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Sample records for bacterial melanin interacts

  1. Interactions of flavins with melanin. Studies on equilibrium binding of riboflavin to dopa-melanin and some spectroscopic characteristics of flavin-melanin complex.

    PubMed

    Kozik, A; Korytowski, W; Sarna, T; Bloom, A S

    1990-10-01

    Natural melanins are photoprotective pigments that in mammals are principally found in the skin, hair, and eyes. Although the molecular mechanism of photoprotection of pigmented cells has not yet been established, several hypotheses have been proposed with melanin acting as a light filter, free radical scavenger, and quencher of electronically excited states of reactive intermediates. It can be expected that the detoxicating efficiency of melanin should be enhanced if the melanin and potentially cytotoxic species are brought close together. Such a situation may occur for a number of photosensitizing dyes that have the ability to bind to melanin. The interaction of melanin with flavins has been studied under strictly controlled experimental conditions. The equilibrium dialysis method has been employed to determine dissociation constants and the number of binding sites in melanin at pH 5-9. The data reveal that synthetic DOPA-melanin has two different classes of binding sites with dissociation constants of 10(-6) and 10(-5) M, respectively. The overall binding capacity of melanin, at pH 7, is 250 nmol RF/mg melanin. The amount of bound-to-melanin RF increases with pH. The absorption spectra of melanin complexes with RF and lumiflavin indicate that hydrophobic interaction may be involved in the binding of these flavins by melanin. No changes in flavin fluorescence have been detected after binding of flavin to melanin. It appears that, contrary to cationic photosensitizing dyes, the singlet excited state of flavin molecules is not quenched by melanin. PMID:2128193

  2. On the structure of human hair melanins from an infrared spectroscopy analysis of their interactions with Cu 2+ ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilińska, Barbara

    2001-10-01

    Melanins were isolated from dark and red human hair and complexed with copper ions at various pH values in a complexing medium. IR spectra of melanins and their Cu 2+-complexes for pellets with KBr were obtained. The IR spectra indicate that Cu 2+ ions bound to melanins are fixed by different carboxyl and hydroxyl (phenolic and/or alcoholic) groups in the macromolecule. From these results it is concluded that, generally, melanin carboxyl groups are responsible for interactions of metal ions with the melanin molecule. Complexes of melanins isolated from dark and red human hair show structural differences when analysed by IR spectroscopy. Conclusions from these investigations assist in the differentiation of structures of analysed hair melanins. IR spectral analysis of melanin samples and their complexes suggest that melanin samples obtained from red hair may contain eumelanin.

  3. GAMMA RADIATION INTERACTS WITH MELANIN TO ALTER ITS OXIDATION-REDUCTION POTENTIAL AND RESULTS IN ELECTRIC CURRENT PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Turick, C.; Ekechukwu, A.; Milliken, C.

    2011-05-17

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials.

  4. Gamma radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential and results in electric current production.

    PubMed

    Turick, Charles E; Ekechukwu, Amy A; Milliken, Charles E; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2011-08-01

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials. PMID:21632287

  5. Bacterial Communities: Interactions to Scale.

    PubMed

    Stubbendieck, Reed M; Vargas-Bautista, Carol; Straight, Paul D

    2016-01-01

    In the environment, bacteria live in complex multispecies communities. These communities span in scale from small, multicellular aggregates to billions or trillions of cells within the gastrointestinal tract of animals. The dynamics of bacterial communities are determined by pairwise interactions that occur between different species in the community. Though interactions occur between a few cells at a time, the outcomes of these interchanges have ramifications that ripple through many orders of magnitude, and ultimately affect the macroscopic world including the health of host organisms. In this review we cover how bacterial competition influences the structures of bacterial communities. We also emphasize methods and insights garnered from culture-dependent pairwise interaction studies, metagenomic analyses, and modeling experiments. Finally, we argue that the integration of multiple approaches will be instrumental to future understanding of the underlying dynamics of bacterial communities. PMID:27551280

  6. Bacterial Communities: Interactions to Scale

    PubMed Central

    Stubbendieck, Reed M.; Vargas-Bautista, Carol; Straight, Paul D.

    2016-01-01

    In the environment, bacteria live in complex multispecies communities. These communities span in scale from small, multicellular aggregates to billions or trillions of cells within the gastrointestinal tract of animals. The dynamics of bacterial communities are determined by pairwise interactions that occur between different species in the community. Though interactions occur between a few cells at a time, the outcomes of these interchanges have ramifications that ripple through many orders of magnitude, and ultimately affect the macroscopic world including the health of host organisms. In this review we cover how bacterial competition influences the structures of bacterial communities. We also emphasize methods and insights garnered from culture-dependent pairwise interaction studies, metagenomic analyses, and modeling experiments. Finally, we argue that the integration of multiple approaches will be instrumental to future understanding of the underlying dynamics of bacterial communities. PMID:27551280

  7. Human hypocretin and melanin concentrating hormone levels are linked to emotion and social interaction

    PubMed Central

    Blouin, Ashley M.; Fried, Itzhak; Wilson, Charles L.; Staba, Richard J.; Behnke, Eric J.; Lam, Hoa A.; Maidment, Nigel T.; Karlsson, Karl Æ.; Lapierre, Jennifer L.; Siegel, Jerome M.

    2013-01-01

    The neurochemical changes underlying human emotions and social behavior are largely unknown. Here we report on the changes in the levels of two hypothalamic neuropeptides, hypocretin-1 (Hcrt-1) and melanin concentrating hormone (MCH), measured in the human amygdala. We show that Hcrt-1 levels are maximal during positive emotion, social interaction, and anger, behaviors that induce cataplexy in human narcoleptics. In contrast, MCH levels are minimal during social interaction, but are increased after eating. Both peptides are at minimal levels during periods of postoperative pain despite high levels of arousal. MCH levels increase at sleep onset, consistent with a role in sleep induction, whereas Hcrt-1 levels increase at wake onset, consistent with a role in wake induction. Levels of these two peptides in humans are not simply linked to arousal, but rather to specific emotions and state transitions. Other arousal systems may be similarly emotionally specialized. PMID:23462990

  8. The interaction of melanin with ionizing and UVC radiations: Characterization of thymine damage

    SciTech Connect

    Huselton, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    These studies were undertaken to determine whether melanin could protect DNA against the harmful effects of ionizing or UVC radiations. A simple, in vitro, model system was developed to evaluate eumelanin (Sigma melanin) as a radioprotector of solutions of 0.1 mM thymine or thymidine exposed to 570Gy of ionizing radiation. Sigma melanin was compared to several amino acids, other biomolecules or to other forms of melanin. To investigate the role of melanin as a passive screen of UVC radiation, melanotic (I{sub 3}), amelanotic (AMEL) cells (both derived from a Cloudman S91 melanoma) and non-melanotic (EMT6) cells were labelled with radioactive dTHd and exposed to 0, 1, 5 or 10KJ/m{sup 2} of UVC. The DNA was extracted; the bases hydrolyzed with concentrated HCl. Thymine bases were separated by reverse phase HPLC. No difference in dimer content was observed between I{sub 3} and AMEL cells, but EMT6 cells had nearly twice the amount of dimer. Overall thymine degradation was more pronounced in I{sub 3} cells than in the other two cell lines, due to the production of non-dimer thymine damage. This damage was identified as thymine glycol by HPLC and mass spectrometry. Melanin, upon exposure to UVC, appears to enhance thymine damage by producing oxidative damage.

  9. Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ruijie; Li, Mingyun; Gregory, Richard L

    2011-01-01

    Biofilms are masses of microorganisms that bind to and multiply on a solid surface, typically with a fluid bathing the microbes. The microorganisms that are not attached but are free floating in an aqueous environment are termed planktonic cells. Traditionally, microbiology research has addressed results from planktonic bacterial cells. However, many recent studies have indicated that biofilms are the preferred form of growth of most microbes and particularly those of a pathogenic nature. Biofilms on animal hosts have significantly increased resistance to various antimicrobials compared to planktonic cells. These microbial communities form microcolonies that interact with each other using very sophisticated communication methods (i.e., quorum-sensing). The development of unique microbiological tools to detect and assess the various biofilms around us is a tremendously important focus of research in many laboratories. In the present review, we discuss the major biofilm mechanisms and the interactions among oral bacteria. PMID:21778817

  10. Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ruijie; Li, Mingyun

    2011-01-01

    Biofilms are masses of microorganisms that bind to and multiply on a solid surface, typically with a fluid bathing the microbes. The microorganisms that are not attached but are free-floating in an aqueous environment are termed planktonic cells. Traditionally, microbiology research has addressed results from planktonic bacterial cells. However, many recent studies have indicated that biofilms are the preferred form of growth of most microbes and particularly those of a pathogenic nature. Biofilms on animal hosts have significantly increased resistance to various antimicrobials compared to planktonic cells. These microbial communities form microcolonies that interact with each other using very sophisticated communication methods (i.e., quorum-sensing). The development of unique microbiological tools to detect and assess the various biofilms around us is a tremendously important focus of research in many laboratories. In the present review, we discuss the major biofilm mechanisms and the interactions among oral bacteria. PMID:21778817

  11. Trace metals, melanin-based pigmentation and their interaction influence immune parameters in feral pigeons (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Chatelain, M; Gasparini, J; Frantz, A

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the effects of trace metals emitted by anthropogenic activities on wildlife is of great concern in urban ecology; yet, information on how they affect individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems remains scarce. In particular, trace metals may impact survival by altering the immune system response to parasites. Plumage melanin is assumed to influence the effects of trace metals on immunity owing to its ability to bind metal ions in feathers and its synthesis being coded by a pleiotropic gene. We thus hypothesized that trace metal exposure would interact with plumage colouration in shaping immune response. We experimentally investigated the interactive effect between exposure to an environmentally relevant range of zinc and/or lead and melanin-based plumage colouration on components of the immune system in feral pigeons (Columba livia). We found that zinc increased anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) IgY primary response maintenance, buffered the negative effect of lead on anti-KLH IgY secondary response maintenance and tended to increase T-cell mediated phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) skin response. Lead decreased the peak of the anti-KLH IgY secondary response. In addition, pheomelanic pigeons exhibited a higher secondary anti-KLH IgY response than did eumelanic ones. Finally, T-cell mediated PHA skin response decreased with increasing plumage eumelanin level of birds exposed to lead. Neither treatments nor plumage colouration correlated with endoparasite intensity. Overall, our study points out the effects of trace metals on some parameters of birds' immunity, independently from other confounding urbanization factors, and underlines the need to investigate their impacts on other life history traits and their consequences in the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions. PMID:26809976

  12. Volatiles in Inter-Specific Bacterial Interactions.

    PubMed

    Tyc, Olaf; Zweers, Hans; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2015-01-01

    The importance of volatile organic compounds for functioning of microbes is receiving increased research attention. However, to date very little is known on how inter-specific bacterial interactions effect volatiles production as most studies have been focused on volatiles produced by monocultures of well-described bacterial genera. In this study we aimed to understand how inter-specific bacterial interactions affect the composition, production and activity of volatiles. Four phylogenetically different bacterial species namely: Chryseobacterium, Dyella, Janthinobacterium, and Tsukamurella were selected. Earlier results had shown that pairwise combinations of these bacteria induced antimicrobial activity in agar media whereas this was not the case for monocultures. In the current study, we examined if these observations were also reflected by the production of antimicrobial volatiles. Thus, the identity and antimicrobial activity of volatiles produced by the bacteria were determined in monoculture as well in pairwise combinations. Antimicrobial activity of the volatiles was assessed against fungal, oomycetal, and bacterial model organisms. Our results revealed that inter-specific bacterial interactions affected volatiles blend composition. Fungi and oomycetes showed high sensitivity to bacterial volatiles whereas the effect of volatiles on bacteria varied between no effects, growth inhibition to growth promotion depending on the volatile blend composition. In total 35 volatile compounds were detected most of which were sulfur-containing compounds. Two commonly produced sulfur-containing volatile compounds (dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide) were tested for their effect on three target bacteria. Here, we display the importance of inter-specific interactions on bacterial volatiles production and their antimicrobial activities. PMID:26733959

  13. Volatiles in Inter-Specific Bacterial Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Tyc, Olaf; Zweers, Hans; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2015-01-01

    The importance of volatile organic compounds for functioning of microbes is receiving increased research attention. However, to date very little is known on how inter-specific bacterial interactions effect volatiles production as most studies have been focused on volatiles produced by monocultures of well-described bacterial genera. In this study we aimed to understand how inter-specific bacterial interactions affect the composition, production and activity of volatiles. Four phylogenetically different bacterial species namely: Chryseobacterium, Dyella, Janthinobacterium, and Tsukamurella were selected. Earlier results had shown that pairwise combinations of these bacteria induced antimicrobial activity in agar media whereas this was not the case for monocultures. In the current study, we examined if these observations were also reflected by the production of antimicrobial volatiles. Thus, the identity and antimicrobial activity of volatiles produced by the bacteria were determined in monoculture as well in pairwise combinations. Antimicrobial activity of the volatiles was assessed against fungal, oomycetal, and bacterial model organisms. Our results revealed that inter-specific bacterial interactions affected volatiles blend composition. Fungi and oomycetes showed high sensitivity to bacterial volatiles whereas the effect of volatiles on bacteria varied between no effects, growth inhibition to growth promotion depending on the volatile blend composition. In total 35 volatile compounds were detected most of which were sulfur-containing compounds. Two commonly produced sulfur-containing volatile compounds (dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide) were tested for their effect on three target bacteria. Here, we display the importance of inter-specific interactions on bacterial volatiles production and their antimicrobial activities. PMID:26733959

  14. Detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity identifies neuronal integrity in damaged rat central nervous system after application of bacterial melanin

    PubMed Central

    Petrosyan, Tigran R.; Ter-Markosyan, Anna S.; Hovsepyan, Anna S.

    2016-01-01

    The study aims to confirm the neuroregenerative effects of bacterial melanin (BM) on central nervous system injury using a special staining method based on the detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity. Twenty-four rats were randomly assigned to undergo either unilateral destruction of sensorimotor cortex (group I; n = 12) or unilateral rubrospinal tract transection at the cervical level (C3–4) (group II; n = 12). In each group, six rats were randomly selected after surgery to undergo intramuscular injection of BM solution (BM subgroup) and the remaining six rats were intramuscularly injected with saline (saline subgroup). Neurological testing confirmed that BM accelerated the recovery of motor function in rats from both BM and saline subgroups. Two months after surgery, Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity detection in combination with Chilingarian’s calcium adenoside triphosphate method revealed that BM stimulated the sprouting of fibers and dilated the capillaries in the brain and spinal cord. These results suggest that BM can promote the recovery of motor function of rats with central nervous system injury; and detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity is a fast and easy method used to study the regeneration-promoting effects of BM on the injured central nervous system.

  15. Bacterial Interaction with Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedri, Laura; Itier, Sophie; Schraft, Heidi; Hawton, Margaret

    2004-03-01

    Bacterial adhesion is believed to be governed by physical-chemical laws in the initial stages of attachment. We calculate the free energy of adhesion for a Pseudomonas putida bacterium interacting with either mercaptoundecanol or dodecanethiol self-assembled monolayers using the Young-Dupré equation and experimentally measured contact angles. We then compare our model with preliminary biological studies involving the analysis of real-time laser scanning confocal microscopy images of bacteria attaching to hydrophobic and hydrophilic substrates.

  16. Bacterial secreted effectors and caspase-3 interactions

    PubMed Central

    Wall, Daniel M; McCormick, Beth A

    2014-01-01

    Apoptosis is a critical process that intrinsically links organism survival to its ability to induce controlled death. Thus, functional apoptosis allows organisms to remove perceived threats to their survival by targeting those cells that it determines pose a direct risk. Central to this process are apoptotic caspases, enzymes that form a signalling cascade, converting danger signals via initiator caspases into activation of the executioner caspase, caspase-3. This enzyme begins disassembly of the cell by activating DNA degrading enzymes and degrading the cellular architecture. Interaction of pathogenic bacteria with caspases, and in particular, caspase-3, can therefore impact both host cell and bacterial survival. With roles outside cell death such as cell differentiation, control of signalling pathways and immunomodulation also being described for caspase-3, bacterial interactions with caspase-3 may be of far more significance in infection than previously recognized. In this review, we highlight the ways in which bacterial pathogens have evolved to subvert caspase-3 both through effector proteins that directly interact with the enzyme or by modulating pathways that influence its activation and activity. PMID:25262664

  17. Bacterial interactions in pathogenic subgingival plaque.

    PubMed

    Ng, Hong Min; Kin, Lin Xin; Dashper, Stuart G; Slakeski, Nada; Butler, Catherine A; Reynolds, Eric C

    2016-05-01

    Chronic periodontitis has a polymicrobial biofilm aetiology. Polymicrobial biofilms are complex, dynamic microbial communities formed by two or more bacterial species that are important for the persistence and proliferation of participating microbes in the environment. Interspecies adherence, which often involves bacterial surface-associated molecules, and communications are essential in the spatial and temporal development of a polymicrobial biofilm, which in turn is necessary for the overall fitness of a well-organized multispecies biofilm community. In the oral cavity, interactions between key oral bacterial species, including Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola and Tannerella forsythia, are essential for the progression of chronic periodontitis. In vivo, P. gingivalis and T. denticola are frequently found to co-exist in deep periodontal pockets and have been co-localized to the superficial layers of subgingival plaque as microcolony blooms adjacent to the pocket epithelium, suggesting possible interbacterial interactions that contribute towards disease. The motility and chemotactic ability of T. denticola, although not considered as classic virulence factors, are likely to be important in the synergistic biofilm formation with P. gingivalis. In vitro, P. gingivalis and T. denticola display a symbiotic relationship in nutrient utilization and growth promotion. Together these data suggest there is an intimate relationship between these two species that has evolved to enhance their survival and virulence. PMID:26541672

  18. Bacterial Community Diversity Harboured by Interacting Species.

    PubMed

    Bili, Mikaël; Cortesero, Anne Marie; Mougel, Christophe; Gauthier, Jean Pierre; Ermel, Gwennola; Simon, Jean Christophe; Outreman, Yannick; Terrat, Sébastien; Mahéo, Frédérique; Poinsot, Denis

    2016-01-01

    All animals are infected by microbial partners that can be passengers or residents and influence many biological traits of their hosts. Even if important factors that structure the composition and abundance of microbial communities within and among host individuals have been recently described, such as diet, developmental stage or phylogeny, few studies have conducted cross-taxonomic comparisons, especially on host species related by trophic relationships. Here, we describe and compare the microbial communities associated with the cabbage root fly Delia radicum and its three major parasitoids: the two staphylinid beetles Aleochara bilineata and A. bipustulata and the hymenopteran parasitoid Trybliographa rapae. For each species, two populations from Western France were sampled and microbial communities were described through culture independent methods (454 pyrosequencing). Each sample harbored at least 59 to 261 different bacterial phylotypes but was strongly dominated by one or two. Microbial communities differed markedly in terms of composition and abundance, being mainly influenced by phylogenetic proximity but also geography to a minor extent. Surprisingly, despite their strong trophic interaction, parasitoids shared a very low proportion of microbial partners with their insect host. Three vertically transmitted symbionts from the genus Wolbachia, Rickettsia, and Spiroplasma were found in this study. Among them, Wolbachia and Spiroplasma were found in both the cabbage fly and at least one of its parasitoids, which could result from horizontal transfers through trophic interactions. Phylogenetic analysis showed that this hypothesis may explain some but not all cases. More work is needed to understand the dynamics of symbiotic associations within trophic network and the effect of these bacterial communities on the fitness of their hosts. PMID:27258532

  19. Bacterial Community Diversity Harboured by Interacting Species

    PubMed Central

    Bili, Mikaël; Cortesero, Anne Marie; Mougel, Christophe; Gauthier, Jean Pierre; Ermel, Gwennola; Simon, Jean Christophe; Outreman, Yannick; Terrat, Sébastien; Mahéo, Frédérique; Poinsot, Denis

    2016-01-01

    All animals are infected by microbial partners that can be passengers or residents and influence many biological traits of their hosts. Even if important factors that structure the composition and abundance of microbial communities within and among host individuals have been recently described, such as diet, developmental stage or phylogeny, few studies have conducted cross-taxonomic comparisons, especially on host species related by trophic relationships. Here, we describe and compare the microbial communities associated with the cabbage root fly Delia radicum and its three major parasitoids: the two staphylinid beetles Aleochara bilineata and A. bipustulata and the hymenopteran parasitoid Trybliographa rapae. For each species, two populations from Western France were sampled and microbial communities were described through culture independent methods (454 pyrosequencing). Each sample harbored at least 59 to 261 different bacterial phylotypes but was strongly dominated by one or two. Microbial communities differed markedly in terms of composition and abundance, being mainly influenced by phylogenetic proximity but also geography to a minor extent. Surprisingly, despite their strong trophic interaction, parasitoids shared a very low proportion of microbial partners with their insect host. Three vertically transmitted symbionts from the genus Wolbachia, Rickettsia, and Spiroplasma were found in this study. Among them, Wolbachia and Spiroplasma were found in both the cabbage fly and at least one of its parasitoids, which could result from horizontal transfers through trophic interactions. Phylogenetic analysis showed that this hypothesis may explain some but not all cases. More work is needed to understand the dynamics of symbiotic associations within trophic network and the effect of these bacterial communities on the fitness of their hosts. PMID:27258532

  20. Bacterial interactions with uranium: An environmental perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merroun, Mohamed L.; Selenska-Pobell, Sonja

    2008-12-01

    The presence of actinides in radioactive wastes is of major concern because of their potential for migration from the waste repositories and long-term contamination of the environment. Studies have been and are being made on inorganic processes affecting the migration of radionuclides from these repositories to the environment but it is becoming increasingly evident that microbial processes are of importance as well. Bacteria interact with uranium through different mechanisms including, biosorption at the cell surface, intracellular accumulation, precipitation, and redox transformations (oxidation/reduction). The present study is intended to give a brief overview of the key processes responsible for the interaction of actinides e.g. uranium with bacterial strains isolated from different extreme environments relevant to radioactive repositories. Fundamental understanding of the interaction of these bacteria with U will be useful for developing appropriate radioactive waste treatments, remediation and long-term management strategies as well as for predicting the microbial impacts on the performance of the radioactive waste repositories.

  1. Host-pathogen interactions in bacterial meningitis.

    PubMed

    Doran, Kelly S; Fulde, Marcus; Gratz, Nina; Kim, Brandon J; Nau, Roland; Prasadarao, Nemani; Schubert-Unkmeir, Alexandra; Tuomanen, Elaine I; Valentin-Weigand, Peter

    2016-02-01

    Bacterial meningitis is a devastating disease occurring worldwide with up to half of the survivors left with permanent neurological sequelae. Due to intrinsic properties of the meningeal pathogens and the host responses they induce, infection can cause relatively specific lesions and clinical syndromes that result from interference with the function of the affected nervous system tissue. Pathogenesis is based on complex host-pathogen interactions, some of which are specific for certain bacteria, whereas others are shared among different pathogens. In this review, we summarize the recent progress made in understanding the molecular and cellular events involved in these interactions. We focus on selected major pathogens, Streptococcus pneumonia, S. agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus), Neisseria meningitidis, and Escherichia coli K1, and also include a neglected zoonotic pathogen, Streptococcus suis. These neuroinvasive pathogens represent common themes of host-pathogen interactions, such as colonization and invasion of mucosal barriers, survival in the blood stream, entry into the central nervous system by translocation of the blood-brain and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier, and induction of meningeal inflammation, affecting pia mater, the arachnoid and subarachnoid spaces. PMID:26744349

  2. Bacterial cyanogenesis: impact on biotic interactions.

    PubMed

    Zdor, R E

    2015-02-01

    The ability of bacteria to influence organisms that they associate with via metabolite production is one of the hallmarks of microbial interactions. One metabolite of interest is the metabolic poison cyanide. Production of this metabolite is an unique characteristic of certain bacteria that inhabit a wide array of habitats ranging from the human body to the rhizosphere. This review focuses on four targets of cyanogenic bacteria: the human lung, plant pathogens, plants and invertebrates. For a number of cyanogenic bacteria, the contribution of cyanide to the interaction has been rigorously tested using mutants altered in cyanide production. Both deleterious and stimulatory effects of cyanogenic bacteria on other organisms have been documented. In addition, the HCN synthase-encoding gene cluster hcnABC has served as a marker of cyanogenic capability in the soil environment revealing both genetic diversity at this locus and regulatory influences by other organisms. The pervasive nature of cyanogenesis in a number of different ecological contexts encourages exploration of this bacterial ability and its possible optimization for improving human health, crop production and pest control. PMID:25410133

  3. Melanin-binding radiopharmaceuticals

    SciTech Connect

    Packer, S; Fairchild, R G; Watts, K P; Greenberg, D; Hannon, S J

    1980-01-01

    The scope of this paper is limited to an analysis of the factors that are important to the relationship of radiopharmaceuticals to melanin. While the authors do not attempt to deal with differences between melanin-binding vs. melanoma-binding, a notable variance is assumed. (PSB)

  4. Airborne Bacterial Interactions: Functions Out of Thin Air?

    PubMed Central

    Audrain, Bianca; Létoffé, Sylvie; Ghigo, Jean-Marc

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria produce and release a large diversity of small molecules including organic and inorganic volatile compounds, hereafter referred to as bacterial volatile compounds (BVCs). Whereas BVCs were often only considered as wasted metabolic by-product sometimes perceived by animal olfactory systems, it is increasingly clear that they can also mediate cross-kingdom interactions with fungi, plants and animals. Recently, in vitro studies also reported the impact of BVCs on bacterial biology through modulation of antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation and virulence. Here, we review BVCs influence on bacterial adaptation to their environment and discuss the biological relevance of recently reported inter- and intra-species bacterial interactions mediated by BVCs. PMID:26733998

  5. Unveiling Bacterial Interactions through Multidimensional Scaling and Dynamics Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Dorado-Morales, Pedro; Vilanova, Cristina; P. Garay, Carlos; Martí, Jose Manuel; Porcar, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    We propose a new strategy to identify and visualize bacterial consortia by conducting replicated culturing of environmental samples coupled with high-throughput sequencing and multidimensional scaling analysis, followed by identification of bacteria-bacteria correlations and interactions. We conducted a proof of concept assay with pine-tree resin-based media in ten replicates, which allowed detecting and visualizing dynamical bacterial associations in the form of statistically significant and yet biologically relevant bacterial consortia. PMID:26671778

  6. Photothermal imaging of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerimo, Josef; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-02-01

    We present photothermal images of melanin using modulation with two laser beams. Strong melanin absorption followed by efficient nonradiative relaxation caused heating and an increase in temperature. This temperature effect was used as an imaging contrast to detect melanin. Melanin from several samples including Sepia officinalis, black human hair, and live zebra fish, were imaged with a high signal-to-noise ratio. For the imaging, we focused two near infrared laser beams (pump and probe) collinearly with different wavelengths and the pump was modulated in amplitude. The thermally induced variations in the refractive index, at the modulation frequency, were detected by the scattering of the probe beam. The Photothermal method brings several imaging benefits including the lack of background interference and the possibility of imaging for an extended period of time without photodamage to the melanin. The dependence of the photothermal signal on the laser power, modulation frequency, and spatial offset of the probe is discussed. The new photothermal imaging method is promising and provides background-free and label-free imaging of melanin and can be implemented with low-cost CW lasers.

  7. Resource-dependent attenuation of species interactions during bacterial succession

    PubMed Central

    Rivett, Damian W; Scheuerl, Thomas; Culbert, Christopher T; Mombrikotb, Shorok B; Johnstone, Emma; Barraclough, Timothy G; Bell, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial communities are vital for many economically and ecologically important processes. The role of bacterial community composition in determining ecosystem functioning depends critically on interactions among bacterial taxa. Several studies have shown that, despite a predominance of negative interactions in communities, bacteria are able to display positive interactions given the appropriate evolutionary or ecological conditions. We were interested in how interspecific interactions develop over time in a naturalistic setting of low resource supply rates. We assembled aquatic bacterial communities in microcosms and assayed the productivity (respiration and growth) and substrate degradation while tracking community composition. The results demonstrated that while bacterial communities displayed strongly negative interactions during the early phase of colonisation and acclimatisation to novel biotic and abiotic factors, this antagonism declined over time towards a more neutral state. This was associated with a shift from use of labile substrates in early succession to use of recalcitrant substrates later in succession, confirming a crucial role of resource dynamics in linking interspecific interactions with ecosystem functioning. PMID:26894447

  8. Resource-dependent attenuation of species interactions during bacterial succession.

    PubMed

    Rivett, Damian W; Scheuerl, Thomas; Culbert, Christopher T; Mombrikotb, Shorok B; Johnstone, Emma; Barraclough, Timothy G; Bell, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial communities are vital for many economically and ecologically important processes. The role of bacterial community composition in determining ecosystem functioning depends critically on interactions among bacterial taxa. Several studies have shown that, despite a predominance of negative interactions in communities, bacteria are able to display positive interactions given the appropriate evolutionary or ecological conditions. We were interested in how interspecific interactions develop over time in a naturalistic setting of low resource supply rates. We assembled aquatic bacterial communities in microcosms and assayed the productivity (respiration and growth) and substrate degradation while tracking community composition. The results demonstrated that while bacterial communities displayed strongly negative interactions during the early phase of colonisation and acclimatisation to novel biotic and abiotic factors, this antagonism declined over time towards a more neutral state. This was associated with a shift from use of labile substrates in early succession to use of recalcitrant substrates later in succession, confirming a crucial role of resource dynamics in linking interspecific interactions with ecosystem functioning. PMID:26894447

  9. Experimental Disturbance of Foraminiferal-Bacterial Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langezaal, A. M.; van Bergen, P. F.; van der Zwaan, G. J.

    2003-04-01

    In experiments with living foraminifera, sediment is often sieved prior to incubation in microcosms. This is done to get rid of larger predators, which disturb the sediment and destroy the meiofaunal assemblage. However, the actual sieving results in a sudden disturbance of the obligate anaerobic bacteria. While sieved, they are subjected to aerobe conditions. But also the strictly aerobic bacteria are at a disadvantage when loading the homogenized sediment in microcosms. Normally, their population occurs abundantly in the top oxygenated layer with a thickness of a couple of mm. At the onset of the experiment, however, the aerobe population is mixed through the sediment to become relatively reduced in the top layer. The effects of these disturbances are ill known but might affect the outcome of the experimental foraminiferal and biogeochemical studies substantially. Benthic foraminifera migrate to their natural in-sediment position within three weeks after disturbance. The geochemistry is restored even quicker to the natural situation and it is assumed generally that equilibrium in the sediment has re-established after three weeks (Ernst et al., 2000, Duijnstee et al., 2001). However, some studies suggest that bacterial activity does not recover from the sieving process (Federly et al., 1986; Findley et al., 1990; Gilbert et al., 1995; Schafer et al., 2001) and our data indicate that the bacterial population suffers greatly. We tested an experimental design that has less influence on the bacterial standing stock. The sieving procedure was avoided, intact sediment columns were retrieved from the sea floor and macrofauna was removed by flushing the cores with Argon. In this way the structure of the sediment was kept intact, and no specific groups of bacteria are advantaged at the start of the experiment. The impact of the experimental designs on the outcome of foraminiferal studies is discussed.

  10. Interaction of multiple biomimetic antimicrobial polymers with model bacterial membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baul, Upayan; Kuroda, Kenichi; Vemparala, Satyavani

    2014-08-01

    Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, interaction of multiple synthetic random copolymers based on methacrylates on prototypical bacterial membranes is investigated. The simulations show that the cationic polymers form a micellar aggregate in water phase and the aggregate, when interacting with the bacterial membrane, induces clustering of oppositely charged anionic lipid molecules to form clusters and enhances ordering of lipid chains. The model bacterial membrane, consequently, develops lateral inhomogeneity in membrane thickness profile compared to polymer-free system. The individual polymers in the aggregate are released into the bacterial membrane in a phased manner and the simulations suggest that the most probable location of the partitioned polymers is near the 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol (POPG) clusters. The partitioned polymers preferentially adopt facially amphiphilic conformations at lipid-water interface, despite lacking intrinsic secondary structures such as α-helix or β-sheet found in naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides.

  11. Interaction of multiple biomimetic antimicrobial polymers with model bacterial membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Baul, Upayan Vemparala, Satyavani; Kuroda, Kenichi

    2014-08-28

    Using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, interaction of multiple synthetic random copolymers based on methacrylates on prototypical bacterial membranes is investigated. The simulations show that the cationic polymers form a micellar aggregate in water phase and the aggregate, when interacting with the bacterial membrane, induces clustering of oppositely charged anionic lipid molecules to form clusters and enhances ordering of lipid chains. The model bacterial membrane, consequently, develops lateral inhomogeneity in membrane thickness profile compared to polymer-free system. The individual polymers in the aggregate are released into the bacterial membrane in a phased manner and the simulations suggest that the most probable location of the partitioned polymers is near the 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol (POPG) clusters. The partitioned polymers preferentially adopt facially amphiphilic conformations at lipid-water interface, despite lacking intrinsic secondary structures such as α-helix or β-sheet found in naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides.

  12. Interactions between Autophagy and Bacterial Toxins: Targets for Therapy?

    PubMed Central

    Mathieu, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a physiological process involved in defense mechanisms for clearing intracellular bacteria. The autophagic pathway is finely regulated and bacterial toxins interact with this process in a complex manner. Bacterial toxins also interact significantly with many biochemical processes. Evaluations of the effects of bacterial toxins, such as endotoxins, pore-forming toxins and adenylate cyclases, on autophagy could support the development of new strategies for counteracting bacterial pathogenicity. Treatment strategies could focus on drugs that enhance autophagic processes to improve the clearance of intracellular bacteria. However, further in vivo studies are required to decipher the upregulation of autophagy and potential side effects limiting such approaches. The capacity of autophagy activation strategies to improve the outcome of antibiotic treatment should be investigated in the future. PMID:26248079

  13. Hydrodynamic interaction of bacterial flagella - flagellar bundling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Sookkyung

    2013-11-01

    Flagellar bundling is an important aspect of locomotion in bacteria such as Escherichia coli. To study the hydrodynamic behavior of helical flagella, we present a computational model that is based on the geometry of the bacterial flagellar filament at the micrometer scale. We consider two model flagella, each of which has a rotary motor at its base with the rotation rate of the motor set at 100 Hz. Bundling occurs when both flagella are left-handed helices turning counterclockwise (when viewed from the nonmotor end of the flagellum looking back toward the motor) or when both flagella are right-handed helices turning clockwise. Helical flagella of the other combinations of handedness and rotation direction do not bundle. In this work we use the generalized immersed boundary method combined with the unconstrained Kirchhoff rod theory, which allows us to study the complicated hydrodynamics of flagellar behavior. This is a joint work with Charlie Peskin at NYU. NSF

  14. Assessing Bacterial Interactions Using Carbohydrate-Based Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Flannery, Andrea; Gerlach, Jared Q.; Joshi, Lokesh; Kilcoyne, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    Carbohydrates play a crucial role in host-microorganism interactions and many host glycoconjugates are receptors or co-receptors for microbial binding. Host glycosylation varies with species and location in the body, and this contributes to species specificity and tropism of commensal and pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, bacterial glycosylation is often the first bacterial molecular species encountered and responded to by the host system. Accordingly, characterising and identifying the exact structures involved in these critical interactions is an important priority in deciphering microbial pathogenesis. Carbohydrate-based microarray platforms have been an underused tool for screening bacterial interactions with specific carbohydrate structures, but they are growing in popularity in recent years. In this review, we discuss carbohydrate-based microarrays that have been profiled with whole bacteria, recombinantly expressed adhesins or serum antibodies. Three main types of carbohydrate-based microarray platform are considered; (i) conventional carbohydrate or glycan microarrays; (ii) whole mucin microarrays; and (iii) microarrays constructed from bacterial polysaccharides or their components. Determining the nature of the interactions between bacteria and host can help clarify the molecular mechanisms of carbohydrate-mediated interactions in microbial pathogenesis, infectious disease and host immune response and may lead to new strategies to boost therapeutic treatments. PMID:27600247

  15. Melanin pigmented solar absorbing surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Gallas, J.M.; Eisner, M.

    1980-01-01

    Selectivity enhancement is shown to result for melanin, a black biopolymer pigment, for sufficiently low sample density. The effect is proposed to follow from a consideration of the evanescent waves associated with the total internal reflection phenomenon. A relationship is discussed among powder density, pH and the paramagnetic properties of melanin; this relationship is shown to be consistent with, and offer support to an amino-acid side group proposed earlier as part of the melanin structure. A brief discussion is also presented on the optical properties of melanin and the relative importance of quinhydrone, a change transfer complex believed to exist in the polymeric structure of melanin.

  16. Microbial Small Talk: Volatiles in Fungal–Bacterial Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Ruth; Etalo, Desalegn W.; de Jager, Victor; Gerards, Saskia; Zweers, Hans; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play an important role in the interactions between fungi and bacteria, two major groups of soil inhabiting microorganisms. Yet, most of the research has been focused on effects of bacterial volatiles on suppression of plant pathogenic fungi whereas little is known about the responses of bacteria to fungal volatiles. In the current study we performed a metabolomics analysis of volatiles emitted by several fungal and oomycetal soil strains under different nutrient conditions and growth stages. The metabolomics analysis of the tested fungal and oomycetal strains revealed different volatile profiles dependent on the age of the strains and nutrient conditions. Furthermore, we screened the phenotypic responses of soil bacterial strains to volatiles emitted by fungi. Two bacteria, Collimonas pratensis Ter291 and Serratia plymuthica PRI-2C, showed significant changes in their motility, in particular to volatiles emitted by Fusarium culmorum. This fungus produced a unique volatile blend, including several terpenes. Four of these terpenes were selected for further tests to investigate if they influence bacterial motility. Indeed, these terpenes induced or reduced swimming and swarming motility of S. plymuthica PRI-2C and swarming motility of C. pratensis Ter291, partly in a concentration-dependent manner. Overall the results of this work revealed that bacteria are able to sense and respond to fungal volatiles giving further evidence to the suggested importance of volatiles as signaling molecules in fungal–bacterial interactions. PMID:26779150

  17. Interspecific Bacterial Interactions are Reflected in Multispecies Biofilm Spatial Organization

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wenzheng; Røder, Henriette L.; Madsen, Jonas S.; Bjarnsholt, Thomas; Sørensen, Søren J.; Burmølle, Mette

    2016-01-01

    Interspecies interactions are essential for the persistence and development of any kind of complex community, and microbial biofilms are no exception. Multispecies biofilms are structured and spatially defined communities that have received much attention due to their omnipresence in natural environments. Species residing in these complex bacterial communities usually interact both intra- and interspecifically. Such interactions are considered to not only be fundamental in shaping overall biomass and the spatial distribution of cells residing in multispecies biofilms, but also to result in coordinated regulation of gene expression in the different species present. These communal interactions often lead to emergent properties in biofilms, such as enhanced tolerance against antibiotics, host immune responses, and other stresses, which have been shown to provide benefits to all biofilm members not only the enabling sub-populations. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of cellular processes affecting spatial organization, and vice versa, are poorly understood and very complex to unravel. Therefore, detailed description of the spatial organization of individual bacterial cells in multispecies communities can be an alternative strategy to reveal the nature of interspecies interactions of constituent species. Closing the gap between visual observation and biological processes may become crucial for resolving biofilm related problems, which is of utmost importance to environmental, industrial, and clinical implications. This review briefly presents the state of the art of studying interspecies interactions and spatial organization of multispecies communities, aiming to support theoretical and practical arguments for further advancement of this field.

  18. Paraquat-Melanin Redox-Cycling: Evidence from Electrochemical Reverse Engineering.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eunkyoung; Leverage, W Taylor; Liu, Yi; Panzella, Lucia; Alfieri, Maria Laura; Napolitano, Alessandra; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2016-08-17

    Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with oxidative stress and the death of melanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra. Epidemiological evidence links exposure to the pesticide paraquat (PQ) to Parkinson's disease, and this link has been explained by a redox cycling mechanism that induces oxidative stress. Here, we used a novel electrochemistry-based reverse engineering methodology to test the hypothesis that PQ can undergo reductive redox cycling with melanin. In this method, (i) an insoluble natural melanin (from Sepia melanin) and a synthetic model melanin (having a cysteinyldopamine-melanin core and dopamine-melanin shell) were entrapped in a nonconducting hydrogel film adjacent to an electrode, (ii) the film-coated electrode was immersed in solutions containing PQ (putative redox cycling reductant) and a redox cycling oxidant (ferrocene dimethanol), (iii) sequences of input potentials (i.e., voltages) were imposed to the underlying electrode to systematically engage reductive and oxidative redox cycling, and (iv) output response currents were analyzed for signatures of redox cycling. The response characteristics of the PQ-melanin systems to various input potential sequences support the hypothesis that PQ can directly donate electrons to melanin. This observation of PQ-melanin redox interactions demonstrates an association between two components that have been individually linked to oxidative stress and Parkinson's disease. Potentially, melanin's redox activity could be an important component in understanding the etiology of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. PMID:27246915

  19. A fragrant neighborhood: volatile mediated bacterial interactions in soil

    PubMed Central

    Schulz-Bohm, Kristin; Zweers, Hans; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play essential roles in communication and competition between soil microorganisms. Here we assessed volatile-mediated interactions of a synthetic microbial community in a model system that mimics the natural conditions in the heterogeneous soil environment along the rhizosphere. Phylogenetic different soil bacterial isolates (Burkholderia sp., Dyella sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Paenibacillus sp.) were inoculated as mixtures or monoculture in organic-poor, sandy soil containing artificial root exudates (ARE) and the volatile profile and growth were analyzed. Additionally, a two-compartment system was used to test if volatiles produced by inter-specific interactions in the rhizosphere can stimulate the activity of starving bacteria in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil. The obtained results revealed that both microbial interactions and shifts in microbial community composition had a strong effect on the volatile emission. Interestingly, the presence of a slow-growing, low abundant Paenibacillus strain significantly affected the volatile production by the other abundant members of the bacterial community as well as the growth of the interacting strains. Furthermore, volatiles released by mixtures of root-exudates consuming bacteria stimulated the activity and growth of starved bacteria. Besides growth stimulation, also an inhibition in growth was observed for starving bacteria exposed to microbial volatiles. The current work suggests that volatiles produced during microbial interactions in the rhizosphere have a significant long distance effect on microorganisms in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil. PMID:26579111

  20. A fragrant neighborhood: volatile mediated bacterial interactions in soil.

    PubMed

    Schulz-Bohm, Kristin; Zweers, Hans; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play essential roles in communication and competition between soil microorganisms. Here we assessed volatile-mediated interactions of a synthetic microbial community in a model system that mimics the natural conditions in the heterogeneous soil environment along the rhizosphere. Phylogenetic different soil bacterial isolates (Burkholderia sp., Dyella sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp., and Paenibacillus sp.) were inoculated as mixtures or monoculture in organic-poor, sandy soil containing artificial root exudates (ARE) and the volatile profile and growth were analyzed. Additionally, a two-compartment system was used to test if volatiles produced by inter-specific interactions in the rhizosphere can stimulate the activity of starving bacteria in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil. The obtained results revealed that both microbial interactions and shifts in microbial community composition had a strong effect on the volatile emission. Interestingly, the presence of a slow-growing, low abundant Paenibacillus strain significantly affected the volatile production by the other abundant members of the bacterial community as well as the growth of the interacting strains. Furthermore, volatiles released by mixtures of root-exudates consuming bacteria stimulated the activity and growth of starved bacteria. Besides growth stimulation, also an inhibition in growth was observed for starving bacteria exposed to microbial volatiles. The current work suggests that volatiles produced during microbial interactions in the rhizosphere have a significant long distance effect on microorganisms in the surrounding, nutrient-depleted soil. PMID:26579111

  1. Interactions of Bacterial Proteins with Host Eukaryotic Ubiquitin Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Perrett, Charlotte Averil; Lin, David Yin-Wei; Zhou, Daoguo

    2011-01-01

    Ubiquitination is a post-translational modification in which one or more 76 amino acid polypeptide ubiquitin molecules are covalently linked to the lysine residues of target proteins. Ubiquitination is the main pathway for protein degradation that governs a variety of eukaryotic cellular processes, including the cell-cycle, vesicle trafficking, antigen presentation, and signal transduction. Not surprisingly, aberrations in the system have been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases including inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Recent studies have revealed that viruses and bacterial pathogens exploit the host ubiquitination pathways to gain entry and to aid their survival/replication inside host cells. This review will summarize recent developments in understanding the biochemical and structural mechanisms utilized by bacterial pathogens to interact with the host ubiquitination pathways. PMID:21772834

  2. Modelling the interaction between bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts.

    PubMed

    Beke, Gabor; Stano, Matej; Klucar, Lubos

    2016-09-01

    A mathematical model simulating the interaction between bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts has been developed. It is based on other known models describing this type of interaction, enhanced with an ability to model the system influenced by other environmental factor such as pH and temperature. This could be used for numerous estimations of growth rate, when the pH and/or the temperature of the environment are not constant. The change of pH or the temperature greatly affects the specific growth rate which has an effect on the final results of the simulation. Since the model aims on practical application and easy accessibility, an interactive website has been developed where users can run simulations with their own parameters and easily calculate and visualise the result of simulation. The web simulation is accessible at the URL http://www.phisite.org/model. PMID:27393678

  3. Differential interaction forces govern bacterial sorting in early biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Oldewurtel, Enno R; Kouzel, Nadzeya; Dewenter, Lena; Henseler, Katja; Maier, Berenike

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial biofilms can generate micro-heterogeneity in terms of surface structures. However, little is known about the associated changes in the physics of cell–cell interaction and its impact on the architecture of biofilms. In this study, we used the type IV pilus of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to test whether variation of surface structures induces cell-sorting. We show that the rupture forces between pili are fine-tuned by post-translational modification. Bacterial sorting was dependent on pilus post-translational modification and pilus density. Active force generation was necessary for defined morphologies of mixed microcolonies. The observed morphotypes were in remarkable agreement with the differential strength of adhesion hypothesis proposing that a tug-of-war among surface structures of different cells governs cell sorting. We conclude that in early biofilms the density and rupture force of bacterial surface structures can trigger cell sorting based on similar physical principles as in developing embryos. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10811.001 PMID:26402455

  4. Interactions in Bacterial Biofilm Development: A Structural Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Garnett, James A; Matthews, Steve

    2012-01-01

    A community-based life style is the normal mode of growth and survival for many bacterial species. These cellular accretions or biofilms are initiated upon recognition of solid phases by cell surface exposed adhesive moieties. Further cell-cell interactions, cell signalling and bacterial replication leads to the establishment of dense populations encapsulated in a mainly self-produced extracellular matrix; this comprises a complex mixture of macromolecules. These fascinating architectures protect the inhabitants from radiation damage, dehydration, pH fluctuations and antimicrobial compounds. As such they can cause bacterial persistence in disease and problems in industrial applications. In this review we discuss the current understandings of these initial biofilm-forming processes based on structural data. We also briefly describe latter biofilm maturation and dispersal events, which although lack high-resolution insights, are the present focus for many structural biologists working in this field. Finally we give an overview of modern techniques aimed at preventing and disrupting problem biofilms. PMID:23305361

  5. Photoacoustic measurement of epidermal melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viator, John A.; Svaasand, Lars O.; Aguilar, Guillermo; Choi, Bernard; Nelson, J. Stuart

    2003-06-01

    Most dermatologic laser procedures must consider epidermal melanin, as it is a broadband optical absorber which affects subsurface fluence, effectively limiting the amount of light reaching the dermis and targeted chromophores. An accurate method for quantifying epidermal melanin content would aid clinicians in determining proper light dosage for therapeutic laser procedures. While epidermal melanin content has been quantified non-invasively using optical methods, there is currently no way to determine the melanin distribution in the epidermis. We have developed a photoacoustic probe that uses a Q-switched, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser operating at 532nm to generate acoustic pulses in skin in vivo. The probe contained a piezoelectric element that detected photoacoustic waves which were then analyzed for epidermal melanin content, using a photoacoustic melanin index (PAMI). We tested 15 human subjects with skin types I--VI using the photoacoustic probe. We also present photoacoustic data for a human subject with vitiligo. Photoacoustic measurement showed melanin in the vitiligo subject was almost completely absent.

  6. New Systems for Studying Intercellular Interactions in Bacterial Vaginosis.

    PubMed

    Herbst-Kralovetz, Melissa M; Pyles, Richard B; Ratner, Adam J; Sycuro, Laura K; Mitchell, Caroline

    2016-08-15

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) affects almost a quarter of US women, making it a condition of major public health relevance. Key questions remain regarding the etiology of BV, mechanisms for its association with poor reproductive health outcomes, and reasons for high rates of treatment failure. New model systems are required to answer these remaining questions, elucidate the complex host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, and develop new, effective interventions. In this review, we cover the strengths and limitations of in vitro and in vivo model systems to study these complex intercellular interactions. Furthermore, we discuss advancements needed to maximize the translational utility of the model systems. As no single model can recapitulate all of the complex physiological and environmental conditions of the human vaginal microenvironment, we conclude that combinatorial approaches using in vitro and in vivo model systems will be required to address the remaining fundamental questions surrounding the enigma that is BV. PMID:27449872

  7. Interaction of bacterial wall with electrically charged solid substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajaev, Vladimir

    2015-11-01

    Recent experimental studies indicate that the electrically charged substrates can exhibit antibacterial properties above a certain threshold value of the charge density. To explain these observations, we develop a mathematical model of interaction between a bacterial wall, described as a charge-regulating surface, and a charged solid substrate. Viscous flow in the aqueous film separating the two surfaces is described by a lubrication-type equation. Electrical charge transport is incorporated into the model and coupled to the flow. The complex interplay between charge transport, electrostatic interaction of the surfaces, and viscous flow leads to criteria for the critical charge density needed to achieve antibacterial properties for a range of different types of harmful bacteria.

  8. Pathogenic roles for fungal melanins.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, E S

    2000-10-01

    Melanins represent virulence factors for several pathogenic fungi; the number of examples is growing. Thus, albino mutants of several genera (in one case, mutated precisely in the melanizing enzyme) exhibit decreased virulence in mice. We consider the phenomenon in relation to known chemical properties of melanin, beginning with biosynthesis from ortho-hydroquinone precursors which, when oxidized enzymatically to quinones, polymerize spontaneously to melanin. It follows that melanizing intermediates are cross-linking reagents; melanization stabilizes the external cell wall against hydrolysis and is thought to determine semipermeability in the osmotic ram (the appressorium) of certain plant pathogens. Polymeric melanins undergo reversible oxidation-reduction reactions between cell wall-penetrating quinone and hydroquinone oxidation states and thus represent polymeric redox buffers; using strong oxidants, it is possible to titrate the melanin on living cells and thereby demonstrate protection conferred by melanin in several species. The amount of buffering per cell approximately neutralizes the amount of oxidant generated by a single macrophage. Moreover, the intermediate oxidation state, the semiquinone, is a very stable free radical and is thought to trap unpaired electrons. We have suggested that the oxidation state of external melanin may be regulated by external Fe(II). An independent hypothesis holds that in Cryptococcus neoformans, an important function of the melanizing enzyme (apart from melanization) is the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III), thereby forestalling generation of the harmful hydroxyl radical from H(2)O(2). Thus, problems in fungal pathogenesis have led to evolving hypotheses regarding melanin functioning. PMID:11023965

  9. Pathogenic Roles for Fungal Melanins

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Eric S.

    2000-01-01

    Melanins represent virulence factors for several pathogenic fungi; the number of examples is growing. Thus, albino mutants of several genera (in one case, mutated precisely in the melanizing enzyme) exhibit decreased virulence in mice. We consider the phenomenon in relation to known chemical properties of melanin, beginning with biosynthesis from ortho-hydroquinone precursors which, when oxidized enzymatically to quinones, polymerize spontaneously to melanin. It follows that melanizing intermediates are cross-linking reagents; melanization stabilizes the external cell wall against hydrolysis and is thought to determine semipermeability in the osmotic ram (the appressorium) of certain plant pathogens. Polymeric melanins undergo reversible oxidation-reduction reactions between cell wall-penetrating quinone and hydroquinone oxidation states and thus represent polymeric redox buffers; using strong oxidants, it is possible to titrate the melanin on living cells and thereby demonstrate protection conferred by melanin in several species. The amount of buffering per cell approximately neutralizes the amount of oxidant generated by a single macrophage. Moreover, the intermediate oxidation state, the semiquinone, is a very stable free radical and is thought to trap unpaired electrons. We have suggested that the oxidation state of external melanin may be regulated by external Fe(II). An independent hypothesis holds that in Cryptococcus neoformans, an important function of the melanizing enzyme (apart from melanization) is the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III), thereby forestalling generation of the harmful hydroxyl radical from H2O2. Thus, problems in fungal pathogenesis have led to evolving hypotheses regarding melanin functioning. PMID:11023965

  10. Role of Sex Steroid Hormones in Bacterial-Host Interactions

    PubMed Central

    García-Gómez, Elizabeth; González-Pedrajo, Bertha; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio

    2013-01-01

    Sex steroid hormones play important physiological roles in reproductive and nonreproductive tissues, including immune cells. These hormones exert their functions by binding to either specific intracellular receptors that act as ligand-dependent transcription factors or membrane receptors that stimulate several signal transduction pathways. The elevated susceptibility of males to bacterial infections can be related to the usually lower immune responses presented in males as compared to females. This dimorphic sex difference is mainly due to the differential modulation of the immune system by sex steroid hormones through the control of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines expression, as well as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) expression and antibody production. Besides, sex hormones can also affect the metabolism, growth, or virulence of pathogenic bacteria. In turn, pathogenic, microbiota, and environmental bacteria are able to metabolize and degrade steroid hormones and their related compounds. All these data suggest that sex steroid hormones play a key role in the modulation of bacterial-host interactions. PMID:23509808

  11. Interactions of selected bacterial isolates with DBT and solubilized coal

    SciTech Connect

    Key, D.H.; Fox, R.V.; Kase, R.S.; Willey, M.S.; Stoner, D.L.; Ward, T.E.

    1990-01-01

    We are studying the interactions of isolated bacteria with dibenzothiophene (DBT), a sulfur-containing model compound, and with a solubilized coal product derived from a high-organic-sulfur lignite. The sensitivity of the tetrazolium assay used to identify and study these strains was improved by substituting tetrazolium violet for triphenyltetrazolium. DBT metabolism by thirteen strains was investigated using qualitative and quantitative GC and GC-MS analyses. Growth medium and incubation time affect the extent of DBT degradation and the production of DBT metabolites. Under specific conditions, seven of the strains produce metabolites which elute close to the position of one or another of the biphenyl standards. However, when these samples are spiked with the standard compounds, the bacterial metabolites do not co-elute with the standards. The modification of solubilized high-organic-sulfur coal by six of these strains was also studied. No selective removal of sulfur relative to carbon was observed. 13 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  12. Bacterial responses and interactions with plants during rhizoremediation

    PubMed Central

    Segura, Ana; Rodríguez‐Conde, Sara; Ramos, Cayo; Ramos, Juan L.

    2009-01-01

    Summary With the increase in quality of life standards and the awareness of environmental issues, the remediation of polluted sites has become a priority for society. Because of the high economic cost of physico‐chemical strategies for remediation, the use of biological tools for cleaning‐up contaminated sites is a very attractive option. Rhizoremediation, the use of rhizospheric microorganisms in the bioremediation of contaminants, is the biotechnological approach that we explore in this minireview. We focus our attention on bacterial interactions with the plant surface, responses towards root exudates, and how plants and microbes communicate. We analyse certain strategies that may improve rhizoremediation, including the utilization of endophytes, and finally we discuss several rhizoremediation strategies that have opened ways to improve biodegradation. PMID:21255277

  13. Production and Cytotoxicity of Extracellular Insoluble and Droplets of Soluble Melanin by Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3

    PubMed Central

    Madhusudhan, D. N.; Mazhari, Bi Bi Zainab; Dastager, Syed G.

    2014-01-01

    A Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 strain with potential to synthesize both insoluble and soluble melanins was detected. Melanins are quite distinguished based on their solubility for varied biotechnological applications. The present investigation reveals the enhanced production of insoluble and soluble melanins in tyrosine medium by a single culture. Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 was characterized by 16S rRNA gene analysis. An enhanced production of 5.29 g/L insoluble melanin was achieved in a submerged bioprocess following response surface methodology. Combined interactive effect of temperature (50°C), pH (8.5), tyrosine (2.0 g/L), and beef extract (0.5 g/L) were found to be critical variables for enhanced production in central composite design analysis. An optimized indigenous slant culture system was an innovative approach for the successful production (264 mg/L) of pure soluble melanin from the droplets formed on the surface of the culture. Both insoluble and soluble melanins were confirmed and characterized by Chemical, reactions, UV, FTIR, and TLC analysis. First time, cytotoxic study of melanin using brine shrimps was reported. Maximum cytotoxic activity of soluble melanin was Lc50-0.40 µg/mL and insoluble melanin was Lc50-0.80 µg/mL. PMID:24839603

  14. Circular Dichroism studies on the interactions of antimicrobial peptides with bacterial cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avitabile, Concetta; D'Andrea, Luca Domenico; Romanelli, Alessandra

    2014-03-01

    Studying how antimicrobial peptides interact with bacterial cells is pivotal to understand their mechanism of action. In this paper we explored the use of Circular Dichroism to detect the secondary structure of two antimicrobial peptides, magainin 2 and cecropin A, with E. coli bacterial cells. The results of our studies allow us to gain two important information in the context of antimicrobial peptides- bacterial cells interactions: peptides fold mainly due to interaction with LPS, which is the main component of the Gram negative bacteria outer membrane and the time required for the folding on the bacterial cells depends on the peptide analyzed.

  15. Interactions of Dnd proteins involved in bacterial DNA phosphorothioate modification

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Wei; Zhao, Gong; Yu, Hao; He, Xinyi

    2015-01-01

    DNA phosphorothioation (PT) is the first discovered physiological DNA backbone modification, in which a non-bridging oxygen atom of the phosphodiester bond is replaced with a sulfur atom in Rp (rectus for plane) configuration. PT modification is governed by a highly conserved gene cluster dndA/iscS-dndBCDE that is widespread across bacterial and archaeal species. However, little is known about how these proteins coordinately react with each other to perform oxygen–sulfur swap. We here demonstrated that IscS, DndC, DndD and DndE form a protein complex of which the molecular ratio for four proteins in the complex is approximate 1:1:1:1. DndB here displayed little or weak affinity to the complex and the constructs harboring dndACDE can confer the host in vivo PT modification. Using co-purification and pull down strategy, we demonstrated that the four proteins assemble into a pipeline in collinear to its gene organization, namely, IscS binding to DndC, DndC binding to DndD, and DndD binding to DndE. Moreover, weak interactions between DndE and IscS, DndE and DndC were also identified. PMID:26539172

  16. Receptor interactions through phosphorylation and methylation pathways in bacterial chemotaxis.

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, D A; Koshland, D E

    1988-01-01

    The effects of messages initiated by one receptor on the covalent modification of a second receptor were studied by use of a technique for rapidly separating the receptors. Methylation of the bacterial-chemotactic serine receptor increases as a result of aspartate binding to the aspartate receptor. The aspartate-induced methylation on the serine receptor is absent in a strain that lacks cheA and cheW genes and is not the result of physical interaction, such as the formation of heterodimers between the aspartate and serine receptors, or of alterations in the affinity of the serine receptor for the methyltransferase and the methylesterase. Serine-induced methylation of the serine receptor did not require cheA and cheW. A model is presented in which the receptor methylation level depends on the combination of (i) a ligand-induced conformational change on the receptor substrate of the methylation enzymes and (ii) an indirect cytoplasmic signal that operates through the methylesterase. PMID:2847160

  17. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine

    PubMed Central

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies. PMID:27031728

  18. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine.

    PubMed

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies. PMID:27031728

  19. ELECTRON SPIN RESONANCE STUDIES ON MELANIN.

    PubMed

    BLOIS, M S; ZAHLAN, A B; MALING, J E

    1964-11-01

    Electron spin resonance (e.s.r.) observations of squid melanin have been conducted over the temperature range 500 degrees K to 4.2 degrees K, and the effect of various chemical treatments of the melanin upon the e.s.r. spectrum has been studied. The findings have shown that the paramagnetism of this melanin follows the Curie Law from 500 degrees K to 4.2 degrees K, that the spin signal can be eliminated by the addition of Cu(++) to the melanin, and that the optical and e.s.r. absorptions of melanin are independent since either can be reduced or eliminated without affecting the other. Similar studies on synthetic melanins produced by autoxidation or by enzymatic oxidation of a number of biphenols were carried out. It was found that the e.s.r. signals of these synthetic melanins were strikingly similar (with respect to line width, line shape, and g-value) with those of squid melanin. It is concluded that the unpaired electrons observed are associated with trapped free radicals in the melanin polymer, that the biosynthesis of melanin may involve a free radical mechanism, and that these physical data are in accord with the concept of Nicolaus that melanin is a highly irregular, three-dimensional, polymer. PMID:14232133

  20. Altered host cell-bacteria interaction due to nanoparticle interaction with a bacterial biofilm.

    PubMed

    Raftery, Tara D; Lindler, Heidi; McNealy, Tamara L

    2013-02-01

    Nanoparticle (NP) use in everyday applications creates the potential for NPs to enter the environment where, in aquatic systems, they are likely to settle on substrates and interact with microbial communities. Legionella pneumophila biofilms are found as part of microbial communities in both natural and man-made environments, especially in man-made cooling systems. The bacterium is the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease. Legionella requires a host cell for replication in the environment, and amoebae commonly serve as this host cell. Our previous work demonstrated significant changes in Legionella biofilm morphology after exposure to 0.7 μg/L gold NPs (AuNPs). Here, we investigate how these morphology changes alter host-bacteria interactions using Acanthamoeba polyphaga as a model. Host-bacteria-NP interactions are affected by NP characteristics. Biofilms exposed to 4- and 18-nm, citrate-capped, spherical AuNPs significantly altered the grazing ability of A. polyphaga, which was not observed in biofilms exposed to 24-nm polystyrene beads. Uptake and replication of NP-exposed planktonic L. pneumophila within A. polyphaga were not altered regardless of NP size or core chemistry. Nanomaterial effects on the interaction of benthic organisms and bacteria may be directly or, as shown here, indirectly dependent on bacterial morphology. NP contamination therefore may alter interactions in a normal ecosystem function. PMID:23052925

  1. Melanin and neuromelanin binding of drugs and chemicals: toxicological implications.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar

    2016-08-01

    Melanin is a polyanionic pigment that colors, e.g., the hair, skin and eyes. The pigment neuromelanin is closely related to melanin and is mainly produced in specific neurons of the substantia nigra. Certain drugs and chemicals bind to melanin/neuromelanin and are retained in pigment cells for long periods. This specific retention is thought to protect the cells but also to serve as a depot that slowly releases accumulated compounds and may cause toxicity in the eye and skin. Moreover, neuromelanin and compounds with high neuromelanin affinity have been suggested to be implicated in the development of adverse drug reactions in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as in the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Epidemiologic studies implicate the exposure to pesticides, metals, solvents and other chemicals as risk factors for PD. Neuromelanin interacts with several of these toxicants which may play a significant part in both the initiation and the progression of neurodegeneration. MPTP/MPP(+) that has been casually linked with parkinsonism has high affinity for neuromelanin, and the induced dopaminergic denervation correlates with the neuromelanin content in the cells. Recent studies have also reported that neuromelanin may interact with α-synuclein as well as activate microglia and dendritic cells. This review aims to provide an overview of melanin binding of drugs and other compounds, and possible toxicological implications, with particular focus on the CNS and its potential involvement in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:27311820

  2. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin

    PubMed Central

    Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Melanin is a unique pigment with myriad functions that is found in all biological kingdoms. It is multifunctional, providing defense against environmental stresses such as ultraviolet (UV) light, oxidizing agents and ionizing radiation. Melanin contributes to the ability of fungi to survive in harsh environments. In addition, it plays a role in fungal pathogenesis. Melanin is an amorphous polymer that is produced by one of two synthetic pathways. Fungi may synthesize melanin from endogenous substrate via a 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) intermediate. Alternatively, some fungi produce melanin from l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-dopa). The detailed chemical structure of melanin is not known. However, microscopic studies show that it has an overall granular structure. In fungi, melanin granules are localized to the cell wall where they are likely cross-linked to polysaccharides. Recent studies suggest the fungal melanin may be synthesized in internal vesicles akin to mammalian melanosomes and transported to the cell wall. Potential applications of melanin take advantage of melanin's radioprotective properties and propensity to bind to a variety of substances. PMID:22173481

  3. Exploring the interactions between bacterial populations and antimicrobials

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacteria are ubiquitous, covering every ecological niche known to man. Within these ecological niches bacterial populations adapt to ensure their survival. The development of antimicrobial resistance is an example of a bacterium's ability to adapt and survive. Antimicrobial resistance developed s...

  4. [Melanin complex of the fungus Inonotus obliquus].

    PubMed

    Babitskaia, V G; Shcherba, V V; Ikonnikova, N V

    2000-01-01

    The fungus Inonotus obliquus (Pers.) Pil. synthesised high-molecular-weight phenolic pigments that were assigned to melanins according to their physicochemical properties. It was showed that copper ions (0.008%), pyrocatechol (1.0 mM), and tyrosine (20.0 mM) stimulated the melanogenesis. The production of melanin correlated with the synthesis of o- and p-diphenoloxidases. The fungal melanin had strong antioxidant and genoprotective effects. PMID:10994193

  5. Infection of orthopedic implants with emphasis on bacterial adhesion process and techniques used in studying bacterial-material interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Marta; Monteiro, Fernando J.; Ferraz, Maria P.

    2012-01-01

    Staphylococcus comprises up to two-thirds of all pathogens in orthopedic implant infections and they are the principal causative agents of two major types of infection affecting bone: septic arthritis and osteomyelitis, which involve the inflammatory destruction of joint and bone. Bacterial adhesion is the first and most important step in implant infection. It is a complex process influenced by environmental factors, bacterial properties, material surface properties and by the presence of serum or tissue proteins. Properties of the substrate, such as chemical composition of the material, surface charge, hydrophobicity, surface roughness and the presence of specific proteins at the surface, are all thought to be important in the initial cell attachment process. The biofilm mode of growth of infecting bacteria on an implant surface protects the organisms from the host immune system and antibiotic therapy. The research for novel therapeutic strategies is incited by the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This work will provide an overview of the mechanisms and factors involved in bacterial adhesion, the techniques that are currently being used studying bacterial-material interactions as well as provide insight into future directions in the field. PMID:23507884

  6. Computational model of heterogeneous heating in melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellicker, Jason; DiMarzio, Charles A.; Kowalski, Gregory J.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin particles often present as an aggregate of smaller melanin pigment granules and have a heterogeneous surface morphology. When irradiated with light within the absorption spectrum of melanin, these heterogeneities produce measurable concentrations of the electric field that result in temperature gradients from thermal effects that are not seen with spherical or ellipsoidal modeling of melanin. Modeling melanin without taking into consideration the heterogeneous surface morphology yields results that underestimate the strongest signals or over{estimate their spatial extent. We present a new technique to image phase changes induced by heating using a computational model of melanin that exhibits these surface heterogeneities. From this analysis, we demonstrate the heterogeneous energy absorption and resulting heating that occurs at the surface of the melanin granule that is consistent with three{photon absorption. Using the three{photon dluorescence as a beacon, we propose a method for detecting the extents of the melanin granule using photothermal microscopy to measure the phase changes resulting from the heating of the melanin.

  7. EPISTATIC INTERACTION BETWEEN TWO MAJOR QTL CONDITIONING RESISTANCE TO COMMON BACTERIAL BLIGHT IN COMMON BEAN

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Resistance to common bacterial blight in common bean is a complex trait that is quantitatively inherited. Combining QTL is the current strategy for improving resistance, but interactions among different QTL are unknown. We examined the interaction between two independent QTL present in dry bean bre...

  8. Bacterial-Fungal Interactions: Hyphens between Agricultural, Clinical, Environmental, and Food Microbiologists

    PubMed Central

    Frey-Klett, P.; Burlinson, P.; Deveau, A.; Barret, M.; Tarkka, M.; Sarniguet, A.

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Bacteria and fungi can form a range of physical associations that depend on various modes of molecular communication for their development and functioning. These bacterial-fungal interactions often result in changes to the pathogenicity or the nutritional influence of one or both partners toward plants or animals (including humans). They can also result in unique contributions to biogeochemical cycles and biotechnological processes. Thus, the interactions between bacteria and fungi are of central importance to numerous biological questions in agriculture, forestry, environmental science, food production, and medicine. Here we present a structured review of bacterial-fungal interactions, illustrated by examples sourced from many diverse scientific fields. We consider the general and specific properties of these interactions, providing a global perspective across this emerging multidisciplinary research area. We show that in many cases, parallels can be drawn between different scenarios in which bacterial-fungal interactions are important. Finally, we discuss how new avenues of investigation may enhance our ability to combat, manipulate, or exploit bacterial-fungal complexes for the economic and practical benefit of humanity as well as reshape our current understanding of bacterial and fungal ecology. PMID:22126995

  9. Bacterial-Plant-Interactions: Approaches to Unravel the Biological Function of Bacterial Volatiles in the Rhizosphere

    PubMed Central

    Kai, Marco; Effmert, Uta; Piechulla, Birgit

    2016-01-01

    Rhizobacteria produce an enormous amount of volatile compounds, however, the function of these metabolites is scarcely understood. Investigations evaluating influences on plants performed in various laboratories using individually developed experimental setups revealed different and often contradictory results, e.g., ranging from a significant plant growth promotion to a dramatic suppression of plant development. In addition to these discrepancies, these test systems neglected properties and complexity of the rhizosphere. Therefore, to pursue further investigations of the role of bacterial volatiles in this underground habitat, the applied methods have to simulate its natural characteristics as much as possible. In this review, we will describe and discuss pros and cons of currently used bioassays, give insights into rhizosphere characteristics, and suggest improvements for test systems that would consider in natura conditions and would allow gaining further knowledge of the potential function and significance of rhizobacterial volatiles in plant life. PMID:26903987

  10. Plasmonic imaging of protein interactions with single bacterial cells.

    PubMed

    Syal, Karan; Wang, Wei; Shan, Xiaonan; Wang, Shaopeng; Chen, Hong-Yuan; Tao, Nongjian

    2015-01-15

    Quantifying the interactions of bacteria with external ligands is fundamental to the understanding of pathogenesis, antibiotic resistance, immune evasion, and mechanism of antimicrobial action. Due to inherent cell-to-cell heterogeneity in a microbial population, each bacterium interacts differently with its environment. This large variability is washed out in bulk assays, and there is a need of techniques that can quantify interactions of bacteria with ligands at the single bacterium level. In this work, we present a label-free and real-time plasmonic imaging technique to measure the binding kinetics of ligand interactions with single bacteria, and perform statistical analysis of the heterogeneity. Using the technique, we have studied interactions of antibodies with single Escherichia coli O157:H7 cells and demonstrated a capability of determining the binding kinetic constants of single live bacteria with ligands, and quantify heterogeneity in a microbial population. PMID:25064821

  11. Synthesis and characterization of melanin in DMSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bronze-Uhle, Erika S.; Batagin-Neto, Augusto; Xavier, Pedro H. P.; Fernandes, Nicole I.; de Azevedo, Eduardo R.; Graeff, Carlos F. O.

    2013-09-01

    Recently soluble melanin derivatives have been obtained by a synthetic procedure carried out in DMSO (D-melanin). In this work a comparative study of the structural characteristics of synthetic melanin derivatives obtained by oxidation of L-DOPA in H2O and DMSO are presented. To this end, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as well as proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance techniques has been employed. In addition, aging effects have been investigated for D-melanin. The results suggest that sulfonate groups (-SO2CH3) from the oxidation of DMSO, are incorporated into melanin, which confers protection to the phenolic hydroxyl group present in its structure. The solubility of D-melanin in DMSO is attributed to the presence of these groups. When D-melanin is left in air for long time periods, the sulfonate groups leave the structure, and an insoluble compound is obtained. NaOH and water have been used, in order to accelerate the release of the sulfonate groups attached to D-melanin, thereby corroborating the proposed structure and the synthesis mechanism.

  12. Bio-Inspired Structural Colors Produced via Self-Assembly of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Ming; Li, Yiwen; Allen, Michael C; Deheyn, Dimitri D; Yue, Xiujun; Zhao, Jiuzhou; Gianneschi, Nathan C; Shawkey, Matthew D; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-05-26

    Structural colors arising from interactions of light with submicron scale periodic structures have been found in many species across all taxa, serving multiple biological functions including sexual signaling, camouflage, and aposematism. Directly inspired by the extensive use of self-assembled melanosomes to produce colors in avian feathers, we set out to synthesize and assemble polydopamine-based synthetic melanin nanoparticles in an effort to fabricate colored films. We have quantitatively demonstrated that synthetic melanin nanoparticles have a high refractive index and broad absorption spanning across the UV-visible range, similar to natural melanins. Utilizing a thin-film interference model, we demonstrated the coloration mechanism of deposited films and showed that the unique optical properties of synthetic melanin nanoparticles provide advantages for structural colors over other polymeric nanoparticles (i.e., polystyrene colloidal particles). PMID:25938924

  13. Fungal serotype-specific differences in bacterial-yeast interactions

    PubMed Central

    Abdulkareem, Asan F; Lee, Hiu Ham; Ahmadi, Mohammed; Martinez, Luis R

    2015-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) causes meningoencephalitis in immunocompromised individuals. This encapsulated fungus can be found interacting with environmental microbes in soil contaminated with pigeon excrement. Cn survival within polymicrobial and other challenging communities has been shown to affect the evolution of its virulence factors. We compared the survival of 10 serotype A and D strains after interaction with the soil bacterium, Acinetobacter baumannii (Ab). Although co-incubation with Ab stimulated virulence factors production by strains of both cryptococcal serotypes, on average, serotype A strains displayed significantly higher survival rate, number of metabolically active cells within biofilms, and capsular polysaccharide production and release than serotype D strains. Our findings suggest that interactions of Cn with other microorganisms influence the fungus' regulation and production of virulence factors, important elements needed for the successful colonization of the human host. PMID:26132337

  14. Bacterial Interactions with CdSe Quantum Dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, P.; Nadeau, J. L.; Kumar, A.; Clarke, S.; Priester, J. H.; Stucky, G. D.

    2007-12-01

    Cadmium selenide quantum dots (QDs) are semiconductor nanoparticles that are manufactured for biomedical imaging, photovoltaics, and other applications. While metallic nanoparticles can be made biotically by bacteria and fungi, and thus occur in nature, the fate of either natural or engineered QDs and relationships to nanoparticle size, conjugate and biotic conditions are mostly unknown. Working with several different bacterial strains and QDs of different sizes and conjugate chemistries, including QDs synthesized by a Fusarium fungal strain, we show that QDs can enter cells through specfic receptor-mediated processes, that QDs are broken down by bacteria during cell association, and that toxicity to cells is much like that imposed by Cd(II) ions. The mechanisms of entry and toxicity are not fully understood, but preliminary evidence suggests that electron transfer between cells and QDs occurs. Also, cell membranes are compromised, indicating oxidative stress is occurring. Results with planktonic and biofilm bacteria are similar, but differently, biofilms tend to accumulate Cd(II) associated with QD treatments.

  15. Microfluidic study of bacterial interactions and attachment to oil drops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juarez, Gabriel; Stocker, Roman

    2013-11-01

    The swimming dynamics of bacteria are strongly influenced by interfaces. Motile bacteria often accumulate near solid-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces and eventually attach. Attachment of bacteria to these interfaces is crucial for the formation of biofilms (liquid-solid), pellicles (liquid-air), and oil-degrading communities (liquid-liquid). However, the mechanisms of attachment by microbes to these surfaces are not well understood. We have investigated the effect of external flow on the probability of attachment of motile and non-motile marine bacteria to oil droplets in straight microchannels. We find that motility enhances the encounter rate between bacteria and drops leading to an increase in attachment. Characterizing these interactions in the presence of flow will promote an understanding of oil-microbe and particulate-microbe interactions in aquatic environments where the degradation rate of organic matter depends on the attachment and colonization by bacteria.

  16. Effect of melanin on enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic waste.

    PubMed

    Ray, R M; Desai, J D

    1984-07-01

    Wood waste powder from Tectona grandis containing melanin was less susceptible to enzymatic hydrolysis than powder without melanin. About a 53% increase in saccharification was noted when melanin was removed. Melanin caused inhibition to all cellulolytic enzymes, but in different degrees. Endo-beta-1,4-glucanase and beta-glucosidase were markedly inhibited when melanin was preincubated with enzyme, while exo-beta-1,4-glucanase was severely inhibited when melanin was preincubated with substrate. The latter was found to be dependent on the contact time. The activities of endo-beta-1,4-glucanase and beta-glucosidase were noncompetitively inhibited by melanin. PMID:18553434

  17. Nitroxides as redox probes of melanins: dark-induced and photoinduced changes in redox equilibria

    SciTech Connect

    Sarna, T.; Korytowski, W.; Sealy, R.C.

    1985-05-15

    The interaction of nitroxide free radicals and their reduced products (hydroxylamines) with synthetic and natural melanins has been studied. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy was used to measure changes in radical concentration in the dark and during irradiation with visible or uv light. Some reduction of nitroxide occurs in the dark, and is reversible: the nitroxide can be completely regenerated by the one-electron oxidant ferricyanide. The kinetics of the process depend strongly on radical charge and pH. For positively charged nitroxides the rate is much faster than for either neutral or anionic radicals. At pH 10 the rate is about 20 times faster than at pH 5. Oxidation of hydroxylamine also can occur so that a redox equilibrium is established. The equilibrium constant has been estimated for the reaction between a nitroxide and melanin from autoxidation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine. Results are also dependent upon the type of melanin used and chemical modification (oxidation or reduction) of the melanin. Redox equilibria are altered during irradiation with either visible or uv light. Rapid oxidation of hydroxylamine to nitroxide is apparent, together with a slower reduction of nitroxide. Action spectra for these processes are related to those for melanin radical production and oxygen consumption in nitroxide-free melanin systems. Reduction of nitroxide is inhibited by oxygen, suggesting a competition between nitroxide and oxygen for photoinduced reducing equivalents.

  18. Interaction between complement subcomponent C1q and bacterial lipopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Zohair, A; Chesne, S; Wade, R H; Colomb, M G

    1989-02-01

    The heptose-less mutant of Escherichia coli, D31m4, bound complement subcomponent C1q and its collagen-like fragments (C1qCLF) with Ka values of 1.4 x 10(8) and 2.0 x 10(8) M-1 respectively. This binding was suppressed by chemical modification of C1q and C1qCLF using diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC). To investigate the role of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in this binding, biosynthetically labelled [14C]LPS were purified from E. coli D31m4 and incorporated into liposomes prepared from phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) [PC/PE/LPS, 2:2:1, by wt.]. Binding of C1q or its collagen-like fragments to the liposomes was estimated via a flotation test. These liposomes bound C1q and C1qCLF with Ka values of 8.0 x 10(7) and 2.0 x 10(7) M-1; this binding was totally inhibited after chemical modification of C1q and C1qCLF by DEPC. Liposomes containing LPS purified from the wild-strain E. coli K-12 S also bound C1q and C1qCLF, whereas direct binding of C1q or C1qCLF to the bacteria was negligible. Diamines at concentrations which dissociate C1 into C1q and (C1r, C1s)2, strongly inhibited the interaction of C1q or C1qCLF with LPS. Removal of 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid (2-keto-3-deoxyoctonic acid; KDO) from E. coli D31m4 LPS decreases the binding of C1qCLF to the bacteria by 65%. When this purified and modified LPS was incorporated into liposomes, the C1qCLF binding was completely abolished. These results show: (i) the essential role of the collagen-like moiety and probably its histidine residues in the interaction between C1q and the mutant D31m4; (ii) the contribution of LPS, particularly the anionic charges of KDO, to this interaction. PMID:2649081

  19. Motility protein interactions in the bacterial flagellar motor.

    PubMed Central

    Garza, A G; Harris-Haller, L W; Stoebner, R A; Manson, M D

    1995-01-01

    Five proteins (MotA, MotB, FliG, FliM, and FliN) have been implicated in energizing flagellar rotation in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. One model for flagellar function envisions that MotA and MotB comprise the stator of a rotary motor and that FliG, FliM, and FliN are part of the rotor. MotA probably functions as a transmembrane proton channel, and MotB has been proposed to anchor MotA to the peptidoglycan of the cell wall. To study interactions between the Mot proteins themselves and between them and other components of the flagellar motor, we attempted to isolate extragenic suppressors of 13 dominant or partially dominant motB missense mutations. Four of these yielded suppressors, which exhibited widely varying efficiencies of suppression. The pattern of suppression was partially alleles-specific, but no suppressor seriously impaired motility in a motB+ strain. Of 20 suppressors from the original selection, 15 were characterized by DNA sequencing. Fourteen of these cause single amino acid changes in MotA. Thirteen alter residues in, or directly adjacent to, the putative periplasmic loops of MotA, and the remaining one alters a residue in the middle of the fourth predicted transmembrane helix of MotA. We conclude that the MotA and MotB proteins form a complex and that their interaction directly involves or is strongly influenced by the periplasmic loops of MotA. The 15th suppressor from the original selection and 2 motB suppressors identified during a subsequent search cause single amino acid substitutions in FliG. This finding suggests that the postulated Mot-protein complex may be in close proximity to FliG at the stator-rotor interface of the flagellar motor. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 PMID:7892209

  20. Electron microscopy study of antioxidant interaction with bacterial cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plotnikov, Oleg P.; Novikova, Olga V.; Konnov, Nikolai P.; Korsukov, Vladimir N.; Gunkin, Ivan F.; Volkov, Uryi P.

    2000-10-01

    To maintain native microorganisms genotype and phenotype features a lyophylization technique is widely used. However in this case cells are affected by influences of vacuum and low temperature that cause a part of the cells population to be destruction. Another factor reduced microorganisms vitality is formation of reactive oxygen forms that damage certain biological targets (such as DNA, membranes etc.) Recently to raise microorganism's resistance against adverse condition natural and synthetic antioxidants are used. Antioxidant- are antagonists of free radicals. Introduction of antioxidants in protective medium for lyophylization increase bacteria storage life about 2,0-4,8 fold in comparison with reference samples. In the article the main results of our investigation of antioxidants interaction with microorganism cells is described. As bacteria cells we use vaccine strain yersinia pestis EV, that were grown for 48 h at 28 degree(s)C on the Hottinger agar (pH 7,2). Antioxidants are inserted on the agar surface in specimen under test. To investigate a localization of antioxidants for electron microscopy investigation, thallium organic antioxidants were used. The thallium organic compounds have an antioxidant features if thallium is in low concentration (about 1(mu) g/ml). The localization of the thallium organic antioxidants on bacteria Y. pestis EV is visible in electron microscopy images, thallium being heavy metal with high electron density. The negatively stained bacteria and bacteria thin sections with thallium organic compounds were investigated by means of transmission electron microscopy. The localization of the thallium organic compounds is clearly visible in electron micrographs as small dark spots with size about 10-80nm. Probably mechanisms of interaction of antioxidants with bacteria cells are discussed.

  1. Histophagous ciliate Pseudocollinia brintoni and bacterial assemblage interaction with krill Nyctiphanes simplex. I. Transmission process.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Gutiérrez, Jaime; López-Cortés, Alejandro; Aguilar-Méndez, Mario J; Del Angel-Rodríguez, Jorge A; Tremblay, Nelly; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Robinson, Carlos J

    2015-10-27

    Histophagous ciliates of the genus Pseudocollinia cause epizootic events that kill adult female krill (Euphausiacea), but their mode of transmission is unknown. We compared 16S rRNA sequences of bacterial strains isolated from stomachs of healthy krill Nyctiphanes simplex specimens with sequences of bacterial isolates and sequences of natural bacterial communities from the hemocoel of N. simplex specimens infected with P. brintoni to determine possible transmission pathways. All P. brintoni endoparasitic life stages and the transmission tomite stage (outside the host) were associated with bacterial assemblages. 16S rRNA sequences from isolated bacterial strains showed that Photobacterium spp. and Pseudoalteromonas spp. were dominant members of the bacterial assemblages during all life phases of P. brintoni and potential pathobionts. They were apparently unaffected by the krill's immune system or the histophagous activity of P. brintoni. However, other bacterial strains were found only in certain P. brintoni life phases, indicating that as the infection progressed, microhabitat conditions and microbial interactions may have become unfavorable for some strains of bacteria. Trophic infection is the most parsimonious explanation for how P. brintoni infects krill. We estimated N. simplex vulnerability to P. brintoni infection during more than three-fourths of their life span, infecting mostly adult females. The ciliates have relatively high prevalence levels (albeit at <10% of sampled stations) and a short life cycle (estimated <7 d). Histophagous ciliate-krill interactions may occur in other krill species, particularly those that form dense swarms and attain high population densities that potentially enhance trophic transmission and allow completion of the Pseudocollinia spp. life cycle. PMID:26503776

  2. Flavonoids and Melanins: a common strategy across two kingdoms.

    PubMed

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2 (-)). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as free radical scavenging mechanisms. Both are phenol compounds constitutively synthesized and enhanced after exposure to UV rays, often conferring a red-brown-dark tissue pigmentation. Noteworthy, beside anti-oxidant scavenging activity, melanins and flavonoids have acquired secondary functions that, both in plants and animals, concern reproductions and fitness. Plants highly pigmented are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Darker wild vertebrates are generally more aggressive, sexually active and resistant to stress than lighter individuals. Flavonoids have been associated with signal attraction between flowers and insects and with plant-plant interaction. Melanin pigmentation has been proposed as trait in bird communication, acting as honest signals of quality. This review shows how the molecular mechanisms leading to tissue pigmentation have many functional analogies between plants and animals and how their origin lies in simpler organisms such as Cyanobacteria. Comparative studies between plant and animal kingdoms can reveal new insight of the antioxidant strategies in vivant. PMID:25516714

  3. Flavonoids and Melanins: A Common Strategy across Two Kingdoms

    PubMed Central

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2-). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as free radical scavenging mechanisms. Both are phenol compounds constitutively synthesized and enhanced after exposure to UV rays, often conferring a red-brown-dark tissue pigmentation. Noteworthy, beside anti-oxidant scavenging activity, melanins and flavonoids have acquired secondary functions that, both in plants and animals, concern reproductions and fitness. Plants highly pigmented are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Darker wild vertebrates are generally more aggressive, sexually active and resistant to stress than lighter individuals. Flavonoids have been associated with signal attraction between flowers and insects and with plant-plant interaction. Melanin pigmentation has been proposed as trait in bird communication, acting as honest signals of quality. This review shows how the molecular mechanisms leading to tissue pigmentation have many functional analogies between plants and animals and how their origin lies in simpler organisms such as Cyanobacteria. Comparative studies between plant and animal kingdoms can reveal new insight of the antioxidant strategies in vivant. PMID:25516714

  4. Protein–protein interactions and the spatiotemporal dynamics of bacterial outer membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Kleanthous, Colin; Rassam, Patrice; Baumann, Christoph G

    2015-01-01

    It has until recently been unclear whether outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of Gram-negative bacteria are organized or distributed randomly. Studies now suggest promiscuous protein–protein interactions (PPIs) between β-barrel OMPs in Escherichia coli govern their local and global dynamics, engender spatiotemporal patterning of the outer membrane into micro-domains and are the basis of β-barrel protein turnover. We contextualize these latest advances, speculate on areas of bacterial cell biology that might be influenced by the organization of OMPs into supramolecular assemblies, and highlight the new questions and controversies this revised view of the bacterial outer membrane raises. PMID:26629934

  5. Melanin-based colour polymorphism responding to climate change.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-11-01

    Climate warming leads to a decrease in biodiversity. Organisms can deal with the new prevailing environmental conditions by one of two main routes, namely evolving new genetic adaptations or through phenotypic plasticity to modify behaviour and physiology. Melanin-based colouration has important functions in animals including a role in camouflage and thermoregulation, protection against UV-radiation and pathogens and, furthermore, genes involved in melanogenesis can pleiotropically regulate behaviour and physiology. In this article, I review the current evidence that differently coloured individuals are differentially sensitive to climate change. Predicting which of dark or pale colour variants (or morphs) will be more penalized by climate change will depend on the adaptive function of melanism in each species as well as how the degree of colouration covaries with behaviour and physiology. For instance, because climate change leads to a rise in temperature and UV-radiation and dark colouration plays a role in UV-protection, dark individuals may be less affected from global warming, if this phenomenon implies more solar radiation particularly in habitats of pale individuals. In contrast, as desertification increases, pale colouration may expand in those regions, whereas dark colourations may expand in regions where humidity is predicted to increase. Dark colouration may be also indirectly selected by climate warming because genes involved in the production of melanin pigments confer resistance to a number of stressful factors including those associated with climate warming. Furthermore, darker melanic individuals are commonly more aggressive than paler conspecifics, and hence they may better cope with competitive interactions due to invading species that expand their range in northern latitudes and at higher altitudes. To conclude, melanin may be a major component involved in adaptation to climate warming, and hence in animal populations melanin-based colouration is

  6. Effect of fluorochromes on bacterial surface properties and interaction with granular media.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, J; Koopman, B

    1997-01-01

    Simple, efficient, and safe tagging methods are desired in short-term microbial transport studies such as in the study of filtration systems for water and wastewater treatment. Suitability of selected fluorochromes as bacterial tagging agents in transport studies was evaluated on the basis of stability of stained cells and the effect of staining on bacterial surface characteristics and interaction with granular media. Surface properties were characterized by zeta potential and microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons. The effect of staining on interactions between bacteria and porous media was evaluated in terms of removal of bacteria in batch adsorption tests using sand coated with aluminum hydroxide to enhance adsorption. The DNA-specific fluorochrome 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) had generally negligible effects on bacterial surface properties and interaction with sand, as indicated in batch adsorption tests using pure cultures (Escherichia coli or Acinetobacter sp.) and wastewater bacteria. Cells stained with DAPI were stable for 48 h at 4 or 20 degrees C. Other nucleic acid fluorochromes tested had different but significant effects on bacterial cells and produced less stable fluorescence. Since transport through porous media is modulated by surface properties, it may be concluded based on these results that the choice of fluorochromes is critical in microbial transport studies. DAPI appeared to be a promising tagging agent. Time dependence of fluorescence of stained cells may limit the use of fluorochrome-tagged cells in long-term transport studies. PMID:9327559

  7. Interaction between host genotype and environmental conditions affects bacterial density in Wolbachia symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Mouton, Laurence; Henri, Hélène; Charif, Delphine; Boulétreau, Michel; Vavre, Fabrice

    2007-04-22

    Regulation of microbial population density is a necessity in stable symbiotic interactions. In Wolbachia symbiosis, both bacterial and host genotypes are involved in density regulation, but environmental factors may also affect bacterial population density. Here, we studied the interaction between three strains of Wolbachia in two divergent homozygous lines of the wasp Leptopilina heterotoma at two different temperatures. Wolbachia density varied between the two host genotypes at only one temperature. Moreover, at this temperature, reciprocal-cross F1 insects displayed identical Wolbachia densities, which were intermediate between the densities in the two parental lines. While these findings confirm that the host genotype plays an important role in Wolbachia density, they also highlight its interaction with environmental conditions, making possible the evolution of local adaptations for the regulation of Wolbachia density. PMID:17251124

  8. Cohabitation in the intestine: interactions between helminth parasites, bacterial microbiota and host immunity

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Lisa A.; Finlay, B. Brett; Maizels, Rick M.

    2015-01-01

    Both intestinal helminth parasites and certain bacterial microbiota species have been credited with strong immunomodulatory effects. Recent studies have reported that the presence of helminth infection alters the composition of the bacterial intestinal microbiota, and conversely that the presence and composition of the bacterial microbiota affects helminth colonisation and persistence within mammalian hosts. This article reviews recent findings on these reciprocal relationships, in both human populations and mouse models at the level of potential mechanistic pathways, and the implications these bear for immunomodulatory effects on allergic and autoimmune disorders. Understanding the multidirectional complex interactions between intestinal microbes, helminth parasites and the host immune system will allow for a more holistic approach when using pro-, pre-, synbiotics, antibiotics and anthelmintics, and when designing treatments for autoimmune and allergic conditions. PMID:26477048

  9. Cohabitation in the Intestine: Interactions among Helminth Parasites, Bacterial Microbiota, and Host Immunity.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Lisa A; Finlay, B Brett; Maizels, Rick M

    2015-11-01

    Both intestinal helminth parasites and certain bacterial microbiota species have been credited with strong immunomodulatory effects. Recent studies reported that the presence of helminth infection alters the composition of the bacterial intestinal microbiota and, conversely, that the presence and composition of the bacterial microbiota affect helminth colonization and persistence within mammalian hosts. This article reviews recent findings on these reciprocal relationships, in both human populations and mouse models, at the level of potential mechanistic pathways and the implications these bear for immunomodulatory effects on allergic and autoimmune disorders. Understanding the multidirectional complex interactions among intestinal microbes, helminth parasites, and the host immune system allows for a more holistic approach when using probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, antibiotics, and anthelmintics, as well as when designing treatments for autoimmune and allergic conditions. PMID:26477048

  10. Intra- and inter-species interactions within biofilms of important foodborne bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Giaouris, Efstathios; Heir, Even; Desvaux, Mickaël; Hébraud, Michel; Møretrø, Trond; Langsrud, Solveig; Doulgeraki, Agapi; Nychas, George-John; Kačániová, Miroslava; Czaczyk, Katarzyna; Ölmez, Hülya; Simões, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    A community-based sessile life style is the normal mode of growth and survival for many bacterial species. Under such conditions, cell-to-cell interactions are inevitable and ultimately lead to the establishment of dense, complex and highly structured biofilm populations encapsulated in a self-produced extracellular matrix and capable of coordinated and collective behavior. Remarkably, in food processing environments, a variety of different bacteria may attach to surfaces, survive, grow, and form biofilms. Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus are important bacterial pathogens commonly implicated in outbreaks of foodborne diseases, while all are known to be able to create biofilms on both abiotic and biotic surfaces. Particularly challenging is the attempt to understand the complexity of inter-bacterial interactions that can be encountered in such unwanted consortia, such as competitive and cooperative ones, together with their impact on the final outcome of these communities (e.g., maturation, physiology, antimicrobial resistance, virulence, dispersal). In this review, up-to-date data on both the intra- and inter-species interactions encountered in biofilms of these pathogens are presented. A better understanding of these interactions, both at molecular and biophysical levels, could lead to novel intervention strategies for controlling pathogenic biofilm formation in food processing environments and thus improve food safety. PMID:26347727

  11. Intra- and inter-species interactions within biofilms of important foodborne bacterial pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Giaouris, Efstathios; Heir, Even; Desvaux, Mickaël; Hébraud, Michel; Møretrø, Trond; Langsrud, Solveig; Doulgeraki, Agapi; Nychas, George-John; Kačániová, Miroslava; Czaczyk, Katarzyna; Ölmez, Hülya; Simões, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    A community-based sessile life style is the normal mode of growth and survival for many bacterial species. Under such conditions, cell-to-cell interactions are inevitable and ultimately lead to the establishment of dense, complex and highly structured biofilm populations encapsulated in a self-produced extracellular matrix and capable of coordinated and collective behavior. Remarkably, in food processing environments, a variety of different bacteria may attach to surfaces, survive, grow, and form biofilms. Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus are important bacterial pathogens commonly implicated in outbreaks of foodborne diseases, while all are known to be able to create biofilms on both abiotic and biotic surfaces. Particularly challenging is the attempt to understand the complexity of inter-bacterial interactions that can be encountered in such unwanted consortia, such as competitive and cooperative ones, together with their impact on the final outcome of these communities (e.g., maturation, physiology, antimicrobial resistance, virulence, dispersal). In this review, up-to-date data on both the intra- and inter-species interactions encountered in biofilms of these pathogens are presented. A better understanding of these interactions, both at molecular and biophysical levels, could lead to novel intervention strategies for controlling pathogenic biofilm formation in food processing environments and thus improve food safety. PMID:26347727

  12. Study of Melanin Bleaching After Immunohistochemistry of Melanin-containing Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-01-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3′-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium permanganate bleaching and potassium dichromate bleaching clearly destroyed DAB, whereas TCCA bleaching had no significant effect on DAB. Therefore, neither potassium permanganate nor potassium dichromate is an ideal solution, whereas TCCA might be an ideal solution for melanin bleaching after the immunohistochemical staining of melanin-containing tissues. After immunostaining followed by TCCA bleaching, the melanin could be completely removed in all 120 malignant melanoma tissue sections. Compared with the control, the DAB intensity was clear, and the tissue structure and cellular nuclei were well maintained. It is worth noting that TCCA should be freshly prepared before each experiment, and used within 2 hours of its preparation. In addition, sections should not be incubated with TCCA for over 30 minutes. PMID:24710084

  13. Study of melanin bleaching after immunohistochemistry of melanin-containing tissues.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hongwu; Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-04-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium permanganate bleaching and potassium dichromate bleaching clearly destroyed DAB, whereas TCCA bleaching had no significant effect on DAB. Therefore, neither potassium permanganate nor potassium dichromate is an ideal solution, whereas TCCA might be an ideal solution for melanin bleaching after the immunohistochemical staining of melanin-containing tissues. After immunostaining followed by TCCA bleaching, the melanin could be completely removed in all 120 malignant melanoma tissue sections. Compared with the control, the DAB intensity was clear, and the tissue structure and cellular nuclei were well maintained. It is worth noting that TCCA should be freshly prepared before each experiment, and used within 2 hours of its preparation. In addition, sections should not be incubated with TCCA for over 30 minutes. PMID:24710084

  14. Cytotoxicity in bacterial cultures: interaction and cell-specificity, possible factors in periodontal disease.

    PubMed

    Johansson, A; Bergenholtz, A; Holm, S E

    1994-09-01

    Cytotoxicity in culture media of various growing bacterial strains was estimated by Cr-51 release of labelled target-cells. Interaction studies were made by adding each of the different UV-killed bacteria to the medium with viable bacteria. The reference oral bacterial strains were: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans Y4, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Streptococcus mitis, which were compared with the reference bacteria Staphylococcus aureus 209 and Staphylococcus epidermidis. The target cells were: gingival fibroblasts (GF), periodontal membrane fibroblasts (PMF), pulpal fibroblasts (PF), HeLa-cells (HeLa), and lymphoid neoplasm cells (LN). Synergistic, as well as antagonistic, effects on target cells were observed. The cytotoxicity of A. actinomycetemcomitans in presence of P. gingivalis is neutralized while in presence of S. aureus it was increased. Bacterial interactions with F. nucleatum and P. gingivalis cytotoxicity were observed. The cytotoxicity of F. nucleatum was increased when cultured together with A. actinomycetemcomitans. Each cell type reacted differently to the toxicity of the supernatant of growth medium in which the same bacterial strain had been cultivated, which indicates cell specificity of the toxins. PMID:7799211

  15. Amphetamine binding to synthetic melanin and scatchard analysis of binding data.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Lata; Scott, Karen S; Cole, Michael D

    2005-01-01

    Previous research into drug-hair binding shows that hair color affects drug-hair binding. There are no structural disparities in hair of different colors other than the type and content of melanin present. For this reason, this investigation focuses on synthetic eumelanin as a site for drug interaction using amphetamine as the candidate drug. The binding study was carried out at room temperature. The interaction between synthetic eumelanin and amphetamine was monitored using UV-Vis spectrophotometry at 257.2 nm. As the molecular weight of melanin is unknown, the number of binding sites could not be calculated directly. Hence the ratio of the number of mumoles of drug bound and the dry weight of melanin in mug was considered. Equilibrium was reached when approximately 32% of the drug was bound to melanin. Hence this study proves that amphetamine binds to synthetic eumelanin in vitro. Data interpretation using Scatchard analysis yielded a curvilinear plot with upward concavity indicating multiple binding sites on melanin and negative cooperativity. PMID:16105258

  16. Designed to penetrate: Time-resolved interaction of single antibiotic molecules with bacterial pores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nestorovich, Ekaterina M.; Danelon, Christophe; Winterhalter, Mathias; Bezrukov, Sergey M.

    2002-07-01

    Membrane permeability barriers are among the factors contributing to the intrinsic resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. We have been able to resolve single ampicillin molecules moving through a channel of the general bacterial porin, OmpF (outer membrane protein F), believed to be the principal pathway for the -lactam antibiotics. With ion channel reconstitution and high-resolution conductance recording, we find that ampicillin and several other efficient penicillins and cephalosporins strongly interact with the residues of the constriction zone of the OmpF channel. Therefore, we hypothesize that, in analogy to substrate-specific channels that evolved to bind certain metabolite molecules, antibiotics have "evolved" to be channel-specific. Molecular modeling suggests that the charge distribution of the ampicillin molecule complements the charge distribution at the narrowest part of the bacterial porin. Interaction of these charges creates a region of attraction inside the channel that facilitates drug translocation through the constriction zone and results in higher permeability rates.

  17. Bacterial interactions and transport in geological formation of alumino-silica clays.

    PubMed

    Vu, Kien; Yang, Guang; Wang, Boya; Tawfiq, Kamal; Chen, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial transport in the subsurface is controlled by their interactions with the surrounding environment, which are determined by the surface properties of the geological formation and bacterial surfaces. In this research, surface thermodynamic properties of Escherichia coli and the geological formation of alumino-silica clays were characterized based on contact angle measurements, which were utilized to quantify the distance-dependent interactions between E. coli and the geological formation according to the traditional and extended Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey and Overbeek (DLVO) theory. E. coli attachment to alumino-silica clays was evaluated in laboratory columns under saturated and steady-state flow conditions. E. coli deposition coefficient and desorption coefficient were simulated using convection-dispersion transport models against E. coli breakthrough curves, which were then linked to interactions between E. coli and the geological formation. It was discovered that E. coli deposition was controlled by the long-ranged electrostatic interaction and E. coli desorption was attributed to the short-ranged Lifshitz-van der Waals and Lewis acid-base interactions. E. coli transport in three layers of different alumino-silica clays was further examined and the breakthrough curve was simulated using E. coli deposition coefficient and desorption coefficient obtained from their individual column experiments. The well-fitted simulation confirmed that E. coli transport observations were interaction-dependent phenomena between E. coli and the geological formation. PMID:25437062

  18. Specific Interactions of Clausin, a New Lantibiotic, with Lipid Precursors of the Bacterial Cell Wall

    PubMed Central

    Bouhss, Ahmed; Al-Dabbagh, Bayan; Vincent, Michel; Odaert, Benoit; Aumont-Nicaise, Magalie; Bressolier, Philippe; Desmadril, Michel; Mengin-Lecreulx, Dominique; Urdaci, Maria C.; Gallay, Jacques

    2009-01-01

    Abstract We investigated the specificity of interaction of a new type A lantibiotic, clausin, isolated from Bacillus clausii, with lipid intermediates of bacterial envelope biosynthesis pathways. Isothermal calorimetry and steady-state fluorescence anisotropy (with dansylated derivatives) identified peptidoglycan lipids I and II, embedded in dodecylphosphocholine micelles, as potential targets. Complex formation with dissociation constants of ∼0.3 μM and stoichiometry of ∼2:1 peptides/lipid intermediate was observed. The interaction is enthalpy-driven. For the first time, to our knowledge, we evidenced the interaction between a lantibiotic and C55-PP-GlcNAc, a lipid intermediate in the biosynthesis of other bacterial cell wall polymers, including teichoic acids. The pyrophosphate moiety of these lipid intermediates was crucial for the interaction because a strong binding with undecaprenyl pyrophosphate, accounting for 80% of the free energy of binding, was observed. No binding occurred with the undecaprenyl phosphate derivative. The pentapeptide and the N-acetylated sugar moieties strengthened the interaction, but their contributions were weaker than that of the pyrophosphate group. The lantibiotic decreased the mobility of the pentapeptide. Clausin did not interact with the water-soluble UDP-MurNAc- and pyrophosphoryl-MurNAc-pentapeptides, pointing out the importance of the hydrocarbon chain of the lipid target. PMID:19720027

  19. Specific interactions of clausin, a new lantibiotic, with lipid precursors of the bacterial cell wall.

    PubMed

    Bouhss, Ahmed; Al-Dabbagh, Bayan; Vincent, Michel; Odaert, Benoit; Aumont-Nicaise, Magalie; Bressolier, Philippe; Desmadril, Michel; Mengin-Lecreulx, Dominique; Urdaci, Maria C; Gallay, Jacques

    2009-09-01

    We investigated the specificity of interaction of a new type A lantibiotic, clausin, isolated from Bacillus clausii, with lipid intermediates of bacterial envelope biosynthesis pathways. Isothermal calorimetry and steady-state fluorescence anisotropy (with dansylated derivatives) identified peptidoglycan lipids I and II, embedded in dodecylphosphocholine micelles, as potential targets. Complex formation with dissociation constants of approximately 0.3 muM and stoichiometry of approximately 2:1 peptides/lipid intermediate was observed. The interaction is enthalpy-driven. For the first time, to our knowledge, we evidenced the interaction between a lantibiotic and C(55)-PP-GlcNAc, a lipid intermediate in the biosynthesis of other bacterial cell wall polymers, including teichoic acids. The pyrophosphate moiety of these lipid intermediates was crucial for the interaction because a strong binding with undecaprenyl pyrophosphate, accounting for 80% of the free energy of binding, was observed. No binding occurred with the undecaprenyl phosphate derivative. The pentapeptide and the N-acetylated sugar moieties strengthened the interaction, but their contributions were weaker than that of the pyrophosphate group. The lantibiotic decreased the mobility of the pentapeptide. Clausin did not interact with the water-soluble UDP-MurNAc- and pyrophosphoryl-MurNAc-pentapeptides, pointing out the importance of the hydrocarbon chain of the lipid target. PMID:19720027

  20. Antagonistic interactions are sufficient to explain self-assemblage of bacterial communities in a homogeneous environment: a computational modeling approach

    PubMed Central

    Zapién-Campos, Román; Olmedo-Álvarez, Gabriela; Santillán, Moisés

    2015-01-01

    Most of the studies in Ecology have been devoted to analyzing the effects the environment has on individuals, populations, and communities, thus neglecting the effects of biotic interactions on the system dynamics. In the present work we study the structure of bacterial communities in the oligotrophic shallow water system of Churince, Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico. Since the physicochemical conditions of this water system are homogeneous and quite stable in time, it is an excellent candidate to study how biotic factors influence the structure of bacterial communities. In a previous study, the binary antagonistic interactions of 78 bacterial strains, isolated from Churince, were experimentally determined. We employ these data to develop a computer algorithm to simulate growth experiments in a cellular grid representing the pond. Remarkably, in our model, the dynamics of all the simulated bacterial populations is determined solely by antagonistic interactions. Our results indicate that all bacterial strains (even those that are antagonized by many other bacteria) survive in the long term, and that the underlying mechanism is the formation of bacterial community patches. Patches corresponding to less antagonistic and highly susceptible strains are consistently isolated from the highly-antagonistic bacterial colonies by patches of neutral strains. These results concur with the observed features of the bacterial community structure previously reported. Finally, we study how our findings depend on factors like initial population size, differential population growth rates, homogeneous population death rates, and enhanced bacterial diffusion. PMID:26052318

  1. Antagonistic interactions are sufficient to explain self-assemblage of bacterial communities in a homogeneous environment: a computational modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Zapién-Campos, Román; Olmedo-Álvarez, Gabriela; Santillán, Moisés

    2015-01-01

    Most of the studies in Ecology have been devoted to analyzing the effects the environment has on individuals, populations, and communities, thus neglecting the effects of biotic interactions on the system dynamics. In the present work we study the structure of bacterial communities in the oligotrophic shallow water system of Churince, Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico. Since the physicochemical conditions of this water system are homogeneous and quite stable in time, it is an excellent candidate to study how biotic factors influence the structure of bacterial communities. In a previous study, the binary antagonistic interactions of 78 bacterial strains, isolated from Churince, were experimentally determined. We employ these data to develop a computer algorithm to simulate growth experiments in a cellular grid representing the pond. Remarkably, in our model, the dynamics of all the simulated bacterial populations is determined solely by antagonistic interactions. Our results indicate that all bacterial strains (even those that are antagonized by many other bacteria) survive in the long term, and that the underlying mechanism is the formation of bacterial community patches. Patches corresponding to less antagonistic and highly susceptible strains are consistently isolated from the highly-antagonistic bacterial colonies by patches of neutral strains. These results concur with the observed features of the bacterial community structure previously reported. Finally, we study how our findings depend on factors like initial population size, differential population growth rates, homogeneous population death rates, and enhanced bacterial diffusion. PMID:26052318

  2. Unraveling the Interaction of Silver Nanoparticles with Mammalian and Bacterial DNA.

    PubMed

    Pramanik, Srikrishna; Chatterjee, Sabyasachi; Saha, Arindam; Devi, Parukuttyamma Sujatha; Suresh Kumar, Gopinatha

    2016-06-23

    The focus of this study was to understand and unravel the interaction of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with different types of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), mammalian and bacterial, having different base pair compositions. Binding of spherical silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to Calf thymus (CT) DNA, Escherichia coli (EC) DNA and Micrococcus lysodeikticus (ML) DNA has been studied to gain insights into their mode of interaction and specificity. Interaction of AgNPs with synthetic DNA has also been carried out. On the basis of absorption, thermal melting, isothermal calorimetry and viscosity studies, we could establish the mode of binding and specificity of the synthesized silver nanoparticles with mammalian and bacterial DNA. Thermal melting (Tm) studies indicated a decrease in the Tm of all the DNAs, confirming the destabilization of DNA stacks on interaction with AgNPs. Comparative interaction studies with single stranded (ss) and double stranded (ds) DNAs further confirmed the specificity of the particles toward ds DNA. On the basis of the results we could confirm that the synthesized AgNPs could be used for selective detection of DNA through their DNA binding mechanism. In addition, the AgNPs-DNA complexes exhibited distinct differences in the SERS spectra making it an interesting SERS platform for identifying ds DNA. The optical and physical properties of AgNPs help in differentiating the DNAs of different base pair compositions through their binding affinity and specificity. PMID:27294883

  3. Distribution and interaction patterns of bacterial communities in an ornithogenic soil of Seymour Island, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Rampelotto, Pabulo Henrique; Barboza, Anthony Diego Muller; Pereira, Antônio Batista; Triplett, Eric W; Schaefer, Carlos Ernesto G R; de Oliveira Camargo, Flávio Anastácio; Roesch, Luiz Fernando Wurdig

    2015-04-01

    Next-generation, culture-independent sequencing offers an excellent opportunity to examine network interactions among different microbial species. In this study, soil bacterial communities from a penguin rookery site at Seymour Island were analyzed for abundance, structure, diversity, and interaction networks to identify interaction patterns among the various taxa at three soil depths. The analysis revealed the presence of eight phyla distributed in different proportions among the surface layer (0-8 cm), middle layer (20-25 cm), and bottom (35-40 cm). The bottom layer presented the highest values of bacterial richness, diversity, and evenness when compared to surface and middle layers. The network analysis revealed the existence of a unique pattern of interactions in which the soil microbial network formed a clustered topology, rather than a modular structure as is usually found in biological communities. In addition, specific taxa were identified as important players in microbial community structure. Furthermore, simulation analyses indicated that the loss of potential keystone groups of microorganisms might alter the patterns of interactions within the microbial community. These findings provide new insights for assessing the consequences of environmental disturbances at the whole-community level in Antarctica. PMID:25342537

  4. Putative bacterial interactions from metagenomic knowledge with an integrative systems ecology approach.

    PubMed

    Bordron, Philippe; Latorre, Mauricio; Cortés, Maria-Paz; González, Mauricio; Thiele, Sven; Siegel, Anne; Maass, Alejandro; Eveillard, Damien

    2016-02-01

    Following the trend of studies that investigate microbial ecosystems using different metagenomic techniques, we propose a new integrative systems ecology approach that aims to decipher functional roles within a consortium through the integration of genomic and metabolic knowledge at genome scale. For the sake of application, using public genomes of five bacterial strains involved in copper bioleaching: Acidiphilium cryptum, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, Leptospirillum ferriphilum, and Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans, we first reconstructed a global metabolic network. Next, using a parsimony assumption, we deciphered sets of genes, called Sets from Genome Segments (SGS), that (1) are close on their respective genomes, (2) take an active part in metabolic pathways and (3) whose associated metabolic reactions are also closely connected within metabolic networks. Overall, this SGS paradigm depicts genomic functional units that emphasize respective roles of bacterial strains to catalyze metabolic pathways and environmental processes. Our analysis suggested that only few functional metabolic genes are horizontally transferred within the consortium and that no single bacterial strain can accomplish by itself the whole copper bioleaching. The use of SGS pinpoints a functional compartmentalization among the investigated species and exhibits putative bacterial interactions necessary for promoting these pathways. PMID:26677108

  5. Phytoplankton-bacterial interactions mediate micronutrient colimitation at the coastal Antarctic sea ice edge.

    PubMed

    Bertrand, Erin M; McCrow, John P; Moustafa, Ahmed; Zheng, Hong; McQuaid, Jeffrey B; Delmont, Tom O; Post, Anton F; Sipler, Rachel E; Spackeen, Jenna L; Xu, Kai; Bronk, Deborah A; Hutchins, David A; Allen, Andrew E

    2015-08-11

    Southern Ocean primary productivity plays a key role in global ocean biogeochemistry and climate. At the Southern Ocean sea ice edge in coastal McMurdo Sound, we observed simultaneous cobalamin and iron limitation of surface water phytoplankton communities in late Austral summer. Cobalamin is produced only by bacteria and archaea, suggesting phytoplankton-bacterial interactions must play a role in this limitation. To characterize these interactions and investigate the molecular basis of multiple nutrient limitation, we examined transitions in global gene expression over short time scales, induced by shifts in micronutrient availability. Diatoms, the dominant primary producers, exhibited transcriptional patterns indicative of co-occurring iron and cobalamin deprivation. The major contributor to cobalamin biosynthesis gene expression was a gammaproteobacterial population, Oceanospirillaceae ASP10-02a. This group also contributed significantly to metagenomic cobalamin biosynthesis gene abundance throughout Southern Ocean surface waters. Oceanospirillaceae ASP10-02a displayed elevated expression of organic matter acquisition and cell surface attachment-related genes, consistent with a mutualistic relationship in which they are dependent on phytoplankton growth to fuel cobalamin production. Separate bacterial groups, including Methylophaga, appeared to rely on phytoplankton for carbon and energy sources, but displayed gene expression patterns consistent with iron and cobalamin deprivation. This suggests they also compete with phytoplankton and are important cobalamin consumers. Expression patterns of siderophore- related genes offer evidence for bacterial influences on iron availability as well. The nature and degree of this episodic colimitation appear to be mediated by a series of phytoplankton-bacterial interactions in both positive and negative feedback loops. PMID:26221022

  6. Phytoplankton–bacterial interactions mediate micronutrient colimitation at the coastal Antarctic sea ice edge

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Erin M.; McCrow, John P.; Moustafa, Ahmed; Zheng, Hong; McQuaid, Jeffrey B.; Delmont, Tom O.; Post, Anton F.; Sipler, Rachel E.; Spackeen, Jenna L.; Xu, Kai; Bronk, Deborah A.; Hutchins, David A.; Allen, Andrew E.

    2015-01-01

    Southern Ocean primary productivity plays a key role in global ocean biogeochemistry and climate. At the Southern Ocean sea ice edge in coastal McMurdo Sound, we observed simultaneous cobalamin and iron limitation of surface water phytoplankton communities in late Austral summer. Cobalamin is produced only by bacteria and archaea, suggesting phytoplankton–bacterial interactions must play a role in this limitation. To characterize these interactions and investigate the molecular basis of multiple nutrient limitation, we examined transitions in global gene expression over short time scales, induced by shifts in micronutrient availability. Diatoms, the dominant primary producers, exhibited transcriptional patterns indicative of co-occurring iron and cobalamin deprivation. The major contributor to cobalamin biosynthesis gene expression was a gammaproteobacterial population, Oceanospirillaceae ASP10-02a. This group also contributed significantly to metagenomic cobalamin biosynthesis gene abundance throughout Southern Ocean surface waters. Oceanospirillaceae ASP10-02a displayed elevated expression of organic matter acquisition and cell surface attachment-related genes, consistent with a mutualistic relationship in which they are dependent on phytoplankton growth to fuel cobalamin production. Separate bacterial groups, including Methylophaga, appeared to rely on phytoplankton for carbon and energy sources, but displayed gene expression patterns consistent with iron and cobalamin deprivation. This suggests they also compete with phytoplankton and are important cobalamin consumers. Expression patterns of siderophore- related genes offer evidence for bacterial influences on iron availability as well. The nature and degree of this episodic colimitation appear to be mediated by a series of phytoplankton–bacterial interactions in both positive and negative feedback loops. PMID:26221022

  7. Unanticipated role of melanin in causing carcinogenic cyclobutane pyrimidine dimmers.

    PubMed

    Premi, Sanjay; Brash, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

    Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) instantaneously generates cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). Paradoxically, we recently observed that UV enables the protective pigment melanin to create CPDs in the dark long after the exposure ends. UV-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidize melanin to create melanin carbonyls in a high-energy quantum state. These energetic melanin carbonyls transfer their energy to DNA in the dark, creating CPDs in the absence of UVR. PMID:27308551

  8. Study of the interactions between endolysin and bacterial peptidoglycan on S. aureus by dynamic force spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jianli; Zhang, Xuejie; Yang, Hang; Yuan, Jinghe; Wei, Hongping; Yu, Junping; Fang, Xiaohong

    2015-09-01

    The cell wall binding domain (CBD) of bacteriophage lysins can recognize target bacteria with extraordinary specificity through binding to bacterial peptidoglycan, thus it is a promising new probe to identify the corresponding bacterial pathogen. In this work, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) based single-molecule force spectroscopy to investigate the interaction between the CBD of lysin PlyV12 (PlyV12C) and pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The binding forces of PlyV12C with S. aureus have been measured, and the dissociation process of their binding complex has been characterized. Furthermore, we compared the interactions of PlyV12C-S. aureus and antibody-S. aureus. It is revealed that PlyV12C has a comparable affinity to bacterial peptidoglycans as that of the S. aureus antibody. The results provide new information on the binding properties of lysin CBD with bacterium, and the application of lysin CBD in bacterium detection.

  9. Interaction between selected bacterial strains and Arabidopsis halleri modulates shoot proteome and cadmium and zinc accumulation

    PubMed Central

    Panigati, Monica; Furini, Antonella

    2011-01-01

    The effects of plant–microbe interactions between the hyperaccumulator Arabidopsis halleri and eight bacterial strains, isolated from the rhizosphere of A. halleri plants grown in a cadmium- and zinc-contaminated site, were analysed for shoot metal accumulation, shoot proteome, and the transcription of genes involved in plant metal homeostasis and hyperaccumulation. Cadmium and zinc concentrations were lower in the shoots of plants cultivated in the presence of these metals plus the selected bacterial strains compared with plants grown solely with these metals or, as previously reported, with plants grown with these metals plus the autochthonous rhizosphere-derived microorganisms. The shoot proteome of plants cultivated in the presence of these selected bacterial strains plus metals, showed an increased abundance of photosynthesis- and abiotic stress-related proteins (e.g. subunits of the photosynthetic complexes, Rubisco, superoxide dismutase, and malate dehydrogenase) counteracted by a decreased amount of plant defence-related proteins (e.g. endochitinases, vegetative storage proteins, and β-glucosidase). The transcription of several homeostasis genes was modulated by the microbial communities and by Cd and Zn content in the shoot. Altogether these results highlight the importance of plant-microbe interactions in plant protein expression and metal accumulation and emphasize the possibility of exploiting microbial consortia for increasing or decreasing shoot metal content. PMID:21357773

  10. Assessing Interactions of Multiple Agrichemicals by Using Bacterial Assemblages in a Wetland Mesocosm System

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Huey-Min; McArthur, Neisee; Ochs, Clifford; Libman, Bruce

    2005-01-01

    Agrichemicals may enter wetlands located adjacent to or downstream from agricultural fields. We investigated the individual and interactive effects of three agrichemicals [atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and monosodium acid methanearsonate (MSMA)] and methyl mercury on abundance and heterotrophic potential of wetland heterotrophic bacteria assemblages. We used a factorial experimental design, in which chemicals were introduced in all possible combinations to 66 500-liter mesocosms at the Biological Field Station of the University of Mississippi. Methyl mercury was added to bring the total mercury (HG) concentration to 0.4 mg/Kg wet weight at the sediment surface. Atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and MSMA were added at concentrations of 192, 51, and 219μg/L, respectively. Over 32 days of exposure, microbial heterotrophic activity was sensitive to only the interactive effect of HG*ATR*CPF in the sediments and only CPF in the water. Total bacterial numbers did not exhibit any significant treatment effects. Therefore, the effects of agrichemicals were reflected on cell-specific bacterial heterotrophic activity rather than bacterial population size. PMID:16705836

  11. Effects of structure on the interactions between five natural antimicrobial compounds and phospholipids of bacterial cell membrane on model monolayers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Monolayers composed of bacterial phospholipids were used as model membranes to study interactions of naturally occurring phenolic compounds 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde and the plant essential oil compounds carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol, previously found to be...

  12. Vector-Borne Bacterial Plant Pathogens: Interactions with Hemipteran Insects and Plants.

    PubMed

    Perilla-Henao, Laura M; Casteel, Clare L

    2016-01-01

    Hemipteran insects are devastating pests of crops due to their wide host range, rapid reproduction, and ability to transmit numerous plant-infecting pathogens as vectors. While the field of plant-virus-vector interactions has flourished in recent years, plant-bacteria-vector interactions remain poorly understood. Leafhoppers and psyllids are by far the most important vectors of bacterial pathogens, yet there are still significant gaps in our understanding of their feeding behavior, salivary secretions, and plant responses as compared to important viral vectors, such as whiteflies and aphids. Even with an incomplete understanding of plant-bacteria-vector interactions, some common themes have emerged: (1) all known vector-borne bacteria share the ability to propagate in the plant and insect host; (2) particular hemipteran families appear to be incapable of transmitting vector-borne bacteria; (3) all known vector-borne bacteria have highly reduced genomes and coding capacity, resulting in host-dependence; and (4) vector-borne bacteria encode proteins that are essential for colonization of specific hosts, though only a few types of proteins have been investigated. Here, we review the current knowledge on important vector-borne bacterial pathogens, including Xylella fastidiosa, Spiroplasma spp., Liberibacter spp., and 'Candidatus Phytoplasma spp.'. We then highlight recent approaches used in the study of vector-borne bacteria. Finally, we discuss the application of this knowledge for control and future directions that will need to be addressed in the field of vector-plant-bacteria interactions. PMID:27555855

  13. Vector-Borne Bacterial Plant Pathogens: Interactions with Hemipteran Insects and Plants

    PubMed Central

    Perilla-Henao, Laura M.; Casteel, Clare L.

    2016-01-01

    Hemipteran insects are devastating pests of crops due to their wide host range, rapid reproduction, and ability to transmit numerous plant-infecting pathogens as vectors. While the field of plant–virus–vector interactions has flourished in recent years, plant–bacteria–vector interactions remain poorly understood. Leafhoppers and psyllids are by far the most important vectors of bacterial pathogens, yet there are still significant gaps in our understanding of their feeding behavior, salivary secretions, and plant responses as compared to important viral vectors, such as whiteflies and aphids. Even with an incomplete understanding of plant–bacteria–vector interactions, some common themes have emerged: (1) all known vector-borne bacteria share the ability to propagate in the plant and insect host; (2) particular hemipteran families appear to be incapable of transmitting vector-borne bacteria; (3) all known vector-borne bacteria have highly reduced genomes and coding capacity, resulting in host-dependence; and (4) vector-borne bacteria encode proteins that are essential for colonization of specific hosts, though only a few types of proteins have been investigated. Here, we review the current knowledge on important vector-borne bacterial pathogens, including Xylella fastidiosa, Spiroplasma spp., Liberibacter spp., and ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma spp.’. We then highlight recent approaches used in the study of vector-borne bacteria. Finally, we discuss the application of this knowledge for control and future directions that will need to be addressed in the field of vector–plant–bacteria interactions. PMID:27555855

  14. Interparticle interactions mediated superspin glass to superferromagnetic transition in Ni-bacterial cellulose aerogel nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiruvengadam, V.; Vitta, Satish

    2016-06-01

    The interparticle interactions in the magnetic nanocomposites play a dominant role in controlling phase transitions: superparamagnetic to superspin glass and to superferromagnetic. These interactions can be tuned by controlling the size and number density of nanoparticles. The aerogel composites, 0.3Ni-BC and 0.7Ni-BC, consisting of Ni nanoparticles distributed in the bacterial cellulose have been used as a model system to study these interactions. Contrary to conventional approach, size of Ni-nanoparticles is not controlled and allowed to form naturally in bacterial cellulose template. The uncontrolled growth of Ni results in the formation of nanoparticles with 3 different size distributions - <10 nm particles along the length of fibrils, 50 nm particles in the intermediate spaces between the fibrils, and >100 nm particles in voids formed by reticulate structure. At room temperature, the composites exhibit a weakly ferromagnetic behaviour with a coercivity of 40 Oe, which increases to 160 Oe at 10 K. The transition from weakly ferromagnetic state to superferromagnetic state at low temperatures is mediated by the superspin glass state at intermediate temperatures via the interparticle interactions aided by nanoparticles present along the length of fibres. A temperature dependent microstructural model has been developed to understand the magnetic behaviour of nanocomposite aerogels.

  15. EPR characteristics of free radicals in DOPA-melanin-moxifloxacin complexes at ambient level of UVA radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beberok, Artur; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Buszman, Ewa; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2014-01-01

    EPR studies pointed out that o-semiquinone free radicals with g-values 2.0038-2.0040 take part in moxifloxacin-melanin complex formation. The process contributed to increase in free radicals concentration in nonirradiated complexes. This effect was observed for the complexes with 1 × 10-4 M, 1 × 10-3 M and 4 × 10-3 M drug concentrations. UV irradiation contributed to decrease in free radicals concentration in DOPA-melanin complexes with moxifloxacin, besides the complexes with the drug concentration of 1 × 10-4 M. The strongest decrease was observed for DOPA-melanin-moxifloxacin complexes with the drug concentration of 1 × 10-3 M. Homogeneous broadening of EPR lines, strong dipolar interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes characterized all the tested melanin samples.

  16. Interpreting melanin-based coloration through deep time: a critical review

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, Johan; Moyer, Alison; Schweitzer, Mary H.; Sjövall, Peter; Uvdal, Per; Nilsson, Dan E.; Heimdal, Jimmy; Engdahl, Anders; Gren, Johan A.; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Kear, Benjamin P.

    2015-01-01

    Colour, derived primarily from melanin and/or carotenoid pigments, is integral to many aspects of behaviour in living vertebrates, including social signalling, sexual display and crypsis. Thus, identifying biochromes in extinct animals can shed light on the acquisition and evolution of these biological traits. Both eumelanin and melanin-containing cellular organelles (melanosomes) are preserved in fossils, but recognizing traces of ancient melanin-based coloration is fraught with interpretative ambiguity, especially when observations are based on morphological evidence alone. Assigning microbodies (or, more often reported, their ‘mouldic impressions’) as melanosome traces without adequately excluding a bacterial origin is also problematic because microbes are pervasive and intimately involved in organismal degradation. Additionally, some forms synthesize melanin. In this review, we survey both vertebrate and microbial melanization, and explore the conflicts influencing assessment of microbodies preserved in association with ancient animal soft tissues. We discuss the types of data used to interpret fossil melanosomes and evaluate whether these are sufficient for definitive diagnosis. Finally, we outline an integrated morphological and geochemical approach for detecting endogenous pigment remains and associated microstructures in multimillion-year-old fossils. PMID:26290071

  17. Regulatory Interactions between a Bacterial Tyrosine Kinase and Its Cognate Phosphatase*

    PubMed Central

    Temel, Deniz B.; Dutta, Kaushik; Alphonse, Sébastien; Nourikyan, Julien; Grangeasse, Christophe; Ghose, Ranajeet

    2013-01-01

    The cyclic process of autophosphorylation of the C-terminal tyrosine cluster (YC) of a bacterial tyrosine kinase and its subsequent dephosphorylation following interactions with a counteracting tyrosine phosphatase regulates diverse physiological processes, including the biosynthesis and export of polysaccharides responsible for the formation of biofilms or virulence-determining capsules. We provide here the first detailed insight into this hitherto uncharacterized regulatory interaction at residue-specific resolution using Escherichia coli Wzc, a canonical bacterial tyrosine kinase, and its opposing tyrosine phosphatase, Wzb. The phosphatase Wzb utilizes a surface distal to the catalytic elements of the kinase, Wzc, to dock onto its catalytic domain (WzcCD). WzcCD binds in a largely YC-independent fashion near the Wzb catalytic site, inducing allosteric changes therein. YC dephosphorylation is proximity-mediated and reliant on the elevated concentration of phosphorylated YC near the Wzb active site resulting from WzcCD docking. Wzb principally recognizes the phosphate of its phosphotyrosine substrate and further stabilizes the tyrosine moiety through ring stacking interactions with a conserved active site tyrosine. PMID:23543749

  18. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    SciTech Connect

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina Congiu, Mirko Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico de; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi Biziak de Figueiredo, Natália Mulato, Marcelo

    2014-03-15

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  19. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi; de Figueiredo, Natália Biziak; Congiu, Mirko; Mulato, Marcelo; de Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico

    2014-03-01

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  20. Degradation of melanin by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Luther, J P; Lipke, H

    1980-01-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus from composted coffee and garden wastes utilized natural deproteinized insect, banana, hair, octopus, and synthetic tyrosine and dopa melanins as sole sources of carbon. With a sucrose supplement, degradation was essentially complete after 50 days in Czapek medium pH 6.5 at 30 degrees C. The catabolic rate differed for each substrate pigment, as did the molecular weight distribution of products accumulating in the medium. After incubation with L-[U-14C]melanin, over 50% was recovered in a dark fungal pigment, the remainder appearing as cell protein, chitin, lipid, CO2, and polar metabolites. When grown on melanin, the normally pale mycelia darkened with the production of a fungal allomelanin, with infrared spectrum and alkali fusion products differing from those of the substrate pigment. Isotope distribution in amino acids for A. fumigatus grown on labeled melanin supplemented with sucrose suggested separate pools for synthesis of cell proteins and melanoproteins. Deposition of allomelanin increased resistance of conidia, sterigma, and conidiophores to lytic carbohydrases as judged by scanning electron microscopy. Images PMID:6996615

  1. Bacterial N2-fixation in mangrove ecosystems: insights from a diazotroph–mangrove interaction

    PubMed Central

    Alfaro-Espinoza, Gabriela; Ullrich, Matthias S.

    2015-01-01

    Mangrove forests are highly productive ecosystems but represent low nutrient environments. Nitrogen availability is one of the main factors limiting mangrove growth. Diazotrophs have been identified as key organisms that provide nitrogen to these environments. N2-fixation by such organisms was found to be higher in the mangrove roots than in surrounding rhizosphere. Moreover, previous studies showed that mangroves grew better in the presence of N2-fixers indicating a potentially mutualistic relationship. However, the molecular signals and mechanisms that govern these interactions are still poorly understood. Here we present novel insights in the interaction of a diazotroph with a mangrove species to improve our understanding of the molecular and ecophysiological relationship between these two organisms under controlled conditions. Our results showed that Marinobacterium mangrovicola is a versatile organism capable of competing with other organisms to survive for long periods in mangrove soils. N2-fixation by this bacterium was up-regulated in the presence of mangrove roots, indicating a possible beneficial interaction. The increase in N2-fixation was limited to cells of the exponential growth phase suggesting that N2-fixation differs over the bacterial growth cycle. Bacterial transformants harboring a transcriptional nifH::gusA fusion showed that M. mangrovicola successfully colonized mangrove roots and simultaneously conducted N2-fixation. The colonization process was stimulated by the lack of an external carbon source suggesting a possible mutualistic relationship. M. mangrovicola represents an interesting genetically accessible diazotroph, which colonize mangrove roots and exhibit higher N2-fixation in the presence of mangrove roots. Consequently, we propose this microorganism as a tool to study molecular interactions between N2-fixers and mangrove plants and to better understand how changes in the environment could impact these important and relatively unknown

  2. Bacterial N2-fixation in mangrove ecosystems: insights from a diazotroph-mangrove interaction.

    PubMed

    Alfaro-Espinoza, Gabriela; Ullrich, Matthias S

    2015-01-01

    Mangrove forests are highly productive ecosystems but represent low nutrient environments. Nitrogen availability is one of the main factors limiting mangrove growth. Diazotrophs have been identified as key organisms that provide nitrogen to these environments. N2-fixation by such organisms was found to be higher in the mangrove roots than in surrounding rhizosphere. Moreover, previous studies showed that mangroves grew better in the presence of N2-fixers indicating a potentially mutualistic relationship. However, the molecular signals and mechanisms that govern these interactions are still poorly understood. Here we present novel insights in the interaction of a diazotroph with a mangrove species to improve our understanding of the molecular and ecophysiological relationship between these two organisms under controlled conditions. Our results showed that Marinobacterium mangrovicola is a versatile organism capable of competing with other organisms to survive for long periods in mangrove soils. N2-fixation by this bacterium was up-regulated in the presence of mangrove roots, indicating a possible beneficial interaction. The increase in N2-fixation was limited to cells of the exponential growth phase suggesting that N2-fixation differs over the bacterial growth cycle. Bacterial transformants harboring a transcriptional nifH::gusA fusion showed that M. mangrovicola successfully colonized mangrove roots and simultaneously conducted N2-fixation. The colonization process was stimulated by the lack of an external carbon source suggesting a possible mutualistic relationship. M. mangrovicola represents an interesting genetically accessible diazotroph, which colonize mangrove roots and exhibit higher N2-fixation in the presence of mangrove roots. Consequently, we propose this microorganism as a tool to study molecular interactions between N2-fixers and mangrove plants and to better understand how changes in the environment could impact these important and relatively unknown

  3. Interaction of polyphemusin I and structural analogs with bacterial membranes, lipopolysaccharide, and lipid monolayers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, L; Scott, M G; Yan, H; Mayer, L D; Hancock, R E

    2000-11-28

    Three structural variants (PV5, PV7, and PV8) of the horseshoe crab cationic antimicrobial peptide polyphemusin I were designed with improved amphipathic profiles. Circular dichroism spectroscopy analysis indicated that in phosphate buffer polyphemusin I, PV7, and PV8 displayed the spectrum of a type II beta-turn-rich structure, but, like polyphemusin I, all three variants adopted a typical beta-sheet structure in an anionic lipid environment. Both polyphemusin I and variants were potent broad spectrum antimicrobials that were clearly bactericidal at their minimal inhibitory concentrations. The variants were moderately less active in vitro but more effective in animal models. Moreover, these variants exhibited delayed bacterial killing, whereas polyphemusin I killed Escherichia coli UB1005 within 5 min at 2.5 microg/mL. All the peptides showed similar abilities to bind to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and permeabilize bacterial outer membranes. Consistent with this was the observation that all peptides significantly inhibited cytokine production by LPS-stimulated macrophages and penetrated polyanionic LPS monolayers to similar extents. None of the peptides had affinity for neutral lipids as evident from both tryptophan fluorescence spectroscopy and Langmuir monolayer analysis. As compared to polyphemusin I, all variants showed reduced ability to interact with anionic lipids, and the hemolytic activity of the variants was decreased by 2-4-fold. In contrast, polyphemusin I efficiently depolarized the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli, as assessed using a membrane potential sensitive fluorescent dye 3,3-dipropylthiacarbocyanine (diSC(3)5) assay, but the variants showed a substantially delayed and decreased depolarizing ability. The coincident assessment of cell viability indicated that depolarization of the bacterial cytoplasmic membrane potential by polyphemusin I occurred prior to lethal damage to cells. Our data suggest that increase of amphipathicity of beta

  4. Transport processes and mutual interactions of three bacterial strains in saturated porous media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stumpp, Christine; Lawrence, John R.; Hendry, M. Jim; Maloszewski, Pitor

    2010-05-01

    Transport processes of the bacterial strains Klebsiella oxytoca, Burkholderia cepacia G4PR-1 and Pseudomonas sp #5 were investigated in saturated column experiments to study the differences in transport characteristics and the mutual interactions of these strains during transport. Soil column experiments (114 mm long x 33 mm in diameter) were conducted with constant water velocities (3.9-5.7 cm/h) through a medium to coarse grained silica sand. All experiments were performed in freshly packed columns in quadruplicate. Chloride was used as tracer to determine the mean transit time, dispersivity and flow rate. It was injected as a pulse into the columns together with the bacterial strains suspended in artificial groundwater medium. In the first setup, each strain was investigated alone. In the second setup, transport processes were performed injecting two strains simultaneously. Finally, the transport characteristics were studied in successive experiments when one bacterium was resident on the sand grains prior to the introduction of the second strain. In all experiments the peak C/Co bacterial concentrations were attenuated with respect to the conservative tracer chloride and a well defined tailing was observed. A one dimensional mathematical model for advective-dispersive transport that accounts for irreversible and reversible sorption was used to analyze the bacterial breakthrough curves and tailing patterns. It was shown that the sorption parameters were different for the three strains that can be explained by the properties of the bacteria. For the species Klebsiella oxytoca and Burkholderia cepacia G4PR-the transport parameters were mostly in the same range independent of the experimental setup. However, Pseudomonas sp #5, which is a motile bacterium, showed differences in the breakthrough curves and sorption parameters during the experiments. The simultaneous and successive experiments indicated an influence on the reversible sorption processes when another

  5. Epidermal melanin absorption in human skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norvang Nilsen, Lill T.; Fiskerstrand, Elisanne J.; Nelson, J. Stuart; Berns, Michael W.; Svaasand, Lars O.

    1996-01-01

    The principle of laser induced selective photothermolysis is to induced thermal damage to specific targets in such a manner that the temperature of the surrounding tissue is maintained below the threshold for thermal damage. The selectivity is obtained by selection of a proper wavelength and pulse duration. The technique is presently being used in the clinic for removal of port-wine stains. The presence of melanin in the epidermal layer can represent a limitation to the selectivity. Melanin absorption drops off significantly with increasing wavelength, but is significant in the entire wavelength region where the blood absorption is high. Treatment of port-wine stain in patients with high skin pigmentation may therefore give overheating of the epidermis, resulting in epidermal necrosis. Melanosomal heating is dependent on the energy and duration of the laser pulse. The heating mechanism for time scales less than typically 1 microsecond(s) corresponds to a transient local heating of the individual melanosomes. For larger time scales, heat diffusion out of the melanosomes become of increased importance, and the temperature distribution will reach a local steady state condition after typically 10 microsecond(s) . For even longer pulse duration, heat diffusing from neighboring melanosomes becomes important, and the temperature rise in a time scale from 100 - 500 microsecond(s) is dominated by this mechanism. The epidermal heating during the typical 450 microsecond(s) pulse used for therapy is thus dependent on the average epidermal melanin content rather than on the absorption coefficient of the individual melanosomes. This study will present in vivo measurements of the epidermal melanin absorption of human skin when exposed to short laser pulses (< 0.1 microsecond(s) ) from a Q-switched ruby laser and with long laser pulses (approximately 500 microsecond(s) ) from a free-running ruby laser or a long pulse length flashlamp pumped dye laser. The epidermal melanin

  6. An Isoniazid Analogue Promotes Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Nanoparticle Interactions and Enhances Bacterial Killing by Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    de Faria, Tatiany J.; Roman, Mariane; de Souza, Nicole M.; De Vecchi, Rodrigo; de Assis, João Vitor; dos Santos, Ana Lúcia Gomes; Bechtold, Ivan H.; Winter, Nathalie; Soares, Maurilio José; Silva, Luciano Paulino; De Almeida, Mauro V.

    2012-01-01

    Nanoenabled drug delivery systems against tuberculosis (TB) are thought to control pathogen replication by targeting antibiotics to infected tissues and phagocytes. However, whether nanoparticle (NP)-based carriers directly interact with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and how such drug delivery systems induce intracellular bacterial killing by macrophages is not defined. In the present study, we demonstrated that a highly hydrophobic citral-derived isoniazid analogue, termed JVA, significantly increases nanoencapsulation and inhibits M. tuberculosis growth by enhancing intracellular drug bioavailability. Importantly, confocal and atomic force microscopy analyses revealed that JVA-NPs associate with both intracellular M. tuberculosis and cell-free bacteria, indicating that NPs directly interact with the bacterium. Taken together, these data reveal a nanotechnology-based strategy that promotes antibiotic targeting into replicating extra- and intracellular mycobacteria, which could actively enhance chemotherapy during active TB. PMID:22330919

  7. Bacterial-mucosal interactions in inflammatory bowel disease—an alliance gone bad

    PubMed Central

    Chichlowski, Maciej; Hale, Laura P.

    2008-01-01

    The complex interaction of genetic, microbial, and environmental factors may result in continuous activation of the mucosal immune system leading to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Most present treatments for IBD involve altering or suppressing the aberrant immune response; however, the role of the intestinal microbiota in the pathophysiology of IBD is becoming more evident. The epithelial layer is essential for the proper functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, and its increased permeability to the luminal antigens may lead to the inflammatory processes and mucosal damage observed in IBD. Factors affecting the efficacy of the epithelial barrier include presence of pathogenic bacteria (e.g., Helicobacter spp.), presence of probiotic bacteria, availability of selected nutrients, and others. Defective function of the mucosal barrier might facilitate the contact of bacterial antigens and adjuvants with innate and adaptive immune cells to generate prolonged inflammatory responses. This review will briefly describe the complex structure of the epithelial barrier in the context of bacterial-mucosal interactions observed in human IBD and mouse models of colitis. PMID:18927210

  8. Structural Insights into Protein-Protein Interactions Involved in Bacterial Cell Wall Biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Laddomada, Federica; Miyachiro, Mayara M.; Dessen, Andréa

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial cell wall is essential for survival, and proteins that participate in its biosynthesis have been the targets of antibiotic development efforts for decades. The biosynthesis of its main component, the peptidoglycan, involves the coordinated action of proteins that are involved in multi-member complexes which are essential for cell division (the “divisome”) and/or cell wall elongation (the “elongasome”), in the case of rod-shaped cells. Our knowledge regarding these interactions has greatly benefitted from the visualization of different aspects of the bacterial cell wall and its cytoskeleton by cryoelectron microscopy and tomography, as well as genetic and biochemical screens that have complemented information from high resolution crystal structures of protein complexes involved in divisome or elongasome formation. This review summarizes structural and functional aspects of protein complexes involved in the cytoplasmic and membrane-related steps of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, with a particular focus on protein-protein interactions whereby disruption could lead to the development of novel antibacterial strategies. PMID:27136593

  9. Accessibility and conservation: general features of bacterial small RNA-mRNA interactions?

    PubMed

    Richter, Andreas S; Backofen, Rolf

    2012-07-01

    Bacterial small RNAs (sRNAs) are a class of structural RNAs that often regulate mRNA targets via post-transcriptional base pair interactions. We determined features that discriminate functional from non-functional interactions and assessed the influence of these features on genome-wide target predictions. For this purpose, we compiled a set of 71 experimentally verified sRNA-target pairs from Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. Furthermore, we collected full-length 5' untranslated regions by using genome-wide experimentally verified transcription start sites. Only interaction sites in sRNAs, but not in targets, show significant sequence conservation. In addition to this observation, we found that the base pairing between sRNAs and their targets is not conserved in general across more distantly related species. A closer inspection of RybB and RyhB sRNAs and their targets revealed that the base pairing complementarity is only conserved in a small subset of the targets. In contrast to conservation, accessibility of functional interaction sites is significantly higher in both sRNAs and targets in comparison to non-functional sites. Based on the above observations, we successfully used the following constraints to improve the specificity of genome-wide target predictions: the region of interaction initiation must be located in (1) highly accessible regions in both interaction partners and (2) unstructured conserved sRNA regions derived from reliability profiles of multiple sRNA alignments. Aligned sequences of homologous sRNAs, functional and non-functional targets, and a supplementary document with supplementary tables, figures and references are available at http://www. bioinf.uni-freiburg.de/Supplements/srna-interact-feat. PMID:22767260

  10. Suppressing bacterial interaction with copper surfaces through graphene and hexagonal-boron nitride coatings.

    PubMed

    Parra, Carolina; Montero-Silva, Francisco; Henríquez, Ricardo; Flores, Marcos; Garín, Carolina; Ramírez, Cristian; Moreno, Macarena; Correa, Jonathan; Seeger, Michael; Häberle, Patricio

    2015-04-01

    Understanding biological interaction with graphene and hexagonal-boron nitride (h-BN) membranes has become essential for the incorporation of these unique materials in contact with living organisms. Previous reports show contradictions regarding the bacterial interaction with graphene sheets on metals. Here, we present a comprehensive study of the interaction of bacteria with copper substrates coated with single-layer graphene and h-BN. Our results demonstrate that such graphitic coatings substantially suppress interaction between bacteria and underlying Cu substrates, acting as an effective barrier to prevent physical contact. Bacteria do not "feel" the strong antibacterial effect of Cu, and the substrate does not suffer biocorrosion due to bacteria contact. Effectiveness of these systems as barriers can be understood in terms of graphene and h-BN impermeability to transfer Cu(2+) ions, even when graphene and h-BN domain boundary defects are present. Our results seem to indicate that as-grown graphene and h-BN films could successfully protect metals, preventing their corrosion in biological and medical applications. PMID:25774864

  11. Amyloids, Melanins and Oxidative Stress in Melanomagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Liu-Smith, Feng; Poe, Carrie; Farmer, Patrick J.; Meyskens, Frank L.

    2015-01-01

    Melanoma has traditionally been viewed as an ultra-violet (UV) radiation induced malignancy. While UV is a common inducing factor, other endogenous stresses such as metal ion accumulation or the melanin pigment itself, may provide alternative pathways to melanoma progression. Eumelanosomes within melanoma often exhibit disrupted membranes and fragmented pigment which may be due to alterations in their amyloid-based striatial matrix. The melanosomal amyloid can itself be toxic, especially in combination with reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) generated by endogenous NADPH oxidase (NOX) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes; a toxic mix that may initiate melanomagenesis. Further understanding of the loss of the melanosomal organization, the behavior of the exposed melanin, and the induction of ROS/RNS in melanomas may provide critical insights into this deadly disease. PMID:25271672

  12. Induction of melanin biosynthesis in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed Central

    Coyne, V E; al-Harthi, L

    1992-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae synthesized the pigment melanin in response to specific physiological conditions that were stressful to the bacterium. Pigmentation was induced when V. cholerae was subjected to hyperosmotic stress in conjunction with elevated growth temperatures (above 30 degrees C). The salt concentration tolerated by V. cholerae was lowered by additional abiotic factors such as acidic starting pH of the growth medium and limitation of organic nutrients. Although the amount of toxin detected in the culture supernatant decreased significantly in response to stressful culture conditions, no correlation between the physiological conditions that induced melanogenesis and expression of OmpU or cholera toxin was detected. Since conditions that induce melanin production in V. cholerae occur in both the aquatic environment and the human host, it is possible that melanogenesis has a specific function with respect to the survival of the bacterium in these habitats. PMID:1444398

  13. A bacterial toxin inhibits DNA replication elongation through a direct interaction with the β sliding clamp.

    PubMed

    Aakre, Christopher D; Phung, Tuyen N; Huang, David; Laub, Michael T

    2013-12-12

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are ubiquitous on bacterial chromosomes, yet the mechanisms regulating their activity and the molecular targets of toxins remain incompletely defined. Here, we identify SocAB, an atypical TA system in Caulobacter crescentus. Unlike canonical TA systems, the toxin SocB is unstable and constitutively degraded by the protease ClpXP; this degradation requires the antitoxin, SocA, as a proteolytic adaptor. We find that the toxin, SocB, blocks replication elongation through an interaction with the sliding clamp, driving replication fork collapse. Mutations that suppress SocB toxicity map to either the hydrophobic cleft on the clamp that binds DNA polymerase III or a clamp-binding motif in SocB. Our findings suggest that SocB disrupts replication by outcompeting other clamp-binding proteins. Collectively, our results expand the diversity of mechanisms employed by TA systems to regulate toxin activity and inhibit bacterial growth, and they suggest that inhibiting clamp function may be a generalizable antibacterial strategy. PMID:24239291

  14. Image-based control of skin melanin texture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Ojima, Nobutoshi; Takase, Koichi; Okaguchi, Saya; Hori, Kimihiko; Miyake, Yoichi

    2006-09-01

    We introduce a useful tool for controlling the skin melanin texture of facial photographs. Controlling the skin melanin texture is an important task in the reproduction of posters, TV commercials, movies, and so on. We used component maps of melanin, which were obtained by a previous method [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 2169 (1999)] as the first processing step. We propose to control the melanin texture continuously and physiologically, based on the analysis of 123 skin textures in our database. The physiological validity for the change of the melanin texture is confirmed by comparing the synthesized image with an ultraviolet image, which can be used to predict the change of melanin texture due to aging. The control processes are implemented on programmable graphics hardware, and real-time processing is achieved for a facial videostream.

  15. Interaction of Bacterial Exotoxins with Neutrophil Extracellular Traps: Impact for the Infected Host.

    PubMed

    von Köckritz-Blickwede, Maren; Blodkamp, Stefanie; Nizet, Victor

    2016-01-01

    Since their discovery in 2004, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have been characterized as a fundamental host innate immune defense against various pathogens. Released in response to infectious and pro-inflammatory stimuli, NETs can immobilize invading pathogens within a fibrous matrix consisting of DNA, histones, and antimicrobial peptides. Conversely, excessive or dysregulated NET release may hold a variety of detrimental consequences for the host. A fine balance between NET formation and elimination is necessary to sustain a protective effect during infectious challenge. In recent years, a number of microbial virulence factors have been shown to modulate formation of NETs, thereby facilitating colonization or spread within the host. In this mini-review we summarize the contemporary research on the interaction of bacterial exotoxins with neutrophils that modulate NET production, focusing particular attention on consequences for the host. Understanding host-pathogen dynamics in this extracellular battlefield of innate immunity may provide novel therapeutic approaches for infectious and inflammatory disorders. PMID:27064864

  16. Interaction of Bacterial Exotoxins with Neutrophil Extracellular Traps: Impact for the Infected Host

    PubMed Central

    von Köckritz-Blickwede, Maren; Blodkamp, Stefanie; Nizet, Victor

    2016-01-01

    Since their discovery in 2004, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have been characterized as a fundamental host innate immune defense against various pathogens. Released in response to infectious and pro-inflammatory stimuli, NETs can immobilize invading pathogens within a fibrous matrix consisting of DNA, histones, and antimicrobial peptides. Conversely, excessive or dysregulated NET release may hold a variety of detrimental consequences for the host. A fine balance between NET formation and elimination is necessary to sustain a protective effect during infectious challenge. In recent years, a number of microbial virulence factors have been shown to modulate formation of NETs, thereby facilitating colonization or spread within the host. In this mini-review we summarize the contemporary research on the interaction of bacterial exotoxins with neutrophils that modulate NET production, focusing particular attention on consequences for the host. Understanding host–pathogen dynamics in this extracellular battlefield of innate immunity may provide novel therapeutic approaches for infectious and inflammatory disorders. PMID:27064864

  17. The Weak Shall Inherit: Bacteriocin-Mediated Interactions in Bacterial Populations

    PubMed Central

    Majeed, Hadeel; Lampert, Adam; Ghazaryan, Lusine; Gillor, Osnat

    2013-01-01

    Background Evolutionary arms race plays a major role in shaping biological diversity. In microbial systems, competition often involves chemical warfare and the production of bacteriocins, narrow-spectrum toxins aimed at killing closely related strains by forming pores in their target’s membrane or by degrading the target’s RNA or DNA. Although many empirical and theoretical studies describe competitive exclusion of bacteriocin-sensitive strains by producers of bacteriocins, the dynamics among producers are largely unknown. Methodology/Principal findings We used a reporter-gene assay to show that the bacterial response to bacteriocins’ treatment mirrors the inflicted damage Potent bacteriocins are lethal to competing strains, but at sublethal doses can serve as strong inducing agents, enhancing their antagonists’ bacteriocin production. In contrast, weaker bacteriocins are less toxic to their competitors and trigger mild bacteriocin expression. We used empirical and numerical models to explore the role of cross-induction in the arms race between bacteriocin-producing strains. We found that in well-mixed, unstructured environments where interactions are global, producers of weak bacteriocins are selectively advantageous and outcompete producers of potent bacteriocins. However, in spatially structured environments, where interactions are local, each producer occupies its own territory, and competition takes place only in “no man’s lands” between territories, resulting in much slower dynamics. Conclusion/Significance The models we present imply that producers of potent bacteriocins that trigger a strong response in neighboring bacteriocinogenic strains are doomed, while producers of weak bacteriocins that trigger a mild response in bacteriocinogenic strains flourish. This counter-intuitive outcome might explain the preponderance of weak bacteriocin producers in nature. However, the described scenario is prolonged in spatially structured environments thus

  18. Interactions between bacterial surface and nanoparticles govern the performance of "chemical nose" biosensors.

    PubMed

    Verma, Mohit S; Wei, Shih-Chung; Rogowski, Jacob L; Tsuji, Jackson M; Chen, Paul Z; Lin, Chii-Wann; Jones, Lyndon; Gu, Frank X

    2016-09-15

    Rapid and portable diagnosis of pathogenic bacteria can save lives lost from infectious diseases. Biosensors based on a "chemical nose" approach are attracting interest because they are versatile but the governing interactions between bacteria and the biosensors are poorly understood. Here, we use a "chemical nose" biosensor based on gold nanoparticles to explore the role of extracellular polymeric substances in bacteria-nanoparticle interactions. We employ simulations using Maxwell-Garnett theory to show how the type and extent of aggregation of nanoparticles influence their colorimetric response to bacteria. Using eight different species of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, we demonstrate that this "chemical nose" can detect and identify bacteria over two orders of magnitude of concentration (89% accuracy). Additionally, the "chemical nose" differentiates between binary and tertiary mixtures of the three most common hospital-isolated pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (100% accuracy). We demonstrate that the complex interactions between nanoparticles and bacterial surface determine the colorimetric response of gold nanoparticles and thus, govern the performance of "chemical nose" biosensors. PMID:27108254

  19. Interaction of antimicrobial peptide Plantaricin149a and four analogs with lipid bilayers and bacterial membranes

    PubMed Central

    de Souza Lopes, José Luiz; Hissa, Denise Cavalcante; Melo, Vânia Maria Maciel; Beltramini, Leila Maria

    2013-01-01

    The amidated analog of Plantaricin149, an antimicrobial peptide from Lactobacillus plantarum NRIC 149, directly interacts with negatively charged liposomes and bacterial membranes, leading to their lysis. In this study, four Pln149-analogs were synthesized with different hydrophobic groups at their N-terminus with the goal of evaluating the effect of the modifications at this region in the peptide’s antimicrobial properties. The interaction of these peptides with membrane models, surface activity, their hemolytic effect on red blood cells, and antibacterial activity against microorganisms were evaluated. The analogs presented similar action of Plantaricin149a; three of them with no hemolytic effect (< 5%) until 0.5 mM, in addition to the induction of a helical element when binding to negative liposomes. The N-terminus difference between the analogs and Plantaricin149a retained the antibacterial effect on S. aureus and P. aeruginosa for all peptides (MIC50 of 19 μM and 155 μM to Plantaricin149a, respectively) but resulted in a different mechanism of action against the microorganisms, that was bactericidal for Plantaricin149a and bacteriostatic for the analogs. This difference was confirmed by a reduction in leakage action for the analogs. The lytic activity of Plantaricin149a is suggested to be a result of the peptide-lipid interactions from the amphipathic helix and the hydrophobic residues at the N-terminus of the antimicrobial peptide. PMID:24688525

  20. Melanins and melanogenesis: from pigment cells to human health and technological applications.

    PubMed

    d'Ischia, Marco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Cicoira, Fabio; Di Mauro, Eduardo; Garcia-Borron, Josè Carlos; Commo, Stephane; Galván, Ismael; Ghanem, Ghanem; Kenzo, Koike; Meredith, Paul; Pezzella, Alessandro; Santato, Clara; Sarna, Tadeusz; Simon, John D; Zecca, Luigi; Zucca, Fabio A; Napolitano, Alessandra; Ito, Shosuke

    2015-09-01

    During the past decade, melanins and melanogenesis have attracted growing interest for a broad range of biomedical and technological applications. The burst of polydopamine-based multifunctional coatings in materials science is just one example, and the list may be expanded to include melanin thin films for organic electronics and bioelectronics, drug delivery systems, functional nanoparticles and biointerfaces, sunscreens, environmental remediation devices. Despite considerable advances, applied research on melanins and melanogenesis is still far from being mature. A closer intersectoral interaction between research centers is essential to raise the interests and increase the awareness of the biomedical, biomaterials science and hi-tech sectors of the manifold opportunities offered by pigment cells and related metabolic pathways. Starting from a survey of biological roles and functions, the present review aims at providing an interdisciplinary perspective of melanin pigments and related pathway with a view to showing how it is possible to translate current knowledge about physical and chemical properties and control mechanisms into new bioinspired solutions for biomedical, dermocosmetic, and technological applications. PMID:26176788

  1. Bacterial-induced cell reprogramming to stem cell-like cells: new premise in host-pathogen interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hess, Samuel; Rambukkana, Anura

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens employ a myriad of strategies to alter host tissue cell functions for bacterial advantage during infection. Recent advances revealed a fusion of infection biology with stem cell biology by demonstrating developmental reprogramming of lineage committed host glial cells to progenitor/stem cell-like cells by an intracellular bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium leprae. Acquisition of migratory and immunomodulatory properties of such reprogrammed cells provides an added advantage for promoting bacterial spread. This presents a previously unseen sophistication of cell manipulation by hijacking the genomic plasticity of host cells by a human bacterial pathogen. The rationale for such extreme fate conversion of host cells may be directly linked to the exceedingly passive obligate life style of M. leprae with a degraded genome and host cell dependence for both bacterial survival and dissemination, particularly the use of host-derived stem cell-like cells as a vehicle for spreading infection without being detected by immune cells. Thus, this unexpected link between cell reprogramming and infection opens up a new premise in host-pathogen interactions. Furthermore, such bacterial ingenuity could also be harnessed for developing natural ways of reprogramming host cells for repairing damaged tissues from infection, injury and diseases. PMID:25541240

  2. Dopamine-melanin nanofilms for biomimetic structural coloration.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tong-Fei; Hong, Jong-Dal

    2015-02-01

    This article describes the formation of dopamine-melanin thin films (50-200 nm thick) at an air/dopamine solution interface under static conditions. Beneath these films, spherical melanin granules formed in bulk liquid phase. The thickness of dopamine-melanin films at the interface relied mainly on the concentration of dopamine solution and the reaction time. A plausible mechanism underlining dopamine-melanin thin film formation was proposed based on the hydrophobicity of dopamine-melanin aggregates and the mass transport of the aggregates to the air/solution interface as a result of convective flow. The thickness of the interfacial films increased linearly with the dopamine concentration and the reaction time. The dopamine-melanin thin film and granules (formed in bulk liquid phase) with a double-layered structure were transferred onto a solid substrate to mimic the (keratin layer)/(melanin granules) structure present in bird plumage, thereby preparing full dopamine-melanin thin-film reflectors. The reflected color of the thin-film reflectors depended on the film thickness, which could be adjusted according to the dopamine concentration. The reflectance of the resulted reflectors exhibited a maximal reflectance value of 8-11%, comparable to that of bird plumage (∼11%). This study provides a useful, simple, and low-cost approach to the fabrication of biomimetic thin-film reflectors using full dopamine-melanin materials. PMID:25587771

  3. Hydrodynamic interactions and their role on the dynamics of bacterial predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jashnsaz, Hossein; Al Juboori, Mohammed; Weistuch, Corey; Nguyen, Tyler; Miller, Nick; Meyerhoff, Viktoria; Proctor, Kyle; McCoy, Bryan; Perkins, Stephanie; Anderson, Gregory; Presse, Steve

    We consider the effects of hydrodynamics on the behavior of bacterial predators searching for bacterial prey. Experimentally, we find that bacterial predators respond to external flow fields in addition to responding to their own self-generated flow fields neighboring surfaces and finite boundaries. We will discuss the implications of this finding on bacterial hunting strategies. SP acknowledges the NSF (MCB 1412259) and a Graduate Student Imaging Research Fellowship from the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

  4. Interactions of Seedborne Bacterial Pathogens with Host and Non-Host Plants in Relation to Seed Infestation and Seedling Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Bhabesh; Gitaitis, Ronald; Smith, Samuel; Langston, David

    2014-01-01

    The ability of seed-borne bacterial pathogens (Acidovorax citrulli, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, and Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea) to infest seeds of host and non-host plants (watermelon, tomato, pepper, and soybean) and subsequent pathogen transmission to seedlings was investigated. A non-pathogenic, pigmented strain of Serratia marcescens was also included to assess a null-interacting situation with the same plant species. Flowers of host and non-host plants were inoculated with 1×106 colony forming units (CFUs)/flower for each bacterial species and allowed to develop into fruits or umbels (in case of onion). Seeds harvested from each host/non-host bacterial species combination were assayed for respective bacteria by plating on semi-selective media. Additionally, seedlots for each host/non-host bacterial species combination were also assayed for pathogen transmission by seedling grow-out (SGO) assays under greenhouse conditions. The mean percentage of seedlots infested with compatible and incompatible pathogens was 31.7 and 30.9% (by plating), respectively and they were not significantly different (P = 0.67). The percentage of seedlots infested with null-interacting bacterial species was 16.8% (by plating) and it was significantly lower than the infested lots generated with compatible and incompatible bacterial pathogens (P = 0.03). None of the seedlots with incompatible/null-interacting bacteria developed symptoms on seedlings; however, when seedlings were assayed for epiphytic bacterial presence, 19.5 and 9.4% of the lots were positive, respectively. These results indicate that the seeds of non-host plants can become infested with incompatible and null-interacting bacterial species through flower colonization and they can be transmitted via epiphytic colonization of seedlings. In addition, it was also observed that flowers and seeds of non-host plants can be colonized

  5. Interactions of seedborne bacterial pathogens with host and non-host plants in relation to seed infestation and seedling transmission.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Bhabesh; Gitaitis, Ronald; Smith, Samuel; Langston, David

    2014-01-01

    The ability of seed-borne bacterial pathogens (Acidovorax citrulli, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, and Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea) to infest seeds of host and non-host plants (watermelon, tomato, pepper, and soybean) and subsequent pathogen transmission to seedlings was investigated. A non-pathogenic, pigmented strain of Serratia marcescens was also included to assess a null-interacting situation with the same plant species. Flowers of host and non-host plants were inoculated with 1 × 10(6) colony forming units (CFUs)/flower for each bacterial species and allowed to develop into fruits or umbels (in case of onion). Seeds harvested from each host/non-host bacterial species combination were assayed for respective bacteria by plating on semi-selective media. Additionally, seedlots for each host/non-host bacterial species combination were also assayed for pathogen transmission by seedling grow-out (SGO) assays under greenhouse conditions. The mean percentage of seedlots infested with compatible and incompatible pathogens was 31.7 and 30.9% (by plating), respectively and they were not significantly different (P = 0.67). The percentage of seedlots infested with null-interacting bacterial species was 16.8% (by plating) and it was significantly lower than the infested lots generated with compatible and incompatible bacterial pathogens (P = 0.03). None of the seedlots with incompatible/null-interacting bacteria developed symptoms on seedlings; however, when seedlings were assayed for epiphytic bacterial presence, 19.5 and 9.4% of the lots were positive, respectively. These results indicate that the seeds of non-host plants can become infested with incompatible and null-interacting bacterial species through flower colonization and they can be transmitted via epiphytic colonization of seedlings. In addition, it was also observed that flowers and seeds of non-host plants can be colonized by

  6. Interactions between Lactobacillus crispatus and bacterial vaginosis (BV)-associated bacterial species in initial attachment and biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Machado, António; Jefferson, Kimberly Kay; Cerca, Nuno

    2013-01-01

    Certain anaerobic bacterial species tend to predominate the vaginal flora during bacterial vaginosis (BV), with Gardnerella vaginalis being the most common. However, the exact role of G. vaginalis in BV has not yet been determined. The main goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that G. vaginalis is an early colonizer, paving the way for intermediate (e.g., Fusobacterium nucleatum) and late colonizers (e.g., Prevotella bivia). Theoretically, in order to function as an early colonizer, species would need to be able to adhere to vaginal epithelium, even in the presence of vaginal lactobacilli. Therefore, we quantified adherence of G. vaginalis and other BV-associated bacteria to an inert surface pre-coated with Lactobacillus crispatus using a new Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) methodology. We found that G. vaginalis had the greatest capacity to adhere in the presence of L. crispatus. Theoretically, an early colonizer would contribute to the adherence and/or growth of additional species, so we next quantified the effect of G. vaginalis biofilms on the adherence and growth of other BV-associated species by quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) technique. Interestingly, G. vaginalis derived a growth benefit from the addition of a second species, regardless of the species. Conversely, G. vaginalis biofilms enhanced the growth of P. bivia, and to a minor extent of F. nucleatum. These results contribute to our understanding of BV biofilm formation and the progression of the disorder. PMID:23739678

  7. Histophagous ciliate Pseudocollinia brintoni and bacterial assemblage interaction with krill Nyctiphanes simplex. II. Host responses.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Gutiérrez, Jaime; Angel-Rodríguez, Jorge A; Tremblay, Nelly; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Aguilar-Méndez, Mario J; López-Cortés, Alejandro; Robinson, Carlos J

    2015-10-27

    Unlike decapod crustaceans of commercial interest, the krill defense system and its response to parasites and pathogens is virtually unknown. Histophagous ciliates of the genus Pseudocollinia interact with at least 7 krill species in the northeastern Pacific. Although they can cause epizootic events, the physiology of the histophagous ciliate-host interaction and krill (host) defenses remain unknown. From 1 oceanographic survey along the southwestern coast of the Baja California Peninsula near Bahía Magdalena and 2 in the Gulf of California, we investigated parasitoid-host physiological responses (fatty acid and oxidative stress indicators) of the subtropical krill Nyctiphanes simplex infected with the ciliate P. brintoni. All life stages of P. brintoni were associated with opportunistic bacterial assemblages that have not been explicitly investigated in other Pseudocollinia species (P. beringensis, P. oregonensis, and P. similis). Parasitoid ciliates exclusively infected adult females, which showed increased lipid content during gonad development. As the infection progressed, omega-3 eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic fatty acids, which may act as energy sources to produce high numbers of ciliate transmission stages, were quickly depleted. Antioxidant enzymes, components of the crustacean defense system, varied throughout infection, but without inhibiting Pseudocollinia infection, i.e. higher levels of lipid oxidative damage were detected in late stages of infection. The ineffective response of the krill antioxidant defense system against histophagous ciliates and the bacteria associated with the ciliates suggests that Pseudocollinia ciliates are functionally analogous to krill predators and may have a strong influence on the population dynamics of krill. PMID:26503777

  8. Antagonistic interactions between endophytic cultivable bacterial communities isolated from the medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea.

    PubMed

    Maida, Isabel; Chiellini, Carolina; Mengoni, Alessio; Bosi, Emanuele; Firenzuoli, Fabio; Fondi, Marco; Fani, Renato

    2016-09-01

    In this work we have studied the antagonistic interactions existing among cultivable bacteria isolated from three ecological niches (rhizospheric soil, roots and stem/leaves) of the traditional natural medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea. The three compartments harboured different taxonomic assemblages of strains, which were previously reported to display different antibiotic resistance patterns, suggesting the presence of differential selective pressure due to antagonistic molecules in the three compartments. Antagonistic interactions were assayed by the cross-streak method and interpreted using a network-based analysis. In particular 'within-niche inhibition' and 'cross-niche inhibition' were evaluated among isolates associated with each compartment as well as between isolates retrieved from the three different compartments respectively. Data obtained indicated that bacteria isolated from the stem/leaves compartment were much more sensitive to the antagonistic activity than bacteria from roots and rhizospheric soil. Moreover, both the taxonomical position and the ecological niche might influence the antagonistic ability/sensitivity of different strains. Antagonism could play a significant role in contributing to the differentiation and structuring of plant-associated bacterial communities. PMID:26013664

  9. Demonstration of the interactions between aromatic compound-loaded lipid nanocapsules and Acinetobacter baumannii bacterial membrane.

    PubMed

    Montagu, A; Joly-Guillou, M-L; Guillet, C; Bejaud, J; Rossines, E; Saulnier, P

    2016-06-15

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important nosocomial pathogen that is resistant to many commonly-used antibiotics. One strategy for treatment is the use of aromatic compounds (carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde) against A. baumannii. The aim of this study was to determine the interactions between bacteria and lipid nanocapsules (LNCs) over time based on the fluorescence of 3,3'-Dioctadecyloxacarbocyanine Perchlorate-LNCs (DiO-LNCs) and the properties of trypan blue to analyse the physicochemical mechanisms occurring at the level of the biological membrane. The results demonstrated the capacity of carvacrol-loaded LNCs to interact with and penetrate the bacterial membrane in comparison with cinnamaldehyde-loaded LNCs and unloaded LNCs. Modifications of carvacrol after substitution of hydroxyl functional groups by fatty acids demonstrated the crucial role of hydroxyl functions in antibacterial activity. Finally, after contact with the efflux pump inhibitor, carbonylcyanide-3-chlorophenyl hydrazine (CCCP), the results indicated the total synergistic antibacterial effect with Car-LNCs, showing that CCCP is associated with the action mechanism of carvacrol, especially at the level of the efflux pump mechanism. PMID:27039148

  10. In vivo stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence imaging of melanin in human skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; Abbas, Saleh; Lowe, Jared; Sierra, Heidy; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles

    2014-03-01

    The stepwise multi-photon activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin is a low cost and reliable method of detecting melanin because the activation and excitation can be a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser. Our previous work has demonstrated the melanin SMPAF images in sepia melanin, mouse hair, and mouse skin. In this study, we show the feasibility of using SMPAF to detect melanin in vivo. in vivo melanin SMPAF images of normal skin and benign nevus are demonstrated. SMPAF images add specificity for melanin detection than MPFM images and CRM images. Melanin SMPAF is a promising technology to enable early detection of melanoma for dermatologists.

  11. Structural investigations into the interaction of hemoglobin and part structures with bacterial endotoxins.

    PubMed

    Howe, Jörg; Garidel, Patrick; Roessle, Manfred; Richter, Walter; Alexander, Christian; Fournier, Karin; Mach, Jean Pierre; Waelli, Thierry; Gorczynski, Reginald M; Ulmer, Artur J; Zähringer, Ulrich; Hartmann, Alfred; Rietschel, Ernst Th; Brandenburg, Klaus

    2008-02-01

    An understanding of details of the interaction mechanisms of bacterial endotoxins (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) with the oxygen transport protein hemoglobin is still lacking, despite its high biological relevance. Here, a biophysical investigation into the endotoxin:hemoglobin interaction is presented which comprises the use of various rough mutant LPS as well as free lipid A; in addition to the complete hemoglobin molecule from fetal sheep extract, also the partial structure alpha-chain and the heme-free sample are studied. The investigations comprise the determination of the gel-to-liquid crystalline phase behaviour of the acyl chains of LPS, the ultrastructure (type of aggregate structure and morphology) of the endotoxins, and the incorporation of the hemoglobins into artificial immune cell membranes and into LPS. Our data suggest a model for the interaction between Hb and LPS in which hemoglobins do not react strongly with the hydrophilic or with the hydrophobic moiety of LPS, but with the complete endotoxin aggregate. Hb is able to incorporate into LPS with the longitudinal direction parallel to the lipid A double-layer. Although this does not lead to a strong disturbance of the LPS acyl chain packing, the change of the curvature leads to a slightly conical molecular shape with a change of the three-dimensional arrangement from unilamellar into cubic LPS aggregates. Our previous results show that cubic LPS structures exhibit strong endotoxic activity. The property of Hb on the physical state of LPS described here may explain the observation of an increase in LPS-mediating endotoxicity due to the action of Hb. PMID:18387918

  12. Investigation of bacterial-mineral interactions using Fluid Tapping Mode ™ Atomic Force Microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grantham, Meg C.; Dove, Patricia M.

    1996-07-01

    Bacterial adhesion to the porous media of subsurface environments and their mobility through these systems are of interest in biogeochemistry. Dissimilatory reducing bacteria can be major contributors to good or poor water quality due to their ability to catalyze sulfate and iron reduction as well as denitrification reactions. Advances in Fluid Cell Tapping Mode ™ Atomic Force Microscopy (Fluid TMAFM) make it possible to better understand these natural phenomena through direct observations of live bacteria-mineral surface interactions. This study used Fluid TMAFM to investigate the effect of iron coatings on the interactions of Shewanella putrefaciens with silica glass surfaces (as analogues for quartz). S. putrefaciens are facultative anaerobic dissimilatory Fe-reducing bacteria that are closely related to Pseudomonas spp. These were seeded onto ferric iron oxyhydroxide coated (Fe-coated) and uncoated silica glass substrates in aqueous solutions of varying nutrient composition and incubated under aerobic conditions for 1-4 days. Seeded and control surfaces were examined using Air and Fluid TMAFM. Observations of live bacteria-surface interactions found that bacteria in nutrient-depleted solutions adhered to Fe-coated substrates more strongly than bacteria seeded in nutrient-rich solutions. Under nutrient-limited conditions, the adhered bacteria corrode the iron coating to form bacteria-shaped depressions within 3 days of exposure. As much as 10% of the iron coatings were mobilized. Also, they adhered more strongly to Fe-coated than uncoated silica glass. Bacteria seeded in nutrient-enriched solutions were mostly flagellated suggesting that motility and adhesion are related. These findings suggest that adhesion, motility, and iron surface chemistry are interrelated in subsurface environments where Fe-reducing microorganisms are present.

  13. Melanin content of hamster tissues, human tissues, and various melanomas

    SciTech Connect

    Watts, K.P.; Fairchild, R.G.; Slatkin, D.N.; Greenberg, D.; Packer, S.; Atkins, H.L.; Hannon, S.J.

    1981-02-01

    Melanin content (percentage by weight) was determined in both pigmented and nonpigmented tissues of Syrian golden hamsters bearing Greene melanoma. Melanin content was also measured in various other melanoma models (B-16 in C57 mice, Harding-Passey in BALB/c mice, and KHDD in C3H mice) and in nine human melanomas, as well as in selected normal tissues. The purpose was to evaluate the possible efficacy of chlorpromazine, which is known to bind to melanin, as a vehicle for boron transport in neutron capture therapy. Successful therapy would depend upon selective uptake and absolute concentration of borated compounds in tumors; these parameters will in turn depend upon melanin concentration in melanomas and nonpigmented ''background'' tissues. Hamster whole eyes, hamster melanomas, and other well-pigmented animal melanomas were found to contain 0.3 to 0.8% melanin by weight, whereas human melanomas varied from 0.1 to 0.9% (average, 0.35%). Other tissues, with the exception of skin, were lower in content by a factor of greater than or equal to30. Melanin pigment was extracted from tissues, and the melanin content was determined spectrophotometrically. Measurements were found to be sensitive to the presence of other proteins. Previous procedures for isolating and quantifying melanin often neglected the importance of removing proteins and other interfering nonmelanic substances.

  14. Temperature-enhanced synthesis of DMSO-Melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piacenti-Silva, M.; Bronze-Uhle, E. S.; Paulin, J. V.; Graeff, C. F. O.

    2014-01-01

    Melanins are a class of pigmentary conjugated macromolecules found in many biological systems. Functionalization of synthetic melanin provides interesting new properties like the greater solubility of melanin synthesized in dimethyl sulfoxide, D-Melanin. In this work we have studied the influence of temperature on D-Melanin synthesis and its properties. To this end, UV-Vis, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques have been employed to analyze D-Melanin synthesized within the range of 25-100 °C. Our results reveal that by increasing the synthesis temperature up to 100 °C, the synthesis time can be decreased by a factor of 7 when compared to room temperature. From FTIR and 13C CP/MAS NMR analyses the increase in temperature causes a decrease in the number of carbonyl groups from carboxylic acid and from ionized carboxylic acid. The decarboxylation of D-Melanin monomers at higher temperatures shows that the use of higher synthesis temperatures influences the elimination of carbonyls present in the precursor molecules, thus facilitating the polymerization of D-Melanin.

  15. Bacterial exposure to metal-oxide nanoparticles: Methods, physical interactions, and biological effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horst, Allison Marie

    Nanotechnology is a major endeavor of this century, with proposed applications in fields ranging from agriculture to energy to medicine. Nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2) is among the most widely produced nanoparticles worldwide, and already exists in consumer products including impermanent personal care products and surface coatings. Inevitably, nano-TiO2 will be transported into the environment via consumer or industrial waste, where its effects on organisms are largely unknown. Out of concern for the possible ill-effects of nanoparticles in the environment, there is now a field of study in nanotoxicology. Bacteria are ideal organisms for nanotoxicology research because they are environmentally important, respond rapidly to intoxication, and provide evidence for effects in higher organisms. My doctoral research focuses on the effects and interactions of nano-TiO2 in aqueous systems with planktonic bacteria. This dissertation describes four projects and the outcomes of the research: (1) A discovery, using a combination of environmental- and cryogenic-scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS), that initially agglomerated nano-TiO2 is dispersed upon bacterial contact, as nanoparticles preferentially sorbed to cell surfaces. (2) Establishment of a method to disperse nanoparticles in an aqueous culture medium for nanotoxicology studies. A combination of electrostatic repulsion, steric hindrance and sonication yielded a high initial level of nano-TiO2 dispersion (i.e. < 300 nm average agglomerate size) and reduced nanoparticle sedimentation. The approach is described in the context of general considerations for dispersion that are transferable to other nanoparticle and media chemistries. (3) Assessment and optimization of optically-based assays to simultaneously study effects of nanoparticles on bacterial membranes (membrane potential, membrane permeability, and electron transport chain function) and generation of reactive oxygen species. A

  16. Bacterial tyrosinases.

    PubMed

    Claus, Harald; Decker, Heinz

    2006-01-01

    Tyrosinases are nearly ubiquitously distributed in all domains of life. They are essential for pigmentation and are important factors in wound healing and primary immune response. Their active site is characterized by a pair of antiferromagnetically coupled copper ions, CuA and CuB, which are coordinated by six histidine residues. Such a "type 3 copper centre" is the common feature of tyrosinases, catecholoxidases and haemocycanins. It is also one of several other copper types found in the multi-copper oxidases (ascorbate oxidase, laccase). The copper pair of tyrosinases binds one molecule of atmospheric oxygen to catalyse two different kinds of enzymatic reactions: (1) the ortho-hydroxylation of monophenols (cresolase activity) and (2) the oxidation of o-diphenols to o-diquinones (catecholase activity). The best-known function is the formation of melanins from L-tyrosine via L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa). The complicated hydroxylation mechanism at the active centre is still not completely understood, because nothing is known about their tertiary structure. One main reason for this deficit is that hitherto tyrosinases from eukaryotic sources could not be isolated in sufficient quantities and purities for detailed structural studies. This is not the case for prokaryotic tyrosinases from different Streptomyces species, having been intensively characterized genetically and spectroscopically for decades. The Streptomyces tyrosinases are non-modified monomeric proteins with a low molecular mass of ca. 30kDa. They are secreted to the surrounding medium, where they are involved in extracellular melanin production. In the species Streptomyces, the tyrosinase gene is part of the melC operon. Next to the tyrosinase gene (melC2), this operon contains an additional ORF called melC1, which is essential for the correct expression of the enzyme. This review summarizes the present knowledge of bacterial tyrosinases, which are promising models in order to get more insights in

  17. Natural melanin composites by layer-by-layer assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, Taesik; Shim, Bong Sub

    2015-04-01

    Melanin is an electrically conductive and biocompatible material, because their conjugated backbone structures provide conducting pathways from human skin, eyes, brain, and beyond. So there is a potential of using as materials for the neural interfaces and the implantable devices. Extracted from Sepia officinalis ink, our natural melanin was uniformly dispersed in mostly polar solvents such as water and alcohols. Then, the dispersed melanin was further fabricated to nano-thin layered composites by the layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique. Combined with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), the melanin nanoparticles behave as an LBL counterpart to from finely tuned nanostructured films. The LBL process can adjust the smart performances of the composites by varying the layering conditions and sandwich thickness. We further demonstrated the melanin loading degree of stacked layers, combination nanostructures, electrical properties, and biocompatibility of the resulting composites by UV-vis spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscope (SEM), multimeter, and in-vitro cell test of PC12, respectively.

  18. Anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicines from Chisocheton ceramicus.

    PubMed

    Iijima, Chie; Wong, Chin Piow; Nugroho, Alfarius Eko; Sotozono, Yayoi; Someya, Saki; Hirasawa, Yusuke; Kaneda, Toshio; Hadi, A Hamid A; Morita, Hiroshi

    2016-10-01

    The ceramicines, a series of limonoids from Chisocheton ceramicus (Meliaceae), were evaluated for anti-melanin deposition activity on α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)-treated B16-F10 melanoma cell, and several ceramicines were found to be active. The structure-activity relationship of ceramicines as anti-melanin deposition inhibitors was deduced. Furthermore, the mechanism of anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicine B, a major constituent of C. ceramicus that showed potent anti-melanin deposition activity, was investigated. Tyrosinase enzymatic activity and tyrosinase mRNA expression were not affected by ceramicine B. The anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicine B was shown to be related to the downregulation of tyrosinase protein expression. These results suggest that ceramicines have potential to be used as depigmentation agents. PMID:27357963

  19. EPR examination of free radical properties of DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beberok, Artur; Buszman, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2010-09-01

    Paramagnetic complexes of DOPA-melanin with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin were studied by EPR spectroscopy. The aim of this work was to determine free radical concentration and properties of these complexes. Free radical concentrations in the studied complexes were ˜10 19-10 20 spin/g. Relatively lower and similar (5.1-6.6 × 10 19 spin/g) free radical concentrations characterized DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, and lomefloxacin. Higher concentrations (0.8-1.2 × 10 20 spin/g) were obtained for complexes of norfloxacin and sparfloxacin. Effect of the drug concentration on free radicals in melanin was observed. Strong dipolar spin-spin interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in all of the samples.

  20. Impact of Spontaneous Prophage Induction on the Fitness of Bacterial Populations and Host-Microbe Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Nanda, Arun M.; Thormann, Kai

    2014-01-01

    Bacteriophages and genetic elements, such as prophage-like elements, pathogenicity islands, and phage morons, make up a considerable amount of bacterial genomes. Their transfer and subsequent activity within the host's genetic circuitry have had a significant impact on bacterial evolution. In this review, we consider what underlying mechanisms might cause the spontaneous activity of lysogenic phages in single bacterial cells and how the spontaneous induction of prophages can lead to competitive advantages for and influence the lifestyle of bacterial populations or the virulence of pathogenic strains. PMID:25404701

  1. Impact of spontaneous prophage induction on the fitness of bacterial populations and host-microbe interactions.

    PubMed

    Nanda, Arun M; Thormann, Kai; Frunzke, Julia

    2015-02-01

    Bacteriophages and genetic elements, such as prophage-like elements, pathogenicity islands, and phage morons, make up a considerable amount of bacterial genomes. Their transfer and subsequent activity within the host's genetic circuitry have had a significant impact on bacterial evolution. In this review, we consider what underlying mechanisms might cause the spontaneous activity of lysogenic phages in single bacterial cells and how the spontaneous induction of prophages can lead to competitive advantages for and influence the lifestyle of bacterial populations or the virulence of pathogenic strains. PMID:25404701

  2. A bacterial two-hybrid system that utilizes Gateway cloning for rapid screening of protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Karna, S L Rajasekhar; Zogaj, Xhavit; Barker, Jeffrey R; Seshu, Janakiram; Dove, Simon L; Klose, Karl E

    2010-11-01

    Comprehensive clone sets representing the entire genome now exist for a large number of organisms. The Gateway entry clone sets are a particularly useful means to study gene function, given the ease of introduction into any Gateway-suitable destination vector. We have adapted a bacterial two-hybrid system for use with Gateway entry clone sets, such that potential interactions between proteins encoded within these clone sets can be determined by new destination vectors. We show that utilizing the Gateway clone sets for Francisella tularensis and Vibrio cholerae, known interactions between F. tularensis IglA and IglB and V. cholerae VipA and VipB could be confirmed with these destination vectors. Moreover, the introduction of unique tags into each vector allowed for visualization of the expressed hybrid proteins via Western immunoblot. This Gateway-suitable bacterial two-hybrid system provides a new tool for rapid screening of protein-protein interactions. PMID:21091448

  3. Melanin-templated rapid synthesis of silver nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background As a potent antimicrobial agent, silver nanostructures have been used in nanosensors and nanomaterial-based assays for the detection of food relevant analytes such as organic molecules, aroma, chemical contaminants, gases and food borne pathogens. In addition silver based nanocomposites act as an antimicrobial for food packaging materials. In this prospective, the food grade melanin pigment extracted from sponge associated actinobacterium Nocardiopsis alba MSA10 and melanin mediated synthesis of silver nanostructures were studied. Based on the present findings, antimicrobial nanostructures can be developed against food pathogens for food industrial applications. Results Briefly, the sponge associated actinobacterium N. alba MSA10 was screened and fermentation conditions were optimized for the production of melanin pigment. The Plackett-Burman design followed by a Box-Behnken design was developed to optimize the concentration of most significant factors for improved melanin yield. The antioxidant potential, reductive capabilities and physiochemical properties of Nocardiopsis melanin was characterized. The optimum production of melanin was attained with pH 7.5, temperature 35°C, salinity 2.5%, sucrose 25 g/L and tyrosine 12.5 g/L under submerged fermentation conditions. A highest melanin production of 3.4 mg/ml was reached with the optimization using Box-Behnken design. The purified melanin showed rapid reduction and stabilization of silver nanostructures. The melanin mediated process produced uniform and stable silver nanostructures with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against food pathogens. Conclusions The melanin pigment produced by N. alba MSA10 can be used for environmentally benign synthesis of silver nanostructures and can be useful for food packaging materials. The characteristics of broad spectrum of activity against food pathogens of silver nanostructures gives an insight for their potential applicability in incorporation of food

  4. [Disinfectants - bacterial cells interactions in the view of hygiene and public health].

    PubMed

    Książczyk, Marta; Krzyżewska, Eva; Futoma-Kołoch, Bożena; Bugla-Płoskońska, Gabriela

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, the use of biocides has increased rapidly. One common example is triclosan, with wide application in households as well as medical and industrial fields, especially food industry and animal husbandry. Chemical disinfection is a major mean to control and eliminate pathogenic bacteria, particularly those with multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype. However, exposition to biocides results in an adaptive response in microorganisms, causing them to display a wide range of resistance mechanisms. Numerous microorganisms are characterized by either natural resistance to chemical compounds or an ability to adapt to biocides using various strategies, such as: modification of cell surface structures (lipopolisaccharide), membrane fatty acids), over-expression of efflux pumps (a system for active transport of toxic compounds out of bacterial cell), enzymatic inactivation of biocides or altering biocide targets. For instance, it was shown that in vitro exposition of Salmonella Typhimurium to subinhibitory concentration of biocides (triclosan, quaternary ammonium compounds [QACs]) resulted in selection of variants resistant to tested biocides and, additionally, to acridine dyes and antibiotics. Bacillus subtilis and Micrococcus luteus strains isolated from chlorine dioxide containing disinfection devices were found to be resistant to chlorine dioxide and also to other oxidizing compounds, such as peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Interaction between chemical compounds, including disinfectants and microbial cells, can create a serious threat to public health and sanitary-hygienic security. This phenomenon is connected with factor risk that intensify the probability of selection and dissemination of multidrug resistance among pathogenic bacteria. PMID:26400890

  5. Melanin Photosensitization and the Effect of Visible Light on Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chiarelli-Neto, Orlando; Ferreira, Alan Silva; Martins, Waleska Kerllen; Pavani, Christiane; Severino, Divinomar; Faião-Flores, Fernanda; Maria-Engler, Silvya Stuchi; Aliprandini, Eduardo; Martinez, Glaucia R.; Di Mascio, Paolo; Medeiros, Marisa H. G.; Baptista, Maurício S.

    2014-01-01

    Protecting human skin from sun exposure is a complex issue that involves unclear aspects of the interaction between light and tissue. A persistent misconception is that visible light is safe for the skin, although several lines of evidence suggest otherwise. Here, we show that visible light can damage melanocytes through melanin photosensitization and singlet oxygen (1O2) generation, thus decreasing cell viability, increasing membrane permeability, and causing both DNA photo-oxidation and necro-apoptotic cell death. UVA (355 nm) and visible (532 nm) light photosensitize 1O2 with similar yields, and pheomelanin is more efficient than eumelanin at generating 1O2 and resisting photobleaching. Although melanin can protect against the cellular damage induced by UVB, exposure to visible light leads to pre-mutagenic DNA lesions (i.e., Fpg- and Endo III-sensitive modifications); these DNA lesions may be mutagenic and may cause photoaging, as well as other health problems, such as skin cancer. PMID:25405352

  6. Melanin photosensitizes ultraviolet light (UVC) DNA damage in pigmented cells

    SciTech Connect

    Huselton, C.A.; Hill, H.Z. )

    1990-01-01

    Melanins, pigments of photoprotection and camouflage, are very photoreactive and can both absorb and emit active oxygen species. Nevertheless, black skinned individuals rarely develop skin cancer and melanin is assumed to act as a solar screen. Since DNA is the target for solar carcinogenesis, the effect of melanin on Ultraviolet (UV)-induced thymine lesions was examined in mouse melanoma and carcinoma cells that varied in melanin content. Cells prelabeled with 14C-dThd were irradiated with UVC; DNA was isolated, purified, degraded to bases by acid hydrolysis and analyzed by HPLC. Thymine dimers were detected in all of the extracts of irradiated cells. Melanotic and hypomelanotic but not mammary carcinoma cell DNA from irradiated cells contained hydrophilic thymine derivatives. The quantity of these damaged bases was a function of both the UVC dose and the cellular melanin content. One such derivative was identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy as thymine glycol. The other appears to be derived from thymine glycol by further oxidation during acid hydrolysis of the DNA. The finding of oxidative DNA damage in melanin-containing cells suggests that melanin may be implicated in the etiology of caucasian skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Furthermore, the projected decrease in stratospheric ozone could impact in an unanticipated deleterious manner on dark-skinned individuals.

  7. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Chantal; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Silva, Branca M. A.; Nakouzi-Naranjo, Antonio; Zuzarte, Mónica; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth E.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    The importance of Alternaria species fungi to human health ranges from their role as etiological agents of serious infections with poor prognoses in immunosuppressed individuals to their association with respiratory allergic diseases. The present work focuses on Alternaria infectoria, which was used as a model organism of the genus, and was designed to unravel melanin production in response to antifungals. After we characterized the pigment produced by A. infectoria, we studied the dynamics of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin production during growth, the degree of melanization in response to antifungals, and how melanization affected susceptibility to several classes of therapeutic drugs. We demonstrate that A. infectoria increased melanin deposition in cell walls in response to nikkomycin Z, caspofungin, and itraconazole but not in response to fluconazole or amphotericin B. These results indicate that A. infectoria activates DHN-melanin synthesis in response to certain antifungal drugs, possibly as a protective mechanism against these drugs. Inhibition of DHN-melanin synthesis by pyroquilon resulted in a lower minimum effective concentration (MEC) of caspofungin and enhanced morphological changes (increased hyphal balloon size), characterized by thinner and less organized A. infectoria cell walls. In summary, A. infectoria synthesizes melanin in response to certain antifungal drugs, and its susceptibility is influenced by melanization, suggesting the therapeutic potential of drug combinations that affect melanin synthesis. PMID:26711773

  8. A Pathway Analysis of Melanin Patterning in a Hemimetabolous Insect.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin; Lemonds, Thomas R; Marden, James H; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-05-01

    Diversity in insect pigmentation, encompassing a wide range of colors and spatial patterns, is among the most noticeable features distinguishing species, individuals, and body regions within individuals. In holometabolous species, a significant portion of such diversity can be attributed to the melanin synthesis genes, but this has not been formally assessed in more basal insect lineages. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of how a set of melanin genes (ebony, black, aaNAT, yellow, and tan) contributes to the pigmentation pattern in a hemipteran, Oncopeltus fasciatus For all five genes, RNA interference depletion caused alteration of black patterning in a region-specific fashion. Furthermore, the presence of distinct nonblack regions in forewings and hindwings coincides with the expression of ebony and aaNAT in these appendages. These findings suggest that the region-specific phenotypes arise from regional employment of various combinations of the melanin genes. Based on this insight, we suggest that melanin genes are used in two distinct ways: a "painting" mode, using predominantly melanin-promoting factors in areas that generally lack black coloration, and, alternatively, an "erasing" mode, using mainly melanin-suppressing factors in regions where black is the dominant pigment. Different combinations of these strategies may account for the vast diversity of melanin patterns observed in insects. PMID:26984060

  9. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Chantal; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Silva, Branca M A; Nakouzi-Naranjo, Antonio; Zuzarte, Mónica; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth E; Casadevall, Arturo; Gonçalves, Teresa

    2016-03-01

    The importance of Alternaria species fungi to human health ranges from their role as etiological agents of serious infections with poor prognoses in immunosuppressed individuals to their association with respiratory allergic diseases. The present work focuses on Alternaria infectoria, which was used as a model organism of the genus, and was designed to unravel melanin production in response to antifungals. After we characterized the pigment produced by A. infectoria, we studied the dynamics of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin production during growth, the degree of melanization in response to antifungals, and how melanization affected susceptibility to several classes of therapeutic drugs. We demonstrate that A. infectoria increased melanin deposition in cell walls in response to nikkomycin Z, caspofungin, and itraconazole but not in response to fluconazole or amphotericin B. These results indicate that A. infectoria activates DHN-melanin synthesis in response to certain antifungal drugs, possibly as a protective mechanism against these drugs. Inhibition of DHN-melanin synthesis by pyroquilon resulted in a lower minimum effective concentration (MEC) of caspofungin and enhanced morphological changes (increased hyphal balloon size), characterized by thinner and less organized A. infectoria cell walls. In summary, A. infectoria synthesizes melanin in response to certain antifungal drugs, and its susceptibility is influenced by melanization, suggesting the therapeutic potential of drug combinations that affect melanin synthesis. PMID:26711773

  10. Interaction of Colicins with Bacterial Cells I. Studies with Radioactive Colicins1

    PubMed Central

    Maeda, Akio; Nomura, Masayasu

    1966-01-01

    Maeda, Akio (Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin, Madison), and Masayasu Nomura. Interaction of colicins with bacterial cells. I. Studies with radioactive colicins. J. Bacteriol. 91:685–694. 1966.—By use of a preparation of radioactive colicin E2, the following conclusions, which had been obtained previously from indirect experiments, were tested directly: (i) colicin stays at the receptor site on the cell and acts from there; (ii) colicins E2 and E3 share the same receptor, although their mode of action is entirely different; (iii) colicinogenic cells adsorb homologous colicin, although they are resistant to that colicin. Our experimental results confirmed the above conclusions. When sensitive cells of Escherichia coli K-12 pretreated with radioactive E2 were disrupted with a French pressure cell, and fractionated by differential centrifugation, it was found that most of the radioactivity stayed with the cell envelope fraction. Trypsin removed a major part of radioactivity from cells pretreated with radioactive E2, as was expected from the previous experiments on trypsin reversal of colicin action. Furthermore, it was shown that the trypsin treatment causes a recovery of the capacity of E2-pretreated cells to adsorb further colicin E2. When cells were first treated with various amounts of nonradioactive E3, and then treated with radioactive E2, the amount of radioactive E2 adsorbed was found to be inversely related to the amount of nonradioactive E3 adsorbed first. It was also shown that E2-colicinogenic cells adsorb radioactive E2, and yet are resistant to this colicin. PMID:5327363

  11. X-ray spectromicroscopy analysis and its applications to bacterial interactions in the environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Bjorg A.

    The US Department of Energy must clean up a large number of sites with groundwater and soils polluted with multiple contaminants including heavy metals and radionuclides. Important in situ remediation approaches are being developed to reduce the bioavailability and prevent the further spread of these contaminants via groundwater transport by promoting the activity of microorganisms that will transform the contaminants into insoluble and immobile forms. In order for this approach to work the soil bacteria must be resistant to a wide range of co-contaminant metals such as nickel. Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM) provides the means for studying chemical speciation at the 30-50 nm spatial scale, and can be used to identify spectroscopic signatures of metal resistant mechanisms used by common soil bacteria. We have been using pattern-recognition clustering techniques developed at Stony Brook in a unique way to identify subcellular features in bacteria and to investigate the changes in bacterial chemistry due to interactions with contaminants in their environment. We can determine the functional group responsible for metal binding using the C1s absorption edge spectra. We can quantify the extent of the nickel binding associated with the cell wall, the interior of the cell, and surrounding the cell. In addition, we have been using a segmented detector to record a dark field image simultaneously with the bright field absorption image. Dark field imaging identifies small strongly scattering objects, such as nanoparticles or metal precipitates and can be used in combination with bright field absorption data to determine the spatial distribution of the precipitates in relation to the bacterium.

  12. Subcellular Compartmentalization and Trafficking of the Biosynthetic Machinery for Fungal Melanin.

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Xu, Xinping; Lowry, David; Jackson, Jennifer C; Roberson, Robert W; Lin, Xiaorong

    2016-03-22

    Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs and how it is deposited as extracellular granules remain elusive. Using a forward genetic screen in the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we find that mutations in an endosomal sorting nexin abolish melanin cell-wall deposition. We find that all enzymes involved in the early steps of melanin biosynthesis are recruited to endosomes through a non-conventional secretory pathway. In contrast, late melanin enzymes accumulate in the cell wall. Such subcellular compartmentalization of the melanin biosynthetic machinery occurs in both A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. Thus, fungal melanin biosynthesis appears to be initiated in endosomes with exocytosis leading to melanin extracellular deposition, much like the synthesis and trafficking of mammalian melanin in endosomally derived melanosomes. PMID:26972005

  13. Fungal Melanin: What do We Know About Structure?

    PubMed Central

    Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Stark, Ruth E.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    The production of melanin significantly enhances the virulence of many important human pathogenic fungi. Despite fungal melanin’s importance in human disease, as well as melanin’s contribution to the ability of fungi to survive in diverse hostile environments, the structure of melanin remains unsolved. Nevertheless, ongoing research efforts have progressively revealed several notable structural characteristics of this enigmatic pigment, which will be the focus of this review. These compositional and organizational insights could further our ability to develop novel therapeutic approaches to combat fungal disease and enhance our understanding of how melanin is inserted into the cell wall. PMID:26733993

  14. Interactions among Strategies Associated with Bacterial Infection: Pathogenicity, Epidemicity, and Antibiotic Resistance†

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, José L.; Baquero, Fernando

    2002-01-01

    Infections have been the major cause of disease throughout the history of human populations. With the introduction of antibiotics, it was thought that this problem should disappear. However, bacteria have been able to evolve to become antibiotic resistant. Nowadays, a proficient pathogen must be virulent, epidemic, and resistant to antibiotics. Analysis of the interplay among these features of bacterial populations is needed to predict the future of infectious diseases. In this regard, we have reviewed the genetic linkage of antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence in the same genetic determinants as well as the cross talk between antibiotic resistance and virulence regulatory circuits with the aim of understanding the effect of acquisition of resistance on bacterial virulence. We also discuss the possibility that antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence might prevail as linked phenotypes in the future. The novel situation brought about by the worldwide use of antibiotics is undoubtedly changing bacterial populations. These changes might alter the properties of not only bacterial pathogens, but also the normal host microbiota. The evolutionary consequences of the release of antibiotics into the environment are largely unknown, but most probably restoration of the microbiota from the preantibiotic era is beyond our current abilities. PMID:12364374

  15. Lipopolysaccharide Density and Structure Govern the Extent and Distance of Nanoparticle Interaction with Actual and Model Bacterial Outer Membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobson, Kurt H.; Gunsolus, Ian L.; Kuech, Thomas R.; Troiano, Julianne M.; Melby, Eric S.; Lohse, Samuel E.; Hu, Dehong; Chrisler, William B.; Murphy, Catherine J.; Orr, Galya; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2015-07-24

    We report that design of nanomedicines and nanoparticle-based antimicrobial and antifouling formulations, and assessment of the potential implications of nanoparticle release into the environment require understanding nanoparticle interaction with bacterial surfaces. Here we demonstrate electrostatically driven association of functionalized nanoparticles with lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacterial outer membranes and find that lipopolysaccharide structure influences the extent and location of binding relative to the lipid-solution interface. By manipulating the lipopolysaccharide content in Shewanella oneidensis outer membranes, we observed electrostatically driven interaction of cationic gold nanoparticles with the lipopolysaccharide-containing leaflet. We probed this interaction by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and second harmonic generation (SHG) using solid-supported lipopolysaccharide-containing bilayers. Association of cationic nanoparticles increased with lipopolysaccharide content, while no association of anionic nanoparticles was observed. The harmonic-dependence of QCM-D measurements suggested that a population of the cationic nanoparticles was held at a distance from the outer leaflet-solution interface of bilayers containing smooth lipopolysaccharides (those bearing a long O-polysaccharide). Additionally, smooth lipopolysaccharides held the bulk of the associated cationic particles outside of the interfacial zone probed by SHG. Lastly, our results demonstrate that positively charged nanoparticles are more likely to interact with Gram-negative bacteria than are negatively charged particles, and this interaction occurs primarily through lipopolysaccharides.

  16. Lipopolysaccharide Density and Structure Govern the Extent and Distance of Nanoparticle Interaction with Actual and Model Bacterial Outer Membranes

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Jacobson, Kurt H.; Gunsolus, Ian L.; Kuech, Thomas R.; Troiano, Julianne M.; Melby, Eric S.; Lohse, Samuel E.; Hu, Dehong; Chrisler, William B.; Murphy, Catherine J.; Orr, Galya; et al

    2015-07-24

    We report that design of nanomedicines and nanoparticle-based antimicrobial and antifouling formulations, and assessment of the potential implications of nanoparticle release into the environment require understanding nanoparticle interaction with bacterial surfaces. Here we demonstrate electrostatically driven association of functionalized nanoparticles with lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacterial outer membranes and find that lipopolysaccharide structure influences the extent and location of binding relative to the lipid-solution interface. By manipulating the lipopolysaccharide content in Shewanella oneidensis outer membranes, we observed electrostatically driven interaction of cationic gold nanoparticles with the lipopolysaccharide-containing leaflet. We probed this interaction by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) andmore » second harmonic generation (SHG) using solid-supported lipopolysaccharide-containing bilayers. Association of cationic nanoparticles increased with lipopolysaccharide content, while no association of anionic nanoparticles was observed. The harmonic-dependence of QCM-D measurements suggested that a population of the cationic nanoparticles was held at a distance from the outer leaflet-solution interface of bilayers containing smooth lipopolysaccharides (those bearing a long O-polysaccharide). Additionally, smooth lipopolysaccharides held the bulk of the associated cationic particles outside of the interfacial zone probed by SHG. Lastly, our results demonstrate that positively charged nanoparticles are more likely to interact with Gram-negative bacteria than are negatively charged particles, and this interaction occurs primarily through lipopolysaccharides.« less

  17. Lipopolysaccharide Density and Structure Govern the Extent and Distance of Nanoparticle Interaction with Actual and Model Bacterial Outer Membranes.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Kurt H; Gunsolus, Ian L; Kuech, Thomas R; Troiano, Julianne M; Melby, Eric S; Lohse, Samuel E; Hu, Dehong; Chrisler, William B; Murphy, Catherine J; Orr, Galya; Geiger, Franz M; Haynes, Christy L; Pedersen, Joel A

    2015-09-01

    Design of nanomedicines and nanoparticle-based antimicrobial and antifouling formulations and assessment of the potential implications of nanoparticle release into the environment requires understanding nanoparticle interaction with bacterial surfaces. Here we demonstrate the electrostatically driven association of functionalized nanoparticles with lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacterial outer membranes and find that lipopolysaccharide structure influences the extent and location of binding relative to the outer leaflet-solution interface. By manipulating the lipopolysaccharide content in Shewanella oneidensis outer membranes, we observed the electrostatically driven interaction of cationic gold nanoparticles with the lipopolysaccharide-containing leaflet. We probed this interaction by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and second harmonic generation (SHG) using solid-supported lipopolysaccharide-containing bilayers. The association of cationic nanoparticles increased with lipopolysaccharide content, while no association of anionic nanoparticles was observed. The harmonic-dependence of QCM-D measurements suggested that a population of the cationic nanoparticles was held at a distance from the outer leaflet-solution interface of bilayers containing smooth lipopolysaccharides (those bearing a long O-polysaccharide). Additionally, smooth lipopolysaccharides held the bulk of the associated cationic particles outside of the interfacial zone probed by SHG. Our results demonstrate that positively charged nanoparticles are more likely to interact with Gram-negative bacteria than are negatively charged particles, and this interaction occurs primarily through lipopolysaccharides. PMID:26207769

  18. Lipopolysaccharide Density and Structure Govern the Extent and Distance of Nanoparticle Interaction with Actual and Model Bacterial Outer Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Kurt H.; Gunsolus, Ian L.; Kuech, Thomas R.; Troiano, Julianne M.; Melby, Eric S.; Lohse, Samuel E.; Hu, Dehong; Chrisler, William B.; Murphy, Catherine J.; Orr, Galya; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2015-01-01

    Design of nanomedicines and nanoparticle-based antimicrobial and antifouling formulations and assessment of the potential implications of nanoparticle release into the environment requires understanding nanoparticle interaction with bacterial surfaces. Here we demonstrate the electrostatically driven association of functionalized nanoparticles with lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacterial outer membranes and find that lipopolysaccharide structure influences the extent and location of binding relative to the outer leaflet-solution interface. By manipulating the lipopolysaccharide content in Shewanella oneidensis outer membranes, we observed the electrostatically driven interaction of cationic gold nanoparticles with the lipopolysaccharide-containing leaflet. We probed this interaction by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and second harmonic generation (SHG) using solid-supported lipopolysaccharide-containing bilayers. The association of cationic nanoparticles increased with lipopolysaccharide content, while no association of anionic nanoparticles was observed. The harmonic-dependence of QCM-D measurements suggested that a population of the cationic nanoparticles was held at a distance from the outer leaflet-solution interface of bilayers containing smooth lipopolysaccharides (those bearing a long O-polysaccharide). Additionally, smooth lipopolysaccharides held the bulk of the associated cationic particles outside of the interfacial zone probed by SHG. Our results demonstrate that positively charged nanoparticles are more likely to interact with Gram-negative bacteria than are negatively charged particles, and this interaction occurs primarily through lipopolysaccharides. PMID:26207769

  19. Lipopolysaccharide density and structure govern the extent and distance of nanoparticle interaction with actual and model bacterial outer membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobson, Kurt H.; Gunsolus, Ian L.; Kuech, Thomas R.; Troiano, Julianne M.; Melby, Eric S.; Lohse, Samuel E.; Hu, Dehong; Chrisler, William B.; Murphy, Catherine; Orr, Galya; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2015-07-24

    Design of nanomedicines and nanoparticle-based antimicrobial and antifouling formulations, and assessment of the potential implications of nanoparticle release into the environment require understanding nanoparticle interaction with bacterial surfaces. Here we demonstrate electrostatically driven association of functionalized nanoparticles with lipopolysaccharides of Gram-negative bacterial outer membranes and find that lipopolysaccharide structure influences the extent and location of binding relative to the lipid-solution interface. By manipulating the lipopolysaccharide content in Shewanella oneidensis outer membranes, we observed electrostatically driven interaction of cationic gold nanoparticles with the lipopolysaccharide-containing leaflet. We probed this interaction by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and second harmonic generation (SHG) using solid-supported lipopolysaccharide-containing bilayers. Association of cationic nanoparticles increased with lipopolysaccharide content, while no association of anionic nanoparticles was observed. The harmonic-dependence of QCM-D measurements suggested that a population of the cationic nanoparticles was held at a distance from the outer leaflet-solution interface of bilayers containing smooth lipopolysaccharides (those bearing a long O-polysaccharide). Additionally, smooth lipopolysaccharides held the bulk of the associated cationic particles outside of the interfacial zone probed by SHG. Our results demonstrate that positively charged nanoparticles are more likely to interact with Gram-negative bacteria than are negatively charged particles, and this interaction occurs primarily through lipopolysaccharides.

  20. Biosorption of uranium by melanin: kinetic, equilibrium and thermodynamic studies.

    PubMed

    Saini, Amardeep Singh; Melo, Jose Savio

    2013-12-01

    Limitation of conventional techniques for the removal of heavy metals present at low concentrations, has led to the need for developing alternate technologies like biosorption. In the present study we describe the use of melanin pigment synthesized through green technology, for sorption of uranium from aqueous system. Biosynthesized melanin showed good uptake over a broad pH range. Removal of uranium was rapid and equilibrium was reached within 2h of contact. It was observed that the kinetic data fits well into Lagergren's pseudo-second order equation. A maximum loading capacity of 588.24 mg g(-1) was calculated from Langmuir plot. Thermodynamic studies performed revealed that sorption process was favorable. Binding of uranium on the surface of melanin was confirmed by FT-IR and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Thus, biosynthesized melanin can be efficiently used as a sorbent for removal of uranium from aqueous solution. PMID:24099972

  1. Optical Spectra of Melanin Films Extracted from Rana esculenta L.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perna, G.; Gallone, A.; Capozzi, V.; Biagi, P. F.; Fratello, A.; Guida, G.; Zanna, P.; Argenzio, E.; Cicero, R.

    2005-01-01

    The melanin pigment extracted from the liver of Rana esculenta L. has been deposited as thin film on quartz substrate. The Raman spectra, as well as optical absorption and photoluminescence measurements have been investigated. The results show that the melanin can be described as a network of clusters having different size. The larger size clusters determine the absorption edge of the film and the smaller size ones are mainly involved in the radiative emission process.

  2. Melanin content in melanoma metastases affects the outcome of radiotherapy.

    PubMed

    Brożyna, Anna A; Jóźwicki, Wojciech; Roszkowski, Krzysztof; Filipiak, Jan; Slominski, Andrzej T

    2016-04-01

    Melanin possess radioprotective and scavenging properties, and its presence can affect the behavior of melanoma cells, its surrounding environment and susceptibility to the therapy, as showed in vitro experiments. To determine whether melanin presence in melanoma affects the efficiency of radiotherapy (RTH) we evaluated the survival time after RTH treatment in metastatic melanoma patients (n = 57). In another cohort of melanoma patients (n = 84), the relationship between melanin level and pT and pN status was determined. A significantly longer survival time was found in patients with amelanotic metastatic melanomas in comparison to the melanotic ones, who were treated with either RTH or chemotherapy (CHTH) and RTH. These differences were more significant in a group of melanoma patients treated only with RTH. A detailed analysis of primary melanomas revealed that melanin levels were significantly higher in melanoma cells invading reticular dermis than the papillary dermis. A significant reduction of melanin pigmentation in pT3 and pT4 melanomas in comparison to pT1 and T2 tumors was observed. However, melanin levels measured in pT3-pT4 melanomas developing metastases (pN1-3, pM1) were higher than in pN0 and pM0 cases. The presence of melanin in metastatic melanoma cells decreases the outcome of radiotherapy, and melanin synthesis is related to higher disease advancement. Based on our previous cell-based and clinical research and present research we also suggest that inhibition of melanogenesis can improve radiotherapy modalities. The mechanism of relationship between melanogenesis and efficacy of RTH requires additional studies, including larger melanoma patients population and orthotopic, imageable mouse models of metastatic melanoma. PMID:26910282

  3. Melanin content in melanoma metastases affects the outcome of radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Brożyna, Anna A.; Jóźwicki, Wojciech; Roszkowski, Krzysztof; Filipiak, Jan; Slominski, Andrzej T.

    2016-01-01

    Melanin possess radioprotective and scavenging properties, and its presence can affect the behavior of melanoma cells, its surrounding environment and susceptibility to the therapy, as showed in vitro experiments. To determine whether melanin presence in melanoma affects the efficiency of radiotherapy (RTH) we evaluated the survival time after RTH treatment in metastatic melanoma patients (n = 57). In another cohort of melanoma patients (n = 84), the relationship between melanin level and pT and pN status was determined. A significantly longer survival time was found in patients with amelanotic metastatic melanomas in comparison to the melanotic ones, who were treated with either RTH or chemotherapy (CHTH) and RTH. These differences were more significant in a group of melanoma patients treated only with RTH. A detailed analysis of primary melanomas revealed that melanin levels were significantly higher in melanoma cells invading reticular dermis than the papillary dermis. A significant reduction of melanin pigmentation in pT3 and pT4 melanomas in comparison to pT1 and T2 tumors was observed. However, melanin levels measured in pT3-pT4 melanomas developing metastases (pN1-3, pM1) were higher than in pN0 and pM0 cases. The presence of melanin in metastatic melanoma cells decreases the outcome of radiotherapy, and melanin synthesis is related to higher disease advancement. Based on our previous cell-based and clinical research and present research we also suggest that inhibition of melanogenesis can improve radiotherapy modalities. The mechanism of relationship between melanogenesis and efficacy of RTH requires additional studies, including larger melanoma patients population and orthotopic, imageable mouse models of metastatic melanoma. PMID:26910282

  4. The Siderocalin/Enterobactin Interaction: A Link between Mammalian Immunity and Bacterial Iron Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Meux, Susan C.

    2008-05-12

    The siderophore enterobactin (Ent) is produced by enteric bacteria to mediate iron uptake. Ent scavenges iron and is taken up by the bacteria as the highly stable ferric complex [Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-}. This complex is also a specific target of the mammalian innate immune system protein, Siderocalin (Scn), which acts as an anti-bacterial agent by specifically sequestering siderophores and their ferric complexes during infection. Recent literature suggesting that Scn may also be involved in cellular iron transport has increased the importance of understanding the mechanism of siderophore interception and clearance by Scn; Scn is observed to release iron in acidic endosomes and [Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-} is known to undergo a change from catecholate to salicylate coordination in acidic conditions, which is predicted to be sterically incompatible with the Scn binding pocket (also referred to as the calyx). To investigate the interactions between the ferric Ent complex and Scn at different pH values, two recombinant forms of Scn with mutations in three residues lining the calyx were prepared: Scn-W79A/R81A and Scn-Y106F. Binding studies and crystal structures of the Scn-W79A/R81A:[Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-} and Scn-Y106F:[Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-} complexes confirm that such mutations do not affect the overall conformation of the protein but do weaken significantly its affinity for [Fe{sup III}(Ent)]{sup 3-}. Fluorescence, UV-Vis and EXAFS spectroscopies were used to determine Scn/siderophore dissociation constants and to characterize the coordination mode of iron over a wide pH range, in the presence of both mutant proteins and synthetic salicylate analogs of Ent. While Scn binding hinders salicylate coordination transformation, strong acidification results in the release of iron and degraded siderophore. Iron release may therefore result from a combination of Ent degradation and coordination change.

  5. UVA Phototransduction Drives Early Melanin Synthesis in Human Melanocytes

    PubMed Central

    Wicks, Nadine L.; Chan, Jason W.; Najera, Julia A.; Ciriello, Jonathan M.; Oancea, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Summary Exposure of human skin to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a powerful carcinogen [1] comprising ~95% UVA and ~5% UVB at the Earth’s surface, promotes melanin synthesis in epidermal melanocytes [2, 3], which protects skin from DNA damage [4, 5]. UVB causes DNA lesions [6] that lead to transcriptional activation of melanin-producing enzymes, resulting in delayed skin pigmentation within days [7]. In contrast, UVA causes primarily oxidative damage [8] and leads to immediate pigment darkening (IPD) within minutes, via an unknown mechanism [9, 10]. No receptor protein directly mediating phototransduction in skin has been identified. Here we demonstrate that exposure of primary human epidermal melanocytes (HEMs) to UVA causes calcium mobilization and early melanin synthesis. Calcium responses were abolished by treatment with G protein or PLC inhibitors, or by depletion of intracellular calcium stores. We show that the visual photopigment rhodopsin [11] is expressed in HEMs and contributes to UVR phototransduction. Upon UVR exposure, significant melanin production was measured within one hour; cellular melanin continued to increase in a retinal- and calcium-dependent manner up to five-fold after 24 hours. Our findings identify a novel UVA-sensitive signaling pathway in melanocytes that leads to calcium mobilization and melanin synthesis, and may underlie the mechanism of IPD in human skin. PMID:22055294

  6. Synthetic melanin films: Assembling mechanisms, scaling behavior, and structural properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorite, Gabriela S.; Coluci, Vitor R.; da Silva, Maria Ivonete N.; Dezidério, Shirlei N.; Graeff, Carlos Frederico O.; Galva~O, Douglas S.; Cotta, Mônica A.

    2006-06-01

    In this work we report on the surface characterization of melanin thin films prepared using both water-based and organic solvent-based melanin syntheses. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis of these films suggests that the organic solvent synthesis provides relatively planar basic melanin structures; these basic structures generate surface steps with height in the range of 2-3 nm and small tendency to form larger aggregates. The scaling properties obtained from the AFM data were used to infer the assembling mechanisms of these thin films which depend on the solvent used for melanin synthesis. The behavior observed in organic solvent-based melanin suggests a diffusion-limited aggregation process. Thus films with good adhesion to the substrate and smoother morphologies than water-prepared melanin films are obtained. Electronic structure calculations using a conductorlike screening model were also performed in order to elucidate the microscopic processes of thin film formation. Our results suggest that the agglomerates observed in hydrated samples originate from reaction with water at specific locations on the surface most likely defects on the planar structure.

  7. Development of gadolinium based nanoparticles having an affinity towards melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlieras, Jessica; Chezal, Jean-Michel; Miot-Noirault, Elisabeth; Roux, Amandine; Heinrich-Balard, Laurence; Cohen, Richard; Tarrit, Sébastien; Truillet, Charles; Mignot, Anna; Hachani, Roxanne; Kryza, David; Antoine, Rodolphe; Dugourd, Philippe; Perriat, Pascal; Janier, Marc; Sancey, Lucie; Lux, François; Tillement, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip.Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c2nr33457g

  8. Melanins and their possible roles through biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Césarini, J. P.

    Melanins are biopolymers which structures can be very simple or very complex. From a single essential amino acid, phenylalanine, to fully mature melanosomes, a series of events takes place: melanogenesis. A part of haemoglobin, melanins are the only pigment endogenously synthesised in humans. Their synthesis takes place in the melanocyte, a cell from neurectodermal origin (neural crest, neural tube, melanoblasts). Two important functions have been attributed to melanin: optical efficiency of the eye and colour pattern, but their role might have been much larger in lower vertebrates and several micro-organisms. By their structure, melanins have very original biophysical bioproperties. They could act as intrinsic semiconductors and may de-excite certain biological molecules by converting electronic energy into heat. Being themselves free radicals, they certainly play a major role in the quenching of free radicals produced by ultraviolet radiation. In their granular or particular form, they absorb or reflect the non-ionising radiations. Furthermore, like weak cation exchange polymers, eumelanins have the capacity to bind substantial amount of metal ions or drugs. Phaeomelanins, sulphur containing low molecular weight, may have controlled the redox state of the early steps of life on earth. In human, the skin protection role attributed to melanins is controversial. If melanins have played a major role in the establishment of a North South gradient of skin colour, it is by no mean, an adaptation phenomenon for the darker population living under strong sun exposures.

  9. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models. PMID:27070583

  10. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models. PMID:27070583

  11. 1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-Melanin Biosynthesis Inhibitors Increase Erythritol Production in Torula corallina, and DHN-Melanin Inhibits Erythrose Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung-Kul; Jung, Hyung-Moo; Kim, Sang-Yong

    2003-01-01

    The yeast Torula corallina is a strong erythritol producer that is used in the industrial production of erythritol. However, melanin accumulation during culture represents a serious problem for the purification of erythritol from the fermentation broth. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitors such as 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin inhibitors were added to the T. corallina cultures. Only the DHN-melanin inhibitors showed an effect on melanin production, which suggests that the melanin formed during the culturing of T. corallina is derived from DHN. This finding was confirmed by the detection of a shunt product of the pentaketide pathway, flaviolin, and elemental analysis. Among the DHN-melanin inhibitors, tricyclazole was the most effective. Supplementation with tricyclazole enhanced the production of erythritol while significantly inhibiting the production of DHN-melanin and DHN-melanin biosynthetic enzymes, such as trihydroxynaphthalene reductase. The erythrose reductase from T. corallina was purified to homogeneity by ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. Purified erythrose reductase was significantly inhibited in vitro in a noncompetitive manner by elevated levels of DHN-melanin. In contrast, the level of erythrose reductase activity was unaffected by increasing concentrations of tricyclazole. These results suggest that supplemental tricyclazole reduces the production of DHN-melanin, which may lead to a reduction in the inhibition of erythrose reductase and a higher yield of erythritol. This is the first report to demonstrate that melanin biosynthesis inhibitors increase the production of a sugar alcohol in T. corallina. PMID:12788746

  12. Establishing a Role for Bacterial Cellulose in Environmental Interactions: Lessons Learned from Diverse Biofilm-Producing Proteobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Augimeri, Richard V.; Varley, Andrew J.; Strap, Janice L.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial cellulose (BC) serves as a molecular glue to facilitate intra- and inter-domain interactions in nature. Biosynthesis of BC-containing biofilms occurs in a variety of Proteobacteria that inhabit diverse ecological niches. The enzymatic and regulatory systems responsible for the polymerization, exportation, and regulation of BC are equally as diverse. Though the magnitude and environmental consequences of BC production are species-specific, the common role of BC-containing biofilms is to establish close contact with a preferred host to facilitate efficient host–bacteria interactions. Universally, BC aids in attachment, adherence, and subsequent colonization of a substrate. Bi-directional interactions influence host physiology, bacterial physiology, and regulation of BC biosynthesis, primarily through modulation of intracellular bis-(3′→5′)-cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) levels. Depending on the circumstance, BC producers exhibit a pathogenic or symbiotic relationship with plant, animal, or fungal hosts. Rhizobiaceae species colonize plant roots, Pseudomonadaceae inhabit the phyllosphere, Acetobacteriaceae associate with sugar-loving insects and inhabit the carposphere, Enterobacteriaceae use fresh produce as vehicles to infect animal hosts, and Vibrionaceae, particularly Aliivibrio fischeri, colonize the light organ of squid. This review will highlight the diversity of the biosynthesis and regulation of BC in nature by discussing various examples of Proteobacteria that use BC-containing biofilms to facilitate host–bacteria interactions. Through discussion of current data we will establish new directions for the elucidation of BC biosynthesis, its regulation and its ecophysiological roles. PMID:26635751

  13. Establishing a Role for Bacterial Cellulose in Environmental Interactions: Lessons Learned from Diverse Biofilm-Producing Proteobacteria.

    PubMed

    Augimeri, Richard V; Varley, Andrew J; Strap, Janice L

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial cellulose (BC) serves as a molecular glue to facilitate intra- and inter-domain interactions in nature. Biosynthesis of BC-containing biofilms occurs in a variety of Proteobacteria that inhabit diverse ecological niches. The enzymatic and regulatory systems responsible for the polymerization, exportation, and regulation of BC are equally as diverse. Though the magnitude and environmental consequences of BC production are species-specific, the common role of BC-containing biofilms is to establish close contact with a preferred host to facilitate efficient host-bacteria interactions. Universally, BC aids in attachment, adherence, and subsequent colonization of a substrate. Bi-directional interactions influence host physiology, bacterial physiology, and regulation of BC biosynthesis, primarily through modulation of intracellular bis-(3'→5')-cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) levels. Depending on the circumstance, BC producers exhibit a pathogenic or symbiotic relationship with plant, animal, or fungal hosts. Rhizobiaceae species colonize plant roots, Pseudomonadaceae inhabit the phyllosphere, Acetobacteriaceae associate with sugar-loving insects and inhabit the carposphere, Enterobacteriaceae use fresh produce as vehicles to infect animal hosts, and Vibrionaceae, particularly Aliivibrio fischeri, colonize the light organ of squid. This review will highlight the diversity of the biosynthesis and regulation of BC in nature by discussing various examples of Proteobacteria that use BC-containing biofilms to facilitate host-bacteria interactions. Through discussion of current data we will establish new directions for the elucidation of BC biosynthesis, its regulation and its ecophysiological roles. PMID:26635751

  14. The stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence guided ablation of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; DiMarzio, Charles

    2015-02-01

    Previous research has shown that the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated and excited by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser, is a low-cost and reliable method for detecting melanin. We have developed a device utilizing the melanin SMPAF to guide the ablation of melanin with a 975 nm CW laser. This method provides the ability of targeting individual melanin particles with micrometer resolution, and enables localized melanin ablation to be performed without collateral damage. Compared to the traditional selective photothermolysis, which uses pulsed lasers for melanin ablation, this method demonstrates higher precision and lower cost. Therefore, the SMPAF guided selective ablation of melanin is a promising tool of melanin ablation for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

  15. Interactions of Bacterial and Amoebal Populations in Soil Microcosms with Fluctuating Moisture Content

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, R. J.; Woods, L. E.; Coleman, D. C.; Fairbanks, B. C.; McClellan, J. F.; Cole, C. V.

    1982-01-01

    Sterilized soil samples (20 g of soil per 50-ml flask), amended with 600 μg of glucose-carbon and 60 μg of NH4-N · g of dry soil−1, were inoculated with bacteria (Pseudomonas paucimobilis) alone or with bacteria and amoebae (Acanthamoeba polyphaga). We used wet-dry treatments, which involved air drying the samples to a moisture content of approximately 2% and remoistening the samples three times during the 83-day experiment. Control treatments were kept moist. In the absence of amoebae, bacterial populations were reduced by the first drying to about 60% of the moist control populations, but the third drying had no such effect. With amoebae present, bacterial numbers were not significantly affected by the dryings. Amoebal grazing reduced bacterial populations to 20 to 25% of the ungrazed bacterial populations in both moisture treatments. Encystment was an efficient survival mechanism for amoebae subjected to wet-dry cycles. The amoebal population was entirely encysted in dry soil, but the total number of amoebae was not affected by the three dryings. Growth efficiencies for amoebae feeding on bacteria were 0.33 and 0.39 for wet-dry and constantly moist treatments, respectively, results that compared well with those previously reported for Acanthamoeba spp. PMID:16345984

  16. In vitro interactions of biomedical polyurethanes with macrophages and bacterial cells.

    PubMed

    Visai, Livia; Rindi, Simonetta; Speziale, Pietro; Petrini, Paola; Farè, Silvia; Tanzi, M Cristina

    2002-01-01

    Three commercial medical-grade polyurethanes (PUs), a poly-ether-urethane (Pellethane), and two poly-carbonate-urethanes, the one aromatic (Bionate) and the other aliphatic (Chronoflex), were tested for macrophages and bacterial cells adhesion, in the presence or absence of adhesive plasma proteins. All the experiments were carried out on PUs films obtained by solvent casting. The wettability of these films was analysed by measuring static contact angles against water. The ability of the selected PUs to adsorb human fibronectin (Fn) and fibrinogen (Fbg) was checked by ELISA with biotin-labelled proteins. All PUs were able to adsorb Fn and Fbg (Fn > Fbg). Fn adsorption was in the order: Pellethane > Chronoflex > Bionate, the highest Fbg adsorption being detected onto Bionate (Bionate > Chronoflex > Pellethane). The human macrophagic line J111, and the two main bacterial strains responsible for infection in humans (Staphylococcus aureus Newman and Staphylococcus epidermidis 14852) were incubated in turn with the three PUs, uncoated or coated with plasma proteins. No macrophage or bacterial adhesion was observed onto uncoated PUs. PUs coated with plasma, Fn or Fbg promoted bacterial adhesion (S. aureus > S. epidermidis), whereas macrophage adhered more onto PUs coated with Fn or plasma. The coating with Fbg did not promote cell adhesion. Pellethane showed the highest macrophage activation (i.e. spreading), followed, in the order, by Bionate and Chronoflex. PMID:11939455

  17. Optical properties of cells with melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohde, Barukh; Coats, Israel; Krueger, James; Gareau, Dan

    2014-02-01

    The optical properties of pigmented lesions have been studied using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in a noninvasive configuration on optically thick samples such as skin in vivo. However, it is difficult to un-mix the effects of absorption and scattering with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy techniques due to the complex anatomical distributions of absorbing and scattering biomolecules. We present a device and technique that enables absorption and scattering measurements of tissue volumes much smaller than the optical mean-free path. Because these measurements are taken on fresh-frozen sections, they are direct measurements of the optical properties of tissue, albeit in a different hydration state than in vivo tissue. Our results on lesions from 20 patients including melanomas and nevi show the absorption spectrum of melanin in melanocytes and basal keratinocytes. Our samples consisted of fresh frozen sections that were unstained. Fitting the spectrum as an exponential decay between 500 and 1100 nm [mua = A*exp(-B*(lambda-C)) + D], we report on the fit parameters of and their variation due to biological heterogeneity as A = 4.20e4 +/- 1.57e5 [1/cm], B = 4.57e-3 +/- 1.62e-3 [1/nm], C = 210 +/- 510 [nm] , D = 613 +/- 534 [1/cm]. The variability in these results is likely due to highly heterogeneous distributions of eumelanin and pheomelanin.

  18. Grazing incidence diffraction studies of the interactions between ursane-type antimicrobial triterpenes and bacterial anionic phospholipids.

    PubMed

    Broniatowski, Marcin; Flasiński, Michał; Wydro, Paweł; Fontaine, Philippe

    2015-04-01

    α-Amyrin (AMalf) and ursolic acid (Urs) are ursane-type pentacyclic triterpenes which exhibit wide spectrum of antibacterial activity. These surface active compounds can be incorporated into bacterial membranes and alter their structure and function; however, the exact mechanism of their action still needs to be elucidated. Thus, we decided to study the interactions of these terpenes with specific anionic phospholipids:cardiolipins and phosphatidylglycerols extracted from Escherichia coli in the model environment of Langmuir monolayers. To characterize the ordering of the terpene molecules in one-component films as well as to study their interactions with the bacterial phospholipids in binary monolayers we applied grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD). It turned out that amyrins and ursolic acid molecules form crystalline hexagonal phases in Langmuir monolayers, in which the molecules are oriented uprightly. Regarding the mixtures, it was found that in the monolayers with Urs crystalline domains are present till moderate or even low Urs proportion. In contrast, in the mixtures with AMalf crystalline domains were observed only at the highest terpene concentration. In the interpretation of our results we underlined the significance of the interactions between the cyclopropane ring present in the hydrophobic part of the bacterial phospholipids and the terminal ring of the terpene structure. We proposed that the significant differences between the systems with AMalf and Urs are connected with the formation of hydrogen bonds between the Urs hydrophobic moieties. It can be inferred from the results that Urs is a more membrane-active agent than AMalf. PMID:25805152

  19. Probing interaction of gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial cells with ZnO nanorods.

    PubMed

    Jain, Aanchal; Bhargava, Richa; Poddar, Pankaj

    2013-04-01

    In the present work, the physiological effects of the ZnO nanorods on the Gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli and Aerobacter aerogenes) bacterial cells have been studied. The analysis of bacterial growth curves for various concentrations of ZnO nanorods indicates that Gram positive and Gram negative bacterial cells show inhibition at concentrations of ~64 and ~256 μg/mL respectively. The marked difference in susceptibility towards nanorods was also validated by spread plate and disk diffusion methods. In addition, the scanning electron micrographs show a clear damage to the cells via changed morphology of the cells from rod to coccoid etc. The confocal optical microscopy images of these cells also demonstrate the reduction in live cell count in the presence of ZnO nanorods. These, results clearly indicate that the antibacterial activity of ZnO nanorods is higher towards Gram positive bacterium than Gram negative bacterium which indicates that the structure of the cell wall might play a major role in the interaction with nanostructured materials and shows high sensitivity to the particle concentration. PMID:23827568

  20. Aerobic bacterial catabolism of persistent organic pollutants - potential impact of biotic and abiotic interaction.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Jong-Rok; Murugesan, Kumarasamy; Baldrian, Petr; Schmidt, Stefan; Chang, Yoon-Seok

    2016-04-01

    Several aerobic bacteria possess unique catabolic pathways enabling them to degrade persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The catabolic activity of aerobic bacteria employed for removal of POPs in the environment may be modulated by several biotic (i.e. fungi, plants, algae, earthworms, and other bacteria) and abiotic (i.e. zero-valent iron, advanced oxidation, and electricity) agents. This review describes the basic biochemistry of the aerobic bacterial catabolism of selected POPs and discusses how biotic and abiotic agents enhance or inhibit the process. Solutions allowing biotic and abiotic agents to exert physical and chemical assistance to aerobic bacterial catabolism of POPs are also discussed. PMID:26851837

  1. Water relations in the interaction of foliar bacterial pathogens with plants.

    PubMed

    Beattie, Gwyn A

    2011-01-01

    This review examines the many ways in which water influences the relations between foliar bacterial pathogens and plants. As a limited resource in aerial plant tissues, water is subject to manipulation by both plants and pathogens. A model is emerging that suggests that plants actively promote localized desiccation at the infection site and thus restrict pathogen growth as one component of defense. Similarly, many foliar pathogens manipulate water relations as one component of pathogenesis. Nonvascular pathogens do this using effectors and other molecules to alter hormonal responses and enhance intercellular watersoaking, whereas vascular pathogens use many mechanisms to cause wilt. Because of water limitations on phyllosphere surfaces, bacterial colonists, including pathogens, benefit from the protective effects of cellular aggregation, synthesis of hygroscopic polymers, and uptake and production of osmoprotective compounds. Moreover, these bacteria employ tactics for scavenging and distributing water to overcome water-driven barriers to nutrient acquisition, movement, and signal exchange on plant surfaces. PMID:21438680

  2. Structural insights into the interaction between the bacterial flagellar motor proteins FliF and FliG.

    PubMed

    Levenson, Robert; Zhou, Hongjun; Dahlquist, Frederick W

    2012-06-26

    The binding of the soluble cytoplasmic protein FliG to the transmembrane protein FliF is one of the first interactions in the assembly of the bacterial flagellum. Once established, this interaction is integral in keeping the flagellar cytoplasmic ring, responsible for both transmission of torque and control of the rotational direction of the flagellum, anchored to the central transmembrane ring on which the flagellum is assembled. Here we isolate and characterize the interaction between the N-terminal domain of Thermotoga maritima FliG (FliG(N)) and peptides corresponding to the conserved C-terminal portion of T. maritima FliF. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other techniques, we show that the last ~40 amino acids of FliF (FliF(C)) interact strongly (upper bound K(d) in the low nanomolar range) with FliG(N). The formation of this complex causes extensive conformational changes in FliG(N). We find that T. maritima FliG(N) is homodimeric in the absence of the FliF(C) peptide but forms a heterodimeric complex with the peptide, and we show that this same change in oligomeric state occurs in full-length T. maritima FliG, as well. We relate previously observed phenotypic effects of FliF(C) mutations to our direct observation of binding. Lastly, on the basis of NMR data, we propose that the primary interaction site for FliF(C) is located on a conserved hydrophobic patch centered along helix 1 of FliG(N). These results provide new detailed information about the bacterial flagellar motor and support efforts to understand the cytoplasmic ring's precise molecular structure and mechanism of rotational switching. PMID:22670715

  3. Hyperosmotic Stress Reduces Melanin Production by Altering Melanosome Formation

    PubMed Central

    Bin, Bum-Ho; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Yang, Seung Ha; Choi, Dong-Hwa; Park, Kyuhee; Shin, Dong Wook; Lee, Ai-Young; Hwang, Daehee; Cho, Eun-Gyung; Lee, Tae Ryong

    2014-01-01

    Many tissues of the human body encounter hyperosmotic stress. The effect of extracellular osmotic changes on melanin production has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we determined that hyperosmotic stress induced by organic osmolytes results in reduced melanin production in human melanoma MNT-1 cells. Under hyperosmotic stress, few pigmented mature melanosomes were detected, but there was an increase in swollen vacuoles. These vacuoles were stained with an anti-M6PR antibody that recognizes late endosomal components and with anti-TA99 and anti-HMB45 antibodies, implying that melanosome formation was affected by hyperosmotic stress. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that the M6PR-positive swollen vacuoles were multi-layered and contained melanized granules, and they produced melanin when L-DOPA was applied, indicating that these vacuoles were still capable of producing melanin, but the inner conditions were not compatible with melanin production. The vacuolation phenomenon induced by hyperosmotic conditions disappeared with treatment with the PI3K activator 740 Y-P, indicating that the PI3K pathway is affected by hyperosmotic conditions and is responsible for the proper formation and maturation of melanosomes. The microarray analysis showed alterations of the vesicle organization and transport under hyperosmotic stress. Our findings suggest that melanogenesis could be regulated by physiological conditions, such as osmotic pressure. PMID:25170965

  4. Interactions of bacterial pathogens with dendritic cells during invasion of mucosal surfaces.

    PubMed

    Granucci, Francesca; Ricciardi-Castagnoli, Paola

    2003-02-01

    Recent studies of mucosal immunity suggest a key role for dendritic cells in the regulation of gut immune responses, in both physiological and pathological conditions. Dendritic cells are widely distributed in the lamina propria of the gut and are involved in direct bacterial uptake across mucosal surfaces, which questions the role of dendritic cells in innate mucosal responses. Approximately 400 commensal microbial species are present in the gut lumen. So how do dendritic cells distinguish pathogens from luminal microflora? Are the cytokines and chemokines induced in dendritic cells tailored to the class of microbes being recognized? Several very important questions still need to be addressed. PMID:12615223

  5. Optical and thermal characterization of natural (Sepia officinalis) melanin.

    PubMed

    Vitkin, I A; Woolsey, J; Wilson, B C; Anderson, R R

    1994-04-01

    The optical properties and the thermal diffusivity of natural cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) melanin have been measured. The optical absorption and scattering properties of melanin particles were determined at 580 nm and 633 nm, using photometric and photothermal techniques. For the photometric studies, the absorption and the transport scattering coefficients were determined from the measurements of diffuse reflectance and transmittance. The scattering anisotropy was obtained from an additional measurement of the total attenuation coefficient and independently obtained by goniometry. For photothermal studies, pulsed photothermal radiometry was used to deduce the absorption and transport scattering coefficients via a model based on optical diffusion theory. Pulsed photothermal radiometry was also used to provide the thermal diffusivity of solid melanin pressed pellets. PMID:8022888

  6. Synthetic melanin thin films: Structural and electrical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, M. I. N.; Dezidério, S. N.; Gonzalez, J. C.; Graeff, C. F. O.; Cotta, M. A.

    2004-11-01

    Scanning probe microscopy was used to investigate the structural and electrical organization at the nanoscopic level of hydrated melanin thin films synthesized by oxidizing L-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-alanine (L-dopa) in dimethyl sulfoxide. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) provided the morphologies of the L-dopa melanin films. Electrostatic force microscopy and conductive-AFM were used to spatially resolve the electrical properties of the material. Using a simple parallel plate capacitor model a method to measure the charge distribution on the sample was developed. The correlations between topography, electric charge, and current images of the sample demonstrated that the hydration process produces a restructuring of melanin observed not only through topographic variations, but also through the creation of areas with different electrical properties.

  7. In Vitro Evaluation of the Interaction of Dextrin-Colistin Conjugates with Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Jessica L; Cattoz, Beatrice; Schweins, Ralf; Beck, Konrad; Thomas, David W; Griffiths, Peter C; Ferguson, Elaine L

    2016-01-28

    Dextrin-colistin conjugates have been developed with the aim of achieving reduced clinical toxicity associated with colistin, also known as polymyxin E, and improved targeting to sites of bacterial infection. This study investigated the in vitro ability of such dextrin-colistin conjugates to bind and modulate bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and how this binding affects its biological activity. These results showed that colistin and amylase-activated dextrin-colistin conjugate to a lesser extent induced aggregation of LPS to form a stacked bilayer structure with characteristic dimensions, although this did not cause any substantial change in its secondary structure. In biological studies, both colistin and dextrin-colistin conjugate effectively inhibited LPS-induced hemolysis and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) secretion in a concentration-dependent manner, but only dextrin-colistin conjugate showed no additive toxicity at higher concentrations. This study provides the first direct structural experimental evidence for the binding of dextrin-colistin conjugates and LPS and gives insight into the mode of action of dextrin-colistin conjugates. PMID:26730548

  8. Melanin determination by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for K. marxianus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ultraviolet light (UV) mutated K. marxianus was found to turn dark brown during a growth assay. This brown color was hypothesized to be melanin overproduction influenced by the UV exposure. Cell cultures were oxidized and HPLC analyzed to determine melanin concentrations. The resulting melanin con...

  9. The Interaction Surface of a Bacterial Transcription Elongation Factor Required for Complex Formation with an Antiterminator during Transcription Antitermination*

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Saurabh; Mohan, Shalini; Godavarthi, Sapna; Sen, Ranjan

    2013-01-01

    The bacterial transcription elongation factor, NusA, functions as an antiterminator when it is bound to the lambdoid phage derived antiterminator protein, N. The mode of N-NusA interaction is unknown, knowledge of which is essential to understand the antitermination process. It was reported earlier that in the absence of the transcription elongation complex (EC), N interacts with the C-terminal AR1 domain of NusA. However, the functional significance of this interaction is obscure. Here we identified mutations in NusA N terminus (NTD) specifically defective for N-mediated antitermination. These are located at a convex surface of the NusA-NTD, situated opposite its concave RNA polymerase (RNAP) binding surface. These NusA mutants disrupt the N-nut site interactions on the nascent RNA emerging out of a stalled EC. In the N/NusA-modified EC, a Cys-53 (S53C) from the convex surface of the NusA-NTD forms a specific disulfide (S-S) bridge with a Cys-39 (S39C) of the NusA binding region of the N protein. We conclude that when bound to the EC, the N interaction surface of NusA shifts from the AR1 domain to its NTD domain. This occurred due to a massive away-movement of the adjacent AR2 domain of NusA upon binding to the EC. We propose that the close proximity of this altered N-interaction site of NusA to its RNAP binding surface, enables N to influence the NusA-RNAP interaction during transcription antitermination that in turn facilitates the conversion of NusA into an antiterminator. PMID:23913688

  10. Campylobacter jejuni Outer Membrane Vesicles Play an Important Role in Bacterial Interactions with Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Elmi, Abdi; Watson, Eleanor; Sandu, Pamela; Gundogdu, Ozan; Mills, Dominic C.; Inglis, Neil F.; Manson, Erin; Imrie, Lisa; Bajaj-Elliott, Mona; Wren, Brendan W.; Smith, David G. E.

    2012-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is the most prevalent cause of food-borne gastroenteritis in the developed world; however, the molecular basis of pathogenesis is unclear. Secretion of virulence factors is a key mechanism by which enteric bacterial pathogens interact with host cells to enhance survival and/or damage the host. However, C. jejuni lacks the virulence-associated secretion systems possessed by other enteric pathogens. Many bacterial pathogens utilize outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) for delivery of virulence factors into host cells. In the absence of prototypical virulence-associated secretion systems, OMVs could be an important alternative for the coordinated delivery of C. jejuni proteins into host cells. Proteomic analysis of C. jejuni 11168H OMVs identified 151 proteins, including periplasmic and outer membrane-associated proteins, but also many determinants known to be important in survival and pathogenesis, including the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT). C. jejuni OMVs contained 16 N-linked glycoproteins, indicating a delivery mechanism by which these periplasm-located yet immunogenic glycoproteins can interact with host cells. C. jejuni OMVs possess cytotoxic activity and induce a host immune response from T84 intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), which was not reduced by OMV pretreatment with proteinase K or polymyxin B prior to coincubation with IECs. Pretreatment of IECs with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin partially blocks OMV-induced host immune responses, indicating a role for lipid rafts in host cell plasma membranes during interactions with C. jejuni OMVs. OMVs isolated from a C. jejuni 11168H cdtA mutant induced interleukin-8 (IL-8) to the same extent as did wild-type OMVs, suggesting OMV induction of IL-8 is independent of CDT. PMID:22966047

  11. Bacterial RNA motif in the 5′ UTR of rpsF interacts with an S6:S18 complex

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Yang; Deiorio-Haggar, Kaila; Soo, Mark W.; Meyer, Michelle M.

    2014-01-01

    Approximately half the transcripts encoding ribosomal proteins in Escherichia coli include a structured RNA motif that interacts with a specific ribosomal protein to inhibit gene expression, thus allowing stoichiometric production of ribosome components. However, many of these RNA structures are not widely distributed across bacterial phyla. It is increasingly common for RNA motifs associated with ribosomal protein genes to be identified using comparative genomic methods, yet these are rarely experimentally validated. In this work, we characterize one such motif that precedes operons containing rpsF and rpsR, which encode ribosomal proteins S6 and S18. This RNA structure is widely distributed across many phyla of bacteria despite differences within the downstream operon, and examples are present in both E. coli and Bacillus subtilis. We demonstrate a direct interaction between an example of the RNA from B. subtilis and an S6:S18 complex using in vitro binding assays, verify our predicted secondary structure, and identify a putative protein-binding site. The proposed binding site bears a strong resemblance to the S18 binding site within the 16S rRNA, suggesting molecular mimicry. This interaction is a valuable addition to the canon of ribosomal protein mRNA interactions. This work shows how experimental verification translates computational results into concrete knowledge of biological systems. PMID:24310371

  12. Bacterial Colonies in Solid Media and Foods: A Review on Their Growth and Interactions with the Micro-Environment

    PubMed Central

    Jeanson, Sophie; Floury, Juliane; Gagnaire, Valérie; Lortal, Sylvie; Thierry, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria, either indigenous or added, are immobilized in solid foods where they grow as colonies. Since the 80's, relatively few research groups have explored the implications of bacteria growing as colonies and mostly focused on pathogens in large colonies on agar/gelatine media. It is only recently that high resolution imaging techniques and biophysical characterization techniques increased the understanding of the growth of bacterial colonies, for different sizes of colonies, at the microscopic level and even down to the molecular level. This review covers the studies on bacterial colony growth in agar or gelatine media mimicking the food environment and in model cheese. The following conclusions have been brought to light. Firstly, under unfavorable conditions, mimicking food conditions, the immobilization of bacteria always constrains their growth in comparison with planktonic growth and increases the sensibility of bacteria to environmental stresses. Secondly, the spatial distribution describes both the distance between colonies and the size of the colonies as a function of the initial level of population. By studying the literature, we concluded that there systematically exists a threshold that distinguishes micro-colonies (radius < 100–200 μm) from macro-colonies (radius >200 μm). Micro-colonies growth resembles planktonic growth and no pH microgradients could be observed. Macro-colonies growth is slower than planktonic growth and pH microgradients could be observed in and around them due to diffusion limitations which occur around, but also inside the macro-colonies. Diffusion limitations of milk proteins have been demonstrated in a model cheese around and in the bacterial colonies. In conclusion, the impact of immobilization is predominant for macro-colonies in comparison with micro-colonies. However, the interaction between the colonies and the food matrix itself remains to be further investigated at the microscopic scale. PMID:26648910

  13. Individual subunits of bacterial luciferase are molten globules and interact with molecular chaperones.

    PubMed Central

    Flynn, G C; Beckers, C J; Baase, W A; Dahlquist, F W

    1993-01-01

    We have studied the assembly of a large heterodimeric protein, bacterial luciferase, by mixing purified subunits expressed separately in bacteria. The individual subunits alpha and beta contain much (66% and 50%, respectively) of the alpha-helix content of the native heterodimer as measured by circular dichroism, yet the alpha subunit lacks observable tertiary structure as measured by NMR. These results are consistent with the alpha subunit existing in a molten globule or collapsed form prior to assembly. The molecular chaperone GroEL binds reversibly to both subunits prior to assembly. Since these observations were obtained under physiological conditions, we propose that the molten globule exists as a stable form during folding or assembly in the cell. Either the molten globule form of the subunits is an authentic folding intermediate or it is in rapid equilibrium with one. GroEL may function by facilitating assembly through stabilization of these incompletely folded subunits. Images Fig. 4 PMID:7902573

  14. Bacterial receptors for host transferrin and lactoferrin: molecular mechanisms and role in host-microbe interactions.

    PubMed

    Morgenthau, Ari; Pogoutse, Anastassia; Adamiak, Paul; Moraes, Trevor F; Schryvers, Anthony B

    2013-12-01

    Iron homeostasis in the mammalian host limits the availability of iron to invading pathogens and is thought to restrict iron availability for microbes inhabiting mucosal surfaces. The presence of surface receptors for the host iron-binding glycoproteins transferrin (Tf) and lactoferrin (Lf) in globally important Gram-negative bacterial pathogens of humans and food production animals suggests that Tf and Lf are important sources of iron in the upper respiratory or genitourinary tracts, where they exclusively reside. Lf receptors have the additional function of protecting against host cationic antimicrobial peptides, suggesting that the bacteria expressing these receptors reside in a niche where exposure is likely. In this review we compare Tf and Lf receptors with respect to their structural and functional features, their role in colonization and infection, and their distribution among pathogenic and commensal bacteria. PMID:24266357

  15. Early canine plaque biofilms: characterization of key bacterial interactions involved in initial colonization of enamel.

    PubMed

    Holcombe, Lucy J; Patel, Niran; Colyer, Alison; Deusch, Oliver; O'Flynn, Ciaran; Harris, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Periodontal disease (PD) is a significant problem in dogs affecting between 44% and 63.6% of the population. The main etiological agent for PD is plaque, a microbial biofilm that colonizes teeth and causes inflammation of the gingiva. Understanding how this biofilm initiates on the tooth surface is of central importance in developing interventions against PD. Although the stages of plaque development on human teeth have been well characterized little is known about how canine plaque develops. Recent studies of the canine oral microbiome have revealed distinct differences between the canine and human oral environments and the bacterial communities they support, particularly with respect to healthy plaque. These differences mean knowledge about the nature of plaque formation in humans may not be directly translatable to dogs. The aim of this study was to identify the bacterial species important in the early stages of canine plaque formation in vivo and then use isolates of these species in a laboratory biofilm model to develop an understanding of the sequential processes which take place during the initial colonization of enamel. Supra-gingival plaque samples were collected from 12 dogs at 24 and 48 hour time points following a full mouth descale and polish. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA identified 134 operational taxonomic units after statistical analysis. The species with the highest relative abundance were Bergeyella zoohelcum, Neisseria shayeganii and a Moraxella species. Streptococcal species, which tend to dominate early human plaque biofilms, had very low relative abundance. In vitro testing of biofilm formation identified five primary colonizer species, three of which belonged to the genus Neisseria. Using these pioneer bacteria as a starting point, viable two and three species communities were developed. Combining in vivo and in vitro data has led us to construct novel models of how the early canine plaque biofilm develops. PMID:25463050

  16. Early Canine Plaque Biofilms: Characterization of Key Bacterial Interactions Involved in Initial Colonization of Enamel

    PubMed Central

    Holcombe, Lucy J.; Patel, Niran; Colyer, Alison; Deusch, Oliver; O’Flynn, Ciaran; Harris, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Periodontal disease (PD) is a significant problem in dogs affecting between 44% and 63.6% of the population. The main etiological agent for PD is plaque, a microbial biofilm that colonizes teeth and causes inflammation of the gingiva. Understanding how this biofilm initiates on the tooth surface is of central importance in developing interventions against PD. Although the stages of plaque development on human teeth have been well characterized little is known about how canine plaque develops. Recent studies of the canine oral microbiome have revealed distinct differences between the canine and human oral environments and the bacterial communities they support, particularly with respect to healthy plaque. These differences mean knowledge about the nature of plaque formation in humans may not be directly translatable to dogs. The aim of this study was to identify the bacterial species important in the early stages of canine plaque formation in vivo and then use isolates of these species in a laboratory biofilm model to develop an understanding of the sequential processes which take place during the initial colonization of enamel. Supra-gingival plaque samples were collected from 12 dogs at 24 and 48 hour time points following a full mouth descale and polish. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rDNA identified 134 operational taxonomic units after statistical analysis. The species with the highest relative abundance were Bergeyella zoohelcum, Neisseria shayeganii and a Moraxella species. Streptococcal species, which tend to dominate early human plaque biofilms, had very low relative abundance. In vitro testing of biofilm formation identified five primary colonizer species, three of which belonged to the genus Neisseria. Using these pioneer bacteria as a starting point, viable two and three species communities were developed. Combining in vivo and in vitro data has led us to construct novel models of how the early canine plaque biofilm develops. PMID:25463050

  17. Interactions of Antibiotics and Methanolic Crude Extracts of Afzelia Africana (Smith.) Against Drug Resistance Bacterial Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Aiyegoro, Olayinka; Adewusi, Adekanmi; Oyedemi, Sunday; Akinpelu, David; Okoh, Anthony

    2011-01-01

    Infection due to multidrug resistance pathogens is difficult to manage due to bacterial virulence factors and because of a relatively limited choice of antimicrobial agents. Thus, it is imperative to discover fresh antimicrobials or new practices that are effective for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by drug-resistant microorganisms. The objective of this experiment is to investigate for synergistic outcomes when crude methanolic extract of the stem bark of Afzelia africana and antibiotics were combined against a panel of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains that have been implicated in infections. Standard microbiological protocols were used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the extract and antibiotics, as well as to investigate the effect of combinations of the methanolic extract of A. africana stem bark and selected antibiotics using the time-kill assay method. The extract of Afzelia africana exhibited antibacterial activities against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria made up of environmental and standard strains at a screening concentration of 5 mg/mL. The MICs of the crude extracts and the antibiotics varied between 1 μg/mL and 5.0 mg/mL. Overall, synergistic response constituted about 63.79% of all manner of combinations of extract and antibiotics against all test organisms; antagonism was not detected among the 176 tests carried out. The extract from A. africana stem bark showed potentials of synergy in combination with antibiotics against strains of pathogenic bacteria. The detection of synergy between the extract and antibiotics demonstrates the potential of this plant as a source of antibiotic resistance modulating compounds. PMID:21845091

  18. Purification of bacterial membrane sensor kinases and biophysical methods for determination of their ligand and inhibitor interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, Rohanah; Harding, Stephen E.; Hughes, Charlotte S.; Ma, Pikyee; Patching, Simon G.; Edara, Shalini; Siligardi, Giuliano; Henderson, Peter J.F.; Phillips-Jones, Mary K.

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews current methods for the reliable heterologous overexpression in Escherichia coli and purification of milligram quantities of bacterial membrane sensor kinase (MSK) proteins belonging to the two-component signal transduction family of integral membrane proteins. Many of these methods were developed at Leeds alongside Professor Steve Baldwin to whom this review is dedicated. It also reviews two biophysical methods that we have adapted successfully for studies of purified MSKs and other membrane proteins–synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) spectroscopy and analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC), both of which are non-immobilization and matrix-free methods that require no labelling strategies. Other techniques such as isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) also share these features but generally require high concentrations of material. In common with many other biophysical techniques, both of these biophysical methods provide information regarding membrane protein conformation, oligomerization state and ligand binding, but they possess the additional advantage of providing direct assessments of whether ligand binding interactions are accompanied by conformational changes. Therefore, both methods provide a powerful means by which to identify and characterize inhibitor binding and any associated protein conformational changes, thereby contributing valuable information for future drug intervention strategies directed towards bacterial MSKs. PMID:27284046

  19. Purification of bacterial membrane sensor kinases and biophysical methods for determination of their ligand and inhibitor interactions.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Rohanah; Harding, Stephen E; Hughes, Charlotte S; Ma, Pikyee; Patching, Simon G; Edara, Shalini; Siligardi, Giuliano; Henderson, Peter J F; Phillips-Jones, Mary K

    2016-06-15

    This article reviews current methods for the reliable heterologous overexpression in Escherichia coli and purification of milligram quantities of bacterial membrane sensor kinase (MSK) proteins belonging to the two-component signal transduction family of integral membrane proteins. Many of these methods were developed at Leeds alongside Professor Steve Baldwin to whom this review is dedicated. It also reviews two biophysical methods that we have adapted successfully for studies of purified MSKs and other membrane proteins-synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) spectroscopy and analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC), both of which are non-immobilization and matrix-free methods that require no labelling strategies. Other techniques such as isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) also share these features but generally require high concentrations of material. In common with many other biophysical techniques, both of these biophysical methods provide information regarding membrane protein conformation, oligomerization state and ligand binding, but they possess the additional advantage of providing direct assessments of whether ligand binding interactions are accompanied by conformational changes. Therefore, both methods provide a powerful means by which to identify and characterize inhibitor binding and any associated protein conformational changes, thereby contributing valuable information for future drug intervention strategies directed towards bacterial MSKs. PMID:27284046

  20. Nasopharyngeal vs. adenoid cultures in children undergoing adenoidectomy: prevalence of bacterial pathogens, their interactions and risk factors.

    PubMed

    Korona-Glowniak, I; Niedzielski, A; Kosikowska, U; Grzegorczyk, A; Malm, A

    2015-03-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis and Staphylococcus aureus colonization of the adenoids and nasopharynx in 103 preschool children who underwent adenoidectomy for recurrent upper respiratory tract infections was examined. Bacterial interactions and risk factors for bacterial colonization of the nasopharynx and adenoids, separately, were analysed statistically. The prevalence of simultaneous isolation from both anatomical sites was 45·6% for S. pneumoniae, 29·1% for H. influenzae, 15·5% for M. catarrhalis and 18·4% for S. aureus. Three pathogens were significantly more frequent together from adenoid samples; nasopharyngeal swabs more often yielded a single organism, but without statistical significance. M. catarrhalis and S. aureus significantly more frequently co-existed with S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae than with each other and a positive association of S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae in adenoid samples was evident. Several differences between risk factors for nasopharyngeal and adenoid colonization by the individual pathogens were observed. We conclude that the adenoids and nasopharynx appear to differ substantially in colonization by pathogenic microbes but occurrence of H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae in the nasopharynx could be predictive of upper respiratory tract infections. PMID:25703401

  1. Studies on Bacterial Proteins Corona Interaction with Saponin Imprinted ZnO Nanohoneycombs and Their Toxic Responses.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Deepali; Ashaduzzaman, Md; Golabi, Mohsen; Shriwastav, Amritanshu; Bisetty, Krishna; Tiwari, Ashutosh

    2015-11-01

    Molecular imprinting generates robust, efficient, and highly mesoporous surfaces for biointeractions. Mechanistic interfacial interaction between the surface of core substrate and protein corona is crucial to understand the substantial microbial toxic responses at a nanoscale. In this study, we have focused on the mechanistic interactions between synthesized saponin imprinted zinc oxide nanohoneycombs (SIZnO NHs), average size 80-125 nm, surface area 20.27 m(2)/g, average pore density 0.23 pore/nm and number-average pore size 3.74 nm and proteins corona of bacteria. The produced SIZnO NHs as potential antifungal and antibacterial agents have been studied on Sclerotium rolfsii (S. rolfsii), Pythium debarynum (P. debarynum) and Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), respectively. SIZnO NHs exhibited the highest antibacterial (∼50%) and antifungal (∼40%) activity against Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli) and fungus (P. debarynum), respectively at concentration of 0.1 mol. Scanning electron spectroscopy (SEM) observation showed that the ZnO NHs ruptured the cell wall of bacteria and internalized into the cell. The molecular docking studies were carried out using binding proteins present in the gram negative bacteria (lipopolysaccharide and lipocalin Blc) and gram positive bacteria (Staphylococcal Protein A, SpA). It was envisaged that the proteins present in the bacterial cell wall were found to interact and adsorb on the surface of SIZnO NHs thereby blocking the active sites of the proteins used for cell wall synthesis. The binding affinity and interaction energies were higher in the case of binding proteins present in gram negative bacteria as compared to that of gram positive bacteria. In addition, a kinetic mathematical model (KMM) was developed in MATLAB to predict the internalization in the bacterial cellular uptake of the ZnO NHs for better understanding of their controlled toxicity. The results obtained from KMM exhibited a good

  2. Structural, electrical, electronic and optical properties of melanin films.

    PubMed

    Abbas, M; D'Amico, F; Morresi, L; Pinto, N; Ficcadenti, M; Natali, R; Ottaviano, L; Passacantando, M; Cuccioloni, M; Angeletti, M; Gunnella, R

    2009-03-01

    We present thick, uniform and rather flat melanin films obtained using spray deposition. The morphology of the films was investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Temperature-dependent electrical resistance of melanin thin films evidenced a semiconductor-like character and a hysteretic behavior linked to an irreversible process of water molecule desorption from the melanin film. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) was carried out to analyze the role of the functional groups in the primary and secondary structure of the macromolecule, showing that the contribution of the 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) subunit to the molecule is about 35%. Comparison of the optical absorption of the thick (800nm) and thin (80nm) films showed a spectral change when the thickness increases. From in vacuum photoconductivity (PC) measured at controlled temperatures, we suggest that the melanin films exhibit a possible charge transport mechanism by means of delocalized pi states along the stacked planar secondary structure. PMID:19190947

  3. Effects of selected organo-sulfur compounds on melanin formation.

    PubMed

    Chu, Heuy-Ling; Wang, Bor-Sen; Duh, Pin-Der

    2009-08-12

    The effect of organo-sulfur compounds, including 1-propylmercaptan (PM), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), propyl disulfide (PDS), and 2,5-dimethylthiophene (DMT), on melanin formation was investigated. Among the selected five organo-sulfur compounds, PM displayed a significant inhibitory effect on tyrosinase activity (IC(50) = 0.5 mM) and the highest inhibitory action on o-quinone formation. In the B16 intracellular model system, the inhibitory action of selected five organo-sulfur compounds on tyrosinase activity and melanin formation may be, in part, attributed to the reduction of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and positive modulation of the GSH/GSSG ratio in B16 cells. Among the five organo-sulfur compounds, PM appeared to be the most potent inhibitor of melanin formation. The analysis of inhibitory kinetics revealed that PM is a mixed-type inhibitor. This is the first study indicating that organo-sulfur compounds tested may play an important role in the regulation of melanin formation, making them the potent candidates for skin-whitening agents. PMID:19610593

  4. Viscosity of bacterial suspensions : hydrodynamic interactions and self-induced noise.

    SciTech Connect

    Ryan, S. D.; Haines, B. M.; Berlyand, L. V.; Ziebert, F.; Aranson, I. S.

    2011-05-01

    The viscosity of a suspension of swimming bacteria is investigated analytically and numerically. We propose a simple model that allows for efficient computation for a large number of bacteria. Our calculations show that long-range hydrodynamic interactions, intrinsic to self-locomoting objects in a viscous fluid, result in a dramatic reduction of the effective viscosity. In agreement with experiments on suspensions of Bacillus subtilis, we show that the viscosity reduction is related to the onset of large-scale collective motion due to interactions between the swimmers. The simulations reveal that the viscosity reduction occurs only for relatively low concentrations of swimmers: Further increases of the concentration yield an increase of the viscosity. We derive an explicit asymptotic formula for the effective viscosity in terms of known physical parameters and show that hydrodynamic interactions are manifested as self-induced noise in the absence of any explicit stochasticity in the system.

  5. Bacterial Toxins and the Nervous System: Neurotoxins and Multipotential Toxins Interacting with Neuronal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Popoff, Michel R.; Poulain, Bernard

    2010-01-01

    Toxins are potent molecules used by various bacteria to interact with a host organism. Some of them specifically act on neuronal cells (clostridial neurotoxins) leading to characteristics neurological affections. But many other toxins are multifunctional and recognize a wider range of cell types including neuronal cells. Various enterotoxins interact with the enteric nervous system, for example by stimulating afferent neurons or inducing neurotransmitter release from enterochromaffin cells which result either in vomiting, in amplification of the diarrhea, or in intestinal inflammation process. Other toxins can pass the blood brain barrier and directly act on specific neurons. PMID:22069606

  6. Allosteric effects of chromophore interaction with dimeric near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacterial phytochromes.

    PubMed

    Stepanenko, Olesya V; Baloban, Mikhail; Bublikov, Grigory S; Shcherbakova, Daria M; Stepanenko, Olga V; Turoverov, Konstantin K; Kuznetsova, Irina M; Verkhusha, Vladislav V

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) engineered from bacterial phytochromes attract attention as probes for in vivo imaging due to their near-infrared (NIR) spectra and use of available in mammalian cells biliverdin (BV) as chromophore. We studied spectral properties of the iRFP670, iRFP682 and iRFP713 proteins and their mutants having Cys residues able to bind BV either in both PAS (Cys15) and GAF (Cys256) domains, in one of these domains, or without these Cys residues. We show that the absorption and fluorescence spectra and the chromophore binding depend on the location of the Cys residues. Compared with NIR FPs in which BV covalently binds to Cys15 or those that incorporate BV noncovalently, the proteins with BV covalently bound to Cys256 have blue-shifted spectra and higher quantum yield. In dimeric NIR FPs without Cys15, the covalent binding of BV to Сys256 in one monomer allosterically inhibits the covalent binding of BV to the other monomer, whereas the presence of Cys15 allosterically promotes BV binding to Cys256 in both monomers. The NIR FPs with both Cys residues have the narrowest blue-shifted spectra and the highest quantum yield. Our analysis resulted in the iRFP713/Val256Cys protein with the highest brightness in mammalian cells among available NIR FPs. PMID:26725513

  7. Allosteric effects of chromophore interaction with dimeric near-infrared fluorescent proteins engineered from bacterial phytochromes

    PubMed Central

    Stepanenko, Olesya V.; Baloban, Mikhail; Bublikov, Grigory S.; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Stepanenko, Olga V.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.; Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs) engineered from bacterial phytochromes attract attention as probes for in vivo imaging due to their near-infrared (NIR) spectra and use of available in mammalian cells biliverdin (BV) as chromophore. We studied spectral properties of the iRFP670, iRFP682 and iRFP713 proteins and their mutants having Cys residues able to bind BV either in both PAS (Cys15) and GAF (Cys256) domains, in one of these domains, or without these Cys residues. We show that the absorption and fluorescence spectra and the chromophore binding depend on the location of the Cys residues. Compared with NIR FPs in which BV covalently binds to Cys15 or those that incorporate BV noncovalently, the proteins with BV covalently bound to Cys256 have blue-shifted spectra and higher quantum yield. In dimeric NIR FPs without Cys15, the covalent binding of BV to Сys256 in one monomer allosterically inhibits the covalent binding of BV to the other monomer, whereas the presence of Cys15 allosterically promotes BV binding to Cys256 in both monomers. The NIR FPs with both Cys residues have the narrowest blue-shifted spectra and the highest quantum yield. Our analysis resulted in the iRFP713/Val256Cys protein with the highest brightness in mammalian cells among available NIR FPs. PMID:26725513

  8. Implication of the Bacterial Endosymbiont Rickettsia spp. in Interactions of the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci with Tomato yellow leaf curl virus

    PubMed Central

    Kliot, Adi; Cilia, Michelle; Czosnek, Henryk

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Numerous animal and plant viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors in a persistent, circulative manner. Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is transmitted by the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci. We report here that infection with Rickettsia spp., a facultative endosymbiont of whiteflies, altered TYLCV-B. tabaci interactions. A B. tabaci strain infected with Rickettsia acquired more TYLCV from infected plants, retained the virus longer, and exhibited nearly double the transmission efficiency compared to an uninfected B. tabaci strain with the same genetic background. Temporal and spatial antagonistic relationships were discovered between Rickettsia and TYLCV within the whitefly. In different time course experiments, the levels of virus and Rickettsia within the insect were inversely correlated. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of Rickettsia-infected midguts provided evidence for niche exclusion between Rickettsia and TYLCV. In particular, high levels of the bacterium in the midgut resulted in higher virus concentrations in the filter chamber, a favored site for virus translocation along the transmission pathway, whereas low levels of Rickettsia in the midgut resulted in an even distribution of the virus. Taken together, these results indicate that Rickettsia, by infecting the midgut, increases TYLCV transmission efficacy, adding further insights into the complex association between persistent plant viruses, their insect vectors, and microorganism tenants that reside within these insects. IMPORTANCE Interest in bacterial endosymbionts in arthropods and many aspects of their host biology in agricultural and human health systems has been increasing. A recent and relevant studied example is the influence of Wolbachia on dengue virus transmission by mosquitoes. In parallel with our recently studied whitefly-Rickettsia-TYLCV system, other studies have shown that dengue virus levels in the mosquito vector are inversely correlated with

  9. Dispersive Raman spectroscopy allows the identification and quantification of melanin types.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-04-01

    Melanins are the most prevalent pigments in animals and are involved in visual communication by producing colored traits that often evolve as intraspecific signals of quality. Identifying and quantifying melanins are therefore essential to understand the function and evolution of melanin-based signals. However, the analysis of melanins is difficult due to their insolubility and the lack of simple methods that allow the identification of their chemical forms. We recently proposed the use of Raman spectroscopy as a simple, noninvasive technique that can be used to identify and quantify melanins in feathers and hairs. Contrarily, other authors later stated that melanins are characterized by a lack of defined Raman signals. Here, we use confocal Raman microscopy to confirm previous analyses showing that the two main chemical forms of melanins (eumelanin and pheomelanin) exhibit distinct Raman signal and compare different excitation wavelengths to analyze synthetic pheomelanin and natural melanins in feathers of different species of birds. Our analyses indicate that only laser excitation wavelengths below 1064 nm are useful for the analysis of melanins by Raman spectroscopy, and only 780-nm laser in the case of melanins in feathers. These findings show that the capacity of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish different chemical forms of melanins depends on laser power and integration time. As a consequence, Raman spectroscopy should be applied after preliminar analyses using a range of these parameters, especially in fragile biological tissues such as feathers. PMID:25897382

  10. Dispersive Raman spectroscopy allows the identification and quantification of melanin types

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Melanins are the most prevalent pigments in animals and are involved in visual communication by producing colored traits that often evolve as intraspecific signals of quality. Identifying and quantifying melanins are therefore essential to understand the function and evolution of melanin-based signals. However, the analysis of melanins is difficult due to their insolubility and the lack of simple methods that allow the identification of their chemical forms. We recently proposed the use of Raman spectroscopy as a simple, noninvasive technique that can be used to identify and quantify melanins in feathers and hairs. Contrarily, other authors later stated that melanins are characterized by a lack of defined Raman signals. Here, we use confocal Raman microscopy to confirm previous analyses showing that the two main chemical forms of melanins (eumelanin and pheomelanin) exhibit distinct Raman signal and compare different excitation wavelengths to analyze synthetic pheomelanin and natural melanins in feathers of different species of birds. Our analyses indicate that only laser excitation wavelengths below 1064 nm are useful for the analysis of melanins by Raman spectroscopy, and only 780-nm laser in the case of melanins in feathers. These findings show that the capacity of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish different chemical forms of melanins depends on laser power and integration time. As a consequence, Raman spectroscopy should be applied after preliminar analyses using a range of these parameters, especially in fragile biological tissues such as feathers. PMID:25897382

  11. Decolorization of synthetic melanins by crude laccases of Lentinus polychrous Lév.

    PubMed

    Khammuang, Saranyu; Sarnthima, Rakrudee

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are complex natural pigments that darken the skin and are difficult to degrade. This study evaluated synthetic melanin decolorization by the crude laccase from fungus Lentinus polychrous in the absence and presence of selected redox mediators. The greatest melanin decolorization activity was 87 % at pH 6.5 within 3 h in the presence of 2,2-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) diammonium salt (ABTS), whereas only about 22 % melanin decolorized at pH 5.0 in case of no mediator. The optimum temperatures for melanin decolorization in the absence and presence of ABTS were 55 and 35°C, respectively. Using a natural redox mediator, 1.0 mmol/L vanillin leads to 45 % melanin decolorization. Our results suggest the possibility of applying vanillin for L. polychrous laccase-catalyzed decolorization of melanin. PMID:22678697

  12. Keratinocyte-derived Laminin-332 Protein Promotes Melanin Synthesis via Regulation of Tyrosine Uptake*

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Heesung; Jung, Hyejung; Lee, Jung-hyun; Oh, Hye Yun; Kim, Ok Bin; Han, Inn-Oc; Oh, Eok-Soo

    2014-01-01

    Melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin, are known to be closely regulated by neighboring keratinocytes. However, how keratinocytes regulate melanin production is unclear. Here we report that melanin production in melanoma cells (B16F10 and MNT-1) was increased markedly on a keratinocyte-derived extracellular matrix compared with a melanoma cell-derived extracellular matrix. siRNA-mediated reduction of keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 expression decreased melanin synthesis in melanoma cells, and laminin-332, but not fibronectin, enhanced melanin content and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-regulated melanin production in melanoma cells. Similar effects were observed in human melanocytes. Interestingly, however, laminin-332 did not affect the expression or activity of tyrosinase. Instead, laminin-332 promoted the uptake of extracellular tyrosine and, subsequently, increased intracellular levels of tyrosine in both melanocytes and melanoma cells. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 contributes to melanin production by regulating tyrosine uptake. PMID:24951591

  13. Specificity of root-bacterial interactions for drought stress tolerance in winter wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plants cope with drought stress by a variety of mechanisms that occur above- and below-ground. Below the soil surface, root architecture and interactions with beneficial bacteria, including aminocyclopropane carboxylic acid deaminase-positive (ACC+) bacteria, may contribute to differences in drought...

  14. Melanin: spin behaviour and implications for bioelectronic devices (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meredith, Paul; Sheliakina, Margarita; Mostert, Bernard

    2015-10-01

    The melanins are a broad class of pigmentary macromolecules found through nature that perform a wide range of functions including photo-protection [1]. The most common melanin - the brown, black pigment eumelanin, has been much studied because of its role in melanoma and also for its functional material properties [2]. Synthetic eumelanin has been shown to be photoconductive in the solid state and also possess a water content dependent dark conductivity [3]. It is now well established that these electrical properties arise from hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour, leading to the proposition that melanins could be model biocompatible systems for ion-to-electron transduction in bioelectronics. In my talk, I will discuss the basic science behind these bioelectronics properties - electrical and optical. In this context I will also describe recent electron paramagnetic spin studies which isolate the role of the various chemical moieties responsible for the hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour. I will also highlight preliminary results on prototype melanin-based bioelectronics devices and discuss possible architectures to realise elements such as solid-state switches and transducers. [1] "The physical and chemical properties of eumelanin", P. Meredith and T. Sarna, Pigment Cell Research, 19(6), pp572-594 (2006). [2] "Electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices inspired by nature", P Meredith, C.J. Bettinger, M. Irimia-Vladu, A.B. Mostert and P.E. Schwenn, Reports on Progress in Physics, 76, 034501 (2013). [3] "Is melanin a semiconductor: humidity induced self doping and the electrical conductivity of a biopolymer", A.B. Mostert, B.J. Powell, F.L. Pratt, G.R. Hanson, T. Sarna, I.R. Gentle and P. Meredith, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 109(23), 8943-8947 (2012).

  15. Engineering Bacterial Surface Displayed Human Norovirus Capsid Proteins: A Novel System to Explore Interaction Between Norovirus and Ligands

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Mengya; Yu, Qianqian; Tian, Peng; Gao, Zhiyong; Wang, Dapeng; Shi, Xianming

    2015-01-01

    Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are major contributors to acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks. Many aspects of HuNoVs are poorly understood due to both the current inability to culture HuNoVs, and the lack of efficient small animal models. Surrogates for HuNoVs, such as recombinant viral like particles (VLPs) expressed in eukaryotic system or P particles expressed in prokaryotic system, have been used for studies in immunology and interaction between the virus and its receptors. However, it is difficult to use VLPs or P particles to collect or isolate potential ligands binding to these recombinant capsid proteins. In this study, a new strategy was used to collect HuNoVs binding ligands through the use of ice nucleation protein (INP) to display recombinant capsid proteins of HuNoVs on bacterial surfaces. The viral protein-ligand complex could be easily separated by a low speed centrifugation step. This system was also used to explore interaction between recombinant capsid proteins of HuNoVs and their receptors. In this system, the VP1 capsid encoding gene (ORF2) and the protruding domain (P domain) encoding gene (3′ terminal fragment of ORF2) of HuNoVs GI.1 and GII.4 were fused with 5′ terminal fragment of INP encoding gene (inaQn). The results demonstrated that the recombinant VP1 and P domains of HuNoVs were expressed and anchored on the surface of Escherichia coli BL21 cells after the bacteria were transformed with the corresponding plasmids. Both cell surface displayed VP1 and P domains could be recognized by HuNoVs specific antibodies and interact with the viral histo-blood group antigens receptors. In both cases, displayed P domains had better binding abilities than VP1. This new strategy of using displayed HuNoVs capsid proteins on the bacterial surface could be utilized to separate HuNoVs binding components from complex samples, to investigate interaction between the virus and its receptors, as well as to develop an oral vaccine for HuNoVs. PMID

  16. Exploring structure and interactions of the bacterial adaptor protein YjbH by crosslinking mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Al-Eryani, Yusra; Ib Rasmussen, Morten; Kjellström, Sven; Højrup, Peter; Emanuelsson, Cecilia; von Wachenfeldt, Claes

    2016-09-01

    Adaptor proteins assist proteases in degrading specific proteins under appropriate conditions. The adaptor protein YjbH promotes the degradation of an important global transcriptional regulator Spx, which controls the expression of hundreds of genes and operons in response to thiol-specific oxidative stress in Bacillus subtilis. Under normal growth conditions, the transcription factor is bound to the adaptor protein and therefore degraded by the AAA+ protease ClpXP. If this binding is alleviated during stress, the transcription factor accumulates and turns on genes encoding stress-alleviating proteins. The adaptor protein YjbH is thus a key player involved in these interactions but its structure is unknown. To gain insight into its structure and interactions we have used chemical crosslinking mass spectrometry. Distance constraints obtained from the crosslinked monomer were used to select and validate a structure model of YjbH and then to probe its interactions with other proteins. The core structure of YjbH is reminiscent of DsbA family proteins. One lysine residue in YjbH (K177), located in one of the α-helices outside the thioredoxin fold, crosslinked to both Spx K99 and Spx K117, thereby suggesting one side of the YjbH for the interaction with Spx. Another lysine residue that crosslinked to Spx was YjbH K5, located in the long and presumably very flexible N-terminal arm of YjbH. Our crosslinking data lend support to a model proposed based on site-directed mutagenesis where the YjbH interaction with Spx can stabilize and present the C-terminal region of Spx for protease recognition and proteolysis. Proteins 2016; 84:1234-1245. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27191337

  17. Interaction of common bacterial blight bacteria with disease resistance quantitative trait loci in common bean.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Robert W; Singh, Shree P; Gilbertson, Robert L

    2011-04-01

    Common bacterial blight (CBB) of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. phaseoli and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans, and is the most important bacterial disease of this crop in many regions of the world. In 2005 and 2006, dark red kidney bean fields in a major bean-growing region in central Wisconsin were surveyed for CBB incidence and representative symptomatic leaves collected. Xanthomonad-like bacteria were isolated from these leaves and characterized based upon phenotypic (colony) characteristics, pathogenicity on common bean, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with X. campestris pv. phaseoli- and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans-specific primers, and repetitive-element PCR (rep-PCR) and 16S-28S ribosomal RNA spacer region sequence analyses. Of 348 isolates that were characterized, 293 were identified as common blight bacteria (i.e., pathogenic on common bean and positive in PCR tests with the X. campestris pv. phaseoli- and X. fuscans subsp. fuscans-specific primers), whereas the other isolates were nonpathogenic xanthomonads. Most (98%) of the pathogenic xanthomonads were X. campestris pv. phaseoli, consistent with the association of this bacterium with CBB in large-seeded bean cultivars of the Andean gene pool. Two types of X. campestris pv. phaseoli were involved with CBB in this region: typical X. campestris pv. phaseoli (P) isolates with yellow mucoid colonies, no brown pigment production, and a typical X. campestris pv. phaseoli rep-PCR fingerprint (60% of strains); and a new phenotype and genotype (Px) with an X. campestris pv. phaseoli-type fingerprint and less mucoid colonies that produced brown pigment (40% of strains). In addition, a small number of X. fuscans subsp. fuscans strains, representing a new genotype (FH), were isolated from two fields in 2005. Representative P and Px X. campestris pv. phaseoli strains, an FH X. fuscans subsp. fuscans strain, plus five previously characterized X. campestris pv. phaseoli and X

  18. Melanin accelerates the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxygenation of p-hydroxyanisole (MMEH)

    PubMed

    Menter, J M; Townsel, M E; Moore, C L; Williamson, G D; Soteres, B J; Fisher, M S; Willis, I

    1990-01-01

    Although pigment melanin has long been though of as "inert," recent work has attested to its chemical reactivity. In this communication, we report that either commercial synthetic melanin prepared by persulfate oxidation of tyrosine ("Sigma melanin") or sepia melanin extracted from cuttlefish markedly accelerates the in vitro oxygenation of p-hydroxyanisole (MMEH), catalyzed by mushroom or B-16 melanoma tyrosinase. Kinetics of 4-methoxy-1,2-benzoquinone formation (lambda max = 413 nm) or of molecular O2 uptake were biphasic, with an initial slow rate ("lag time") followed by a fast linear increase. The biphasic response reflects an initial slow hydroxylation followed by a fast dehydrogenation. Added melanin markedly decreased the lag time but had little effect on subsequent dehydrogenation. Similar effects were observed for tyrosine itself. A complex between MMEH and melanin appears to be the "active" species in these reactions. The results indicate that melanin acts as an electron conduit, which accepts electrons from the substrate and transfers them to tyrosinase. The magnitude of the effect depends on the type of melanin as well as on its oxidation state. Kinetic analysis indicates that both melanins are very efficient at transferring electron to tyrosinase, and that Sigma melanin is roughly threefold more efficient than sepia melanin. The qualitative similarity of reaction between the synthetic and "natural" melanins suggests that the former may serve as a first approximation to the in vivo situation. On the other hand, the observed quantitative differences and the sensitivity of these results to the chemical state of melanin suggests that this methodology might eventually be adapted as a non-destructive probe of melanin in situ.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2117269

  19. Temporal interactions of plant - insect - predator after infection of bacterial pathogen on rice plants.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ze; Liu, Zhuang; Zhou, Wen; Jin, Huanan; Liu, Hao; Zhou, Aiming; Zhang, Aijun; Wang, Man-Qun

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic infection on plants may affect interactions of host-plants with their herbivores, as well as the herbivores with their predators. In this study, the effects of infection by pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which causes a vascular disease in rice, on rice plants and consequent interactions with a rice herbivore, brown rice planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens, and its major predator, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, were investigated. The results showed that the rice plants exhibited increased resistance to BPH only at 3 d post-inoculation of Xoo, while the Xoo infection did not affect the development and fecundity of BPH. BPH exhibited a higher preference to Xoo infected rice plants, whereas C. lividipennis preferred the Xoo infected rice plants after BPH fed, but preferred healthy rice plants without BPH fed. Volatile organic compounds emitted from Xoo rice were significantly higher than those from healthy rice plants, Xoo infection on BPH fed plants caused rice plants to emit more the herbivore-induced plant volatiles, while all of these changes correlated to the temporal dimension. These results demonstrated that Xoo infection significantly influenced the interactions of rice plants with two non-vectors, BPH and its predator, although these effects exhibited in a temporal pattern after infection. PMID:27185548

  20. Electrophysiological characterization of specific interactions between bacterial sensory rhodopsins and their transducers

    PubMed Central

    Schmies, G.; Engelhard, M.; Wood, P. G.; Nagel, G.; Bamberg, E.

    2001-01-01

    The halobacterial phototaxis receptors sensory rhodopsin I and II (SRI, SRII) enable the bacteria to seek optimal light conditions for ion pumping by bacteriorhodopsin and/or halorhodopsin. The incoming signal is transferred across the plasma membrane by means of receptor-specific transducer proteins that bind tightly to their corresponding photoreceptors. To investigate the receptor/transducer interaction, advantage is taken of the observation that both SRI and SRII can function as proton pumps. SRI from Halobacterium salinarum, which triggers the positive phototaxis, the photophobic receptor SRII from Natronobacterium pharaonis (pSRII), as well as the mutant pSRII-F86D were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Voltage-clamp studies confirm that SRI and pSRII function as light-driven, outwardly directed proton pumps with a much stronger voltage dependence than the ion pumps bacteriorhodopsin and halorhodopsin. Coexpression of SRI and pSRII-F86D with their corresponding transducers suppresses the proton transport, revealing a tight binding and specific interaction of the two proteins. These latter results may be exploited to further analyze the binding interaction of the photoreceptors with their downstream effectors. PMID:11171989

  1. Temporal interactions of plant - insect - predator after infection of bacterial pathogen on rice plants

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Ze; Liu, Zhuang; Zhou, Wen; Jin, Huanan; Liu, Hao; Zhou, Aiming; Zhang, Aijun; Wang, Man-Qun

    2016-01-01

    Pathogenic infection on plants may affect interactions of host-plants with their herbivores, as well as the herbivores with their predators. In this study, the effects of infection by pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which causes a vascular disease in rice, on rice plants and consequent interactions with a rice herbivore, brown rice planthopper (BPH) Nilaparvata lugens, and its major predator, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis, were investigated. The results showed that the rice plants exhibited increased resistance to BPH only at 3 d post-inoculation of Xoo, while the Xoo infection did not affect the development and fecundity of BPH. BPH exhibited a higher preference to Xoo infected rice plants, whereas C. lividipennis preferred the Xoo infected rice plants after BPH fed, but preferred healthy rice plants without BPH fed. Volatile organic compounds emitted from Xoo rice were significantly higher than those from healthy rice plants, Xoo infection on BPH fed plants caused rice plants to emit more the herbivore-induced plant volatiles, while all of these changes correlated to the temporal dimension. These results demonstrated that Xoo infection significantly influenced the interactions of rice plants with two non-vectors, BPH and its predator, although these effects exhibited in a temporal pattern after infection. PMID:27185548

  2. A common theme in interaction of bacterial immunoglobulin-binding proteins with immunoglobulins illustrated in the equine system.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Melanie J; Meehan, Mary; Owen, Peter; Woof, Jenny M

    2008-06-20

    The M protein of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi known as fibrinogen-binding protein (FgBP) is a cell wall-associated protein with antiphagocytic activity that binds IgG. Recombinant versions of the seven equine IgG subclasses were used to investigate the subclass specificity of FgBP. FgBP bound predominantly to equine IgG4 and IgG7, with little or no binding to the other subclasses. Competitive binding experiments revealed that FgBP could inhibit the binding of staphylococcal protein A and streptococcal protein G to both IgG4 and IgG7, implicating the Fc interdomain region in binding to FgBP. To identify which of the two IgG Fc domains contributed to the interaction with FgBP, we tested two human IgG1/IgA1 domain swap mutants and found that both domains are required for full binding, with the CH3 domain playing a critical role. The binding site for FgBP was further localized using recombinant equine IgG7 antibodies with single or double point mutations to residues lying at the CH2-CH3 interface. We found that interaction of FgBP with equine IgG4 and IgG7 was able to disrupt C1q binding and antibody-mediated activation of the classical complement pathway, demonstrating an effective means by which S. equi may evade the immune response. The mode of interaction of FgBP with IgG fits a common theme for bacterial Ig-binding proteins. Remarkably, for those interactions studied in detail, it emerges that all the Ig-binding proteins target the CH2-CH3 domain interface, regardless of specificity for IgG or IgA, streptococcal or staphylococcal origin, or host species (equine or human). PMID:18411272

  3. Intermolecular electronic interactions in the primary charge separation in bacterial photosynthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Plato, M.; Moebius, K.; Michel-Beyerle, M.E.; Bixon, M.; Jortner, J. )

    1988-10-26

    In this paper the intermolecular overlap approximation is used to calculate the relative magnitudes of the electronic transfer integrals between the excited singlet state ({sup 1}P*) of the bacteriochlorophyll dimer (P) and the accessory bacteriochlorophyll (B) and between B{sup {minus}} and bacteriopheopytin (H), along the L and M subunits of the reaction center (RC) of Rps. viridis. The ratio of the electron-transfer integrals for B{sub L}{sup {minus}}H{sub L}{sup {minus}}B{sub L}H{sub L}{minus} and for B{sub M}{sup {minus}}H{sub M}{minus}B{sub M}H{sub M}{sup {minus}} was calculated to be 2.1 {plus minus} 0.5, which together with the value of 2.8 {plus minus} 0.7 for the ratio of the transfer integrals for {sup 1}P*B{sub L}-P{sup +}B{sub L}- and for {sup 1}P*B{sub M}-P{sup +}B{sub M}- results in the electronic contribution of 33 {plus minus} 16 to the ratio k{sub L}/k{sub m} of the rate constants k{sub L} and k{sub M} for the primary charge separation across the L and M branches of the RC, respectively. The asymmetry of the electronic coupling terms, which originates from the combination of the asymmetry in the charge distribution of {sup 1}P* and of structural asymmetry of the P-M and B-H arrangements across the L and M subunits, provides a major contribution to the unidirectionality of the charge separation in bacterial photosynthesis. A significant contribution to the transfer integrals between adjacent pigments originates from nearby methyl groups through hyperconjugation. The ratio 6 {plus minus} 2 of the transfer integrals for {sup 1}P*B{sub L}-P{sup +}B{sub L}- and for B{sub L}-H{sub L}-B{sub L}H{sub L}- was utilized to estimate the energetic parameters required to ensure the dominance of the superexchange mediated unistep electron transfer {sup 1}P*BH {yields} P{sup +}BH{sup {minus}} over the thermally activated {sup 1}P*B {yields} P{sup +}B{sup {minus}} process. 31 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. Novel interaction between the major bacterial heat shock chaperone (GroESL) and an RNA chaperone (CspC).

    PubMed

    Lenz, Gal; Ron, Eliora Z

    2014-01-23

    The heat shock response is one of the main global regulatory networks in all organisms and involves an increased cellular level of chaperones and proteases to enable correct protein folding and balanced growth. One of the major heat shock chaperones in Escherichia coli is GroESL, composed of GroES and GroEL (the bacterial Hsp10 and Hsp60 homologues), which is essential for refolding of misfolded proteins. GroESL was previously shown to play a role in the regulation of the heat shock response by promoting the proteolysis of the regulatory protein--sigma32 (RpoH), the heat shock transcription activator. Here we show the involvement of GroESL in another proteolytic process, this of the major RNA chaperone--CspC--that specifically stabilizes the transcripts of several stress-related genes. Evidence is provided for an interaction between GroESL and CspC that results in enhanced, temperature-dependent proteolysis of the latter. This interaction is of regulatory importance, as reduction in the cellular levels of CspC leads to a decrease in stability of the major heat shock gene transcripts. PMID:24148697

  5. Structural basis for the interaction between human milk oligosaccharides and the bacterial lectin PA-IIL of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    One of the mechanisms contributing to the protection by breast-feeding of the newborn against enteric diseases is related to the ability of human milk oligosaccharides to prevent the attachment of pathogenic bacteria to the duodenual epithelium. Indeed, a variety of fucosylated oligosaccharides, specific to human milk, form part of the innate immune system. In the present study, we demonstrate the specific blocking of PA-IIL, a fucose-binding lectin of the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, by milk oligosaccharides. Two fucosylated epitopes, Lewis a and 3-fucosyl-lactose (Lewis x glucose analogue) bind to the lectin with dissociation constants of 2.2×10−7 M and 3.6×10−7 M respectively. Thermodynamic studies indicate that these interactions are dominated by enthalpy. The entropy contribution is slightly favourable when binding to fucose and to the highest-affinity ligand, Lewis a. The high-resolution X-ray structures of two complexes of PA-IIL with milk oligosaccharides allow the precise determination of the conformation of a trisaccharide and a pentasaccharide. The different types of interaction between the oligosaccharides and the protein involve not only hydrogen bonding, but also calcium- and water-bridged contacts, allowing a rationalization of the thermodynamic data. This study provides important structural information about compounds that could be of general application in new therapeutic strategies against bacterial infections. PMID:15790314

  6. Role of Lipid Composition on the Interaction between a Tryptophan-Rich Protein and Model Bacterial Membranes.

    PubMed

    Sanders, Michael R; Clifton, Luke A; Frazier, Richard A; Green, Rebecca J

    2016-03-01

    The interaction between tryptophan-rich puroindoline proteins and model bacterial membranes at the air-liquid interface has been investigated by FTIR spectroscopy, surface pressure measurements, and Brewster angle microscopy. The role of different lipid constituents on the interactions between lipid membrane and protein was studied using wild type (Pin-b) and mutant (Trp44 to Arg44 mutant, Pin-bs) puroindoline proteins. The results show differences in the lipid selectivity of the two proteins in terms of preferential binding to specific lipid head groups in mixed lipid systems. Pin-b wild type was able to penetrate mixed layers of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) head groups more deeply compared to the mutant Pin-bs. Increasing saturation of the lipid tails increased penetration and adsorption of Pin-b wild type, but again the response of the mutant form differed. The results provide insight as to the role of membrane architecture, lipid composition, and fluidity on antimicrobial activity of proteins. Data show distinct differences in the lipid binding behavior of Pin-b as a result of a single residue mutation, highlighting the importance of hydrophobic and charged amino acids in antimicrobial protein and peptide activity. PMID:26813886

  7. Bacterial interactomes: Interacting protein partners share similar function and are validated in independent assays more frequently than previously reported.

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Shatsky, Maxim; Allen, Simon; Gold, Barbara; Liu, Nancy L.; Juba, Thomas R.; Elias, Dwayne A; Reveco, Sonia A.; Prathapam, Ramadevi; He, Jennifer; Yang, Wenhong; et al

    2016-05-01

    Numerous affinity purification – mass-spectrometry (AP-MS) and yeast two hybrid (Y2H) screens have each defined thousands of pairwise protein-protein interactions (PPIs), most between functionally unrelated proteins. The accuracy of these networks, however, is under debate. Here we present an AP-MS survey of the bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris together with a critical reanalysis of nine published bacterial Y2H and AP-MS screens. We have identified 459 high confidence PPIs from D. vulgaris and 391 from Escherichia coli. Compared to the nine published interactomes, our two networks are smaller; are much less highly connected; have significantly lower false discovery rates; and are much moremore » enriched in protein pairs that are encoded in the same operon, have similar functions, and are reproducibly detected in other physical interaction assays. Lastly, our work establishes more stringent benchmarks for the properties of protein interactomes and suggests that bona fide PPIs much more frequently involve protein partners that are annotated with similar functions or that can be validated in independent assays than earlier studies suggested.« less

  8. Bacterial Interactomes: Interacting Protein Partners Share Similar Function and Are Validated in Independent Assays More Frequently Than Previously Reported.

    PubMed

    Shatsky, Maxim; Allen, Simon; Gold, Barbara L; Liu, Nancy L; Juba, Thomas R; Reveco, Sonia A; Elias, Dwayne A; Prathapam, Ramadevi; He, Jennifer; Yang, Wenhong; Szakal, Evelin D; Liu, Haichuan; Singer, Mary E; Geller, Jil T; Lam, Bonita R; Saini, Avneesh; Trotter, Valentine V; Hall, Steven C; Fisher, Susan J; Brenner, Steven E; Chhabra, Swapnil R; Hazen, Terry C; Wall, Judy D; Witkowska, H Ewa; Biggin, Mark D; Chandonia, John-Marc; Butland, Gareth

    2016-05-01

    Numerous affinity purification-mass spectrometry (AP-MS) and yeast two-hybrid screens have each defined thousands of pairwise protein-protein interactions (PPIs), most of which are between functionally unrelated proteins. The accuracy of these networks, however, is under debate. Here, we present an AP-MS survey of the bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris together with a critical reanalysis of nine published bacterial yeast two-hybrid and AP-MS screens. We have identified 459 high confidence PPIs from D. vulgaris and 391 from Escherichia coli Compared with the nine published interactomes, our two networks are smaller, are much less highly connected, and have significantly lower false discovery rates. In addition, our interactomes are much more enriched in protein pairs that are encoded in the same operon, have similar functions, and are reproducibly detected in other physical interaction assays than the pairs reported in prior studies. Our work establishes more stringent benchmarks for the properties of protein interactomes and suggests that bona fide PPIs much more frequently involve protein partners that are annotated with similar functions or that can be validated in independent assays than earlier studies suggested. PMID:26873250

  9. Culturable and VBNC Vibrio cholerae: interactions with chironomid egg masses and their bacterial population.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Malka; Landsberg, Ori; Raats, Dina; Rosenberg, Eugene

    2007-02-01

    Vibrio cholerae, the etiologic agent of cholera, is autochthonous to various aquatic environments. Recently, it was found that chironomid (nonbiting midges) egg masses serve as a reservoir for the cholera bacterium and that flying chironomid adults are possible windborne carriers of V. cholerae non-O1 non-O139. Chironomids are the most widely distributed insect in freshwater. Females deposit egg masses at the water's edge, and each egg mass contains eggs embedded in a gelatinous matrix. Hemagglutinin/protease, an extracellular enzyme of V. cholerae, was found to degrade chironomid egg masses and to prevent them from hatching. In a yearly survey, chironomid populations and the V. cholerae in their egg masses followed phenological succession and interaction of host-pathogen population dynamics. In this report, it is shown via FISH technique that most of the V. cholerae inhabiting the egg mass are in the viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state. The diversity of culturable bacteria from chironomid egg masses collected from two freshwater habitats was determined. In addition to V. cholerae, representatives of the following genera were isolated: Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Klebsiella, Shewanella, Pseudomonas, Paracoccus, Exiguobacterium, and unidentified bacteria. Three important human pathogens, Aeromonas veronii, A. caviae, and A. hydrophila, were isolated from chironomid egg masses, indicating that chironomid egg masses may be a natural reservoir for pathogenic Aeromonas species in addition to V. cholerae. All isolates of V. cholerae were capable of degrading chironomid egg masses. This may help explain their host-pathogen relationship with chironomids. In contrast, almost none of the other bacteria that were isolated from the egg masses possessed this ability. Studying the interaction between chironomid egg masses, the bacteria inhabiting them, and V. cholerae could contribute to our understanding of the nature of the V. cholerae-egg mass interactions. PMID:17186156

  10. Proteomic characterization of a natural host-pathogen interaction: repertoire of in vivo expressed bacterial and host surface-associated proteins.

    PubMed

    Rees, Megan A; Kleifeld, Oded; Crellin, Paul K; Ho, Bosco; Stinear, Timothy P; Smith, A Ian; Coppel, Ross L

    2015-01-01

    Interactions between a host and a bacterial pathogen are mediated by cross-talk between molecules present on, or secreted by, pathogens and host binding-molecules. Identifying proteins involved at this interface would provide substantial insights into this interaction. Although numerous studies have examined in vitro models of infection at the level of transcriptional change and proteomic profiling, there is virtually no information available on naturally occurring host-pathogen interactions in vivo. We employed membrane shaving to identify peptide fragments cleaved from surface-expressed bacterial proteins and also detected proteins originating from the infected host. We optimized this technique for media-cultured Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, a sheep pathogen, revealing a set of 247 surface proteins. We then studied a natural host-pathogen interaction by performing membrane shaving on C. pseudotuberculosis harvested directly from naturally infected sheep lymph nodes. Thirty-one bacterial surface proteins were identified, including 13 not identified in culture media, suggesting that a different surface protein repertoire is expressed in this hostile environment. Forty-nine host proteins were identified, including immune mediators and antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidin. This novel application of proteolytic shaving has documented sets of host and pathogen proteins present at the bacterial surface in an infection of the native host. PMID:25329524

  11. Interactions Between QTL SAP6 and SU91 on Resistance to Common Bacterial Blight in Red Kidney Bean and Pinto Bean Populations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Resistance to common bacterial blight in common bean is a complex trait that is quantitatively inherited. We examined the interaction between two independent QTL, SAP6 and SU91, which condition resistance to CBB.The QTL were studied in a pinto bean F2 population a cross between Othello (sap6 sap6 //...

  12. Small RNAs in plant defense responses during viral and bacterial interactions: similarities and differences

    PubMed Central

    Peláez, Pablo; Sanchez, Federico

    2013-01-01

    Small non-coding RNAs constitute an important class of gene expression regulators that control different biological processes in most eukaryotes. In plants, several small RNA (sRNA) silencing pathways have evolved to produce a wide range of small RNAs with specialized functions. Evidence for the diverse mode of action of the small RNA pathways has been highlighted during plant–microbe interactions. Host sRNAs and small RNA silencing pathways have been recognized as essential components of plant immunity. One way plants respond and defend against pathogen infections is through the small RNA silencing immune system. To deal with plant defense responses, pathogens have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to avoid and counterattack this defense strategy. The relevance of the small RNA-mediated plant defense responses during viral infections has been well-established. Recent evidence points out its importance also during plant–bacteria interactions. Herein, this review discusses recent findings, similarities and differences about the small RNA-mediated arms race between plants and these two groups of microbes, including the small RNA silencing pathway components that contribute to plant immune responses, the pathogen-responsive endogenous sRNAs and the pathogen-delivered effector proteins. PMID:24046772

  13. Increasing Metagenomic Resolution of Microbiome Interactions Through Functional Phylogenomics and Bacterial Sub-Communities.

    PubMed

    Cibrián-Jaramillo, Angélica; Barona-Gómez, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    The genomic composition of the microbiome and its relationship with the environment is an exciting open question in biology. Metagenomics is a useful tool in the discovery of previously unknown taxa, but its use to understand the functional and ecological capacities of the microbiome is limited until taxonomy and function are understood in the context of the community. We suggest that this can be achieved using a combined functional phylogenomics and co-culture-based experimental strategy that can increase our capacity to measure sub-community interactions. Functional phylogenomics can identify and partition the genome such that hidden gene functions and gene clusters with unique evolutionary signals are revealed. We can test these phylogenomic predictions using an experimental model based on sub-community populations that represent a subset of the diversity directly obtained from environmental samples. These populations increase the detection of mechanisms that drive functional forces in the assembly of the microbiome, in particular the role of metabolites from key taxa in community interactions. Our combined approach leverages the potential of metagenomics to address biological questions from ecological systems. PMID:26904093

  14. Structural and thermodynamic characterization of doxycycline/β-cyclodextrin supramolecular complex and its bacterial membrane interactions.

    PubMed

    Suárez, Diego F; Consuegra, Jessika; Trajano, Vivianne C; Gontijo, Sávio M L; Guimarães, Pedro P G; Cortés, Maria E; Denadai, Ângelo L; Sinisterra, Rubén D

    2014-06-01

    Doxycycline is a semi-synthetic antibiotic commonly used for the treatment of many aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. It inhibits the activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and affects cell proliferation. In this study, the structural and thermodynamic parameters of free DOX and a DOX/βCD complex were investigated, as well as their interactions and effects on Staphylococcus aureus cells and cellular cytotoxicity. Complexation of DOX and βCD was confirmed to be an enthalpy- and entropy-driven process, and a low equilibrium constant was obtained. Treatment of S. aureus with higher concentrations of DOX or DOX/βCD resulted in an exponential decrease in S. aureus cell size, as well as a gradual neutralization of zeta potential. These thermodynamic profiles suggest that ion-pairing and hydrogen bonding interactions occur between DOX and the membrane of S. aureus. In addition, the adhesion of βCD to the cell membrane via hydrogen bonding is hypothesized to mediate a synergistic effect which accounts for the higher activity of DOX/βCD against S. aureus compared to pure DOX. Lower cytotoxicity and induction of osteoblast proliferation was also associated with DOX/βCD compared with free DOX. These promising findings demonstrate the potential for DOX/βCD to mediate antimicrobial activity at lower concentrations, and provides a strategy for the development of other antimicrobial formulations. PMID:24816509

  15. Increasing Metagenomic Resolution of Microbiome Interactions Through Functional Phylogenomics and Bacterial Sub-Communities

    PubMed Central

    Cibrián-Jaramillo, Angélica; Barona-Gómez, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    The genomic composition of the microbiome and its relationship with the environment is an exciting open question in biology. Metagenomics is a useful tool in the discovery of previously unknown taxa, but its use to understand the functional and ecological capacities of the microbiome is limited until taxonomy and function are understood in the context of the community. We suggest that this can be achieved using a combined functional phylogenomics and co-culture-based experimental strategy that can increase our capacity to measure sub-community interactions. Functional phylogenomics can identify and partition the genome such that hidden gene functions and gene clusters with unique evolutionary signals are revealed. We can test these phylogenomic predictions using an experimental model based on sub-community populations that represent a subset of the diversity directly obtained from environmental samples. These populations increase the detection of mechanisms that drive functional forces in the assembly of the microbiome, in particular the role of metabolites from key taxa in community interactions. Our combined approach leverages the potential of metagenomics to address biological questions from ecological systems. PMID:26904093

  16. Inhibitory effect of brazilein on tyrosinase and melanin synthesis: Kinetics and in silico approach.

    PubMed

    Hridya, Hemachandran; Amrita, Anantharaman; Sankari, Mohan; George Priya Doss, C; Gopalakrishnan, Mohan; Gopalakrishnan, Chandrasekaran; Siva, Ramamoorthy

    2015-11-01

    In our present study, the inhibitory effect of brazilein from Caesalpinia sappan on tyrosinase activity was investigated through multi-spectroscopic and molecular docking techniques. The result has shown that brazilein reversibly inhibited tyrosinase in a mixed type manner. The interaction of brazilein with the amino acid residues of tyrosinase has been validated through fluorescence quenching studies. Copper interaction studies suggested that brazilein could bind with copper ions of the enzyme. Circular dichroism analysis confirmed that brazilein induced secondary structural changes in tyrosinase. Docking studies further authenticate that brazilein forms hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding with the active site residues of tyrosinase. Moreover, in vitro studies confirmed that the inhibitory mechanism of cellular tyrosinase and melanin synthesis by brazilein in B16F0 melanoma cells. These results suggested that brazilein act as a potential tyrosinase inhibitor and it would contribute as a of novel tyrosinase inhibitor in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. PMID:26254246

  17. Both Leaf Properties and Microbe-Microbe Interactions Influence Within-Species Variation in Bacterial Population Diversity and Structure in the Lettuce (Lactuca Species) Phyllosphere▿

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Paul J.; Hand, Paul; Pink, David; Whipps, John M.; Bending, Gary D.

    2010-01-01

    Morphological and chemical differences between plant genera influence phyllosphere microbial populations, but the factors driving within-species variation in phyllosphere populations are poorly understood. Twenty-six lettuce accessions were used to investigate factors controlling within-species variation in phyllosphere bacterial populations. Morphological and physiochemical characteristics of the plants were compared, and bacterial community structure and diversity were investigated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) profiling and 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. Plant morphology and levels of soluble carbohydrates, calcium, and phenolic compounds (which have long been associated with plant responses to biotic stress) were found to significantly influence bacterial community structure. Clone libraries from three representative accessions were found to be significantly different in terms of both sequence differences and the bacterial genera represented. All three libraries were dominated by Pseudomonas species and the Enterobacteriaceae family. Significant differences in the relative proportions of genera in the Enterobacteriaceae were detected between lettuce accessions. Two such genera (Erwinia and Enterobacter) showed significant variation between the accessions and revealed microbe-microbe interactions. We conclude that both leaf surface properties and microbial interactions are important in determining the structure and diversity of the phyllosphere bacterial community. PMID:20952648

  18. Crystal structures of two bacterial HECT-like E3 ligases in complex with a human E2 reveal atomic details of pathogen-host interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, David Yin-wei; Diao, Jianbo; Chen, Jue

    2012-12-10

    In eukaryotes, ubiquitination is an important posttranslational process achieved through a cascade of ubiquitin-activating (E1), conjugating (E2), and ligase (E3) enzymes. Many pathogenic bacteria deliver virulence factors into the host cell that function as E3 ligases. How these bacterial 'Trojan horses' integrate into the eukaryotic ubiquitin system has remained a mystery. Here we report crystal structures of two bacterial E3s, Salmonella SopA and Escherichia coli NleL, both in complex with human E2 UbcH7. These structures represent two distinct conformational states of the bacterial E3s, supporting the necessary structural rearrangements associated with ubiquitin transfer. The E2-interacting surface of SopA and NleL has little similarity to those of eukaryotic E3s. However, both bacterial E3s bind to the canonical surface of E2 that normally interacts with eukaryotic E3s. Furthermore, we show that a glutamate residue on E3 is involved in catalyzing ubiquitin transfer from E3 to the substrate, but not from E2 to E3. Together, these results provide mechanistic insights into the ubiquitin pathway and a framework for understanding molecular mimicry in bacterial pathogenesis.

  19. Impacts of pH-mediated EPS structure on probiotic bacterial pili-whey proteins interactions.

    PubMed

    Burgain, Jennifer; Scher, Joel; Lebeer, Sarah; Vanderleyden, Jos; Corgneau, Magda; Guerin, Justine; Caillet, Céline; Duval, Jérôme F L; Francius, Gregory; Gaiani, Claire

    2015-10-01

    Probiotic bacteria are routinely incorporated into dairy foods because of the health benefits they can provide when consumed. In this work, the marked pH-dependence of the pili/EPS organization at the outer surface of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is characterized in detail by Single Cell Force Microscopy and cell electrophoretic mobility measurements analyzed according to formalisms for nanomechanical contact and soft particle electrokinetics, respectively. At pH 6.8, LGG pili are easily accessible by AFM tips functionalized with whey proteins for specific binding, while at pH 4.8 the collapsed EPS surface layer significantly immobilized the LGG pili. This resulted in their reduced accessibility to the specific whey-coated AFM tip, and to stronger whey protein-pili rupture forces. Thus, pili interactions with whey proteins are screened to an extent that depends on the pH-mediated embedment of the pili within the EPS layer. PMID:26209966

  20. Characterization of GE82832, a peptide inhibitor of translocation interacting with bacterial 30S ribosomal subunits

    PubMed Central

    Brandi, Letizia; Fabbretti, Attilio; Stefano, Michele Di; Lazzarini, Ameriga; Abbondi, Monica; Gualerzi, Claudio O.

    2006-01-01

    GE82832, a secondary metabolite produced by Streptosporangium cinnabarinum (strain GE82832), has been identified as a translational inhibitor by in vitro screening of a library of natural products. Secondary functional tests specific for individual steps of the translational pathway demonstrated that translocation is the specific target of GE82832. Chemical probing in situ demonstrated that this antibiotic protects bases A1324 and A1333 and exposes C1336 of 16S rRNA, thereby indicating that its binding site is located on the head of the 30S ribosomal subunit. The ribosomal location of GE82832, near ribosomal protein S13 and G1338, two elements of the small subunit that are part of or close to the B1a intrasubunit bridge, suggests that translocation inhibition results from an altered dynamics of 30S–50S ribosomal subunit interaction. PMID:16699167

  1. Dietary interactions with the bacterial sensing machinery in the intestine: the plant polyphenol case

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed Nasef, Noha; Mehta, Sunali; Ferguson, Lynnette R.

    2014-01-01

    There are millions of microbes that live in the human gut. These are important in digestion as well as defense. The host immune system needs to be able to distinguish between the harmless bacteria and pathogens. The initial interaction between bacteria and the host happen through the pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). As these receptors are in direct contact with the external environment, this makes them important candidates for regulation by dietary components and therefore potential targets for therapy. In this review, we introduce some of the main PRRs including a cellular process known as autophagy, and how they function. Additionally we review dietary phytochemicals from plants which are believed to be beneficial for humans. The purpose of this review was to give a better understanding of how these components work in order to create better awareness on how they could be explored in the future. PMID:24772116

  2. Structure, surface interactions, and compressibility of bacterial S-layers through scanning force microscopy and the surface force apparatus.

    PubMed

    Martín-Molina, Alberto; Moreno-Flores, Susana; Perez, Eric; Pum, Dietmar; Sleytr, Uwe B; Toca-Herrera, José L

    2006-03-01

    Two-dimensional crystalline bacterial surface layers (S-layers) are found in a broad range of bacteria and archaea as the outermost cell envelope component. The self-assembling properties of the S-layers permit them to recrystallize on solid substrates. Beyond their biological interest as S-layers, they are currently used in nanotechnology to build supramolecular structures. Here, the structure of S-layers and the interactions between them are studied through surface force techniques. Scanning force microscopy has been used to study the structure of recrystallized S-layers from Bacillus sphaericus on mica at different 1:1 electrolyte concentrations. They give evidence of the two-dimensional organization of the proteins and reveal small corrugations of the S-layers formed on mica. The lattice parameters of the S-layers were a=b=14 nm, gamma=90 degrees and did not depend on the electrolyte concentration. The interaction forces between recrystallized S-layers on mica were studied with the surface force apparatus as a function of electrolyte concentration. Force measurements show that electrostatic and steric interactions are dominant at long distances. When the S-layers are compressed they exhibit elastic behavior. No adhesion between recrystallized layers takes place. We report for the first time, to our knowledge, the value of the compressibility modulus of the S-layer (0.6 MPa). The compressibility modulus is independent on the electrolyte concentration, although loads of 20 mN m-1 damage the layer locally. Control experiments with denatured S-proteins show similar elastic properties under compression but they exhibit adhesion forces between proteins, which were not observed in recrystallized S-layers. PMID:16361337

  3. Signaling between two interacting sensor kinases promotes biofilms and colonization by a bacterial symbiont

    PubMed Central

    Norsworthy, Allison N.; Visick, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Cells acclimate to fluctuating environments by utilizing sensory circuits. One common sensory pathway used by bacteria is two-component signaling (TCS), composed of an environmental sensor (the sensor kinase, SK) and a cognate, intracellular effector (the response regulator, RR). The squid symbiont Vibrio fischeri uses an elaborate TCS phosphorelay containing a hybrid SK, RscS, and two RRs, SypE and SypG, to control biofilm formation and host colonization. Here, we found that another hybrid SK, SypF, was essential for biofilms by functioning downstream of RscS to directly control SypE and SypG. Surprisingly, although wild-type SypF functioned as a SK in vitro, this activity was dispensable for colonization. In fact, only a single non-enzymatic domain within SypF, the HPt domain, was critical in vivo. Remarkably, this domain within SypF interacted with RscS to permit a bypass of RscS’s own HPt domain and SypF’s enzymatic function. This represents the first in vivo example of a functional SK that exploits the enzymatic activity of another SK, an adaptation that demonstrates the elegant plasticity in the arrangement of TCS regulators. PMID:25586643

  4. Conformational Changes Leading to T7 DNA Delivery upon Interaction with the Bacterial Receptor*

    PubMed Central

    González-García, Verónica A.; Pulido-Cid, Mar; Garcia-Doval, Carmela; Bocanegra, Rebeca; van Raaij, Mark J.; Martín-Benito, Jaime; Cuervo, Ana; Carrascosa, José L.

    2015-01-01

    The majority of bacteriophages protect their genetic material by packaging the nucleic acid in concentric layers to an almost crystalline concentration inside protein shells (capsid). This highly condensed genome also has to be efficiently injected into the host bacterium in a process named ejection. Most phages use a specialized complex (often a tail) to deliver the genome without disrupting cell integrity. Bacteriophage T7 belongs to the Podoviridae family and has a short, non-contractile tail formed by a tubular structure surrounded by fibers. Here we characterize the kinetics and structure of bacteriophage T7 DNA delivery process. We show that T7 recognizes lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from Escherichia coli rough strains through the fibers. Rough LPS acts as the main phage receptor and drives DNA ejection in vitro. The structural characterization of the phage tail after ejection using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and single particle reconstruction methods revealed the major conformational changes needed for DNA delivery at low resolution. Interaction with the receptor causes fiber tilting and opening of the internal tail channel by untwisting the nozzle domain, allowing release of DNA and probably of the internal head proteins. PMID:25697363

  5. Interactive effects between diet and genotypes of host and pathogen define the severity of infection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ji; Friman, Ville-Petri; Laakso, Jouni; Mappes, Johanna

    2012-09-01

    Host resistance and parasite virulence are influenced by multiple interacting factors in complex natural communities. Yet, these interactive effects are seldom studied concurrently, resulting in poor understanding of host-pathogen-environment dynamics. Here, we investigated how the level of opportunist pathogen virulence, strength of host immunity and the host condition manipulated via diet affect the survival of wood tiger moth Parasemia plantaginis (Arctidae). Larvae from "low cuticular melanin" and "high cuticular melanin" (considered as low and high pathogen resistance, respectively) selection lines were infected with moderately and highly virulent bacteria strains of Serratia marcescens, while simultaneously manipulating host diet (with or without antibacterial compounds). We measured host survival and food preference before and after infection to test whether the larvae "self-medicate" by choosing an anti-infection diet (Plantago major, i.e., plantain leaf) over lettuce (Lactuca sativa). "High melanin" larvae were more resistant than "low melanin" larvae to the less virulent strain that had slower growth and colonization rate compared with the more virulent strain. Cuticular melanin did not enhance survival when the larvae were infected with the highly virulent strain. Anti-infection diet enhanced survival of the "high melanin" but not the "low melanin" hosts. Survival was dependent on family origin even within the melanin selection lines. Despite the intrinsic preference for lettuce, no evidence of self-medication was found. These results demonstrate that the relative benefit of host cuticular melanin depends on both diet and pathogen virulence: plantain diet only boosted the immunity of already resistant "high melanin" hosts, and cuticular melanin increased host survival only when infected with moderately virulent pathogen. Moreover, there was considerable variation in host survival between families within both melanin lines suggesting genetic basis for

  6. When the circadian clock meets the melanin pigmentary system.

    PubMed

    Slominski, Andrzej T; Hardeland, Rüdiger; Reiter, Russel J

    2015-04-01

    Silencing of BMAL1 and PER1 stimulates melanogenic activity of follicular and epidermal melanocytes, indicating a novel role for peripheral circadian clock processes in the regulation of melanin pigmentation. Linking the expression levels of BMAL1/PER1 with changes in melanogenesis opens exciting opportunities to study the role of the local molecular clock in modulation of melanocyte functions in the hair follicle and the epidermis with attendant effects on epidermal barrier functions in general. PMID:25785947

  7. Snapshot RGB mapping of skin melanin and hemoglobin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spigulis, Janis; Oshina, Ilze

    2015-05-01

    The concept of snapshot red-green-blue (RGB) multispectral imaging was applied for skin chromophore mapping. Three monochromatic spectral images have been extracted from a single RGB image dataset at simultaneous illumination of skin by 473-, 532-, and 659-nm laser lines. The spectral images were further transformed into distribution maps of skin melanin, oxyhemoglobin, and deoxyhemoglobin, related to pigmented and vascular skin malformations. The performance and clinical potential of the proposed technique are discussed.

  8. Malignant melanoma arising in melanin-producing medullary thyroid carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Hirokawa, Mitsuyoshi; Miyauchi, Akira; Otsuru, Minoru; Daa, Tsutomu

    2016-01-01

    Introduction We report a case of malignant melanoma arising in medullary thyroid carcinoma that has not yet been described. Presentation of case A 66-year-old woman presented with a mass in her thyroid. The resected mass was black in color, and was composed of a mixture of classic medullary thyroid carcinoma and pleomorphic atypical cells containing melanin pigments. The pleomorphic atypical cells were morphologically consistent with malignant melanoma, and expressed Melan-A, HMB-45, and S-100 protein as determined by immunohistochemistry. Some of these cells were also positive for calcitonin and chromogranin A. Although the malignant melanoma metastasized to the lymph nodes, the patient remained free from local recurrence and distant metastasis and the primary malignant melanoma lesion was not identified for up to 11 years after the thyroidectomy. Discussion 11 melanin-producing MTC cases have been reported to date. In the reported cases, the term “malignant melanoma” was not used, likely because the melanin-containing carcinoma cells were not morphologically consistent with malignant melanoma, but with medullary carcinoma. Conclusion Malignant melanoma arising in MTC may have a favorable prognosis. PMID:26852361

  9. Hesperetin induces melanin production in adult human epidermal melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Usach, Iris; Taléns-Visconti, Raquel; Magraner-Pardo, Lorena; Peris, José-Esteban

    2015-06-01

    One of the major sources of flavonoids for humans are citrus fruits, hesperidin being the predominant flavonoid. Hesperetin (HSP), the aglycon of hesperidin, has been reported to provide health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effects. However, the effect of HSP on skin pigmentation is not clear. Some authors have found that HSP induces melanogenesis in murine B16-F10 melanoma cells, which, if extrapolated to in vivo conditions, might protect skin against photodamage. Since the effect of HSP on normal melanocytes could be different to that observed on melanoma cells, the described effect of HSP on murine melanoma cells has been compared to the effect obtained using normal human melanocytes. HSP concentrations of 25 and 50 µM induced melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in human melanocytes in a concentration-dependent manner. Compared to control melanocytes, 25 µM HSP increased melanin production and tyrosinase activity 1.4-fold (p < 0.01) and 1.1-fold (p < 0.01), respectively, and the corresponding increases in the case of 50 µM HSP were 1.9-fold (p < 0.001) and 1.3-fold (p < 0.001). Therefore, HSP could be considered a valuable photoprotective substance if its capacity to increase melanin production in human melanocyte cultures could be reproduced on human skin. PMID:25765751

  10. Peptide-Lipid Interactions of the Stress-Response Peptide TisB That Induces Bacterial Persistence

    PubMed Central

    Steinbrecher, Thomas; Prock, Sebastian; Reichert, Johannes; Wadhwani, Parvesh; Zimpfer, Benjamin; Bürck, Jochen; Berditsch, Marina; Elstner, Marcus; Ulrich, Anne S.

    2012-01-01

    The bacterial stress-response peptide TisB in Escherichia coli has been suggested to dissipate the transmembrane potential, such that the depletion of ATP levels induces the formation of dormant persister cells which can eventually form biofilms. We studied the structure and membrane interactions of TisB to find out whether it forms pores or other proton-selective channels. Circular dichroism revealed an amphiphilic α-helical structure when reconstituted in lipid vesicles, and oriented circular dichroism showed that the helix assumes a transmembrane alignment. The addition of TisB to dye-loaded vesicles caused leakage only at very high peptide concentration, notably with a Hill coefficient of 2, which suggests that dimers must be involved. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations showed that membrane binding of monomeric TisB is rapid and spontaneous, and transmembrane insertion is energetically feasible. When TisB oligomers are assembled as transmembrane pores, these channels collapse during the simulations, but transmembrane dimers are found to be stable. Given the pattern of charges on the amphiphilic TisB helix, we postulate that antiparallel dimers could be assembled via a ladder of salt bridges. This electrostatic charge-zipper could enable protons to pass along a wire of trapped water molecules across the hydrophobic membrane. PMID:23062338

  11. Interaction between workers during a short time window is required for bacterial symbiont transmission in Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Sarah E; Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Currie, Cameron R

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using subcolony experiments, we investigate exosymbiont transmission within Acromyrmex colonies. We found successful transmission to newly eclosed major workers fostered by major workers with visible Actinobacteria in all cases (100% acquiring, n = 19). In contrast, newly eclosed major workers reared without exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure the defensive function within colonies, as well as specificity and partner fidelity in the ant-bacterium association. PMID:25058579

  12. Interaction between Workers during a Short Time Window Is Required for Bacterial Symbiont Transmission in Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ants

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Sarah E.; Poulsen, Michael; Pinto-Tomás, Adrián; Currie, Cameron R.

    2014-01-01

    Stable associations between partners over time are critical for the evolution of mutualism. Hosts employ a variety of mechanisms to maintain specificity with bacterial associates. Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants farm a fungal cultivar as their primary nutrient source. These ants also carry a Pseudonocardia Actinobacteria exosymbiont on their bodies that produces antifungal compounds that help inhibit specialized parasites of the ants' fungal garden. Major workers emerge from their pupal cases (eclose) symbiont-free, but exhibit visible Actinobacterial coverage within 14 days post-eclosion. Using subcolony experiments, we investigate exosymbiont transmission within Acromyrmex colonies. We found successful transmission to newly eclosed major workers fostered by major workers with visible Actinobacteria in all cases (100% acquiring, n = 19). In contrast, newly eclosed major workers reared without exosymbiont-carrying major workers did not acquire visible Actinobacteria (0% acquiring, n = 73). We further show that the majority of ants exposed to major workers with exosymbionts within 2 hours of eclosion acquired bacteria (60.7% acquiring, n = 28), while normal acquisition did not occur when exposure occurred later than 2 hours post-eclosion (0% acquiring, n = 18). Our findings show that transmission of exosymbionts to newly eclosed major workers occurs through interactions with exosymbiont-covered workers within a narrow time window after eclosion. This mode of transmission likely helps ensure the defensive function within colonies, as well as specificity and partner fidelity in the ant-bacterium association. PMID:25058579

  13. A Novel Mechanism of Host-Pathogen Interaction through sRNA in Bacterial Outer Membrane Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Koeppen, Katja; Hampton, Thomas H.; Jarek, Michael; Scharfe, Maren; Gerber, Scott A.; Mielcarz, Daniel W.; Demers, Elora G.; Dolben, Emily L.; Hammond, John H.; Hogan, Deborah A.; Stanton, Bruce A.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial outer membrane vesicle (OMV)-mediated delivery of proteins to host cells is an important mechanism of host-pathogen communication. Emerging evidence suggests that OMVs contain differentially packaged short RNAs (sRNAs) with the potential to target host mRNA function and/or stability. In this study, we used RNA-Seq to characterize differentially packaged sRNAs in Pseudomonas aeruginosa OMVs, and to show transfer of OMV sRNAs to human airway cells. We selected one sRNA for further study based on its stable secondary structure and predicted mRNA targets. Our candidate sRNA (sRNA52320), a fragment of a P. aeruginosa methionine tRNA, was abundant in OMVs and reduced LPS-induced as well as OMV-induced IL-8 secretion by cultured primary human airway epithelial cells. We also showed that sRNA52320 attenuated OMV-induced KC cytokine secretion and neutrophil infiltration in mouse lung. Collectively, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis that sRNA52320 in OMVs is a novel mechanism of host-pathogen interaction whereby P. aeruginosa reduces the host immune response. PMID:27295279

  14. Sub-nm 3D observation of human hair melanin by high-voltage STEM.

    PubMed

    Imai, Takehito; Higuchi, Kimitaka; Yamamoto, Yuta; Arai, Shigeo; Nakano, Takashi; Tanaka, Nobuo

    2016-04-01

    The ultrastructure of melanin granules in human hair was studied using 1,000 kV high-voltage scanning transmission electron microscopy to successfully reconstruct three-dimensional images of the whole melanin granule. It was revealed that the melanin granule was composed of a membrane-like outer structure that included many spherical vesicles, and an inner matrix containing a sheet-like structure in the elongated direction of the melanin granule and a sheet-like arrays structure in the cross direction. The outer structure of the melanin granule was maintained even after exposure to hair-bleaching agents to decompose the melanin granule, suggesting that the outer structure was a highly robust structure and composition compared with the inner matrix . PMID:26705324

  15. A versatile method for the removal of melanin from ribonucleic acids in melanocytic cells.

    PubMed

    Satyamoorthy, K; Li, G; Van Belle, P A; Elder, D E; Herlyn, M

    2002-10-01

    Melanin pigments often co-purify during preparation of nucleic acids from cells or tissues of melanocytic origin. Contaminating melanin can severely impede subsequent analyses of RNA. We attempted to eliminate melanin in RNA preparations using selected gel matrices. We show here that co-purified melanin pigments can be largely eliminated from RNA samples after passing through polyacrylamide-based beads (Bio-Gel P-60). After isolation from the pigment-containing cells or tissues, RNA was subsequently processed through batch or column purification under acidic pH conditions. The resulting RNA was devoid of contaminating melanin pigments and amenable to molecular reactions such as polymerase chain reaction and cDNA synthesis by reverse transcriptase. Although the process results in some loss of input RNA, this purification procedure is simple, robust and can easily be adopted in any laboratory for the molecular analysis of RNA that requires removal of melanin contamination. PMID:12394186

  16. The effects of chemical interactions and culture history on the colonization of structured habitats by competing bacterial populations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Bacterial habitats, such as soil and the gut, are structured at the micrometer scale. Important aspects of microbial life in such spatial ecosystems are migration and colonization. Here we explore the colonization of a structured ecosystem by two neutrally labeled strains of Escherichia coli. Using time-lapse microscopy we studied the colonization of one-dimensional arrays of habitat patches linked by connectors, which were invaded by the two E. coli strains from opposite sides. Results The two strains colonize a habitat from opposite sides by a series of traveling waves followed by an expansion front. When population waves collide, they branch into a continuing traveling wave, a reflected wave and a stationary population. When the two strains invade the landscape from opposite sides, they remain segregated in space and often one population will displace the other from most of the habitat. However, when the strains are co-cultured before entering the habitats, they colonize the habitat together and do not separate spatially. Using physically separated, but diffusionally coupled, habitats we show that colonization waves and expansion fronts interact trough diffusible molecules, and not by direct competition for space. Furthermore, we found that colonization outcome is influenced by a culture’s history, as the culture with the longest doubling time in bulk conditions tends to take over the largest fraction of the habitat. Finally, we observed that population distributions in parallel habitats located on the same device and inoculated with cells from the same overnight culture are significantly more similar to each other than to patterns in identical habitats located on different devices inoculated with cells from different overnight cultures, even tough all cultures were started from the same −80°C frozen stock. Conclusions We found that the colonization of spatially structure habitats by two interacting populations can lead to the formation of

  17. Bacteriophage Tailspikes and Bacterial O-Antigens as a Model System to Study Weak-Affinity Protein-Polysaccharide Interactions.

    PubMed

    Kang, Yu; Gohlke, Ulrich; Engström, Olof; Hamark, Christoffer; Scheidt, Tom; Kunstmann, Sonja; Heinemann, Udo; Widmalm, Göran; Santer, Mark; Barbirz, Stefanie

    2016-07-27

    Understanding interactions of bacterial surface polysaccharides with receptor protein scaffolds is important for the development of antibiotic therapies. The corresponding protein recognition domains frequently form low-affinity complexes with polysaccharides that are difficult to address with experimental techniques due to the conformational flexibility of the polysaccharide. In this work, we studied the tailspike protein (TSP) of the bacteriophage Sf6. Sf6TSP binds and hydrolyzes the high-rhamnose, serotype Y O-antigen polysaccharide of the Gram-negative bacterium Shigella flexneri (S. flexneri) as a first step of bacteriophage infection. Spectroscopic analyses and enzymatic cleavage assays confirmed that Sf6TSP binds long stretches of this polysaccharide. Crystal structure analysis and saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR spectroscopy using an enhanced method to interpret the data permitted the detailed description of affinity contributions and flexibility in an Sf6TSP-octasaccharide complex. Dodecasaccharide fragments corresponding to three repeating units of the O-antigen in complex with Sf6TSP were studied computationally by molecular dynamics simulations. They showed that distortion away from the low-energy solution conformation found in the octasaccharide complex is necessary for ligand binding. This is in agreement with a weak-affinity functional polysaccharide-protein contact that facilitates correct placement and thus hydrolysis of the polysaccharide close to the catalytic residues. Our simulations stress that the flexibility of glycan epitopes together with a small number of specific protein contacts provide the driving force for Sf6TSP-polysaccharide complex formation in an overall weak-affinity interaction system. PMID:27045683

  18. The bacterial phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system: regulation by protein phosphorylation and phosphorylation-dependent protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Deutscher, Josef; Aké, Francine Moussan Désirée; Derkaoui, Meriem; Zébré, Arthur Constant; Cao, Thanh Nguyen; Bouraoui, Houda; Kentache, Takfarinas; Mokhtari, Abdelhamid; Milohanic, Eliane; Joyet, Philippe

    2014-06-01

    The bacterial phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP):carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) carries out both catalytic and regulatory functions. It catalyzes the transport and phosphorylation of a variety of sugars and sugar derivatives but also carries out numerous regulatory functions related to carbon, nitrogen, and phosphate metabolism, to chemotaxis, to potassium transport, and to the virulence of certain pathogens. For these different regulatory processes, the signal is provided by the phosphorylation state of the PTS components, which varies according to the availability of PTS substrates and the metabolic state of the cell. PEP acts as phosphoryl donor for enzyme I (EI), which, together with HPr and one of several EIIA and EIIB pairs, forms a phosphorylation cascade which allows phosphorylation of the cognate carbohydrate bound to the membrane-spanning EIIC. HPr of firmicutes and numerous proteobacteria is also phosphorylated in an ATP-dependent reaction catalyzed by the bifunctional HPr kinase/phosphorylase. PTS-mediated regulatory mechanisms are based either on direct phosphorylation of the target protein or on phosphorylation-dependent interactions. For regulation by PTS-mediated phosphorylation, the target proteins either acquired a PTS domain by fusing it to their N or C termini or integrated a specific, conserved PTS regulation domain (PRD) or, alternatively, developed their own specific sites for PTS-mediated phosphorylation. Protein-protein interactions can occur with either phosphorylated or unphosphorylated PTS components and can either stimulate or inhibit the function of the target proteins. This large variety of signal transduction mechanisms allows the PTS to regulate numerous proteins and to form a vast regulatory network responding to the phosphorylation state of various PTS components. PMID:24847021

  19. The Bacterial Phosphoenolpyruvate:Carbohydrate Phosphotransferase System: Regulation by Protein Phosphorylation and Phosphorylation-Dependent Protein-Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Aké, Francine Moussan Désirée; Derkaoui, Meriem; Zébré, Arthur Constant; Cao, Thanh Nguyen; Bouraoui, Houda; Kentache, Takfarinas; Mokhtari, Abdelhamid; Milohanic, Eliane; Joyet, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The bacterial phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP):carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) carries out both catalytic and regulatory functions. It catalyzes the transport and phosphorylation of a variety of sugars and sugar derivatives but also carries out numerous regulatory functions related to carbon, nitrogen, and phosphate metabolism, to chemotaxis, to potassium transport, and to the virulence of certain pathogens. For these different regulatory processes, the signal is provided by the phosphorylation state of the PTS components, which varies according to the availability of PTS substrates and the metabolic state of the cell. PEP acts as phosphoryl donor for enzyme I (EI), which, together with HPr and one of several EIIA and EIIB pairs, forms a phosphorylation cascade which allows phosphorylation of the cognate carbohydrate bound to the membrane-spanning EIIC. HPr of firmicutes and numerous proteobacteria is also phosphorylated in an ATP-dependent reaction catalyzed by the bifunctional HPr kinase/phosphorylase. PTS-mediated regulatory mechanisms are based either on direct phosphorylation of the target protein or on phosphorylation-dependent interactions. For regulation by PTS-mediated phosphorylation, the target proteins either acquired a PTS domain by fusing it to their N or C termini or integrated a specific, conserved PTS regulation domain (PRD) or, alternatively, developed their own specific sites for PTS-mediated phosphorylation. Protein-protein interactions can occur with either phosphorylated or unphosphorylated PTS components and can either stimulate or inhibit the function of the target proteins. This large variety of signal transduction mechanisms allows the PTS to regulate numerous proteins and to form a vast regulatory network responding to the phosphorylation state of various PTS components. PMID:24847021

  20. Bacterial Infection of endometrial stromal cells influences bovine herpersvirus 4 immediate early gene activation: a new insight into bacterial and viral interaction for uterine disease

    PubMed Central

    Donofrio, Gaetano; Ravanetti, Lara; Cavirani, Sandro; Herath, Shan; Capocefalo, Antonio; Sheldon, Iain Martin

    2009-01-01

    Experimental infection with the gammaherpesvirus Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) rarely establishes disease, yet BoHV-4 is commonly associated with uterine disease in cattle. Uterine disease involves co-infection with bacteria such as Escherichia coli, which stimulate the production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by endometrial cells. BoHV-4 replication depends on Immediate Early 2 (IE2) gene transactivation, and in the present study, PGE2, E. coli or its lipopolysaccharide (LPS), up-regulated the IE2 gene promoter in uterine cells. Bacterial co-infection is important for BoHV-4 uterine disease. PMID:18577555

  1. Dermal melanin concentration of yellow perch Perca flavescens in relation to water transparency.

    PubMed

    Rheault, G; Langevin, M; Cabana, G; Glémet, H

    2015-11-01

    A positive relationship was observed between Secchi disc depth and dermal melanin concentration in yellow perch Perca flavescens sampled from 11 humic lakes located on the Canadian Shield in southern Quebec (Canada). Secchi disc depth explained 23% of the variations of dermal melanin concentration. Secchi disc depth and thus water transparency appear to have a positive influence on melanin production in the dermis of P. flavescens. PMID:26399476

  2. Solution structure of copper ion-induced molecular aggregates of tyrosine melanin.

    PubMed

    Gallas, J M; Littrell, K C; Seifert, S; Zajac, G W; Thiyagarajan, P

    1999-08-01

    Melanin, the ubiquitous biological pigment, provides photoprotection by efficient filtration of light and also by its antioxidant behavior. In solutions of synthetic melanin, both optical and antioxidant behavior are affected by the aggregation states of melanin. We have utilized small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering to determine the molecular dimensions of synthetic tyrosine melanin in its unaggregated state in D(2)O and H(2)O to study the structure of melanin aggregates formed in the presence of copper ions at various copper-to-melanin molar ratios. In the absence of copper ions, or at low copper ion concentrations, tyrosine melanin is present in solution as a sheet-like particle with a mean thickness of 12.5 A and a lateral extent of approximately 54 A. At a copper-to-melanin molar ratio of 0.6, melanin aggregates to form long, rod-like structures with a radius of 32 A. At a higher copper ion concentration, with a copper-to-melanin ratio of 1.0, these rod-like structures further aggregate, forming sheet-like structures with a mean thickness of 51 A. A change in the charge of the ionizable groups induced by the addition of copper ions is proposed to account for part of the aggregation. The data also support a model for the copper-induced aggregation of melanin driven by pi stacking assisted by peripheral Cu(2+) complexation. The relationship between our results and a previous hypothesis for reduced cellular damage from bound-to-melanin redox metal ions is also discussed. PMID:10423458

  3. Histoplasma capsulatum Synthesizes Melanin-Like Pigments In Vitro and during Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Gómez, Beatriz L.; Youngchim, Sirida; Díez, Soraya; Aisen, Philip; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M.; Restrepo, Angela; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2002-01-01

    Melanin is made by several important pathogenic fungi and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of fungal infections. This study investigated whether the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum produced melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Growth of H. capsulatum mycelia in chemically defined minimal medium produced pigmented conidia. Growth of H. capsulatum yeast in chemically defined minimal medium with l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) or (-)-epinephrine produced pigmented cells. Treatment of the pigmented cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and hot concentrated acid yielded dark particles that were similar in size and shape to their respective propagules. Melanin-binding monoclonal antibodies (MAb) labeled pigmented conidia, yeast, and the isolated particles as determined by immunofluorescence microscopy. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy revealed that pigmented yeast cells and particles derived from pigmented cells were stable free radicals consistent with their identification as melanins. Tissues from mice infected with H. capsulatum and from biopsy specimens from a patient with histoplasmosis contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAb. Digestion of infected mouse tissues yielded dark particles that reacted with the melanin-binding MAb and were similar in appearance to H. capsulatum yeast cells. Additionally, sera from infected mice contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. Phenoloxidase activity capable of synthesizing melanin from L-DOPA was detected in cytoplasmic yeast cell extracts. These findings indicate that H. capsulatum conidia and yeast can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and that yeast cells can synthesize pigment in vivo. Since melanin is an important virulence factor in other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may have a similar role to play in the pathogenesis of histoplasmosis. PMID:12183562

  4. Short-term disturbance of a grazer has long-term effects on bacterial communities--relevance of trophic interactions for recovery from pesticide effects.

    PubMed

    Foit, Kaarina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Liess, Matthias

    2010-08-15

    Little is known about the transfer of pesticide effects from higher trophic levels to bacterial communities by grazing. We investigated the effects of pulse exposure to the pyrethroid Fenvalerate on a grazer-prey system that comprised populations of Daphnia magna and bacterial communities. We observed the abundance and population size structure of D. magna by image analysis. Aquatic bacteria were monitored with regard to abundance (by cell staining) and community structure (by a 16S ribosomal RNA fingerprinting method). Shortly after exposure (2 days), the abundance of D. magna decreased. In contrast, the abundance of bacteria increased; in particular fast-growing bacteria proliferated, which changed the bacterial community structure. Long after pulse exposure (26 days), the size structure of D. magna was still affected and dominated by a cohort of small individuals. This cohort of small D. magna grazed actively on bacteria, which resulted in low bacterial abundance and low percentage of fast-growing bacteria. We identified grazing pressure as an important mediator for translating long-term pesticide effects from a grazer population on its prey. Hence, bacterial communities are potentially affected throughout the period that their grazers show pesticide effects concerning abundance or population size structure. Owing to interspecific interactions, the recovery of one species can only be assessed by considering its community context. PMID:20554058

  5. Non-contact assessment of melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amelard, Robert; Scharfenberger, Christian; Wong, Alexander; Clausi, David A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is a pigment that is highly absorptive in the UV and visible electromagnetic spectra. It is responsible for perceived skin tone, and protects against harmful UV effects. Abnormal melanin distribution is often an indicator for melanoma. We propose a novel approach for non-contact melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding to estimate the two-dimensional melanin distribution based on its absorptive characteristics. In the proposed system, a novel multispectral, cross-polarized, temporally-coded illumination sequence is synchronized with a camera to measure reflectance under both multispectral and ambient illumination. This allows us to eliminate the ambient illumination contribution from the acquired reflectance measurements, and also to determine the melanin distribution in an observed region based on the spectral properties of melanin using the Beer-Lambert law. Using this information, melanin distribution maps can be generated for objective, quantitative assessment of skin type of individuals. We show that the melanin distribution map correctly identifies areas with high melanin densities (e.g., nevi).

  6. Applying photoacoustics to quantification of melanin concentration in retinal pigment epithelium (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Xiao; Zhang, Hao F.; Liu, Wenzhong

    2016-03-01

    The melanin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) protects retina and other ocular tissues by photo-screening and acting as antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It helps maintain normal visual functions since human eye is subjected to lifelong high oxygen stress and photon exposure. Loss of the RPE melanin weakens the protection mechanism and jeopardizes ocular health. Local decrease in the RPE melanin concentration is believed to be both a cause and a sign of early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading blinding disease in developed world. Current technology cannot quantitatively measure the RPE melanin concentration which might be a promising marker in early AMD screening. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an emerging optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure the RPE melanin concentration if the dependence of the detectable photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes on the RPE melanin concentrations is verified. In this study, we tested the feasibility of using PA signal ratio from RPE melanin and the nearby retinal blood vessels as an indicator of the RPE melanin variation. A novel whole eye optical model was designed and Monte Carlo modeling of light (MCML) was employed. We examined the influences on quantification from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness. The results show that the scheme is robust to individual histological and illumination variations. This study suggests that PAOM is capable of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin concentration in vivo.

  7. Ionizing Radiation: how fungi cope, adapt, and exploit with the help of melanin

    PubMed Central

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY OF RECENT ADVANCES Life on Earth has always existed in the flux of ionizing radiation. However, fungi seem to interact with the ionizing radiation differently from other Earth’s inhabitants. Recent data show that melanized fungal species like those from Chernobyl’s reactor respond to ionizing radiation with enhanced growth. Fungi colonize space stations and adapt morphologically to extreme conditions. Radiation exposure causes upregulation of many key genes, and an inducible microhomology-mediated recombination pathway could be a potential mechanism of adaptive evolution in eukaryotes. The discovery of melanized organisms in high radiation environments, the space stations, Antarctic mountains, and in the reactor cooling water combined with phenomenon of ‘radiotropism’ raises the tantalizing possibility that melanins have functions analogous to other energy harvesting pigments such as chlorophylls. PMID:18848901

  8. Structural Characterization of Melanin Pigments from Commercial Preparations of the Edible Mushroom Auricularia auricula

    PubMed Central

    Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Toriola, Stacy; Nakouzi, Antonio; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth; Gerfen, Gary; Tumpowsky, Paul; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most widely consumed edible mushrooms are pigmented, and these have been associated with some beneficial health effects. Nevertheless, the majority of the reported compounds associated with these desirable properties are non-pigmented. We have previously reported that melanin pigment from the edible mushroom Auricularia auricula can protect mice against ionizing radiation, although no physicochemical characterization was reported. Consequently, in this study we have characterized commercial A. auricula mushroom preparations for melanin content and carried out structural characterization of isolated insoluble melanin materials using a panel of sophisticated spectroscopic and physical/imaging techniques. Our results show that approximately 10% of the dry mass of A. auricula is melanin and that the pigment has physicochemical properties consistent with those of eumelanins, including hosting a stable free radical population. Electron microscopy studies show that melanin is associated with the mushroom cell wall in a manner similar to that of melanin from the model fungus C. neoformans. Elemental analysis of melanin indicated C, H, and N ratios consistent with 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid/5,6-dihydroxyindole and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene eumelanin. Validation of the identity of the isolated product as melanin was achieved by EPR analysis. A. auricula melanin manifested structural differences, relative to the C. neoformans melanin, with regard to the variable proportions of alkyl chains or oxygenated carbons. Given the necessity for new oral and inexpensive radioprotective materials coupled with the commercial availability of A. auricula mushrooms, this product may represent an excellent source of edible melanin. PMID:26244793

  9. Melanin fate in the human epidermis: a reassessment of how best to detect and analyse histologically.

    PubMed

    Joly-Tonetti, Nicolas; Wibawa, Judata I D; Bell, Mike; Tobin, Desmond

    2016-07-01

    Melanin is the predominant pigment responsible for skin colour and is synthesized by the melanocyte in the basal layer of the epidermis and then transferred to surrounding keratinocytes. Despite its optical properties, melanin is barely detectable in unstained sections of human epidermis. However, identification and localization of melanin is of importance for the study of skin pigmentation in health and disease. Current methods for the histologic quantification of melanin are suboptimal and are associated with significant risk of misinterpretation. The aim of this study was to reassess the existing literature and to develop a more effective histological method of melanin quantification in human skin. Moreover, we confirm that Warthin-Starry (WS) stain provides a much more sensitive and more specific melanin detection method than the commonplace Fontana-Masson (FM) stain. For example, WS staining sensitivity allowed the visualization of melanin even in very pale Caucasian skin that was missed by FM or Von Kossa (VK) stains. From our reassessment of the histology-related literature, we conclude that so-called melanin dust is most likely an artifact of discoloration due to non-specific silver deposition in the stratum corneum. Unlike FM and VK, WS was not associated with this non-specific stratum corneum darkening, misinterpreted previously as 'degraded' melanin. Finally, WS melanin particle counts were largely similar to previously reported manual counts by transmission electron microscopy, in contrast to both FM and VK. Together these findings allow us to propose a new histology/Image J-informed method for the accurate and precise quantification of epidermal melanin in skin. PMID:26998907

  10. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: Mechanisms of actions in a mice model

    SciTech Connect

    Kunwar, A.; Adhikary, B.; Jayakumar, S.; Barik, A.; Chattopadhyay, S.; Raghukumar, S.; Priyadarsini, K.I.

    2012-10-15

    The radioprotective effect of extracellular melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, isolated from the fungus Gliocephalotrichum simplex was examined in BALB/C mice, and the probable mechanism of action was established. At an effective dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, melanin exhibited both prophylactic and mitigative activities, increasing the 30-day survival of mice by 100% and 60%, respectively, after exposure to radiation (7 Gy, whole body irradiation (WBI)). The protective activity of melanin was primarily due to inhibition of radiation-induced hematopoietic damages as evidenced by improvement in spleen parameters such as index, total cellularity, endogenous colony forming units, and maintenance of circulatory white blood cells and platelet counts. Melanin also reversed the radiation-induced decrease in ERK phosphorylation in splenic tissue, which may be the key feature in its radioprotective action. Additionally, our results indicated that the sustained activation of AKT, JNK and P38 proteins in splenic tissue of melanin pre-treated group may also play a secondary role. This was also supported by the fact that melanin could prevent apoptosis in splenic tissue by decreasing BAX/Bcl-XL ratio, and increasing the expressions of the proliferation markers (PCNA and Cyclin D1), compared to the radiation control group. Melanin also reduced the oxidative stress in hepatic tissue and abrogated immune imbalance by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6 and TNFα). In conclusion, our results confirmed that fungal melanin is a very effective radioprotector against WBI and the probable mechanisms of radioprotection are due to modulation in pro-survival (ERK) signaling, prevention of oxidative stress and immunomodulation. -- Highlights: ► Melanin showed promising radioprotection under pre and post irradiation condition. ► Melanin protects the hematopoietic system from radiation induced damage. ► Melanin modulates pro-survival pathways, immune system

  11. Fisher scientific award lecture - the capsular polysaccharides of Group B Streptococcus and Streptococcus suis differently modulate bacterial interactions with dendritic cells.

    PubMed

    Segura, Mariela

    2012-03-01

    Infections with encapsulated bacteria cause serious clinical problems. Besides being poorly immunogenic, the bacterial capsular polysaccharide (CPS) cloaks antigenic proteins, allowing bacterial evasion of the host immune system. Despite the clinical significance of bacterial CPS and its suggested role in the pathogenesis of the infection, the mechanisms underlying innate and, critically, adaptive immune responses to encapsulated bacteria have not been fully elucidated. As such, we became interested in studying the CPS of two similar, but unique, streptococcal species: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Streptococcus suis . Both streptococci are well encapsulated, some capsular types are more virulent than others, and they can cause severe meningitis and septicemia. For both pathogens, the CPS is considered the major virulence factor. Finally, these two streptococci are the sole Gram-positive bacteria possessing sialic acid in their capsules. GBS type III is a leading cause of neonatal invasive infections. Streptococcus suis type 2 is an important swine and emerging zoonotic pathogen in humans. We recently characterized the S. suis type 2 CPS. It shares common structural elements with GBS, but sialic acid is α2,6-linked to galactose rather than α2,3-linked. Differential sialic acid expression by pathogens might result in modulation of immune cell activation and, consequently, may affect the immuno-pathogenesis of these bacterial infections. Here, we review and compare the interactions of these two sialylated encapsulated bacteria with dendritic cells, known as the most potent antigen-presenting cells linking innate and adaptive immunity. We further address differences between dendritic cells and professional phagocytes, such as macrophages and neutrophils, in their interplay with these encapsulated pathogens. Elucidation of the molecular and cellular basis of the impact of CPS composition on bacterial interactions with immune cells is critical for mechanistic

  12. From tyrosine to melanin: Signaling pathways and factors regulating melanogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rzepka, Zuzanna; Buszman, Ewa; Beberok, Artur; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are natural pigments of skin, hair and eyes and can be classified into two main types: brown to black eumelanin and yellow to reddish-brown pheomelanin. Biosynthesis of melanins takes place in melanosomes, which are specialized cytoplasmic organelles of melanocytes - dendritic cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis, uveal tract of the eye, hair follicles, as well as in the inner ear, central nervous system and heart. Melanogenesis is a multistep process and begins with the conversion of amino acid L-tyrosine to DOPAquinone. The addition of cysteine or glutathione to DOPAquinone leads to the intermediates formation, followed by subsequent transformations and polymerization to the final product, pheomelanin. In the absence of thiol compounds DOPAquinone undergoes an intramolecular cyclization and oxidation to form DOPAchrome, which is then converted to 5,6-dihydroksyindole (DHI) or 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA). Eumelanin is formed by polymerization of DHI and DHICA and their quinones. Regulation of melanogenesis is achieved by physical and biochemical factors. The article presents the intracellular signaling pathways: cAMP/PKA/CREB/MITF cascade, MAP kinases cascade, PLC/DAG/PKCβ cascade and NO/cGMP/PKG cascade, which are involved in the regulation of expression and activity of the melanogenesis-related proteins by ultraviolet radiation and endogenous agents (cytokines, hormones). Activity of the key melanogenic enzyme, tyrosinase, is also affected by pH and temperature. Many pharmacologically active substances are able to inhibit or stimulate melanin biosynthesis, as evidenced by in vitro studies on cultured pigment cells. PMID:27356601

  13. Complexation in two-component chlortetracycline-melanin solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapina, V. A.; Pershukevich, P. P.; Dontsov, A. E.; Bel'Kov, M. V.

    2008-01-01

    The spectra and kinetics of fluorescence of two-component solutions of the chlortetracycline (CHTC)-DOPA-melanin (melanin or ME) system in water have been investigated. The data obtained have been compared to similar data for solutions of CHTC-melanosome from bull eye (MB), which contains natural melanin, in K-phosphate buffer at pH 7.4. The overall results indicate the occurrence of complexation between molecules of CHTC and ME as they are being excited. The studies of complexation in the solution of CHTC-MB in the buffer are complicated by the formation of a CHTC-buffer complex. The effect of optical radiation in the range 330-750 nm on the CHTC-ME complex shows selectivity: the greatest change in the spectrum occurs when the wavelength of the exciting radiation coincides with the long-wavelength band maximum of the fluorescence excitation spectrum of the CHTC-ME complex in aqueous solution. In this range, CHTC and especially ME show high photochemical stability. The nature of the radiation effect on the studied compounds in the hard UV range (λ < 330 nm) differs greatly from that in the range 330-750 nm. It is apparently accompanied by significant photochemical transmutations of all system components. By comparing the characteristics of the CHTC-ME systems with those of the related drug doxycycline (DC-ME), the conclusion has been made that the chlorine atom plays a vital role in formation of the short-wavelength band in the fluorescence spectrum of the CHTC-ME complex.

  14. Bio-inspired Structural Colors from Deposition of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles by Evaporative Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Ming; Li, Yiwen; Deheyn, Dimitri; Yue, Xiujun; Gianneschi, Nathan; Shawkey, Matthew; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-03-01

    Melanin, a ubiquitous black or brown pigment in the animal kingdom, is a unique but poorly understood biomaterial. Many bird feathers contain melanosomes (melanin-containing organelles), which pack into ordered nanostructures, like multilayer or two-dimensional photonic crystal structures, to produce structural colors. To understand the optical properties of melanin and how melanosomes assemble into certain structures to produce colors, we prepared synthetic melanin (polydopamine) particles with variable sizes and aspect ratios. We have characterized the absorption and refractive index of the synthetic melanin particles. We have also shown that we can use an evaporative process to self-assemble melanin films with a wide range of colors. The colors obtained using this technique is modeled using a thin-film interference model and the optical properties of the synthetic melanin nanoparticles. Our results on self-assembly of synthetic melanin nanoparticles provide an explanation as why the use of melanosomes to produce colors is prevalent in the animal kingdom. National science foundation, air force office of scientific research, human frontier science program.

  15. Monte Carlo investigation on quantifying the retinal pigment epithelium melanin concentration by photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Xiao; Liu, Wenzhong; Zhang, Hao F.

    2015-10-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) melanin plays an important role in maintaining normal visual functions. A decrease in the RPE melanin concentration with aging is believed to be associated with several blinding diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. Quantifying the RPE melanin noninvasively is therefore important in evaluating the retinal health and aging conditions. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure variations in the RPE melanin if the relationship between the detected photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes and the RPE melanin concentrations can be established. In this work, we tested the feasibility of using PA signals from retinal blood vessels as references to measure RPE melanin variation using Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. The influences from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness were examined. We proposed a calibration scheme by relating detected PA signals to the RPE melanin concentrations, and we found that the scheme is robust to these tested parameters. This study suggests that PAOM has the capability of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin in vivo.

  16. Effect of the MC1R gene on sexual dimorphism in melanin-based colorations.

    PubMed

    San-Jose, Luis M; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Ducret, Valérie; Béziers, Paul; Simon, Céline; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Roulin, Alexandre

    2015-06-01

    Variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene result in abrupt, naturally selected colour morphs. These genetic variants may differentially affect sexual dimorphism if one morph is naturally selected in the two sexes but another morph is naturally or sexually selected only in one of the two sexes (e.g. to confer camouflage in reproductive females or confer mating advantage in males). Therefore, the balance between natural and sexual selections can differ between MC1R variants, as suggest studies showing interspecific correlations between sexual dimorphism and the rate of nonsynonymous vs. synonymous amino acid substitutions at the MC1R. Surprisingly, how MC1R is related to within-species sexual dimorphism, and thereby to sex-specific selection, has not yet been investigated. We tackled this issue in the barn owl (Tyto alba), a species showing pronounced variation in the degree of reddish pheomelanin-based coloration and in the number and size of black feather spots. We found that a valine (V)-to-isoleucine (I) substitution at position 126 explains up to 30% of the variation in the three melanin-based colour traits and in feather melanin content. Interestingly, MC1R genotypes also differed in the degree of sexual colour dimorphism, with individuals homozygous for the II MC1R variant being 2 times redder and 2.5 times less sexually dimorphic than homozygous individuals for the VV MC1R variant. These findings support that MC1R interacts with the expression of sexual dimorphism and suggest that a gene with major phenotypic effects and weakly influenced by variation in body condition can participate in sex-specific selection processes. PMID:25857339

  17. Inhibition of melanin content by Punicalagins in the super fruit pomegranate (Punica granatum).

    PubMed

    Rana, Jatinder; Diwakar, Ganesh; Saito, Lisa; Scholten, Jeffrey D; Mulder, Timothy

    2013-01-01

    Current efforts to develop effective skin lightening products through the inhibition of melanin production have focused on compounds that inhibit the function and activity of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the melanin biosynthesis pathway. Synthetic tyrosinase inhibitors, such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, and arbutin, have been reported to cause skin irritation or acute dermatitis, raising concerns about the safety of these compounds. As a result, there is a need for safe natural ingredients that show effective skin lightening. In this report, we have identified a natural ingredient, pomegranate fruit extract, that inhibits melanin production in melanocytes and shows potential for use as a cosmetic skin lightening agent. In addition, we have identified a polyphenolic compound, punicalagins, as the active melanin inhibitor in pomegranate fruit extract based on its capacity to directly inhibit melanin production. PMID:24397882

  18. Melanin targets LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP): A novel pathogenetic mechanism in fungal disease.

    PubMed

    Chamilos, Georgios; Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Brakhage, Axel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul

    2016-05-01

    Intracellular swelling of conidia of the major human airborne fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus results in surface exposure of immunostimulatory pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and triggers activation of a specialized autophagy pathway called LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) to promote fungal killing. We have recently discovered that, apart from PAMPs exposure, cell wall melanin removal during germination of A. fumigatus is a prerequisite for activation of LAP. Importantly, melanin promotes fungal pathogenicity via targeting LAP, as a melanin-deficient A. fumigatus mutant restores its virulence upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells of mice. Mechanistically, fungal cell wall melanin selectively excludes the CYBA/p22phox subunit of NADPH oxidase from the phagosome to inhibit LAP, without interfering with signaling regulating cytokine responses. Notably, inhibition of LAP is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications. PMID:27028978

  19. Accumulation of melanin in the peritoneum causes black abdomens in broilers.

    PubMed

    Wang, J; Wang, Y; Luo, C; Qu, H; Shu, D

    2014-03-01

    A suspected case of localized visceral hyperpigmentation was described for a breed of broiler in China. Using optical microscopy, the accumulation of pigments in the abdominal skin and visceral peritoneum was observed. Electron microscopy was used to further study the ultrastructure of the pigmented peritoneum, and pigment granules resembling melanosomes at different stages were found, and melanocytes were present in this tissue. Infrared spectroscopy was used to analyze the physical-chemical properties of pigments extracted from these broilers. Using synthetic melanin as a reference and the melanin from the peritoneum of Silkie fowls as a control, the pigments in the peritonea of these broilers were found to be melanin, and it had a chemical structure similar to that of melanin from the Silkie fowl peritoneum. In this way, the black abdomens of these broilers were found to have been caused by accumulation of melanin produced by melanocytes in visceral peritonea. PMID:24604870

  20. Composition and Interactions among Bacterial, Microeukaryotic, and T4-like Viral Assemblages in Lakes from Both Polar Zones

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, Aguirre de Cárcer; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos; Pearce, David A.; Alcamí, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In this study we assess global biogeography and correlation patterns among three components of microbial life: bacteria, microeukaryotes, and T4-like myoviruses. In addition to environmental and biogeographical considerations, we have focused our study on samples from high-latitude pristine lakes from both poles, since these simple island-like ecosystems represent ideal ecological models to probe the relationships among microbial components and with the environment. Bacterial assemblages were dominated by members of the same groups found to dominate freshwater ecosystems elsewhere, and microeukaryotic assemblages were dominated by photosynthetic microalgae. Despite inter-lake variations in community composition, the overall percentages of OTUs shared among sites was remarkable, indicating that many microeukaryotic, bacterial, and viral OTUs are globally-distributed. We observed an intriguing negative correlation between bacterial and microeukaryotic diversity values. Notably, our analyses show significant global correlations between bacterial and microeukaryotic community structures, and between the phylogenetic compositions of bacterial and T4-like virus assemblages. Overall, environmental filtering emerged as the main factor driving community structures. PMID:27047459

  1. Composition and Interactions among Bacterial, Microeukaryotic, and T4-like Viral Assemblages in Lakes from Both Polar Zones.

    PubMed

    Daniel, Aguirre de Cárcer; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos; Pearce, David A; Alcamí, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In this study we assess global biogeography and correlation patterns among three components of microbial life: bacteria, microeukaryotes, and T4-like myoviruses. In addition to environmental and biogeographical considerations, we have focused our study on samples from high-latitude pristine lakes from both poles, since these simple island-like ecosystems represent ideal ecological models to probe the relationships among microbial components and with the environment. Bacterial assemblages were dominated by members of the same groups found to dominate freshwater ecosystems elsewhere, and microeukaryotic assemblages were dominated by photosynthetic microalgae. Despite inter-lake variations in community composition, the overall percentages of OTUs shared among sites was remarkable, indicating that many microeukaryotic, bacterial, and viral OTUs are globally-distributed. We observed an intriguing negative correlation between bacterial and microeukaryotic diversity values. Notably, our analyses show significant global correlations between bacterial and microeukaryotic community structures, and between the phylogenetic compositions of bacterial and T4-like virus assemblages. Overall, environmental filtering emerged as the main factor driving community structures. PMID:27047459

  2. Comparison of Antioxidant Activities of Melanin Fractions from Chestnut Shell.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zeng-Yu; Qi, Jian-Hua

    2016-01-01

    Chestnut shell melanin can be used as a colorant and antioxidant, and fractionated into three fractions (Fr. 1, Fr. 2, and Fr. 3) with different physicochemical properties. Antioxidant activities of the fractions were comparatively evaluated for the first time. The fractions exhibited different antioxidative potential in different evaluation systems. Fr. 1, which is only soluble in alkaline water, had the strongest peroxidation inhibition and superoxide anion scavenging activity; Fr. 2, which is soluble in alkaline water and hydrophilic organic solvents but insoluble in neutral and acidic water, had the greatest power to chelate ferrous ions; and Fr. 3, which is soluble both in hydrophilic organic solvents and in water at any pH conditions, had the greatest hydroxyl (·OH) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH·) radicals scavenging abilities, reducing power, and phenolic content. The pigment fractions were superior to butylated hydroxytolune (BHT) in ·OH and DPPH· scavenging and to ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) in the Fe(2+)-chelation. They were inferior to BHT in peroxidation inhibition and O₂·(-) scavenging and reducing power. However, BHT is a synthetic antioxidant and cannot play the colorant role. The melanin fractions might be used as effective biological antioxidant colorants. PMID:27110763

  3. Bacterial endophthalmitis in the age of outpatient intravitreal therapies and cataract surgeries: Host-microbe interactions in intraocular infection

    PubMed Central

    Sadaka, Ama; Durand, Marlene L; Gilmore, Michael S

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial endophthalmitis is a sight threatening infection of the interior structures of the eye. Incidence in the US has increased in recent years, which appears to be related to procedures being performed on an aging population. The advent of outpatient intravitreal therapy for management of age-related macular degeneration raises yet additional risks. Compounding the problem is the continuing progression of antibiotic resistance. Visual prognosis for endophthalmitis depends on the virulence of the causative organism, the severity of intraocular inflammation, and the timeliness of effective therapy. We review the current understanding of the pathogenesis of bacterial endophthalmitis, highlighting opportunities for the development of improved therapeutics and preventive strategies. PMID:22521570

  4. Bacterial endophthalmitis in the age of outpatient intravitreal therapies and cataract surgeries: host-microbe interactions in intraocular infection.

    PubMed

    Sadaka, Ama; Durand, Marlene L; Gilmore, Michael S

    2012-07-01

    Bacterial endophthalmitis is a sight threatening infection of the interior structures of the eye. Incidence in the US has increased in recent years, which appears to be related to procedures being performed on an aging population. The advent of outpatient intravitreal therapy for management of age-related macular degeneration raises yet additional risks. Compounding the problem is the continuing progression of antibiotic resistance. Visual prognosis for endophthalmitis depends on the virulence of the causative organism, the severity of intraocular inflammation, and the timeliness of effective therapy. We review the current understanding of the pathogenesis of bacterial endophthalmitis, highlighting opportunities for the development of improved therapeutics and preventive strategies. PMID:22521570

  5. Multimodal microscopy and the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua

    The author's work is divided into three aspects: multimodal microscopy, stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, and customized-profile lenses (CPL) for on-axis laser scanners, which will be introduced respectively. A multimodal microscope provides the ability to image samples with multiple modalities on the same stage, which incorporates the benefits of all modalities. The multimodal microscopes developed in this dissertation are the Keck 3D fusion multimodal microscope 2.0 (3DFM 2.0), upgraded from the old 3DFM with improved performance and flexibility, and the multimodal microscope for targeting small particles (the "Target" system). The control systems developed for both microscopes are low-cost and easy-to-build, with all components off-the-shelf. The control system have not only significantly decreased the complexity and size of the microscope, but also increased the pixel resolution and flexibility. The SMPAF of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near-infrared (NIR) laser, has potential applications for a low-cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. The photophysics of melanin SMPAF has been studied by theoretical analysis of the excitation process and investigation of the spectra, activation threshold, and photon number absorption of melanin SMPAF. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin, mouse melanoma, and human black and white hairs are compared with images taken by conventional multi-photon fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). SMPAF images significantly increase specificity and demonstrate the potential to increase sensitivity for melanin detection compared to MPFM images and CRM images. Employing melanin SMPAF imaging to detect melanin inside human skin in vivo has been demonstrated, which proves the effectiveness of melanin detection using SMPAF for medical purposes. Selective melanin ablation with micrometer resolution has been presented using the Target system

  6. Interaction of mouse splenocytes and macrophages with bacterial strains in vitro: the effect of age in the immune response.

    PubMed

    Van Beek, A A; Hoogerland, J A; Belzer, C; De Vos, P; De Vos, W M; Savelkoul, H F J; Leenen, P J M

    2016-01-01

    Probiotics influence the immune system, both at the local and systemic level. Recent findings suggest the relation between microbiota and the immune system alters with age. Our objective was to address direct effects of six bacterial strains on immune cells from young and aged mice: Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1, Lactobacillus casei BL23, Lactococcus lactis MG1363, Bifidobacterium breve ATCC15700, Bifidobacterium infantis ATCC15697, and Akkermansia muciniphila ATCC BAA-835. We used splenocytes and naïve or interferon-γ-stimulated bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) as responder populations. All tested bacterial strains induced phenotypic and cytokine responses in splenocytes and BMDM. Based on magnitude of the cellular inflammatory response and cytokine profiles, two subgroups of bacteria were identified, i.e. L. plantarum and L. casei versus B. breve, B. infantis, and A. muciniphila. The latter group of bacteria induced high levels of cytokines produced under inflammatory conditions, including tumour necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10. Responses to L. lactis showed features of both subgroups. In addition, we compared responses by splenocytes and BMDM derived from young mice to those of aged mice, and found that splenocytes and BMDM derived from aged mice had an increased IL-10 production and dysregulated IL-6 and TNF production compared to young immune cells. Overall, our study shows differential inflammatory responses to distinct bacterial strains, and profound age-dependent effects. These findings, moreover, support the view that immune environment importantly influences bacterial immune effects. PMID:26689225

  7. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    PubMed

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  8. The Role of Gingival Melanin Pigmentation in Inflammation of Gingiva, Based on Genetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Eid, Hossam A; Syed, Sadatullah; Soliman, Abdel Nasser MM

    2013-01-01

    Background: Aim of the study was to investigate the relationship of melanin pigment and inflammatory process within gingival tissues based on clinical and genetic analysis by differential display technique and DNA sequencing. Materials and Methods: Seventy gingival biopsy specimens were taken from individuals with melanin pigmentation as well as healthy and inflamed gingiva. Specimens were examined by differential display technique using six different arbitrary primers. Cloning, sequencing and sequence analysis for six different genes were performed. Results: Gingival specimens with hyperpigmentation (clinical melanin score = 3) showed presence of both, down- and up-regulatory genes when compared with the gingival specimen with clinical melanin score 0. These genes may have a role in curtailing the progress of gingival inflammation associated with melanin hyperpigmentation. Conclusion: Melanin hyper pigmentation may possess a defensive role against progress of gingival inflammation How to cite this article:Eid HA, Syed S, Soliman AN. The Role of Gingival Melanin Pigmentation in Inflammation of Gingiva, Based on Genetic Analysis. J Int Oral Health 2013; 5(4):1-7. PMID:24155612

  9. Structural Studies of Bleached Melanin by Synchrotron Small-angle X-ray Scattering¶

    SciTech Connect

    Littrell, Kenneth C.; Gallas, James M.; Zajac, Gerry W.; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan

    2003-01-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to measure the effects of chemical bleaching on the size and morphology of tyrosine-derived synthetic melanin dispersed in aqueous media. The average size as measured by the radius of gyration of the melanin particles in solution, at neutral to mildly basic pH, decreases from 16.5 to 12.5 angstroms with increased bleaching. The melanin particles exhibit scattering characteristic of sheet-like structures with a thickness of approximately 11 angstroms at all but the highest levels of bleaching. The scattering data are well described by the form factor for scattering from a pancake-like circular cylinder. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that unbleached melanin, at neutral to mildly basic pH, is a planar aggregate of 6- to 10-nm-sized melanin protomolecules, hydrogen bonded through their quinone and phenolic perimeters. The observed decrease in melanin particle size with increased bleaching is interpreted as evidence for deaggregation, most probably the result of oxidative disruption of hydrogen bonds and an increase in the number of charged, carboxylic acid groups, whereby the melanin aggregates disassociate into units composed of decreasing numbers of protomolecules.

  10. A Non-canonical Melanin Biosynthesis Pathway Protects Aspergillus terreus Conidia from Environmental Stress.

    PubMed

    Geib, Elena; Gressler, Markus; Viediernikova, Iuliia; Hillmann, Falk; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Nietzsche, Sandor; Hertweck, Christian; Brock, Matthias

    2016-05-19

    Melanins are ubiquitous pigments found in all kingdoms of life. Most organisms use them for protection from environmental stress, although some fungi employ melanins as virulence determinants. The human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and related Ascomycetes produce dihydroxynaphthalene- (DHN) melanin in their spores, the conidia, and use it to inhibit phagolysosome acidification. However, biosynthetic origin of melanin in a related fungus, Aspergillus terreus, has remained a mystery because A. terreus lacks genes for synthesis of DHN-melanin. Here we identify genes coding for an unusual NRPS-like enzyme (MelA) and a tyrosinase (TyrP) that A. terreus expressed under conidiation conditions. We demonstrate that MelA produces aspulvinone E, which is activated for polymerization by TyrP. Functional studies reveal that this new pigment, Asp-melanin, confers resistance against UV light and hampers phagocytosis by soil amoeba. Unexpectedly, Asp-melanin does not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, thus likely contributing specifically to survival of A. terreus conidia in acidic environments. PMID:27133313

  11. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  12. Quantification method for the appearance of melanin pigmentation using independent component analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, Nobutoshi; Okiyama, Natsuko; Okaguchi, Saya; Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Hori, Kimihiko; Miyake, Yoichi

    2005-04-01

    In the cosmetics industry, skin color is very important because skin color gives a direct impression of the face. In particular, many people suffer from melanin pigmentation such as liver spots and freckles. However, it is very difficult to evaluate melanin pigmentation using conventional colorimetric values because these values contain information on various skin chromophores simultaneously. Therefore, it is necessary to extract information of the chromophore of individual skins independently as density information. The isolation of the melanin component image based on independent component analysis (ICA) from a single skin image was reported in 2003. However, this technique has not developed a quantification method for melanin pigmentation. This paper introduces a quantification method based on the ICA of a skin color image to isolate melanin pigmentation. The image acquisition system we used consists of commercially available equipment such as digital cameras and lighting sources with polarized light. The images taken were analyzed using ICA to extract the melanin component images, and Laplacian of Gaussian (LOG) filter was applied to extract the pigmented area. As a result, for skin images including those showing melanin pigmentation and acne, the method worked well. Finally, the total amount of extracted area had a strong correspondence to the subjective rating values for the appearance of pigmentation. Further analysis is needed to recognize the appearance of pigmentation concerning the size of the pigmented area and its spatial gradation.

  13. Biologically derived melanin electrodes in aqueous sodium-ion energy storage devices

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young Jo; Wu, Wei; Chun, Sang-Eun; Whitacre, Jay F.; Bettinger, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Biodegradable electronics represents an attractive and emerging paradigm in medical devices by harnessing simultaneous advantages afforded by electronically active systems and obviating issues with chronic implants. Integrating practical energy sources that are compatible with the envisioned operation of transient devices is an unmet challenge for biodegradable electronics. Although high-performance energy storage systems offer a feasible solution, toxic materials and electrolytes present regulatory hurdles for use in temporary medical devices. Aqueous sodium-ion charge storage devices combined with biocompatible electrodes are ideal components to power next-generation biodegradable electronics. Here, we report the use of biologically derived organic electrodes composed of melanin pigments for use in energy storage devices. Melanins of natural (derived from Sepia officinalis) and synthetic origin are evaluated as anode materials in aqueous sodium-ion storage devices. Na+-loaded melanin anodes exhibit specific capacities of 30.4 ± 1.6 mAhg−1. Full cells composed of natural melanin anodes and λ-MnO2 cathodes exhibit an initial potential of 1.03 ± 0.06 V with a maximum specific capacity of 16.1 ± 0.8 mAhg−1. Natural melanin anodes exhibit higher specific capacities compared with synthetic melanins due to a combination of beneficial chemical, electrical, and physical properties exhibited by the former. Taken together, these results suggest that melanin pigments may serve as a naturally occurring biologically derived charge storage material to power certain types of medical devices. PMID:24324163

  14. Cutaneous melanin exhibiting fluorescence emission under near-infrared light excitation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhiwei; Zeng, Haishan; Hamzavi, Iltefat; Alajlan, Abdulmajeed; Tan, Eileen; McLean, David I; Lui, Harvey

    2006-01-01

    Under ultraviolet and visible light excitation, melanin is essentially a nonfluorescent substance. This work reports our study on near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence properties of melanins, and explores potential applications of NIR fluorescence techniques for evaluating skin disorders involving melanin. The NIR fluorescence spectrum is obtained using a fiber optic NIR spectrometer under 785-nm laser excitation. In vitro measurements are performed on synthetic dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, melanin extracted from Sepia ink sacs, human hair, animal fur, and bird feathers. Paired spectral comparisons of white and black skin appendages show that melanization of hair, fur, or feathers more than doubles the NIR fluorescence. In vivo NIR autofluorescence of normal dorsal and volar forearm skin of 52 volunteers is measured. Dorsal forearm skin, which is darker than volar skin, exhibits significantly greater NIR fluorescence. Patients with vitiligo (n=4), compound nevus (n=3), nevus of Ota (n=1), superficial spreading melanoma (n=3), and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (n=1) are also evaluated. NIR fluorescence is greater within the lesion than the surrounding normal skin for all these conditions except vitiligo, where the converse was true. The observed melanin NIR fluorescence provides a new approach to in vitro and in vivo melanin detection and quantification that may be particularly useful for evaluating pigmented skin lesions. PMID:16822060

  15. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  16. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    PubMed Central

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  17. Vimentin in Bacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Tim N.; Brüggemann, Holger

    2016-01-01

    Despite well-studied bacterial strategies to target actin to subvert the host cell cytoskeleton, thus promoting bacterial survival, replication, and dissemination, relatively little is known about the bacterial interaction with other components of the host cell cytoskeleton, including intermediate filaments (IFs). IFs have not only roles in maintaining the structural integrity of the cell, but they are also involved in many cellular processes including cell adhesion, immune signaling, and autophagy, processes that are important in the context of bacterial infections. Here, we summarize the knowledge about the role of IFs in bacterial infections, focusing on the type III IF protein vimentin. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of vimentin in host cell defenses, acting as ligand for several pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system. Two main aspects of bacteria-vimentin interactions are presented in this review: the role of vimentin in pathogen-binding on the cell surface and subsequent bacterial invasion and the interaction of cytosolic vimentin and intracellular pathogens with regards to innate immune signaling. Mechanistic insight is presented involving distinct bacterial virulence factors that target vimentin to subvert its function in order to change the host cell fate in the course of a bacterial infection. PMID:27096872

  18. Vimentin in Bacterial Infections.

    PubMed

    Mak, Tim N; Brüggemann, Holger

    2016-01-01

    Despite well-studied bacterial strategies to target actin to subvert the host cell cytoskeleton, thus promoting bacterial survival, replication, and dissemination, relatively little is known about the bacterial interaction with other components of the host cell cytoskeleton, including intermediate filaments (IFs). IFs have not only roles in maintaining the structural integrity of the cell, but they are also involved in many cellular processes including cell adhesion, immune signaling, and autophagy, processes that are important in the context of bacterial infections. Here, we summarize the knowledge about the role of IFs in bacterial infections, focusing on the type III IF protein vimentin. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of vimentin in host cell defenses, acting as ligand for several pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system. Two main aspects of bacteria-vimentin interactions are presented in this review: the role of vimentin in pathogen-binding on the cell surface and subsequent bacterial invasion and the interaction of cytosolic vimentin and intracellular pathogens with regards to innate immune signaling. Mechanistic insight is presented involving distinct bacterial virulence factors that target vimentin to subvert its function in order to change the host cell fate in the course of a bacterial infection. PMID:27096872

  19. Analysis of the structure of synthetic and natural melanins by solid-phase

    SciTech Connect

    Duff, G.A.; Roberts, J.E.; Foster, N.

    1988-09-06

    The structures of one synthetic and two natural melanins are examined by solid-state NMR using cross polarization, magic angle sample spinning, and high-power proton decoupling. The structural features of synthetic dopa malanin are compared to those of melanin from malignant melanoma cells grown in culture and sepia melanin from squid ink. Natural abundance /sup 13/C and /sup 15/N spectra show resonances consistent with known pyrrolic and indolic structures within the heterogeneous biopolymer; /sup 13/C spectra indicate the presence of aliphatic residues in all three materials. These solid-phase experiments illustrate the promise of solid-phase NMR for elucidating structural from insoluble biomaterials.

  20. Melanin Concentration Gradients in Modern and Fossil Feathers

    PubMed Central

    Field, Daniel J.; D’Alba, Liliana; Vinther, Jakob; Webb, Samuel M.; Gearty, William; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    In birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs, within-feather pigmentation patterns range from discrete spots and stripes to more subtle patterns, but the latter remain largely unstudied. A ∼55 million year old fossil contour feather with a dark distal tip grading into a lighter base was recovered from the Fur Formation in Denmark. SEM and synchrotron-based trace metal mapping confirmed that this gradient was caused by differential concentration of melanin. To assess the potential ecological and phylogenetic prevalence of this pattern, we evaluated 321 modern samples from 18 orders within Aves. We observed that the pattern was found most frequently in distantly related groups that share aquatic ecologies (e.g. waterfowl Anseriformes, penguins Sphenisciformes), suggesting a potential adaptive function with ancient origins. PMID:23555675

  1. A Molecular-Level Landscape of Diet-Gut Microbiome Interactions: Toward Dietary Interventions Targeting Bacterial Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Yueqiong; Li, Jun

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT As diet is considered the major regulator of the gut ecosystem, the overall objective of this work was to demonstrate that a detailed knowledge of the phytochemical composition of food could add to our understanding of observed changes in functionality and activity of the gut microbiota. We used metatranscriptomic data from a human dietary intervention study to develop a network that consists of >400 compounds present in the administered plant-based diet linked to 609 microbial targets in the gut. Approximately 20% of the targeted bacterial proteins showed significant changes in their gene expression levels, while functional and topology analyses revealed that proteins in metabolic networks with high centrality are the most “vulnerable” targets. This global view and the mechanistic understanding of the associations between microbial gene expression and dietary molecules could be regarded as a promising methodological approach for targeting specific bacterial proteins that impact human health. PMID:26507230

  2. Interrupting peptidoglycan deacetylation during Bdellovibrio predator-prey interaction prevents ultimate destruction of prey wall, liberating bacterial-ghosts.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Carey; Lerner, Thomas R; Bui, Nhat Khai; Somers, Hannah; Aizawa, Shin-Ichi; Liddell, Susan; Clark, Ana; Vollmer, Waldemar; Lovering, Andrew L; Sockett, R Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The peptidoglycan wall, located in the periplasm between the inner and outer membranes of the cell envelope in Gram-negative bacteria, maintains cell shape and endows osmotic robustness. Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteria invade the periplasm of other bacterial prey cells, usually crossing the peptidoglycan layer, forming transient structures called bdelloplasts within which the predators replicate. Prey peptidoglycan remains intact for several hours, but is modified and then degraded by escaping predators. Here we show predation is altered by deleting two Bdellovibrio N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) deacetylases, one of which we show to have a unique two domain structure with a novel regulatory"plug". Deleting the deacetylases limits peptidoglycan degradation and rounded prey cell "ghosts" persist after mutant-predator exit. Mutant predators can replicate unusually in the periplasmic region between the peptidoglycan wall and the outer membrane rather than between wall and inner-membrane, yet still obtain nutrients from the prey cytoplasm. Deleting two further genes encoding DacB/PBP4 family proteins, known to decrosslink and round prey peptidoglycan, results in a quadruple mutant Bdellovibrio which leaves prey-shaped ghosts upon predation. The resultant bacterial ghosts contain cytoplasmic membrane within bacteria-shaped peptidoglycan surrounded by outer membrane material which could have promise as "bacterial skeletons" for housing artificial chromosomes. PMID:27211869

  3. Interrupting peptidoglycan deacetylation during Bdellovibrio predator-prey interaction prevents ultimate destruction of prey wall, liberating bacterial-ghosts

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Carey; Lerner, Thomas R.; Bui, Nhat Khai; Somers, Hannah; Aizawa, Shin-Ichi; Liddell, Susan; Clark, Ana; Vollmer, Waldemar; Lovering, Andrew L.; Sockett, R. Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The peptidoglycan wall, located in the periplasm between the inner and outer membranes of the cell envelope in Gram-negative bacteria, maintains cell shape and endows osmotic robustness. Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteria invade the periplasm of other bacterial prey cells, usually crossing the peptidoglycan layer, forming transient structures called bdelloplasts within which the predators replicate. Prey peptidoglycan remains intact for several hours, but is modified and then degraded by escaping predators. Here we show predation is altered by deleting two Bdellovibrio N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) deacetylases, one of which we show to have a unique two domain structure with a novel regulatory”plug”. Deleting the deacetylases limits peptidoglycan degradation and rounded prey cell “ghosts” persist after mutant-predator exit. Mutant predators can replicate unusually in the periplasmic region between the peptidoglycan wall and the outer membrane rather than between wall and inner-membrane, yet still obtain nutrients from the prey cytoplasm. Deleting two further genes encoding DacB/PBP4 family proteins, known to decrosslink and round prey peptidoglycan, results in a quadruple mutant Bdellovibrio which leaves prey-shaped ghosts upon predation. The resultant bacterial ghosts contain cytoplasmic membrane within bacteria-shaped peptidoglycan surrounded by outer membrane material which could have promise as “bacterial skeletons” for housing artificial chromosomes. PMID:27211869

  4. Capsular Sialic Acid of Streptococcus suis Serotype 2 Binds to Swine Influenza Virus and Enhances Bacterial Interactions with Virus-Infected Tracheal Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yingchao; Gagnon, Carl A.; Savard, Christian; Music, Nedzad; Srednik, Mariela; Segura, Mariela; Lachance, Claude; Bellehumeur, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is an important swine bacterial pathogen, and it is also an emerging zoonotic agent. It is unknown how S. suis virulent strains, which are usually found in low quantities in pig tonsils, manage to cross the first host defense lines to initiate systemic disease. Influenza virus produces a contagious infection in pigs which is frequently complicated by bacterial coinfections, leading to significant economic impacts. In this study, the effect of a preceding swine influenza H1N1 virus (swH1N1) infection of swine tracheal epithelial cells (NTPr) on the ability of S. suis serotype 2 to adhere to, invade, and activate these cells was evaluated. Cells preinfected with swH1N1 showed bacterial adhesion and invasion levels that were increased more than 100-fold compared to those of normal cells. Inhibition studies confirmed that the capsular sialic acid moiety is responsible for the binding to virus-infected cell surfaces. Also, preincubation of S. suis with swH1N1 significantly increased bacterial adhesion to/invasion of epithelial cells, suggesting that S. suis also uses swH1N1 as a vehicle to invade epithelial cells when the two infections occur simultaneously. Influenza virus infection may facilitate the transient passage of S. suis at the respiratory tract to reach the bloodstream and cause bacteremia and septicemia. S. suis may also increase the local inflammation at the respiratory tract during influenza infection, as suggested by an exacerbated expression of proinflammatory mediators in coinfected cells. These results give new insight into the complex interactions between influenza virus and S. suis in a coinfection model. PMID:24082069

  5. Bacterial Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, Erwin; Reichenbach, Tobias

    Microbial laboratory communities have become model systems for studying the complex interplay between nonlinear dynamics of evolutionary selection forces, stochastic fluctuations arising from the probabilistic nature of interactions, and spatial organization. Major research goals are to identify and understand mechanisms that ensure viability of microbial colonies by allowing for species diversity, cooperative behavior and other kinds of "social" behavior. A synthesis of evolutionary game theory, nonlinear dynamics, and the theory of stochastic processes provides the mathematical tools and conceptual framework for a deeper understanding of these ecological systems. We give an introduction to the modern formulation of these theories and illustrate their effectiveness, focusing on selected examples of microbial systems. Intrinsic fluctuations, stemming from the discreteness of individuals, are ubiquitous, and can have important impact on the stability of ecosystems. In the absence of speciation, extinction of species is unavoidable, may, however, take very long times. We provide a general concept for defining survival and extinction on ecological time scales. Spatial degrees of freedom come with a certain mobility of individuals. When the latter is sufficiently high, bacterial community structures can be understood through mapping individual-based models, in a continuum approach, onto stochastic partial differential equations. These allow progress using methods of nonlinear dynamics such as bifurcation analysis and invariant manifolds. We conclude with a perspective on the current challenges in quantifying bacterial pattern formation, and how this might have an impact on fundamental research in nonequilibrium physics .

  6. Lasers in esthetic treatment of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation: a review article.

    PubMed

    Bakhshi, Mahin; Rahmani, Somayeh; Rahmani, Ali

    2015-11-01

    The health and suitability of mouth components play an important role towards defining facial attractiveness. An important component of the oral cavity is the color of the gingival tissue. Gingival melanin hyperpigmentation is caused by several reasons and affects people across ethnicity, race, age, and both gender. Lasers are presently being used for gingival melanin depigmentation. In this article, we reviewed studies on laser parameters, duration of gingival healing, pain perception during and after the operation, scores used for the evaluation of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation, follow-up period, treatment results, and recurrence reports. We conclude that laser ablation for gingival depigmentation is one of the most pleasant, reliable, acceptable, and impressive techniques available for treating gingival melanin hyperpigmentation. PMID:26370204

  7. Mechanisms of branching reactions in melanin formation - Ab initio quantum engineering approach -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishida, Ryo; Menez Aspera, Susan; Kasai, Hideaki

    Melanin, a pigment found in animals, consists of two types of oligomeric unit: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The color of the skin, the hair, and the eyes is controlled by the ratio of eumelanin/pheomelanin production. Especially, dopachrome and dopaquinone are the precursor molecules of melanin which directly affect the composition of melanin through their branching reactions. Dopachrome is converted into two possible monomers of eumelanin. Dopaquinone can undergo both eumelanin and pheomelanin synthesis. To understand the mechanisms and controlling factors that govern the conversions, reactions of the two molecules are investigated using density functional theory-based first-principles calculations. Our results deepen mechanistic understanding of the reactions and open possibilities to design properties and functions of melanin. In this talk, we will discuss about the competitions of the branching reactions.

  8. Analysis of lysosomal membrane proteins exposed to melanin in HeLa cells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Objectives There have been developed to use targeting ability for antimicrobial, anticancerous, gene therapy and cosmetics through analysis of various membrane proteins isolated from cell organelles. Methods It was examined about the lysosomal membrane protein extracted from lysosome isolated from HeLa cell treated by 100 ppm melanin for 24 hours in order to find associated with targeting ability to melanin using by 2-dimensional electrophoresis. Results The result showed 14 up-regulated (1.5-fold) and 13 down-regulated (2.0-fold) spots in relation to melanin exposure. Conclusions It has been found that lysosomal membrane proteins are associated with melanin to decolorize and quantity through cellular activation of lysosome. PMID:27158002

  9. Natural melanin: a potential pH-responsive drug release device.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Marco; Viveiros, Raquel; Correia, Tiago R; Correia, Ilídio J; Bonifácio, Vasco D B; Casimiro, Teresa; Aguiar-Ricardo, Ana

    2014-07-20

    This work proposes melanin as a new nanocarrier for pH-responsive drug release. Melanin is an abundant natural polymer that can be easily extracted from cuttlefish as nanoparticles with a suitable size range for drug delivery. However, despite its high potentiality, the application of this biopolymer in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields is yet to be explored. Herein, melanin nanoparticles were impregnated with metronidazole, chosen as model antibiotic drug, using supercritical carbon dioxide. The drug release profile was investigated at acidic and physiologic pH, and the dominant mechanism was found to follow a non-Fickian transport. Drug release from melanin shows a strong pH dependency, which allied to its biocompatibility and lack of cytotoxicity envisages its potential application as nanocarrier in formulations for colon and intestine targeted drug delivery. PMID:24768404

  10. Gamma-resonance study of the reaction of iron ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Bagirov, R.M.; Stukan, R.A.; Lapina, V.A.; Dontsov, A.E.; Ostrovskii, M.A.

    1986-07-01

    The reaction of Fe/sup 3 +/ and Fe/sup 2 +/ ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin, which is a model compound of natural melanin (the melanoprotein granules in the pigment epithelial cells in vertebrate and human eyes), has been studied by gamma-resonance spectroscopy. The investigations showed that L-dopa melanin is capable of effectively binding iron ions and that it displays oxidative or reducing properties with respect to Fe, depending on the composition of the subsystem of the Fe ions and the ambient pH. Trivalent Fe/sup 3 +/ ions form stronger complexes with L-dopa melanin than do Fe/sup 2 +/ ions. The coordination takes place mainly with the carboxyl groups and the amino and imino groups of the polymer. The conformational state of the polymer apparently changes as the pH is varied.

  11. Flux pinning mechanism and Hc2-anisotropy in melanin doped bulk MgB2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahabuddin Shah, M.; Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Alzayed, Nasser S.; Parakkandy, Jafar M.

    2014-06-01

    Flux pinning mechanism in melanin doped MgB2 superconductor has been studied using a scaling law proposed by Dew-Hughes and another method proposed by Eisterer. Our experimental data could be fitted very closely by the aforementioned scaling law. The fitting parameters, the positions of peaks bpeak and k = bpeak/bn confirm a grain-boundary pinning in the 10% melanin doped sample, while the undoped sample consists of mixed pinning. Furthermore, percolation theory was utilized under grain-boundary approximation to investigate the role of Hc2-anisotropy in the critical current density, and its dependence on applied field as well as temperature. The Hc2-anisotropy decreases with melanin doping resulting in the increase of Jc in high field. There is suppression of flux pinning maximum due to melanin doping, which is found to be the main reason for the degradation of low-field Jc.

  12. Aluminum ions accelerated the oxidative stress of copper-mediated melanin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Junwei; Bi, Shuping

    2003-11-01

    A comparison between the effects of aluminum and cupric ions on the dopachrome (DC) conversion and the cooperation effect of the both ions in the DOPA oxidation to melanin pathway has been studied by UV-Vis spectrophotometric method. Both aluminum and cupric ions catalyze the DC conversion reaction, which is an important step in the melanin synthesis pathway. However, cupric ions catalyze the conversion of DC to yield 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) but the product of DC conversion catalyzed by aluminum is 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI). DOPA oxidation catalyzed by aluminum and cupric ions is studied in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The results from our experiments provide evidence that aluminum can markedly increase the oxidative stress of copper-mediated the melanin formation and influence the properties of the melanin by means of changing the ratio of DHICA/DHI in the acidic environment (pH 5.5).

  13. Roles of reactive oxygen species in UVA-induced oxidation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid-melanin as studied by differential spectrophotometric method.

    PubMed

    Ito, Shosuke; Kikuta, Marina; Koike, Shota; Szewczyk, Grzegorz; Sarna, Michal; Zadlo, Andrzej; Sarna, Tadeusz; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2016-05-01

    Eumelanin photoprotects pigmented tissues from ultraviolet (UV) damage. However, UVA-induced tanning seems to result from the photooxidation of preexisting melanin and does not contribute to photoprotection. We investigated the mechanism of UVA-induced degradation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA)-melanin taking advantage of its solubility in a neutral buffer and using a differential spectrophotometric method to detect subtle changes in its structure. Our methodology is suitable for examining the effects of various agents that interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to determine how ROS is involved in the UVA-induced oxidative modifications. The results show that UVA radiation induces the oxidation of DHICA to indole-5,6-quinone-2-carboxylic acid in eumelanin, which is then cleaved to form a photodegraded, pyrrolic moiety and finally to form free pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid. The possible involvement of superoxide radical and singlet oxygen in the oxidation was suggested. The generation and quenching of singlet oxygen by DHICA-melanin was confirmed by direct measurements of singlet oxygen phosphorescence. PMID:26920809

  14. 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

  15. Possible interaction between the bacterial transcription factor ArtA and the eukaryotic RNA polymerase III promoter.

    PubMed

    Matsutani, Sachiko

    2016-06-01

    Eukaryotic RNA polymerase III (RNAP III) transcribes tRNA genes and short interspersed elements that have internal promoters consisting of A- and B-blocks. The B-block binding subunit of the transcription initiation factor TFIIIC binds to the B-block. The mobile bacterial insertion sequence (IS) 1 contains a RNAP III promoter-like sequence, which stimulates bacterial transcription along with the bacterial ArtA protein. Here, the DNA-binding ability of ArtA was examined in vitro using a simple, newly developed method. Various DNA fragments, including RNAP III promoter fragments, were separately incubated with purified ArtA, and then loaded onto a polyacrylamide gel. Since DNAs bound by ArtA remain in the gel wells during electrophoresis, SDS was added into the wells at the electrophoresis halfway point. It was hypothesized that SDS would dissociate the DNA-ArtA complexes in the wells, and then the DNAs would begin to migrate. In fact, new bands appeared in all of the lanes at similar intensities, indicating that ArtA binds nonspecifically to DNA. Therefore, labeled wild-type RNAP III promoter fragments were incubated with either the unlabeled wild-type or mutant fragments and ArtA, and electrophoresed. The B-block(-like) sequences of IS1, a human Alu element, and an anuran tRNA gene were important for binding to ArtA. Additionally, in silico analyses revealed the presence of the RNAP III promoter-like structures in the IS1 isoforms and the IS3 family elements. These results suggest the presence of parts of the RNAP III transcription machinery in bacteria, and might imply that its prototype existed in the common ancestor. PMID:27178279

  16. The role of melanin as protector against free radicals in skin and its role as free radical indicator in hair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrling, Thomas; Jung, Katinka; Fuchs, Jürgen

    2008-05-01

    Throughout the body, melanin is a homogenous biological polymer containing a population of intrinsic, semiquinone-like radicals. Additional extrinsic free radicals are reversibly photo-generated by UV and visible light. Melanin photochemistry, particularly the formation and decay of extrinsic radicals, has been the subject of numerous electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy studies. Several melanin monomers exist, and the predominant monomer in a melanin polymer depends on its location within an organism. In skin and hair, melanin differs in content of eumelanin or pheomelanin. Its bioradical character and its susceptibility to UV irradiation makes melanin an excellent indicator for UV-related processes in both skin and hair. The existence of melanin in skin is strongly correlated with the prevention against free radicals/ROS generated by UV radiation. Especially in the skin melanin (mainly eumelanin) ensures the only natural UV protection by eliminating the generated free radicals/ROS. Melanin in hair can be used as a free radical detector for evaluating the efficacy of hair care products. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of melanin as protector of skin against UV generated free radicals and as free radical indicator in hair.

  17. Detection of Antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Melanin in In Vitro and In Vivo Studies during Infection ▿

    PubMed Central

    Urán, Martha E.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Restrepo, Angela; Hamilton, Andrew J.; Gómez, Beatriz L.; Cano, Luz E.

    2011-01-01

    Several cell wall constituents, including melanins or melanin-like compounds, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of microbial diseases caused by diverse species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and helminthes. Among these microorganisms, the dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produces melanin in its conidial and yeast forms. In the present study, melanin particles from P. brasiliensis were injected into BALB/c mice in order to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). We identified five immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) κ-chain and four IgM melanin-binding MAbs. The five IgG1 κ-chain isotypes are the first melanin-binding IgG MAbs ever reported. The nine MAbs labeled P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast cells both in vitro and in pulmonary tissues. The MAbs cross-reacted with melanin-like purified particles from other fungi and also with commercial melanins, such as synthetic and Sepia officinalis melanin. Melanization during paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) was also further supported by the detection of IgG antibodies reactive to melanin from P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast in sera and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from P. brasiliensis-infected mice, as well as in sera from human patients with PCM. Serum specimens from patients with other mycoses were also tested for melanin-binding antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cross-reactivities were detected for melanin particles from different fungal sources. These results suggest that melanin from P. brasiliensis is an immunologically active fungal structure that activates a strong IgG humoral response in humans and mice. PMID:21813659

  18. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

    PubMed

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin) in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown) and belly (white-to-brownish) feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu) differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations, potentially

  19. Bacterial Hydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauga, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria predate plants and animals by billions of years. Today, they are the world's smallest cells, yet they represent the bulk of the world's biomass and the main reservoir of nutrients for higher organisms. Most bacteria can move on their own, and the majority of motile bacteria are able to swim in viscous fluids using slender helical appendages called flagella. Low-Reynolds number hydrodynamics is at the heart of the ability of flagella to generate propulsion at the micrometer scale. In fact, fluid dynamic forces impact many aspects of bacteriology, ranging from the ability of cells to reorient and search their surroundings to their interactions within mechanically and chemically complex environments. Using hydrodynamics as an organizing framework, I review the biomechanics of bacterial motility and look ahead to future challenges.

  20. Membrane Interaction of Antimicrobial Peptides Using E. coli Lipid Extract as Model Bacterial Cell Membranes and SFG Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Soblosky, Lauren; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy; Chen, Zhan

    2015-01-01

    Supported lipid bilayers are used as a convenient model cell membrane system to study biologically important molecule-lipid interactions in situ. However, the lipid bilayer models are often simple and the acquired results with these models may not provide all pertinent information related to a real cell membrane. In this work, we use sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy to study molecular-level interactions between the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) MSI-594, ovispirin-1 G18, magainin 2 and a simple 1,2-dipalmitoyl-d62-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (dDPPG)-1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (POPG) bilayer. We compared such interactions to those between the AMPs and a more complex dDPPG/E. coli polar lipid extract bilayer. We show that to fully understand more complex aspects of peptide-bilayer interaction, such as interaction kinetics, a heterogeneous lipid composition is required, such as the E. coli polar lipid extract. The discrepancy in peptide-bilayer interaction is likely due in part to the difference in bilayer charge between the two systems since highly negative charged lipids can promote more favorable electrostatic interactions between the peptide and lipid bilayer. Results presented in this paper indicate that more complex model bilayers are needed to accurately analyze peptide-cell membrane interactions and demonstrates the importance of using an appropriate lipid composition to study AMP interaction properties. PMID:25707312

  1. Dancing with the Stars: How Choreographed Bacterial Interactions Dictate Nososymbiocity and Give Rise to Keystone Pathogens, Accessory Pathogens, and Pathobionts.

    PubMed

    Hajishengallis, George; Lamont, Richard J

    2016-06-01

    Many diseases that originate on mucosal membranes ensue from the action of polymicrobial communities of indigenous organisms working in concert to disrupt homeostatic mechanisms. Multilevel physical and chemical communication systems among constituent organisms underlie polymicrobial synergy and dictate the community's pathogenic potential or nososymbiocity, that is, disease arising from living together with a susceptible host. Functional specialization of community participants, often originating from metabolic codependence, has given rise to several newly appreciated designations within the commensal-to-pathogen spectrum. Accessory pathogens, while inherently commensal in a particular microenvironment, nonetheless enhance the colonization or metabolic activity of pathogens. Keystone pathogens (bacterial drivers or alpha-bugs) exert their influence at low abundance by modulating both the composition and levels of community participants and by manipulating host responses. Pathobionts (or bacterial passengers) exploit disrupted host homeostasis to flourish and promote inflammatory disease. In this review we discuss how commensal or pathogenic properties of organisms are not intrinsic features, and have to be considered within the context of both the microbial community in which they reside and the host immune status. PMID:26968354

  2. Production and Characterization of Melanin by Submerged Culture of Culinary and Medicinal Fungi Auricularia auricula.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Xiao, Gongnian; Thring, Ronald W; Chen, Wan; Zhou, Huabin; Yang, Hailong

    2015-05-01

    Natural melanin is of great potential value and application in the fields of pharmacology, cosmetics, and functional foods. In the present study, statistically designed experiments were conducted for the optimization of the media to enhance the production of melanin by submerged culture of Auricularia auricula. Glucose, tyrosine, peptone, and CaCO3 were found to have significant effects (P < 0.015) on melanin biosynthesis by a Plackett-Burman experimental design and subsequently optimized using response surface methodology. Optimal media were obtained at the following concentrations: glucose, 0.90 g/L; tyrosine, 6.68 g/L; peptone, 6.99 g/L; and CaCO3, 6.75 g/L. The validity of the optimum media was verified in separate experiments in which the melanin yield of 1008.08 mg/L was obtained under optimum conditions, compared with 306.52 mg/L at other conditions, i.e., a 3.29-fold increase. Furthermore, the important physical and chemical properties of A. auricula melanin were determined. The findings from the present study indicate that large-scale production of natural melanin by submerged culture of A. auricular could be a useful approach. PMID:25800528

  3. UV-induced Melanin Chemiexcitation: A New Mode of Melanoma Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Brash, Douglas E

    2016-06-01

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), DNA photoproducts usually created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. Surprisingly, we found that, in melanocytes, CPDs were generated for hours after UVA or UVB exposure. These "dark CPDs" constituted the majority of CPDs in cultured human and murine melanocytes and in mouse skin, and they were most prominent in skin containing pheomelanin, the melanin responsible for blonde and red hair. The mechanism was also a surprise. Dark cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) arise when ultraviolet (UV)-induced superoxide and nitric oxide combine to form peroxynitrite, one of the few biological molecules capable of exciting an electron. This process, termed "chemiexcitation," is the source of bioluminescence in lower organisms. Excitation occurred in fragments of melanin, creating a quantum triplet state that had the energy of a UV photon but which induced CPDs by radiationless energy transfer to DNA. UVA and peroxynitrite also solubilized melanin and permeabilized the nuclear membrane, allowing melanin to enter. Melanin is evidently carcinogenic as well as protective. Chemiexcitation may also trigger pathogenesis in internal tissues because the same chemistry should arise wherever superoxide and nitric oxide arise near cells that contain melanin. PMID:26951162

  4. Melanin from the Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: A Spectroscopic Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Raja

    2014-01-01

    Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state 13C NMR), we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation. PMID:24416247

  5. Influence of melanin on mutation load in Drosophila populations after long-term irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Mosse, I.B.; Lyakh, I.P.

    1994-09-01

    The effect of melanin on the level of mutation load has been studied in experimental Drosophila populations exposed to radiation for 115 generations. Four types of populations have been analyzed: (1) control; (2) treated with melanin; (3) irradiated; (4) irradiated and treated with melanin. Melanin was produced by auto-oxidation of 1-dioxyphenylallanine and was constantly added to food. Populations were X-irradiated twice in each generation (at the larvae stage with 6 Gy and at the imago stage with 9 Gy). The level of recessive mutation on the third chromosome was analyzed by a standard genetic method of balanced lethals. The data obtained have shown that the populations exposed to long-term irradiation have the greatest number of mutations decreasing viability. Melanin exhibited radioprotective properties-it reduced the percentage of lethal, semilethal and subvital mutations. Thus the possibility of effective protection of populations exposed to radiation for many generations by melanin has been shown for the first time. 19 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  6. The contribution of the melanin pathway to overall body pigmentation during ontogenesis of Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Lemonds, Thomas R; Liu, Jin; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-08-01

    The most prominent colors observed in insects are black or brown, whose production is attributed to the melanin pathway. At present, though, the contribution of this pathway to overall body pigmentation throughout ontogenesis is still lacking. To address this question we examined the roles of 2 key melanin genes (TH and DDC), in embryonic and postembryonic development of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Our results show that the melanin pathway does not contribute to the light brown coloration observed in the first nymphs. However, the dark brown coloration in mid nymphs and adults is produced solely from the melanin pathway. In addition, the DDC RNAi results reveal that it is dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, acts as the main contributor in this process. Overall, present study provides a new insight into insect pigmentation suggesting that genetic mechanisms of coloration can change during ontogenesis. Future studies of additional basal insect lineages will be required to assess in more details the generality of this phenomenon. PMID:27158782

  7. Tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumholz, Arie; Chavez, Sarah; Yao, Junjie; Fleming, Timothy; Gillanders, William E.; Wang, Lihong V.

    2011-03-01

    It is difficult to distinguish between tumor cells and surrounding cells without staining as is done in histology. We developed tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a reporter gene for photoacoustic tomography. Tyrosinase is the primary enzyme responsible for the production of melanin and alone is sufficient to produce melanin in non-melanogenic cells. Two cell lines were created: a stably transfected HeLa line and a transiently transfected 293 line. A phantom experiment was performed with the 293 transfected cells 48 hours post transfection and the results compared with oxygenated whole blood, B16 melanoma and 293 control cells. An in vivo experiment was performed using the transfected HeLa cells xenografted into a nude mouse ear, and then imaged. The results show strong contrast for tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin in both the 293 cells in the tube phantom as well as the in vivo result showing melanin in a nude mouse ear. Transfection increased expression in 293 cells 159 fold and image contrast compared to blood by as much as 50 fold. Due to the strong signal obtained at longer wavelengths and the decrease of blood signal at the same wavelengths, tyrosinase catalyzed melanin is a good candidate as a molecular imaging contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography.

  8. Characterization and biological activities of extracellular melanin produced by Schizophyllum commune (Fries).

    PubMed

    Arun, G; Eyini, M; Gunasekaran, P

    2015-06-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Here, we have isolated and characterized extracellular melanin from mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune. The extracellular dark pigment produced by the broth culture of S. commune, after 21 days of incubation was recovered by hot acid-alkali treatment. The melanin nature of the pigment was characterized by biochemical tests and further, confirmed by UV, IR, EPR, NMR and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectra. Extracellular melanin, at 100 μg/ml, showed significant antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas fluorescens and antifungal activity against Trichophyton simii and T. rubrum. At a concentration of 50 μg/ml, melanin showed high free radical scavenging activity of DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) indicating its antioxidant potential. It showed concentration dependent inhibition of cell proliferation of Human Epidermoid Larynx Carcinoma Cell Line (HEP-2). This study has demonstrated characterization of melanin from basidiomycetes mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune and its applications. PMID:26155678

  9. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon.

    PubMed

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data. PMID:26882169

  10. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon

    PubMed Central

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data. PMID:26882169

  11. Interaction of bacterial fatty-acid-displaced regulators with DNA is interrupted by tyrosine phosphorylation in the helix-turn-helix domain

    PubMed Central

    Derouiche, Abderahmane; Bidnenko, Vladimir; Grenha, Rosa; Pigonneau, Nathalie; Ventroux, Magali; Franz-Wachtel, Mirita; Nessler, Sylvie; Noirot-Gros, Marie-Françoise; Mijakovic, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria possess transcription regulators (of the TetR family) specifically dedicated to repressing genes for cytochrome P450, involved in oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Interaction of these repressors with operator sequences is disrupted in the presence of fatty acids, and they are therefore known as fatty-acid-displaced regulators. Here, we describe a novel mechanism of inactivating the interaction of these proteins with DNA, illustrated by the example of Bacillus subtilis regulator FatR. FatR was found to interact in a two-hybrid assay with TkmA, an activator of the protein-tyrosine kinase PtkA. We show that FatR is phosphorylated specifically at the residue tyrosine 45 in its helix-turn-helix domain by the kinase PtkA. Structural modelling reveals that the hydroxyl group of tyrosine 45 interacts with DNA, and we show that this phosphorylation reduces FatR DNA binding capacity. Point mutants mimicking phosphorylation of FatR in vivo lead to a strong derepression of the fatR operon, indicating that this regulatory mechanism works independently of derepression by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Tyrosine 45 is a highly conserved residue, and PtkA from B. subtilis can phosphorylate FatR homologues from other bacteria. This indicates that phosphorylation of tyrosine 45 may be a general mechanism of switching off bacterial fatty-acid-displaced regulators. PMID:23939619

  12. Metagenome Survey of a Multispecies and Alga-Associated Biofilm Revealed Key Elements of Bacterial-Algal Interactions in Photobioreactors

    PubMed Central

    Krohn-Molt, Ines; Wemheuer, Bernd; Alawi, Malik; Poehlein, Anja; Güllert, Simon; Schmeisser, Christel; Pommerening-Röser, Andreas; Grundhoff, Adam; Daniel, Rolf; Hanelt, Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Photobioreactors (PBRs) are very attractive for sunlight-driven production of biofuels and capturing of anthropogenic CO2. One major problem associated with PBRs however, is that the bacteria usually associated with microalgae in nonaxenic cultures can lead to biofouling and thereby affect algal productivity. Here, we report on a phylogenetic, metagenome, and functional analysis of a mixed-species bacterial biofilm associated with the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus obliquus in a PBR. The biofilm diversity and population dynamics were examined through 16S rRNA phylogeny. Overall, the diversity was rather limited, with approximately 30 bacterial species associated with the algae. The majority of the observed microorganisms were affiliated with Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. A combined approach of sequencing via GS FLX Titanium from Roche and HiSeq 2000 from Illumina resulted in the overall production of 350 Mbp of sequenced DNA, 165 Mbp of which was assembled in larger contigs with a maximum size of 0.2 Mbp. A KEGG pathway analysis suggested high metabolic diversity with respect to the use of polymers and aromatic and nonaromatic compounds. Genes associated with the biosynthesis of essential B vitamins were highly redundant and functional. Moreover, a relatively high number of predicted and functional lipase and esterase genes indicated that the alga-associated bacteria are possibly a major sink for lipids and fatty acids produced by the microalgae. This is the first metagenome study of microalga- and PBR-associated biofilm bacteria, and it gives new clues for improved biofuel production in PBRs. PMID:23913425

  13. Co-evolution of quaternary organization and novel RNA tertiary interactions revealed in the crystal structure of a bacterial protein–RNA toxin–antitoxin system

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Feng; Short, Francesca L.; Voss, Jarrod E.; Blower, Tim R.; Orme, Anastasia L.; Whittaker, Tom E.; Luisi, Ben F.; Salmond, George P. C.

    2015-01-01

    Genes encoding toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are near ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and they play key roles in important aspects of bacterial physiology, including genomic stability, formation of persister cells under antibiotic stress, and resistance to phage infection. The CptIN locus from Eubacterium rectale is a member of the recently-discovered Type III class of TA systems, defined by a protein toxin suppressed by direct interaction with a structured RNA antitoxin. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CptIN protein–RNA complex to 2.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a new heterotetrameric quaternary organization for the Type III TA class, and the RNA antitoxin bears a novel structural feature of an extended A-twist motif within the pseudoknot fold. The retention of a conserved ribonuclease active site as well as traits normally associated with TA systems, such as plasmid maintenance, implicates a wider functional role for Type III TA systems. We present evidence for the co-variation of the Type III component pair, highlighting a distinctive evolutionary process in which an enzyme and its substrate co-evolve. PMID:26350213

  14. Neisserial Opa Protein-CEACAM Interactions: Competition for Receptors as a Means of Bacterial Invasion and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jennifer N; Ball, Louise M; Solomon, Tsega L; Dewald, Alison H; Criss, Alison K; Columbus, Linda

    2016-08-01

    Carcino-embryonic antigen-like cellular adhesion molecules (CEACAMs), members of the immunoglobulin superfamily, are responsible for cell-cell interactions and cellular signaling events. Extracellular interactions with CEACAMs have the potential to induce phagocytosis, as is the case with pathogenic Neisseria bacteria. Pathogenic Neisseria species express opacity-associated (Opa) proteins, which interact with a subset of CEACAMs on human cells, and initiate the engulfment of the bacterium. We demonstrate that recombinant Opa proteins reconstituted into liposomes retain the ability to recognize and interact with CEACAMs in vitro but do not maintain receptor specificity compared to that of Opa proteins natively expressed by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. We report that two Opa proteins interact with CEACAMs with nanomolar affinity, and we hypothesize that this high affinity is necessary to compete with the native CEACAM homo- and heterotypic interactions in the host. Understanding the mechanisms of Opa protein-receptor recognition and engulfment enhances our understanding of Neisserial pathogenesis. Additionally, these mechanisms provide insight into how human cells that are typically nonphagocytic can utilize CEACAM receptors to internalize exogenous matter, with implications for the targeted delivery of therapeutics and development of imaging agents. PMID:27442026

  15. Bacterial Sialidase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Data shows that elevated sialidase in bacterial vaginosis patients correlates to premature births in women. Bacterial sialidase also plays a significant role in the unusual colonization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients. Crystals of Salmonella sialidase have been reproduced and are used for studying the inhibitor-enzyme complexes. These inhibitors may also be used to inhibit a trans-sialidase of Trypanosome cruzi, a very similar enzyme to bacterial sialidase, therefore preventing T. cruzi infection, the causitive agent of Chagas' disease. The Center for Macromolecular Crystallography suggests that inhibitors of bacterial sialidases can be used as prophylactic drugs to prevent bacterial infections in these critical cases.

  16. Preparation of Thin Melanin-Type Films by Surface-Controlled Oxidation.

    PubMed

    Salomäki, Mikko; Tupala, Matti; Parviainen, Timo; Leiro, Jarkko; Karonen, Maarit; Lukkari, Jukka

    2016-04-26

    The preparation of thin melanin films suitable for applications is challenging. In this work, we present a new alternative approach to thin melanin-type films using oxidative multilayers prepared by the sequential layer-by-layer deposition of cerium(IV) and inorganic polyphosphate. The interfacial reaction between cerium(IV) in the multilayer and 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) in the adjacent aqueous solution leads to the formation of a thin uniform film. The oxidation of DHI by cerium(IV) proceeds via known melanin intermediates. We have characterized the formed DHI-melanin films using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-vis spectroscopy, and spectroelectrochemistry. When a five-bilayer oxidative multilayer is used, the film is uniform with a thickness of ca. 10 nm. Its chemical composition, as determined using XPS, is typical for melanin. It is also redox active, and its oxidation occurs in two steps, which can be assigned to semiquinone and quinone formation within the indole structural motif. Oxidative multilayers can also oxidize dopamine, but the reaction stops at the dopamine quinone stage because of the limited amount of the multilayer-based oxidizing agent. However, dopamine oxidation by Ce(IV) was studied also in solution by UV-vis spectroscopy and mass spectrometry in order to verify the reaction mechanism and the final product. In solution, the oxidation of dopamine by cerium shows that the indole ring formation takes place already at low pH and that the mass spectrum of the final product is practically identical with that of commercial melanin. Therefore, layer-by-layer formed oxidative multilayers can be used to deposit functional melanin-type thin films on arbitrary substrates by a surface-controlled reaction. PMID:27049932

  17. Melanin-Covered Nanoparticles for Protection of Bone Marrow During Radiation Therapy of Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Pazo, Valeria; Friedman, Matthew; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Cahill, Sean; Frases, Susana; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2010-12-01

    Purpose: Protection of bone marrow against radiotoxicity during radioimmunotherapy and in some cases external beam radiation therapy such as hemi-body irradiation would permit administration of significantly higher doses to tumors, resulting in increased efficacy and safety of treatment. Melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, possesses radioprotective properties. We hypothesized that melanin, which is insoluble, could be delivered to the bone marrow by intravenously administrated melanin-covered nanoparticles (MNs) because of the human body's 'self-sieving' ability, protecting it against ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials: The synthesis of MNs was performed via enzymatic polymerization of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and/or 5-S-cysteinyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine on the surface of 20-nm plain silica nanoparticles. The biodistribution of radiolabeled MNs in mice was done at 3 and 24 h. Healthy CD-1 mice (Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., Wilmington, MA) or melanoma tumor-bearing nude mice were given MNs intravenously, 50 mg/kg of body weight, 3 h before either whole-body exposure to 125 cGy or treatment with 1 mCi of {sup 188}Re-labeled 6D2 melanin-binding antibody. Results: Polymerization of melanin precursors on the surface of silica nanoparticles resulted in formation of a 15-nm-thick melanin layer as confirmed by light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence. The biodistribution after intravenous administration showed than MN uptake in bone marrow was 0.3% and 0.2% of injected dose per gram at 3 and 24 h, respectively, whereas pre-injection with pluronic acid increased the uptake to 6% and 3% of injected dose per gram, respectively. Systemic MN administration reduced hematologic toxicity in mice treated with external radiation or radioimmunotherapy, whereas no tumor protection by MNs was observed. Conclusions: MNs or similar structures provide a novel approach to protection of bone marrow from ionizing radiation

  18. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland

    PubMed Central

    Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment. PMID:25909751

  19. Effects of interactions of auxin-producing bacteria and bacterial-feeding nematodes on regulation of peanut growths.

    PubMed

    Xu, Li; Xu, Wensi; Jiang, Ying; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    The influences of an IAA (indole-3-acetic acid)-producing bacterium (Bacillus megaterium) and two bacterial-feeding nematodes (Cephalobus sp. or Mesorhabditis sp.) on the growth of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. cv. Haihua 1) after various durations of time were investigated in natural soils. The addition of bacteria and nematodes and incubation time all significantly affected plant growth, plant root growth, plant nutrient concentrations, soil nutrient concentrations, soil microorganisms and soil auxin concentration. The addition of nematodes caused greater increases in these indices than those of bacteria, while the addition of the combination of bacteria and nematodes caused further increases. After 42-day growth, the increases in soil respiration differed between the additions of two kinds of nematodes because of differences in their life strategies. The effects of the bacteria and nematodes on the nutrient and hormone concentrations were responsible for the increases in plant growth. These results indicate the potential for promoting plant growth via the addition of nematodes and bacteria to soil. PMID:25867954

  20. Effects of Interactions of Auxin-Producing Bacteria and Bacterial-Feeding Nematodes on Regulation of Peanut Growths

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Li; Xu, Wensi; Jiang, Ying; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    The influences of an IAA (indole-3-acetic acid)-producing bacterium (Bacillus megaterium) and two bacterial-feeding nematodes (Cephalobus sp. or Mesorhabditis sp.) on the growth of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. cv. Haihua 1) after various durations of time were investigated in natural soils. The addition of bacteria and nematodes and incubation time all significantly affected plant growth, plant root growth, plant nutrient concentrations, soil nutrient concentrations, soil microorganisms and soil auxin concentration. The addition of nematodes caused greater increases in these indices than those of bacteria, while the addition of the combination of bacteria and nematodes caused further increases. After 42-day growth, the increases in soil respiration differed between the additions of two kinds of nematodes because of differences in their life strategies. The effects of the bacteria and nematodes on the nutrient and hormone concentrations were responsible for the increases in plant growth. These results indicate the potential for promoting plant growth via the addition of nematodes and bacteria to soil. PMID:25867954

  1. Root and bacterial secretions regulate the interaction between plants and PGPR leading to distinct plant growth promotion effects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have garnered interest in agriculture due to their ability to influence the growth and production of host plants. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play important roles in plant-microbe interactions by modulating plant root exudation. The present stu...

  2. Over-producing soluble protein complex and validating protein-protein interaction through a new bacterial co-expression system.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Jumei; Zhang, Lei; Li, Yuqing; Wang, Yi; Wang, Mingchao; Duan, Xin; He, Zheng-Guo

    2010-01-01

    Many proteins exert their functions through a protein complex and protein-protein interactions. However, the study of these types of interactions is complicated when dealing with toxic or hydrophobic proteins. It is difficult to use the popular Escherichia coli host for their expression, as these proteins in all likelihood require a critical partner protein to ensure their proper folding and stability. In the present study, we have developed a novel co-expression vector, pHEX, which is compatible with, and thus can be partnered with, many commercially available E. coli vectors, such as pET, pGEX and pMAL. The pHEX contains the p15A origin of replication and a T7 promoter, which can over-produce a His-tagged recombinant protein. The new co-expression system was demonstrated to efficiently co-produce and co-purify heterodimeric protein complexes, for example PE25/PPE41 (Rv2430c/Rv2431c) and ESAT6/CFP10 (Rv3874/Rv3875), from the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Furthermore, the system was also effectively used to characterize protein-protein interactions through convenient affinity tags. Using an in vivo pull-down assay, for the first time we have confirmed the presence of three pairs of PE/PPE-related novel protein interactions in this pathogen. In summary, a convenient and efficient co-expression vector system has been successfully developed. The new system should be applicable to any protein complex or any protein-protein interaction of interest in a wide range of biological organisms. PMID:19747546

  3. Melanin pigmentation gives rise to black spots on the wings of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Ito, Katsuhiko; Yoshikawa, Manabu; Fujii, Takeshi; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Several mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori show body color variation at the larval and adult stages. The Wild wing spot (Ws) mutant exhibits a phenotype in which the moth has a spot on the apex of the forewing. In this study, we investigated this trait to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the color pattern. Microscopy of the black spot of Ws mutants showed that the pigment emerges in the scales of the wing, and accumulation of the pigment becomes strong just before eclosion. We next examined the relationship between the black spot of the Ws mutant and melanin. The spectrophotometry using alkaline extracts from the black spot in the wing showed the highest absorption intensity at 405nm, which is the absorbance wavelength of melanin. Moreover, inhibition assays for enzymes implicated in melanin synthesis using 3-iodo-l-tyrosine (a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor) and L-α-methyl-DOPA (a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor) revealed that treatment with each inhibitor disrupted the pigmentation of the wing of the Ws mutant. On the basis of these results, we analyzed the expression pattern of five genes involved in melanin formation, and found that the expression levels of yellow and laccase2 were increased just before pigmentation, whereas those of DDC, tan, and TH were increased when the apex of the wing turned black. These results showed that melanin pigmentation gives rise to the black spot on the wing. PMID:27405010

  4. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin.

    PubMed

    Serrano, Gabriel; Almudéver, Patricia; Serrano, Juan M; Cortijo, Julio; Faus, Carmen; Reyes, Magda; Expósito, Inmaculada; Torrens, Ana; Millán, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin-fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller). The product was applied by hand massage (A) or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B). An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C). Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin-fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin-fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47%) of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. PMID:26170707

  5. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2013-03-01

    Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo.

  6. Evolutionary shifts in the melanin-based color system of birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-02-01

    Melanin pigments contained in organelles (melanosomes) impart earthy colors to feathers. Such melanin-based colors are distributed across birds and thought to be the ancestral color-producing mechanism in birds. However, we have had limited data on melanin-based color and melanosome diversity in Palaeognathae, which includes the flighted tinamous and large-bodied, flightless ratites and is the sister taxon to all other extant birds. Here, we use scanning electron microscopy and spectrophotometry to assess melanosome morphology and quantify reflected color for 19 species within this clade. We find that brown colors in ratites are uniquely associated with elongated melanosomes nearly identical in shape to those associated with black colors. Melanosome and color diversity in large-bodied ratites is limited relative to other birds (including flightless penguins) and smaller bodied basal maniraptoran dinosaur outgroups of Aves, whereas tinamous show a wider range of melanosome forms similar to neognaths. The repeated occurrence of novel melanosome forms in the nonmonophyletic ratites suggests that melanin-based color tracks changes in body size, physiology, or other life history traits associated with flight loss, but not feather morphology. We further anticipate these findings will be useful for future color reconstructions in extinct species, as variation in melanosome shape may potentially be linked to a more nuanced palette of melanin-based colors. PMID:26767728

  7. Improved production of melanin from Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 by optimization of media factors.

    PubMed

    Raman, Nitya Meenakshi; Shah, Pooja Harish; Mohan, Misha; Ramasamy, Suganthi

    2015-12-01

    Melanins are indolic polymers produced by many genera included among plants, animals and microorganisms and targeted mainly for their wide range of applications in cosmetics, agriculture and medicine. An approach to analyse the cumulative effect of parameters for enhanced melanin production was carried out using response surface methodology. In this present study, optimization of media and process parameters for melanin production from Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 (GenBank: JX041523; NFCCI accession number: 3826) was carried out by an initial univariate approach followed by statistical response surface methodology. The univariate approach was used to standardise the parameters that can be used for the 12-run Plackett-Burman design that is used for screening for critical parameters. Further optimization of parameters was analysed using Box-Behnken design. The optimum conditions observed were temperature, moisture and sodium dihydrogen phosphate concentration. The yield of every run of both designs were confirmed to be melanin by laboratory tests of analysis in the presence of acids, base and water. This is the first report confirming an increase in melanin production A. fumigatus AFGRD105 without the addition of costly additives. PMID:26597959

  8. Aspergillus Cell Wall Melanin Blocks LC3-Associated Phagocytosis to Promote Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Valsecchi, Isabel; Gresnigt, Mark S; Samonis, George; Drakos, Elias; Boumpas, Dimitrios; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Netea, Mihai G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Brakhage, Axel A; El-Benna, Jamel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul; Chamilos, Georgios

    2016-01-13

    Concealing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) is a principal strategy used by fungi to avoid immune recognition. Surface exposure of PAMPs during germination can leave the pathogen vulnerable. Accordingly, β-glucan surface exposure during Aspergillus fumigatus germination activates an Atg5-dependent autophagy pathway termed LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP), which promotes fungal killing. We found that LAP activation also requires the genetic, biochemical or biological (germination) removal of A. fumigatus cell wall melanin. The attenuated virulence of melanin-deficient A. fumigatus is restored in Atg5-deficient macrophages and in mice upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells. Mechanistically, Aspergillus melanin inhibits NADPH oxidase-dependent activation of LAP by excluding the p22phox subunit from the phagosome. Thus, two events that occur concomitantly during germination of airborne fungi, surface exposure of PAMPs and melanin removal, are necessary for LAP activation and fungal killing. LAP blockade is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications. PMID:26749442

  9. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    2012-05-01

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent. Significant costs imposed by an ornament would ensure that only the highest quality individuals display the most exaggerated forms of the signal. Firm evidence that melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent is still rare in birds. In an experimental test of this central assumption, we report condition-dependent expression of a melanin-based trait in the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus). We manipulated nestling body condition by reducing or increasing the number of nestlings soon after hatching. A few days before fledging, we measured the width of sub-terminal black bands on the tail feathers. Compared to nestlings from enlarged broods, individuals raised in reduced broods were in better condition and thereby developed larger sub-terminal bands. Furthermore, in 2 years, first-born nestlings also developed larger sub-terminal bands than their younger siblings that are in poorer condition. This demonstrates that expression of melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent.

  10. Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography of melanin provides intrinsic contrast based on depolarization

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Bernhard; Baumann, Stefan O.; Konegger, Thomas; Pircher, Michael; Götzinger, Erich; Schlanitz, Ferdinand; Schütze, Christopher; Sattmann, Harald; Litschauer, Marco; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula; Hitzenberger, Christoph K.

    2012-01-01

    Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is a functional extension of OCT. In addition to imaging based on tissue reflectivity, PS-OCT also enables depth-resolved mapping of sample polarization properties such as phase-retardation, birefringent axis orientation, Stokes vectors, and degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU). In this study, PS-OCT was used to investigate the polarization properties of melanin. In-vitro measurements in samples with varying melanin concentrations revealed polarization scrambling, i.e. depolarization of backscattered light. Polarization scrambling in the PS-OCT images was more pronounced for higher melanin concentrations and correlated with the concentration of the melanin granules in the phantoms. Moreover, in-vivo PS-OCT was performed in the retinas of normal subjects and individuals with albinism. Unlike in the normal eye, polarization scrambling in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was less pronounced or even not observable in PS-OCT images of albinos. These results indicate that the depolarizing appearance of pigmented structures like, for instance, the RPE is likely to be caused by the melanin granules contained in these cells. PMID:22808437

  11. A novel histochemical method for a simultaneous staining of melanin and collagen fibers.

    PubMed

    Carriel, Víctor S; Aneiros-Fernandez, Jose; Arias-Santiago, Salvador; Garzón, Ingrid J; Alaminos, Miguel; Campos, Antonio

    2011-03-01

    For the histopathologic diagnosis of melanocytic lesions, it could be necessary to identify the melanin pigment because its visualization is unspecific with hematoxylin-eosin (HE). The Fontana-Masson (FM) technique is used in histopathology in this type of lesion, which allows the identification of the pigment, but it loses all the morphologic parameters. The authors describe a modification to the FM method, for the evaluation of the morphology, the argentaffin reaction of the melanin, and collagens fibers of the extracellular matrix simultaneously, for which they have developed the Fontana-Masson picrosirius (FMPS) method. Biopsies of different melanocytic lesions were used for the performance of the HE, FM, and FMPS methods. The pixel intensity of the reaction for melanin, collagen, and epithelium was determined with ImageJ software. The FMPS method allows the evaluation of morphological characteristics, identifying the melanin pigment and collagen fibers with high intensity simultaneously. This method does not differ significantly from FM in the identification of melanin, maintaining its sensitivity and specificity. In addition, it does not differ in the demonstration of the morphology with HE. However, FMPS is significantly superior in the identification of collagen fibers. The FMPS method combines morphological and histochemical parameters that could be useful in the study of pigmented lesions of melanocytic origin. PMID:21378281

  12. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico

    2012-01-01

    Abstract. Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000  nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo. PMID:23235925

  13. Antibiotic-induced dysbiosis alters host-bacterial interactions and leads to colonic sensory and motor changes in mice.

    PubMed

    Aguilera, M; Cerdà-Cuéllar, M; Martínez, V

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the composition of the commensal microbiota (dysbiosis) seem to be a pathogenic component of functional gastrointestinal disorders, mainly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and might participate in the secretomotor and sensory alterations observed in these patients.We determined if a state antibiotics-induced intestinal dysbiosis is able to modify colonic pain-related and motor responses and characterized the neuro-immune mechanisms implicated in mice. A 2-week antibiotics treatment induced a colonic dysbiosis (increments in Bacteroides spp, Clostridium coccoides and Lactobacillus spp and reduction in Bifidobacterium spp). Bacterial adherence was not affected. Dysbiosis was associated with increased levels of secretory-IgA, up-regulation of the antimicrobial lectin RegIIIγ, and toll-like receptors (TLR) 4 and 7 and down-regulation of the antimicrobial-peptide Resistin-Like Molecule-β and TLR5. Dysbiotic mice showed less goblet cells, without changes in the thickness of the mucus layer. Neither macroscopical nor microscopical signs of inflammation were observed. In dysbiotic mice, expression of the cannabinoid receptor 2 was up-regulated, while the cannabinoid 1 and the mu-opioid receptors were down-regulated. In antibiotic-treated mice, visceral pain-related responses elicited by intraperitoneal acetic acid or intracolonic capsaicin were significantly attenuated. Colonic contractility was enhanced during dysbiosis. Intestinal dysbiosis induce changes in the innate intestinal immune system and modulate the expression of pain-related sensory systems, an effect associated with a reduction in visceral pain-related responses. Commensal microbiota modulates gut neuro-immune sensory systems, leading to functional changes, at least as it relates to viscerosensitivity. Similar mechanisms might explain the beneficial effects of antibiotics or certain probiotics in the treatment of IBS. PMID:25531553

  14. Detection of Melanin-Like Pigments in the Dimorphic Fungal Pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis In Vitro and during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Beatriz L.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Díez, Soraya; Youngchim, Sirida; Aisen, Philip; Cano, Luz E.; Restrepo, Angela; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2001-01-01

    Melanins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several human diseases, including some microbial infections. In this study, we analyzed whether the conidia and the yeasts of the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Growth of P. brasiliensis mycelia on water agar alone produced pigmented conidia, and growth of yeasts in minimal medium with l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) produced pigmented cells. Digestion of the pigmented conidia and yeasts with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and hot concentrated acid yielded dark particles that were the same size and shape as their propagules. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated reactivity of a melanin-binding monoclonal antibody (MAb) with the pigmented conidia, yeasts, and particles. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy identified the yeast-derived particles produced in vitro when P. brasiliensis was grown in l-DOPA medium as a melanin-like compound. Nonreducing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of cytoplasmic yeast extract revealed a protein that catalyzed melanin synthesis from l-DOPA. The melanin binding MAb reacted with yeast cells in tissue from mice infected with P. brasiliensis. Finally digestion of infected tissue liberated particles reactive to the melanin binding MAb that had the typical morphology of P. brasiliensis yeasts. These data strongly suggest that P. brasiliensis propagules, both conidia and yeast cells, can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and in vivo. Based on what is known about the function of melanin in the virulence of other fungi, this pigment may play a role in the pathogenesis of paracoccidioidomycosis. PMID:11500453

  15. Evolution of albinism in cave planthoppers by a convergent defect in the first step of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Cetković, Helena; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    Albinism, the reduction or loss of melanin pigment, is found in many diverse cave-dwelling animals. The mechanisms responsible for loss of melanin pigment are poorly understood. In this study we use a melanogenic substrate assay to determine the position where melanin synthesis is blocked in independently evolved cave planthoppers from Hawaii and Croatia. In this assay, substrates of enzymes responsible for melanin biosynthesis are added to fixed specimens in vitro and their ability to rescue black melanin pigmentation is determined. L-tyrosine, the first substrate in the pathway, did not produce melanin pigment, whereas L-DOPA, the second substrate, restored black pigment. Substrates in combination with enzyme inhibitors were used to test the possibility of additional downstream defects in the pathway. The results showed that downstream reactions leading from L-DOPA and dopamine to DOPA-melanin and dopamine-melanin, the two types of insect melanin, are functional. It is concluded that albinism is caused by a defect in the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway in cave-adapted planthoppers from widely separated parts of the world. However, Western blots indicated that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the only enzyme shown to operate at the first step in insects, is present in Hawaiian cave planthoppers. Thus, an unknown factor(s) operating at this step may be important in the evolution of planthopper albinism. In the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus, a genetic defect has also been described at the first step of melanin synthesis suggesting convergent evolution of albinism in both cave-adapted insects and teleosts. PMID:23017027

  16. Melanin-Concentrating Hormone: A New Sleep Factor?

    PubMed Central

    Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia; Monti, Jaime M.

    2011-01-01

    Neurons containing the neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are mainly located in the lateral hypothalamus and the incerto-hypothalamic area, and have widespread projections throughout the brain. While the biological functions of this neuropeptide are exerted in humans through two metabotropic receptors, the MCHR1 and MCHR2, only the MCHR1 is present in rodents. Recently, it has been shown that the MCHergic system is involved in the control of sleep. We can summarize the experimental findings as follows: (1) The areas related to the control of sleep and wakefulness have a high density of MCHergic fibers and receptors. (2) MCHergic neurons are active during sleep, especially during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. (3) MCH knockout mice have less REM sleep, notably under conditions of negative energy balance. Animals with genetically inactivated MCHR1 also exhibit altered vigilance state architecture and sleep homeostasis. (4) Systemically administered MCHR1 antagonists reduce sleep. (5) Intraventricular microinjection of MCH increases both slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep; however, the increment in REM sleep is more pronounced. (6) Microinjection of MCH into the dorsal raphe nucleus increases REM sleep time. REM seep is inhibited by immunoneutralization of MCH within this nucleus. (7) Microinjection of MCH in the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat enhances REM sleep time and reduces REM sleep latency. All these data strongly suggest that MCH has a potent role in the promotion of sleep. Although both SWS and REM sleep are facilitated by MCH, REM sleep seems to be more sensitive to MCH modulation. PMID:21516258

  17. A bacterial-fungal metaproteomic analysis enlightens an intriguing multicomponent interaction in the rhizosphere of Lactuca sativa.

    PubMed

    Moretti, Marino; Minerdi, Daniela; Gehrig, Peter; Garibaldi, Angelo; Gullino, Maria Lodovica; Riedel, Katharina

    2012-04-01

    Fusarium oxysporum MSA 35 [wild-type (WT) strain] is an antagonistic isolate that protects plants against pathogenic Fusaria. This strain lives in association with ectosymbiotic bacteria. When cured of the prokaryotic symbionts [cured (CU) form], the fungus is pathogenic, causing wilt symptoms similar to those of F. oxysporum f.sp. lactucae. The aim of this study was to understand if and how the host plant Lactuca sativa contributes to the expression of the antagonistic/pathogenic behaviors of MSA 35 strains. A time-course comparative analysis of the proteomic profiles of WT and CU strains was performed. Fungal proteins expressed during the early stages of plant-fungus interaction were involved in stress defense, energy metabolism, and virulence and were equally induced in both strains. In the late phase of the interkingdom interaction, only CU strain continued the production of virulence- and energy-related proteins. The expression analysis of lettuce genes coding for proteins involved in resistance-related processes corroborated proteomic data by showing that, at the beginning of the interaction, both fungi are perceived by the plant as pathogen. On the contrary, after 8 days, only the CU strain is able to induce plant gene expression. For the first time, it was demonstrated that an antagonistic F. oxysporum behaves initially as pathogen, showing an interesting similarity with other beneficial organisms such as mychorrizae. PMID:22360353

  18. Bacterial Proteasomes

    PubMed Central

    Jastrab, Jordan B.; Darwin, K. Heran

    2015-01-01

    Interest in bacterial proteasomes was sparked by the discovery that proteasomal degradation is required for the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, one of the world's deadliest pathogens. Although bacterial proteasomes are structurally similar to their eukaryotic and archaeal homologs, there are key differences in their mechanisms of assembly, activation, and substrate targeting for degradation. In this article, we compare and contrast bacterial proteasomes with their archaeal and eukaryotic counterparts, and we discuss recent advances in our understanding of how bacterial proteasomes function to influence microbial physiology. PMID:26488274

  19. Dimer-dimer interaction of the bacterial selenocysteine synthase SelA promotes functional active site formation and catalytic specificity

    PubMed Central

    Itoh, Yuzuru; Bröcker, Markus J.; Sekine, Shun-ichi; Söll, Dieter; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2015-01-01

    The 21st amino acid, selenocysteine (Sec), is incorporated translationally into proteins, and is synthesized on its specific tRNA (tRNASec). In Bacteria, the selenocysteine synthase SelA converts Ser-tRNASec, formed by seryl-tRNA synthetase, to Sec-tRNASec. SelA, a member of the fold-type-I pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme superfamily, has an exceptional homodecameric quaternary structure with a molecular mass of about 500 kDa. Our previously determined crystal structures of Aquifex aeolicus SelA complexed with tRNASec revealed that the ring-shaped decamer is composed of pentamerized SelA dimers, with two SelA dimers arranged to collaboratively interact with one Ser-tRNASec. The SelA catalytic site is close to the dimer-dimer interface, but the significance of the dimer-pentamerization in the catalytic site formation remained elusive. In the present study, we examined the quaternary interactions, and demonstrated their importance for SelA activity by systematic mutagenesis. Furthermore, we determined the crystal structures of “depentamerized” SelA variants with mutations at the dimer-dimer interface that prevent pentamerization. These dimeric SelA variants formed a distorted and inactivated catalytic site, and confirmed that the pentamer interactions are essential for productive catalytic site formation. Intriguingly, the conformation of the non-functional active site of dimeric SelA shares structural features with other fold-type-I PLP-dependent enzymes with native dimer or tetramer (dimer-of-dimers) quaternary structures. PMID:24456689

  20. Oral melanin pigmentation in 467 Thai and Malaysian people with special emphasis on smoker's melanosis.

    PubMed

    Hedin, C A; Axéll, T

    1991-01-01

    At the faculties of dentistry in Chiang Mai, Thailand (CM), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL), 234 and 233 consecutive out-patients were interviewed concerning tobacco and chewing habits and examined for the presence of oral melanin pigmentation. Tobacco was regularly used by 32% and 28% of the studied populations in CM and KL. Cigarette smoking was the predominant habit, but the chewing of betel and tea leaves (miang) and the smoking of banana leaf cigars (khi yo) was also registered. The genetically acquired pigmentation dominated. Although nearly all non-tobacco users in the Malay and Indian populations had oral melanin pigmentation, it was found that tobacco smokers had significantly more oral surfaces pigmented than non-tobacco users. Among Thais, the percentage of pigmented individuals was significantly higher among tobacco smokers. It was concluded that tobacco smoking stimulates oral melanocytes to a higher melanin production also in dark-skinned ethnic groups. PMID:2002444

  1. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-04-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29-270 mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850-5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 min.

  2. The Protective Role of Melanin Against UV Damage in Human Skin

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Michaela; Hearing, Vincent J.

    2009-01-01

    Human skin is repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that influences the function and survival of many cell types and is regarded as the main causative factor in the induction of skin cancer. It has been traditionally believed that skin pigmentation is the most important photoprotective factor, since melanin, besides functioning as a broadband UV absorbent, has antioxidant and radical scavenging properties. Besides, many epidemiological studies have shown a lower incidence for skin cancer in individuals with darker skin compared to those with fair skin. Skin pigmentation is of great cultural and cosmetic importance, yet the role of melanin in photoprotection is still controversial. This article outlines the major acute and chronic effects of UV radiation on human skin, the properties of melanin, the regulation of pigmentation and its effect on skin cancer prevention. PMID:18435612

  3. Phenolic melanin precursors provide a rational approach to the design of antitumor agents for melanoma

    SciTech Connect

    Jimbow, K.; Miura, T.; Ito, S.; Ishikawa, K.

    1989-01-01

    A unique biological property of the melanocyte, melanin synthesis may permit a rational approach to design agents for better management of malignant melanoma. This in vivo and in vitro study examined the selective melanocytotoxicity and antimelanoma effects of phenolic compounds, cysteinylphenol (CP), cysteaminylphenol (CAP), and related compounds, and found (1) that both 4-S-CP and 4-S-CAP are melanin precursors, (2) that 4-S-CAP possesses a marked depigmenting potency with selective destruction of melanocytes in black follicles, and (3) a significant inhibition in the protein synthesis and tumor growth of B16 melanoma. Importantly, a whole body autoradiography indicated that these phenolic melanin precursors are selectively incorporated into melanoma tissues after i.p. administration.

  4. Effect of aluminum (III) on the conversion of dopachrome in the melanin synthesis pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Junwei; Bi, Shuping

    2003-06-01

    The effect of aluminum ions on the kinetics and mode of the conversion of dopachrome (DC) in acidic environment has been studied using UV-Vis spectrophotometric and cyclic voltammetric methods. The DC conversion step is an important reaction in melanogenesis. Aluminum ions catalyze greatly the decarboxylative transformation of DC to give 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) rather than 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) at pH 5.5, which enhance the ratio of formation DHI/DHICA in melanin synthesis pathway. The kinetics of DC conversion catalyzed by aluminum ions is dependent on the concentration of DC and aluminum ions. These results provide evidence that aluminum ions could play a role in the synthesis of melanin pathway in acidic condition through catalyzing the DC decarboxylative transformation to yield DHI and influence the melanin structure and properties.

  5. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29–270mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850–5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 minutes. PMID:25803095

  6. Characterization of a Fungal Thioesterase Having Claisen Cyclase and Deacetylase Activities in Melanin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Vagstad, Anna L; Hill, Eric A; Labonte, Jason W; Townsend, Craig A

    2012-01-01

    Summary Melanins are a broad class of darkly-pigmented macromolecules formed by oxidative polymerization of phenolic monomers. In fungi, melanins are known virulence factors that contribute to pathogenicity. Their biosynthesis generally involves polymerization of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene via a 1,3,6,8- tetrahydroxynaphthalene (THN) precursor assembled by multidomain, nonreducing polyketide synthases. Multiple, convergent routes to THN have evolved in fungi. Parallel heptaketide and hexaketide pathways exist that utilize conventional C-terminal thioesterase/Claisen cyclase domains and separate side-chain deacylases. Here, in vitro characterization of Pks1 from Colletotrichum lagenarium establishes a true THN synthase with a bifunctional thioesterase (TE) catalyzing both cyclization and deacetylation of an enzyme-bound hexaketide substrate. Chimeric TE domains were generated by swapping lid regions of active sites between classes of melanin TEs to gain insight into this unprecedented catalysis of carbon–carbon bond making and breaking by an α/β-hydrolase fold enzyme. PMID:23261597

  7. Analysis of the melanin distribution in different ethnic groups by in vivo laser scanning microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniou, C.; Lademann, J.; Richter, H.; Astner, S.; Patzelt, A.; Zastrow, L.; Sterry, W.; Koch, S.

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSM) is able to visualize differences in melanin content and distribution in different Skin Phototypes. The investigations were carried out on six healthy volunteers with Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI. Representative skin samples of Skin Phototypes II, V, and VI were obtained for histological analysis from remaining tissue of skin grafts and were used for LSM-pathologic correlation. LSM evaluation showed significant differences in melanin distribution in Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI, respectively. Based on the differences in overall reflectivity and image brightness, a visual evaluation scheme showed increasing brightness of the basal and suprabasal layers with increasing Skin Phototypes. The findings correlated well with histological analysis. The results demonstrate that LSM may serve as a promising adjunctive tool for real time assessment of melanin content and distribution in human skin, with numerous clinical applications and therapeutic and preventive implications.

  8. Using Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering to Analyze the Interactions of Protein Receptors with Bacterial Quorum Sensing Modulators

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Many members of the LuxR family of quorum sensing (QS) transcriptional activators, including LasR of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are believed to require appropriate acyl-homoserine lactone (acyl-HSL) ligands to fold into an active conformation. The failure to purify ligand-free LuxR homologues in nonaggregated form at the high concentrations required for their structural characterization has limited the understanding of the mechanisms by which QS receptors are activated. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is a vibrational spectroscopy technique that can be applied to study proteins at extremely low concentrations in their active state. The high sensitivity of SERS has allowed us to detect molecular interactions between the ligand-binding domain of LasR (LasRLBD) as a soluble apoprotein and modulators of P. aeruginosa QS. We found that QS activators and inhibitors produce differential SERS fingerprints in LasRLBD, and in combination with molecular docking analysis provide insight into the relevant interaction mechanism. This study reveals signal-specific structural changes in LasR upon ligand binding, thereby confirming the applicability of SERS to analyze ligand-induced conformational changes in proteins. PMID:25927541

  9. Bacterial flagellin-specific chaperone FliS interacts with anti-sigma factor FlgM.

    PubMed

    Galeva, Anna; Moroz, Natalia; Yoon, Young-Ho; Hughes, Kelly T; Samatey, Fadel A; Kostyukova, Alla S

    2014-03-01

    Flagella are extracellular organelles that propel bacteria. Each flagellum consists of a basal body, a hook, and a filament. The major protein of the filament is flagellin. Induction of flagellin gene expression coincides with secretion of FlgM. The role of FlgM is to inhibit FliA (σ(28)), a flagellum-specific RNA polymerase responsible for flagellin transcription. To prevent premature polymerization of newly synthesized flagellin molecules, FliS, the flagellin-specific chaperone, binds flagellin and facilitates its export. In this study, the interaction between FlgM and FliS from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium was characterized using gel shift, intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence, circular dichroism, limited proteolysis, and cross-linking. We have demonstrated that (i) FliS and FlgM interact specifically, forming a 1:1 complex, (ii) the FliS binding site on FlgM is proximal to or even overlaps the binding site for FliA, and (iii) FliA competes with FliS for FlgM binding. PMID:24415724

  10. Bacterial Flagellin-Specific Chaperone FliS Interacts with Anti-Sigma Factor FlgM

    PubMed Central

    Galeva, Anna; Moroz, Natalia; Yoon, Young-Ho; Hughes, Kelly T.; Samatey, Fadel A.

    2014-01-01

    Flagella are extracellular organelles that propel bacteria. Each flagellum consists of a basal body, a hook, and a filament. The major protein of the filament is flagellin. Induction of flagellin gene expression coincides with secretion of FlgM. The role of FlgM is to inhibit FliA (σ28), a flagellum-specific RNA polymerase responsible for flagellin transcription. To prevent premature polymerization of newly synthesized flagellin molecules, FliS, the flagellin-specific chaperone, binds flagellin and facilitates its export. In this study, the interaction between FlgM and FliS from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium was characterized using gel shift, intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence, circular dichroism, limited proteolysis, and cross-linking. We have demonstrated that (i) FliS and FlgM interact specifically, forming a 1:1 complex, (ii) the FliS binding site on FlgM is proximal to or even overlaps the binding site for FliA, and (iii) FliA competes with FliS for FlgM binding. PMID:24415724

  11. Structure of the bacterial cell division determinant GpsB and its interaction with penicillin-binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Rismondo, Jeanine; Cleverley, Robert M; Lane, Harriet V; Großhennig, Stephanie; Steglich, Anne; Möller, Lars; Mannala, Gopala Krishna; Hain, Torsten; Lewis, Richard J; Halbedel, Sven

    2016-03-01

    Each bacterium has to co-ordinate its growth with division to ensure genetic stability of the population. Consequently, cell division and growth are tightly regulated phenomena, albeit different bacteria utilise one of several alternative regulatory mechanisms to maintain control. Here we consider GpsB, which is linked to cell growth and division in Gram-positive bacteria. ΔgpsB mutants of the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes show severe lysis, division and growth defects due to distortions of cell wall biosynthesis. Consistent with this premise, GpsB interacts both in vitro and in vivo with the major bi-functional penicillin-binding protein. We solved the crystal structure of GpsB and the interaction interfaces in both proteins are identified and validated. The inactivation of gpsB results in strongly attenuated virulence in animal experiments, comparable in degree to classical listerial virulence factor mutants. Therefore, GpsB is essential for in vitro and in vivo growth of a highly virulent food-borne pathogen, suggesting that GpsB could be a target for the future design of novel antibacterials. PMID:26575090

  12. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Saager, Rolf B.; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J.; Kelly, Kristen M.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between ∼5% (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ∼30–65  μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R2=0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R2=0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types. PMID:26065839

  13. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saager, Rolf B.; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J.; Kelly, Kristen M.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2015-06-01

    The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between ˜5% (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ˜30-65 μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R2=0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R2=0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types.

  14. Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy Versus Mexameter(®) MX18 Measurements of Melanin and Erythema in an African Population.

    PubMed

    Wright, Caradee Y; Karsten, Aletta E; Wilkes, Marcus; Singh, Ann; du Plessis, Johan; Albers, Patricia N; Karsten, Petrus A

    2016-07-01

    Melanin provides protection against excess exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and related adverse health effects. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) can be used to calculate cutaneous melanin and erythema, but this is complex and has been mostly used for light-to-medium pigmented skin. Handheld reflectance spectrophotometers, such as the Mexameter(®) MX18, can also be used. We compared DRS-calculated melanin and erythema values with Mexameter melanin and erythema index values to understand how these techniques/measurements correlate in an African population of predominantly deeply pigmented skin. Five hundred and three participants comprised 68.5% self-identified Black African, 9.9% Indian/Asian, 18.4% White and 2.9% Colored. The majority of Black African (45%), Indian/Asian (34%) and Colored (53%) participants self-identified their skin as being "brown." Measured melanin levels increased with darker self-reported skin color. DRS-calculated and Mexameter melanin values demonstrated a positive correlation (Spearman rho = 0.87, P < 0.001). The results from both instruments showed erythema values were strongly correlated with their own melanin values. This finding is considered spurious and may result from the complexity of separating brown and red pigment when using narrowband reflectance techniques. Further work is needed to understand melanin, erythema and color in Black skin given sun-related health risks in vulnerable groups in Africa. PMID:27276188

  15. Condition-dependence, pleiotropy and the handicap principle of sexual selection in melanin-based colouration.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-05-01

    The signalling function of melanin-based colouration is debated. Sexual selection theory states that ornaments should be costly to produce, maintain, wear or display to signal quality honestly to potential mates or competitors. An increasing number of studies supports the hypothesis that the degree of melanism covaries with aspects of body condition (e.g. body mass or immunity), which has contributed to change the initial perception that melanin-based colour ornaments entail no costs. Indeed, the expression of many (but not all) melanin-based colour traits is weakly sensitive to the environment but strongly heritable suggesting that these colour traits are relatively cheap to produce and maintain, thus raising the question of how such colour traits could signal quality honestly. Here I review the production, maintenance and wearing/displaying costs that can generate a correlation between melanin-based colouration and body condition, and consider other evolutionary mechanisms that can also lead to covariation between colour and body condition. Because genes controlling melanic traits can affect numerous phenotypic traits, pleiotropy could also explain a linkage between body condition and colouration. Pleiotropy may result in differently coloured individuals signalling different aspects of quality that are maintained by frequency-dependent selection or local adaptation. Colouration may therefore not signal absolute quality to potential mates or competitors (e.g. dark males may not achieve a higher fitness than pale males); otherwise genetic variation would be rapidly depleted by directional selection. As a consequence, selection on heritable melanin-based colouration may not always be directional, but mate choice may be conditional to environmental conditions (i.e. context-dependent sexual selection). Despite the interest of evolutionary biologists in the adaptive value of melanin-based colouration, its actual role in sexual selection is still poorly understood. PMID

  16. Interactions of HasA, a bacterial haemophore, with haemoglobin and with its outer membrane receptor HasR.

    PubMed

    Létoffé, S; Nato, F; Goldberg, M E; Wandersman, C

    1999-08-01

    The major mechanism by which bacteria acquire free or haemoglobin-bound haem involves direct binding of haem to specific outer membrane receptors. Serratia marcescens and Pseudomonas aeruginosa have an alternative system, which involves an extracellular haemophore, HasA, that captures free or haemoglobin-bound haem and shuttles it to a specific cell surface outer membrane receptor, HasR. Both haem-free (apoprotein) and haem-loaded (holoprotein) HasA bind to HasR, evidence for direct protein-protein interactions between HasA and HasR. HasA binding to HasR takes place in a tonB mutant. TonB is thus required for a step subsequent to HasA binding. PMID:10417645

  17. Simultaneous in vivo imaging of melanin and lipofuscin in the retina with multimodal photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiangyang; Zhang, Hao F.; Zhou, Lixiang; Jiao, Shuliang

    2012-02-01

    We combined photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) with autofluorescence imaging for simultaneous in vivo imaging of dual molecular contrasts in the retina using a single light source. The dual molecular contrasts come from melanin and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Melanin and lipofuscin are two types of pigments and are believed to play opposite roles (protective vs. exacerbate) in the RPE in the aging process. We successfully imaged the retina of pigmented and albino rats at different ages. The experimental results showed that multimodal PAOM system can be a potentially powerful tool in the study of age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

  18. Cloning and characterization of hIF2, a human homologue of bacterial translation initiation factor 2, and its interaction with HIV-1 matrix.

    PubMed

    Wilson, S A; Sieiro-Vazquez, C; Edwards, N J; Iourin, O; Byles, E D; Kotsopoulou, E; Adamson, C S; Kingsman, S M; Kingsman, A J; Martin-Rendon, E

    1999-08-15

    The cDNA for a human homologue (hIF2) of bacterial (bIF2) and yeast (yIF2) translation initiation factor two (IF2) has been identified during a screen for proteins which interact with HIV-1 matrix. The hIF2 cDNA encodes a 1220-amino-acid protein with a predicted relative molecular mass of 139 kDa, though endogeneous hIF2 migrates anomalously on SDS/PAGE at 180 kDa. hIF2 has an extended N-terminus compared with its homologues, although its central GTP-binding domain and C-terminus are highly conserved, with 58% sequence identity with yIF2. We have confirmed that hIF2 is required for general translation in human cells by generation of a point mutation in the P-loop of the GTP-binding domain. This mutant protein behaves in a transdominant manner in transient transfections and leads to a significant decrease in the translation of a reporter gene. hIF2 interacts directly with HIV-1 matrix and Gag in vitro, and the protein complex can be immunoprecipitated from human cells. This interaction appears to block hIF2 function, since purified matrix protein inhibits translation in a reticulocyte lysate. hIF2 does not correspond to any of the previously characterized translation initiation factors identified in mammals, but its essential role in translation appears to have been conserved from bacteria to humans. PMID:10432305

  19. Cloning and characterization of hIF2, a human homologue of bacterial translation initiation factor 2, and its interaction with HIV-1 matrix.

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, S A; Sieiro-Vazquez, C; Edwards, N J; Iourin, O; Byles, E D; Kotsopoulou, E; Adamson, C S; Kingsman, S M; Kingsman, A J; Martin-Rendon, E

    1999-01-01

    The cDNA for a human homologue (hIF2) of bacterial (bIF2) and yeast (yIF2) translation initiation factor two (IF2) has been identified during a screen for proteins which interact with HIV-1 matrix. The hIF2 cDNA encodes a 1220-amino-acid protein with a predicted relative molecular mass of 139 kDa, though endogeneous hIF2 migrates anomalously on SDS/PAGE at 180 kDa. hIF2 has an extended N-terminus compared with its homologues, although its central GTP-binding domain and C-terminus are highly conserved, with 58% sequence identity with yIF2. We have confirmed that hIF2 is required for general translation in human cells by generation of a point mutation in the P-loop of the GTP-binding domain. This mutant protein behaves in a transdominant manner in transient transfections and leads to a significant decrease in the translation of a reporter gene. hIF2 interacts directly with HIV-1 matrix and Gag in vitro, and the protein complex can be immunoprecipitated from human cells. This interaction appears to block hIF2 function, since purified matrix protein inhibits translation in a reticulocyte lysate. hIF2 does not correspond to any of the previously characterized translation initiation factors identified in mammals, but its essential role in translation appears to have been conserved from bacteria to humans. PMID:10432305

  20. Bacterial- and plant-type phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase isozymes from developing castor oil seeds interact in vivo and associate with the surface of mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Park, Joonho; Khuu, Nicholas; Howard, Alexander S M; Mullen, Robert T; Plaxton, William C

    2012-07-01

    Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) from developing castor oil seeds (COS) exists as two distinct oligomeric isoforms. The typical class-1 PEPC homotetramer consists of 107-kDa plant-type PEPC (PTPC) subunits, whereas the allosterically desensitized 910-kDa class-2 PEPC hetero-octamer arises from the association of class-1 PEPC with 118-kDa bacterial-type PEPC (BTPC) subunits. The in vivo interaction and subcellular location of COS BTPC and PTPC were assessed by imaging fluorescent protein (FP)-tagged PEPCs in tobacco suspension-cultured cells. The BTPC-FP mainly localized to cytoplasmic punctate/globular structures, identified as mitochondria by co-immunostaining of endogenous cytochrome oxidase. Inhibition of respiration with KCN resulted in proportional decreases and increases in mitochondrial versus cytosolic BTPC-FP, respectively. The FP-PTPC and NLS-FP-PTPC (containing an appended nuclear localization signal, NLS) localized to the cytosol and nucleus, respectively, but both co-localized with mitochondrial-associated BTPC when co-expressed with BTPC-FP. Transmission electron microscopy of immunogold-labeled developing COS revealed that BTPC and PTPC are localized at the mitochondrial (outer) envelope, as well as the cytosol. Moreover, thermolysin-sensitive BTPC and PTPC polypeptides were detected on immunoblots of purified COS mitochondria. Overall, our results demonstrate that: (i) COS BTPC and PTPC interact in vivo as a class-2 PEPC complex that associates with the surface of mitochondria, (ii) BTPC's unique and divergent intrinsically disordered region mediates its interaction with PTPC, whereas (iii) the PTPC-containing class-1 PEPC is entirely cytosolic. We hypothesize that mitochondrial-associated class-2 PEPC facilitates rapid refixation of respiratory CO(2) while sustaining a large anaplerotic flux to replenish tricarboxylic acid cycle C-skeletons withdrawn for biosynthesis. PMID:22404138

  1. Melanin-concentrating hormone control of sleep-wake behavior.

    PubMed

    Monti, Jaime M; Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia

    2013-08-01

    The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a 19 aminoacid peptide found in mammals predominantly in neurons located in the lateral hypothalamus and incerto-hypothalamic area. The biological function of MCH is mediated by two G-protein-coupled receptors known as MCHR1 and MCHR2, although the latter is expressed only in carnivores, primates and man. The MCHR1 couples to Gi, Gq and Go proteins, with Gi leading to the inhibition of both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic events. Within the central nervous system (CNS) MCH participates in a number of functions including sleep-wake behavior. In this respect, MCHergic neurons project widely throughout the CNS to brain regions involved in the regulation of behavioral states. MCHergic neurons are silent during wakefulness (W), increase their firing during slow wave sleep (SWS) and still more during REM sleep (REMS). Studies in knockout mice for MCH (MCH(-/-)) have shown a reduction in SWS and an increase of W during the light and the dark phase of the light-dark cycle. Moreover, in response to food deprivation a marked reduction in REMS time was observed in these animals. Conflicting effects on sleep variables have been reported in MCHR1(-/-) mice by different authors. The i.c.v. administration of MCH increases REMS and SWS in the rat. In addition, an enhancement of REMS has been described following the microinjection of the neuropeptide into the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat, while its infusion into the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and the basal forebrain (horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca) is followed by an increase of REMS and a reduction of W in the rat. Immunoneutralization of MCH in the DR augmented W and suppressed REMS in the rat, as did the s.c. injection of selective MCHR1 antagonists. The robust REMS-inducing effect of MCH is likely related to the deactivation of monoaminergic, orexinergic, glutamatergic, cholinergic (W-on) and GABAergic (REM-off) neurons involved in the generation of W and the

  2. Identification of Neuropeptide Receptors Expressed by Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Parks, Gregory S.; Wang, Lien; Wang, Zhiwei; Civelli, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating Hormone (MCH) is a 19 amino acid cyclic neuropeptide that acts in rodents via the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) to regulate a wide variety of physiological functions. MCH is produced by a distinct population of neurons located in the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and zona incerta (ZI) but MCHR1 mRNA is widely expressed throughout the brain. The physiological responses and behaviors regulated by the MCH system have been investigated, but less is known about how MCH neurons are regulated. The effects of most classical neurotransmitters on MCH neurons have been studied, but those of neuropeptides are poorly understood. In order to gain insight into how neuropeptides regulate the MCH system, we investigated which neuropeptide receptors are expressed by MCH neurons using double in situ hybridization. In all, twenty receptors, selected based upon either a suspected interaction with the MCH system or demonstrated high expression levels in the LH and ZI, were tested to determine whether they are expressed by MCH neurons. Overall, eleven neuropeptide receptors were found to exhibit significant colocalization with MCH neurons: Nociceptin / Orphanin FQ Opioid receptor (NOP), MCHR1, both Orexin receptors (ORX), Somatostatin receptor 1 and 2 (SSTR1, SSTR2), the Kisspeptin receotor (KissR1), Neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1), Neuropeptide S receptor (NPSR), Cholecystokinin receptor A (CCKAR) and the κ-opioid receptor (KOR). Of these receptors, six have never before been linked to the MCH system. Surprisingly, several receptors thought to regulate MCH neurons displayed minimal colocalization with MCH, suggesting that they may not directly regulate the MCH system. PMID:24978951

  3. Dynamic thermal effects of epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles during photoacoustic breast imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghassemi, Pejhman; Wang, Quanzeng; Pfefer, T. Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Photoacoustic Tomography (PAT) employs high-power near-infrared (near-IR) laser pulses to generate structural and functional information on tissue chromophores up to several centimeters below the surface. Such insights may facilitate detection of breast cancer - the most common cancer in women. PAT mammography has been the subject of extensive research, including techniques based on exogenous agents for PAT contrast enhancement and molecular specificity. However, photothermal safety risks of PAT due to strong chromophores such as epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles have not been rigorously studied. We have used computational and experimental approaches to elucidate highly dynamic optical-thermal processes during PAT. A Monte Carlo model was used to simulate light propagation at 800 and 1064 nm in a multi-layer breast tissue geometry with different epidermal pigmentation levels and a tumorsimulating inclusion incorporating nanoparticles. Energy deposition results were then used in a bioheat transfer model to simulate temperature transients. Experimental measurements involved multi-layer hydrogel phantoms with inclusions incorporating gold nanoparticles. Phantom optical properties were measured using the inverse adding-doubling technique. Thermal imaging was performed as phantoms were irradiated with 5 ns near-IR pulses. Scenarios using 10 Hz laser irradiation of breast tissue containing various nanoparticle concentrations were implemented experimentally and computationally. Laser exposure levels were based on ANSI/IEC limits. Surface temperature measurements were compared to corresponding simulation data. In general, the effect of highly pigmented skin on temperature rise was significant, whereas unexpectedly small levels of temperature rise during nanoparticle irradiation were attributed to rapid photodegradation. Results provide key initial insights into light-tissue interactions impacting the safety and effectiveness of PAT.

  4. An in vitro study on bacterial growth interactions and intestinal epithelial cell adhesion characteristics of probiotic combinations.

    PubMed

    Moussavi, Mahta; Adams, Michelle Catherine

    2010-05-01

    The aims of this study were to examine long-term growth interactions of five probiotic strains (Lactobacillus casei 01, Lactobacillus plantarum HA8, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12) either alone or in combination with Propionibacterium jensenii 702 in a co-culture system and to determine their adhesion ability to human colon adenocarcinoma cell line Caco-2. Growth patterns of probiotic Lactobacillus strains were not considerably affected by the presence of P. jensenii 702, whereas lactobacilli exerted a strong antagonistic action against P. jensenii 702. In the co-culture of Bif. lactis Bb12 and P. jensenii 702, a significant synergistic influence on growth of both bacteria was observed (P < 0.05). The results of adhesion assay showed that when probiotic strains were tested in combination, there was evidence of an associated effect on percentage adherence. However, in most cases these differences were not statistically significant (P < 0.05). Adhesion percentage of Lb. casei 01 and Lb. rhamnosus GG both decreased significantly in the presence of P. jensenii 702 compared to their adhesion levels when alone (P < 0.05). These results show that the survival and percentage adhesion of some probiotic strains may be influenced by the presence of other strains and this should be considered when formulating in the probiotic products. PMID:19949794

  5. A semi-rational approach to obtain an ionic liquid tolerant bacterial laccase through π-type interactions.

    PubMed

    Dabirmanesh, Bahareh; Khajeh, Khosro; Ghazi, Farideh; Ranjbar, Bijan; Etezad, Seyed-Masoud

    2015-08-01

    Laccases are particularly promising enzymes for biotechnology and bioremediation purposes. They are among the most effective enzymes capable of catalyzing the degradation of phenolic compounds with poor water solubility. The technological utility of lacasses can be enhanced greatly by their use in ionic liquids rather than in conventional organic solvents or in their natural aqueous reaction media. In the current study, a laccase from Bacillus HR03 has been engineered through a semi rational method. By screening a library of 450 clones, Glu188Tyr and Glu188Phe showed a distinct improvement in thermal stability and ionic liquid tolerance. In comparison with the wild type, selected mutants exhibited higher kcat/Km against ABTS in the imidazolium based ionic liquids, (1-ethyl-3-methyl imidazolium chloride [EMIm][Cl], butyl-3-methyl imidazolium chloride [BMIm][Cl] and hexyl-3-methyl imidazolium chloride [HMIm][Cl]). Glu188Tyr had a catalytic efficiency, two times greater when compared to the wild type in [HMIm][Cl]. Far-UV circular dichroism (CD) exhibited no significant changes in the secondary structure of the mutants and wild type. Glu188Tyr revealed a more compact structure using Near-UV CD and fluorescence spectroscopy that could account for its high thermal stability. According to bioinformatic analysis, π-π and anion-π interactions played the dominant role in stabilizing both variants. PMID:26054663

  6. Identification of icsA, a plasmid locus of Shigella flexneri that governs bacterial intra- and intercellular spread through interaction with F-actin.

    PubMed Central

    Bernardini, M L; Mounier, J; d'Hauteville, H; Coquis-Rondon, M; Sansonetti, P J

    1989-01-01

    The capacity of Shigella to spread within the cytosol of infected epithelial cells and to infect adjacent cells is critical for the development of infection foci, which lead to mucosal abscesses. Shigella is a nonmotile microorganism that appears to utilize host cell microfilaments to generate intra- as well as intercellular movements, since this movement was inhibited by cytochalasin D and involvement of F-actin was demonstrated by direct labeling of infected cells with the specific dye N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazol-4-yl)phallacidin. Such movements led to the formation of extracellular protrusions, which may explain cell to cell spread. icsA, a locus necessary for intra- and intercellular spread, was identified on the Shigella flexneri virulence plasmid pWR100. This locus was cloned and shown to express a 120-kDa outer membrane protein, which plays an important role in the interactions established between host cell microfilaments and the bacterial surface, thus leading to intracellular movement. Images PMID:2542950

  7. Distinct interactions of Na{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+} ions with the selectivity filter of the bacterial sodium channel Na{sub V}Ab

    SciTech Connect

    Ke, Song; Zangerl, Eva-Maria; Stary-Weinzinger, Anna

    2013-01-25

    Highlights: ► Ca{sup 2+} translocates slowly in the filter, due to lack of “loose” knock-on mechanism. ► Identification of a high affinity binding site in Na{sub V}Ab selectivity filter. ► Changes of EEEE locus triggered by electrostatic interactions with Ca{sup 2+} ions. -- Abstract: Rapid and selective ion transport is essential for the generation and regulation of electrical signaling pathways in living organisms. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations to investigate how the bacterial sodium channel Na{sub V}Ab (Arcobacter butzleri) differentiates between Na{sup +} and Ca{sup 2+} ions. Multiple nanosecond molecular dynamics simulations revealed distinct binding patterns for these two cations in the selectivity filter and suggested a high affinity calcium binding site formed by backbone atoms of residues Leu-176 and Thr-175 (S{sub CEN}) in the sodium channel selectivity filter.

  8. A common origin for the bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems parD and ccd, suggested by analyses of toxin/target and toxin/antitoxin interactions.

    PubMed

    Smith, Andrew B; López-Villarejo, Juan; Diago-Navarro, Elizabeth; Mitchenall, Lesley A; Barendregt, Arjan; Heck, Albert J; Lemonnier, Marc; Maxwell, Anthony; Díaz-Orejas, Ramón

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems encode two proteins, a potent inhibitor of cell proliferation (toxin) and its specific antidote (antitoxin). Structural data has revealed striking similarities between the two model TA toxins CcdB, a DNA gyrase inhibitor encoded by the ccd system of plasmid F, and Kid, a site-specific endoribonuclease encoded by the parD system of plasmid R1. While a common structural fold seemed at odds with the two clearly different modes of action of these toxins, the possibility of functional crosstalk between the parD and ccd systems, which would further point to their common evolutionary origin, has not been documented. Here, we show that the cleavage of RNA and the inhibition of protein synthesis by the Kid toxin, two activities that are specifically counteracted by its cognate Kis antitoxin, are altered, but not inhibited, by the CcdA antitoxin. In addition, Kis was able to inhibit the stimulation of DNA gyrase-mediated cleavage of DNA by CcdB, albeit less efficiently than CcdA. We further show that physical interactions between the toxins and antitoxins of the different systems do occur and define the stoichiometry of the complexes formed. We found that CcdB did not degrade RNA nor did Kid have any reproducible effect on the tested DNA gyrase activities, suggesting that these toxins evolved to reach different, rather than common, cellular targets. PMID:23029540

  9. Characterization and expression analysis of Toll-interacting protein in common carp, Cyprinus carpio L., responding to bacterial and viral challenge.

    PubMed

    Shan, Shijuan; Wang, Lei; Zhang, Fumiao; Zhu, Yaoyao; An, Liguo; Yang, Guiwen

    2016-01-01

    Toll-interacting protein (Tollip) is a mediator involved in the TLRs signaling pathway which is critical for innate immune response. In the present study, a full-length Tollip cDNA was first cloned from common carp (CcTollip), which was 1284 bp in length, containing an open reading frame of 831 bp encoding a peptide of 276 amino acids. Multiple sequence alignment showed that the CcTollip shared the highest similarity with that of grass carp and zebrafish. Phylogenetically, the CcTollip clustered together well with their piscine family members. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that CcTollip was widely expressed in all tissues tested and showed up-regulation with challenges of Vibrio anguillarum and poly(I:C), suggesting that CcTollip was activated by V. anguillarum and poly(I:C). These data indicated that CcTollip might play an important role in immune response to bacterial and viral invasion. PMID:27330905

  10. Effect of UVC, UVB, UVA and a solar simulator on the survival of mouse melanoma cell lines differing in melanin content

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, H.Z.; Hill, G.J.; Cieszka, K.; Azure, M.

    1994-12-31

    These studies were designed to determine the survival of cells that vary in constitutive pigment levels after exposure to different UV wave lengths. The lamps employed emitted UVC (near monochromatic 254 nm), UVB (Philips TL01-88.7% of UV output is UVB), UVA (Philips HPW125-89% of output is at 365 nm) and Westinghouse FS20 (broad band UVB and UVA). Dish lids were used to cut off UVC in the UVB and FS20 experiments and 0.25 inch plate glass was used to cut off UVB in the UVA experiments. UVC photons interact with putative intracellular photosensitizers which in turn convert O{sub 2} to active oxygen species which damage DNA to produce strand breaks, cross links and base damage. UVB acts by both mechanisms. The two cell lines studied were Cloudman S91/I3 (3.6 pg melanin/cell) and the closely related S91/amel (1.2 pg melanin/cell). Attached cells were covered with Ca{sup ++} and Mg{sup ++} free PBS and irradiated in the cold. Colonies were scored after 2 weeks. The two cell lines exhibit similar survival kinetics after UVC. S91/IE is more sensitive to killing by either UVB (TL01) or UVA. However, S91/amel cells are more sensitive to killing by UVB plus UVA (FS20). It is clear that UV of different qualities can interact to produce effects that would not be predicted based on responses to monochromatic wave lengths.

  11. Transcriptional and metabolic signatures of Arabidopsis responses to chewing damage by an insect herbivore and bacterial infection and the consequences of their interaction

    PubMed Central

    Appel, Heidi M.; Maqbool, Shahina B.; Raina, Surabhi; Jagadeeswaran, Guru; Acharya, Biswa R.; Hanley, John C.; Miller, Kathryn P.; Hearnes, Leonard; Jones, A. Daniel; Raina, Ramesh; Schultz, Jack C.

    2014-01-01

    Plants use multiple interacting signaling systems to identify and respond to biotic stresses. Although it is often assumed that there is specificity in signaling responses to specific pests, this is rarely examined outside of the gene-for-gene relationships of plant-pathogen interactions. In this study, we first compared early events in gene expression and later events in metabolite profiles of Arabidopsis thaliana following attack by either the caterpillar Spodoptera exigua or avirulent (DC3000 avrRpm1) Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato at three time points. Transcriptional responses of the plant to caterpillar feeding were rapid, occurring within 1 h of feeding, and then decreased at 6 and 24 h. In contrast, plant response to the pathogen was undetectable at 1 h but grew larger and more significant at 6 and 24 h. There was a surprisingly large amount of overlap in jasmonate and salicylate signaling in responses to the insect and pathogen, including levels of gene expression and individual hormones. The caterpillar and pathogen treatments induced different patterns of expression of glucosinolate biosynthesis genes and levels of glucosinolates. This suggests that when specific responses develop, their regulation is complex and best understood by characterizing expression of many genes and metabolites. We then examined the effect of feeding by the caterpillar Spodoptera exigua on Arabidopsis susceptibility to virulent (DC3000) and avirulent (DC3000 avrRpm1) P. syringae pv. tomato, and found that caterpillar feeding enhanced Arabidopsis resistance to the avirulent pathogen and lowered resistance to the virulent strain. We conclude that efforts to improve plant resistance to bacterial pathogens are likely to influence resistance to insects and vice versa. Studies explicitly comparing plant responses to multiple stresses, including the role of elicitors at early time points, are critical to understanding how plants organize responses in natural settings. PMID:25278943

  12. Galleria mellonella native and analogue peptides Gm1 and ΔGm1. I) biophysical characterization of the interaction mechanisms with bacterial model membranes.

    PubMed

    Correa, Wilmar; Manrique-Moreno, Marcela; Patiño, Edwin; Peláez-Jaramillo, Carlos; Kaconis, Yani; Gutsmann, Thomas; Garidel, Patrick; Heinbockel, Lena; Brandenburg, Klaus

    2014-10-01

    Natural occurring antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the innate immune system of animals and plants. They are considered to be promising alternatives to conventional antibiotics. Here we present a comparative study of two synthetic peptides: Gm1, corresponding to the natural overall uncharged peptide from Galleria mellonella (Gm) and ΔGm1, a modified overall positively charged Gm1 variant. We have studied the interaction of the peptides with lipid membranes composed of different kinds of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG), in some cases also dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) as representative lipid components of Gram-negative bacterial membranes, by applying Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Förster resonance energy transfer spectroscopy (FRET), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Gm1 generates a destabilizing effect on the gel to liquid crystalline phase transition of the acyl chains of the lipids, as deduced from a decrease in the phase transition temperature and enthalpy, suggesting a fluidization, whereas ΔGm1 led to the opposite behavior. Further, FTIR analysis of the functional groups of the lipids participating in the interaction with the peptides indicated a shift in the band position and intensity of the asymmetric PO2(-) stretching vibration originating from the lipid phosphate groups, a consequence of the sterical changes in the head group region. Interestingly, FRET spectroscopy showed a similar intercalation of both peptides into the DMPG and LPS, but much less into the DMPE membrane systems. These results are discussed in the light of a possible use of the peptides as antimicrobial and anti-endotoxin drugs. PMID:25017800

  13. Melanin-independent accumulation of turgor pressure in appressoria of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant pathogenic fungi, turgor pressure accumulation in appressoria produces a mechanical force enabling the direct penetration of hyphae through the plant cell epidermis. Melanin has been reported to function as an impermeable barrier to osmolytes, which allow appressoria to accumulate high...

  14. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression.

    PubMed

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Ro, Hyunju; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α -melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content. PMID:23781272

  15. LASER BIOLOGY: Visualisation of the distributions of melanin and indocyanine green in biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genina, E. A.; Fedosov, I. V.; Bashkatov, A. N.; Zimnyakov, D. A.; Altshuler, G. B.; Tuchin, V. V.

    2008-03-01

    A double-wavelength laser scanning microphotometer with the high spectral and spatial resolutions is developed for studying the distribution of endogenic and exogenic dyes in biological tissues. Samples of hair and skin biopsy with hair follicles stained with indocyanine green are studied. The spatial distribution of indocyanine green and melanin in the biological tissue is determined from the measured optical transmittance.

  16. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spencer, Karen A.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P.; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if or how the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or color-imparting structural feather microstructure may be adversely affected by condition. Here we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, while in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account.

  17. Differential effects of endoparasitism on the expression of carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration.

    PubMed Central

    McGraw, K J; Hill, G E

    2000-01-01

    The striking diversity of sexual dimorphisms in nature begs the question: Why are there so many signal types? One possibility is that ornamental traits convey different sets of information about the quality of the sender to the receiver. The colourful, pigmented feathers of male birds seem to meet the predictions of this hypothesis. Evidence suggests that carotenoid pigmentation reflects the nutritional condition of males during moult, whereas in many instances melanin pigmentation is a reliable indicator of social status. However, as of yet there have been no experimental tests to determine how these two ornament types respond to the same form of environmental stress. In this study, we tested the effect of endoparasitic infection by intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp.) on the expression of both carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration in captive male American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis). We found that the carotenoid-based plumage and bill coloration of parasitized males was less saturated than that developed by unparasitized males, but that the brightness and size of melanin-based black caps did not differ between the groups. These findings provide the most robust empirical support to date for the notion that carotenoid and melanin ornaments reveal different information to conspecifics. PMID:11007328

  18. Transferring biomarker into molecular probe: melanin nanoparticle as a naturally active platform for multimodality imaging.

    PubMed

    Fan, Quli; Cheng, Kai; Hu, Xiang; Ma, Xiaowei; Zhang, Ruiping; Yang, Min; Lu, Xiaomei; Xing, Lei; Huang, Wei; Gambhir, Sanjiv Sam; Cheng, Zhen

    2014-10-29

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (<10 nm) water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MNP) was developed and showed unique photoacoustic property and natural binding ability with metal ions (for example, (64)Cu(2+), Fe(3+)). Therefore, MNP can serve not only as a photoacoustic contrast agent, but also as a nanoplatform for positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Traditional passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for prebuilding reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs to allow for U87MG tumor accumulation due to its targeting property combined with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation. PMID:25292385

  19. Testing in Mice the Hypothesis That Melanin Is Protective in Malaria Infections

    PubMed Central

    Waisberg, Michael; Vickers, Brandi K.; Yager, Stephanie B.; Lin, Christina K.; Pierce, Susan K.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria has had the largest impact of any infectious disease on shaping the human genome, exerting enormous selective pressure on genes that improve survival in severe malaria infections. Modern humans originated in Africa and lost skin melanization as they migrated to temperate regions of the globe. Although it is well documented that loss of melanization improved cutaneous Vitamin D synthesis, melanin plays an evolutionary ancient role in insect immunity to malaria and in some instances melanin has been implicated to play an immunoregulatory role in vertebrates. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that melanization may be protective in malaria infections using mouse models. Congenic C57BL/6 mice that differed only in the gene encoding tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the synthesis of melanin, showed no difference in the clinical course of infection by Plasmodium yoelii 17XL, that causes severe anemia, Plasmodium berghei ANKA, that causes severe cerebral malaria or Plasmodium chabaudi AS that causes uncomplicated chronic disease. Moreover, neither genetic deficiencies in vitamin D synthesis nor vitamin D supplementation had an effect on survival in cerebral malaria. Taken together, these results indicate that neither melanin nor vitamin D production improve survival in severe malaria. PMID:22242171

  20. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content. PMID:23781272

  1. Metal exposure influences the melanin and carotenoid-based colorations in great tits.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Mateos-Gonzalez, F; Cotín, J; Pagani-Nuñez, E; Torné-Noguera, A; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    Metals are naturally found in the environment but are also emitted through anthropogenic activities, raising some concerns about the potential deleterious effects of these elements on wildlife. The potential effects of metals on bird coloration have been the focus of several recent studies since animal colored-signals often reflect the physiology of their bearers and are thus used by animals to assess the quality of another individual as a mate or competitor. These studies have shown that the melanin pigmentation seems to be positively associated and the carotenoid-based coloration negatively associated with metal exposure in wild birds. Although these studies have been very useful to show the associations between metal exposure and coloration, only few of them have actually quantified the levels of metal exposure at the individual level; always focusing on one or two of them. Here, we measured the concentrations of eight metals in great tits' feathers and then assessed how these levels of metals were associated with the carotenoid and melanin-based colorations. We found that the melanin pigmentation was positively associated with the copper concentration and negatively correlated with the chromium concentration in feathers. In addition, we have shown that the carotenoid-based coloration was negatively associated with the feather's mercury concentration. This study is the first one to identify some metals that might affect positively and negatively the deposition of melanin and carotenoid into the plumage of wild birds. PMID:26100730

  2. Transferring Biomarker into Molecular Probe: Melanin Nanoparticle as a Naturally Active Platform for Multimodality Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (<10 nm) water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MNP) was developed and showed unique photoacoustic property and natural binding ability with metal ions (for example, 64Cu2+, Fe3+). Therefore, MNP can serve not only as a photoacoustic contrast agent, but also as a nanoplatform for positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Traditional passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for prebuilding reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs to allow for U87MG tumor accumulation due to its targeting property combined with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation. PMID:25292385

  3. [Obtaining of water soluble microbial melanin and study of its some properties].

    PubMed

    Agadzhanian, A A; Asaturian, R A; Ambartsumian, A A; Sargisian, L B; Ovsepian, A S; Vardanian, A H; Sagiian, A S

    2011-01-01

    The effective sorption method for melanin isolation and purification from fermentation solutions of Bacillus thuringiensis serovar galleriae K1 has been elaborated, the principle process flowsheet is presented. The identification of obtained pigment with the samples of natural and synthetic melanin was done by IR-spectroscopy, and the intensity ratio of optical absorption at 650 and 500 nm allows to refer the isolated melanin to eumelanin class. By thermal treatment it was determined, that melanin's amorphous sediment is steady at up to 120 degrees C temperatures, at that the concentration of paramagnetic centers is changed from 0.053 x 10(18) spin/g (48 degrees C) to 0.25 x 10(18) spin/g (120 degrees C). The rising of the temperature of treatment up to 210 degrees C brings to substantial increase of the concentration of unpaired electrons, and at 280 degrees C its sharp growth is observed. At 350 degrees C growth stops, then sharp decrease is observed. The obtained results were confirmed by methods of IR spectroscopy and derivatographic analysis. PMID:22232896

  4. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure.

    PubMed

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline; Spencer, Karen A; Heidinger, Britt J; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if, or how, the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or the role of the microstructure of feathers in imparting structural color to feathers may be adversely affected by condition. Here, we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, whereas in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases, we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account. PMID:24987010

  5. Visualisation of the distributions of melanin and indocyanine green in biological tissues

    SciTech Connect

    Genina, E A; Fedosov, I V; Bashkatov, A N; Zimnyakov, D A; Tuchin, V V; Altshuler, G B

    2008-03-31

    A double-wavelength laser scanning microphotometer with the high spectral and spatial resolutions is developed for studying the distribution of endogenic and exogenic dyes in biological tissues. Samples of hair and skin biopsy with hair follicles stained with indocyanine green are studied. The spatial distribution of indocyanine green and melanin in the biological tissue is determined from the measured optical transmittance. (laser biology)

  6. Pharmacokinetics study of Zr-89-labeled melanin nanoparticle in iron-overload mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pengjun; Yue, Yuanyuan; Pan, Donghui; Yang, Runlin; Xu, Yuping; Wang, Lizhen; Yan, Junjie; Li, Xiaotian; Yang, Min

    2016-09-01

    Melanin, a natural biological pigment present in many organisms, has been found to exhibit multiple functions. An important property of melanin is its ability to chelate metal ions strongly, which might be developed as an iron chelator for iron overload therapy. Herein, we prepared the ultrasmall water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MP) and firstly evaluate the pharmacokinetics of MP in iron-overload mice to provide scientific basis for treating iron-overload. To study the circulation time and biodistribution, MP was labeled with (89)Zr, a long half-life (78.4h) positron-emitting metal which is suited for the labeling of nanoparticles and large bioactive molecule. MP was chelated with (89)Zr directly at pH5, resulting in non-decay-corrected yield of 89.6% and a radiochemical purity of more than 98%. The specific activity was at least190 MBq/μmol. The (89)Zr-MP was stable in human plasma and PBS for at least 48h. The half-life of (89)Zr-MP was about 15.70±1.74h in iron-overload mice. Biodistribution studies and MicroPET imaging showed that (89)Zr-MP mainly accumulated in liver and spleen, which are the target organ of iron-overload. The results indicate that the melanin nanoparticle is promising for further iron overload therapy. PMID:27359110

  7. Dual functions of a melanin-based ornament in the common yellowthroat

    PubMed Central

    Tarof, Scott A; Dunn, Peter O; Whittingham, Linda A

    2005-01-01

    Melanin-based ornaments often function as signals in male–male competition, whereas carotenoid-based ornaments appear to be important in female mate choice. This difference in function is thought to occur because carotenoid pigments are more costly to produce than melanins and are thus more reliable indicators of male quality. We examined the role of melanin- and carotenoid-based ornaments in male–male competition and female choice in the common yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas, a sexually dichromatic passerine. Males display a black facial mask produced by melanin pigmentation and a bright yellow bib (throat, breast and belly) produced by carotenoid pigmentation. In controlled aviary experiments, mask size was the best predictor of both male–male competition and female mate choice, and, therefore, mask size may be regarded as an ornament of dual function. These dual functions may help to maintain the reliability of mask size as an indicator of male quality, despite the potentially low cost of production. The size of the bib was unrelated to male–male competition or female choice, but there was a tendency for females to prefer males with more colourful bibs. We propose that the black mask is important in competition for territories with other males and for attracting females. Our results highlight the need for more studies of the mechanisms of sexual selection in species with ornaments composed of different pigment types. PMID:16024373

  8. Bacterial Keratitis

    MedlinePlus

    ... very quickly, and if left untreated, can cause blindness. The bacteria usually responsible for this type of ... to intense ultraviolet radiation exposure, e.g. snow blindness or welder's arc eye). Next Bacterial Keratitis Symptoms ...

  9. Insulin-sensitizing and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects of the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from Inonotus obliquus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Han; Hyun, Chang-Kee

    2014-09-01

    Inonotus obliquus has been traditionally used for treatment of metabolic diseases; however, the mechanism remains to be elucidated. In this study, we found that the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from I. obliquus improved insulin sensitivity and reduced adiposity in high fat (HF)-fed obese mice. When the melanin complex was treated to 3T3-L1 adipocytes, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased significantly, and its phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent action was proven with wortmannin treatment. Additionally, dose-dependent increases in Akt phosphorylation and glucose transporter 4 translocation into the plasma membrane were observed in melanin complex-treated cells. Adiponectin gene expression in 3T3-L1 cells incubated with melanin complex increased which was corroborated by increased AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in HepG2 and C2C12 cells treated with conditioned media from the 3T3-L1 culture. Melanin complex-treated 3T3-L1 cells showed no significant change in expression of several lipogenic genes, whereas enhanced expressions of fatty acid oxidative genes were observed. Similarly, the epididymal adipose tissue of melanin complex-treated HF-fed mice had higher expression of fatty acid oxidative genes without significant change in lipogenic gene expression. Together, these results suggest that the water-soluble melanin complex of I. obliquus exerts antihyperglycemic and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects, making it a candidate for promising antidiabetic agent. PMID:24615848

  10. Surface Structure Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia Mutated in the Melanin Synthesis Pathway and Their Human Cellular Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F.; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A.; Kaveri, Srini V.; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.

    2014-01-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface. PMID:24818666

  11. Real-time in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy of melanin-containing cells: A promising diagnostic intervention.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Wenzhong; Song, Xiuzu; Peng, Jianzhong; Xu, Aie; Bi, Zhigang

    2015-12-01

    The use of noninvasive imaging techniques to evaluate different types of skin lesions is increasing popular. In vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is a new method for high resolution non-invasive imaging of intact skin in situ and in vivo. Although many studies have investigated melanin-containing cells in lesions by in vivo CLSM, few studies have systematically characterized melanin-containing cells based on their morphology, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness. In this study, the characteristics of melanin-containing cells were further investigated by in vivo CLSM. A total of 130 lesions, including common nevi, giant congenital pigmented nevi, vitiligo, melasma, melanoma, and chronic eczema, were imaged by in vivo CLSM. This research helps dermatologists understand the characteristics of melanin-containing cells and facilitate the clinical application of melanin-containing cells in the investigation of dermatological disease. In summary, melanin-containing cells include keratinocytes, melanocytes, macrophages, and melanocytic skin tumor cells. Our study presents the CLSM characteristics of melanin-containing cells to potentially facilitate in vivo diagnosis based on shape, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness. PMID:26515646

  12. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli to optimize melanin synthesis from glucose

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Natural aromatic polymers, mainly melanins, have potential and current applications in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The biotechnological production of this class of compounds is based on tyrosinase-dependent conversion of L-tyrosine and other aromatic substrates into melanins. The purpose of this work was to apply metabolic engineering for generating Escherichia coli strains with the capacity to synthesize an aromatic polymer from a simple carbon source. Results The strategy was based on the expression in E. coli of the MutmelA gene from Rhizobium etli, encoding an improved mutant tyrosinase. To direct the carbon flow from central metabolism into the common aromatic and the L-tyrosine biosynthetic pathways, feedback inhibition resistant versions of key enzymes were expressed in strains lacking the sugar phosphotransferase system and TyrR repressor. The expressed tyrosinase consumed intracellular L-tyrosine, thus causing growth impairment in the engineered strains. To avoid this issue, a two phase production process was devised, where tyrosinase activity was controlled by the delayed addition of the cofactor Cu. Following this procedure, 3.22 g/L of melanin were produced in 120 h with glucose as carbon source. Analysis of produced melanin by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed similar characteristics to a pure eumelanin standard. Conclusions This is the first report of a process for producing melanin from a simple carbon source at grams level, having the potential for reducing production cost when compared to technologies employing L-tyrosine as raw material. PMID:24225202

  13. Inhibitory effect of Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kanehira ethanol extracts on melanin synthesis via repression of tyrosinase expression.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shih-Chieh; Chen, Chun-Hao; Yu, Chih-Wen; Chen, Hsiao Ling; Huang, Wei-Tung; Chang, Yun-Shiang; Hung, Shu-Hsien; Lee, Tai-Lin

    2016-09-01

    Melanin contributes to skin color, and tyrosinase is the enzyme that catalyzes the initial steps of melanin formation. Therefore, tyrosinase inhibitors may contribute to the control of skin hyperpigmentation. The inhibition of tyrosinase activity by Cinnamomum zeylanicum extracts was previously reported. In this report, we test the hypothesis that Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kanehira, an endemic plant to Taiwan, contains compounds that inhibit tyrosinase activity, similar to C. zeylanicum. The cytotoxicity of three sources of C. osmophloeum Kanehira ethanol extracts was measured in B16-F10 cells using a methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. At concentrations greater than 21.25 μg/mL, the ethanol extracts were toxic to the cells; therefore, 21.25 μg/mL was selected to test the tyrosinase activities. At this concentration, all three ethanol extracts decreased the melanin content by 50% in IBMX-induced B16-F10 cells. In addition to the melanin content, greater than 20% of the tyrosinase activity was inhibited by these ethanol extracts. The RT-PCR results showed that tyrosinase and transcription factor MITF mRNAs expression were down-regulated. Consistent with the mRNA results, greater than 40% of the human tyrosinase promoter activity was inhibited based on the reporter assay. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the ethanol extracts protect cells from UV exposure. C. osmophloeum Kanehira neutralized the IBMX-induced increase in melanin content in B16-F10 cells by inhibiting tyrosinase gene expression at the level of transcription. Moreover, the ethanol extracts also partially inhibited UV-induced cell damage and prevented cell death. Taken together, we conclude that C. osmophloeum Kanehira is a potential skin-whitening and protective agent. PMID:27084445

  14. In vivo isolation of the effects of melanin from underlying hemodynamics across skin types using spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saager, Rolf B.; Sharif, Ata; Kelly, Kristen M.; Durkin, Anthony J.

    2016-05-01

    Skin is a highly structured tissue, raising concerns as to whether skin pigmentation due to epidermal melanin may confound accurate measurements of underlying hemodynamics. Using both venous and arterial cuff occlusions as a means of inducing differential hemodynamic perturbations, we present analyses of spectra limited to the visible or near-infrared regime, in addition to a layered model approach. The influence of melanin, spanning Fitzpatrick skin types I to V, on underlying estimations of hemodynamics in skin as interpreted by these spectral regions are assessed. The layered model provides minimal cross-talk between melanin and hemodynamics and enables removal of problematic correlations between measured tissue oxygenation estimates and skin phototype.

  15. Disease Interactions in a Shared Host Plant: Effects of Pre-Existing Viral Infection on Cucurbit Plant Defense Responses and Resistance to Bacterial Wilt Disease

    PubMed Central

    Mauck, Kerry E.; Pulido, Hannier; De Moraes, Consuelo M.; Stephenson, Andrew G.; Mescher, Mark C.

    2013-01-01

    Both biotic and abiotic stressors can elicit broad-spectrum plant resistance against subsequent pathogen challenges. However, we currently have little understanding of how such effects influence broader aspects of disease ecology and epidemiology in natural environments where plants interact with multiple antagonists simultaneously. In previous work, we have shown that healthy wild gourd plants (Cucurbita pepo ssp. texana) contract a fatal bacterial wilt infection (caused by Erwinia tracheiphila) at significantly higher rates than plants infected with Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV). We recently reported evidence that this pattern is explained, at least in part, by reduced visitation of ZYMV-infected plants by the cucumber beetle vectors of E. tracheiphila. Here we examine whether ZYMV-infection may also directly elicit plant resistance to subsequent E. tracheiphila infection. In laboratory studies, we assayed the induction of key phytohormones (SA and JA) in single and mixed infections of these pathogens, as well as in response to the feeding of A. vittatum cucumber beetles on healthy and infected plants. We also tracked the incidence and progression of wilt disease symptoms in plants with prior ZYMV infections. Our results indicate that ZYMV-infection slightly delays the progression of wilt symptoms, but does not significantly reduce E. tracheiphila infection success. This observation supports the hypothesis that reduced rates of wilt disease in ZYMV-infected plants reflect reduced visitation by beetle vectors. We also documented consistently strong SA responses to ZYMV infection, but limited responses to E. tracheiphila in the absence of ZYMV, suggesting that the latter pathogen may effectively evade or suppress plant defenses, although we observed no evidence of antagonistic cross-talk between SA and JA signaling pathways. We did, however, document effects of E. tracheiphila on induced responses to herbivory that may influence host-plant quality for (and

  16. Clumping Factor A Interaction with Complement Factor I Increases C3b Cleavage on the Bacterial Surface of Staphylococcus aureus and Decreases Complement-Mediated Phagocytosis▿

    PubMed Central

    Hair, Pamela S.; Echague, Charlene G.; Sholl, Amber M.; Watkins, Justin A.; Geoghegan, Joan A.; Foster, Timothy J.; Cunnion, Kenji M.

    2010-01-01

    The human complement system is important in the immunological control of Staphylococcus aureus infection. We showed previously that S. aureus surface protein clumping factor A (ClfA), when expressed in recombinant form, bound complement control protein factor I and increased factor I cleavage of C3b to iC3b. In the present study, we show that, compared to the results for the wild type, when isogenic ClfA-deficient S. aureus mutants were incubated in serum, they bound less factor I, generated less iC3b on the bacterial surface, and bound fewer C3 fragments. It has been shown previously that two amino acids in ClfA (P336 and Y338) are essential for fibrinogen binding. However, S. aureus expressing ClfA(P336A Y338S) was less virulent than ClfA-deficient strains in animal models. This suggested that ClfA contributed to S. aureus virulence by a mechanism different than fibrinogen binding. In the present study, we showed that S. aureus expressing ClfA(P336A Y338S) was more susceptible to complement-mediated phagocytosis than a ClfA-null mutant or the wild type. Unlike ClfA, ClfA(P336A Y338S) did not enhance factor I cleavage of C3b to iC3b and inhibited the cofactor function of factor H. Fibrinogen enhanced factor I binding to ClfA and the S. aureus surface. Twenty clinical S. aureus strains all expressed ClfA and bound factor I. High levels of factor I binding by clinical strains correlated with poor phagocytosis. In summary, our results suggest that the interaction of ClfA with factor I contributes to S. aureus virulence by a complement-mediated mechanism. PMID:20100856

  17. 2,2,2-Trifluoroethanol changes the transition kinetics and subunit interactions in the small bacterial mechanosensitive channel MscS.

    PubMed

    Akitake, Bradley; Spelbrink, Robin E J; Anishkin, Andriy; Killian, J Antoinette; de Kruijff, Ben; Sukharev, Sergei

    2007-04-15

    2,2,2-Trifluoroethanol (TFE), a low-dielectric solvent, has recently been used as a promising tool to probe the strength of intersubunit interactions in membrane proteins. An analysis of inner membrane proteins of Escherichia coli has identified several SDS-resistant protein complexes that separate into subunits upon exposure to TFE. One of these was the homo-heptameric stretch-activated mechanosensitive channel of small conductance (MscS), a ubiquitous component of the bacterial turgor-regulation system. Here we show that a substantial fraction of MscS retains its oligomeric state in cold lithium-dodecyl-sulfate gel electrophoresis. Exposure of MscS complexes to 10-15 vol % TFE in native membranes or nonionic detergent micelles before lithium-dodecyl-sulfate electrophoresis results in a complete dissociation into monomers, suggesting that at these concentrations TFE by itself disrupts or critically compromises intersubunit interactions. Patch-clamp analysis of giant E. coli spheroplasts expressing MscS shows that exposure to TFE in lower concentrations (0.5-5.0 vol %) causes leftward shifts of the dose-response curves when applied extracellularly, and rightward shifts when added from the cytoplasmic side. In the latter case, TFE increases the rate of tension-dependent inactivation and lengthens the process of recovery to the resting state. MscS responses to pressure ramps of different speeds indicate that in the presence of TFE most channels reside in the resting state and only at tensions near the activation threshold does TFE dramatically speed up inactivation. The effect of TFE is reversible as normal channel activity returns 15-30 min after a TFE washout. We interpret the observed midpoint shifts in terms of asymmetric partitioning of TFE into the membrane and distortion of the bilayer lateral pressure profile. We also relate the increased rate of inactivation and subunit separation with the capacity of TFE to perturb buried interhelical contacts in proteins

  18. 2,2,2-Trifluoroethanol Changes the Transition Kinetics and Subunit Interactions in the Small Bacterial Mechanosensitive Channel MscS

    PubMed Central

    Akitake, Bradley; Spelbrink, Robin E. J.; Anishkin, Andriy; Killian, J. Antoinette; de Kruijff, Ben; Sukharev, Sergei

    2007-01-01

    2,2,2-Trifluoroethanol (TFE), a low-dielectric solvent, has recently been used as a promising tool to probe the strength of intersubunit interactions in membrane proteins. An analysis of inner membrane proteins of Escherichia coli has identified several SDS-resistant protein complexes that separate into subunits upon exposure to TFE. One of these was the homo-heptameric stretch-activated mechanosensitive channel of small conductance (MscS), a ubiquitous component of the bacterial turgor-regulation system. Here we show that a substantial fraction of MscS retains its oligomeric state in cold lithium-dodecyl-sulfate gel electrophoresis. Exposure of MscS complexes to 10–15 vol % TFE in native membranes or nonionic detergent micelles before lithium-dodecyl-sulfate electrophoresis results in a complete dissociation into monomers, suggesting that at these concentrations TFE by itself disrupts or critically compromises intersubunit interactions. Patch-clamp analysis of giant E. coli spheroplasts expressing MscS shows that exposure to TFE in lower concentrations (0.5–5.0 vol %) causes leftward shifts of the dose-response curves when applied extracellularly, and rightward shifts when added from the cytoplasmic side. In the latter case, TFE increases the rate of tension-dependent inactivation and lengthens the process of recovery to the resting state. MscS responses to pressure ramps of different speeds indicate that in the presence of TFE most channels reside in the resting state and only at tensions near the activation threshold does TFE dramatically speed up inactivation. The effect of TFE is reversible as normal channel activity returns 15–30 min after a TFE washout. We interpret the observed midpoint shifts in terms of asymmetric partitioning of TFE into the membrane and distortion of the bilayer lateral pressure profile. We also relate the increased rate of inactivation and subunit separation with the capacity of TFE to perturb buried interhelical contacts in

  19. Ex vivo models to evaluate the role of ocular melanin in trans-scleral drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Pescina, Silvia; Santi, Patrizia; Ferrari, Giulio; Padula, Cristina; Cavallini, Pierugo; Govoni, Paolo; Nicoli, Sara

    2012-08-15

    Trans-scleral delivery is nowadays considered as a possible way to deliver drugs to the posterior segment of the eye. Despite the potentiality of this administration route, there is a lack of fundamental knowledge on the role of the numerous barriers involved. The aim of this work was to develop an easy and cheap ex vivo method to evaluate the barrier properties of the choroid-Bruch's layer and in particular to estimate the role of melanin in drug diffusion through ocular tissues. In vitro binding studies were performed to estimate drug affinity for melanin; model molecules used were methylene blue, propranolol, levofloxacin and methylprednisolone sodium succinate. The ex vivo model set up is based on porcine eye bulbs with light blue iris or brown iris. While the choroid of brown eyes is dark, the choroid of blue eyes is transparent, due to the absence of melanin. Permeation experiments using pigmented and not-pigmented porcine tissues gave the opportunity to discriminate between the barrier role of choroid-Bruch's membrane as such and the barrier role of melanin. Ex vivo permeation experiments can be performed using isolated choroid-Bruch's or the sclera-choroid-Bruch's layer. In this last case, it is possible to take into account also the barrier role of the sclera that tends to decrease the drug concentration at the sclera/choroid interface, thus amplifying the effect of melanin. The data obtained in this paper indicate that for some drugs melanin can really represent a barrier and the effect can imply a lower drug flux or simply a longer lag time depending on the kind of drug and the concentration applied. However, it is a saturable barrier, thus its effect can probably be overtaken by high doses or multiple administrations. The ex vivo model set up can help to refine computational models, to better evaluate the interplay among static, dynamic and metabolic barriers. Additionally, since human eyes display a full range of pigmentation, the model could also be

  20. Quantifying melanin distribution using pump-probe microscopy and a 2D morphological autocorrelation transformation for melanoma diagnosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Warren, Warren S.

    2014-03-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is a quantitative molecular imaging technique that yields diagnostically relevant information from endogenous pigments, like melanin, by probing their ultrafast photodynamic properties. Previously, the method was applied to image thin, pigmented, cutaneous samples at different stages of melanoma, and results have shown a correlation between melanin photodynamic behavior and malignancy. Here, we add to the diagnostic power of the method by applying principles of mathematical morphology to parameterize melanins' image structure. Along with bulk melanin chemical information, results show that this method can differentiate invasive melanomas from non-invasive and benign lesions with high sensitivity and specificity (92.3% and 97.5%, respectively, with N = 53). The mathematical method and the statistical analysis are described in detail and results from cutaneous and ocular conjuctival melanocytic lesions are presented.

  1. Bacterial Immunity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A variety of bacterial agents reside in and around the environment that can cause illness and death in a poultry flock. Many cause disseminated disease while others exert more local effects such as the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract. The host, for our current purposes the laying hen, has de...

  2. Modulation of primary cilia length by melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1.

    PubMed

    Hamamoto, Akie; Yamato, Shogo; Katoh, Yohei; Nakayama, Kazuhisa; Yoshimura, Kentaro; Takeda, Sen; Kobayashi, Yuki; Saito, Yumiko

    2016-06-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) receptor 1 (MCHR1) is a class A G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). The MCH-MCHR1 system has been implicated in the regulation of feeding, emotional processing, and sleep in rodents. Recent work revealed that MCHR1 is selectively expressed in neuronal primary cilia of the central nervous system. Cilia have various chemosensory functions in many types of cell, and ciliary dysfunction is associated with ciliopathies such as polycystic kidney disease and obesity. Although dynamic modulation of neuronal cilia length is observed in obese mice, the functional interaction of neuronal ciliary GPCR and its endogenous ligand has not yet been elucidated. We report here that MCH treatment significantly reduced cilia length in hTERT-RPE1 cells (hRPE1 cells) transfected with MCHR1. Quantitative analyses indicated that MCH-induced cilia shortening progressed in a dose-dependent manner with an EC50 lower than 1nM when cells were treated for 6h. Although the assembly and disassembly of primary cilia are tightly coupled to the cell cycle, cell cycle reentry was not a determinant of MCH-induced cilia shortening. We confirmed that MCH elicited receptor internalization, Ca(2+) mobilization, ERK and Akt phosphorylation, and inhibition of cyclic AMP accumulation in MCHR1-expressing hRPE1 cells. Among these diverse pathways, we revealed that Gi/o-dependent Akt phosphorylation was an important component in the initial stage of MCH-induced cilia length shortening. Furthermore, induction of fewer cilia by Kif3A siRNA treatment significantly decreased the MCH-mediated phosphorylation of Akt, indicating the functional importance of the MCHR1-Akt pathway in primary cilia. Taken together, the present data suggest that the MCH-MCHR1 axis may modulate the sensitivity of cells to external environments by controlling the cilia length. Therefore, further characterization of MCHR1 as a ciliary GPCR will provide a potential molecular mechanism to link cilia length

  3. Preparation of water-soluble melanin from squid ink using ultrasound-assisted degradation and its anti-oxidant activity.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xin; Chen, Shiguo; Hu, Yaqin; Li, Guoyun; Liao, Ningbo; Ye, Xingqian; Liu, Donghong; Xue, Changhu

    2014-12-01

    Water-soluble squid melanin fractions were firstly prepared using ultrasound-assistant degradation method under alkaline condition, which is optimized by response surface methodology. The processing melanin fractions were divided into different molecular weight (Mw) fractions by membrane separation (below 10 kDa, among 10-50 kDa and over 50 kDa). The AFM image and particle-size analysis showed monomer units of the melanin were destroyed, and huge polymers were degraded into smaller soluble particles after ultrasound. While, UV, IR and solid (13)C NMR spectra indicated that the basic structure of melanin fraction was still retained after ultrasound process. Further analysis showed soluble melanin fractions obtained in 0.5 and 1 M NaOH, with Mw above 10 kDa exhibited much higher in vitro antioxidant potency. The IC50 of these fractions (IC50 among 19-80 μg) on scavenging O 2 ∙¯ is more efficient than carnosine (IC50 = 355 μg/ml.), a commercialized antioxidant. They (IC50 mong 115-180 μg/ml) are as efficient as carnosine (IC50 = 110 μg/ml) on scavenging ∙OH. Our research has reported a novel method for preparation of water-soluble melanin fractions from squid ink, which could be a promising free radical scavenger from nature resource. PMID:25477634

  4. Statistical analysis on activation and photo-bleaching of step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Zetong; Lai, Zhenhua; Zhang, Xi; Yin, Jihao; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is regarded as the most enigmatic pigments/biopolymers found in most organisms. We have shown previously that melanin goes through a step-wise multi-photon absorption process after the fluorescence has been activated with high laser intensity. No melanin step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) can be obtained without the activation process. The step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence has been observed to require less laser power than what would be expected from a non-linear optical process. In this paper, we examined the power dependence of the activation process of melanin SMPAF at 830nm and 920nm wavelengths. We have conducted research using varying the laser power to activate the melanin in a point-scanning mode for multi-photon microscopy. We recorded the fluorescence signals and position. A sequence of experiments indicates the relationship of activation to power, energy and time so that we can optimize the power level. Also we explored regional analysis of melanin to study the spatial relationship in SMPAF and define three types of regions which exhibit differences in the activation process.

  5. Scopoletin from Cirsium setidens Increases Melanin Synthesis via CREB Phosphorylation in B16F10 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Mi-Ja; Hur, Sun-Jung; Kim, Eun-Hyun; Lee, Seung Hoon; Shin, Jun Seob; Kim, Myo-Kyoung; Uchizono, James A.; Whang, Wan-Kyunn

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we isolated scopoletin from Cirsium setidens Nakai (Compositae) and tested its effects on melanogenesis. Scopoletin was not toxic to cells at concentrations less than 50 µM and increased melanin synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. As melanin synthesis increased, scopoletin stimulated the total tyrosinase activity, the rate-limiting enzyme of melanogenesis. In a cell-free system, however, scopoletin did not increase tyrosinase activity, indicating that scopoletin is not a direct activator of tyrosinase. Furthermore, Western blot analysis showed that scopoletin stimulated the production of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase expression via cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. Based on these results, preclinical and clinical studies are needed to assess the use of scopoletin for the treatment of vitiligo. PMID:25177162

  6. Remittance at a single wavelength of 390 nm to quantify epidermal melanin concentration.

    PubMed

    Verkruysse, Wim; Svaasand, Lars O; Franco, Walfre; Nelson, J Stuart

    2009-01-01

    Objective quantification of epidermal melanin concentration (EMC) should be useful in laser dermatology to determine the individual maximum safe radiant exposure (IMSRE). We propose a single-wavelength remittance measurement at 390 nm as an alternative optical method to determine EMC and IMSRE. Remittance spectra (360 to 740 nm), melanin index (MI) measurements and the transient radiometric temperature increase, DeltaT(t), upon skin irradiation with an Alexandrite laser (755 nm, 3-ms pulse duration, 6 Jcm(2)) were measured on 749 skin spots (arm and calf) on 23 volunteers (skin phototypes I to IV). Due to the shallow penetration depth and independence of blood oxygen saturation (isosbestic point), remittance at 390 nm appears to provide better estimates for EMC and IMSRE than MI. PMID:19256693

  7. Macular pigment, photopigments, and melanin: distributions in young subjects determined by four-wavelength reflectometry.

    PubMed

    Bone, Richard A; Brener, Betty; Gibert, Jorge C

    2007-12-01

    We have developed an objective procedure, using a modified retinal camera, to determine macular pigment (MP) optical density distributions in the human retina. Using two multi-band filters, reflectance maps of the retinas of young subjects (<25 years old) were obtained at 460, 528, 610 and 670 nm, without pupil dilation. The log-transformed maps were combined linearly to yield optical density maps of MP, cone and rod photopigments, and melanin. MP optical density and heterochromatic flicker photometry results for 22 subjects were in reasonable agreement. Cone photopigments, like MP, showed similar, well-defined peaks at the fovea, whereas rod photopigment showed a minimum. Melanin was more broadly distributed. PMID:17937965

  8. Effects of bavachin and its regulation of melanin synthesis in A375 cells

    PubMed Central

    WANG, JING-HUA; PEI, YUAN-YUAN; XU, HONG-DAN; LI, LI-JING; WANG, YE-QIU; LIU, GUO-LIANG; QU, YAN; ZHANG, NING

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of bavachin treatment on A375 cells and the regulation of melanin synthesis. The cultured A375 cells in vitro were treated with bavachin; and the effect of bavachin on cell activity, tyrosinase (TYR) activity and melanin synthesis were respectively tested by the MTT assay, L-dopa oxidation assay and the NaOH lysis assay. The expression levels of TYR and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) proteins were tested by western blot analysis. The expression levels of TYR, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1), TRP-2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1), ERK2 and JNK2 mRNA were tested by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. Simultaneously, the effect of estrogen receptor inhibitor (ICI182780) and ERK pathway inhibitor (U0126) was also tested on A375 cells following bavachin. The safe dose of bavachin significantly inhibited melanin synthesis and TYR activity. Bavachin (10 µmol/l) inhibited the expression of TYR and JNK proteins, and the expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2 mRNA in A375 cells. ICI182780 and U0126 could significantly reverse the bavachin treatment on the protein expression levels and the mRNA expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2. In conclusion, bavachin inhibited the synthesis of melanin on A375 cells by inhibiting the protein and mRNA expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2. PMID:27347410

  9. Two-photon excited fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging of melanin in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2012-03-01

    The ability to detect early melanoma non-invasively would improve clinical outcome and reduce mortality. Recent advances in two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) in vivo microscopy offer a powerful tool in early malignant melanoma diagnostics. The goal of this work was to develop a TPEF optical index for measuring relative concentrations of eumelanin and pheomelanin since ex vivo studies show that changes in this ratio have been associated with malignant transformation. We acquired TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin from several specimens, including human hair, malignant melanoma cell lines, and normal melanocytes and keratinocytes in different skin layers (epidermis, papillary dermis) in five healthy volunteers in vivo. We found that the pheomelanin emission peaks at around 620 nm and is blue-shifted from the eumelanin with broad maximum at 640-680nm. We defined "optical melanin index" (OMI) as a ratio of fluorescence signal intensities measured at 645 nm and 615nm. The measured OMI for a melanoma cell line MNT-1 was 1.6+/-0.2. The MNT-46 and MNT-62 lines (Mc1R gene knockdown) showed an anticipated change in melanins production ratio and had OMI of 0.55+/-0.05 and 0.17+/-0.02, respectively, which strongly correlated with HPLC data obtained for these lines. Average OMI measured for basal cells layers (melanocytes and keratinocytes) in normal human skin type I, II-III (not tanned and tanned) in vivo was 0.5, 1.05 and 1.16 respectively. We could not dependably detect the presence of pheomelanin in highly pigmented skin type V-VI. These data suggest that a non-invasive TPEF index could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo, including pigmented lesions.

  10. Endothelin-1 increases melanin synthesis in an established sheep skin melanocyte culture.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yamiao; Geng, Jianjun; Qin, Yilong; Wang, Haidong; Fan, Ruiwen; Zhang, Ying; Li, Hongquan; Jiang, Shan; Dong, Changsheng

    2016-08-01

    The aims of the study were to establish a culture system for sheep skin melanocytes and uncover the effects of endothelin-1 on melanin synthesis in cultured melanocytes in order to provide an optimal cell system and a theoretical basis for studying the regulatory mechanism of coat color in sheep. In this study, skin punch biopsies were harvested from the dorsal region of 1-3-yr-old sheep, and skin melanocytes were then obtained by the two-step digestion using dispase II and trypsin/ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). The primary cultures of the melanocytes were established and characterized by dopa-staining, immunocytochemical localization of melanocyte markers, and RT-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of coat color genes. To determine the effect of endothelin-1 on proliferation and melanin synthesis of melanocytes, the cultured cells were treated with different doses of endothelin-1 (10(-7), 10(-8), 10(-9), 10(-10), and 0 mol/L), and the growth rate of melanocytes, production of melanin, expression of related genes, and location of related protein in cultured cells were examined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), ultraviolet spectrophotometry, qRT-PCR, and immunocytochemical localization, respectively. The results showed that the established melanocyte culture functions properly. Endothelin-1 treatment increased markedly the number of melanocytes and melanin content. In responding to this treatment, expressions of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), tyrosinase (TYR), and endothelin receptor B (EDNRB) in the melanocytes were significantly up regulated (P < 0.05). Immunocytochemical localization revealed that TYR was mainly localized in the cytoplasm. Positive staining of TYR in the melanocytes was significant. The findings demonstrated that the culture system of sheep skin melanocytes was established successfully in vitro, and endothelin-1 promotes the

  11. Melanin protects Paracoccidioides brasiliensis from the effects of antimicrobial photodynamic inhibition and antifungal drugs.

    PubMed

    Baltazar, Ludmila Matos; Werneck, Silvia Maria Cordeiro; Soares, Betânia Maria; Ferreira, Marcus Vinicius L; Souza, Danielle G; Pinotti, Marcos; Santos, Daniel Assis; Cisalpino, Patrícia Silva

    2015-07-01

    Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a public health concern in Latin America and South America that when not correctly treated can lead to patient death. In this study, the influence of melanin produced by Paracoccidioides spp. on the effects of treatment with antimicrobial photodynamic inhibition (aPI) and antifungal drugs was evaluated. aPI was performed using toluidine blue (TBO) as a photosensitizer and a 630-nm light-emitting diode (LED) light. The antifungals tested were itraconazole and amphotericin B. We evaluated the effects of each approach, aPI or antifungals, against nonmelanized and melanized yeast cells by performing susceptibility tests and by quantifying oxidative and nitrosative bursts during the experiments. aPI reduced nonmelanized cells by 3.0 log units and melanized cells by 1.3 log units. The results showed that melanization protects the fungal cell, probably by acting as a scavenger of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species, but not of peroxynitrite. Melanin also increased the MICs of itraconazole and amphotericin B, and the drugs were fungicidal for nonmelanized and fungistatic for melanized yeast cells. Our study shows that melanin production by Paracoccidioides yeast cells serves a protective function during aPI and treatment with itraconazole and amphotericin B. The results suggest that melanin binds to the drugs, changing their antifungal activities, and also acts as a scavenger of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide, but not of peroxynitrite, indicating that peroxynitrite is the main radical that is responsible for fungal death after aPI. PMID:25896704

  12. Isolation and Characterization of Melanin-Producing (mel) Mutants of Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Ivins, Bruce E.; Holmes, Randall K.

    1980-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae strain Htx-3, a hypertoxinogenic mutant of V. cholerae 569B Inaba, produces a dark brown pigment under certain growth conditions, whereas strain 569B does not. We investigated the biochemical basis for this pigment production and the possible relationships between pigmentation and other phenotypic properties in V. cholerae. After mutagenesis of V. cholerae 569B with N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, 28 independently derived pigment-forming (mel) mutants were isolated and characterized. The mel mutants frequently differed from wild type in toxinogenicity or motility and occasionally differed in other phenotypic traits. Individual mel mutants differed from wild type both in the amount of toxin produced and in the growth conditions optimal for toxin production. It has not yet been established whether multiple phenotypic changes in individual mel mutants represent pleiotropic effects of single mutations or induction of multiple mutations by N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine or both. Production of pigment by mel mutants occurred at temperatures from 22 to 40°C, was inhibited by anaerobiosis, and was stimulated by supplementation of growth media with the amino acid precursors of melanin (l-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine, or l-tyrosine plus l-cysteine). The pigment possessed several other properties reported for microbial melanins. We conclude that a biochemical pathway for melanin production is present in V. cholerae, that this pathway cannot be fully expressed in wild-type strain 569B, and that mutations in the gene(s) which we have designated mel can permit hyperproduction of melanin under appropriate conditions. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:7380551

  13. Preclinical evaluation of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonism for the treatment of obesity and depression.

    PubMed

    Gehlert, Donald R; Rasmussen, Kurt; Shaw, Janice; Li, Xia; Ardayfio, Paul; Craft, Libbey; Coskun, Tamer; Zhang, Hong Y; Chen, Yanyun; Witkin, Jeffrey M

    2009-05-01

    The mammalian neuropeptide, melanin-concentrating hormone, interacts with two G protein-coupled receptors, melanin-concentrating hormone receptor (MCHR) 1 and MCHR2; however, only MCHR1 is expressed in rats and mice. In the present study, we evaluated MCHR1 antagonism in preclinical models believed to be predictive of antiobesity and antidepressant activity. Central activity of the selective MCHR1 antagonist, GW803430 [6-(4-chloro-phenyl)-3-[3-methoxy-4-(2-pyrrolidin-1-yl-ethoxy)-phenyl]-3H-thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidin-4-one], was evaluated using ex vivo binding with autoradiography. Effective doses of GW803430 (1 and 3 mg/kg p.o.) were correlated with antiobesity activity in a 14-day study of diet-induced obese rats. GW803430 was evaluated subsequently for antidepressant-like effects in mice and rats. Acute and subchronic administration reduced immobility time in the mouse forced-swim test at doses of 3 (acute) and 3 and 10 (chronic) mg/kg p.o., an effect that was absent in MCHR1(-/-) mice. Combined subeffective doses of GW803430 (0.3 and 1 mg/kg p.o.) and imipramine (5 mg/kg) produced a robust antidepressant-like response. The compound was also active in the tail suspension test at a dose of 10 mg/kg p.o. GW803430 (30 mg/kg p.o.) significantly reduced submissive behaviors at weeks 2 and 3, a model of submissive behavior that may predict antidepressant onset. GW803430 decreased marble burying in mice at doses of 3, 10, and 30 mg/kg p.o., an assay that detects anxiolytic-like effects. Thus, GW803430 produces robust antiobesity and antidepressant-like effects in rats and mice at doses that compete for central MCHR1 in vivo. As such, MCHR1 should be considered as a promising target for future drug discovery efforts. PMID:19182070

  14. Effect of saucerneol D on melanin production in cAMP-elevated melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Yun, Ji Young; Roh, Eunmiri; Son, Jong-Keun; Lee, Seung Ho; Seo, Chang-Seob; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Han, Sang-Bae; Kim, Youngsoo

    2011-08-01

    Intracellular cAMP stimulates microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) induction in melanocytes through cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), which plays a pivotal role in the gene expression of tyrosinase for melanin biosynthesis. In the present study, saucerneol D as a lignan constituent of Saururus chinensis (Saururaceae family) efficiently inhibited melanin production with IC(50) values of 188-297 nM in B16 melanoma cells stimulated with α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) or other cAMP elevators. Moreover, saucerneol D down-regulated α-MSH-induced gene expression of tyrosinase at the transcription level in B16 cells, but it did not directly inhibit the catalytic activity of cell-free tyrosinase. As to the molecular basis of hypopigmenting action, saucerneol D inhibited α-MSH-induced phosphorylation of CREB in the cells, and sequentially suppressed MITF induction. Taken together, this study provides saucerneol D down-regulated the gene expression of tyrosinase, resulting in the inhibition of cAMP-induced melanin biosynthesis, and suggests pharmacological potential of the lignan structure in skin hyperpigmentation. PMID:21910056

  15. Melanin bleaching with dilute hydrogen peroxide: a simple and rapid method.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chia-Hsing; Lin, Chih-Hung; Tsai, Min-Jan; Chen, Wan-Tzu; Chai, Chee-Yin; Huang, Ya-Chun; Tsai, Kun-Bow

    2013-05-01

    Melanins are naturally occurring pigments in both normal and pathologic tissues. Two common bleaching processes are potassium permanganate followed by oxalic acid treatment and dilute hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) process. The potassium permanganate/oxalic acid method is faster and more easily incorporated in conventional daily immunostaining protocols, whereas the dilute H2O2 method requires 24 hours. This study aimed to reduce melanin bleaching time by using a 10% H2O2 dilution. First, reaction time was reduced to 30 minutes by raising the temperature to 65°C. Second, containers with high thermal conductivity were used to improve bleaching effectiveness. Experimental comparisons of melanin treatments with H2O2 contained in an iron jar, a glass coplin jar, and a plastic steel jar obtained bleaching time of 20, 30, and 40 minutes, respectively. These modifications of the conventional bleaching method significantly improve the speed and efficiency of the procedure and are recommended when performing immunohistochemical studies. PMID:23060296

  16. The effect of melanin bleaching on immunohistochemical staining in heavily pigmented melanocytic neoplasms.

    PubMed

    Orchard, G E; Calonje, E

    1998-08-01

    The accumulation of excessive amounts of melanin in melanocytic lesions can obscure cellular morphology and can further hinder immunocytochemical procedures. We have used a modification of the potassium permanganate/oxalic acid melanin-bleaching technique, involving much reduced bleaching times, in order to remove melanin granules prior to incubation with primary antibody. We have assessed a panel of antibodies applicable to the evaluation of melanocytic lesions and in addition have also assessed antibodies that may be more useful in research. The study attempts to determine which antigens may be affected by bleaching and which are not. Antigens S100, HMB 45, NKIC3, CD34, and L26 are relatively unaffected by this procedure. Factor-VIII-related antigen and vimentin and CD68 antigens produced enhanced staining. In contrast, antigens CD3, CD31, and CD45RO were abolished. In addition, smooth muscle actin and desmin antigens demonstrated considerable nonspecific background staining and were not reliable in this study. This technique demonstrates that a fairly wide range of antigens are preserved after bleaching and that distinction between melanocytes and melanophages can reliably be performed using the conventional immunocytochemical chromogen 3,3-diaminobenzidine and without the need for elaborate counterstaining. PMID:9700373

  17. Ultrasonic shear spectrum in hydrated diethylamine melanins and its relation to stacking in a planar group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kono, Ryusuke; Yoshizaki, Haruyo; Miyake, Yasuhiro; Izumi, Yoshinobu; McGinness, John E.

    1981-11-01

    Shear mechanical relaxation and resonance data are reported for 20 wt % hydration of diethylamine melanins with different pH values ranging from 2 to 7. Shear impedance measurements in the temperature range from 60 to -80 °C, with frequencies from 1 to 362 MHz, indicate a Davidson-Cole spectrum in the primary relaxation and a single relaxation with a characteristic frequency of f = 4 MHz at 60 °C referred to the molecular motions of a group composed of an average molecular weight Mn?1.4×104. A resonance at 250 MHz is found in the specific melanin called No. 1, associated with stacking of indole monomer units, and a single relaxation at f = 270 MHz at 60 °C is found in the hydrate of melanin No. 2. The nature of the stacking is surveyed on account of Fitzgerald's theory. The limiting shear modulus in the primary relaxation related to the molecular motion of backbone chains obeys the modified Hirai-Eyring equation. All the hydrations have an amorphous phase composed of a three-dimensional network structure.

  18. Photoprotection by melanin--a comparison of black and Caucasian skin.

    PubMed

    Kaidbey, K H; Agin, P P; Sayre, R M; Kligman, A M

    1979-09-01

    The photoprotective role of melanin was evaluated by comparing the transmission of ultraviolet (UV) radiation through skin samples of blacks and Caucasians, using both biologic and spectroscopic techniques. UVA transmission was measured using fluoranthene, which causes a phototoxic response to UVA wavelength. UVB was measured by monitoring erythema produced by either a 150-watt xenon arc or FS-20 sunlamps. It was found that on the average, five times as much ultraviolet light (UVB and UVA) reaches the upper dermis of Caucasians as reaches that of blacks. Differences in transmission between the stratum corneum of blacks and of Caucasians were far less striking. The main site of UV filtration in Caucasians is the stratum corneum, whereas in blacks it is the malpighian layers. Melanin acts as a neutral density filter, reducing all wavelengths of light equally. The superior photoprotection of black epidermis is due not only to increased melanin content but also to other factors related to packaging and distribution of melanosomes. Not only are these data consistent with epidemiologic evidence, but they also may indicate why blacks are less disposed to phototoxic drug responses as well as less susceptible to acute and chronic actinic damage. PMID:512075

  19. Melanin granule model for laser-induced thermal damage in the retina

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, C.R.; Rogers, M.E.; Gerstman, B.S.; Jacques, S.L.

    1996-05-01

    An analytical model for thermal damage of retinal tissue due to absorption of laser energy by finite-sized melanin granules is developed. Since melanin is the primary absorber of visible and near-IR light in the skin and in the retina, bulk heating of tissue can be determined by superposition of individual melanin granule effects. Granules are modeled as absorbing spheres surrounded by an infinite medium of water. Analytical solutions to the heat equation result in computations that are quick and accurate. Moreover, the model does not rely on symmetric beam profiles, and so arbitrary images can be studied. The important contribution of this model is to provide a more accurate biological description of submillisecond pulse exposures than previous retinal models, while achieving agreement for longer pulses. This model can also be naturally extended into the sub-microsecond domain by including vaporization as a damage mechanism. It therefore represents the beginning of a model which can be applied across the entire pulse duration domain.

  20. KHG26792 Inhibits Melanin Synthesis in Mel-Ab Cells and a Skin Equivalent Model

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hailan; Kim, Jandi; Hahn, Hoh-Gyu; Yun, Jun; Jeong, Hyo-Soon; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Min, Young Sil; Park, Kyoung-Chan

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to characterize the effects of KHG26792 (3-(naphthalen-2-yl(propoxy) methyl)azetidine hydrochloride), a potential skin whitening agent, on melanin synthesis and identify the underlying mechanism of action. Our data showed that KHG26792 significantly reduced melanin synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, KHG26792 downregulated microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis, although tyrosinase was not inhibited directly. KHG26792 activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), whereas an ERK pathway inhibitor, PD98059, rescued KHG26792-induced hypopigmentation. These results suggest that KHG26792 decreases melanin production via ERK activation. Moreover, the hypopigmentary effects of KHG26792 were confirmed in a pigmented skin equivalent model using Cervi cornus Colla (deer antler glue), in which the color of the pigmented artificial skin became lighter after treatment with KHG26792. In summary, our findings suggest that KHG26792 is a novel skin whitening agent. PMID:24976765

  1. Multi-spectral mapping of in vivo skin hemoglobin and melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakovels, Dainis; Spigulis, Janis; Saknite, Inga

    2010-04-01

    The multi-spectral imaging technique has been used for distant mapping of in-vivo skin chromophores by analyzing spectral data at each reflected image pixel and constructing 2-D maps of the relative concentrations of oxy-/deoxyhemoglobin and melanin. Instead of using a broad visible-NIR spectral range, this study focuses on narrowed spectral band 500-700 nm, so speeding-up the signal processing procedure. Regression analysis confirmed that superposition of three Gaussians is optimal analytic approximation for the oxy-hemoglobin absorption tabular spectrum in this spectral band, while superposition of two Gaussians fits well for deoxy-hemoglobin absorption and exponential function - for melanin absorption. The proposed approach was clinically tested for three types of in-vivo skin provocations - ultraviolet irradiance, chemical reaction with vinegar essence and finger arterial occlusion. Spectral range 500-700 nm provided better sensitivity to oxy-hemoglobin changes and higher response stability to melanin than two reduced ranges 500-600 nm and 530-620 nm.

  2. The Pseudomonas syringae Effector HopQ1 Promotes Bacterial Virulence and Interacts with Tomato 14-3-3 Proteins in a Phosphorylation-Dependent Manner1[C][W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wei; Yadeta, Koste A.; Elmore, James Mitch; Coaker, Gitta

    2013-01-01

    A key virulence strategy of bacterial pathogens is the delivery of multiple pathogen effector proteins into host cells during infection. The Hrp outer protein Q (HopQ1) effector from Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pto) strain DC3000 is conserved across multiple bacterial plant pathogens. Here, we investigated the virulence function and host targets of HopQ1 in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Transgenic tomato lines expressing dexamethasone-inducible HopQ1 exhibited enhanced disease susceptibility to virulent Pto DC3000, the Pto ΔhrcC mutant, and decreased expression of a pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered marker gene after bacterial inoculation. HopQ1-interacting proteins were coimmunoprecipitated and identified by mass spectrometry. HopQ1 can associate with multiple tomato 14-3-3 proteins, including TFT1 and TFT5. HopQ1 is phosphorylated in tomato, and four phosphorylated peptides were identified by mass spectrometry. HopQ1 possesses a conserved mode I 14-3-3 binding motif whose serine-51 residue is phosphorylated in tomato and regulates its association with TFT1 and TFT5. Confocal microscopy and fractionation reveal that HopQ1 exhibits nucleocytoplasmic localization, while HopQ1 dephosphorylation mimics exhibit more pronounced nuclear localization. HopQ1 delivered from Pto DC3000 was found to promote bacterial virulence in the tomato genotype Rio Grande 76R. However, the HopQ1(S51A) mutant delivered from Pto DC3000 was unable to promote pathogen virulence. Taken together, our data demonstrate that HopQ1 enhances bacterial virulence and associates with tomato 14-3-3 proteins in a phosphorylation-dependent manner that influences HopQ1’s subcellular localization and virulence-promoting activities in planta. PMID:23417089

  3. [Bacterial vaginosis].

    PubMed

    Romero Herrero, Daniel; Andreu Domingo, Antonia

    2016-07-01

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the main cause of vaginal dysbacteriosis in the women during the reproductive age. It is an entity in which many studies have focused for years and which is still open for discussion topics. This is due to the diversity of microorganisms that cause it and therefore, its difficult treatment. Bacterial vaginosis is probably the result of vaginal colonization by complex bacterial communities, many of them non-cultivable and with interdependent metabolism where anaerobic populations most likely play an important role in its pathogenesis. The main symptoms are an increase of vaginal discharge and the unpleasant smell of it. It can lead to serious consequences for women, such as an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections including human immunodeficiency virus and upper genital tract and pregnancy complications. Gram stain is the gold standard for microbiological diagnosis of BV, but can also be diagnosed using the Amsel clinical criteria. It should not be considered a sexually transmitted disease but it is highly related to sex. Recurrence is the main problem of medical treatment. Apart from BV, there are other dysbacteriosis less characterized like aerobic vaginitis of which further studies are coming slowly but are achieving more attention and consensus among specialists. PMID:27474242

  4. Immunity to melanin and to tyrosinase in melanoma patients, and in people with vitiligo

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to determine the presence and the intensity of humoral immunity to melanoma-associated antigens: tyrosinase and melanin, in patients with melanoma, in persons with vitiligo and in control healthy people. Methods The study involved 63 patients with melanoma and 19 persons with vitiligo. Control group consisted up to 41 healthy volunteers. Mushroom tyrosinase and synthetic melanin were used as the antigens. Results ELISA test showed significantly (p < 0.0000004 and p < 0.04) lower levels of IgM anti-tyrosinase autoantibodies, in melanoma and vitiligo patients respectively, compared to controls. Although there was no significant difference between the levels of IgA anti-melanin autoantibodies in melanoma or vitiligo patients in comparison with controls, the enhanced concentrations of anti-melanin IgA autoantibodies were preferentially found in melanoma patients with metastatic disease. Significantly high percentage in the Fc alphaRI (CD89) positive cells was determined in melanoma patients (p < 0.002 and p < 0.008) in comparison to that found in healthy people or in patients with vitiligo, in the already mentioned order, pointing that IgA dependent cellular cytotoxicity is not important for the immune action against melanoma, even more that it is included in some immune suppression. Levels of IgG autoantibodies to mentioned antigens in melanoma patients although low were not significantly lower from controls. These findings analyzed together with the statistically significant low percentage of FcgammaRIII, (CD16) positive immunocompetent cells (p < 0.0007 and p < 0.003), which was found in patients with melanoma compared with healthy or vitiligo people respectively, and statistically significant low percentage of (CD16 + CD56+) natural killer (NK) cells (p < 0.005) found in melanoma patients in comparison to healthy controls pointed to the low probability for anti-melanoma IgG mediated, antibody

  5. Detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin pigments using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry system with multiple reaction monitoring mode.

    PubMed

    Dzierżęga-Lęcznar, Anna; Kurkiewicz, Slawomir; Stępień, Krystyna

    2012-02-01

    Here, we describe the reliable method for the detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin pigments. Synthetic melanins with various contents of pheomelanin-type structural units were thermally degraded, and the multiple reaction monitoring mode was applied to detect the pheomelanin markers in the pyrolysates by GC/MS/MS. The method allowed the specific detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin with the incorporation of pheomelanin-type units as low as 0.05%. Considering highly universal character of the pheomelanin markers, the method could be applied for structural studies of natural melanin pigments being mixtures of eumelanin and pheomelanin. PMID:22359335

  6. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Cheng; Chen, Sih-Min; Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei; Lin, Hoang-Yan; Chen, Szu-yuan

    2015-02-01

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H2O2 stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  7. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yi-Cheng; Chen, Sih-Min; Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei; Lin, Hoang-Yan; Chen, Szu-yuan

    2015-02-14

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H{sub 2}O{sub 2} stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  8. antiSMASH: rapid identification, annotation and analysis of secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters in bacterial and fungal genome sequences

    PubMed Central

    Medema, Marnix H.; Blin, Kai; Cimermancic, Peter; de Jager, Victor; Zakrzewski, Piotr; Fischbach, Michael A.; Weber, Tilmann; Takano, Eriko

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial and fungal secondary metabolism is a rich source of novel bioactive compounds with potential pharmaceutical applications as antibiotics, anti-tumor drugs or cholesterol-lowering drugs. To find new drug candidates, microbiologists are increasingly relying on sequencing genomes of a wide variety of microbes. However, rapidly and reliably pinpointing all the potential gene clusters for secondary metabolites in dozens of newly sequenced genomes has been extremely challenging, due to their biochemical heterogeneity, the presence of unknown enzymes and the dispersed nature of the necessary specialized bioinformatics tools and resources. Here, we present antiSMASH (antibiotics & Secondary Metabolite Analysis Shell), the first comprehensive pipeline capable of identifying biosynthetic loci covering the whole range of known secondary metabolite compound classes (polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, terpenes, aminoglycosides, aminocoumarins, indolocarbazoles, lantibiotics, bacteriocins, nucleosides, beta-lactams, butyrolactones, siderophores, melanins and others). It aligns the identified regions at the gene cluster level to their nearest relatives from a database containing all other known gene clusters, and integrates or cross-links all previously available secondary-metabolite specific gene analysis methods in one interactive view. antiSMASH is available at http://antismash.secondarymetabolites.org. PMID:21672958

  9. S-(−)-10,11-Dihydroxyfarnesoic Acid Methyl Ester Inhibits Melanin Synthesis in Murine Melanocyte Cells

    PubMed Central

    Baek, Seung-Hwa; Ahn, Jun-Won; Nam, Sung-Hee; Yoon, Cheol-Sik; Shin, Jae-Cheon; Lee, Sang-Han

    2014-01-01

    The development of antimelanogenic agents is important for the prevention of serious aesthetic problems such as melasmas, freckles, age spots, and chloasmas. In the course of screening for melanin synthesis inhibitors, we found that the culture broth from an insect morphopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana CS1029, exhibits potent antimelanogenic activity. We isolated and purified an active metabolite and identified it as S-(−)-10,11-dihydroxyfarnesoic acid methyl ester (dhFAME), an insect juvenile hormone. To address whether dhFAME inhibits melanin synthesis, we first measured the size of the melanin biosynthesis inhibition zone caused by dhFAME. dhFAME also showed inhibitory activity against mushroom tyrosinase in Melan-a cells. Intracellular, dose-dependent tyrosinase inhibition activity was also confirmed by zymography. In addition, we showed that dhFAME strongly inhibits melanin synthesis in Melan-a cells. Furthermore, we compared levels of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, MITF, and MC1R mRNA expression by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and showed that treatment of Melan-a cells with 35 μM dhFAME led to an 11-fold decrease in TYR expression, a 6-fold decrease in TRP-2 expression, and a 5-fold decrease in MITF expression. Together, these results indicate that dhFAME is a potent inhibitor of melanin synthesis that can potentially be used for cosmetic biomaterial(s). PMID:25046747

  10. The pbrB Gene Encodes a Laccase Required for DHN-Melanin Synthesis in Conidia of Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei

    PubMed Central

    Sapmak, Ariya; Boyce, Kylie J.; Andrianopoulos, Alex; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2015-01-01

    Talaromyces marneffei (Basionym: Penicillium marneffei) is a significant opportunistic fungal pathogen in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus in Southeast Asia. T. marneffei cells have been shown to become melanized in vivo. Melanins are pigment biopolymers which act as a non-specific protectant against various stressors and which play an important role during virulence in fungi. The synthesis of the two most commonly found melanins in fungi, the eumelanin DOPA-melanin and the allomelanin DHN-melanin, requires the action of laccase enzymes. The T. marneffei genome encodes a number of laccases and this study describes the characterization of one of these, pbrB, during growth and development. A strain carrying a PbrB-GFP fusion shows that pbrB is expressed at high levels during asexual development (conidiation) but not in cells growing vegetatively. The pbrB gene is required for the synthesis of DHN-melanin in conidia and when deleted results in brown pigmented conidia, in contrast to the green conidia of the wild type. PMID:25866870

  11. Ultrastructural changes produced in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells by ultraviolet-visible radiation in the presence of melanins

    SciTech Connect

    Lea, P.J.; Pawlowski, A.; Persad, S.D.; Menon, I.A.; Haberman, H.F.

    1988-01-01

    Irradiation of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells in the presence of pheomelanin, i.e., red hair melanin (RHM), has been reported to produce extensive cell lysis. Irradiation in the presence of eumelanin, i.e., black hair melanin (BHM), or irradiation in the absence of either type of melanin did not produce this effect. We observed that RHM particles penetrated the cell membrane without apparent structural damage to the cell or the cell membrane. Irradiation of the cells in the absence of melanin did not produce any changes in the ultrastructure of the cells. Incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM produced only minor structural, mainly cytoplasmic changes. Irradiation of the cells in the presence of RHM produced extensive ultrastructural changes prior to complete cell lysis; these changes were more severe than the effects of incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM. When the cells incubated in the dark or irradiated in the presence of latex particles or either one of the eumelanins particles, viz. BHM or synthetic dopa melanin, these particles did not penetrate into the cells or produce any ultrastructural changes. These particles were in fact not even ingested by the cells.

  12. Characterization of the BMR1 gene encoding a transcription factor for melanin biosynthesis genes in the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Junichi; Moriwaki, Akihiro; Tanaka, Nozomi; Tanaka, Chihiro; Ueno, Makoto; Arase, Sakae

    2008-04-01

    We isolated and characterized Bipolaris melanin regulation 1 gene (BMR1) encoding a transcription factor for melanin biosynthesis genes in the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae. Sequence analysis showed that the BMR1 gene encodes a putative protein of 1012 amino acids that has 99% sequence similarity to transcription factor Cmr1 of Cochliobolus heterostrophus. The predicted B. oryzae Bmr1 protein has two DNA-binding motifs, two Cys2His2 zinc finger domains, and a Zn(II)2Cys6 binuclear cluster domain at the N-terminal region of Bmr1. Targeted disruption of the BMR1 gene showed that BMR1 is essential for melanin biosynthesis in B. oryzae. The overexpression of the BMR1 gene led to more dark colonies than in the wild-type strain under dark conditions. Real-time PCR analysis showed that the BMR1 expression of the overexpression transformant was about 10-fold that of the wild type under dark conditions and of the expression of three melanin biosynthesis genes. These results indicated that BMR1 encodes the transcription factor of melanin biosynthesis genes in B. oryzae. PMID:18312572

  13. Inhibitory Effects of Adlay Extract on Melanin Production and Cellular Oxygen Stress in B16F10 Melanoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Huey-Chun; Hsieh, Wan-Yu; Niu, Yu-Lin; Chang, Tsong-Min

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of adlay extract on melanin production and the antioxidant characteristics of the extract. The seeds were extracted by the supercritical fluid CO2 extraction (SFE) method. The effect of adlay extract on melanin production was evaluated using mushroom tyrosinase activity assay, intracellular tyrosinase activity, antioxidant properties and melanin content. Those assays were performed spectrophotometrically. In addition, the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins was determined by western blotting. The results revealed that the adlay extract suppressed intracellular tyrosinase activity and decreased the amount of melanin in B16F10 cells. The adlay extract decreased the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosinase related protein-1 (TRP-1) and tyrosinase related protein-2 (TRP-2). The extract also exhibited antioxidant characteristics such as free radical scavenging capacity and reducing power. It effectively decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in B16F10 cells. We concluded that the adlay extract inhibits melanin production by down-regulation of MITF, tyrosinase, TRP-1 and TRP-2. The antioxidant properties of the extract may also contribute to the inhibition of melanogenesis. The adlay extract can therefore be applied as an inhibitor of melanogenesis and could also act as a natural antioxidant in skin care products. PMID:25244016

  14. Assessment of toxicological interactions of benzene and its primary degradation products (catechol and phenol) using a lux-modified bacterial bioassay

    SciTech Connect

    Boyd, E.M. |; Meharg, A.A.; Wright, J.; Killham, K.

    1997-05-01

    A bacterial bioassay has been developed to assess the relative toxicities of xenobiotics commonly found in contaminated soils, river waters, and ground waters. The assay utilized decline in luminescence of lux-marked Pseudomonas fluorescens on exposure to xenobiotics. Pseudomonas fluorescens is a common bacterium in the terrestrial environment, providing environmental relevance to soil, river, and ground water systems. Three principal environmental contaminants associated with benzene degradation were exposed to the luminescence-marked bacterial biosensor to assess their toxicity individually and in combination. Median effective concentration (EC50) values for decline in luminescence were determined for benzene, catechol, and phenol and were found to be 39.9, 0.77, and 458.6 mg/L, respectively. Catechol, a fungal and bacterial metabolite of benzene, was found to be significantly more toxic to the biosensor than was the parent compound benzene, showing that products of xenobiotic biodegradation may be more toxic than the parent compounds. Combinations of parent compounds and metabolites were found to be significantly more toxic to the bioassay than were the individual compounds themselves. Development of this bioassay has provided a rapid screening system suitable for assessing the toxicity of xenobiotics commonly found in contaminated soil, river, and ground-water environments. The assay can be utilized over a wide pH range is therefore more applicable to such environmental systems than bioluminescence-based bioassays that utilize marine organisms and can only be applied over a limited pH and salinity range.

  15. pH-Induced aggregated melanin nanoparticles for photoacoustic signal amplification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ju, Kuk-Youn; Kang, Jeeun; Pyo, Jung; Lim, Joohyun; Chang, Jin Ho; Lee, Jin-Kyu

    2016-07-01

    We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one another under mildly acidic conditions after introducing hydrolysis-susceptible citraconic amide on the surface of bare MelNPs. We ascertained that the physical aggregation of the MelNPs resulted in an increased PA signal strength in the near-infrared window of biological tissue (i.e., 700 nm) without absorption tuning. This phenomenon is likely because of the overlapping thermal fields of the developed MelNPs. The PA signal produced from the developed MelNPs, after exposure to mildly acidic conditions (i.e., pH 6), is 8.1 times stronger than under neutral conditions. This unique characteristic found in this study can be utilized in a practical strategy for highly sensitive in vivo cancer target imaging in response to its acidic microenvironment. This approach to amplify the PA response of MelNPs in clusters could accelerate the use of MelNPs as an alternative to non-biological nanoprobes, so that MelNPs may be applicable in PA imaging and functional PA imaging such as stimuli sensitive, multimodal, and theranostic imaging.We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one

  16. Candidate Gene Analysis Suggests Untapped Genetic Complexity in Melanin-Based Pigmentation in Birds.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Yann X C; Bertrand, Joris A M; Delahaie, Boris; Cornuault, Josselin; Duval, Thomas; Milá, Borja; Thébaud, Christophe

    2016-07-01

    Studies on melanin-based color variation in a context of natural selection have provided a wealth of information on the link between phenotypic and genetic variation. Here, we evaluated associations between melanic plumage patterns and genetic polymorphism in the Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), a species in which mutations on MC1R do not seem to play any role in explaining melanic variation. This species exhibits 5 plumage color variants that can be grouped into 3 color forms which occupy discrete geographic regions in the lowlands of Réunion, and a fourth high-elevation form which comprises 2 color morphs (grey and brown) and represents a true color polymorphism. We conducted a comprehensive survey of sequence variation in 96 individuals at a series of 7 candidate genes other than MC1R that have been previously shown to influence melanin-based color patterns in vertebrates, including genes that have rarely been studied in a wild bird species before: POMC, Agouti, TYR, TYRP1, DCT, Corin, and SLC24A5 Of these 7 genes, 2 (Corin and TYRP1) displayed an interesting shift in allele frequencies between lowland and highland forms and a departure from mutation-drift equilibrium consistent with balancing selection in the polymorphic highland form only. Sequence variation at Agouti, a gene frequently involved in melanin-based pigmentation patterning, was not associated with color forms or morphs. Thus, we suggest that functionally important changes in loci other than those classically studied are involved in the color polymorphism exhibited by the Réunion grey white-eye and possibly many other nonmodel species. PMID:26995742

  17. pH-Induced aggregated melanin nanoparticles for photoacoustic signal amplification.

    PubMed

    Ju, Kuk-Youn; Kang, Jeeun; Pyo, Jung; Lim, Joohyun; Chang, Jin Ho; Lee, Jin-Kyu

    2016-08-14

    We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one another under mildly acidic conditions after introducing hydrolysis-susceptible citraconic amide on the surface of bare MelNPs. We ascertained that the physical aggregation of the MelNPs resulted in an increased PA signal strength in the near-infrared window of biological tissue (i.e., 700 nm) without absorption tuning. This phenomenon is likely because of the overlapping thermal fields of the developed MelNPs. The PA signal produced from the developed MelNPs, after exposure to mildly acidic conditions (i.e., pH 6), is 8.1 times stronger than under neutral conditions. This unique characteristic found in this study can be utilized in a practical strategy for highly sensitive in vivo cancer target imaging in response to its acidic microenvironment. This approach to amplify the PA response of MelNPs in clusters could accelerate the use of MelNPs as an alternative to non-biolog