The Oxidative Stress Defenses of Campylobacter jejuni

Title: The Oxidative Stress Defenses of Campylobacter jejuni
Authors: Flint, Annika
Date: 2015
Abstract: Campylobacter jejuni infection is one of the leading causes of gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. During colonization of the gastrointestinal tract, C. jejuni will be unavoidably exposed to reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the host immune system and other intestinal microbiota. Identification of defenses against ROS is therefore important for understanding how Campylobacter survives this environmental stress during infection. Construction of isogenic deletion mutants into genes encoding potential oxidative stress defense systems followed by phenotypic screening revealed genes important for oxidant defense within C. jejuni. Surprisingly, genes involved in motility were found to play an indirect role in resistance to oxidative stress. Deletion of the flagellar motor apparatus genes, motAB, resulted in increased sensitivity towards superoxide which could be restored by fumarate supplementation or tandem deletion of motAB with ccoQ (cytochrome c oxidase). This finding suggested that disruption of the proton gradient across the inner membrane resulted in increased superoxide production in non-motile flagellar mutants. Phenotypic screening of the mutant library also identified a novel gene (cj1386) specifically involved in hydrogen peroxide defense within the cell. Hydrogen peroxide detoxification within living organisms is predominantly carried out by catalase enzymes. Interestingly, cj1386 is located directly downstream from katA (catalase) in the C. jejuni genome and it was found that a ∆cj1386 mutant had reduced catalase activity relative to wild-type C. jejuni. Immunoprecipitation of KatA from ∆cj1386 revealed a significant reduction in hemin content associated with KatA suggesting a role for cj1386 in hemin trafficking to KatA. Hemin binding experiments with purified Cj1386 demonstrated the ability of Cj1386 to bind hemin with a 1:1 hemin-to-protein binding ratio. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed an interaction between KatA and Cj1386. Mutagenesis of conserved amino acids in Cj1386 demonstrated that tyrosine 57 plays an important role in hemin affinity and is required for proper hemin content of KatA within the cell. Overall, this work provides a global characterization of key oxidant defenses within C. jejuni and provides one of the first studies investigating hemin trafficking to KatA.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -