Structural and functional importance of outer membrane proteins in Vibrio cholerae flagellum
Wasimul Bari ; Kang-Mu Lee ; Sang Sun Yoon
Journal of Microbiology, Vol.50(4) : 631~637, 2012
Journal of Microbiology
Vibrio cholerae has a sheath-covered monotrichous flagellum that is known to contribute to virulence. Although the structural organization of the V. cholerae flagellum has been extensively studied, the involvement of outer membrane proteins as integral components in the flagellum still remains elusive. Here we show that flagella produced by V. cholerae O1 El Tor strain C6706 were two times thicker than those from two other Gram-negative bacteria. A C6706 mutant strain (SSY11) devoid of two outer membrane proteins (OMPs), OmpU and OmpT, produced thinner flagella. SSY11 showed significant defects in the flagella-mediated motility as compared to its parental strain. Moreover, increased shedding of the flagella-associated proteins was observed in the culture supernatant of SSY11. This finding was also supported by the observation that culture supernatants of the SSY11 strain induced the production of a significantly higher level of IL-8 in human colon carcinoma HT29 and alveolar epithelial A549 cells than those of the wild-type C6706 strain. These results further suggest a definite role of these two OMPs in providing the structural integrity of the V. cholerae flagellum as part of the surrounding sheath.