Metabolic Diversity in Campylobacter Jejuni Enhances Specific Tissue Colonization

Cell Host Microbe. 2008 Nov 13;4(5):425-33. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2008.10.002.

Abstract

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of foodborne illness in industrialized countries. This pathogen exhibits significant strain-to-strain variability, which results in differences in virulence potential and clinical presentations. Here, we report that acquisition of the capacity to utilize specific nutrients enhanced the ability of a highly pathogenic strain of C. jejuni to colonize specific tissues. The acquisition of a gene encoding a gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase enabled this strain to utilize glutamine and glutathione and enhanced its ability to colonize the intestine. Furthermore, the acquisition of a DNA segment, which added a sec-dependent secretion signal to an otherwise cytoplasmic asparaginase, allowed this pathogen to utilize asparagine and to more efficiently colonize the liver. Our results reveal that subtle genetic changes in a bacterial pathogen result in significant changes in its ability to colonize specific tissues. In addition, these studies revealed remarkably specific nutritional requirements for a pathogen to effectively colonize different tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Asparaginase / genetics
  • Asparaginase / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / genetics
  • Campylobacter jejuni / growth & development*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / metabolism*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / pathogenicity
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Liver / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Organ Specificity
  • Virulence
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / genetics
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / metabolism

Substances

  • Amino Acids
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Asparaginase
  • Glutathione

Associated data

  • GENBANK/FJ234213
  • GENBANK/FJ234214
  • GENBANK/FJ234215
  • GENBANK/FJ234216
  • GENBANK/FJ234217
  • GENBANK/FJ234218
  • GENBANK/FJ234219
  • GENBANK/FJ234220
  • GENBANK/FJ234221
  • GENBANK/FJ234222
  • GENBANK/FJ234223
  • GENBANK/FJ234224
  • GENBANK/FJ234225
  • GENBANK/FJ234226
  • GENBANK/FJ234227
  • GENBANK/FJ234228
  • GENBANK/FJ234229