Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans throughout the world, but infection of animals, especially poultry, results in a commensal colonization of the intestines. We previously found that a mutant lacking docA, which encodes a putative cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP), demonstrates up to a 105-fold reduction in colonization of the chick cecum compared to wild-type C. jejuni strain 81-176. Predictions from genomic sequences identified CJJ0382 as a second locus in C. jejuni encoding a CCP, making the bacterium unusual in having two putative CCPs. To understand what advantages are imparted by having two putative CCPs, we compared the colonization requirements of C. jejuni mutants lacking DocA or Cjj0382. Unlike the ΔdocA mutant, a ΔCJJ0382 mutant demonstrates a maximal 50-fold colonization defect that is dependent on the inoculum dose. The colonization differences of mutants lacking DocA or Cjj0382 suggest that the two predicted CCPs are unlikely to perform redundant functions during in vivo growth. In the characterizations of DocA and Cjj0382, we found that they are stable periplasmic proteins with an apparent hemedependent peroxidase activity, which are characteristics of bacterial CCPs. However, the peroxidase activities of the proteins do not appear to contribute to resistance to hydrogen peroxide. Instead, we found that resistance to hydrogen peroxide in C. jejuni is mostly attributed to the cytoplasmic catalase KatA. Our data suggest that DocA and Cjj0382 have characteristics of CCPs but likely perform different physiological functions for the bacterium in colonization that are not related to resisting oxidative stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases