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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Apr 17;115(16):E3779-E3787. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1720133115. Epub 2018 Apr 2.

The Vibrio cholerae type VI secretion system can modulate host intestinal mechanics to displace gut bacterial symbionts.

Author information

1
Institute of Molecular Biology, Materials Science Institute and Department of Physics, The University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403.
2
School of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332.
3
Computational and Systems Biology Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065.
4
Institute of Molecular Biology, Materials Science Institute and Department of Physics, The University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403; raghu@uoregon.edu.

Abstract

Host-associated microbiota help defend against bacterial pathogens; however, the mechanisms by which pathogens overcome this defense remain largely unknown. We developed a zebrafish model and used live imaging to directly study how the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae invades the intestine. The gut microbiota of fish monocolonized by symbiotic strain Aeromonas veronii was displaced by V. cholerae expressing its type VI secretion system (T6SS), a syringe-like apparatus that deploys effector proteins into target cells. Surprisingly, displacement was independent of T6SS-mediated killing of A. veronii, driven instead by T6SS-induced enhancement of zebrafish intestinal movements that led to expulsion of the resident microbiota by the host. Deleting an actin cross-linking domain from the T6SS apparatus returned intestinal motility to normal and thwarted expulsion, without weakening V. cholerae's ability to kill A. veronii in vitro. Our finding that bacteria can manipulate host physiology to influence intermicrobial competition has implications for both pathogenesis and microbiome engineering.

KEYWORDS:

Vibrio cholerae; microbiota; peristalsis; type VI secretion system; zebrafish

PMID:
29610339
PMCID:
PMC5910850
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1720133115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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