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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Produce Safety and Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336766

Research Project: Molecular Identification and Characterization of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens Associated with Foods

Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research

Title: Generation of the membrane potential and its impact on the motility, ATP production and growth in Campylobacter jejuni

item VAN DER STEL, ANNE–XANDER - Utrecht University
item BOOGERD, FRED - Vrije University
item Huynh, Steven
item Parker, Craig
item VAN PUTTEN, JOS - Utrecht University
item WÖSTEN, MARC - Utrecht University

Submitted to: Molecular Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2017
Publication Date: 6/22/2017
Citation: Van Der Stel, A., Boogerd, F.C., Huynh, S., Parker, C., Van Putten, J.P., Wösten, M.M. 2017. Generation of the membrane potential and its impact on the motility, ATP production and growth in Campylobacter jejuni. Molecular Microbiology. 105:637-651. https://doi:10.1111/mmi.13723.

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter jejuni is recognized as the major bacterial human foodborne pathogen worldwide. Poultry is assumed the number one contributor to the disease in humans; however, there still is no effective strategy to reduce the Campylobacter prevalence in broiler flocks. Here we determined how the branched electron chain of C. jejuni contributes to the generation of a proton motive force, which is essential for its motility, generation of ATP and growth. This study presents evidence that only in the presence of oxygen as electron acceptor or formate as electron donor a proton motive force is generated. In the absence of these substrates, C. jejuni is impaired in its motility and growth, both essential for pathogenesis. Better understanding of the energy conservation pathways of pathogenic bacteria could lead to new intervention methods, which could help reduce the infectious burden of this bacterium in humans.

Technical Abstract: The generation of an electrical membrane potential (''), the major constituent of the proton motive force (pmf) is crucial for the ATP synthesis, bacterial growth and motility. The pmf drives the rotation of flagella and is vital for the microaerophilic human pathogen Campylobacter jejuni to colonize the mucus layer of the gut of warm-blooded animals. C. jejuni harbors a branched electron transport chain, enabling respiration with different electron donors and acceptors to generate a ''. Here, we demonstrate which electron donor/acceptor couples generate a '' and show the impact of the '' on the growth performance and motility of this bacterium. In the absence of both oxygen and formate or hydrogen, no '' is generated, which strongly reduced the growth rate and the number of motile bacteria. ATP generation is driven either by the pmf, or by substrate level phosphorylation if pyruvate is present. In response to low oxygen tension, C. jejuni upregulates the transcription of the alternative respiratory acceptor complexes and increases the transcription and activity of the donor complexes formate dehydrogenase (FdhABC) and hydrogenase (HydABCD). In conclusion, C. jejuni is dependent on oxygen as electron acceptor or formate/hydrogen as electron donor to generate a pmf that sustains efficient growth and motility performance.