Transfer of R388 derivatives by a pathogenesis-associated type IV secretion system into both bacteria and human cells

Fernández-González, Esther and de Paz, Héctor D. and Alperi, Anabel and Agúndez, Leticia and Faustmann, Marco and Sangari, Félix J. and Dehio, Christoph and Llosa, Matxalen. (2011) Transfer of R388 derivatives by a pathogenesis-associated type IV secretion system into both bacteria and human cells. Journal of bacteriology, Vol. 193, H. 22. pp. 6257-6265.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6001792

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Bacterial type IV secretion systems (T4SSs) are involved in processes such as bacterial conjugation and protein translocation to animal cells. In this work, we have switched the substrates of T4SSs involved in pathogenicity for DNA transfer. Plasmids containing part of the conjugative machinery of plasmid R388 were transferred by the T4SS of human facultative intracellular pathogen Bartonella henselae to both recipient bacteria and human vascular endothelial cells. About 2% of the human cells expressed a green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene from the plasmid. Plasmids of different sizes were transferred with similar efficiencies. B. henselae codes for two T4SSs: VirB/VirD4 and Trw. A ?virB mutant strain was transfer deficient, while a ?trwE mutant was only slightly impaired in DNA transfer. DNA transfer was in all cases dependent on protein TrwC of R388, the conjugative relaxase, implying that it occurs by a conjugation-like mechanism. A DNA helicase-deficient mutant of TrwC could not promote DNA transfer. In the absence of TrwB, the coupling protein of R388, DNA transfer efficiency dropped 1 log. The same low efficiency was obtained with a TrwB point mutation in the region involved in interaction with the T4SS. TrwB interacted with VirB10 in a bacterial two-hybrid assay, suggesting that it may act as the recruiter of the R388 substrate for the VirB/VirD4 T4SS. A TrwB ATPase mutant behaved as dominant negative, dropping DNA transfer efficiency to almost null levels. B. henselae bacteria recovered from infected human cells could transfer the mobilizable plasmid into recipient Escherichia coli under certain conditions, underscoring the versatility of T4SSs.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Molecular Microbiology (Dehio)
UniBasel Contributors:Dehio, Christoph
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Sep 2012 07:22
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 07:15

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