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Requirement of MrpH for Mannose-Resistant Proteus-Like Fimbria-Mediated Hemagglutination by Proteus mirabilis

Authors
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Source
PMC
Keywords
  • Molecular And Cellular Pathogenesis

Abstract

Two new genes, mrpH and mrpJ, were identified downstream of mrpG in the mrp gene cluster encoding mannose-resistant Proteus-like (MR/P) fimbriae of uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis. Since the predicted MrpH has 30% amino acid sequence identity to PapG, the Galα(1-4)Gal-binding adhesin of Escherichia coli P fimbriae, we hypothesized that mrpH encodes the functional MR/P hemagglutinin. MR/P fimbriae, expressed in E. coli DH5α, conferred on bacteria both the ability to cause mannose-resistant hemagglutination and the ability to aggregate to form pellicles on the broth surface. Both a ΔmrpH mutant expressed in E. coli DH5α and an isogenic mrpH::aphA mutant of P. mirabilis were unable to produce normal MR/P fimbriae efficiently, suggesting that MrpH was involved in fimbrial assembly. Amino acid residue substitution of the N-terminal cysteine residues (C66S and C128S) of MrpH abolished the receptor-binding activity (hemagglutinating ability) of MrpH but allowed normal fimbrial assembly, supporting the notion that MrpH was the functional MR/P hemagglutinin. Immunogold electron microscopy of P. mirabilis HI4320 revealed that MrpH was located at the tip of MR/P fimbriae, also consistent with its role in receptor binding. The isogenic mrpH::aphA mutant of HI4320 was less able to colonize the urine, bladder, and kidneys in a mouse model of ascending urinary tract infection (P < 0.01), and therefore MR/P fimbriae contribute significantly to bacterial colonization in mice. While there are similarities between P. mirabilis MR/P and E. coli P fimbriae, there are more notable differences: (i) synthesis of the MrpH adhesin is required to initiate fimbrial assembly, (ii) MR/P fimbriae confer an aggregation phenotype, (iii) site-directed mutation of specific residues can abolish receptor binding but allows fimbrial assembly, and (iv) mutation of the adhesin gene abolishes virulence in a mouse model of ascending urinary tract infection.

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