3 years ago

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae releases DNA and DNABII proteins via a T4SS-like complex and ComE of the type IV pilus machinery [Microbiology]

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae releases DNA and DNABII proteins via a T4SS-like complex and ComE of the type IV pilus machinery [Microbiology]
Laura A. Novotny, Kenneth L. Brockman, Lauren O. Bakaletz, Steven D. Goodman, Joseph A. Jurcisek

Biofilms formed by nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) are central to the chronicity, recurrence, and resistance to treatment of multiple human respiratory tract diseases including otitis media, chronic rhinosinusitis, and exacerbations of both cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Extracellular DNA (eDNA) and associated DNABII proteins are essential to the overall architecture and structural integrity of biofilms formed by NTHI and all other bacterial pathogens tested to date. Although cell lysis and outer-membrane vesicle extrusion are possible means by which these canonically intracellular components might be released into the extracellular environment for incorporation into the biofilm matrix, we hypothesized that NTHI additionally used a mechanism of active DNA release. Herein, we describe a mechanism whereby DNA and associated DNABII proteins transit from the bacterial cytoplasm to the periplasm via an inner-membrane pore complex (TraC and TraG) with homology to type IV secretion-like systems. These components exit the bacterial cell through the ComE pore through which the NTHI type IV pilus is expressed. The described mechanism is independent of explosive cell lysis or cell death, and the release of DNA is confined to a discrete subpolar location, which suggests a novel form of DNA release from viable NTHI. Identification of the mechanisms and determination of the kinetics by which critical biofilm matrix-stabilizing components are released will aid in the design of novel biofilm-targeted therapeutic and preventative strategies for diseases caused by NTHI and many other human pathogens known to integrate eDNA and DNABII proteins into their biofilm matrix.

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