomena in eukaryotes and prokaryotes, including gene regulation leading to cell differentiation. In bacteria, DNA methylomes (i.e., methylation state of each base of the whole genome) have been described for several species, but methylome profile variation during the lifecycle has rarely been studied, and only in a few model organisms. Moreover, major phenotypic changes have been reported in several bacterial strains with a deregulated methyltransferase, but the corresponding methylome has rarely been described. Here we report the first methylome description of an entomopathogenic bacterium, Photorhabdus luminescens. Eight motifs displaying a high rate of methylation (>94%) were identified. The methylome was strikingly stable over course of growth, but also in a subpopulation responsible for a critical step in the bacterium's lifecycle: successful survival and proliferation in insects. The rare unmethylated GATC motifs were preferentially located in putative promoter regions, and most of them were methylated after Dam methyltransferase overexpression, suggesting that DNA methylation is involved in gene regulation. Our findings bring key insight into bacterial methylomes and encourage further research to decipher the role of loci protected from DNA methylation in gene regulation.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-30620-5
View details for Web of Science ID 000441536700010
View details for PubMedID 30108278
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6092372
DNA Adenine Methyltransferase (Dam) Overexpression Impairs Photorhabdus luminescens Motility and Virulence
FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY
2017; 8: 1671
Dam, the most described bacterial DNA-methyltransferase, is widespread in gamma-proteobacteria. Dam DNA methylation can play a role in various genes expression and is involved in pathogenicity of several bacterial species. The purpose of this study was to determine the role played by the dam ortholog identified in the entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens. Complementation assays of an Escherichia coli dam mutant showed the restoration of the DNA methylation state of the parental strain. Overexpression of dam in P. luminescens did not impair growth ability in vitro. In contrast, compared to a control strain harboring an empty plasmid, a significant decrease in motility was observed in the dam-overexpressing strain. A transcriptome analysis revealed the differential expression of 208 genes between the two strains. In particular, the downregulation of flagellar genes was observed in the dam-overexpressing strain. In the closely related bacterium Xenorhabdus nematophila, dam overexpression also impaired motility. In addition, the dam-overexpressing P. luminescens strain showed a delayed virulence compared to that of the control strain after injection in larvae of the lepidopteran Spodoptera littoralis. These results reveal that Dam plays a major role during P. luminescens insect infection.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01671
View details for Web of Science ID 000408801200001
View details for PubMedID 28919886
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5585154