Joined: May 2002
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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Jun;48(5):1349-55.
Oligomerization and activation of the FliI ATPase central to bacterial flagellum assembly.
Claret L, Calder SR, Higgins M, Hughes C.
Cambridge University Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.
FliI is the peripheral membrane ATPase pivotal to the type III protein export mechanism underlying the assembly of the bacterial flagellum. Gel filtration and multiangle light scattering showed that purified soluble native FliI protein was in a monomeric state but, in the presence of ATP, FliI showed a propensity to oligomerize. Electron microscopy revealed that FliI assembles to a ring structure, the yield of which was increased by the presence of a non-hydrolysable ATP analogue. Single particle analysis of the resulting electron micrograph images, to which no symmetry was applied, showed that the FliI ring structure has sixfold symmetry and an external diameter of approximately 10 nm. The oligomeric ring has a central cavity of 2.5-3.0 nm, which is comparable to the known diameter of the flagellar export channel into which export substrates feed. Enzymatic activity of the FliI ATPase showed positive co-operativity, establishing that oligomerization and enzyme activity are coupled. Escherichia coli phospholipids increased enzyme co-operativity, and in vitro cross-linking demonstrated that they promoted FliI multimerization. The data reveal central facets of the structure and action of the flagellar assembly ATPase and, by extension, the homologous ATPases of virulence-related type III export systems.
Mol Microbiol. 2003 Jun;48(5):1305-16.
The structure of the helically perturbed flagellar filament of Pseudomonas rhodos: implications for the absence of the outer domain in other complex flagellins and for the flexibility of the radial spokes.
Cohen-Krausz S, Trachtenberg S.
Department of Membrane and Ultrastructure Research, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Hadassah Medical School, PO Box 12272, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.
Bacterial flagella, the organelles of motility, are commonly divided into two classes: 'plain' and 'complex'. The complex filaments are pairwise, helically perturbed forms of the plain filaments and have been reported to occur only in Rhizobium and Pseudomonas. Previously, we reconstructed and analysed the structure of the complex filaments of Rhizobium lupini H13-3 and determined their unique symmetry and origin of the perturbations (Trachtenberg et al., 1986, J Mol Biol 190: 569-576; 1987, 195: 603-620; 1998, 276: 759-773; Cohen-Krausz and Trachtenberg, 1998, J Struct Biol 122: 267-282). Here, we analyse the structure of the flagellar filament of the other known complex filament, that of Pseudomonas rhodos, as reconstructed from electron microscope images. Compared with the filament of R. lupini, the filament of P. rhodos is more flexible, as implied from high-intensity darkfield light microscopy and, although constructed from flagellins of higher molecular weights (59 versus 41 kDa), has similar symmetry. Using cryonegative stained specimens and low-dose, field emission electron microscopy, we reconstructed and averaged 158 filaments each containing 170 statistically significant layer lines. The three-dimensional density maps of P. rhodos clearly suggest, when compared with those of R. lupini and the right-handed Salmonella typhimurium SJW1655, that R. lupini is missing the outer flagellin domain (D3), that the interior of the complex filament is rather similar to that of the plain filament and that the radial spokes (connecting domains D0 and D1), present in individual density maps, average out because of their variability and implied flexibility. Extending the three-start grooves and ridges on the propeller's surface, in the form of an Archimedean screw, may further improve the motility of the cell in viscous environments.
Mol Microbiol. 2003 Jun;48(6):1511-24.
Biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa wild type, flagella and type IV pili mutants.
Klausen M, Heydorn A, Ragas P, Lambertsen L, Aaes-Jorgensen A, Molin S, Tolker-Nielsen T.
Molecular Microbial Ecology Group, BioCentrum-DTU, Building 301, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark. Department of Pharmacology, Copenhagen University, Panum Institute, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
Biofilm formation by Gfp-tagged Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 wild type, flagella and type IV pili mutants in flow chambers irrigated with citrate minimal medium was characterized by the use of confocal laser scanning microscopy and comstat image analysis. Flagella and type IV pili were not necessary for P. aeruginosa initial attachment or biofilm formation, but the cell appendages had roles in biofilm development, as wild type, flagella and type IV pili mutants formed biofilms with different structures. Dynamics and selection during biofilm formation were investigated by tagging the wild type and flagella/type IV mutants with Yfp and Cfp and performing time-lapse confocal laser scanning microscopy in mixed colour biofilms. The initial microcolony formation occurred by clonal growth, after which wild-type P. aeruginosa bacteria spread over the substratum by means of twitching motility. The wild-type biofilms were dynamic compositions with extensive motility, competition and selection occurring during development. Bacterial migration prevented the formation of larger microcolonial structures in the wild-type biofilms. The results are discussed in relation to the current model for P. aeruginosa biofilm development.
Conspicuous Veils Formed by Vibrioid Bacteria on Sulfidic Marine Sediment
Roland Thar* and Michael KŘhl
Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, 3000 Helsing°r, Denmark
We describe the morphology and behavior of a hitherto unknown bacterial species that forms conspicuous veils (typical dimensions, 30 by 30 mm) on sulfidic marine sediment. The new bacteria were enriched on complex sulfidic medium within a benthic gradient chamber in oxygen-sulfide countergradients, but the bacteria have so far not been isolated in pure culture, and a detailed characterization of their metabolism is still lacking. The bacteria are colorless, gram-negative, and vibrioid-shaped (1.3- to 2.5- by 4- to 10-Ám) cells that multiply by binary division and contain several spherical inclusions of poly-▀-hydroxybutyric acid. The cells have bipolar polytrichous flagella and exhibit a unique swimming pattern, rotating and translating along their short axis. Free-swimming cells showed aerotaxis and aggregated at ca. 2 ÁM oxygen within opposing oxygen-sulfide gradients, where they were able to attach via a mucous stalk, forming a cohesive whitish veil at the oxic-anoxic interface. Bacteria attached to the veil kept rotating and adapted their stalk lengths dynamically to changing oxygen concentrations. The joint action of rotating bacteria on the veil induced a homogeneous water flow from the oxic water region toward the veil, whereby the oxygen uptake rate could be enhanced up to six times, as shown by model calculations. The veils showed a pronounced succession pattern. New veils were generated de novo within 24 h and had a homogeneous whitish translucent appearance. Bacterial competitors or eukaryotic predators were apparently kept away by the low oxygen concentration prevailing at the veil surface. Frequently, within 2 days the veil developed a honeycomb pattern of regularly spaced holes. After 4 days, most veils were colonized by grazing ciliates, leading to the fast disappearance of the new bacteria. Several-week-old veils finally developed into microbial mats consisting of green, purple, and colorless sulfur bacteria.
Cell Microbiol. 2003 Jun;5(6):359-72.
Adhesion of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli to host cells.
Nougayrede JP, Fernandes PJ, Donnenberg MS.
Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Maryland, Baltimore, 10 S. Pine Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) adhere to the intestinal mucosa and to tissue culture cells in a distinctive fashion, destroying microvilli, altering the cytoskeleton and attaching intimately to the host cell membrane in a manner termed the attaching and effacing effect. Typical EPEC strains also form three-dimensional microcolonies in a pattern termed localized adherence. Attaching and effacing, and in particular intimate attachment requires an outer membrane adhesin called intimin, which binds to the translocated intimin receptor, Tir. Tir is produced by the bacteria and delivered to the host cell via a type III secretion system. In addition to this well-established adhesin-receptor pair, numerous other adhesin interactions between EPEC and host cells have been described including those between intimin and cellular receptors and those involving a bundle-forming pilus and flagella and unknown receptors. Much additional work is needed before a full understanding of EPEC adhesion to host cells comes to light.