Chaperone activity of serine protease HtrA of Helicobacter pylori as a crucial survival factor under stress conditions

Urszula Zarzecka , Aileen Harrer , Anna Zawilak-Pawlik , Joanna Skórko-Glonek , Steffen Backert


Background: Serine protease HtrA exhibits both proteolytic and chaperone activities, which are involved in cellular protein quality control. Moreover, HtrA is an important virulence factor in many pathogens including Helicobacter pylori, for which the crucial stage of infection is the cleavage of E-cadherin and other cell-to-cell junction proteins. Methods: The in vitro study of H. pylori HtrA (HtrAHp) chaperone activity was carried out using light scattering assays and investigation of lysozyme protein aggregates. We produced H. pylori ΔhtrA deletion and HtrAHp point mutants without proteolytic activity in strain N6 and investigated the survival of the bacteria under thermal, osmotic, acidic and general stress conditions as well as the presence of puromycin or metronidazole using serial dilution tests and disk diffusion method. The levels of cellular and secreted proteins were examined using biochemical fraction and Western blotting. We also studied the proteolytic activity of secreted HtrAHp using zymography and the enzymatic digestion of β-casein. Finally, the consequences of E-cadherin cleavage were determined by immunofluorescence microscopy. Results: We demonstrate that HtrAHp displays chaperone activity that inhibits the aggregation of lysozyme and is stable under various pH and temperature conditions. Next, we could show that N6 expressing only HtrA chaperone activity grow well under thermal, pH and osmotic stress conditions, and in the presence of puromycin or metronidazole. In contrast, in the absence of the entire htrA gene the bacterium was more sensitive to a number of stresses. Analysing the level of cellular and secreted proteins, we noted that H. pylori lacking the proteolytic activity of HtrA display reduced levels of secreted HtrA. Moreover, we compared the amounts of secreted HtrA from several clinical H. pylori strains and digestion of β-casein. We also demonstrated a significant effect of the HtrAHp variants during infection of human epithelial cells and for E-cadherin cleavage. Conclusion: Here we identified the chaperone activity of the HtrAHp protein and have proven that this activity is important and sufficient for the survival of H. pylori under multiple stress conditions. We also pinpointed the importance of HtrAHp chaperone activity for E- cadherin degradation and therefore for the virulence of this eminent pathogen.
Author Urszula Zarzecka (FB / DB)
Urszula Zarzecka,,
- Department of Biochemistry
, Aileen Harrer
Aileen Harrer,,
, Anna Zawilak-Pawlik
Anna Zawilak-Pawlik,,
, Joanna Skórko-Glonek (FB / DB)
Joanna Skórko-Glonek,,
- Department of Biochemistry
, Steffen Backert
Steffen Backert,,
Journal seriesCell Communication and Signaling, ISSN 1478-811X, (N/A 140 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.85
Article number161
Keywords in EnglishHtrA, chaperone, protease, Helicobacter pylori, E- cadherin, virulence factor, protein quality control system, stress endurance, secreted proteins
ASJC Classification1303 Biochemistry; 1307 Cell Biology; 1312 Molecular Biology
Languageen angielski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)140
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 140.0, 06-02-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.246; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 5.111 (2) - 2018=4.603 (5)
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