Browsing by Subject "FUNCTIONAL-ANALYSIS"

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  • Rasinkangas, Pia; Tytgat, Hanne L. P.; Ritari, Jarmo; Reunanen, Justus; Salminen, Seppo; Palva, Airi; Douillard, Francois P.; de Vos, Willem M. (2020)
    Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosusGG is one of the best studied lactic acid bacteria in the context of probiotic effects.L. rhamnosusGG has been shown to prevent diarrhea in children and adults and has been implicated to have mitigating or preventive effects in several disorders connected to microbiota dysbiosis. The probiotic effects are largely attributed to its adhesive heterotrimeric sortase-dependent pili, encoded by thespaCBA-srtC1gene cluster. Indeed, the strain-specific SpaCBA pili have been shown to contribute to adherence, biofilm formation and host signaling. In this work we set out to generate non-GMO derivatives ofL. rhamnosusGG that adhere stronger to mucus compared to the wild-type strain using chemical mutagenesis. We selected 13 derivatives that showed an increased mucus-adherent phenotype. Deep shotgun resequencing of the strains enabled division of the strains into three classes, two of which revealed SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) in thespaAandspaCgenes encoding the shaft and tip adhesive pilins, respectively. Strikingly, the other class derivatives demonstrated less clear genotype - phenotype relationships, illustrating that pili biogenesis and structure is also affected by other processes. Further characterization of the different classes of derivatives was performed by PacBio SMRT sequencing and RNAseq analysis, which resulted in the identification of molecular candidates driving pilin biosynthesis and functionality. In conclusion, we report on the generation and characterization of three classes of strongly adherentL. rhamnosusGG derivatives that show an increase in adhesion to mucus. These are of special interest as they provide a window on processes and genes driving piliation and its control inL. rhamnosusGG and offer a variety of non-GMO derivatives of this key probiotic strain that are applicable in food products.
  • Douillard, Francois P.; Kant, Ravi; Ritari, Jarmo; Paulin, Lars; Palva, Airi; de Vos, Willem M. (2013)
  • Megta, Abhin Kumar; Pratap, Shivendra; Kant, Abhiruchi; Palva, Airi; von Ossowski, Ingemar; Krishnan, Vengadesan (2020)
    To successfully colonize a host or environment, certain genera and species of Gram-positive bacteria have evolved to utilize the so-called sortase-dependent pilus, a long multi-subunit and non-flagellar surface adhesin. One example of this is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, a gut-adapted probiotic strain that produces SpaCBA pili. These structures are covalent hetero-oligomers built from three types of pilin subunit, each with a specific location and function (i.e., backbone SpaA for length, tip SpaC for adhesion, and basal SpaB for anchoring). Functionally, the SpaCBA pilus exhibits a promiscuous affinity for components on intestinal surfaces (e.g., mucus, collagen, and epithelial cells), which is largely attributed to the SpaC subunit. Then again, the basal SpaB pilin, in addition to acting as the terminal subunit during pilus assembly, displays an out of character mucoadhesive function. To address the structural basis of this unusual dual functionality, we reveal the 2.39 A resolution crystal structure of SpaB. SpaB consists of one immunoglobulin-like CnaB domain and contains a putative intermolecular isopeptide bond-linking lysine and internal isopeptide bond-asparagine in an FPKN pilin motif within the C-terminal end. Remarkably, we found that a C-terminal stretch of positively charged lysine and arginine residues likely accounts for the atypical mucoadhesiveness of SpaB. Although harboring an autocatalytic triad of residues for a potential internal isopeptide interaction, the SpaB crystal structure lacked the visible electron density for intact bond formation, yet its presence was subsequently confirmed by mass spectral analysis. Finally, we propose a structural model that captures the exclusive basal positioning of SpaB in the SpaCBA pilus.
  • Mishra, Arjun K.; Megta, Abhin Kumar; Palva, Airi; von Ossowski, Ingemar; Krishnan, Vengadesan (2017)
    SpaE is the predicted basal pilin subunit in the sortase-dependent SpaFED pilus from the gut-adapted and commensal Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Thus far, structural characterization of the cell-wall-anchoring basal pilins has remained difficult and has been limited to only a few examples from pathogenic genera and species. To gain a further structural understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are involved in the anchoring and assembly of sortase-dependent pili in less harmful bacteria, L. rhamnosus GG SpaE for crystallization was produced by recombinant expression in Escherichia coli. Although several attempts to crystallize the SpaE protein were unsuccessful, trigonal crystals that diffracted to a resolution of 3.1 angstrom were eventually produced using PEG 3350 as a precipitant and high protein concentrations. Further optimization with a combination of additives led to the generation of SpaE crystals in an orthorhombic form that diffracted to a higher resolution of 1.5 angstrom. To expedite structure determination by SAD phasing, selenium-substituted (orthorhombic) SpaE crystals were grown and X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.8 angstrom resolution.
  • Caicedo, Juan C.; Cooper, Sam; Heigwer, Florian; Warchal, Scott; Qiu, Peng; Molnar, Csaba; Vasilevich, Aliaksei S.; Barry, Joseph D.; Bansal, Harmanjit Singh; Kraus, Oren; Wawer, Mathias; Paavolainen, Lassi; Herrmann, Markus D.; Rohban, Mohammad; Hung, Jane; Hennig, Holger; Concannon, John; Smith, Ian; Clemons, Paul A.; Singh, Shantanu; Rees, Paul; Horvath, Peter; Linington, Roger G.; Carpenter, Anne E. (2017)
    Image-based cell profiling is a high-throughput strategy for the quantification of phenotypic differences among a variety of cell populations. It paves the way to studying biological systems on a large scale by using chemical and genetic perturbations. The general workflow for this technology involves image acquisition with high-throughput microscopy systems and subsequent image processing and analysis. Here, we introduce the steps required to create high-quality image-based (i.e., morphological) profiles from a collection of microscopy images. We recommend techniques that have proven useful in each stage of the data analysis process, on the basis of the experience of 20 laboratories worldwide that are refining their image-based cell-profiling methodologies in pursuit of biological discovery. The recommended techniques cover alternatives that may suit various biological goals, experimental designs, and laboratories' preferences.
  • Kovalchuk, Andriy; Kohler, Annegret; Martin, Francis; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2015)
    Background: Transporter proteins are predicted to have an important role in the mycorrhizal symbiosis, due to the fact that this type of an interaction between plants and fungi requires a continuous nutrient and signalling exchange. ABC transporters are one of the large groups of transporter proteins found both in plants and in fungi. The crucial role of plant ABC transporters in the formation of the mycorrhizal symbiosis has been demonstrated recently. Some of the fungal ABC transporter-encoding genes are also induced during the mycorrhiza formation. However, no experimental evidences of the direct involvement of fungal ABC transporters in this process are available so far. To facilitate the identification of fungal ABC proteins with a potential role in the establishment of the mycorrhizal symbiosis, we have performed an inventory of the ABC protein-encoding genes in the genomes of 25 species of mycorrhiza-forming fungi. Results: We have identified, manually annotated and curated more than 1300 gene models of putative ABC protein-encoding genes. Out of those, more than 1000 models are predicted to encode functional proteins, whereas about 300 models represent gene fragments or putative pseudogenes. We have also performed the phylogenetic analysis of the identified sequences. The sets of ABC proteins in the mycorrhiza-forming species were compared to the related saprotrophic or plant-pathogenic fungal species. Our results demonstrate the high diversity of ABC genes in the genomes of mycorrhiza-forming fungi. Via comparison of transcriptomics data from different species, we have identified candidate groups of ABC transporters that might have a role in the process of the mycorrhiza formation. Conclusions: Results of our inventory will facilitate the identification of fungal transporters with a role in the mycorrhiza formation. We also provide the first data on ABC protein-coding genes for the phylum Glomeromycota and for orders Pezizales, Atheliales, Cantharellales and Sebacinales, contributing to the better knowledge of the diversity of this protein family within the fungal kingdom.
  • Alvarenga, Danillo O.; Franco, Maione W.; Sivonen, Kaarina; Fiore, Marli F.; Varani, Alessandro M. (2020)
    Background. Brasilonema is a cyanobacterial genus found on the surface of mineral substrates and plants such as bromeliads, orchids and eucalyptus. B. octagenarum stands out among cyanobacteria due to causing damage to the leaves of its host in an interaction not yet observed in other cyanobacteria. Previous studies revealed that B. octagenaum UFV-E1 is capable of leading eucalyptus leaves to suffer internal tissue damage and necrosis by unknown mechanisms. This work aimed to investigate the effects of B. octagenarum UFV-E1 inoculation on Eucalyptus urograndis and to uncover molecular mechanisms potentially involved in leaf damage by these cyanobacteria using a comparative genomics approach. Results. Leaves from E. urograndis saplings were exposed for 30 days to B. octagenarum UFV-E1, which was followed by the characterization of its genome and its comparison with the genomes of four other Brasilonema strains isolated from phyllosphere and the surface of mineral substrates. While UFV-E1 inoculation caused an increase in root and stem dry mass of the host plants, the sites colonized by cyanobacteria on leaves presented a significant decrease in pigmentation, showing that the cyanobacterial mats have an effect on leaf cell structure. Genomic analyses revealed that all evaluated Brasilonema genomes harbored genes encoding molecules possibly involved in plant-pathogen interactions, such as hydrolases targeting plant cell walls and proteins similar to known virulence factors from plant pathogens. However, sequences related to the type III secretory system and effectors were not detected, suggesting that, even if any virulence factors could be expressed in contact with their hosts, they would not have the structural means to actively reach plant cytoplasm. Conclusions. Leaf damage by this species is likely related to the blockage of access to sunlight by the efficient growth of cyanobacterial mats on the phyllosphere, which may hinder the photosynthetic machinery and prevent access to some essential molecules. These results reveal that the presence of cyanobacteria on leaf surfaces is not as universally beneficial as previously thought, since they may not merely provide the products of nitrogen fixation to their hosts in exchange for physical support, but in some cases also hinder regular leaf physiology leading to tissue damage.
  • Kurokura, Takeshi; Samad, Samia; Koskela, Elli; Mouhu, Katriina; Hytonen, Timo (2017)
    According to the external coincidence model, photoperiodic flowering occurs when CONSTANS ( CO) mRNA expression coincides with light in the afternoon of long days (LDs), leading to the activation of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT). CO has evolved in Brassicaceae from other Group Ia CO-like (COL) proteins which do not control photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis. COLs in other species have evolved different functions as floral activators or even as repressors. To understand photoperiodic development in the perennial rosaceous model species woodland strawberry, we functionally characterized FvCO, the only Group Ia COL in its genome. We demonstrate that FvCO has a major role in the photoperiodic control of flowering and vegetative reproduction through runners. FvCO is needed to generate a bimodal rhythm of FvFT1 which encodes a floral activator in the LD accession Hawaii-4: a sharp FvCO expression peak at dawn is followed by the FvFT1 morning peak in LDs indicating possible direct regulation, but additional factors that may include FvGI and FvFKF1 are probably needed to schedule the second FvFT1 peak around dusk. These results demonstrate that although FvCO and FvFT1 play major roles in photoperiodic development, the CO-based external coincidence around dusk is not fully applicable to the woodland strawberry.
  • Hussain, Nazar; Ran, Li; Takala, Timo; Tariq, Muhammad; Zaidi, Arsalan; Saris, Per (2021)
    Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) is the most studied probiotic bacterium in the world. It is used as a probiotic supplement in many foods, including various dairy products. However, LGG grows poorly in milk, as it neither metabolizes the main milk carbohydrate lactose nor degrades the major milk protein casein effectively. In this study, we made L rhamnosus GG lactose and protease positive by conjugation with the dairy Lactococcus lactis strain NCDO 712 carrying the lactose-protease plasmid pLP712. A lactose-hydrolyzing transconjugant colony was obtained on agar containing lactose as the sole source of carbohydrates. By microscopic analysis and PCR with LGG- and pLP712-specific primers, the transconjugant was confirmed to have originated from LGG and to carry the plasmid pLP712. The transconjugant was named L. rhamnosus LAB49. The isolation of plasmids revealed that not only pLP712 but also other plasmids had been transferred from L lactis into LGG during conjugation. With plasmid-specific PCR primers, four additional lactococcal plasmids were detected in LAB49. Proteolytic activity assay and SDS-PAGE analysis verified that L rhamnosus LAB49 effectively degraded beta-casein. In contrast to its parental strain, LGG, the ability of LAB49 to metabolize lactose and degrade casein enabled strong and fast growth in milk. As strains with new properties made by conjugation are not regarded as genetically modified organisms (GM05), L. rhamnosus LAB49 could be beneficial in dairy fermentations as a probiotic starter culture. IMPORTANCE Probiotic strain Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) is widely sold on the market as a probiotic or added as a supplement in dairy foods because of its benefits in human health. However, due to the deficiency of lactose and casein utilization, LGG does not grow well in milk. On the other hand, lactose intolerance and cow's milk protein allergy are the two major problems related to milk consumption. One option to help with these two conditions is the use of probiotic or lactose- and casein-hydrolyzing bacteria in dairy products. The purpose of this study was to equip LGG with lactose/casein-hydrolyzing ability by bacterial conjugation. As a result, we generated a non-GMO LGG derivative with improved properties and better growth in milk.
  • Claes, Ingmar J. J.; Schoofs, Geert; Regulski, Krzysztof; Courtin, Pascal; Chapot-Chartier, Marie-Pierre; Rolain, Thomas; Hols, Pascal; von Ossowski, Ingemar; Reunanen, Justus; de Vos, Willem M.; Palva, Airi; Vanderleyden, Jos; De Keersmaecker, Sigrid C. J.; Lebeer, Sarah (2012)
  • Ramakrishnan, Muthusamy; Yrjälä, Kim; Vinod, Kunnummal Kurungara; Sharma, Anket; Cho, Jungnam; Satheesh, Viswanathan; Zhou, Mingbing (2020)
    Sustainable goals for contemporary world seek viable solutions for interconnected challenges, particularly in the fields of food and energy security and climate change. We present bamboo, one of the versatile plant species on earth, as an ideal candidate for bioeconomy for meeting some of these challenges. With its potential realized, particularly in the industrial sector, countries such as China are going extensive with bamboo development and cultivation to support a myriad of industrial uses. These include timber, fiber, biofuel, paper, food, and medicinal industries. Bamboo is an ecologically viable choice, having better adaptation to wider environments than do other grasses, and can help to restore degraded lands and mitigate climate change. Bamboo, as a crop species, has not become amenable to genetic improvement, due to its long breeding cycle, perennial nature, and monocarpic behavior. One of the commonly used species, moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is a potential candidate that qualifies as industrial bamboo. With its whole-genome information released, genetic manipulations of moso bamboo offer tremendous potential to meet the industrial expectations either in quality or in quantity. Further, bamboo cultivation can expect several natural hindrances through biotic and abiotic stresses, which needs viable solutions such as genetic resistance. Taking a pragmatic view of these future requirements, we have compiled the present status of bamboo physiology, genetics, genomics, and biotechnology, particularly of moso bamboo, to drive various implications in meeting industrial and cultivation requirements. We also discuss challenges underway, caveats, and contextual opportunities concerning sustainable development.
  • Nies, Anne T.; Niemi, Mikko; Burk, Oliver; Winter, Stefan; Zanger, Ulrich M.; Stieger, Bruno; Schwab, Matthias; Schaeffeler, Elke (2013)
  • Savijoki, Kirsi; Nyman, Tuula A.; Kainulainen, Veera; Miettinen, Ilkka; Siljamäki, Pia; Fallarero, Adyary; Sandholm, Jouko; Satokari, Reetta; Varmanen, Pekka (2019)
    Bacterial biofilms have clear implications in disease and in food applications involving probiotics. Here, we show that switching the carbohydrate source from glucose to fructose increased the biofilm formation and the total surface-antigenicity of a well-known probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Surfaceomes (all cell surface-associated proteins) of GG cells grown with glucose and fructose in planktonic and biofilm cultures were identified and compared, which indicated carbohydrate source-dependent variations, especially during biofilm growth. The most distinctive differences under these conditions were detected with several surface adhesins (e.g., MBF, SpaC pilus protein and penicillin-binding proteins), enzymes (glycoside hydrolases, PrsA, PrtP, PrtR, and HtrA) and moonlighting proteins (glycolytic, transcription/translation and stress-associated proteins, r-proteins, tRNA synthetases, Clp family proteins, PepC, PepN, and PepA). The abundance of several known adhesins and candidate moonlighters, including enzymes acting on casein-derived peptides (ClpP, PepC, and PepN), increased in the biofilm cells grown on fructose, from which the surface-associated aminopeptidase activity mediated by PepC and PepN was further confirmed by an enzymatic assay. The mucus binding factor (MBF) was found most abundant in fructose grown biofilm cells whereas SpaC adhesin was identified specifically from planktonic cells growing on fructose. An additional indirect ELISA indicated both growth mode- and carbohydrate-dependent differences in abundance of SpaC, whereas the overall adherence of GG assessed with porcine mucus indicated that the carbon source and the growth mode affected mucus adhesion. The adherence of GG cells to mucus was almost completely inhibited by anti-SpaC antibodies regardless of growth mode and/or carbohydrate source, indicating the key role of the SpaCBA pilus in adherence under the tested conditions. Altogether, our results suggest that carbon source and growth mode coordinate mechanisms shaping the proteinaceous composition of GG cell surface, which potentially contributes to resistance, nutrient acquisition and cell-cell interactions under different conditions. In conclusion, the present study shows that different growth regimes and conditions can have a profound impact on the adherent and antigenic features of GG, thereby providing new information on how to gain additional benefits from this probiotic.
  • Vasupalli, Naresh; Hou, Dan; Singh, Rahul Mohan; Wei, Hantian; Zou, Long-Hai; Yrjälä, Kim; Wu, Aimin; Lin, Xinchun (2021)
    Lignin biosynthesis enzymes form complexes for metabolic channelling during lignification and these enzymes also play an essential role in biotic and abiotic stress response. Cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) is a vital enzyme that catalyses the reduction of aldehydes to alcohols, which is the final step in the lignin biosynthesis pathway. In the present study, we identified 49 CAD enzymes in five Bambusoideae species and analysed their phylogenetic relationships and conserved domains. Expression analysis of Moso bamboo PheCAD genes in several developmental tissues and stages revealed that among the PheCAD genes, PheCAD2 has the highest expression level and is expressed in many tissues and PheCAD1, PheCAD6, PheCAD8 and PheCAD12 were also expressed in most of the tissues studied. Co-expression analysis identified that the PheCAD2 positively correlates with most lignin biosynthesis enzymes, indicating that PheCAD2 might be the key enzyme involved in lignin biosynthesis. Further, more than 35% of the co-expressed genes with PheCADs were involved in biotic or abiotic stress responses. Abiotic stress transcriptomic data (SA, ABA, drought, and salt) analysis identified that PheCAD2, PheCAD3 and PheCAD5 genes were highly upregulated, confirming their involvement in abiotic stress response. Through yeast two-hybrid analysis, we found that PheCAD1, PheCAD2 and PheCAD8 form homo-dimers. Interestingly, BiFC and pull-down experiments identified that these enzymes form both homo- and hetero- dimers. These data suggest that PheCAD genes are involved in abiotic stress response and PheCAD2 might be a key lignin biosynthesis pathway enzyme. Moreover, this is the first report to show that three PheCAD enzymes form complexes and that the formation of PheCAD homo- and hetero- dimers might be tissue specific.
  • Yu, Xia; Jaatinen, Annukka; Rintahaka, Johanna; Hynönen, Ulla; Lyytinen, Outi; Kant, Ravi; Åvall-Jääskeläinen, Silja; von Ossowski, Ingemar; Palva, Airi (2015)
    Sortase-dependent surface pili (or fimbriae) in Gram-positive bacteria are well documented as a key virulence factor for certain harmful opportunistic pathogens. However, it is only recently known that these multi-subunit protein appendages are also belonging to the "friendly" commensals and now, with this new perspective, they have come to be categorized as a niche-adaptation factor as well. In this regard, it was shown earlier that sortase-assembled piliation is a native fixture of two human intestinal commensalics (i.e., Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium bifidum), and correspondingly where the pili involved have a significant role in cellular adhesion and immunomodulation processes. We now reveal that intestinal indigenous (or autochthonous) Lactobacillus ruminis is another surface-piliated commensal lactobacillar species. Heeding to in silico expectations, the predicted loci for the LrpCBA-called pili are organized tandemly in the L. ruminis genome as a canonical fimbrial operon, which then encodes for three pilin-proteins and a single C-type sortase enzyme. Through electron microscopic means, we showed that these pilus formations are a surface assemblage of tip, basal, and backbone pilin subunits (respectively named LrpC, LrpB, and LrpA) in L. ruminis, and also when expressed recombinantly in Lactococcus lactis. As well, by using the recombinant-piliated lactococci, we could define certain ecologically relevant phenotypic traits, such as the ability to adhere to extracellular matrix proteins and gut epithelial cells, but also to effectuate an induced dampening on Toll-like receptor 2 signaling and interleukin-8 responsiveness in immune-related cells. Within the context of the intestinal microcosm, by wielding such niche-advantageous cell-surface properties the LrpCBA pilus would undoubtedly have a requisite functional role in the colonization dynamics of L. ruminis indigeneity. Our study provides only the second description of a native-piliated Lactobacillus species, but at the same time also involves the structural and functional characterization of a third type of lactobacillar pilus.
  • van den Nieuwboer, Maurits; van Hemert, Saskia; Claassen, Eric; de Vos, Willem M. (2016)
    Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 is one of the best studied Lactobacilli, notably as its genome was unravelled over 12years ago. L.plantarum WCFS1 can be grown to high densities, is amenable to genetic transformation and highly robust with a relatively high survival rate during the gastrointestinal passage. In this review, we present and discuss the main insights provided by the functional genomics research on L.plantarum WCFS1 with specific attention for the molecular mechanisms related to its interaction with the human host and its potential to modify the immune system, and induce other health-related benefits. Whereas most insight has been gained in mouse and other model studies, onlyfive human studies have been reported with L.plantarum WCFS1. Hence NCIMB 8826 (the parental strain of L.plantarum WCFS1) in human trials as to capitalize on the wealth of knowledge that is summarized here.
  • Chaurasia, Priyanka; Pratap, Shivendra; von Ossowski, Ingemar; Palva, Airi; Krishnan, Vengadesan (2016)
    Thus far, all solved structures of pilin-proteins comprising sortase-assembled pili are from pathogenic genera and species. Here, we present the first crystal structure of a pilin subunit (SpaA) from a nonpathogen host (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG). SpaA consists of two tandem CnaB-type domains, each with an isopeptide bond and E-box motif. Intriguingly, while the isopeptide bond in the N-terminal domain forms between lysine and asparagine, the one in the C-terminal domain atypically involves aspartate. We also solved crystal structures of mutant proteins where residues implicated in forming isopeptide bonds were replaced. Expectedly, the E-box-substituted E139A mutant lacks an isopeptide bond in the N-terminal domain. However, the C-terminal E269A substitution gave two structures; one of both domains with their isopeptide bonds present, and another of only the N-terminal domain, but with an unformed isopeptide bond and significant conformational changes. This latter crystal structure has never been observed for any other Gram-positive pilin. Notably, the C-terminal isopeptide bond still forms in D295N-substituted SpaA, irrespective of E269 being present or absent. Although E-box mutations affect SpaA proteolytic and thermal stability, a cumulative effect perturbing normal pilus polymerization was unobserved. A model showing the polymerized arrangement of SpaA within the SpaCBA pilus is proposed.
  • Tytgat, Hanne L. P.; van Teijlingen, Nienke H.; Sullan, Ruby May A.; Douillard, Francois P.; Rasinkangas, Pia; Messing, Marcel; Reunanen, Justus; Satokari, Reetta; Vanderleyden, Jos; Dufrene, Yves F.; Geijtenbeek, Teunis B. H.; de Vos, Willem M.; Lebeer, Sarah (2016)
    Mapping of the microbial molecules underlying microbiota-host interactions is key to understand how microbiota preserve mucosal homeostasis. A pivotal family of such bacterial molecules are pili. Pili are proteinaceous cell wall appendages with a well-documented role in adhesion, whilst their role in immune interaction with the host is less established. Gram-positive pili are often posttranslationally modified by sortase-specific cleavage reactions and the formation of intramolecular peptide bonds. Here we report glycosylation as a new level of posttranslational modification of sortase-dependent pili of a beneficial microbiota species and its role in immune modulation. We focused on the SpaCBA pili of the model probiotic and beneficial human gut microbiota isolate Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. A unique combination of molecular techniques, nanoscale mechanical and immunological approaches led to the identification of mannose and fucose residues on the SpaCBA pili. These glycans on the pili are recognized by human dendritic cells via the C-type lectin receptor DC-SIGN, a key carbohydrate-dependent immune tailoring pattern recognition receptor. This specific lectin-sugar interaction is moreover of functional importance and modulated the cytokine response of dendritic cells. This provides insight into the direct role bacterial glycoproteins can play in the immunomodulation of the host. Modification of the complex heterotrimeric pili of a model probiotic and microbiota isolate with mannose and fucose is of importance for the functional interaction with the host immune lectin receptor DC-SIGN on human dendritic cells. Our findings shed light on the yet underappreciated role of glycoconjugates in bacteria-host interactions.
  • Lebeer, Sarah; Claes, Ingmar J. J.; Balog, Crina I. A.; Schoofs, Geert; Verhoeven, Tine L. A.; Nys, Kris; von Ossowski, Ingemar; de Vos, Willem M.; Tytgat, Hanne L. P.; Agostinis, Patrizia; Palva, Airi; Van Damme, Els J. M.; Deelder, Andre M.; De Keersmaecker, Sigrid C. J.; Wuhrer, Manfred; Vanderleyden, Jos (2012)
  • Ceapa, Corina; Davids, Mark; Ritari, Jarmo; Lambert, Jolanda; Wels, Michiel; Douillard, Francois P.; Smokvina, Tamara; de Vos, Willem M.; Knol, Jan; Kleerebezem, Michiel (2016)
    Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a diverse Gram-positive species with strains isolated from different ecological niches. Here, we report the genome sequence analysis of 40 diverse strains of L. rhamnosus and their genomic comparison, with a focus on the variable genome. Genomic comparison of 40 L. rhamnosus strains discriminated the conserved genes ( core genome) and regions of plasticity involving frequent rearrangements and horizontal transfer ( variome). The L. rhamnosus core genome encompasses 2,164 genes, out of 4,711 genes in total ( the pan-genome). The accessory genome is dominated by genes encoding carbohydrate transport and metabolism, extracellular polysaccharides ( EPS) biosynthesis, bacteriocin production, pili production, the cas system, and the associated clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat ( CRISPR) loci, and more than 100 transporter functions and mobile genetic elements like phages, plasmid genes, and transposons. A clade distribution based on amino acid differences between core ( shared) proteins matched with the clade distribution obtained from the presence-absence of variable genes. The phylogenetic and variome tree overlap indicated that frequent events of gene acquisition and loss dominated the evolutionary segregation of the strains within this species, which is paralleled by evolutionary diversification of core gene functions. The CRISPR-Cas system could have contributed to this evolutionary segregation. Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains contain the genetic and metabolic machinery with strain-specific gene functions required to adapt to a large range of environments. A remarkable congruency of the evolutionary relatedness of the strains' core and variome functions, possibly favoring interspecies genetic exchanges, underlines the importance of gene-acquisition and loss within the L. rhamnosus strain diversification.