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Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Communication and Their Control

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2023) | Viewed by 15302

Special Issue Editors

Bacterial Communication and Anti-infectious Strategies (CBSA UR 4312), University of Rouen Normandy (Normandy University), 55 rue Saint-Germain, 27000 Evreux, France
Interests: bacterial communication; signaling molecules; quorum-sensing; signaling and metabolic switches; proteomic and metabolomic; quorum-quenching; antivirulence; biocontrol
Bacterial Communication and Anti-infectious Strategies (CBSA UR 4312), University of Rouen Normandy (Normandy University), 55 rue Saint-Germain, 27000 Evreux, France
Interests: plant bacteria interactions; bacterial communication; quorum-sensing; quorum-quenching; biocontrol; regulation of gene expression; molecular biology; proteomic

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ability of a bacterium to colonize and adapt to an ecological niche is highly dependent on its capacity to perceive and analyze its environment, in addition to its ability to interact with its hosts and congeners. Membrane sensors such as two-component systems are powerful tools that fulfill these functions. Bacteria use also cell-to-cell communication systems based on both the synthesis and perception of signaling molecules to synchronize their social behavior. These quorum-sensing systems control diverse functions and require the concerted actions of numerous cells in order to be productive, such as antibiotic synthesis, motility, symbiosis, biofilm maturation, sporulation, and virulence.

This Special Issue welcomes researchers who wish to contribute to the publication of research articles, reviews, and opinions addressing the molecular mechanisms of bacterial communication and/or their control, leading to mechanistic or applied progress.

Prof. Dr. Xavier Latour
Dr. Corinne Barbey
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • microbial communication
  • host-microbes interactions and dialog
  • signaling molecules
  • histidine kinase sensors
  • quorum-sensing
  • social behavior
  • biofilm
  • anti-virulence
  • quorum-quenching
  • biocontrol

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 2284 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Two-Component System CitB Family in Salmonella Pullorum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(17), 10201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231710201 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2023
Abstract
Salmonella enterica, serovar Gallinarum, biovar Pullorum, is an avian-specific pathogen which has caused considerable economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Two-component systems (TCSs) play an essential role in obtaining nutrients, detecting the presence of neighboring bacteria and regulating the expression of virulence [...] Read more.
Salmonella enterica, serovar Gallinarum, biovar Pullorum, is an avian-specific pathogen which has caused considerable economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Two-component systems (TCSs) play an essential role in obtaining nutrients, detecting the presence of neighboring bacteria and regulating the expression of virulence factors. The genome analysis of S. Pullorum strain S06004 suggesting the carriage of 22 pairs of TCSs, which belong to five families named CitB, OmpR, NarL, Chemotaxis and LuxR. In the CitB family, three pairs of TCSs, namely CitA-CitB, DcuS-DcuR and DpiB-DpiA, remain unaddressed in S. Pullorum. To systematically investigate the function of the CitB family in S. Pullorum, four mutants, ΔcitAB (abbreviated as Δcit), ΔdcuSRdcu), ΔdpiBAdpi) and ΔcitABΔdcuSRΔdpiBA (Δ3), were made using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. The results demonstrated that the CitB family did not affect the growth of bacteria, the results of biochemical tests, invasion and proliferation in chicken macrophage HD-11 cells and the expression of fimbrial protein. But the mutants showed thicker biofilm formation, higher resistance to antimicrobial agents, enhanced tolerance to inhibition by egg albumen and increased virulence in chicken embryos. Moreover, the deletion of Dpi TCS was detrimental to survival after exposure to hyperosmotic and oxidative environments, as well as the long-term colonization of the small intestine of chickens. Collectively, we provided new knowledge regarding the possible role of the CitB family involved in the pathogenic processes of S. Pullorum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Communication and Their Control)
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22 pages, 1689 KiB  
Article
Mutations of γCOP Gene Disturb Drosophila melanogaster Innate Immune Response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(12), 6499; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23126499 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2109
Abstract
Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) is a valuable experimental platform for modeling host–pathogen interactions. It is also commonly used to define innate immunity pathways and to understand the mechanisms of both host tolerance to commensal microbiota and response to pathogenic agents. Herein, we [...] Read more.
Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) is a valuable experimental platform for modeling host–pathogen interactions. It is also commonly used to define innate immunity pathways and to understand the mechanisms of both host tolerance to commensal microbiota and response to pathogenic agents. Herein, we investigate how the host response to bacterial infection is mirrored in the expression of genes of Imd and Toll pathways when D. melanogaster strains with different γCOP genetic backgrounds are infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853. Using microarray technology, we have interrogated the whole-body transcriptome of infected versus uninfected fruit fly males with three specific genotypes, namely wild-type Oregon, γCOPS057302/TM6B and γCOP14a/γCOP14a. While the expression of genes pertaining to Imd and Toll is not significantly modulated by P. aeruginosa infection in Oregon males, many of the components of these cascades are up- or downregulated in both infected and uninfected γCOPS057302/TM6B and γCOP14a/γCOP14a males. Thus, our results suggest that a γCOP genetic background modulates the gene expression profiles of Imd and Toll cascades involved in the innate immune response of D. melanogaster, inducing the occurrence of immunological dysfunctions in γCOP mutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Communication and Their Control)
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21 pages, 6292 KiB  
Article
Pseudomonas putida Biofilm Depends on the vWFa-Domain of LapA in Peptides-Containing Growth Medium
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(11), 5898; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23115898 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
The biofilm of Pseudomonas putida is complexly regulated by several intercellular and extracellular factors. The cell surface adhesin LapA of this bacterium is a central factor for the biofilm and, consequently, the regulation of lapA expression, for example, by Fis. It has been [...] Read more.
The biofilm of Pseudomonas putida is complexly regulated by several intercellular and extracellular factors. The cell surface adhesin LapA of this bacterium is a central factor for the biofilm and, consequently, the regulation of lapA expression, for example, by Fis. It has been recently shown that peptides in growth media enhance the formation of P. putida biofilm, but not as a source of carbon and nitrogen. Moreover, the peptide-dependent biofilm appeared especially clearly in the fis-overexpression strain, which also has increased LapA. Therefore, we investigate here whether there is a relationship between LapA and peptide-dependent biofilm. The P. putida strains with inducible lapA expression and LapA without the vWFa domain, which is described as a domain similar to von Willebrand factor domain A, were constructed. Thereafter, the biofilm of these strains was assessed in growth media containing extracellular peptides in the shape of tryptone and without it. We show that the vWFa domain in LapA is necessary for biofilm enhancement by the extracellular peptides in the growth medium. The importance of vWFa in LapA was particularly evident for the fis-overexpression strain F15. The absence of the vWFa domain diminished the positive effect of Fis on the F15 biofilm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Communication and Their Control)
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21 pages, 2215 KiB  
Article
The Promoter of the Immune-Modulating Gene TIR-Containing Protein C of the Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Strain CFT073 Reacts to the Pathogen’s Environment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031148 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1572
Abstract
The TIR-containing protein C (TcpC) of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CFT073 modulates innate immunity by interfering with the Toll-like receptor and NALP3 inflammasome signaling cascade. During a urinary tract infection the pathogen encounters epithelial and innate immune cells and replicates by several [...] Read more.
The TIR-containing protein C (TcpC) of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CFT073 modulates innate immunity by interfering with the Toll-like receptor and NALP3 inflammasome signaling cascade. During a urinary tract infection the pathogen encounters epithelial and innate immune cells and replicates by several orders of magnitude. We therefore analyzed whether these cell types and also the density of the pathogen would induce the recently defined promoter of the CFT073 tcpC gene to, in time, dampen innate immune responses. Using reporter constructs we found that the uroepithelial cell line T24/83 and the monocytic cell line THP-1 induced the tcpC promoter. Differentiation of monocytic THP-1 cells to macrophages increased their potential to switch on the promoter. Cell-associated CFT073 displayed the highest promoter activity. Since potassium represents the most abundant intracellular ion and is secreted to induce the NLRP3 inflammasome, we tested its ability to activate the tcpC promoter. Potassium induced the promoter with high efficiency. Sodium, which is enriched in the renal cortex generating an antibacterial hypersalinity, also induced the tcpC promoter. Finally, the bacterial density modulated the tcpC promoter activity. In the search for promoter-regulating proteins, we found that the DNA-binding protein H-NS dampens the promoter activity. Taken together, different cell types and salts, present in the kidney, are able to induce the tcpC promoter and might explain the mechanism of TcpC induction during a kidney infection with uropathogenic E. coli strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Communication and Their Control)
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22 pages, 9809 KiB  
Article
Biocontrol of Biofilm Formation: Jamming of Sessile-Associated Rhizobial Communication by Rhodococcal Quorum-Quenching
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 8241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22158241 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2946
Abstract
Biofilms are complex structures formed by a community of microbes adhering to a surface and/or to each other through the secretion of an adhesive and protective matrix. The establishment of these structures requires a coordination of action between microorganisms through powerful communication systems [...] Read more.
Biofilms are complex structures formed by a community of microbes adhering to a surface and/or to each other through the secretion of an adhesive and protective matrix. The establishment of these structures requires a coordination of action between microorganisms through powerful communication systems such as quorum-sensing. Therefore, auxiliary bacteria capable of interfering with these means of communication could be used to prevent biofilm formation and development. The phytopathogen Rhizobium rhizogenes, which causes hairy root disease and forms large biofilms in hydroponic crops, and the biocontrol agent Rhodococcus erythropolis R138 were used for this study. Changes in biofilm biovolume and structure, as well as interactions between rhizobia and rhodococci, were monitored by confocal laser scanning microscopy with appropriate fluorescent biosensors. We obtained direct visual evidence of an exchange of signals between rhizobia and the jamming of this communication by Rhodococcus within the biofilm. Signaling molecules were characterized as long chain (C14) N-acyl-homoserine lactones. The role of the Qsd quorum-quenching pathway in biofilm alteration was confirmed with an R. erythropolis mutant unable to produce the QsdA lactonase, and by expression of the qsdA gene in a heterologous host, Escherichia coli. Finally, Rhizobium biofilm formation was similarly inhibited by a purified extract of QsdA enzyme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Communication and Their Control)
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Review

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27 pages, 9772 KiB  
Review
Nitrate- and Nitrite-Sensing Histidine Kinases: Function, Structure, and Natural Diversity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 5933; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22115933 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3888
Abstract
Under anaerobic conditions, bacteria may utilize nitrates and nitrites as electron acceptors. Sensitivity to nitrous compounds is achieved via several mechanisms, some of which rely on sensor histidine kinases (HKs). The best studied nitrate- and nitrite-sensing HKs (NSHKs) are NarQ and NarX from [...] Read more.
Under anaerobic conditions, bacteria may utilize nitrates and nitrites as electron acceptors. Sensitivity to nitrous compounds is achieved via several mechanisms, some of which rely on sensor histidine kinases (HKs). The best studied nitrate- and nitrite-sensing HKs (NSHKs) are NarQ and NarX from Escherichia coli. Here, we review the function of NSHKs, analyze their natural diversity, and describe the available structural information. In particular, we show that around 6000 different NSHK sequences forming several distinct clusters may now be found in genomic databases, comprising mostly the genes from Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria as well as from Bacteroidetes and Chloroflexi, including those from anaerobic ammonia oxidation (annamox) communities. We show that the architecture of NSHKs is mostly conserved, although proteins from Bacteroidetes lack the HAMP and GAF-like domains yet sometimes have PAS. We reconcile the variation of NSHK sequences with atomistic models and pinpoint the structural elements important for signal transduction from the sensor domain to the catalytic module over the transmembrane and cytoplasmic regions spanning more than 200 Å. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Bacterial Communication and Their Control)
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