The effect of glutamate homeostasis on the survival of M. bovis BCG

Gallant, James Luke (2015-12)

Thesis (MScMedSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of the tuberculosis disease, is estimated to infect a third of the world’s population and is therefore, arguably, the most successful human pathogen in recorded history. Immense efforts to understand the genetic factors and biochemical processes underlying the complex interactions between M. tuberculosis and its host cells have delivered staggering insights into the profound proficiency by which this bacterium establishes and maintains an infection. It is now clear that M. tuberculosis can interfere with the immune responses initiated by host cells in such a manner as to subvert the various bactericidal conditions established by these cells and thus eliminate the tubercle bacilli that infect them. Specific characteristics of M. tuberculosis which provide it with this ability include a nearly impenetrable cell wall, secretion systems which secrete special factors which directly interact with host immune factors. This enables M. tuberculosis to modulate the activities of the host environment and unique metabolic adaptations of M. tuberculosis allows the organism to survive in the hypoxic, oxidative, nitrosative, acidic and nutrient poor environment of immune cell phagosomes and to persist for decades in a quiescent state in otherwise healthy people. New observations into the pathways which constitute energy, carbon and central nitrogen metabolism, among others, in M. tuberculosis, suggest that a carefully orchestrated homeostasis is maintained by the organism which may modulate the concentrations and ameliorate the effect of molecules that are important to defensive strategies employed by host cells. Here we discuss various recent studies as well as new information provided by this study, focusing on central metabolism and its regulation in M. tuberculosis. We aim to highlight the importance of nitrogen metabolism in the subversive response employed by M. tuberculosis to survive, colonise and persist in the host. We argue that the homeostatic regulation of nitrogen metabolism in M. tuberculosis presents a profound vulnerability in the pathogen which should be exploited with compounds that inhibit the activities of various effector proteins found in this pathway and that are unique to the organism. Such compounds may provide valuable novel chemotherapies to treat tuberculosis patients and may alleviate the burden of multiple drug resistance which plagues tuberculosis treatments. Specifically, in this study we investigate the role of M. bovis BCG glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and glutamate synthase (GltS) by subjecting knockout mutants of the aforementioned gene products to various cellular stress conditions. Furthermore, we investigated how the genomes of each M. bovis BCG strain was affected post deletion of the aforementioned protein products. The role of GDH was also tested in an murine macrophage model of infection to elucidate potential importance to colonisation and infection. This study provides novel results indicating an importance of GDH toward the resistance of nitrosative stress as well as a requirement for optimal persistence in RAW 264.7 macrophages. In addition, it was found that GltS is dispensable for resistance against nitrosative stress.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, die organisme wat die aansteeklike siekte tuberkulose veroorsaak, infekteer ongeveer ‘n dêrde van die wêreld populasie en is daarom, waarskynlik, een van die mees suksesvolle menslike patogene in geskiedenis. In die afgelope jare is daar noemenswaardige poging aangewend om genetiese faktore sowel as biochemiese prosesse te verstaan wat die komplekse interaksies tussen M. tuberculosis en sy gasheer selle verduidelik. Dit is nou voor die hand liggend dat M. tuberculosis kan inmeng met die reaksies van die immuun sisteem, om dus die bakteriosidiese omgewing wat geskep word deur die selle van hierde sisteem te vermy. Daar is spesifieke kenmerke van M. tuberculosis wat toelaat dat die bacilli so ‘n omgewing kan weerstaan. Hierdie kenmerke is, onder andere, ‘n byna ondeurdringbare selwand en uitskeiding sisteme wat spesiale faktore vrystel. Hierdie faktore het die vermoë om direk met die gasheer immuun sisteem ‘n interaksie te hê wat dus die immuun sisteem moduleer. Verder, is M. tuberculosis se metabolisme aan gepas om die organisme te help teen die lae suurstof, hoë oksidatiewe en stikstof stress, lae pH en lae voedingswaarde omgewing te oorleef. M. tuberculosis het ook die vermoë om vir ‘n onbeperkte tyd in ‘n statiese toestand te oorleef, in gashere wat toon as gesond. Nuwe waarnemings in die energie, koolstof en sentrale stikstof metaboliese paaie stel voor dat ‘n homeostase gehandhaaf word deur M. tuberculosis, wat die konsentrasies van verskeie molekules moduleer of die effek van molekules wat deur die gasheer vrygestel word as ‘n verdedigings meganisme versag. In hierdie dokument bespreek ons verskeie studies, asook nuwe inligting voortgebring deur hierdie studie, wat fokus op sentrale metabolisme en sy regulering in M .tuberculosis. Ons raak aan die vermoë van M. tuberculosis om intrasellulêr te oorleef, koloniseer en voort te bestaan in ‘n gasheer. Ons vemoed dat die homeostatiese regulering van stikstof metabolisme in M. tuberculosis n diepgaande kwesbaarheid in die patogeen skep wat die potentiaal het om uit gebuit te word. Molekules kan gesintiseer word wat die aktiwiteite van verskeie ensieme in hierdie padweg inhibeer en sodoende die organisme hinder. Sulke molekules mag dalk as waardevolle en oorspronklike medisynes ontwikkel word om tuberkulose patiënte meer suksesvol te behandel asook om die las van middelweerstandige bakterieë te verlig. Met betrokke tot hierdie spesifieke studie, het ons die rol van glutamaat dehidrogenase (GDH) en glutamaat sintase (GltS) van M. bovis BCG bestudeer deur om die uitslaan mutante van die genoemde geen produkte aan verskeie sellulêre stress toestande bloot te stel. Die effek van die verlore gdh en gltBD gene op die evolusie van die genome van elke M. bovis BCG uitslaan mutant ras ten opsigte van die wilde tipe was ook bestudeer. Die rol van GDH was getoets in ‘n muis makrofaag model van infeksie om te bepaal of GDH n funksie het in koloniseering en infeksie van M. bovis BCG. Hierdie studie het nuwe bevindinge voort gebring wat die belangrikheid van GDH in die weerstand teen stikstof oksied stress. Daar is verder bevind dat GDH n vereiste toon vir die suksessvolle oorlewing van M. bovis BCG in RAW 264.7 macrofage

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