Heterogeneity and Compositional Diversities of Campylobacter jejuni Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMVs) Drive Multiple Cellular Uptake Processes.

06 Oct 2023
Khan A, Sardar A, Tarafdar PK, Mallick AI
Naturally secreted outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) from gut microbes carry diverse cargo, including proteins, nucleic acids, toxins, and many unidentified secretory factors. Bacterial OMVs can shuttle molecules across different cell types as a generalized secretion system, facilitating bacterial pathogenicity and self-survival. Numerous mucosal pathogens, including Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni), share a mechanism of harmonized secretion of major virulence factors. Intriguingly, as a common gut pathogen, C. jejuni lacks some classical virulence-associated secretion systems; alternatively, it often employs nanosized lipid-bound OMVs as an intensive strategy to deliver toxins, including secretory proteins, into the target cells. To better understand how the biophysical and compositional attributes of natural OMVs of C. jejuni regulate their cellular interactions to induce a biologically relevant host response, we conducted an in-depth morphological and compositional analysis of naturally secreted OMVs of C. jejuni. Next, we focused on understanding the mechanism of host cell-specific OMVs uptake from the extracellular milieu. We showed that intracellular perfusion of OMVs is mediated by cytosolic as well as multiple endocytic uptake processes due to the heterogenic nature, abundance of surface proteins, and membrane phospholipids acquired from the source bacteria. Furthermore, we used human and avian cells as two different host targets to provide evidence of target cell-specific preferential uptake of OMVs. Together, the present study provides insight into the unique functionality of natural OMVs of C. jejuni at the cellular interface, upholding their potential for multimodal use as prophylactic and therapeutic carriers.