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Culture of Campylobacter jejuni with Sodium Deoxycholate induces Virulence Gene Expression

posted on 2024-06-11, 05:08 authored by PSM, USDA ARS
C. jejuni, a spiral-shaped gram-negative bacterium, is a leading bacterial cause of human foodborne illness. Acute disease is associated with C. jejuni invasion of the intestinal epithelium. Further, maximal host cell invasion requires the secretion of proteins termed Campylobacter invasion antigens (Cia). As bile acids are known to alter the pathogenic behavior of other gastrointestinal pathogens, we hypothesized that the virulence potential of Campylobacter may be triggered by the bile acid deoxycholate (DOC). In support of this hypothesis, culturing C. jejuni with a physiologically relevant concentration of DOC significantly altered the kinetics of cell invasion as evidenced by gentamicin-protection assays. In contrast to C. jejuni harvested from Mueller-Hinton (MH) agar plates, C. jejuni harvested from MH agar plates supplemented with DOC demonstrated Cia secretion as judged by metabolic labeling experiments. DOC was also found to induce the expression of the ciaB gene as judged by B-galactosidase reporter assays and real-time RT-PCR. Microarray analysis revealed that DOC induced the expression of virulence genes (i.e., ciaB, cmeABC, dccR, and tlyA). In summary, we demonstrate that it is possible to enhance the pathogenic behavior of C. jejuni by modifying the culture conditions. These results provide a foundation to identify genes expressed by C. jejuni in response to in vivo-like culture conditions. Keywords: Stress response Overall design: For the expression profiling arrays, an indirect comparison of gene expression was performed, where the expression profile of the C. jejuni F38011 cultured in the presence and absence of DOC was measured separately on different slides as described previously (26). Briefly, Cy5 labeled reference DNA from the C. jejuni F38011 strain was mixed with Cy3 labeled test cDNA (C. jejuni F38011 cultured in the presence or absence of DOC) and hybridized to the Campylobacter cDNA array (26) on separate slides. DNA microarrays were scanned using an Axon GenePix 4000B microarray laser scanner (Axon Instruments, Union City, CA) and the data for spot and background intensities were processed using the GenePix 4.0 software. To compensate for any effect of the amount of template and uneven Cy-dye incorporation, data normalization was performed as previously described (26). For the comparison of genes differentially expressed in the presence and absence of DOC,six hybridization measurements were generated per biological experiment (three technical replicate arrays and two replicate features per array).


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  • biota

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transcriptome; gene expression

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  • Public

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