Competence for natural transformation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae: components of DNA binding and uptake linked to type IV pilus expression

  title={Competence for natural transformation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae: components of DNA binding and uptake linked to type IV pilus expression},
  author={Finn Erik Aas and Matthew C. Wolfgang and Stephan A. Frye and Steven A. Dunham and Cecilia L{\o}vold and Michael Koomey},
  journal={Molecular Microbiology},
The mechanisms by which DNA is taken up into the bacterial cell during natural genetic transformation are poorly understood. Although related components essential to the uptake of DNA during transforma‐tion have been defined in Gram‐negative species, it remains unclear whether DNA binding and uptake are dissociable events. Therefore, DNA uptake has been the earliest definable step in any Gram‐negative transformation pathway. In the human pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae, sequence‐specific DNA… 

An inhibitor of DNA binding and uptake events dictates the proficiency of genetic transformation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae: mechanism of action and links to Type IV pilus expression

It is demonstrated that DNA uptake is enhanced in strains bearing pilV mutations and reduced in strains overexpressing PilV, and a novel mechanism by which the levels of competence are governed in prokaryotic species is revealed and suggested.

Specific DNA recognition mediated by a type IV pilin

It is shown that meningococcal type IV pili bind DNA through the minor pilin ComP via an electropositive stripe that is predicted to be exposed on the filaments surface and that ComP displays an exquisite binding preference for DNA uptake sequence.

The molecular mechanism of outer membrane DNA transport in bacterial transformation

A more precise mechanistic model for the DNA uptake process into the periplasm of Gram negative bacteria is proposed and a double-stranded DNA uptake sequence (DUS) is required for species-specific DNA recognition and binding in the first step.

DNA Uptake Sequence-Mediated Enhancement of Transformation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae Is Strain Dependent

The data indicate that the role of the DUS during DNA transformation is variable between strains of N. gonorrhoeae and may influence multiple steps during transformation.

Natural transformation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae: from DNA donation to homologous recombination

The completion of the gonococcal genome sequence has facilitated the identification of additional transformation genes and provides insight into previous investigations of gonococCal transformation, and the implications of natural transformation in the evolution and pathogenesis of N. gonorrhoeae are addressed.

Neisserial Correia Repeat-Enclosed Elements Do Not Influence the Transcription of pil Genes in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis

Results suggest CREE insertion in these three pil loci does not influence transcription and that IHF does not coordinately regulate tfp biogenesis in pathogenic Neisseria.

Natural Transformation in Deinococcus radiodurans: A Genetic Analysis Reveals the Major Roles of DprA, DdrB, RecA, RecF, and RecO Proteins

It is proposed that RecF and RecO, belonging to the recombination mediator complex, and DdrB, a specific deinococcal DNA binding protein, can replace a function played by DprA, or alternatively, act at a different step of recombination with DPRA.

The outer membrane secretin PilQ from Neisseria meningitidis binds DNA

It is suggested that transforming DNA is introduced into the cell through the outer-membrane channel formed by the PilQ complex, and that DNA uptake occurs by non-specific introduction of DNA coupled to pilus retraction, followed by presentation to DNA-binding component(s), including PilQ.

Mechanistic aspects of DNA uptake in naturally competent Vibrio cholerae

A first model of DNA uptake in the naturally competent human pathogen Vibrio cholerae is established and it is proposed that ComEA directly contributes to DNA transport.

Concerted Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Imported DNA and ComE DNA Uptake Protein during Gonococcal Transformation

It is concluded that the periplasm can act as a considerable reservoir for imported DNA with ComE governing the amount of DNA stored potentially for transport through the inner membrane.



The comP locus of Neisseria gonorrhoeae encodes a type IV prepilin that is dispensable for pilus biogenesis but essential for natural transformation

The process of DNA uptake in gonococci is now known to require the expression of at least three distinct components: Tfp, the recently identified PilT protein and ComP.

ComE, a competence protein from Neisseria gonorrhoeae with DNA-binding activity.

A novel gonococcal DNA-binding competence factor which is necessary for DNA uptake and does not affect pilus biogenesis or function is identified.

Role of pili and the phase-variable PilC protein in natural competence for transformation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The authors' data suggest that the two phase-variable Pil proteins act on the bacterial cell surface and cooperate in DNA recognition and/or outer membrane translocation.

Natural Competence for DNA Transformation by Legionella pneumophila and Its Association with Expression of Type IV Pili

It is shown that L. pneumophila is naturally competent for DNA transformation by isogenic chromosomal DNA and by plasmid DNA containing L.neumophila DNA, and a pilEL mutant defective in expression of type IV pili is not competent forDNA transformation.

PilP, a pilus biogenesis lipoprotein in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, affects expression of PilQ as a high‐molecular‐mass multimer

The results suggest that PilP is required for PilQ function and that PilQ and PilC may interact during the terminal stages of pilus biogenesis, and support the hypothesis that the Gc PilQ multimer corresponds to a physiologically relevant form of the protein required for pilusBiogenesis.

Identification and characterization of pilG, a highly conserved pilus‐assembly gene in pathogenic Neisseria

The results indicated that PilG exerts its own independent role in neisserial pilus biogenesis, and hybridization studies strongly suggest that pilG‐related genes exist in commensal Neisseria species and other species known to express type IV pili.

Requirement of Novel Competence Genes pilT andpilU of Pseudomonas stutzeri for Natural Transformation and Suppression of pilT Deficiency by a Hexahistidine Tag on the Type IV Pilus Protein PilAI

It is proposed that the pilT-independent transformation is promoted by PilA mutant protein either as single molecules or as minimal pilin assembly structures in the periplasm which may resemble depolymerized pili and that these cause the outer membrane pores to open for DNA entry.

DNA uptake in bacteria.

  • D. Dubnau
  • Biology
    Annual review of microbiology
  • 1999
The mechanism of DNA uptake in both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria is reviewed, and the similarity of certain essential competence proteins to those required for the assembly of type-4 pili and for type-2 protein secretion is discussed.

Suppression of an absolute defect in type IV pilus biogenesis by loss-of-function mutations in pilT, a twitching motility gene in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

It is shown that the defect in pilus biogenesis resulting from mutations in the pilC gene, encoding a putative pilus-associated adhesin for human tissue, can be suppressed by the absence of functional PilT.