Ing (Table 4). For example, smooth Hcp-secreting RGVC isolates DL4211 and DL

Ing (Table 4). For example, smooth Hcp-secreting RGVC isolates DL4211 and DL4215 (Figure 3) displayed full virulence towards E. coli (Figure 1) and D. discoideum (Figure 2). Rough RGVC isolates with their frameshift inhibitor mutations in the T6SS transcriptional activator gene vasH did not Epigenetic Reader Domain produce or secrete Hcp, and their virulence was attenuated. Sequencing and 25033180 gene alignments of the T6SS transcriptional activator vasH in rough strains indicated a missing guanine at position 157 in rough isolates, resulting in a frameshift mutation. Because VasH was recently implicated in regulating both the large and auxiliary T6SS gene clusters in V. cholerae O395 [20], we speculated that the vasH frameshift mutation in the rough isolates silences T6SS expression. However, trans-complementation of the vasH mutation by episomal expression of V529s vasH restored synthesis but not secretion of the T6SS hallmark protein Hcp (Figure 6). Trans-complementation with vasH from N16961, which is more closely related to vasH from RGVC isolates DL2111 and DL2112 (Figure 5), restores Hcp synthesis and secretion in a vasH mutant of V52, but only restores Hcp synthesis (and not secretion) in a vasH mutant of N16961 [19]. Thus, we believe that the inability to restore Hcp secretion in rough strains is not a reflection of the polymorphic nature of VasH. At this time, it is unclear whether selective pressures for T6SS regulation exist that drive constitutive T6SS expression in smooth isolates and disable T6SSs in rough V. cholerae strains. V. choleraeLPS’s O-antigen has been shown to induce protective immune responses in humans and experimental animals [31?5]. To counteract the host immune response, V. cholerae may use its T6SS to kill phagocytic immune cells such as macrophages [9]. Because rough isolates lacking O-antigen are frequently isolated from convalescent cholera patients [36], repression of O-antigen biosynthesis may represent an immune evasion mechanism for V. cholerae [37]. Such evasion would allow the pathogen to persist in the host, perhaps in a subclinical state as rough V. cholerae have been shown to be avirulent. In this scenario, rough V. cholerae does not require a functional T6SS, but tolerates mutations that disable its expression. Rough isolates have been shown to revert to a smooth, virulent state [37] but it remains to be determined whether newly reverted smooth bacteria restore expression of their disabled T6SSs. We did not observe restoration of the T6SS in rough isolates through uptake and homologous recombination of chromosomal DNA from a T6SS+ donor, because rough isolates remained T6SS-negative in the presence of smooth T6SS+ V. cholerae strain V52 (data not shown). El Tor strains possess a tightly controlled T6SS [17] and thus differ from the smooth RGVCs that express the T6SS constitutively. As pandemic strains are believed to originate from environmental strains, we speculate that constitutive T6SS expression is prevalent in V. cholerae exposed to microbial competitors and predators until virulence factors such as cholera toxin and toxin-coregulated pilus genes are acquired. However, how pandemic V. cholerae regulate expression of T6SS during their complex life cycle remains to be determined. It is becoming increasingly clear from our investigation and other reports [6,28?0,38] that T6SS-expressing V. cholerae deploy bactericidal effector proteins. Therefore, T6SS expression is likely tied to a protective mechanism, a form of T6SS-immunity tha.Ing (Table 4). For example, smooth Hcp-secreting RGVC isolates DL4211 and DL4215 (Figure 3) displayed full virulence towards E. coli (Figure 1) and D. discoideum (Figure 2). Rough RGVC isolates with their frameshift mutations in the T6SS transcriptional activator gene vasH did not produce or secrete Hcp, and their virulence was attenuated. Sequencing and 25033180 gene alignments of the T6SS transcriptional activator vasH in rough strains indicated a missing guanine at position 157 in rough isolates, resulting in a frameshift mutation. Because VasH was recently implicated in regulating both the large and auxiliary T6SS gene clusters in V. cholerae O395 [20], we speculated that the vasH frameshift mutation in the rough isolates silences T6SS expression. However, trans-complementation of the vasH mutation by episomal expression of V529s vasH restored synthesis but not secretion of the T6SS hallmark protein Hcp (Figure 6). Trans-complementation with vasH from N16961, which is more closely related to vasH from RGVC isolates DL2111 and DL2112 (Figure 5), restores Hcp synthesis and secretion in a vasH mutant of V52, but only restores Hcp synthesis (and not secretion) in a vasH mutant of N16961 [19]. Thus, we believe that the inability to restore Hcp secretion in rough strains is not a reflection of the polymorphic nature of VasH. At this time, it is unclear whether selective pressures for T6SS regulation exist that drive constitutive T6SS expression in smooth isolates and disable T6SSs in rough V. cholerae strains. V. choleraeLPS’s O-antigen has been shown to induce protective immune responses in humans and experimental animals [31?5]. To counteract the host immune response, V. cholerae may use its T6SS to kill phagocytic immune cells such as macrophages [9]. Because rough isolates lacking O-antigen are frequently isolated from convalescent cholera patients [36], repression of O-antigen biosynthesis may represent an immune evasion mechanism for V. cholerae [37]. Such evasion would allow the pathogen to persist in the host, perhaps in a subclinical state as rough V. cholerae have been shown to be avirulent. In this scenario, rough V. cholerae does not require a functional T6SS, but tolerates mutations that disable its expression. Rough isolates have been shown to revert to a smooth, virulent state [37] but it remains to be determined whether newly reverted smooth bacteria restore expression of their disabled T6SSs. We did not observe restoration of the T6SS in rough isolates through uptake and homologous recombination of chromosomal DNA from a T6SS+ donor, because rough isolates remained T6SS-negative in the presence of smooth T6SS+ V. cholerae strain V52 (data not shown). El Tor strains possess a tightly controlled T6SS [17] and thus differ from the smooth RGVCs that express the T6SS constitutively. As pandemic strains are believed to originate from environmental strains, we speculate that constitutive T6SS expression is prevalent in V. cholerae exposed to microbial competitors and predators until virulence factors such as cholera toxin and toxin-coregulated pilus genes are acquired. However, how pandemic V. cholerae regulate expression of T6SS during their complex life cycle remains to be determined. It is becoming increasingly clear from our investigation and other reports [6,28?0,38] that T6SS-expressing V. cholerae deploy bactericidal effector proteins. Therefore, T6SS expression is likely tied to a protective mechanism, a form of T6SS-immunity tha.

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