Biological Roles of the O-Methyl Phosphoramidate Capsule Modification in Campylobacter jejuni.


van Alphen, LB; Wenzel, CQ; Richards, MR; Fodor, C; Ashmus, RA; Stahl, M; Karlyshev, AV; Wren, BW; Stintzi, A; Miller, WG; Lowary, TL; Szymanski, CM; (2014) Biological Roles of the O-Methyl Phosphoramidate Capsule Modification in Campylobacter jejuni. PLoS One, 9 (1). e87051. ISSN 1932-6203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0087051

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Abstract

Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of bacterial gastroenteritis worldwide, and the capsular polysaccharide (CPS) of this organism is required for persistence and disease. C. jejuni produces over 47 different capsular structures, including a unique O-methyl phosphoramidate (MeOPN) modification present on most C. jejuni isolates. Although the MeOPN structure is rare in nature it has structural similarity to some synthetic pesticides. In this study, we have demonstrated, by whole genome comparisons and high resolution magic angle spinning NMR, that MeOPN modifications are common to several Campylobacter species. Using MeOPN biosynthesis and transferase mutants generated in C. jejuni strain 81-176, we observed that loss of MeOPN from the cell surface correlated with increased invasion of Caco-2 epithelial cells and reduced resistance to killing by human serum. In C. jejuni, the observed serum mediated killing was determined to result primarily from activation of the classical complement pathway. The C. jejuni MeOPN transferase mutant showed similar levels of colonization relative to the wild-type in chickens, but showed a five-fold drop in colonization when co-infected with the wild-type in piglets. In Galleria mellonella waxmoth larvae, the MeOPN transferase mutant was able to kill the insects at wild-type levels. Furthermore, injection of the larvae with MeOPN-linked monosaccharides or CPS purified from the wild-type strain did not result in larval killing, indicating that MeOPN does not have inherent insecticidal activity.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
PubMed ID: 24498018
Web of Science ID: 330617100047
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1520196

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