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Riemerella anatipestifer GldM is required for bacterial gliding motility, protein secretion, and virulence

Chen, Zongchao, Wang, Xiaolan, Ren, Xiaomei, Han, Wenlong, Malhi, Kanwar Kumar, Ding, Chan, Yu, Shengqing
Veterinary research 2019 v.50 no.1 pp. 43
Riemerella anatipestifer, Western blotting, adhesion, amino acid sequences, blood, ducks, gene expression regulation, genes, genetic analysis, liquid chromatography, microbial load, mutants, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, protein secretion, proteins, sequence analysis, tandem mass spectrometry, veterinary medicine, virulence
Riemerella anatipestifer is a major pathogenic agent of duck septicemic and exudative diseases. Genetic analyses suggest that this pathogen has a novel protein secretion system, known as the “type IX secretion system” (T9SS). We previously reported that deletion of the AS87_RS08465 gene significantly reduced the bacterial virulence of the R. anatipestifer strain Yb2, but the mechanism remained unclear. The AS87_RS08465 gene is predicted to encode the gliding motility protein GldM (GldM) protein, a key component of the T9SS complex. In this study, Western blotting analysis demonstrated that R. anatipestifer GldM was localized to the cytomembrane. Further study revealed that the adhesion and invasion capacities of the mutant strain RA2281 (designated Yb2ΔgldM) in Vero cells and the bacterial loads in the blood of infected ducks were significantly reduced. RNA-Seq and PCR analyses showed that six genes were upregulated and five genes were downregulated in the mutant strain Yb2ΔgldM and that these genes were mainly involved in the secretion of proteins. Yb2ΔgldM was also found to be defective in gliding motility and protein secretion. Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry analysis revealed that nine of the proteins had a conserved T9SS C-terminal domain and were differentially secreted by Yb2ΔgldM compared to Yb2. The complementation strain cYb2ΔgldM recovered the adhesion and invasion capacities in Vero cells and the bacterial loads in the blood of infected ducks as well as the bacterial gliding motility and most protein secretion in the mutant strain Yb2ΔgldM to the levels of the wild-type strain Yb2. Taken together, these results indicate that R. anatipestifer GldM is associated with T9SS and is important in bacterial virulence.