Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, PLP) is linked to a variety of biological functions in prokaryotes. Here, we report that the pdxA (putative 4-hydroxy-L-threonine phosphate dehydrogenase) gene plays a pivotal role in the PLP-dependent regulation of flagellar motility, thereby altering host colonization in a leading foodborne pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni. A C. jejuni pdxA mutant failed to produce PLP and exhibited a coincident loss of flagellar motility. Mass spectrometric analyses showed a 3-fold reduction in the main flagellar glycan pseudaminic acid (Pse) associated with the disruption of pdxA. The pdxA mutant also exhibited reduced growth rates compared with the WT strain. Comparative metabolomic analyses revealed differences in respiratory/energy metabolism between WT C. jejuni and the pdxA mutant, providing a possible explanation for the differential growth fitness between the two strains. Consistent with the lack of flagellar motility, the pdxA mutant showed impaired motility-mediated responses (bacterial adhesion, ERK1/2 activation, and IL-8 production) in INT407 cells and reduced colonization of chickens compared with the WT strain. Overall, this study demonstrated that the pdxA gene affects the PLP-mediated flagellar motility function, mainly through alteration of Pse modification, and the disruption of this gene also alters the respiratory/energy metabolisms to potentially affect host colonization. Our data therefore present novel implications regarding the utility of PLP and its dependent enzymes as potent target(s) for the control of this pathogen in the poultry host. © 2013 Asakura et al.
Asakura, H., Hashii, N., Uema, M., Kawasaki, N., Sugita-Konishi, Y., Igimi, S., & Yamamoto, S. (2013). Campylobacter jejuni pdxA Affects Flagellum-Mediated Motility to Alter Host Colonization. PLoS ONE, 8(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0070418