Capnocytophaga canimorsus are commensal Gram-negative bacteria from dog's mouth that cause rare but dramatic septicaemia in humans. C.canimorsus have the unusual property to feed on cultured mammalian cells, including phagocytes, by harvesting the glycan moiety of cellular glycoproteins. To understand the mechanism behind this unusual property, the genome of strain Cc5 was sequenced and analysed. In addition, Cc5 bacteria were cultivated onto HEK 293 cells and the surface proteome was determined. The genome was found to encode many lipoproteins encoded within 13 polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) typical of the Flavobacteria-Bacteroides group. PULs encode surface exposed feeding complexes resembling the archetypal starch utilization system (Sus). The products of at least nine PULs were detected among the surface proteome and eight of them represented more than half of the total peptides detected from the surface proteome. Systematic deletions of the 13 PULs revealed that half of these Sus-like complexes contributed to growth on animal cells. The complex encoded by PUL5, one of the most abundant ones, was involved in foraging glycans from glycoproteins. It was essential for growth on cells and contributed to survival in mice. It thus represents a fitness factor during infection.
Capnocytophaga canimorsus Capsular Serovar and Disease Severity, Helsinki Hospital District, Finland, 2000-2017.(Report)
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