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

Authors
  • Xin Li
  • David E. Johnson
  • Harry L. T. Mobley
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1999
Source
PMC
Keywords
License
Unknown

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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