Bacterial Adrenergic Sensors Regulate Virulence of Enteric Pathogens in the Gut
Moreira, Cristiano G.
Mishra, Animesh Anand
Ritchie, Jennifer M.
Curtis, Meredith M.
Winter, Sebastian E.
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CitationMoreira, Cristiano G., Regan Russell, Animesh Anand Mishra, Sanjeev Narayanan, Jennifer M. Ritchie, Matthew K. Waldor, Meredith M. Curtis, Sebastian E. Winter, David Weinshenker, and Vanessa Sperandio. 2016. “Bacterial Adrenergic Sensors Regulate Virulence of Enteric Pathogens in the Gut.” mBio 7 (3): e00826-16. doi:10.1128/mBio.00826-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00826-16.
AbstractABSTRACT Enteric pathogens such as enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) and Citrobacter rodentium, which is largely used as a surrogate EHEC model for murine infections, are exposed to several host neurotransmitters in the gut. An important chemical exchange within the gut involves the neurotransmitters epinephrine and/or norepinephrine, extensively reported to increase virulence gene expression in EHEC, acting through two bacterial adrenergic sensors: QseC and QseE. However, EHEC is unable to establish itself and cause its hallmark lesions, attaching and effacing (AE) lesions, on murine enterocytes. To address the role of these neurotransmitters during enteric infection, we employed C. rodentium. Both EHEC and C. rodentium harbor the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) that is necessary for AE lesion formation. Here we show that expression of the LEE, as well as that of other virulence genes in C. rodentium, is also activated by epinephrine and/or norepinephrine. Both QseC and QseE are required for LEE gene activation in C. rodentium, and the qseC and qseE mutants are attenuated for murine infection. C. rodentium has a decreased ability to colonize dopamine β-hydroxylase knockout (Dbh−/−) mice, which do not produce epinephrine and norepinephrine. Both adrenergic sensors are required for C. rodentium to sense these neurotransmitters and activate the LEE genes during infection. These data indicate that epinephrine and norepinephrine are sensed by bacterial adrenergic receptors during enteric infection to promote activation of their virulence repertoire. This is the first report of the role of these neurotransmitters during mammalian gastrointestinal (GI) infection by a noninvasive pathogen.
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