Uptake of Biotin by Chlamydia Spp. through the Use of a Bacterial Transporter (BioY) and a Host-Cell Transporter (SMVT)
Chlamydia spp. are obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacterial pathogens that cause disease in humans and animals. Minor variations in metabolic capacity between species have been causally linked to host and tissue tropisms. Analysis of the highly conserved genomes of Chlamydia spp. reveals divergence in the metabolism of the essential vitamin biotin with genes for either synthesis (bioF_2ADB) and/or transport (bioY). Streptavidin blotting confirmed the presence of a single biotinylated protein in Chlamydia. As a first step in unraveling the need for divergent biotin acquisition strategies, we examined BioY (CTL0613) from C. trachomatis 434/Bu which is annotated as an S component of the type II energy coupling-factor transporters (ECF). Type II ECFs are typically composed of a transport specific component (S) and a chromosomally unlinked energy module (AT). Intriguingly, Chlamydia lack recognizable AT modules. Using 3H-biotin and recombinant E. coli expressing CTL0613, we demonstrated that biotin was transported with high affinity (a property of Type II ECFs previously shown to require an AT module) and capacity (apparent K(m) of 3.35 nM and V(max) of 55.1 pmol×min−1×mg−1). Since Chlamydia reside in a host derived membrane vacuole, termed an inclusion, we also sought a mechanism for transport of biotin from the cell cytoplasm into the inclusion vacuole. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the mammalian sodium multivitamin transporter (SMVT), which transports lipoic acid, biotin, and pantothenic acid into cells, localizes to the inclusion. Since Chlamydia also are auxotrophic for lipoic and pantothenic acids, SMVT may be subverted by Chlamydia to move multiple essential compounds into the inclusion where BioY and another transporter(s) would be present to facilitate transport into the bacterium. Collectively, our data validates the first BioY from a pathogenic organism and describes a two-step mechanism by which Chlamydia transport biotin from the host cell into the bacterial cytoplasm.