Class II contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) systems allow for broad-range cross-species toxin delivery within the Enterobacteriaceae family

Molecular Microbiology
Petra VirtanenSanna Koskiniemi


Contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) allows bacteria to recognize kin cells in mixed bacterial populations. In Escherichia coli, CDI mediated effector delivery has been shown to be species-specific, with a preference for the own strain over others. This specificity is achieved through an interaction between a receptor-binding domain in the CdiA protein and its cognate receptor protein on the target cell. But how conserved this specificity is has not previously been investigated in detail. Here, we show that class II CdiA receptor-binding domains and their Enterobacter cloacae analog are highly promiscuous, and can allow for efficient effector delivery into several different Enterobacteriaceae species, including Escherichia, Enterobacter, Klebsiella and Salmonella spp. In addition, although we observe a preference for the own receptors over others for two of the receptor-binding domains, this did not limit cross-species effector delivery in all experimental conditions. These results suggest that class II CdiA proteins could allow for broad-range and cross-species growth inhibition in mixed bacterial populations.


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Methods Mentioned

flow cytometry

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