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Sample records for anthracis dihydrofolate reductase

  1. Synthetic and Crystallographic Studies of a New Inhibitor Series Targeting Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Beierlein, J.; Frey, K; Bolstad, D; Pelphrey, P; Joska, T; Smith, A; Priestley, N; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2008-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, poses a significant biodefense danger. Serious limitations in approved therapeutics and the generation of resistance have produced a compelling need for new therapeutic agents against this organism. Bacillus anthracis is known to be insensitive to the clinically used antifolate, trimethoprim, because of a lack of potency against the dihydrofolate reductase enzyme. Herein, we describe a novel lead series of B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors characterized by an extended trimethoprim-like scaffold. The best lead compound adds only 22 Da to the molecular weight and is 82-fold more potent than trimethoprim. An X-ray crystal structure of this lead compound bound to B. anthracis dihydrofolate reductase in the presence of NADPH was determined to 2.25 A resolution. The structure reveals several features that can be exploited for further development of this lead series.

  2. Molecular modeling toward selective inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Giacoppo, Juliana O S; Mancini, Daiana T; Guimarães, Ana P; Gonçalves, Arlan S; da Cunha, Elaine F F; França, Tanos C C; Ramalho, Teodorico C

    2015-02-16

    In the present work, we applied docking and molecular dynamics techniques to study 11 compounds inside the enzymes dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the biological warfare agent Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) and Homo sapiens sapiens (HssDHFR). Six of these compounds were selected for a study with the mutant BaF96IDHFR. Our results corroborated with experimental data and allowed the proposition of a new molecule with potential activity and better selectivity for BaDHFR. PMID:24985033

  3. Targeted Mutations of Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase Condense Complex Structure-Activity Relationships

    SciTech Connect

    J Beierlein; N Karri; A Anderson

    2011-12-31

    Several antifolates, including trimethoprim (TMP) and a series of propargyl-linked analogues, bind dihydrofolate reductase from Bacillus anthracis (BaDHFR) with lower affinity than is typical in other bacterial species. To guide lead optimization for BaDHFR, we explored a new approach to determine structure-activity relationships whereby the enzyme is altered and the analogues remain constant, essentially reversing the standard experimental design. Active site mutants of the enzyme, Ba(F96I)DHFR and Ba(Y102F)DHFR, were created and evaluated with enzyme inhibition assays and crystal structures. The affinities of the antifolates increase up to 60-fold with the Y102F mutant, suggesting that interactions with Tyr 102 are critical for affinity. Crystal structures of the enzymes bound to TMP and propargyl-linked inhibitors reveal the basis of TMP resistance and illuminate the influence of Tyr 102 on the lipophilic linker between the pyrimidine and aryl rings. Two new inhibitors test and validate these conclusions and show the value of the technique for providing new directions during lead optimization.

  4. The Solution Structure of Bacillus anthracis Dihydrofolate Reductase Yields Insight into the Analysis of Structure–Activity Relationships for Novel Inhibitors†,‡

    PubMed Central

    Beierlein, Jennifer M.; Deshmukh, Lalit; Frey, Kathleen M.; Vinogradova, Olga; Anderson, Amy C.

    2010-01-01

    There is a significant need for new therapeutics to treat infections caused by the biodefense agent Bacillus anthracis. In pursuit of drug discovery against this organism, we have developed novel propargyl-linked inhibitors that target the essential enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from B. anthracis. Previously, we reported an initial series of these inhibitors and a high-resolution crystal structure of the ternary complex of the enzyme bound to its cofactor and one of the most potent inhibitors, UCP120B [Beierlein, J., Frey, K., Bolstad, D., Pelphrey, P., Joska, T., Smith, A., Priestley, N., Wright, D., and Anderson, A. (2008) J. Med. Chem. 51, 7532–7540]. Herein, we describe a three-dimensional solution structure of the ternary complex as determined by NMR. A comparison of this solution structure to the crystal structure reveals a general conservation of the DHFR fold and cofactor interactions as well as differences in the location of an active site helix and specific ligand interactions. In addition to data for the fully assigned ternary complex, data for the binary (enzyme–cofactor) complex were collected, providing chemical shift comparisons and revealing perturbations in residues that accommodate ligand binding. Dynamics of the protein, measured using 15N T1 and T2 relaxation times and {1H}–15N heteronuclear NOEs, reveal residue flexibility at the active site that explains enzyme inhibition and structure–activity relationships for two different series of these propargyl-linked inhibitors. The information obtained from the solution structure regarding active site flexibility will be especially valuable in the design of inhibitors with increased potency. PMID:19323450

  5. Dynamics of trimethoprim bound to dihydrofolate reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Searle, M.S.; Forster, M.J.; Birdsall, B.; Roberts, G.C.K.; Feeney, J.; Cheung, H.T.A.; Kompis, I.; Geddes, A.J. )

    1988-06-01

    The conformation of a small molecule in its binding site on a protein is a major factor in the specificity of the interaction between them. In this paper, the authors report the use of {sup 1}H and {sup 13}C NMR spectroscopy to study the fluctuations in conformation of the anti-bacterial drug trimethoprim when it is bound to its target, dihydrofolate reductase. {sup 13}C relaxation measurements reveal dihedral angle changes of {plus minus}25{degree} to {plus minus}35{degree} on the subnanosecond time scale, while {sup 13}C line-shape analysis demonstrates dihedral angle changes of at least {plus minus}65{degree} on the millisecond time scale. {sup 1}H NMR shows that a specific hydrogen bond between the inhibitor and enzyme, which is believed to make an important contribution to binding, makes and breaks rapidly at room temperature.

  6. Evolution Alters the Enzymatic Reaction Coordinate of Dihydrofolate Reductase

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    How evolution has affected enzyme function is a topic of great interest in the field of biophysical chemistry. Evolutionary changes from Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (ecDHFR) to human dihydrofolate reductase (hsDHFR) have resulted in increased catalytic efficiency and an altered dynamic landscape in the human enzyme. Here, we show that a subpicosecond protein motion is dynamically coupled to hydride transfer catalyzed by hsDHFR but not ecDHFR. This motion propagates through residues that correspond to mutational events along the evolutionary path from ecDHFR to hsDHFR. We observe an increase in the variability of the transition states, reactive conformations, and times of barrier crossing in the human system. In the hsDHFR active site, we detect structural changes that have enabled the coupling of fast protein dynamics to the reaction coordinate. These results indicate a shift in the DHFR family to a form of catalysis that incorporates rapid protein dynamics and a concomitant shift to a more flexible path through reactive phase space. PMID:25369552

  7. Optical observation of correlated motions in dihydrofolate reductase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Mengyang; Niessen, Katherine; Pace, James; Cody, Vivian; Markelz, Andrea

    2015-03-01

    Enzyme function relies on its structural flexibility to make conformational changes for substrate binding and product release. An example of a metabolic enzyme where such structural changes are vital is dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). DHFR is essential in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes for the nucleotide biosynthesis by catalyzing the reduction of dihydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate. NMR dynamical measurements found large amplitude fast dynamics that could indicate rigid-body, twisting-hinge motion for ecDHFR that may mediate flux. The role of such long-range correlated motions in function was suggested by the observed sharp decrease in enzyme activity for the single point mutation G121V, which is remote from active sites. This decrease in activity may be caused by the mutation interfering with the long-range intramolecular vibrations necessary for rapid access to functional configurations. We use our new technique of crystal anisotropy terahertz microscopy (CATM), to observe correlated motions in ecDHFR crystals with the bonding of NADPH and methotrexate. We compare the measured intramolecular vibrational spectrum with calculations using normal mode analysis.

  8. Loop interactions during catalysis by dihydrofolate reductase from Moritella profunda.

    PubMed

    Behiry, Enas M; Evans, Rhiannon M; Guo, Jiannan; Loveridge, E Joel; Allemann, Rudolf K

    2014-07-29

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is often used as a model system to study the relation between protein dynamics and catalysis. We have studied a number of variants of the cold-adapted DHFR from Moritella profunda (MpDHFR), in which the catalytically important M20 and FG loops have been altered, and present a comparison with the corresponding variants of the well-studied DHFR from Escherichia coli (EcDHFR). Mutations in the M20 loop do not affect the actual chemical step of transfer of hydride from reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate to the substrate 7,8-dihydrofolate in the catalytic cycle in either enzyme; they affect the steady state turnover rate in EcDHFR but not in MpDHFR. Mutations in the FG loop also have different effects on catalysis by the two DHFRs. Despite the two enzymes most likely sharing a common catalytic cycle at pH 7, motions of these loops, known to be important for progression through the catalytic cycle in EcDHFR, appear not to play a significant role in MpDHFR. PMID:25014120

  9. Correlated Protein Motion Measurements of Dihydrofolate Reductase Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Mengyang; Niessen, Katherine; Pace, James; Cody, Vivian; Markelz, Andrea

    2014-03-01

    We report the first direct measurements of the long range structural vibrational modes in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). DHFR is a universal housekeeping enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of 7,8-dihydrofolate to 5,6,7,8-tetra-hydrofolate, with the aid of coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). This crucial enzymatic role as the target for anti-cancer [methotrexate (MTX)], and other clinically useful drugs, has made DHFR a long-standing target of enzymological studies. The terahertz (THz) frequency range (5-100 cm-1), corresponds to global correlated protein motions. In our lab we have developed Crystal Anisotropy Terahertz Microscopy (CATM), which directly measures these large scale intra-molecular protein vibrations, by removing the relaxational background of the solvent and residue side chain librational motions. We demonstrate narrowband features in the anisotropic absorbance for mouse DHFR with the ligand binding of NADPH and MTX single crystals as well as Escherichia coli DHFR with the ligand binding of NADPH and MTX single crystals. This work is supported by NSF grant MRI2 grant DBI2959989.

  10. Divergent evolution of protein conformational dynamics in dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    Bhabha, Gira; Ekiert, Damian C; Jennewein, Madeleine; Zmasek, Christian M; Tuttle, Lisa M; Kroon, Gerard; Dyson, H Jane; Godzik, Adam; Wilson, Ian A; Wright, Peter E

    2013-11-01

    Molecular evolution is driven by mutations, which may affect the fitness of an organism and are then subject to natural selection or genetic drift. Analysis of primary protein sequences and tertiary structures has yielded valuable insights into the evolution of protein function, but little is known about the evolution of functional mechanisms, protein dynamics and conformational plasticity essential for activity. We characterized the atomic-level motions across divergent members of the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) family. Despite structural similarity, Escherichia coli and human DHFRs use different dynamic mechanisms to perform the same function, and human DHFR cannot complement DHFR-deficient E. coli cells. Identification of the primary-sequence determinants of flexibility in DHFRs from several species allowed us to propose a likely scenario for the evolution of functionally important DHFR dynamics following a pattern of divergent evolution that is tuned by cellular environment. PMID:24077226

  11. Divergent evolution of protein conformational dynamics in dihydrofolate reductase

    PubMed Central

    Bhabha, Gira; Ekiert, Damian C.; Jennewein, Madeleine; Zmasek, Christian M.; Tuttle, Lisa M.; Kroon, Gerard; Dyson, H. Jane; Godzik, Adam; Wilson, Ian A.; Wright, Peter E.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular evolution is driven by mutations, which may affect the fitness of an organism and are then subject to natural selection or genetic drift. Analysis of primary protein sequences and tertiary structures has yielded valuable insights into the evolution of protein function, but little is known about evolution of functional mechanisms, protein dynamics and conformational plasticity essential for activity. We characterized the atomic-level motions across divergent members of the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) family. Despite structural similarity, E. coli and human DHFRs use different dynamic mechanisms to perform the same function, and human DHFR cannot complement DHFR-deficient E. coli cells. Identification of the primary sequence determinants of flexibility in DHFRs from several species allowed us to propose a likely scenario for the evolution of functionally important DHFR dynamics, following a pattern of divergent evolution that is tuned by the cellular environment. PMID:24077226

  12. Amplification and loss of dihydrofolate reductase genes in a Chinese hamster ovary cell line

    SciTech Connect

    Kaufman, R.J.; Schimke, R.T.

    1981-12-01

    During stepwise increases in the methotrexate concentration in culture medium, the authors selected Chinese hamster ovary cells that contained elevated dihydrofolate reductase levels which were proportional to the number of dihydrofolate reductase gene copies (i.e., gene amplification). The authors studied the dihydrofolate reductase levels in individual cells that underwent the initial steps of methotrexate resistance by using the fluorescence-activated cell sorter technique. Such cells constituted a heterogeneous population with differing dihydrofolate reductase levels, and they characteristically lost the elevated enzyme levels when they were grown in the absence of methotrexate. The progeny of individual cells with high enzyme levels behaved differently and could lose all or variable numbers of the amplified genes.

  13. Bacteriophage T4 Virion Baseplate Thymidylate Synthetase and Dihydrofolate Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Kozloff, L. M.; Lute, M.; Crosby, L. K.

    1977-01-01

    Additional evidence is presented that both the phage T4D-induced thymidylate synthetase (gp td) and the T4D-induced dihydrofolate reductase (gp frd) are baseplate structural components. With regard to phage td it has been found that: (i) low levels of thymidylate synthetase activity were present in highly purified preparations of T4D ghost particles produced after infection with td+, whereas particles produced after infection with td− had no measurable enzymatic activity; (ii) a mutation of the T4D td gene from tdts to td+ simultaneously produced a heat-stable thymidylate synthetase enzyme and heat-stable phage particles (it should be noted that the phage baseplate structure determines heat lability); (iii) a recombinant of two T4D mutants constructed containing both tdts and frdts genes produced particles whose physical properties indicate that these two molecules physically interact in the baseplate. With regard to phage frd it has been found that two spontaneous revertants each of two different T4D frdts mutants to frd+ not only produced altered dihydrofolate reductases but also formed phage particles with heat sensitivities different from their parents. Properties of T4D particles produced after infection with parental T4D mutants presumed to have a deletion of the td gene and/or the frd gene indicate that these particles still retain some characteristics associated with the presence of both the td and the frd molecules. Furthermore, the particles produced by the deletion mutants have been found to be physically different from the parent particles. PMID:894793

  14. Inactivation kinetics of dihydrofolate reductase from Chinese hamster during urea denaturation.

    PubMed Central

    Wu, J W; Wang, Z X; Zhou, J M

    1997-01-01

    The kinetic theory of substrate reaction during modification of enzyme activity has been applied to the study of inactivation kinetics of Chinese hamster dihydrofolate reductase by urea [Tsou (1988) Adv. Enzymol. Relat. Areas Mol. Biol. 61, 381-436]. On the basis of the kinetic equation of substrate reaction in the presence of urea, all microscopic kinetic constants for the free enzyme and enzyme-substrate binary and ternary complexes have been determined. The results of the present study indicate that the denaturation of dihydrofolate reductase by urea follows single-phase kinetics, and changes in enzyme activity and tertiary structure proceed simultaneously in the unfolding process. Both substrates, NADPH and 7,8-dihydrofolate, protect dihydrofolate reductase against inactivation, and enzyme-substrate complexes lose their activity less rapidly than the free enzyme. PMID:9182696

  15. A second target of benzamide riboside: dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    Roussel, Breton; Johnson-Farley, Nadine; Kerrigan, John E; Scotto, Kathleen W; Banerjee, Debabrata; Felczak, Krzysztof; Pankiewicz, Krzysztof W; Gounder, Murugesan; Lin, HongXia; Abali, Emine Ercikan; Bertino, Joseph R

    2012-11-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is an essential enzyme involved in de novo purine and thymidine biosynthesis. For several decades, selective inhibition of DHFR has proven to be a potent therapeutic approach in the treatment of various cancers including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, osteogenic sarcoma, carcinoma of the breast, and head and neck cancer. Therapeutic success with DHFR inhibitor methotrexate (MTX) has been compromised in the clinic, which limits the success of MTX treatment by both acquired and intrinsic resistance mechanisms. We report that benzamide riboside (BR), via anabolism to benzamide adenine dinucleotide (BAD) known to potently inhibit inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), also inhibits cell growth through a mechanism involving downregulation of DHFR protein. Evidence to support this second site of action of BR includes the finding that CCRF-CEM/R human T-cell lymphoblasic leukemia cells, resistant to MTX as a consequence of gene amplification and overexpression of DHFR, are more resistant to BR than are parental cells. Studies of the mechanism by which BR lowers DHFR showed that BR, through its metabolite BAD, reduced NADP and NADPH cellular levels by inhibiting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide kinase (NADK). As consequence of the lack of NADPH, DHFR was shown to be destabilized. We suggest that, inhibition of NADK is a new approach to downregulate DHFR and to inhibit cell growth. PMID:22954684

  16. Solvent effects on catalysis by Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    Loveridge, E Joel; Tey, Lai-Hock; Allemann, Rudolf K

    2010-01-27

    Hydride transfer catalyzed by dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) has been described previously within an environmentally coupled model of hydrogen tunneling, where protein motions control binding of substrate and cofactor to generate a tunneling ready conformation and modulate the width of the activation barrier and hence the reaction rate. Changes to the composition of the reaction medium are known to perturb protein motions. We have measured kinetic parameters of the reaction catalyzed by DHFR from Escherichia coli in the presence of various cosolvents and cosolutes and show that the dielectric constant, but not the viscosity, of the reaction medium affects the rate of reaction. Neither the primary kinetic isotope effect on the reaction nor its temperature dependence were affected by changes to the bulk solvent properties. These results are in agreement with our previous report on the effect of solvent composition on catalysis by DHFR from the hyperthermophile Thermotoga maritima. However, the effect of solvent on the temperature dependence of the kinetic isotope effect on hydride transfer catalyzed by E. coli DHFR is difficult to explain within a model, in which long-range motions couple to the chemical step of the reaction, but may indicate the existence of a short-range promoting vibration or the presence of multiple nearly isoenergetic conformational substates of enzymes with similar but distinct catalytic properties. PMID:20047317

  17. Ligand-Dependent Conformational Dynamics of Dihydrofolate Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Reddish, Michael J.; Vaughn, Morgan B.; Fu, Rong; Dyer, R. Brian

    2016-01-01

    Enzymes are known to change among several conformational states during turnover. The role of such dynamic structural changes in catalysis is not fully understood. The influence of dynamics in catalysis can be inferred, but not proven, by comparison of equilibrium structures of protein variants and protein–ligand complexes. A more direct way to establish connections between protein dynamics and the catalytic cycle is to probe the kinetics of specific protein motions in comparison to progress along the reaction coordinate. We have examined the enzyme model system dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from Escherichia coli with tryptophan fluorescence-probed temperature-jump spectroscopy. We aimed to observe the kinetics of the ligand binding and ligand-induced conformational changes of three DHFR complexes to establish the relationship among these catalytic steps. Surprisingly, in all three complexes, the observed kinetics do not match a simple sequential two-step process. Through analysis of the relationship between ligand concentration and observed rate, we conclude that the observed kinetics correspond to the ligand binding step of the reaction and a noncoupled enzyme conformational change. The kinetics of the conformational change vary with the ligand's identity and presence but do not appear to be directly related to progress along the reaction coordinate. These results emphasize the need for kinetic studies of DHFR with highly specific spectroscopic probes to determine which dynamic events are coupled to the catalytic cycle and which are not. PMID:26901612

  18. Endothelial human dihydrofolate reductase low activity limits vascular tetrahydrobiopterin recycling

    PubMed Central

    Whitsett, Jennifer; Filho, Artur Rangel; Sethumadhavan, Savitha; Celinska, Joanna; Widlansky, Michael; Vásquez-Vivar, Jeannette

    2013-01-01

    Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is required for NO synthesis and inhibition of superoxide release from eNOS. Clinical trials using BH4 to treat endothelial dysfunction have produced mixed results. Poor outcomes may be explained by the rapid systemic and cellular oxidation of BH4. One of the oxidation products of BH4, 7,8-dihydrobiopterin (7,8-BH2), is recycled back to BH4 by dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). This enzyme is ubiquitously distributed and shows a wide range of activity depending on species-specific factors and cell type. Information about the kinetics and efficiency of BH4 recycling in human endothelial cells receiving BH4 treatment is lacking. To characterize this reaction, we applied a novel multi-electrode coulometric HPLC method that enabled the direct quantification of 7,8-BH2 and BH4 which is not possible with fluorescent-based methodologies. We found that basal untreated BH4 and 7,8-BH2 concentrations in human ECs is lower than bovine and murine endothelioma cells. Treatment of human ECs with BH4 transiently increased intracellular BH4 while accumulating the more stable 7,8-BH2. This was different from bovine or murine ECs that resulted in preferential BH4 increase. Using BH4 diastereomers, 6S-BH4 and 6R-BH4, the narrow contribution of enzymatic DHFR recycling to total intracellular BH4 was demonstrated. Reduction of 7,8-BH2 to BH4 occurs at very slow rates in cells and needs supra-physiological levels of 7,8-BH2, indicating this reaction is kinetically limited. Activity assays verified that hDHFR has very low affinity for 7,8-BH2 (DHF7,8-BH2) and folic acid inhibits 7,8-BH2 recycling. We conclude that low activity of endothelial DHFR is an important factor limiting the benefits of BH4 therapies which may be further aggravated by folate supplements. PMID:23707606

  19. Loss and stabilization of amplified dihydrofolate reductase genes in mouse sarcoma S-180 cell lines

    SciTech Connect

    Kaufman, R.J.; Brown, P.C.; Schimke, R.T.

    1981-12-01

    The authors studied the loss and stabilization of dihydrofolate reductase genes in clones of a methotrexate-resistant murine S-180 cell line. These cells contained multiple copies of the dihydrofolate reductase gene which were associated with double minute chromosomes. The growth rate of these cells in the absence of methotrexate was inversely related to the degree of gene amplification (number of double minute chromosomes). Cells could both gain and lose genes as a result of an unequal distribution of double minute chromosomes into daughter cells at mitosis. The loss of amplified dihydrofolate reductase genes during growth in the absence of methotrexate resulted from the continual generation of cells containing lower numbers of double minute chromosomes. Because of the growth advantage of these cells, they became dominant in the population. They also studied an unstably resistant S-180 cell line (clone) that, after 3 years of continuous growth in methotrexate, generated cells containing stably amplified dihydrofolate reductase genes. These genes were present on one or more chromosomes, and they were retained in a stable state.

  20. The N-terminal region of mature mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase can direct cytosolic dihydrofolate reductase into mitochondria in vitro.

    PubMed

    Giannattasio, S; Azzariti, A; Marra, E; Quagliariello, E

    1994-06-30

    Two fused genes were constructed which encode for two chimeric proteins in which either 10 or 191 N-terminal amino acids of mature mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase had been attached to the entire polypeptide chain of cytosolic dihydrofolate reductase. The precursor and mature form of mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase, dihydrofolate reductase and both chimeric proteins were synthesized in vitro and their import into isolated mitochondria was studied. Both chimeric proteins were taken up by isolated organelles, where they became protease resistant, thus indicating the ability of the N-terminal portion of the mature moiety of the precursor of mitochondrial aspartate aminotransferase to direct cytosolic dihydrofolate reductase into mitochondria. PMID:8024546

  1. Overproduction of dihydrofolate reductase and gene amplification in methotrexate-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cells

    SciTech Connect

    Flintoff, W.F.; Weber, M.K.; Nagainis, C.R.; Essani, A.K.; Robertson, D.; Salser, W.

    1982-03-01

    Stable isolates of Chinese hamster ovary cells that are highly resistant to methotrexate have been selected in a multistep selection process. Quantitative immunoprecipitations have indicated that these isolates synthesize dihydrofolate reductase at an elevated rate over its synthesis in sensitive cells. Restriction enzyme and Southern blot analyses with a murine reductase cDNA probe indicate that the highly resistant isolates contain amplifications of the dihydrofolate reductase gene number. Depending upon the parental line used to select these resistant cells, they overproduce either a wild-type enzyme or a structurally altered enzyme. Karyotype analysis shows that some of these isolates contain chromosomes with homogeneously staining regions whereas others do not contain such chromosomes.

  2. A qualitative and quantitative cytochemical assay of dihydrofolate reductase in erythroid cells.

    PubMed

    Nano, R; Gerzeli, G; Invernizzi, R; Supino, R

    1989-01-01

    The distribution and intensity of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) cytochemically demonstrable was studied in erythroid cells. Cells of normal human bone marrow, of human erythroleukaemia (M6), and cells of the Friend (MEL) clone 745A murine erythroleukaemia (also after differentiation with dimethylsulphoxide, DMSO) were stained according to Gerzeli and de Piceis Polver (1969) technique; quantification of the reaction product was made using a Vickers M86 microdensitometer. The enzyme activity progressively decreased during the normal differentiation of the erythropoietic series while persisted at high levels in erythroleukaemia cells. It can be suggested that in the 1st case, the cytochemical pattern of dihydrofolate reductase may be a useful added tool for studying the erythroid differentiation. In the 2nd case, the increased level of this enzyme may be related to an amplification of the gene of DHFR in the malignant transformation. PMID:2496572

  3. Dihydrofolate reductase as a model for studies of enzyme dynamics and catalysis

    PubMed Central

    Kohen, Amnon

    2015-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli (ecDHFR) serves as a model system for investigating the role of protein dynamics in enzyme catalysis. We discuss calculations predicting a network of dynamic motions that is coupled to the chemical step catalyzed by this enzyme. Kinetic studies testing these predictions are presented, and their potential use in better understanding the role of these dynamics in enzyme catalysis is considered. The cumulative results implicate motions across the entire protein in catalysis. PMID:26918149

  4. Human leukemia and normal leukocytes contain a species of immunoreactive but nonfunctional dihydrofolate reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Rothenbery, S.P.; Iqbal, M.P.

    1982-01-01

    A quantitative radioimmunoassay has been developed for human dihydrofolate reductase (tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase; 5,6,7,8-tetrahdrofolate:NADP/sup +/ oxidoreductase, EC 1.5.1.3) by using antiserum raised in rabbits against the active enzyme purified from calf liver. An immunoreactive protein could be identified in the cytoplasm of chronic myelogenous leukemia cells, which contained no functional dihydrofolate reductase activity. Its concentration was stoichiometric to the volume of cytoplasm assayed and paralleled the standard curve obtained with purified enzyme, indicating that this protein in the human cells is antigenically similar to the homologous antigen. The concentration of this immunoreactive protein in the cytoplasm of human leukemia and normal leukocytes in all instances greatly exceeded the concentration of functional dihydrofolate reductase, which was measured by the binding of (/sup 3/H)methotrexate. This nonfunctional immunoreactive protein in the cytoplasm and cytosol from two different samples of chronic myelogenous leukemia cells analyzed by gel filtration had an apparent molecular weight of 41,000, which is twice the molecular weight of the functional enzyme.

  5. Human leukemia and normal leukocytes contain a species of immunoreactive but nonfunctional dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed Central

    Rothenberg, S P; Iqbal, M P

    1982-01-01

    A quantitative radioimmunoassay has been developed for human dihydrofolate reductase (tetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase; 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolate:NADP+ oxidoreductase, EC 1.5.1.3) by using antiserum raised in rabbits against the active enzyme purified from calf liver. An immunoreactive protein could be identified in the cytoplasm of chronic myelogenous leukemia cells, which contained no functional dihydrofolate reductase activity. Its concentration was stoichiometric to the volume of cytoplasm assayed and paralleled the standard curve obtained with purified enzyme, indicating that this protein in the human cells is antigenically similar to the homologous antigen. The concentration of this immunoreactive protein in the cytoplasm of human leukemia and normal leukocytes in all instances greatly exceeded the concentration of functional dihydrofolate reductase, which was measured by the binding of [3H]methotrexate. This nonfunctional immunoreactive protein in the cytoplasm and cytosol from two different samples of chronic myelogenous leukemia cells analyzed by gel filtration had an apparent molecular weight of 41,000, which is twice the molecular weight of the functional enzyme. Images PMID:6952216

  6. Role of the cellular oxidation-reduction state in methotrexate binding to dihydrofolate reductase and dissociation induced by reduced folates.

    PubMed

    Matherly, L H; Anderson, L A; Goldman, I D

    1984-06-01

    5-Formyltetrahydrofolate promotes the net dissociation of methotrexate bound to dihydrofolate reductase in the Ehrlich ascites tumor (L. H. Matherly et al., Cancer Res., 43: 2694-2699, 1983). Treatment of Ehrlich tumor cells with glucose or inhibitors of electron transfer stabilized the association of the antifolate with dihydrofolate reductase as reflected by a 2-fold increased fraction of dihydrofolate reductase-bound methotrexate and an abolition of the 5-formyltetrahydrofolate-induced dissociation of the inhibitor-enzyme complex. Glucose and azide were also found to increase the intracellular ratio of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) to oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+) in the tumor approximately 8- and 11-fold, respectively. However, other agents which enhanced the association between methotrexate and its target enzyme were less effective in increasing the intracellular level of NADPH relative to NADP+. Micromolar concentrations of NADPH promoted methotrexate binding to the purified Ehrlich tumor dihydrofolate reductase. Bound methotrexate could be dissociated from the purified enzyme by 5-methyltetrahydrofolate but less readily by 5-formyltetrahydrofolate and only in the presence of reduced levels of NADPH relative to NADP+. The tetraglutamate derivative of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate was even more effective than the underivatized compound in dissociating methotrexate from dihydrofolate reductase. These findings suggest a critical role for the cellular oxidation-reduction state in determining the affinity of dihydrofolate reductase for methotrexate and thus the cellular sensitivity to the antifolate. In addition, the data are consistent with the possibility that dihydrofolate reductase is a key locus for intracellular competitive interactions between reduced folates and methotrexate during leucovorin rescue from the pharmacological effects of the antifolate. PMID:6609765

  7. Two parallel pathways in the kinetic sequence of the Dihydrofolate Reductase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Czekster, Clarissa M.; Vandemeulebroucke, An; Blanchard, John S.

    2011-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis catalyzes the NAD(P)H dependent reduction of dihydrofolate, yielding NAD(P)+ and tetrahydrofolate, the primary one carbon unit carrier in biology. Tetrahydrofolate needs to be recycled so that reactions involved in dTMP synthesis and purine metabolism are maintained. Previously, steady-state studies revealed that the chemical step significantly contributes to the steady state turnover number, but that a step after the chemical step was likely limiting the reaction rate. Here, we report the first pre-steady state investigation of the kinetic sequence of the MtDHFR aiming to identify kinetic intermediates, and the identity of the rate limiting steps. This kinetic analysis suggests a kinetic sequence comprising two parallel pathways with a rate determining product release. Although product release is likely occurring in a random fashion, there is a slight preference for the release of THF first, a kinetic sequence never observed for a wild type dihydrofolate reductase of any organism studied to date. Temperature studies were conducted to determine the magnitude of the energetic barrier posed by the chemical step, and the pH dependence of the chemical step was studied, demonstrating an acidic shift from the pKa observed under steady-state. The rate constants obtained here were combined with the activation energy for the chemical step to compare energy profiles for each kinetic sequence. The two parallel pathways are discussed, as well as their implications on the catalytic cycle of this enzyme. PMID:21744813

  8. Construction of a dihydrofolate reductase-deficient mutant of Escherichia coli by gene replacement.

    PubMed Central

    Howell, E E; Foster, P G; Foster, L M

    1988-01-01

    The dihydrofolate reductase (fol) gene in Escherichia coli has been deleted and replaced by a selectable marker. Verification of the delta fol::kan strain has been accomplished using genetic and biochemical criteria, including Southern analysis of the chromosomal DNA. The delta fol::kan mutation is stable in E. coli K549 [thyA polA12 (Ts)] and can be successfully transduced to other E. coli strains providing they have mutations in their thymidylate synthetase (thyA) genes. A preliminary investigation of the relationship between fol and thyA gene expression suggests that a Fol- cell (i.e., a dihydrofolate reductase deficiency phenotype) is not viable unless thymidylate synthetase activity is concurrently eliminated. This observation indicates that either the nonproductive accumulation of dihydrofolate or the depletion of tetrahydrofolate cofactor pools is lethal in a Fol- ThyA+ strain. Strains containing the thyA delta fol::kan lesions require the presence of Fol end products for growth, and these lesions typically increase the doubling time of the strain by a factor of 2.5 in rich medium. Images PMID:2838456

  9. A foreign dihydrofolate reductase gene in transgenic mice acts as a dominant mutation.

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, J W

    1986-01-01

    We have produced 17 lines of transgenic mice by microinjecting a full-length cDNA clone of an altered dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene. The protein specified by this gene carries a point mutation which triples its Km for dihydrofolate and reduces substrate turnover 20-fold relative to the wild-type enzyme. Transgenic mice from different pedigrees, several of which carry a single copy of this gene in different integration sites, manifest an array of similar developmental abnormalities including growth stunting, reduced fertility, pigmentation changes, and skeletal defects. These defects appear in animals heterozygous for the foreign gene. RNA analyses demonstrate significant expression of the cDNA in newborn mice and adult tissues. These findings show that the additional dhfr gene exerts its mutational effects in a dominant fashion, and therefore the data indicate that transgenic mice can serve as models for elucidating mechanisms of dominant mutagenesis. Images PMID:3785192

  10. Fragment Discovery for the Design of Nitrogen Heterocycles as Mycobacterium tuberculosis Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Shelke, Rupesh U; Degani, Mariam S; Raju, Archana; Ray, Mukti Kanta; Rajan, Mysore G R

    2016-08-01

    Fragment-based drug design was used to identify Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors. Screening of ligands against the Mtb DHFR enzyme resulted in the identification of multiple fragment hits with IC50 values in the range of 38-90 μM versus Mtb DHFR and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values in the range of 31.5-125 μg/mL. These fragment scaffolds would be useful for anti-tubercular drug design. PMID:27320965

  11. The Role of Large-Scale Motions in Catalysis by Dihydrofolate Reductase

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase has long been used as a model system to study the coupling of protein motions to enzymatic hydride transfer. By studying environmental effects on hydride transfer in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the cold-adapted bacterium Moritella profunda (MpDHFR) and comparing the flexibility of this enzyme to that of DHFR from Escherichia coli (EcDHFR), we demonstrate that factors that affect large-scale (i.e., long-range, but not necessarily large amplitude) protein motions have no effect on the kinetic isotope effect on hydride transfer or its temperature dependence, although the rates of the catalyzed reaction are affected. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange studies by NMR-spectroscopy show that MpDHFR is a more flexible enzyme than EcDHFR. NMR experiments with EcDHFR in the presence of cosolvents suggest differences in the conformational ensemble of the enzyme. The fact that enzymes from different environmental niches and with different flexibilities display the same behavior of the kinetic isotope effect on hydride transfer strongly suggests that, while protein motions are important to generate the reaction ready conformation, an optimal conformation with the correct electrostatics and geometry for the reaction to occur, they do not influence the nature of the chemical step itself; large-scale motions do not couple directly to hydride transfer proper in DHFR. PMID:22060818

  12. Selective killing of methotrexate-resistant cells carrying amplified dihydrofolate reductase genes

    SciTech Connect

    Urlaub, G.; Landzberg, M.; Chasin, L.A.

    1981-05-01

    A method for the selective killing of methotrexate (MTX)-resistant cells has been developed. The selection is based on the incorporation of tritiated deoxyuridine into the DNA of MTX-resistant cells but not normal MTX-sensitive cells in the presence of the drug. A Chinese hamster ovary cell mutant that overproduces dihydrofolate reductase was used as an example of a MTX-resistant cell line. In this system, a 10,000-fold enrichment for wild-type MTX-sensitive cells could be achieved after 24 hr of exposure to the drug combination. This selection technique was applied to the isolation of MTX-sensitive segregants from hybrid cells formed between the MTX-resistant mutant and wild-type cells. The loss of MTX resistance and dihydrofolate reductase overproduction was always accompanied by the loss of a homogeneously staining region on chromosome 2 of the resistant parent that contains the amplified genes specifying this enzyme. While this region is always lost, other parts of chromosome 2 are almost always retained, suggesting that deletion rather than chromosome loss underlies marker segregation in this case. When the selection was applied to the resistant mutant itself, no MTX-sensitive revertants were obtained among 10(5) cells screened, attesting to the stability of gene amplification in this clone. It is suggested that this combination of drugs may be useful for the elimination of MTX-resistant tumor cells that develop after MTX chemotherapy.

  13. Inhibitor-bound complexes of dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase from Babesia bovis

    PubMed Central

    Begley, Darren W.; Edwards, Thomas E.; Raymond, Amy C.; Smith, Eric R.; Hartley, Robert C.; Abendroth, Jan; Sankaran, Banumathi; Lorimer, Donald D.; Myler, Peter J.; Staker, Bart L.; Stewart, Lance J.

    2011-01-01

    Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease caused by eukaryotic Babesia parasites which are morphologically similar to Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria in humans. Like Plasmodium, different species of Babesia are tuned to infect different mammalian hosts, including rats, dogs, horses and cattle. Most species of Plasmodium and Babesia possess an essential bifunctional enzyme for nucleotide synthesis and folate metabolism: dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase. Although thymidylate synthase is highly conserved across organisms, the bifunctional form of this enzyme is relatively uncommon in nature. The structural characterization of dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase in Babesia bovis, the causative agent of babesiosis in livestock cattle, is reported here. The apo state is compared with structures that contain dUMP, NADP and two different antifolate inhibitors: pemetrexed and raltitrexed. The complexes reveal modes of binding similar to that seen in drug-resistant malaria strains and point to the utility of applying structural studies with proven cancer chemotherapies towards infectious disease research. PMID:21904052

  14. Synthesis and characterization of potent inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi dihydrofolate reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Schormann, Norbert; Velu, Sadanandan E.; Murugesan, Srinivasan; Senkovich, Olga; Walker, Kiera; Chenna, Bala C.; Shinkre, Bidhan; Desai, Amar; Chattopadhyay, Debasish

    2010-09-17

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) is a potential target for developing drugs to treat Chagas disease. We have undertaken a detailed structure-activity study of this enzyme. We report here synthesis and characterization of six potent inhibitors of the parasitic enzyme. Inhibitory activity of each compound was determined against T. cruzi and human DHFR. One of these compounds, ethyl 4-(5-[(2,4-diamino-6-quinazolinyl)methyl]amino-2-methoxyphenoxy)butanoate (6b) was co-crystallized with the bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase enzyme of T. cruzi and the crystal structure of the ternary enzyme:cofactor:inhibitor complex was determined. Molecular docking was used to analyze the potential interactions of all inhibitors with T. cruzi DHFR and human DHFR. Inhibitory activities of these compounds are discussed in the light of enzyme-ligand interactions. Binding affinities of each inhibitor for the respective enzymes were calculated based on the experimental or docked binding mode. An estimated 60-70% of the total binding energy is contributed by the 2,4-diaminoquinazoline scaffold.

  15. Preliminary neutron diffraction studies of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase bound to the anticancer drug methotrexate

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, Brad C.; Meilleur, Flora; Myles, Dean A A; Howell, Elizabeth E.; Dealwis, Chris G.

    2005-01-01

    The contribution of H atoms in noncovalent interactions and enzymatic reactions underlies virtually all aspects of biology at the molecular level, yet their 'visualization' is quite difficult. To better understand the catalytic mechanism of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (ecDHFR), a neutron diffraction study is under way to directly determine the accurate positions of H atoms within its active site. Despite exhaustive investigation of the catalytic mechanism of DHFR, controversy persists over the exact pathway associated with proton donation in reduction of the substrate, dihydrofolate. As the initial step in a proof-of-principle experiment which will identify ligand and residue protonation states as well as precise solvent structures, a neutron diffraction data set has been collected on a 0.3 mm{sup 3} D{sub 2}O-soaked crystal of ecDHFR bound to the anticancer drug methotrexate (MTX) using the LADI instrument at ILL. The completeness in individual resolution shells dropped to below 50% between 3.11 and 3.48 {angstrom} and the I/{sigma}(I) in individual shells dropped to below 2 at around 2.46 {angstrom}. However, reflections with I/{sigma}(I) greater than 2 were observed beyond these limits (as far out as 2.2 {angstrom}). To our knowledge, these crystals possess one of the largest primitive unit cells (P6{sub 1}, a = b = 92, c = 73 {angstrom}) and one of the smallest crystal volumes so far tested successfully with neutrons.

  16. Thermal adaptation of dihydrofolate reductase from the moderate thermophile Geobacillus stearothermophilus.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jiannan; Luk, Louis Y P; Loveridge, E Joel; Allemann, Rudolf K

    2014-05-01

    The thermal melting temperature of dihydrofolate reductase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus (BsDHFR) is ~30 °C higher than that of its homologue from the psychrophile Moritella profunda. Additional proline residues in the loop regions of BsDHFR have been proposed to enhance the thermostability of BsDHFR, but site-directed mutagenesis studies reveal that these proline residues contribute only minimally. Instead, the high thermal stability of BsDHFR is partly due to removal of water-accessible thermolabile residues such as glutamine and methionine, which are prone to hydrolysis or oxidation at high temperatures. The extra thermostability of BsDHFR can be obtained by ligand binding, or in the presence of salts or cosolvents such as glycerol and sucrose. The sum of all these incremental factors allows BsDHFR to function efficiently in the natural habitat of G. stearothermophilus, which is characterized by temperatures that can reach 75 °C. PMID:24730604

  17. Sequential backbone resonance assignments of the E. coli dihydrofolate reductase Gly67Val mutant: folate complex.

    PubMed

    Puthenpurackal Narayanan, Sunilkumar; Maeno, Akihiro; Wada, Yuji; Tate, Shin-Ichi; Akasaka, Kazuyuki

    2016-04-01

    Occasionally, a mutation in an exposed loop region causes a significant change in protein function and/or stability. A single mutation Gly67Val of E. coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) in the exposed CD loop is such an example. We have carried out the chemical shift assignments for H(N), N(H), C(α) and C(β) atoms of the Gly67Val mutant of E. coli DHFR complexed with folate at pH 7.0, 35 °C, and then evaluated the H(N), N(H), C(α) and C(β) chemical shift changes caused by the mutation. The result indicates that, while the overall secondary structure remains the same, the single mutation Gly67Val causes site-specific conformational changes of the polypeptide backbone restricted around the adenosine-binding subdomain (residues 38-88) and not in the distant catalytic domain. PMID:26482924

  18. Isolation of the amplified dihydrofolate reductase domain from methotrexate-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cells.

    PubMed Central

    Looney, J E; Hamlin, J L

    1987-01-01

    We isolated overlapping recombinant cosmids that represent the equivalent of two complete dihydrofolate reductase amplicon types from the methotrexate-resistant CHO cell line CHOC400. The type I amplicons are 260 kilobases long, are arranged in head-to-tail fashion, and represent 10 to 15% of the amplicons in the CHOC400 genome. The type II amplicons are 220 kilobases long, are arranged in head-to-head and tail-to-tail configurations, and constituted the majority of the remaining amplicons in CHOC400 cells. The type II amplicon sequences are represented entirely within the type I unit. These are the first complete amplicons to be cloned from a mammalian cell line. Images PMID:3821723

  19. Analysis and in vitro localization of internal methylated adenine residues in dihydrofolate reductase mRNA.

    PubMed

    Rana, A P; Tuck, M T

    1990-08-25

    A T7 RNA transcript coding for mouse dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) was utilized as a substrate for the N6-methyladenosine mRNA methyltransferase isolated from HeLa cell nuclei. This transcript acted as a 3 fold better substrate than either prolactin mRNA or a synthetic RNA substrate which contained multiple methylation consensus sequences. Formation of internal N6-methyladenine (m6A) residues in the DHFR transcript was shown to increase slightly by the absence of a 7-methylguanine-2'-O-methyl cap structure. Using T7 transcripts from different regions of the DHFR gene, the majority of the m6A residues were localized to the coding region and a segment of the transcript just 3' to the coding region. This data suggests that DHFR mRNA contains multiple methylation sites with most of these sites concentrated in the coding region of the transcript. PMID:2395644

  20. Internal 6-methyladenine residues increase the in vitro translation efficiency of dihydrofolate reductase messenger RNA.

    PubMed

    Heilman, K L; Leach, R A; Tuck, M T

    1996-07-01

    N6-Methyladenosine (m6A) is found internally in a number of mRNA molecules from higher eucaryotic cells. In these investigations, it was found that the presence of m6A residues increase the in vitro translation efficiency of capped T7 transcripts of mouse dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) mRNA. Using an in vitro rabbit reticulocyte translation system, the formation of internal m6A residues in the DHFR transcripts resulted in a 1.5-fold increase in translated DHFR compared to transcripts void of internal m6A residues. Translation in a wheat germ system, however, resulted in no increase in translation efficiency upon m6A formation, suggesting that the mechanism may be species-specific. PMID:8925412

  1. The Lactone form of stachybotrydial: a new inhibitor of dihydrofolate reductase from stachybotrys sp. FN298.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Yun-Ju; Sohn, Mi-Jin; Kim, Hyun-Ju; Kim, Won-Gon

    2014-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) has been confirmed to be a novel target for antibacterial drug development. In this study, we determined that a fungal metabolite from Stachybotrys sp. FN298 can inhibit the DHFR of Staphylococcus aureus. Its structure was identified as a lactone form of stachybotrydial using mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. This compound inhibited S. aureus DHFR with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 41 µM. It also prevented the growth of S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 32 µg·mL(-1). To our knowledge, this is the first description of a DHFR inhibitor of microbial origin. The inhibitory function of the lactone form of stachybotrydial highlights its potential for development into a new broad-spectrum antibacterial agent and as an agent against MRSA. PMID:25087962

  2. Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase gene.

    PubMed Central

    Bzik, D J; Li, W B; Horii, T; Inselburg, J

    1987-01-01

    Genomic DNA clones that coded for the bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and thymidylate synthase (TS) (DHFR-TS) activities from a pyrimethamine-sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum were isolated and sequenced. The deduced DHFR-TS protein contained 608 amino acids (71,682 Da). The coding region for DHFR-TS contained no intervening sequences and had a high A + T content (75%). The DHFR domain, in the amino-terminal portion of the protein, was joined by a 94-amino acid junction sequence to the TS domain in the carboxyl-terminal portion of the protein. The TS domain was more conserved than the DHFR domain and both P. falciparum domains were more homologous to eukaryotic than to prokaryotic forms of the enzymes. Predicted secondary structures of the DHFR and TS domains were nearly identical to the structures identified in other DHFR and TS enzymes. PMID:2825189

  3. Molecular cloning and sequence analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase gene.

    PubMed

    Bzik, D J; Li, W B; Horii, T; Inselburg, J

    1987-12-01

    Genomic DNA clones that coded for the bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and thymidylate synthase (TS) (DHFR-TS) activities from a pyrimethamine-sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum were isolated and sequenced. The deduced DHFR-TS protein contained 608 amino acids (71,682 Da). The coding region for DHFR-TS contained no intervening sequences and had a high A + T content (75%). The DHFR domain, in the amino-terminal portion of the protein, was joined by a 94-amino acid junction sequence to the TS domain in the carboxyl-terminal portion of the protein. The TS domain was more conserved than the DHFR domain and both P. falciparum domains were more homologous to eukaryotic than to prokaryotic forms of the enzymes. Predicted secondary structures of the DHFR and TS domains were nearly identical to the structures identified in other DHFR and TS enzymes. PMID:2825189

  4. Thermal Adaptation of Dihydrofolate Reductase from the Moderate Thermophile Geobacillus stearothermophilus

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The thermal melting temperature of dihydrofolate reductase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus (BsDHFR) is ∼30 °C higher than that of its homologue from the psychrophile Moritella profunda. Additional proline residues in the loop regions of BsDHFR have been proposed to enhance the thermostability of BsDHFR, but site-directed mutagenesis studies reveal that these proline residues contribute only minimally. Instead, the high thermal stability of BsDHFR is partly due to removal of water-accessible thermolabile residues such as glutamine and methionine, which are prone to hydrolysis or oxidation at high temperatures. The extra thermostability of BsDHFR can be obtained by ligand binding, or in the presence of salts or cosolvents such as glycerol and sucrose. The sum of all these incremental factors allows BsDHFR to function efficiently in the natural habitat of G. stearothermophilus, which is characterized by temperatures that can reach 75 °C. PMID:24730604

  5. A transgenic Neospora caninum strain based on mutations of the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase gene.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Luiz Miguel; Baroni, Luciana; Yatsuda, Ana Patrícia

    2014-03-01

    Neospora caninum is an Apicomplexa parasite related to abortion and losses of fertility in cattle. The amenability of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium to genetic manipulation offers several tools to determine the invasion and replication processes, which support posterior strategies related to the combat of these diseases. For Plasmodium the use of pyrimethamine as an auxiliary drug on malaria treatment has been affected by the rise of resistant strains and the analyses on Dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene indicated several point mutations. In this work we developed a method for stable insertion of genes based on resistance to pyrimethamine. For that, the coding sequence of NcDHFR-TS (Dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase) was point mutated in two amino acids, generating DHFRM2M3. The DHFRM2M3 flanked by the promoter and 3'UTR of Ncdhfr-ts (Ncdhfr-DHFRM2M3) conferred resistance to pyrimethamine after transfection. For illustration of stability and expression, the cassette Ncdhfr-DHFRM2M3 was ligated to the reporter gene Lac-Z (β-galactosidase enzyme) controlled by the N. caninum tubulin promoter and was transfected and selected in N. caninum. The cassette was integrated into the genome and the selected tachyzoites expressed Lac-Z, allowing the detection of tachyzoites by the CPRG reaction and X-gal precipitation. The obtainment of transgenic N. caninum resistant to pyrimethamine confirms the effects on DHFR-TS among the Apicomplexa members and will support future approaches on pholate inhibitors for N. caninum prophylaxis. The construction of stable tachyzoites based on vectors with N. caninum promoters initiates the molecular manipulation of this parasite independently of T. gondii. PMID:24440296

  6. Malaria antifolate resistance with contrasting Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) polymorphisms in humans and Anopheles mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Mharakurwa, Sungano; Kumwenda, Taida; Mkulama, Mtawa A. P.; Musapa, Mulenga; Chishimba, Sandra; Shiff, Clive J.; Sullivan, David J.; Thuma, Philip E.; Liu, Kun; Agre, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Surveillance for drug-resistant parasites in human blood is a major effort in malaria control. Here we report contrasting antifolate resistance polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum when parasites in human blood were compared with parasites in Anopheles vector mosquitoes from sleeping huts in rural Zambia. DNA encoding P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (EC 1.5.1.3) was amplified by PCR with allele-specific restriction enzyme digestions. Markedly prevalent pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were evident in human P. falciparum infections—S108N (>90%), with N51I, C59R, and 108N+51I+59R triple mutants (30–80%). This resistance level may be from selection pressure due to decades of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine use in the region. In contrast, cycloguanil-resistant mutants were detected in very low frequency in parasites from human blood samples—S108T (13%), with A16V and 108T+16V double mutants (∼4%). Surprisingly, pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were of very low prevalence (2–12%) in the midguts of Anopheles arabiensis vector mosquitoes, but cycloguanil-resistant mutants were highly prevalent—S108T (90%), with A16V and the 108T+16V double mutant (49–57%). Structural analysis of the dihydrofolate reductase by in silico modeling revealed a key difference in the enzyme within the NADPH binding pocket, predicting the S108N enzyme to have reduced stability but the S108T enzyme to have increased stability. We conclude that P. falciparum can bear highly host-specific drug-resistant polymorphisms, most likely reflecting different selective pressures found in humans and mosquitoes. Thus, it may be useful to sample both human and mosquito vector infections to accurately ascertain the epidemiological status of drug-resistant alleles. PMID:22065788

  7. Malaria antifolate resistance with contrasting Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) polymorphisms in humans and Anopheles mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Mharakurwa, Sungano; Kumwenda, Taida; Mkulama, Mtawa A P; Musapa, Mulenga; Chishimba, Sandra; Shiff, Clive J; Sullivan, David J; Thuma, Philip E; Liu, Kun; Agre, Peter

    2011-11-15

    Surveillance for drug-resistant parasites in human blood is a major effort in malaria control. Here we report contrasting antifolate resistance polymorphisms in Plasmodium falciparum when parasites in human blood were compared with parasites in Anopheles vector mosquitoes from sleeping huts in rural Zambia. DNA encoding P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (EC 1.5.1.3) was amplified by PCR with allele-specific restriction enzyme digestions. Markedly prevalent pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were evident in human P. falciparum infections--S108N (>90%), with N51I, C59R, and 108N+51I+59R triple mutants (30-80%). This resistance level may be from selection pressure due to decades of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine use in the region. In contrast, cycloguanil-resistant mutants were detected in very low frequency in parasites from human blood samples-S108T (13%), with A16V and 108T+16V double mutants (∼4%). Surprisingly, pyrimethamine-resistant mutants were of very low prevalence (2-12%) in the midguts of Anopheles arabiensis vector mosquitoes, but cycloguanil-resistant mutants were highly prevalent-S108T (90%), with A16V and the 108T+16V double mutant (49-57%). Structural analysis of the dihydrofolate reductase by in silico modeling revealed a key difference in the enzyme within the NADPH binding pocket, predicting the S108N enzyme to have reduced stability but the S108T enzyme to have increased stability. We conclude that P. falciparum can bear highly host-specific drug-resistant polymorphisms, most likely reflecting different selective pressures found in humans and mosquitoes. Thus, it may be useful to sample both human and mosquito vector infections to accurately ascertain the epidemiological status of drug-resistant alleles. PMID:22065788

  8. Cloning, expression and enzymatic properties analysis of dihydrofolate reductase gene from the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenjing; Gao, Junshan; Wang, Jing; Liu, Chaoliang; Meng, Yan

    2012-12-01

    Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is an essential cofactor for aromatic acid hydroxylases, which control the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters. BH4 deficiency has been associated with many neuropsychological disorders. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) can catalyze 7,8-dihydrobiopterin to 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) in the salvage pathway of BH4 synthesis from sepiapterin (SP), a major pigment component contained in the integument of silkworm Bombyx mori mutant lemon (lem) in high concentration. In this study, we report the cloning of DHFR gene from the silkworm B. mori (BmDhfr) and identification of enzymatic properties of BmDHFR. BmDhfr is located on scaffold Bm_199 with a predicted gene model BGIBMGA013340, which encodes a 185-aa polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of about 21 kDa. Biochemical analyses showed that the recombinant BmDHFR protein exhibited high enzymatic activity and suitable parameters to substrate. Together with our previous studies on SP reductase of B. mori (BmSPR) and the lem mutant, it may be an effective way to industrially extract SP from the lem silkworms in large scale to produce BH4 in vitro by co-expressing BmSPR and BmDHFR and using the extracted SP as a substrate in the future. PMID:23065260

  9. Enhanced Degradation of Dihydrofolate Reductase through Inhibition of NAD Kinase by Nicotinamide Analogs

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Yi-Ching; Tedeschi, Philip; AdeBisi Lawal, Rialnat; Banerjee, Debabrata; Scotto, Kathleen; Kerrigan, John E.; Lee, Kuo-Chieh; Johnson-Farley, Nadine; Bertino, Joseph R.

    2013-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), because of its essential role in DNA synthesis, has been targeted for the treatment of a wide variety of human diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. Methotrexate (MTX), a tight binding inhibitor of DHFR, is one of the most widely used drugs in cancer treatment and is especially effective in the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and osteosarcoma. Limitations to its use in cancer include natural resistance and acquired resistance due to decreased cellular uptake and decreased retention due to impaired polyglutamylate formation and toxicity at higher doses. Here, we describe a novel mechanism to induce DHFR degradation through cofactor depletion in neoplastic cells by inhibition of NAD kinase, the only enzyme responsible for generating NADP, which is rapidly converted to NADPH by dehydrogenases/reductases. We identified an inhibitor of NAD kinase, thionicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPS), which led to accelerated degradation of DHFR and to inhibition of cancer cell growth. Of importance, combination treatment of NADPS with MTX displayed significant synergy in a metastatic colon cancer cell line and was effective in a MTX-transport resistant leukemic cell line. We suggest that NAD kinase is a valid target for further inhibitor development for cancer treatment. PMID:23197646

  10. Cancer metabolism and oxidative stress: Insights into carcinogenesis and chemotherapy via the non-dihydrofolate reductase effects of methotrexate

    PubMed Central

    Hess, Joshua A.; Khasawneh, Mohamad K.

    2015-01-01

    Methotrexate has been in use as an anti-cancer agent for over 60 years. Though inhibition of dihydrofolate reductase is its best known mechanisms of action, its non-dihydrofolate reductase dependent mechanisms disrupt metabolic pathways resulting in a depletion of NAD(P)H and increasing oxidative stress. These mechanisms highlight a novel dependence of cancer cells on their metabolic abnormalities to buffer oxidative stress and chemotherapeutic agents interfere with these cellular abilities. Mitochondria appear to play a significant role in maintaining cancer cell viability and alterations in metabolism seen in cancer cells aid this mitochondrial ability. Further research is needed to understand the effects of other chemotherapeutic agents on these pathways. PMID:26674389

  11. Sequence-specific sup 1 H and sup 15 N resonance assignments for human dihydrofolate reductase in solution

    SciTech Connect

    Stockman, B.J.; Nirmala, N.R.; Wagner, G. ); Delcamp, T.J.; DeYarman, M.T.; Freisheim, J.H. )

    1992-01-14

    Dihydrofolate reductase is an intracellular target enzyme for folate antagonists, including the anticancer drug methotrexate. In order to design novel drugs with altered binding properties, a detailed description of protein-drug interactions in solution is desirable to understand the specificity of drug binding. As a first step in this process, heteronuclear three-dimensional NMR spectroscopy has been used to make sequential resonance assignments for more than 90% of the residues in human dihydrofolate reductase complexed with methotrexate. Uniform enrichment of the 21.5-kDa protein with {sup 15}N was required to obtain the resonance assignments via heteronuclear 3D NMR spectroscopy since homonuclear 2D spectra did not provide sufficient {sup 1}H resonance dispersion. Medium- and long-range NOE's have been used to characterize the secondary structure of the binary ligand-enzyme complex in solution.

  12. Investigation of folding unfolding process of a new variant of dihydrofolate reductase protein from Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Thapliyal, Charu; Jain, Neha; Chaudhuri Chattopadhyay, Pratima

    2016-10-01

    The folding and unfolding mechanisms of a small monomeric protein, Dihydrofolate reductase (1.5.1.3.) from a new variant, Zebrafish (zDHFR) has been studied through GdnHCl denaturation, followed by its refolding through dilution of the denaturant. Intrinsic and extrinsic fluorescence, far-UV CD and enzyme activity were employed to monitor structural and functional changes due to chemical denaturation. The unfolding transitions monitored by intrinsic fluorescence showed that GdnHCl based denaturation of zDHFR is reversible. At low concentration of the denaturant, zDHFR forms intermediate species as reflected by increased fluorescence intensity compared to the native and fully unfolded form. Equilibrium unfolding transition study of zDHFR induced by GdnHCl exhibited three- state process. The non- coincidence of fluorescence and far-UVCD based transitions curves support the establishment of three state model of zDHFR protein which involves native, intermediate and unfolded forms. Analysis of the equilibrium unfolding transition suggests the presence of non- native intermediate species. A comparative study of various species of DHFR shows that zDHFR has comparable thermodynamic stability with human counterpart and thus proved to be a good in vitro model system for structure- function relationship studies. Understanding various conformational states during the folding unfolding process of the zDHFR protein may provide important clues towards designing inhibitors against this important protein involved in cell cycle regulation. PMID:27287769

  13. Development of apoptosis-resistant dihydrofolate reductase-deficient Chinese hamster ovary cell line.

    PubMed

    Lee, Suk Kyoo; Lee, Gyun Min

    2003-06-30

    Apoptosis-resistant dihydrofolate reductase-deficient CHO cell line (dhfr(-) CHO-bcl2) was developed by introduction of the bcl-2 gene into the dhfr(-) CHO cell line (DUKX-B11, ATCC CRL-9096) and subsequent selection of clones stably overexpressing Bcl-2 in the absence of selection pressure. When the dhfr(-) CHO-bcl2 cell line was used as a host cell line for development of a recombinant CHO (rCHO) cell line expressing a humanized antibody, it displayed stable expression of the bcl-2 gene during rCHO cell line development and no detrimental effect of Bcl-2 overexpression on specific antibody productivity. Taken together, the results obtained demonstrate that the use of an apoptosis-resistant dhfr(-) CHO cell line as the host cell line saves the effort of establishing an apoptosis-resistant rCHO cell line and expedites the development process of apoptosis-resistant rCHO cells producing therapeutic proteins. PMID:12701155

  14. Design of dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors from X-ray crystal structures.

    PubMed

    Roth, B

    1986-11-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is an important therapeutic target for treatment of cancer and microbial disease. Its species specificity has resulted in the sequencing of a number of vertebrate and bacterial DHFRs, and the three-dimensional structure of isozymes from Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus casei, and chicken liver has been elucidated, in the presence of the coenzyme NADPH and of a number of inhibitors. This information has enabled scientists to try to design improved and more selective inhibitors, based on the known coordinates of the enzyme features. Simple use of computer graphics or wire models has resulted in the design of inhibitors with 50 times the activity of trimethoprim, an antibacterial DHFR inhibitor, by making use of an unused ionic binding site. However, in a number of instances this approach was completely unsuccessful because hydrophobic sites of interaction were preferred. More sophisticated techniques involve energy minimization of the small molecule-macromolecule interactions to optimize the geometry. In this paper I describe the use of a molecular mechanics program, AMBER, for predicting the geometry and relative energetics of binding. Very encouraging results have been obtained for a closely related series of compounds. Where differing entropic and solvent effects are involved, predictions may be poor. The use of super computers and molecular dynamics methods should increase this capability in the near future. PMID:3533642

  15. NMR studies of multiple conformations in complexes of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase with analogues of pyrimethamine

    SciTech Connect

    Birdsall, B.; Tendler, S.J.B.; Feeney, J.; Carr, M.D. ); Arnold, J.R.P.; Thomas, J.A.; Roberts, G.C.K. ); Griffin, R.J.; Stevens, M.F.G. )

    1990-10-01

    {sup 1}H and {sup 19}F NMR signals from bound ligands have been assigned in one- and two-dimensional NMR spectra of complexes of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase with various pyrimethamine analogues. The signals were identified mainly by correlating signals from bound and free ligands by using 2D exchange experiments. Analogues with symmetrically substituted phenyl rings give rise to {sup 1}H signals from four nonequivalent aromatic protons, clearly indicating the presence of hindered rotation about the pyrimidine-phenyl bond. Analogues with symmetrically substituted phenyl rings give rise to {sup 1}H signals from four nonequivalent aromatic protons, clearly indicating the presence of hindered rotation about the pyrimidine-phenyl bond. Analogues containing asymmetrically substituted aromatic rings exist as mixtures of two rotational isomers (an enantiomeric pair) because of this hindered rotation and the NMR spectra revealed that both isomers (forms A and B) bind to the enzyme with comparable, though unequal, binding energies. In this case two complete sets of bound proton signals were observed. The relative orientations of the two forms have been determined from NOE through-space connections between protons on the ligand and protein. Ternary complexes with NADP{sup {plus}} were also examined.

  16. Evidence for two interconverting protein isomers in the methotrexate complex of dihydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Falzone, C.J.; Benkovic, S.J. ); Wright, P.E. )

    1991-02-26

    Two-dimensional {sup 1}H NMR methods and a knowledge of the X-ray crystal structure have been used to make resonance assignments for the amino acid side chains of dihydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli complexed with methotrexate. The H7 proton on the pteridine ring of methotrexate was found to have NOEs to the methyl protons of Leu-28 which were assigned by using the L28F mutant. These NOEs indicated that the orientation of the methotrexate pteridine ring is similar in both solution and crystal structures. During the initial assignment process, it became evident that many of the resonances in this complex, unlike those of the folate complex, are severally broadened or doubled. The observation of two distinct sets of resonances in a ratio of approximately 2:1 was attributed to the presence of two protein isomers. Many of the side chains with clearly doubled resonances were located in the {beta}-sheet and the active site. Preliminary studies on the apoprotein also revealed doubled resonances in the absence of the inhibitor, indicating the existence of the protein isomers prior to methotrexate binding. In contrast to the methotrexate complex, the binary complex with folate and the ternary MTX-NADPH-DHFR complex presented a single enzyme form. These results are proposed to reflect the ability of folate and NADPH to bind predominantly to one protein isomer.

  17. Carcinogen-mediated methotrexate resistance and dihydrofolate reductase amplification in Chinese hamster cells

    SciTech Connect

    Kleinberger, T.; Etkin, S.; Lavi, S.

    1986-06-01

    We have investigated different parameters characterizing carcinogen-mediated enhancement of methotrexate resistance in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and in simian virus 40-transformed Chinese hamster embryo (C060) cells. We show that this enhancement reflects dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene amplification. The carcinogens used in this work are alkylating agents and UV irradiation. Both types of carcinogens induce a transient enhancement of methotrexate resistance which increases gradually from the time of treatment to 72 to 96 h later and decreases thereafter. Increasing doses of carcinogens decrease cell survival and increase the enhancement of methotrexate resistance. Enhancement was observed when cells were treated at different stages in the cell cycle, and it was maximal when cells were treated during the early S phase. These studies of carcinogen-mediated dhfr gene amplification coupled with our earlier studies on viral DNA amplification in simian virus 40-transformed cells demonstrate that the same parameters characterize the amplification of both genes. Possible cellular mechanisms responsible for the carcinogen-mediated gene amplification phenomenon are discussed.

  18. Establishment and characterization of two human cell lines with amplified dihydrofolate reductase genes

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, P.; Kapp, L.N.; Painter, R.B.

    1987-01-01

    Two SV40-transformed human cell lines, GM637, derived from a normal human subject, and GM5849, derived from a patient with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), were grown in increasing concentrations of the cytotoxic agent methotrexate (MTX). The GM637 line was naturally more resistant to methotrexate than was GM5849 and, over a 5-month period, became resistant even to very high concentrations (up to 100 ..mu..M). The GM5849 line became resistant to 500 nM methotrexate during the same period. However, dot blot and Southern blot analyses showed that both cell lines had amplified their dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) genes to about the same extent, approx. 50-fold. Using the GM5849 line with amplified dhrf, the authors attempted to determine if interruption of DNA synthesis by hydroxyurea would cause DNA to be replicated twice within a single cell cycle, as has been reported for Chinese hamster ovary cells. No evidence for such a phenomenon was obtained.

  19. Studies of dihydrofolate reductase and methotrexate transport utilizing the technique of photoaffinity labeling

    SciTech Connect

    Price, E.M.

    1987-01-01

    The methotrexate (MTX) transport mechanism in murine L1210 leukemia cells appears to involve a temperature- and energy-dependent, carrier-mediated, saturable process. Although the intracellular target for MTX, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), has been well characterized, the protein(s) involved in MTX uptake have yet to be unequivocally identified. In order to characterize the MTX transport system of L1210 cells, photoaffinity analogues of the drug have been synthesized. They are the azidosalicylyl derivatives of lysine and ornithine analogues of MTX, and their iodinated counterparts. All of the compounds were potent inhibitors of DHFR. When the L1210 DHFR:APA-(/sup 125/I)ASA-Lys complex was irradiated with long-wave UV light, the photoaffinity analogue modified the enzyme with high efficiency. This reaction was specific as an excess of MTX prevented the covalent incorporation of the probe into DHFR. Cyanogen bromide digestion of the labeled enzyme, followed by sequence analysis of the singularly labeled peptide revealed that the enzyme was labeled in a region that encompasses Lys 63, Asn 64 and Arg 65 of native DHRF.

  20. Mycobacterial Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors Identified Using Chemogenomic Methods and In Vitro Validation

    PubMed Central

    Mugumbate, Grace; Abrahams, Katherine A.; Cox, Jonathan A. G.; Papadatos, George; van Westen, Gerard; Lelièvre, Joël; Calus, Szymon T.; Loman, Nicholas J.; Ballell, Lluis; Barros, David; Overington, John P.; Besra, Gurdyal S.

    2015-01-01

    The lack of success in target-based screening approaches to the discovery of antibacterial agents has led to reemergence of phenotypic screening as a successful approach of identifying bioactive, antibacterial compounds. A challenge though with this route is then to identify the molecular target(s) and mechanism of action of the hits. This target identification, or deorphanization step, is often essential in further optimization and validation studies. Direct experimental identification of the molecular target of a screening hit is often complex, precisely because the properties and specificity of the hit are not yet optimized against that target, and so many false positives are often obtained. An alternative is to use computational, predictive, approaches to hypothesize a mechanism of action, which can then be validated in a more directed and efficient manner. Specifically here we present experimental validation of an in silico prediction from a large-scale screen performed against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis. The two potent anti-tubercular compounds studied in this case, belonging to the tetrahydro-1,3,5-triazin-2-amine (THT) family, were predicted and confirmed to be an inhibitor of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), a known essential Mtb gene, and already clinically validated as a drug target. Given the large number of similar screening data sets shared amongst the community, this in vitro validation of these target predictions gives weight to computational approaches to establish the mechanism of action (MoA) of novel screening hit. PMID:25799414

  1. Interaction of dihydrofolate reductase with methotrexate: Ensemble and single-molecule kinetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajagopalan, P. T. Ravi; Zhang, Zhiquan; McCourt, Lynn; Dwyer, Mary; Benkovic, Stephen J.; Hammes, Gordon G.

    2002-10-01

    The thermodynamics and kinetics of the interaction of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) with methotrexate have been studied by using fluorescence, stopped-flow, and single-molecule methods. DHFR was modified to permit the covalent addition of a fluorescent molecule, Alexa 488, and a biotin at the N terminus of the molecule. The fluorescent molecule was placed on a protein loop that closes over methotrexate when binding occurs, thus causing a quenching of the fluorescence. The biotin was used to attach the enzyme in an active form to a glass surface for single-molecule studies. The equilibrium dissociation constant for the binding of methotrexate to the enzyme is 9.5 nM. The stopped-flow studies revealed that methotrexate binds to two different conformations of the enzyme, and the association and dissociation rate constants were determined. The single-molecule investigation revealed a conformational change in the enzyme-methotrexate complex that was not observed in the stopped-flow studies. The ensemble averaged rate constants for this conformation change in both directions is about 2-4 s1 and is attributed to the opening and closing of the enzyme loop over the bound methotrexate. Thus the mechanism of methotrexate binding to DHFR involves multiple steps and protein conformational changes.

  2. Free energy simulations of active-site mutants of dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    Doron, Dvir; Stojković, Vanja; Gakhar, Lokesh; Vardi-Kilshtain, Alexandra; Kohen, Amnon; Major, Dan Thomas

    2015-01-22

    This study employs hybrid quantum mechanics-molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulations to investigate the effect of mutations of the active-site residue I14 of E. coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) on the hydride transfer. Recent kinetic measurements of the I14X mutants (X = V, A, and G) indicated slower hydride transfer rates and increasingly temperature-dependent kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) with systematic reduction of the I14 side chain. The QM/MM simulations show that when the original isoleucine residue is substituted in silico by valine, alanine, or glycine (I14V, I14A, and I14G DHFR, respectively), the free energy barrier height of the hydride transfer reaction increases relative to the wild-type enzyme. These trends are in line with the single-turnover rate measurements reported for these systems. In addition, extended dynamics simulations of the reactive Michaelis complex reveal enhanced flexibility in the mutants, and in particular for the I14G mutant, including considerable fluctuations of the donor-acceptor distance (DAD) and the active-site hydrogen bonding network compared with those detected in the native enzyme. These observations suggest that the perturbations induced by the mutations partly impair the active-site environment in the reactant state. On the other hand, the average DADs at the transition state of all DHFR variants are similar. Crystal structures of I14 mutants (V, A, and G) confirmed the trend of increased flexibility of the M20 and other loops. PMID:25382260

  3. Pyrimethamine resistant Plasmodium falciparum: overproduction of dihydrofolate reductase by a gene duplication.

    PubMed

    Inselburg, J; Bzik, D J; Horii, T

    1987-11-01

    The accumulation of [3H]pyrimethamine by pyrimethamine-resistant (Pyrr) mutants of the Plasmodium falciparum strain FCR3 was examined by measuring the accumulation of drug in infected red blood cells. [3H]Pyrimethamine was stage specifically accumulated in trophozoites and schizont infected red blood cells. The mutant parasites accumulated drug as efficiently as FCR3. Pyrimethamine was associated with a high molecular weight protein that eluted from a Sephadex G200 column exactly as [3H]fluorodeoxyuridinemonophosphate (FdUMP) labeled parasite dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthetase (DHFR-TS) enzyme. These results suggested that the pyrimethamine resistance was not associated with decreased drug permeability of the membrane. DHFR-TS-[3H]FdUMP enzyme complex of all the Pyrr mutants and FCR3 had a monomer of 70 kDa as measured by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. One highly resistant mutant, FCR3-D7, exhibited a 5-10 fold higher uptake of pyrimethamine and a proportionately higher amount of DHFR-TS protein than FCR3 but only a normal level of DHFR activity. The genomic DNA of FCR3-D7 was shown to contain at least twice as much DHFR-TS specific DNA than either FCR3-D8, another Pyrr mutant, or FCR3. Preliminary results suggested some of the DHFR-TS genetic material in FCR3-D7 is associated with a gene duplication. PMID:3323903

  4. New small-molecule inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase inhibit Streptococcus mutans.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiong; Nguyen, Thao; McMichael, Megan; Velu, Sadanandan E; Zou, Jing; Zhou, Xuedong; Wu, Hui

    2015-08-01

    Streptococcus mutans is a major aetiological agent of dental caries. Formation of biofilms is a key virulence factor of S. mutans. Drugs that inhibit S. mutans biofilms may have therapeutic potential. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) plays a critical role in regulating the metabolism of folate. DHFR inhibitors are thus potent drugs and have been explored as anticancer and antimicrobial agents. In this study, a library of analogues based on a DHFR inhibitor, trimetrexate (TMQ), an FDA-approved drug, was screened and three new analogues that selectively inhibited S. mutans were identified. The most potent inhibitor had a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 454.0±10.2nM for the biofilm and 8.7±1.9nM for DHFR of S. mutans. In contrast, the IC50 of this compound for human DHFR was ca. 1000nM, a >100-fold decrease in its potency, demonstrating the high selectivity of the analogue. An analogue that exhibited the least potency for the S. mutans biofilm also had the lowest activity towards inhibiting S. mutans DHFR, further indicating that inhibition of biofilms is related to reduced DHFR activity. These data, along with docking of the most potent analogue to the modelled DHFR structure, suggested that the TMQ analogues indeed selectively inhibited S. mutans through targeting DHFR. These potent and selective small molecules are thus promising lead compounds to develop new effective therapeutics to prevent and treat dental caries. PMID:26022931

  5. Point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase genes of Plasmodium falciparum isolates from Venezuela.

    PubMed

    Urdaneta, L; Plowe, C; Goldman, I; Lal, A A

    1999-09-01

    The present study was designed to characterize mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) genes of Plasmodium falciparum in the Bolivar region of Venezuela, where high levels of clinical resistance to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP, Fansidar; F. Hoffman-La Roche, Basel, Switzerland) has been documented. We used a nested mutation-specific polymerase chain reaction and restriction digestion methods to measure 1) the prevalence of DHFR mutations at 16, 50, 51, 59, 108, and 164 codon positions, and 2) the prevalence of mutations in the 436, 437, 581, and 613 codon sites in DHPS gene. In the case of the DHFR gene, of the 54 parasite isolates analyzed, we detected the presence of Asn-108 and Ile-51 in 96% of the isolates and Arg-50 mutation in 64% of the isolates. Each of these mutations has been associated with high level of resistance to pyrimethamine. Only 2 samples (4%) showed the wild type Ser-108 mutation and none showed Thr-108 and Val-16 mutations that are specific for resistance to cycloguanil. In the case of DHPS gene, we found a mutation at position 437 (Gly) in 100% of the isolates and Gly-581 in 96% of the isolates. The simultaneous presence of mutations Asn-108 and Ile-51 in the DHFR gene and Gly-437 and Gly-581 in the DHPS gene in 96% of the samples tested suggested that a cumulative effect of mutations could be the major mechanism conferring high SP resistance in this area. PMID:10497990

  6. Molecular modeling study of dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors. Molecular dynamics simulations, quantum mechanical calculations, and experimental corroboration.

    PubMed

    Tosso, Rodrigo D; Andujar, Sebastian A; Gutierrez, Lucas; Angelina, Emilio; Rodríguez, Ricaurte; Nogueras, Manuel; Baldoni, Héctor; Suvire, Fernando D; Cobo, Justo; Enriz, Ricardo D

    2013-08-26

    A molecular modeling study on dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors was carried out. By combining molecular dynamics simulations with semiempirical (PM6), ab initio, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations, a simple and generally applicable procedure to evaluate the binding energies of DHFR inhibitors interacting with the human enzyme is reported here, providing a clear picture of the binding interactions of these ligands from both structural and energetic viewpoints. A reduced model for the binding pocket was used. This approach allows us to perform more accurate quantum mechanical calculations as well as to obtain a detailed electronic analysis using the quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM) technique. Thus, molecular aspects of the binding interactions between inhibitors and the DHFR are discussed in detail. A significant correlation between binding energies obtained from DFT calculations and experimental IC₅₀ values was obtained, predicting with an acceptable qualitative accuracy the potential inhibitor effect of nonsynthesized compounds. Such correlation was experimentally corroborated synthesizing and testing two new inhibitors reported in this paper. PMID:23834278

  7. Isolation of the origin of replication associated with the amplified Chinese hamster dihydrofolate reductase domain.

    PubMed Central

    Burhans, W C; Selegue, J E; Heintz, N H

    1986-01-01

    Autoradiography of restriction digests of DNA labeled in early S phase indicates that replication of the amplified dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) domain of methotrexate-resistant CHOC 400 cells initiates within a 6.1-kilobase pair (kb) EcoRI-doublet located on the 3' side of the DHFR gene. To localize the DHFR origin fragment, synchronized CHOC 400 cells were either pulse labeled with [3H]thymidine in vivo or permeabilized and incubated with [32P]dATP under conditions that support limited chromosomal DNA replication. The temporal order of replication of amplified fragments was determined by hybridization of the in vivo or in vitro replication products to cloned fragments spanning the earliest-replicating portion of the DHFR domain. At the G1/S boundary, the labeled products derived from the replication of amplified sequences, either in whole or permeabilized cells, are distributed about an amplified 4.3-kb Xba I fragment that maps 14 kb downstream from the DHFR gene. As cells progress through the S phase, bidirectional replication away from this site is observed. These studies indicate that the 4.3-kb Xba I fragment contains the origin of replication associated with the amplified DHFR domain. Images PMID:3094015

  8. Hydride transfer catalysed by Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis dihydrofolate reductase: coupled motions and distal mutations.

    PubMed

    Hammes-Schiffer, Sharon; Watney, James B

    2006-08-29

    This paper reviews the results from hybrid quantum/classical molecular dynamics simulations of the hydride transfer reaction catalysed by wild-type (WT) and mutant Escherichia coli and WT Bacillus subtilis dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Nuclear quantum effects such as zero point energy and hydrogen tunnelling are significant in these reactions and substantially decrease the free energy barrier. The donor-acceptor distance decreases to ca 2.7 A at transition-state configurations to enable the hydride transfer. A network of coupled motions representing conformational changes along the collective reaction coordinate facilitates the hydride transfer reaction by decreasing the donor-acceptor distance and providing a favourable geometric and electrostatic environment. Recent single-molecule experiments confirm that at least some of these thermally averaged equilibrium conformational changes occur on the millisecond time-scale of the hydride transfer. Distal mutations can lead to non-local structural changes and significantly impact the probability of sampling configurations conducive to the hydride transfer, thereby altering the free-energy barrier and the rate of hydride transfer. E. coli and B. subtilis DHFR enzymes, which have similar tertiary structures and hydride transfer rates with 44% sequence identity, exhibit both similarities and differences in the equilibrium motions and conformational changes correlated to hydride transfer, suggesting a balance of conservation and flexibility across species. PMID:16873124

  9. Site specific polarization transfer from a hyperpolarized ligand of dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yunyi; Ragavan, Mukundan; Hilty, Christian

    2016-05-01

    Protein-ligand interaction is often characterized using polarization transfer by the intermolecular nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE). For such NOE experiments, hyperpolarization of nuclear spins presents the opportunity to increase the spin magnetization, which is transferred, by several orders of magnitude. Here, folic acid, a ligand of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), was hyperpolarized on (1)H spins using dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization (D-DNP). Mixing hyperpolarized ligand with protein resulted in observable increases in protein (1)H signal predominantly in the methyl group region of the spectra. Using (13)C single quantum selection in a series of one-dimensional spectra, the carbon chemical shift ranges of the corresponding methyl groups can be elucidated. Signals observed in these hyperpolarized spectra could be confirmed using 3D isotope filtered NOESY spectra, although the hyperpolarized spectra were obtained in single scans. By further correlating the signal intensities observed in the D-DNP experiments with the occurrence of short distances in the crystal structure of the protein-ligand complex, the observed methyl proton signals could be matched to the chemical shifts of six amino acids in the active site of DHFR-folic acid binary complex. These data demonstrate that (13)C chemical shift selection of protein resonances, combined with the intrinsic selectivity towards magnetization originating from the initially hyperpolarized spins, can be used for site specific characterization of protein-ligand interactions. PMID:27189223

  10. The Tail Wagging the Dog: Insights into Catalysis in R67 Dihydrofolate Reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Kamath, Ganesh K; Agarwal, Pratul K

    2010-01-01

    Plasmid-encoded R67 dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) catalyzes a hydride transfer reaction between substrate dihydrofolate (DHF) and its cofactor, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). R67 DHFR is a homotetramer that exhibits numerous characteristics of a primitive enzyme, including promiscuity in binding of substrate and cofactor, formation of nonproductive complexes, and the absence of a conserved acid in its active site. Furthermore, R67's active site is a pore, which is mostly accessible by bulk solvent. This study uses a computational approach to characterize the mechanism of hydride transfer. Not surprisingly, NADPH remains fixed in one-half of the active site pore using numerous interactions with R67. Also, stacking between the nicotinamide ring of the cofactor and the pteridine ring of the substrate, DHF, at the hourglass center of the pore, holds the reactants in place. However, large movements of the p-aminobenzoylglutamate tail of DHF occur in the other half of the pore because of ion pair switching between symmetry-related K32 residues from two subunits. This computational result is supported by experimental results that the loss of these ion pair interactions (located >13 {angstrom} from the center of the pore) by addition of salt or in asymmetric K32M mutants leads to altered enzyme kinetics [Hicks, S. N., et al. (2003) Biochemistry 42, 10569-10578; Hicks, S. N., et al. (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279, 46995?47002]. The tail movement at the edge of the active site, coupled with the fixed position of the pteridine ring in the center of the pore, leads to puckering of the pteridine ring and promotes formation of the transition state. Flexibility coupled to R67 function is unusual as it contrasts with the paradigm that enzymes use increased rigidity to facilitate attainment of their transition states. A comparison with chromosomal DHFR indicates a number of similarities, including puckering of the nicotinamide ring and changes in the DHF tail

  11. Coupling of protein motions and hydrogen transfer during catalysis by Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase

    PubMed Central

    Swanwick, Richard S.; Maglia, Giovanni; Tey, Lai-hock; Allemann, Rudolf K.

    2005-01-01

    The enzyme DHFR (dihydrofolate reductase) catalyses hydride transfer from NADPH to, and protonation of, dihydrofolate. The physical basis of the hydride transfer step catalysed by DHFR from Escherichia coli has been studied through the measurement of the temperature dependence of the reaction rates and the kinetic isotope effects. Single turnover experiments at pH 7.0 revealed a strong dependence of the reaction rates on temperature. The observed relatively large difference in the activation energies for hydrogen and deuterium transfer led to a temperature dependence of the primary kinetic isotope effects from 3.0±0.2 at 5 °C to 2.2±0.2 at 40 °C and an inverse ratio of the pre-exponential factors of 0.108±0.04. These results are consistent with theoretical models for hydrogen transfer that include contributions from quantum mechanical tunnelling coupled with protein motions that actively modulate the tunnelling distance. Previous work had suggested a coupling of a remote residue, Gly121, with the kinetic events at the active site. However, pre-steady-state experiments at pH 7.0 with the mutant G121V-DHFR, in which Gly121 was replaced with valine, revealed that the chemical mechanism of DHFR catalysis was robust to this replacement. The reduced catalytic efficiency of G121V-DHFR was mainly a consequence of the significantly reduced pre-exponential factors, indicating the requirement for significant molecular reorganization during G121V-DHFR catalysis. In contrast, steady-state measurements at pH 9.5, where hydride transfer is rate limiting, revealed temperature-independent kinetic isotope effects between 15 and 35 °C and a ratio of the pre-exponential factors above the semi-classical limit, suggesting a rigid active site configuration from which hydrogen tunnelling occurs. The mechanism by which hydrogen tunnelling in DHFR is coupled with the environment appears therefore to be sensitive to pH. PMID:16241906

  12. Down-regulation of dihydrofolate reductase inhibits the growth of endothelial EA.hy926 cell through induction of G1 cell cycle arrest via up-regulating p53 and p21waf1/cip1 expression

    PubMed Central

    Fei, Zhewei; Gao, Yong; Qiu, Mingke; Qi, Xianqin; Dai, Yuxin; Wang, Shuqing; Quan, Zhiwei; Liu, Yingbin; Ou, Jingmin

    2016-01-01

    Folic acid supplementation may meliorate cardiovascular disease risk by improving vascular endothelial structure and function. However, the underlying mechanisms are still lack of a global understanding. To be used, folic acid must be converted to 7,8-dihydrofolate by dihydrofolate reductase to generate one-carbon derivatives serving as important cellular cofactors in the synthesis of nucleotides and amino acids required for cell growth. Therefore, this study explored the effect of dihydrofolate reductase knockdown on endothelial EA.hy926 cell growth and the mechanism involved. We found that down-regulation of dihydrofolate reductase inhibited EA.hy926 cell proliferation, and induced G1 phase arrest. Meanwhile, the expression of regulators necessary for G1/S phase transition, such as cyclin-dependent kinases CDK2, CDK4 and CDK6, were remarkably down-regulated; by contrast, the cell cycle inhibitors p21waf/cip1, p27Kip1 and p53 were significantly up-regulated after dihydrofolate reductase knockdown. Furthermore, supplementation of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to the dihydrofolate reductase knockdown cells could weaken the inhibitory effect of dihydrofolate reductase knockdown on cell proliferation, simultaneously, inducing the expression of p53 and p21waf/cip1 falling back moderately. Our findings suggest that attenuating dihydrofolate reductase may cause imbalanced expression of cell cycle regulators, especially up-regulation of p53-p21waf/cip1 pathway, leading to G1 cell cycle arrest, thereby inhibiting the growth of endothelial EA.hy926 cells. PMID:27013776

  13. Cloning and characterization of dihydrofolate reductases from deep-sea bacteria.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Chiho; Ohmae, Eiji; Tate, Shin-Ichi; Gekko, Kunihiko; Nakasone, Kaoru; Kato, Chiaki

    2010-04-01

    Enzymes from organisms living in deep-sea are thought to have characteristic pressure-adaptation mechanisms in structure and function. To better understand these mechanisms in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), an essential enzyme in living cells, we cloned, overexpressed and purified four new DHFRs from the deep-sea bacteria Shewanella violacea (svDHFR), Photobacterium profundum (ppDHFR), Moritella yayanosii (myDHFR) and Moritella japonica (mjDHFR), and compared their structure and function with those of Escherichia coli DHFR (ecDHFR). These deep-sea DHFRs showed 33-56% primary structure identity to ecDHFR while far-ultraviolet circular dichroism and fluorescence spectra suggested that their secondary and tertiary structures were not largely different. The optimal temperature and pH for deep-sea DHFRs activity were lower than those of ecDHFR and different from each other. Deep-sea DHFRs kinetic parameters K(m) and k(cat) were larger than those of ecDHFR, resulting in 1.5-2.8-fold increase of k(cat)/K(m) except for mjDHFR which had a 28-fold decrease. The enzyme activity of ppDHFR and mjDHFR (moderate piezophilic bacteria) as well as ecDHFR decreased as pressure increased, while svDHFR and myDHFR (piezophilic bacteria) showed a significant tolerance to pressure. These results suggest that DHFRs from deep-sea bacteria possess specific enzymatic properties adapted to their life under high pressure. PMID:20040594

  14. Identifying antimalarial compounds targeting dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) by chemogenomic profiling.

    PubMed

    Aroonsri, Aiyada; Akinola, Olugbenga; Posayapisit, Navaporn; Songsungthong, Warangkhana; Uthaipibull, Chairat; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Gbotosho, Grace O; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Shaw, Philip J

    2016-07-01

    The mode of action of many antimalarial drugs is unknown. Chemogenomic profiling is a powerful method to address this issue. This experimental approach entails disruption of gene function and phenotypic screening for changes in sensitivity to bioactive compounds. Here, we describe the application of reverse genetics for chemogenomic profiling in Plasmodium. Plasmodium falciparum parasites harbouring a transgenic insertion of the glmS ribozyme downstream of the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene were used for chemogenomic profiling of antimalarial compounds to identify those which target DHFR-TS. DHFR-TS expression can be attenuated by exposing parasites to glucosamine. Parasites with attenuated DHFR-TS expression were significantly more sensitive to antifolate drugs known to target DHFR-TS. In contrast, no change in sensitivity to other antimalarial drugs with different modes of action was observed. Chemogenomic profiling was performed using the Medicines for Malaria Venture (Switzerland) Malaria Box compound library, and two compounds were identified as novel DHFR-TS inhibitors. We also tested the glmS ribozyme in Plasmodium berghei, a rodent malaria parasite. The expression of reporter genes with downstream glmS ribozyme could be attenuated in transgenic parasites comparable with that obtained in P. falciparum. The chemogenomic profiling method was applied in a P. berghei line expressing a pyrimethamine-resistant Toxoplasma gondii DHFR-TS reporter gene under glmS ribozyme control. Parasites with attenuated expression of this gene were significantly sensitised to antifolates targeting DHFR-TS, but not other drugs with different modes of action. In conclusion, these data show that the glmS ribozyme reverse genetic tool can be applied for identifying primary targets of antimalarial compounds in human and rodent malaria parasites. PMID:27150044

  15. Pivotal role of dihydrofolate reductase knockdown in the anticancer activity of 2-hydroxyoleic acid

    PubMed Central

    Lladó, Victoria; Terés, Silvia; Higuera, Mónica; Álvarez, Rafael; Noguera-Salva, Maria Antònia; Halver, John E.; Escribá, Pablo V.; Busquets, Xavier

    2009-01-01

    α-Hydroxy-9-cis-octadecenoic acid, a synthetic fatty acid that modifies the composition and structure of lipid membranes. 2-Hydroxyoleic acid (HOA) generated interest due to its potent, yet nontoxic, anticancer activity. It induces cell cycle arrest in human lung cancer (A549) cells and apoptosis in human leukemia (Jurkat) cells. These two pathways may explain how HOA induces regression of a variety of cancers. We showed that HOA repressed the expression of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), the enzyme responsible for tetrahydrofolate (THF) synthesis. Folinic acid, which readily produces THF without the participation of DHFR, reverses the antitumor effects of HOA in A549 and Jurkat cells, as well as the inhibitory influence on cyclin D and cdk2 in A549 cells, and on DNA and PARP degradation in Jurkat cells. This effect was very specific, because either elaidic acid (an analog of HOA) or other lipids, failed to alter A549 or Jurkat cell growth. THF is a cofactor necessary for DNA synthesis. Thus, impairment of DNA synthesis appears to be a common mechanism involved in the different responses elicited by cancer cells following treatment with HOA, namely cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. Compared with other antifolates, such as methotrexate, HOA did not directly inhibit DHFR but rather, it repressed its expression, a mode of action that offers certain therapeutic advantages. These results not only demonstrate the effect of a fatty acid on the expression of DHFR, but also emphasize the potential of HOA to be used as a wide-spectrum drug against cancer. PMID:19666584

  16. Dihydrofolate reductase mutations and chromosomal changes associated with pyrimethamine resistance of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, M; Gu, H M; Bzik, D J; Li, W B; Inselburg, J W

    1990-02-01

    The nucleotide sequence of the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene in pyrimethamine-resistant (PyrR) mutants of Plasmodium falciparum selected in vitro was examined to determine if specific mutations in DHFR were associated with drug resistance. We analysed the sequence of genomic DNA from strain FCR3, from eight previously isolated PyrR parasites derived from FCR3, and from strain Honduras-1. We found that: (1) five PyrR FCR3 mutants, FCR3-D4-D8, had an identical nucleotide change and a novel single amino acid change (Phe to Ser) at amino acid 223 of DHFR; (2) our originally reported nucleotide sequence of the DHFR-TS gene was of the PyrR strain Honduras-1, and was not of FCR3; (3) three PyrR mutants, FCR3-D1, D2, and D3, thought to have been derived from the FCR3 strain, were in fact isolates of Honduras-1. We also examined the chromosomal DNA of PyrR mutants by pulsed-field gradient gel (PFG) electrophoresis. The PyrR mutants FCR3-D1, D2, and D3 had several chromosome size polymorphisms compared to FCR3. In two of the PyrR FCR3 mutants, FCR3-D7 and D8, the chromosome 4-size DNA of FCR3 that the DHFR-TS probe normally hybridised to was not observed. Instead, in FCR3-D7, a chromosome larger than the chromosome 4-size DNA was observed to hybridise to the DHFR-TS probe. In FCR3-D8, two chromosomes that hybridised to the DHFR-TS probe were found. One of them was larger than FCR-3 chromosome 4-size DNA, and the other was smaller than FCR3 chromosome 1-size DNA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2406591

  17. Thermal Stabilization of Dihydrofolate Reductase Using Monte Carlo Unfolding Simulations and Its Functional Consequences

    PubMed Central

    Whitney, Anna; Shakhnovich, Eugene I.

    2015-01-01

    Design of proteins with desired thermal properties is important for scientific and biotechnological applications. Here we developed a theoretical approach to predict the effect of mutations on protein stability from non-equilibrium unfolding simulations. We establish a relative measure based on apparent simulated melting temperatures that is independent of simulation length and, under certain assumptions, proportional to equilibrium stability, and we justify this theoretical development with extensive simulations and experimental data. Using our new method based on all-atom Monte-Carlo unfolding simulations, we carried out a saturating mutagenesis of Dihydrofolate Reductase (DHFR), a key target of antibiotics and chemotherapeutic drugs. The method predicted more than 500 stabilizing mutations, several of which were selected for detailed computational and experimental analysis. We find a highly significant correlation of r = 0.65–0.68 between predicted and experimentally determined melting temperatures and unfolding denaturant concentrations for WT DHFR and 42 mutants. The correlation between energy of the native state and experimental denaturation temperature was much weaker, indicating the important role of entropy in protein stability. The most stabilizing point mutation was D27F, which is located in the active site of the protein, rendering it inactive. However for the rest of mutations outside of the active site we observed a weak yet statistically significant positive correlation between thermal stability and catalytic activity indicating the lack of a stability-activity tradeoff for DHFR. By combining stabilizing mutations predicted by our method, we created a highly stable catalytically active E. coli DHFR mutant with measured denaturation temperature 7.2°C higher than WT. Prediction results for DHFR and several other proteins indicate that computational approaches based on unfolding simulations are useful as a general technique to discover stabilizing

  18. Identification of Cryptosporidium parvum Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors by Complementation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Brophy, Victoria Hertle; Vasquez, John; Nelson, Richard G.; Forney, John R.; Rosowsky, Andre; Sibley, Carol Hopkins

    2000-01-01

    There is a pressing need for drugs effective against the opportunistic protozoan pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum. Folate metabolic enzymes and enzymes of the thymidylate cycle, particularly dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), have been widely exploited as chemotherapeutic targets. Although many DHFR inhibitors have been synthesized, only a few have been tested against C. parvum. To expedite and facilitate the discovery of effective anti-Cryptosporidium antifolates, we have developed a rapid and facile method to screen potential inhibitors of C. parvum DHFR using the model eukaryote, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We expressed the DHFR genes of C. parvum, Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii, Pneumocystis carinii, and humans in the same DHFR-deficient yeast strain and observed that each heterologous enzyme complemented the yeast DHFR deficiency. In this work we describe our use of the complementation system to screen known DHFR inhibitors and our discovery of several compounds that inhibited the growth of yeast reliant on the C. parvum enzyme. These same compounds were also potent or selective inhibitors of the purified recombinant C. parvum DHFR enzyme. Six novel lipophilic DHFR inhibitors potently inhibited the growth of yeast expressing C. parvum DHFR. However, the inhibition was nonselective, as these compounds also strongly inhibited the growth of yeast dependent on the human enzyme. Conversely, the antibacterial DHFR inhibitor trimethoprim and two close structural analogs were highly selective, but weak, inhibitors of yeast complemented by the C. parvum enzyme. Future chemical refinement of the potent and selective lead compounds identified in this study may allow the design of an efficacious antifolate drug for the treatment of cryptosporidiosis. PMID:10722506

  19. Probing the Electrostatics of Active Site Microenvironments along the Catalytic Cycle for Escherichia coli Dihydrofolate Reductase

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Electrostatic interactions play an important role in enzyme catalysis by guiding ligand binding and facilitating chemical reactions. These electrostatic interactions are modulated by conformational changes occurring over the catalytic cycle. Herein, the changes in active site electrostatic microenvironments are examined for all enzyme complexes along the catalytic cycle of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (ecDHFR) by incorporation of thiocyanate probes at two site-specific locations in the active site. The electrostatics and degree of hydration of the microenvironments surrounding the probes are investigated with spectroscopic techniques and mixed quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical (QM/MM) calculations. Changes in the electrostatic microenvironments along the catalytic environment lead to different nitrile (CN) vibrational stretching frequencies and 13C NMR chemical shifts. These environmental changes arise from protein conformational rearrangements during catalysis. The QM/MM calculations reproduce the experimentally measured vibrational frequency shifts of the thiocyanate probes across the catalyzed hydride transfer step, which spans the closed and occluded conformations of the enzyme. Analysis of the molecular dynamics trajectories provides insight into the conformational changes occurring between these two states and the resulting changes in classical electrostatics and specific hydrogen-bonding interactions. The electric fields along the CN axes of the probes are decomposed into contributions from specific residues, ligands, and solvent molecules that make up the microenvironments around the probes. Moreover, calculation of the electric field along the hydride donor–acceptor axis, along with decomposition of this field into specific contributions, indicates that the cofactor and substrate, as well as the enzyme, impose a substantial electric field that facilitates hydride transfer. Overall, experimental and theoretical data provide evidence for

  20. Formation of 10-Formylfolic Acid, a Potent Inhibitor of Dihydrofolate Reductase, in Rat Liver Slices Incubated with Folic Acid

    PubMed Central

    d'Urso-Scott, M.; Uhoch, J.; Bertino, J. R.

    1974-01-01

    During investigation of folate polyglutamate biosynthesis in rat liver slices utilizing [2-14C]folic acid, a folate compound that behaved like a polyglutamate form in the Sephadex G-15 gel filtration system was found to accumulate. Subsequent chromatographic, spectral, chemical, and enzymic studies have indicated that the compound formed in liver slices incubated with [14C]folic acid with and without methotrexate was 10-formyl folate. This folate is of interest in that it is the most potent natural inhibitor of dihydrofolate reductase known and may be capable of serving a regulatory function within the cell. PMID:4527808

  1. Large-scale purification and characterization of dihydrofolate reductase from a methotrexate-resistant strain of Lactobacillus casei.

    PubMed Central

    Dann, J G; Ostler, G; Bjur, R A; King, R W; Scudder, P; Turner, P C; Roberts, G C; Burgen, A S

    1976-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase has been purified from a methotrexate-resistant strain of Lactobacillus casei NCB 6375. By careful attention to growth conditions, up to 2.5 g of enzyme is obtained from a 400 litre culture. The purification procedure, involving poly-ethyleneimine treatment, DEAE-cellulose chromatography and affinity chromatography on methotrexate-aminohexyl-Sepharose, operates on the gram scale, with overall yields of 50-60%. Elution of the affinity column by reverse (upward) flow was used, as it led to recovery of the enzyme in a much smaller volume. The enzyme obtained appears to be more than 98% pure, as judged by gel electrophoresis, isoelectric focusing, and gel filtration. It has a mol.wt. of approx. 17900 and a turnover number of 4s-1 (50mM-triethanolamine/400mM-KCl, pH 7.2, 25 degrees C) with dihydrofolate and NADPH as substrates. The turnover number for folate is 0.02s-1. Michaelis constants for a variety of substrates have been measured by using a new fluorimetric assay (0.36 muM-dihydrofolate; 0.78 muM-NADPH), and binding constants determined by using the quenching of protein fluorescence (dihydrofolate, 2.25 X 10(6)M-1; NADPH, greater than 10(8)M-1). The pH/activity profile shows a single maximum at pH 7.3; at this pH, marked activation by 0.5M-NaCl is observed. PMID:10886

  2. Probing the Active Site of Candida Glabrata Dihydrofolate Reductase with High Resolution Crystal Structures and the Synthesis of New Inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, J.; Bolstad, D; Smith, A; Priestley, N; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2009-01-01

    Candida glabrata, a fungal strain resistant to many commonly administered antifungal agents, has become an emerging threat to human health. In previous work, we validated that the essential enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase, is a drug target in C. glabrata. Using a crystal structure of dihydrofolate reductase from C. glabrata bound to an initial lead compound, we designed a class of biphenyl antifolates that potently and selectively inhibit both the enzyme and the growth of the fungal culture. In this work, we explore the structure-activity relationships of this class of antifolates with four new high resolution crystal structures of enzyme:inhibitor complexes and the synthesis of four new inhibitors. The designed inhibitors are intended to probe key hydrophobic pockets visible in the crystal structure. The crystal structures and an evaluation of the new compounds reveal that methyl groups at the meta and para positions of the distal phenyl ring achieve the greatest number of interactions with the pathogenic enzyme and the greatest degree of selectivity over the human enzyme. Additionally, antifungal activity can be tuned with substitution patterns at the propargyl and para-phenyl positions.

  3. X-ray structure of the ternary MTX·NADPH complex of the anthrax dihydrofolate reductase: A pharmacophore for dual-site inhibitor design

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, Brad C.; Wan, Qun; Ahmad, Md Faiz; Langan, Paul; Dealwis, Chris G.

    2009-11-18

    For reasons of bioterrorism and drug resistance, it is imperative to identify and develop new molecular points of intervention against anthrax. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a highly conserved enzyme and an established target in a number of species for a variety of chemotherapeutic programs. Recently, the crystal structure of B. anthracis DHFR (baDHFR) in complex with methotrexate (MTX) was determined and, based on the structure, proposals were made for drug design strategies directed against the substrate binding site. However, little is gleaned about the binding site for NADPH, the cofactor responsible for hydride transfer in the catalytic mechanism. In the present study, X-ray crystallography at 100 K was used to determine the structure of baDHFR in complex with MTX and NADPH. Although the NADPH binding mode is nearly identical to that seen in other DHFR ternary complex structures, the adenine moiety adopts an off-plane tilt of nearly 90 deg. and this orientation is stabilized by hydrogen bonds to functionally conserved Arg residues. A comparison of the binding site, focusing on this region, between baDHFR and the human enzyme is discussed, with an aim at designing species-selective therapeutics. Indeed, the ternary model, refined to 2.3{angstrom} resolution, provides an accurate template for testing the feasibility of identifying dual-site inhibitors, compounds that target both the substrate and cofactor binding site. With the ternary model in hand, using in silico methods, several compounds were identified which could potentially form key bonding contacts in the substrate and cofactor binding sites. Ultimately, two structurally distinct compounds were verified that inhibit baDHFR at low {mu}M concentrations. The apparent K{sub d} for one of these, (2-(3-(2-(hydroxyimino)-2-(pyridine-4-yl)-6,7-dimethylquinoxalin-2-yl)-1-(pyridine-4-yl)ethanone oxime), was measured by fluorescence spectroscopy to be 5.3 {mu}M.

  4. X-ray structure of the ternary MTX•NADPH complex of the anthrax dihydrofolate reductase: a pharmacophore for dual-site inhibitor design

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Brad C.; Wan, Qun; Ahmad, Md Faiz; Dealwis, Chris G.

    2009-01-01

    For reasons of bioterrorism and drug resistance, it is imperative to identify and develop new molecular points of intervention against anthrax. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a highly conserved enzyme and an established target in a number of species for a variety of chemotherapeutic programs. Recently, the crystal structure of B. anthracis DHFR (baDHFR) in complex with methotrexate (MTX) was determined and, based on the structure, proposals were made for drug design strategies directed against the substrate binding site. However, little is gleaned about the binding site for NADPH, the cofactor responsible for hydride transfer in the catalytic mechanism. In the present study, X-ray crystallography at 100 K was used to determine the structure of baDHFR in complex with MTX and NADPH. Although the NADPH binding mode is nearly identical to that seen in other DHFR ternary complex structures, the adenine moiety adopts an off-plane tilt of nearly 90° and this orientation is stabilized by hydrogen bonds to functionally conserved Arg residues. A comparison of the binding site, focusing on this region, between baDHFR and the human enzyme is discussed, with an aim at designing species-selective therapeutics. Indeed, the ternary model, refined to 2.3Å resolution, provides an accurate template for testing the feasibility of identifying dual-site inhibitors, compounds that target both the substrate and cofactor binding site. With the ternary model in hand, using in silico methods, several compounds were identified which could potentially form key bonding contacts in the substrate and cofactor binding sites. Ultimately, two structurally distinct compounds were verified that inhibit baDHFR at low μM concentrations. The apparent Kd for one of these, (2-(3-(2-(hydroxyimino)-2-(pyridine-4-yl)-6,7-dimethylquinoxalin-2-yl)-1-(pyridine-4-yl)ethanone oxime), was measured by fluorescence spectroscopy to be 5.3 μM. PMID:19374017

  5. Induction of methotrexate resistance by retroviral-mediated transfer of a mutant dihydrofolate reductase gene

    SciTech Connect

    Ricciardone, M.D.

    1986-01-01

    Methotrexate (MTX), a folate analog which inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), is an effective antineoplastic drug. However, MTX-induced myelosuppression limits the effectiveness of this agent. Selective induction of MTX resistance in bone marrow stem cells, prior to treatment with MTX, might prevent this toxicity and improve the therapeutic index of the drug. In these studies drug resistance was transferred to mouse and human bone marrow stem cells by retroviral expression vectors containing coding sequences of a mutant DHFR with a decreased affinity for MTX. Three retroviral expression vectors were analyzed. The CIS DR vector contained the mutant DHFR gene inserted into the replication-defective amphotropic 4070 virus, Cistor. The other vectors contained the mutant DHFR inserted into either the env region (SDHT1) or gag-pol region (SDHT2) of a replication-defective spleen focus-forming virus. All three constructs induced approximately a 200-fold resistance to MTX when transfected into NIH3T3 cells. Amphotropic infectious retroviruses were obtained by transfecting the mutant DHFR vectors into a packaging cell line, which supplied the gag, pol, and env proteins for virus production. Virus titers of 4.5 x 10/sup 3/ colony-forming units (CFU)/ml (CIS DR), 1.5 x 10/sup 4/ CFU/ml (SDHT2), and 5 x 10/sup 5/ CFU/ml (SDHT1) were measured by the transfer of MTX resistance to NIH3T3 cells. The amphotropic SDHT1 virus efficiently induced MTX resistance in cells of several species, including mouse NIH3T3 cells (5 x 10/sup 5/ CFU/ml), monkey CV1 cells (4 x 10/sup 3/ CFU/ml), and human MCF-7 cells (6 x 10/sup 4/ CFU/ml). When cocultured with SDHT1 virus-producing cells, both mouse and human bone marrow cells could be infected and rendered resistant to MTX. Mouse cytotoxic T lymphocytes and mouse helper T lymphocytes can also be made resistant to MTX.

  6. A 19-base pair deletion polymorphism in dihydrofolate reductase is associated with increased unmetabolized folic acid in plasma and decreased red blood cell folate

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) catalyzes the reduction of folic acid to tetrahydrofolate (THF). A 19-bp noncoding deletion allele maps to intron 1, beginning 60 bases from the splice donor site, and has been implicated in neural tube defects and cancer, presumably by influencing folate metabolism. T...

  7. Design and Synthesis of Aryl Ether Inhibitors of the Bacillus Anthracis Enoyl–ACP Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Tipparaju, Suresh K.; Mulhearn, Debbie C.; Klein, Gary M.; Chen, Yufeng; Tapadar, Subhasish; Bishop, Molly H.; Yang, Shuo; Chen, Juan; Ghassemi, Mahmood; Santarsiero, Bernard D.; Cook, James L.; Johlfs, Mary; Mesecar, Andrew D.; Johnson, Michael E.; Kozikowski, Alan P.

    2009-01-01

    The problem of increasing bacterial resistance to the current generation of antibiotics is well documented. This includes such pathogens as methicillin–resistant Staphylococcus aureus and the potential for developing drug–resistant pathogens for use as bioweapons, such as Bacillus anthracis. The biphenyl ether, antibacterial triclosan exhibits broad–spectrum activity and provides a potential scaffold for the development of new, broad–spectrum antibiotics targeting the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway, via inhibition of enoyl–acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR). We have utilized a structure–based approach to develop novel aryl ether analogs of triclosan that target ENR, the product of the FabI gene, from Bacillus anthracis (BaENR). Structure–based design methods were used for the expansion of the compound series including X-ray crystal structure determination, molecular docking, and QSAR methods. Structural modifications were made to both phenyl rings of the 2-phenoxyphenyl core. A number of compounds were derived that exhibited improved potency against BaENR and increased efficacy against both the Sterne strain of B. anthracis and the methicillin–resistant strain of S. aureus. X-ray crystal structures of BaENR in complex with triclosan and two other compounds help explain the improved efficacy of the new compounds and suggest future rounds of optimisation that might be used to improve their potency. PMID:18663709

  8. UV radiation facilitates methotrexate resistance and amplification of the dihydrofolate reductase gene in cultured 3T6 mouse cells

    SciTech Connect

    Tlsty, T.D.; Brown, P.C.; Schimke, R.T.

    1984-06-01

    Pretreatment of 3T6 murine cells with the carcinogen UV radiation or N-acetoxy-N-acetylaminofluorene increased the number of methotrexate-resistant colonies. This carcinogen-induced enhancement was seen only at low toxicities. The enhancement was transient and was observed at its maximum when cells were subjected to methotrexate selection 12 to 24 h after treatment. The addition of a tumor-promoting agent, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, during or after carcinogen treatment further enhanced this effect. A large proportion of the resistant colonies had an increase in the dihydrofolate reductase gene copy number and the relative proportions of colonies with amplified genes were similar, regardless of whether selected cells were untreated, treated with carcinogen, or treated with carcinogen plus promoter. We discuss some of the variables which both enhance the generation and improve the detection of methotrexate-resistant colonies, as well as certain implications of our results for the generation and mechanism of gene amplification.

  9. Structure-Based Approach to the Development of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of Dihydrofolate Reductase from Cryptosporidium

    PubMed Central

    Bolstad, David B.; Bolstad, Erin S. D.; Frey, Kathleen M.; Wright, Dennis L.; Anderson, Amy C.

    2008-01-01

    Cryptosporidiosis is an emerging infectious disease that can be life-threatening in an immune-compromised individual and causes gastrointestinal distress lasting up to 2 weeks in an immune-competent individual. There are few therapeutics available for effectively treating this disease. We have been exploring dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) as a potential target in Cryptosporidium. On the basis of the structure of the DHFR enzyme from C. hominis, we have developed a novel scaffold that led to the discovery of potent (38 nM) and efficient inhibitors of this enzyme. Recently, we have advanced these inhibitors to the next stage of development. Using the structures of both the protozoal and human enzymes, we have developed inhibitors with nanomolar potency (1.1 nM) against the pathogenic enzyme and high levels (1273-fold) of selectivity over the human enzyme. PMID:18834108

  10. Primary structure of dihydrofolate reductase and mitochondrial ribosomal protein L36 genes from the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus.

    PubMed

    Aimi, Tadanori; Fukuhara, Shoji; Ishiguro, Maki; Kitamoto, Yutaka; Morinaga, Tsutomu

    2004-08-01

    We amplified and sequenced the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene of the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus. Downstream of the DHFR coding region, a mitochondrial (mt) ribosomal protein L36 (RPL36) gene was discovered in the opposite orientation to DHFR gene. Putative polyadenylation signals of the two genes overlapped, both containing the 8-bp palindrome 5'-aatatatt-3'. The finding that C. cinereus DHFR gene is closely clustered with a mt protein gene strongly suggests that C. cinereus DHFR is closely related to mt function and evolution. The amino acid sequence of C. cinereus DHFR is most homologous to eukaryotic proteins such as Cryptococcus neoformans and Pneumocystis carinii DHFRs. However, the sequence of C. cinereus mt RPL36 closely resembles RPL36 of bacteria and cyanobacteria such as Synechocystis sp. and Escherichia coli. This result strongly supports the serial endosymbiotic theory of the development of ancestral eukaryotes, and suggests that C. cinereus mt RPL36 gene originated from the ancestral eubacterial genome. PMID:15620217

  11. Design and Synthesis of 2-Pyridones as Novel Inhibitors of the Bacillus Anthracis Enoyl–ACP Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Tipparaju, Suresh K.; Joyasawal, Sipak; Forrester, Sara; Mulhearn, Debbie C.; Pegan, Scott; Johnson, Michael E.; Mesecar, Andrew D.; Kozikowski, Alan P.

    2008-01-01

    Enoyl-ACP reductase (ENR), the product of the FabI gene, from Bacillus anthracis (BaENR) is responsible for catalyzing the final step of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. A number of novel 2-pyridone derivatives were synthesized and shown to be potent inhibitors of BaENR. PMID:18499454

  12. Toward resolving the catalytic mechanism of dihydrofolate reductase using neutron and ultrahigh-resolution X-ray crystallography [Neutron and ultrahigh resolution X-ray crystallography reveals water as the proton donor in the catalytic mechanism of dihydrofolate reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Qun; Bennett, Brad C.; Wilson, Mark A.; Kovalevsky, Andrey; Langan, Paul; Howell, Elizabeth E.; Dealwis, Chris

    2014-12-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of dihydrofolate (DHF) to tetrahydrofolate (THF). An important step in the mechanism involves proton donation to the N5 atom of DHF. The inability to determine the protonation states of active site residues and substrate has led to the lack of consensus on a catalytic mechanism. To resolve this ambiguity, we conducted neutron and ultrahigh resolution X-ray crystallographic studies of the pseudo-Michaelis ternary complex of DHFR with folate and NADP+ from E. coli. The neutron data were collected to 2.0 Å resolution using a 3.6 mm3 crystal with the quasi-Laue technique, and the structure reveals that the N3 atom of folate is protonated while Asp27 is negatively charged. Previous mechanisms have proposed a keto-to-enol tautomerization of the substrate to facilitate protonation of the N5 atom. The structure supports the existence of the keto tautomer due to protonation of the N3 atom, suggesting tautomerization is unnecessary for catalysis. In the 1.05 Å resolution X-ray structure of the ternary complex, conformational disorder of the Met20 side chain is coupled to electron density for a partially occupied water within hydrogen-bonding distance of the N5 atom of folate; this suggests direct protonation of substrate by solvent. We propose a catalytic mechanism for DHFR that involves stabilization of the keto tautomer of the substrate, elevation of the pKa of the N5 atom of DHF by Asp27, and protonation of N5 by water whose access to the active site is gated by fluctuation of the Met20 side chain even though the Met-20 loop is closed.

  13. Toward resolving the catalytic mechanism of dihydrofolate reductase using neutron and ultrahigh-resolution X-ray crystallography [Neutron and ultrahigh resolution X-ray crystallography reveals water as the proton donor in the catalytic mechanism of dihydrofolate reductase

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wan, Qun; Bennett, Brad C.; Wilson, Mark A.; Kovalevsky, Andrey; Langan, Paul; Howell, Elizabeth E.; Dealwis, Chris

    2014-12-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of dihydrofolate (DHF) to tetrahydrofolate (THF). An important step in the mechanism involves proton donation to the N5 atom of DHF. The inability to determine the protonation states of active site residues and substrate has led to the lack of consensus on a catalytic mechanism. To resolve this ambiguity, we conducted neutron and ultrahigh resolution X-ray crystallographic studies of the pseudo-Michaelis ternary complex of DHFR with folate and NADP+ from E. coli. The neutron data were collected to 2.0 Å resolution using a 3.6 mm3 crystal with the quasi-Laue technique, and the structuremore » reveals that the N3 atom of folate is protonated while Asp27 is negatively charged. Previous mechanisms have proposed a keto-to-enol tautomerization of the substrate to facilitate protonation of the N5 atom. The structure supports the existence of the keto tautomer due to protonation of the N3 atom, suggesting tautomerization is unnecessary for catalysis. In the 1.05 Å resolution X-ray structure of the ternary complex, conformational disorder of the Met20 side chain is coupled to electron density for a partially occupied water within hydrogen-bonding distance of the N5 atom of folate; this suggests direct protonation of substrate by solvent. We propose a catalytic mechanism for DHFR that involves stabilization of the keto tautomer of the substrate, elevation of the pKa of the N5 atom of DHF by Asp27, and protonation of N5 by water whose access to the active site is gated by fluctuation of the Met20 side chain even though the Met-20 loop is closed.« less

  14. Virtual screening, docking, and dynamics of potential new inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase from Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Bastos, Leonardo da Costa; de Souza, Felipe Rodrigues; Guimarães, Ana Paula; Sirouspour, Mehdi; Cuya Guizado, Teobaldo Ricardo; Forgione, Pat; Ramalho, Teodorico Castro; França, Tanos Celmar Costa

    2016-10-01

    In the present work, we propose to design drugs that target the enzyme dihydrofolate redutase (DHFR) as a means of a novel drug therapy against plague. Potential inhibitors of DHFR from Yersinia pestis (YpDHFR) were selected by virtual screening and subjected to docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and Poisson-Boltzmann surface area method, in order to evaluate their interactions in the active sites of YpDHFR and human DHFR (HssDHFR). The results suggested selectivity for three compounds that were further used to propose the structures of six new potential selective inhibitors for YpDHFR. PMID:26494420

  15. Toward resolving the catalytic mechanism of dihydrofolate reductase using neutron and ultrahigh-resolution X-ray crystallography.

    PubMed

    Wan, Qun; Bennett, Brad C; Wilson, Mark A; Kovalevsky, Andrey; Langan, Paul; Howell, Elizabeth E; Dealwis, Chris

    2014-12-23

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of dihydrofolate (DHF) to tetrahydrofolate (THF). An important step in the mechanism involves proton donation to the N5 atom of DHF. The inability to determine the protonation states of active site residues and substrate has led to a lack of consensus regarding the catalytic mechanism involved. To resolve this ambiguity, we conducted neutron and ultrahigh-resolution X-ray crystallographic studies of the pseudo-Michaelis ternary complex of Escherichia coli DHFR with folate and NADP(+). The neutron data were collected to 2.0-Å resolution using a 3.6-mm(3) crystal with the quasi-Laue technique. The structure reveals that the N3 atom of folate is protonated, whereas Asp27 is negatively charged. Previous mechanisms have proposed a keto-to-enol tautomerization of the substrate to facilitate protonation of the N5 atom. The structure supports the existence of the keto tautomer owing to protonation of the N3 atom, suggesting that tautomerization is unnecessary for catalysis. In the 1.05-Å resolution X-ray structure of the ternary complex, conformational disorder of the Met20 side chain is coupled to electron density for a partially occupied water within hydrogen-bonding distance of the N5 atom of folate; this suggests direct protonation of substrate by solvent. We propose a catalytic mechanism for DHFR that involves stabilization of the keto tautomer of the substrate, elevation of the pKa value of the N5 atom of DHF by Asp27, and protonation of N5 by water that gains access to the active site through fluctuation of the Met20 side chain even though the Met20 loop is closed. PMID:25453083

  16. Toward resolving the catalytic mechanism of dihydrofolate reductase using neutron and ultrahigh-resolution X-ray crystallography

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Qun; Bennett, Brad C.; Wilson, Mark A.; Kovalevsky, Andrey; Langan, Paul; Howell, Elizabeth E.; Dealwis, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of dihydrofolate (DHF) to tetrahydrofolate (THF). An important step in the mechanism involves proton donation to the N5 atom of DHF. The inability to determine the protonation states of active site residues and substrate has led to a lack of consensus regarding the catalytic mechanism involved. To resolve this ambiguity, we conducted neutron and ultrahigh-resolution X-ray crystallographic studies of the pseudo-Michaelis ternary complex of Escherichia coli DHFR with folate and NADP+. The neutron data were collected to 2.0-Å resolution using a 3.6-mm3 crystal with the quasi-Laue technique. The structure reveals that the N3 atom of folate is protonated, whereas Asp27 is negatively charged. Previous mechanisms have proposed a keto-to-enol tautomerization of the substrate to facilitate protonation of the N5 atom. The structure supports the existence of the keto tautomer owing to protonation of the N3 atom, suggesting that tautomerization is unnecessary for catalysis. In the 1.05-Å resolution X-ray structure of the ternary complex, conformational disorder of the Met20 side chain is coupled to electron density for a partially occupied water within hydrogen-bonding distance of the N5 atom of folate; this suggests direct protonation of substrate by solvent. We propose a catalytic mechanism for DHFR that involves stabilization of the keto tautomer of the substrate, elevation of the pKa value of the N5 atom of DHF by Asp27, and protonation of N5 by water that gains access to the active site through fluctuation of the Met20 side chain even though the Met20 loop is closed. PMID:25453083

  17. Structural comparison of chromosomal and exogenous dihydrofolate reductase from Staphylococcus aureus in complex with the potent inhibitor trimethoprim

    SciTech Connect

    Heaslet, Holly; Harris, Melissa; Fahnoe, Kelly; Sarver, Ronald; Putz, Henry; Chang, Jeanne; Subramanyam, Chakrapani; Barreiro, Gabriela; Miller, J. Richard; Pfizer

    2010-09-02

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is the enzyme responsible for the NADPH-dependent reduction of 5,6-dihydrofolate to 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolate, an essential cofactor in the synthesis of purines, thymidylate, methionine, and other key metabolites. Because of its importance in multiple cellular functions, DHFR has been the subject of much research targeting the enzyme with anticancer, antibacterial, and antimicrobial agents. Clinically used compounds targeting DHFR include methotrexate for the treatment of cancer and diaminopyrimidines (DAPs) such as trimethoprim (TMP) for the treatment of bacterial infections. DAP inhibitors of DHFR have been used clinically for >30 years and resistance to these agents has become widespread. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the causative agent of many serious nosocomial and community acquired infections, and other gram-positive organisms can show resistance to DAPs through mutation of the chromosomal gene or acquisition of an alternative DHFR termed 'S1 DHFR.' To develop new therapies for health threats such as MRSA, it is important to understand the molecular basis of DAP resistance. Here, we report the crystal structure of the wild-type chromosomal DHFR from S. aureus in complex with NADPH and TMP. We have also solved the structure of the exogenous, TMP resistant S1 DHFR, apo and in complex with TMP. The structural and thermodynamic data point to important molecular differences between the two enzymes that lead to dramatically reduced affinity of DAPs to S1 DHFR. These differences in enzyme binding affinity translate into reduced antibacterial activity against strains of S. aureus that express S1 DHFR.

  18. Biosynthetic incorporation of telluromethionine into dihydrofolate reductase and crystallographic analysis of the distribution of tellurium atoms in the protein molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Kunkle, M.G.; Lewinski, K.; Boles, J.O.; Dunlap, R.B.; Odom, J.D.; Lebioda, L.

    1994-12-01

    Recent successes in crystallographic studies of proteins with methionine (Met) residues replaced with SeMet, pioneered by Hendrickson and coworkers, inspired us to replace Met with TeMet in Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). E. coli DHFR, which catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of dihydrofolate to tetrahydrofolate, consists of 159 residues, 5 of which are Met. TeMet was incorporated into DHFR using the Met auxotroph, E. coli DL41, carrying the expression vector pWT8 with an IPTG inducible promoter and ampicillin resistance gene. The enzyme was purified by successive chromatography on Q-Sepharose and PHenyl Sepharose resins, yielding milligram quantities of homogeneous enzyme with a specific activity of 40 units/mg. TeMet DHFR exhibits kinetic properties similar to those of wt DHFR. Amino acid analysis indicated 3 authentic Met residues in TeMet DHFR, whereas atomic absorption spectroscopy detected 2 Te per protein molecule. Amino acid sequence analysis results suggested that only authentic Met was present in the first three Met positions (1,16,and 20). Crystals of Te-DHFR were grown in the presence of methotrexate from PEG 4000 and were isomorphous with wt-DHFR crystals grown from ethanol. Difference Fourier maps and restrained least-squares refinement show very little, if any, Te in the first three Met positions: Met{sup 1}, Met{sup 16}, and Met{sup 20}, whereas the occupancy of Te in positions 42 and 92 is 0.64. Apparently, the process of folding, subsequent purification, and crystallization select DHFR molecules with Te in Met{sup 42} and Met{sup 92}. Replacing Met with TeMet provides an internal probe that should facilitate structural and mechanistic studies of proteins.

  19. Semiquinone-induced Maturation of Bacillus anthracis Ribonucleotide Reductase by a Superoxide Intermediate*

    PubMed Central

    Berggren, Gustav; Duraffourg, Nicolas; Sahlin, Margareta; Sjöberg, Britt-Marie

    2014-01-01

    Ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) catalyze the conversion of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides, and represent the only de novo pathway to provide DNA building blocks. Three different classes of RNR are known, denoted I-III. Class I RNRs are heteromeric proteins built up by α and β subunits and are further divided into different subclasses, partly based on the metal content of the β-subunit. In subclass Ib RNR the β-subunit is denoted NrdF, and harbors a manganese-tyrosyl radical cofactor. The generation of this cofactor is dependent on a flavodoxin-like maturase denoted NrdI, responsible for the formation of an active oxygen species suggested to be either a superoxide or a hydroperoxide. Herein we report on the magnetic properties of the manganese-tyrosyl radical cofactor of Bacillus anthracis NrdF and the redox properties of B. anthracis NrdI. The tyrosyl radical in NrdF is stabilized through its interaction with a ferromagnetically coupled manganese dimer. Moreover, we show through a combination of redox titration and protein electrochemistry that in contrast to hitherto characterized NrdIs, the B. anthracis NrdI is stable in its semiquinone form (NrdIsq) with a difference in electrochemical potential of ∼110 mV between the hydroquinone and semiquinone state. The under anaerobic conditions stable NrdIsq is fully capable of generating the oxidized, tyrosyl radical-containing form of Mn-NrdF when exposed to oxygen. This latter observation strongly supports that a superoxide radical is involved in the maturation mechanism, and contradicts the participation of a peroxide species. Additionally, EPR spectra on whole cells revealed that a significant fraction of NrdI resides in its semiquinone form in vivo, underscoring that NrdIsq is catalytically relevant. PMID:25262022

  20. Direct measurement of the pKa of aspartic acid 26 in Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase: implications for the catalytic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Casarotto, M G; Basran, J; Badii, R; Sze, K H; Roberts, G C

    1999-06-22

    The ionization state of aspartate 26 in Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase has been investigated by selectively labeling the enzyme with [13Cgamma] aspartic acid and measuring the 13C chemical shifts in the apo, folate-enzyme, and dihydrofolate-enzyme complexes. Our results indicate that no aspartate residue has a pKa greater than approximately 4.8 in any of the three complexes studied. The resonance of aspartate 26 in the dihydrofolate-enzyme complex has been assigned by site-directed mutagenesis; aspartate 26 is found to have a pKa value of less than 4 in this complex. Such a low pKa value makes it most unlikely that the ionization of this residue is responsible for the observed pH profile of hydride ion transfer [apparent pKa = 6.0; Andrews, J., Fierke, C. A., Birdsall, B., Ostler, G., Feeney, J., Roberts, G. C. K., and Benkovic, S. J. (1989) Biochemistry 28, 5743-5750]. Furthermore, the downfield chemical shift of the Asp 26 (13)Cgamma resonance in the dihydrofolate-enzyme complex provides experimental evidence that the pteridine ring of dihydrofolate is polarized when bound to the enzyme. We propose that this polarization of dihydrofolate acts as the driving force for protonation of the electron-rich O4 atom which occurs in the presence of NADPH. After this protonation of the substrate, a network of hydrogen bonds between O4, N5 and a bound water molecule facilitates transfer of the proton to N5 and transfer of a hydride ion from NADPH to the C6 atom to complete the reduction process. PMID:10387048

  1. Mithramycin inhibits SP1 binding and selectively inhibits transcriptional activity of the dihydrofolate reductase gene in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Blume, S W; Snyder, R C; Ray, R; Thomas, S; Koller, C A; Miller, D M

    1991-01-01

    The promoter of the human dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene contains two consensus binding sites for the DNA binding protein Sp1. DNAse protection and gel mobility shift assays demonstrate binding of recombinant Sp1 to both decanucleotide Sp1 binding sequences which are located 49 and 14 base pairs upstream of the transcription start site. The more distal of the two binding sites exhibits a somewhat higher affinity for Sp1. The G-C specific DNA binding drug, mithramycin, binds to both consensus sequences and prevents subsequent Sp1 binding. Promoter-dependent in vitro transcription of a DHFR template is selectively inhibited by mithramycin when compared to the human H2b histone gene. A similar effect is also noted in vivo. Mithramycin treatment of MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cells containing an amplified DHFR gene induces selective inhibition of DHFR transcription initiation, resulting in a decline in DHFR mRNA level and enzyme activity. This selective inhibition of DHFR expression suggests that it is possible to modulate the overexpression of the DHFR gene in methotrexate resistant cells. Images PMID:1834700

  2. Asymmetric mutations in the tetrameric R67 dihydrofolate reductase reveal high tolerance to active-site substitutions

    PubMed Central

    Ebert, Maximilian C C J C; Morley, Krista L; Volpato, Jordan P; Schmitzer, Andreea R; Pelletier, Joelle N

    2015-01-01

    Type II R67 dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a bacterial plasmid-encoded enzyme that is intrinsically resistant to the widely-administered antibiotic trimethoprim. R67 DHFR is genetically and structurally unrelated to E. coli chromosomal DHFR and has an unusual architecture, in that four identical protomers form a single symmetrical active site tunnel that allows only one substrate binding/catalytic event at any given time. As a result, substitution of an active-site residue has as many as four distinct consequences on catalysis, constituting an atypical model of enzyme evolution. Although we previously demonstrated that no single residue of the native active site is indispensable for function, library selection here revealed a strong bias toward maintenance of two native protomers per mutated tetramer. A variety of such “half-native” tetramers were shown to procure native-like catalytic activity, with similar KM values but kcat values 5- to 33-fold lower, illustrating a high tolerance for active-site substitutions. The selected variants showed a reduced thermal stability (Tm ∼12°C lower), which appears to result from looser association of the protomers, but generally showed a marked increase in resilience to heat denaturation, recovering activity to a significantly greater extent than the variant with no active-site substitutions. Our results suggest that the presence of two native protomers in the R67 DHFR tetramer is sufficient to provide native-like catalytic rate and thus ensure cellular proliferation. PMID:25401264

  3. Simulations of Remote Mutants of Dihydrofolate Reductase Reveal the Nature of a Network of Residues Coupled to Hydride Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Roston, Daniel; Kohen, Amnon; Doron, Dvir; Major, Dan T.

    2014-01-01

    Recent experimental and theoretical studies have proposed that enzymes involve networks of coupled residues throughout the protein that participate in motions accompanying chemical barrier crossing. Here we have examined portions of a proposed network in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) using quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations. The simulations employ a hybrid quantum mechanics-molecular mechanics approach with a recently developed semi-empirical AM1-SRP Hamiltonian that provides accurate results for this reaction. The simulations reproduce experimentally determined catalytic rates for the wild type and distant mutants of E. coli DHFR, underscoring the accuracy of the simulation protocol. Additionally the simulations provide detailed insight into how residues remote from the active site affect the catalyzed chemistry, through changes in the thermally averaged properties along the reaction coordinate. The mutations do not greatly affect the structure of the transition state near the bond activation, but we observe differences somewhat removed from the point of C-H cleavage that affect the rate. The mutations have global effects on the thermally averaged structure that propagate throughout the enzyme and the current simulations highlight several interactions that appear to be particularly important. PMID:24798860

  4. Dihydrofolate reductase: Sequential resonance assignments using 2D and 3D NMR and secondary structure determination in solution

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, M.D.; Birdsall, B.; Jimenez-Barbero, J.; Polshakov, V.I.; McCormick, J.E.; Feeney, J.; Frenkiel, T.A.; Bauer, C.J. ); Roberts, G.C.K. )

    1991-06-25

    Three-dimensional (3D) heteronuclear NMR techniques have been used to make sequential {sup 1}H and {sup 15}H resonance assignments for most of the residues of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), a monomeric protein of molecular mass 18,300 Da. A uniformly {sup 15}N-labeled sample of the protein was prepared and its complex with methotrexate (MTX) studied by 3D {sup 15}N/{sup 1}H nuclear Overhauserheteronuclear multiple quantum coherence (NOESY-HMQC), Harmann-Hahn-heteronuclear multiple quantum coherence (HOHAHA-HMQC), and HMQC-NOESY-HMQC experiments. These experiments overcame most of the spectral overlap problems caused by chemical shift degeneracies in 2D spectra and allowed the {sup 1}H-{sup 1}H through-space and through-bond connectivities to be identified unambiguously, leading to the resonance assignments. The novel HMQC-NOESY-HMQC experiment allows NOE cross peaks to be detected between NH protons even when their {sup 1}H chemical shifts are degenerate as long as the amide {sup 15}N chemical shifts are nondegenerate. The 3D experiments, in combination with conventional 2D NOESY, COSY, and HOHAHA experiments on unlabelled and selectively deuterated DHFR, provide backbone assignments for 146 of the 162 residues and side-chain assignments for 104 residues of the protein. Data from the NOE-based experiments and identification of the slowly exchanging amide protons provide detailed information about the secondary structure of the binary complex of the protein with methotrexate.

  5. Assessment of Folic Acid Supplementation in Pregnant Women by Estimation of Serum Levels of Tetrahydrofolic Acid, Dihydrofolate Reductase, and Homocysteine

    PubMed Central

    Saxena, Vartika; Mirza, Anissa Atif; Kumari, Ranjeeta; Sharma, Kapil; Bharadwaj, Jyoti

    2016-01-01

    Background. Status of folic acid use in pregnant women of the hilly regions in North India was little known. This study was carried out to assess the folic acid use and estimate folate metabolites in pregnant women of this region. Materials and Methods. This cross-sectional study is comprised of 76 pregnant women, whose folic acid supplementation was assessed by a questionnaire and serum levels of homocysteine, tetrahydrofolic acid (THFA), and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) were estimated using Enzyme Linked Immunoassays. Results. The study data revealed awareness of folic acid use during pregnancy was present in 46.1% and 23.7% were taking folic acid supplements. The study depicted that there was no statistically significant difference between serum levels of THFA and DHFR in pregnant women with and without folic acid supplements (p = 0.790). Hyperhomocysteinemia was present in 15.78% of the participants. Conclusion. Less awareness about folic acid supplementation and low use of folic acid by pregnant women were observed in this region. Sufficient dietary ingestion may suffice for the escalated requirements in pregnancy, but since this cannot be ensured, hence folic acid supplementation should be made as an integral part of education and reproductive health programs for its better metabolic use, growth, and development of fetus. PMID:27064332

  6. Gene-Nutrient Interaction between Folate and Dihydrofolate Reductase in Risk for Adenomatous Polyp Occurrence: A Preliminary Report.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeong-hwa; Yates, Zoe; Martin, Charlotte; Boyd, Lyndell; Ng, Xiaowei; Skinner, Virginia; Wai, Ron; Veysey, Martin; Lucock, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Folate and related gene variants are significant risk factors in the aetiology of colorectal cancer. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is critical in the metabolism of synthetic folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamatamic, PteGlu) to tetrahydrofolate following absorption. Therefore, the 19bp deletion variant of DHFR may lead to the alteration of folate-related colorectal disease susceptibility. This study examined the association between PteGlu and 19bp del-DHFR, and adenomatous polyp (AP) occurrence, an antecedent of colorectal cancer. A total of 199 subjects (162 controls and 37 AP cases) were analysed to determine dietary intake of total folate, natural methylfolate and synthetic PteGlu, level of erythrocyte folate and plasma homocysteine (tHcy), and genotype of 19bp del-DHFR. Dietary folate intake, erythrocyte folate, tHcy and 19bp del-DHFR variants did not independently predict the occurrence of AP. However, a gene-nutrient interaction was observed when subjects were stratified according to dietary folate intake. In subjects with a folate intake above the median value due to significant dietary PteGlu content, the presence of the 19bp-deletion allele decreased the risk for AP (OR=0.35, 95% CI: 0.13-0.97). However, such association was not evident in individuals with a folate intake below the median value. In conclusion, the finding suggests that folate nutrition and 19bp del-DHFR variation may interact to modify AP risk. PMID:26875486

  7. The role of enzyme dynamics and tunnelling in catalysing hydride transfer: studies of distal mutants of dihydrofolate reductase

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Lin; Goodey, Nina M; Benkovic, Stephen J; Kohen, Amnon

    2006-01-01

    Residues M42 and G121 of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (ecDHFR) are on opposite sides of the catalytic centre (15 and 19 Å away from it, respectively). Theoretical studies have suggested that these distal residues might be part of a dynamics network coupled to the reaction catalysed at the active site. The ecDHFR mutant G121V has been extensively studied and appeared to have a significant effect on rate, but only a mild effect on the nature of H-transfer. The present work examines the effect of M42W on the physical nature of the catalysed hydride transfer step. Intrinsic kinetic isotope effects (KIEs), their temperature dependence and activation parameters were studied. The findings presented here are in accordance with the environmentally coupled hydrogen tunnelling. In contrast to the wild-type (WT), fluctuations of the donor–acceptor distance were required, leading to a significant temperature dependence of KIEs and deflated intercepts. A comparison of M42W and G121V to the WT enzyme revealed that the reduced rates, the inflated primary KIEs and their temperature dependences resulted from an imperfect potential surface pre-arrangement relative to the WT enzyme. Apparently, the coupling of the enzyme's dynamics to the reaction coordinate was altered by the mutation, supporting the models in which dynamics of the whole protein is coupled to its catalysed chemistry. PMID:16873118

  8. Preparation, biological evaluation and molecular docking study of imidazolyl dihydropyrimidines as potential Mycobacterium tuberculosis dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Desai, N C; Trivedi, A R; Khedkar, Vijay M

    2016-08-15

    A series of novel dihydropyrimidine derivatives bearing an imidazole nucleus at C-4 position were synthesized in excellent yields via Biginelli multi-component reaction. The newly synthesized compounds were characterized by IR, (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR and Mass spectroscopy. In vitro antitubercular evaluation of all the newly synthesized compounds 4a-p against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) H37Rv showed, 4j (MIC: 0.39μg/mL; SI: >25.64), 4m (MIC: 0.78μg/mL; SI: >12.82) and 4p (MIC: 0.39μg/mL; SI: 24.10) as the most promising lead analogues. Compounds 4j, 4m and 4p displayed effective reduction in residual Mtb growth within the tuberculosis-infected macrophage model. Further, molecular docking study of active molecules 4j, 4m and 4p against Mycobacterium tuberculosis dihydrofolate reductase (Mtb DHFR) proved their potency as Mtb DHFR inhibitors acting as potential leads for further development. Pharmacokinetic properties leading to drug-likeness were also predicted for most active molecules 4j, 4m and 4p. PMID:27397497

  9. Crystal structures of Klebsiella pneumoniae dihydrofolate reductase bound to propargyl-linked antifolates reveal features for potency and selectivity.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Kristen M; Lombardo, Michael N; Alverson, Jeremy; Priestley, Nigel D; Wright, Dennis L; Anderson, Amy C

    2014-12-01

    Resistance to the antibacterial antifolate trimethoprim (TMP) is increasing in members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, driving the design of next-generation antifolates effective against these Gram-negative pathogens. The propargyl-linked antifolates are potent inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductases (DHFR) from several TMP-sensitive and -resistant species, including Klebsiella pneumoniae. Recently, we have determined that these antifolates inhibit the growth of strains of K. pneumoniae, some with MIC values of 1 μg/ml. In order to further the design of potent and selective antifolates against members of the Enterobacteriaceae, we determined the first crystal structures of K. pneumoniae DHFR bound to two of the propargyl-linked antifolates. These structures highlight that interactions with Leu 28, Ile 50, Ile 94, and Leu 54 are necessary for potency; comparison with structures of human DHFR bound to the same inhibitors reveal differences in residues (N64E, P61G, F31L, and V115I) and loop conformations (residues 49 to 53) that may be exploited for selectivity. PMID:25288083

  10. In vivo selection of human embryonic stem cell-derived cells expressing methotrexate-resistant dihydrofolate reductase

    PubMed Central

    Gori, Jennifer L.; Tian, Xinghui; Swanson, Debra; Gunther, Roland; Shultz, Leonard D.; McIvor, R. Scott; Kaufman, Dan S.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) provide a novel source of hematopoietic and other cell populations suitable for gene therapy applications. Preclinical studies to evaluate engraftment of hESC-derived hematopoietic cells transplanted into immunodeficient mice demonstrate only limited repopulation. Expression of a drug resistance gene, such as Tyr22-dihydrofolate reductase (Tyr22-DHFR), coupled to methotrexate (MTX) chemotherapy has the potential to selectively increase engraftment of gene-modified hESC-derived cells in mouse xenografts. Here, we describe the generation of Tyr22-DHFR – GFP expressing hESCs that maintain pluripotency, produce teratomas and can differentiate into MTXr-hemato-endothelial cells. We demonstrate that MTX administered to nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient/IL-2Rγcnull (NSG) mice after injection of Tyr22-DHFR-derived cells significantly increases human CD34+ and CD45+ cell engraftment in the bone marrow (BM) and peripheral blood of transplanted MTX-treated mice. These results demonstrate that MTX treatment supports selective, long-term engraftment of Tyr22-DHFR-cells in vivo, and provides a novel approach for combined human cell and gene therapy. PMID:19829316

  11. Methotrexate supports in vivo selection of human embryonic stem cell derived-hematopoietic cells expressing dihydrofolate reductase

    PubMed Central

    Gori, Jennifer L; McIvor, R Scott

    2010-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (hES Cs) are an attractive alternative cell source for hematopoietic gene therapy applications as the cells are easily modified with lentiviral or other vectors and can be subsequently induced to differentiate into hematopoietic progenitor cells. However, demonstration of the full hematopoietic potential of hESC-derived progeny is challenging due to low marrow engraftment and the difficulty of detecting cells in the peripheral blood of human/mouse xenografts. Methotrexate (MTX) chemotherapy coupled with expression of a drug resistant dihydrofolate reductase such as Tyr22 (Tyr22DHFR) has the potential to selectively increase engraftment of gene-modified human hematopoietic cells in mice, which would allow for better phenotypic characterization of hESC-derived cells in vivo. We showed that hES Cs transduced with Tyr22DHFR-GFP encoding lentivirus vectors differentiate into MTX resistant (MTXr) hemato-endothelial cells. MTX treatment of immunodeficient mice infused with Tyr22DHFR hESC-derived hemato-endothelial cells increased the long-term engraftment of human cells in the bone marrow of MTX-treated mice. In contrast to previous studies, these results indicate that MTX administration has the potential to support in vivo selection that is maintained after cessation of treatment. The MTX/Tyr22DHFR system may therefore be useful for enrichment of gene-modified cell populations in human stem cell and gene therapy applications. PMID:21468213

  12. Survival and risk of relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in a Mexican population is affected by dihydrofolate reductase gene polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    GÓMEZ-GÓMEZ, YAZMÍN; ORGANISTA-NAVA, JORGE; SAAVEDRA-HERRERA, MÓNICA VIRGINIA; RIVERA-RAMÍREZ, ANA BERTHA; TERÁN-PORCAYO, MARCO ANTONIO; DEL CARMEN ALARCÓN-ROMERO, LUZ; ILLADES-AGUIAR, BERENICE; LEYVA-VÁZQUEZ, MARCO ANTONIO

    2012-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is the major target of methotrexate, a key component in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment. Polymorphisms in the gene coding for DHFR have been associated with adverse event treatment. This study evaluated the effect of the -A317G and C829T polymorphisms in the DHFR gene on survival and risk of relapse of ALL. Seventy patients with ALL and 100 healthy individuals were genotyped by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. An association between the polymorphisms and the risk of relapse was found (p<0.05); patients with the -317G/G genotype were found to have an 8.55 (95% CI 1.84–39.70) higher chance of relapse and carriers of the 829T/T genotype had a 14.0 (95% CI 1.13–172.63) higher chance of relapse. Other variables, such as age and leukocyte count, were associated (p<0.05) with the risk of relapse of the disease. Individuals with the G/G and T/T genotype of the -A317G and C829T polymorphisms had poorer survival compared to other genotype groups (log-rank test; p<0.05). Although preliminary, these data seem to suggest a role for the DHFR polymorphisms in the risk of relapse of ALL and the mortality risk in these patients. PMID:22969948

  13. Sulfa and trimethoprim-like drugs - antimetabolites acting as carbonic anhydrase, dihydropteroate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Capasso, Clemente; Supuran, Claudiu T

    2014-06-01

    Recent advances in microbial genomics, synthetic organic chemistry and X-ray crystallography provided opportunities to identify novel antibacterial targets for the development of new classes of antibiotics and to design more potent antimicrobial compounds derived from existing antibiotics in clinical use for decades. The antimetabolites, sulfa drugs and trimethoprim (TMP)-like agents, are inhibitors of three families of enzymes. One family belongs to the carbonic anhydrases, which catalyze a simple but physiologically relevant reaction in all life kingdoms, carbon dioxide hydration to bicarbonate and protons. The other two enzyme families are involved in the synthesis of tetrahydrofolate (THF), i.e. dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) and dihydrofolate reductase. The antibacterial agents belonging to the THF and DHPS inhibitors were developed decades ago and present significant bacterial resistance problems. However, the molecular mechanisms of drug resistance both to sulfa drugs and TMP-like inhibitors were understood in detail only recently, when several X-ray crystal structures of such enzymes in complex with their inhibitors were reported. Here, we revue the state of the art in the field of antibacterials based on inhibitors of these three enzyme families. PMID:23627736

  14. Towards the Understanding of Resistance Mechanisms in Clinically Isolated Trimethoprim-resistant, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Dihydrofolate Reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Frey, K.; Lombardo, M; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2010-01-01

    Resistance to therapeutics such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole has become an increasing problem in strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Clinically isolated trimethoprim-resistant strains reveal a double mutation, H30N/F98Y, in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). In order to develop novel and effective therapeutics against these resistant strains, we evaluated a series of propargyl-linked antifolate lead compounds for inhibition of the mutant enzyme. For the propargyl-linked antifolates, the F98Y mutation generates minimal (between 1.2- and 6-fold) losses of affinity and the H30N mutation generates greater losses (between 2.4- and 48-fold). Conversely, trimethoprim affinity is largely diminished by the F98Y mutation (36-fold) and is not affected by the H30N mutation. In order to elucidate a mechanism of resistance, we determined a crystal structure of a complex of this double mutant with a lead propargyl-linked antifolate. This structure suggests a resistance mechanism consistent both for the propargyl-linked class of antifolates and for trimethoprim that is based on the loss of a conserved water-mediated hydrogen bond.

  15. The effects of differential polyadenylation on expression of the dihydrofolate reductase-encoding gene in Chinese hamster lung cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, H; Hussain, A; Melera, P W

    1995-10-01

    Three differently sized mRNAs are expressed from each of two DHFR (encoding dihydrofolate reductase) alleles present in the Chinese hamster lung (CHL) cell line, DC-3F. The relative abundancy of the transcripts produced from each allele differs dramatically as a result of differential utilization of the multiple poly(A) sites present in the DHFR DHFR gene and a genetic polymorphism located within the third poly(A) signal of one allele. We sought to determine whether such differences in polyadenylation affect the steady-state levels of DHFR and mRNAs expressed from either allele and, in a more general sense, to ask whether differences in 3' end RNA processing in a gene containing multiple poly(A) sites affects the final level of gene expression. An SV40 promoter-based transient expression system producing chimeric cat::DHFR transcripts was developed to regenerate the in vivo mRNA polyadenylation patterns associated with each of the two DHFR alleles. The results demonstrate that the total amount of polyadenylated RNA expressed from each of these constructs in vitro is the same regardless of the differential utilization of the poly(A) signals that occurs between them. Moreover, measurement of the individual turnover rates of the DHFR mRNAs expressed in vivo from each allele, as determined by pulse-chase labeling and actinomycin D inhibition studies, revealed no significant allele-specific differences in transcript half-lives. Finally, measuring the steady-state levels of DHFR poly(A)+ mRNA in parental DC-3F cells demonstrated that both alleles are expressed to the same extent during normal growth. Thus, even though dramatic allele-specific differences in 3' end processing of DHFR transcripts occur in vivo, such differences do not appear to influence the steady-state levels of DHFR gene expression. PMID:7590264

  16. Folding trajectories of human dihydrofolate reductase inside the GroEL GroES chaperonin cavity and free in solution.

    PubMed

    Horst, Reto; Fenton, Wayne A; Englander, S Walter; Wüthrich, Kurt; Horwich, Arthur L

    2007-12-26

    The chaperonin GroEL binds non-native polypeptides in an open ring via hydrophobic contacts and then, after ATP and GroES binding to the same ring as polypeptide, mediates productive folding in the now hydrophilic, encapsulated cis chamber. The nature of the folding reaction in the cis cavity remains poorly understood. In particular, it is unclear whether polypeptides take the same route to the native state in this cavity as they do when folding spontaneously free in solution. Here, we have addressed this question by using NMR measurements of the time course of acquisition of amide proton exchange protection of human dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) during folding in the presence of methotrexate and ATP either free in solution or inside the stable cavity formed between a single ring variant of GroEL, SR1, and GroES. Recovery of DHFR refolded by the SR1/GroES-mediated reaction is 2-fold higher than in the spontaneous reaction. Nevertheless, DHFR folding was found to proceed by the same trajectories inside the cis folding chamber and free in solution. These observations are consistent with the description of the chaperonin chamber as an "Anfinsen cage" where polypeptide folding is determined solely by the amino acid sequence, as it is in solution. However, if misfolding occurs in the confinement of the chaperonin cavity, the polypeptide chain cannot undergo aggregation but rather finds its way back to a productive pathway in a manner that cannot be accomplished in solution, resulting in the observed high overall recovery. PMID:18093916

  17. Structure and dynamics in solution of the complex of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase with the new lipophilic antifolate drug trimetrexate.

    PubMed

    Polshakov, V I; Birdsall, B; Frenkiel, T A; Gargaro, A R; Feeney, J

    1999-03-01

    We have determined the three-dimensional solution structure of the complex of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase and the anticancer drug trimetrexate. Two thousand seventy distance, 345 dihedral angle, and 144 hydrogen bond restraints were obtained from analysis of multidimensional NMR spectra recorded for complexes containing 15N-labeled protein. Simulated annealing calculations produced a family of 22 structures fully consistent with the constraints. Several intermolecular protein-ligand NOEs were obtained by using a novel approach monitoring temperature effects of NOE signals resulting from dynamic processes in the bound ligand. At low temperature (5 degrees C) the trimethoxy ring of bound trimetrexate is flipping sufficiently slowly to give narrow signals in slow exchange, which give good NOE cross peaks. At higher temperature these broaden and their NOE cross peaks disappear thus allowing the signals in the lower-temperature spectrum to be identified as NOEs involving ligand protons. The binding site for trimetrexate is well defined and this was compared with the binding sites in related complexes formed with methotrexate and trimethoprim. No major conformational differences were detected between the different complexes. The 2,4-diaminopyrimidine-containing moieties in the three drugs bind essentially in the same binding pocket and the remaining parts of their molecules adapt their conformations such that they can make effective van der Waals interactions with essentially the same set of hydrophobic amino acids, the side-chain orientations and local conformations of which are not greatly changed in the different complexes (similar chi1 and chi2 values). PMID:10091649

  18. Identification and characterization of a gene that is coamplified with dihydrofolate reductase in a methotrexate-resistant CHO cell line

    SciTech Connect

    Foreman, P.K.; Hamlin, J.L. . School of Medicine)

    1989-03-01

    As part of an effort to characterize the spatial and functional relationships among genetic elements within the amplified dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) domain in Chinese hamster cells, the authors have used a variation of the differential hybridization approach to identify cDNA clones whose genes are coamplified with DHFR in the methotrexate-resistant cell line, CHOC 400. Their initial screen was successful in isolating both DHFR and non-DHFR cDNAs. One of the non-DHFR cDNA clones, 2BE2121, hybridizes on Northern (RNA) blots to abundant 1,200- and 1,500-nucleotide (nt) transcripts which differ in the lengths of their 3' untranslated regions. The clone 2BE2121 contains a 789-nt open reading frame but does not appear to be related to any members of the protein or nucleic acid sequence databases. A second larger non-DHFR cDNA, II-19-211, was isolated that is transcribed from the same gene as 2BE2121 but contains only a small carboxyl-terminal portion of the open reading frame. II-19-211 may, therefore, represent either a splicing intermediate or an mRNA transcribed from a cryptic intragenic promoter. Hybridization to cosmids from DHFr domain shows that 2BE2121 is encoded by a gene --34 kilobases (kb) long. The 5'-most genomic fragment is less than 4 kb from an interamplicon injection. The 3' end of the 2BE2121 gene lies --75 kb downstream from the DHFR gene and --25 kb downstream from the proximal replication initiation site, and the transcriptional polarity is opposite to that of the leading strand of replication. Thus, both the DHFR and 2BE2121 genes are exceptions to the theory that transcription proceeds in the same direction as the leading strand of the replication fork.

  19. NMR studies of differences in the conformations and dynamics of ligand complexes formed with mutant dihydrofolate reductases

    SciTech Connect

    Birdsall, B.; Andrews, J.; Ostler, G.; Tendler, S.J.B.; Feeney, J.; Roberts, G.C.K.; Davies, R.W.; Cheung, H.T.A. )

    1989-02-07

    Two mutants of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase, Trp 21 {yields} Leu and Asp 26 {yields} Glu, have been prepared by using site-directed mutagenesis methods, and their ligand binding and structural properties have been compared with those of the wild-type enzyme. {sup 1}H, {sup 13}C, and {sup 31}P NMR studies have been carried out to characterize the structural changes in the complexes of the mutant and wild-type enzymes. Replacement of the conserved Trp 21 by a Leu residue causes a decrease in activity of the enzyme and reduces the NADPH binding constant by a factor of 400. The binding of substrates and substrate analogues is only slightly affected. {sup 1}H NMR studies of the Trp 21 {yields} Leu enzyme complexes have confirmed the original resonance assignments for Trp 21. In complexes formed with methotrexate and the mutant enzyme, the results indicate some small changes in conformation occurring as much as 14 {angstrom} away from the site of substitution. For the enzyme-NADPH complexes, the chemical shifts of nuclei in the bound coenzyme indicate that the nicotinamide ring binds differently in complexes with the mutant and the wild-type enzyme. There are complexes where the wild-type enzyme has been shown to exist in solution as a mixture of conformations, and studies on the corresponding complexes with the Trp 21 {yields} Leu mutant indicate that the delicately poised equilibria can be perturbed. Some conformational adjustments are required to allow the carboxylate of Glu 26 to bind effectively to the N1 proton of inhibitors such as methotrexate and trimethoprim.

  20. Structure and dynamics in solution of the complex of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase with the new lipophilic antifolate drug trimetrexate.

    PubMed Central

    Polshakov, V. I.; Birdsall, B.; Frenkiel, T. A.; Gargaro, A. R.; Feeney, J.

    1999-01-01

    We have determined the three-dimensional solution structure of the complex of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase and the anticancer drug trimetrexate. Two thousand seventy distance, 345 dihedral angle, and 144 hydrogen bond restraints were obtained from analysis of multidimensional NMR spectra recorded for complexes containing 15N-labeled protein. Simulated annealing calculations produced a family of 22 structures fully consistent with the constraints. Several intermolecular protein-ligand NOEs were obtained by using a novel approach monitoring temperature effects of NOE signals resulting from dynamic processes in the bound ligand. At low temperature (5 degrees C) the trimethoxy ring of bound trimetrexate is flipping sufficiently slowly to give narrow signals in slow exchange, which give good NOE cross peaks. At higher temperature these broaden and their NOE cross peaks disappear thus allowing the signals in the lower-temperature spectrum to be identified as NOEs involving ligand protons. The binding site for trimetrexate is well defined and this was compared with the binding sites in related complexes formed with methotrexate and trimethoprim. No major conformational differences were detected between the different complexes. The 2,4-diaminopyrimidine-containing moieties in the three drugs bind essentially in the same binding pocket and the remaining parts of their molecules adapt their conformations such that they can make effective van der Waals interactions with essentially the same set of hydrophobic amino acids, the side-chain orientations and local conformations of which are not greatly changed in the different complexes (similar chi1 and chi2 values). PMID:10091649

  1. Critical Role for Tetrahydrobiopterin Recycling by Dihydrofolate Reductase in Regulation of Endothelial Nitric-oxide Synthase Coupling

    PubMed Central

    Crabtree, Mark J.; Tatham, Amy L.; Hale, Ashley B.; Alp, Nicholas J.; Channon, Keith M.

    2009-01-01

    Tetrahyrobiopterin (BH4) is a required cofactor for the synthesis of nitric oxide by endothelial nitric-oxide synthase (eNOS), and BH4 bioavailability within the endothelium is a critical factor in regulating the balance between NO and superoxide production by eNOS (eNOS coupling). BH4 levels are determined by the activity of GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH), the rate-limiting enzyme in de novo BH4 biosynthesis. However, BH4 levels may also be influenced by oxidation, forming 7,8-dihydrobiopterin (BH2), which promotes eNOS uncoupling. Conversely, dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) can regenerate BH4 from BH2, but the functional importance of DHFR in maintaining eNOS coupling remains unclear. We investigated the role of DHFR in regulating BH4 versus BH2 levels in endothelial cells and in cell lines expressing eNOS combined with tet-regulated GTPCH expression in order to compare the effects of low or high levels of de novo BH4 biosynthesis. Pharmacological inhibition of DHFR activity by methotrexate or genetic knockdown of DHFR protein by RNA interference reduced intracellular BH4 and increased BH2 levels resulting in enzymatic uncoupling of eNOS, as indicated by increased eNOS-dependent superoxide but reduced NO production. In contrast to the decreased BH4:BH2 ratio induced by DHFR knockdown, GTPCH knockdown greatly reduced total biopterin levels but with no change in BH4:BH2 ratio. In cells expressing eNOS with low biopterin levels, DHFR inhibition or knockdown further diminished the BH4:BH2 ratio and exacerbated eNOS uncoupling. Taken together, these data reveal a key role for DHFR in eNOS coupling by maintaining the BH4:BH2 ratio, particularly in conditions of low total biopterin availability. PMID:19666465

  2. Mutant dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase genes in pyrimethamine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum with polymorphic chromosome duplications.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, M; Gu, H M; Bzik, D J; Li, W B; Inselburg, J

    1990-08-01

    We have identified dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene point mutations and chromosomal changes in pyrimethamine-resistant mutants selected in vitro of Plasmodium falciparum strain FCR3. A pyrimethamine-resistant derivative of the pyrimethamine-sensitive strain FCR3, FCR3-D8, that had been grown in the absence of pyrimethamine for an extended time, was grown in two concentrations of pyrimethamine, and surviving drug-resistant parasites were subcloned. One selected mutant, FCR3-D81, that grew at 1 X 10(-6) M pyrimethamine, contained a single point mutation in the DHFR domain which caused an amino acid change (Phe to Ser) at amino acid 223, whereas another mutant, FCR3-D85, that grew at 5 X 10(-6) M pyrimethamine had that same mutation and an additional point mutation that changed amino acid 54 (Asp to Asn). The selection of FCR3-D85, whose nucleotide sequence was identical to that previously reported for FCR3-D8, confirmed that the original FCR3-D8 parasite population had changed during extended growth in vitro in the absence of drug pressure. FCR3-D81 and FCR3-D85 cells contained different pairs of polymorphic chromosomes that hybridized to a DHFR-TS probe as well as to three other chromosome 4 specific DNAs, indicating that at least part of chromosome 4 had been duplicated and that these parasites were aneuploid with 15 rather than 14 chromosomes. The mutant DHFR-TS genes were diploid. We consider the roles of the polymorphic chromosome duplications and DHFR point mutation(s) as causes of pyrimethamine resistance. PMID:2233901

  3. In vivo protection of activated Tyr22-dihydrofolate reductase gene-modified canine T lymphocytes from methotrexate

    PubMed Central

    Gori, Jennifer L.; Beard, Brian C.; Williams, Nathaniel P.; Ironside, Christina; Swanson, Debra; McIvor, R. Scott; Kiem, HP

    2013-01-01

    Background Nonmyeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation can cure malignant and nonmalignant diseases affecting the hematopoietic system, such as severe combined immunodeficiencies, aplastic anemia and hemoglobinopathies. Although nonmyeloablative is favored over myeloablative transplantation for many patients, graft rejection remains problematic. One strategy to decrease rejection is to protect donor activated T cells in the graft from methotrexate (MTX) by genetically modifying the cells to express MTX-resistant dihydrofolate reductase (Tyr22-DHFR), leaving the immunosuppressive effects of MTX to act solely on activated host T lymphocytes, shifting the balance to favor allogeneic engraftment. Methods To evaluate MTX resistance of Tyr22-DHFR+ T lymphocytes in vivo, we transplanted dogs with autologous CD34+ cells modified with YFP and DHFR-GFP lentivirus vectors. Dogs were then treated with a standard MTX regimen (days 1, 3, 6, and 11) following immune activation with a foreign antigen as a surrogate assay to mimic early transplantation. Results DHFR-GFP+ gene marking was maintained in CD3+CD25+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes after MTX treatment while the level of T lymphocytes that expressed only a fluorescent reporter (YFP+) decreased. These data show that Tyr22-DHFR expression protects T lymphocytes from MTX toxicity in dogs, highlighting a clinically relevant application for preserving donor T lymphocytes during post transplantation immunosuppression. Conclusions These findings have implications for clinical translation of MTX-resistant T cells to facilitate engraftment of allogeneic cells following nonmyeloablative conditioning and minimize the risk of rejection. In summary, Tyr22-DHFR expression in T lymphocytes provides chemoprotection from MTX-mediated elimination in the context of immune activation in vivo. PMID:23666780

  4. Trypanosoma brucei DHFR-TS Revisited: Characterisation of a Bifunctional and Highly Unstable Recombinant Dihydrofolate Reductase-Thymidylate Synthase.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Marc W; Dewar, Simon; Ong, Han B; Sienkiewicz, Natasha; Fairlamb, Alan H

    2016-05-01

    Bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) is a chemically and genetically validated target in African trypanosomes, causative agents of sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle. Here we report the kinetic properties and sensitivity of recombinant enzyme to a range of lipophilic and classical antifolate drugs. The purified recombinant enzyme, expressed as a fusion protein with elongation factor Ts (Tsf) in ThyA- Escherichia coli, retains DHFR activity, but lacks any TS activity. TS activity was found to be extremely unstable (half-life of 28 s) following desalting of clarified bacterial lysates to remove small molecules. Stability could be improved 700-fold by inclusion of dUMP, but not by other pyrimidine or purine (deoxy)-nucleosides or nucleotides. Inclusion of dUMP during purification proved insufficient to prevent inactivation during the purification procedure. Methotrexate and trimetrexate were the most potent inhibitors of DHFR (Ki 0.1 and 0.6 nM, respectively) and FdUMP and nolatrexed of TS (Ki 14 and 39 nM, respectively). All inhibitors showed a marked drop-off in potency of 100- to 1,000-fold against trypanosomes grown in low folate medium lacking thymidine. The most potent inhibitors possessed a terminal glutamate moiety suggesting that transport or subsequent retention by polyglutamylation was important for biological activity. Supplementation of culture medium with folate markedly antagonised the potency of these folate-like inhibitors, as did thymidine in the case of the TS inhibitors raltitrexed and pemetrexed. PMID:27175479

  5. Protein isotope effects in dihydrofolate reductase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus show entropic-enthalpic compensatory effects on the rate constant.

    PubMed

    Luk, Louis Y P; Ruiz-Pernía, J Javier; Dawson, William M; Loveridge, E Joel; Tuñón, Iñaki; Moliner, Vicent; Allemann, Rudolf K

    2014-12-10

    Catalysis by dihydrofolate reductase from the moderately thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus stearothermophilus (BsDHFR) was investigated by isotope substitution of the enzyme. The enzyme kinetic isotope effect for hydride transfer was close to unity at physiological temperatures but increased with decreasing temperatures to a value of 1.65 at 5 °C. This behavior is opposite to that observed for DHFR from Escherichia coli (EcDHFR), where the enzyme kinetic isotope effect increased slightly with increasing temperature. These experimental results were reproduced in the framework of variational transition-state theory that includes a dynamical recrossing coefficient that varies with the mass of the protein. Our simulations indicate that BsDHFR has greater flexibility than EcDHFR on the ps-ns time scale, which affects the coupling of the environmental motions of the protein to the chemical coordinate and consequently to the recrossing trajectories on the reaction barrier. The intensity of the dynamic coupling in DHFRs is influenced by compensatory temperature-dependent factors, namely the enthalpic barrier needed to achieve an ideal transition-state configuration with minimal nonproductive trajectories and the protein disorder that disrupts the electrostatic preorganization required to stabilize the transition state. Together with our previous studies of other DHFRs, the results presented here provide a general explanation why protein dynamic effects vary between enzymes. Our theoretical treatment demonstrates that these effects can be satisfactorily reproduced by including a transmission coefficient in the rate constant calculation, whose dependence on temperature is affected by the protein flexibility. PMID:25396728

  6. 6,7-disubstituted 2,4-diaminopteridines: novel inhibitors of Pneumocystis carinii and Toxoplasma gondii dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, H C; Biggadike, K; McKilligin, E; Kinsman, O S; Queener, S F; Lane, A; Smith, J E

    1996-01-01

    Four novel, disubstituted diaminopteridines have been identified which antagonize the uptake of a folate precursor (para-aminobenzoic acid) by rat-derived Pneumocystis carinii maintained in short-term axenic culture at concentrations ranging from 4.5 to 26 microM. The compounds were at least 10 to 100 times more active than trimethoprim in this assay. None of these entities exhibited toxicity to mammalian cell lines at < 100 microM. The same structures also caused significant inhibition of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoite replication within Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10 microM. Three of the structures (GR92754, AH10639, and AH2504) were at least an order of magnitude more potent than the standard anti-T. gondii agent, pyrimethamine. All three entities were also significantly more potent and selective than pyrimethamine as inhibitors of T. gondii dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), with 50% inhibitory concentrations within the range of 0.018 to 0.033 microM. One of these compounds, 6,7-dibutyl-2,4-diaminopteridine (GR92754), was also a potent and selective inhibitor of P. carinii DHFR (50% inhibitory concentration, 0.082 microM). GR92754 is the first DHFR inhibitor described that exhibits greater potency, selectivity, and intracellular activity against both organisms than any of the DHFR agents used clinically, namely, trimethoprim, pyrimethamine, and trimetrexate. This information could provide the starting point for examination of the pharmacokinetic and therapeutic potential of GR92754 and related chemical entities with animal models. PMID:8726003

  7. Photoaffinity analogues of methotrexate as folate antagonist binding probes. 1. Photoaffinity labeling of murine L1210 dihydrofolate reductase and amino acid sequence of the binding region

    SciTech Connect

    Price, E.M.; Smith, P.L.; Klein, T.E.; Freisheim, J.H.

    1987-07-28

    N/sup ..cap alpha../-(4-Amino-4-deoxy-10-methylpteroyl)-N/sup epsilon/-(4-azido-5-(/sup 125/I)iodosalicylyl)-L-lysine, a photoaffinity analogue of methotrexate, is only 2-fold less potent than methotrexate in the inhibition of murine L1210 dihydrofolate reductase. Irradiation of the enzyme in the presence of an equimolar concentration of the /sup 125/I-labeled analogue ultimately leads to an 8% incorporation of the photoprobe. A 100-fold molar excess of methotrexate essentially blocks this incorporation. Cyanogen bromide digestion of the labeled enzyme, followed by high-pressure liquid chromatography purification of the generated peptides, indicates that greater than 85% of the total radioactivity is incorporated into a single cyanogen bromide peptide. Sequence analysis revealed this peptide to be residues 53-111, with a majority of the radioactivity centered around residues 63-65 (Lys-Asn-Arg). These data demonstrate that the photoaffinity analogue specifically binds to dihydrofolate reductase and covalently modifies the enzyme following irradiation and is therefore a photolabeling agent useful for probing the inhibitor binding domain of the enzyme.

  8. Stable transformation of Toxoplasma gondii based on a pyrimethamine resistant trifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-cytosine deaminase-thymidylate synthase gene that confers sensitivity to 5-fluorocytosine.

    PubMed

    Fox, B A; Belperron, A A; Bzik, D J

    1999-01-01

    To improve genetic models available for the analysis of apicomplexan protozoan parasites, bacterial sequences encoding the 427 amino acid cytosine deaminase (CD) gene were fused, in-frame, to an engineered linker domain of the high level pyrimethamine resistant form of the parasite bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) gene. Toxoplasma gondii was transformed with the plasmid containing the fused pyrimethamine resistant dihydrofolate reductase-cytosine deaminase-thymidylate synthase (DHFRm2m3-CD-TS) gene and parasites were selected in a high level of pyrimethamine. Transfected parasites that acquired resistance to pyrimethamine were cloned and evaluated for expression of the CD genetic marker. CD transgenic parasites acquired a high sensitivity to 5-fluorocytosine due to the intraparasitic conversion of this non-toxic prodrug to the cytotoxic compound 5-fluorouracil. Exogenously supplied cytosine or uracil rescued the growth of CD transgenic T. gondii parasites that were cultured in the presence of cytotoxic concentrations of 5-fluorouracil or 5-fluorocytosine. Bacterial CD fused to the pyrimethamine resistant DHFR-TS marker provides a novel genetic tool for new positive and negative genetic selection strategies in several protozoan parasites. An advantage of the CD genetic marker is that it is derived from a bacterial gene and can therefore be used in nearly any parasite genetic background for negative selection. This novel system should facilitate new approaches for the development of improved model genetic systems for the biological investigation of apicomplexan parasites. PMID:10029312

  9. Synthesis, in vitro antitumor activity, dihydrofolate reductase inhibition, DNA intercalation and structure-activity relationship studies of 1,3,5-triazine analogues.

    PubMed

    Singla, Prinka; Luxami, Vijay; Paul, Kamaldeep

    2016-01-15

    A series of triazine-benzimidazoles with 4-fluoroaniline substitution has been designed and synthesized. These compounds were further substituted with different primary and secondary amines. The structures of newly synthesized compounds were confirmed by (1)H, (13)C NMR, mass spectrometry and, in case of compound 18, by single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. The newly synthesized compounds were evaluated against 60 human tumor cell lines at one dose and five dose concentration levels. Compounds 7, 8 and 22 have been found to be the most active antitumor agents with GI50 values of 1.77, 1.94 and 2.87μM, respectively. The synthesized compounds were then evaluated for their inhibitory activity to mammalian dihydrofolate reductase. Compound 22 was depicted as the most active compound for the inhibition of dihydrofolate reductase with IC50 value of 2.0nM. DNA binding studies were also revealed strong interacting properties of triazine derivatives towards calf thymus-DNA. PMID:26670841

  10. The effect of salts on the activity and stability of Escherichia coli and Haloferax volcanii dihydrofolate reductases.

    PubMed

    Wright, Donna B; Banks, Douglas D; Lohman, Jeremy R; Hilsenbeck, Jacqueline L; Gloss, Lisa M

    2002-10-18

    The extremely halophilic Archae require near-saturating concentrations of salt in the external environment and in their cytoplasm, potassium being the predominant intracellular cation. The proteins of these organisms have evolved to function in concentrations of salt that inactivate or precipitate homologous proteins from non-halophilic species. It has been proposed that haloadaptation is primarily due to clustering of acidic residues on the surface of the protein, and that these clusters bind networks of hydrated ions. The dihydrofolate reductases from Escherichia coli (ecDHFR) and two DHFR isozymes from Haloferax volcanii (hvDHFR1 and hvDHFR2) have been used as a model system to compare the effect of salts on a mesophilic and halophilic enzyme. The KCl-dependence of the activity and substrate affinity was investigated. ecDHFR is largely inactivated above 1M KCl, with no major effect on substrate affinity. hvDHFR1 and hvDHFR2 unfold at KCl concentrations below approximately 0.5M. Above approximately 1M, the KCl dependence of the hvDHFR activities can be attributed to the effect of salt on substrate affinity. The abilities of NaCl, KCl, and CsCl to enhance the stability to urea denaturation were determined, and similar efficacies of stabilization were observed for all three DHFR variants. The DeltaG degrees (H(2)O) values increased linearly with increasing KCl and CsCl concentrations. The increase of DeltaG degrees (H(2)O) as a function of the smallest cation, NaCl, is slightly curved, suggesting a minor stabilization from cation binding or screening of electrostatic repulsion. At their respective physiological ionic strengths, the DHFR variants exhibit similar stabilities. Salts stabilize ecDHFR and the hvDHFRs by a common mechanism, not a halophile-specific mechanism, such as the binding of hydrated salt networks. The primary mode of salt stabilization of the mesophilic and halophilic DHFRs appears to be through preferential hydration and the Hofmeister effect of

  11. The Chinese Hamster Dihydrofolate Reductase Replication Origin Beta Is Active at Multiple Ectopic Chromosomal Locations and Requires Specific DNA Sequence Elements for Activity

    PubMed Central

    Altman, Amy L.; Fanning, Ellen

    2001-01-01

    To identify cis-acting genetic elements essential for mammalian chromosomal DNA replication, a 5.8-kb fragment from the Chinese hamster dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) locus containing the origin beta (ori-β) initiation region was stably transfected into random ectopic chromosomal locations in a hamster cell line lacking the endogenous DHFR locus. Initiation at ectopic ori-β in uncloned pools of transfected cells was measured using a competitive PCR-based nascent strand abundance assay and shown to mimic that at the endogenous ori-β region in Chinese hamster ovary K1 cells. Initiation activity of three ectopic ori-β deletion mutants was reduced, while the activity of another deletion mutant was enhanced. The results suggest that a 5.8-kb fragment of the DHFR ori-β region is sufficient to direct initiation and that specific DNA sequences in the ori-β region are required for efficient initiation activity. PMID:11158297

  12. Protein Dynamics and Stability: The Distribution of Atomic Fluctuations in Thermophilic and Mesophilic Dihydrofolate Reductase Derived Using Elastic Incoherent Neutron Scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Meinhold, Lars; Clement, David; Tehei, M; Daniel, R. M.; Finney, J.L.; Smith, Jeremy C

    2008-11-01

    The temperature dependence of the dynamics of mesophilic and thermophilic dihydrofolate reductase is examined using elastic incoherent neutron scattering. It is demonstrated that the distribution of atomic displacement amplitudes can be derived from the elastic scattering data by assuming a (Weibull) functional form that resembles distributions seen in molecular dynamics simulations. The thermophilic enzyme has a significantly broader distribution than its mesophilic counterpart. Furthermore, although the rate of increase with temperature of the atomic mean-square displacements extracted from the dynamic structure factor is found to be comparable for both enzymes, the amplitudes are found to be slightly larger for the thermophilic enzyme. Therefore, these results imply that the thermophilic enzyme is the more flexible of the two.

  13. Pneumocystis jirovecii infection and the associated dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) mutations in HIV-positive individuals from Pune, India.

    PubMed

    Mane, Arati; Gujar, Pankaj; Chandra, Jipsi; Lokhande, Rahul; Dhamgaye, Tilak; Ghorpade, Shivhari; Risbud, Arun

    2015-02-01

    The present study was undertaken to detect Pneumocystis jirovecii infection among HIV-positive patients presenting with symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection and analyze the associated dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) mutations. P. jirovecii infection was detected in 12.6% cases. We did not find DHPS gene mutations at the commonest positions of codon 55 and 57; however, mutation at codon 171 was detected in two cases. No mutations in DHFR gene were detected. The results indicate low prevalence of DHPS and DHFR mutations in Indian P. jirovecii isolates, suggesting that the selective pressure of sulfa drugs on the local strains has probably not reached the levels found in developed nations. PMID:25266324

  14. Drug design by machine learning: the use of inductive logic programming to model the structure-activity relationships of trimethoprim analogues binding to dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    King, R D; Muggleton, S; Lewis, R A; Sternberg, M J

    1992-12-01

    The machine learning program GOLEM from the field of inductive logic programming was applied to the drug design problem of modeling structure-activity relationships. The training data for the program were 44 trimethoprim analogues and their observed inhibition of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase. A further 11 compounds were used as unseen test data. GOLEM obtained rules that were statistically more accurate on the training data and also better on the test data than a Hansch linear regression model. Importantly machine learning yields understandable rules that characterized the chemistry of favored inhibitors in terms of polarity, flexibility, and hydrogen-bonding character. These rules agree with the stereochemistry of the interaction observed crystallographically. PMID:1454814

  15. Structures of dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase of Trypanosoma cruzi in the folate-free state and in complex with two antifolate drugs, trimetrexate and methotrexate

    SciTech Connect

    Senkovich, Olga; Schormann, Norbert; Chattopadhyay, Debasish

    2010-11-22

    The flagellate protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the pathogenic agent of Chagas disease (also called American trypanosomiasis), which causes approximately 50 000 deaths annually. The disease is endemic in South and Central America. The parasite is usually transmitted by a blood-feeding insect vector, but can also be transmitted via blood transfusion. In the chronic form, Chagas disease causes severe damage to the heart and other organs. There is no satisfactory treatment for chronic Chagas disease and no vaccine is available. There is an urgent need for the development of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of T. cruzi infection and therefore for the identification of potential drug targets. The dihydrofolate reductase activity of T. cruzi, which is expressed as part of a bifunctional enzyme, dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS), is a potential target for drug development. In order to gain a detailed understanding of the structure-function relationship of T. cruzi DHFR, the three-dimensional structure of this protein in complex with various ligands is being studied. Here, the crystal structures of T. cruzi DHFR-TS with three different compositions of the DHFR domain are reported: the folate-free state, the complex with the lipophilic antifolate trimetrexate (TMQ) and the complex with the classical antifolate methotrexate (MTX). These structures reveal that the enzyme is a homodimer with substantial interactions between the two TS domains of neighboring subunits. In contrast to the enzymes from Cryptosporidium hominis and Plasmodium falciparum, the DHFR and TS active sites of T. cruzi lie on the same side of the monomer. As in other parasitic DHFR-TS proteins, the N-terminal extension of the T. cruzi enzyme is involved in extensive interactions between the two domains. The DHFR active site of the T. cruzi enzyme shows subtle differences compared with its human counterpart. These differences may be exploited for the development of

  16. Solvent environments significantly affect the enzymatic function of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase: comparison of wild-type protein and active-site mutant D27E.

    PubMed

    Ohmae, Eiji; Miyashita, Yurina; Tate, Shin-Ichi; Gekko, Kunihiko; Kitazawa, Soichiro; Kitahara, Ryo; Kuwajima, Kunihiro

    2013-12-01

    To investigate the contribution of solvent environments to the enzymatic function of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), the salt-, pH-, and pressure-dependence of the enzymatic function of the wild-type protein were compared with those of the active-site mutant D27E in relation to their structure and stability. The salt concentration-dependence of enzymatic activity indicated that inorganic cations bound to and inhibited the activity of wild-type DHFR at neutral pH. The BaCl2 concentration-dependence of the (1)H-(15)N HSQC spectra of the wild-type DHFR-folate binary complex showed that the cation-binding site was located adjacent to the Met20 loop. The insensitivity of the D27E mutant to univalent cations, the decreased optimal pH for its enzymatic activity, and the increased Km and Kd values for its substrate dihydrofolate suggested that the substrate-binding cleft of the mutant was slightly opened to expose the active-site side chain to the solvent. The marginally increased fluorescence intensity and decreased volume change due to unfolding of the mutant also supported this structural change or the modified cavity and hydration. Surprisingly, the enzymatic activity of the mutant increased with pressurization up to 250MPa together with negative activation volumes of -4.0 or -4.8mL/mol, depending on the solvent system, while that of the wild-type was decreased and had positive activation volumes of 6.1 or 7.7mL/mol. These results clearly indicate that the insertion of a single methylene at the active site could substantially change the enzymatic reaction mechanism of DHFR, and solvent environments play important roles in the function of this enzyme. PMID:24140567

  17. Computer modeling studies of the structural role of NADPH binding to active site mutants of human dihydrofolate reductase in complex with piritrexim.

    PubMed

    Nowak, W; Cody, V; Wojtczak, A

    2001-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR, EC 1.5.1.3) is one of the enzymes active in the folate cycle which plays an important role in DNA synthesis. Inhibition of DHFR is a key element in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer and AIDS related infections. A search for new selective inhibitors is motivated by the resistance to common drugs observed in the course of treatment. In this paper, results of a detailed computer analysis of human DHFR interactions with the lipophilic inhibitor piritrexim (PTX) are presented. It was found that the NADPH cofactor contributes 30% of the total PTX-enzyme interaction energy. Substitution of the highly conserved Glu30 with alanine does not lead to the release of the inhibitor from the hDHFR pocket. The important L22F point mutation does affect PTX orientation but does not changethe binding energy. Simulations of the dynamics of binary hDHFR-PTX complexes were performed with the use of Extensible Systematic Force Field (ESFF) and the results indicate structural changes in the enzyme induced by NADPH binding. PMID:11996001

  18. Towards understanding the origins of the different specificities of binding the reduced (NADPH) and oxidised (NADP +) forms of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate coenzyme to dihydrofolate reductase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polshakov, Vladimir I.; Biekofsky, Rodolfo R.; Birdsall, Berry; Feeney, James

    2002-01-01

    Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) binds more than a thousand times tighter to NADPH than to NADP +. The origins of the difference in binding affinity to DHFR between NADPH and NADP + are investigated in the present study using experimental NMR data and hybrid density functional, B3LYP, calculations. Certain protein residues (Ala 6, Gln 7, Ile 13 and Gly 14) that are directly involved in hydrogen bonding with the nicotinamide carboxamide group show consistent differences in 1H and 15N chemical shift between NADPH and NADP + in a variety of ternary complexes. B3LYP calculations in model systems of protein-coenzyme interactions show differences in the H-bond geometry and differences in charge distribution between the oxidised and reduced forms of the nicotinamide ring. GIAO isotropic nuclear shieldings calculated for nuclei in these systems reproduce the experimentally observed trends in magnitudes and signs of the chemical shifts. The experimentally observed reduction in binding of NADP + compared with NADPH results partly from NADP + having to change its nicotinamide amide group from a cis- to a trans-conformation on binding and partly from the oxidised nicotinamide ring of NADP + being unable to take up its optimal hydrogen bonding geometry in its interactions with protein residues.

  19. Two crystal structures of dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase from Cryptosporidium hominis reveal protein–ligand interactions including a structural basis for observed antifolate resistance

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Amy C.

    2005-03-01

    An analysis of the protein–ligand interactions in two crystal structures of DHFR-TS from C. hominis reveals a possible structural basis for observed antifolate resistance in C. hominis DHFR. A comparison with the structure of human DHFR reveals residue substitutions that may be exploited for the design of species-selective inhibitors. Cryptosporidium hominis is a protozoan parasite that causes acute gastrointestinal illness. There are no effective therapies for cryptosporidiosis, highlighting the need for new drug-lead discovery. An analysis of the protein–ligand interactions in two crystal structures of dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) from C. hominis, determined at 2.8 and 2.87 Å resolution, reveals that the interactions of residues Ile29, Thr58 and Cys113 in the active site of C. hominis DHFR provide a possible structural basis for the observed antifolate resistance. A comparison with the structure of human DHFR reveals active-site differences that may be exploited for the design of species-selective inhibitors.

  20. Molecular dynamics of interactions between rigid and flexible antifolates and dihydrofolate reductase from pyrimethamine-sensitive and pyrimethamine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Mokmak, Wanwimon; Chunsrivirot, Surasak; Hannongbua, Supa; Yuthavong, Yongyuth; Tongsima, Sissades; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee

    2014-10-01

    Currently, the usefulness of antimalarials such as pyrimethamine (PYR) is drastically reduced due to the emergence of resistant Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) caused by its dihydrofolate reductase (PfDHFR) mutations, especially the quadruple N51I/C59R/S108N/I164L mutations. The resistance was due to the steric conflict of PYR with S108N. WR99210 (WR), a dihydrotriazine antifolate with a flexible side chain that can avoid such conflict, can overcome this resistance through tight binding with the mutant. To understand factors contributing to different binding affinities of PYR/WR to the wild type (WT) and quadruple mutant (QM), we performed simulations on WR-WT, WR-QM, PYR-WT, and PYR-QM complexes and found that Ile14 and Asp54 were crucial for PYR/WR binding to PfDHFR due to strong hydrogen bonds. The quadruple mutations cause PYR to form, on average, fewer hydrogen bonds with Ile14 and Leu164, and to be displaced from its optimal orientation for Asp54 interaction. The predicted binding affinity ranking (WR-QM ≈ WR-WT ≈ PYR-WT > PYR-QM) reasonably agrees with the inhibition constant (K(i)) ranking. Our results reveal important residues for tight binding of PYR/WR to WT/QM, which may be used to evaluate the inhibition effectiveness of antimalarials and to provide fundamental information for designing new drugs effective against drug-resistant P. falciparum. PMID:24716467

  1. Design, Synthesis, and X-ray Crystal Structures of 2,4-Diaminofuro[2,3-d]pyrimidines as Multireceptor Tyrosine Kinase and Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Gangjee, Aleem; Li, Wei; Lin, Lu; Zeng, Yibin; Ihnat, Michael; Warnke, Linda A.; Green, Dixy W.; Cody, Vivian; Pace, Jim; Queener, Sherry F.

    2009-01-01

    To optimize dual receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibition, the E- and Z-isomers of 5-[2-(2-methoxyphenyl)prop-1-en-1-yl]furo[2,3-d]pyrimidine-2,4-diamines (1a and 1b) were separated by HPLC and the X-ray crystal structures (2.0 Å and 1.4 Å respectively) with mouse DHFR and NADPH as well as 1b with human DHFR (1.5 Å) were determined. The E- and Z-isomers adopt different binding modes when bound to mouse DHFR. A series of 2,4-diaminofuro[2,3-d]pyrimidines 2–13 were designed and synthesized using the X-ray crystal structures of 1a and 1b with DHFR to increase their DHFR inhibitory activity. Wittig reactions of appropriate 2-methoxyphenyl ketones with 2,4-diamino-6-chloromethyl furo[2,3-d]pyrimidine afforded the C8–C9 unsaturated compounds 2–7 and catalytic reduction gave the saturated 8–13. Homologation of the C9-methyl analog maintains DHFR inhibitory activity. In addition, inhibition of EGFR and PDGFR-β were discovered for saturated C9-homologated analogs 9 and 10 that were absent in the saturated C9-methyl analogs. PMID:19748785

  2. Use of bacterial surrogates as a tool to explore antimalarial drug interaction: Synergism between inhibitors of malarial dihydrofolate reductase and dihydropteroate synthase.

    PubMed

    Talawanich, Yuwadee; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Sirawaraporn, Worachart; Yuthavong, Yongyuth

    2015-09-01

    Interaction between antimalarial drugs is important in determining the outcome of chemotherapy using drug combinations. Inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) such as pyrimethamine and of dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) such as sulfa drugs are known to have synergistic interactions. However, studies of the synergism are complicated by the fact that the malaria parasite can also salvage exogenous folates, and the salvage may also be affected by the drugs. It is desirable to have a convenient system to study interaction of DHFR and DHPS inhibitors without such complications. Here, we describe the use of Escherichia coli transformed with malarial DHFR and DHPS, while its own corresponding genes have been inactivated by optimal concentration of trimethoprim and genetic knockout, respectively, to study the interaction of the inhibitors. Marked synergistic effects are observed for all combinations of pyrimethamine and sulfa inhibitors in the presence of trimethoprim. At 0.05μM trimethoprim, sum of fractional inhibitory concentrations, ΣFIC of pyrimethamine with sulfadoxine, pyrimethamine with sulfathiazole, pyrimethamine with sulfamethoxazole, and pyrimethamine with dapsone are in the range of 0.24-0.41. These results show synergism between inhibitors of the two enzymes even in the absence of folate transport and uptake. This bacterial surrogate system should be useful as a tool for assessing the interactions of drug combinations between the DHFR and DHPS inhibitors. PMID:25997881

  3. Synthesis and biological activities of tricyclic conformationally restricted tetrahydropyrido annulated furo[2,3-d]pyrimidines as inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductases.

    PubMed

    Gangjee, A; Elzein, E; Queener, S F; McGuire, J J

    1998-04-23

    The synthesis of seven 2,4-diamino-5,6,7,8-tetrahydro-7-substituted pyrido[4',3':4,5]furo[2,3-d]pyrimidines 1-6 are reported as nonclassical antifolate inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and compound 7 as a classical antifolate inhibitor of tumor cells in culture. The compounds were designed as conformationally restricted analogues of trimetrexate. The synthesis was accomplished from the cyclocondensation of 3-bromo-4-piperidone with 2, 4-diamino-6-hydroxypyrimidine to afford regiospecifically 2, 4-diamino-5,6,7,8-tetrahydropyrido[4',3':4,5]furo[2, 3-d]pyrimidine-7-hydrobromide (16). This in turn was alkylated with the appropriate benzyl halide to afford the target compounds 1-6. The classical antifolate 7 utilized 4-(chloromethyl)benzoyl-l-glutamic acid diethyl ester (17) instead of the benzyl halide for alkylation, followed by saponification to afford 7. Compounds 1-6 showed moderate inhibitory potency against DHFR from Pneumocystis carinii, Toxoplasma gondii, Mycobacterium avium, and rat liver. The classical analogue 7 was 88-fold more potent against M. avium DHFR than against rat liver DHFR. The classical analogue was also inhibitory against the growth of tumor cells, CCRF-CEM, and FaDu, in culture. PMID:9554874

  4. Nuclear magnetic resonance study of interaction of ligands with Streptococcus faecium dihydrofolate reductase labeled with (. gamma. -/sup 13/C)tryptophan

    SciTech Connect

    London, R.E.; Groff, J.P.; Cocco, L.; Blakley, R.L.

    1982-01-01

    Dihydrofolate reductase from Streptococcus faecium has been labeled with (..gamma..-/sup 13/C)tryptophan. We have determined changes occurring in the chemical shifts and line widths of the four resonances of the /sup 13/C NMR spectrum of the labeled enzyme, due to its interaction with various ligands. These include the coenzyme, NPDPH and related nucleotides, folate and its polyglutamate derivatives, and many inhibitors including methotrexate and trimethoprim. In addition, paramagnetic relaxation effects produced by a bound spin-labeled analogue of 2'-phosphoadenosine-5'-diphosphoribose on the tryptophan C/sup ..gamma../ carbons have been measured. Distances calculated from the relaxation data have been compared with corresponding distances in the crystallographic model of the NADPH-methotrexate ternary complex of Lactobacillus casei reductase. The paramagnetic relaxation data indicate that the two downfield resonances (1 and 2) correspond to tryptophans (W/sub A/ and W/sub B/) that are more remote from the catalytic site, and from the crystallographic model these are seen to be Trp-115 and Trp-160. The upfield resonances (3 and 4) that show broadening due to chemical exchange correspond to closer residues (W/sub C/ and W/sub D/), and these are identified with Trp-6 and Trp-22. However, the relaxation data do not permit specific assignments within the nearer and farther pairs. Although resonance 3, which is split due to chemical exchange, was formerly assigned to Trp-6, data obtained for the enzyme in the presence of various ligands are better interpreted if resonance 3 is assigned to Trp-22, which is located on a loop that joins elements of secondary structure and forms one side of the ligand-binding cavity.

  5. Trypanosoma brucei DHFR-TS Revisited: Characterisation of a Bifunctional and Highly Unstable Recombinant Dihydrofolate Reductase-Thymidylate Synthase

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Marc W.; Dewar, Simon; Ong, Han B.; Sienkiewicz, Natasha

    2016-01-01

    Bifunctional dihydrofolate reductase–thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) is a chemically and genetically validated target in African trypanosomes, causative agents of sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in cattle. Here we report the kinetic properties and sensitivity of recombinant enzyme to a range of lipophilic and classical antifolate drugs. The purified recombinant enzyme, expressed as a fusion protein with elongation factor Ts (Tsf) in ThyA- Escherichia coli, retains DHFR activity, but lacks any TS activity. TS activity was found to be extremely unstable (half-life of 28 s) following desalting of clarified bacterial lysates to remove small molecules. Stability could be improved 700-fold by inclusion of dUMP, but not by other pyrimidine or purine (deoxy)-nucleosides or nucleotides. Inclusion of dUMP during purification proved insufficient to prevent inactivation during the purification procedure. Methotrexate and trimetrexate were the most potent inhibitors of DHFR (Ki 0.1 and 0.6 nM, respectively) and FdUMP and nolatrexed of TS (Ki 14 and 39 nM, respectively). All inhibitors showed a marked drop-off in potency of 100- to 1,000-fold against trypanosomes grown in low folate medium lacking thymidine. The most potent inhibitors possessed a terminal glutamate moiety suggesting that transport or subsequent retention by polyglutamylation was important for biological activity. Supplementation of culture medium with folate markedly antagonised the potency of these folate-like inhibitors, as did thymidine in the case of the TS inhibitors raltitrexed and pemetrexed. PMID:27175479

  6. Correction of point mutations at the endogenous locus of the dihydrofolate reductase gene using repair-PolyPurine Reverse Hoogsteen hairpins in mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Solé, Anna; Ciudad, Carlos J; Chasin, Lawrence A; Noé, Véronique

    2016-06-15

    Correction of point mutations that lead to aberrant transcripts, often with pathological consequences, has been the focus of considerable research. In this work, repair-PPRHs are shown to be a new powerful tool for gene correction. A repair-PPRH consists of a PolyPurine Reverse Hoogsteen hairpin core bearing an extension sequence at one end, homologous to the DNA strand to be repaired but containing the wild type nucleotide instead of the mutation. Previously, we had corrected a single-point mutation with repair-PPRHs using a mutated version of a dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) minigene. To further evaluate the utility of these molecules, different repair-PPRHs were designed to correct insertions, deletions, substitutions and a double substitution present in a collection of mutants at the endogenous locus of the dhfr gene, the product of which is the target of the chemotherapeutic agent methotrexate. We also describe an approach to use when the point mutation is far away from the homopyrimidine target domain. This strategy consists in designing Long-Distance- and Short-Distance-Repair-PPRHs where the PPRH core is bound to the repair tail by a five-thymidine linker. Surviving colonies in a DHFR selective medium, lacking glycine and sources of purines and thymidine, were analyzed by DNA sequencing, and by mRNA, protein and enzymatic measurements, confirming that all the dhfr mutants had been corrected. These results show that repair-PPRHs can be effective tools to accomplish a permanent correction of point mutations in the DNA sequence of mutant mammalian cells. PMID:27063945

  7. Characterization of rates of ring-flipping in trimethoprim in its ternary complexes with Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase and coenzyme analogues.

    PubMed

    Polshakov, V I; Birdsall, B; Feeney, J

    1999-11-30

    NMR measurements have been used to investigate rates of ring-flipping and the activation parameters for the trimethoxybenzyl ring of the antibacterial drug trimethoprim (TMP) bound to Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) for a series of ternary complexes formed with analogues of the coenzyme NADPH. Rates were obtained at several temperatures from line shape analyses ((13)C-edited HSQC (1)H spectra) and transfer of magnetization measurements (zz-HSQC) on complexes containing 3'-O-[(13)C]trimethoprim. Examination of the structures of the complexes indicates that ring-flipping can only be achieved following major conformational changes and transient fluctuations of the protein and coenzyme structure around the trimethoxybenzyl ring. There is no simple correlation between rates of ring-flipping and binding constants. The presence of the coenzyme nicotinamide ring (in either its reduced or its oxidized forms) in the binding site close to the trimethoxybenzyl ring moiety is the major factor reducing the ring-flipping on coenzyme binding. Thus, the ternary complex with NADPH shows the largest reduction in the rate of ring-flipping (11 +/- 3 s(-)(1) at 298 K) as compared with the binary complex (793 +/- 80 s(-)(1) at 298 K). Complexes with NADPH analogues that either have no nicotinamide ring or are known to have their nicotinamide rings removed from the binding site show the smallest reductions. For the DHFR.TMP.NADP(+) complex where there are two conformations present, very different rates of ring-flipping were observed for the two forms. The activation parameters (DeltaH() and DeltaS()) for the ring-flipping in all the complexes are discussed in terms of the protein-ligand interactions and the possible constraints on the pathway through the transition state. PMID:10625463

  8. NMR studies of ligand carboxylate group interactions with arginine residues in complexes of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase with substrates and substrate analogues.

    PubMed

    Birdsall, B; Polshakov, V I; Feeney, J

    2000-08-15

    In a series of complexes of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) formed with substrates and substrate analogues, the (1)H/(15)N NMR chemical shifts for the guanidino group of the conserved Arg 57 residue were found to be sensitive to the mode of binding of their H(eta) protons to the charged oxygen atoms in ligand carboxylate groups. In all cases, Arg 57 showed four nonequivalent H(eta) signals indicating hindered rotation about the N(epsilon)-C(zeta) and C(zeta)-N(eta) bonds. The H(eta)(12) and H(eta)(22) protons have large downfield shifts as expected for a symmetrical end-on interaction with the ligand carboxylate group. The chemical shifts are essentially the same in the complexes with folate and p-aminobenzoyl-L-glutamate (PABG) and similar to those found previously for the methotrexate complex reflecting the strong and similar hydrogen bonds formed with the carboxylate oxygens. Interestingly, the rates of rotation about the N(epsilon)-C(zeta) bond for the complexes containing the weakly binding PABG fragment are almost identical to those measured in the complex with methotrexate, which binds 10(7) times more tightly. In the methotrexate complex, this rotation depends on correlated rotations about the N(epsilon)-C(zeta) bond of Arg 57 and the C(alpha)-C' bond of the ligand glutamate alpha-carboxylate group. Thus, even in a fragment such as PABG, which has a much faster off-rate, the carboxylate group binds to the enzyme in a similar way to that in a parent molecule such as folate and methotrexate with the rotation about the N(epsilon)-C(zeta) bond of Arg 57 being essentially the same in all the different complexes. PMID:10933799

  9. An Innovative Strategy for Dual Inhibitor Design and Its Application in Dual Inhibition of Human Thymidylate Synthase and Dihydrofolate Reductase Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Arooj, Mahreen; Sakkiah, Sugunadevi; Cao, Guang ping; Lee, Keun Woo

    2013-01-01

    Due to the diligence of inherent redundancy and robustness in many biological networks and pathways, multitarget inhibitors present a new prospect in the pharmaceutical industry for treatment of complex diseases. Nevertheless, to design multitarget inhibitors is concurrently a great challenge for medicinal chemists. We have developed a novel computational approach by integrating the affinity predictions from structure-based virtual screening with dual ligand-based pharmacophore to discover potential dual inhibitors of human Thymidylate synthase (hTS) and human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR). These are the key enzymes in folate metabolic pathway that is necessary for the biosynthesis of RNA, DNA, and protein. Their inhibition has found clinical utility as antitumor, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal agents. A druglike database was utilized to perform dual-target docking studies. Hits identified through docking experiments were mapped over a dual pharmacophore which was developed from experimentally known dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. Pharmacophore mapping procedure helped us in eliminating the compounds which do not possess basic chemical features necessary for dual inhibition. Finally, three structurally diverse hit compounds that showed key interactions at both active sites, mapped well upon the dual pharmacophore, and exhibited lowest binding energies were regarded as possible dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. Furthermore, optimization studies were performed for final dual hit compound and eight optimized dual hits demonstrating excellent binding features at target systems were also regarded as possible dual inhibitors of hTS and hDHFR. In general, the strategy used in the current study could be a promising computational approach and may be generally applicable to other dual target drug designs. PMID:23577115

  10. Disagreement in genotyping results of drug resistance alleles of the Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) gene by allele-specific PCR (ASPCR) assays and Sanger sequencing.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Divya; Lather, Manila; Dykes, Cherry L; Dang, Amita S; Adak, Tridibes; Singh, Om P

    2016-01-01

    The rapid spread of antimalarial drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum over the past few decades has necessitated intensive monitoring of such resistance for an effective malaria control strategy. P. falciparum dihydropteroate synthase (Pfdhps) and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) genes act as molecular markers for resistance against the antimalarial drugs sulphadoxine and pyrimethamine, respectively. Resistance to pyrimethamine which is used as a partner drug in artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is associated with several mutations in the Pfdhfr gene, namely A16V, N51I, C59R, S108N/T and I164L. Therefore, routine monitoring of Pfdhfr-drug-resistant alleles in a population may help in effective drug resistance management. Allele-specific PCR (ASPCR) is one of the commonly used methods for molecular genotyping of these alleles. In this study, we genotyped 55 samples of P. falciparum for allele discrimination at four codons of Pfdhfr (N51, C59, S108 and I164) by ASPCR using published methods and by Sanger's DNA sequencing method. We found that the ASPCR identified a significantly higher number of mutant alleles as compared to the DNA sequencing method. Such discrepancies arise due to the non-specificity of some of the allele-specific primer sets and due to the lack of sensitivity of Sanger's DNA sequencing method to detect minor alleles present in multiple clone infections. This study reveals the need of a highly specific and sensitive method for genotyping and detecting minor drug-resistant alleles present in multiple clonal infections. PMID:26407876

  11. Crystal Structures of Wild-type and Mutant Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Dihydrofolate Reductase Reveal an Alternative Conformation of NADPH that may be Linked to Trimethoprim Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Kathleen M.; Liu, Jieying; Lombardo, Michael N.; Bolstad, David B.; Wright, Dennis L.; Anderson, Amy C.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Both hospital- and community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections have become major health concerns in terms of morbidity, suffering and cost. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) is an alternative treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections. However, TMP-resistant strains have arisen with point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), the target for TMP. A single point mutation, F98Y, has been shown biochemically to confer the majority of this resistance to TMP. Using a structure-based approach, we have designed a series of novel propargyl-linked DHFR inhibitors that are active against several trimethoprim-resistant enzymes. We screened this series against wild-type and mutant (F98Y) S. aureus DHFR and found that several are active against both enzymes and specifically that the meta-biphenyl class of these inhibitors is the most potent. In order to understand the structural basis of this potency, we determined eight high-resolution crystal structures: four each of the wild-type and mutant DHFR enzymes bound to various propargyl-linked DHFR inhibitors. In addition to explaining the structure-activity relationships, several of the structures reveal a novel conformation for the cofactor, NADPH. In this new conformation that is predominantly associated with the mutant enzyme, the nicotinamide ring is displaced from its conserved location and three water molecules complete a network of hydrogen bonds between the nicotinamide ring and the protein. In this new position, NADPH has reduced interactions with the inhibitor. An equilibrium between the two conformations of NADPH, implied by their occupancies in the eight crystal structures, is influenced both by the ligand and the F98Y mutation. The mutation induced equilibrium between two NADPH binding conformations may contribute to decrease TMP binding and thus may be responsible for TMP resistance. PMID:19249312

  12. Structure-based approach to pharmacophore identification, in silico screening, and three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship studies for inhibitors of Trypanosoma cruzi dihydrofolate reductase function

    SciTech Connect

    Schormann, N.; Senkovich, O.; Walker, K.; Wright, D.L.; Anderson, A.C.; Rosowsky, A.; Ananthan, S.; Shinkre, B.; Velu, S.; Chattopadhyay, D.

    2009-07-10

    We have employed a structure-based three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) approach to predict the biochemical activity for inhibitors of T. cruzi dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS). Crystal structures of complexes of the enzyme with eight different inhibitors of the DHFR activity together with the structure in the substrate-free state (DHFR domain) were used to validate and refine docking poses of ligands that constitute likely active conformations. Structural information from these complexes formed the basis for the structure-based alignment used as input for the QSAR study. Contrary to indirect ligand-based approaches the strategy described here employs a direct receptor-based approach. The goal is to generate a library of selective lead inhibitors for further development as antiparasitic agents. 3D-QSAR models were obtained for T. cruzi DHFR-TS (30 inhibitors in learning set) and human DHFR (36 inhibitors in learning set) that show a very good agreement between experimental and predicted enzyme inhibition data. For crossvalidation of the QSAR model(s), we have used the 10% leave-one-out method. The derived 3D-QSAR models were tested against a few selected compounds (a small test set of six inhibitors for each enzyme) with known activity, which were not part of the learning set, and the quality of prediction of the initial 3D-QSAR models demonstrated that such studies are feasible. Further refinement of the models through integration of additional activity data and optimization of reliable docking poses is expected to lead to an improved predictive ability.

  13. The 19-bp deletion polymorphism of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate: evidence for a protective role

    PubMed Central

    RAFIGHDOOST, Firoozeh; RAFIGHDOOST, Amir; RAFIGHDOOST, Houshang; RIGI-LADEZ, Mohammad-Ayoob; HASHEMI, Mohammad; ESKANDARI-NASAB, Ebrahim

    2015-01-01

    Objective Nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NS-CL/P) are among the most common congenital birth defects worldwide. Several lines of evidence point to the involvement of folate, as well as folate metabolizing enzymes in risk reduction of orofacial clefts. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme participates in the metabolic cycle of folate and has a crucial role in DNA synthesis, a fundamental feature of gestation and development. A functional polymorphic 19-bp deletion within intron-1 of DHFR has been associated with the risk of common congenital malformations. The present study aimed to evaluate the possible association between DHFR 19-bp deletion polymorphism and susceptibility to NS-CL/P in an Iranian population. Material and Methods The current study recruited 100 NS-CL/P patients and 100 healthy controls. DHFR 19-bp deletion was determined using an allele specific-PCR method. Results We observed the DHFR 19-bp homozygous deletion genotype (D/D) vs. homozygous wild genotype (WW) was more frequent in controls than in NS-CL/P patients (25% vs. 13%), being associated with a reduced risk of NS-CL/P in both codominant (OR=0.33, P=0.027) and recessive (OR=0.45, P=0.046) tested inheritance models. We also stratified the cleft patients and reanalyzed the data. The association trend for CL+CL/P group compared to the controls revealed that the DD genotype in both codominant (OR=0.30, P=0.032) and recessive models (OR=0.35, P=0.031) was associated with a reduced risk of CL+CL/P. Conclusions Our results for the first time suggested the DHFR 19-bp D/D genotype may confer a reduced risk of NS-CL/P and might act as a protective factor against NS-CL/P in the Iranian subjects. PMID:26221921

  14. Declining trend of Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) mutant alleles after the withdrawal of Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine in North Western Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Tessema, Sofonias K.; Kassa, Moges; Kebede, Amha; Mohammed, Hussein; Leta, Gemechu Tadesse; Woyessa, Adugna; Guma, Geremew Tasew; Petros, Beyene

    2015-01-01

    Antimalarial drug resistance is one of the major challenges in global efforts of malaria control and elimination. In 1998, chloroquine was abandoned and replaced with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine, which in turn was replaced with artemether/lumefantrine for the treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria in 2004. Sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance is associated with mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (Pfdhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (Pfdhps) genes. The prevalence of mutation in Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes were evaluated and compared for a total of 159 isolates collected in two different time points, 2005 and 2007/08, from Pawe hospital, in North Western Ethiopia. The frequency of triple Pfdhfr mutation decreased significantly from 50.8% (32/63) to 15.9% (10/63) (P<0.001), while Pfdhps double mutation remained high and changed only marginally from 69.2% (45/65) to 55.4% (40/65) (P = 0.08). The combined Pfdhfr/Pfdhps quintuple mutation, which is strongly associated with sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine resistance, was significantly decreased from 40.7% (24/59) to 13.6% (8/59) (P<0.0001). On the whole, significant decline in mutant alleles and re-emergence of wild type alleles were observed. The change in the frequency is explained by the reduction of residual drug-resistant parasites caused by the strong drug pressure imposed when sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine was the first-line drug, followed by lower fitness of these resistant parasites in the absence of drug pressure. Despite the decrease in the frequency of mutant alleles, higher percentages of mutation remain prevalent in the study area in 2007/08 in both Pfdhfr and Pfdhps genes. Therefore, further multi-centered studies in different parts of the country will be required to assess the re-emergence of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine sensitive parasites and to monitor and prevent the establishment of multi drug resistant parasites in this region. PMID:26431464

  15. Crystal Structures of Wild-type and Mutant Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Dihydrofolate Reductase Reveal an Alternative Conformation of NADPH that may be Linked to Trimethoprim Resistance

    SciTech Connect

    Frey, K.; Liu, J; Lombardo, M; Bolstad, D; Wright, D; Anderson, A

    2009-01-01

    Both hospital- and community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus infections have become major health concerns in terms of morbidity, suffering and cost. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ) is an alternative treatment for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infections. However, TMP-resistant strains have arisen with point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), the target for TMP. A single point mutation, F98Y, has been shown biochemically to confer the majority of this resistance to TMP. Using a structure-based approach, we have designed a series of novel propargyl-linked DHFR inhibitors that are active against several trimethoprim-resistant enzymes. We screened this series against wild-type and mutant (F98Y) S. aureus DHFR and found that several are active against both enzymes and specifically that the meta-biphenyl class of these inhibitors is the most potent. In order to understand the structural basis of this potency, we determined eight high-resolution crystal structures: four each of the wild-type and mutant DHFR enzymes bound to various propargyl-linked DHFR inhibitors. In addition to explaining the structure-activity relationships, several of the structures reveal a novel conformation for the cofactor, NADPH. In this new conformation that is predominantly associated with the mutant enzyme, the nicotinamide ring is displaced from its conserved location and three water molecules complete a network of hydrogen bonds between the nicotinamide ring and the protein. In this new position, NADPH has reduced interactions with the inhibitor. An equilibrium between the two conformations of NADPH, implied by their occupancies in the eight crystal structures, is influenced both by the ligand and the F98Y mutation. The mutation induced equilibrium between two NADPH-binding conformations may contribute to decrease TMP binding and thus may be responsible for TMP resistance.

  16. Structural comparison of complexes of methotrexate analogues with Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase by two-dimensional /sup 1/H NMR at 500 MHz

    SciTech Connect

    Hammond, S.J.; Birdsall, B.; Feeney, J.; Searle, M.S.; Roberts, G.C.K.; Cheung, H.T.A.

    1987-12-29

    The authors have used two-dimensional (2D) NMR methods to examine complexes of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase and methotrexate (MTX) analogues having structural modifications of the benzoyl ring and also the glutamic acid moiety. Assignments of the /sup 1/H signals in the spectra of the various complexes were made by comparison of their 2D spectra with those complexes containing methotrexate where we have previously assigned resonances from 32 of the 162 amino acid residues. In the complexes formed with the dihalomethotrexate analogues, the glutamic acid and pteridine ring moieties were shown to bind to the enzyme in a manner similar to that found in the methotrexate-enzyme complex. Perturbations in /sup 1/H chemical shifts of protons in Phe-49, Leu-54, and Leu-27 and the methotrexate H7 and NMe protons were observed in the different complexes and were accounted for by changes in orientation of the benzoyl ring in the various complexes. Binding of oxidized or reduced coenzyme to the binary complexes did not result in different shifts for Leu-27, Leu-54, or Leu-19 protons, and thus, the orientation of the benzoyl ring of the methotrexate analogues is not perturbed greatly by the presence of either oxidized or reduced coenzyme. In the complex with the ..gamma..-monoamide analog, the /sup 1/H signals of assigned residues in the protein had almost identical shifts with the corresponding protons in the methotrexate-enzyme complex for all residues except His-28 and, to a lesser extent, Leu-27. This indicates that while the His-28 interaction with the MTX ..gamma..-CO/sub 2//sup -/ is no longer present in this complex with the ..gamma..-amide, there has not been a major change in the overall structure of the two complexes. This behavior contrasts to that of the ..cap alpha..-amide complex where /sup 1/H signals from protons in several amino acid residues are different compared with their values in the complex formed with methotrexate.

  17. Anti-folate drug resistance in Africa: meta-analysis of reported dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) mutant genotype frequencies in African Plasmodium falciparum parasite populations

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Mutations in the dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes of Plasmodium falciparum are associated with resistance to anti-folate drugs, most notably sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP). Molecular studies document the prevalence of these mutations in parasite populations across the African continent. However, there is no systematic review examining the collective epidemiological significance of these studies. This meta-analysis attempts to: 1) summarize genotype frequency data that are critical for molecular surveillance of anti-folate resistance and 2) identify the specific challenges facing the development of future molecular databases. Methods This review consists of 220 studies published prior to 2009 that report the frequency of select dhfr and dhps mutations in 31 African countries. Maps were created to summarize the location and prevalence of the highly resistant dhfr triple mutant (N51I, C59R, S108N) genotype and dhps double mutant (A437G and K540E) genotype in Africa. A hierarchical mixed effects logistic regression was used to examine the influence of various factors on reported mutant genotype frequency. These factors include: year and location of study, age and clinical status of sampled population, and reporting conventions for mixed genotype data. Results A database consisting of dhfr and dhps mutant genotype frequencies from all African studies that met selection criteria was created for this analysis. The map illustrates particularly high prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes along the Kenya-Tanzania border and Malawi. The regression model shows a statistically significant increase in the prevalence of both the dhfr triple and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa. Conclusion Increasing prevalence of the dhfr triple mutant and dhps double mutant genotypes in Africa are consistent with the loss of efficacy of SP for treatment of clinical malaria in most parts of this continent

  18. Pyridine Nucleotide Complexes with Bacillus anthracis Coenzyme A-Disulfide Reductase: A Structural Analysis of Dual NAD(P)H Specificity

    SciTech Connect

    Wallen,J.; Paige, C.; Mallett, T.; Karplus, P.; Claiborne, A.

    2008-01-01

    We have recently reported that CoASH is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, and we have now characterized the kinetic and redox properties of the B. anthracis coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR, BACoADR) and determined the crystal structure at 2.30 Angstroms resolution. While the Staphylococcus aureus and Borrelia burgdorferi CoADRs exhibit strong preferences for NADPH and NADH, respectively, B. anthracis CoADR can use either pyridine nucleotide equally well. Sequence elements within the respective NAD(P)H-binding motifs correctly reflect the preferences for S. aureus and Bo. burgdorferi CoADRs, but leave questions as to how BACoADR can interact with both pyridine nucleotides. The structures of the NADH and NADPH complexes at ca. 2.3 Angstroms resolution reveal that a loop consisting of residues Glu180-Thr187 becomes ordered and changes conformation on NAD(P)H binding. NADH and NADPH interact with nearly identical conformations of this loop; the latter interaction, however, involves a novel binding mode in which the 2'-phosphate of NADPH points out toward solvent. In addition, the NAD(P)H-reduced BACoADR structures provide the first view of the reduced form (Cys42-SH/CoASH) of the Cys42-SSCoA redox center. The Cys42-SH side chain adopts a new conformation in which the conserved Tyr367'-OH and Tyr425'-OH interact with the nascent thiol(ate) on the flavin si-face. Kinetic data with Y367F, Y425F, and Y367, 425F BACoADR mutants indicate that Tyr425' is the primary proton donor in catalysis, with Tyr367' functioning as a cryptic alternate donor in the absence of Tyr425'.

  19. 1H/15N HSQC NMR studies of ligand carboxylate group interactions with arginine residues in complexes of brodimoprim analogues and Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    Morgan, W D; Birdsall, B; Nieto, P M; Gargaro, A R; Feeney, J

    1999-02-16

    1H and 15N NMR studies have been undertaken on complexes of Lactobacillus casei dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) formed with analogues of the antibacterial drug brodimoprim (2,4-diamino-5-(3', 5'-dimethoxy-4'-bromobenzyl)pyrimidine) in order to monitor interactions between carboxylate groups on the ligands and basic residues in the protein. These analogues had been designed by computer modeling with carboxylated alkyl chains introduced at the 3'-O position in order to improve their binding properties by making additional interactions with basic groups in the protein. Specific interactions between ligand carboxylate groups and the conserved Arg57 residue have been detected in studies of 1H/15N HSQC spectra of complexes of DHFR with both the 4-carboxylate and the 4, 6-dicarboxylate brodimoprim analogues. The spectra from both complexes showed four resolved signals for the four NHeta protons of the guanidino group of Arg57, and this is consistent with hindered rotation in the guanidino group resulting from interactions with the 4-carboxylate group in each analogue. In the spectra of each complex, one of the protons from each of the two NH2 groups and both nitrogens are considerably deshielded compared to the shielding values normally observed for such nuclei. This pattern of deshielding is that expected for a symmetrical end-on interaction of the carboxylate oxygens with the NHeta12 and NHeta22 guanidino protons. The differences in the degree of deshielding between the complexes of the two structurally similar brodimoprim analogues and the methotrexate indicates that the shielding is very sensitive to geometry, most probably to hydrogen bond lengths. The 1H/15N HSQC spectrum of the DHFR complex with the brodimoprim-6-carboxylate analogue does not feature any deshielded Arg NHeta protons and this argues against a similar interaction with the Arg57 in this case. It has not proved possible to determine whether the 6-carboxylate in this analogue is interacting directly with

  20. Synthesis of 5-methyl-5-deaza nonclassical antifolates as inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductases and as potential antipneumocystis, antitoxoplasma, and antitumor agents.

    PubMed

    Gangjee, A; Shi, J; Queener, S F; Barrows, L R; Kisliuk, R L

    1993-10-29

    A series of 2,4-diamino-5-methyl-6-(anilinomethyl)pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidines 4-9 were synthesized as 5-deaza nonclassical antifolates containing trimethoxy, dichloro-, or trichlorophenyl substitutions and a N-H, N-CH3, or N-CHO at the 10-position. The compounds were evaluated as inhibitors of dihydrofolate reductases (DHFR) from Pneumocystis carinii (P. carinii), Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), rat liver (RL), and Lactobacillus casei (L. casei); as inhibitors of T. gondii and P. carinii cell growth in culture; and as antitumor agents. The compounds were prepared by modifications of procedures for classical 5-deaza folates. 2,4-Diamino-5-methyl-6-[(3',4',5'-trimethoxy-N- methylanilino)methyl]pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine (5a) exhibited high potency as well as selectivity (compared to RL DHFR) for P. carinii and T. gondii DHFR. Compound 5a is one of the most potent and selective nonclassical folate inhibitors of T. gondii DHFR known. The N-10 formyl analogue 2,4-diamino-5-methyl-6-[(N-formyl-3',4',5'-trimethoxyanilino) methyl]pyrido-[2,3-d]pyrimidine (6a) had decreased potency, but it maintained high selectivity for T. gondii DHFR. The corresponding chloro-substituted analogues maintained potency or had decreased potency; N-10 substitution did not increase potency or selectivity to the extent observed in the 3',4',5'-trimethoxy series. Partial reduction of the B ring to afford the dihydro analogue 2,4-diamino-5-methyl-6-[(N-formyl-3',4',5'-trimethoxyanilino) methyl]-5,8-dihydropyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine (7), its 5,6,7,8-tetrahydropyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine analogue 8, and 2,4-diamino-5-methyl-6-[(3',4',5'-trimethoxyanilino)methyl]-5,6,7, 8- tetrahydropyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine (9) resulted in a significant decrease in potency. In T. gondii cell culture inhibitory studies, 2,4-diamino-5-methyl-6-[(3',4',5'- trimethoxyanilino)methyl]pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine (4a), 5a, and 6a were less potent compared to their DHFR inhibitory potencies. Against P. carinii cells in culture, 4a and 5a at 10

  1. Applications of Receptor- and Ligand-based Models in Inverse Docking Experiments: Recognition of Dihydrofolate Reductase Using 7,8-Dialkyl- 1,3-Diaminopyrrolo[3,2-f]Quinazolines.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sivakumar Prasanth; Jasrai, Yogesh T; Pandya, Himanshu A

    2016-01-01

    Inverse (or reverse) docking approach which involves docking of a ligand against a set of protein structures to predict possible protein target(s), possess limitations, including inefficient empirical scoring schemes and similarities in protein active site shape and physico-chemical properties. To overcome this limitation, we combined receptor- and ligand-based methods to predict probable protein targets. We showed that the experimental protein target along with possible offtargets can be effectively retrieved if the docking energy of the reference molecule and probe molecules based scaled energy profiles were combined and clustered together. The present method was validated using 7,8-dialkyl-1,3-diaminopyrrolo[3,2-f]quinazolines that inhibit Candida albicans dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) in vitro. PMID:26725591

  2. Synthesis of solution-phase combinatorial library of 4,6-diamino-1,2-dihydro-1,3,5-triazine and identification of new leads against A16V+S108T mutant dihydrofolate reductase of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Vilaivan, Tirayut; Saesaengseerung, Neungruthai; Jarprung, Deanpen; Kamchonwongpaisan, Sumalee; Sirawaraporn, Worachart; Yuthavong, Yongyuth

    2003-01-17

    An efficient method to synthesize solution-phase combinatorial library of 1-aryl-4,6-diamino-1,2-dihydro-1,3,5-triazine was developed. The strategy involved an acid-catalyzed cyclocondensation between arylbiguanide hydrochlorides and carbonyl compounds in the presence of triethyl orthoacetate as water scavenger. A 96-membered combinatorial library was constructed from 6 aryl biguanides and 16 carbonyl compounds. Screening of the library by iterative deconvolution method revealed two candidate leads which are equally active against wild-type Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase, but are about 100-fold more effective against the A16V+S108T mutant enzyme as compared to cycloguanil. PMID:12470716

  3. Comparative hydrogen-deuterium exchange for a mesophilic vs thermophilic dihydrofolate reductase at 25 °C: identification of a single active site region with enhanced flexibility in the mesophilic protein.

    PubMed

    Oyeyemi, Olayinka A; Sours, Kevin M; Lee, Thomas; Kohen, Amnon; Resing, Katheryn A; Ahn, Natalie G; Klinman, Judith P

    2011-09-27

    The technique of hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) has been applied to a mesophilic (E. coli) dihydrofolate reductase under conditions that allow direct comparison to a thermophilic (B. stearothermophilus) ortholog, Ec-DHFR and Bs-DHFR, respectively. The analysis of hydrogen-deuterium exchange patterns within proteolytically derived peptides allows spatial resolution, while requiring a series of controls to compare orthologous proteins with only ca. 40% sequence identity. These controls include the determination of primary structure effects on intrinsic rate constants for HDX as well as the use of existing 3-dimensional structures to evaluate the distance of each backbone amide hydrogen to the protein surface. Only a single peptide from the Ec-DHFR is found to be substantially more flexible than the Bs-DHFR at 25 °C in a region located within the protein interior at the intersection of the cofactor and substrate-binding sites. The surrounding regions of the enzyme are either unchanged or more flexible in the thermophilic DHFR from B. stearothermophilus. The region with increased flexibility in Ec-DHFR corresponds to one of two regions previously proposed to control the enthalpic barrier for hydride transfer in Bs-DHFR [Oyeyemi et al. (2010) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107, 10074]. PMID:21859100

  4. Molecular Epidemiology of Malaria in Cameroon. XXX. Sequence Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum ATPase 6, Dihydrofolate Reductase, and Dihydropteroate Synthase Resistance Markers in Clinical Isolates from Children Treated with an Artesunate-Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine Combination

    PubMed Central

    Menemedengue, Virginie; Sahnouni, Khalifa; Basco, Leonardo; Tahar, Rachida

    2011-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes are reliable molecular markers for antifolate resistance. The P. falciparum ATPase 6 (pfatp6) gene has been proposed to be a potential marker for artemisinin resistance. In our previous clinical study, we showed that artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is highly effective against uncomplicated malaria in Yaoundé, Cameroon. In the present study, dhfr, dhps, and pfatp6 mutations in P. falciparum isolates obtained from children treated with artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine were determined. All 61 isolates had wild-type Pfatp6 263, 623, and 769 alleles, and 11 (18%) had a single E431K substitution. Three additional mutations, E643Q, E432K, and E641Q, were detected. The results did not indicate any warning signal of serious concern (i.e., no parasites were seen with quintuple dhfr-dhps, DHFR Ile164Leu, or pfatp6 mutations), as confirmed by the high clinical efficacy of artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Further studies are required to identify a molecular marker that reliably predicts artemisinin resistance. PMID:21734119

  5. Design, synthesis, biological evaluation and X-ray crystal structure of novel classical 6,5,6-tricyclic benzo[4,5]thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidines as dual thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xin; Zhou, Xilin; L.Kisliuk, Roy; Piraino, Jennifer; Cody, Vivian

    2011-01-01

    Classical antifolates (4-7) with a tricyclic benzo[4,5]thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine scaffold and a flexible and rigid benzoylglutamate were synthesized as dual thymidylate synthase (TS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibitors. Oxidative aromatization of ethyl 2-amino-4-methyl-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-1-benzothiophene-3-carboxylate (±)-9 to ethyl 2-amino-4-methyl-1-benzothiophene-3-carboxylate 10 with 10% Pd/C was a key synthetic step. Compounds with 2-CH3 substituents inhibited human (h) TS (IC50 = 0.26-0.8 μM), but not hDHFR. Substitution of the 2-CH3 with a 2-NH2 increases hTS inhibition by more than 10-fold and also affords excellent hDHFR inhibition (IC50 = 0.09-0.1 μM). This study shows that the tricyclic benzo[4,5]thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine scaffold is highly conducive to single hTS or dual hTS-hDHFR inhibition depending on the 2-position substituents. The X-ray crystal structures of 6 and 7 with hDHFR reveal, for the first time, that tricyclics 6 and 7 bind with the benzo[4,5]thieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine ring in the folate binding mode with the thieno S mimicking the 4-amino of methotrexate. PMID:21550809

  6. Molecular epidemiology of malaria in Cameroon. XXX. sequence analysis of Plasmodium falciparum ATPase 6, dihydrofolate reductase, and dihydropteroate synthase resistance markers in clinical isolates from children treated with an artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine combination.

    PubMed

    Menemedengue, Virginie; Sahnouni, Khalifa; Basco, Leonardo; Tahar, Rachida

    2011-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) and dihydropteroate synthase (dhps) genes are reliable molecular markers for antifolate resistance. The P. falciparum ATPase 6 (pfatp6) gene has been proposed to be a potential marker for artemisinin resistance. In our previous clinical study, we showed that artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is highly effective against uncomplicated malaria in Yaoundé, Cameroon. In the present study, dhfr, dhps, and pfatp6 mutations in P. falciparum isolates obtained from children treated with artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine were determined. All 61 isolates had wild-type Pfatp6 263, 623, and 769 alleles, and 11 (18%) had a single E431K substitution. Three additional mutations, E643Q, E432K, and E641Q, were detected. The results did not indicate any warning signal of serious concern (i.e., no parasites were seen with quintuple dhfr-dhps, DHFR Ile164Leu, or pfatp6 mutations), as confirmed by the high clinical efficacy of artesunate-sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Further studies are required to identify a molecular marker that reliably predicts artemisinin resistance. PMID:21734119

  7. An affinity selection-mass spectrometry method for the identification of small molecule ligands from self-encoded combinatorial libraries: Discovery of a novel antagonist of E. coli dihydrofolate reductase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Annis, D. Allen; Athanasopoulos, John; Curran, Patrick J.; Felsch, Jason S.; Kalghatgi, Krishna; Lee, William H.; Nash, Huw M.; Orminati, Jean-Paul A.; Rosner, Kristin E.; Shipps, Gerald W., Jr.; Thaddupathy, G. R. A.; Tyler, Andrew N.; Vilenchik, Lev; Wagner, Carston R.; Wintner, Edward A.

    2004-11-01

    The NeoGenesis Automated Ligand Identification System (ALIS), an affinity selection-mass spectrometry (AS-MS) process consisting of a rapid size-exclusion chromatography stage integrated with reverse-phase chromatography, electrospray mass spectrometry, and novel data searching algorithms, was used to screen mass-encoded, 2500-member combinatorial libraries, leading to the discovery of a novel, bioactive ligand for the anti-infective target Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Synthesis of the mass-encoded, ligand-containing library, discussion of the deconvolution process for verifying the structure of the ligand through independent synthesis and screening in a small mixture (sub-library) format, and ALIS-MS/MS techniques to assign its regioisomeric connectivity are presented. ALIS-based competition experiments between the newly discovered ligand and other, known DHFR ligands, and biological activity assessments with stereo- and regioisomers of the hit compound confirm its DHFR-specific biological activity. The method described requires no foreknowledge of the structure or biochemistry of the protein target, consumes less than 1 [mu]g protein to screen >2500 compounds in a single experiment, and enables screening of >250,000 compounds per system per day. These advantages highlight the potential of the ALIS method for drug discovery against genomic targets with unknown biological function, as well as validated targets for which traditional discovery efforts have failed.

  8. NMR structures of apo L. casei dihydrofolate reductase and its complexes with trimethoprim and NADPH: contributions to positive cooperative binding from ligand-induced refolding, conformational changes, and interligand hydrophobic interactions.

    PubMed

    Feeney, James; Birdsall, Berry; Kovalevskaya, Nadezhda V; Smurnyy, Yegor D; Navarro Peran, Emna M; Polshakov, Vladimir I

    2011-05-10

    In order to examine the origins of the large positive cooperativity (ΔG(0)(coop) = -2.9 kcal mol(-1)) of trimethoprim (TMP) binding to a bacterial dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) in the presence of NADPH, we have determined and compared NMR solution structures of L. casei apo DHFR and its binary and ternary complexes with TMP and NADPH and made complementary thermodynamic measurements. The DHFR structures are generally very similar except for the A-B loop region and part of helix B (residues 15-31) which could not be directly detected for L. casei apo DHFR because of line broadening from exchange between folded and unfolded forms. Thermodynamic and NMR measurements suggested that a significant contribution to the cooperativity comes from refolding of apo DHFR on binding the first ligand (up to -0.95 kcals mol(-1) if 80% of A-B loop requires refolding). Comparisons of Cα-Cα distance differences and domain rotation angles between apo DHFR and its complexes indicated that generally similar conformational changes involving domain movements accompany formation of the binary complexes with either TMP or NADPH and that the binary structures are approaching that of the ternary complex as would be expected for positive cooperativity. These favorable ligand-induced structural changes upon binding the first ligand will also contribute significantly to the cooperative binding. A further substantial contribution to cooperative binding results from the proximity of the bound ligands in the ternary complex: this reduces the solvent accessible area of the ligand and provides a favorable entropic hydrophobic contribution (up to -1.4 kcal mol(-1)). PMID:21410224

  9. NMR Structures of Apo L. casei Dihydrofolate Reductase and Its Complexes with Trimethoprim and NADPH: Contributions to Positive Cooperative Binding from Ligand-Induced Refolding, Conformational Changes, and Interligand Hydrophobic Interactions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    In order to examine the origins of the large positive cooperativity (ΔG0coop = −2.9 kcal mol−1) of trimethoprim (TMP) binding to a bacterial dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) in the presence of NADPH, we have determined and compared NMR solution structures of L. casei apo DHFR and its binary and ternary complexes with TMP and NADPH and made complementary thermodynamic measurements. The DHFR structures are generally very similar except for the A−B loop region and part of helix B (residues 15−31) which could not be directly detected for L. casei apo DHFR because of line broadening from exchange between folded and unfolded forms. Thermodynamic and NMR measurements suggested that a significant contribution to the cooperativity comes from refolding of apo DHFR on binding the first ligand (up to −0.95 kcals mol−1 if 80% of A−B loop requires refolding). Comparisons of Cα−Cα distance differences and domain rotation angles between apo DHFR and its complexes indicated that generally similar conformational changes involving domain movements accompany formation of the binary complexes with either TMP or NADPH and that the binary structures are approaching that of the ternary complex as would be expected for positive cooperativity. These favorable ligand-induced structural changes upon binding the first ligand will also contribute significantly to the cooperative binding. A further substantial contribution to cooperative binding results from the proximity of the bound ligands in the ternary complex: this reduces the solvent accessible area of the ligand and provides a favorable entropic hydrophobic contribution (up to −1.4 kcal mol−1). PMID:21410224

  10. Dihydrofolate-Reductase Mutations in Plasmodium knowlesi Appear Unrelated to Selective Drug Pressure from Putative Human-To-Human Transmission in Sabah, Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Imwong, Mallika; William, Timothy; Bird, Elspeth; Piera, Kim A.; Aziz, Ammar; Boonyuen, Usa; Drakeley, Christopher J.; Cox, Jonathan; White, Nicholas J.; Cheng, Qin; Yeo, Tsin W.; Auburn, Sarah; Anstey, Nicholas M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Malaria caused by zoonotic Plasmodium knowlesi is an emerging threat in Eastern Malaysia. Despite demonstrated vector competency, it is unknown whether human-to-human (H-H) transmission is occurring naturally. We sought evidence of drug selection pressure from the antimalarial sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) as a potential marker of H-H transmission. Methods The P. knowlesi dihdyrofolate-reductase (pkdhfr) gene was sequenced from 449 P. knowlesi malaria cases from Sabah (Malaysian Borneo) and genotypes evaluated for association with clinical and epidemiological factors. Homology modelling using the pvdhfr template was used to assess the effect of pkdhfr mutations on the pyrimethamine binding pocket. Results Fourteen non-synonymous mutations were detected, with the most common being at codon T91P (10.2%) and R34L (10.0%), resulting in 21 different genotypes, including the wild-type, 14 single mutants, and six double mutants. One third of the P. knowlesi infections were with pkdhfr mutants; 145 (32%) patients had single mutants and 14 (3%) had double-mutants. In contrast, among the 47 P. falciparum isolates sequenced, three pfdhfr genotypes were found, with the double mutant 108N+59R being fixed and the triple mutants 108N+59R+51I and 108N+59R+164L occurring with frequencies of 4% and 8%, respectively. Two non-random spatio-temporal clusters were identified with pkdhfr genotypes. There was no association between pkdhfr mutations and hyperparasitaemia or malaria severity, both hypothesized to be indicators of H-H transmission. The orthologous loci associated with resistance in P. falciparum were not mutated in pkdhfr. Subsequent homology modelling of pkdhfr revealed gene loci 13, 53, 120, and 173 as being critical for pyrimethamine binding, however, there were no mutations at these sites among the 449 P. knowlesi isolates. Conclusion Although moderate diversity was observed in pkdhfr in Sabah, there was no evidence this reflected selective antifolate drug

  11. Structural analysis of a holoenzyme complex of mouse dihydrofolate reductase with NADPH and a ternary complex with the potent and selective inhibitor 2, 4-diamino-6-(2′-hydroxydibenz[b, f]azepin-5-yl)methylpteridine

    SciTech Connect

    Cody, Vivian; Pace, Jim; Rosowsky, Andre

    2008-09-01

    The structures of mouse DHFR holo enzyme and a ternary complex with NADPH and a potent inhibitor are described. It has been shown that 2, 4-diamino-6-arylmethylpteridines and 2, 4-diamino-5-arylmethylpyrimidines containing an O-carboxylalkyloxy group in the aryl moiety are potent and selective inhibitors of the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from opportunistic pathogens such as Pneumocystis carinii, the causative agent of Pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV/AIDS patients. In order to understand the structure–activity profile observed for a series of substituted dibenz[b, f]azepine antifolates, the crystal structures of mouse DHFR (mDHFR; a mammalian homologue) holo and ternary complexes with NADPH and the inhibitor 2, 4-diamino-6-(2′-hydroxydibenz[b, f]azepin-5-yl)methylpteridine were determined to 1.9 and 1.4 Å resolution, respectively. Structural data for the ternary complex with the potent O-(3-carboxypropyl) inhibitor PT684 revealed no electron density for the O-carboxylalkyloxy side chain. The side chain was either cleaved or completely disordered. The electron density fitted the less potent hydroxyl compound PT684a. Additionally, cocrystallization of mDHFR with NADPH and the less potent 2′-(4-carboxybenzyl) inhibitor PT682 showed no electron density for the inhibitor and resulted in the first report of a holoenzyme complex despite several attempts at crystallization of a ternary complex. Modeling data of PT682 in the active site of mDHFR and P. carinii DHFR (pcDHFR) indicate that binding would require ligand-induced conformational changes to the enzyme for the inhibitor to fit into the active site or that the inhibitor side chain would have to adopt an alternative binding mode to that observed for other carboxyalkyloxy inhibitors. These data also show that the mDHFR complexes have a decreased active-site volume as reflected in the relative shift of helix C (residues 59–64) by 0.6 Å compared with pcDHFR ternary complexes. These data are consistent with the

  12. Structural Analysis of a Holoenzyme Complex of Mouse Dihydrofolate Reductase With NADPH And a Ternary Complex With the Potent And Selective Inhibitor 2,4-Diamino-6-(2'-Hydroxydibenz[b,F]azepin-5-YI)

    SciTech Connect

    Cody, V.; Pace, J.; Rosowsky, A.

    2009-05-12

    It has been shown that 2,4-diamino-6-arylmethylpteridines and 2,4-diamino-5-arylmethylpyrimidines containing an O-carboxylalkyloxy group in the aryl moiety are potent and selective inhibitors of the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from opportunistic pathogens such as Pneumocystis carinii, the causative agent of Pneumocystis pneumonia in HIV/AIDS patients. In order to understand the structure-activity profile observed for a series of substituted dibenz[b,f]azepine antifolates, the crystal structures of mouse DHFR (mDHFR; a mammalian homologue) holo and ternary complexes with NADPH and the inhibitor 2,4-diamino-6-(2{prime}-hydroxydibenz[b,f]azepin-5-yl)methylpteridine were determined to 1.9 and 1.4 A resolution, respectively. Structural data for the ternary complex with the potent O-(3-carboxypropyl) inhibitor PT684 revealed no electron density for the O-carboxylalkyloxy side chain. The side chain was either cleaved or completely disordered. The electron density fitted the less potent hydroxyl compound PT684a. Additionally, cocrystallization of mDHFR with NADPH and the less potent 2{prime}-(4-carboxybenzyl) inhibitor PT682 showed no electron density for the inhibitor and resulted in the first report of a holoenzyme complex despite several attempts at crystallization of a ternary complex. Modeling data of PT682 in the active site of mDHFR and P. carinii DHFR (pcDHFR) indicate that binding would require ligand-induced conformational changes to the enzyme for the inhibitor to fit into the active site or that the inhibitor side chain would have to adopt an alternative binding mode to that observed for other carboxyalkyloxy inhibitors. These data also show that the mDHFR complexes have a decreased active-site volume as reflected in the relative shift of helix C (residues 59-64) by 0.6 A compared with pcDHFR ternary complexes. These data are consistent with the greater inhibitory potency against pcDHFR.

  13. Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, R C

    2003-01-01

    The events of 11 September 2001 and the subsequent anthrax outbreaks have shown that the West needs to be prepared for an increasing number of terrorist attacks, which may include the use of biological warfare. Bacillus anthracis has long been considered a potential biological warfare agent, and this review will discuss the history of its use as such. It will also cover the biology of this organism and the clinical features of the three disease forms that it can produce: cutaneous, gastrointestinal, and inhalation anthrax. In addition, treatment and vaccination strategies will be reviewed. PMID:12610093

  14. Ligand binding studies, preliminary structure-activity relationship and detailed mechanistic characterization of 1-phenyl-6,6-dimethyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine derivatives as inhibitors of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Bharath; Tonddast-Navaei, Sam; Skolnick, Jeffrey

    2015-10-20

    Gram-negative bacteria are implicated in the causation of life-threatening hospital-acquired infections. They acquire rapid resistance to multiple drugs and available antibiotics. Hence, there is the need to discover new antibacterial agents with novel scaffolds. For the first time, this study explores the 1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine and 1,2,4-triazine-2,4-diamine group of compounds as potential inhibitors of Escherichia coli DHFR, a pivotal enzyme in the thymidine and purine synthesis pathway. Using differential scanning fluorimetry, DSF, fifteen compounds with various substitutions on either the 3rd or 4th positions on the benzene group of 6,6-dimethyl-1-(benzene)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine were shown to bind to the enzyme with varying affinities. Then, the dose dependence of inhibition by these compounds was determined. Preliminary quantitative structure-activity relationship analysis and docking studies implicate the alkyl linker group and the sulfonyl fluoride group in increasing the potency of inhibition. 4-[4-[3-(4,6-diamino-2,2-dimethyl-1,3,5-triazin-1-yl)phenyl]butyl]benzenesulfonyl fluoride (NSC120927), the best hit from the study and a molecule with no reported inhibition of E. coli DHFR, potently inhibits the enzyme with a Ki value of 42.50 ± 5.34 nM, followed by 4-[6-[4-(4,6-diamino-2,2-dimethyl-1,3,5-triazin-1-yl)phenyl]hexyl]benzenesulfonyl fluoride (NSC132279), with a Ki value of 100.9 ± 12.7 nM. Detailed kinetic characterization of the inhibition brought about by five small-molecule hits shows that these inhibitors bind to the dihydrofolate binding site with preferential binding to the NADPH-bound binary form of the enzyme. Furthermore, in search of novel diaminotriazine scaffolds, it is shown that lamotrigine, a 1,2,4-triazine-3,5-diamine and a sodium-ion channel blocker class of antiepileptic drug, also inhibits E. coli DHFR. This is the first comprehensive study on the binding and inhibition brought about by diaminotriazines of a gram

  15. Preferential selection of isomer binding from chiral mixtures: alternate binding modes observed for the E and Z isomers of a series of 5-substituted 2,4-diaminofuro[2,3-d]pyrimidines as ternary complexes with NADPH and human dihydrofolate reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Cody, Vivian; Piraino, Jennifer; Pace, Jim; Li, Wei; Gangjee, Aleem

    2010-12-01

    The structures of six chirally mixed E/Z-isomers of 5-substituted 2,4-diaminofuro[2,3-d]pyrimidines reveals only one isomer is bound in the active site of human DHFR. The configuration of all but one C9-analogue is observed as the E-isomer. The crystal structures of six human dihydrofolate reductase (hDHFR) ternary complexes with NADPH and a series of mixed E/Z isomers of 5-substituted 5-[2-(2-methoxyphenyl)-prop-1-en-1-yl]furo[2,3-d]pyrimidine-2,4-diamines substituted at the C9 position with propyl, isopropyl, cyclopropyl, butyl, isobutyl and sec-butyl (E2–E7, Z3) were determined and the results were compared with the resolved E and Z isomers of the C9-methyl parent compound. The configuration of all of the inhibitors, save one, was observed as the E isomer, in which the binding of the furopyrimidine ring is flipped such that the 4-amino group binds in the 4-oxo site of folate. The Z3 isomer of the C9-isopropyl analog has the normal 2,4-diaminopyrimidine ring binding geometry, with the furo oxygen near Glu30 and the 4-amino group interacting near the cofactor nicotinamide ring. Electron-density maps for these structures revealed the binding of only one isomer to hDHFR, despite the fact that chiral mixtures (E:Z ratios of 2:1, 3:1 and 3:2) of the inhibitors were incubated with hDHFR prior to crystallization. Superposition of the hDHFR complexes with E2 and Z3 shows that the 2′-methoxyphenyl ring of E2 is perpendicular to that of Z3. The most potent inhibitor in this series is the isopropyl analog Z3 and the least potent is the isobutyl analog E6, consistent with data that show that the Z isomer makes the most favorable interactions with the active-site residues. The isobutyl moiety of E6 is observed in two orientations and the resultant steric crowding of the E6 analog is consistent with its weaker activity. The alternative binding modes observed for the furopyrimidine ring in these E/Z isomers suggest that new templates can be designed to probe these binding

  16. Short Report: Detection of the Dihydrofolate Reductase–164L Mutation in Plasmodium falciparum Infections from Malawi by Heteroduplex Tracking Assay

    PubMed Central

    Juliano, Jonathan J.; Trottman, Paul; Mwapasa, Victor; Meshnick, Steven R.

    2008-01-01

    Standard polymerase chain reaction methods often cannot detect drug-resistance mutations in Plasmodium falciparum infections if the mutation is present in ≤ 20% of the parasites. A heteroduplex tracking assay was developed that can detect dihydrofolate reductase 164-L mutations in variants representing 1% of the parasites in an individual host. Using this assay, we confirmed the presence of the mutation in P. falciparum infections in Malawi. PMID:18541765

  17. Binding Pocket Alterations in Dihydrofolate Synthase Confer Resistance to para-Aminosalicylic Acid in Clinical Isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Fei; Wang, Xu-De; Erber, Luke N.; Luo, Ming; Guo, Ai-zhen; Yang, Shan-shan; Gu, Jing; Turman, Breanna J.; Gao, Yun-rong; Li, Dong-fang; Cui, Zong-qiang; Zhang, Zhi-ping; Bi, Li-jun; Baughn, Anthony D.

    2014-01-01

    The mechanistic basis for the resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to para-aminosalicylic acid (PAS), an important agent in the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, has yet to be fully defined. As a substrate analog of the folate precursor para-aminobenzoic acid, PAS is ultimately bioactivated to hydroxy dihydrofolate, which inhibits dihydrofolate reductase and disrupts the operation of folate-dependent metabolic pathways. As a result, the mutation of dihydrofolate synthase, an enzyme needed for the bioactivation of PAS, causes PAS resistance in M. tuberculosis strain H37Rv. Here, we demonstrate that various missense mutations within the coding sequence of the dihydropteroate (H2Pte) binding pocket of dihydrofolate synthase (FolC) confer PAS resistance in laboratory isolates of M. tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis. From a panel of 85 multidrug-resistant M. tuberculosis clinical isolates, 5 were found to harbor mutations in the folC gene within the H2Pte binding pocket, resulting in PAS resistance. While these alterations in the H2Pte binding pocket resulted in reduced dihydrofolate synthase activity, they also abolished the bioactivation of hydroxy dihydropteroate to hydroxy dihydrofolate. Consistent with this model for abolished bioactivation, the introduction of a wild-type copy of folC fully restored PAS susceptibility in folC mutant strains. Confirmation of this novel PAS resistance mechanism will be beneficial for the development of molecular method-based diagnostics for M. tuberculosis clinical isolates and for further defining the mode of action of this important tuberculosis drug. PMID:24366731

  18. Bacillus anthracis physiology and genetics.

    PubMed

    Koehler, Theresa M

    2009-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a member of the Bacillus cereus group species (also known as the "group 1 bacilli"), a collection of Gram-positive spore-forming soil bacteria that are non-fastidious facultative anaerobes with very similar growth characteristics and natural genetic exchange systems. Despite their close physiology and genetics, the B. cereus group species exhibit certain species-specific phenotypes, some of which are related to pathogenicity. B. anthracis is the etiologic agent of anthrax. Vegetative cells of B. anthracis produce anthrax toxin proteins and a poly-d-glutamic acid capsule during infection of mammalian hosts and when cultured in conditions considered to mimic the host environment. The genes associated with toxin and capsule synthesis are located on the B. anthracis plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, respectively. Although plasmid content is considered a defining feature of the species, pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids have been identified in strains that more closely resemble other members of the B. cereus group. The developmental nature of B. anthracis and its pathogenic (mammalian host) and environmental (soil) lifestyles of make it an interesting model for study of niche-specific bacterial gene expression and physiology. PMID:19654018

  19. Routine Markerless Gene Replacement in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Brian K.; Stibitz, Scott

    2006-01-01

    An improved genetic tool suitable for routine markerless allelic exchange in Bacillus anthracis has been constructed. Its utility was demonstrated by the introduction of insertions, deletions, and missense mutations on the chromosome and plasmid pXO1 of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis. PMID:16495572

  20. STRUCTURE OF THE TYPE III PANTOTHENATE KINASE FROM Bacillus anthracis AT 2.0 Å RESOLUTION

    PubMed Central

    Nicely, Nathan I.; Parsonage, Derek; Paige, Carleitta; Newton, Gerald L.; Fahey, Robert C.; Leonardi, Roberta; Jackowski, Suzanne; Mallett, T. Conn; Claiborne, Al

    2008-01-01

    Coenzyme A (CoASH) is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Staphylococcus aureus and a number of other bacteria; the crystal structure of the S. aureus coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR), which maintains the reduced intracellular state of CoASH, has recently been reported [Mallett, T.C., Wallen, J.R., Karplus, P.A., Sakai, H., Tsukihara, T., and Claiborne, A. (2006) Biochemistry 45, 11278-11289]. In this report we demonstrate that CoASH is the major thiol in Bacillus anthracis; a bioinformatics analysis indicates that three of the four proteins responsible for the conversion of pantothenate (Pan) to CoASH in Escherichia coli are conserved in B. anthracis. In contrast, a novel type III pantothenate kinase (PanK) catalyzes the first committed step in the biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis; unlike the E. coli type I PanK, this enzyme is not subject to feedback inhibition by CoASH. The crystal structure of B. anthracis PanK (BaPanK), solved using multiwavelength anomalous dispersion data and refined at a resolution of 2.0 Å, demonstrates that BaPanK is a new member of the Acetate and Sugar Kinase/Hsc70/Actin (ASKHA) superfamily. The Pan and ATP substrates have been modeled into the active-site cleft; in addition to providing a clear rationale for the absence of CoASH inhibition, analysis of the Pan-binding pocket has led to the development of two new structure-based motifs (the PAN and INTERFACE motifs). Our analyses also suggest that the type III PanK in the spore-forming B. anthracis plays an essential role in the novel thiol/disulfide redox biology of this category A biodefense pathogen. PMID:17323930

  1. Thioredoxin reductase.

    PubMed

    Mustacich, D; Powis, G

    2000-02-15

    The mammalian thioredoxin reductases (TrxRs) are a family of selenium-containing pyridine nucleotide-disulphide oxidoreductases with mechanistic and sequence identity, including a conserved -Cys-Val-Asn-Val-Gly-Cys- redox catalytic site, to glutathione reductases. TrxRs catalyse the NADPH-dependent reduction of the redox protein thioredoxin (Trx), as well as of other endogenous and exogenous compounds. The broad substrate specificity of mammalian TrxRs is due to a second redox-active site, a C-terminal -Cys-SeCys- (where SeCys is selenocysteine), that is not found in glutathione reductase or Escherichia coli TrxR. There are currently two confirmed forms of mammalian TrxRs, TrxR1 and TrxR2, and it is possible that other forms will be identified. The availability of Se is a key factor determining TrxR activity both in cell culture and in vivo, and the mechanism(s) for the incorporation of Se into TrxRs, as well as the regulation of TrxR activity, have only recently begun to be investigated. The importance of Trx to many aspects of cell function make it likely that TrxRs also play a role in protection against oxidant injury, cell growth and transformation, and the recycling of ascorbate from its oxidized form. Since TrxRs are able to reduce a number of substrates other than Trx, it is likely that additional biological effects will be discovered for TrxR. Furthermore, inhibiting TrxR with drugs may lead to new treatments for human diseases such as cancer, AIDS and autoimmune diseases. PMID:10657232

  2. Glutamate Racemase Mutants of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Oh, So-Young; Richter, Stefan G.; Missiakas, Dominique M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT d-Glutamate is an essential component of bacterial peptidoglycan and a building block of the poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PDGA) capsule of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Earlier work suggested that two glutamate racemases, encoded by racE1 and racE2, are each essential for growth of B. anthracis, supplying d-glutamic acid for the synthesis of peptidoglycan and PDGA capsule. Earlier work could not explain, however, why two enzymes that catalyze the same reaction may be needed for bacterial growth. Here, we report that deletion of racE1 or racE2 did not prevent growth of B. anthracis Sterne (pXO1+ pXO2−), the noncapsulating vaccine strain, or of B. anthracis Ames (pXO1+ pXO2+), a fully virulent, capsulating isolate. While mutants with deletions in racE1 and racE2 were not viable, racE2 deletion delayed vegetative growth of B. anthracis following spore germination and caused aberrant cell shapes, phenotypes that were partially restored by exogenous d-glutamate. Deletion of racE1 or racE2 from B. anthracis Ames did not affect the production or stereochemical composition of the PDGA capsule. A model is presented whereby B. anthracis, similar to Bacillus subtilis, utilizes two functionally redundant racemase enzymes to synthesize d-glutamic acid for peptidoglycan synthesis. IMPORTANCE Glutamate racemases, enzymes that convert l-glutamate to d-glutamate, are targeted for antibiotic development. Glutamate racemase inhibitors may be useful for the treatment of bacterial infections such as anthrax, where the causative agent, B. anthracis, requires d-glutamate for the synthesis of peptidoglycan and poly-γ-d-glutamic acid (PDGA) capsule. Here we show that B. anthracis possesses two glutamate racemase genes that can be deleted without abolishing either bacterial growth or PDGA synthesis. These data indicate that drug candidates must inhibit both glutamate racemases, RacE1 and RacE2, in order to block B. anthracis growth and achieve therapeutic

  3. Capsule depolymerase overexpression reduces Bacillus anthracis virulence.

    PubMed

    Scorpio, Angelo; Chabot, Donald J; Day, William A; Hoover, Timothy A; Friedlander, Arthur M

    2010-05-01

    Capsule depolymerase (CapD) is a gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase and a product of the Bacillus anthracis capsule biosynthesis operon. In this study, we examined the effect of modulating capD expression on B. anthracis capsule phenotype, interaction with phagocytic cells and virulence in guinea pigs. Transcriptional fusions of capD were made to the genes encoding heat-shock protein 60 (hsp60) and elongation factor Tu (EFTu), and to capA, a B. anthracis capsule biosynthesis gene. Translation signals were altered to improve expression of capD, including replacing the putative ribosome-binding site with a consensus sequence and the TTG start codon with ATG. CapD was not detected by immunoblotting in lysates from wild-type B. anthracis Ames but was detected in strains engineered with a consensus ribosome-binding site for capD. Strains overexpressing capD at amounts detected by immunoblotting were found to have less surface-associated capsule and released primarily lower-molecular-mass capsule into culture supernatants. Overexpression of capD increased susceptibility to neutrophil phagocytic killing and adherence to macrophages and resulted in reduced fitness in a guinea pig model of infection. These data suggest that B. anthracis may have evolved weak capD expression resulting in optimized capsule-mediated virulence. PMID:20110296

  4. Rational modification of the lead molecule: Enhancement in the anticancer and dihydrofolate reductase inhibitory activity.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Jagroop; Kaur, Sukhmeet; Singh, Palwinder

    2016-04-15

    By using molecular docking studies, the practice of fragment based drug discovery is conceptualized by introducing oxindole and iso-propanol moieties in our previous lead molecule 1. The resulting compound 2 exhibited competitive inhibition and favorable Ka and Ki for hDHFR. The screening of compound 2 at 60 cell line panel of human tumor cell lines showed its considerably better efficacy than compound 1 and hence put the candidature of 2 on stronghold for further studies. PMID:26979156

  5. Bacillus anthracis Bioterrorism Incident, Kameido, Tokyo, 1993

    PubMed Central

    Keim, Paul; Kaufmann, Arnold F.; Keys, Christine; Smith, Kimothy L.; Taniguchi, Kiyosu; Inouye, Sakae; Kurata, Takeshi

    2004-01-01

    In July 1993, a liquid suspension of Bacillus anthracis was aerosolized from the roof of an eight-story building in Kameido, Tokyo, Japan, by the religious group Aum Shinrikyo. During 1999 to 2001, microbiologic tests were conducted on a liquid environmental sample originally collected during the 1993 incident. Nonencapsulated isolates of B. anthracis were cultured from the liquid. Multiple-locus, variable-number tandem repeat analysis found all isolates to be identical to a strain used in Japan to vaccinate animals against anthrax, which was consistent with the Aum Shinrikyo members’ testimony about the strain source. In 1999, a retrospective case-detection survey was conducted to identify potential human anthrax cases associated with the incident, but none were found. The use of an attenuated B. anthracis strain, low spore concentrations, ineffective dispersal, a clogged spray device, and inactivation of the spores by sunlight are all likely contributing factors to the lack of human cases. PMID:15112666

  6. MOBILE LABORATORY FOR BACILLUS ANTHRACIS DETECTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In response to a bioterrorism event in the Washington, DC area in October 2001 a mobile laboratory (ML) was set up in the city to conduct rapid molecular tests on environmental samples for the detection of Bacillus anthracis spores. The ML contained two Class I laminar flow hoods, a small autoclave,...

  7. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures. PMID:26502561

  8. Characterization of Bacillus anthracis Persistence In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Jenkins, Sarah A.; Xu, Yi

    2013-01-01

    Pulmonary exposure to Bacillus anthracis spores initiates inhalational anthrax, a life-threatening infection. It is known that dormant spores can be recovered from the lungs of infected animals months after the initial spore exposure. Consequently, a 60-day course antibiotic treatment is recommended for exposed individuals. However, there has been little information regarding details or mechanisms of spore persistence in vivo. In this study, we investigated spore persistence in a mouse model. The results indicated that weeks after intranasal inoculation with B. anthracis spores, substantial amounts of spores could be recovered from the mouse lung. Moreover, spores of B. anthracis were significantly better at persisting in the lung than spores of a non-pathogenic Bacillus subtilis strain. The majority of B. anthracis spores in the lung were tightly associated with the lung tissue, as they could not be readily removed by lavage. Immunofluorescence staining of lung sections showed that spores associated with the alveolar and airway epithelium. Confocal analysis indicated that some of the spores were inside epithelial cells. This was further confirmed by differential immunofluorescence staining of lung cells harvested from the infected lungs, suggesting that association with lung epithelial cells may provide an advantage to spore persistence in the lung. There was no or very mild inflammation in the infected lungs. Furthermore, spores were present in the lung tissue as single spores rather than in clusters. We also showed that the anthrax toxins did not play a role in persistence. Together, the results suggest that B. anthracis spores have special properties that promote their persistence in the lung, and that there may be multiple mechanisms contributing to spore persistence. PMID:23750280

  9. 76 FR 53480 - Prospective Grant of Exclusive License: Conjugate Vaccines Against B. anthracis

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-26

    ... therapy of B. anthracis (anthrax) infection by immunization with conjugate vaccines against anthrax and/or passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies against B. anthracis. The prospective exclusive...

  10. The genome and variation of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Keim, Paul; Gruendike, Jeffrey M; Klevytska, Alexandra M; Schupp, James M; Challacombe, Jean; Okinaka, Richard

    2009-12-01

    The Bacillus anthracis genome reflects its close genetic ties to Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis but has been shaped by its own unique biology and evolutionary forces. The genome is comprised of a chromosome and two large virulence plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2. The chromosome is mostly co-linear among B. anthracis strains and even with the closest near neighbor strains. An exception to this pattern has been observed in a large inversion in an attenuated strain suggesting that chromosome co-linearity is important to the natural biology of this pathogen. In general, there are few polymorphic nucleotides among B. anthracis strains reflecting the short evolutionary time since its derivation from a B. cereus-like ancestor. The exceptions to this lack of diversity are the variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) loci that exist in genic and non genic regions of the chromosome and both plasmids. Their variation is associated with high mutability that is driven by rapid insertion and deletion of the repeats within an array. A notable example is found in the vrrC locus which is homologous to known DNA translocase genes from other bacteria. PMID:19729033

  11. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Strain Tangail-1 from Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Braun, Peter; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Grass, Gregor; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Hanczaruk, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Soil was collected in July 2013 at a site where a cow infected with anthrax had been the month before. Selective culturing yielded Bacillus anthracis strain Tangail-1. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of this Bacillus anthracis isolate that belongs to the canonical A.Br.001/002 clade. PMID:27469968

  12. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Strain Tangail-1 from Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Antwerpen, Markus; Braun, Peter; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Grass, Gregor; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Hanczaruk, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Soil was collected in July 2013 at a site where a cow infected with anthrax had been the month before. Selective culturing yielded Bacillus anthracis strain Tangail-1. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of this Bacillus anthracis isolate that belongs to the canonical A.Br.001/002 clade. PMID:27469968

  13. Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and Plants May Promote Anthrax Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Ganz, Holly H.; Turner, Wendy C.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Kusters, Martina; Shi, Ying; Sibanda, Heniritha; Torok, Tamas; Getz, Wayne M.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental reservoirs are essential in the maintenance and transmission of anthrax but are poorly characterized. The anthrax agent, Bacillus anthracis was long considered an obligate pathogen that is dormant and passively transmitted in the environment. However, a growing number of laboratory studies indicate that, like some of its close relatives, B. anthracis has some activity outside of its vertebrate hosts. Here we show in the field that B. anthracis has significant interactions with a grass that could promote anthrax spore transmission to grazing hosts. Using a local, virulent strain of B. anthracis, we performed a field experiment in an enclosure within a grassland savanna. We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii) by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls. Further we detected significant effects of E. desvauxii, B. anthracis, and their interaction on soil bacterial taxa richness and community composition. We did not find any evidence for multiplication or increased longevity of B. anthracis in bulk soil associated with grass compared to controls. Instead interactions between B. anthracis and plants may result in increased host grazing and subsequently increased transmission to hosts. PMID:24901846

  14. Identifying experimental surrogates for Bacillus anthracis spores: a review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a proven biological weapon. In order to study this threat, a number of experimental surrogates have been used over the past 70 years. However, not all surrogates are appropriate for B. anthracis, especially when investigating transport, fate and survival. Although B. atrophaeus has been widely used as a B. anthracis surrogate, the two species do not always behave identically in transport and survival models. Therefore, we devised a scheme to identify a more appropriate surrogate for B. anthracis. Our selection criteria included risk of use (pathogenicity), phylogenetic relationship, morphology and comparative survivability when challenged with biocides. Although our knowledge of certain parameters remains incomplete, especially with regards to comparisons of spore longevity under natural conditions, we found that B. thuringiensis provided the best overall fit as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis. Thus, we suggest focusing on this surrogate in future experiments of spore fate and transport modelling. PMID:21092338

  15. Bacillus anthracis Aerosolization Associated with a Contaminated Mail Sorting Machine

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Kathy E.; Kournikakis, Bill; Whitney, Ellen A.S.; Boulet, Camille A.; Ho, Jim Y.W.; Ogston, Jim; Spence, Mel R.; MacKenzie, Megan M.; Phelan, Maureen A.; Popovic, Tanja; Ashford, David

    2002-01-01

    On October 12, 2001, two envelopes containing Bacillus anthracis spores passed through a sorting machine in a postal facility in Washington, D.C. When anthrax infection was identified in postal workers 9 days later, the facility was closed. To determine if exposure to airborne B. anthracis spores continued to occur, we performed air sampling around the contaminated sorter. One CFU of B. anthracis was isolated from 990 L of air sampled before the machine was activated. Six CFUs were isolated during machine activation and processing of clean dummy mail. These data indicate that an employee working near this machine might inhale approximately 30 B. anthracis-containing particles during an 8-h work shift. What risk this may have represented to postal workers is not known, but the risk is approximately 20-fold less than estimates of sub-5 micron B. anthracis-containing particles routinely inhaled by asymptomatic, unvaccinated workers in a goat-hair mill. PMID:12396913

  16. Structure-Based Design of Pteridine Reductase Inhibitors Targeting African Sleeping Sickness and the Leishmaniases†

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Pteridine reductase (PTR1) is a target for drug development against Trypanosoma and Leishmania species, parasites that cause serious tropical diseases and for which therapies are inadequate. We adopted a structure-based approach to the design of novel PTR1 inhibitors based on three molecular scaffolds. A series of compounds, most newly synthesized, were identified as inhibitors with PTR1-species specific properties explained by structural differences between the T. brucei and L. major enzymes. The most potent inhibitors target T. brucei PTR1, and two compounds displayed antiparasite activity against the bloodstream form of the parasite. PTR1 contributes to antifolate drug resistance by providing a molecular bypass of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) inhibition. Therefore, combining PTR1 and DHFR inhibitors might improve therapeutic efficacy. We tested two new compounds with known DHFR inhibitors. A synergistic effect was observed for one particular combination highlighting the potential of such an approach for treatment of African sleeping sickness. PMID:19916554

  17. Transcriptomic and phenotypic analysis of paralogous spx gene function in Bacillus anthracis Sterne

    PubMed Central

    Barendt, Skye; Lee, Hyunwoo; Birch, Cierra; Nakano, Michiko M; Jones, Marcus; Zuber, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Spx of Bacillus subtilis is a redox-sensitive protein, which, under disulfide stress, interacts with RNA polymerase to activate genes required for maintaining thiol homeostasis. Spx orthologs are highly conserved among low %GC Gram-positive bacteria, and often exist in multiple paralogous forms. In this study, we used B. anthracis Sterne, which harbors two paralogous spx genes, spxA1 and spxA2, to examine the phenotypes of spx null mutations and to identify the genes regulated by each Spx paralog. Cells devoid of spxA1 were sensitive to diamide and hydrogen peroxide, while the spxA1 spoxA2 double mutant was hypersensitive to the thiol-specific oxidant, diamide. Bacillus anthracis Sterne strains expressing spxA1DD or spxA2DD alleles encoding protease-resistant products were used in microarray and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analyses in order to uncover genes under SpxA1, SpxA2, or SpxA1/SpxA2 control. Comparison of transcriptomes identified many genes that were upregulated when either SpxA1DD or SpxA2DD was produced, but several genes were uncovered whose transcript levels increased in only one of the two SpxADD-expression strains, suggesting that each Spx paralog governs a unique regulon. Among genes that were upregulated were those encoding orthologs of proteins that are specifically involved in maintaining intracellular thiol homeostasis or alleviating oxidative stress. Some of these genes have important roles in B. anthracis pathogenesis, and a large number of upregulated hypothetical genes have no homology outside of the B. cereus/thuringiensis group. Microarray and RT-qPCR analyses also unveiled a regulatory link that exists between the two spx paralogous genes. The data indicate that spxA1 and spxA2 are transcriptional regulators involved in relieving disulfide stress but also control a set of genes whose products function in other cellular processes. Bacillus anthracis harbors two paralogs of the global transcriptional

  18. What sets Bacillus anthracis apart from other Bacillus species?

    PubMed

    Kolstø, Anne-Brit; Tourasse, Nicolas J; Økstad, Ole Andreas

    2009-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the cause of anthrax, and two large plasmids are essential for toxicity: pXO1, which contains the toxin genes, and pXO2, which encodes a capsule. B. anthracis forms a highly monomorphic lineage within the B. cereus group, but strains of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. cereus exist that are genetically closely related to the B. anthracis cluster. During the past five years B. cereus strains that contain the pXO1 virulence plasmid were discovered, and strains with both pXO1 and pXO2 have been isolated from great apes in Africa. Therefore, the presence of pXO1 and pXO2 no longer principally separates B. anthracis from other Bacilli. The B. anthracis lineage carries a specific mutation in the global regulator PlcR, which controls the transcription of secreted virulence factors in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. Coevolution of the B. anthracis chromosome with its plasmids may be the basis for the successful development and uniqueness of the B. anthracis lineage. PMID:19514852

  19. Structure of the Type III Pantothenate Kinase from Bacillus Anthracis at 2.0 A Resolution: Implications for Coenzyme A-Dependent Redox Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Nicely,N.; Parsonage, D.; Paige, C.; Newton, G.; Fahey, R.; Leonardi, R.; Jackowski, S.; Mallett, T.; Claiborne, A.

    2007-01-01

    Coenzyme A (CoASH) is the major low-molecular weight thiol in Staphylococcus aureus and a number of other bacteria; the crystal structure of the S. aureus coenzyme A-disulfide reductase (CoADR), which maintains the reduced intracellular state of CoASH, has recently been reported [Mallett, T.C., Wallen, J.R., Karplus, P.A., Sakai, H., Tsukihara, T., and Claiborne, A. (2006) Biochemistry 45, 11278-89]. In this report we demonstrate that CoASH is the major thiol in Bacillus anthracis; a bioinformatics analysis indicates that three of the four proteins responsible for the conversion of pantothenate (Pan) to CoASH in Escherichia coli are conserved in B. anthracis. In contrast, a novel type III pantothenate kinase (PanK) catalyzes the first committed step in the biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis; unlike the E. coli type I PanK, this enzyme is not subject to feedback inhibition by CoASH. The crystal structure of B. anthracis PanK (BaPanK), solved using multiwavelength anomalous dispersion data and refined at a resolution of 2.0 {angstrom}, demonstrates that BaPanK is a new member of the Acetate and Sugar Kinase/Hsc70/Actin (ASKHA) superfamily. The Pan and ATP substrates have been modeled into the active-site cleft; in addition to providing a clear rationale for the absence of CoASH inhibition, analysis of the Pan-binding pocket has led to the development of two new structure-based motifs (the PAN and INTERFACE motifs). Our analyses also suggest that the type III PanK in the spore-forming B. anthracis plays an essential role in the novel thiol/disulfide redox biology of this category A biodefense pathogen.

  20. [Bacillus anthracis: causative agent of anthrax].

    PubMed

    Boutiba-Ben Boubaker, I; Ben Redjeb, S

    2001-12-01

    Anthrax, an acute infectious disease of historical importance, is once again regaining interest with its use as a biological weapon. It is caused by B. anthracis, a Gram positive spore forming rod usually surrounded by a capsule and producing toxin. It occurs most frequently as an epizootic or enzootic disease of herbivores that acquire spores form direct contact with contaminated soil. Spores can survive for many years in soil. Animal vaccination programs have reduced drastically the disease in developed countries. In humans, the disease is acquired following contact with anthrax infected animals or their products. 3 types of anthrax infection can occur: cutaneous, inhalational and gastro intestinal. Cutaneous anthrax is the most common observed form. When germination occurs, replicating bacteria release toxin leading to hemorrhage, edema, necrosis and death. Full virulence of B. anthracis requires the presence of both antiphagocytic capsule and 3 toxin components (protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor). Most naturally occurring anthrax strains are sensitive to penicillin but resistant to third generation cephalosporins. Post exposure prophylaxis is indicated to prevent inhalational anthrax. PMID:11892436

  1. Rapid targeted gene disruption in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Anthrax is a zoonotic disease recognized to affect herbivores since Biblical times and has the widest range of susceptible host species of any known pathogen. The ease with which the bacterium can be weaponized and its recent deliberate use as an agent of terror, have highlighted the importance of gaining a deeper understanding and effective countermeasures for this important pathogen. High quality sequence data has opened the possibility of systematic dissection of how genes distributed on both the bacterial chromosome and associated plasmids have made it such a successful pathogen. However, low transformation efficiency and relatively few genetic tools for chromosomal manipulation have hampered full interrogation of its genome. Results Group II introns have been developed into an efficient tool for site-specific gene inactivation in several organisms. We have adapted group II intron targeting technology for application in Bacillus anthracis and generated vectors that permit gene inactivation through group II intron insertion. The vectors developed permit screening for the desired insertion through PCR or direct selection of intron insertions using a selection scheme that activates a kanamycin resistance marker upon successful intron insertion. Conclusions The design and vector construction described here provides a useful tool for high throughput experimental interrogation of the Bacillus anthracis genome and will benefit efforts to develop improved vaccines and therapeutics. PMID:24047152

  2. Quinone Reductase 2 Is a Catechol Quinone Reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, Yue; Buryanovskyy, Leonid; Zhang, Zhongtao

    2008-09-05

    The functions of quinone reductase 2 have eluded researchers for decades even though a genetic polymorphism is associated with various neurological disorders. Employing enzymatic studies using adrenochrome as a substrate, we show that quinone reductase 2 is specific for the reduction of adrenochrome, whereas quinone reductase 1 shows no activity. We also solved the crystal structure of quinone reductase 2 in complexes with dopamine and adrenochrome, two compounds that are structurally related to catecholamine quinones. Detailed structural analyses delineate the mechanism of quinone reductase 2 specificity toward catechol quinones in comparison with quinone reductase 1; a side-chain rotational difference between quinone reductase 1 and quinone reductase 2 of a single residue, phenylalanine 106, determines the specificity of enzymatic activities. These results infer functional differences between two homologous enzymes and indicate that quinone reductase 2 could play important roles in the regulation of catecholamine oxidation processes that may be involved in the etiology of Parkinson disease.

  3. Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Chris G; Kirvel, Robert D; Love, Adam H; Bailey, Christopher G; Miles, Robin; Schweickert, Jerry; Sutton, Mark; Raber, Ellen

    2012-03-01

    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores. PMID:22352747

  4. Bacillus anthracis: current knowledge in relation to contamination of food.

    PubMed

    Erickson, M C; Kornacki, J L

    2003-04-01

    In this article, information related to anthrax and its etiologic agent, Bacillus anthracis, in food is reviewed. The major topics discussed include the taxonomic relationship of B. anthracis to other Bacillus species, methods used for the recovery of the organism from surfaces and foods, routes of infection, the pathogenesis of the organism, the microbial ecology of the vegetative cell and spore in foods and the environment, chemical and physical treatments for spore inactivation, and the control of the disease in animals. PMID:12696699

  5. Phosphate starvation enhances the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Aggarwal, Somya; Somani, Vikas Kumar; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2015-09-01

    Identifying the factors responsible for survival and virulence of Bacillus anthracis within the host is prerequisite for the development of therapeutics against anthrax. Host provides several stresses as well as many advantages to the invading pathogen. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) starvation within the host has been considered as one of the major contributing factors in the establishment of infection by pathogenic microorganisms. Here, we report for the first time that Pi fluctuation encountered by B. anthracis at different stages of its life cycle within the host, contributes significantly in its pathogenesis. In this study, Pi starvation was found to hasten the onset of infection cycle by promoting spore germination. After germination, it was found to impede cell growth. In addition, phosphate starved bacilli showed more antibiotic tolerance. Interestingly, phosphate starvation enhanced the pathogenicity of B. anthracis by augmenting its invasiveness in macrophages in vitro. B. anthracis grown under phosphate starvation were also found to be more efficient in establishing lethal infections in mouse model as well. Phosphate starvation increased B. anthracis virulence by promoting the secretion of primary virulence factors like protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). Thus, this study affirms that besides other host mediated factors, phosphate limitation may also contribute B. anthracis for successfully establishing itself within the host. This study is a step forward in delineating its pathophysiology that might help in understanding the pathogenesis of anthrax. PMID:26143397

  6. Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Reduces Human Alveolar Epithelial Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Marybeth; Duggan, Elizabeth Stewart; Booth, John Leland; Patel, Vineet Indrajit; Zander, Ryan A.; Silasi-Mansat, Robert; Ramani, Vijay; Veres, Tibor Zoltan; Prenzler, Frauke; Sewald, Katherina; Williams, Daniel M.; Coggeshall, Kenneth Mark; Awasthi, Shanjana; Lupu, Florea; Burian, Dennis; Ballard, Jimmy Dale; Braun, Armin

    2012-01-01

    The lung is the site of entry for Bacillus anthracis in inhalation anthrax, the deadliest form of the disease. Bacillus anthracis produces virulence toxins required for disease. Alveolar macrophages were considered the primary target of the Bacillus anthracis virulence factor lethal toxin because lethal toxin inhibits mouse macrophages through cleavage of MEK signaling pathway components, but we have reported that human alveolar macrophages are not a target of lethal toxin. Our current results suggest that, unlike human alveolar macrophages, the cells lining the respiratory units of the lung, alveolar epithelial cells, are a target of lethal toxin in humans. Alveolar epithelial cells expressed lethal toxin receptor protein, bound the protective antigen component of lethal toxin, and were subject to lethal-toxin-induced cleavage of multiple MEKs. These findings suggest that human alveolar epithelial cells are a target of Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin. Further, no reduction in alveolar epithelial cell viability was observed, but lethal toxin caused actin rearrangement and impaired desmosome formation, consistent with impaired barrier function as well as reduced surfactant production. Therefore, by compromising epithelial barrier function, lethal toxin may play a role in the pathogenesis of inhalation anthrax by facilitating the dissemination of Bacillus anthracis from the lung in early disease and promoting edema in late stages of the illness. PMID:23027535

  7. Secretion Genes as Determinants of Bacillus anthracis Chain Length

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Oh, So-Young; Kern, Valerie J.; Missiakas, Dominique M.

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis grows in chains of rod-shaped cells, a trait that contributes to its escape from phagocytic clearance in host tissues. Using a genetic approach to search for determinants of B. anthracis chain length, we identified mutants with insertional lesions in secA2. All isolated secA2 mutants exhibited an exaggerated chain length, whereas the dimensions of individual cells were not changed. Complementation studies revealed that slaP (S-layer assembly protein), a gene immediately downstream of secA2 on the B. anthracis chromosome, is also a determinant of chain length. Both secA2 and slaP are required for the efficient secretion of Sap and EA1 (Eag), the two S-layer proteins of B. anthracis, but not for the secretion of S-layer-associated proteins or of other secreted products. S-layer assembly via secA2 and slaP contributes to the proper positioning of BslO, the S-layer-associated protein, and murein hydrolase, which cleaves septal peptidoglycan to separate chains of bacilli. SlaP was found to be both soluble in the bacterial cytoplasm and associated with the membrane. The purification of soluble SlaP from B. anthracis-cleared lysates did not reveal a specific ligand, and the membrane association of SlaP was not dependent on SecA2, Sap, or EA1. We propose that SecA2 and SlaP promote the efficient secretion of S-layer proteins by modifying the general secretory pathway of B. anthracis to transport large amounts of Sap and EA1. PMID:22609926

  8. Natural dissemination of Bacillus anthracis spores in northern Canada.

    PubMed

    Dragon, D C; Bader, D E; Mitchell, J; Woollen, N

    2005-03-01

    Soil samples were collected from around fresh and year-old bison carcasses and areas not associated with known carcasses in Wood Buffalo National Park during an active anthrax outbreak in the summer of 2001. Sample selection with a grid provided the most complete coverage of a site. Soil samples were screened for viable Bacillus anthracis spores via selective culture, phenotypic analysis, and PCR. Bacillus anthracis spores were isolated from 28.4% of the samples. The highest concentrations of B. anthracis spores were found directly adjacent to fresh carcasses and invariably corresponded to locations where the soil had been saturated with body fluids escaping the carcass through either natural body orifices or holes torn by scavengers. The majority of positive samples were found within 2 m of both year-old and fresh carcasses and probably originated from scavengers churning up and spreading the body fluid-saturated soil as they fed. Trails of lesser contamination radiating from the carcasses probably resulted from spore dissemination through adhesion to scavengers and through larger scavengers dragging away disarticulated limbs. Comparison of samples from minimally scavenged and fully necropsied carcass sites revealed no statistically significant difference in the level of B. anthracis spore contamination. Therefore, the immediate area around a suspected anthrax carcass should be considered substantially contaminated regardless of the condition of the carcass. PMID:15746366

  9. Experimental Validation of Bacillus anthracis A16R Proteogenomics.

    PubMed

    Gao, Zhiqi; Wang, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Kun; Li, Yanchang; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Dongshu; Liu, Xiankai; Feng, Erling; Chang, Lei; Xu, Junjie; He, Simin; Xu, Ping; Zhu, Li; Wang, Hengliang

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by the pathogenic bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonosis that causes serious disease and is of significant concern as a biological warfare agent. Validating annotated genes and reannotating misannotated genes are important to understand its biology and mechanisms of pathogenicity. Proteomics studies are, to date, the best method for verifying and improving current annotations. To this end, the proteome of B. anthracis A16R was analyzed via one-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In total, we identified 3,712 proteins, including many regulatory and key functional proteins at relatively low abundance, representing the most complete proteome of B. anthracis to date. Interestingly, eight sequencing errors were detected by proteogenomic analysis and corrected by resequencing. More importantly, three unannotated peptide fragments were identified in this study and validated by synthetic peptide mass spectrum mapping and green fluorescent protein fusion experiments. These data not only give a more comprehensive understanding of B. anthracis A16R but also demonstrate the power of proteomics to improve genome annotations and determine true translational elements. PMID:26423727

  10. Mastitis caused by Bacillus anthracis in a beef cow.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Ross; Pederson, Eldon; Ngeleka, Musangu

    2008-09-01

    A mixed-breed beef cow was presented with swelling of the front and hind left quarters of the mammary gland and mild depression. Direct examination and culture of the serosanguinous-like milk samples collected from these quarters were consistent with Bacillus anthracis infection. PMID:19043486

  11. Experimental Validation of Bacillus anthracis A16R Proteogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Zhiqi; Wang, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Kun; Li, Yanchang; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Dongshu; Liu, Xiankai; Feng, Erling; Chang, Lei; Xu, Junjie; He, Simin; Xu, Ping; Zhu, Li; Wang, Hengliang

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by the pathogenic bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a zoonosis that causes serious disease and is of significant concern as a biological warfare agent. Validating annotated genes and reannotating misannotated genes are important to understand its biology and mechanisms of pathogenicity. Proteomics studies are, to date, the best method for verifying and improving current annotations. To this end, the proteome of B. anthracis A16R was analyzed via one-dimensional gel electrophoresis followed by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In total, we identified 3,712 proteins, including many regulatory and key functional proteins at relatively low abundance, representing the most complete proteome of B. anthracis to date. Interestingly, eight sequencing errors were detected by proteogenomic analysis and corrected by resequencing. More importantly, three unannotated peptide fragments were identified in this study and validated by synthetic peptide mass spectrum mapping and green fluorescent protein fusion experiments. These data not only give a more comprehensive understanding of B. anthracis A16R but also demonstrate the power of proteomics to improve genome annotations and determine true translational elements. PMID:26423727

  12. Improvement of a selective media for the isolation of B. anthracis from soils.

    PubMed

    Luna, Vicki A; Gulledge, Jenny; Cannons, Andrew C; Amuso, Philip T

    2009-12-01

    To prove linkage between an environmental sample and an anthrax case, there must be isolates obtained from both that can be compared. Although Bacillus anthracis is easily isolated from powder samples, isolating it from soil is difficult because of the high bacterial count in it. Formulations of PLET were prepared, inoculated with B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis and examined for growth. Two hundred eighty-three isolates including 23 B. anthracis were placed onto one formulation while MICs against trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were determined. The media supported B. anthracis growth at 30 degrees C and inhibited almost all other bacterial growth, including closely-related species. Sensitivity for B. anthracis and selectivity against other Bacillus and against non-Bacillus were 96.8%, 100% and 97.2% respectively. Isolates that grew had MICs >4 and >76 microg mL(-1) against trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, respectively. Soils spiked with 10(2)B. anthracis spores and suspended in PLET broth yielded a 6-7 log(10) increase in B. anthracis. Other growth was inhibited. PLET supplemented with sulfamethoxazole (38 microg mL(-1)), trimethoprim (2 microg mL(-1)), polymyxin B (15,000 U L(-1)), and lysozyme (150,000 U L(-1)) can successfully select for B. anthracis and will facilitate agricultural, environmental and forensic investigations of B. anthracis isolates. PMID:19808058

  13. Bacillus anthracis Multiplication, Persistence, and Genetic Exchange in the Rhizosphere of Grass Plants

    PubMed Central

    Saile, Elke; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2006-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is known for its rapid proliferation and dissemination in mammalian hosts. In contrast, little information exists regarding the lifestyle of this important pathogen outside of the host. Considering that Bacillus species, including close relatives of B. anthracis, are saprophytic soil organisms, we investigated the capacity of B. anthracis spores to germinate in the rhizosphere and to establish populations of vegetative cells that could support horizontal gene transfer in the soil. Using a simple grass plant-soil model system, we show that B. anthracis strains germinate on and around roots, growing in characteristic long filaments. From 2 to 4 days postinoculation, approximately one-half of the B. anthracis CFU recovered from soil containing grass seedlings arose from heat-sensitive organisms, while B. anthracis CFU retrieved from soil without plants consisted of primarily heat-resistant spores. Coinoculation of the plant-soil system with spores of a fertile B. anthracis strain carrying the tetracycline resistance plasmid pBC16 and a selectable B. anthracis recipient strain resulted in transfer of pBC16 from the donor to the recipient as early as 3 days postinoculation. Our findings demonstrate that B. anthracis can survive as a saprophyte outside of the host. The data suggest that horizontal gene transfer in the rhizosphere of grass plants may play a role in the evolution of the Bacillus cereus group species. PMID:16672454

  14. Human brain aldehyde reductases: relationship to succinic semialdehyde reductase and aldose reductase.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, P L; Wermuth, B; von Wartburg, J P

    1980-08-01

    Human brain contains multiple forms of aldehyde-reducing enzymes. One major form (AR3), as previously shown, has properties that indicate its identity with NADPH-dependent aldehyde reductase isolated from brain and other organs of various species; i.e., low molecular weight, use of NADPH as the preferred cofactor, and sensitivity to inhibition by barbiturates. A second form of aldehyde reductase ("SSA reductase") specifically reduces succinic semialdehyde (SSA) to produce gamma-hydroxybutyrate. This enzyme form has a higher molecular weight than AR3, and uses NADH as well as NADPH as cofactor. SSA reductase was not inhibited by pyrazole, oxalate, or barbiturates, and the only effective inhibitor found was the flavonoid quercetine. Although AR3 can also reduce SSA, the relative specificity of SSA reductase may enhance its in vivo role. A third form of human brain aldehyde reductase, AR2, appears to be comparable to aldose reductases characterized in several species, on the basis of its activity pattern with various sugar aldehydes and its response to characteristic inhibitors and activators, as well as kinetic parameters. This enzyme is also the most active in reducing the aldehyde derivatives of biogenic amines. These studies suggest that the various forms of human brain aldehyde reductases may have specific physiological functions. PMID:6778961

  15. Crystal Structure and Catalytic Properties of Bacillus anthracis CoADR-RHD: Implications for Flavin-Linked Sulfur Trafficking

    SciTech Connect

    Wallen, J.; Mallett, T; Boles, W; Parsonage, D; Furdui, C; Karplus, A; Claiborne, A

    2009-01-01

    Rhodanese homology domains (RHDs) play important roles in sulfur trafficking mechanisms essential to the biosynthesis of sulfur-containing cofactors and nucleosides. We have now determined the crystal structure at 2.10 {angstrom} resolution for the Bacillus anthracis coenzyme A-disulfide reductase isoform (BaCoADR-RHD) containing a C-terminal RHD domain; this is the first structural representative of the multidomain proteins class of the rhodanese superfamily. The catalytic Cys44 of the CoADR module is separated by 25 {angstrom} from the active-site Cys514' of the RHD domain from the complementary subunit. In stark contrast to the B. anthracis CoADR (Wallen, J. R., Paige, C., Mallett, T. C., Karplus, P. A., and Claiborne, A. (2008) Biochemistry 47, 5182-5193), the BaCoADR-RHD isoform does not catalyze the reduction of coenzyme A-disulfide, although both enzymes conserve the Cys-SSCoA redox center. NADH titrations have been combined with a synchrotron reduction protocol for examination of the structural and redox behavior of the Cys44-SSCoA center. The synchrotron-reduced (Cys44 + CoASH) structure reveals ordered binding for the adenosine 3'-phosphate 5'-pyrophosphate moiety of CoASH, but the absence of density for the pantetheine arm indicates that it is flexible within the reduced active site. Steady-state kinetic analyses with the alternate disulfide substrates methyl methanethiolsulfonate (MMTS) and 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoate) (DTNB), including the appropriate Cys {yields} Ser mutants, demonstrate that MMTS reduction occurs within the CoADR active site. NADH-dependent DTNB reduction, on the other hand, requires communication between Cys44 and Cys514', and we propose that reduction of the Cys44-SSCoA disulfide promotes the transfer of reducing equivalents to the RHD, with the swinging pantetheine arm serving as a ca. 20 {angstrom} bridge.

  16. Historical distribution and molecular diversity of Bacillus anthracis, Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Aikembayev, Alim M; Lukhnova, Larissa; Temiraliyeva, Gulnara; Meka-Mechenko, Tatyana; Pazylov, Yerlan; Zakaryan, Sarkis; Denissov, Georgiy; Easterday, W Ryan; Van Ert, Matthew N; Keim, Paul; Francesconi, Stephen C; Blackburn, Jason K; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2010-05-01

    To map the distribution of anthrax outbreaks and strain subtypes in Kazakhstan during 1937-2005, we combined geographic information system technology and genetic analysis by using archived cultures and data. Biochemical and genetic tests confirmed the identity of 93 archived cultures in the Kazakhstan National Culture Collection as Bacillus anthracis. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis genotyping identified 12 genotypes. Cluster analysis comparing these genotypes with previously published genotypes indicated that most (n = 78) isolates belonged to the previously described A1.a genetic cluster, 6 isolates belonged to the A3.b cluster, and 2 belonged to the A4 cluster. Two genotypes in the collection appeared to represent novel genetic sublineages; 1 of these isolates was from Krygystan. Our data provide a description of the historical, geographic, and genetic diversity of B. anthracis in this Central Asian region. PMID:20409368

  17. Surface sampling methods for Bacillus anthracis spore contamination.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Wayne T; Hein, Misty J; Taylor, Lauralynn; Curwin, Brian D; Kinnes, Gregory M; Seitz, Teresa A; Popovic, Tanja; Holmes, Harvey T; Kellum, Molly E; McAllister, Sigrid K; Whaley, David N; Tupin, Edward A; Walker, Timothy; Freed, Jennifer A; Small, Dorothy S; Klusaritz, Brian; Bridges, John H

    2002-10-01

    During an investigation conducted December 17-20, 2001, we collected environmental samples from a U.S. postal facility in Washington, D.C., known to be extensively contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores. Because methods for collecting and analyzing B. anthracis spores have not yet been validated, our objective was to compare the relative effectiveness of sampling methods used for collecting spores from contaminated surfaces. Comparison of wipe, wet and dry swab, and HEPA vacuum sock samples on nonporous surfaces indicated good agreement between results with HEPA vacuum and wipe samples. However, results from HEPA vacuum sock and wipe samples agreed poorly with the swab samples. Dry swabs failed to detect spores >75% of the time when they were detected by wipe and HEPA vacuum samples. Wipe samples collected after HEPA vacuum samples and HEPA vacuum samples collected after wipe samples indicated that neither method completely removed spores from the sampled surfaces. PMID:12396930

  18. Method for screening inhibitors of the toxicity of Bacillus anthracis

    DOEpatents

    Cirino, Nick M.; Jackson, Paul J.; Lehnert, Bruce E.

    2001-01-01

    The protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis is integral to the mechanism of anthrax poisoning. The cloning, expression and purification of a 32 kDa B. anthracis PA fragment (PA32) is described. This fragment has also been expressed as a fusion construct to stabilized green fluorescent protein (EGFP-PA32). Both proteins were capable of binding to specific cell surface receptors as determined by fluorescent microscopy and a flow cytometric assay. To confirm binding specificity in the flow cytometric assay, non-fluorescent PA83 or PA32 was used to competitively inhibit fluorescent EGFP-PA32 binding to cell receptors. This assay can be employed as a rapid screen for compounds which disrupts binding of PA to cells. Additionally, the high intracellular expression levels and ease of purification make this recombinant protein an attractive vaccine candidate or therapeutic treatment for anthrax poisoning.

  19. Decontamination of Bacillus anthracis Spores: Evaluation of Various Disinfectants

    PubMed Central

    Heninger, Sara J.; Anderson, Christine A.; Beltz, Gerald; Onderdonk, Andrew B.

    2009-01-01

    The present study compares the efficacy of various disinfectants against Bacillus anthracis spores. While Bleach Rite® and 10% bleach reduce spore numbers by 90% within 10 minutes, a long contact time is required for complete disinfection. By contrast, although SporGon® did not initially reduce the number of spores as quickly as Bleach Rite or 10% bleach, shorter contact times were required for complete eradication of viable spores. PMID:20967138

  20. Genotype Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Strains Circulating in Bangladesh

    PubMed Central

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Affuso, Alessia; Serrecchia, Luigina; Rondinone, Valeria; Manzulli, Viviana; Campese, Emanuele; Di Taranto, Pietro; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Fasanella, Antonio; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2016-01-01

    In Bangladesh, anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is considered an endemic disease affecting ruminants with sporadic zoonotic occurrences in humans. Due to the lack of knowledge about risks from an incorrect removal of infected carcasses, the disease is not properly monitored, and because of the socio-economic conditions, the situation is under-reported and under-diagnosed. For sensitive species, anthrax represents a fatal outcome with sudden death and sometimes bleeding from natural orifices. The most common source of infection for ruminants is ingestion of spores during grazing in contaminated pastures or through grass and water contaminated with anthrax spores. Domestic cattle, sheep and goats can also become infected through contaminated bone meal (used as feed) originating from anthrax-infected carcasses. The present investigation was conducted to isolate B. anthracis organisms from 169 samples (73 soil, 1 tissue, 4 bone and 91 bone meal samples) collected from 12 different districts of Bangladesh. The sampling was carried out from 2012 to 2015. Twelve samples resulted positive for B. anthracis. Biomolecular analyses were conducted starting from the Canonical Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (CanSNP) to analyze the phylogenetic origin of strains. The analysis of genotype, obtained through the Multiple Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) with the analysis of 15 Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR), demonstrated four different genotypes: two of them were previously identified in the district of Sirajganj. The sub-genotyping, conducted with Single Nucleotide Repeats analysis, revealed the presence of eight subgenotypes. The data of the present study concluded that there was no observed correlation between imported cattle feed and anthrax occurrence in Bangladesh and that the remarkable genetic variations of B. anthracis were found in the soil of numerous outbreaks in this country. PMID:27082248

  1. Genotype Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Strains Circulating in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Rume, Farzana Islam; Affuso, Alessia; Serrecchia, Luigina; Rondinone, Valeria; Manzulli, Viviana; Campese, Emanuele; Di Taranto, Pietro; Biswas, Paritosh Kumar; Ahsan, Chowdhury Rafiqul; Yasmin, Mahmuda; Fasanella, Antonio; Hugh-Jones, Martin

    2016-01-01

    In Bangladesh, anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is considered an endemic disease affecting ruminants with sporadic zoonotic occurrences in humans. Due to the lack of knowledge about risks from an incorrect removal of infected carcasses, the disease is not properly monitored, and because of the socio-economic conditions, the situation is under-reported and under-diagnosed. For sensitive species, anthrax represents a fatal outcome with sudden death and sometimes bleeding from natural orifices. The most common source of infection for ruminants is ingestion of spores during grazing in contaminated pastures or through grass and water contaminated with anthrax spores. Domestic cattle, sheep and goats can also become infected through contaminated bone meal (used as feed) originating from anthrax-infected carcasses. The present investigation was conducted to isolate B. anthracis organisms from 169 samples (73 soil, 1 tissue, 4 bone and 91 bone meal samples) collected from 12 different districts of Bangladesh. The sampling was carried out from 2012 to 2015. Twelve samples resulted positive for B. anthracis. Biomolecular analyses were conducted starting from the Canonical Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (CanSNP) to analyze the phylogenetic origin of strains. The analysis of genotype, obtained through the Multiple Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) with the analysis of 15 Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTR), demonstrated four different genotypes: two of them were previously identified in the district of Sirajganj. The sub-genotyping, conducted with Single Nucleotide Repeats analysis, revealed the presence of eight subgenotypes. The data of the present study concluded that there was no observed correlation between imported cattle feed and anthrax occurrence in Bangladesh and that the remarkable genetic variations of B. anthracis were found in the soil of numerous outbreaks in this country. PMID:27082248

  2. DECONTAMINATION ASSESSMENT OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS, AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACTS USING A HYDROGEN PERIOXIDE GAS GENERATOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aims: To evaluate the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface materials using hydrogen peroxide gas. Methods and Results: B. anthracis, B. subtilis, and G. Stearothermophilus spores were dried on seven...

  3. Molecular characterization of the circulating Bacillus anthracis in Jordan.

    PubMed

    Aqel, Amin Abdelfattah; Hailat, Ekhlas; Serrecchia, Luigina; Aqel, Suad; Campese, Emanuele; Vicari, Nadia; Fasanella, Antonio

    2015-12-01

    To understand the biomolecular charcteristics of Bacillus anthracis in Jordan, 20 blood smear slides from dead animals with suspected anthrax were analyzed using conventional and molecular approaches. All slides were positive for B. anthracis by conventional staining but no growth of the organism on selective media was detected. However, of the 20 samples, 16 were B. anthracis DNA-positive using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Seven samples provided enough quantity and quality of DNA, and their multilocus variable tandem repeat analysis (MLVA)-15 loci analysis revealed two different genotypes. All genotypes were belonging to A.B..r. 008/009 which is very common in Asia and Europe. Single nucleotide repeat (SNR) analysis revealed that there were no sub genotypes. Molecular diagnosis of animal anthrax in Jordan is not used routinely; henceforth, official diagnosis of anthrax is based on the observation of the slides by optical microscope and this can often cause reading errors. Therefore, the prevalence of the disease in Jordan might be slightly lower than that reported by the official bodies. PMID:26156620

  4. Toxin-Independent Virulence of Bacillus anthracis in Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Haim; Glinert, Itai; Weiss, Shay; Sittner, Assa; Schlomovitz, Josef; Altboum, Zeev; Kobiler, David

    2014-01-01

    The accepted paradigm states that anthrax is both an invasive and toxinogenic disease and that the toxins play a major role in pathogenicity. In the guinea pig (GP) model we have previously shown that deletion of all three toxin components results in a relatively moderate attenuation in virulence, indicating that B. anthracis possesses an additional toxin-independent virulence mechanism. To characterize this toxin-independent mechanism in anthrax disease, we developed a new rabbit model by intravenous injection (IV) of B. anthracis encapsulated vegetative cells, artificially creating bacteremia. Using this model we were able to demonstrate that also in rabbits, B. anthracis mutants lacking the toxins are capable of killing the host within 24 hours. This virulent trait depends on the activity of AtxA in the presence of pXO2, as, in the absence of the toxin genes, deletion of either component abolishes virulence. Furthermore, this IV virulence depends mainly on AtxA rather than the whole pXO1. A similar pattern was shown in the GP model using subcutaneous (SC) administration of spores of the mutant strains, demonstrating the generality of the phenomenon. The virulent strains showed higher bacteremia levels and more efficient tissue dissemination; however our interpretation is that tissue dissemination per se is not the main determinant of virulence whose exact nature requires further elucidation. PMID:24416317

  5. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  6. Evaluation of tools for environmental sampling of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Fujinami, Yoshihito; Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Mizuno, Natsuko

    2015-12-01

    This study describes the validation of sampling techniques used to detect biological warfare agents used in terror attacks. For this purpose, we tested the efficiencies of different sampling media and extraction solutions for the recovery of bacterial pathogens. We first used Bacillus cereus ATCC 4342 spores as a surrogate for highly pathogenic B. anthracis to compare recovery efficiencies of spores from four different surfaces. We used three different types of sampling swabs and four different solutions to extract spores from the swabs. The most effective sampling method employed rayon swabs moistened with water. The efficencies of the four extraction solutions did not differ significantly, although yields were highest using phosphate-buffered saline containing Tween 80 (PBS-T). Using rayon swabs and sterile water, we recovered B. cereus ATCC 4342 and B. anthracis spores with equivalent efficiencies. These findings indicate that because of its reduced pathogenicity and relative ease in handling (Biosafety Level 1), use of B. cereus ATCC 4342 will facilitate further optimization of techniques to detect B. anthracis. PMID:26528669

  7. Formation and Composition of the Bacillus anthracis Endospore†

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Hongbin; Bergman, Nicholas H.; Thomason, Brendan; Shallom, Shamira; Hazen, Alyson; Crossno, Joseph; Rasko, David A.; Ravel, Jacques; Read, Timothy D.; Peterson, Scott N.; Yates III, John; Hanna, Philip C.

    2004-01-01

    The endospores of Bacillus anthracis are the infectious particles of anthrax. Spores are dormant bacterial morphotypes able to withstand harsh environments for decades, which contributes to their ability to be formulated and dispersed as a biological weapon. We monitored gene expression in B. anthracis during growth and sporulation using full genome DNA microarrays and matched the results against a comprehensive analysis of the mature anthrax spore proteome. A large portion (∼36%) of the B. anthracis genome is regulated in a growth phase-dependent manner, and this regulation is marked by five distinct waves of gene expression as cells proceed from exponential growth through sporulation. The identities of more than 750 proteins present in the spore were determined by multidimensional chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Comparison of data sets revealed that while the genes responsible for assembly and maturation of the spore are tightly regulated in discrete stages, many of the components ultimately found in the spore are expressed throughout and even before sporulation, suggesting that gene expression during sporulation may be mainly related to the physical construction of the spore, rather than synthesis of eventual spore content. The spore also contains an assortment of specialized, but not obviously related, metabolic and protective proteins. These findings contribute to our understanding of spore formation and function and will be useful in the detection, prevention, and early treatment of anthrax. This study also highlights the complementary nature of genomic and proteomic analyses and the benefits of combining these approaches in a single study. PMID:14679236

  8. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H D Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  9. The Bacillus anthracis Exosporium: What's the Big "Hairy" Deal?

    PubMed

    Bozue, Joel A; Welkos, Susan; Cote, Christopher K

    2015-10-01

    In some Bacillus species, including Bacillus subtilis, the coat is the outermost layer of the spore. In others, such as the Bacillus cereus family, there is an additional layer that envelops the coat, called the exosporium. In the case of Bacillus anthracis, a series of fine hair-like projections, also referred to as a "hairy" nap, extends from the exosporium basal layer. The exact role of the exosporium in B. anthracis, or for any of the Bacillus species possessing this structure, remains unclear. However, it has been assumed that the exosporium would play some role in infection for B. anthracis, because it is the outermost structure of the spore and would make initial contact with host and immune cells during infection. Therefore, the exosporium has been a topic of great interest, and over the past decade much progress has been made to understand its composition, biosynthesis, and potential roles. Several key aspects of this spore structure, however, are still debated and remain undetermined. Although insights have been gained on the interaction of exosporium with the host during infection, the exact role and significance of this complex structure remain to be determined. Furthermore, because the exosporium is a highly antigenic structure, future strategies for the next-generation anthrax vaccine should pursue its inclusion as a component to provide protection against the spore itself during the initial stages of anthrax. PMID:26542035

  10. Nitrate and periplasmic nitrate reductases

    PubMed Central

    Sparacino-Watkins, Courtney; Stolz, John F.; Basu, Partha

    2014-01-01

    The nitrate anion is a simple, abundant and relatively stable species, yet plays a significant role in global cycling of nitrogen, global climate change, and human health. Although it has been known for quite some time that nitrate is an important species environmentally, recent studies have identified potential medical applications. In this respect the nitrate anion remains an enigmatic species that promises to offer exciting science in years to come. Many bacteria readily reduce nitrate to nitrite via nitrate reductases. Classified into three distinct types – periplasmic nitrate reductase (Nap), respiratory nitrate reductase (Nar) and assimilatory nitrate reductase (Nas), they are defined by their cellular location, operon organization and active site structure. Of these, Nap proteins are the focus of this review. Despite similarities in the catalytic and spectroscopic properties Nap from different Proteobacteria are phylogenetically distinct. This review has two major sections: in the first section, nitrate in the nitrogen cycle and human health, taxonomy of nitrate reductases, assimilatory and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, cellular locations of nitrate reductases, structural and redox chemistry are discussed. The second section focuses on the features of periplasmic nitrate reductase where the catalytic subunit of the Nap and its kinetic properties, auxiliary Nap proteins, operon structure and phylogenetic relationships are discussed. PMID:24141308

  11. Development of a Rapid and Sensitive Immunoassay for Detection and Subsequent Recovery of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacillus anthracis is considered a major threat as an agent of bioterrorism. B. anthracis spores are readily dispersed as aerosols, are very persistent, and are resistant to normal disinfection treatments. Immunoassays have been developed to rapidly detect B. anthracis spores at high concentration...

  12. New aspects of the infection mechanisms of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Zakowska, Dorota; Bartoszcze, Michał; Niemcewicz, Marcin; Bielawska-Drózd, Agata; Kocik, Janusz

    2012-01-01

    Articles concerning new aspects of B. anthracis mechanisms of infection were reviewed. It was found, that the hair follicle plays an important role in the spore germination process. The hair follicle represent an important portal of entry in the course of the cutaneous form of disease infections. After mouse exposition to aerosol of spores prepared from B. anthracis strains, an increase in the level of TNF-α cytokines was observed. The TNF-α cytokines were produced after intrusion into the host by the microorganism. This process may play a significant role in the induced migration of infected cells APCs (Antigen Presenting Cells) via chemotactic signals to the lymph nodes. It was explained that IgG, which binds to the spore surface, activates the adaptive immune system response. As a result, the release C3b opsonin from the spore surface, and mediating of C3 protein fragments of B. anthracis spores phagocytosis by human macrophages, was observed. The genes coding germination spores protein in mutant strains of B. anthracis MIGD was a crucial discovery. According to this, it could be assumed that the activity of B. anthracis spores germination process is dependent upon the sleB, cwlJ1 and cwlJ2 genes, which code the GSLEs lithic enzymes. It was also discovered that the specific antibody for PA20, which binds to the PA20 antigenic determinant, are able to block further PA83 proteolytic fission on the surface of cells. This process neutralized PA functions and weakened the activity of free PA20, which is produced during the PA83 enzyme fission process. Interaction between PA63 monomer and LF may be helpful in the PA63 oligomerization and grouping process, and the creation of LF/PA63 complexes may be a part of an alternative process of assembling the anthrax toxin on the surface of cells. It was found that actin-dependent endocytosis plays an important role in the PA heptamerisation process and leads to blocking the toxin activity. Chaperones, a protein derived from

  13. Determination of the most closely related bacillus isolates to Bacillus anthracis by multilocus sequence typing.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kijeong; Cheon, Eunhee; Wheeler, Katherine E.; Youn, Youngchul; Leighton, Terrance J.; Park, Chulmin; Kim, Wonyong; Chung, Sang-In

    2005-01-01

    There have been many efforts to develop Bacillus anthracis detection assays, but the problem of false-positive results has often been encountered. Therefore, to validate an assay for B. anthracis detection, it is critical to examine its specificity with the most closely related Bacillus isolates that are available. To define the most closely related Bacillus isolates to B. anthracis in our Bacillus collections, we analyzed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) the phylogeny of 77 closely related Bacillus isolates selected from 264 Bacillus isolates. The selection includes all the Bacillus isolates that have been shown in our previous studies to produce false-positive results by some anthrax-detection assays. The MLST phylogenetic analyses revealed that 27 of the non-B. anthracis isolates clustered within the B. anthracis clade, and four of them (three sequence types, STs) had the highest degree of genetic relatedness with B. anthracis, 18 (11 STs) had the second highest, and five (five STs) had the third highest. We anticipate that the inclusion of the 19 ST isolates when analyzing B. anthracis detection assays will prove to be useful for screening for their specificity to detect B. anthracis. PMID:16197725

  14. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Larissa, Associated with a Case of Cutaneous Anthrax in Greece

    PubMed Central

    Grass, Gregor; Hanczaruk, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    We report the genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis strain Larissa, isolated from a diseased sheep associated with a human case of cutaneous anthrax in Central Greece from 2012. Genome sequence analysis of strain Larissa may aid in describing phylogenetic relationships of B. anthracis isolates in Southeastern European countries. PMID:26564034

  15. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B. Thuringiensis isolates closely related to Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Han, C S; Xie, G; Challacombe, J F; Altherr, M R; Bhotika, S S; Bruce, D; Campbell, C S; Campbell, M L; Chen, J; Chertkov, O; Cleland, C; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M; Doggett, N A; Fawcett, J J; Glavina, T; Goodwin, L A; Hill, K K; Hitchcock, P; Jackson, P J; Keim, P; Kewalramani, A R; Longmire, J; Lucas, S; Malfatti, S; McMurry, K; Meincke, L J; Misra, M; Moseman, B L; Mundt, M; Munk, A C; Okinaka, R T; Parson-Quintana, B; Reilly, L P; Richardson, P; Robinson, D L; Rubin, E; Saunders, E; Tapia, R; Tesmer, J G; Thayer, N; Thompson, L S; Tice, H; Ticknor, L O; Wills, P L; Gilna, P; Brettin, T S

    2005-10-12

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B. cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including B anthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  16. Hal Is a Bacillus anthracis heme acquisition protein.

    PubMed

    Balderas, Miriam A; Nobles, Christopher L; Honsa, Erin S; Alicki, Embriette R; Maresso, Anthony W

    2012-10-01

    The metal iron is a limiting nutrient for bacteria during infection. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a potential weapon of bioterrorism, grows rapidly in mammalian hosts, which suggests that it efficiently attains iron during infection. Recent studies have uncovered both heme (isd) and siderophore-mediated (asb) iron transport pathways in this pathogen. Whereas deletion of the asb genes results in reduced virulence, the loss of three surface components from isd had no effect, thereby leaving open the question of what additional factors in B. anthracis are responsible for iron uptake from the most abundant iron source for mammals, heme. Here, we describe the first functional characterization of bas0520, a gene recently implicated in anthrax disease progression. bas0520 encodes a single near-iron transporter (NEAT) domain and several leucine-rich repeats. The NEAT domain binds heme, despite lacking a stabilizing tyrosine common to the NEAT superfamily of hemoproteins. The NEAT domain also binds hemoglobin and can acquire heme from hemoglobin in solution. Finally, deletion of bas0520 resulted in bacilli unable to grow efficiently on heme or hemoglobin as an iron source and yielded the most significant phenotype relative to that for other putative heme uptake systems, a result that suggests that this protein plays a prominent role in the replication of B. anthracis in hematogenous environments. Thus, we have assigned the name of Hal (heme-acquisition leucine-rich repeat protein) to BAS0520. These studies advance our understanding of heme acquisition by this dangerous pathogen and justify efforts to determine the mechanistic function of this novel protein for vaccine or inhibitor development. PMID:22865843

  17. Nitric oxide as a regulator of B. anthracis pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Popova, Taissia G; Teunis, Allison; Vaseghi, Haley; Zhou, Weidong; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A; Popov, Serguei G

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a key physiological regulator in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. It can cause a variety of biological effects by reacting with its targets or/and indirectly inducing oxidative stress. NO can also be produced by bacteria including the pathogenic Bacillus anthracis; however, its role in the infectious process only begins to emerge. NO incapacitates macrophages by S-nitrosylating the intracellular proteins and protects B. anthracis from oxidative stress. It is also implicated in the formation of toxic peroxynitrite. In this study we further assessed the effects of B. anthracis NO produced by the NO synthase (bNOS) on bacterial metabolism and host cells in experiments with the bNOS knockout Sterne strain. The mutation abrogated accumulation of nitrite and nitrate as tracer products of NO in the culture medium and markedly attenuated growth in both aerobic and microaerobic conditions. The regulatory role of NO was also suggested by the abnormally high rate of nitrate denitrification by the mutant in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic regulation mediated by NO was reflected in reduced fermentation of glucose by the mutant correlating with the reduced toxicity of bacteria toward host cells in culture. The toxic effect of NO required permeabilization of the target cells as well as the activity of fermentation-derived metabolite in the conditions of reduced pH. The host cells demonstrated increased phosphorylation of major survivor protein kinase AKT correlating with reduced toxicity of the mutant in comparison with Sterne. Our global proteomic analysis of lymph from the lymph nodes of infected mice harboring bacteria revealed numerous changes in the pattern and levels of proteins associated with the activity of bNOS influencing key cell physiological processes relevant to energy metabolism, growth, signal transduction, stress response, septic shock, and homeostasis. This is the first in vivo observation of the bacterial NO effect on the lymphatic

  18. Nitric oxide as a regulator of B. anthracis pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Popova, Taissia G.; Teunis, Allison; Vaseghi, Haley; Zhou, Weidong; Espina, Virginia; Liotta, Lance A.; Popov, Serguei G.

    2015-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is a key physiological regulator in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. It can cause a variety of biological effects by reacting with its targets or/and indirectly inducing oxidative stress. NO can also be produced by bacteria including the pathogenic Bacillus anthracis; however, its role in the infectious process only begins to emerge. NO incapacitates macrophages by S-nitrosylating the intracellular proteins and protects B. anthracis from oxidative stress. It is also implicated in the formation of toxic peroxynitrite. In this study we further assessed the effects of B. anthracis NO produced by the NO synthase (bNOS) on bacterial metabolism and host cells in experiments with the bNOS knockout Sterne strain. The mutation abrogated accumulation of nitrite and nitrate as tracer products of NO in the culture medium and markedly attenuated growth in both aerobic and microaerobic conditions. The regulatory role of NO was also suggested by the abnormally high rate of nitrate denitrification by the mutant in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic regulation mediated by NO was reflected in reduced fermentation of glucose by the mutant correlating with the reduced toxicity of bacteria toward host cells in culture. The toxic effect of NO required permeabilization of the target cells as well as the activity of fermentation-derived metabolite in the conditions of reduced pH. The host cells demonstrated increased phosphorylation of major survivor protein kinase AKT correlating with reduced toxicity of the mutant in comparison with Sterne. Our global proteomic analysis of lymph from the lymph nodes of infected mice harboring bacteria revealed numerous changes in the pattern and levels of proteins associated with the activity of bNOS influencing key cell physiological processes relevant to energy metabolism, growth, signal transduction, stress response, septic shock, and homeostasis. This is the first in vivo observation of the bacterial NO effect on the lymphatic

  19. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Bacillus anthracis strains from Hungary.

    PubMed

    Kreizinger, Zsuzsa; Sulyok, Kinga Mária; Makrai, László; Rónai, Zsuzsanna; Fodor, László; Jánosi, Szilárd; Gyuranecz, Miklós

    2016-06-01

    The susceptibility of 29 Bacillus anthracis strains, collected in Hungary between 1933 and 2014, was tested to 10 antibiotics with commercially available minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) test strips. All strains were susceptible to amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, doxycycline, gentamicin, penicillin, rifampicin, and vancomycin. Intermediate susceptibility to erythromycin and cefotaxime was detected in 17.2% (5/29) and 58.6% (17/29) of the strains, respectively. Correlations were not observed between the isolation date, location, host species, genotype, and antibiotic susceptibility profile of strains. PMID:27342086

  20. A Novel Multiplex PCR Discriminates Bacillus anthracis and Its Genetically Related Strains from Other Bacillus cereus Group Species

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Hirohito; Fujikura, Daisuke; Ohnuma, Miyuki; Ohnishi, Naomi; Hang'ombe, Bernard M.; Mimuro, Hitomi; Ezaki, Takayuki; Mweene, Aaron S.; Higashi, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax is an important zoonotic disease worldwide that is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. A rapid and sensitive method to detect B. anthracis is important for anthrax risk management and control in animal cases to address public health issues. However, it has recently become difficult to identify B. anthracis by using previously reported molecular-based methods because of the emergence of B. cereus, which causes severe extra-intestinal infection, as well as the human pathogenic B. thuringiensis, both of which are genetically related to B. anthracis. The close genetic relation of chromosomal backgrounds has led to complexity of molecular-based diagnosis. In this study, we established a B. anthracis multiplex PCR that can screen for the presence of B. anthracis virulent plasmids and differentiate B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group species. Six sets of primers targeting a chromosome of B. anthracis and B. anthracis-like strains, two virulent plasmids, pXO1 and pXO2, a bacterial gene, 16S rRNA gene, and a mammalian gene, actin-beta gene, were designed. The multiplex PCR detected approximately 3.0 CFU of B. anthracis DNA per PCR reaction and was sensitive to B. anthracis. The internal control primers also detected all bacterial and mammalian DNAs examined, indicating the practical applicability of this assay as it enables monitoring of appropriate amplification. The assay was also applied for detection of clinical strains genetically related to B. anthracis, which were B. cereus strains isolated from outbreaks of hospital infections in Japan, and field strains isolated in Zambia, and the assay differentiated B. anthracis and its genetically related strains from other B. cereus group strains. Taken together, the results indicate that the newly developed multiplex PCR is a sensitive and practical method for detecting B. anthracis. PMID:25774512

  1. Isolated menthone reductase and nucleic acid molecules encoding same

    DOEpatents

    Croteau, Rodney B; Davis, Edward M; Ringer, Kerry L

    2013-04-23

    The present invention provides isolated menthone reductase proteins, isolated nucleic acid molecules encoding menthone reductase proteins, methods for expressing and isolating menthone reductase proteins, and transgenic plants expressing elevated levels of menthone reductase protein.

  2. Daptomycin exerts rapid bactericidal activity against Bacillus anthracis without disrupting membrane integrity

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Yu-hua; Wang, Wei; Dai, Su-qin; Liu, Ti-yan; Tan, Jun-jie; Qu, Guo-long; Li, Yu-xia; Ling, Yan; Liu, Gang; Fu, Xue-qi; Chen, Hui-peng

    2014-01-01

    Aim: To examine whether the novel cyclic lipopeptide antibiotic daptomycin could be used to treat anthrax and to study the mechanisms underlying its bactericidal action against Bacillus anthracis. Methods: Spore-forming B anthracis AP422 was tested. MIC values of antibiotics were determined. Cell membrane potential was measured using flow cytometric assays with membrane potential-sensitive fluorescent dyes. Cell membrane integrity was detected using To-Pro-3 iodide staining and transmission electron microscopy. K+ efflux and Na+ influx were measured using the fluorescent probes PBFI and SBFI-AM, respectively. Results: Daptomycin exhibited rapid bactericidal activity against vegetative B anthracis with a MIC value of 0.78 μg/mL, which was comparable to those of ciprofloxacin and penicillin G. Furthermore, daptomycin prevented the germinated spores from growing into vegetative bacteria. Daptomycin concentration-dependently dissipated the membrane potential of B anthracis and caused K+ efflux and Na+ influx without disrupting membrane integrity. In contrast, both ciprofloxacin and penicillin G did not change the membrane potential of vegetative bacteria or spores. Penicillin G disrupted membrane integrity of B anthracis, whereas ciprofloxacin had no such effect. Conclusion: Daptomycin exerts rapid bactericidal action against B anthracis via reducing membrane potential without disrupting membrane integrity. This antibiotic can be used as an alternate therapy for B anthracis infections. PMID:24362329

  3. Zeatin reductase in Phaseolus embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.C.; Mok, David, W.S.; Mok, M.C. )

    1989-04-01

    Zeatin was converted to O-xylosylzeatin in embryos of Phaseolus vulgaris . O-xylosyldihydrozeatin was also identified as a zeatin metabolite. Incubation of embryo extracts with {sup 14}C-zeatin and {sup 14}C-O-xylosylzeatin revealed that reduction preceeds the O-xylosylation of zeatin. An enzyme responsible for reducing the N{sup 6}-side chain was isolated and partially purified using ammonium sulfate fractionation and affinity, gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography. The NADPH dependent reductase was zeatin specific and did not recognize cis-zeatin, ribosylzeatin, i{sup 6}Ade or i{sup 6}Ado. Two forms of the reductase could be separated by either gel filtration or anion exchange HPLC. The HMW isozyme (Mr. 55,000) eluted from the anion exchange column later than the LMW isozyme (Mr. 25,000). Interspecific differences in zeatin reductase activity were also detected.

  4. Genetics Home Reference: 5-alpha reductase deficiency

    MedlinePlus

    ... gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called steroid 5-alpha reductase 2. This enzyme is involved ... external genitalia. Mutations in the SRD5A2 gene prevent steroid 5-alpha reductase 2 from effectively converting testosterone ...

  5. Genetic analysis of petrobactin transport in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Paul E; Dixon, Shandee D; Janes, Brian K; Carr, Katherine A; Nusca, Tyler D; Anderson, Erica C; Keene, Sarra E; Sherman, David H; Hanna, Philip C

    2010-02-01

    Iron acquisition mechanisms play an important role in the pathogenesis of many infectious microbes. In Bacillus anthracis, the siderophore petrobactin is required for both growth in iron-depleted conditions and for full virulence of the bacterium. Here we demonstrate the roles of two putative petrobactin binding proteins FatB and FpuA (encoded by GBAA5330 and GBAA4766 respectively) in B. anthracis iron acquisition and pathogenesis. Markerless deletion mutants were created using allelic exchange. The Delta fatB strain was capable of wild-type levels of growth in iron-depleted conditions, indicating that FatB does not play an essential role in petrobactin uptake. In contrast, Delta fpuA bacteria exhibited a significant decrease in growth under low-iron conditions when compared with wild-type bacteria. This mutant could not be rescued by the addition of exogenous purified petrobactin. Further examination of this strain demonstrated increased levels of petrobactin accumulation in the culture supernatants, suggesting no defect in siderophore synthesis or export but, instead, an inability of Delta fpuA to import this siderophore. Delta fpuA spores were also significantly attenuated in a murine model of inhalational anthrax. These results provide the first genetic evidence demonstrating the role of FpuA in petrobactin uptake. PMID:20487286

  6. Characterization of the Sortase Repertoire in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Fouet, Agnès

    2011-01-01

    LPXTG proteins, present in most if not all Gram-positive bacteria, are known to be anchored by sortases to the bacterial peptidoglycan. More than one sortase gene is often encoded in a bacterial species, and each sortase is supposed to specifically anchor given LPXTG proteins, depending of the sequence of the C-terminal cell wall sorting signal (cwss), bearing an LPXTG motif or another recognition sequence. B. anthracis possesses three sortase genes. B. anthracis sortase deleted mutant strains are not affected in their virulence. To determine the sortase repertoires, we developed a genetic screen using the property of the gamma phage to lyse bacteria only when its receptor, GamR, an LPXTG protein, is exposed at the surface. We identified 10 proteins that contain a cell wall sorting signal and are covalently anchored to the peptidoglycan. Some chimeric proteins yielded phage lysis in all sortase mutant strains, suggesting that cwss proteins remained surface accessible in absence of their anchoring sortase, probably as a consequence of membrane localization of yet uncleaved precursor proteins. For definite assignment of the sortase repertoires, we consequently relied on a complementary test, using a biochemical approach, namely immunoblot experiments. The sortase anchoring nine of these proteins has thus been determined. The absence of virulence defect of the sortase mutants could be a consequence of the membrane localization of the cwss proteins. PMID:22076158

  7. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Joseph P.; Meyer, Kathryn M.; Kelly, Thomas J.; Choi, Young W.; Rogers, James V.; Riggs, Karen B.; Willenberg, Zachary J.

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  8. Bacillus anthracis genome organization in light of whole transcriptome sequencing

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Jeffrey; Zhu, Wenhan; Passalacqua, Karla D.; Bergman, Nicholas; Borodovsky, Mark

    2010-03-22

    Emerging knowledge of whole prokaryotic transcriptomes could validate a number of theoretical concepts introduced in the early days of genomics. What are the rules connecting gene expression levels with sequence determinants such as quantitative scores of promoters and terminators? Are translation efficiency measures, e.g. codon adaptation index and RBS score related to gene expression? We used the whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing of a bacterial pathogen Bacillus anthracis to assess correlation of gene expression level with promoter, terminator and RBS scores, codon adaptation index, as well as with a new measure of gene translational efficiency, average translation speed. We compared computational predictions of operon topologies with the transcript borders inferred from RNA-Seq reads. Transcriptome mapping may also improve existing gene annotation. Upon assessment of accuracy of current annotation of protein-coding genes in the B. anthracis genome we have shown that the transcriptome data indicate existence of more than a hundred genes missing in the annotation though predicted by an ab initio gene finder. Interestingly, we observed that many pseudogenes possess not only a sequence with detectable coding potential but also promoters that maintain transcriptional activity.

  9. [Bacillus anthracis: a molecular look at a famous pathogen].

    PubMed

    Pavan, María E; Pettinari, María J; Cairó, Fabián; Pavan, Esteban E; Cataldi, Angel A

    2011-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive rod belonging to the Bacillus cereus group, has an extremely monomorphic genome, and presents high structural and physiological similarity with B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In this work, the new molecular methods for the identification and typing of B. anthracis developed in the last years, based on variable number tandem repeats or on genetic differences detected through sequencing, are described. The molecular aspects of traditional virulence factors: capsule, protective antigen, lethal factor and edema factor are described in depth, together with virulence factors recently proposed, such as the siderophores petrobactin and bacillibactin, the S-layer adhesin and the MntA lipoprotein. It is detailed the molecular organization of megaplasmids pXO1 and pXO2, including the pathogenicity island of pXO1. The genetic skeleton of these plasmids has been observed in related species, and this could be attributed to lateral gene transfer. Finally, the two anthrax toxin protective antigen receptors, ANTXR1/TEM8 and ANTXR2/CMG2, essential for the interaction of the pathogen with the host, are presented. The molecular studies performed in recent years have greatly increased knowledge in different aspects of this microorganism and its relationship with the host, but at the same time they have raised new questions about this noted pathogen. PMID:22274828

  10. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis transpeptidase enzyme CapD.

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, R.; Richter, S.; Zhang, R.; Anderson, V. J.; Missiakas, D.; Joachimiak, A.; Biosciences Division; Univ. of Chicago

    2009-09-04

    Bacillus anthracis elaborates a poly-{gamma}-d-glutamic acid capsule that protects bacilli from phagocytic killing during infection. The enzyme CapD generates amide bonds with peptidoglycan cross-bridges to anchor capsular material within the cell wall envelope of B. anthracis. The capsular biosynthetic pathway is essential for virulence during anthrax infections and can be targeted for anti-infective inhibition with small molecules. Here, we present the crystal structures of the {gamma}-glutamyltranspeptidase CapD with and without {alpha}-l-Glu-l-Glu dipeptide, a non-hydrolyzable analog of poly-{gamma}-d-glutamic acid, in the active site. Purified CapD displays transpeptidation activity in vitro, and its structure reveals an active site broadly accessible for poly-{gamma}-glutamate binding and processing. Using structural and biochemical information, we derive a mechanistic model for CapD catalysis whereby Pro{sup 427}, Gly{sup 428}, and Gly{sup 429} activate the catalytic residue of the enzyme, Thr{sup 352}, and stabilize an oxyanion hole via main chain amide hydrogen bonds.

  11. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Meyer, Kathryn M; Kelly, Thomas J; Choi, Young W; Rogers, James V; Riggs, Karen B; Willenberg, Zachary J

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  12. FORMALDEHYDE GAS INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACE MATERIALS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research evaluated the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface material using formaldehyde gas. Spores were dried on seven types of indoor surfaces and exposed to 1100 ppm formaldehyde gas for 10 hr. Fo...

  13. Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Strain Stendal, Isolated from an Anthrax Outbreak in Cattle in Germany

    PubMed Central

    Elschner, Mandy; Gaede, Wolfgang; Schliephake, Annette; Grass, Gregor; Tomaso, Herbert

    2016-01-01

    In July 2012, an anthrax outbreak occurred among cattle in northern Germany resulting in ten losses. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis strain Stendal, isolated from one of the diseased cows. PMID:27056225

  14. Genetic diversity among Bacillus anthracis soil isolates at fine geographic scales.

    PubMed

    Stratilo, Chad W; Bader, Douglas E

    2012-09-01

    Environmental samples were collected from carcass sites during and after anthrax outbreaks in 2000 and 2001 in the bison (Bison bison) population within Wood Buffalo National Park and the Hook Lake Region north of Wood Buffalo National Park. Bacillus anthracis spores were isolated from these samples and confirmed using phenotypic characterization and real-time PCR. Confirmed B. anthracis isolates were typed using multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA15) and single-nucleotide-repeat analysis (SNRA). B. anthracis isolates split into two clades based on MLVA15, while SNRA allowed some isolates between carcass sites to be distinguished from each other. SNRA polymorphisms were also present within a single carcass site. Some isolates from different carcass sites having the same SNRA type had divergent MLVA types; this finding leads to questions about hierarchical typing methods and the robustness of the fine-scale typing of Bacillus anthracis. PMID:22773624

  15. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A. Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-07-01

    The crystal structures of two manganese superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis were solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement. The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms.

  16. Colonic Immune Suppression, Barrier Dysfunction, and Dysbiosis by Gastrointestinal Bacillus anthracis Infection

    PubMed Central

    Sahay, Bikash; Zadeh, Mojgan; Cheng, Sam X.; Wang, Gary P.; Owen, Jennifer L.; Mohamadzadeh, Mansour

    2014-01-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax results from the ingestion of Bacillus anthracis. Herein, we investigated the pathogenesis of GI anthrax in animals orally infected with toxigenic non-encapsulated B. anthracis Sterne strain (pXO1+ pXO2−) spores that resulted in rapid animal death. B. anthracis Sterne induced significant breakdown of intestinal barrier function and led to gut dysbiosis, resulting in systemic dissemination of not only B. anthracis, but also of commensals. Disease progression significantly correlated with the deterioration of innate and T cell functions. Our studies provide critical immunologic and physiologic insights into the pathogenesis of GI anthrax infection, whereupon cleavage of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in immune cells may play a central role in promoting dysfunctional immune responses against this deadly pathogen. PMID:24945934

  17. ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE TO INTENTIONAL DISSEMINATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS SPORES IN THE UNITED STATES--2001

    EPA Science Inventory

    The intentional dissemination of Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores at multiple locations in the United States in the Fall of 2001 resulted not only in several deaths and illnesses (including psychological effects), but likely changed lifestyles and attitudes, and increased the ...

  18. Identification and Validation of Specific Markers of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Proteomics and Genomics Approaches*

    PubMed Central

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R.; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L.; Becher, François

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  19. The Complete Genome Sequence of Bacillus anthracis Ames “Ancestor”▿

    PubMed Central

    Ravel, Jacques; Jiang, Lingxia; Stanley, Scott T.; Wilson, Mark R.; Decker, R. Scott; Read, Timothy D.; Worsham, Patricia; Keim, Paul S.; Salzberg, Steven L.; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.; Rasko, David A.

    2009-01-01

    The pathogenic bacterium Bacillus anthracis has become the subject of intense study as a result of its use in a bioterrorism attack in the United States in September and October 2001. Previous studies suggested that B. anthracis Ames Ancestor, the original Ames fully virulent plasmid-containing isolate, was the ideal reference. This study describes the complete genome sequence of that original isolate, derived from a sample kept in cold storage since 1981. PMID:18952800

  20. Ecological Niche Modelling of the Bacillus anthracis A1.a sub-lineage in Kazakhstan

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a globally distributed zoonotic pathogen that continues to be a veterinary and human health problem in Central Asia. We used a database of anthrax outbreak locations in Kazakhstan and a subset of genotyped isolates to model the geographic distribution and ecological associations of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The aims of the study were to test the influence of soil variables on a previous ecological niche based prediction of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan and to determine if a single sub-lineage of B. anthracis occupies a unique ecological niche. Results The addition of soil variables to the previously developed ecological niche model did not appreciably alter the limits of the predicted geographic or ecological distribution of B. anthracis in Kazakhstan. The A1.a experiment predicted the sub-lineage to be present over a larger geographic area than did the outbreak based experiment containing multiple lineages. Within the geographic area predicted to be suitable for B. anthracis by all ten best subset models, the A1.a sub-lineage was associated with a wider range of ecological tolerances than the outbreak-soil experiment. Analysis of rule types showed that logit rules predominate in the outbreak-soil experiment and range rules in the A1.a sub-lineage experiment. Random sub-setting of locality points suggests that models of B. anthracis distribution may be sensitive to sample size. Conclusions Our analysis supports careful consideration of the taxonomic resolution of data used to create ecological niche models. Further investigations into the environmental affinities of individual lineages and sub-lineages of B. anthracis will be useful in understanding the ecology of the disease at large and small scales. With model based predictions serving as approximations of disease risk, these efforts will improve the efficacy of public health interventions for anthrax prevention and control. PMID:22152056

  1. Circulating lethal toxin decreases the ability of neutrophils to respond to Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Weiner, Zachary P; Ernst, Stephen M; Boyer, Anne E; Gallegos-Candela, Maribel; Barr, John R; Glomski, Ian J

    2014-04-01

    Polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNs) play a protective role during Bacillus anthracis infection. However, B. anthracis is able to subvert the PMN response effectively as evidenced by the high mortality rates of anthrax. One major virulence factor produced by B. anthracis, lethal toxin (LT), is necessary for dissemination in the BSL2 model of mouse infection. While human and mouse PMNs kill vegetative B. anthracis, short in vitro half-lives of PMNs have made it difficult to determine how or if LT alters their bactericidal function. Additionally, the role of LT intoxication on PMN's ability to migrate to inflammatory signals remains controversial. LF concentrations in both serum and major organs were determined from mice infected with B. anthracis Sterne strain at defined stages of infection to guide subsequent administration of purified toxin. Bactericidal activity of PMNs assessed using ex vivo cell culture assays showed significant defects in killing B. anthracis. In vivo PMN recruitment to inflammatory stimuli was significantly impaired at 24 h as assessed by real-time analysis of light-producing PMNs within the mouse. The observations described above suggest that LT serves dual functions; it both attenuates accumulation of PMNs at sites of inflammation and impairs PMNs bactericidal activity against vegetative B. anthracis. PMID:24152301

  2. Inflammatory cytokine response to Bacillus anthracis peptidoglycan requires phagocytosis and lysosomal trafficking.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Janaki K; Khurana, Taruna; Langer, Marybeth; West, Christopher M; Ballard, Jimmy D; Metcalf, Jordan P; Merkel, Tod J; Coggeshall, K Mark

    2010-06-01

    During advanced stages of inhalation anthrax, Bacillus anthracis accumulates at high levels in the bloodstream of the infected host. This bacteremia leads to sepsis during late-stage anthrax; however, the mechanisms through which B. anthracis-derived factors contribute to the pathology of infected hosts are poorly defined. Peptidoglycan, a major component of the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria, can provoke symptoms of sepsis in animal models. We have previously shown that peptidoglycan of B. anthracis can induce the production of proinflammatory cytokines by cells in human blood. Here, we show that biologically active peptidoglycan is shed from an active culture of encapsulated B. anthracis strain Ames in blood. Peptidoglycan is able to bind to surfaces of responding cells, and internalization of peptidoglycan is required for the production of inflammatory cytokines. We also show that the peptidoglycan traffics to lysosomes, and lysosomal function is required for cytokine production. We conclude that peptidoglycan of B. anthracis is initially bound by an unknown extracellular receptor, is phagocytosed, and traffics to lysosomes, where it is degraded to a product recognized by an intracellular receptor. Binding of the peptidoglycan product to the intracellular receptor causes a proinflammatory response. These findings provide new insight into the mechanism by which B. anthracis triggers sepsis during a critical stage of anthrax disease. PMID:20308305

  3. The Secret Life of the Anthrax Agent Bacillus anthracis: Bacteriophage-Mediated Ecological Adaptations

    PubMed Central

    Schuch, Raymond; Fischetti, Vincent A.

    2009-01-01

    Ecological and genetic factors that govern the occurrence and persistence of anthrax reservoirs in the environment are obscure. A central tenet, based on limited and often conflicting studies, has long held that growing or vegetative forms of Bacillus anthracis survive poorly outside the mammalian host and must sporulate to survive in the environment. Here, we present evidence of a more dynamic lifecycle, whereby interactions with bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, elicit phenotypic alterations in B. anthracis and the emergence of infected derivatives, or lysogens, with dramatically altered survival capabilities. Using both laboratory and environmental B. anthracis strains, we show that lysogeny can block or promote sporulation depending on the phage, induce exopolysaccharide expression and biofilm formation, and enable the long-term colonization of both an artificial soil environment and the intestinal tract of the invertebrate redworm, Eisenia fetida. All of the B. anthracis lysogens existed in a pseudolysogenic-like state in both the soil and worm gut, shedding phages that could in turn infect non-lysogenic B. anthracis recipients and confer survival phenotypes in those environments. Finally, the mechanism behind several phenotypic changes was found to require phage-encoded bacterial sigma factors and the expression of at least one host-encoded protein predicted to be involved in the colonization of invertebrate intestines. The results here demonstrate that during its environmental phase, bacteriophages provide B. anthracis with alternatives to sporulation that involve the activation of soil-survival and endosymbiotic capabilities. PMID:19672290

  4. Role of luxS in Bacillus anthracis growth and virulence factor expression

    PubMed Central

    Peterson, Scott N; Benn, Rosslyn; Braisted, John C; Jarrahi, Behnam; Shatzkes, Kenneth; Ren, Dacheng; Wood, Thomas K; Blaser, Martin J

    2010-01-01

    Quorum-sensing (QS), the regulation of bacterial gene expression in response to changes in cell density, involves pathways that synthesize signaling molecules (auto-inducers). The luxS/AI-2-mediated QS system has been identified in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, possesses genes involved in luxS/AI-2-mediated QS, and deletion of luxS in B. anthracis Sterne strain 34F2 results in inhibition of AI-2 synthesis and a growth defect. In the present study, we created a ΔluxS B. anthracis strain complemented in trans by insertion of a cassette, including luxS and a gene encoding erythromycin resistance, into the truncated plcR regulator locus. The complemented ΔluxS strain has restored AI-2 synthesis and wild-type growth. A B. anthracis microarray study revealed consistent differential gene expression between the wild-type and ΔluxS strain, including downregulation of the B. anthracis S-layer protein gene EA1 and pXO1 virulence genes. These data indicate that B. anthracis may use luxS/AI-2-mediated QS to regulate growth, density-dependent gene expression and virulence factor expression. PMID:21178420

  5. Bacillus anthracis comparative genome analysis in support of the Amerithrax investigation

    PubMed Central

    Rasko, David A.; Worsham, Patricia L.; Abshire, Terry G.; Stanley, Scott T.; Bannan, Jason D.; Wilson, Mark R.; Langham, Richard J.; Decker, R. Scott; Jiang, Lingxia; Read, Timothy D.; Phillippy, Adam M.; Salzberg, Steven L.; Pop, Mihai; Van Ert, Matthew N.; Kenefic, Leo J.; Keim, Paul S.; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.; Ravel, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Before the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, the developing field of microbial forensics relied on microbial genotyping schemes based on a small portion of a genome sequence. Amerithrax, the investigation into the anthrax letter attacks, applied high-resolution whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics to identify key genetic features of the letters’ Bacillus anthracis Ames strain. During systematic microbiological analysis of the spore material from the letters, we identified a number of morphological variants based on phenotypic characteristics and the ability to sporulate. The genomes of these morphological variants were sequenced and compared with that of the B. anthracis Ames ancestor, the progenitor of all B. anthracis Ames strains. Through comparative genomics, we identified four distinct loci with verifiable genetic mutations. Three of the four mutations could be directly linked to sporulation pathways in B. anthracis and more specifically to the regulation of the phosphorylation state of Spo0F, a key regulatory protein in the initiation of the sporulation cascade, thus linking phenotype to genotype. None of these variant genotypes were identified in single-colony environmental B. anthracis Ames isolates associated with the investigation. These genotypes were identified only in B. anthracis morphotypes isolated from the letters, indicating that the variants were not prevalent in the environment, not even the environments associated with the investigation. This study demonstrates the forensic value of systematic microbiological analysis combined with whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomics. PMID:21383169

  6. Real-Time PCR Assay for a Unique Chromosomal Sequence of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Bode, Elizabeth; Hurtle, William; Norwood, David

    2004-01-01

    Real-time PCR has become an important method for the rapid identification of Bacillus anthracis since the 2001 anthrax mailings. Most real-time PCR assays for B. anthracis have been developed to detect virulence genes located on the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids. In contrast, only two published chromosomal targets exist, the rpoB gene and the gyrA gene. In the present study, subtraction-hybridization with a plasmid-cured B. anthracis tester strain and a Bacillus cereus driver was used to find a unique chromosomal sequence. By targeting this region, a real-time assay was developed with the Ruggedized Advanced Pathogen Identification Device. Further testing has revealed that the assay has 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity, with a limit of detection of 50 fg of DNA. The results of a search for sequences with homology with the BLAST program demonstrated significant alignment to the recently published B. anthracis Ames strain, while an inquiry for protein sequence similarities indicated homology with an abhydrolase from B. anthracis strain A2012. The importance of this chromosomal assay will be to verify the presence of B. anthracis independently of plasmid occurrence. PMID:15583318

  7. The binding sites on human heme oxygenase-1 for cytochrome p450 reductase and biliverdin reductase.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinling; de Montellano, Paul R Ortiz

    2003-05-30

    Human heme oxygenase-1 (hHO-1) catalyzes the NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase-dependent oxidation of heme to biliverdin, CO, and free iron. The biliverdin is subsequently reduced to bilirubin by biliverdin reductase. Earlier kinetic studies suggested that biliverdin reductase facilitates the release of biliverdin from hHO-1 (Liu, Y., and Ortiz de Montellano, P. R. (2000) J. Biol. Chem. 275, 5297-5307). We have investigated the binding of P450 reductase and biliverdin reductase to truncated, soluble hHO-1 by fluorescence resonance energy transfer and site-specific mutagenesis. P450 reductase and biliverdin reductase bind to truncated hHO-1 with Kd = 0.4 +/- 0.1 and 0.2 +/- 0.1 microm, respectively. FRET experiments indicate that biliverdin reductase and P450 reductase compete for binding to truncated hHO-1. Mutation of surface ionic residues shows that hHO-1 residues Lys18, Lys22, Lys179, Arg183, Arg198, Glu19, Glu127, and Glu190 contribute to the binding of cytochrome P450 reductase. The mutagenesis results and a computational analysis of the protein surfaces partially define the binding site for P450 reductase. An overlapping binding site including Lys18, Lys22, Lys179, Arg183, and Arg185 is similarly defined for biliverdin reductase. These results confirm the binding of biliverdin reductase to hHO-1 and define binding sites of the two reductases. PMID:12626517

  8. Identification of anthrax-specific signature sequence from Bacillus anthracis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rastogi, Vipin K.; Cheng, Tu-chen

    2001-08-01

    The primary objective was to identify and clone novel chromosomal DNA fragments for use as B. anthracis-specific markers. Towards this goal, 300 random primers (RAPD technology, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA) were screened to identify polymorphic loci on the anthrax chromosome. Five such DNA fragments uniquely amplifying from anthrax chromosome were identified and isolated. These fragments were cloned in pCR vector and sequenced. Database (genebank) analysis of one of the cloned probe, VRTC899, revealed the presence of specific chromosomal DNA probe, Ba813 from anthrax. This prove also contains flanking DNA with no homology to known sequences. Availability of signature DNA probes for detection of antrax-causing agent in environmental samples is critical for field application of DNA-based sensor technologies. In conclusion, we have demonstrated application of RAPD technology for identification of anthrax-specific signature sequences. This strategy can be extended to identify signature sequences from other BW agents.

  9. Distribution and molecular evolution of bacillus anthracis genotypes in Namibia.

    PubMed

    Beyer, Wolfgang; Bellan, Steve; Eberle, Gisela; Ganz, Holly H; Getz, Wayne M; Haumacher, Renate; Hilss, Karen A; Kilian, Werner; Lazak, Judith; Turner, Wendy C; Turnbull, Peter C B

    2012-01-01

    The recent development of genetic markers for Bacillus anthracis has made it possible to monitor the spread and distribution of this pathogen during and between anthrax outbreaks. In Namibia, anthrax outbreaks occur annually in the Etosha National Park (ENP) and on private game and livestock farms. We genotyped 384 B. anthracis isolates collected between 1983-2010 to identify the possible epidemiological correlations of anthrax outbreaks within and outside the ENP and to analyze genetic relationships between isolates from domestic and wild animals. The isolates came from 20 animal species and from the environment and were genotyped using a 31-marker multi-locus-VNTR-analysis (MLVA) and, in part, by twelve single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and four single nucleotide repeat (SNR) markers. A total of 37 genotypes (GT) were identified by MLVA, belonging to four SNP-groups. All GTs belonged to the A-branch in the cluster- and SNP-analyses. Thirteen GTs were found only outside the ENP, 18 only within the ENP and 6 both inside and outside. Genetic distances between isolates increased with increasing time between isolations. However, genetic distance between isolates at the beginning and end of the study period was relatively small, indicating that while the majority of GTs were only found sporadically, three genetically close GTs, accounting for more than four fifths of all the ENP isolates, appeared dominant throughout the study period. Genetic distances among isolates were significantly greater for isolates from different host species, but this effect was small, suggesting that while species-specific ecological factors may affect exposure processes, transmission cycles in different host species are still highly interrelated. The MLVA data were further used to establish a model of the probable evolution of GTs within the endemic region of the ENP. SNR-analysis was helpful in correlating an isolate with its source but did not elucidate epidemiological

  10. Decontamination Options for Drinking Water Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Raber, E; Burklund, A

    2010-02-16

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination options for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were: (1) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus); (2) spore concentration in suspension (10{sup 2} to 10{sup 6} spores/ml); (3) chemical characteristics of decontaminant [sodium dicholor-s-triazinetrione dihydrate (Dichlor), hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate (Oxone), sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS{reg_sign}]; (4) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%); and (5) decontaminant exposure time (10 min to 24 hr). Results from 162 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5%, and Dichlor and sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2%, were effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting EPA's biocide standard of greater than a 6 log kill after a 10-minute exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS{reg_sign} and Oxone were less effective decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for biocides. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  11. Dihydrofolate synthetase and folylpolyglutamate synthetase: direct evidence for intervention of acyl phosphate intermediates

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, R.V.; Shane, B.; McGuire, J.J.; Coward, J.K.

    1988-12-13

    The transfer of /sup 17/O and/or /sup 18/O from (COOH-/sup 17/O or -/sup 18/O) enriched substrates to inorganic phosphate (P/sub i/) has been demonstrated for two enzyme-catalyzed reactions involved in folate biosynthesis and glutamylation. COOH-/sup 18/O-labeled folate, methotrexate, and dihydropteroate, in addition to (/sup 17/O)-glutamate, were synthesized and used as substrates for folylpolyglutamate synthetase (FPGS) isolated from Escherichia coli, hog liver, and rat liver and for dihydrofolate synthetase (DHFS) isolated from E. coli. P/sub i/ was purified from the reaction mixtures and converted to trimethyl phosphate (TMP), which was then analyzed for /sup 17/O and /sup 18/O enrichment by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and/or mass spectroscopy. In the reactions catalyzed by the E. coli enzymes, both NMR and quantitative mass spectral analyses established that transfer of the oxygen isotope from the substrate /sup 18/O-enriched carboxyl group to P/sub i/ occurred, thereby providing strong evidence for an acyl phosphate intermediate in both the FPGS- and DHFS-catalyzed reactions. Similar oxygen-transfer experiments were carried out by use of two mammalian enzymes. The small amounts of P/sub i/ obtained from reactions catalyzed by these less abundant FPGS proteins precluded the use of NMR techniques. However, mass spectral analysis of the TMP derived from the mammalian FPGS-catalyzed reactions showed clearly that /sup 18/O transfer had occurred.

  12. spxA2, encoding a regulator of stress resistance in Bacillus anthracis, is controlled by SaiR, a new member of the Rrf2 protein family

    PubMed Central

    Nakano, Michiko M.; Kominos-Marvell, Wren; Sane, Bhagyashree; Nader, Yaldah Mohammad; Barendt, Skye M.; Jones, Marcus B.; Zuber, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Summary Spx, a member of the ArsC (arsenate reductase) protein family, is conserved in Gram-positive bacteria, and interacts with RNA polymerase to activate transcription in response to toxic oxidants. In Bacillus anthracis str. Sterne, resistance to oxidative stress requires the activity of two paralogues, SpxA1 and SpxA2. Suppressor mutations were identified in spxA1 mutant cells that conferred resistance to hydrogen peroxide. The mutations generated null alleles of the saiR gene and resulted in elevated spxA2 transcription. The saiR gene resides in the spxA2 operon and encodes a member of the Rrf2 family of transcriptional repressors. Derepression of spxA2 in a saiR mutant required SpxA2, indicating an autoregulatory mechanism of spxA2 control. Reconstruction of SaiR-dependent control of spxA2 was accomplished in Bacillus subtilis, where deletion analysis uncovered two cis-elements within the spxA2 regulatory region that are required for repression. Mutations to one of the sequences of dyad symmetry substantially reduced SaiR binding and SaiR-dependent repression of transcription from the spxA2 promoter in vitro. Previous studies have shown that spxA2 is one of the most highly induced genes in a macrophage infected with B. anthracis. The work reported herein uncovered a key regulator, SaiR, of the Spx system of stress response control. PMID:25231235

  13. Capsules, Toxins and AtxA as Virulence Factors of Emerging Bacillus cereus Biovar anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H.; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E.; Klee, Silke R.; Goossens, Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d’Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged. PMID

  14. Capsules, toxins and AtxA as virulence factors of emerging Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis.

    PubMed

    Brézillon, Christophe; Haustant, Michel; Dupke, Susann; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Lander, Angelika; Franz, Tatjana; Monot, Marc; Couture-Tosi, Evelyne; Jouvion, Gregory; Leendertz, Fabian H; Grunow, Roland; Mock, Michèle E; Klee, Silke R; Goossens, Pierre L

    2015-04-01

    Emerging B. cereus strains that cause anthrax-like disease have been isolated in Cameroon (CA strain) and Côte d'Ivoire (CI strain). These strains are unusual, because their genomic characterisation shows that they belong to the B. cereus species, although they harbour two plasmids, pBCXO1 and pBCXO2, that are highly similar to the pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids of B. anthracis that encode the toxins and the polyglutamate capsule respectively. The virulence factors implicated in the pathogenicity of these B. cereus bv anthracis strains remain to be characterised. We tested their virulence by cutaneous and intranasal delivery in mice and guinea pigs; they were as virulent as wild-type B. anthracis. Unlike as described for pXO2-cured B. anthracis, the CA strain cured of the pBCXO2 plasmid was still highly virulent, showing the existence of other virulence factors. Indeed, these strains concomitantly expressed a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule and the B. anthracis polyglutamate (PDGA) capsule. The HA capsule was encoded by the hasACB operon on pBCXO1, and its expression was regulated by the global transcription regulator AtxA, which controls anthrax toxins and PDGA capsule in B. anthracis. Thus, the HA and PDGA capsules and toxins were co-regulated by AtxA. We explored the respective effect of the virulence factors on colonisation and dissemination of CA within its host by constructing bioluminescent mutants. Expression of the HA capsule by itself led to local multiplication and, during intranasal infection, to local dissemination to the adjacent brain tissue. Co-expression of either toxins or PDGA capsule with HA capsule enabled systemic dissemination, thus providing a clear evolutionary advantage. Protection against infection by B. cereus bv anthracis required the same vaccination formulation as that used against B. anthracis. Thus, these strains, at the frontier between B. anthracis and B. cereus, provide insight into how the monomorphic B. anthracis may have emerged. PMID

  15. Bacillus anthracis: molecular taxonomy, population genetics, phylogeny and patho-evolution.

    PubMed

    Pilo, Paola; Frey, Joachim

    2011-08-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, manifests a particular bimodal lifestyle. This bacterial species alternates between short replication phases of 20-40 generations that strictly require infection of the host, normally causing death, interrupted by relatively long, mostly dormant phases as spores in the environment. Hence, the B. anthracis genome is highly homogeneous. This feature and the fact that strains from nearly all parts of the world have been analysed for canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNPs) and variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) has allowed the development of molecular epidemiological and molecular clock models to estimate the age of major diversifications in the evolution of B. anthracis and to trace the global spread of this pathogen, which was mostly promoted by movement of domestic cattle with settlers and by international trade of contaminated animal products. From a taxonomic and phylogenetic point of view, B. anthracis is a member of the Bacillus cereus group. The differentiation of B. anthracis from B. cereus sensu stricto, solely based on chromosomal markers, is difficult. However, differences in pathogenicity clearly differentiate B. anthracis from B. cereus and are marked by the strict presence of virulence genes located on the two virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, which both are required by the bacterium to cause anthrax. Conversely, anthrax-like symptoms can also be caused by organisms with chromosomal features that are more closely related to B. cereus, but which carry these virulence genes on two plasmids that largely resemble the B. anthracis virulence plasmids. PMID:21640849

  16. Fatty acyl-CoA reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Reiser, Steven E.; Somerville, Chris R.

    1998-12-01

    The present invention relates to bacterial enzymes, in particular to an acyl-CoA reductase and a gene encoding an acyl-CoA reductase, the amino acid and nucleic acid sequences corresponding to the reductase polypeptide and gene, respectively, and to methods of obtaining such enzymes, amino acid sequences and nucleic acid sequences. The invention also relates to the use of such sequences to provide transgenic host cells capable of producing fatty alcohols and fatty aldehydes.

  17. Rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis by γ phage amplification and lateral flow immunochromatography.

    PubMed

    Cox, Christopher R; Jensen, Kirk R; Mondesire, Roy R; Voorhees, Kent J

    2015-11-01

    New, rapid point-of-need diagnostic methods for Bacillus anthracis detection can enhance civil and military responses to accidental or deliberate dispersal of anthrax as a biological weapon. Current laboratory-based methods for clinical identification of B. anthracis require 12 to 120h, and are confirmed by plaque assay using the well-characterized γ typing phage, which requires an additional minimum of 24h for bacterial culture. To reduce testing time, the natural specificity of γ phage amplification was investigated in combination with lateral flow immunochromatography (LFI) for rapid, point-of-need B. anthracis detection. Phage-based LFI detection of B. anthracis Sterne was validated over a range of bacterial and phage concentrations with optimal detection achieved in as little as 2h from the onset of amplification with a threshold sensitivity of 2.5×10(4)cfu/mL. The novel use of γ phage amplification detected with a simple, inexpensive LFI assay provides a rapid, sensitive, highly accurate, and field-deployable method for diagnostic ID of B. anthracis in a fraction of the time required by conventional techniques, and without the need for extensive laboratory culture. PMID:26310605

  18. [Species-specific sera against surface antigens of Bacillus anthracis strains].

    PubMed

    Barkova, I A; Barkov, A M; Alekseev, V V; Lipnitskiĭ, A V

    2010-11-01

    The species-related specificity of sera against 94-KD proteins isolated from culture filtrates of B. anthracis strains with different levels of virulence plasmids was studied to determine whether they might be used to identify the pathogen of anthrax. Sera against fractions 1 of culture filtrates of B. anthracis strains CTI (pXO1+ pXO2-), 81/1TR (pXO1- pXO2-), Davies (pXO1- pXO) separated by gel chromatography on Sephacryl S-300 were examined. In the gel immunodiffusion test with growing cultures, the sera exhibited non-identical antigens and differed in the presence of antibodies to antigens of related bacilli. The sera against fractions 1 of culture filtrates of toxin-producing and plasmidless strains displayed antigens produced only by B. anthracis strains into nutrient agar. Electroimmunotransblotting revealed that they contained antibodies mainly to 94-kD proteins and failed to react with B. cereus proteins with a molecular weight of 94 kD and with B. thuringiensis proteins with a molecular weight of 97 kD, which were extracted from autonomous cells. In the immunofluorescence test, immunoglobulins of sera against fractions 1 of culture filtrates of three strains stained autonomous cells and spores of 23 B. anthracis strains with different levels of virulence plasmids. In working dilutions, they did not react with antigens of 18 strains of related bacilli, which presents a possibility of using them for species identification of B. anthracis. PMID:21319392

  19. Rapid detection methods for Bacillus anthracis in environmental samples: a review.

    PubMed

    Irenge, Léonid M; Gala, Jean-Luc

    2012-02-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, which causes anthrax, an often lethal disease of animals and humans. Although the disease has been well studied since the nineteenth century, it has witnessed a renewed interest during the past decade, due to its use as a bioterrorist agent in the fall of 2001 in the USA. A number of techniques aimed at rapidly detecting B. anthracis, in environmental samples as well as in point-of-care settings for humans suspected of exposure to the pathogen, are now available. These technologies range from culture-based methods to portable DNA amplification devices. Despite recent developments, specific identification of B. anthracis still remains difficult because of its phenotypic and genotypic similarities with other Bacillus species. Accordingly, many efforts are being made to improve the specificity of B. anthracis identification. This mini-review discusses the current challenges around B. anthracis identification, not only in reach-back laboratories but also in the field (in operational conditions). PMID:22262227

  20. Decontamination Efficacy and Skin Toxicity of Two Decontaminants against Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Stratilo, Chad W.; Crichton, Melissa K. F.; Sawyer, Thomas W.

    2015-01-01

    Decontamination of bacterial endospores such as Bacillus anthracis has traditionally required the use of harsh or caustic chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a chlorine dioxide decontaminant in killing Bacillus anthracis spores in solution and on a human skin simulant (porcine cadaver skin), compared to that of commonly used sodium hypochlorite or soapy water decontamination procedures. In addition, the relative toxicities of these decontaminants were compared in human skin keratinocyte primary cultures. The chlorine dioxide decontaminant was similarly effective to sodium hypochlorite in reducing spore numbers of Bacillus anthracis Ames in liquid suspension after a 10 minute exposure. After five minutes, the chlorine dioxide product was significantly more efficacious. Decontamination of isolated swine skin contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Sterne with the chlorine dioxide product resulted in no viable spores sampled. The toxicity of the chlorine dioxide decontaminant was up to two orders of magnitude less than that of sodium hypochlorite in human skin keratinocyte cultures. In summary, the chlorine dioxide based decontaminant efficiently killed Bacillus anthracis spores in liquid suspension, as well as on isolated swine skin, and was less toxic than sodium hypochlorite in cultures of human skin keratinocytes. PMID:26394165

  1. Sensitive detection of Bacillus anthracis using a binding protein originating from gamma-phage.

    PubMed

    Fujinami, Yoshihito; Hirai, Yoshikazu; Sakai, Ikuko; Yoshino, Mineo; Yasuda, Jiro

    2007-01-01

    Detection of biological weapons is a primary concern in force protection, treaty verification, and safeguarding civilian populations against domestic terrorism. One great concern is the detection of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop novel methods for rapid, simple, and precise detection of B. anthracis. Here, we report that the C-terminal region of gamma-phage lysin protein (PlyG) binds specifically to the cell wall of B. anthracis and the recombinant protein corresponding to this region (positions, 156-233), PlyGB, is available as a bioprobe for detection of B. anthracis. Our detection method, based on a membrane direct blot assay using recombinant PlyGB, was more rapid and sensitive than the gamma-phage test and was simpler and more inexpensive than genetic methods such as PCR, or immunological methods using specific antibodies. Furthermore, its specificity was comparable to the gamma-phage test. PlyGB is applicable in conventional methods instead of antibodies and could be a potent tool for detection of B. anthracis. PMID:17310083

  2. Decontamination Efficacy and Skin Toxicity of Two Decontaminants against Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Stratilo, Chad W; Crichton, Melissa K F; Sawyer, Thomas W

    2015-01-01

    Decontamination of bacterial endospores such as Bacillus anthracis has traditionally required the use of harsh or caustic chemicals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a chlorine dioxide decontaminant in killing Bacillus anthracis spores in solution and on a human skin simulant (porcine cadaver skin), compared to that of commonly used sodium hypochlorite or soapy water decontamination procedures. In addition, the relative toxicities of these decontaminants were compared in human skin keratinocyte primary cultures. The chlorine dioxide decontaminant was similarly effective to sodium hypochlorite in reducing spore numbers of Bacillus anthracis Ames in liquid suspension after a 10 minute exposure. After five minutes, the chlorine dioxide product was significantly more efficacious. Decontamination of isolated swine skin contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Sterne with the chlorine dioxide product resulted in no viable spores sampled. The toxicity of the chlorine dioxide decontaminant was up to two orders of magnitude less than that of sodium hypochlorite in human skin keratinocyte cultures. In summary, the chlorine dioxide based decontaminant efficiently killed Bacillus anthracis spores in liquid suspension, as well as on isolated swine skin, and was less toxic than sodium hypochlorite in cultures of human skin keratinocytes. PMID:26394165

  3. THE BEHAVIOR OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS STRAINS STERNE (AVIRULENT) AND AMES K01610 (VIRULENT) IN STERILE RAW GOUND BEEF

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The behavior of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores, encompassing bacterial growth and death, was measured in sterile raw ground beef at storage temperatures, 2 degrees to 70 degrees C. Bacillus anthracis Sterne was killed at a slow rate of -0.003 to -0.014 log10 cfu/h at storage temperatures of 2 degr...

  4. Testing nucleoside analogues as inhibitors of Bacillus anthracis spore germination in vitro and in macrophage cell culture.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Zadkiel; Lee, Kyungae; Abel-Santos, Ernesto

    2010-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, has a dormant stage in its life cycle known as the endospore. When conditions become favorable, spores germinate and transform into vegetative bacteria. In inhalational anthrax, the most fatal manifestation of the disease, spores enter the organism through the respiratory tract and germinate in phagosomes of alveolar macrophages. Germinated cells can then produce toxins and establish infection. Thus, germination is a crucial step for the initiation of pathogenesis. B. anthracis spore germination is activated by a wide variety of amino acids and purine nucleosides. Inosine and l-alanine are the two most potent nutrient germinants in vitro. Recent studies have shown that germination can be hindered by isomers or structural analogues of germinants. 6-Thioguanosine (6-TG), a guanosine analogue, is able to inhibit germination and prevent B. anthracis toxin-mediated necrosis in murine macrophages. In this study, we screened 46 different nucleoside analogues as activators or inhibitors of B. anthracis spore germination in vitro. These compounds were also tested for their ability to protect the macrophage cell line J774a.1 from B. anthracis cytotoxicity. Structure-activity relationship analysis of activators and inhibitors clarified the binding mechanisms of nucleosides to B. anthracis spores. In contrast, no structure-activity relationships were apparent for compounds that protected macrophages from B. anthracis-mediated killing. However, multiple inhibitors additively protected macrophages from B. anthracis. PMID:20921305

  5. Glyconanobiotics: Novel carbohydrated nanoparticle antibiotics for MRSA and Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Abeylath, Sampath C.; Turos, Edward; Dickey, Sonja; Limb, Daniel V.

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the synthesis and evaluation of glycosylated polyacrylate nanoparticles that have covalently-bound antibiotics within their framework. The requisite glycosylated drug monomers were prepared from one of three known antibiotics, an N-sec-butylthio β-lactam, ciprofloxacin, and a penicillin, by acylation with 3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5,6 bis((chlorosuccinyl)oxy)-D-glucofuranose (7) or 6-O-acetyl-3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5-(chlorosuccinyl)oxy-α-D-glucofuranose (10). These acrylated monomers were subjected to emulsion polymerization in a 7:3 (w:w) mixture of butyl acrylate-styrene in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate as surfactant (3 weight %) and potassium persulfate as a radical initiator (1 weight %). The resulting nanoparticle emulsions were characterized by dynamic light scattering and found to have similar diameters (~40 nm) and size distributions to those of our previously studied systems. Microbiological testing showed that the N-sec-butylthio β-lactam and ciprofloxacin nanoparticles both have powerful in vitro activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis, while the penicillin-bound nanoparticles have no antimicrobial activity. This indicates the need for matching a suitable antibiotic with the nanoparticle carrier. Overall, the study shows that even relatively large, polar acrylate monomers (MW>1000 amu) can be efficiently incorporated into the nanoparticle matrix by emulsion polymerization, providing opportunities for further advances in nanomedicine. PMID:18063370

  6. Scalable purification of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Gwinn, William; Zhang, Mei; Mon, Sandii; Sampey, Darryl; Zukauskas, David; Kassebaum, Corby; Zmuda, Jonathan F; Tsai, Amos; Laird, Michael W

    2006-01-01

    The anthrax toxin consists of three proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor, and edema factor that are produced by the Gram-positive bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. Current vaccines against anthrax use PA as their primary component. In this study, we developed a scalable process to produce and purify multi-gram quantities of highly pure, recombinant PA (rPA) from Escherichia coli. The rPA protein was produced in a 50-L fermentor and purified to >99% purity using anion-exchange, hydrophobic interaction, and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The final yield of purified rPA from medium cell density fermentations resulted in approximately 2.7 g of rPA per kg of cell paste (approximately 270 mg/L) of highly pure, biologically active rPA protein. The results presented here exhibit the ability to generate multi-gram quantities of rPA from E. coli that may be used for the development of new anthrax vaccines and anthrax therapeutics. PMID:15935696

  7. Structure of nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, S.; Smith, C.; Yang, Z.; Pruett, P.; Nagy, L.; McCombs, D; DeLucas, L.; Brouillette, W.; Brouillette, C.

    2008-11-25

    Nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NaMNAT; EC 2.7.7.18) is the penultimate enzyme in the biosynthesis of NAD{sup +} and catalyzes the adenylation of nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) by ATP to form nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NaAD). This enzyme is regarded as a suitable candidate for antibacterial drug development; as such, Bacillus anthracis NaMNAT (BA NaMNAT) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli for the purpose of inhibitor discovery and crystallography. The crystal structure of BA NaMNAT was determined by molecular replacement, revealing two dimers per asymmetric unit, and was refined to an R factor and R{sub free} of 0.228 and 0.263, respectively, at 2.3 {angstrom} resolution. The structure is very similar to that of B. subtilis NaMNAT (BS NaMNAT), which is also a dimer, and another independently solved structure of BA NaMNAT recently released from the PDB along with two ligated forms. Comparison of these and other less related bacterial NaMNAT structures support the presence of considerable conformational heterogeneity and flexibility in three loops surrounding the substrate-binding area.

  8. Structure of nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Shanyun; Smith, Craig D.; Yang, Zhengrong; Pruett, Pamela S.; Nagy, Lisa; McCombs, Deborah; DeLucas, Lawrence J.; Brouillette, Wayne J.; Brouillette, Christie G.

    2008-01-01

    Nicotinic acid mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NaMNAT; EC 2.7.7.18) is the penultimate enzyme in the biosynthesis of NAD+ and catalyzes the adenylation of nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NaMN) by ATP to form nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NaAD). This enzyme is regarded as a suitable candidate for antibacterial drug development; as such, Bacillus anthracis NaMNAT (BA NaMNAT) was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli for the purpose of inhibitor discovery and crystallography. The crystal structure of BA NaMNAT was determined by molecular replacement, revealing two dimers per asymmetric unit, and was refined to an R factor and R free of 0.228 and 0.263, respectively, at 2.3 Å resolution. The structure is very similar to that of B. subtilis NaMNAT (BS NaMNAT), which is also a dimer, and another independently solved structure of BA NaMNAT recently released from the PDB along with two ligated forms. Comparison of these and other less related bacterial NaMNAT structures support the presence of considerable conformational heterogeneity and flexibility in three loops surrounding the substrate-binding area. PMID:18931430

  9. Glyconanobiotics: Novel carbohydrated nanoparticle antibiotics for MRSA and Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Abeylath, Sampath C; Turos, Edward; Dickey, Sonja; Lim, Daniel V

    2008-03-01

    This report describes the synthesis and evaluation of glycosylated polyacrylate nanoparticles that have covalently-bound antibiotics within their framework. The requisite glycosylated drug monomers were prepared from one of three known antibiotics, an N-sec-butylthio beta-lactam, ciprofloxacin, and a penicillin, by acylation with 3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5,6 bis((chlorosuccinyl)oxy)-d-glucofuranose (7) or 6-O-acetyl-3-O-acryloyl-1,2-O-isopropylidene-5-(chlorosuccinyl)oxy-alpha-d-glucofuranose (10). These acrylated monomers were subjected to emulsion polymerization in a 7:3 (w:w) mixture of butyl acrylate-styrene in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate as surfactant (3 weight %) and potassium persulfate as a radical initiator (1 weight %). The resulting nanoparticle emulsions were characterized by dynamic light scattering and found to have similar diameters ( approximately 40 nm) and size distributions to those of our previously studied systems. Microbiological testing showed that the N-sec-butylthio beta-lactam and ciprofloxacin nanoparticles both have powerful in vitro activities against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis, while the penicillin-bound nanoparticles have no antimicrobial activity. This indicates the need for matching a suitable antibiotic with the nanoparticle carrier. Overall, the study shows that even relatively large, polar acrylate monomers (MW>1000 amu) can be efficiently incorporated into the nanoparticle matrix by emulsion polymerization, providing opportunities for further advances in nanomedicine. PMID:18063370

  10. Structures of two superoxide dismutases from Bacillus anthracis reveal a novel active centre

    PubMed Central

    Boucher, Ian W.; Kalliomaa, Anne K.; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Blagova, Elena V.; Fogg, Mark J.; Brannigan, James A.; Wilson, Keith S.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.

    2005-01-01

    The BA4499 and BA5696 genes of Bacillus anthracis encode proteins homologous to manganese superoxide dismutase, suggesting that this organism has an expanded repertoire of antioxidant proteins. Differences in metal specificity and quaternary structure between the dismutases of prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes may be exploited in the development of therapeutic antibacterial compounds. Here, the crystal structure of two Mn superoxide dismutases from B. anthracis solved to high resolution are reported. Comparison of their structures reveals that a highly conserved residue near the active centre is substituted in one of the proteins and that this is a characteristic feature of superoxide dismutases from the B. cereus/B. anthracis/B. thuringiensis group of organisms. PMID:16511113

  11. Structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Grenha, Rosa; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Fogg, Mark J.; Blagova, Elena V.; Brannigan, James A. Wilkinson, Anthony J.; Wilson, Keith S.

    2005-05-01

    The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis was solved by X-ray crystallography using molecular replacement and refined at a resolution of 2.24 Å. Protein structures from the causative agent of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) are being determined as part of a structural genomics programme. Amongst initial candidates for crystallographic analysis are enzymes involved in nucleotide biosynthesis, since these are recognized as potential targets in antibacterial therapy. Purine nucleoside phosphorylase is a key enzyme in the purine-salvage pathway. The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis has been solved by molecular replacement at 2.24 Å resolution and refined to an R factor of 18.4%. This is the first report of a DeoD structure from a Gram-positive bacterium.

  12. Structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from Bacillus anthracis (BA4489)

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, Christoph; Carter, Lester G.; Winter, Graeme; Owens, Ray J.; Stuart, David I.; Esnouf, Robert M.

    2007-03-01

    The structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase from B. anthracis determined by X-ray crystallography at a resolution of 1.6 Å is described. Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming bacterium and the causative agent of the disease anthrax. The Oxford Protein Production Facility has been targeting proteins from B. anthracis in order to develop high-throughput technologies within the Structural Proteomics in Europe project. As part of this work, the structure of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase (BA4489) has been determined by X-ray crystallography to 1.6 Å resolution. The structure, solved in complex with magnesium-ion-bound ADP and phosphate, gives a detailed picture of the proposed catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. Chemical differences from other cyclo-ligase structures close to the active site that could be exploited to design specific inhibitors are also highlighted.

  13. Dihydropteridine reductase from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Vasudevan, S G; Shaw, D C; Armarego, W L

    1988-01-01

    A dihydropteridine reductase from Escherichia coli was purified to apparent homogeneity. It is a dimeric enzyme with identical subunits (Mr 27000) and a free N-terminal group. It can use NADH (Vmax./Km 3.36 s-1) and NADPH (Vmax./Km 1.07 s-1) when 6-methyldihydro-(6H)-pterin is the second substrate, as well as quinonoid dihydro-(6H)-biopterin (Vmax./Km 0.69 s-1), dihydro-(6H)-neopterin (Vmax./Km 0.58 s-1), dihydro-(6H)-monapterin 0.66 s-1), 6-methyldihydro-(6H)-pterin and cis-6,7-dimethyldihydro-(6H)-pterin (Vmax./Km 0.66 s-1) when NADH is the second substrate. The pure reductase has a yellow colour and contains bound FAD. The enzyme also has pterin-independent NADH and NADPH oxidoreductase activities when potassium ferricyanide is the electron acceptor. Images Fig. 2. PMID:3060113

  14. Fluorescent Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Karen K.; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Okinaka, Richard T.; Asay, Michelle; Blair, Heather; Bliss, Katherine A.; Laker, Mariam; Pardington, Paige E.; Richardson, Amber P.; Tonks, Melinda; Beecher, Douglas J.; Kemp, John D.; Kolstø, Anne-Brit; Wong, Amy C. Lee; Keim, Paul; Jackson, Paul J.

    2004-01-01

    DNA from over 300 Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus anthracis isolates was analyzed by fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). B. thuringiensis and B. cereus isolates were from diverse sources and locations, including soil, clinical isolates and food products causing diarrheal and emetic outbreaks, and type strains from the American Type Culture Collection, and over 200 B. thuringiensis isolates representing 36 serovars or subspecies were from the U.S. Department of Agriculture collection. Twenty-four diverse B. anthracis isolates were also included. Phylogenetic analysis of AFLP data revealed extensive diversity within B. thuringiensis and B. cereus compared to the monomorphic nature of B. anthracis. All of the B. anthracis strains were more closely related to each other than to any other Bacillus isolate, while B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains populated the entire tree. Ten distinct branches were defined, with many branches containing both B. cereus and B. thuringiensis isolates. A single branch contained all the B. anthracis isolates plus an unusual B. thuringiensis isolate that is pathogenic in mice. In contrast, B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (ATCC 33679) and other isolates used to prepare insecticides mapped distal to the B. anthracis isolates. The interspersion of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis isolates within the phylogenetic tree suggests that phenotypic traits used to distinguish between these two species do not reflect the genomic content of the different isolates and that horizontal gene transfer plays an important role in establishing the phenotype of each of these microbes. B. thuringiensis isolates of a particular subspecies tended to cluster together. PMID:14766590

  15. Bacillus anthracis tagO Is Required for Vegetative Growth and Secondary Cell Wall Polysaccharide Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Lunderberg, J. Mark; Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Missiakas, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis elaborates a linear secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP) that retains surface (S)-layer and associated proteins via their S-layer homology (SLH) domains. The SCWP is comprised of trisaccharide repeats [→4)-β-ManNAc-(1→4)-β-GlcNAc-(1→6)-α-GlcNAc-(1→] and tethered via acid-labile phosphodiester bonds to peptidoglycan. Earlier work identified UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerases GneY (BAS5048) and GneZ (BAS5117), which act as catalysts of ManNAc synthesis, as well as a polysaccharide deacetylase (BAS5051), as factors contributing to SCWP synthesis. Here, we show that tagO (BAS5050), which encodes a UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:undecaprenyl-P N-acetylglucosaminyl 1-P transferase, the enzyme that initiates the synthesis of murein linkage units, is required for B. anthracis SCWP synthesis and S-layer assembly. Similar to gneY-gneZ mutants, B. anthracis strains lacking tagO cannot maintain cell shape or support vegetative growth. In contrast, mutations in BAS5051 do not affect B. anthracis cell shape, vegetative growth, SCWP synthesis, or S-layer assembly. These data suggest that TagO-mediated murein linkage unit assembly supports SCWP synthesis and attachment to the peptidoglycan via acid-labile phosphodiester bonds. Further, B. anthracis variants unable to synthesize SCWP trisaccharide repeats cannot sustain cell shape and vegetative growth. IMPORTANCE Bacillus anthracis elaborates an SCWP to support vegetative growth and envelope assembly. Here, we show that some, but not all, SCWP synthesis is dependent on tagO-derived murein linkage units and subsequent attachment of SCWP to peptidoglycan. The data implicate secondary polymer modifications of peptidoglycan and subcellular distributions as a key feature of the cell cycle in Gram-positive bacteria and establish foundations for work on the molecular functions of the SCWP and on inhibitors with antibiotic attributes. PMID:26324447

  16. Transient Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Resistance to Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis in New Zealand White Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Yee, Steven B; Dyer, David N; Twenhafel, Nancy A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that prior infection by various bacterial pathogens induces nonspecific resistance to subsequent infection by other gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens. In the present study, we evaluated whether underlying inflammation enhanced host resistance to inhalational Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand White rabbits (SPF; Bordetella- and Pasteurella-free). Accordingly, rabbits were pretreated with either the inflammagen bacterial LPS (60,000 EU/kg), a component of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, or saline (vehicle). Administration of LPS resulted in brief pyrexia and a significant increase in the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα, thus confirming LPS-induced inflammation. At 24 h after LPS treatment, rabbits were exposed to aerosolized B. anthracis spores (Ames strain; approximately 300 LD50). Blood samples collected at various times after challenge were cultured. Compared with their saline-pretreated counterparts, LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited delays in 2 biomarkers of B. anthracis infection—anthrax-induced pyrexia (25 h versus 66 h after challenge, respectively) and bacteremia (26 h versus 63 h, respectively)—and survived longer (41 h versus 90 h, respectively). Similar to control animals, all LPS-pretreated, B. anthracis-challenged rabbits exhibited pathology consistent with inhalational anthrax. Taken together, these results suggest that prior or underlying stimulation of the innate immune system induces transient host resistance to subsequent B. anthracis infection in SPF New Zealand white rabbits. In particular, our results emphasize the importance of using animals that are free of underlying infections to prevent confounding data in studies for inhalational anthrax characterization and medical countermeasure evaluation. PMID:23759528

  17. Alveolar Macrophages Infected with Ames or Sterne Strain of Bacillus anthracis Elicit Differential Molecular Expression Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Douglas; Kenny, Tara; Ojeda, Jenifer F.; Zhong, Yang; Che, Jianwei; Zhou, Yingyao; Ribot, Wilson; Kota, Krishna P.; Bavari, Sina; Panchal, Rekha G.

    2014-01-01

    Alveolar macrophages (AMs) phagocytose Bacillus anthracis following inhalation and induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to mediate the activation of innate immunity. Ames, the virulent strain of B. anthracis, contains two plasmids that encode the antiphagocytic poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule and the lethal toxin. The attenuated Sterne strain of B. anthracis, which lacks the plasmid encoding capsule, is widely adapted as a vaccine strain. Although differences in the outcome of infection with the two strains may have originated from the presence or absence of an anti-phagocytic capsule, the disease pathogenesis following infection will be manifested via the host responses, which is not well understood. To gain understanding of the host responses at cellular level, a microarray analysis was performed using primary rhesus macaque AMs infected with either Ames or Sterne spores. Notably, 528 human orthologs were identified to be differentially expressed in AMs infected with either strain of the B. anthracis. Meta-analyses revealed genes differentially expressed in response to B. anthracis infection were also induced upon infections with multiple pathogens such as Francisella Novicida or Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests the existence of a common molecular signature in response to pathogen infections. Importantly, the microarray and protein expression data for certain cytokines, chemokines and host factors provide further insights on how cellular processes such as innate immune sensing pathways, anti-apoptosis versus apoptosis may be differentially modulated in response to the virulent or vaccine strain of B. anthracis. The reported differences may account for the marked difference in pathogenicity between these two strains. PMID:24516547

  18. Whole genome protein microarrays for serum profiling of immunodominant antigens of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Kempsell, Karen E; Kidd, Stephen P; Lewandowski, Kuiama; Elmore, Michael J; Charlton, Sue; Yeates, Annemarie; Cuthbertson, Hannah; Hallis, Bassam; Altmann, Daniel M; Rogers, Mitch; Wattiau, Pierre; Ingram, Rebecca J; Brooks, Tim; Vipond, Richard

    2015-01-01

    A commercial Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) whole genome protein microarray has been used to identify immunogenic Anthrax proteins (IAP) using sera from groups of donors with (a) confirmed B. anthracis naturally acquired cutaneous infection, (b) confirmed B. anthracis intravenous drug use-acquired infection, (c) occupational exposure in a wool-sorters factory, (d) humans and rabbits vaccinated with the UK Anthrax protein vaccine and compared to naïve unexposed controls. Anti-IAP responses were observed for both IgG and IgA in the challenged groups; however the anti-IAP IgG response was more evident in the vaccinated group and the anti-IAP IgA response more evident in the B. anthracis-infected groups. Infected individuals appeared somewhat suppressed for their general IgG response, compared with other challenged groups. Immunogenic protein antigens were identified in all groups, some of which were shared between groups whilst others were specific for individual groups. The toxin proteins were immunodominant in all vaccinated, infected or other challenged groups. However, a number of other chromosomally-located and plasmid encoded open reading frame proteins were also recognized by infected or exposed groups in comparison to controls. Some of these antigens e.g., BA4182 are not recognized by vaccinated individuals, suggesting that there are proteins more specifically expressed by live Anthrax spores in vivo that are not currently found in the UK licensed Anthrax Vaccine (AVP). These may perhaps be preferentially expressed during infection and represent expression of alternative pathways in the B. anthracis "infectome." These may make highly attractive candidates for diagnostic and vaccine biomarker development as they may be more specifically associated with the infectious phase of the pathogen. A number of B. anthracis small hypothetical protein targets have been synthesized, tested in mouse immunogenicity studies and validated in parallel using human sera from the

  19. Whole genome protein microarrays for serum profiling of immunodominant antigens of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Kempsell, Karen E.; Kidd, Stephen P.; Lewandowski, Kuiama; Elmore, Michael J.; Charlton, Sue; Yeates, Annemarie; Cuthbertson, Hannah; Hallis, Bassam; Altmann, Daniel M.; Rogers, Mitch; Wattiau, Pierre; Ingram, Rebecca J.; Brooks, Tim; Vipond, Richard

    2015-01-01

    A commercial Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax) whole genome protein microarray has been used to identify immunogenic Anthrax proteins (IAP) using sera from groups of donors with (a) confirmed B. anthracis naturally acquired cutaneous infection, (b) confirmed B. anthracis intravenous drug use-acquired infection, (c) occupational exposure in a wool-sorters factory, (d) humans and rabbits vaccinated with the UK Anthrax protein vaccine and compared to naïve unexposed controls. Anti-IAP responses were observed for both IgG and IgA in the challenged groups; however the anti-IAP IgG response was more evident in the vaccinated group and the anti-IAP IgA response more evident in the B. anthracis-infected groups. Infected individuals appeared somewhat suppressed for their general IgG response, compared with other challenged groups. Immunogenic protein antigens were identified in all groups, some of which were shared between groups whilst others were specific for individual groups. The toxin proteins were immunodominant in all vaccinated, infected or other challenged groups. However, a number of other chromosomally-located and plasmid encoded open reading frame proteins were also recognized by infected or exposed groups in comparison to controls. Some of these antigens e.g., BA4182 are not recognized by vaccinated individuals, suggesting that there are proteins more specifically expressed by live Anthrax spores in vivo that are not currently found in the UK licensed Anthrax Vaccine (AVP). These may perhaps be preferentially expressed during infection and represent expression of alternative pathways in the B. anthracis “infectome.” These may make highly attractive candidates for diagnostic and vaccine biomarker development as they may be more specifically associated with the infectious phase of the pathogen. A number of B. anthracis small hypothetical protein targets have been synthesized, tested in mouse immunogenicity studies and validated in parallel using human sera from

  20. Confirmation of Bacillus anthracis from flesh-eating flies collected during a West Texas anthrax season.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Curtis, Andrew; Hadfield, Ted L; O'Shea, Bob; Mitchell, Mark A; Hugh-Jones, Martin E

    2010-07-01

    This case study confirms the interaction between necrophilic flies and white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus, during an anthrax outbreak in West Texas (summer 2005). Bacillus anthracis was identified by culture and PCR from one of eight pooled fly collections from deer carcasses on a deer ranch with a well-documented history of anthrax. These results provide the first known isolation of B. anthracis from flesh-eating flies associated with a wildlife anthrax outbreak in North America and are discussed in the context of wildlife ecology and anthrax epizootics. PMID:20688697

  1. Structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Grenha, Rosa; Levdikov, Vladimir M.; Fogg, Mark J.; Blagova, Elena V.; Brannigan, James A.; Wilkinson, Anthony J.; Wilson, Keith S.

    2005-01-01

    Protein structures from the causative agent of anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) are being determined as part of a structural genomics programme. Amongst initial candidates for crystallographic analysis are enzymes involved in nucleotide biosynthesis, since these are recognized as potential targets in antibacterial therapy. Purine nucleoside phosphorylase is a key enzyme in the purine-salvage pathway. The crystal structure of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (DeoD) from B. anthracis has been solved by molecular replacement at 2.24 Å resolution and refined to an R factor of 18.4%. This is the first report of a DeoD structure from a Gram-positive bacterium. PMID:16511068

  2. PemK Toxin of Bacillus anthracis Is a Ribonuclease

    PubMed Central

    Agarwal, Shivangi; Mishra, Neeraj Kumar; Bhatnagar, Sonika; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis genome harbors a toxin-antitoxin (TA) module encoding pemI (antitoxin) and pemK (toxin). This study describes the rPemK as a potent ribonuclease with a preference for pyrimidines (C/U), which is consistent with our previous study that demonstrated it as a translational attenuator. The in silico structural modeling of the PemK in conjunction with the site-directed mutagenesis confirmed the role of His-59 and Glu-78 as an acid-base couple in mediating the ribonuclease activity. The rPemK is shown to form a complex with the rPemI, which is in line with its function as a TA module. This rPemI-rPemK complex becomes catalytically inactive when both the proteins interact in a molar stoichiometry of 1. The rPemI displays vulnerability to proteolysis but attains conformational stability only upon rPemK interaction. The pemI-pemK transcript is shown to be up-regulated upon stress induction with a concomitant increase in the amount of PemK and a decline in the PemI levels, establishing the role of these modules in stress. The artificial perturbation of TA interaction could unleash the toxin, executing bacterial cell death. Toward this end, synthetic peptides are designed to disrupt the TA interaction. The peptides are shown to be effective in abrogating TA interaction in micromolar range in vitro. This approach can be harnessed as a potential antibacterial strategy against anthrax in the future. PMID:20022964

  3. Immunomagnetic capture of Bacillus anthracis spores from food.

    PubMed

    Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Janzen, Timothy W; Goji, Noriko; Thomas, Matthew C; Kingombe, Cesar Bin I; Paquet, Chantal; Kell, Arnold J; Amoako, Kingsley K

    2012-07-01

    Food is a vulnerable target for potential bioterrorist attacks; therefore, a critical mitigation strategy is needed for the rapid concentration and detection of biothreat agents from food matrices. Magnetic beads offer a unique advantage in that they have a large surface area for efficient capture of bacteria. We have demonstrated the efficient capture and concentration of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) spores using immunomagnetic beads for a potential food application. Magnetic beads from three different sources, with varying sizes and surface chemistries, were functionalized with monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies from commercial sources and used to capture and concentrate anthrax spores from spiked food matrices, including milk, apple juice, bagged salad, processed meat, and bottled water. The results indicated that the Pathatrix beads were more effective in the binding and capture of anthrax spores than the other two bead types investigated. Furthermore, it was observed that the use of polyclonal antibodies resulted in a more efficient recovery of anthrax spores than the use of monoclonal antibodies. Three different magnetic capture methods, inversion, the Pathatrix Auto system, and the new i CropTheBug system, were investigated. The i CropTheBug system yielded a much higher recovery of spores than the Pathatrix Auto system. Spore recoveries ranged from 80 to 100% for the i CropTheBug system when using pure spore preparations, whereas the Pathatrix Auto system had recoveries from 20 to 30%. Spore capture from food samples inoculated at a level of 1 CFU/ml resulted in 80 to 100% capture for milk, bottled water, and juice samples and 60 to 80% for processed meat and bagged salad when using the i CropTheBug system. This efficient capture of anthrax spores at very low concentrations without enrichment has the potential to enhance the sensitivity of downstream detection technologies and will be a useful method in a foodborne bioterrorism response. PMID

  4. Differential toxicity of mitomycin C and porfiromycin to aerobic and hypoxic Chinese hamster ovary cells overexpressing human NADPH:cytochrome c (P-450) reductase.

    PubMed

    Belcourt, M F; Hodnick, W F; Rockwell, S; Sartorelli, A C

    1996-01-01

    Purified NADPH:cytochrome c (P-450) reductase (FpT; NADPH-ferrihemoprotein oxidoreductase, EC 1.6.2.4) can reductively activate mitomycin antibiotics through a one-electron reduction to species that alkylate DNA. To assess the involvement of FpT in the intracellular activation of the mitomycins, transfectants overexpressing a human FpT cDNA were established from a Chinese hamster ovary cell line deficient in dihydrofolate reductase (CHO-K1/dhfr-). The parental cell line was equisensitive to the cytotoxic action of mitomycin C under oxygenated and hypoxic conditions. In contrast, porfiromycin was considerably less cytotoxic to wild-type parental cells than was mitomycin C in air and markedly more cytotoxic under hypoxia. Two FpT-transfected clones were selected that expressed 19- and 27-fold more FpT activity than the parental line. Levels of other oxidoreductases implicated in the activation of the mitomycins were unchanged. Significant increases in sensitivity to mitomycin C and porfiromycin in the two FpT-transfected clones were seen under both oxygenated and hypoxic conditions, with the increases in toxicity being greater under hypoxia than in air. These findings demonstrate that FpT can bioreductively activate the mitomycins in living cells and implicate FpT in the differential aerobic/hypoxic toxicity of the mitomycins. PMID:8552660

  5. Evaluation of the Efficacy of Methyl Bromide in the Decontamination of Building and Interior Materials Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Wendling, Morgan; Richter, William; Lastivka, Andrew; Mickelsen, Leroy

    2016-01-01

    The primary goal of this study was to determine the conditions required for the effective inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on materials by using methyl bromide (MeBr) gas. Another objective was to obtain comparative decontamination efficacy data with three avirulent microorganisms to assess their potential for use as surrogates for B. anthracis Ames. Decontamination tests were conducted with spores of B. anthracis Ames and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, B. anthracis NNR1Δ1, and B. anthracis Sterne inoculated onto six different materials. Experimental variables included temperature, relative humidity (RH), MeBr concentration, and contact time. MeBr was found to be an effective decontaminant under a number of conditions. This study highlights the important role that RH has when fumigation is performed with MeBr. There were no tests in which a ≥6-log10 reduction (LR) of B. anthracis Ames was achieved on all materials when fumigation was done at 45% RH. At 75% RH, an increase in the temperature, the MeBr concentration, or contact time generally improved the efficacy of fumigation with MeBr. This study provides new information for the effective use of MeBr at temperatures and RH levels lower than those that have been recommended previously. The study also provides data to assist with the selection of an avirulent surrogate for B. anthracis Ames spores when additional tests with MeBr are conducted. PMID:26801580

  6. Evaluation of the Efficacy of Methyl Bromide in the Decontamination of Building and Interior Materials Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Wendling, Morgan; Richter, William; Lastivka, Andrew; Mickelsen, Leroy

    2016-04-01

    The primary goal of this study was to determine the conditions required for the effective inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on materials by using methyl bromide (MeBr) gas. Another objective was to obtain comparative decontamination efficacy data with three avirulent microorganisms to assess their potential for use as surrogates for B. anthracis Ames. Decontamination tests were conducted with spores of B. anthracis Ames and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, B. anthracis NNR1Δ1, and B. anthracis Sterne inoculated onto six different materials. Experimental variables included temperature, relative humidity (RH), MeBr concentration, and contact time. MeBr was found to be an effective decontaminant under a number of conditions. This study highlights the important role that RH has when fumigation is performed with MeBr. There were no tests in which a ≥6-log10 reduction (LR) of B. anthracis Ames was achieved on all materials when fumigation was done at 45% RH. At 75% RH, an increase in the temperature, the MeBr concentration, or contact time generally improved the efficacy of fumigation with MeBr. This study provides new information for the effective use of MeBr at temperatures and RH levels lower than those that have been recommended previously. The study also provides data to assist with the selection of an avirulent surrogate for B. anthracis Ames spores when additional tests with MeBr are conducted. PMID:26801580

  7. An electrogenic nitric oxide reductase.

    PubMed

    Al-Attar, Sinan; de Vries, Simon

    2015-07-22

    Nitric oxide reductases (Nors) are members of the heme-copper oxidase superfamily that reduce nitric oxide (NO) to nitrous oxide (N₂O). In contrast to the proton-pumping cytochrome oxidases, Nors studied so far have neither been implicated in proton pumping nor have they been experimentally established as electrogenic. The copper-A-dependent Nor from Bacillus azotoformans uses cytochrome c₅₅₁ as electron donor but lacks menaquinol activity, in contrast to our earlier report (Suharti et al., 2001). Employing reduced phenazine ethosulfate (PESH) as electron donor, the main NO reduction pathway catalyzed by Cu(A)Nor reconstituted in liposomes involves transmembrane cycling of the PES radical. We show that Cu(A)Nor reconstituted in liposomes generates a proton electrochemical gradient across the membrane similar in magnitude to cytochrome aa₃, highlighting that bacilli using Cu(A)Nor can exploit NO reduction for increased cellular ATP production compared to organisms using cNor. PMID:26149211

  8. Tetrathionate reductase of Salmonella thyphimurium: a molybdenum containing enzyme

    SciTech Connect

    Hinojosa-Leon, M.; Dubourdieu, M.; Sanchez-Crispin, J.A.; Chippaux, M.

    1986-04-29

    Use of radioactive molybdenum demonstrates that the tetrathionate reductase of Salmonella typhimurium is a molydenum containing enzyme. It is proposed that this enzyme shares with other molybdo-proteins, such as nitrate reductase, a common molybdenum containing cofactor the defect of which leads to the loss of the tetrathionate reductase and nitrate reductase activities.

  9. Characterization of Bacillus cereus isolates associated with fatal pneumonias: strains are closely related to Bacillus anthracis and harbor B. anthracis virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Hoffmaster, Alex R; Hill, Karen K; Gee, Jay E; Marston, Chung K; De, Barun K; Popovic, Tanja; Sue, David; Wilkins, Patricia P; Avashia, Swati B; Drumgoole, Rahsaan; Helma, Charles H; Ticknor, Lawrence O; Okinaka, Richard T; Jackson, Paul J

    2006-09-01

    Bacillus cereus is ubiquitous in nature, and while most isolates appear to be harmless, some are associated with food-borne illnesses, periodontal diseases, and other more serious infections. In one such infection, B. cereus G9241 was identified as the causative agent of a severe pneumonia in a Louisiana welder in 1994. This isolate was found to harbor most of the B. anthracis virulence plasmid pXO1 (13). Here we report the characterization of two clinical and one environmental B. cereus isolate collected during an investigation of two fatal pneumonia cases in Texas metal workers. Molecular subtyping revealed that the two cases were not caused by the same strain. However, one of the three isolates was indistinguishable from B. cereus G9241. PCR analysis demonstrated that both clinical isolates contained B. anthracis pXO1 toxin genes. One clinical isolate and the environmental isolate collected from that victim's worksite contained the cap A, B, and C genes required for capsule biosynthesis in B. anthracis. Both clinical isolates expressed a capsule; however, neither was composed of poly-D-glutamic acid. Although most B. cereus isolates are not opportunistic pathogens and only a limited number cause food-borne illnesses, these results demonstrate that some B. cereus strains can cause severe and even fatal infections in patients who appear to be otherwise healthy. PMID:16954272

  10. Feeding Anthrax: The Crystal Structure of Bacillus anthracis InhA Protease.

    PubMed

    Schacherl, Magdalena; Baumann, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria secrete proteases to evade host defense and to acquire nutrients. In this issue of Structure, Arolas et al. (2016) describe the structural basis of activation and latency of InhA, a major secreted protease of Bacillus anthracis. PMID:26745525

  11. Functional characterization of WalRK: A two-component signal transduction system from Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Dhiman, Alisha; Bhatnagar, Sonika; Kulshreshtha, Parul; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2014-01-01

    Two-component signal transduction systems (TCS), consisting of a sensor histidine protein kinase and its cognate response regulator, are an important mode of environmental sensing in bacteria. Additionally, they have been found to regulate virulence determinants in several pathogens. Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax and a bioterrorism agent, harbours 41 pairs of TCS. However, their role in its pathogenicity has remained largely unexplored. Here, we show that WalRK of B. anthracis forms a functional TCS which exhibits some species-specific functions. Biochemical studies showed that domain variants of WalK, the histidine kinase, exhibit classical properties of autophosphorylation and phosphotransfer to its cognate response regulator WalR. Interestingly, these domain variants also show phosphatase activity towards phosphorylated WalR, thereby making WalK a bifunctional histidine kinase/phosphatase. An in silico regulon determination approach, using a consensus binding sequence from Bacillus subtilis, provided a list of 30 genes that could form a putative WalR regulon in B. anthracis. Further, electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified WalR to the upstream regions of three putative regulon candidates, an S-layer protein EA1, a cell division ABC transporter FtsE and a sporulation histidine kinase KinB3. Our work lends insight into the species-specific functions and mode of action of B. anthracis WalRK. PMID:24490131

  12. Identification of Bacillus anthracis PurE inhibitors with antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Anna; Wolf, Nina M; Zhu, Tian; Johnson, Michael E; Deng, Jiangping; Cook, James L; Fung, Leslie W-M

    2015-04-01

    N(5)-carboxy-amino-imidazole ribonucleotide (N(5)-CAIR) mutase (PurE), a bacterial enzyme in the de novo purine biosynthetic pathway, has been suggested to be a target for antimicrobial agent development. We have optimized a thermal shift method for high-throughput screening of compounds binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. We used a low ionic strength buffer condition to accentuate the thermal shift stabilization induced by compound binding to Bacillus anthracis PurE. The compounds identified were then subjected to computational docking to the active site to further select compounds likely to be inhibitors. A UV-based enzymatic activity assay was then used to select inhibitory compounds. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were subsequently obtained for the inhibitory compounds against Bacillus anthracis (ΔANR strain), Escherichia coli (BW25113 strain, wild-type and ΔTolC), Francisella tularensis, Staphylococcus aureus (both methicillin susceptible and methicillin-resistant strains) and Yersinia pestis. Several compounds exhibited excellent (0.05-0.15μg/mL) MIC values against Bacillus anthracis. A common core structure was identified for the compounds exhibiting low MIC values. The difference in concentrations for inhibition and MIC suggest that another enzyme(s) is also targeted by the compounds that we identified. PMID:25737087

  13. clpC operon regulates cell architecture and sporulation in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Lalit K.; Dhasmana, Neha; Sajid, Andaleeb; Kumar, Prasun; Bhaduri, Asani; Bharadwaj, Mitasha; Gandotra, Sheetal; Kalia, Vipin C.; Das, Taposh K.; Goel, Ajay K.; Pomerantsev, Andrei P.; Misra, Richa; Gerth, Ulf; Leppla, Stephen H.; Singh, Yogendra

    2014-01-01

    The clpC operon is known to regulate several processes such as genetic competence, protein degradation and stress survival in bacteria. Here, we describe the role of clpC operon in Bacillus anthracis. We generated knock-out strains of the clpC operon genes to investigate the impact of CtsR, McsA, McsB and ClpC deletion on essential processes of B. anthracis. We observed that growth, cell division, sporulation and germination were severely affected in mcsB and clpC deleted strains, while none of deletions affected toxin secretion. Growth defect in these strains was pronounced at elevated temperature. The growth pattern gets restored on complementation of mcsB and clpC in respective mutants. Electron microscopic examination revealed that mcsB and clpC deletion also causes defect in septum formation leading to cell elongation. These vegetative cell deformities were accompanied by inability of mutant strains to generate morphologically intact spores. Higher levels of polyhydroxybutyrate granules accumulation were also observed in these deletion strains, indicating a defect in sporulation process. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, the vital role played by McsB and ClpC in physiology of B. anthracis and opens up further interest on this operon, which might be of importance to success of B. anthracis as pathogen PMID:24947607

  14. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Bacillus anthracis Strains from Etosha National Park, Namibia

    PubMed Central

    Valseth, Karoline; Nesbø, Camilla L.; Easterday, W. Ryan; Turner, Wendy C.; Olsen, Jaran S.; Stenseth, Nils C.

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis strains K1 and K2 were isolated from two plains zebra anthrax carcasses in Etosha National Park, Namibia. These are draft genomes obtained by Illumina MiSeq sequencing of isolates collected from culture of blood-soaked soil from each carcass. PMID:27563043

  15. Removal of Bacillus anthracis sterne spore from commercial unpasteurized liquid egg white using crossflow microfiltration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Current pasteurization technology used by the egg industry is ineffective for destruction of spores such as those of Bacillus anthracis (BA). The validity of a cross-flow microfiltration (MF) process for separation of the attenuated strain of BA (Sterne) spores from commercial unpasteurized liquid ...

  16. Responding to detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis by autonomous detection systems in the workplace.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Patrick J; Rosenstein, Nancy E; Gillen, Matthew; Meyer, Richard F; Kiefer, Max J; Deitchman, Scott; Besser, Richard E; Ehrenberg, Richard L; Edwards, Kathleen M; Martinez, Kenneth F

    2004-06-01

    Autonomous detection systems (ADSs) are under development to detect agents of biologic and chemical terror in the environment. These systems will eventually be able to detect biologic and chemical hazards reliably and provide approximate real-time alerts that an agent is present. One type of ADS that tests specifically for Bacillus anthracis is being deployed in hundreds of postal distribution centers across the United States. Identification of aerosolized B. anthracis spores in an air sample can facilitate prompt on-site decontamination of workers and subsequent administration of postexposure prophylaxis to prevent inhalational anthrax. Every employer who deploys an ADS should develop detailed plans for responding to a positive signal. Responding to ADS detection of B. anthracis involves coordinating responses with community partners and should include drills and exercises with these partners. This report provides guidelines in the following six areas: 1) response and consequence management planning, including the minimum components of a facility response plan; 2) immediate response and evacuation; 3) decontamination of potentially exposed workers to remove spores from clothing and skin and prevent introduction of B. anthracis into the worker's home and conveyances; 4) laboratory confirmation of an ADS signal; 5) steps for evaluating potentially contaminated environments; and 6) postexposure prophylaxis and follow-up. PMID:15179360

  17. Crossing of the epithelial barriers by Bacillus anthracis: the Known and the Unknown

    PubMed Central

    Goossens, Pierre L.; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Anthrax, caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive spore-forming bacterium, is initiated by the entry of spores into the host body. There are three types of human infection: cutaneous, inhalational, and gastrointestinal. For each form, B. anthracis spores need to cross the cutaneous, respiratory or digestive epithelial barriers, respectively, as a first obligate step to establish infection. Anthrax is a toxi-infection: an association of toxemia and rapidly spreading infection progressing to septicemia. The pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis mainly depends on two toxins and a capsule. The capsule protects bacilli from the immune system, thus promoting systemic dissemination. The toxins alter host cell signaling, thereby paralyzing the immune response of the host and perturbing the endocrine and endothelial systems. In this review, we will mainly focus on the events and mechanisms leading to crossing of the respiratory epithelial barrier, as the majority of studies have addressed inhalational infection. We will discuss the critical gaps of knowledge that need to be addressed to gain a comprehensive view of the initial steps of inhalational anthrax. We will then discuss the few data available on B. anthracis crossing the cutaneous and digestive epithelia. PMID:26500645

  18. DETECTION AND FATE OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS (STERNE) VEGETATIVE CELLS AND SPORES ADDED TO BULK TANK MILK

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A preparation of spores of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne strain) was utilized to evaluate commercially available reagents and portable equipment for detecting anthrax contamination using real time PCR and to assess the fate of spores added directly to bulk tank milk. The Ruggedized Automated Pathogen ...

  19. Draft Genome Sequences of Two Bacillus anthracis Strains from Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    PubMed

    Valseth, Karoline; Nesbø, Camilla L; Easterday, W Ryan; Turner, Wendy C; Olsen, Jaran S; Stenseth, Nils C; Haverkamp, Thomas H A

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis strains K1 and K2 were isolated from two plains zebra anthrax carcasses in Etosha National Park, Namibia. These are draft genomes obtained by Illumina MiSeq sequencing of isolates collected from culture of blood-soaked soil from each carcass. PMID:27563043

  20. PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES WITH TECHNOLOGIES FOR DECONTAMINATION OF B. ANTHRACIS IN LARGE BUILDINGS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the Fall of 2001 a number of buildings were contaminated with B. anthracis (B.A.) from letters processed through United States Postal Service and other mail handling facilities. All of the buildings have now been decontaminated using a variety of technologies. In a number of...

  1. Beta-lactamase gene expression in a penicillin-resistant Bacillus anthracis strain.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yahua; Tenover, Fred C; Koehler, Theresa M

    2004-12-01

    Expression of the bla1 and bla2 genes in an archetypal Bacillus anthracis strain is insufficient for penicillin resistance. In a penicillin-resistant clinical isolate, both genes are highly transcribed, but bla1 is the major contributor to high-level resistance to ampicillin. Differential expression of the bla genes is dependent upon strain background. PMID:15561870

  2. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Christopher K.; Welkos, Susan L.

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions. PMID:26287244

  3. A Simple Luminescent Adenylate-Cyclase Functional Assay for Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor Activity

    PubMed Central

    Israeli, Ma’ayan; Rotem, Shahar; Elia, Uri; Bar-Haim, Erez; Cohen, Ofer; Chitlaru, Theodor

    2016-01-01

    Edema Factor (EF), the toxic sub-unit of the Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin (ET) is a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase whose detrimental activity in the infected host results in severe edema. EF is therefore a major virulence factor of B. anthracis. We describe a simple, rapid and reliable functional adenylate-cyclase assay based on inhibition of a luciferase-mediated luminescence reaction. The assay exploits the efficient adenylate cyclase-mediated depletion of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), and the strict dependence on ATP of the light-emitting luciferase-catalyzed luciferin-conversion to oxyluciferin, which can be easily visualized. The assay exhibits a robust EF-dose response decrease in luminescence, which may be specifically reverted by anti-EF antibodies. The application of the assay is exemplified in: (a) determining the presence of EF in B. anthracis cultures, or its absence in cultures of EF-defective strains; (b) evaluating the anti-EF humoral response in experimental animals infected/vaccinated with B. anthracis; and (c) rapid discrimination between EF producing and non-producing bacterial colonies. Furthermore, the assay may be amenable with high-throughput screening for EF inhibitory molecules. PMID:27548219

  4. The Effect of Growth Medium on B. anthracis Sterne Spore Carbohydrate Content

    SciTech Connect

    Colburn, Heather A.; Wunschel, David S.; Antolick, Kathryn C.; Melville, Angela M.; Valentine, Nancy B.

    2011-06-01

    The expressed characteristics of biothreat agents may be impacted by variations in the culture environment, including growth medium formulation. The carbohydrate composition of B. anthracis spores has been well studied, particularly for the exosporium, which is the outermost spore structure. The carbohydrate composition of the exosporium has been demonstrated to be distinct from the vegetative form containing unique monosaccharides.

  5. A Simple Luminescent Adenylate-Cyclase Functional Assay for Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor Activity.

    PubMed

    Israeli, Ma'ayan; Rotem, Shahar; Elia, Uri; Bar-Haim, Erez; Cohen, Ofer; Chitlaru, Theodor

    2016-01-01

    Edema Factor (EF), the toxic sub-unit of the Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin (ET) is a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase whose detrimental activity in the infected host results in severe edema. EF is therefore a major virulence factor of B. anthracis. We describe a simple, rapid and reliable functional adenylate-cyclase assay based on inhibition of a luciferase-mediated luminescence reaction. The assay exploits the efficient adenylate cyclase-mediated depletion of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), and the strict dependence on ATP of the light-emitting luciferase-catalyzed luciferin-conversion to oxyluciferin, which can be easily visualized. The assay exhibits a robust EF-dose response decrease in luminescence, which may be specifically reverted by anti-EF antibodies. The application of the assay is exemplified in: (a) determining the presence of EF in B. anthracis cultures, or its absence in cultures of EF-defective strains; (b) evaluating the anti-EF humoral response in experimental animals infected/vaccinated with B. anthracis; and (c) rapid discrimination between EF producing and non-producing bacterial colonies. Furthermore, the assay may be amenable with high-throughput screening for EF inhibitory molecules. PMID:27548219

  6. Bacillus anthracis lcp Genes Support Vegetative Growth, Envelope Assembly, and Spore Formation

    PubMed Central

    Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Lunderberg, J. Mark; Schneewind, Olaf

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis, a spore-forming pathogen, replicates as chains of vegetative cells by regulating the separation of septal peptidoglycan. Surface (S)-layer proteins and B. anthracis S-layer-associated proteins (BSLs) function as chain length determinants and are assembled in the envelope by binding to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP). B. anthracis expresses six different genes encoding LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) enzymes (lcpB1 to -4, lcpC, and lcpD), which when expressed in Staphylococcus aureus promote attachment of wall teichoic acid to peptidoglycan. Mutations in B. anthracis lcpB3 and lcpD cause aberrations in cell size and chain length that can be explained as discrete defects in SCWP assembly; however, the function of the other lcp genes is not known. By deleting combinations of lcp genes from the B. anthracis genome, we generated variants with single lcp genes. B. anthracis expressing lcpB3 alone displayed physiological cell size, vegetative growth, spore formation, and S-layer assembly. Strains expressing lcpB1 or lcpB4 displayed defects in cell size and shape, S-layer assembly, and spore formation yet sustained vegetative growth. In contrast, the lcpB2 strain was unable to grow unless the gene was expressed from a multicopy plasmid (lcpB2++), and variants expressing lcpC or lcpD displayed severe defects in growth and cell shape. The lcpB2++, lcpC, or lcpD strains supported neither S-layer assembly nor spore formation. We propose a model whereby LCP enzymes fulfill partially overlapping functions in transferring SCWP molecules to discrete sites within the bacterial envelope. IMPORTANCE Products of genes essential for bacterial envelope assembly represent targets for antibiotic development. The LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) enzymes tether bactoprenol-linked intermediates of secondary cell wall polymers to the C6 hydroxyl of N-acetylmuramic acid in peptidoglycan; however, the role of LCPs as a target for antibiotic therapy is not defined. We show here

  7. Genetics Home Reference: sepiapterin reductase deficiency

    MedlinePlus

    ... reductase enzyme. This enzyme is involved in the production of a molecule called tetrahydrobiopterin (also known as ... is responsible for the last step in the production of tetrahydrobiopterin. Tetrahydrobiopterin helps process several building blocks ...

  8. Impact of Spores on the Comparative Efficacies of Five Antibiotics for Treatment of Bacillus anthracis in an In Vitro Hollow Fiber Pharmacodynamic Model

    PubMed Central

    VanScoy, Brian D.; Brown, David L.; Kulawy, Robert W.; Heine, Henry S.; Drusano, George L.

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax, is an agent of bioterrorism. The most effective antimicrobial therapy for B. anthracis infections is unknown. An in vitro pharmacodynamic model of B. anthracis was used to compare the efficacies of simulated clinically prescribed regimens of moxifloxacin, linezolid, and meropenem with the “gold standards,” doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. Treatment outcomes for isogenic spore-forming and non-spore-forming strains of B. anthracis were compared. Against spore-forming B. anthracis, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, linezolid, and meropenem reduced the B. anthracis population by 4 log10 CFU/ml over 10 days. Doxycycline reduced the population of this B. anthracis strain by 5 log10 CFU/ml (analysis of variance [ANOVA] P = 0.01 versus other drugs). Against an isogenic non-spore-forming strain, meropenem killed the vegetative B. anthracis the fastest, followed by moxifloxacin and ciprofloxacin and then doxycycline. Linezolid offered the lowest bacterial kill rate. Heat shock studies using the spore-producing B. anthracis strain showed that with moxifloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and meropenem therapies the total population was mostly spores, while the population was primarily vegetative bacteria with linezolid and doxycycline therapies. Spores have a profound impact on the rate and extent of killing of B. anthracis. Against spore-forming B. anthracis, the five antibiotics killed the total (spore and vegetative) bacterial population at similar rates (within 1 log10 CFU/ml of each other). However, bactericidal antibiotics killed vegetative B. anthracis faster than bacteriostatic drugs. Since only vegetative-phase B. anthracis produces the toxins that may kill the infected host, the rate and mechanism of killing of an antibiotic may determine its overall in vivo efficacy. Further studies are needed to examine this important observation. PMID:22155821

  9. DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor based on gold nanoparticle amplification for Bacillus anthracis detection.

    PubMed

    Hao, Rong-Zhang; Song, Hong-Bin; Zuo, Guo-Min; Yang, Rui-Fu; Wei, Hong-Ping; Wang, Dian-Bing; Cui, Zong-Qiang; Zhang, ZhiPing; Cheng, Zhen-Xing; Zhang, Xian-En

    2011-04-15

    The rapid detection of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease, has gained much attention since the anthrax spore bioterrorism attacks in the United States in 2001. In this work, a DNA probe functionalized quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) biosensor was developed to detect B. anthracis based on the recognition of its specific DNA sequences, i.e., the 168 bp fragment of the Ba813 gene in chromosomes and the 340 bp fragment of the pag gene in plasmid pXO1. A thiol DNA probe was immobilized onto the QCM gold surface through self-assembly via Au-S bond formation to hybridize with the target ss-DNA sequence obtained by asymmetric PCR. Hybridization between the target DNA and the DNA probe resulted in an increase in mass and a decrease in the resonance frequency of the QCM biosensor. Moreover, to amplify the signal, a thiol-DNA fragment complementary to the other end of the target DNA was functionalized with gold nanoparticles. The results indicate that the DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor could specifically recognize the target DNA fragment of B. anthracis from that of its closest species, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, and that the limit of detection (LOD) reached 3.5 × 10(2)CFU/ml of B. anthracis vegetative cells just after asymmetric PCR amplification, but without culture enrichment. The DNA probe functionalized QCM biosensor demonstrated stable, pollution-free, real-time sensing, and could find application in the rapid detection of B. anthracis. PMID:21315574

  10. Modulation of the Bacillus anthracis secretome by the immune inhibitor A1 protease.

    PubMed

    Pflughoeft, Kathryn J; Swick, Michelle C; Engler, David A; Yeo, Hye-Jeong; Koehler, Theresa M

    2014-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis secretome includes protective antigen, lethal factor, and edema factor, which are the components of anthrax toxin, and other proteins with known or potential roles in anthrax disease. Immune inhibitor A1 (InhA1) is a secreted metalloprotease that is unique to pathogenic members of the Bacillus genus and has been associated with cleavage of host proteins during infection. Here, we report the effect of InhA1 on the B. anthracis secretome. Differential in-gel electrophoresis of proteins present in culture supernatants from a parent strain and an isogenic inhA1-null mutant revealed multiple differences. Of the 1,340 protein spots observed, approximately one-third were less abundant and one-third were more abundant in the inhA1 secretome than in the parent strain secretome. Proteases were strongly represented among those proteins exhibiting a 9-fold or greater change. InhA1 purified from a B. anthracis culture supernatant directly cleaved each of the anthrax toxin proteins as well as an additional secreted protease, Npr599. The conserved zinc binding motif HEXXH of InhA1 (HEYGH) was critical for its proteolytic activity. Our data reveal that InhA1 directly and indirectly modulates the form and/or abundance of over half of all the secreted proteins of B. anthracis. The proteolytic activity of InhA1 on established secreted virulence factors, additional proteases, and other secreted proteins suggests that this major protease plays an important role in virulence not only by cleaving mammalian substrates but also by modulating the B. anthracis secretome itself. PMID:24214942

  11. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Laboratory-Scale Composting of Feedlot Cattle Manure.

    PubMed

    Xu, Shanwei; Harvey, Amanda; Barbieri, Ruth; Reuter, Tim; Stanford, Kim; Amoako, Kingsley K; Selinger, Leonard B; McAllister, Tim A

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax outbreaks in livestock have social, economic and health implications, altering farmer's livelihoods, impacting trade and posing a zoonotic risk. Our study investigated the survival of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. anthracis spores sporulated at 15, 20, or 37°C, over 33 days of composting. Spores (∼7.5 log10 CFU g(-1)) were mixed with manure and composted in laboratory scale composters. After 15 days, the compost was mixed and returned to the composter for a second cycle. Temperatures peaked at 71°C on day 2 and remained ≥55°C for an average of 7 days in the first cycle, but did not exceed 55°C in the second. For B. thuringiensis, spores generated at 15 and 21°C exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) viability of 2.7 and 2.6 log10 CFU g(-1) respectively, as compared to a 0.6 log10 CFU g(-1) reduction for those generated at 37°C. For B. anthracis, sporulation temperature did not impact spore survival as there was a 2.5, 2.2, and 2.8 log10 CFU g(-1) reduction after composting for spores generated at 15, 21, and 37°C, respectively. For both species, spore viability declined more rapidly (P < 0.05) in the first as compared to the second composting cycle. Our findings suggest that the duration of thermophilic exposure (≥55°C) is the main factor influencing survival of B. anthracis spores in compost. As sporulation temperature did not influence survival of B. anthracis, composting may lower the viability of spores associated with carcasses infected with B. anthracis over a range of sporulation temperatures. PMID:27303388

  12. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 104 spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites. PMID:26858699

  13. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores during Laboratory-Scale Composting of Feedlot Cattle Manure

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Shanwei; Harvey, Amanda; Barbieri, Ruth; Reuter, Tim; Stanford, Kim; Amoako, Kingsley K.; Selinger, Leonard B.; McAllister, Tim A.

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax outbreaks in livestock have social, economic and health implications, altering farmer’s livelihoods, impacting trade and posing a zoonotic risk. Our study investigated the survival of Bacillus thuringiensis and B. anthracis spores sporulated at 15, 20, or 37°C, over 33 days of composting. Spores (∼7.5 log10 CFU g-1) were mixed with manure and composted in laboratory scale composters. After 15 days, the compost was mixed and returned to the composter for a second cycle. Temperatures peaked at 71°C on day 2 and remained ≥55°C for an average of 7 days in the first cycle, but did not exceed 55°C in the second. For B. thuringiensis, spores generated at 15 and 21°C exhibited reduced (P < 0.05) viability of 2.7 and 2.6 log10 CFU g-1 respectively, as compared to a 0.6 log10 CFU g-1 reduction for those generated at 37°C. For B. anthracis, sporulation temperature did not impact spore survival as there was a 2.5, 2.2, and 2.8 log10 CFU g-1 reduction after composting for spores generated at 15, 21, and 37°C, respectively. For both species, spore viability declined more rapidly (P < 0.05) in the first as compared to the second composting cycle. Our findings suggest that the duration of thermophilic exposure (≥55°C) is the main factor influencing survival of B. anthracis spores in compost. As sporulation temperature did not influence survival of B. anthracis, composting may lower the viability of spores associated with carcasses infected with B. anthracis over a range of sporulation temperatures. PMID:27303388

  14. Antimicrobial Effects of Interferon-Inducible CXC Chemokines against Bacillus anthracis Spores and Bacilli▿

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Matthew A.; Zhu, Yinghua; Green, Candace S.; Burdick, Marie D.; Sanz, Patrick; Alem, Farhang; O'Brien, Alison D.; Mehrad, Borna; Strieter, Robert M.; Hughes, Molly A.

    2009-01-01

    Based on previous studies showing that host chemokines exert antimicrobial activities against bacteria, we sought to determine whether the interferon-inducible Glu-Leu-Arg-negative CXC chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 exhibit antimicrobial activities against Bacillus anthracis. In vitro analysis demonstrated that all three CXC chemokines exerted direct antimicrobial effects against B. anthracis spores and bacilli including marked reductions in spore and bacillus viability as determined using a fluorometric assay of bacterial viability and CFU determinations. Electron microscopy studies revealed that CXCL10-treated spores failed to undergo germination as judged by an absence of cytological changes in spore structure that occur during the process of germination. Immunogold labeling of CXCL10-treated spores demonstrated that the chemokine was located internal to the exosporium in association primarily with the spore coat and its interface with the cortex. To begin examining the potential biological relevance of chemokine-mediated antimicrobial activity, we used a murine model of inhalational anthrax. Upon spore challenge, the lungs of C57BL/6 mice (resistant to inhalational B. anthracis infection) had significantly higher levels of CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11 than did the lungs of A/J mice (highly susceptible to infection). Increased CXC chemokine levels were associated with significantly reduced levels of spore germination within the lungs as determined by in vivo imaging. Taken together, our data demonstrate a novel antimicrobial role for host chemokines against B. anthracis that provides unique insight into host defense against inhalational anthrax; these data also support the notion for an innovative approach in treating B. anthracis infection as well as infections caused by other spore-forming organisms. PMID:19179419

  15. The Use of Germinants to Potentiate the Sensitivity of Bacillus anthracis Spores to Peracetic Acid.

    PubMed

    Celebi, Ozgur; Buyuk, Fatih; Pottage, Tom; Crook, Ant; Hawkey, Suzanna; Cooper, Callum; Bennett, Allan; Sahin, Mitat; Baillie, Leslie

    2016-01-01

    Elimination of Bacillus anthracis spores from the environment is a difficult and costly process due in part to the toxicity of current sporicidal agents. For this reason we investigated the ability of the spore germinants L-alanine (100 mM) and inosine (5 mM) to reduce the concentration of peracetic acid (PAA) required to inactivate B. anthracis spores. While L-alanine significantly enhanced (p = 0.0085) the bactericidal activity of 500 ppm PAA the same was not true for inosine suggesting some form of negative interaction. In contrast the germinant combination proved most effective at 100 ppm PAA (p = 0.0009). To determine if we could achieve similar results in soil we treated soil collected from the burial site of an anthrax infected animal which had been supplemented with spores of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis to increase the level of contamination to 10(4) spores/g. Treatment with germinants followed 1 h later by 5000 ppm PAA eliminated all of the spores. In contrast direct treatment of the animal burial site using this approach delivered using a back pack sprayer had no detectable effect on the level of B. anthracis contamination or on total culturable bacterial numbers over the course of the experiment. It did trigger a significant, but temporary, reduction (p < 0.0001) in the total spore count suggesting that germination had been triggered under real world conditions. In conclusion, we have shown that the application of germinants increase the sensitivity of bacterial spores to PAA. While the results of the single field trial were inconclusive, the study highlighted the potential of this approach and the challenges faced when attempting to perform real world studies on B. anthracis spores contaminated sites. PMID:26858699

  16. A dissimilatory nitrite reductase in Paracoccus halodenitrificans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, M. A.; Hochstein, L. I.

    1984-01-01

    Paracoccus halodenitrificans produced a membrane-associated nitrite reductase. Spectrophotometric analysis showed it to be associated with a cd-cytochrome and located on the inner side of the cytoplasmic membrane. When supplied with nitrite, membrane preparations produced nitrous oxide and nitric oxide in different ratios depending on the electron donor employed. The nitrite reductase was maximally active at relatively low concentrations of sodium chloride and remained attached to the membranes at 100 mM sodium chloride.

  17. Multiple aldehyde reductases of human brain.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, P L; Wermuth, B; von Wartburg, J P

    1980-01-01

    Human brain contains four forms of aldehyde reducing enzymes. One major activity, designated AR3, has properties indicating its identity with the NADPH-dependent aldehyde reductase, EC 1.1.1.2. The other major form of human brain enzyme, AR1, which is also NADPH-dependent, reduces both aldehyde and ketone-containing substrates, including vitamin K3 (menadione) and daunorubicin, a cancer chemotherapeutic agent. This enzyme is very sensitive to inhibition by the flavonoids quercitrin and quercetine, and may be analogous to a daunorubicin reductase previously described in liver of other species. One minor form of human brain aldehyde reductase, AR2, demonstrates substrate specificity and inhibitor sensitivity which suggest its similarity to aldose reductases found in lens and other tissues of many species. This enzyme, which can also use NADH as cofactor to some extent, is the most active in reducing the aldehyde derivatives of the biogenic amines. The fourth human brain enzyme ("SSA reductase") differs from the other forms in its ability to use NADH as well as or better than NADPH as cofactor, and in its molecular weight, which is nearly twice that of the other forms. It is quite specific for succinic semialdehyde (SSA) as substrate, and was found to be significantly inhibited only by quercetine and quercitrin. AR3 can also reduce SSA, and both enzymes may contribute to the production of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in vivo. These results indicate that the human brain aldehyde reductases can play relatively specific physiologic roles. PMID:7424738

  18. The Pathogenomic Sequence Analysis of B. cereus and B.thuringiensis Isolates Closely Related to Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Han, Cliff S.; Xie, Gary; Challacombe, Jean F.; Altherr, MichaelR.; Smriti, B.; Bruce, David; Campbell, Connie S.; Campbell, Mary L.; Chen, Jin; Chertkov, Olga; Cleland, Cathy; Dimitrijevic-Bussod, M.; Doggett, Norman A.; Fawcett, John J.; Glavina, Tijana; Goodwin, Lynne A.; Hill, Karen K.; Hitchcock, Penny; Jackson, Paul J.; Keim, Paul; Kewalramani, Avinash Ramesh; Longmire, Jon; Lucas, Susan; Malfatti,Stephanie; McMurry, Kim; Meincke, Linda J.; Misra, Monica; Moseman,Bernice L.; Mundt, Mark; Munk, A. Christine; Okinaka, Richard T.; Parson-Quintana, B.; Reilly, Lee P.; Richardson, Paul; Robinson, DonnaL.; Rubin, Eddy; Saunders, Elizabeth; Tapia, Roxanne; Tesmer, Judith G.; Thayer, Nina; Thompson, Linda S.; Tice, Hope; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Wills, Patti L.; Gilna, Payl; Brettin, Thomas S.

    2005-08-18

    The sequencing and analysis of two close relatives of Bacillus anthracis are reported. AFLP analysis of over 300 isolates of B.cereus, B. thuringiensis and B. anthracis identified two isolates as being very closely related to B. anthracis. One, a B. cereus, BcE33L, was isolated from a zebra carcass in Nambia; the second, a B. thuringiensis, 97-27, was isolated from a necrotic human wound. The B. cereus appears to be the closest anthracis relative sequenced to date. A core genome of over 3,900 genes was compiled for the Bacillus cereus group, including Banthracis. Comparative analysis of these two genomes with other members of the B. cereus group provides insight into the evolutionary relationships among these organisms. Evidence is presented that differential regulation modulates virulence, rather than simple acquisition of virulence factors. These genome sequences provide insight into the molecular mechanisms contributing to the host range and virulence of this group of organisms.

  19. Thioredoxin Reductase and its Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Saccoccia, Fulvio; Angelucci, Francesco; Boumis, Giovanna; Carotti, Daniela; Desiato, Gianni; Miele, Adriana E; Bellelli, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Thioredoxin plays a crucial role in a wide number of physiological processes, which span from reduction of nucleotides to deoxyriboucleotides to the detoxification from xenobiotics, oxidants and radicals. The redox function of Thioredoxin is critically dependent on the enzyme Thioredoxin NADPH Reductase (TrxR). In view of its indirect involvement in the above mentioned physio/pathological processes, inhibition of TrxR is an important clinical goal. As a general rule, the affinities and mechanisms of binding of TrxR inhibitors to the target enzyme are known with scarce precision and conflicting results abound in the literature. A relevant analysis of published results as well as the experimental procedures is therefore needed, also in view of the critical interest of TrxR inhibitors. We review the inhibitors of TrxR and related flavoreductases and the classical treatment of reversible, competitive, non competitive and uncompetitive inhibition with respect to TrxR, and in some cases we are able to reconcile contradictory results generated by oversimplified data analysis. PMID:24875642

  20. Characterization of thyroidal glutathione reductase

    SciTech Connect

    Raasch, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    Glutathione levels were determined in bovine and rat thyroid tissue by enzymatic conjugation with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene using glutathione S-transferase. Bovine thyroid tissue contained 1.31 {+-} 0.04 mM reduced glutathione (GSH) and 0.14 {+-} 0.02 mM oxidized glutathione (GSSG). In the rat, the concentration of GSH was 2.50 {+-} 0.05 mM while GSSG was 0.21 {+-} 0.03 mM. Glutathione reductase (GR) was purified from bovine thyroid to electrophoretic homogeneity by ion exchange, affinity and molecular exclusion chromatography. A molecular weight range of 102-109 kDa and subunit size of 55 kDa were determined for GR. Thyroidal GR was shown to be a favoprotein with one FAD per subunit. The Michaelis constants of bovine thyroidal GR were determined to be 21.8 {mu}M for NADPH and 58.8 {mu}M for GSSG. The effect of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T{sub 4}) on in vivo levels of GR and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase were determined in rat thyroid homogenates. Both enzymes were stimulated by TSH treatment and markedly reduced following T{sub 4} treatment. Lysosomal hydrolysis of ({sup 125}I)-labeled and unlabeled thyroglobulin was examined using size exclusion HPLC.

  1. Endothelium-specific sepiapterin reductase deficiency in DOCA-salt hypertension.

    PubMed

    Youn, Ji Youn; Wang, Ting; Blair, John; Laude, Karine M; Oak, Jeong-Ho; McCann, Louise A; Harrison, David G; Cai, Hua

    2012-06-01

    The endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) requires tetrahydrobiopterin (H(4)B) as a cofactor and, in its absence, produces superoxide (O(2)(·-)) rather than nitric oxide (NO(·)), a condition referred to as eNOS uncoupling. DOCA-salt-induced hypertension is associated with H(4)B oxidation and uncoupling of eNOS. The present study investigated whether administration of sepiapterin or H(4)B recouples eNOS in DOCA-salt hypertension. Bioavailable NO(·) detected by electron spin resonance was markedly reduced in aortas of DOCA-salt hypertensive mice. Preincubation with sepiapterin (10 μmol/l for 30 min) failed to improve NO(·) bioavailability in hypertensive aortas while it augmented NO(·) production from control vessels, implicating a hypertension-associated deficiency in sepiapterin reductase (SPR), the rate-limiting enzyme for sepiapterin conversion to H(4)B. Indeed, a decreased SPR expression was observed in aortic endothelial cells, but not in endothelium-denuded aortic remains, implicating an endothelium-specific SPR deficiency. Administration of hypertensive aortas with H(4)B (10 μmol/l, 30 min) partially restored vascular NO(·) production. Combined administration of H(4)B and the NADPH oxidase inhibitor apocynin (100 μmol/l, 30 min) fully restored NO(·) bioavailability while reducing O(2)(·-) production. In angiotensin II-induced hypertension, however, aortic endothelial SPR expression was not affected. In summary, administration of sepiapterin is not effective in recoupling eNOS in DOCA-salt hypertension, due to an endothelium-specific loss in SPR, whereas coadministration of H(4)B and apocynin is highly efficient in recoupling eNOS. This is consistent with our previous observations that in angiotensin II hypertension, endothelial deficiency in dihydrofolate reductase is alternatively responsible for uncoupling of eNOS. Taken together, these data indicate that strategies specifically targeting at different H(4)B metabolic enzymes might be necessary

  2. Existence of Separate Domains in Lysin PlyG for Recognizing Bacillus anthracis Spores and Vegetative Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hang; Wang, Dian-Bing; Dong, Qiuhua; Zhang, Zhiping; Cui, Zongqiang; Deng, Jiaoyu; Yu, Junping

    2012-01-01

    As a potential antimicrobial, the bacteriophage lysin PlyG has been reported to specifically recognize Bacillus anthracis vegetative cells only and to kill B. anthracis vegetative cells and its germinating spores. However, how PlyG interacts with B. anthracis spores remains unclear. Herein, a 60-amino-acid domain in PlyG (residues 106 to 165), located mainly in the previously identified catalytic domain, was found able to specifically recognize B. anthracis spores but not vegetative cells. The exosporium of the spores was found to be the most probable binding target of this domain. This is the first time that a lysin for spore-forming bacteria has been found to have separate domains to recognize spores and vegetative cells, which might help in understanding the coevolution of phages with spore-forming bacteria. Besides providing new biomarkers for developing better assays for identifying B. anthracis spores, the newly found domain may be helpful in developing PlyG as a preventive antibiotic to reduce the threat of anthrax in suspected exposures to B. anthracis spores. PMID:22802245

  3. Discerning Viable from Nonviable Yersinia pestis pgm- and Bacillus anthracis Sterne using Propidium Monoazide in the Presence of White Powders

    SciTech Connect

    Hess, Becky M.; Kaiser, Brooke LD; Sydor, Michael A.; Wunschel, David S.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-12-23

    ABSTRACT Aims To develop and optimize an assay to determine viability status of Bacillus anthracis Sterne and Yersinia pestis pgm- strains in the presence of white powders by coupling propidium monoazide (PMA) treatment with real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis. Methods and Results PMA selectively enters nonviable cells and binds DNA, thereby increasing qPCR assay cycle threshold (CT) values compared to untreated samples. Dye concentration, cell number and fitness, incubation time, inactivation methods, and assay buffer were optimized for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm-. Differences in CT values in nonviable cells compared to untreated samples were consistently > 9 for both B. anthracis Sterne vegetative cells and Y. pestis pgm- in the presence and absence of three different white powders. Our method eliminates the need for a DNA extraction step prior to detection by qPCR. Conclusions The developed assay enables simultaneous identification and viability assessment for B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis pgm- under laboratory conditions, even in the presence of white powders. Eliminating the DNA extraction step that is typically used reduces total assay time and labor requirements for sample analysis. Significance and Impact of the Study The method developed for simultaneous detection and viability assessment for B. anthracis and Y. pestis can be employed in forming decisions about the severity of a biothreat event or the safety of food. Keywords Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Propidium Monoazide, qPCR, White Powders, Rapid Viability Detection

  4. Beta-lactamase genes of the penicillin-susceptible Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yahua; Succi, Janice; Tenover, Fred C; Koehler, Theresa M

    2003-02-01

    Susceptibility to penicillin and other beta-lactam-containing compounds is a common trait of Bacillus anthracis. Beta-lactam agents, particularly penicillin, have been used worldwide to treat anthrax in humans. Nonetheless, surveys of clinical and soil-derived strains reveal penicillin G resistance in 2 to 16% of isolates tested. Bacterial resistance to beta-lactam agents is often mediated by production of one or more types of beta-lactamases that hydrolyze the beta-lactam ring, inactivating the antimicrobial agent. Here, we report the presence of two beta-lactamase (bla) genes in the penicillin-susceptible Sterne strain of B. anthracis. We identified bla1 by functional cloning with Escherichia coli. bla1 is a 927-nucleotide (nt) gene predicted to encode a protein with 93.8% identity to the type I beta-lactamase gene of Bacillus cereus. A second gene, bla2, was identified by searching the unfinished B. anthracis chromosome sequence database of The Institute for Genome Research for open reading frames (ORFs) predicted to encode beta-lactamases. We found a partial ORF predicted to encode a protein with significant similarity to the carboxy-terminal end of the type II beta-lactamase of B. cereus. DNA adjacent to the 5' end of the partial ORF was cloned using inverse PCR. bla2 is a 768-nt gene predicted to encode a protein with 92% identity to the B. cereus type II enzyme. The bla1 and bla2 genes confer ampicillin resistance to E. coli and Bacillus subtilis when cloned individually in these species. The MICs of various antimicrobial agents for the E. coli clones indicate that the two beta-lactamase genes confer different susceptibility profiles to E. coli; bla1 is a penicillinase, while bla2 appears to be a cephalosporinase. The beta-galactosidase activities of B. cereus group species harboring bla promoter-lacZ transcriptional fusions indicate that bla1 is poorly transcribed in B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis. The bla2 gene is strongly expressed in B

  5. Structural and mechanistic insights on nitrate reductases.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Catarina; Romão, Maria João

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate reductases (NR) belong to the DMSO reductase family of Mo-containing enzymes and perform key roles in the metabolism of the nitrogen cycle, reducing nitrate to nitrite. Due to variable cell location, structure and function, they have been divided into periplasmic (Nap), cytoplasmic, and membrane-bound (Nar) nitrate reductases. The first crystal structure obtained for a NR was that of the monomeric NapA from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans in 1999. Since then several new crystal structures were solved providing novel insights that led to the revision of the commonly accepted reaction mechanism for periplasmic nitrate reductases. The two crystal structures available for the NarGHI protein are from the same organism (Escherichia coli) and the combination with electrochemical and spectroscopic studies also lead to the proposal of a reaction mechanism for this group of enzymes. Here we present an overview on the current advances in structural and functional aspects of bacterial nitrate reductases, focusing on the mechanistic implications drawn from the crystallographic data. PMID:26362109

  6. Variable Lymphocyte Receptor Recognition of the Immunodominant Glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Kirchdoerfer, Robert N.; Herrin, Brantley R.; Han, Byung Woo; Turnbough, Jr., Charles L.; Cooper, Max D.; Wilson, Ian A.

    2012-07-25

    Variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs) are the adaptive immune receptors of jawless fish, which evolved adaptive immunity independent of other vertebrates. In lieu of the immunoglobulin fold-based T and B cell receptors, lymphocyte-like cells of jawless fish express VLRs (VLRA, VLRB, or VLRC) composed of leucine-rich repeats and are similar to toll-like receptors (TLRs) in structure, but antibodies (VLRB) and T cell receptors (VLRA and VLRC) in function. Here, we present the structural and biochemical characterization of VLR4, a VLRB, in complex with BclA, the immunodominant glycoprotein of Bacillus anthracis spores. Using a combination of crystallography, mutagenesis, and binding studies, we delineate the mode of antigen recognition and binding between VLR4 and BclA, examine commonalities in VLRB recognition of antigens, and demonstrate the potential of VLR4 as a diagnostic tool for the identification of B. anthracis spores.

  7. Examination of intrinsic sulfonamide resistance in Bacillus anthracis: a novel assay for dihydropteroate synthase.

    PubMed

    Valderas, Michelle Wright; Andi, Babak; Barrow, William W; Cook, Paul F

    2008-05-01

    Dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) catalyzes the formation of dihydropteroate and Mg-pyrophosphate from 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin diphosphate and para-aminobenzoic acid. The Bacillus anthracis DHPS is intrinsically resistant to sulfonamides. However, using a radioassay that monitors the dihydropteroate product, the enzyme was inhibited by the same sulfonamides. A continuous spectrophotometric assay for measuring the enzymatic activity of DHPS was developed and used to examine the effects of sulfonamides on the enzyme. The new assay couples the production of MgPPi to the pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase/aldolase/triose isomerase/alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase reactions and monitors the disappearance of NADH at 340nm. The coupled enzyme assay demonstrates that resistance of the B. anthracis DHPS results in part from the use of the sulfonamides as alternative substrates, resulting in the formation of sulfonamide-pterin adducts, and not necessarily due to an inability to bind them. PMID:18342015

  8. Occurrence and Genetic Diversity of Bacillus anthracis Strains Isolated in an Active Wool-Cleaning Factory▿

    PubMed Central

    Wattiau, Pierre; Klee, Silke R.; Fretin, David; Van Hessche, Mieke; Ménart, Marie; Franz, Tatjana; Chasseur, Camille; Butaye, Patrick; Imberechts, Hein

    2008-01-01

    Culturable microorganisms from various samples taken at an active factory performing wool and goat hair cleaning were isolated and analyzed. Bacillus anthracis was found in air filter dust, wastewater, and goat hairs, where it accounted for approximately 1% of the total counts of viable bacteria. Consistent with the countries of origin of the processed material (South Caucasian and Middle Eastern), all B. anthracis isolates belonged to the same phylogenetic cluster, as determined by variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) typing at eight loci. Within this cluster, five closely related VNTR subtypes could be identified, of which two were previously unreported. Additional diversity was observed when more sensitive genetic markers were assayed, demonstrating the multifocal nature of goat hair contamination. Goat hair originating from areas where anthrax is endemic remains a material with high biological risk for modern woolworkers. PMID:18487406

  9. Protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a Bacillus anthracis capsule conjugate vaccine.

    PubMed

    Chabot, Donald J; Ribot, Wilson J; Joyce, Joseph; Cook, James; Hepler, Robert; Nahas, Debbie; Chua, Jennifer; Friedlander, Arthur M

    2016-07-25

    The efficacy of currently licensed anthrax vaccines is largely attributable to a single Bacillus anthracis immunogen, protective antigen. To broaden protection against possible strains resistant to protective antigen-based vaccines, we previously developed a vaccine in which the anthrax polyglutamic acid capsule was covalently conjugated to the outer membrane protein complex of Neisseria meningitidis serotype B and demonstrated that two doses of 2.5μg of this vaccine conferred partial protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax . Here, we demonstrate complete protection of rhesus macaques against inhalational anthrax with a higher 50μg dose of the same capsule conjugate vaccine. These results indicate that B. anthracis capsule is a highly effective vaccine component that should be considered for incorporation in future generation anthrax vaccines. PMID:27329184

  10. Laboratory Studies on Surface Sampling of Bacillus anthracis Contamination: Summary, Gaps, and Recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2011-11-28

    This report summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and (2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed and recommendations are given for future studies.

  11. Host immunity to Bacillus anthracis lethal factor and other immunogens: implications for vaccine design.

    PubMed

    Altmann, Daniel M

    2015-03-01

    Infections of humans with Bacillus anthracis are an issue with respect to the biothreat both to civilians and military personnel, infections of individuals by infected livestock in endemic regions and, recently, infections of intravenous drug users injecting anthrax-contaminated heroin. Existing vaccination regimens are reliant on protective antigen neutralization induced by repeated boosts with the AVA or AVP vaccines. However, there is ongoing interest in updated approaches in light of the intensive booster regime and extent of reactogenicity inherent in the current protocols. Several other immunogens from the B. anthracis proteome have been characterized in recent years, including lethal factor. Lethal factor induces strong CD4 T-cell immunity and encompasses immunodominant epitopes of relevance across diverse HLA polymorphisms. Taken together, recent studies emphasize the potential benefits of vaccines able to confer synergistic immunity to protective antigen and to other immunogens, targeting both B-cell and T-cell repertoires. PMID:25400140

  12. Respiratory arsenate reductase as a bidirectional enzyme

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richey, C.; Chovanec, P.; Hoeft, S.E.; Oremland, R.S.; Basu, P.; Stolz, J.F.

    2009-01-01

    The haloalkaliphilic bacterium Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii is capable of anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic growth by coupling the oxidation of arsenite (As(III)) to the reduction of nitrate and carbon dioxide. Analysis of its complete genome indicates that it lacks a conventional arsenite oxidase (Aox), but instead possesses two operons that each encode a putative respiratory arsenate reductase (Arr). Here we show that one homolog is expressed under chemolithoautotrophic conditions and exhibits both arsenite oxidase and arsenate reductase activity. We also demonstrate that Arr from two arsenate respiring bacteria, Alkaliphilus oremlandii and Shewanella sp. strain ANA-3, is also biochemically reversible. Thus Arr can function as a reductase or oxidase. Its physiological role in a specific organism, however, may depend on the electron potentials of the molybdenum center and [Fe–S] clusters, additional subunits, or constitution of the electron transfer chain. This versatility further underscores the ubiquity and antiquity of microbial arsenic metabolism.

  13. Respiratory arsenate reductase as a bidirectional enzyme

    SciTech Connect

    Richey, Christine; Chovanec, Peter; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282 ; Hoeft, Shelley E.; Oremland, Ronald S.; Basu, Partha; Stolz, John F.

    2009-05-01

    The haloalkaliphilic bacterium Alkalilimnicola ehrlichii is capable of anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic growth by coupling the oxidation of arsenite (As(III)) to the reduction of nitrate and carbon dioxide. Analysis of its complete genome indicates that it lacks a conventional arsenite oxidase (Aox), but instead possesses two operons that each encode a putative respiratory arsenate reductase (Arr). Here we show that one homolog is expressed under chemolithoautotrophic conditions and exhibits both arsenite oxidase and arsenate reductase activity. We also demonstrate that Arr from two arsenate respiring bacteria, Alkaliphilus oremlandii and Shewanella sp. strain ANA-3, is also biochemically reversible. Thus Arr can function as a reductase or oxidase. Its physiological role in a specific organism, however, may depend on the electron potentials of the molybdenum center and [Fe-S] clusters, additional subunits, or constitution of the electron transfer chain. This versatility further underscores the ubiquity and antiquity of microbial arsenic metabolism.

  14. Phylogenomics of Mycobacterium Nitrate Reductase Operon.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qinqin; Abdalla, Abualgasim Elgaili; Xie, Jianping

    2015-07-01

    NarGHJI operon encodes a nitrate reductase that can reduce nitrate to nitrite. This process enhances bacterial survival by nitrate respiration under anaerobic conditions. NarGHJI operon exists in many bacteria, especially saprophytic bacteria living in soil which play a key role in the nitrogen cycle. Most actinomycetes, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, possess NarGHJI operons. M. tuberculosis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that expands in macrophages and has the ability to persist in a non-replicative form in granuloma lifelong. Nitrogen and nitrogen compounds play crucial roles in the struggle between M. tuberculosis and host. M. tuberculosis can use nitrate as a final electron acceptor under anaerobic conditions to enhance its survival. In this article, we reviewed the mechanisms regulating nitrate reductase expression and affecting its activity. Potential genes involved in regulating the nitrate reductase expression in M. tuberculosis were identified. The conserved NarG might be an alternative mycobacterium taxonomic marker. PMID:25980349

  15. Aerosolized Bacillus anthracis infection in New Zealand white rabbits: natural history and intravenous levofloxacin treatment.

    PubMed

    Yee, Steven B; Hatkin, Joshua M; Dyer, David N; Orr, Steven A; Pitt, M Louise M

    2010-12-01

    The natural history for inhalational Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) exposure in New Zealand white rabbits was investigated to better identify potential, early biomarkers of anthrax. Twelve SPF Bordetella-free rabbits were exposed to 150 LD(50) aerosolized B. anthracis spores, and clinical signs, body temperature, complete blood count, bacteremia, and presence of protective antigen in the blood (that is, antigenemia) were examined. The development of antigenemia and bacteremia coincided and preceded both pyrexia and inversion of the heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, an indicator of infection. Antigenemia was determined within 1 h by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, compared with the 24-h traditional culture needed for bacteremia determination. Rabbits appeared clinically normal until shortly before succumbing to anthrax approximately 47 h after challenge or approximately 22 h after antigenemia, which suggests a relatively narrow therapeutic window of opportunity. To evaluate the therapeutic rabbit model, B. anthracis-exposed rabbits were treated (after determination of antigenemia and later confirmed to be bacteremic) intravenously with the fluoroquinolone antibiotic levofloxacin for 5 d at a total daily dose of 25 or 12.5 mg/kg, resulting in nearly 90% and 70% survival, respectively, to the study end (28 d after challenge). The peak level for 12.5 mg/kg was equivalent to that observed for a 500-mg daily levofloxacin dose in humans. These results suggest that intravenous levofloxacin is an effective therapeutic against inhalational anthrax. Taken together, our findings indicate that antigenemia is a viable and early biomarker for B. anthracis infection that can be used as a treatment trigger to allow for timely intervention against this highly pathogenic disease. PMID:21262133

  16. Activation of the latent PlcR regulon in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Sastalla, Inka; Maltese, Lauren M; Pomerantseva, Olga M; Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Keane-Myers, Andrea; Leppla, Stephen H

    2010-10-01

    Many genes in Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis are under the control of the transcriptional regulator PlcR and its regulatory peptide, PapR. In Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, PlcR is inactivated by truncation, and consequently genes having PlcR binding sites are expressed at very low levels when compared with B. cereus. We found that activation of the PlcR regulon in B. anthracis by expression of a PlcR-PapR fusion protein does not alter sporulation in strains containing the virulence plasmid pXO1 and thereby the global regulator AtxA. Using comparative 2D gel electrophoresis, we showed that activation of the PlcR regulon in B. anthracis leads to upregulation of many proteins found in the secretome of B. cereus, including phospholipases and proteases, such as the putative protease BA1995. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated expression of BA1995 to be dependent on PlcR-PapR, even though the putative PlcR recognition site of the BA1995 gene does not exactly match the PlcR consensus sequence, explaining why this protein had escaped recognition as belonging to the PlcR regulon. Additionally, while transcription of major PlcR-dependent haemolysins, sphingomyelinase and anthrolysin O is enhanced in response to PlcR activation in B. anthracis, only anthrolysin O contributes significantly to lysis of human erythrocytes. In contrast, the toxicity of bacterial culture supernatants from a PlcR-positive strain towards murine macrophages occurred independently of anthrolysin O expression in vitro and in vivo. PMID:20688829

  17. Exposure to Bacillus anthracis Capsule Results in Suppression of Human Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chabot, Donald J.; Bozue, Joel A.; Tobery, Steven A.; West, Michael W.; Moody, Krishna; Yang, De; Oppenheim, Joost J.

    2014-01-01

    The antiphagocytic capsule of Bacillus anthracis is a major virulence factor. We hypothesized that it may also mediate virulence through inhibition of the host's immune responses. During an infection, the capsule exists attached to the bacterial surface but also free in the host tissues. We sought to examine the impact of free capsule by assessing its effects on human monocytes and immature dendritic cells (iDCs). Human monocytes were differentiated into iDCs by interleukin-4 (IL-4) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) over 7 days in the presence of capsule derived from wild-type encapsulated B. anthracis Ames (WT) or a control preparation from an isogenic B. anthracis Ames strain that produces only 2% of the capsule of the WT (capA mutant). WT capsule consistently induced release of IL-8 and IL-6 while the capA mutant control preparation elicited either no response or only a minimal release of IL-8. iDCs that were differentiated in the presence of WT capsule had increased side scatter (SSC), a measure of cellular complexity, when assessed by flow cytometry. iDCs differentiated in the presence of WT capsule also matured less well in response to subsequent B. anthracis peptidoglycan (Ba PGN) exposure, with reduced upregulation of the chemokine receptor CCR7, reduced CCR7-dependent chemotaxis, and reduced release of certain cytokines. Exposure of naive differentiated control iDCs to WT capsule did not alter cell surface marker expression but did elicit IL-8. These results indicate that free capsule may contribute to the pathogenesis of anthrax by suppressing the responses of immune cells and interfering with the maturation of iDCs. PMID:24891109

  18. Proteomic Profiling and Identification of Immunodominant Spore Antigens of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis‡

    PubMed Central

    DelVecchio, Vito G.; Connolly, Joseph P.; Alefantis, Timothy G.; Walz, Alexander; Quan, Marian A.; Patra, Guy; Ashton, John M.; Whittington, Jessica T.; Chafin, Ryan D.; Liang, Xudong; Grewal, Paul; Khan, Akbar S.; Mujer, Cesar V.

    2006-01-01

    Differentially expressed and immunogenic spore proteins of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, which includes Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis, were identified. Comparative proteomic profiling of their spore proteins distinguished the three species from each other as well as the virulent from the avirulent strains. A total of 458 proteins encoded by 232 open reading frames were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis for all the species. A number of highly expressed proteins, including elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), elongation factor G, 60-kDa chaperonin, enolase, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, and others exist as charge variants on two-dimensional gels. These charge variants have similar masses but different isoelectric points. The majority of identified proteins have cellular roles associated with energy production, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, amino acid transport and metabolism, posttranslational modifications, and translation. Novel vaccine candidate proteins were identified using B. anthracis polyclonal antisera from humans postinfected with cutaneous anthrax. Fifteen immunoreactive proteins were identified in B. anthracis spores, whereas 7, 14, and 7 immunoreactive proteins were identified for B. cereus and in the virulent and avirulent strains of B. thuringiensis spores, respectively. Some of the immunodominant antigens include charge variants of EF-Tu, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, Δ-1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase, and a dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase. Alanine racemase and neutral protease were uniquely immunogenic to B. anthracis. Comparative analysis of the spore immunome will be of significance for further nucleic acid- and immuno-based detection systems as well as next-generation vaccine development. PMID:16957262

  19. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis

    SciTech Connect

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J.; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2013-01-04

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Non-infectious and protease-deficient Bacillus anthracis protein expression system. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Successful expression and purification of a tumor-targeted fusion protein drug. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Very low endotoxin contamination of purified protein. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Efficient protein secretion simplifies purification. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Functional anti-tumor fusion protein purified. -- Abstract: Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGF{alpha}). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGF{alpha}). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein.

  20. Siderophore-mediated iron acquisition in Bacillus anthracis and related strains.

    PubMed

    Hotta, Kinya; Kim, Chu-Young; Fox, David T; Koppisch, Andrew T

    2010-07-01

    Recent observations have shed light on some of the endogenous iron-acquisition mechanisms of members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group. In particular, pathogens in the B. cereus group use siderophores with both unique chemical structures and biological roles. This review will focus on recent discoveries in siderophore biosynthesis and biology in this group, which contains numerous human pathogens, most notably the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. PMID:20466767

  1. Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Liquid Biocides in the Presence of Food Residue▿

    PubMed Central

    Hilgren, J.; Swanson, K. M. J.; Diez-Gonzalez, F.; Cords, B.

    2007-01-01

    Biocide inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores in the presence of food residues after a 10-min treatment time was investigated. Spores of nonvirulent Bacillus anthracis strains 7702, ANR-1, and 9131 were mixed with water, flour paste, whole milk, or egg yolk emulsion and dried onto stainless-steel carriers. The carriers were exposed to various concentrations of peroxyacetic acid, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for 10 min at 10, 20, or 30°C, after which time the survivors were quantified. The relationship between peroxyacetic acid concentration, H2O2 concentration, and spore inactivation followed a sigmoid curve that was accurately described using a four-parameter logistic model. At 20°C, the minimum concentrations of peroxyacetic acid, H2O2, and NaOCl (as total available chlorine) predicted to inactivate 6 log10 CFU of B. anthracis spores with no food residue present were 1.05, 23.0, and 0.78%, respectively. At 10°C, sodium hypochlorite at 5% total available chlorine did not inactivate more than 4 log10 CFU. The presence of the food residues had only a minimal effect on peroxyacetic acid and H2O2 sporicidal efficacy, but the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite was markedly inhibited by whole-milk and egg yolk residues. Sodium hypochlorite at 5% total available chlorine provided no greater than a 2-log10 CFU reduction when spores were in the presence of egg yolk residue. This research provides new information regarding the usefulness of peroxygen biocides for B. anthracis spore inactivation when food residue is present. This work also provides guidance for adjusting decontamination procedures for food-soiled and cold surfaces. PMID:17720823

  2. Identification of the pXO1 plasmid in attenuated Bacillus anthracis vaccine strains.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xudong; Zhang, Huijuan; Zhang, Enmin; Wei, Jianchun; Li, Wei; Wang, Bingxiang; Dong, Shulin; Zhu, Jin

    2016-07-01

    Anthrax toxins and capsule are the major virulence factors of Bacillus anthracis. They are encoded by genes located on the plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, respectively. The vaccine strain Pasteur II was produced from high temperature subcultures of B. anthracis, which resulted in virulence attenuation through the loss of the plasmid pXO1. However, it is unclear whether the high temperature culture completely abolishes the plasmid DNA or affects the replication of the plasmid pXO1. In this study, we tested 3 B. anthracis vaccine strains, including Pasteur II from France, Qiankefusiji II from Russia, and Rentian II from Japan, which were all generated from subcultures at high temperatures. Surprisingly, we detected the presence of pXO1 plasmid DNA using overlap PCR in all these vaccine strains. DNA sequencing analysis of overlap PCR products further confirmed the presence of pXO1. Moreover, the expression of the protective antigen (PA) encoded on pXO1 was determined by using SDS-PAGE and western blotting. In addition, we mimicked Pasteur's method and exposed the A16R vaccine strain, which lacks the pXO2 plasmid, to high temperature, and identified the pXO1 plasmid in the subcultures at high temperatures. This indicated that the high temperature treatment at 42.5°C was unable to eliminate pXO1 plasmid DNA from B. anthracis. Our results suggest that the attenuation of the Pasteur II vaccine strain is likely due to the impact of high temperature stress on plasmid replication, which in turn limits the copy number of pXO1. Our data provide new insights into the mechanisms of the remaining immunogenicity and toxicity of the vaccine strains. PMID:27029580

  3. Identification of a region of genetic variability among Bacillus anthracis strains and related species.

    PubMed Central

    Andersen, G L; Simchock, J M; Wilson, K H

    1996-01-01

    The identification of a region of sequence variability among individual isolates of Bacillus anthracis as well as the two closely related species, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus mycoides, has made a sequence-based approach for the rapid differentiation among members of this group possible. We have identified this region of sequence divergence by comparison of arbitrarily primed (AP)-PCR "fingerprints" generated by an M13 bacteriophage-derived primer and sequencing the respective forms of the only polymorphic fragment observed. The 1,480-bp fragment derived from genomic DNA of the Sterne strain of B. anthracis contained four consecutive repeats of CAATATCAACAA. The same fragment from the Vollum strain was identical except that two of these repeats were deleted. The Ames strain of B. anthracis differed from the Sterne strain by a single-nucleotide deletion. More than 150 nucleotide differences separated B. cereus and B. mycoides from B. anthracis in pairwise comparisons. The nucleotide sequence of the variable fragment from each species contained one complete open reading frame (ORF) (designated vrrA, for variable region with repetitive sequence), encoding a potential 30-kDa protein located between the carboxy terminus of an upstream ORF (designated orf1) and the amino terminus of a downstream ORF (designated lytB). The sequence variation was primarily in vrrA, which was glutamine- and proline-rich (30% of total) and contained repetitive regions. A large proportion of the nucleotide substitutions between species were synonymous. vrrA has 35% identity with the microfilarial sheath protein shp2 of the parasitic worm Litomosoides carinii. PMID:8550456

  4. Rapid Detection of Viable Bacillus anthracis Spores in Environmental Samples by Using Engineered Reporter Phages.

    PubMed

    Sharp, Natasha J; Molineux, Ian J; Page, Martin A; Schofield, David A

    2016-04-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, was utilized as a bioterrorism agent in 2001 when spores were distributed via the U.S. postal system. In responding to this event, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used traditional bacterial culture viability assays to ascertain the extent of contamination of the postal facilities within 24 to 48 h of environmental sample acquisition. Here, we describe a low-complexity, second-generation reporter phage assay for the rapid detection of viableB. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The assay uses an engineered B. anthracis reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-2) which transduces bioluminescence to infected cells. To facilitate low-level environmental detection and maximize the signal response, expression of luxABin an earlier version of the reporter phage (Wβ::luxAB-1) was optimized. These alterations prolonged signal kinetics, increased light output, and improved assay sensitivity. Using Wβ::luxAB-2, detection of B. anthracis spores was 1 CFU in 8 h from pure cultures and as low as 10 CFU/g in sterile soil but increased to 10(5)CFU/g in unprocessed soil due to an unstable signal and the presence of competing bacteria. Inclusion of semiselective medium, mediated by a phage-expressed antibiotic resistance gene, maintained signal stability and enabled the detection of 10(4)CFU/g in 6 h. The assay does not require spore extraction and relies on the phage infecting germinating cells directly in the soil sample. This reporter phage displays promise for the rapid detection of low levels of spores on clean surfaces and also in grossly contaminated environmental samples from complex matrices such as soils. PMID:26873316

  5. Bacillus anthracis Capsular Conjugates Elicit Chimpanzee Polyclonal Antibodies That Protect Mice from Pulmonary Anthrax.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhaochun; Schneerson, Rachel; Lovchik, Julie A; Dai, Zhongdong; Kubler-Kielb, Joanna; Agulto, Liane; Leppla, Stephen H; Purcell, Robert H

    2015-08-01

    The immunogenicity of Bacillus anthracis capsule (poly-γ-D-glutamic acid [PGA]) conjugated to recombinant B. anthracis protective antigen (rPA) or to tetanus toxoid (TT) was evaluated in two anthrax-naive juvenile chimpanzees. In a previous study of these conjugates, highly protective monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against PGA were generated. This study examines the polyclonal antibody response of the same animals. Preimmune antibodies to PGA with titers of >10(3) were detected in the chimpanzees. The maximal titer of anti-PGA was induced within 1 to 2 weeks following the 1st immunization, with no booster effects following the 2nd and 3rd immunizations. Thus, the anti-PGA response in the chimpanzees resembled a secondary immune response. Screening of sera from nine unimmunized chimpanzees and six humans revealed antibodies to PGA in all samples, with an average titer of 10(3). An anti-PA response was also observed following immunization with PGA-rPA conjugate, similar to that seen following immunization with rPA alone. However, in contrast to anti-PGA, preimmune anti-PA antibody titers and those following the 1st immunization were ≤300, with the antibodies peaking above 10(4) following the 2nd immunization. The polyclonal anti-PGA shared the MAb 11D epitope and, similar to the MAbs, exerted opsonophagocytic killing of B. anthracis. Most important, the PGA-TT-induced antibodies protected mice from a lethal challenge with virulent B. anthracis spores. Our data support the use of PGA conjugates, especially PGA-rPA targeting both toxin and capsule, as expanded-spectrum anthrax vaccines. PMID:26041039

  6. IN VITRO INHIBITION OF GLUTATHIONE REDUCTASE BY ARSENOTRI-GLUTATHIONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Arsenotriglutathione, a product of the reduction of arsenate and the complexation of arsenite by glutathione, is a mixed type inhibitor of the reduction of glutathione disulfide by purified yeast glutathione reductase or the glutathione reductase activity in rabbit erythrocyte ly...

  7. Global Metabolomic Analysis of a Mammalian Host Infected with Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Chinh T. Q.; Shetty, Vivekananda

    2015-01-01

    Whereas DNA provides the information to design life and proteins provide the materials to construct it, the metabolome can be viewed as the physiology that powers it. As such, metabolomics, the field charged with the study of the dynamic small-molecule fluctuations that occur in response to changing biology, is now being used to study the basis of disease. Here, we describe a comprehensive metabolomic analysis of a systemic bacterial infection using Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax disease, as the model pathogen. An organ and blood analysis identified approximately 400 metabolites, including several key classes of lipids involved in inflammation, as being suppressed by B. anthracis. Metabolite changes were detected as early as 1 day postinfection, well before the onset of disease or the spread of bacteria to organs, which testifies to the sensitivity of this methodology. Functional studies using pharmacologic inhibition of host phospholipases support the idea of a role of these key enzymes and lipid mediators in host survival during anthrax disease. Finally, the results are integrated to provide a comprehensive picture of how B. anthracis alters host physiology. Collectively, the results of this study provide a blueprint for using metabolomics as a platform to identify and study novel host-pathogen interactions that shape the outcome of an infection. PMID:26438791

  8. Combined Effects of High Hydrostatic Pressure and Temperature for Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Cléry-Barraud, Cécile; Gaubert, Agnès; Masson, Patrick; Vidal, Dominique

    2004-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis are known to be extremely resistant to heat treatment, irradiation, desiccation, and disinfectants. To determine inactivation kinetics of spores by high pressure, B. anthracis spores of a Sterne strain-derived mutant deficient in the production of the toxin components (strain RP42) were exposed to pressures ranging from 280 to 500 MPa for 10 min to 6 h, combined with temperatures ranging from 20 to 75°C. The combination of heat and pressure resulted in complete destruction of B. anthracis spores, with a D value (exposure time for 90% inactivation of the spore population) of approximately 4 min after pressurization at 500 MPa and 75°C, compared to 160 min at 500 MPa and 20°C and 348 min at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa) and 75°C. The use of high pressure for spore inactivation represents a considerable improvement over other available methods of spore inactivation and could be of interest for antigenic spore preparation. PMID:14711702

  9. Specific activation of dendritic cells enhances clearance of Bacillus anthracis following infection.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Iain J T; Mann, Elizabeth R; Stokes, Margaret G; English, Nicholas R; Knight, Stella C; Williamson, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic cells are potent activators of the immune system and have a key role in linking innate and adaptive immune responses. In the current study we have used ex vivo pulsed bone marrow dendritic cells (BMDC) in a novel adoptive transfer strategy to protect against challenge with Bacillus anthracis, in a murine model. Pre-pulsing murine BMDC with either recombinant Protective Antigen (PA) or CpG significantly upregulated expression of the activation markers CD40, CD80, CD86 and MHC-II. Passive transfusion of mice with pulsed BMDC, concurrently with active immunisation with rPA in alum, significantly enhanced (p<0.001) PA-specific splenocyte responses seven days post-immunisation. Parallel studies using ex vivo DCs expanded from human peripheral blood and activated under the same conditions as the murine DC, demonstrated that human DCs had a PA dose-related significant increase in the markers CD40, CD80 and CCR7 and that the increases in CD40 and CD80 were maintained when the other activating components, CpG and HK B. anthracis were added to the rPA in culture. Mice vaccinated on a single occasion intra-muscularly with rPA and alum and concurrently transfused intra-dermally with pulsed BMDC, demonstrated 100% survival following lethal B. anthracis challenge and had significantly enhanced (p<0.05) bacterial clearance within 2 days, compared with mice vaccinated with rPA and alum alone. PMID:25380285

  10. The role of anthrolysin O in gut epithelial barrier disruption during Bacillus anthracis infection.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Brian L; Lodolce, James P; Kolodziej, Lauren E; Boone, David L; Tang, Wei Jen

    2010-04-01

    Gastrointestinal (GI) anthrax, caused by the bacterial infection of Bacillus anthracis, posts a significant bioterrorism threat by its relatively high mortality rate in humans. Different from inhalational anthrax by the route of infection, accumulating evidence indicates the bypass of vegetative bacteria across GI epithelium is required to initiate GI anthrax. Previously, we reported that purified anthrolysin O (ALO), instead of tripartite anthrax edema and lethal toxins, is capable of disrupting gut epithelial tight junctions and barrier function in cultured cells. Here, we show that ALO can disrupt intestinal tissue barrier function in an ex vivo mouse model. To explore the effects of ALO in a cell culture model of B. anthracis infection, we showed that anthrax bacteria can effectively reduce the monolayer integrity of human Caco-2 brush-border expressor (C2BBE) cells based on the reduced transepithelial resistance and the increased leakage of fluorescent dye. This disruption is likely caused by tight junction dysfunction observed by the reorganization of the tight junction protein occludin. Consequently, we observe significant passage of vegetative anthrax bacteria across C2BBE cells. This barrier disruption and bacterial crossover requires ALO since ALO-deficient B. anthracis strains fail to induce monolayer dysfunction and allow the passage of anthrax bacteria. Together these findings point to a pivotal role for ALO within the establishment of GI anthrax infection and the initial bypass of the epithelial barrier. PMID:20188700

  11. Recombinant expression and purification of a tumor-targeted toxin in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Bachran, Christopher; Abdelazim, Suzanne; Fattah, Rasem J; Liu, Shihui; Leppla, Stephen H

    2013-01-01

    Many recombinant therapeutic proteins are purified from Escherichia coli. While expression in E. coli is easily achieved, some disadvantages such as protein aggregation, formation of inclusion bodies, and contamination of purified proteins with the lipopolysaccharides arise. Lipopolysaccharides have to be removed to prevent inflammatory responses in patients. Use of the Gram-positive Bacillus anthracis as an expression host offers a solution to circumvent these problems. Using the multiple protease-deficient strain BH460, we expressed a fusion of the N-terminal 254 amino acids of anthrax lethal factor (LFn), the N-terminal 389 amino acids of diphtheria toxin (DT389) and human transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα). The resulting fusion protein was constitutively expressed and successfully secreted by B. anthracis into the culture supernatant. Purification was achieved by anion exchange chromatography and proteolytic cleavage removed LFn from the desired fusion protein (DT389 fused to TGFα). The fusion protein showed the intended specific cytotoxicity to epidermal growth factor receptor-expressing human head and neck cancer cells. Final analyses showed low levels of lipopolysaccharides, originating most likely from contamination during the purification process. Thus, the fusion to LFn for protein secretion and expression in B. anthracis BH460 provides an elegant tool to obtain high levels of lipopolysaccharide-free recombinant protein. PMID:23200832

  12. Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin Causes Extensive Tissue Lesions and Rapid Lethality in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Firoved, Aaron M.; Miller, Georgina F.; Moayeri, Mahtab; Kakkar, Rahul; Shen, Yuequan; Wiggins, Jason F.; McNally, Elizabeth M.; Tang, Wei-Jen; Leppla, Stephen H.

    2005-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis edema toxin (ET), an adenylyl cyclase, is an important virulence factor that contributes to anthrax disease. The role of ET in anthrax pathogenesis is, however, poorly understood. Previous studies using crude toxin preparations associated ET with subcutaneous edema, and ET-deficient strains of B. anthracis showed a reduction in virulence. We report the first comprehensive study of ET-induced pathology in an animal model. Highly purified ET caused death in BALB/cJ mice at lower doses and more rapidly than previously seen with the other major B. anthracis virulence factor, lethal toxin. Observations of gross pathology showed intestinal intralumenal fluid accumulation followed by focal hemorrhaging of the ileum and adrenal glands. Histopathological analyses of timed tissue harvests revealed lesions in several tissues including adrenal glands, lymphoid organs, bone, bone marrow, gastrointestinal mucosa, heart, and kidneys. Concomitant blood chemistry analyses supported the induction of tissue damage. Several cytokines increased after ET administration, including granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, eotaxin, keratinocyte-derived cytokine, MCP-1/JE, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, and interleukin-1β. Physiological measurements also revealed a concurrent hypotension and bradycardia. These studies detail the extensive pathological lesions caused by ET and suggest that it causes death due to multiorgan failure. PMID:16251415

  13. Global metabolomic analysis of a mammalian host infected with Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Chinh T Q; Shetty, Vivekananda; Maresso, Anthony W

    2015-12-01

    Whereas DNA provides the information to design life and proteins provide the materials to construct it, the metabolome can be viewed as the physiology that powers it. As such, metabolomics, the field charged with the study of the dynamic small-molecule fluctuations that occur in response to changing biology, is now being used to study the basis of disease. Here, we describe a comprehensive metabolomic analysis of a systemic bacterial infection using Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax disease, as the model pathogen. An organ and blood analysis identified approximately 400 metabolites, including several key classes of lipids involved in inflammation, as being suppressed by B. anthracis. Metabolite changes were detected as early as 1 day postinfection, well before the onset of disease or the spread of bacteria to organs, which testifies to the sensitivity of this methodology. Functional studies using pharmacologic inhibition of host phospholipases support the idea of a role of these key enzymes and lipid mediators in host survival during anthrax disease. Finally, the results are integrated to provide a comprehensive picture of how B. anthracis alters host physiology. Collectively, the results of this study provide a blueprint for using metabolomics as a platform to identify and study novel host-pathogen interactions that shape the outcome of an infection. PMID:26438791

  14. Over-expression, purification, and confirmation of Bacillus anthracis transcriptional regulator NprR.

    PubMed

    Rice, Amy J; Woo, Jerry K; Khan, Attiya; Szypulinski, Michael Z; Johnson, Michael E; Lee, Hyunwoo; Lee, Hyun

    2016-09-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) has been recognized as an important biological phenomenon in which bacterial cells communicate and coordinate their gene expression and cellular processes with respect to population density. Bacillus anthracis is the etiological agent of fatal pulmonary anthrax infections, and the NprR/NprX QS system may be involved in its pathogenesis. NprR, renamed as aqsR for anthrax quorum sensing Regulator, is a transcriptional regulator that may control the expression of genes required for proliferation and survival. Currently, there is no protocol reported to over-express and purify B. anthracis AqsR. In this study, we describe cloning, purification, and confirmation of functional full-length B. anthracis AqsR protein. The AqsR gene was cloned into the pQE-30 vector with an HRV 3C protease recognition site between AqsR and the N-terminal His6-tag in order to yield near native AqsR after the His-tag cleavage, leaving only two additional amino acid residues at the N-terminus. PMID:26344899

  15. Endospore surface properties of commonly used Bacillus anthracis surrogates vary in aqueous solution.

    PubMed

    White, Colin P; Popovici, Jonathan; Lytle, Darren A; Rice, Eugene W

    2014-08-01

    The hydrophobic character and electrophoretic mobility (EPM) of microorganisms are vital aspects of understanding their interactions with the environment. These properties are fundamental in fate-and-transport, physiological, and virulence studies, and thus integral in surrogate selection. Hydrophobic and electrostatic forces are significant contributors to particle and microorganism mobility in the environment. Herein, the surface properties of commonly used Bacillus anthracis surrogate endospores were tested under comparable conditions with respect to culture, endospore purification, buffer type and strength. Additionally, data is presented of endospores suspended in dechlorinated tap water to evaluate the surrogates in regard to a breach of water infrastructure security. The surface properties of B. anthracis were found to be the most hydrophobic and least electronegative among the six Bacillus species tested across buffer strength. The effect of EPM on hydrophobicity varies in a species-specific manner. This study demonstrates that surrogate surface properties differ and care must be taken when choosing the most suitable surrogate. Moreover, it is shown that Bacillus thuringensis best represents Bacillus anthracis-Sterne with respect to both EPM and hydrophobicity across all test buffers. PMID:24817579

  16. A Method Detection Limit for Bacillus anthracis Spores in Water Using an Automated Waterborne Pathogen Concentrator.

    PubMed

    Humrighouse, Ben; Pemberton, Adin; Gallardo, Vicente; Lindquist, H D Alan; LaBudde, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The method detection limit (MDL, 99% chance of detecting a positive result in a single replicate), as per the United States Code of Federal Regulations, was determined for a protocol using an ultrafiltration based automated waterborne pathogen concentration device. Bacillus anthracis Sterne strain spores were seeded at low levels into 100 L reagent water samples. Suspect colonies were confirmed through morphological, chemical, and genetic tests. Samples of 100 L (n=14) of reagent water were seeded with five B. anthracis CFUs each. To confirm the estimated detection limit, a second set (n=19) of 100 L reagent water samples were seeded at a higher level (7 CFUs). The second estimate of the MDL could not be pooled with the first, due to significant difference in variance. A third trial (n=7) seeded with 10 CFUs produced an estimate of the MDL that could be pooled with the higher previous estimate. Another trial consisting of eight 100 L samples of tap water were seeded with approximately 7 CFUs. Recovery in these samples was not significantly different from the pooled MDL. Theoretically a concentration of 4.6 spores/100 L would be required for detection 95% of the time, based on a Poisson distribution. The calculated pooled MDL, based on experimental data was approximately 6 B. anthracis CFU/100 L (95% confidence interval 4.8 to 8.4). Detection at this level was achieved in municipal water samples. PMID:26268983

  17. Cloning, purification and crystallization of Bacillus anthracis class C acid phosphatase

    SciTech Connect

    Felts, Richard L.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Calcutt, Michael J.; Tanner, John J.

    2006-07-01

    Crystallization of a surface-localized acid phosphatase from Bacillus anthracis is reported. Flash annealing increased the high-resolution limit of usable data from 1.8 to 1.6 Å. Cloning, expression, purification and crystallization studies of a recombinant class C acid phosphatase from the Category A pathogen Bacillus anthracis are reported. Large diffraction-quality crystals were grown in the presence of HEPES and Jeffamine ED-2001 at pH 7.0. The crystals belong to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.4, b = 90.1, c = 104.2 Å. The asymmetric unit is predicted to contain two protein molecules with a solvent content of 38%. Two native data sets were collected from the same crystal before and after flash-annealing. The first data set had a mosaicity of 1.6° and a high-resolution limit of 1.8 Å. After flash-annealing, the apparent mosaicity decreased to 0.9° and the high-resolution limit of usable data increased to 1.6 Å. This crystal form is currently being used to determine the structure of B. anthracis class C acid phosphatase with experimental phasing techniques.

  18. Susceptibilities of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, and avirulent Bacillus anthracis spores to liquid biocides.

    PubMed

    Hilgren, J; Swanson, K M J; Diez-Gonzalez, F; Cords, B

    2009-02-01

    The susceptibility of spores of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, and avirulent Bacillus anthracis to treatment with hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, a peroxy-fatty acid mixture, sodium hypochlorite, and acidified sodium chlorite was investigated. Results indicated that B. cereus spores may be reasonable predictors of B. anthracis spore inactivation by peroxyacetic acid-based biocides. However, B. cereus was not a reliable predictor of B. anthracis inactivation by the other biocides. In studies comparing B. cereus and B. subtilis, B. cereus spores were more resistant (by 1.5 to 2.5 log CFU) than B. subtilis spores to peroxyacetic acid, the peroxy-fatty acid mixture, and acidified sodium chlorite. Conversely, B. subtilis spores were more resistant than B. cereus spores to hydrogen peroxide. These findings indicated the relevance of side-by-side testing of target organisms and potential surrogates against categories of biocides to determine whether both have similar properties and to validate the use of the surrogate microorganisms. PMID:19350981

  19. Transcriptional Stimulation of Anthrax Toxin Receptors by Anthrax Edema Toxin and Bacillus anthracis Sterne Spore

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Qingfu; Hesek, Eric D.; Zeng, Mingtao

    2007-01-01

    We used quantitative real-time RT-PCR to not only investigate the mRNA levels of anthrax toxin receptor 1 (ANTXR1) and 2 (ANTXR2) in the murine J774A.1 macrophage cells and different tissues of mice, but also evaluate the effect of anthrax edema toxin and Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores on the expression of mRNA of these receptors. The mRNA transcripts of both receptors was detected in J774A.1 cells and mouse tissues such as the lung, heart, kidney, spleen, stomach, jejunum, brain, skeleton muscle, and skin. The ANTXR2 mRNA level was significantly higher than that of ANTXR1 in J774A.1 cells and all tissues examined. The mRNA expression of both receptors in the lung was the highest among the tissues evaluated. Interestingly, the mRNA expression of both receptors in J774A.1 cells was up-regulated by edema toxin. In addition, ANTXR mRNA expression in the lung was down-regulated after subcutaneous inoculation of B. anthracis Sterne spores as well as after intranasal administration of anthrax toxin-based vaccine BioThrax™. These results suggest that anthrax edema toxin and B. anthracis Sterne spore are involved in the ANTXR mRNA regulation in host cells. PMID:17459655

  20. Bacillus anthracis SlaQ Promotes S-Layer Protein Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen-Mau, Sao-Mai; Oh, So-Young; Schneewind, Daphne I.; Missiakas, Dominique

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis vegetative forms assemble an S-layer comprised of two S-layer proteins, Sap and EA1. A hallmark of S-layer proteins are their C-terminal crystallization domains, which assemble into a crystalline lattice once these polypeptides are deposited on the bacterial surface via association between their N-terminal S-layer homology domains and the secondary cell wall polysaccharide. Here we show that slaQ, encoding a small cytoplasmic protein conserved among pathogenic bacilli elaborating S-layers, is required for the efficient secretion and assembly of Sap and EA1. S-layer protein precursors cosediment with SlaQ, and SlaQ appears to facilitate Sap assembly. Purified SlaQ polymerizes and when mixed with purified Sap promotes the in vitro formation of tubular S-layer structures. A model is discussed whereby SlaQ, in conjunction with S-layer secretion factors SecA2 and SlaP, promotes localized secretion and S-layer assembly in B. anthracis. IMPORTANCE S-layer proteins are endowed with the propensity for self-assembly into crystalline arrays. Factors promoting S-layer protein assembly have heretofore not been reported. We identified Bacillus anthracis SlaQ, a small cytoplasmic protein that facilitates S-layer protein assembly in vivo and in vitro. PMID:26216847

  1. Genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Europe: genotyping methods in forensic and epidemiologic investigations.

    PubMed

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Thierry, Simon

    2013-09-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the etiological agent of anthrax, a zoonosis relatively common throughout the world, can be used as an agent of bioterrorism. In naturally occurring outbreaks and in criminal release of this pathogen, a fast and accurate diagnosis is crucial to an effective response. Microbiological forensics and epidemiologic investigations increasingly rely on molecular markers, such as polymorphisms in DNA sequence, to obtain reliable information regarding the identification or source of a suspicious strain. Over the past decade, significant research efforts have been undertaken to develop genotyping methods with increased power to differentiate B. anthracis strains. A growing number of DNA signatures have been identified and used to survey B. anthracis diversity in nature, leading to rapid advances in our understanding of the global population of this pathogen. This article provides an overview of the different phylogenetic subgroups distributed across the world, with a particular focus on Europe. Updated information on the anthrax situation in Europe is reported. A brief description of some of the work in progress in the work package 5.1 of the AniBioThreat project is also presented, including (1) the development of a robust typing tool based on a suspension array technology and multiplexed single nucleotide polymorphisms scoring and (2) the typing of a collection of DNA from European isolates exchanged between the partners of the project. The know-how acquired will contribute to improving the EU's ability to react rapidly when the identity and real origin of a strain need to be established. PMID:23971802

  2. Bacillus anthracis TIR Domain-Containing Protein Localises to Cellular Microtubule Structures and Induces Autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Carlsson, Emil; Thwaite, Joanne E.; Jenner, Dominic C.; Spear, Abigail M.; Flick-Smith, Helen; Atkins, Helen S.; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognise invading pathogens and mediate downstream immune signalling via Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domains. TIR domain proteins (Tdps) have been identified in multiple pathogenic bacteria and have recently been implicated as negative regulators of host innate immune activation. A Tdp has been identified in Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Here we present the first study of this protein, designated BaTdp. Recombinantly expressed and purified BaTdp TIR domain interacted with several human TIR domains, including that of the key TLR adaptor MyD88, although BaTdp expression in cultured HEK293 cells had no effect on TLR4- or TLR2- mediated immune activation. During expression in mammalian cells, BaTdp localised to microtubular networks and caused an increase in lipidated cytosolic microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3), indicative of autophagosome formation. In vivo intra-nasal infection experiments in mice showed that a BaTdp knockout strain colonised host tissue faster with higher bacterial load within 4 days post-infection compared to the wild type B. anthracis. Taken together, these findings indicate that BaTdp does not play an immune suppressive role, but rather, its absence increases virulence. BaTdp present in wild type B. anthracis plausibly interact with the infected host cell, which undergoes autophagy in self-defence. PMID:27391310

  3. Protection of mice against challenge with Bacillus anthracis STI spores after DNA vaccination.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Ulrike K; Alex, Michaela; Czerny, Claus-Peter; Böhm, Reinhard; Beyer, Wolfgang

    2004-07-01

    Immune responses against the protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis are known to confer immunity against anthrax. We evaluated the efficacy of genetic vaccination with plasmid vectors encoding PA, in protecting mice from a lethal challenge with B. anthracis STI spores. BALB/c and A/J mice were immunized via gene gun inoculation, using eukaryotic expression vectors with different cellular targeting signals for the encoded antigen. The vector pSecTag PA83, encoding the full-length PA protein, has a signal sequence for secretion of the expressed protein. The plasmids pCMV/ER PA83 and pCMV/ER PA63, encoding the full-length and the physiologically active form of PA, respectively, target and retain the expressed antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum of transfected cells. All three plasmids induced PA-specific humoral immune responses, predominantly IgG1 antibodies, in mice. Spleen cells collected from plasmid-vaccinated BALB/c mice produced PA-specific interleukin-4, interleukin-5, and interferon-gamma in vitro. Vaccination with either pSecTag PA83 or pCMV/ER PA83 showed significant protection of A/J mice against infection with B. anthracis STI spores. PMID:15293452

  4. Bacillus anthracis TIR Domain-Containing Protein Localises to Cellular Microtubule Structures and Induces Autophagy.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, Emil; Thwaite, Joanne E; Jenner, Dominic C; Spear, Abigail M; Flick-Smith, Helen; Atkins, Helen S; Byrne, Bernadette; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognise invading pathogens and mediate downstream immune signalling via Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domains. TIR domain proteins (Tdps) have been identified in multiple pathogenic bacteria and have recently been implicated as negative regulators of host innate immune activation. A Tdp has been identified in Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. Here we present the first study of this protein, designated BaTdp. Recombinantly expressed and purified BaTdp TIR domain interacted with several human TIR domains, including that of the key TLR adaptor MyD88, although BaTdp expression in cultured HEK293 cells had no effect on TLR4- or TLR2- mediated immune activation. During expression in mammalian cells, BaTdp localised to microtubular networks and caused an increase in lipidated cytosolic microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3), indicative of autophagosome formation. In vivo intra-nasal infection experiments in mice showed that a BaTdp knockout strain colonised host tissue faster with higher bacterial load within 4 days post-infection compared to the wild type B. anthracis. Taken together, these findings indicate that BaTdp does not play an immune suppressive role, but rather, its absence increases virulence. BaTdp present in wild type B. anthracis plausibly interact with the infected host cell, which undergoes autophagy in self-defence. PMID:27391310

  5. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth; Valdez, Yolanda E; Shou, Yulin; Yoshida, Thomas M; Marrone, Babetta L; Dunbar, John

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  6. Potential role of autophagy in the bactericidal activity of human PMNs for Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Girish; Gade, Padmaja; Tsai, Pei; Lu, Wuyuan; Kalvakolanu, Dhananjaya V; Rosen, Gerald M; Cross, Alan S

    2015-12-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is acquired by mammalian hosts from the environment, as quiescent endospores. These endospores must germinate inside host cells, forming vegetative bacilli, before they can express the virulence factors that enable them to evade host defenses and disseminate throughout the body. While the role of macrophages and dendritic cells in this initial interaction has been established, the role of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) has not been adequately defined. We discovered that while B. anthracis 34F2 Sterne endospores germinate poorly within non-activated human PMNs, these phagocytes exhibit rapid microbicidal activity toward the outgrown vegetative bacilli, independent of superoxide and nitric oxide. These findings suggest that a non-free radical pathway kills B. anthracis bacilli. We also find in PMNs an autophagic mechanism of bacterial killing based on the rapid induction of LC-3 conversion, beclin-1 expression, sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) degradation and inhibition of bactericidal activity by the inhibitor, 3-methyladenine. These findings extend to PMNs an autophagic bactericidal mechanism previously described for other phagocytes. PMID:26424808

  7. Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Piepel, G F; Amidan, B G; Hu, R

    2012-12-01

    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing and analysing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the (i) estimates of B. anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates and (ii) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Additional work is needed to quantify (i) the false-negative rates of surface-sampling methods with lower concentrations on various surfaces and (ii) the effects on performance characteristics of: aerosol vs liquid deposition of spores, using surrogates instead of B. anthracis, real-world vs laboratory conditions and storage and transportation conditions. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies. PMID:22747878

  8. A recombinant Bacillus anthracis strain producing the Clostridium perfringens Ib component induces protection against iota toxins.

    PubMed Central

    Sirard, J C; Weber, M; Duflot, E; Popoff, M R; Mock, M

    1997-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis toxinogenic Sterne strain is currently used as a live veterinary vaccine against anthrax. The capacity of a toxin-deficient derivative strain to produce a heterologous antigen by using the strong inducible promoter of the B. anthracis pag gene was investigated. The expression of the foreign gene ibp, encoding the Ib component of iota toxin from Clostridium perfringens, was analyzed. A pag-ibp fusion was introduced by allelic exchange into a toxin-deficient Sterne strain, thereby replacing the wild-type pag gene. This recombinant strain, called BAIB, was stable and secreted large quantities of Ib protein in induced culture conditions. Mice given injections of live BAIB spores developed an antibody response specific to the Ib protein. The pag-ibp fusion was therefore functional both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the immunized animals were protected against a challenge with C. perfringens iota toxin or with the homologous Clostridium spiroforme toxin. The protective immunity was mediated by neutralizing antibodies. In conclusion, B. anthracis is promising for the development of live veterinary vaccines. PMID:9169728

  9. Evaluation of nitrate reductase activity in Rhizobium japonicum

    SciTech Connect

    Streeter, J.G.; DeVine, P.J.

    1983-08-01

    Nitrate reductase activity was evaluated by four approaches, using four strains of Rhizobium japonicum and 11 chlorate-resistant mutants of the four strains. It was concluded that in vitro assays with bacteria or bacteroids provide the most simple and reliable assessment of the presence or absence of nitrate reductase. Nitrite reductase activity with methyl viologen and dithionite was found, but the enzyme activity does not confound the assay of nitrate reductase. 18 references

  10. Differential effects of linezolid and ciprofloxacin on toxin production by Bacillus anthracis in an in vitro pharmacodynamic system.

    PubMed

    Louie, Arnold; Vanscoy, Brian D; Heine, Henry S; Liu, Weiguo; Abshire, Terry; Holman, Kari; Kulawy, Robert; Brown, David L; Drusano, George L

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax. Ciprofloxacin is a gold standard for the treatment of anthrax. Previously, using the non-toxin-producing ΔSterne strain of B. anthracis, we demonstrated that linezolid was equivalent to ciprofloxacin for reducing the total (vegetative and spore) bacterial population. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, the population consisted primarily of vegetative bacteria. Linezolid is a protein synthesis inhibitor, while ciprofloxacin is not. Since toxins are produced only by vegetative B. anthracis, the effect of linezolid and ciprofloxacin on toxin production is of interest. The effect of simulated clinical regimens of ciprofloxacin and linezolid on the vegetative and spore populations and on toxin production was examined in an in vitro pharmacodynamic model over 15 days by using the toxin-producing Sterne strain of B. anthracis. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. With ciprofloxacin therapy, the total Sterne population consisted of spores. With linezolid therapy, >90% of the population was vegetative B. anthracis. With ciprofloxacin therapy, toxin was first detectable at 3 h and remained detectable for at least 5 h. Toxin was never detected with linezolid therapy. Ciprofloxacin and linezolid reduced the total Sterne population at similar rates. However, the B. anthracis population was primarily spores with ciprofloxacin therapy and was primarily vegetative bacteria with linezolid therapy. Toxin production was detected for at least 5 h with ciprofloxacin therapy but was never detected with linezolid treatment. Linezolid may have an advantage over ciprofloxacin for the treatment of B. anthracis infections. PMID:22064542

  11. Prevalence of Bacillus anthracis-Like Organisms and Bacteriophages in the Intestinal Tract of the Earthworm Eisenia fetida▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Schuch, R.; Pelzek, A. J.; Kan, S.; Fischetti, V. A.

    2010-01-01

    Stable infection of Bacillus anthracis laboratory strains with environmental bacteriophages confers survival phenotypes in soil and earthworm intestinal niches (R. Schuch and V. A. Fischetti, PLoS One 4:e6532, 2009). Here, the natural occurrence of two such B. anthracis-infective bacteriophages, Wip1 and Wip4, was examined in the intestines of Eisenia fetida earthworms as part of a 6-year longitudinal study at a Pennsylvania forest site. The Wip1 tectivirus was initially dominant before being supplanted by the Wip4 siphovirus, which was then dominant for the next 3 years. In a host range analysis of a wide-ranging group of Bacillus species and related organisms, Wip1 and Wip4 were both infective only toward B. anthracis and certain B. cereus strains. The natural host of Wip4 remained constant for 3 years and was a B. cereus strain that expressed a B. anthracis-like surface polysaccharide at septal positions on the cell surface. Next, a novel metagenomic approach was used to determine the extent to which such B. cereus- and B. anthracis-like strains are found in worms from two geographical locations. Three different enrichment strategies were used for metagenomic DNA isolation, based either on the ability of B. cereus sensu lato to form heat-resistant spores, the sensitivity of B. anthracis to the PlyG lysin, or the selective amplification of environmental phages cocultured with B. anthracis. Findings from this work indicate that B. cereus sensu lato and its phages are common inhabitants of earthworm intestines. PMID:20118353

  12. Prevalence of Bacillus anthracis-like organisms and bacteriophages in the intestinal tract of the earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Schuch, R; Pelzek, A J; Kan, S; Fischetti, V A

    2010-04-01

    Stable infection of Bacillus anthracis laboratory strains with environmental bacteriophages confers survival phenotypes in soil and earthworm intestinal niches (R. Schuch and V. A. Fischetti, PLoS One 4:e6532, 2009). Here, the natural occurrence of two such B. anthracis-infective bacteriophages, Wip1 and Wip4, was examined in the intestines of Eisenia fetida earthworms as part of a 6-year longitudinal study at a Pennsylvania forest site. The Wip1 tectivirus was initially dominant before being supplanted by the Wip4 siphovirus, which was then dominant for the next 3 years. In a host range analysis of a wide-ranging group of Bacillus species and related organisms, Wip1 and Wip4 were both infective only toward B. anthracis and certain B. cereus strains. The natural host of Wip4 remained constant for 3 years and was a B. cereus strain that expressed a B. anthracis-like surface polysaccharide at septal positions on the cell surface. Next, a novel metagenomic approach was used to determine the extent to which such B. cereus- and B. anthracis-like strains are found in worms from two geographical locations. Three different enrichment strategies were used for metagenomic DNA isolation, based either on the ability of B. cereus sensu lato to form heat-resistant spores, the sensitivity of B. anthracis to the PlyG lysin, or the selective amplification of environmental phages cocultured with B. anthracis. Findings from this work indicate that B. cereus sensu lato and its phages are common inhabitants of earthworm intestines. PMID:20118353

  13. Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria and Other B. cereus Group Members in a Microbial Community Within the International Space Station: A Challenge for Rapid and Easy Molecular Detection of Virulent B. anthracis

    PubMed Central

    van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Roest, Hendrik I. J.; Degener, John E.; Harmsen, Hermie J. M.

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods. PMID:24945323

  14. Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic assessment of faropenem in a lethal murine Bacillus anthracis inhalation postexposure prophylaxis model.

    PubMed

    Gill, Stanley C; Rubino, Christopher M; Bassett, Jennifer; Miller, Lynda; Ambrose, Paul G; Bhavnani, Sujata M; Beaudry, Amber; Li, Jinfang; Stone, Kimberly Clawson; Critchley, Ian; Janjic, Nebojsa; Heine, Henry S

    2010-05-01

    There are few options for prophylaxis after exposure to Bacillus anthracis, especially in children and women of childbearing potential. Faropenem is a beta-lactam in the penem subclass that is being developed as an oral prodrug, faropenem medoxomil, for the treatment of respiratory tract infections. Faropenem was shown to have in vitro activity against B. anthracis strains that variably express the bla1 beta-lactamase (MIC range, anthracis in a murine postexposure prophylaxis inhalation model. The plasma PKs and PKs-PDs of faropenem were evaluated in BALB/c mice following the intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of doses ranging from 2.5 to 160 mg/kg of body weight. For the evaluation of efficacy, mice received by inhalation aerosol doses of B. anthracis (Ames strain; faropenem MIC, 0.06 microg/ml) at 100 times the 50% lethal dose. The faropenem dosing regimens (10, 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg/day) were administered i.p. at 24 h postchallenge at 4-, 6-, and 12-h intervals for 14 days. The sigmoid maximum-threshold-of-efficacy (E(max)) model fit the survival data, in which the free-drug area under the concentration-time curve (fAUC)/MIC ratio, the maximum concentration of free drug in plasma (fC(max))/MIC ratio, and the cumulative percentage of a 24-h period that the free-drug concentration exceeds the MIC under steady-state pharmacokinetic conditions (f %T(MIC)) were each evaluated. Assessment of f %T(MIC) demonstrated the strongest correlation with survival (R(2) = 0.967) compared to the correlations achieved by assessment of fAUC/MIC or fC(max)/MIC, for which minimal correlations were observed. The 50% effective dose (ED(50)), ED(90), and ED(99) corresponded to f %T(MIC) values of 10.6, 13.4, and 16.4%, respectively, and E(max) was 89.3%. Overall, faropenem demonstrated a high

  15. Binding of a specific ligand inhibits import of a purified precursor protein into mitochondria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eilers, Martin; Schatz, Gottfried

    1986-07-01

    Methotrexate, a folate antagonist, blocks import into mitochondria of mouse dihydrofolate reductase fused to a mitochondrial presequence. Methotrexate does not mask the presequence, but stabilizes the dihydrofolate reductase moiety. It does not inhibit import of the authentic precursor from which the presequence is derived. This suggests that dihydrofolate reductase must at least partly unfold in order to be transported across mitochondrial membranes.

  16. Post-translational Regulation of Nitrate Reductase

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrate reductase (NR) catalyzes the reduction of nitrate to nitrite, which is the first step in the nitrate assimilation pathway, but can also reduce nitrite to nitric oxide (NO), an important signaling molecule that is thought to mediate a wide array of of developmental and physiological processes...

  17. Promiscuity and diversity in 3-ketosteroid reductases.

    PubMed

    Penning, Trevor M; Chen, Mo; Jin, Yi

    2015-07-01

    Many steroid hormones contain a Δ(4)-3-ketosteroid functionality that undergoes sequential reduction by 5α- or 5β- steroid reductases to produce 5α- or 5β-dihydrosteroids; and a subsequent 3-keto-reduction to produce a series of isomeric tetrahydrosteroids. Apart from steroid 5α-reductase all the remaining enzymes involved in the two step reduction process in humans belong to the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily. The enzymes involved in 3-ketosteroid reduction are AKR1C1-AKR1C4. These enzymes are promiscuous and also catalyze 20-keto- and 17-keto-steroid reduction. Interest in these reactions exist since they regulate steroid hormone metabolism in the liver, and in steroid target tissues, they may regulate steroid hormone receptor occupancy. In addition many of the dihydrosteroids are not biologically inert. The same enzymes are also involved in the metabolism of synthetic steroids e.g., hormone replacement therapeutics, contraceptive agents and inhaled glucocorticoids, and may regulate drug efficacy at their cognate receptors. This article reviews these reactions and the structural basis for substrate diversity in AKR1C1-AKR1C4, ketosteroid reductases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Steroid/Sterol signaling'. PMID:25500069

  18. Promiscuity and diversity in 3-ketosteroid reductases

    PubMed Central

    Penning, Trevor M.; Chen, Mo; Jin, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Many steroid hormones contain a Δ4-3-ketosteroid functionality that undergoes sequential reduction by 5α- or 5β- steroid reductases to produce 5α- or 5β-dihydrosteroids; and a subsequent 3-keto-reduction to produce a series of isomeric tetrahydrosteroids. Apart from steroid 5α-reductase all the remaining enzymes involved in the two step reduction process in humans belong to the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily. The enzymes involved in 3-ketosteroid reduction are AKR1C1–AKR1C4. These enzymes are promiscuous and also catalyze 20-keto- and 17-keto-steroid reduction. Interest in these reactions exist since they regulate steroid hormone metabolism in the liver, and in steroid target tissues, they may regulate steroid hormone receptor occupancy. In addition many of the dihydrosteroids are not biologically inert. The same enzymes are also involved in the metabolism of synthetic steroids e.g., hormone replacement therapeutics, contraceptive agents and inhaled glucocorticoids, and may regulate drug efficacy at their cognate receptors. This article reviews these reactions and the structural basis for substrate diversity in AKR1C1–AKR1C4, ketosteroid reductases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Steroid/Sterol signaling’. PMID:25500069

  19. Ferrisiderophore reductase activity in Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    PubMed Central

    Lodge, J S; Gaines, C G; Arceneaux, J E; Byers, B R

    1982-01-01

    Reduction of the iron in ferriagrobactin by the cytoplasmic fraction of Agrobacterium tumefaciens strictly required NaDH as the reductant. Addition of flavin mononucleotide and anaerobic conditions were necessary for the reaction; when added with flavin mononucleotide, magnesium was stimulatory. This ferrisiderophore reductase activity may be a part of the iron assimilation process in A. tumefaciens. PMID:7056702

  20. Direct evidence for an acyl phosphate intermediate in the folylpoly-. gamma. -glutamate synthetase and dihydrofolate synthetase-catalyzed reactions

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, R.

    1987-01-01

    The mechanism of the reactions catalyzed by two enzymes, namely dihydrofolate synthetase (DHFS) and folylpoly-..gamma..-glutamate synthetase (FPGS), has been investigated. The nature of the intermediate in each of the two reactions was monitored simultaneously in the multifunctional enzyme, FPGS/DHFS from E. coli. The latter was isolated from a transformant containing the cloned FPGS/DHFS gene. Incubation of (/sup 18/O)-H/sub 2/Pte and (/sup 17/O)-glutamate with ATP and the enzyme, resulted in the formation of (/sup 18/O)- and (/sup 17/O)-P/sub i/, thus providing strong evidence for the formation of an acyl phosphate species during catalysis of each reaction. The inorganic phosphate formed in the enzyme-catalyzed reaction was purified by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, then converted to the trimethyl ester and analyzed by mass spectroscopy /sup 17/O NMR and /sup 31/P NMR. Stoichiometric formation of (/sup 17/O)- and (/sup 18/O)-Pi was observed. /sup 31/P NMR analysis showed the expected /sup 18/O-induced isotopic perturbations. The presence of (/sup 17/O)-trimethyl phosphate was revealed by /sup 17/O NMR. The mechanism of the FPGS-catalyzed reaction was also investigated with the antifolate (/sup 18/O)-methotrexate.

  1. N-acetylglucosamine deacetylases modulate the anchoring of the gamma-glutamyl capsule to the cell wall of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Candela, Thomas; Balomenou, Stavroula; Aucher, Willy; Bouriotis, Vassilis; Simore, Jean-Pierre; Fouet, Agnes; Boneca, Ivo G

    2014-06-01

    Bacillus anthracis has a complex cell wall structure composed of a peptidoglycan (PG) layer to which major structures are anchored such as a neutral polysaccharide, an S-layer, and a poly-γ-D-glutamate (PDGA) capsule. Many of these structures have central roles in the biology of B. anthracis, particularly, in virulence. However, little attention has been devoted to structurally study the PG and how it is modified in the presence of these secondary cell wall components. We present here the fine structure of the PG of the encapsulated RPG1 strain harboring both pXO1 and pXO2 virulence plasmids. We show that B. anthracis has a high degree of cross-linking and its GlcNAc residues are highly modified by N-deacetylation. The PG composition is not dependent on the presence of either LPXTG proteins or the capsule. Using NMR analysis of the PG-PDGA complex, we provide evidence for the anchoring of the PDGA to the glucosamine residues. We show that anchoring of the PDGA capsule is impaired in two PG N-deacetylase mutants, Ba1961 and Ba3679. Thus, these multiple N-deactylase activities would constitute excellent drug targets in B. anthracis by simultaneously affecting its resistance to lysozyme and to phagocytosis impairing B. anthracis survival in the host. PMID:24833281

  2. A New Generation Microarray for the Simultaneous Detection and Identification of Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis in Food

    PubMed Central

    Goji, Noriko; MacMillan, Trevor; Amoako, Kingsley Kwaku

    2012-01-01

    The use of microarrays as a multiple analytic system has generated increased interest and provided a powerful analytical tool for the simultaneous detection of pathogens in a single experiment. A wide array of applications for this technology has been reported. A low density oligonucleotide microarray was generated from the genetic sequences of Y. pestis and B. anthracis and used to fabricate a microarray chip. The new generation chip, consisting of 2,240 spots in 4 quadrants with the capability of stripping/rehybridization, was designated as “Y-PESTIS/B-ANTHRACIS 4x2K Array.” The chip was tested for specificity using DNA from a panel of bacteria that may be potentially present in food. In all, 37 unique Y. pestis-specific and 83 B. anthracis-specific probes were identified. The microarray assay distinguished Y. pestis and B. anthracis from the other bacterial species tested and correctly identified the Y. pestis-specific oligonucleotide probes using DNA extracted from experimentally inoculated milk samples. Using a whole genome amplification method, the assay was able to detect as low as 1 ng genomic DNA as the start sample. The results suggest that oligonucleotide microarray can specifically detect and identify Y. pestis and B. anthracis and may be a potentially useful diagnostic tool for detecting and confirming the organisms in food during a bioterrorism event. PMID:23125935

  3. Bacillus cereus Biovar Anthracis Causing Anthrax in Sub-Saharan Africa-Chromosomal Monophyly and Broad Geographic Distribution.

    PubMed

    Antonation, Kym S; Grützmacher, Kim; Dupke, Susann; Mabon, Philip; Zimmermann, Fee; Lankester, Felix; Peller, Tianna; Feistner, Anna; Todd, Angelique; Herbinger, Ilka; de Nys, Hélène M; Muyembe-Tamfun, Jean-Jacques; Karhemere, Stomy; Wittig, Roman M; Couacy-Hymann, Emmanuel; Grunow, Roland; Calvignac-Spencer, Sébastien; Corbett, Cindi R; Klee, Silke R; Leendertz, Fabian H

    2016-09-01

    Through full genome analyses of four atypical Bacillus cereus isolates, designated B. cereus biovar anthracis, we describe a distinct clade within the B. cereus group that presents with anthrax-like disease, carrying virulence plasmids similar to those of classic Bacillus anthracis. We have isolated members of this clade from different mammals (wild chimpanzees, gorillas, an elephant and goats) in West and Central Africa (Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo). The isolates shared several phenotypic features of both B. anthracis and B. cereus, but differed amongst each other in motility and their resistance or sensitivity to penicillin. They all possessed the same mutation in the regulator gene plcR, different from the one found in B. anthracis, and in addition, carry genes which enable them to produce a second capsule composed of hyaluronic acid. Our findings show the existence of a discrete clade of the B. cereus group capable of causing anthrax-like disease, found in areas of high biodiversity, which are possibly also the origin of the worldwide distributed B. anthracis. Establishing the impact of these pathogenic bacteria on threatened wildlife species will require systematic investigation. Furthermore, the consumption of wildlife found dead by the local population and presence in a domestic animal reveal potential sources of exposure to humans. PMID:27607836

  4. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Barro, Alassane S.; Fegan, Mark; Moloney, Barbara; Porter, Kelly; Muller, Janine; Warner, Simone; Blackburn, Jason K.

    2016-01-01

    The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP), historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies. PMID:27280981

  5. N-Acetylglucosamine Deacetylases Modulate the Anchoring of the Gamma-Glutamyl Capsule to the Cell Wall of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Candela, Thomas; Balomenou, Stavroula; Aucher, Willy; Bouriotis, Vassilis; Simore, Jean-Pierre; Fouet, Agnes

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis has a complex cell wall structure composed of a peptidoglycan (PG) layer to which major structures are anchored such as a neutral polysaccharide, an S-layer, and a poly-γ-D-glutamate (PDGA) capsule. Many of these structures have central roles in the biology of B. anthracis, particularly, in virulence. However, little attention has been devoted to structurally study the PG and how it is modified in the presence of these secondary cell wall components. We present here the fine structure of the PG of the encapsulated RPG1 strain harboring both pXO1 and pXO2 virulence plasmids. We show that B. anthracis has a high degree of cross-linking and its GlcNAc residues are highly modified by N-deacetylation. The PG composition is not dependent on the presence of either LPXTG proteins or the capsule. Using NMR analysis of the PG-PDGA complex, we provide evidence for the anchoring of the PDGA to the glucosamine residues. We show that anchoring of the PDGA capsule is impaired in two PG N-deacetylase mutants, Ba1961 and Ba3679. Thus, these multiple N-deactylase activities would constitute excellent drug targets in B. anthracis by simultaneously affecting its resistance to lysozyme and to phagocytosis impairing B. anthracis survival in the host. PMID:24833281

  6. Redefining the Australian Anthrax Belt: Modeling the Ecological Niche and Predicting the Geographic Distribution of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Barro, Alassane S; Fegan, Mark; Moloney, Barbara; Porter, Kelly; Muller, Janine; Warner, Simone; Blackburn, Jason K

    2016-06-01

    The ecology and distribution of B. anthracis in Australia is not well understood, despite the continued occurrence of anthrax outbreaks in the eastern states of the country. Efforts to estimate the spatial extent of the risk of disease have been limited to a qualitative definition of an anthrax belt extending from southeast Queensland through the centre of New South Wales and into northern Victoria. This definition of the anthrax belt does not consider the role of environmental conditions in the distribution of B. anthracis. Here, we used the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction model system (GARP), historical anthrax outbreaks and environmental data to model the ecological niche of B. anthracis and predict its potential geographic distribution in Australia. Our models reveal the niche of B. anthracis in Australia is characterized by a narrow range of ecological conditions concentrated in two disjunct corridors. The most dominant corridor, used to redefine a new anthrax belt, parallels the Eastern Highlands and runs from north Victoria to central east Queensland through the centre of New South Wales. This study has redefined the anthrax belt in eastern Australia and provides insights about the ecological factors that limit the distribution of B. anthracis at the continental scale for Australia. The geographic distributions identified can help inform anthrax surveillance strategies by public and veterinary health agencies. PMID:27280981

  7. LytR-CpsA-Psr Enzymes as Determinants of Bacillus anthracis Secondary Cell Wall Polysaccharide Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Liszewski Zilla, Megan; Chan, Yvonne G. Y.; Lunderberg, Justin Mark; Schneewind, Olaf

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, replicates as chains of vegetative cells by regulating the separation of septal peptidoglycan. Surface (S)-layer proteins and associated proteins (BSLs) function as chain length determinants and bind to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP). In this study, we identified the B. anthracis lcpD mutant, which displays increased chain length and S-layer assembly defects due to diminished SCWP attachment to peptidoglycan. In contrast, the B. anthracis lcpB3 variant displayed reduced cell size and chain length, which could be attributed to increased deposition of BSLs. In other bacteria, LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) proteins attach wall teichoic acid (WTA) and polysaccharide capsule to peptidoglycan. B. anthracis does not synthesize these polymers, yet its genome encodes six LCP homologues, which, when expressed in S. aureus, promote WTA attachment. We propose a model whereby B. anthracis LCPs promote attachment of SCWP precursors to discrete locations in the peptidoglycan, enabling BSL assembly and regulated separation of septal peptidoglycan. PMID:25384480

  8. Utilization of the rpoB gene as a specific chromosomal marker for real-time PCR detection of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Qi, Y; Patra, G; Liang, X; Williams, L E; Rose, S; Redkar, R J; DelVecchio, V G

    2001-08-01

    The potential use of Bacillus anthracis as a weapon of mass destruction poses a threat to humans, domesticated animals, and wildlife and necessitates the need for a rapid and highly specific detection assay. We have developed a real-time PCR-based assay for the specific detection of B. anthracis by taking advantage of the unique nucleotide sequence of the B. anthracis rpoB gene. Variable region 1 of the rpoB gene was sequenced from 36 Bacillus strains, including 16 B. anthracis strains and 20 other related bacilli, and four nucleotides specific for B. anthracis were identified. PCR primers were selected so that two B. anthracis-specific nucleotides were at their 3' ends, whereas the remaining bases were specific to the probe region. This format permitted the PCR reactions to be performed on a LightCycler via fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). The assay was found to be specific for 144 B. anthracis strains from different geographical locations and did not cross-react with other related bacilli (175 strains), with the exception of one strain. The PCR assay can be performed on isolated DNA as well as crude vegetative cell lysates in less than 1 h. Therefore, the rpoB-FRET assay could be used as a new chromosomal marker for rapid detection of B. anthracis. PMID:11472954

  9. Identification and Classification of bcl Genes and Proteins of Bacillus cereus Group Organisms and Their Application in Bacillus anthracis Detection and Fingerprinting▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Leski, Tomasz A.; Caswell, Clayton C.; Pawlowski, Marcin; Klinke, David J.; Bujnicki, Janusz M.; Hart, Sean J.; Lukomski, Slawomir

    2009-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus group includes three closely related species, B. anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, which form a highly homogeneous subdivision of the genus Bacillus. One of these species, B. anthracis, has been identified as one of the most probable bacterial biowarfare agents. Here, we evaluate the sequence and length polymorphisms of the Bacillus collagen-like protein bcl genes as a basis for B. anthracis detection and fingerprinting. Five genes, designated bclA to bclE, are present in B. anthracis strains. Examination of bclABCDE sequences identified polymorphisms in bclB alleles of the B. cereus group organisms. These sequence polymorphisms allowed specific detection of B. anthracis strains by PCR using both genomic DNA and purified Bacillus spores in reactions. By exploiting the length variation of the bcl alleles it was demonstrated that the combined bclABCDE PCR products generate markedly different fingerprints for the B. anthracis Ames and Sterne strains. Moreover, we predict that bclABCDE length polymorphism creates unique signatures for B. anthracis strains, which facilitates identification of strains with specificity and confidence. Thus, we present a new diagnostic concept for B. anthracis detection and fingerprinting, which can be used alone or in combination with previously established typing platforms. PMID:19767469

  10. Functional studies of aldo-keto reductases in Saccharomyces cerevisiae*

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Qing; Griest, Terry A.; Harter, Theresa M.; Petrash, J. Mark

    2007-01-01

    SUMMARY We utilized the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model to systematically explore physiological roles for yeast and mammalian aldo-keto reductases. Six open reading frames encoding putative aldo-keto reductases were identified when the yeast genome was queried against the sequence for human aldose reductase, the prototypical mammalian aldo-keto reductase. Recombinant proteins produced from five of these yeast open reading frames demonstrated NADPH-dependent reductase activity with a variety of aldehyde and ketone substrates. A triple aldo-keto reductase null mutant strain demonstrated a glucose-dependent heat shock phenotype which could be rescued by ectopic expression of human aldose reductase. Catalytically-inactive mutants of human or yeast aldo-keto reductases failed to effect a rescue of the heat shock phenotype, suggesting that the phenotype results from either an accumulation of one or more unmetabolized aldo-keto reductase substrates or a synthetic deficiency of aldo-keto reductase products generated in response to heat shock stress. These results suggest that multiple aldo-keto reductases fulfill functionally redundant roles in the stress response in yeast. PMID:17140678

  11. A Bacillus anthracis strain deleted for six proteases serves as an effective host for production of recombinant proteins.

    PubMed

    Pomerantsev, Andrei P; Pomerantseva, Olga M; Moayeri, Mahtab; Fattah, Rasem; Tallant, Cynthia; Leppla, Stephen H

    2011-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis produces a number of extracellular proteases that impact the integrity and yield of other proteins in the B. anthracis secretome. In this study we show that anthrolysin O (ALO) and the three anthrax toxin proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF), and edema factor (EF), produced from the B. anthracis Ames 35 strain (pXO1⁺, pXO2⁻), are completely degraded at the onset of stationary phase due to the action of proteases. An improved Cre-loxP gene knockout system was used to sequentially delete the genes encoding six proteases (InhA1, InhA2, camelysin, TasA, NprB, and MmpZ). The role of each protease in degradation of the B. anthracis toxin components and ALO was demonstrated. Levels of the anthrax toxin components and ALO in the supernatant of the sporulation defective, pXO1⁺ A35HMS mutant strain deleted for the six proteases were significantly increased and remained stable over 24 h. A pXO1-free variant of this six-protease mutant strain, designated BH460, provides an improved host strain for the preparation of recombinant proteins. As an example, BH460 was used to produce recombinant EF, which previously has been difficult to obtain from B. anthracis. The EF protein produced from BH460 had the highest in vivo potency of any EF previously purified from B. anthracis or Escherichia coli hosts. BH460 is recommended as an effective host strain for recombinant protein production, typically yielding greater than 10mg pure protein per liter of culture. PMID:21827967

  12. In silico and in vitro evaluation of PCR-based assays for the detection of Bacillus anthracis chromosomal signature sequences.

    PubMed

    Ågren, Joakim; Hamidjaja, Raditijo A; Hansen, Trine; Ruuls, Robin; Thierry, Simon; Vigre, Håkan; Janse, Ingmar; Sundström, Anders; Segerman, Bo; Koene, Miriam; Löfström, Charlotta; Van Rotterdam, Bart; Derzelle, Sylviane

    2013-11-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a zoonotic pathogen that is relatively common throughout the world and may cause life threatening diseases in animals and humans. There are many PCR-based assays in use for the detection of B. anthracis. While most of the developed assays rely on unique markers present on virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2, relatively few assays incorporate chromosomal DNA markers due to the close relatedness of B. anthracis to the B. cereus group strains. For the detection of chromosomal DNA, different genes have been used, such as BA813, rpoB, gyrA, plcR, S-layer, and prophage-lambda. Following a review of the literature, an in silico analysis of all signature sequences reported for identification of B. anthracis was conducted. Published primer and probe sequences were compared for specificity against 134 available Bacillus spp. genomes. Although many of the chromosomal targets evaluated are claimed to be specific to B. anthracis, cross-reactions with closely related B. cereus and B. thuringiensis strains were often observed. Of the 35 investigated PCR assays, only 4 were 100% specific for the B. anthracis chromosome. An interlaboratory ring trial among five European laboratories was then performed to evaluate six assays, including the WHO recommended procedures, using a collection of 90 Bacillus strains. Three assays performed adequately, yielding no false positive or negative results. All three assays target chromosomal markers located within the lambdaBa03 prophage region (PL3, BA5345, and BA5357). Detection limit was further assessed for one of these highly specific assays. PMID:24005110

  13. Fate of Bacillus anthracis during production of laboratory-scale cream cheese and homemade-style yoghurt.

    PubMed

    Mertens, Katja; Schneider, Oda; Schmoock, Gernot; Melzer, Falk; Elschner, Mandy C

    2015-04-01

    The viability of Bacillus anthracis during production and storage of cream cheese and yoghurt was evaluated. Experimental cheeses were manufactured from whole milk inoculated with a suspension of B. anthracis vegetative cells and spores at a final concentration of 10(4) cfu/ml. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and lab ferment were used to induce milk ripening and milk coagulation. The pH-value of the contaminated milk dropped below 4.5 within the first 6 h and the amount of LAB increased by approximately 2-logs. During cheese production and storage at 5-9 °C for 24 days no growth of B. anthracis was observed. The amount of vegetative cells and spores fluctuated by 1-log. Inoculation of whole milk with heat-treated spores at 10(4) cfu/ml resulted in a slight increase of vegetative cell counts during the first 6 h. This indicated that germination occurred, but replication of vegetative cells was still inhibited in the produced cheese. Incubation of cheeses at room temperature or heating after milk coagulation strongly reduced the amount of LAB but had no effect on the growth behaviour of B. anthracis. The vegetative cell and spore content remained steady at 10(4) cfu/100 mg. During yoghurt production the pH-value decreased within 5 h below 5 and growth of B. anthracis was inhibited throughout storage. A pH-value of 5 or less is likely a critical factor to control the growth of B. anthracis. However, spores remained viable in experimental cream cheeses and yoghurts and are a potential risk of infection. PMID:25475304

  14. Biochemical and structural characterization of alanine racemase from Bacillus anthracis (Ames)

    PubMed Central

    Couñago, Rafael M; Davlieva, Milya; Strych, Ulrich; Hill, Ryan E; Krause, Kurt L

    2009-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and a potential bioterrorism threat. Here we report the biochemical and structural characterization of B. anthracis (Ames) alanine racemase (AlrBax), an essential enzyme in prokaryotes and a target for antimicrobial drug development. We also compare the native AlrBax structure to a recently reported structure of the same enzyme obtained through reductive lysine methylation. Results B. anthracis has two open reading frames encoding for putative alanine racemases. We show that only one, dal1, is able to complement a D-alanine auxotrophic strain of E. coli. Purified Dal1, which we term AlrBax, is shown to be a dimer in solution by dynamic light scattering and has a Vmax for racemization (L- to D-alanine) of 101 U/mg. The crystal structure of unmodified AlrBax is reported here to 1.95 Å resolution. Despite the overall similarity of the fold to other alanine racemases, AlrBax makes use of a chloride ion to position key active site residues for catalysis, a feature not yet observed for this enzyme in other species. Crystal contacts are more extensive in the methylated structure compared to the unmethylated structure. Conclusion The chloride ion in AlrBax is functioning effectively as a carbamylated lysine making it an integral and unique part of this structure. Despite differences in space group and crystal form, the two AlrBax structures are very similar, supporting the case that reductive methylation is a valid rescue strategy for proteins recalcitrant to crystallization, and does not, in this case, result in artifacts in the tertiary structure. PMID:19695097

  15. Rapid-Viability PCR Method for Detection of Live, Virulent Bacillus anthracis in Environmental Samples ▿

    PubMed Central

    Létant, Sonia E.; Murphy, Gloria A.; Alfaro, Teneile M.; Avila, Julie R.; Kane, Staci R.; Raber, Ellen; Bunt, Thomas M.; Shah, Sanjiv R.

    2011-01-01

    In the event of a biothreat agent release, hundreds of samples would need to be rapidly processed to characterize the extent of contamination and determine the efficacy of remediation activities. Current biological agent identification and viability determination methods are both labor- and time-intensive such that turnaround time for confirmed results is typically several days. In order to alleviate this issue, automated, high-throughput sample processing methods were developed in which real-time PCR analysis is conducted on samples before and after incubation. The method, referred to as rapid-viability (RV)-PCR, uses the change in cycle threshold after incubation to detect the presence of live organisms. In this article, we report a novel RV-PCR method for detection of live, virulent Bacillus anthracis, in which the incubation time was reduced from 14 h to 9 h, bringing the total turnaround time for results below 15 h. The method incorporates a magnetic bead-based DNA extraction and purification step prior to PCR analysis, as well as specific real-time PCR assays for the B. anthracis chromosome and pXO1 and pXO2 plasmids. A single laboratory verification of the optimized method applied to the detection of virulent B. anthracis in environmental samples was conducted and showed a detection level of 10 to 99 CFU/sample with both manual and automated RV-PCR methods in the presence of various challenges. Experiments exploring the relationship between the incubation time and the limit of detection suggest that the method could be further shortened by an additional 2 to 3 h for relatively clean samples. PMID:21764960

  16. Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin alters regulation of visceral sympathetic nerve discharge.

    PubMed

    Garcia, A A; Fels, R J; Mosher, L J; Kenney, M J

    2012-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis infection is a pathophysiological condition that is complicated by progressive decreases in mean arterial pressure (MAP). Lethal toxin (LeTx) is central to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis infection, and the sympathetic nervous system plays a critical role in physiological regulation of acute stressors. However, the effect of LeTx on sympathetic nerve discharge (SND), a critical link between central sympathetic neural circuits and MAP regulation, remains unknown. We determined visceral (renal, splenic, and adrenal) SND responses to continuous infusion of LeTx [lethal factor (100 μg/kg) + protective antigen (200 μg/kg) infused at 0.5 ml/h for ≤6 h] and vehicle (infused at 0.5 ml/h) in anesthetized, baroreceptor-intact and baroreceptor (sinoaortic)-denervated (SAD) Sprague-Dawley rats. LeTx infusions produced an initial state of cardiovascular and sympathetic nervous system activation in intact and SAD rats. Subsequent to peak LeTx-induced increases in arterial blood pressure, intact rats demonstrated a marked hypotension that was accompanied by significant reductions in SND (renal and splenic) and heart rate (HR) from peak levels. After peak LeTx-induced pressor and sympathoexcitatory responses in SAD rats, MAP, SND (renal, splenic, and adrenal), and HR were progressively and significantly reduced, supporting the hypothesis that LeTx alters the central regulation of sympathetic nerve outflow. These findings demonstrate that the regulation of visceral SND is altered in a complex manner during continuous anthrax LeTx infusions and suggest that sympathetic nervous system dysregulation may contribute to the marked hypotension accompanying B. anthracis infection. PMID:22114180

  17. Isolation and Chimerization of a Highly Neutralizing Antibody Conferring Passive Protection against Lethal Bacillus anthracis Infection

    PubMed Central

    Rosenfeld, Ronit; Marcus, Hadar; Ben-Arie, Einat; Lachmi, Bat-El; Mechaly, Adva; Reuveny, Shaul; Gat, Orit; Mazor, Ohad; Ordentlich, Arie

    2009-01-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that the passive transfer of protective antigen (PA)-neutralizing antibodies can protect animals against Bacillus anthracis infection. The standard protocol for the isolation of PA-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies is based upon a primary selection of the highest PA-binders by ELISA, and usually yields only few candidates antibodies. We demonstrated that by applying a PA-neutralization functionality-based screen as the primary criterion for positive clones, it was possible to isolate more than 100 PA-neutralizing antibodies, some of which exhibited no measurable anti-PA titers in ELISA. Among the large panel of neutralizing antibodies identified, mAb 29 demonstrated the most potent activity, and was therefore chimerized. The variable region genes of the mAb 29 were fused to human constant region genes, to form the chimeric 29 antibody (cAb 29). Guinea pigs were fully protected against infection by 40LD50 B. anthracis spores following two separate administrations with 10 mg/kg of cAb 29: the first administration was given before the challenge, and a second dose was administered on day 4 following exposure. Moreover, animals that survived the challenge and developed endogenous PA-neutralizing antibodies with neutralizing titers above 100 were fully protected against repeat challenges with 40LD50 of B. anthracis spores. The data presented here emphasize the importance of toxin neutralization-based screens for the efficient isolation of protective antibodies that were probably overlooked in the standard screening protocol. The protective activity of the chimeric cAb 29 demonstrated in this study suggest that it may serve as an effective immunotherapeutic agent against anthrax. PMID:19629185

  18. Storage Effects on Sample Integrity of Environmental Surface Sampling Specimens with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Perry, K. Allison; O’Connell, Heather A.; Rose, Laura J.; Noble-Wang, Judith A.; Arduino, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    The effect of packaging, shipping temperatures and storage times on recovery of Bacillus anthracis. Sterne spores from swabs was investigated. Macrofoam swabs were pre-moistened, inoculated with Bacillus anthracis spores, and packaged in primary containment or secondary containment before storage at −15°C, 5°C, 21°C, or 35°C for 0–7 days. Swabs were processed according to validated Centers for Disease Control/Laboratory Response Network culture protocols, and the percent recovery relative to a reference sample (T0) was determined for each variable. No differences were observed in recovery between swabs held at −15° and 5°C, (p ≥ 0.23). These two temperatures provided significantly better recovery than swabs held at 21°C or 35°C (all 7 days pooled, p ≤ 0.04). The percent recovery at 5°C was not significantly different if processed on days 1, 2 or 4, but was significantly lower on day 7 (day 2 vs. 7, 5°C, 102, p=0.03). Secondary containment provided significantly better percent recovery than primary containment, regardless of storage time (5°C data, p ≤ 0.008). The integrity of environmental swab samples containing Bacillus anthracis spores shipped in secondary containment was maintained when stored at −15°C or 5°C and processed within 4 days to yield the optimum percent recovery of spores. PMID:27213119

  19. Disinfection methods for spores of Bacillus atrophaeus, B. anthracis, Clostridium tetani, C. botulinum and C. difficile.

    PubMed

    Oie, Shigeharu; Obayashi, Akiko; Yamasaki, Hirofumi; Furukawa, Hiroyuki; Kenri, Tsuyoshi; Takahashi, Motohide; Kawamoto, Keiko; Makino, Sou-ichi

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate disinfection methods for environments contaminated with bioterrorism-associated microorganism (Bacillus anthracis), we performed the following experiments. First, the sporicidal effects of sodium hypochlorite on spores of five bacterial species were evaluated. Bacillus atrophaeus was the most resistant to hypochlorite, followed in order by B. anthracis, Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, and Clostridium difficile. Subsequently, using B. atrophaeus spores that were the most resistant to hypochlorite, the sporicidal effects of hypochlorite at lower pH by adding vinegar were evaluated. Hypochlorite containing vinegar had far more marked sporicidal effects than hypochlorite alone. Cleaning with 0.5% (5000 ppm) hypochlorite containing vinegar inactivated B. atrophaeus spores attached to vinyl chloride and plywood plates within 15 s, while that not containing vinegar did not inactivate spores attached to cement or plywood plates even after 1 h. Therefore, the surfaces of cement or plywood plates were covered with gauze soaked in 0.5% hypochlorite containing vinegar, and the sporicidal effects were evaluated. B. atrophaeus spores attached to plywood plates were not inactivated even after 6 h, but those attached to cement plates were inactivated within 5 min. On the other hand, covering the surfaces of plywood plates with gauze soaked in 0.3% peracetic acid and gauze soaked in 2% glutaral inactivated B. atrophaeus spores within 5 min and 6 h, respectively. These results suggest that hypochlorite containing vinegar is effective for disinfecting vinyl chloride, tile, and cement plates contaminated with B. anthracis, and peracetic acid is effective for disinfecting plywood plates contaminated with such microorganism. PMID:21804226

  20. Sensing and inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne by polymer-bromine complexes.

    PubMed

    D'Angelo, Paola A; Bromberg, Lev; Hatton, T Alan; Wilusz, Eugene

    2016-08-01

    We report on the performance of brominated poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PVP-Br), brominated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-Br), and brominated poly(allylamine-co-4-aminopyridine) (PAAm-APy-Br) for their ability to decontaminate Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in solution while also allowing for the sensing of the spores. The polymers were brominated by bromine using carbon tetrachloride or potassium tribromide as solvents, with bromine loadings ranging from 1.6 to 4.2 mEq/g of polymer. B. anthracis Sterne spores were exposed to increasing concentrations of brominated polymers for 5 min, while the kinetics of the sporicidal activity was assessed. All brominated polymers demonstrated spore log-kills of 8 within 5 min of exposure at 12 mg/mL aqueous polymer concentration. Sensing of spores was accomplished by measuring the release of dipicolinic acid (DPA) from the spore using time-resolved fluorescence. Parent, non-brominated polymers did not cause any release of DPA and the spores remained viable. In contrast, spores exposed to the brominated polymers were inactivated and the release of DPA was observed within minutes of exposure. Also, this release of DPA continued for a long time after spore inactivation as in a controlled release process. The DPA release was more pronounced for spores exposed to brominated PVP and brominated PEG-8000 compared to brominated PAAm-APy and brominated PEG-400. Using time-resolved fluorescence, we detected as low as 2500 B. anthracis spores, with PEG-8000 being more sensitive to low spore numbers. Our results suggest that the brominated polymers may be used effectively as decontamination agents against bacterial spores while also providing the sensing capability. PMID:27087522

  1. Imaging B. anthracis heme catabolism in mice using the IFP1.4 gene reporter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Banghe; Robinson, Holly; Wilganowski, Nathaniel; Nobles, Christopher L.; Sevick-Muraca, Eva; Maresso, Anthony

    2012-03-01

    B. anthracis is a gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium which likes all pathogenic bacteria, survive by sequestering heme from its host. To image B. anthracis heme catabolism in vivo, we stably transfect new red excitable fluorescent protein, IFP1.4, that requires the heme catabolism product biliverdin (BV). IFP1.4 reporter has favorable excitation and emission characteristics, which has an absorption peak at 685 nm and an emission peak at 708 nm. Therefore, IFP1.4 reporter can be imaged deeply into the tissue with less contamination from tissue autofluorescence. However, the excitation light "leakage" through optical filters can limit detection and sensitivity of IFP1.4 reporter due to the small Stoke's shift of IFP1.4 fluorescence. To minimize the excitation light leakage, an intensified CCD (ICCD) based infrared fluorescence imaging device was optimized using two band pass filters separated by a focus lens to increase the optical density at the excitation wavelength. In this study, a mouse model (DBA/J2) was first injected with B. anthracis bacteria expressing IFP1.4, 150 μl s.c., on the ventral side of the left thigh. Then mouse was given 250 μl of a 1mM BV solution via I.V. injection. Imaging was conducted as a function of time after infection under light euthanasia, excised tissues were imaged and IFP1.4 fluorescence correlated with standard culture measurements of colony forming units (CFU). The work demonstrates the use of IFP1.4 as a reporter of bacterial utilization of host heme and may provide an important tool for understanding the pathogenesis of bacterial infection and developing new anti-bacterial therapeutics.

  2. Structure of aldose reductase from Giardia lamblia

    PubMed Central

    Ferrell, M.; Abendroth, J.; Zhang, Y.; Sankaran, B.; Edwards, T. E.; Staker, B. L.; Van Voorhis, W. C.; Stewart, L. J.; Myler, P. J.

    2011-01-01

    Giardia lamblia is an anaerobic aerotolerant eukaryotic parasite of the intestines. It is believed to have diverged early from eukarya during evolution and is thus lacking in many of the typical eukaryotic organelles and biochemical pathways. Most conspicuously, mitochondria and the associated machinery of oxidative phosphorylation are absent; instead, energy is derived from substrate-level phosphorylation. Here, the 1.75 Å resolution crystal structure of G. lamblia aldose reductase heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli is reported. As in other oxidoreductases, G. lamblia aldose reductase adopts a TIM-barrel conformation with the NADP+-binding site located within the eight β-strands of the interior. PMID:21904059

  3. Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency: importance of early diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Fattal-Valevski, A; Bassan, H; Korman, S H; Lerman-Sagie, T; Gutman, A; Harel, S

    2000-08-01

    Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency is the most common inborn error of folate metabolism and should be suspected when homocystinuria is combined with hypomethioninemia. The main clinical findings are neurologic signs such as severe developmental delay, marked hypotonia, seizures, microcephaly, apnea, and coma. Most patients present in early life. The infantile form is severe, with rapid deterioration leading to death usually within 1 year. Treatment with betaine has been shown to be efficient in lowering homocysteine concentrations and returning methionine to normal, but the clinical response is variable. We report two brothers with methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency: the first was undiagnosed and died at 8 months of age from neurologic deterioration and apnea, while his brother, who was treated with betaine from the age of 4 months, is now 3 years old and has developmental delay. PMID:10961793

  4. CXCL10 Acts as a Bifunctional Antimicrobial Molecule against Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Margulieux, Katie R.; Fox, Jay W.; Nakamoto, Robert K.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacillus anthracis is killed by the interferon-inducible, ELR(−) CXC chemokine CXCL10. Previous studies showed that disruption of the gene encoding FtsX, a conserved membrane component of the ATP-binding cassette transporter-like complex FtsE/X, resulted in resistance to CXCL10. FtsX exhibits some sequence similarity to the mammalian CXCL10 receptor, CXCR3, suggesting that the CXCL10 N-terminal region that interacts with CXCR3 may also interact with FtsX. A C-terminal truncated CXCL10 was tested to determine if the FtsX-dependent antimicrobial activity is associated with the CXCR3-interacting N terminus. The truncated CXCL10 exhibited antimicrobial activity against the B. anthracis parent strain but not the ΔftsX mutant, which supports a key role for the CXCL10 N terminus. Mutations in FtsE, the conserved ATP-binding protein of the FtsE/X complex, resulted in resistance to both CXCL10 and truncated CXCL10, indicating that both FtsX and FtsE are important. Higher concentrations of CXCL10 overcame the resistance of the ΔftsX mutant to CXCL10, suggesting an FtsX-independent killing mechanism, likely involving its C-terminal α-helix, which resembles a cationic antimicrobial peptide. Membrane depolarization studies revealed that CXCL10 disrupted membranes of the B. anthracis parent strain and the ΔftsX mutant, but only the parent strain underwent depolarization with truncated CXCL10. These findings suggest that CXCL10 is a bifunctional molecule that kills B. anthracis by two mechanisms. FtsE/X-dependent killing is mediated through an N-terminal portion of CXCL10 and is not reliant upon the C-terminal α-helix. The FtsE/X-independent mechanism involves membrane depolarization by CXCL10, likely because of its α-helix. These findings present a new paradigm for understanding mechanisms by which CXCL10 and related chemokines kill bacteria. PMID:27165799

  5. Bacillus anthracis pXO1 plasmid encodes a putative membrane-bound bacteriocin

    PubMed Central

    Perlińska, Agata

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary advantages over cousin cells in bacterial pathogens may decide about the success of a specific cell in its environment. Bacteria use a plethora of methods to defend against other cells and many devices to attack their opponents when competing for resources. Bacteriocins are antibacterial proteins that are used to eliminate competition. We report the discovery of a putative membrane-bound bacteriocin encoded by the Bacillus anthracis pathogenic pXO1 plasmid. We analyze the genomic structure of the bacteriocin operon. The proposed mechanisms of action predestine this operon as a potent competitive advantage over cohabitants of the same niche. PMID:25426338

  6. Biochip for the Detection of Bacillus anthracis Lethal Factor and Therapeutic Agents against Anthrax Toxins.

    PubMed

    Silin, Vitalii; Kasianowicz, John J; Michelman-Ribeiro, Ariel; Panchal, Rekha G; Bavari, Sina; Robertson, Joseph W F

    2016-01-01

    Tethered lipid bilayer membranes (tBLMs) have been used in many applications, including biosensing and membrane protein structure studies. This report describes a biosensor for anthrax toxins that was fabricated through the self-assembly of a tBLM with B. anthracis protective antigen ion channels that are both the recognition element and electrochemical transducer. We characterize the sensor and its properties with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance. The sensor shows a sensitivity similar to ELISA and can also be used to rapidly screen for molecules that bind to the toxins and potentially inhibit their lethal effects. PMID:27348008

  7. Genome sequence of Bacillus anthracis attenuated vaccine strain A16R used for human in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiankai; Qi, Xinpeng; Zhu, Li; Wang, Dongshu; Gao, Zhiqi; Deng, Haijun; Wu, Weili; Hu, Tao; Chen, Chen; Chen, Weijun; Wang, Hengliang

    2015-09-20

    An attenuated Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain for human use, A16R, was obtained in China after ultraviolet radiation treatment and continuous subculture of the wild-type strain A16. A16R can synthesize the exotoxin, but without a capsule. We sequenced and annotated the A16R genome to encourage the use of this strain. The genome sequencing of the wild-type strain A16 is underway and the genomic comparison between the two strains will help to illustrate the attenuating mechanism of the A16R vaccine strain. PMID:26116813

  8. Physical Sequestration of Bacillus anthracis in the Pulmonary Capillaries in Terminal Infection.

    PubMed

    Jouvion, Gregory; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Khun, Huot; Moya-Nilges, Marie; Roux, Pascal; Latroche, Claire; Tournier, Jean-Nicolas; Huerre, Michel; Chrétien, Fabrice; Goossens, Pierre L

    2016-07-15

    The lung is the terminal target of Bacillus anthracis before death, whatever the route of infection (cutaneous, inhalational, or digestive). During a cutaneous infection in absence of toxins, we observed encapsulated bacteria colonizing the alveolar capillary network, bacteria and hemorrhages in alveolar and bronchiolar spaces, and hypoxic foci in the lung (endothelial cells) and brain (neurons and neuropil). Circulating encapsulated bacteria were as chains of approximately 13 µm in length. Bacteria of such size were immediately trapped within the lung capillary network, but bacteria of shorter length were not. Controlling lung-targeted pathology would be beneficial for anthrax treatment. PMID:26977051

  9. Characterization of erythrose reductases from filamentous fungi.

    PubMed

    Jovanović, Birgit; Mach, Robert L; Mach-Aigner, Astrid R

    2013-01-01

    Proteins with putative erythrose reductase activity have been identified in the filamentous fungi Trichoderma reesei, Aspergillus niger, and Fusarium graminearum by in silico analysis. The proteins found in T. reesei and A. niger had earlier been characterized as glycerol dehydrogenase and aldehyde reductase, respectively. Corresponding genes from all three fungi were cloned, heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified. Subsequently, they were used to establish optimal enzyme assay conditions. All three enzymes strictly require NADPH as cofactor, whereas with NADH no activity could be observed. The enzymatic characterization of the three enzymes using ten substrates revealed high substrate specificity and activity with D-erythrose and D-threose. The enzymes from T. reesei and A. niger herein showed comparable activities, whereas the one from F. graminearum reached only about a tenth of it for all tested substrates. In order to proof in vivo the proposed enzyme function, we overexpressed the erythrose reductase-encoding gene in T. reesei. An increased production of erythritol by the recombinant strain compared to the parental strain could be detected. PMID:23924507

  10. Role of the Dinitrogenase Reductase Arginine 101 Residue in Dinitrogenase Reductase ADP-Ribosyltransferase Binding, NAD Binding, and Cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yan; Ludden, Paul W.

    2001-01-01

    Dinitrogenase reductase is posttranslationally regulated by dinitrogenase reductase ADP-ribosyltransferase (DRAT) via ADP-ribosylation of the arginine 101 residue in some bacteria. Rhodospirillum rubrum strains in which the arginine 101 of dinitrogenase reductase was replaced by tyrosine, phenylalanine, or leucine were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis of the nifH gene. The strain containing the R101F form of dinitrogenase reductase retains 91%, the strain containing the R101Y form retains 72%, and the strain containing the R101L form retains only 28% of in vivo nitrogenase activity of the strain containing the dinitrogenase reductase with arginine at position 101. In vivo acetylene reduction assays, immunoblotting with anti-dinitrogenase reductase antibody, and [adenylate-32P]NAD labeling experiments showed that no switch-off of nitrogenase activity occurred in any of the three mutants and no ADP-ribosylation of altered dinitrogenase reductases occurred either in vivo or in vitro. Altered dinitrogenase reductases from strains UR629 (R101Y) and UR630 (R101F) were purified to homogeneity. The R101F and R101Y forms of dinitrogenase reductase were able to form a complex with DRAT that could be chemically cross-linked by 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide. The R101F form of dinitrogenase reductase and DRAT together were not able to cleave NAD. This suggests that arginine 101 is not critical for the binding of DRAT to dinitrogenase reductase but that the availability of arginine 101 is important for NAD cleavage. Both DRAT and dinitrogenase reductase can be labeled by [carbonyl-14C]NAD individually upon UV irradiation, but most 14C label is incorporated into DRAT when both proteins are present. The ability of R101F dinitrogenase reductase to be labeled by [carbonyl-14C]NAD suggested that Arg 101 is not absolutely required for NAD binding. PMID:11114923

  11. Bacillus anthracis endospores regulate ornithine decarboxylase and inducible nitric oxide synthase through ERK1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases.

    PubMed

    Porasuphatana, Supatra; Cao, Guan-Liang; Tsai, Pei; Tavakkoli, Fatemeh; Huwar, Theresa; Baillie, Les; Cross, Alan S; Shapiro, Paul; Rosen, Gerald M

    2010-12-01

    Interactions between Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) and host cells are of particular interest given the implications of anthrax as a biological weapon. Inhaled B. anthracis endospores encounter alveolar macrophages as the first line of defense in the innate immune response. Yet, the consequences of this interaction remain unclear. We have demonstrated that B. anthracis uses arginase, inherent in the endospores, to reduce the ability of macrophages to produce nitric oxide ((•)NO) from inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) by competing for L-arginine, producing L-ornithine at the expense of (•)NO. In the current study, we used genetically engineered B. anthracis endospores to evaluate the contribution of germination and the lethal toxin (LT) in mediating signaling pathways responsible for the induction of NOS2 and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), which is the rate-limiting enzyme in the conversion of L-ornithine into polyamines. We found that induction of NOS2 and ODC expression in macrophages exposed to B. anthracis occurs through the activation of p38 and ERK1/2 MAP kinases, respectively. Optimal induction of NOS2 was observed following exposure to germination-competent endospores, whereas ODC induction occurred irrespective of the endospores' germination capabilities and was more prominent in macrophages exposed to endospores lacking LT. Our findings suggest that activation of kinase signaling cascades that determine macrophage defense responses against B. anthracis infection occurs through distinct mechanisms. PMID:20440620

  12. Genomic analysis of three African strains of Bacillus anthracis demonstrates that they are part of the clonal expansion of an exclusively pathogenic bacterium.

    PubMed

    Rouli, L; MBengue, M; Robert, C; Ndiaye, M; La Scola, B; Raoult, D

    2014-11-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and is classified as a 'Category A' biological weapon. Six complete genomes of B. anthracis (A0248, Ames, Ames Ancestor, CDC684, H0491, and Sterne) are currently available. In this report, we add three African strain genomes: Sen2Col2, Sen3 and Gmb1. To study the pan-genome of B. anthracis, we used bioinformatics tools, such as Cluster of Orthologous Groups, and performed phylogenetic analysis. We found that the three African strains contained the pX01 and pX02 plasmids, the nonsense mutation in the plcR gene and the four known prophages. These strains are most similar to the CDC684 strain and belong to the A cluster. We estimated that the B. anthracis pan-genome has 2893 core genes (99% of the genome size) and 85 accessory genes. We validated the hypothesis that B. anthracis has a closed pan-genome and found that the three African strains carry the two plasmids associated with bacterial virulence. The pan-genome nature of B. anthracis confirms its lack of exchange (similar to Clostridium tetani) and supports its exclusively pathogenic role, despite its survival in the environment. Moreover, thanks to the study of the core content single nucleotide polymorphisms, we can see that our three African strains diverged very recently from the other B. anthracis strains. PMID:25566394

  13. Ultrasensitive electrochemical immunoassay for surface array protein, a Bacillus anthracis biomarker using Au-Pd nanocrystals loaded on boron-nitride nanosheets as catalytic labels.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Mukesh Kumar; Narayanan, J; Pardasani, Deepak; Srivastava, Divesh N; Upadhyay, Sanjay; Goel, Ajay Kumar

    2016-06-15

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a well known bioterrorism agent. The determination of surface array protein (Sap), a unique biomarker for B. anthracis can offer an opportunity for specific detection of B. anthracis in culture broth. In this study, we designed a new catalytic bionanolabel and fabricated a novel electrochemical immunosensor for ultrasensitive detection of B. anthracis Sap antigen. Bimetallic gold-palladium nanoparticles were in-situ grown on poly (diallyldimethylammonium chloride) functionalized boron nitride nanosheets (Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs) and conjugated with the mouse anti-B. anthracis Sap antibodies (Ab2); named Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2. The resulting Au-Pd NPs@BNNSs/Ab2 bionanolabel demonstrated high catalytic activity towards reduction of 4-nitrophenol. The sensitivity of the electrochemical immunosensor along with redox cycling of 4-aminophenol to 4-quinoneimine was improved to a great extent. Under optimal conditions, the proposed immunosensor exhibited a wide working range from 5 pg/mL to 100 ng/mL with a minimum detection limit of 1 pg/mL B. anthracis Sap antigen. The practical applicability of the immunosensor was demonstrated by specific detection of Sap secreted by the B. anthracis in culture broth just after 1h of growth. These labels open a new direction for the ultrasensitive detection of different biological warfare agents and their markers in different matrices. PMID:26874112

  14. The Role of DNA Restriction-Modification Systems in the Biology of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2016-01-01

    Restriction–modification (R–M) systems are widespread among prokaryotes and, depending on their type, may be viewed as selfish genetic elements that persist as toxin–antitoxin modules, or as cellular defense systems against phage infection that confer a selective advantage to the host bacterium. Studies in the last decade have made it amply clear that these two options do not exhaust the list of possible biological roles for R–M systems. Their presence in a cell may also have a bearing on other processes such as horizontal gene transfer and gene regulation. From genome sequencing and experimental data, we know that Bacillus anthracis encodes at least three methylation-dependent (typeIV) restriction endonucleases (RE), and an orphan DNA methyltransferase. In this article, we first present an outline of our current knowledge of R–M systems in B. anthracis. Based on available DNA sequence data, and on our current understanding of the functions of similar genes in other systems, we conclude with hypotheses on the possible roles of the three REs and the orphan DNA methyltransferase. PMID:26834729

  15. Forensic Application of Microbiological Culture Analysis To Identify Mail Intentionally Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores†

    PubMed Central

    Beecher, Douglas J.

    2006-01-01

    The discovery of a letter intentionally filled with dried Bacillus anthracis spores in the office of a United States senator prompted the collection and quarantine of all mail in congressional buildings. This mail was subsequently searched for additional intentionally contaminated letters. A microbiological sampling strategy was used to locate heavy contamination within the 642 separate plastic bags containing the mail. Swab sampling identified 20 bags for manual and visual examination. Air sampling within the 20 bags indicated that one bag was orders of magnitude more contaminated than all the others. This bag contained a letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy that had been loaded with dried B. anthracis spores. Microbiological sampling of compartmentalized batches of mail proved to be efficient and relatively safe. Efficiency was increased by inoculating culture media in the hot zone rather than transferring swab samples to a laboratory for inoculation. All mail sampling was complete within 4 days with minimal contamination of the sampling environment or personnel. However, physically handling the intentionally contaminated letter proved to be exceptionally hazardous, as did sorting of cross-contaminated mail, which resulted in generation of hazardous aerosol and extensive contamination of protective clothing. Nearly 8 × 106 CFU was removed from the most highly cross-contaminated piece of mail found. Tracking data indicated that this and other heavily contaminated envelopes had been processed through the same mail sorting equipment as, and within 1 s of, two intentionally contaminated letters. PMID:16885280

  16. Identification of the Immunogenic Spore and Vegetative Proteins of Bacillus anthracis Vaccine Strain A16R

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Erling; Wang, Xuefang; Zhu, Li; Wang, Hengliang

    2013-01-01

    Immunoproteomics was used to screen the immunogenic spore and vegetative proteins of Bacillus anthracis vaccine strain A16R. The spore and vegetative proteins were separated by 2D gel electrophoresis and transferred to polyvinylidene difluoride membranes, and then western blotting was performed with rabbit immune serum against B.anthracis live spores. Immunogenic spots were cut and digested by trypsin. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry was performed to identify the proteins. As a result, 11 and 45 immunogenic proteins were identified in the spores and vegetative cells, respectively; 26 of which have not been reported previously. To verify their immunogenicity, 12 of the identified proteins were selected to be expressed, and the immune sera from the mice vaccinated by the 12 expressed proteins, except BA0887, had a specific western blot band with the A16R whole cellular lytic proteins. Some of these immunogenic proteins might be used as novel vaccine candidates themselves or for enhancing the protective efficacy of a protective-antigen-based vaccine. PMID:23516421

  17. Two Putative Polysaccharide Deacetylases Are Required for Osmotic Stability and Cell Shape Maintenance in Bacillus anthracis*

    PubMed Central

    Arnaouteli, Sofia; Giastas, Petros; Andreou, Athina; Tzanodaskalaki, Mary; Aldridge, Christine; Tzartos, Socrates J.; Vollmer, Waldemar; Eliopoulos, Elias; Bouriotis, Vassilis

    2015-01-01

    Membrane-anchored lipoproteins have a broad range of functions and play key roles in several cellular processes in Gram-positive bacteria. BA0330 and BA0331 are the only lipoproteins among the 11 known or putative polysaccharide deacetylases of Bacillus anthracis. We found that both lipoproteins exhibit unique characteristics. BA0330 and BA0331 interact with peptidoglycan, and BA0330 is important for the adaptation of the bacterium to grow in the presence of a high concentration of salt, whereas BA0331 contributes to the maintenance of a uniform cell shape. They appear not to alter the peptidoglycan structure and do not contribute to lysozyme resistance. The high resolution x-ray structure of BA0330 revealed a C-terminal domain with the typical fold of a carbohydrate esterase 4 and an N-terminal domain unique for this family, composed of a two-layered (4 + 3) β-sandwich with structural similarity to fibronectin type 3 domains. Our data suggest that BA0330 and BA0331 have a structural role in stabilizing the cell wall of B. anthracis. PMID:25825488

  18. Improved Proteomic Analysis Following Trichloroacetic Acid Extraction of Bacillus anthracis Spore Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Kaiser, Brooke LD; Wunschel, David S.; Sydor, Michael A.; Warner, Marvin G.; Wahl, Karen L.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-08-07

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Proteomic analysis is dependent upon efficient extraction of proteins from bacterial samples without introducing bias toward extraction of particular protein classes. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrich for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple and does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter. Our data reveal that for particularly challenging samples, such as B. anthracis Sterne spores, trichloroacetic acid extraction improved the number of proteins identified within a sample compared to bead beating (714 vs 660, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 103 known spore specific proteins whereas bead beating resulted in 49 unique proteins. Analysis of C. botulinum samples grown to 5 days, composed of vegetative biomass and spores, showed a similar trend with improved protein yields and identification using our method compared to bead beating. Interestingly, easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells, were equally as effectively processed via TCA and bead beating, but TCA extraction remains the easiest and most cost effective option. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may provide additional insight to the protein biology of the bacteria being studied.

  19. Rapid detection and identification of Bacillus anthracis in food using pyrosequencing technology.

    PubMed

    Amoako, Kingsley K; Janzen, Timothy W; Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Thomas, Matthew C; Goji, Noriko

    2013-08-01

    The development of advanced methodologies for the detection of Bacillus anthracis has been evolving rapidly since the release of the anthrax spores in the mail in 2001. Recent advances in detection and identification techniques could prove to be an essential component in the defense against biological attacks. Sequence based such as pyrosequencing, which has the capability to determine short DNA stretches in real-time using biotinylated PCR amplicons, has potential biodefense applications. Using markers from the virulence plasmids (pXO1 and pXO2) and chromosomal regions, we have demonstrated the power of this technology in the rapid, specific and sensitive detection of B. anthracis spores in food matrices including milk, juice, bottled water, and processed meat. The combined use of immunomagnetic separation and pyrosequencing showed positive detection when liquid foods (bottled water, milk, juice), and processed meat were experimentally inoculated with 6CFU/mL and 6CFU/g, respectively, without an enrichment step. Pyrosequencing is completed in about 60min (following PCR amplification) and yields accurate and reliable results with an added layer of confidence. The entire assay (from sample preparation to sequencing information) can be completed in about 7.5h. A typical run on food samples yielded 67-80bp reads with 94-100% identity to the expected sequence. This sequence based approach is a novel application for the detection of anthrax spores in food with potential application in foodborne bioterrorism response and biodefense involving the use of anthrax spores. PMID:23810955

  20. Phylogenetic discovery bias in Bacillus anthracis using single-nucleotide polymorphisms from whole-genome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Talima; Busch, Joseph D.; Ravel, Jacques; Read, Timothy D.; Rhoton, Shane D.; U'Ren, Jana M.; Simonson, Tatum S.; Kachur, Sergey M.; Leadem, Rebecca R.; Cardon, Michelle L.; Van Ert, Matthew N.; Huynh, Lynn Y.; Fraser, Claire M.; Keim, Paul

    2004-01-01

    Phylogenetic reconstruction using molecular data is often subject to homoplasy, leading to inaccurate conclusions about phylogenetic relationships among operational taxonomic units. Compared with other molecular markers, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) exhibit extremely low mutation rates, making them rare in recently emerged pathogens, but they are less prone to homoplasy and thus extremely valuable for phylogenetic analyses. Despite their phylogenetic potential, ascertainment bias occurs when SNP characters are discovered through biased taxonomic sampling; by using whole-genome comparisons of five diverse strains of Bacillus anthracis to facilitate SNP discovery, we show that only polymorphisms lying along the evolutionary pathway between reference strains will be observed. We illustrate this in theoretical and simulated data sets in which complex phylogenetic topologies are reduced to linear evolutionary models. Using a set of 990 SNP markers, we also show how divergent branches in our topologies collapse to single points but provide accurate information on internodal distances and points of origin for ancestral clades. These data allowed us to determine the ancestral root of B. anthracis, showing that it lies closer to a newly described “C” branch than to either of two previously described “A” or “B” branches. In addition, subclade rooting of the C branch revealed unequal evolutionary rates that seem to be correlated with ecological parameters and strain attributes. Our use of nonhomoplastic whole-genome SNP characters allows branch points and clade membership to be estimated with great precision, providing greater insight into epidemiological, ecological, and forensic questions. PMID:15347815

  1. Laboratory studies on surface sampling of Bacillus anthracis contamination: summary, gaps, and recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Piepel, Gregory F.; Amidan, Brett G.; Hu, Rebecca

    2012-12-01

    This article summarizes previous laboratory studies to characterize the performance of methods for collecting, storing/transporting, processing, and analyzing samples from surfaces contaminated by Bacillus anthracis or related surrogates. The focus is on plate culture and count estimates of surface contamination for swab, wipe, and vacuum samples of porous and nonporous surfaces. Summaries of the previous studies and their results were assessed to identify gaps in information needed as inputs to calculate key parameters critical to risk management in biothreat incidents. One key parameter is the number of samples needed to make characterization or clearance decisions with specified statistical confidence. Other key parameters include the ability to calculate, following contamination incidents, the 1) estimates of Bacillus anthracis contamination, as well as the bias and uncertainties in the estimates, and 2) confidence in characterization and clearance decisions for contaminated or decontaminated buildings. Gaps in knowledge and understanding identified during the summary of the studies are discussed. Recommendations are given for future evaluations of data from existing studies and possible new studies.

  2. Molecular epidemiology of the Bacillus anthracis isolates collected throughout Turkey from 1983 to 2011.

    PubMed

    Durmaz, R; Doganay, M; Sahin, M; Percin, D; Karahocagil, M K; Kayabas, U; Otlu, B; Karagoz, A; Buyuk, F; Celebi, O; Ozturk, Z; Ertek, M

    2012-10-01

    The main perspective of this study was to determine cross-transmissions amongst anthrax cases and provide detailed information regarding the genotypes of Bacillus anthracis isolates circulating in Turkey. A total of 251 B. anthracis isolates were obtained from human (93 isolates), animal (155 isolates), and environmental (three isolates) samples in various provinces of Turkey. All isolates were susceptible to quinolones, vancomycin, tigecycline, and linezolid, but not to ceftriaxone. Excluding human isolates, one of the animal isolates was found to be resistant to penicillin, erythromycin, and doxycycline. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeats analysis including 8 loci (MLVA8) revealed 12 genotypes, in which genotype 43 was observed at the highest frequency (41.8 %), followed by genotype 35 (25.5 %) and genotype 27 (10.4 %). Major subtype A3.a was the predominant cluster, including 86.8 % of the isolates. The MLVA25 analysis for the 251 isolates yielded 62 different genotypes, 33 of which had only one isolate, while the remaining 29 genotypes had 2 to 43 isolates, with a total of 218 isolates (86.9 %). These findings indicate very high cross-transmission rates within anthrax cases in Turkey. The genotypes diagnosed in Turkey are populated in the A major cluster. Penicillin prescribed as the first-choice antibiotic for the treatment of anthrax is still effective. PMID:22576652

  3. Two Putative Polysaccharide Deacetylases Are Required for Osmotic Stability and Cell Shape Maintenance in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Arnaouteli, Sofia; Giastas, Petros; Andreou, Athina; Tzanodaskalaki, Mary; Aldridge, Christine; Tzartos, Socrates J; Vollmer, Waldemar; Eliopoulos, Elias; Bouriotis, Vassilis

    2015-05-22

    Membrane-anchored lipoproteins have a broad range of functions and play key roles in several cellular processes in Gram-positive bacteria. BA0330 and BA0331 are the only lipoproteins among the 11 known or putative polysaccharide deacetylases of Bacillus anthracis. We found that both lipoproteins exhibit unique characteristics. BA0330 and BA0331 interact with peptidoglycan, and BA0330 is important for the adaptation of the bacterium to grow in the presence of a high concentration of salt, whereas BA0331 contributes to the maintenance of a uniform cell shape. They appear not to alter the peptidoglycan structure and do not contribute to lysozyme resistance. The high resolution x-ray structure of BA0330 revealed a C-terminal domain with the typical fold of a carbohydrate esterase 4 and an N-terminal domain unique for this family, composed of a two-layered (4 + 3) β-sandwich with structural similarity to fibronectin type 3 domains. Our data suggest that BA0330 and BA0331 have a structural role in stabilizing the cell wall of B. anthracis. PMID:25825488

  4. Glycosylation of BclA Glycoprotein from Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis Exosporium Is Domain-specific.

    PubMed

    Maes, Emmanuel; Krzewinski, Frederic; Garenaux, Estelle; Lequette, Yannick; Coddeville, Bernadette; Trivelli, Xavier; Ronse, Annette; Faille, Christine; Guerardel, Yann

    2016-04-29

    The spores of the Bacillus cereus group (B. cereus, Bacillus anthracis, and Bacillus thuringiensis) are surrounded by a paracrystalline flexible yet resistant layer called exosporium that plays a major role in spore adhesion and virulence. The major constituent of its hairlike surface, the trimerized glycoprotein BclA, is attached to the basal layer through an N-terminal domain. It is then followed by a repetitive collagen-like neck bearing a globular head (C-terminal domain) that promotes glycoprotein trimerization. The collagen-like region of B. anthracis is known to be densely substituted by unusual O-glycans that may be used for developing species-specific diagnostics of B. anthracis spores and thus targeted therapeutic interventions. In the present study, we have explored the species and domain specificity of BclA glycosylation within the B. cereus group. First, we have established that the collagen-like regions of both B. anthracis and B. cereus are similarly substituted by short O-glycans that bear the species-specific deoxyhexose residues anthrose and the newly observed cereose, respectively. Second we have discovered that the C-terminal globular domains of BclA from both species are substituted by polysaccharide-like O-linked glycans whose structures are also species-specific. The presence of large carbohydrate polymers covering the surface of Bacillus spores may have a profound impact on the way that spores regulate their interactions with biotic and abiotic surfaces and represents potential new diagnostic targets. PMID:26921321

  5. Technical Note: Simple, scalable, and sensitive protocol for retrieving Bacillus anthracis (and other live bacteria) from heroin.

    PubMed

    Grass, Gregor; Ahrens, Bjoern; Schleenbecker, Uwe; Dobrzykowski, Linda; Wagner, Matthias; Krüger, Christian; Wölfel, Roman

    2016-02-01

    We describe a culture-based method suitable for isolating Bacillus anthracis and other live bacteria from heroin. This protocol was developed as a consequence of the bioforensic need to retrieve bacteria from batches of the drug associated with cases of injectional anthrax among heroin-consumers in Europe. This uncommon manifestation of infection with the notorious pathogen B. anthracis has resulted in 26 deaths between the years 2000 to 2013. Thus far, no life disease agent has been isolated from heroin during forensic investigations surrounding these incidences. Because of the conjectured very small number of disease-causing endospores in the contaminated drug it is likely that too few target sequences are available for molecular genetic analysis. Therefore, a direct culture-based approach was chosen here. Endospores of attenuated B. anthracis artificially spiked into heroin were successfully retrieved at 84-98% recovery rates using a wash solution consisting of 0.5% Tween 20 in water. Using this approach, 82 samples of un-cut heroin originating from the German Federal Criminal Police Office's heroin analysis program seized during the period between 2000 and 2014 were tested and found to be surprisingly poor in retrievable bacteria. Notably, while no B. anthracis was isolated from the drug batches, other bacteria were successfully cultured. The resulting methodical protocol is therefore suitable for analyzing un-cut heroin which can be anticipated to comprise the original microbiota from the drug's original source without interference from contaminations introduced by cutting. PMID:26734987

  6. Macrophage-Derived Cell Lines Do Not Express Proinflammatory Cytokines after Exposure to Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Erwin, James L.; DaSilva, Luis M.; Bavari, Sina; Little, Stephen F.; Friedlander, Arthur M.; Chanh, Tran C.

    2001-01-01

    We present evidence that Bacillus anthracis lethal toxin (LT) suppresses rather than induces proinflammatory cytokine production in macrophages. Suppression is observed with extremely low levels of LT and involves inhibition of transcription of cytokine messenger RNA. Thus, LT may contribute to anthrax pathogenesis by suppressing the inflammatory response. PMID:11160016

  7. Effect of pH on the Electrophoretic Mobility of Spores of Bacillus anthracis and Its Surrogates in Aqueous Solutions

    EPA Science Inventory

    Electrophoretic mobility (EPM) of endospores of Bacillus anthracis and surrogates were measured in aqueous solution across a broad pH range and several ionic strengths. EPM values trended around phylogenetic clustering based on the 16S rRNA gene. Measurements reported here prov...

  8. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Blackburn, Jason K.; Odugbo, Moses Ode; Van Ert, Matthew; O’Shea, Bob; Mullins, Jocelyn; Perrenten, Vincent; Maho, Angaya; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2015-01-01

    Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25) genetic typing system. Nigerian B. anthracis isolates had identical MLVA genotypes and could only be resolved by measuring highly mutable single nucleotide repeats (SNRs). The Nigerian MLVA genotype was identical or highly genetically similar to those in the neighboring countries, confirming the strains belong to this unique West African lineage. Interestingly, sequence data from a Nigerian isolate shares the anthrose deficient genotypes previously described for strains in this region, which may be associated with vaccine evasion. Strains in this study were isolated over six decades, indicating a high level of temporal strain stability regionally. Ecological niche models were used to predict the geographic distribution of the pathogen for all three countries. We describe a west-east habitat corridor through northern Nigeria extending into Chad and Cameroon. Ecological niche models and genetic results show B. anthracis to be ecologically established in Nigeria. These findings expand our understanding of the global B. anthracis population structure and can guide regional anthrax surveillance and control planning. PMID:26291625

  9. Pilot-scale crossflow-microfiltration and pasturization to remove spores of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) from milk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    HTST pasteurization of milk is generally ineffective against spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis (BA) but is lethal to its vegetative cells. Crossflow microfiltration (MF), using ceramic membranes with a pore diameter of 1.4 um, has been shown to physically remove somatic cells, vegeta...

  10. RAZOR EX Anthrax Air Detection System for detection of Bacillus anthracis spores from aerosol collection samples: collaborative study.

    PubMed

    Hadfield, Ted; Ryan, Valorie; Spaulding, Usha K; Clemens, Kristine M; Ota, Irene M; Brunelle, Sharon L

    2013-01-01

    The RAZOR EX Anthrax Air Detection System was validated in a collaborative study for the detection of Bacillus anthracis in aerosol collection buffer. Phosphate-buffered saline was charged with 1 mg/mL standardized dust to simulate an authentic aerosol collection sample. The dust-charged buffer was spiked with either B. anthracis Ames at 2000 spores/mL or Bacillus cereus at 20 000 spores/mL. Twelve collaborators participated in the study, with four collaborators at each of three sites. Each collaborator tested 12 replicates of B. anthracis in dust-charged buffer and 12 replicates of B. cereus in dust-charged buffer. All samples sets were randomized and blind-coded. All collaborators produced valid data sets (no collaborators displayed systematic errors) and there was only one invalid data point. After unblinding, the analysis revealed a cross-collaborator probability of detection (CPOD) of 1.00 (144 positive results from 144 replicates, 95% confidence interval 0.975-1.00) for the B. anthracis samples and a CPOD of 0.00 (0 positive results from 143 replicates, 95% confidence interval 0.00-0.0262) for the B. cereus samples. These data meet the requirements of AOAC Standard Method Performance Requirement 2010.003, developed by the Stakeholder Panel on Agent Detection Assays. PMID:23767365

  11. Evaluation of the rapid analyte measurement platform (RAMP) for the detection of Bacillus anthracis at a crime scene.

    PubMed

    Hoile, Rebecca; Yuen, Marion; James, Gregory; Gilbert, Gwendolyn L

    2007-08-24

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of the rapid analyte measurement platform (RAMP) for presumptive identification of Bacillus anthracis spores. Test samples consisted of serial dilutions of spore preparations of several Bacillus species, including B. anthracis, which were tested, using the RAMP Anthrax test cartridge, according to the manufacturer's instructions. The fluorescence labelled antibody-antigen complexes were detected in the portable reader after 15 min following sample addition. Dilutions of common environmental and household powders were also tested to identify possible false positive results. B. anthracis spores were identified reliably in test samples containing more than 6000 spores. The test kits were highly specific, showing no cross reactivity with other Bacillus species or any environmental powders tested. The RAMP system for detection of B. anthracis spores, from environmental samples, showed consistent results under a variety of analytical conditions, enabling the trained user to provide a rapid, accurate preliminary risk assessment of a suspected bioterrorism incident. PMID:17049777

  12. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Chunfang; Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita; Herold, Jennifer; Botto, Marina; Wetsel, Rick A.; Xu, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH) to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA) provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications. PMID:27304426

  13. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores by super-paramagnetic lateral-flow immunoassays based on "Road Closure".

    PubMed

    Wang, Dian-Bing; Tian, Bo; Zhang, Zhi-Ping; Wang, Xu-Ying; Fleming, Joy; Bi, Li-Jun; Yang, Rui-Fu; Zhang, Xian-En

    2015-05-15

    Detection of Bacillus anthracis in the field, whether as a natural infection or as a biothreat remains challenging. Here we have developed a new lateral-flow immunochromatographic assay (LFIA) for B. anthracis spore detection based on the fact that conjugates of B. anthracis spores and super-paramagnetic particles labeled with antibodies will block the pores of chromatographic strips and form retention lines on the strips, instead of the conventionally reported test lines and control lines in classic LFIA. As a result, this new LFIA can simultaneously realize optical, magnetic and naked-eye detection by analyzing signals from the retention lines. As few as 500-700 pure B. anthracis spores can be recognized with CV values less than 8.31% within 5 min of chromatography and a total time of 20 min. For powdery sample tests, this LFIA can endure interference from 25% (w/v) milk, 10% (w/v) baking soda and 10% (w/v) starch without any sample pre-treatment, and has a corresponding detection limit of 6×10(4) spores/g milk powder, 2×10(5) spores/g starch and 5×10(5) spores/g baking soda. Compared with existing methods, this new approach is very competitive in terms of sensitivity, specificity, cost and ease of operation. This proof-of-concept study can also be extended for detection of many other large-sized analytes. PMID:25294802

  14. Does Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Directly Depress Myocardial Function? A Review of Clinical Cases and Preclinical Studies

    PubMed Central

    Suffredini, Dante A.; Sampath-Kumar, Hanish; Li, Yan; Ohanjanian, Lernik; Remy, Kenneth E.; Cui, Xizhong; Eichacker, Peter Q.

    2015-01-01

    The US outbreak of B.anthracis infection in 2001 and subsequent cases in the US and Europe demonstrate that anthrax is a continuing risk for the developed world. While several bacterial components contribute to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis, production of lethal toxin (LT) is strongly associated with the development of hypotension and lethality. However, the mechanisms underlying the cardiovascular instability LT produces are unclear. Some evidence suggests that LT causes shock by impairing the peripheral vasculature, effects consistent with the substantial extravasation of fluid in patients dying with B. anthracis. Other data suggests that LT directly depresses myocardial function. However a clinical correlate for this latter possibility is less evident since functional studies and post-mortem examination in patients demonstrate absent or minimal cardiac changes. The purposes of this review were to first present clinical studies of cardiac functional and histologic pathology with B. anthracis infection and to then examine in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo preclinical studies of LT’s myocardial effects. Together, these data suggest that it is unclear whether that LT directly depresses cardiac function. This question is important for the clinical management and development of new therapies for anthrax and efforts should continue to be made to answer it. PMID:26703730

  15. Does Bacillus anthracis Lethal Toxin Directly Depress Myocardial Function? A Review of Clinical Cases and Preclinical Studies.

    PubMed

    Suffredini, Dante A; Sampath-Kumar, Hanish; Li, Yan; Ohanjanian, Lernik; Remy, Kenneth E; Cui, Xizhong; Eichacker, Peter Q

    2015-12-01

    The US outbreak of B.anthracis infection in 2001 and subsequent cases in the US and Europe demonstrate that anthrax is a continuing risk for the developed world. While several bacterial components contribute to the pathogenesis of B. anthracis, production of lethal toxin (LT) is strongly associated with the development of hypotension and lethality. However, the mechanisms underlying the cardiovascular instability LT produces are unclear. Some evidence suggests that LT causes shock by impairing the peripheral vasculature, effects consistent with the substantial extravasation of fluid in patients dying with B. anthracis. Other data suggests that LT directly depresses myocardial function. However a clinical correlate for this latter possibility is less evident since functional studies and post-mortem examination in patients demonstrate absent or minimal cardiac changes. The purposes of this review were to first present clinical studies of cardiac functional and histologic pathology with B. anthracis infection and to then examine in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo preclinical studies of LT's myocardial effects. Together, these data suggest that it is unclear whether that LT directly depresses cardiac function. This question is important for the clinical management and development of new therapies for anthrax and efforts should continue to be made to answer it. PMID:26703730

  16. Passive administration of monoclonal antibodies to Anthrolysin O prolong survival in mice lethally infected with Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Nakouzi, Antonio; Rivera, Johanna; Rest, Richard F; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    Background Bacillus anthracis has two major virulence factors: a tripartite toxin that produces lethal and edema toxins and a polyglutamic acid capsule. A recent report suggested that a toxin belonging to the cholesterol dependant cytolysin (CDC) family, anthrolysin O (ALO) was a new virulence factor for B. anthracis but subsequent studies have questioned its relevance in pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the immunogenicity of recombinant anthrolysin O (rALO) in mice. Results BALB/c mice immunized with rALO and boosted after two weeks, produce sera with strong Ab responses with a predominance of IgG1 and IgG2a. Five hybridomas to rALO were recovered representing the IgM, IgG1, and IgG2b isotypes. Passive administration of 3 of the five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to rALO prior to infection with lethal intravenous (i.v.) B. anthracis Sterne strain infection in mice was associated with enhanced average survival and a greater likelihood of surviving infection. A combination of two mAbs to ALO was more effective than either mAb separately. One mAb (64F8) slowed the toxicity of rALO for J774.16 macrophage-like cells. Conclusion Our results suggest that ALO contributes to the virulence of B. anthracis Sterne strain in this infection model and that Ab response to ALO may contribute to protection in certain circumstances. PMID:18811967

  17. Thermal inactivation of Bacillus anthracis Sterne in irradiated ground beef heated in a water bath or cooked on commercial grills

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The thermal stability of heat-shocked and non heat-shocked spores of the virulence-attenuated Sterne strain of Bacillus anthracis was evaluated at select temperatures in irradiated, raw ground beef (25% fat) heated in a water bath or cooked using two different commercial grills. For the former, 3-g ...

  18. Sporulation and germination gene expression analysis of Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores in skim milk under heat and different intervention techniques

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To investigate how B. anthracis Stene spores survive in milk under heat (80 degree C, 10 minutes), pasteurization (72 degree C, 15 seconds) and pasteurization plus microfiltration, the expression levels of genes that related to sporulation and germination were tested using real-time PCR assays. Tw...

  19. Reagent-free and portable detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a microfluidic incubator and smartphone microscope.

    PubMed

    Hutchison, Janine R; Erikson, Rebecca L; Sheen, Allison M; Ozanich, Richard M; Kelly, Ryan T

    2015-09-21

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and can be contracted by humans and herbivorous mammals by inhalation, ingestion, or cutaneous exposure to bacterial spores. Due to its stability and disease potential, B. anthracis is a recognized biothreat agent and robust detection and viability methods are needed to identify spores from unknown samples. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy (SPM) in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device (MID) to detect 50 to 5000 B. anthracis Sterne spores in 3 to 5 hours. This technique relies on optical monitoring of the conversion of the ∼1 μm spores to the filamentous vegetative cells that range from tens to hundreds of micrometers in length. This distinguishing filament formation is unique to B. anthracis as compared to other members of the Bacillus cereus group. A unique feature of this approach is that the sample integrity is maintained, and the vegetative biomass can be removed from the chip for secondary molecular analysis such as PCR. Compared with existing chip-based and rapid viability PCR methods, this new approach reduces assay time by almost half, and is highly sensitive, specific, and cost effective. PMID:26266749

  20. Reagent-free and portable detection of Bacillus anthracis spores using a microfluidic incubator and smartphone microscope

    SciTech Connect

    Hutchison, Janine R.; Erikson, Rebecca L.; Sheen, Allison M.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Kelly, Ryan T.

    2015-08-06

    Rapid, cost-effective bacterial detection systems are needed to respond to potential biothreat events. Here we report the use of smartphone-based microscopy in combination with a simple microfluidic incubation device to detect 5000 Bacillus anthracis spores in 3 hours. This field-deployable approach is compatible with real-time PCR for secondary confirmation.

  1. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanyu; Jenkins, Sarah A; Gu, Chunfang; Shree, Ankita; Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita; Herold, Jennifer; Botto, Marina; Wetsel, Rick A; Xu, Yi

    2016-06-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH) to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA) provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications. PMID:27304426

  2. Noncapsulated toxinogenic Bacillus anthracis presents a specific growth and dissemination pattern in naive and protective antigen-immune mice.

    PubMed

    Glomski, Ian J; Corre, Jean-Philippe; Mock, Michèle; Goossens, Pierre L

    2007-10-01

    Bacillus anthracis is a spore-forming bacterium that causes anthrax. B. anthracis has three major virulence factors, namely, lethal toxin, edema toxin, and a poly-gamma-D-glutamic acid capsule. The toxins modulate host immune responses, and the capsule inhibits phagocytosis. With the goal of increasing safety, decreasing security concerns, and taking advantage of mammalian genetic tools and reagents, mouse models of B. anthracis infection have been developed using attenuated bacteria that produce toxins but no capsule. While these models have been useful in studying both toxinogenic infections and antitoxin vaccine efficacy, we questioned whether eliminating the capsule changed bacterial growth and dissemination characteristics. Thus, the progression of infection by toxinogenic noncapsulated B. anthracis was analyzed and compared to that by previously reported nontoxinogenic capsulated bacteria, using in vivo bioluminescence imaging. The influence of immunization with the toxin component protective antigen (PA) on the development of infection was also examined. The toxinogenic noncapsulated bacteria were initially confined to the cutaneous site of infection. Bacteria then progressed to the draining lymph nodes and, finally, late in the infection, to the lungs, kidneys, and frequently the gastrointestinal tract. There was minimal colonization of the spleen. PA immunization reduced bacterial growth from the outset and limited infection to the site of inoculation. These in vivo observations show that dissemination by toxinogenic noncapsulated strains differs markedly from that by nontoxinogenic capsulated strains. Additionally, PA immunization counters bacterial growth and dissemination in vivo from the onset of infection. PMID:17635863

  3. Bacillus anthracis Diversity and Geographic Potential across Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad: Further Support of a Novel West African Lineage.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, Jason K; Odugbo, Moses Ode; Van Ert, Matthew; O'Shea, Bob; Mullins, Jocelyn; Perreten, Vincent; Perrenten, Vincent; Maho, Angaya; Hugh-Jones, Martin; Hadfield, Ted

    2015-01-01

    Zoonoses, diseases affecting both humans and animals, can exert tremendous pressures on human and veterinary health systems, particularly in resource limited countries. Anthrax is one such zoonosis of concern and is a disease requiring greater public health attention in Nigeria. Here we describe the genetic diversity of Bacillus anthracis in Nigeria and compare it to Chad, Cameroon and a broader global dataset based on the multiple locus variable number tandem repeat (MLVA-25) genetic typing system. Nigerian B. anthracis isolates had identical MLVA genotypes and could only be resolved by measuring highly mutable single nucleotide repeats (SNRs). The Nigerian MLVA genotype was identical or highly genetically similar to those in the neighboring countries, confirming the strains belong to this unique West African lineage. Interestingly, sequence data from a Nigerian isolate shares the anthrose deficient genotypes previously described for strains in this region, which may be associated with vaccine evasion. Strains in this study were isolated over six decades, indicating a high level of temporal strain stability regionally. Ecological niche models were used to predict the geographic distribution of the pathogen for all three countries. We describe a west-east habitat corridor through northern Nigeria extending into Chad and Cameroon. Ecological niche models and genetic results show B. anthracis to be ecologically established in Nigeria. These findings expand our understanding of the global B. anthracis population structure and can guide regional anthrax surveillance and control planning. PMID:26291625

  4. Identification, Functional Characterization and Regulon Prediction of a Novel Two Component System Comprising BAS0540-BAS0541 of Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Gopalani, Monisha; Kandari, Divya; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Two component systems (TCSs) can be envisaged as complex molecular devices that help the bacteria to sense its environment and respond aptly. 41 TCSs are predicted in Bacillus anthracis, a potential bioterrorism agent, of which only four have been studied so far. Thus, the intricate signaling network contributed by TCSs remains largely unmapped in B. anthracis and needs comprehensive exploration. In this study, we functionally characterized one such system composed of BAS0540 (Response regulator) and BAS0541 (Histidine kinase). BAS0540-BAS0541, the closest homolog of CiaRH of Streptococcus in B. anthracis, forms a functional TCS with BAS0541 displaying autophosphorylation and subsequent phosphotransfer to BAS0540. BAS0540 was also found to accept phosphate from physiologically relevant small molecule phosphodonors like acetyl phosphate and carbamoyl phosphate. Results of qRT-PCR and immunoblotting demonstrated that BAS0540 exhibits a constitutive expression throughout the growth of B. anthracis. Regulon prediction for BAS0540 in B. anthracis was done in silico using the consensus DNA binding sequence of CiaR of Streptococcus. The predicted regulon of BAS0540 comprised of 23 genes, which could be classified into 8 functionally diverse categories. None of the proven virulence factors were a part of the predicted regulon, an observation contrasting with the regulon of CiaRH in Streptococci. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified BAS0540 to the upstream regions of 5 putative regulon candidates- BAS0540 gene itself; a gene predicted to encode cell division protein FtsA; a self–immunity gene; a RND family transporter gene and a gene encoding stress (heat) responsive protein. A significant enhancement in the DNA binding ability of BAS0540 was observed upon phosphorylation. Overexpression of response regulator BAS0540 in B. anthracis led to a prodigious increase of ~6 folds in the cell length, thereby conferring it a filamentous

  5. Identification, Functional Characterization and Regulon Prediction of a Novel Two Component System Comprising BAS0540-BAS0541 of Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Gopalani, Monisha; Dhiman, Alisha; Rahi, Amit; Kandari, Divya; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-01

    Two component systems (TCSs) can be envisaged as complex molecular devices that help the bacteria to sense its environment and respond aptly. 41 TCSs are predicted in Bacillus anthracis, a potential bioterrorism agent, of which only four have been studied so far. Thus, the intricate signaling network contributed by TCSs remains largely unmapped in B. anthracis and needs comprehensive exploration. In this study, we functionally characterized one such system composed of BAS0540 (Response regulator) and BAS0541 (Histidine kinase). BAS0540-BAS0541, the closest homolog of CiaRH of Streptococcus in B. anthracis, forms a functional TCS with BAS0541 displaying autophosphorylation and subsequent phosphotransfer to BAS0540. BAS0540 was also found to accept phosphate from physiologically relevant small molecule phosphodonors like acetyl phosphate and carbamoyl phosphate. Results of qRT-PCR and immunoblotting demonstrated that BAS0540 exhibits a constitutive expression throughout the growth of B. anthracis. Regulon prediction for BAS0540 in B. anthracis was done in silico using the consensus DNA binding sequence of CiaR of Streptococcus. The predicted regulon of BAS0540 comprised of 23 genes, which could be classified into 8 functionally diverse categories. None of the proven virulence factors were a part of the predicted regulon, an observation contrasting with the regulon of CiaRH in Streptococci. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay was used to show direct binding of purified BAS0540 to the upstream regions of 5 putative regulon candidates- BAS0540 gene itself; a gene predicted to encode cell division protein FtsA; a self-immunity gene; a RND family transporter gene and a gene encoding stress (heat) responsive protein. A significant enhancement in the DNA binding ability of BAS0540 was observed upon phosphorylation. Overexpression of response regulator BAS0540 in B. anthracis led to a prodigious increase of ~6 folds in the cell length, thereby conferring it a filamentous

  6. Overexpression of the pleiotropic regulator CodY decreases sporulation, attachment and pellicle formation in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Gopalani, Monisha; Dhiman, Alisha; Rahi, Amit; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2016-01-15

    CodY, a global transcriptional regulator, primarily functions as a nutrient and energy sensor. It is activated by metabolic effectors like BCAA and GTP. In low G + C Gram positive bacteria, it facilitates coupling of changes in the cellular metabolite pool with those required in the transcriptome of the cell. This pleiotropic regulator controls the expression of a vast number of genes as the cell transits from exponential to the stationary phase. Earlier studies have shown that CodY is required for the virulence of Bacillus anthracis. We sought to investigate the effect of its overexpression on the physiology of B. anthracis. In our study, we found that cellular CodY levels were unchanged during this phase-transition. Expression of endogenous CodY remained the same in different nutrient limiting conditions. Immunoblotting studies revealed CodY presence in the whole spore lysate of B. anthracis indicating it to be a component of the spore proteome. We could also detect CodY in the secretome of B. anthracis. Further, CodY was overexpressed in B. anthracis Sterne strain and this led to a 100-fold decrease in the sporulation titer and a 2.5-fold decrease in the in vitro attachment ability of the bacteria. We also observed a decrease in the pellicle formation by CodY overexpressed strain when compared to wildtype bacilli. The CodY overexpressed strain showed chaining phenotype during growth in liquid media and pellicle. PMID:26686421

  7. Structure and function of NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase and nitric oxide synthase reductase domain

    SciTech Connect

    Iyanagi, Takashi . E-mail: iyanagi@spring8.or.jp

    2005-12-09

    NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) and the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) reductase domains are members of the FAD-FMN family of proteins. The FAD accepts two reducing equivalents from NADPH (dehydrogenase flavin) and FMN acts as a one-electron carrier (flavodoxin-type flavin) for the transfer from NADPH to the heme protein, in which the FMNH {sup {center_dot}}/FMNH{sub 2} couple donates electrons to cytochrome P450 at constant oxidation-reduction potential. Although the interflavin electron transfer between FAD and FMN is not strictly regulated in CPR, electron transfer is activated in neuronal NOS reductase domain upon binding calmodulin (CaM), in which the CaM-bound activated form can function by a similar mechanism to that of CPR. The oxygenated form and spin state of substrate-bound cytochrome P450 in perfused rat liver are also discussed in terms of stepwise one-electron transfer from CPR. This review provides a historical perspective of the microsomal mixed-function oxidases including CPR and P450. In addition, a new model for the redox-linked conformational changes during the catalytic cycle for both CPR and NOS reductase domain is also discussed.

  8. Reduction of tetrathionate by mammalian thioredoxin reductase

    PubMed Central

    Narayan, Vivek; Kudva, Avinash K.; Prabhu, K. Sandeep

    2016-01-01

    Tetrathionate, a polythionate oxidation product of microbial hydrogen sulfide and reactive oxygen species from immune cells in the gut, serves as a terminal electron acceptor to confer growth advantage for Salmonella and other enterobacteria. Here we show that the rat liver selenoen-zyme thioredoxin reductase (Txnrd1; TR1) efficiently reduces tetrathionate in vitro. Furthermore, lysates of selenium-supplemented murine macrophages also displayed activity towards tetrathionate, while cells lacking TR1 were unable to reduce tetrathionate. These studies suggest that upregulation of TR1 expression, via selenium supplementation, may modulate the gut microbiome, particularly during inflammation, by regulating the levels of tetrathionate. PMID:26252619

  9. Bacillus anthracis secretome time course under host-simulated conditions and identification of immunogenic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Walz, Alexander; Mujer, Cesar V; Connolly, Joseph P; Alefantis, Tim; Chafin, Ryan; Dake, Clarissa; Whittington, Jessica; Kumar, Srikanta P; Khan, Akbar S; DelVecchio, Vito G

    2007-01-01

    Background The secretion time course of Bacillus anthracis strain RA3R (pXO1+/pXO2-) during early, mid, and late log phase were investigated under conditions that simulate those encountered in the host. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by different software algorithms to characterize their predicted mode of secretion and cellular localization. In addition, immunogenic proteins were identified using sera from humans with cutaneous anthrax. Results A total of 275 extracellular proteins were identified by a combination of LC MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS. All of the identified proteins were analyzed by SignalP, SecretomeP, PSORT, LipoP, TMHMM, and PROSITE to characterize their predicted mode of secretion, cellular localization, and protein domains. Fifty-three proteins were predicted by SignalP to harbor the cleavable N-terminal signal peptides and were therefore secreted via the classical Sec pathway. Twenty-three proteins were predicted by SecretomeP for secretion by the alternative Sec pathway characterized by the lack of typical export signal. In contrast to SignalP and SecretomeP predictions, PSORT predicted 171 extracellular proteins, 7 cell wall-associated proteins, and 6 cytoplasmic proteins. Moreover, 51 proteins were predicted by LipoP to contain putative Sec signal peptides (38 have SpI sites), lipoprotein signal peptides (13 have SpII sites), and N-terminal membrane helices (9 have transmembrane helices). The TMHMM algorithm predicted 25 membrane-associated proteins with one to ten transmembrane helices. Immunogenic proteins were also identified using sera from patients who have recovered from anthrax. The charge variants (83 and 63 kDa) of protective antigen (PA) were the most immunodominant secreted antigens, followed by charge variants of enolase and transketolase. Conclusion This is the first description of the time course of protein secretion for the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. Time course studies of protein secretion and accumulation may be

  10. Biliverdin reductase: a target for cancer therapy?

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, Peter E. M.; Miralem, Tihomir; Maines, Mahin D.

    2015-01-01

    Biliverdin reductase (BVR) is a multifunctional protein that is the primary source of the potent antioxidant, bilirubin. BVR regulates activities/functions in the insulin/IGF-1/IRK/PI3K/MAPK pathways. Activation of certain kinases in these pathways is/are hallmark(s) of cancerous cells. The protein is a scaffold/bridge and intracellular transporter of kinases that regulate growth and proliferation of cells, including PKCs, ERK and Akt, and their targets including NF-κB, Elk1, HO-1, and iNOS. The scaffold and transport functions enable activated BVR to relocate from the cytosol to the nucleus or to the plasma membrane, depending on the activating stimulus. This enables the reductase to function in diverse signaling pathways. And, its expression at the transcript and protein levels are increased in human tumors and the infiltrating T-cells, monocytes and circulating lymphocytes, as well as the circulating and infiltrating macrophages. These functions suggest that the cytoprotective role of BVR may be permissive for cancer/tumor growth. In this review, we summarize the recent developments that define the pro-growth activities of BVR, particularly with respect to its input into the MAPK signaling pathway and present evidence that BVR-based peptides inhibit activation of protein kinases, including MEK, PKCδ, and ERK as well as downstream targets including Elk1 and iNOS, and thus offers a credible novel approach to reduce cancer cell proliferation. PMID:26089799

  11. Flavodiiron Oxygen Reductase from Entamoeba histolytica

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves, Vera L.; Vicente, João B.; Pinto, Liliana; Romão, Célia V.; Frazão, Carlos; Sarti, Paolo; Giuffrè, Alessandro; Teixeira, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Flavodiiron proteins (FDPs) are a family of enzymes endowed with bona fide oxygen- and/or nitric-oxide reductase activity, although their substrate specificity determinants remain elusive. After a comprehensive comparison of available three-dimensional structures, particularly of FDPs with a clear preference toward either O2 or NO, two main differences were identified near the diiron active site, which led to the construction of site-directed mutants of Tyr271 and Lys53 in the oxygen reducing Entamoeba histolytica EhFdp1. The biochemical and biophysical properties of these mutants were studied by UV-visible and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopies coupled to potentiometry. Their reactivity with O2 and NO was analyzed by stopped-flow absorption spectroscopy and amperometric methods. These mutations, whereas keeping the overall properties of the redox cofactors, resulted in increased NO reductase activity and faster inactivation of the enzyme in the reaction with O2, pointing to a role of the mutated residues in substrate selectivity. PMID:25151360

  12. Observations on the Inactivation Efficacy of a MALDI-TOF MS Chemical Extraction Method on Bacillus anthracis Vegetative Cells and Spores.

    PubMed

    Weller, Simon A; Stokes, Margaret G M; Lukaszewski, Roman A

    2015-01-01

    A chemical (ethanol; formic acid; acetonitrile) protein extraction method for the preparation of bacterial samples for matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identification was evaluated for its ability to inactivate bacterial species. Initial viability tests (with and without double filtration of the extract through 0.2 μM filters), indicated that the method could inactivate Escherichia coli MRE 162 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 35657, with or without filtration, but that filtration was required to exclude viable, avirulent, Bacillus anthracis UM23CL2 from extracts. Multiple, high stringency, viability experiments were then carried out on entire filtered extracts prepared from virulent B. anthracis Vollum vegetative cells and spores ranging in concentration from 10(6)-10(8) cfu per extract. B. anthracis was recovered in 3/18 vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 spore extracts. From vegetative cell extracts B. anthracis was only recovered from extracts that had undergone prolonged Luria (L)-broth (7 day) and L-agar plate (a further 7 days) incubations. We hypothesise that the recovery of B. anthracis in vegetative cell extracts is due to the escape of individual sub-lethally injured cells. We discuss our results in view of working practises in clinical laboratories and in the context of recent inadvertent releases of viable B. anthracis. PMID:26633884

  13. Observations on the Inactivation Efficacy of a MALDI-TOF MS Chemical Extraction Method on Bacillus anthracis Vegetative Cells and Spores

    PubMed Central

    Weller, Simon A.; Stokes, Margaret G. M.; Lukaszewski, Roman A.

    2015-01-01

    A chemical (ethanol; formic acid; acetonitrile) protein extraction method for the preparation of bacterial samples for matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) identification was evaluated for its ability to inactivate bacterial species. Initial viability tests (with and without double filtration of the extract through 0.2 μM filters), indicated that the method could inactivate Escherichia coli MRE 162 and Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 35657, with or without filtration, but that filtration was required to exclude viable, avirulent, Bacillus anthracis UM23CL2 from extracts. Multiple, high stringency, viability experiments were then carried out on entire filtered extracts prepared from virulent B. anthracis Vollum vegetative cells and spores ranging in concentration from 106-108cfu per extract. B. anthracis was recovered in 3/18 vegetative cell extracts and 10/18 spore extracts. From vegetative cell extracts B. anthracis was only recovered from extracts that had undergone prolonged Luria (L)-broth (7 day) and L-agar plate (a further 7 days) incubations. We hypothesise that the recovery of B. anthracis in vegetative cell extracts is due to the escape of individual sub-lethally injured cells. We discuss our results in view of working practises in clinical laboratories and in the context of recent inadvertent releases of viable B. anthracis. PMID:26633884

  14. Glycan surface antigens from Bacillus anthracis as vaccine targets: current status and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Adamo, Roberto

    2014-07-01

    Over recent years great attention has been directed to the discovery of novel antigens from Bacillus anthracis, because of the potential of its spores in the development of weapons for mass destruction. Substantial effort has been directed to the identification and immunochemical evaluation of glycans that might be used for specific diagnostic detection of the spores or immune-mediated prevention of anthrax. Carbohydrate structures found on surfaces of vegetative cells and spores are herein discussed. Among them, the cell wall polysaccharide and the tetrasaccharide unit isolated from the exosporium protein BclA were proven immunogenic in an animal model after covalent linkage to carrier protein. Further investigation is needed to fully assess the potential of these promising carbohydrate antigens for vaccine development. PMID:24867680

  15. Efficacy of Daptomycin against Bacillus anthracis in a murine model of anthrax spore inhalation.

    PubMed

    Heine, Henry S; Bassett, Jennifer; Miller, Lynda; Purcell, Bret K; Byrne, W Russell

    2010-10-01

    Daptomycin demonstrated in vitro (MIC(90), 4 μg/ml) and in vivo activities against Bacillus anthracis. Twice-daily treatment with a dose of 50 mg/kg of body weight was begun 24 h after challenge and continued for 14 or 21 days; results were compared to those for controls treated with phosphate-buffered saline or ciprofloxacin. Day 43 survival rates were 6/10 mice for the 14-day and 9/10 mice for the 21-day treatment groups, compared to survival with ciprofloxacin: 8/10 and 9/10 mice, respectively. Culture results from tissues removed at the termination of the experiment were negative. PMID:20643899

  16. Phages Preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: Past, Present and Future

    PubMed Central

    Gillis, Annika; Mahillon, Jacques

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteriophages (phages) have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here. PMID:25010767

  17. Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor Substrate Specificity: Evidence for New Modes of Action

    PubMed Central

    Göttle, Martin; Dove, Stefan; Seifert, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Since the isolation of Bacillus anthracis exotoxins in the 1960s, the detrimental activity of edema factor (EF) was considered as adenylyl cyclase activity only. Yet the catalytic site of EF was recently shown to accomplish cyclization of cytidine 5′-triphosphate, uridine 5′-triphosphate and inosine 5′-triphosphate, in addition to adenosine 5′-triphosphate. This review discusses the broad EF substrate specificity and possible implications of intracellular accumulation of cyclic cytidine 3′:5′-monophosphate, cyclic uridine 3′:5′-monophosphate and cyclic inosine 3′:5′-monophosphate on cellular functions vital for host defense. In particular, cAMP-independent mechanisms of action of EF on host cell signaling via protein kinase A, protein kinase G, phosphodiesterases and CNG channels are discussed. PMID:22852066

  18. Production and purification of Bacillus anthracis protective antigen from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Laird, Michael W; Zukauskas, David; Johnson, Kelly; Sampey, Gavin C; Olsen, Henrik; Garcia, Andy; Karwoski, Jeffrey D; Cooksey, Bridget A; Choi, Gil H; Askins, Janine; Tsai, Amos; Pierre, Jennifer; Gwinn, William

    2004-11-01

    Anthrax is caused by the gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. The anthrax toxin consists of three proteins, protective antigen (PA), lethal factor, and edema factor. Current vaccines against anthrax use PA as their primary component since it confers protective immunity. In this work, we expressed soluble, recombinant PA in relatively high amounts in the periplasm of E. coli from shake flasks and bioreactors. The PA protein was purified using Q-Sepharose-HP and hydroxyapatite chromatography, and routinely found to be 96-98% pure. Yields of purified PA varied depending on the method of production; however, medium cell density fermentations resulted in approximately 370 mg/L of highly pure biologically active PA protein. These results exhibit the ability to generate gram quantities of PA from E. coli. PMID:15477093

  19. Sizing the Bacillus anthracis PA63 Channel with Nonelectrolyte Poly(Ethylene Glycols)

    PubMed Central

    Nablo, Brian J.; Halverson, Kelly M.; Robertson, Joseph W. F.; Nguyen, Tam L.; Panchal, Rekha G.; Gussio, Rick; Bavari, Sina; Krasilnikov, Oleg V.; Kasianowicz, John J.

    2008-01-01

    Nonelectrolyte polymers of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were used to estimate the diameter of the ion channel formed by the Bacillus anthracis protective antigen 63 (PA63). Based on the ability of different molecular weight PEGs to partition into the pore and reduce channel conductance, the pore appears to be narrower than the one formed by Staphylococcus aureus α-hemolysin. Numerical integration of the PEG sample mass spectra and the channel conductance data were used to refine the estimate of the pore's PEG molecular mass cutoff (∼1400 g/mol). The results suggest that the limiting diameter of the PA63 pore is <2 nm, which is consistent with an all-atom model of the PA63 channel and previous experiments using large ions. PMID:18645196

  20. In Silico Genomic Fingerprints of the Bacillus anthracis Group Obtained by Virtual Hybridization

    PubMed Central

    Jaimes-Díaz, Hueman; Larios-Serrato, Violeta; Lloret-Sánchez, Teresa; Olguín-Ruiz, Gabriela; Sánchez-Vallejo, Carlos; Carreño-Durán, Luis; Maldonado-Rodríguez, Rogelio; Méndez-Tenorio, Alfonso

    2015-01-01

    In this study we evaluate the capacity of Virtual Hybridization to identify between highly related bacterial strains. Eight genomic fingerprints were obtained by virtual hybridization for the Bacillus anthracis genome set, and a set of 15,264 13-nucleotide short probes designed to produce genomic fingerprints unique for each organism. The data obtained from each genomic fingerprint were used to obtain hybridization patterns simulating a DNA microarray. Two virtual hybridization methods were used: the Direct and the Extended method to identify the number of potential hybridization sites and thus determine the minimum sensitivity value to discriminate between genomes with 99.9% similarity. Genomic fingerprints were compared using both methods and phylogenomic trees were constructed to verify that the minimum detection value is 0.000017. Results obtained from the genomic fingerprints suggest that the distribution in the trees is correct, as compared to other taxonomic methods. Specific virtual hybridization sites for each of the genomes studied were also identified.

  1. Vaccination against Anthrax with Attenuated Recombinant Strains of Bacillus anthracis That Produce Protective Antigen

    PubMed Central

    Barnard, John P.; Friedlander, Arthur M.

    1999-01-01

    The protective efficacy of several live, recombinant anthrax vaccines given in a single-dose regimen was assessed with Hartley guinea pigs. These live vaccines were created by transforming ΔANR and ΔSterne, two nonencapsulated, nontoxinogenic strains of Bacillus anthracis, with four different recombinant plasmids that express the anthrax protective antigen (PA) protein to various degrees. This enabled us to assess the effect of the chromosomal background of the strain, as well as the amount of PA produced, on protective efficacy. There were no significant strain-related effects on PA production in vitro, plasmid stability in vivo, survival of the immunizing strain in the host, or protective efficacy of the immunizing infection. The protective efficacy of the live, recombinant anthrax vaccine strains correlated with the anti-PA antibody titers they elicited in vivo and the level of PA they produced in vitro. PMID:9916059

  2. [Genotype diversity of the Bacillus anthracis strains isolated from the Caucasus region].

    PubMed

    Eremenko, E I; Riazanava, A G; Tsygankova, O I; Tsygankova, E A; Buravtseva, N P; Kulichenko, A N

    2012-01-01

    The study of the genotypes of Bacillus anthracis strains isolated from the Caucasus region was performed using MLVA. Among 149 strains, 32 distinctive MLVA-8 genotypes belonging to Ala, A3a, A4 and B1 molecular diversity groups were identified. 9 genotypes were not described previously; 6 genotypes were not found in other geographic regions and could be considered as endemic for Caucasus. The majority of the identified genotypes are widespread not only in Caucasus, but also throughout Eurasia, Africa, and America. Molecular diversity of Caucasian isolates is comparable to the worldwide diversity. This represents historical relations of this region, proximity to ancient trade routes and intensity of the anthrax epizootic in Caucasus. The obtained results are of interest from the theoretical point of view, as well as for the application in epidemiological research of the anthrax outbreaks. PMID:22937567

  3. Phages preying on Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Gillis, Annika; Mahillon, Jacques

    2014-07-01

    Many bacteriophages (phages) have been widely studied due to their major role in virulence evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, less attention has been paid to phages preying on bacteria from the Bacillus cereus group and their contribution to the bacterial genetic pool has been disregarded. Therefore, this review brings together the main information for the B. cereus group phages, from their discovery to their modern biotechnological applications. A special focus is given to phages infecting Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. These phages belong to the Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae and Tectiviridae families. For the sake of clarity, several phage categories have been made according to significant characteristics such as lifestyles and lysogenic states. The main categories comprise the transducing phages, phages with a chromosomal or plasmidial prophage state, γ-like phages and jumbo-phages. The current genomic characterization of some of these phages is also addressed throughout this work and some promising applications are discussed here. PMID:25010767

  4. Identification of In Vivo-Expressed Immunogenic Proteins by Serological Proteome Analysis of the Bacillus anthracis Secretome▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Chitlaru, Theodor; Gat, Orit; Grosfeld, Haim; Inbar, Itzhak; Gozlan, Yael; Shafferman, Avigdor

    2007-01-01

    In a previous comparative proteomic study of Bacillus anthracis examining the influence of the virulence plasmids and of various growth conditions on the composition of the bacterial secretome, we identified 64 abundantly expressed proteins (T. Chitlaru, O. Gat, Y. Gozlan, N. Ariel, and A. Shafferman, J. Bacteriol. 188:3551-3571, 2006). Using a battery of sera from B. anthracis-infected animals, in the present study we demonstrated that 49 of these proteins are immunogenic. Thirty-eight B. anthracis immunogens are documented in this study for the first time. The relative immunogenicities of the 49 secreted proteins appear to span a >10,000-fold range. The proteins eliciting the highest humoral response in the course of infection include, in addition to the well-established immunogens protective antigen (PA), Sap, and EA1, GroEL (BA0267), AhpC (BA0345), MntA (BA3189), HtrA (BA3660), 2,3-cyclic nucleotide diesterase (BA4346), collagen adhesin (BAS5205), an alanine amidase (BA0898), and an endopeptidase (BA1952), as well as three proteins having unknown functions (BA0796, BA0799, and BA0307). Of these 14 highly potent secreted immunogens, 11 are known to be associated with virulence and pathogenicity in B. anthracis or in other bacterial pathogens. Combining the results reported here with the results of a similar study of the membranal proteome of B. anthracis (T. Chitlaru, N. Ariel, A. Zvi, M. Lion, B. Velan, A. Shafferman, and E. Elhanany, Proteomics 4:677-691, 2004) and the results obtained in a functional genomic search for immunogens (O. Gat, H. Grosfeld, N. Ariel, I. Inbar, G. Zaide, Y. Broder, A. Zvi, T. Chitlaru, Z. Altboum, D. Stein, S. Cohen, and A. Shafferman, Infect. Immun. 74:3987-4001, 2006), we generated a list of 84 in vivo-expressed immunogens for future evaluation for vaccine development, diagnostics, and/or therapeutic intervention. In a preliminary study, the efficacies of eight immunogens following DNA immunization of guinea pigs were compared to

  5. Nanoscale Structural and Mechanical Analysis of Bacillus anthracis Spores Inactivated with Rapid Dry Heating

    PubMed Central

    Felker, Daniel L.; Burggraf, Larry W.

    2014-01-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating. PMID:24375142

  6. Updating a B. anthracis Risk Model with Field Data from a Bioterrorism Incident.

    PubMed

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L

    2015-06-01

    In this study, a Bayesian framework was applied to update a model of pathogen fate and transport in the indoor environment. Distributions for model parameters (e.g., release quantity of B. anthracis spores, risk of illness, spore setting velocity, resuspension rate, sample recovery efficiency, etc.) were updated by comparing model predictions with measurements of B. anthracis spores made after one of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks. The updating process, which was implemented by using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods, significantly reduced the uncertainties of inputs with uniformed prior estimates: total quantity of spores released, the amount of spores exiting the room, and risk to occupants. In contrast, uncertainties were not greatly reduced for inputs for which informed prior data were available: deposition rates, resuspension rates, and sample recovery efficiencies. This suggests that prior estimates of these quantities that were obtained from a review of the technical literature are consistent with the observed behavior of spores in an actual attack. Posterior estimates of mortality risk for people in the room, when the spores were released, are on the order of 0.01 to 0.1, which supports the decision to administer prophylactic antibiotics. Multivariate sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess how effective different measurements were at reducing uncertainty in the estimated risk for the prior scenario. This analysis revealed that if the size distribution of the released particulates is known, then environmental sampling can be limited to accurately characterizing floor concentrations; otherwise, samples from multiple locations, as well as particulate and building air circulation parameters, need to be measured. PMID:25961107

  7. Recovery efficiency and limit of detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne from environmental surface samples.

    PubMed

    Estill, Cheryl Fairfield; Baron, Paul A; Beard, Jeremy K; Hein, Misty J; Larsen, Lloyd D; Rose, Laura; Schaefer, Frank W; Noble-Wang, Judith; Hodges, Lisa; Lindquist, H D Alan; Deye, Gregory J; Arduino, Matthew J

    2009-07-01

    After the 2001 anthrax incidents, surface sampling techniques for biological agents were found to be inadequately validated, especially at low surface loadings. We aerosolized Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores within a chamber to achieve very low surface loading (ca. 3, 30, and 200 CFU per 100 cm(2)). Steel and carpet coupons seeded in the chamber were sampled with swab (103 cm(2)) or wipe or vacuum (929 cm(2)) surface sampling methods and analyzed at three laboratories. Agar settle plates (60 cm(2)) were the reference for determining recovery efficiency (RE). The minimum estimated surface concentrations to achieve a 95% response rate based on probit regression were 190, 15, and 44 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling steel surfaces and 40, 9.2, and 28 CFU/100 cm(2) for sampling carpet surfaces with swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively; however, these results should be cautiously interpreted because of high observed variability. Mean REs at the highest surface loading were 5.0%, 18%, and 3.7% on steel and 12%, 23%, and 4.7% on carpet for the swab, wipe, and vacuum methods, respectively. Precision (coefficient of variation) was poor at the lower surface concentrations but improved with increasing surface concentration. The best precision was obtained with wipe samples on carpet, achieving 38% at the highest surface concentration. The wipe sampling method detected B. anthracis at lower estimated surface concentrations and had higher RE and better precision than the other methods. These results may guide investigators to more meaningfully conduct environmental sampling, quantify contamination levels, and conduct risk assessment for humans. PMID:19429546

  8. Efficacy of Oritavancin in a Murine Model of Bacillus anthracis Spore Inhalation Anthrax ▿

    PubMed Central

    Heine, H. S.; Bassett, J.; Miller, L.; Bassett, A.; Ivins, B. E.; Lehoux, D.; Arhin, F. F.; Parr, T. R.; Moeck, G.

    2008-01-01

    The inhaled form of Bacillus anthracis infection may be fatal to humans. The current standard of care for inhalational anthrax postexposure prophylaxis is ciprofloxacin therapy twice daily for 60 days. The potent in vitro activity of oritavancin, a semisynthetic lipoglycopeptide, against B. anthracis (MIC against Ames strain, 0.015 μg/ml) prompted us to test its efficacy in a mouse aerosol-anthrax model. In postexposure prophylaxis dose-ranging studies, a single intravenous (i.v.) dose of oritavancin of 5, 15, or 50 mg/kg 24 h after