• Allelic variation of bile salt hydrolase genes in Lactobacillus salivarius does not determine bile resistance levels.

      Fang, Fang; Li, Yin; Bumann, Mario; Raftis, Emma J; Casey, Pat G; Cooney, Jakki C; Walsh, Martin A; O'Toole, Paul W; Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. (2009-09)
      Commensal lactobacilli frequently produce bile salt hydrolase (Bsh) enzymes whose roles in intestinal survival are unclear. Twenty-six Lactobacillus salivarius strains from different sources all harbored a bsh1 allele on their respective megaplasmids. This allele was related to the plasmid-borne bsh1 gene of the probiotic strain UCC118. A second locus (bsh2) was found in the chromosomes of two strains that had higher bile resistance levels. Four Bsh1-encoding allele groups were identified, defined by truncations or deletions involving a conserved residue. In vitro analyses showed that this allelic variation was correlated with widely varying bile deconjugation phenotypes. Despite very low activity of the UCC118 Bsh1 enzyme, a mutant lacking this protein had significantly lower bile resistance, both in vitro and during intestinal transit in mice. However, the overall bile resistance phenotype of this and other strains was independent of the bsh1 allele type. Analysis of the L. salivarius transcriptome upon exposure to bile and cholate identified a multiplicity of stress response proteins and putative efflux proteins that appear to broadly compensate for, or mask, the effects of allelic variation of bsh genes. Bsh enzymes with different bile-degrading kinetics, though apparently not the primary determinants of bile resistance in L. salivarius, may have additional biological importance because of varying effects upon bile as a signaling molecule in the host.
    • Directed evolution and targeted mutagenesis to murinize Listeria monocytogenes internalin A for enhanced infectivity in the murine oral infection model.

      Monk, Ian R; Casey, Pat G; Hill, Colin; Gahan, Cormac G M; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre & Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork, Ireland. (2010)
      Internalin A (InlA) is a critical virulence factor which mediates the initiation of Listeria monocytogenes infection by the oral route in permissive hosts. The interaction of InlA with the host cell ligand E-cadherin efficiently stimulates L. monocytogenes entry into human enterocytes, but has only a limited interaction with murine cells.
    • First identification of class A carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae in the Republic of Ireland.

      Roche, C; Cotter, M; O Connell, N; Crowley, B; Department of Clinical Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. (2009-04-02)
      The Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) was detected in a carbapenem-resistant respiratory isolate of Klebsiella pneumoniae in an Irish hospital. This is the first report of a KPC-producing isolate in the Republic of Ireland. The isolate was resistant to all beta-lactams. Furthermore, it had reduced susceptibility to three other classes of non-beta-lactam antibiotics. The isolate was not associated with travel abroad. Detection of KPC-producing bacteria has important infection control and public health implications.
    • Ubiquitination of the bacterial inositol phosphatase, SopB, regulates its biological activity at the plasma membrane.

      Knodler, Leigh A; Winfree, Seth; Drecktrah, Dan; Ireland, Robin; Steele-Mortimer, Olivia; Laboratory of Intracellular Parasites, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA. lknodler@niaid.nih.gov (2009-11)
      The Salmonella type III effector, SopB, is an inositol polyphosphate phosphatase that modulates host cell phospholipids at the plasma membrane and the nascent Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). Translocated SopB persists for many hours after infection and is ubiquitinated but the significance of this covalent modification has not been investigated. Here we identify by mass spectrometry six lysine residues of SopB that are mono-ubiquitinated. Substitution of these six lysine residues with arginine, SopB-K(6)R, almost completely eliminated SopB ubiquitination. We found that ubiquitination does not affect SopB stability or membrane association, or SopB-dependent events in SCV biogenesis. However, two spatially and temporally distinct events are dependent on ubiquitination, downregulation of SopB activity at the plasma membrane and prolonged retention of SopB on the SCV. Activation of the mammalian pro-survival kinase Akt/PKB, a downstream target of SopB, was intensified and prolonged after infection with the SopB-K(6)R mutant. At later times, fewer SCV were decorated with SopB-K(6)R compared with SopB. Instead SopB-K(6)R was present as discrete vesicles spread diffusely throughout the cell. Altogether, our data show that ubiquitination of SopB is not related to its intracellular stability but rather regulates its enzymatic activity at the plasma membrane and intracellular localization.