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  • Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Heat-Stable Toxin Increases the Rate of Zinc Release from Metallothionein and Is a Zinc- and Iron-Binding Peptide.

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Heat-Stable Toxin Increases the Rate of Zinc Release from Metallothionein and Is a Zinc- and Iron-Binding Peptide.

mSphere (2020-04-03)
Mallory C Kiefer, Natalya I Motyka, John D Clements, Jacob P Bitoun
ABSTRACT

Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a major diarrheal pathogen in children in low- to middle-income countries. Previous studies have identified heat-stable enterotoxin (ST)-producing ETEC as one of the major diarrhea-causing pathogens in children younger than five years. In this study, we examined iron and zinc binding by both human and porcine ST variants and determined how host metallothionein could detoxify ST. We found that ST purified from ETEC culture supernatants eluted as a doublet during C18 reverse-phase chromatography. Leading edge fractions of the ST doublet were found to be devoid of iron, while trailing edge fractions of the ST doublet were found to contain measurable iron. Next, we found that purified ST could be reconstituted with iron under reducing and anaerobic conditions, and iron-bound ST attenuated the induction of cGMP in T84 epithelial cells. Moreover, we demonstrated that supernatants of ETEC 214-4 grown under increasing iron concentrations were only able to induce cGMP at iron concentrations greater than 5 μM. In vitro studies also demonstrated that ST binds zinc, and once bound, zinc removal from ST required denaturing conditions. Zinc-bound ST also failed to induce cGMP. We found that ST contributes disulfide bonds to the perceived oxidized glutathione pool, increases the rate of zinc release from metallothionein, and can be detoxified by metallothionein. Lastly, we showed ST induces transcriptional changes in genes previously shown to be regulated by deferoxamine. These studies demonstrate ST ETEC pathogenesis may be tied intimately to host mucosal metal status.IMPORTANCE Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a major diarrheal pathogen in children in low- to middle-income countries, deployed military personnel, and travelers to regions of endemicity. The heat-stable toxin (ST) is a small nonimmunogenic secreted peptide with 3 disulfide bonds. It has been appreciated that dietary disulfides modulate intestinal redox potential and that ST could be detoxified using exogenous reductants. Using biochemical and spectroscopic approaches, we demonstrated that ST can separately bind iron and zinc under reducing conditions, thereby reducing ST toxicity. Moreover, we demonstrated that ST modulates the glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio and that ST should be considered a toxin oxidant. ST can be detoxified by oxidizing zinc-loaded metallothionine, causing free zinc to be released. These studies help lay a foundation to understand how diarrheal pathogens modulate intestinal redox potential and may impact how we design therapeutics and/or vaccines for the pathogens that produce them.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Zardaverine, phosphodiesterase inhibitor
Sigma-Aldrich
Guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate, ≥98% (HPLC), powder
Sigma-Aldrich
Suplatast tosylate, ≥98% (HPLC)
Supelco
Amberlite XAD®-2, pkg of 500 g
Millipore
Pellicon® 3 Cassette with Ultracel® Membrane, filtration area 0.11 m2, NMWCO 10 kDa