Chapter 23 : Pathogenesis of

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has been recognized as a significant pathogen of livestock for nearly a century. The genome sequence of subsp. strain 82-40 has recently been determined. Analysis of this sequence has confirmed and extended previous observations and has also provided new insights into metabolism, physiology, and pathogenesis. The majority of the N-linked general glycosylation pathway genes are also found in , although unlike in , the genes are arranged in multiple clusters. The major pathogenesis-related difference of compared with is the presence of the S-layer. Surface array protein, type A (SapA) lacked an amino-terminal signal sequence that would direct its secretion to the cell surface. Before this, the only surface-layer protein (SLP) that lacked a signal sequence was that of . Observations made during the cloning of the sapA genes were important toward understanding the mechanisms by which the expression and antigenic variation of the encoded proteins are controlled. To investigate the role of the S-layer proteins in ovine abortion, an in vivo model was developed that used pregnant ewes subcutaneously challenged with subsp. strain 23D. The outcome of the infection in terms of effects on the fetus is dependent on the interaction between the pathogen and the host response. This model also provides a context to understand the role of S-layer proteins as virulence factors in human infections.

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Model for subsp. disease of humans ( ). subsp. is ingested from contaminated food, followed by colonization of the intestinal tract. Bacteremia can occur but in normal hosts is limited by the immune system. In compromised hosts, the bacteremia may be prolonged due in part to bacterial virulence factors such as its surface layer, which allows secondary infection of additional anatomical sites. These may subsequently serve as a source of bacteria for sustained or renewed sepsis. From .

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 2.
Figure 2.

Inhibition of complement factor C3 binding by . I-labeled C3 was incubated with either 23D (S) or 23B (S), and the amount of bound C3 determined. The S-layer in strain 23D prevents significant C3 binding. From .

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Electron microscopy of the surface layer (S-layer). (A) Shown in ultrathin cross section ( ), the S-layer appears as a ringlike structure external to the outer membrane (arrow). (B) In freeze-etch preparations of the cell surface ( ), the S-layer appears as either regular tetragonal (left) or hexagonal (right) arrays. This micrograph demonstrates the ability of a single cell to express more than one type of S-layer. From (A) and (B)

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 4.
Figure 4.

Structural features and comparison of DNA sequences of eight complete and one partial homolog. The structure of each homolog is represented schematically by the aligned rectangles. Colored boxes identify shared regions of identity among the homologs. White boxes indicate nonconserved sequences, with no sequences >30 bp shared. The first 553 bp in all eight complete homologs are shared. The Cf0007 ORF shared 752 bp with , but lacks the 5′ conserved region; it is referred to as , as it is a partial homolog. From

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 5.
Figure 5.

Schematic representation of genes encoding type A and type B SLPs. The conserved 5′ regions of each gene are indicated by black (type A) or green (type B) rectangles. Colors show areas of conservation between homologs; white boxes represent homolog-specific sequences. From ).

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 6.
Figure 6.

DNA inversion events in a model system using a promoterless (km) cassette inserted into the wild-type locus (top line). When the promoter is positioned in the proper orientation, resistance to kanamycin results in S bacteria, at a frequency of 10 (second line). When kanamycin-resistant cells are removed from kanamycin selection and subjected to serum selection, S (serum resistant), kanamycin-sensitive cells arise at a frequency of 10 (third line). Solid arrows represent expressed genes, and broken arrows represent silent (unexpressed) genes. The stippled boxes represent the 600-bp conserved regions at the 5′ ends of genes, and asterisks show the positions of the embedded inverted repeats that may play a role in the inversion process. The heavy line is the 6.2-kb invertible region. From .

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 7.
Figure 7.

Model for complex inversion events resulting in the expression of alternate homologs. Simple inversion events ( Fig. 6 ) can occur, as well as more complex events in which the invertible region and one or more adjacent genes invert. Black boxes and other types of shading represent the conserved 5′ regions and divergent 3′ regions of sapA genes, respectively. The bent arrow shows the location of the unique promoter, which is associated with the expression of the adjacent homolog (straight arrow). The asterisks are sequences (χ, inverted repeats) that are potentially involved in the inversion process. From .

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 8.
Figure 8.

Genetic organization of the 6.2-kb invertible region. Bold arrows indicate genes contained within the invertible region. Bent arrows represent the divergent and promoters. Hatched lines denote the conserved 5′ regions of the flanking homologs, indicated here as and . From .

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 9.
Figure 9.

Schematic representation and genomic organization of the locus in strain 23D. The adjacent ORFs that are not homologs (including , and Cf0001...Cf0032) are indicated by shaded boxes. The PCR primers used in this study (PF, SF, TR, SR, AF-A7F, and AR-A7R) are designated by the arrows, which also denote the primer orientations. The horizontal line indicates the length of the fragment. From

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Image of Figure 10.
Figure 10.

Model for secretion and assembly of the S-layer. A hypothetical structure of the SLP transporter is shown, based on similarities to other type I transporters. The putative stoichiometry of the SapE and SapF proteins in the assembled transport apparatus is based on data gathered for the HlyA transporter ( ). Recognition of the SapA carboxy-terminal secretion signal is mediated by the SapD protein. The SapA/SapD complex initiates the sequential assembly of SapE and SapF trimers resulting in a contiguous pore through which SapA is secreted. SapA then may attach to LPS and be added to the growing S-layer.

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
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Generic image for table
Table 1.

Outcome of experimental ovine challenge with wild-type and mutant strains

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23
Generic image for table
Table 2.

Biochemical properties of S-layer proteins

Citation: Blaser M, Newell D, Thompson S, Zechner E. 2008. Pathogenesis of , p 401-428. In Nachamkin I, Szymanski C, Blaser M (ed), , Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815554.ch23

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