Type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) deliver antibacterial effector proteins between neighbouring bacteria. Many effectors harbor N-terminal transmembrane domains (TMDs) implicated in effector translocation across target cell membranes. However, the distribution of these TMD-containing effectors remains unknown. Here we discover prePAAR, a conserved motif found in over 6,000 putative TMD-containing effectors encoded predominantly by 15 genera of Proteobacteria. Based on differing numbers of TMDs, effectors group into two distinct classes that both require a member of the Eag family of T6SS chaperones for export. Co-crystal structures of class I and class II effector TMD-chaperone complexes from Salmonella Typhimurium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, respectively, reveals that Eag chaperones mimic transmembrane helical packing to stabilize effector TMDs. In addition to participating in the chaperone-TMD interface, we find that prePAAR residues mediate effector-VgrG spike interactions. Taken together, our findings reveal mechanisms of chaperone-mediated stabilization and secretion of two distinct families of T6SS membrane protein effectors.
X-ray diffraction data for the SciW, SciW:Rhs1 complex, and Tse6:EagT6 complex have been deposited in the PDB under the accession codes 6XRB, 6XRR and 6XRF, respectively.
- John C Whitney
- John C Whitney
- Gerd Prehna
- Andrew G McArthur
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Rajan Sankaranarayanan, CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, India
© 2020, Ahmad et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Microbes frequently evolve in reproducible ways. Here, we show that differences in specific metabolic regulation rather than inter-strain interactions explain the frequent presence of lasR loss-of-function (LOF) mutations in the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. While LasR contributes to virulence through its role in quorum sensing, lasR mutants have been associated with more severe disease. A model based on the intrinsic growth kinetics for a wild type strain and its LasR– derivative, in combination with an experimental evolution based genetic screen and further genetics analyses, indicated that differences in metabolism were sufficient to explain the rise of these common mutant types. The evolution of LasR– lineages in laboratory and clinical isolates depended on activity of the two-component system CbrAB, which modulates substrate prioritization through the catabolite repression control pathway. LasR– lineages frequently arise in cystic fibrosis lung infections and their detection correlates with disease severity. Our analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid metabolomes identified compounds that negatively correlate with lung function, and we show that these compounds support enhanced growth of LasR– cells in a CbrB-controlled manner. We propose that in vivo metabolomes contribute to pathogen evolution, which may influence the progression of disease and its treatment.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2; SC2) which has caused a world-wide pandemic with striking morbidity and mortality. Evaluation of SC2 strains demonstrated impressive genetic variability and many of these viral variants are now defined as variants of concern (VOC) that cause enhanced transmissibility, decreased susceptibility to antibody neutralization or therapeutics and or the ability to induce severe disease. Currently, the delta (d) and omicron (o) variants are particularly problematic based on their impressive and unprecedented transmissibility and ability to cause break through infections. The delta variant also accumulates at high concentrations in host tissues and has caused waves of lethal disease. Because studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that chitinase 3-like-1 (CHI3L1) stimulates ACE2 and Spike (S) priming proteases that mediate SC2 infection, studies were undertaken to determine if interventions that target CHI3L1 are effective inhibitors of SC2 viral variant infection. Here we demonstrate that CHI3L1 augments epithelial cell infection by pseudoviruses that express the alpha, beta, gamma, delta or omicron S proteins and that the CHI3L1 inhibitors anti-CHI3L1 and kasugamycin inhibit epithelial cell infection by these VOC pseudovirus moieties. Thus, CHI3L1 is a universal, VOC-independent therapeutic target in COVID-19.