Salmonella pSLT-encoded effector SpvB promotes RIPK3-dependent necroptosis in intestinal epithelial cells

Salmonella is one of the most important worldwide zoonotic pathogens. After invading a host orally, the bacteria break through the intestinal epithelial barrier for further invasion. Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the intestinal epithelial barrier. Necroptosis is considered one of the virulence strategies utilized by invasive Salmonella.
Our previous work has shown that SpvB, an effector encoded by S. Typhimurium virulence plasmid (pSLT), promotes bacterial translocation via the paracellular route. However, it is still unknown whether SpvB could promote bacterial invasion by disrupting the integrity of IECs.
Here, we demonstrated that SpvB promoted necroptosis of IECs and contributed to the destruction of the intestinal barrier during Salmonella infection. We found that SpvB enhanced the protein level of receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIPK3) through inhibiting K48-linked poly-ubiquitylation of RIPK3 and the degradation of the protein in an autophagy-dependent manner. The abundant accumulation of RIPK3 upregulated the phosphorylation of MLKL, which contributed to necroptosis.
The damage to IECs ultimately led to the disruption of the intestinal barrier and aggravated infection. In vivo, SpvB promoted the pathogenesis of Salmonella, favoring intestinal injury and colonic necroptosis. Our findings reveal a novel function of Salmonella effector SpvB, which could facilitate salmonellosis by promoting necroptosis, and broadening our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of bacterial invasion.

Complete genome assembly of the levan-positive strain PVFi1 of Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi isolated from olive knots in Central Italy

Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi, the causal agent of olive knot disease, is a fluorescent Gram-negative bacterium classified, according to the specific LOPAT profile, as Ib. However, during the 90s, a number of atypical non-fluorescent levan-positive strains of Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi have been unexpectedly isolated from olive knots in Central Italy. Since its first report, several studies were conducted on this species variant, but its genome sequence has never been reported. The complete genome sequence and two additional plasmids of PVFi1, a representative strain, were here obtained using a hybrid sequencing approach with both Oxford Nanopore Technology and Illumina sequencing.
A thorough genomic analysis unravelled several genetic features of this peculiar strain, showing a transposase insertion downstream a fragmented copy of the levansucrase gene. The same features were previously reported on levan-negative Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi strains. In addition, a second copy of the levansucrase gene fully equipped for a gene expression and comparable to the levan-positive Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. glycinea, may explain the levan-positive test. This result provides a solid genetic demonstration that the bacterial species Pseudomonas savastanoi contains either levan-positive or levan-negative strains, providing insights for an update of the related LOPAT classification.

Large-Scale Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals a New Genetic Clade among Escherichia coli O26 Strains

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O26 is the predominant non-O157 serogroup causing hemolytic uremic syndrome worldwide. Moreover, the serogroup is highly dynamic and harbors several pathogenic clones. Here, we investigated the phylogenetic relationship of STEC O26 at a global level based on 1,367 strains from 20 countries deposited in NCBI and Enterobase databases. The whole-genome-based analysis identified a new genetic clade, called ST29C4. The new clade was unique in terms of multilocus sequence type (ST29), CRISPR (group Ia), and dominant plasmid gene profile (ehxA+/katP-/espP-/etpD-).
Moreover, the combination of multiple typing methods (core genome single nucleotide polymorphism [SNP] typing, CRISPR typing, and virulence genes analysis) demonstrated that this new lineage ST29C4 was in the intermediate phylogenetic position between ST29C3 and other non-ST29C3 strains.
Besides, we observed that ST29C4 harbored extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC)-related virulence gene (VG), tsh, and STEC-associated VG, stx2a, suggesting the emergence of a hybrid pathogen. The ST29C4 strains also exhibited high similarity in stx2a-prophage and integrase with the O104:H4 strain, further demonstrating its potential risk to human health. Collectively, the large-scale phylogenetic analysis extends the understanding of the clonal structure of O26 strains and provides new insights for O26 strain microevolution. 
IMPORTANCE Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O26 is the second prevalent STEC serogroup only to O157, which can cause a series of diseases ranging from mild diarrhea to life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The serogroup is highly diverse and multiple clones are characterized, including ST29C1-C3 and ST21C1-C2. However, the phylogenetic relationship of these clones remains fully unclear. In this study, we revealed a new genetic clade among O26 strains, ST29C4, which was unique in terms of CRISPR, multilocus sequence type (MLST), and plasmid gene profile (PGP). Moreover, the combination of multiple typing methods demonstrated that this new clone was located in the intermediate phylogenetic position between ST29C3 and other non-ST29C3 strains (i.e., ST29C1-C2 and ST21C1-C2). Overall, the large-scale phylogenetic analysis extends our current understanding of O26 microevolution.

Site-specific integration as an efficient method for production of recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20 in semi-adherent cells

PH20 is a hyaluronidase enzyme that can hydrolyze the glycosidic bond in hyaluronic acid as the major proteoglycan found in extracellular matrices. In the present study, we constructed and characterized two donor plasmids, one of them with one and the second with two PH20 expression cassettes. The expression vectors were site specifically integrated into the genome of HEK293T cells using PhiC31 integrase system to develop HEK293T stable cell lines secreting His-tagged recombinant human PH20 (rhPH20) in the culture supernatant.
The produced rhPH20 was quantified using ELISA and turbidimetric assay tests, and its catalytic activity was also assessed by treating the mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes. Our results showed that the secreted rhPH20 in the culture supernatant had the specific activity of 16,660 IU/mg and the recombinant enzyme was able to remove the cumulus cells from oocytes.
The results also indicated that phiC31 enzyme inserted the PH20-expressing donor vectors into the specific pseudo attP sites including 10q21.2 and 20q11.22 in the genome of the target cells with different copy numbers. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that PhiC31 integrase system is able to be applied as a robust tool for efficient production and secretion of soluble and active rhPH20 by HEK293T cells as a semi-adherent human cell line.
KEY POINTS: • Efficient production of human recombinant PH20 in a semi-adherent human cell line • Successful application of PhiC31 integrase system for generation of stable recombinant clones • Use of a human cell line for expression of a recombinant human protein due to complex and efficient post-translational modifications and protein folding.

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