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Sample records for iglabcd virulence operon

  1. Genetic Characterization of a Streptococcus mutans LraI Family Operon and Role in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Kitten, Todd; Munro, Cindy L.; Michalek, Suzanne M.; Macrina, Francis L.

    2000-01-01

    Proteins belonging to the LraI (for “lipoprotein receptor antigen”) family function as adhesins in several streptococci, as a virulence factor for endocarditis in at least one of these species, and potentially as metal transporters in many bacteria. We have identified and characterized the chromosomal locus containing the LraI family gene (designated sloC) from Streptococcus mutans, an agent of dental caries and endocarditis in humans. Northern blot analysis indicated that sloC is cotranscribed with three other genes. As with other LraI operons, the sloA and sloB genes apparently encode components of an ATP-binding cassette transport system. The product of the fourth gene, sloR, has homology to the metal-dependent regulator from Corynebacterium diphtheriae, DtxR. A potential binding site for SloR was identified upstream from the sloABCR operon and was conserved upstream from LraI operons in several other streptococci. Potential SloR homologs were identified in the unfinished genomic sequences from two of these, S. pneumoniae and S. pyogenes. Mutagenesis of sloC in S. mutans resulted in apparent loss of expression of the entire operon as assessed by Northern blot analysis. The sloC mutant was indistinguishable from its wild-type parent in a gnotobiotic rat model of caries but was significantly less virulent in a rat model of endocarditis. Virulence for endocarditis was restored by correction of the sloC mutation but not by provision of the sloC gene in trans, suggesting that virulence requires the expression of other genes in the sloC operon. PMID:10899841

  2. Contribution of the nos-pdt operon to virulence phenotypes in methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Sapp, April M; Mogen, Austin B; Almand, Erin A; Rivera, Frances E; Shaw, Lindsey N; Richardson, Anthony R; Rice, Kelly C

    2014-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is emerging as an important regulator of bacterial stress resistance, biofilm development, and virulence. One potential source of endogenous NO production in the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is its NO-synthase (saNOS) enzyme, encoded by the nos gene. Although a role for saNOS in oxidative stress resistance, antibiotic resistance, and virulence has been recently-described, insights into the regulation of nos expression and saNOS enzyme activity remain elusive. To this end, transcriptional analysis of the nos gene in S. aureus strain UAMS-1 was performed, which revealed that nos expression increases during low-oxygen growth and is growth-phase dependent. Furthermore, nos is co-transcribed with a downstream gene, designated pdt, which encodes a prephenate dehydratase (PDT) enzyme involved in phenylalanine biosynthesis. Deletion of pdt significantly impaired the ability of UAMS-1 to grow in chemically-defined media lacking phenylalanine, confirming the function of this enzyme. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that the operon organization of nos-pdt appears to be unique to the staphylococci. As described for other S. aureus nos mutants, inactivation of nos in UAMS-1 conferred sensitivity to oxidative stress, while deletion of pdt did not affect this phenotype. The nos mutant also displayed reduced virulence in a murine sepsis infection model, and increased carotenoid pigmentation when cultured on agar plates, both previously-undescribed nos mutant phenotypes. Utilizing the fluorescent stain 4-Amino-5-Methylamino-2',7'-Difluorofluorescein (DAF-FM) diacetate, decreased levels of intracellular NO/reactive nitrogen species (RNS) were detected in the nos mutant on agar plates. These results reinforce the important role of saNOS in S. aureus physiology and virulence, and have identified an in vitro growth condition under which saNOS activity appears to be upregulated. However, the significance of the operon organization of nos-pdt and potential

  3. Contribution of the nos-pdt Operon to Virulence Phenotypes in Methicillin-Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Almand, Erin A.; Rivera, Frances E.; Shaw, Lindsey N.; Richardson, Anthony R.; Rice, Kelly C.

    2014-01-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is emerging as an important regulator of bacterial stress resistance, biofilm development, and virulence. One potential source of endogenous NO production in the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is its NO-synthase (saNOS) enzyme, encoded by the nos gene. Although a role for saNOS in oxidative stress resistance, antibiotic resistance, and virulence has been recently-described, insights into the regulation of nos expression and saNOS enzyme activity remain elusive. To this end, transcriptional analysis of the nos gene in S. aureus strain UAMS-1 was performed, which revealed that nos expression increases during low-oxygen growth and is growth-phase dependent. Furthermore, nos is co-transcribed with a downstream gene, designated pdt, which encodes a prephenate dehydratase (PDT) enzyme involved in phenylalanine biosynthesis. Deletion of pdt significantly impaired the ability of UAMS-1 to grow in chemically-defined media lacking phenylalanine, confirming the function of this enzyme. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that the operon organization of nos-pdt appears to be unique to the staphylococci. As described for other S. aureus nos mutants, inactivation of nos in UAMS-1 conferred sensitivity to oxidative stress, while deletion of pdt did not affect this phenotype. The nos mutant also displayed reduced virulence in a murine sepsis infection model, and increased carotenoid pigmentation when cultured on agar plates, both previously-undescribed nos mutant phenotypes. Utilizing the fluorescent stain 4-Amino-5-Methylamino-2',7'-Difluorofluorescein (DAF-FM) diacetate, decreased levels of intracellular NO/reactive nitrogen species (RNS) were detected in the nos mutant on agar plates. These results reinforce the important role of saNOS in S. aureus physiology and virulence, and have identified an in vitro growth condition under which saNOS activity appears to be upregulated. However, the significance of the operon organization of nos-pdt and potential

  4. A response regulator that represses transcription of several virulence operons in the group A streptococcus.

    PubMed

    Federle, M J; McIver, K S; Scott, J R

    1999-06-01

    A search for homologs of the Bacillus subtilis PhoP response regulator in the group A streptococcus (GAS) genome revealed three good candidates. Inactivation of one of these, recently identified as csrR (J. C. Levin and M. R. Wessels, Mol. Microbiol. 30:209-219, 1998), caused the strain to produce mucoid colonies and to increase transcription of hasA, the first gene in the operon for capsule synthesis. We report here that a nonpolar insertion in this gene also increased transcription of ska (encoding streptokinase), sagA (streptolysin S), and speMF (mitogenic factor) but did not affect transcription of slo (streptolysin O), mga (multiple gene regulator of GAS), emm (M protein), scpA (complement C5a peptidase), or speB or speC (pyrogenic exotoxins B and C). The amounts of streptokinase, streptolysin S, and capsule paralleled the levels of transcription of their genes in all cases. Because CsrR represses genes unrelated to those for capsule synthesis, and because CsrA-CsrB is a global regulatory system in Escherichia coli whose mechanism is unrelated to that of these genes in GAS, the locus has been renamed covR, for "control of virulence genes" in GAS. Transcription of the covR operon was also increased in the nonpolar insertion mutant, indicating that CovR represses its own synthesis as well. All phenotypes of the covR nonpolar insertion mutant were complemented by the covR gene on a plasmid. CovR acts on operons expressed both in exponential and in stationary phase, demonstrating that the CovR-CovS pathway is separate from growth phase-dependent regulation in GAS. Therefore, CovR is the first multiple-gene repressor of virulence factors described for this important human pathogen. PMID:10368137

  5. A Response Regulator That Represses Transcription of Several Virulence Operons in the Group A Streptococcus

    PubMed Central

    Federle, Michael J.; McIver, Kevin S.; Scott, June R.

    1999-01-01

    A search for homologs of the Bacillus subtilis PhoP response regulator in the group A streptococcus (GAS) genome revealed three good candidates. Inactivation of one of these, recently identified as csrR (J. C. Levin and M. R. Wessels, Mol. Microbiol. 30:209–219, 1998), caused the strain to produce mucoid colonies and to increase transcription of hasA, the first gene in the operon for capsule synthesis. We report here that a nonpolar insertion in this gene also increased transcription of ska (encoding streptokinase), sagA (streptolysin S), and speMF (mitogenic factor) but did not affect transcription of slo (streptolysin O), mga (multiple gene regulator of GAS), emm (M protein), scpA (complement C5a peptidase), or speB or speC (pyrogenic exotoxins B and C). The amounts of streptokinase, streptolysin S, and capsule paralleled the levels of transcription of their genes in all cases. Because CsrR represses genes unrelated to those for capsule synthesis, and because CsrA-CsrB is a global regulatory system in Escherichia coli whose mechanism is unrelated to that of these genes in GAS, the locus has been renamed covR, for “control of virulence genes” in GAS. Transcription of the covR operon was also increased in the nonpolar insertion mutant, indicating that CovR represses its own synthesis as well. All phenotypes of the covR nonpolar insertion mutant were complemented by the covR gene on a plasmid. CovR acts on operons expressed both in exponential and in stationary phase, demonstrating that the CovR-CovS pathway is separate from growth phase-dependent regulation in GAS. Therefore, CovR is the first multiple-gene repressor of virulence factors described for this important human pathogen. PMID:10368137

  6. Identification of the Staphylococcus aureus vfrAB Operon, a Novel Virulence Factor Regulatory Locus

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Seth M.; Hall, Pamela R.; Bayles, Kenneth W.

    2014-01-01

    During a screen of the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library, we identified 71 mutations in the Staphylococcus aureus genome that altered hemolysis on blood agar medium. Although many of these mutations disrupted genes known to affect the production of alpha-hemolysin, two of them were associated with an apparent operon, designated vfrAB, that had not been characterized previously. Interestingly, a ΔvfrB mutant exhibited only minor effects on the transcription of the hla gene, encoding alpha-hemolysin, when grown in broth, as well as on RNAIII, a posttranscriptional regulatory RNA important for alpha-hemolysin translation, suggesting that VfrB may function at the posttranscriptional level. Indeed, a ΔvfrB mutant had increased aur and sspAB protease expression under these conditions. However, disruption of the known secreted proteases in the ΔvfrB mutant did not restore hemolytic activity in the ΔvfrB mutant on blood agar. Further analysis revealed that, in contrast to the minor effects of VfrB on hla transcription when strains were cultured in liquid media, the level of hla transcription was decreased 50-fold in the absence of VfrB on solid media. These results demonstrate that while VfrB represses protease expression when strains are grown in broth, hla regulation is highly responsive to factors associated with growth on solid media. Intriguingly, the ΔvfrB mutant displayed increased pathogenesis in a model of S. aureus dermonecrosis, further highlighting the complexity of VfrB-dependent virulence regulation. The results of this study describe a phenotype associated with a class of highly conserved yet uncharacterized proteins found in Gram-positive bacteria, and they shed new light on the regulation of virulence factors necessary for S. aureus pathogenesis. PMID:24549328

  7. Tandem attenuators control expression of the Salmonella mgtCBR virulence operon.

    PubMed

    Lee, Eun-Jin; Groisman, Eduardo A

    2012-10-01

    The mgtCBR operon from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium specifies the virulence protein MgtC, the Mg(2+) transporter MgtB and the regulatory peptide MgtR. The mgtCBR transcript includes a long leader region harbouring two short open reading frames (ORFs). Translation of these ORFs is anticipated to impact the formation of particular stem-loop structures and control transcription of the coding region by an attenuation-like mechanism. We previously reported that ORF mgtM enables Salmonella to promote transcription of the mgtC and mgtB coding regions when experiencing a rise in cytoplasmic ATP levels. We now show that the proline codon-rich ORF mgtP mediates an increase in transcription of the mgtC and mgtB coding regions under conditions predicted to decrease the levels of proline-charged tRNA(Pro) . The high ATP and low proline signals act independently in an additive form. Replacing conserved mgtP proline codons with codons specifying other amino acids abolished the response to proline limitation but had no effect on the response to ATP. Substitution of conserved adenine nucleotides in mgtM abolished the response to ATP but had no effect in the response to proline limitation. This provides a singular example of a leader mRNA with tandem attenuators responding to different signals. PMID:22857388

  8. [Insertional Inactivation of Virulence Operon in Population of Persistent Bordetella pertussis Bacteria].

    PubMed

    Karataev, G I; Sinyashina, L N; Medkova, A Yu; Semin, E G; Shevtsova, Z V; Matua, A Z; Kondzariya, I G; Amichba, A A; Kubrava, D T; Mikvabia, Z Ya

    2016-04-01

    Avirulent B. pertussis bacteria containing IS elements in the bvgAS operon were detected during the study of whooping cough patients and bacilli carriers. The present work is devoted to the study of the accumulation dynamics and the mechanisms of generation of persistent forms of the B. pertussis bacteria in lower monkeys as the most adequate model for extrapolation ofthe experiment results to humans. By means of the real-time PCR method, it was established that the B. pertussis bacteria lived more than three months in the upper respiratory tract after a single intranasal monkey infection; the period was reduced to 14-28 days during repeated infection. An increase in the portion of B. pertussis Bvg mutants in the population to tens of percent from the total number of registered bacteria was registered. The experimental confirmation ofthe development and accumulation of avirulent B. pertussis Bvg mutants during the development of the infectious process was obtained. Further study of the composition of the B. pertussis persistent bacteria population at different stages of the disease will make it possible to formulate new approaches to the whooping cough diagnostics and prevention and creation of fundamentally new drugs. PMID:27529975

  9. The yrpAB operon of Yersinia ruckeri encoding two putative U32 peptidases is involved in virulence and induced under microaerobic conditions.

    PubMed

    Navais, Roberto; Méndez, Jessica; Pérez-Pascual, David; Cascales, Desirée; Guijarro, José A

    2014-07-01

    In an attempt to dissect the virulence mechanisms of Yersinia ruckeri two adjacent genes, yrpA and yrpB, encoding putative peptidases belonging to the U32 family, were analyzed. Similar genes, with the same genetic organization were identified in genomic analysis of human-pathogenic yersiniae. RT-PCR studies indicated that these genes form an operon in Y. ruckeri. Transcriptional studies using an yrpB::lacZY fusion showed high levels of expression of these genes in the presence of peptone in the culture medium, as well as under oxygen-limited conditions. These two factors had a synergic effect on gene induction when both were present simultaneously during bacterial incubation, which indicates the important role that environmental conditions in the fish gut can play in the regulation of specific genes. LD 50 experiments using an yrpA insertional mutant strain demonstrated the participation of this gene in the virulence of Y. ruckeri. PMID:24865652

  10. A Homologue of an Operon Required for DNA Transfer in Agrobacterium Is Required in Brucella abortus for Virulence and Intracellular Multiplication

    PubMed Central

    Sieira, Rodrigo; Comerci, Diego J.; Sánchez, Daniel O.; Ugalde, Rodolfo A.

    2000-01-01

    As part of a Brucella abortus 2308 genome project carried out in our laboratory, we identified, cloned, and sequenced a genomic DNA fragment containing a locus (virB) highly homologous to bacterial type IV secretion systems. The B. abortus virB locus is a collinear arrangement of 13 open reading frames (ORFs). Between virB1 and virB2 and downstream of ORF12, two degenerated, palindromic repeat sequences characteristic of Brucella intergenic regions were found. Gene reporter studies demonstrated that the B. abortus virB locus constitutes an operon transcribed from virB1 which is turned on during the stationary phase of growth. A B. abortus polar virB1 mutant failed to replicate in HeLa cells, indicating that the virB operon plays a critical role in intracellular multiplication. Mutants with polar and nonpolar mutations introduced in virB10 showed different behaviors in mice and in the HeLa cell infection assay, suggesting that virB10 per se is necessary for the correct function of this type IV secretion apparatus. Mouse infection assays demonstrated that the virB operon constitutes a major determinant of B. abortus virulence. It is suggested that putative effector molecules secreted by this type IV secretion system determine routing of B. abortus to an endoplasmic reticulum-related replication compartment. PMID:10940027

  11. The Brucella suis Homologue of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens Chromosomal Virulence Operon chvE Is Essential for Sugar Utilization but Not for Survival in Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Alvarez-Martinez, Maria-Teresa; Machold, Jan; Weise, Christoph; Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Heike; Baron, Christian; Rouot, Bruno

    2001-01-01

    Brucella strains possess an operon encoding type IV secretion machinery very similar to that coded by the Agrobacterium tumefaciens virB operon. Here we describe cloning of the Brucella suis homologue of the chvE-gguA-gguB operon of A. tumefaciens and characterize the sugar binding protein ChvE (78% identity), which in A. tumefaciens is involved in virulence gene expression. B. suis chvE is upstream of the putative sugar transporter-encoding genes gguA and gguB, also present in A. tumefaciens, but not adjacent to that of a LysR-type transcription regulator. Although results of Southern hybridization experiments suggested that the gene is present in all Brucella strains, the ChvE protein was detected only in B. suis and Brucella canis with A. tumefaciens ChvE-specific antisera, suggesting that chvE genes are differently expressed in different Brucella species. Analysis of cell growth of B. suis and of its chvE or gguA mutants in different media revealed that ChvE exhibited a sugar specificity similar to that of its A. tumefaciens homologue and that both ChvE and GguA were necessary for utilization of these sugars. Murine or human macrophage infections with B. suis chvE and gguA mutants resulted in multiplication similar to that of the wild-type strain, suggesting that virB expression was unaffected. These data indicate that the ChvE and GguA homologous proteins of B. suis are essential for the utilization of certain sugars but are not necessary for survival and replication inside macrophages. PMID:11514518

  12. The Agrobacterium tumefaciens virulence gene chvE is part of a putative ABC-type sugar transport operon.

    PubMed Central

    Kemner, J M; Liang, X; Nester, E W

    1997-01-01

    The Agrobacterium tumefaciens virulence determinant ChvE is a periplasmic binding protein which participates in chemotaxis and virulence gene induction in response to monosaccharides which occur in the plant wound environment. The region downstream of the A. tumefaciens chvE gene was cloned and sequenced for nucleotide and expression analysis. Three open reading frames transcribed in the same direction as chvE were revealed. The first two, together with chvE, encode putative proteins of a periplasmic binding protein-dependent sugar uptake system, or ABC-type (ATP binding cassette) transporter. The third open reading frame encodes a protein of unknown function. The deduced transporter gene products are related on the amino acid level to bacterial sugar transporters and probably function in glucose and galactose uptake. We have named these genes gguA, -B, and -C, for glucose galactose uptake. Mutations in gguA, gguB, or gguC do not affect virulence of A. tumefaciens on Kalanchoe diagremontiana; growth on 1 mM galactose, glucose, xylose, ribose, arabinose, fucose, or sucrose; or chemotaxis toward glucose, galactose, xylose, or arabinose. PMID:9079938

  13. Bicarbonate-mediated transcriptional activation of divergent operons by the virulence regulatory protein, RegA, from Citrobacter rodentium.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ji; Hart, Emily; Tauschek, Marija; Price, G Dean; Hartland, Elizabeth L; Strugnell, Richard A; Robins-Browne, Roy M

    2008-04-01

    Regulation of virulence gene expression plays a central role in the pathogenesis of enteric bacteria as they encounter diverse environmental conditions in the gastrointestinal tract of their hosts. In this study, we investigated environmental regulation of two putative virulence determinants adcA and kfc by RegA, an AraC/XylS-like regulator, from Citrobacter rodentium, and identified bicarbonate as the environmental signal which induced transcription of adcA and kfc through RegA. Primer extension experiments showed that adcA and kfc were divergently transcribed from sigma(70) promoters. In vivo and in vitro experiments demonstrated that bicarbonate facilitated and stabilized the binding of RegA to an operator located between the two promoters. The interaction of RegA with its DNA target resulted in the formation of a nucleosome-like structure, which evidently displaced the histone-like proteins, H-NS and StpA, from the adcA and kfc promoter regions, leading to transcriptional derepression. In addition, our results indicated that RegA also behaved as a Class I activator by directly stimulating transcription initiation by RNA polymerase. This is the first report to describe the molecular mechanism by which an environmental chemical stimulates transcription of virulence-associated genes of an enteric pathogen through an AraC/XlyS-like activator. PMID:18284589

  14. Comparative Bioinformatics and Experimental Analysis of the Intergenic Regulatory Regions of Bacillus cereus hbl and nhe Enterotoxin Operons and the Impact of CodY on Virulence Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Böhm, Maria-Elisabeth; Krey, Viktoria M.; Jeßberger, Nadja; Frenzel, Elrike; Scherer, Siegfried

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is a food contaminant with greatly varying enteropathogenic potential. Almost all known strains harbor the genes for at least one of the three enterotoxins Nhe, Hbl, and CytK. While some strains show no cytotoxicity, others have caused outbreaks, in rare cases even with lethal outcome. The reason for these differences in cytotoxicity is unknown. To gain insight into the origin of enterotoxin expression heterogeneity in different strains, the architecture and role of 5′ intergenic regions (5′ IGRs) upstream of the nhe and hbl operons was investigated. In silico comparison of 142 strains of all seven phylogenetic groups of B. cereus sensu lato proved the presence of long 5′ IGRs upstream of the nheABC and hblCDAB operons, which harbor recognition sites for several transcriptional regulators, including the virulence regulator PlcR, redox regulators ResD and Fnr, the nutrient-sensitive regulator CodY as well as the master regulator for biofilm formation SinR. By determining transcription start sites, unusually long 5′ untranslated regions (5′ UTRs) upstream of the nhe and hbl start codons were identified, which are not present upstream of cytK-1 and cytK-2. Promoter fusions lacking various parts of the nhe and hbl 5′ UTR in B. cereus INRA C3 showed that the entire 331 bp 5′ UTR of nhe is necessary for full promoter activity, while the presence of the complete 606 bp hbl 5′ UTR lowers promoter activity. Repression was caused by a 268 bp sequence directly upstream of the hbl transcription start. Luciferase activity of reporter strains containing nhe and hbl 5′ IGR lux fusions provided evidence that toxin gene transcription is upregulated by the depletion of free amino acids. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that the branched-chain amino acid sensing regulator CodY binds to both nhe and hbl 5′ UTR downstream of the promoter, potentially acting as a nutrient-responsive roadblock repressor of toxin gene transcription. Plc

  15. Comparative Bioinformatics and Experimental Analysis of the Intergenic Regulatory Regions of Bacillus cereus hbl and nhe Enterotoxin Operons and the Impact of CodY on Virulence Heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Böhm, Maria-Elisabeth; Krey, Viktoria M; Jeßberger, Nadja; Frenzel, Elrike; Scherer, Siegfried

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is a food contaminant with greatly varying enteropathogenic potential. Almost all known strains harbor the genes for at least one of the three enterotoxins Nhe, Hbl, and CytK. While some strains show no cytotoxicity, others have caused outbreaks, in rare cases even with lethal outcome. The reason for these differences in cytotoxicity is unknown. To gain insight into the origin of enterotoxin expression heterogeneity in different strains, the architecture and role of 5' intergenic regions (5' IGRs) upstream of the nhe and hbl operons was investigated. In silico comparison of 142 strains of all seven phylogenetic groups of B. cereus sensu lato proved the presence of long 5' IGRs upstream of the nheABC and hblCDAB operons, which harbor recognition sites for several transcriptional regulators, including the virulence regulator PlcR, redox regulators ResD and Fnr, the nutrient-sensitive regulator CodY as well as the master regulator for biofilm formation SinR. By determining transcription start sites, unusually long 5' untranslated regions (5' UTRs) upstream of the nhe and hbl start codons were identified, which are not present upstream of cytK-1 and cytK-2. Promoter fusions lacking various parts of the nhe and hbl 5' UTR in B. cereus INRA C3 showed that the entire 331 bp 5' UTR of nhe is necessary for full promoter activity, while the presence of the complete 606 bp hbl 5' UTR lowers promoter activity. Repression was caused by a 268 bp sequence directly upstream of the hbl transcription start. Luciferase activity of reporter strains containing nhe and hbl 5' IGR lux fusions provided evidence that toxin gene transcription is upregulated by the depletion of free amino acids. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that the branched-chain amino acid sensing regulator CodY binds to both nhe and hbl 5' UTR downstream of the promoter, potentially acting as a nutrient-responsive roadblock repressor of toxin gene transcription. PlcR binding sites are

  16. Group A streptococcal growth phase-associated virulence factor regulation by a novel operon (Fas) with homologies to two-component-type regulators requires a small RNA molecule.

    PubMed

    Kreikemeyer, B; Boyle, M D; Buttaro, B A; Heinemann, M; Podbielski, A

    2001-01-01

    A novel growth phase-associated two-component-type regulator, Fas (fibronectin/fibrinogen binding/haemolytic activity/streptokinase regulator), of Streptococcus pyogenes was identified in the M1 genome sequence, based on homologies to the histidine protein kinase (HPK) and response regulator (RR) part of the Staphylococcus aureus Agr and Streptococcus pneumoniae Com quorum-sensing systems. The fas operon, present in all 12 tested M serotypes, was transcribed as polycystronic message (fasBCA) and contained genes encoding two potential HPKs (FasB and FasC) and one RR (FasA). Downstream of fasBCA, we identified a small 300 nucleotide monocistronic transcript, designated fasX, that did not appear to encode true peptide sequences. Measurements of luciferase promoter fusions revealed a growth phase-associated transcription of fasBCA and fasX, with peak activities during the late exponential phase. Insertional mutagenesis disrupting fasBCA and fasA led to a phenotype similar to agr-null mutations in S. aureus, with prolonged expression of extracellular matrix protein-binding adhesins and reduced expression of secreted virulence factors such as streptokinase and streptolysin S. In addition, fasX transcription was dependent on the RR FasA; however, deletion mutagenesis of fasX resulted in a similar phenotype to that of the fasBCA or fasA mutants. Complementation of the fasX deletion mutant, with the fasX gene expressed in trans from a plasmid, restored the wild-type fasBCA regulation pattern. This strongly suggested that fasX, a putative non-translated RNA, is the main effector molecule of the fas regulon. However, using spent culture supernatants from wild-type and fas mutant strains, we were not able to show an influence on the logarithmic growth phase expression of fas and dependent genes. Thus, despite structural and functional similarities between fas and agr, to date the fas operon appears not to be involved in group A streptococcal (GAS) quorum-sensing regulation

  17. MprA and DosR coregulate a Mycobacterium tuberculosis virulence operon encoding Rv1813c and Rv1812c.

    PubMed

    Bretl, Daniel J; He, Hongjun; Demetriadou, Crystalla; White, Mark J; Penoske, Renee M; Salzman, Nita H; Zahrt, Thomas C

    2012-09-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains a significant global pathogen, causing extensive morbidity and mortality worldwide. This bacterium persists within granulomatous lesions in a poorly characterized, nonreplicating state. The two-component signal transduction systems MprAB and DosRS-DosT (DevRS-Rv2027c) are responsive to conditions likely to be present within granulomatous lesions and mediate aspects of M. tuberculosis persistence in vitro and in vivo. Here, we describe a previously uncharacterized locus, Rv1813c-Rv1812c, that is coregulated by both MprA and DosR. We demonstrate that MprA and DosR bind to adjacent and overlapping sequences within the promoter region of Rv1813c and direct transcription from an initiation site located several hundred base pairs upstream of the Rv1813 translation start site. We further show that Rv1813c and Rv1812c are cotranscribed, and that the genomic organization of this operon is specific to M. tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis. Although Rv1813c is not required for survival of M. tuberculosis in vitro, including under conditions in which MprAB and DosRST signaling are activated, an M. tuberculosis ΔRv1813c mutant is attenuated in the low-dose aerosol model of murine tuberculosis, where it exhibits a lower bacterial burden, delayed time to death, and decreased ability to stimulate proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-12. Interestingly, overcomplementation of these phenotypes is observed in the M. tuberculosis ΔRv1813c mutant expressing both Rv1813c and Rv1812c, but not Rv1813c alone, in trans. Therefore, Rv1813c and Rv1812c may represent general stress-responsive elements that are necessary for aspects of M. tuberculosis virulence and the host immune response to infection. PMID:22689819

  18. The Divergently Transcribed Streptococcus parasanguis Virulence-Associated fimA Operon Encoding an Mn2+-Responsive Metal Transporter and pepO Encoding a Zinc Metallopeptidase Are Not Coordinately Regulated

    PubMed Central

    Oetjen, Joyce; Fives-Taylor, Paula; Froeliger, Eunice H.

    2002-01-01

    The study of how bacteria respond to and obtain divalent metal ions provides insight into the regulation of virulence factors in the host environment. Regulation of metal permease operons in gram-positive bacteria may involve the binding of metal-responsive repressors to palindromic domains in their control regions. The Streptococcus parasanguis fimA operon, which encodes an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter system with sequence homology to the LraI family of metal transporters, possesses a palindromic regulatory region with high homology to that of the Streptococcus gordonii ScaR binding domain. Mapping of the promoter and regulatory regions of fimA and the divergently transcribed pepO gene, which encodes a zinc metalloendopeptidase, indicated that their promoter and regulatory elements overlap. fimA had one transcriptional start site, whereas pepO had three. Analysis of truncated versions of the pepO promoter suggested that all three transcriptional start sites are functional. Analysis of promoter activity under various environmental conditions indicated that the fimA operon promoter and the pepO promoter are not coordinately regulated. The fimA operon is responsive to changes in Mn2+ concentration, but the pepO promoter is not. A S. parasanguis fimA mutant showed a growth deficiency under conditions of limiting Mn2+. This deficiency was not alleviated by compensation with either Mg2+ or Fe3+. Wild-type S. parasanguis could take up Mn2+ and Fe3+, while the fimA mutant showed a marked reduction in this ability. These data suggested that FimA is a component of a metal transporter system capable of transporting both Mn2+ and Fe3+. FimA expression itself was shown to be responsive to Mn2+ concentration, but not to availability of Fe3+ or Mg2+. PMID:12228300

  19. Transcriptional Analysis of the MrpJ Network: Modulation of Diverse Virulence-Associated Genes and Direct Regulation of mrp Fimbrial and flhDC Flagellar Operons in Proteus mirabilis

    PubMed Central

    Bode, Nadine J.; Debnath, Irina; Kuan, Lisa; Schulfer, Anjelique; Ty, Maureen

    2015-01-01

    The enteric bacterium Proteus mirabilis is associated with a significant number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs). Strict regulation of the antagonistic processes of adhesion and motility, mediated by fimbriae and flagella, respectively, is essential for disease progression. Previously, the transcriptional regulator MrpJ, which is encoded by the mrp fimbrial operon, has been shown to repress both swimming and swarming motility. Here we show that MrpJ affects an array of cellular processes beyond adherence and motility. Microarray analysis found that expression of mrpJ mimicking levels observed during UTIs leads to differential expression of 217 genes related to, among other functions, bacterial virulence, type VI secretion, and metabolism. We probed the molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation by MrpJ using transcriptional reporters and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Binding of MrpJ to two virulence-associated target gene promoters, the promoters of the flagellar master regulator flhDC and mrp itself, appears to be affected by the condensation state of the native chromosome, although both targets share a direct MrpJ binding site proximal to the transcriptional start. Furthermore, an mrpJ deletion mutant colonized the bladders of mice at significantly lower levels in a transurethral model of infection. Additionally, we observed that mrpJ is widely conserved in a collection of recent clinical isolates. Altogether, these findings support a role of MrpJ as a global regulator of P. mirabilis virulence. PMID:25847961

  20. Transcriptional analysis of the MrpJ network: modulation of diverse virulence-associated genes and direct regulation of mrp fimbrial and flhDC flagellar operons in Proteus mirabilis.

    PubMed

    Bode, Nadine J; Debnath, Irina; Kuan, Lisa; Schulfer, Anjelique; Ty, Maureen; Pearson, Melanie M

    2015-06-01

    The enteric bacterium Proteus mirabilis is associated with a significant number of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs). Strict regulation of the antagonistic processes of adhesion and motility, mediated by fimbriae and flagella, respectively, is essential for disease progression. Previously, the transcriptional regulator MrpJ, which is encoded by the mrp fimbrial operon, has been shown to repress both swimming and swarming motility. Here we show that MrpJ affects an array of cellular processes beyond adherence and motility. Microarray analysis found that expression of mrpJ mimicking levels observed during UTIs leads to differential expression of 217 genes related to, among other functions, bacterial virulence, type VI secretion, and metabolism. We probed the molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation by MrpJ using transcriptional reporters and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). Binding of MrpJ to two virulence-associated target gene promoters, the promoters of the flagellar master regulator flhDC and mrp itself, appears to be affected by the condensation state of the native chromosome, although both targets share a direct MrpJ binding site proximal to the transcriptional start. Furthermore, an mrpJ deletion mutant colonized the bladders of mice at significantly lower levels in a transurethral model of infection. Additionally, we observed that mrpJ is widely conserved in a collection of recent clinical isolates. Altogether, these findings support a role of MrpJ as a global regulator of P. mirabilis virulence. PMID:25847961

  1. A Natural Inactivating Mutation in the CovS Component of the CovRS Regulatory Operon in a Pattern D Streptococcal pyogenes Strain Influences Virulence-associated Genes*

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Zhong; Zhang, Yueling; Agrahari, Garima; Chandrahas, Vishwanatha; Glinton, Kristofor; Donahue, Deborah L.; Balsara, Rashna D.; Ploplis, Victoria A.; Castellino, Francis J.

    2013-01-01

    A skin-tropic invasive group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) strain, AP53, contains a natural inactivating mutation in the covS gene (covSM) of the two-component responder (CovR)/sensor (CovS) gene regulatory system. The effects of this mutation on specific GAS virulence determinants have been assessed, with emphasis on expression of the extracellular protease, streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SpeB), capsular hyaluronic acid, and proteins that allow host plasmin assembly on the bacterial surface, viz. a high affinity plasminogen (Pg)/plasmin receptor, Pg-binding group A streptococcal M protein (PAM), and the human Pg activator streptokinase. To further illuminate mechanisms of the functioning of CovRS in the virulence of AP53, two AP53 isogenic strains were generated, one in which the natural covSM gene was mutated to WT-covS (AP53/covSWT) and a strain that contained an inactivated covR gene (AP53/ΔcovR). Two additional strains that do not contain PAM, viz. WT-NS931 and NS931/covSM, were also employed. SpeB was not measurably expressed in strains containing covRWT/covSM, whereas in strains with natural or engineered covRWT/covSWT, SpeB expression was highly up-regulated. Alternatively, capsule synthesis via the hasABC operon was enhanced in strain AP53/covSM, whereas streptokinase expression was only slightly affected by the covS inactivation. PAM expression was not substantially influenced by the covS mutation, suggesting that covRS had minimal effects on the mga regulon that controls PAM expression. These results demonstrate that a covS inactivation results in virulence gene alterations and also suggest that the CovR phosphorylation needed for gene up- or down-regulation can occur by alternative pathways to CovS kinase. PMID:23316057

  2. Extended Virulence Genotype of Pathogenic Escherichia coli Isolates Carrying the afa-8 Operon: Evidence of Similarities between Isolates from Humans and Animals with Extraintestinal Infections

    PubMed Central

    Girardeau, Jean Pierre; Lalioui, Lila; Said, A. Mohamed Ou; De Champs, Christophe; Le Bouguénec, Chantal

    2003-01-01

    The afimbrial AfaE-VIII adhesin is common among Escherichia coli isolates from calves with intestinal and/or extraintestinal infections and from humans with sepsis or pyelonephritis. The virulence genotypes of 77 Escherichia coli afa-8 isolates from farm animals and humans were compared to determine whether any trait of commonality exists between isolates of the different host species. Over half of the extraintestinal afa-8 isolates were associated with pap and f17Ac adhesin genes and contained virulence genes (pap, hly, and cnf1) which are characteristic of human extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). PapG, which occurs as three known variants (variants I to III), is encoded by the corresponding three alleles of papG. Among the pap-positive strains, new papG variants (papGrs) that differed from the isolates with genes for the three adhesin classes predominated over isolates with papG allele III, which in turn were more prevalent than those with allele II. The data showed the substantial prevalence of the enteroaggregative E. coli heat-stable enterotoxin gene (east1) among afa-8 isolates. Most of the afa-8 isolates harbored the high-pathogenicity island (HPI) present in pathogenic Yersinia; however, two-thirds of the HPI-positive strains shared a truncated HPI integrase gene. The presence of ExPEC-associated virulence factors (VFs) in extraintestinal isolates that carry genes typical of enteric strains and that express O antigens associated with intestinal E. coli is consistent with transfer of VFs and O-antigen determinants between ExPEC and enteric strains. The similarities between animal and human ExPEC strains support the hypothesis of overlapping populations, with members of certain clones or clonal groups including animal and human strains. The presence of multiple-antibiotic-resistant bovine afa-8 strains among such clones may represent a potential public health risk. PMID:12517852

  3. Development of a live, attenuated, potential vaccine strain of R. equi expressing vapA and the virR operon, and virulence assessment in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, Ashley E; Parreira, Valeria R; Hewson, Joanne; Watson, Johanna L; Prescott, John F

    2012-01-15

    Pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus equi remains a significant problem in foals. The objective of this study was to develop a safe and efficacious attenuated strain of R. equi for eventual use in oral immunization of foals. The approach involved expression of vapA in a live, virulence plasmid-negative, strain of R. equi (strain 103-). PCR-amplified fragments of the vapA gene, with and without the upstream genes virR, orf5, vapH, orf7 and orf8 (orf4-8), were cloned into a shuttle vector pNBV1. These plasmids, named pAW48A and pAWVapA respectively, were electroporated into strain 103-. The presence of the recombinant vectors in the attenuated strain (103-) and the integrity of the inserted genes were confirmed, and both constructs expressed VapA. The virulence of the two strains was compared to that of wild type R. equi 103+ and negative controls by their intravenous inoculation into mice, followed by examination of liver clearance 4 days later. Mice inoculated with R. equi 103-, 103-/pAWVapA and 103-/pNBV1 completely cleared infection, whereas strain 103-/pAW48A persisted in 47% of mice. PMID:22088674

  4. A natural inactivating mutation in the CovS component of the CovRS regulatory operon in a pattern D Streptococcal pyogenes strain influences virulence-associated genes.

    PubMed

    Liang, Zhong; Zhang, Yueling; Agrahari, Garima; Chandrahas, Vishwanatha; Glinton, Kristofor; Donahue, Deborah L; Balsara, Rashna D; Ploplis, Victoria A; Castellino, Francis J

    2013-03-01

    A skin-tropic invasive group A Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) strain, AP53, contains a natural inactivating mutation in the covS gene (covS(M)) of the two-component responder (CovR)/sensor (CovS) gene regulatory system. The effects of this mutation on specific GAS virulence determinants have been assessed, with emphasis on expression of the extracellular protease, streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin B (SpeB), capsular hyaluronic acid, and proteins that allow host plasmin assembly on the bacterial surface, viz. a high affinity plasminogen (Pg)/plasmin receptor, Pg-binding group A streptococcal M protein (PAM), and the human Pg activator streptokinase. To further illuminate mechanisms of the functioning of CovRS in the virulence of AP53, two AP53 isogenic strains were generated, one in which the natural covS(M) gene was mutated to WT-covS (AP53/covS(WT)) and a strain that contained an inactivated covR gene (AP53/ΔcovR). Two additional strains that do not contain PAM, viz. WT-NS931 and NS931/covS(M), were also employed. SpeB was not measurably expressed in strains containing covR(WT)/covS(M), whereas in strains with natural or engineered covR(WT)/covS(WT), SpeB expression was highly up-regulated. Alternatively, capsule synthesis via the hasABC operon was enhanced in strain AP53/covS(M), whereas streptokinase expression was only slightly affected by the covS inactivation. PAM expression was not substantially influenced by the covS mutation, suggesting that covRS had minimal effects on the mga regulon that controls PAM expression. These results demonstrate that a covS inactivation results in virulence gene alterations and also suggest that the CovR phosphorylation needed for gene up- or down-regulation can occur by alternative pathways to CovS kinase. PMID:23316057

  5. Relationships between H-NS, sigma S, SpvR and growth phase in the control of spvR, the regulatory gene of the Salmonella plasmid virulence operon.

    PubMed

    Robbe-Saule, V; Schaeffer, F; Kowarz, L; Norel, F

    1997-10-01

    The sigma S-regulated gene spvR of Salmonella typhimurium encodes an autoregulatory protein required for transcriptional activation of the virulence operon spvABCD. A mutation in the histone-like protein H-NS, which negatively controls the sigma S level, has been reported to increase spv gene expression in S. typhimurium strain LT2. In agreement with this, we found that transcription of spvR and spvABCD was derepressed in hns strains of Escherichia coli and S. typhimurium. Moreover, levels of spv gene expression in hns rpoS double mutants were higher than expression levels in mutants deficient in rpoS alone, and were close to those measured in wild-type strains. This demonstrates that H-NS contributes to spv gene regulation independently of its function in controlling the sigma S level. Since the same start site was used for spvR gene transcription in wild-type as in hns and hns rpoS mutant strains, it is likely that the spvR promoter. spvRp1, can be recognized efficiently by an RNA polymerase containing sigma 70. The spvR promoter region shows an intrinsic DNA curvature that might be a determinant in H-NS- and/or sigma S-mediated control. A single amino acid substitution, Leu to Pro at position 265, abolished the regulatory function of SpvR in E. coli and Salmonella, implicating the C-terminal domain of SpvR in its structure and/or regulatory function. The spvR265 allele is not transcribed at detectable levels in hns or hns rpoS strains, suggesting that activation of spvRp1 in these strains remains dependent on SpvR. Thus, we propose a model for spvR gene regulation in which SpvR acts as a co-regulator of an RNA polymerase containing either sigma 70 (in the absence of H-NS) or sigma S, to induce transcriptional initiation at spvRp1. Moreover, growth-phase regulation of spv gene expression was maintained in hns and hns rpoS strains, indicating that an additional element, besides sigma S, is involved in the growth-phase regulation in rich medium. PMID:9393431

  6. Analysis of expression profile of mce operon genes (mce1, mce2, mce3 operon) in different Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates at different growth phases

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Pratibha; Katoch, V.M.; Mohanty, K.K.; Chauhan, Devendra Singh

    2016-01-01

    Background & objectives: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) has four homologous mammalian cell entry (mce) operons (mce1-4) that encode exported proteins and have a possible role in the virulence mechanism of this pathogen. The expression of mce operon is considered to be complex and not completely understood. Although expression of mce operon at different in vitro growth phases has been studied earlier, its expression in different M. tuberculosis isolates under different growth phases is not yet studied. The present preliminary study was conducted on a limited number of isolates to know the trend of expression pattern of mce operon genes in different M. tuberculosis isolates under different growth stages. Methods: In this study, we monitored the transcriptional profile of selected mce operon genes (mce1A, mce1D, mce2A, mce2D, mce3A, mce3C) in different M. tuberculosis isolates (MDR1, MDR2, and sensitive isolate) at early exponential and stationary phases using real-time quantitative PCR. Results: The expression ratio of all selected mce operon genes in all M. tuberculosis isolates was reduced at the initial phase and increased substantially at a later phase of growth. Higher expression of mce1 operon genes was found in all M. tuberculosis isolates as compared to other mce operon genes (mce2 and mce3 operons) at stationary growth phase. Interpretation & conclusions: The higher expression of mce operon genes at stationary phase (as compared to early exponential phase) suggested growth phase dependent expression of mce operon genes. This indicated that the mce operon genes might have a role in M. tuberculosis survival and adaptation on the onset of adverse condition like stationary phase. Identification of differentially expressed genes will add to our understanding of the bacilli involved in adaptation to different growth conditions. PMID:27377506

  7. Modeling operon dynamics: the tryptophan and lactose operons as paradigms.

    PubMed

    Mackey, Michael C; Santillán, Moisés; Yildirim, Necmettin

    2004-03-01

    Understanding the regulation of gene control networks and their ensuing dynamics will be a critical component in the understanding of the mountain of genomic data being currently collected. This paper reviews recent mathematical modeling work on the tryptophan and lactose operons which are, respectively, the classical paradigms for repressible and inducible operons. PMID:15127892

  8. Operon prediction in Pyrococcus furiosus

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Thao T.; Dam, Phuongan; Su, Zhengchang; Poole, Farris L.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Zhou, G. Tong; Xu, Ying

    2007-01-01

    Identification of operons in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus represents an important step to understanding the regulatory mechanisms that enable the organism to adapt and thrive in extreme environments. We have predicted operons in P.furiosus by combining the results from three existing algorithms using a neural network (NN). These algorithms use intergenic distances, phylogenetic profiles, functional categories and gene-order conservation in their operon prediction. Our method takes as inputs the confidence scores of the three programs, and outputs a prediction of whether adjacent genes on the same strand belong to the same operon. In addition, we have applied Gene Ontology (GO) and KEGG pathway information to improve the accuracy of our algorithm. The parameters of this NN predictor are trained on a subset of all experimentally verified operon gene pairs of Bacillus subtilis. It subsequently achieved 86.5% prediction accuracy when applied to a subset of gene pairs for Escherichia coli, which is substantially better than any of the three prediction programs. Using this new algorithm, we predicted 470 operons in the P.furiosus genome. Of these, 349 were validated using DNA microarray data. PMID:17148478

  9. The Life-cycle of Operons

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Arkin, Adam P.; Alm, Eric J.

    2005-11-18

    Operons are a major feature of all prokaryotic genomes, but how and why operon structures vary is not well understood. To elucidate the life-cycle of operons, we compared gene order between Escherichia coli K12 and its relatives and identified the recently formed and destroyed operons in E. coli. This allowed us to determine how operons form, how they become closely spaced, and how they die. Our findings suggest that operon evolution is driven by selection on gene expression patterns. First, both operon creation and operon destruction lead to large changes in gene expression patterns. For example, the removal of lysA and ruvA from ancestral operons that contained essential genes allowed their expression to respond to lysine levels and DNA damage, respectively. Second, some operons have undergone accelerated evolution, with multiple new genes being added during a brief period. Third, although most operons are closely spaced because of a neutral bias towards deletion and because of selection against large overlaps, highly expressed operons tend to be widely spaced because of regulatory fine-tuning by intervening sequences. Although operon evolution seems to be adaptive, it need not be optimal: new operons often comprise functionally unrelated genes that were already in proximity before the operon formed.

  10. The htpAB operon of Legionella pneumophila cannot be deleted in the presence of the groE chaperonin operon of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Nasrallah, Gheyath K; Gagnon, Elizabeth; Orton, Dennis J; Garduño, Rafael A

    2011-11-01

    HtpB, the chaperonin of the intracellular bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila , displays several virulence-related functions in vitro. To confirm HtpB's role in vivo, host infections with an htpB deletion mutant would be required. However, we previously reported that the htpAB operon (encoding co-chaperonin and chaperonin) is essential. We attempted here to delete htpAB in a L. pneumophila strain carrying the groE operon (encoding the Escherichia coli co-chaperonin and chaperonin). The groE operon was inserted into the chromosome of L. pneumophila Lp02, and then allelic replacement of htpAB with a gentamicin resistance cassette was attempted. Although numerous potential postallelic replacement transformants showed a correct selection phenotype, we still detected htpAB by PCR and full-size HtpB by immunoblot. Southern blot and PCR analysis indicated that the gentamicin resistance cassette had apparently integrated in a duplicated htpAB region. However, we showed by Southern blot that strain Lp02, and the Lp02 derivative carrying the groE operon, have only one copy of htpAB. These results confirmed that the htpAB operon cannot be deleted, not even in the presence of the groE operon, and suggested that attempts to delete htpAB under strong phenotypic selection result in aberrant genetic recombinations that could involve duplication of the htpAB locus. PMID:22029459

  11. Investigating Evolutionary Dynamics of RHA1 Operons

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yong; Geng, Dandan; Ehrhardt, Kristina; Zhang, Shaoqiang

    2016-01-01

    Grouping genes as operons is an important genomic feature of prokaryotic organisms. The comprehensive understanding of the operon organizations would be helpful to decipher transcriptional mechanisms, cellular pathways, and the evolutionary landscape of prokaryotic genomes. Although thousands of prokaryotes have been sequenced, genome-wide investigation of the evolutionary dynamics (division and recombination) of operons among these genomes remains unexplored. Here, we systematically analyzed the operon dynamics of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 (RHA1), an oleaginous bacterium with high potential applications in biofuel, by comparing 340 prokaryotic genomes that were carefully selected from different genera. Interestingly, 99% of RHA1 operons were observed to exhibit evolutionary events of division and recombination among the 340 compared genomes. An operon that encodes all enzymes related to histidine biosynthesis in RHA1 (His-operon) was found to be segmented into smaller gene groups (sub-operons) in diverse genomes. These sub-operons were further reorganized with different functional genes as novel operons that are related to different biochemical processes. Comparatively, the operons involved in the functional categories of lipid transport and metabolism are relatively conserved among the 340 compared genomes. At the pathway level, RHA1 operons found to be significantly conserved were involved in ribosome synthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid synthesis. These analyses provide evolutionary insights of operon organization and the dynamic associations of various biochemical pathways in different prokaryotes. PMID:27398020

  12. Structural analysis of the Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae-RTX-toxin I (ApxI) operon.

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, R; Briaire, J; Kamp, E M; Gielkens, A L; Smits, M A

    1993-01-01

    Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae-RTX-toxin I (ApxI), an important virulence factor, is secreted by serotypes 1, 5, 9, 10, and 11 of A. pleuropneumoniae. However, sequences homologous to the secretion genes apxIBD of the ApxI operon are present in all 12 serotypes except serotype 3. The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the structures of the ApxI operons of the 12 A. pleuropneumoniae serotypes. We focused on the nucleotide sequence comparison of the ApxI-coding genes, the structures of the ApxI operons, and the transcription of the ApxI operons. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the toxin-encoding apxICA genes of serotype 9 and found that the gene for the structural toxin, apxIA, was almost identical to the apxIA gene of serotype 1. The toxin-encoding genes of the other serotypes are also similar for the main part; nevertheless, two variants were identified, one in serotypes 1, 9, and 11 and one in serotypes 5 and 10. The two apxIA variants differ mainly within the distal 110 nucleotides. Structural analysis demonstrated that intact ApxI operons, consisting of the four contiguous genes apxICABD, are present in serotypes 1, 5, 9, 10, and 11. ApxI operons with a major deletion in the apxICA genes are present in serotypes 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 12. Serotype 3 does not contain ApxI operon sequences. We found that all ApxI operons are transcriptionally active despite the partial deletion of the operon in some serotypes. The implications of these data for the expression and secretion of ApxI and the other Apx-toxins, ApxII and ApxIII, as well as for the development of a subunit vaccine against A. pleuropneumoniae will be discussed. Images PMID:8359891

  13. The Life-cycle of Operons

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Arkin, Adam P.; Alm, Eric J.

    2007-03-15

    Operons are a major feature of all prokaryotic genomes, buthow and why operon structures vary is not well understood. To elucidatethe life-cycle of operons, we compared gene order between Escherichiacoli K12 and its relatives and identified the recently formed anddestroyed operons in E. coli. This allowed us to determine how operonsform, how they become closely spaced, and how they die. Our findingssuggest that operon evolution may be driven by selection on geneexpression patterns. First, both operon creation and operon destructionlead to large changes in gene expression patterns. For example, theremoval of lysA and ruvA from ancestral operons that contained essentialgenes allowed their expression to respond to lysine levels and DNAdamage, respectively. Second, some operons have undergone acceleratedevolution, with multiple new genes being added during a brief period.Third, although genes within operons are usually closely spaced becauseof a neutral bias toward deletion and because of selection against largeoverlaps, genes in highly expressed operons tend to be widely spacedbecause of regulatory fine-tuning by intervening sequences. Althoughoperon evolution may be adaptive, it need not be optimal: new operonsoften comprise functionally unrelated genes that were already inproximity before the operon formed.

  14. Problem-Solving Test: Tryptophan Operon Mutants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szeberenyi, Jozsef

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents a problem-solving test that deals with the regulation of the "trp" operon of "Escherichia coli." Two mutants of this operon are described: in mutant A, the operator region of the operon carries a point mutation so that it is unable to carry out its function; mutant B expresses a "trp" repressor protein unable to bind…

  15. A mgl-like operon in Treponema pallidum, the syphilis spirochete.

    PubMed

    Porcella, S F; Popova, T G; Hagman, K E; Penn, C W; Radolf, J D; Norgard, M V

    1996-10-24

    A 38-kDa lipoprotein of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum (T. pallidum), the syphilis spirochete, previously was identified as a putative homolog of E. coli MglB [Becker et al. (1994) Infect. Immun. 62, 1381-1391]. In the present study, genome walking in regions adjacent to the T. pallidum 38-kDa lipoprotein gene has identified three contiguous genes (tp-mglB [formerly tpp38], tp-mglA, and tp-mglC) which appear to comprise a mgl-like operon in T. pallidum. A prominent transcript corresponding to tp-mglB, the first gene of the operon which encodes the carbohydrate receptor, is synthesized by T. pallidum along with lesser abundant transcript(s) corresponding to the entire T. pallidum mgl operon. An active promoter 135 bp upstream of tp-mglB is believed to direct mRNA synthesis for the operon. This is the first membrane protein-encoding operon of T. pallidum for which a putative function (glucose import) has been assigned. Furthermore, by analogy with E. coli MglB which interacts with the sensory transducer Trg to induce a chemotactic response, it is possible that T. pallidum also contains a homolog of E. coli Trg or other methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins. The existence of a mgl operon in T. pallidum thus may have important implications with respect to T. pallidum survival, tissue dissemination, and sensory transduction during virulence expression. PMID:8921855

  16. Detecting uber-operons in prokaryotic genomes

    PubMed Central

    Che, Dongsheng; Li, Guojun; Mao, Fenglou; Wu, Hongwei; Xu, Ying

    2006-01-01

    We present a study on computational identification of uber-operons in a prokaryotic genome, each of which represents a group of operons that are evolutionarily or functionally associated through operons in other (reference) genomes. Uber-operons represent a rich set of footprints of operon evolution, whose full utilization could lead to new and more powerful tools for elucidation of biological pathways and networks than what operons have provided, and a better understanding of prokaryotic genome structures and evolution. Our prediction algorithm predicts uber-operons through identifying groups of functionally or transcriptionally related operons, whose gene sets are conserved across the target and multiple reference genomes. Using this algorithm, we have predicted uber-operons for each of a group of 91 genomes, using the other 90 genomes as references. In particular, we predicted 158 uber-operons in Escherichia coli K12 covering 1830 genes, and found that many of the uber-operons correspond to parts of known regulons or biological pathways or are involved in highly related biological processes based on their Gene Ontology (GO) assignments. For some of the predicted uber-operons that are not parts of known regulons or pathways, our analyses indicate that their genes are highly likely to work together in the same biological processes, suggesting the possibility of new regulons and pathways. We believe that our uber-operon prediction provides a highly useful capability and a rich information source for elucidation of complex biological processes, such as pathways in microbes. All the prediction results are available at our Uber-Operon Database: , the first of its kind. PMID:16682449

  17. Loss of the lac operon contributes to Salmonella invasion of epithelial cells through derepression of flagellar synthesis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Lingyan; Ni, Zhiwei; Wang, Lei; Feng, Lu; Liu, Bin

    2015-03-01

    Salmonella, a genus that is closely related to Escherichia coli, includes many pathogens of humans and other animals. A notable feature that distinguishes Salmonella from E. coli is lactose negativity, because the lac operon is lost in most Salmonella genomes. Here, we expressed the lac operon in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and compared the virulence of the Lac(+) strain to that of the wild-type strain in a murine model, invasion assays, and macrophage replication assays. We showed that the Lac(+) strain is attenuated in vivo and the attenuation of virulence is caused by its defect in epithelial cell invasion. However, the invasion-defective phenotype is unrelated to lactose utilization. Through sequencing and the comparison of the transcriptome profile between the Lac(+) and wild-type strains during invasion, we found that most flagellar genes were markedly downregulated in the Lac(+) strain, while other genes associated with invasion, such as the majority of genes encoded in Salmonella pathogenicity island 1, were not differentially expressed. Moreover, we discovered that lacA is the major repressor of flagellar gene expression in the lac operon. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that the lac operon decreases Salmonella invasion of epithelial cells through repression of flagellar biosynthesis. As the ability to invade epithelial cells is a critical virulence determinant of Salmonella, our results provide important evidence that the loss of the lac operon contributes to the evolution of Salmonella pathogenicity. PMID:25362512

  18. The Bacillus subtilis sin Operon

    PubMed Central

    Voigt, Christopher A.; Wolf, Denise M.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2005-01-01

    The strategy of combining genes from a regulatory protein and its antagonist within the same operon, but controlling their activities differentially, can lead to diverse regulatory functions. This protein-antagonist motif is ubiquitous and present in evolutionarily unrelated regulatory pathways. Using the sin operon from the Bacillus subtilis sporulation pathway as a model system, we built a theoretical model, parameterized it using data from the literature, and used bifurcation analyses to determine the circuit functions it could encode. The model demonstrated that this motif can generate a bistable switch with tunable control over the switching threshold and the degree of population heterogeneity. Further, the model predicted that a small perturbation of a single critical parameter can bias this architecture into functioning like a graded response, a bistable switch, an oscillator, or a pulse generator. By mapping the parameters of the model to specific DNA regions and comparing the genomic sequences of Bacillus species, we showed that phylogenetic variation tends to occur in those regions that tune the switch threshold without disturbing the circuit function. The dynamical plasticity of the protein-antagonist operon motif suggests that it is an evolutionarily convergent design selected not only for particular immediate function but also for its evolvability. PMID:15466432

  19. Virulence Determination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter reviews the in vitro and in vivo assays that are available for determination of pathogenic potential of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, highlighting the value of using multiplex PCR for rapid and accurate assessment of listerial virulence....

  20. Ler Is a Negative Autoregulator of the LEE1 Operon in Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Berdichevsky, Tatiana; Friedberg, Devorah; Nadler, Chen; Rokney, Assaf; Oppenheim, Amos; Rosenshine, Ilan

    2005-01-01

    Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) causes severe diarrhea in young children. Essential for colonization of the host intestine is the LEE pathogenicity island, which comprises a cluster of operons encoding a type III secretion system and related proteins. The LEE1 operon encodes Ler, which positively regulates many EPEC virulence genes in the LEE region and elsewhere in the chromosome. We found that Ler acts as a specific autorepressor of LEE1 transcription. We further show that Ler specifically binds upstream of the LEE1 operon in vivo and in vitro. A comparison of the Ler affinities to different DNA regions suggests that the autoregulation mechanism limits the steady-state level of Ler to concentrations that are just sufficient for activation of the LEE2 and LEE3 promoters and probably other LEE promoters. This mechanism may reflect the need of EPEC to balance maximizing the colonization efficiency by increasing the expression of the virulence genes and minimizing the immune response of the host by limiting their expression. In addition, we found that the autoregulation mechanism reduces the cell-to-cell variability in the levels of LEE1 expression. Our findings point to a new negative regulatory circuit that suppresses the noise and optimizes the expression levels of ler and other LEE1 genes. PMID:15601719

  1. Problem-solving test: Tryptophan operon mutants.

    PubMed

    Szeberényi, József

    2010-09-01

    Terms to be familiar with before you start to solve the test: tryptophan, operon, operator, repressor, inducer, corepressor, promoter, RNA polymerase, chromosome-polysome complex, regulatory gene, cis-acting element, trans-acting element, plasmid, transformation. PMID:21567855

  2. Detection of pap, sfa, afa, foc, and fim Adhesin-Encoding Operons in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Isolates Collected From Patients With Urinary Tract Infection

    PubMed Central

    Rahdar, Masoud; Rashki, Ahmad; Miri, Hamid Reza; Rashki Ghalehnoo, Mehdi

    2015-01-01

    Background: Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) with its virulence factors is the most prevalent cause of urinary tract infection (UTI). Objectives; This study aimed to determine the occurrence of fim, pap, sfa, and afa genes among 100 UPEC isolates collected from patients diagnosed with UTI. Materials and Methods A total of 100 UPEC isolates were obtained from urine samples of patients with UTI. The prevalence of 5 virulence genes encoding type 1 fimbriae (fimH), pili associated with pyelonephritis (pap), S and F1C fimbriae (sfa and foc) and afimbrial adhesins (afa) were determined through PCR method. We also investigated the phylogenetic background of all isolates. In addition, the distribution of adhesin-encoding operons between the phylogroups was assessed. Results: The prevalence of genes encoding for fimbrial adhesive systems was 95% for fim, 57% for pap, 16% for foc, and 81% for sfa. The operons encoding for afa afimbrial adhesins were identified in 12% of isolates. The various combinations of detected genes were designated as virulence patterns. The fim gene, which occurred in strains from all phylogenetic groups (A, B1, B2, and D) was evaluated and no significant differences were found among these groups. Conversely, significant differences were observed in relation to pap, afa, foc, and sfa operons. Conclusions: These results indicate that the PCR method is a powerful genotypic assay for the detection of adhesin-encoding operons. Thus, this assay can be recommended for clinical use to detect virulent urinary E. coli strains, as well as epidemiological studies. PMID:26464770

  3. Evaluation of the Role of the opgGH Operon in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Its Deletion during the Emergence of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Quintard, Kévin; Dewitte, Amélie; Reboul, Angéline; Madec, Edwige; Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Dondeyne, Jacqueline; Marceau, Michaël; Simonet, Michel; Lacroix, Jean-Marie; Sebbane, Florent

    2015-09-01

    The opgGH operon encodes glucosyltransferases that synthesize osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) from UDP-glucose, using acyl carrier protein (ACP) as a cofactor. OPGs are required for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence in various bacteria. OpgH also sequesters FtsZ in order to regulate cell size according to nutrient availability. Yersinia pestis (the agent of flea-borne plague) lost the opgGH operon during its emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. When expressed in OPG-negative strains of Escherichia coli and Dickeya dadantii, opgGH from Y. pseudotuberculosis restored OPGs synthesis, motility, and virulence. However, Y. pseudotuberculosis did not produce OPGs (i) under various growth conditions or (ii) when overexpressing its opgGH operon, its galUF operon (governing UDP-glucose), or the opgGH operon or Acp from E. coli. A ΔopgGH Y. pseudotuberculosis strain showed normal motility, biofilm formation, resistance to polymyxin and macrophages, and virulence but was smaller. Consistently, Y. pestis was smaller than Y. pseudotuberculosis when cultured at ≥ 37°C, except when the plague bacillus expressed opgGH. Y. pestis expressing opgGH grew normally in serum and within macrophages and was fully virulent in mice, suggesting that small cell size was not advantageous in the mammalian host. Lastly, Y. pestis expressing opgGH was able to infect Xenopsylla cheopis fleas normally. Our results suggest an evolutionary scenario whereby an ancestral Yersinia strain lost a factor required for OPG biosynthesis but kept opgGH (to regulate cell size). The opgGH operon was presumably then lost because OpgH-dependent cell size control became unnecessary. PMID:26150539

  4. Evaluation of the Role of the opgGH Operon in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Its Deletion during the Emergence of Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Quintard, Kévin; Dewitte, Amélie; Reboul, Angéline; Madec, Edwige; Bontemps-Gallo, Sébastien; Dondeyne, Jacqueline; Marceau, Michaël; Simonet, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The opgGH operon encodes glucosyltransferases that synthesize osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) from UDP-glucose, using acyl carrier protein (ACP) as a cofactor. OPGs are required for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence in various bacteria. OpgH also sequesters FtsZ in order to regulate cell size according to nutrient availability. Yersinia pestis (the agent of flea-borne plague) lost the opgGH operon during its emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. When expressed in OPG-negative strains of Escherichia coli and Dickeya dadantii, opgGH from Y. pseudotuberculosis restored OPGs synthesis, motility, and virulence. However, Y. pseudotuberculosis did not produce OPGs (i) under various growth conditions or (ii) when overexpressing its opgGH operon, its galUF operon (governing UDP-glucose), or the opgGH operon or Acp from E. coli. A ΔopgGH Y. pseudotuberculosis strain showed normal motility, biofilm formation, resistance to polymyxin and macrophages, and virulence but was smaller. Consistently, Y. pestis was smaller than Y. pseudotuberculosis when cultured at ≥37°C, except when the plague bacillus expressed opgGH. Y. pestis expressing opgGH grew normally in serum and within macrophages and was fully virulent in mice, suggesting that small cell size was not advantageous in the mammalian host. Lastly, Y. pestis expressing opgGH was able to infect Xenopsylla cheopis fleas normally. Our results suggest an evolutionary scenario whereby an ancestral Yersinia strain lost a factor required for OPG biosynthesis but kept opgGH (to regulate cell size). The opgGH operon was presumably then lost because OpgH-dependent cell size control became unnecessary. PMID:26150539

  5. Expression of the ompATb operon accelerates ammonia secretion and adaptation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to acidic environments.

    PubMed

    Song, Houhui; Huff, Jason; Janik, Katharine; Walter, Kerstin; Keller, Christine; Ehlers, Stefan; Bossmann, Stefan H; Niederweis, Michael

    2011-05-01

    Homeostasis of intracellular pH is a trait critical for survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in macrophages. However, mechanisms by which M. tuberculosis adapts to acidic environments are poorly understood. In this study, we analysed the physiological functions of OmpATb, a surface-accessible protein of M. tuberculosis. OmpATb did not complement the permeability defects of a Mycobacterium smegmatis porin mutant to glucose, serine and glycerol, in contrast to the porin MspA. Uptake rates of these solutes were unchanged in an ompATb operon mutant of M. tuberculosis indicating that OmpATb is not a general porin. Chemical analysis of low-pH culture filtrates showed that the proteins encoded by the ompATb operon are involved in generating a rapid ammonia burst, which neutralized medium pH and preceded exponential growth of M. tuberculosis. Addition of ammonia accelerated growth of the ompATb operon mutant demonstrating that ammonia secretion is indeed a mechanism by which M. tuberculosis neutralizes acidic environments. Infection experiments revealed that the ompATb operon was not required for full virulence in mice suggesting that M. tuberculosis has multiple mechanisms of resisting phagosomal acidification. Taken together, these results show that the ompATb operon is necessary for rapid ammonia secretion and adaptation of M. tuberculosis to acidic environments in vitro but not in mice. PMID:21410778

  6. RbsR Activates Capsule but Represses the rbsUDK Operon in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Mei G.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Staphylococcus aureus capsule is an important virulence factor that is regulated by a large number of regulators. Capsule genes are expressed from a major promoter upstream of the cap operon. A 10-bp inverted repeat (IR) located 13 bp upstream of the −35 region of the promoter was previously shown to affect capsule gene transcription. However, little is known about transcriptional activation of the cap promoter. To search for potential proteins which directly interact with the cap promoter region (Pcap), we directly analyzed the proteins interacting with the Pcap DNA fragment from shifted gel bands identified by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. One of these regulators, RbsR, was further characterized and found to positively regulate cap gene expression by specifically binding to the cap promoter region. Footprinting analyses showed that RbsR protected a DNA region encompassing the 10-bp IR. Our results further showed that rbsR was directly controlled by SigB and that RbsR was a repressor of the rbsUDK operon, involved in ribose uptake and phosphorylation. The repression of rbsUDK by RbsR could be derepressed by d-ribose. However, d-ribose did not affect RbsR activation of capsule. IMPORTANCE Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen which produces a large number of virulence factors. We have been using capsule as a model virulence factor to study virulence regulation. Although many capsule regulators have been identified, the mechanism of regulation of most of these regulators is unknown. We show here that RbsR activates capsule by direct promoter binding and that SigB is required for the expression of rbsR. These results define a new pathway wherein SigB activates capsule through RbsR. Our results further demonstrate that RbsR inhibits the rbs operon involved in ribose utilization, thereby providing an example of coregulation of metabolism and virulence in S. aureus. Thus, this study further advances our understanding of staphylococcal

  7. Indole and 7-hydroxyindole diminish Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jintae; Attila, Can; Cirillo, Suat L G; Cirillo, Jeffrey D; Wood, Thomas K

    2009-01-01

    Indole is an extracellular biofilm signal for Escherichia coli, and many bacterial oxygenases readily convert indole to various oxidized compounds including 7-hydroxyindole (7HI). Here we investigate the impact of indole and 7HI on Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 virulence and quorum sensing (QS)-regulated phenotypes; this strain does not synthesize these compounds but degrades them rapidly. Indole and 7HI both altered extensively gene expression in a manner opposite that of acylhomoserine lactones; the most repressed genes encode the mexGHI-opmD multidrug efflux pump and genes involved in the synthesis of QS-regulated virulence factors including pyocyanin (phz operon), 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone (PQS) signal (pqs operon), pyochelin (pch operon) and pyoverdine (pvd operon). Corroborating these microarray results, indole and 7HI decreased production of pyocyanin, rhamnolipid, PQS and pyoverdine and enhanced antibiotic resistance. In addition, indole affected the utilization of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus, and 7HI abolished swarming motility. Furthermore, 7HI reduced pulmonary colonization of P. aeruginosa in guinea pigs and increased clearance in lungs. Hence, indole-related compounds have potential as a novel antivirulence approach for the recalcitrant pathogen P. aeruginosa. PMID:21261883

  8. Phylogenomics of Mycobacterium Nitrate Reductase Operon.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qinqin; Abdalla, Abualgasim Elgaili; Xie, Jianping

    2015-07-01

    NarGHJI operon encodes a nitrate reductase that can reduce nitrate to nitrite. This process enhances bacterial survival by nitrate respiration under anaerobic conditions. NarGHJI operon exists in many bacteria, especially saprophytic bacteria living in soil which play a key role in the nitrogen cycle. Most actinomycetes, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, possess NarGHJI operons. M. tuberculosis is a facultative intracellular pathogen that expands in macrophages and has the ability to persist in a non-replicative form in granuloma lifelong. Nitrogen and nitrogen compounds play crucial roles in the struggle between M. tuberculosis and host. M. tuberculosis can use nitrate as a final electron acceptor under anaerobic conditions to enhance its survival. In this article, we reviewed the mechanisms regulating nitrate reductase expression and affecting its activity. Potential genes involved in regulating the nitrate reductase expression in M. tuberculosis were identified. The conserved NarG might be an alternative mycobacterium taxonomic marker. PMID:25980349

  9. Teaching the Big Ideas of Biology with Operon Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents an activity that engages students in model-based reasoning, requiring them to predict the behavior of the trp and lac operons under different environmental conditions. Students are presented six scenarios for the "trp" operon and five for the "lac" operon. In most of the scenarios, specific mutations have…

  10. Origin of bistability in the lac Operon.

    PubMed

    Santillán, M; Mackey, M C; Zeron, E S

    2007-06-01

    Multistability is an emergent dynamic property that has been invoked to explain multiple coexisting biological states. In this work, we investigate the origin of bistability in the lac operon. To do this, we develop a mathematical model for the regulatory pathway in this system and compare the model predictions with other experimental results in which a nonmetabolizable inducer was employed. We investigate the effect of lactose metabolism using this model, and show that it greatly modifies the bistable region in the external lactose (Le) versus external glucose (Ge) parameter space. The model also predicts that lactose metabolism can cause bistability to disappear for very low Ge. We have also carried out stochastic numerical simulations of the model for several values of Ge and Le. Our results indicate that bistability can help guarantee that Escherichia coli consumes glucose and lactose in the most efficient possible way. Namely, the lac operon is induced only when there is almost no glucose in the growing medium, but if Le is high, the operon induction level increases abruptly when the levels of glucose in the environment decrease to very low values. We demonstrate that this behavior could not be obtained without bistability if the stability of the induced and uninduced states is to be preserved. Finally, we point out that the present methods and results may be useful to study the emergence of multistability in biological systems other than the lac operon. PMID:17351004

  11. Genetic Analysis and Molecular Identification of Virulence in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Onasanya, Amos; Onasanya, R. O.; Ojo, Abiodun A.; Adewale, B. O.

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial leaf blight (BLB) of rice is a very destructive disease worldwide and is caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). The aim of the present study was to examine if the Xoo virulence pathotypes obtained using phenotypic pathotyping could be confirmed using molecular approach. After screening of 60 Operon primers with genomic DNA of two Xoo isolates (virulent pathotype, Vr, and mildly virulent pathotype, MVr), 12 Operon primers that gave reproducible and useful genetic information were selected and used to analyze 50 Xoo isolates from 7 West African countries. Genetic analysis revealed two major Xoo virulence genotypes (Mta and Mtb) with Mta having two subgroups (Mta1 and Mta2). Mta1 (Vr1) subgroup genotype has occurrence in six countries and Mta2 (Vr2) in three countries while Mtb genotype characterized mildly virulence (MVr) Xoo isolates present in five countries. The study revealed possible linkage and correlation between phenotypic pathotyping and molecular typing of Xoo virulence. Xoo virulence genotypes were known to exist within country and there was evidence of Xoo pathogen migration between countries. Durable resistance rice cultivars would need to overcome both Mta and Mtb Xoo virulence genotypes in order to survive after their deployment into different rice ecologies in West Africa. PMID:27335673

  12. Comparative functional analysis of the lac operons in Streptococcus pyogenes.

    PubMed

    Loughman, Jennifer A; Caparon, Michael G

    2007-04-01

    Having no known environmental reservoir, Streptococcus pyogenes, a bacterium responsible for a wider variety of human diseases than any other bacterial species, must rely on its host for metabolic substrates. Although a streptococcal aldolase, LacD.1, has been adapted to virulence gene regulation, both LacD.1 and a paralogous protein, LacD.2, are predicted to function in the tagatose 6-phosphate pathway for lactose and galactose utilization. In order to gain insight into the mechanism of the LacD.1 regulatory pathway and the role of genome context in the emergence of LacD.1's novel regulatory functions, we compared the function and regulation of the Lac.1 and Lac.2 loci. The Lac.1 operon is not inducible, and regulation by LacD.1 is independent of a functional tagatose 6-phosphate pathway and enhanced by the conserved truncation of upstream Lac.1 genes. In contrast, Lac.2 expression is sensitive to environmental carbohydrates, and LacD.2, not LacD.1, contributes to growth on galactose. Thus, we conclude that the Lac.1 locus has been specialized to participate in regulation, leaving efficient utilization of carbohydrate sources to the Lac.2 locus. The adaptation of LacD for transcription regulation may be an underappreciated strategy among prokaryotes, as homologues of this multifaceted enzyme are present in a broad range of species. PMID:17371500

  13. Bacterial cellulose biosynthesis: diversity of operons, subunits, products and functions

    PubMed Central

    Römling, Ute; Galperin, Michael Y.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Recent studies of bacterial cellulose biosynthesis, including structural characterization of a functional cellulose synthase complex, provided the first mechanistic insight into this fascinating process. In most studied bacteria, just two subunits, BcsA and BcsB, are necessary and sufficient for the formation of the polysaccharide chain in vitro. Other subunits – which differ among various taxa – affect the enzymatic activity and product yield in vivo by modulating expression of biosynthesis apparatus, export of the nascent β-D-glucan polymer to the cell surface, and the organization of cellulose fibers into a higher-order structure. These auxiliary subunits play key roles in determining the quantity and structure of the resulting biofilm, which is particularly important for interactions of bacteria with higher organisms that lead to rhizosphere colonization and modulate virulence of cellulose-producing bacterial pathogens inside and outside of host cells. Here we review the organization of four principal types of cellulose synthase operons found in various bacterial genomes, identify additional bcs genes that encode likely components of the cellulose biosynthesis and secretion machinery, and propose a unified nomenclature for these genes and subunits. We also discuss the role of cellulose as a key component of biofilms formed by a variety of free-living and pathogenic bacteria and, for the latter, in the choice between acute infection and persistence in the host. PMID:26077867

  14. Bacterial cellulose biosynthesis: diversity of operons, subunits, products, and functions.

    PubMed

    Römling, Ute; Galperin, Michael Y

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies of bacterial cellulose biosynthesis, including structural characterization of a functional cellulose synthase complex, provided the first mechanistic insight into this fascinating process. In most studied bacteria, just two subunits, BcsA and BcsB, are necessary and sufficient for the formation of the polysaccharide chain in vitro. Other subunits - which differ among various taxa - affect the enzymatic activity and product yield in vivo by modulating (i) the expression of the biosynthesis apparatus, (ii) the export of the nascent β-D-glucan polymer to the cell surface, and (iii) the organization of cellulose fibers into a higher-order structure. These auxiliary subunits play key roles in determining the quantity and structure of resulting biofilms, which is particularly important for the interactions of bacteria with higher organisms - leading to rhizosphere colonization and modulating the virulence of cellulose-producing bacterial pathogens inside and outside of host cells. We review the organization of four principal types of cellulose synthase operon found in various bacterial genomes, identify additional bcs genes that encode components of the cellulose biosynthesis and secretion machinery, and propose a unified nomenclature for these genes and subunits. We also discuss the role of cellulose as a key component of biofilms and in the choice between acute infection and persistence in the host. PMID:26077867

  15. Physiological regulation of a decontrolled lac operon.

    PubMed Central

    Wanner, B L; Kodaira, R; Neidhardt, F C

    1977-01-01

    The expression of the lac operon was studied under a variety of growth conditions in induced and in constitutive cells of Escherichia coli that carried different catabolite-insensitive lac promoters. Use of such "decontrolled" lac operons permitted a study of the expression of an operon that was presumably subject only to passive control. Since the use of toluenized cells was demonstrated not to be completely reliable, all enzyme assays were performed on sonic supernatant fluids. The cells contained different catabolite-insensitive promoters, which included the L1 and UV5 lac promoters, as well as others isolated in this study. There were three major observations. First, small but real carbon source effects were seen. Second, there was only a small change in beta-galactosidase specific activity with changes in the growth rate. This result implies a limited transcription and/or translation capacity within the cell. Third, at rapid growth rates, most promoters exhibited a decreased expression. The UV5 promoter, which was the "strongest" promoter, was an exception. A mechanism to explain this promoter-dependent control is discussed. PMID:323228

  16. gltBDF operon of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Castaño, I; Bastarrachea, F; Covarrubias, A A

    1988-01-01

    A 2.0-kilobase DNA fragment carrying antibiotic resistance markers was inserted into the gltB gene of Escherichia coli previously cloned in a multicopy plasmid. Replacement of the chromosomal gltB+ gene by the gltB225::omega mutation led to cells unable to synthesize glutamate synthase, utilize growth rate-limiting nitrogen sources, or derepress their glutamine synthetase. The existence of a gltBDF operon encoding the large (gltB) and small (gltD) subunits of glutamate synthase and a regulatory peptide (gltF) at 69 min of the E. coli linkage map was deduced from complementation analysis. A plasmid carrying the entire gltB+D+F+ operon complemented cells for all three of the mutant phenotypes associated with the polar gltB225::omega mutation in the chromosome. By contrast, plasmids carrying gltB+ only complemented cells for glutamate synthase activity. A major tricistronic mRNA molecule was detected from Northern (RNA blot) DNA-RNA hybridization experiments with DNA probes containing single genes of the operon. A 30,200-dalton polypeptide was identified as the gltF product, the lack of which was responsible for the inability of cells to use nitrogen-limiting sources associated with gltB225::omega. Images PMID:2448295

  17. Transcriptome dynamics-based operon prediction in prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Inferring operon maps is crucial to understanding the regulatory networks of prokaryotic genomes. Recently, RNA-seq based transcriptome studies revealed that in many bacterial species the operon structure vary with the change of environmental conditions. Therefore, new computational solutions that use both static and dynamic data are necessary to create condition specific operon predictions. Results In this work, we propose a novel classification method that integrates RNA-seq based transcriptome profiles with genomic sequence features to accurately identify the operons that are expressed under a measured condition. The classifiers are trained on a small set of confirmed operons and then used to classify the remaining gene pairs of the organism studied. Finally, by linking consecutive gene pairs classified as operons, our computational approach produces condition-dependent operon maps. We evaluated our approach on various RNA-seq expression profiles of the bacteria Haemophilus somni, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. Our results demonstrate that, using features depending on both transcriptome dynamics and genome sequence characteristics, we can identify operon pairs with high accuracy. Moreover, the combination of DNA sequence and expression data results in more accurate predictions than each one alone. Conclusion We present a computational strategy for the comprehensive analysis of condition-dependent operon maps in prokaryotes. Our method can be used to generate condition specific operon maps of many bacterial organisms for which high-resolution transcriptome data is available. PMID:24884724

  18. Operons Are a Conserved Feature of Nematode Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Pettitt, Jonathan; Philippe, Lucas; Sarkar, Debjani; Johnston, Christopher; Gothe, Henrike Johanna; Massie, Diane; Connolly, Bernadette; Müller, Berndt

    2014-01-01

    The organization of genes into operons, clusters of genes that are co-transcribed to produce polycistronic pre-mRNAs, is a trait found in a wide range of eukaryotic groups, including multiple animal phyla. Operons are present in the class Chromadorea, one of the two main nematode classes, but their distribution in the other class, the Enoplea, is not known. We have surveyed the genomes of Trichinella spiralis, Trichuris muris, and Romanomermis culicivorax and identified the first putative operons in members of the Enoplea. Consistent with the mechanism of polycistronic RNA resolution in other nematodes, the mRNAs produced by genes downstream of the first gene in the T. spiralis and T. muris operons are trans-spliced to spliced leader RNAs, and we are able to detect polycistronic RNAs derived from these operons. Importantly, a putative intercistronic region from one of these potential enoplean operons confers polycistronic processing activity when expressed as part of a chimeric operon in Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that T. spiralis genes located in operons have an increased likelihood of having operonic C. elegans homologs. However, operon structure in terms of synteny and gene content is not tightly conserved between the two taxa, consistent with models of operon evolution. We have nevertheless identified putative operons conserved between Enoplea and Chromadorea. Our data suggest that operons and “spliced leader” (SL) trans-splicing predate the radiation of the nematode phylum, an inference which is supported by the phylogenetic profile of proteins known to be involved in nematode SL trans-splicing. PMID:24931407

  19. Operons are a conserved feature of nematode genomes.

    PubMed

    Pettitt, Jonathan; Philippe, Lucas; Sarkar, Debjani; Johnston, Christopher; Gothe, Henrike Johanna; Massie, Diane; Connolly, Bernadette; Müller, Berndt

    2014-08-01

    The organization of genes into operons, clusters of genes that are co-transcribed to produce polycistronic pre-mRNAs, is a trait found in a wide range of eukaryotic groups, including multiple animal phyla. Operons are present in the class Chromadorea, one of the two main nematode classes, but their distribution in the other class, the Enoplea, is not known. We have surveyed the genomes of Trichinella spiralis, Trichuris muris, and Romanomermis culicivorax and identified the first putative operons in members of the Enoplea. Consistent with the mechanism of polycistronic RNA resolution in other nematodes, the mRNAs produced by genes downstream of the first gene in the T. spiralis and T. muris operons are trans-spliced to spliced leader RNAs, and we are able to detect polycistronic RNAs derived from these operons. Importantly, a putative intercistronic region from one of these potential enoplean operons confers polycistronic processing activity when expressed as part of a chimeric operon in Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that T. spiralis genes located in operons have an increased likelihood of having operonic C. elegans homologs. However, operon structure in terms of synteny and gene content is not tightly conserved between the two taxa, consistent with models of operon evolution. We have nevertheless identified putative operons conserved between Enoplea and Chromadorea. Our data suggest that operons and "spliced leader" (SL) trans-splicing predate the radiation of the nematode phylum, an inference which is supported by the phylogenetic profile of proteins known to be involved in nematode SL trans-splicing. PMID:24931407

  20. Evolution of genes on the Salmonella Virulence plasmid phylogeny revealed from sequencing of the virulence plasmids of S. enterica serotype Dublin and comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Chu, Chishih; Feng, Ye; Chien, An-Chi; Hu, Songnian; Chu, Chi-Hong; Chiu, Cheng-Hsun

    2008-11-01

    Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin harbors an approximately 80-kb virulence plasmid (pSDV), which mediates systemic infection in cattle. There are two types of pSDV: one is pSDVu (pOU1113) in strain OU7025 and the other pSDVr (pOU1115) in OU7409 (SD Lane) and many clinical isolates. Sequence analysis showed that pSDVr was a recombinant plasmid (co-integrate) of pSDVu and a plasmid similar to a 35-kb indigenous plasmid (pOU1114) of S. Dublin. Most of the F-transfer region in pSDVu was replaced by a DNA segment from the pOU1114-like plasmid containing an extra replicon and a pilX operon encoding for a type IV secretion system to form pSDVr. We reconstructed the particular evolutionary history of the seven virulence plasmids of Salmonella by comparative sequence analysis. The whole evolutionary process might begin with two different F-like plasmids (IncFI and IncFII), which then incorporated the spv operon and fimbriae operon from the chromosome to form the primitive virulence plasmids. Subsequently, these plasmids descended by deletion from a relatively large plasmid to smaller ones, with some recombination events occurring over time. Our results suggest that the phylogeny of virulence plasmids as a result of frequent recombination provides the opportunity for rapid evolution of Salmonella in response to the environmental cues. PMID:18718522

  1. Comparative Genomics Analysis of Streptococcus tigurinus Strains Identifies Genetic Elements Specifically and Uniquely Present in Highly Virulent Strains

    PubMed Central

    Diene, Seydina M.; François, Patrice; Zbinden, Andrea; Entenza, José Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus tigurinus is responsible for severe invasive infections such as infective endocarditis, spondylodiscitis and meningitis. As described, S. tigurinus isolates AZ_3aT and AZ_14 were highly virulent (HV phenotype) in an experimental model of infective endocarditis and showed enhanced adherence and invasion of human endothelial cells when compared to low virulent S. tigurinus isolate AZ_8 (LV phenotype). Here, we sought whether genetic determinants could explain the higher virulence of AZ_3aT and AZ_14 isolates. Several genetic determinants specific to the HV strains were identified through extensive comparative genomics amongst which some were thought to be highly relevant for the observed HV phenotype. These included i) an iron uptake and metabolism operon, ii) an ascorbate assimilation operon, iii) a newly acquired PI-2-like pilus islets described for the first time in S. tigurinus, iv) a hyaluronate metabolism operon, v) an Entner-Doudoroff pathway of carbohydrates metabolism, and vi) an alternate pathways for indole biosynthesis. We believe that the identified genomic features could largely explain the phenotype of high infectivity of the two HV S. tigurinus strains. Indeed, these features include determinants that could be involved at different stages of the disease such as survival of S. tigurinus in blood (iron uptake and ascorbate metabolism operons), initial attachment of bacterial pathogen to the damaged cardiac tissue and/or vegetation that formed on site (PI-2-like pilus islets), tissue invasion (hyaluronate operon and Entner-Doudoroff pathway) and regulation of pathogenicity (indole biosynthesis pathway). PMID:27505001

  2. Comparative Genomics Analysis of Streptococcus tigurinus Strains Identifies Genetic Elements Specifically and Uniquely Present in Highly Virulent Strains.

    PubMed

    Diene, Seydina M; François, Patrice; Zbinden, Andrea; Entenza, José Manuel; Resch, Grégory

    2016-01-01

    Streptococcus tigurinus is responsible for severe invasive infections such as infective endocarditis, spondylodiscitis and meningitis. As described, S. tigurinus isolates AZ_3aT and AZ_14 were highly virulent (HV phenotype) in an experimental model of infective endocarditis and showed enhanced adherence and invasion of human endothelial cells when compared to low virulent S. tigurinus isolate AZ_8 (LV phenotype). Here, we sought whether genetic determinants could explain the higher virulence of AZ_3aT and AZ_14 isolates. Several genetic determinants specific to the HV strains were identified through extensive comparative genomics amongst which some were thought to be highly relevant for the observed HV phenotype. These included i) an iron uptake and metabolism operon, ii) an ascorbate assimilation operon, iii) a newly acquired PI-2-like pilus islets described for the first time in S. tigurinus, iv) a hyaluronate metabolism operon, v) an Entner-Doudoroff pathway of carbohydrates metabolism, and vi) an alternate pathways for indole biosynthesis. We believe that the identified genomic features could largely explain the phenotype of high infectivity of the two HV S. tigurinus strains. Indeed, these features include determinants that could be involved at different stages of the disease such as survival of S. tigurinus in blood (iron uptake and ascorbate metabolism operons), initial attachment of bacterial pathogen to the damaged cardiac tissue and/or vegetation that formed on site (PI-2-like pilus islets), tissue invasion (hyaluronate operon and Entner-Doudoroff pathway) and regulation of pathogenicity (indole biosynthesis pathway). PMID:27505001

  3. Novel Twin Streptolysin S-Like Peptides Encoded in the sag Operon Homologue of Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcus anginosus

    PubMed Central

    Tabata, Atsushi; Nakano, Kota; Ohkura, Kazuto; Tomoyasu, Toshifumi; Kikuchi, Ken; Whiley, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    Streptococcus anginosus is a member of the anginosus group streptococci, which form part of the normal human oral flora. In contrast to the pyogenic group streptococci, our knowledge of the virulence factors of the anginosus group streptococci, including S. anginosus, is not sufficient to allow a clear understanding of the basis of their pathogenicity. Generally, hemolysins are thought to be important virulence factors in streptococcal infections. In the present study, a sag operon homologue was shown to be responsible for beta-hemolysis in S. anginosus strains by random gene knockout. Interestingly, contrary to pyogenic group streptococci, beta-hemolytic S. anginosus was shown to have two tandem sagA homologues, encoding streptolysin S (SLS)-like peptides, in the sag operon homologue. Gene deletion and complementation experiments revealed that both genes were functional, and these SLS-like peptides were essential for beta-hemolysis in beta-hemolytic S. anginosus. Furthermore, the amino acid sequence of these SLS-like peptides differed from that of the typical SLS of S. pyogenes, especially in their propeptide domain, and an amino acid residue indicated to be important for the cytolytic activity of SLS in S. pyogenes was deleted in both S. anginosus homologues. These data suggest that SLS-like peptides encoded by two sagA homologues in beta-hemolytic S. anginosus may be potential virulence factors with a different structure essential for hemolytic activity and/or the maturation process compared to the typical SLS present in pyogenic group streptococci. PMID:23292771

  4. Study of the in vivo role of Mce2R, the transcriptional regulator of mce2 operon in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of mortality throughout the world. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of human tuberculosis, has developed strategies involving proteins and other compounds called virulence factors to subvert human host defences and damage and invade the human host. Among these virulence-related proteins are the Mce proteins, which are encoded in the mce1, mce2, mce3 and mce4 operons of M. tuberculosis. The expression of the mce2 operon is negatively regulated by the Mce2R transcriptional repressor. Here we evaluated the role of Mce2R during the infection of M. tuberculosis in mice and macrophages and defined the genes whose expression is in vitro regulated by this transcriptional repressor. Results We used a specialized transduction method for generating a mce2R mutant of M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Although we found equivalent replication of the MtΔmce2R mutant and the wild type strains in mouse lungs, overexpression of Mce2R in the complemented strain (MtΔmce2RComp) significantly impaired its replication. During in vitro infection of macrophages, we observed a significantly increased association of the late endosomal marker LAMP-2 to MtΔmce2RComp-containing phagosomes as compared to MtΔmce2R and the wild type strains. Whole transcriptional analysis showed that Mce2R regulates mainly the expression of the mce2 operon, in the in vitro conditions studied. Conclusions The findings of the current study indicate that Mce2R weakly represses the in vivo expression of the mce2 operon in the studied conditions and argue for a role of the proteins encoded in Mce2R regulon in the arrest of phagosome maturation induced by M. tuberculosis. PMID:24007602

  5. HosA, a MarR Family Transcriptional Regulator, Represses Nonoxidative Hydroxyarylic Acid Decarboxylase Operon and Is Modulated by 4-Hydroxybenzoic Acid.

    PubMed

    Roy, Ajit; Ranjan, Akash

    2016-02-23

    Members of the Multiple antibiotic resistance Regulator (MarR) family of DNA binding proteins regulate transcription of a wide array of genes required for virulence and pathogenicity of bacteria. The present study reports the molecular characterization of HosA (Homologue of SlyA), a MarR protein, with respect to its target gene, DNA recognition motif, and nature of its ligand. Through a comparative genomics approach, we demonstrate that hosA is in synteny with nonoxidative hydroxyarylic acid decarboxylase (HAD) operon and is present exclusively within the mutS-rpoS polymorphic region in nine different genera of Enterobacteriaceae family. Using molecular biology and biochemical approach, we demonstrate that HosA binds to a palindromic sequence downstream to the transcription start site of divergently transcribed nonoxidative HAD operon and represses its expression. Furthermore, in silico analysis showed that the recognition motif for HosA is highly conserved in the upstream region of divergently transcribed operon in different genera of Enterobacteriaceae family. A systematic chemical search for the physiological ligand revealed that 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HBA) interacts with HosA and derepresses HosA mediated repression of the nonoxidative HAD operon. Based on our study, we propose a model for molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of nonoxidative HAD operon by HosA in Enterobacteriaceae family. PMID:26818787

  6. Genetic analysis of the virE operon of the Agrobacterium Ti plasmid pTiA6.

    PubMed

    McBride, K E; Knauf, V C

    1988-04-01

    The virE operon of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens Ti plasmid pTiA6 encodes at least one trans-acting protein involved in the expression of virulence. Two open reading frames designated virE1 and virE2 code for polypeptides of 7 and 60 kilodaltons (kDa), respectively, that can be visualized after expression in Escherichia coli minicells. To determine which virE sequences are required for virulence, a strain deleted for the entire locus [strain KE1(pTiA6 delta E)] was constructed and tested for the ability to be complemented by subclones with and without site-directed mutations in the virE operon. One subclone containing only virE1 and virE2 as well as upstream promoter sequences was sufficient to restore full virulence on the host plant Kalanchoe daigremontiana. However, some other virulence locus representing a host range determinant appeared to be deleted from strain KE1(pTiA6 delta E), since virE1 and virE2 were not sufficient to fully restore virulence on wounded tomato plants. virE operon constructs with specific lesions in either virE1 or virE2 were impaired for complementation of pTiA6 delta E. Several mutations specific for the promoter-proximal virE1 locus appeared to have a polar effect on expression of the virE2-encoded 60-kDa protein. However, virE2::lacZ fusion constructs suggest that this effect is not at the level of transcription or translation. Collectively, these data indicate that both the 7- and the 60-kDa polypeptides are virulence determinants for the Ti plasmid pTiA6 and suggest that the 60-kDa protein may be less stable in the absence of the 7-kDa protein. PMID:2832362

  7. High accuracy operon prediction method based on STRING database scores.

    PubMed

    Taboada, Blanca; Verde, Cristina; Merino, Enrique

    2010-07-01

    We present a simple and highly accurate computational method for operon prediction, based on intergenic distances and functional relationships between the protein products of contiguous genes, as defined by STRING database (Jensen,L.J., Kuhn,M., Stark,M., Chaffron,S., Creevey,C., Muller,J., Doerks,T., Julien,P., Roth,A., Simonovic,M. et al. (2009) STRING 8-a global view on proteins and their functional interactions in 630 organisms. Nucleic Acids Res., 37, D412-D416). These two parameters were used to train a neural network on a subset of experimentally characterized Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis operons. Our predictive model was successfully tested on the set of experimentally defined operons in E. coli and B. subtilis, with accuracies of 94.6 and 93.3%, respectively. As far as we know, these are the highest accuracies ever obtained for predicting bacterial operons. Furthermore, in order to evaluate the predictable accuracy of our model when using an organism's data set for the training procedure, and a different organism's data set for testing, we repeated the E. coli operon prediction analysis using a neural network trained with B. subtilis data, and a B. subtilis analysis using a neural network trained with E. coli data. Even for these cases, the accuracies reached with our method were outstandingly high, 91.5 and 93%, respectively. These results show the potential use of our method for accurately predicting the operons of any other organism. Our operon predictions for fully-sequenced genomes are available at http://operons.ibt.unam.mx/OperonPredictor/. PMID:20385580

  8. Characterization of an orphan diterpenoid biosynthetic operon from Salinispora arenicola.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meimei; Hillwig, Matthew L; Lane, Amy L; Tiernan, Mollie S; Moore, Bradley S; Peters, Reuben J

    2014-09-26

    While more commonly associated with plants than microbes, diterpenoid natural products have been reported to have profound effects in marine microbe-microbe interactions. Intriguingly, the genome of the marine bacterium Salinispora arenicola CNS-205 contains a putative diterpenoid biosynthetic operon, terp1. Here recombinant expression studies are reported, indicating that this three-gene operon leads to the production of isopimara-8,15-dien-19-ol (4). Although 4 is not observed in pure cultures of S. arenicola, it is plausible that the terp1 operon is only expressed under certain physiologically relevant conditions such as in the presence of other marine organisms. PMID:25203741

  9. Characterization of an Orphan Diterpenoid Biosynthetic Operon from Salinispora arenicola

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    While more commonly associated with plants than microbes, diterpenoid natural products have been reported to have profound effects in marine microbe–microbe interactions. Intriguingly, the genome of the marine bacterium Salinispora arenicola CNS-205 contains a putative diterpenoid biosynthetic operon, terp1. Here recombinant expression studies are reported, indicating that this three-gene operon leads to the production of isopimara-8,15-dien-19-ol (4). Although 4 is not observed in pure cultures of S. arenicola, it is plausible that the terp1 operon is only expressed under certain physiologically relevant conditions such as in the presence of other marine organisms. PMID:25203741

  10. Capsule depolymerase overexpression reduces Bacillus anthracis virulence.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  11. Characterisation of the mgo operon in Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae UMAF0158 that is required for mangotoxin production

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Mangotoxin is an antimetabolite toxin that is produced by strains of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae; mangotoxin-producing strains are primarily isolated from mango tissues with symptoms of bacterial apical necrosis. The toxin is an oligopeptide that inhibits ornithine N-acetyl transferase (OAT), a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of the essential amino acids ornithine and arginine. The involvement of a putative nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene (mgoA) in mangotoxin production and virulence has been reported. Results In the present study, we performed a RT-PCR analysis, insertional inactivation mutagenesis, a promoter expression analysis and terminator localisation to study the gene cluster containing the mgoA gene. Additionally, we evaluated the importance of mgoC, mgoA and mgoD in mangotoxin production. A sequence analysis revealed an operon-like organisation. A promoter sequence was located upstream of the mgoB gene and was found to drive lacZ transcription. Two terminators were located downstream of the mgoD gene. RT-PCR experiments indicated that the four genes (mgoBCAD) constitute a transcriptional unit. This operon is similar in genetic organisation to those in the three other P. syringae pathovars for which complete genomes are available (P. syringae pv. syringae B728a, P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 and P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A). Interestingly, none of these three reference strains is capable of producing mangotoxin. Additionally, extract complementation resulted in a recovery of mangotoxin production when the defective mutant was complemented with wild-type extracts. Conclusions The results of this study confirm that mgoB, mgoC, mgoA and mgoD function as a transcriptional unit and operon. While this operon is composed of four genes, only the last three are directly involved in mangotoxin production. PMID:22251433

  12. cAMP Regulation of the lactose operon.

    PubMed

    Szeberenyi, Jozsef

    2004-05-01

    Terms to be familiar with before you start to solve the test: lactose operon, adenylate cyclase, cAMP, catabolite activator protein (CAP), expression plasmid, lac operator, lac repressor, lactose, glucose, promoter, cis- and trans-acting factors. PMID:21706723

  13. Evolution and Biophysics of the Escherichia coli lac Operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, J. Christian; Igoshin, Oleg; Quan, Selwyn; Monds, Russell; Cooper, Tim; Balázsi, Gábor

    2011-03-01

    To understand, predict, and control the evolution of living organisms, we consider biophysical effects and molecular network architectures. The lactose utilization system of E. coli is among the most well-studied molecular networks in biology, making it an ideal candidate for such studies. Simulations show how the genetic architecture of the wild-type operon attenuates large metabolic intermediate fluctuations that are predicted to occur in an equivalent system with the component genes on separate operons. Quantification of gene expression in the lac operon evolved in growth conditions containing constant lactose, alternating with glucose, or constant glucose, shows characteristic gene expression patterns depending on conditions. We are simulating these conditions to show context-dependent biophysical sources and costs of different lac operon architectures.

  14. Expression of the Oligopeptide Permease Operon of Moraxella catarrhalis Is Regulated by Temperature and Nutrient Availability.

    PubMed

    Jones, Megan M; Murphy, Timothy F

    2015-09-01

    Moraxella catarrhalis causes otitis media in children and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults. Together, these two conditions contribute to enormous morbidity and mortality worldwide. The oligopeptide permease (opp) ABC transport system is a nutritional virulence factor important for the utilization of peptides. The substrate binding protein OppA, which binds peptides for uptake, is a potential vaccine antigen, but little was known about the regulation of gene expression. The five opp genes oppB, oppC, oppD, oppF, and oppA are in the same open reading frame. Sequence analysis predicted two promoters, one located upstream of oppB and one within the intergenic region between oppF and oppA. We have characterized the gene cluster as an operon with two functional promoters and show that cold shock at 26°C for ≤ 0.5 h and the presence of a peptide substrate increase gene transcript levels. Additionally, the putative promoter upstream of oppA contributes to the transcription of oppA but is not influenced by the same environmental cues as the promoter upstream of oppB. We conclude that temperature and nutrient availability contribute to the regulation of the Opp system, which is an important nutritional virulence factor in M. catarrhalis. PMID:26099587

  15. Effects of the ERES pathogenicity region regulator Ralp3 on Streptococcus pyogenes serotype M49 virulence factor expression.

    PubMed

    Siemens, Nikolai; Fiedler, Tomas; Normann, Jana; Klein, Johannes; Münch, Richard; Patenge, Nadja; Kreikemeyer, Bernd

    2012-07-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus [GAS]) is a highly virulent Gram-positive bacterium. For successful infection, GAS expresses many virulence factors, which are clustered together with transcriptional regulators in distinct genomic regions. Ralp3 is a central regulator of the ERES region. In this study, we investigated the role of Ralp3 in GAS M49 pathogenesis. The inactivation of Ralp3 resulted in reduced attachment to and internalization into human keratinocytes. The Δralp3 mutant failed to survive in human blood and serum, and the hyaluronic acid capsule was slightly decreased. In addition, the mutant showed a lower binding capacity to human plasminogen, and the SpeB activity was significantly decreased. Complementation of the Δralp3 mutant restored the wild-type phenotype. The transcriptome and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis of the serotype M49 GAS strain and its isogenic Δralp3 mutant identified 16 genes as upregulated, and 43 genes were found to be downregulated. Among the downregulated genes, there were open reading frames encoding proteins involved in metabolism (e.g., both lac operons and the fru operon), genes encoding lantibiotics (e.g., the putative salivaricin operon), and ORFs encoding virulence factors (such as the whole Mga core regulon and further genes under Mga control). In summary, the ERES region regulator Ralp3 is an important serotype-specific transcriptional regulator for virulence and metabolic control. PMID:22544273

  16. The Yersinia pestis V antigen is a regulatory protein necessary for Ca2(+)-dependent growth and maximal expression of low-Ca2+ response virulence genes.

    PubMed Central

    Price, S B; Cowan, C; Perry, R D; Straley, S C

    1991-01-01

    The low-Ca2+ response is a multicomponent virulence regulon of the human-pathogenic yersiniae in which 12 known virulence genes are coordinately regulated in response to environmental cues of temperature, Ca2+, and nucleotides such as ATP. Yersinial growth also is regulated, with full growth yield being permitted at 37 degrees C only if Ca2+ or a nucleotide is present. In this study, we constructed and characterized a mutant Yersinia pestis specifically defective in the gene encoding the V antigen, one of the virulence genes of the low-Ca2+ response. An in-frame internal deletion-insertion mutation was made by removing bases 51 through 645 of lcrV and inserting 61 new bases. The altered lcrV was introduced into the low-Ca2+ response plasmid in Y. pestis by allelic exchange, and the resulting mutant was characterized for its two-dimensional protein profiles, growth, expression of an operon fusion to another low-Ca2+ response virulence operon, and virulence in mice. The mutant had lost its Ca2+ and nucleotide requirement for growth, showed diminished expression of Ca2(+)-and nucleotide-regulated virulence genes, and was avirulent in mice. The mutation could be complemented with respect to the growth property by supplying native V antigen operon sequences in trans in high copy number (on pBR322). Partial complementation of the growth defect and almost complete complementation of the virulence defect were seen with a lower-copy-number complementing replicon (a pACYC184 derivative). The data are consistent with the interpretation that V antigen is bifunctional, with a role in regulating growth and expression of low-Ca2+ response virulence genes in addition to its putative role as a secreted virulence protein. Images PMID:1901573

  17. Boolean models can explain bistability in the lac operon.

    PubMed

    Veliz-Cuba, Alan; Stigler, Brandilyn

    2011-06-01

    The lac operon in Escherichia coli has been studied extensively and is one of the earliest gene systems found to undergo both positive and negative control. The lac operon is known to exhibit bistability, in the sense that the operon is either induced or uninduced. Many dynamical models have been proposed to capture this phenomenon. While most are based on complex mathematical formulations, it has been suggested that for other gene systems network topology is sufficient to produce the desired dynamical behavior. We present a Boolean network as a discrete model for the lac operon. Our model includes the two main glucose control mechanisms of catabolite repression and inducer exclusion. We show that this Boolean model is capable of predicting the ON and OFF steady states and bistability. Further, we present a reduced model which shows that lac mRNA and lactose form the core of the lac operon, and that this reduced model exhibits the same dynamics. This work suggests that the key to model qualitative dynamics of gene systems is the topology of the network and Boolean models are well suited for this purpose. PMID:21563979

  18. The Success of Acinetobacter Species; Genetic, Metabolic and Virulence Attributes

    PubMed Central

    Peleg, Anton Y.; de Breij, Anna; Adams, Mark D.; Cerqueira, Gustavo M.; Mocali, Stefano; Galardini, Marco; Nibbering, Peter H.; Earl, Ashlee M.; Ward, Doyle V.; Paterson, David L.; Seifert, Harald; Dijkshoorn, Lenie

    2012-01-01

    An understanding of why certain Acinetobacter species are more successful in causing nosocomial infections, transmission and epidemic spread in healthcare institutions compared with other species is lacking. We used genomic, phenotypic and virulence studies to identify differences between Acinetobacter species. Fourteen strains representing nine species were examined. Genomic analysis of six strains showed that the A. baumannii core genome contains many genes important for diverse metabolism and survival in the host. Most of the A. baumannii core genes were also present in one or more of the less clinically successful species. In contrast, when the accessory genome of an individual A. baumannii strain was compared to a strain of a less successful species (A. calcoaceticus RUH2202), many operons with putative virulence function were found to be present only in the A. baumannii strain, including the csu operon, the acinetobactin chromosomal cluster, and bacterial defence mechanisms. Phenotype microarray analysis showed that compared to A. calcoaceticus (RUH2202), A. baumannii ATCC 19606T was able to utilise nitrogen sources more effectively and was more tolerant to pH, osmotic and antimicrobial stress. Virulence differences were also observed, with A. baumannii ATCC 19606T, A. pittii SH024, and A. nosocomialis RUH2624 persisting and forming larger biofilms on human skin than A. calcoaceticus. A. baumannii ATCC 19606T and A. pittii SH024 were also able to survive in a murine thigh infection model, whereas the other two species were eradicated. The current study provides important insights into the elucidation of differences in clinical relevance among Acinetobacter species. PMID:23144699

  19. Genes aroA and serC of Salmonella typhimurium constitute an operon.

    PubMed Central

    Hoiseth, S K; Stocker, B A

    1985-01-01

    Genetic analysis of aroA554::Tn10 derivatives of two mouse-virulent Salmonella typhimurium strains, "FIRN" and "WRAY," and of a nonreverting derivative of each constructed for use as a live vaccine, showed the site of the insertion among mapped aroA point mutants. The WRAY live-vaccine strain gave no aro+ recombinants in crosses with aroA point mutations to one side of the insertion, indicating a deletion from Tn10 through the sites of these point mutations. The FIRN live-vaccine strain gave wild-type recombinants with all tested point mutants; it probably has a deletion or inversion extending from Tn10 into aroA but not as far as the nearest point mutation. Some tetracycline-sensitive mutants of aroA554::Tn10 strains required serine and pyridoxine, indicating loss of serC function, and some that were found to be SerC- did not produce gas from glucose, indicating a loss of pfl function. These results show the gene order pfl-serC-aroA, as in Escherichia coli. Ampicillin enrichment applied to pools of tetracycline-sensitive mutants of strains with Tn10 insertions near aroA (i.e., zbj::Tn10 strains) yielded Aro- SerC- Pfl-, Aro- SerC+ Pfl+, and Aro- SerC- Pfl+ mutants but none which were Aro+ SerC-. All of the mutants are explicable by deletions or inversions extending clockwise from zbj::Tn10 into or through an operon comprising serC (promoter-proximal) and aroA. Such an operon was also shown by the identification of two Tn10 insertions causing phenotype Aro- SerC-, each able to revert to Aro+ SerC+ by precise excision. serC corresponds to the open reading frame promoter-proximal to aroA that was identified elsewhere by base sequencing of a cloned aroA segment of S. typhimurium (Comai et al., Science 221:370-371, 1983). Both serine and chorismate are precursors of enterochelin; this may be why serC and aroA are in a single operon. PMID:2989248

  20. Fusions of flagellar operons to lactose genes on a mu lac bacteriophage.

    PubMed Central

    Komeda, Y

    1982-01-01

    Previous studies have defined 29 genes necessary for synthesis of the Escherichia coli flagellar apparatus. This study analyzed the transcriptional control of flagellar genes, using Mu d (Apr lac) phage to generate flagellar mutants by insertion. These mutants contained operon fusions of flagellar genes to the lac genes of the Mu d phage and allowed the measurement of flagellar operon expression by detection of beta-galactosidase activity. These fusion mutants expressed the enzyme activity constitutively, and an autogenous regulation mechanism was not revealed. Lambda transducing phages carrying these chromosomal fla-lac fusions were also isolated and used to examine the effect of different fla mutations on expression of each flagellar operon. The results showed that flagellar operons are divided into six classes; (class 1) the flbB operon, which controls all of the other flagellar operons; (class 2) the flaU and flbC operons, which are controlled by the flbB operon gene products and are not required for the expression of other Fla operons; (class 3) the flbA, flaG, flaD, flaN, flaB, and flaA operons, which are under flbB operon control and are required for the expression of other fla operons; (class4) the flaZ operon, which is controlled by the gene products of the group 1 and 3 operons and is required for hag transcription; (class 5) the mocha and flaS operons, which are controlled by the gene products of the group 1 and 3 operons; and (class 6) the hag operon. These results are discussed with respect to the possible assembly sequence of the fla gene products. PMID:7037746

  1. Genome Data from DOOR: a Database for prOkaryotic OpeRons

    DOE Data Explorer

    DOOR (Database of prOkaryotic OpeRons) is an operon database developed by Computational Systems Biology Lab (CSBL) at University of Georgia. Although the operons in the database are based on prediction, there are some unique features. These are: • A algorithm is consistently best at all aspects including sensitivity and specificity for both true positives and true negatives, and the overall accuracy reaches 90 percent. The prediction algorithm is based on this paper: P. Dam, V. Olman, K. Harris, Z. Su, Y. Xu., Operon prediction using both genome-specific and general genomic information, Nucleic Acids Res., 35(1):288-98, 2007 • DOOR provides one of the largest data sets of operon information available to the public. DOOR provides operons for 675 prokaryotic genomes. Although most of operons in DOOR are not verified by experiments, the creators are also trying to provide some limited literature information, which is extracted from ODB. They emphasize that if the users are looking for strictly experimentally verified operons, they should look into DBTBS and RegulonDB first. • Operons which include RNA genes, which are rarely seen in other operon databases especially for predicted operon databases • Defined the similarity scores between operons, which is based on weighted maximum matching between operons. Similar operon groups can be used to predict accurate orthologous genes,and their upstream regions can be used to find the consensus binding motifs. • Integration of two motif finding programs in the database: MEME and CUBIC. DOOR provides an Organism View for browsing, a gene search tool, an operon search tool, and the operon prediction interface.[Text taken and edited from http://csbl1.bmb.uga.edu/OperonDB/tutorial.php

  2. Cost-benefit tradeoffs in engineered lac operons.

    PubMed

    Eames, Matt; Kortemme, Tanja

    2012-05-18

    Cells must balance the cost and benefit of protein expression to optimize organismal fitness. The lac operon of the bacterium Escherichia coli has been a model for quantifying the physiological impact of costly protein production and for elucidating the resulting regulatory mechanisms. We report quantitative fitness measurements in 27 redesigned operons that suggested that protein production is not the primary origin of fitness costs. Instead, we discovered that the lac permease activity, which relates linearly to cost, is the major physiological burden to the cell. These findings explain control points in the lac operon that minimize the cost of lac permease activity, not protein expression. Characterizing similar relationships in other systems will be important to map the impact of cost/benefit tradeoffs on cell physiology and regulation. PMID:22605776

  3. Requirement of norD for Brucella suis Virulence in a Murine Model of In Vitro and In Vivo Infection

    PubMed Central

    Loisel-Meyer, Séverine; Jiménez de Bagüés, Maria Pilar; Bassères, Eugénie; Dornand, Jacques; Köhler, Stephan; Liautard, Jean-Pierre; Jubier-Maurin, Véronique

    2006-01-01

    A mutant of Brucella suis bearing a Tn5 insertion in norD, the last gene of the operon norEFCBQD, encoding nitric oxide reductase, was unable to survive under anaerobic denitrifying conditions. The norD strain exhibited attenuated multiplication within nitric oxide-producing murine macrophages and rapid elimination in mice, hence demonstrating that norD is essential for Brucella virulence. PMID:16495577

  4. Dynamic model of gene regulation for the lac operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelova, Maia; Ben-Halim, Asma

    2011-03-01

    Gene regulatory network is a collection of DNA which interact with each other and with other matter in the cell. The lac operon is an example of a relatively simple genetic network and is one of the best-studied structures in the Escherichia coli bacteria. In this work we consider a deterministic model of the lac operon with a noise term, representing the stochastic nature of the regulation. The model is written in terms of a system of simultaneous first order differential equations with delays. We investigate an analytical and numerical solution and analyse the range of values for the parameters corresponding to a stable solution.

  5. Cryptosporidium Pathogenicity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bouzid, Maha; Chalmers, Rachel M.; Tyler, Kevin M.

    2013-01-01

    Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite of medical and veterinary importance that causes gastroenteritis in a variety of vertebrate hosts. Several studies have reported different degrees of pathogenicity and virulence among Cryptosporidium species and isolates of the same species as well as evidence of variation in host susceptibility to infection. The identification and validation of Cryptosporidium virulence factors have been hindered by the renowned difficulties pertaining to the in vitro culture and genetic manipulation of this parasite. Nevertheless, substantial progress has been made in identifying putative virulence factors for Cryptosporidium. This progress has been accelerated since the publication of the Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis genomes, with the characterization of over 25 putative virulence factors identified by using a variety of immunological and molecular techniques and which are proposed to be involved in aspects of host-pathogen interactions from adhesion and locomotion to invasion and proliferation. Progress has also been made in the contribution of host factors that are associated with variations in both the severity and risk of infection. Here we provide a review comprised of the current state of knowledge on Cryptosporidium infectivity, pathogenesis, and transmissibility in light of our contemporary understanding of microbial virulence. PMID:23297262

  6. Parasitoid wasp virulence

    PubMed Central

    Mortimer, Nathan T

    2013-01-01

    In nature, larvae of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster are commonly infected by parasitoid wasps. Following infection, flies mount an immune response termed cellular encapsulation in which fly immune cells form a multilayered capsule that covers and kills the wasp egg. Parasitoids have thus evolved virulence factors to suppress cellular encapsulation. To uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying the antiwasp response, we and others have begun identifying and functionally characterizing these virulence factors. Our recent work on the Drosophila parasitoid Ganaspis sp.1 has demonstrated that a virulence factor encoding a SERCA-type calcium pump plays an important role in Ganaspis sp.1 virulence. This venom SERCA antagonizes fly immune cell calcium signaling and thereby prevents the activation of the encapsulation response. In this way, the study of wasp virulence factors has revealed a novel aspect of fly immunity, namely a role for calcium signaling in fly immune cell activation, which is conserved with human immunity, again illustrating the marked conservation between fly and mammalian immune responses. Our findings demonstrate that the cellular encapsulation response can serve as a model of immune cell function and can also provide valuable insight into basic cell biological processes. PMID:24088661

  7. New insights into the role of indole-3-acetic acid in the virulence of Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi.

    PubMed

    Aragón, Isabel M; Pérez-Martínez, Isabel; Moreno-Pérez, Alba; Cerezo, Miguel; Ramos, Cayo

    2014-07-01

    Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is a widespread phytohormone among plant-associated bacteria, including the tumour-inducing pathogen of woody hosts, Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi. A phylogenetic analysis of the iaaM/iaaH operon, which is involved in the biosynthesis of IAA, showed that one of the two operons encoded by Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. savastanoi NCPPB 3335, iaaM-1/iaaH-1, is horizontally transferred among bacteria belonging to the Pseudomonas syringae complex. We also show that biosynthesis of the phytohormone, virulence and full fitness of this olive pathogen depend only on the functionality of the iaaM-1/iaaH-1 operon. In contrast, the iaaM-2/iaaH-2 operon, which carries a 22-nt insertion in the iaaM-2 gene, does not contribute to the production of IAA by this bacterium. A residual amount of IAA was detected in the culture supernatants of a double mutant affected in both iaaM/iaaH operons, suggesting that a different pathway might also contribute to the total pool of the phytohormone produced by this pathogen. Additionally, we show that exogenously added IAA negatively and positively regulates the expression of genes related to the type III and type VI secretion systems, respectively. Together, these results suggest a role of IAA as a signalling molecule in this pathogen. PMID:24606017

  8. Complete DNA Sequence of a ColBM Plasmid from Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli Suggests that It Evolved from Closely Related ColV Virulence Plasmids†

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Timothy J.; Johnson, Sara J.; Nolan, Lisa K.

    2006-01-01

    Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC), an extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli causing colibacillosis in birds, is responsible for significant economic losses for the poultry industry. Recently, we reported that the APEC pathotype was characterized by possession of a set of genes contained within a 94-kb cluster linked to a ColV plasmid, pAPEC-O2-ColV. These included sitABCD, genes of the aerobactin operon, hlyF, iss, genes of the salmochelin operon, and the 5′ end of cvaB of the ColV operon. However, the results of gene prevalence studies performed among APEC isolates revealed that these traits were not always linked to ColV plasmids. Here, we present the complete sequence of a 174-kb plasmid, pAPEC-O1-ColBM, which contains a putative virulence cluster similar to that of pAPEC-O2-ColV. These two F-type plasmids share remarkable similarity, except that they encode the production of different colicins; pAPEC-O2-ColV contains an intact ColV operon, and pAPEC-O1-ColBM encodes the colicins B and M. Interestingly, remnants of the ColV operon exist in pAPEC-O1-ColBM, hinting that ColBM-type plasmids may have evolved from ColV plasmids. Among APEC isolates, the prevalence of ColBM sequences helps account for the previously observed differences in prevalence between genes of the “conserved” portion of the putative virulence cluster of pAPEC-O2-ColV and those genes within its “variable” portion. These results, in conjunction with Southern blotting and probing of representative ColBM-positive strains, indicate that this “conserved” cluster of putative virulence genes is primarily linked to F-type virulence plasmids among the APEC isolates studied. PMID:16885466

  9. The operon for cytokinin biosynthesis of Erwinia herbicola pv. gypsophilae contains two promoters and is plant induced.

    PubMed

    Guo, M; Manulis, S; Barash, I; Lichter, A

    2001-12-01

    The operon for cytokinin biosynthesis in the gall-forming bacterium Erwinia herbicola pv. gypsophilae (Ehg) has been previously shown to reside on an indigenous plasmid (pPATH(Ehg)) that is mandatory for pathogenicity. This operon consists of two genes: the first open reading frame (pre-etz) is of unknown function, whereas the second one (etz) encodes for isopentenyl transferase. Northern hybridization performed with the wild-type strain Ehg824-1 grown in Luria-Bertani broth demonstrated two transcripts of which an etz-specific transcript (1.0 kb) was predominant. Fusion of upstream DNA fragments of both pre-etz and etz to the ice nucleation reporter gene inaZ in pVSP61 showed high ice nucleation activity in both cultures, confirming the presence of two independent promoters. An increase of 1-1.5 orders in transcriptional activity of these promoters was observed following inoculation of gypsophila cuttings. Mutants of Ehg824-1 were generated by insertion of inaZ into pre-etz and etz using the transposon reporter Tn3-Spice. An increase of about two orders in transcriptional activity was recorded with both mutants following inoculation of gypsophila or bean cuttings. A similar induction was also observed when the bacteria were applied to the leaf surface of these plants. Unlike other virulence genes present on the pPATH(Ehg), neither pre-etz nor etz was regulated by the adjacent hrp gene cluster. PMID:11822839

  10. LOV Histidine Kinase Modulates the General Stress Response System and Affects the virB Operon Expression in Brucella abortus

    PubMed Central

    Sycz, Gabriela; Carrica, Mariela Carmen; Tseng, Tong-Seung; Bogomolni, Roberto A.; Briggs, Winslow R.; Goldbaum, Fernando A.; Paris, Gastón

    2015-01-01

    Brucella is the causative agent of the zoonotic disease brucellosis, and its success as an intracellular pathogen relies on its ability to adapt to the harsh environmental conditions that it encounters inside the host. The Brucella genome encodes a sensor histidine kinase containing a LOV domain upstream from the kinase, LOVHK, which plays an important role in light-regulated Brucella virulence. In this report we study the intracellular signaling pathway initiated by the light sensor LOVHK using an integrated biochemical and genetic approach. From results of bacterial two-hybrid assays and phosphotransfer experiments we demonstrate that LOVHK functionally interacts with two response regulators: PhyR and LovR, constituting a functional two-component signal-transduction system. LOVHK contributes to the activation of the General Stress Response (GSR) system in Brucella via PhyR, while LovR is proposed to be a phosphate-sink for LOVHK, decreasing its phosphorylation state. We also show that in the absence of LOVHK the expression of the virB operon is down-regulated. In conclusion, our results suggest that LOVHK positively regulates the GSR system in vivo, and has an effect on the expression of the virB operon. The proposed regulatory network suggests a similar role for LOVHK in other microorganisms. PMID:25993430

  11. Identification and characterization of an operon of Helicobacter pylori that is involved in motility and stress adaptation.

    PubMed Central

    Beier, D; Spohn, G; Rappuoli, R; Scarlato, V

    1997-01-01

    We identified a novel stress-responsive operon (sro) of Helicobacter pylori that contains seven genes which are likely to be involved in cellular functions as diverse as chemotaxis, heat shock response, ion transport, and posttranslational protein modification. The products of three of these genes show amino acid homologies to known proteins, such as the flagellar motor switch protein CheY, a class of heat shock proteins, and the ribosomal protein L11 methyltransferase, and to a phosphatidyltransferase. In addition to containing an open reading frame of unknown function, the product of which is predicted to be membrane associated, the sro locus contains three open reading frames that have previously been described as constituting two separate loci, the ftsH gene and the copAP operon of H. pylori. Knockout mutants showed that CheY is essential for bacterial motility and that CopA, but not CopP, relieves copper toxicity. Transcriptional analyses indicated that this locus is regulated by a single promoter and that a positive effect on transcription is exerted by the addition of copper to the medium and by temperature upshift from 37 to 45 degrees C. The possible role of this locus in H. pylori virulence is discussed. PMID:9244252

  12. Characterization of the Cobalamin and Fep Operons in Methylobium petrolphilum PM1

    SciTech Connect

    Ewing, J

    2005-09-06

    The bacterium Methylobium petroleophilum PM1 is economically important due to its ability to degrade methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), a fuel additive. Because PM1 is a representative of all MTBE degraders, it is important to understand the transport pathways critical for the organism to survive in its particular environment. In this study, the cobalamin pathway and select iron transport genes will be characterized to help further understand all metabolic pathways in PM1. PM1 contains a total of four cobalamin operons. A single operon is located on the chromosome. Located on the megaplasmid are two tandem repeats of cob operons and a very close representative of the cob operon located on the chromosome. The fep operon, an iron transport mechanism, lies within the multiple copies of the cob operon. The cob operon and the fep operon appear to be unrelated except for a shared need for the T-on-B-dependent energy transduction complex to assist the operons in moving large molecules across the outer membrane of the cell. A genomic study of the cob and the fep operons with that of phylogenetically related organisms helped to confirm the identity of the cob and fep operons and to represent the pathways. More study of the pathways should be done to find the relationship that positions the two seemingly unrelated cob and fep genes together in what appears to be one operon.

  13. Operon Formation is Driven by Co-Regulation and Not by Horizontal Gene Transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Huang, Katherine H.; Arkin, Adam P.; Alm, Eric J.

    2005-04-12

    Although operons are often subject to horizontal gene transfer (HGT), non-HGT genes are particularly likely to be in operons. To resolve this apparent discrepancy and to determine whether HGT is involved in operon formation, we examined the evolutionary history of the genes and operons in Escherichia coli K12. We show that genes that have homologs in distantly related bacteria but not in close relatives of E. coli (indicating HGTi) form new operons at about the same rates as native genes. Furthermore, genes in new operons are no more likely than other genes to have phylogenetic trees that are inconsistent with the species tree. In contrast, essential genes and ubiquitous genes without paralogs (genes believed to undergo HGT rarely) often form new operons. We conclude that HGT is not associated with operon formation, but instead promotes the prevalence of pre-existing operons. To explain operon formation, we propose that new operons reduce the amount of regulatory information required to specify optimal expression patterns. Consistent with this hypothesis, operons have greater amounts of conserved regulatory sequences than do individually transcribed genes.

  14. Transcription of the Streptococcus pyogenes hyaluronic acid capsule biosynthesis operon is regulated by previously unknown upstream elements.

    PubMed

    Falaleeva, Marina; Zurek, Oliwia W; Watkins, Robert L; Reed, Robert W; Ali, Hadeel; Sumby, Paul; Voyich, Jovanka M; Korotkova, Natalia

    2014-12-01

    The important human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]) produces a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule that plays critical roles in immune evasion. Previous studies showed that the hasABC operon encoding the capsule biosynthesis enzymes is under the control of a single promoter, P1, which is negatively regulated by the two-component regulatory system CovR/S. In this work, we characterize the sequence upstream of P1 and identify a novel regulatory region controlling transcription of the capsule biosynthesis operon in the M1 serotype strain MGAS2221. This region consists of a promoter, P2, which initiates transcription of a novel small RNA, HasS, an intrinsic transcriptional terminator that inefficiently terminates HasS, permitting read-through transcription of hasABC, and a putative promoter which lies upstream of P2. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, and transcriptional reporter data identified CovR as a negative regulator of P2. We found that the P1 and P2 promoters are completely repressed by CovR, and capsule expression is regulated by the putative promoter upstream of P2. Deletion of hasS or of the terminator eliminates CovR-binding sequences, relieving repression and increasing read-through, hasA transcription, and capsule production. Sequence analysis of 44 GAS genomes revealed a high level of polymorphism in the HasS sequence region. Most of the HasS variations were located in the terminator sequences, suggesting that this region is under strong selective pressure. We discovered that the terminator deletion mutant is highly resistant to neutrophil-mediated killing and is significantly more virulent in a mouse model of GAS invasive disease than the wild-type strain. Together, these results are consistent with the naturally occurring mutations in this region modulating GAS virulence. PMID:25287924

  15. Transcription of the Streptococcus pyogenes Hyaluronic Acid Capsule Biosynthesis Operon Is Regulated by Previously Unknown Upstream Elements

    PubMed Central

    Falaleeva, Marina; Zurek, Oliwia W.; Watkins, Robert L.; Reed, Robert W.; Ali, Hadeel; Sumby, Paul; Voyich, Jovanka M.

    2014-01-01

    The important human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]) produces a hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule that plays critical roles in immune evasion. Previous studies showed that the hasABC operon encoding the capsule biosynthesis enzymes is under the control of a single promoter, P1, which is negatively regulated by the two-component regulatory system CovR/S. In this work, we characterize the sequence upstream of P1 and identify a novel regulatory region controlling transcription of the capsule biosynthesis operon in the M1 serotype strain MGAS2221. This region consists of a promoter, P2, which initiates transcription of a novel small RNA, HasS, an intrinsic transcriptional terminator that inefficiently terminates HasS, permitting read-through transcription of hasABC, and a putative promoter which lies upstream of P2. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, and transcriptional reporter data identified CovR as a negative regulator of P2. We found that the P1 and P2 promoters are completely repressed by CovR, and capsule expression is regulated by the putative promoter upstream of P2. Deletion of hasS or of the terminator eliminates CovR-binding sequences, relieving repression and increasing read-through, hasA transcription, and capsule production. Sequence analysis of 44 GAS genomes revealed a high level of polymorphism in the HasS sequence region. Most of the HasS variations were located in the terminator sequences, suggesting that this region is under strong selective pressure. We discovered that the terminator deletion mutant is highly resistant to neutrophil-mediated killing and is significantly more virulent in a mouse model of GAS invasive disease than the wild-type strain. Together, these results are consistent with the naturally occurring mutations in this region modulating GAS virulence. PMID:25287924

  16. The Salmonella typhimurium mar locus: molecular and genetic analyses and assessment of its role in virulence.

    PubMed Central

    Sulavik, M C; Dazer, M; Miller, P F

    1997-01-01

    The marRAB operon is a regulatory locus that controls multiple drug resistance in Escherichia coli. marA encodes a positive regulator of the antibiotic resistance response, acting by altering the expression of unlinked genes. marR encodes a repressor of marRAB transcription and controls the production of MarA in response to environmental signals. A molecular and genetic study of the homologous operon in Salmonella typhimurium was undertaken, and the role of marA in virulence in a murine model was assessed. Expression of E. coli marA (marAEC) present on a multicopy plasmid in S. typhimurium resulted in a multiple antibiotic resistance (Mar) phenotype, suggesting that a similar regulon exists in this organism. A genomic plasmid library containing S. typhimurium chromosomal sequences was introduced into an E. coli strain that was deleted for the mar locus and contained a single-copy marR'-'lacZ translational fusion. Plasmid clones that contained both S. typhimurium marR (marRSt) and marA (marASt) genes were identified as those that were capable of repressing expression of the fusion and which resulted in a Mar phenotype. The predicted amino acid sequences of MarRSt, MarASt, and MarBSt were 91, 86, and 42% identical, respectively, to the same genes from E. coli, while the operator/promoter region of the operon was 86% identical to the same 98-nucleotide-upstream region in E. coli. The marRAB transcriptional start sites for both organisms were determined by primer extension, and a marRABSt transcript of approximately 1.1 kb was identified by Northern blot analysis. Its accumulation was shown to be inducible by sodium salicylate. Open reading frames flanking the marRAB operon were also conserved. An S. typhimurium marA disruption strain was constructed by an allelic exchange method and compared to the wild-type strain for virulence in a murine BALB/c infection model. No effect on virulence was noted. The endogenous S. typhimurium plasmid that is associated with virulence

  17. Development of a Lac Operon Concept Inventory (LOCI)

    PubMed Central

    Stefanski, Katherine M.; Gardner, Grant E.; Seipelt-Thiemann, Rebecca L.

    2016-01-01

    Concept inventories (CIs) are valuable tools for educators that assess student achievement and identify misconceptions held by students. Results of student responses can be used to adjust or develop new instructional methods for a given topic. The regulation of gene expression in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes is an important concept in genetics and one that is particularly challenging for undergraduate students. As part of a larger study examining instructional methods related to gene regulation, the authors developed a 12-item CI assessing student knowledge of the lac operon. Using an established protocol, the authors wrote open-ended questions and conducted in-class testing with undergraduate microbiology and genetics students to discover common errors made by students about the lac operon and to determine aspects of item validity. Using these results, we constructed a 12-item multiple-choice lac operon CI called the Lac Operon Concept Inventory (LOCI), The LOCI was reviewed by two experts in the field for content validity. The LOCI underwent item analysis and was assessed for reliability with a sample of undergraduate genetics students (n = 115). The data obtained were found to be valid and reliable (coefficient alpha = 0.994) with adequate discriminatory power and item difficulty. PMID:27252300

  18. Development of a Lac Operon Concept Inventory (LOCI).

    PubMed

    Stefanski, Katherine M; Gardner, Grant E; Seipelt-Thiemann, Rebecca L

    2016-01-01

    Concept inventories (CIs) are valuable tools for educators that assess student achievement and identify misconceptions held by students. Results of student responses can be used to adjust or develop new instructional methods for a given topic. The regulation of gene expression in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes is an important concept in genetics and one that is particularly challenging for undergraduate students. As part of a larger study examining instructional methods related to gene regulation, the authors developed a 12-item CI assessing student knowledge of the lac operon. Using an established protocol, the authors wrote open-ended questions and conducted in-class testing with undergraduate microbiology and genetics students to discover common errors made by students about the lac operon and to determine aspects of item validity. Using these results, we constructed a 12-item multiple-choice lac operon CI called the Lac Operon Concept Inventory (LOCI), The LOCI was reviewed by two experts in the field for content validity. The LOCI underwent item analysis and was assessed for reliability with a sample of undergraduate genetics students (n = 115). The data obtained were found to be valid and reliable (coefficient alpha = 0.994) with adequate discriminatory power and item difficulty. PMID:27252300

  19. Exchange of Spacer Regions between Rrna Operons in Escherichia Coli

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, S.; Hill, C. W.

    1990-01-01

    The Escherichia coli rRNA operons each have one of two types of spacer separating the 16S and 23S coding regions. The spacers of four operons encode tRNA(Glu2) and the other three encode both tRNA(Ile) and tRNA(Ala 1 B). We have prepared a series of mutants in which the spacer region of a particular rrn operon has been replaced by the opposite type. Included among these were a mutant retaining only a single copy of the tRNA(Glu2) spacer (at rrnG) and another retaining only a single copy of the tRNA(Ile)-tRNA(Ala 1 B) spacer (at rrnA). While both mutants grew more slowly than controls, the mutant deficient in tRNA(Glu2) spacers was more severely affected. At a frequency of 6 X 10(-5), these mutants phenotypically reverted to faster growing types by increasing the copy number of the deficient spacer. In most of these phenotypic revertants, the deficient spacer type appeared in a rrn operon which previously contained the surplus type, bringing the ratio of spacer types closer to normal. In a few cases, these spacer changes were accompanied by an inversion of the chromosomal material between the donor and recipient rrn operons. Two examples of inversion of one-half of the E. coli chromosome between rrnG and rrnH were observed. The correlation of spacer change with inversion indicated that, in these particular cases, the change was due to an intrachromatid gene conversion event accompanied by a reciprocal crossover rather than reciprocal exchange between sister chromatids. PMID:2168847

  20. Transient virulence of emerging pathogens.

    PubMed

    Bolker, Benjamin M; Nanda, Arjun; Shah, Dharmini

    2010-05-01

    Should emerging pathogens be unusually virulent? If so, why? Existing theories of virulence evolution based on a tradeoff between high transmission rates and long infectious periods imply that epidemic growth conditions will select for higher virulence, possibly leading to a transient peak in virulence near the beginning of an epidemic. This transient selection could lead to high virulence in emerging pathogens. Using a simple model of the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of emerging pathogens, along with rough estimates of parameters for pathogens such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, West Nile virus and myxomatosis, we estimated the potential magnitude and timing of such transient virulence peaks. Pathogens that are moderately evolvable, highly transmissible, and highly virulent at equilibrium could briefly double their virulence during an epidemic; thus, epidemic-phase selection could contribute significantly to the virulence of emerging pathogens. In order to further assess the potential significance of this mechanism, we bring together data from the literature for the shapes of tradeoff curves for several pathogens (myxomatosis, HIV, and a parasite of Daphnia) and the level of genetic variation for virulence for one (myxomatosis). We discuss the need for better data on tradeoff curves and genetic variance in order to evaluate the plausibility of various scenarios of virulence evolution. PMID:19864267

  1. Regulation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factors by two novel RNA thermometers

    PubMed Central

    Grosso-Becerra, María Victoria; Croda-García, Gerardo; Merino, Enrique; Servín-González, Luis; Mojica-Espinosa, Raúl; Soberón-Chávez, Gloria

    2014-01-01

    In a number of bacterial pathogens, the production of virulence factors is induced at 37 °C; this effect is often regulated by mRNA structures formed in the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) that block translation initiation of genes at environmental temperatures. At 37 °C, the RNA structures become unstable and ribosomes gain access to their binding sites in the mRNAs. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic pathogen and the expression of many of its virulence-associated traits is regulated by the quorum-sensing (QS) response, but the effect of temperature on virulence-factor expression is not well-understood. The aim of this work is the characterization of the molecular mechanism involved in thermoregulation of QS-dependent virulence-factor production. We demonstrate that traits that are dependent on the QS transcriptional regulator RhlR have a higher expression at 37 °C, correlating with a higher RhlR concentration as measured by Western blot. We also determined, using gene fusions and point mutations, that RhlR thermoregulation is a posttranscriptional effect dependent on an RNA thermometer of the ROSE (Repression Of heat-Shock gene Expression) family. This RNA element regulates the expression of the rhlAB operon, involved in rhamnolipid production, and of the downstream rhlR gene. We also identified a second functional thermometer in the 5′ UTR of the lasI gene. We confirmed that these RNA thermometers are the main mechanism of thermoregulation of QS-dependent gene expression in P. aeruginosa using quantitative real-time PCR. This is the first description, to our knowledge, of a ROSE element regulating the expression of virulence traits and of an RNA thermometer controlling multiple genes in an operon through a polar effect. PMID:25313031

  2. Genomic Subtractive Hybridization and Selective Capture of Transcribed Sequences Identify a Novel Salmonella typhimurium Fimbrial Operon and Putative Transcriptional Regulator That Are Absent from the Salmonella typhi Genome

    PubMed Central

    Morrow, Brian J.; Graham, James E.; Curtiss, Roy

    1999-01-01

    Salmonella typhi, the etiologic agent of typhoid fever, is adapted to the human host and unable to infect nonprimate species. The genetic basis for host specificity in S. typhi is unknown. The avirulence of S. typhi in animal hosts may result from a lack of genes present in the broad-host-range pathogen Salmonella typhimurium. Genomic subtractive hybridization was successfully employed to isolate S. typhimurium genomic sequences which are absent from the S. typhi genome. These genomic subtracted sequences mapped to 17 regions distributed throughout the S. typhimurium chromosome. A positive cDNA selection method was then used to identify subtracted sequences which were transcribed by S. typhimurium following macrophage phagocytosis. A novel putative transcriptional regulator of the LysR family was identified as transcribed by intramacrophage S. typhimurium. This putative transcriptional regulator was absent from the genomes of the human-adapted serovars S. typhi and Salmonella paratyphi A. Mutations within this gene did not alter the level of S. typhimurium survival within macrophages or virulence within mice. A subtracted genomic fragment derived from the ferrichrome operon also hybridized to the intramacrophage cDNA. Nucleotide sequence analysis of S. typhimurium and S. typhi chromosomal sequences flanking the ferrichrome operon identified a novel S. typhimurium fimbrial operon with a high level of similarity to sequences encoding Proteus mirabilis mannose-resistant fimbriae. The novel fimbrial operon was absent from the S. typhi genome. The absence of specific genes may have allowed S. typhi to evolve as a highly invasive, systemic human pathogen. PMID:10496884

  3. RegR virulence regulon of rabbit-specific enteropathogenic Escherichia coli strain E22.

    PubMed

    Srikhanta, Yogitha N; Hocking, Dianna M; Praszkier, Judyta; Wakefield, Matthew J; Robins-Browne, Roy M; Yang, Ji; Tauschek, Marija

    2013-04-01

    AraC-like regulators play a key role in the expression of virulence factors in enteric pathogens, such as enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), enterotoxigenic E. coli, enteroaggregative E. coli, and Citrobacter rodentium. Bioinformatic analysis of the genome of rabbit-specific EPEC (REPEC) strain E22 (O103:H2) revealed the presence of a gene encoding an AraC-like regulatory protein, RegR, which shares 71% identity to the global virulence regulator, RegA, of C. rodentium. Microarray analysis demonstrated that RegR exerts 25- to 400-fold activation on transcription of several genes encoding putative virulence-associated factors, including a fimbrial operon (SEF14), a serine protease, and an autotransporter adhesin. These observations were confirmed by proteomic analysis of secreted and heat-extracted surface-associated proteins. The mechanism of RegR-mediated activation was investigated by using its most highly upregulated gene target, sefA. Transcriptional analyses and electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that RegR activates the expression of sefA by binding to a region upstream of the sefA promoter, thereby relieving gene silencing by the global regulatory protein H-NS. Moreover, RegR was found to contribute significantly to virulence in a rabbit infection experiment. Taken together, our findings indicate that RegR controls the expression of a series of accessory adhesins that significantly enhance the virulence of REPEC strain E22. PMID:23340312

  4. Modelling, property verification and behavioural equivalence of lactose operon regulation.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Marcelo Cezar; Foss, Luciana; Mombach, José Carlos Merino; Ribeiro, Leila

    2007-02-01

    Understanding biochemical pathways is one of the biggest challenges in the field of molecular biology nowadays. Computer science can contribute in this area by providing formalisms and tools to simulate and analyse pathways. One formalism that is suited for modelling concurrent systems is Milner's Calculus of Communicating Systems (CCS). This paper shows the viability of using CCS to model and reason about biochemical networks. As a case study, we describe the regulation of lactose operon. After describing this operon formally using CCS, we validate our model by automatically checking some known properties for lactose regulation. Moreover, since biological systems tend to be very complex, we propose to use multiple descriptions of the same system at different levels of abstraction. The compatibility of these multiple views can be assured via mathematical proofs of observational equivalence. PMID:16620804

  5. Evolution of bacterial trp operons and their regulation.

    PubMed

    Merino, Enrique; Jensen, Roy A; Yanofsky, Charles

    2008-04-01

    Survival and replication of most bacteria require the ability to synthesize the amino acid L-tryptophan whenever it is not available from the environment. In this article we describe the genes, operons, proteins, and reactions involved in tryptophan biosynthesis in bacteria, and the mechanisms they use in regulating tryptophan formation. We show that although the reactions of tryptophan biosynthesis are essentially identical, gene organization varies among species--from whole-pathway operons to completely dispersed genes. We also show that the regulatory mechanisms used for these genes vary greatly. We address the question--what are some potential advantages of the gene organization and regulation variation associated with this conserved, important pathway? PMID:18374625

  6. Positive and Negative Control of the Lac Operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qaddour, Jihad S.; Werman, Steven D.; Misra, Prasanta K.

    1997-03-01

    We present a mathematical model for the positive and negative control of lac operon. We investigate a steady state solution for the coupled nonlinear differential equations representing the dynamic behaviors of the repressor-inducer components of negative control as well as the cyclic AMP receptor components of the positive control. A dimensionless derivation of the lac operon system is employed to produce singularly perturbed models. The first model represents the dynamical behavior of the operator while the slow model represents the dynamical behaviors of the inducer and the repressor. We use the singular perturbation theory to show that the behavior of the system can be described as a rapid on-off switch of structural gene transformation.

  7. Promoter of the Mycoplasma pneumoniae rRNA operon.

    PubMed Central

    Hyman, H C; Gafny, R; Glaser, G; Razin, S

    1988-01-01

    RNA transcripts starting from the 5' end of the single Mycoplasma pneumoniae rRNA operon were analyzed by several methods. By primer extension analysis a start site was found 62 nucleotides upstream from the start site of the 16S rRNA. This site was preceded by a putative Pribnow box; however, a defined -35 recognition region was absent. The cloned rRNA operon was transcribed in vitro by using purified RNA polymerase of Escherichia coli. A single start site could be demonstrated within a few nucleotides of the start site found by primer extension analysis of M. pneumoniae transcripts. When fragments from the cloned operon were used as hybridization probes, S1 nuclease mapping yielded a single transcript extending approximately 193 nucleotides upstream from the 16S rRNA start site. The region surrounding this endpoint did not resemble any known promoter sequence. Dot blot hybridization of M. pneumoniae RNA to three oligonucleotides consisting of nucleotides -5 to -21, -38 to -54, and -112 to -132 (from the start of the 16S rRNA gene) indicated that most rRNA transcripts were processed at the stem site preceding the 16S rRNA gene. The majority of the longer precursor transcripts, extending beyond this point, did not extend further upstream to an oligonucleotide consisting of nucleotides -112 to -132. It was concluded that transcription of the rRNA operon of M. pneumoniae is initiated by a single promoter. The nucleotide sequence of the region is presented. Images PMID:2838465

  8. Direct involvement of IS26 in an antibiotic resistance operon.

    PubMed Central

    Lee, K Y; Hopkins, J D; Syvanen, M

    1990-01-01

    The plasmid pBWH77, originally found in an isolate of Klebsiella pneumoniae, harbors a new antibiotic resistance operon containing two resistance genes transcribed from an IS26-hybrid promoter, as shown by nucleotide sequencing, mRNA mapping, and the effect of inserting a transcription terminator within the promoter-proximal gene. The nucleotide sequence of this region revealed that the operon (IAB) is made up of three sections that are closely related to previously described genetic elements. The -35 region of the promoter, together with the adjacent sequence, is identical to sequences of the IS26 element. One of the resistance genes, aphA7, which is located next to the hybrid promoter, confers assistance to neomycin and structurally related aminoglycosides. This aphA7 gene is highly homologous to aphA1 of Tn903, with five nucleotide differences. The second gene, blaS2A, encodes an evolved SHV-type beta-lactamase with a pI of 7.6 that confers resistance to the broad-spectrum cephalosporins cefotaxime and ceftizoxime. The deduced amino acid sequence of SHV-2A shows that amino acid 238 is a serine, a residue reported to confer resistance to cefotaxime. We discuss how the operon may have evolved by a combination of insertion sequence-mediated genetic rearrangements and acquisitive evolution. Using phylogenetic parsimony, we show that aphA7 in the IAB operon evolved from an ancestral form similar to aphA1 in Tn903 and that blaS2A evolved from an ancestral form similar to blaS1. Images PMID:2160941

  9. Regulation of tryptophan operon expression in the archaeon Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yunwei; Reeve, John N

    2005-09-01

    Conserved trp genes encode enzymes that catalyze tryptophan biosynthesis in all three biological domains, and studies of their expression in Bacteria and eukaryotes have revealed a variety of different regulatory mechanisms. The results reported here provide the first detailed description of an archaeal trp gene regulatory system. We have established that the trpEGCFBAD operon in Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus is transcribed divergently from a gene (designated trpY) that encodes a tryptophan-sensitive transcription regulator. TrpY binds to TRP box sequences (consensus, TGTACA) located in the overlapping promoter regions between trpY and trpE, inhibiting trpY transcription in the absence of tryptophan and both trpY and trpEGCFBAD transcription in the presence of tryptophan. TrpY apparently inhibits trpY transcription by blocking RNA polymerase access to the site of trpY transcription initiation and represses trpEGCFBAD transcription by preventing TATA box binding protein (TBP) binding to the TATA box sequence. Given that residue 2 (W2) is the only tryptophan in TrpY and in TrpY homologues in other Euryarchaea and that there is only one tryptophan codon in the entire trpEGCFBAD operon (trpB encodes W175), expression of the trp operon may also be regulated in vivo by the supply of charged tRNA(Trp) available to translate the second codon of the trpY mRNA. PMID:16159776

  10. Proteus mirabilis urease: operon fusion and linker insertion analysis of ure gene organization, regulation, and function.

    PubMed

    Island, M D; Mobley, H L

    1995-10-01

    Urease is an inducible virulence factor of uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis. Although eight contiguous genes necessary for urease activity have been cloned and sequenced, the transcriptional organization and regulation of specific genes within the Proteus gene cluster has not been investigated in detail. The first gene, ureR, is located 400 bp upstream and is oriented in the direction opposite the other seven genes, ureDABCEFG. The structural subunits of urease are encoded by ureABC. Previously, UreR was shown to contain a putative helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motif 30 residues upstream of a consensus sequence which is a signature for the AraC family of positive regulators; this polypeptide is homologous to other DNA-binding regulatory proteins. Nested deletions of ureR linked to either ureD-lacZ or ureA-lacZ operon fusions demonstrated that an intact ureR is required for urea-induced synthesis of LacZ from either ureA or ureD and identified a urea-regulated promoter in the ureR-ureD intergenic region. However, lacZ operon fusions to fragments encompassing putative promoter regions upstream of ureA and ureF demonstrated that no urea-regulated promoters occur upstream of these open reading frames; regions upstream of ureR, ureE, and ureG were not tested. These data suggest that UreR acts as a positive regulator in the presence of urea, activating transcription of urease structural and accessory genes via sequences upstream of ureD. To address the role of the nonstructural regulatory and accessory genes, we constructed deletion, cassette, and linker insertion mutations throughout the ure gene cluster and determined the effect of these mutations on production and regulation of urease activity in Escherichia coli. Mutations were obtained, with locations determine by DNA sequencing, in all genes except ureA and ureE. In each case, the mutation resulted in a urease-negative phenotype. PMID:7559355

  11. Characterization of genes in the cellulose-synthesizing operon (acs operon) of Acetobacter xylinum: implications for cellulose crystallization.

    PubMed Central

    Saxena, I M; Kudlicka, K; Okuda, K; Brown, R M

    1994-01-01

    The synthesis of an extracellular ribbon of cellulose in the bacterium Acetobacter xylinum takes place from linearly arranged, membrane-localized, cellulose-synthesizing and extrusion complexes that direct the coupled steps of polymerization and crystallization. To identify the different components involved in this process, we isolated an Acetobacter cellulose-synthesizing (acs) operon from this bacterium. Analysis of DNA sequence shows the presence of three genes in the acs operon, in which the first gene (acsAB) codes for a polypeptide with a molecular mass of 168 kDa, which was identified as the cellulose synthase. A single base change in the previously reported DNA sequence of this gene, resulting in a frameshift and synthesis of a larger protein, is described in the present paper, along with the sequences of the other two genes (acsC and acsD). The requirement of the acs operon genes for cellulose production was determined using site-determined TnphoA/Kanr GenBlock insertion mutants. Mutant analysis showed that while the acsAB and acsC genes were essential for cellulose production in vivo, the acsD mutant produced reduced amounts of two cellulose allomorphs (cellulose I and cellulose II), suggesting that the acsD gene is involved in cellulose crystallization. The role of the acs operon genes in determining the linear array of intramembranous particles, which are believed to be sites of cellulose synthesis, was investigated for the different mutants; however, this arrangement was observed only in cells that actively produced cellulose microfibrils, suggesting that it may be influenced by the crystallization of the nascent glucan chains. Images PMID:8083166

  12. New insights into regulation of the tryptophan biosynthetic operon in Gram-positive bacteria.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Preciado, A; Jensen, R A; Yanofsky, C; Merino, E

    2005-08-01

    The tryptophan operon of Bacillus subtilis serves as an excellent model for investigating transcription regulation in Gram-positive bacteria. In this article, we extend this knowledge by analyzing the predicted regulatory regions in the trp operons of other fully sequenced Gram-positive bacteria. Interestingly, it appears that in eight of the organisms examined, transcription of the trp operon appears to be regulated by tandem T-box elements. These regulatory elements have recently been described in the trp operons of two bacterial species. Single T-box elements are commonly found in Gram-positive bacteria in operons encoding aminoacyl tRNA synthetases and proteins performing other functions. Different regulatory mechanisms appear to be associated with variations of trp gene organization within the trp operon. PMID:15953653

  13. Mutations in the control of virulence sensor gene from Streptococcus pyogenes after infection in mice lead to clonal bacterial variants with altered gene regulatory activity and virulence.

    PubMed

    Mayfield, Jeffrey A; Liang, Zhong; Agrahari, Garima; Lee, Shaun W; Donahue, Deborah L; Ploplis, Victoria A; Castellino, Francis J

    2014-01-01

    The cluster of virulence sensor (CovS)/responder (CovR) two-component operon (CovRS) regulates ∼15% of the genes of the Group A Streptococcal pyogenes (GAS) genome. Bacterial clones containing inactivating mutations in the covS gene have been isolated from patients with virulent invasive diseases. We report herein an assessment of the nature and types of covS mutations that can occur in both virulent and nonvirulent GAS strains, and assess whether a nonvirulent GAS can attain enhanced virulence through this mechanism. A group of mice were infected with a globally-disseminated clonal M1T1 GAS (isolate 5448), containing wild-type (WT) CovRS (5448/CovR+S+), or less virulent engineered GAS strains, AP53/CovR+S+ and Manfredo M5/CovR+S+. SpeB negative GAS clones from wound sites and/or from bacteria disseminated to the spleen were isolated and the covS gene was subjected to DNA sequence analysis. Numerous examples of inactivating mutations were found in CovS in all regions of the gene. The mutations found included frame-shift insertions and deletions, and in-frame small and large deletions in the gene. Many of the mutations found resulted in early translation termination of CovS. Thus, the covS gene is a genomic mutagenic target that gives GAS enhanced virulence. In cases wherein CovS- was discovered, these clonal variants exhibited high lethality, further suggesting that randomly mutated covS genes occur during the course of infection, and lead to the development of a more invasive infection. PMID:24968349

  14. Mutations in the Control of Virulence Sensor Gene from Streptococcus pyogenes after Infection in Mice Lead to Clonal Bacterial Variants with Altered Gene Regulatory Activity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Mayfield, Jeffrey A.; Liang, Zhong; Agrahari, Garima; Lee, Shaun W.; Donahue, Deborah L.; Ploplis, Victoria A.; Castellino, Francis J.

    2014-01-01

    The cluster of virulence sensor (CovS)/responder (CovR) two-component operon (CovRS) regulates ∼15% of the genes of the Group A Streptococcal pyogenes (GAS) genome. Bacterial clones containing inactivating mutations in the covS gene have been isolated from patients with virulent invasive diseases. We report herein an assessment of the nature and types of covS mutations that can occur in both virulent and nonvirulent GAS strains, and assess whether a nonvirulent GAS can attain enhanced virulence through this mechanism. A group of mice were infected with a globally-disseminated clonal M1T1 GAS (isolate 5448), containing wild-type (WT) CovRS (5448/CovR+S+), or less virulent engineered GAS strains, AP53/CovR+S+ and Manfredo M5/CovR+S+. SpeB negative GAS clones from wound sites and/or from bacteria disseminated to the spleen were isolated and the covS gene was subjected to DNA sequence analysis. Numerous examples of inactivating mutations were found in CovS in all regions of the gene. The mutations found included frame-shift insertions and deletions, and in-frame small and large deletions in the gene. Many of the mutations found resulted in early translation termination of CovS. Thus, the covS gene is a genomic mutagenic target that gives GAS enhanced virulence. In cases wherein CovS− was discovered, these clonal variants exhibited high lethality, further suggesting that randomly mutated covS genes occur during the course of infection, and lead to the development of a more invasive infection. PMID:24968349

  15. Staphylococcus aureus CodY Negatively Regulates Virulence Gene Expression▿

    PubMed Central

    Majerczyk, Charlotte D.; Sadykov, Marat R.; Luong, Thanh T.; Lee, Chia; Somerville, Greg A.; Sonenshein, Abraham L.

    2008-01-01

    CodY is a global regulatory protein that was first discovered in Bacillus subtilis, where it couples gene expression to changes in the pools of critical metabolites through its activation by GTP and branched-chain amino acids. Homologs of CodY can be found encoded in the genomes of nearly all low-G+C gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus. The introduction of a codY-null mutation into two S. aureus clinical isolates, SA564 and UAMS-1, through allelic replacement, resulted in the overexpression of several virulence genes. The mutant strains had higher levels of hemolytic activity toward rabbit erythrocytes in their culture fluid, produced more polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA), and formed more robust biofilms than did their isogenic parent strains. These phenotypes were associated with derepressed levels of RNA for the hemolytic alpha-toxin (hla), the accessory gene regulator (agr) (RNAII and RNAIII/hld), and the operon responsible for the production of PIA (icaADBC). These data suggest that CodY represses, either directly or indirectly, the synthesis of a number of virulence factors of S. aureus. PMID:18156263

  16. The ars operon of Escherichia coli confers arsenical and antimonial resistance.

    PubMed Central

    Carlin, A; Shi, W; Dey, S; Rosen, B P

    1995-01-01

    The chromosomally encoded arsenical resistance (ars) operon subcloned into a multicopy plasmid was found to confer a moderate level of resistance to arsenite and antimonite in Escherichia coli. When the operon was deleted from the chromosome, the cells exhibited hypersensitivity to arsenite, antimonite, and arsenate. Expression of the ars genes was inducible by arsenite. By Southern hybridization, the operon was found in all strains of E. coli examined but not in Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or Bacillus subtilis. PMID:7860609

  17. Comparison of tryptophan biosynthetic operon regulation in different Gram-positive bacterial species.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Preciado, Ana; Yanofsky, Charles; Merino, Enrique

    2007-09-01

    The tryptophan biosynthetic operon has been widely used as a model system for studying transcription regulation. In Bacillus subtilis, the trp operon is primarily regulated by a tryptophan-activated RNA-binding protein, TRAP. Here we show that in many other Gram-positive species the trp operon is regulated differently, by tRNA(Trp) sensing by the RNA-based T-box mechanism, with T-boxes arranged in tandem. Our analyses reveal an apparent relationship between trp operon organization and the specific regulatory mechanism(s) used. PMID:17555843

  18. Engineered ribosomal RNA operon copy-number variants of E. coli reveal the evolutionary trade-offs shaping rRNA operon number.

    PubMed

    Gyorfy, Zsuzsanna; Draskovits, Gabor; Vernyik, Viktor; Blattner, Frederick F; Gaal, Tamas; Posfai, Gyorgy

    2015-02-18

    Ribosomal RNA (rrn) operons, characteristically present in several copies in bacterial genomes (7 in E. coli), play a central role in cellular physiology. We investigated the factors determining the optimal number of rrn operons in E. coli by constructing isogenic variants with 5-10 operons. We found that the total RNA and protein content, as well as the size of the cells reflected the number of rrn operons. While growth parameters showed only minor differences, competition experiments revealed a clear pattern: 7-8 copies were optimal under conditions of fluctuating, occasionally rich nutrient influx and lower numbers were favored in stable, nutrient-limited environments. We found that the advantages of quick adjustment to nutrient availability, rapid growth and economic regulation of ribosome number all contribute to the selection of the optimal rrn operon number. Our results suggest that the wt rrn operon number of E. coli reflects the natural, 'feast and famine' life-style of the bacterium, however, different copy numbers might be beneficial under different environmental conditions. Understanding the impact of the copy number of rrn operons on the fitness of the cell is an important step towards the creation of functional and robust genomes, the ultimate goal of synthetic biology. PMID:25618851

  19. Brucella, nitrogen and virulence.

    PubMed

    Ronneau, Severin; Moussa, Simon; Barbier, Thibault; Conde-Álvarez, Raquel; Zuniga-Ripa, Amaia; Moriyon, Ignacio; Letesson, Jean-Jacques

    2016-08-01

    The brucellae are α-Proteobacteria causing brucellosis, an important zoonosis. Although multiplying in endoplasmic reticulum-derived vacuoles, they cause no cell death, suggesting subtle but efficient use of host resources. Brucellae are amino-acid prototrophs able to grow with ammonium or use glutamate as the sole carbon-nitrogen source in vitro. They contain more than twice amino acid/peptide/polyamine uptake genes than the amino-acid auxotroph Legionella pneumophila, which multiplies in a similar vacuole, suggesting a different nutritional strategy. During these two last decades, many mutants of key actors in nitrogen metabolism (transporters, enzymes, regulators, etc.) have been described to be essential for full virulence of brucellae. Here, we review the genomic and experimental data on Brucella nitrogen metabolism and its connection with virulence. An analysis of various aspects of this metabolism (transport, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, respiration and regulation) has highlighted differences and similarities in nitrogen metabolism with other α-Proteobacteria. Together, these data suggest that, during their intracellular life cycle, the brucellae use various nitrogen sources for biosynthesis, catabolism and respiration following a strategy that requires prototrophy and a tight regulation of nitrogen use. PMID:25471320

  20. Virulence of enterococci.

    PubMed Central

    Jett, B D; Huycke, M M; Gilmore, M S

    1994-01-01

    Enterococci are commensal organisms well suited to survival in intestinal and vaginal tracts and the oral cavity. However, as for most bacteria described as causing human disease, enterococci also possess properties that can be ascribed roles in pathogenesis. The natural ability of enterococci to readily acquire, accumulate, and share extrachromosomal elements encoding virulence traits or antibiotic resistance genes lends advantages to their survival under unusual environmental stresses and in part explains their increasing importance as nosocomial pathogens. This review discusses the current understanding of enterococcal virulence relating to (i) adherence to host tissues, (ii) invasion and abscess formation, (iii) factors potentially relevant to modulation of host inflammatory responses, and (iv) potentially toxic secreted products. Aggregation substance, surface carbohydrates, or fibronectin-binding moieties may facilitate adherence to host tissues. Enterococcus faecalis appears to have the capacity to translocate across intact intestinal mucosa in models of antibiotic-induced superinfection. Extracellular toxins such as cytolysin can induce tissue damage as shown in an endophthalmitis model, increase mortality in combination with aggregation substance in an endocarditis model, and cause systemic toxicity in a murine peritonitis model. Finally, lipoteichoic acid, superoxide production, or pheromones and corresponding peptide inhibitors each may modulate local inflammatory reactions. Images PMID:7834601

  1. The PecT repressor coregulates synthesis of exopolysaccharides and virulence factors in Erwinia chrysanthemi.

    PubMed

    Condemine, G; Castillo, A; Passeri, F; Enard, C

    1999-01-01

    Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937 synthesizes an exopolysaccharide (EPS) composed of rhamnose, galactose, and galacturonic acid. Fourteen transcriptional fusions in genes required for EPS synthesis, named eps, were obtained by Tn5-B21 mutagenesis. Eleven of them are clustered on the chromosome and are repressed by PecT, a regulator of pectate lyase synthesis. In addition, expression of these fusions is repressed by the catabolite regulatory protein, CRP, and induced in low osmolarity medium. The three other mutations are located in genes that are not regulated by pecT. A 13-kb DNA fragment containing pecT-regulated eps genes has been cloned. All the genes identified on this fragment are transcribed in the same orientation and could form a large operon. The promoter region of this operon has been sequenced. It contains a JUMP-start sequence, a sequence required for the expression of polysaccharide-associated operons. E. chrysanthemi 3937 produces a systemic soft rot on its host Saintpaulia ionantha. An eps mutant was less efficient than the wild-type strain in initiating a maceration symptom, suggesting that production of EPS is required for the full expression of the E. chrysanthemi virulence. PMID:9885192

  2. Characterization of the mannitol catabolic operon of Corynebacterium glutamicum.

    PubMed

    Peng, Xue; Okai, Naoko; Vertès, Alain A; Inatomi, Ken-Ichi; Inui, Masayuki; Yukawa, Hideaki

    2011-09-01

    Corynebacterium glutamicum encodes a mannitol catabolic operon, which comprises three genes: the DeoR-type repressor coding gene mtlR (sucR), an MFS transporter gene (mtlT), and a mannitol 2-dehydrogenase gene (mtlD). The mtlR gene is located upstream of the mtlTD genes in the opposite orientation. In spite of this, wild-type C. glutamicum lacks the ability to utilize mannitol. This wild-type phenotype results from the genetic regulation of the genes coding for mannitol transport and catalytic proteins mediated by the autoregulated MtlR protein since mtlR mutants grow on mannitol as the sole carbon source. MtlR binds to sites near the mtlR (two sites) and mtlTD promoters (one site downstream of the promoter), with the consensus sequence 5'-TCTAACA-3' being required for its binding. The newly discovered operon comprises the three basic functional elements required for mannitol utilization: regulation, transport, and metabolism to fructose, further processed to the common intermediate of glycolysis fructose-6-phosphate. When relieved from MtlR repression, C. glutamicum, which lacks a functional fructokinase, excretes the fructose derived from mannitol and imports it by the fructose-specific PTS. In order to use mannitol from seaweed biomass hydrolysates as a carbon source for the production of useful commodity chemicals and materials, an overexpression system using the tac promoter was developed. For congruence with the operon, we propose to rename sucR as the mtlR gene. PMID:21655984

  3. An inducible tellurite-resistance operon in Proteus mirabilis.

    PubMed

    Toptchieva, Anna; Sisson, Gary; Bryden, Louis J; Taylor, Diane E; Hoffman, Paul S

    2003-05-01

    Tellurite resistance (Te(r)) is widespread in nature and it is shown here that the natural resistance of Proteus mirabilis to tellurite is due to a chromosomally located orthologue of plasmid-borne ter genes found in enteric bacteria. The P. mirabilis ter locus (terZABCDE) was identified in a screen of Tn5lacZ-generated mutants of which one contained an insertion in terC. The P. mirabilis terC mutant displayed increased susceptibility to tellurite (Te(s)) and complementation with terC carried on a multicopy plasmid restored high-level Te(r). Primer extension analysis revealed a single transcriptional start site upstream of terZ, but only with RNA harvested from bacteria grown in the presence of tellurite. Northern blotting and reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) analyses confirmed that the ter operon was inducible by tellurite and to a lesser extent by oxidative stress inducers such as hydrogen peroxide and methyl viologen (paraquat). Direct and inverted repeat sequences were identified in the ter promoter region as well as motifs upstream of the -35 hexamer that resembled OxyR-binding sequences. Finally, the 390 bp intergenic promoter region located between orf3 and terZ showed no DNA sequence identity with any other published ter sequences, whereas terZABCDE genes exhibited 73-85 % DNA sequence identity. The ter operon was present in all clinical isolates of P. mirabilis and Proteus vulgaris tested and is inferred for Morganella and Providencia spp. based on screening for high level Te(r) and preliminary PCR analysis. Thus, a chromosomally located inducible tellurite resistance operon appears to be a common feature of the genus Proteus. PMID:12724390

  4. The Virulence Plasmid of Yersinia, an Antihost Genome

    PubMed Central

    Cornelis, Guy R.; Boland, Anne; Boyd, Aoife P.; Geuijen, Cecile; Iriarte, Maite; Neyt, Cécile; Sory, Marie-Paule; Stainier, Isabelle

    1998-01-01

    The 70-kb virulence plasmid enables Yersinia spp. (Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica) to survive and multiply in the lymphoid tissues of their host. It encodes the Yop virulon, an integrated system allowing extracellular bacteria to disarm the cells involved in the immune response, to disrupt their communications, or even to induce their apoptosis by the injection of bacterial effector proteins. This system consists of the Yop proteins and their dedicated type III secretion apparatus, called Ysc. The Ysc apparatus is composed of some 25 proteins including a secretin. Most of the Yops fall into two groups. Some of them are the intracellular effectors (YopE, YopH, YpkA/YopO, YopP/YopJ, YopM, and YopT), while the others (YopB, YopD, and LcrV) form the translocation apparatus that is deployed at the bacterial surface to deliver the effectors into the eukaryotic cells, across their plasma membrane. Yop secretion is triggered by contact with eukaryotic cells and controlled by proteins of the virulon including YopN, TyeA, and LcrG, which are thought to form a plug complex closing the bacterial secretion channel. The proper operation of the system also requires small individual chaperones, called the Syc proteins, in the bacterial cytosol. Transcription of the genes is controlled both by temperature and by the activity of the secretion apparatus. The virulence plasmid of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis also encodes the adhesin YadA. The virulence plasmid contains some evolutionary remnants including, in Y. enterocolitica, an operon encoding resistance to arsenic compounds. PMID:9841674

  5. The copYAZ Operon Functions in Copper Efflux, Biofilm Formation, Genetic Transformation, and Stress Tolerance in Streptococcus mutans

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Kamna; Senadheera, Dilani B.; Lévesque, Céline M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT In bacteria, copper homeostasis is closely monitored to ensure proper cellular functions while avoiding cell damage. Most Gram-positive bacteria utilize the copYABZ operon for copper homeostasis, where copA and copB encode copper-transporting P-type ATPases, whereas copY and copZ regulate the expression of the cop operon. Streptococcus mutans is a biofilm-forming oral pathogen that harbors a putative copper-transporting copYAZ operon. Here, we characterized the role of copYAZ operon in the physiology of S. mutans and delineated the mechanisms of copper-induced toxicity in this bacterium. We observed that copper induced toxicity in S. mutans cells by generating oxidative stress and disrupting their membrane potential. Deletion of the copYAZ operon in S. mutans strain UA159 resulted in reduced cell viability under copper, acid, and oxidative stress relative to the viability of the wild type under these conditions. Furthermore, the ability of S. mutans to form biofilms and develop genetic competence was impaired under copper stress. Briefly, copper stress significantly reduced cell adherence and total biofilm biomass, concomitantly repressing the transcription of the gtfB, gtfC, gtfD, gbpB, and gbpC genes, whose products have roles in maintaining the structural and/or functional integrity of the S. mutans biofilm. Furthermore, supplementation with copper or loss of copYAZ resulted in significant reductions in transformability and in the transcription of competence-associated genes. Copper transport assays revealed that the ΔcopYAZ strain accrued significantly large amounts of intracellular copper compared with the amount of copper accumulation in the wild-type strain, thereby demonstrating a role for CopYAZ in the copper efflux of S. mutans. The complementation of the CopYAZ system restored copper expulsion, membrane potential, and stress tolerance in the copYAZ-null mutant. Taking these results collectively, we have established the function of the S. mutans

  6. Economy of operon formation: cotranscription minimizes shortfall in protein complexes.

    PubMed

    Sneppen, Kim; Pedersen, Steen; Krishna, Sandeep; Dodd, Ian; Semsey, Szabolcs

    2010-01-01

    Genes of prokaryotes and Archaea are often organized in cotranscribed groups, or operons. In contrast, eukaryotic genes are generally transcribed independently. Here we show that there is a substantial economic gain for the cell to cotranscribe genes encoding protein complexes because it synchronizes the fluctuations, or noise, in the levels of the different components. This correlation substantially reduces the shortfall in production of the complex. This benefit is relatively large in small cells such as bacterial cells, in which there are few mRNAs and proteins per cell, and is diminished in larger cells such as eukaryotic cells. PMID:20877578

  7. Dynamic behavior in mathematical models of the tryptophan operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santillán, Moisés; Mackey, Michael C.

    2001-03-01

    This paper surveys the general theory of operon regulation as first formulated by Goodwin and Griffith, and then goes on to consider in detail models of regulation of tryptophan production by Bliss, Sinha, and Santillán and Mackey, and the interrelationships between them. We further give a linear stability analysis of the Santillán and Mackey model for wild type E. coli as well as three different mutant strains that have been previously studied in the literature. This stability analysis indicates that the tryptophan production systems should be stable, which is in accord with our numerical results.

  8. Unity in organisation and regulation of catabolic operons in Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus lactis and Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Ulrika; Molenaar, Douwe; Rådström, Peter; de Vos, Willem M

    2005-04-01

    Global regulatory circuits together with more specific local regulators play a notable role when cells are adapting to environmental changes. Lactococcus lactis is a lactic acid bacterium abundant in nature fermenting most mono- and disaccharides. Comparative genomics analysis of the operons encoding the proteins and enzymes crucial for catabolism of lactose, maltose and threhalose revealed an obvious unity in operon organisation . The local regulator of each operon was located in a divergent transcriptional direction to the rest of the operon including the transport protein-encoding genes. Furthermore, in all three operons a catabolite responsive element (CRE) site was detected inbetween the gene encoding the local regulator and one of the genes encoding a sugar transport protein. It is evident that regardless of type of transport system and catabolic enzymes acting upon lactose, maltose and trehalose, respectively, Lc. lactis shows unity in both operon organisation and regulation of these catabolic operons. This knowledge was further extended to other catabolic operons in Lc. lactis and the two related bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum and Listeria monocytogenes. Thirty-nine catabolic operons responsible for degradation of sugars and sugar alcohols in Lc. lactis, Lb. plantarum and L. monocytogenes were investigated and the majority of those possessed the same organisation as the lactose, maltose and trehalose operons of Lc. lactis. Though, the frequency of CRE sites and their location varied among the bacteria. Both Lc. lactis and Lb. plantarum showed CRE sites in direct proximity to genes coding for proteins responsible for sugar uptake. However, in L. monocytogenes CRE sites were not frequently found and not in the vicinity of genes encoding transport proteins, suggesting a more local mode of regulation of the catabolic operons found and/or the use of inducer control in this bacterium. PMID:15900965

  9. Unprecedented High-Resolution View of Bacterial Operon Architecture Revealed by RNA Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Creecy, James P.; Maddox, Scott M.; Grissom, Joe E.; Conkle, Trevor L.; Shadid, Tyler M.; Teramoto, Jun; San Miguel, Phillip; Shimada, Tomohiro; Ishihama, Akira; Mori, Hirotada

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT We analyzed the transcriptome of Escherichia coli K-12 by strand-specific RNA sequencing at single-nucleotide resolution during steady-state (logarithmic-phase) growth and upon entry into stationary phase in glucose minimal medium. To generate high-resolution transcriptome maps, we developed an organizational schema which showed that in practice only three features are required to define operon architecture: the promoter, terminator, and deep RNA sequence read coverage. We precisely annotated 2,122 promoters and 1,774 terminators, defining 1,510 operons with an average of 1.98 genes per operon. Our analyses revealed an unprecedented view of E. coli operon architecture. A large proportion (36%) of operons are complex with internal promoters or terminators that generate multiple transcription units. For 43% of operons, we observed differential expression of polycistronic genes, despite being in the same operons, indicating that E. coli operon architecture allows fine-tuning of gene expression. We found that 276 of 370 convergent operons terminate inefficiently, generating complementary 3′ transcript ends which overlap on average by 286 nucleotides, and 136 of 388 divergent operons have promoters arranged such that their 5′ ends overlap on average by 168 nucleotides. We found 89 antisense transcripts of 397-nucleotide average length, 7 unannotated transcripts within intergenic regions, and 18 sense transcripts that completely overlap operons on the opposite strand. Of 519 overlapping transcripts, 75% correspond to sequences that are highly conserved in E. coli (>50 genomes). Our data extend recent studies showing unexpected transcriptome complexity in several bacteria and suggest that antisense RNA regulation is widespread. PMID:25006232

  10. Transcriptional Regulation of the Streptococcus salivarius 57.I Urease Operon

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Ywan M.; Weaver, Cheryl A.; Mendelsohn, David R.; Burne, Robert A.

    1998-01-01

    The Streptococcus salivarius 57.I ure cluster was organized as an operon, beginning with ureI, followed by ureABC (structural genes) and ureEFGD (accessory genes). Northern analyses revealed transcripts encompassing structural genes and transcripts containing the entire operon. A ς70-like promoter could be mapped 5′ to ureI (PureI) by primer extension analysis. The intensity of the signal increased when cells were grown at an acidic pH and was further enhanced by excess carbohydrate. To determine the function(s) of two inverted repeats located 5′ to PureI, transcriptional fusions of the full-length promoter region (PureI), or a deletion derivative (PureIΔ100), and a promoterless chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene were constructed and integrated into the chromosome to generate strains PureICAT and PureIΔ100CAT, respectively. CAT specific activities of PureICAT were repressed at pH 7.0 and induced at pH 5.5 and by excess carbohydrate. In PureIΔ100CAT, CAT activity was 60-fold higher than in PureICAT at pH 7.0 and pH induction was nearly eliminated, indicating that expression was negatively regulated. Thus, it was concluded that PureI was the predominant, regulated promoter and that regulation was governed by a mechanism differing markedly from other known mechanisms for bacterial urease expression. PMID:9791132

  11. Chromosomal Organization of Rrna Operons in Bacillus Subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, E. D.; Widom, R. L.; LaFauci, G.; Setoguchi, Y.; Richter, I. R.; Rudner, R.

    1988-01-01

    Integrative mapping with vectors containing ribosomal DNA sequences were used to complete the mapping of the 10 rRNA gene sets in the endospore forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Southern hybridizations allowed the assignment of nine operons to distinct BclI restriction fragments and their genetic locus identified by transductional crosses. Nine of the ten rRNA gene sets are located between 0 and 70° on the genomic map. In the region surrounding cysA14, two sets of closely spaced tandem clusters are present. The first (rrnJ and rrnW) is located between purA16 and cysA14 closely linked to the latter; the second (rrnI, rrnH and rrnG) previously mapped within this area is located between attSPO2 and glpT6. The operons at or near the origin of replication (rrnO,rrnA and rrnJ,rrnW) represent ``hot spots'' of plasmid insertion. PMID:2465199

  12. Regulation of Francisella Tularensis Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shipan; Mohapatra, Nrusingh P.; Schlesinger, Larry S.; Gunn, John S.

    2011-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is one of the most virulent bacteria known and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category A select agent. It is able to infect a variety of animals and insects and can persist in the environment, thus Francisella spp. must be able to survive in diverse environmental niches. However, F. tularensis has a surprising dearth of sensory and regulatory factors. Recent advancements in the field have identified new functions of encoded transcription factors and greatly expanded our understanding of virulence gene regulation. Here we review the current knowledge of environmental adaptation by F. tularensis, its transcriptional regulators and their relationship to animal virulence. PMID:21687801

  13. In silico evolved lac operons exhibit bistability for artificial inducers, but not for lactose.

    PubMed

    van Hoek, M J A; Hogeweg, P

    2006-10-15

    Bistability in the lac operon of Escherichia coli has been widely studied, both experimentally and theoretically. Experimentally, bistability has been observed when E. coli is induced by an artificial, nonmetabolizable, inducer. However, if the lac operon is induced with lactose, the natural inducer, bistability has not been demonstrated. We derive an analytical expression that can predict the occurrence of bistability both for artificial inducers and lactose. We find very different conditions for bistability in the two cases. Indeed, for artificial inducers bistability is predicted, but for lactose the condition for bistability is much more difficult to satisfy. Moreover, we demonstrate that in silico evolution of the lac operon generates an operon that avoids bistability with respect to lactose, but does exhibit bistability with respect to artificial inducers. The activity of this evolved operon strikingly resembles the experimentally observed activity of the operon. Thus our computational experiments suggest that the wild-type lac operon, which regulates lactose metabolism, is not a bistable switch. Nevertheless, for engineering purposes, this operon can be used as a bistable switch with artificial inducers. PMID:16877514

  14. The pseudogenes of Mycobacterium leprae reveal the functional relevance of gene order within operons.

    PubMed

    Muro, Enrique M; Mah, Nancy; Moreno-Hagelsieb, Gabriel; Andrade-Navarro, Miguel A

    2011-03-01

    Almost 50 years following the discovery of the prokaryotic operon, the functional relevance of gene order within operons remains unclear. In this work, we take advantage of the eroded genome of Mycobacterium leprae to add evidence supporting the notion that functionally less important genes have a tendency to be located at the end of its operons. M. leprae's genome includes 1133 pseudogenes and 1614 protein-coding genes and can be compared with the close genome of M. tuberculosis. Assuming M. leprae's pseudogenes to represent dispensable genes, we have studied the position of these pseudogenes in the operons of M. leprae and of their orthologs in M. tuberculosis. We observed that both tend to be located in the 3' (downstream) half of the operon (P-values of 0.03 and 0.18, respectively). Analysis of pseudogenes in all available prokaryotic genomes confirms this trend (P-value of 7.1 × 10(-7)). In a complementary analysis, we found a significant tendency for essential genes to be located at the 5' (upstream) half of the operon (P-value of 0.006). Our work provides an indication that, in prokarya, functionally less important genes have a tendency to be located at the end of operons, while more relevant genes tend to be located toward operon starts. PMID:21051341

  15. The pseudogenes of Mycobacterium leprae reveal the functional relevance of gene order within operons

    PubMed Central

    Muro, Enrique M.; Mah, Nancy; Moreno-Hagelsieb, Gabriel; Andrade-Navarro, Miguel A.

    2011-01-01

    Almost 50 years following the discovery of the prokaryotic operon, the functional relevance of gene order within operons remains unclear. In this work, we take advantage of the eroded genome of Mycobacterium leprae to add evidence supporting the notion that functionally less important genes have a tendency to be located at the end of its operons. M. leprae’s genome includes 1133 pseudogenes and 1614 protein-coding genes and can be compared with the close genome of M. tuberculosis. Assuming M. leprae’s pseudogenes to represent dispensable genes, we have studied the position of these pseudogenes in the operons of M. leprae and of their orthologs in M. tuberculosis. We observed that both tend to be located in the 3′ (downstream) half of the operon (P-values of 0.03 and 0.18, respectively). Analysis of pseudogenes in all available prokaryotic genomes confirms this trend (P-value of 7.1 × 10−7). In a complementary analysis, we found a significant tendency for essential genes to be located at the 5′ (upstream) half of the operon (P-value of 0.006). Our work provides an indication that, in prokarya, functionally less important genes have a tendency to be located at the end of operons, while more relevant genes tend to be located toward operon starts. PMID:21051341

  16. RNase III cleavage of Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase and tryptophan operon mRNA.

    PubMed Central

    Shen, V; Imamoto, F; Schlessinger, D

    1982-01-01

    Purified RNase III of Escherichia coli cleaved the initial 479-nucleotide sequence of lac operon mRNA at four specific sites and also gave limited cleavage of trp operon mRNA. This action explains the inactivation of mRNA coding capacity by RNase III in vitro. Images PMID:6176575

  17. Characterization of the RRN Operons in the Channel Catfish Pathogen Edwardsiella ictaluri

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aims: To advance diagnostics and phylogenetics of Edwardsiella ictaluri by sequencing and characterizing its rrn operons. Methods and Results: The Edw. ictaluri rrn operons were identified from a 5-7 kb insert lambda library and from Edw. ictaluri fosmid clones. We present the complete sequences...

  18. A predictive biophysical model of translational coupling to coordinate and control protein expression in bacterial operons

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Tian; Salis, Howard M.

    2015-01-01

    Natural and engineered genetic systems require the coordinated expression of proteins. In bacteria, translational coupling provides a genetically encoded mechanism to control expression level ratios within multi-cistronic operons. We have developed a sequence-to-function biophysical model of translational coupling to predict expression level ratios in natural operons and to design synthetic operons with desired expression level ratios. To quantitatively measure ribosome re-initiation rates, we designed and characterized 22 bi-cistronic operon variants with systematically modified intergenic distances and upstream translation rates. We then derived a thermodynamic free energy model to calculate de novo initiation rates as a result of ribosome-assisted unfolding of intergenic RNA structures. The complete biophysical model has only five free parameters, but was able to accurately predict downstream translation rates for 120 synthetic bi-cistronic and tri-cistronic operons with rationally designed intergenic regions and systematically increased upstream translation rates. The biophysical model also accurately predicted the translation rates of the nine protein atp operon, compared to ribosome profiling measurements. Altogether, the biophysical model quantitatively predicts how translational coupling controls protein expression levels in synthetic and natural bacterial operons, providing a deeper understanding of an important post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism and offering the ability to rationally engineer operons with desired behaviors. PMID:26117546

  19. Induction of group A Streptococcus virulence by a human antimicrobial peptide

    PubMed Central

    Gryllos, Ioannis; Tran-Winkler, Hien J.; Cheng, Ming-Fang; Chung, Hachung; Bolcome, Robert; Lu, Wuyuan; Lehrer, Robert I.; Wessels, Michael R.

    2008-01-01

    Group A streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes or GAS) freshly isolated from individuals with streptococcal sore throat or invasive (“flesh-eating”) infection often grow as mucoid colonies on primary culture but lose this colony appearance after laboratory passage. The mucoid phenotype is due to abundant production of the hyaluronic acid capsular polysaccharide, a key virulence determinant associated with severe GAS infections. These observations suggest that signal(s) from the human host trigger increased production of capsule and perhaps other virulence factors during infection. Here we show that subinhibitory concentrations of the human antimicrobial cathelicidin peptide LL-37 stimulate expression of the GAS capsule synthesis operon (hasABC). Up-regulation is mediated by the CsrRS 2-component regulatory system: it requires a functional CsrS sensor protein and can be antagonized by increased extracellular Mg2+, the other identified environmental signal for CsrS. Up-regulation was also evident for other CsrRS-regulated virulence genes, including the IL-8 protease PrtS/ScpC and the integrin-like/IgG protease Mac/IdeS, findings that suggest a coordinated GAS virulence response elicited by this antimicrobial immune effector peptide. LL-37 signaling through CsrRS led to a marked increase in GAS resistance to opsonophagocytic killing by human leukocytes, an in vitro measure of enhanced GAS virulence, consistent with increased expression of the antiphagocytic capsular polysaccharide and Mac/IdeS. We propose that the human cathelicidin LL-37 has the paradoxical effect of stimulating CsrRS-regulated virulence gene expression, thereby enhancing GAS pathogenicity during infection. The ability of GAS to sense and respond to LL-37 may explain, at least in part, the unique susceptibility of the human species to streptococcal infection. PMID:18936485

  20. Large-scale isolation of candidate virulence genes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by in vivo selection.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, J; Mushegian, A; Lory, S; Jin, S

    1996-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic human pathogen, is a major causative agent of mortality and morbidity in immunocompromised patients and those with cystic fibrosis genetic disease. To identify new virulence genes of P. aeruginosa, a selection system was developed based on the in vivo expression technology (IVET) that was first reported in Salmonella system. An adenine-requiring auxotrophic mutant strain of P. aeruginosa was isolated and found avirulent on neutropenic mice. A DNA fragment that can complement the mutant strain, containing purEK operon that is required for de novo biosynthesis of purine, was sequenced and used in the IVET vector construction. By applying the IVET selection system to a neutropenic mouse infection model, genetic loci that are specifically induced in vivo were identified. Twenty-two such loci were partially sequenced and analyzed. One of them was a well-studied virulence factor, pyochelin receptor (FptA), that is involved in iron acquisition. Fifteen showed significant homology to reported sequences in GenBank, while the remaining six did not. One locus, designated np20, encodes an open reading frame that shares amino acid sequence homology to transcriptional regulators, especially to the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) proteins of other bacteria. An insertional np20 null mutant strain of P. aeruginosa did not show a growth defect on laboratory media; however, its virulence on neutropenic mice was significantly reduced compared with that of a wild-type parent strain, demonstrating the importance of the np20 locus in the bacterial virulence. The successful isolation of genetic loci that affect bacterial virulence demonstrates the utility of the IVET system in identification of new virulence genes of P. aeruginosa. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 4 PMID:8816818

  1. Long-Chain Fatty Acid Sensor, PsrA, Modulates the Expression of rpoS and the Type III Secretion exsCEBA Operon in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    SciTech Connect

    Kang, Y.; Lunin, V. V.; Skarina, T.; Savchenko, A.; Schurr, M. J.; Hoang, T. T.

    2009-01-01

    The Pseudomonas aeruginosa PsrA autorepressor has dual roles as a repressor of the fadBA5{beta}-oxidation operon and an activator of the stationary-phase sigma factor rpoS and exsCEBA operon of the type III secretion system (TTSS). Previously, we demonstrated that the repression of the fadBA5 operon by PsrA is relieved by long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). However, the signal affecting the activation of rpoS and exsC via PsrA is unknown. In this study, microarray and gene fusion data suggested that LCFA (e.g. oleate) affected the expression of rpoS and exsC. DNA binding studies confirmed that PsrA binds to the rpoS and exsC promoter regions. This binding was inhibited by LCFA, indicating that LCFA directly affects the activation of these two genes through PsrA. LCFA decreased rpoS and exsC expression, resulting in increased N-(butyryl)-l-homoserine-lactone quorum sensing signal and decreased ExoS/T production respectively. Based on the crystal structure of PsrA, site-directed mutagenesis of amino acid residues, within the hydrophobic channel thought to accommodate LCFA, created two LCFA-non-responsive PsrA mutants. The binding and activation of rpoS and exsC by these PsrA mutants was no longer inhibited by LCFA. These data support a mechanistic model where LCFAs influence PsrA regulation to control LCFA metabolism and some virulence genes in P. aeruginosa.

  2. [New method of construction of artificial translational-coupled operons in bacterial chromosome].

    PubMed

    Gulevich, A Iu; Skorokhodova, A Iu; Ermishev, V Iu; Krylov, A A; Minaeva, N I; Polonskaia, Z M; Zimenkov, D V; Biriukova, I V; Mashko, S V

    2009-01-01

    The new method of translational-coupled operons construction in bacterial chromosome has been developed on the basis of recombineering approach. It includes construction in vitro of the artificial operon with efficiently translated proximal cistron followed by its insertion E. coli chromosome, modification of the operon due to Red-driven insertion of the special "Junction" with excisable selective marker in the intercistronic region of the initial operon and excising the marker. The structure of this Junction has been designed and tested in the present investigation. It consists of: 1) E. coli rplC-rplD intercistronic region for placing the TAA-codon of the proximal operon's gene in the SD-sequence (TAAGGAG) of rplD; 2) Cm(R)-gene flanked by lambdaattL/R-sites in such a fashion that after lambdaInt/Xis-driven excision of the marker the residual lambdaattB-site would not contain the termination codons in frame with ATG of rplD; 3) E. coli trpE-trpD intercistronic region for location of ATG of trpD at the position of initiation codon of the distal gene of original operon. The general design of desired construction provides the conversion of the original two-cistronic operon into three-cistronic operon with translational-coupled genes, where the coupling of the artificial ORF (rplD'-lambdaattB-'trpE) with the proximal gene is occurred due to rplC-rplD intercistronic region and the coupling of this ORF with the distal gene--due to trpE-trpD. The experimental implementation of the described strategy was showed by construction of artificial operon P(tac-aroG4-serA5, where expression optimization of the distal serA5 gene was achieved via construction of three-cistronic operon with translational-coupled genes. PMID:19548541

  3. Insights into arsenic multi-operons expression and resistance mechanisms in Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA009

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Chungui; Zhang, Yi; Chan, Zhuhua; Chen, Shicheng; Yang, Suping

    2015-01-01

    Arsenic (As) is widespread in the environment and causes numerous health problems. Rhodopseudomonas palustris has been regarded as a good model organism for studying arsenic detoxification since it was first demonstrated to methylate environmental arsenic by conversion to soluble or gaseous methylated species. However, the detailed arsenic resistance mechanisms remain unknown though there are at least three arsenic-resistance operons (ars1, ars2, and ars3) in R. palustris. In this study, we investigated how arsenic multi-operons contributed to arsenic detoxification in R. palustris. The expression of ars2 or ars3 operons increased with increasing environmental arsenite (As(III)) concentrations (up to 1.0 mM) while transcript of ars1 operon was not detected in the middle log-phase (55 h). ars2 operon was actively expressed even at the low concentration of As(III) (0.01 μM), whereas the ars3 operon was expressed at 1.0 μM of As(III), indicating that there was a differential regulation mechanism for the three arsenic operons. Furthermore, ars2 and ars3 operons were maximally transcribed in the early log-phase where ars2 operon was 5.4-fold higher than that of ars3 operon. A low level of ars1 transcript was only detected at 43 h (early log-phase). Arsenic speciation analysis demonstrated that R. palustris could reduce As(V) to As(III). Collectively, strain CGA009 detoxified arsenic by using arsenic reduction and methylating arsenic mechanism, while the latter might occur with the presence of higher concentrations of arsenic. PMID:26441915

  4. Virulence Potential of Fusogenic Orthoreoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Peter K.C.; Lai, Mary Y.Y.; Leung, Peter C.K.; Wong, Kitty K.Y.; Lee, W.Y.; Lim, Wilina W.L.

    2012-01-01

    Several severe respiratory virus infections that have emerged during the past decade originated in animals, including bats. In Indonesia, exposure to bats has been associated with increased risk of acquiring orthoreovirus infection. Although orthoreovirus infections are mild and self-limiting, we explored their potential for evolution into a more virulent form. We used conventional virus culture, electron microscopy, and molecular sequencing to isolate and identify orthoreoviruses from 3 patients in whom respiratory tract infection developed after travel to Indonesia. Virus characterization by plaque-reduction neutralization testing showed antigenic similarity, but sequencing of the small segment genes suggested virus reassortment, which could lead to increased virulence. Bats as a reservoir might contribute to virus evolution and genetic diversity, giving orthoreoviruses the potential to become more virulent. Evolution of this virus should be closely monitored so that prevention and control measures can be taken should it become more virulent. PMID:22608100

  5. The core promoter of the capsule operon of Streptococcus pneumoniae is necessary for colonization and invasive disease.

    PubMed

    Shainheit, Mara G; Mulé, Matthew; Camilli, Andrew

    2014-02-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae is a commensal of the human nasopharynx but can cause invasive diseases, including otitis media, pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. The capsular polysaccharide (capsule) is a critical virulence factor required for both asymptomatic colonization and invasive disease, yet the expression level is different in each anatomical site. During colonization, reduced levels of capsule promote binding to the host epithelium and biofilm formation, while during systemic infection, increased capsule is required to evade opsonophagocytosis. How this regulation of capsule expression occurs is incompletely understood. To investigate the contribution of transcriptional regulation on capsule level in the serotype 4 strain TIGR4, we constructed two mutants harboring a constitutive promoter that was either comparably weaker (Pcat) or stronger (PtRNAGlu) than the wild-type (WT) capsule promoter, Pcps. Mild reductions in cpsA and cpsE transcript levels in the Pcat promoter mutant resulted in a 2-fold reduction in total amounts of capsule and in avirulence in murine models of lung and blood infection. Additionally, the PtRNAGlu mutant revealed that, despite expressing enhanced levels of cpsA and cpsE and possessing levels of capsule comparable to those of WT TIGR4, it was still significantly attenuated in all tested in vivo niches. Further analysis using chimeric promoter mutants revealed that the WT -10 and -35 boxes are required for optimal nasopharyngeal colonization and virulence. These data support the hypothesis that dynamic transcriptional regulation of the capsule operon is required and that the core promoter region plays a central role in fine-tuning levels of capsule to promote colonization and invasive disease. PMID:24478084

  6. Detection of a putative hemolysin operon, hhdBA, of Haemophilus parasuis from pigs with Glässer disease.

    PubMed

    Assavacheep, Pornchalit; Assavacheep, Anongnart; Turni, Conny

    2012-03-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate whether polymerase chain reaction amplification of 16S ribosomal (r)RNA and a putative hemolysin gene operon, hhdBA, can be used to monitor live pigs for the presence of Haemophilus parasuis and predict the virulence of the strains present. Nasal cavity swabs were taken from 30 live, healthy, 1- to 8-week-old pigs on a weekly cycle from a commercial Thai nursery pig herd. A total of 27 of these pigs (90%) tested positive for H. parasuis as early as week 1 of age. None of the H. parasuis-positive samples from healthy pigs was positive for the hhdBA genes. At the same pig nursery, swab samples from nasal cavity, tonsil, trachea, and lung, and exudate samples from pleural/peritoneal cavity were taken from 30 dead pigs displaying typical pathological lesions consistent with Glässer disease. Twenty-two of 140 samples (15.7%) taken from 30 diseased pigs yielded a positive result for H. parasuis. Samples from the exudate (27%) yielded the most positive results, followed by lung, tracheal swab, tonsil, and nasal swab, respectively. Out of 22 positive samples, 12 samples (54.5%) harbored hhdA and/or hhdB genes. Detection rates of hhdA were higher than hhdB. None of the H. parasuis-positive samples taken from nasal cavity of diseased pigs tested positive for hhdBA genes. More work is required to determine if the detection of hhdBA genes is useful for identifying the virulence potential of H. parasuis field isolates. PMID:22379049

  7. The RpoE Stress Response Pathway Mediates Reduction of the Virulence of Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli by Zinc

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Yuan; Osborn, Jossef; Panchal, Anand

    2015-01-01

    Zinc supplements are an effective clinical treatment for infantile diarrheal disease caused by enteric pathogens. Previous studies demonstrated that zinc acts on enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) bacteria directly to suppress several virulence-related genes at a concentration that can be achieved by oral delivery of dietary zinc supplements. Our in vitro studies showed that a micromolar concentration of zinc induced the envelope stress response and suppressed virulence in EPEC, providing a possible mechanistic explanation for zinc's therapeutic action. In this report, we investigated the molecular and physiological changes in EPEC induced by zinc. We found that micromolar concentrations of zinc reduced the bacterial growth rate without affecting viability. We observed increased membrane permeability caused by zinc. Zinc upregulated the RpoE-dependent envelope stress response pathway and suppressed EPEC virulence gene expression. RpoE alone was sufficient to inhibit virulence factor expression and to attenuate attaching and effacing lesion formation on human host cells. By mutational analysis we demonstrate that the DNA-binding motif of RpoE is necessary for suppression of the LEE1, but not the LEE4, operon. Predictably, inhibition of the RpoE-mediated envelope stress response in combination with micromolar concentrations of zinc reduced EPEC viability. In conclusion, zinc induces the RpoE and stress response pathways in EPEC, and the alternate sigma factor RpoE downregulates EPEC LEE and non-LEE virulence genes by multiple mechanisms. PMID:25819956

  8. Analysis of Genome Sequences from Plant Pathogenic Rhodococcus Reveals Genetic Novelties in Virulence Loci

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Edward W.; Putnam, Melodie L.; Hu, Erdong; Swader-Hines, David; Mol, Adeline; Baucher, Marie; Prinsen, Els; Zdanowska, Magdalena; Givan, Scott A.; Jaziri, Mondher El; Loper, Joyce E.; Mahmud, Taifo; Chang, Jeff H.

    2014-01-01

    Members of Gram-positive Actinobacteria cause economically important diseases to plants. Within the Rhodococcus genus, some members can cause growth deformities and persist as pathogens on a wide range of host plants. The current model predicts that phytopathogenic isolates require a cluster of three loci present on a linear plasmid, with the fas operon central to virulence. The Fas proteins synthesize, modify, and activate a mixture of growth regulating cytokinins, which cause a hormonal imbalance in plants, resulting in abnormal growth. We sequenced and compared the genomes of 20 isolates of Rhodococcus to gain insights into the mechanisms and evolution of virulence in these bacteria. Horizontal gene transfer was identified as critical but limited in the scale of virulence evolution, as few loci are conserved and exclusive to phytopathogenic isolates. Although the fas operon is present in most phytopathogenic isolates, it is absent from phytopathogenic isolate A21d2. Instead, this isolate has a horizontally acquired gene chimera that encodes a novel fusion protein with isopentyltransferase and phosphoribohydrolase domains, predicted to be capable of catalyzing and activating cytokinins, respectively. Cytokinin profiling of the archetypal D188 isolate revealed only one activate cytokinin type that was specifically synthesized in a fas-dependent manner. These results suggest that only the isopentenyladenine cytokinin type is synthesized and necessary for Rhodococcus phytopathogenicity, which is not consistent with the extant model stating that a mixture of cytokinins is necessary for Rhodococcus to cause leafy gall symptoms. In all, data indicate that only four horizontally acquired functions are sufficient to confer the trait of phytopathogenicity to members of the genetically diverse clade of Rhodococcus. PMID:25010934

  9. The rise of operon-like gene clusters in plants.

    PubMed

    Boycheva, Svetlana; Daviet, Laurent; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Fitzpatrick, Teresa B

    2014-07-01

    Gene clusters are common features of prokaryotic genomes also present in eukaryotes. Most clustered genes known are involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Although horizontal gene transfer is a primary source of prokaryotic gene cluster (operon) formation and has been reported to occur in eukaryotes, the predominant source of cluster formation in eukaryotes appears to arise de novo or through gene duplication followed by neo- and sub-functionalization or translocation. Here we aim to provide an overview of the current knowledge and open questions related to plant gene cluster functioning, assembly, and regulation. We also present potential research approaches and point out the benefits of a better understanding of gene clusters in plants for both fundamental and applied plant science. PMID:24582794

  10. Polarity effects in the lactose operon of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong; Altman, Sidney

    2004-05-21

    An intergenic RNA segment between lacY and lacA of the lactose operon in Escherichia coli is cleaved by RNase P, an endoribonuclease. The cleavage of the intergenic RNA was ten times less efficient than cleavage of a tRNA precursor in vitro. Fragments of the RNase P cleavage product are detectable in vivo in the wild-type strain but not in a mutant strain at the restrictive temperature. The cleavage product that contains lacA in the wild-type strain was quickly degraded. When this intergenic segment was cloned upstream of a reporter gene, the expression of the reporter gene was also inhibited substantially in wild-type E.coli, but not in a temperature sensitive mutant strain in RNase P at the restrictive temperature. These results support data regarding the natural polarity between lacZ versus lacA, the downstream gene. PMID:15123418

  11. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Co-operonic PE32/PPE65 Proteins Alter Host Immune Responses by Hampering Th1 Response

    PubMed Central

    Khubaib, Mohd; Sheikh, Javaid A.; Pandey, Saurabh; Srikanth, Battu; Bhuwan, Manish; Khan, Nooruddin; Hasnain, Seyed E.; Ehtesham, Nasreen Z.

    2016-01-01

    PE/PPE genes, present in cluster with ESAT-6 like genes, are suspected to have a role in antigenic variation and virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Their roles in immune evasion and immune modulation of host are also well documented. We present evidence that PE32/PPE65 present within the RD8 region are co-operonic, co-transcribed, and co-translated, and play role in modulating host immune responses. Experiments with macrophage cell lines revealed that this protein complex suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-6 whereas also inducing high expression of anti-inflammatory IL-10. Immunization of mice with these recombinant proteins dampens an effective Th1 response as evident from reduced frequency of IFN-γ and IL-2 producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. IgG sub-typing from serum of immunized mice revealed high levels of IgG1 when compared with IgG2a and IgG2b. Further IgG1/IgG2a ratio clearly demonstrated that the protein complex manipulates the host immune response favorable to the pathogen. Our results demonstrate that the co-transcribed and co-translated PE32 and PPE65 antigens are involved specifically in modulating anti-mycobacterial host immune response by hampering Th1 response. PMID:27242739

  12. Regulation of gene expression: cryptic β-glucoside (bgl) operon of Escherichia coli as a paradigm.

    PubMed

    Harwani, Dharmesh

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria have evolved various mechanisms to extract utilizable substrates from available resources and consequently acquire fitness advantage over competitors. One of the strategies is the exploitation of cryptic cellular functions encoded by genetic systems that are silent under laboratory conditions, such as the bgl (β-glucoside) operon of E. coli. The bgl operon of Escherichia coli, involved in the uptake and utilization of aromatic β-glucosides salicin and arbutin, is maintained in a silent state in the wild type organism by the presence of structural elements in the regulatory region. This operon can be activated by mutations that disrupt these negative elements. The fact that the silent bgl operon is retained without accumulating deleterious mutations seems paradoxical from an evolutionary view point. Although this operon appears to be silent, specific physiological conditions might be able to regulate its expression and/or the operon might be carrying out function(s) apart from the utilization of aromatic β-glucosides. This is consistent with the observations that the activated operon confers a Growth Advantage in Stationary Phase (GASP) phenotype to Bgl(+) cells and exerts its regulation on at least twelve downstream target genes. PMID:25763016

  13. The role of FIS in trans activation of stable RNA operons of E. coli.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, L; Vanet, A; Vijgenboom, E; Bosch, L

    1990-03-01

    The thrU(tufB) operon of Escherichia coli is endowed with a cis-acting region upstream of the promoter, designated UAS for Upstream Activator Sequence. A protein fraction has been isolated that binds specifically to DNA fragments of the UAS, thus forming three protein-DNA complexes corresponding to three binding sites on the UAS. It stimulates in vitro transcription of the operon by facilitating the binding of the RNA polymerase to the promoter. All three protein-DNA complexes contain one and the same protein. Dissociation constants for the three complexes have been determined, the lowest being in the sub-nanomolar range. The protein also binds to the UAS of the tyrT operon and to the UAS upstream of the P1 promoter of the rrnB operon, suggesting that transcription of the three operons, if not of more stable RNA operons, is activated by a common trans activator. We demonstrate that the E.coli protein FIS (Factor for Inversion Stimulation) also binds to the UAS of the thrU(tufB) operon forming three protein-DNA complexes. A burst of UAS- and FIS-dependent promoter activity is observed after reinitiation of growth of stationary cultures in fresh medium. PMID:1690124

  14. Virulence of the Pseudomonas fluorescens clinical strain MFN1032 towards Dictyostelium discoideum and macrophages in relation with type III secretion system

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Pseudomonas fluorescens biovar I MFN1032 is a clinical isolate able to grow at 37°C. This strain displays secretion-mediated hemolytic activity involving phospholipase C and cyclolipopeptides, and a cell-associated hemolytic activity distinct from the secreted hemolytic activity. Cell-associated hemolysis is independent of biosurfactant production and remains in a gacA mutant. Disruption of the hrpU-like operon (the basal part of type III secretion system from rhizospheric strains) suppresses this activity. We hypothesized that this phenotype could reflect evolution of an ancestral mechanism involved in the survival of this species in its natural niche. In this study, we evaluated the hrpU-like operon’s contribution to other virulence mechanisms using a panel of Pseudomonas strains from various sources. Results We found that MFN1032 inhibited the growth of the amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and that this inhibition involved the hrpU-like operon and was absent in a gacA mutant. MFN1032 was capable of causing macrophage lysis, if the hrpU-like operon was intact, and this cytotoxicity remained in a gacA mutant. Cell-associated hemolytic activity and macrophage necrosis were found in other P. fluorescens clinical isolates, but not in biocontrol P. fluorescens strains harbouring hrpU-like operon. The growth of Dictyostelium discoideum was inhibited to a different extent by P. fluorescens strains without correlation between this inhibition and hrpU-like operon sequences. Conclusions In P. fluorescens MFN1032, the basal part of type III secretion system plays a role in D. discoideum growth inhibition and macrophage necrosis. The inhibition of D. discoideum growth is dependent on the GacS/GacA system, while cell-associated hemolytic activity and macrophage lysis are not. Virulence against eukaryotic cells based on the hrpU-like operon may be more than just a stochastic evolution of a conserved system dedicated to survival in competition with natural

  15. When experimental selection for virulence leads to loss of virulence.

    PubMed

    Rafaluk, Charlotte; Jansen, Gunther; Schulenburg, Hinrich; Joop, Gerrit

    2015-09-01

    Information on virulence evolution is critical for understanding disease dynamics. Theory predicts that under certain evolutionary conditions virulence should increase; for example, during host-parasite coevolution. Although these theoretical predictions are supported by natural observations, tests of these hypotheses using experimental evolution have yielded confounding and contradictory results, with discrepancies often being seen among experiments. Here we provide a critical overview of experimental tests of hypotheses regarding virulence evolution and provide potential explanations for the contradictory results. We emphasise the key role of parasite transmission mechanisms that can explain many of the observed discrepancies among evolution experiments. Finally, we make suggestions for how evolution experiments could be conducted in the future to avoid potentially confounding factors. PMID:26166750

  16. Ancient origin of the tryptophan operon and the dynamics of evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Xie, Gary; Keyhani, Nemat O; Bonner, Carol A; Jensen, Roy A

    2003-09-01

    The seven conserved enzymatic domains required for tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis are encoded in seven genetic regions that are organized differently (whole-pathway operons, multiple partial-pathway operons, and dispersed genes) in prokaryotes. A comparative bioinformatics evaluation of the conservation and organization of the genes of Trp biosynthesis in prokaryotic operons should serve as an excellent model for assessing the feasibility of predicting the evolutionary histories of genes and operons associated with other biochemical pathways. These comparisons should provide a better understanding of possible explanations for differences in operon organization in different organisms at a genomics level. These analyses may also permit identification of some of the prevailing forces that dictated specific gene rearrangements during the course of evolution. Operons concerned with Trp biosynthesis in prokaryotes have been in a dynamic state of flux. Analysis of closely related organisms among the Bacteria at various phylogenetic nodes reveals many examples of operon scission, gene dispersal, gene fusion, gene scrambling, and gene loss from which the direction of evolutionary events can be deduced. Two milestone evolutionary events have been mapped to the 16S rRNA tree of Bacteria, one splitting the operon in two, and the other rejoining it by gene fusion. The Archaea, though less resolved due to a lesser genome representation, appear to exhibit more gene scrambling than the Bacteria. The trp operon appears to have been an ancient innovation; it was already present in the common ancestor of Bacteria and Archaea. Although the operon has been subjected, even in recent times, to dynamic changes in gene rearrangement, the ancestral gene order can be deduced with confidence. The evolutionary history of the genes of the pathway is discernible in rough outline as a vertical line of descent, with events of lateral gene transfer or paralogy enriching the analysis as interesting

  17. The HD-GYP Domain Protein RpfG of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola Regulates Synthesis of Extracellular Polysaccharides that Contribute to Biofilm Formation and Virulence on Rice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuanbao; Wei, Chao; Jiang, Wendi; Wang, Lei; Li, Churui; Wang, Yunyue; Dow, John Maxwell; Sun, Wenxian

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial leaf streak caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) is one of the most important diseases in rice. However, little is known about the pathogenicity mechanisms of Xoc. Here we have investigated the function of three HD-GYP domain regulatory proteins in biofilm formation, the synthesis of virulence factors and virulence of Xoc. Deletion of rpfG resulted in altered production of extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), abolished virulence on rice and enhanced biofilm formation, but had little effect on the secretion of proteases and motility. In contrast, mutational analysis showed that the other two HD-GYP domain proteins had no effect on virulence factor synthesis and tested phenotypes. Mutation of rpfG led to up-regulation of the type III secretion system and altered expression of three putative glycosyltransferase genes gumD, pgaC and xagB, which are part of operons directing the synthesis of different extracellular polysaccharides. The pgaABCD and xagABCD operons were greatly up-regulated in the Xoc ΔrpfG mutant, whereas the expression of the gum genes was unaltered or slightly enhanced. The elevated biofilm formation of the Xoc ΔrpfG mutant was dramatically reduced upon deletion of gumD, xagA and xagB, but not when pgaA and pgaC were deleted. Interestingly, only the ΔgumD mutant, among these single gene mutants, exhibits multiple phenotype alterations including reduced biofilm and EPS production and attenuated virulence on rice. These data indicate that RpfG is a global regulator that controls biofilm formation, EPS production and bacterial virulence in Xoc and that both gumD- and xagB-dependent EPS contribute to biofilm formation under different conditions. PMID:23544067

  18. Chemical Inhibition of Kynureninase Reduces Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing and Virulence Factor Expression.

    PubMed

    Kasper, Stephen H; Bonocora, Richard P; Wade, Joseph T; Musah, Rabi Ann; Cady, Nathaniel C

    2016-04-15

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa utilizes multiple quorum sensing (QS) pathways to coordinate an arsenal of virulence factors. We previously identified several cysteine-based compounds inspired by natural products from the plant Petiveria alliacea which are capable of antagonizing multiple QS circuits as well as reducing P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. To understand the global effects of such compounds on virulence factor production and elucidate their mechanism of action, RNA-seq transcriptomic analysis was performed on P. aeruginosa PAO1 exposed to S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide, the most potent inhibitor from the prior study. Exposure to this inhibitor down-regulated expression of several QS-regulated virulence operons (e.g., phenazine biosynthesis, type VI secretion systems). Interestingly, many genes that were differentially regulated pertain to the related metabolic pathways that yield precursors of pyochelin, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, phenazines, and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Activation of the MexT-regulon was also indicated, including the multidrug efflux pump encoded by mexEF-oprN, which has previously been shown to inhibit QS and pathogenicity. Deeper investigation of the metabolites involved in these systems revealed that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide has structural similarity to kynurenine, a precursor of anthranilate, which is critical for P. aeruginosa virulence. By supplementing exogenous anthranilate, the QS-inhibitory effect was reversed. Finally, it was shown that S-phenyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide competitively inhibits P. aeruginosa kynureninase (KynU) activity in vitro and reduces PQS production in vivo. The kynurenine pathway has been implicated in P. aeruginosa QS and virulence factor expression; however, this is the first study to show that targeted inhibition of KynU affects P. aeruginosa gene expression and QS, suggesting a potential antivirulence strategy. PMID:26785289

  19. TrxR, a new CovR-repressed response regulator that activates the Mga virulence regulon in group A Streptococcus.

    PubMed

    Leday, Temekka V; Gold, Kathryn M; Kinkel, Traci L; Roberts, Samantha A; Scott, June R; McIver, Kevin S

    2008-10-01

    Coordinate regulation of virulence factors by the group A streptococcus (GAS) Streptococcus pyogenes is important in this pathogen's ability to cause disease. To further elucidate the regulatory network in this human pathogen, the CovR-repressed two-component system (TCS) trxSR was chosen for further analysis based on its homology to a virulence-related TCS in Streptococcus pneumoniae. In a murine skin infection model, an insertion mutation in the response regulator gene, trxR, led to a significant reduction in lesion size, lesion severity, and lethality. Curing the trxR mutation restored virulence comparable to the wild-type strain. The trxSR operon was defined in vivo, and CovR was found to directly repress its promoter in vitro. DNA microarray analysis established that TrxR activates transcription of Mga-regulated virulence genes, which may explain the virulence attenuation of the trxR mutant. This regulation appears to occur by activation of the mga promoter, Pmga, as demonstrated by analysis of a luciferase reporter fusion. Complementation of the trxR mutant with trxR on a plasmid restored expression of Mga regulon genes and restored virulence in the mouse model to wild-type levels. TrxR is the first TCS shown to regulate Mga expression. Because it is CovR repressed, TrxR defines a new pathway by which CovR can influence Mga to affect pathogenesis in the GAS. PMID:18678666

  20. TrxR, a New CovR-Repressed Response Regulator That Activates the Mga Virulence Regulon in Group A Streptococcus▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Leday, Temekka V.; Gold, Kathryn M.; Kinkel, Traci L.; Roberts, Samantha A.; Scott, June R.; McIver, Kevin S.

    2008-01-01

    Coordinate regulation of virulence factors by the group A streptococcus (GAS) Streptococcus pyogenes is important in this pathogen's ability to cause disease. To further elucidate the regulatory network in this human pathogen, the CovR-repressed two-component system (TCS) trxSR was chosen for further analysis based on its homology to a virulence-related TCS in Streptococcus pneumoniae. In a murine skin infection model, an insertion mutation in the response regulator gene, trxR, led to a significant reduction in lesion size, lesion severity, and lethality. Curing the trxR mutation restored virulence comparable to the wild-type strain. The trxSR operon was defined in vivo, and CovR was found to directly repress its promoter in vitro. DNA microarray analysis established that TrxR activates transcription of Mga-regulated virulence genes, which may explain the virulence attenuation of the trxR mutant. This regulation appears to occur by activation of the mga promoter, Pmga, as demonstrated by analysis of a luciferase reporter fusion. Complementation of the trxR mutant with trxR on a plasmid restored expression of Mga regulon genes and restored virulence in the mouse model to wild-type levels. TrxR is the first TCS shown to regulate Mga expression. Because it is CovR repressed, TrxR defines a new pathway by which CovR can influence Mga to affect pathogenesis in the GAS. PMID:18678666

  1. PTS phosphorylation of Mga modulates regulon expression and virulence in the group A streptococcus.

    PubMed

    Hondorp, Elise R; Hou, Sherry C; Hause, Lara L; Gera, Kanika; Lee, Ching-En; McIver, Kevin S

    2013-06-01

    The ability of a bacterial pathogen to monitor available carbon sources in host tissues provides a clear fitness advantage. In the group A streptococcus (GAS), the virulence regulator Mga contains homology to phosphotransferase system (PTS) regulatory domains (PRDs) found in sugar operon regulators. Here we show that Mga was phosphorylated in vitro by the PTS components EI/HPr at conserved PRD histidines. A ΔptsI (EI-deficient) GAS mutant exhibited decreased Mga activity. However, PTS-mediated phosphorylation inhibited Mga-dependent transcription of emm in vitro. Using alanine (unphosphorylated) and aspartate (phosphomimetic) mutations of PRD histidines, we establish that a doubly phosphorylated PRD1 phosphomimetic (D/DMga4) is completely inactive in vivo, shutting down expression of the Mga regulon. Although D/DMga4 is still able to bind DNA in vitro, homo-multimerization of Mga is disrupted and the protein is unable to activate transcription. PTS-mediated regulation of Mga activity appears to be important for pathogenesis, as bacteria expressing either non-phosphorylated (A/A) or phosphomimetic (D/D) PRD1 Mga mutants were attenuated in a model of GAS invasive skin disease. Thus, PTS-mediated phosphorylation of Mga may allow the bacteria to modulate virulence gene expression in response to carbohydrate status. Furthermore, PRD-containing virulence regulators (PCVRs) appear to be widespread in Gram-positive pathogens. PMID:23651410

  2. Quantitative approaches to the study of bistability in the lac operon of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Santillán, Moisés; Mackey, Michael C

    2008-08-01

    In this paper, the history and importance of the lac operon in the development of molecular and systems biology are briefly reviewed. We start by presenting a description of the regulatory mechanisms in this operon, taking into account the most recent discoveries. Then we offer a survey of the history of the lac operon, including the discovery of its main elements and the subsequent influence on the development of molecular and systems biology. Next the bistable behaviour of the operon is discussed, both with respect to its discovery and its molecular origin. A review of the literature in which this bistable phenomenon has been studied from a mathematical modelling viewpoint is then given. We conclude with some brief remarks. PMID:18426771

  3. Parallel Evolution and Horizontal Gene Transfer of the pst Operon in Firmicutes from Oligotrophic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Olmedo, Gabriela; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Martinez-Castilla, Leon; Souza, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    The high affinity phosphate transport system (pst) is crucial for phosphate uptake in oligotrophic environments. Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) has extremely low P levels and its endemic Bacillus are closely related to oligotrophic marine Firmicutes. Thus, we expected the pst operon of CCB to share the same evolutionary history and protein similarity to marine Firmicutes. Orthologs of the pst operon were searched in 55 genomes of Firmicutes and 13 outgroups. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed for the pst operon and 14 concatenated housekeeping genes using maximum likelihood methods. Conserved domains and 3D structures of the phosphate-binding protein (PstS) were also analyzed. The pst operon of Firmicutes shows two highly divergent clades with no correlation to the type of habitat nor a phylogenetic congruence, suggesting horizontal gene transfer. Despite sequence divergence, the PstS protein had a similar 3D structure, which could be due to parallel evolution after horizontal gene transfer events. PMID:21461370

  4. Parallel Evolution and Horizontal Gene Transfer of the pst Operon in Firmicutes from Oligotrophic Environments.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Olmedo, Gabriela; Eguiarte, Luis E; Martinez-Castilla, Leon; Souza, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    The high affinity phosphate transport system (pst) is crucial for phosphate uptake in oligotrophic environments. Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) has extremely low P levels and its endemic Bacillus are closely related to oligotrophic marine Firmicutes. Thus, we expected the pst operon of CCB to share the same evolutionary history and protein similarity to marine Firmicutes. Orthologs of the pst operon were searched in 55 genomes of Firmicutes and 13 outgroups. Phylogenetic reconstructions were performed for the pst operon and 14 concatenated housekeeping genes using maximum likelihood methods. Conserved domains and 3D structures of the phosphate-binding protein (PstS) were also analyzed. The pst operon of Firmicutes shows two highly divergent clades with no correlation to the type of habitat nor a phylogenetic congruence, suggesting horizontal gene transfer. Despite sequence divergence, the PstS protein had a similar 3D structure, which could be due to parallel evolution after horizontal gene transfer events. PMID:21461370

  5. Cycling expression and cooperative operator interaction in the trp operon of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Valdez, Areli; Santillán, Moisés; Zeron, Eduardo S

    2010-04-01

    Oscillatory behaviour in the tryptophan operon of an Escherichia coli mutant strain lacking the enzyme-inhibition regulatory mechanism has been observed by Bliss et al. but not confirmed by others. This behaviour could be important from the standpoint of synthetic biology, whose goals include the engineering of intracellular genetic oscillators. This work is devoted to investigating, from a mathematical modelling point of view, the possibility that the trp operon of the E. coli inhibition-free strain expresses cyclically. For that we extend a previously introduced model for the regulatory pathway of the tryptophan operon in Escherichia coli to account for the observed multiplicity and cooperativity of repressor binding sites. Thereafter we investigate the model dynamics using deterministic numeric solutions, stochastic simulations, and analytic studies. Our results suggest that a quasi-periodic behaviour could be observed in the trp operon expression level of single bacteria. PMID:20004672

  6. Identification and sequence analysis of lpfABCDE, a putative fimbrial operon of Salmonella typhimurium.

    PubMed Central

    Bäumler, A J; Heffron, F

    1995-01-01

    A chromosomal region present in Salmonella typhimurium but absent from related species was identified by hybridization. A DNA probe originating from 78 min on the S. typhimurium chromosome hybridized with DNA from Salmonella enteritidis, Salmonella heidelberg, and Salmonella dublin but not with DNA from Salmonella typhi, Salmonella arizonae, Escherichia coli, and Shigella serotypes. Cloning and sequence analysis revealed that the corresponding region of the S. typhimurium chromosome encodes a fimbrial operon. Long fimbriae inserted at the poles of the bacterium were observed by electron microscopy when this fimbrial operon was introduced into a nonpiliated E. coli strain. The genes encoding these fimbriae were therefore termed lpfABCDE, for long polar fimbriae. Genetically, the lpf operon was found to be most closely related to the fim operon of S. typhimurium, both in gene order and in conservation of the deduced amino acid sequences. PMID:7721701

  7. Lineage-specific Virulence Determinants of Haemophilus influenzae Biogroup aegyptius

    PubMed Central

    Strouts, Fiona R.; Power, Peter; Croucher, Nicholas J.; Corton, Nicola; van Tonder, Andries; Quail, Michael A.; Langford, Paul R.; Hudson, Michael J.; Parkhill, Julian; Bentley, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    An emergent clone of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius (Hae) is responsible for outbreaks of Brazilian purpuric fever (BPF). First recorded in Brazil in 1984, the so-called BPF clone of Hae caused a fulminant disease that started with conjunctivitis but developed into septicemic shock; mortality rates were as high as 70%. To identify virulence determinants, we conducted a pan-genomic analysis. Sequencing of the genomes of the BPF clone strain F3031 and a noninvasive conjunctivitis strain, F3047, and comparison of these sequences with 5 other complete H. influenzae genomes showed that >77% of the F3031 genome is shared among all H. influenzae strains. Delineation of the Hae accessory genome enabled characterization of 163 predicted protein-coding genes; identified differences in established autotransporter adhesins; and revealed a suite of novel adhesins unique to Hae, including novel trimeric autotransporter adhesins and 4 new fimbrial operons. These novel adhesins might play a critical role in host–pathogen interactions. PMID:22377449

  8. Escherichia coli tryptophan operon directs the in vivo synthesis of a leader peptide.

    PubMed Central

    Dekel-Gorodetsky, L; Schoulaker-Schwarz, R; Engelberg-Kulka, H

    1986-01-01

    Here we report the identification of the Escherichia coli trp leader peptide synthesized in vivo. We identified the peptide in UV-irradiated maxicells by selective labeling with radioactive amino acids which are included in the predicted sequence of this peptide. Our results support the hypothesis that translation of the peptide-coding region of the leader RNA has a role in the mechanism of attenuation of biosynthetic operons in general and in the E. coli trp operon in particular. Images PMID:2419306

  9. ROLE OF NA+ IN TRANSPORT OF HG2+ AND INDUCTION OF THE TN21 "MER" OPERON

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of sodium ions on the uptake of Hg 2 + and induction of the TN21 mer operon were studied using E. coli HMS174 harboring the reporter plasmids pRB28 and pOS14. lasmid pRB28 carries merRT' and pOS14 carries merRTPC of the mer operon, both cloned upstream of a promoterle...

  10. A Novel Method for Accurate Operon Predictions in All SequencedProkaryotes

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Huang, Katherine H.; Alm, Eric J.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2004-12-01

    We combine comparative genomic measures and the distance separating adjacent genes to predict operons in 124 completely sequenced prokaryotic genomes. Our method automatically tailors itself to each genome using sequence information alone, and thus can be applied to any prokaryote. For Escherichia coli K12 and Bacillus subtilis, our method is 85 and 83% accurate, respectively, which is similar to the accuracy of methods that use the same features but are trained on experimentally characterized transcripts. In Halobacterium NRC-1 and in Helicobacterpylori, our method correctly infers that genes in operons are separated by shorter distances than they are in E.coli, and its predictions using distance alone are more accurate than distance-only predictions trained on a database of E.coli transcripts. We use microarray data from sixphylogenetically diverse prokaryotes to show that combining intergenic distance with comparative genomic measures further improves accuracy and that our method is broadly effective. Finally, we survey operon structure across 124 genomes, and find several surprises: H.pylori has many operons, contrary to previous reports; Bacillus anthracis has an unusual number of pseudogenes within conserved operons; and Synechocystis PCC6803 has many operons even though it has unusually wide spacings between conserved adjacent genes.

  11. Eukaryotic operon-like transcription of functionally related genes in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Shahar, Yehuda; Nannapaneni, Kishore; Casavant, Thomas L.; Scheetz, Todd E.; Welsh, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    Complex biological processes require coordinated function of many genes. One evolutionary solution to the problem of coordinately expressing functionally related genes in bacteria and nematodes is organization of genes in operons. Surprisingly, eukaryotic operons are considered rare outside the nematode lineage. In Drosophila melanogaster, we found lounge lizard (llz), which encodes a degenerin/ENaC cation channel, cotranscribed with CheB42a, a nonhomologous gene of unknown function residing <100 bp upstream. These two genes were transcribed from a single promoter as one primary transcript and were processed posttranscriptionally to generate individual mRNAs. The mechanism did not involve alternative splicing, and it differed from the trans splicing used in nematode operons. Both genes were expressed in the same tissues, and previous work suggested that both may be involved in courtship behavior. A bioinformatic approach identified numerous additional loci as potential Drosophila operons. These data reveal eukaryotic operon-like transcription of functionally related genes in Drosophila. The results also suggest that operon-based transcription may be more common in eukaryotes than previously appreciated. PMID:17190802

  12. A universally applicable method of operon map prediction on minimally annotated genomes using conserved genomic context

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Martin T.; Rison, Stuart C. G.; Stoker, Neil G.; Wernisch, Lorenz

    2005-01-01

    An important step in understanding the regulation of a prokaryotic genome is the generation of its transcription unit map. The current strongest operon predictor depends on the distributions of intergenic distances (IGD) separating adjacent genes within and between operons. Unfortunately, experimental data on these distance distributions are limited to Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. We suggest a new graph algorithmic approach based on comparative genomics to identify clusters of conserved genes independent of IGD and conservation of gene order. As a consequence, distance distributions of operon pairs for any arbitrary prokaryotic genome can be inferred. For E.coli, the algorithm predicts 854 conserved adjacent pairs with a precision of 85%. The IGD distribution for these pairs is virtually identical to the E.coli operon pair distribution. Statistical analysis of the predicted pair IGD distribution allows estimation of a genome-specific operon IGD cut-off, obviating the requirement for a training set in IGD-based operon prediction. We apply the method to a representative set of eight genomes, and show that these genome-specific IGD distributions differ considerably from each other and from the distribution in E.coli. PMID:15942028

  13. Solving a discrete model of the lac operon using Z3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez, Natalia A.

    2014-05-01

    A discrete model for the Lcac Operon is solved using the SMT-solver Z3. Traditionally the Lac Operon is formulated in a continuous math model. This model is a system of ordinary differential equations. Here, it was considerated as a discrete model, based on a Boolean red. The biological problem of Lac Operon is enunciated as a problem of Boolean satisfiability, and it is solved using an STM-solver named Z3. Z3 is a powerful solver that allows understanding the basic dynamic of the Lac Operon in an easier and more efficient way. The multi-stability of the Lac Operon can be easily computed with Z3. The code that solves the Boolean red can be written in Python language or SMT-Lib language. Both languages were used in local version of the program as online version of Z3. For future investigations it is proposed to solve the Boolean red of Lac Operon using others SMT-solvers as cvc4, alt-ergo, mathsat and yices.

  14. Analysis of a ribosomal RNA operon in the actinomycete Frankia.

    PubMed

    Normand, P; Cournoyer, B; Simonet, P; Nazaret, S

    1992-02-01

    The organisation of ribosomal RNA-encoding (rrn) genes has been studied in Frankia sp. strain ORS020606. The two rrn clusters present in Frankia strain ORS020606 were isolated from genomic banks in phage lambda EMBL3 by hybridization with oligodeoxyribonucleotide probes. The 5'-3' gene order is the usual one for bacteria: 16S-23S-5S. The two clusters are not distinguishable by restriction enzyme mapping inside the coding section, but vary considerably outside it. Sequencing showed that the 16S-rRNA-encoding gene of ORS020606 is very closely related to that of another Alnus-infective Frankia strain (Ag45/Mut15) and highly homologous to corresponding genes of Streptomyces spp. Two possible promoter sequences were detected upstream from the 16S gene, while no tRNA-encoding gene was detected in the whole operon. Regions with a high proportion of divergence for the study of phylogenetic relationships within the genus were looked for and found in the first intergenic spacer, in the 23S and in the 16S gene. PMID:1372279

  15. Transcriptional regulation of a Bacillus subtilis dipeptide transport operon.

    PubMed

    Slack, F J; Mueller, J P; Strauch, M A; Mathiopoulos, C; Sonenshein, A L

    1991-08-01

    The Bacillus subtilis dciA operon, which encodes a dipeptide transport system, was induced rapidly by several conditions that caused the cells to enter stationary phase and initiate sporulation. The in vivo start point of transcription was mapped precisely and shown to correspond to a site of transcription initiation in vitro by the major vegetative form of RNA polymerase. Post-exponential expression was prevented by a mutation in the spo0A gene (whose product is a known regulator of early sporulation genes) but was restored in a spo0A abrB double mutant. This implicated AbrB, another known regulator, as a repressor of dciA. In fact, purified AbrB protein bound to a portion of the dciA promoter region, protecting it against DNase I digestion. Expression of dciA in growing cells was also repressed independently by glucose and by a mixture of amino acids; neither of these effects was mediated by AbrB. PMID:1766371

  16. Exploiting Bacterial Operons To Illuminate Human Iron-Sulfur Proteins.

    PubMed

    Andreini, Claudia; Banci, Lucia; Rosato, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Organisms from all kingdoms of life use iron-sulfur proteins (FeS-Ps) in a multitude of functional processes. We applied a bioinformatics approach to investigate the human portfolio of FeS-Ps. Sixty-one percent of human FeS-Ps bind Fe4S4 clusters, whereas 39% bind Fe2S2 clusters. However, this relative ratio varies significantly depending on the specific cellular compartment. We compared the portfolio of human FeS-Ps to 12 other eukaryotes and to about 700 prokaryotes. The comparative analysis of the organization of the prokaryotic homologues of human FeS-Ps within operons allowed us to reconstruct the human functional networks involving the conserved FeS-Ps common to prokaryotes and eukaryotes. These functional networks have been maintained during evolution and thus presumably represent fundamental cellular processes. The respiratory chain and the ISC machinery for FeS-P biogenesis are the two conserved processes that involve the majority of human FeS-Ps. Purine metabolism is another process including several FeS-Ps, in which BOLA proteins possibly have a regulatory role. The analysis of the co-occurrence of human FeS-Ps with other proteins highlighted numerous links between the iron-sulfur cluster machinery and the response mechanisms to cell damage, from repair to apoptosis. This relationship probably relates to the production of reactive oxygen species within the biogenesis and degradation of FeS-Ps. PMID:26889782

  17. Characterization of fig operon mutants of Francisella novicida U112

    PubMed Central

    Kiss, Katalin; Liu, Wei; Huntley, Jason F.; Norgard, Michael V.; Hansen, Eric J.

    2009-01-01

    Francisella species secrete a polycarboxylate siderophore that resembles rhizoferrin to acquire ferric iron. Several of the Francisella siderophore synthesis genes are contained in a Fur-regulated operon (designated fig or fsl) comprised of at least seven open reading frames (ORFs) including fur. Reverse transcriptase-PCR showed transcriptional linkage between figD and figE and between figE and figF. Mutations were constructed in four of these ORFs (figB, figC, figD, and figE) in F. novicida U112. All four of these new mutants and a F. novicida figA mutant grew at rates comparable to that of wild-type under iron-replete conditions but growth of all five mutants was stunted in iron-limiting media. When ferric rhizoferrin was added to the iron-limited media, growth of the figA, figB, figC, and figD mutants was restored to levels similar to those obtained in iron-replete media. However, this exogenously added siderophore could not rescue the figE mutant. When Chrome Azurol S assays were used to measure siderophore production, the figA, figB, and figC mutants were markedly deficient in their ability to synthesize siderophore whereas the figD and figE mutants produced siderophore at levels equivalent to the wild-type parent strain. PMID:18564336

  18. The ABC transporter YejABEF is required for resistance to antimicrobial peptides and the virulence of Brucella melitensis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhen; Bie, Pengfei; Cheng, Jie; Lu, Lin; Cui, Buyun; Wu, Qingmin

    2016-01-01

    The ability to resist the killing effects of host antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) plays a vital role in the virulence of pathogens. The Brucella melitensis NI genome has a gene cluster that encodes ABC transport. In this study, we constructed yejA1, yejA2, yejB, yejE, yejF, and whole yej operon deletion mutants, none of which exhibited discernible growth defect in TSB or minimal medium. Unlike their parental strain, the mutants showed a significantly increased sensitivity to acidic stress. The NIΔyejE and NIΔyejABEF mutants were also more sensitive than B. melitensis NI to polymyxin B, and the expression of yej operon genes was induced by polymyxin B. Moreover, cell and mouse infection assays indicated that NIΔyejE and NIΔyejABEF have restricted invasion and replication abilities inside macrophages and are rapidly cleared from the spleens of infected mice. These findings indicate that the ABC transporter YejABEF is required for the virulence of Brucella, suggesting that resistance to host antimicrobials is a key mechanism for Brucella to persistently survive in vivo. This study provided insights that led us to further investigate the potential correlation of AMP resistance with the mechanisms of immune escape and persistent infection by pathogens. PMID:27550726

  19. Evaluation of Virulence Gene Expression Patterns in Acinetobacter baumannii Using Quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Array.

    PubMed

    Lannan, Ford M; O'conor, Daniel K; Broderick, Joseph C; Tate, Jamison F; Scoggin, Jacob T; Moran, Nicholas A; Husson, Christopher M; Hegeman, Erik M; Ogrydziak, Cole E; Singh, Sneha A; Vafides, Andrew G; Brinkley, Carl C; Goodin, Jeremy L

    2016-09-01

    According to the Centers for Disease Control's recently devised National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Acinetobacter baumannii is a "serious" threat level pathogen. A. baumannii's notoriety stems from the fact that a large number of modern strains are multidrug resistant and persist in the hospital setting, thus causing numerous deaths per year. It is imperative that research focus on a more fundamental understanding of the factors responsible for the success of A. baumannii. Toward this end, our group investigated virulence gene expression patterns in a recently characterized wound isolate, AB5075, using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction array. Notably, several genes showed statistically significant upregulation at 37°C compared to 25°C; MviM, Wbbj, CarO, and certain genes of the Bas, Bar, and Csu operons. Additionally, we found that in vitro biofilm formation by Csu transposon insertion mutant strains is attenuated. These findings validate previous reports that suggest a link between the Csu operon and biofilm formation. More importantly, our results demonstrate a successful method for evaluating the significance of previously identified virulence factors in a modern and clinically relevant strain of A. baumannii, thereby providing a path toward a more fundamental understanding of the pathogenicity of A. baumannii. PMID:27612361

  20. The ABC transporter YejABEF is required for resistance to antimicrobial peptides and the virulence of Brucella melitensis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen; Bie, Pengfei; Cheng, Jie; Lu, Lin; Cui, Buyun; Wu, Qingmin

    2016-01-01

    The ability to resist the killing effects of host antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) plays a vital role in the virulence of pathogens. The Brucella melitensis NI genome has a gene cluster that encodes ABC transport. In this study, we constructed yejA1, yejA2, yejB, yejE, yejF, and whole yej operon deletion mutants, none of which exhibited discernible growth defect in TSB or minimal medium. Unlike their parental strain, the mutants showed a significantly increased sensitivity to acidic stress. The NIΔyejE and NIΔyejABEF mutants were also more sensitive than B. melitensis NI to polymyxin B, and the expression of yej operon genes was induced by polymyxin B. Moreover, cell and mouse infection assays indicated that NIΔyejE and NIΔyejABEF have restricted invasion and replication abilities inside macrophages and are rapidly cleared from the spleens of infected mice. These findings indicate that the ABC transporter YejABEF is required for the virulence of Brucella, suggesting that resistance to host antimicrobials is a key mechanism for Brucella to persistently survive in vivo. This study provided insights that led us to further investigate the potential correlation of AMP resistance with the mechanisms of immune escape and persistent infection by pathogens. PMID:27550726

  1. The polyamine N-acetyltransferase-like enzyme PmvE plays a role in the virulence of Enterococcus faecalis.

    PubMed

    Martini, Cecilia; Michaux, Charlotte; Bugli, Francesca; Arcovito, Alessandro; Iavarone, Federica; Cacaci, Margherita; Paroni Sterbini, Francesco; Hartke, Axel; Sauvageot, Nicolas; Sanguinetti, Maurizio; Posteraro, Brunella; Giard, Jean-Christophe

    2015-01-01

    We previously showed that the mutant strain of Enterococcus faecalis lacking the transcriptional regulator SlyA is more virulent than the parental strain. We hypothesized that this phenotype was due to overexpression of the second gene of the slyA operon, ef_3001, renamed pmvE (for polyamine metabolism and virulence of E. faecalis). PmvE shares strong homologies with N(1)-spermidine/spermine acetyltransferase enzymes involved in the metabolism of polyamines. In this study, we used an E. faecalis strain carrying the recombinant plasmid pMSP3535-pmvE (V19/p3535-pmvE), which allows the induction of pmvE by addition of nisin. Thereby, we showed that the overexpression of PmvE increased the virulence of E. faecalis in the Galleria mellonella infection model, as well as the persistence within peritoneal macrophages. We were also able to show a direct interaction between the His-tagged recombinant PmvE (rPmvE) protein and putrescine by the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technique on a Biacore instrument. Moreover, biochemical assays showed that PmvE possesses an N-acetyltransferase activity toward polyamine substrates. Our results suggest that PmvE contributes to the virulence of E. faecalis, likely through its involvement in the polyamine metabolism. PMID:25385793

  2. The catabolite control protein E (CcpE) affects virulence determinant production and pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Torsten; Baronian, Grégory; Nippe, Nadine; Voss, Meike; Schulthess, Bettina; Wolz, Christiane; Eisenbeis, Janina; Schmidt-Hohagen, Kerstin; Gaupp, Rosmarie; Sunderkötter, Cord; Beisswenger, Christoph; Bals, Robert; Somerville, Greg A; Herrmann, Mathias; Molle, Virginie; Bischoff, Markus

    2014-10-24

    Carbon metabolism and virulence determinant production are often linked in pathogenic bacteria, and several regulatory elements have been reported to mediate this linkage in Staphylococcus aureus. Previously, we described a novel protein, catabolite control protein E (CcpE) that functions as a regulator of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Here we demonstrate that CcpE also regulates virulence determinant biosynthesis and pathogenesis. Specifically, deletion of ccpE in S. aureus strain Newman revealed that CcpE affects transcription of virulence factors such as capA, the first gene in the capsule biosynthetic operon; hla, encoding α-toxin; and psmα, encoding the phenol-soluble modulin cluster α. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that CcpE binds to the hla promoter. Mice challenged with S. aureus strain Newman or its isogenic ΔccpE derivative revealed increased disease severity in the ΔccpE mutant using two animal models; an acute lung infection model and a skin infection model. Complementation of the mutant with the ccpE wild-type allele restored all phenotypes, demonstrating that CcpE is negative regulator of virulence in S. aureus. PMID:25193664

  3. The Catabolite Control Protein E (CcpE) Affects Virulence Determinant Production and Pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus*

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Torsten; Baronian, Grégory; Nippe, Nadine; Voss, Meike; Schulthess, Bettina; Wolz, Christiane; Eisenbeis, Janina; Schmidt-Hohagen, Kerstin; Gaupp, Rosmarie; Sunderkötter, Cord; Beisswenger, Christoph; Bals, Robert; Somerville, Greg A.; Herrmann, Mathias; Molle, Virginie; Bischoff, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Carbon metabolism and virulence determinant production are often linked in pathogenic bacteria, and several regulatory elements have been reported to mediate this linkage in Staphylococcus aureus. Previously, we described a novel protein, catabolite control protein E (CcpE) that functions as a regulator of the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Here we demonstrate that CcpE also regulates virulence determinant biosynthesis and pathogenesis. Specifically, deletion of ccpE in S. aureus strain Newman revealed that CcpE affects transcription of virulence factors such as capA, the first gene in the capsule biosynthetic operon; hla, encoding α-toxin; and psmα, encoding the phenol-soluble modulin cluster α. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that CcpE binds to the hla promoter. Mice challenged with S. aureus strain Newman or its isogenic ΔccpE derivative revealed increased disease severity in the ΔccpE mutant using two animal models; an acute lung infection model and a skin infection model. Complementation of the mutant with the ccpE wild-type allele restored all phenotypes, demonstrating that CcpE is negative regulator of virulence in S. aureus. PMID:25193664

  4. A Mutation in the 16S rRNA Decoding Region Attenuates the Virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Shinya; Matsumura, Kazunori; Iwai, Hiroki; Funatogawa, Keiji; Haishima, Yuji; Fukui, Chie; Okumura, Kayo; Kato-Miyazawa, Masako; Hashimoto, Masahito; Teramoto, Kanae; Kirikae, Fumiko; Miyoshi-Akiyama, Tohru; Kirikae, Teruo

    2016-08-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis contains a single rRNA operon that encodes targets for antituberculosis agents, including kanamycin. To date, only four mutations in the kanamycin binding sites of 16S rRNA have been reported in kanamycin-resistant clinical isolates. We hypothesized that another mutation(s) in the region may dramatically decrease M. tuberculosis viability and virulence. Here, we describe an rRNA mutation, U1406A, which was generated in vitro and confers resistance to kanamycin while highly attenuating M. tuberculosis virulence. The mutant showed decreased expression of 20% (n = 361) of mycobacterial proteins, including central metabolic enzymes, mycolic acid biosynthesis enzymes, and virulence factors such as antigen 85 complexes and ESAT-6. The mutation also induced three proteins, including KsgA (Rv1010; 16S rRNA adenine dimethyltransferase), which closely bind to the U1406A mutation site on the ribosome; these proteins were associated with ribosome maturation and translation initiation processes. The mutant showed an increase in 17S rRNA (precursor 16S rRNA) and a decrease in the ratio of 30S subunits to the 70S ribosomes, suggesting that the U1406A mutation in 16S rRNA attenuated M. tuberculosis virulence by affecting these processes. PMID:27245411

  5. The bcp gene in the bcp-recA-vimA-vimE-vimF operon is important in oxidative stress resistance in Porphyromonas gingivalis W83.

    PubMed

    Johnson, N A; McKenzie, R M E; Fletcher, H M

    2011-02-01

    The ability of Porphyromonas gingivalis to overcome oxidative stress in the inflammatory environment of the periodontal pocket is critical for its survival. We have previously demonstrated that the recA locus, which carries the bacterioferritin co-migratory protein (bcp) gene and has a unique genetic architecture, plays a role in virulence regulation and oxidative stress resistance in P. gingivalis. To further characterize the bcp gene, which was confirmed to be part of the bcp-recA-vimA-vimE-vimF operon, we created a P. gingivalis bcp-defective isogenic mutant (FLL302) by allelic exchange. Compared with the wild-type, FLL302 had a similar growth rate, black pigmentation, β-hemolysis and UV sensitivity. Although there was no change in the distribution of gingipain activity, there was a 30% reduction in both Arg-X and Lys-X activities in the mutant strain compared with the wild-type. When exposed to 0.25 mm hydrogen peroxide, P. gingivalis FLL302 was more sensitive than the wild-type. In addition, the cloned P. gingivalis bcp gene increased resistance to 0.25 mm hydrogen peroxide in a bcp-defective Escherichia coli mutant. The mutant also demonstrated decreased aerotolerance when compared with the wild-type. Porphyromonas gingivalis FLL302 and the wild-type strain had similar virulence profiles in a mouse model of virulence. These observations suggest that the bcp gene may play a role in oxidative stress resistance but has a decreased functional significance in the pathogenic potential of P. gingivalis. PMID:21214873

  6. FIS-dependent trans activation of stable RNA operons of Escherichia coli under various growth conditions.

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, L; Verbeek, H; Vijgenboom, E; van Drunen, C; Vanet, A; Bosch, L

    1992-01-01

    In Escherichia coli transcription of the tRNA operon thrU (tufB) and the rRNA operon rrnB is trans-activated by the protein FIS. This protein, which stimulates the inversion of various viral DNA segments, binds specifically to a cis-acting sequence (designated UAS) upstream of the promoter of thrU (tufB) and the P1 promoter of the rrnB operon. There are indications that this type of regulation is representative for the regulation of more stable RNA operons. In the present investigation we have studied UAS-dependent transcription activation of the thrU (tufB) operon in the presence and absence of FIS during a normal bacterial growth cycle and after a nutritional shift-up. In early log phase the expression of the operon rises steeply in wild-type cells, whereafter it declines. Concomitantly, a peak of the cellular FIS concentration is observed. Cells in the stationary phase are depleted of FIS. The rather abrupt increase of transcription activation depends on the nutritional quality of the medium. It is not seen in minimal medium. After a shift from minimal to rich medium, a peak of transcription activation and of FIS concentration is measured. This peak gets higher as the medium gets more strongly enriched. We conclude that a correlation between changes of the UAS-dependent activation of the thrU (tufB) operon and changes of the cellular FIS concentration under a variety of experimental conditions exists. This correlation strongly suggests that the production of FIS responds to environmental signals, thereby trans-activating the operon. Cells unable to produce FIS (fis cells) also show an increase of operon transcription in the early log phase and after a nutritional shift-up, albeit less pronounced than that wild-type cells. Presumably it is controlled by the ribosome feedback regulatory system. cis activation of the operon by the upstream activator sequence is apparent in the absence of FIS. This activation is constant throughout the entire growth cycle and is

  7. FIS-dependent trans activation of stable RNA operons of Escherichia coli under various growth conditions.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, L; Verbeek, H; Vijgenboom, E; van Drunen, C; Vanet, A; Bosch, L

    1992-02-01

    In Escherichia coli transcription of the tRNA operon thrU (tufB) and the rRNA operon rrnB is trans-activated by the protein FIS. This protein, which stimulates the inversion of various viral DNA segments, binds specifically to a cis-acting sequence (designated UAS) upstream of the promoter of thrU (tufB) and the P1 promoter of the rrnB operon. There are indications that this type of regulation is representative for the regulation of more stable RNA operons. In the present investigation we have studied UAS-dependent transcription activation of the thrU (tufB) operon in the presence and absence of FIS during a normal bacterial growth cycle and after a nutritional shift-up. In early log phase the expression of the operon rises steeply in wild-type cells, whereafter it declines. Concomitantly, a peak of the cellular FIS concentration is observed. Cells in the stationary phase are depleted of FIS. The rather abrupt increase of transcription activation depends on the nutritional quality of the medium. It is not seen in minimal medium. After a shift from minimal to rich medium, a peak of transcription activation and of FIS concentration is measured. This peak gets higher as the medium gets more strongly enriched. We conclude that a correlation between changes of the UAS-dependent activation of the thrU (tufB) operon and changes of the cellular FIS concentration under a variety of experimental conditions exists. This correlation strongly suggests that the production of FIS responds to environmental signals, thereby trans-activating the operon. Cells unable to produce FIS (fis cells) also show an increase of operon transcription in the early log phase and after a nutritional shift-up, albeit less pronounced than that wild-type cells. Presumably it is controlled by the ribosome feedback regulatory system. cis activation of the operon by the upstream activator sequence is apparent in the absence of FIS. This activation is constant throughout the entire growth cycle and is

  8. Identification of pTiC58 plasmid-encoded proteins for virulence in Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    PubMed Central

    Hagiya, M; Close, T J; Tait, R C; Kado, C I

    1985-01-01

    Analyses were made of the host-dependent-variation (hdv) locus of the virulence (vir) region of the pTiC58 plasmid of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The hdv locus is comprised of at least four genes that encode polypeptides of 13, 15, 29, and 28 kDa. Insertion of transposon Tn5 in the first gene abolishes the expression of all four genes in vitro and in vivo. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the hdv locus revealed four open reading frames tandemly arranged with spacer sequences having no promoter-like sequences and lacking the ability to bind A. tumefaciens RNA polymerase. These studies suggest that the hdv locus is comprised of at least four genes arranged in an operon in the vir region. The protein products of these genes are likely to function in some aspect of the host-range determination of A. tumefaciens. Images PMID:2986128

  9. The Mycoplasma gallisepticum virulence factor lipoprotein MslA is a novel polynucleotide binding protein.

    PubMed

    Masukagami, Yumiko; Tivendale, Kelly A; Mardani, Karim; Ben-Barak, Idan; Markham, Philip F; Browning, Glenn F

    2013-09-01

    Although lipoproteins of mycoplasmas are thought to play a crucial role in interactions with their hosts, very few have had their biochemical function defined. The gene encoding the lipoprotein MslA in Mycoplasma gallisepticum has recently been shown to be required for virulence, but the biochemical function of this gene is not known. Although this gene has no significant sequence similarity to any gene of known function, it is located within an operon in M. gallisepticum that contains a homolog of a gene previously shown to be a nonspecific exonuclease. We mutagenized both genes to facilitate expression in Escherichia coli and then examined the functions of the recombinant proteins. The capacity of MslA to bind polynucleotides was examined, and we found that the protein bound single- and double-stranded DNA, as well as single-stranded RNA, with a predicted binding site of greater than 1 nucleotide but less than or equal to 5 nucleotides in length. Recombinant MslA cleaved into two fragments in vitro, both of which were able to bind oligonucleotides. These findings suggest that the role of MslA may be to act in concert with the lipoprotein nuclease to generate nucleotides for transport into the mycoplasma cell, as the remaining genes in the operon are predicted to encode an ABC transporter. PMID:23798535

  10. Phylogeny and Virulence of Naturally Occurring Type III Secretion System-Deficient Pectobacterium Strains▿

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hye-Sook; Ma, Bing; Perna, Nicole T.; Charkowski, Amy O.

    2009-01-01

    Pectobacterium species are enterobacterial plant-pathogenic bacteria that cause soft rot disease in diverse plant species. Previous epidemiological studies of Pectobacterium species have suffered from an inability to identify most isolates to the species or subspecies level. We used three previously described DNA-based methods, 16S-23S intergenic transcribed spacer PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, to examine isolates from diseased stems and tubers and found that MLSA provided the most reliable classification of isolates. We found that strains belonging to at least two Pectobacterium clades were present in each field examined, although representatives of only three of five Pectobacterium clades were isolated. Hypersensitive response and DNA hybridization assays revealed that strains of both Pectobacterium carotovorum and Pectobacterium wasabiae lack a type III secretion system (T3SS). Two of the T3SS-deficient strains assayed lack genes adjacent to the T3SS gene cluster, suggesting that multiple deletions occurred in Pectobacterium strains in this locus, and all strains appear to have only six rRNA operons instead of the seven operons typically found in Pectobacterium strains. The virulence of most of the T3SS-deficient strains was similar to that of T3SS-encoding strains in stems and tubers. PMID:19411432

  11. ZnO nanoparticles inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation and virulence factor production.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jin-Hyung; Kim, Yong-Guy; Cho, Moo Hwan; Lee, Jintae

    2014-12-01

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a variety of virulence factors, and biofilms of this bacterium are much more resistant to antibiotics than planktonic cells. Thirty-six metal ions have been investigated to identify antivirulence and antibiofilm metal ions. Zinc ions and ZnO nanoparticles were found to markedly inhibit biofilm formation and the production of pyocyanin, Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS), pyochelin, and hemolytic activity of P. aeruginosa without affecting the growth of planktonic cells. Transcriptome analyses showed that ZnO nanoparticles induce the zinc cation efflux pump czc operon and several important transcriptional regulators (porin gene opdT and type III repressor ptrA), but repress the pyocyanin-related phz operon, which explains observed phenotypic changes. A mutant study showed that the effects of ZnO nanoparticles on the control of pyocyanin production and biofilm formation require the czc regulator CzcR. In addition, ZnO nanoparticles markedly increased the cellular hydrophilicity of P. aeruginosa cells. Our results support that ZnO nanoparticles are potential antivirulence materials against recalcitrant P. aeruginosa infections and possibly other important pathogens. PMID:24958247

  12. Ribosomal Multi-Operon Diversity: An Original Perspective on the Genus Aeromonas

    PubMed Central

    Roger, Frédéric; Lamy, Brigitte; Jumas-Bilak, Estelle; Kodjo, Angeli; F., Carmagnol; E., Chachaty; C., Alba-Sauviat; C., Auvray; D., Barraud; Z., Benseddik; A., Bertrou; F., Bessis; H., Biessy; V., Blanc; Y., Boucaud-Maitre; P., Brunet; A., Michel; B., Cancet; J., Carrere; A., Cecille; G., Chambreuil; P., Chantelat; H., Chardon; C., Charrel; H., De Montclos; J.W., Decousser; J. M., Delarbre; A., Gravet; D., Deligne; C., Denoix; J., Deregnaucourt; F., Desroys du Roure; S., Dubourdieu; Z., El Harrif; C., Eloy; A., Evers; C., Febvre; D., Fevre; S., Gabriel; M. J., Galanti; E., Garnotel; M., Gavignet; F., Geffroy; G., Grise; I., Gros; I., Hermes; J., Heurte; E., Heusse; D., Jan; E., Jaouen; S., Laluque; R., Lamarca; Laurens, E.; A., Le Coustumier; E., Lecaillon; C., Lemble; M., Leneveu; S., Leotard; M. N., Letouzey; C., Malbrunot; O., Menouni; M., Morel; C., Olive; B., Pangon; J. G., Paul; J. M., Perez; P., Pouedras; D., Pressac; R., Sanchez; Y., Scat; A., Secher; J., Semon; D., Simeon; C., Simonin; J. P., Thellier; B., Tourand; A., Vachée; C., Varache; J., Vaucel; A. C., Vautrin; A., Verhaeghe; M., Villemain; L., Villeneuve; Marchandin, Hélène

    2012-01-01

    16S rRNA gene (rrs) is considered of low taxonomic interest in the genus Aeromonas. Here, 195 Aeromonas strains belonging to populations structured by multilocus phylogeny were studied using an original approach that considered Ribosomal Multi-Operon Diversity. This approach associated pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to assess rrn operon number and distribution across the chromosome and PCR-temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (TTGE) to assess rrs V3 region heterogeneity. Aeromonads harbored 8 to 11 rrn operons, 10 operons being observed in more than 92% of the strains. Intraspecific variability was low or nul except for A. salmonicida and A. aquariorum suggesting that large chromosomic rearrangements might occur in these two species while being extremely rarely encountered in the evolution of other taxa. rrn operon number at 8 as well as PFGE patterns were shown valuable for taxonomic purpose allowing resolution of species complexes. PCR-TTGE revealed a high rate of strains (41.5%) displaying intragenomic rrs heterogeneity. Strains isolated from human samples more frequently displayed intragenomic heterogeneity than strains recovered from non-human and environmental specimens. Intraspecific variability ranged from 0 to 76.5% of the strains. The observation of species-specific TTGE bands, the recovery of identical V3 regions in different species and the variability of intragenomic heterogeneity (1–13 divergent nucleotides) supported the occurrence of mutations and horizontal transfer in aeromonad rrs evolution. Altogether, the presence of a high number of rrn operon, the high proportion of strains harboring divergent rrs V3 region and the previously demonstrated high level of genetic diversity argued in favor of highly adaptative capabilities of aeromonads. Outstanding features observed for A. caviae supported the ongoing process of adaptation to a specialized niche represented by the gut, previously hypothesized. 16S rRNA gene is an informative

  13. [Virulence determinant of Chromobacterium violaceum].

    PubMed

    Miki, Tsuyoshi

    2014-01-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum is a Gram-negative bacterium that infects humans and animals with fatal sepsis. The infection with C. violaceum is rare in case of those who are healthy, but once established, C. violaceum causes sever disease accompanied by abscess formation in the lungs, liver and spleen. Furthermore, C. violaceum is resistant to a broad range of antibiotics, which in some cases renders the antimicrobial therapy for this infection difficult. Thus, the infection with C. violaceum displays high mortality rates unless initial proper antimicrobial therapy. In contrast, the infection mechanism had completely remained unknown. To this end, we have tried to identify virulence factors-associated with C. violaceum infection. Two distinct type III secretion systems (TTSSs) were thought to be one of the most important virulence factors, which are encoded by Chromobacterium pathogenicity island 1/1a and 2 (Cpi-1/-1a and -2) respectively. Our results have shown that Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTSS, but not Cpi-2, is indispensable for the virulence in a mouse infection model. C. violaceum caused fulminant hepatitis in a Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTSS-dependent manner. We next have identified 16 novel effectors secreted from Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTS machinery. From these effectors, we found that CopE (Chromobacterium outer protein E) has similarities to a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for Rho GTPases. CopE acts as GEF for Rac1 and Cdc42, leading to induction of actin cytoskeletal rearrangement. Interestingly, C. violaceum invades cultured human epithelial cells in a CopE-dependent manner. Finally, an inactivation of CopE by disruption of copE gene or amino acid point mutation leading to loss of GEF activity attenuates significantly the mouse virulence of C. violaceum. These results suggest that Cpi-1/-1a-encoded TTSS is a major virulence determinant for C. violaceum infection, and that CopE contributes to the virulence in part of this pathogen. PMID:25447983

  14. Kinetic approaches to lactose operon induction and bimodality.

    PubMed

    Michel, Denis

    2013-05-21

    The quasi-equilibrium approximation is acceptable when molecular interactions are fast enough compared to circuit dynamics, but is no longer allowed when cellular activities are governed by rare events. A typical example is the lactose operon (lac), one of the most famous paradigms of transcription regulation, for which several theories still coexist to describe its behaviors. The lac system is generally analyzed by using equilibrium constants, contradicting single-event hypotheses long suggested by Novick and Weiner (1957). Enzyme induction as an all-or-none phenomenon. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 43, 553-566) and recently refined in the study of (Choi et al., 2008. A stochastic single-molecule event triggers phenotype switching of a bacterial cell. Science 322, 442-446). In the present report, a lac repressor (LacI)-mediated DNA immunoprecipitation experiment reveals that the natural LacI-lac DNA complex built in vivo is extremely tight and long-lived compared to the time scale of lac expression dynamics, which could functionally disconnect the abortive expression bursts and forbid using the standard modes of lac bistability. As alternatives, purely kinetic mechanisms are examined for their capacity to restrict induction through: (i) widely scattered derepression related to the arrival time variance of a predominantly backward asymmetric random walk and (ii) an induction threshold arising in a single window of derepression without recourse to nonlinear multimeric binding and Hill functions. Considering the complete disengagement of the lac repressor from the lac promoter as the probabilistic consequence of a transient stepwise mechanism, is sufficient to explain the sigmoidal lac responses as functions of time and of inducer concentration. This sigmoidal shape can be misleadingly interpreted as a phenomenon of equilibrium cooperativity classically used to explain bistability, but which has been reported to be weak in this system. PMID:23454080

  15. Virulence Effects and Signaling Partners Modulated by Brucella melitensis Light-sensing Histidine Kinase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourley, Christopher R.

    The facultative intracellular pathogen Brucella melitensis utilizes diverse virulence factors. A Brucella light sensing histidine kinase can influence in vitro virulence of the bacteria during intracellular infection. First, we demonstrated that the B. melitensis light sensing kinase (BM-LOV-HK) affects virulence in an IRF-1-/- mouse model of infection. Infection with a Δ BM-LOV-HK strain resulted in less bacterial colonization of IRF-1-/- spleens and extended survivorship compared to mice infected with wild type B. melitensis 16M. Second, using PCR arrays, we observed less expression of innate and adaptive immune system activation markers in ΔBM-LOV-HK infected mouse spleens than wild type B. melitensis 16M infected mouse spleens 6 days after infection. Third, we demonstrated by microarray analysis of B. melitensis that deletion of BM-LOV-HK alters bacterial gene expression. Downregulation of genes involved in control of the general stress response system included the alternative sigma factor RpoE1 and its anti-anti sigma factor PhyR. Conversely, genes involved in flagella production, quorum sensing, and the type IV secretion system (VirB operon) were upregulated in the Δ BM-LOV-HK strain compared to the wild type B. melitensis 16M. Analysis of genes differentially regulated in Δ BM-LOV-HK versus the wild type strain indicated an overlap of 110 genes with data from previous quorum sensing regulator studies of Δ vjbR and/ΔblxR(babR) strains. Also, several predicted RpoE1 binding sites located upstream of genes were differentially regulated in the ΔBM-LOV-HK strain. Our results suggest BM-LOV-HK is important for in vivo Brucella virulence, and reveals that BM-LOV-HK directly or indirect regulates members of the Brucella quorum sensing, type IV secretion, and general stress systems.

  16. Surface attachment induces Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence

    PubMed Central

    Siryaporn, Albert; Kuchma, Sherry L.; O’Toole, George A.; Gitai, Zemer

    2014-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa infects every type of host that has been examined by deploying multiple virulence factors. Previous studies of virulence regulation have largely focused on chemical cues, but P. aeruginosa may also respond to mechanical cues. Using a rapid imaging-based virulence assay, we demonstrate that P. aeruginosa activates virulence in response to attachment to a range of chemically distinct surfaces, suggesting that this bacterial species responds to mechanical properties of its substrates. Surface-activated virulence requires quorum sensing, but activating quorum sensing does not induce virulence without surface attachment. The activation of virulence by surfaces also requires the surface-exposed protein PilY1, which has a domain homologous to a eukaryotic mechanosensor. Specific mutation of the putative PilY1 mechanosensory domain is sufficient to induce virulence in non–surface-attached cells, suggesting that PilY1 mediates surface mechanotransduction. Triggering virulence only when cells are both at high density and attached to a surface—two host-nonspecific cues—explains how P. aeruginosa precisely regulates virulence while maintaining broad host specificity. PMID:25385640

  17. Salmonella-secreted Virulence Factors

    SciTech Connect

    Heffron, Fred; Niemann, George; Yoon, Hyunjin; Kidwai, Afshan S.; Brown, Roslyn N.; McDermott, Jason E.; Smith, Richard D.; Adkins, Joshua N.

    2011-05-01

    In this short review we discuss secreted virulence factors of Salmonella, which directly affect Salmonella interaction with its host. Salmonella secretes protein to subvert host defenses but also, as discussed, to reduce virulence thereby permitting the bacteria to persist longer and more successfully disperse. The type III secretion system (TTSS) is the best known and well studied of the mechanisms that enable secretion from the bacterial cytoplasm to the host cell cytoplasm. Other secretion systems include outer membrane vesicles, which are present in all Gram-negative bacteria examined to date, two-partner secretion, and type VI secretion will also be addressed. Excellent reviews of Salmonella secreted effectors have focused on themes such as actin rearrangements, vesicular trafficking, ubiquitination, and the activities of the virulence factors themselves. This short review is based on S. Typhimurium infection of mice because it is a model of typhoid like disease in humans. We have organized effectors in terms of events that happen during the infection cycle and how secreted effectors may be involved.

  18. Divergent Operons and the Genetic Structure of the Maltose B Region in ESCHERICHIA COLI K12

    PubMed Central

    Hofnung, Maurice

    1974-01-01

    Complementation and polarity suppression data are interpreted in terms of the genetic structure of the maltose B region. It is proposed that this region comprises two divergent operons. One operon includes malK, a cistron involved in maltose permeation, and lamB the only known cistron specifically involved in λ receptor synthesis. The other operon includes malJ1 and malJ2 which are most probably two different cistrons, both involved in maltose permeation*. It is further assumed that expression of the two operons is controlled by malT, the positive regulatory gene of the maltose system, located in the malA region. The target(s) for the action of the malT product is (are) most likely to be located between malJ1 and malK. There is an indication that the two operons might overlap in the region of their promoters. The structure of such an overlap as well as the possible function of the products of the different cistrons in malB are briefly discussed. PMID:4595640

  19. Promoter- and attenuator-related metabolic regulation of the Salmonella typhimurium histidine operon.

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, M E; Roth, D J; Hartman, P E

    1978-01-01

    Expression of the histidine (his) operon in Salmonella typhimurium was found to be positively correlated with the intracellular level of guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp). Limitation for amino acids other than histidine elicited a histidine-independent metabolic regulation of the operon. In bacteria grown at decreased growth rates, his operon expression was metabolically regulated up to a point, after which further decreases in growth rate no longer resulted in further enhancement of operon expression. Studies using strains carrying various regulatory and deletion mutations indicated that metabolic regulation is achieved predominantly by increased RNA chain initiations at the primary (P1) and internal (P2) promoters. Metabolic regulation ordinarly did not involve changes in RNA chain terminations at the attenuator site of the his operon. A model is proposed that involves ppGpp-induced changes in RNA polymerase initiation specificity at particular promoters. A second, special form of metabolic regulation may operate which also is histidine independent, but does involve relief of attenuation. PMID:342509

  20. [CpcHID operon as a new tool for classification and identification of Arthrospira platensis strains].

    PubMed

    Yang, Ling-yong; Wang, Zhi-ping; Cao, Xue-cheng; Chen, Xiao-yan; Xu, Bu-jin; Li, Xue-bin; Huang, Hui

    2006-12-01

    Arthrospira is a photoautotrophic filamentous cyanobacterium belonging to the family Oscillatoriaceae, phylum Cyanophyta. Morphological criteria alone were inadequate for classification of Arthrospira . To develop new molecular markers, in this study, the cpcHID operon, 16S rRNA and 16S-23S rRNA internally transcribed spacer (ITS) of seven Arthrospira platensis strains, Sp-10, Sp-2, Sp-9, Sp-1, Sp-1ll, Sp-3 and Sp-5, were cloned and sequenced. And the results of bioinformatics and molecular phylogenetics analyses with BioEdit 7.0, Clustal X 1.81 and Phylip 3.65 were as follows: (1) The sequences of cpcHID operon, 16S rRNA and ITS from the seven strains were highly homologous to the each corresponding gene based on multiple pair-wise comparison. (2) The mean absolute deviation of the G + C content, the ratio of different sites and the genetic distance coefficient based on the sequences of cpcHID operon in the seven strains were generally greater than that based on 16S rRNA and ITS region. (3) The phylogenetic dendrogram based on the sequences of cpcHID operon was almost same with that based on the sequences of 16S rRNA and ITS region. Therefore, it revealed that cpcHID operon could be applied as a new molecular marker to classification and identification of cyanobacterium, and more appropriate for species or strains determination due to its abundant information. PMID:17302170

  1. Artificial citrate operon and Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene enhanced mineral phosphate solubilizing ability of Enterobacter hormaechei DHRSS.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Kavita; Kumar, Chanchal; Archana, G; Kumar, G Naresh

    2014-10-01

    Mineral phosphate solubilization by bacteria is mediated through secretion of organic acids, among which citrate is one of the most effective. To overproduce citrate in bacterial systems, an artificial citrate operon comprising of genes encoding NADH-insensitive citrate synthase of E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium sodium-dependent citrate transporter was constructed. In order to improve its mineral phosphate solubilizing (MPS) ability, the citrate operon was incorporated into E. hormaechei DHRSS. The artificial citrate operon transformant secreted 7.2 mM citric acid whereas in the native strain, it was undetectable. The transformant released 0.82 mM phosphate in flask studies in buffered medium containing rock phosphate as sole P source. In fermenter studies, similar phenotype was observed under aerobic conditions. However, under microaerobic conditions, no citrate was detected and P release was not observed. Therefore, an artificial citrate gene cluster containing Vitreoscilla hemoglobin (vgb) gene under its native promoter, along with artificial citrate operon under constitutive tac promoter, was constructed and transformed into E. hormaechei DHRSS. This transformant secreted 9 mM citric acid under microaerobic conditions and released 1.0 mM P. Thus, incorporation of citrate operon along with vgb gene improves MPS ability of E. hormaechei DHRSS under buffered, microaerobic conditions mimicking rhizospheric environment. PMID:25016342

  2. Insight into the specific virulence related genes and toxin-antitoxin virulent pathogenicity islands in swine streptococcosis pathogen Streptococcus equi ssp. zooepidemicus strain ATCC35246

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Streptococcus equi ssp. zooepidemicus (S. zooepidemicus) is an important pathogen causing swine streptococcosis in China. Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) of S. zooepidemicus have been transferred among bacteria through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and play important roles in the adaptation and increased virulence of S. zooepidemicus. The present study used comparative genomics to examine the different pathogenicities of S. zooepidemicus. Results Genome of S. zooepidemicus ATCC35246 (Sz35246) comprises 2,167,264-bp of a single circular chromosome, with a GC content of 41.65%. Comparative genome analysis of Sz35246, S. zooepidemicus MGCS10565 (Sz10565), Streptococcus equi. ssp. equi. 4047 (Se4047) and S. zooepidemicus H70 (Sz70) identified 320 Sz35246-specific genes, clustered into three toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems PAIs and one restriction modification system (RM system) PAI. These four acquired PAIs encode proteins that may contribute to the overall pathogenic capacity and fitness of this bacterium to adapt to different hosts. Analysis of the in vivo and in vitro transcriptomes of this bacterium revealed differentially expressed PAI genes and non-PAI genes, suggesting that Sz35246 possess mechanisms for infecting animals and adapting to a wide range of host environments. Analysis of the genome identified potential Sz35246 virulence genes. Genes of the Fim III operon were presumed to be involved in breaking the host-restriction of Sz35246. Conclusion Genome wide comparisons of Sz35246 with three other strains and transcriptome analysis revealed novel genes related to bacterial virulence and breaking the host-restriction. Four specific PAIs, which were judged to have been transferred into Sz35246 genome through HGT, were identified for the first time. Further analysis of the TA and RM systems in the PAIs will improve our understanding of the pathogenicity of this bacterium and could lead to the development of diagnostics and vaccines. PMID:23742619

  3. Escherichia coli mutant with altered respiratory control of the frd operon.

    PubMed Central

    Iuchi, S; Kuritzkes, D R; Lin, E C

    1985-01-01

    In wild-type Escherichia coli, fumarate reductase encoded by the frd operon is inducible by its substrate in the absence of molecular oxygen and nitrate. Synthesis of this enzyme under permissive conditions requires the fnr+ gene product, which is believed to be a pleiotropic regulatory protein that activates transcription. A spontaneous mutant was isolated in which the expression of the frd operon no longer depended on the presence of fumarate or the fnr+ gene product. Aerobic repression of the operon was abolished, but nitrate repression remained intact. Transductional analysis showed that the mutation was closely linked to the frd locus. The mutant phenotype strongly suggests that repression by molecular oxygen and nitrate is mediated by different mechanisms. PMID:3882660

  4. The dlt operon in the biosynthesis of D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid in Lactobacillus casei.

    PubMed

    Neuhaus, F C; Heaton, M P; Debabov, D V; Zhang, Q

    1996-01-01

    The D-alanine incorporation system allows Lactobacillus casei to modulate the chemical properties of lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and hence control its proposed functions, i.e., regulation of autolysin action, metal ion binding, and the electromechanical properties of the cell wall. The system requires the D-alanine-D-alanyl carrier protein ligase (Dcl) and the D-alanyl carrier protein (Dcp). Our results indicate that the genes for these proteins are encoded in the dlt operon and that this operon contains at least 2 other genes, dltB and dltD. The aim of this paper is to describe the genetic organization of the operon, the role of the D-alanyl carrier protein, and the function of the putative protein encoded by dltB in the intramembranal translocation of the activated D-alanine. PMID:9158726

  5. Transcriptome dynamics-based operon prediction and verification in Streptomyces coelicolor

    PubMed Central

    Charaniya, Salim; Mehra, Sarika; Lian, Wei; Jayapal, Karthik P.; Karypis, George; Hu, Wei-Shou

    2007-01-01

    Streptomyces spp. produce a variety of valuable secondary metabolites, which are regulated in a spatio-temporal manner by a complex network of inter-connected gene products. Using a compilation of genome-scale temporal transcriptome data for the model organism, Streptomyces coelicolor, under different environmental and genetic perturbations, we have developed a supervised machine-learning method for operon prediction in this microorganism. We demonstrate that, using features dependent on transcriptome dynamics and genome sequence, a support vector machines (SVM)-based classification algorithm can accurately classify >90% of gene pairs in a set of known operons. Based on model predictions for the entire genome, we verified the co-transcription of more than 250 gene pairs by RT-PCR. These results vastly increase the database of known operons in S. coelicolor and provide valuable information for exploring gene function and regulation to harness the potential of this differentiating microorganism for synthesis of natural products. PMID:17959654

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Characterization and Nucleotide Sequence of the Cryptic Cel Operon of Escherichia Coli K12

    PubMed Central

    Parker, L. L.; Hall, B. G.

    1990-01-01

    Wild-type Escherichia coli are not able to utilize β-glucoside sugars because the genes for utilization of these sugars are cryptic. Spontaneous mutations in the cel operon allow its expression and enable the organism to ferment cellobiose, arbutin and salicin. In this report we describe the structure and nucleotide sequence of the cel operon. The cel operon consists of five genes: celA, whose function is unknown; celB and celC which encode phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system enzyme II(cel) and enzyme III(cel), respectively, for the transport and phosphorylation of β-glucoside sugars; celD, which encodes a negative regulatory protein; and celF, which encodes a phospho-β-glucosidase that acts on phosphorylated cellobiose, arbutin and salicin. The mutationally activated cel operon is induced in the presence of its substrates, and is repressed in their absence. A comparison of proteins encoded by the cel operon with functionally equivalent proteins of the bgl operon, another cryptic E. coli gene system responsible for the catabolism of β-glucoside sugars, revealed no significant homology between these two systems despite common functional characteristics. The celD and celF encoded repressor and phospho-β-glucosidase proteins are homologous to the melibiose regulatory protein and to the melA encoded α-galactosidase of E. coli, respectively. Furthermore, the celC encoded PEP-dependent phosphotransferase system enzyme III(cel) is strikingly homologous to an enzyme III(lac) of the Gram-positive organism Staphylococcus aureus. We conclude that the genes for these two enzyme IIIs diverged much more recently than did their hosts, indicating that E. coli and S. aureus have undergone relatively recent exchange of chromosomal genes. PMID:2179047

  9. Sequencing and Characterization of the xyl Operon of a Gram-Positive Bacterium, Tetragenococcus halophila

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Yasuo; Takase, Kazuma; Yamato, Ichiro; Abe, Keietsu

    1998-01-01

    The xyl operon of a gram-positive bacterium, Tetragenococcus halophila (previously called Pediococcus halophilus), was cloned and sequenced. The DNA was about 7.7 kb long and contained genes for a ribose binding protein and part of a ribose transporter, xylR (a putative regulatory gene), and the xyl operon, along with its regulatory region and transcription termination signal, in this order. The DNA was AT rich, the GC content being 35.8%, consistent with the GC content of this gram-positive bacterium. The xyl operon consisted of three genes, xylA, encoding a xylose isomerase, xylB, encoding a xylulose kinase, and xylE, encoding a xylose transporter, with predicted molecular weights of 49,400, 56,400, and 51,600, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences of the XylR, XylA, XylB, and XylE proteins were similar to those of the corresponding proteins in other gram-positive and -negative bacteria, the similarities being 37 to 64%. Each polypeptide of XylB and XylE was expressed functionally in Escherichia coli. XylE transported d-xylose in a sodium ion-dependent manner, suggesting that it is the first described xylose/Na+ symporter. The XylR protein contained a consensus sequence for binding catabolites of glucose, such as glucose-6-phosphate, which has been discovered in glucose and fructose kinases in bacteria. Correspondingly, the regulatory region of this operon contained a putative binding site of XylR with a palindromic structure. Furthermore, it contained a consensus sequence, CRE (catabolite-responsive element), for binding CcpA (catabolite control protein A). We speculate that the transcriptional regulation of this operon resembles the regulation of catabolite-repressible operons such as the amy, lev, xyl, and gnt operons in various gram-positive bacteria. We discuss the significance of the regulation of gene expression of this operon in T. halophila. PMID:9647823

  10. Sequencing and characterization of the xyl operon of a gram-positive bacterium, Tetragenococcus halophila.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Y; Takase, K; Yamato, I; Abe, K

    1998-07-01

    The xyl operon of a gram-positive bacterium, Tetragenococcus halophila (previously called Pediococcus halophilus), was cloned and sequenced. The DNA was about 7.7 kb long and contained genes for a ribose binding protein and part of a ribose transporter, xylR (a putative regulatory gene), and the xyl operon, along with its regulatory region and transcription termination signal, in this order. The DNA was AT rich, the GC content being 35.8%, consistent with the GC content of this gram-positive bacterium. The xyl operon consisted of three genes, xylA, encoding a xylose isomerase, xylB, encoding a xylulose kinase, and xylE, encoding a xylose transporter, with predicted molecular weights of 49,400, 56,400, and 51,600, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences of the XylR, XylA, XylB, and XylE proteins were similar to those of the corresponding proteins in other gram-positive and -negative bacteria, the similarities being 37 to 64%. Each polypeptide of XylB and XylE was expressed functionally in Escherichia coli. XylE transported D-xylose in a sodium ion-dependent manner, suggesting that it is the first described xylose/Na+ symporter. The XylR protein contained a consensus sequence for binding catabolites of glucose, such as glucose-6-phosphate, which has been discovered in glucose and fructose kinases in bacteria. Correspondingly, the regulatory region of this operon contained a putative binding site of XylR with a palindromic structure. Furthermore, it contained a consensus sequence, CRE (catabolite-responsive element), for binding CcpA (catabolite control protein A). We speculate that the transcriptional regulation of this operon resembles the regulation of catabolite-repressible operons such as the amy, lev, xyl, and gnt operons in various gram-positive bacteria. We discuss the significance of the regulation of gene expression of this operon in T. halophila. PMID:9647823

  11. Organization and regulation of the ilvGEDA operon in Salmonella typhimurium LT2.

    PubMed

    Berg, C M; Shaw, K J

    1981-02-01

    A total of 102 isoleucine- and isoleucine-valine-requiring (ilv) mutants induced by insertion of the transposable element Tn10 have been classified to cistron by growth requirement, cross-feeding behavior, and enzyme assays. The mutations are in a polycistronic operon transcribed in the order ilvGEDA and in a monocistronic operon ilvC. Analysis of distal gene expression in these polar insertion mutants revealed the existence of two constitutive interval promoters, one preceding ilvE and the other preceding ilvD. PMID:7007356

  12. The Mangotoxin Biosynthetic Operon (mbo) Is Specifically Distributed within Pseudomonas syringae Genomospecies 1 and Was Acquired Only Once during Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Carrión, Víctor J.; Gutiérrez-Barranquero, José A.; Arrebola, Eva; Bardaji, Leire; Codina, Juan C.; de Vicente, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Mangotoxin production was first described in Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae strains. A phenotypic characterization of 94 P. syringae strains was carried out to determine the genetic evolution of the mangotoxin biosynthetic operon (mbo). We designed a PCR primer pair specific for the mbo operon to examine its distribution within the P. syringae complex. These primers amplified a 692-bp DNA fragment from 52 mangotoxin-producing strains and from 7 non-mangotoxin-producing strains that harbor the mbo operon, whereas 35 non-mangotoxin-producing strains did not yield any amplification. This, together with the analysis of draft genomes, allowed the identification of the mbo operon in five pathovars (pathovars aptata, avellanae, japonica, pisi, and syringae), all of which belong to genomospecies 1, suggesting a limited distribution of the mbo genes in the P. syringae complex. Phylogenetic analyses using partial sequences from housekeeping genes differentiated three groups within genomospecies 1. All of the strains containing the mbo operon clustered in groups I and II, whereas those lacking the operon clustered in group III; however, the relative branching order of these three groups is dependent on the genes used to construct the phylogeny. The mbo operon maintains synteny and is inserted in the same genomic location, with high sequence conservation around the insertion point, for all the strains in groups I and II. These data support the idea that the mbo operon was acquired horizontally and only once by the ancestor of groups I and II from genomospecies 1 within the P. syringae complex. PMID:23144138

  13. Tn9 and IS1 inserts in a ribosomal ribonucleic acid operon of Escherichia coli are incompletely polar.

    PubMed Central

    Brewster, J M; Morgan, E A

    1981-01-01

    Transcription is known to be coupled to translation in many or all bacterial operons which code for proteins. In these operons, nonsense codons which prevent normal translation often result in premature termination of transcription (polarity). However, efficient transcription of ribosomal ribonucleic acid operons (rrn operons) occurs, although rrn transcripts are not translated. It therefore seemed possible that insertion sequences and transposable elements which are polar in protein-coding operons might not be polar in rrn operons. Previously, it has been shown (E. A. Morgan, Cell 21:257-265, 1980) that Tn10 is incompletely polar in the rrnX operon. Here we show that the transposon Tn9 and the insertion sequence IS1 also incompletely polar in rrnX. In normal cells expression of sequences distal to the insertions can be detected by genetic methods. In ultraviolet-irradiated cells expression of distal sequences is about 80% of that observed in uninterrupted rrnX operons. These observations provide evidence that ribonucleic acid polymerase molecules beginning at rrnX promoters can read through Tn9 and IS1 and that, at least in ultraviolet-irradiated cells, read-through is very efficient. Images PMID:6171559

  14. Positions of Trp codons in the leader peptide-coding region of the at operon influence anti-trap synthesis and trp operon expression in Bacillus licheniformis.

    PubMed

    Levitin, Anastasia; Yanofsky, Charles

    2010-03-01

    Tryptophan, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and several other metabolites are all synthesized from a common precursor, chorismic acid. Since tryptophan is a product of an energetically expensive biosynthetic pathway, bacteria have developed sensing mechanisms to downregulate synthesis of the enzymes of tryptophan formation when synthesis of the amino acid is not needed. In Bacillus subtilis and some other Gram-positive bacteria, trp operon expression is regulated by two proteins, TRAP (the tryptophan-activated RNA binding protein) and AT (the anti-TRAP protein). TRAP is activated by bound tryptophan, and AT synthesis is increased upon accumulation of uncharged tRNA(Trp). Tryptophan-activated TRAP binds to trp operon leader RNA, generating a terminator structure that promotes transcription termination. AT binds to tryptophan-activated TRAP, inhibiting its RNA binding ability. In B. subtilis, AT synthesis is upregulated both transcriptionally and translationally in response to the accumulation of uncharged tRNA(Trp). In this paper, we focus on explaining the differences in organization and regulatory functions of the at operon's leader peptide-coding region, rtpLP, of B. subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis. Our objective was to correlate the greater growth sensitivity of B. licheniformis to tryptophan starvation with the spacing of the three Trp codons in its at operon leader peptide-coding region. Our findings suggest that the Trp codon location in rtpLP of B. licheniformis is designed to allow a mild charged-tRNA(Trp) deficiency to expose the Shine-Dalgarno sequence and start codon for the AT protein, leading to increased AT synthesis. PMID:20061467

  15. Identification and transcriptional analysis of the Escherichia coli htrE operon which is homologous to pap and related pilin operons.

    PubMed Central

    Raina, S; Missiakas, D; Baird, L; Kumar, S; Georgopoulos, C

    1993-01-01

    We have characterized a new Escherichia coli operon consisting of two genes, ecpD and htrE. The ecpD gene encodes a 27-kDa protein which is 40% identical at the amino acid level to the pilin chaperone PapD family of proteins. Immediately downstream of the ecpD gene is the htrE gene. The htrE gene encodes a polypeptide of 95 kDa which is processed to a 92-kDa mature species. The HtrE protein is 38% identical to the type II pilin porin protein PapC. The ecpD htrE operon is located at 3.3 min on the genetic map, corresponding to the region from kbp 153 to 157 of the E. coli physical map. The htrE gene was identified on the basis of a Tn5 insertion mutation which resulted in a temperature-sensitive growth phenotype above 43.5 degrees C. The transcription of this operon is induced with a temperature shift from 22 to 37 or 42 degrees C but not to higher temperatures, e.g., 50 degrees C. Consistent with this result, the temperature-induced transcription was shown to be independent of the rpoH gene product (sigma 32). The transcription of this operon was further shown to require functional integration host factor protein, since himA or himD mutant bacteria possessed lower levels of ecpD htrE transcripts. Among the three transcriptional start sites discovered, one, defined by the P2 promoter, was found to be under the positive regulation of the katF (rpoS) gene, which encodes a putative sigma factor required for the transcription of many growth phase-regulated genes. Images PMID:8102362

  16. A Shigella flexneri virulence plasmid encoded factor controls production of outer membrane vesicles.

    PubMed

    Sidik, Saima; Kottwitz, Haila; Benjamin, Jeremy; Ryu, Julie; Jarrar, Ameer; Garduno, Rafael; Rohde, John R

    2014-12-01

    Shigella spp. use a repertoire of virulence plasmid-encoded factors to cause shigellosis. These include components of a Type III Secretion Apparatus (T3SA) that is required for invasion of epithelial cells and many genes of unknown function. We constructed an array of 99 deletion mutants comprising all genes encoded by the virulence plasmid (excluding those known to be required for plasmid maintenance) of Shigella flexneri. We screened these mutants for their ability to bind the dye Congo red: an indicator of T3SA function. This screen focused our attention on an operon encoding genes that modify the cell envelope including virK, a gene of partially characterized function. We discovered that virK is required for controlled release of proteins to the culture supernatant. Mutations in virK result in a temperature-dependent overproduction of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). The periplasmic chaperone/protease DegP, a known regulator of OMV production in Escherichia coli (encoded by a chromosomal gene), was found to similarly control OMV production in S. flexneri. Both virK and degP show genetic interactions with mxiD, a structural component of the T3SA. Our results are consistent with a model in which VirK and DegP relieve the periplasmic stress that accompanies assembly of the T3SA. PMID:25378474

  17. A Shigella flexneri Virulence Plasmid Encoded Factor Controls Production of Outer Membrane Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Sidik, Saima; Kottwitz, Haila; Benjamin, Jeremy; Ryu, Julie; Jarrar, Ameer; Garduno, Rafael; Rohde, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Shigella spp. use a repertoire of virulence plasmid-encoded factors to cause shigellosis. These include components of a Type III Secretion Apparatus (T3SA) that is required for invasion of epithelial cells and many genes of unknown function. We constructed an array of 99 deletion mutants comprising all genes encoded by the virulence plasmid (excluding those known to be required for plasmid maintenance) of Shigella flexneri. We screened these mutants for their ability to bind the dye Congo red: an indicator of T3SA function. This screen focused our attention on an operon encoding genes that modify the cell envelope including virK, a gene of partially characterized function. We discovered that virK is required for controlled release of proteins to the culture supernatant. Mutations in virK result in a temperature-dependent overproduction of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). The periplasmic chaperone/protease DegP, a known regulator of OMV production in Escherichia coli (encoded by a chromosomal gene), was found to similarly control OMV production in S. flexneri. Both virK and degP show genetic interactions with mxiD, a structural component of the T3SA. Our results are consistent with a model in which VirK and DegP relieve the periplasmic stress that accompanies assembly of the T3SA. PMID:25378474

  18. Genetic organization of the Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii hrp gene cluster and sequence analysis of the hrpA, hrpC, hrpN, and wtsE operons.

    PubMed

    Frederick, R D; Ahmad, M; Majerczak, D R; Arroyo-Rodríguez, A S; Manulis, S; Coplin, D L

    2001-10-01

    The hrp/wts gene cluster of Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii is required for pathogenicity on sweet corn and the ability to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR) in tobacco. Site-directed transposon mutagenesis and nucleotide sequencing were used to identify hrp/wts genes within the left 20 kb of this cluster. Seventeen open reading frames (ORFs) comprise seven genetic complementation groups. These ORFs share homology with hrp and dsp genes from Erwinia amylovora, Erwinia chrysanthemi, and Pseudomonas syringae pathovars and have been designated, in map order, wtsF, wtsE, hrpN, hrpV, hrpT, hrcC, hrpG, hrpF, hrpE, hrpD, hrcJ, hrpB, hrpA, hrpS, hrpY, hrpX, and hrpL. Putative hrp consensus promoter sequences were identified upstream of hrpA, hrpF, hrpN, and wtsE. Expression of the hrpA, hrpC, and wtsE operons was regulated by HrpS. Transposon mutations in all of the hrp operons abolished pathogenicity and HR elicitation, except for the hrpN and hrpV mutants, which were still pathogenic. hrpS, hrpXY, and hrpL regulatory mutations abolished HrpN synthesis, whereas secretory mutations in the hrpC, hrpA, and hrpJ operons permitted intracellular HrpN synthesis. wtsEF mutants were not pathogenic but still produced HrpN and elicited the HR. wtsE encodes a 201-kDa protein that is similar to DspE in E. amylovora and AvrE in P. syringae pv. tomato, suggesting that this protein is a major virulence factor involved in the elicitation of water-soaked lesions. PMID:11605961

  19. Genomic islands of uropathogenic Escherichia coli contribute to virulence.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Amanda L; Henderson, Tiffany A; Vigil, Patrick D; Mobley, Harry L T

    2009-06-01

    Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strain CFT073 contains 13 large genomic islands ranging in size from 32 kb to 123 kb. Eleven of these genomic islands were individually deleted from the genome, and nine isogenic mutants were tested for their ability to colonize the CBA/J mouse model of ascending urinary tract infection. Three genomic island mutants (Delta PAI-aspV, Delta PAI-metV, and Delta PAI-asnT) were significantly outcompeted by wild-type CFT073 in the bladders and/or kidneys following transurethral cochallenge (P operon (Deltac0294-97 Delta c2518-15) was significantly outcompeted by wild-type CFT073 in cochallenge. Strains with mutations in a type VI secretion system within the PAI-metV island did not show attenuation. The attenuation of the PAI-metV island was localized to genes c3405-10, encoding a putative phosphotransferase transport system, which is common to UPEC and avian pathogenic E. coli strains but absent from E. coli K-12. We have shown that, in addition to encoding virulence genes, genomic islands contribute to the overall fitness of UPEC strain CFT073 in vivo. PMID:19329634

  20. The Abi-domain protein Abx1 interacts with the CovS histidine kinase to control virulence gene expression in group B Streptococcus.

    PubMed

    Firon, Arnaud; Tazi, Asmaa; Da Cunha, Violette; Brinster, Sophie; Sauvage, Elisabeth; Dramsi, Shaynoor; Golenbock, Douglas T; Glaser, Philippe; Poyart, Claire; Trieu-Cuot, Patrick

    2013-02-01

    Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a common commensal of the female genital tract, is the leading cause of invasive infections in neonates. Expression of major GBS virulence factors, such as the hemolysin operon cyl, is regulated directly at the transcriptional level by the CovSR two-component system. Using a random genetic approach, we identified a multi-spanning transmembrane protein, Abx1, essential for the production of the GBS hemolysin. Despite its similarity to eukaryotic CaaX proteases, the Abx1 function is not involved in a post-translational modification of the GBS hemolysin. Instead, we demonstrate that Abx1 regulates transcription of several virulence genes, including those comprising the hemolysin operon, by a CovSR-dependent mechanism. By combining genetic analyses, transcriptome profiling, and site-directed mutagenesis, we showed that Abx1 is a regulator of the histidine kinase CovS. Overexpression of Abx1 is sufficient to activate virulence gene expression through CovS, overcoming the need for an additional signal. Conversely, the absence of Abx1 has the opposite effect on virulence gene expression consistent with CovS locked in a kinase-competent state. Using a bacterial two-hybrid system, direct interaction between Abx1 and CovS was mapped specifically to CovS domains involved in signal processing. We demonstrate that the CovSR two-component system is the core of a signaling pathway integrating the regulation of CovS by Abx1 in addition to the regulation of CovR by the serine/threonine kinase Stk1. In conclusion, our study reports a regulatory function for Abx1, a member of a large protein family with a characteristic Abi-domain, which forms a signaling complex with the histidine kinase CovS in GBS. PMID:23436996

  1. Role of the FeoB Protein and Siderophore in Promoting Virulence of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae on Rice▿

    PubMed Central

    Pandey, Alok; Sonti, Ramesh V.

    2010-01-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae causes bacterial blight, a serious disease of rice. Our analysis revealed that the X. oryzae pv. oryzae genome encodes genes responsible for iron uptake through FeoB (homolog of the major bacterial ferrous iron transporter) and a siderophore. A mutation in the X. oryzae pv. oryzae feoB gene causes severe virulence deficiency, growth deficiency in iron-limiting medium, and constitutive production of a siderophore. We identified an iron regulated xss gene cluster, in which xssABCDE (Xanthomonas siderophore synthesis) and xsuA (Xanthomonas siderophore utilization) genes encode proteins involved in biosynthesis and utilization of X. oryzae pv. oryzae siderophore. Mutations in the xssA, xssB, and xssE genes cause siderophore deficiency and growth restriction under iron-limiting conditions but are virulence proficient. An xsuA mutant displayed impairment in utilization of native siderophore, suggesting that XsuA acts as a specific receptor for a ferric-siderophore complex. Histochemical and fluorimetric assays with gusA fusions indicate that, during in planta growth, the feoB gene is expressed and that the xss operon is not expressed. This study represents the first report describing a role for feoB in virulence of any plant-pathogenic bacterium and the first functional characterization of a siderophore-biosynthetic gene cluster in any xanthomonad. PMID:20382771

  2. Dissecting the Multiple Roles of PqsE in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence by Discovery of Small Tool Compounds.

    PubMed

    Zender, Michael; Witzgall, Florian; Drees, Steffen L; Weidel, Elisabeth; Maurer, Christine K; Fetzner, Susanne; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; Empting, Martin; Hartmann, Rolf W

    2016-06-17

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses quorum sensing (QS) as a cell-to-cell communication system to orchestrate the expression of virulence determinants. The biosynthesis of the important Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) requires the pqsABCDE operon. Here, PqsE acts as a pathway-specific thioesterase, but it also contributes to the regulation of bacterial virulence via an unknown mechanism. In this manuscript, we report the discovery of PqsE inhibitors as tool compounds to gain further insights into its different functions. Differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) was used to screen a fragment library, and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) was employed as a secondary filter. As proven by X-ray crystallography, hit molecules bound to the active center inhibiting PqsE's thioesterase activity in cell-based and in vitro assays. Notably, the ligands did not affect the levels of the PqsE-regulated virulence factor pyocyanin. These findings indicate that the regulatory function of PqsE is not linked to its thioesterase activity and must be encoded outside of the active center. This study highlights the potential of fragment-based screening for the discovery of tool compounds. This approach provided novel insight into complex biological systems, which could not be obtained by knockout studies. PMID:27082157

  3. Cloning and characterization of two groESL operons of Rhodobacter sphaeroides: transcriptional regulation of the heat-induced groESL operon.

    PubMed Central

    Lee, W T; Terlesky, K C; Tabita, F R

    1997-01-01

    The nonsulfur purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides was found to contain two groESL operons. The groESL1 heat shock operon was cloned from a genomic library, and a 2.8-kb DNA fragment was sequenced and found to contain the groES and groEL genes. The deduced amino acid sequences of GroEL1 (cpn60) and GroES1 (cpn10) were in agreement with N-terminal sequences previously obtained for the isolated proteins (K. C. Terlesky and F. R. Tabita, Biochemistry 30:8181-8186, 1991). These sequences show a high degree of similarity to groESL genes isolated from other bacteria. Northern analysis indicated that the groESL1 genes were expressed as part of a 2.2-kb polycistronic transcript that is induced 13-fold after heat shock. Transcript size was not affected by heat shock; however, the amount of transcript was induced to its greatest extent 15 to 30 min after a 40 degrees C heat shock, from an initial temperature of 28 degrees C, and remained elevated up to 120 min. The R. sphaeroides groESL1 operon contains a putative hairpin loop at the start of the transcript that is present in other bacterial heat shock genes. Primer extension of the message showed that the transcription start site is at the start of this conserved hairpin loop. In this region were also found putative -35 and -10 sequences that are conserved upstream from other bacterial heat shock genes. Transcription of the groESL1 genes was unexpectedly low under photoautotrophic growth conditions. Thus far, it has not been possible to construct a groESL1 deletion strain, perhaps indicating that these genes are essential for growth. A second operon (groESL2) was also cloned from R. sphaeroides, using a groEL1 gene fragment as a probe; however, no transcript was observed for this operon under several different growth conditions. A groESL2 deletion strain was constructed, but there was no detectable change in the phenotype of this strain compared to the parental strain. PMID:8990302

  4. Blastocystis: Taxonomy, biology and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Parija, Subhash Chandra; Jeremiah, SS

    2013-01-01

    The unicellular protist Blastocystis has long been an unsolved puzzle for taxonomists, microbiologists and clinicians. Over the years, the organism has been bounced on and off the different branches of the tree of life due the possession of unique phenotypic characters intermediary to different organisms. The organism is polymorphic with only few of forms such as vacuolar, granular, amoeboid, and the cyst form being commonly known. However it could exist in other forms much more frequently than the widely known forms which could be missed by the unaware observer. Certain older concepts in the life cycle of Blastocystis although has been proven wrong are still being followed in various textbooks and other trustworthy internet sources. The causal role of Blastocystis in human disease has long been a subject of controversy. It is widely believed that certain subtypes of the organism are virulent. But this is not so as other factors are also involved in the clinical outcome of the infection. In these contexts, this review intends to shed light on the past misconceptions and the recent findings on the taxonomy, biology and the virulence of this organism. PMID:23961437

  5. Virulence Evolution Within the Ug99 Lineage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Race TTKSK (syn. Ug99) of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, recognized for possessing virulence to the stem rust resistance gene Sr31, was first identified in Uganda in 1998. Since then, TTKSK has been identified in Kenya in 2005 and Yemen in 2006. In addition to virulence to Sr31, race TTKSK was ...

  6. Evolution of viral virulence: empirical studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kurath, Gael; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    The concept of virulence as a pathogen trait that can evolve in response to selection has led to a large body of virulence evolution theory developed in the 1980-1990s. Various aspects of this theory predict increased or decreased virulence in response to a complex array of selection pressures including mode of transmission, changes in host, mixed infection, vector-borne transmission, environmental changes, host vaccination, host resistance, and co-evolution of virus and host. A fundamental concept is prediction of trade-offs between the costs and benefits associated with higher virulence, leading to selection of optimal virulence levels. Through a combination of observational and experimental studies, including experimental evolution of viruses during serial passage, many of these predictions have now been explored in systems ranging from bacteriophage to viruses of plants, invertebrates, and vertebrate hosts. This chapter summarizes empirical studies of viral virulence evolution in numerous diverse systems, including the classic models myxomavirus in rabbits, Marek's disease virus in chickens, and HIV in humans. Collectively these studies support some aspects of virulence evolution theory, suggest modifications for other aspects, and show that predictions may apply in some virus:host interactions but not in others. Finally, we consider how virulence evolution theory applies to disease management in the field.

  7. Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of Bacillus sp. CDB3 arsenic-resistance operon ars1

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xuefei; Zheng, Wei; Bhat, Somanath; Aquilina, J. Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus sp. CDB3 possesses a novel eight-gene ars cluster (ars1, arsRYCDATorf7orf8) with some unusual features in regard to expression regulation. This study demonstrated that the cluster is a single operon but can also produce a short three-gene arsRYC transcript. A hairpin structure formed by internal inverted repeats between arsC and arsD was shown to diminish the expression of the full operon, thereby probably acting as a transcription attenuator. A degradation product of the arsRYC transcript was also identified. Electrophoretic mobility shift analysis demonstrated that ArsR interacts with the ars1 promoter forming a protein-DNA complex that could be impaired by arsenite. However, no interaction was detected between ArsD and the ars1 promoter, suggesting that the CDB3 ArsD protein may not play a regulatory role. Compared to other ars gene clusters, regulation of the Bacillus sp. CDB3 ars1 operon is more complex. It represents another example of specific mRNA degradation in the transporter gene region and possibly the first case of attenuator-mediated regulation of ars operons. PMID:26355338

  8. Determining the bistability parameter ranges of artificially induced lac operon using the root locus method.

    PubMed

    Avcu, N; Alyürük, H; Demir, G K; Pekergin, F; Cavas, L; Güzeliş, C

    2015-06-01

    This paper employs the root locus method to conduct a detailed investigation of the parameter regions that ensure bistability in a well-studied gene regulatory network namely, lac operon of Escherichia coli (E. coli). In contrast to previous works, the parametric bistability conditions observed in this study constitute a complete set of necessary and sufficient conditions. These conditions were derived by applying the root locus method to the polynomial equilibrium equation of the lac operon model to determine the parameter values yielding the multiple real roots necessary for bistability. The lac operon model used was defined as an ordinary differential equation system in a state equation form with a rational right hand side, and it was compatible with the Hill and Michaelis-Menten approaches of enzyme kinetics used to describe biochemical reactions that govern lactose metabolism. The developed root locus method can be used to study the steady-state behavior of any type of convergent biological system model based on mass action kinetics. This method provides a solution to the problem of analyzing gene regulatory networks under parameter uncertainties because the root locus method considers the model parameters as variable, rather than fixed. The obtained bistability ranges for the lac operon model parameters have the potential to elucidate the appearance of bistability for E. coli cells in in vivo experiments, and they could also be used to design robust hysteretic switches in synthetic biology. PMID:25864166

  9. Bistable behavior in a model of the lac operon in Escherichia coli with variable growth rate.

    PubMed

    Santillán, M

    2008-03-15

    This work is a continuation from another study previously published in this journal. Both the former and the present works are dedicated to investigating the bistable behavior of the lac operon in Escherichia coli from a mathematical modeling point of view. In the previous article, we developed a detailed mathematical model that accounts for all of the known regulatory mechanisms in this system, and studied the effect of inducing the operon with lactose instead of an artificial inducer. In this article, the model is improved to account, in a more detailed way, for the interaction of the repressor molecules with the three lac operators. A recently discovered cooperative interaction between the CAP molecule (an activator of the lactose operon) and Operator 3 (which influences DNA folding) is also included in this new version of the model. The growth rate dependence on the rate of energy entering the bacteria (in the form of transported glucose molecules and of metabolized lactose molecules) is also considered. A large number of numerical experiments is carried out with this improved model. The results are discussed in regard to the bistable behavior of the lactose operon. Special attention is paid to the effect that a variable growth rate has on the system dynamics. PMID:18065471

  10. Lack of evidence for horizontal transfer of the lac operon into Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Stoebel, Daniel M

    2005-03-01

    The idea that Escherichia coli gained the lac operon via horizontal transfer, allowing it to invade a new niche and form a new species, has become a paradigmatic example of bacterial nonpathogenic adaptation and speciation catalyzed by horizontal transfer. Surprisingly, empirical evidence for this event is essentially nonexistent. To see whether horizontal transfer occurred, I compared a phylogeny of 14 Enterobacteriaceae based on two housekeeping genes to a phylogeny of a part of their lac operon. Although several species in this clade appear to have acquired some or all of the operon via horizontal transfer, there is no evidence of horizontal transfer into E. coli. It is not clear whether the horizontal transfer events for which there is evidence were adaptive because those species which have acquired the operon are not thought to live in high lactose environments. I propose that vertical transmission from the common ancestor of the Enterobacteriaceae, with subsequent loss of these genes in many species can explain much of the patchy distribution of lactose use in this clade. Finally, I argue that we need new, well-supported examples of horizontal transfer spurring niche expansion and speciation, particularly in nonpathogenic cases, before we can accept claims that horizontal transfer is a hallmark of bacterial adaptation. PMID:15563718

  11. Novel Functions and Regulation of Cryptic Cellobiose Operons in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Parisutham, Vinuselvi; Lee, Sung Kuk

    2015-01-01

    Presence of cellobiose as a sole carbon source induces mutations in the chb and asc operons of Escherichia coli and allows it to grow on cellobiose. We previously engineered these two operons with synthetic constitutive promoters and achieved efficient cellobiose metabolism through adaptive evolution. In this study, we characterized two mutations observed in the efficient cellobiose metabolizing strain: duplication of RBS of ascB gene, (β-glucosidase of asc operon) and nonsense mutation in yebK, (an uncharacterized transcription factor). Mutations in yebK play a dominant role by modulating the length of lag phase, relative to the growth rate of the strain when transferred from a rich medium to minimal cellobiose medium. Mutations in ascB, on the other hand, are specific for cellobiose and help in enhancing the specific growth rate. Taken together, our results show that ascB of the asc operon is controlled by an internal putative promoter in addition to the native cryptic promoter, and the transcription factor yebK helps to remodel the host physiology for cellobiose metabolism. While previous studies characterized the stress-induced mutations that allowed growth on cellobiose, here, we characterize the adaptation-induced mutations that help in enhancing cellobiose metabolic ability. This study will shed new light on the regulatory changes and factors that are needed for the functional coupling of the host physiology to the activated cryptic cellobiose metabolism. PMID:26121029

  12. Decreases in average bacterial community rRNA operon copy number during succession.

    PubMed

    Nemergut, Diana R; Knelman, Joseph E; Ferrenberg, Scott; Bilinski, Teresa; Melbourne, Brett; Jiang, Lin; Violle, Cyrille; Darcy, John L; Prest, Tiffany; Schmidt, Steven K; Townsend, Alan R

    2016-05-01

    Trait-based studies can help clarify the mechanisms driving patterns of microbial community assembly and coexistence. Here, we use a trait-based approach to explore the importance of rRNA operon copy number in microbial succession, building on prior evidence that organisms with higher copy numbers respond more rapidly to nutrient inputs. We set flasks of heterotrophic media into the environment and examined bacterial community assembly at seven time points. Communities were arrayed along a geographic gradient to introduce stochasticity via dispersal processes and were analyzed using 16 S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, and rRNA operon copy number was modeled using ancestral trait reconstruction. We found that taxonomic composition was similar between communities at the beginning of the experiment and then diverged through time; as well, phylogenetic clustering within communities decreased over time. The average rRNA operon copy number decreased over the experiment, and variance in rRNA operon copy number was lowest both early and late in succession. We then analyzed bacterial community data from other soil and sediment primary and secondary successional sequences from three markedly different ecosystem types. Our results demonstrate that decreases in average copy number are a consistent feature of communities across various drivers of ecological succession. Importantly, our work supports the scaling of the copy number trait over multiple levels of biological organization, ranging from cells to populations and communities, with implications for both microbial ecology and evolution. PMID:26565722

  13. DNA supercoiling, a critical signal regulating the basal expression of the lac operon in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Fulcrand, Geraldine; Dages, Samantha; Zhi, Xiaoduo; Chapagain, Prem; Gerstman, Bernard S.; Dunlap, David; Leng, Fenfei

    2016-01-01

    Escherichia coli lac repressor (LacI) is a paradigmatic transcriptional factor that controls the expression of lacZYA in the lac operon. This tetrameric protein specifically binds to the O1, O2 and O3 operators of the lac operon and forms a DNA loop to repress transcription from the adjacent lac promoter. In this article, we demonstrate that upon binding to the O1 and O2 operators at their native positions LacI constrains three (−) supercoils within the 401-bp DNA loop of the lac promoter and forms a topological barrier. The stability of LacI-mediated DNA topological barriers is directly proportional to its DNA binding affinity. However, we find that DNA supercoiling modulates the basal expression from the lac operon in E. coli. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that LacI functions as a topological barrier to constrain free, unconstrained (−) supercoils within the 401-bp DNA loop of the lac promoter. These constrained (−) supercoils enhance LacI’s DNA-binding affinity and thereby the repression of the promoter. Thus, LacI binding is superhelically modulated to control the expression of lacZYA in the lac operon under varying growth conditions. PMID:26763930

  14. clpC operon regulates cell architecture and sporulation in Bacillus anthracis

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Lalit K.; Dhasmana, Neha; Sajid, Andaleeb; Kumar, Prasun; Bhaduri, Asani; Bharadwaj, Mitasha; Gandotra, Sheetal; Kalia, Vipin C.; Das, Taposh K.; Goel, Ajay K.; Pomerantsev, Andrei P.; Misra, Richa; Gerth, Ulf; Leppla, Stephen H.; Singh, Yogendra

    2014-01-01

    The clpC operon is known to regulate several processes such as genetic competence, protein degradation and stress survival in bacteria. Here, we describe the role of clpC operon in Bacillus anthracis. We generated knock-out strains of the clpC operon genes to investigate the impact of CtsR, McsA, McsB and ClpC deletion on essential processes of B. anthracis. We observed that growth, cell division, sporulation and germination were severely affected in mcsB and clpC deleted strains, while none of deletions affected toxin secretion. Growth defect in these strains was pronounced at elevated temperature. The growth pattern gets restored on complementation of mcsB and clpC in respective mutants. Electron microscopic examination revealed that mcsB and clpC deletion also causes defect in septum formation leading to cell elongation. These vegetative cell deformities were accompanied by inability of mutant strains to generate morphologically intact spores. Higher levels of polyhydroxybutyrate granules accumulation were also observed in these deletion strains, indicating a defect in sporulation process. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, the vital role played by McsB and ClpC in physiology of B. anthracis and opens up further interest on this operon, which might be of importance to success of B. anthracis as pathogen PMID:24947607

  15. Identification and characterization of an iron ABC transporter operon in Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus Pal 5.

    PubMed

    Urzúa, Lucia Soto; Vázquez-Candanedo, Ada P; Sánchez-Espíndola, Adriana; Ramírez, Carlos Ávila; Baca, Beatriz E

    2013-06-01

    Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium and endophyte of sugarcane. We have cloned and sequenced the genes coding for the components of the iron ABC-type acquisition system of G. diazotrophicus. Sequence analysis revealed three ORFs, (feuA, feuB, and feuC) organized as an operon and encoding polypeptides of 346 (38 kDa), 342 (34.2 kDa), and 240 (26 kDa) amino acids, respectively. The deduced translation products of the feu operon showed similarity with a periplasmic solute-binding protein (FeuA), permease (FeuB), and ATPase (FeuC) involved in Fe transport. The role of FeuB in the survival of G. diazotrophicus under iron depletion was evaluated by comparing the ability of wild-type and FeuB-Km(R) -mutant strains in a medium without iron supplementation and in a medium containing 2, 2'-dipyridyl (DP). Growth of the mutant was affected in the medium containing DP. The operon was expressed at higher levels in cells depleted for iron than in those that contained the metal. A decrease in nitrogenase activity was observed with the FeuB-Km(R) -mutant strain that with the wild-type under iron deficiency conditions, suggesting that the Feu operon play role in Fe nutrition of G. diazotrophicus. PMID:23624722

  16. Nonhemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes Isolates That Lack Large Regions of the sag Operon Mediating Streptolysin S Production▿

    PubMed Central

    Yoshino, Miho; Murayama, Somay Y.; Sunaoshi, Katsuhiko; Wajima, Takeaki; Takahashi, Miki; Masaki, Junko; Kurokawa, Iku; Ubukata, Kimiko

    2010-01-01

    Among nonhemolytic Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus) strains (n = 9) isolated from patients with pharyngitis or acute otitis media, we identified three deletions in the region from the epf gene, encoding the extracellular matrix binding protein, to the sag operon, mediating streptolysin S production. PMID:20018818

  17. Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of Bacillus sp. CDB3 arsenic-resistance operon ars1.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xuefei; Zheng, Wei; Bhat, Somanath; Aquilina, J Andrew; Zhang, Ren

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus sp. CDB3 possesses a novel eight-gene ars cluster (ars1, arsRYCDATorf7orf8) with some unusual features in regard to expression regulation. This study demonstrated that the cluster is a single operon but can also produce a short three-gene arsRYC transcript. A hairpin structure formed by internal inverted repeats between arsC and arsD was shown to diminish the expression of the full operon, thereby probably acting as a transcription attenuator. A degradation product of the arsRYC transcript was also identified. Electrophoretic mobility shift analysis demonstrated that ArsR interacts with the ars1 promoter forming a protein-DNA complex that could be impaired by arsenite. However, no interaction was detected between ArsD and the ars1 promoter, suggesting that the CDB3 ArsD protein may not play a regulatory role. Compared to other ars gene clusters, regulation of the Bacillus sp. CDB3 ars1 operon is more complex. It represents another example of specific mRNA degradation in the transporter gene region and possibly the first case of attenuator-mediated regulation of ars operons. PMID:26355338

  18. Using the TxtAB Operon to Quantify Pathogenic Streptomyces in Potato Tubers and Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The phytotoxin thaxtomin, produced by plant pathogenic Streptomyces species, is a pathogenicity determinant for common scab. In this study a SYBR Green quantitative real-time PCR assay using primers targeted on the txtAB operon of Streptomyces was developed to quantify pathogenic bacterial populati...

  19. The PQQ biosynthetic operons and their transcriptional regulation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Gliese, Nicole; Khodaverdi, Viola; Görisch, Helmut

    2010-01-01

    Gene PA1990 of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, located downstream of pqqE and encoding a putative peptidase, was shown to be involved in excretion of PQQ into the culture supernatant. This gene is cotranscribed with the pqqABCDE cluster and was named pqqH. A PA1990::Km(r) mutant (VK3) did not show any effect in growth behaviour; however, in contrast to the wild-type, no excretion of PQQ into the culture supernatant was observed. The putative pqqF gene of P. aeruginosa was shown to be essential for PQQ biosynthesis. A pqqF::Km(r) mutant did not grow aerobically on ethanol, because of its inability to produce PQQ. Transcription of the pqqABCDEH operon was induced upon aerobic growth on ethanol, 1-propanol, 1,2-propanediol and 1-butanol, while on glycerol, succinate and acetate, transcription was low. Transcription of the pqqABCDEH operon was also found upon anoxic growth on ethanol with nitrate as electron acceptor, but no PQQ was produced. Expression of the pqqABCDEH operon is regulated at the transcriptional level. In contrast, the pqqF operon appeared to be transcribed constitutively at a very low level under all growth conditions studied. PMID:19902179

  20. DNA supercoiling, a critical signal regulating the basal expression of the lac operon in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Fulcrand, Geraldine; Dages, Samantha; Zhi, Xiaoduo; Chapagain, Prem; Gerstman, Bernard S; Dunlap, David; Leng, Fenfei

    2016-01-01

    Escherichia coli lac repressor (LacI) is a paradigmatic transcriptional factor that controls the expression of lacZYA in the lac operon. This tetrameric protein specifically binds to the O1, O2 and O3 operators of the lac operon and forms a DNA loop to repress transcription from the adjacent lac promoter. In this article, we demonstrate that upon binding to the O1 and O2 operators at their native positions LacI constrains three (-) supercoils within the 401-bp DNA loop of the lac promoter and forms a topological barrier. The stability of LacI-mediated DNA topological barriers is directly proportional to its DNA binding affinity. However, we find that DNA supercoiling modulates the basal expression from the lac operon in E. coli. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that LacI functions as a topological barrier to constrain free, unconstrained (-) supercoils within the 401-bp DNA loop of the lac promoter. These constrained (-) supercoils enhance LacI's DNA-binding affinity and thereby the repression of the promoter. Thus, LacI binding is superhelically modulated to control the expression of lacZYA in the lac operon under varying growth conditions. PMID:26763930

  1. msaABCR operon positively regulates biofilm development by repressing proteases and autolysis in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Sahukhal, Gyan S.; Batte, Justin L.; Elasri, Mohamed O.

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen that causes nosocomial and community-acquired infections. One of the most important aspects of staphylococcal infections is biofilm development within the host, which renders the bacterium resistant to the host's immune response and antimicrobial agents. Biofilm development is very complex and involves several regulators that ensure cell survival on surfaces within the extracellular polymeric matrix. Previously, we identified the msaABCR operon as an additional positive regulator of biofilm formation. In this study, we define the regulatory pathway by which msaABCR controls biofilm formation. We demonstrate that the msaABCR operon is a negative regulator of proteases. The control of protease production mediates the processing of the major autolysin, Atl, and thus regulates the rate of autolysis. In the absence of the msaABCR operon, Atl is processed by proteases at a high rate, leading to increased cell death and a defect in biofilm maturation. We conclude that the msaABCR operon plays a key role in maintaining the balance between autolysis and growth within the staphylococcal biofilm. PMID:25724778

  2. ISOLATION OF AN OPERON INVOLVED IN XYLITOL METABOLISM FROM PANTOEA ANANATIS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An operon involved in xylitol metabolism in a xylitol-utilizing Pantoea ananatis mutant was cloned by the transposon tagging method. Sequencing analysis revealed that seven consecutive open reading frames (ORFs) are located in the same strand (xytA-G). Sequence homology search suggested that the o...

  3. Analysis of a ribosomal RNA operon (rrn) from “Candiatus Liberibacter asiaticus”

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A 5,005 bp DNA sequence containing a nearly complete rrn operon of “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus”, a bacterium associated with citrus Huanglongbing (yellow shoot disease), was obtained by PCR using sequences conserved for Rhizobiaceae in the alpha-proteobacteria as primers. The rrn locus consis...

  4. Tryptophan auxotrophs were obtained by random transposon insertions in the Methanococcus maripaludis tryptophan operon.

    PubMed

    Porat, Iris; Whitman, William B

    2009-08-01

    Methanococcus maripaludis is an anaerobic, methane-producing archaeon that utilizes H(2) or formate for the reduction of CO(2) to methane. Tryptophan auxotrophs were constructed by in vitro insertions of the Tn5 transposon into the tryptophan operon, followed by transformation into M. maripaludis. This method could serve for rapid insertions into large cloned DNA regions. PMID:19566682

  5. Mechanisms of Activation of the Cryptic Cel Operon of Escherichia Coli K12

    PubMed Central

    Parker, L. L.; Hall, B. G.

    1990-01-01

    The cel (cellobiose utilization) operon of Escherichia coli K12 is not expressed in the wild-type organism. However, mutants that can express the operon and thereby utilize the β-glucoside sugars cellobiose, arbutin and salicin are easily isolated. Two kinds of mutations are capable of activating the operon. The first involves mutations that allow the repressor to recognize the substrates cellobiose, arbutin and salicin as inducers. We have identified the sequence changes in five different active alleles and found those differences to be single base pair changes at one of two lysine codons in the repressor gene. The second kind of mutation involves the integration of the insertion sequences IS1, IS2 or IS5 into a 108-bp region 72-180 bp upstream of the start of transcription. Integration occurs at several different sites and in different orientations. Transcription of the cel operon begins at the same base pair in all mutants examined. Of 44 independent cel(+) mutants, 27 were activated by point mutations and 17 were activated by insertion sequences. The preferred mechanism of activation appears to be strain dependent, since one of the parents yielded 94% insertionally activated alleles, while another yielded 100% point mutation activated alleles. PMID:2179048

  6. In Vitro Activation of the Transcription of araBAD Operon by araC Activator

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Nancy; Wilcox, Gary; Gielow, William; Arnold, John; Cleary, Paul; Englesberg, Ellis

    1974-01-01

    The transcription of araBAD operon requires araC activator and cyclic AMP. D-Fucose inhibits ara mRNA synthesis. Our results indicate that the positive control by araC activator is exerted at the level of transcription. PMID:4362626

  7. Proteomic Characterization of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    SciTech Connect

    Chromy, B; Murphy, G; Gonzales, A; Fitch, J P; McCutchen-Maloney, S L

    2005-01-05

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, functions via the Type III secretion mechanism whereby virulence factors are induced upon interactions with a mammalian host. Here, the Y. pestis proteome was studied by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) under physiologically relevant growth conditions mimicking the calcium concentrations and temperatures that the pathogen would encounter in the flea vector and upon interaction with the mammalian host. Over 4100 individual protein spots were detected of which hundreds were differentially expressed in the entire comparative experiment. A total of 43 proteins that were differentially expressed between the vector and host growth conditions were identified by mass spectrometry. Expected differences in expression were observed for several known virulence factors including catalase-peroxidase (KatY), murine toxin (Ymt), plasminogen activator (Pla), and F1 capsule antigen (Caf1), as well as putative virulence factors. Chaperone proteins and signaling molecules hypothesized to be involved in virulence due to their role in Type III secretion were also identified. Other differentially expressed proteins not previously reported to contribute to virulence are candidates for more detailed mechanistic studies, representing potential new virulence determinants. For example, several sugar metabolism proteins were differentially regulated in response to lower calcium and higher temperature, suggesting these proteins, while not directly connected to virulence, either represent a metabolic switch for survival in the host environment or may facilitate production of virulence factors. Results presented here contribute to a more thorough understanding of the virulence mechanism of Y. pestis through proteomic characterization of the pathogen under induced virulence.

  8. Subtle genetic changes enhance virulence of methicillin resistant and sensitive Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Highlander, Sarah K; Hultén, Kristina G; Qin, Xiang; Jiang, Huaiyang; Yerrapragada, Shailaja; Mason, Edward O; Shang, Yue; Williams, Tiffany M; Fortunov, Régine M; Liu, Yamei; Igboeli, Okezie; Petrosino, Joseph; Tirumalai, Madhan; Uzman, Akif; Fox, George E; Cardenas, Ana Maria; Muzny, Donna M; Hemphill, Lisa; Ding, Yan; Dugan, Shannon; Blyth, Peter R; Buhay, Christian J; Dinh, Huyen H; Hawes, Alicia C; Holder, Michael; Kovar, Christie L; Lee, Sandra L; Liu, Wen; Nazareth, Lynne V; Wang, Qiaoyan; Zhou, Jianling; Kaplan, Sheldon L; Weinstock, George M

    2007-01-01

    Background Community acquired (CA) methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) increasingly causes disease worldwide. USA300 has emerged as the predominant clone causing superficial and invasive infections in children and adults in the USA. Epidemiological studies suggest that USA300 is more virulent than other CA-MRSA. The genetic determinants that render virulence and dominance to USA300 remain unclear. Results We sequenced the genomes of two pediatric USA300 isolates: one CA-MRSA and one CA-methicillin susceptible (MSSA), isolated at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. DNA sequencing was performed by Sanger dideoxy whole genome shotgun (WGS) and 454 Life Sciences pyrosequencing strategies. The sequence of the USA300 MRSA strain was rigorously annotated. In USA300-MRSA 2658 chromosomal open reading frames were predicted and 3.1 and 27 kilobase (kb) plasmids were identified. USA300-MSSA contained a 20 kb plasmid with some homology to the 27 kb plasmid found in USA300-MRSA. Two regions found in US300-MRSA were absent in USA300-MSSA. One of these carried the arginine deiminase operon that appears to have been acquired from S. epidermidis. The USA300 sequence was aligned with other sequenced S. aureus genomes and regions unique to USA300 MRSA were identified. Conclusion USA300-MRSA is highly similar to other MRSA strains based on whole genome alignments and gene content, indicating that the differences in pathogenesis are due to subtle changes rather than to large-scale acquisition of virulence factor genes. The USA300 Houston isolate differs from another sequenced USA300 strain isolate, derived from a patient in San Francisco, in plasmid content and a number of sequence polymorphisms. Such differences will provide new insights into the evolution of pathogens. PMID:17986343

  9. Identification and Characterization of msf, a Novel Virulence Factor in Haemophilus influenzae

    PubMed Central

    Kress-Bennett, Jennifer M.; Hiller, N. Luisa; Eutsey, Rory A.; Powell, Evan; Longwell, Mark J.; Hillman, Todd; Blackwell, Tenisha; Byers, Barbara; Mell, Joshua C.; Post, J. Christopher; Hu, Fen Z.; Ehrlich, Garth D.; Janto, Benjamin A.

    2016-01-01

    Haemophilus influenzae is an opportunistic pathogen. The emergence of virulent, non-typeable strains (NTHi) emphasizes the importance of developing new interventional targets. We screened the NTHi supragenome for genes encoding surface-exposed proteins suggestive of immune evasion, identifying a large family containing Sel1-like repeats (SLRs). Clustering identified ten SLR-containing gene subfamilies, each with various numbers of SLRs per gene. Individual strains also had varying numbers of SLR-containing genes from one or more of the subfamilies. Statistical genetic analyses of gene possession among 210 NTHi strains typed as either disease or carriage found a significant association between possession of the SlrVA subfamily (which we have termed, macrophage survival factor, msf) and the disease isolates. The PittII strain contains four chromosomally contiguous msf genes. Deleting all four of these genes (msfA1-4) (KO) resulted in a highly significant decrease in phagocytosis and survival in macrophages; which was fully complemented by a single copy of the msfA1 gene. Using the chinchilla model of otitis media and invasive disease, the KO strain displayed a significant decrease in fitness compared to the WT in co-infections; and in single infections, the KO lost its ability to invade the brain. The singly complemented strain showed only a partial ability to compete with the WT suggesting gene dosage is important in vivo. The transcriptional profiles of the KO and WT in planktonic growth were compared using the NTHi supragenome array, which revealed highly significant changes in the expression of operons involved in virulence and anaerobiosis. These findings demonstrate that the msfA1-4 genes are virulence factors for phagocytosis, persistence, and trafficking to non-mucosal sites. PMID:26977929

  10. Sigma E Regulators Control Hemolytic Activity and Virulence in a Shrimp Pathogenic Vibrio harveyi

    PubMed Central

    Rattanama, Pimonsri; Thompson, Janelle R.; Kongkerd, Natthawan; Srinitiwarawong, Kanchana; Vuddhakul, Varaporn; Mekalanos, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Members of the genus Vibrio are important marine and aquaculture pathogens. Hemolytic activity has been identified as a virulence factor in many pathogenic vibrios including V. cholerae, V. parahaemolyticus, V. alginolyticus, V. harveyi and V. vulnificus. We have used transposon mutagenesis to identify genes involved in the hemolytic activity of shrimp-pathogenic V. harveyi strain PSU3316. Out of 1,764 mutants screened, five mutants showed reduced hemolytic activity on sheep blood agar and exhibited virulence attenuation in shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). Mutants were identified by comparing transposon junction sequences to a draft of assembly of the PSU3316 genome. Surprisingly none of the disrupted open reading frames or gene neighborhoods contained genes annotated as hemolysins. The gene encoding RseB, a negative regulator of the sigma factor (σE), was interrupted in 2 out of 5 transposon mutants, in addition, the transcription factor CytR, a threonine synthetase, and an efflux-associated cytoplasmic protein were also identified. Knockout mutations introduced into the rpoE operon at the rseB gene exhibited low hemolytic activity in sheep blood agar, and were 3-to 7-fold attenuated for colonization in shrimp. Comparison of whole cell extracted proteins in the rseB mutant (PSU4030) to the wild-type by 2-D gel electrophoresis revealed 6 differentially expressed proteins, including two down-regulated porins (OmpC-like and OmpN) and an upregulated protease (DegQ) which have been associated with σE in other organisms. Our study is the first report linking hemolytic activity to the σE regulators in pathogenic Vibrio species and suggests expression of this virulence-linked phenotype is governed by multiple regulatory pathways within the V. harveyi. PMID:22384269

  11. Identification and Characterization of msf, a Novel Virulence Factor in Haemophilus influenzae.

    PubMed

    Kress-Bennett, Jennifer M; Hiller, N Luisa; Eutsey, Rory A; Powell, Evan; Longwell, Mark J; Hillman, Todd; Blackwell, Tenisha; Byers, Barbara; Mell, Joshua C; Post, J Christopher; Hu, Fen Z; Ehrlich, Garth D; Janto, Benjamin A

    2016-01-01

    Haemophilus influenzae is an opportunistic pathogen. The emergence of virulent, non-typeable strains (NTHi) emphasizes the importance of developing new interventional targets. We screened the NTHi supragenome for genes encoding surface-exposed proteins suggestive of immune evasion, identifying a large family containing Sel1-like repeats (SLRs). Clustering identified ten SLR-containing gene subfamilies, each with various numbers of SLRs per gene. Individual strains also had varying numbers of SLR-containing genes from one or more of the subfamilies. Statistical genetic analyses of gene possession among 210 NTHi strains typed as either disease or carriage found a significant association between possession of the SlrVA subfamily (which we have termed, macrophage survival factor, msf) and the disease isolates. The PittII strain contains four chromosomally contiguous msf genes. Deleting all four of these genes (msfA1-4) (KO) resulted in a highly significant decrease in phagocytosis and survival in macrophages; which was fully complemented by a single copy of the msfA1 gene. Using the chinchilla model of otitis media and invasive disease, the KO strain displayed a significant decrease in fitness compared to the WT in co-infections; and in single infections, the KO lost its ability to invade the brain. The singly complemented strain showed only a partial ability to compete with the WT suggesting gene dosage is important in vivo. The transcriptional profiles of the KO and WT in planktonic growth were compared using the NTHi supragenome array, which revealed highly significant changes in the expression of operons involved in virulence and anaerobiosis. These findings demonstrate that the msfA1-4 genes are virulence factors for phagocytosis, persistence, and trafficking to non-mucosal sites. PMID:26977929

  12. Streptococcus pyogenes Malate Degradation Pathway Links pH Regulation and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Paluscio, Elyse

    2015-01-01

    The ability of Streptococcus pyogenes to infect different niches within its human host most likely relies on its ability to utilize alternative carbon sources. In examining this question, we discovered that all sequenced S. pyogenes strains possess the genes for the malic enzyme (ME) pathway, which allows malate to be used as a supplemental carbon source for growth. ME is comprised of four genes in two adjacent operons, with the regulatory two-component MaeKR required for expression of genes encoding a malate permease (maeP) and malic enzyme (maeE). Analysis of transcription indicated that expression of maeP and maeE is induced by both malate and low pH, and induction in response to both cues is dependent on the MaeK sensor kinase. Furthermore, both maePE and maeKR are repressed by glucose, which occurs via a CcpA-independent mechanism. Additionally, malate utilization requires the PTS transporter EI enzyme (PtsI), as a PtsI– mutant fails to express the ME genes and is unable to utilize malate. Virulence of selected ME mutants was assessed in a murine model of soft tissue infection. MaeP–, MaeK–, and MaeR– mutants were attenuated for virulence, whereas a MaeE– mutant showed enhanced virulence compared to that of the wild type. Taken together, these data show that ME contributes to S. pyogenes' carbon source repertory, that malate utilization is a highly regulated process, and that a single regulator controls ME expression in response to diverse signals. Furthermore, malate uptake and utilization contribute to the adaptive pH response, and ME can influence the outcome of infection. PMID:25583521

  13. Tryptophan inhibits Proteus vulgaris TnaC leader peptide elongation, activating tna operon expression.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Vera, Luis R; Yang, Rui; Yanofsky, Charles

    2009-11-01

    Expression of the tna operon of Escherichia coli and of Proteus vulgaris is induced by L-tryptophan. In E. coli, tryptophan action is dependent on the presence of several critical residues (underlined) in the newly synthesized TnaC leader peptide, WFNIDXXL/IXXXXP. These residues are conserved in TnaC of P. vulgaris and of other bacterial species. TnaC of P. vulgaris has one additional feature, distinguishing it from TnaC of E. coli; it contains two C-terminal lysine residues following the conserved proline residue. In the present study, we investigated L-tryptophan induction of the P. vulgaris tna operon, transferred on a plasmid into E. coli. Induction was shown to be L-tryptophan dependent; however, the range of induction was less than that observed for the E. coli tna operon. We compared the genetic organization of both operons and predicted similar folding patterns for their respective leader mRNA segments. However, additional analyses revealed that L-tryptophan action in the P. vulgaris tna operon involves inhibition of TnaC elongation, following addition of proline, rather than inhibition of leader peptide termination. Our findings also establish that the conserved residues in TnaC of P. vulgaris are essential for L-tryptophan induction, and for inhibition of peptide elongation. TnaC synthesis is thus an excellent model system for studies of regulation of both peptide termination and peptide elongation, and for studies of ribosome recognition of the features of a nascent peptide. PMID:19767424

  14. Feedback regulation of the spc operon in Escherichia coli: translational coupling and mRNA processing.

    PubMed Central

    Mattheakis, L C; Nomura, M

    1988-01-01

    The spc operon of Escherichia coli encodes 10 ribosomal proteins in the order L14, L24, L5, S14, S8, L6, L18, S5, L30, and L15. This operon is feedback regulated by S8, which binds near the translation start site of L5 and inhibits translation of L5 directly and that of the distal genes indirectly. We constructed plasmids carrying a major portion of the spc operon genes under lac transcriptional control. The plasmids carried a point mutation in the S8 target site which abolished regulation and resulted in overproduction of plasmid-encoded ribosomal proteins upon induction. We showed that alteration of the AUG start codon of L5 to UAG decreased the synthesis rates of plasmid-encoded distal proteins, as well as L5, by approximately 20-fold, with a much smaller (if any) effect on mRNA synthesis rates, indicating coupling of the distal cistrons' translation with the translation of L5. This conclusion was also supported by experiments in which S8 was overproduced in trans. In this case, there was a threefold reduction in the synthesis rates of chromosome-encoded L5 and the distal spc operon proteins, but no decrease in the mRNA synthesis rate. These observations also suggest that transcription from ribosomal protein promoters may be special, perhaps able to overcome transcription termination signals. We also analyzed the state of ribosomal protein mRNA after overproduction of S8 in these experiments and found that repression of ribosomal protein synthesis was accompanied by stimulation of processing (and degradation) of spc operon mRNA. The possible role of mRNA degradation in tightening the regulation is discussed. Images PMID:3049533

  15. Sulfolipid accumulation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis disrupted in the mce2 operon.

    PubMed

    Marjanovic, Olivera; Iavarone, Anthony T; Riley, Lee W

    2011-06-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, has a lipid-rich cell wall that serves as an effective barrier against drugs and toxic host cell products, which may contribute to the organism's persistence in a host. M. tuberculosis contains four homologous operons called nice (mce1-4) that encode putative ABC transporters involved in lipid importation across the cell wall. Here, we analyzed the lipid composition of M. tuberculosis disrupted in the mce2 operon. High resolution mass spectrometric and thin layer chromatographic analyses of the mutant's cell wall lipid extracts showed accumulation of SL-1 and SL(1278) molecules. Radiographic quantitative analysis and densitometry revealed 2.9, 3.9 and 9.8-fold greater amount of [(35)S] SL-1 in the mce2 operon mutant compared to the wild type M. tuberculosis during the early/mid logarithmic, late logarithmic and stationary phase of growth in liquid broth, respectively. The amount of [(35)S] SL(1278) in the mutant also increased progressively over the same growth phases. The expression of the mce2 operon genes in the wild type strain progressively increased from the logarithmic to the stationary phase of bacterial growth in vitro, which inversely correlated with the proportion of radiolabel incorporation into SL-1 and SL(1278) at these phases. Since the mce2 operon is regulated in wild type M. tuberculosis, its cell wall may undergo changes in SL-1 and SL(1278) contents during a natural course of infection and this may serve as an important adaptive strategy for M. tuberculosis to maintain persistence in a host. PMID:21717330

  16. Formation of DNA Methylation Patterns: Nonmethylated GATC Sequences in gut and pap Operons

    PubMed Central

    van der Woude, Marjan; Hale, W. Bradley; Low, David A.

    1998-01-01

    Most of the adenine residues in GATC sequences in the Escherichia coli chromosome are methylated by the enzyme deoxyadenosine methyltransferase (Dam). However, at least 20 GATC sequences remain nonmethylated throughout the cell cycle. Here we examined how the DNA methylation patterns of GATC sequences within the regulatory regions of the pyelonephritis-associated pilus (pap) operon and the glucitol utilization (gut) operon were formed. The results obtained with an in vitro methylation protection assay showed that the addition of the leucine-responsive regulatory protein (Lrp) to pap DNA was sufficient to protect the two GATC sequences in the pap regulatory region, GATC-I and GATC-II, from methylation by Dam. This finding was consistent with previously published data showing that Lrp was essential for methylation protection of these DNA sites in vivo. Methylation protection also occurred at a GATC site (GATC-44.5) centered 44.5 bp upstream of the transcription start site of the gutABD operon. Two proteins, GutR and the catabolite gene activator protein (CAP), bound to DNA sites overlapping the GATC-44.5-containing region of the gutABD operon. GutR, an operon-specific repressor, was essential for methylation protection in vivo, and binding of GutR protected GATC-44.5 from methylation in vitro. In contrast, binding of CAP at a site overlapping GATC-44.5 did not protect this site from methylation. Mutational analyses indicated that gutABD gene regulation was not controlled by methylation of GATC-44.5, in contrast to regulation of Pap pilus expression, which is directly controlled by methylation of the pap GATC-I and GATC-II sites. PMID:9811649

  17. Two parallel pathways for ferric and ferrous iron acquisition support growth and virulence of the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis Schu S4.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Natalie; Johnson, Richard; Sen, Bhaswati; Ramakrishnan, Girija

    2016-06-01

    Iron acquisition mechanisms in Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia, include the Francisella siderophore locus (fsl) siderophore operon and a ferrous iron-transport system comprising outer-membrane protein FupA and inner-membrane transporter FeoB. To characterize these mechanisms and to identify any additional iron uptake systems in the virulent subspecies tularensis, single and double deletions were generated in the fsl and feo iron acquisition systems of the strain Schu S4. Deletion of the entire fsl operon caused loss of siderophore production that could be restored by complementation with the biosynthetic genes fslA and fslC and Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) transporter gene fslB. (55) Fe-transport assays demonstrated that siderophore-iron uptake required the receptor FslE and MFS transporter FslD. A ΔfeoB' mutation resulted in loss of ability to transport ferrous iron ((55) Fe(2+) ). A ΔfeoB' ΔfslA mutant that required added exogenous siderophore for growth in vitro was unable to grow within tissue culture cells and was avirulent in mice, indicating that no compensatory cryptic iron uptake systems were induced in vivo. These studies demonstrate that the fsl and feo pathways function independently and operate in parallel to effectively support virulence of F. tularensis. PMID:26918301

  18. Contribution of Proton-Translocating Proteins to the Virulence of Salmonella enterica Serovars Typhimurium, Gallinarum, and Dublin in Chickens and Mice

    PubMed Central

    Turner, A. K.; Barber, L. Z.; Wigley, P.; Muhammad, S.; Jones, M. A.; Lovell, M. A.; Hulme, S.; Barrow, P. A.

    2003-01-01

    We investigated the attenuating effects of a range of respiratory chain mutations in three Salmonella serovars which might be used in the development of live vaccines. We tested mutations in nuoG, cydA, cyoA, atpB, and atpH in three serovars of Salmonella enterica: Typhimurium, Dublin, and Gallinarum. All three serovars were assessed for attenuation in their relevant virulence assays of typhoid-like infections. Serovar Typhimurium was assessed in 1-day-old chickens and the mouse. Serovar Gallinarum 9 was assessed in 3-week-old chickens, and serovar Dublin was assessed in 6-week-old mice. Our data show variation in attenuation for the nuoG, cydA, and cyoA mutations within the different serovar-host combinations. However, mutations in atpB and atpH were highly attenuating for all three serovars in the various virulence assays. Further investigation of the mutations in the atp operon showed that the bacteria were less invasive in vivo, showing reduced in vitro survival within phagocytic cells and reduced acid tolerance. We present data showing that this reduced acid tolerance is due to an inability to adapt to conditions rather than a general sensitivity to reduced pH. The data support the targeting of respiratory components for the production of live vaccines and suggest that mutations in the atp operon provide suitable candidates for broad-spectrum attenuation of a range of Salmonella serovars. PMID:12761123

  19. Mycobacterium tuberculosis SigM positively regulates Esx secreted protein and nonribosomal peptide synthetase genes and down regulates virulence-associated surface lipid synthesis.

    PubMed

    Raman, Sahadevan; Puyang, Xiaoling; Cheng, Tan-Yun; Young, David C; Moody, D Branch; Husson, Robert N

    2006-12-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome encodes 12 alternative sigma factors, several of which regulate stress responses and are required for virulence in animal models of acute infection. In this work we investigated M. tuberculosis SigM, a member of the extracytoplasmic function subfamily of alternative sigma factors. This sigma factor is expressed at low levels in vitro and does not appear to function in stress response regulation. Instead, SigM positively regulates genes required for the synthesis of surface or secreted molecules. Among these are genes encoding two pairs of Esx secreted proteins, a multisubunit nonribosomal peptide synthetase operon, and genes encoding two members of the proline-proline-glutamate (PPE) family of proteins. Genes up regulated in a sigM mutant strain include a different PPE gene, as well as several genes involved in surface lipid synthesis. Among these are genes involved in synthesis of phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM), a surface lipid critical for virulence during acute infection, and the kasA-kasB operon, which is required for mycolic acid synthesis. Analysis of surface lipids showed that PDIM synthesis is increased in a sigM-disrupted strain and is undetectable in a sigM overexpression strain. These findings demonstrate that SigM positively and negatively regulates cell surface and secreted molecules that are likely to function in host-pathogen interactions. PMID:17028284

  20. Virulence in malaria: an evolutionary viewpoint.

    PubMed Central

    Mackinnon, Margaret J; Read, Andrew F

    2004-01-01

    Malaria parasites cause much morbidity and mortality to their human hosts. From our evolutionary perspective, this is because virulence is positively associated with parasite transmission rate. Natural selection therefore drives virulence upwards, but only to the point where the cost to transmission caused by host death begins to outweigh the transmission benefits. In this review, we summarize data from the laboratory rodent malaria model, Plasmodium chabaudi, and field data on the human malaria parasite, P. falciparum, in relation to this virulence trade-off hypothesis. The data from both species show strong positive correlations between asexual multiplication, transmission rate, infection length, morbidity and mortality, and therefore support the underlying assumptions of the hypothesis. Moreover, the P. falciparum data show that expected total lifetime transmission of the parasite is maximized in young children in whom the fitness cost of host mortality balances the fitness benefits of higher transmission rates and slower clearance rates, thus exhibiting the hypothesized virulence trade-off. This evolutionary explanation of virulence appears to accord well with the clinical and molecular explanations of pathogenesis that involve cytoadherence, red cell invasion and immune evasion, although direct evidence of the fitness advantages of these mechanisms is scarce. One implication of this evolutionary view of virulence is that parasite populations are expected to evolve new levels of virulence in response to medical interventions such as vaccines and drugs. PMID:15306410

  1. Intracellular inducer Hg2+ concentration is rate determining for the expression of the mercury-resistance operon in cells.

    PubMed

    Yu, H; Chu, L; Misra, T K

    1996-05-01

    Experiments involving mercury resistance mer operon-lacZ fusions, point mutations in the mercuric ion reductase merA gene, and transcomplementation have revealed that in Hg2+-resistant cells, the inducer Hg2+ concentration is rate determining for activation of transcription. mer operon expression is activated by the presence of nanomolar concentrations of Hg2+ in liquid media only when the mercuric ion reductase function is artificially inactivated in cells, whereas cells with active mercuric ion reductase require micromolar concentrations of Hg2+ for effective induction of the operon. PMID:8626343

  2. Serine/Threonine Protein Kinase Stk Is Required for Virulence, Stress Response, and Penicillin Tolerance in Streptococcus pyogenes▿

    PubMed Central

    Bugrysheva, Julia; Froehlich, Barbara J.; Freiberg, Jeffrey A.; Scott, June R.

    2011-01-01

    Genes encoding one or more Ser/Thr protein kinases have been identified recently in many bacteria, including one (stk) in the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus [GAS]). We report that in GAS, stk is required to produce disease in a murine myositis model of infection. Using microarray and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) studies, we found that Stk activates genes for virulence factors, osmoregulation, metabolism of α-glucans, and fatty acid biosynthesis, as well as genes affecting cell wall synthesis. Confirming these transcription studies, we determined that the stk deletion mutant is more sensitive to osmotic stress and to penicillin than the wild type. We discuss several possible Stk phosphorylation targets that might explain Stk regulation of expression of specific operons and the possible role of Stk in resuscitation from quiescence. PMID:21788381

  3. The extinction differential induced virulence macroevolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Feng; Xu, Liufang; Wang, Jin

    2014-04-01

    We apply the potential-flux landscape theory to deal with the large fluctuation induced extinction phenomena. We quantify the most probable extinction pathway on the landscape and measure the extinction risk by the landscape topography. In this Letter, we investigate the disease extinction through an epidemic model described by a set of chemical reaction. We found the virulence-differential-dependent symbioses between mother and daughter pathogen species: mutualism and parasitism. The symbioses, whether mutualism or parasitism, benefit the higher virulence species. This implies that speciation towards lower virulence is an effective strategy for a pathogen species to reduce its extinction risk.

  4. The ilvIH operon of Escherichia coli is positively regulated.

    PubMed Central

    Platko, J V; Willins, D A; Calvo, J M

    1990-01-01

    The ilvIH operon of Escherichia coli (located near min 2) encodes acetohydroxyacid synthase III, an isozyme involved in branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis. A strain with lacZ fused to the ilvIH promoter was constructed. Transposon Tn10 was introduced into this strain, and tetracycline-resistant derivatives were screened for those in which ilvIH promoter expression was markedly reduced. In one such derivative, strain CV1008, beta-galactosidase expression was reduced more than 30-fold. The transposon giving rise to this phenotype inserted near min 20 on the E. coli chromosome. Extract from a wild-type strain contains a protein, the IHB protein, that binds to two sites upstream of the ilvIH promoter (E. Ricca, D. A. Aker, and J. M. Calvo, J. Bacteriol. 171:1658-1664, 1989). Extract from strain CV1008 lacks IHB-binding activity. These results indicate that the IHB protein is a positive regulator of ilvIH operon expression. The gene that encodes the IHB protein, ihb, was cloned by complementing the transposon-induced mutation. Definitive evidence that the cloned DNA encodes the IHB protein was provided by determining the sequence of more than 17 amino acids at the N terminus of the IHB protein and comparing it with the nucleotide sequence. A mutation that prevents repression of the ilvIH operon by leucine in vivo and that alters the DNA-binding characteristics of the IHB protein in vitro was shown to be an allele of the ihb gene. The ihb gene is identical to oppI, a gene that regulates the oppABCDF operon (E. A. Austin, J. C. Andrews, and S. A. Short, Abstr. Mol. Genet. Bacteria Phages, p. 153, 1989). Thus, oppI/ihb encodes a protein that regulates both ilvIH, an operon that is repressed by leucine, and oppABCDF, an operon involved in peptide transport that is induced by leucine. We propose that the designation lrp be used in the future instead of oppI or ihb and that Lrp (leucine-responsive regulatory protein) be used in place of IHB. Images PMID:2115869

  5. Chromosomal islands of Streptococcus pyogenes and related streptococci: molecular switches for survival and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Scott V.; McShan, William M.

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is a significant pathogen of humans, annually causing over 700,000,000 infections and 500,000 deaths. Virulence in S. pyogenes is closely linked to mobile genetic elements like phages and chromosomal islands (CI). S. pyogenes phage-like chromosomal islands (SpyCI) confer a complex mutator phenotype on their host. SpyCI integrate into the 5′ end of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutL, which also disrupts downstream operon genes lmrP, ruvA, and tag. During early logarithmic growth, SpyCI excise from the bacterial chromosome and replicate as episomes, relieving the mutator phenotype. As growth slows and the cells enter stationary phase, SpyCI reintegrate into the chromosome, again silencing the MMR operon. This system creates a unique growth-dependent and reversible mutator phenotype. Additional CI using the identical attachment site in mutL have been identified in related species, including Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis, Streptococcus anginosus, Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus parauberis, and Streptococcus canis. These CI have small genomes, which range from 13 to 20 kB, conserved integrase and DNA replication genes, and no identifiable genes encoding capsid proteins. SpyCI may employ a helper phage for packaging and dissemination in a fashion similar to the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPI). Outside of the core replication and integration genes, SpyCI and related CI show considerable diversity with the presence of many indels that may contribute to the host cell phenotype or fitness. SpyCI are a subset of a larger family of streptococcal CI who potentially regulate the expression of other host genes. The biological and phylogenetic analysis of streptococcal chromosomal islands provides important clues as to how these chromosomal islands help S. pyogenes and other streptococcal species persist in human populations in spite of antibiotic therapy and immune challenges. PMID:25161960

  6. Chromosomal islands of Streptococcus pyogenes and related streptococci: molecular switches for survival and virulence.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Scott V; McShan, William M

    2014-01-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes is a significant pathogen of humans, annually causing over 700,000,000 infections and 500,000 deaths. Virulence in S. pyogenes is closely linked to mobile genetic elements like phages and chromosomal islands (CI). S. pyogenes phage-like chromosomal islands (SpyCI) confer a complex mutator phenotype on their host. SpyCI integrate into the 5' end of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutL, which also disrupts downstream operon genes lmrP, ruvA, and tag. During early logarithmic growth, SpyCI excise from the bacterial chromosome and replicate as episomes, relieving the mutator phenotype. As growth slows and the cells enter stationary phase, SpyCI reintegrate into the chromosome, again silencing the MMR operon. This system creates a unique growth-dependent and reversible mutator phenotype. Additional CI using the identical attachment site in mutL have been identified in related species, including Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis, Streptococcus anginosus, Streptococcus intermedius, Streptococcus parauberis, and Streptococcus canis. These CI have small genomes, which range from 13 to 20 kB, conserved integrase and DNA replication genes, and no identifiable genes encoding capsid proteins. SpyCI may employ a helper phage for packaging and dissemination in a fashion similar to the Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPI). Outside of the core replication and integration genes, SpyCI and related CI show considerable diversity with the presence of many indels that may contribute to the host cell phenotype or fitness. SpyCI are a subset of a larger family of streptococcal CI who potentially regulate the expression of other host genes. The biological and phylogenetic analysis of streptococcal chromosomal islands provides important clues as to how these chromosomal islands help S. pyogenes and other streptococcal species persist in human populations in spite of antibiotic therapy and immune challenges. PMID:25161960

  7. Pathogenicity island sequences of pyelonephritogenic Escherichia coli CFT073 are associated with virulent uropathogenic strains.

    PubMed Central

    Kao, J S; Stucker, D M; Warren, J W; Mobley, H L

    1997-01-01

    Urinary tract infection is the most frequently diagnosed kidney and urologic disease, and Escherichia coli is by far the most common etiologic agent. Defined blocks of DNA termed pathogenicity islands have been found in uropathogenic strains to carry genes not generally found in fecal strains. We have identified one of these regions of DNA within the chromosome of the highly virulent E. coli CFT073, isolated from the blood and urine of a woman with acute pyelonephritis. This strain, which is cytotoxic for cultured renal cells and causes acute pyelonephritis in transurethrally infected CBA mice, contains two distinct copies of the pap operon and is hemolytic. One pap operon was localized on a cosmid clone which was used to identify three overlapping cosmid clones. By using restriction mapping, DNA hybridization, sequencing, and PCR amplification, a region of approximately 50 kb was found to be present in this uropathogenic strain and to have no corresponding sequences in E. coli K-12. This gene block also carries hemolysin genes hlyCABD. The pathogenicity island begins 7 bp downstream of dadX (catabolic alanine racemase; 26.55 min) and ends at a position in the K-12 genome 75 bp downstream of the metV tRNA gene (62.74 min); this suggests that a chromosomal rearrangement has occurred relative to the K-12 linkage map. The junctions of the pathogenicity island were verified by PCR amplification directly from the genomic DNA of strain CFT073. DNA sequencing within the boundaries of the junctions revealed genes not previously identified in E. coli or in some cases bearing no known homologs. When used as probes for DNA hybridization, these sequences were found significantly more often in strains associated with the clinical syndromes of cystitis (82%) and acute pyelonephritis (79%) than in fecal strains (19%; P < 0.001). PMID:9199454

  8. A prl mutation in SecY suppresses secretion and virulence defects of Listeria monocytogenes secA2 mutants.

    PubMed

    Durack, Juliana; Burke, Thomas P; Portnoy, Daniel A

    2015-03-01

    The bulk of bacterial protein secretion occurs through the conserved SecY translocation channel that is powered by SecA-dependent ATP hydrolysis. Many Gram-positive bacteria, including the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, possess an additional nonessential specialized ATPase, SecA2. SecA2-dependent secretion is required for normal cell morphology and virulence in L. monocytogenes; however, the mechanism of export via this pathway is poorly understood. L. monocytogenes secA2 mutants form rough colonies, have septation defects, are impaired for swarming motility, and form small plaques in tissue culture cells. In this study, 70 spontaneous mutants were isolated that restored swarming motility to L. monocytogenes secA2 mutants. Most of the mutants had smooth colony morphology and septated normally, but all were lysozyme sensitive. Five representative mutants were subjected to whole-genome sequencing. Four of the five had mutations in proteins encoded by the lmo2769 operon that conferred lysozyme sensitivity and increased swarming but did not rescue virulence defects. A point mutation in secY was identified that conferred smooth colony morphology to secA2 mutants, restored wild-type plaque formation, and increased virulence in mice. This secY mutation resembled a prl suppressor known to expand the repertoire of proteins secreted through the SecY translocation complex. Accordingly, the ΔsecA2prlA1 mutant showed wild-type secretion levels of P60, an established SecA2-dependent secreted autolysin. Although the prl mutation largely suppressed almost all of the measurable SecA2-dependent traits, the ΔsecA2prlA1 mutant was still less virulent in vivo than the wild-type strain, suggesting that SecA2 function was still required for pathogenesis. PMID:25535272

  9. Complementation analysis of Agrobacterium tumefaciens Ti plasmid virB genes by use of a vir promoter expression vector: virB9, virB10, and virB11 are essential virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Ward, J E; Dale, E M; Christie, P J; Nester, E W; Binns, A N

    1990-09-01

    The virB gene products of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid have been proposed to mediate T-DNA transport through the bacterial cell wall into plant cells. Previous genetic analysis of the approximately 9.5-kilobase-pair virB operon has been limited to transposon insertion mutagenesis. Due to the polarity of the transposon insertions, only the last gene in the operon, virB11, is known to provide an essential virulence function. We have now begun to assess the contribution of the other virB genes to virulence. First, several previously isolated Tn3-HoHo1 insertions in the 3' end of the virB operon were precisely mapped by nucleotide sequence analysis. Protein extracts from A. tumefaciens strains harboring these insertions on the Ti plasmid were subjected to immunostaining analysis with VirB4-, VirB10-, and VirB11-specific antisera to determine the effect of the insertion on virB gene expression. In this manner, avirulent mutants containing polar insertions in the virB9 and virB10 genes were identified. To carry out a complementation analysis with these virB mutants, expression vectors were constructed that allow cloned genes to be expressed from the virB promoter in A. tumefaciens. These plasmids were used to express combinations of the virB9, virB10, and virB11 genes in trans in the virB insertion mutants, thereby creating strains lacking only one of these three virB gene products. Virulence assays on Kalanchoe daigremontiana demonstrated that in addition to virB11, the virB9 and virB10 genes are required for tumorigenicity. PMID:2203743

  10. Virulence of 32 Salmonella Strains in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Swearingen, Matthew C.; Porwollik, Steffen; Desai, Prerak T.; McClelland, Michael; Ahmer, Brian M. M.

    2012-01-01

    Virulence and persistence in the BALB/c mouse gut was tested for 32 strains of Salmonella enterica for which genome sequencing is complete or underway, including 17 serovars within subspecies I (enterica), and two representatives of each of the other five subspecies. Only serovar Paratyphi C strain BAA1715 and serovar Typhimurium strain 14028 were fully virulent in mice. Three divergent atypical Enteritidis strains were not virulent in BALB/c, but two efficiently persisted. Most of the other strains in all six subspecies persisted in the mouse intestinal tract for several weeks in multiple repeat experiments although the frequency and level of persistence varied considerably. Strains with heavily degraded genomes persisted very poorly, if at all. None of the strains tested provided immunity to Typhimurium infection. These data greatly expand on the known significant strain-to-strain variation in mouse virulence and highlight the need for comparative genomic and phenotypic studies. PMID:22558320

  11. The different roles of tryptophan transfer RNA in regulating trp operon expression in E. coli versus B. subtilis.

    PubMed

    Yanofsky, Charles

    2004-08-01

    Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis use different mechanisms of sensing and responding to tryptophan and uncharged tRNA(Trp) as regulatory signals. In E. coli, tryptophan activates a repressor that binds to the trp promoter- operator, inhibiting transcription initiation. In B. subtilis, tryptophan activates an RNA-binding protein, TRAP, which binds to the trp operon leader RNA, causing transcription termination. In E. coli uncharged tRNA(Trp) accumulation stalls the ribosome attempting translation of tandem Trp codons in the leader-peptide coding region of the operon. This stalling permits the formation of an RNA antiterminator structure, preventing transcription termination. In B. subtilis uncharged tRNA(Trp) accumulation activates transcription and translation of the at operon. AT protein inhibits tryptophan-activated TRAP, thereby preventing TRAP-mediated transcription termination. These differences might reflect the unique organizational features of the respective trp operons and their ancestry. PMID:15262409

  12. High Sensitivity Proteomics Assisted Discovery of a Novel Operon Involved in the Assembly of Photosystem II, a Membrane Protein Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Wegener, Kimberly M.; Welsh, Eric A.; Thornton, Leeann E.; Keren, Nir S.; Jacobs, Jon M.; Hixson, Kim K.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.

    2008-10-10

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a large membrane protein complex that performs the water oxidation reactions of the photosynthetic electron transport chain in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Utilizing a high-throughput proteomic analysis of isolated PSII complexes from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, we have identified four PSII associated proteins that are encoded by the cofactor integration operon (cio). This operon contains genes with putative binding domains for chlorophyll, iron-sulfur centers, and bilins. Protein levels of this operon are more abundant in several PSII lumenal mutants, suggesting an accumulation of cio products in partially assembled PSII complexes. This provides a rare example of a bacterial operon whose protein products are translationally coordinated and associated with a single protein complex. Genetic deletion of cio results in decreased oxygen evolution by PSII, suggesting that cio products may function as regulators of PSII complex assembly or degradation, maybe facilitating an uncharacterized step in PSII assembly.

  13. Virulence Gene Regulation in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Mellies, Jay L; Barron, Alex M S

    2006-01-01

    Escherichia colicauses three types of illnesses in humans: diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and meningitis in newborns. The acquisition of virulence-associated genes and the ability to properly regulate these, often horizontally transferred, loci distinguishes pathogens from the normally harmless commensal E. coli found within the human intestine. This review addresses our current understanding of virulence gene regulation in several important diarrhea-causing pathotypes, including enteropathogenic, enterohemorrhagic,enterotoxigenic, and enteroaggregativeE. coli-EPEC, EHEC, ETEC and EAEC, respectively. The intensely studied regulatory circuitry controlling virulence of uropathogenicE. coli, or UPEC, is also reviewed, as is that of MNEC, a common cause of meningitis in neonates. Specific topics covered include the regulation of initial attachment events necessary for infection, environmental cues affecting virulence gene expression, control of attaching and effacing lesionformation, and control of effector molecule expression and secretion via the type III secretion systems by EPEC and EHEC. How phage control virulence and the expression of the Stx toxins of EHEC, phase variation, quorum sensing, and posttranscriptional regulation of virulence determinants are also addressed. A number of important virulence regulators are described, including the AraC-like molecules PerA of EPEC, CfaR and Rns of ETEC, and AggR of EAEC;the Ler protein of EPEC and EHEC;RfaH of UPEC;and the H-NS molecule that acts to silence gene expression. The regulatory circuitry controlling virulence of these greatly varied E. colipathotypes is complex, but common themes offerinsight into the signals and regulators necessary forE. coli disease progression. PMID:26443571

  14. Ni2+-based immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography of lactose operon repressor protein from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Velkov, Tony; Jones, Alun; Lim, Maria L R

    2008-01-01

    A two-step chromatographic sequence is described for the purification of native lactose operon repressor protein from Escherichia coli cells. The first step involves Ni(2+)-based immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography of the soluble cytoplasmic extract. This method provides superior speed, resolution and yield than the established phosphocellulose cation-exchange chromatographic procedure. Anion-exchange chromatography is used for further purification to >95% purity. The identity and purity of the lactose repressor protein were demonstrated using sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide electrophoresis, crystallization, tryptic finger-printing mass spectrometry, and inducer binding assays. The purified lac repressor exhibited inducer sensitivity for operator DNA binding and undergoes a conformational change upon inducer binding. By all these extensive biochemical criteria, the purified protein behaves exactly as that described for the Escherichia coli lactose operon repressor. PMID:18800304

  15. Crystal Structure of the Lactose Operon Repressor and Its Complexes with DNA and Inducer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Mitchell; Chang, Geoffrey; Horton, Nancy C.; Kercher, Michele A.; Pace, Helen C.; Schumacher, Maria A.; Brennan, Richard G.; Lu, Ponzy

    1996-03-01

    The lac operon of Escherichia coli is the paradigm for gene regulation. Its key component is the lac repressor, a product of the lacI gene. The three-dimensional structures of the intact lac repressor, the lac repressor bound to the gratuitous inducer isopropyl-β-D-1-thiogalactoside (IPTG) and the lac repressor complexed with a 21-base pair symmetric operator DNA have been determined. These three structures show the conformation of the molecule in both the induced and repressed states and provide a framework for understanding a wealth of biochemical and genetic information. The DNA sequence of the lac operon has three lac repressor recognition sites in a stretch of 500 base pairs. The crystallographic structure of the complex with DNA suggests that the tetrameric repressor functions synergistically with catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) and participates in the quaternary formation of repression loops in which one tetrameric repressor interacts simultaneously with two sites on the genomic DNA.

  16. Diverse galactooligosaccharides consumption by bifidobacteria: implications of β-galactosidase--LacS operon.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Takuya; Kimura, Kazumasa; Hatano, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) possess prebiotic properties that specifically increase the number of bifidobacteria in the human intestine, thus giving health benefits to the host. Although the bifidogenic effect of GOS has been demonstrated in numerous studies, the utilization of GOS by specific bifidobacteria remains unclear. The goal of our study was to elucidate GOS consumption by specific bifidobacteria and gain insights into the mechanism. First, we examined GOS consumption by 14 bifidobacterial strains belonging to seven different species by comparing growth rate, carbohydrate consumption, and acid production. We then performed a transcription analysis in the case of one strong GOS consumer, Bifidobacterium adolescentis YIT 4011(T), to predict the operon contributing to GOS use. The study indicated the contribution of an operon consisted of LacS symporter and β-galactosidase to bifidobacterial GOS consumption. PMID:25483279

  17. Overexpression, purification and crystallization of the tetrameric form of SorC sorbitol operon regulator

    SciTech Connect

    Sanctis, Daniele de; Rêgo, Ana T.; Marçal, David; McVey, Colin E.; Carrondo, Maria A.; Enguita, Francisco J.

    2008-01-01

    The sorbitol operon regulator from K. pneumoniae has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 3.2 Å. The sorbitol operon regulator (SorC) regulates the metabolism of l-sorbose in Klebsiella pneumonia. SorC was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified, and crystals were obtained of a tetrameric form. A single crystal showed X-ray diffraction to 3.20 Å. The crystal belongs to space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 91.6, b = 113.3, c = 184.1 Å. Analysis of the molecular-replacement solution indicates the presence of four SorC molecules in the asymmetric unit.

  18. Differentiation of carbazole catabolic operons by replacement of the regulated promoter via transposition of an insertion sequence.

    PubMed

    Miyakoshi, Masatoshi; Urata, Masaaki; Habe, Hiroshi; Omori, Toshio; Yamane, Hisakazu; Nojiri, Hideaki

    2006-03-31

    The carbazole catabolic car operons from Pseudomonas resinovorans CA10 and Janthinobacterium sp. J3 have nearly identical nucleotide sequences in their structural and intergenic regions but not in their flanking regions. Transposition of ISPre1 from the anthranilate catabolic ant operon located an inducible promoter Pant upstream of the carCA10 operon, which is regulated by the AraC/XylS family activator AntR in response to anthranilate. The transposed Pant drives transcription of the carCA10 operon, which is composed of the car-AaAaBaBbCAcAdDFECA10 structural genes. Transcriptional fusion truncating Pant upstream of carAaCA10 resulted in constitutive luciferase expression. Primer extension analysis identified a transcription start point of the constitutive mRNA of the carCA10 operon at 385 nucleotides upstream of the carAaCA10 translation start point, and the PcarAa promoter was found. On the other hand, a GntR family regulatory gene carRJ3 is divergently located upstream of the carJ3 operon. The Pu13 promoter, required for inducible transcription of the carJ3 operon in the presence of carbazole, was identified in the region upstream of carAaJ3, which had been replaced with the Pant promoter in the carCA10 operon. Deletion of carRJ3 from a transcriptional fusion resulted in high level constitutive expression from Pu13. Purified CarRJ3 protein bound at two operator sequences OI and OII, showing that CarRJ3 directly represses Pu13 in the absence of its inducer, which was identified as 2-hydroxy-6-oxo-6-(2'-aminophenyl)hexa-2,4-dienoate, an intermediate of the carbazole degradation pathway. PMID:16455652

  19. Spaceflight Effects on Virulence of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broadway, S.; Goins, T.; Crandell, C.; Richards, C.; Patel, M.; Pyle, B.

    2008-06-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen found in the environment. It is known to infect the immunocompromised. The organism has about 25 virulence genes that play different roles in disease processes. Several exotoxin proteins may be produced, including ExoA, ExoS, ExoT and ExoY, and other virulence factors. In spaceflight, possible increased expression of P. aeruginosa virulence proteins could increase health risks for spaceflight crews who experience decreased immunity. Cultures of P. aeruginosa strains PA01 and PA103 grown on orbit on Shuttle Endeavour flight STS-123 vs. static ground controls were used for analysis. The production of ETA was quantitated using an ELISA procedure. Results showed that while flight cultures of PA103 produced slightly more ETA than corresponding ground controls, the opposite was found for PA01. While it appears that spaceflight has little effect on ETA, stimulation of other virulence factors could cause increased virulence of this organism in space flight. Similar increased virulence in spaceflight has been observed for other bacteria. This is important because astronauts may be more susceptible to opportunistic pathogens including P. aeruginosa.

  20. Helicobacter pylori virulence and cancer pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Yamaoka, Yoshio; Graham, David Y

    2014-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is human gastric pathogen that causes chronic and progressive gastric mucosal inflammation and is responsible for the gastric inflammation-associated diseases, gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease. specific outcomes reflect the interplay between host-, environmental- and bacterial-specific factors. Progress in understanding putative virulence factors in disease pathogenesis has been limited and many false leads have consumed scarce resources. Few in vitro–in vivo correlations or translational applications have proved clinically relevant. Reported virulence factor-related outcomes reflect differences in relative risk of disease rather than specificity for any specific outcome. Studies of individual virulence factor associations have provided conflicting results. Since virulence factors are linked, studies of groups of putative virulence factors are needed to provide clinically useful information. Here, the authors discuss the progress made in understanding the role of H. pylori virulence factors CagA, vacuolating cytotoxin, OipA and DupA in disease pathogenesis and provide suggestions for future studies. PMID:25052757

  1. Deterministic and stochastic simulation and analysis of biochemical reaction networks the lactose operon example.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Necmettin; Kazanci, Caner

    2011-01-01

    A brief introduction to mathematical modeling of biochemical regulatory reaction networks is presented. Both deterministic and stochastic modeling techniques are covered with examples from enzyme kinetics, coupled reaction networks with oscillatory dynamics and bistability. The Yildirim-Mackey model for lactose operon is used as an example to discuss and show how deterministic and stochastic methods can be used to investigate various aspects of this bacterial circuit. PMID:21187231

  2. Identification of Regulatory Elements That Control Expression of the tbpBA Operon in Neisseria gonorrhoeae

    PubMed Central

    Vélez Acevedo, Rosuany N.; Ronpirin, Chalinee; Kandler, Justin L.; Shafer, William M.

    2014-01-01

    Iron is an essential nutrient for survival and establishment of infection by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The neisserial transferrin binding proteins (Tbps) comprise a bipartite system for iron acquisition from human transferrin. TbpA is the TonB-dependent transporter that accomplishes iron internalization. TbpB is a surface-exposed lipoprotein that makes the iron uptake process more efficient. Previous studies have shown that the genes encoding these proteins are arranged in a bicistronic operon, with the tbpB gene located upstream of tbpA and separated from it by an inverted repeat. The operon is under the control of the ferric uptake regulator (Fur); however, promoter elements necessary for regulated expression of the genes have not been experimentally defined. In this study, putative regulatory motifs were identified and confirmed by mutagenesis. Further examination of the sequence upstream of these promoter/operator motifs led to the identification of several novel repeats. We hypothesized that these repeats are involved in additional regulation of the operon. Insertional mutagenesis of regions upstream of the characterized promoter region resulted in decreased tbpB and tbpA transcript levels but increased protein levels for both TbpA and TbpB. Using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology, we determined that a long RNA was produced from the region upstream of tbpB. We localized the 5′ endpoint of this transcript to between the two upstream insertions by qualitative RT-PCR. We propose that expression of this upstream RNA leads to optimized expression of the gene products from within the tbpBA operon. PMID:24837286

  3. Unusual Regulation of a Leaderless Operon Involved in the Catabolism of Dimethylsulfoniopropionate in Rhodobacter sphaeroides

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan, Matthew J.; Curson, Andrew R. J.; Shearer, Neil; Todd, Jonathan D.; Green, Robert T.; Johnston, Andrew W. B.

    2011-01-01

    Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain 2.4.1 is a widely studied bacterium that has recently been shown to cleave the abundant marine anti-stress molecule dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) into acrylate plus gaseous dimethyl sulfide. It does so by using a lyase encoded by dddL, the promoter-distal gene of a three-gene operon, acuR-acuI-dddL. Transcription of the operon was enhanced when cells were pre-grown with the substrate DMSP, but this induction is indirect, and requires the conversion of DMSP to the product acrylate, the bona fide co-inducer. This regulation is mediated by the product of the promoter-proximal gene acuR, a transcriptional regulator in the TetR family. AcuR represses the operon in the absence of acrylate, but this is relieved by the presence of the co-inducer. Another unusual regulatory feature is that the acuR-acuI-dddL mRNA transcript is leaderless, such that acuR lacks a Shine-Dalgarno ribosomal binding site and 5′-UTR, and is translated at a lower level compared to the downstream genes. This regulatory unit may be quite widespread in bacteria, since several other taxonomically diverse lineages have adjacent acuR-like and acuI-like genes; these operons also have no 5′ leader sequences or ribosomal binding sites and their predicted cis-acting regulatory sequences resemble those of R. sphaeroides acuR-acuI-dddL. PMID:21249136

  4. Restriction endonuclease analysis of the ilvGEDA operon of members of the family Enterobacteriaceae.

    PubMed

    Driver, R P; Lawther, R P

    1985-06-01

    Four of the genes required for the biosynthesis of isoleucine and valine form the ilvGEDA operon in Escherichia coli K-12 and Salmonella typhimurium. The structural relationship of these genes was examined in eight other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae by genomic Southern blot hybridization. These genes are contiguous in all the strains examined, and specific restriction sites appear to be highly conserved, indicating the possible functional importance of the DNA sequences of which they are part. PMID:2987189

  5. Regions of the Bacillus subtilis ilv-leu operon involved in regulation by leucine.

    PubMed Central

    Grandoni, J A; Fulmer, S B; Brizzio, V; Zahler, S A; Calvo, J M

    1993-01-01

    The ilv-leu operon of Bacillus subtilis is regulated in part by transcription attenuation. The cis-acting elements required for regulation by leucine lie within a 683-bp fragment of DNA from the region upstream of ilvB, the first gene of the operon. This fragment contains the ilv-leu promoter and 482 bp of the ilv-leu leader region. Spontaneous mutations that lead to increased expression of the operon were shown to lie in an imperfect inverted repeat encoding the terminator stem within the leader region. Mutations within the inverted repeat of the terminator destroyed most of the leucine-mediated repression. The remaining leucine-mediated repression probably resulted from a decrease in transcription initiation. A systematic analysis of other deletions within the ilv-leu leader region identified a 40-bp region required for the derepression that occurred during leucine limitation. This region lies within a potential RNA stem-and-loop structure that is probably required for leucine-dependent control. Deletion analysis also suggested that alternate secondary structures proximal to the terminator are involved in allowing transcription to proceed beyond the terminator. Additional experiments suggested that attenuation of the ilv-leu operon is not dependent on coupling translation to transcription of the leader region. Our data support a model proposed by Grundy and Henkin (F. J. Grundy and T. M. Henkin, Cell 74:475-482, 1993) in which uncharged tRNA acts as a positive regulatory factor to increase gene expression during amino acid limitation. Images PMID:8244927

  6. Influence of Catabolite Repression and Inducer Exclusion on the Bistable Behavior of the lac Operon

    PubMed Central

    Santillán, Moisés; Mackey, Michael C.

    2004-01-01

    A mathematical model of the lac operon which includes all of the known regulatory mechanisms, including external-glucose-dependent catabolite repression and inducer exclusion, as well as the time delays inherent to transcription and translation, is presented. With this model we investigate the influence of external glucose, by means of catabolite repression and the regulation of lactose uptake, on the bistable behavior of this system. PMID:14990461

  7. Pathogenicity and virulence: another view.

    PubMed Central

    Isenberg, H D

    1988-01-01

    The concepts of pathogenicity and virulence have governed our perception of microbial harmfulness since the time of Pasteur and Koch. These concepts resulted in the recognition and identification of numerous etiological agents and provided natural and synthetic agents effective in therapy and prevention of diseases. However, Koch's postulates--the premier product of this view--place the onus of harmfulness solely on the microbial world. Our recent experiences with polymicrobic and nosocomial infections, legionellosis, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome point to the host as the major determinant of disease. The principles of parasitism, enunciated by Theobold Smith, approximate more accurately the disturbances of the host-parasite equilibrium we designate as infection. Many complex attributes of microbial anatomy and physiology have been obscured by our dependency on the pure-culture technique. For example, bacterial attachment organelles and the production of exopolysaccharides enable microorganisms to interact with mammalian glycocalyces and specific receptors. In addition, selection, through the use of therapeutic agents, aids in the progression of environmental organisms to members of the intimate human biosphere, with the potential to complicate the recovery of patients. These factors emphasize further the pivotal significance of host reactions in infections. Parasitism, in its negative aspects, explains the emergence of "new" infections that involve harm to more than host organs and cells: we may encounter subtler infections that reveal parasitic and host cell nucleic acid interactions in a form of genomic parasitism. PMID:3060244

  8. The Xis2d protein of CTnDOT binds to the intergenic region between the mob and tra operons.

    PubMed

    Hopp, Crystal M; Gardner, Jeffrey F; Salyers, Abigail A

    2015-09-01

    CTnDOT is a 65kbp integrative and conjugative element (ICE) that carries genes encoding both tetracycline and erythromycin resistances. The excision operon of this element encodes Xis2c, Xis2d, and Exc proteins involved in the excision of CTnDOT from host chromosomes. These proteins are also required in the complex transcriptional regulation of the divergently transcribed transfer (tra) and mobilization (mob) operons of CTnDOT. Transcription of the tra operon is positively regulated by Xis2c and Xis2d, whereas, transcription of the mob operon is positively regulated by Xis2d and Exc. Xis2d is the only protein that is involved in the excision reaction, as well as the transcriptional regulation of both the mob and tra operons. This paper helps establish how Xis2d binds the DNA in the mob and tra region. Unlike other excisionase proteins, Xis2d binds a region of dyad symmetry. The binding site is located in the intergenic region between the mob and tra promoters, and once bound Xis2d induces a bend in the DNA. Xis2d binding to this region could be the preliminary step for the activation of both operons. Then the other proteins, like Exc, can interact with Xis2d and form higher order complexes. PMID:26212728

  9. Nucleotide sequence and functional analysis of cbbR, a positive regulator of the Calvin cycle operons of Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, J L; Tabita, F R

    1993-01-01

    Structural genes encoding Calvin cycle enzymes in Rhodobacter sphaeroides are duplicated and organized within two physically distinct transcriptional units, the form I and form II cbb operons. Nucleotide sequence determination of the region upstream of the form I operon revealed a divergently transcribed open reading frame, cbbR, that showed significant similarity to the LysR family of transcriptional regulatory proteins. Mutants containing an insertionally inactivated cbbR gene were impaired in photoheterotrophic growth and completely unable to grow photolithoautotrophically with CO2 as the sole carbon source. In the cbbR strain, expression of genes within the form I operon was completely abolished and that of the form II operon was reduced to about 30% of the wild-type level. The cloned cbbR gene complemented the mutant for wild-type growth characteristics, and normal levels of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) were observed. However, rocket immunoelectrophoresis revealed that the wild-type level of RubisCO was due to overexpression of the form II enzyme, whereas expression of the form I RubisCO was 10% of that of the wild-type strain. The cbbR insertional inactivation did not appear to affect aerobic expression of either CO2 fixation operon, but preliminary evidence suggests that the constitutive expression of the form II operon observed in the cbbR strain may be subject to repression during aerobic growth. PMID:8376325

  10. Pre-dispositions and epigenetic inheritance in the Escherichia coli lactose operon bistable switch.

    PubMed

    Robert, Lydia; Paul, Gregory; Chen, Yong; Taddei, François; Baigl, Damien; Lindner, Ariel B

    2010-04-13

    The lactose operon regulation in Escherichia coli is a primary model of phenotypic switching, reminiscent of cell fate determination in higher organisms. Under conditions of bistability, an isogenic cell population partitions into two subpopulations, with the operon's genes turned on or remaining off. It is generally hypothesized that the final state of a cell depends solely on stochastic fluctuations of the network's protein concentrations, particularly on bursts of lactose permease expression. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying the cell switching decision are not fully understood. We designed a microfluidic system to follow the formation of a transiently bimodal population within growing microcolonies. The analysis of genealogy and cell history revealed the existence of pre-disposing factors for switching that are epigenetically inherited. Both the pre-induction expression stochasticity of the lactose operon repressor LacI and the cellular growth rate are predictive factors of the cell's response upon induction, with low LacI concentration and slow growth correlating with higher switching probability. Thus, stochasticity at the local level of the network and global physiology are synergistically involved in cell response determination. PMID:20393577

  11. OpWise: Operons aid the identification of differentially expressedgenes in bacterial microarray experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Price, Morgan N.; Arkin, Adam P.; Alm, Eric J.

    2005-11-23

    Differentially expressed genes are typically identified by analyzing the variation between replicate measurements. These procedures implicitly assume that there are no systematic errors in the data even though several sources of systematic error are known. Results-OpWise estimates the amount of systematic error in bacterial microarray data by assuming that genes in the same operon have matching expression patterns. OpWise then performs a Bayesian analysis of a linear model to estimate significance. In simulations, OpWise corrects for systematic error and is robust to deviations from its assumptions. In several bacterial data sets, significant amounts of systematic error are present, and replicate-based approaches overstate the confidence of the changers dramatically, while OpWise does not. Finally, OpWise can identify additional changers by assigning genes higher confidence if they are consistent with other genes in the same operon. Although microarray data can contain large amounts of systematic error, operons provide an external standard and allow for reasonable estimates of significance. OpWise is available at http://microbesonline.org/OpWise.

  12. Role of a Tannerella forsythia exopolysaccharide synthesis operon in biofilm development.

    PubMed

    Honma, Kiyonobu; Inagaki, Satoru; Okuda, Katsuji; Kuramitsu, Howard K; Sharma, Ashu

    2007-04-01

    Tannerella forsythia is a Gram-negative oral anaerobe implicated in the development of periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease induced by bacterial infections which leads to tooth loss if untreated. Since biofilms formed by periodontal bacteria are considered important in disease progression and pose difficulties in treatment, we sought to investigate the underlying mechanisms of T. forsythia biofilm formation. This was carried out by screening random insertion mutants of T. forsythia for alterations in biofilm development. This approach lead to the identification of an operon involved in exopolysaccharide (EPS) synthesis. An isogenic mutant of one of the genes, wecC, contained within the operon was constructed. The isogenic wecC mutant showed increased ability to form biofilms as compared to the parent strain. The wecC mutant also formed aggregated microcolonies and showed increased cell-surface associated hydrophobicity as compared to the parent strain. Moreover, biochemical characterization of the wecC mutant indicated that glycosylation of surface glycoproteins was reduced. Therefore, our results suggest that the wecC operon is associated with glycosylation of surface-glycoprotein expression and likely plays an inhibitory role in T. forsythia biofilm formation. PMID:17363213

  13. The Cytochrome c Maturation Operon Is Involved in Manganese Oxidation in Pseudomonas putida GB-1

    PubMed Central

    de Vrind, J. P. M.; Brouwers, G. J.; Corstjens, P. L. A. M.; den Dulk, J.; de Vrind-de Jong, E. W.

    1998-01-01

    A Pseudomonas putida strain, strain GB-1, oxidizes Mn2+ to Mn oxide in the early stationary growth phase. It also secretes a siderophore (identified as pyoverdine) when it is subjected to iron limitation. After transposon (Tn5) mutagenesis several classes of mutants with differences in Mn2+ oxidation and/or secretion of the Mn2+-oxidizing activity were identified. Preliminary analysis of the Tn5 insertion site in one of the nonoxidizing mutants suggested that a multicopper oxidase-related enzyme is involved in Mn2+ oxidation. The insertion site in another mutant was preliminarily identified as a gene involved in the general protein secretion pathway. Two mutants defective in Mn2+-oxidizing activity also secreted porphyrins into the medium and appeared to be derepressed for pyoverdine production. These strains were chosen for detailed analysis. Both mutants were shown to contain Tn5 insertions in the ccmF gene, which is part of the cytochrome c maturation operon. They were cytochrome oxidase negative and did not contain c-type cytochromes. Complementation with part of the ccm operon isolated from the wild type restored the phenotype of the parent strain. These results indicate that a functional ccm operon is required for Mn2+ oxidation in P. putida GB-1. A possible relationship between porphyrin secretion resulting from the ccm mutation and stimulation of pyoverdine production is discussed. PMID:9758767

  14. Distinct noise-controlling roles of multiple negative feedback mechanisms in a prokaryotic operon system.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, L K; Kulasiri, D

    2011-03-01

    Molecular fluctuations are known to affect dynamics of cellular systems in important ways. Studies aimed at understanding how molecular systems of certain regulatory architectures control noise therefore become essential. The interplay between feedback regulation and noise has been previously explored for cellular networks governed by a single negative feedback loop. However, similar issues within networks consisting of more complex regulatory structures remain elusive. The authors investigate how negative feedback loops manage noise within a biochemical cascade concurrently governed by multiple negative feedback loops, using the prokaryotic tryptophan (trp) operon system in Escherechia coli as the model system. To the authors knowledge, this is the first study of noise in the trp operon system. They show that the loops in the trp operon system possess distinct, even opposing, noise-controlling effects despite their seemingly analogous feedback structures. The enzyme inhibition loop, although controlling the last reaction of the cascade, was found to suppress noise not only for the tryptophan output but also for other upstream components. In contrast, the Repression (Rep) loop enhances noise for all systems components. Attenuation (Att) poses intermediate effects by attenuating noise for the upstream components but promoting noise for components downstream of its target. Regarding noise at the output tryptophan, Rep and Att can be categorised as noise-enhancing loops whereas Enzyme Inhibition as a noise-reducing loop. These findings suggest novel implications in how cellular systems with multiple feedback mechanisms control noise. [Includes supplementary material]. PMID:21405203

  15. Artificial citrate operon confers mineral phosphate solubilization ability to diverse fluorescent pseudomonads.

    PubMed

    Adhikary, Hemanta; Sanghavi, Paulomi B; Macwan, Silviya R; Archana, Gattupalli; Naresh Kumar, G

    2014-01-01

    Citric acid is a strong acid with good cation chelating ability and can be very efficient in solubilizing mineral phosphates. Only a few phosphate solubilizing bacteria and fungi are known to secrete citric acids. In this work, we incorporated artificial citrate operon containing NADH insensitive citrate synthase (gltA1) and citrate transporter (citC) genes into the genome of six-plant growth promoting P. fluorescens strains viz., PfO-1, Pf5, CHAO1, P109, ATCC13525 and Fp315 using MiniTn7 transposon gene delivery system. Comprehensive biochemical characterization of the genomic integrants and their comparison with plasmid transformants of the same operon in M9 minimal medium reveals the highest amount of ∼7.6±0.41 mM citric and 29.95±2.8 mM gluconic acid secretion along with ∼43.2±3.24 mM intracellular citrate without affecting the growth of these P. fluorescens strains. All genomic integrants showed enhanced citric and gluconic acid secretion on Tris-Cl rock phosphate (TRP) buffered medium, which was sufficient to release 200-1000 µM Pi in TRP medium. This study demonstrates that MPS ability could be achieved in natural fluorescent pseudomonads by incorporation of artificial citrate operon not only as plasmid but also by genomic integration. PMID:25259527

  16. Transcription of the tRNA-tufB operon of Escherichia coli: activation, termination and antitermination.

    PubMed Central

    van Delft, J H; Mariñon, B; Schmidt, D S; Bosch, L

    1987-01-01

    Signals setting the level of transcription of the tRNA-tufB operon have been studied by deletion mapping. TufB transcription was measured in vivo with plasmid-borne tRNA-tufB:galk operon fusions. Removal of the sequences from -133 to -58 with respect to the transcription start point, results in a 90% decrease of tufB transcription. This demonstrates the presence of a region, upstream of the tRNA-tufB promoter, that enhances the expression of the operon. DNA fragments bearing this upstream activator region do not display an abnormal electrophoretic mobility, as has been observed for the rrnB P1 upstream activator. Deletions starting in the first tRNA gene and directing towards tufB reveal at least two sites that influence tufB transcription. One signals transcription termination in the intergenic region between thrT and tufB. The other may be involved in antitermination. Possible mechanisms underlying antitermination and termination are considered in the light of the nucleotide sequence. Images PMID:3317280

  17. Comparison of Deterministic and Stochastic Models of the lac Operon Genetic Network

    PubMed Central

    Stamatakis, Michail; Mantzaris, Nikos V.

    2009-01-01

    The lac operon has been a paradigm for genetic regulation with positive feedback, and several modeling studies have described its dynamics at various levels of detail. However, it has not yet been analyzed how stochasticity can enrich the system's behavior, creating effects that are not observed in the deterministic case. To address this problem we use a comparative approach. We develop a reaction network for the dynamics of the lac operon genetic switch and derive corresponding deterministic and stochastic models that incorporate biological details. We then analyze the effects of key biomolecular mechanisms, such as promoter strength and binding affinities, on the behavior of the models. No assumptions or approximations are made when building the models other than those utilized in the reaction network. Thus, we are able to carry out a meaningful comparison between the predictions of the two models to demonstrate genuine effects of stochasticity. Such a comparison reveals that in the presence of stochasticity, certain biomolecular mechanisms can profoundly influence the region where the system exhibits bistability, a key characteristic of the lac operon dynamics. For these cases, the temporal asymptotic behavior of the deterministic model remains unchanged, indicating a role of stochasticity in modulating the behavior of the system. PMID:19186128

  18. The cytochrome c maturation operon is involved in manganese oxidation in Pseudomonas putida GB-1

    SciTech Connect

    Vrind, J.P.M. de; Brouwers, G.J.; Corstijens, P.L.A.M.; Dulk, J. den; Vrind-de Jong, E.W. de

    1998-10-01

    A Pseudomonas putida strain, strain GB-1, oxidizes Mn{sup 2+} to Mn oxide in the early stationary growth phase. It also secretes a siderophore (identified as pyoverdine) when it is subjected to iron limitation. After transposon (Tn5) mutagenesis several classes of mutants with differences in Mn{sup 2+} oxidation and/or secretion of the Mn{sup 2+}-oxidizing activity were identified. Preliminary analysis of the Tn5 insertion site in one of the nonoxidizing mutants suggested that a multicopper oxidase-related enzyme is involved in Mn{sup 2+} oxidation. The insertion site in another mutant was preliminarily identified as a gene involved in the general protein secretion pathway. Two mutants defective in Mn{sup 2+}-oxidizing activity also secreted porphyrins into the medium and appeared to be derepressed for pyoverdine production. These strains were chosen for detailed analysis. Both mutants were shown to contain Tn5 insertions in the ccmF gene, which is part of the cytochrome c maturation operon. They were cytochrome oxidase negative and did not contain c-type cytochromes. Complementation with part of the ccm operon isolated from the wild type restored the phenotype of the parent strain. These results indicate that a functional ccm operon is required for Mn{sup 2+} oxidation in P. putida GB-1. A possible relationship between porphyrin secretion resulting from the ccm mutation and stimulation of pyoverdine production is discussed.

  19. The sim operon facilitates the transport and metabolism of sucrose isomers in Lactobacillus casei ATCC 334.

    PubMed

    Thompson, John; Jakubovics, Nicholas; Abraham, Bindu; Hess, Sonja; Pikis, Andreas

    2008-05-01

    Inspection of the genome sequence of Lactobacillus casei ATCC 334 revealed two operons that might dissimilate the five isomers of sucrose. To test this hypothesis, cells of L. casei ATCC 334 were grown in a defined medium supplemented with various sugars, including each of the five isomeric disaccharides. Extracts prepared from cells grown on the sucrose isomers contained high levels of two polypeptides with M(r)s of approximately 50,000 and approximately 17,500. Neither protein was present in cells grown on glucose, maltose or sucrose. Proteomic, enzymatic, and Western blot analyses identified the approximately 50-kDa protein as an NAD(+)- and metal ion-dependent phospho-alpha-glucosidase. The oligomeric enzyme was purified, and a catalytic mechanism is proposed. The smaller polypeptide represented an EIIA component of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent sugar phosphotransferase system. Phospho-alpha-glucosidase and EIIA are encoded by genes at the LSEI_0369 (simA) and LSEI_0374 (simF) loci, respectively, in a block of seven genes comprising the sucrose isomer metabolism (sim) operon. Northern blot analyses provided evidence that three mRNA transcripts were up-regulated during logarithmic growth of L. casei ATCC 334 on sucrose isomers. Internal simA and simF gene probes hybridized to approximately 1.5- and approximately 1.3-kb transcripts, respectively. A 6.8-kb mRNA transcript was detected by both probes, which was indicative of cotranscription of the entire sim operon. PMID:18310337

  20. Bacterial clade with the ribosomal RNA operon on a small plasmid rather than the chromosome.

    PubMed

    Anda, Mizue; Ohtsubo, Yoshiyuki; Okubo, Takashi; Sugawara, Masayuki; Nagata, Yuji; Tsuda, Masataka; Minamisawa, Kiwamu; Mitsui, Hisayuki

    2015-11-17

    rRNA is essential for life because of its functional importance in protein synthesis. The rRNA (rrn) operon encoding 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNAs is located on the "main" chromosome in all bacteria documented to date and is frequently used as a marker of chromosomes. Here, our genome analysis of a plant-associated alphaproteobacterium, Aureimonas sp. AU20, indicates that this strain has its sole rrn operon on a small (9.4 kb), high-copy-number replicon. We designated this unusual replicon carrying the rrn operon on the background of an rrn-lacking chromosome (RLC) as the rrn-plasmid. Four of 12 strains close to AU20 also had this RLC/rrn-plasmid organization. Phylogenetic analysis showed that those strains having the RLC/rrn-plasmid organization represented one clade within the genus Aureimonas. Our finding introduces a previously unaddressed viewpoint into studies of genetics, genomics, and evolution in microbiology and biology in general. PMID:26534993

  1. The Mannitol Operon Repressor MTIR belongs to a new class of transcription regulators in bacteria.

    SciTech Connect

    Tan, K.; Borovilos, M.; Zhou, M; Horer, S; Clancy, S; Moy, S; Volkart, LL; Sassoon, J; Baumann, U; Joachimiak, A

    2009-12-25

    Many bacteria express phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase systems (PTS). The mannitol-specific PTS catalyze the uptake and phosphorylation of d-mannitol. The uptake system comprises several genes encoded in the single operon. The expression of the mannitol operon is regulated by a proposed transcriptional factor, mannitol operon repressor (MtlR) that was first studied in Escherichia coli. Here we report the first crystal structures of MtlR from Vibrio parahemeolyticus (Vp-MtlR) and its homolog YggD protein from Shigella flexneri (Sf-YggD). MtlR and YggD belong to the same protein family (Pfam05068). Although Vp-MtlR and Sf-YggD share low sequence identity (22%), their overall structures are very similar, representing a novel all {alpha}-helical fold, and indicate similar function. However, their lack of any known DNA-binding structural motifs and their unfavorable electrostatic properties imply that MtlR/YggD are unlikely to bind a specific DNA operator directly as proposed earlier. This structural observation is further corroborated by in vitro DNA-binding studies of E. coli MtlR (Ec-MtlR), which detected no interaction of Ec-MtlR with the well characterized mannitol operator/promoter region. Therefore, MtlR/YggD belongs to a new class of transcription factors in bacteria that may regulate gene expression indirectly as a part of a larger transcriptional complex.

  2. Transcriptional activity of the transposable element Tn10 in the Salmonella typhimurium ilvGEDA operon.

    PubMed

    Blazey, D L; Burns, R O

    1982-08-01

    Polarity of Tn10 insertion mutations in the Salmonella typhimurium ilvGEDA operon depends on both the location and the orientation of the Tn10 element. One orientation of Tn10 insertions in ilvG and ilvE permits low-level expression of the downstream ilvEDA and ilvDA genes, respectively. Our analysis of Salmonella ilv recombinant plasmids shows that this residual ilv expression must result from Tn10-directed transcription and does not reflect the presence of internal promoters in the ilvGEDA operon, as was previously suggested. The opposite orientation of Tn10 insertion in ilvE prevents ilvDA expression, indicating that only one end of Tn10 is normally active in transcribing adjacent genes. Both orientations of Tn10 insertion in ilvD exert absolute polarity on ilvA expression. Expression of ilvA is known to be dependent on effective translation of ilvD, perhaps reflecting the lack of a ribosome binding site proximal to the ilvA sequence. Therefore, recognition of the ability of Tn10 to promote transcription of contiguous genes in the ilvGEDA operon apparently requires the presence of associated ribosome binding sites. PMID:6289328

  3. Comparison of the regulatory regions of ilvGEDA operons from several enteric organisms.

    PubMed

    Harms, E; Hsu, J H; Subrahmanyam, C S; Umbarger, H E

    1985-10-01

    The nucleotide sequence preceding the ilvGEDA operon has been examined and compared in five enteric organisms. The sequence in Escherichia coli B was identical to the earlier-described strain K-12 sequence. The sequences of Salmonella typhimurium and Klebsiella aerogenes were remarkably similar to that of E. coli and identical in that part of the leader region that specified the putative 32-amino-acid peptide. Thus, identical secondary structures could be postulated for the leaders of all three organisms, and regulation of operon expression could be like that postulated earlier for E. coli. Different secondary structures had to be postulated for the leader transcripts of Edwardsiella tarda and Serratia marcescens. Control of attenuation of the operon in these organisms by the level of leucyl tRNA could be explained only if ribosome stalling occurred at a single leucine codon. In both organisms, that single leucine codon is the rarely used CUA rather than the CUG that is in E. coli, S. typhimurium, and K. aerogenes. PMID:3900037

  4. Comparative metabolic profiling of mce1 operon mutant vs wild-type Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, Adriano; Medina-Cleghorn, Daniel; Marjanovic, Olivera; Nomura, Daniel K; Riley, Lee W

    2015-11-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis disrupted in a 13-gene operon (mce1) accumulates free mycolic acids (FM) in its cell wall and causes accelerated death in mice. Here, to more comprehensively analyze differences in their cell wall lipid composition, we used an untargeted metabolomics approach to compare the lipid profiles of wild-type and mce1 operon mutant strains. By liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, we identified >400 distinct lipids significantly altered in the mce1 mutant compared to wild type. These lipids included decreased levels of saccharolipids and glycerophospholipids, and increased levels of alpha-, methoxy- and keto mycolic acids (MA), and hydroxyphthioceranic acid. The mutant showed reduced expression of mmpL8, mmpL10, stf0, pks2 and papA2 genes involved in transport and metabolism of lipids recognized to induce proinflammatory response; these lipids were found to be decreased in the mutant. In contrast, the transcripts of mmpL3, fasI, kasA, kasB, acpM and RV3451 involved in MA transport and metabolism increased; MA inhibits inflammatory response in macrophages. Since the mce1 operon is known to be regulated in intracellular M. tuberculosis, we speculate that the differences we observed in cell wall lipid metabolism and composition may affect host response to M. tuberculosis infection and determine the clinical outcome of such an infection. PMID:26319139

  5. The Rhizobium etli opt operon is required for symbiosis and stress resistance.

    PubMed

    Vos, K; Braeken, K; Fauvart, M; Ndayizeye, M; Verhaert, J; Zachurzok, S; Lambrichts, I; Michiels, J

    2007-07-01

    Rhizobium etli is a Gram-negative root-colonizing soil bacterium capable of fixing nitrogen while living in symbiosis with its leguminous host Phaseolus vulgaris. A genome-wide screening for R. etli symbiotic mutants revealed a R. etli operon encoding an oligopeptide ABC-transporter (Opt), two redA homologous genes and one redB gene. Expression analysis showed this opt operon to be transcribed both under free-living and symbiotic conditions and expression levels were demonstrated to be growth-phase-dependent. Plants nodulated by R. etli opt mutants showed a reduced symbiotic nitrogen fixation activity (approximately 50% reduction). Growth experiments with opt mutants in the presence of oligopeptides as the sole nitrogen source confirmed the involvement of the opt genes in oligopeptide uptake. Further phenotypic analysis of the opt mutants revealed them to display an enhanced resistance to the oligopeptide antibiotic bacitracin, an increased susceptibility to the beta-lactam antibiotic ampicillin and a decreased osmotolerance. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the opt operon plays a crucial role during symbiosis and stress resistance. PMID:17564602

  6. Spot 42 RNA mediates discoordinate expression of the E. coli galactose operon

    PubMed Central

    Møller, Thorleif; Franch, Thomas; Udesen, Christina; Gerdes, Kenn; Valentin-Hansen, Poul

    2002-01-01

    The physiological role of Escherichia coli Spot 42 RNA has remained obscure, even though the 109-nucleotide RNA was discovered almost three decades ago. Structural features of Spot 42 RNA and previous work suggested to us that the RNA might be a regulator of discoordinate gene expression of the galactose operon, a control that is only understood at the phenomenological level. The effects of controlled expression of Spot 42 RNA or deleting the gene (spf) encoding the RNA supported this hypothesis. Down-regulation of galK expression, the third gene in the gal operon, was only observed in the presence of Spot 42 RNA and required growth conditions that caused derepression of the spf gene. Subsequent biochemical studies showed that Spot 42 RNA specifically bound at the galK Shine-Dalgarno region of the galETKM mRNA, thereby blocking ribosome binding. We conclude that Spot 42 RNA is an antisense RNA that acts to differentially regulate genes that are expressed from the same transcription unit. Our results reveal an interesting mechanism by which the expression of a promoter distal gene in an operon can be modulated and underline the importance of antisense control in bacterial gene regulation. PMID:12101127

  7. Cloning and properties of the Salmonella typhimurium tricarboxylate transport operon in Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Widenhorn, K.A.; Boos, W.; Somers, J.M.; Kay, W.W.

    1988-02-01

    The tricarboxylate transport operon (tctI) was cloned in Escherichia coli as a 12-kilobase (kb) fragment from an EcoRI library of the Salmonella typhimurium chromosome in lambdagtWES. It was further subcloned as a 12-kb fragment into pACYC184 and as an 8-kb fragment into pBR322. By insertional mutagenesis mediated by lambdaTn5, restriction mapping, and phenotypic testing, the tctI operon was localized to a 4.5-kb region. The tctC gene which encodes a periplasmic binding protein (C-protein) was located near the center of the insert. E. coli/tctI clones on either multicopy or single-copy vectors grew on the same tricarboxylates as S. typhimurium, although unusually long growth lags were observed. E. coli/tctI clones exhibited similar (/sup 14/C) fluorocitrate transport kinetics to those of S. typhimurium, whereas E. coli alone was virtually impermeable to (/sup 14/C) fluorocitrate. The periplasmic C proteins (C1 and C2 isoelectric forms) were produced in prodigious quantities from the cloned strains. Motile E. coli/tctI clones were not chemotactic toward citrate, whereas tctI deletion mutants of S. typhimurium were. Taken together, these observations indicate that tctI is not an operon involved in chemotaxis.

  8. Bacterial clade with the ribosomal RNA operon on a small plasmid rather than the chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Anda, Mizue; Ohtsubo, Yoshiyuki; Okubo, Takashi; Sugawara, Masayuki; Nagata, Yuji; Tsuda, Masataka; Minamisawa, Kiwamu; Mitsui, Hisayuki

    2015-01-01

    rRNA is essential for life because of its functional importance in protein synthesis. The rRNA (rrn) operon encoding 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNAs is located on the “main” chromosome in all bacteria documented to date and is frequently used as a marker of chromosomes. Here, our genome analysis of a plant-associated alphaproteobacterium, Aureimonas sp. AU20, indicates that this strain has its sole rrn operon on a small (9.4 kb), high-copy-number replicon. We designated this unusual replicon carrying the rrn operon on the background of an rrn-lacking chromosome (RLC) as the rrn-plasmid. Four of 12 strains close to AU20 also had this RLC/rrn-plasmid organization. Phylogenetic analysis showed that those strains having the RLC/rrn-plasmid organization represented one clade within the genus Aureimonas. Our finding introduces a previously unaddressed viewpoint into studies of genetics, genomics, and evolution in microbiology and biology in general. PMID:26534993

  9. Flavobacterium johnsoniae sprB Is Part of an Operon Spanning the Additional Gliding Motility Genes sprC, sprD, and sprF ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Rhodes, Ryan G.; Nelson, Shawn S.; Pochiraju, Soumya; McBride, Mark J.

    2011-01-01

    Cells of Flavobacterium johnsoniae move rapidly over surfaces by a process known as gliding motility. Gld proteins are thought to comprise the gliding motor that propels cell surface adhesins, such as the 669-kDa SprB. A novel protein secretion apparatus called the Por secretion system (PorSS) is required for assembly of SprB on the cell surface. Genetic and molecular analyses revealed that sprB is part of a seven-gene operon spanning 29.3 kbp of DNA. In addition to sprB, three other genes of this operon (sprC, sprD, and sprF) are involved in gliding. Mutations in sprB, sprC, sprD, and sprF resulted in cells that failed to form spreading colonies on agar but that exhibited some motility on glass in wet mounts. SprF exhibits some similarity to Porphyromonas gingivalis PorP, which is required for secretion of gingipain protease virulence factors via the P. gingivalis PorSS. F. johnsoniae sprF mutants produced SprB protein but were defective in localization of SprB to the cell surface, suggesting a role for SprF in secretion of SprB. The F. johnsoniae PorSS is involved in secretion of extracellular chitinase in addition to its role in secretion of SprB. SprF was not needed for chitinase secretion and may be specifically required for SprB secretion by the PorSS. Cells with nonpolar mutations in sprC or sprD produced and secreted SprB and propelled it rapidly along the cell surface. Multiple paralogs of sprB, sprC, sprD, and sprF are present in the genome, which may explain why mutations in sprB, sprC, sprD, and sprF do not result in complete loss of motility and suggests the possibility that semiredundant SprB-like adhesins may allow movement of cells over different surfaces. PMID:21131497

  10. Identification of Secreted Exoproteome Fingerprints of Highly-Virulent and Non-Virulent Staphylococcus aureus Strains

    PubMed Central

    Bonar, Emilia; Wojcik, Iwona; Jankowska, Urszula; Kedracka-Krok, Sylwia; Bukowski, Michal; Polakowska, Klaudia; Lis, Marcin W.; Kosecka-Strojek, Maja; Sabat, Artur J.; Dubin, Grzegorz; Friedrich, Alexander W.; Miedzobrodzki, Jacek; Dubin, Adam; Wladyka, Benedykt

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal inhabitant of skin and mucous membranes in nose vestibule but also an important opportunistic pathogen of humans and livestock. The extracellular proteome as a whole constitutes its major virulence determinant; however, the involvement of particular proteins is still relatively poorly understood. In this study, we compared the extracellular proteomes of poultry-derived S. aureus strains exhibiting a virulent (VIR) and non-virulent (NVIR) phenotype in a chicken embryo experimental infection model with the aim to identify proteomic signatures associated with the particular phenotypes. Despite significant heterogeneity within the analyzed proteomes, we identified alpha-haemolysin and bifunctional autolysin as indicators of virulence, whereas glutamylendopeptidase production was characteristic for non-virulent strains. Staphopain C (StpC) was identified in both the VIR and NVIR proteomes and the latter fact contradicted previous findings suggesting its involvement in virulence. By supplementing NVIR, StpC-negative strains with StpC, and comparing the virulence of parental and supplemented strains, we demonstrated that staphopain C alone does not affect staphylococcal virulence in a chicken embryo model. PMID:27242969

  11. Role of Ribosome Release in Regulation of tna Operon Expression in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Konan, Kouacou Vincent; Yanofsky, Charles

    1999-01-01

    Expression of the degradative tryptophanase (tna) operon of Escherichia coli is regulated by catabolite repression and tryptophan-induced transcription antitermination. In cultures growing in the absence of added tryptophan, transcription of the structural genes of the tna operon is limited by Rho-dependent transcription termination in the leader region of the operon. Tryptophan induction prevents this Rho-dependent termination, and requires in-frame translation of a 24-residue leader peptide coding region, tnaC, that contains a single, crucial, Trp codon. Studies with a lacZ reporter construct lacking the spacer region between tnaC and the first major structural gene, tnaA, suggested that tryptophan induction might involve cis action by the TnaC leader peptide on the ribosome translating the tnaC coding region. The leader peptide was hypothesized to inhibit ribosome release at the tnaC stop codon, thereby blocking Rho’s access to the transcript. Regulatory studies with deletion constructs of the tna operon of Proteus vulgaris supported this interpretation. In the present study the putative role of the tnaC stop codon in tna operon regulation in E. coli was examined further by replacing the natural tnaC stop codon, UGA, with UAG or UAA in a tnaC-stop codon-tnaA′-′lacZ reporter construct. Basal level expression was reduced to 20 and 50% when the UGA stop codon was replaced by UAG or UAA, respectively, consistent with the finding that in E. coli translation terminates more efficiently at UAG and UAA than at UGA. Tryptophan induction was observed in strains with any of the stop codons. However, when UAG or UAA replaced UGA, the induced level of expression was also reduced to 15 and 50% of that obtained with UGA as the tnaC stop codon, respectively. Introduction of a mutant allele encoding a temperature-sensitive release factor 1, prfA1, increased basal level expression 60-fold when the tnaC stop codon was UAG and 3-fold when this stop codon was UAA; basal level

  12. STUDIES ON THE VIRULENCE OF TUBERCLE BACILLI

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Hubert; Noll, Hans

    1953-01-01

    Tubercle bacilli were grown in the presence of different concentrations of tween 80, ranging from 0.05 to 2.1 per cent. Equal numbers of viable bacteria from these cultures were compared in infection experiments in the mouse. The average survival time of the mice was used as a criterion for the virulence of the bacilli. High tween concentrations in the culture medium caused a reduction of the bacterial virulence. The reduction was slight in bacterial suspensions from cultures with tween 80 ranging from 0.05 to 1.0 per cent, but considerable in cultures with 2.1 per cent tween. Bacteria grown in the presence of 2.1 per cent tween gave rise to the same number of colonies, in vitro, as bacteria grown in ordinary media. Their oxygen uptake was increased as compared with that of bacilli grown in media containing less tween. Virulent bacteria grown in the presence of high amounts of tween 80 decolorized methylene blue in a test in which organisms from the same virulent strain but cultured without tween, or with only small proportions of the detergent in the medium, did not reduce the dye. A positive methylene blue test is typical of non-virulent tubercle bacilli and of saprophytic mycobacteria. Essentially the same changes occurred when virulent tubercle bacilli were grown in the presence of 0.5 µg./ml. of para-formacetanilide thiosemicarbazone (TBI). This small amount of the substance was not sufficient to prevent the growth of bacteria, or to reduce the number of viable cells in a culture, but it reduced the virulence of the bacteria considerably and rendered them capable of decolorizing methylene blue. Cord factor, a lipid constituent of virulent bacteria which is toxic for mice, was shown to be present in filtrates from cultures of virulent bacteria when the media contained 2 per cent tween 80, but no such material could be recovered from culture filtrates containing the usual 0.05 per cent tween. On the other hand, no toxic material could be extracted from bacteria

  13. Salmonella promotes virulence by repressing cellulose production

    PubMed Central

    Pontes, Mauricio H.; Lee, Eun-Jin; Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A.

    2015-01-01

    Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. In bacteria, cellulose confers protection against environmental insults and is a constituent of biofilms typically formed on abiotic surfaces. We report that, surprisingly, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium makes cellulose when inside macrophages. We determine that preventing cellulose synthesis increases virulence, whereas stimulation of cellulose synthesis inside macrophages decreases virulence. An attenuated mutant lacking the mgtC gene exhibited increased cellulose levels due to increased expression of the cellulose synthase gene bcsA and of cyclic diguanylate, the allosteric activator of the BcsA protein. Inactivation of bcsA restored wild-type virulence to the Salmonella mgtC mutant, but not to other attenuated mutants displaying a wild-type phenotype regarding cellulose. Our findings indicate that a virulence determinant can promote pathogenicity by repressing a pathogen's antivirulence trait. Moreover, they suggest that controlling antivirulence traits increases long-term pathogen fitness by mediating a trade-off between acute virulence and transmission. PMID:25848006

  14. Salmonella promotes virulence by repressing cellulose production.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Mauricio H; Lee, Eun-Jin; Choi, Jeongjoon; Groisman, Eduardo A

    2015-04-21

    Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. In bacteria, cellulose confers protection against environmental insults and is a constituent of biofilms typically formed on abiotic surfaces. We report that, surprisingly, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium makes cellulose when inside macrophages. We determine that preventing cellulose synthesis increases virulence, whereas stimulation of cellulose synthesis inside macrophages decreases virulence. An attenuated mutant lacking the mgtC gene exhibited increased cellulose levels due to increased expression of the cellulose synthase gene bcsA and of cyclic diguanylate, the allosteric activator of the BcsA protein. Inactivation of bcsA restored wild-type virulence to the Salmonella mgtC mutant, but not to other attenuated mutants displaying a wild-type phenotype regarding cellulose. Our findings indicate that a virulence determinant can promote pathogenicity by repressing a pathogen's antivirulence trait. Moreover, they suggest that controlling antivirulence traits increases long-term pathogen fitness by mediating a trade-off between acute virulence and transmission. PMID:25848006

  15. Plant Natural Products Targeting Bacterial Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Silva, Laura Nunes; Zimmer, Karine Rigon; Macedo, Alexandre José; Trentin, Danielle Silva

    2016-08-24

    Decreased antimicrobial efficiency has become a global public health issue. The paucity of new antibacterial drugs is evident, and the arsenal against infectious diseases needs to be improved urgently. The selection of plants as a source of prototype compounds is appropriate, since plant species naturally produce a wide range of secondary metabolites that act as a chemical line of defense against microorganisms in the environment. Although traditional approaches to combat microbial infections remain effective, targeting microbial virulence rather than survival seems to be an exciting strategy, since the modulation of virulence factors might lead to a milder evolutionary pressure for the development of resistance. Additionally, anti-infective chemotherapies may be successfully achieved by combining antivirulence and conventional antimicrobials, extending the lifespan of these drugs. This review presents an updated discussion of natural compounds isolated from plants with chemically characterized structures and activity against the major bacterial virulence factors: quorum sensing, bacterial biofilms, bacterial motility, bacterial toxins, bacterial pigments, bacterial enzymes, and bacterial surfactants. Moreover, a critical analysis of the most promising virulence factors is presented, highlighting their potential as targets to attenuate bacterial virulence. The ongoing progress in the field of antivirulence therapy may therefore help to translate this promising concept into real intervention strategies in clinical areas. PMID:27437994

  16. Effects of sigmaS and the transcriptional activator AppY on induction of the Escherichia coli hya and cbdAB-appA operons in response to carbon and phosphate starvation.

    PubMed Central

    Atlung, T; Knudsen, K; Heerfordt, L; Brøndsted, L

    1997-01-01

    The transcriptional regulation of two energy metabolism operons, hya and cbdAB-appA, has been investigated during carbon and phosphate starvation. The hya operon encodes hydrogenase 1, and the cbdAB-appA operon encodes cytochrome bd-II oxidase and acid phosphatase, pH 2.5. Both operons are targets for the transcriptional activator AppY. In exponential growth, expression of the hya and cbd operons was reduced in an rpoS mutant lacking the RNA polymerase sigmaS factor, and the induction of the two operons by entry into stationary phase in rich medium was strongly dependent on sigmaS. Both operons were induced by carbon starvation, but only induction of the hya operon was dependent on sigmaS, whereas that of the cbd promoter was dependent on AppY. The appY gene also showed sigmaS-dependent induction by carbon starvation. The cbd and hya operons were also found to exhibit a sigmaS-dependent transient twofold induction by osmotic upshift. Like the cbd operon, the hya operon was highly induced by phosphate starvation. For both operons the induction was strongly dependent on AppY. The induction ratio of the two operons was the same in rpoS+ and rpoS mutant strains, indicating that the phosphate starvation-induced increase in sigmaS concentration is not involved in the phosphate regulation of these operons. PMID:9079897

  17. Effects of sigmaS and the transcriptional activator AppY on induction of the Escherichia coli hya and cbdAB-appA operons in response to carbon and phosphate starvation.

    PubMed

    Atlung, T; Knudsen, K; Heerfordt, L; Brøndsted, L

    1997-04-01

    The transcriptional regulation of two energy metabolism operons, hya and cbdAB-appA, has been investigated during carbon and phosphate starvation. The hya operon encodes hydrogenase 1, and the cbdAB-appA operon encodes cytochrome bd-II oxidase and acid phosphatase, pH 2.5. Both operons are targets for the transcriptional activator AppY. In exponential growth, expression of the hya and cbd operons was reduced in an rpoS mutant lacking the RNA polymerase sigmaS factor, and the induction of the two operons by entry into stationary phase in rich medium was strongly dependent on sigmaS. Both operons were induced by carbon starvation, but only induction of the hya operon was dependent on sigmaS, whereas that of the cbd promoter was dependent on AppY. The appY gene also showed sigmaS-dependent induction by carbon starvation. The cbd and hya operons were also found to exhibit a sigmaS-dependent transient twofold induction by osmotic upshift. Like the cbd operon, the hya operon was highly induced by phosphate starvation. For both operons the induction was strongly dependent on AppY. The induction ratio of the two operons was the same in rpoS+ and rpoS mutant strains, indicating that the phosphate starvation-induced increase in sigmaS concentration is not involved in the phosphate regulation of these operons. PMID:9079897

  18. Variable Suites of Non-effector Genes Are Co-regulated in the Type III Secretion Virulence Regulon across the Pseudomonas syringae Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mucyn, Tatiana S.; Yourstone, Scott; Lind, Abigail L.; Biswas, Surojit; Nishimura, Marc T.; Baltrus, David A.; Cumbie, Jason S.; Chang, Jeff H.; Jones, Corbin D.; Dangl, Jeffery L.; Grant, Sarah R.

    2014-01-01

    Pseudomonas syringae is a phylogenetically diverse species of Gram-negative bacterial plant pathogens responsible for crop diseases around the world. The HrpL sigma factor drives expression of the major P. syringae virulence regulon. HrpL controls expression of the genes encoding the structural and functional components of the type III secretion system (T3SS) and the type three secreted effector proteins (T3E) that are collectively essential for virulence. HrpL also regulates expression of an under-explored suite of non-type III effector genes (non-T3E), including toxin production systems and operons not previously associated with virulence. We implemented and refined genome-wide transcriptional analysis methods using cDNA-derived high-throughput sequencing (RNA-seq) data to characterize the HrpL regulon from six isolates of P. syringae spanning the diversity of the species. Our transcriptomes, mapped onto both complete and draft genomes, significantly extend earlier studies. We confirmed HrpL-regulation for a majority of previously defined T3E genes in these six strains. We identified two new T3E families from P. syringae pv. oryzae 1_6, a strain within the relatively underexplored phylogenetic Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) group IV. The HrpL regulons varied among strains in gene number and content across both their T3E and non-T3E gene suites. Strains within MLST group II consistently express the lowest number of HrpL-regulated genes. We identified events leading to recruitment into, and loss from, the HrpL regulon. These included gene gain and loss, and loss of HrpL regulation caused by group-specific cis element mutations in otherwise conserved genes. Novel non-T3E HrpL-regulated genes include an operon that we show is required for full virulence of P. syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A on French bean. We highlight the power of integrating genomic, transcriptomic, and phylogenetic information to drive concise functional experimentation and to derive better

  19. IcgA Is a Virulence Factor of Rhodococcus equi That Modulates Intracellular Growth

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoguang; Coulson, Garry B.; Miranda-CasoLuengo, Aleksandra A.; Miranda-CasoLuengo, Raúl; Hondalus, Mary K.

    2014-01-01

    Virulence of the intracellular pathogen Rhodococcus equi depends on a 21.3-kb pathogenicity island located on a conjugative plasmid. To date, the only nonregulatory pathogenicity island-encoded virulence factor identified is the cell envelope-associated VapA protein. Although the pathogenicity islands from porcine and equine R. equi isolates have undergone major rearrangements, the virR operon (virR-icgA-vapH-orf7-virS) is highly conserved in both, suggesting these genes play an important role in pathogenicity. VirR and VirS are transcriptional regulators controlling expression of pathogenicity island genes, including vapA. Here, we show that while vapH and orf7 are dispensable for intracellular growth of R. equi, deletion of icgA, formerly known as orf5, encoding a major facilitator superfamily transport protein, elicited an enhanced growth phenotype in macrophages and a significant reduction in macrophage viability, while extracellular growth in broth remained unaffected. Transcription of virS, located downstream of icgA, and vapA was not affected by the icgA deletion during growth in broth or in macrophages, showing that the enhanced growth phenotype caused by deletion of icgA was not mediated through abnormal transcription of these genes. Transcription of icgA increased 6-fold within 2 h following infection of macrophages and remained significantly higher 48 h postinfection compared to levels at the start of the infection. The major facilitator superfamily transport protein IcgA is the first factor identified in R. equi that negatively affects intracellular replication. Aside from VapA, it is only the second pathogenicity island-encoded structural protein shown to play a direct role in intracellular growth of this pathogenic actinomycete. PMID:24549327

  20. Peptidoglycan Branched Stem Peptides Contribute to Streptococcus pneumoniae Virulence by Inhibiting Pneumolysin Release

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Neil G.; Narciso, Ana R.; Filipe, Sergio R.; Camilli, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) colonizes the human nasopharynx and is a significant pathogen worldwide. Pneumolysin (Ply) is a multi-functional, extracellular virulence factor produced by this organism that is critical for pathogenesis. Despite the absence of any apparent secretion or cell surface attachment motifs, Ply localizes to the cell envelope of actively growing cells. We sought to characterize the consequences of this surface localization. Through functional assays with whole cells and subcellular fractions, we determined that Ply activity and its release into the extracellular environment are inhibited by peptidoglycan (PG) structure. The ability of PG to inhibit Ply release was dependent on the stem peptide composition of this macromolecule, which was manipulated by mutation of the murMN operon that encodes proteins responsible for branched stem peptide synthesis. Additionally, removal of choline-binding proteins from the cell surface significantly reduced Ply release to levels observed in a mutant with a high proportion of branched stem peptides suggesting a link between this structural feature and surface-associated choline-binding proteins involved in PG metabolism. Of clinical relevance, we also demonstrate that a hyperactive, mosaic murMN allele associated with penicillin resistance causes decreased Ply release with concomitant increases in the amount of branched stem peptides. Finally, using a murMN deletion mutant, we observed that increased Ply release is detrimental to virulence during a murine model of pneumonia. Taken together, our results reveal a novel role for branched stem peptides in pneumococcal pathogenesis and demonstrate the importance of controlled Ply release during infection. These results highlight the importance of PG composition in pathogenesis and may have broad implications for the diverse PG structures observed in other bacterial pathogens. PMID:26114646

  1. Constitutive activation of the fucAO operon and silencing of the divergently transcribed fucPIK operon by an IS5 element in Escherichia coli mutants selected for growth on L-1,2-propanediol.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Y M; Lu, Z; Lin, E C

    1989-01-01

    L-1,2-Propanediol is an irretrievable end product of L-fucose fermentation by Escherichia coli. Selection for increased aerobic growth rate on propanediol results in the escalation of basal synthesis of the NAD+-linked oxidoreductase encoded by fucO, a member of the fuc regulon for the utilization of L-fucose. In general, when fucO becomes constitutively expressed, two other simultaneous changes occur: the fucA gene encoding fuculose-1-phosphate aldolase becomes constitutively expressed and the fucPIK operon encoding fucose permease, fucose isomerase, and fuculose kinase becomes noninducible. In the present study, we show that fucO and fucA form an operon which is divergently transcribed from the adjacent fucPIK operon. In propanediol-positive and fucose-negative mutants the cis-controlling region shared by the operons fucAO and fucPIK is lengthened by 1.2 kilobases. DNA hybridization identified the insertion element to be IS5. This element, always oriented in the same direction with the left end (the BglII end) proximal to fucA, apparently causes constitutive expression of fucAO and noninducibility of fucPIK. The DNA of the fucAO operon and a part of the adjacent fucP was sequenced. Images PMID:2553671

  2. Potential drivers of virulence evolution in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, David A; Kurath, Gael; Brito, Ilana L; Purcell, Maureen K; Read, Andrew F; Winton, James R; Wargo, Andrew R

    2016-02-01

    Infectious diseases are economically detrimental to aquaculture, and with continued expansion and intensification of aquaculture, the importance of managing infectious diseases will likely increase in the future. Here, we use evolution of virulence theory, along with examples, to identify aquaculture practices that might lead to the evolution of increased pathogen virulence. We identify eight practices common in aquaculture that theory predicts may favor evolution toward higher pathogen virulence. Four are related to intensive aquaculture operations, and four others are related specifically to infectious disease control. Our intention is to make aquaculture managers aware of these risks, such that with increased vigilance, they might be able to detect and prevent the emergence and spread of increasingly troublesome pathogen strains in the future. PMID:26834829

  3. Virulence factors of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

    PubMed Central

    Forrellad, Marina A.; Klepp, Laura I.; Gioffré, Andrea; Sabio y García, Julia; Morbidoni, Hector R.; Santangelo, María de la Paz; Cataldi, Angel A.; Bigi, Fabiana

    2013-01-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) consists of closely related species that cause tuberculosis in both humans and animals. This illness, still today, remains to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The mycobacteria enter the host by air, and, once in the lungs, are phagocytated by macrophages. This may lead to the rapid elimination of the bacillus or to the triggering of an active tuberculosis infection. A large number of different virulence factors have evolved in MTBC members as a response to the host immune reaction. The aim of this review is to describe the bacterial genes/proteins that are essential for the virulence of MTBC species, and that have been demonstrated in an in vivo model of infection. Knowledge of MTBC virulence factors is essential for the development of new vaccines and drugs to help manage the disease toward an increasingly more tuberculosis-free world. PMID:23076359

  4. The gut bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron influences the virulence potential of the enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O103:H25.

    PubMed

    Iversen, Hildegunn; Lindbäck, Toril; L'Abée-Lund, Trine M; Roos, Norbert; Aspholm, Marina; Stenfors Arnesen, Lotte

    2015-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) is associated with severe gastrointestinal disease. Upon entering the gastrointestinal tract, EHEC is exposed to a fluctuating environment and a myriad of other bacterial species. To establish an infection, EHEC strains have to modulate their gene expression according to the GI tract environment. In order to explore the interspecies interactions between EHEC and an human intestinal commensal, the global gene expression profile was determined of EHEC O103:H25 (EHEC NIPH-11060424) co-cultured with B. thetaiotaomicron (CCUG 10774) or grown in the presence of spent medium from B. thetaiotaomicron. Microarray analysis revealed that approximately 1% of the EHEC NIPH-11060424 genes were significantly up-regulated both in co-culture (30 genes) and in the presence of spent medium (44 genes), and that the affected genes differed between the two conditions. In co-culture, genes encoding structural components of the type three secretion system were among the most affected genes with an almost 4-fold up-regulation, while the most affected genes in spent medium were involved in chemotaxis and were more than 3-fold up-regulated. The operons for type three secretion system (TTSS) are located on the Locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island, and qPCR showed that genes of all five operons (LEE1-LEE5) were up-regulated. Moreover, an increased adherence to HeLa cells was observed in EHEC NIPH-11060424 exposed to B. thetaiotaomicron. Expression of stx2 genes, encoding the main virulence factor of EHEC, was down-regulated in both conditions (co-culture/spent medium). These results show that expression of EHEC genes involved in colonization and virulence is modulated in response to direct interspecies contact between cells, or to diffusible factors released from B. thetaiotaomicron. Such interspecies interactions could allow the pathogen to recognize its predilection site and modulate its behaviour accordingly, thus increasing the

  5. The Gut Bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron Influences the Virulence Potential of the Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O103:H25

    PubMed Central

    Iversen, Hildegunn; Lindbäck, Toril; L’Abée-Lund, Trine M.; Roos, Norbert; Aspholm, Marina; Stenfors Arnesen, Lotte

    2015-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) is associated with severe gastrointestinal disease. Upon entering the gastrointestinal tract, EHEC is exposed to a fluctuating environment and a myriad of other bacterial species. To establish an infection, EHEC strains have to modulate their gene expression according to the GI tract environment. In order to explore the interspecies interactions between EHEC and an human intestinal commensal, the global gene expression profile was determined of EHEC O103:H25 (EHEC NIPH-11060424) co-cultured with B. thetaiotaomicron (CCUG 10774) or grown in the presence of spent medium from B. thetaiotaomicron. Microarray analysis revealed that approximately 1% of the EHEC NIPH-11060424 genes were significantly up-regulated both in co-culture (30 genes) and in the presence of spent medium (44 genes), and that the affected genes differed between the two conditions. In co-culture, genes encoding structural components of the type three secretion system were among the most affected genes with an almost 4-fold up-regulation, while the most affected genes in spent medium were involved in chemotaxis and were more than 3-fold up-regulated. The operons for type three secretion system (TTSS) are located on the Locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island, and qPCR showed that genes of all five operons (LEE1-LEE5) were up-regulated. Moreover, an increased adherence to HeLa cells was observed in EHEC NIPH-11060424 exposed to B. thetaiotaomicron. Expression of stx2 genes, encoding the main virulence factor of EHEC, was down-regulated in both conditions (co-culture/spent medium). These results show that expression of EHEC genes involved in colonization and virulence is modulated in response to direct interspecies contact between cells, or to diffusible factors released from B. thetaiotaomicron. Such interspecies interactions could allow the pathogen to recognize its predilection site and modulate its behaviour accordingly, thus increasing the

  6. Glucose Starvation Boosts Entamoeba histolytica Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Tovy, Ayala; Hertz, Rivka; Siman-Tov, Rama; Syan, Sylvie; Faust, Daniela; Guillen, Nancy; Ankri, Serge

    2011-01-01

    The unicellular parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, is exposed to numerous adverse conditions, such as nutrient deprivation, during its life cycle stages in the human host. In the present study, we examined whether the parasite virulence could be influenced by glucose starvation (GS). The migratory behaviour of the parasite and its capability to kill mammalian cells and to lyse erythrocytes is strongly enhanced following GS. In order to gain insights into the mechanism underlying the GS boosting effects on virulence, we analyzed differences in protein expression levels in control and glucose-starved trophozoites, by quantitative proteomic analysis. We observed that upstream regulatory element 3-binding protein (URE3-BP), a transcription factor that modulates E.histolytica virulence, and the lysine-rich protein 1 (KRiP1) which is induced during liver abscess development, are upregulated by GS. We also analyzed E. histolytica membrane fractions and noticed that the Gal/GalNAc lectin light subunit LgL1 is up-regulated by GS. Surprisingly, amoebapore A (Ap-A) and cysteine proteinase A5 (CP-A5), two important E. histolytica virulence factors, were strongly down-regulated by GS. While the boosting effect of GS on E. histolytica virulence was conserved in strains silenced for Ap-A and CP-A5, it was lost in LgL1 and in KRiP1 down-regulated strains. These data emphasize the unexpected role of GS in the modulation of E.histolytica virulence and the involvement of KRiP1 and Lgl1 in this phenomenon. PMID:21829737

  7. A Naturally Occurring Mutation in ropB Suppresses SpeB Expression and Reduces M1T1 Group A Streptococcal Systemic Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Hollands, Andrew; Aziz, Ramy K.; Kansal, Rita; Kotb, Malak; Nizet, Victor; Walker, Mark J.

    2008-01-01

    Epidemiological studies of group A streptococcus (GAS) have noted an inverse relationship between SpeB expression and invasive disease. However, the role of SpeB in the course of infection is still unclear. In this study we utilize a SpeB-negative M1T1 clinical isolate, 5628, with a naturally occurring mutation in the gene encoding the regulator RopB, to elucidate the role of RopB and SpeB in systemic virulence. Allelic exchange mutagenesis was used to replace the mutated ropB allele in 5628 with the intact allele from the well characterized isolate 5448. The inverse allelic exchange was also performed to replace the intact ropB in 5448 with the mutated allele from 5628. An intact ropB was found to be essential for SpeB expression. While the ropB mutation was shown to have no effect on hemolysis of RBC's, extracellular DNase activity or survival in the presence of neutrophils, strains with the mutated ropB allele were less virulent in murine systemic models of infection. An isogenic SpeB knockout strain containing an intact RopB showed similarly reduced virulence. Microarray analysis found genes of the SpeB operon to be the primary target of RopB regulation. These data show that an intact RopB and efficient SpeB production are necessary for systemic infection with GAS. PMID:19116661

  8. A naturally occurring mutation in ropB suppresses SpeB expression and reduces M1T1 group A streptococcal systemic virulence.

    PubMed

    Hollands, Andrew; Aziz, Ramy K; Kansal, Rita; Kotb, Malak; Nizet, Victor; Walker, Mark J

    2008-01-01

    Epidemiological studies of group A streptococcus (GAS) have noted an inverse relationship between SpeB expression and invasive disease. However, the role of SpeB in the course of infection is still unclear. In this study we utilize a SpeB-negative M1T1 clinical isolate, 5628, with a naturally occurring mutation in the gene encoding the regulator RopB, to elucidate the role of RopB and SpeB in systemic virulence. Allelic exchange mutagenesis was used to replace the mutated ropB allele in 5628 with the intact allele from the well characterized isolate 5448. The inverse allelic exchange was also performed to replace the intact ropB in 5448 with the mutated allele from 5628. An intact ropB was found to be essential for SpeB expression. While the ropB mutation was shown to have no effect on hemolysis of RBC's, extracellular DNase activity or survival in the presence of neutrophils, strains with the mutated ropB allele were less virulent in murine systemic models of infection. An isogenic SpeB knockout strain containing an intact RopB showed similarly reduced virulence. Microarray analysis found genes of the SpeB operon to be the primary target of RopB regulation. These data show that an intact RopB and efficient SpeB production are necessary for systemic infection with GAS. PMID:19116661

  9. A mutation in a new gene bglJ, activates the bgl operon in Escherichia coli K-12

    SciTech Connect

    Giel, M.; Desnoyer, M.; Lopilato, J.

    1996-06-01

    A new mutation , bglJ4, has been characterized that results in the expression of the silent bgl operon. The bgl operon encodes proteins necessary for the transport and utilization of the aromatic {beta}-glucosides arbutin and salicin. A variety of mutations activate the operon and result in a Bgl{sup +} phenotype. Activating mutations are located upstream of the bgl promoter and in genes located elsewhere on the chromosome. Mutations outside of the bgl operon occur in the genes encoding DNA gyrase and in the gene encoding the nucleoid associated protein H-NS. The mutation described here, bglJ4, has been mapped to a new locus at min 99 on the Escherichia coli K-12 genetic map. The putative protein encoded by the bglJ gene has homology to a family of transcriptional activators. Evidence is presented that increased expression of the bglJ product is needed for activation of the bgl operon. 56 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. Evidence that repression mechanisms can exert control over the thr, leu, and ilv operons of Escherichia coli K-12.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, D I; Somerville, R L

    1983-01-01

    Mutants of Escherichia coli K-12 resistant to either the threonine analog DL-alpha-amino-beta-hydroxyvaleric acid or the leucine analog 5',5',5'-trifluoro-DL-leucine were isolated. One DL-alpha-amino-beta-hydroxyvaleric acid-resistant mutant strain, designated SP572, constitutively expressed the thr and ilv operons. The mutant allele, avr-16, was localized between trpR and the thr operon at min 0. The wildtype allele of avr-16, designated ileR, is trans dominant. One 5',5',5'-trifluoro-DL-leucine-resistant mutant strain, designated FLR9, expressed the leu and ilv operons constitutively. The mutant allele, flr-9, is linked to entA at min 13. The constitutive expression of the thr, leu, and ilv operons in mutants avr-16 and flr-9 was partly reversed in cells harboring a plasmid, which leads to elevated levels of the trpR gene product, the Trp aporepressor protein. Operator-like sequences situated upstream from the transcription startpoints of the thr, leu, and ilv operons are plausible candidates for targets of systems of repressor-operator control functioning in parallel with attenuation. PMID:6408066

  11. Characterization of a novel bile-inducible operon encoding a two-component regulatory system in Lactobacillus acidophilus.

    PubMed

    Pfeiler, Erika A; Azcarate-Peril, M Andrea; Klaenhammer, Todd R

    2007-07-01

    Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM is an industrially important strain used extensively as a probiotic culture. Tolerance of the presence of bile is an attribute important to microbial survival in the intestinal tract. A whole-genome microarray was employed to examine the effects of bile on the global transcriptional profile of this strain, with the intention of elucidating genes contributing to bile tolerance. Genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism were generally induced, while genes involved in other aspects of cellular growth were mostly repressed. A 7-kb eight-gene operon encoding a two-component regulatory system (2CRS), a transporter, an oxidoreductase, and four hypothetical proteins was significantly upregulated in the presence of bile. Deletion mutations were constructed in six genes of the operon. Transcriptional analysis of the 2CRS mutants showed that mutation of the histidine protein kinase (HPK) had no effect on the induction of the operon, whereas the mutated response regulator (RR) showed enhanced induction when the cells were exposed to bile. These results indicate that the 2CRS plays a role in bile tolerance and that the operon it resides in is negatively controlled by the RR. Mutations in the transporter, the HPK, the RR, and a hypothetical protein each resulted in loss of tolerance of bile. Mutations in genes encoding another hypothetical protein and a putative oxidoreductase resulted in significant increases in bile tolerance. This functional analysis showed that the operon encoded proteins involved in both bile tolerance and bile sensitivity. PMID:17449631

  12. Characterization of the light-regulated operon encoding the phycoerythrin-associated linker proteins from the cyanobacterium Fremyella diplosiphon.

    PubMed Central

    Federspiel, N A; Grossman, A R

    1990-01-01

    Many biological processes in photosynthetic organisms can be regulated by light quantity or light quality or both. A unique example of the effect of specific wavelengths of light on the composition of the photosynthetic apparatus occurs in cyanobacteria that undergo complementary chromatic adaptation. These organisms alter the composition of their light-harvesting organelle, the phycobilisome, and exhibit distinct morphological features as a function of the wavelength of incident light. Fremyella diplosiphon, a filamentous cyanobacterium, responds to green light by activating transcription of the cpeBA operon, which encodes the pigmented light-harvesting component phycoerythrin. We have isolated and determined the complete nucleotide sequence of another operon, cpeCD, that encodes the linker proteins associated with phycoerythrin hexamers in the phycobilisome. The cpeCD operon is activated in green light and expressed as two major transcripts with the same 5' start site but differing 3' ends. Analysis of the kinetics of transcript accumulation in cultures of F. diplosiphon shifted from red light to green light and vice versa shows that the cpeBA and cpeCD operons are regulated coordinately. A common 17-base-pair sequence is found upstream of the transcription start sites of both operons. A comparison of the predicted amino acid sequences of the phycoerythrin-associated linker proteins CpeC and CpeD with sequences of other previously characterized rod linker proteins shows 49 invariant residues, most of which are in the amino-terminal half of the proteins. Images PMID:1694529

  13. Determinants of bistability in induction of the Escherichia coli lac operon.

    PubMed

    Dreisigmeyer, D W; Stajic, J; Nemenman, I; Hlavacek, W S; Wall, M E

    2008-09-01

    The authors have developed a mathematical model of regulation of expression of the Escherichia coli lac operon, and have investigated bistability in its steady-state induction behaviour in the absence of external glucose. Numerical analysis of equations describing regulation by artificial inducers revealed two natural bistability parameters that can be used to control the range of inducer concentrations over which the model exhibits bistability. By tuning these bistability parameters, the authors found a family of biophysically reasonable systems that are consistent with an experimentally determined bistable region for induction by thio-methylgalactoside (TMG) (in Ozbudak et al. Nature, 2004, 427; p. 737). To model regulation by lactose, the authors developed similar equations in which allolactose, a metabolic intermediate in lactose metabolism and a natural inducer of lac, is the inducer. For biophysically reasonable parameter values, these equations yield no bistability in response to induction by lactose - only systems with an unphysically small permease-dependent export effect can exhibit small amounts of bistability for limited ranges of parameter values. These results cast doubt on the relevance of bistability in the lac operon within the natural context of E. coli, and help shed light on the controversy among existing theoretical studies that address this issue. The results also motivate a deeper experimental characterisation of permease-independent transport of lac inducers, and suggest an experimental approach to address the relevance of bistability in the lac operon within the natural context of E. coli. The sensitivity of lac bistability to the type of inducer emphasises the importance of metabolism in determining the functions of genetic regulatory networks. PMID:19045824

  14. The effect of stochasticity on the lac operon: an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    van Hoek, Milan; Hogeweg, Paulien

    2007-06-01

    The role of stochasticity on gene expression is widely discussed. Both potential advantages and disadvantages have been revealed. In some systems, noise in gene expression has been quantified, in among others the lac operon of Escherichia coli. Whether stochastic gene expression in this system is detrimental or beneficial for the cells is, however, still unclear. We are interested in the effects of stochasticity from an evolutionary point of view. We study this question in the lac operon, taking a computational approach: using a detailed, quantitative, spatial model, we evolve through a mutation-selection process the shape of the promoter function and therewith the effective amount of stochasticity. We find that noise values for lactose, the natural inducer, are much lower than for artificial, nonmetabolizable inducers, because these artificial inducers experience a stronger positive feedback. In the evolved promoter functions, noise due to stochasticity in gene expression, when induced by lactose, only plays a very minor role in short-term physiological adaptation, because other sources of population heterogeneity dominate. Finally, promoter functions evolved in the stochastic model evolve to higher repressed transcription rates than those evolved in a deterministic version of the model. This causes these promoter functions to experience less stochasticity in gene expression. We show that a high repression rate and hence high stochasticity increases the delay in lactose uptake in a variable environment. We conclude that the lac operon evolved such that the impact of stochastic gene expression is minor in its natural environment, but happens to respond with much stronger stochasticity when confronted with artificial inducers. In this particular system, we have shown that stochasticity is detrimental. Moreover, we demonstrate that in silico evolution in a quantitative model, by mutating the parameters of interest, is a promising way to unravel the functional

  15. Segmental message stabilization as a mechanism for differential expression from the Zymomonas mobilis gas operon

    SciTech Connect

    Eddy, C.K.; Keshav, K.F.; An, H.; Utt, E.A.; Mejia, J.P.; Ingram, L.O. )

    1991-01-01

    In Zymomonas mobilis, three- to fourfold more glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase protein than phosphoglycerate kinase is needed for glycolysis because of differences in catalytic efficiency. Consistent with this requirement, higher levels of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were observed with two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The genes encoding these enzymes (gap and pgk, respectively) form a bicistronic operon, and some form of regulation is required to provide this differential expression. Two transcripts were observed in Northern RNA analyses with segments of gap as a probe: a more abundant 1.2-kb transcript that contained gap alone and a 2.7-kb transcript that contained both genes. Based on the relative amounts of these transcripts, the coding regions for glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were calculated to be fivefold more abundant than those for phosphoglycerate kinase. Assuming equal translational efficiency, this is sufficient to provide the observed differences in expression. Operon fusions with lacZ provided no evidence for intercistronic terminators or attenuation mechanisms. Both gap operon messages were very stable, with half-lives of approximately 16 min (1.2-kb transcript) and 7 min (2.7-kb transcript). Transcript mapping and turnover studies indicated that the shorter gap message was a stable degradation product of the full-length message. Thus differential expression of gap and pgk results primarily from increased translation of the more stable 5' segment of the transcript containing gap. The slow turnover of the messages encoding glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and phosphoglycerate kinase is proposed as a major feature contributing to the high level of expression of these essential enzymes.

  16. Role of Tellurite Resistance Operon in Filamentous Growth of Yersinia pestis in Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Clinkenbeard, Kenneth D.

    2015-01-01

    Background Yersinia pestis initiates infection by parasitism of host macrophages. In response to macrophage infections, intracellular Y. pestis can assume a filamentous cellular morphology which may mediate resistance to host cell innate immune responses. We previously observed the expression of Y. pestis tellurite resistance proteins TerD and TerE from the terZABCDE operon during macrophage infections. Others have observed a filamentous response associated with expression of tellurite resistance operon in Escherichia coli exposed to tellurite. Therefore, in this study we examine the potential role of Y. pestis tellurite resistance operon in filamentous cellular morphology during macrophage infections. Principal Findings In vitro treatment of Y. pestis culture with sodium tellurite (Na2TeO3) caused the bacterial cells to assume a filamentous phenotype similar to the filamentous phenotype observed during macrophage infections. A deletion mutant for genes terZAB abolished the filamentous morphologic response to tellurite exposure or intracellular parasitism, but without affecting tellurite resistance. However, a terZABCDE deletion mutant abolished both filamentous morphologic response and tellurite resistance. Complementation of the terZABCDE deletion mutant with terCDE, but not terZAB, partially restored tellurite resistance. When the terZABCDE deletion mutant was complemented with terZAB or terCDE, Y. pestis exhibited filamentous morphology during macrophage infections as well as while these complemented genes were being expressed under an in vitro condition. Further in E. coli, expression of Y. pestis terZAB, but not terCDE, conferred a filamentous phenotype. Conclusions These findings support the role of Y. pestis terZAB mediation of the filamentous response phenotype; whereas, terCDE confers tellurite resistance. Although the beneficial role of filamentous morphological responses by Y. pestis during macrophage infections is yet to be fully defined, it may be a

  17. Nucleotide sequence and characterization of the pyrF operon of Escherichia coli K12.

    PubMed

    Turnbough, C L; Kerr, K H; Funderburg, W R; Donahue, J P; Powell, F E

    1987-07-25

    The pyrF gene of Escherichia coli K12, which encodes the pyrimidine biosynthetic enzyme orotidine-5'-monophosphate (OMP) decarboxylase, is part of an operon that includes a downstream gene designated orfF. The orfF gene product is a small polypeptide of unknown function. The nucleotide sequence of a 1549-base pair chromosomal fragment containing this operon was determined. An open reading frame capable of encoding the 27-kDa OMP decarboxylase subunit was identified and shown to be the pyrF structural gene by purifying and characterizing OMP decarboxylase. The subunit molecular weight (Mr = 26,350), amino-terminal amino acid sequence, and amino acid composition of the polypeptide predicted from the nucleotide sequence are in excellent agreement with those properties determined for the purified enzyme. The orfF structural gene was tentatively identified and apparently encodes an 11,396-dalton polypeptide. The orfF translational initiation codon overlaps the pyrF termination codon, which may indicate translational coupling in the expression of these genes. The pyrF promoter was mapped by primer extension of in vivo transcripts. The primary transcriptional initiation site is 51 base pairs upstream of the pyrF structural gene. The level of pyrF transcription and OMP decarboxylase synthesis was found to be coordinately derepressed by pyrimidine limitation, indicating that regulation of pyrF gene expression occurs at the transcriptional level. Inspection of the nucleotide sequence indicates that pyrF gene expression is not regulated by an attenuation control mechanism similar to that described for the pyrBI operon or pyrE gene. Finally, we compared the amino acid sequences of the OMP decarboxylases from E. coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Neurospora crassa, and Ehrlich ascites cells to identify conserved regions. PMID:2956254

  18. Mutations that relieve nutritional repression of the Bacillus subtilis dipeptide permease operon.

    PubMed Central

    Slack, F J; Mueller, J P; Sonenshein, A L

    1993-01-01

    The Bacillus subtilis dciA operon encodes a dipeptide transport complex that is induced rapidly as cells enter stationary phase and initiate sporulation. Expression of this operon in growing cells is repressed by glucose, by a mixture of amino acids, and by the AbrB protein. A genetic screen was devised to identify mutations that allow inappropriate expression from the dciA promoter during growth. These mutations resulted in increased dciA transcription during growth in nutrient broth, in minimal amino acids medium, and in minimal glucose medium. Some of the mutations, called dcs (dciA control site), were cloned and shown by sequence analysis to cluster near the start site of dciA transcription. Primer extension and in vitro transcription analysis revealed that the dcs mutations did not create a new promoter. These mutations may therefore disrupt an operator site necessary for the binding of a negative regulator responsive to the nutritional state of the cell. The dcs mutant promoters were still subject to AbrB control, suggesting that the dciA operon is regulated by at least two proteins, AbrB and a nutritionally responsive regulator. The gene(s) for the putative nutritional regulator may be defined by the cod (control of dciA) mutations, which appeared to relieve amino acid and glucose repression of dciA by altering a diffusible factor. An abrB cod double mutant exhibited high-level expression of dciA during exponential growth phase. Images PMID:8335620

  19. Mutations that relieve nutritional repression of the Bacillus subtilis dipeptide permease operon.

    PubMed

    Slack, F J; Mueller, J P; Sonenshein, A L

    1993-08-01

    The Bacillus subtilis dciA operon encodes a dipeptide transport complex that is induced rapidly as cells enter stationary phase and initiate sporulation. Expression of this operon in growing cells is repressed by glucose, by a mixture of amino acids, and by the AbrB protein. A genetic screen was devised to identify mutations that allow inappropriate expression from the dciA promoter during growth. These mutations resulted in increased dciA transcription during growth in nutrient broth, in minimal amino acids medium, and in minimal glucose medium. Some of the mutations, called dcs (dciA control site), were cloned and shown by sequence analysis to cluster near the start site of dciA transcription. Primer extension and in vitro transcription analysis revealed that the dcs mutations did not create a new promoter. These mutations may therefore disrupt an operator site necessary for the binding of a negative regulator responsive to the nutritional state of the cell. The dcs mutant promoters were still subject to AbrB control, suggesting that the dciA operon is regulated by at least two proteins, AbrB and a nutritionally responsive regulator. The gene(s) for the putative nutritional regulator may be defined by the cod (control of dciA) mutations, which appeared to relieve amino acid and glucose repression of dciA by altering a diffusible factor. An abrB cod double mutant exhibited high-level expression of dciA during exponential growth phase. PMID:8335620

  20. Molecular characterization of the 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) operon of Clostridium butyricum

    PubMed Central

    Raynaud, Céline; Sarçabal, Patricia; Meynial-Salles, Isabelle; Croux, Christian; Soucaille, Philippe

    2003-01-01

    The genes encoding the 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PD) operon of Clostridium butyricum VPI1718 were characterized from a molecular and a biochemical point of view. This operon is composed of three genes, dhaB1, dhaB2, and dhaT. When grown in a vitamin B12-free mineral medium with glycerol as carbon source, Escherichia coli expressing dhaB1, dhaB2, and dhaT produces 1,3-PD and high glycerol dehydratase and 1,3-PD dehydrogenase activities. dhaB1 and dhaB2 encode, respectively, a new type of glycerol dehydratase and its activator protein. The deduced proteins DhaB1 and DhaB2, with calculated molecular masses of 88,074 and 34,149 Da, respectively, showed no homology with the known glycerol dehydratases that are all B12 dependent but significant similarity with the pyruvate formate lyases and pyruvate formate lyases activating enzymes and their homologues. The 1,158-bp dhaT gene codes for a 1,3-PD dehydrogenase with a calculated molecular mass of 41,558 Da, revealing a high level of identity with other DhaT proteins from natural 1,3-PD producers. The expression of the 1,3-PD operon in C. butyricum is regulated at the transcriptional level, and this regulation seems to involve a two-component signal transduction system DhaAS/DhaA, which may have a similar function to DhaR, a transcriptional regulator found in other natural 1,3-PD producers. The discovery of a glycerol dehydratase, coenzyme B12 independent, should significantly influence the development of an economical vitamin B12-free biological process for the production of 1,3-PD from renewable resources. PMID:12704244

  1. A Fluorescent Bioreporter for Acetophenone and 1-Phenylethanol derived from a Specifically Induced Catabolic Operon

    PubMed Central

    Muhr, Enrico; Leicht, Oliver; González Sierra, Silvia; Thanbichler, Martin; Heider, Johann

    2016-01-01

    The β-proteobacterium Aromatoleum aromaticum degrades the aromatic ketone acetophenone, a key intermediate of anaerobic ethylbenzene metabolism, either aerobically or anaerobically via a complex ATP-dependent acetophenone carboxylase and a benzoylacetate-CoA ligase. The genes coding for these enzymes (apcABCDE and bal) are organized in an apparent operon and are expressed in the presence of the substrate acetophenone. To study the conditions under which this operon is expressed in more detail, we constructed a reporter strain by inserting a gene fusion of apcA, the first gene of the apc-bal operon, with the gene for the fluorescent protein mCherry into the chromosome of A. aromaticum. The fusion protein indeed accumulated consistently with the expression pattern of the acetophenone-metabolic enzymes under various growth conditions. After evaluating and quantifying the data by fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence-based flow cytometry and immunoblot analysis, mCherry production was found to be proportional to the applied acetophenone concentrations. The reporter strain allowed quantification of acetophenone within a concentration range of 50 μM (detection limit) to 250 μM after 12 and 24 h. Moreover, production of the Apc-mCherry fusion protein in the reporter strain was highly specific and responded to acetophenone and both enantiomers of 1-phenylethanol, which are easily converted to acetophenone. Other analogous substrates showed either a significantly weaker response or none at all. Therefore, the reporter strain provides a basis for the development of a specific bioreporter system for acetophenone with an application potential reaching from environmental monitoring to petroleum prospecting. PMID:26858693

  2. The cbb operons of the facultative chemoautotroph Alcaligenes eutrophus encode phosphoglycolate phosphatase.

    PubMed Central

    Schäferjohann, J; Yoo, J G; Kusian, B; Bowien, B

    1993-01-01

    The two highly homologous cbb operons of Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 that are located on the chromosome and on megaplasmid pHG1 contain genes encoding several enzymes of the Calvin carbon reduction cycle. Sequence analysis of a region from the promoter-distal part revealed two open reading frames, designated cbbT and cbbZ, at equivalent positions within the operons. Comparisons with known sequences suggested cbbT to encode transketolase (TK; EC 2.2.1.1) as an additional enzyme of the cycle. No significant overall sequence similarities were observed for cbbZ. Although both regions exhibited very high nucleotide identities, 93% (cbbZ) and 96% (cbbT), only the chromosomally encoded genes were heterologously expressed to high levels in Escherichia coli. The molecular masses of the observed gene products, CbbT (74 kDa) and CbbZ (24 kDa), correlated well with the values calculated on the basis of the sequence information. TK activities were strongly elevated in E. coli clones expressing cbbT, confirming the identity of the gene. Strains of E. coli harboring the chromosomal cbbZ gene showed high levels of activity of 2-phosphoglycolate phosphatase (PGP; EC 3.1.3.18), a key enzyme of glycolate metabolism in autotrophic organisms that is not present in wild-type E. coli. Derepression of the cbb operons during autotrophic growth resulted in considerably increased levels of TK activity and the appearance of PGP activity in A. eutrophus, although the pHG1-encoded cbbZ gene was apparently not expressed. To our knowledge, this study represents the first cloning and sequencing of a PGP gene from any organism. Images PMID:8226680

  3. Comparative whole-genome analysis of virulent and avirulent strains of Porphyromonas gingivalis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Tsute; Hosogi, Yumiko; Nishikawa, Kiyoshi; Abbey, Kevin; Fleischmann, Robert D; Walling, Jennifer; Duncan, Margaret J

    2004-08-01

    We used Porphyromonas gingivalis gene microarrays to compare the total gene contents of the virulent strain W83 and the avirulent type strain, ATCC 33277. Signal ratios and scatter plots indicated that the chromosomes were very similar, with approximately 93% of the predicted genes in common, while at least 7% of them showed very low or no signals in ATCC 33277. Verification of the array results by PCR indicated that several of the disparate genes were either absent from or variant in ATCC 33277. Divergent features included already reported insertion sequences and ragB, as well as additional hypothetical and functionally assigned genes. Several of the latter were organized in a putative operon in W83 and encoded enzymes involved in capsular polysaccharide synthesis. Another cluster was associated with two paralogous regions of the chromosome with a low G+C content, at 41%, compared to that of the whole genome, at 48%. These regions also contained conserved and species-specific hypothetical genes, transposons, insertion sequences, and integrases and were located adjacent to tRNA genes; thus, they had several characteristics of pathogenicity islands. While this global comparative analysis showed the close relationship between W83 and ATCC 33277, the clustering of genes that are present in W83 but divergent in or absent from ATCC 33277 is suggestive of chromosomal islands that may have been acquired by lateral gene transfer. PMID:15292149

  4. Cranberry impairs selected behaviors essential for virulence in Proteus mirabilis HI4320.

    PubMed

    McCall, Jennifer; Hidalgo, Gabriela; Asadishad, Bahareh; Tufenkji, Nathalie

    2013-06-01

    Proteus mirabilis is an etiological agent of complicated urinary tract infections. North American cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) have long been considered to have protective properties against urinary tract infections. This work reports the effects of cranberry powder (CP) on the motility of P. mirabilis HI4320 and its expression of flaA, flhD, and ureD. Our results show that swimming and swarming motilities and swarmer-cell differentiation were inhibited by CP. Additionally, transcription of the flagellin gene flaA and of flhD, the first gene of the flagellar master operon flhDC, decreased during exposure of P. mirabilis to various concentrations of CP. Moreover, using ureD-gfp, a fusion of the urease accessory gene ureD with gfp, we show that CP inhibits urease expression. Because we demonstrate that CP does not inhibit the growth of P. mirabilis, the observed effects are not attributable to toxicity. Taken together, our results demonstrate that CP hinders motility of P. mirabilis and reduces the expression of important virulence factors. PMID:23750959

  5. Molecular and virulence characteristics of multi-drug resistant Salmonella Enteritidis strains isolated from poultry.

    PubMed

    Hur, Jin; Kim, Ji Hee; Park, Jong Ho; Lee, Young-Ju; Lee, John Hwa

    2011-09-01

    Forty-six Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) strains were isolated from chicken meat, faeces, and eggshells collected from hatcheries throughout Korea. The strains were examined for the presence of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes. All 46 isolates were resistant to at least one of 21 antibiotics used in this study, 30 (65.2%) were resistant to three or more antimicrobials, and a single remarkable isolate was resistant to 15 antimicrobials. The isolates were primarily resistant to penicillins, sulfisoxazole, streptomycin, tetracycline and quinolones. The high rate of resistance in S. Enteritidis strains, sometimes to multiple drugs, may complicate future options for treating human infections. Nineteen of the 21 penicillin resistant isolates carried the bla(TEM) gene, while one strain, resistant both to penicillins and ceftriaxone, carried the bla(CTX-M) gene. Thirty-seven of the 45 sulfisoxazole resistant isolates carried sul2, and 23/24 streptomycin resistant isolates carried both strA and strB. All 10 tetracycline resistant isolates carried the tet(A) gene. Most isolates harboured both SPI-1 and SPI-2-associated genes, and the spv operon, which are known to be associated with human infections. The presence of these genes suggests that these strains could give rise to public health problems if dispersed in the general human population. PMID:20822940

  6. The fruRBA Operon Is Necessary for Group A Streptococcal Growth in Fructose and for Resistance to Neutrophil Killing during Growth in Whole Human Blood.

    PubMed

    Valdes, Kayla M; Sundar, Ganesh S; Vega, Luis A; Belew, Ashton T; Islam, Emrul; Binet, Rachel; El-Sayed, Najib M; Le Breton, Yoann; McIver, Kevin S

    2016-04-01

    Bacterial pathogens rely on the availability of nutrients for survival in the host environment. The phosphoenolpyruvate-phosphotransferase system (PTS) is a global regulatory network connecting sugar uptake with signal transduction. Since the fructose PTS has been shown to impact virulence in several streptococci, including the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes(the group A Streptococcus[GAS]), we characterized its role in carbon metabolism and pathogenesis in the M1T1 strain 5448. Growth in fructose as a sole carbon source resulted in 103 genes affected transcriptionally, where the frulocus (fruRBA) was the most induced. Reverse transcriptase PCR showed that fruRBA formed an operon which was repressed by FruR in the absence of fructose, in addition to being under carbon catabolic repression. Growth assays and carbon utilization profiles revealed that although the entire fruoperon was required for growth in fructose, FruA was the main transporter for fructose and also was involved in the utilization of three additional PTS sugars: cellobiose, mannitol, and N-acetyl-D-galactosamine. The inactivation of sloR, a fruA homolog that also was upregulated in the presence of fructose, failed to reveal a role as a secondary fructose transporter. Whereas the ability of both ΔfruR and ΔfruB mutants to survive in the presence of whole human blood or neutrophils was impaired, the phenotype was not reproduced in murine whole blood, and those mutants were not attenuated in a mouse intraperitoneal infection. Since the ΔfruA mutant exhibited no phenotype in the human or mouse assays, we propose that FruR and FruB are important for GAS survival in a human-specific environment. PMID:26787724

  7. A Conserved UDP-Glucose Dehydrogenase Encoded outside the hasABC Operon Contributes to Capsule Biogenesis in Group A Streptococcus

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Jason N.; Aziz, Ramy K.; Kuipers, Kirsten; Timmer, Anjuli M.; Nizet, Victor

    2012-01-01

    Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a human-specific bacterial pathogen responsible for serious morbidity and mortality worldwide. The hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule of GAS is a major virulence factor, contributing to bloodstream survival through resistance to neutrophil and antimicrobial peptide killing and to in vivo pathogenicity. Capsule biosynthesis has been exclusively attributed to the ubiquitous hasABC hyaluronan synthase operon, which is highly conserved across GAS serotypes. Previous reports indicate that hasA, encoding hyaluronan synthase, and hasB, encoding UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase, are essential for capsule production in GAS. Here, we report that precise allelic exchange mutagenesis of hasB in GAS strain 5448, a representative of the globally disseminated M1T1 serotype, did not abolish HA capsule synthesis. In silico whole-genome screening identified a putative HasB paralog, designated HasB2, with 45% amino acid identity to HasB at a distant location in the GAS chromosome. In vitro enzymatic assays demonstrated that recombinant HasB2 is a functional UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase enzyme. Mutagenesis of hasB2 alone slightly decreased capsule abundance; however, a ΔhasB ΔhasB2 double mutant became completely acapsular. We conclude that HasB is not essential for M1T1 GAS capsule biogenesis due to the presence of a newly identified HasB paralog, HasB2, which most likely resulted from gene duplication. The identification of redundant UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenases underscores the importance of HA capsule expression for M1T1 GAS pathogenicity and survival in the human host. PMID:22961854

  8. Transcription of the extended hyp-operon in Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120

    PubMed Central

    Agervald, Åsa; Stensjö, Karin; Holmqvist, Marie; Lindblad, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Background The maturation of hydrogenases into active enzymes is a complex process and e.g. a correctly assembled active site requires the involvement of at least seven proteins, encoded by hypABCDEF and a hydrogenase specific protease, encoded either by hupW or hoxW. The N2-fixing cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120 may contain both an uptake and a bidirectional hydrogenase. The present study addresses the presence and expression of hyp-genes in Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120. Results RT-PCRs demonstrated that the six hyp-genes together with one ORF may be transcribed as a single operon. Transcriptional start points (TSPs) were identified 280 bp upstream from hypF and 445 bp upstream of hypC, respectively, demonstrating the existence of several transcripts. In addition, five upstream ORFs located in between hupSL, encoding the small and large subunits of the uptake hydrogenase, and the hyp-operon, and two downstream ORFs from the hyp-genes were shown to be part of the same transcript unit. A third TSP was identified 45 bp upstream of asr0689, the first of five ORFs in this operon. The ORFs are annotated as encoding unknown proteins, with the exception of alr0692 which is identified as a NifU-like protein. Orthologues of the four ORFs asr0689-alr0692, with a highly conserved genomic arrangement positioned between hupSL, and the hyp genes are found in several other N2-fixing cyanobacteria, but are absent in non N2-fixing cyanobacteria with only the bidirectional hydrogenase. Short conserved sequences were found in six intergenic regions of the extended hyp-operon, appearing between 11 and 79 times in the genome. Conclusion This study demonstrated that five ORFs upstream of the hyp-gene cluster are co-transcribed with the hyp-genes, and identified three TSPs in the extended hyp-gene cluster in Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120. This may indicate a function related to the assembly of a functional uptake hydrogenase, hypothetically in the assembly of the small subunit of

  9. Arsenic resistance operon structure in Leptospirillum ferriphilum and proteomic response to arsenic stress.

    PubMed

    Li, Bing; Lin, Jianqun; Mi, Shuang; Lin, Jianqiang

    2010-12-01

    The response of Leptospirillum ferriphilum ML-04 to arsenic stress was analyzed using two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Thirty-eight of 65 significantly differentially expressed arsenic response proteins were identified, and 25 of them have known functions. Three proteins are arsenic resistance system (ARS) member proteins. Two ars operons appear to be present in this strain. In addition to the ARS system, phosphate regulation and glutathione (GSH) synthesis appear involved in As[V] and As[III] tolerance, respectively. These findings provide information potentially useful for the genetic engineering of arsenic resistant organisms. PMID:20696570

  10. A CUC triplet confers leucine-dependent regulation of the Bacillus subtilis ilv-leu operon.

    PubMed Central

    Marta, P T; Ladner, R D; Grandoni, J A

    1996-01-01

    Regulation of the ilv-leu operon probably involves interaction of a tR NA(GAG) with leader region mRNA. Conversion of a CUC (Leu) triplet located within the leader region to UUC (Phe), CGC (Arg), or UAC (Tyr) converted reporter gene expression to control by corresponding amino acids. Conversion of the CUC triplet to CUU (Leu) decreased expression and disrupted regulation. The results suggested that other tRNAs can substitute for tRNA(Leu) but that interactions in addition to pairing of the anticodon with the CUC triplet are important for proper control. PMID:8606198

  11. Characterization of lip expression in Salmonella typhimurium: analysis of lip::lac operon fusions.

    PubMed

    Smith, R L; Pelley, J W; Jeter, R M

    1991-10-01

    Strains of Salmonella typhimurium which have an auxotrophic requirement for lipoic acid were isolated by mutagenesis with the transposable element Mu dJ. The chromosomal location of these insertion mutations was determined to be at 14 map units by bacteriophage P22-mediated cotransduction. The lip gene is transcribed in the clockwise direction relative to the S. typhimurium genetic map. Strains with lip::lac operon fusions were used to characterize the transcriptional activity of the lip promoter. Transcription of the lip gene is not regulated by catabolite repression or lipoic acid concentration. The data indicate that the lip gene product is expressed constitutively at a low level. PMID:1663151

  12. The Mercury Resistance Operon: From an Origin in a Geothermal Environment to an Efficient Detoxification Machine

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Eric S.; Barkay, Tamar

    2012-01-01

    Mercuric mercury (Hg[II]) is a highly toxic and mobile element that is likely to have had a pronounced and adverse effect on biology since Earth’s oxygenation ∼2.4 billion years ago due to its high affinity for protein sulfhydryl groups, which upon binding destabilize protein structure and decrease enzyme activity, resulting in a decreased organismal fitness. The central enzyme in the microbial mercury detoxification system is the mercuric reductase (MerA) protein, which catalyzes the reduction of Hg(II) to volatile Hg(0). In addition to MerA, mer operons encode for proteins involved in regulation, Hg binding, and organomercury degradation. Mer-mediated approaches have had broad applications in the bioremediation of mercury-contaminated environments and industrial waste streams. Here, we examine the composition of 272 individual mer operons and quantitatively map the distribution of mer-encoded functions on both taxonomic SSU rRNA gene and MerA phylogenies. The results indicate an origin and early evolution of MerA among thermophilic bacteria and an overall increase in the complexity of mer operons through evolutionary time, suggesting continual gene recruitment and evolution leading to an improved efficiency and functional potential of the Mer detoxification system. Consistent with a positive relationship between the evolutionary history and topology of MerA and SSU rRNA gene phylogenies (Mantel R = 0.81, p < 0.01), the distribution of the majority of mer functions, when mapped on these phylograms, indicates an overall tendency to inherit mer-encoded functions through vertical descent. However, individual mer functions display evidence of a variable degree of vertical inheritance, with several genes exhibiting strong evidence for acquisition via lateral gene transfer and/or gene loss. Collectively, these data suggest that (i) mer has evolved from a simple system in geothermal environments to a widely distributed and more complex and efficient

  13. Aromatic acid metabolites of Escherichia coli K-12 can induce the marRAB operon.

    PubMed

    Chubiz, Lon M; Rao, Christopher V

    2010-09-01

    MarR is a key regulator of the marRAB operon involved in antibiotic resistance and solvent stress tolerance in Escherichia coli. We show that two metabolic intermediates, 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate and anthranilate, involved in enterobactin and tryptophan biosynthesis, respectively, can activate marRAB transcription. We also found that a third intermediate involved in ubiquinone biosynthesis, 4-hydroxybenzoate, activates marRAB transcription in the absence of TolC. Of the three, however, only 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate directly binds MarR and affects its activity. PMID:20639340

  14. Virulence gene profiling and pathogenicity characterization of non-typhoidal Salmonella accounted for invasive disease in humans.

    PubMed

    Suez, Jotham; Porwollik, Steffen; Dagan, Amir; Marzel, Alex; Schorr, Yosef Ilan; Desai, Prerak T; Agmon, Vered; McClelland, Michael; Rahav, Galia; Gal-Mor, Ohad

    2013-01-01

    Human infection with non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars (NTS) infrequently causes invasive systemic disease and bacteremia. To understand better the nature of invasive NTS (iNTS), we studied the gene content and the pathogenicity of bacteremic strains from twelve serovars (Typhimurium, Enteritidis, Choleraesuis, Dublin, Virchow, Newport, Bredeney, Heidelberg, Montevideo, Schwarzengrund, 9,12:l,v:- and Hadar). Comparative genomic hybridization using a Salmonella enterica microarray revealed a core of 3233 genes present in all of the iNTS strains, which include the Salmonella pathogenicity islands 1-5, 9, 13, 14; five fimbrial operons (bcf, csg, stb, sth, sti); three colonization factors (misL, bapA, sinH); and the invasion gene, pagN. In the iNTS variable genome, we identified 16 novel genomic islets; various NTS virulence factors; and six typhoid-associated virulence genes (tcfA, cdtB, hlyE, taiA, STY1413, STY1360), displaying a wider distribution among NTS than was previously known. Characterization of the bacteremic strains in C3H/HeN mice showed clear differences in disease manifestation. Previously unreported characterization of serovars Schwarzengrund, 9,12:l,v:-, Bredeney and Virchow in the mouse model showed low ability to elicit systemic disease, but a profound and elongated shedding of serovars Schwarzengrund and 9,12:l,v:- (as well as Enteritidis and Heidelberg) due to chronic infection of the mouse. Phenotypic comparison in macrophages and epithelial cell lines demonstrated a remarkable intra-serovar variation, but also showed that S. Typhimurium bacteremic strains tend to present lower intracellular growth than gastroenteritis isolates. Collectively, our data demonstrated a common core of virulence genes, which might be required for invasive salmonellosis, but also an impressive degree of genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity, highlighting that bacteremia is a complex phenotype, which cannot be attributed merely to an enhanced invasion or intracellular

  15. Comparative Proteomic Analyses of Avirulent, Virulent, and Clinical Strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Identify Strain-specific Patterns*

    PubMed Central

    Jhingan, Gagan Deep; Kumari, Sangeeta; Jamwal, Shilpa V.; Kalam, Haroon; Arora, Divya; Jain, Neharika; Kumaar, Lakshmi Krishna; Samal, Areejit; Rao, Kanury V. S.; Kumar, Dhiraj; Nandicoori, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an adaptable intracellular pathogen, existing in both dormant as well as active disease-causing states. Here, we report systematic proteomic analyses of four strains, H37Ra, H37Rv, and clinical isolates BND and JAL, to determine the differences in protein expression patterns that contribute to their virulence and drug resistance. Resolution of lysates of the four strains by liquid chromatography, coupled to mass spectrometry analysis, identified a total of 2161 protein groups covering ∼54% of the predicted M. tuberculosis proteome. Label-free quantification analysis of the data revealed 257 differentially expressed protein groups. The differentially expressed protein groups could be classified into seven K-means cluster bins, which broadly delineated strain-specific variations. Analysis of the data for possible mechanisms responsible for drug resistance phenotype of JAL suggested that it could be due to a combination of overexpression of proteins implicated in drug resistance and the other factors. Expression pattern analyses of transcription factors and their downstream targets demonstrated substantial differential modulation in JAL, suggesting a complex regulatory mechanism. Results showed distinct variations in the protein expression patterns of Esx and mce1 operon proteins in JAL and BND strains, respectively. Abrogating higher levels of ESAT6, an important Esx protein known to be critical for virulence, in the JAL strain diminished its virulence, although it had marginal impact on the other strains. Taken together, this study reveals that strain-specific variations in protein expression patterns have a meaningful impact on the biology of the pathogen. PMID:27151218

  16. An effector gene hopA1 influences on virulence, host specificity, and lifestyles of Pseudomonas cichorii JBC1.

    PubMed

    Hung, Nguyen Bao; Ramkumar, Gandhimani; Lee, Yong Hoon

    2014-10-01

    Pseudomonas cichorii is a devastating pathogen which infects a wide range of ornamental as well as agricultural crops worldwide. Characterization of virulence genes helps to understand pathogens' infection processes, which may lead to development of resistant crops. For functional validation of novel genes, we re-constructed pUCP18 vector with λ phage red operon and sacB gene (pUCP18_RedS), which simplified conventional marker exchange system. The effector gene hopA1 of P. cichorii JBC1 was marker exchanged with PCR product of kanamycin gene flanked by hopA1 flanking region using pUCP18_RedS. The virulence and internal growth of hopA1 defective mutant (ΔhopA1) in tomato seedlings was significantly reduced compared to wild type (WT) and hopA1 complemented strain (ΔhopA1::phopA1). The analysis on role of hopA1 in host range revealed that P. cichorii was hopA1-dependent to infect cabbage, tomato, soybean, hot pepper, and cucumber, but not melon and eggplant. Despite the similarity in growth pattern, the biofilm formation and swarming motility of ΔhopA1 were significantly reduced compared to WT and ΔhopA1::phopA1. The results of this study indicate that hopA1 plays a significant role not only in virulence and host specificity, but also motility and biofilm formation of P. cichorii which may influence the infection processes. PMID:25127676

  17. Co2+-dependent gene expression in Streptococcus pneumoniae: opposite effect of Mn2+ and Co2+ on the expression of the virulence genes psaBCA, pcpA, and prtA

    PubMed Central

    Manzoor, Irfan; Shafeeq, Sulman; Kloosterman, Tomas G.; Kuipers, Oscar P.

    2015-01-01

    Manganese (Mn2+)-, zinc (Zn2+)- and copper (Cu2+) play significant roles in transcriptional gene regulation, physiology, and virulence of Streptococcus pneumoniae. So far, the effect of the important transition metal ion cobalt (Co2+) on gene expression of S. pneumoniae has not yet been explored. Here, we study the impact of Co2+ stress on the transcriptome of S. pneumoniae strain D39. BLAST searches revealed that the genome of S. pneumoniae encodes a putative Co2+-transport operon (cbi operon), the expression of which we show here to be induced by a high Co2+ concentration. Furthermore, we found that Co2+, as has been shown previously for Zn2+, can cause derepression of the genes of the PsaR virulence regulon, encoding the Mn2+-uptake system PsaBCA, the choline binding protein PcpA and the cell-wall associated serine protease PrtA. Interestingly, although Mn2+ represses expression of the PsaR regulon and Co2+ leads to derepression, both metal ions stimulate interaction of PsaR with its target promoters. These data will be discussed in the light of previous studies on similar metal-responsive transcriptional regulators. PMID:26257722

  18. Virulent Aeromonas hydrophila in channel catfish

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, we investigated factors that predisposed catfish to motile aeromonas septicemia (MAS) caused by virulent Aeromonas hydrophila (vAh). Our results revealed that wounding on fish body surface was a prerequisite for vAh infection and disease development. A reproducible waterborne challeng...

  19. Are secondary metabolites dispensable for virulence?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The production of toxins by conidial fungal pathogens and their association with virulence has been assumed to occur in vivo and is widely accepted as dogma, but this association has yet to be definitively proven by either genetic or chemical means. Several studies from our labs have used targeted g...

  20. Novel Strategies to Combat Bacterial Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, S.V.; Wiener-Kronish, J.P.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of review Incidences of antimicrobial resistant infections have increased dramatically over the past several decades and are associated with adverse patient outcomes. Alternative approaches to combat infection are critical, and have led to the development of more specific drugs targeted at particular bacterial virulence systems or essential regulatory pathways. The purpose of this review is to highlight the recent developments in anti-bacterial therapy and the novel approaches toward increasing our therapeutic armory against bacterial infection. Recent findings Although classic antibiotic development is not occurring rapidly, alternative therapeutics that target specific bacterial virulence systems are progressing from the discovery stage through the FDA approval process. Here we review novel antibodies that target specific virulence systems as well as a variety of newly discovered small molecules that block bacterial attachment, communication systems (quorum sensing) or important regulatory processes associated with virulence gene expression. Summary The success of novel therapeutics could significantly change clinical practice. Furthermore, the complications of collateral damage due to antibiotic administration e.g. suprainfections or decreased host immunity due to loss of synergistic bacterial communities, may be minimized using therapeutics that specifically target pathogenic behavior. PMID:18787455

  1. Virulence Factor-activity Relationships: Workshop Summary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concept or notion of virulence factor–activity relationships (VFAR) is an approach for identifying an analogous process to the use of qualitative structure–activity relationships (QSAR) for identifying new microbial contaminants. In QSAR, it is hypothesized that, for new chem...

  2. Virulence factors of medically important fungi.

    PubMed Central

    Hogan, L H; Klein, B S; Levitz, S M

    1996-01-01

    Human fungal pathogens have become an increasingly important medical problem with the explosion in the number of immunocompromised patients as a result of cancer, steroid therapy, chemotherapy, and AIDS. Additionally, the globalization of travel and expansion of humankind into previously undisturbed habitats have led to the reemergence of old fungi and new exposure to previously undescribed fungi. Until recently, relatively little was known about virulence factors for the medically important fungi. With the advent of molecular genetics, rapid progress has now been made in understanding the basis of pathogenicity for organisms such as Aspergillus species and Cryptococcus neoformans. The twin technologies of genetic transformation and "knockout" deletion construction allowed for genetic tests of virulence factors in these organisms. Such knowledge will prove invaluable for the rational design of antifungal therapies. Putative virulence factors and attributes are reviewed for Aspergillus species, C. neoformans, the dimorphic fungal pathogens, and others, with a focus upon a molecular genetic approach. Candida species are excluded from coverage, having been the subject of numerous recent reviews. This growing body of knowledge about fungal pathogens and their virulence factors will significantly aid efforts to treat the serious diseases they cause. PMID:8894347

  3. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence and Pathogenesis Issues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Regulation of gene expression can occur through cell-cell communication or quorum sensing (QS) via the production of small molecules called autoinducers. QS is known to control expression of a number of virulence factors. Another form of gene regulation which allows the bacteria to rapidly adapt t...

  4. Rare Helicobacter pylori Virulence Genotypes in Bhutan.

    PubMed

    Matsunari, Osamu; Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Vilaichone, Ratha-Korn; Uchida, Tomohisa; Ratanachu-Ek, Thawee; Tshering, Lotay; Mahachai, Varocha; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2016-01-01

    Both the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and the incidence of gastric cancer are high in Bhutan. The high incidence of atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer suggest the phylogeographic origin of an infection with a more virulent strain of H. pylori. More than 90% of Bhutanese strains possessed the highly virulent East Asian-type CagA and all strains had the most virulent type of vacA (s1 type). More than half also had multiple repeats in East Asian-type CagA, which are rare in other countries and are reported characteristictly found in assciation with atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer consistent with Bhutanese strains having multiple H. pylori virulence factors associated with an increase in gastric cancer risk. Phylogeographic analyses showed that most Bhutanese strains belonged to the East Asian population type with some strains (17.5%) sharing East Asian and Amerindian components. Only 9.5% belonged to the European type consistant with H. pylori in Bhutan representing an intermediate evolutionary stage between H. pylori from European and East Asian countries. PMID:26931643

  5. Genetic of virulence in Ascochyta rabiei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many attempts have been made to classify variation in virulence of the chickpea Ascochyta blight pathogen, Ascochyta rabiei, into discrete categories referred to as “pathogenic groups”, “races” or “pathotypes”. Results have been inconsistent and conflicting due to differences in host and pathogen...

  6. Rare Helicobacter pylori Virulence Genotypes in Bhutan

    PubMed Central

    Matsunari, Osamu; Miftahussurur, Muhammad; Shiota, Seiji; Suzuki, Rumiko; Vilaichone, Ratha-korn; Uchida, Tomohisa; Ratanachu-ek, Thawee; Tshering, Lotay; Mahachai, Varocha; Yamaoka, Yoshio

    2016-01-01

    Both the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and the incidence of gastric cancer are high in Bhutan. The high incidence of atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer suggest the phylogeographic origin of an infection with a more virulent strain of H. pylori. More than 90% of Bhutanese strains possessed the highly virulent East Asian-type CagA and all strains had the most virulent type of vacA (s1 type). More than half also had multiple repeats in East Asian-type CagA, which are rare in other countries and are reported characteristictly found in assciation with atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer consistent with Bhutanese strains having multiple H. pylori virulence factors associated with an increase in gastric cancer risk. Phylogeographic analyses showed that most Bhutanese strains belonged to the East Asian population type with some strains (17.5%) sharing East Asian and Amerindian components. Only 9.5% belonged to the European type consistant with H. pylori in Bhutan representing an intermediate evolutionary stage between H. pylori from European and East Asian countries. PMID:26931643

  7. The R-Operon: A Model of Repetitive DNA-Organized Transcriptional Compartmentation of Eukaryotic Chromosomes for Coordinated Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Tang, Shao-Jun

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotic genomes, it is essential to coordinate the activity of genes that function together to fulfill the same biological processes. Genomic organization likely plays a key role in coordinating transcription of different genes. However, little is known about how co-regulated genes are organized in the cell nucleus and how the chromosomal organization facilitates the co-regulation of different genes. I propose that eukaryotic genomes are organized into repeat assembly (RA)-based structural domains ("R-operons") in the nuclear space. R-operons result from the interaction of homologous DNA repeats. In an R-operon, genes in different loci of the linear genome are brought into spatial vicinity and co-regulated by the same pool of transcription factors. This type of large-scale chromosomal organization may provide a mechanism for functional compartmentation of chromosomes to facilitate the transcriptional coordination of gene expression. PMID:27110825

  8. Escherichia coli Lrp (Leucine-Responsive Regulatory Protein) Does Not Directly Regulate Expression of the leu Operon Promoter

    PubMed Central

    Landgraf, Jeffrey R.; Boxer, Jonathan A.; Calvo, Joseph M.

    1999-01-01

    Studies by R. Lin et al. (J. Bacteriol. 174:1948–1955, 1992) suggested that the Escherichia coli leu operon might be a member of the Lrp regulon. Their results were obtained with a leucine auxotroph; in leucine prototrophs grown in a medium lacking leucine, there was little difference in leu operon expression between lrp+ and lrp strains. Furthermore, when leuP-lacZ transcriptional fusions that lacked the leu attenuator were used, expression from the leu promoter varied less than twofold between lrp+ and lrp strains, irrespective of whether or not excess leucine was added to the medium. The simplest explanation of the observations of Lin et al. is that the known elevated leucine transport capacity of lrp strains (S. A. Haney et al., J. Bacteriol. 174:108–115, 1992) leads to very high intracellular levels of leucine for strains grown with leucine, resulting in the superattenuation of leu operon expression. PMID:10515950

  9. Rv2031c of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a master regulator of Rv2028–Rv2031 (HspX) operon

    PubMed Central

    Mushtaq, Khurram; Sheikh, Javaid A.; Amir, Mohammed; Khan, Nargis; Singh, Balvinder; Agrewala, Javed N.

    2015-01-01

    Genes belonging to the same operon are transcribed as a single mRNA molecule in all prokaryotes. The genes of the same operon are presumed to be involved in similar metabolic and physiological processes. Hence, computational analysis of constituent proteins could provide important clues to the functional relationships within the operonic genes. This tends to be more fruitful in the case of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), considering the number of hypothetical genes with unknown functions and interacting partners. Dramatic advances in the past decade have increased our knowledge of the mechanisms that tubercle bacilli employ to survive within the host. But the phenomenon of Mtb latency continues to baffle all. Rv2031c belonging to dormancy regulon of Mtb is predominantly expressed during latency, with myriad immunological roles. Thus we attempted to analyze the operon comprising Rv2031c protein to gain insights into its role during latency. In the current study, we have carried out computational analysis of proteins encoded by genes known to be a part of this operon. Our study includes phylogenetic analysis, modeling of protein 3D structures, and protein interaction network analysis. We describe the mechanistic role in the establishment of latency and regulation of DevS–DevR component system. Additionally, we have identified the probable role of these proteins in carbohydrate metabolism, erythromycin tolerance, and nucleotide synthesis. Hence, these proteins can modulate the metabolism of Mtb inside the host cells and can be important for its survival in latency. The functional characterization and interactome of this important operon can give insight into its role during latency along with the exploitation of constituent proteins as drug targets and vaccine candidates. PMID:25964780

  10. Genomics of pyrrolnitrin biosynthetic loci: evidence for conservation and whole-operon mobility within gram-negative bacteria.

    PubMed

    Costa, Rodrigo; van Aarle, Ingrid M; Mendes, Rodrigo; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    2009-01-01

    Pyrrolnitrin (PRN) is a tryptophan-derived secondary metabolite produced by a narrow range of gram-negative bacteria. The PRN biosynthesis by rhizobacteria presumably has a key role in their life strategies and in the biocontrol of plant diseases. The biosynthetic operon that encodes the pathway that converts tryptophan to PRN is composed of four genes, prnA through D, whose diversity, genomic context and spread over bacterial genomes are poorly understood. Therefore, we launched an endeavour aimed at retrieving, by in vitro and in silico means, diverse bacteria carrying the prnABCD biosynthetic loci in their genomes. Analysis of polymorphisms of the prnD gene sequences revealed a high level of conservation between Burkholderia, Pseudomonas and Serratia spp. derived sequences. Whole-operon- and prnD-based phylogeny resulted in tree topologies that are incongruent with the taxonomic status of the evaluated strains as predicted by 16S rRNA gene phylogeny. The genomic composition of c. 20 kb DNA fragments containing the PRN operon varied in different strains. Highly conserved and distinct transposase-encoding genes surrounding the PRN biosynthetic operons of Burkholderia pseudomallei strains were found. A prnABCD-deprived genomic region in B. pseudomallei strain K96243 contained the same gene composition as, and shared high homology with, the flanking regions of the PRN operon in B. pseudomallei strains 668, 1106a and 1710b. Our results strongly suggest that the PRN biosynthetic operon is mobile. The extent, frequency and promiscuity of this mobility remain to be understood. PMID:18793314

  11. Insights on Evolution of Virulence and Resistance from the Complete Genome Analysis of an Early Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strain and a Biofilm-Producing Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis Strain†

    PubMed Central

    Gill, Steven R.; Fouts, Derrick E.; Archer, Gordon L.; Mongodin, Emmanuel F.; DeBoy, Robert T.; Ravel, Jacques; Paulsen, Ian T.; Kolonay, James F.; Brinkac, Lauren; Beanan, Mauren; Dodson, Robert J.; Daugherty, Sean C.; Madupu, Ramana; Angiuoli, Samuel V.; Durkin, A. Scott; Haft, Daniel H.; Vamathevan, Jessica; Khouri, Hoda; Utterback, Terry; Lee, Chris; Dimitrov, George; Jiang, Lingxia; Qin, Haiying; Weidman, Jan; Tran, Kevin; Kang, Kathy; Hance, Ioana R.; Nelson, Karen E.; Fraser, Claire M.

    2005-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic pathogen and the major causative agent of numerous hospital- and community-acquired infections. Staphylococcus epidermidis has emerged as a causative agent of infections often associated with implanted medical devices. We have sequenced the ∼2.8-Mb genome of S. aureus COL, an early methicillin-resistant isolate, and the ∼2.6-Mb genome of S. epidermidis RP62a, a methicillin-resistant biofilm isolate. Comparative analysis of these and other staphylococcal genomes was used to explore the evolution of virulence and resistance between these two species. The S. aureus and S. epidermidis genomes are syntenic throughout their lengths and share a core set of 1,681 open reading frames. Genome islands in nonsyntenic regions are the primary source of variations in pathogenicity and resistance. Gene transfer between staphylococci and low-GC-content gram-positive bacteria appears to have shaped their virulence and resistance profiles. Integrated plasmids in S. epidermidis carry genes encoding resistance to cadmium and species-specific LPXTG surface proteins. A novel genome island encodes multiple phenol-soluble modulins, a potential S. epidermidis virulence factor. S. epidermidis contains the cap operon, encoding the polyglutamate capsule, a major virulence factor in Bacillus anthracis. Additional phenotypic differences are likely the result of single nucleotide polymorphisms, which are most numerous in cell envelope proteins. Overall differences in pathogenicity can be attributed to genome islands in S. aureus which encode enterotoxins, exotoxins, leukocidins, and leukotoxins not found in S. epidermidis. PMID:15774886

  12. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth; Valdez, Yolanda E; Shou, Yulin; Yoshida, Thomas M; Marrone, Babetta L; Dunbar, John

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  13. Virulence gene regulation inside and outside.

    PubMed

    DiRita, V J; Engleberg, N C; Heath, A; Miller, A; Crawford, J A; Yu, R

    2000-05-29

    Much knowledge about microbial gene regulation and virulence is derived from genetic and biochemical studies done outside of hosts. The aim of this review is to correlate observations made in vitro and in vivo with two different bacterial pathogens in which the nature of regulated gene expression leading to virulence is quite different. The first is Vibrio cholerae, in which the concerted action of a complicated regulatory cascade involving several transcription activators leads ultimately to expression of cholera toxin and the toxin-coregulated pilus. The regulatory cascade is active in vivo and is also required for maintenance of V. cholerae in the intestinal tract during experimental infection. Nevertheless, specific signals predicted to be generated in vivo, such as bile and a temperature of 37 degrees C, have a severe down-modulating effect on activation of toxin and pilus expression. Another unusual aspect of gene regulation in this system is the role played by inner membrane proteins that activate transcription. Although the topology of these proteins suggests an appealing model for signal transduction leading to virulence gene expression, experimental evidence suggests that such a model may be simplistic. In Streptococcus pyogenes, capsule production is critical for virulence in an animal model of necrotizing skin infection. Yet capsule is apparently produced to high levels only from mutation in a two-component regulatory system, CsrR and CsrS. Thus it seems that in V. cholerae a complex regulatory pathway has evolved to control virulence by induction of gene expression in vivo, whereas in S. pyogenes at least one mode of pathogenicity is potentiated by the absence of regulation. PMID:10874738

  14. Dynamics and bistability in a reduced model of the lac operon.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Necmettin; Santillan, Moises; Horike, Daisuke; Mackey, Michael C

    2004-06-01

    It is known that the lac operon regulatory pathway is capable of showing bistable behavior. This is an important complex feature, arising from the nonlinearity of the involved mechanisms, which is essential to understand the dynamic behavior of this molecular regulatory system. To find which of the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the lac operon is the origin of bistability, we take a previously published model which accounts for the dynamics of mRNA, lactose, allolactose, permease and beta-galactosidase involvement and simplify it by ignoring permease dynamics (assuming a constant permease concentration). To test the behavior of the reduced model, three existing sets of data on beta-galactosidase levels as a function of time are simulated and we obtain a reasonable agreement between the data and the model predictions. The steady states of the reduced model were numerically and analytically analyzed and it was shown that it may indeed display bistability, depending on the extracellular lactose concentration and growth rate. PMID:15189056

  15. Dynamics and bistability in a reduced model of the lac operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yildirim, Necmettin; Santillán, Moisés; Horike, Daisuke; Mackey, Michael C.

    2004-06-01

    It is known that the lac operon regulatory pathway is capable of showing bistable behavior. This is an important complex feature, arising from the nonlinearity of the involved mechanisms, which is essential to understand the dynamic behavior of this molecular regulatory system. To find which of the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the lac operon is the origin of bistability, we take a previously published model which accounts for the dynamics of mRNA, lactose, allolactose, permease and β-galactosidase involvement and simplify it by ignoring permease dynamics (assuming a constant permease concentration). To test the behavior of the reduced model, three existing sets of data on β-galactosidase levels as a function of time are simulated and we obtain a reasonable agreement between the data and the model predictions. The steady states of the reduced model were numerically and analytically analyzed and it was shown that it may indeed display bistability, depending on the extracellular lactose concentration and growth rate.

  16. Relationship between the persistence of mer operon sequences in Escherichia coli and their resistance to mercury.

    PubMed

    Murtaza, Imtiyaz; Dutt, Amit; Ali, Arif

    2002-03-01

    Studies related to geographic distribution of E. coli carrying mer operon sequences were carried out on the Indian subcontinent. Out of the 80 E. coli isolates, collected from five geographically distinct regions of India, 68 were found to be resistant to one or the other heavy metal used in the study. Among these isolates, 36 were found to be resistant to the inorganic form (HgCl2) and only 5 to resist both the inorganic and organic forms of mercury. Colony hybridization studies revealed 35 isolates out of 68 to hybridize with the probe. Interestingly, some of the mercury-sensitive isolates (Hgs), especially from the Dal Lake, were found positive in hybridization studies. These findings, supported by mercury volatilization studies, indicate the presence of nonfunctional/vestigial mer sequences in the isolates collected from different environments. On the other hand, few of the mercury-resistant isolates (Hgr) from the Yamuna River did not show any sign of hybridization. Further, volatilization studies also indicated an alternate mode of resistance mechanism operating in them. The studies demonstrate that the mer operon sequences share very high homology among the E. coli isolates collected from different geographical locations, and this metal resistance may be a genetic character that arose from a common ancestral background. PMID:11821925

  17. Reduced leu operon expression in a miaA mutant of Salmonella typhimurium.

    PubMed Central

    Blum, P H

    1988-01-01

    Salmonella typhimurium miaA mutants lacking the tRNA base modification cis-2-methylthioribosylzeatin (ms2io6A) were examined and found to be sensitive to a variety of chemical oxidants and unable to grow aerobically at 42 degrees C in a defined medium. Leucine supplementation suppressed both of these phenotypes, suggesting that leucine synthesis was defective. Intracellular levels of leucine decreased 40-fold in mutant strains after a shift from 30 to 42 degrees C during growth, and expression of a leu-lacZ transcriptional fusion ceased. Steady-state levels of leu mRNA were also significantly reduced during growth at elevated temperatures. Failure of miaA mutant leu-lacZ expression to be fully derepressed during L-leucine limitation at 30 degrees C and suppression of the miaA mutation by a mutation in the S. typhimurium leu attenuator suggests that translational control of the transcription termination mechanism regulating leu expression is defective. Since the S. typhimurium miaA mutation was also suppressed by the Escherichia coli leu operon in trans, phenotypic differences between E. coli and S. typhimurium miaA mutants may result from a difference between their respective leu operons. Images PMID:3141379

  18. A functional glycogen biosynthesis pathway in Lactobacillus acidophilus: expression and analysis of the glg operon

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Yong Jun; Klaenhammer, Todd R

    2013-01-01

    Glycogen metabolism contributes to energy storage and various physiological functions in some prokaryotes, including colonization persistence. A role for glycogen metabolism is proposed on the survival and fitness of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic microbe, in the human gastrointestinal environment. L. acidophilus NCFM possesses a glycogen metabolism (glg) operon consisting of glgBCDAP-amy-pgm genes. Expression of the glg operon and glycogen accumulation were carbon source- and growth phase-dependent, and were repressed by glucose. The highest intracellular glycogen content was observed in early log-phase cells grown on trehalose, which was followed by a drastic decrease of glycogen content prior to entering stationary phase. In raffinose-grown cells, however, glycogen accumulation gradually declined following early log phase and was maintained at stable levels throughout stationary phase. Raffinose also induced an overall higher temporal glg expression throughout growth compared with trehalose. Isogenic ΔglgA (glycogen synthase) and ΔglgB (glycogen-branching enzyme) mutants are glycogen-deficient and exhibited growth defects on raffinose. The latter observation suggests a reciprocal relationship between glycogen synthesis and raffinose metabolism. Deletion of glgB or glgP (glycogen phosphorylase) resulted in defective growth and increased bile sensitivity. The data indicate that glycogen metabolism is involved in growth maintenance, bile tolerance and complex carbohydrate utilization in L. acidophilus. PMID:23879596

  19. The mercury resistance (mer) operon in a marine gliding flavobacterium, Tenacibaculum discolor 9A5.

    PubMed

    Allen, Rachel C; Tu, Yen-Kuei; Nevarez, Michael J; Bobbs, Alexander S; Friesen, Joseph W; Lorsch, Jon R; McCauley, John A; Voet, Judith G; Hamlett, Nancy V

    2013-01-01

    Genes conferring mercury resistance have been investigated in a variety of bacteria and archaea but not in bacteria of the phylum Bacteroidetes, despite their importance in many environments. We found, however, that a marine gliding Bacteroidetes species, Tenacibaculum discolor, was the predominant mercury-resistant bacterial taxon cultured from a salt marsh fertilized with mercury-contaminated sewage sludge. Here we report characterization of the mercuric reductase and the narrow-spectrum mercury resistance (mer) operon from one of these strains - T. discolor 9A5. This mer operon, which confers mercury resistance when cloned into Flavobacterium johnsoniae, encodes a novel mercury-responsive ArsR/SmtB family transcriptional regulator that appears to have evolved independently from other mercury-responsive regulators, a novel putative transport protein consisting of a fusion between the integral membrane Hg(II) transporter MerT and the periplasmic Hg(II)-binding protein MerP, an additional MerP protein, and a mercuric reductase that is phylogenetically distinct from other known mercuric reductases. PMID:22816663

  20. BosR Functions as a Repressor of the ospAB Operon in Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yanlin; Dadhwal, Poonam; Li, Xin; Liang, Fang Ting

    2014-01-01

    The Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, must abundantly produce outer surface lipoprotein A (OspA) in the tick vector but downregulate OspA in mammals in order to evade the immune system and maintain its natural enzootic cycle. Here, we show that BosR binds two regulatory elements of the ospAB operon and that increasing BosR expression leads to downregulation of OspA. Both regulatory sequences, cisI and cisII, showed strong BosR-binding and cisII bound much tighter than cisI. A promoterless bosR gene fused with an inducible promoter was introduced into an rpoS mutant and a wild-type strain to assess RpoS-independent and -dependent downregulation of OspA by BosR. With the induction of BosR expression, OspA expression was reduced more significantly in the RpoS-deficient than wild-type background, but not completely repressed. In the presence of constitutive expression of OspC, DbpA and DbpB, increasing BosR production resulted in complete repression of OspA in the RpoS mutant. Taken together, the study clearly demonstrated BosR serves as a repressor that binds both regulatory elements of the ospAB operon and shuts off expression. PMID:25271631

  1. Multiple insertions of fimbrial operons correlate with the evolution of Salmonella serovars responsible for human disease.

    PubMed

    Folkesson, A; Advani, A; Sukupolvi, S; Pfeifer, J D; Normark, S; Löfdahl, S

    1999-08-01

    On centisome 7, Salmonella spp. contain a large region not present in the corresponding region of Escherichia coli. This region is flanked by sequences with significant homology to the E. coli tRNA gene aspV and the hypothetical E. coli open reading frame yafV. The locus consists of a mosaic of differentially acquired inserts forming a dynamic cs7 region of horizontally transferred inserts. Salmonella enterica subspecies I, responsible for most Salmonella infections in warm-blooded animals, carries a fimbrial gene cluster (saf) in this region as well as a regulatory gene (sinR). These genes are flanked by inverted repeats and are inserted in another laterally transferred region present in most members of Salmonella spp. encoding a putative invasin (pagN ). S. enterica subspecies I serovar Typhi, the Salmonella serovar that causes the most severe form of human salmonellosis, contains an additional insert of at least 8 kb in the sinR-pagN intergenic region harbouring a novel fimbrial operon (tcf ) similar to the coo operon encoding the CS1 fimbrial adhesin expressed by human-specific enterotoxigenic E. coli. It is suggested that the multiple insertions of fimbrial genes that have occurred in the cs7 region have contributed to phylogenetic diversity and host adaptation of Salmonella spp. PMID:10417651

  2. An SOS-regulated operon involved in damage-inducible mutagenesis in Caulobacter crescentus

    PubMed Central

    Galhardo, Rodrigo S.; Rocha, Raquel P.; Marques, Marilis V.; Menck, Carlos F. M.

    2005-01-01

    DNA polymerases of the Y-family, such as Escherichia coli UmuC and DinB, are specialized enzymes induced by the SOS response, which bypass lesions allowing the continuation of DNA replication. umuDC orthologs are absent in Caulobacter crescentus and other bacteria, raising the question about the existence of SOS mutagenesis in these organisms. Here, we report that the C.crescentus dinB ortholog is not involved in damage-induced mutagenesis. However, an operon composed of two hypothetical genes and dnaE2, encoding a second copy of the catalytic subunit of Pol III, is damage inducible in a recA-dependent manner, and is responsible for most ultraviolet (UV) and mitomycin C-induced mutations in C.crescentus. The results demonstrate that the three genes are required for the error-prone processing of DNA lesions. The two hypothetical genes were named imuA and imuB, after inducible mutagenesis. ImuB is similar to proteins of the Y-family of polymerases, and possibly cooperates with DnaE2 in lesion bypass. The mutations arising as a consequence of the activity of the imuAB dnaE2 operon are rather unusual for UV irradiation, including G:C to C:G transversions. PMID:15886391

  3. Transcriptional regulation of the ilv-leu operon of Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed Central

    Grandoni, J A; Zahler, S A; Calvo, J M

    1992-01-01

    We used primer extension and mutational analysis to identify a promoter upstream of ilvB, the first gene in the ilv-leu operon of Bacillus subtilis. Between the promoter and ilvB, there is a 482-bp leader region which contains a sequence that resembles a factor-independent transcription terminator. In in vitro transcription experiments, 90% of transcripts initiated at the ilvB promoter ended at a site near this terminator. Primer extension analysis of RNA synthesized in vivo showed that the steady-state level of mRNA upstream of the terminator was twofold higher from cells limited for leucine than it was from cells grown with excess leucine. mRNA downstream of the terminator was 14-fold higher in cells limited for leucine than in cells grown with excess leucine. Measurement of mRNA degradation rates showed that the half-life of ilv-leu mRNA was the same when the cells were grown with or without leucine. These data demonstrate that the ilv-leu operon is regulated by transcription attenuation. Images PMID:1577690

  4. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon.

    PubMed

    Kane, Aunica L; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E; Heinsch, Stephen C; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G; Sarkar, Casim A; Nater, Edward A; Gralnick, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation. PMID:26761437

  5. Crystal structure of the lactose operon repressor and its complexes with DNA and inducer

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, M.; Chang, G.; Horton, N.C.

    1996-03-01

    The lac operon of Escherichia coli is the paradigm for gene regulation. Its key component is the lac repressor a product of the lacl gene. The three-dimensional structures of the intact lac repressor, the lac repressor bound to the gratuitous inducer isopropyl-B-D-1thiogalactoside (IPTG) and the lac repressor complexed with a 21 base pair symmetric operator DNA have been determined. These three structures show the conformation of the molecule in both the induced and the repressed states and provide a framework for understanding a wealth of biochemical and genetic information. The DNA sequence of the lac operon has three lac repressor recognition sites in stretch of 500 base pairs. The crystallographic structure of the complex with DNA suggests that the tetrameric repressor functions synergistically with catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) and participates in the quarternary formation of repression loops in which one tetrameric repressor interacts simultaneously with two sites in the genomic DNA. 76 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  6. A functional glycogen biosynthesis pathway in Lactobacillus acidophilus: expression and analysis of the glg operon.

    PubMed

    Goh, Yong Jun; Klaenhammer, Todd R

    2013-09-01

    Glycogen metabolism contributes to energy storage and various physiological functions in some prokaryotes, including colonization persistence. A role for glycogen metabolism is proposed on the survival and fitness of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic microbe, in the human gastrointestinal environment. L. acidophilus NCFM possesses a glycogen metabolism (glg) operon consisting of glgBCDAP-amy-pgm genes. Expression of the glg operon and glycogen accumulation were carbon source- and growth phase-dependent, and were repressed by glucose. The highest intracellular glycogen content was observed in early log-phase cells grown on trehalose, which was followed by a drastic decrease of glycogen content prior to entering stationary phase. In raffinose-grown cells, however, glycogen accumulation gradually declined following early log phase and was maintained at stable levels throughout stationary phase. Raffinose also induced an overall higher temporal glg expression throughout growth compared with trehalose. Isogenic ΔglgA (glycogen synthase) and ΔglgB (glycogen-branching enzyme) mutants are glycogen-deficient and exhibited growth defects on raffinose. The latter observation suggests a reciprocal relationship between glycogen synthesis and raffinose metabolism. Deletion of glgB or glgP (glycogen phosphorylase) resulted in defective growth and increased bile sensitivity. The data indicate that glycogen metabolism is involved in growth maintenance, bile tolerance and complex carbohydrate utilization in L. acidophilus. PMID:23879596

  7. Toluene degradation by Pseudomonas putida F1: genetic organization of the tod operon

    SciTech Connect

    Zylstra, G.J.; McCombie, W.R.; Gibson, D.T.; Finette, B.A.

    1988-06-01

    Pseudomonas putida PpF1 degrades toluene through cis-toluene dihydrodiol to 3-methylcatechol. The latter compound is metabolized through the well-established meta pathway for catechol degradation. The first four steps in the pathway involve the sequential action of toluene dioxygenase (todABC1C2), cis-toluene, dihydrodiol dehydrogenase (todD), 3-methylcatechol 2,3-dioxygenase (todE), and 2-hydroxy-6-oxo-2,4-heptadienoate hydrolase (todF). The genes for these enzymes form part of the tod operon which is responsible for the degradation of toluene by this organism. A combination of transposon mutagenesis of the PpF1 chromosome, was well as the analysis of cloned chromosomal fragments, was used to determine the physical order of the genes in the tod operon. The genes were determined to be transcribed in the order todF, todC1, todC2, todB, todA, todD, todE.

  8. Structure of Intergenic Spacer IGS1 of Ribosomal Operon from Schistidium Mosses.

    PubMed

    Milyutina, I A; Ignatova, E A; Ignatov, M S; Goryunov, D V; Troitsky, A V

    2015-11-01

    The structure of the intergenic spacer 1 (IGS1) of the ribosomal operon from 12 species of Schistidium mosses was studied. In the IGS1 sequences of these species, three conserved regions and two areas of GC- and A-enriched repeats were identified. All of the studied mosses have a conserved pyrimidine-enriched motif at the 5'-end of IGS1. Species-specific nucleotide substitutions and insertions were found in the conserved areas. The repeated units contain single nucleotide substitutions that make unique the majority of repeated units. The positions of such repeats in IGS1 are species-specific, but their number can vary within the species and among operons of the same specimen. The comparison of IGS1 sequences from the Schistidium species and from representatives of ten other moss genera revealed the presence of common conserved motifs with similar localization. Presumably, these motifs are elements of termination of the pre-rRNA transcription and processing of rRNA. PMID:26615440

  9. Multiple antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa: evidence for involvement of an efflux operon.

    PubMed Central

    Poole, K; Krebes, K; McNally, C; Neshat, S

    1993-01-01

    An outer membrane protein of 50 kDa (OprK) was overproduced in a siderophore-deficient mutant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa capable of growth on iron-deficient minimal medium containing 2,2'-dipyridyl (0.5 mM). The expression of OprK in the mutant (strain K385) was associated with enhanced resistance to a number of antimicrobial agents, including ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, and streptonigrin. OprK was inducible in the parent strain by growth under severe iron limitation, as provided, for example, by the addition of dipyridyl or ZnSO4 to the growth medium. The gene encoding OprK (previously identified as ORFC) forms part of an operon composed of three genes (ORFABC) implicated in the secretion of the siderophore pyoverdine. Mutants defective in ORFA, ORFB, or ORFC exhibited enhanced susceptibility to tetracycline, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, streptonigrin, and dipyridyl, consistent with a role for the ORFABC operon in multiple antibiotic resistance in P. aeruginosa. Sequence analysis of ORFC (oprK) revealed that its product is homologous to a class of outer membrane proteins involved in export. Similarly, the products of ORFA and ORFB exhibit homology to previously described bacterial export proteins located in the cytoplasmic membrane. These data suggest that ORFA-ORFB-oprK (ORFC)-dependent drug efflux contributes to multiple antibiotic resistance in P. aeruginosa. We propose, therefore, the designation mexAB (multiple efflux) for ORFAB. Images PMID:8226684

  10. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Aunica L.; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V.; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E.; Heinsch, Stephen C.; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G.; Sarkar, Casim A.; Nater, Edward A.; Gralnick, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation. PMID:26761437

  11. Cytochrome bd Biosynthesis in Bacillus subtilis: Characterization of the cydABCD Operon

    PubMed Central

    Winstedt, Lena; Yoshida, Ken-Ichi; Fujita, Yasutaro; von Wachenfeldt, Claes

    1998-01-01

    Under aerobic conditions Bacillus subtilis utilizes a branched electron transport chain comprising various cytochromes and terminal oxidases. At present there is evidence for three types of terminal oxidases in B. subtilis: a caa3-, an aa3-, and a bd-type oxidase. We report here the cloning of the structural genes (cydA and cydB) encoding the cytochrome bd complex. Downstream of the structural genes, cydC and cydD are located. These genes encode proteins showing similarity to bacterial ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-type transporters. Analysis of isolated cell membranes showed that inactivation of cydA or deletion of cydABCD resulted in the loss of spectral features associated with cytochrome bd. Gene disruption experiments and complementation analysis showed that the cydC and cydD gene products are required for the expression of a functional cytochrome bd complex. Disruption of the cyd genes had no apparent effect on the growth of cells in broth or defined media. The expression of the cydABCD operon was investigated by Northern blot analysis and by transcriptional and translational cyd-lacZ fusions. Northern blot analysis confirmed that cydABCD is transcribed as a polycistronic message. The operon was found to be expressed maximally under conditions of low oxygen tension. PMID:9852001

  12. Identification of the Operon for the Sorbitol (Glucitol) Phosphoenolpyruvate:Sugar Phosphotransferase System in Streptococcus mutans

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, David A.; Thevenot, Tracy; Gumbmann, Markus; Honeyman, Allen L.; Hamilton, Ian R.

    2000-01-01

    Transposon mutagenesis and marker rescue were used to isolate and identify an 8.5-kb contiguous region containing six open reading frames constituting the operon for the sorbitol P-enolpyruvate phosphotransferase transport system (PTS) of Streptococcus mutans LT11. The first gene, srlD, codes for sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, followed downstream by srlR, coding for a transcriptional regulator; srlM, coding for a putative activator; and the srlA, srlE, and srlB genes, coding for the EIIC, EIIBC, and EIIA components of the sorbitol PTS, respectively. Among all sorbitol PTS operons characterized to date, the srlD gene is found after the genes coding for the EII components; thus, the location of the gene in S. mutans is unique. The SrlR protein is similar to several transcriptional regulators found in Bacillus spp. that contain PTS regulator domains (J. Stülke, M. Arnaud, G. Rapoport, and I. Martin-Verstraete, Mol. Microbiol. 28:865–874, 1998), and its gene overlaps the srlM gene by 1 bp. The arrangement of these two regulatory genes is unique, having not been reported for other bacteria. PMID:10639465

  13. Identification of a novel operon in Lactococcus lactis encoding three enzymes for lactic acid synthesis: phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase.

    PubMed Central

    Llanos, R M; Harris, C J; Hillier, A J; Davidson, B E

    1993-01-01

    The discovery of a novel multicistronic operon that encodes phosphofructokinase, pyruvate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase in the lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis is reported. The three genes in the operon, designated pfk, pyk, and ldh, contain 340, 502, and 325 codons, respectively. The intergenic distances are 87 bp between pfk and pyk and 117 bp between pyk and ldh. Plasmids containing pfk and pyk conferred phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase activity, respectively, on their host. The identity of ldh was established previously by the same approach (R. M. Llanos, A. J. Hillier, and B. E. Davidson, J. Bacteriol. 174:6956-6964, 1992). Each of the genes is preceded by a potential ribosome binding site. The operon is expressed in a 4.1-kb transcript. The 5' end of the transcript was determined to be a G nucleotide positioned 81 bp upstream from the pfk start codon. The pattern of codon usage within the operon is highly biased, with 11 unused amino acid codons. This degree of bias suggests that the operon is highly expressed. The three proteins encoded on the operon are key enzymes in the Embden-Meyerhoff pathway, the central pathway of energy production and lactic acid synthesis in L. lactis. For this reason, we have called the operon the las (lactic acid synthesis) operon. Images PMID:8478320

  14. Deletion of the Bacillus anthracis capB homologue in Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis generates an attenuated strain that protects mice against virulent tularaemia.

    PubMed

    Michell, Stephen L; Dean, Rachel E; Eyles, Jim E; Hartley, Margaret Gill; Waters, Emma; Prior, Joann L; Titball, Richard W; Oyston, Petra C F

    2010-11-01

    As there is currently no licensed vaccine against Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularaemia, the bacterium is an agent of concern as a potential bioweapon. Although F. tularensis has a low infectious dose and high associated mortality, it possesses few classical virulence factors. An analysis of the F. tularensis subspecies tularensis genome sequence has revealed the presence of a region containing genes with low sequence homology to part of the capBCADE operon of Bacillus anthracis. We have generated an isogenic capB mutant of F. tularensis subspecies tularensis SchuS4 and shown it to be attenuated. Furthermore, using BALB/c mice, we have demonstrated that this capB strain affords protection against significant homologous challenge with the wild-type strain. These data have important implications for the development of a defined and efficacious tularaemia vaccine. PMID:20651039

  15. Candida Virulence Properties and Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Neonatal Candidiasis

    PubMed Central

    Bliss, Joseph M.; Wong, Angela Y.; Bhak, Grace; Laforce-Nesbitt, Sonia S.; Taylor, Sarah; Tan, Sylvia; Stoll, Barbara J.; Higgins, Rosemary D.; Shankaran, Seetha; Benjamin, Daniel K.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To determine if premature infants with invasive Candida infection caused by strains with increased virulence properties have worse clinical outcomes than those infected with less virulent strains. Study design Clinical isolates were studied from 2 populations; premature infants colonized with Candida (commensal, n=27), and those with invasive candidiasis (n=81). Individual isolates of C. albicans and C. parapsilosis were tested for virulence in each of 3 assays: phenotypic switching, adhesion, and cytotoxicity. Invasive isolates were considered to have enhanced virulence if they measured more than 1 SD above the mean for the commensal isolates in at least 1 assay. Outcomes of patients with invasive isolates with enhanced virulence were compared with those with invasive isolates lacking enhanced virulence characteristics. Results 61% of invasive isolates of C. albicans and 42% of invasive isolates of C. parapsilosis had enhanced virulence. All C. albicans cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) isolates (n=6) and 90% of urine isolates (n=10) had enhanced virulence, compared with 48% of blood isolates (n=40). Infants with more virulent isolates were younger at the time of positive culture and had higher serum creatinine. Conclusions Individual isolates of Candida species vary in their virulence properties. Strains with higher virulence are associated with certain clinical outcomes. PMID:22504098

  16. Cross-Regulation between the phz1 and phz2 Operons Maintain a Balanced Level of Phenazine Biosynthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1.

    PubMed

    Cui, Qinna; Lv, Huinan; Qi, Zhuangzhuang; Jiang, Bei; Xiao, Bo; Liu, Linde; Ge, Yihe; Hu, Xiaomei

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication often provides selective advantages for the survival of microorganisms in adapting to varying environmental conditions. P. aeruginosa PAO1 possesses two seven-gene operons [phz1 (phzA1B1C1D1E1F1G1) and phz2 (phzA2B2C2D2E2F2G2)] that are involved in the biosynthesis of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and its derivatives. Although the two operons are highly homologous and their functions are well known, it is unclear how the two phz operons coordinate their expressions to maintain the phenazine biosynthesis. By constructing single and double deletion mutants of the two phz operons, we found that the phz1-deletion mutant produced the same or less amount of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and pyocyanin in GA medium than the phz2-knockout mutant while the phz1-phz2 double knockout mutant did not produce any phenazines. By generating phzA1 and phzA2 translational and transcriptional fusions with a truncated lacZ reporter, we found that the expression of the phz1 operon increased significantly at the post-transcriptional level and did not alter at the transcriptional level in the absence of the phz2 operon. Surprisingly, the expression the phz2 operon increased significantly at the post-transcriptional level and only moderately at the transcriptional level in the absence of the phz1 operon. Our findings suggested that a complex cross-regulation existed between the phz1 and phz2 operons. By mediating the upregulation of one phz operon expression while the other was deleted, this crosstalk would maintain the homeostatic balance of phenazine biosynthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1. PMID:26735915

  17. Cross-Regulation between the phz1 and phz2 Operons Maintain a Balanced Level of Phenazine Biosynthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Bei; Xiao, Bo; Liu, Linde; Ge, Yihe; Hu, Xiaomei

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication often provides selective advantages for the survival of microorganisms in adapting to varying environmental conditions. P. aeruginosa PAO1 possesses two seven-gene operons [phz1 (phzA1B1C1D1E1F1G1) and phz2 (phzA2B2C2D2E2F2G2)] that are involved in the biosynthesis of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and its derivatives. Although the two operons are highly homologous and their functions are well known, it is unclear how the two phz operons coordinate their expressions to maintain the phenazine biosynthesis. By constructing single and double deletion mutants of the two phz operons, we found that the phz1-deletion mutant produced the same or less amount of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and pyocyanin in GA medium than the phz2-knockout mutant while the phz1-phz2 double knockout mutant did not produce any phenazines. By generating phzA1 and phzA2 translational and transcriptional fusions with a truncated lacZ reporter, we found that the expression of the phz1 operon increased significantly at the post-transcriptional level and did not alter at the transcriptional level in the absence of the phz2 operon. Surprisingly, the expression the phz2 operon increased significantly at the post-transcriptional level and only moderately at the transcriptional level in the absence of the phz1 operon. Our findings suggested that a complex cross-regulation existed between the phz1 and phz2 operons. By mediating the upregulation of one phz operon expression while the other was deleted, this crosstalk would maintain the homeostatic balance of phenazine biosynthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1. PMID:26735915

  18. Characterization of MtsR, a New Metal Regulator in Group A Streptococcus, Involved in Iron Acquisition and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Bates, Christopher S.; Toukoki, Chadia; Neely, Melody N.; Eichenbaum, Zehava

    2005-01-01

    Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a common pathogen of the human skin and mucosal surfaces capable of producing a variety of diseases. In this study, we investigated regulation of iron uptake in GAS and the role of a putative transcriptional regulator named MtsR (for Mts repressor) with homology to the DtxR family of metal-dependent regulatory proteins. An mtsR mutant was constructed in NZ131 (M49 serotype) and analyzed. Western blot and RNA analysis showed that mtsR inactivation results in constitutive transcription of the sia (streptococcal iron acquisition) operon, which was negatively regulated by iron in the parent strain. A recombinant MtsR with C-terminal His6 tag fusion (rMtsR) was cloned and purified. Electrophoretic mobility gel shift assays demonstrated that rMtsR specifically binds to the sia promoter region in an iron- and manganese-dependent manner. Together, these observations indicate that MtsR directly represses the sia operon during cell growth under conditions of high metal levels. Consistent with deregulation of iron uptake, the mtsR mutant is hypersensitive to streptonigrin and hydrogen peroxide, and 55Fe uptake assays demonstrate that it accumulates 80% ± 22.5% more iron than the wild-type strain during growth in complete medium. Studies with a zebrafish infection model revealed that the mtsR mutant is attenuated for virulence in both the intramuscular and the intraperitoneal routes. In conclusion, MtsR, a new regulatory protein in GAS, controls iron homeostasis and has a role in disease production. PMID:16113291

  19. Effect of DNA looping on the induction kinetics of the lac operon.

    PubMed

    Narang, Atul

    2007-08-21

    The induction of the lac operon follows cooperative kinetics. The first mechanistic model of these kinetics is the de facto standard in the modeling literature [Yagil, G., Yagil, E., 1971. On the relation between effector concentration and the rate of induced enzyme synthesis. Biophys. J. 11, 11-17]. Yet, subsequent studies have shown that the model is based on incorrect assumptions. Specifically, the repressor is a tetramer with four (not two) inducer-binding sites, and the operon contains two auxiliary operators (in addition to the main operator). Furthermore, these structural features are crucial for the formation of DNA loops, the key determinants of lac repression and induction. Indeed, the repression is determined almost entirely (>95%) by the looped complexes [Oehler, S., Eismann, E.R., Krämer, H., Müller-Hill, B., 1990. The three operators of the lac operon cooperate in repression. EMBO J. 9(4), 973-979], and the pronounced cooperativity of the induction curve hinges upon the existence of the looped complexes [Oehler, S., Alberti, S., Müller-Hill, B., 2006. Induction of the lac promoter in the absence of DNA loops and the stoichiometry of induction. Nucleic Acids Res. 34(2), 606-612]. Here, we formulate a model of lac induction taking due account of the tetrameric structure of the repressor and the existence of looped complexes. We show that: (1) The kinetics are significantly more cooperative than those predicted by the Yagil and Yagil model. The cooperativity is higher because the formation of looped complexes is easily abolished by repressor-inducer binding. (2) The model provides good fits to the repression data for cells containing wild-type tetrameric or mutant dimeric repressor, as well as the induction curves for 6 different strains of Escherichia coli. It also implies that the ratios of certain looped and non-looped complexes are independent of inducer and repressor levels, a conclusion that can be rigorously tested by gel electrophoresis. (3

  20. Virulence factors in fungal pathogens of man.

    PubMed

    Brunke, Sascha; Mogavero, Selene; Kasper, Lydia; Hube, Bernhard

    2016-08-01

    Human fungal pathogens are a commonly underestimated cause of severe diseases associated with high morbidity and mortality. Like other pathogens, their survival and growth in the host, as well as subsequent host damage, is thought to be mediated by virulence factors which set them apart from harmless microbes. In this review, we describe and discuss commonly employed strategies for fungal survival and growth in the host and how these affect the host-fungus interactions to lead to disease. While many of these strategies require host-specific virulence factors, more generally any fitness factor which allows growth under host-like conditions can be required for pathogenesis. Furthermore, we briefly summarize how different fungal pathogens are thought to damage the host. We find that in addition to a core of common activities relevant for growth, different groups of fungi employ different strategies which in spite of (or together with) the host's response can lead to disease. PMID:27257746

  1. Riboregulators: Fine-Tuning Virulence in Shigella

    PubMed Central

    Fris, Megan E.; Murphy, Erin R.

    2016-01-01

    Within the past several years, RNA-mediated regulation (ribo-regulation) has become increasingly recognized for its importance in controlling critical bacterial processes. Regulatory RNA molecules, or riboregulators, are perpetually responsive to changes within the micro-environment of a bacterium. Notably, several characterized riboregulators control virulence in pathogenic bacteria, as is the case for each riboregulator characterized to date in Shigella. The timing of virulence gene expression and the ability of the pathogen to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions is critical to the establishment and progression of infection by Shigella species; ribo-regulators mediate each of these important processes. This mini review will present the current state of knowledge regarding RNA-mediated regulation in Shigella by detailing the characterization and function of each identified riboregulator in these pathogens. PMID:26858941

  2. Copper tolerance and virulence in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Ladomersky, Erik; Petris, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for all aerobic organisms. It functions as a cofactor in enzymes that catalyze a wide variety of redox reactions due to its ability to cycle between two oxidation states, Cu(I) and Cu(II). This same redox property of copper has the potential to cause toxicity if copper homeostasis is not maintained. Studies suggest that the toxic properties of copper are harnessed by the innate immune system of the host to kill bacteria. To counter such defenses, bacteria rely on copper tolerance genes for virulence within the host. These discoveries suggest bacterial copper intoxication is a component of host nutritional immunity, thus expanding our knowledge of the roles of copper in biology. This review summarizes our current understanding of copper tolerance in bacteria, and the extent to which these pathways contribute to bacterial virulence within the host. PMID:25652326

  3. Biochemical, Structural and Molecular Dynamics Analyses of the Potential Virulence Factor RipA from Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Rodrigo; Swift, Robert V.; Chim, Nicholas; Wheatley, Nicole; Lan, Benson; Atwood, Brian R.; Pujol, Céline; Sankaran, Banu; Bliska, James B.; Amaro, Rommie E.; Goulding, Celia W.

    2011-01-01

    Human diseases are attributed in part to the ability of pathogens to evade the eukaryotic immune systems. A subset of these pathogens has developed mechanisms to survive in human macrophages. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the bubonic plague, is a predominately extracellular pathogen with the ability to survive and replicate intracellularly. A previous study has shown that a novel rip (required for intracellular proliferation) operon (ripA, ripB and ripC) is essential for replication and survival of Y. pestis in postactivated macrophages, by playing a role in lowering macrophage-produced nitric oxide (NO) levels. A bioinformatics analysis indicates that the rip operon is conserved among a distally related subset of macrophage-residing pathogens, including Burkholderia and Salmonella species, and suggests that this previously uncharacterized pathway is also required for intracellular survival of these pathogens. The focus of this study is ripA, which encodes for a protein highly homologous to 4-hydroxybutyrate-CoA transferase; however, biochemical analysis suggests that RipA functions as a butyryl-CoA transferase. The 1.9 Å X-ray crystal structure reveals that RipA belongs to the class of Family I CoA transferases and exhibits a unique tetrameric state. Molecular dynamics simulations are consistent with RipA tetramer formation and suggest a possible gating mechanism for CoA binding mediated by Val227. Together, our structural characterization and molecular dynamic simulations offer insights into acyl-CoA specificity within the active site binding pocket, and support biochemical results that RipA is a butyryl-CoA transferase. We hypothesize that the end product of the rip operon is butyrate, a known anti-inflammatory, which has been shown to lower NO levels in macrophages. Thus, the results of this molecular study of Y. pestis RipA provide a structural platform for rational inhibitor design, which may lead to a greater understanding of the role of RipA in

  4. Sequestering and characterization of sequence of a ribosomal RNA operon (rrn) from “Candiatus Liberibacter asiaticus”

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, yellow shoot disease) is a highly destructive disease in citrus production worldwide. The disease is associated with the infection of “Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus”. Analyses of rrn operon sequence are important in “Ca. L. asiaticus” characterization. Thus far, only s...

  5. Transformation and characterization of an arsenic gene operon from urease-positive thermophilic Campylobacter (UPTC) in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, M; Kuribayashi, T; Yamamoto, S; Millar, B C; Moore, J E

    2016-01-01

    An arsenate susceptibility test was performed with transformed and cultured Escherichia coli DH5α cells, which carried recombinant DNA of full-length arsenic (ars) operon, namely a putative membrane permease, ArsP; a transcriptional repressor, ArsR; an arsenate reductase, ArsC; and an arsenical-resistance membrane transporter, Acr3, from the Japanese urease-positive thermophilic Campylobacter lari (UPTC) CF89-12. The E. coli DH5α transformant showed reduced susceptibility to arsenate (~1536 μg/mL), compared to the control. Thus, these ars four-genes from the UPTC CF89-12 strain cells could confer a reduced susceptibility to arsenate in the transformed and E. coli DH5α cells. E. coli transformants with truncated ars operons, acr3 (acr3) and arsC-acr3 (∆arsC-acr3), of the ars operon, showed an MIC value of 384 μg/mL (~384 μg/mL), similar to the E. coli cells which carried the pGEM-T vector (control). Reverse transcription PCR confirmed in vivo transcription of recombinant full-length ars operon and deletion variants (∆acr3 and ∆arsC-acr3) in the transformed E. coli cells. PMID:26122364

  6. Influence of the feedback loops in the trp operon of B. subtilis on the system dynamic response and noise amplitude.

    PubMed

    Zamora-Chimal, Criseida; Santillán, Moisés; Rodríguez-González, Jesús

    2012-10-01

    In this paper we introduce a mathematical model for the tryptophan operon regulatory pathway in Bacillus subtilis. This model considers the transcription-attenuation, and the enzyme-inhibition regulatory mechanisms. Special attention is paid to the estimation of all the model parameters from reported experimental data. With the aid of this model we investigate, from a mathematical-modeling point of view, whether the existing multiplicity of regulatory feedback loops is advantageous in some sense, regarding the dynamic response and the biochemical noise in the system. The tryptophan operon dynamic behavior is studied by means of deterministic numeric simulations, while the biochemical noise is analyzed with the aid of stochastic simulations. The model feasibility is tested comparing its stochastic and deterministic results with experimental reports. Our results for the wildtype and for a couple of mutant bacterial strains suggest that the enzyme-inhibition feedback loop, dynamically accelerates the operon response, and plays a major role in the reduction of biochemical noise. Also, the transcription-attenuation feedback loop makes the trp operon sensitive to changes in the endogenous tryptophan level, and increases the amplitude of the biochemical noise. PMID:22713856

  7. Role of the nac gene product in the nitrogen regulation of some NTR-regulated operons of Klebsiella aerogenes.

    PubMed

    Macaluso, A; Best, E A; Bender, R A

    1990-12-01

    A positive, genetic selection against the activity of the nitrogen regulatory (NTR) system was used to isolate insertion mutations affecting nitrogen regulation in Klebsiella aerogenes. Two classes of mutation were obtained: those affecting the NTR system itself and leading to the loss of almost all nitrogen regulation, and those affecting the nac locus and leading to a loss of nitrogen regulation of a family of nitrogen-regulated enzymes. The set of these nac-dependent enzymes included histidase, glutamate dehydrogenase, glutamate synthase, proline oxidase, and urease. The enzymes shown to be nac independent included glutamine synthetase, asparaginase, tryptophan permease, nitrate reductase, the product of the nifLA operon, and perhaps nitrite reductase. The expression of the nac gene was itself highly nitrogen regulated, and this regulation was mediated by the NTR system. The loss of nitrogen regulation was found in each of the four insertion mutants studied, showing that loss of nitrogen regulation resulted from the absence of nac function rather than from an altered form of the nac gene product. Thus we propose two classes of nitrogen-regulated operons: in class I, the NTR system directly activates expression of the operon; in class II, the NTR system activates nac expression and the product(s) of the nac locus activates expression of the operon. PMID:1979323

  8. Dechlorination of lindane by the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120 depends on the function of the nir operon.

    PubMed

    Kuritz, T; Bocanera, L V; Rivera, N S

    1997-05-01

    Nitrate is essential for lindane dechlorination by the cyanobacteria Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120 and Nostoc ellipsosporum, as it is for dechlorination of other organic compounds by heterotrophic microorganisms. Based on analyses of mutants and effects of environmental factors, we conclude that lindane dechlorination by Anabaena sp. requires a functional nir operon that encodes the enzymes for nitrate utilization. PMID:9150239

  9. Functional Conservation of the Capacity for ent-Kaurene Biosynthesis and an Associated Operon in Certain Rhizobia

    PubMed Central

    Hershey, David M.; Lu, Xuan; Zi, Jiachen

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial interactions with plants are accompanied by complex signal exchange processes. Previously, the nitrogen-fixing symbiotic (rhizo)bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum was found to carry adjacent genes encoding two sequentially acting diterpene cyclases that together transform geranylgeranyl diphosphate to ent-kaurene, the olefin precursor to the gibberellin plant hormones. Species from the three other major genera of rhizobia were found to have homologous terpene synthase genes. Cloning and functional characterization of a representative set of these enzymes confirmed the capacity of each genus to produce ent-kaurene. Moreover, comparison of their genomic context revealed that these diterpene synthases are found in a conserved operon which includes an adjacent isoprenyl diphosphate synthase, shown here to produce the geranylgeranyl diphosphate precursor, providing a critical link to central metabolism. In addition, the rest of the operon consists of enzymatic genes that presumably lead to a more elaborated diterpenoid, although the production of gibberellins was not observed. Nevertheless, it has previously been shown that the operon is selectively expressed during nodulation, and the scattered distribution of the operon via independent horizontal gene transfer within the symbiotic plasmid or genomic island shown here suggests that such diterpenoid production may modulate the interaction of these particular symbionts with their host plants. PMID:24142247

  10. Cyanobacterial flv4-2 Operon-Encoded Proteins Optimize Light Harvesting and Charge Separation in Photosystem II.

    PubMed

    Chukhutsina, Volha; Bersanini, Luca; Aro, Eva-Mari; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2015-05-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) complexes drive the water-splitting reaction necessary to transform sunlight into chemical energy. However, too much light can damage and disrupt PSII. In cyanobacteria, the flv4-2 operon encodes three proteins (Flv2, Flv4, and Sll0218), which safeguard PSII activity under air-level CO2 and in high light conditions. However, the exact mechanism of action of these proteins has not been clarified yet. We demonstrate that the PSII electron transfer properties are influenced by the flv4-2 operon-encoded proteins. Accelerated secondary charge separation kinetics was observed upon expression/overexpression of the flv4-2 operon. This is likely induced by docking of the Flv2/Flv4 heterodimer in the vicinity of the QB pocket of PSII, which, in turn, increases the QB redox potential and consequently stabilizes forward electron transfer. The alternative electron transfer route constituted by Flv2/Flv4 sequesters electrons from QB(-) guaranteeing the dissipation of excess excitation energy in PSII under stressful conditions. In addition, we demonstrate that in the absence of the flv4-2 operon-encoded proteins, about 20% of the phycobilisome antenna becomes detached from the reaction centers, thus decreasing light harvesting. Phycobilisome detachment is a consequence of a decreased relative content of PSII dimers, a feature observed in the absence of the Sll0218 protein. PMID:25704162

  11. Regulation of Internal Promoters in a Zinc-Responsive Operon Is Influenced by Transcription from Upstream Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Napolitano, Mauro; Rubio, Miguel Ángel; Camargo, Sergio

    2013-01-01

    In the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 (also known as Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120), a zinc-responsive operon (all4725-all4721) has been described, which contains 4 distinct promoters. The two most upstream ones bind Zur with high affinity, whereas the other two do not or do so with a very low affinity. In this paper, a detailed characterization of the four promoters is presented, showing that all four were induced by metal depletion, and they were constitutively derepressed in a zur mutant, despite the two downstream promoters not being direct targets for this regulator. Crucially, induction by metal depletion of the two downstream promoters was abrogated when transcription initiated at the upstream promoters was interrupted by a polar insertion midway in the operon. In contrast, insertion of a nitrogen-responsive promoter at a roughly similar position provoked the two downstream promoters to adopt a regulatory pattern mimicking that of the inserted promoter. Thus, regulation of the two downstream promoters is apparently influenced by transcription from promoters upstream. Evidence is presented indicating that the activity of the two downstream promoters is kept basal in Anabaena by repression. A regulatory model compatible with these results is proposed, where promoters controlled by repression in bacterial operons may be subjected to a hierarchical regulation depending on their position in the operon. According to this model, internal promoters may respond to stimuli governing the activity of promoters upstream by an indirect regulation and to specific stimuli by a direct regulation. PMID:23316045

  12. A Quantitative bgl Operon Model for E. coli Requires BglF Conformational Change for Sugar Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chopra, Paras; Bender, Andreas

    The bgl operon is responsible for the metabolism of β-glucoside sugars such as salicin or arbutin in E. coli. Its regulatory system involves both positive and negative feedback mechanisms and it can be assumed to be more complex than that of the more closely studied lac and trp operons. We have developed a quantitative model for the regulation of the bgl operon which is subject to in silico experiments investigating its behavior under different hypothetical conditions. Upon administration of 5mM salicin as an inducer our model shows 80-fold induction, which compares well with the 60-fold induction measured experimentally. Under practical conditions 5-10mM inducer are employed, which is in line with the minimum inducer concentration of 1mM required by our model. The necessity of BglF conformational change for sugar transport has been hypothesized previously, and in line with those hypotheses our model shows only minor induction if conformational change is not allowed. Overall, this first quantitative model for the bgl operon gives reasonable predictions that are close to experimental results (where measured). It will be further refined as values of the parameters are determined experimentally. The model was developed in Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) and it is available from the authors and from the Biomodels repository [www.ebi.ac.uk/biomodels].

  13. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review.

    PubMed

    Piqué, Núria; Miñana-Galbis, David; Merino, Susana; Tomás, Juan M

    2015-01-01

    Erwinia amylovora, a Gram negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causal agent of fire blight, a devastating plant disease affecting a wide range of host species within Rosaceae and a major global threat to commercial apple and pear production. Among the limited number of control options currently available, prophylactic application of antibiotics during the bloom period appears the most effective. Pathogen cells enter plants through the nectarthodes of flowers and other natural openings, such as wounds, and are capable of rapid movement within plants and the establishment of systemic infections. Many virulence determinants of E. amylovora have been characterized, including the Type III secretion system (T3SS), the exopolysaccharide (EPS) amylovoran, biofilm formation, and motility. To successfully establish an infection, E. amylovora uses a complex regulatory network to sense the relevant environmental signals and coordinate the expression of early and late stage virulence factors involving two component signal transduction systems, bis-(3'-5')-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and quorum sensing. The LPS biosynthetic gene cluster is one of the relatively few genetic differences observed between Rubus- and Spiraeoideae-infecting genotypes of E. amylovora. Other differential factors, such as the presence and composition of an integrative conjugative element associated with the Hrp T3SS (hrp genes encoding the T3SS apparatus), have been recently described. In the present review, we present the recent findings on virulence factors research, focusing on their role in bacterial pathogenesis and indicating other virulence factors that deserve future research to characterize them. PMID:26057748

  14. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Piqué, Núria; Miñana-Galbis, David; Merino, Susana; Tomás, Juan M.

    2015-01-01

    Erwinia amylovora, a Gram negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causal agent of fire blight, a devastating plant disease affecting a wide range of host species within Rosaceae and a major global threat to commercial apple and pear production. Among the limited number of control options currently available, prophylactic application of antibiotics during the bloom period appears the most effective. Pathogen cells enter plants through the nectarthodes of flowers and other natural openings, such as wounds, and are capable of rapid movement within plants and the establishment of systemic infections. Many virulence determinants of E. amylovora have been characterized, including the Type III secretion system (T3SS), the exopolysaccharide (EPS) amylovoran, biofilm formation, and motility. To successfully establish an infection, E. amylovora uses a complex regulatory network to sense the relevant environmental signals and coordinate the expression of early and late stage virulence factors involving two component signal transduction systems, bis-(3′-5′)-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and quorum sensing. The LPS biosynthetic gene cluster is one of the relatively few genetic differences observed between Rubus- and Spiraeoideae-infecting genotypes of E. amylovora. Other differential factors, such as the presence and composition of an integrative conjugative element associated with the Hrp T3SS (hrp genes encoding the T3SS apparatus), have been recently described. In the present review, we present the recent findings on virulence factors research, focusing on their role in bacterial pathogenesis and indicating other virulence factors that deserve future research to characterize them. PMID:26057748

  15. Tracking bacterial virulence: global modulators as indicators.

    PubMed

    Prieto, Alejandro; Urcola, Imanol; Blanco, Jorge; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Muniesa, Maite; Quirós, Pablo; Falgenhauer, Linda; Chakraborty, Trinad; Hüttener, Mário; Juárez, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The genomes of Gram-negative bacteria encode paralogues and/or orthologues of global modulators. The nucleoid-associated H-NS and Hha proteins are an example: several enterobacteria such as Escherichia coli or Salmonella harbor H-NS, Hha and their corresponding paralogues, StpA and YdgT proteins, respectively. Remarkably, the genome of the pathogenic enteroaggregative E. coli strain 042 encodes, in addition to the hha and ydgT genes, two additional hha paralogues, hha2 and hha3. We show in this report that there exists a strong correlation between the presence of these paralogues and the virulence phenotype of several E. coli strains. hha2 and hha3 predominate in some groups of intestinal pathogenic E. coli strains (enteroaggregative and shiga toxin-producing isolates), as well as in the widely distributed extraintestinal ST131 isolates. Because of the relationship between the presence of hha2/hha3 and some virulence factors, we have been able to provide evidence for Hha2/Hha3 modulating the expression of the antigen 43 pathogenic determinants. We show that tracking global modulators or their paralogues/orthologues can be a new strategy to identify bacterial pathogenic clones and propose PCR amplification of hha2 and hha3 as a virulence indicator in environmental and clinical E. coli isolates. PMID:27169404

  16. Tracking bacterial virulence: global modulators as indicators

    PubMed Central

    Prieto, Alejandro; Urcola, Imanol; Blanco, Jorge; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Muniesa, Maite; Quirós, Pablo; Falgenhauer, Linda; Chakraborty, Trinad; Hüttener, Mário; Juárez, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The genomes of Gram-negative bacteria encode paralogues and/or orthologues of global modulators. The nucleoid-associated H-NS and Hha proteins are an example: several enterobacteria such as Escherichia coli or Salmonella harbor H-NS, Hha and their corresponding paralogues, StpA and YdgT proteins, respectively. Remarkably, the genome of the pathogenic enteroaggregative E. coli strain 042 encodes, in addition to the hha and ydgT genes, two additional hha paralogues, hha2 and hha3. We show in this report that there exists a strong correlation between the presence of these paralogues and the virulence phenotype of several E. coli strains. hha2 and hha3 predominate in some groups of intestinal pathogenic E. coli strains (enteroaggregative and shiga toxin-producing isolates), as well as in the widely distributed extraintestinal ST131 isolates. Because of the relationship between the presence of hha2/hha3 and some virulence factors, we have been able to provide evidence for Hha2/Hha3 modulating the expression of the antigen 43 pathogenic determinants. We show that tracking global modulators or their paralogues/orthologues can be a new strategy to identify bacterial pathogenic clones and propose PCR amplification of hha2 and hha3 as a virulence indicator in environmental and clinical E. coli isolates. PMID:27169404

  17. Optimal performance of the tryptophan operon of E. coli: a stochastic, dynamical, mathematical-modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Salazar-Cavazos, Emanuel; Santillán, Moisés

    2014-02-01

    In this work, we develop a detailed, stochastic, dynamical model for the tryptophan operon of E. coli, and estimate all of the model parameters from reported experimental data. We further employ the model to study the system performance, considering the amount of biochemical noise in the trp level, the system rise time after a nutritional shift, and the amount of repressor molecules necessary to maintain an adequate level of repression, as indicators of the system performance regime. We demonstrate that the level of cooperativity between repressor molecules bound to the first two operators in the trp promoter affects all of the above enlisted performance characteristics. Moreover, the cooperativity level found in the wild-type bacterial strain optimizes a cost-benefit function involving low biochemical noise in the tryptophan level, short rise time after a nutritional shift, and low number of regulatory molecules. PMID:24307084

  18. Delineation of the regulatory region sequences of Agrobacterium tumefaciens virB operon.

    PubMed Central

    Das, A; Pazour, G J

    1989-01-01

    A virB-lacZ translational fusion was constructed to monitor expression of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens virB operon. Expression of the fusion gene was dependent on the presence of pTiA6 virA, virG, and a plant factor acetosyringone. Analysis of deletion mutants, constructed by exonuclease Bal31 digestion, showed that 68 residues upstream of the virB transcription initiation site was necessary for its expression. A TT----CC substitution at positions -62 and -61 led to a 7 fold reduction in virB expression. The virB upstream region contains a tetradecameric sequence, dPuT/ATDCAATGHAAPy (D = A, G or T; H = A, C or T), that is conserved in the non-transcribed regions of all vir genes. Alteration of the position of this sequence relative to the promoter region sequences had a drastic negative effect on virB expression. PMID:2748333

  19. Operon structure and cotranslational subunit association direct protein assembly in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Shieh, Yu-Wei; Minguez, Pablo; Bork, Peer; Auburger, Josef J; Guilbride, D Lys; Kramer, Günter; Bukau, Bernd

    2015-11-01

    Assembly of protein complexes is considered a posttranslational process involving random collision of subunits. We show that within the Escherichia coli cytosol, bacterial luciferase subunits LuxA and LuxB assemble into complexes close to the site of subunit synthesis. Assembly efficiency decreases markedly if subunits are synthesized on separate messenger RNAs from genes integrated at distant chromosomal sites. Subunit assembly initiates cotranslationally on nascent LuxB in vivo. The ribosome-associated chaperone trigger factor delays the onset of cotranslational interactions until the LuxB dimer interface is fully exposed. Protein assembly is thus directly coupled to the translation process and involves spatially confined, actively chaperoned cotranslational subunit interactions. Bacterial gene organization into operons therefore reflects a fundamental cotranslational mechanism for spatial and temporal regulation that is vital to effective assembly of protein complexes. PMID:26405228

  20. A specific endoribonuclease, RNase P, affects gene expression of polycistronic operon mRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yong; Altman, Sidney

    2003-01-01

    The rnpA mutation, A49, in Escherichia coli reduces the level of RNase P at 43°C because of a temperature-sensitive mutation in C5 protein, the protein subunit of the enzyme. Microarray analysis reveals the expression of several noncoding intergenic regions that are increased at 43°C compared with 30°C. These regions are substrates for RNase P, and they are cleaved less efficiently than, for example, tRNA precursors. An analysis of the tna, secG, rbs, and his operons, all of which contain RNase P cleavage sites, indicates that RNase P affects gene expression for regions downstream of its cleavage sites. PMID:14585931

  1. Modification of the genome of Rhodobacter sphaeroides and construction of synthetic operons.

    PubMed

    Jaschke, Paul R; Saer, Rafael G; Noll, Stephan; Beatty, J Thomas

    2011-01-01

    The α-proteobacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is an exemplary model organism for the creation and study of novel protein expression systems, especially membrane protein complexes that harvest light energy to yield electrical energy. Advantages of this organism include a sequenced genome, tools for genetic engineering, a well-characterized metabolism, and a large membrane surface area when grown under hypoxic or anoxic conditions. This chapter provides a framework for the utilization of R. sphaeroides as a model organism for membrane protein expression, highlighting key advantages and shortcomings. Procedures covered in this chapter include the creation of chromosomal gene deletions, disruptions, and replacements, as well as the construction of a synthetic operon using a model promoter to induce expression of modified photosynthetic reaction center proteins for structural and functional analysis. PMID:21601102

  2. Comparative analysis of the mechanisms of sulfur anion oxidation and reduction by dsr operon to maintain environmental sulfur balance.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Semanti; Bagchi, Angshuman

    2015-12-01

    Sulfur metabolism is one of the oldest known redox geochemical cycles in our atmosphere. These redox processes utilize different sulfur anions and the reactions are performed by the gene products of dsr operon from phylogenetically diverse sets of microorganisms. The operon is involved in the maintenance of environmental sulfur balance. Interestingly, the dsr operon is found to be present in both sulfur anion oxidizing and reducing microorganisms and in both types of organisms DsrAB protein complex plays a vital role. Though there are various reports regarding the genetics of dsr operon there are practically no reports dealing with the structural aspects of sulfur metabolism by dsr operon. In our present study, we tried to compare the mechanisms of sulfur anion oxidation and reduction by Allochromatium vinosum and Desulfovibrio vulgaris respectively through DsrAB protein complex. We analyzed the modes of bindings of sulfur anions to the DsrAB protein complex and observed that for sulfur anion oxidizers, sulfide and thiosulfate are the best substrates whereas for reducers sulfate and sulfite have the best binding abilities. We analyzed the binding interaction pattern of the DsrA and DsrB proteins while forming the DsrAB protein complexes in Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Allochromatium vinosum. To our knowledge this is the first report that analyzes the differences in binding patterns of sulfur substrates with DsrAB protein from these two microorganisms. This study would therefore be essential to predict the biochemical mechanism of sulfur anion oxidation and reduction by these two microorganisms i.e., Desulfovibrio vulgaris (sulfur anion reducer) and Allochromatium vinosum (sulfur anion oxidizer). Our observations also highlight the mechanism of sulfur geochemical cycle which has important implications in future study of sulfur metabolism as it has a huge application in waste remediation and production of industrial bio-products viz. vitamins, bio-polyesters and bio

  3. The Use of Amino Sugars by Bacillus subtilis: Presence of a Unique Operon for the Catabolism of Glucosamine

    PubMed Central

    Gaugué, Isabelle; Oberto, Jacques; Putzer, Harald; Plumbridge, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    B. subtilis grows more rapidly using the amino sugar glucosamine as carbon source, than with N-acetylglucosamine. Genes for the transport and metabolism of N-acetylglucosamine (nagP and nagAB) are found in all the sequenced Bacilli (except Anoxybacillus flavithermus). In B. subtilis there is an additional operon (gamAP) encoding second copies of genes for the transport and catabolism of glucosamine. We have developed a method to make multiple deletion mutations in B. subtilis employing an excisable spectinomycin resistance cassette. Using this method we have analysed the contribution of the different genes of the nag and gam operons for their role in utilization of glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. Faster growth on glucosamine is due to the presence of the gamAP operon, which is strongly induced by glucosamine. Although the gamA and nagB genes encode isozymes of GlcN6P deaminase, catabolism of N-acetylglucosamine relies mostly upon the gamA gene product. The genes for use of N-acetylglucosamine, nagAB and nagP, are repressed by YvoA (NagR), a GntR family regulator, whose gene is part of the nagAB yvoA(nagR) operon. The gamAP operon is repressed by YbgA, another GntR family repressor, whose gene is expressed divergently from gamAP. The nagAB yvoA synton is found throughout the Bacilli and most firmicutes. On the other hand the ybgA-gamAP synton, which includes the ybgB gene for a small protein of unknown provenance, is only found in B. subtilis (and a few very close relatives). The origin of ybgBA-gamAP grouping is unknown but synteny analysis suggests lateral transfer from an unidentified donor. The presence of gamAP has enabled B. subtilis to efficiently use glucosamine as carbon source. PMID:23667565

  4. Identification of a positive transcription regulatory element within the coding region of the nifLA operon in Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Ranjana; Das, Hirendra K; Dixit, Aparna

    2005-07-01

    Nitrogen fixation in Azotobacter vinelandii is regulated by the nifLA operon. NifA activates the transcription of nif genes, while NifL antagonizes the transcriptional activator NifA in response to fixed nitrogen and molecular oxygen levels. However, transcriptional regulation of the nifLA operon of A. vinelandii itself is not fully understood. Using the S1 nuclease assay, we mapped the transcription start site of the nifLA operon, showing it to be similar to the sigma54-dependent promoters. We also identified a positive cis-acting regulatory element (+134 to +790) of the nifLA operon within the coding region of the nifL gene of A. vinelandii. Deletion of this element results in complete loss of promoter activity. Several protein factors bind to this region, and the specific binding sites have been mapped by DNase I foot printing. Two of these sites, namely dR1 (+134 to +204) and dR2 (+745 to +765), are involved in regulating the nifLA promoter activity. The absence of NtrC-like binding sites in the upstream region of the nifLA operon in A. vinelandii makes the identification of these downstream elements a highly significant finding. The interaction of the promoter with the proteins binding to the dR2 region spanning +745 to +765 appears to be dependent on the face of the helix as introduction of 4 bases just before this region completely disrupts promoter activity. Thus, the positive regulatory element present within the BglII-BglII fragment may play, in part; an important role in nifLA regulation in A. vinelandii. PMID:16000781

  5. The hmc operon of Desulfovibrio vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Hildenborough encodes a potential transmembrane redox protein complex.

    PubMed Central

    Rossi, M; Pollock, W B; Reij, M W; Keon, R G; Fu, R; Voordouw, G

    1993-01-01

    The nucleotide sequence of the hmc operon from Desulfovibrio vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Hildenborough indicated the presence of eight open reading frames, encoding proteins Orf1 to Orf6, Rrf1, and Rrf2. Orf1 is the periplasmic, high-molecular-weight cytochrome (Hmc) containing 16 c-type hemes and described before (W. B. R. Pollock, M. Loutfi, M. Bruschi, B. J. Rapp-Giles, J. D. Wall, and G. Voordouw, J. Bacteriol. 173:220-228, 1991). Orf2 is a transmembrane redox protein with four iron-sulfur clusters, as indicated by its similarity to DmsB from Escherichia coli. Orf3, Orf4, and Orf5 are all highly hydrophobic, integral membrane proteins with similarities to subunits of NADH dehydrogenase or cytochrome c reductase. Orf6 is a cytoplasmic redox protein containing two iron-sulfur clusters, as indicated by its similarity to the ferredoxin domain of [Fe] hydrogenase from Desulfovibrio species. Rrf1 belongs to the family of response regulator proteins, while the function of Rrf2 cannot be derived from the gene sequence. The expression of individual genes in E. coli with the T7 system confirmed the open reading frames for Orf2, Orf6, and Rrf1. Deletion of 0.4 kb upstream from orf1 abolished the expression of Hmc in D. desulfuricans G200, indicating this region to contain the hmc operon promoter. The expression of two truncated hmc genes in D. desulfuricans G200 resulted in stable periplasmic c-type cytochromes, confirming the domain structure of Hmc. We propose that Hmc and Orf2 to Orf6 form a transmembrane protein complex that allows electron flow from the periplasmic hydrogenases to the cytoplasmic enzymes that catalyze the reduction of sulfate. The domain structure of Hmc may be required to allow interaction with multiple hydrogenases. Images PMID:8335628

  6. Characterization of chromosomal homologs of the plasmid-borne copper resistance operon of Pseudomonas syringae.

    PubMed Central

    Lim, C K; Cooksey, D A

    1993-01-01

    Copper-resistant and copper-sensitive strains of Pseudomonas syringae, as well as many other pseudomonads, contain chromosomal DNA homologous to the plasmid-borne copper resistance operon (copABCD). cop homologs were cloned from the chromosome of P. syringae pv. tomato PT12.2, which had an elevated level of resistance to copper compared with typical copper-sensitive strains of other P. syringae pathovars and showed an unusually high frequency of spontaneous mutation to high levels of copper resistance. Two chromosomal cop homolog regions were cloned. Homolog 1 hybridized with copA and copB, and homolog 2 hybridized with copA, copB, copC, and the copper-responsive regulatory genes copRS. Homolog 1 had no detectable function when transferred to a copper-sensitive strain of P. syringae. However, homolog 2 conferred the low level of copper resistance observed with PT12.2 and produced proteins related to CopA and CopC. In addition, homolog 2 conferred a high frequency of mutation to full copper resistance. In a spontaneously mutated derivative of the cloned homolog 2 (pCOPH2R) that conferred copper resistance, an increased level of CopA was observed. pCOPH2R also supported a higher level of transcriptional activity of the cop promoter that was fused to lacZ and provided in trans (pCOP38), suggesting that the spontaneous mutation was regulatory, probably involving the copRS homologs. Homolog 2 was similar but not identical to the plasmid-borne cop operon, and it did not complement site-specific mutations in cop genes. Images PMID:8331076

  7. The presence of the glycolysis operon in SAR11 genomes is positively correlated with ocean productivity.

    PubMed

    Schwalbach, M S; Tripp, H J; Steindler, L; Smith, D P; Giovannoni, S J

    2010-02-01

    Bacteria in the SAR11 clade are highly abundant in marine surface waters, but currently little is known about the carbon compounds that support these large heterotrophic populations. To better understand the carbon requirements of these organisms, we conducted a multiphasic exploration of carbohydrate utilization among SAR11 isolates from the Northeast Pacific Ocean and the Sargasso Sea. A comparison of three SAR11 genomes showed they all lacked a recognizable PTS system, the oxidative portion of the pentose phosphate shunt (zwf-, pgl-), genes for the Embden-Meyerhoff-Parnas (pfk-, pyk-) and Entner-Doudoroff (eda-) pathways of glycolysis. Strain HTCC7211, isolated from an ocean gyre, was missing other glycolysis genes as well. Growth assays, radioisotopes, metagenomics and microarrays were used to test the hypothesis that these isolates might be limited in their abilities to transport and oxidize exogenous carbohydrates. Galactose, fucose, rhamnose, arabinose, ribose and mannose could not serve as carbon sources for the isolates tested. However, differences in glucose utilization were detected between coastal and ocean gyre isolates, with the coastal isolates capable of transporting, incorporating and oxidizing glucose while the open ocean isolate could not. Subsequent microarray analysis of a coastal isolate suggested that an operon encoding a variant of the Entner-Doudoroff pathway is likely responsible for the observed differences in glucose utilization. Metagenomic analysis indicated this operon is more commonly found in coastal environments and is positively correlated with chlorophyll a concentrations. Our results indicated that glycolysis is a variable metabolic property of SAR11 metabolism and suggest that glycolytic SAR11 are more common in productive marine environments. PMID:19889000

  8. Transcriptional regulation mechanism of ter operon by OxyR in Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Ni, Bin; Zhang, Yiquan; Huang, Xinxiang; Yang, Ruifu; Zhou, Dongsheng

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this work was to study the transcriptional regulation mechanism of ter operon by OxyR in Yersinia pestis. Total RNAs were extracted from the wild-type (WT) strain and the oxyR null mutant (ΔoxyR) strain. Primer extension assay was employed to detect the promoter activity (the amount of primer extension product) of terZ in WT and ΔoxyR. terZ promoter-proximal region was cloned into the pRW50 plasmid containing a promoterless lacZ gene. The recombinant LacZ reporter plasmid was transformed into WT and ΔoxyR, respectively, to measure the promoter activity (the β-galactosidase activity) of terZ in WT and ΔoxyR by using the β-galactosidase enzyme assay system. The entire promoter-proximal region of the terZ gene was amplified by PCR from Y. pestis strain 201, and the over-expressed His-OxyR was also purified under native conditions with nickel loaded HiTrap Chelating Sepharose columns (Amersham). Electrophoretic mobility shift assay was applied to analyze the DNA-binding activity of His-OxyR to terZ promoter region in vitro. Primer extension assay detected only one transcriptional start site located at 50 bp upstream of terZ, whose transcript was directly activated by OxyR in Y. pestis. The EMSA result shows that His-OxyR has the ability to bind to the upstream DNA region of terZ. The transcription of ter operon was found to be directly activated by OxyR in Y. pestis. PMID:24577613

  9. A mutant crp allele that differentially activates the operons of the fuc regulon in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Y; Lin, E C

    1988-05-01

    L-Fucose is used by Escherichia coli through an inducible pathway mediated by a fucP-encoded permease, a fucI-encoded isomerase, a fucK-encoded kinase, and a fucA-encoded aldolase. The adolase catalyzes the formation of dihydroxyacetone phosphate and L-lactaldehyde. Anaerobically, lactaldehyde is converted by a fucO-encoded oxidoreductase to L-1,2-propanediol, which is excreted. The fuc genes belong to a regulon comprising four linked operons: fucO, fucA, fucPIK, and fucR. The positive regulator encoded by fucR responds to fuculose 1-phosphate as the effector. Mutants serially selected for aerobic growth on propanediol became constitutive in fucO and fucA [fucO(Con) fucA(Con)], but noninducible in fucPIK [fucPIK(Non)]. An external suppressor mutation that restored growth on fucose caused constitutive expression of fucPIK. Results from this study indicate that this suppressor mutation occurred in crp, which encodes the cyclic AMP-binding (or receptor) protein. When the suppressor allele (crp-201) was transduced into wild-type strains, the recipient became fucose negative and fucose sensitive (with glycerol as the carbon and energy source) because of impaired expression of fucA. The fucPIK operon became hyperinducible. The growth rate on maltose was significantly reduced, but growth on L-rhamnose, D-galactose, L-arabinose, glycerol, or glycerol 3-phosphate was close to normal. Lysogenization of fuc+ crp-201 cells by a lambda bacteriophage bearing crp+ restored normal growth ability on fucose. In contrast, lysogenization of [fucO(Con)fucA(Con)fucPIK(Non)crp-201] cells by the same phage retarded their growth on fucose. PMID:2834341

  10. Genetic analysis of transcriptional activation and repression in the Tn21 mer operon. [Bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, W.; Park, S.J.; Summers, A.O. )

    1989-07-01

    Transcription of the Tn21 mercury resistance operon (mer) is controlled by the toxic metal cation Hg(II). This control is mediated by the product of the merR gene, a 144-amino-acid protein which represses transcription of the structural genes (merTPCAD) in the absence of Hg(II) and activates transcription in the presence of Hg(II). We have used a mer-lac transcriptional fusion to obtain regulatory mutants in this metal-responsive system. Some mutants were defective in Hg(II)-induced activation while retaining repression function, others were defective in repression but not activation, and some had lost both functions. Mutations in three of the four cysteine residues of merR resulted in complete loss of Hg(II)-inducible activation but retention of the repressor function. Other lesions adjacent to or very near these cysteines exhibited severely reduced activation and also retained repressor function. There were two putative helix-turn-helix (HTH) domains in merR, and mutants in each had very different phenotypes. A partially dominant mutation in the more amino-terminal region of the two putative HTH regions resulted in loss of both activation and repression, consistent with a role for this region in DNA binding. Mutations in the more centrally located HTH region resulted only in loss of Hg(II)-induced activation. Lesions in the central and in the carboxy-terminal regions of merR exhibited both Hg(II)-independent and Hg(II)-dependent transcriptional activation. The sole cis-acting mutant obtained with this operon fusion strategy, a down-promoter mutation, lies in a highly conserved base in the -35 region of the merTPCAD promoter.

  11. Virulence factors of the family Legionellaceae.

    PubMed Central

    Dowling, J N; Saha, A K; Glew, R H

    1992-01-01

    Whereas bacteria in the genus Legionella have emerged as relatively frequent causes of pneumonia, the mechanisms underlying their pathogenicity are obscure. The legionellae are facultative intracellular pathogens which multiply within the phagosome of mononuclear phagocytes and are not killed efficiently by polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The functional defects that might permit the intracellular survival of the legionellae have remained an enigma until recently. Phagosome-lysosome fusion is inhibited by a single strain (Philadelphia 1) of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, but not by other strains of L. pneumophila or other species. It has been found that following the ingestion of Legionella organisms, the subsequent activation of neutrophils and monocytes in response to both soluble and particulate stimuli is profoundly impaired and the bactericidal activity of these cells is attenuated, suggesting that Legionella bacterial cell-associated factors have an inhibitory effect on phagocyte activation. Two factors elaborated by the legionellae which inhibit phagocyte activation have been described. First, the Legionella (cyto)toxin blocks neutrophil oxidative metabolism in response to various agonists by an unknown mechanism. Second, L. micdadei bacterial cells contain a phosphatase which blocks superoxide anion production by stimulated neutrophils. The Legionella phosphatase disrupts the formation of critical intracellular second messengers in neutrophils. In addition to the toxin and phosphatase, several other moieties that may serve as virulence factors by promoting cell invasion or intracellular survival and multiplication are elaborated by the legionellae. Molecular biological studies show that a cell surface protein named Mip is necessary for the efficient invasion of monocytes. A possible role for a Legionella phospholipase C as a virulence factor is still largely theoretical. L. micdadei contains an unusual protein kinase which catalyzes the phosphorylation of

  12. The spc ribosomal protein operon of Escherichia coli: sequence and cotranscription of the ribosomal protein genes and a protein export gene.

    PubMed

    Cerretti, D P; Dean, D; Davis, G R; Bedwell, D M; Nomura, M

    1983-05-11

    The genes encoding the 52 ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) of Escherichia coli are organized into approximately 19 operons scattered throughout the chromosome. One of these, the spc operon, contains the genes for ten ribosomal proteins: L14, L24, L5, S14, S8, L6, L18, S5, L30 and L15 (rp1N, rp1X, rp1E, rpsN, rpsH, rp1F, rp1R, rpsE, rpmD, and rp1O). We now report the entire 5.9 kb nucleotide sequence of the spc operon. DNA sequence analysis has confirmed the genetic organization and refined the amino acid sequence of the ten r-proteins in this operon. It has also revealed the presence of two open reading frames past the last known gene (L15) of the spc operon. One of these corresponds to a gene (pr1A or secY) which recently has been shown by others to be involved in protein export. In addition, S1 mapping experiments indicate that a significant proportion of transcription initiated from the spc operon continues not only into the two putative genes, but also without termination into the downstream alpha r-protein operon. PMID:6222285

  13. The napF and narG Nitrate Reductase Operons in Escherichia coli Are Differentially Expressed in Response to Submicromolar Concentrations of Nitrate but Not Nitrite

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Henian; Tseng, Ching-Ping; Gunsalus, Robert P.

    1999-01-01

    Escherichia coli synthesizes two biochemically distinct nitrate reductase enzymes, a membrane-bound enzyme encoded by the narGHJI operon and a periplasmic cytochrome c-linked nitrate reductase encoded by the napFDAGHBC operon. To address why the cell makes these two enzymes, continuous cell culture techniques were used to examine napF and narG gene expression in response to different concentrations of nitrate and/or nitrite. Expression of the napF-lacZ and narG-lacZ reporter fusions in strains grown at different steady-state levels of nitrate revealed that the two nitrate reductase operons are differentially expressed in a complementary pattern. The napF operon apparently encodes a “low-substrate-induced” reductase that is maximally expressed only at low levels of nitrate. Expression is suppressed under high-nitrate conditions. In contrast, the narGHJI operon is only weakly expressed at low nitrate levels but is maximally expressed when nitrate is elevated. The narGHJI operon is therefore a “high-substrate-induced” operon that somehow provides a second and distinct role in nitrate metabolism by the cell. Interestingly, nitrite, the end product of each enzyme, had only a minor effect on the expression of either operon. Finally, nitrate, but not nitrite, was essential for repression of napF gene expression. These studies reveal that nitrate rather than nitrite is the primary signal that controls the expression of these two nitrate reductase operons in a differential and complementary fashion. In light of these findings, prior models for the roles of nitrate and nitrite in control of narG and napF expression must be reconsidered. PMID:10464201

  14. Final Report for LDRD Project 02-ERD-069: Discovering the Unknown Mechanism(s) of Virulence in a BW, Class A Select Agent

    SciTech Connect

    Chain, P; Garcia, E

    2003-02-06

    The goal of this proposed effort was to assess the difficulty in identifying and characterizing virulence candidate genes in an organism for which very limited data exists. This was accomplished by first addressing the finishing phase of draft-sequenced F. tularensis genomes and conducting comparative analyses to determine the coding potential of each genome; to discover the differences in genome structure and content, and to identify potential genes whose products may be involved in the F. tularensis virulence process. The project was divided into three parts: (1) Genome finishing: This part involves determining the order and orientation of the consensus sequences of contigs obtained from Phrap assemblies of random draft genomic sequences. This tedious process consists of linking contig ends using information embedded in each sequence file that relates the sequence to the original cloned insert. Since inserts are sequenced from both ends, we can establish a link between these paired-ends in different contigs and thus order and orient contigs. Since these genomes carry numerous copies of insertion sequences, these repeated elements ''confuse'' the Phrap assembly program. It is thus necessary to break these contigs apart at the repeated sequences and individually join the proper flanking regions using paired-end information, or using results of comparisons against a similar genome. Larger repeated elements such as the small subunit ribosomal RNA operon require verification with PCR. Tandem repeats require manual intervention and typically rely on single nucleotide polymorphisms to be resolved. Remaining gaps require PCR reactions and sequencing. Once the genomes have been ''closed'', low quality regions are addressed by resequencing reactions. (2) Genome analysis: The final consensus sequences are processed by combining the results of three gene modelers: Glimmer, Critica and Generation. The final gene models are submitted to a battery of homology searches and

  15. Fungal virulence genes as targets for antifungal chemotherapy.

    PubMed Central

    Perfect, J R

    1996-01-01

    Fungal virulence genes have now met the age of molecular pathogenesis. The definition of virulence genes needs to be broad so that it encompasses the focus on molecular antifungal targets and vaccine epitopes. However, in the broad but simple definition of a virulence gene, there will be many complex genetic and host interactions which investigators will need to carefully define. Nevertheless, with the increasing numbers of serious fungal infections produced by old and newly reported organisms, the paucity of present antifungal drugs, and the likelihood of increasing drug resistance, the need for investigations into understanding fungal virulence at the molecular level has never been more important. PMID:8807043

  16. Limiting opportunities for cheating stabilizes virulence in insect parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Shapiro-Ilan, David; Raymond, Ben

    2016-03-01

    Cooperative secretion of virulence factors by pathogens can lead to social conflict when cheating mutants exploit collective secretion, but do not contribute to it. If cheats outcompete cooperators within hosts, this can cause loss of virulence. Insect parasitic nematodes are important biocontrol tools that secrete a range of significant virulence factors. Critically, effective nematodes are hard to maintain without live passage, which can lead to virulence attenuation. Using experimental evolution, we tested whether social cheating might explain unstable virulence in the nematode Heterorhabditis floridensis by manipulating relatedness via multiplicity of infection (MOI), and the scale of competition. Passage at high MOI, which should reduce relatedness, led to loss of fitness: virulence and reproductive rate declined together and all eight independent lines suffered premature extinction. As theory predicts, relatedness treatments had more impact under stronger global competition. In contrast, low MOI passage led to more stable virulence and increased reproduction. Moreover, low MOI lineages showed a trade-off between virulence and reproduction, particularly for lines under stronger between-host competition. Overall, this study indicates that evolution of virulence theory is valuable for the culture of biocontrol agents: effective nematodes can be improved and maintained if passage methods mitigate possible social conflicts. PMID:26989437

  17. Virulence Plasmids of Spore-Forming Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Adams, Vicki; Li, Jihong; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Moore, Robert J; McClane, Bruce A; Rood, Julian I

    2014-12-01

    Plasmid-encoded virulence factors are important in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by spore-forming bacteria. Unlike many other bacteria, the most common virulence factors encoded by plasmids in Clostridium and Bacillus species are protein toxins. Clostridium perfringens causes several histotoxic and enterotoxin diseases in both humans and animals and produces a broad range of toxins, including many pore-forming toxins such as C. perfringens enterotoxin, epsilon-toxin, beta-toxin, and NetB. Genetic studies have led to the determination of the role of these toxins in disease pathogenesis. The genes for these toxins are generally carried on large conjugative plasmids that have common core replication, maintenance, and conjugation regions. There is considerable functional information available about the unique tcp conjugation locus carried by these plasmids, but less is known about plasmid maintenance. The latter is intriguing because many C. perfringens isolates stably maintain up to four different, but closely related, toxin plasmids. Toxin genes may also be plasmid-encoded in the neurotoxic clostridia. The tetanus toxin gene is located on a plasmid in Clostridium tetani, but the botulinum toxin genes may be chromosomal, plasmid-determined, or located on bacteriophages in Clostridium botulinum. In Bacillus anthracis it is well established that virulence is plasmid determined, with anthrax toxin genes located on pXO1 and capsule genes on a separate plasmid, pXO2. Orthologs of these plasmids are also found in other members of the Bacillus cereus group such as B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In B. thuringiensis these plasmids may carry genes encoding one or more insecticidal toxins. PMID:26104459

  18. Transcription attenuation-mediated control of leu operon expression: influence of the number of Leu control codons.

    PubMed Central

    Bartkus, J M; Tyler, B; Calvo, J M

    1991-01-01

    Four adjacent Leu codons within the leu leader RNA are critically important in transcription attenuation-mediated control of leu operon expression in Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli (P. W. Carter, D. L. Weiss, H. L. Weith, and J. M. Calvo, J. Bacteriol. 162:943-949, 1985). The leader region from S. typhimurium was altered by site-directed mutagenesis to produce constructs having between one and seven adjacent Leu codons, all CUA. leu operon expression was measured in strains containing six of these constructs, each integrated into the chromosome in a single copy. Operon expression was sufficiently high that all strains grew in minimal medium unsupplemented by leucine. Expression of the operon was measured in strains cultured in such a way that their growth was limited by the intracellular concentration of either leucine or of leucyl-tRNA. In general, the leu operon for each construct responded similarly to the parent construct in terms of the degree of expression as a function of the degree of limitation. However, a strain containing (CUA)1 and, to a certain extent, a strain having (CUA)2 responded somewhat more sluggishly and strains containing (CUA)6 and (CUA)7 responded more sensitively to limitations than did the parent construct. In addition, DNA fragments containing the leu promoter and leader region were used as templates in in vitro transcription reactions employing purified RNA polymerase. With nucleoside triphosphate concentrations of 200 microM, RNA polymerase paused during transcription of the leu leader region at a site about 95 bp downstream from the site of transcription initiation. The halftimes of the pause were 1 min at 37 degrees C and 3 min at 22 degrees C. The pause was lengthened substantially when the GTP concentration was lowered to 20 micromoles. Our results are interpreted most easily in terms of an all-or-none model. Given two Leu control codons, the operon responds with nearly maximum output over a wide range of leucine

  19. Time course Haemophilus parasuis infection reveals pathological differences between virulent and non-virulent strains in the respiratory tract.

    PubMed

    Bello-Orti, Bernardo; Costa-Hurtado, Mar; Martinez-Moliner, Veronica; Segalés, Joaquim; Aragon, Virginia

    2014-06-01

    Haemophilus parasuis is a common inhabitant of the upper respiratory tract of pigs and the etiological agent of Glässer's disease. However, the host-pathogen interaction remains to be well understood. In this work, 33 colostrum-deprived pigs were divided in 4 groups and each group was inoculated intranasally with a different H. parasuis strain (non-virulent strains SW114 and F9, and virulent strains Nagasaki and IT29755). Animals were necropsied at different times in order to determine the location of the bacteria in the respiratory tract of the host during infection. An immunohistochemistry method was developed to detect H. parasuis in nasal turbinates, trachea and lung. Also, the co-localization of H. parasuis with macrophages or neutrophils was examined by double immunohistochemistry and double immunofluorescence. Virulent strains showed a biofilm-like growth in nasal turbinates and trachea and were found easily in lung. Some virulent bacteria were detected in association with macrophages and neutrophils, but also inside pneumocyte-like cells. On the other hand, non-virulent strains were seldom detected in nasal turbinates and trachea, where they showed a microcolony pattern. Non-virulent strains were essentially not detected in lung. In conclusion, this work presents data showing differential localization of H. parasuis bacteria depending on their virulence. Interestingly, the intracellular location of virulent H. parasuis bacteria in non-phagocytic cells in lung could allow the persistence of the bacteria and constitute a virulence mechanism. PMID:24613292

  20. The spv genes on the Salmonella dublin virulence plasmid are required for severe enteritis and systemic infection in the natural host.

    PubMed Central

    Libby, S J; Adams, L G; Ficht, T A; Allen, C; Whitford, H A; Buchmeier, N A; Bossie, S; Guiney, D G

    1997-01-01

    The pathogenic role of the spv (Salmonella plasmid virulence) genes of Salmonella dublin was determined in the natural, bovine host. Since the lack of overt signs of enteritis or enterocolitis due to Salmonella infections in mice has limited the development of a convenient experimental system to study enteric disease, we used calves to study the contribution of the spv genes to S. dublin-induced salmonellosis. Since the SpvR transcriptional regulator is required for expression of the spvABCD operon, we constructed an spvR knockout mutation in a calf-virulent strain of S. dublin. Calves were infected with the wild-type strain, an spvR mutant, and an spvR mutant containing a complementing plasmid. Calves that were infected with the wild type or the complemented spvR mutant rapidly developed severe diarrhea and became moribund. Calves that were infected with the spvR mutant showed little or no clinical signs of systemic salmonellosis and developed only mild diarrhea. The survival and growth of the wild-type strain and the spvR mutant were determined by using blood-derived bovine monocytes. Wild-type S. dublin survived and grew inside cells, while the spvR mutant did not proliferate. These results suggest that the spv genes of S. dublin promote enhanced intracellular proliferation in intestinal tissues and at extraintestinal sites in the natural host. PMID:9125562

  1. The RcsCDB signaling system and swarming motility in Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium: dual regulation of flagellar and SPI-2 virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qingfeng; Zhao, Yifang; McClelland, Michael; Harshey, Rasika M

    2007-12-01

    The Rcs phosphorelay is a multicomponent signaling system that positively regulates colanic acid synthesis and negatively regulates motility and virulence. We have exploited a spontaneously isolated mutant, IgaA(T191P), that is nearly maximally activated for the Rcs system to identify a vast set of genes that respond to the stimulation, and we report new regulatory properties of this signaling system in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Microarray data show that the Rcs system normally functions as a positive regulator of SPI-2 and other genes important for the growth of Salmonella in macrophages, although when highly activated the system completely represses the SPI-1/SPI-2 virulence, flagellar, and fimbrial biogenesis pathways. The auxiliary protein RcsA, which works with RcsB to positively regulate colanic acid and other target genes, not only stimulates but also antagonizes the positive regulation of many genes in the igaA mutant. We show that RcsB represses motility through the RcsB box in the promoter region of the master operon flhDC and that RcsA is not required for this regulation. Curiously, RcsB selectively stimulates expression of the flagellar type 3 secretion genes fliPQR; an RcsAB box located downstream of fliR influences this regulation. We show that excess colanic acid impairs swimming and inhibits swarming motility, consistent with the inverse regulation of the two pathways by the Rcs system. PMID:17905992

  2. Virulence determinants of pandemic influenza viruses

    PubMed Central

    Tscherne, Donna M.; García-Sastre, Adolfo

    2011-01-01

    Influenza A viruses cause recurrent, seasonal epidemics and occasional global pandemics with devastating levels of morbidity and mortality. The ability of influenza A viruses to adapt to various hosts and undergo reassortment events ensures constant generation of new strains with unpredictable degrees of pathogenicity, transmissibility, and pandemic potential. Currently, the combination of factors that drives the emergence of pandemic influenza is unclear, making it impossible to foresee the details of a future outbreak. Identification and characterization of influenza A virus virulence determinants may provide insight into genotypic signatures of pathogenicity as well as a more thorough understanding of the factors that give rise to pandemics. PMID:21206092

  3. Rhodococcus equi: clinical manifestations, virulence, and immunity.

    PubMed

    Giguère, S; Cohen, N D; Chaffin, M Keith; Hines, S A; Hondalus, M K; Prescott, J F; Slovis, N M

    2011-01-01

    Pneumonia is a major cause of disease and death in foals. Rhodococcus equi, a gram-positive facultative intracellular pathogen, is a common cause of pneumonia in foals. This article reviews the clinical manifestations of infection caused by R. equi in foals and summarizes current knowledge regarding mechanisms of virulence of, and immunity to, R. equi. A complementary consensus statement providing recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention of infections caused by R. equi in foals can be found in the same issue of the Journal. PMID:22092609

  4. Metal acquisition and virulence in Brucella

    PubMed Central

    Roop, R. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Similar to other bacteria, Brucella strains require several biologically essential metals for their survival in vitro and in vivo. Acquiring sufficient levels of some of these metals, particularly iron, manganese and zinc, is especially challenging in the mammalian host, where sequestration of these micronutrients is a well-documented component of both the innate and acquired immune responses. This review describes the Brucella metal transporters that have been shown to play critical roles in the virulence of these bacteria in experimental and natural hosts. PMID:22632611

  5. Omics strategies for revealing Yersinia pestis virulence

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin; Han, Yanping; Zhou, Lei; Song, Yajun; Zhou, Dongsheng; Cui, Yujun

    2012-01-01

    Omics has remarkably changed the way we investigate and understand life. Omics differs from traditional hypothesis-driven research because it is a discovery-driven approach. Mass datasets produced from omics-based studies require experts from different fields to reveal the salient features behind these data. In this review, we summarize omics-driven studies to reveal the virulence features of Yersinia pestis through genomics, trascriptomics, proteomics, interactomics, etc. These studies serve as foundations for further hypothesis-driven research and help us gain insight into Y. pestis pathogenesis. PMID:23248778

  6. Virulence, persistence and dissemination of Mycoplasma bovis.

    PubMed

    Bürki, Sibylle; Frey, Joachim; Pilo, Paola

    2015-08-31

    Bovine mycoplasmosis due to Mycoplasma bovis causes several important bovine diseases such as pneumonia, mastitis, arthritis, otitis, genital disorders or keratoconjunctivitis. Variable surface lipoproteins, adhesion, invasion of host cells, modulation of the host immune system, biofilm formation and the release of secondary metabolites like hydrogen peroxide, as well as synergistic infections with other bacterial or viral pathogens are among the more significantly studied characteristics of the bacterium. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the virulence of M. bovis and additionally, factors contributing to the dissemination and persistence of this pathogen in the bovine host will be discussed. PMID:25824130

  7. Brucella spp. Virulence Factors and Immunity.

    PubMed

    Byndloss, Mariana X; Tsolis, Renee M

    2016-02-15

    Brucellosis, caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella, is an important zoonotic infection that causes reproductive disease in domestic animals and chronic debilitating disease in humans. An intriguing aspect of Brucella infection is the ability of these bacteria to evade the host immune response, leading to pathogen persistence. Conversely, in the reproductive tract of infected animals, this stealthy pathogen is able to cause an acute severe inflammatory response. In this review, we discuss the different mechanisms used by Brucella to cause disease, with emphasis on its virulence factors and the dichotomy between chronic persistence and reproductive disease. PMID:26734887

  8. Virulence of Renibacterium salmoninarum to salmonids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Starliper, C.E.; Smith, D.R.; Shatzer, T.

    1997-01-01

    Virulence of Renibacterium salmoninarum isolates representing five origins was evaluated in eight salmonid hosts; four origins were of Lake Michigan and the fifth was of the Pacific Northwest. The species type strain, ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) 33209, was also included. Each isolate was grown in a kidney disease medium (KDM2) supplemented with 1 % ATCC 33209 culture metabolite; serial 10-fold dilutions were prepared, and groups of fish were challenged by intraperitoneal injection with 0.1 mL of each dilution. A 70-d observation period followed, and bacterial kidney disease (BKD) was diagnosed by the fluorescent antibody technique. Virulence of isolates was quantified as a dose lethal to 50% of fish (LD50) for each host–isolate challenge. In the first set of experiments, 23 isolates were used to challenge groups of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis. The mean LD50 was 1.087 x 106 colony-forming units per milliliter (cfu/mL; SD = 2.022 x 106), and the LD50 values ranged from 8.457 x 106 to 2.227 x 104 cfu/mL. Analysis of variance to evaluate the effect of isolate origin on virulence in brook trout revealed no significant difference (F = 1.502; P = 0.243). Susceptibilities of the other salmonid hosts were evaluated by challenge with six isolates of R. salmoninarum representing each origin and the species type strain. For many of the host–isolate challenge combinations, time to death was highly dependent on the dilution (number of bacteria) injected. In general, the isolates MCO4M, B26, and A34 (all of Lake Michigan origin) tended to be more virulent. Also, LD50 values were dispersed throughout a wider range among the more susceptible hosts. Lake trout Salvelinus namaycush, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, and brook trout were relatively resistant to challenge with the strains, whereas coho salmon O. kisutch, domestic Atlantic salmon Saltno salar, and chinook salmon O. tshawytscha were relatively susceptible. Another challenge evaluated the effect of

  9. cis-Acting elements that control expression of the master virulence regulatory gene atxA in Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Dale, Jennifer L; Raynor, Malik J; Dwivedi, Prabhat; Koehler, Theresa M

    2012-08-01

    Transcription of the Bacillus anthracis structural genes for the anthrax toxin proteins and biosynthetic operon for capsule is positively regulated by AtxA, a transcription regulator with unique properties. Consistent with the role of atxA in virulence factor expression, a B. anthracis atxA-null mutant is avirulent in a murine model for anthrax. In culture, multiple signals impact atxA transcript levels, and the timing and steady-state level of atxA expression are critical for optimal toxin and capsule synthesis. Despite the apparent complex control of atxA transcription, only one trans-acting protein, the transition state regulator AbrB, has been demonstrated to interact directly with the atxA promoter. Here we employ 5' and 3' deletion analysis and site-directed mutagenesis of the atxA control region to demonstrate that atxA transcription from the major start site P1 is dependent upon a consensus sequence for the housekeeping sigma factor SigA and an A+T-rich upstream element for RNA polymerase. We also show that an additional trans-acting protein(s) binds specifically to atxA promoter sequences located between -13 and +36 relative to P1 and negatively impacts transcription. Deletion of this region increases promoter activity up to 15-fold. Site-directed mutagenesis of a 9-bp palindromic sequence within the region prevents binding of the trans-acting protein(s), increasing promoter activity 7-fold and resulting in a corresponding increase in AtxA and anthrax toxin production. Notably, an atxA promoter mutant that produced elevated levels of AtxA and toxin proteins during culture was unaffected for virulence in a murine model for anthrax. PMID:22636778

  10. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity

    SciTech Connect

    Hammerstrom, Troy G.; Horton, Lori B.; Swick, Michelle C.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Osipiuk, Jerzy; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2014-12-30

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthesis operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO2/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO2/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity, and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (His → Asp) and phosphoablative (His → Ala) amino acid changes for activity in B. anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (1) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (2) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. In conclusion, the AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.

  11. Crystal structure of Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA and effects of phosphorylated histidines on multimerization and activity

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hammerstrom, Troy G.; Horton, Lori B.; Swick, Michelle C.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Osipiuk, Jerzy; Koehler, Theresa M.

    2014-12-30

    The Bacillus anthracis virulence regulator AtxA controls transcription of the anthrax toxin genes and capsule biosynthesis operon. AtxA activity is elevated during growth in media containing glucose and CO2/bicarbonate, and there is a positive correlation between the CO2/bicarbonate signal, AtxA activity, and homomultimerization. AtxA activity is also affected by phosphorylation at specific histidines. We show that AtxA crystallizes as a dimer. Distinct folds associated with predicted DNA-binding domains (HTH1 and HTH2) and phosphoenolpyruvate: carbohydrate phosphotransferase system-regulated domains (PRD1 and PRD2) are apparent. We tested AtxA variants containing single and double phosphomimetic (His → Asp) and phosphoablative (His → Ala) aminomore » acid changes for activity in B. anthracis cultures and for protein-protein interactions in cell lysates. Reduced activity of AtxA H199A, lack of multimerization and activity of AtxAH379D variants, and predicted structural changes associated with phosphorylation support a model for control of AtxA function. We propose that (1) in the AtxA dimer, phosphorylation of H199 in PRD1 affects HTH2 positioning, influencing DNA-binding; and (2) phosphorylation of H379 in PRD2 disrupts dimer formation. In conclusion, the AtxA structure is the first reported high-resolution full-length structure of a PRD-containing regulator and can serve as a model for proteins of this family, especially those that link virulence to bacterial metabolism.« less

  12. Common and Unique Contributions of Decorin-Binding Proteins A and B to the Overall Virulence of Borrelia burgdorferi

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Yanlin; Xu, Qilong; Seemanaplli, Sunita V.; McShan, Kristy; Liang, Fang Ting

    2008-01-01

    As an extracellular bacterium, the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi resides primarily in the extracellular matrix and connective tissues and between host cells during mammalian infection, where decorin and glycosaminoglycans are abundantly found, so its interactions with these host ligands potentially affect various aspects of infection. Decorin-binding proteins (Dbps) A and B, encoded by a 2-gene operon, are outer surface lipoproteins with similar molecular weights and share approximately 40% identity, and both bind decorin and glycosaminoglycans. To investigate how DbpA and DbpB contribute differently to the overall virulence of B. burgdorferi, a dbpAB mutant was modified to overproduce the adhesins. Overproduction of either DbpA or DbpB resulted in restoration of the infectivity of the mutant to the control level, measured by 50% infectious dose (ID50), indicating that the two virulence factors are interchangeable in this regard. Overproduction of DbpA also allowed the mutant to disseminate to some but not all distal tissues slightly slower than the control, but the mutant with DbpB overproduction showed severely impaired dissemination to all tissues that were analyzed. The mutant with DbpA overproduction colonized all tissues, albeit generating bacterial loads significantly lower than the control in heart and joint, while the mutant overproducing DbpB remained severely defective in heart colonization and registered bacterial loads substantially lower than the control in joint. Taken together, the study indicated that DbpA and DbpB play a similar role in contribution to infectivity as measured by ID50 value but contribute differently to dissemination and tissue colonization. PMID:18833332

  13. Relevance of biofilm formation and virulence of different species of coagulase-negative staphylococci to public health.

    PubMed

    Osman, K M; Abd El-Razik, K A; Marie, H S H; Arafa, A

    2015-10-01

    The ability of biofilm formation seems to play an essential role in the virulence of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS). The present work aimed to: (a) evaluate the biofilm-forming ability of different strains of CNS field isolates; (b) evaluate their virulence potential through the assessment of the Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cytotoxicity assay; (c) determine the frequency of biofilm-associated genes among these CNS isolates. Biofilm markers associated with biofilm formation and MDCK cells cytotoxicity were compared to find possible associations with pathogenicity. CNS isolates (n = 94) belonging to 11 different species were tested for slime production using the tube test (TA) and the Congo red agar plate test (CRA), while the presence of icaA and icaD genes were evaluated by d-PCR. Two points were addressed for the first time: (1) the specific relationship between slime phenotype and icaD gene expression; (2) the specific relationship between slime phenotype, icaAD genes, and MDCK cytotoxicity. The proportion of biofilm-positive/icaD-positive versus biofilm-positive/icaD-negative strains was 9:0 and 9:0 (81.8%) by the TA and CRA, which clearly indicates that icaD was a more reliable gene to be accounted for in the biofilm formation. MDCK recorded a higher proportion than that recorded by the CRA and TA results (MDCK-positive/icaD-positive versus MDCK-positive/icaD-negative 10:0, 90.9%). Evaluation of the ica operon, CRA plate test, TA, and MDCK can contribute to the high clinical impact in the management of antibiotic therapy, in infections associated with devices in veterinary medicine, the dairy industry, and food processing. PMID:26173695

  14. Virulence factors in Escherichia coli urinary tract infection.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, J R

    1991-01-01

    Uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli are characterized by the expression of distinctive bacterial properties, products, or structures referred to as virulence factors because they help the organism overcome host defenses and colonize or invade the urinary tract. Virulence factors of recognized importance in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infection (UTI) include adhesins (P fimbriae, certain other mannose-resistant adhesins, and type 1 fimbriae), the aerobactin system, hemolysin, K capsule, and resistance to serum killing. This review summarizes the virtual explosion of information regarding the epidemiology, biochemistry, mechanisms of action, and genetic basis of these urovirulence factors that has occurred in the past decade and identifies areas in need of further study. Virulence factor expression is more common among certain genetically related groups of E. coli which constitute virulent clones within the larger E. coli population. In general, the more virulence factors a strain expresses, the more severe an infection it is able to cause. Certain virulence factors specifically favor the development of pyelonephritis, others favor cystitis, and others favor asymptomatic bacteriuria. The currently defined virulence factors clearly contribute to the virulence of wild-type strains but are usually insufficient in themselves to transform an avirulent organism into a pathogen, demonstrating that other as-yet-undefined virulence properties await discovery. Virulence factor testing is a useful epidemiological and research tool but as yet has no defined clinical role. Immunological and biochemical anti-virulence factor interventions are effective in animal models of UTI and hold promise for the prevention of UTI in humans. Images PMID:1672263

  15. Pilicide ec240 Disrupts Virulence Circuits in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Sarah E.; Pinkner, Jerome S.; Chorell, Erik; Dodson, Karen W.; Shaffer, Carrie L.; Conover, Matt S.; Livny, Jonathan; Hadjifrangiskou, Maria; Almqvist, Fredrik

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Chaperone-usher pathway (CUP) pili are extracellular organelles produced by Gram-negative bacteria that mediate bacterial pathogenesis. Small-molecule inhibitors of CUP pili, termed pilicides, were rationally designed and shown to inhibit type 1 or P piliation. Here, we show that pilicide ec240 decreased the levels of type 1, P, and S piliation. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses using the cystitis isolate UTI89 revealed that ec240 dysregulated CUP pili and decreased motility. Paradoxically, the transcript levels of P and S pilus genes were increased during growth in ec240, even though the level of P and S piliation decreased. In contrast, the most downregulated transcripts after growth in ec240 were from the type 1 pilus genes. Type 1 pilus expression is controlled by inversion of the fimS promoter element, which can oscillate between phase on and phase off orientations. ec240 induced the fimS phase off orientation, and this effect was necessary for the majority of ec240’s inhibition of type 1 piliation. ec240 increased levels of the transcriptional regulators SfaB and PapB, which were shown to induce the fimS promoter phase off orientation. Furthermore, the effect of ec240 on motility was abolished in the absence of the SfaB, PapB, SfaX, and PapX regulators. In contrast to the effects of ec240, deletion of the type 1 pilus operon led to increased S and P piliation and motility. Thus, ec240 dysregulated several uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) virulence factors through different mechanisms and independent of its effects on type 1 pilus biogenesis and may have potential as an antivirulence compound. PMID:25352623

  16. Separable roles for Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESX-3 effectors in iron acquisition and virulence.

    PubMed

    Tufariello, JoAnn M; Chapman, Jessica R; Kerantzas, Christopher A; Wong, Ka-Wing; Vilchèze, Catherine; Jones, Christopher M; Cole, Laura E; Tinaztepe, Emir; Thompson, Victor; Fenyö, David; Niederweis, Michael; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Philips, Jennifer A; Jacobs, William R

    2016-01-19

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) encodes five type VII secretion systems (T7SS), designated ESX-1-ESX-5, that are critical for growth and pathogenesis. The best characterized is ESX-1, which profoundly impacts host cell interactions. In contrast, the ESX-3 T7SS is implicated in metal homeostasis, but efforts to define its function have been limited by an inability to recover deletion mutants. We overcame this impediment using medium supplemented with various iron complexes to recover mutants with deletions encompassing select genes within esx-3 or the entire operon. The esx-3 mutants were defective in uptake of siderophore-bound iron and dramatically accumulated cell-associated mycobactin siderophores. Proteomic analyses of culture filtrate revealed that secretion of EsxG and EsxH was codependent and that EsxG-EsxH also facilitated secretion of several members of the proline-glutamic acid (PE) and proline-proline-glutamic acid (PPE) protein families (named for conserved PE and PPE N-terminal motifs). Substrates that depended on EsxG-EsxH for secretion included PE5, encoded within the esx-3 locus, and the evolutionarily related PE15-PPE20 encoded outside the esx-3 locus. In vivo characterization of the mutants unexpectedly showed that the ESX-3 secretion system plays both iron-dependent and -independent roles in Mtb pathogenesis. PE5-PPE4 was found to be critical for the siderophore-mediated iron-acquisition functions of ESX-3. The importance of this iron-acquisition function was dependent upon host genotype, suggesting a role for ESX-3 secretion in counteracting host defense mechanisms that restrict iron availability. Further, we demonstrate that the ESX-3 T7SS secretes certain effectors that are important for iron uptake while additional secreted effectors modulate virulence in an iron-independent fashion. PMID:26729876

  17. The RNA Chaperone Hfq Is Involved in Stress Tolerance and Virulence in Uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Min-Cheng; Liaw, Shwu-Jen

    2014-01-01

    Hfq is a bacterial RNA chaperone involved in the riboregulation of diverse genes via small noncoding RNAs. Here, we show that Hfq is critical for the uropathogenic Proteus mirabilis to effectively colonize the bladder and kidneys in a murine urinary tract infection (UTI) model and to establish burned wound infection of the rats. In this regard, we found the hfq mutant induced higher IL-8 and MIF levels of uroepithelial cells and displayed reduced intra-macrophage survival. The loss of hfq affected bacterial abilities to handle H2O2 and osmotic pressures and to grow at 50°C. Relative to wild-type, the hfq mutant had reduced motility, fewer flagella and less hemolysin expression and was less prone to form biofilm and to adhere to and invade uroepithelial cells. The MR/P fimbrial operon was almost switched to the off phase in the hfq mutant. In addition, we found the hfq mutant exhibited an altered outer membrane profile and had higher RpoE expression, which indicates the hfq mutant may encounter increased envelope stress. With the notion of envelope disturbance in the hfq mutant, we found increased membrane permeability and antibiotic susceptibilities in the hfq mutant. Finally, we showed that Hfq positively regulated the RpoS level and tolerance to H2O2 in the stationary phase seemed largely mediated through the Hfq-dependent RpoS expression. Together, our data indicate that Hfq plays a critical role in P. mirabilis to establish UTIs by modulating stress responses, surface structures and virulence factors. This study suggests Hfq may serve as a scaffold molecule for development of novel anti-P. mirabilis drugs and P. mirabilis hfq mutant is a vaccine candidate for preventing UTIs. PMID:24454905

  18. Separable roles for Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESX-3 effectors in iron acquisition and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Tufariello, JoAnn M.; Chapman, Jessica R.; Kerantzas, Christopher A.; Wong, Ka-Wing; Vilchèze, Catherine; Jones, Christopher M.; Cole, Laura E.; Tinaztepe, Emir; Thompson, Victor; Fenyö, David; Niederweis, Michael; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Philips, Jennifer A.; Jacobs, William R.

    2016-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) encodes five type VII secretion systems (T7SS), designated ESX-1–ESX-5, that are critical for growth and pathogenesis. The best characterized is ESX-1, which profoundly impacts host cell interactions. In contrast, the ESX-3 T7SS is implicated in metal homeostasis, but efforts to define its function have been limited by an inability to recover deletion mutants. We overcame this impediment using medium supplemented with various iron complexes to recover mutants with deletions encompassing select genes within esx-3 or the entire operon. The esx-3 mutants were defective in uptake of siderophore-bound iron and dramatically accumulated cell-associated mycobactin siderophores. Proteomic analyses of culture filtrate revealed that secretion of EsxG and EsxH was codependent and that EsxG–EsxH also facilitated secretion of several members of the proline-glutamic acid (PE) and proline-proline-glutamic acid (PPE) protein families (named for conserved PE and PPE N-terminal motifs). Substrates that depended on EsxG–EsxH for secretion included PE5, encoded within the esx-3 locus, and the evolutionarily related PE15–PPE20 encoded outside the esx-3 locus. In vivo characterization of the mutants unexpectedly showed that the ESX-3 secretion system plays both iron-dependent and -independent roles in Mtb pathogenesis. PE5–PPE4 was found to be critical for the siderophore-mediated iron-acquisition functions of ESX-3. The importance of this iron-acquisition function was dependent upon host genotype, suggesting a role for ESX-3 secretion in counteracting host defense mechanisms that restrict iron availability. Further, we demonstrate that the ESX-3 T7SS secretes certain effectors that are important for iron uptake while additional secreted effectors modulate virulence in an iron-independent fashion. PMID:26729876

  19. The Na(+)-F(1)F(0)-ATPase operon from Acetobacterium woodii. Operon structure and presence of multiple copies of atpE which encode proteolipids of 8- and 18-kda.

    PubMed

    Rahlfs, S; Aufurth, S; Müller, V

    1999-11-26

    Eight genes (atpI, atpB, atpE(1), atpE(2), atpE(3), atpF, atpH, and atpA) upstream of and contiguous with the previously described genes atpG, atpD, and atpC were cloned from chromosomal DNA of Acetobacterium woodii. Northern blot analysis revealed that the eleven atp genes are transcribed as a polycistronic message. The atp operon encodes the Na(+)-F(1)F(0)-ATPase of A. woodii, as evident from a comparison of the biochemically derived N termini of the subunits with the amino acid sequences deduced from the DNA sequences. The molecular analysis revealed that all of the F(1)F(0)-encoding genes from Escherichia coli have homologs in the Na(+)-F(1)F(0)-ATPase operon from A. woodii, despite the fact that only six subunits were found in previous preparations of the enzyme from A. woodii. These results unequivocally prove that the Na(+)-ATPase from A. woodii is an enzyme of the F(1)F(0) class. Most interestingly, the gene encoding the proteolipid underwent quadruplication. Two gene copies (atpE(2) and atpE(3)) encode identical 8-kDa proteolipids. Two additional gene copies were fused to form the atpE(1) gene. Heterologous expression experiments as well as immunolabeling studies with native membranes revealed that atpE(1) encodes a duplicated 18-kDa proteolipid. This is the first demonstration of multiplication and fusion of proteolipid-encoding genes in F(1)F(0)-ATPase operons. Furthermore, AtpE(1) is the first duplicated proteolipid ever found to be encoded by an F(1)F(0)-ATPase operon. PMID:10567365

  20. Bistability of the lac operon during growth of Escherichia coli on lactose and lactose+glucose.

    PubMed

    Narang, Atul; Pilyugin, Sergei S

    2008-05-01

    The lac operon of Escherichia coli can exhibit bistability. Early studies showed that bistability occurs during growth on TMG/succinate and lactose+glucose, but not during growth on lactose. More recently, studies with lacGFP-transfected cells show bistability during growth on TMG/succinate, but not during growth on lactose and lactose+glucose. In the literature, these results are invariably attributed to variations in the destabilizing effect of the positive feedback generated by induction. Specifically, during growth on TMG/succinate, lac induction generates strong positive feedback because the permease stimulates the accumulation of intracellular TMG, which in turn, promotes the synthesis of even more permease. This positive feedback is attenuated during growth on lactose because hydrolysis of intracellular lactose by beta-galactosidase suppresses the stimulatory effect of the permease. It is attenuated even more during growth on lactose + glucose because glucose inhibits the uptake of lactose. But it is clear that the stabilizing effect of dilution also changes dramatically as a function of the medium composition. For instance, during growth on TMG/succinate, the dilution rate of lac permease is proportional to its activity, e, because the specific growth rate is independent of e (it is completely determined by the concentration of succinate). However, during growth on lactose, the dilution rate of the permease is proportional to e2 because the specific growth rate is proportional to the specific lactose uptake rate, which in turn, proportional to e. We show that: (a) This dependence on e2 creates such a strong stabilizing effect that bistability is virtually impossible during growth on lactose, even in the face of the intense positive feedback generated by induction. (b) This stabilizing effect is weakened during growth on lactose+glucose because the specific growth rate on glucose is independent of e, so that the dilution rate once again contains a term that

  1. The Q gene of Rhodobacter sphaeroides: its role in puf operon expression and spectral complex assembly.

    PubMed Central

    Gong, L; Lee, J K; Kaplan, S

    1994-01-01

    The Q gene of the facultative photoheterotroph Rhodobacter sphaeroides, localized immediately upstream of the oxygen- and light-regulated puf operon, encodes a 77-amino-acid polypeptide. The 5' and 3' ends of the 561-bp Q transcript were determined. To gain insight into the role of the Q gene product, a number of Q mutations were constructed by oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis and subsequent substitution of the mutated form of the gene in single copy for the chromosomal copy via homologous recombination. The resulting mutants can grow photosynthetically, with the exception of QSTART, in which the initiation codon for the Q protein was altered. Spectral analysis of the intracytoplasmic membranes showed that one of the missense mutants (QdA) was deficient in the formation of detectable B875 light-harvesting complex (LHC), whereas deletion of the stem-loop structure (Qloop) failed to form B800-850 LHC when grown anaerobically either in the dark or under light intensity of 100 W/m2. Other missense mutants (QuA and QuB) contained either more B800-850 LHC or more B875 LHC, respectively, than the wild type. Although the levels of puf and puc transcripts isolated from QSTART grown anaerobically on succinate-dimethyl sulfoxide in the dark were comparable to wild-type levels, no B875 spectral complex was detected and there was a greater than 90% reduction in the level of the B800-850 pigment-protein complex. It has also been confirmed that the ultimate cellular levels of either the B875 or B800-850 spectral complexes can vary over wide limits without any change in the level(s) of complex specific transcripts. When the wild-type Q gene was reintroduced in trans into the Q mutations, QSTART was able to grow photosynthetically and both B800-850 and B875 spectral complexes were formed in either QdA or Qloop. Finally, we demonstrated that the level of each puf-specific mRNA behaves independently of one another as well as independently of the level(s) of Q gene-specific m

  2. Bacterial Sphingomyelinases and Phospholipases as Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Flores-Díaz, Marietta; Monturiol-Gross, Laura; Naylor, Claire; Alape-Girón, Alberto; Flieger, Antje

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial sphingomyelinases and phospholipases are a heterogeneous group of esterases which are usually surface associated or secreted by a wide variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. These enzymes hydrolyze sphingomyelin and glycerophospholipids, respectively, generating products identical to the ones produced by eukaryotic enzymes which play crucial roles in distinct physiological processes, including membrane dynamics, cellular signaling, migration, growth, and death. Several bacterial sphingomyelinases and phospholipases are essential for virulence of extracellular, facultative, or obligate intracellular pathogens, as these enzymes contribute to phagosomal escape or phagosomal maturation avoidance, favoring tissue colonization, infection establishment and progression, or immune response evasion. This work presents a classification proposal for bacterial sphingomyelinases and phospholipases that considers not only their enzymatic activities but also their structural aspects. An overview of the main physiopathological activities is provided for each enzyme type, as are examples in which inactivation of a sphingomyelinase- or a phospholipase-encoding gene impairs the virulence of a pathogen. The identification of sphingomyelinases and phospholipases important for bacterial pathogenesis and the development of inhibitors for these enzymes could generate candidate vaccines and therapeutic agents, which will diminish the impacts of the associated human and animal diseases. PMID:27307578

  3. Metabolism and virulence in Neisseria meningitidis

    PubMed Central

    Schoen, Christoph; Kischkies, Laura; Elias, Johannes; Ampattu, Biju Joseph

    2014-01-01

    A longstanding question in infection biology addresses the genetic basis for invasive behavior in commensal pathogens. A prime example for such a pathogen is Neisseria meningitidis. On the one hand it is a harmless commensal bacterium exquisitely adapted to humans, and on the other hand it sometimes behaves like a ferocious pathogen causing potentially lethal disease such as sepsis and acute bacterial meningitis. Despite the lack of a classical repertoire of virulence genes in N. meningitidis separating commensal from invasive strains, molecular epidemiology suggests that carriage and invasive strains belong to genetically distinct populations. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that metabolic adaptation enables meningococci to exploit host resources, supporting the concept of nutritional virulence as a crucial determinant of invasive capability. Here, we discuss the contribution of core metabolic pathways in the context of colonization and invasion with special emphasis on results from genome-wide surveys. The metabolism of lactate, the oxidative stress response, and, in particular, glutathione metabolism as well as the denitrification pathway provide examples of how meningococcal metabolism is intimately linked to pathogenesis. We further discuss evidence from genome-wide approaches regarding potential metabolic differences between strains from hyperinvasive and carriage lineages and present new data assessing in vitro growth differences of strains from these two populations. We hypothesize that strains from carriage and hyperinvasive lineages differ in the expression of regulatory genes involved particularly in stress responses and amino acid metabolism under infection conditions. PMID:25191646

  4. Toxin-antitoxins and bacterial virulence.

    PubMed

    Lobato-Márquez, Damián; Díaz-Orejas, Ramón; García-Del Portillo, Francisco

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial virulence relies on a delicate balance of signals interchanged between the invading microbe and the host. This communication has been extensively perceived as a battle involving harmful molecules produced by the pathogen and host defenses. In this review, we focus on a largely unexplored element of this dialogue, as are toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems of the pathogen. TA systems are reported to respond to stresses that are also found in the host and, as a consequence, could modulate the physiology of the intruder microbe. This view is consistent with recent studies that demonstrate a contribution of distinct TA systems to virulence since their absence alters the course of the infection. TA loci are stress response modules that, therefore, could readjust pathogen metabolism to favor the generation of slow-growing or quiescent cells 'before' host defenses irreversibly block essential pathogen activities. Some toxins of these TA modules have been proposed as potential weapons used by the pathogen to act on host targets. We discuss all these aspects based on studies that support some TA modules as important regulators in the pathogen-host interface. PMID:27476076

  5. Burkholderia thailandensis Is Virulent in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Pilátová, Martina; Dionne, Marc S.

    2012-01-01

    Melioidosis is a serious infectious disease endemic to Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. This disease is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei; Burkholderia thailandensis is a closely-related organism known to be avirulent in humans. B. thailandensis has not previously been used to infect Drosophila melanogaster. We examined the effect of B. thailandensis infection on fly survival, on antimicrobial peptide expression, and on phagocytic cells. In the fruit fly, which possesses only an innate immune system, B. thailandensis is highly virulent, causing rapid death when injected or fed. One intriguing aspect of this infection is its temperature dependence: infected flies maintained at 25°C exhibit rapid bacterial proliferation and death in a few days, while infected animals maintained at 18°C exhibit very slow bacterial proliferation and take weeks to die; this effect is due in part to differences in immune activity of the host. Death in this infection is likely due at least in part to a secreted toxin, as injection of flies with sterile B. thailandensis-conditioned medium is able to kill. B. thailandensis infection strongly induces the expression of antimicrobial peptides, but this is insufficient to inhibit bacterial proliferation in infected flies. Finally, the function of fly phagocytes is not affected by B. thailandensis infection. The high virulence of B. thailandensis in the fly suggests the possibility that this organism is a natural pathogen of one or more invertebrates. PMID:23209596

  6. Bistable behavior of the lac operon in E. coli when induced with a mixture of lactose and TMG.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Hernández, Orlando; Santillán, Moisés

    2010-01-01

    In this work we investigate multistability in the lac operon of Escherichia coli when it is induced by a mixture of lactose and the non-metabolizable thiomethyl galactoside (TMG). In accordance with previously published experimental results and computer simulations, our simulations predict that: (1) when the system is induced by TMG, the system shows a discernible bistable behavior while, (2) when the system is induced by lactose, bistability does not disappear but excessively high concentrations of lactose would be required to observe it. Finally, our simulation results predict that when a mixture of lactose and TMG is used, the bistability region in the extracellular glucose concentration vs. extracellular lactose concentration parameter space changes in such a way that the model predictions regarding bistability could be tested experimentally. These experiments could help to solve a recent controversy regarding the existence of bistability in the lac operon under natural conditions. PMID:21423364

  7. Simple whole-cell biodetection and bioremediation of heavy metals based on an engineered lead-specific operon.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Liu, Xiangzhi; Sun, Peiqing; Wang, Xin; Zhu, Hong; Hong, Mei; Mao, Zong-Wan; Zhao, Jing

    2014-03-18

    A lead-specific binding protein, PbrR, and promoter pbr from the lead resistance operon, pbr, of Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 was incorporated into E. coli in conjunction with an engineered downstream RFP (red fluorescence protein), which allowed for highly sensitive and selective whole-cell detection of lead ions. The subsequent display of PbrR on the E. coli cell surface permitted selective adsorption of lead ions from solution containing various heavy metal ions. The surface-engineered E. coli bacteria effectively protected Arabidopsis thaliana seed germination from the toxicity of lead ions at high concentrations. Engineering the E. coli bacteria harboring these lead-specific elements from the pbr operon may potentially be a valuable general strategy for biodetection and bioremediation of toxic heavy metal ions in the environment. PMID:24564581

  8. The R-Operon: A Model of Repetitive DNA-Organized Transcriptional Compartmentation of Eukaryotic Chromosomes for Coordinated Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Shao-Jun

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotic genomes, it is essential to coordinate the activity of genes that function together to fulfill the same biological processes. Genomic organization likely plays a key role in coordinating transcription of different genes. However, little is known about how co-regulated genes are organized in the cell nucleus and how the chromosomal organization facilitates the co-regulation of different genes. I propose that eukaryotic genomes are organized into repeat assembly (RA)-based structural domains (“R-operons”) in the nuclear space. R-operons result from the interaction of homologous DNA repeats. In an R-operon, genes in different loci of the linear genome are brought into spatial vicinity and co-regulated by the same pool of transcription factors. This type of large-scale chromosomal organization may provide a mechanism for functional compartmentation of chromosomes to facilitate the transcriptional coordination of gene expression. PMID:27110825

  9. Constructing a recombinant hyaluronic acid biosynthesis operon and producing food-grade hyaluronic acid in Lactococcus lactis.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Juzheng; Ling, Peixue; Wang, Fengshan

    2015-02-01

    Hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural high molecular weight polysaccharide, is produced by Streptococcus zooepidemicus. However, Streptococcus has several drawbacks including its potential to produce exotoxins, so there is demand for an alternative HA source. Here, a recombinant HA biosynthesis operon, as well as the HA biosynthesis operon of S. zooepidemicus were introduced into L. lactis using the nisin-controlled expression system, respectively. HA was successfully synthesized by recombinant L. lactis. Furthermore, overexpression of the endogenous enzymes directing the synthesis of precursor sugars was effective at increasing HA production, and increasing the supply of UDP-activated monosaccharide donors aided synthesis of monodisperse HA polysaccharides. Besides GRAS host strain (L. lactis) and NICE system, the selecting marker (lacF gene) of the recombinant strain is also food grade. Therefore, HA produced by recombinant L. lactis overcomes the problems associated with Streptococcus and provides a source of food-grading HA appropriate for widespread biotechnological applications. PMID:25447786

  10. Examination of the internal promoter, PE, in the ilvGMEDA operon of E. coli K-12.

    PubMed Central

    Wek, R C; Hatfield, G W

    1986-01-01

    The ilvGMEDA operon of Escherichia coli K-12 contains an internal promoter, PE, in the distal portion of the ilvM gene immediately upstream from the ilvE gene. The location of this promoter was determined using S1 nuclease protection analyses of in vivo and in vitro transcripts. The transcriptional activity of the internal promoter was compared to the transcriptional activity of the operon-proximal promoter P1P2 using transcriptional fusion vectors and plasmid copy number determinations. These measurements showed that the P1P2 promoter is 52-fold stronger than the internal PE promoter. Estimates of the transcriptional role of the internal promoter on ilvE gene expression during growth conditions in excess and limiting branch chain amino acids is presented. Images PMID:2421252

  11. GSEL version 2, an online genome-wide query system of operon organization and regulatory sequence elements of Geobacter sulfurreducens.

    PubMed

    Qu, Yanhua; Brown, Peter; Barbe, Jose F; Puljic, Marko; Merino, Enrique; Adkins, Ronald M; Lovley, Derek R; Krushkal, Julia

    2009-10-01

    Geobacter sulfurreducens is a model organism within the delta-Proteobacterial family Geobacteraceae, members of which can participate in environmental bioremediation of metal and organic waste contaminants and in production of bioenergy. In this report, we describe a new, significantly expanded and updated, version 2 of the GSEL (Geobacter Sequence Elements) database ( http://geobacter.org/research/gsel2/ and http://geobacter.org/refs/gsel2/ ) and its accompanying online query system, which compiles information on operon organization and regulatory sequence elements in the genome of G. sulfurreducens. It incorporates a new online graphical browser, provides novel search capabilities, and includes updated operon predictions along with new information on predicted and experimentally validated genome regulatory sites. The GSEL database and online search system provides a unique and comprehensive tool cataloging information about gene regulation in G. sulfurreducens, aiding in investigation of mechanisms that regulate its ability to generate electric power, bioremediate environmental waste, and adapt to environmental changes. PMID:19792871

  12. Beyond Mortality: Sterility As a Neglected Component of Parasite Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Abbate, Jessica L.; Kada, Sarah; Lion, Sébastien

    2015-01-01

    Virulence is generally defined as the reduction in host fitness following infection by a parasite (see Box 1 for glossary) [1]. In general, parasite exploitation of host resources may reduce host survival (mortality virulence), decrease host fecundity (sterility virulence), or even have sub-lethal effects that disturb the way individuals interact within a community (morbidity) [2,3]. In fact, the virulence of many parasites involves a combination of these various effects (Box 2). In practice, however, virulence is most often defined as disease-induced mortality [1, 4–6]. This is especially true in the theoretical literature, where the evolution of sterility virulence, morbidity, and mixed strategies of host exploitation have received relatively little attention. While the focus on mortality effects has allowed for easy comparison between models and, thus, rapid advancement of the field, we ask whether these theoretical simplifications have led us to inadvertently minimize the evolutionary importance of host sterilization and secondary virulence effects. As explicit theoretical work on morbidity is currently lacking (but see [7]), our aim in this Opinion piece is to discuss what is understood about sterility virulence evolution, its adaptive potential, and the implications for parasites that utilize a combination of host survival and reproductive resources. PMID:26632822

  13. Use of the phytopathogenic effect for studies of Burkholderia virulence.

    PubMed

    Molchanova, E V; Ageeva, N P

    2015-02-01

    The phytopathogenic effect of the pseudomallei group Burkholderia is demonstrated on the Peireskia aculeata model. A method for evaluation of the effect is suggested. The effect correlates with the levels of Burkholderia pseudomallei, Burkholderia mallei, and Burkholderia thailandensis virulence for laboratory animals. P. aculeata can be used as a model for preliminary studies of the virulence of the above species. PMID:25705037

  14. DIFFERENTIAL GENE EXPRESSION OF PUTATIVE VIRULENCE GENES IN Flavobacterium columnare

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A shot-gun genomic library of the Flavobacterium columnare ALG-530 virulent strain has been constructed and more than 3,000 clones have been sequenced to date (800 contigs). Based on sequence identity with putative known virulence genes from related species, seven genes were selected for differentia...

  15. Beyond Mortality: Sterility As a Neglected Component of Parasite Virulence.

    PubMed

    Abbate, Jessica L; Kada, Sarah; Lion, Sébastien

    2015-12-01

    Virulence is generally defined as the reduction in host fitness following infection by a parasite (see Box 1 for glossary) [1]. In general, parasite exploitation of host resources may reduce host survival (mortality virulence), decrease host fecundity (sterility virulence), or even have sub-lethal effects that disturb the way individuals interact within a community (morbidity) [2,3]. In fact, the virulence of many parasites involves a combination of these various effects (Box 2). In practice, however, virulence is most often defined as disease-induced mortality [1, 4-6]. This is especially true in the theoretical literature, where the evolution of sterility virulence, morbidity, and mixed strategies of host exploitation have received relatively little attention. While the focus on mortality effects has allowed for easy comparison between models and, thus, rapid advancement of the field, we ask whether these theoretical simplifications have led us to inadvertently minimize the evolutionary importance of host sterilization and secondary virulence effects. As explicit theoretical work on morbidity is currently lacking (but see [7]), our aim in this Opinion piece is to discuss what is understood about sterility virulence evolution, its adaptive potential, and the implications for parasites that utilize a combination of host survival and reproductive resources. PMID:26632822

  16. Fitness, Stress Resistance, and Extraintestinal Virulence in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Bleibtreu, Alexandre; Gros, Pierre-Alexis; Laouénan, Cédric; Clermont, Olivier; Le Nagard, Hervé; Picard, Bertrand; Tenaillon, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    The extraintestinal virulence of Escherichia coli is dependent on numerous virulence genes. However, there is growing evidence for a role of the metabolic properties and stress responses of strains in pathogenesis. We assessed the respective roles of these factors in strain virulence by developing phenotypic assays for measuring in vitro individual and competitive fitness and the general stress response, which we applied to 82 commensal and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli strains previously tested in a mouse model of sepsis. Individual fitness properties, in terms of maximum growth rates in various media (Luria-Bertani broth with and without iron chelator, minimal medium supplemented with gluconate, and human urine) and competitive fitness properties, estimated as the mean relative growth rate per generation in mixed cultures with a reference fluorescent E. coli strain, were highly diverse between strains. The activity of the main general stress response regulator, RpoS, as determined by iodine staining of the colonies, H2O2 resistance, and rpoS sequencing, was also highly variable. No correlation between strain fitness and stress resistance and virulence in the mouse model was found, except that the maximum growth rate in urine was higher for virulent strains. Multivariate analysis showed that the number of virulence factors was the only independent factor explaining the virulence in mice. At the species level, growth capacity and stress resistance are heterogeneous properties that do not contribute significantly to the intrinsic virulence of the strains. PMID:23690401

  17. Virulence determinants of uropathogenic Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis.

    PubMed

    Mobley, H L; Island, M D; Massad, G

    1994-11-01

    The urinary tract is among the most common sites of bacterial infection and E. coli is by far the most common infecting agent. In patients with urinary catheters in place or structural abnormalities of the urinary tract, Proteus mirabilis is also a frequent isolate. To study virulence of these bacterial species, we have isolated the genes that encode putative virulence factors, constructed specific mutations within these genes, introduced the mutation back into the wild type strain by allelic exchange, and analyzed these mutants for virulence in appropriate in vitro and in vivo models. Specific virulence markers have been identified for strains that cause urinary tract infection. For E. coli, these include P fimbriae, S fimbriae, hemolysin, aerobactin, serum resistance, and a small group of O-serotypes. Redundant