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Sample records for rtx toxin gene

  1. Detection of RTX toxin genes in gram-negative bacteria with a set of specific probes.

    PubMed Central

    Kuhnert, P; Heyberger-Meyer, B; Burnens, A P; Nicolet, J; Frey, J

    1997-01-01

    The family of RTX (RTX representing repeats in the structural toxin) toxins is composed of several protein toxins with a characteristic nonapeptide glycine-rich repeat motif. Most of its members were shown to have cytolytic activity. By comparing the genetic relationships of the RTX toxin genes we established a set of 10 gene probes to be used for screening as-yet-unknown RTX toxin genes in bacterial species. The probes include parts of apxIA, apxIIA, and apxIIIA from Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, cyaA from Bordetella pertusis, frpA from Neisseria meningitidis, prtC from Erwinia chrysanthemi, hlyA and elyA from Escherichia coli, aaltA from Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and lktA from Pasteurella haemolytica. A panel of pathogenic and nonpathogenic gram-negative bacteria were investigated for the presence of RTX toxin genes. The probes detected all known genes for RTX toxins. Moreover, we found potential RTX toxin genes in several pathogenic bacterial species for which no such toxins are known yet. This indicates that RTX or RTX-like toxins are widely distributed among pathogenic gram-negative bacteria. The probes generated by PCR and the hybridization method were optimized to allow broad-range screening for RTX toxin genes in one step. This included the binding of unlabelled probes to a nylon filter and subsequent hybridization of the filter with labelled genomic DNA of the strain to be tested. The method constitutes a powerful tool for the assessment of the potential pathogenicity of poorly characterized strains intended to be used in biotechnological applications. Moreover, it is useful for the detection of already-known or new RTX toxin genes in bacteria of medical importance. PMID:9172345

  2. Characterization of an RTX toxin from enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, M E; Welch, R A

    1996-01-01

    A hemolytic determinant of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 is encoded on a 90-kbp plasmid (pO157). This enterohemorrhagic E. coli toxin (Ehx) is a newly described RTX cytotoxin. The prototype RTX toxin is the E. coli hemolysin (Hly) associated with extraintestinal E. coli infections. We expressed Ehx from E. coli K-12 strains harboring either pSK3, a pO157 derivative marked with Tn801 unlinked to Ehx, or a recombinant plasmid containing an 11.9-kbp subclone (pEO40) of pSK3. The Ehx activities and antibody reactivities were compared with those of Hly. Little Ehx was secreted extracellularly from the strain harboring pSK3; however, when the Hly transport genes hlyBD were supplied in trans, both intracellular and extracellular levels of Ehx were enhanced more than 15-fold. The strain harboring pEO40 secreted at least 140-fold more Ehx than did the strain harboring pSK3, and neither intracellular nor extracellular levels were significantly enhanced by the addition of hlyBD in trans. Polyclonal anti-HlyA antiserum and several anti-HlyA monoclonal antibodies, including the monoclonal antibody A10, which is panreactive for nearly all RTX toxins, reacted with EhxA antigen by immunoblot analysis. In hemolysis and 51Cr release assays, Ehx demonstrated similar efficiencies in lysis of BL-3 cells (cells from a bovine lymphoma cell line) and sheep and human erythrocytes. Surprisingly, it demonstrated very little activity against two human lymphoma cell lines. In contrast, Hly lysed all five cell types tested, each to a greater extent than that demonstrated by comparable amounts of Ehx. As with other RTX toxins, Ehx activity was calcium dependent and heat labile. PMID:8557336

  3. The RTX pore-forming toxin α-hemolysin of uropathogenic Escherichia coli: progress and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Wiles, Travis J; Mulvey, Matthew A

    2013-01-01

    Members of the RTX family of protein toxins are functionally conserved among an assortment of bacterial pathogens. By disrupting host cell integrity through their pore-forming and cytolytic activities, this class of toxins allows pathogens to effectively tamper with normal host cell processes, promoting pathogenesis. Here, we focus on the biology of RTX toxins by describing salient properties of a prototype member, α-hemolysin, which is of ten encoded by strains of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. It has long been appreciated that RTX toxins can have distinct effects on host cells aside from outright lysis. Recently, advances in modeling and analysis of host–pathogen interactions have led to novel findings concerning the consequences of pore formation during host–pathogen interactions. We discuss current progress on longstanding questions concerning cell specificity and pore formation, new areas of investigation that involve toxin-mediated perturbations of host cell signaling cascades and perspectives on the future of RTX toxin investigation. PMID:23252494

  4. Channel formation by RTX-toxins of pathogenic bacteria: Basis of their biological activity.

    PubMed

    Benz, Roland

    2016-03-01

    The pore-forming cytolysins of the RTX-toxin (Repeats in ToXin) family are a relatively small fraction of a steadily increasing family of proteins that contain several functionally important glycine-rich and aspartate containing nonapeptide repeats. These cytolysins produced by a variety of Gram-negative bacteria form ion-permeable channels in erythrocytes and other eukaryotic cells. Hemolytic and cytolytic RTX-toxins represent pathogenicity factors of the toxin-producing bacteria and are very often important key factors in pathogenesis of the bacteria. Channel formation by RTX-toxins lead to the dissipation of ionic gradients and membrane potential across the cytoplasmic membrane of target cells, which results in cell death. Here we discuss channel formation and channel properties of some of the best known RTX-toxins, such as α-hemolysin (HlyA) of Escherichia coli and the uropathogenic EHEC strains, the adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT, CyaA) of Bordetella pertussis and the RTX-toxins (ApxI, ApxII and ApxIII) produced by different strains of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. The channels formed by these RTX-toxins in lipid bilayers share some common properties such as cation selectivity and voltage-dependence. Furthermore the channels are transient and show frequent switching between different ion-conducting states. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale. PMID:26523409

  5. Pore forming activity of the potent RTX-toxin produced by pediatric pathogen Kingella kingae: characterization and comparison to other RTX-family members*

    PubMed Central

    Bárcena-Uribarri, Iván; Benz, Roland; Winterhalter, Mathias; Zakharian, Eleonora; Balashova, Nataliya

    2015-01-01

    Pediatric septic arthritis in patients under age of four is frequently caused by the oral Gram-negative bacterium Kingella kingae. This organism may be responsible for a severe form of infective endocarditis in otherwise healthy children and adults. A major virulence factor of K. kingae is RtxA, a toxin that belongs to the RTX (Repeats-in-ToXin) group of secreted pore forming toxins. To understand the RtxA effects on host cell membranes, the toxin activity was studied using planar lipid bilayers. K. kingae strain PYKK081 and its isogenic RtxA-deficient strain, KKNB100, were tested for their ability to form pores in artificial membranes of asolectin/n-decane. RtxA, purified from PYKK081, was able to rapidly form pores with an apparent diameter of 1.9 nm as measured by the partition of nonelectrolytes in the pores. The RtxA channels are cation-selective and showed strong voltage-dependent gating. In contrast to supernatants of PYKK081, those of KKNB100 did not show any pore forming activity. We concluded that RtxA toxin is the only secreted protein from K. kingae forming large channels in host cell membranes where it induces cation flux leading to programmed cell death. Furthermore, our findings suggested that the planar lipid bilayer technique can effectively be used to test possible inhibitors of RTX toxin activity and to investigate the mechanism of the toxin binding to the membrane. PMID:25858109

  6. Characterization of Prohibitin 1 as a Host Partner of Vibrio vulnificus RtxA1 Toxin.

    PubMed

    Kim, Bo A; Lim, Ju Young; Rhee, Joon Haeng; Kim, Young Ran

    2016-01-01

    RtxA1 toxin, which results in cytoskeletal rearrangement, contact cytotoxicity, hemolysis, tissue invasion, and lethality in mice, is the most potent cytotoxic virulence factor of Vibrio vulnificus. Bioinformatics analysis of rtxA1 predicted 4 functional domains that presumably performed discrete functions during host cell killing. V. vulnificus RtxA1 has a unique domain designated as RtxA1-D2, corresponding to amino acids 1951-2574, which is absent in Vibrio cholerae multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin, suggesting that this domain confers specific biological functions to V. vulnificus RtxA1. HeLa cells expressing green fluorescent protein-RtxA1-D2 became round and lost their viability. A yeast 2-hybrid system identified prohibitin (PHB) 1 as the host partner of RtxA1-D2. The specific interaction of RtxA1-D2 with PHB1 was confirmed by performing immunoprecipitation. Interestingly, V. vulnificus RtxA1 up-regulated PHB1 expression on the cytoplasmic membrane of host cells. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways were confirmed as being important in the up-regulation of PHB1 by using inhibitors. Down-regulation of PHB1 by small interfering RNAs decreased the cytotoxicity of RtxA1-D2 against HeLa cells. The pretreatment of an anti-PHB1 antibody impaired the cytotoxicity of V. vulnificus RtxA1. These results suggest that the involvement PHB1 in the RtxA1 cytotoxicity has significant implications for the pathogenesis of V. vulnificus infections. PMID:26136468

  7. 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

  8. RTX Toxin Plays a Key Role in Kingella kingae Virulence in an Infant Rat Model

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Dennis W.; Nudell, Yoav A.; Lau, Jenny; Zakharian, Eleonora

    2014-01-01

    Kingella kingae is a human oral bacterium that can cause diseases of the skeletal system in children and infective endocarditis in children and adults. K. kingae produces a toxin of the RTX group, RtxA. To investigate the role of RtxA in disease pathogenesis in vivo, K. kingae strain PYKK081 and its isogenic RtxA-deficient strain KKNB100 were tested for their virulence and pathological consequences upon intraperitoneal injections in 7-day-postnatal (PN 7) rats. At the doses above 8.0 × 106 cells/animal, PYKK081 was able to cause a fatal illness, resulting in rapid weight loss, bacteremia, and abdominal necrotic lesion formation. Significant histopathology was observed in thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. Strain KKNB100 was less toxic to animals. Neither weight loss, bacteremia, nor histopathological changes were evident. Animals injected with KKNB100 exhibited a significantly elevated circulating white blood cell (WBC) count, whereas animals injected with PYKK081 had a WBC count that resembled that of the uninfected control. This observation parallels the subtleties associated with clinical presentation of K. kingae disease in humans and suggests that the toxin contributes to WBC depletion. Thus, our results demonstrate that RtxA is a key K. kingae virulence factor. Furthermore, our findings suggest that the PN 7 rat can serve as a useful model for understanding disease caused by K. kingae and for elucidating diagnostic parameters in human patients. PMID:24664507

  9. The Bordetella Adenylate Cyclase Repeat-in-Toxin (RTX) Domain Is Immunodominant and Elicits Neutralizing Antibodies*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xianzhe; Maynard, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    The adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT) is a multifunctional virulence factor secreted by Bordetella species. Upon interaction of its C-terminal hemolysin moiety with the cell surface receptor αMβ2 integrin, the N-terminal cyclase domain translocates into the host cell cytosol where it rapidly generates supraphysiological cAMP concentrations, which inhibit host cell anti-bacterial activities. Although ACT has been shown to induce protective immunity in mice, it is not included in any current acellular pertussis vaccines due to protein stability issues and a poor understanding of its role as a protective antigen. Here, we aimed to determine whether any single domain could recapitulate the antibody responses induced by the holo-toxin and to characterize the dominant neutralizing antibody response. We first immunized mice with ACT and screened antibody phage display libraries for binding to purified ACT. The vast majority of unique antibodies identified bound the C-terminal repeat-in-toxin (RTX) domain. Representative antibodies binding two nonoverlapping, neutralizing epitopes in the RTX domain prevented ACT association with J774A.1 macrophages and soluble αMβ2 integrin, suggesting that these antibodies inhibit the ACT-receptor interaction. Sera from mice immunized with the RTX domain showed similar neutralizing activity as ACT-immunized mice, indicating that this domain induced an antibody response similar to that induced by ACT. These data demonstrate that RTX can elicit neutralizing antibodies and suggest it may present an alternative to ACT. PMID:25505186

  10. Mutation in the LPS outer core biosynthesis gene, galU, affects LPS interaction with the RTX toxins ApxI and ApxII and cytolytic activity of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 1.

    PubMed

    Ramjeet, Mahendrasingh; Cox, Andrew D; Hancock, Mark A; Mourez, Michael; Labrie, Josée; Gottschalk, Marcelo; Jacques, Mario

    2008-10-01

    Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and Apx toxins are major virulence factors of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, a pathogen of the respiratory tract of pigs. Here, we evaluated the effect of LPS core truncation in haemolytic and cytotoxic activities of this microorganism. We previously generated a highly attenuated galU mutant of A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1 that has an LPS molecule lacking the GalNAc-Gal II-Gal I outer core residues. Our results demonstrate that this mutant exhibits wild-type haemolytic activity but is significantly less cytotoxic to porcine alveolar macrophages. However, no differences were found in gene expression and secretion of the haemolytic and cytotoxic toxins ApxI and ApxII, both secreted by A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 1. This suggests that the outer core truncation mediated by the galU mutation affects the toxins in their cytotoxic activities. Using both ELISA and surface plasmon resonance binding assays, we demonstrate a novel interaction between LPS and the ApxI and ApxII toxins via the core oligosaccharide. Our results indicate that the GalNAc-Gal II-Gal I trisaccharide of the outer core is fundamental to mediating LPS/Apx interactions. The present study suggests that a lack of binding between LPS and ApxI/II affects the cytotoxicity and virulence of A. pleuropneumoniae. PMID:18713318

  11. Assessing the Exoproteome of Marine Bacteria, Lesson from a RTX-Toxin Abundantly Secreted by Phaeobacter Strain DSM 17395

    PubMed Central

    Durighello, Emie; Christie-Oleza, Joseph Alexander; Armengaud, Jean

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria from the Roseobacter clade are abundant in surface marine ecosystems as over 10% of bacterial cells in the open ocean and 20% in coastal waters belong to this group. In order to document how these marine bacteria interact with their environment, we analyzed the exoproteome of Phaeobacter strain DSM 17395. We grew the strain in marine medium, collected the exoproteome and catalogued its content with high-throughput nanoLC-MS/MS shotgun proteomics. The major component represented 60% of the total protein content but was refractory to either classical proteomic identification or proteogenomics. We de novo sequenced this abundant protein with high-resolution tandem mass spectra which turned out being the 53 kDa RTX-toxin ZP_02147451. It comprised a peptidase M10 serralysin domain. We explained its recalcitrance to trypsin proteolysis and proteomic identification by its unusual low number of basic residues. We found this is a conserved trait in RTX-toxins from Roseobacter strains which probably explains their persistence in the harsh conditions around bacteria. Comprehensive analysis of exoproteomes from environmental bacteria should take into account this proteolytic recalcitrance. PMID:24586966

  12. Inducible polymerization and two-dimensional assembly of the repeats-in-toxin (RTX) domain from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa alkaline protease.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Franks, Jonathon; Stolz, Donna B; Conway, James F; Thibodeau, Patrick H

    2014-10-21

    Self-assembling proteins represent potential scaffolds for the organization of enzymatic activities. The alkaline protease repeats-in-toxin (RTX) domain from Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes multiple structural transitions in the presence and absence of calcium, a native structural cofactor. In the absence of calcium, this domain is capable of spontaneous, ordered polymerization, producing amyloid-like fibrils and large two-dimensional protein sheets. This polymerization occurs under near-physiological conditions, is rapid, and can be controlled by regulating calcium in solution. Fusion of the RTX domain to a soluble protein results in the incorporation of engineered protein function into these macromolecular assemblies. Applications of this protein sequence in bacterial adherence and colonization and the generation of biomaterials are discussed. PMID:25232897

  13. Molecular crowding stabilizes both the intrinsically disordered calcium-free state and the folded calcium-bound state of a repeat in toxin (RTX) protein.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor-Pérez, Ana-Cristina; Subrini, Orso; Hessel, Audrey; Ladant, Daniel; Chenal, Alexandre

    2013-08-14

    Macromolecular crowding affects most chemical equilibria in living cells, as the presence of high concentrations of macromolecules sterically restricts the available space. Here, we characterized the influence of crowding on a prototypical RTX protein, RC(L). RTX (Repeat in ToXin) motifs are calcium-binding nonapeptide sequences that are found in many virulence factors produced by Gram-negative bacteria and secreted by dedicated type 1 secretion systems. RC(L) is an attractive model to investigate the effect of molecular crowding on ligand-induced protein folding, as it shifts from intrinsically disordered conformations (apo-form) to a stable structure upon calcium binding (holo-form). It thus offers the rare opportunity to characterize the crowding effects on the same polypeptide chain under two drastically distinct folding states. We showed that the crowding agent Ficoll70 did not affect the structural content of the apo-state and holo-state of RC(L) but increased the protein affinity for calcium. Moreover, Ficoll70 strongly stabilized both states of RC(L), increasing their half-melting temperature, without affecting enthalpy changes. The power law dependence of the melting temperature increase (ΔT(m)) on the volume fraction (φ) followed theoretical excluded volume predictions and allowed the estimation of the Flory exponent (ν) of the thermally unfolded polypeptide chain in both states. Altogether, our data suggest that, in the apo-state as found in the crowded bacterial cytosol, RTX proteins adopt extended unfolded conformations that may facilitate protein export by the type I secretion machinery. Subsequently, crowding also enhances the calcium-dependent folding and stability of RTX proteins once secreted in the extracellular milieu. PMID:23941183

  14. Cloning and Characterization of Two Bistructural S-Layer-RTX Proteins from Campylobacter rectus

    PubMed Central

    Braun, Martin; Kuhnert, Peter; Nicolet, Jacques; Burnens, André P.; Frey, Joachim

    1999-01-01

    Campylobacter rectus is an important periodontal pathogen in humans. A surface-layer (S-layer) protein and a cytotoxic activity have been characterized and are thought to be its major virulence factors. The cytotoxic activity was suggested to be due to a pore-forming protein toxin belonging to the RTX (repeats in the structural toxins) family. In the present work, two closely related genes, csxA and csxB (for C. rectus S-layer and RTX protein) were cloned from C. rectus and characterized. The Csx proteins appear to be bifunctional and possess two structurally different domains. The N-terminal part shows similarity with S-layer protein, especially SapA and SapB of C. fetus and Crs of C. rectus. The C-terminal part comprising most of CsxA and CsxB is a domain with 48 and 59 glycine-rich canonical nonapeptide repeats, respectively, arranged in three blocks. Purified recombinant Csx peptides bind Ca2+. These are characteristic traits of RTX toxin proteins. The S-layer and RTX domains of Csx are separated by a proline-rich stretch of 48 amino acids. All C. rectus isolates studied contained copies of either the csxA or csxB gene or both; csx genes were absent from all other Campylobacter and Helicobacter species examined. Serum of a patient with acute gingivitis showed a strong reaction to recombinant Csx protein on immunoblots. PMID:10198015

  15. Calcium-Driven Folding of RTX Domain β-Rolls Ratchets Translocation of RTX Proteins through Type I Secretion Ducts.

    PubMed

    Bumba, Ladislav; Masin, Jiri; Macek, Pavel; Wald, Tomas; Motlova, Lucia; Bibova, Ilona; Klimova, Nela; Bednarova, Lucie; Veverka, Vaclav; Kachala, Michael; Svergun, Dmitri I; Barinka, Cyril; Sebo, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Calcium-binding RTX proteins are equipped with C-terminal secretion signals and translocate from the Ca(2+)-depleted cytosol of Gram-negative bacteria directly into the Ca(2+)-rich external milieu, passing through the "channel-tunnel" ducts of type I secretion systems (T1SSs). Using Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase toxin, we solved the structure of an essential C-terminal assembly that caps the RTX domains of RTX family leukotoxins. This is shown to scaffold directional Ca(2+)-dependent folding of the carboxy-proximal RTX repeat blocks into β-rolls. The resulting intramolecular Brownian ratchets then prevent backsliding of translocating RTX proteins in the T1SS conduits and thereby accelerate excretion of very large RTX leukotoxins from bacterial cells by a vectorial "push-ratchet" mechanism. Successive Ca(2+)-dependent and cosecretional acquisition of a functional RTX toxin structure in the course of T1SS-mediated translocation, through RTX domain folding from the C-terminal cap toward the N terminus, sets a paradigm that opens for design of virulence inhibitors of major pathogens. PMID:27058787

  16. A Large Repetitive RTX-Like Protein Mediates Water-Soaked Lesion Development, Leakage of Plant Cell Content and Host Colonization in the Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii Pathosystem.

    PubMed

    Roper, M Caroline; Burbank, Lindsey P; Williams, Kayla; Viravathana, Polrit; Tien, Hsin-Yu; von Bodman, Susanne

    2015-12-01

    Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii is the etiological agent of Stewart's wilt and is a serious bacterial pathogen affecting sweet corn. During the leaf blight phase, P. stewartii colonizes the leaf apoplast and causes a characteristic water-soaked lesion. The Hrp type III secretion system has been implicated in the water-soaking phenotype, and the goal of this study was to investigate other potential factors that contribute to the plant cellular disruption associated with these lesions. The P. stewartii genome contains a gene encoding a large repetitive RTX toxin, designated rtx2. RTX toxins comprise a large family of pore-forming proteins, which are widely distributed among gram-negative bacteria. These cytotoxins usually lyse their target host cells and cause significant tissue damage as a consequence. We hypothesized that this RTX-like toxin plays a role in the water-soaking phase of infection due to its predicted cytolytic properties. Based on the data reported here, we conclude that RTX2 contributes significantly to the development of water-soaked lesions and leakage of plant cellular contents and is an important pathogenicity factor for P. stewartii. PMID:26284907

  17. Nemertean toxin genes revealed through transcriptome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Whelan, Nathan V; Kocot, Kevin M; Santos, Scott R; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2014-12-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63-74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  18. Nemertean Toxin Genes Revealed through Transcriptome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Whelan, Nathan V.; Kocot, Kevin M.; Santos, Scott R.; Halanych, Kenneth M.

    2014-01-01

    Nemerteans are one of few animal groups that have evolved the ability to utilize toxins for both defense and subduing prey, but little is known about specific nemertean toxins. In particular, no study has identified specific toxin genes even though peptide toxins are known from some nemertean species. Information about toxin genes is needed to better understand evolution of toxins across animals and possibly provide novel targets for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. We sequenced and annotated transcriptomes of two free-living and one commensal nemertean and annotated an additional six publicly available nemertean transcriptomes to identify putative toxin genes. Approximately 63–74% of predicted open reading frames in each transcriptome were annotated with gene names, and all species had similar percentages of transcripts annotated with each higher-level GO term. Every nemertean analyzed possessed genes with high sequence similarities to known animal toxins including those from stonefish, cephalopods, and sea anemones. One toxin-like gene found in all nemerteans analyzed had high sequence similarity to Plancitoxin-1, a DNase II hepatotoxin that may function well at low pH, which suggests that the acidic body walls of some nemerteans could work to enhance the efficacy of protein toxins. The highest number of toxin-like genes found in any one species was seven and the lowest was three. The diversity of toxin-like nemertean genes found here is greater than previously documented, and these animals are likely an ideal system for exploring toxin evolution and industrial applications of toxins. PMID:25432940

  19. Small Molecule-Induced Allosteric Activation of the Vibrio Cholerae RTX Cysteine Protease Domain

    SciTech Connect

    Lupardus, P.J.; Shen, A.; Bogyo, M.; Garcia, K.C.

    2009-05-19

    Vibrio cholerae RTX (repeats in toxin) is an actin-disrupting toxin that is autoprocessed by an internal cysteine protease domain (CPD). The RTX CPD is efficiently activated by the eukaryote-specific small molecule inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP{sub 6}), and we present the 2.1 angstrom structure of the RTX CPD in complex with InsP{sub 6}. InsP{sub 6} binds to a conserved basic cleft that is distant from the protease active site. Biochemical and kinetic analyses of CPD mutants indicate that InsP{sub 6} binding induces an allosteric switch that leads to the autoprocessing and intracellular release of toxin-effector domains.

  20. Gene Therapy and Targeted Toxins for Glioma

    PubMed Central

    Castro, Maria G.; Candolfi, Marianela; Kroeger, Kurt; King, Gwendalyn D.; Curtin, James F.; Yagiz, Kader; Mineharu, Yohei; Assi, Hikmat; Wibowo, Mia; Muhammad, AKM Ghulam; Foulad, David; Puntel, Mariana; Lowenstein, Pedro R.

    2011-01-01

    The most common primary brain tumor in adults is glioblastoma. These tumors are highly invasive and aggressive with a mean survival time of nine to twelve months from diagnosis to death. Current treatment modalities are unable to significantly prolong survival in patients diagnosed with glioblastoma. As such, glioma is an attractive target for developing novel therapeutic approaches utilizing gene therapy. This review will examine the available preclinical models for glioma including xenographs, syngeneic and genetic models. Several promising therapeutic targets are currently being pursued in pre-clinical investigations. These targets will be reviewed by mechanism of action, i.e., conditional cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses, tumor suppressors/oncogenes, and immune stimulatory approaches. Preclinical gene therapy paradigms aim to determine which strategies will provide rapid tumor regression and long-term protection from recurrence. While a wide range of potential targets are being investigated preclinically, only the most efficacious are further transitioned into clinical trial paradigms. Clinical trials reported to date are summarized including results from conditionally cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses and oncogene targeting approaches. Clinical trial results have not been as robust as preclinical models predicted; this could be due to the limitations of the GBM models employed. Once this is addressed, and we develop effective gene therapies in models that better replicate the clinical scenario, gene therapy will provide a powerful approach to treat and manage brain tumors. PMID:21453286

  1. Gene Therapy and Targeted Toxins for Glioma

    PubMed Central

    King, Gwendalyn D.; Curtin, James F.; Candolfi, Marianela; Kroeger, Kurt; Lowenstein, Pedro R.; Castro, Maria G.

    2006-01-01

    The most common primary brain tumor in adults is glioblastoma. These tumors are highly invasive and aggressive with a mean survival time of nine to twelve months from diagnosis to death. Current treatment modalities are unable to significantly prolong survival in patients diagnosed with glioblastoma. As such, glioma is an attractive target for developing novel therapeutic approaches utilizing gene therapy. This review will examine the available preclinical models for glioma including xenographs, syngeneic and genetic models. Several promising therapeutic targets are currently being pursued in pre-clinical investigations. These targets will be reviewed by mechanism of action, i.e., conditional cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses, tumor suppressors/oncogenes, and immune stimulatory approaches. Preclinical gene therapy paradigms aim to determine which strategies will provide rapid tumor regression and long-term protection from recurrence. While a wide range of potential targets are being investigated preclinically, only the most efficacious are further transitioned into clinical trial paradigms. Clinical trials reported to date are summarized including results from conditionally cytotoxic, targeted toxins, oncolytic viruses and oncogene targeting approaches. Clinical trial results have not been as robust as preclinical models predicted, this could be due to the limitations of the GBM models employed. Once this is addressed, and we develop effective gene therapies in models that better replicate the clinical scenario, gene therapy will provide a powerful approach to treat and manage brain tumors. PMID:16457645

  2. RTX proteins: a highly diverse family secreted by a common mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Linhartová, Irena; Bumba, Ladislav; Mašín, Jiří; Basler, Marek; Osička, Radim; Kamanová, Jana; Procházková, Kateřina; Adkins, Irena; Hejnová-Holubová, Jana; Sadílková, Lenka; Morová, Jana; Šebo, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Repeats-in-toxin (RTX) exoproteins of Gram-negative bacteria form a steadily growing family of proteins with diverse biological functions. Their common feature is the unique mode of export across the bacterial envelope via the type I secretion system and the characteristic, typically nonapeptide, glycine- and aspartate-rich repeats binding Ca2+ ions. In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge on the organization of rtx loci and on the biological and biochemical activities of therein encoded proteins. Applying several types of bioinformatic screens on the steadily growing set of sequenced bacterial genomes, over 1000 RTX family members were detected, with the biological functions of most of them remaining to be characterized. Activities of the so far characterized RTX family members are then discussed and classified according to functional categories, ranging from the historically first characterized pore-forming RTX leukotoxins, through the large multifunctional enzymatic toxins, bacteriocins, nodulation proteins, surface layer proteins, up to secreted hydrolytic enzymes exhibiting metalloprotease or lipase activities of industrial interest. PMID:20528947

  3. Regulation of toxin gene expression in Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

    Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru

    2015-05-01

    The Gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming, rod-shaped Clostridium perfringens is widely distributed in nature, especially in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals. C. perfringens causes clostridial myonecrosis (or gas gangrene), enteritis and enterotoxemia in humans and livestock by producing numerous extracellular toxins and enzymes. The toxin gene expression is regulated by a two-component regulatory system and regulatory RNA VirR/VirS-VR-RNA cascade. The VirR/VirS system was originally found in a type A strain, but a recent report showed that it is also important for the toxin gene regulation in other types of strains. Two types of cell-cell signaling, i.e., agr-system and AI-2 signaling, are also important for the regulation of toxin genes. Several regulatory systems independent from the VirR/VirS system, including virX, the orphan histidine kinase ReeS and orphan response regulator RevR, are also involved in the regulation of toxin genes. In addition, the expression of toxin genes is upregulated after contact with Caco-2 cells. C. perfringens has a complex regulatory network for toxin gene expression and thus the coordination of toxin gene expression is important for the process of infection. PMID:25303832

  4. Locus of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin A gene.

    PubMed Central

    Hanne, L F; Howe, T R; Iglewski, B H

    1983-01-01

    The gene for Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin A has been mapped in the late region of the chromosome of strain PAO. Strain PAO-PR1, which produces parental levels of toxin A antigen that is enzymatically inactive and nontoxic, was used as the donor for R68.45 plasmid-mediated genetic exchange. Strain PAO-PR1 (toxA1) was mated with toxin A-producing strains, and exconjugates for selected prototrophic markers were tested for the transfer of toxA1. The toxA1 gene was located between cnu-9001 and pur-67 at approximately 85 min on the PAO chromosome. PMID:6403508

  5. Toxin gene determination and evolution in scorpaenoid fish.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Po-Shun; Shiao, Jen-Chieh

    2014-09-01

    In this study, we determine the toxin genes from both cDNA and genomic DNA of four scorpaenoid fish and reconstruct their evolutionary relationship. The deduced protein sequences of the two toxin subunits in Sebastapistes strongia, Scorpaenopsis oxycephala, and Sebastiscus marmoratus are about 700 amino acid, similar to the sizes of the stonefish (Synanceia horrida, and Synanceia verrucosa) and lionfish (Pterois antennata and Pterois volitans) toxins previously published. The intron positions are highly conserved among these species, which indicate the applicability of gene finding by using genomic DNA template. The phylogenetic analysis shows that the two toxin subunits were duplicated prior to the speciation of Scorpaenoidei. The precedence of the gene duplication over speciation indicates that the toxin genes may be common to the whole family of Scorpaeniform. Furthermore, one additional toxin gene has been determined in the genomic DNA of Dendrochirus zebra. The phylogenetic analysis suggests that an additional gene duplication occurred before the speciation of the lionfish (Pteroinae) and a pseudogene may be generally present in the lineage of lionfish. PMID:24950049

  6. Identification and Characterization of Clostridium sordellii Toxin Gene Regulator

    PubMed Central

    Sirigi Reddy, Apoorva Reddy; Girinathan, Brintha Parasumanna; Zapotocny, Ryan

    2013-01-01

    Toxigenic Clostridium sordellii causes uncommon but highly lethal infections in humans and animals. Recently, an increased incidence of C. sordellii infections has been reported in women undergoing obstetric interventions. Pathogenic strains of C. sordellii produce numerous virulence factors, including sordellilysin, phospholipase, neuraminidase, and two large clostridial glucosylating toxins, TcsL and TcsH. Recent studies have demonstrated that TcsL toxin is an essential virulence factor for the pathogenicity of C. sordellii. In this study, we identified and characterized TcsR as the toxin gene (tcsL) regulator in C. sordellii. High-throughput sequencing of two C. sordellii strains revealed that tcsR lies within a genomic region that encodes TcsL, TcsH, and TcsE, a putative holin. By using ClosTron technology, we inactivated the tcsR gene in strain ATCC 9714. Toxin production and tcsL transcription were decreased in the tcsR mutant strain. However, the complemented tcsR mutant produced large amounts of toxins, similar to the parental strain. Expression of the Clostridium difficile toxin gene regulator tcdR also restored toxin production to the C. sordellii tcsR mutant, showing that these sigma factors are functionally interchangeable. PMID:23873908

  7. Discovery of a widely distributed toxin biosynthetic gene cluster

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shaun W.; Mitchell, Douglas A.; Markley, Andrew L.; Hensler, Mary E.; Gonzalez, David; Wohlrab, Aaron; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Nizet, Victor; Dixon, Jack E.

    2008-01-01

    Bacteriocins represent a large family of ribosomally produced peptide antibiotics. Here we describe the discovery of a widely conserved biosynthetic gene cluster for the synthesis of thiazole and oxazole heterocycles on ribosomally produced peptides. These clusters encode a toxin precursor and all necessary proteins for toxin maturation and export. Using the toxin precursor peptide and heterocycle-forming synthetase proteins from the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, we demonstrate the in vitro reconstitution of streptolysin S activity. We provide evidence that the synthetase enzymes, as predicted from our bioinformatics analysis, introduce heterocycles onto precursor peptides, thereby providing molecular insight into the chemical structure of streptolysin S. Furthermore, our studies reveal that the synthetase exhibits relaxed substrate specificity and modifies toxin precursors from both related and distant species. Given our findings, it is likely that the discovery of similar peptidic toxins will rapidly expand to existing and emerging genomes. PMID:18375757

  8. Gene-Trap Mutagenesis Identifies Mammalian Genes Contributing to Intoxication by Clostridium perfringens ε-Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Ivie, Susan E.; Fennessey, Christine M.; Sheng, Jinsong; Rubin, Donald H.; McClain, Mark S.

    2011-01-01

    The Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin is an extremely potent toxin associated with lethal toxemias in domesticated ruminants and may be toxic to humans. Intoxication results in fluid accumulation in various tissues, most notably in the brain and kidneys. Previous studies suggest that the toxin is a pore-forming toxin, leading to dysregulated ion homeostasis and ultimately cell death. However, mammalian host factors that likely contribute to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity are poorly understood. A library of insertional mutant Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, which are highly susceptible to the lethal affects of ε-toxin, was used to select clones of cells resistant to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. The genes mutated in 9 surviving resistant cell clones were identified. We focused additional experiments on one of the identified genes as a means of validating the experimental approach. Gene expression microarray analysis revealed that one of the identified genes, hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1, KIM-1, TIM1), is more abundantly expressed in human kidney cell lines than it is expressed in human cells known to be resistant to ε-toxin. One human kidney cell line, ACHN, was found to be sensitive to the toxin and expresses a larger isoform of the HAVCR1 protein than the HAVCR1 protein expressed by other, toxin-resistant human kidney cell lines. RNA interference studies in MDCK and in ACHN cells confirmed that HAVCR1 contributes to ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. Additionally, ε-toxin was shown to bind to HAVCR1 in vitro. The results of this study indicate that HAVCR1 and the other genes identified through the use of gene-trap mutagenesis and RNA interference strategies represent important targets for investigation of the process by which ε-toxin induces cell death and new targets for potential therapeutic intervention. PMID:21412435

  9. Bacteriophage-mediated toxin gene regulation in Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Govind, Revathi; Vediyappan, Govindsamy; Rolfe, Rial D; Dupuy, Bruno; Fralick, Joe A

    2009-12-01

    Clostridium difficile has been identified as the most important single identifiable cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis. Virulent strains of C. difficile produce two large protein toxins, toxin A and toxin B, which are involved in pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of lysogeny by PhiCD119 on C. difficile toxin production. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated a decrease in the expression of pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) genes tcdA, tcdB, tcdR, tcdE, and tcdC in PhiCD119 lysogens. During this study we found that repR, a putative repressor gene of PhiCD119, was expressed in C. difficile lysogens and that its product, RepR, could downregulate tcdA::gusA and tcdR::gusA reporter fusions in Escherichia coli. We cloned and purified a recombinant RepR containing a C-terminal six-His tag and documented its binding to the upstream regions of tcdR in C. difficile PaLoc and in repR upstream region in PhiCD119 by gel shift assays. DNA footprinting experiments revealed similarities between the RepR binding sites in tcdR and repR upstream regions. These findings suggest that presence of a CD119-like temperate phage can influence toxin gene regulation in this nosocomially important pathogen. PMID:19776116

  10. Bacteriophage-Mediated Toxin Gene Regulation in Clostridium difficile▿

    PubMed Central

    Govind, Revathi; Vediyappan, Govindsamy; Rolfe, Rial D.; Dupuy, Bruno; Fralick, Joe A.

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium difficile has been identified as the most important single identifiable cause of nosocomial antibiotic-associated diarrhea and colitis. Virulent strains of C. difficile produce two large protein toxins, toxin A and toxin B, which are involved in pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of lysogeny by ΦCD119 on C. difficile toxin production. Transcriptional analysis demonstrated a decrease in the expression of pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) genes tcdA, tcdB, tcdR, tcdE, and tcdC in ΦCD119 lysogens. During this study we found that repR, a putative repressor gene of ΦCD119, was expressed in C. difficile lysogens and that its product, RepR, could downregulate tcdA::gusA and tcdR::gusA reporter fusions in Escherichia coli. We cloned and purified a recombinant RepR containing a C-terminal six-His tag and documented its binding to the upstream regions of tcdR in C. difficile PaLoc and in repR upstream region in ΦCD119 by gel shift assays. DNA footprinting experiments revealed similarities between the RepR binding sites in tcdR and repR upstream regions. These findings suggest that presence of a CD119-like temperate phage can influence toxin gene regulation in this nosocomially important pathogen. PMID:19776116

  11. Phylogenetic analysis of Shiga toxin 1 and Shiga toxin 2 genes associated with disease outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Lee, James E; Reed, Junelina; Shields, Malcolm S; Spiegel, Kathleen M; Farrell, Larry D; Sheridan, Peter P

    2007-01-01

    Background Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2) are bacteriophage-encoded proteins that have been associated with hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome and other severe disease conditions. Stx1 and Stx2 are genetically and immunologically distinct but share the same compound toxin structure, method of entry and enzymatic function. Results Phylogenetic analysis was performed using Stx1 and Stx2 amino acid and nucleotide sequences from 41 strains of Escherichia coli, along with known stx sequences available from GenBank. The analysis confirmed the Stx1 and Stx2 divergence, and showed that there is generally more sequence variation among stx2 genes than stx1. The phylograms showed generally flat topologies among our strains' stx1 and stx2 genes. In the stx2 gene, 39.5% of the amino acid sites display very low nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution ratios. Conclusion The stx1 and stx2 genes used in this phylogenetic study show sequence conservation with no significant divergence with respect to place or time. These data could indicate that Shiga toxins are experiencing purifying selection. PMID:18053224

  12. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    SciTech Connect

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-05-22

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bont gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. In this paper, we sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. Finally, this TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii.

  13. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bont gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. We sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. This TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii. PMID:24853378

  14. Clonal Spread of a Clostridium difficile Strain with a Complete Set of Toxin A, Toxin B, and Binary Toxin Genes among Polish Patients with Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea

    PubMed Central

    Pituch, Hanna; Kreft, Deborah; Obuch-Woszczatyński, Piotr; Wultańska, Dorota; Meisel-Mikołajczyk, Felicja; Łuczak, Mirosław; van Belkum, Alex

    2005-01-01

    Clinically relevant Clostridium difficile strains usually produce toxins A and B. Some C. difficile strains can produce an additional binary toxin. We report clonality among five strains carrying all toxin genes from Polish patients with C. difficile-associated diarrhea. In another strain, possible recombination between binary toxin genes is documented. PMID:15635019

  15. Molecular characterization of the Clostridium difficile toxin A gene.

    PubMed Central

    Dove, C H; Wang, S Z; Price, S B; Phelps, C J; Lyerly, D M; Wilkins, T D; Johnson, J L

    1990-01-01

    The gene encoding the toxin A protein of Clostridium difficile (strain VPI 10463) was cloned and sequenced. The coding region of 8,133 base pairs had a mol% G + C of 26.9 and encodes 2,710 amino acids. The deduced polypeptide has a molecular mass of ca. 308 kilodaltons. Nearly a third of the gene, at the 3' end, consists of 38 repeating sequences. The repeating units were grouped into two classes, I and II, on the basis of length and the low levels of DNA sequence similarities between them. There were seven class I repeating units, each containing 90 nucleotides, and 31 class II units, which, with two exceptions, were either 60 or 63 nucleotides in length. On the basis of DNA sequence similarities, the class II repeating units were further segregated into subclasses: 7 class IIA, 13 class IIB, 5 class IIC, and 6 class IID. The dipeptide tyrosine-phenylalanine was found in all 38 repeating units, and other amino acid sequences were unique to a specific class or subclass. This region of the protein has epitopes for the monoclonal antibody PCG-4 and includes the binding region for the Gal alpha 1-3Gal beta 1-4GlcNAc carbohydrate receptor. Located 1,350 base pairs upstream from the toxin A translation start site is the 3' end of the toxin B gene. Between the two toxin genes is a small open reading frame, which encodes a deduced polypeptide of ca. 16 or 19 kilodaltons. The role of this open reading frame is unknown. PMID:2105276

  16. Characterization of Shiga Toxin Subtypes and Virulence Genes in Porcine Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; Patel, Isha; Bagi, Lori K; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Boccia, Federica; Anastasio, Aniello; Pepe, Tiziana

    2016-01-01

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using a Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx 2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx 1a (14%), stx 2d (3%), and stx 1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx 2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx 2a and stx 2c, the stx 2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. The present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections. PMID:27148249

  17. Characterization of Shiga toxin subtypes and virulence genes in porcine Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; Patel, Isha; Bagi, Lori K.; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Boccia, Federica; Anastasio, Aniello; Pepe, Tiziana

    2016-04-21

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using amore » Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx1a (14%), stx2d (3%), and stx1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx2a and stx2c, the stx2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. Furthermore, the present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections.« less

  18. Characterization of Shiga Toxin Subtypes and Virulence Genes in Porcine Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Baranzoni, Gian Marco; Fratamico, Pina M.; Gangiredla, Jayanthi; Patel, Isha; Bagi, Lori K.; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Boccia, Federica; Anastasio, Aniello; Pepe, Tiziana

    2016-01-01

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a total of 56 serotypes, including O15:H27, O91:H14, and other serogroups previously associated with human illness. The isolates were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and a high-throughput real-time PCR system to determine the Shiga toxin (Stx) subtype and virulence-associated and putative virulence-associated genes they carried. Select STEC strains were further analyzed using a Minimal Signature E. coli Array Strip. As expected, stx2e (81%) was the most common Stx variant, followed by stx1a (14%), stx2d (3%), and stx1c (1%). The STEC serogroups that carried stx2d were O15:H27, O159:H16 and O159:H-. Similar to stx2a and stx2c, the stx2d variant is associated with development of hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, and reports on the presence of this variant in STEC strains isolated from swine are lacking. Moreover, the genes encoding heat stable toxin (estIa) and enteroaggregative E. coli heat stable enterotoxin-1 (astA) were commonly found in 50 and 44% of isolates, respectively. The hemolysin genes, hlyA and ehxA, were both detected in 7% of the swine STEC strains. Although the eae gene was not found, other genes involved in host cell adhesion, including lpfAO113 and paa were detected in more than 50% of swine STEC strains, and a number of strains also carried iha, lpfAO26, lpfAO157, fedA, orfA, and orfB. The present work provides new insights on the distribution of virulence factors among swine STEC strains and shows that swine may carry Stx1a-, Stx2e-, or Stx2d-producing E. coli with virulence gene profiles associated with human infections. PMID:27148249

  19. Cloning and characterization of the Bacteroides fragilis metalloprotease toxin gene.

    PubMed Central

    Franco, A A; Mundy, L M; Trucksis, M; Wu, S; Kaper, J B; Sears, C L

    1997-01-01

    Strains of Bacteroides fragilis that produce a ca. 20-kDa heat-labile protein toxin (termed B. fragilis toxin [BFT]) have been associated with diarrheal disease of animals and humans. BFT alters the morphology of intestinal epithelial cells both in vitro and in vivo and stimulates secretion in ligated intestinal segments of rats, rabbits, and lambs. Previous genetic and biochemical data indicated that BFT was a metalloprotease which hydrolyzed G (monomeric) actin, gelatin, and azocoll in vitro. In this paper, the cloning and sequencing of the entire B. fragilis toxin gene (bft) from enterotoxigenic B. fragilis (ETBF) 86-5443-2-2 is reported. The bft gene from this ETBF strain consists of one open reading frame of 1,191 nucleotides encoding a predicted 397-residue holotoxin with a calculated molecular weight of 44,493. Comparison of the predicted BFT protein sequence with the N-terminal amino acid sequence of purified BFT indicates that BFT is most probably synthesized by ETBF strains as a preproprotein. These data predict that BFT is processed to yield a biologically active toxin of 186 residues with a molecular mass of 20.7 kDa which is secreted into the culture supernatant. Analysis of the holotoxin sequence predicts a 20-residue amphipathic region at the carboxy terminus of BFT. Thus, in addition to the metalloprotease activity of BFT, the prediction of an amphipathic domain suggests that oligomerization of BFT may permit membrane insertion of the toxin with creation of a transmembrane pore. Comparison of the sequences available for the bft genes from ETBF 86-5443-2-2 and VPI 13784 revealed two regions of reduced homology. Hybridization of oligonucleotide probes specific for each bft to toxigenic B.fragilis strains revealed that 51 and 49% of toxigenic strains contained the 86-5433-2-2 and VPI 13784 bft genes, respectively. No toxigenic strain hybridized with both probes. We propose that these two subtypes of bft be termed bft-1 (VPI 13784) and bft-2 (86

  20. Typing of Clostridium perfringens by in vitro amplification of toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Daube, G; China, B; Simon, P; Hvala, K; Mainil, J

    1994-12-01

    The strains of Clostridium perfringens are classified according to major toxins produced. Classically, this determination involves the seroneutralization of their lethal effect in mice. However, this method requires specific antisera and a large number of mice. In this work, a new typing method was developed based on the amplification of toxin genes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). By combination of several pairs of primers, the toxinotype of a Cl. perfringens strain was determined by looking at the pattern of bands on an agarose gel electrophoresis. This mixture contained primers amplifying simultaneously a part of alpha-toxin, beta-toxin, epsilon-toxin and enterotoxin genes. In order to distinguish between toxinotype A and E, the l-toxin gene fragment must be amplified in a separate PCR reaction. Moreover, with the primers combination, in most cases, a PCR product corresponding to the alpha-toxin gene was obtained from direct enrichments of animal intestinal contents. PMID:7822224

  1. Staphylococcus aureus β-toxin Production is Common in Strains With the β-toxin Gene Inactivated by Bacteriophage

    PubMed Central

    Salgado-Pabón, Wilmara; Herrera, Alfa; Vu, Bao G.; Stach, Christopher S.; Merriman, Joseph A.; Spaulding, Adam R.; Schlievert, Patrick M.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Staphylococcus aureus causes life-threatening infections, including infective endocarditis, sepsis, and pneumonia. β-toxin is a sphingomyelinase encoded for by virtually all S. aureus strains and exhibits human immune cell cytotoxicity. The toxin enhances S. aureus phenol-soluble modulin activity, and its activity is enhanced by superantigens. The bacteriophage φSa3 inserts into the β-toxin gene in human strains, inactivating it in the majority of S. aureus clonal groups. Hence, most strains are reported not to secrete β-toxin. Methods. This dynamic was investigated by examining β-toxin production by multiple clonal groups of S. aureus, both in vitro and in vivo during infections in rabbit models of infective endocarditis, sepsis, and pneumonia. Results. β-toxin phenotypic variants are common among strains containing φSa3. In vivo, φSa3 is differentially induced in heart vegetations, kidney abscesses, and ischemic liver compared to spleen and blood, and in vitro growth in liquid culture. Furthermore, in pneumonia, wild-type β-toxin production leads to development of large caseous lesions, and in infective endocarditis, increases the size of pathognomonic vegetations. Conclusions. This study demonstrates the dynamic interaction between S. aureus and the infected host, where φSa3 serves as a regulator of virulence gene expression, and increased fitness and virulence in new environments. PMID:24620023

  2. The Stagonospora nodorum-wheat pathosystem is an inverse gene for gene system involving multiple proteinaceous host selective toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have recently shown that Stagonospora nodorum produces multiple proteinaceous host selective toxins. These toxins include SnToxA, a host selective toxin first isolated from Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, which has been implicated in a very recent horizontal gene transfer event from S. nodorum to P...

  3. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-05-22

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bontmore » gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. In this paper, we sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. Finally, this TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii.« less

  4. Toxins and genes isolated from scorpions of the genus Tityus.

    PubMed

    Becerril, B; Marangoni, S; Possani, L D

    1997-06-01

    Scorpion venoms contain a variety of low mol. wt peptides toxic to different organisms. These peptides have been intensively studied because they represent excellent models for investigating structure-function relationships and they are also fine probes for studying ionic channel functions. This review deals with the biological and chemical aspects of toxic peptides that affect Na+ or K+ channels and the cloning of the cDNAs and genes encoding the main alpha and beta neurotoxins present in the venom of the three most dangerous species of Brazilian scorpion, Tityus bahiensis, Tityus stigmurus and Tityus serrulatus, and the Venezuelan scorpion Tityus discrepans. At least 16 different peptides specific for Na+ channels and five affecting K+ channels were isolated and characterized from the venom of these scorpions. The isolation of cDNAs and genes encoding four distinct toxins has permitted the elucidation of their nucleotide sequences as well as their genomic organization. Venoms and isolated toxins from scorpions of the genus Tityus were shown to enhance the secretory activity of the pancreas. Antisera obtained against venom of T. serrulatus show cross-reactivity with other species of the Brazilian scorpions. PMID:9241777

  5. Molecular methods to study transcriptional regulation of Clostridium difficile toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Ana; Dupuy, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    Toxin A (TcdA) and Toxin B (TcdB) are the major virulence factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD). These enterotoxins act by glucosylation of members of the Rho protein family of small GTP-binding proteins. This leads to the disorganization of the host cell actin cytoskeleton (cytopathic effect) and apoptosis (cytotoxic effect). Due to their glucosyltransferase activity, they are referred as "clostridial glucosylating toxins". The severe form of CDAD has been recently correlated to the levels of toxin production. This reinforces the idea that regulation of toxin production is an important part of the C. difficile infection. Genes encoding TcdA (tcdA) and TcdB (tcdB) are present in a pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) that also includes three accessory genes: tcdR, tcdE and tcdC. TcdR is an alternative RNA polymerase sigma factor that positively regulates toxin gene transcription as well as its own. TcdE has high homologies with bacteriophage holin proteins. TcdC negatively regulates toxin synthesis by interfering with the RNA polymerase formed with TcdR. Therefore, TcdR and TcdC constitute specific regulators of toxin gene transcription thereby tightly regulating toxin synthesis. In addition a variety of environmental signals, such as the presence of carbon sources or amino acids in the growth medium, and temperature also regulate toxin synthesis. PMID:20597005

  6. Prediction of Toxin Genes from Chinese Yellow Catfish Based on Transcriptomic and Proteomic Sequencing.

    PubMed

    Xie, Bing; Li, Xiaofeng; Lin, Zhilong; Ruan, Zhiqiang; Wang, Min; Liu, Jie; Tong, Ting; Li, Jia; Huang, Yu; Wen, Bo; Sun, Ying; Shi, Qiong

    2016-01-01

    Fish venom remains a virtually untapped resource. There are so few fish toxin sequences for reference, which increases the difficulty to study toxins from venomous fish and to develop efficient and fast methods to dig out toxin genes or proteins. Here, we utilized Chinese yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) as our research object, since it is a representative species in Siluriformes with its venom glands embedded in the pectoral and dorsal fins. In this study, we set up an in-house toxin database and a novel toxin-discovering protocol to dig out precise toxin genes by combination of transcriptomic and proteomic sequencing. Finally, we obtained 15 putative toxin proteins distributed in five groups, namely Veficolin, Ink toxin, Adamalysin, Za2G and CRISP toxin. It seems that we have developed a novel bioinformatics method, through which we could identify toxin proteins with high confidence. Meanwhile, these toxins can also be useful for comparative studies in other fish and development of potential drugs. PMID:27089325

  7. Prediction of Toxin Genes from Chinese Yellow Catfish Based on Transcriptomic and Proteomic Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Bing; Li, Xiaofeng; Lin, Zhilong; Ruan, Zhiqiang; Wang, Min; Liu, Jie; Tong, Ting; Li, Jia; Huang, Yu; Wen, Bo; Sun, Ying; Shi, Qiong

    2016-01-01

    Fish venom remains a virtually untapped resource. There are so few fish toxin sequences for reference, which increases the difficulty to study toxins from venomous fish and to develop efficient and fast methods to dig out toxin genes or proteins. Here, we utilized Chinese yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) as our research object, since it is a representative species in Siluriformes with its venom glands embedded in the pectoral and dorsal fins. In this study, we set up an in-house toxin database and a novel toxin-discovering protocol to dig out precise toxin genes by combination of transcriptomic and proteomic sequencing. Finally, we obtained 15 putative toxin proteins distributed in five groups, namely Veficolin, Ink toxin, Adamalysin, Za2G and CRISP toxin. It seems that we have developed a novel bioinformatics method, through which we could identify toxin proteins with high confidence. Meanwhile, these toxins can also be useful for comparative studies in other fish and development of potential drugs. PMID:27089325

  8. A single gene encodes a selective toxin causal to the development of tan spot of wheat.

    PubMed Central

    Ciuffetti, L M; Tuori, R P; Gaventa, J M

    1997-01-01

    The identification and characterization of pathogenicity factors are essential to an understanding of the molecular events that regulate the interaction of plant-pathogenic microbes with their hosts. We have isolated the gene that encodes a host-selective toxic protein produced by the fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis and confirmed that this gene functions in the plant as the primary determinant of pathogenicity in the Pyrenophora-wheat interaction. These results demonstrate that a single gene encodes the production of a host-selective toxin and that transformation of this gene into a non-toxin-producing isolate of P. tritici-repentis leads to both toxin production and pathogenicity. PMID:9061946

  9. Evaluation of emm gene types, toxin gene profiles and clonal relatedness of group A streptococci

    PubMed Central

    Mengeloglu, Firat Zafer; Aktas, Elif; Otlu, Baris; Cömert, Füsun; Külah, Canan; Tas, Ebru; Sümbüloglu, Vildan

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate antibiotic susceptibilities, emm gene types, toxin gene profiles and clonal relatedness of group A streptococci (GAS) isolates obtained from patients and carriers. A total of 79 clinical isolates from patients and 60 isolates from carriers were included in the study. Emm typing, toxin gene detection for speA, speB, speC, speG and smeZ genes and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was performed. Twenty-one distinct emm types were detected; the most common types were emm12, emm89, emm 1, emm77, emm4 and emm3. The detection rates of both emm types and the toxin genes didn’t differ significantly between patients and carriers. The presence of speA and smeZ was significantly higher in emm1 and speG was significantly lower in emm4 when compared to the other emm types. The rate of clustering obtained with PFGE wasn’t significantly different in patients and carriers. As a result, twelve of the 21 emm types detected in this study were covered by the 26-valent vaccine, constituting 77.7% of the emm typeable isolates; however the emm4 type which is one of the most common types in the present study is not among this coverage. PMID:23988167

  10. Interspecific transfer of host-specific toxin genes in Stagonospora nodorum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The proteinaceous host-specific toxin ToxA, produced by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, confers virulence of the fungus on wheat genotypes carrying the dominant susceptibility gene Tsn1. Sensitivity to the purified toxin and susceptibility to the disease co-locates to the locus, Tsn1. A Stagonospora (...

  11. [Electrochemical detection of toxin gene in Listeria monocytogenes].

    PubMed

    Wu, Ling-Wei; Liu, Quan-Jun; Wu, Zhong-Wei; Lu, Zu-Hong

    2010-05-01

    Listeria monocytogenes (LM) is a food-borne pathogen inducing listeriosis, an illness characterized by encephalitis, septicaemia, and meningitis. Listeriolysin O (LLO) is absolutely required for virulence by L. monocytogenes, and is found only in virulent strains of the species. One of the best ways to detect and confirm the pathogen is detection of one of the virulence factors, LLO, produced by the microorganism. This paper focused on the electrical method used to detect the LLO toxin gene in food products and organism without labeling the target DNA. The electrochemical sensor was obtained by immobilizing single-stranded oligonucleotides onto the gold electrode with the mercaptan activated by N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide (NHS) and N-(3-dimethylamion)propyl-N'-ethyl carbodiimidehydrochloride (EDC). The hy-bridization reaction that occurred on the electrode surface was evidenced by Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) analysis using [Co(phen)3](ClO4)3 as an indicator. The covalently immobilized single-stranded DNA could selectively hybridize to its complementary DNA in solution to form double-stranded DNA on the gold surface. A significant increase of the peak cur-rent of Cyclic Voltammetry (CV) upon hybridization of immobilized ssDNA with PCR amplification products in the solu-tion was observed. This peak current change was used to monitor the amount of PCR amplification products. Factors deter-mining the sensitivity of the electrochemical assay, such as DNA target concentration and hybridization conditions, were investigated. The coupling of DNA to the electrochemical sensors has the potential of the quantitative evaluation of gene. PMID:20466642

  12. Genes Involved in the Production of Antimetabolite Toxins by Pseudomonas syringae Pathovars

    PubMed Central

    Arrebola, Eva; Cazorla, Francisco M; Pérez-García, Alejandro; de Vicente, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Pseudomonas syringae is pathogenic in a wide variety of plants, causing diseases with economic impacts. Pseudomonas syringae pathovars produce several toxins that can function as virulence factors and contribute to disease symptoms. These virulence factors include antimetabolite toxins, such as tabtoxin, phaseolotoxin and mangotoxin, which target enzymes in the pathways of amino acid metabolism. The antimetabolite toxins are generally located in gene clusters present in the flexible genomes of specific strains. These gene clusters are typically present in blocks of genes that appear to be integrated into specific sites in the P. syringae core genome. A general overview of the genetic organization and biosynthetic and regulatory functions of these genetic traits of the antimetabolite toxins will be given in the present work. PMID:24710214

  13. Characterization of shiga toxin subtypes and virulence genes in Porcine shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Similar to ruminants, swine have been shown to be a reservoir for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), and pork products have been linked with outbreaks associated with STEC O157 and O111:H-. STEC strains, isolated in a previous study from fecal samples of late-finisher pigs, belonged to a...

  14. Detection of Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin gene in lambs by loop mediated isothermal amplification

    PubMed Central

    Radhika, B.; Kumar, N. Vinod; Sreenivasulu, D.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was standardized for rapid detection of Clostridium perfringens. Materials and Methods: A total of 120 fecal samples were collected from enterotoxemia suspected lambs were used for screening of C. perfringens cpa gene by LAMP. The specificity of the LAMP amplified products was tested by digesting with restriction enzyme XmnI for alpha toxin gene. Results: Out of 120 samples screened 112 (93.3%) samples were positive by both LAMP and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of cpa gene which indicated the equal sensitivity of both the tests. The enzyme produced single cut in 162 base pair amplified product of alpha toxin gene at 81 base pair resulting in a single band in gel electrophoresis. Conclusion: Both LAMP and PCR for detection of cpa gene indicated the equal sensitivity of both the tests. Standardization of LAMP reaction for amplification of epsilon and beta toxin genes will help to identify the C. perfringens toxin types from the clinical samples. The test could be a suitable alternative to the PCR in detection of toxin types without the help of sophisticated machinery like thermal cycler. Considering its simplicity in operation and high sensitivity, there is the potential use of this technique in clinical diagnosis and surveillance of infectious diseases. PMID:27051186

  15. A Putative Gene Cluster from a Lyngbya wollei Bloom that Encodes Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Mihali, Troco K.; Carmichael, Wayne W.; Neilan, Brett A.

    2011-01-01

    Saxitoxin and its analogs cause the paralytic shellfish-poisoning syndrome, adversely affecting human health and coastal shellfish industries worldwide. Here we report the isolation, sequencing, annotation, and predicted pathway of the saxitoxin biosynthetic gene cluster in the cyanobacterium Lyngbya wollei. The gene cluster spans 36 kb and encodes enzymes for the biosynthesis and export of the toxins. The Lyngbya wollei saxitoxin gene cluster differs from previously identified saxitoxin clusters as it contains genes that are unique to this cluster, whereby the carbamoyltransferase is truncated and replaced by an acyltransferase, explaining the unique toxin profile presented by Lyngbya wollei. These findings will enable the creation of toxin probes, for water monitoring purposes, as well as proof-of-concept for the combinatorial biosynthesis of these natural occurring alkaloids for the production of novel, biologically active compounds. PMID:21347365

  16. Contamination of refuges by Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes from transgenic maize.

    PubMed

    Chilcutt, Charles F; Tabashnik, Bruce E

    2004-05-18

    Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used to control pests, but their benefits will be lost if pests evolve resistance. The mandated high-dose/refuge strategy for delaying pest resistance requires planting refuges of toxin-free crops near Bt crops to promote survival of susceptible pests. We report that pollen-mediated gene flow up to 31 m from Bt maize caused low to moderate Bt toxin levels in kernels of non-Bt maize refuge plants. Immunoassays of non-Bt maize sampled from the field showed that the mean concentration of Bt toxin Cry1Ab in kernels and the percentage of kernels with Cry1Ab decreased with distance from Bt maize. The highest Bt toxin concentration in pooled kernels of non-Bt maize plants was 45% of the mean concentration in kernels from adjacent Bt maize plants. Most previous work on gene flow from transgenic crops has emphasized potential effects of transgene movement on wild relatives of crops, landraces, and organic plantings, whereas implications for pest resistance have been largely ignored. Variable Bt toxin production in seeds of refuge plants undermines the high-dose/refuge strategy and could accelerate pest resistance to Bt crops. Thus, guidelines should be revised to reduce gene flow between Bt crops and refuge plants. PMID:15136739

  17. An attempt to identify the likely sources of Escherichia coli harboring toxin genes in rainwater tanks.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, W; Sidhu, J P S; Toze, S

    2012-05-01

    In this study, 200 Escherichia coli isolates from 22 rainwater tank samples in Southeast Queensland, Australia were tested for the presence of 10 toxin genes (i.e., stx(1), stx(2), hlyA, ehxA, LT1, ST1, cdtB, east1, cnf1, and cvaC) associated with intestinal and extraintestinal pathotypes. Among the 22 rainwater tanks tested, 5 (28%), 7 (32%), 7 (32%), and 1 (5%) tanks contained E. coli harboring ST1, east1, cdtB, and cvaC genes, respectively. Of the 200 E. coli isolates from the 22 tanks, 43 (22%) strains from 13 (59%) tanks were harboring toxin gene. An attempt was made to establish a link between bird and possum fecal contamination and the presence of these potential clinically significant E. coli strains harboring toxin genes in rainwater tanks. Among the 214 E. coli isolates tested from birds, 30 (14%), 11 (5%) and 18 (8%) strains contained east1, cdtB, and cvaC toxin genes, respectively. Similarly, among the 214 possum E. coli isolates, 74 (35%) contained only the east1 toxin gene. All E. coli strains from rainwater tanks, bird and possum fecal samples harboring toxin genes were biochemically fingerprinted. Biochemical phenotypes (BPTs) of 14 (33%) E. coli strains from 7 rainwater tanks and 9 (21%) E. coli strains from 6 rainwater tanks were identical to a number of BPTs of E. coli strains isolated from bird and possum feces suggesting that these animals may be the sources of these E. coli in rainwater tanks. as a precautionary measure, it is recommended that rainwater should be treated prior to drinking. In addition, proper maintenance of roof and gutter hygiene and elimination of overhanging tree branches and other structures where possible to prevent the movement of possums are highly recommended. PMID:22489653

  18. Host–Pathogen Coevolution: The Selective Advantage of Bacillus thuringiensis Virulence and Its Cry Toxin Genes

    PubMed Central

    Papkou, Andrei; Laehnemann, David; Guenther, Patrick S.; Prahl, Swantje; Saebelfeld, Manja; Hollensteiner, Jacqueline; Liesegang, Heiko; Brzuszkiewicz, Elzbieta; Daniel, Rolf; Michiels, Nicolaas K.; Schulte, Rebecca D.; Kurtz, Joachim; Rosenstiel, Philip; Telschow, Arndt; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2015-01-01

    Reciprocal coevolution between host and pathogen is widely seen as a major driver of evolution and biological innovation. Yet, to date, the underlying genetic mechanisms and associated trait functions that are unique to rapid coevolutionary change are generally unknown. We here combined experimental evolution of the bacterial biocontrol agent Bacillus thuringiensis and its nematode host Caenorhabditis elegans with large-scale phenotyping, whole genome analysis, and functional genetics to demonstrate the selective benefit of pathogen virulence and the underlying toxin genes during the adaptation process. We show that: (i) high virulence was specifically favoured during pathogen–host coevolution rather than pathogen one-sided adaptation to a nonchanging host or to an environment without host; (ii) the pathogen genotype BT-679 with known nematocidal toxin genes and high virulence specifically swept to fixation in all of the independent replicate populations under coevolution but only some under one-sided adaptation; (iii) high virulence in the BT-679-dominated populations correlated with elevated copy numbers of the plasmid containing the nematocidal toxin genes; (iv) loss of virulence in a toxin-plasmid lacking BT-679 isolate was reconstituted by genetic reintroduction or external addition of the toxins. We conclude that sustained coevolution is distinct from unidirectional selection in shaping the pathogen's genome and life history characteristics. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the pathogen genes involved in coevolutionary adaptation in an animal host–pathogen interaction system. PMID:26042786

  19. Stagonospora nodorum utilizes a sophisticated inverse gene-for-gene system involving proteinaceous host-selective toxins interacting with dominant wheat sensitivity genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Stagonospora nodorum-wheat pathosystem involves a complex of proteinaceous host-selective toxins that interact either directly or indirectly with host sensitivity/susceptibility gene products in an inverse gene-for-gene manner. Compatible interactions among these gene products are highly import...

  20. In situ detection of the Clostridium botulinum type C1 toxin gene in wetland sediments with a nested PCR assay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williamson, J.L.; Rocke, T.E.; Aiken, Judd M.

    1999-01-01

    A nested PCR was developed for detection of the Clostridium botulinum type C1 toxin gene in sediments collected from wetlands where avian botulism outbreaks had or had not occurred. The C1 toxin gene was detected in 16 of 18 sites, demonstrating both the ubiquitous distribution of C. botulinum type C in wetland sediments and the sensitivity of the detection assay.

  1. TIGRE: Combinator graph reduction on the RTX 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koopman, Philip, Jr.

    1990-01-01

    An efficient evaluation technique is examined for lazy functional programs based on combinator graph reduction. Graph reduction is widely believed to be slow and inefficient, but an abstract machine called the Threaded Interpretive Graph Reduction Engine (TIGRE) achieves a substantial speedup over previous reduction techniques. The runtime system of TIGRE is a threaded system that permits self-modifying program execution with compiler-guaranteed safety. This paper describes an implementation of TIGRE in Forth for the Harris RTX 2000 stack processor.

  2. One gene in diamondback moth confers resistance to four Bacillus thuringiensis toxins

    PubMed Central

    Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Liu, Yong-Biao; Finson, Naomi; Masson, Luke; Heckel, David G.

    1997-01-01

    Environmentally benign insecticides derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are the most widely used biopesticides, but their success will be short-lived if pests quickly adapt to them. The risk of evolution of resistance by pests has increased, because transgenic crops producing insecticidal proteins from Bt are being grown commercially. Efforts to delay resistance with two or more Bt toxins assume that independent mutations are required to counter each toxin. Moreover, it generally is assumed that resistance alleles are rare in susceptible populations. We tested these assumptions by conducting single-pair crosses with diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella), the first insect known to have evolved resistance to Bt in open field populations. An autosomal recessive gene conferred extremely high resistance to four Bt toxins (Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac, and Cry1F). The finding that 21% of the individuals from a susceptible strain were heterozygous for the multiple-toxin resistance gene implies that the resistance allele frequency was 10 times higher than the most widely cited estimate of the upper limit for the initial frequency of resistance alleles in susceptible populations. These findings suggest that pests may evolve resistance to some groups of toxins much faster than previously expected. PMID:9050831

  3. Immune response in mice and swine to DNA vaccines derived from the Pasteurella multocida toxin gene

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    DNA vaccines were constructed with either a 5’-truncated or full-length, genetically detoxified toxin gene from Pasteurella multocida and two different DNA vaccine vectors, distinguished by the presence or absence of a secretion signal sequence. Optimal PMT-specific antibody responses and spleen cel...

  4. Map-Based Cloning of the Fungal Toxin Sensitivity Gene Tsn1 in Wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The wheat Tsn1 gene on wheat chromosome arm 5BL confers sensitivity to the host-selective proteinaceous toxins Ptr ToxA and SnToxA produced by the pathogenic fungi Pyrenophora tritici-repentis and Stagonospora nodorum, respectively. Compatible Tsn1-ToxA interactions lead to extensive cell death and...

  5. CcpA-mediated repression of Clostridium difficile toxin gene expression.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Ana; Martin-Verstraete, Isabelle; Dupuy, Bruno

    2011-02-01

    The presence of glucose or other rapidly metabolizable carbon sources in the bacterial growth medium strongly represses Clostridium difficile toxin synthesis independently of strain origin. In Gram-positive bacteria, carbon catabolite repression (CCR) is generally regarded as a regulatory mechanism that responds to carbohydrate availability. In the C. difficile genome all elements involved in CCR are present. To elucidate in vivo the role of CCR in C. difficile toxin synthesis, we used the ClosTron gene knockout system to construct mutants of strain JIR8094 that were unable to produce the major components of the CCR signal transduction pathway: the phosphotransferase system (PTS) proteins (Enzyme I and HPr), the HPr kinase/phosphorylase (HprK/P) and the catabolite control protein A, CcpA. Inactivation of the ptsI, ptsH and ccpA genes resulted in derepression of toxin gene expression in the presence of glucose, whereas repression of toxin production was still observed in the hprK mutant, indicating that uptake of glucose is required for repression but that phosphorylation of HPr by HprK is not. C. difficile CcpA was found to bind to the regulatory regions of the tcdA and tcdB genes but not through a consensus cre site motif. Moreover in vivo and in vitro results confirmed that HPr-Ser45-P does not stimulate CcpA-dependent binding to DNA targets. However, fructose-1,6-biphosphate (FBP) alone did increase CcpA binding affinity in the absence of HPr-Ser45-P. These results showed that CcpA represses toxin expression in response to PTS sugar availability, thus linking carbon source utilization to virulence gene expression in C. difficile. PMID:21299645

  6. Cloning and expression of the dermonecrotic toxin gene of Pasteurella multocida ssp. multocida in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Kamps, A M; Kamp, E M; Smits, M A

    1990-01-15

    A DNA library of Pasteurella multocida ssp. multocida strain CVI 47459 was constructed in the Lambda GEM-11 vector. Recombinant clones that encoded dermonecrotic toxin (DNT) were identified immunologically with antiserum raised against purified DNT. By comparing the DNA restriction maps of the immunoreactive recombinants, we located the DNT gene. Hybridization studies with 10 strains of P. multocida ssp. multocida suggested that strains that do not produce the DNT do not contain sequences homologous to the DNT gene. PMID:2328908

  7. Multiplex PCR Targeting tpi (Triose Phosphate Isomerase), tcdA (Toxin A), and tcdB (Toxin B) Genes for Toxigenic Culture of Clostridium difficile

    PubMed Central

    Lemee, Ludovic; Dhalluin, Anne; Testelin, Sabrina; Mattrat, Marie-Andre; Maillard, Karine; Lemeland, Jean-François; Pons, Jean-Louis

    2004-01-01

    A multiplex PCR toxigenic culture approach was designed for simultaneous identification and toxigenic type characterization of Clostridium difficile isolates. Three pairs of primers were designed for the amplification of (i) a species-specific internal fragment of the tpi (triose phosphate isomerase) gene, (ii) an internal fragment of the tcdB (toxin B) gene, and (iii) an internal fragment of the tcdA (toxin A) gene allowing distinction between toxin A-positive, toxin B-positive (A+B+) strains and toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive (A−B+) variant strains. The reliability of the multiplex PCR was established by using a panel of 72 C. difficile strains including A+B+, A−B−, and A−B+ toxigenic types and 11 other Clostridium species type strains. The multiplex PCR assay was then included in a toxigenic culture approach for the detection, identification, and toxigenic type characterization of C. difficile in 1,343 consecutive human and animal stool samples. Overall, 111 (15.4%) of 721 human samples were positive for C. difficile; 67 (60.4%) of these samples contained A+B+ toxigenic isolates, and none of them contained A−B+ variant strains. Fifty (8%) of 622 animal samples contained C. difficile strains, which were toxigenic in 27 (54%) cases, including 1 A−B+ variant isolate. Eighty of the 721 human stool samples (37 positive and 43 negative for C. difficile culture) were comparatively tested by Premier Toxins A&B (Meridian Bioscience) and Triage C. difficile Panel (Biosite) immunoassays, the results of which were found concordant with toxigenic culture for 82.5 and 92.5% of the samples, respectively. The multiplex PCR toxigenic culture scheme described here allows combined diagnosis and toxigenic type characterization for human and animal C. difficile intestinal infections. PMID:15583303

  8. New multiplex PCR method for the detection of Clostridium difficile toxin A (tcdA) and toxin B (tcdB) and the binary toxin (cdtA/cdtB) genes applied to a Danish strain collection.

    PubMed

    Persson, S; Torpdahl, M; Olsen, K E P

    2008-11-01

    Isolates of Clostridium difficile from 159 hospitalized Danish patients (2005) were analysed by a new 5-plex PCR method targeting the toxin genes tcdA, tcdB, cdtA and cdtB, and 16S rDNA as an internal positive control. Additionally, the toxin-regulating gene tcdC was partially sequenced by a new sequencing-based method that revealed genetic changes that may render the gene product inactive. Finally tcdA was analysed using a previously published method for the detection of internal deletions. The 5-plex PCR revealed four different toxin gene profiles: 36 tcdA+, tcdB+, cdtA+/cdtB+; one tcdA+, tcdB-, cdtA+/cdtB+; 98 tcdA+, tcdB+, cdtA-/cdtB-; and 24 non-toxigenic tcdA-, tcdB-, cdtA-/cdtB-. Deletion studies revealed that 26 strains contained a c. 700-bp deletion in tcdA, and 39 strains contained at least one possible inactivation feature in tcdC. The prevalence of the binary toxin genes was 23%. All strains with the tcdA+, tcdB+, cdtA+/cdtB+ profile were investigated by PCR ribotyping, and this revealed eight different ribotypes, none of which were 027. The 5-plex PCR method offers a one-step, rapid and specific screening method for C. difficile toxin genes. This toxin gene profiling, together with deletion studies in tcdA and tcdC, may allow an evaluation of the pathogenic potential of C. difficile. PMID:19040478

  9. Detection of Shiga toxin variants, virulence genes and the relationship to cytotoxicity in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from domestic farm animals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can cause foodborne illnesses ranging from diarrhea to life-threating diseases such as hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome in humans. In this study, we determined virulence genes, stx subtypes and we evaluated the cytotoxicity in STEC stra...

  10. Sequence of Shiga Toxin 2 Phage 933W from Escherichia coli O157:H7: Shiga Toxin as a Phage Late-Gene Product†

    PubMed Central

    Plunkett, Guy; Rose, Debra J.; Durfee, Timothy J.; Blattner, Frederick R.

    1999-01-01

    Lysogenic bacteriophages are major vehicles for the transfer of genetic information between bacteria, including pathogenicity and/or virulence determinants. In the enteric pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7, which causes hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome, Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2) are phage encoded. The sequence and analysis of the Stx2 phage 933W is presented here. We find evidence that the toxin genes are part of a late-phage transcript, suggesting that toxin production may be coupled with, if not dependent upon, phage release during lytic growth. Another phage gene, stk, encodes a product resembling eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinases. Based on its position in the sequence, Stk may be produced by the prophage in the lysogenic state, and, like the YpkA protein of Yersinia species, it may interfere with the signal transduction pathway of the mammalian host. Three novel tRNA genes present in the phage genome may serve to increase the availability of rare tRNA species associated with efficient expression of pathogenicity determinants: both the Shiga toxin and serine/threonine kinase genes contain rare isoleucine and arginine codons. 933W also has homology to lom, encoding a member of a family of outer membrane proteins associated with virulence by conferring the ability to survive in macrophages, and bor, implicated in serum resistance. PMID:10074068

  11. Quantification of Clostridium botulinum toxin gene expression by competitive reverse transcription-PCR.

    PubMed

    McGrath, S; Dooley, J S; Haylock, R W

    2000-04-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces a characteristic botulinum neurotoxin which can cause an often fatal neuroparalytic condition known as botulism. Although food-borne botulism is rare, critical screening by food companies is necessary to ensure that food products are safe. At present, the food industry assesses the risks of botulinum neurotoxin production by challenge testing to check any new food products and to check the efficacy of new storage regimes. Challenge testing involves artificial introduction of defined strains of microorganisms into food, and microbial growth and possible toxin production are then monitored. Botulinum toxin is normally analyzed by using the mouse bioassay. However, the mouse bioassay is expensive, slow, and politically sensitive because of animal rights issues. In this paper we describe adaptation of a new assay, competitive reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), to monitor botulinum neurotoxin production. This method accurately measures the level of toxin-encoding mRNA in C. botulinum cells. Measurement of mRNA should provide a good indication of gene expression as mRNA is turned over rapidly in bacterial cells. In addition, the method is rapid, specific, and sensitive. The competitive RT-PCR method was developed to examine C. botulinum E VH toxin gene expression and was used to investigate the level of toxin production by C. botulinum E VH when the organism was grown in two different types of broth. The results which we obtained with the competitive RT-PCR method demonstrated that this method is more rapid and more sensitive than the mouse bioassay. PMID:10742222

  12. Prevalence, toxin gene profiles, and antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from quick-frozen dumplings.

    PubMed

    Hao, Dan; Xing, Xiaonan; Li, Guanghui; Wang, Xin; Zhang, Min; Zhang, Weisong; Xia, Xiaodong; Meng, Jianghong

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus in quick-frozen dumplings and to characterize these strains. A total of 120 dumpling samples, including lamb (n = 13), vegetarian (n = 14), seafood (n = 12), and pork (n = 81) stuffing, were collected in Shaanxi province in China and screened for S. aureus. All S. aureus isolates were characterized by antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and detection of genes encoding staphylococcal enterotoxins, exfoliative toxins A and B (eta and etb), toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (tsst-1), and resistance to methicillin-oxacillin (mecA). In all, 60.0% of all samples were positive for S. aureus, and 117 S. aureus isolates, including seven mecA-positive strains, were recovered from these positive samples. In addition, all mecA-positive S. aureus isolates were recovered from products of animal origin. In these S. aureus isolates, resistance was observed most frequently to ampicillin (92.3%) and penicillin (86.3%), followed by clarithromycin, erythromycin, midecamycin, tetracycline, and kanahemycin (from 53.8 to 28.2%). All isolates were sensitive to cefoperazone, minocycline, vancomycin, and ofloxacin. The predominant toxin gene was sec (38.5%), followed by seg (19.7%), sej (16.2%), see (12.8%), sea (11.1%), and seb (10.3%), whereas eta, etb, and tsst-1 genes were not detected. These findings indicate that S. aureus was present commonly in quick-frozen dumplings, accompanied by multiple antimicrobial resistance and toxin genes. Our findings highlight the urgency for stricter hygiene strategies in food production and the prudent use of antibiotics in the breeding industry. PMID:25581200

  13. Mis-splicing of the ABCC2 gene linked with Bt toxin resistance in Helicoverpa armigera

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Yutao; Zhang, Tao; Liu, Chenxi; Heckel, David G.; Li, Xianchun; Tabashnik, Bruce E.; Wu, Kongming

    2014-01-01

    Toxins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are used widely for insect control in sprays and transgenic plants, but their efficacy is reduced when pests evolve resistance. Previous work showed that mutations in a gene encoding the transporter protein ABCC2 are linked with resistance to Bt toxins Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or both in four species of Lepidoptera. Here we compared the ABCC2 gene of Helicoverpa armigera (HaABCC2) between susceptible strains and a laboratory-selected strain with >1,000-fold resistance to Cry1Ac relative its susceptible parent strain. We discovered a 73-base pair (bp) insertion in the cDNA of the resistant strain that generates a premature stop codon expected to yield a truncated ABCC2 protein. Sequencing of genomic DNA revealed that this insertion is an intron that is not spliced out because of a 6-bp deletion at its splicing site. Analysis of progeny from crosses revealed tight genetic linkage between HaABCC2 and resistance to Cry1Ac. These results provide the first evidence that mis-splicing of a gene encoding an ABCC2 protein confers resistance to a Bt toxin. PMID:25154974

  14. Molecular Analysis of Virulence Profiles and Shiga Toxin Genes in Food-Borne Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli▿

    PubMed Central

    Slanec, T.; Fruth, A.; Creuzburg, K.; Schmidt, H.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, 75 Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains originating from foods (n = 73) and drinking water (n = 2) were analyzed for their stx genotype, as well as for further chromosome-, phage-, and plasmid-encoded virulence factors. A broad spectrum of stx genes was detected. Fifty-three strains (70.7%) contained stx2 or stx2 variants, including stx2d, mucus-activatable stx2d, stx2e, and stx2g. Seven strains (9.3%) harbored stx1 or stx1c, and 15 strains (20.0%) carried both stx2 and/or stx2 variants and stx1 or stx1c. Beside stx, the most abundant accessory virulence markers in STEC food isolates were iha (57.3%), ehxA (40.0%), espP (28.0%), and subAB (25.3%). Only four strains were eae positive; three of these belonged to the serogroups O26, O103, and O157 and contained a typical enterohemorrhagic E. coli virulence spectrum. The results of this study show that a number of STEC strains that occur in foods appear to be pathogenic for humans, based on their virulence profiles. Analysis of stx subtypes and detection of additional virulence factors in eae-negative strains may help to better assess the risk of such strains for causing human infection. PMID:19684176

  15. The Stagonospora nodorum-wheat pathosystem is an inverse gene-for-gene system involving multiple proteinaceous host-selective toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We recently showed that the wheat pathogen Stagonospora nodorum produces proteinaceous host-selective toxins (HSTs). These toxins include SnTox1 as well as SnToxA, a HST first identified from Pyrenophora tritici-repentis that was implicated in a very recent horizontal gene transfer event from S. nod...

  16. TdeA, a TolC-like protein required for toxin and drug export in Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans

    PubMed Central

    Crosby, Juan A.; Kachlany, Scott C.

    2007-01-01

    Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitansW is an oral bacterium that causes localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP) and extra-oral infections such as sub-acute infective endocarditis. As part of its array of virulence factors, A. actinomycetemcomitans produces leukotoxin (LtxA), a member of the RTX family of toxins. LtxA kills human leukocytes and we have recently shown that the toxin is required for β -hemolysis by A. actinomycetemcomitans on solid medium. In other RTX toxin-producing bacteria, an outer membrane channel-forming protein, TolC, is required for toxin secretion and drug export. We have identified an ORF in A. actinomycetemcomitans that encodes a putative protein having predicted structural properties similar to TolC. Inactivation of this ORF resulted in a mutant that was no longer β -hemolytic and did not secrete LtxA. This mutant was significantly more sensitive to antimicrobial agents compared to the wild type strain and was unable to export the antimicrobial agent berberine. Thus, this ORF was named tdeA for “toxin and drug export”. Examination of the DNA sequence surrounding tdeA revealed two upstream ORFs that encode proteins similar to the drug efflux proteins, MacA and MacB. Inactivation of macB in A. actinomycetemcomitans did not alter the drug sensitivity profile or the hemolytic activity of the mutant. The genes macA, macB and tdeA are organized as an operon and are constitutively expressed as a single transcript. These results show that A. actinomycetemcomitans indeed requires a TolC-like protein for LtxA secretion and that this protein, TdeA, also functions as part of a drug efflux system. PMID:17116373

  17. Restriction and Recruitment—Gene Duplication and the Origin and Evolution of Snake Venom Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Hargreaves, Adam D.; Swain, Martin T.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Logan, Darren W.; Mulley, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive “just-so story” in evolutionary biology. PMID:25079342

  18. Diversification of a single ancestral gene into a successful toxin superfamily in highly venomous Australian funnel-web spiders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Spiders have evolved pharmacologically complex venoms that serve to rapidly subdue prey and deter predators. The major toxic factors in most spider venoms are small, disulfide-rich peptides. While there is abundant evidence that snake venoms evolved by recruitment of genes encoding normal body proteins followed by extensive gene duplication accompanied by explosive structural and functional diversification, the evolutionary trajectory of spider-venom peptides is less clear. Results Here we present evidence of a spider-toxin superfamily encoding a high degree of sequence and functional diversity that has evolved via accelerated duplication and diversification of a single ancestral gene. The peptides within this toxin superfamily are translated as prepropeptides that are posttranslationally processed to yield the mature toxin. The N-terminal signal sequence, as well as the protease recognition site at the junction of the propeptide and mature toxin are conserved, whereas the remainder of the propeptide and mature toxin sequences are variable. All toxin transcripts within this superfamily exhibit a striking cysteine codon bias. We show that different pharmacological classes of toxins within this peptide superfamily evolved under different evolutionary selection pressures. Conclusions Overall, this study reinforces the hypothesis that spiders use a combinatorial peptide library strategy to evolve a complex cocktail of peptide toxins that target neuronal receptors and ion channels in prey and predators. We show that the ω-hexatoxins that target insect voltage-gated calcium channels evolved under the influence of positive Darwinian selection in an episodic fashion, whereas the κ-hexatoxins that target insect calcium-activated potassium channels appear to be under negative selection. A majority of the diversifying sites in the ω-hexatoxins are concentrated on the molecular surface of the toxins, thereby facilitating neofunctionalisation leading to new toxin

  19. Abundant toxin-related genes in the genomes of beneficial symbionts from deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussels.

    PubMed

    Sayavedra, Lizbeth; Kleiner, Manuel; Ponnudurai, Ruby; Wetzel, Silke; Pelletier, Eric; Barbe, Valerie; Satoh, Nori; Shoguchi, Eiichi; Fink, Dennis; Breusing, Corinna; Reusch, Thorsten Bh; Rosenstiel, Philip; Schilhabel, Markus B; Becher, Dörte; Schweder, Thomas; Markert, Stephanie; Dubilier, Nicole; Petersen, Jillian M

    2015-01-01

    Bathymodiolus mussels live in symbiosis with intracellular sulfur-oxidizing (SOX) bacteria that provide them with nutrition. We sequenced the SOX symbiont genomes from two Bathymodiolus species. Comparison of these symbiont genomes with those of their closest relatives revealed that the symbionts have undergone genome rearrangements, and up to 35% of their genes may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Many of the genes specific to the symbionts were homologs of virulence genes. We discovered an abundant and diverse array of genes similar to insecticidal toxins of nematode and aphid symbionts, and toxins of pathogens such as Yersinia and Vibrio. Transcriptomics and proteomics revealed that the SOX symbionts express the toxin-related genes (TRGs) in their hosts. We hypothesize that the symbionts use these TRGs in beneficial interactions with their host, including protection against parasites. This would explain why a mutualistic symbiont would contain such a remarkable 'arsenal' of TRGs. PMID:26371554

  20. Two Homoeologous Wheat Genes Confer Sensitivity to a Single Host-Selective Toxin and Susceptibility to Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The pathogen Stagonospora nodorum produces multiple host-selective toxins that interact with corresponding wheat sensitivity genes in an inverse gene-for-gene manner to cause the disease Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) in wheat. Here, we screened accessions of Aegilops tauschii, the D-genome donor...

  1. Bordetella parapertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica contain transcriptionally silent pertussis toxin genes.

    PubMed Central

    Aricò, B; Rappuoli, R

    1987-01-01

    Pertussis toxin, the major virulence factor of Bordetella pertussis, is not produced by the closely related species Bordetella parapertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is shown here that these two species possess but do not express the complete toxin operon. Nucleotide sequencing of an EcoRI fragment of 5 kilobases comprising the regions homologous to the pertussis toxin genes shows that in this region, B. parapertussis and B. bronchiseptica are 98.5% and 96% homologous, respectively, to B. pertussis. The changes (mostly base pair substitutions) in many cases are identical in B. parapertussis and B. bronchiseptica, suggesting that these two species derive from a common ancestor. Many of the mutations common to B. parapertussis and B. bronchiseptica involve the promoter region, which becomes very inefficient. The S1 subunits of both species, when expressed in Escherichia coli, have the same ADP-ribosylating activity as the S1 subunit from B. pertussis, indicating that the mutations in the S1 gene described here do not affect its function. Images PMID:3584073

  2. Toxic peptides and genes encoding toxin gamma of the Brazilian scorpions Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus.

    PubMed

    Becerril, B; Corona, M; Coronas, F I; Zamudio, F; Calderon-Aranda, E S; Fletcher, P L; Martin, B M; Possani, L D

    1996-02-01

    Seven toxic peptides from the venom of Tityus bahiensis and Tityus stigmurus was isolated and sequenced, five of them to completion. The most abundant peptide from each of these two species of scorpion was 95% identical with that of toxin gamma from the venom of Tityus serrulatus. They were consequently named gamma-b and gamma-st respectively. The genes encoding these new gamma-like peptides were cloned and sequenced by utilizing oligonucleotides synthesized according to known cDNA sequences of toxin gamma, and amplified by PCR on templates of DNA purified from both T. bahiensis and T. stigmurus. They contain an intron of approx. 470 bp. Possible mechanisms of processing and expressing these peptides are discussed, in view of the fact that glycine is the first residue of the N-terminal sequence of T. stigmurus, whereas lysine is the residue at position 1 of toxin gamma from T. serrulatus and T. bahiensis. In addition, chemical characterization of the less abundant toxic peptides showed the presence of at least four distinct families of peptides in all three species of the genus Tityus studied. There is a large degree of similarity among peptides from different venoms of the same family. By using specific horse and rabbit antisera, the venoms of T. bahiensis, T. serrulatus and T. stigmurus were compared. They showed an extended degree of cross-reactivity. Thus these three species of scorpion have similar toxic components, the genes of which are similarly organized, processed and expressed. PMID:8611151

  3. Characterization of Clostridium perfringens TpeL Toxin Gene Carriage, Production, Cytotoxic Contributions, and Trypsin Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    Large clostridial toxins (LCTs) are produced by at least four pathogenic clostridial species, and several LCTs are proven pivotal virulence factors for both human and veterinary diseases. TpeL is a recently identified LCT produced by Clostridium perfringens that has received relatively limited study. In response, the current study surveyed carriage of the tpeL gene among different C. perfringens strains, detecting this toxin gene in some type A, B, and C strains but not in any type D or E strains. This study also determined that all tested strains maximally produce, and extracellularly release, TpeL at the late-log or early-stationary growth stage during in vitro culture, which is different from the maximal late-stationary-phase production reported previously for other LCTs and for TpeL production by C. perfringens strain JIR12688. In addition, the present study found that TpeL levels in culture supernatants can be repressed by either glucose or sucrose. It was also shown that, at natural production levels, TpeL is a significant contributor to the cytotoxic activity of supernatants from cultures of tpeL-positive strain CN3685. Lastly, this study identified TpeL, which presumably is produced in the intestines during diseases caused by TpeL-positive type B and C strains, as a toxin whose cytotoxicity decreases after treatment with trypsin; this finding may have pathophysiologic relevance by suggesting that, like beta toxin, TpeL contributes to type B and C infections in hosts with decreased trypsin levels due to disease, diet, or age. PMID:25824828

  4. Real-time multiplex PCR assays for reliable detection of Clostridium perfringens toxin genes in animal isolates.

    PubMed

    Albini, S; Brodard, I; Jaussi, A; Wollschlaeger, N; Frey, J; Miserez, R; Abril, C

    2008-02-01

    Typing of Clostridium perfringens strains by PCR-based determination of toxin genes proved to be a reliable method for diagnosis of enterotoxaemia in various animal species. We report the establishment and validation of three real-time fluorogenic (TaqMan) multiplex PCRs for the detection of C. perfringens alpha-, beta-, beta2-, epsilon-, entero- and iota-toxin genes. The composition of the PCRs was chosen with regard to robustness of the assays and in order to increase sensitivity compared to the conventional simplex PCRs. The combination of probe dyes selected for the real-time assays (FAM/TAMRA, Cy-5/BHQ-2 and VIC/TAMRA) as well as the designation of the chromosome-borne alpha-toxin as internal positive control allowed the creation of highly specific and sensitive, as well as time and cost effective PCRs. One hundred and three strains of C. perfringens isolated in Switzerland derived from clinical or suspected cases of enterotoxaemia in 10 different animal species were tested. The toxin genotypes were in agreement in both the conventional PCRs and the newly designed multiplex PCRs. Furthermore, the real-time PCR carried out as simplex allows to quantitate the copy numbers of plasmid-borne toxin genes in relation to the chromosomally located alpha-toxin gene. PMID:17855025

  5. Investigation of toxin gene diversity and antimicrobial resistance of Clostridium difficile strains

    PubMed Central

    ZHU, SHANSHAN; ZHANG, HUAPING; ZHANG, XINSHENG; WANG, CHAO; FAN, GUANGMING; ZHANG, WEIFENG; SUN, GANG; CHEN, HUIHONG; ZHANG, LIMING; LI, ZHAOYUN

    2014-01-01

    The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has been previously reported in a number of studies. However, data collected from the Chinese population is limited. In the present study, the diversity of the toxin genes, tcdA and tcdB, of 57 Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) isolates from a Chinese population were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (38 A+B+, 14 A-B+ and 5 A-B−). Quantitative PCR was used to check the expression of these two genes and it was found that the genes were not expressed by all the strains. The absence of tcdA or tcdB expression in certain strains could be due to the lower expression of tcdD and the higher expression of tcdC, which are positive and negative regulators for these two toxin genes, respectively. In addition, the antimicrobial susceptibilities of 57 isolates were investigated. Therefore, these data would aid in the future prevention of CDI outbreaks and improve the understanding of the infection. PMID:25054021

  6. Investigation of toxin gene diversity and antimicrobial resistance of Clostridium difficile strains.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shanshan; Zhang, Huaping; Zhang, Xinsheng; Wang, Chao; Fan, Guangming; Zhang, Weifeng; Sun, Gang; Chen, Huihong; Zhang, Liming; Li, Zhaoyun

    2014-09-01

    The incidence of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has been previously reported in a number of studies. However, data collected from the Chinese population is limited. In the present study, the diversity of the toxin genes, tcdA and tcdB, of 57 Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) isolates from a Chinese population were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (38 A(+)B(+), 14 A(-)B(+) and 5 A(-)B(-)). Quantitative PCR was used to check the expression of these two genes and it was found that the genes were not expressed by all the strains. The absence of tcdA or tcdB expression in certain strains could be due to the lower expression of tcdD and the higher expression of tcdC, which are positive and negative regulators for these two toxin genes, respectively. In addition, the antimicrobial susceptibilities of 57 isolates were investigated. Therefore, these data would aid in the future prevention of CDI outbreaks and improve the understanding of the infection. PMID:25054021

  7. [Cloning of Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin gene and extracellular expression in Escherichia coli].

    PubMed

    Inoue, Masaharu; Kikuchi, Maho; Komoriya, Tomoe; Watanabe, Kunitomo; Kouno, Hideki

    2007-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that widely propagets in the soil and the gastrointestinal tract of human and animals. This bacteria causes food poisoning, gas gangrene and other various range of infectious diseases. But there is no standard diagnosis method of C. perfringens. In order to develop a new type of immunoassay for clinical purpose, we studied expression and extracellular secretion of recombinant alpha-toxin having enzyme activity in E. coli expression system. Cloning was carried out after PCR amplification from C. perfringens GAI 94074 which was clinical isolate. Three kinds of fragment were cloned using pET100/D-TOPO vector. These fragments coded for ribosome binding site, signal peptide, and alpha-toxin gene respectively. Recombinant pET100 plasmid transformed into TOP 10 cells and the obtained plasmids were transformed into BL21 (DE3) cells. Then, the transformants were induced expression with IPTG. In conclusion, we successfully cloned, expressed and exteracellular secreted C. perfringens alpha-toxin containing signal peptide. Biologically, the obtained recombinant protein was positive for phospholipase C activity. PMID:18154441

  8. Venom gland transcriptomes of two elapid snakes (Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra) and evolution of toxin genes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Kraits (genus Bungarus) and cobras (genus Naja) are two representative toxic genera of elapids in the old world. Although they are closely related genera and both of their venoms are very toxic, the compositions of their venoms are very different. To unveil their detailed venoms and their evolutionary patterns, we constructed venom gland cDNA libraries and genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries for Bungarus multicinctus and Naja atra, respectively. We sequenced about 1500 cDNA clones for each of the venom cDNA libraries and screened BAC libraries of the two snakes by blot analysis using four kinds of toxin probes; i.e., three-finger toxin (3FTx), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), kunitz-type protease inhibitor (Kunitz), and natriuretic peptide (NP). Results In total, 1092 valid expressed sequences tags (ESTs) for B. multicinctus and 1166 ESTs for N. atra were generated. About 70% of these ESTs can be annotated as snake toxin transcripts. 3FTx (64.5%) and β bungarotoxin (25.1%) comprise the main toxin classes in B. multicinctus, while 3FTx (95.8%) is the dominant toxin in N. atra. We also observed several less abundant venom families in B. multicinctus and N. atra, such as PLA2, C-type lectins, and Kunitz. Peculiarly a cluster of NP precursors with tandem NPs was detected in B. multicinctus. A total of 71 positive toxin BAC clones in B. multicinctus and N. atra were identified using four kinds of toxin probes (3FTx, PLA2, Kunitz, and NP), among which 39 3FTx-postive BACs were sequenced to reveal gene structures of 3FTx toxin genes. Conclusions Based on the toxin ESTs and 3FTx gene sequences, the major components of B. multicinctus venom transcriptome are neurotoxins, including long chain alpha neurotoxins (α-ntx) and the recently originated β bungarotoxin, whereas the N. atra venom transcriptome mainly contains 3FTxs with cytotoxicity and neurotoxicity (short chain α-ntx). The data also revealed that tandem duplications contributed the most to

  9. The Lethal Toxin from Australian Funnel-Web Spiders Is Encoded by an Intronless Gene

    PubMed Central

    Pineda, Sandy Steffany; Wilson, David; Mattick, John S.; King, Glenn F.

    2012-01-01

    Australian funnel-web spiders are generally considered the most dangerous spiders in the world, with envenomations from the Sydney funnel-web spider Atrax robustus resulting in at least 14 human fatalities prior to the introduction of an effective anti-venom in 1980. The clinical envenomation syndrome resulting from bites by Australian funnel-web spiders is due to a single 42-residue peptide known as δ-hexatoxin. This peptide delays the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels, which results in spontaneous repetitive firing and prolongation of action potentials, thereby causing massive neurotransmitter release from both somatic and autonomic nerve endings. Here we show that δ-hexatoxin from the Australian funnel-web spider Hadronyche versuta is produced from an intronless gene that encodes a prepropeptide that is post-translationally processed to yield the mature toxin. A limited sampling of genes encoding unrelated venom peptides from this spider indicated that they are all intronless. Thus, in distinct contrast to cone snails and scorpions, whose toxin genes contain introns, spiders may have developed a quite different genetic strategy for evolving their venom peptidome. PMID:22928020

  10. Identification of shiga toxin and intimin genes in Escherichia coli detected from canary (Serinus canaria domestica).

    PubMed

    Gholami-Ahangaran, Majid; Zia-Jahromi, Noosha

    2014-09-01

    The pathogenicity of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains is, in large part, due to shiga toxin (Stx) genes (Stx1 and Stx2) and/or intimin (eae) gene. The purpose of this study was to analyze the role of domestic canaries (Serinus canaria domestica) as a reservoir of Stx and intimin producing strains of E. coli. For this study, a total of 50 cloacal swabs were collected from 50 healthy domestic canaries. Cloacal swabs were cultured and tested using standard methods of microbiology. After primary identification of E. coli, DNA was extracted and polymerase chain reaction was performed using specific primers for Stx1, Stx2 and eae genes. In this study, three of 50 samples were found to be Stx2 positive. In the present study, nine (18%) of 50 canaries tested were positive for eae gene. Only 2% of total canaries tested were positive for simultaneous Stx and eae genes. By considering the presence of Stx genes in E. coli isolated from cloacal contents of canary, this hypothesis expressed that the canaries may be the carriers of virulence genes that can risk human health. Canary was considered to be a reservoir of Stx and intimin genes and make these birds important vehicles for the spread of zoonosis infection. PMID:23047613

  11. Homologues of insecticidal toxin complex genes within a genomic island in the marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

    PubMed

    Tang, Kathy F J; Lightner, Donald V

    2014-10-01

    Three insecticidal toxin complex (tc)-like genes were identified in Vibrio parahaemolyticus 13-028/A3, which can cause acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease in penaeid shrimp. The three genes are a tcdA-like gene (7710 bp), predicted to code for a 284-kDa protein; a tcdB-like gene (4272 bp), predicted to code for a 158-kDa protein; and a tccC3-like gene (2916 bp), predicted to encode a 107-kDa protein. All three predicted proteins contain conserved domains that are characteristic of their respective Tc proteins. By RT-PCR, all three tc-like genes were found to be expressed in this bacterium. Through genome walking and the use of PCR to join contigs surrounding these three genes, a genomic island (87 712 bp, named tc-GIvp) was found on chromosome II localized next to the tRNA Gly. The GC content of this island, which is not found in other Vibrio species, is 40%. The tc-GIvp is characterized to have 60 ORFs encoding regulatory or virulence factors. These include a type 6 secretion protein VgrG, EAL domain-containing proteins, fimbriae subunits and assembly proteins, invasin-like proteins, peptidoglycan-binding proteins, and Tc proteins. The tc-GIvp also contains 21 transposase genes, suggesting that it was acquired through horizontal transfer from other organisms. PMID:25272969

  12. SxtA and sxtG Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Mediterranean Alexandrium minutum (Dinophyceae)

    PubMed Central

    Perini, Federico; Galluzzi, Luca; Dell’Aversano, Carmela; Dello Iacovo, Emma; Tartaglione, Luciana; Ricci, Fabio; Forino, Martino; Ciminiello, Patrizia; Penna, Antonella

    2014-01-01

    The dinoflagellate Alexandrium minutum is known for the production of potent neurotoxins affecting the health of human seafood consumers via paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the toxin content and the expression level of the genes involved in paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) production. The algal cultures were grown both in standard f/2 medium and in phosphorus/nitrogen limitation. In our study, LC-HRMS analyses of PST profile and content in different Mediterranean A. minutum strains confirmed that this species was able to synthesize mainly the saxitoxin analogues Gonyautoxin-1 (GTX1) and Gonyautoxin-4 (GTX4). The average cellular toxin content varied among different strains, and between growth phases, highlighting a decreasing trend from exponential to stationary phase in all culture conditions tested. The absolute quantities of intracellular sxtA1 and sxtG mRNA were not correlated with the amount of intracellular toxins in the analysed A. minutum suggesting that the production of toxins may be regulated by post-transcriptional mechanisms and/or by the concerted actions of alternative genes belonging to the PST biosynthesis gene cluster. Therefore, it is likely that the sxtA1 and sxtG gene expression could not reflect the PST accumulation in the Mediterranean A. minutum populations under the examined standard and nutrient limiting conditions. PMID:25341029

  13. Effects of a natural toxin on life history and gene expression of Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    van Ommen Kloeke, A E Elaine; Gong, Ping; Ellers, Jacintha; Roelofs, Dick

    2014-02-01

    Earthworms perform key functions for a healthy soil ecosystem, such as bioturbation. The soil ecosystem can be challenged by natural toxins such as isothiocyanates (ITCs), produced by many commercial crops. Therefore, the effects of 2-phenylethyl ITC were investigated on the earthworm Eisenia andrei using an ecotoxicogenomics approach. Exposure to 2-phenylethyl ITC reduced both survival and reproduction of E. andrei in a dose-dependent manner (median effective concentration [EC50] = 556 nmol/g). Cross-species comparative genomic hybridization validated the applicability of an existing 4 × 44,000 Eisenia fetida microarray to E. andrei. Gene expression profiles revealed the importance of metallothionein (MT) as an early warning signal when E. andrei was exposed to low concentrations of 2-phenylethyl ITC. Alignment of these MT genes with the MT-2 gene of Lumbricus rubellus showed that at least 2 MT gene clusters are present in the Eisenia sp. genome. At high-exposure concentrations, gene expression was mainly affected by inhibiting chitinase activity, inducing an oxidative stress response, and stimulating energy metabolism. Furthermore, analysis by Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway implied that the high concentration may have caused impaired light sensitivity, angiogenesis, olfactory perception, learning, and memory. Increased levels of ITCs may be found in the field in the near future. The results presented call for a careful investigation to quantify the risk of such compounds before allowing them to enter the soil on a large scale. PMID:24395740

  14. Diverse Virulence Gene Content of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli from Finishing Swine

    PubMed Central

    Fratamico, Pina M.; Bagi, Lori; Delannoy, Sabine; Fach, Patrick; Manning, Shannon D.; Funk, Julie A.

    2014-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections are a critical public health concern because they can cause severe clinical outcomes, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome, in humans. Determining the presence or absence of virulence genes is essential in assessing the potential pathogenicity of STEC strains. Currently, there is limited information about the virulence genes carried by swine STEC strains; therefore, this study was conducted to examine the presence and absence of 69 virulence genes in STEC strains recovered previously from finishing swine in a longitudinal study. A subset of STEC strains was analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to examine their genetic relatedness. Swine STEC strains (n = 150) were analyzed by the use of a high-throughput real-time PCR array system, which included 69 virulence gene targets. Three major pathotypes consisted of 16 different combinations of virulence gene profiles, and serotypes were determined in the swine STEC strains. The majority of the swine STEC strains (n = 120) belonged to serotype O59:H21 and carried the same virulence gene profile, which consisted of 9 virulence genes: stx2e, iha, ecs1763, lpfAO113, estIa (STa), ehaA, paa, terE, and ureD. The eae, nleF, and nleH1-2 genes were detected in one swine STEC strain (O49:H21). Other genes encoding adhesins, including iha, were identified (n = 149). The PFGE results demonstrated that swine STEC strains from pigs raised in the same finishing barn were closely related. Our results revealed diverse virulence gene contents among the members of the swine STEC population and enhance understanding of the dynamics of transmission of STEC strains among pigs housed in the same barn. PMID:25107960

  15. Characterisation of the paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis gene clusters in Anabaena circinalis AWQC131C and Aphanizomenon sp. NH-5

    PubMed Central

    Mihali, Troco K; Kellmann, Ralf; Neilan, Brett A

    2009-01-01

    Background Saxitoxin and its analogues collectively known as the paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are neurotoxic alkaloids and are the cause of the syndrome named paralytic shellfish poisoning. PSTs are produced by a unique biosynthetic pathway, which involves reactions that are rare in microbial metabolic pathways. Nevertheless, distantly related organisms such as dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria appear to produce these toxins using the same pathway. Hypothesised explanations for such an unusual phylogenetic distribution of this shared uncommon metabolic pathway, include a polyphyletic origin, an involvement of symbiotic bacteria, and horizontal gene transfer. Results We describe the identification, annotation and bioinformatic characterisation of the putative paralytic shellfish toxin biosynthesis clusters in an Australian isolate of Anabaena circinalis and an American isolate of Aphanizomenon sp., both members of the Nostocales. These putative PST gene clusters span approximately 28 kb and contain genes coding for the biosynthesis and export of the toxin. A putative insertion/excision site in the Australian Anabaena circinalis AWQC131C was identified, and the organization and evolution of the gene clusters are discussed. A biosynthetic pathway leading to the formation of saxitoxin and its analogues in these organisms is proposed. Conclusion The PST biosynthesis gene cluster presents a mosaic structure, whereby genes have apparently transposed in segments of varying size, resulting in different gene arrangements in all three sxt clusters sequenced so far. The gene cluster organizational structure and sequence similarity seems to reflect the phylogeny of the producer organisms, indicating that the gene clusters have an ancient origin, or that their lateral transfer was also an ancient event. The knowledge we gain from the characterisation of the PST biosynthesis gene clusters, including the identity and sequence of the genes involved in the biosynthesis, may

  16. Identification and phylogeny of putative PEPC genes in three toxin-producing Karenia (Dinophyta) species.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Darcie E; Campbell, Lisa

    2016-08-01

    Dense blooms of toxin-producing Karenia brevis increase local surface ocean pH through CO2 uptake. To identify genes that may contribute to bloom-related environmental pH and pCO2 changes, transcriptomes with RNA from K. brevis Wilson cultures that had been acclimated to low CO2 (250 ppm) or recent CO2 (350 ppm) pCO2 levels were assembled. Among the annotated transcripts were PEPC, PPDK, and PEPCK enzymes found in the model C4 carbon fixation pathway. Previous studies have demonstrated that the enzymatic activity of PEPC, PPDK, and/or PEPCK in some algae species, including marine diatoms, is influenced by variations in dissolved inorganic carbon. We found significantly similar PEPC, PPDK, and PEPCK enzymes in the transcriptomes of K. brevis and two sister species Karenia papilionacea, and Karenia mikimotoi. One or more isoforms of PEPC were also identified in the transcriptomes of thirty additional photosynthetic phytoplankton species from nine phyla. Phylogenetic trees were constructed with neighbor joining and maximum likelihood techniques to characterize the evolutionary relationship among phytoplankton, terrestrial plant C4, and terrestrial plant C3 PEPC sequences. Based on the nucleotide trees constructed during this study, the Karenia PEPC transcripts were more closely related to the terrestrial C4 genes than the terrestrial C3 genes. Furthermore, PEPC phylogeny among phytoplankton closely resembles phylogenetic trees constructed with ribosomal RNA. This study confirmed that the toxin-producing dinoflagellates K. brevis, K. mikimotoi, and K. papilionacea express putative PEPC, PEPCK, and PPDK transcripts. PMID:27136041

  17. Synergetic action of domain II and IV underlies persistent current generation in Nav1.3 as revealed by a tarantula toxin.

    PubMed

    Tang, Cheng; Zhou, Xi; Zhang, Yunxiao; Xiao, Zhaohua; Hu, Zhaotun; Zhang, Changxin; Huang, Ying; Chen, Bo; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2015-01-01

    The persistent current (INaP) through voltage-gated sodium channels enhances neuronal excitability by causing prolonged depolarization of membranes. Nav1.3 intrinsically generates a small INaP, although the mechanism underlying its generation remains unclear. In this study, the involvement of the four domains of Nav1.3 in INaP generation was investigated using the tarantula toxin α-hexatoxin-MrVII (RTX-VII). RTX-VII activated Nav1.3 and induced a large INaP. A pre-activated state binding model was proposed to explain the kinetics of toxin-channel interaction. Of the four domains of Nav1.3, both domain II and IV might play important roles in the toxin-induced INaP. Domain IV constructed the binding site for RTX-VII, while domain II might not participate in interacting with RTX-VII but could determine the efficacy of RTX-VII. Our results based on the use of RTX-VII as a probe suggest that domain II and IV cooperatively contribute to the generation of INaP in Nav1.3. PMID:25784299

  18. Synergetic Action of Domain II and IV Underlies Persistent Current Generation in Nav1.3 as revealed by a tarantula toxin

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Cheng; Zhou, Xi; Zhang, Yunxiao; xiao, Zhaohua; Hu, Zhaotun; Zhang, Changxin; Huang, Ying; Chen, Bo; Liu, Zhonghua; Liang, Songping

    2015-01-01

    The persistent current (INaP) through voltage-gated sodium channels enhances neuronal excitability by causing prolonged depolarization of membranes. Nav1.3 intrinsically generates a small INaP, although the mechanism underlying its generation remains unclear. In this study, the involvement of the four domains of Nav1.3 in INaP generation was investigated using the tarantula toxin α-hexatoxin-MrVII (RTX-VII). RTX-VII activated Nav1.3 and induced a large INaP. A pre-activated state binding model was proposed to explain the kinetics of toxin-channel interaction. Of the four domains of Nav1.3, both domain II and IV might play important roles in the toxin-induced INaP. Domain IV constructed the binding site for RTX-VII, while domain II might not participate in interacting with RTX-VII but could determine the efficacy of RTX-VII. Our results based on the use of RTX-VII as a probe suggest that domain II and IV cooperatively contribute to the generation of INaP in Nav1.3. PMID:25784299

  19. DNA Sequence and Mutational Analysis of Rhizobitoxine Biosynthesis Genes in Bradyrhizobium elkanii

    PubMed Central

    Yasuta, Tsuyoshi; Okazaki, Shin; Mitsui, Hisayuki; Yuhashi, Ken-Ichi; Ezura, Hiroshi; Minamisawa, Kiwamu

    2001-01-01

    We cloned and sequenced a cluster of genes involved in the biosynthesis of rhizobitoxine, a nodulation enhancer produced by Bradyrhizobium elkanii. The nucleotide sequence of the cloned 28.4-kb DNA region encompassing rtxA showed that several open reading frames (ORFs) were located downstream of rtxA. A large-deletion mutant of B. elkanii, USDA94Δrtx::Ω1, which lacks rtxA, ORF1 (rtxC), ORF2, and ORF3, did not produce rhizobitoxine, dihydrorhizobitoxine, or serinol. The broad-host-range cosmid pLAFR1, which contains rtxA and these ORFs, complemented rhizobitoxine production in USDA94Δrtx::Ω1. Further complementation experiments involving cosmid derivatives obtained by random mutagenesis with a kanamycin cassette revealed that at least rtxA and rtxC are necessary for rhizobitoxine production. Insertional mutagenesis of the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of rtxA indicated that rtxA is responsible for two crucial steps, serinol formation and dihydrorhizobitoxine biosynthesis. An insertional mutant of rtxC produced serinol and dihydrorhizobitoxine but no rhizobitoxine. Moreover, the rtxC product was highly homologous to the fatty acid desaturase of Pseudomonas syringae and included the copper-binding signature and eight histidine residues conserved in membrane-bound desaturase. This result suggested that rtxC encodes dihydrorhizobitoxine desaturase for the final step of rhizobitoxine production. In light of results from DNA sequence comparison, gene disruption experiments, and dihydrorhizobitoxine production from various substrates, we discuss the biosynthetic pathway of rhizobitoxine and its evolutionary significance in bradyrhizobia. PMID:11679318

  20. Electrochemical DNA sensor for anthrax toxin activator gene atxA-detection of PCR amplicons.

    PubMed

    Das, Ritu; Goel, Ajay K; Sharma, Mukesh K; Upadhyay, Sanjay

    2015-12-15

    We report the DNA probe functionalized electrochemical genosensor for the detection of Bacillus anthracis, specific towards the regulatory gene atxA. The DNA sensor is fabricated on electrochemically deposited gold nanoparticle on self assembled layer of (3-Mercaptopropyl) trimethoxysilane (MPTS) on GC electrode. DNA hybridization is monitored by differential pulse voltammogram (DPV). The modified GC electrode is characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), cyclic voltammetry (CV), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) method. We also quantified the DNA probe density on electrode surface by the chronocoulometric method. The detection is specific and selective for atxA gene by DNA probe on the electrode surface. No report is available for the detection of B. anthracis by using atxA an anthrax toxin activator gene. In the light of real and complex sample, we have studied the PCR amplicons of 303, 361 and 568 base pairs by using symmetric and asymmetric PCR approaches. The DNA probe of atxA gene efficiently hybridizes with different base pairs of PCR amplicons. The detection limit is found to be 1.0 pM (S/N ratio=3). The results indicate that the DNA sensor is able to detect synthetic target as well as PCR amplicons of different base pairs. PMID:26257186

  1. Characterization of foodborne Staphylococcus aureus isolates: association of toxin gene profile with genotype and food commodities in Shanghai, China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important clinical and foodborne pathogen. Zoonotic risk of transmission to humans highlights the need to understand the ecology of S. aureus in various foods. We characterized the genetic diversity and the distribution of 25 toxin genes in 142 foodborne Staphylococcus au...

  2. Usefulness of Adjunctive Fecal Calprotectin and Serum Procalcitonin in Individuals Positive for Clostridium difficile Toxin Gene by PCR Assay.

    PubMed

    Popiel, Kristin Y; Gheorghe, Romina; Eastmond, Jennifer; Miller, Mark A

    2015-11-01

    In 54/64 subjects with nosocomial diarrhea, fecal calprotectin levels correlated with the results of stool samples tested for Clostridium difficile toxin gene by PCR. Fecal calprotectin levels can be used as an adjunctive measure to PCR to support the diagnosis of C. difficile infection. PMID:26354814

  3. Usefulness of Adjunctive Fecal Calprotectin and Serum Procalcitonin in Individuals Positive for Clostridium difficile Toxin Gene by PCR Assay

    PubMed Central

    Gheorghe, Romina; Eastmond, Jennifer; Miller, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    In 54/64 subjects with nosocomial diarrhea, fecal calprotectin levels correlated with the results of stool samples tested for Clostridium difficile toxin gene by PCR. Fecal calprotectin levels can be used as an adjunctive measure to PCR to support the diagnosis of C. difficile infection. PMID:26354814

  4. A highly efficient molecular cloning platform that utilises a small bacterial toxin gene.

    PubMed

    Mok, Wendy W K; Li, Yingfu

    2013-04-15

    Molecular cloning technologies that have emerged in recent years are more efficient and simpler to use than traditional strategies, but many have the disadvantages of requiring multiple steps and expensive proprietary enzymes. We have engineered cloning vectors containing variants of IbsC, a 19-residue toxin from Escherichia coli K-12. These toxic peptides offer selectivity to minimise the background, labour, and cost associated with conventional molecular cloning. As demonstrated with the cloning of reporter genes, this "detox cloning" system consistently produced over 95 % positive clones. Purification steps between digestion and ligation are not necessary, and the total time between digestion and plating of transformants can be as little as three hours. Thus, these IbsC-based cloning vectors are as reliable and amenable to high-throughput cloning as commercially available systems, and have the advantage of being more time-efficient and cost-effective. PMID:23512843

  5. Design of automatic image measuring system based on RTX simulation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Wei; Zeng, Yi; Dong, Yan; Gu, Ye; Tong, Guangheng

    2014-11-01

    This paper focuses on the embedded laser target simulation system based on RTX(Real Time Executive).This system completes the seeker test mission mainly by means of simulating the process of the missile from launch to hit the target through controlling the Laser spot. The system is consisted of upper computer, spot energy adjustment and spot size adjustment. The whole system realizes continuous and rapid adjustment to the energy and size of the spot via the RTX embedded computer system sends control commands to each controller of two units simultaneously. The unit of spot size adjustment: the controller controls the movement of the leading screw and then the leading screw controls the shift of the lens. The motor which controls the movement of the leading screw is direct current torque motor. The unit of spot energy adjustment: According to the Lambert law, the structure uses two crystals that the wedge angles are exactly the same. The system controls the motor to change the relative position of these crystals and then changes the thickness of the optical path crystal to adjust the laser spot energy. This system utilizes RTX embedded system to send control commends s in real time, a share memory area is opened for exchanging the simultaneous data between Windows and RTX. The real-time performance of the whole system has a significantly improve by using RTX embedded system, the system response time reduces to 1ms. Thus the laser target achieves rapid changing which seeker test requirement.

  6. Variant forms of the binary toxin CDT locus and tcdC gene in Clostridium difficile strains.

    PubMed

    Stare, Barbara Geric; Delmée, Michel; Rupnik, Maja

    2007-03-01

    Variability in the genes for toxin A, toxin B and other pathogenicity locus regions is well known and is the basis for the distribution of Clostridium difficile strains into variant toxinotypes. Previous data have indicated that some C. difficile strains have a non-functional truncated form of the binary toxin (CDT) locus. This study analysed variability in the CDT locus and the presence of deleted tcdC genes in C. difficile strains. A total of 146 strains were screened, including known variant toxinotypes and non-variant A+B+ (toxinotype 0) and A-B- C. difficile strains. In all of the strains studied, only two forms of the CDT locus were found: a full-length 4.3 kb fragment encoding the functional binary toxin or a truncated 2.3 kb fragment. Whilst the full-length CDT locus was found almost exclusively in variant toxinotypes, the truncated form was detected in 79% of toxinotype 0 strains. Non-toxinogenic A-B- strains with a truncated version were not found and only rarely possessed the full-length CDT locus (A-B-CDT+ strains). Four different forms of the tcdC gene were found; three represented deleted versions and typically were found in toxinotypes III-VII, XI, XIV-XVI and XXIV. PMID:17314362

  7. Abundant toxin-related genes in the genomes of beneficial symbionts from deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussels

    PubMed Central

    Sayavedra, Lizbeth; Kleiner, Manuel; Ponnudurai, Ruby; Wetzel, Silke; Pelletier, Eric; Barbe, Valerie; Satoh, Nori; Shoguchi, Eiichi; Fink, Dennis; Breusing, Corinna; Reusch, Thorsten BH; Rosenstiel, Philip; Schilhabel, Markus B; Becher, Dörte; Schweder, Thomas; Markert, Stephanie; Dubilier, Nicole; Petersen, Jillian M

    2015-01-01

    Bathymodiolus mussels live in symbiosis with intracellular sulfur-oxidizing (SOX) bacteria that provide them with nutrition. We sequenced the SOX symbiont genomes from two Bathymodiolus species. Comparison of these symbiont genomes with those of their closest relatives revealed that the symbionts have undergone genome rearrangements, and up to 35% of their genes may have been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Many of the genes specific to the symbionts were homologs of virulence genes. We discovered an abundant and diverse array of genes similar to insecticidal toxins of nematode and aphid symbionts, and toxins of pathogens such as Yersinia and Vibrio. Transcriptomics and proteomics revealed that the SOX symbionts express the toxin-related genes (TRGs) in their hosts. We hypothesize that the symbionts use these TRGs in beneficial interactions with their host, including protection against parasites. This would explain why a mutualistic symbiont would contain such a remarkable ‘arsenal’ of TRGs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07966.001 PMID:26371554

  8. Staphylococcal food poisoning case and molecular analysis of toxin genes in Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from food in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Maria; Scatassa, Maria Luisa; Cardamone, Cinzia; Oliveri, Giuseppa; Piraino, Chiara; Alduina, Rosa; Napoli, Concetta

    2015-01-01

    A case of staphylococcal food poisoning was observed in two individuals of the same family after consumption of primosale, a semiripened sheep cheese produced in Sicily. Staphylococcus aureus isolated from the cheese produced enterotoxin C (SEC) and carried both the enterotoxin C (sec) and the toxic shock syndrome toxin (tsst-1) gene. Following this case, an extensive survey was conducted on 971 food samples (raw milk, cheese, meat, and food preparations). S. aureus was detected in 102 of 971 food samples, from all types of food with the exception of ricotta cheese. The tsst-1 gene was present in 42% of the strains, either alone or in combination with other toxin genes. The enterotoxin C gene was the most represented enterotoxin, but it was only found in dairy products. Six S. aureus isolates carried the sea gene alone, two isolates carried both sea and seb, and one isolate carried both sea and sec. A significant percentage (46%) of all isolates carried a toxin gene, creating significant concern that virulent S. aureus can be transmitted through food in Sicily. PMID:25384106

  9. Transport and magnetic properties of RTX and related compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goruganti, Venkateshwarlu

    Physical properties of RTX compounds (R = Rare earth, T = Transition metal and X = main group element from B, C or N group) compounds have been studied by means of electrical resistivity, heat capacity, dc magnetization and NMR. Searching for new magnetic materials is always an interesting topic from both a technological and basic research prospective; it is even more interesting when unusual magnetic phases are observed. Ternary intermetallic plumbides are interesting because of their unconventional magnetic ordering and variety of multiple magnetic transitions. Crystalline electric fields (CEF) also strongly effect the magnetic properties of these intermetallics. To understand the phase transitions, CEF effects, and magnetic interactions, a systematic study of the RNiPb, R 2Ni2Pb, R5NiPb3 and RCuGe systems were conducted. Among the results for NdNiPb a single antiferromagnetic transition was found at 3.5K, while the superconductivity found in some ingots of this material was shown not to correspond to a bulk behavior for this phase. Nd2Ni 2Pb was shown to have a canted zero field magnetic structure with a low temperature metamagnetic transition 3 T. In NdCuGe, a 3K AF transition was found along with a corresponding magnon contribution to the specific heat and magnetic and thermodynamic behavior from which the detailed CEF configuration was obtained. In a series of measurements on recently-synthesized R 5NiPb3 (R=Ce, Nd, Gd), for Ce5NiPb 3 a transition at 48 K was found, which was confirmed to be ferromagnetic character from field dependent heat capacity and Curie-Weiss susceptibility. Nd5NiPb3 exhibits two transitions, an antiferromagnetic transition at 42 K and an apparently weak ferromagnetic canting transition at 8 K. For Gd5NiPb3, a ferro- or ferrimagnetic transition was found at 68 K. For the Ce and Nd materials metamagnetism was also observed at low temperatures. In addition, very large metallic type gamma terms were found in the specific heat, as well as a

  10. Anti-cancer Parasporin Toxins are Associated with Different Environments: Discovery of Two Novel Parasporin 5-like Genes.

    PubMed

    Ammons, David R; Short, John D; Bailey, Jeffery; Hinojosa, Gabriela; Tavarez, Lourdes; Salazar, Martha; Rampersad, Joanne N

    2016-02-01

    Cry toxins are primarily a family of insecticidal toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). However, some Cry toxins, called parasporins (PSs), are non-insecticidal and have been shown to differentially kill human cancer cells. Based on amino acid homology, there are currently six different classes of parasporins (PS1-6). It is not known what role parasporins play in nature, nor if certain PSs are associated with Bt found in particular environments. Herein, we present ten parasporin-containing isolates of Bt from the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Genes coding for PS1 and PS6 were found in isolates associated mainly with artificial aquatic environments (e.g., barrels with rain water), while Bt possessing two novel PS5-like genes (ps5-1 and ps5-2), were isolated from manure collected directly from the rectum of cattle. The amino acid sequences inferred from the two PS5-like genes were 51 % homologous to each other, while being only 41 or 45 % similar to PS5Aa1/Cry64Aa, the only reported member of the parasporin five class. The low level of amino acid homology between the two PS5-like genes and PS5Aa1 indicate that the two PS5-like genes may represent a new class of parasporins, or greatly expand the level of diversity within the current parasporin 5 class. PMID:26563301

  11. Impact of Nitrogen Sources on Gene Expression and Toxin Production in the Diazotroph Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 and Non-Diazotroph Raphidiopsis brookii D9

    PubMed Central

    Stucken, Karina; John, Uwe; Cembella, Allan; Soto-Liebe, Katia; Vásquez, Mónica

    2014-01-01

    Different environmental nitrogen sources play selective roles in the development of cyanobacterial blooms and noxious effects are often exacerbated when toxic cyanobacteria are dominant. Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii CS-505 (heterocystous, nitrogen fixing) and Raphidiopsis brookii D9 (non-N2 fixing) produce the nitrogenous toxins cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs), respectively. These toxin groups are biosynthesized constitutively by two independent putative gene clusters, whose flanking genes are target for nitrogen (N) regulation. It is not yet known how or if toxin biosynthetic genes are regulated, particularly by N-source dependency. Here we show that binding boxes for NtcA, the master regulator of N metabolism, are located within both gene clusters as potential regulators of toxin biosynthesis. Quantification of intra- and extracellular toxin content in cultures at early stages of growth under nitrate, ammonium, urea and N-free media showed that N-sources influence neither CYN nor PST production. However, CYN and PST profiles were altered under N-free medium resulting in a decrease in the predicted precursor toxins (doCYN and STX, respectively). Reduced STX amounts were also observed under growth in ammonium. Quantification of toxin biosynthesis and transport gene transcripts revealed a constitutive transcription under all tested N-sources. Our data support the hypothesis that PSTs and CYN are constitutive metabolites whose biosynthesis is correlated to cyanobacterial growth rather than directly to specific environmental conditions. Overall, the constant biosynthesis of toxins and expression of the putative toxin-biosynthesis genes supports the usage of qPCR probes in water quality monitoring of toxic cyanobacteria. PMID:24956074

  12. Emergence of Staphylococcus aureus carrying multiple drug resistance genes on a plasmid encoding exfoliative toxin B.

    PubMed

    Hisatsune, Junzo; Hirakawa, Hideki; Yamaguchi, Takayuki; Fudaba, Yasuyuki; Oshima, Kenshiro; Hattori, Masahira; Kato, Fuminori; Kayama, Shizuo; Sugai, Motoyuki

    2013-12-01

    We report the complete nucleotide sequence and analysis of pETBTY825, a Staphylococcus aureus TY825 plasmid encoding exfoliative toxin B (ETB). S. aureus TY825 is a clinical isolate obtained from an impetigo patient in 2002. The size of pETBTY825, 60.6 kbp, was unexpectedly larger than that of the archetype pETBTY4 (∼30 kbp). Genomic comparison of the plasmids shows that pETBTY825 has the archetype pETBTY4 as the backbone and has a single large extra DNA region of 22.4 kbp. The extra DNA region contains genes for resistance to aminoglycoside [aac(6')/aph(2″)], macrolide (msrA), and penicillin (blaZ). A plasmid deletion experiment indicated that these three resistance elements were functionally active. We retrospectively examined the resistance profile of the clinical ETB-producing S. aureus strains isolated in 1977 to 2007 using a MIC determination with gentamicin (GM), arbekacin (ABK), and erythromycin (EM) and by PCR analyses for aac(6')/aph(2″) and msrA using purified plasmid preparations. The ETB-producing S. aureus strains began to display high resistance to GM, which was parallel with the detection of aac(6')/aph(2″) and mecA, after 1990. Conversely, there was no significant change in the ABK MIC during the testing period, although it had a tendency to slightly increase. After 2001, isolates resistant to EM significantly increased; however, msrA was hardly detected in ETB-producing S. aureus strains, and only five isolates were positive for both aac(6')/aph(2″) and msrA. In this study, we report the emergence of a fusion plasmid carrying the toxin gene etb and drug resistance genes. Prevalence of the pETBTY825 carrier may further increase the clinical threat, since ETB-producing S. aureus is closely related to more severe impetigo or staphylococcal scalded-skin syndrome (SSSS), which requires a general antimicrobial treatment. PMID:24080652

  13. Insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kenyae: gene cloning and characterization and comparison with B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki CryIA(c) toxins.

    PubMed Central

    Von Tersch, M A; Robbins, H L; Jany, C S; Johnson, T B

    1991-01-01

    Genes encoding insecticidal crystal proteins were cloned from three strains of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kenyae and two strains of B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. Characterization of the B. thuringiensis subsp. kenyae toxin genes showed that they are most closely related to cryIA(c) from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. The cloned genes were introduced into Bacillus host strains, and the spectra of insecticidal activities of each Cry protein were determined for six pest lepidopteran insects. CryIA(c) proteins from B. thuringiensis subsp. kenyae are as active as CryIA(c) proteins from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki against Trichoplusia ni, Lymantria dispar, Heliothis zea, and H. virescens but are significantly less active against Plutella xylostella and, in some cases, Ostrinia nubilalis. The sequence of a cryIA(c) gene from B. thuringiensis subsp. kenyae was determined (GenBank M35524) and compared with that of cryIA(c) from B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. The two genes are more than 99% identical and show seven amino acid differences among the predicted sequences of 1,177 amino acids. Images PMID:2014985

  14. Detection of beta2 and major toxin genes by PCR in Clostridium perfringens field isolates of domestic animals suffering from enteritis or enterotoxaemia.

    PubMed

    Sting, Reinhard

    2009-01-01

    The production of Clostridium (C.) perfringens toxins in the intestine is an important cause of enteritis and enterotoxaemia in livestock. In the present study, the alpha toxin and the genes encoding beta2 and epsilon toxin could be frequently detected by means of phenotypical and PCR examinations in these bacteria. The C. perfringens isolates originated from 1213 field samples taken from diseased or perished livestock located in the north-eastern administrative districts of Baden-Württemberg (Germany) from 2005 to 2008. The beta2 toxin gene of C perfringens was detected in all animal species examined, comprising pigs, the small ruminants sheep and goats, cattle, horses, rabbits, alpacas and lamas, and fallow deer. Among all the animal species included in this study, pigs attracted attention by a high quota of 74.2% (610 of 822) cpb2-positive C. perfringens isolates in comparison to the other animal species tested, revealing a quota of 20.8% (72 of 346). Beta2 toxigenic isolates could be predominantly cultivated from the faeces of young piglets. The beta toxin gene was detected in isolates from piglets and small ruminants only, amounting to 82.5% (33 of 40) in piglets in combination with the cpb2 gene. In this context, cpb2/cpb-positive C. perfringens isolates of piglets could be clearly detected more often in the intestine of perished animals (18 of 158) than in faeces (15 of 629). Furthermore, cpb2-bearing C. perfringens isolates were detected in cattle, horses, rabbits, alpacas and lamas, and fallow deer to a notable degree. The detection of C. perfringens isolates carrying the epsilon toxin gene was restricted to sheep and goats. Of a total of 242 small ruminants that succumbed to sudden death, 71 (29.3%) harboured epsilon toxin-positive C. perfringens isolates in their intestines. These cases clustered seasonally in the second quarter (April, May, and June) of the year. Neither the isolates bearing the beta2 nor beta toxin gene nor those carrying the epsilon

  15. Real-time PCR quantification of the AM-toxin gene and HPLC qualification of toxigenic metabolites from Alternaria species from apples.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Birgitte; Smedsgaard, Jørn; Jørring, Ida; Skouboe, Pernille; Pedersen, Lars Hagsholm

    2006-09-01

    Some Alternaria species are able to produce plant pathogenic as well as toxic metabolites. In both agriculture and the food industry it is important know if toxigenic Alternaria are present to rapidly employ the correct corrective actions. The purpose of this work was to establish a real-time PCR method, which can detect and quantify apple pathogenic and toxigenic Alternaria. An AM-toxin I primer set, which could recognize Alternaria DNA only, was designed by using primers complementary to the AM-toxin I gene. The method could detect small amounts of DNA (4 pg) and still obtain a large dynamic range (4 decades) without interference from apple material. Eight Alternaria isolates were analyzed for the presence of AM-toxin I gene and their production of secondary metabolites. Then analyses showed that all eight isolates contained the AM toxin gene and were able to produce the plant pathogenic tentoxin in addition to AM toxin I. The analyses also showed the production of tenuazonic acid, alternariols, Altenuene, altenusin and/or altertoxin I in pure culture. Analyses of inoculated apples showed that both the AM-toxin gene and alternariol monomethyl ether could be detected. Morphological analyses suggested that the eight Alternaria strains, though they all carried the AM toxin genes, probably belong to different but closely related un-described Alternaria taxa in the A. tenuissima species-group based on morphological and chemical differences. PMID:16890318

  16. A New Type of Toxin A-Negative, Toxin B-Positive Clostridium difficile Strain Lacking a Complete tcdA Gene

    PubMed Central

    Marín, Mercedes; Martín, Adoración; Rupnik, Maja

    2014-01-01

    Toxins A and B are the main virulence factors of Clostridium difficile and are the targets for molecular diagnostic tests. Here, we describe a new toxin A-negative, toxin B-positive, binary toxin CDT (Clostridium difficile transferase)-negative (A− B+ CDT−) toxinotype (XXXII) characterized by a variant type of pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) without tcdA and with atypical organization of the PaLoc integration site. PMID:25428159

  17. The gene for type A streptococcal exotoxin (erythrogenic toxin) is located in bacteriophage T12.

    PubMed Central

    Weeks, C R; Ferretti, J J

    1984-01-01

    The infection of Streptococcus pyogenes T25(3) with the temperate bacteriophage T12 results in the conversion of the nontoxigenic strain to type A streptococcal exotoxin (erythrogenic toxin) production. Although previous research has established that integration of the bacteriophage genome into the host chromosome is not essential for exotoxin production, the location of the gene on the bacteriophage or bacterial chromosome had not been determined. In the present investigation, recombinant DNA techniques were used to determine whether the gene specifying type A streptococcal exotoxin (speA) production is located on the bacteriophage chromosome. Bacteriophage T12 was obtained from S. pyogenes T25(3)(T12) by induction with mitomycin C, and after isolation of bacteriophage DNA by phenol-chloroform extraction, the DNA was digested with restriction enzymes and ligated with Escherichia coli plasmid pHP34 or the Streptococcus-E. coli shuttle vector pSA3. Transformation of E. coli HB101 with the recombinant molecules allowed selection of E. coli clones containing bacteriophage T12 genes. Immunological assays with specific antibody revealed the presence of type A streptococcal exotoxin in sonicates of E. coli transformants. Subcloning experiments localized the speA gene to a 1.7-kilobase segment of the bacteriophage T12 genome flanked by SalI and HindIII sites. Introduction of the pSA3 vector containing the speA gene into Streptococcus sanguis (Challis) resulted in transformants that secreted the type A exotoxin. Immunological analysis showed that the type A streptococcal exotoxin produced by E. coli and S. sanguis transformants was identical to the type A exotoxin produced by S. pyogenes T25(3)(T12). Southern blot hybridizations with the cloned fragment confirmed its presence in the bacteriophage T12 genome and its absence in the T25(3) nonlysogen. Therefore, the gene for type A streptococcal exotoxin is located in the bacteriophage genome, and conversion of S. pyogenes T

  18. Disruption of a toxin gene by introduction of a foreign gene into the Chromosome of Clostridium perfringens using targetron induced mutagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yue; Caruso, Lori; McClane, Bruce; Fisher, Derek; Gupta, Phalguni

    2007-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) has been developed as a potential oral delivery vehicle to deliver antigens or therapeutic compounds to Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT). However, this recombinant C. perfringens carries a plasmid-encoded expression system, which raises several safety concerns regarding possible horizontal plasmid transfer and spread of plasmid-associated antibiotic resistant genes. Furthermore, this bacterium produces the extracellular theta toxin, which poses a potential safety issue for general administration. Using a Clostridium-specific-targetron-donor plasmid, we inserted the Simian Immunodefiency Virus (SIV) p27 gene into the theta toxin gene (pfoA) on the C. perfringens chromosome, which simultaneously inactivated the theta gene and introduced SIV p27 gene onto bacterial chromosome. Such mutant C. perfringens without an input plasmid or antibiotic resistant gene stably produced a large amount of SIV p27 protein during sporulation and did not produce theta toxin. Upon oral feeding of the mutant bacteria to mice, intact p27 protein was detected in the lower GI tract. The re-engineered C. perfringens provides a biosafe efficient oral vehicle to deliver antigen to gastrointestinal tract. PMID:17553563

  19. Fast convergence of Trimble CenterPoint RTX by regional augmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drescher, Ralf; Brandl, Markus; Chen, Xiaoming; Landau, Herbert; Nardo, Andrea

    2015-04-01

    The Trimble CenterPoint RTX service was introduced in 2011. It provides real-time GNSS positioning with global coverage and fast convergence. A regional augmentation approach was introduced for the mid-west region in the US in 2011 too, which resulted in convergence times of as little as a one minute while providing centimeter accurate positioning results of 4 cm in horizontal (95%). In spring 2014 the BeiDou system was included in the Trimble CenterPoint RTX service. Today it supports GPS, GLONASS, QZSS and BeiDou signals. Earlier publications have shown the benefits of using Galileo, BeiDou and QZSS in the RTX positioning service. This presentation will introduce improvements achieved with regional augmentation systems using the Trimble RTX approach. Experiences made in the last years and the recent achievements are shown demonstrating the possibility of reliable initialization using carrier phase ambiguity resolution in a couple of minutes using a correction signal from a geostationary L-band satellite.

  20. Sequence and organization of pXO1, the large Bacillus anthracis plasmid harboring the anthrax toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Okinaka, R T; Cloud, K; Hampton, O; Hoffmaster, A R; Hill, K K; Keim, P; Koehler, T M; Lamke, G; Kumano, S; Mahillon, J; Manter, D; Martinez, Y; Ricke, D; Svensson, R; Jackson, P J

    1999-10-01

    The Bacillus anthracis Sterne plasmid pXO1 was sequenced by random, "shotgun" cloning. A circular sequence of 181,654 bp was generated. One hundred forty-three open reading frames (ORFs) were predicted using GeneMark and GeneMark.hmm, comprising only 61% (110,817 bp) of the pXO1 DNA sequence. The overall guanine-plus-cytosine content of the plasmid is 32.5%. The most recognizable feature of the plasmid is a "pathogenicity island," defined by a 44.8-kb region that is bordered by inverted IS1627 elements at each end. This region contains the three toxin genes (cya, lef, and pagA), regulatory elements controlling the toxin genes, three germination response genes, and 19 additional ORFs. Nearly 70% of the ORFs on pXO1 do not have significant similarity to sequences available in open databases. Absent from the pXO1 sequence are homologs to genes that are typically required to drive theta replication and to maintain stability of large plasmids in Bacillus spp. Among the ORFs with a high degree of similarity to known sequences are a collection of putative transposases, resolvases, and integrases, suggesting an evolution involving lateral movement of DNA among species. Among the remaining ORFs, there are three sequences that may encode enzymes responsible for the synthesis of a polysaccharide capsule usually associated with serotype-specific virulent streptococci. PMID:10515943

  1. The sxt Gene and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins as Markers for the Monitoring of Toxic Alexandrium Species Blooms.

    PubMed

    Penna, Antonella; Perini, Federico; Dell'Aversano, Carmela; Capellacci, Samuela; Tartaglione, Luciana; Giacobbe, Maria Grazia; Casabianca, Silvia; Fraga, Santiago; Ciminiello, Patrizia; Scardi, Michele

    2015-12-15

    Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a serious human illness caused by the ingestion of seafood contaminated with saxitoxin and its derivatives (STXs). These toxins are produced by some species of marine dinoflagellates within the genus Alexandrium. In the Mediterranean Sea, toxic Alexandrium spp. blooms, especially of A. minutum, are frequent and intense with negative impact to coastal ecosystem, aquaculture practices and other economic activities. We conducted a large scale study on the sxt gene and toxin distribution and content in toxic dinoflagellate A. minutum of the Mediterranean Sea using both quantitative PCR (qPCR) and HILIC-HRMS techniques. We developed a new qPCR assay for the estimation of the sxtA1 gene copy number in seawater samples during a bloom event in Syracuse Bay (Mediterranean Sea) with an analytical sensitivity of 2.0 × 10° sxtA1 gene copy number per reaction. The linear correlation between sxtA1 gene copy number and microalgal abundance and between the sxtA1 gene and STX content allowed us to rapidly determine the STX-producing cell concentrations of two Alexandrium species in environmental samples. In these samples, the amount of sxtA1 gene was in the range of 1.38 × 10(5) - 2.55 × 10(8) copies/L and the STX concentrations ranged from 41-201 nmol/L. This study described a potential PSP scenario in the Mediterranean Sea. PMID:26580419

  2. Spatial, Temporal, and Matrix Variability of Clostridium botulinum Type E Toxin Gene Distribution at Great Lakes Beaches

    PubMed Central

    Oster, Ryan J.; Haack, Sheridan K.; Fogarty, Lisa R.; Tucker, Taaja R.; Riley, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum type E toxin is responsible for extensive mortality of birds and fish in the Great Lakes. The C. botulinum bontE gene that produces the type E toxin was amplified with quantitative PCR from 150 sloughed algal samples (primarily Cladophora species) collected during summer 2012 from 10 Great Lakes beaches in five states; concurrently, 74 sediment and 37 water samples from four sites were also analyzed. The bontE gene concentration in algae was significantly higher than in water and sediment (P < 0.05), suggesting that algal mats provide a better microenvironment for C. botulinum. The bontE gene was detected most frequently in algae at Jeorse Park and Portage Lake Front beaches (Lake Michigan) and Bay City State Recreation Area beach on Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron), where 77, 100, and 83% of these algal samples contained the bontE gene, respectively. The highest concentration of bontE was detected at Bay City (1.98 × 105 gene copies/ml of algae or 5.21 × 106 g [dry weight]). This study revealed that the bontE gene is abundant in the Great Lakes but that it has spatial, temporal, and matrix variability. Further, embayed beaches, low wave height, low wind velocity, and greater average water temperature enhance the bontE occurrence. PMID:25888178

  3. The Global Regulator CodY Regulates Toxin Gene Expression in Bacillus anthracis and Is Required for Full Virulence▿ †

    PubMed Central

    van Schaik, Willem; Château, Alice; Dillies, Marie-Agnès; Coppée, Jean-Yves; Sonenshein, Abraham L.; Fouet, Agnès

    2009-01-01

    In gram-positive bacteria, CodY is an important regulator of genes whose expression changes upon nutrient limitation and acts as a repressor of virulence gene expression in some pathogenic species. Here, we report the role of CodY in Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of anthrax. Disruption of codY completely abolished virulence in a toxinogenic, noncapsulated strain, indicating that the activity of CodY is required for full virulence of B. anthracis. Global transcriptome analysis of a codY mutant and the parental strain revealed extensive differences. These differences could reflect direct control for some genes, as suggested by the presence of CodY binding sequences in their promoter regions, or indirect effects via the CodY-dependent control of other regulatory proteins or metabolic rearrangements in the codY mutant strain. The differences included reduced expression of the anthrax toxin genes in the mutant strain, which was confirmed by lacZ reporter fusions and immunoblotting. The accumulation of the global virulence regulator AtxA protein was strongly reduced in the mutant strain. However, in agreement with the microarray data, expression of atxA, as measured using an atxA-lacZ transcriptional fusion and by assaying atxA mRNA, was not significantly affected in the codY mutant. An atxA-lacZ translational fusion was also unaffected. Overexpression of atxA restored toxin component synthesis in the codY mutant strain. These results suggest that CodY controls toxin gene expression by regulating AtxA accumulation posttranslationally. PMID:19651859

  4. Distinct Roles of the Repeat-Containing Regions and Effector Domains of the Vibrio vulnificus Multifunctional-Autoprocessing Repeats-in-Toxin (MARTX) Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Byoung Sik; Gavin, Hannah E.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Vibrio vulnificus is a seafood-borne pathogen that destroys the intestinal epithelium, leading to rapid bacterial dissemination and death. The most important virulence factor is the multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin comprised of effector domains in the center region flanked by long repeat-containing regions which are well conserved among MARTX toxins and predicted to translocate effector domains. Here, we examined the role of the repeat-containing regions using a modified V. vulnificus MARTX (MARTXVv) toxin generated by replacing all the internal effector domains with β-lactamase (Bla). Bla activity was detected in secretions from the bacterium and also in the cytosol of intoxicated epithelial cells. The modified MARTXVv toxin without effector domains retained its necrotic activity but lost its cell-rounding activity. Further, deletion of the carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing region blocked toxin secretion from the bacterium. Deletion of the amino-terminal repeat-containing region had no effect on secretion but completely abolished translocation and necrosis. Neither secretion nor translocation was affected by enzymatically inactivating the cysteine protease domain of the toxin. These data demonstrate that the amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing regions of the MARTXVv toxin are necessary and sufficient for the delivery of effector domains and epithelial cell lysis in vitro but that effector domains are required for other cytopathic functions. Furthermore, Ca2+-dependent secretion of the modified MARTXVv toxin suggests that nonclassical RTX-like repeats found in the carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing region are functionally similar to classical RTX repeats found in other RTX proteins. PMID:25827415

  5. Two Polyketide Synthase-encoding Genes are Required for Biosynthesis of the Polyketide Virulence Factor, T-toxin, by Cochliobolus heterostrophus

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Scott E.; Kroken, Scott; Inderbitzin, Patrik; Asvarak, Thipa; Li, Bi-Yu; Shi, Liang; Yoder, Olen C.; Turgeon, Barbara G.

    2006-03-01

    Cochliobolus heterostrophus race T, causal agent of Southern Corn Leaf Blight, requires T-toxin (a family of C35 – C49 polyketides) for high virulence on T-cytoplasm maize. Production of T-toxin is controlled by two unlinked loci, Tox1A and Tox1B, carried on 1.2 Mb of DNA not found in race O, a mildly virulent form of the fungus that does not produce T-toxin, or in any other Cochliobolus spp. or closely related fungus. PKS1, a polyketide synthase (PKS)-encoding gene at Tox1A and DEC1, a decarboxylase-encoding gene at Tox1B, are necessary for T-toxin production. Although there is evidence that additional genes are required for T-toxin production, efforts to clone them have been frustrated because the genes are located in highly repeated, A+T-rich DNA. To overcome this difficulty, Ligation specificity-based Expression Analysis Display (LEAD), a comparative AFLP/gel fractionation/capillary sequencing procedure was applied to cDNAs from a near isogenic pair of race T (Tox1+) and race O (Tox1-) strains. This led to discovery of PKS2, a second PKS-encoding gene that maps at Tox1A and is required for both T-toxin biosynthesis and high virulence to maize. Thus, the carbon chain of each T-toxin family member is likely assembled by action of two PKSs, which produce two polyketides, one of which may act as the starter unit for biosynthesis of the mature T-toxin molecule.

  6. Novel genes encoding six kinds of three-finger toxins in Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) and function characterization of two recombinant long-chain neurotoxins

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jing; Zhang, Huayuan; Liu, Jing; Xu, Kangsen

    2006-01-01

    Three-finger toxins are a family of low-molecular-mass toxins (<10 kDa) having very similar three-dimensional structures. In the present study, 19 novel cDNAs coding three-finger toxins were cloned from the venom gland of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra). Alignment analysis showed that the putative peptides could be divided into six kinds of three-finger toxins: LNTXs (long-chain neurotoxins), short-chain neurotoxins, cardiotoxins (CTXs), weak neurotoxins, muscarinic toxins and a toxin with a free SH group. Furthermore, a phylogenetic tree was established on the basis of the toxin cDNAs and the previously reported similar nucleotide sequences from the same source venom. It indicated that three-finger-toxin genes in O. hannah diverged early in the course of evolution by long- and short-type pathways. Two LNTXs, namely rLNTX1 (recombinant LNTX1) and rLNTX3, were expressed and showed cytolytic activity in addition to their neurotoxic function. By comparing the functional residues, we offer some possible explanations for the differences in their neurotoxic function. Moreover, a plausible elucidation of the additonal cytolytic activity was achieved by hydropathy-profile analysis. This, to our knowledge, is the first observation that recombinant long chain α-neurotoxins have a CTX-like cytolytic activity. PMID:16689684

  7. Novel genes encoding six kinds of three-finger toxins in Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra) and function characterization of two recombinant long-chain neurotoxins.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Zhang, Huayuan; Liu, Jing; Xu, Kangsen

    2006-09-01

    Three-finger toxins are a family of low-molecular-mass toxins (<10 kDa) having very similar three-dimensional structures. In the present study, 19 novel cDNAs coding three-finger toxins were cloned from the venom gland of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra). Alignment analysis showed that the putative peptides could be divided into six kinds of three-finger toxins: LNTXs (long-chain neurotoxins), short-chain neurotoxins, cardiotoxins (CTXs), weak neurotoxins, muscarinic toxins and a toxin with a free SH group. Furthermore, a phylogenetic tree was established on the basis of the toxin cDNAs and the previously reported similar nucleotide sequences from the same source venom. It indicated that three-finger-toxin genes in O. hannah diverged early in the course of evolution by long- and short-type pathways. Two LNTXs, namely rLNTX1 (recombinant LNTX1) and rLNTX3, were expressed and showed cytolytic activity in addition to their neurotoxic function. By comparing the functional residues, we offer some possible explanations for the differences in their neurotoxic function. Moreover, a plausible elucidation of the additonal cytolytic activity was achieved by hydropathy-profile analysis. This, to our knowledge, is the first observation that recombinant long chain alpha-neurotoxins have a CTX-like cytolytic activity. PMID:16689684

  8. Autoselection of cytoplasmic yeast virus like elements encoding toxin/antitoxin systems involves a nuclear barrier for immunity gene expression.

    PubMed

    Kast, Alene; Voges, Raphael; Schroth, Michael; Schaffrath, Raffael; Klassen, Roland; Meinhardt, Friedhelm

    2015-05-01

    Cytoplasmic virus like elements (VLEs) from Kluyveromyces lactis (Kl), Pichia acaciae (Pa) and Debaryomyces robertsiae (Dr) are extremely A/T-rich (>75%) and encode toxic anticodon nucleases (ACNases) along with specific immunity proteins. Here we show that nuclear, not cytoplasmic expression of either immunity gene (PaORF4, KlORF3 or DrORF5) results in transcript fragmentation and is insufficient to establish immunity to the cognate ACNase. Since rapid amplification of 3' ends (RACE) as well as linker ligation of immunity transcripts expressed in the nucleus revealed polyadenylation to occur along with fragmentation, ORF-internal poly(A) site cleavage due to the high A/T content is likely to prevent functional expression of the immunity genes. Consistently, lowering the A/T content of PaORF4 to 55% and KlORF3 to 46% by gene synthesis entirely prevented transcript cleavage and permitted functional nuclear expression leading to full immunity against the respective ACNase toxin. Consistent with a specific adaptation of the immunity proteins to the cognate ACNases, cross-immunity to non-cognate ACNases is neither conferred by PaOrf4 nor KlOrf3. Thus, the high A/T content of cytoplasmic VLEs minimizes the potential of functional nuclear recruitment of VLE encoded genes, in particular those involved in autoselection of the VLEs via a toxin/antitoxin principle. PMID:25973601

  9. Point-of-care and visual detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes by multiple LAMP and lateral flow nucleic acid biosensor.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuting; Cheng, Nan; Xu, Yuancong; Huang, Kunlun; Luo, Yunbo; Xu, Wentao

    2016-07-15

    This study describes a simple and sensitive approach for visual and point-of-care detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes based on multiple loop-mediated isothermal amplification (mLAMP) and lateral flow nucleic acid biosensor (LFNAB). Differentiation of the internal standard gene ecfX and toxin genes (ExoS and ExoU) in P. aeruginosa was determined using FITC-, hex-and digoxin-modified primers in the mLAMP process. In the presence of biotin-and FITC- (hex-, digoxin-) modified primers and Bst DNA polymerase large fragments, the mLAMP produced numerous biotin- and FITC- (hex-, digoxin-) attached duplex DNA products. The products were detected by LFNAB through dual immunoreactions (anti-biotin antibodies on the gold nanoparticle (Au-NP) and biotin on the duplex, anti-FITC (hex, digoxin) antibodies on the LFNAB test line and FITC (hex, digoxin) on the duplex). The accumulation of Au-NPs produced a characteristic red band, enabling visual detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes without instrumentation. After systematic optimization of LFNAB preparation and detecting conditions, the current approach was capable of detecting concentrations as low as 20 CFU/mL P. aeruginosa or its toxin genes within 50min without complicated instrument, which is more sensitive than PCR. Therefore, this approach provides a simple, pollution free, sensitive, and low-cost point-of-care test for the detection of P. aeruginosa and its toxin genes. PMID:26985584

  10. Stable Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin content in interspecific F1 and backcross populations of wild Brassica rapa after Bt gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Zhu, B; Lawrence, J R; Warwick, S I; Mason, P; Braun, L; Halfhill, M D; Stewart, C N

    2004-01-01

    Stable expression of a transgene may lead to increased fitness for wild plants after acquiring the transgene via crop-weed hybridization. Here, we investigate the stability of Bt toxin content in wild Brassica rapa acquiring the Bt gene from Bt Brassica napus. The Bt toxin content in nine Bt-expressing B. napus lines was 0.80-1.70 micro g/g leaf tissue throughout the growing season. These nine lines were crossed with three accessions of wild B. rapa and the Bt gene was successfully transferred to interspecific hybrids (F1) and successive backcross generations (BC1 to BC4). The Bt toxin level in F1 and BC progenies containing the Bt gene remained at 0.90-3.10 micro g/g leaf tissue. This study indicates that the Bt gene can persist and be stably expressed in wild B. rapa. PMID:14653804

  11. The gene for toxic shock toxin is carried by a family of mobile pathogenicity islands in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, J A; Ruzin, A; Ross, H F; Kurepina, N; Novick, R P

    1998-07-01

    Tst, the gene for toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1), is part of a 15.2 kb genetic element in Staphylococcus aureus that is absent in TSST-1-negative strains. The prototype, in RN4282, is flanked by a 17 nucleotide direct repeat and contains genes for a second possible superantigen toxin, a Dichelobacter nodosus VapE homologue and a putative integrase. It is readily transferred to a recA recipient, and it always inserts into a unique chromosomal copy of the 17 nucleotide sequence in the same orientation. It is excised and circularized by staphylococcal phages phi13 and 80alpha and replicates during the growth of the latter, which transduces it at very high frequency. Because of its site and orientation specificity and because it lacks other identifiable phage-like genes, we consider it to be a pathogenicity island (PI) rather than a transposon or a defective phage. The tst element in RN4282, near tyrB, is designated SaPI1. That in RN3984 in the trp region is only partially homologous to SaPI1 and is excised by phage 80 but not by 80alpha. It is designated SaPI2. These PIs are the first in any gram-positive species and the first for which mobility has been demonstrated. Their mobility may be responsible for the spread of TSST-1 production among S. aureus strains. PMID:9720870

  12. A novel positive regulatory element for exfoliative toxin A gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Susumu; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Hata, Toshiaki; Yoshizawa, Yukio; Nakayama, Ritsuko; Machida, Katsuhiko; Masuda, Shogo; Tsukiyama, Takashi

    2004-04-01

    A 1.4 kb positive regulatory element (ETA(exp)) that controls staphylococcal exfoliative toxin A (sETA) transcription was cloned from Staphylococcus aureus. ETA(exp) is located upstream of the cloned 5.8 kb eta gene (etaJ1) obtained from the chomosomal DNA of S. aureus ZM, the standard ETA-producing strain. The cETA prepared from an Escherichia coli transformant into which the recombinant plasmid petaJ1 (5.8 kb eta/pUC9) had been introduced was expressed at high levels in the culture supernatant and the ammonium-sulfate-precipitated culture supernatant fraction as shown by immunoblotting and the single radial immunodiffusion test. However, cETA produced by the recombinant plasmid petaJ3 containing the 1.7 kb eta sequence (etaJ3) with a 1.45 kb ETA(exp)-deficient eta fragment (1.7 kb eta/pUC9) obtained from the 5.8 kb eta sequence by subcloning was not detected in either the culture supernatant or the ammonium-sulfate-precipitated culture supernatant fraction (167-fold concentrate of the culture supernatant) by immunoblotting or the single radial immunodiffusion test. A large amount of cETA was produced by the 1.7 kb eta sequence when it was linked to ETA(exp) amplified by PCR (1.7 kb eta-ETA(exp)/pUC9), regardless of the orientation of ETA(exp) insertion. Northern blot hybridization showed lower levels of the transcripts of the 1.7 kb eta sequence than of the 5.8 kb eta sequence. The rsETA prepared from an S. aureus transformant into which the recombinant plasmid 3.4 kb eta-ETA(exp)/pYT3 (pYT3-etaJ6) had been introduced was expressed at high levels in the culture supernatant fraction as shown by the latex agglutination test. However, the agglutination titre in the culture supernatant fraction of rsETA produced by the recombinant plasmid (1.7 kb eta/pYT3) containing the 1.7 kb eta sequence carrying the 1.4 kb ETA(exp)-deficient eta fragment (pYT3-etaJ3) was 2500-4000 times lower than that of pYT3-etaJ6. PMID:15073304

  13. Comparison of real-time PCR for detection of the tcdC gene with four toxin immunoassays and culture in diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infection.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Lynne M; Duresko, Brian J; Gustafson, Daniel R; Rosenblatt, Jon E

    2008-06-01

    We have developed a rapid real-time PCR method using fluorescence resonance energy transfer probes and the LightCycler (Roche Diagnostics), which will detect the presence of the tcdC gene of Clostridium difficile in stool samples. Our PCR method also will identify the presence of base pair deletions, one of which (18 bp) has been associated with the "epidemic" toxin-hyperproducing strains. We compared the results of this PCR with those of three C. difficile toxin-detecting enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), an EIA for the detection of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), and culture of C. difficile. A total of 200 stool specimens were studied by the methods under comparison. C. difficile was isolated from 49 specimens by culture, and 44 of these were confirmed as containing one of the genes associated with toxin production ("toxigenic culture"). Using toxigenic culture as the "gold standard", the sensitivities, specificities, and positive and negative predictive values, respectively, of the assays were 48%, 98%, 88%, and 87% for the Premier toxin A and B test; 48%, 99%, 91%, and 87% for the ImmunoCard toxin A & B test; 48%, 84%, 46%, and 85% for the Xpect C. difficile toxin A/B test; 32%, 100%, 100%, and 84% for the Triage C. difficile panel (for toxin A); and 86%, 97%, 90%, and 96% for the LightCycler PCR. Thus, in comparison to the sensitivity of toxigenic culture, the sensitivities of the toxin immunoassays were unacceptably low, while the LightCycler real-time PCR assay for the detection of the tcdC gene of C. difficile is sensitive and specific. PMID:18434563

  14. Influence of water activity on fumonisin and bikaverin gene expression and toxin production in fusarium verticillioides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fusarium verticillioides is known as the main cause of ear rot disease in maize. It can produce a variety of secondary metabolites including fumonisins (FUM) and bikaverin (BIK). The former are toxins known to cause diseases and cancers in both animals and humans; the latter is a red-pigment with de...

  15. Neutralization of Bacterial YoeBSpn Toxicity and Enhanced Plant Growth in Arabidopsis thaliana via Co-Expression of the Toxin-Antitoxin Genes

    PubMed Central

    Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Yeo, Chew Chieng; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have various cellular functions, including as part of the general stress response. The genome of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors several putative TA systems, including yefM-yoeBSpn, which is one of four systems that had been demonstrated to be biologically functional. Overexpression of the yoeBSpn toxin gene resulted in cell stasis and eventually cell death in its native host, as well as in Escherichia coli. Our previous work showed that induced expression of a yoeBSpn toxin-Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) fusion gene apparently triggered apoptosis and was lethal in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effects of co-expression of the yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic A. thaliana. When co-expressed in Arabidopsis, the YefMSpn antitoxin was found to neutralize the toxicity of YoeBSpn-GFP. Interestingly, the inducible expression of both yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic hybrid Arabidopsis resulted in larger rosette leaves and taller plants with a higher number of inflorescence stems and increased silique production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a prokaryotic antitoxin neutralizing its cognate toxin in plant cells. PMID:27104531

  16. Neutralization of Bacterial YoeBSpn Toxicity and Enhanced Plant Growth in Arabidopsis thaliana via Co-Expression of the Toxin-Antitoxin Genes.

    PubMed

    Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Yeo, Chew Chieng; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have various cellular functions, including as part of the general stress response. The genome of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors several putative TA systems, including yefM-yoeBSpn, which is one of four systems that had been demonstrated to be biologically functional. Overexpression of the yoeBSpn toxin gene resulted in cell stasis and eventually cell death in its native host, as well as in Escherichia coli. Our previous work showed that induced expression of a yoeBSpn toxin-Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) fusion gene apparently triggered apoptosis and was lethal in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effects of co-expression of the yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic A. thaliana. When co-expressed in Arabidopsis, the YefMSpn antitoxin was found to neutralize the toxicity of YoeBSpn-GFP. Interestingly, the inducible expression of both yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic hybrid Arabidopsis resulted in larger rosette leaves and taller plants with a higher number of inflorescence stems and increased silique production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a prokaryotic antitoxin neutralizing its cognate toxin in plant cells. PMID:27104531

  17. Characterization of Toxin Complex Gene Clusters and Insect Toxicity of Bacteria Representing Four Subgroups of Pseudomonas fluorescens.

    PubMed

    Rangel, Lorena I; Henkels, Marcella D; Shaffer, Brenda T; Walker, Francesca L; Davis, Edward W; Stockwell, Virginia O; Bruck, Denny; Taylor, Barbara J; Loper, Joyce E

    2016-01-01

    Ten strains representing four lineages of the Pseudomonas fluorescens group (P. chlororaphis, P. corrugata, P. koreensis, and P. fluorescens subgroups) were evaluated for toxicity to the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta and the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The three strains within the P. chlororaphis subgroup exhibited both oral and injectable toxicity to the lepidopteran M. sexta. All three strains have the gene cluster encoding the FitD insect toxin and a ΔfitD mutant of P. protegens strain Pf-5 exhibited diminished oral toxicity compared to the wildtype strain. Only one of the three strains, P. protegens Pf-5, exhibited substantial levels of oral toxicity against the dipteran D. melanogaster. Three strains in the P. fluorescens subgroup, which lack fitD, consistently showed significant levels of injectable toxicity against M. sexta. In contrast, the oral toxicity of these strains against D. melanogaster was variable between experiments, with only one strain, Pseudomonas sp. BG33R, causing significant levels of mortality in repeated experiments. Toxin complex (Tc) gene clusters, which encode insecticidal properties in Photorhabdus luminescens, were identified in the genomes of seven of the ten strains evaluated in this study. Within those seven genomes, six types of Tc gene clusters were identified, distinguished by gene content, organization and genomic location, but no correlation was observed between the presence of Tc genes and insect toxicity of the evaluated strains. Our results demonstrate that members of the P. fluorescens group have the capacity to kill insects by both FitD-dependent and independent mechanisms. PMID:27580176

  18. Phylogenetic Comparisons Reveal Multiple Acquisitions of the Toxin Genes by Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Strains of Different Evolutionary Lineages▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Sue M.; Chaudhuri, Roy R.; Jiang, Zhi-Dong; DuPont, Herbert; Gyles, Carlton; Penn, Charles W.; Pallen, Mark J.; Henderson, Ian R.

    2006-01-01

    Escherichia coli is a diverse bacterial species which is widely distributed in the environment but also exists as a commensal and pathogen of different host species. Human intestinal pathogenic E. coli causes over 160 million cases of diarrhea and an estimated 1 million deaths per year. The majority of deaths are attributable to one pathovar of E. coli, namely, enterotoxigenic E. coli. The pathogenesis of enterotoxigenic E. coli is dependent on the production of a colonization factor to promote adhesion to the intestinal epithelium and the elaboration of heat-labile or heat-stable toxins which induce a secretory diarrhea. Despite the high morbidity and mortality associated with enterotoxigenic E. coli infection, little is known of the genetic background of this global pathogen. Here we demonstrate by multilocus sequence typing that enterotoxigenic E. coli isolates are present in all phylogenetic lineages of E. coli, indicating that acquisition of the toxin genes may be sufficient to generate an enterotoxigenic E. coli strain. In addition, screening of diarrheal isolates for the presence of additional genes previously associated with the virulence of enterotoxigenic E. coli revealed that they were not abundant. These observations have significant implications for disease epidemiology and for the design of effective vaccines. PMID:17050815

  19. Expression of the toxin-antitoxin genes yefM(Lrh), yoeB(Lrh) in human Lactobacillus rhamnosus isolates.

    PubMed

    Krügel, Hans; Klimina, Ksenia M; Mrotzek, Grit; Tretyakov, Alexander; Schöfl, Gerhard; Saluz, Hans-Peter; Brantl, Sabine; Poluektova, Elena U; Danilenko, Valery N

    2015-08-01

    Lactobacilli are important microorganisms in various activities, for example, diary products, meat ripening, bread and pickles, but, moreover, are associated directly with human skin and cavities (e.g., mouth, gut, or vagina). Some of them are used as probiotics. Therefore, the molecular biological investigation of these bacteria is important. Earlier we described several toxin antitoxin systems (type II) in lactobacilli. Here, we describe the structure and transcriptional regulation of genes, encoding TA system YefM-YoeB(Lrh) in three strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus comparing stationary and exponential growth phases, the influence of stress factors and mRNA stability. The same TA system is responding to physiological and stress conditions differently in related strains. Using primer extension and RLM-RACE methods we determined three transcription start sites of RNAs in the operon. The promoter region of the operon is preceded by a conserved BOX element occurring at multiple positions in the genomes of L. rhamnosus strains. Downstream of and partially overlapping with the 3' end of the yoeB(Lrh) toxin gene, a divergently transcribed unexpected RNA was detected. PMID:25832734

  20. Detection of cytolethal distending toxin activity and cdt genes in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans isolates from geographically diverse populations

    PubMed Central

    Fabris, A. S.; DiRienzo, J. M.; Wïkstrom, M.; Mayer, M. P. A.

    2008-01-01

    A cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) found in Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans inhibits the eukaryotic cell cycle, which may contribute to the pathogenic potential of the bacterium. The presence of the cdtABC genes and CDT activity were examined in 40 clinical isolates of A. actinomycetemcomitans from Brazil, Kenya, Japan and Sweden. Thirty-nine of 40 cell lysates caused distension of Chinese hamster ovary cells. At least one of the cdt genes was detected in all strains examined. The three cdt genes were detected, by PCR, in 34 DNA samples. DNA from one strain from Kenya did not yield amplicons of the cdtA and cdtB genes and did not express toxic activity. Restriction analysis was performed on every amplicon obtained. PCR-RFLP patterns revealed that the three cdt genes were conserved. These data provided evidence that the cdt genes are found and expressed in the majority of the A. actinomycetemcomitans isolates. Although a quantitative difference in cytotoxicity was observed, indicating variation in expression of CDT among strains, no clear relationship between CDT activity and periodontal status was found. PMID:12121473

  1. Identification of a metagenomic gene cluster containing a new class A beta-lactamase and toxin-antitoxin systems.

    PubMed

    Vercammen, Ken; Garcia-Armisen, Tamara; Goeders, Nathalie; Van Melderen, Laurence; Bodilis, Josselin; Cornelis, Pierre

    2013-08-01

    Several reports mention the presence of antibiotic resistance genes in natural and polluted environments, but many studies are based on their detection via polymerase chain reaction (PCR amplification of known genes and not on an activity screening. We constructed a metagenomic fosmid bank from DNA isolated from a polluted river in Brussels, Belgium, the Zenne. A total of 120,000 clones were pooled and plated directly on solid media containing different antibiotics. Several clones were isolated which could grow in the presence of ampicillin. The DNA from several clones was extracted and subjected to restriction analysis and, based on their restriction pattern, two different clones were found. One of the clones was selected for further study as it showed a higher level of resistance to different β-lactams antibiotics (ticarcilline and ceftazidime). To find out which gene is responsible for the resistance, an in vitro transposon mutagenesis was performed and clones having lost the resistance phenotype were analyzed via inverse PCR amplification. Several clones had an insert in a gene encoding a new type of β-lactamase. The amplified fosmid DNA was fully sequenced revealing an insert of 41 kb containing 39 open reading frames (ORFs). Transposon insertions inactivating the resistance to β-lactams were also found in the ORF upstream of the blaA gene, encoding an aminotransferase, suggesting a polar effect on the transcription of the gene downstream. In addition, other genes were found such as histidine biosynthesis genes, which were found to be scattered on the insert, a relA/spoT gene, and genes belonging to type II toxin-antitoxin system. This predicted system was experimentally validated in Escherichia coli using an inducible expression system. PMID:23873667

  2. The midgut cadherin-like gene is not associated with resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ac in Plutella xylostella (L.).

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaojiang; Kang, Shi; Zhu, Xun; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-03-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces Cry toxins that have been used to control important agricultural pests. Evolution of resistance in target pests threatens the effectiveness of these toxins when used either in sprayed biopesticides or in Bt transgenic crops. Although alterations of the midgut cadherin-like receptor can lead to Bt Cry toxin resistance in many insects, whether the cadherin gene is involved in Cry1Ac resistance of Plutella xylostella (L.) remains unclear. Here, we present experimental evidence that resistance to Cry1Ac or Bt var. kurstaki (Btk) in P. xylostella is not due to alterations of the cadherin gene. The bona fide P. xylostella cadherin cDNA sequence was cloned and analyzed, and comparisons of the cadherin cDNA sequence among susceptible and resistant P. xylostella strains confirmed that Cry1Ac resistance was independent of mutations in this gene. In addition, real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) indicated that cadherin transcript levels did not significantly differ among susceptible and resistant P. xylostella strains. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated suppression of cadherin gene expression did not affect larval susceptibility to Cry1Ac toxin. Furthermore, genetic linkage assays using four cadherin gDNA allelic biomarkers confirmed that the cadherin gene is not linked to resistance against Cry1Ac in P. xylostella. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Cry1Ac resistance of P. xylostella is independent of the cadherin gene. PMID:25595643

  3. Toxin plasmids of Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P; Uzal, Francisco A; Rood, Julian I; McClane, Bruce A

    2013-06-01

    In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  4. Identification and Characterization of the Insecticidal Toxin “Makes Caterpillars Floppy” in Photorhabdus temperata M1021 Using a Cosmid Library

    PubMed Central

    Ullah, Ihsan; Jang, Eun-Kyung; Kim, Min-Sung; Shin, Jin-Ho; Park, Gun-Seok; Khan, Abdur Rahim; Hong, Sung-Jun; Jung, Byung-Kwon; Choi, JungBae; Park, YeongJun; Kwak, Yunyoung; Shin, Jae-Ho

    2014-01-01

    Photorhabdus temperata is an entomopathogenic enterobacterium; it is a nematode symbiont that possesses pathogenicity islands involved in insect virulence. Herein, we constructed a P. temperata M1021 cosmid library in Escherichia coli XL1-Blue MRF` and obtained 7.14 × 105 clones. However, only 1020 physiologically active clones were screened for insect virulence factors by injection of each E. coli cosmid clone into Galleria mellonella and Tenebrio molitor larvae. A single cosmid clone, PtC1015, was consequently selected due to its characteristic virulent properties, e.g., loss of body turgor followed by death of larvae when the clone was injected into the hemocoel. The sequence alignment against the available sequences in Swiss-Prot and NCBI databases, confirmed the presence of the mcf gene homolog in the genome of P. temperata M1021 showing 85% homology and 98% query coverage with the P. luminescens counterpart. Furthermore, a 2932 amino acid long Mcf protein revealed limited similarity with three protein domains. The N-terminus of the Mcf encompassed consensus sequence for a BH3 domain, the central region revealed similarity to toxin B, and the C-terminus of Mcf revealed similarity to the bacterial export domain of ApxIVA, an RTX-like toxin. In short, the Mcf toxin is likely to play a role in the elimination of insect pests, making it a promising model for use in the agricultural field. PMID:25014195

  5. Characterization of Alpha-Toxin hla Gene Variants, Alpha-Toxin Expression Levels, and Levels of Antibody to Alpha-Toxin in Hemodialysis and Postsurgical Patients with Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yuling; Tabor, David E.; Mok, Hoyin; Sellman, Bret R.; Jenkins, Amy; Yu, Li; Jafri, Hasan S.; Rude, Thomas H.; Ruffin, Felicia; Schell, Wiley A.; Park, Lawrence P.; Yan, Qin; Thaden, Joshua T.; Messina, Julia A.; Esser, Mark T.

    2014-01-01

    Alpha-toxin is a major Staphylococcus aureus virulence factor. This study evaluated potential relationships between in vitro alpha-toxin expression of S. aureus bloodstream isolates, anti-alpha-toxin antibody in serum of patients with S. aureus bacteremia (SAB), and clinical outcomes in 100 hemodialysis and 100 postsurgical SAB patients. Isolates underwent spa typing and hla sequencing. Serum anti-alpha-toxin IgG and neutralizing antibody levels were measured by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a red blood cell (RBC)-based hemolysis neutralization assay. Neutralization of alpha-toxin by an anti-alpha-toxin monoclonal antibody (MAb MEDI4893) was tested in an RBC-based lysis assay. Most isolates encoded hla (197/200; 98.5%) and expressed alpha-toxin (173/200; 86.5%). In vitro alpha-toxin levels were inversely associated with survival (cure, 2.19 μg/ml, versus failure, 1.09 μg/ml; P < 0.01). Both neutralizing (hemodialysis, 1.26 IU/ml, versus postsurgical, 0.95; P < 0.05) and IgG (hemodialysis, 1.94 IU/ml, versus postsurgical, 1.27; P < 0.05) antibody levels were higher in the hemodialysis population. Antibody levels were also significantly higher in patients infected with alpha-toxin-expressing S. aureus isolates (P < 0.05). Levels of both neutralizing antibodies and IgG were similar among patients who were cured and those not cured (failures). Sequence analysis of hla revealed 12 distinct hla genotypes, and all genotypic variants were susceptible to a neutralizing monoclonal antibody in clinical development (MEDI4893). These data demonstrate that alpha-toxin is highly conserved in clinical S. aureus isolates. Higher in vitro alpha-toxin levels were associated with a positive clinical outcome. Although patients infected with alpha-toxin-producing S. aureus exhibited higher anti-alpha-toxin antibody levels, these levels were not associated with a better clinical outcome in this study. PMID:25392350

  6. Identification of genes expressed in cultures of E. coli lysogens carrying the Shiga toxin-encoding prophage Φ24B

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Shigatoxigenic E. coli are a global and emerging health concern. Shiga toxin, Stx, is encoded on the genome of temperate, lambdoid Stx phages. Genes essential for phage maintenance and replication are encoded on approximately 50% of the genome, while most of the remaining genes are of unknown function nor is it known if these annotated hypothetical genes are even expressed. It is hypothesized that many of the latter have been maintained due to positive selection pressure, and that some, expressed in the lysogen host, have a role in pathogenicity. This study used Change Mediated Antigen Technology (CMAT)™ and 2D-PAGE, in combination with RT-qPCR, to identify Stx phage genes that are expressed in E. coli during the lysogenic cycle. Results Lysogen cultures propagated for 5-6 hours produced a high cell density with a low proportion of spontaneous prophage induction events. The expression of 26 phage genes was detected in these cultures by differential 2D-PAGE of expressed proteins and CMAT. Detailed analyses of 10 of these genes revealed that three were unequivocally expressed in the lysogen, two expressed from a known lysogenic cycle promoter and one uncoupled from the phage regulatory network. Conclusion Propagation of a lysogen culture in which no cells at all are undergoing spontaneous lysis is impossible. To overcome this, RT-qPCR was used to determine gene expression profiles associated with the growth phase of lysogens. This enabled the definitive identification of three lambdoid Stx phage genes that are expressed in the lysogen and seven that are expressed during lysis. Conservation of these genes in this phage genome, and other Stx phages where they have been identified as present, indicates their importance in the phage/lysogen life cycle, with possible implications for the biology and pathogenicity of the bacterial host. PMID:22439817

  7. Detection of the heat-stable toxin coding gene (ST-gene) in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli: development of a colour amplified PCR detection system.

    PubMed

    Fanning, S; O'Mullane, J; O'Meara, D; Ward, A; Joyce, C; Delaney, M; Cryan, B

    1995-12-01

    Screening biological samples using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has obvious advantages compared with current molecular analytical methods based on gel electrophoresis and/or hybridisation, both of which are expensive and time-consuming, therefore the development of a PCR assay format that is applicable to large sample numbers and that can readily use equipment commonly found in diagnostic laboratories would be advantageous. This report describes the development of a colour amplified PCR detection system which is simple in design and could be universally applied to the detection of any DNA template. As an example, the system has been applied in the detection of the heat-stable toxin coding gene (ST-gene) from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). The assay is sensitive, detecting 10 fg of a purified DNA template and 270 cfu of an ST-gene-positive ETEC strain. PMID:8555786

  8. A Simple and Rapid Procedure for the Detection of Genes Encoding Shiga Toxins and Other Specific DNA Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Januszkiewicz, Aleksandra; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    A novel procedure for the detection of specific DNA sequences has been developed. This procedure is based on the already known method employing PCR with appropriate primers and a sequence-specific DNA probe labeled with the fluorescent agent 6-carboxylfluorescein (FAM) at the 5′ end and the fluorescence quencher BHQ-1 (black hole quencher) at the 3′ end. However, instead of the detection of the fluorescence signal with the use of real-time PCR cyclers, fluorescence/luminescence spectrometers or fluorescence polarization readers, as in all previously-reported procedures, we propose visual observation of the fluorescence under UV light directly in the reaction tube. An example for the specific detection of the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, by detecting Shiga toxin genes, is demonstrated. This method appears to be specific, simple, rapid and cost effective. It may be suitable for use in research laboratories, as well as in diagnostic units of medical institutions, even those equipped only with a thermocycler and a UV transilluminator, particularly if rapid identification of a pathogen is required. PMID:26580652

  9. Hemagglutinin gene shuffling among Clostridium botulinum serotypes C and D yields distinct sugar recognition of the botulinum toxin complex.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Keita; Suzuki, Tomonori; Hayashi, Shintaro; Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro; Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Sagane, Yoshimasa

    2015-10-01

    Clostridium botulinum strains produce a large-sized toxin complex (TC) that is composed of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), non-toxic non-hemagglutinin and three different hemagglutinins (HA-70, HA-33 and HA-17). HA components enhance toxin delivery across the intestinal cell wall in a sugar chain-dependent manner. Here we characterized the sugar recognition of serotype D strain 1873 (D-1873) botulinum L-TC. Most L-TCs produced by serotype C and D strains bind to cells via interactions between HA-33 and cell surface sialo-oligosaccharides. However, like the previously reported L-TC produced by serotype C strain Yoichi (C-Yoichi), D-1873 L-TC binds only to cells that have been treated with neuraminidase, indicating that they recognize asialo-oligosaccharides. The D-1873 HA-33 amino acid sequence is similar to that of C-Yoichi, but had lower similarity to the majority of serotype C and D HA-33s. A comparison of TC component primary structures for 12 serotype C and D strains suggested that at least three types of HA-33 genes exist, and these are shuffled among the serotype C and D strains independently of BoNT serotype. This shuffling produces the distinct sugar recognition of serotype C and D botulinum TCs. PMID:26223883

  10. A simple and rapid procedure for the detection of genes encoding Shiga toxins and other specific DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Januszkiewicz, Aleksandra; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2015-11-01

    A novel procedure for the detection of specific DNA sequences has been developed. This procedure is based on the already known method employing PCR with appropriate primers and a sequence-specific DNA probe labeled with the fluorescent agent 6-carboxylfluorescein (FAM) at the 5' end and the fluorescence quencher BHQ-1 (black hole quencher) at the 3' end. However, instead of the detection of the fluorescence signal with the use of real-time PCR cyclers, fluorescence/luminescence spectrometers or fluorescence polarization readers, as in all previously-reported procedures, we propose visual observation of the fluorescence under UV light directly in the reaction tube. An example for the specific detection of the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains, by detecting Shiga toxin genes, is demonstrated. This method appears to be specific, simple, rapid and cost effective. It may be suitable for use in research laboratories, as well as in diagnostic units of medical institutions, even those equipped only with a thermocycler and a UV transilluminator, particularly if rapid identification of a pathogen is required. PMID:26580652

  11. Homologs to Cry toxin receptor genes in a de novo transcriptome and their altered expression in resistant Spodoptera litura larvae.

    PubMed

    Gong, Liang; Wang, Huidong; Qi, Jiangwei; Han, Lanzhi; Hu, Meiying; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis

    2015-07-01

    Insect resistance threatens sustainability of insecticides based on Cry proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Since high levels of resistance to Cry proteins involve alterations in Cry-binding midgut receptors, their identification is needed to develop resistance management strategies. Through Illumina sequencing we generated a transcriptome containing 16,161 annotated unigenes for the Oriental leafworm (Spodoptera litura). Transcriptome mining identified 6 contigs with identity to reported lepidopteran Cry toxin receptors. Using PCR we confirmed their expression during the larval stage and compared their quantitative expression in larvae from susceptible and a field-derived Cry1Ca resistant strain of S. litura. Among reduced transcript levels detected for most tested contigs in the Cry1Ca-resistant S. litura larvae, the most dramatic reduction (up to 99%) was detected for alkaline phosphatase contigs. This study significantly expands S. litura transcriptomic resources and provides preliminary identification of putative receptor genes with altered expression in S. litura resistant to Cry1Ca toxin. PMID:25981133

  12. Shiga toxin and beta-lactamases genes in Escherichia coli phylotypes isolated from carcasses of broiler chickens slaughtered in Iran.

    PubMed

    Bagheri, Mahboube; Ghanbarpour, Reza; Alizade, Hesam

    2014-05-01

    Two hundred and four Escherichia coli strains were isolated from external and visceral cavity surfaces of 102 slaughtered broiler carcasses. The isolates were screened to determine the phylogenetic background and presence of Shiga toxins (stx1, stx2), intimin (eae) and beta-lactamase (blaTEM, blaSHV) genes. Phylotyping results revealed that the E. coli isolates segregated in four phylogenetic groups A (56.86%), B1 (19.12%), B2 (4.90%) and D (19.12%). PCR assays revealed that 13 isolates (6.37%) from 12 carcasses were positive for eae (12 isolates) and/or stx2 (2) genes. The eae positive isolates belonged to phylogenetic groups A (A0, A1), B1, B2 (B22) and D (D2). Two stx2 positive and seven eae positive isolates were recovered from visceral cavity surface, whereas only 5 eae positive isolates were from the external surface of the carcasses. On the other hand, thirty one E. coli strains isolated from visceral cavity and external surface of 26 carcasses carried the blaTEM (27) and blaSHV (4) genes and belonged to different phylo-groups. This study suggests that broiler carcasses could be considered as an important source of EPEC and STEC pathotypes in southeast of Iran; as well as the examined antibiotic resistance genes, which were carried by some isolates and could be transferred to pathogens through the food chain. PMID:24590116

  13. Cloning of the gene for the larvicidal toxin of Bacillus sphaericus 2362: evidence for a family of related sequences.

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, P; Baumann, L; Bowditch, R D; Broadwell, A H

    1987-01-01

    During sporulation, Bacillus sphaericus 2362 produces a parasporal crystalline protein which is toxic for the larvae of a number of mosquito species. Using the Escherichia coli cloning vector lambda gt11, in which gene products of the inserts may be fused to beta-galactosidase, we isolated 29 bacteriophages which produced peptides-reacting with antiserum to crystal protein. On the basis of restriction enzyme analyses of the recombinants and Ouchterlony immunodiffusion experiments with induced lysogens as a source of antigens, the recombinants were assigned to three groups, designated A, B, and C. Group A consisted of three clones which appeared to express all or part of the B. sphaericus toxin gene from their own promoters and one clone producing a beta-galactosidase-toxin fusion protein. The host cells of two induced recombinant lysogens of this group were toxic to larvae of Culex pipiens. A cell suspension containing 174 ng (dry weight) of the more toxic recombinant per ml killed 50% of the larvae. Both recombinants formed peptides with molecular sizes of 27, 43, and 63 kilodaltons (kDa). The antigenically related 27- and 43-kDa peptides were distinct from the 63-kDa peptide, which resembled crystals from sporulating cells of B. sphaericus in which antigenically distinct 43- and 63-kDa proteins are derived from a 125-kDa precursor. A 3.5-kilobase HindIII fragment from recombinants having toxic activity against larvae was subcloned into pGEM-3-blue. E. coli cells harboring this fragment were toxic to mosquito larvae and produced peptides of 27, 43, and 63 kDa. The distribution of the A gene among strains of B. sphaericus of different toxicities suggested that it is the sole or principal gene encoding the larvicidal crystal protein. The two recombinants of group B and the 23 of group C were all beta-galactosidase fusion proteins, suggesting that in E. coli these genes were not readily expressed from their own promoters. The distribution of these two genes in

  14. Characterization of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli recovered from domestic animals to determine stx variants, virulence genes, and cytotoxicity in mammalian cells

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) can cause foodborne illnesses ranging from diarrhea to severe diseases such as hemorrhagic colitis (HC), and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in humans. In this study, we determined virulence genes, stx subtypes and we evaluated the cytotoxicity in mammal...

  15. Survival and expression of acid resistance genes in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli acid adapted in pineapple juice and exposed to synthetic gastric fluid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aims: The aim of this research was to examine relative transcriptional expression of acid resistance (AR) genes, rpoS, gadA and adiA, in O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serotypes after adaptation to pineapple juice (PJ) and subsequently to determine survival with e...

  16. FINE MAPPING OF A GENE CONTROLLING THE REACTION TO A FUNGAL PATHOGEN AND ITS HOST-SELECTIVE TOXIN, THE PC LOCUS OF SORGHUM BICOLOR

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Milo disease in sorghum is caused by isolates of the soil-borne fungus Periconia circinata that produce PC-toxin. Susceptibility to milo disease is conditioned by a single, semi-dominant gene, termed Pc. The susceptible allele (Pc) converts to a resistant form (pc) spontaneously at a gametic frequen...

  17. Molecular epidemiology of Vibrio cholerae O1 isolated in Nepal by southern hybridization with a cholera toxin gene probe.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, K; Shrestha, J; Iida, T; Yoh, M; Honda, T

    1995-06-01

    A cholera epidemic broke out in 1992 due to Vibrio cholerae O1 biotype El Tor in the eastern and southern belt of Nepal mainly among the Bhutanese refugees. Restriction fragment profiles (RFP) of DNA fragments of V. cholerae O1 isolates hybridized with an enzyme-labelled oligonucleotide probe for cholera toxin gene (ctx) by Southern Hybridization were compared. The probe hybridized with the 13- and 8-kb fragments of PstI-digested total DNA in all isolates observed in the epidemic. This RFP in the Nepalese strain was not observed in the strains isolated during other epidemics but was observed in the strains isolated from the exported marine products from Taiwan and Thailand. PMID:7594311

  18. MvirDB: Microbial Database of Protein Toxins, Virulence Factors and Antibiotic Resistance Genes for Bio-Defense Applications

    DOE Data Explorer

    Zhou, C. E.; Smith, J.; Lam, M.; Zemla, M. D.; Slezak, T.

    MvirDB is a cenntralized resource (data warehouse) comprising all publicly accessible, organized sequence data for protein toxins, virulence factors, and antibiotic resistance genes. Protein entries in MvirDB are annotated using a high-throughput, fully automated computational annotation system; annotations are updated periodically to ensure that results are derived using current public database and open-source tool releases. Tools provided for using MvirDB include a web-based browser tool and BLAST interfaces. MvirDB serves researchers in the bio-defense and medical fields. (taken from page 3 of PI's paper of same title published in Nucleic Acids Research, 2007, Vol.35, Database Issue (Open Source)

  19. Verification of applicability of the Trimble RTX satellite technology with xFill function in establishing surveying control networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krzyżek, Robert

    2013-12-01

    The paper presents the results of real time measurements of test geodetic control network points using the RTK GPS and RTX Extended technologies. The Trimble RTX technology uses the xFill function, which enables real measurements without the need for constant connection with the ASG EUPOS system reference stations network. Comparative analyses of the results of measurements using the methods were performed and they were compared with the test control network data assumed to be error-free. Although the Trimble RTX technology is an innovative measurement method which is rarely used now, the possibilities it provides in surveying works, including building geodetic control networks, are satisfactory and it will certainly contribute to improving the organisation of surveying works. W pracy przedstawiono wyniki pomiarów w czasie rzeczywistym punktów osnowy testowej z wykorzystaniem technologii RTK GPS oraz RTX Extended. W technologii Trimble RTX wykorzystano funkcję xFill, która daje możliwości realnego wykonywania pomiaru bez konieczności stałej łączności z siecią stacji referencyjnych systemu ASG EUPOS. Wykonano analizy porównawcze wyników pomiaru między metodami oraz odniesiono je do danych osnowy testowej, przyjętych za bezbłędne. Choć technologia Trimble RTX jest innowacyjną metodą pomiaru i jeszcze rzadko stosowaną, to możliwości jakie daje w realizacjach prac geodezyjnych, w tym zakładaniu osnów pomiarowych, są bardzo zadawalające i z pewnością przyczyni się do jeszcze lepszej i bardziej ekonomicznej organizacji prac geodezyjnych.

  20. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis relBE toxin:antitoxin genes are stress-responsive modules that regulate growth through translation inhibition.

    PubMed

    Korch, Shaleen B; Malhotra, Vandana; Contreras, Heidi; Clark-Curtiss, Josephine E

    2015-11-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) genes are ubiquitous among bacteria and are associated with persistence and dormancy. Following exposure to unfavorable environmental stimuli, several species (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Myxococcus xanthus) employ toxin proteins such as RelE and MazF to downregulate growth or initiate cell death. Mycobacterium tuberculosis possesses three Rel TA modules (Rel Mtb ): RelBE Mtb , RelFG Mtb and RelJK Mtb (Rv1246c-Rv1247c, Rv2865-Rv2866, and Rv3357-Rv3358, respectively), which inhibit mycobacterial growth when the toxin gene (relE, relG, relK) is expressed independently of the antitoxin gene (relB, relF, relJ). In the present study, we examined the in vivo mechanism of the RelE Mtb toxin protein, the impact of RelE Mtb on M. tuberculosis physiology and the environmental conditions that regulate all three rel Mtb modules. RelE Mtb negatively impacts growth and the structural integrity of the mycobacterial envelope, generating cells with aberrant forms that are prone to extensive aggregation. At a time coincident with growth defects, RelE Mtb mediates mRNA degradation in vivo resulting in significant changes to the proteome. We establish that rel Mtb modules are stress responsive, as all three operons are transcriptionally activated following mycobacterial exposure to oxidative stress or nitrogen-limiting growth environments. Here we present evidence that the rel Mtb toxin:antitoxin family is stress-responsive and, through the degradation of mRNA, the RelE Mtb toxin influences the growth, proteome and morphology of mycobacterial cells. PMID:26502963

  1. [Protein toxins of Staphylococcus aureus].

    PubMed

    Shamsutdinov, A F; Tiurin, Iu A

    2014-01-01

    Main scientific-research studies regarding protein bacterial toxins of the most widespread bacteria that belong to Staphylococcus spp. genus and in particular the most pathogenic species for humans--Staphylococcus aureus, are analyzed. Structural and biological properties of protein toxins that have received the name of staphylococcus pyrogenic toxins (PTSAg) are presented. Data regarding genetic regulation of secretion and synthesis of these toxins and 3 main regulatory genetic systems (agr--accessory gene regulator, xpr--extracellular protein regulator, sar--staphylococcal accessory regulator) that coordinate synthesis of the most important protein toxins and enzymes for virulence of S. aureus, are presented. PMID:25051707

  2. Two novel human members of an emerging mammalian gene family related to mono-ADP-ribosylating bacterial toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Koch-Nolte, F.; Haag, F.; Braren, R.

    1997-02-01

    Mono-ADP-ribosylation is one of the posttranslational protein modifications regulating cellular metabolism, e.g., nitrogen fixation, in prokaryotes. Several bacterial toxins mono-ADP-ribosylate and inactivate specific proteins in their animal hosts. Recently, two mammalian GPI-anchored cell surface enzymes with similar activities were cloned (designated ART1 and ART2). We have now identified six related expressed sequence tags (ESTs) in the public database and cloned the two novel human genes from which these are derived (designated ART3 and ART4). The deduced amino acid sequences of the predicted gene products show 28% sequence identity to one another and 32-41% identity vs the muscle and T cell enzymes. They contain signal peptide sequences characteristic of GPI anchorage. Southern Zoo blot analyses suggest the presence of related genes in other mammalian species. By PCR screening of somatic cell hybrids and by in situ hybridization, we have mapped the two genes to human chromosomes 4p14-p15.l and 12q13.2- q13.3. Northern blot analyses show that these genes are specifically expressed in testis and spleen, respectively. Comparison of genomic and cDNA sequences reveals a conserved exon/intron structure, with an unusually large exon encoding the predicted mature membrane proteins. Secondary structure prediction analyses indicate conserved motifs and amino acid residues consistent with a common ancestry of this emerging mammalian enzyme family and bacterial mono(ADP-ribosyl)transferases. It is possible that the four human gene family members identified so far represent the {open_quotes}tip of an iceberg,{close_quote} i.e., a larger family of enzymes that influences the function of target proteins via mono-ADP-ribosylation. 35 refs., 4 figs.

  3. Expression pattern of three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2 genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii: comparison of evolution of these toxins in land snakes, sea kraits and sea snakes

    PubMed Central

    Pahari, Susanta; Bickford, David; Fry, Bryan G; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2007-01-01

    Background Snake venom composition varies widely both among closely related species and within the same species, based on ecological variables. In terrestrial snakes, such variation has been proposed to be due to snakes' diet. Land snakes target various prey species including insects (arthropods), lizards (reptiles), frogs and toads (amphibians), birds (aves), and rodents (mammals), whereas sea snakes target a single vertebrate class (fishes) and often specialize on specific types of fish. It is therefore interesting to examine the evolution of toxins in sea snake venoms compared to that of land snakes. Results Here we describe the expression of toxin genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus (Spine-bellied Sea Snake) and Acalyptophis peronii (Horned Sea Snake), two members of a large adaptive radiation which occupy very different ecological niches. We constructed cDNA libraries from their venom glands and sequenced 214 and 192 clones, respectively. Our data show that despite their explosive evolutionary radiation, there is very little variability in the three-finger toxin (3FTx) as well as the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes, the two main constituents of Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii venom. To understand the evolutionary trends among land snakes, sea snakes and sea kraits, pairwise genetic distances (intraspecific and interspecific) of 3FTx and PLA2 sequences were calculated. Results show that these proteins appear to be highly conserved in sea snakes in contrast to land snakes or sea kraits, despite their extremely divergent and adaptive ecological radiation. Conclusion Based on these results, we suggest that streamlining in habitat and diet in sea snakes has possibly kept their toxin genes conserved, suggesting the idea that prey composition and diet breadth may contribute to the diversity and evolution of venom components. PMID:17900344

  4. Presence of pathogenicity island related and plasmid encoded virulence genes in cytolethal distending toxin producing Escherichia coli isolates from diarrheal cases

    PubMed Central

    Oloomi, Mana; Javadi, Maryam; Bouzari, Saeid

    2015-01-01

    Context: Mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, bacteriophages, insertion elements, and genomic islands play a critical role in virulence of bacterial pathogens. These elements transfer horizontally and could play an important role in the evolution and virulence of many pathogens. A broad spectrum of gram-negative bacterial species has been shown to produce a cytolethal distending toxin (CDT). On the other hand, Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli are the one carry virulence genes such as stx 1 and stx 2 (Shiga toxin) and these genes can be acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of other virulence associated genes among CDT producing E. coli strains. Materials and Methods: Thirty CDT positive strains isolated from patients with diarrhea were characterized. Thereafter, the association with virulent genetic elements in known pathogenicity islands (PAIs) was assessed by polymerase chain reaction. Results: In this study, it was shown that the most CDT producing E. coli isolates express Shiga toxin. Moreover, the presence of prophages framing cdt genes (like P2 phage) was also identified in each cdt-type genomic group. Flanked regions of cdt-I, cdt-IV, and cdt-V-type was similar to plasmid sequences while cdt-II and cdt-III-type regions similarity with hypothetical protein (orf3) was observed. Conclusion: The occurrence of each cdt-type groups with specific virulence genes and PAI genetic elements is indicative of horizontal gene transfer by these mobile genetic elements, which could lead to diversity among the isolates. PMID:26539367

  5. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains isolated from dairy products - Genetic diversity and virulence gene profiles.

    PubMed

    Douëllou, T; Delannoy, S; Ganet, S; Mariani-Kurkdjian, P; Fach, P; Loukiadis, E; Montel, Mc; Thevenot-Sergentet, D

    2016-09-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are widely recognized as pathogens causing food borne disease. Here we evaluate the genetic diversity of 197 strains, mainly STEC, from serotypes O157:H7, O26:H11, O103:H2, O111:H8 and O145:28 and compared strains recovered in dairy products against strains from human, meat and environment cases. For this purpose, we characterized a set of reference-collection STEC isolates from dairy products by PFGE DNA fingerprinting and a subset of these by virulence-gene profiling. PFGE profiles of restricted STEC total DNA showed high genomic variability (0.9976 on Simpson's discriminatory index), enabling all dairy isolates to be differentiated. High-throughput real-time PCR screening of STEC virulence genes were applied on the O157:H7 and O26:H11 STEC isolates from dairy products and human cases. The virulence gene profiles of dairy and human STEC strains were similar. Nevertheless, frequency-wise, stx1 was more prevalent among dairy O26:H11 isolates than in human cases ones (87% vs. 44%) while stx2 was more prevalent among O26:H11 human isolates (23% vs. 81%). For O157:H7 isolates, stx1 (0% vs. 39%), nleF (40% vs 94%) and Z6065 (40% vs 100%) were more prevalent among human than dairy strains. Our data point to differences between human and dairy strains but these differences were not sufficient to associate PFGE and virulence gene profiles to a putative lower pathogenicity of dairy strains based on their lower incidence in disease. Further comparison of whole-genome expression and virulence gene profiles should be investigated in cheese and intestinal tract samples. PMID:27257743

  6. Delivery of Large Heterologous Polypeptides across the Cytoplasmic Membrane of Antigen-Presenting Cells by the Bordetella RTX Hemolysin Moiety Lacking the Adenylyl Cyclase Domain

    PubMed Central

    Holubova, Jana; Jelinek, Jiri; Tomala, Jakub; Masin, Jiri; Kosova, Martina; Stanek, Ondrej; Bumba, Ladislav; Michalek, Jaroslav; Kovar, Marek; Sebo, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA; also called ACT or AC-Hly) targets CD11b-expressing phagocytes and translocates into their cytosol an adenylyl cyclase (AC) that hijacks cellular signaling by conversion of ATP to cyclic AMP (cAMP). Intriguingly, insertion of large passenger peptides removes the enzymatic activity but not the cell-invasive capacity of the AC domain. This has repeatedly been exploited for delivery of heterologous antigens into the cytosolic pathway of CD11b-expressing dendritic cells by CyaA/AC− toxoids, thus enabling their processing and presentation on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules to cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs). We produced a set of toxoids with overlapping deletions within the first 371 residues of CyaA and showed that the structure of the AC enzyme does not contain any sequences indispensable for its translocation across target cell membrane. Moreover, replacement of the AC domain (residues 1 to 371) with heterologous polypeptides of 40, 146, or 203 residues yielded CyaAΔAC constructs that delivered passenger CTL epitopes into antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and induced strong antigen-specific CD8+ CTL responses in vivo in mice and ex vivo in human peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures. This shows that the RTX (repeats in toxin) hemolysin moiety, consisting of residues 374 to 1706 of CyaA, harbors all structural information involved in translocation of the N-terminal AC domain across target cell membranes. These results decipher the extraordinary capacity of the AC domain of CyaA to transport large heterologous cargo polypeptides into the cytosol of CD11b+ target cells and pave the way for the construction of CyaAΔAC-based polyvalent immunotherapeutic T cell vaccines. PMID:22215742

  7. Efficient Inhibition of Ovarian Cancer by Gelonin Toxin Gene Delivered by Biodegradable Cationic Heparin-polyethyleneimine Nanogels.

    PubMed

    Bai, Yu; Gou, Maling; Yi, Tao; Yang, Li; Liu, Lili; Lin, Xiaojuan; Su, Dan; Wei, Yuquan; Zhao, Xia

    2015-01-01

    The use of toxins for cancer therapy has great promise. Gelonin, a potent plant toxin, causes cell death by inactivating the 60S ribosomal subunit. Recently, we developed a novel gene delivery system using biodegradable cationic heparin-polyethyleneimine (HPEI) nanogels. In the current study, the antitumor activity of a recombinant plasmid expressing gelonin (pGelonin) on human ovarian cancer was assessed. The application of HPEI nanogels, was also evaluated. Gelonin-cDNA was cloned into the pVAX1 plasmid vector and transfected into SKOV3 human ovarian cancer cells using biodegradable cationic HPEI nanogels. The expression of gelonin in vitro and in vivo was confirmed using RT-PCR and western blot analysis. Cell viability and apoptosis were examined using an MTT assay and flow cytometric analysis. For the in vivo study, an SKOV3 intraperitoneal ovarian carcinomatosis model was established, and nude mice were randomly assigned into four groups receiving i.p. administration of pGelonin/HPEI complexes, pVAX/HPEI complexes, HPEI alone and 5% glucose solution. The tumor weight was monitored, and a TUNEL assay and Ki-67 immunohistochemistry were performed to evaluate apoptosis and cell proliferation in the tumor tissue sections, respectively. Gelonin was efficiently expressed in SKOV3 cancer cells in vitro and in vivo using pGelonin incorporated with HPEI nanogels. The pGelonin/HPEI complexes inhibited cell viability and induced apoptosis in the cell culture. Treatment for intraperitoneal carcinomatosis with pGelonin/HPEI complexes reduced the tumor weight by ~58.55% compared to the control groups (P<0.05). The antitumor effect was accompanied by increased apoptosis and reduced cell proliferation (P<0.05). No significant side effects were observed with i.p. administration of the pGelonin/HPEI complexes. Our data indicate that HPEI nanogel-delivered pGelonin may have promising applications against human ovarian cancer. PMID:26005374

  8. Structure-function studies of the adenylate cyclase toxin of Bordetella pertussis and the leukotoxin of Pasteurella haemolytica by heterologous C protein activation and construction of hybrid proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Westrop, G; Hormozi, K; da Costa, N; Parton, R; Coote, J

    1997-01-01

    The adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) from Bordetella pertussis and the leukotoxin (LktA) from Pasteurella haemolytica are members of the RTX (stands for repeats in toxin) family of cytolytic toxins. They have pore-forming activity and share significant amino acid homology but show marked differences in biological activity. CyaA is an invasive adenylate cyclase and a weak hemolysin which is active on a wide range of mammalian cells. LktA is a cytolytic protein with a high target cell specificity and is able to lyse only leukocytes and platelets from ruminants. Each toxin is synthesized as an inactive protoxin encoded by the A gene, and the product of the accessory C gene is required for posttranslational activation. Heterologous activation of LktA by CyaC did not result in a change in its specificity for nucleated cells, although the toxin showed a greater hemolytic-to-cytotoxic ratio. LktC was unable to activate CyaA. A hybrid toxin (Hyb1), which contained the N-terminal enzymic domain and the pore-forming domain from CyaA (amino acids [aa] 1 to 687), with the remainder of the protein derived from the C-terminal end of LktA (aa 379 to 953), showed no toxic activity. Replacement of part of the LktA C-terminal domain of Hyb1 by the CyaA C-terminal domain (aa 919 to 1706) to create hybrid toxin 2 (Hyb2) partially restored toxic activity. In contrast to CyaA, Hyb2 was activated more efficiently by LktC than by CyaC, showing the importance of the region between aa 379 and 616 of LktA for activation by LktC. LktC-activated Hyb2 was more active against ruminant than murine nucleated cells, whereas CyaC-activated Hyb2 displayed a similar, but lower, activity against both cell types. These data indicate that LktC and the region with which it interacts have an influence on the target cell specificity of the mature toxin. PMID:9006045

  9. Sequence Analysis of Staphylococcus hyicus ATCC 11249T, an Etiological Agent of Exudative Epidermitis in Swine, Reveals a Type VII Secretion System Locus and a Novel 116-Kilobase Genomic Island Harboring Toxin-Encoding Genes

    PubMed Central

    Foecking, Mark F.; Hsieh, Hsin-Yeh; Adkins, Pamela R. F.; Stewart, George C.; Middleton, John R.

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus hyicus is the primary etiological agent of exudative epidermitis in swine. Analysis of the complete genome sequence of the type strain revealed a locus encoding a type VII secretion system and a large chromosomal island harboring the genes encoding exfoliative toxin ExhA and an EDIN toxin homolog. PMID:25700402

  10. Characterization of point mutations in the cdtA gene of the cytolethal distending toxin of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Linsen; Volgina, Alla; Huang, Chuang-ming; Korostoff, Jonathan; DiRienzo, Joseph M.

    2006-01-01

    Summary The Cdt is a family of gram-negative bacterial toxins that typically arrest eukaryotic cells in the G0/G1 or G2/M phase of the cell cycle. The toxin is a heterotrimer composed of the cdtA, cdtB and cdtC gene products. Although it has been shown that the CdtA protein subunit binds to cells in culture and in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CELISA) the precise mechanisms by which CdtA interacts with CdtB and CdtC has not yet been clarified. In this study we employed a random mutagenesis strategy to construct a library of point mutations in cdtA to assess the contribution of individual amino acids to binding activity and to the ability of the subunit to form biologically active holotoxin. Single unique amino acid substitutions in seven CdtA mutants resulted in reduced binding of the purified recombinant protein to Chinese hamster ovary cells and loss of binding to the fucose-containing glycoprotein, thyroglobulin. These mutations clustered at the 5′- and 3′-ends of the cdtA gene resulting in amino acid substitutions that resided outside of the aromatic patch region and a conserved region in CdtA homologues. Three of the amino acid substitutions, at positions S165N (mutA81), T41A (mutA121) and C178W (mutA221) resulted in gene products that formed holotoxin complexes that exhibited a 60% reduction (mutA81) or loss (mutA121, mutA221) of proliferation inhibition. A similar pattern was observed when these mutant holotoxins were tested for their ability to induce cell cycle arrest and to convert supercoiled DNA to relaxed and linear forms in vitro. The mutations in mutA81 and mutA221 disrupted holotoxin formation. The positions of the amino acid substitutions were mapped in the Haemophilus ducreyi Cdt crystal structure providing some insight into structure and function. PMID:16313618

  11. Precision Analysis of Trimble Rtx Surveying Technology with Xfill Function in the Context of Obtained Conversion Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krzyżek, Robert

    2015-02-01

    As a result of traditional geodetic surveying we usually achieve observations which are then used for calculating rectangular coordinates onto a plane along with precision evaluation. In this article the surveying methods are presented in which the situation is different. Test measurements were carried out, consisting in the measurement of a fragment of detailed control network in RTK (Real Time Kinematic) and RTX (Real Time Extended) mode with xFill function. First, the rectangular coordinates onto a plane (through the transformation of data ellipsoidal) were obtained, on the basis of which the conversion observations were determined and they were compared with each other, as well as with reference parameters - conversion observations out of detailed control network adjustment with use of the method of least squares. The results of the study allow to verify the precision and application possibilities of conversion observations obtained thanks to Trimble RTX technology with xFill function. Application of this surveying method in typical geodetic tasks is fully justifiable. Nevertheless, it is recommendable to be aware of the correlations of absolute or relative values obtained in RTX procedure to reference parameters, which in turn will enable conclusive verification of the possibilities of Trimble RTX technology application in certain geodetic surveys.

  12. Expression of the Native Cholera Toxin B Subunit Gene and Assembly as Functional Oligomers in Transgenic Tobacco Chloroplasts

    PubMed Central

    Daniell, Henry; Lee, Seung-Bum; Panchal, Tanvi; Wiebe, Peter O.

    2012-01-01

    The B subunits of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (LTB) and cholera toxin of Vibrio cholerae (CTB) are candidate vaccine antigens. Integration of an unmodified CTB-coding sequence into chloroplast genomes (up to 10,000 copies per cell), resulted in the accumulation of up to 4.1% of total soluble tobacco leaf protein as functional oligomers (410-fold higher expression levels than that of the unmodified LTB gene expressed via the nuclear genome). However, expresssion levels reported are an underestimation of actual accumulation of CTB in transgenic chloroplasts, due to aggregation of the oligomeric forms in unboiled samples similar to the aggregation observed for purified bacterial antigen. PCR and Southern blot analyses confirmed stable integration of the CTB gene into the chloroplast genome. Western blot analysis showed that the chloroplast-synthesized CTB assembled into oligomers and were antigenically identical with purified native CTB. Also, binding assays confirmed that chloroplast- synthesized CTB binds to the intestinal membrane GM1-ganglioside receptor, indicating correct folding and disulfide bond formation of CTB pentamers within transgenic chloroplasts. In contrast to stunted nuclear transgenic plants, chloroplast transgenic plants were morphologically indistinguishable from untransformed plants, when CTB was constitutively expressed in chloroplasts. Introduced genes were inherited stably in subsequent generations, as confirmed by PCR and Southern blot analyses. Increased production of an efficient transmucosal carrier molecule and delivery system, like CTB, in transgenic chloroplasts makes plant-based oral vaccines and fusion proteins with CTB needing oral administration commercially feasible. Successful expression of foreign genes in transgenic chromoplasts and availability of marker-free chloroplast transformation techniques augurs well for development of vaccines in edible parts of transgenic plants. Furthermore, since the quaternary structure of

  13. Detection and source tracking of Escherichia coli, harboring intimin and Shiga toxin genes, isolated from the Little Bighorn River, Montana.

    PubMed

    Hamner, Steve; Broadaway, Susan C; Berg, Ethan; Stettner, Sean; Pyle, Barry H; Big Man, Nita; Old Elk, Joseph; Eggers, Margaret J; Doyle, John; Kindness, Larry; Good Luck, Brandon; Ford, Timothy E; Camper, Anne C

    2014-08-01

    The Little Bighorn River flows through the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. In 2008, Escherichia coli concentrations as high as 7179 MPN/100 ml were detected in the river at the Crow Agency Water Treatment Plant intake site. During 2008, 2009, and 2012, 10 different serotypes of E. coli, including O157:H7, harboring both intimin and Shiga toxin genes were isolated from a popular swim site of the Little Bighorn River in Crow Agency. As part of a microbial source tracking study, E. coli strains were isolated from river samples as well as from manure collected from a large cattle feeding operation in the upper Little Bighorn River watershed; 23% of 167 isolates of E. coli obtained from the manure tested positive for the intimin gene. Among these manure isolates, 19 were identified as O156:H8, matching the serotype of an isolate collected from a river sampling site close to the cattle feeding area. PMID:24044742

  14. Mutation of an aminopeptidase N gene is associated with Helicoverpa armigera resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shaoping; Cheng, Hongmei; Gao, Yulin; Wang, Guirong; Liang, Gemei; Wu, Kongming

    2009-07-01

    A Cry1Ac-resistant strain (Bt-R) of Helicoverpa armigera, with 2971-fold resistance, was derived by selection with Cry1Ac toxin for 75 generations. We used cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis to identify those genes differentially expressed in the Cry1Ac-resistant and -susceptible strains, which revealed 212 differentially expressed transcripts among 2000 screened cDNAs. Among these transcript-derived fragments (TDFs), 37 showed some homology to known sequences, including Aminopeptidase N (APN), which is expressed in the midgut epithelium and has been implicated as a Cry1A subfamily receptor in several moths, including H. armigera. We confirmed the TDF by RT-PCR and identified a deletion mutation of apn1 in the Bt-R strain. We expressed the TDF in bacteria. The partial HaAPN1-96S wild-type protein, bound to Cry1Ac on ligand blots, whereas HaAPN1-BtR did not. This suggested that HaAPN1 is a receptor for Bt Cry1Ac and that its deletion mutation is associated with Cry1Ac resistance in H. armigera. The absence of one binding site is responsible for its resistance to Cry1Ac. We developed an allele-specific PCR to monitor whether the apn1 gene in an H. armigera field population produced a similar mutation. No deleted mutants were found in 2250 individuals collected from the field in 2006-2007. PMID:19376227

  15. Detection of five Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli genes with multiplex PCR.

    PubMed

    Son, Insook; Binet, Rachel; Maounounen-Laasri, Anna; Lin, Andrew; Hammack, Thomas S; Kase, Julie A

    2014-06-01

    Escherichia coli serogroup O157 is the pathogen most commonly associated with foodborne disease outbreaks, but epidemiological studies suggest that non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is a major player as well. The ten most clinically relevant STECs belong to serogroups O26, O103, O111, O145, O157, O91, O113, O128, O45, and O121; but emerging strains, such as O104:H4 that was identified with the 2011 German outbreak, could become more prevalent in the future. A 75-min conventional multiplex PCR assay, IS-5P, targeting the four virulence factors stx1, stx2, eae, and ehxA plus the O157:H7-specific +93 uidA single nucleotide polymorphism was developed to better assess the potential pathogenicity of STEC isolates. All 212 STEC DNAs showed one to five amplification products, while the non-E. coli DNA did not react to this multiplex PCR assay. Enrichment broths obtained from baby spinach, alfalfa sprouts, and cilantro artificially inoculated with O26, O103, and O121 STECs reacted positively to the multiplex assay. Unlike the current FDA BAM 5P PCR, designed for the specific detection of O157:H7, IS-5P will identify potentially harmful O157:H7 and non-O157 STECs so they can be removed from the nation's food supply. PMID:24549195

  16. System constants for the bis(cyanopropylsiloxane)-co-methylsilarylene HP-88 and poly(siloxane) Rtx-440 stationary phases.

    PubMed

    Kiridena, Waruna; Patchett, Cheryl C; Koziol, Wladyslaw W; Poole, Colin F

    2005-07-22

    The solvation parameter model is used to characterize the retention properties of the bis(cyanopropylsiloxane)-co-methylsilarylene, HP-88, and poly(siloxane), Rtx-440, stationary phases over the temperature range 60-140 degrees C. HP-88 is among the most cohesive, dipolar/polarizable and hydrogen-bond basic of stationary phases for open-tubular column gas chromatography. It has no hydrogen-bond acidity or capacity for electron lone pair interactions. It exhibits similar selectivity to the poly(cyanopropylsiloxane) stationary phase SP-2340. Rtx-440 is a low-polarity, low-cohesion stationary phase with a moderate capacity for dipolar/polarizable and hydrogen-bond base interactions. It has no hydrogen-bond acidity and possesses weak electron lone pair interactions. It has unique selectivity when compared against a system constants database for 28 common stationary phase compositions. Cluster analysis indicated that the poly(cyanopropylphenyldimethylsiloxane) stationary phase containing 6% cyanopropylphenylsiloxane monomer, DB-1301, the poly(dimethyldiphenylsiloxane) stationary phase containing 20% diphenylsiloxane monomer, Rtx-20, the poly(siloxane) stationary phase of unknown composition, DB-624, and DX-1 [a mixture of poly(dimethylsiloxane) and poly(ethylene glycol) 9:1] are the closest selectivity matches in the database. The selectivity of DB-1301 and Rtx-440 are very similar for solutes with weak hydrogen-bond acidity allowing one stationary phase to be substituted for the other with likely success. For strong hydrogen-bond acids, such as phenols, DB-1301 and Rtx-440 exhibit different selectivity. PMID:16038217

  17. New variants of lepidoptericidal toxin genes encoding Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa proteins.

    PubMed

    Sauka, Diego H; Rodriguez, Sonia E; Benintende, Graciela B

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is an entomopathogenic bacterium characterized by producing parasporal proteinaceous insecticidal crystal inclusions during sporulation. Many strains are capable of also expressing other insecticidal proteins called Vip during the vegetative growing phase. Particularly, Vip3A proteins have activity against certain Lepidoptera species through a unique mechanism of action which emphasized their possible use in resistance management strategies against resistant pests. The aim of the work was to develop a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method that can distinguish between vip3A genes from B. thuringiensis strains. In addition, 4 novel vip3Aa genes were cloned and sequenced. The method was originally based on amplification of a single PCR amplicon and the use of 2 restriction enzymes with recognition sites that facilitate simultaneous detection. Subsequently, a third restriction enzyme was used to distinguish between vip3A variants. Thirteen vip3Aa genes were identified in strains belonging to 10 different B. thuringiensis serovars. Three intra-subclass variants of vip3Aa genes could be differentiated. The presented method can serve as an invaluable tool for the investigation of known and novel vip3A genes in B. thuringiensis strains. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report where variants of a same subclass of insecticidal genes could be distinguished following PCR-RFLP. PMID:23307196

  18. Prevalence of Toxin Genes among the Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus aureus and its Clinical Impact

    PubMed Central

    Deodhar, Divya; Varghese, George; Balaji, Veeraraghavan; John, James; Rebekah, Grace; Janardhanan, Jeshina; Jeyaraman, Ranjith; Jasmine, Sudha; Mathews, Prasad

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) causes a variety of infections, ranging from a mild skin infection to blood stream infections and deep seated infections. As Stapylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) has the tendency to cause endovascular and metastatic infections, complications can occur at almost all sites of the body. Hence, SAB is associated with increased morbidity and mortality in spite of appropriate antimicrobial treatment. The virulence in S. aureus is determined by the presence of adhesins and toxins, which behave like superantigens (SAgs) and leads to a massive release of proinflammatory cytokines causing overwhelming inflammatory response leading to endothelial leakage, hemodynamic shock, multiorgan failure, and possibly death. Materials and Methods: One year prospective study conducted in a tertiary care hospital in southern part of India included all patients with SAB. Clinical details were filled according to. All isolates were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for enterotoxin profiling. Results: A total of 101 patients of SAB were identified which comprises of 61 (60.4%) patients with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and 40 (39.6%) patients with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Most common predictors of mortality were prior hospitalization and antibiotic intake, severe organ dysfunction, shock, tachycardia, and leukocytosis. Two-third of the isolates had at least one enterotoxin, most prevalent was sea; 28% and 27% (P - value = 0.001) MSSA isolates had seg and sei; whereas, 38.6% (P - value < 0.001) of MRSA isolates were found to have sea. The most common enterotoxin associated with mortality was sei, which comprised of 38% of all mortality. Conclusion: In SAB, the significant predictors of mortality were prior hospitalization and antibiotic intake, presence of multiorgan dysfunction, and shock. Although overall significance between the enterotoxin and shock could not be demonstrated, it successfully demonstrated

  19. Serotypes, Virulence Genes, and Intimin Types of Shiga Toxin (Verotoxin)-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Healthy Sheep in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, M.; Blanco, J. E.; Mora, A.; Rey, J.; Alonso, J. M.; Hermoso, M.; Hermoso, J.; Alonso, M. P.; Dahbi, G.; González, E. A.; Bernárdez, M. I.; Blanco, J.

    2003-01-01

    Fecal swabs obtained from 1,300 healthy lambs in 93 flocks in Spain in 1997 were examined for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). STEC O157:H7 strains were isolated from 5 (0.4%) animals in 4 flocks, and non-O157 STEC strains were isolated from 462 (36%) lambs in 63 flocks. A total of 384 ovine STEC strains were characterized in this study. PCR showed that 213 (55%) strains carried the stx1 gene, 10 (3%) possessed the stx2 gene, and 161 (42%) carried both the stx1 and the stx2 genes. Enterohemolysin (ehxA) and intimin (eae) virulence genes were detected in 106 (28%) and 23 (6%) of the STEC strains, respectively. The STEC strains belonged to 35 O serogroups and 64 O:H serotypes (including 18 new serotypes). However, 72% were of 1 of the following 12 serotypes: O5:H−, O6:H10, O91:H−, O117:H−, O128:H−, O128:H2, O136:H20, O146:H8, O146:H21, O156:H−, O166:H28, and ONT:H21 (where NT is nontypeable). Although the 384 STEC strains belonged to 95 different seropathotypes (associations between serotypes and virulence genes), 49% of strains belonged to only 11. O91:H− stx1 stx2 (54 strains) was the most common seropathotype, followed by O128:H− stx1 stx2 (33 strains) and O6:H10 stx1 (25 strains). Three strains of serotypes O26:H11, O156:H11, and OX177:H11 had intimin type β1; 5 strains of serotype O157:H7 possessed intimin type γ1; and 15 strains of serotypes O49:H−, O52:H12, O156:H− (12 strains), and O156:H25 had the new intimin, intimin type ζ. The majority (82%) of ovine STEC strains belonged to serotypes previously found to be associated with human STEC strains, and 51% belonged to serotypes associated with STEC strains isolated from patients with hemolytic-uremic syndrome. Thus, this study confirms that healthy sheep are a major reservoir of STEC strains pathogenic for humans. PMID:12682113

  20. Comprehensive Analysis of Gene Expression Profiles of the Beet Armyworm Spodoptera exigua Larvae Challenged with Bacillus thuringiensis Vip3Aa Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Bel, Yolanda; Jakubowska, Agata K.; Costa, Juliana; Herrero, Salvador; Escriche, Baltasar

    2013-01-01

    Host-pathogen interactions result in complex relationship, many aspects of which are not completely understood. Vip proteins, which are Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins produced during the vegetative stage, are selectively effective against specific insect pests. This new group of Bt proteins represents an interesting alternative to the classical Bt Cry toxins because current data suggests that they do not share the same mode of action. We have designed and developed a genome-wide microarray for the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, a serious lepidopteran pest of many agricultural crops, and used it to better understand how lepidopteran larvae respond to the treatment with the insecticidal protein Vip3Aa. With this approach, the goal of our study was to evaluate the changes in gene expression levels caused by treatment with sublethal doses of Vip3Aa (causing 99% growth inhibition) at 8 and 24 h after feeding. Results indicated that the toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response, with 19% of the microarray unigenes responding significantly to treatment. The number of up- and down-regulated unigenes was very similar. The number of genes whose expression was regulated at 8 h was similar to the number of genes whose expression was regulated after 24 h of treatment. The up-regulated sequences were enriched for genes involved in innate immune response and in pathogen response such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and repat genes. The down-regulated sequences were mainly unigenes with homology to genes involved in metabolism. Genes related to the mode of action of Bt Cry proteins were found, in general, to be slightly overexpressed. The present study is the first genome-wide analysis of the response of lepidopteran insects to Vip3Aa intoxication. An insight into the molecular mechanisms and components related to Vip intoxication will allow designing of more effective management strategies for pest control. PMID:24312604

  1. Gene detection and toxin production evaluation of hemolysin BL of Bacillus cereus isolated from milk and dairy products marketed in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Reis, Andre L S; Montanhini, Maike T M; Bittencourt, Juliana V M; Destro, Maria T; Bersot, Luciano S

    2013-12-01

    Bacillus cereusis an ubiquitous, spore-forming bacteria that can survive pasteurization and the majority of the heating processes used in the dairy industry. Besides, it is a pathogen responsible for different types of food poisoning. One type of foodborne disease caused by B.cereusis the diarrheal syndrome, which is caused by the ingestion of vegetative cells producing toxins in the small intestine. One virulence factor for the diarrheal syndrome is the toxin hemolysin BL (HBL), a three-component protein formed by the L1, L2 and B components. In order to evaluate the presence of diarrheal strains isolated from milk and dairy products, 63 B. cereus isolates were obtained from 260 samples of UHT milk, pasteurized milk and powdered milk, sold in commercial establishments and from different brands. The isolates were subjected to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for the detection of the encoding genes for the L1, L2 and B components and the toxin production capacity were evaluated with an immunoassay. A total of 23 [36.5%] isolates were identified carrying simultaneously the three tested genes, from which, 20 [86.9%] showed toxigenic capacity. 26 [41.3%] isolates did not carry any of genes tested and the other 14 [22.2%] were positive for one or two of them. The results showed a high toxigenic capacity among the B. cereus isolates able to produce the HBL, indicating a potential risk for consumers. PMID:24688511

  2. Toxin Plasmids of Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jihong; Adams, Vicki; Bannam, Trudi L.; Miyamoto, Kazuaki; Garcia, Jorge P.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY In both humans and animals, Clostridium perfringens is an important cause of histotoxic infections and diseases originating in the intestines, such as enteritis and enterotoxemia. The virulence of this Gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium is heavily dependent upon its prolific toxin-producing ability. Many of the ∼16 toxins produced by C. perfringens are encoded by large plasmids that range in size from ∼45 kb to ∼140 kb. These plasmid-encoded toxins are often closely associated with mobile elements. A C. perfringens strain can carry up to three different toxin plasmids, with a single plasmid carrying up to three distinct toxin genes. Molecular Koch's postulate analyses have established the importance of several plasmid-encoded toxins when C. perfringens disease strains cause enteritis or enterotoxemias. Many toxin plasmids are closely related, suggesting a common evolutionary origin. In particular, most toxin plasmids and some antibiotic resistance plasmids of C. perfringens share an ∼35-kb region containing a Tn916-related conjugation locus named tcp (transfer of clostridial plasmids). This tcp locus can mediate highly efficient conjugative transfer of these toxin or resistance plasmids. For example, conjugative transfer of a toxin plasmid from an infecting strain to C. perfringens normal intestinal flora strains may help to amplify and prolong an infection. Therefore, the presence of toxin genes on conjugative plasmids, particularly in association with insertion sequences that may mobilize these toxin genes, likely provides C. perfringens with considerable virulence plasticity and adaptability when it causes diseases originating in the gastrointestinal tract. PMID:23699255

  3. Clostridium perfringens type A–E toxin plasmids

    PubMed Central

    Freedman, John C.; Theoret, James R.; Wisniewski, Jessica A.; Uzal, Francisco A.; Rood, Julian I.; McClane, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens relies upon plasmid-encoded toxin genes to cause intestinal infections. These toxin genes are associated with insertion sequences that may facilitate their mobilization and transfer, giving rise to new toxin plasmids with common backbones. Most toxin plasmids carry a transfer of clostridial plasmids locus mediating conjugation, which likely explains the presence of similar toxin plasmids in otherwise unrelated C. perfringens strains. The association of many toxin genes with insertion sequences and conjugative plasmids provides virulence flexibility when causing intestinal infections. However, incompatibility issues apparently limit the number of toxin plasmids maintained by a single cell. PMID:25283728

  4. SV40 Pseudovirion Gene Delivery of a Toxin to Treat Human Adenocarcinomas in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kimchi-Sarfaty, Chava; Vieira, Wilfred D.; Dodds, Danika; Sherman, Andrew; Kreitman, Robert J.; Shinar, Shiri; Gottesman, Michael M.

    2006-01-01

    SV40 vectors packaged in vitro (pseudovirions) are an efficient delivery system for plasmids up to 17.7 kb, with or without SV40 sequences. A truncated Pseudomonas exotoxin gene (PE38) was delivered into various human cells (HeLa, KB-3-1, human lymphoblastoids, and erythroleukemia cells) in vitro using pseudovirions. The number of viable cells was reduced significantly in the PE38-transduced cells. Human KB adenocarcinomas growing in mice were treated with intratumoral injection of PE38 packaged in vitro and tumor size decreased significantly. Intraperitoneal treatments were as effective in reducing tumor size as intratumoral treatments. To check the viability of mock- or PE38-treated mice, every four days they were weighed, their blood was tested, and various tissues were screened for pathology. All parameters showed that the in vitro-packaged vectors, injected into tumors or intraperitoneally, caused no abnormalities in mice. The combined treatment of doxorubicin with in vitro-packaged PE38 reduced tumor size only slightly more than each of the treatments separately. However, the combined treatment did not cause the weight loss seen with doxorubicin alone. These results indicate that SV40 in vitro packaging is an effective system for cancer gene delivery using two different routes of injection and in combination with chemotherapy. PMID:16498428

  5. Pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Sekura, R.D.; Moss, J.; Vaughan, M.

    1985-01-01

    This book contains 13 selections. Some of the titles are: Genetic and Functional Studies of Pertussis Toxin Substrates; Effect of Pertussis Toxin on the Hormonal Responsiveness of Different Tissues; Extracellular Adenylate Cyclase of Bordetella pertussis; and GTP-Regulatory Proteins are Introcellular Messagers: A Model for Hormone Action.

  6. Molecular Characterization of Diphtheria Toxin Repressor (dtxR) Genes Present in Nontoxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae Strains Isolated in the United Kingdom

    PubMed Central

    De Zoysa, Aruni; Efstratiou, Androulla; Hawkey, Peter M.

    2005-01-01

    Nontoxigenic strains of Corynebacterium diphtheriae represent a potential reservoir for the emergence of toxigenic C. diphtheriae strains if they possessed functional diphtheria toxin repressor (dtxR) genes. We studied the predominant strain of nontoxigenic C. diphtheriae circulating in the United Kingdom to see if they possessed dtxR genes and ascertain whether they were functional. A total of 26 nontoxigenic C. diphtheriae strains isolated in the United Kingdom during 1995 and 4 nontoxigenic strains isolated in other countries were analyzed by PCR and direct sequencing to determine the presence and intactness of the dtxR genes. The functionality of the DtxR proteins was assayed by testing for the production of siderophore in medium containing high and low concentrations of iron. PCR amplification and sequence analysis of the dtxR genes revealed four variants of the predicted DtxR protein among the nontoxigenic strains isolated in the United Kingdom. Production of siderophore in medium containing a low concentration of iron and repression of siderophore production in medium containing a high concentration of iron demonstrated that in all the strains the dtxR genes were functional. These findings demonstrate that, if lysogenised by a bacteriophage, nontoxigenic strains circulating in the United Kingdom could produce toxin and therefore represent a potential reservoir for toxigenic C. diphtheriae. PMID:15634975

  7. PCR amplfication on a microarray of gel-immobilized oligonucleotides : detection of bacterial toxin- and drug-resistent genes and their mutations.

    SciTech Connect

    Strizhkov, B. N.; Drobyshev, A. L.; Mikhailovich, V. M.; Mirzabekov, A. D.; Biochip Technology Center; Engelhardt Inst. of Molecular Biology

    2000-10-01

    PCR amplification on a microarray of gel-immobilized primers (microchip) has been developed. One of a pair of PCR primers was immobilized inside a separate microchip polyacrylamide porous gel pad of 0.1 x 0.1 x 0.02 (or 0.04) micron in size and 0.2 (or 0.4) nL in volume. The amplification was carried out simultaneously both in solution covering the microchip array and inside gel pads. Each gel pad contained the immobilized forward primers, while the fluorescently labeled reverse primers, as well as all components of the amplification reaction, diffused into the gel pads from the solution. To increase the amplification efficiency, the forward primers were also added into the solution. The kinetics of amplification was measured in real time in parallel for all gel pads with a fluorescent microscope equipped with a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera. The accuracy of the amplification was assessed by using the melting curves obtained for the duplexes formed by the labeled amplification product and the gel-immobilized primers during the amplification process; alternatively, the duplexes were produced by hybridization of the extended immobilized primers with labeled oligonucleotide probes. The on-chip amplification was applied to detect the anthrax toxin genes and the plasmid-borne beta-lactamase gene responsible for bacterial ampicillin resistance. The allele-specific type of PCR amplification was used to identify the Shiga toxin gene and discriminate it from the Shiga-like one. The genomic mutations responsible for rifampicin resistance of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains were detected by the same type of PCR amplification of the rpoB gene fragment isolated from sputum of tuberculosis patients. The on-chip PCR amplification has been shown to be a rapid, inexpensive and powerful tool to test genes responsible for bacterial toxin production and drug resistance, as well as to reveal point nucleotide mutations.

  8. Improvement of Bacillus sphaericus toxicity against dipteran larvae by integration, via homologous recombination, of the Cry11A toxin gene from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis.

    PubMed Central

    Poncet, S; Bernard, C; Dervyn, E; Cayley, J; Klier, A; Rapoport, G

    1997-01-01

    Integrative plasmids were constructed to enable integration of foreign DNA into the chromosome of Bacillus sphaericus 2297 by in vivo recombination. Integration of the aphA3 kanamycin resistance gene by a two-step procedure demonstrated that this strategy was applicable with antibiotic resistance selection. Hybridization experiments evidenced two copies of the operon encoding the binary toxin from B. sphaericus in the recipient strain. The Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis cry11Aal gene (referred to as cry11A), encoding a delta-endotoxin with toxicity against Culex, Aedes, and Anopheles larvae, was integrated either by a single crossover event [strain 2297 (::pHT5601), harboring the entire recombinant plasmid] or by two successive crossover events [strain 2297 (::cry11A)]. The level of the Cry11A production in B. sphaericus was high; two crystalline inclusions were produced in strain 2297 (::pHT5601). Synthesis of the Cry11A toxin conferred toxicity to the recombinant strains against Aedes aegypti larvae, for which the parental strain was not toxic. Interestingly, the level of larvicidal activity of strain 2297 (::pHT5601) against Anopheles stephensi was as high as that of B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and suggested synergy between the B. thuringiensis and B. sphaericus toxins. The toxicities of parental and recombinant B. sphaericus strains against Culex quinquefasciatus were similar, but the recombinant strains killed the larvae more rapidly. The production of the Cry11A toxin in B. sphaericus also partially restored toxicity for C. quinquefasciatus larvae from a population resistant to B. sphaericus 1593. In vivo recombination therefore appears to be a promising approach to the creation of new B. sphaericus strains for vector control. PMID:9361428

  9. Vault nanoparticles containing an adenovirus-derived membrane lytic protein facilitate toxin and gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Lai, Cheng-Yu; Wiethoff, Chris M; Kickhoefer, Valerie A; Rome, Leonard H; Nemerow, Glen R

    2009-03-24

    Nonviral methods of gene delivery possess several advantages over that of viral-based vectors, including having increased safety. However, the ability to achieve effective transport of therapeutic molecules across host cell membranes via nonviral methods remains a significant goal. Cell-derived nanoparticles known as vaults have been proposed as novel candidate transfer vehicles for various foreign molecules. Recombinant vault particles enter cells via macropinocytosis or phagocytosis but lack demonstrable membrane penetrating activity. To explore the feasibility of improving vault penetration into target cells, we incorporated the membrane lytic domain of adenovirus protein VI (pVI) into the interior of recombinant vault particles via fusion to the vault poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (VPARP) interaction domain. The membrane lytic activity of the pVI domain was retained upon incorporation into vault particles. Moreover, internalization of vault-pVI complexes into murine macrophages promoted co-delivery of a soluble ribotoxin or a cDNA plasmid encoding GFP. These findings indicate that vault particles can be modified to enhance cell transfer of selected biomolecules. PMID:19226129

  10. A new pyrosequencing assay for rapid detection and genotyping of Shiga toxin, intimin and O157-specific rfbE genes of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Goji, Noriko; Mathews, Amit; Huszczynski, George; Laing, Chad R; Gannon, Victor P J; Graham, Morag R; Amoako, Kingsley K

    2015-02-01

    Shiga toxin (stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) contamination in food and water is one of the most recognized concerns and a major financial burden in human hygiene control worldwide. Rapid and highly reliable methods of detecting and identifying STEC causing gastroenteric illnesses are crucial to prevent foodborne outbreaks. A number of tests have been developed and commercialized to detect STEC using molecular microbiology techniques. Most of these are designed to identify virulence factors such as Shiga toxin and intimin as well as E. coli O and H antigen serotype specific genes. In order to screen pathogenic STEC without relying on O:H serotyping, we developed a rapid detection and genotyping assay for STEC virulence genes using a PCR-pyrosequencing application. We adapted the PyroMark Q24 Pyrosequencing platform for subtyping 4 major virulence genes, Shiga toxin 1 and 2 (stx1 and stx2), intimin (eae) and O157-antigen gene cluster target rfbE, using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) analysis. A total of 224 E. coli strains including isolates from Canadian environment, food and clinical cases were examined. Based on the multiple alignment analysis of 30-80 base nucleotide pyrogram reads, three alleles of the Shiga toxin 1a gene (stx1a) (stx1a-I, stx1a-II, stx1a-III) were identified. Results of the stx1, stx2, eae and rfbE genotyping revealed that each group of O:H serotype shares distinctive characteristics that could be associated with the virulence of each genotype. O157:H7/NM carries stx1a-II (94%), stx2a (82%), λ/γ1-eae (100%) and rfbE type-H7/NM (100%). Whereas isolates of the "Top-6" serotypes (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, O145) had a high incidence of stx1a-I (90%) and stx2a (100%). stx1a-III (60%) was only observed in non Top-7 (Top-6 plus O157) STEC and Shigella spp. The entire assay, from extracting DNA from colonies on a plate to the generation of sequence information, can be completed in 5h. The method of profiling these 4 STEC pathogenic

  11. The importance of being genomic: Non-coding and coding sequences suggest different models of toxin multi-gene family evolution.

    PubMed

    Malhotra, Anita; Creer, Simon; Harris, John B; Thorpe, Roger S

    2015-12-01

    Studies of multi-gene protein families, including many toxins, are crucial for understanding the role of gene duplication in generating protein diversity in general. However, many evolutionary analyses of gene families are based on coding sequences, and do not take into account many potentially confounding evolutionary factors, such as recombination and convergence due to selection. We illustrate this using snake venom gene sequences from the Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) subfamily. Novel gene sequences from 20 species of understudied Asian pitvipers were analyzed alongside available genomic PLA2 sequences from another four crotaline and several viperine species. In contrast to previous analyses of this toxin family based on cDNA sequences, we find that duplication events are concentrated at the tips of the tree, suggesting that major functions such as presynaptic neurotoxicity have evolved convergently multiple times in pitvipers. We provide evidence that this discrepancy is due to differing evolutionary patterns between introns and exons. The effects of several well-known sources of bias on the phylogeny were small, compared to the effect of analyses based on different partitions of the gene (whole gene sequence, non-coding regions, cDNA sequence). Switches of function were found to be largely associated with strong selection, and with duplication events. Use of coding sequences for phylogeny estimation potentially produces incorrect inferences about the action of selection on individual lineages and sites. Our results have major implications for phylogenomic methods of functional inference as well as for our understanding of the evolution of multigene families. PMID:26359851

  12. Distribution of virulence-associated genes and genetic relationships in non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae aquatic isolates from China.

    PubMed

    Li, Fengjuan; Du, Pengcheng; Li, Baisheng; Ke, Changwen; Chen, Aiping; Chen, Jie; Zhou, Haijian; Li, Jie; Morris, J Glenn; Kan, Biao; Wang, Duochun

    2014-08-01

    Non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae is naturally present in aquatic ecosystems and has been linked with cholera-like diarrhea and local outbreaks. The distribution of virulence-associated genes and genetic relationships among aquatic isolates from China are largely unknown. In this study, 295 aquatic isolates of V. cholerae non-O1/O139 serogroups from different regions in China were investigated. Only one isolate was positive for ctxB and harbored a rare genotype; 10 (3.4%) isolates carried several types of rstR sequences, eight of which carried rare types of toxin-coregulated pili (tcpA). Furthermore, 16 (5.4%) isolates carried incomplete (with partial open reading frames [ORFs]) vibrio seventh pandemic island I (VSP-I) or VSP-II clusters, which were further classified as 11 novel types. PCR-based analyses revealed remarkable variations in the distribution of putative virulence genes, including mshA (95.6%), hlyA (95.3%), rtxC (89.8%), rtxA (82.7%), IS1004 (52.9%), chxA (30.2%), SXT (15.3%), type III secretion system (18.0%), and NAG-ST (3.7%) genes. There was no correlation between the prevalence of putative virulence genes and that of CTX prophage or TCP genes, whereas there were correlations among the putative virulence genes. Further multilocus sequence typing (MLST) placed selected isolates (n = 70) into 69 unique sequence types (STs), which were different from those of the toxigenic O1 and O139 counterparts, and each isolate occupied a different position in the MLST tree. The V. cholerae non-O1/O139 aquatic isolates predominant in China have high genotypic diversity; these strains constitute a reservoir of potential virulence genes, which may contribute to evolution of pathogenic isolates. PMID:24907334

  13. Millipede toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... toxin are: Hydrochloric acid Hydrogen cyanide Organic acids Phenol Cresols Benzoquinones Hydroquinones (in some millipedes) ... with plenty of soap and water. Do NOT use alcohol to wash the area. Wash eyes with ...

  14. Millipede toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... release keeps away most predators. Some large millipede species can secrete these toxins as far as 80 ... reactions are mainly seen from contact with tropical species of millipedes. The outlook may be more serious ...

  15. Marine toxins.

    PubMed

    Whittle, K; Gallacher, S

    2000-01-01

    Seafood products are important both nutritionally and economically. Within Europe, some 12 billion Pounds of fishery products are consumed annually and an enormous variety of species are available. Although seafood is rarely implicated in food poisoning, compared to other food sources, it does provide some specific human health hazards unique to this particular resource. Generally, these are toxins from toxic microscopic algae which accumulate through the food-chain. The toxins can cause various neurological and gastrointestinal illnesses and, potentially, consumers are exposed from seafood produced within Europe, from imported products, or from seafood eaten while travelling abroad. The symptoms of illness which may be encountered, the source and mode of action of the toxins, and some emerging problems are described. European legislation aims to ensure the quality and safety of seafood products by prohibiting sale of some toxic species, setting toxin limits, requiring monitoring and controlling imports. PMID:10885118

  16. Comparative analysis of BI/NAP1/027 hypervirulent strains reveals novel toxin B-encoding gene (tcdB) sequences.

    PubMed

    Stabler, Richard A; Dawson, Lisa F; Phua, Leslie T H; Wren, Brendan W

    2008-06-01

    The reported incidence and mortality of Clostridium difficile-associated disease has increased significantly, which in part is likely to be due to the emergence of a new, highly virulent strain in North America and Europe. This epidemic strain, referred to as BI/NAP1/027, has increased virulence, attributed to overexpression of the two toxin-encoding genes, tcdA and tcdB, which may be due to truncation of the negative regulator (tcdC) by a 1 bp deletion. In a previous study of whole-genome comparisons using microarray analysis of 75 C. difficile isolates, it was noted that the 20,027 strains, which formed a hypervirulent clade, possessed a unique hybridization pattern for the 7 toxin B microarray reporters. This unique pattern was conserved in all of these 027 strains. The pattern was different for the 55 non-027 strains tested. These data, along with the knowledge that 027 strains are toxinotype III (i.e. possess a complete tcdB gene of comparable size to toxin reference strain VPI 10463), suggest that the sequence of the N-terminal binding domain of toxin B must be divergent from C. difficile strain 630 (and the other 55 strains tested). Additionally, these 027 strains had comparable hybridization patterns across the whole microarray, as well as for tcdB. Therefore, it was suggested that they share a similar, novel N-terminal binding domain. The aim of this study was to ascertain the sequence variation in tcdB from eight characterized BI/NAP1/027 strains. The study confirmed significant sequence variation of tcdB from the sequenced strain 630 and slight variation in tcdB among the eight 027 strains. These results suggest that toxin B from 027 strains may have a different binding capacity compared with its less-virulent counterparts and may, in addition to the mutated tcdC regulator, be responsible for the increased virulence of 027 strains. PMID:18480336

  17. Genetic organization of a cluster of genes involved in the production of phaseolotoxin, a toxin produced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Y; Rowley, K B; Patil, S S

    1993-01-01

    Phaseolotoxin [N delta(N'-sulfo-diaminophosphinyl)-ornithyl-alanyl- homoarginine] produced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola, the bean halo blight pathogen, is a potent inhibitor of ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCT). Inhibition of OCT in infected plants leads to chlorosis and growth inhibition. A genomic cosmid clone, pHK120, containing a 25-kb fragment of DNA from a wild-type strain of P. syringae pv. phaseolicola restores toxin production in Tox- mutants. Tn5 mutagenesis of pHK120 and marker exchange of pHK120::Tn5 plasmids in the wild-type strain resulted in the isolation of 39 chromosomal mutants that harbor Tn5 insertions at known positions. Toxin bioassays revealed that 28 of the mutants, with Tn5 insertions distributed throughout the insert of pHK120, were Tox-, indicating that a functional locus for toxin production in each mutant was inactivated. Complementation analysis was done by testing for toxin production strains that carried a genomic Tn5 at one location and a plasmid-borne Tn5 at another location (pair complementation). Pair complementation analysis of nine marker exchange mutants and a random genomic Tn5 mutant revealed that there are a minimum of eight toxin loci (phtA through phtH) in pHK120. Mutants carrying Tn5 insertions in the phtA, phtD, and phtF loci were complemented by deletion subclones containing fragments from pHK120; mutants carrying Tn5 insertions in the phtC locus were partially complemented by a subclone, and mutants carrying Tn5 insertions in the phtB, phtE, phtG, and phtH loci were not complemented by any of the available subclones. A comparison of the insert from pHK120 with that from pRCP17, a clone reported previously (R. C. Peet, P. B. Lindgren, D. K. Wills, and N. J. Panopoulos, J. Bacteriol. 166:1096-1105, 1986) by another laboratory to contain some of the phaseolotoxin genes and the phaseolotoxin-resistant OCT gene, revealed that the inserts in these two cosmids overlap but differ in important respects. PMID

  18. Genetic organization of a cluster of genes involved in the production of phaseolotoxin, a toxin produced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y; Rowley, K B; Patil, S S

    1993-10-01

    Phaseolotoxin [N delta(N'-sulfo-diaminophosphinyl)-ornithyl-alanyl- homoarginine] produced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola, the bean halo blight pathogen, is a potent inhibitor of ornithine carbamoyltransferase (OCT). Inhibition of OCT in infected plants leads to chlorosis and growth inhibition. A genomic cosmid clone, pHK120, containing a 25-kb fragment of DNA from a wild-type strain of P. syringae pv. phaseolicola restores toxin production in Tox- mutants. Tn5 mutagenesis of pHK120 and marker exchange of pHK120::Tn5 plasmids in the wild-type strain resulted in the isolation of 39 chromosomal mutants that harbor Tn5 insertions at known positions. Toxin bioassays revealed that 28 of the mutants, with Tn5 insertions distributed throughout the insert of pHK120, were Tox-, indicating that a functional locus for toxin production in each mutant was inactivated. Complementation analysis was done by testing for toxin production strains that carried a genomic Tn5 at one location and a plasmid-borne Tn5 at another location (pair complementation). Pair complementation analysis of nine marker exchange mutants and a random genomic Tn5 mutant revealed that there are a minimum of eight toxin loci (phtA through phtH) in pHK120. Mutants carrying Tn5 insertions in the phtA, phtD, and phtF loci were complemented by deletion subclones containing fragments from pHK120; mutants carrying Tn5 insertions in the phtC locus were partially complemented by a subclone, and mutants carrying Tn5 insertions in the phtB, phtE, phtG, and phtH loci were not complemented by any of the available subclones. A comparison of the insert from pHK120 with that from pRCP17, a clone reported previously (R. C. Peet, P. B. Lindgren, D. K. Wills, and N. J. Panopoulos, J. Bacteriol. 166:1096-1105, 1986) by another laboratory to contain some of the phaseolotoxin genes and the phaseolotoxin-resistant OCT gene, revealed that the inserts in these two cosmids overlap but differ in important respects. PMID

  19. Spatial soil heterogeneity has a greater effect on symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and plant growth than genetic modification with Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Cheeke, Tanya E; Schütte, Ursel M; Hemmerich, Chris M; Cruzan, Mitchell B; Rosenstiel, Todd N; Bever, James D

    2015-05-01

    Maize, genetically modified with the insect toxin genes of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), is widely cultivated, yet its impacts on soil organisms are poorly understood. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form symbiotic associations with plant roots and may be uniquely sensitive to genetic changes within a plant host. In this field study, the effects of nine different lines of Bt maize and their corresponding non-Bt parental isolines were evaluated on AMF colonization and community diversity in plant roots. Plants were harvested 60 days after sowing, and data were collected on plant growth and per cent AMF colonization of roots. AMF community composition in roots was assessed using 454 pyrosequencing of the 28S rRNA genes, and spatial variation in mycorrhizal communities within replicated experimental field plots was examined. Growth responses, per cent AMF colonization of roots and AMF community diversity in roots did not differ between Bt and non-Bt maize, but root and shoot biomass and per cent colonization by arbuscules varied by maize cultivar. Plot identity had the most significant effect on plant growth, AMF colonization and AMF community composition in roots, indicating spatial heterogeneity in the field. Mycorrhizal fungal communities in maize roots were autocorrelated within approximately 1 m, but at greater distances, AMF community composition of roots differed between plants. Our findings indicate that spatial variation and heterogeneity in the field has a greater effect on the structure of AMF communities than host plant cultivar or modification by Bt toxin genes. PMID:25827202

  20. Genetic relatedness of Clostridium difficile isolates from various origins determined by triple-locus sequence analysis based on toxin regulatory genes tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR.

    PubMed

    Bouvet, Philippe J M; Popoff, Michel R

    2008-11-01

    A triple-locus nucleotide sequence analysis based on toxin regulatory genes tcdC, tcdR and cdtR was initiated to assess the sequence variability of these genes among Clostridium difficile isolates and to study the genetic relatedness between isolates. A preliminary investigation of the variability of the tcdC gene was done with 57 clinical and veterinary isolates. Twenty-three isolates representing nine main clusters were selected for tcdC, tcdR, and cdtR analysis. The numbers of alleles found for tcdC, tcdR and cdtR were nine, six, and five, respectively. All strains possessed the cdtR gene except toxin A-negative toxin B-positive variants. All but one binary toxin CDT-positive isolate harbored a deletion (>1 bp) in the tcdC gene. The combined analyses of the three genes allowed us to distinguish five lineages correlated with the different types of deletion in tcdC, i.e., 18 bp (associated or not with a deletion at position 117), 36 bp, 39 bp, and 54 bp, and with the wild-type tcdC (no deletion). The tcdR and tcdC genes, though located within the same pathogenicity locus, were found to have evolved separately. Coevolution of the three genes was noted only with strains harboring a 39-bp or a 54-bp deletion in tcdC that formed two homogeneous, separate divergent clusters. Our study supported the existence of the known clones (PCR ribotype 027 isolates and toxin A-negative toxin B-positive C. difficile variants) and evidence for clonality of isolates with a 39-bp deletion (toxinotype V, PCR ribotype 078) that are frequently isolated worldwide from human infections and from food animals. PMID:18832125

  1. MAPK signaling pathway alters expression of midgut ALP and ABCC genes and causes resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin in diamondback moth.

    PubMed

    Guo, Zhaojiang; Kang, Shi; Chen, Defeng; Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhu, Xun; Baxter, Simon W; Zhou, Xuguo; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-04-01

    Insecticidal crystal toxins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used as biopesticide sprays or expressed in transgenic crops to control insect pests. However, large-scale use of Bt has led to field-evolved resistance in several lepidopteran pests. Resistance to Bt Cry1Ac toxin in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), was previously mapped to a multigenic resistance locus (BtR-1). Here, we assembled the 3.15 Mb BtR-1 locus and found high-level resistance to Cry1Ac and Bt biopesticide in four independent P. xylostella strains were all associated with differential expression of a midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP) outside this locus and a suite of ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily C (ABCC) genes inside this locus. The interplay between these resistance genes is controlled by a previously uncharacterized trans-regulatory mechanism via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Molecular, biochemical, and functional analyses have established ALP as a functional Cry1Ac receptor. Phenotypic association experiments revealed that the recessive Cry1Ac resistance was tightly linked to down-regulation of ALP, ABCC2 and ABCC3, whereas it was not linked to up-regulation of ABCC1. Silencing of ABCC2 and ABCC3 in susceptible larvae reduced their susceptibility to Cry1Ac but did not affect the expression of ALP, whereas suppression of MAP4K4, a constitutively transcriptionally-activated MAPK upstream gene within the BtR-1 locus, led to a transient recovery of gene expression thereby restoring the susceptibility in resistant larvae. These results highlight a crucial role for ALP and ABCC genes in field-evolved resistance to Cry1Ac and reveal a novel trans-regulatory signaling mechanism responsible for modulating the expression of these pivotal genes in P. xylostella. PMID:25875245

  2. MAPK Signaling Pathway Alters Expression of Midgut ALP and ABCC Genes and Causes Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac Toxin in Diamondback Moth

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qingjun; Wang, Shaoli; Xie, Wen; Zhu, Xun; Baxter, Simon W.; Zhou, Xuguo; Jurat-Fuentes, Juan Luis; Zhang, Youjun

    2015-01-01

    Insecticidal crystal toxins derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are widely used as biopesticide sprays or expressed in transgenic crops to control insect pests. However, large-scale use of Bt has led to field-evolved resistance in several lepidopteran pests. Resistance to Bt Cry1Ac toxin in the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), was previously mapped to a multigenic resistance locus (BtR-1). Here, we assembled the 3.15 Mb BtR-1 locus and found high-level resistance to Cry1Ac and Bt biopesticide in four independent P. xylostella strains were all associated with differential expression of a midgut membrane-bound alkaline phosphatase (ALP) outside this locus and a suite of ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily C (ABCC) genes inside this locus. The interplay between these resistance genes is controlled by a previously uncharacterized trans-regulatory mechanism via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Molecular, biochemical, and functional analyses have established ALP as a functional Cry1Ac receptor. Phenotypic association experiments revealed that the recessive Cry1Ac resistance was tightly linked to down-regulation of ALP, ABCC2 and ABCC3, whereas it was not linked to up-regulation of ABCC1. Silencing of ABCC2 and ABCC3 in susceptible larvae reduced their susceptibility to Cry1Ac but did not affect the expression of ALP, whereas suppression of MAP4K4, a constitutively transcriptionally-activated MAPK upstream gene within the BtR-1 locus, led to a transient recovery of gene expression thereby restoring the susceptibility in resistant larvae. These results highlight a crucial role for ALP and ABCC genes in field-evolved resistance to Cry1Ac and reveal a novel trans-regulatory signaling mechanism responsible for modulating the expression of these pivotal genes in P. xylostella. PMID:25875245

  3. Virulence gene profiles of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from fecal samples of finishing swine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are important pathogens responsible for food-borne outbreaks and serious illness including hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic uremic syndrome. Certain STEC serogroups may cause edema disease in swine; and similar to cattle, swine have been shown to be a ...

  4. Purification and characterization of neurotoxin complex from a dual toxin gene containing Clostridium botulinum strain PS-5

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced as a toxin complex (TC) which consists of neurotoxin (NT) and neurotoxin associated proteins (NAPs). The characterization of NT in its native state is an essential step for developing diagnostics and therapeutic countermeasures against botulism. The presenc...

  5. Comparative possession of Shiga toxin, intimin, enterohaemolysin and major extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) genes in Escherichia coli isolated from backyard and farmed poultry.

    PubMed

    Samanta, I; Joardar, S N; Das, P K; Sar, T K

    2015-01-01

    The present work was conducted to compare the occurrence of Escherichia coli possessing virulence and ESBL genes in backyard and farmed poultry. Three hundred and sixty samples from the poultry kept in backyard system and 120 samples from the farmed birds were collected from West Bengal, India. Among the E. coli isolates of backyard poultry (O2, O10, O25, O55, O60, O106, UT), none of them possessed any of the Shiga toxin genes and eight E. coli isolates (8/272; 2.9%) harboured eaeA gene alone. Whereas among the E. coli isolated from the farmed poultry (O17, O20, O22, O102, O114, O119, rough, UT), four isolates (4/78, 5.1%) harboured stx 1/stx 2 gene and 11 isolates (11/78, 14.1%) possessed eaeA gene. None of the E. coli isolates from the backyard poultry harboured any studied ESBL gene. Whereas 29.4% of E. coli isolates from the farmed poultry were found to possess the ESBL genes. PMID:27175158

  6. Comparative possession of Shiga toxin, intimin, enterohaemolysin and major extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) genes in Escherichia coli isolated from backyard and farmed poultry

    PubMed Central

    Samanta, I.; Joardar, S. N.; Das, P. K.; Sar, T. K.

    2015-01-01

    The present work was conducted to compare the occurrence of Escherichia coli possessing virulence and ESBL genes in backyard and farmed poultry. Three hundred and sixty samples from the poultry kept in backyard system and 120 samples from the farmed birds were collected from West Bengal, India. Among the E. coli isolates of backyard poultry (O2, O10, O25, O55, O60, O106, UT), none of them possessed any of the Shiga toxin genes and eight E. coli isolates (8/272; 2.9%) harboured eaeA gene alone. Whereas among the E. coli isolated from the farmed poultry (O17, O20, O22, O102, O114, O119, rough, UT), four isolates (4/78, 5.1%) harboured stx1/stx2 gene and 11 isolates (11/78, 14.1%) possessed eaeA gene. None of the E. coli isolates from the backyard poultry harboured any studied ESBL gene. Whereas 29.4% of E. coli isolates from the farmed poultry were found to possess the ESBL genes. PMID:27175158

  7. BOTULINUM TOXIN

    PubMed Central

    Nigam, P K; Nigam, Anjana

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances known, is a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum elaborates eight antigenically distinguishable exotoxins (A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G). All serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis. The weakness induced by injection with botulinum toxin A usually lasts about three months. Botulinum toxins now play a very significant role in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially strabismus and focal dystonias, hemifacial spasm, and various spastic movement disorders, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment. The list of possible new indications is rapidly expanding. The cosmetological applications include correction of lines, creases and wrinkling all over the face, chin, neck, and chest to dermatological applications such as hyperhidrosis. Injections with botulinum toxin are generally well tolerated and side effects are few. A precise knowledge and understanding of the functional anatomy of the mimetic muscles is absolutely necessary to correctly use botulinum toxins in clinical practice. PMID:20418969

  8. CPDadh: A new peptidase family homologous to the cysteine protease domain in bacterial MARTX toxins

    PubMed Central

    Pei, Jimin; Lupardus, Patrick J; Garcia, K Christopher; Grishin, Nick V

    2009-01-01

    A cysteine protease domain (CPD) has been recently discovered in a group of multifunctional, autoprocessing RTX toxins (MARTX) and Clostridium difficile toxins A and B. These CPDs (referred to as CPDmartx) autocleave the toxins to release domains with toxic effects inside host cells. We report identification and computational analysis of CPDadh, a new cysteine peptidase family homologous to CPDmartx. CPDadh and CPDmartx share a Rossmann-like structural core and conserved catalytic residues. In bacteria, domains of the CPDadh family are present at the N-termini of a diverse group of putative cell-cell interaction proteins and at the C-termini of some RHS (recombination hot spot) proteins. In eukaryotes, catalytically inactive members of the CPDadh family are found in cell surface protein NELF (nasal embryonic LHRH factor) and some putative signaling proteins. PMID:19309740

  9. Evaluation of a cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) gene-based species-specific multiplex PCR assay for the identification of Campylobacter strains isolated from diarrheal patients in Japan.

    PubMed

    Kabir, S M Lutful; Kikuchi, Ken; Asakura, Masahiro; Shiramaru, Sachi; Tsuruoka, Naoki; Goto, Aeko; Hinenoya, Atsushi; Yamasaki, Shinji

    2011-01-01

    We have developed a cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) gene-based species-specific multiplex PCR assay for the detection and identification of Campylobacter jejuni, C. coli, and C. fetus. The applicability of this assay was evaluated with 325 Campylobacter strains isolated from diarrheal patients in Japan and the results were compared with those obtained by other genetic methods, including hipO gene detection and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Of the 325 strains analyzed, 314 and 11 were identified as C. jejuni and C. coli, respectively, by combination of hipO gene detection and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. When the multiplex PCR assay was employed, 309, 310, and 314 strains were identified as C. jejuni on the basis of cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC gene-specific primers, respectively. Similarly, 11, 11, and 10 strains were identified as C. coli on the basis of cdtA, cdtB, and cdtC gene-specific primers, respectively. Sequence analysis of the cdt gene region of 6 strains (5 C. jejuni and 1 C. coli) which did not yield specific PCR products in any of the cdt gene-based multiplex PCR assays revealed deletions or mutations of the cdt genes. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis indicated that C. jejuni and C. coli strains were genetically diverse. Taken together, these findings suggest that the cdtC gene-based multiplex PCR seems to be a particularly simple and rapid method for differentiating between species of Campylobacter strains, such as C. jejuni and C. coli. However, combination of these multiplex PCR assays will allow more accurate identification. PMID:21266751

  10. Functional complementation of fumonisin biosynthesis in FUM1-disrupted fusarium verticillioides by the AAL-toxin polyketide synthase gene ALT1 from Alternaria alternata f. sp. Lycopersici.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiangcheng; Vogeler, Chad; Du, Liangcheng

    2008-06-01

    Fumonisins and AAL-toxins are mycotoxins produced by several widespread fungal pathogens of crops. The carbon backbone of the mycotoxins originates from a highly reduced, acyclic polyketide, a C18 chain for fumonisins and a C16 chain for AAL-toxins. Fungal reduced polyketides are assembled by iterative modular polyketide synthases (PKS), and their biosynthetic mechanism is not very clear. Here, we cloned the PKS gene, ALT1, from the tomato pathogen Alternaria alternata f. sp. Lycopersici and introduced it into Fusarium verticillioides 5777, which does not produce fumonisins due to a disrupted fumonisin PKS gene, FUM1. An ALT1 transformant of strain 5777 produced fumonisin B series as well as fumonisin analogues. The results provide experimental evidence for the function of ALT1, which encodes a PKS for mycotoxin biosynthesis. The results also show that the C16-synthesizing ALT1 is able to support the C18 fumonisin biosynthesis in F. verticillioides, suggesting that the final size of the fungal reduced polyketides is not determined by the PKSs alone. Unlike other PKSs, these PKSs do not have a thioesterase/cyclase domain. The release of polyketide precursors that are covalently attached to the PKSs involves a distinct mechanism, which probably determines the structure of the final products. PMID:18435561

  11. Safety assessment of the Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588® probiotic strain including evaluation of antimicrobial sensitivity and presence of Clostridium toxin genes in vitro and teratogenicity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Isa, K; Oka, K; Beauchamp, N; Sato, M; Wada, K; Ohtani, K; Nakanishi, S; McCartney, E; Tanaka, M; Shimizu, T; Kamiya, S; Kruger, C; Takahashi, M

    2016-08-01

    Probiotics are live microorganisms ingested for the purpose of conferring a health benefit on the host. Development of new probiotics includes the need for safety evaluations that should consider factors such as pathogenicity, infectivity, virulence factors, toxicity, and metabolic activity. Clostridium butyricum MIYAIRI 588(®) (CBM 588(®)), an anaerobic spore-forming bacterium, has been developed as a probiotic for use by humans and food animals. Safety studies of this probiotic strain have been conducted and include assessment of antimicrobial sensitivity, documentation of the lack of Clostridium toxin genes, and evaluation of CBM 588(®) on reproductive and developmental toxicity in a rodent model. With the exception of aminoglycosides, to which anaerobes are intrinsically resistant, CBM 588(®) showed sensitivity to all antibiotic classes important in human and animal therapeutics. In addition, analysis of the CBM 588(®) genome established the absence of genes for encoding for α, β, or ε toxins and botulin neurotoxins types A, B, E, or F. There were no deleterious reproductive and developmental effects observed in mice associated with the administration of CBM 588(®) These data provide further support for the safety of CBM 588(®) for use as a probiotic in animals and humans. PMID:26437792

  12. Hydra actinoporin-like toxin-1, an unusual hemolysin from the nematocyst venom of Hydra magnipapillata which belongs to an extended gene family.

    PubMed

    Glasser, Eliezra; Rachamim, Tamar; Aharonovich, Dikla; Sher, Daniel

    2014-12-01

    Cnidarians rely on their nematocysts and the venom injected through these unique weaponry systems to catch prey and protect themselves from predators. The development and physiology of the nematocysts of Hydra magnipapillata, a classic model organism, have been intensively studied, yet the composition and biochemical activity of their venom components are mostly unknown. Here, we show that hydra actinoporin-like toxins (HALTs), which have previously been associated with Hydra nematocysts, belong to a multigene family comprising six genes, which have diverged from a single common ancestor. All six genes are expressed in a population of Hydra magnipapillata. When expressed recombinantly, HALT-1 (Δ-HYTX-Hma1a), an actinoporin-like protein found in the stenoteles (the main penetrating nematocysts used in prey capture), reveals hemolytic activity, albeit about two-thirds lower than that of the anemone actinoporin equinatoxin II (EqTII, Δ-AITX-Aeq1a). HALT-1 also differs from EqTII in the size of its pores, and likely does not utilize sphingomyelin as a membrane receptor. We describe features of the HALT-1 sequence which may contribute to this difference in activity, and speculate on the role of this unusual family of pore-forming toxins in the ecology of Hydra. PMID:24768765

  13. Identification of the newly identified subtilase cytotoxin-encoding gene (subAB2-2) among clinical Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolates.

    PubMed

    Son, Hoang Minh; Duc, Hoang Minh; Honjoh, Ken-Ichi; Miyamoto, Takahisa

    2015-12-01

    Subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB) is an important virulence factor of eae-negative Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Three variants of SubAB-encoding genes have been reported in the literature; however, the newly described subAB variant (subAB2-2) was found only in STEC strains from deer meat, sheep, and some wild animals. In this study, subAB variants were detected by PCR and DNA sequencing in 5 out of 12 (41.6%) eae-negative STEC strains isolated from patients. Most subAB-positive STEC strains (80%) harbored the subAB1 gene. The subAB2-2 gene was detected for the first time in the clinical STEC O128:H2 strain. Other virulence genes including stx1a, stx1c, stx2b, ehxA, and tia were also detected in this strain. The DNA sequence analyses of the subAB1 and subAB2-2 genes of the clinical STEC strains showed 99% and 100% identity to those of the reference strains 98NK2 and LM27558stx2, respectively. This is the first report on the detection of the subAB2-2 gene in a clinical STEC isolate. PMID:26588258

  14. Characterization of the genetic environment of blaESBL genes, integrons and toxin-antitoxin systems identified on large transferrable plasmids in multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Juan; Stephan, Roger; Zurfluh, Katrin; Hächler, Herbert; Fanning, Séamus

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Previously 14 conjugative plasmids from multi-drug resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli from healthy humans and food-producing animals in Switzerland were sequenced. The aim of this study was to extend the genetic characterization of these plasmids with a focus on blaESBL genes including blaCTX-M-1 and blaTEM, class 1 integrons and toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems contained therein. Methods: The nucleotide sequences and subsequent annotation therein of 14 conjugative plasmids were previously determined from their corresponding transconjugants. The TA loci were confirmed by RASTA-Bacteria. Results: Eight of the conjugative plasmids identified were found to encode genes expressing ESBLs. Structural heterogeneity was noted in the regions flanking both the blaCTX-M-1 and blaTEM genes. The blaCTX-M-1 genes were associated with the common insertion sequences ISEcp1 and IS26, and uniquely with an IS5 element in one case; while blaTEM genes were found to be associated with IS26 and Tn2. A new blaTEM-210 gene was identified. Seven class 1 integrons were also identified and assigned into 3 groups, denoted as In54, In369 and In501. Sixteen TA loci belonging to 4 of the TA gene families (relBE, vapBC, ccd and mazEF) were identified on 11 of these plasmids. Conclusions: Comparative sequence analysis of these plasmids provided data on the structures likely to contribute to sequence diversity associated with these accessory genes, including IS26, ISEcp1 and Tn2. All of them contribute to the dissemination of the corresponding resistance genes located on the different plasmids. There appears to be no association between β-lactam encoding genes and TA systems. PMID:25610429

  15. The effect of oxidative stress on gene expression of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 and non-O157 serotypes.

    PubMed

    Mei, Gui-Ying; Tang, Joshua; Carey, Christine; Bach, Susan; Kostrzynska, Magdalena

    2015-12-23

    Understanding the survival mechanisms used by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), including O157:H7 and non-O157 serotypes, is important for minimizing contamination of fresh produce and occurrence of foodborne outbreaks. Recent outbreaks linked to leafy green vegetables and sprouted seeds have prompted researchers to focus on investigating decontamination strategies. Several studies showed that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment has been effective in reducing pathogens on fresh produce. As such, the effect of hydrogen peroxide on stress-associated and virulence gene expression in six STEC isolates was investigated in this study. Logarithmic phase cells of E. coli O157:H7 (EDL933) and non-O157 serotypes, including E. coli O26:H11 (EC20070549), O103:H2 (EC19970811), O104:H4 (NML#11-3088), O111:NM (EC20070546) and O145:NM (EC19970355) were exposed to 2.5mM H2O2 for 40 min and gene expression was evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR. Different patterns of gene expression were observed in E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 serotypes. Particularly, Shiga toxin gene stx2 was upregulated in O157:H7, but not in O104:H4. Moreover, stx1 was significantly upregulated in STEC O157:H7, but only slightly upregulated Stx1-positive non-O157 serotypes. However genes related to motility (fliC) and intimin gene (eae) were downregulated in most strains. Stress-associated sodA gene encoding manganese superoxide dismutase was significantly upregulated in all serotypes. The dps gene coding for non-specific DNA binding protein was upregulated in O145:NM, O111:NM, O103:H2 and O26:H11. However genes related to cold shock (cspC) and acid resistance (gadW) were significantly downregulated in all strains tested. The results of this study provide a basic understanding of the oxidative stress impact on survival and virulence of non-O157 serotype STEC strains. PMID:26318408

  16. Evaluation of a cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) gene-based species-specific multiplex PCR assay for the identification of Campylobacter strains isolated from poultry in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Samosornsuk, Worada; Asakura, Masahiro; Yoshida, Emi; Taguchi, Takashi; Nishimura, Kazuhiko; Eampokalap, Boonchuay; Phongsisay, Vongsavanh; Chaicumpa, Wanpen; Yamasaki, Shinji

    2007-01-01

    We have recently developed a cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) gene-based species-specific multiplex PCR assay for identifying Campylobacter jejuni, C. coli and C. fetus. In the present study, the applicability of this assay was evaluated with 34 Campylobacter-like organisms isolated from poultry in Thailand for species identification and was compared with other assays including API Campy, 16S rRNA gene sequence, and hippuricase (hipO) gene detection. Of the 34 strains analyzed, 20, 10 and 1 were identified as C. jejuni, C. coli, and Arcobacter cryaerophilus, respectively, and 3 could not be identified by API Campy. However, 16S rRNA gene analysis, showed that all 34 strains are C. jejuni/coli. To discriminate between these 2 species, the hipO gene, which is specifically present in C. jejuni, was examined by PCR and was detected in 20 strains, which were identified as C. jejuni by API Campy but not in the remaining 14 strains. Collective results indicated that 20 strains were C. jejuni whereas the 14 strains were C. coli. When the cdt gene-based multiplex PCR was employed, however, 19, 20 and 19 strains were identified as C. jejuni while 13, 14 and 13 were identified as C. coli by the cdtA, cdtB and cdtC gene-based multiplex PCR, respectively. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed that C. jejuni and C. coli strains analyzed are genetically diverse. Taken together, these data suggest that the cdt gene-based multiplex PCR, particularly cdtB gene-based multiplex PCR, is a simple, rapid and reliable method for identifying the species of Campylobacter strains. PMID:17895609

  17. Rapid and simple method for detecting the toxin B gene of Clostridium difficile in stool specimens by loop-mediated isothermal amplification.

    PubMed

    Kato, Haru; Yokoyama, Toshiyuki; Kato, Hideaki; Arakawa, Yoshichika

    2005-12-01

    We applied the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay to the detection of the toxin B gene (tcdB) of Clostridium difficile for identification of toxin B (TcdB)-positive C. difficile strains and detection of tcdB in stool specimens. tcdB was detected in all toxin A (TcdA)-positive, TcdB-positive (A(+)B(+)) and TcdA-negative, TcdB-positive (A(-)B(+)) C. difficile strains but not from TcdA-negative, TcdB-negative strains. Of the 74 stool specimens examined, A(+)B(+) or A(-)B(+) C. difficile was recovered from 39 specimens, of which 38 specimens were LAMP positive and one was negative. Amplification was obtained in 10 specimens that were culture negative, indicating that LAMP is highly sensitive. The LAMP assay was applied to detection of tcdB in DNA extracted by a simple boiling method from 47 of those 74 specimens, which were cultured overnight in cooked-meat medium (CMM). Twenty-two of 24 culture-positive specimens were positive for LAMP on DNA from the culture in CMM. Four specimens were culture negative but positive by LAMP on DNA from CMM cultures. The LAMP assay is a reliable tool for identification of TcdB-positive C. difficile as well as for direct detection of tcdB in stool specimens with high sensitivity. Detection of tcdB by LAMP from overnight cultures in CMM could be an alternative method of diagnostic testing at clinical laboratories without special apparatus. PMID:16333105

  18. Integrating toxin gene expression, growth and fumonisin B1 and B2 production by a strain of Fusarium verticillioides under different environmental factors

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Angel; Schmidt-Heydt, Markus; Cárdenas-Chávez, Diana L.; Parra, Roberto; Geisen, Rolf; Magan, Naresh

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to integrate data on the effect of water activity (aw; 0.995–0.93) and temperature (20–35°C) on activation of the biosynthetic FUM genes, growth and the mycotoxins fumonisin (FB1, FB2) by Fusarium verticillioides in vitro. The relative expression of nine biosynthetic cluster genes (FUM1, FUM7, FUM10, FUM11, FUM12, FUM13, FUM14, FUM16 and FUM19) in relation to the environmental factors was determined using a microarray analysis. The expression was related to growth and phenotypic FB1 and FB2 production. These data were used to develop a mixed-growth-associated product formation model and link this to a linear combination of the expression data for the nine genes. The model was then validated by examining datasets outside the model fitting conditions used (35°C). The relationship between the key gene (FUM1) and other genes in the cluster (FUM11, FUM13, FUM9, FUM14) were examined in relation to aw, temperature, FB1 and FB2 production by developing ternary diagrams of relative expression. This model is important in developing an integrated systems approach to develop prevention strategies to control fumonisin biosynthesis in staple food commodities and could also be used to predict the potential impact that climate change factors may have on toxin production. PMID:23697716

  19. Effects of prostaglandin E2, cholera toxin and 8-bromo-cyclic AMP on lipopolysaccharide-induced gene expression of cytokines in human macrophages.

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, W W; Burke, P A; Drotar, M E; Chavali, S R; Forse, R A

    1995-01-01

    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) appears to regulate macrophage cytokine production through the stimulatory GTP-binding protein (Gs protein)-mediated cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent transmembrane signal transduction pathway. In this study, we used PGE2, cholera toxin (CT; a direct G alpha s protein stimulator) and 8-bromo-cAMP (a membrane permeable cAMP analogue) to stimulate this pathway, and investigated their influence on cytokine gene expression in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated human macrophages. The mRNA expression for interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), IL-1 beta, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), IL-6 and IL-8 were determined employing reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using specific primers. We demonstrated that PGE2, CT and 8-bromo-cAMP inhibited the LPS-induced gene activation of TNF-alpha and IL-1 alpha, and had no effect on the gene activation of IL-1 beta and IL-8. Further, our data indicate that PGE2 suppressed the gene activation of IL-6 following LPS stimulation, but neither CT nor 8-bromo-cAMP had an effect. These data suggest that PGE2 alters LPS-stimulated gene activation of only some of the early macrophage cytokines, and does so either by a Gs transmembrane cAMP-dependent or an independent system. Images Figure 1 PMID:7751029

  20. The Prevalence and Polymorphisms of Zonula Occluden Toxin Gene in Multiple Campylobacter concisus Strains Isolated from Saliva of Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Controls

    PubMed Central

    Mahendran, Vikneswari; Tan, Ye Sing; Riordan, Stephen M.; Grimm, Michael C.; Day, Andrew S.; Lemberg, Daniel A.; Octavia, Sophie; Lan, Ruiting; Zhang, Li

    2013-01-01

    Campylobacterconcisus is an oral bacterium. A number of studies detected a significantly higher prevalence of C. concisus in the intestinal tract of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as compared to controls. The prevalence of zonula occluden toxin (zot) gene, which encodes a toxin known to increase intestinal permeability, in oral C. concisus strains is unknown. Increased intestinal permeability is a feature of IBD. A total of 56 oral C. concisus strains isolated from 19 patients with IBD and 20 controls were examined (some individuals were colonized with multiple strains). A filtration method was used for isolation of C. concisus from saliva samples. SDS-PAGE was used to define strains. PCR was used to amplify zot from C. concisus strains. Positive PCR products were sequenced and the nucleotides and amino acids were compared. Of the 56 oral C. concisus strains examined, 17 strains (30.4%) were positive for zot. The prevalence of zot-positive oral C. concisus strains was 54.5% in patients with active IBD, which was not significantly different from that in healthy controls (40%). Polymorphisms of C. concisus zot were revealed. zot808T, zot350-351AC and zotMultiple were detected only in patients with IBD, but not in healthy controls. Both zot808T and zotMultiple alleles resulted in substitution of valine at position 270, which occurred in 36.4% of patients with active IBD but not in healthy controls (P = 0.011). Furthermore, the prevalence of multiple oral C. concisus strains in patients with active IBD was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (P = 0.013). This is the first study reporting the prevalence of zot in human oral C. concisus strains and the polymorphisms of C. concisus zot gene. The data suggest that the possible role of C. concisus strains containing specific polymorphic forms of zot gene in human IBD should be investigated. PMID:24086553

  1. The prevalence and polymorphisms of zonula occluden toxin gene in multiple Campylobacter concisus strains isolated from saliva of patients with inflammatory bowel disease and controls.

    PubMed

    Mahendran, Vikneswari; Tan, Ye Sing; Riordan, Stephen M; Grimm, Michael C; Day, Andrew S; Lemberg, Daniel A; Octavia, Sophie; Lan, Ruiting; Zhang, Li

    2013-01-01

    Campylobacterconcisus is an oral bacterium. A number of studies detected a significantly higher prevalence of C. concisus in the intestinal tract of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as compared to controls. The prevalence of zonula occluden toxin (zot) gene, which encodes a toxin known to increase intestinal permeability, in oral C. concisus strains is unknown. Increased intestinal permeability is a feature of IBD. A total of 56 oral C. concisus strains isolated from 19 patients with IBD and 20 controls were examined (some individuals were colonized with multiple strains). A filtration method was used for isolation of C. concisus from saliva samples. SDS-PAGE was used to define strains. PCR was used to amplify zot from C. concisus strains. Positive PCR products were sequenced and the nucleotides and amino acids were compared. Of the 56 oral C. concisus strains examined, 17 strains (30.4%) were positive for zot. The prevalence of zot-positive oral C. concisus strains was 54.5% in patients with active IBD, which was not significantly different from that in healthy controls (40%). Polymorphisms of C. concisus zot were revealed. zot (808T) , zot (350-351AC) and zot (Multiple) were detected only in patients with IBD, but not in healthy controls. Both zot (808T) and zot (Multiple) alleles resulted in substitution of valine at position 270, which occurred in 36.4% of patients with active IBD but not in healthy controls (P = 0.011). Furthermore, the prevalence of multiple oral C. concisus strains in patients with active IBD was significantly higher than that in healthy controls (P = 0.013). This is the first study reporting the prevalence of zot in human oral C. concisus strains and the polymorphisms of C. concisus zot gene. The data suggest that the possible role of C. concisus strains containing specific polymorphic forms of zot gene in human IBD should be investigated. PMID:24086553

  2. Genomes of the Most Dangerous Epidemic Bacteria Have a Virulence Repertoire Characterized by Fewer Genes but More Toxin-Antitoxin Modules

    PubMed Central

    Georgiades, Kalliopi; Raoult, Didier

    2011-01-01

    Background We conducted a comparative genomic study based on a neutral approach to identify genome specificities associated with the virulence capacity of pathogenic bacteria. We also determined whether virulence is dictated by rules, or if it is the result of individual evolutionary histories. We systematically compared the genomes of the 12 most dangerous pandemic bacteria for humans (“bad bugs”) to their closest non-epidemic related species (“controls”). Methodology/Principal Findings We found several significantly different features in the “bad bugs”, one of which was a smaller genome that likely resulted from a degraded recombination and repair system. The 10 Cluster of Orthologous Group (COG) functional categories revealed a significantly smaller number of genes in the “bad bugs”, which lacked mostly transcription, signal transduction mechanisms, cell motility, energy production and conversion, and metabolic and regulatory functions. A few genes were identified as virulence factors, including secretion system proteins. Five “bad bugs” showed a greater number of poly (A) tails compared to the controls, whereas an elevated number of poly (A) tails was found to be strongly correlated to a low GC% content. The “bad bugs” had fewer tandem repeat sequences compared to controls. Moreover, the results obtained from a principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the “bad bugs” had surprisingly more toxin-antitoxin modules than did the controls. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that pathogenic capacity is not the result of “virulence factors” but is the outcome of a virulent gene repertoire resulting from reduced genome repertoires. Toxin-antitoxin systems could participate in the virulence repertoire, but they may have developed independently of selfish evolution. PMID:21437250

  3. Real-time microfluidic recombinase polymerase amplification for the toxin B gene of Clostridium difficile on a SlipChip platform.

    PubMed

    Tsaloglou, M-N; Watson, R J; Rushworth, C M; Zhao, Y; Niu, X; Sutton, J M; Morgan, H

    2015-01-01

    Clostridium difficile is one of the key bacterial pathogens that cause infectious diarrhoea both in the developed and developing world. Isothermal nucleic acid amplification methods are increasingly used for identification of toxinogenic infection by clinical labs. For this purpose, we developed a low-cost microfluidic platform based on the SlipChip concept and implemented real-time isothermal recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA). The on-chip RPA assay targets the Clostridium difficile toxin B gene (tcdB) coding for toxin B, one of the proteins responsible for bacterial toxicity. The device was fabricated in clear acrylic using rapid prototyping methods. It has six replicate 500 nL reaction wells as well as two sets of 500 nL control wells. The reaction can be monitored in real-time using exonuclease fluorescent probes with an initial sample volume of as little as 6.4 μL. We demonstrated a limit of detection of 1000 DNA copies, corresponding to 1 fg, at a time-to-result of <20 minutes. This miniaturised platform for pathogen detection has potential for use in resource-limited environments or at the point-of-care because of its ease of use and low cost, particularly if combined with preserved reagents. PMID:25371968

  4. Distribution of Shiga toxin genes subtypes in B1 phylotypes of Escherichia coli isolated from calves suffering from diarrhea in Tehran suburb using DNA oligonucleotide arrays

    PubMed Central

    Staji, Hamid; Tonelli, Alfreda; Javaheri-Vayeghan, Abbas; Changizi, Emad; Salimi-Bejestani, Mohammad Reza

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objectives: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have emerged as human pathogens and contamination via animal origin has been a major public health concern. We compared the distribution of phylogenetic groups and prevalence of stx gene variants among the pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli isolated from feces of diarrheatic calves in Tehran suburb farms. Materials and Methods: In this study we screened 140 diarrheatic calves (1–15 days old) for E. coli strains during a 3 months period of time. The isolated strains were grouped into different phylotypes according to the presence of chuA, yjaA and TSPE4.C2 genes. Then, the prevalence of stx gene subtypes was evaluated in the B1 phylotypes. Results: From diarrheatic calves, 51 bacterial isolates were biochemically identified as E. coli and 31 isolates out of 51 were considered B1 phylotype using DNA Microarray technology. Of these isolates, 20 contained stx1a and stx1b and one harbored all mentioned variants of stx genes except stx2b2. Conclusion: This study showed that in Tehran suburb, the B1 phylotype of E. coli is prevalent as a causative agent of diarrhea in calves and the prevalence of stx1 gene subtypes is dominant in comparison with other subtypes. Considering the possibility that these stx genes can be spread to other strains, bovine E. coli strains are an important source of stx genes for other strains and further study and surveillance seems to be required for the exact identification of virulence profile of E. coli phylotypes in different hosts. PMID:26697157

  5. 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

  6. Evaluation in broilers of the probiotic properties of Pichia pastoris and a recombinant P. pastoris containing the Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin gene.

    PubMed

    Gil de los Santos, João Rodrigo; Storch, Otávio Brod; Fernandes, Cristina Gevehr; Gil-Turnes, Carlos

    2012-05-01

    The probiotic properties of Pichia pastoris and of a recombinant P. pastoris containing the Clostridium perfringens alpha toxin gene were evaluated in broilers. One-day-old chicks randomly divided in four groups were fed with commercial feed devoid of antibacterials. The control group (1) received plain food, while the other groups were supplemented with either P. pastoris (2), the recombinant P. pastoris (3) or Bacillus cereus var. Toyoi (4). At day 49, live weights, feed efficiency and seroconversions were higher (P<0.05) in the supplemented groups than in the control groups. Group 3 showed the best results, while group 2 had lower weight gain than groups 3 and 4 although food conversion was better than in group 4. Seroconversions were not different (P>0.05) among the supplemented groups. Adverse reactions were not observed in histopathologic evaluation. We concluded that P. pastoris and the recombinant P. pastoris could be used as probiotics in broilers. PMID:22176763

  7. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Central Greece: prevalence and virulence genes of O157:H7 and non-O157 in animal feces, vegetables, and humans.

    PubMed

    Pinaka, O; Pournaras, S; Mouchtouri, V; Plakokefalos, E; Katsiaflaka, A; Kolokythopoulou, F; Barboutsi, E; Bitsolas, N; Hadjichristodoulou, C

    2013-11-01

    In Greece, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have only been sporadically reported. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of STEC and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in farm animals, vegetables, and humans in Greece. A total number of 1,010 fecal samples were collected from farm animals (sheep, goats, cattle, chickens, pigs), 667 diarrheal samples from humans, and 60 from vegetables, which were cultured in specific media for STEC isolates. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect toxin-producing colonies, which, subsequently, were subjected to a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for stx1, stx2, eae, rfbE O157, and fliC h7 genes. Eighty isolates (7.9 %) from animal samples were found to produce Shiga toxin by ELISA, while by PCR, O157 STEC isolates were detected from 8 (0.8 %) samples and non-O157 STEC isolates from 43 (4.2 %) samples. STEC isolates were recovered mainly from sheep and goats, rarely from cattle, and not from pigs and chickens, suggesting that small ruminants constitute a potential risk for human infections. However, only three human specimens (0.4 %) were positive for the detection of Shiga toxins and all were PCR-negative. Similarly, all 60 vegetable samples were negative for toxin production and for toxin genes, but three samples (two roman rockets and one spinach) were positive by PCR for rfbE O157 and fliC h7 genes. These findings indicate that sheep, goats, cattle, and leafy vegetables can be a reservoir of STEC and Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolates in Greece, which are still rarely detected among humans. PMID:23677425

  8. Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile: real-time PCR detection of toxin genes in faecal samples is more sensitive compared to toxigenic culture.

    PubMed

    Jensen, M B F; Olsen, K E P; Nielsen, X C; Hoegh, A M; Dessau, R B; Atlung, T; Engberg, J

    2015-04-01

    The diagnosis of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) requires the detection of toxigenic C. difficile or its toxins and a clinical assessment. We evaluated the performance of four nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) detecting toxigenic C. difficile directly from faeces compared to routine toxigenic culture. In total, 300 faecal samples from Danish hospitalised patients with diarrhoea were included consecutively. Culture was performed in duplicate (routine and 'expanded toxigenic culture': prolonged and/or re-culture) and genotypic toxin profiling by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), PCR ribotyping and toxinotyping (TT) were performed on culture-positive samples. In parallel, the samples were analysed by four NAATs; two targeting tcdA or tcdB (illumigene C. difficile and PCRFast C. difficile A/B) and two multi-target real-time (RT) PCR assays also targeting cdt and tcdC alleles characteristic of epidemic and potentially more virulent PCR ribotypes 027, 066 and 078 (GeneXpert C. difficile/Epi and an 'in-house RT PCR' two-step algorithm). The multi-target assays were significantly more sensitive compared to routine toxigenic culture (p < 0.05) and significantly more robust to inhibition compared to PCRFast (p < 0.001). Duplicate 'expanded toxigenic culture' increased the culture-positive rate by 29% compared to routine culture. The ability of the GeneXpert and in-house assays to correctly classify PCR ribotype 027 was high (>95%), and in-house PCR displayed 100% correct identification of PCR ribotypes 066 and 078. Furthermore, the presence of the PCR enhancer bovine serum albumin (BSA) was found to be related to high sensitivity and low inhibition rate. Rapid laboratory diagnosis of toxigenic C. difficile by RT PCR was accurate. PMID:25421216

  9. A standardised challenge model with an enterotoxigenic F4+ Escherichia coli strain in piglets assessing clinical traits and faecal shedding of fae and est-II toxin genes.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Franz; Vahjen, Wilfried; Pieper, Robert; Martinez-Vallespin, Beatriz; Zentek, Jürgen

    2014-12-01

    This study evaluated the effect of five feed additives on post weaning diarrhoea (PWD) in piglets challenged 3 d after weaning with an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli strain (ETEC). In three experimental runs, a total of 84 piglets was weaned at 21 days of age and randomly assigned to seven treatments. As dietary treatment, piglets were fed a basal diet or diets with addition of bovine colostrum (0.2%), pineapple stem extract containing bromelain (0.2%), an autolysed yeast preparation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (0.1%), a combination of organic acids (0.7%) and a phytogenic product with thyme essential oil (0.015%). A porcine ETEC, serotype O149:K91:K88ac was given twice via oral infection on day 3 after weaning at 10(10) colony forming units/animal. One group of piglets was fed the basal diet without ETEC challenge. Traits included clinical sores, body temperature, faecal scoring and determination of faecal dry matter and the shedding of fae and est-II ETEC toxin genes. After weaning, non-challenged control piglets did not show signs of diarrhoea or impaired health, while the majority of infected piglets had a drop in body temperature, signs of diarrhoea and impaired general health. Mortality, the decrease of faecal dry matter and shedding of the toxin genes fae and est-II were not affected by the different additives. In conclusion, the ETEC challenge model induced distinct clinical signs of PWD in piglets, but the tested feed additives had no preventive effect under these conditions. PMID:25313936

  10. Expression of Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) in highly virulent Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) carrying different anti-terminator (q) genes.

    PubMed

    Olavesen, Kristoffer K; Lindstedt, Bjørn-Arne; Løbersli, Inger; Brandal, Lin T

    2016-08-01

    Shiga toxins (Stx) are key virulence factors of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) during development of haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). It has been suggested that not only specific stx2 subtypes, but also the amount of Stx2 expressed might be essential for STEC pathogenicity. We aimed to investigate if various anti-terminator (q) genes might influence the expression level of Stx2 in highly virulent STEC. A multiplex PCR detecting q933, q21, and qO111 was run on 20 stx2a-positive STEC strains, of which 18 were HUS associated serotypes (HAS) and two non-HAS. Relative expression of Stx2 mRNA was assessed for all strains, both in non-induced and induced (mitomycin C) state. The HAS STEC carried either q933 (n = 8), qO111 (n = 8), or both (n = 2). In basal state, no STEC strains showed higher expression of Stx2 mRNA than the calibrator EDL933 (non-sorbitol fermenting (NSF) O157:H7carrying q933). Variations among strains were not associated with different q genes present, but rather related to specific serogroups. In induced state, O104:H4 strains (q933) showed higher Stx2 mRNA level than EDL933, whereas sorbitol fermenting (SF) O157:H- (qO111) and O121:H? (q933) STEC showed levels comparable with EDL933. An association between the presence of q933 and higher Stx2 level was seen within some HAS, but not all. Interestingly, the O103:H25 STEC strains, responsible for a HUS outbreak in Norway, carried both q933 and qO111. However, the Stx2 mRNA level in these strains was significantly lower than EDL933 in both states, indicating that other factors than the level of Stx2 might explain the aggressiveness of these bacteria. The two non-HAS STEC did not carry any of the examined q genes. In induced state, these bacteria showed the lowest Stx2 mRNA level compared to EDL933. One of the non-HAS STEC was not induced by mitomycin C, suggesting that stx2a might be located on a defect bacteriophage. No association between specific q genes and Stx2 mRNA expression

  11. Stability of toxin gene proportion in red-pigmented populations of the cyanobacterium Planktothrix during 29 years of re-oligotrophication of Lake Zürich

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Harmful algal blooms deteriorate the services of aquatic ecosystems. They are often formed by cyanobacteria composed of genotypes able to produce a certain toxin, for example, the hepatotoxin microcystin (MC), but also of nontoxic genotypes that either carry mutations in the genes encoding toxin synthesis or that lost those genes during evolution. In general, cyanobacterial blooms are favored by eutrophication. Very little is known about the stability of the toxic/nontoxic genotype composition during trophic change. Results Archived samples of preserved phytoplankton on filters from aquatic ecosystems that underwent changes in the trophic state provide a so far unrealized possibility to analyze the response of toxic/nontoxic genotype composition to the environment. During a period of 29 years of re-oligotrophication of the deep, physically stratified Lake Zürich (1980 to 2008), the population of the stratifying cyanobacterium Planktothrix was at a minimum during the most eutrophic years (1980 to 1984), but increased and dominated the phytoplankton during the past two decades. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction revealed that during the whole observation period the proportion of the toxic genotype was strikingly stable, that is, close to 100%. Inactive MC genotypes carrying mutations within the MC synthesis genes never became abundant. Unexpectedly, a nontoxic genotype, which lost its MC genes during evolution, and which could be shown to be dominant under eutrophic conditions in shallow polymictic lakes, also co-occurred in Lake Zürich but was never abundant. As it is most likely that this nontoxic genotype contains relatively weak gas vesicles unable to withstand the high water pressure in deep lakes, it is concluded that regular deep mixing selectively reduced its abundance through the destruction of gas vesicles. Conclusions The stability in toxic genotype dominance gives evidence for the adaptation to deep mixing of a genotype that retained the

  12. Genomics Study of the Exposure Effect of Gymnodinium catenatum, a Paralyzing Toxin Producer, on Crassostrea gigas' Defense System and Detoxification Genes

    PubMed Central

    García-Lagunas, Norma; Romero-Geraldo, Reyna; Hernández-Saavedra, Norma Y.

    2013-01-01

    Background Crassostrea gigas accumulates paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) associated with red tide species as Gymnodinium catenatum. Previous studies demonstrated bivalves show variable feeding responses to toxic algae at physiological level; recently, only one study has reported biochemical changes in the transcript level of the genes involved in C. gigas stress response. Principal Findings We found that 24 h feeding on toxic dinoflagellate cells (acute exposure) induced a significant decrease in clearance rate and expression level changes of the genes involved in antioxidant defense (copper/zinc superoxide dismutase, Cu/Zn-SOD), cell detoxification (glutathione S-transferase, GST and cytochrome P450, CPY450), intermediate immune response activation (lipopolysaccharide and beta glucan binding protein, LGBP), and stress responses (glutamine synthetase, GS) in Pacific oysters compared to the effects with the non-toxic microalga Isochrysis galbana. A sub-chronic exposure feeding on toxic dinoflagellate cells for seven and fourteen days (30×103 cells mL−1) showed higher gene expression levels. A significant increase was observed in Cu/Zn-SOD, GST, and LGBP at day 7 and a major increase in GS and CPY450 at day 14. We also observed that oysters fed only with G. catenatum (3×103 cells mL−1) produced a significant increase on the transcription level than in a mixed diet (3×103 cells mL−1 of G. catenatum+0.75×106 cells mL−1 I. galbana) in all the analyzed genes. Conclusions Our results provide gene expression data of PST producer dinoflagellate G. catenatum toxic effects on C. gigas, a commercially important bivalve. Over expressed genes indicate the activation of a potent protective mechanism, whose response depends on both cell concentration and exposure time against these toxic microalgae. Given the importance of dinoflagellate blooms in coastal environments, these results provide a more comprehensive overview of how oysters respond to stress generated by

  13. Global Gene Regulation by Fusarium Transcription Factors Tri6 and Tri10 Reveals Adaptations for Toxin Biosynthesis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trichothecenes are isoprenoid mycotoxins and harmful contaminants of wheat infected with the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum. The expression of some fungal genes for trichothecene biosynthesis (Tri genes) are known to be under control of transcription factors encoded by the genes Tri6 and Tr...

  14. Antibiotic Resistance, Virulence Gene, and Molecular Profiles of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Diverse Sources in Calcutta, India

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Asis; Das, S. C.; Ramamurthy, T.; Sikdar, A.; Khanam, J.; Yamasaki, S.; Takeda, Y.; Nair, G. Balakrish

    2002-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance, virulence gene, and molecular profiles of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) non-O157 strains isolated from human stool samples, cow stool samples, and beef samples over a period of 2 years in Calcutta, India, were determined. Resistance to one or more antibiotics was observed in 49.2% of the STEC strains, with some of the strains exhibiting multidrug resistance. The dominant combinations of virulence genes present in the strains studied were stx1 and stx2 (44.5% of strains) and stx1, stx2, and hlyA (enterohemorrhagic E. coli hemolysin gene) (19% of strains). Only 6.4% of the STEC strains harbored eae. The diversity of STEC strains from various sources was assessed by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD). STEC strains that gave identical or nearly similar DNA fingerprints in RAPD-PCR and had similar virulence genotypes were further characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Identical RAPD and PFGE profiles were observed in four sets of strains, with each set comprising two strains. There was no match in the RAPD and PFGE profiles between strains of STEC isolated from cows and those isolated from humans. It appears that the clones present in bovine sources are not transmitted to humans in the Calcutta setting although these strains showed evolutionary relatedness. Maybe for this reason, STEC has still not become a major problem in India. PMID:12037056

  15. A small, microRNA-size, ribonucleic acid regulating gene expression and development of Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophage Φ24Β

    PubMed Central

    Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Licznerska, Katarzyna; Dydecka, Aleksandra; Felczykowska, Agnieszka; Topka, Gracja; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    A microRNA-size (20-nt long) molecule has been identified in Escherichia coli after induction of Shiga toxin-converting bacteriophage Φ24B. This small RNA, named 24B_1, is encoded in the lom-vb_24B_43 region of the phage genome, and apparently it is produced by cleavage of a larger transcript. A phage devoid of 24B_1 revealed decreased efficiency of lysogenization, quicker prophage induction after provoking the SOS response, higher efficiency of progeny phage production during the lytic cycle and less efficient adsorption on the host cells. Expression of most of phage genes was drastically increased after infection of E. coli by the Φ24BΔ24B_1 phage. Since 24B_1 may impair expression of the d_ant gene, coding for an anti-repressor, these results may explain the mechanism of regulations of the physiological processes by this small RNA due to impaired activity of the cI repressor and changed expression of vast majority of phage genes. To our knowledge, this is the first example of functional microRNA-size molecule in bacterial cells. PMID:25962117

  16. Two different Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes confer resistance to beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner) in transgenic Bt-shallots (Allium cepa L.).

    PubMed

    Zheng, Si-Jun; Henken, Betty; de Maagd, Ruud A; Purwito, Agus; Krens, Frans A; Kik, Chris

    2005-06-01

    Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation was applied to produce beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua Hübner) resistant tropical shallots (Allium cepa L. group Aggregatum). A cry1Ca or a H04 hybrid gene from Bacillus thuringiensis, driven by the chrysanthemum ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase small subunit (Rubisco SSU) promoter, along with the hygromycin phosphotransferase gene (hpt) driven by the CaMV 35S promoter, was employed for genetic transformation. An average transformation frequency of 3.68% was obtained from two shallot cultivars, Tropix and Kuning. After transfer of the in vitro plants to the greenhouse 69% of the cry1Ca and 39% of the H04 transgenic shallots survived the first half year. After one year of cultivation in the greenhouse the remaining cry1Ca and H04 transgenic plants grew vigorously and had a normal bulb formation, although the cry1Ca transgenic plants (and controls) had darker green leaves compared to their H04 counterparts. Standard PCR, adaptor ligation PCR and Southern analyses confirmed the integration of T-DNA into the shallot genome. Northern blot and ELISA analyses revealed expression of the cry1Ca or H04 gene in the transgenic plants. The amount of Cry1Ca expressed in transgenic plants was higher than the expression levels of H04 (0.39 vs. 0.16% of the total soluble leaf proteins, respectively). There was a good correlation between protein expression and beet armyworm resistance. Cry1Ca or H04 gene expression of at least 0.22 or 0.08% of the total soluble protein in shallot leaves was sufficient to give a complete resistance against beet armyworm. This confirms earlier observations that the H04 toxin is more toxic to S. exigua than the Cry1Ca toxin. The results from this study suggest that the cry1Ca and H04 transgenic shallots developed could be used for introducing resistance to beet armyworm in (sub) tropical shallot. PMID:16145834

  17. Prevalence, serotypes and virulence genes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolated from ovine and caprine milk and other dairy products in Spain.

    PubMed

    Rey, J; Sánchez, S; Blanco, J E; Hermoso de Mendoza, J; Hermoso de Mendoza, M; García, A; Gil, C; Tejero, N; Rubio, R; Alonso, J M

    2006-03-15

    The aim of this study was to determinate the prevalence, serotypes and virulence genes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains isolated from different dairy products (DP) in Spain with the purpose of determining whether DP represent a potential source of STEC pathogenic for humans. A total of 502 DP were examined from 64 different ovine and caprine flocks and 6 dairy plants in Extremadura (Western Spain). Samples were collected monthly between March 2003 and June 2004 and included 360 unpasteurised milk obtained from the bulk tank, 103 fresh cheese curds and 39 cheeses. Samples obtained were examined for STEC using genotypic (PCR) methods. STEC strains were detected from 39 (10.8%) bulk tank, 4 (3.9%) fresh cheese curds and 2 (5%) cheese, whereas O157:H7 serotype were isolated from one (0.3%) bulk tank. A total of 9 STEC strains (O27:H18, O45:H38, O76:H19, O91:H28, O157:H7, ONT:H7, ONT:H9 and ONT:H21) were identified in this study. One of them, the serotype O27:H18, has not been reported previously as STEC. PCR showed that 3 strains carried stx1 genes, 5 possessed stx2 genes and 1 both stx1 and stx2. Whereas all STEC caprine isolates showed ehxA genes, only O157:H7 serotype showed eae virulence genes. The strain O157:H7 isolated possessed intimin type gamma1 and belonged to phage type 31. This study confirms that dairy product is an important reservoir of STEC pathogenic for humans. PMID:16260057

  18. Subtilase cytotoxin encoding genes are present in human, sheep and deer intimin-negative, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O128:H2.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, Sergio; Beristain, Xabier; Martínez, Remigio; García, Alfredo; Martín, Carmen; Vidal, Dolors; Díaz-Sánchez, Sandra; Rey, Joaquín; Alonso, Juan M; Herrera-León, Silvia

    2012-10-12

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O128:H2 is recognised worldwide to be an important non-O157 STEC associated with human illness and in particular with causing haemolytic uraemic syndrome. This serotype is commonly isolated from sheep and is being increasingly isolated from deer. We determined the virulence profile and genetic relationships of one human, six sheep and five deer intimin-negative STEC O128:H2 strains isolated in Spain over a 7-year period. Our goals were to establish the presence of other virulence-associated factors, such as SubAB, in intimin-negative STEC O128:H2 strains involved in human disease and in that case, to determine if sheep and/or deer represent a reservoir of SubAB-positive STEC O128:H2. All the strains lacked the eae gene and carried subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB) encoding genes (subAB) and tia genes, but not saa gene, suggesting the presence of the recently identified new variant of SubAB, encoded on a putative pathogenicity island together with tia. We report for the first time the presence of subtilase cytotoxin encoding genes in intimin-negative STEC O128:H2 strains pathogenic for humans and how this finding might explain their clinical relevance despite neither carrying eae nor stx subtypes associated with severe clinical outcomes, but only stx1c and stx2b. Multilocus sequence typing analysis revealed that STEC O128:H2 strains from sheep and deer belong to the clonal lineage of STEC O128:H2 strains involved in diarrhoeal and haemorrhagic diseases in humans. Our results indicate that sheep and deer represent a reservoir of SubAB-positive STEC O128:H2 strains and thus a potential source of human infection. PMID:22622337

  19. A systems approach to model the relationship between aflatoxin gene cluster expression, environmental factors, growth and toxin production by Aspergillus flavus

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Hadi, Ahmed; Schmidt-Heydt, Markus; Parra, Roberto; Geisen, Rolf; Magan, Naresh

    2012-01-01

    A microarray analysis was used to examine the effect of combinations of water activity (aw, 0.995–0.90) and temperature (20–42°C) on the activation of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes (30 genes) in Aspergillus flavus grown on a conducive YES (20 g yeast extract, 150 g sucrose, 1 g MgSO4·7H2O) medium. The relative expression of 10 key genes (aflF, aflD, aflE, aflM, aflO, aflP, aflQ, aflX, aflR and aflS) in the biosynthetic pathway was examined in relation to different environmental factors and phenotypic aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production. These data, plus data on relative growth rates and AFB1 production under different aw × temperature conditions were used to develop a mixed-growth-associated product formation model. The gene expression data were normalized and then used as a linear combination of the data for all 10 genes and combined with the physical model. This was used to relate gene expression to aw and temperature conditions to predict AFB1 production. The relationship between the observed AFB1 production provided a good linear regression fit to the predicted production based in the model. The model was then validated by examining datasets outside the model fitting conditions used (37°C, 40°C and different aw levels). The relationship between structural genes (aflD, aflM) in the biosynthetic pathway and the regulatory genes (aflS, aflJ) was examined in relation to aw and temperature by developing ternary diagrams of relative expression. These findings are important in developing a more integrated systems approach by combining gene expression, ecophysiological influences and growth data to predict mycotoxin production. This could help in developing a more targeted approach to develop prevention strategies to control such carcinogenic natural metabolites that are prevalent in many staple food products. The model could also be used to predict the impact of climate change on toxin production. PMID:21880616

  20. Global Gene Regulation by Fusarium Transcription Factors Tri6 and Tri10 Reveals Adaptations for Toxin Biosynthesis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trichothecenes are isoprenoid mycotoxins in wheat infected with the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum. Some fungal genes for trichothecene biosynthesis (Tri genes) are known to be under control of transcription factors encoded by Tri6 and Tri10. Tri6 and Tri10 deletion mutants were constructed...

  1. Gene and antigen markers of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli from Michigan and Indiana river water: Occurrence and relation to recreational water quality criteria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duris, J.W.; Haack, S.K.; Fogarty, L.R.

    2009-01-01

    The relation of bacterial pathogen occurrence to fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) concentrations used for recreational water quality criteria (RWQC) is poorly understood. This study determined the occurrence of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) markers and their relation to FIB concentrations in Michigan and Indiana river water. Using 67 fecal coliform (FC) bacteria cultures from 41 river sites in multiple watersheds, we evaluated the occurrence of five STEC markers: the Escherichia coli (EC) O157 antigen and gene, and the STEC virulence genes eaeA, stx1, and stx2. Simple isolations from selected FC cultures yielded viable EC O157. By both antigen and gene assays, EC O157 was detected in a greater proportion of samples exceeding rather than meeting FC RWQC (P < 0.05), but was unrelated to EC and enterococci RWQC. The occurrence of all other STEC markers was unrelated to any FIB RWQC. The eaeA, stx2, and stx1 genes were found in 93.3, 13.3, and in 46.7% of samples meeting FC RWQC and in 91.7, 0.0, and 37.5% of samples meeting the EC RWQC. Although not statistically significant, the percentage of samples positive for each STEC marker except stx1 was lower in samples that met, as opposed to exceeded, FIB RWQC. Viable STEC were common members of the FC communities in river water throughout southern Michigan and northern Indiana, regardless of FIB RWQC. Our study indicates that further information on the occurrence of pathogens in recreational waters, and research on alternative indicators of their occurrence, may help inform water-resource management and public health decision-making. Copyright ?? 2009 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

  2. Immunogenicity and virulence of attenuated vaccinia virus Tian Tan encoding HIV-1 muti-epitope genes, p24 and cholera toxin B subunit in mice.

    PubMed

    Du, Shouwen; Wang, Yuhang; Liu, Cunxia; Wang, Maopeng; Zhu, Yilong; Tan, Peng; Ren, Dayong; Li, Xiao; Tian, Mingyao; Yin, Ronglan; Li, Chang; Jin, Ningyi

    2015-07-01

    No effective prophylactic or therapeutic vaccine against HIV-1 in humans is currently available. This study analyzes the immunogenicity and safety of a recombinant attenuated vaccinia virus. A chimeric gene of HIV-1 multi-epitope genes containing CpG ODN and cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) was inserted into Chinese vaccinia virus Tian Tan strain (VTT) mutant strain. The recombinant virus rddVTT(-CCMp24) was assessed for immunogenicity and safety in mice. Results showed that the protein CCMp24 was expressed stably in BHK-21 infected with rddVTT(-CCMp24). And the recombinant virus induced the production of HIV-1 p24 specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IL-2 and IL-4. The recombinant vaccine induced γ-interferon secretion against HIV peptides, and elicited a certain levels of immunological memory. Results indicated that the recombinant virus had certain immunogenicity to HIV-1. Additionally, the virulence of the recombinant virus was been attenuated in vivo of mice compared with wild type VTT (wtVTT), and the introduction of CTB and HIV Mp24 did not alter the infectivity and virulence of defective vaccinia virus. PMID:25796990

  3. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-01-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized ‘Given X, find all associated Ys’ query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: ‘Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A’. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. PMID:25925572

  4. Southern analysis of BT-R1, the Manduca sexta gene encoding the receptor for the Cry1Ab toxin of Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Franklin, S E; Young, L; Watson, D; Cigan, A; Meyer, T; Bulla, L A

    1997-11-01

    Various subspecies of the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis are known to produce a wide array of insecticidal crystal proteins (ICPs) upon sporulation. These ICPs act primarily on the brush border of midgut epithelial cells of susceptible larvae. Recently, a protein of 210 kDa, isolated from the midgut of Manduca sexta, has been demonstrated to bind the Cry1Ab toxin produced by B. thuringiensis subsp, berliner and is therefore postulated to be involved in mediating the toxicity of Cry1Ab. The cDNA encoding the 210 kDa protein, termed BT-R1 (Bacillus thuringiensis receptor-1), was recently cloned, and shows limited homology to the cadherin superfamily of proteins. Quite naturally, there is a great deal of interest in the characterization of BT-R1, the gene encoding the 210 kDa Cry1Ab binding protein. The studies presented here involve the use of various restriction fragments prepared from the cDNA encoding BT-R1 as probes of Southern blots bearing M. sexta genomic DNA cleaved with a variety of restriction endonucleases. These Southern blot data reveal that there are two discrete regions within the M. sexta genome which encode sequences homologous to BT-R1. On the basis of the signal intensities seen on Southern blots, it appears that only one of these genes encodes BT-R1, whereas the other is a closely related homologue. PMID:9413435

  5. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized 'Given X, find all associated Ys' query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: 'Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A'. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. PMID:25925572

  6. Identification of a metagenomic gene cluster containing a new class A beta-lactamase and toxin-antitoxin systems

    PubMed Central

    Vercammen, Ken; Garcia-Armisen, Tamara; Goeders, Nathalie; Melderen, Laurence; Bodilis, Josselin; Cornelis, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Several reports mention the presence of antibiotic resistance genes in natural and polluted environments, but many studies are based on their detection via polymerase chain reaction (PCR amplification of known genes and not on an activity screening. We constructed a metagenomic fosmid bank from DNA isolated from a polluted river in Brussels, Belgium, the Zenne. A total of 120,000 clones were pooled and plated directly on solid media containing different antibiotics. Several clones were isolated which could grow in the presence of ampicillin. The DNA from several clones was extracted and subjected to restriction analysis and, based on their restriction pattern, two different clones were found. One of the clones was selected for further study as it showed a higher level of resistance to different β-lactams antibiotics (ticarcilline and ceftazidime). To find out which gene is responsible for the resistance, an in vitro transposon mutagenesis was performed and clones having lost the resistance phenotype were analyzed via inverse PCR amplification. Several clones had an insert in a gene encoding a new type of β-lactamase. The amplified fosmid DNA was fully sequenced revealing an insert of 41 kb containing 39 open reading frames (ORFs). Transposon insertions inactivating the resistance to β-lactams were also found in the ORF upstream of the blaA gene, encoding an aminotransferase, suggesting a polar effect on the transcription of the gene downstream. In addition, other genes were found such as histidine biosynthesis genes, which were found to be scattered on the insert, a relA/spoT gene, and genes belonging to type II toxin–antitoxin system. This predicted system was experimentally validated in Escherichia coli using an inducible expression system. PMID:23873667

  7. Simulated Antibiotic Exposures in an In Vitro Hollow-Fiber Infection Model Influence Toxin Gene Expression and Production in Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Strain MW2

    PubMed Central

    Pichereau, Solen; Pantrangi, Madhulatha; Couet, William; Badiou, Cedric; Lina, Gerard; Shukla, Sanjay K.

    2012-01-01

    Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) strain MW2 harbors a plethora of toxins to mediate its virulence. However, toxin expression and regulation with simulated clinical antimicrobial exposures are unclear. This study evaluated these relationships using an in vitro pharmacodynamic hollow-fiber infection model. Clinical doses of clindamycin, linezolid, minocycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (SXT), and vancomycin were simulated over 72 h against MW2 in the hollow fiber model. Expression levels of lukSF-PV and enterotoxin genes sec4, sek, seq, and sel2 were quantified by real-time PCR. Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and cytotoxicity was determined on polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs). Vancomycin produced the maximum MW2 killing (2.53 log10 CFU/ml) after the first dose, but the greatest sustained killing over 72 h occurred with linezolid and clindamycin. Vancomycin and minocycline induced gene upregulation from 0 to 8 h, followed by downregulation for the remaining simulation period. Clindamycin decreased gene expression in the first 24 h, followed by moderate increases (2.5-fold) thereafter. Linezolid increased gene expression 11.4- to 200.4-fold but inhibited PVL production (0.6 ± 0.3 versus 5.9 ± 0.2 μg/ml, linezolid versus control at 72 h; P < 0.05). Similar effects on PVL production occurred with clindamycin and minocycline. SXT increased PVL production at 48 h (2.8-fold) and 72 h (4.9-fold) of treatment (P < 0.05), resulting in increased PVL cytotoxicity on PMNs. Linezolid, clindamycin, and minocycline were the most effective agents on decreasing the virulence potential in CA-MRSA, notably after 8 h of treatment. SXT had minimal effects on toxin gene regulation, but it increased production and cytotoxicity of PVL toxin in the model and may enhance virulence when it is used to treat severe infections. PMID:22064533

  8. [Relation of Lac promotor and the expression of cholera toxin subunit B gene in recombinant Escherichia coli MM2].

    PubMed

    Fang, H; Zhao, S; Yu, G; Ma, Q

    1997-08-01

    Effects of different carbon sources including glucose, lactate and acetate and IPTG induction on the expression of ctb gene, which is on the downstream of lac promotor, in recombinant Escherichia coli MM2 were studied. In medium YC were added 0.048mol/L glucose, 0.102mol/L lactate or 0.167mol/L acetate which separately produce the same energy in the condition of complete oxidization. Addition of glucose largely decreased the expression level of ctb gene because of decrease of pH during culture process. Addition of lactate increased the expression level of ctb gene by 1.15 fold and did not inhibit the growth of MM2 strain. Addition of acetate increasd the expression level of ctb gene by 0.97 fold and inhibited the growth of MM2 strain. Induction by IPTG at different time and different concentration did not increase the expression level of ctb gene, so the lac promotor had no or a little influence upon the expression of ctb gene in recombinant MM2 strain. PMID:9863203

  9. Target-Driven Evolution of Scorpion Toxins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shangfei; Gao, Bin; Zhu, Shunyi

    2015-01-01

    It is long known that peptide neurotoxins derived from a diversity of venomous animals evolve by positive selection following gene duplication, yet a force that drives their adaptive evolution remains a mystery. By using maximum-likelihood models of codon substitution, we analyzed molecular adaptation in scorpion sodium channel toxins from a specific species and found ten positively selected sites, six of which are located at the core-domain of scorpion α-toxins, a region known to interact with two adjacent loops in the voltage-sensor domain (DIV) of sodium channels, as validated by our newly constructed computational model of toxin-channel complex. Despite the lack of positive selection signals in these two loops, they accumulated extensive sequence variations by relaxed purifying selection in prey and predators of scorpions. The evolutionary variability in the toxin-bound regions of sodium channels indicates that accelerated substitutions in the multigene family of scorpion toxins is a consequence of dealing with the target diversity. This work presents an example of atypical co-evolution between animal toxins and their molecular targets, in which toxins suffered from more prominent selective pressure from the channels of their competitors. Our discovery helps explain the evolutionary rationality of gene duplication of toxins in a specific venomous species. PMID:26444071

  10. Neuroprotective Effect of Non-viral Gene Therapy Treatment Based on Tetanus Toxin C-fragment in a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

    PubMed Central

    Oliván, Sara; Calvo, Ana C.; Rando, Amaya; Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Manzano, Raquel; Zaragoza, Pilar; Tizzano, Eduardo F.; Aquilera, Jose; Osta, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis and progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. Nowadays there are no effective therapies available to treat patients with SMA, so our aim was to test whether the non-toxic carboxy-terminal fragment of tetanus toxin heavy chain (TTC), which exhibits neurotrophic properties, might have a therapeutic role or benefit in SMA. In this manuscript, we have demonstrated that TTC enhance the SMN expression in motor neurons “in vitro” and evaluated the effect of intramuscular injection of TTC-encoding plasmid in the spinal cord and the skeletal muscle of SMNdelta7 mice. For this purpose, we studied the weight and the survival time, as well as, the survival and cell death pathways and muscular atrophy. Our results showed that TTC treatment reduced the expression of autophagy markers (Becn1, Atg5, Lc3, and p62) and pro-apoptotic genes such as Bax and Casp3 in spinal cord. In skeletal muscle, TTC was able to downregulate the expression of the main marker of autophagy, Lc3, to wild-type levels and the expression of the apoptosis effector protein, Casp3. Regarding the genes related to muscular atrophy (Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbox32, Mt2, Myod1, NogoA, Pax7, Rrad, and Sln), TTC suggest a compensatory effect for muscle damage response, diminished oxidative stress and modulated calcium homeostasis. These preliminary findings suggest the need for further experiments to depth study the effect of TTC in SMA disease. PMID:27605908

  11. Effects of In Vitro Exposure to Diarrheic Toxin Producer Prorocentrum lima on Gene Expressions Related to Cell Cycle Regulation and Immune Response in Crassostrea gigas

    PubMed Central

    de Jesús Romero-Geraldo, Reyna; García-Lagunas, Norma; Hernández-Saavedra, Norma Yolanda

    2014-01-01

    Background Crassostrea gigas accumulates diarrheic shellfish toxins (DSP) associated to Prorocentrum lima of which Okadaic acid (OA) causes specific inhibitions of serine and threonine phosphatases 1 and 2A. Its toxic effects have been extensively reported in bivalve mollusks at cellular and physiological levels, but genomic approaches have been scarcely studied. Methodology/Principal Findings Acute and sub-chronic exposure effects of P. lima were investigated on farmed juvenile C. gigas (3–5 mm). The Pacific oysters were fed with three dinoflagellate concentrations: 0.3, 3, and 30×103 cells mL−1 along with a nontoxic control diet of Isochrysis galbana. The effects of P. lima on C. gigas were followed by analyzing expression levels of a total of four genes, three involved in cell cycle regulation and one in immune response by polymerase chain reaction and real time quantitative PCR, where changes in time and cell concentration were found. The highest expression levels were found in oysters fed 3×103 cells mL−1 at 168 h for the cycle regulator p21 protein (9 fold), chromatin assembly factor 1 p55 subunit (8 fold), elongation factor 2 (2 fold), and lipopolysaccharide/β-1, 3 glucan binding protein (13 fold above base line). Additionally, the transcript level of all the genes decreased in oysters fed wich the mixed diet 30×103 cells mL−1 of dinoflagellate after 72 h and was lowest in the chromatin assembly factor 1 p55 subunit (0.9 fold below baseline). Conclusions On C. gigas the whole cell ingestion of P lima caused a clear mRNA modulation expression of the genes involved in cell cycle regulation and immune system. Over-expression could be related to DNA damage, disturbances in cell cycle continuity, probably a genotoxic effect, as well as an activation of its innate immune system as first line of defense. PMID:24825133

  12. Neuroprotective Effect of Non-viral Gene Therapy Treatment Based on Tetanus Toxin C-fragment in a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

    PubMed

    Oliván, Sara; Calvo, Ana C; Rando, Amaya; Herrando-Grabulosa, Mireia; Manzano, Raquel; Zaragoza, Pilar; Tizzano, Eduardo F; Aquilera, Jose; Osta, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary childhood disease that causes paralysis and progressive degeneration of skeletal muscles and spinal motor neurons. SMA is associated with reduced levels of full-length Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, due to mutations in the Survival of Motor Neuron 1 gene. Nowadays there are no effective therapies available to treat patients with SMA, so our aim was to test whether the non-toxic carboxy-terminal fragment of tetanus toxin heavy chain (TTC), which exhibits neurotrophic properties, might have a therapeutic role or benefit in SMA. In this manuscript, we have demonstrated that TTC enhance the SMN expression in motor neurons "in vitro" and evaluated the effect of intramuscular injection of TTC-encoding plasmid in the spinal cord and the skeletal muscle of SMNdelta7 mice. For this purpose, we studied the weight and the survival time, as well as, the survival and cell death pathways and muscular atrophy. Our results showed that TTC treatment reduced the expression of autophagy markers (Becn1, Atg5, Lc3, and p62) and pro-apoptotic genes such as Bax and Casp3 in spinal cord. In skeletal muscle, TTC was able to downregulate the expression of the main marker of autophagy, Lc3, to wild-type levels and the expression of the apoptosis effector protein, Casp3. Regarding the genes related to muscular atrophy (Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbox32, Mt2, Myod1, NogoA, Pax7, Rrad, and Sln), TTC suggest a compensatory effect for muscle damage response, diminished oxidative stress and modulated calcium homeostasis. These preliminary findings suggest the need for further experiments to depth study the effect of TTC in SMA disease. PMID:27605908

  13. High Specificity of a Quantitative PCR Assay Targeting a Saxitoxin Gene for Monitoring Toxic Algae Associated with Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in the Yellow Sea

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yan; Murray, Shauna A.; Chen, Jian-Hua; Kang, Zhen-Jun; Zhang, Qing-Chun; Kong, Fan-Zhou; Zhou, Ming-Jiang

    2015-01-01

    The identification of core genes involved in the biosynthesis of saxitoxin (STX) offers a great opportunity to detect toxic algae associated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PST). In the Yellow Sea (YS) in China, both toxic and nontoxic Alexandrium species are present, which makes it a difficult issue to specifically monitor PST-producing toxic algae. In this study, a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay targeting sxtA4, a domain in the sxt gene cluster that encodes a unique enzyme involved in STX biosynthesis, was applied to analyze samples collected from the YS in spring of 2012. The abundance of two toxic species within the Alexandrium tamarense species complex, i.e., A. fundyense and A. pacificum, was also determined with TaqMan-based qPCR assays, and PSTs in net-concentrated phytoplankton samples were analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a fluorescence detector. It was found that the distribution of the sxtA4 gene in the YS was consistent with the toxic algae and PSTs, and the quantitation results of sxtA4 correlated well with the abundance of the two toxic species (r = 0.857). These results suggested that the two toxic species were major PST producers during the sampling season and that sxtA-based qPCR is a promising method to detect toxic algae associated with PSTs in the YS. The correlation between PST levels and sxtA-based qPCR results, however, was less significant (r = 0.552), implying that sxtA-based qPCR is not accurate enough to reflect the toxicity of PST-producing toxic algae. The combination of an sxtA-based qPCR assay and chemical means might be a promising method for monitoring toxic algal blooms. PMID:26231652

  14. High Specificity of a Quantitative PCR Assay Targeting a Saxitoxin Gene for Monitoring Toxic Algae Associated with Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in the Yellow Sea.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yan; Yu, Ren-Cheng; Murray, Shauna A; Chen, Jian-Hua; Kang, Zhen-Jun; Zhang, Qing-Chun; Kong, Fan-Zhou; Zhou, Ming-Jiang

    2015-10-01

    The identification of core genes involved in the biosynthesis of saxitoxin (STX) offers a great opportunity to detect toxic algae associated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PST). In the Yellow Sea (YS) in China, both toxic and nontoxic Alexandrium species are present, which makes it a difficult issue to specifically monitor PST-producing toxic algae. In this study, a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay targeting sxtA4, a domain in the sxt gene cluster that encodes a unique enzyme involved in STX biosynthesis, was applied to analyze samples collected from the YS in spring of 2012. The abundance of two toxic species within the Alexandrium tamarense species complex, i.e., A. fundyense and A. pacificum, was also determined with TaqMan-based qPCR assays, and PSTs in net-concentrated phytoplankton samples were analyzed with high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with a fluorescence detector. It was found that the distribution of the sxtA4 gene in the YS was consistent with the toxic algae and PSTs, and the quantitation results of sxtA4 correlated well with the abundance of the two toxic species (r=0.857). These results suggested that the two toxic species were major PST producers during the sampling season and that sxtA-based qPCR is a promising method to detect toxic algae associated with PSTs in the YS. The correlation between PST levels and sxtA-based qPCR results, however, was less significant (r=0.552), implying that sxtA-based qPCR is not accurate enough to reflect the toxicity of PST-producing toxic algae. The combination of an sxtA-based qPCR assay and chemical means might be a promising method for monitoring toxic algal blooms. PMID:26231652

  15. Role of the RS1 sequence of the cholera vibrio in amplification of the segment of plasmid DNA carrying the gene of resistance to tetracycline and the genes of cholera toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Fil'kova, S.L.; Il'ina, T.S.; Gintsburg, A.L.; Yanishevskii, N.V.; Smirnov, G.B.

    1988-11-01

    The hybrid plasmid pCO107, representing cointegrate 14(2)-5(2) of two plasmids, an F-derivative (pOX38) and a PBR322-derivative (pCT105) with an RS1 sequence of the cholera vibrio cloned in its makeup, contains two copes of RS1 at the sites of union of the two plasmids. Using a tetracycline resistance marker (Tc/sup R/) of the plasmid pCT105, clones were isolated which have an elevated level of resistance to tetracycline (an increase of from 4- to 30-fold). Using restriction analysis and the Southern blot method of hybridization it was shown that the increase in the level of resistance of tetracycline is associated with the amplification of pCT105 portion of the cointegrate, and that the process of amplification is governed by the presence of direct repeats of the RS1 sequence at its ends. The increase in the number of copies of the pCT105 segment, which contains in its composition the genes of cholera toxin (vct), is accompanied by an increase in toxin production.

  16. Serotypes, Virulence Genes, and Intimin Types of Shiga Toxin (Verotoxin)-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Human Patients: Prevalence in Lugo, Spain, from 1992 through 1999

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, J. E.; Blanco, M.; Alonso, M. P.; Mora, A.; Dahbi, G.; Coira, M. A.; Blanco, J.

    2004-01-01

    We have analyzed the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in stool specimens of patients with diarrhea or other gastrointestinal alterations from the Xeral-Calde Hospital of Lugo City (Spain). STEC strains were detected in 126 (2.5%) of 5,054 cases investigated, with a progressive increase in the incidence from 0% in 1992 to 4.4% in 1999. STEC O157:H7 was isolated in 24 cases (0.5%), whereas non-O157 STEC strains were isolated from 87 patients (1.7%). STEC strains were (after Salmonella and Campylobacter strains) the third most frequently recovered enteropathogenic bacteria. A total of 126 human STEC isolates were characterized in this study. PCR showed that 43 (34%) isolates carried stx1 genes, 45 (36%) possessed stx2 genes and 38 (30%) carried both stx1 and stx2. A total of 88 (70%) isolates carried an ehxA enterohemolysin gene, and 70 (56%) isolates possessed an eae intimin gene (27 isolates with type γ1, 20 with type β1, 8 with type ζ, 5 with type γ2, and 3 with type ɛ). STEC isolates belonged to 41 O serogroups and 66 O:H serotypes, including 21 serotypes associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome and 30 new serotypes not previously reported among human STEC strains in other studies. Although the 126 STEC isolates belonged to 81 different seropathotypes (associations between serotypes and virulence genes), only four accounted for 31% of isolates. Seropathotype O157:H7 stx1 stx2 eae-γ1 ehxA was the most common (13 isolates) followed by O157:H7 stx2 eae-γ1 ehxA (11 isolates), O26:H11 stx1 eae-β1 ehxA (11 isolates), and O111:H- stx1 stx2 eae-γ2 ehxA (4 isolates). Our results suggest that STEC strains are a significant cause of human infections in Spain and confirm that in continental Europe, infections caused by STEC non-O157 strains are more common than those caused by O157:H7 isolates. The high prevalence of STEC strains (both O157:H7 and non-O157 strains) in human patients, and their association with serious complications

  17. Determination of adhesin gene sequences in, and biofilm formation by, O157 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli strains isolated from different sources.

    PubMed

    Biscola, Franciele Tafarello; Abe, Cecilia Mari; Guth, Beatriz Ernestina Cabilio

    2011-04-01

    Biofilm formation by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) has been associated with the expression of different adhesins (type 1 fimbria, curli, Ag43, Cah, and EhaA). In this study, biofilm formation and the presence of adhesin-related gene sequences were determined by PCR in 18 O157 strains and 33 non-O157 strains isolated from different sources (human, animal, food, and water). The expression of different adhesins was also assessed by reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), Congo red agar plates, and mannose-sensitive hemagglutination (MSHA) assay. Biofilm formation occurred in 5/18 (28%) O157 STEC strains and 17/33 (51%) non-O157 STEC strains from different serotypes and sources, when the assays were performed at 28°C for 48 h. Among the non-O157 biofilm-producing isolates, 12/17 (71%) expressed type 1 fimbriae and 11/17 (65%) expressed curli and produced cellulose, while 8/17 (47%) were considered to be Ag43(+) by RT-PCR. Among O157 strains, a close correlation was observed between biofilm formation and expression of curli and cellulose. In non-O157 strains, it seems that, in addition to the presence of curli, the ability to form biofilm is associated with the presence of other factors such as type 1 fimbriae and autotransporter proteins, which may contribute to the persistence of these organisms in the environment. PMID:21317257

  18. Expression profile of eight glutathione S-transferase genes in Crassostrea ariakensis after exposure to DSP toxins producing dinoflagellate Prorocentrum lima.

    PubMed

    Zou, Ying; Wei, Xiao-Meng; Weng, Hui-Wen; Li, Hong-Ye; Liu, Jie-Sheng; Yang, Wei-Dong

    2015-10-01

    In this study, changes in eight GSTs mRNA level including GST-α, GST-σ, GST-ω, GST-π, GST-μ, GST-ρ, GST-θ and microsomal GST (mGST) in the oyster Crassostrea ariakensis after exposure to Prorocentrum lima have been evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Additionally, the contents of five GST isoforms were detected by ELISA. After exposure to P. lima at density of 2 × 10(5) cells/L, mGST mRNA significantly increased in gill, while GST-σ was induced in digestive gland. After exposure to P. lima at density of 2 × 10(6) cells/L, GST-ω and mGST expressions increased in gill, whereas GST-α and GST-σ were induced in digestive gland. The GST content and activity in oysters exposed to P. lima also showed a different pattern when the different isoforms and organs were compared. After exposure to P. lima (2 × 10(6) cell/L), GST-π increased in gill but decreased in digestive gland. The total GST enzyme activity increased in gill, while remained unchanged in digestive gland. These various regulation of GST gene expressions indicated that the GSTs isoenzymes might play divergent physiological roles in the detoxification of DSP toxins in C. ariakensis. PMID:26335360

  19. The toxin and antidote puzzle

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Insects carry out essential ecological functions, such as pollination, but also cause extensive damage to agricultural crops and transmit human diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Advances in insect transgenesis are making it increasingly feasible to engineer genes conferring desirable phenotypes, and gene drive systems are required to spread these genes into wild populations. Medea provides one solution, being able to spread into a population from very low initial frequencies through the action of a maternally-expressed toxin linked to a zygotically-expressed antidote. Several other toxin-antidote combinations are imaginable that distort the offspring ratio in favor of a desired transgene, or drive the population towards an all-male crash. We explore two such systems—Semele, which is capable of spreading a desired transgene into an isolated population in a confined manner; and Merea, which is capable of inducing a local population crash when located on the Z chromosome of a Lepidopteron pest. PMID:21876382

  20. Multiplex Real-Time PCR Assays for Screening of Shiga Toxin 1 and 2 Genes, Including All Known Subtypes, and Escherichia coli O26-, O111-, and O157-Specific Genes in Beef and Sprout Enrichment Cultures.

    PubMed

    Harada, Tetsuya; Iguchi, Atsushi; Iyoda, Sunao; Seto, Kazuko; Taguchi, Masumi; Kumeda, Yuko

    2015-10-01

    Shiga toxin family members have recently been classified using a new nomenclature into three Stx1 subtypes (Stx1a, Stx1c, and Stx1d) and seven Stx2 subtypes (Stx2a, Stx2b, Stx2c, Stx2d, Stx2e, Stx2f, and Stx2g). To develop screening methods for Stx genes, including all of these subtype genes, and Escherichia coli O26-, O111-, and O157-specific genes in laboratory investigations of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) foodborne cases, we developed multiplex real-time PCR assays and evaluated their specificity and quantitative accuracy using STEC and non-STEC isolates, recombinant plasmids, and food enrichment cultures and by performing STEC spiking experiments with beef and sprout enrichment cultures. In addition, we evaluated the relationship between the recovery rates of the target strains by direct plating and immunomagnetic separation and the cycle threshold (CT) values of the real-time PCR assays for the Stx subtypes and STEC O26, O111, and O157 serogroups. All three stx1- and seven stx2-subtype genes were detected by real-time PCR with high sensitivity and specificity, and the quantitative accuracy of this assay was confirmed using control plasmids and STEC spiking experiments. The results of the STEC spiking experiments suggest that it is not routinely possible to isolate STEC from enrichment cultures with real-time PCR CT values greater than 30 by direct plating on MacConkey agar, although highly selective media and immunomagnetic beads were able to isolate the inoculated strains from the enrichment cultures. These data suggest that CT values obtained from the highly quantitative real-time PCR assays developed in this study provide useful information to develop effective isolation strategies for STEC from food samples. The real-time PCR assays developed here are expected to aid in investigations of infections or outbreaks caused by STEC harboring any of the stx-subtype genes in the new Stx nomenclature, as well as STEC O26, O111, and O157. PMID:26408128

  1. Species diversity and peptide toxins blocking selectivity of ether-a-go-go-related gene subfamily K+ channels in the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Restano-Cassulini, Rita; Korolkova, Yuliya V; Diochot, Sylvie; Gurrola, Georgina; Guasti, Leonardo; Possani, Lourival D; Lazdunski, Michel; Grishin, Eugene V; Arcangeli, Annarosa; Wanke, Enzo

    2006-05-01

    The ether-à-go-go-related gene (erg) K+ channels are known to be crucial for life in Caenorhabditis elegans (mating), Drosophila melanogaster (seizure), and humans (LQT syndrome). The erg genes known to date (erg1, erg2, and erg3) are highly expressed in various areas of the rat and mouse central nervous system (CNS), and ERG channel blockers alter firing accommodation. To assign physiological roles to each isoform, it is necessary to design pharmacological strategies to distinguish individual currents. To this purpose, we have investigated the blocking properties of specific peptide inhibitors of hERG1 channels on the human and rat isoforms. In particular, we have tested ErgTx1 (from the scorpion Centruroides noxious), BeKm-1 (from the scorpion Buthus eupeus), and APETx1 (from the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima). Because these peptides had different species-specific effects on the six different channels, we have also carried out a biophysical characterization of hERG2 and hERG3 channels that turned out to be different from the rat homologs. It emerged that APETx1 is exquisitely selective for ERG1 and does not compete with the other two toxins. BeKm-1 discriminates well among the three rat members. ErgTx1 is unable to block hERG2, but blocks rERG2 and has the lowest KD for hERG3. BeKm-1 and ErgTx1 compete for hERG3 but not for rERG2 blockade. Our findings should be helpful for structure-function studies and for novel CNS ERG-specific drug design. PMID:16497878

  2. Biofilm Formation, Virulence Gene Profiles, and Antimicrobial Resistance of Nine Serogroups of Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiaying; Stanford, Kim; McAllister, Tim A; Johnson, Roger P; Chen, Jinding; Hou, Hongman; Zhang, Gongliang; Niu, Yan D

    2016-06-01

    The objectives of this study were to characterize the phenotype and genotype of 36 non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains isolated from humans, ovines, or bovines, including the top 6 (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) and three other serogroups implicated in serious illness (O91, O113, and O128). Biofilms were formed by all strains with intermediate to strong biofilm producers (n = 24) more common at 22°C than at 37°C (p < 0.001) and 48 and 72 h (p < 0.001) than 24 h of incubation time. Biofilm-forming potential differed by serogroup and origin with O113 and human strains exhibiting the highest potential (p < 0.001). Biofilm-associated genes, csgA/csgD/crl/fimH (100%), flu (94%), rpoS (92%), ehaA(α) (89%), and cah (72%), were most prevalent, while mlrA (22%) and ehaA(β) (14%) were least prevalent, although there was no clear compliment of genes associated with strains exhibiting the greatest biofilm-forming capacity. Among 12 virulence genes screened, iha and ehxA were present in 92% of the strains. The occurrence of stx1 in the top 6 serogroups (8/12, 67%) did not differ (p = 0.8) from other serogroups (17/24, 71%), but stx2 was less likely (confidence interval [CI] = 0.14-1.12; p = 0.04) to be in the former (9/24, 38%) than the latter (9/12, 75%). Excluding serogroups, O91 and O121, at least one strain per serogroup was resistant to between three and six antimicrobials. Streptomycin (31%), sulfisoxazole (31%), and tetracycline (25%) resistance was most common and was 35-50% less likely (p < 0.05) in human than animal strains. All non-O157 STEC strains were able to form biofilms on an abiotic surface, with some exhibiting resistance to multiple antimicrobials. Potential as a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes may be another hazard of biofilms in food-processing plants. As a result, future strategies to control these pathogens may include measures to prevent biofilms. PMID:27023165

  3. Staphylococcus aureus toxins--their functions and genetics.

    PubMed

    Grumann, Dorothee; Nübel, Ulrich; Bröker, Barbara M

    2014-01-01

    The outcome of encounters between Staphylococcus (S.) aureus and its human host ranges from life-threatening infection through allergic reactions to symptom-free colonization. The pan-genome of this bacterial species encodes numerous toxins, known or strongly suspected to cause specific diseases or symptoms. Three toxin families are in the focus of this review, namely (i) pore-forming toxins, (ii) exfoliative toxins and (iii) superantigens. The majority of toxin-encoding genes are located on mobile genetic elements (MGEs), resulting in a pronounced heterogeneity in the endowment with toxin genes of individual S. aureus strains. Recent population genomic analysis have provided a framework for an improved understanding of the temporal and spatial scales of the motility of MGEs and their associated toxin genes. The distribution of toxin genes among clonal lineages within the species S. aureus is not random, and phylogenetic (sub-)lineages within clonal complexes feature characteristic toxin signatures. When studying pathogenesis, this lineage association, which is caused by the clonal nature of S. aureus makes it difficult to discriminate effects of specific toxins from contributions of the genetic background and/or other associated genetic factors. PMID:23541411

  4. DNA topology affects transcriptional regulation of the pertussis toxin gene of Bordetella pertussis in Escherichia coli and in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Scarlato, V; Aricò, B; Rappuoli, R

    1993-01-01

    The bvg locus of Bordetella pertussis encodes an environmentally inducible operon essential for the expression of virulence genes. We show that in Escherichia coli, the PTOX promoter cloned in cis of the bvg locus is activated and environmentally regulated. Cotransformation of E. coli with the bvg locus cloned in a low-copy-number plasmid and with the PTOX promoter cloned in a high-copy-number plasmid can give rise to two different results. If the PTOX promoter is cloned in the pGem-3 vector, transcription is absent. If the PTOX promoter is cloned in the plasmid pKK232, containing the PTOX promoter between two ribosomal gene terminators of transcription, transcription occurs, although regulation of transcription is abolished. Under these conditions, the intracellular amount of RNA transcripts is increased by adding to the culture medium novobiocin, an inhibitor of bacterial gyrases. In vitro, the transcription of the PTOX promoter is activated on E. coli RNA polymerase supplemented with cell extracts from wild-type B. pertussis. Addition of DNA gyrase to the mixture dramatically reduces the amount of RNA synthesized. Our data show that the products of the bvg locus, BvgA and BvgS, are directly involved in the regulation of the PTOX promoter in E. coli and that DNA topology may play a role in the induction of transcription. Images PMID:8393006

  5. Biologically active A-chain of the plant toxin ricin expressed from a synthetic gene in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Shire, D; Bourrié, B J; Carillon, C; Derocq, J M; Dousset, P; Dumont, X; Jansen, F K; Kaghad, M; Legoux, R; Lelong, P

    1990-09-14

    To assess the biological activity and pharmacokinetic properties of nonglycosylated ricin A-chain (RA), we have obtained the polypeptide following expression of a synthetic 842-bp RA gene in Escherichia coli. Expression of the gene was carried out using the phage T5 PN25 promoter fused to the E. coli lac operator. The RA polypeptide was synthesized in a completely soluble form and was purified in one step by immunoabsorption. It was shown to be as cytotoxic for a human cell line as both native RA and chemically deglycosylated native RA. Reconstituted whole ricin and an immunotoxin containing the recombinant RA were also biologically active. Immunotoxins made with recombinant and deglycosylated RA had similar clearance rates in vivo showing, after a short period of rapid elimination, stabilities far higher than that of an immunotoxin made with native RA. Our results show that the complete elimination of sugar side chains from the RA is not sufficient to entirely eradicate the rapid initial in vivo clearance of RA-based biologicals. PMID:2227433

  6. Shiga Toxin: Expression, Distribution, and Its Role in the Environment

    PubMed Central

    Mauro, Steven A.; Koudelka, Gerald B.

    2011-01-01

    In this review, we highlight recent work that has increased our understanding of the production and distribution of Shiga toxin in the environment. Specifically, we review studies that offer an expanded view of environmental reservoirs for Shiga toxin producing microbes in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We then relate the abundance of Shiga toxin in the environment to work that demonstrates that the genetic mechanisms underlying the production of Shiga toxin genes are modified and embellished beyond the classical microbial gene regulatory paradigms in a manner that apparently “fine tunes” the trigger to modulate the amount of toxin produced. Last, we highlight several recent studies examining microbe/protist interactions that postulate an answer to the outstanding question of why microbes might harbor and express Shiga toxin genes in the environment. PMID:22069728

  7. *CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are naturally-occurring contaminants of surface waters worldwide. These photosynthesizing prokaryotes thrive in warm, shallow, nutrient-rich waters. Many produce potent toxins as secondary metabolites. Cyanobacteria toxins have been document...

  8. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox-larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography-guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy-guided botulinum toxin Treatment; ...

  9. Stool C. difficile toxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003590.htm Stool C. difficile toxin To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The stool C. difficile toxin test detects harmful substances produced by ...

  10. Botox (Botulinum Toxin)

    MedlinePlus

    ... people when there are many effective and safe cosmetic procedures that can temporarily reduce a very prominent ... form of botulinum toxin is Type A (Botox® Cosmetic, Allergan, Inc). Botulinum toxin, what we will now ...

  11. Evaluation of 3 automated real-time PCR (Xpert C. difficile assay, BD MAX Cdiff, and IMDx C. difficile for Abbott m2000 assay) for detecting Clostridium difficile toxin gene compared to toxigenic culture in stool specimens.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Jaeeun; Lee, Hyeyoung; Park, Kang Gyun; Lee, Gun Dong; Park, Yong Gyu; Park, Yeon-Joon

    2015-09-01

    We evaluated the performance of the 3 automated systems (Cepheid Xpert, BD MAX, and IMDx C. difficile for Abbott m2000) detecting Clostridium difficile toxin gene compared to toxigenic culture. Of the 254 stool specimens tested, 87 (48 slight, 35 moderate, and 4 heavy growth) were toxigenic culture positive. The overall sensitivities and specificities were 82.8% and 98.8% for Xpert, 81.6% and 95.8% for BD MAX, and 62.1% and 99.4% for IMDx, respectively. The specificity was significantly higher in IMDx than BD MAX (P= 0.03). All stool samples underwent toxin A/B enzyme immunoassay testing, and of the 254 samples, only 29 samples were positive and 2 of them were toxigenic culture negative. Considering the rapidity and high specificity of the real-time PCR assays compared to the toxigenic culture, they can be used as the first test method for C. difficile infection/colonization. PMID:26081240

  12. Detection of New Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clones Containing the Toxic Shock Syndrome Toxin 1 Gene Responsible for Hospital- and Community-Acquired Infections in France

    PubMed Central

    Durand, Geraldine; Bes, Michèle; Meugnier, Helene; Enright, Mark C.; Forey, Françoise; Liassine, Nadia; Wenger, Aline; Kikuchi, Ken; Lina, Gerard; Vandenesch, François; Etienne, Jerome

    2006-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clones harboring the toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (tst) gene have been detected in France and in Switzerland since 2002. During a passive survey conducted between 2002 and 2003, we collected 103 tst-positive S. aureus isolates from 42 towns in France, of which 27 were resistant to methicillin. The tst-positive MRSA belonged to two clones: a major clone comprising 25 isolates of sequence type (ST) 5 and agr group 2 and a minor clone comprising two isolates of ST30 and agr3. The tst-positive MRSA clones were associated with both hospital-acquired (12 cases) and community-acquired (8 cases) infections. The MRSA clones were mainly isolated from children (overall median age, 3 years). They caused a variety of clinical syndromes, including toxic shock syndrome and suppurative infections. Both clones were found to harbor a type IV staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) and to have similar antibiotic resistance profiles (usually resistant to oxacillin, kanamycin, and tobramycin and with intermediate resistance to fusidic acid). The origin of these clones is unclear. The tst-positive agr2 MRSA clone has the same sequence type (ST5) of two pandemic nosocomial MRSA clones, namely, the Pediatric clone and the New York/Japan clone. These findings suggest that all these clones are phylogenetically related. The pulsotype of the tst-positive MRSA clones differed from that of methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) clones by a single band involving the SCCmec element. These findings suggest that the tst-positive MRSA clones may have emerged from their respective MSSA counterparts. PMID:16517865

  13. Detection of Protein Toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We have focused on ricin, shiga-like toxin, botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), and staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), developing sensitive test methods for toxins and marker compounds in food matrices. Although animal models provide the best means for risk assessment, especially for crude toxins in compl...

  14. Characterization of toxin plasmids in Clostridium perfringens type C isolates.

    PubMed

    Gurjar, Abhijit; Li, Jihong; McClane, Bruce A

    2010-11-01

    Clostridium perfringens type C isolates cause enteritis necroticans in humans or necrotizing enteritis and enterotoxemia in domestic animals. Type C isolates always produce alpha toxin and beta toxin but often produce additional toxins, e.g., beta2 toxin or enterotoxin. Since plasmid carriage of toxin-encoding genes has not been systematically investigated for type C isolates, the current study used Southern blot hybridization of pulsed-field gels to test whether several toxin genes are plasmid borne among a collection of type C isolates. Those analyses revealed that the surveyed type C isolates carry their beta toxin-encoding gene (cpb) on plasmids ranging in size from ∼65 to ∼110 kb. When present in these type C isolates, the beta2 toxin gene localized to plasmids distinct from the cpb plasmid. However, some enterotoxin-positive type C isolates appeared to carry their enterotoxin-encoding cpe gene on a cpb plasmid. The tpeL gene encoding the large clostridial cytotoxin was localized to the cpb plasmids of some cpe-negative type C isolates. The cpb plasmids in most surveyed isolates were found to carry both IS1151 sequences and the tcp genes, which can mediate conjugative C. perfringens plasmid transfer. A dcm gene, which is often present near C. perfringens plasmid-borne toxin genes, was identified upstream of the cpb gene in many type C isolates. Overlapping PCR analyses suggested that the toxin-encoding plasmids of the surveyed type C isolates differ from the cpe plasmids of type A isolates. These findings provide new insight into plasmids of proven or potential importance for type C virulence. PMID:20823204

  15. Clonal spread of catalase-negative ST5/SCCmec II Staphylococcus aureus carrying the staphylococcal enterotoxin A (sea), staphylococcal enterotoxin b (seb), and toxic shock toxin (tst) virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hae Kyung; Kim, Jung-Beom; Kim, Hyunjung; Jekarl, Dong Wook; Kim, Yang Ree; Yu, Jin Kyung; Park, Yeon-Joon

    2014-01-01

    17 catalase-negative methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates were recovered from respiratory specimens of patients at a 700-bed hospital in Korea. The goal of this study was to determine the molecular characteristics of catalase-negative MRSA strains in Korea for the first time. Characteristics that we explored included kat A gene mutation sequence, sequence type, staphylococcal cassette chromosome (SCC) mec subtype classification, and toxin gene profiles. All 17 isolates showed similar pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern. Four mutations were identified in the kat A gene of a representative catalase-negative MRSA strain: A602G causing a histidine 201 to arginine change, A695T causing a glutamic acid 232 to valine change, T778A causing a tryptophan 260 to arginine change, and G1438A causing a glycine 480 to serine change. Previous studies suggest that the A695T and T778A mutations may have strong effects on the catalase activity of catalase-negative MRSA. The sequence type (ST) and SCCmec type of this isolate were ST 5 and SCCmec type II, respectively. All 17 isolates harbored toxic shock toxin (tst), staphylococcal enterotoxin A (sea), and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (seb) virulence genes. The mortality rate of the present study was 11.8%, suggesting that the clinical relevance of catalase-negative MRSA requires further study in the future. PMID:25361922

  16. Construction, expression and characterization of chimaeric toxins containing the ribonucleolytic toxin restrictocin: intracellular mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Rathore, D; Batra, J K

    1997-06-15

    Restrictocin is a ribonucleolytic toxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus restrictus. Two chimaeric toxins containing restrictocin directed at the human transferrin receptor have been constructed. Anti-TFR(scFv)-restrictocin is encoded by a gene produced by fusing the DNA encoding a single-chain antigen-combining region (scFv) of a monoclonal antibody, directed at the human transferrin receptor, at the 5' end of that encoding restrictocin. The other chimaeric toxin, restrictocin-anti-TFR(scFv), is encoded by a gene fusion containing the DNA encoding the single-chain antigen-combining region of antibody to human transferrin receptor at the 3' end of the DNA encoding restrictocin. These gene fusions were expressed in Escherichia coli, and fusion proteins purified from the inclusion bodies by simple chromatography techniques to near-homogeneity. The two chimaeric toxins were found to be equally active in inhibiting protein synthesis in a cell-free in vitro translation assay system. The chimaeric toxins were selectively toxic to the target cells in culture with potent cytotoxic activities. However, restrictocin-anti-TFR(scFv) was more active than anti-TFR(scFv)-restrictocin on all cell lines studied. By using protease and metabolic inhibitors, it can be shown that, to manifest their cytotoxic activity, the restrictocin-containing chimaeric toxins need to be proteolytically processed intracellularly and the free toxin or a fragment thereof thus generated is translocated to the target via a route involving the Golgi apparatus. PMID:9210405

  17. Inhibition of maize histone deacetylases by HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of Cochliobolus carbonum.

    PubMed Central

    Brosch, G; Ransom, R; Lechner, T; Walton, J D; Loidl, P

    1995-01-01

    HC toxin, the host-selective toxin of the maize pathogen Cochliobolus carbonum, inhibited maize histone deacetylase (HD) at 2 microM. Chlamydocin, a related cyclic tetrapeptide, also inhibited HD activity. The toxins did not affect histone acetyltransferases. After partial purification of histone deacetylases HD1-A, HD1-B, and HD2 from germinating maize embryos, we demonstrated that the different enzymes were similarly inhibited by the toxins. Inhibitory activities were reversibly eliminated by treating toxins with 2-mercaptoethanol, presumably by modifying the carbonyl group of the epoxide-containing amino acid Aeo (2-amino-9,10-epoxy-8-oxodecanoic acid). Kinetic studies revealed that inhibition of HD was of the uncompetitive type and reversible. HC toxin, in which the epoxide group had been hydrolyzed, completely lost its inhibitory activity; when the carbonyl group of Aeo had been reduced to the corresponding alcohol, the modified toxin was less active than native toxin. In vivo treatment of embryos with HC toxin caused the accumulation of highly acetylated histone H4 subspecies and elevated acetate incorporation into H4 in susceptible-genotype embryos but not in the resistant genotype. HDs from chicken and the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum were also inhibited, indicating that the host selectivity of HC toxin is not determined by its inhibitory effect on HD. Consistent with these results, we propose a model in which HC toxin promotes the establishment of pathogenic compatibility between C. carbonum and maize by interfering with reversible histone acetylation, which is implicated in the control of fundamental cellular processes, such as chromatin structure, cell cycle progression, and gene expression. PMID:8535144

  18. Genome-Wide Analysis of Oceanimonas sp. GK1 Isolated from Gavkhouni Wetland (Iran) Demonstrates Presence of Genes for Virulence and Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Parsa Yeganeh, Laleh; Azarbaijani, Reza; Mousavi, Hossein; Shahzadeh Fazeli, Seyed Abolhassan; Amoozgar, Mohammad Ali; Salekdeh, Ghasem Hosseini

    2015-01-01

    Objective The bacterium Oceanimonas sp. (O. sp.) GK1 is a member of the Aeromonadaceae family and its genome represents several virulence genes involved in fish and human pathogenicity. In this original research study we aimed to identify and characterize the putative virulence factors and pathogenicity of this halotolerant marine bacterium using genome wide analysis. Materials and Methods The genome data of O. sp. GK1 was obtained from NCBI. Comparative genomic study was done using MetaCyc database. Results Whole genome data analysis of the O. sp. GK1 revealed that the bacterium possesses some important virulence genes (e.g. ZOT, RTX toxin, thermostable hemolysin, lateral flagella and type IV pili) which have been implicated in adhesion and biofilm formation and infection in some other pathogenic bacteria. Conclusion This is the first report of the putative pathogenicity of O. sp.GK1. The genome wide analysis of the bacterium demonstrates the presence of virulence genes causing infectious diseases in many warmand cold-blooded animals. PMID:26464816

  19. Verification of the Usefulness of the Trimble Rtx Extended Satellite Technology with the Xfill Function in the Local Network Implementing Rtk Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siejka, Zbigniew

    2014-12-01

    The paper presents the method of satellite measurements, which gives users the ability of GNSS continuous precise positioning in real time, even in the case of short interruptions in receiving the correction of the local ground system of measurements support. The proposed method is a combination of two satellite positioning technologies RTN GNSS and RTX Extended. In technology RTX Extended the xFill function was used for precise positioning in real time and in the local reference system. This function provides the ability to perform measurement without the need for constant communication with the ground support satellite system. Test measurements were performed on a test basis located in Krakow, and RTN GNSS positioning was done based on the national network of reference stations of the ASGEUPOS. The solution allows for short (up to 5 minutes) interruptions in radio or internet communication. When the primary stream of RTN correction is not available, then the global corrections Trimble xFill broadcasted by satellite are used. The new technology uses in the real-time data from the global network of tracking stations and contributes significantly to improving the quality and efficiency of surveying works. At present according to the authors, technology Trimble CenterPoint RTX can guarantee repeatability of measurements not worse than 3.8 cm (Trimble Survey Division, 2012). In the paper the comparative analysis of measurement results between the two technologies was performed: RTN carried out in the classic way, which was based on the corrections of the terrestrial local network of the Polish system of active geodetic network (ASG-EUPOS) and RTK xFill technology. The results were related to the data of test network, established as error free. The research gave satisfactory results and confirmed the great potential of the use of the new technology in the geodetic work realization. By combining these two technologies of GNSS surveying the user can greatly improve the

  20. Antibodies to Aqx toxin of Actinobacillus equuli in horses and foals.

    PubMed

    Berthoud, H; Frey, J; Sternberg, S; Straub, R; Kuhnert, P

    2004-08-21

    Actinobacillus equuli is found in the normal oral flora of horses, but has been associated with several diseases, and particularly with the usually fatal septicaemia in neonatal foals which is thought to be associated with a failure of the passive transfer of immunoglobulins via the colostrum. The Aqx protein of A equuli, belonging to the RTX family of pore-forming toxins, is also cytotoxic to horse lymphocytes. The presence of antibodies to Aqx was investigated in sera from individual horses from different regions; the sera from adult horses and foals 24 hours after birth reacted with Aqx, and sera from foals sampled shortly after an intake of colostrum also reacted with Aqx, but sera from foals taken before an intake of colostrum did not react with Aqx. PMID:15384504

  1. Toxin-Deficient Mutants from a Toxin-Sensitive Transformant of Cochliobolus Heterostrophus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, G.; Turgeon, B. G.; Yoder, O. C.

    1994-01-01

    Tox1 is the only genetic element identified which controls production of T-toxin, a linear polyketide involved in the virulence of Cochliobolus heterostrophus to its host plant, corn. Previous attempts to induce toxin-deficient (Tox(-)) mutants, using conventional mutagenesis and screening procedures, have been unsuccessful. As a strategy to enrich for Tox(-) mutants, we constructed a Tox1(+) strain that carried the corn T-urf13 gene (which confers T-toxin sensitivity) fused to a fungal mitochondrial signal sequence; the fusion was under control of the inducible Aspergillus nidulans pelA promoter which, in both A. nidulans and C. heterostrophus, is repressed by glucose and induced by polygalacturonic acid (PGA). We expected that a transformant carrying this construction would be sensitive to its own toxin when the T-urf13 gene was expressed. Indeed, the strain grew normally on medium containing glucose but was inhibited on medium containing PGA. Conidia of this strain were treated with ethylmethanesulfonate and plated on PGA medium. Among 362 survivors, 9 were defective in T-toxin production. Authenticity of each mutant was established by the presence of the transformation vector, proper mating type, and a restiction fragment length polymorphism tightly linked to the Tox1(+) locus. Progeny of each mutant crossed to a Tox1(+) tester segregated 1:1 (for wild type toxin production vs. no or reduced toxin production), indicating a single gene mutation in each case. Progeny of each mutant crossed to a Tox1(-) tester segregated 1 : 1 (for no toxin production vs. no or reduced toxin production) indicating that each mutation mapped at the Tox1 locus. Availability of Tox(-) mutants will permit mapping in the Tox1 region without interference from a known Tox1 linked translocation breakpoint. PMID:8088521

  2. Serotypes, virulence genes and intimin types of Shiga toxin (verocytotoxin)-producing Escherichia coli isolates from minced beef in Lugo (Spain) from 1995 through 2003

    PubMed Central

    Mora, Azucena; Blanco, Miguel; Blanco, Jesús E; Dahbi, Ghizlane; López, Cecilia; Justel, Paula; Alonso, María Pilar; Echeita, Aurora; Bernárdez, María Isabel; González, Enrique A; Blanco, Jorge

    2007-01-01

    Background Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have emerged as pathogens that can cause food-borne infections and severe and potentially fatal illnesses in humans, such as haemorrhagic colitis (HC) and haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). In Spain, like in many other countries, STEC strains have been frequently isolated from ruminants, and represent a significant cause of sporadic cases of human infection. In view of the lack of data on STEC isolated from food in Spain, the objectives of this study were to determine the level of microbiological contamination and the prevalence of STEC O157:H7 and non-O157 in a large sampling of minced beef collected from 30 local stores in Lugo city between 1995 and 2003. Also to establish if those STEC isolated from food possessed the same virulence profiles as STEC strains causing human infections. Results STEC were detected in 95 (12%) of the 785 minced beef samples tested. STEC O157:H7 was isolated from eight (1.0%) samples and non-O157 STEC from 90 (11%) samples. Ninety-six STEC isolates were further characterized by PCR and serotyping. PCR showed that 28 (29%) isolates carried stx1 genes, 49 (51%) possessed stx2 genes, and 19 (20%) both stx1 and stx2. Enterohemolysin (ehxA) and intimin (eae) virulence genes were detected in 43 (45%) and in 25 (26%) of the isolates, respectively. Typing of the eae variants detected four types: γ1 (nine isolates), β1 (eight isolates), ε1 (three isolates), and θ (two isolates). The majority (68%) of STEC isolates belonged to serotypes previously detected in human STEC and 38% to serotypes associated with STEC isolated from patients with HUS. Ten new serotypes not previously described in raw beef products were also detected. The highly virulent seropathotypes O26:H11 stx1 eae-β1, O157:H7 stx1stx2 eae-γ1 and O157:H7 stx2eae-γ1, which are the most frequently observed among STEC causing human infections in Spain, were detected in 10 of the 96 STEC isolates. Furthermore, phage typing

  3. Serotypes, Virulence Genes, and Intimin Types of Shiga Toxin (Verotoxin)-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates from Cattle in Spain and Identification of a New Intimin Variant Gene (eae-ξ)

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, M.; Blanco, J. E.; Mora, A.; Dahbi, G.; Alonso, M. P.; González, E. A.; Bernárdez, M. I.; Blanco, J.

    2004-01-01

    A total of 514 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) isolates from diarrheic and healthy cattle in Spain were characterized in this study. PCR showed that 101 (20%) isolates carried stx1 genes, 278 (54%) possessed stx2 genes, and 135 (26%) possessed both stx1 and stx2. Enterohemolysin (ehxA) and intimin (eae) virulence genes were detected in 326 (63%) and in 151 (29%) of the isolates, respectively. STEC isolates belonged to 66 O serogroups and 113 O:H serotypes (including 23 new serotypes). However, 67% were of one of these 15 serogroups (O2, O4, O8, O20, O22, O26, O77, O91, O105, O113, O116, O157, O171, O174, and OX177) and 52% of the isolates belonged to only 10 serotypes (O4:H4, O20:H19, O22:H8, O26:H11, O77:H41, O105:H18, O113:H21, O157:H7, O171:H2, and ONT:H19). Although the 514 STEC isolates belonged to 164 different seropathotypes (associations between serotypes and virulence genes), only 12 accounted for 43% of isolates. Seropathotype O157:H7 stx2 eae-γ1 ehxA (46 isolates) was the most common, followed by O157:H7 stx1 stx2 eae-γ1 ehxA (34 isolates), O113:H21 stx2 (25 isolates), O22:H8 stx1 stx2 ehxA (15 isolates), O26:H11 stx1 eae-β1 ehxA (14 isolates), and O77:H41 stx2 ehxA (14 isolates). Forty-one (22 of serotype O26:H11) isolates had intimin β1, 82 O157:H7 isolates possessed intimin γ1, three O111:H- isolates had intimin type γ2, one O49:H- strain showed intimin type δ, 13 (six of serotype O103:H2) isolates had intimin type ɛ and eight (four of serotype O156:H-) isolates had intimin ζ. We have identified a new variant of the eae intimin gene designated ξ (xi) in two isolates of serotype O80:H-. The majority (85%) of bovine STEC isolates belonged to serotypes previously found for human STEC organisms and 54% to serotypes associated with STEC organisms isolated from patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome. Thus, this study confirms that cattle are a major reservoir of STEC strains pathogenic for humans. PMID:14766831

  4. Sea Anemone (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria) Toxins: An Overview

    PubMed Central

    Frazão, Bárbara; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-01-01

    The Cnidaria phylum includes organisms that are among the most venomous animals. The Anthozoa class includes sea anemones, hard corals, soft corals and sea pens. The composition of cnidarian venoms is not known in detail, but they appear to contain a variety of compounds. Currently around 250 of those compounds have been identified (peptides, proteins, enzymes and proteinase inhibitors) and non-proteinaceous substances (purines, quaternary ammonium compounds, biogenic amines and betaines), but very few genes encoding toxins were described and only a few related protein three-dimensional structures are available. Toxins are used for prey acquisition, but also to deter potential predators (with neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity effects) and even to fight territorial disputes. Cnidaria toxins have been identified on the nematocysts located on the tentacles, acrorhagi and acontia, and in the mucous coat that covers the animal body. Sea anemone toxins comprise mainly proteins and peptides that are cytolytic or neurotoxic with its potency varying with the structure and site of action and are efficient in targeting different animals, such as insects, crustaceans and vertebrates. Sea anemones toxins include voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels toxins, acid-sensing ion channel toxins, Cytolysins, toxins with Kunitz-type protease inhibitors activity and toxins with Phospholipase A2 activity. In this review we assessed the phylogentic relationships of sea anemone toxins, characterized such toxins, the genes encoding them and the toxins three-dimensional structures, further providing a state-of-the-art description of the procedures involved in the isolation and purification of bioactive toxins. PMID:23015776

  5. Sea anemone (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, Actiniaria) toxins: an overview.

    PubMed

    Frazão, Bárbara; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-08-01

    The Cnidaria phylum includes organisms that are among the most venomous animals. The Anthozoa class includes sea anemones, hard corals, soft corals and sea pens. The composition of cnidarian venoms is not known in detail, but they appear to contain a variety of compounds. Currently around 250 of those compounds have been identified (peptides, proteins, enzymes and proteinase inhibitors) and non-proteinaceous substances (purines, quaternary ammonium compounds, biogenic amines and betaines), but very few genes encoding toxins were described and only a few related protein three-dimensional structures are available. Toxins are used for prey acquisition, but also to deter potential predators (with neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity effects) and even to fight territorial disputes. Cnidaria toxins have been identified on the nematocysts located on the tentacles, acrorhagi and acontia, and in the mucous coat that covers the animal body. Sea anemone toxins comprise mainly proteins and peptides that are cytolytic or neurotoxic with its potency varying with the structure and site of action and are efficient in targeting different animals, such as insects, crustaceans and vertebrates. Sea anemones toxins include voltage-gated Na⁺ and K⁺ channels toxins, acid-sensing ion channel toxins, Cytolysins, toxins with Kunitz-type protease inhibitors activity and toxins with Phospholipase A2 activity. In this review we assessed the phylogentic relationships of sea anemone toxins, characterized such toxins, the genes encoding them and the toxins three-dimensional structures, further providing a state-of-the-art description of the procedures involved in the isolation and purification of bioactive toxins. PMID:23015776

  6. Regulation of Toxin Production in Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru

    2016-01-01

    The Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium Clostridium perfringens is widely distributed in nature, especially in soil and the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. C. perfringens causes gas gangrene and food poisoning, and it produces extracellular enzymes and toxins that are thought to act synergistically and contribute to its pathogenesis. A complicated regulatory network of toxin genes has been reported that includes a two-component system for regulatory RNA and cell-cell communication. It is necessary to clarify the global regulatory system of these genes in order to understand and treat the virulence of C. perfringens. We summarize the existing knowledge about the regulatory mechanisms here. PMID:27399773

  7. [Intoxication of botulinum toxin].

    PubMed

    Chudzicka, Aleksandra

    2015-09-01

    Botulinum toxin is an egzotoxin produced by Gram positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum. It is among the most potent toxins known. The 3 main clinical presentations of botulism are as follows: foodborne botulism, infant botulism and wound botulism. The main symptom of intoxication is flat muscles paralysis. The treatment is supportive care and administration of antitoxin. In prevention the correct preparing of canned food is most important. Botulinum toxin is accepted as a biological weapon. PMID:26449577

  8. Botulinum toxin injection - larynx

    MedlinePlus

    Injection laryngoplasty; Botox-larynx: spasmodic dysphonia-BTX; Essential voice tremor (EVT)-btx; Glottic insufficiency; Percutaneous electromyography-guided botulinum toxin treatment; Percutaneous indirect laryngoscopy- ...

  9. Comparative validation study to demonstrate the equivalence of a minor modification to AOAC Official Method 2005.05 Assurance GDS shiga Toxin Genes (O157) method to the reference culture method: 375 gram sample size.

    PubMed

    Feldsine, Philip T; Montgomery-Fullerton, Megan; Roa, Nerie; Kaur, Mandeep; Kerr, David E; Lienau, Andrew H; Jucker, Markus

    2013-01-01

    The Assurance GDS Shiga Toxin Genes (0157), AOAC Official MethodsM 2005.05, has been modified to include a larger sample size of 375 g. A methods comparison study was conducted to demonstrate the equivalence of this modification to the reference culture method. Ninety samples and controls, representing three foods, were analyzed. Results show no statistically detectable difference between the Assurance GDS Escherichia coli O157:H7 assay and the reference culture methods for the detection of E. coli O157:H7, other than the low level of inoculation for leaf lettuce for which the GDS gave noticeably higher recovery [difference in Probability of Detection between candidate methods (dPODc = +0.45)]. There were also suggestions of moderate differences (dPODc = +0.15 to +0.20) for ground beef and the high level of leaf lettuce, but the study size was too small to detect differences of this size. Results showed that the Assurance GDS Shiga Toxin Genes (0157) method is equivalent to the reference culture methods for the detection of Shiga toxigenic E. coli O157:H7. PMID:24000752

  10. Overview of Scorpion Species from China and Their Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Zhijian; Di, Zhiyong; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin

    2014-01-01

    Scorpions are one of the most ancient groups of terrestrial animals. They have maintained a steady morphology over more than 400 million years of evolution. Their venom arsenals for capturing prey and defending against predators may play a critical role in their ancient and conservative appearance. In the current review, we present the scorpion fauna of China: 53 species covering five families and 12 genera. We also systematically list toxins or genes from Chinese scorpion species, involving eight species covering four families. Furthermore, we review the diverse functions of typical toxins from Chinese scorpion species, involving Na+ channel modulators, K+ channel blockers, antimicrobial peptides and protease inhibitors. Using scorpion species and their toxins from China as an example, we build the bridge between scorpion species and their toxins, which helps us to understand the molecular and functional diversity of scorpion venom arsenal, the dynamic and functional evolution of scorpion toxins, and the potential relationships of scorpion species and their toxins. PMID:24577583

  11. Negatively charged residues of the segment linking the enzyme and cytolysin moieties restrict the membrane-permeabilizing capacity of adenylate cyclase toxin.

    PubMed

    Masin, Jiri; Osickova, Adriana; Sukova, Anna; Fiser, Radovan; Halada, Petr; Bumba, Ladislav; Linhartova, Irena; Osicka, Radim; Sebo, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The whooping cough agent, Bordetella pertussis, secretes an adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA) that plays a crucial role in host respiratory tract colonization. CyaA targets CR3-expressing cells and disrupts their bactericidal functions by delivering into their cytosol an adenylate cyclase enzyme that converts intracellular ATP to cAMP. In parallel, the hydrophobic domain of CyaA forms cation-selective pores that permeabilize cell membrane. The invasive AC and pore-forming domains of CyaA are linked by a segment that is unique in the RTX cytolysin family. We used mass spectrometry and circular dichroism to show that the linker segment forms α-helical structures that penetrate into lipid bilayer. Replacement of the positively charged arginine residues, proposed to be involved in target membrane destabilization by the linker segment, reduced the capacity of the toxin to translocate the AC domain across cell membrane. Substitutions of negatively charged residues then revealed that two clusters of negative charges within the linker segment control the size and the propensity of CyaA pore formation, thereby restricting the cell-permeabilizing capacity of CyaA. The 'AC to Hly-linking segment' thus appears to account for the smaller size and modest cell-permeabilizing capacity of CyaA pores, as compared to typical RTX hemolysins. PMID:27581058

  12. Negatively charged residues of the segment linking the enzyme and cytolysin moieties restrict the membrane-permeabilizing capacity of adenylate cyclase toxin

    PubMed Central

    Masin, Jiri; Osickova, Adriana; Sukova, Anna; Fiser, Radovan; Halada, Petr; Bumba, Ladislav; Linhartova, Irena; Osicka, Radim; Sebo, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The whooping cough agent, Bordetella pertussis, secretes an adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA) that plays a crucial role in host respiratory tract colonization. CyaA targets CR3-expressing cells and disrupts their bactericidal functions by delivering into their cytosol an adenylate cyclase enzyme that converts intracellular ATP to cAMP. In parallel, the hydrophobic domain of CyaA forms cation-selective pores that permeabilize cell membrane. The invasive AC and pore-forming domains of CyaA are linked by a segment that is unique in the RTX cytolysin family. We used mass spectrometry and circular dichroism to show that the linker segment forms α-helical structures that penetrate into lipid bilayer. Replacement of the positively charged arginine residues, proposed to be involved in target membrane destabilization by the linker segment, reduced the capacity of the toxin to translocate the AC domain across cell membrane. Substitutions of negatively charged residues then revealed that two clusters of negative charges within the linker segment control the size and the propensity of CyaA pore formation, thereby restricting the cell-permeabilizing capacity of CyaA. The ‘AC to Hly-linking segment’ thus appears to account for the smaller size and modest cell-permeabilizing capacity of CyaA pores, as compared to typical RTX hemolysins. PMID:27581058

  13. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Christopher F; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142

  14. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Christopher F.; Bertram, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are small genetic elements found in the majority of prokaryotes. They encode toxin proteins that interfere with vital cellular functions and are counteracted by antitoxins. Dependent on the chemical nature of the antitoxins (protein or RNA) and how they control the activity of the toxin, TA systems are currently divided into six different types. Genes comprising the TA types I, II and III have been identified in Staphylococcus aureus. MazF, the toxin of the mazEF locus is a sequence-specific RNase that cleaves a number of transcripts, including those encoding pathogenicity factors. Two yefM-yoeB paralogs represent two independent, but auto-regulated TA systems that give rise to ribosome-dependent RNases. In addition, omega/epsilon/zeta constitutes a tripartite TA system that supposedly plays a role in the stabilization of resistance factors. The SprA1/SprA1AS and SprF1/SprG1 systems are post-transcriptionally regulated by RNA antitoxins and encode small membrane damaging proteins. TA systems controlled by interaction between toxin protein and antitoxin RNA have been identified in S. aureus in silico, but not yet experimentally proven. A closer inspection of possible links between TA systems and S. aureus pathophysiology will reveal, if these genetic loci may represent druggable targets. The modification of a staphylococcal TA toxin to a cyclopeptide antibiotic highlights the potential of TA systems as rather untapped sources of drug discovery. PMID:27164142

  15. Expression of functional diphtheria toxin receptors on highly toxin-sensitive mouse cells that specifically bind radioiodinated toxin.

    PubMed Central

    Naglich, J G; Rolf, J M; Eidels, L

    1992-01-01

    Diphtheria toxin (DT), a bacterial protein exotoxin, inactivates mammalian cell elongation factor 2 after toxin internalization by receptor-mediated endocytosis. To isolate the DT receptor, we cotransfected DT-resistant wild-type mouse L-M cells with a cDNA library constructed from RNA of highly toxin-sensitive monkey Vero cells and with a neomycin-resistance gene. Stably transfected G418-resistant L-M colonies were screened for DT sensitivity in a replica plate assay. After screening of 8000 colonies, one DT-sensitive (DTS) colony was isolated. The purified DTS mouse cells are highly toxin-sensitive; they are at least 1000-fold more sensitive than wild-type L-M cells and only approximately 10-fold less sensitive than Vero cells. Incubation of the DTS mouse cells with CRM 197, a nontoxic form of DT that competitively inhibits the binding of native DT to the toxin receptor, protected them from DT-mediated toxicity. More important, these DTS mouse cells express receptors on their cell surface that bind radioiodinated DT in a specific fashion, a property hitherto readily demonstrable only with highly toxin-sensitive cells of monkey origin. Furthermore, HA6DT, a DT fragment comprising the Mr 6000 carboxyl-terminal receptor-binding domain, inhibited the binding of radioiodinated toxin to these DTS mouse cells to the same extent as unlabeled DT. With these DTS mouse cells as a source of monkey cDNA, it should be possible to clone the gene encoding the DT receptor. PMID:1549577

  16. Defense against toxin weapons

    SciTech Connect

    Franz, D.R.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this manual is to provide basic information on biological toxins to military leaders and health-care providers at all levels to help them make informed decisions on protecting their troops from toxins. Much of the information contained herein will also be of interest to individuals charged with countering domestic and international terrorism. We typically fear what we do not understand.

  17. Preformed bacterial toxins.

    PubMed

    Crane, J K

    1999-09-01

    Food poisoning syndromes caused by four different bacteria are described. For all types, food kept at a permissive temperature allows growth of the vegetative forms of the bacteria and production of a toxin or toxins. The key features of these syndromes, as well as possible new trends of concern, are summarized in Table 1. PMID:10549427

  18. Toxins from Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Henkel, James S.; Baldwin, Michael R.; Barbieri, Joseph T.

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial toxins damage the host at the site of bacterial infection or distanced from the site of infections. Bacterial toxins can be single proteins or organized as oligomeric protein complexes and are organized with distinct AB structure-function properties. The A domain encodes a catalytic activity; ADP-ribosylation of host proteins is the earliest post-translational modification determine to be performed by bacterial toxin, and now include glucosylation and proteolysis among other s. Bacterial toxins also catalyze the non-covalent modification of host protein function or can modify host cell properties through direct protein-protein interactions. The B domain includes two functional domains: a receptor-binding domain, which defines the tropism of a toxin for a cell and a translocation domain that delivers A domain across a lipid bilayer, either on the plasma membrane or the endosome. Bacterial toxins are often characterized based upon the section mechanism that delivers the toxin out of the bacterium, termed type I–VII. This review will overview the major families of bacterial toxins and will also describe the specific structure-function properties of the botulinum neurotoxins. PMID:20358680

  19. Antibodies against recombinant shiga toxin subunit B neutralize shiga toxin toxicity in HeLa cells.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Pallavi; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Tiwari, Mugdha; Dhaked, Ram Kumar

    2010-06-01

    Shigella dysenteriae type 1 and Escherichia coli O157:H7 produce Shiga toxin 1 (Stx) and Shiga toxin1 (Stx1), respectively and these two toxins are almost identical. E. coli O157:H7 is the major cause of diarrhea-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome. Stx and Stx1 are AB5 type of toxin with a molecular weight of 70 kDa, comprising an enzymaticaly-active A subunit (32 kDa) and five receptor-binding B subunits (7.7 kDa). In this study DNA fragment (289 bp, Gene Bank Accn No. EF685161) coding for B chain of Stx was amplified from S. dysenteriae type1 and cloned. Shiga toxin-binding subunit was expressed and purified in native conditions by affinity and gel permeation chromatography with the yield of 5.1 mg/L in shake flask culture. For the purpose of immunization, the polypeptide was polymerized with glutaraldehyde. Hyper immune serum produced in mice reacted with the purified polypeptide and intact Shiga toxin. The anti-StxB antiserum effectively neutralized the cytotoxicity of Shiga toxin towards HeLa cells. PMID:20044923

  20. Cyanobacterial Toxin Degrading Bacteria: Who Are They?

    PubMed Central

    Kormas, Konstantinos Ar.; Lymperopoulou, Despoina S.

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous in nature and are both beneficial and detrimental to humans. Benefits include being food supplements and producing bioactive compounds, like antimicrobial and anticancer substances, while their detrimental effects are evident by toxin production, causing major ecological problems at the ecosystem level. To date, there are several ways to degrade or transform these toxins by chemical methods, while the biodegradation of these compounds is understudied. In this paper, we present a meta-analysis of the currently available 16S rRNA and mlrA (microcystinase) genes diversity of isolates known to degrade cyanobacterial toxins. The available data revealed that these bacteria belong primarily to the Proteobacteria, with several strains from the sphingomonads, and one from each of the Methylobacillus and Paucibacter genera. Other strains belonged to the genera Arthrobacter, Bacillus, and Lactobacillus. By combining the ecological knowledge on the distribution, abundance, and ecophysiology of the bacteria that cooccur with toxic cyanobacterial blooms and newly developed molecular approaches, it is possible not only to discover more strains with cyanobacterial toxin degradation abilities, but also to reveal the genes associated with the degradation of these toxins. PMID:23841072

  1. Oligomerization of Clostridium perfringens Epsilon Toxin Is Dependent upon Caveolins 1 and 2

    PubMed Central

    Fennessey, Christine M.; Sheng, Jinsong; Rubin, Donald H.; McClain, Mark S.

    2012-01-01

    Evidence from multiple studies suggests that Clostridium perfringens ε-toxin is a pore-forming toxin, assembling into oligomeric complexes in the plasma membrane of sensitive cells. In a previous study, we used gene-trap mutagenesis to identify mammalian factors contributing to toxin activity, including caveolin-2 (CAV2). In this study, we demonstrate the importance of caveolin-2 and its interaction partner, caveolin-1 (CAV1), in ε-toxin-induced cytotoxicity. Using CAV2-specific shRNA in a toxin-sensitive human kidney cell line, ACHN, we confirmed that cells deficient in CAV2 exhibit increased resistance to ε-toxin. Similarly, using CAV1-specific shRNA, we demonstrate that cells deficient in CAV1 also exhibit increased resistance to the toxin. Immunoprecipitation of CAV1 and CAV2 from ε-toxin-treated ACHN cells demonstrated interaction of both CAV1 and -2 with the toxin. Furthermore, blue-native PAGE indicated that the toxin and caveolins were components of a 670 kDa protein complex. Although ε-toxin binding was only slightly perturbed in caveolin-deficient cells, oligomerization of the toxin was dramatically reduced in both CAV1- and CAV2-deficient cells. These results indicate that CAV1 and -2 potentiate ε-toxin induced cytotoxicity by promoting toxin oligomerization – an event which is requisite for pore formation and, by extension, cell death. PMID:23056496

  2. Understanding malarial toxins.

    PubMed

    Starkl Renar, Katarina; Iskra, Jernej; Križaj, Igor

    2016-09-01

    Recognized since antiquity, malaria is one of the most infamous and widespread infectious diseases in humans and, although the death rate during the last century has been diminishing, it still accounts for more than a half million deaths annually. It is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and typical symptoms include fever, shivering, headache, diaphoresis and nausea, all resulting from an excessive inflammatory response induced by malarial toxins released into the victim's bloodstream. These toxins are hemozoin and glycosylphosphatidylinositols. The former is the final product of the parasite's detoxification of haeme, a by-product of haemoglobin catabolism, while the latter anchor proteins to the Plasmodium cell surface or occur as free molecules. Currently, only two groups of antimalarial toxin drugs exist on the market, quinolines and artemisinins. As we describe, they both target biosynthesis of hemozoin. Other substances, currently in various phases of clinical trials, are directed towards biosynthesis of glycosylphosphatidylinositol, formation of hemozoin, or attenuation of the inflammatory response of the patient. Among the innovative approaches to alleviating the effects of malarial toxins, is the development of antimalarial toxin vaccines. In this review the most important lessons learned from the use of treatments directed against the action of malarial toxins in antimalarial therapy are emphasized and the most relevant and promising directions for future research in obtaining novel antimalarial agents acting on malarial toxins are discussed. PMID:27353131

  3. Role of receptors in Bacillus thuringiensis crystal toxin activity.

    PubMed

    Pigott, Craig R; Ellar, David J

    2007-06-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis produces crystalline protein inclusions with insecticidal or nematocidal properties. These crystal (Cry) proteins determine a particular strain's toxicity profile. Transgenic crops expressing one or more recombinant Cry toxins have become agriculturally important. Individual Cry toxins are usually toxic to only a few species within an order, and receptors on midgut epithelial cells have been shown to be critical determinants of Cry specificity. The best characterized of these receptors have been identified for lepidopterans, and two major receptor classes have emerged: the aminopeptidase N (APN) receptors and the cadherin-like receptors. Currently, 38 different APNs have been reported for 12 different lepidopterans. Each APN belongs to one of five groups that have unique structural features and Cry-binding properties. While 17 different APNs have been reported to bind to Cry toxins, only 2 have been shown to mediate toxin susceptibly in vivo. In contrast, several cadherin-like proteins bind to Cry toxins and confer toxin susceptibility in vitro, and disruption of the cadherin gene has been associated with toxin resistance. Nonetheless, only a small subset of the lepidopteran-specific Cry toxins has been shown to interact with cadherin-like proteins. This review analyzes the interactions between Cry toxins and their receptors, focusing on the identification and validation of receptors, the molecular basis for receptor recognition, the role of the receptor in resistant insects, and proposed models to explain the sequence of events at the cell surface by which receptor binding leads to cell death. PMID:17554045

  4. Bacterial toxins: friends or foes?

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, C. K.; Meysick, K. C.; O'Brien, A. D.

    1999-01-01

    Many emerging and reemerging bacterial pathogens synthesize toxins that serve as primary virulence factors. We highlight seven bacterial toxins produced by well-established or newly emergent pathogenic microbes. These toxins, which affect eukaryotic cells by a variety of means, include Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin, Shiga toxin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1, Escherichia coli heat-stable toxin, botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins, and S. aureus toxic-shock syndrome toxin. For each, we discuss the information available on its synthesis and structure, mode of action, and contribution to virulence. We also review the role certain toxins have played in unraveling signal pathways in eukaryotic cells and summarize the beneficial uses of toxins and toxoids. Our intent is to illustrate the importance of the analysis of bacterial toxins to both basic and applied sciences. PMID:10221874

  5. Occurrence of virulent genes among environmental isolates of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains from various parts of peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Arushothy, Revathy; Ahmad, Norazah

    2008-12-01

    Legionella pneumophila are intracellular pathogens, associated with human disease, attributed to the presence and absence of certain virulent genes. In this study, virulent gene loci (lvh and rtxA regions) associated with human disease were determined. Thirty-three cooling tower water isolates, isolated between 2004 to 2006, were analyzed for the presence of these genes by PCR method. Results showed that 19 of 33 (57.5%) of the L. pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates have both the genes. Six (18.2%) of the isolates have only the lvh gene and 2 (6.1%) of the isolates have only the rtxA gene. However, both genes were absent in 6 (18.2%) of the L. pneumophila isolates. The result of our study provides some insight into the presence of the disease causing L. pneumophila serogroup 1 in the environment. Molecular epidemiological studies will provide better understanding of the prevalence of the disease in Malaysia. PMID:19287368

  6. Structural Characterization of Humanized Nanobodies with Neutralizing Activity against the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin: Implications for a Potential Epitope of Toxin-Protective Antigen

    PubMed Central

    Malik, Aijaz Ahmad; Imtong, Chompounoot; Sookrung, Nitat; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Chaicumpa, Wanpen; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2016-01-01

    Previously, the 126-kDa CyaA-hemolysin (CyaA-Hly) fragment cloned from Bordetella pertussis—the causative agent of whooping cough—and functionally expressed in Escherichia coli was revealed as a key determinant for CyaA-mediated hemolysis against target erythrocytes. Here, phagemid-transfected E. coli clones producing nanobodies capable of binding to CyaA-Hly were selected from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage-display library. Subsequently verified for binding activities by indirect ELISA and Western blotting, four CyaA-Hly-specific nanobodies were obtained and designated according to the presence/absence of VHH-hallmark amino acids as VHH2, VH5, VH18 and VHH37. In vitro neutralization assay revealed that all four ~17-kDa His-tagged VH/VHH nanobodies, in particular VHH37, which were over-expressed as inclusions and successfully unfolded-refolded, were able to effectively inhibit CyaA-Hly-mediated hemolysis. Phage-mimotope searching revealed that only peptides with sequence homologous to Linker 1 connecting Blocks I and II within the CyaA-RTX subdomain were able to bind to these four CyaA-Hly-specific nanobodies. Structural analysis of VHH37 via homology modeling and intermolecular docking confirmed that this humanized nanobody directly interacts with CyaA-RTX/Linker 1 through multiple hydrogen and ionic bonds. Altogether, our present data demonstrate that CyaA-RTX/Linker 1 could serve as a potential epitope of CyaA-protective antigen that may be useful for development of peptide-based pertussis vaccines. Additionally, such toxin-specific nanobodies have a potential for test-driven development of a ready-to-use therapeutic in passive immunization for mitigation of disease severity. PMID:27043627

  7. Structural Characterization of Humanized Nanobodies with Neutralizing Activity against the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin: Implications for a Potential Epitope of Toxin-Protective Antigen.

    PubMed

    Malik, Aijaz Ahmad; Imtong, Chompounoot; Sookrung, Nitat; Katzenmeier, Gerd; Chaicumpa, Wanpen; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan

    2016-04-01

    Previously, the 126-kDa CyaA-hemolysin (CyaA-Hly) fragment cloned from Bordetella pertussis--the causative agent of whooping cough--and functionally expressed in Escherichia coli was revealed as a key determinant for CyaA-mediated hemolysis against target erythrocytes. Here, phagemid-transfected E. coli clones producing nanobodies capable of binding to CyaA-Hly were selected from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage-display library. Subsequently verified for binding activities by indirect ELISA and Western blotting, four CyaA-Hly-specific nanobodies were obtained and designated according to the presence/absence of VHH-hallmark amino acids as VHH2, VH5, VH18 and VHH37. In vitro neutralization assay revealed that all four ~17-kDa His-tagged VH/VHH nanobodies, in particular VHH37, which were over-expressed as inclusions and successfully unfolded-refolded, were able to effectively inhibit CyaA-Hly-mediated hemolysis. Phage-mimotope searching revealed that only peptides with sequence homologous to Linker 1 connecting Blocks I and II within the CyaA-RTX subdomain were able to bind to these four CyaA-Hly-specific nanobodies. Structural analysis of VHH37 via homology modeling and intermolecular docking confirmed that this humanized nanobody directly interacts with CyaA-RTX/Linker 1 through multiple hydrogen and ionic bonds. Altogether, our present data demonstrate that CyaA-RTX/Linker 1 could serve as a potential epitope of CyaA-protective antigen that may be useful for development of peptide-based pertussis vaccines. Additionally, such toxin-specific nanobodies have a potential for test-driven development of a ready-to-use therapeutic in passive immunization for mitigation of disease severity. PMID:27043627

  8. Characterization of two different toxins of Wickerhamomyces anomalus (Pichia anomala) VKM Y-159.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Z; Márki-Zay, J; Kucsera, Judit; Vágvölgyi, Cs; Golubev, W I; Pfeiffer, Ilona

    2012-06-01

    Wickerhamomyces anomalus VKM Y-159 strain produces two types of toxin designated as WAKT a and WAKT b, encoded by chromosomal genes. The WAKT a toxin is heat-labile, pronase sensitive acting in pH range 3-4 affecting on several yeasts including pathogenic Candida species while the WAKT b toxin is protease- and thermo-resistant, acting in pH range 3-7 on two species, Candida alai and Candida norvegica. The rapid decrease of the number of viable cells after toxin treatment demonstrates that both toxins have cytocidic effect. PMID:22695525

  9. Oxidative Stress in Shiga Toxin Production by Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Licznerska, Katarzyna; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Dydecka, Aleksandra; Topka, Gracja; Gąsior, Tomasz; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2016-01-01

    Virulence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains depends on production of Shiga toxins. These toxins are encoded in genomes of lambdoid bacteriophages (Shiga toxin-converting phages), present in EHEC cells as prophages. The genes coding for Shiga toxins are silent in lysogenic bacteria, and prophage induction is necessary for their efficient expression and toxin production. Under laboratory conditions, treatment with UV light or antibiotics interfering with DNA replication are commonly used to induce lambdoid prophages. Since such conditions are unlikely to occur in human intestine, various research groups searched for other factors or agents that might induce Shiga toxin-converting prophages. Among other conditions, it was reported that treatment with H2O2 caused induction of these prophages, though with efficiency significantly lower relative to UV-irradiation or mitomycin C treatment. A molecular mechanism of this phenomenon has been proposed. It appears that the oxidative stress represents natural conditions provoking induction of Shiga toxin-converting prophages as a consequence of H2O2 excretion by either neutrophils in infected humans or protist predators outside human body. Finally, the recently proposed biological role of Shiga toxin production is described in this paper, and the “bacterial altruism” and “Trojan Horse” hypotheses, which are connected to the oxidative stress, are discussed. PMID:26798420

  10. Oxidative Stress in Shiga Toxin Production by Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Licznerska, Katarzyna; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Bloch, Sylwia; Dydecka, Aleksandra; Topka, Gracja; Gąsior, Tomasz; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2016-01-01

    Virulence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains depends on production of Shiga toxins. These toxins are encoded in genomes of lambdoid bacteriophages (Shiga toxin-converting phages), present in EHEC cells as prophages. The genes coding for Shiga toxins are silent in lysogenic bacteria, and prophage induction is necessary for their efficient expression and toxin production. Under laboratory conditions, treatment with UV light or antibiotics interfering with DNA replication are commonly used to induce lambdoid prophages. Since such conditions are unlikely to occur in human intestine, various research groups searched for other factors or agents that might induce Shiga toxin-converting prophages. Among other conditions, it was reported that treatment with H2O2 caused induction of these prophages, though with efficiency significantly lower relative to UV-irradiation or mitomycin C treatment. A molecular mechanism of this phenomenon has been proposed. It appears that the oxidative stress represents natural conditions provoking induction of Shiga toxin-converting prophages as a consequence of H2O2 excretion by either neutrophils in infected humans or protist predators outside human body. Finally, the recently proposed biological role of Shiga toxin production is described in this paper, and the "bacterial altruism" and "Trojan Horse" hypotheses, which are connected to the oxidative stress, are discussed. PMID:26798420

  11. Naturally Occurring Food Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Dolan, Laurie C.; Matulka, Ray A.; Burdock, George A.

    2010-01-01

    Although many foods contain toxins as a naturally-occurring constituent or, are formed as the result of handling or processing, the incidence of adverse reactions to food is relatively low. The low incidence of adverse effects is the result of some pragmatic solutions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies through the creative use of specifications, action levels, tolerances, warning labels and prohibitions. Manufacturers have also played a role by setting limits on certain substances and developing mitigation procedures for process-induced toxins. Regardless of measures taken by regulators and food producers to protect consumers from natural food toxins, consumption of small levels of these materials is unavoidable. Although the risk for toxicity due to consumption of food toxins is fairly low, there is always the possibility of toxicity due to contamination, overconsumption, allergy or an unpredictable idiosyncratic response. The purpose of this review is to provide a toxicological and regulatory overview of some of the toxins present in some commonly consumed foods, and where possible, discuss the steps that have been taken to reduce consumer exposure, many of which are possible because of the unique process of food regulation in the United States. PMID:22069686

  12. Toxin Diversity Revealed by a Transcriptomic Study of Ornithoctonus huwena

    PubMed Central

    He, Quanze; Liu, Jinyan; Luo, Ji; Zhu, Li; Lu, Shanshan; Huang, Pengfei; Chen, Xinyi; Zeng, Xiongzhi; Liang, Songping

    2014-01-01

    Spider venom comprises a mixture of compounds with diverse biological activities, which are used to capture prey and defend against predators. The peptide components bind a broad range of cellular targets with high affinity and selectivity, and appear to have remarkable structural diversity. Although spider venoms have been intensively investigated over the past few decades, venomic strategies to date have generally focused on high-abundance peptides. In addition, the lack of complete spider genomes or representative cDNA libraries has presented significant limitations for researchers interested in molecular diversity and understanding the genetic mechanisms of toxin evolution. In the present study, second-generation sequencing technologies, combined with proteomic analysis, were applied to determine the diverse peptide toxins in venom of the Chinese bird spider Ornithoctonus huwena. In total, 626 toxin precursor sequences were retrieved from transcriptomic data. All toxin precursors clustered into 16 gene superfamilies, which included six novel superfamilies and six novel cysteine patterns. A surprisingly high number of hypermutations and fragment insertions/deletions were detected, which accounted for the majority of toxin gene sequences with low-level expression. These mutations contribute to the formation of diverse cysteine patterns and highly variable isoforms. Furthermore, intraspecific venom variability, in combination with variable transcripts and peptide processing, contributes to the hypervariability of toxins in venoms, and associated rapid and adaptive evolution of toxins for prey capture and defense. PMID:24949878

  13. [Toxins as a biological weapon].

    PubMed

    Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    The criteria for recognizing a chemical compound for the toxin are vague and gave it the possibility of inclusion in this group a number of biological agents. Toxins list is extensive, but the interest is focused on bacterial toxins, poisons derived from snake venoms, algae and plant proteins, and small molecules. Particular attention is focused on the so-called "sea" toxins, which include tetrodotoxin, brevetoxin and saxitoxin. This indicates the search for a new hitherto unknown potential bioterrorist threats. PMID:26449572

  14. Bacterial toxin-inducible gene expression of cathelicidin-B1 in the chicken bursal lymphoma-derived cell line DT40: functional characterization of cathelicidin-B1.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Asuna; Tsubaki, Takashi; Sagae, Nozomi; Onda, Yumiko; Inada, Yuri; Mochizuki, Takuya; Okumura, Kazuo; Kikuyama, Sakae; Kobayashi, Tetsuya; Iwamuro, Shawichi

    2014-09-01

    Chicken cathelicidin-B1 (chCATH-B1) is a major host defense peptide of the chicken bursa of Fabricius (BF). To investigate the mechanisms of chCATH-B1 gene expression in the BF, we focused on the DT40 cell line derived from chicken bursal lymphoma as a model for analysis. A cDNA encoding chCATH-B1 precursor was cloned from DT40 cells. The nucleotide sequence of the cDNA was identical with that of the BF chCATH-B1. A broth dilution analysis showed that the synthetic chCATH-B1 exhibited a significant defensive activity against both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. A scanning microscopic analysis demonstrated that chCATH-B1 inhibited bacterial growth through membrane destruction with formation of blebs and spheroplasts. Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay and electromobility shift assay results revealed that chCATH-B1 bound to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA), which are the surface substances of the E. coli and S. aureus cell, respectively. A chemotactic assay results revealed that chCATH-B1 showed mouse-derived P-815 mastocytoma migrating activity dose-dependently but with a higher concentration, resulting in a loss of the activity. A semi-quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that LPS stimulated chCATH-B1 gene expression in a dose-dependent manner and that the LPS-inducible chCATH-B1 gene expression was inhibited by the administration of dexamethasone. The chCATH-B1 mRNA levels in DT40 cells were also increased by the administration of bacterial LTA. The results indicate that bacterial toxins induce chCATH-B1 gene expression in the chicken BF and the peptide expressed in the organ would act against pathogenic microorganisms not only directly but also indirectly by attracting mast cells. PMID:24984089

  15. Different Expression Patterns of Genes from the Exo-Xis Region of Bacteriophage λ and Shiga Toxin-Converting Bacteriophage Ф24B following Infection or Prophage Induction in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Sylwia; Nejman-Faleńczyk, Bożena; Dydecka, Aleksandra; Łoś, Joanna M.; Felczykowska, Agnieszka; Węgrzyn, Alicja; Węgrzyn, Grzegorz

    2014-01-01

    Lambdoid bacteriophages serve as useful models in microbiological and molecular studies on basic biological process. Moreover, this family of viruses plays an important role in pathogenesis of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) strains, as they are carriers of genes coding for Shiga toxins. Efficient expression of these genes requires lambdoid prophage induction and multiplication of the phage genome. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms regulating these processes appears essential for both basic knowledge and potential anti-EHEC applications. The exo-xis region, present in genomes of lambdoid bacteriophages, contains highly conserved genes of largely unknown functions. Recent report indicated that the Ea8.5 protein, encoded in this region, contains a newly discovered fused homeodomain/zinc-finger fold, suggesting its plausible regulatory role. Moreover, subsequent studies demonstrated that overexpression of the exo-xis region from a multicopy plasmid resulted in impaired lysogenization of E. coli and more effective induction of λ and Ф24B prophages. In this report, we demonstrate that after prophage induction, the increase in phage DNA content in the host cells is more efficient in E. coli bearing additional copies of the exo-xis region, while survival rate of such bacteria is lower, which corroborated previous observations. Importantly, by using quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR, we have determined patterns of expressions of particular genes from this region. Unexpectedly, in both phages λ and Ф24B, these patterns were significantly different not only between conditions of the host cells infection by bacteriophages and prophage induction, but also between induction of prophages with various agents (mitomycin C and hydrogen peroxide). This may shed a new light on our understanding of regulation of lambdoid phage development, depending on the mode of lytic cycle initiation. PMID:25310402

  16. Possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins--reconstructed replication competent forms of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus containing any portion of the coding regions of all eight gene segments. Interim final rule.

    PubMed

    2005-10-20

    We are adding reconstructed replication competent forms of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus containing any portion of the coding regions of all eight gene segments to the list of HHS select agents and toxins. We are taking this action for several reasons. First the pandemic influenza virus of 1918-19 killed up to 50 million people worldwide, including an estimated 675,000 deaths in the United States. Also, the complete coding sequence for the 1918 pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus was recently identified, which will make it possible for those with knowledge of reverse genetics to reconstruct this virus. In addition, the first published study on a reconstructed 1918 pandemic influenza virus demonstrated the high virulence of this virus in cell culture, embryonated eggs, and in mice relative to other human influenza viruses. Therefore, we have determined that the reconstructed replication competent forms of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus containing any portion of the coding regions of all eight gene segments have the potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety. PMID:16237858

  17. Pyrenophora bromi, causal agent of brownspot of bromegrass, expresses a gene encoding a protein with homology and similar activity to Ptr ToxB, a host-selective toxin of wheat.

    PubMed

    Andrie, Rachael M; Ciuffetti, Lynda M

    2011-03-01

    Ptr ToxB, encoded by ToxB, is one of multiple host-selective toxins (HST) produced by the wheat pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis. Homologs of ToxB are found in several ascomycetes, including sister species Pyrenophora bromi, causal agent of brownspot of bromegrass. Due to the close evolutionary relatedness of P. tritici-repentis and P. bromi and that of their grass hosts, we hypothesized that homologs of ToxB in P. bromi may act as HST in the disease interaction between P. bromi and bromegrass. A representative set of transcriptionally active P. bromi ToxB genes were heterologously expressed in Pichia pastoris and the resultant proteins tested for their ability to act as HST on bromegrass. The tested Pyrenophora bromi ToxB (Pb ToxB) proteins were not toxic to bromegrass; thus, Pb ToxB does not appear to function as an HST in the P. bromi-bromegrass interaction. Instead, we revealed that the Pb ToxB proteins can be toxic to Ptr ToxB-sensitive wheat, at levels similar to Ptr ToxB, and the corresponding P. bromi ToxB genes are expressed in P. bromi-inoculated wheat. Our data suggest that P. bromi possesses the potential to become a wheat pathogen and highlights the importance of investigating the interaction between P. bromi and wheat. PMID:21091157

  18. The toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) of Vibrio cholerae: molecular cloning of genes involved in pilus biosynthesis and evaluation of TCP as a protective antigen in the infant mouse model.

    PubMed

    Sharma, D P; Stroeher, U H; Thomas, C J; Manning, P A; Attridge, S R

    1989-12-01

    A serum containing antibodies to non-lipopolysaccharide (non-LPS) protective antigens of Vibrio cholerae has been used, after extensive absorption, to facilitate the cloning of genes involved in the synthesis of toxin-coregulated pili (TCP). A gene bank was constructed from V. cholerae Z17561 DNA using a mobilizable cosmid vector in Escherichia coli, and subsequently transferred by conjugation into V. cholerae O17. This strain does not produce TCP in vitro and lacks non-LPS protective antigens. Eight positive clones were isolated, and of these, four produced TCP as determined by electron microscopic and immunoblotting analyses. TCP-positive O17 clones were 70-fold more virulent than TCP-negative clones or O17 in the infant mouse cholera model. Only the former could remove protective antibodies from the clone-probing serum by absorption. As a corollary, serum containing antibodies to TCP protected mice from challenge with TCP-positive clones, but not with TCP-negative clones or O17. Our data indicate that TCP can function as both a virulence determinant and a protective antigen in the infant mouse model. PMID:2576091

  19. Stability and infectivity of cytolethal distending toxin type V gene-carrying bacteriophages in a water mesocosm and under different inactivation conditions.

    PubMed

    Allué-Guardia, Anna; Jofre, Juan; Muniesa, Maite

    2012-08-01

    Two cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) type V-encoding bacteriophages (Φ62 and Φ125) were induced spontaneously from their wild-type Escherichia coli strains and from the lysogens generated in Shigella sonnei. The stability of Cdt phages was determined at various temperatures and pH values after 1 month of storage by means of infectivity tests using a plaque blot assay and analysis of phage genomes using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR): both were highly stable. We assessed the inactivation of Cdt phages by thermal treatment, chlorination, UV radiation, and in a mesocosm in both summer and winter. The results for the two Cdt phages showed similar trends and were also similar to the phage SOM23 used for reference, but they showed a much higher persistence than Cdt-producing E. coli. Cdt phages showed maximal inactivation after 1 h at 70°C, 30 min of UV radiation, and 30 min of contact with a 10-ppm chlorine treatment. Inactivation in a mesocosm was higher in summer than in winter, probably because of solar radiation. The treatments reduced the number of infectious phages but did not have a significant effect on the Cdt phage particles detected by qPCR. Cdt phages were quantified by qPCR in 73% of river samples, and these results suggest that Cdt phages are a genetic vehicle and the natural reservoir for cdt in the environment. PMID:22685154

  20. Expression in sugar beet of the introduced cercosporin toxin export (CFP) gene from Cercospora kikuchii, the causative organism of purple seed stain in soybean.

    PubMed

    Kuykendall, L David; Upchurch, Robert G

    2004-05-01

    The Cercospora kikuchii cercosporin export gene, CFP, introduced into Beta vulgaris L. by conjugation with Rhizobium radiobacter, was stably maintained during vegetative propagation as verified by PCR using primers specific for the CFP gene. Transcriptional expression of the CFP gene in leaves was determined by RT-PCR using CFP-specific primers. CFP protein was detected using Western analysis with an affinity-purified polypeptide-specifc antibody. Analysis of the relative susceptibility of CFP-transgenic and non-transgenic sugar beet plants is planned but will probably take several years to complete. PMID:15195972

  1. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  2. CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Science Questions

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and ...

  3. Toxin-associated and other genes in Clostridium perfringens type A isolates from bovine clostridial abomasitis (BCA) and jejunal hemorrhage syndrome (JHS).

    PubMed

    Schlegel, Benjamin J; Nowell, Victoria J; Parreira, Valeria R; Soltes, Glenn; Prescott, John F

    2012-10-01

    This study examined known or possible virulence-associated genes in type A Clostridium perfringens from cases of both bovine clostridial abomasitis (BCA) and jejunal hemorrhage syndrome (JHS) and compared these to isolates from calves that were healthy or had undifferentiated diarrheal illness. A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was used to genotype the 218 C. perfringens isolates. Isolates were sourced from healthy and diarrheic young and mature cattle (n = 191), from calves with confirmed or suspected BCA (n = 22), and from mature cattle with JHS (n = 5). Of 216 isolates (96%), 208 were positive for the cpa gene and 13% (29/218) were positive for atypical cpb2. Three of 8 (37.5%) confirmed BCA isolates, 2 of 13 (15.4%) suspected BCA isolates, and no JHS isolates tested positive for atypical cpb2. As all isolates were negative for cpb, cpb2, cpe, etx, netB, and tpeL, the results of the present study do not support a role for these genes in BCA or JHS. A subset of unique genes identified in 1 bovine clostridial abomasitis isolate (F262), for which a genome sequence is available, was searched for in 8 BCA isolates by PCR. None of the 10 genes was consistently present in all or even in a majority of BCA isolates. Many of these genes were also variably and inconsistently present in type A isolates from calves that did not have BCA. Although a virulence signature to aid in the diagnosis of BCA caused by C. perfringens type A was not identified, further work may discover a gene or group of genes that would constitute such a signature. PMID:23543949

  4. Toxin-associated and other genes in Clostridium perfringens type A isolates from bovine clostridial abomasitis (BCA) and jejunal hemorrhage syndrome (JHS)

    PubMed Central

    Schlegel, Benjamin J.; Nowell, Victoria J.; Parreira, Valeria R.; Soltes, Glenn; Prescott, John F.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined known or possible virulence-associated genes in type A Clostridium perfringens from cases of both bovine clostridial abomasitis (BCA) and jejunal hemorrhage syndrome (JHS) and compared these to isolates from calves that were healthy or had undifferentiated diarrheal illness. A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was used to genotype the 218 C. perfringens isolates. Isolates were sourced from healthy and diarrheic young and mature cattle (n = 191), from calves with confirmed or suspected BCA (n = 22), and from mature cattle with JHS (n = 5). Of 216 isolates (96%), 208 were positive for the cpa gene and 13% (29/218) were positive for atypical cpb2. Three of 8 (37.5%) confirmed BCA isolates, 2 of 13 (15.4%) suspected BCA isolates, and no JHS isolates tested positive for atypical cpb2. As all isolates were negative for cpb, cpb2, cpe, etx, netB, and tpeL, the results of the present study do not support a role for these genes in BCA or JHS. A subset of unique genes identified in 1 bovine clostridial abomasitis isolate (F262), for which a genome sequence is available, was searched for in 8 BCA isolates by PCR. None of the 10 genes was consistently present in all or even in a majority of BCA isolates. Many of these genes were also variably and inconsistently present in type A isolates from calves that did not have BCA. Although a virulence signature to aid in the diagnosis of BCA caused by C. perfringens type A was not identified, further work may discover a gene or group of genes that would constitute such a signature. PMID:23543949

  5. Cyanobacterial toxins: biosynthetic routes and evolutionary roots.

    PubMed

    Dittmann, Elke; Fewer, David P; Neilan, Brett A

    2013-01-01

    Cyanobacteria produce an unparalleled variety of toxins that can cause severe health problems or even death in humans, and wild or domestic animals. In the last decade, biosynthetic pathways have been assigned to the majority of the known toxin families. This review summarizes current knowledge about the enzymatic basis for the production of the hepatotoxins microcystin and nodularin, the cytotoxin cylindrospermopsin, the neurotoxins anatoxin and saxitoxin, and the dermatotoxin lyngbyatoxin. Elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways of the toxins has paved the way for the development of molecular techniques for the detection and quantification of the producing cyanobacteria in different environments. Phylogenetic analyses of related clusters from a large number of strains has also allowed for the reconstruction of the evolutionary scenarios that have led to the emergence, diversification, and loss of such gene clusters in different strains and genera of cyanobacteria. Advances in the understanding of toxin biosynthesis and evolution have provided new methods for drinking-water quality control and may inspire the development of techniques for the management of bloom formation in the future. PMID:23051004

  6. Toxin-induced respiratory distress.

    PubMed

    McKay, Charles A

    2014-02-01

    This article describes the impact of various toxic substances on the airway and pulmonary system. Pulmonary anatomy and physiology provide the basis for understanding the response to toxin-induced injury. Simple asphyxiants displace oxygen from the inspired air. Respiratory irritants include water-soluble and water-insoluble compounds. Several inhaled agents produce direct airway injury, which may be mediated by caustic, thermal, and hydrocarbon exposures. Unique pulmonary toxins and toxicants are discussed, as well as inhaled toxin mixtures. Several inhaled toxins may also impair oxygen transport. The pulmonary system may also provide a mechanism for systemic toxin delivery on respiratory exposure. PMID:24275172

  7. TcdC does not significantly repress toxin expression in Clostridium difficile 630ΔErm.

    PubMed

    Bakker, Dennis; Smits, Wiep Klaas; Kuijper, Ed J; Corver, Jeroen

    2012-01-01

    In the past decade, Clostridium difficile has emerged as an important gut pathogen. Symptoms of C. difficile infection range from mild diarrhea to pseudomembranous colitis, sometimes resulting in colectomy or death. The main virulence factors of C. difficile are toxin A and toxin B. Besides the genes encoding these toxins (tcdA and tcdB), the pathogenicity locus (PaLoc) also contains genes encoding a sigma factor (tcdR) and a putative anti-sigma factor (tcdC). The important role of TcdR as a sigma factor for toxin expression is undisputed, whereas the role of TcdC as an anti-sigma factor, inhibiting toxin expression, is currently the subject of debate. To clarify the role of TcdC in toxin expression, we generated an isogenic ClosTron-based mutant of tcdC in Clostridium difficile strain 630Δ Erm (CT::tcdC) and determined the transcription levels of the PaLoc genes and the expression levels of the toxins in the wild type strain and the tcdC mutant strain. We found only minor differences in transcription levels of the PaLoc genes between the wild type and CT::tcdC strains and total toxin levels did not significantly differ either. These results suggest that in C. difficile 630Δerm TcdC is not a major regulator of toxin expression under the conditions tested. PMID:22912837

  8. Predicting the presence of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in ground beef by using molecular tests for Shiga toxins, intimin, and O serogroups

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    When 3,972 ground beef enrichments with 6 confirmed to contain a non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing intimin-positive Escherichia coli isolate were tested for Shiga toxin, intimin, and O group (O26,045, O103, O111, O121, and O145) genes, 183 potential positives and only 2 of the 6 confirmed positives wer...

  9. Virulence Characterization of Salmonella enterica by a New Microarray: Detection and Evaluation of the Cytolethal Distending Toxin Gene Activity in the Unusual Host S. Typhimurium

    PubMed Central

    Figueiredo, Rui; Card, Roderick; Nunes, Carla; AbuOun, Manal; Bagnall, Mary C.; Nunez, Javier; Mendonça, Nuno; Anjum, Muna F.; da Silva, Gabriela Jorge

    2015-01-01

    Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic foodborne pathogen that causes acute gastroenteritis in humans. We assessed the virulence potential of one-hundred and six Salmonella strains isolated from food animals and products. A high through-put virulence genes microarray demonstrated Salmonella Pathogenicity Islands (SPI) and adherence genes were highly conserved, while prophages and virulence plasmid genes were variably present. Isolates were grouped by serotype, and virulence plasmids separated S. Typhimurium in two clusters. Atypical microarray results lead to whole genome sequencing (WGS) of S. Infantis Sal147, which identified deletion of thirty-eight SPI-1 genes. Sal147 was unable to invade HeLa cells and showed reduced mortality in Galleria mellonella infection model, in comparison to a SPI-1 harbouring S. Infantis. Microarray and WGS of S. Typhimurium Sal199, established for the first time in S. Typhimurium presence of cdtB and other Typhi-related genes. Characterization of Sal199 showed cdtB genes were upstream of transposase IS911, and co-expressed with other Typhi-related genes. Cell cycle arrest, cytoplasmic distension, and nuclear enlargement were detected in HeLa cells infected by Sal199, but not with S. Typhimurium LT2. Increased mortality of Galleria was detected on infection with Sal199 compared to LT2. Thus, Salmonella isolates were rapidly characterized using a high through-put microarray; helping to identify unusual virulence features which were corroborated by further characterisation. This work demonstrates that the use of suitable screening methods for Salmonella virulence can help assess the potential risk associated with certain Salmonella to humans. Incorporation of such methodology into surveillance could help reduce the risk of emergence of epidemic Salmonella strains. PMID:26244504

  10. A Mutational Analysis of Killer Toxin Resistance in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Identifies New Genes Involved in Cell Wall (1 -> 6)-β-Glucan Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Brown, J. L.; Kossaczka, Z.; Jiang, B.; Bussey, H.

    1993-01-01

    Recessive mutations leading to killer resistance identify the KRE9, KRE10 and KRE11 genes. Mutations in both the KRE9 and KRE11 genes lead to reduced levels of (1 -> 6)-β-glucan in the yeast cell wall. The KRE11 gene encodes a putative 63-kD cytoplasmic protein, and disruption of the KRE11 locus leads to a 50% reduced level of cell wall (1 -> 6)-glucan. Structural analysis of the (1 -> 6)-β-glucan remaining in a kre11 mutant indicates a polymer smaller in size than wild type, but containing a similar proportion of (1 -> 6)- and (1 -> 3)-linkages. Genetic interactions among cells harboring mutations at the KRE11, KRE6 and KRE1 loci indicate lethality of kre11 kre6 double mutants and that kre11 is epistatic to kre1, with both gene products required to produce the mature glucan polymer at wild-type levels. Analysis of these KRE genes should extend knowledge of the β-glucan biosynthetic pathway, and of cell wall synthesis in yeast. PMID:8462845

  11. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin susceptibility and isolation of resistance mutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Marroquin, L D; Elyassnia, D; Griffitts, J S; Feitelson, J S; Aroian, R V

    2000-01-01

    The protein toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are the most widely used natural insecticides in agriculture. Despite successful and extensive use of these toxins in transgenic crops, little is known about toxicity and resistance pathways in target insects since these organisms are not ideal for molecular genetic studies. To address this limitation and to investigate the potential use of these toxins to control parasitic nematodes, we are studying Bt toxin action and resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate for the first time that a single Bt toxin can target a nematode. When fed Bt toxin, C. elegans hermaphrodites undergo extensive damage to the gut, a decrease in fertility, and death, consistent with toxin effects in insects. We have screened for and isolated 10 recessive mutants that resist the toxin's effects on the intestine, on fertility, and on viability. These mutants define five genes, indicating that more components are required for Bt toxicity than previously known. We find that a second, unrelated nematicidal Bt toxin may utilize a different toxicity pathway. Our data indicate that C. elegans can be used to undertake detailed molecular genetic analysis of Bt toxin pathways and that Bt toxins hold promise as nematicides. PMID:10924467

  12. Influence of primer sequences and DNA extraction method on detection of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in ground beef by real-time PCR targeting the eae, stx, and serogroup-specific genes.

    PubMed

    Wasilenko, Jamie L; Fratamico, Pina M; Narang, Neelam; Tillman, Glenn E; Ladely, Scott; Simmons, Mustafa; Cray, William C

    2012-11-01

    Non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections, particularly those caused by the "big six" or "top six" non-O157 serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) can result in severe illness and complications. Because of their significant public health impact and the notable prevalence of STEC in cattle, methods for detection of the big six non-O157 STEC in ground beef have been established. Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service detection methods for screening beef samples for non-O157 STEC target the stx(1), stx(2), and eae virulence genes, with the 16S rRNA gene as an internal control, in a real-time PCR multiplex assay. Further, the serogroup is determined by PCR targeting genes in the E. coli O-antigen gene clusters of the big six non-O157 serogroups. The method that we previously reported was improved so that additional stx variants, stx(1d), stx(2e), and stx(2g), are detected. Additionally, alignments of the primers targeting the eae gene were used to improve the detection assay so that eae subtypes that could potentially be of clinical significance would also be detected. Therefore, evaluation of alternative real-time PCR assay primers and probes for the stx and eae reactions was carried out in order to increase the stx and eae subtypes detected. Furthermore, a Tris-EDTA DNA extraction method was compared with a previously used procedure that was based on a commercially available reagent. The Tris-EDTA DNA extraction method significantly decreased the cycle threshold values for the stx assay (P < 0.0001) and eae assay (P < 0.0001), thereby increasing the ability to detect the targets. The use of different stx primers and probes increased the subtypes detected to include stx(1d), stx(2e), and stx(2g), and sequence data showed that modification of the eae primer should allow the known eae subtypes to be detected. PMID:23127702

  13. Enterotoxigenicity of Mature 45-Kilodalton and Processed 35-Kilodalton Forms of Hemagglutinin Protease Purified from a Cholera Toxin Gene-Negative Vibrio cholerae Non-O1, Non-O139 Strain

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, A.; Saha, D. R.; Hoque, K. M.; Asakuna, M.; Yamasaki, S.; Koley, H.; Das, S. S.; Chakrabarti, M. K.; Pal, A.

    2006-01-01

    Cholera toxin gene-negative Vibrio cholerae non-O1, non-O139 strain PL-21 is the etiologic agent of cholera-like syndrome. Hemagglutinin protease (HAP) is one of the major secretory proteins of PL-21. The mature 45-kDa and processed 35-kDa forms of HAP were purified in the presence and absence of EDTA from culture supernatants of PL-21. Enterotoxigenicities of both forms of HAP were tested in rabbit ileal loop (RIL), Ussing chamber, and tissue culture assays. The 35-kDa HAP showed hemorrhagic fluid response in a dose-dependent manner in the RIL assay. Histopathological examination of 20 μg of purified protease-treated rabbit ileum showed the presence of erythrocytes and neutrophils in the upper part of the villous lamina propria. Treatment with 40 μg of protease resulted in gross damage of the villous epithelium with inflammation, hemorrhage, and necrosis. The 35-kDa form of HAP, when added to the lumenal surface of rat ileum loaded in an Ussing chamber, showed a decrease in the intestinal short-circuit current and a cell rounding effect on HeLa cells. The mature 45-kDa form of HAP showed an increase in intestinal short-circuit current in an Ussing chamber and a cell distending effect on HeLa cells. These results show that HAP may play a role in the pathogenesis of PL-21. PMID:16622232

  14. Toxins and drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Alan L

    2014-12-15

    Components from venoms have stimulated many drug discovery projects, with some notable successes. These are briefly reviewed, from captopril to ziconotide. However, there have been many more disappointments on the road from toxin discovery to approval of a new medicine. Drug discovery and development is an inherently risky business, and the main causes of failure during development programmes are outlined in order to highlight steps that might be taken to increase the chances of success with toxin-based drug discovery. These include having a clear focus on unmet therapeutic needs, concentrating on targets that are well-validated in terms of their relevance to the disease in question, making use of phenotypic screening rather than molecular-based assays, and working with development partners with the resources required for the long and expensive development process. PMID:25448391

  15. Tobacco plants expressing the Cry1AbMod toxin suppress tolerance to Cry1Ab toxin of Manduca sexta cadherin-silenced larvae.

    PubMed

    Porta, Helena; Jiménez, Gladys; Cordoba, Elizabeth; León, Patricia; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra

    2011-07-01

    Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria are insecticidal proteins used worldwide in the control of different insect pests. Alterations in toxin-receptor interaction represent the most common mechanism to induce resistance to Cry toxins in lepidopteran insects. Cry toxins bind with high affinity to the cadherin protein present in the midgut cells and this interaction facilitates the proteolytic removal of helix α-1 and pre-pore oligomer formation. Resistance to Cry toxins has been linked with mutations in the cadherin gene. One strategy effective to overcome larval resistance to Cry1A toxins is the production of Cry1AMod toxins that lack helix α-1. Cry1AMod are able to form oligomeric structures without binding to cadherin receptor and were shown to be toxic to cadherin-silenced Manduca sexta larvae and Pectinophora gossypiella strain with resistance linked to mutations in a cadherin gene. We developed Cry1AbMod tobacco transgenic plants to analyze if Cry1AMod toxins can be expressed in transgenic crops, do not affect plant development and are able to control insect pests. Our results show that production of the Cry1AbMod toxin in transgenic plants does not affect plant development, since these plants exhibited healthy growth, produced abundant seeds, and were virtually undistinguishable from control plants. Most importantly, Cry1AbMod protein produced in tobacco plants retains its functional toxic activity against susceptible and tolerant M. sexta larvae due to the silencing of cadherin receptor by RNAi. These results suggest that CryMod toxins could potentially be expressed in other transgenic crops to protect them against both toxin-susceptible and resistant lepidopteran larvae affected in cadherin gene. PMID:21621616

  16. Response of the Gypsy Moth, Lymantria dispar to Transgenic Poplar, Populus simonii x P. nigra, Expressing Fusion Protein Gene of the Spider Insecticidal Peptide and Bt-toxin C-peptide

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Chuan-Wang; Liu, Gui-Feng; Wang, Zhi-Ying; Yan, Shan-Chun; Ma, Ling; Yang, Chuan-Ping

    2010-01-01

    The response of the Asian gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) to a fusion gene consisting of the spider, Atrax robustus Simon (Araneae: Hexanthelidae) ω?-ACTX-Ar1 sequence coding for an ω?-atracotoxin and a sequence coding for the Bt-toxin C-peptide, expressed in transgenic poplar Populus simonii x P. nigra L. (Malphigiales: Salicaceae) was investigated. Individual performance, feeding selection, midgut proteinase activity and nutrition utilization were monitored. The growth and development of L. dispar were significantly affected by continually feeding on the transgenic poplar, with the larval instars displaying significantly shorter developmental times than those fed on nontransgenic poplar, but pupation was delayed. Mortality was higher in populations fed transgenic poplar leaves, than for larvae fed nontransgenic poplar leaves. The cumulative mortality during all stages of larvae fed transgenic leaves was 92% compared to 16.7% of larvae on nontransgenic leaves. The highest mortality observed was 71.7% in the last larval instar stage. A two-choice test showed that fifth-instar larvae preferred to feed on nontransgenic leaves at a ratio of 1:1.4. Feeding on transgenic leaves had highly significant negative effects on relative growth of larvae, and the efficiency of conversion of ingested and digested food. Activity of major midgut proteinases was measured using substrates TAME and BTEE showed significant increases in tryptase and chymotrypsinlike activity (9.2- and 9.0-fold, respectively) in fifth-instar larvae fed on transgenic leaves over control. These results suggest transgenic poplar is resistant to L. dispar, and the mature L. dispar may be weakened by the transgenic plants due to Bt protoxins activated by elevated major midgut proteinase activity. The new transgenic poplar expressing fusion protein genes of Bt and a new spider insecticidal peptide are good candidates for managing gypsy moth. PMID:21268699

  17. Isolation and characterization of EG2158, a new strain of Bacillus thuringiensis toxic to coleopteran larvae, and nucleotide sequence of the toxin gene.

    PubMed

    Donovan, W P; Gonzalez, J M; Gilbert, M P; Dankocsik, C

    1988-11-01

    A novel strain of Bacillus thuringiensis was isolated from soybean grain dust from Kansas and found to be toxic to larvae of Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetle). The strain (EG2158) synthesized two parasporal crystals: a rhomboid crystal composed of a 73116 dalton protein of approximately 30 kDa. Plasmid transfer and gene cloning experiments demonstrated that the 73 kDa protein was encoded on an 88 MDa plasmid and that the protein was toxic to the larvae of Colorado potato beetle (CPB). The sequence of the 73 kDa protein, as deduced from the sequence of its gene (cryC), was found to have regions of similarity with several B. thuringiensis crystal proteins: the lepidopteran-toxic P1 proteins of var. kurstaki and berliner, the lepidopteran- and dipteran-toxic P2 (or CRYB1) protein of var. kurstaki, and the dipteran-toxic 130 kDa protein of var. israelensis. While B. megaterium cells harboring the cryC gene from EG2158 synthesized significant amounts of the 73 kDa CRYC protein, Escherichia coli cells did not. The cryC-containing B. megaterium cells produced rhomboid crystals that were toxic to CPB larvae. PMID:3146015

  18. Method for detecting biological toxins

    SciTech Connect

    Ligler, F.S.; Campbell, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    Biological toxins are indirectly detected by using polymerase chain reaction to amplify unique nucleic acid sequences coding for the toxins or enzymes unique to toxin synthesis. Buffer, primers coding for the unique nucleic acid sequences and an amplifying enzyme are added to a sample suspected of containing the toxin. The mixture is then cycled thermally to exponentially amplify any of these unique nucleic acid sequences present in the sample. The amplified sequences can be detected by various means, including fluorescence. Detection of the amplified sequences is indicative of the presence of toxin in the original sample. By using more than one set of labeled primers, the method can be used to simultaneously detect several toxins in a sample.

  19. Dissecting the Contributions of Clostridium perfringens Type C Toxins to Lethality in the Mouse Intravenous Injection Model

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Derek J.; Fernandez-Miyakawa, Mariano E.; Sayeed, Sameera; Poon, Rachael; Adams, Victoria; Rood, Julian I.; Uzal, Francisco A.; McClane, Bruce A.

    2006-01-01

    The gram-positive anaerobe Clostridium perfringens produces a large arsenal of toxins that are responsible for histotoxic and enteric infections, including enterotoxemias, in humans and domestic animals. C. perfringens type C isolates, which cause rapidly fatal diseases in domestic animals and enteritis necroticans in humans, contain the genes for alpha toxin (plc), perfringolysin O (pfoA), beta toxin (cpb), and sometimes beta2 toxin (cpb2) and/or enterotoxin (cpe). Due to the economic impact of type C-induced diseases, domestic animals are commonly vaccinated with crude type C toxoid (prepared from inactivated culture supernatants) or bacterin/toxoid vaccines, and it is not clear which toxin(s) present in these vaccines actually elicits the protective immune response. To improve type C vaccines, it would be helpful to assess the contribution of each toxin present in type C supernatants to lethality. To address this issue, we surveyed a large collection of type C isolates to determine their toxin-producing abilities. When late-log-phase vegetative culture supernatants were analyzed by quantitative Western blotting or activity assays, most type C isolates produced at least three lethal toxins, alpha toxin, beta toxin, and perfringolysin O, and several isolates also produced beta2 toxin. In the mouse intravenous injection model, beta toxin was identified as the main lethal factor present in type C late-log-phase culture supernatants. This conclusion was based on monoclonal antibody neutralization studies and regression analyses in which the levels of alpha toxin, beta toxin, perfringolysin O, and beta2 toxin production were compared with lethality. Collectively, our results highlight the importance of beta toxin for type C-induced toxemia. PMID:16926413

  20. Recombinant Toxins for Cancer Treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastan, Ira; Fitzgerald, David

    1991-11-01

    Recombinant toxins target cell surface receptors and antigens on tumor cells. They kill by mechanisms different from conventional chemotherapy, so that cross resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents should not be a problem. Furthermore, they are not mutagens and should not induce secondary malignancies or accelerate progression of benign malignancies. They can be mass-produced cheaply in bacteria as homogeneous proteins. Either growth factor-toxin fusions or antibody-toxin fusions can be chosen, depending on the cellular target.

  1. Ricin detection: tracking active toxin.

    PubMed

    Bozza, William P; Tolleson, William H; Rosado, Leslie A Rivera; Zhang, Baolin

    2015-01-01

    Ricin is a plant toxin with high bioterrorism potential due to its natural abundance and potency in inducing cell death. Early detection of the active toxin is essential for developing appropriate countermeasures. Here we review concepts for designing ricin detection methods, including mechanism of action of the toxin, advantages and disadvantages of current detection assays, and perspectives on the future development of rapid and reliable methods for detecting ricin in environmental samples. PMID:25481398

  2. Comparison of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli detection systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Category: methodology improvements Objective: To identify strengths and weaknesses of commercial Shiga toxin-producing E. coli detection systems and kits in a side by side fashion. Experimental Design: Three commercial Shiga toxin-producing E. coli detection tests (BAX, GDS, and GeneDisc) and two t...

  3. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Host-Toxin Interaction in the Wheat - Stagonospora Nodorum Pathosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stagonospora nodorum, casual agent of Stagonospora nodorum blotch (SNB) of wheat, produces a number of host-selective toxins (HSTs) known to be important in disease. To date, four HSTs and corresponding host sensitivity genes have been reported, and all four host-toxin interactions are significant f...

  4. The DinJ/RelE toxin-antitoxin system suppresses virulence in Xylella fastidiosa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of a number agriculturally important plant diseases, encodes multiple toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems. TA modules consist of a toxin protein co-expressed with a specific antitoxin, and are often acquired through horizontal gene transfer. Antitoxin molecules (RNA or ...

  5. Phage Types and Genotypes of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli O157 in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Saari, Marjut; Cheasty, Thomas; Leino, Kirsikka; Siitonen, Anja

    2001-01-01

    This study examined Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, using phage typing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and typing of Shiga toxin variant genes by PCR with restriction fragment length polymorphism in an epidemiological survey of STEC O157 isolated from humans in Finland between 1990 and 1999. PMID:11230443

  6. Clostridium Perfringens Toxins Involved in Mammalian Veterinary Diseases.

    PubMed

    Uzal, F A; Vidal, J E; McClane, B A; Gurjar, A A

    2010-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is a gram-positive anaerobic rod that is classified into 5 toxinotypes (A, B, C, D, and E) according to the production of 4 major toxins, namely alpha (CPA), beta (CPB), epsilon (ETX) and iota (ITX). However, this microorganism can produce up to 16 toxins in various combinations, including lethal toxins such as perfringolysin O (PFO), enterotoxin (CPE), and beta2 toxin (CPB2). Most diseases caused by this microorganism are mediated by one or more of these toxins. The role of CPA in intestinal disease of mammals is controversial and poorly documented, but there is no doubt that this toxin is essential in the production of gas gangrene of humans and several animal species. CPB produced by C. perfringens types B and C is responsible for necrotizing enteritis and enterotoxemia mainly in neonatal individuals of several animal species. ETX produced by C. perfringens type D is responsible for clinical signs and lesions of enterotoxemia, a predominantly neurological disease of sheep and goats. The role of ITX in disease of animals is poorly understood, although it is usually assumed that the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases produced by C. perfringens type E is mediated by this toxin. CPB2, a necrotizing and lethal toxin that can be produced by all types of C. perfringens, has been blamed for disease in many animal species, but little information is currently available to sustain or rule out this claim. CPE is an important virulence factor for C. perfringens type A gastrointestinal disease in humans and dogs; however, the data implicating CPE in other animal diseases remains ambiguous. PFO does not seem to play a direct role as the main virulence factor for animal diseases, but it may have a synergistic role with CPA-mediated gangrene and ETX-mediated enterotoxemia. The recent improvement of animal models for C. perfringens infection and the use of toxin gene knock-out mutants have demonstrated the specific pathogenic role of several toxins of C

  7. Clostridium Perfringens Toxins Involved in Mammalian Veterinary Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Uzal, F. A.; Vidal, J. E.; McClane, B. A.; Gurjar, A. A.

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is a gram-positive anaerobic rod that is classified into 5 toxinotypes (A, B, C, D, and E) according to the production of 4 major toxins, namely alpha (CPA), beta (CPB), epsilon (ETX) and iota (ITX). However, this microorganism can produce up to 16 toxins in various combinations, including lethal toxins such as perfringolysin O (PFO), enterotoxin (CPE), and beta2 toxin (CPB2). Most diseases caused by this microorganism are mediated by one or more of these toxins. The role of CPA in intestinal disease of mammals is controversial and poorly documented, but there is no doubt that this toxin is essential in the production of gas gangrene of humans and several animal species. CPB produced by C. perfringens types B and C is responsible for necrotizing enteritis and enterotoxemia mainly in neonatal individuals of several animal species. ETX produced by C. perfringens type D is responsible for clinical signs and lesions of enterotoxemia, a predominantly neurological disease of sheep and goats. The role of ITX in disease of animals is poorly understood, although it is usually assumed that the pathogenesis of intestinal diseases produced by C. perfringens type E is mediated by this toxin. CPB2, a necrotizing and lethal toxin that can be produced by all types of C. perfringens, has been blamed for disease in many animal species, but little information is currently available to sustain or rule out this claim. CPE is an important virulence factor for C. perfringens type A gastrointestinal disease in humans and dogs; however, the data implicating CPE in other animal diseases remains ambiguous. PFO does not seem to play a direct role as the main virulence factor for animal diseases, but it may have a synergistic role with CPA-mediated gangrene and ETX-mediated enterotoxemia. The recent improvement of animal models for C. perfringens infection and the use of toxin gene knock-out mutants have demonstrated the specific pathogenic role of several toxins of C

  8. Regulation of toxin production by Bacillus cereus and its food safety implications.

    PubMed

    Ceuppens, Siele; Rajkovic, Andreja; Heyndrickx, Marc; Tsilia, Varvara; Van De Wiele, Tom; Boon, Nico; Uyttendaele, Mieke

    2011-08-01

    Toxin expression is of utmost importance for the food-borne pathogen B. cereus, both in food poisoning and non-gastrointestinal host infections as well as in interbacterial competition. Therefore it is no surprise that the toxin gene expression is tightly regulated by various internal and environmental signals. An overview of the current knowledge regarding emetic and diarrheal toxin transcription and expression is presented in this review. The food safety aspects and management tools such as temperature control, food preservatives and modified atmosphere packaging are discussed specifically for B. cereus emetic and diarrheal toxin production. PMID:21417966

  9. Genetic detoxification of bacterial toxins: a new approach to vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Rappuoli, R; Douce, G; Dougan, G; Pizza, M

    1995-12-01

    Chemically detoxified bacterial toxins (toxoids) have been successfully used as vaccines for the prevention of many bacterial infectious diseases. Today, nontoxic derivatives of bacterial toxins can be obtained by mutagenesis of the toxin genes. These genetically inactivated toxins are superior to the classical toxoids both in safety and in immunogenicity and therefore they should replace the old toxoids in the existing vaccines. In addition, they represent a novel class of immunogens with unique properties, some of which may be used for innovative approaches to vaccination. PMID:7580303

  10. Selection of Orphan Rhs Toxin Expression in Evolved Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium

    PubMed Central

    Koskiniemi, Sanna; Garza-Sánchez, Fernando; Sandegren, Linus; Webb, Julia S.; Braaten, Bruce A.; Poole, Stephen J.; Andersson, Dan I.; Hayes, Christopher S.; Low, David A.

    2014-01-01

    Clonally derived bacterial populations exhibit significant genotypic and phenotypic diversity that contribute to fitness in rapidly changing environments. Here, we show that serial passage of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium LT2 (StLT2) in broth, or within a mouse host, results in selection of an evolved population that inhibits the growth of ancestral cells by direct contact. Cells within each evolved population gain the ability to express and deploy a cryptic “orphan” toxin encoded within the rearrangement hotspot (rhs) locus. The Rhs orphan toxin is encoded by a gene fragment located downstream of the “main” rhs gene in the ancestral strain StLT2. The Rhs orphan coding sequence is linked to an immunity gene, which encodes an immunity protein that specifically blocks Rhs orphan toxin activity. Expression of the Rhs orphan immunity protein protects ancestral cells from the evolved lineages, indicating that orphan toxin activity is responsible for the observed growth inhibition. Because the Rhs orphan toxin is encoded by a fragmented reading frame, it lacks translation initiation and protein export signals. We provide evidence that evolved cells undergo recombination between the main rhs gene and the rhs orphan toxin gene fragment, yielding a fusion that enables expression and delivery of the orphan toxin. In this manner, rhs locus rearrangement provides a selective advantage to a subpopulation of cells. These observations suggest that rhs genes play important roles in intra-species competition and bacterial evolution. PMID:24675981

  11. Antibacterial resistance, genes encoding toxins and genetic background among Staphylococcus aureus isolated from community-acquired skin and soft tissue infections in France: a national prospective survey.

    PubMed

    Lamy, B; Laurent, F; Gallon, O; Doucet-Populaire, F; Etienne, J; Decousser, J-W

    2012-06-01

    The epidemiology of staphylococcal community-acquired skin and soft tissues infections (CA-SSTIs) has changed dramatically. We described prospectively the characteristics of the Staphylococcus aureus isolated from 71 non-teaching French hospitals and implicated in CA-SSTIs: antimicrobial susceptibility (mecA polymerase chain reaction [PCR], disk diffusion method), virulence factor gene (sea, tst, pvl) prevalence and genetic background (agr allele). During November 2006, 235 strains were collected (wound infection: 51%, abscess: 21%, whitlow: 8%, diabetic foot: 7%, furunculosis: 3%). sea, tst and pvl were identified in 22.1, 13.2 and 8.9% strains, respectively. agr allele 1 was the most frequently encountered genetic background, whatever the methicillin susceptibility. Among the 34 methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA, 14.5% of all S. aureus), only one strain (2.9%) harboured pvl (belonging to the European ST80 clone), four (11.8%) tst (belonging to two endemic French clones) and 18 (52.9%) sea gene (mainly the Lyon clone). According to their in vitro activity, pristinamycin or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole could be considered as first-choice antibiotics. To date, the international pvl-positive MRSA clones have not spread in France. MRSA strains isolated from putative CA-SSTIs exhibited a genetic and phenotypic background of hospital-acquired (HA) clones. National survey should be continued, in order to monitor the emergence of virulent clones. PMID:21997773

  12. Toxin-Independent Virulence of Bacillus anthracis in Rabbits

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Identification of first exfoliative toxin in Staphylococcus pseudintermedius.

    PubMed

    Futagawa-Saito, Keiko; Makino, Shinichiroh; Sunaga, Fujiko; Kato, Yukio; Sakurai-Komada, Naomi; Ba-Thein, William; Fukuyasu, Tsuguaki

    2009-12-01

    Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus hyicus, and Staphylococcus chromogenes are known to cause skin infections in human or animals by producing exfoliative toxins (ETs). Staphylococcus pseudintermedius can also cause canine pyoderma, but no exfoliative toxins or similar toxins have been reported. PCR with degenerate primers targeted to the conserved regions in ETA, ETB, and ETD from S. aureus and SHETB from S. hyicus, and subsequent chromosome walking identified a novel gene, designated as exi (exfoliative toxin of pseudintermedius) in S. pseudintermedius. EXI had significant homologies with the exfoliative toxins (43-68% identity), particularly with ETB (67.1%), ETD (67.9%), and SHETB (65.1%). Phylogenetic analysis showed close relation between EXI and ETB with a bootstrap value of 80%. Neonatal mice injected with the crude proteins from the culture supernatant or recombinant EXI showed gross blisters and/or characteristic skin exfoliation. The prevalence of exi assessed by dot-blot hybridization was 23.3% (10/43) in S. pseudintermedius isolates from canine pyoderma. The EXI reported herein is the first exfoliative toxin identified in S. pseudintermedius. PMID:19891731

  14. Preponderance of toxigenic Escherichia coli in stool pathogens correlates with toxin detection in accessible drinking-water sources.

    PubMed

    Igbokwe, H; Bhattacharyya, S; Gradus, S; Khubbar, M; Griswold, D; Navidad, J; Igwilo, C; Masson-Meyers, D; Azenabor, A A

    2015-02-01

    Since early detection of pathogens and their virulence factors contribute to intervention and control strategies, we assessed the enteropathogens in diarrhoea disease and investigated the link between toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli from stool and drinking-water sources; and determined the expression of toxin genes by antibiotic-resistant E. coli in Lagos, Nigeria. This was compared with isolates from diarrhoeal stool and water from Wisconsin, USA. The new Luminex xTAG GPP (Gastroplex) technique and conventional real-time PCR were used to profile enteric pathogens and E. coli toxin gene isolates, respectively. Results showed the pathogen profile of stool and indicated a relationship between E. coli toxin genes in water and stool from Lagos which was absent in Wisconsin isolates. The Gastroplex technique was efficient for multiple enteric pathogens and toxin gene detection. The co-existence of antibiotic resistance with enteroinvasive E. coli toxin genes suggests an additional prognostic burden on patients. PMID:24787554

  15. Lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, C.G.; Armstrong, G.D. )

    1990-12-01

    We have investigated human T-lymphocyte receptors for pertussis toxin by affinity isolation and photoaffinity labeling procedures. T lymphocytes were obtained from peripheral human blood, surface iodinated, and solubilized in Triton X-100. The iodinated mixture was then passed through pertussis toxin-agarose, and the fractions were analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Autoradiography of the fixed, dried gels revealed several bands in the pertussis toxin-bound fraction that were not observed in fractions obtained from histone or fetuin-agarose. Further investigations employed a photoaffinity labeling reagent, sulfosuccinimidyl 2-(p-azido-salicylamido)-1,3'-dithiopropionate, to identify pertussis toxin receptors in freshly isolated peripheral blood monocytic cells, T lymphocytes, and Jurkat cells. In all three cell systems, the pertussis toxin affinity probe specifically labeled a single protein species with an apparent molecular weight of 70,000 that was not observed when the procedure was performed in the presence of excess unmodified pertussis toxin. A protein comparable in molecular weight to the one detected by the photoaffinity labeling technique was also observed among the species that bound to pertussis toxin-agarose. The results suggest that pertussis toxin may bind to a 70,000-Da receptor in human T lymphocytes.

  16. The assay of diphtheria toxin

    PubMed Central

    Gerwing, Julia; Long, D. A.; Mussett, Marjorie V.

    1957-01-01

    A precise assay of diphtheria toxin is described, based on the linear relationship between the diameter of the skin reaction to, and logarithm of the dose of, toxin. It eliminates the need for preliminary titrations, is economical, provides information about the slope of the log-dose response lines and, therefore, of the validity of the assay, and yields limits of error of potency from the internal evidence of the assay. A study has been made of the effects of avidity, combining power, toxicity and buffering on the assay of diphtheria toxins against the International Standards for both Diphtheria Antitoxin and Schick-Test Toxin. All the toxins assayed against the standard toxin, whatever their other properties might be, gave log-dose response lines of similar slope provided that they were diluted in buffered physiological saline. The assays were therefore valid. These experiments were repeated concurrently in non-immune and in actively immunized guinea-pigs, and comparable figures for potency obtained in both groups. The result was not significantly affected by the avidity or combining power of the toxin. However, non-avid toxins gave low values in Schick units when assayed, by the Römer & Sames technique, in terms of the International Standard for Diphtheria Antitoxin. The problem of the ultimate standard and the implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:13511133

  17. TOXINS FROM CYANOBACTERIA IN WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This project is part of a larger U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effort, which includes the Office of Water, to investigate algal toxins in surface water supplies and drinking water. Toxins produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are among the most potent known ...

  18. Botulinum toxin: Bioweapon & magic drug

    PubMed Central

    Dhaked, Ram Kumar; Singh, Manglesh Kumar; Singh, Padma; Gupta, Pallavi

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins, causative agents of botulism in humans, are produced by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-former Gram positive bacillus. Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bioweapon threat because of its extreme potency and lethality; its ease of production, transport, and misuse; and the need for prolonged intensive care among affected persons. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled, can kill more than one million people. The basis of the phenomenal potency of botulinum toxin is enzymatic; the toxin is a zinc proteinase that cleaves neuronal vesicle associated proteins responsible for acetylcholine release into the neuromuscular junction. As a military or terrorist weapon, botulinum toxin could be disseminated via aerosol or by contamination of water or food supplies, causing widespread casualties. A fascinating aspect of botulinum toxin research in recent years has been development of the most potent toxin into a molecule of significant therapeutic utility. It is the first biological toxin which is licensed for treatment of human diseases. In the late 1980s, Canada approved use of the toxin to treat strabismus, in 2001 in the removal of facial wrinkles and in 2002, the FDA in the United States followed suit. The present review focuses on both warfare potential and medical uses of botulinum neurotoxin. PMID:21149997

  19. Three toxins, two receptors, one mechanism: Mode of action of Cry1A toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis in Heliothis virescens.

    PubMed

    Bretschneider, Anne; Heckel, David G; Pauchet, Yannick

    2016-09-01

    Insecticidal crystal (Cry) proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are highly active against Lepidoptera. However, field-evolved resistance to Bt toxins is on the rise. The 12-cadherin domain protein HevCaLP and the ABC transporter HevABCC2 are both genetically linked to Cry toxin resistance in Heliothis virescens. We investigated their interaction using stably expressing non-lytic clonal Sf9 cell lines expressing either protein or both together. Untransfected Sf9 cells are innately sensitive to Cry1Ca toxin, but not to Cry1A toxins; and quantitative PCR revealed negligible expression of genes involved in Cry1A toxicity such as cadherin, ABCC2, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and aminopeptidase N (APN). Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab or Cry1Ac caused swelling of Sf9 cells expressing HevABCC2, and caused faster swelling, lysis and up to 86% mortality in cells expressing both proteins. No such effect was observed in control Sf9 cells or in cells expressing only HevCaLP. The results of a mixing experiment demonstrated that both proteins need to be expressed within the same cell for high cytotoxicity, and suggest a novel role for HevCaLP. Binding assays showed that the toxin-receptor interaction is specific. Our findings confirm that HevABCC2 is the central target in Cry1A toxin mode of action, and that HevCaLP plays a supporting role in increasing Cry1A toxicity. PMID:27456115

  20. Phage-mediated Shiga toxin (Stx) horizontal gene transfer and expression in non-Shiga toxigenic Enterobacter and Escherichia coli strains.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Rowaida K S; Skinner, Craig; Patfield, Stephanie; He, Xiaohua

    2016-07-01

    Enterobacter cloacae M12X01451 strain recently identified from a clinical specimen produces a new Stx1 subtype (Stx1e) that was not neutralized by existing anti-Stx1 monoclonal antibodies. Acquisition of stx by Ent. cloacae is rare and origin/stability of stx1e in M12X01451 is not known. In this study, we confirmed the ability of Stx1a- and Stx1e-converting phages from an Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain RM8530 and M12X01451 respectively to infect several E. coli and Ent. cloacae strains. stx1e was detected in 97.5% and 72.5% of progenies of strains lysogenized by stx1e phage after 10 (T10) and 20 (T20) subcultures, versus 65% and 17.5% for stx1a gene. Infection of M12X01451 and RM8530 with each other's phages generated double lysogens containing both phages. stx1a was lost after T10, whereas the stx1e was maintained even after T20 in M12X01451 lysogens. In RM8530 lysogens, the acquired stx1e was retained with no mutations, but 20% of stx1a was lost after T20 ELISA and western blot analyses demonstrated that Stx1e was produced in all strains lysogenized by stx1e phage; however, Stx1a was not detected in any lysogenized strain. The study results highlight the potential risks of emerging Stx-producing strains via bacteriophages either in the human gastrointestinal tract or in food production environments, which are matters of great concern and may have serious impacts on human health. PMID:27109772

  1. Suppression subtractive hybridization and comparative expression of a pore-forming toxin and glycosyl hydrolase genes in Rhizoctonia solani during potato sprout infection.

    PubMed

    Chamoun, Rony; Samsatly, Jamil; Pakala, Suman B; Cubeta, Marc A; Jabaji, Suha

    2015-06-01

    Rhizoctonia solani is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes black scurf on tubers and stem and stolon canker on underground parts of potato plant. Early in the season, the fungus attacks germinating sprouts underground before they emerge from the soil. Damage at this stage results in delayed emergence of weakened plants with poor and uneven stands. The mechanism underlying this phenomenon has been investigated in this study by coupling a cDNA-suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) library to differential screening to identify transcripts of R. solani that are down-regulated during infection of potato sprouts. We report on the identification of 33 unique genes with functions related to carbohydrate binding, vitamin synthesis, pathogenicity, translation, ATP and nucleic acid binding and other categories. RACE-PCR was used to clone and characterize the first full-length cDNA clones, RSENDO1 and RSGLYC1 that encode for an eukaryotic delta-endotoxin CytB protein and an intracellular glycosyl hydrolase, respectively. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed the down-regulation of RSENDO1 during infection of potato sprouts and the up-regulation of RSGLYC1 when the fungus was grown on a cellulose-based nutrient medium. In contrast, additional experiments have highlighted the down-regulation of RSENDO1 when R. solani was co-cultured with the mycoparasite Stachybotrys elegans and the bacterial antagonist Bacillus subtilis B26. These results advance our understanding of R. solani-potato interaction in subterranean parts of the plant. Such approaches could be considered in building an efficient integrated potato disease management program. PMID:25472038

  2. Toxin modulators and blockers of hERG K(+) channels.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Vargas, J M; Restano-Cassulini, R; Possani, L D

    2012-09-15

    The K(+) channel encoded by the Ether-á-go-go-Related Gene (ERG) is expressed in different tissues of different animal species. There are at least three subtypes of this channel, being the sub-type 1 (ERG1) crucial in the repolarization phase of the cardiac action potential. Mutations in this gene can affect the properties of the channel producing the type II long QT syndrome (LQTS2) and many drugs are also known to affect this channel with a similar side effect. Various scorpion, spider and sea anemone toxins affect the ERG currents by blocking the ion-conducting pore from the external side or by modulating channel gating through binding to the voltage-sensor domain. By doing so, these toxins become very useful tools for better understanding the structural and functional characteristics of these ion channels. This review discusses the interaction between the ERG channels and the peptides isolated from venoms of these animals. Special emphasis is placed on scorpion toxins, although the effects of several spider venom toxins and anemone toxins will be also revised. PMID:22497787

  3. Binding of ATP by pertussis toxin and isolated toxin subunits

    SciTech Connect

    Hausman, S.Z.; Manclark, C.R.; Burns, D.L. )

    1990-07-03

    The binding of ATP to pertussis toxin and its components, the A subunit and B oligomer, was investigated. Whereas, radiolabeled ATP bound to the B oligomer and pertussis toxin, no binding to the A subunit was observed. The binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin and the B oligomer was inhibited by nucleotides. The relative effectiveness of the nucleotides was shown to be ATP > GTP > CTP > TTP for pertussis toxin and ATP > GTP > TTP > CTP for the B oligomer. Phosphate ions inhibited the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin in a competitive manner; however, the presence of phosphate ions was essential for binding of ATP to the B oligomer. The toxin substrate, NAD, did not affect the binding of ({sup 3}H)ATP to pertussis toxin, although the glycoprotein fetuin significantly decreased binding. These results suggest that the binding site for ATP is located on the B oligomer and is distinct from the enzymatically active site but may be located near the eukaryotic receptor binding site.

  4. Clostridium difficile toxin synthesis is negatively regulated by TcdC.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, B; Govind, R; Antunes, A; Matamouros, S

    2008-06-01

    Clostridium difficile toxin synthesis is growth phase-dependent and is regulated by various environmental signals. The toxin genes tcdA and tcdB are located in a pathogenicity locus, which also includes three accessory genes, tcdR, tcdC and tcdE. TcdR has been shown to act as an alternative sigma factor that mediates positive regulation of both the toxin genes and its own gene. The tcdA, tcdB and tcdR genes are transcribed during the stationary growth phase. The tcdC gene, however, is expressed during exponential phase. This expression pattern suggested that TcdC may act as a negative regulator of toxin gene expression. TcdC is a small acidic protein without any conserved DNA-binding motif. It is able to form dimers and its N-terminal region includes a putative transmembrane domain. Genetic and biochemical evidence showed that TcdC negatively regulates C. difficile toxin synthesis by interfering with the ability of TcdR-containing RNA polymerase to recognize the tcdA and tcdB promoters. In addition, the C. difficile NAP1/027 epidemic strains that produce higher levels of toxins have mutations in tcdC. Interestingly, a frameshift mutation at position 117 of the tcdC coding sequence seems to be, at least in part, responsible for the hypertoxigenicity phenotype of these epidemic strains. PMID:18480323

  5. Heterologous Expression of Toxins from Bacterial Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Eukaryotic Cells: Strategies and Applications.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Chew Chieng; Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Chan, Wai Ting; Espinosa, Manuel; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-02-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are found in nearly all prokaryotic genomes and usually consist of a pair of co-transcribed genes, one of which encodes a stable toxin and the other, its cognate labile antitoxin. Certain environmental and physiological cues trigger the degradation of the antitoxin, causing activation of the toxin, leading either to the death or stasis of the host cell. TA systems have a variety of functions in the bacterial cell, including acting as mediators of programmed cell death, the induction of a dormant state known as persistence and the stable maintenance of plasmids and other mobile genetic elements. Some bacterial TA systems are functional when expressed in eukaryotic cells and this has led to several innovative applications, which are the subject of this review. Here, we look at how bacterial TA systems have been utilized for the genetic manipulation of yeasts and other eukaryotes, for the containment of genetically modified organisms, and for the engineering of high expression eukaryotic cell lines. We also examine how TA systems have been adopted as an important tool in developmental biology research for the ablation of specific cells and the potential for utility of TA systems in antiviral and anticancer gene therapies. PMID:26907343

  6. Heterologous Expression of Toxins from Bacterial Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in Eukaryotic Cells: Strategies and Applications

    PubMed Central

    Yeo, Chew Chieng; Abu Bakar, Fauziah; Chan, Wai Ting; Espinosa, Manuel; Harikrishna, Jennifer Ann

    2016-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are found in nearly all prokaryotic genomes and usually consist of a pair of co-transcribed genes, one of which encodes a stable toxin and the other, its cognate labile antitoxin. Certain environmental and physiological cues trigger the degradation of the antitoxin, causing activation of the toxin, leading either to the death or stasis of the host cell. TA systems have a variety of functions in the bacterial cell, including acting as mediators of programmed cell death, the induction of a dormant state known as persistence and the stable maintenance of plasmids and other mobile genetic elements. Some bacterial TA systems are functional when expressed in eukaryotic cells and this has led to several innovative applications, which are the subject of this review. Here, we look at how bacterial TA systems have been utilized for the genetic manipulation of yeasts and other eukaryotes, for the containment of genetically modified organisms, and for the engineering of high expression eukaryotic cell lines. We also examine how TA systems have been adopted as an important tool in developmental biology research for the ablation of specific cells and the potential for utility of TA systems in antiviral and anticancer gene therapies. PMID:26907343

  7. Production of a complete binary toxin (actin-specific ADP-ribosyltransferase) by Clostridium difficile CD196.

    PubMed Central

    Perelle, S; Gibert, M; Bourlioux, P; Corthier, G; Popoff, M R

    1997-01-01

    A Clostridium difficile isolate was found to produce an actin-specific ADP-ribosyltransferase (CDT) homologous to the enzymatic components of Clostridium perfringens iota toxin and Clostridium spiroforme toxin (M. R. Popoff, E. J. Rubin, D. M. Gill, and P. Boquet, Infect. Immun. 56:2299-2306, 1988). The CDT locus from C. difficile CD196 was cloned and sequenced. It contained two genes (cdtA and cdtB) which display organizations and sequences similar to those of the iota toxin gene. The deduced enzymatic (CDTa) and binding (CDTb) components have 81 and 84% identity, respectively, with the corresponding components of iota toxin. CDTa and CDTb induced actin cytoskeleton alterations similar to those caused by other clostridial binary toxins. The lower level of production of binary toxin by CD196 than of iota toxin by C. perfringens was related to a lower transcript level, possibly due to a promoter region different from that of iota toxin genes. The cdtA and cdtB genes have been detected in 3 of 24 clinical isolates examined, and cdtB alone was found in 2 additional strains. One strain (in addition to CD196) was shown by Western blotting to produce CDTa and CDTb. These results indicate that some C. difficile strains synthesize a binary toxin that could be an additional virulence factor. PMID:9119480

  8. Clostridium difficile toxin expression is inhibited by the novel regulator TcdC.

    PubMed

    Matamouros, Susana; England, Patrick; Dupuy, Bruno

    2007-06-01

    Clostridium difficile, an emerging nosocomial pathogen of increasing clinical significance, produces two large protein toxins that are responsible for the cellular damage associated with the disease. The precise mechanisms by which toxin synthesis is regulated in response to environmental change have yet to be discovered. The toxin genes (tcdA and tcdB) are located in a pathogenicity locus (PaLoc), along with tcdR and tcdC. TcdR is an alternative RNA polymerase sigma factor that directly activates toxin gene expression, while the inverse relationship between expression of tcdR, tcdA and tcdB genes on the one hand and tcdC on the other has led to the suggestion that TcdC somehow interferes with toxin gene expression. This idea is further supported by the finding that many recent C. difficile epidemic strains in which toxin production is increased carry a common tcdC deletion mutation. In this report we demonstrate that TcdC negatively regulates toxin synthesis both in vivo and in vitro. TcdC destabilizes the TcdR-containing holoenzyme before open complex formation, apparently by interaction with TcdR or TcdR-containing RNA polymerase holoenzyme or both. In addition, we show that the hypertoxigenicity phenotype of C. difficile epidemic strains is not due to their common 18 bp in-frame deletion in tcdC. PMID:17542920

  9. Food toxin detection with atomic force microscope

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Externally introduced toxins or internal spoilage correlated pathogens and their metabolites are all potential sources of food toxins. To prevent and protect unsafe food, many food toxin detection techniques have been developed to detect various toxins for quality control. Although several routine m...

  10. Detecting and discriminating among Shiga toxins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The virulence associated with Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections is from the Shiga toxins produced by the E. coli strain. Although Shiga toxins are associated with E. coli, the expression of the toxins is actually controlled by a temperate lambdoid phage that infects the host. ...

  11. Botulinum toxin for pain.

    PubMed

    Casale, Roberto; Tugnoli, Valeria

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) injection is being increasingly used 'off label' in the management of chronic pain. Data support the hypothesis of a direct analgesic effect of BTX, different to that exerted on muscle. Although the pain-reducing effect of BTX is mainly due to its ability to block acetylcholine release at the synapse, other effects on the nervous system are also thought to be involved. BTX affects cholinergic transmission in both the somatic and the autonomic nervous systems. Proposed mechanisms of action of BTX for pain relief of trigger points, muscular spasms, fibromyalgia and myofascial pain include direct action on muscle and indirect effects via action at the neuromuscular junction. Invitro and invivo data have shown that BTX has specific antinociceptive activity relating to its effects on inflammation, axonal transport, ganglion inhibition, and spinal and suprasegmental level inhibition. Our review of the mechanisms of action, efficacy, administration techniques and therapeutic dosage of BTX for the management of chronic pain in a variety of conditions shows that although muscular tone and movement disorders remain the most important therapeutic applications for BTX, research suggests that BTX can also provide benefits related to effects on cholinergic control of the vascular system, autonomic function, and cholinergic control of nociceptive and antinociceptive systems. Furthermore, it appears that BTX may influence the peripheral and central nervous systems. The therapeutic potential of BTX depends mainly on the ability to deliver the toxin to the target structures, cholinergic or otherwise. Evidence suggests that BTX can be administered at standard dosages in pain disorders, where the objective is alteration of muscle tone. For conditions requiring an analgesic effect, the optimal therapeutic dosage of BTX remains to be defined. PMID:18095750

  12. Clostridium difficile Toxins A and B: Insights into Pathogenic Properties and Extraintestinal Effects

    PubMed Central

    Di Bella, Stefano; Ascenzi, Paolo; Siarakas, Steven; Petrosillo, Nicola; di Masi, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has significant clinical impact especially on the elderly and/or immunocompromised patients. The pathogenicity of Clostridium difficile is mainly mediated by two exotoxins: toxin A (TcdA) and toxin B (TcdB). These toxins primarily disrupt the cytoskeletal structure and the tight junctions of target cells causing cell rounding and ultimately cell death. Detectable C. difficile toxemia is strongly associated with fulminant disease. However, besides the well-known intestinal damage, recent animal and in vitro studies have suggested a more far-reaching role for these toxins activity including cardiac, renal, and neurologic impairment. The creation of C. difficile strains with mutations in the genes encoding toxin A and B indicate that toxin B plays a major role in overall CDI pathogenesis. Novel insights, such as the role of a regulator protein (TcdE) on toxin production and binding interactions between albumin and C. difficile toxins, have recently been discovered and will be described. Our review focuses on the toxin-mediated pathogenic processes of CDI with an emphasis on recent studies. PMID:27153087

  13. Daphnia magna negatively affected by chronic exposure to purified Cry-toxins.

    PubMed

    Bøhn, Thomas; Rover, Carina Macagnan; Semenchuk, Philipp Robert

    2016-05-01

    Cry-toxin genes originating from Bacillus thuringiensis are inserted into genetically modified (GM) plants, often called Bt-plants, to provide insect resistance to pests. Significant amounts of Bt-plant residues, and thus Cry-toxins, will be shed to soil and aquatic environments. We exposed Daphnia magna to purified Cry1Ab and Cry2Aa toxins for the full life-span of the animals. We used single toxins in different doses and combinations of toxins and Roundup(®), another potential stressor on the rise in agricultural ecosystems. Animals exposed to 4.5 mg/L (ppm) of Cry1Ab, Cry2Aa and the combination of both showed markedly higher mortality, smaller body size and very low juvenile production compared to controls. Animals exposed to 0.75 mg/L also showed a tendency towards increased mortality but with increased early fecundity compared to the controls. Roundup(®) stimulated animals to strong early reproductive output at the cost of later rapid mortality. We conclude that i) purified Cry-toxins in high concentrations are toxic to D. magna, indicating alternative modes-of-action for these Cry-toxins; ii) Cry-toxins act in combination, indicating that 'stacked events' may have stronger effects on non-target organisms; iii) further studies need to be done on combinatorial effects of multiple Cry-toxins and herbicides that co-occur in the environment. PMID:26993955

  14. Strategies to improve the insecticidal activity of Cry toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed Central

    Pardo-López, L.; Muñoz-Garay, C.; Porta, H.; Rodríguez-Almazán, C.; Soberón, M.; Bravo, A.

    2009-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry toxins have been widely used in the control of insect pests either as spray products or expressed in transgenic crops. These proteins are pore forming toxins with a complex mechanism of action that involves the sequential interaction with several toxin-receptors. Cry toxins are specific against susceptible larvae and although they are often highly effective, some insect pests are not affected by them or show low susceptibility. In addition, the development of resistance threatens their effectiveness, so strategies to cope with all these problems are necessary. In this review we will discuss and compare the different strategies that have been used to improve insecticidal activity of Cry toxins. The activity of Cry toxins can be enhanced by using additional proteins in the bioassay like serine protease inhibitors, chitinases, Cyt toxins, or a fragment of cadherin receptor containing a toxin-binding site. On the other hand, different modifications performed in the toxin gene such as site directed mutagenesis, introduction of cleavage sites in specific regions of the protein, and deletion of small fragments from the amino-terminal region lead to improved toxicity or overcome resistance, representing interesting alternatives for insect pest control. PMID:18773932

  15. Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Bryan, Allen; Youngster, Ilan; McAdam, Alexander J

    2015-06-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is among the common causes of foodborne gastroenteritis. STEC is defined by the production of specific toxins, but within this pathotype there is a diverse group of organisms. This diversity has important consequences for understanding the pathogenesis of the organism, as well as for selecting the optimum strategy for diagnostic testing in the clinical laboratory. This review includes discussions of the mechanisms of pathogenesis, the range of manifestations of infection, and the several different methods of laboratory detection of Shiga toxin-producing E coli. PMID:26004641

  16. Diphtheria toxin-based targeted toxin therapy for brain tumors.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan Michael; Vallera, Daniel A; Hall, Walter A

    2013-09-01

    Targeted toxins (TT) are molecules that bind cell surface antigens or receptors such as the transferrin or interleukin-13 receptor that are overexpressed in cancer. After internalization, the toxin component kills the cell. These recombinant proteins consist of an antibody or carrier ligand coupled to a modified plant or bacterial toxin such as diphtheria toxin (DT). These fusion proteins are very effective against brain cancer cells that are resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. TT have shown an acceptable profile for toxicity and safety in animal studies and early clinical trials have demonstrated a therapeutic response. This review summarizes the characteristics of DT-based TT, the animal studies in malignant brain tumors and early clinical trial results. Obstacles to the successful treatment of brain tumors include poor penetration into tumor, the immune response to DT and cancer heterogeneity. PMID:23695514

  17. [Shiga toxin and tetanus toxin as a potential biologic weapon].

    PubMed

    Toczyska, Izabela; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Toxins produced by the bacteria are of particular interest as potential cargo combat possible for use in a terrorist attack or war. Shiga toxin is usually produced by shiga toxigenic strains of Escherichia coli (STEC - shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli). To infection occurs mostly after eating contaminated beef. Clinical syndromes associated with Shiga toxin diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS - hemolytic uremic syndrome) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Treatment is symptomatic. In HUS, in which mortality during an epidemic reaches 20%, extending the kidney injury dialysis may be necessary. Exposure to tetanus toxin produced by Clostridium tetani, resulting in the most generalized tetanus, characterized by increased muscle tension and painful contractions of individual muscle groups. In the treatment beyond symptomatic behavior (among others spasticity medications, anticonvulsants, muscle relaxants) is used tetanus antitoxin and antibiotics (metronidazole choice). A common complication is acute respiratory failure - then it is necessary to implement mechanical ventilation. PMID:26449578

  18. Selection of a Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon toxin producer via dot-blot test.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Luciana A; Lobato, Zélia I P; Silva, Rodrigo O S; Salvarani, Felipe M; Pires, Prhiscylla S; Assis, Ronnie A; Lobato, Francisco C F

    2009-11-01

    Clostridium perfringens type D produces enterotoxemia, an enteric disease in ruminants, also known as pulpy kidney disease. Caused by epsilon toxin, enterotoxemia is a major exotoxin produced by this microorganism. Epsilon toxin is also the main component of vaccines against this enteric disorder. In this study, a standardized dot-blot was used to choose strains of C. perfringens type D that are producers of epsilon toxin. Clones producing epsilon toxin were chosen by limiting dilution; after three passages, lethal minimum dose titers were determined by soroneutralization test in mice. These clones produced epsilon toxin 240 times more concentrated than the original strain. The presence of the epsilon toxin gene (etx) was verified by polymerase chain reaction. All clones were positive, including those determined to be negative by dot-blot tests, suggesting that mechanisms in addition to the presence of the etx gene can influence toxin production. The dot-blot test was efficient for the selection of toxigenic colonies of C. perfringens type D and demonstrated that homogeneous populations selected from toxigenic cultures produce higher titers of epsilon toxin. PMID:19779698

  19. Epsilon toxin: a fascinating pore-forming toxin.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R

    2011-12-01

    Epsilon toxin (ETX) is produced by strains of Clostridium perfringens classified as type B or type D. ETX belongs to the heptameric β-pore-forming toxins including aerolysin and Clostridium septicum alpha toxin, which are characterized by the formation of a pore through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells consisting in a β-barrel of 14 amphipatic β strands. By contrast to aerolysin and C. septicum alpha toxin, ETX is a much more potent toxin and is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals, mainly sheep. ETX induces perivascular edema in various tissues and accumulates in particular in the kidneys and brain, where it causes edema and necrotic lesions. ETX is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the release of glutamate, which accounts for the symptoms of nervous excitation observed in animal enterotoxemia. At the cellular level, ETX causes rapid swelling followed by cell death involving necrosis. The precise mode of action of ETX remains to be determined. ETX is a powerful toxin, however, it also represents a unique tool with which to vehicle drugs into the central nervous system or target glutamatergic neurons. PMID:21535407

  20. Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxin-Producing Cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon gracile in Northeast Germany▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Ballot, Andreas; Fastner, Jutta; Wiedner, Claudia

    2010-01-01

    Neurotoxic paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins, anatoxin-a (ATX), and hepatotoxic cylindrospermopsin (CYN) have been detected in several lakes in northeast Germany during the last 2 decades. They are produced worldwide by members of the nostocalean genera Anabaena, Cylindrospermopsis, and Aphanizomenon. Although no additional sources of PSP toxins and ATX have been identified in German water bodies to date, the observed CYN concentrations cannot be produced solely by Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, the only known CYN producer in Germany. Therefore, we attempted to identify PSP toxin, ATX, and CYN producers by isolating and characterizing 92 Anabaena, Aphanizomenon, and Anabaenopsis strains from five lakes in northeast Germany. In a polyphasic approach, all strains were morphologically and phylogenetically classified and then tested for PSP toxins, ATX, and CYN by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and screened for the presence of PSP toxin- and CYN-encoding gene fragments. As demonstrated by ELISA and LC-MS, 14 Aphanizomenon gracile strains from Lakes Melang and Scharmützel produced four PSP toxin variants (gonyautoxin 5 [GTX5], decarbamoylsaxitoxin [dcSTX], saxitoxin [STX], and neosaxitoxin [NEO]). GTX5 was the most prevalent PSP toxin variant among the seven strains from Lake Scharmützel, and NEO was the most prevalent among the seven strains from Lake Melang. The sxtA gene, which is part of the saxitoxin gene cluster, was found in the 14 PSP toxin-producing A. gracile strains and in 11 non-PSP toxin-producing Aphanizomenon issatschenkoi, A. flos-aquae, Anabaena planktonica, and Anabaenopsis elenkinii strains. ATX and CYN were not detected in any of the isolated strains. This study is the first confirming the role of A. gracile as a PSP toxin producer in German water bodies. PMID:20048055

  1. The Regulatory Networks That Control Clostridium difficile Toxin Synthesis.

    PubMed

    Martin-Verstraete, Isabelle; Peltier, Johann; Dupuy, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenic clostridia cause many human and animal diseases, which typically arise as a consequence of the production of potent exotoxins. Among the enterotoxic clostridia, Clostridium difficile is the main causative agent of nosocomial intestinal infections in adults with a compromised gut microbiota caused by antibiotic treatment. The symptoms of C. difficile infection are essentially caused by the production of two exotoxins: TcdA and TcdB. Moreover, for severe forms of disease, the spectrum of diseases caused by C. difficile has also been correlated to the levels of toxins that are produced during host infection. This observation strengthened the idea that the regulation of toxin synthesis is an important part of C. difficile pathogenesis. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the regulators and sigma factors that have been reported to control toxin gene expression in response to several environmental signals and stresses, including the availability of certain carbon sources and amino acids, or to signaling molecules, such as the autoinducing peptides of quorum sensing systems. The overlapping regulation of key metabolic pathways and toxin synthesis strongly suggests that toxin production is a complex response that is triggered by bacteria in response to particular states of nutrient availability during infection. PMID:27187475

  2. The Regulatory Networks That Control Clostridium difficile Toxin Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Verstraete, Isabelle; Peltier, Johann; Dupuy, Bruno

    2016-01-01

    The pathogenic clostridia cause many human and animal diseases, which typically arise as a consequence of the production of potent exotoxins. Among the enterotoxic clostridia, Clostridium difficile is the main causative agent of nosocomial intestinal infections in adults with a compromised gut microbiota caused by antibiotic treatment. The symptoms of C. difficile infection are essentially caused by the production of two exotoxins: TcdA and TcdB. Moreover, for severe forms of disease, the spectrum of diseases caused by C. difficile has also been correlated to the levels of toxins that are produced during host infection. This observation strengthened the idea that the regulation of toxin synthesis is an important part of C. difficile pathogenesis. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the regulators and sigma factors that have been reported to control toxin gene expression in response to several environmental signals and stresses, including the availability of certain carbon sources and amino acids, or to signaling molecules, such as the autoinducing peptides of quorum sensing systems. The overlapping regulation of key metabolic pathways and toxin synthesis strongly suggests that toxin production is a complex response that is triggered by bacteria in response to particular states of nutrient availability during infection. PMID:27187475

  3. Trichothecene triangle: toxins, genes, and plant disease

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trichothecenes are a family of sesquiterpene epoxides that inhibit eukaryotic protein synthesis. These mycotoxins are produced in Fusarium-infested grains such as corn, wheat, and barley, and ingestion of contaminated grain can result in a variety of symptoms including diarrhea, hemorrhaging and fee...

  4. [Today's threat of ricin toxin].

    PubMed

    From, Sławomir; Płusa, Tadeusz

    2015-09-01

    Since the late 70s of the last century there were more than 700 incidents related to the use of the ricin toxin. For this reason, CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recognized toxin as a biological weapon category B. The lethal dose of ricin toxin after parenteral administration is 0.0001 mg/kg and after oral administration 0.2 mg. The first symptoms of poisoning occur within a few hours after application of toxin as a nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In the final stage there are observed: cardiac arrhythmia, collapse and symptoms suggestive of involvement of the central nervous system. Stage immediately preceding death is a state of coma. The ricin toxin is still the substance against which action has no optimal antidote. Developed a vaccine called RiVax is waiting for its registration. It should be pointed out that the availability of a ricin toxin makes it possible to use it for real bioterrorists. PMID:26449579

  5. Interleukin 2-diphtheria toxin fusion protein can abolish cell-mediated immunity in vivo.

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, V E; Bacha, P; Pankewycz, O; Nichols, J C; Murphy, J R; Strom, T B

    1988-01-01

    De novo expression of the interleukin 2 receptor (IL-2R) is a critical and pivotal event in initiation of an immune response. Targeting the low-affinity IL-2-binding p55 subunit of the high-affinity IL-2R with the rat anti-mouse IgM monoclonal antibody M7/20 suppresses a variety of T-cell-mediated reactions, including transplant rejection, autoimmunity, and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH). A hybrid IL-2-toxin gene was constructed from the diphtheria toxin gene by replacing the DNA encoding the diphtheria toxin receptor-binding domain with the DNA encoding the receptor-binding domain of IL-2, and the fusion protein encoded by the hybrid gene was expressed in Escherichia coli [Williams, D.P., Parker, K., Bacha, P., Bishai, W., Borowski, M., Genbauffe, F., Strom, T.B. & Murphy, J.R. (1987) Protein Eng. 1, 493-498]. We examined the action of the chimeric IL-2-toxin fusion protein on an in vivo T-cell mediated response, DTH. The IL-2-toxin fusion protein was found to be a potent immunosuppressive agent. Treatment of mice with the IL-2-toxin blocks DTH and prevents expansion of IL-2R+ T cells. Indeed, IL-2-toxin treatment targets IL-2R+ T cells in vivo and is shown to selectively eliminate their appearance in draining lymph nodes. DTH suppression was observed even in mice possessing high titers of antibodies to diphtheria toxoid. PMID:3131768

  6. Influence of primer sequences and DNA extraction method on detection of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in ground beef by real-time PCR targeting the eae, stx, and serogroup-specific genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections, particularly those caused by the “big six”/”top six” non-O157 serogroups (O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145) can result in severe illness and complications. Due to their significant public health impact and the notable prevalence of STEC ...

  7. Modulation of toxin production by the flagellar regulon in Clostridium difficile.

    PubMed

    Aubry, Annie; Hussack, Greg; Chen, Wangxue; KuoLee, Rhonda; Twine, Susan M; Fulton, Kelly M; Foote, Simon; Carrillo, Catherine D; Tanha, Jamshid; Logan, Susan M

    2012-10-01

    We show in this study that toxin production in Clostridium difficile is altered in cells which can no longer form flagellar filaments. The impact of inactivation of fliC, CD0240, fliF, fliG, fliM, and flhB-fliR flagellar genes upon toxin levels in culture supernatants was assessed using cell-based cytotoxicity assay, proteomics, immunoassay, and immunoblotting approaches. Each of these showed that toxin levels in supernatants were significantly increased in a fliC mutant compared to that in the C. difficile 630 parent strain. In contrast, the toxin levels in supernatants secreted from other flagellar mutants were significantly reduced compared with that in the parental C. difficile 630 strain. Transcriptional analysis of the pathogenicity locus genes (tcdR, tcdB, tcdE, and tcdA) revealed a significant increase of all four genes in the fliC mutant strain, while transcription of all four genes was significantly reduced in fliM, fliF, fliG, and flhB-fliR mutants. These results demonstrate that toxin transcription in C. difficile is modulated by the flagellar regulon. More significantly, mutant strains showed a corresponding change in virulence compared to the 630 parent strain when tested in a hamster model of C. difficile infection. This is the first demonstration of differential flagellum-related transcriptional regulation of toxin production in C. difficile and provides evidence for elaborate regulatory networks for virulence genes in C. difficile. PMID:22851750

  8. Fusarial toxins: secondary metabolites of Fusarium fungi.

    PubMed

    Nesic, Ksenija; Ivanovic, Snezana; Nesic, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to mycotoxins occurs worldwide, even though there are geographic and climatic differences in the amounts produced and occurrence of these substances.Mycotoxins are secondary chemical metabolites of different fungi. They are natural contaminants of cereals, so their presence is often inevitable. Among many genera that produce mycotoxins, Fusarium fungi are the most widespread in cereal-growing areas of the planet. Fusarium fungi produce a diversity of mycotoxin types, whose distributions are also diverse. What is produced and where it is produced is influenced primarily by environmental conditions, and crop production and storage methods. The amount of toxin produced depends on physical (viz., moisture, relative humidity, temperature, and mechanical damage), chemical (viz., carbon dioxide,oxygen, composition of substrate, insecticides and fungicides), and biological factors (viz., plant variety, stress, insects, spore load, etc.). Moisture and temperature have a major influence on mold growth rate and mycotoxin production.Among the most toxic and prevalent fusaria) toxins are the following: zearalenone,fumonisins, moniliformin and trichothecenes (T-2/HT-2 toxin, deoxynivalenol,diacetoxyscirpenol, nivalenol). Zearalenone (ZEA; ZON, F-2 toxin) isaphy to estrogenic compound, primarily a field contaminant, which exhibits estrogenic activity and has been implicated in numerous mycotoxicoses of farm animals,especially pigs. Recently, evidence suggests that ZEA has potential to stimulate the growth of human breast cancer cells. Fumonisins are also cancer-promoting metabolites,of which Fumonisin 8 I (FBI) is the most important. Moniliformin (MON) isalso highly toxic to both animals and humans. Trichothecenes are classified as gastrointestinal toxins, dermatotoxins, immunotoxins, hematotoxins, and gene toxins.T-2 and HT-2 toxin, and diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS, anguidine) are the most toxic mycotoxins among the trichothecene group. Deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) and

  9. Human hypervirulent Clostridium difficile strains exhibit increased sporulation as well as robust toxin production.

    PubMed

    Merrigan, Michelle; Venugopal, Anilrudh; Mallozzi, Michael; Roxas, Bryan; Viswanathan, V K; Johnson, Stuart; Gerding, Dale N; Vedantam, Gayatri

    2010-10-01

    Toxigenic Clostridium difficile strains produce two toxins (TcdA and TcdB) during the stationary phase of growth and are the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. C. difficile isolates of the molecular type NAP1/027/BI have been associated with severe disease and hospital outbreaks worldwide. It has been suggested that these "hypervirulent" strains produce larger amounts of toxin and that a mutation in a putative negative regulator (TcdC) allows toxin production at all growth phases. To rigorously explore this possibility, we conducted a quantitative examination of the toxin production of multiple hypervirulent and nonhypervirulent C. difficile strains. Toxin gene (tcdA and tcdB) and toxin gene regulator (tcdR and tcdC) expression was also monitored. To obtain additional correlates for the hypervirulence phenotype, sporulation kinetics and efficiency were measured. In the exponential phase, low basal levels of tcdA, tcdB, and tcdR expression were evident in both hypervirulent and nonhypervirulent strains, but contrary to previous assumptions, toxin levels were below the detectable thresholds. While hypervirulent strains displayed robust toxin production during the stationary phase of growth, the amounts were not significantly different from those of the nonhypervirulent strains tested; further, total toxin amounts were directly proportional to tcdA, tcdB, and tcdR gene expression. Interestingly, tcdC expression did not diminish in stationary phase, suggesting that TcdC may have a modulatory rather than a strictly repressive role. Comparative genomic analyses of the closely related nonhypervirulent strains VPI 10463 (the highest toxin producer) and 630 (the lowest toxin producer) revealed polymorphisms in the tcdR ribosome binding site and the tcdR-tcdB intergenic region, suggesting that a mechanistic basis for increased toxin production in VPI 10463 could be increased TcdR translation and read-through transcription of the tcdA and tcdB genes

  10. [Toxins of Clostridium perfringens].

    PubMed

    Morris, W E; Fernández-Miyakawa, M E

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens is an anaerobic gram-positive spore-forming bacillus. It is one of the pathogens with larger distribution in the environment; it can be isolated from soil and water samples, which also belongs to the intestinal flora of animals and humans. However, on some occasions it can act as an opportunistic pathogen, causing diseases such as gas gangrene, enterotoxemia in sheep and goats and lamb dysentery, among others. In human beings, it is associated to diseases such as food poisoning, necrotic enterocolitis of the infant and necrotic enteritis or pigbel in Papua-New Guinea tribes. The renewed interest existing nowadays in the study of C. perfringens as a veterinarian and human pathogen, together with the advance of molecular biology, had enabled science to have deeper knowledge of the biology and pathology of these bacteria. In this review, we discuss and update the principal aspects of C. perfringens intestinal pathology, in terms of the toxins with major medical relevance at present. PMID:20085190

  11. Induction of apoptosis by Shiga toxins

    PubMed Central

    Tesh, Vernon L

    2010-01-01

    Shiga toxins comprise a family of structurally and functionally related protein toxins expressed by Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 and multiple serotypes of Escherichia coli. While the capacity of Shiga toxins to inhibit protein synthesis by catalytic inactivation of eukaryotic ribosomes has been well described, it is also apparent that Shiga toxins trigger apoptosis in many cell types. This review presents evidence that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis of epithelial, endothelial, leukocytic, lymphoid and neuronal cells. Apoptotic signaling pathways activated by the toxins are reviewed with an emphasis on signaling mechanisms that are shared among different cell types. Data suggesting that Shiga toxins induce apoptosis through the endoplasmic reticulum stress response and clinical evidence demonstrating apoptosis in humans infected with Shiga toxin-producing bacteria are briefly discussed. The potential for use of Shiga toxins to induce apoptosis in cancer cells is briefly reviewed. PMID:20210553

  12. Antibody-based biological toxin detection

    SciTech Connect

    Menking, D.E.; Goode, M.T.

    1995-12-01

    Fiber optic evanescent fluorosensors are under investigation in our laboratory for the study of drug-receptor interactions for detection of threat agents and antibody-antigen interactions for detection of biological toxins. In a direct competition assay, antibodies against Cholera toxin, Staphylococcus Enterotoxin B or ricin were noncovalently immobilized on quartz fibers and probed with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) - labeled toxins. In the indirect competition assay, Cholera toxin or Botulinum toxoid A was immobilized onto the fiber, followed by incubation in an antiserum or partially purified anti-toxin IgG. These were then probed with FITC-anti-IgG antibodies. Unlabeled toxins competed with labeled toxins or anti-toxin IgG in a dose dependent manner and the detection of the toxins was in the nanomolar range.

  13. International Typing Study of Toxin A-Negative, Toxin B-Positive Clostridium difficile Variants

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Stuart; Sambol, Susan P.; Brazier, Jon S.; Delmée, Michel; Avesani, V.; Merrigan, Michelle M.; Gerding, Dale N.

    2003-01-01

    Clinically important strains of Clostridium difficile that do not produce toxin A but produce toxin B and are cytotoxic (A−/B+) have been reported from multiple countries. In order to compare the relatedness of these strains, we typed 23 A−/B+ C. difficile isolates from the United Kingdom (6 isolates), Belgium (11 isolates), and the United States (6 isolates) by three well-described typing methods. Restriction endonuclease analysis (REA), PCR ribotyping, and serogrouping differentiated 11, 4, and 3 different strain types, respectively. Twenty-one of the 23 A−/B+ variants had a 1.8-kb truncation of the toxin A gene characteristic of toxinotype VIII strains; 20 of the 21 toxinotype VIII-like strains were PCR type 17. PCR type 17 isolates could be differentiated into two separate strain groups by serogrouping and by REA. REA further discriminated these isolates into eight subgroups (REA types). PCR type 17-serogroup F-REA group CF isolates were recovered from all three countries, and one specific REA type, CF4, was recovered from patients with C. difficile disease in the United Kingdom and the United States. C. difficile A−/B+ variants of apparent clonal origin are widely distributed in Europe and North America. PMID:12682143

  14. Multiplex Real-Time PCR Assay for Detection of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Associated Toxin Genes▿

    PubMed Central

    Fosheim, G. E.; Nicholson, A. C.; Albrecht, V. S.; Limbago, B. M.

    2011-01-01

    We describe a real-time PCR assay for the detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and genes encoding toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 and Panton-Valentine leukocidin. Rapid screening and detection of toxins is a useful tool for surveillance studies and outbreak investigations involving large numbers of isolates. PMID:21697325

  15. Enzymatic Detoxification of HC-toxin, the Host-Selective Cyclic Peptide from Cochliobolus carbonum 1

    PubMed Central

    Meeley, Robert B.; Walton, Jonathan D.

    1991-01-01

    Resistance to the fungal plant pathogen Cochliobolus carbonum race 1 and to its host-selective toxin, HC-toxin, is determined by Hm, a single dominant gene in the host plant maize, (Zea mays L). Radiolabeled HC-toxin of specific activity 70 milliCuries per millimole, prepared by feeding tritiated d,l-alanine to the fungus, was used to study its fate in maize leaf tissues. HC-toxin was converted by resistant leaf segments to a single compound, identified by mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance as the 8-hydroxy derivative of HC-toxin formed by reduction of the 8-keto group of 2-amino-9, 10-epoxy-8-oxo-decanoic acid, one of the amino acids in HC-toxin. Reduction of HC-toxin occurred in cell-free preparations from etiolated (Hm/hm) maize shoots, and the activity was sensitive to heat and proteolytic digestion, dependent on NADPH, and inhibited by p-hydroxymercuribenzoate and disulfiram. The enzyme (from the Hm/hm genotype) was partially purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation and diethylaminoethyl-ion exchange chromatography. By gel filtration chromatography, the enzyme had a molecular weight of 42,000. NADH was approximately 30% as effective as NADPH as a hydride donor, and flavin-containing cofactors had no effect on activity. When HC-toxin was introduced to maize leaf segments through the transpiration stream, leaf segments from both resistant and susceptible maize inactivated toxin equally well over a time-course of 9 hours. Although these data suggest no relationship between toxin metabolism and host selectivity, we discuss findings in apparent conflict with the current data and describe why the relationship between enzymatic reduction of HC-toxin and Hm remains unresolved. ImagesFigure 2Figure 4 PMID:16668492

  16. Discovery of functional toxin/antitoxin systems in bacteria by shotgun cloning

    SciTech Connect

    Sberro, Hila; Leavitt, Azita; Kiro, Ruth; Koh, Eugene; Peleg, Yoav; Qimron, Udi; Sorek, Rotem

    2013-04-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules, composed of a toxic protein and a counteracting antitoxin, play important roles in bacterial physiology. We examined the experimental insertion of 1.5 million genes from 388 microbial genomes into an Escherichia coli host using over 8.5 million random clones. This revealed hundreds of genes (toxins) that could only be cloned when the neighboring gene (antitoxin) was present on the same clone. Clustering of these genes revealed TA families widespread in bacterial genomes, some of which deviate from the classical characteristics previously described for such modules. Introduction of these genes into E. coli validated that the toxin toxicity is mitigated by the antitoxin. Infection experiments with T7 phage showed that two of the new modules can provide resistance against phage. Moreover, our experiments revealed an 'anti-defense' protein in phage T7 that neutralizes phage resistance. Our results expose active fronts in the arms race between bacteria and phage.

  17. Tigecycline suppresses toxin A and B production and sporulation in Clostridium difficile

    PubMed Central

    Aldape, Michael John; Heeney, Dustin Delaney; Bryant, Amy Evelyn; Stevens, Dennis Leroy

    2015-01-01

    Background Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is mediated by potent extracellular toxins and is spread largely via bacterial spores. We and others have shown that some antibiotics stimulate C. difficile toxin production in a strain-specific manner; however, the effects of newer anti-C. difficile antibiotics on this process remain to be investigated. Methods The effects of the protein synthesis inhibitor tigecycline on sporulation and toxin A and toxin B production were compared in historical (strain 9689) and hypervirulent BI/NAP1/027 (strain 5325) isolates of C. difficile in vitro. Results Tigecycline at 1/4× MIC stimulated an increased and earlier toxin A and/or B gene expression in both the historical and the hypervirulent strains, although a commensurate increase in toxin protein production was observed only in the 9689 strain. In fact, in the hypervirulent 5325 strain, toxin production was dramatically suppressed. By comparison, subinhibitory concentrations of vancomycin and metronidazole also stimulated increased protein toxin production by the historical, but not the hypervirulent, strain. In addition, tigecycline dose-dependently reduced viable spore production by both the 9689 and 5325 strains. Vancomycin treatment also suppressed spore formation in both C. difficile strains; however, metronidazole, while reducing spore formation in the 9689 strain, stimulated a near 2 log increase in spore production by the 5325 isolate. Conclusions In summary, these findings suggest that the treatment of CDI patients with tigecycline could effectively both control disease progression and limit its spread by disrupting sporulation. PMID:25151204

  18. Protective antibody responses against Clostridium difficile elicited by a DNA vaccine expressing the enzymatic domain of toxin B

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Ke; Wang, Shixia; Zhang, Chunhua; Xiao, Yanling; Lu, Shan; Huang, Zuhu

    2013-01-01

    A DNA vaccination approach was used in the current study to screen for the immunogenicity of different fragments of toxin A and toxin B from Clostridium difficile. With this approach, protein antigens do not need to be produced in vitro and the immunogenicity of candidate C. difficile antigens can be identified directly in animals. Codon optimized toxin gene fragments were individually cloned into the DNA vaccine vector and tested in mice and rabbits for their ability to elicit C. difficile toxin-specific antibody responses. Only a subset of the C. difficile toxin fragments, including the C-terminal receptor binding domain of toxin A and a novel N-terminal enzymatic domain of toxin B, were able to elicit protective antibody responses as determined by protection of target cells in a cytotoxicity assay or by preventing death of mice in a passive antibody protection study. Significantly, antibodies elicited by the novel N-terminus of the toxin B DNA vaccine were able to increase the level of protection when used in combination with anti-toxin A antibodies in a toxin challenge model in mice. PMID:23143772

  19. Comparative genomics of Shiga toxin encoding bacteriophages

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Stx bacteriophages are responsible for driving the dissemination of Stx toxin genes (stx) across their bacterial host range. Lysogens carrying Stx phages can cause severe, life-threatening disease and Stx toxin is an integral virulence factor. The Stx-bacteriophage vB_EcoP-24B, commonly referred to as Ф24B, is capable of multiply infecting a single bacterial host cell at a high frequency, with secondary infection increasing the rate at which subsequent bacteriophage infections can occur. This is biologically unusual, therefore determining the genomic content and context of Ф24B compared to other lambdoid Stx phages is important to understanding the factors controlling this phenomenon and determining whether they occur in other Stx phages. Results The genome of the Stx2 encoding phage, Ф24B was sequenced and annotated. The genomic organisation and general features are similar to other sequenced Stx bacteriophages induced from Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), however Ф24B possesses significant regions of heterogeneity, with implications for phage biology and behaviour. The Ф24B genome was compared to other sequenced Stx phages and the archetypal lambdoid phage, lambda, using the Circos genome comparison tool and a PCR-based multi-loci comparison system. Conclusions The data support the hypothesis that Stx phages are mosaic, and recombination events between the host, phages and their remnants within the same infected bacterial cell will continue to drive the evolution of Stx phage variants and the subsequent dissemination of shigatoxigenic potential. PMID:22799768

  20. A novel regulator controls Clostridium difficile sporulation, motility and toxin production.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Adrianne N; Tamayo, Rita; McBride, Shonna M

    2016-06-01

    Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic pathogen that forms spores which promote survival in the environment and transmission to new hosts. The regulatory pathways by which C. difficile initiates spore formation are poorly understood. We identified two factors with limited similarity to the Rap sporulation proteins of other spore-forming bacteria. In this study, we show that disruption of the gene CD3668 reduces sporulation and increases toxin production and motility. This mutant was more virulent and exhibited increased toxin gene expression in the hamster model of infection. Based on these phenotypes, we have renamed this locus rstA, for regulator of sporulation and toxins. Our data demonstrate that RstA is a bifunctional protein that upregulates sporulation through an unidentified pathway and represses motility and toxin production by influencing sigD transcription. Conserved RstA orthologs are present in other pathogenic and industrial Clostridium species and may represent a key regulatory protein controlling clostridial sporulation. PMID:26915493

  1. Sodium Channel Inhibiting Marine Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llewellyn, Lyndon E.

    Saxitoxin (STX), tetrodotoxin (TTX) and their many chemical relatives are part of our daily lives. From killing people who eat seafood containing these toxins, to being valuable research tools unveiling the invisible structures of their pharmacological receptor, their global impact is beyond measure. The pharmacological receptor for these toxins is the voltage-gated sodium channel which transports Na ions between the exterior to the interior of cells. The two structurally divergent families of STX and TTX analogues bind at the same location on these Na channels to stop the flow of ions. This can affect nerves, muscles and biological senses of most animals. It is through these and other toxins that we have developed much of our fundamental understanding of the Na channel and its part in generating action potentials in excitable cells.

  2. Contact with enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells induces rapid upregulation of toxin production by Clostridium perfringens type C isolates

    PubMed Central

    Vidal, Jorge E.; Ohtani, Kaori; Shimizu, Tohru; McClane, Bruce A.

    2009-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens type C isolates cause necrotizing enteritis in humans and domestic animals. In vitro, type C isolates often produce beta toxin (CPB), beta2 toxin (CPB2), alpha toxin (CPA), perfringolysin O (PFO), and TpeL during (or after) late log-phase growth. In contrast, the current study found that many type C isolates respond to close contact with enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells by producing all toxins, except TpeL, much more rapidly than occurs during in vitro growth. This in vivo effect involves rapid transcriptional upregulation of the cpb, cpb2, pfoA and plc toxin genes. Rapid Caco-2 cell-induced upregulation of CPB and PFO production involves the VirS/VirR two-component system, since upregulated in vivo transcription of the pfoA and cpb genes was blocked by inactivating the virR gene and was reversible by complementation to restore VirR expression. However, the luxS quorum sensing system is not required for the rapid upregulation of type C toxin production induced by contact with Caco-2 cells. These results provide the first indication of host cell:pathogen cross-talk affecting toxin production kinetics by any pathogenic Clostridium spp., identify in vivo vs. in vitro differences in C. perfringens toxin expression, and implicate VirS/VirR as a possible contributor to some C. perfringens enteric diseases. PMID:19438515

  3. Toxin yet not toxic: Botulinum toxin in dentistry.

    PubMed

    Archana, M S

    2016-04-01

    Paracelsus contrasted poisons from nonpoisons, stating that "All things are poisons, and there is nothing that is harmless; the dose alone decides that something is a poison". Living organisms, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms, constitute a huge source of pharmaceutically useful medicines and toxins. Depending on their source, toxins can be categorized as phytotoxins, mycotoxins, or zootoxins, which include venoms and bacterial toxins. Any toxin can be harmful or beneficial. Within the last 100 years, the perception of botulinum neurotoxin (BTX) has evolved from that of a poison to a versatile clinical agent with various uses. BTX plays a key role in the management of many orofacial and dental disorders. Its indications are rapidly expanding, with ongoing trials for further applications. However, despite its clinical use, what BTX specifically does in each condition is still not clear. The main aim of this review is to describe some of the unclear aspects of this potentially useful agent, with a focus on the current research in dentistry. PMID:27486290

  4. Toxin content and cytotoxicity of algal dietary supplements

    SciTech Connect

    Heussner, A.H.; Mazija, L.; Fastner, J.; Dietrich, D.R.

    2012-12-01

    Blue-green algae (Spirulina sp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) and Chlorella sp. are commercially distributed as organic algae dietary supplements. Cyanobacterial dietary products in particular have raised serious concerns, as they appeared to be contaminated with toxins e.g. microcystins (MCs) and consumers repeatedly reported adverse health effects following consumption of these products. The aim of this study was to determine the toxin contamination and the in vitro cytotoxicity of algae dietary supplement products marketed in Germany. In thirteen products consisting of Aph. flos-aquae, Spirulina and Chlorella or mixtures thereof, MCs, nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a and cylindrospermopsin were analyzed. Five products tested in an earlier market study were re-analyzed for comparison. Product samples were extracted and analyzed for cytotoxicity in A549 cells as well as for toxin levels by (1) phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), (2) Adda-ELISA and (3) LC–MS/MS. In addition, all samples were analyzed by PCR for the presence of the mcyE gene, a part of the microcystin and nodularin synthetase gene cluster. Only Aph. flos-aquae products were tested positive for MCs as well as the presence of mcyE. The contamination levels of the MC-positive samples were ≤ 1 μg MC-LR equivalents g{sup −1} dw. None of the other toxins were found in any of the products. However, extracts from all products were cytotoxic. In light of the findings, the distribution and commercial sale of Aph. flos-aquae products, whether pure or mixed formulations, for human consumption appear highly questionable. -- Highlights: ► Marketed algae dietary supplements were analyzed for toxins. ► Methods: Phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA), Adda-ELISA, LC-MS/MS. ► Aph. flos-aquae products all tested positive for microcystins. ► Products tested negative for nodularins, saxitoxins, anatoxin-a, cylindrospermopsin. ► Extracts from all products were cytotoxic.

  5. Pseudoalteromonas bacteria are capable of degrading paralytic shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Donovan, Carrie J; Garduño, Rafael A; Kalmokoff, Martin; Ku, John C; Quilliam, Michael A; Gill, Tom A

    2009-11-01

    Marine bacterial isolates cultured from the digestive tracts of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) contaminated with paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) were screened for the ability to reduce the toxicity of a PST mixture. Seven isolates reduced the overall toxicity of the algal extract by > or = 90% within 3 days. These isolates shared at least 99% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with five Pseudoalteromonas spp. Phenotypic tests suggested that all are novel strains of Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis. PMID:19717625

  6. Unrelated toxin-antitoxin systems cooperate to induce persistence.

    PubMed

    Fasani, Rick A; Savageau, Michael A

    2015-07-01

    Persisters are drug-tolerant bacteria that account for the majority of bacterial infections. They are not mutants, rather, they are slow-growing cells in an otherwise normally growing population. It is known that the frequency of persisters in a population is correlated with the number of toxin-antitoxin systems in the organism. Our previous work provided a mechanistic link between the two by showing how multiple toxin-antitoxin systems, which are present in nearly all bacteria, can cooperate to induce bistable toxin concentrations that result in a heterogeneous population of slow- and fast-growing cells. As such, the slow-growing persisters are a bet-hedging subpopulation maintained under normal conditions. For technical reasons, the model assumed that the kinetic parameters of the various toxin-antitoxin systems in the cell are identical, but experimental data indicate that they differ, sometimes dramatically. Thus, a critical question remains: whether toxin-antitoxin systems from the diverse families, often found together in a cell, with significantly different kinetics, can cooperate in a similar manner. Here, we characterize the interaction of toxin-antitoxin systems from many families that are unrelated and kinetically diverse, and identify the essential determinant for their cooperation. The generic architecture of toxin-antitoxin systems provides the potential for bistability, and our results show that even when they do not exhibit bistability alone, unrelated systems can be coupled by the growth rate to create a strongly bistable, hysteretic switch between normal (fast-growing) and persistent (slow-growing) states. Different combinations of kinetic parameters can produce similar toxic switching thresholds, and the proximity of the thresholds is the primary determinant of bistability. Stochastic fluctuations can spontaneously switch all of the toxin-antitoxin systems in a cell at once. The spontaneous switch creates a heterogeneous population of growing and

  7. Transcriptional profiling analysis of Spodoptera litura larvae challenged with Vip3Aa toxin and possible involvement of trypsin in the toxin activation

    PubMed Central

    Song, Feifei; Chen, Chen; Wu, Songqing; Shao, Ensi; Li, Mengnan; Guan, Xiong; Huang, Zhipeng

    2016-01-01

    Vip proteins, a new group of insecticidal toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, are effective against specific pests including Spodoptera litura. Here, we report construction of a transcriptome database of S. litura by de novo assembly along with detection of the transcriptional response of S. litura larvae to Vip3Aa toxin. In total, 56,498 unigenes with an N50 value of 1,853 bp were obtained. Results of transcriptome abundance showed that Vip3Aa toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response of the S. litura midgut. The differentially expressed genes were enriched for immunity-related, metabolic-related and Bt-related genes. Twenty-nine immunity-related genes, 102 metabolic-related genes and 62 Bt-related genes with differential expression were found. On the basis of transcriptional profiling analysis, we focus on the functional validation of trypsin which potentially participated in the activation of Vip3Aa protoxin. Zymogram analysis indicated that the presence of many proteases, including trypsin, in S. litura larvae midgut. Results of enzymolysis in vitro of Vip3Aa by trypsin, and bioassay and histopathology of the trypsin-digested Vip3Aa toxin showed that trypsin was possibly involved in the Vip3Aa activation. This study provides a transcriptome foundation for the identification and functional validation of the differentially expressed genes in an agricultural important pest, S. litura. PMID:27025647

  8. Transcriptional profiling analysis of Spodoptera litura larvae challenged with Vip3Aa toxin and possible involvement of trypsin in the toxin activation.

    PubMed

    Song, Feifei; Chen, Chen; Wu, Songqing; Shao, Ensi; Li, Mengnan; Guan, Xiong; Huang, Zhipeng

    2016-01-01

    Vip proteins, a new group of insecticidal toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis, are effective against specific pests including Spodoptera litura. Here, we report construction of a transcriptome database of S. litura by de novo assembly along with detection of the transcriptional response of S. litura larvae to Vip3Aa toxin. In total, 56,498 unigenes with an N50 value of 1,853 bp were obtained. Results of transcriptome abundance showed that Vip3Aa toxin provoked a wide transcriptional response of the S. litura midgut. The differentially expressed genes were enriched for immunity-related, metabolic-related and Bt-related genes. Twenty-nine immunity-related genes, 102 metabolic-related genes and 62 Bt-related genes with differential expression were found. On the basis of transcriptional profiling analysis, we focus on the functional validation of trypsin which potentially participated in the activation of Vip3Aa protoxin. Zymogram analysis indicated that the presence of many proteases, including trypsin, in S. litura larvae midgut. Results of enzymolysis in vitro of Vip3Aa by trypsin, and bioassay and histopathology of the trypsin-digested Vip3Aa toxin showed that trypsin was possibly involved in the Vip3Aa activation. This study provides a transcriptome foundation for the identification and functional validation of the differentially expressed genes in an agricultural important pest, S. litura. PMID:27025647

  9. Risk assessment of shellfish toxins.

    PubMed

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-11-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  10. Risk Assessment of Shellfish Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Munday, Rex; Reeve, John

    2013-01-01

    Complex secondary metabolites, some of which are highly toxic to mammals, are produced by many marine organisms. Some of these organisms are important food sources for marine animals and, when ingested, the toxins that they produce may be absorbed and stored in the tissues of the predators, which then become toxic to animals higher up the food chain. This is a particular problem with shellfish, and many cases of poisoning are reported in shellfish consumers each year. At present, there is no practicable means of preventing uptake of the toxins by shellfish or of removing them after harvesting. Assessment of the risk posed by such toxins is therefore required in order to determine levels that are unlikely to cause adverse effects in humans and to permit the establishment of regulatory limits in shellfish for human consumption. In the present review, the basic principles of risk assessment are described, and the progress made toward robust risk assessment of seafood toxins is discussed. While good progress has been made, it is clear that further toxicological studies are required before this goal is fully achieved. PMID:24226039

  11. MCEARD - CYANOBACTERIA AND THEIR TOXINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Harmful algal blooms (HAB) of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, have recently become more spatially and temporally prevalent in the US and worldwide. Waterborne cyanobacteria and their highly potent toxins are a significant hazard for human health and the ecosystem....

  12. Toxin Synthesis by Clostridium difficile Is Regulated through Quorum Signaling

    PubMed Central

    DuPont, Herbert L.; Norris, Steven J.; Kaplan, Heidi B.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is dramatically increasing as a cause of antibiotic- and hospital-associated diarrhea worldwide. C. difficile, a multidrug-resistant pathogen, flourishes in the colon after the gut microbiota has been altered by antibiotic therapy. Consequently, it produces toxins A and B that directly cause disease. Despite the enormous public health problem posed by this pathogen, the molecular mechanisms that regulate production of the toxins, which are directly responsible for disease, remained largely unknown until now. Here, we show that C. difficile toxin synthesis is regulated by an accessory gene regulator quorum-signaling system, which is mediated through a small (<1,000-Da) thiolactone that can be detected directly in stools of CDI patients. These findings provide direct evidence of the mechanism of regulation of C. difficile toxin synthesis and offer exciting new avenues both for rapid detection of C. difficile infection and development of quorum-signaling-based non-antibiotic therapies to combat this life-threatening emerging pathogen. PMID:25714717

  13. Multicenter Evaluation of the BD Max Enteric Bacterial Panel PCR Assay for Rapid Detection of Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Campylobacter spp. (C. jejuni and C. coli), and Shiga Toxin 1 and 2 Genes

    PubMed Central

    Doern, C.; Fader, R.; Ferraro, M. J.; Pillai, D. R.; Rychert, J.; Doyle, L.; Lainesse, A.; Karchmer, T.; Mortensen, J. E.

    2015-01-01

    Diarrhea due to enteric bacterial pathogens causes significant morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. However, bacterial pathogens may be infrequently identified. Currently, culture and enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) are the primary methods used by clinical laboratories to detect enteric bacterial pathogens. We conducted a multicenter evaluation of the BD Max enteric bacterial panel (EBP) PCR assay in comparison to culture for the detection of Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Campylobacter jejuni, and Campylobacter coli and an EIA for Shiga toxins 1 and 2. A total of 4,242 preserved or unpreserved stool specimens, including 3,457 specimens collected prospectively and 785 frozen, retrospective samples, were evaluated. Compared to culture or EIA, the positive percent agreement (PPA) and negative percent agreement (NPA) values for the BD Max EBP assay for all specimens combined were as follows: 97.1% and 99.2% for Salmonella spp., 99.1% and 99.7% for Shigella spp., 97.2% and 98.4% for C. jejuni and C. coli, and 97.4% and 99.3% for Shiga toxins, respectively. Discrepant results for prospective samples were resolved with alternate PCR assays and bidirectional sequencing of amplicons. Following discrepant analysis, PPA and NPA values were as follows: 97.3% and 99.8% for Salmonella spp., 99.2% and 100% for Shigella spp., 97.5% and 99.0% for C. jejuni and C. coli, and 100% and 99.7% for Shiga toxins, respectively. No differences in detection were observed for samples preserved in Cary-Blair medium and unpreserved samples. In this large, multicenter study, the BD Max EBP assay showed superior sensitivity compared to conventional methods and excellent specificity for the detection of enteric bacterial pathogens in stool specimens. PMID:25740779

  14. Multicenter evaluation of the BD max enteric bacterial panel PCR assay for rapid detection of Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Campylobacter spp. (C. jejuni and C. coli), and Shiga toxin 1 and 2 genes.

    PubMed

    Harrington, S M; Buchan, B W; Doern, C; Fader, R; Ferraro, M J; Pillai, D R; Rychert, J; Doyle, L; Lainesse, A; Karchmer, T; Mortensen, J E

    2015-05-01

    Diarrhea due to enteric bacterial pathogens causes significant morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. However, bacterial pathogens may be infrequently identified. Currently, culture and enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) are the primary methods used by clinical laboratories to detect enteric bacterial pathogens. We conducted a multicenter evaluation of the BD Max enteric bacterial panel (EBP) PCR assay in comparison to culture for the detection of Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Campylobacter jejuni, and Campylobacter coli and an EIA for Shiga toxins 1 and 2. A total of 4,242 preserved or unpreserved stool specimens, including 3,457 specimens collected prospectively and 785 frozen, retrospective samples, were evaluated. Compared to culture or EIA, the positive percent agreement (PPA) and negative percent agreement (NPA) values for the BD Max EBP assay for all specimens combined were as follows: 97.1% and 99.2% for Salmonella spp., 99.1% and 99.7% for Shigella spp., 97.2% and 98.4% for C. jejuni and C. coli, and 97.4% and 99.3% for Shiga toxins, respectively. Discrepant results for prospective samples were resolved with alternate PCR assays and bidirectional sequencing of amplicons. Following discrepant analysis, PPA and NPA values were as follows: 97.3% and 99.8% for Salmonella spp., 99.2% and 100% for Shigella spp., 97.5% and 99.0% for C. jejuni and C. coli, and 100% and 99.7% for Shiga toxins, respectively. No differences in detection were observed for samples preserved in Cary-Blair medium and unpreserved samples. In this large, multicenter study, the BD Max EBP assay showed superior sensitivity compared to conventional methods and excellent specificity for the detection of enteric bacterial pathogens in stool specimens. PMID:25740779

  15. Toxins as Weapons: A Historical Review.

    PubMed

    Pita, R; Romero, A

    2014-07-01

    This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease. PMID:26227025

  16. A General Model for Toxin-Antitoxin Module Dynamics Can Explain Persister Cell Formation in E. coli

    PubMed Central

    Gelens, Lendert; Hill, Lydia; Vandervelde, Alexandra; Danckaert, Jan; Loris, Remy

    2013-01-01

    Toxin-Antitoxin modules are small operons involved in stress response and persister cell formation that encode a “toxin” and its corresponding neutralizing “antitoxin”. Regulation of these modules involves a complex mechanism known as conditional cooperativity, which is supposed to prevent unwanted toxin activation. Here we develop mathematical models for their regulation, based on published molecular and structural data, and parameterized using experimental data for F-plasmid ccdAB, bacteriophage P1 phd/doc and E. coli relBE. We show that the level of free toxin in the cell is mainly controlled through toxin sequestration in toxin-antitoxin complexes of various stoichiometry rather than by gene regulation. If the toxin translation rate exceeds twice the antitoxin translation rate, toxins accumulate in all cells. Conditional cooperativity and increasing the number of binding sites on the operator serves to reduce the metabolic burden of the cell by reducing the total amounts of proteins produced. Combining conditional cooperativity and bridging of antitoxins by toxins when bound to their operator sites allows creation of persister cells through rare, extreme stochastic spikes in the free toxin level. The amplitude of these spikes determines the duration of the persister state. Finally, increases in the antitoxin degradation rate and decreases in the bacterial growth rate cause a rise in the amount of persisters during nutritional stress. PMID:24009490

  17. A Toxin-Antitoxin Module in Bacillus subtilis Can Both Mitigate and Amplify Effects of Lethal Stress

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiangli; Wang, Xiuhong; Drlica, Karl; Zhao, Xilin

    2011-01-01

    Background Bacterial type-2 (protein-protein) toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules are two-gene operons that are thought to participate in the response to stress. Previous work with Escherichia coli has led to a debate in which some investigators conclude that the modules protect from stress, while others argue that they amplify lethal stress and lead to programmed cell death. To avoid ambiguity arising from the presence of multiple TA modules in E. coli, the effect of the sole type-2 toxin-antitoxin module of Bacillus subtilis was examined for several types of lethal stress. Methodology/Principal Findings Genetic knockout of the toxin gene, ndoA (ydcE), conferred protection to lethal stressors that included kanamycin, moxifloxacin, hydrogen peroxide, and UV irradiation. However, at low doses of UV irradiation the ndoA deficiency increased lethality. Indeed, gradually increasing UV dose with the ndoA mutant revealed a crossover response – from the mutant being more sensitive than wild-type cells to being less sensitive. For high temperature and nutrient starvation, the toxin deficiency rendered cells hypersensitive. The ndoA deficiency also reduced sporulation frequency, indicating a role for toxin-antitoxin modules in this developmental process. In the case of lethal antimicrobial treatment, deletion of the toxin eliminated a surge in hydrogen peroxide accumulation observed in wild-type cells. Conclusions A single toxin-antitoxin module can mediate two opposing effects of stress, one that lowers lethality and another that raises it. Protective effects are thought to arise from toxin-mediated inhibition of translation based on published work. The enhanced, stress-mediated killing probably involves toxin-dependent accumulation of reactive oxygen species, since a deficiency in the NdoA toxin suppressed peroxide accumulation following antimicrobial treatment. The type and perhaps the level of stress appear to be important for determining whether this toxin will have a

  18. Genetic mapping of Bt-toxin binding proteins in a Cry1A-toxin resistant strain of diamondback moth Plutella xylostella.

    PubMed

    Baxter, Simon W; Zhao, Jian-Zhou; Shelton, Anthony M; Vogel, Heiko; Heckel, David G

    2008-02-01

    A major mechanism of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins in Lepidoptera is a reduction of toxin binding to sites in the midgut membrane. Genetic studies of three different species have shown that mutations in a candidate Bt receptor, a 12-cadherin-domain protein, confer Cry1A toxin resistance. Despite a similar resistance profile in a fourth lepidopteran species, Plutella xylostella, we have previously shown that the cadherin orthologue maps to a different linkage group (LG8) than Cry1Ac resistance (LG22). Here we tested the hypothesis that mutations in other genes encoding candidate Bt-binding targets could be responsible for Bt resistance, by mapping eight aminopeptidases, an alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an intestinal mucin, and a P252 glycoprotein with respect to the 29 AFLP marked linkage groups in a P. xylostella cross segregating for Cry1Ac resistance. A homologue of the Caenorhabditis elegans Bt resistance gene bre-2 was also mapped. None of the genes analysed were on the same chromosome containing the Cry1Ac resistance locus, eliminating them as candidate resistance genes in the parental resistant strain SC1. Although this finding excludes cis-acting mutations in these genes as causing resistance in this strain, one or more of the expressed proteins may still bind Cry1Ac toxin, and post-translational modifications could affect this binding and thereby exert a trans-acting effect on resistance. PMID:18207074

  19. Intravital imaging of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin binding sites in the midgut of silkworm.

    PubMed

    Li, Na; Wang, Jing; Han, Heyou; Huang, Liang; Shao, Feng; Li, Xuepu

    2014-02-15

    Identification of the resistance mechanism of insects against Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A toxin is becoming an increasingly challenging task. This fact highlights the need for establishing new methods to further explore the molecular interactions of Cry1A toxin with insects and the receptor-binding region of Cry1A toxins for their wider application as biopesticides and a gene source for gene-modified crops. In this contribution, a quantum dot-based near-infrared fluorescence imaging method has been applied for direct dynamic tracking of the specific binding of Cry1A toxins, CrylAa and CrylAc, to the midgut tissue of silkworm. The in vitro fluorescence imaging displayed the higher binding specificity of CrylAa-QD probes compared to CrylAc-QD to the brush border membrane vesicles of midgut from silkworm. The in vivo imaging demonstrated that more CrylAa-QDs binding to silkworm midgut could be effectively and distinctly monitored in living silkworms. Furthermore, frozen section analysis clearly indicated the broader receptor-binding region of Cry1Aa compared to that of Cry1Ac in the midgut part. These observations suggest that the insecticidal activity of Cry toxins may depend on the receptor-binding sites, and this scatheless and visual near-infrared fluorescence imaging could provide a new avenue to study the resistance mechanism to maintain the insecticidal activity of B. thuringiensis toxins. PMID:24252542

  20. [Botulinum toxin type A in headache treatment : Established and experimental indications].

    PubMed

    Gaul, C; Holle-Lee, D; Straube, A

    2016-08-01

    In recent years botulinum toxin type A has been used increasingly more in the treatment of specific headache disorders. Especially regarding chronic migraine with and without combined medication overuse, convincing randomized studies have proven the efficacy of this treatment option and have led to approval for this indication. Regarding other headache entities, such as episodic migraine, tension-type headache, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC), neuralgic, neuropathic and myofascial pain, currently available scientific data on the efficacy of botulinum toxin type A are scarce and often ambiguous. The exact underlying mechanisms of the influence of botulinum toxin type A on the pathophysiology of headache are not completely clear but an influence on the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) seems to play a crucial role. This article summarizes the most important studies as well as experiences of treatment with botulinum toxin type A regarding different headache entities. PMID:27300190

  1. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  2. Why do we study animal toxins?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yun

    2015-07-18

    Venom (toxins) is an important trait evolved along the evolutionary tree of animals. Our knowledges on venoms, such as their origins and loss, the biological relevance and the coevolutionary patterns with other organisms are greatly helpful in understanding many fundamental biological questions, i.e., the environmental adaptation and survival competition, the evolution shaped development and balance of venoms, and the sophisticated correlations among venom, immunity, body power, intelligence, their genetic basis, inherent association, as well as the cost-benefit and trade-offs of biological economy. Lethal animal envenomation can be found worldwide. However, from foe to friend, toxin studies have led lots of important discoveries and exciting avenues in deciphering and fighting human diseases, including the works awarded the Nobel Prize and lots of key clinic therapeutics. According to our survey, so far, only less than 0.1% of the toxins of the venomous animals in China have been explored. We emphasize on the similarities shared by venom and immune systems, as well as the studies of toxin knowledge-based physiological toxin-like proteins/peptides (TLPs). We propose the natural pairing hypothesis. Evolution links toxins with humans. Our mission is to find out the right natural pairings and interactions of our body elements with toxins, and with endogenous toxin-like molecules. Although, in nature, toxins may endanger human lives, but from a philosophical point of view, knowing them well is an effective way to better understand ourselves. So, this is why we study toxins. PMID:26228472

  3. Botulinum Toxin in Pediatric Neurology

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins are natural molecules produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria called Clostradium boltulinum. The toxin has a peculiar mechanism of action by preventing the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic membrane. Consequently, it has been used in the treatment of various neurological conditions related to muscle hyperactivity and/or spasticity. Also, it has an impact on the autonomic nervous system by acting on smooth muscle, leading to its use in the management of pain syndromes. The use of botulinum toxin in children separate from adults has received very little attention in the literature. This review presents the current data on the use of botulinum neurotoxin to treat various neurological disorders in children. PMID:27335961

  4. Ribosomal Biosynthesis of the Cyclic Peptide Toxins of Amanita Mushrooms

    PubMed Central

    Walton, Jonathan D.; Hallen-Adams, Heather E.; Luo, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Some species of mushrooms in the genus Amanita are extremely poisonous and frequently fatal to mammals including humans and dogs. Their extreme toxicity is due to amatoxins such as α- and β-amanitin. Amanita mushrooms also biosynthesize a chemically related group of toxins, the phallotoxins, such as phalloidin. The amatoxins and phallotoxins (collectively known as the Amanita toxins) are bicyclic octa- and heptapeptides, respectively. Both contain an unusual Trp-Cys cross-bridge known as tryptathionine. We have shown that, in Amanita bisporigera, the amatoxins and phallotoxins are synthesized as proproteins on ribosomes and not by nonribosomal peptide synthetases. The proproteins are 34–35 amino acids in length and have no predicted signal peptides. The genes for α-amanitin (AMA1) and phallacidin (PHA1) are members of a large family of related genes, characterized by highly conserved amino acid sequences flanking a hypervariable “toxin” region. The toxin regions are flanked by invariant proline (Pro) residues. An enzyme that could cleave the proprotein of phalloidin was purified from the phalloidin-producing lawn mushroom Conocybe apala. The enzyme is a serine protease in the prolyl oligopeptidase (POP) subfamily. The same enzyme cuts at both Pro residues to release the linear hepta- or octapeptide. PMID:20564017

  5. Detection of E. coli O157:H7 and Shigella dysenteriae toxins in clinical samples by PCR-ELISA.

    PubMed

    Amani, Jafar; Ahmadpour, Askary; Imani Fooladi, Abbas Ali; Nazarian, Shahram

    2015-01-01

    Shiga toxin producing bacteria are potential causes of serious human disease such as hemorrhagic colitis, severe inflammations of ileocolonic regions of gastrointestinal tract, thrombocytopenia, septicemia, malignant disorders in urinary ducts, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Shiga toxin 1 (stx1), shiga toxin 2 (stx2), or a combination of both are responsible for most clinical symptoms of these diseases. A lot of methods have been developed so far to detect shiga toxins such as cell culture, ELISA, and RFPLA, but due to high costs and labor time in addition to low sensitivity, they have not received much attention. In this study, PCR-ELISA method was used to detect genes encoding shiga toxins1 and 2 (stx1 and stx2). To detect stx1 and stx2 genes, two primer pairs were designed for Multiplex-PCR then PCR-ELISA. PCR products (490 and 275, respectively) were subsequently verified by sequencing. Sensitivity and specificity of PCR-ELISA method were determined by using genome serial dilution and Enterobacteria strains. PCR-ELISA method used in this study proved to be a rapid and precise approach to detect different types of shiga toxins and can be used to detect bacterial genes encoding shiga toxins. PMID:25911087

  6. An ABC Transporter Mutation Is Correlated with Insect Resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Gahan, Linda J.; Pauchet, Yannick; Vogel, Heiko; Heckel, David G.

    2010-01-01

    Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut membrane, but the genetic factors responsible for this change have been elusive. Mutations in a 12-cadherin-domain protein confer some Cry1Ac resistance but do not block this toxin binding in in vitro assays. We sought to identify mutations in other genes that might be responsible for the loss of binding. We employed a map-based cloning approach using a series of backcrosses with 1,060 progeny to identify a resistance gene in the cotton pest Heliothis virescens that segregated independently from the cadherin mutation. We found an inactivating mutation of the ABC transporter ABCC2 that is genetically linked to Cry1Ac resistance and is correlated with loss of Cry1Ac binding to membrane vesicles. ABC proteins are integral membrane proteins with many functions, including export of toxic molecules from the cell, but have not been implicated in the mode of action of Bt toxins before. The reduction in toxin binding due to the inactivating mutation suggests that ABCC2 is involved in membrane integration of the toxin pore. Our findings suggest that ABC proteins may play a key role in the mode of action of Bt toxins and that ABC protein mutations can confer high levels of resistance that could threaten the continued utilization of Bt–expressing crops. However, such mutations may impose a physiological cost on resistant insects, by reducing export of other toxins such as plant secondary compounds from the cell. This weakness could be exploited to manage this mechanism of Bt resistance in the field. PMID:21187898

  7. An ABC transporter mutation is correlated with insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac toxin.

    PubMed

    Gahan, Linda J; Pauchet, Yannick; Vogel, Heiko; Heckel, David G

    2010-12-01

    Transgenic crops producing insecticidal toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are commercially successful in reducing pest damage, yet knowledge of resistance mechanisms that threaten their sustainability is incomplete. Insect resistance to the pore-forming Cry1Ac toxin is correlated with the loss of high-affinity, irreversible binding to the mid-gut membrane, but the genetic factors responsible for this change have been elusive. Mutations in a 12-cadherin-domain protein confer some Cry1Ac resistance but do not block this toxin binding in in vitro assays. We sought to identify mutations in other genes that might be responsible for the loss of binding. We employed a map-based cloning approach using a series of backcrosses with 1,060 progeny to identify a resistance gene in the cotton pest Heliothis virescens that segregated independently from the cadherin mutation. We found an inactivating mutation of the ABC transporter ABCC2 that is genetically linked to Cry1Ac resistance and is correlated with loss of Cry1Ac binding to membrane vesicles. ABC proteins are integral membrane proteins with many functions, including export of toxic molecules from the cell, but have not been implicated in the mode of action of Bt toxins before. The reduction in toxin binding due to the inactivating mutation suggests that ABCC2 is involved in membrane integration of the toxin pore. Our findings suggest that ABC proteins may play a key role in the mode of action of Bt toxins and that ABC protein mutations can confer high levels of resistance that could threaten the continued utilization of Bt-expressing crops. However, such mutations may impose a physiological cost on resistant insects, by reducing export of other toxins such as plant secondary compounds from the cell. This weakness could be exploited to manage this mechanism of Bt resistance in the field. PMID:21187898

  8. Novel Class of Spider Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Vassilevski, Alexander A.; Fedorova, Irina M.; Maleeva, Ekaterina E.; Korolkova, Yuliya V.; Efimova, Svetlana S.; Samsonova, Olga V.; Schagina, Ludmila V.; Feofanov, Alexei V.; Magazanik, Lev G.; Grishin, Eugene V.

    2010-01-01

    Venom of the yellow sac spider Cheiracanthium punctorium (Miturgidae) was found unique in terms of molecular composition. Its principal toxic component CpTx 1 (15.1 kDa) was purified, and its full amino acid sequence (134 residues) was established by protein chemistry and mass spectrometry techniques. CpTx 1 represents a novel class of spider toxin with modular architecture. It consists of two different yet homologous domains (modules) each containing a putative inhibitor cystine knot motif, characteristic of the widespread single domain spider neurotoxins. Venom gland cDNA sequencing provided precursor protein (prepropeptide) structures of three CpTx 1 isoforms (a–c) that differ by single residue substitutions. The toxin possesses potent insecticidal (paralytic and lethal), cytotoxic, and membrane-damaging activities. In both fly and frog neuromuscular preparations, it causes stable and irreversible depolarization of muscle fibers leading to contracture. This effect appears to be receptor-independent and is inhibited by high concentrations of divalent cations. CpTx 1 lyses cell membranes, as visualized by confocal microscopy, and destabilizes artificial membranes in a manner reminiscent of other membrane-active peptides by causing numerous defects of variable conductance and leading to bilayer rupture. The newly discovered class of modular polypeptides enhances our knowledge of the toxin universe. PMID:20657014

  9. Immunotoxins, ligand-toxin conjugates and molecular targeting.

    PubMed

    Soria, M

    1989-01-01

    Biotechnology provides tools for therapeutic exploitation following advances in the elucidation of protein-to-cell and cell-to-cell interactions. Molecular targeting of bacterial and plant toxins to the desired district of action can be achieved through effector molecules like monoclonal antibodies or protein ligands. Biochemical conjugation of these effectors to SO-6, a single-chain Ribosome Inactivating Protein from Saponaria officinalis, yielded powerful cytotoxic agents that are attractive candidates for therapeutic evaluation. Cloning of the gene for this plant toxin has been achieved. Technologies for expression of protein ligands, such as apolipoproteins or several growth factors, are available in recombinant microorganisms, providing adequate partners for the assembly of targeted chimaeras. Domain engineering of structural and functional regions in effector proteins is now possible and will be carried out with the available technologies to improve existing therapy. PMID:2698471

  10. Relevance of Bt toxin interaction studies for environmental risk assessment of genetically modified crops.

    PubMed

    De Schrijver, Adinda; De Clercq, Patrick; de Maagd, Ruud A; van Frankenhuyzen, Kees

    2015-12-01

    In recent years, different Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin-encoding genes have been combined or 'stacked' in genetically modified (GM) crops. Synergism between Bt proteins may occur and thereby increase the impact of the stacked GM event on nontarget invertebrates compared to plants expressing a single Bt gene. On the basis of bioassay data available for Bt toxins alone or in combination, we argue that the current knowledge of Bt protein interactions is of limited relevance in environmental risk assessment (ERA). PMID:26032006

  11. Phage display and Shiga toxin neutralizers.

    PubMed

    Bernedo-Navarro, Robert Alvin; Yano, Tomomasa

    2016-04-01

    The current work presents an overview of the use of phage display technology for the identification and characterization of potential neutralizing agents for Shiga toxins. The last major Shiga toxin-associated disease outbreak, which took place in Germany in 2011, showed the international community that Shiga toxins remain a serious threat to public health. This is also demonstrated by the lack of specific therapies against Shiga toxin-induced Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Since its inception, phage display technology has played a key role in the development of antigen-specific (poly)-peptides or antibody fragments with specific biological properties. Herein, we review the current literature regarding the application of phage display to identify novel neutralizing agents against Shiga toxins. We also briefly highlight reported discoveries of peptides and heavy chain antibodies (VHH fragments or nanobodies) that can neutralize the cellular damage caused by these potent toxins. PMID:26898657

  12. Bt Toxin Modification for Enhanced Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Deist, Benjamin R.; Rausch, Michael A.; Fernandez-Luna, Maria Teresa; Adang, Michael J.; Bonning, Bryony C.

    2014-01-01

    Insect-specific toxins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provide a valuable resource for pest suppression. Here we review the different strategies that have been employed to enhance toxicity against specific target species including those that have evolved resistance to Bt, or to modify the host range of Bt crystal (Cry) and cytolytic (Cyt) toxins. These strategies include toxin truncation, modification of protease cleavage sites, domain swapping, site-directed mutagenesis, peptide addition, and phage display screens for mutated toxins with enhanced activity. Toxin optimization provides a useful approach to extend the utility of these proteins for suppression of pests that exhibit low susceptibility to native Bt toxins, and to overcome field resistance. PMID:25340556

  13. [Use of botulinum toxin in strabismus].

    PubMed

    Wabbels, B

    2016-07-01

    Botulinum toxin can be a useful tool for treating acute sixth nerve palsy and excessive eye deviations due to unstable Graves' disease, when surgery is not yet possible. The diagnostic injection for estimation of possible postoperative double vision also makes sense. In convergence spasms, periocular botulinum toxin injections can be a therapeutic option. Botulinum toxin is not a first line option in infantile esotropia without binocularity or in adult horizontal strabismus. Side effects include ptosis and vertical deviations. PMID:27369733

  14. Enhanced detection and identification of Shiga toxin 1 and 2 from pathogenic bacteria by MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS/MS-PSD and top-down proteomic analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) represent a continuing threat to the Nation’s food supply and public health. Shiga toxin genes (stx) are encoded in lambda-like bacteriophages whose genome is inserted into the bacterial DNA. Environmental stress can trigger bacteriophage replication a...

  15. Novel Yersinia Pestis Toxin that Resembles Bacillus Anthracis Edema Factor: Study of Activity and Structural Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Motin, V; Garcia, E; Barsky, D; Zemla, A

    2003-02-05

    The goal of this project was to begin both experimental and computational studies of the novel plague toxin to establish its biological properties and create its 3D-model. The project was divided into two parts. (1) Experimental--This part was devoted to determine distribution of the genes encoding novel plague toxin among different isolates of Y.pestis. If the EF-like activity is important for Y.pestis pathogenicity, it is anticipated that all highly virulent strains will contain the toxin genes. Also, they proposed to initiate research to investigate the functionality of the novel Y.pestis toxin that they hypothesize is likely to significantly contribute to the virulence of this dangerous microbe. this research design consisted of amplification, cloning and expression in E.coli the toxin genes followed by affinity purification of the recombinant protein that can be further used for testing of enzymatic activity. (2) Computational--The structural modeling of the putative EF of Y.pestis was based on multiple sequence alignments, secondary structure predictions, and comparison with 3D models of the EF of B. anthracis. The x-ray structure of the last has been recently published [Nature. 2002. 415(Jan):396-402]. The final model was selected after detailed analysis to determine if the structure is consistent with the biological function.

  16. Regulation of the Shiga-like toxin II operon in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed Central

    Mühldorfer, I; Hacker, J; Keusch, G T; Acheson, D W; Tschäpe, H; Kane, A V; Ritter, A; Olschläger, T; Donohue-Rolfe, A

    1996-01-01

    Investigations of the regulation of the bacteriophage-encoded Shiga-like toxin II (SLT-II) in Escherichia coli demonstrated that bacteriophages exhibit a regulatory impact on toxin production by two mechanisms. Firstly, replication of the toxin-converting bacteriophages brings about an increase in toxin production due to concomitant multiplication of toxin gene copies. Secondly, an influence of a phage-encoded regulatory molecule was demonstrated by using low-copy-number plasmid pADR-28, carrying a translational gene fusion between the promoter and proximal portion of slt-IIA and the structural gene for bacterial alkaline phosphatase (phoA). PhoA activity, reflecting the slt-II promoter activity, was significantly enhanced in E. coli strains which and been lysogenized with an SLT-I or SLT-II-converting bacteriophage (H-19B or 933W, respectively) or bacteriophage lambda. Both mechanisms are dependent on bacteriophage induction and hence are recA dependent. Moreover, the study revealed that the DNA-binding protein H-NS has a regulatory impact on both bacteriophage-mediated SLT-II synthesis and the activity of the slt-II promoter of plasmid pADR-28. While a slight impact of growth temperature on SLT-II expression was observed, no impact of either osmolarity, pH, oxygen tension, acetates, iron level, or utilized carbon source could be demonstrated. PMID:8550198

  17. A recombinant Bacillus anthracis strain producing the Clostridium perfringens Ib component induces protection against iota toxins.

    PubMed Central

    Sirard, J C; Weber, M; Duflot, E; Popoff, M R; Mock, M

    1997-01-01

    The Bacillus anthracis toxinogenic Sterne strain is currently used as a live veterinary vaccine against anthrax. The capacity of a toxin-deficient derivative strain to produce a heterologous antigen by using the strong inducible promoter of the B. anthracis pag gene was investigated. The expression of the foreign gene ibp, encoding the Ib component of iota toxin from Clostridium perfringens, was analyzed. A pag-ibp fusion was introduced by allelic exchange into a toxin-deficient Sterne strain, thereby replacing the wild-type pag gene. This recombinant strain, called BAIB, was stable and secreted large quantities of Ib protein in induced culture conditions. Mice given injections of live BAIB spores developed an antibody response specific to the Ib protein. The pag-ibp fusion was therefore functional both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the immunized animals were protected against a challenge with C. perfringens iota toxin or with the homologous Clostridium spiroforme toxin. The protective immunity was mediated by neutralizing antibodies. In conclusion, B. anthracis is promising for the development of live veterinary vaccines. PMID:9169728

  18. Role of UPR Pathway in Defense Response of Aedes aegypti against Cry11Aa Toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis

    PubMed Central

    Bedoya-Pérez, Leidy P.; Cancino-Rodezno, Angeles; Flores-Escobar, Biviana; Soberón, Mario; Bravo, Alejandra

    2013-01-01

    The insecticidal Cry toxins are pore-forming toxins produced by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis that disrupt insect-midgut cells. Cells can trigger different survival mechanisms to counteract the effects of sub-lytic doses of pore forming toxins. Particularly, two signaling pathways have been demonstrated to play a role in the defense mechanism to other toxins in Caenorhabditis elegans and in mammalian cells. These are the unfolded protein response (UPR) and the sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBP) pathways, which are proposed to facilitate membrane repair responses. In this work we analyzed the role of these pathways in Aedes aegypti response to intoxication with Cry11Aa toxin. We show that UPR is activated upon toxin ingestion. The role of these two pathways was analyzed in vivo by using RNA interference. We silenced the expression of specific proteins in A. aegypti larvae. Gene silencing of Ire-1 and Xbp-1 proteins from UPR system, resulted in hypersensitive to Cry11Aa toxin action. In contrast, silencing of Cas-1, Scap and S2P from SREBP pathway had no affect on Cry11Aa toxicity in A. aegypti larvae. However, the role of SREBP pathway requires further studies to be conclusive. Our data indicate that the UPR pathway is involved in the insect defense against Cry toxins. PMID:23594997

  19. Multilocus Characterization Scheme for Shiga Toxin-Encoding Bacteriophages▿

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Darren L.; Wareing, Brian M.; Fogg, Paul C. M.; Riley, Laura M.; Spencer, Matthew; Cox, Michael J.; Saunders, Jon R.; McCarthy, Alan J.; Allison, Heather E.

    2007-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are food-borne pathogens whose ability to produce Shiga toxin (Stx) is due to integration of Stx-encoding lambdoid bacteriophages. These Stx phages are both genetically and morphologically heterogeneous, and here we report the design and validation of a PCR-based multilocus typing scheme. PCR primer sets were designed for database variants of a range of key lambdoid bacteriophage genes and applied to control phages and 70 stx+ phage preparations induced from a collection of STEC isolates. The genetic diversity residing within these populations could be described, and observations were made on the heterogeneity of individual gene targets, including the unexpected predominance of short-tailed phages with a highly conserved tail spike protein gene. Purified Stx phages can be profiled using this scheme, and the lambdoid phage-borne genes in induced STEC preparations can be identified as well as those residing in the noninducible prophage complement. The ultimate goal is to enable robust and realistically applicable epidemiological studies of Stx phages and their traits. The impact of Stx phage on STEC epidemiology is currently unknown. PMID:17951439

  20. Identification and sequence determination of recombinant Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin by use of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Saito, Hitoshi; Inoue, Masaharu; Tomiki, Masayoshi; Nemoto, Hiroshi; Komoriya, Tomoe; Kimata, Junko; Watanabe, Kunitomo; Kohno, Hideki

    2009-01-01

    Only a few methods exist for simple, sensitive and rapid detection of alpha-toxin in clinical and biological samples. The aim of our study was to establish a procedure for the production of an antibody against a recombinant antigen with confirmed sequence identity. We applied a noble approach based on proteomics using a mass spectrometer for the conclusive identification of the recombinant alpha-toxin that was subsequently used as an antigen. The recombinant alpha-toxin was produced in Escherichia coli. A clinical isolate of Clostridium perfringens GAI 94074 was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and subsequently, cloning was performed. Three different fragments were cloned using a pET100/D-TOPO vector. These fragments coded for a ribosome binding site, a signal peptide and the alpha-toxin gene, respectively. Recombinant pET100 plasmids were cloned into TOP 10 cells and the isolated plasmids were transferred into BL21 Star (DE3) cells. Their expression was then induced with isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG). Recombinant E. coli transformed with a plasmid encoding the alpha-toxin gene alone produced a biologically inactive protein. On the other hand, E. coli carrying the plasmid encoding the toxin sequence and its native signal peptide sequence, or the toxin sequence along with the ribosome binding sequence and the signal peptide sequence secreted an active alpha-toxin with phospholipase activity. Accordingly, the C. perfringens gene encoding the alpha-toxin protein along with its signal peptide was successfully cloned, expressed, and secreted by E. coli. Furthermore, without consideration of its activity, we used mass spectrometry to confirm that the expressed protein was indeed the alpha-toxin. Thus, the identification of alpha-toxin protein using both the biological activity testing and the mass spectrometry analysis is expected to verify the significant production of C. perfringens antibody. The study for the analysis of recombinant alpha-toxin

  1. Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Rusyniak, Daniel E; Sprague, Jon E

    2005-11-01

    Toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes are important to consider in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with fever and muscle rigidity. If untreated, toxin-induced hyperthermia may result in fatal hyperthermia with multisystem organ failure. All of these syndromes have at their center the disruption of normal thermogenic mechanisms, resulting in the activation of the hypothalamus and sympathetic nervous systems.The result of this thermogenic dysregulation is excess heat generation combined with impaired heat dissipation. Although many similarities exist among the clinical presentations and pathophysiologies of toxin-induced hyperthermic syndromes, important differences exist among their triggers and treatments. Serotonin syndrome typically occurs within hours of the addition ofa new serotonergic agent or the abuse of stimulants such as MDMA or methamphetamine. Treatment involves discontinuing the offending agent and administering either a central serotonergic antagonist, such as cyproheptadine or chlorpromazine, a benzodiazepine, or a combination of the two. NMS typically occurs over hours to days in a patient taking a neuroleptic agent; its recommended treatment is generally the combination of a central dopamine agonist, bromocriptine or L-dopa, and dantrolene. In those patients in whom it is difficult to differentiate between serotonin and neuroleptic malignant syndromes, the physical examination may be helpful:clonus and hyperreflexia are more suggestive of serotonin syndrome,whereas lead-pipe rigidity is suggestive of NMS. In patients in whom serotonin syndrome and NMS cannot be differentiated, benzodiazepines represent the safest therapeutic option. MH presents rapidly with jaw rigidity, hyperthermia, and hypercarbia. Although it almost always occurs in the setting of surgical anesthesia, cases have occurred in susceptible individuals during exertion. The treatment of MH involves the use of dantrolene. Future improvements in understanding the

  2. The adherens junctions control susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin

    PubMed Central

    Popov, Lauren M.; Marceau, Caleb D.; Starkl, Philipp M.; Lumb, Jennifer H.; Shah, Jimit; Guerrera, Diego; Cooper, Rachel L.; Merakou, Christina; Bouley, Donna M.; Meng, Wenxiang; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Takeichi, Masatoshi; Galli, Stephen J.; Bagnoli, Fabio; Citi, Sandra; Carette, Jan E.; Amieva, Manuel R.

    2015-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is both a transient skin colonizer and a formidable human pathogen, ranking among the leading causes of skin and soft tissue infections as well as severe pneumonia. The secreted bacterial α-toxin is essential for S. aureus virulence in these epithelial diseases. To discover host cellular factors required for α-toxin cytotoxicity, we conducted a genetic screen using mutagenized haploid human cells. Our screen identified a cytoplasmic member of the adherens junctions, plekstrin-homology domain containing protein 7 (PLEKHA7), as the second most significantly enriched gene after the known α-toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10). Here we report a new, unexpected role for PLEKHA7 and several components of cellular adherens junctions in controlling susceptibility to S. aureus α-toxin. We find that despite being injured by α-toxin pore formation, PLEKHA7 knockout cells recover after intoxication. By infecting PLEKHA7−/− mice with methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 LAC strain, we demonstrate that this junctional protein controls disease severity in both skin infection and lethal S. aureus pneumonia. Our results suggest that adherens junctions actively control cellular responses to a potent pore-forming bacterial toxin and identify PLEKHA7 as a potential nonessential host target to reduce S. aureus virulence during epithelial infections. PMID:26489655

  3. The adherens junctions control susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus α-toxin.

    PubMed

    Popov, Lauren M; Marceau, Caleb D; Starkl, Philipp M; Lumb, Jennifer H; Shah, Jimit; Guerrera, Diego; Cooper, Rachel L; Merakou, Christina; Bouley, Donna M; Meng, Wenxiang; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Takeichi, Masatoshi; Galli, Stephen J; Bagnoli, Fabio; Citi, Sandra; Carette, Jan E; Amieva, Manuel R

    2015-11-17

    Staphylococcus aureus is both a transient skin colonizer and a formidable human pathogen, ranking among the leading causes of skin and soft tissue infections as well as severe pneumonia. The secreted bacterial α-toxin is essential for S. aureus virulence in these epithelial diseases. To discover host cellular factors required for α-toxin cytotoxicity, we conducted a genetic screen using mutagenized haploid human cells. Our screen identified a cytoplasmic member of the adherens junctions, plekstrin-homology domain containing protein 7 (PLEKHA7), as the second most significantly enriched gene after the known α-toxin receptor, a disintegrin and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10). Here we report a new, unexpected role for PLEKHA7 and several components of cellular adherens junctions in controlling susceptibility to S. aureus α-toxin. We find that despite being injured by α-toxin pore formation, PLEKHA7 knockout cells recover after intoxication. By infecting PLEKHA7(-/-) mice with methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 LAC strain, we demonstrate that this junctional protein controls disease severity in both skin infection and lethal S. aureus pneumonia. Our results suggest that adherens junctions actively control cellular responses to a potent pore-forming bacterial toxin and identify PLEKHA7 as a potential nonessential host target to reduce S. aureus virulence during epithelial infections. PMID:26489655

  4. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch

    PubMed Central

    Shilpa, P. S.; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  5. Botulinum toxin: The Midas touch.

    PubMed

    Shilpa, P S; Kaul, Rachna; Sultana, Nishat; Bhat, Suraksha

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum Toxin (BT) is a natural molecule produced during growth and autolysis of bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. Use of BT for cosmetic purposes has gained popularity over past two decades, and recently, other therapeutic uses of BT has been extensively studied. BT is considered as a minimally invasive agent that can be used in the treatment of various orofacial disorders and improving the quality of life in such patients. The objective of this article is to review the nature, mechanism of action of BT, and its application in various head and neck diseases. PMID:24678189

  6. Tremorgenic toxin from Penicillium veruculosum.

    PubMed

    Cole, R J; Kirksey, J W; Moore, J H; Blankenship, B R; Diener, U L; Davis, N D

    1972-08-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD(50) values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name "verruculogen" is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  7. Tremorgenic Toxin from Penicillium verruculosum

    PubMed Central

    Cole, R. J.; Kirksey, J. W.; Moore, J. H.; Blankenship, B. R.; Diener, U. L.; Davis, N. D.

    1972-01-01

    A new mycotoxin that produces severe tremors and acute toxicity when administered orally or intraperitoneally (ip) to mice and 1-day-old cockerels was obtained from a strain of Penicillium verruculosum Peyronel isolated from peanuts. The ip 50% lethal dose (LD50) of this tremorgen was 2.4 mg/kg in mice and 15.2 mg/kg in chickens. Orally administered LD50 values for the toxin were 126.7 mg/kg in mice and 365.5 mg/kg in chickens. The trivial name „verruculogen” is proposed for this tremorgenic mycotoxin. Physical and chemical characteristics of the mycotoxin are described. PMID:4341967

  8. Toxin-Antitoxin Systems in the Mobile Genome of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Paula; Tello, Mario; Orellana, Omar

    2014-01-01

    Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are genetic modules composed of a pair of genes encoding a stable toxin and an unstable antitoxin that inhibits toxin activity. They are widespread among plasmids and chromosomes of bacteria and archaea. TA systems are known to be involved in the stabilization of plasmids but there is no consensus about the function of chromosomal TA systems. To shed light on the role of chromosomally encoded TA systems we analyzed the distribution and functionality of type II TA systems in the chromosome of two strains from Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (ATCC 23270 and 53993), a Gram-negative, acidophilic, environmental bacterium that participates in the bioleaching of minerals. As in other environmental microorganisms, A. ferrooxidans has a high content of TA systems (28-29) and in twenty of them the toxin is a putative ribonuclease. According to the genetic context, some of these systems are encoded near or within mobile genetic elements. Although most TA systems are shared by both strains, four of them, which are encoded in the active mobile element ICEAfe1, are exclusive to the type strain ATCC 23270. We demostrated that two TA systems from ICEAfe1 are functional in E. coli cells, since the toxins inhibit growth and the antitoxins counteract the effect of their cognate toxins. All the toxins from ICEAfe1, including a novel toxin, are RNases with different ion requirements. The data indicate that some of the chromosomally encoded TA systems are actually part of the A. ferrooxidans mobile genome and we propose that could be involved in the maintenance of these integrated mobile genetic elements. PMID:25384039

  9. HC toxin (a HDAC inhibitor) enhances IRS1-Akt signalling and metabolism in mouse myotubes.

    PubMed

    Tan, Hayden Weng Siong; Sim, Arthur Yi Loong; Huang, Su Ling; Leng, Ying; Long, Yun Chau

    2015-12-01

    Exercise enhances numerous signalling pathways and activates substrate metabolism in skeletal muscle. Small molecule compounds that activate these cellular responses have been shown to recapitulate the metabolic benefits of exercise. In this study, a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, HC toxin, was investigated as a small molecule compound that activates exercise-induced adaptations. In C2C12 myotubes, HC toxin treatment activated two exercise-stimulated pathways: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and Akt pathways. HC toxin increased the protein content and phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 as well as the activation of downstream Akt signalling. The effects of HC toxin on IRS1-Akt signalling were PI3K-dependent as wortmannin abolishes its effects on IRS1 protein accumulation and Akt phosphorylation. HC toxin-induced Akt activation was sufficient to enhance downstream mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling including p70S6K and S6, which were consistently abolished by PI3K inhibition. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, glycolysis, mitochondrial respiration and fatty acid oxidation were also enhanced in HC toxin-treated myotubes. When myotubes were challenged with serum starvation for the induction of atrophy, HC toxin treatment prevented the induction of genes that are involved in autophagy and proteasomal proteolysis. Conversely, IRS1-Akt signalling was not induced by HC toxin in several hepatoma cell lines, providing evidence for a favourable safety profile of this small molecule. These data highlight the potential of HDAC inhibitors as a novel class of small molecules for the induction of exercise-like signalling pathways and metabolism. PMID:26373795

  10. Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) Toxins of Vibrios

    PubMed Central

    Satchell, Karla J. F.

    2015-01-01

    Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described. PMID:26185092

  11. Plant Insecticidal Toxins in Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Ibanez, Sébastien; Gallet, Christiane; Després, Laurence

    2012-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites play a key role in plant-insect interactions, whether constitutive or induced, C- or N-based. Anti-herbivore defences against insects can act as repellents, deterrents, growth inhibitors or cause direct mortality. In turn, insects have evolved a variety of strategies to act against plant toxins, e.g., avoidance, excretion, sequestration and degradation of the toxin, eventually leading to a co-evolutionary arms race between insects and plants and to co-diversification. Anti-herbivore defences also negatively impact mutualistic partners, possibly leading to an ecological cost of toxin production. However, in other cases toxins can also be used by plants involved in mutualistic interactions to exclude inadequate partners and to modify the cost/benefit ratio of mutualism to their advantage. When considering the whole community, toxins have an effect at many trophic levels. Aposematic insects sequester toxins to defend themselves against predators. Depending on the ecological context, toxins can either increase insects’ vulnerability to parasitoids and entomopathogens or protect them, eventually leading to self-medication. We conclude that studying the community-level impacts of plant toxins can provide new insights into the synthesis between community and evolutionary ecology. PMID:22606374

  12. Formation and Control of Cyanobacterial Toxins

    EPA Science Inventory

    This presentation will cover the formation of harmful algal blooms and the control of their toxins. Data will be presented from current ORD projects on the treatment of cyanobacterial toxins through drinking water treatment facilities. The results will demonstrate that current c...

  13. Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Things to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin KidsHealth > For Parents > Stool Test: C. Difficile Toxin Print A A A Text Size ... Questions en español Muestra de materia fecal: toxina C. difficile What It Is A stool (feces) sample ...

  14. [T-2 toxin: occurrence and detection].

    PubMed

    Dohnal, V; Jezková, A; Kuca, K; Jun, D

    2007-07-01

    The paper is focused on the occurrence and methods for the detection of T-2 toxin, one of the most toxic trichothecene Fusarium mycotoxin. Due to its physical-chemical properties and high toxicity, T-2 toxin is classified as a potential biological warfare agent. PMID:17969315

  15. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F. Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  16. The Ins and Outs of Anthrax Toxin.

    PubMed

    Friebe, Sarah; van der Goot, F Gisou; Bürgi, Jérôme

    2016-03-01

    Anthrax is a severe, although rather rare, infectious disease that is caused by the Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The infectious form is the spore and the major virulence factors of the bacterium are its poly-γ-D-glutamic acid capsule and the tripartite anthrax toxin. The discovery of the anthrax toxin receptors in the early 2000s has allowed in-depth studies on the mechanisms of anthrax toxin cellular entry and translocation from the endocytic compartment to the cytoplasm. The toxin generally hijacks the endocytic pathway of CMG2 and TEM8, the two anthrax toxin receptors, in order to reach the endosomes. From there, the pore-forming subunit of the toxin inserts into endosomal membranes and enables translocation of the two catalytic subunits. Insertion of the pore-forming unit preferentially occurs in intraluminal vesicles rather than the limiting membrane of the endosome, leading to the translocation of the enzymatic subunits in the lumen of these vesicles. This has important consequences that will be discussed. Ultimately, the toxins reach the cytosol where they act on their respective targets. Target modification has severe consequences on cell behavior, in particular on cells of the immune system, allowing the spread of the bacterium, in severe cases leading to host death. Here we will review the literature on anthrax disease with a focus on the structure of the toxin, how it enters cells and its immunological effects. PMID:26978402

  17. Precise manipulation of the Clostridium difficile chromosome reveals a lack of association between the tcdC genotype and toxin production.

    PubMed

    Cartman, Stephen T; Kelly, Michelle L; Heeg, Daniela; Heap, John T; Minton, Nigel P

    2012-07-01

    Clostridium difficile causes a potentially fatal diarrheal disease through the production of its principal virulence factors, toxin A and toxin B. The tcdC gene is thought to encode a negative regulator of toxin production. Therefore, increased toxin production, and hence increased virulence, is often inferred in strains with an aberrant tcdC genotype. This report describes the first allele exchange system for precise genetic manipulation of C. difficile, using the codA gene of Escherichia coli as a heterologous counterselection marker. It was used to systematically restore the Δ117 frameshift mutation and the 18-nucleotide deletion that occur naturally in the tcdC gene of C. difficile R20291 (PCR ribotype 027). In addition, the naturally intact tcdC gene of C. difficile 630 (PCR ribotype 012) was deleted and then subsequently restored with a silent nucleotide substitution, or "watermark," so the resulting strain was distinguishable from the wild type. Intriguingly, there was no association between the tcdC genotype and toxin production in either C. difficile R20291 or C. difficile 630. Therefore, an aberrant tcdC genotype does not provide a broadly applicable rationale for the perceived notion that PCR ribotype 027 strains are "high-level" toxin producers. This may well explain why several studies have reported that an aberrant tcdC gene does not predict increased toxin production or, indeed, increased virulence. PMID:22522680

  18. Brown spider dermonecrotic toxin directly induces nephrotoxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Sade, Youssef Bacila; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Toma, Leny; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes; Chavez-Olortegui, Carlos; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Gremski, Waldemiro; Dietrich, Carl Peter von; Nader, Helena B.; Sanches Veiga, Silvio . E-mail: veigass@ufpr.br

    2006-02-15

    Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom can induce dermonecrotic lesions at the bite site and systemic manifestations including fever, vomiting, convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolytic anemia and acute renal failure. The venom is composed of a mixture of proteins with several molecules biochemically and biologically well characterized. The mechanism by which the venom induces renal damage is unknown. By using mice exposed to Loxosceles intermedia recombinant dermonecrotic toxin (LiRecDT), we showed direct induction of renal injuries. Microscopic analysis of renal biopsies from dermonecrotic toxin-treated mice showed histological alterations including glomerular edema and tubular necrosis. Hyalinization of tubules with deposition of proteinaceous material in the tubule lumen, tubule epithelial cell vacuoles, tubular edema and epithelial cell lysis was also observed. Leukocytic infiltration was neither observed in the glomerulus nor the tubules. Renal vessels showed no sign of inflammatory response. Additionally, biochemical analyses showed such toxin-induced changes in renal function as urine alkalinization, hematuria and azotemia with elevation of blood urea nitrogen levels. Immunofluorescence with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies and confocal microscopy analysis showed deposition and direct binding of this toxin to renal intrinsic structures. By immunoblotting with a hyperimmune dermonecrotic toxin antiserum on renal lysates from toxin-treated mice, we detected a positive signal at the region of 33-35 kDa, which strengthens the idea that renal failure is directly induced by dermonecrotic toxin. Immunofluorescence reaction with dermonecrotic toxin antibodies revealed deposition and binding of this toxin directly in MDCK epithelial cells in culture. Similarly, dermonecrotic toxin treatment caused morphological alterations of MDCK cells including cytoplasmic vacuoles, blebs, evoked impaired spreading and detached cells from each other and from

  19. The toxin component of targeted anti-tumor toxins determines their efficacy increase by saponins.

    PubMed

    Weng, Alexander; Thakur, Mayank; Beceren-Braun, Figen; Bachran, Diana; Bachran, Christopher; Riese, Sebastian B; Jenett-Siems, Kristina; Gilabert-Oriol, Roger; Melzig, Matthias F; Fuchs, Hendrik

    2012-06-01

    Tumor-targeting protein toxins are composed of a toxic enzyme coupled to a specific cell binding domain that targets cancer-associated antigens. The anti-tumor treatment by targeted toxins is accompanied by dose-limiting side effects. The future prospects of targeted toxins for therapeutic use in humans will be determined by reduce side effects. Certain plant secondary metabolites (saponins) were shown to increase the efficacy of a particular epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted toxin, paralleled by a tremendous decrease of side effects. This study was conducted in order to investigate the effects of substituting different toxin moieties fused to an EGF ligand binding domain on the augmentative ability of saponins for each against therapeutic potential of the saponin-mediated efficacy increase for different anti-tumor toxins targeting the EGFR. We designed several EGFR-targeted toxins varying in the toxic moiety. Each targeted toxin was used in combination with a purified saponin (SA1641), isolated from the ornamental plant Gypsophila paniculata L. SA1641 was characterized and the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase was investigated on EGFR-transfected NIH-3T3 cells. We observed a high dependency of the SA1641-mediated efficacy increase on the nature of toxin used for the construction of the targeted toxin, indicating high specificity. Structural alignments revealed a high homology between saporin and dianthin-30, the two toxic moieties that benefit most from the combination with SA1641. We further demonstrate that SA1641 did not influence the plasma membrane permeability, indicating an intracellular interaction of SA1641 and the toxin components of targeted toxins. Surface plasmon resonance measurements point to a transient binding of SA1641 to the toxin components of targeted toxins. PMID:22309811

  20. Toxins

    MedlinePlus

    ... trace metals and others. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ... Ford MD. Acute poisoning. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine . 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: ...

  1. Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome: Toxins, Vessels, and Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Victoria; Trachtman, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is characterized by thrombotic microangiopathy of the glomerular microcirculation and other vascular beds. Its defining clinical phenotype is acute kidney injury (AKI), microangiopathic anemia, and thrombocytopenia. There are many etiologies of HUS including infection by Shiga toxin-producing bacterial strains, medications, viral infections, malignancy, and mutations of genes coding for proteins involved in the alternative pathway of complement. In the aggregate, although HUS is a rare disease, it is one of the most common causes of AKI in previously healthy children and accounts for a sizable number of pediatric and adult patients who progress to end stage kidney disease. There has been great progress over the past 20 years in understanding the pathophysiology of HUS and its related disorders. There has been intense focus on vascular injury in HUS as the major mechanism of disease and target for effective therapies for this acute illness. In all forms of HUS, there is evidence of both systemic and intra-glomerular inflammation and perturbations in the immune system. Renewed investigation into these aspects of HUS may prove helpful in developing new interventions that can attenuate glomerular and tubular injury and improve clinical outcomes in patients with HUS. PMID:25593915

  2. Hemolytic uremic syndrome: toxins, vessels, and inflammation.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Victoria; Trachtman, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is characterized by thrombotic microangiopathy of the glomerular microcirculation and other vascular beds. Its defining clinical phenotype is acute kidney injury (AKI), microangiopathic anemia, and thrombocytopenia. There are many etiologies of HUS including infection by Shiga toxin-producing bacterial strains, medications, viral infections, malignancy, and mutations of genes coding for proteins involved in the alternative pathway of complement. In the aggregate, although HUS is a rare disease, it is one of the most common causes of AKI in previously healthy children and accounts for a sizable number of pediatric and adult patients who progress to end stage kidney disease. There has been great progress over the past 20 years in understanding the pathophysiology of HUS and its related disorders. There has been intense focus on vascular injury in HUS as the major mechanism of disease and target for effective therapies for this acute illness. In all forms of HUS, there is evidence of both systemic and intra-glomerular inflammation and perturbations in the immune system. Renewed investigation into these aspects of HUS may prove helpful in developing new interventions that can attenuate glomerular and tubular injury and improve clinical outcomes in patients with HUS. PMID:25593915

  3. Comparative Analyses of Phenotypic and Genotypic Methods for Detection of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Toxins and Colonization Factors▿

    PubMed Central

    Sjöling, Å.; Wiklund, G.; Savarino, S. J.; Cohen, D. I.; Svennerholm, A.-M.

    2007-01-01

    Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is one of the main causes of childhood diarrhea in developing countries and in travelers. However, this pathogen has often not been reported in surveys of diarrheal pathogens, due to lack of simple standardized methods to detect ETEC in many laboratories. ETEC expresses one or both of two different enterotoxin subtypes: heat-stable toxins, a heat-labile toxin (LT), and more than 22 different colonization factors (CFs) that mediate adherence to the intestinal cell wall. Here we compare established phenotypic and genotypic detection methods and newly developed PCR detection methods with respect to sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and ease of performance. The methods include GM1-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and dot blot techniques using specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for phenotypic detection of the toxins and CFs, respectively, as well as different PCR and DNA/DNA hybridization techniques, including new PCR assays, for genotypic identification of the toxin and CF genes, respectively. We found very good general agreement in results derived from genotypic and phenotypic methods. In a few strains, LT and CFs were identified genetically but not phenotypically. Based on our analyses, we recommend initial screening for ETEC in clinical samples by multiplex toxin gene PCR. Toxin-positive strains may then be analyzed by dot blot tests for detection of the CFs expressed on the bacterial surface and by PCR for determination of additional CFs for which MAbs are currently lacking as well as for strains that harbor silent CF genes. PMID:17687011

  4. Detection of Staphylococcus aureus Delta-Toxin Production by Whole-Cell MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Gagnaire, Julie; Dauwalder, Olivier; Boisset, Sandrine; Khau, David; Freydière, Anne-Marie; Ader, Florence; Bes, Michèle; Lina, Gerard; Tristan, Anne; Reverdy, Marie-Elisabeth; Marchand, Adrienne; Geissmann, Thomas; Benito, Yvonne; Durand, Géraldine; Charrier, Jean-Philippe; Etienne, Jerome; Welker, Martin; Van Belkum, Alex; Vandenesch, François

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to detect the Staphylococcus aureus delta-toxin using Whole-Cell (WC) Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization - Time-of-Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS), correlate delta-toxin expression with accessory gene regulator (agr) status, and assess the prevalence of agr deficiency in clinical isolates with and without resistance to methicillin and glycopeptides. The position of the delta-toxin peak in the mass spectrum was identified using purified delta-toxin and isogenic wild type and mutant strains for agr-rnaIII, which encodes delta-toxin. Correlation between delta-toxin production and agr RNAIII expression was assessed by northern blotting. A series of 168 consecutive clinical isolates and 23 unrelated glycopeptide-intermediate S. aureus strains (GISA/heterogeneous GISA) were then tested by WC-MALDI-TOF MS. The delta-toxin peak was detected at 3005±5 Thomson, as expected for the naturally formylated delta toxin, or at 3035±5 Thomson for its G10S variant. Multivariate analysis showed that chronicity of S. aureus infection and glycopeptide resistance were significantly associated with delta-toxin deficiency (p = 0.048; CI 95%: 1.01–10.24; p = 0.023; CI 95%: 1.20–12.76, respectively). In conclusion, the S. aureus delta-toxin was identified in the WC-MALDI-TOF MS spectrum generated during routine identification procedures. Consequently, agr status can potentially predict infectious complications and rationalise application of novel virulence factor-based therapies. PMID:22792394

  5. CHARACTERIZATION OF SHIGA TOXIN-PRODUCING ESCHERICHIA COLI STRAINS ISOLATED FROM SWINE FECES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC, 219 strains) isolated from swine feces belonging to different serogroups were characterized to determine their virulence gene and antibiotic resistance profiles, as well as acid tolerance. Twenty-nine out of 219 (13 percent) of the isolates harbored the stx1 gen...

  6. The occurrence of Photorhabdus-like toxin complexes in Bacillus thuringiensis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recently, genomic sequencing of a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) isolate from our collection revealed the presence of an apparent operon encoding an insecticidal toxin complex (Tca) similar to that first described from the entomopathogen Photorhabdus luminescens. To determine whether these genes are w...

  7. NetB, a New Toxin That Is Associated with Avian Necrotic Enteritis Caused by Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Keyburn, Anthony L; Boyce, John D; Vaz, Paola; Bannam, Trudi L; Ford, Mark E; Parker, Dane; Di Rubbo, Antonio; Rood, Julian I; Moore, Robert J

    2008-01-01

    For over 30 years a phospholipase C enzyme called alpha-toxin was thought to be the key virulence factor in necrotic enteritis caused by Clostridium perfringens. However, using a gene knockout mutant we have recently shown that alpha-toxin is not essential for pathogenesis. We have now discovered a key virulence determinant. A novel toxin (NetB) was identified in a C. perfringens strain isolated from a chicken suffering from necrotic enteritis (NE). The toxin displayed limited amino acid sequence similarity to several pore forming toxins including beta-toxin from C. perfringens (38% identity) and alpha-toxin from Staphylococcus aureus (31% identity). NetB was only identified in C. perfringens type A strains isolated from chickens suffering NE. Both purified native NetB and recombinant NetB displayed cytotoxic activity against the chicken leghorn male hepatoma cell line LMH; inducing cell rounding and lysis. To determine the role of NetB in NE a netB mutant of a virulent C. perfringens chicken isolate was constructed by homologous recombination, and its virulence assessed in a chicken disease model. The netB mutant was unable to cause disease whereas the wild-type parent strain and the netB mutant complemented with a wild-type netB gene caused significant levels of NE. These data show unequivocally that in this isolate a functional NetB toxin is critical for the ability of C. perfringens to cause NE in chickens. This novel toxin is the first definitive virulence factor to be identified in avian C. perfringens strains capable of causing NE. Furthermore, the netB mutant is the first rationally attenuated strain obtained in an NE-causing isolate of C. perfringens; as such it has considerable vaccine potential. PMID:18266469

  8. Clostridium perfringens Delta Toxin Is Sequence Related to Beta Toxin, NetB, and Staphylococcus Pore-Forming Toxins, but Shows Functional Differences

    PubMed Central

    Manich, Maria; Knapp, Oliver; Gibert, Maryse; Maier, Elke; Jolivet-Reynaud, Colette; Geny, Blandine; Benz, Roland; Popoff, Michel R.

    2008-01-01

    Clostridium perfringens produces numerous toxins, which are responsible for severe diseases in man and animals. Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysins released by a number of C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. Delta toxin was characterized to be cytotoxic for cells expressing the ganglioside GM2 in their membrane. Here we report the genetic characterization of Delta toxin and its pore forming activity in lipid bilayers. Delta toxin consists of 318 amino acids, its 28 N-terminal amino acids corresponding to a signal peptide. The secreted Delta toxin (290 amino acids; 32619 Da) is a basic protein (pI 9.1) which shows a significant homology with C. perfringens Beta toxin (43% identity), with C. perfringens NetB (40% identity) and, to a lesser extent, with Staphylococcus aureus alpha toxin and leukotoxins. Recombinant Delta toxin showed a preference for binding to GM2, in contrast to Beta toxin, which did not bind to gangliosides. It is hemolytic for sheep red blood cells and cytotoxic for HeLa cells. In artificial diphytanoyl phosphatidylcholine membranes, Delta and Beta toxin formed channels. Conductance of the channels formed by Delta toxin, with a value of about 100 pS to more than 1 nS in 1 M KCl and a membrane potential of 20 mV, was higher than those formed by Beta toxin and their distribution was broader. The results of zero-current membrane potential measurements and single channel experiments suggest that Delta toxin forms slightly anion-selective channels, whereas the Beta toxin channels showed a preference for cations under the same conditions. C. perfringens Delta toxin shows a significant sequence homolgy with C. perfringens Beta and NetB toxins, as well as with S. aureus alpha hemolysin and leukotoxins, but exhibits different channel properties in lipid bilayers. In contrast to Beta toxin, Delta toxin recognizes GM2 as receptor and forms anion-selective channels. PMID:19018299

  9. Identification of solanapyrone biosynthesis genes and generation of solanapyrone-deficient mutants in Ascochyta rabiei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ascochyta rabiei, the causal agent of Ascochyta blight of chickpea, produces solanapyrone toxins which are toxic to chickpea. However, very little is known about the genetics of toxin production and the role of the toxins in pathogenesis. In the present study, solanapyrone biosynthesis genes in A. ...

  10. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  11. Roles of Anthrax Toxin Receptor 2 in Anthrax Toxin Membrane Insertion and Pore Formation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jianjun; Jacquez, Pedro

    2016-02-01

    Interaction between bacterial toxins and cellular surface receptors is an important component of the host-pathogen interaction. Anthrax toxin protective antigen (PA) binds to the cell surface receptor, enters the cell through receptor-mediated endocytosis, and forms a pore on the endosomal membrane that translocates toxin enzymes into the cytosol of the host cell. As the major receptor for anthrax toxin in vivo, anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2) plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action by providing the toxin with a high-affinity binding anchor on the cell membrane and a path of entry into the host cell. ANTXR2 also acts as a molecular clamp by shifting the pH threshold of PA pore formation to a more acidic pH range, which prevents premature pore formation at neutral pH before the toxin reaches the designated intracellular location. Most recent studies have suggested that the disulfide bond in the immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of ANTXR2 plays an essential role in anthrax toxin action. Here we will review the roles of ANTXR2 in anthrax toxin action, with an emphasis on newly updated knowledge. PMID:26805886

  12. Cholera toxin - a foe & a friend.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Joaquin; Holmgren, Jan

    2011-02-01

    After De΄s pivotal demonstration in 1959 of a diarrhoeogenic exo-enterotoxin in cell-free culture filtrates from Vibrio cholerae (of classical biotype), much insight has been gained about cholera toxin (CT), which is arguably now the best known of all microbial toxins. The subunit structure and function of CT, its receptor (the GM1 ganglioside), and its effects on the cyclic AMP system and on intestinal secretion were defined in the 1970s, and the essential aspects of the genetic organization in the 1980s. Recent findings have generated additional perspectives. The 3D-crystal structure of CT has been established, the CT-encoding operon has been shown to be carried by a non-lytic bacteriophage, and in depth knowledge has been gained on how the bacterium controls CT gene expression in response to cell density and various environmental signals. The mode of entry into target cells and the intracellular transport of CT are becoming clearer. CT has become the prototype enterotoxin and a widely used tool for elucidating important aspects of cell biology and physiology, e.g., cell membrane receptors, the cyclic AMP system, G proteins, as well as normal and pathological ion transport mechanisms. In immunology, CT has emerged as a potent, widely used experimental adjuvant, and the strong oral-mucosal immunogenicity of the non-toxic B-su