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Microb Pathog. 2019 Jul;132:87-99. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2019.04.034. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Comparative genomics of the transportome of Ten Treponema species.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0116, USA.
2
Department of Molecular Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0116, USA; Institute of Microbiology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan.
3
Department of Molecular Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0116, USA. Electronic address: msaier@ucsd.edu.

Abstract

Treponema is a diverse bacterial genus, the species of which can be pathogenic, symbiotic, or free living. These treponemes can cause various diseases in humans and other animals, such as periodontal disease, bovine digital dermatitis and animal skin lesions. However, the most important and well-studied disease of treponemes that affects humans is 'syphilis'. This disease is caused by Treponema pallidum subspecie pallidum with 11-12 million new cases around the globe on an annual basis. In this study we analyze the transportome of ten Treponema species, with emphasis on the types of encoded transport proteins and their substrates. Of the ten species examined, two (T. primitia and T. azonutricium) reside as symbionts in the guts of termites; six (T. pallidum, T. paraluiscuniculi, T. pedis, T. denticola, T. putidum and T. brennaborense) are pathogens of either humans or animals, and T. caldarium and T. succinifaciens are avirulent species, the former being thermophilic. All ten species have a repertoire of transport proteins that assists them in residing in their respective ecological niches. For instance, oral pathogens use transport proteins that take up nutrients uniquely present in their ecosystem; they also encode multiple multidrug/macromolecule exporters that protect against antimicrobials and aid in biofilm formation. Proteins of termite gut symbionts convert cellulose into other sugars that can be metabolized by the host. As often observed for pathogens and symbionts, several of these treponemes have reduced genome sizes, and their small genomes correlate with their dependencies on the host. Overall, the transportomes of T. pallidum and other pathogens have a conglomerate of parasitic lifestyle-assisting proteins. For example, a T. pallidum repeat protein (TprK) mediates immune evasion; outer membrane proteins (OMPs) allow nutrient uptake and end product export, and several ABC transporters catalyze sugar uptake, considered pivotal to parasitic lifestyles. Taken together, the results of this study yield new information that may help open new avenues of treponeme research.

KEYWORDS:

Diverse lifestyles; Free living; Pathogens; Symbionts; Transport proteins; Treponema

PMID:
31029716
DOI:
10.1016/j.micpath.2019.04.034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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