Bacterial Secretions of Nonpathogenic Escherichia coli Elicit Inflammatory Pathways: a Closer Investigation of Interkingdom Signaling
There have been many studies on the relationship between nonpathogenic bacteria and human epithelial cells; however, the bidirectional effects of the secretomes (secreted substances in which there is no direct bacterium-cell contact) have yet to be fully investigated. In this study, we use a transwell model to explore the transcriptomic effects of bacterial secretions from two different nonpathogenic Escherichia coli strains on the human colonic cell line HCT-8 using next-generation
... e sequencing (RNA-Seq). E. coli BL21 and W3110, while genetically very similar (99.1% homology), exhibit key phenotypic differences, including differences in their production of macromolecular structures (e.g., flagella and lipopolysaccharide) and in their secretion of metabolic byproducts (e.g., acetate) and signaling molecules (e.g., quorum-sensing autoinducer 2 [AI-2]). After analysis of differential epithelial responses to the respective secretomes, this study shows for the first time that a nonpathogenic bacterial secretome activates the NF-κB-mediated cytokine-cytokine receptor pathways while also upregulating negative-feedback components, including the NOD-like signaling pathway. Because of AI-2's relevance as a bacterium-bacterium signaling molecule and the differences in its secretion rates between these strains, we investigated its role in HCT-8 cells. We found that the expression of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin 8 (IL-8) responded to AI-2 with a pattern of rapid upregulation before subsequent downregulation after 24 h. Collectively, these data demonstrate that secreted products from nonpathogenic bacteria stimulate the transcription of immune-related biological pathways, followed by the upregulation of negative-feedback elements that may serve to temper the inflammatory response.