Coaggregation properties of trimeric autotransporter adhesins

Khalil, H.S., Øgaard, J. and Leo, J.C. ORCID: 0000-0002-7066-7527, 2020. Coaggregation properties of trimeric autotransporter adhesins. MicrobiologyOpen, 9 (10): e1109. ISSN 2045-8827

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Trimeric autotransporter adhesins (TAAs) comprise a group of virulence‐related proteins in Gram‐negative bacteria. Members of this family bind to extracellular matrix components such as collagen and fibronectin, but also they exhibit several other functions, such as conferring serum resistance and autoaggregation. Autoaggregation promoted by TAAs is homotypic and mediated by the sticky, globular head domains of these lollipop‐like molecules. However, whether TAAs mediate heterotypic interactions (i.e., coaggregation) has not been studied. To address this question, we investigated the coaggregation of two model TAA groups: YadA from the enteropathogenic Yersiniae and the immunoglobulin‐binding Eib proteins from Escherichia coli. To study TAA coaggregation, we coexpressed a fluorescent label together with a particular TAA and followed the aggregative interactions using fluorescence microscopy and quantified the interactions using a novel script implemented in Fiji. Our results show that there is coaggregation between some populations expressing different TAAs, which can be explained by relatively high sequence similarity between the interacting TAAs. Generally, the level of coaggregation correlated with the sequence similarity. However, some TAAs did not interact despite high sequence similarity, showing exclusion of bacteria producing a noncompatible TAA. These data demonstrate that TAAs can mediate bacterial coaggregation, but in some cases prevent coaggregation of bacteria with disparate TAAs. Our results have implications for the ecology of TAA‐producing bacteria, where coaggregation may promote co‐operation whereas exclusion might be an indication of competition.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: MicrobiologyOpen
Creators: Khalil, H.S., Øgaard, J. and Leo, J.C.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: October 2020
Volume: 9
Number: 10
ISSN: 2045-8827
Rights: © 2020 the authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 Aug 2020 09:10
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:15

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