DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms11122893 ISSN: 2076-2607

Roles of Hcp2, a Hallmark of T6SS2 in Motility, Adhesive Capacity, and Pathogenicity of Vibrio alginolyticus

Shuilong Wu, Jufen Tang, Bei Wang, Jia Cai, Jichang Jian
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is a large secretory device, widely found in Gram-negative bacteria, which plays important roles in virulence, bacterial competition, and environmental adaptation. Vibrio alginolyticus (V. alginolyticus) is an opportunistic pathogen that causes vibriosis in aquaculture animals. V. alginolyticus possesses two type VI secretion systems (named the T6SS1 and T6SS2), but their functions remain largely unclear. In this paper, the roles of the core component of the T6SS2 cluster of V. alginolyticus HY9901, hemolysin-coregulated protein2 coding gene hcp2, are reported. Deletion of hcp2 clearly impaired the swarming motility, adhesive capacity, and pathogenicity of V. alginolyticus against zebrafish. Furthermore, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) found that the abnormal morphology of flagellum filament in the hcp2 mutant strain could be partially restored by hcp2 complementarity. By proteomic and RT-qPCR analysis, we confirmed that the expression levels of flagellar flagellin and assembly-associated proteins were remarkably decreased in an hcp2 mutant strain, compared with the wild-type strain, and could be partially restored with a supply of hcp2. Accordingly, hcp2 had a positive influence on the transcription of flagellar regulons rpoN, rpoS, and fliA; this was verified by RT-qPCR. Taken together, these results suggested that hcp2 was involved in mediating the motility, adhesion, and pathogenicity of Vibrio alginolyticus through positively impacting its flagellar system.

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