Baldvinsson, Signe Berg4; Sørensen, Martine Camilla Holst5; Vegge, Christina Skovgaard5; Clokie, Martha R. J.6; Brøndsted, Lone5
1 Food Safety and Zoonoses, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Section of Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 University of Leicester4 Section of Microbiology, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Food Safety and Zoonoses, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet6 University of Leicester
Previous studies have identified a specific modification of the capsular polysaccharide as receptor for phages that infect Campylobacter jejuni. Using acapsular kpsM mutants of C. jejuni strains NCTC11168 and NCTC12658, we found that bacteriophage F341 infects C. jejuni independently of the capsule. In contrast, phage F341 does not infect C. jejuni NCTC11168 mutants that either lack the flagellar filaments (ΔflaAB) or that have paralyzed, i.e., nonrotating, flagella (ΔmotA and ΔflgP). Complementing flgP confirmed that phage F341 requires rotating flagella for successful infection. Furthermore, adsorption assays demonstrated that phage F341 does not adsorb to these nonmotile C. jejuni NCTC11168 mutants. Taken together, we propose that phage F341 uses the flagellum as a receptor. Phage-host interactions were investigated using fluorescence confocal and transmission electron microscopy. These data demonstrate that F341 binds to the flagellum by perpendicular attachment with visible phage tail fibers interacting directly with the flagellum. Our data are consistent with the movement of the C. jejuni flagellum being required for F341 to travel along the filament to reach the basal body of the bacterium. The initial binding to the flagellum may cause a conformational change of the phage tail that enables DNA injection after binding to a secondary receptor.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2014, Vol 80, Issue 22, p. 7096-7106