Formate simultaneously reduces oxidase activity and enhances respiration in Campylobacter jejuni.

Scientific reports

PubMedID: 28091524

Kassem II, Candelero-Rueda RA, Esseili KA, Rajashekara G. Formate simultaneously reduces oxidase activity and enhances respiration in Campylobacter jejuni. Sci Rep. 2017;740117.
The foodborne microaerophilic pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni, possesses a periplasmic formate dehydrogenase and two terminal oxidases, which serve to metabolize formate and facilitate the use of oxygen as a terminal electron acceptor, respectively. Formate, a primary energy source for C. jejuni, inhibits oxidase activity in other bacteria. Here, we hypothesized that formate might affect both energy metabolism and microaerobic survival in C. jejuni. Subsequently, we showed that C. jejuni 81-176 (wildtype) exhibited enhanced chemoattraction to and respiration of formate in comparison to other organic acids. Formate also significantly increased C. jejuni's growth, motility, and biofilm formation under microaerobic (5% O2) conditions. However, formate reduced oxidase activity under microaerobic conditions as well as aerotolerance and biofilm formation under ambient oxygen conditions. The expression of genes encoding the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) and proteins that facilitate the use of alternative electron acceptors generally increased in the presence of formate. Taken together, formate might play a role in optimizing C. jejuni's adaptation to the oxygen-limited gastrointestinal tract of the host. By affecting oxidase activity, formate possibly facilitates shuttling electrons to alternative acceptors, while likely conserving limited oxygen concentrations for other essential functions such as DNA synthesis via RNR which is required for C. jejuni's growth.