Bacteroides fragilis toxin expression enables lamina propria niche acquisition in the developing mouse gut

Craig A. Hill, Benjamin W. Casterline, Ezequiel Valguarnera, Aaron L. Hecht, Elizabeth Stanley Shepherd, Justin L. Sonnenburg, Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bacterial toxins are well-studied virulence factors; however, recent studies have revealed their importance in bacterial niche adaptation. Enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF) expresses B. fragilis toxin (BFT) that we hypothesized may contribute to both colonic epithelial injury and niche acquisition. We developed a vertical transmission model for ETBF in mice that showed that BFT enabled ETBF to access a lamina propria (LP) niche during colonic microbiome development that was inaccessible to non-toxigenic B. fragilis. LP entry by ETBF required BFT metalloprotease activity, and showed temporal restriction to the pre-weaning period, dependent on goblet-cell-associated passages. In situ single-cell analysis showed bft expression at the apical epithelial surface and within the LP. BFT expression increased goblet cell number and goblet-cell-associated passage formation. These findings define a paradigm by which bacterial toxin expression specifies developmental niche acquisition, suggesting that a selective advantage conferred by a toxin may impact long-term host health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalNature microbiology
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Bacteroides fragilis toxin expression enables lamina propria niche acquisition in the developing mouse gut'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this