Format

Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Microbiol. 2015 Apr 30;15:92. doi: 10.1186/s12866-015-0424-6.

Characterization of motility and piliation in pathogenic Neisseria.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20C, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden. jenseri@gmail.com.
2
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20C, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden. olaspers@gmail.com.
3
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20C, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden. maudsdotter@gmail.com.
4
Theoretical Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. opalm@kth.se.
5
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20C, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden. jakob.engman@su.se.
6
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20C, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden. tim.sarkissian@gmail.com.
7
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20C, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden. HelenaAro@gmail.com.
8
Theoretical Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. wallin@kth.se.
9
Department of Molecular Biosciences, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20C, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden. ann-beth.jonsson@su.se.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The type IV pili (Tfp) of pathogenic Neisseria (i.e., N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis) are essential for twitching motility. Tfp retraction, which is dependent on the ATPase PilT, generates the forces that move bacteria over surfaces. Neisseria motility has mainly been studied in N. gonorrhoeae whereas the motility of N. meningitidis has not yet been characterized.

RESULTS:

In this work, we analyzed bacterial motility and monitored Tfp retraction using live-cell imaging of freely moving bacteria. We observed that N. meningitidis moved over surfaces at an approximate speed of 1.6 μm/s, whereas N. gonorrhoeae moved with a lower speed (1.0 μm/s). An alignment of the meningococcal and gonococcal pilT promoters revealed a conserved single base pair variation in the -10 promoter element that influence PilT expression. By tracking mutants with altered pilT expression or pilE sequence, we concluded that the difference in motility speed was independent of both. Live-cell imaging using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that N. gonorrhoeae more often moved with fewer visible retracting filaments when compared to N. meningitidis. Correspondingly, meningococci also displayed a higher level of piliation in transmission electron microscopy. Nevertheless, motile gonococci that had the same number of filaments as N. meningitidis still moved with a lower speed.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data reveal differences in both speed and piliation between the pathogenic Neisseria species during twitching motility, suggesting a difference in Tfp-dynamics.

PMID:
25925502
PMCID:
PMC4449605
DOI:
10.1186/s12866-015-0424-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center