Relaxed specificityof BcpB transporters mediates interactions between Burkholderia cepacia complex contact-dependent growth inhibition systems

Zaria K. Elery, Tanya Myers-Morales, Erica D. Phillips, Erin C. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Belonging to the two-partner secretion family of proteins, contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) systems mediate interbacterial antagonism among closely related Gram-negative bacteria. The toxic portion of a large surface protein, BcpA/CdiA, is delivered to the cytoplasm of neighboring cells where it inhibits growth. Translocation of the antibacterial polypeptide out of the producing cell requires an associated outer membrane transporter, BcpB/CdiB. Some bacteria, including many Burkholderia species, encode multiple distinct CDI systems, but whether there is interaction between these systems is largely unknown. Using Burkholderia cepacia complex species as a model, here we show that related BcpB transporters exhibit considerable secretion flexibilityand can secrete both cognate and non-cognate BcpA substrates. We also identifiedan additional unique Burkholderia dolosa CDI system capable of mediating interbacterial competition and demonstrated that its BcpB transporter has similar relaxed substrate specificity.Our results showed that two BcpB transporters (BcpB-2 and BcpB-3) were able to secrete all four of the B. dolosa BcpA toxins, while one transporter (BcpB-1) appeared unable to secrete even its cognate BcpA substrate under the tested conditions. This flexibilityprovided a competitive advantage, as strains lacking the full repertoire of BcpB proteins had decreased CDI activity. Similar results were obtained in Burkholderia multivorans, suggesting that secretion flexibilitymay be a conserved feature of Burkholderia CDI systems. Together these findingssuggest that the interaction between distinct CDI systems enhances the efficiencyof bacterial antagonism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalmSphere
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elery et al.

Keywords

  • Burkholderia dolosa
  • Burkholderia multivorans
  • CDI
  • contact-dependent growth inhibition
  • interbacterial antagonism
  • two-partner secretion systems
  • type Vb secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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