Cytochrome P450s are b-heme-containing enzymes that are able to introduce oxygen atoms into a wide variety of organic substrates. They are extremely widespread in nature having diverse functions at both biochemical and physiological level. The genome of C. jejuni 81-176 encodes a single cytochrome P450 (Cj1411c) that has no close homologues. Cj1411c is unusual in its genomic location within a cluster involved in the biosynthesis of outer surface structures. Here we show that E. coli expressed and affinity-purified C. jejuni cytochrome P450 is lipophilic, containing one equivalent Cys-ligated heme. Immunoblotting confirmed the association of cytochrome P450 with membrane fractions. A Cj1411c deletion mutant had significantly reduced ability to infect human cells and was less able to survive following exposure to human serum when compared to the wild type strain. Phenotypically following staining with Alcian blue, we show that a Cj1411c deletion mutant produces significantly less capsular polysaccharide. This study describes the first known membrane-bound bacterial cytochrome P450 and its involvement in Campylobacter virulence.
- CYTOCHROME P450