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1. Hülsmann  A, Rosche  TM, Kong  IS, Hassan  HM, Beam  DM, Oliver  JD,     ( 2003 )

RpoS-dependent stress response and exoenzyme production in Vibrio vulnificus.

Applied and environmental microbiology 69 (10)
PMID : 14532069  :   DOI  :   10.1128/aem.69.10.6114-6120.2003     PMC  :   PMC201245    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is an estuarine bacterium capable of causing rapidly fatal infections through both ingestion and wound infection. Like other opportunistic pathogens, V. vulnificus must adapt to potentially stressful environmental changes while living freely in seawater, upon colonization of the oyster gut, and upon infection of such diverse hosts as humans and eels. In order to begin to understand the ability of V. vulnificus to respond to such stresses, we examined the role of the alternate sigma factor RpoS, which is important in stress response and virulence in many pathogens. An rpoS mutant of V. vulnificus strain C7184o was constructed by homologous recombination. The mutant strain exhibited a decreased ability to survive diverse environmental stresses, including exposure to hydrogen peroxide, hyperosmolarity, and acidic conditions. The most striking difference was a high sensitivity of the mutant to hydrogen peroxide. Albuminase, caseinase, and elastase activity were detected in the wild type but not in the mutant strain, and an additional two hydrolytic activities (collagenase and gelatinase) were reduced in the mutant strain compared to the wild type. Additionally, the motility of the rpoS mutant was severely diminished. Overall, these studies suggest that rpoS in V. vulnificus is important for adaptation to environmental changes and may have a role in virulence.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Heat-Shock Response
2. Gutacker  M, Conza  N, Benagli  C, Pedroli  A, Bernasconi  MV, Permin  L, Aznar  R, Piffaretti  JC,     ( 2003 )

Population genetics of Vibrio vulnificus: identification of two divisions and a distinct eel-pathogenic clone.

Applied and environmental microbiology 69 (6)
PMID : 12788717  :   DOI  :   10.1128/aem.69.6.3203-3212.2003     PMC  :   PMC161503    
Abstract >>
Genetic relationships among 62 Vibrio vulnificus strains of different geographical and host origins were analyzed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis (MLEE), random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD), and sequence analyses of the recA and glnA genes. Out of 15 genetic loci analyzed by MLEE, 11 were polymorphic. Cluster analysis identified 43 distinct electrophoretic types (ETs) separating the V. vulnificus population into two divisions (divisions I and II). One ET (ET 35) included all indole-negative isolates from diseased eels worldwide (biotype 2). A second ET (ET 2) marked all of the strains from Israel isolated from patients who handled St. Peter's fish (biotype 3). RAPD analysis of the 62 V. vulnificus isolates identified 26 different profiles separated into two divisions as well. In general, this subdivision was comparable (but not identical) to that observed by MLEE. Phylogenetic analysis of 543 bp of the recA gene and of 402 bp of the glnA gene also separated the V. vulnificus population into two major divisions in a manner similar to that by MLEE and RAPD. Sequence data again indicated the overall subdivision of the V. vulnificus population into different biotypes. In particular, indole-negative eel-pathogenic isolates (biotype 2) on one hand and the Israeli isolates (biotype 3) on the other tended to cluster together in both gene trees. None of the methods showed an association between distinct clones and human clinical manifestations. Furthermore, except for the Israeli strains, only minor clusters comprising geographically related isolates were observed. In conclusion, all three approaches (MLEE, RAPD, and DNA sequencing) generated comparable but not always equivalent results. The significance of the two divisions (divisions I and II) still remains to be clarified, and a reevaluation of the definition of the biotypes is also needed.
KeywordMeSH Terms
3. Rowe-Magnus  DA, Guerout  AM, Biskri  L, Bouige  P, Mazel  D,     ( 2003 )

Comparative analysis of superintegrons: engineering extensive genetic diversity in the Vibrionaceae.

Genome research 13 (3)
PMID : 12618374  :   DOI  :   10.1101/gr.617103     PMC  :   PMC430272    
Abstract >>
Integrons are natural tools for bacterial evolution and innovation. Their involvement in the capture and dissemination of antibiotic-resistance genes among Gram-negative bacteria is well documented. Recently, massive ancestral versions, the superintegrons (SIs), were discovered in the genomes of diverse proteobacterial species. SI gene cassettes with an identifiable activity encode proteins related to simple adaptive functions, including resistance, virulence, and metabolic activities, and their recruitment was interpreted as providing the host with an adaptive advantage. Here, we present extensive comparative analysis of SIs identified among the Vibrionaceae. Each was at least 100 kb in size, reaffirming the participation of SIs in the genome plasticity and heterogeneity of these species. Phylogenetic and localization data supported the sedentary nature of the functional integron platform and its coevolution with the host genome. Conversely, comparative analysis of the SI cassettes was indicative of both a wide range of origin for the entrapped genes and of an active cassette assembly process in these bacterial species. The signature attC sites of each species displayed conserved structural characteristics indicating that symmetry rather than sequence was important in the recognition of such a varied collection of target recombination sequences by a single site-specific recombinase. Our discovery of various addiction module cassettes within each of the different SIs indicates a possible role for them in the overall stability of large integron cassette arrays.
KeywordMeSH Terms
4. Smith  AB, Siebeling  RJ,     ( 2003 )

Identification of genetic loci required for capsular expression in Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 71 (3)
PMID : 12595419  :   DOI  :   10.1128/iai.71.3.1091-1097.2003     PMC  :   PMC148862    
Abstract >>
Transposon mutagenesis of an encapsulated, virulent strain of Vibrio vulnificus 1003(O) led to the identification of four genetic regions that are essential to capsular polysaccharide (CPS) expression and virulence. Of the four regions, three are believed to be part of a capsule gene locus comprised of biosynthesis, polymerization, and transport genes clustered on a single chromosomal fragment. Genes indicating a Wzy-dependent system of polymerization and transmembrane export are present, suggesting that the CPS of V. vulnificus is lipid linked. The fourth region, while it contains a gene essential for CPS expression, is characteristic of an integron-gene cassette region, similar to the super integron of V. cholerae. It is not believed to be part of a CPS gene locus and is located in a region of the chromosome separate from the putative CPS loci. It is comprised of open reading frames (ORFs) carrying genes of unknown function surrounded by direct repeats. This region also contains IS492, an insertion sequence located numerous times throughout a region of the genome, demonstrating a restriction fragment length polymorphism among an encapsulated and nonencapsulated morphotype of V. vulnificus. Collectively, 22 ORFs were recognized: 13 capsule synthesis genes, 4 insertion sequences, 1 truncated biosynthesis gene, and 4 genes of unknown function. This study has led to the identification of previously unrecognized genetic loci that may help to increase the understanding of capsular genetics and antigenic diversity among V. vulnificus strains.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Chromosome Mapping
5. Lee  JH, Park  NY, Lee  MH, Choi  SH,     ( 2003 )

Characterization of the Vibrio vulnificus putAP operon, encoding proline dehydrogenase and proline permease, and its differential expression in response to osmotic stress.

Journal of bacteriology 185 (13)
PMID : 12813078  :   DOI  :   10.1128/jb.185.13.3842-3852.2003     PMC  :   PMC161561    
Abstract >>
The Vibrio vulnificus putAP genes encoding a proline dehydrogenase and a proline permease are transcribed in the same direction. Proline dehydrogenase activity and the level of putA transcript were determined to reach a maximum in exponential phase and were then repressed when growth slowed down. Northern blotting and primer extension analyses revealed that transcription of putAP genes results in two different transcripts, transcript A (putA transcript) and transcript AP (putAP transcript). Expression of putAP genes was directed by two promoters, promoter P(putA) and promoter P(putAP). A crp null mutation decreased proline dehydrogenase activity and the level of the put transcripts, indicating that transcription of putAP is under the positive control of cyclic AMP receptor protein. Proline dehydrogenase and the level of both put transcripts were increased by proline but repressed by glutamate. In contrast, the level of transcript A, not transcript AP, increased when proline dehydrogenase was induced by NaCl. Since P(putA) activity, not P(putAP) activity, was increased by NaCl, it is apparent that transcript A and transcript AP are transcribed through P(putA) and P(putAP), respectively. Cells challenged with NaCl and various hyperosmotic stresses accumulated higher levels of glutamate than control cells, indicating that glutamate is a compatible solute in V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Operon
6. Kwok  AY, Wilson  JT, Coulthart  M, Ng  LK, Mutharia  L, Chow  AW,     ( 2002 )

Phylogenetic study and identification of human pathogenic Vibrio species based on partial hsp60 gene sequences.

Canadian journal of microbiology 48 (10)
PMID : 12489780  :   DOI  :   10.1139/w02-089    
Abstract >>
The use of hsp60 gene sequences for phylogenetic study and identification of pathogenic marine vibrios was investigated. A 600-bp partial hsp60 gene was amplified by PCR and sequenced from 29 strains representing 15 Vibrio species within the family Vibrionaceae. Sequence comparison of the amplified partial hsp60 gene revealed 71-82% sequence identity among different Vibrio species and 96-100% sequence identity among epidemiologically distinct strains with the same species designation. This degree of discrimination allows unambiguous differentiation of all Vibrio species included in the current study from each other, as well as from Aeromonas hydrophila and Plesiomonas shigelloides, which are often misidentified as Vibrio species by conventional biochemical methods. Based on the hsp60 gene sequences, two previously unidentified shrimp isolates were found to be more closely related to Vibrio alginolyticus (93-94% sequence identity) than to Vibrio parahaemolyticus (89% sequence identity), whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis was unable to differentiate among these closely related species (95-97% sequence identity). Our results indicate that the hsp60 gene may be a useful alternative target for phylogenetic analysis and species identification of marine Vibrios to complement more conventional identification systems.
KeywordMeSH Terms
7. Fischer-Le Saux  M, Hervio-Heath  D, Loaec  S, Colwell  RR, Pommepuy  M,     ( 2002 )

Detection of cytotoxin-hemolysin mRNA in nonculturable populations of environmental and clinical Vibrio vulnificus strains in artificial seawater.

Applied and environmental microbiology 68 (11)
PMID : 12406760  :   DOI  :   10.1128/aem.68.11.5641-5646.2002     PMC  :   PMC129913    
Abstract >>
The objective of this study was to develop a molecular detection method that better estimates the potential risk associated with the presence of Vibrio vulnificus. For that purpose, we applied seminested reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) to viable but nonculturable (VBNC) populations of V. vulnificus and targeted the cytotoxin-hemolysin virulence gene vvhA. Three strains, two environmental, IF Vv10 and IF Vv18, and one clinical, C7184, were used in this study. Artificial seawater, inoculated with mid-log-phase cells, was maintained at 4 degrees C. VBNC cells resulted after 3, 6, and 14 days for C7184, IF Vv18, and IF Vv10, respectively. Our data indicate that seminested RT-PCR is sensitive for the detection of vvhA mRNA in artificial seawater when exclusively nonculturable bacteria are present. This is the first report of the expression of a toxin gene in VBNC V. vulnificus. Moreover, vvhA transcripts were shown to persist in nonculturable populations over a 4.5-month period, with a progressive decline of the signal over time. This result indicates that special attention should be given to the presence of potentially pathogenic VBNC cells in environmental samples when assessing public health risk.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Water Microbiology
8. Hervio-Heath  D, Colwell  RR, Derrien  A, Robert-Pillot  A, Fournier  JM, Pommepuy  M,     ( 2002 )

Occurrence of pathogenic vibrios in coastal areas of France.

Journal of applied microbiology 92 (6)
PMID : 12010553  :  
Abstract >>
This study was carried out to investigate the occurrence of potentially pathogenic species of Vibrio in French marine and estuarine environments. Samples of coastal waters and mussels collected between July and September 1999 were analysed by culture, using selective media including thiosulphate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose and modified cellobiose-polymixin B-colistin agar. Presumptive Vibrio colonies were isolated and identified using selected biochemical tests. Specific primers based on flanking sequences of the cytolysin, vvhA gene, pR72H DNA fragment and 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (ISR) were used in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to confirm the identification of Vibrio vulnificus, V. parahaemolyticus and V. cholerae, respectively. In this study, V. alginolyticus (99 of 189) was the predominant species, followed by V. parahaemolyticus (41 of 189), V. vulnificus (20 of 189) and non-O1/non-O139 V. cholerae (three of 189). All 20 V. vulnificus isolates showed PCR amplification of the vvhA gene, 16 of which had been isolated from estuarine water. The PCR amplification of the pR72H DNA fragment in 41 V. parahaemolyticus isolates generated two unique amplicons of 387 and 320 bp. The latter, present in 24.4% of these isolates, had not previously been found in V. parahaemolyticus strains examined to date. Amplification of the trh gene in two of the isolates suggested these to be virulent strains. Three strains identified as V. cholerae by amplification of the 16S-23S rRNA ISR were confirmed to be non-cholera (non-O1/non-O139) strains. The results of this study demonstrated the presence of pathogenic Vibrio species in French coastal waters. Furthermore, the PCR approach proved useful for the rapid and reliable confirmation of species identification. These findings indicate the potential sanitary risk associated with the presence of pathogenic Vibrio spp. in cultivated mussels and in the aquatic environment. The PCR can be used to detect pathogenic vibrios directly in environmental samples.
KeywordMeSH Terms
9. Ren  D, Navarro  B, Xu  H, Yue  L, Shi  Q, Clapham  DE,     ( 2001 )

A prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channel.

Science (New York, N.Y.) 294 (5550)
PMID : 11743207  :   DOI  :   10.1126/science.1065635    
Abstract >>
The pore-forming subunits of canonical voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels are encoded by four repeated domains of six-transmembrane (6TM) segments. We expressed and characterized a bacterial ion channel (NaChBac) from Bacillus halodurans that is encoded by one 6TM segment. The sequence, especially in the pore region, is similar to that of voltage-gated calcium channels. The expressed channel was activated by voltage and was blocked by calcium channel blockers. However, the channel was selective for sodium. The identification of NaChBac as a functionally expressed bacterial voltage-sensitive ion-selective channel provides insight into both voltage-dependent activation and divalent cation selectivity.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Proteins
10. Wright  AC, Powell  JL, Kaper  JB, Morris  JG,     ( 2001 )

Identification of a group 1-like capsular polysaccharide operon for Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 69 (11)
PMID : 11598064  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.69.11.6893-6901.2001     PMC  :   PMC100069    
Abstract >>
Virulence of Vibrio vulnificus correlates with changes in colony morphology that are indicative of a reversible phase variation for expression of capsular polysaccharide (CPS). Encapsulated variants are virulent with opaque colonies, whereas phase variants with reduced CPS expression are attenuated and are translucent. Using TnphoA mutagenesis, we identified a V. vulnificus CPS locus, which included an upstream ops element, a wza gene (wza(Vv)), and several open reading frames with homology to CPS biosynthetic genes. This genetic organization is characteristic of group 1 CPS operons. The wza gene product is required for transport of CPS to the cell surface in Escherichia coli. Polar transposon mutations in wza(Vv) eliminated expression of downstream biosynthetic genes, confirming operon structure. On the other hand, nonpolar inactivation of wza(Vv) was specific for CPS transport, did not alter CPS biosynthesis, and could be complemented in trans. Southern analysis of CPS phase variants revealed deletions or rearrangements at this locus. A survey of environmental isolates indicated a correlation between deletions in wza(Vv) and loss of virulent phenotype, suggesting a genetic mechanism for CPS phase variation. Full virulence in mice required surface expression of CPS and supported the essential role of capsule in the pathogenesis of V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Operon
11. Shao  CP, Hor  LI,     ( 2001 )

Regulation of metalloprotease gene expression in Vibrio vulnificus by a Vibrio harveyi LuxR homologue.

Journal of bacteriology 183 (4)
PMID : 11157950  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JB.183.4.1369-1375.2001     PMC  :   PMC95011    
Abstract >>
Expression of the Vibrio vulnificus metalloprotease gene, vvp, was turned up rapidly when bacterial growth reached the late log phase. A similar pattern of expression has been found in the metalloprotease gene of Vibrio cholerae, and this has been shown to be regulated by a Vibrio harveyi LuxR-like transcriptional activator. To find out whether a LuxR homologue exists in V. vulnificus, a gene library of this organism was screened by colony hybridization using a probe derived from a sequence that is conserved in various luxR-like genes of vibrios. A gene containing a 618-bp open reading frame was identified and found to be identical to the smcR gene of V. vulnificus reported previously. An isogenic SmcR-deficient (RD) mutant was further constructed by an in vivo allelic exchange technique. This mutant exhibited an extremely low level of vvp transcription compared with that of the parent strain. On the other hand, the cytolysin gene, vvhA, was expressed at a higher level in the RD mutant than in the parent strain during the log phase of growth. These data suggested that SmcR might not only be a positive regulator of the protease gene but might also be involved in negative regulation of the cytolysin gene. Virulence of the RD mutant in either normal or iron-overloaded mice challenged by intraperitoneal injection was comparable to that of the parent strain, indicating that SmcR is not required for V. vulnificus virulence in mice.
KeywordMeSH Terms
12. Wu  SI, Lo  SK, Shao  CP, Tsai  HW, Hor  LI,     ( 2001 )

Cloning and characterization of a periplasmic nuclease of Vibrio vulnificus and its role in preventing uptake of foreign DNA.

Applied and environmental microbiology 67 (1)
PMID : 11133431  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.67.1.82-88.2001     PMC  :   PMC92521    
Abstract >>
We have cloned a nuclease gene, vvn, from Vibrio vulnificus, an estuarine bacterium that causes wound infections and septicemia in humans and eels. The gene contained a 696-bp open reading frame encoding 232 amino acids (aa), including a signal sequence of 18 aa. The deduced amino acid sequence of the mature nuclease predicted a molecular mass of 25 kDa, which was confirmed by vital stain, and a pI of 8.6. Vvn was produced in the periplasm of either V. vulnificus or recombinant Escherichia coli strains and was active in the oxidized (but not the reduced) form. This nuclease was able to digest DNA and RNA, with differential thermostability in DNase and RNase activities. Expression of Vvn in E. coli DH5alpha reduced the frequencies of transformation with the divalent ion-treated cells and electroporation by about 6 and 2 logs, respectively. In addition, the transformation frequency of a Vvn-deficient V. vulnificus mutant (ND) was 10-fold higher than that of the parent strain. These data suggested that Vvn may be involved in preventing uptake of foreign DNA by transformation. However, Vvn expressed in the recipients had little effect on the conjugation frequency in either E. coli or V. vulnificus. Some other DNase(s) may be present in the periplasm and responsible for a residual DNase activity, which was about one-fourth of that of the parent strain, detected in the ND mutant. We also demonstrated that Vvn was not required for the virulence of V. vulnificus mice.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Proteins
Cloning, Molecular
Conjugation, Genetic
Transformation, Bacterial
13. Stine  OC, Sozhamannan  S, Gou  Q, Zheng  S, Morris  JG, Johnson  JA,     ( 2000 )

Phylogeny of Vibrio cholerae based on recA sequence.

Infection and immunity 68 (12)
PMID : 11083852  :   DOI  :   10.1128/iai.68.12.7180-7185.2000     PMC  :   PMC97837    
Abstract >>
We sequenced a 705-bp fragment of the recA gene from 113 Vibrio cholerae strains and closely related species. One hundred eighty-seven nucleotides were phylogenetically informative, 55 were phylogenetically uninformative, and 463 were invariant. Not unexpectedly, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus strains formed out-groups; we also identified isolates which resembled V. cholerae biochemically but which did not cluster with V. cholerae. In many instances, V. cholerae serogroup designations did not correlate with phylogeny, as reflected by recA sequence divergence. This observation is consistent with the idea that there is horizontal transfer of O-antigen biosynthesis genes among V. cholerae strains.
KeywordMeSH Terms
14. Chung  SS, Lee  ZH, Shin  DH, Kim  YR, Kim  SY, Shin  SH, Lee  SE,     ( 2000 )

Vibrio vulnificus has the transmembrane transcription activator ToxRS stimulating the expression of the hemolysin gene vvhA.

Journal of bacteriology 182 (12)
PMID : 10852871  :   DOI  :   10.1128/jb.182.12.3405-3415.2000     PMC  :   PMC101907    
Abstract >>
In an attempt to dissect the virulence regulatory mechanism in Vibrio vulnificus, we tried to identify the V. cholerae transmembrane virulence regulator toxRS (toxRS(Vc)) homologs in V. vulnificus. By comparing the sequences of toxRS of V. cholerae and V. parahaemolyticus (toxRS(Vp)), we designed a degenerate primer set targeting well-conserved sequences. Using the PCR product as an authentic probe for Southern blot hybridization, a 1.6-kb BglII-HindIII fragment and a 1.2-kb HindIII fragment containing two complete open reading frames and one partial open reading frame attributable to toxR(Vv), toxS(Vv), and htpG(Vv) were cloned. ToxR(Vv) shared 55.0 and 63.0% sequence homology with ToxR(Vc) and ToxR(Vp), respectively. ToxS(Vv) was 71.5 and 65.7% homologous to ToxS(Vc) and ToxS(Vp), respectively. The amino acid sequences of ToxRS(Vv) showed transmembrane and activity domains similar to those observed in ToxRS(Vc) and ToxRS(Vp). Western blot analysis proved the expression of ToxR(Vv) in V. vulnificus. ToxRS(Vv) enhanced, in an Escherichia coli background, the expression of the V. vulnificus hemolysin gene (vvhA) fivefold. ToxRS(Vv) also activated the ToxR(Vc)-regulated ctx promoter incorporated into an E. coli chromosome. A toxR(Vv) null mutation decreased hemolysin production. The defect in hemolysin production could be complemented by a plasmid harboring the wild-type gene. The toxR(Vv) mutation also showed a reversed outer membrane protein expression profile in comparison to the isogenic wild-type strain. These results demonstrate that ToxR(Vv) may regulate the virulence expression of V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Proteins
Escherichia coli Proteins
Membrane Proteins
15. Rice  SA, McDougald  D,     ( 2000 )

The marine pathogen Vibrio vulnificus encodes a putative homologue of the Vibrio harveyi regulatory gene, luxR: a genetic and phylogenetic comparison.

Gene 248 (1��2��)
PMID : 10806366  :   DOI  :   10.1016/s0378-1119(00)00117-7    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is an opportunistic pathogen that exhibits numerous virulence factors, including the secretion of a zinc metalloprotease and the production of a capsule. We have cloned and sequenced a gene from V. vulnificus that is a homologue of the positive transcriptional regulator, luxR, of the lux operon in Vibrio harveyi. This gene encodes a putative, single complete open reading frame designated smcR, which shares greater than 75% nucleotide identity with luxR of V. harveyi. The deduced amino acid sequence of the putative SmcR protein is more than 90% identical and 95% similar to that of LuxR of V. harveyi, suggesting that V. vulnificus possesses a member of the family of signal-response genes recently described in Vibrio cholerae and in Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Our data also demonstrate that, in addition to V. vulnificus, all six Vibrio spp. tested contained genes that hybridized with the luxR probe. We also present evidence that this regulatory protein was inherited from a common ancestor, and that the gene is ancient and widespread in marine Vibrio spp.
KeywordMeSH Terms
16. Jeong  KC, Jeong  HS, Rhee  JH, Lee  SE, Chung  SS, Starks  AM, Escudero  GM, Gulig  PA, Choi  SH,     ( 2000 )

Construction and phenotypic evaluation of a Vibrio vulnificus vvpE mutant for elastolytic protease.

Infection and immunity 68 (9)
PMID : 10948131  :   DOI  :   10.1128/iai.68.9.5096-5106.2000     PMC  :   PMC101747    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is an opportunistic gram-negative pathogen that commonly contaminates oysters. Predisposed individuals who consume raw oysters can die within days from sepsis, and even otherwise healthy people are susceptible to serious wound infection after contact with contaminated seafood or seawater. Numerous secreted and cell-associated virulence factors have been proposed to account for the fulminating and destructive nature of V. vulnificus infections. Among the putative virulence factors is an elastolytic metalloprotease. We cloned and sequenced the vvpE gene encoding an elastase of V. vulnificus ATCC 29307. The functions of the elastase were assessed by constructing vvpE insertional knockout mutants and evaluating phenotypic changes in vitro and in mice. Although other types of protease activity were still observed in vvpE mutants, elastase activity was completely absent in the mutants and was restored by reintroducing the recombinant vvpE gene. In contrast to previous characterization of elastase as a potential virulence factor, which was demonstrated by injecting the purified protein into animals, inactivation of the V. vulnificus vvpE gene did not affect the ability of the bacteria to infect mice and cause damage, either locally in subcutaneous tissues or systemically in the liver, in both iron-treated and normal mice. Furthermore, a vvpE mutant was not affected with regard to cytolytic activity toward INT407 epithelial cells or detachment of INT407 cells from culture dishes in vitro. Therefore, it appears that elastase is less important in the pathogenesis of V. vulnificus than would have been predicted by examining the effects of administering purified proteins to animals. However, V. vulnificus utilizes a variety of virulence factors; hence, the effects of inactivation of elastase alone could be masked by other compensatory virulence factors.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Proteins
17. Webster  AC,     ( 2000 )

Cloning and characterization of vuuA, a gene encoding the Vibrio vulnificus ferric vulnibactin receptor.

Infection and immunity 68 (2)
PMID : 10639413  :   DOI  :   10.1128/iai.68.2.526-534.2000     PMC  :   PMC97172    
Abstract >>
The ability of Vibrio vulnificus to acquire iron from the host has been shown to correlate with virulence. Many iron transport genes are regulated by iron, and in V. vulnificus, transcriptional regulation by iron depends on the fur gene. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of a 72-kDa iron-regulated outer membrane protein purified from a V. vulnificus fur mutant had 53% homology with the first 15 amino acids of the mature protein of the Vibrio cholerae vibriobactin receptor, ViuA. In this report, we describe the cloning, DNA sequence, mutagenesis, and analysis of transcriptional regulation of the structural gene for VuuA, the vulnibactin receptor of V. vulnificus. Analysis of the DNA sequence of the vuuA promoter region demonstrated a sequence identical to the upstream Fur box of V. cholerae viuA. Northern blot analysis showed that the transcript was strongly regulated by iron. The amino acid sequence of VuuA was 74% identical to the sequence of V. cholerae ViuA and was homologous to those of several TonB-dependent outer membrane receptors. An internal deletion of the V. vulnificus vuuA gene resulted in the loss of expression of the 72-kDa protein and the loss of the ability to use transferrin or vulnibactin as a source of iron. This mutant showed reduced virulence in an infant mouse model. Introduction of a plasmid containing the complete viuA coding sequence and 342 bp of upstream DNA into the mutant restored ferric vulnibactin and ferric transferrin utilization to the mutant.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genes, Bacterial
18. Osorio  CR,     ( 2000 )

A region of the transmembrane regulatory protein ToxR that tethers the transcriptional activation domain to the cytoplasmic membrane displays wide divergence among Vibrio species.

Journal of bacteriology 182 (2)
PMID : 10629204  :   DOI  :   10.1128/jb.182.2.526-528.2000     PMC  :   PMC94307    
Abstract >>
The virulence regulatory protein ToxR of Vibrio cholerae is unique in that it contains a cytoplasmic DNA-binding-transcriptional activation domain, a transmembrane domain, and a periplasmic domain. Although ToxR and other transmembrane transcriptional activators have been discovered in other bacteria, little is known about their mechanism of activation. Utilizing degenerate oligonucleotides and PCR, we have amplified internal toxR gene sequences from seven Vibrio and Photobacterium species and subspecies, demonstrating that toxR is an ancestral gene of the family Vibrionaceae. Sequence alignment of all available ToxR amino acid sequences revealed a region between the transcriptional activation and transmembrane domains that displays wide divergence among Vibrio species. We hypothesize that this region merely tethers the transcriptional activation domain to the cytoplasmic membrane and thus can tolerate wide divergence and multiple insertions and deletions. The divergence in the tether region at the nucleotide level may provide a useful tool for the distinction of Vibrio and Photobacterium species.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Proteins
Transcriptional Activation
19. Yamanaka  H, Tadokoro  S, Miyano  M, Takahashi  E, Kobayashi  H, Okamoto  K,     ( N/A )

Studies on the region involved in the transport activity of Escherichia coli TolC by chimeric protein analysis.

Microbial pathogenesis 42 (5��6��)
PMID : 17350794  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.micpath.2007.01.006    
Abstract >>
Gram-negative bacteria possess the outer membrane protein TolC which acts as an exit duct across the outer membrane. However, the region involved in the transport activity of TolC has remained unclear. We analyzed this region by creating chimeric TolCs. First, we expressed the genes for TolCs of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (vp-tolC) and Salmonella typhimurium (sal-tolC) in Escherichia coli. The levels of sequence identity in the mature region of VP-TolC/EC-TolC and Sal-TolC/EC-TolC with maximum matching are 43% and 90%, respectively. We found that the transport activity of VP-TolC was weak compared with that of TolC of E. coli (EC-TolC) although the transport activity of Sal-TolC was similar to that of EC-TolC. A comparison of the sequence of the three tolCs showed that the sequence around the periplasmic region covering Asn-188 to Lys-214 of EC-TolC is lowly identical to that of VP-TolC although the region of EC-TolC is almost identical to that of Sal-TolC. We think, therefore, that the region covering Asn-188 to Lys-214 of EC-TolC may have an important role to express its transport activity in E. coli. To examine the possibility, we divided the region of EC-TolC into three and exchanged the gene for each portion with that of vp-tolC. These mutant ec-tolCs were expressed in E. coli and the activity of each chimeric TolC was measured. The results showed that the portion covering Val-198 to Lys-214 of EC-TolC is deeply involved in the transport activity.
KeywordMeSH Terms
20. Szekeres  S, Dauti  M, Wilde  C, Mazel  D, Rowe-Magnus  DA,     ( 2007 )

Chromosomal toxin-antitoxin loci can diminish large-scale genome reductions in the absence of selection.

Molecular microbiology 63 (6)
PMID : 17367382  :   DOI  :   10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05613.x    
Abstract >>
Superintegrons (SIs) are chromosomal genetic elements containing assemblies of genes, each flanked by a recombination sequence (attC site) targeted by the integron integrase. SIs may contain hundreds of attC sites and intrinsic instability is anticipated; yet SIs are remarkably stable. This implies that either selective pressure maintains the genes or mechanisms exist which favour their persistence in the absence of selection. Toxin/antitoxin (TA) systems encode a stable toxin and a specific, unstable antitoxin. Once activated, the continued synthesis of the unstable antitoxin is necessary for cell survival. A bioinformatic search of accessible microbial genomes for SIs and TA systems revealed that large SIs harboured TA gene cassettes while smaller SIs did not. We demonstrated the function of TA loci in different genomic contexts where large-scale deletions can occur; in SIs and in a 165 kb dispensable region of the Escherichia coli genome. When devoid of TA loci, large-scale genome loss was evident in both environments. The inclusion of two TA loci, relBE1 and parDE1, which we identified in the Vibrio vulnificus SI rendered these environments refractory to gene loss. Thus, chromosomal TA loci can stabilize massive SI arrays and limit the extensive gene loss that is a hallmark of reductive evolution.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genome, Bacterial
Selection, Genetic
21. Bisharat  N, Amaro  C, Fouz  B, Llorens  A, Cohen  DI,     ( 2007 )

Serological and molecular characteristics of Vibrio vulnificus biotype 3: evidence for high clonality.

Microbiology (Reading, England) 153 (Pt 3)
PMID : 17322205  :   DOI  :   10.1099/mic.0.2006/003723-0    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus biotype 3 has been implicated as the causative pathogen of an ongoing disease outbreak that erupted in Israel in 1996. Recent work based on multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) showed that V. vulnificus biotype 3 is genetically homogeneous. The aim of this study was to investigate the existence of subpopulations within this homogeneous biotype by characterizing the surface antigens and analysing the sequence diversity of selected outer-membrane protein (OMP)-encoding genes. Rabbit antisera were prepared against biotype 1, 2 and 3 strains. The results of the slide-agglutination test, dot-blot assay (using fresh and boiled cells), and immunoblotting of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and OMPs were evaluated. By slide-agglutination and dot-blot assays all biotype 3 strains agglutinated with the selected biotype 3 strain. This homogeneity was supported by immunoblot analysis of the LPS. Analysis of OMP patterns revealed that all three biotypes share a considerable number of common bands that are antigenically related. Cluster analysis of DNA sequence data from selected OMP-encoding genes showed that biotype 3 strains form a genetically distinct and homogeneous clone. The homogeneity of surface antigens and the lack of any sequence diversity among both housekeeping and OMP-encoding genes reaffirms the highly clonal nature of biotype 3 and suggests that it has only recently descended from the parent population of V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
22. Nhung  PH, Shah  MM, Ohkusu  K, Noda  M, Hata  H, Sun  XS, Iihara  H, Goto  K, Masaki  T, Miyasaka  J, Ezaki  T,     ( 2007 )

The dnaJ gene as a novel phylogenetic marker for identification of Vibrio species.

Systematic and applied microbiology 30 (4)
PMID : 17207598  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.syapm.2006.11.004    
Abstract >>
The utility of the dnaJ gene for identifying Vibrio species was investigated by analyzing dnaJ sequences of 57 type strains and 22 clinical strains and comparing sequence homologies with those of the 16S rDNA gene and other housekeeping genes (recA, rpoA, hsp60). Among the 57 Vibrio species, the mean sequence similarity of the dnaJ gene (77.9%) was significantly less than that of the 16S rDNA gene (97.2%), indicating a high discriminatory power of the dnaJ gene. Most Vibrio species were, therefore, differentiated well by dnaJ sequence analysis. Compared to other housekeeping genes, the dnaJ gene showed better resolution than recA or rpoA for differentiating Vibrio coralliilyticus from Vibrio neptunius and Vibrio harveyi from Vibrio rotiferianus. Among the clinical strains, all 22 human pathogenic strains, including an atypical strain, were correctly identified by the dnaJ sequence. Our findings suggest that analysis of the dnaJ gene sequence can be used as a new tool for the identification of Vibrio species.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genes, Bacterial
HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins
23. Tarr  CL, Patel  JS, Puhr  ND, Sowers  EG, Bopp  CA, Strockbine  NA,     ( 2007 )

Identification of Vibrio isolates by a multiplex PCR assay and rpoB sequence determination.

Journal of clinical microbiology 45 (1)
PMID : 17093013  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JCM.01544-06     PMC  :   PMC1828960    
Abstract >>
Vibrio, a diverse genus of aquatic bacteria, currently includes 72 species, 12 of which occur in human clinical samples. Of these 12, three species--Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus-account for the majority of Vibrio infections in humans. Rapid and accurate identification of Vibrio species has been problematic because phenotypic characteristics are variable within species and biochemical identification requires 2 or more days to complete. To facilitate the identification of human-pathogenic species, we developed a multiplex PCR that uses species-specific primers to amplify gene regions in four species (V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, and V. mimicus). The assay was tested on a sample of 309 Vibrio isolates representing 26 named species (including 12 human pathogens) that had been characterized by biochemical methods. A total of 190 isolates that had been identified as one of the four target species all yielded results consistent with the previous classification. The assay identified an additional four V. parahaemolyticus isolates among the other 119 isolates. Sequence analysis based on rpoB was used to validate the multiplex results for these four isolates, and all clustered with other V. parahaemolyticus sequences. The rpoB sequences for 12 of 15 previously unidentified isolates clustered with other Vibrio species in a phylogenetic analysis, and three isolates appeared to represent unnamed Vibrio species. The PCR assay provides a simple, rapid, and reliable tool for identification of the major Vibrio pathogens in clinical samples, and rpoB sequencing provides an additional identification tool for other species in the genus Vibrio.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Sequence Analysis, DNA
24. Tracz  DM, Backhouse  PG, Olson  AB, McCrea  JK, Walsh  JA, Ng  LK, Gilmour  MW,     ( 2007 )

Rapid detection of Vibrio species using liquid microsphere arrays and real-time PCR targeting the ftsZ locus.

Journal of medical microbiology 56 (Pt 1)
PMID : 17172518  :   DOI  :   10.1099/jmm.0.46759-0    
Abstract >>
The development of rapid and sensitive molecular techniques for the detection of Vibrio species would be useful for the surveillance of sporadic infections and management of major outbreaks. Comparative sequence analysis of the ftsZ gene in the predominant Vibrio species that cause human disease revealed distinct alleles for each examined species, including Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus. Light Upon eXtension (LUX) real-time PCR assays were developed to target these species-specific polymorphisms, and were successful in rapidly differentiating the major pathogenic Vibrio species. Luminex liquid microsphere array technology was used to develop a comprehensive assay capable of simultaneously detecting V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus. These assays permitted the identification of a presumptive V. parahaemolyticus isolate as Vibrio alginolyticus, which was verified using additional molecular characterization.
KeywordMeSH Terms
25. Roh  JB, Lee  MA, Lee  HJ, Kim  SM, Cho  Y, Kim  YJ, Seok  YJ, Park  SJ, Lee  KH,     ( 2006 )

Transcriptional regulatory cascade for elastase production in Vibrio vulnificus: LuxO activates luxT expression and LuxT represses smcR expression.

The Journal of biological chemistry 281 (46)
PMID : 16971386  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.M607844200    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus causes diseases through actions of various virulence factors, including the elastase encoded by the vvpE gene. Through transposon mutagenesis of V. vulnificus, vvpE expression was shown to be increased by luxO mutation. Since the vvpE gene is known to be positively regulated by SmcR via direct binding to the vvpE promoter, the role of LuxO in smcR expression was investigated. The luxAB-transcriptional fusions containing different lengths of the smcR promoter region indicated that the smcR transcription was negatively regulated by LuxO and that a specific upstream region of the smcR gene was required for this repression. Since LuxO is a known member of positive regulators, the negative regulation of smcR transcription by LuxO prompted us to identify the factor(s) linking LuxO and smcR transcription. LuxT was isolated in a ligand fishing experiment using the smcR upstream region as bait, and smcR expression was increased by luxT mutation. Recombinant LuxT bound to a specific upstream region of the smcR gene, -154 to -129 relative to the smcR transcription start site. The expression of luxT was positively regulated by LuxO, and the luxT promoter region contained a putative LuxO-binding site. Mutagenesis of the LuxO-binding site in the luxT promoter region resulted in a loss of transcriptional control by LuxO. Therefore, this study demonstrates a transcriptional regulatory cascade for elastase production, where LuxO activates luxT transcription and LuxT represses smcR transcription.
KeywordMeSH Terms
26. Chatzidaki-Livanis  M, Jones  MK, Wright  AC,     ( 2006 )

Genetic variation in the Vibrio vulnificus group 1 capsular polysaccharide operon.

Journal of bacteriology 188 (5)
PMID : 16484211  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JB.188.5.1987-1998.2006     PMC  :   PMC1426558    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus produces human disease associated with raw-oyster consumption or wound infections, but fatalities are limited to persons with chronic underlying illness. Capsular polysaccharide (CPS) is required for virulence, and CPS expression correlates with opaque (Op) colonies that show "phase variation" to avirulent translucent (Tr) phenotypes with reduced CPS. The results discussed here confirmed homology of a V. vulnificus CPS locus to the group 1 CPS operon in Escherichia coli. However, two distinct V. vulnificus genotypes or alleles were associated with the operon, and they diverged at sequences encoding hypothetical proteins and also at unique, intergenic repetitive DNA elements. Phase variation was examined under conditions that promoted high-frequency transition of Op to Tr forms. Recovery of Tr isolates in these experiments showed multiple genotypes, which were designated TR1, TR2, and TR3: CPS operons of TR1 isolates were identical to the Op parent, and cells remained phase variable but expressed reduced CPS. TR2 and TR3 showed deletion mutations in one (wzb) or multiple genes, respectively, and deletion mutants were acapsular and locked in the Tr phase. Complementation in trans restored the Op phenotype in strains with the wzb deletion mutation. Allelic variation in repetitive elements determined the locations, rates, and extents of deletion mutations. Thus, different mechanisms are responsible for reversible phase variation in CPS expression versus genetic deletions in the CPS operon of V. vulnificus. Repetitive-element-mediated deletion mutations were highly conserved within the species and are likely to promote survival in estuarine environments.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Operon
27. Parvathi  A, Kumar  HS, Karunasagar  I, Karunasagar  I,     ( 2005 )

Study of the occurrence of Vibrio vulnificus in oysters in India by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and heterogeneity among V. vulnificus by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA PCR and gyrB sequence analysis.

Environmental microbiology 7 (7)
PMID : 15946295  :   DOI  :   10.1111/j.1462-2920.2005.00770.x    
Abstract >>
The pathogenic bacterium Vibrio vulnificus is widely distributed in estuarine waters throughout the world. In this study, the presence of V. vulnificus in oysters was studied both by conventional culture and DNA-based molecular technique. Following enrichment in alkaline peptone water (APW), the bacteria were lysed and a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for vvhA gene was performed. The effect of duration of enrichment on the sensitivity of detection by PCR was evaluated. The organism was isolated from 43% of samples after 18 h enrichment in APW by conventional culture method. Nested PCR amplifying a fragment of vvhA gene detected the organism in 11%, 60% and 81% of samples following 0, 6 and 18 h of enrichment. All the biochemically identified V. vulnificus strains possessed vvhA gene and belonged to biotype 1. The genetic relatedness among the strains was studied by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR and gyrB sequence analysis. The results suggest the presence of two distinct clonal groups of V. vulnificus in oysters in India. The study demonstrates, for the first time that gyrB sequence analysis could be used to study the genetic diversity of V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
28. Park  NY, Lee  JH, Kim  MW, Jeong  HG, Lee  BC, Kim  TS, Choi  SH,     ( 2006 )

Identification of the Vibrio vulnificus wbpP gene and evaluation of its role in virulence.

Infection and immunity 74 (1)
PMID : 16369029  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.74.1.721-728.2006     PMC  :   PMC1346593    
Abstract >>
A wbpP gene encoding a putative UDP-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine C(4) epimerase was identified and cloned from Vibrio vulnificus. The functions of the wbpP gene, assessed by the construction of an isogenic mutant and by evaluating its phenotype changes, demonstrated that WbpP is essential in both the pathogenesis and the capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis of V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
29. Senoh  M, Miyoshi  S, Okamoto  K, Fouz  B, Amaro  C, Shinoda  S,     ( 2005 )

The cytotoxin-hemolysin genes of human and eel pathogenic Vibrio vulnificus strains: comparison of nucleotide sequences and application to the genetic grouping.

Microbiology and immunology 49 (6)
PMID : 15965298  :   DOI  :   10.1111/j.1348-0421.2005.tb03756.x    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus can be divided into two groups on the basis of pathogenesis. Group 1 is pathogenic only to humans, whereas group 2 is pathogenic to eels and occasionally to humans. Although both groups produce a 50-kDa cytotoxin-hemolysin (V. vulnificus hemolysin; VVH), the toxins are different. In the present study, the nucleotide sequence of the toxin gene (vvhA) of strain CDC B3547 (a group 2 strain) was determined, and the deduced amino acid sequence was compared to that of strain L-180 (a group 1 strain). The nucleotide sequence of vvhA of strain CDC B3547 was about 96% identical with that of strain L-180, which results in a difference of 3 amino acid residues in the C-terminal lectin domain of VVH. Nevertheless, two primer sets for polymerase chain reaction could be designed to differentiate the toxin gene of each strain. When 27 V. vulnificus clinical isolates were tested, group 1 strains (9 strains) were shown to react only to the primers designed for vvhA of strain L-180; whereas, the gene of group 2 strains (18 strains) could be amplified with the primers for vvhA of strain CDC B3547. These findings may lead to development of a novel genetic grouping system related to the virulence potential or to the host range.
KeywordMeSH Terms
30. Lee  JH, Yang  ST, Rho  SH, Im  YJ, Kim  SY, Kim  YR, Kim  MK, Kang  GB, Kim  JI, Rhee  JH, Eom  SH,     ( 2006 )

Crystal structure and functional studies reveal that PAS factor from Vibrio vulnificus is a novel member of the saposin-fold family.

Journal of molecular biology 355 (3)
PMID : 16318855  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.jmb.2005.10.074    
Abstract >>
PAS factor is a novel putative bacterial secretion factor thought to induce secretion of periplasmic proteins. We solved the crystal structure of PAS factor from Vibrio vulnificus at 1.8A resolution and found it to be comprised of five alpha helices that form an antiparallel bundle with an up-and-down topology, and to adopt the saposin-fold characteristic of a family of proteins that bind to membranes and lipids. PAS factor lacks the disulfide bridge characteristic of mammalian saposin-fold proteins; in fact, it shows no sequence homology with mammalian proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular architectures are similar, and the shared propensity for membrane interaction suggests strongly that PAS factor is another member of the saposin-fold family. Analysis of the CD spectra showed that PAS factor binds to membranes directly, while measurement of calcein dye leakage showed that PAS factor interacts strongly with liposomes composed of anionic phospholipids, making them leaky, but binds very weakly with liposomes composed of zwitterionic phospholipids. Moreover, by analyzing tryptophan fluorescence emission from four single-tryptophan mutants (V10W, T22W, F35W, and L70W), we identified the putative phospholipid-binding site of PAS factor. The resultant membrane destabilization likely mediates secretion of periplasmic proteins required for the in vivo survival and pathogenesis of V.vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
31. Poirel  L, Liard  A, Rodriguez-Martinez  JM, Nordmann  P,     ( 2005 )

Vibrionaceae as a possible source of Qnr-like quinolone resistance determinants.

The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy 56 (6)
PMID : 16227349  :   DOI  :   10.1093/jac/dki371    
Abstract >>
To gain insight into the functionality of qnr-like genes of several bacterial species of Vibrionaceae that may encode quinolone resistance determinants. A PCR-based strategy was used to obtain qnr-like genes of reference strains of Vibrio vulnificus CIP103196, Vibrio parahaemolyticus CIP71.2 and Photobacterium profundum CIP106289 that were sequenced, cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. MICs of quinolones were determined for these reference strains and an E. coli reference strain harbouring recombinant plasmids. The Qnr-like proteins of these Vibrionaceae bacterial species shared 40-67% amino acid identity with the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants QnrA, QnrB and QnrS with a series of highly conserved residues. Once cloned in E. coli they conferred reduced susceptibility to quinolones. This work provides further evidence that water-borne Vibrionaceae may constitute a reservoir for Qnr-like quinolone resistance determinants.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Transfer, Horizontal
Genes, Bacterial
32. Rosche  TM, Yano  Y, Oliver  JD,     ( 2005 )

A rapid and simple PCR analysis indicates there are two subgroups of Vibrio vulnificus which correlate with clinical or environmental isolation.

Microbiology and immunology 49 (4)
PMID : 15840964  :   DOI  :   10.1111/j.1348-0421.2005.tb03731.x    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is an estuarine bacterium which is the causative agent of both food-borne disease and wound infection. Although V. vulnificus is commonly found in molluscan shellfish at high numbers, the incidence of disease is relatively low, leading to the hypothesis that not all strains of V. vulnificus are equally virulent. Unfortunately, there is currently no easy test to identify virulent strains of this species. We have previously identified a 200 bp randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) PCR amplicon associated with clinical isolates. DNA sequence data from this locus in six clinical and four environmental isolates showed that the strains could be divided into two groups, which we termed C-type (correlates with clinical origin) and E-type (correlates with environmental origin). We designed PCR primers that could distinguish between the two groups, and typed 55 randomly selected strains. We found that 90% of the C-type strains were clinical isolates, while 93% of environmental isolates were classified as E-type. The region directly downstream of this locus contained a heptanucleotide sequence repeated various times depending on the strain. Using a PCR-based assay to detect the repeat number present in a given strain, we found a statistically significant correlation with the C/E type classification and the number of repeats. The data reported here are consistent with the existence of two genotypes of V. vulnificus, with the C-type being a strong indicator of potential virulence.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Polymerase Chain Reaction
33. Grau  BL, Henk  MC, Pettis  GS,     ( 2005 )

High-frequency phase variation of Vibrio vulnificus 1003: isolation and characterization of a rugose phenotypic variant.

Journal of bacteriology 187 (7)
PMID : 15774896  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JB.187.7.2519-2525.2005     PMC  :   PMC1065241    
Abstract >>
The marine bacterium Vibrio vulnificus is a human pathogen that can spontaneously switch between virulent opaque and avirulent translucent phenotypes. Here, we document an additional form, the rugose variant, which produces copious biofilms and which may contribute both to pathogenicity of V. vulnificus and to its survival under adverse environmental conditions.
KeywordMeSH Terms
34. Thompson  FL, Gevers  D, Thompson  CC, Dawyndt  P, Naser  S, Hoste  B, Munn  CB, Swings  J,     ( 2005 )

Phylogeny and molecular identification of vibrios on the basis of multilocus sequence analysis.

Applied and environmental microbiology 71 (9)
PMID : 16151093  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.71.9.5107-5115.2005     PMC  :   PMC1214639    
Abstract >>
We analyzed the usefulness of rpoA, recA, and pyrH gene sequences for the identification of vibrios. We sequenced fragments of these loci from a collection of 208 representative strains, including 192 well-documented Vibrionaceae strains and 16 presumptive Vibrio isolates associated with coral bleaching. In order to determine the intraspecies variation among the three loci, we included several representative strains per species. The phylogenetic trees constructed with the different genetic loci were roughly in agreement with former polyphasic taxonomic studies, including the 16S rRNA-based phylogeny of vibrios. The families Vibrionaceae, Photobacteriaceae, Enterovibrionaceae, and Salinivibrionaceae were all differentiated on the basis of each genetic locus. Each species clearly formed separated clusters with at least 98, 94, and 94% rpoA, recA, and pyrH gene sequence similarity, respectively. The genus Vibrio was heterogeneous and polyphyletic, with Vibrio fischeri, V. logei, and V. wodanis grouping closer to the Photobacterium genus. V. halioticoli-, V. harveyi-, V. splendidus-, and V. tubiashii-related species formed groups within the genus Vibrio. Overall, the three genetic loci were more discriminatory among species than were 16S rRNA sequences. In some cases, e.g., within the V. splendidus and V. tubiashii group, rpoA gene sequences were slightly less discriminatory than recA and pyrH sequences. In these cases, the combination of several loci will yield the most robust identification. We can conclude that strains of the same species will have at least 98, 94, and 94% rpoA, recA, and pyrH gene sequence similarity, respectively.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Typing Techniques
Phylogeny
Sequence Analysis, DNA
35. Paranjpye  RN, Strom  MS,     ( 2005 )

A Vibrio vulnificus type IV pilin contributes to biofilm formation, adherence to epithelial cells, and virulence.

Infection and immunity 73 (3)
PMID : 15731039  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.73.3.1411-1422.2005     PMC  :   PMC1064924    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus expresses a multitude of cell-associated and secreted factors that potentially contribute to pathogenicity, although the specific roles of most of these factors have been difficult to define. Previously we have shown that a mutation in pilD (originally designated vvpD), which encodes a type IV prepilin peptidase/N-methyltransferase, abolishes expression of surface pili, suggesting that they belong to the type IV class. In addition, a pilD mutant exhibits reduced adherence to HEp-2 cells, a block in secretion of several exoenzymes that follow the type II secretion pathway, and decreased virulence. In this study, we have cloned and characterized a V. vulnificus type IV pilin (PilA) that shares extensive homology to group A type IV pilins expressed by many pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae (PilA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PilA), and Aeromonas hydrophila (TapA). The V. vulnificus pilA gene is part of an operon and is clustered with three other pilus biogenesis genes, pilBCD. Inactivation of pilA reduces the ability of V. vulnificus to form biofilms and significantly decreases adherence to HEp-2 cells and virulence in iron dextran-treated mice. Southern blot analysis demonstrates the widespread presence of both pilA and pilD in clinical as well as environmental strains of V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Adhesion
36. Takahashi  H, Hara-Kudo  Y, Miyasaka  J, Kumagai  S, Konuma  H,     ( 2005 )

Development of a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction targeted to the toxR for detection of Vibrio vulnificus.

Journal of microbiological methods 61 (1)
PMID : 15676198  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.mimet.2004.11.005    
Abstract >>
The TaqMan assay, a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), was developed to target the ToxR gene (toxR) of Vibrio vulnificus. The toxR of V. vulnificus was cloned and sequenced. Based on these results, we designed specific primers and a probe for use in the quantitative PCR assay. Twenty-nine strains of V. vulnificus that were obtained from various sources produced a single PCR product. The amount of final amplification product and threshold cycle number were the same among the strains. We used the method to detect V. vulnificus in seawater and oyster samples. We developed standard curves to quantitate V. vulnificus numbers using the PCR from seawater and oyster samples. The standard curves were not different from that of the pure culture of V. vulnificus. We found the assay was very sensitive detecting as few as 10 microbes per milliliter of seawater and oyster homogenate. Moreover, we evaluated the TaqMan assay to detect V. vulnificus in seawater samples. The numbers of V. vulnificus counted by the TaqMan assay were similar to those by a culture method in almost samples. The TaqMan assay was performed within 2 h compared to days using the culture method. The results indicate the TaqMan assay method used in this study was rapid, effective and quantitative for monitoring V. vulnificus contamination in seawater and seafoods such as oysters.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Food Microbiology
Water Microbiology
37. Tanabe  T, Takata  N, Naka  A, Moon  YH, Nakao  H, Inoue  Y, Narimatsu  S, Yamamoto  S,     ( 2005 )

Identification of an AraC-like regulator gene required for induction of the 78-kDa ferrioxamine B receptor in Vibrio vulnificus.

FEMS microbiology letters 249 (2)
PMID : 16000245  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.femsle.2005.06.025    
Abstract >>
We previously reported that the 78-kDa outer membrane receptor for ferrioxamine B is induced in iron-starved Vibrio vulnificus cells when desferrioxamine B was supplied exogenously. Based on its N-terminal amino acid sequence, a candidate gene for the ferrichrome B receptor was detected in the V. vulnificus CMCP6 genomic database. Here, two contiguous genes, named desR and desA, encoding a member of the AraC family of transcriptional activators and the ferrioxamine B receptor, respectively, were cloned from V. vulnificus M2799 and characterized. Primer extension analysis mapped the iron-regulated transcription initiation sites for desR and desA, and demonstrated involvement of desferrioxamine B in the induction of desA transcription. Insertion mutation of desR resulted in no production of DesA under iron-limiting conditions even in the presence of desferrioxamine B. The DesA production under the same conditions was restored to wild-type levels when the desR mutant was complemented with desR in trans. These results suggest that the desR gene is required for desferrioxamine B-inducible production of DesA in iron-starved cells.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Genes, Regulator
38. Chen  YC, Chang  MC, Chuang  YC, Jeang  CL,     ( 2004 )

Characterization and virulence of hemolysin III from Vibrio vulnificus.

Current microbiology 49 (3)
PMID : 15386100  :   DOI  :   10.1007/s00284-004-4288-5    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus, a highly virulent marine bacterium, is the causative agent of both serious wound infections and fatal septicemia in many areas of the word. A gene (hlyIII) encoding a hemolysin was cloned and sequenced from V. vulnificus. Nucleotide sequence analysis predicted an open reading frame of 642 bp encoding a 214 amino acid polypeptide that showed 48% sequence identity to the hemolysin III of Bacillus cereus. When HlyIII of V. vulnificus was expressed in Escherichia coli, crude extracts exhibited hemolytic activity similar to that of hemolysin III from Bacillus cereus. A hlyIII isogenic mutant was constructed via insertional inactivation and showed an attenuated virulence compared with the wild-type strain when this mutant was administered intraperitoneally in mice.
KeywordMeSH Terms
39. Richards  GP,     ( 2004 )

Structural and functional analyses of phosphoglucose isomerase from Vibrio vulnificus and its lysyl aminopeptidase activity.

Biochimica et biophysica acta 1702 (1)
PMID : 15450853  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.bbapap.2004.08.003    
Abstract >>
Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) with a novel lysyl aminopeptidase (LysAP) activity was recently isolated and partially characterized from the human pathogen, Vibrio vulnificus. This PGI is a heterodimer consisting of 60.8- and 23.4-kDa subunits, which together provide LysAP activity. The present study further characterizes the complex structure and functions of Vibrio PGI and draws parallels with rabbit and human PGI. A Proscan search of Vibrio PGI revealed 194 different structural motifs of which 124 and 127 were also found in rabbit and human PGI, respectively. Vibrio PGI contains motifs for the serine, histidine and aspartic acid active sites of the subtilase family of serine proteases which form a putative catalytic triad consisting of His534 and Ser159 on the 60.8-kDa subunit and Asp53 on the 23.4-kDa subunit. Together, they form one LysAP site for each heterodimer. Each active site motif is overlapped by motifs for EF-hand calcium binding domains. The LysAP activity was inhibited by the addition of > or =10 microM Ca2+, suggesting that the EF-hand calcium-binding domain may be a natural regulatory region for LysAP activity. In contrast, PGI's isomerase activity was enhanced at Ca2+ concentrations >100 microM. PGI-LysAP cleaved the amino-terminal lysyl residue from des-Arg10-kallidin producing des-Arg9-bradykinin; therefore, Vibrio PGI-LysAP may serve as a virulence factor to enhance Vibrio invasiveness. Together, these data provide a framework to account for PGI's LysAP activity and further demonstrate the structural complexity and functional importance of this molecule.
KeywordMeSH Terms
40. Chang  CC, Chuang  YC, Chen  YC, Chang  MC,     ( 2004 )

Bright fluorescence of a novel protein from Vibrio vulnificus depends on NADPH and the expression of this protein is regulated by a LysR-type regulatory gene.

Biochemical and biophysical research communications 319 (1)
PMID : 15158463  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.bbrc.2004.04.168    
Abstract >>
A blue fluorescent protein, BfgV, belonging to the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily, was found in a non-bioluminescent pathogen Vibrio vulnificus CKM-1. This protein has fluorescence spectra with two excitation peaks at 283 and 352 nm, and one emission peak at 456 nm. BfgV fluoresces through effectively augmenting the intrinsic fluorescence of NADPH bound to it. Escherichia coli transformants expressing this protein can emit eye-detectable fluorescence. A LysR-type transcriptional regulator gene bfgR was found at the vicinal upstream region of bfgV in CKM-1 genome. The clues that products of bfgR can specifically bind to bfgR-bfgV intergenic promoter region and the deletion of bfgR significantly decreases the expression of bfgV reveal bfgR is a repressor gene of bfgV in V. vulnificus CKM-1.
KeywordMeSH Terms
41. Thompson  CC, Thompson  FL, Vandemeulebroecke  K, Hoste  B, Dawyndt  P, Swings  J,     ( 2004 )

Use of recA as an alternative phylogenetic marker in the family Vibrionaceae.

International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 54 (Pt 3)
PMID : 15143042  :   DOI  :   10.1099/ijs.0.02963-0    
Abstract >>
This study analysed the usefulness of recA gene sequences as an alternative phylogenetic and/or identification marker for vibrios. The recA sequences suggest that the genus Vibrio is polyphyletic. The high heterogeneity observed within vibrios was congruent with former polyphasic taxonomic studies on this group. Photobacterium species clustered together and apparently nested within vibrios, while Grimontia hollisae was apart from other vibrios. Within the vibrios, Vibrio cholerae and Vibrio mimicus clustered apart from the other genus members. Vibrio harveyi- and Vibrio splendidus-related species formed compact separated groups. On the other hand, species related to Vibrio tubiashii appeared scattered in the phylogenetic tree. The pairs Vibrio coralliilyticus and Vibrio neptunius, Vibrio nereis and Vibrio xuii and V. tubiashii and Vibrio brasiliensis clustered completely apart from each other. There was a correlation of 0.58 between recA and 16S rDNA pairwise similarities. Strains of the same species have at least 94 % recA sequence similarity. recA gene sequences are much more discriminatory than 16S rDNA. For 16S rDNA similarity values above 98 % there was a wide range of recA similarities, from 83 to 99 %.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genes, Bacterial
42. Park  KJ, Kang  MJ, Kim  SH, Lee  HJ, Lim  JK, Choi  SH, Park  SJ, Lee  KH,     ( 2004 )

Isolation and characterization of rpoS from a pathogenic bacterium, Vibrio vulnificus: role of sigmaS in survival of exponential-phase cells under oxidative stress.

Journal of bacteriology 186 (11)
PMID : 15150215  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JB.186.11.3304-3312.2004     PMC  :   PMC415748    
Abstract >>
A gene homologous to rpoS was cloned from a fatal human pathogen, Vibrio vulnificus. The functional role of rpoS in V. vulnificus was accessed by using an rpoS knockout mutant strain. This mutant was impaired in terms of the ability to survive under oxidative stress, nutrient starvation, UV irradiation, or acidic conditions. The increased susceptibility of the V. vulnificus mutant in the exponential phase to H2O2 was attributed to the reduced activity of hydroperoxidase I (HPI). Although sigmaS synthesis was induced and HPI activity reached the maximal level in the stationary phase, the mutant in the stationary phase showed the same susceptibility to H2O2 as the wild-type strain in the stationary phase. In addition, HPII activity, which is known to be controlled by sigmaS in Escherichia coli, was not detectable in V. vulnificus strains under the conditions tested. The mutant in the exponential phase complemented with multiple copies of either the rpoS or katG gene of V. vulnificus recovered both resistance to H2O2 and HPI activity compared with the control strain. Expression of the katG gene encoding HPI in V. vulnificus was monitored by using a katG::luxAB transcriptional fusion. The expression of this gene was significantly reduced by deletion of sigmaS in both the early exponential and late stationary phases. Thus, sigmaS is necessary for increased synthesis and activity of HPI, and sigmaS is required for exponentially growing V. vulnificus to develop the ability to survive in the presence of H2O2.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Oxidative Stress
43. Lee  JH, Rho  JB, Park  KJ, Kim  CB, Han  YS, Choi  SH, Lee  KH, Park  SJ,     ( 2004 )

Role of flagellum and motility in pathogenesis of Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 72 (8)
PMID : 15271959  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.72.8.4905-4910.2004     PMC  :   PMC470688    
Abstract >>
To assess the role of the flagellum which was detected by immunoscreening of surface proteins of Vibrio vulnificus, an flgE-deleted mutant was constructed and tested for its pathogenicity. The ability of this nonmotile mutant to adhere to INT-407 cells and its role in biofilm were decreased, as was its lethality to mice.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Movement
44. Richards  GP, Hammer  CH, Garfield  MK, Parveen  S,     ( 2004 )

Characterization of a lysyl aminopeptidase activity associated with phosphoglucose isomerase of Vibrio vulnificus.

Biochimica et biophysica acta 1700 (2)
PMID : 15262231  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.bbapap.2004.05.005    
Abstract >>
Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) is a multifunctional enzyme involved in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis and, in mammalian cells, functions as neuroleukin, autocrine motility factor (AMF), and differentiation and maturation factor (MF). We isolated and characterized PGI with a novel lysyl aminopeptidase (LysAP) activity (PGI-LysAP) from Vibrio vulnificus. Mass spectrometry revealed that PGI-LysAP is a heterodimer consisting of 23.4- and 60.8-kDa subunits. Only the heterodimer displayed LysAP activity. PGI-LysAP has a pI around 6.0 and high specificity toward the synthetic, fluorogenic substrate l-lysyl-7-amino-4-methylcoumarin. LysAP activity is optimal at pH 8.0, is 64% higher at 37 degrees C than at 21 degrees C, does not directly correlate with virulence, and is strongly inhibited by serine protease and metalloprotease inhibitors. PGI-LysAP was also identified in Vibrio parahaemolyticus and V. cholerae, but was absent from non-Vibrio human pathogens. Sequencing of the pgi gene revealed 1653 bp coding for a 550-amino-acid protein. Cloned and expressed PGI formed a homodimer with isomerase activity, but not LysAP activity. The finding of LysAP activity associated with heterodimeric PGI should foster a broad search for putative substrates in an effort to elucidate the role of PGI-LysAP in bacteria and its roles in the pathophysiology of diseases.
KeywordMeSH Terms
45. Su  JH, Chang  MC, Lee  YS, Tseng  IC, Chuang  YC,     ( 2004 )

Cloning and characterization of the lipase and lipase activator protein from Vibrio vulnificus CKM-1.

Biochimica et biophysica acta 1678 (1)
PMID : 15093133  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.bbaexp.2004.01.003    
Abstract >>
The gene (lipA) encoding the extracellular lipase and its downstream gene (lipB) from Vibrio vulnificus CKM-1 were cloned and sequenced. Nucleotide sequence analysis and alignments of amino acid sequences suggest that Lip Ais a member of bacterial lipase family I.1 and that LipB is a lipase activator of LipA. The active LipA was produced in recombinant Escherichia coli cells only in the presence of the lipB. In the hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl esters and triacylglycerols, using the reactivated LipA, the optimum chain lengths for the acyl moiety on the substrate were C14 for ester hydrolysis and C10 to C12 for triacylglycerol hydrolysis.
KeywordMeSH Terms
46. Chen  YC, Chuang  YC, Chang  CC, Jeang  CL, Chang  MC,     ( 2004 )

A K+ yptake protein, TrkA, is required for serum, protamine, and polymyxin B resistance in Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 72 (2)
PMID : 14742502  :   DOI  :   10.1128/iai.72.2.629-636.2004     PMC  :   PMC321579    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus, a highly virulent marine bacterium, is the causative agent of both serious wound infections and fatal septicemia in many areas of the world. To identify the genes required for resistance to human serum, we constructed a library of transposon mutants of V. vulnificus and screened them for hypersensitivity to human serum. Here we report that one of the isolated serum-susceptible mutants had a mutation in an open reading frame identified as trkA, a gene encoding an amino acid sequence showing high identity to that of TrkA of Vibrio alginolyticus, a protein required for the uptake of potassium. A trkA isogenic mutant was constructed via insertional inactivation, and it was significantly more easily killed by human serum, protamine, or polymyxin B than was the wild type. At K+ concentrations of 1 to 20 mM, this isogenic mutant showed attenuated growth compared to the wild-type strain. In addition, infection experiments demonstrated virulence attenuation when this mutant was administered intraperitoneally or subcutaneously to both normal and iron-treated mice, indicating that TrkA may modulate the transport of potassium and resistance to host innate defenses and that it is important for virulence in mice.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Blood Bactericidal Activity
Receptor, trkA
47. Watanabe  H, Miyoshi  S, Kawase  T, Tomochika  K, Shinoda  S,     ( 2004 )

High growing ability of Vibrio vulnificus biotype 1 is essential for production of a toxic metalloprotease causing systemic diseases in humans.

Microbial pathogenesis 36 (3)
PMID : 14726228  :  
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus biotype 1, a causative agent of fatal septicemia or wound infection in humans, is known to produce a toxic metalloprotease as an important virulence determinant. V. vulnificus biotype 2 (serovar E), a primary eel pathogen, was found to elaborate an extracellular metalloprotease that was indistinguishable from that of biotype 1. The potential of V. vulnificus biotype 1 for production of the metalloprotease was compared with biotype 2 and other human non-pathogenic Vibrio species (Vibrio anguillarum and Vibrio proteolyticus). When cultivated at 25 degrees C in tryptone-yeast extract broth supplemented with 0.9% NaCl, all bacteria multiplied sufficiently and secreted significant amounts of the metalloprotease. However, at 37 degrees C with 0.9% NaCl, V. anguillarum neither grew nor produced the metalloprotease. In human serum, only V. vulnificus biotype 1 revealed a steady multiplication accompanied with production of the extracellular metalloprotease. This prominent ability of biotype 1 in growth and protease production may contribute to cause serious systemic diseases in humans.
KeywordMeSH Terms
48. Izumiya  H, Matsumoto  K, Yahiro  S, Lee  J, Morita  M, Yamamoto  S, Arakawa  E, Ohnishi  M,     ( 2011 )

Multiplex PCR assay for identification of three major pathogenic Vibrio spp., Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus.

Molecular and cellular probes 25 (4)
PMID : 21530641  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.mcp.2011.04.004    
Abstract >>
A multiplex PCR assay was developed based on atpA-sequence diversification for molecular identification of 3 major pathogenic Vibrio species: Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus. It specifically identified them from among 133 strains of various Vibrio species and other genera, and was applicable for testing seawater, suggesting its usefulness.
KeywordMeSH Terms
49. Chen  YC, Chung  YT,     ( 2011 )

A conserved GTPase YchF of Vibrio vulnificus is involved in macrophage cytotoxicity, iron acquisition, and mouse virulence.

International journal of medical microbiology : IJMM 301 (6)
PMID : 21570909  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.ijmm.2011.02.002    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus, a highly virulent marine bacterium, causes serious wound infections and fatal septicemia in many areas of the world. To identify V. vulnificus genes required for killing macrophages, we made an insertional mutant library of V. vulnificus and screened it for reduced macrophage cytotoxicity. One mutant defective in macrophage cytotoxicity had an insertion in ychF, a gene encoding a putative GTPase. In addition to reduced cytotoxicity, this mutant had attenuated growth in iron-limited medium and reduced virulence in iron-overloaded mice. The ychF mutation also down-regulated the transcription level of the rtxA1 gene. RtxA1 mutants significantly decreased cytotoxicity to macrophages compared to wild-type bacteria. Overall, these results show that YchF elicits macrophage cytotoxicity through an rtxA1 pathway and is important for mouse virulence.
KeywordMeSH Terms
50. Kwak  JS, Jeong  HG, Satchell  KJ,     ( 2011 )

Vibrio vulnificus rtxA1 gene recombination generates toxin variants with altered potency during intestinal infection.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108 (4)
PMID : 21220343  :   DOI  :   10.1073/pnas.1014339108     PMC  :   PMC3029691    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a food-borne bacterial pathogen associated with 1% of all food-related deaths, predominantly because of consumption of contaminated seafood. The ability of V. vulnificus to cause disease is linked to the production of a large cytotoxin called the "multifunctional-autoprocessing RTX" (MARTX(Vv)) toxin, a factor shown here to be an important virulence factor by the intragastric route of infection in mice. In this study, we examined genetic variation of the rtxA1 gene that encodes MARTX(Vv) in 40 V. vulnificus Biotype 1 strains and found four distinct variants of rtxA1 that encode toxins with different arrangements of effector domains. We provide evidence that these variants arose by recombination either with rtxA genes carried on plasmids or with the rtxA gene of Vibrio anguillarum. Contrary to expected results, the most common rtxA1 gene variant in clinical-type V. vulnificus encodes a toxin with reduced potency and is distinct from the toxin produced by strains isolated from market oysters. These results indicate that an important virulence factor of V. vulnificus is undergoing significant genetic rearrangement and may be subject to selection for reduced virulence in the environment. This finding would imply further that in the future on-going genetic variation of the MARTX(Vv) toxins could result in the emergence of novel strains with altered virulence in humans.
KeywordMeSH Terms
51. Kao  TH, Chen  Y, Pai  CH, Chang  MC, Wang  AH,     ( 2011 )

Structure of a NADPH-dependent blue fluorescent protein revealed the unique role of Gly176 on the fluorescence enhancement.

Journal of structural biology 174 (3)
PMID : 21397029  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.jsb.2011.02.010    
Abstract >>
A NADPH-dependent blue fluorescent protein from Vibrio vulnificus CKM-1 (BFPvv) emits blue fluorescence under UV-exposure. Previously, the BFPvvD7 mutant generated by directed evolution displayed a fourfold enhancement in fluorescent intensity. Herein, a further increase in fluorescence in the new BFPvvD8 mutant, with three additional mutations from BFPvvD7, was made. To understand the underlying mechanism of the increased fluorescent intensity of BFPvv, we solved the BFPvvD8-NADPH complex structure. Accompanied with lifetime detection, we proposed that the enhanced intensity is related to the conformational change caused by a glycine residue (Gly176) mutated to other non-glycine residues at a turn close to the NADPH binding site. We also observed the F?rster resonance energy transfer (FRET) from our BFPvvD8 to each of the GFP-like fluorescent proteins, mTFP1 and EGFP, joined by an eight-residue linker between the N-terminal of BFPvvD8 and the C-terminal of GFPs. Taken together, with the newly solved BFPvvD8 structure, our results not only provide new considerations within the rational-based protein engineering of this NADPH-dependent BFP, but also suggest that BFPvvD8 could be a potential candidate in FRET-based biosensor techniques.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Protein Conformation
52. Nakhamchik  A, Wilde  C, Chong  H, Rowe-Magnus  DA,     ( 2010 )

Evidence for the horizontal transfer of an unusual capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis locus in marine bacteria.

Infection and immunity 78 (12)
PMID : 20921143  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.00653-10     PMC  :   PMC2981325    
Abstract >>
The most intensely studied of the Vibrio vulnificus virulence factors is the capsular polysaccharide (CPS). All virulent strains produce copious amounts of CPS. Acapsular strains are avirulent. The structure of the CPS from the clinical isolate ATCC 27562 is unusual. It is serine modified and contains, surprisingly, N-acetylmuramic acid. We identified the complete 25-kb CPS biosynthesis locus from ATCC 27562. It contained 21 open reading frames and was allelic to O-antigen biosynthesis loci. Two of the genes, murA(CPS) and murB(CPS), were paralogs of the murA(PG) and murB(PG) genes of the peptidoglycan biosynthesis pathway; only a single copy of these genes is present in the strain CMCP6 and YJ016 genomes. Although MurA(CPS) and MurB(CPS) were functional when expressed in Escherichia coli, lesions in either gene had no effect on CPS production, virulence, or growth in V. vulnificus; disruption of 8 other genes within the locus resulted in an acapsular phenotype and attenuated virulence. Thus, murA(CPS) and murB(CPS) were functional but redundant. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that while completely different CPS biosynthesis loci were found in the same chromosomal region in other V. vulnificus strains, most of the CPS locus of ATCC 27562 was conserved in another marine bacterium, Shewanella putrefaciens strain 200. However, the average GC content of the CPS locus was significantly lower than the average GC content of either genome. Furthermore, several of the encoded proteins appeared to be of Gram-positive and archaebacterial origin. These data indicate that the horizontal transfer of intact and partial CPS loci drives CPS diversity in marine bacteria.
KeywordMeSH Terms
53. Roig  FJ, González-Candelas  F, Amaro  C,     ( 2011 )

Domain organization and evolution of multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin in Vibrio vulnificus.

Applied and environmental microbiology 77 (2)
PMID : 21075892  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.01806-10     PMC  :   PMC3020528    
Abstract >>
The objective of this study was to analyze multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin domain organization within the aquatic species Vibrio vulnificus as well as to study the evolution of the rtxA1 gene. The species is subdivided into three biotypes that differ in host range and geographical distribution. We have found three different types (I, II, and III) of V. vulnificus MARTX (MARTX(Vv)) toxins with common domains (an autocatalytic cysteine protease domain [CPD], an �\/�]-hydrolase domain, and a domain resembling that of the LifA protein of Escherichia coli O127:H6 E2348/69 [Efa/LifA]) and specific domains (a Rho-GTPase inactivation domain [RID], a domain of unknown function [DUF], a domain resembling that of the rtxA protein of Photorhabdus asymbiotica [rtxA(PA)], and an actin cross-linking domain [ACD]). Biotype 1 isolates harbor MARTX(Vv) toxin types I and II, biotype 2 isolates carry MARTX(Vv) toxin type III, and biotype 3 isolates have MARTX(Vv) toxin type II. The analyzed biotype 2 isolates harbor two identical copies of rtxA1, one chromosomal and the other plasmidic. The evolutionary history of the gene demonstrates that MARTX(Vv) toxins are mosaics, comprising pieces with different evolutionary histories, some of which have been acquired by intra- or interspecific horizontal gene transfer. Finally, we have found evidence that the evolutionary history of the rtxA1 gene for biotype 2 differs totally from the gene history of biotypes 1 and 3.
KeywordMeSH Terms
54. Luo  P, Su  T, Hu  C, Ren  C,     ( 2011 )

A novel and simple PCR walking method for rapid acquisition of long DNA sequence flanking a known site in microbial genome.

Molecular biotechnology 47 (3)
PMID : 20878504  :   DOI  :   10.1007/s12033-010-9332-z    
Abstract >>
Acquisition of flanking sequence adjacent to a known DNA site is an important task in microbial genome-related research. In this study, we developed a new method containing two rounds of PCR followed by cloning and sequencing. Firstly, specific primer (SP) is added into the reaction system for primary locus-specific linear amplification, and then a complex long primer (CLP) is added into the cooled reaction system for only one cycle. Amplification products from the first round of PCR are directly purified without electrophoresis, diluted, and used as the templates of the second PCR. Secondly, one long specific primer (LSP) and one long base-fixed primer (LFP) are adopted. The amplicons are purified for cloning and sequencing. The achievement of specific amplification for long flanking region mainly depends on ingenious and precise settings of PCR programs, structure design of CLP primer, adding of CLP primer after specific linear amplification, concentration ratio of CLP and SP primer, applying long primers, etc. Through this method, we successfully performed the long PCR walkings (>1.5 Kb) on rpoB gene of Vibrio vulnificus, transposon-like gene of V. alginolyticus, and sto gene of V. cholerae. The method provides a robust and simple strategy for rapid amplification of long unknown DNA fragments from microbes.
KeywordMeSH Terms
55. Kim  Y, Kim  BS, Park  YJ, Choi  WC, Hwang  J, Kang  BS, Oh  TK, Choi  SH, Kim  MH,     ( 2010 )

Crystal structure of SmcR, a quorum-sensing master regulator of Vibrio vulnificus, provides insight into its regulation of transcription.

The Journal of biological chemistry 285 (18)
PMID : 20178981  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.M109.100248     PMC  :   PMC2859563    
Abstract >>
Quorum sensing has been implicated as an important global regulatory system controlling the expression of numerous virulence factors in bacterial pathogens. SmcR, a homologue of Vibrio harveyi LuxR, has been proposed as a quorum-sensing master regulator of Vibrio vulnificus, an opportunistic human pathogen. Previous studies demonstrated that SmcR is essential for the survival and pathogenesis of V. vulnificus, indicating that inhibiting SmcR is an attractive approach to combat infections by the bacteria. Here, we determined the crystal structure of SmcR at 2.1 A resolution. The protein structure reveals a typical TetR superfamily fold consisting of an N-terminal DNA binding domain and a C-terminal dimerization domain. In vivo and in vitro functional analysis of the dimerization domain suggested that dimerization of SmcR is vital for its biological regulatory function. The N-terminal DNA recognition and binding residues were assigned based on the protein structure and the results of in vivo and in vitro mutagenesis experiments. Furthermore, protein-DNA interaction experiments suggested that SmcR may have a sophisticated mechanism that enables the protein to recognize each of its many target operators with different affinities.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Protein Folding
56. Roig  FJ, Sanjuán  E, Llorens  A, Amaro  C,     ( 2010 )

pilF Polymorphism-based PCR to distinguish vibrio vulnificus strains potentially dangerous to public health.

Applied and environmental microbiology 76 (5)
PMID : 20038687  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.01042-09     PMC  :   PMC2832365    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a heterogeneous species that comprises strains virulent and avirulent for humans and fish, and it is grouped into three biotypes. In this report, we describe a PCR-based methodology that allows both the species identification and discrimination of those isolates that could be considered dangerous to public health. Discrimination is based on the amplification of a variable region located within the gene pilF, which seems to be associated with potential human pathogenicity, regardless of the biotype of the strain.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Polymorphism, Genetic
57. Chen  YC, Chang  CC, Chang  SY, Su  JH,     ( 2010 )

A recombinant metalloprotease antigen of Vibrio vulnificus elicits protective antibodies in a murine model.

Letters in applied microbiology 50 (2)
PMID : 20002577  :   DOI  :   10.1111/j.1472-765X.2009.02771.x    
Abstract >>
To investigate whether Vibrio vulnificus metalloprotease (VvpE) can induce the production of specific anti-VvpE antibody to confer effective protection against Vibrio vulnificus infection and to evaluate the possibility of VvpE as a potential vaccine candidate against disease caused by V. vulnificus. The gene encoding the 65-kDa VvpE of V. vulnificus was amplified by PCR and cloned into the expression vector pET21(b). The recombinant VvpE of V. vulnificus was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). This His(6)-tagged VvpE was purified and injected intramuscularly into mice to evaluate its ability to stimulate immune response. Specific antibody levels were measured by ELISA. The 75% protective efficacy of recombinant VvpE was evaluated by active immunization and intraperitoneal challenge with V. vulnificus in mice. The recombinant His(6)-tagged VvpE of V. vulnificus is capable of inducing high antibody response in mice to confer effective protection against lethal challenge with V. vulnificus. VvpE might be a potential vaccine candidate to against V. vulnificus infection. This study uses His(6)-tagged VvpE to act as vaccine that successfully induces effective and specific anti-VvpE antibody and offers an option for the potential vaccine candidate against V. vulnificus infection.
KeywordMeSH Terms
58. Guo  Y, Rowe-Magnus  DA,     ( 2010 )

Identification of a c-di-GMP-regulated polysaccharide locus governing stress resistance and biofilm and rugose colony formation in Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 78 (3)
PMID : 20065022  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.01188-09     PMC  :   PMC2825937    
Abstract >>
As an etiological agent of bacterial sepsis and wound infections, Vibrio vulnificus is unique among the Vibrionaceae. Its continued environmental persistence and transmission are bolstered by its ability to colonize shellfish, form biofilms on various marine biotic surfaces, and generate a morphologically and physiologically distinct rugose (R) variant that yields profuse biofilms. Here, we identify a c-di-GMP-regulated locus (brp, for biofilm and rugose polysaccharide) and two transcription factors (BrpR and BrpT) that regulate these physiological responses. Disruption of glycosyltransferases within the locus or either regulator abated the inducing effect of c-di-GMP on biofilm formation, rugosity, and stress resistance. The same lesions, or depletion of intracellular c-di-GMP levels, abrogated these phenotypes in the R variant. The parental and brp mutant strains formed only scant monolayers on glass surfaces and oyster shells, and although the R variant formed expansive biofilms, these were of limited depth. Dramatic vertical expansion of the biofilm structure was observed in the parental strain and R variant, but not the brp mutants, when intracellular c-di-GMP levels were elevated. Hence, the brp-encoded polysaccharide is important for surface colonization and stress resistance in V. vulnificus, and its expression may control how the bacteria switch from a planktonic lifestyle to colonizing shellfish to invading human tissue.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Stress, Physiological
59. Rowe-Magnus  DA,     ( 2009 )

Integrase-directed recovery of functional genes from genomic libraries.

Nucleic acids research 37 (17)
PMID : 19596808  :   DOI  :   10.1093/nar/gkp561     PMC  :   PMC2761259    
Abstract >>
Large population sizes, rapid growth and 3.8 billion years of evolution firmly establish microorganisms as a major source of the planet's biological and genetic diversity. However, up to 99% of the microorganisms in a given environment cannot be cultured. Culture-independent methods that directly access the genetic potential of an environmental sample can unveil new proteins with diverse functions, but the sequencing of random DNA can generate enormous amounts of extraneous data. Integrons are recombination systems that accumulate open reading frames (gene cassettes), many of which code for functional proteins with enormous adaptive potential. Some integrons harbor hundreds of gene cassettes and evidence suggests that the gene cassette pool may be limitless in size. Accessing this genetic pool has been hampered since sequence-based techniques, such as hybridization or PCR, often recover only partial genes or a small subset of those present in the sample. Here, a three-plasmid genetic strategy for the sequence-independent recovery of gene cassettes from genomic libraries is described and its use by retrieving functional gene cassettes from the chromosomal integron of Vibrio vulnificus ATCC 27562 is demonstrated. By manipulating the natural activity of integrons, we can gain access to the caches of functional genes amassed by these structures.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genomic Library
Integrons
60. Espiñeira  M, Atanassova  M, Vieites  JM, Santaclara  FJ,     ( 2010 )

Validation of a method for the detection of five species, serogroups, biotypes and virulence factors of Vibrio by multiplex PCR in fish and seafood.

Food microbiology 27 (1)
PMID : 19913702  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.fm.2009.09.004    
Abstract >>
In this work a sequential multiplex PCR system was designed and validated for the detection of most frequent foodborne pathogen Vibrio species in fish and seafood (Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio alginoliticus and Vibrio mimicus). The method proposed functions in a hierarchical way, being composed of an end-point multiplex PCR to detect the presence of DNA belonging to the studied species, followed by multiplex PCR and fragment analysis allowing the viability assessment of the detected strains. The final multiplex PCR step of the method may be applied if identification of the serogroup, biotype and/or virulence factor level is necessary. Forty samples of commercial fish and seafood products were used at the method validation stage. Sixty three marine organism samples obtained from various estuarine areas of Spain including shrimps, crabs, bivalve mollusks and fishes were screened for presence of Vibrio species and 2 mussel samples were found positive for V. parahaemolyticus. On the whole, the proposed method is robust and readily adaptable in routine molecular diagnostic laboratories, allowing monitoring and simultaneous detection of all these bacterial pathogens in seafood samples, reducing the expenses and time consumed by other analytical methods.
KeywordMeSH Terms
61. Chattopadhyay  S, Paranjpye  RN, Dykhuizen  DE, Sokurenko  EV, Strom  MS,     ( 2009 )

Comparative evolutionary analysis of the major structural subunit of Vibrio vulnificus type IV pili.

Molecular biology and evolution 26 (10)
PMID : 19556347  :   DOI  :   10.1093/molbev/msp124     PMC  :   PMC2766934    
Abstract >>
Type IV pili contribute to virulence in Vibrio vulnificus, the bacterium responsible for the majority of fatal seafood-related infections. Here, we performed within- and between-species evolutionary analysis of the gene that encodes the major structural subunit of the pilus, pilA, by comparing it with pilD and gyrB, the genes encoding the type IV prepilin peptidase and beta subunit of DNA gyrase, respectively. Although the diversity in pilD and gyrB is similar to each other and likely to have accumulated after speciation of V. vulnificus, pilA is several times more diverse at both nonsynonymous and synonymous levels. Also, in contrast to pilD and gyrB, there are virtually unrestricted and highly localized horizontal movements of pilA alleles between the major phylogenetic groups of V. vulnificus. The frequent movement of pilA involves homologous recombination of the entire gene with no evidence for intragenic recombination between the alleles. We propose that pilA allelic diversity and horizontal movement is maintained in the population by both diversifying and frequency-dependent selection most likely to escape shellfish innate immunity defense or lytic phages. Other possibilities leading to such selection dynamics of V. vulnificus pilA could involve adaptation to diverse host populations or within-host compartments, or natural DNA uptake and transformation. We show that the history of nucleotide diversification in pilA predates V. vulnificus speciation and this diversification started at or before the time of the last common ancestor for V. vulnificus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio cholerae. At the same time, it appears that within the various pilA groups of V. vulnificus, there is no positive selection for structural mutations and consequently no evidence for source-sink selection. In contrast, pilD has accumulated a number of apparently adaptive mutations in the regions encoding the membrane-spanning portions of the prepilin peptidase, possibly affecting fimbrial expression and/or function, and is being subjected to source-sink selection dynamics.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Evolution, Molecular
62. Valiente  E, Bruhn  JB, Nielsen  KF, Larsen  JL, Roig  FJ, Gram  L, Amaro  C,     ( 2009 )

Vibrio vulnificus produces quorum sensing signals of the AHL-class.

FEMS microbiology ecology 69 (1)
PMID : 19453744  :   DOI  :   10.1111/j.1574-6941.2009.00691.x    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is an aquatic pathogenic bacterium that can cause vibriosis in humans and fish. The species is subdivided into three biotypes with the fish-virulent strains belonging to biotype 2. The quorum sensing (QS) phenomenon mediated by furanosyl borate diester or autoinducer 2 (AI-2) has been described in human strains of biotype 1, and here we show that the luxS gene which encodes AI-2 is present in all strains of V. vulnificus regardless of origin, biotype or serovar. In this study, we also demonstrate that V. vulnificus produces QS signals of the acylated homoserine lactone (AHL) class (AI-1). AHLs were detected in strains of biotype 1 and 2 from water, fish and human wound infections but not in strains isolated from human septicaemic cases. The AHL compound was identified as N-butanoyl-homoserine-lactone (C(4)-HL) by both reporter strains and by HPLC-high-resolution MS. C(4)-HL was detected when AHL-positive strains were grown in low-nutrient medium [modified sea water yeast extract (MSWYE)] but not in rich media (tryptic soy broth or brain-heart infusion) and its production was enhanced when blood factors were added to MSWYE. C(4)-HL was detected in vivo, in eels infected with AHL-positive biotype 2 strains. No known AHL-related gene was detected by PCR or Southern blot suggesting that AHL-related genes in V. vulnificus are different from those found in other Gram-negative bacteria.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Quorum Sensing
63. Roig  FJ, Llorens  A, Fouz  B, Amaro  C,     ( 2009 )

Spontaneous quinolone resistance in the zoonotic serovar of Vibrio vulnificus.

Applied and environmental microbiology 75 (8)
PMID : 19218407  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.02921-08     PMC  :   PMC2675197    
Abstract >>
This work demonstrates that Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2, serovar E, an eel pathogen able to infect humans, can become resistant to quinolone by specific mutations in gyrA (substitution of isoleucine for serine at position 83) and to some fluoroquinolones by additional mutations in parC (substitution of lysine for serine at position 85). Thus, to avoid the selection of resistant strains that are potentially pathogenic for humans, antibiotics other than quinolones must be used to treat vibriosis on farms.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Drug Resistance, Bacterial
64. Roig  FJ, Amaro  C,     ( 2009 )

Plasmid diversity in Vibrio vulnificus biotypes.

Microbiology (Reading, England) 155 (Pt 2)
PMID : 19202097  :   DOI  :   10.1099/mic.0.023424-0    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a heterogeneous bacterial species that can be virulent for humans and fish. Virulence in fish seems to rely on a recently described plasmid that can be transmitted between strains, aided by a conjugative plasmid. The main objective of this work was to analyse the plasmid content of a wide collection of strains from the three biotypes of the species, as well as to identify putative conjugative and virulence plasmids by means of Southern hybridization with specific probes and sequence analysis of selected gene markers. We found 28 different plasmid profiles in a total of 112 strains, which were relatively biotype- or serovar-specific. Biotype 1 lacked high-molecular-mass plasmids, with the exception of a putative conjugative plasmid of 48 kb that was present in 42.8% of clinical and environmental strains isolated worldwide. All biotype 2 strains possessed the virulence plasmid, whose molecular mass ranged between 68 and 70 kb, and 89.65% of these strains also had a putative conjugative plasmid with a molecular size of 52-56 kb. Finally, a 48 kb putative conjugative plasmid was present in all biotype 3 strains. Data from partial sequencing of traD, traI and the whole vep07 (a recently described plasmid-borne virulence gene) from a selection of strains suggest that the plasmids of 48-56 kb probably belong to the same family of F-plasmids as pYJ016 and that the gene vep07 is absolutely essential for fish virulence. Additional cryptic plasmids of low molecular mass were present in the three biotypes. In conclusion, plasmids are widespread among V. vulnificus species and could contribute substantially to genetic plasticity of the species.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genetic Variation
65. Lee  M, Yeom  JH, Sim  SH, Ahn  S, Lee  K,     ( 2009 )

Effects of Escherichia coli RraA orthologs of Vibrio vulnificus on the ribonucleolytic activity of RNase E in vivo.

Current microbiology 58 (4)
PMID : 19194749  :   DOI  :   10.1007/s00284-009-9360-8    
Abstract >>
RraA is a recently discovered protein inhibitor of RNase E that catalyzes the initial step in the decay and processing of numerous RNAs in Escherichia coli. In the genome of Vibrio vulnificus, two open reading frames that potentially encode proteins homologous to E. coli, RraA-designated RraAV1 and RraAV2, have respectively 80.1% and 59.0% amino acid identity to RraA. The authors report that coexpression of RraAV1 protein in E. coli cells overproducing RNase E rescued these cells from growth arrest and restored their normal growth, whereas coexpression of RraAV2 protein further inhibited the growth of E. coli cells, whose growth was already impaired by overproduction of RNase E. Analyses of the steady-state level of various RNase E substrates indicated that the coexpression of RraAV1 more efficiently inhibited RNase E action than coexpression of RraA, and consequently resulted in the more increased abundance of each RNA species tested in vivo. The inhibitory effect by RraAV2 coexpression on RNase E was observed only in the case of trpA mRNA, indicating the possibility of RNA substrate-dependent inhibition of RraAV2 on RNase E. The findings suggest that these regulators of ribonuclease activity have both a conserved inhibitory function and a differential inhibitory activity on RNase E-like enzymes across the species.
KeywordMeSH Terms
RNA Stability
66. Zhang  R, Gu  JD,     ( N/A )

Complete sequence of plasmid pMP1 from the marine environmental Vibrio vulnificus and location of its replication origin.

Marine biotechnology (New York, N.Y.) 11 (4)
PMID : 19009320  :   DOI  :   10.1007/s10126-008-9160-3    
Abstract >>
A novel cryptic plasmid, pMP1, from an environmental Vibrio vulnificus MP-4 isolated from Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong, has been characterized. The 7.6-kb plasmid had guanine-cytosine content of 40.03% and encoded four open reading frames (ORFs) with >100 amino acids. The predicted protein of ORF1 contained 478 amino acids showing 29% identity and 50% similarity over 309 amino acids to the integrase of Vibrio cholerae phage VP2. ORF2 encoded a putative protein of 596 amino acids, which were 23% identity and 42% similarity over 455 amino acids to the tail tape measure protein TP901 of Chromohalobacter salexigens phage. ORF3 and ORF4 encoded putative proteins of 103 and 287 amino acids, respectively, but showed no homologies to any known proteins. Further experiments indicated that a 3.2-kb fragment from EcoRI digestion could self-replicate. Analysis indicated that a sequence upstream of ORF4 had the features characteristic of theta-type replicons: AT-rich region, six potential direct repeats (iterons) spaced approximately two DNA helical turn apart (about 23 bp), two copies of 9 bp dnaA boxes, three Dam methylation sites, and five inverted repeats. Complementation experiments confirmed that the protein encoded by ORF4 was required for plasmid replication. We propose that ORF4 encode a new type of Rep protein and pMP1 is a new type of theta plasmid.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Replication Origin
67. Nakhamchik  A, Wilde  C, Rowe-Magnus  DA,     ( 2008 )

Cyclic-di-GMP regulates extracellular polysaccharide production, biofilm formation, and rugose colony development by Vibrio vulnificus.

Applied and environmental microbiology 74 (13)
PMID : 18487410  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.00176-08     PMC  :   PMC2446529    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a human and animal pathogen that carries the highest death rate of any food-borne disease agent. It colonizes shellfish and forms biofilms on the surfaces of plankton, algae, fish, and eels. Greater understanding of biofilm formation by the organism could provide insight into approaches to decrease its load in filter feeders and on biotic surfaces and control the occurrence of invasive disease. The capsular polysaccharide (CPS), although essential for virulence, is not required for biofilm formation under the conditions used here. In other bacteria, increased biofilm formation often correlates with increased exopolysaccharide (EPS) production. We exploited the translucent phenotype of acapsular mutants to screen a V. vulnificus genomic library and identify genes that imparted an opaque phenotype to both CPS biosynthesis and transport mutants. One of these encoded a diguanylate cyclase (DGC), an enzyme that synthesizes bis-(3'-5')-cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP). This prompted us to use this DGC, DcpA, to examine the effect of elevated c-di-GMP levels on several developmental pathways in V. vulnificus. Increased c-di-GMP levels induced the production of an EPS that was distinct from the CPS and dramatically enhanced biofilm formation and rugosity in a CPS-independent manner. However, the EPS could not compensate for the loss of CPS production that is required for virulence. In contrast to V. cholerae, motility and virulence appeared unaffected by elevated levels of c-di-GMP.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
68. Lee  HJ, Park  SJ, Choi  SH, Lee  KH,     ( 2008 )

Vibrio vulnificus rpoS expression is repressed by direct binding of cAMP-cAMP receptor protein complex to its two promoter regions.

The Journal of biological chemistry 283 (45)
PMID : 18713737  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.M802219200     PMC  :   PMC2662139    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus, a septicemia-causing pathogenic bacterium, acquires resistance against various stresses and expresses virulence factors via an rpoS gene product. In this study, we investigated the transcriptional characteristics of this global regulator. Two distinct transcriptional initiation sites for the rpoS gene, the proximal promoter (P(p)) and the distal promoter (P(d)), were defined by primer extension experiments. Various rpoS::luxAB transcriptional fusions indicated that P(d) is a major promoter of rpoS expression. Western blot analysis showed that RpoS levels were inversely correlated with intracellular levels of 3',5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP). The expressions of both P(d) and P(p) were increased in cya and crp mutants. The exogenous addition of cAMP to the cya mutant resulted in repressed expression of rpoS. In addition, rpoS expression was significantly lowered in the cpdA mutant, in which the level of cAMP was elevated because of the absence of 3',5'-cAMP phosphodiesterase. In vitro transcription assays using the V. vulnificus RNA polymerase showed that the transcripts from both promoters were reduced by addition of the cAMP-cAMP receptor protein (CRP). The cAMP-CRP was shown to bind to two rpoS promoters by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. The alteration of the putative CRP-binding site on each rpoS promoter, via site-directed mutagenesis, abolished the binding of cAMP-CRP as well as regulation by cAMP-CRP. Therefore, this study shows a relationship between the level of intracellular cAMP and the degree of rpoS expression and further demonstrates, for the first time, the direct binding of the cAMP-CRP complex to rpoS upstream regions, which results in repression of rpoS gene expression.
KeywordMeSH Terms
69. Urbanczyk  H, Ast  JC, Kaeding  AJ, Oliver  JD, Dunlap  PV,     ( 2008 )

Phylogenetic analysis of the incidence of lux gene horizontal transfer in Vibrionaceae.

Journal of bacteriology 190 (10)
PMID : 18359809  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JB.00101-08     PMC  :   PMC2394989    
Abstract >>
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is thought to occur frequently in bacteria in nature and to play an important role in bacterial evolution, contributing to the formation of new species. To gain insight into the frequency of HGT in Vibrionaceae and its possible impact on speciation, we assessed the incidence of interspecies transfer of the lux genes (luxCDABEG), which encode proteins involved in luminescence, a distinctive phenotype. Three hundred three luminous strains, most of which were recently isolated from nature and which represent 11 Aliivibrio, Photobacterium, and Vibrio species, were screened for incongruence of phylogenies based on a representative housekeeping gene (gyrB or pyrH) and a representative lux gene (luxA). Strains exhibiting incongruence were then subjected to detailed phylogenetic analysis of horizontal transfer by using multiple housekeeping genes (gyrB, recA, and pyrH) and multiple lux genes (luxCDABEG). In nearly all cases, housekeeping gene and lux gene phylogenies were congruent, and there was no instance in which the lux genes of one luminous species had replaced the lux genes of another luminous species. Therefore, the lux genes are predominantly vertically inherited in Vibrionaceae. The few exceptions to this pattern of congruence were as follows: (i) the lux genes of the only known luminous strain of Vibrio vulnificus, VVL1 (ATCC 43382), were evolutionarily closely related to the lux genes of Vibrio harveyi; (ii) the lux genes of two luminous strains of Vibrio chagasii, 21N-12 and SB-52, were closely related to those of V. harveyi and Vibrio splendidus, respectively; (iii) the lux genes of a luminous strain of Photobacterium damselae, BT-6, were closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib(2) operon of Photobacterium leiognathi; and (iv) a strain of the luminous bacterium Photobacterium mandapamensis was found to be merodiploid for the lux genes, and the second set of lux genes was closely related to the lux genes of the lux-rib(2) operon of P. leiognathi. In none of these cases of apparent HGT, however, did acquisition of the lux genes correlate with phylogenetic divergence of the recipient strain from other members of its species. The results indicate that horizontal transfer of the lux genes in nature is rare and that horizontal acquisition of the lux genes apparently has not contributed to speciation in recipient taxa.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Transfer, Horizontal
70. Valiente  E, Jiménez  N, Merino  S, Tomás  JM, Amaro  C,     ( 2008 )

Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 serovar E gne but not galE is essential for lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and virulence.

Infection and immunity 76 (4)
PMID : 18227162  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.01393-07     PMC  :   PMC2292876    
Abstract >>
This work aimed to establish the role of gne (encoding UDP-GalNAc 4-epimerase activity) and galE (encoding UDP-Gal-4-epimerase activity) in the biosynthesis of surface polysaccharides, as well as in the virulence for eels and humans of the zoonotic serovar of Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2, serovar E. DNA sequence data revealed that gne and galE are quite homologous within this species (> or =90% homology). Mutation in gne of strain CECT4999 increased the surface hydrophobicity, produced deep alterations in the outer membrane architecture, and resulted in noticeable increases in the sensitivity to microcidal peptides (MP), to eel and human sera, and to phagocytosis/opsonophagocytosis. Furthermore, significant attenuation of virulence for eels and mice was observed. By contrast, mutation in galE did not alter the cellular surface, did not increase the sensitivity to MP, serum, or phagocytosis, and did not affect the virulence for fish and mice. The change in the attenuated-virulence phenotype produced by a mutation in gne was correlated with the loss of the O-antigen lipopolysaccharide (LPS), while the capsule was maintained. Complementation of a gne-deficient mutant restored the LPS structure together with the whole virulence phenotype. In conclusion, gne, but not galE, is essential for LPS biosynthesis and virulence in the zoonotic serovar of V. vulnificus biotype 2.
KeywordMeSH Terms
71. Wang  J, Sasaki  T, Maehara  Y, Nakao  H, Tsuchiya  T, Miyoshi  S,     ( 2008 )

Variation of extracellular proteases produced by Vibrio vulnificus clinical isolates: genetic diversity of the metalloprotease gene (vvp), and serine protease secretion by vvp-negative strains.

Microbial pathogenesis 44 (6)
PMID : 18262748  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.micpath.2008.01.001    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a causative agent of septicemia or wound infection in human and eel; however, the genetic variation between human and eel isolates has been reported. In the present study, the difference in the vvp gene encoding a tissue-damaging metalloprotease was investigated. The gene of strain E86 from a diseased eel (type B vvp) was 95.2% identical with that of strain L-180 from human blood (type A vvp). PCR using oligonucleotide primers designed to differentiate two types of the gene showed that eel avirulent strains (9 isolates) commonly carry type A vvp, whereas eel virulent strains (18 isolates) revealed significant genetic variation. The vvp genes from 12 strains including strain E86 were placed on type B while those from 3 strains were on type A. Other strains were found to be vvp-negative, but PAGE and amino acid sequencing analysis showed that they secreted a serine protease (VVA0302) instead of the metalloprotease. This protease is an orthologue of a toxic protease from Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a human pathogen causing wound infection as well as gastroenteritis. These findings suggest that, in addition to metalloprotease, the extracellular serine protease may contribute to pathogenicity of V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genetic Variation
72. Lee  CT, Amaro  C, Wu  KM, Valiente  E, Chang  YF, Tsai  SF, Chang  CH, Hor  LI,     ( 2008 )

A common virulence plasmid in biotype 2 Vibrio vulnificus and its dissemination aided by a conjugal plasmid.

Journal of bacteriology 190 (5)
PMID : 18156267  :   DOI  :   10.1128/JB.01484-07     PMC  :   PMC2258666    
Abstract >>
Strains of Vibrio vulnificus, a marine bacterial species pathogenic for humans and eels, are divided into three biotypes, and those virulent for eels are classified as biotype 2. All biotype 2 strains possess one or more plasmids, which have been shown to harbor the biotype 2-specific DNA sequences. In this study we determined the DNA sequences of three biotype 2 plasmids: pR99 (68.4 kbp) in strain CECT4999 and pC4602-1 (56.6 kb) and pC4602-2 (66.9 kb) in strain CECT4602. Plasmid pC4602-2 showed 92% sequence identity with pR99. Curing of pR99 from strain CECT4999 resulted in loss of resistance to eel serum and virulence for eels but had no effect on the virulence for mice, an animal model, and resistance to human serum. Plasmids pC4602-2 and pR99 could be transferred to the plasmid-cured strain by conjugation in the presence of pC4602-1, which was self-transmissible, and acquisition of pC4602-2 restored the virulence of the cured strain for eels. Therefore, both pR99 and pC4602-2 were virulence plasmids for eels but not mice. A gene in pR99, which encoded a novel protein and had an equivalent in pC4602-2, was further shown to be essential, but not sufficient, for the resistance to eel serum and virulence for eels. There was evidence showing that pC4602-2 may form a cointegrate with pC4602-1. An investigation of six other biotype 2 strains for the presence of various plasmid markers revealed that they all harbored the virulence plasmid and four of them possessed the conjugal plasmid in addition.
KeywordMeSH Terms
73. Goo  SY, Han  YS, Kim  WH, Lee  KH, Park  SJ,     ( 2007 )

Vibrio vulnificus IlpA-induced cytokine production is mediated by Toll-like receptor 2.

The Journal of biological chemistry 282 (38)
PMID : 17640874  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.M701876200    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a pathogenic bacterium causing primary septicemia, which follows a classical septic shock pathway, including an overwhelming inflammatory cytokine response. In this study, we identified a putative lipoprotein of V. vulnificus, encoded by the ilpA gene, as one of the surface proteins that specifically reacted with the antibodies raised against outer membrane proteins of V. vulnificus. Using a mutant V. vulnificus in which its ilpA gene was knocked out, we found that IlpA is important in the production of interferon-gamma in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 is also induced by the recombinant IlpA (rIlpA) in human monocytes. Lipidation of the rIlpA was observed by in vivo labeling in Escherichia coli. Experiments using the mutant IlpA, which is unable to be modified by lipidation, indicate that the lipid moiety of this protein has an essential property for cytokine production in human cells. Pretreatment of monocytes with antibodies against Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) inhibited production of both tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6. The role of TLR2 in IlpA-induced cytokine production was confirmed by an in vitro assay, in which only the TLR2-expressing cells showed a dramatic induction of nuclear factor-kappaB activity by rIlpA. In addition, rIlpA treatment resulted in induction of TLR2 transcription in human cells. In comparison with the wild type V. vulnificus, the ilpA mutant showed a reduced mortality in mice. These results demonstrate that IlpA of V. vulnificus functions as an immunostimulant to human cells via TLR2.
KeywordMeSH Terms
74. Hunt  DE, Gevers  D, Vahora  NM, Polz  MF,     ( 2008 )

Conservation of the chitin utilization pathway in the Vibrionaceae.

Applied and environmental microbiology 74 (1)
PMID : 17933912  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.01412-07     PMC  :   PMC2223224    
Abstract >>
Vibrionaceae are regarded as important marine chitin degraders, and attachment to chitin regulates important biological functions; yet, the degree of chitin pathway conservation in Vibrionaceae is unknown. Here, a core chitin degradation pathway is proposed based on comparison of 19 Vibrio and Photobacterium genomes with a detailed metabolic map assembled for V. cholerae from published biochemical, genomic, and transcriptomic results. Further, to assess whether chitin degradation is a conserved property of Vibrionaceae, a set of 54 strains from 32 taxa were tested for the ability to grow on various forms of chitin. All strains grew on N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), the monomer of chitin. The majority of isolates grew on alpha (crab shell) and beta (squid pen) chitin and contained chitinase A (chiA) genes. chiA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis suggest that this gene is a good indicator of chitin metabolism but appears subject to horizontal gene transfer and duplication. Overall, chitin metabolism appears to be a core function of Vibrionaceae, but individual pathway components exhibit dynamic evolutionary histories.
KeywordMeSH Terms
75. Cohen  AL, Oliver  JD, DePaola  A, Feil  EJ, Boyd  EF,     ( 2007 )

Emergence of a virulent clade of Vibrio vulnificus and correlation with the presence of a 33-kilobase genomic island.

Applied and environmental microbiology 73 (17)
PMID : 17616611  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.00635-07     PMC  :   PMC2042058    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a ubiquitous inhabitant of the marine coastal environment, and an important pathogen of humans. We characterized a globally distributed sample of environmental isolates from a range of habitats and hosts and compared these with isolates recovered from cases of human infection. Multilocus sequence typing data using six housekeeping genes divided 63 of the 67 isolates into the two main lineages previously noted for this species, and this division was also confirmed using the 16S rRNA and open reading frame VV0401 markers. Lineage I was comprised exclusively of biotype 1 isolates, whereas lineage II contained biotype 1 and all biotype 2 isolates. Four isolates did not cluster within either lineage: two biotype 3 and two biotype 1 isolates. The proportion of isolates recovered from a clinical setting was noted to be higher in lineage I than in lineage II. Lineage I isolates were also associated with a 33-kb genomic island (region XII), one of three regions identified by genome comparisons as unique to the species. Region XII contained an arylsulfatase gene cluster, a sulfate reduction system, two chondroitinase genes, and an oligopeptide ABC transport system, all of which are absent from the majority of lineage II isolates. Arylsulfatases and the sulfate reduction system, along with performing a scavenging role, have been hypothesized to play a role in pathogenic processes in other bacteria. Our data suggest that lineage I may have a higher pathogenic potential and that region XII, along with other regions, may give isolates a selective advantage either in the human host or in the aquatic environment or both.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genetic Variation
76. Nakhamchik  A, Wilde  C, Rowe-Magnus  DA,     ( 2007 )

Identification of a Wzy polymerase required for group IV capsular polysaccharide and lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis in Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 75 (12)
PMID : 17923517  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.00932-07     PMC  :   PMC2168344    
Abstract >>
The estuarine bacterium Vibrio vulnificus is a human and animal pathogen. The expression of capsular polysaccharide (CPS) is essential for virulence. We used a new mini-Tn10 delivery vector, pNKTXI-SceI, to generate a mutant library and identify genes essential for CPS biosynthesis. Twenty-one acapsular mutants were isolated, and the disrupted gene in one mutant, coding for a polysaccharide polymerase (wzy), is described here. A wecA gene initiating glycosyltransferase was among the genes identified in the region flanking the wzy gene. This, together with the known structure of the CPS, supports a group IV capsule designation for the locus; however, its overall organization mirrored that of group I capsules. This new arrangement may be linked to our finding that the CPS region appears to have been recently acquired by horizontal transfer. Alcian Blue staining and immunoblotting with antisera against the wild-type strain indicated that the wzy::Tn10 mutant failed to produce CPS and was attenuated relative to the wild type in a septicemic mouse model. Interestingly, immunoblotting revealed that the mutant was also defective in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) production. However, the core-plus-one O-antigen pattern typical of wzy mutations was apparent. CPS production, LPS production, and virulence were restored following complementation with the wild-type wzy gene. Hence, Wzy participates in both CPS and LPS biosynthesis and is required for virulence in strain 27562. To our knowledge, this is the first functional demonstration of a Wzy polysaccharide polymerase in V. vulnificus and is the first to show a link between LPS and CPS biosynthesis.
KeywordMeSH Terms
77. Park  N, Song  S, Choi  G, Jang  KK, Jo  I, Choi  SH, Ha  NC,     ( 2017 )

Crystal Structure of the Regulatory Domain of AphB from Vibrio vulnificus, a Virulence Gene Regulator.

Molecules and cells 40 (4)
PMID : 28427249  :   DOI  :   10.14348/molcells.2017.0015     PMC  :   PMC5424276    
Abstract >>
The transcriptional activator AphB has been implicated in acid resistance and pathogenesis in the food borne pathogens Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio cholerae. To date, the full-length AphB crystal structure of V. cholerae has been determined and characterized by a tetrameric assembly of AphB consisting of a DNA binding domain and a regulatory domain (RD). Although acidic pH and low oxygen tension might be involved in the activation of AphB, it remains unknown which ligand or stimulus activates AphB at the molecular level. In this study, we determine the crystal structure of the AphB RD from V. vulnificus under aerobic conditions without modification at the conserved cysteine residue of the RD, even in the presence of the oxidizing agent cumene hydroperoxide. A cysteine to serine amino acid residue mutant RD protein further confirmed that the cysteine residue is not involved in sensing oxidative stress in vitro. Interestingly, an unidentified small molecule was observed in the inter-subdomain cavity in the RD when the crystal was incubated with cumene hydroperoxide molecules, suggesting a new ligand-binding site. In addition, we confirmed the role of AphB in acid tolerance by observing an aphB-dependent increase in cadC transcript level when V. vulnificus was exposed to acidic pH. Our study contributes to the understanding of the AphB molecular mechanism in the process of recognizing the host environment.
KeywordMeSH Terms
crystal structure
low pH
transcriptional regulator AphB
vibrio vulnificus
Genes, Regulator
78. Jo  I, Kim  D, Bang  YJ, Ahn  J, Choi  SH, Ha  NC,     ( 2017 )

The hydrogen peroxide hypersensitivity of OxyR2 in Vibrio vulnificus depends on conformational constraints.

The Journal of biological chemistry 292 (17)
PMID : 28264933  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.M116.743765     PMC  :   PMC5409488    
Abstract >>
Most Gram-negative bacteria respond to excessive levels of H2O2 using the peroxide-sensing transcriptional regulator OxyR, which can induce the expression of antioxidant genes to restore normality. Vibrio vulnificus has two distinct OxyRs (OxyR1 and OxyR2), which are sensitive to different levels of H2O2 and induce expression of two different peroxidases, Prx1 and Prx2. Although OxyR1 has both high sequence similarity and H2O2 sensitivity comparable with that of other OxyR proteins, OxyR2 exhibits limited sequence similarity and is more sensitive to H2O2 To investigate the basis for this difference, we determined crystal structures and carried out biochemical analyses of OxyR2. The determined structure of OxyR2 revealed a flipped conformation of the peptide bond before Glu-204, a position occupied by glycine in other OxyR proteins. Activity assays showed that the sensitivity to H2O2 was reduced to the level of other OxyR proteins by the E204G mutation. We solved the structure of the OxyR2-E204G mutant with the same packing environment. The structure of the mutant revealed a dual conformation of the peptide bond before Gly-204, indicating the structural flexibility of the region. This structural duality extended to the backbone atoms of Gly-204 and the imidazole ring of His-205, which interact with H2O2 and invariant water molecules near the peroxidatic cysteine, respectively. Structural comparison suggests that Glu-204 in OxyR2 provides rigidity to the region that is important in H2O2 sensing, compared with the E204G structure or other OxyR proteins. Our findings provide a structural basis for the higher sensitivity of OxyR2 to H2O2 and also suggest a molecular mechanism for bacterial regulation of expression of antioxidant genes at divergent concentrations of cellular H2O2.
KeywordMeSH Terms
OxyR
Vibrio vulnificus
antioxidant
bacterial transcription
crystal structure
crystallography
hydrogen peroxide
reactive oxygen species (ROS)
sensitivity
79. Wendling  CC, Piecyk  A, Refardt  D, Chibani  C, Hertel  R, Liesegang  H, Bunk  B, Overmann  J, Roth  O,     ( 2017 )

Tripartite species interaction: eukaryotic hosts suffer more from phage susceptible than from phage resistant bacteria.

BMC evolutionary biology 17 (1)
PMID : 28399796  :   DOI  :   10.1186/s12862-017-0930-2     PMC  :   PMC5387238    
Abstract >>
Evolutionary shifts in bacterial virulence are often associated with a third biological player, for instance temperate phages, that can act as hyperparasites. By integrating as prophages into the bacterial genome they can contribute accessory genes, which can enhance the fitness of their prokaryotic carrier (lysogenic conversion). Hyperparasitic influence in tripartite biotic interactions has so far been largely neglected in empirical host-parasite studies due to their inherent complexity. Here we experimentally address whether bacterial resistance to phages and bacterial harm to eukaryotic hosts is linked using a natural tri-partite system with bacteria of the genus Vibrio, temperate vibriophages and the pipefish Syngnathus typhle. We induced prophages from all bacterial isolates and constructed a three-fold replicated, fully reciprocal 75 �� 75 phage-bacteria infection matrix. According to their resistance to phages, bacteria could be grouped into three distinct categories: highly susceptible (HS-bacteria), intermediate susceptible (IS-bacteria), and resistant (R-bacteria). We experimentally challenged pipefish with three selected bacterial isolates from each of the three categories and determined the amount of viable Vibrio counts from infected pipefish and the expression of pipefish immune genes. While the amount of viable Vibrio counts did not differ between bacterial groups, we observed a significant difference in relative gene expression between pipefish infected with phage susceptible and phage resistant bacteria. These findings suggest that bacteria with a phage-susceptible phenotype are more harmful against a eukaryotic host, and support the importance of hyperparasitism and the need for an integrative view across more than two levels when studying host-parasite evolution.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacteria-phage infection network
Prophages
Temperate phages
Tripartite interaction
Vibrio
Bacteria-phage infection network
Prophages
Temperate phages
Tripartite interaction
Vibrio
Bacteria-phage infection network
Prophages
Temperate phages
Tripartite interaction
Vibrio
Biological Evolution
Fishes
80. Kawano  H, Miyamoto  K, Negoro  M, Zushi  E, Tsuchiya  T, Tanabe  T, Funahashi  T, Tsujibo  H,     ( 2017 )

IutB participates in the ferric-vulnibactin utilization system in Vibrio vulnificus M2799.

Biometals : an international journal on the role of metal ions in biology, biochemistry, and medicine 30 (2)
PMID : 28150143  :   DOI  :   10.1007/s10534-017-9994-0    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus, an opportunistic pathogen that causes a serious, often fatal, infection in humans, requires iron for its growth. This bacterium utilizes iron from the environment via the vulnibactin-mediated iron uptake system. The mechanisms of vulnibactin biosynthesis, vulnibactin export, and ferric-vulnibactin uptake systems have been reported, whereas the ferric-vulnibactin reduction mechanism in the cell remains unclear. The results of our previous study showed that VuuB, a member of the flavin adenine dinucleotide-containing siderophore-interacting protein family, is a ferric-vulnibactin reductase, but there are other reductases that can complement for the defective vuuB. The aim of this study was to identify these proteins that can complement the loss of function of VuuB. We constructed mutants of genes encoding putative reductases in V. vulnificus M2799, and analyzed their growth under low-iron conditions. Complementation analyses confirmed that IutB, which functions as a ferric-aerobactin reductase, participates in ferric-vulnibactin reduction in the absence of VuuB. This is the first genetic evidence that ferric-vulnibactin is reduced by a member of the ferric-siderophore reductase protein family. In the aerobactin-utilization system, IutB plays a major role in ferric-aerobactin reduction in V. vulnificus M2799, and VuuB and DesB can compensate for the defect of IutB. Furthermore, the expression of iutB and desB was found to be regulated by iron and a ferric uptake regulator.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Aerobactin
Clinical isolate
Desferrioxamine B
Ferric-siderophore reductase
Siderophore
Siderophore-interacting protein
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
81. Hisao  GS, Brothers  MC, Ho  M, Wilson  BA, Rienstra  CM,     ( 2017 )

The membrane localization domains of two distinct bacterial toxins form a 4-helix-bundle in solution.

Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society 26 (3)
PMID : 27977897  :   DOI  :   10.1002/pro.3097     PMC  :   PMC5326565    
Abstract >>
Membrane localization domain (MLD) was first proposed for a 4-helix-bundle motif in the crystal structure of the C1 domain of Pasteurella multocida toxin (PMT). This structure motif is also found in the crystal structures of several clostridial glycosylating toxins (TcdA, TcdB, TcsL, and TcnA). The Ras/Rap1-specific endopeptidase (RRSP) module of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxins (MARTX) toxin produced by Vibrio vulnificus has sequence homology to the C1-C2 domains of PMT, including a putative MLD. We have determined the solution structure for the MLDs in PMT and in RRSP using solution state NMR. We conclude that the MLDs in these two toxins assume a 4-helix-bundle structure in solution.
KeywordMeSH Terms
4-helix-bundle
Pasteurella multocida
Vibrio vulnificus
bacterial toxin
membrane localization domains
solution NMR spectroscopy
82. Machado  H, Gram  L,     ( 2015 )

The fur gene as a new phylogenetic marker for Vibrionaceae species identification.

Applied and environmental microbiology 81 (8)
PMID : 25662978  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.00058-15     PMC  :   PMC4375339    
Abstract >>
Microbial taxonomy is essential in all areas of microbial science. The 16S rRNA gene sequence is one of the main phylogenetic species markers; however, it does not provide discrimination in the family Vibrionaceae, where other molecular techniques allow better interspecies resolution. Although multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) has been used successfully in the identification of Vibrio species, the technique has several limitations. They include the fact that several locus amplifications and sequencing have to be performed, which still sometimes lead to doubtful identifications. Using an in silico approach based on genomes from 103 Vibrionaceae strains, we demonstrate here the high resolution of the fur gene in the identification of Vibrionaceae species and its usefulness as a phylogenetic marker. The fur gene showed within-species similarity higher than 95%, and the relationships inferred from its use were in agreement with those observed for 16S rRNA analysis and MLSA. Furthermore, we developed a fur PCR sequencing-based method that allowed identification of Vibrio species. The discovery of the phylogenetic power of the fur gene and the development of a PCR method that can be used in amplification and sequencing of the gene are of general interest whether for use alone or together with the previously suggested loci in an MLSA.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Phylogeny
83. Erler  R, Wichels  A, Heinemeyer  EA, Hauk  G, Hippelein  M, Reyes  NT, Gerdts  G,     ( 2015 )

VibrioBase: A MALDI-TOF MS database for fast identification of Vibrio spp. that are potentially pathogenic in humans.

Systematic and applied microbiology 38 (1)
PMID : 25466918  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.syapm.2014.10.009    
Abstract >>
Mesophilic marine bacteria of the family Vibrionaceae, specifically V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus, are considered to cause severe illness in humans. Due to climate-change-driven temperature increases, higher Vibrio abundances and infections are predicted for Northern Europe, which in turn necessitates environmental surveillance programs to evaluate this risk. We propose that whole-cell matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) profiling is a promising tool for the fast and reliable species classification of environmental isolates. Because the reference database does not contain sufficient Vibrio spectra we generated the VibrioBase database in this study. Mass spectrometric data were generated from 997 largely environmental strains and filed in this new database. MALDI-TOF MS clusters were assigned based on the species classification obtained by analysis of partial rpoB (RNA polymerase beta-subunit) sequences. The affiliation of strains to species-specific clusters was consistent in 97% of all cases using both approaches, and the extended VibrioBase generated more specific species identifications with higher matching scores compared to the commercially available database. Therefore, we have made the VibrioBase database freely accessible, which paves the way for detailed risk assessment studies of potentially pathogenic Vibrio spp. from marine environments.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Database
MALDI-TOF MS
Marine
Pathogenic
Vibrio
Whole-cell fingerprinting
Bacterial Typing Techniques
Databases, Chemical
84. Pajuelo  D, Lee  CT, Roig  FJ, Hor  LI, Amaro  C,     ( 2015 )

Novel host-specific iron acquisition system in the zoonotic pathogen Vibrio vulnificus.

Environmental microbiology 17 (6)
PMID : 25630302  :   DOI  :   10.1111/1462-2920.12782    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a marine bacterium associated with human and fish (mainly farmed eels) diseases globally known as vibriosis. The ability to infect and overcome eel innate immunity relies on a virulence plasmid (pVvbt2) specific for biotype 2 (Bt2) strains. In the present study, we demonstrated that pVvbt2 encodes a host-specific iron acquisition system that depends on an outer membrane receptor for eel transferrin called Vep20. The inactivation of vep20 did not affect either bacterial growth in human plasma or virulence for mice, while bacterial growth in eel blood/plasma was abolished and virulence for eels was significantly impaired. Furthermore, vep20 is an iron-regulated gene overexpressed in eel blood during artificially induced vibriosis both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, homologues to vep20 were identified in the transferable plasmids of two fish pathogen species of broad-host range, Vibrio harveyi (pVh1) and Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae (pPHDD1). These data suggest that Vep20 belongs to a new family of plasmid-encoded fish-specific transferrin receptors, and the acquisition of these plasmids through horizontal gene transfer is likely positively selected in the fish-farming environment. Moreover, we propose Ftbp (fish transferrin binding proteins) as a formal name for this family of proteins.
KeywordMeSH Terms
85. Kawano  H, Miyamoto  K, Yasunobe  M, Murata  M, Myojin  T, Tsuchiya  T, Tanabe  T, Funahashi  T, Sato  T, Azuma  T, Mino  Y, Tsujibo  H,     ( 2014 )

The RND protein is involved in the vulnibactin export system in Vibrio vulnificus M2799.

Microbial pathogenesis 75 (N/A)
PMID : 25205089  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.micpath.2014.09.001    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus, an opportunistic marine bacterium that causes a serious, often fatal, infection in humans, requires iron for its pathogenesis. This bacterium exports vulnibactin for iron acquisition from the environment. The mechanisms of vulnibactin biosynthesis and ferric-vulnibactin uptake systems have recently been reported, while the vulnibactin export system has not been reported. Mutant growth under low-iron concentration conditions and a bioassay of the culture supernatant indicate that the VV1_0612 protein plays a crucial role in the vulnibactin secretion as a component of the resistance-nodulation-division (RND)-type efflux system in V. vulnificus M2799. To identify which RND protein(s) together with VV1_0612 TolC constituted the RND efflux system for vulnibactin secretion, deletion mutants of 11 RND protein-encoding genes were constructed. The growth inhibition of a multiple mutant (�G11) of the RND protein-encoding genes was observed 6 h after the beginning of the culture. Furthermore, �GVV1_1681 exhibited a growth curve that was similar to that of �G11, while the multiple mutant except �GVV1_1681 showed the same growth as the wild-type strain. These results indicate that the VV1_1681 protein is involved in the vulnibactin export system of V. vulnificus M2799. This is the first genetic evidence that vulnibactin is secreted through the RND-type efflux systems in V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
RND-type efflux system
Vibrio vulnificus
Vulnibactin secretion
86. Hammerl  JA, Klevanskaa  K, Strauch  E, Hertwig  S,     ( 2014 )

Complete Nucleotide Sequence of pVv01, a P1-Like Plasmid Prophage of Vibrio vulnificus.

Genome announcements 2 (4)
PMID : 25125637  :   DOI  :   10.1128/genomeA.00135-14     PMC  :   PMC4132613    
Abstract >>
We report here the 79,263-bp plasmid pVv01 isolated from Vibrio vulnificus. pVv01 is closely related to the Vibrio plasmid p0908 and shows some similarities to phage P1. Unlike p0908, pVv01 represents an intact prophage inducible by mitomycin C. PVv01 phage particles revealed a myoviridal morphology and lytic activity.
KeywordMeSH Terms
87. Ziolo  KJ, Jeong  HG, Kwak  JS, Yang  S, Lavker  RM, Satchell  KJ,     ( 2014 )

Vibrio vulnificus biotype 3 multifunctional autoprocessing RTX toxin is an adenylate cyclase toxin essential for virulence in mice.

Infection and immunity 82 (5)
PMID : 24614656  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.00017-14     PMC  :   PMC3993422    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is an environmental organism that causes both food-borne and wound infections with high morbidity and mortality in humans. The annual incidence and global distribution of infections associated with this pathogen are increasing with climate change. In the late 1990s, an outbreak of tilapia-associated wound infections in Israel was linked to a previously unrecognized variant of V. vulnificus designated biotype 3. The sudden emergence and clonality of the outbreak suggest that this strain may be a true newly emergent pathogen with novel virulence properties compared to those of other V. vulnificus strains. In a subcutaneous infection model to mimic wound infection, the multifunctional autoprocessing RTX (MARTX) toxin of biotype 3 strains was shown to be an essential virulence factor contributing to highly inflammatory skin wounds with severe damage affecting every tissue layer. We conducted a sequencing-based analysis of the MARTX toxin and found that biotype 3 MARTX toxin has an effector domain structure distinct from that of either biotype 1 or biotype 2. Of the two new domains identified, a domain similar to Pseudomonas aeruginosa ExoY was shown to confer adenylate cyclase activity on the MARTX toxin. This is the first demonstration that the biotype 3 MARTX toxin is essential for virulence and that the ExoY-like MARTX effector domain is a catalytically active adenylate cyclase.
KeywordMeSH Terms
88. Pajuelo  D, Lee  CT, Roig  FJ, Lemos  ML, Hor  LI, Amaro  C,     ( 2014 )

Host-nonspecific iron acquisition systems and virulence in the zoonotic serovar of Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 82 (2)
PMID : 24478087  :   DOI  :   10.1128/IAI.01117-13     PMC  :   PMC3911369    
Abstract >>
The zoonotic serovar of Vibrio vulnificus (known as biotype 2 serovar E) is the etiological agent of human and fish vibriosis. The aim of the present work was to discover the role of the vulnibactin- and hemin-dependent iron acquisition systems in the pathogenicity of this zoonotic serovar under the hypothesis that both are host-nonspecific virulence factors. To this end, we selected three genes for three outer membrane receptors (vuuA, a receptor for ferric vulnibactin, and hupA and hutR, two hemin receptors), obtained single and multiple mutants as well as complemented strains, and tested them in a series of in vitro and in vivo assays, using eels and mice as animal models. The overall results confirm that hupA and vuuA, but not hutR, are host-nonspecific virulence genes and suggest that a third undescribed host-specific plasmid-encoded system could also be used by the zoonotic serovar in fish. hupA and vuuA were expressed in the internal organs of the animals in the first 24 h of infection, suggesting that they may be needed to achieve the population size required to trigger fatal septicemia. vuuA and hupA were sequenced in strains representative of the genetic diversity of this species, and their phylogenies were reconstructed by multilocus sequence analysis of selected housekeeping and virulence genes as a reference. Given the overall results, we suggest that both genes might form part of the core genes essential not only for disease development but also for the survival of this species in its natural reservoir, the aquatic environment.
KeywordMeSH Terms
89. Broza  YY, Raz  N, Lerner  L, Danin-Poleg  Y, Kashi  Y,     ( 2012 )

Genetic diversity of the human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus: a new phylogroup.

International journal of food microbiology 153 (3)
PMID : 22227412  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.12.011    
Abstract >>
The biotype 3 group of the human pathogen Vibrio vulnificus emerged in Israel probably as a result of genome hybridization of two bacterial populations. We performed a genomic and phylogenetic study of V. vulnificus strains isolated from the environmental niche from which this group emerged - fish aquaculture in Israel. The genetic relationships and evolutionary aspects of 188 environmental and clinical isolates of the bacterium were studied by genomic typing. Genetic relations were determined based on variation at 12 variable number tandem repeat (VNTR, also termed SSR) loci. Analysis revealed a new cluster, in addition to the main groups of biotype 1& 2 and biotype 3. Similar grouping results were obtained with three different statistical approaches. Isolates forming this new cluster presented unclear biochemical profile nevertheless were not identified as biotype 1 or biotype 3. Further examination of representative strains by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of 10 housekeeping genes and 5 conserved hypothetical genes supported the identification of this as yet undiscovered phylogroup (phenotypically diverse), termed clade A herein. This new clonal subgroup includes environmental as well as clinical isolates. The results highlight the fish aquaculture environment, and possibly man-made ecological niches as a whole, as a source for the emergence of new pathogenic strains.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genetic Variation
90. Cariani  A, Piano  A, Consolandi  C, Severgnini  M, Castiglioni  B, Caredda  G, Candela  M, Serratore  P, De Bellis  G, Tinti  F,     ( 2012 )

Detection and characterization of pathogenic vibrios in shellfish by a Ligation Detection Reaction-Universal Array approach.

International journal of food microbiology 153 (3)
PMID : 22177227  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2011.11.010    
Abstract >>
Vibrios are a group of major foodborne pathogens widely distributed in marine environment. Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio vulnificus are the pathogenic species of Vibrio that pose the greatest threat to human health. However, other vibrios, e.g. Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrio mimicus and Grimontia hollisae, apparently less relevant in the group of foodborne pathogens, have been sporadically found in outbreaks. For seafood safety and economic purposes, a rapid and powerful method for the specific identification of harmful Vibrio strains is needed. We developed a PCR-Ligase Detection Reaction-Universal Array (PCR-LDR-UA) assay for the simultaneous identification of pathogenic vibrios and detection of virulence coding genes. The entire procedure was validated on a total of 31 reference strains and isolates from clinical and environmental samples, as well as on bivalve tissue homogenates infected with different strains of target Vibrio species. Twenty-three shellfish samples directed to human consumption were successfully screened, thus demonstrating that the developed microarray-based platform could be a reliable and sensitive detection tool for the identification of harmful Vibrio strains in seafood.
KeywordMeSH Terms
91. Collin  B, Rehnstam-Holm  AS,     ( 2011 )

Occurrence and potential pathogenesis of Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus on the South Coast of Sweden.

FEMS microbiology ecology 78 (2)
PMID : 21692819  :   DOI  :   10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01157.x    
Abstract >>
During the summer of 2006, several wound infections - of which three were fatal - caused by Vibrio cholerae were reported from patients who had been exposed to water from the Baltic Sea. Before these reports, we initiated a sampling project investigating the occurrence of potential human pathogenic V. cholerae, Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in The Sound between Sweden and Denmark. The Blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) was used as an indicator to follow the occurrence of vibrios over time. Molecular analyses showed high frequencies of the most potent human pathogenic Vibrio spp.; 53% of mussel samples were positive for V. cholerae (although none were positive for the cholera toxin gene), 63% for V. vulnificus and 79% for V. parahaemolyticus (of which 47% were tdh(+) and/or trh(+)). Viable vibrios were also isolated from the mussel meat and screened for virulence by PCR. The mortality of eukaryotic cells when exposed to bacteria was tested in vivo, with results showing that the Vibrio strains, independent of species and origin, were harmful to the cells. Despite severe infections and several deaths, no report on potential human pathogenic vibrios in this area had been published before this study.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Water Microbiology
92.     ( 1997 )

Cloning and characterization of the gene (empV) encoding extracellular metalloprotease from Vibrio vulnificus.

Gene 189 (2)
PMID : 9168122  :   DOI  :   10.1016/s0378-1119(96)00786-x    
Abstract >>
A gene (empV) encoding the extracellular metalloprotease of Vibrio vulnificus CKM-1 has been cloned and sequenced. When the empV gene was expressed in minicells, a unique peptide of approx. 46 kDa was identified. Protease activity staining experiments also indicated a similar M(r) for the protease. The empV gene product (EmpV) is secreted into the periplasm of Escherichia coli, but not out of it. The crude enzyme prepared from the periplasmic fraction of recombinant E. coli was inhibited by a metalloprotease inhibitor and Zn2+ is essential for its protease activity. Nucleotide sequence analysis predicted a single open reading frame (ORF) of 1818 bp encoding a 606 amino acid (aa) polypeptide, with a potential 24 aa signal peptide followed by a long 'pro' sequence consisting of 172 aa. The N-terminal 20 aa sequence for the elastolytic protease (EepV), purified from the culture supernatant of V. vulnificus ATCC 29307, completely identified the beginning of the predicted mature protein within the deduced aa sequence except for 1 aa residue difference. The estimated pI and molecular weight of the predicted mature protein were 5.86 and 44.3 kDa, respectively, which are nearly identical to those of V. vulnificus L-180 extracellular neutral metalloprotease (EnmV) and of strain ATCC 29307 EepV. The estimated molecular weight also closely matches that determined by SDS-PAGE analysis of the minicells and by protease activity staining. The deduced aa sequence of EmpV showed high homology to V. anguillarum metalloprotease (EmpA), V. cholerae HA/protease (HprC), and V proteolyticus neutral protease (NprP), particularly with respect to active-site residues, zinc-binding residues, and cysteine residues.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genes, Bacterial
93.     ( 1996 )

Cloning and nucleotide sequencing of the protease gene of Vibrio vulnificus.

Gene 183 (1��2��)
PMID : 8996115  :   DOI  :   10.1016/s0378-1119(96)00488-x    
Abstract >>
The gene (vvp) encoding a thermolabile protease of Vibrio vulnificus was cloned and sequenced. The transcription start point was also determined by primer extension. The product of this gene is very likely the secretory neutral metalloprotease that has been purified and characterized previously.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Proteins
94.     ( 1996 )

Role of catechol siderophore synthesis in Vibrio vulnificus virulence.

Infection and immunity 64 (7)
PMID : 8698519  :   PMC  :   PMC174150    
Abstract >>
We isolated a Vibrio vulnificus TnphoA mutant that was unable to produce catechol siderophores or to acquire iron from transferrin. This mutant showed reduced virulence in an infant mouse model. The TnphoA insertion was in an open reading frame designated venB. The venB gene cloned on a plasmid restored catechol production to the mutant. The deduced amino acid sequence of venB is 41% identical to the enzyme isochorismatase of Escherichia coli (EntB), an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of the catechol siderophore enterobactin.
KeywordMeSH Terms
95.     ( 1993 )

Sequence analysis of the beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase gene of Vibrio vulnificus: evidence for a common evolutionary origin of hexosaminidases.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 90 (14)
PMID : 8341694  :   DOI  :   10.1073/pnas.90.14.6751     PMC  :   PMC47010    
Abstract >>
DNA cloned from the marine bacterium Vibrio vulnificus into Escherichia coli HB101 can hydrolyze chitin oligomer analogs in the recipient. The nucleotide sequence of the cloned DNA was determined and a single long open reading frame of 2541 base pairs (initiation codon through termination codon) was found. The nucleotide sequence predicts a gene product of 847 amino acids and a molecular mass of 94.3 kDa. In vitro transcription and translation analyses indicated a single protein of 94 kDa encoded by the cloned DNA. The gene product hydrolyzes methylumbelliferyl beta-D conjugates of chitotriose, chitobiose, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylgalactosamine and has, therefore, been termed a beta-N-acetylhexosaminidase. The predicted protein shares a high degree of sequence similarity with the chitobiase of Vibrio harveyi and limited similarity with the alpha chain of human beta-hexosaminidase. Cluster analyses suggest a common evolutionary ancestor for all known hexosaminidase enzymes, with no detectable relationship to known chitinases.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Biological Evolution
96. Wan  Y, Liu  C, Ma  Q,     ( 2019 )

Structural analysis of a Vibrio phospholipase reveals an unusual Ser-His-chloride catalytic triad.

The Journal of biological chemistry 294 (30)
PMID : 31073025  :   DOI  :   10.1074/jbc.RA119.008280     PMC  :   PMC6663882    
Abstract >>
Phospholipases can disrupt host membranes and are important virulence factors in many pathogens. VvPlpA is a phospholipase A2 secreted by Vibrio vulnificus and essential for virulence. Its homologs, termed thermolabile hemolysins (TLHs), are widely distributed in Vibrio bacteria, but no structural information for this virulence factor class is available. Herein, we report the crystal structure of VvPlpA to 1.4-? resolution, revealing that VvPlpA contains an N-terminal domain of unknown function and a C-terminal phospholipase domain and that these two domains are packed closely together. The phospholipase domain adopts a typical SGNH hydrolase fold, containing the four conserved catalytic residues Ser, Gly, Asn, and His. Interestingly, the structure also disclosed that the phospholipase domain accommodates a chloride ion near the catalytic His residue. The chloride is five-coordinated in a distorted bipyramid geometry, accepting hydrogen bonds from a water molecule and the amino groups of surrounding residues. This chloride substitutes for the most common Asp/Glu residue and forms an unusual Ser-His-chloride catalytic triad in VvPlpA. The chloride may orient the catalytic His and stabilize the charge on its imidazole ring during catalysis. Indeed, VvPlpA activity depended on chloride concentration, confirming the important role of chloride in catalysis. The VvPlpA structure also revealed a large hydrophobic substrate-binding pocket that is capable of accommodating a long-chain acyl group. Our results provide the first structure of the TLH family and uncover an unusual Ser-His-chloride catalytic triad, expanding our knowledge on the biological role of chloride.
KeywordMeSH Terms
SGNH hydrolase superfamily
Vibrio
bacterial pathogenesis
catalytic triad
chloride
enzyme mechanism
glycerophospholipid
phospholipase
thermolabile hemolysin
virulence factor
97. Kawano  H, Miyamoto  K, Yasunobe  M, Murata  M, Yamahata  E, Yamaguchi  R, Miyaki  Y, Tsuchiya  T, Tanabe  T, Funahashi  T, Tsujibo  H,     ( 2018 )

Identification of the heme acquisition system in Vibrio vulnificus M2799.

Microbial pathogenesis 117 (N/A)
PMID : 29432914  :   DOI  :   10.1016/j.micpath.2018.02.022    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus, the causative agent of serious, often fatal, infections in humans, requires iron for its pathogenesis. As such, it obtains iron via both vulnibactin and heme-mediated iron-uptake systems. In this study, we identified the heme acquisition system in V. vulnificus M2799. The nucleotide sequences of the genes encoding heme receptors HupA and HvtA and the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transport system proteins HupB, HupC, and HupD were determined, and then used in the construction of deletion mutants developed from a �Gics strain, which could not synthesize vulnibactin. Growth experiments using these mutants indicated that HupA and HvtA are major and minor heme receptors, respectively. The expressions of two proteins were analyzed by the quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Furthermore, complementation analyses confirmed that the HupBCD proteins are the only ABC transport system shared by both the HupA and HvtA receptors. This is the first genetic evidence that the HupBCD proteins are essential for heme acquisition by V. vulnificus. Further investigation showed that hupA, hvtA, and hupBCD are regulated by Fur. The qRT-PCR analysis of the heme receptor genes revealed that HupR, a LysR-family positive transcriptional activator, upregulates the expression of hupA, but not hvtA. In addition, ptrB was co-transcribed with hvtA, and PtrB had no influence on growth in low-iron CM9 medium supplemented with hemin, hemoglobin, or cytochrome C.
KeywordMeSH Terms
ABC transporter
Clinical isolate
Hemin
Isochorismate synthase
Outer membrane protein
Periplasmic binding protein
98. Roig  FJ, González-Candelas  F, Sanjuán  E, Fouz  B, Feil  EJ, Llorens  C, Baker-Austin  C, Oliver  JD, Danin-Poleg  Y, Gibas  CJ, Kashi  Y, Gulig  PA, Morrison  SS, Amaro  C,     ( 2017 )

Phylogeny of Vibrio vulnificus from the Analysis of the Core-Genome: Implications for Intra-Species Taxonomy.

Frontiers in microbiology 8 (N/A)
PMID : 29358930  :   DOI  :   10.3389/fmicb.2017.02613     PMC  :   PMC5765525    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus (Vv) is a multi-host pathogenic species currently subdivided into three biotypes (Bts). The three Bts are human-pathogens, but only Bt2 is also a fish-pathogen, an ability that is conferred by a transferable virulence-plasmid (pVvbt2). Here we present a phylogenomic analysis from the core genome of 80 Vv strains belonging to the three Bts recovered from a wide range of geographical and ecological sources. We have identified five well-supported phylogenetic groups or lineages (L). L1 comprises a mixture of clinical and environmental Bt1 strains, most of them involved in human clinical cases related to raw seafood ingestion. L2 is formed by a mixture of Bt1 and Bt2 strains from various sources, including diseased fish, and is related to the aquaculture industry. L3 is also linked to the aquaculture industry and includes Bt3 strains exclusively, mostly related to wound infections or secondary septicemia after farmed-fish handling. Lastly, L4 and L5 include a few strains of Bt1 associated with specific geographical areas. The phylogenetic trees for ChrI and II are not congruent to one another, which suggests that inter- and/or intra-chromosomal rearrangements have been produced along Vv evolution. Further, the phylogenetic trees for each chromosome and the virulence plasmid were also not congruent, which also suggests that pVvbt2 has been acquired independently by different clones, probably in fish farms. From all these clones, the one with zoonotic capabilities (Bt2-Serovar E) has successfully spread worldwide. Based on these results, we propose a new updated classification of the species based on phylogenetic lineages rather than on Bts, as well as the inclusion of all Bt2 strains in a pathovar with the particular ability to cause fish vibriosis, for which we suggest the name "piscis."
KeywordMeSH Terms
SNP
Vibrio vulnificus
biotype
core genome
microbial evolution
pathogens
pathovar
virulence plasmid
99. Kim  BS, Jang  SY, Bang  YJ, Hwang  J, Koo  Y, Jang  KK, Lim  D, Kim  MH, Choi  SH,     ( 2018 )

QStatin, a Selective Inhibitor of Quorum Sensing in Vibrio Species.

mBio 9 (1)
PMID : 29382732  :   DOI  :   10.1128/mBio.02262-17     PMC  :   PMC5790914    
Abstract >>
Pathogenic Vibrio species cause diseases in diverse marine animals reared in aquaculture. Since their pathogenesis, persistence, and survival in marine environments are regulated by quorum sensing (QS), QS interference has attracted attention as a means to control these bacteria in aquatic settings. A few QS inhibitors of Vibrio species have been reported, but detailed molecular mechanisms are lacking. Here, we identified a novel, potent, and selective Vibrio QS inhibitor, named QStatin [1-(5-bromothiophene-2-sulfonyl)-1H-pyrazole], which affects Vibrio harveyi LuxR homologues, the well-conserved master transcriptional regulators for QS in Vibrio species. Crystallographic and biochemical analyses showed that QStatin binds tightly to a putative ligand-binding pocket in SmcR, the LuxR homologue in V. vulnificus, and changes the flexibility of the protein, thereby altering its transcription regulatory activity. Transcriptome analysis revealed that QStatin results in SmcR dysfunction, affecting the expression of SmcR regulon required for virulence, motility/chemotaxis, and biofilm dynamics. Notably, QStatin attenuated representative QS-regulated phenotypes in various Vibrio species, including virulence against the brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana). Together, these results provide molecular insights into the mechanism of action of an effective, sustainable QS inhibitor that is less susceptible to resistance than other antimicrobial agents and useful in controlling the virulence of Vibrio species in aquacultures.IMPORTANCE Yields of aquaculture, such as penaeid shrimp hatcheries, are greatly affected by vibriosis, a disease caused by pathogenic Vibrio infections. Since bacterial cell-to-cell communication, known as quorum sensing (QS), regulates pathogenesis of Vibrio species in marine environments, QS inhibitors have attracted attention as alternatives to conventional antibiotics in aquatic settings. Here, we used target-based high-throughput screening to identify QStatin, a potent and selective inhibitor of V. harveyi LuxR homologues, which are well-conserved master QS regulators in Vibrio species. Structural and biochemical analyses revealed that QStatin binds tightly to a putative ligand-binding pocket on SmcR, the LuxR homologue in V. vulnificus, and affects expression of QS-regulated genes. Remarkably, QStatin attenuated diverse QS-regulated phenotypes in various Vibrio species, including pathogenesis against brine shrimp, with no impact on bacterial viability. Taken together, the results suggest that QStatin may be a sustainable antivibriosis agent useful in aquacultures.
KeywordMeSH Terms
LuxR
Vibrio
quorum sensing
quorum-sensing inhibitor
100. Biancucci  M, Minasov  G, Banerjee  A, Herrera  A, Woida  PJ, Kieffer  MB, Bindu  L, Abreu-Blanco  M, Anderson  WF, Gaponenko  V, Stephen  AG, Holderfield  M, Satchell  KJF,     ( 2018 )

The bacterial Ras/Rap1 site-specific endopeptidase RRSP cleaves Ras through an atypical mechanism to disrupt Ras-ERK signaling.

Science signaling 11 (550)
PMID : 30279169  :   DOI  :   10.1126/scisignal.aat8335     PMC  :   PMC6309442    
Abstract >>
The Ras-extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway is critical for controlling cell proliferation, and its aberrant activation drives the growth of various cancers. Because many pathogens produce toxins that inhibit Ras activity, efforts to develop effective Ras inhibitors to treat cancer could be informed by studies of Ras inhibition by pathogens. Vibrio vulnificus causes fatal infections in a manner that depends on multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin, a toxin that releases bacterial effector domains into host cells. One such domain is the Ras/Rap1-specific endopeptidase (RRSP), which site-specifically cleaves the Switch I domain of the small GTPases Ras and Rap1. We solved the crystal structure of RRSP and found that its backbone shares a structural fold with the EreA/ChaN-like superfamily of enzymes. Unlike other proteases in this family, RRSP is not a metalloprotease. Through nuclear magnetic resonance analysis and nucleotide exchange assays, we determined that the processing of KRAS by RRSP did not release any fragments or cause KRAS to dissociate from its bound nucleotide but instead only locally affected its structure. However, this structural alteration of KRAS was sufficient to disable guanine nucleotide exchange factor-mediated nucleotide exchange and prevent KRAS from binding to RAF. Thus, RRSP is a bacterial effector that represents a previously unrecognized class of protease that disconnects Ras from its signaling network while inducing limited structural disturbance in its target.
KeywordMeSH Terms
101.     ( 2013 )

Genotypic diversity and virulence characteristics of clinical and environmental Vibrio vulnificus isolates from the Baltic Sea region.

Applied and environmental microbiology 79 (12)
PMID : 23542621  :   DOI  :   10.1128/AEM.00477-13     PMC  :   PMC3675912    
Abstract >>
The genetic diversity of Vibrio vulnificus isolates from clinical and environmental sources originating from the Baltic Sea region was evaluated by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and possible relationships between MLST clusters, potential genotypic and phenotypic traits associated with pathogenicity, and source of isolation were investigated. The studied traits included genotyping of polymorphic loci (16S rRNA, vcg, and pilF), presence/absence of potential virulence genes, including nanA, nab, and genes of pathogenicity regions, metabolic features, hemolytic activity, resistance to human serum, and cytotoxicity to human intestinal cells. MLST generated 35 (27 new) sequence types and divided the 53 isolates (including four reference strains) into two main clusters, with cluster I containing biotype 1 and 2 isolates of mainly environmental origin and cluster II containing biotype 1 isolates of mainly clinical origin. Cluster II isolates were further subdivided into two branches. Branch IIB included isolates from recent cases of wound infections that were acquired at the German Baltic Sea coastline between 2010 and 2011 and isolates from seawater samples of the same regions isolated between 1994 and 2010. Comparing the MLST data with the results of genotyping and phenotyping showed that strains of MLST cluster II possess a number of additional pathogenicity-associated traits compared to cluster I strains. Rapid microbiological methods such as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry combined with typing of selected virulence-associated traits (e.g., serum resistance, mannitol fermentation, nanA, and pathogenicity region XII) could be used for risk assessment purposes regarding V. vulnificus strains isolated from the Baltic Sea region.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genetic Variation
Phenotype
Phylogeny
102.     ( 2013 )

Computational, structural, and kinetic evidence that Vibrio vulnificus FrsA is not a cofactor-independent pyruvate decarboxylase.

Biochemistry 52 (11)
PMID : 23452154  :   DOI  :   10.1021/bi400093y     PMC  :   PMC3788570    
Abstract >>
The fermentation-respiration switch (FrsA) protein in Vibrio vulnificus was recently reported to catalyze the cofactor-independent decarboxylation of pyruvate. We now report quantum mechanical/molecular mechenical calculations that examine the energetics of C-C bond cleavage for a pyruvate molecule bound within the putative active site of FrsA. These calculations suggest that the barrier to C-C bond cleavage in the bound substrate is 28 kcal/mol, which is similar to that estimated for the uncatalyzed decarboxylation of pyruvate in water at 25 �XC. In agreement with the theoretical predictions, no pyruvate decarboxylase activity was detected for recombinant FrsA protein that could be crystallized and structurally characterized. These results suggest that the functional annotation of FrsA as a cofactor-independent pyruvate decarboxylase is incorrect.
KeywordMeSH Terms
103.     ( 1998 )

The type IV leader peptidase/N-methyltransferase of Vibrio vulnificus controls factors required for adherence to HEp-2 cells and virulence in iron-overloaded mice.

Infection and immunity 66 (12)
PMID : 9826339  :   PMC  :   PMC108715    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus expresses a number of potential virulence determinants that may contribute to its ability to cause a severe and rapidly disseminating septicemia in susceptible hosts. We have cloned and characterized two genes encoding products related to components of the type IV pilus biogenesis and general secretory (type II) pathways by complementation of a type IV peptidase/N-methyltransferase (PilD) mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with a V. vulnificus genomic library. One of the genes (vvpD) encodes a protein homologous to PilD and other members of the type IV peptidase family that completely restores this activity in a P. aeruginosa mutant deficient in the expression of PilD. The other gene (vvpC) encodes a homolog of PilC from P. aeruginosa, where it is essential for assembly of type IV pili. Phenotypic characterization of a V. vulnificus vvpD mutant, constructed by allelic exchange, showed that VvpD is required for the expression of surface pili, suggesting that the pili observed on V. vulnificus are of the type IV class. This mutant was also unable to secrete at least three extracellular degradative enzymes, and the localization of one of these (the cytolysin/hemolysin) to the periplasmic space indicates that these proteins are normally exported via the type II secretion pathway. Loss of VvpD resulted in significant decreases in CHO cell cytotoxicity, adherence to HEp-2 cells, and virulence in a mouse model. Capsule formation and serum resistance were not affected in the vvpD mutant, indicating that in addition to capsule, virulence of V. vulnificus requires type IV pili and/or extracellular secretion of several exoenzymes.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Bacterial Adhesion
Fimbriae Proteins
104.     ( 1998 )

Cloning and characterization of an outer membrane protein of Vibrio vulnificus required for heme utilization: regulation of expression and determination of the gene sequence.

Infection and immunity 66 (7)
PMID : 9632577  :   PMC  :   PMC108324    
Abstract >>
Vibrio vulnificus is a halophilic, marine pathogen that has been associated with septicemia and serious wound infections in patients with iron overload and preexisting liver disease. For V. vulnificus, the ability to acquire iron from the host has been shown to correlate with virulence. V. vulnificus is able to use host iron sources such as hemoglobin and heme. We previously constructed a fur mutant of V. vulnificus which constitutively expresses at least two iron-regulated outer membrane proteins, of 72 and 77 kDa. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the 77-kDa protein purified from the V. vulnificus fur mutant had 67% homology with the first 15 amino acids of the mature protein of the Vibrio cholerae heme receptor, HutA. In this report, we describe the cloning, DNA sequence, mutagenesis, and analysis of transcriptional regulation of the structural gene for HupA, the heme receptor of V. vulnificus. DNA sequencing of hupA demonstrated a single open reading frame of 712 amino acids that was 50% identical and 66% similar to the sequence of V. cholerae HutA and similar to those of other TonB-dependent outer membrane receptors. Primer extension analysis localized one promoter for the V. vulnificus hupA gene. Analysis of the promoter region of V. vulnificus hupA showed a sequence homologous to the consensus Fur box. Northern blot analysis showed that the transcript was strongly regulated by iron. An internal deletion in the V. vulnificus hupA gene, done by using marker exchange, resulted in the loss of expression of the 77-kDa protein and the loss of the ability to use hemin or hemoglobin as a source of iron. The hupA deletion mutant of V. vulnificus will be helpful in future studies of the role of heme iron in V. vulnificus pathogenesis.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
105.     ( 1998 )

An epimerase gene essential for capsule synthesis in Vibrio vulnificus.

Infection and immunity 66 (6)
PMID : 9596722  :   PMC  :   PMC108244    
Abstract >>
The extracellular capsule polysaccharide (CPS) of Vibrio vulnificus is a primary virulence factor which allows survival of the bacteria in the human host. To study the genes involved in expression of the capsule, we generated mutants that lost the ability to produce CPS following the insertion of a minitransposon into the genome of an encapsulated, clinical strain of V. vulnificus. A genomic region, from one nonencapsulated mutant, containing the transposon and flanking V. vulnificus DNA was cloned, and a probe complementary to the chromosomal DNA immediately adjacent to the transposon was used to locate this fragment in the genome of the encapsulated parent strain. The fragment, which contained a putative capsule gene, was cloned and, when supplied in trans, complemented the mutation in the nonencapsulated mutant to restore capsule production. In addition, virulence studies, using the 50% lethal dose assay, showed that the restoration of capsule production also restored the virulence of the organism. Sequence analysis of the gene disrupted by the transposon revealed that it matched a nucleotide-sugar epimerase of Vibrio cholerae O139, with 75 and 85% identities at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. In addition, computer analysis recognized epimerases of various organisms as highly similar to the putative epimerase of V. vulnificus. Finally, a combination of PCR amplification and Southern blotting showed that this epimerase is common to at least 10 strains of V. vulnificus that each express a serologically distinct CPS. Our results indicate that the epimerase gene is essential for capsule expression in V. vulnificus.
KeywordMeSH Terms
Genes, Bacterial

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