Enteropathogenic yersiniae (Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica) typically cause chronic disease as opposed to the closely related Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague. It is established that this difference reflects, in part, carriage by Y. pestis of a unique 9.6-kb pesticin or Pst plasmid (pPCP) encoding plasminogen activator (Pla) rather than distinctions between shared ~70-kb low-calcium-response, or Lcr, plasmids (pCD in Y. pestis and pYV in enteropathogenic yersiniae) encoding cytotoxic Yops and anti-inflammatory V antigen. Pla is known to exist as a combination of 32.6-kDa (α-Pla) and slightly smaller (β-Pla) outer membrane proteins, of which at least one promotes bacterial dissemination in vivo and degradation of Yops in vitro. We show here that only α-Pla accumulates in Escherichia coli LE392/pPCP1 cultivated in enriched medium and that either autolysis or extraction of this isolate with 1.0 M NaCl results in release of soluble α and β forms possessing biological activity. This process also converted cell-bound α-Pla to β-Pla and smaller forms in Y. pestis KIM/pPCP1 and Y. pseudotuberculosis PB1/+/pPCP1 but did not promote solubilization. Pla-mediated posttranslational hydrolysis of pulse-labeled Yops in Y. pseudotuberculosis PB1/ +/pPCP1 occurred more slowly than that in Y. pestis but was otherwise similar except for accumulation of stable degradation products of YadA, a pYV-mediated fibrillar adhesin not encoded in frame by pCD. Carriage of pPCP by Y. pseudotuberculosis did not significantly influence virulence in mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases