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Sample records for bacterial melanin interacts

  1. Interaction of radicals from water radiolysis with melanin.

    PubMed

    Sarna, T; Pilas, B; Land, E J; Truscott, T G

    1986-08-01

    Melanins are considered to be natural photoprotectors in the melanocytes and keratinocytes of the skin. These pigments have also been suggested to play an important role in protection of melanin-containing cells against ionising radiation. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the protective role of melanin which invoke the radical scavenging properties of the polymer. In the present work the reactions of melanins with radicals generated in aqueous media by pulse radiolysis have been studied. Time-resolved changes in absorbance of the melanin or the radical species were recorded at selected wavelengths. Experiments were carried out on synthetic dopa- and 5-S-cysteinyldopa-melanins and a natural melanin in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4). Under the conditions employed, melanin reacted predominantly with either oxidising (OH., N3.) or reducing (eaq-, CO2-) species. We were also able to monitor the interaction of melanin with superoxide radical, which was reducing in this case. Detailed analysis of transient changes in melanin absorbance, detected at different wavelengths, was demonstrated to be a convenient method for studying redox processes of this substance, as shown by model experiments using ferricyanide and dithionite as oxidising and reducing agents, respectively. Among the radicals studied, OH. exhibited the strongest reactivity with melanins. Apparent rate constants for the reactions of radicals with autoxidative dopa-melanin (1.5 X 10(9) M-1 X s-1, 2.6 X 10(8) M-1 X s-1, 1.8 X 10(8) M-1 X s-1, 5 X 10(5) M-1 X s-1, 10(6)-10(7) M-1 X s-1 for OH., eaq-, N.3. O2- and CO2-, respectively) are reported. The reactivity of melanins with radicals from water radiolysis and their effect on pigment properties are discussed in terms of the structure and possible biological role of the pigments. PMID:3015231

  2. Cryptococcus neoformans can utilize the bacterial melanin precursor homogentisic acid for fungal melanogenesis.

    PubMed

    Frases, Susana; Salazar, Angela; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2007-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans melanizes in the environment and in mammalian tissues, but the process of melanization in either venue is mysterious given that this microbe produces melanin only from exogenous substrates. Understanding the process of melanization is important because melanization is believed to protect against various stresses in the environment, including UV radiation, and pigment production is associated with virulence. Melanization in C. neoformans requires the availability of diphenolic precursors. In contrast, many bacteria synthesize melanin from homogentisic acid (HGA). We report that C. neoformans strains representing all four serotypes can produce a brown pigment from HGA. The brown pigment was acid resistant and had the electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum of a stable free radical, qualities that identified it as a melanin. Melanin "ghost"-like particles obtained from pigmented C. neoformans cells were hydrophobic, fluorescent under a variety of irradiation wavelengths, negatively charged, insoluble in organic solvents and alcohols, resistant to degradation by strong acids, and vulnerable to bleaching. HGA melanization was laccase dependent and repressed by high concentrations of glucose. The ability of C. neoformans to utilize a bacterial melanin precursor compound suggests a new substrate source for melanization in the environment.

  3. Cryptococcus neoformans Can Utilize the Bacterial Melanin Precursor Homogentisic Acid for Fungal Melanogenesis▿

    PubMed Central

    Frases, Susana; Salazar, Angela; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2007-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans melanizes in the environment and in mammalian tissues, but the process of melanization in either venue is mysterious given that this microbe produces melanin only from exogenous substrates. Understanding the process of melanization is important because melanization is believed to protect against various stresses in the environment, including UV radiation, and pigment production is associated with virulence. Melanization in C. neoformans requires the availability of diphenolic precursors. In contrast, many bacteria synthesize melanin from homogentisic acid (HGA). We report that C. neoformans strains representing all four serotypes can produce a brown pigment from HGA. The brown pigment was acid resistant and had the electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum of a stable free radical, qualities that identified it as a melanin. Melanin “ghost”-like particles obtained from pigmented C. neoformans cells were hydrophobic, fluorescent under a variety of irradiation wavelengths, negatively charged, insoluble in organic solvents and alcohols, resistant to degradation by strong acids, and vulnerable to bleaching. HGA melanization was laccase dependent and repressed by high concentrations of glucose. The ability of C. neoformans to utilize a bacterial melanin precursor compound suggests a new substrate source for melanization in the environment. PMID:17098915

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilińska, Barbara

    2001-10-01

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

  5. 3H-nicotine, 3H-flunitrazepam, and 3H-cocaine incorporation into melanin: a model for the examination of drug-melanin interactions.

    PubMed

    Claffey, D J; Stout, P R; Ruth, J A

    2001-10-01

    To explore drug-melanin interactions, we examined the in vitro tyrosinase-mediated formation of melanin from tyrosine in the presence of the 3H-cocaine (3H-COC), 3H-flunitrazepam (3H-FLU), and 3H-nicotine (3H-NIC) at 10-100,000 ng/mL. Polymerization in the presence of 10 or 100 ng/mL of each drug resulted in almost complete drug incorporation into the melanin pellet. Only 12% (3H-NIC) to 28% (3H-FLU) of the pellet-associated radioactivity could be released upon treatment with 6 M HCl. At 1000-100,000 ng/mL, between 20 and 50% of label became melanin-associated. In each case a significant percentage of melanin-associated radioactivity was resistant to treatment with 6 M HCl. Nicotine-associated radioactivity in the polymer was subject to much greater quenching than was 3H-COC or 3H-FLU, suggesting a much tighter association with the melanin. The subsequent demonstration of a covalent adduct of a melanin intermediate and nicotine has demonstrated the utility of this polymerization system as a model for further chemical characterization of drug-melanin interactions.

  6. The role of melanin in the antagonistic interaction between the apple scab pathogen Venturia inaequalis and Microsphaeropsis ochracea.

    PubMed

    El Bassam, Souad; Benhamou, Nicole; Carisse, Odile

    2002-04-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the role of melanin in the interaction between the mycoparasite Microsphaeropsis ochracea and the apple scab pathogen Venturia inaequalis. Melanin was extracted from the cell wall of the pathogen and its chemical and physical properties determined on the basis of biochemical tests and visible and infrared spectra. The physical and chemical characteristics of V inaequalis melanin were similar to the those of synthetic dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin. Precursors of the four known melanin biosynthetic pathways were tested for their ability to restore the pigmentation of an albino strain of V inaequalis. Scytalone, an intermediate of the 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) pathway, was the only precursor to restore the dark-brown pigmentation. Tricyclazole and pyroquilon, two antipenetrant fungicides, specific inhibitors of DHN melanin synthesis in Pyricularia oryzae, were used to confirm the melanin pathway in V. inaequalis wild type. A reddish-brown pigment was obtained due to the accumulation of shunt products of the DHN melanin pathway instead of a dark-brown pigment, suggesting that the melanin extracted from V inaequalis was a DHN melanin. Furthermore, growth of an albino mutant of V. inaequalis on scytalone-amended medium resulted in the formation of dark granules similar to those seen in wild-type isolates. Transmission electron microscopic observations of M. ochracea grown in the presence of melanin showed that the granules accumulated gradually along fungal cell walls to form a uniform dark coating.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  9. Bacterial Communities: Interactions to Scale.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Bacterial Communities: Interactions to Scale

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Huselton, C.A.

    1988-01-01

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

  13. Urine melanin

    MedlinePlus

    Normally, melanin is not present in urine. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

  14. Physical factors affecting chloroquine binding to melanin.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, R L; Pendleton, P; Gerber, J P

    2015-10-01

    Chloroquine is an antimalarial drug but is also prescribed for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Long-term users risk toxic side effects, including retinopathy, thought to be caused by chloroquine accumulation on ocular melanin. Although the binding potential of chloroquine to melanin has been investigated previously, our study is the first to demonstrate clear links between chloroquine adsorption by melanin and system factors including temperature, pH, melanin type, and particle size. In the current work, two Sepia melanins were compared with bovine eye as a representative mammalian melanin. Increasing the surface anionic character due to a pH change from 4.7 to 7.4 increased each melanin's affinity for chloroquine. Although the chloroquine isotherms exhibited an apparently strong interaction with each melanin, isosteric heat analysis indicated a competitive interaction. Buffer solution cations competed effectively at low surface coverage; chloroquine adsorption occurs via buffer cation displacement and is promoted by temperature-influenced secondary structure swelling.

  15. A melanin-independent interaction between Mc1r and Met signaling pathways is required for HGF-dependent melanoma.

    PubMed

    Wolnicka-Glubisz, Agnieszka; Strickland, Faith M; Wielgus, Albert; Anver, Miriam; Merlino, Glenn; De Fabo, Edward C; Noonan, Frances P

    2015-02-15

    Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) signaling stimulates black eumelanin production through a cAMP-dependent pathway. MC1R polymorphisms can impair this process, resulting in a predominance of red phaeomelanin. The red hair, fair skin and UV sensitive phenotype is a well-described melanoma risk factor. MC1R polymorphisms also confer melanoma risk independent of pigment. We investigated the effect of Mc1r deficiency in a mouse model of UV-induced melanoma. C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF transgenic mice have a characteristic hyperpigmented black phenotype with extra-follicular dermal melanocytes located at the dermal/epidermal junction. UVB induces melanoma, independent of melanin pigmentation, but UVA-induced and spontaneous melanomas are dependent on black eumelanin. We crossed these mice with yellow C57BL/6-Mc1re/e animals which have a non-functional Mc1r and produce predominantly yellow phaeomelanin. Yellow C57BL/6-Mc1re/e-HGF mice produced no melanoma in response to UVR or spontaneously even though the HGF transgene and its receptor Met were expressed. Total melanin was less than in C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF mice, hyperpigmentation was not observed and there were few extra-follicular melanocytes. Thus, functional Mc1r was required for expression of the transgenic HGF phenotype. Heterozygous C57BL/6-Mc1re/+-HGF mice were black and hyperpigmented and, although extra-follicular melanocytes and skin melanin content were similar to C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF animals, they developed UV-induced and spontaneous melanomas with significantly less efficiency by all criteria. Thus, heterozygosity for Mc1r was sufficient to restore the transgenic HGF phenotype but insufficient to fully restore melanoma. We conclude that a previously unsuspected melanin-independent interaction between Mc1r and Met signaling pathways is required for HGF-dependent melanoma and postulate that this pathway is involved in human melanoma.

  16. Interaction of sesamol (3,4-methylenedioxyphenol) with tyrosinase and its effect on melanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Kumar, C Mahendra; Sathisha, U V; Dharmesh, Shylaja; Rao, A G Appu; Singh, Sridevi A

    2011-03-01

    Sesamin, sesamolin (lignans) and sesamol--from sesame seed (Sesamum indicum L.)--are known for their health promoting properties. We examined the inhibition effect of sesamol, a phenolic degradation product of sesamolin, on the key enzyme in melanin synthesis, viz. tyrosinase, in vitro. Sesamol inhibits both diphenolase and monophenolase activities with midpoint concentrations of 1.9 μM and 3.2 μM, respectively. It is a competitive inhibitor of diphenolase activity with a K(i) of 0.57 μM and a non-competitive inhibitor of monophenolase activity with a K(i) of 1.4 μM. Sesamol inhibits melanin synthesis in mouse melanoma B16F10 cells in a concentration dependant manner with 63% decrease in cells exposed to 100 μg/mL sesamol. Apoptosis is induced by sesamol, limiting proliferation. This study of the chemistry and biology of lignans, in relation to the mode of action of bioactive components, may open the door for drug applications targeting enzymes. PMID:21144881

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

    PubMed

    Chatelain, M; Gasparini, J; Frantz, A

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Volatiles in Inter-Specific Bacterial Interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Volatiles in Inter-Specific Bacterial Interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Fungal melanins differ in planar stacking distances.

    PubMed

    Casadevall, Arturo; Nakouzi, Antonio; Crippa, Pier R; Eisner, Melvin

    2012-01-01

    Melanins are notoriously difficult to study because they are amorphous, insoluble and often associated with other biological materials. Consequently, there is a dearth of structural techniques to study this enigmatic pigment. Current models of melanin structure envision the stacking of planar structures. X ray diffraction has historically been used to deduce stacking parameters. In this study we used X ray diffraction to analyze melanins derived from Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus niger, Wangiella dermatitides and Coprinus comatus. Analysis of melanin in melanized C. neoformans encapsulated cells was precluded by the fortuitous finding that the capsular polysaccharide had a diffraction spectrum that was similar to that of isolated melanin. The capsular polysaccharide spectrum was dominated by a broad non-Bragg feature consistent with origin from a repeating structural motif that may arise from inter-molecular interactions and/or possibly gel organization. Hence, we isolated melanin from each fungal species and compared diffraction parameters. The results show that the inferred stacking distances of fungal melanins differ from that reported for synthetic melanin and neuromelanin, occupying intermediate position between these other melanins. These results suggest that all melanins have a fundamental diffracting unit composed of planar graphitic assemblies that can differ in stacking distance. The stacking peak appears to be a distinguishing universal feature of melanins that may be of use in characterizing these enigmatic pigments.

  1. Bacterial Colonization of Particles: Growth and Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Grossart, Hans-Peter; Kiørboe, Thomas; Tang, Kam; Ploug, Helle

    2003-01-01

    Marine particles in the ocean are exposed to diverse bacterial communities, and colonization and growth of attached bacteria are important processes in the degradation and transformation of the particles. In an earlier study, we showed that the initial colonization of model particles by individual bacterial strains isolated from marine aggregates was a function of attachment and detachment. In the present study, we have investigated how this colonization process was further affected by growth and interspecific interactions among the bacteria. Long-term incubation experiments showed that growth dominated over attachment and detachment after a few hours in controlling the bacterial population density on agar particles. In the absence of grazing mortality, this growth led to an equilibrium population density consistent with the theoretical limit due to oxygen diffusion. Interspecific interaction experiments showed that the presence of some bacterial strains (“residents”) on the agar particles either increased or decreased the colonization rate of other strains (“newcomers”). Comparison between an antibiotic-producing strain and its antibiotic-free mutant showed no inhibitory effect on the newcomers due to antibiotic production. On the contrary, hydrolytic activity of the antibiotic-producing strain appeared to benefit the newcomers and enhance their colonization rate. These results show that growth- and species-specific interactions have to be taken into account to adequately describe bacterial colonization of marine particles. Changes in colonization pattern due to such small-scale processes may have profound effects on the transformation and fluxes of particulate matter in the ocean. PMID:12788756

  2. Bacterial colonization of particles: growth and interactions.

    PubMed

    Grossart, Hans-Peter; Kiørboe, Thomas; Tang, Kam; Ploug, Helle

    2003-06-01

    Marine particles in the ocean are exposed to diverse bacterial communities, and colonization and growth of attached bacteria are important processes in the degradation and transformation of the particles. In an earlier study, we showed that the initial colonization of model particles by individual bacterial strains isolated from marine aggregates was a function of attachment and detachment. In the present study, we have investigated how this colonization process was further affected by growth and interspecific interactions among the bacteria. Long-term incubation experiments showed that growth dominated over attachment and detachment after a few hours in controlling the bacterial population density on agar particles. In the absence of grazing mortality, this growth led to an equilibrium population density consistent with the theoretical limit due to oxygen diffusion. Interspecific interaction experiments showed that the presence of some bacterial strains ("residents") on the agar particles either increased or decreased the colonization rate of other strains ("newcomers"). Comparison between an antibiotic-producing strain and its antibiotic-free mutant showed no inhibitory effect on the newcomers due to antibiotic production. On the contrary, hydrolytic activity of the antibiotic-producing strain appeared to benefit the newcomers and enhance their colonization rate. These results show that growth- and species-specific interactions have to be taken into account to adequately describe bacterial colonization of marine particles. Changes in colonization pattern due to such small-scale processes may have profound effects on the transformation and fluxes of particulate matter in the ocean.

  3. Effects of hydrodynamic interactions in bacterial swimming.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chattopadhyay, Suddhashil; Lun Wu, Xiao

    2008-03-01

    The lack of precise experimental data has prevented the investigation of the effects of long range hydrodynamic interactions in bacterial swimming. We perform measurements on various strains of bacteria with the aid of optical tweezers to shed light on this aspect of bacterial motility. Geometrical parameters recorded by fluorescence microscopy are used with theories which model flagella propulsion (Resistive force theory & Lighthill's formulation which includes long range interactions). Comparison of the predictions of these theories with experimental data, observed directly from swimming bacterium, led to the conclusion that while long range inetractions were important for single polar flagellated strains (Vibrio Alginolyticus & Caulobacter Crescentus), local force theory was adequate to describe the swimming of multi-flagellated Esherichia Coli. We performed additional measurements on E. Coli minicells (miniature cells with single polar flagellum) to try and determine the cause of this apparent effect of shielding of long range interactions in multiple flagellated bacteria.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The study aims to confirm the neuroregenerative effects of bacterial melanin (BM) on central nervous system injury using a special staining method based on the detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity. Twenty-four rats were randomly assigned to undergo either unilateral destruction of sensorimotor cortex (group I; n = 12) or unilateral rubrospinal tract transection at the cervical level (C3–4) (group II; n = 12). In each group, six rats were randomly selected after surgery to undergo intramuscular injection of BM solution (BM subgroup) and the remaining six rats were intramuscularly injected with saline (saline subgroup). Neurological testing confirmed that BM accelerated the recovery of motor function in rats from both BM and saline subgroups. Two months after surgery, Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity detection in combination with Chilingarian’s calcium adenoside triphosphate method revealed that BM stimulated the sprouting of fibers and dilated the capillaries in the brain and spinal cord. These results suggest that BM can promote the recovery of motor function of rats with central nervous system injury; and detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity is a fast and easy method used to study the regeneration-promoting effects of BM on the injured central nervous system. PMID:27630700

  6. Detection of Ca(2+)-dependent acid phosphatase activity identifies neuronal integrity in damaged rat central nervous system after application of bacterial melanin.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    The study aims to confirm the neuroregenerative effects of bacterial melanin (BM) on central nervous system injury using a special staining method based on the detection of Ca(2+)-dependent acid phosphatase activity. Twenty-four rats were randomly assigned to undergo either unilateral destruction of sensorimotor cortex (group I; n = 12) or unilateral rubrospinal tract transection at the cervical level (C3-4) (group II; n = 12). In each group, six rats were randomly selected after surgery to undergo intramuscular injection of BM solution (BM subgroup) and the remaining six rats were intramuscularly injected with saline (saline subgroup). Neurological testing confirmed that BM accelerated the recovery of motor function in rats from both BM and saline subgroups. Two months after surgery, Ca(2+)-dependent acid phosphatase activity detection in combination with Chilingarian's calcium adenoside triphosphate method revealed that BM stimulated the sprouting of fibers and dilated the capillaries in the brain and spinal cord. These results suggest that BM can promote the recovery of motor function of rats with central nervous system injury; and detection of Ca(2+)-dependent acid phosphatase activity is a fast and easy method used to study the regeneration-promoting effects of BM on the injured central nervous system. PMID:27630700

  7. Toxicologic interactions between ozone and bacterial endotoxin

    SciTech Connect

    Peavy, D.L.; Fairchild, E.J. II

    1987-02-01

    The effects of acute exposure of mice to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the endotoxin of gram negative microorganisms, and ozone (O3) have been investigated. Intraperitoneal (ip) administration of 5 mg/kg LPS to CD-1 mice followed by exposure to 15 ppm O3 for 1.5 hr produced synergistic effects as measured by pulmonary edemagenesis and lethality assays. In contrast, ip administration of 0.1-1.6 mg/kg LPS to CD-1 mice over 5 consecutive days, a dose regimen resulting in LPS tolerance, protected against a lethal challenge of 20 ppm O3 for 3 hr. A statistically significant increase in catalase and glutathione peroxidase activity was measured in homogenates of lungs obtained from CD-1 mice receiving a tolerance-inducing regimen of LPS. These results demonstrate that two, distinct toxicologic interactions can occur between O3 and bacterial LPS. Synergism between these agents could explain, in part, the increased susceptibility of O3-exposed animals to respiratory infection with gram negative microorganisms. Protection resulting from LPS-induced increases in pulmonary antioxidant activity provides additional evidence that O3 and, possibly, LPS mediate their toxicity through oxidative mechanisms.

  8. Bacterial Community Diversity Harboured by Interacting Species.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Bacterial Community Diversity Harboured by Interacting Species

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Melanin-binding radiopharmaceuticals

    SciTech Connect

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

    1980-01-01

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

  12. Unveiling Bacterial Interactions through Multidimensional Scaling and Dynamics Modeling

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Current update and trends in melanin pigmentation and melanin biology.

    PubMed

    Jimbow, K

    1995-03-01

    Certain aspects of current progress in melanin biology and its possible clinical relevances are reviewed with emphasis on some of our recent research activities. The important aspects discussed are (a) the biological properties of melanin pigments and their relevance to biological functions, (b) functional interaction of melanogenic/melanogenesis-associated genes in melanin biosynthesis process (melanogenesis, and (c) the targeting of proteins involved in melanogenesis and assembly by melanosomal proteins. Upon exposure to UV light radiation (UVR), melanin pigments revealed two distinct photobiological reactions, i.e. photoprotective and phototoxic reactions. The precursor intermediate of brown-black eumelanin, 5-6-dihydroxyindole, appears to possess the most potent photoprotective (antioxidant) property. Eumelanin pigment also had some antioxidant property. Similarly, yellow-red pheomelanin and its precursor intermediate, 5-S-cysteinyldopa also revealed some antioxidant property, but they became prooxidant in the presence of the ferric iron upon exposure to UVR. Melanosomes are known to possess several metal ions including Fe2+, Fe3+, Cu2+ and Zn2+. In addition, upon exposure to UV-light, there is an increase in ferric/ferrous iron in the skin. Therefore, in the in vivo system, pheomelanin intermediate, 5-S-cysteinyldopa, may show significant prooxidant property in conjunction with metal ions (e.g. Fe2+, Fe3+). When atypical moles (previously called dysplastic nevi) were analysed chemically for quantitative and qualitative properties of melanin pigment, they revealed a high ratio of pheomelanin/eumelanin content. This finding may partly explain our clinical observation that these moles are frequently the precursors of malignant melanoma and that the intermittent heavy exposure of UVR can be the major direct cause of their transformation. How, then, the melanosomal compartment, where active new melanin synthesis occurs after exposure to UVR, is protected from the

  14. Photothermal imaging of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerimo, Josef; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mathieu, Jacques

    2015-08-04

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mathieu, Jacques

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Baul, Upayan Vemparala, Satyavani; Kuroda, Kenichi

    2014-08-28

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

  19. Viral-bacterial interactions in acute otitis media.

    PubMed

    Marom, Tal; Nokso-Koivisto, Johanna; Chonmaitree, Tasnee

    2012-12-01

    Acute otitis media (AOM) is a polymicrobial disease, which usually occurs as a complication of viral upper respiratory tract infection (URI). While respiratory viruses alone may cause viral AOM, they increase the risk of bacterial middle ear infection and worsen clinical outcomes of bacterial AOM. URI viruses alter Eustachian tube (ET) function via decreased mucociliary action, altered mucus secretion and increased expression of inflammatory mediators among other mechanisms. Transient reduction in protective functions of the ET allows colonizing bacteria of the nasopharynx to ascend into the middle ear and cause AOM. Advances in research help us to better understand the host responses to viral URI, the mechanisms of viral-bacterial interactions in the nasopharynx and the development of AOM. In this review, we present current knowledge regarding viral-bacterial interactions in the pathogenesis and clinical course of AOM. We focus on the common respiratory viruses and their established role in AOM.

  20. Genetic Interaction Scoring Procedure for Bacterial Species.

    PubMed

    Wagih, Omar; Parts, Leopold

    2015-01-01

    A genetic interaction occurs when the phenotype of an organism carrying two mutant genes differs from what should have been observed given their independent influence. Such unexpected outcome indicates a mechanistic connection between the perturbed genes, providing a key source of functional information about the cell. Large-scale screening for genetic interactions involves measuring phenotypes of single and double mutants, which for microorganisms is usually done by automated analysis of images of ordered colonies. Obtaining accurate colony sizes, and using them to identify genetic interactions from such screens remains a challenging and time-consuming task. Here, we outline steps to compute genetic interaction scores in E. coli by measuring colony sizes from plate images, performing normalisation, and quantifying the strength of the effect. PMID:26621468

  1. Assessing Bacterial Interactions Using Carbohydrate-Based Microarrays

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Assessing Bacterial Interactions Using Carbohydrate-Based Microarrays

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Biocatalysis on the surface of Escherichia coli: melanin pigmentation of the cell exterior

    PubMed Central

    Gustavsson, Martin; Hörnström, David; Lundh, Susanna; Belotserkovsky, Jaroslav; Larsson, Gen

    2016-01-01

    Today, it is considered state-of-the-art to engineer living organisms for various biotechnology applications. Even though this has led to numerous scientific breakthroughs, the enclosed interior of bacterial cells still restricts interactions with enzymes, pathways and products due to the mass-transfer barrier formed by the cell envelope. To promote accessibility, we propose engineering of biocatalytic reactions and subsequent product deposition directly on the bacterial surface. As a proof-of-concept, we used the AIDA autotransporter vehicle for Escherichia coli surface expression of tyrosinase and fully oxidized externally added tyrosine to the biopolymer melanin. This resulted in a color change and creation of a black cell exterior. The capture of ninety percent of a pharmaceutical wastewater pollutant followed by regeneration of the cell bound melanin matrix through a simple pH change, shows the superior function and facilitated processing provided by the surface methodology. The broad adsorption spectrum of melanin could also allow removal of other micropollutants. PMID:27782179

  4. Melanin pigmented solar absorbing surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Gallas, J.M.; Eisner, M.

    1980-01-01

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

  5. The melanins and lipofuscin.

    PubMed

    Hack, M H; Helmy, F M

    1983-01-01

    An overview of the melanins and lipofuscin is presented, taking an integrating account of their morphological relationships and chemical characteristics wherever possible. This has required inclusion of the ommochromes, the schlerotizing process, and consideration of related neurotransmitters. A number of questions are raised and commented upon.

  6. Interactions between model bacterial membranes and synthetic antimicrobials.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Lihua; Mishra, Abhijit; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N.; Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2006-03-01

    Antimicrobial peptides comprise a key component of innate immunity for a wide range of multicellular organisms. It has been shown that natural antimicrobial peptides and their analogs can permeate bacterial membranes selectively. There are a number of proposed models for this action, but the detailed molecular mechanism of the induced membrane permeation remains unclear. We investigate interactions between model bacterial membranes and a prototypical family of phenylene ethynylene-based antimicrobials with controllable hydrophilic and hydrophobic volume fractions, controllable charge placement. Preliminary results from synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) results will be presented.

  7. Differential interaction forces govern bacterial sorting in early biofilms.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Bacteriocin-Mediated Competitive Interactions of Bacterial Populations and Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riley, Margaret A.

    Explaining the coexistence of competing species is a major challenge in community ecology. In bacterial systems, competition is often driven by the production of bacteriocins; narrow spectrum proteinaceous toxins that serve to kill closely related species providing the producer better access to limited resources. Bacteriocin producers have been shown to competitively exclude sensitive, nonproducing strains. However, the interaction dynamics between bacteriocin producers, each lethal to its competitor, are largely unknown. Several recent studies have revealed some of the complexity of these interactions, employing a suite of in vitro, in vivo, and in silico bacterial model systems. This chapter describes the current state of knowledge regarding the population and community ecology of this potent family of toxins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Interspecies interactions are essential for the persistence and development of any kind of complex community, and microbial biofilms are no exception. Multispecies biofilms are structured and spatially defined communities that have received much attention due to their omnipresence in natural environments. Species residing in these complex bacterial communities usually interact both intra- and interspecifically. Such interactions are considered to not only be fundamental in shaping overall biomass and the spatial distribution of cells residing in multispecies biofilms, but also to result in coordinated regulation of gene expression in the different species present. These communal interactions often lead to emergent properties in biofilms, such as enhanced tolerance against antibiotics, host immune responses, and other stresses, which have been shown to provide benefits to all biofilm members not only the enabling sub-populations. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of cellular processes affecting spatial organization, and vice versa, are poorly understood and very complex to unravel. Therefore, detailed description of the spatial organization of individual bacterial cells in multispecies communities can be an alternative strategy to reveal the nature of interspecies interactions of constituent species. Closing the gap between visual observation and biological processes may become crucial for resolving biofilm related problems, which is of utmost importance to environmental, industrial, and clinical implications. This review briefly presents the state of the art of studying interspecies interactions and spatial organization of multispecies communities, aiming to support theoretical and practical arguments for further advancement of this field. PMID:27630624

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Interspecies interactions are essential for the persistence and development of any kind of complex community, and microbial biofilms are no exception. Multispecies biofilms are structured and spatially defined communities that have received much attention due to their omnipresence in natural environments. Species residing in these complex bacterial communities usually interact both intra- and interspecifically. Such interactions are considered to not only be fundamental in shaping overall biomass and the spatial distribution of cells residing in multispecies biofilms, but also to result in coordinated regulation of gene expression in the different species present. These communal interactions often lead to emergent properties in biofilms, such as enhanced tolerance against antibiotics, host immune responses, and other stresses, which have been shown to provide benefits to all biofilm members not only the enabling sub-populations. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of cellular processes affecting spatial organization, and vice versa, are poorly understood and very complex to unravel. Therefore, detailed description of the spatial organization of individual bacterial cells in multispecies communities can be an alternative strategy to reveal the nature of interspecies interactions of constituent species. Closing the gap between visual observation and biological processes may become crucial for resolving biofilm related problems, which is of utmost importance to environmental, industrial, and clinical implications. This review briefly presents the state of the art of studying interspecies interactions and spatial organization of multispecies communities, aiming to support theoretical and practical arguments for further advancement of this field. PMID:27630624

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-17

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

  16. Interactions of Bacterial Proteins with Host Eukaryotic Ubiquitin Pathways

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Protein-lipid interactions in the purple bacterial reaction centre.

    PubMed

    Jones, Michael R; Fyfe, Paul K; Roszak, Aleksander W; Isaacs, Neil W; Cogdell, Richard J

    2002-10-11

    The purple bacterial reaction centre uses the energy of sunlight to power energy-requiring reactions such as the synthesis of ATP. During the last 20 years, a combination of X-ray crystallography, spectroscopy and mutagenesis has provided a detailed insight into the mechanism of light energy transduction in the bacterial reaction centre. In recent years, structural techniques including X-ray crystallography and neutron scattering have also been used to examine the environment of the reaction centre. This mini-review focuses on recent studies of the surface of the reaction centre, and briefly discusses the importance of the specific protein-lipid interactions that have been resolved for integral membrane proteins.

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

    PubMed

    Beke, Gabor; Stano, Matej; Klucar, Lubos

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Beke, Gabor; Stano, Matej; Klucar, Lubos

    2016-09-01

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

  20. Temporal changes in species interactions in simple aquatic bacterial communities

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Organisms modify their environment and in doing so change the quantity and possibly the quality of available resources. Due to the two-way relationship between organisms and their resource environment, and the complexity it brings to biological communities, measuring species interactions reliably in any biological system is a challenging task. As the resource environment changes, the intensity and even the sign of interactions may vary in time. We used Serratia marcescens and Novosphingobium capsulatum bacteria to study how the interaction between resource environment and organisms influence the growth of the bacterial species during circa 200 generations. We used a sterile-filtering method to measure how changes in resource environment are reflected in growth rates of the two species. Results Changes in the resource environment caused complex time and species composition-dependent effects on bacterial growth performance. Variation in the quality of the growth medium indicated existence of temporally fluctuating within-species facilitation and inhibition, and between-species asymmetric facilitation. Conclusions The interactions between the community members could not be fully predicted based only on the knowledge of the growth performance of each member in isolation. Growth dynamics in sterile-filtered samples of the conditioned growth medium can reveal both biologically meaningful changes in resource availability and temporally changing facilitative resource-mediated interactions between study species. This is the first study we are aware of where the filter-sterilization – growth assay method is applied to study the effect of long-term changes in the environment on species interactions. PMID:22984961

  1. Phydbac (phylogenomic display of bacterial genes): An interactive resource for the annotation of bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Enault, François; Suhre, Karsten; Poirot, Olivier; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2003-07-01

    Phydbac is a web interactive resource based on phylogenomic profiling, designed to help microbiologists to annotate bacterial proteins. Phylogenomic annotation is based on the assumption that functionally linked protein-coding genes must evolve in a coordinated manner. The detection of subsets of co-evolving genes within a given genome involves the computation of protein sequence conservation profiles across a spectrum of microbial species, followed by the identification of significant pairwise correlations between them. Many ongoing studies are devoted to the problem of computing the most biologically significant phylogenomic profiles and how best identifying clusters of 'functionally interacting' genes. Here we introduce a web tool, Phydbac, allowing the dynamic construction of phylogenomic profiles of protein sequences of interest and their interactive display. In addition, Phydbac can identify Escherichia coli proteins exhibiting the evolution pattern most similar to arbitrary query protein sequences, hence providing functional hints for open reading frames (ORFs) of hypothetical or unknown function. The phylogenomic profiles of all E.coli K-12 protein-coding genes are pre-computed, allowing queries about E.coli genes to be answered instantaneously. The profiles and phylogenomic neighborhoods are computed using an original method shown to perform better than previous ones. An extension of Phydbac, including precomputed profiles for all available bacterial genomes (including major pathogens) will soon be available. Phydbac can be accessed at: http://igs-server.cnrs-mrs.fr/phydbac/.

  2. Differential interaction forces govern bacterial sorting in early biofilms

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Interaction of bacterial wall with electrically charged solid substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajaev, Vladimir

    2015-11-01

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

  4. Current Understanding of the Binding Sites, Capacity, Affinity, and Biological Significance of Metals in Melanin

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Lian; Simon, John D.

    2008-01-01

    Metal chelation is often invoked as one of the main biological functions of melanin. In order to understand the interaction between metals and melanin, extensive studies have been carried out to determine the nature of the metal binding sites, binding capacity and affinity. These data are central to efforts aimed at elucidating the role metal binding plays in determining the physical, structural, biological, and photochemical properties of melanin. This article examines the current state of understanding of this field. PMID:17580858

  5. Photoacoustic measurement of epidermal melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

  7. Cesium Interactions With Illite in the Presence of Bacterial Exudates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendling, L. A.; Ward, T. E.; Harsh, J. B.; Hamilton, M. A.; Palmer, C. D.

    2003-12-01

    Biogeochemical processes in the rhizosphere can significantly alter chemical reactions between contaminants and soil minerals. Several strains of bacteria that exude aluminum-chelating compounds were isolated from the rhizosphere of crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum) collected from the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). We examined the effect of exudates from the rhizosphere bacteria on cesium desorption from illite. The exudates from some strains of rhizosphere bacteria significantly enhanced Cs desorption from illite. In addition, Cs desorption from illite increased with increasing concentration of exudates from one selected bacterial strain. There was no obvious relationship between Cs desorption and the Al-chelating ability of the exudates. Both mobilization of Al from illite and changes in the density of frayed edge sites on the illite were monitored as a function of exudate type and concentration. Results suggest that exudates from rhizosphere bacteria may play an important role in Cs interactions with illite and, therefore, could alter Cs availability in micaceous soils.

  8. Bacterial responses and interactions with plants during rhizoremediation

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Melanin synthesis by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.

    PubMed

    Butler, Michael J; Gardiner, Richard B; Day, Alan W

    2009-01-01

    We confirmed that the melanin produced by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN). The specific DHN melanogenesis inhibitor test that uses tricyclazole at low levels (typically 2-5 ppm) to cause a confirmatory appearance of soluble red-brown inhibition products does not work when analyzing melanin synthesis in the sclerotia of S. sclerotiorum. We demonstrated the presence of scytalone dehydratase, an enzyme specific to DHN melanogenesis, in melanized sclerotia and melanized nonsclerotial mycelia and observed formation of mycelial nonsclerotial melanin when the fungus was grown on the surface of sterilized dialysis membrane or in rich organic media. Nonsclerotial melanized hyphae in wild type and mutant strains showed the typical excretion of pigmented inhibition products of the DHN pathway in the presence of tricyclazole, and one of these products, 2-hydroxyjuglone, was identified by thin layer chromatography and spectroscopy. We report basic conditions for sclerotial melanin degradation by the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. PMID:19537203

  10. Pathogenic Roles for Fungal Melanins

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Eric S.

    2000-01-01

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

  11. Ionizing Radiation Changes the Electronic Properties of Melanin and Enhances the Growth of Melanized Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Bryan, Ruth A.; Huang, Xianchun; Moadel, Tiffany; Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Aisen, Philip; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2007-01-01

    Background Melanin pigments are ubiquitous in nature. Melanized microorganisms are often the dominating species in certain extreme environments, such as soils contaminated with radionuclides, suggesting that the presence of melanin is beneficial in their life cycle. We hypothesized that ionizing radiation could change the electronic properties of melanin and might enhance the growth of melanized microorganisms. Methodology/Principal Findings Ionizing irradiation changed the electron spin resonance (ESR) signal of melanin, consistent with changes in electronic structure. Irradiated melanin manifested a 4-fold increase in its capacity to reduce NADH relative to non-irradiated melanin. HPLC analysis of melanin from fungi grown on different substrates revealed chemical complexity, dependence of melanin composition on the growth substrate and possible influence of melanin composition on its interaction with ionizing radiation. XTT/MTT assays showed increased metabolic activity of melanized C. neoformans cells relative to non-melanized cells, and exposure to ionizing radiation enhanced the electron-transfer properties of melanin in melanized cells. Melanized Wangiella dermatitidis and Cryptococcus neoformans cells exposed to ionizing radiation approximately 500 times higher than background grew significantly faster as indicated by higher CFUs, more dry weight biomass and 3-fold greater incorporation of 14C-acetate than non-irradiated melanized cells or irradiated albino mutants. In addition, radiation enhanced the growth of melanized Cladosporium sphaerospermum cells under limited nutrients conditions. Conclusions/Significance Exposure of melanin to ionizing radiation, and possibly other forms of electromagnetic radiation, changes its electronic properties. Melanized fungal cells manifested increased growth relative to non-melanized cells after exposure to ionizing radiation, raising intriguing questions about a potential role for melanin in energy capture and

  12. Production and cytotoxicity of extracellular insoluble and droplets of soluble melanin by Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3.

    PubMed

    Madhusudhan, D N; Mazhari, Bi Bi Zainab; Dastager, Syed G; Agsar, Dayanand

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  15. Interactions of Botryococcus braunii cultures with bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Rivas, Mariella O; Vargas, Pedro; Riquelme, Carlos E

    2010-10-01

    Unicellular microalgae generally grow in the presence of bacteria, particularly when they are farmed massively. This study analyzes the bacteria associated with mass culture of Botryococcus braunii: both the planktonic bacteria in the water column and those forming biofilms adhered to the surface of the microalgal cells (∼10⁷-10⁸ culturable cells per gram microalgae). Furthermore, we identified the culturable bacteria forming a biofilm in the microalgal cells by 16S rDNA sequencing. At least eight different culturable species of bacteria were detected in the biofilm and were evaluated for the presence of quorum-sensing signals in these bacteria. Few studies have considered the implications of this phenomenon as regards the interaction between bacteria and microalgae. Production of C4-AHL and C6-AHL were detected in two species, Pseudomonas sp. and Rhizobium sp., which are present in the bacterial biofilm associated with B. braunii. This type of signal was not detected in the planktonic bacteria isolated from the water. We also noted that the bacterium, Rhizobium sp., acted as a probiotic bacterium and significantly encouraged the growth of B. braunii. A direct application of these beneficial bacteria associated with B. braunii could be, to use them like inoculants for large-scale microalgal cultures. They could optimize biomass production by enhancing growth, particularly in this microalga that has a low growth rate. PMID:20502890

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Cryptococcus neoformans melanin and virulence: mechanism of action.

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Y; Aisen, P; Casadevall, A

    1995-01-01

    Black melanin-like pigments are produced by several neurotropic fungi, including Cryptococcus neoformans. Pigment production is associated with virulence. In media containing phenolic substrates such as L-dopa, C. neoformans cells become black as a result of pigment accumulation. Pigmented and nonpigmented C. neoformans cells were studied with transmission electron microscopy and electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy. Transmission electron microscopy showed electron-dense cell walls, and ESR spectroscopy revealed a stable free-radical population in pigmented cells. The ESR signals of pigmented cells were increased by light, alkaline pH, and Zn2+ and decreased by acid pH, indicating that the black pigment was a type of melanin. A mutant deficient in melanin synthesis (mel) generated by UV radiation lacked ESR-detectable radicals, was less virulent for mice, was more susceptible to killing by nitrogen- and oxygen-derived radicals, and had 100-foldless phenoloxidase activity than the parent strain. The interaction of melanized C. neoformans, nonmelanized C. neoformans, and the hypomelanotic mel mutant with J774.16 murine macrophage-like cells was studied. Melanized cells were more resistant to antibody-mediated phagocytosis and the antifungal effects of murine macrophages than nonmelanized cells. Small increases in the intensity of the ESR signals of melanized cells in solutions containing chemically generated oxygen- and nitrogen-derived radicals indicated electron transfer to or from melanin. Melanin appears to contribute to virulence by protecting fungal cells against attack by immune effector cells. PMID:7622240

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. ELECTRON SPIN RESONANCE STUDIES ON MELANIN.

    PubMed

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

    1964-11-01

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

  1. EFFECT OF CADMIUM(II) ON FREE RADICALS IN DOPA-MELANIN TESTED BY EPR SPECTROSCOPY.

    PubMed

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Chodurek, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy may be applied to examine interactions of melanin with metal ions and drugs. In this work EPR method was used to examination of changes in free radical system of DOPA-melanin--the model eumelanin after complexing with diamagnetic cadmium(II) ions. Cadmium(II) may affect free radicals in melanin and drugs binding by this polymer, so the knowledge of modification of properties and free radical concentration in melanin is important to pharmacy. The effect of cadmium(II) in different concentrations on free radicals in DOPA-melanin was determined. EPR spectra of DOPA-melanin, and DOPA-melanin complexes with cadmium(II) were measured by an X-band (9.3 GHz) EPR spectrometer produced by Radiopan (Poznań, Poland) and the Rapid Scan Unit from Jagmar (Krak6w, Poland). The DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) to metal ions molar ratios in the reaction mixtures were 2:1, 1:1, and 1: 2. High concentrations of o-semiquinone (g ~2.0040) free radicals (~10(21)-10(22) spin/g) characterize DOPA-melanin and its complexes with cadmium(II). Formation of melanin complexes with cadmium(II) increase free radical concentration in DOPA-melanin. The highest free radical concentration was obtained for DOPA-melanin-cadmium(II) (1:1) complexes. Broad EPR lines with linewidths: 0.37-0.73 mT, were measured. Linewidths increase after binding of cadmium(II) to melanin. Changes of integral intensities and linewidths with increasing microwave power indicate the homogeneous broadening of EPR lines, independently on the metal ion concentration. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested samples, their EPR lines saturated at low microwave powers. Cadmium(II) causes fastening of spin-lattice relaxation processes in DOPA-melanin. The EPR results bring to light the effect of cadmium(II) on free radicals in melanin, and probably as the consequence on drug binding to eumelanin.

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

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar

    2016-08-01

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

  3. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin.

    PubMed

    Eisenman, Helene C; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-02-01

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

  4. Influence of bacterial interactions on the susceptibility to photodynamic inactivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Upadya, M. H.; Tegos, G.; Hamblin, M.; Kishen, A.

    2009-06-01

    Photodynamic therapy has emerged as a possible supplement to the existing protocols for endodontic disinfection. Microbes are known to gain significant ecological advantage when they survive as coaggregates and biofilms in an infected tissue. Such microbial coaggregates and biofilms have been confirmed to play a key role in the pathogenicity of many infections. So far, not many studies have correlated the efficacy of antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation (APDI) to the different modes of bacterial growth. This study aims to evaluate the APDI of 3 strains of Enterococcus faecalis in planktonic phase, in a co-aggregated suspension and in a 4-day old biofilm. The results showed that the biofilm mode of growth offered the greatest resistance to APDI and the inclusion of an efflux pump inhibitor significantly increased the APDI of biofilm bacteria. From this study, we conclude that APDI of bacteria in biofilms is the most challenging and that the use of bacterial efflux pump inhibitors enhances its photodynamic antibiofilm efficacy.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. High-level production of melanin by a novel isolate of Streptomyces kathirae.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jing; Rao, Zhiming; Yang, Taowei; Man, Zaiwei; Xu, Meijuan; Zhang, Xian

    2014-08-01

    Forty-five bacterial strains that produced diffusive pigments were isolated from 40 soil samples. Maximum pigment production was from a Streptomyces kathirae strain designated SC-1. The diffused pigment was characterized by UV-visual and infrared spectroscopy, MS and (1) H nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and was confirmed as melanin. This may be the first report of melanin production by S. kathirae. To enhance melanin production, the culture medium was optimized by conducting a series of batch fermentations in a defined medium, and the results were analysed statistically using a response surface method. The optimal culture medium comprised 3.3 g L(-1) amylodextrine, 37 g L(-1) yeast extract, 5 g L(-1) NaCl, 0.1 g L(-1) CaCl2 and 54.4 μM CuSO4 . The pH of this medium was 6.0. Under optimal conditions, the melanin concentration was maximized at 13.7 g L(-1) , c. 8.6-fold higher than obtained in suboptimal medium. To our knowledge, the results provide novel data on melanin fermentation, and identify an excellent candidate for industrial-scale microbial fermentation of melanin.

  7. Computational model of heterogeneous heating in melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Melanin-deficient mutants of Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Torres-Guererro, H; Edman, J C

    1994-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a significant fungal pathogen in immunocompromised patients. The ability of C. neoformans to produce melanin has been correlated with virulence. The role of melanin in promoting virulence is unclear, although an anti-oxidant function has been suggested. To begin to define the genetic mechanisms responsible for melanin production in C. neoformans, we describe the isolation of seven melanin-deficient mutant classes. Some of the mutants can be suppressed by addition of Cu2+ to media, suggesting that the phenoloxidase of C. neoformans, like other fungal phenoloxidases, contains copper. Other mutants display a recessive sterile phenotype. A genetic and phenotypic characterisation of these mutants is presented. PMID:7983575

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kai, Marco; Effmert, Uta; Piechulla, Birgit

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kai, Marco; Effmert, Uta; Piechulla, Birgit

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Interaction of Francisella tularensis bacterial cells with dynamic speckles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulianova, Onega V.; Ulyanov, Sergey S.; Sazanova, Elena V.; Zudina, Irina; Zhang, Zhihong; Sibo, Zhou; Luo, Qingming

    2006-08-01

    Influence of low-coherent speckles on the colonies grows is investigated. It has been demonstrated that effects of light on the inhibition of cells (Francisella Tularensis) are caused by speckle dynamics. The regimes of illumination of cell suspension with purpose of devitalization of hazard bacteria, caused very dangerous infections, such as tularemia, are found. Mathematical model of interaction of low-coherent laser radiation with bacteria suspension has been proposed. Computer simulations of the processes of laser-cells interaction have been carried out. Role of coherence of light in the processes of laser-cell interaction is analyzed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. REVIEW ARTICLE: DNA protein interactions and bacterial chromosome architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavans, Joel; Oppenheim, Amos

    2006-12-01

    Bacteria, like eukaryotic organisms, must compact the DNA molecule comprising their genome and form a functional chromosome. Yet, bacteria do it differently. A number of factors contribute to genome compaction and organization in bacteria, including entropic effects, supercoiling and DNA-protein interactions. A gamut of new experimental techniques have allowed new advances in the investigation of these factors, and spurred much interest in the dynamic response of the chromosome to environmental cues, segregation, and architecture, during both exponential and stationary phases. We review these recent developments with emphasis on the multifaceted roles that DNA-protein interactions play.

  15. The role of alpha-synuclein in melanin synthesis in melanoma and dopaminergic neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Pan, Tianhong; Zhu, Julie; Hwu, Wen-Jen; Jankovic, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    The relatively high co-occurrence of Parkinson's disease (PD) and melanoma has been established by a large number of epidemiological studies. However, a clear biological explanation for this finding is still lacking. Ultra-violet radiation (UVR)-induced skin melanin synthesis is a defense mechanism against UVR-induced damage relevant to the initiation of melanoma, whereas, increased neuromelanin (NM), the melanin synthesized in dopaminergic neurons, may enhance the susceptibility to oxidative stress-induced neuronal injury relevant to PD. SNCA is a PD-causing gene coding for alpha-Synuclein (α-Syn) that expresses not only in brain, but also in skin as well as in tumors, such as melanoma. The findings that α-Syn can interact with tyrosinase (TYR) and inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), both of which are enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of melanin and dopamine (DA), led us to propose that α-Syn may participate in the regulation of melanin synthesis. In this study, by applying ultraviolet B (UVB) light, a physiologically relevant stimulus of melanogenesis, we detected melanin synthesis in A375 and SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells and in SH-SY5Y and PC12 dopaminergic neuronal cells and determined effects of α-Syn on melanin synthesis. Our results showed that UVB light exposure increased melanin synthesis in all 4 cell lines. However, we found that α-Syn expression reduced UVB light-induced increase of melanin synthesis and that melanin content was lower when melanoma cells were expressed with α-Syn, indicating that α-Syn may have inhibitory effects on melanin synthesis in melanoma cells. Different from melanoma cells, the melanin content was higher in α-Syn-over-expressed dopaminergic neuronal SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells, cellular models of PD, than that in non-α-Syn-expressed control cells. We concluded that α-Syn could be one of the points responsible for the positive association between PD and melanoma via its differential roles in melanin synthesis in melanoma

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-26

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-26

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

  18. Evolutionary and biomedical consequences of internal melanins.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Sylvain; Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-05-01

    The adaptive function of melanin located in the integument is well known. Although pigments are also deposited in various internal organs, their function is unclear. A review of the literature revealed that 'internal melanin' protects against parasites, pollutants, low temperature, oxidative stress, hypoxemia and UV light, and is involved in the development and function of organs. Importantly, several studies have shown that the amount of melanin deposited on the external body surface is correlated with the amount located inside the body. This finding raises the possibility that internal melanin plays more important physiological roles in dark than light-colored individuals. Internal melanin and coloration may therefore not evolve independently. This further emphasizes the major role played by indirect selection in evolutionary processes.

  19. Chromosomal Replication Dynamics and Interaction with the β Sliding Clamp Determine Orientation of Bacterial Transposable Elements

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Manuel J.; Díaz-Maldonado, Héctor; González-Tortuero, Enrique; López de Saro, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

    Insertion sequences (ISs) are small transposable elements widespread in bacterial genomes, where they play an essential role in chromosome evolution by stimulating recombination and genetic flow. Despite their ubiquity, it is unclear how ISs interact with the host. Here, we report a survey of the orientation patterns of ISs in bacterial chromosomes with the objective of gaining insight into the interplay between ISs and host chromosomal functions. We find that a significant fraction of IS families present a consistent and family-specific orientation bias with respect to chromosomal DNA replication, especially in Firmicutes. Additionally, we find that the transposases of up to nine different IS families with different transposition pathways interact with the β sliding clamp, an essential replication factor, suggesting that this is a widespread mechanism of interaction with the host. Although we find evidence that the interaction with the β sliding clamp is common to all bacterial phyla, it also could explain the observed strong orientation bias found in Firmicutes, because in this group β is asymmetrically distributed during synthesis of the leading or lagging strands. Besides the interaction with the β sliding clamp, other asymmetries also play a role in the biased orientation of some IS families. The utilization of the highly conserved replication sliding clamps suggests a mechanism for host regulation of IS proliferation and also a universal platform for IS dispersal and transmission within bacterial populations and among phylogenetically distant species. PMID:24614824

  20. Electron microscopy study of antioxidant interaction with bacterial cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

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

  1. Insights in Nanoparticle-Bacterium Interactions: New Frontiers to Bypass Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Diab, Roudayna; Khameneh, Bahman; Joubert, Olivier; Duval, Raphael

    2015-01-01

    Nanotechnology has been revealed as a fundamental approach for antibiotics delivery. In this paper, recent findings demonstrating the superiority of nanocarried-antibiotics over "naked" ones and the ways by which nanoparticles can help to overwhelm bacterial drug resistance are reviewed. The second part of this paper sheds light on nanoparticle-bacterium interaction patterns. Finally, key factors affecting the effectiveness of nanoparticles interactions with bacteria are discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-27

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

  4. Phosphorus Chemistry and Bacterial Community Composition Interact in Brackish Sediments Receiving Agricultural Discharges

    PubMed Central

    Sinkko, Hanna; Sihvonen, Leila M.; Sivonen, Kaarina; Leivuori, Mirja; Rantanen, Matias; Paulin, Lars; Lyra, Christina

    2011-01-01

    Background External nutrient discharges have caused eutrophication in many estuaries and coastal seas such as the Baltic Sea. The sedimented nutrients can affect bacterial communities which, in turn, are widely believed to contribute to release of nutrients such as phosphorus from the sediment. Methods We investigated relationships between bacterial communities and chemical forms of phosphorus as well as elements involved in its cycling in brackish sediments using up-to-date multivariate statistical methods. Bacterial community composition was determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and cloning of the 16S rRNA gene. Results and Conclusions The bacterial community composition differed along gradients of nutrients, especially of different phosphorus forms, from the estuary receiving agricultural phosphorus loading to the open sea. This suggests that the chemical composition of sediment phosphorus, which has been affected by riverine phosphorus loading, influenced on bacterial communities. Chemical and spatial parameters explained 25% and 11% of the variation in bacterial communities. Deltaproteobacteria, presumptively sulphate and sulphur/iron reducing, were strongly associated to chemical parameters, also when spatial autocorrelation was taken into account. Sulphate reducers correlated positively with labile organic phosphorus and total nitrogen in the open sea sediments. Sulphur/iron reducers and sulphate reducers linked to iron reduction correlated positively with aluminium- and iron-bound phosphorus, and total iron in the estuary. The sulphate and sulphur/iron reducing bacteria can thus have an important role both in the mineralization and mobilization of nutrients from sediment. Significance Novelty in our study is that relationships between bacterial community composition and different phosphorus forms, instead of total phosphorus, were investigated. Total phosphorus does not necessarily bring out interactions between bacteria and

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-22

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

  7. Modeling and verification of melanin concentration on human skin type.

    PubMed

    Karsten, Aletta E; Smit, Jacoba E

    2012-01-01

    Lasers are used in the minimalistic or noninvasive diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders. Less laser light reaches the deeper skin layers in dark skin types, due to its higher epidermal melanin concentration compared with lighter skin. Laser-tissue interaction modeling software can correct for this by adapting the dose applied to the skin. This necessitates an easy and reliable method to determine the skin's type. Noninvasive measurement of the skin's melanin content is the best method. However, access to samples of all skin types is often limited and skin-like phantoms are used instead. This study's objective is to compare experimentally measured absorption features of liquid skin-like phantoms representing Skin Types I-VI with a realistic skin computational model component of ASAP(®). Sample UV-VIS transmittance spectra were measured from 370 to 900 nm and compared with simulated results from ASAP(®) using the same optical parameters. Results indicated nonmonotonic absorption features towards shorter wavelengths, which may allow for more accurate ways of determining melanin concentration and expected absorption through the epidermal layer. This suggests possible use in representing optical characteristics of real skin. However, a more comprehensive model and phantoms are necessary to account for the effects of sun exposure.

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

    PubMed Central

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Melanins and resistance of fungi to lysis.

    PubMed

    Bloomfield, B J; Alexander, M

    1967-04-01

    Hyphal walls of Aspergillus phoenicis and Sclerotium rolfsii are composed of large amounts of glucose- and N-acetylhexosamine-containing polysaccharides, and the walls are extensively digested by streptomycete culture filtrates or by a mixture of purified chitinase and beta-(1 --> 3) glucanase preparations with the release of the monomeric units. A. phoenicis conidial walls also contain polymers of glucose and N-acetylhexosamine, but these walls are resistant to digestion by microorganisms or the enzyme combination active on the hyphae. When the melanin-containing spicules were removed from the spore surface, however, the chitinase and glucanase partially digested the underlying structural components. Microorganisms decomposing hyphal walls of S. rolfsii did not attack the melanin-covered sclerotia produced by this fungus. No microorganism capable of lysing two fungi, Rhizoctonia solani and Cladosporium sp., producing hyphae containing abundant melanin was found. The ecological significance of these findings and possible mechanisms for the protective influence associated with melanins are discussed.

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

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Melanin chemistry and the ecology of stress.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of melanin chemistry has important implications for the study of the evolutionary ecology of animal pigmentation, but the actual chemical diversity of these widely expressed biological pigments has been largely overlooked. Considering all melanin forms and the different conditions of endogenous oxidative stress during their synthesis provides information about physiological costs and benefits of different pigmentation patterns and opens a new perspective to understanding the evolution of color phenotypes in animals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Actinobacterial melanins: current status and perspective for the future.

    PubMed

    Manivasagan, Panchanathan; Venkatesan, Jayachandran; Sivakumar, Kannan; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-10-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of bacteria and fungi. Melanins are biological macromolecules with multiple important functions, yet their structures are not well understood. Melanins are frequently used in medicine, pharmacology, and cosmetics preparations. Melanins also have great application potential in agriculture industry. They have several biological functions including photoprotection, thermoregulation, action as free radical sinks, cation chelators, and antibiotics. Plants and insects incorporate melanins as cell wall and cuticle strengtheners, respectively. Actinobacteria are the most economically as well as biotechnologically valuable prokaryotes. However, the melanin properties are, in general, poorly understood. In this review an evaluation is made on the present state of research on actinobacterial melanins and its perspectives. The highlights include the production and biotechnological applications of melanins in agriculture, food, cosmetic and medicinal fields. With increasing advancement in science and technology, there would be greater demands in the future for melanins produced by actinobacteria from various sources.

  17. DOPA and DHN pathway orchestrate melanin synthesis in Aspergillus species.

    PubMed

    Pal, Anuradha K; Gajjar, Devarshi U; Vasavada, Abhay R

    2014-01-01

    Melanins are high molecular weight hydrophobic pigments that have been studied for their role in the virulence of fungal pathogens. We investigated the amount and type of melanin in 20 isolates of Aspergillus spp.; A. niger (n = 3), A. flavus (n = 5), A. tamarii (n = 3), A. terreus (n = 3), A. tubingensis (n = 3), A. sydowii (n = 3). Aspergillus spp. were identified by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Extraction of melanin from culture filtrate and fungal biomass was done and followed by qualitative and quantitative analysis of melanin pigment. Ultraviolet (UV), Fourier transformed infrared (FT-IR), and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra analyses confirmed the presence of melanin. The melanin pathway was studied by analyzing the effects of inhibitors; kojic acid, tropolone, phthalide, and tricyclazole. The results indicate that in A. niger and A. tubingensis melanin was found in both culture filtrate and fungal biomass. For A. tamarii and A. flavus melanin was extracted from biomass only, whereas melanin was found only in culture filtrate for A. terreus. A negligible amount of melanin was found in A. sydowii. The maximum amount of melanin from culture filtrate and fungal biomass was found in A. niger and A. tamarrii, respectively. The DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) pathway produces melanin in A. niger, A. tamarii and A. flavus, whereas the DHN (1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene) pathway produces melanin in A. tubingensis and A. terreus. It can be concluded that the amount and type of melanin in aspergilli largely differ from species to species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shen, Hongwu; Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Melanin dependent survival of Apergillus fumigatus conidia in lung epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Amin, Shayista; Thywissen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Saluz, Hans Peter; Brakhage, Axel A

    2014-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne pathogenic fungus of humans. Upon inhalation of conidia, the fungus makes close contact with lung epithelial cells, which only possess low phagocytic activity. These cells are in particular interesting to address the question whether there is some form of persistence of conidia of A. fumigatus in the human host. Therefore, by also using uracil-auxotrophic mutant strains, we were able to investigate the interaction of A549 lung epithelial cells and A. fumigatus conidia in detail for long periods. Interestingly, unlike professional phagocytes, our study showed that the presence of conidial dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin enhanced the uptake of A. fumigatus conidia by epithelial cells when compared with non-pigmented pksP mutant conidia. Furthermore, conidia of A. fumigatus were able to survive within epithelial cells. This was due to the presence of DHN melanin in the cell wall of conidia, because melanised wild-type conidia showed a higher survival rate inside epithelial cells and led to inhibition of acidification of phagolysosomes. Both effects were not observed for white (non-melanised) conidia of the pksP mutant strain. Moreover, in contrast to pksP mutant conidia, melanised wild-type conidia were able to inhibit the extrinsic apoptotic pathway in A549 lung epithelial cells even for longer periods. The anti-apoptotic effect was not restricted to conidia, because both conidia-derived melanin ghosts (cell-free DHN melanin) and a different type of melanin, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, acted anti-apoptotically. Taken together, these data indicate the possibility of melanin-dependent persistence of conidia in lung epithelial cells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-11

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thiruvengadam, V.; Vitta, Satish

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Perilla-Henao, Laura M; Casteel, Clare L

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Perilla-Henao, Laura M; Casteel, Clare L

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Premi, Sanjay; Brash, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Bacterial exudate effects on Cu2+ sorption by cells: Quantifying significant ternary interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swedlund, Peter J.; Moreau, Magali; Daughney, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria exude a range of ligands which have diverse effects on trace metal geochemistry. This study evaluated the effect of ligands exuded by the bacterium Anoxybacillus flavithermus on the aqueous geochemistry of Cu2+. Proton and Cu2+ binding by the exudate ligands were investigated via potentiometric titrations and polarographic studies, respectively. Despite the apparent complexity of the system the Cu2+-exudate interaction was well described by a single model reaction H2L + Cu2+ ⇔ LCu + 2H+. In a bacterial cell suspension the aqueous phase concentration of exudate ligands increased almost linearly with the age of the suspension. After 48 h the exuded ligands had roughly the same total binding capacity for Cu2+ as the cells from which they were derived. To investigate the significance of the exudate on Cu2+ uptake by the bacterial cells sorption experiments were conducted in ternary systems with bacterial cells and a range of concentrations of a well characterized exudate. The systems were modeled with the parameters derived from the binary Cu2+-cells and Cu2+-exudate experiments. Under conditions where the binary model parameters predicted that the exudate ligand would hold all of the Cu2+ in solution there was unexpectedly appreciable Cu2+ sorption by the cells. This indicated the presence of significant ternary interactions involving the Cu2+, the cell surface sites and the exudate. The observations could be reasonably well described by adding to the binary model reactions a single reaction for a ternary complex with stoichiometry R2CuLH0 where R2 represents a cell wall binding site. The exudate ligands produced by bacterial cells had a significant effect on Cu2+ partitioning between the solution and solid phases under the experimental conditions employed. However, the study shows that the strong complexes that exudate ligands can form with trace metals do not necessarily inhibit trace metal uptake by cells to the extent expected from first principles.

  19. Bacterial endocytobionts of ciliophora and their interactions with the host cell.

    PubMed

    Fokin, Sergei I

    2004-01-01

    Ciliates may be hosts for numerous bacteria, which can occupy almost all cellular compartments of the protists. About 200 ciliate species are recorded as hosts of different intracellular bacteria, being a small part of the diversity for such types of endocytobiosis in nature. In the Paramecium genus alone close to 60 types of bacteria adapted for intracellular life are known. In this review extensive material concerning the variety of endocytobionts, their categories, and their interaction with host cells is presented. Special attention is paid to endocytobiosis in Paramecium with highly infectious bacteria Holospora, bacteria of the Caedibacter and Polynucleobacter genera, methanogenic bacteria, and "xenosomes" as well as to life cycles and strategies of bacterial endonucleobionts. The above model bacteria and their interactions with hosts have not been exhaustively studied. A number of unsolved problems concerning their interactions within an endocytobiotic system and their ecological implications remain to be studied.

  20. Impact of Bacterial-Fungal Interactions on the Colonization of the Endosphere.

    PubMed

    van Overbeek, Leonard S; Saikkonen, Kari

    2016-03-01

    Research on different endophyte taxa and the related scientific disciplines have largely developed separately, and comprehensive community-level studies on bacterial and fungal interactions and their importance are lacking. Here, we discuss the transmission modes of bacteria and fungi and the nature of their interactions in the endosphere at both the molecular and physiological level. Mixed-community biofilms in the endosphere may have a role in protecting endophytes against encountered stresses, such as from plant defense systems. However, transmission from static (in biofilms) to free-living (planktonic) forms may be crucial for the exploration of new habitable spaces in plants. Important features previously recognized as plant-microbe interactions or antagonism in endophyte genomes and metagenomes are proposed to have essential roles in the modulation of endophyte communities. PMID:26821607

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Interactions of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharides with Gold Nanorod Surfaces Investigated by Refractometric Sensing.

    PubMed

    Abadeer, Nardine S; Fülöp, Gergő; Chen, Si; Käll, Mikael; Murphy, Catherine J

    2015-11-11

    The interface between nanoparticles and bacterial surfaces is of great interest for applications in nanomedicine and food safety. Here, we demonstrate that interactions between gold nanorods and bacterial surface molecules are governed by the nanoparticle surface coating. Polymer-coated gold nanorod substrates are exposed to lipopolysaccharides extracted from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli, and attachment is monitored using localized surface plasmon resonance refractometric sensing. The number of lipopolysaccharide molecules attached per nanorod is calculated from the shift in the plasmon maximum, which results from the change in refractive index after analyte binding. Colloidal gold nanorods in water are also incubated with lipopolysaccharides to demonstrate the effect of lipopolysaccharide concentration on plasmon shift, ζ-potential, and association constant. Both gold nanorod surface charge and surface chemistry affect gold nanorod-lipopolysaccharide interactions. In general, anionic lipopolysaccharides was found to attach more effectively to cationic gold nanorods than to neutral or anionic gold nanorods. Some variation in lipopolysaccharide attachment is also observed between the three strains studied, demonstrating the potential complexity of bacteria-nanoparticle interactions.

  4. Transcriptome profiling of bacterial responses to root exudates identifies genes involved in microbe-plant interactions

    PubMed Central

    Mark, G. Louise; Dow, J. Maxwell; Kiely, Patrick D.; Higgins, Hazel; Haynes, Jill; Baysse, Christine; Abbas, Abdelhamid; Foley, Tara; Franks, Ashley; Morrissey, John; O'Gara, Fergal

    2005-01-01

    Molecules exuded by plant roots are thought to act as signals to influence the ability of microbial strains to colonize the roots and to survive in the rhizosphere. Differential bacterial responses to signals from different plant species may mediate the selection of specific rhizosphere populations. Very little, however, is known about the effects of plant exudates on patterns of bacterial gene expression. Here, we have tested the concept that plant root exudates modulate expression of bacterial genes involved in establishing microbe-plant interactions. We have examined the influence on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA01 transcriptome of exudates from two varieties of sugarbeet that select for genetically distinct pseudomonad populations in the rhizosphere. The response to the two exudates showed only a partial overlap; the majority of those genes with altered expression was regulated in response to only one of the two exudates. Genes with altered expression included those with functions previously implicated in microbe-plant interactions, such as aspects of metabolism, chemotaxis and type III secretion, and a subset with putative or unknown function. Use of a panel of mutants with targeted disruptions allowed us to identify previously uncharacterized genes with roles in the competitive ability of P. aeruginosa in the rhizosphere within this subset. No genes with host-specific effects were identified. Homologues of the genes identified occur in the genomes of both beneficial and pathogenic root-associated bacteria, suggesting that this strategy may help to elucidate molecular interactions that are important for biocontrol, plant growth promotion, and plant pathogenesis. PMID:16301542

  5. Bacterial-protozoa interactions; an update on the role these phenomena play towards human illness.

    PubMed

    Snelling, William J; Moore, John E; McKenna, James P; Lecky, Donna M; Dooley, James S G

    2006-02-01

    The usage of water with poor microbiological quality increases the risk of human illness. This review discusses and updates current thinking on the nature of the interaction between a range of human bacterial pathogens and waterborne protozoa. The importance of protozoa acting as protective environments for pathogenic bacteria from disinfection and of promoting extended survival in otherwise hostile environments is highlighted. The significance of biofilms in water systems, and new relationships between Salmonella and Campylobacter and water-borne protozoa are also discussed. The protection of pathogenic bacteria from disinfection within protozoa and/or biofilms has important implications for water safety.

  6. Thermodynamics of interactions of vancomycin and synthetic surrogates of bacterial cell wall.

    PubMed

    Rekharsky, Mikhail; Hesek, Dusan; Lee, Mijoon; Meroueh, Samy O; Inoue, Yoshihisa; Mobashery, Shahriar

    2006-06-21

    Glycopeptide antibiotics, including vancomycin, form complexes via a set of five hydrogen bonds with the acyl-l-Lys-d-Ala-d-Ala portion of the peptidyl stems of the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan. This complexation deprives the organism from the ability to cross-link peptidyl stems of the peptidoglycan, leading to bacterial cell death. Four synthetic fragments as surrogates of the components of the bacterial cell wall have been prepared in our lab in multistep syntheses. These synthetic samples were used in investigations of the thermodynamics properties (DeltaG degrees , DeltaH degrees , and TDeltaS degrees ) for the complexation with vancomycin by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Complexation with the glycopeptide analogues is largely enthalpy-driven (formation of five hydrogen bonds), and in the analogues with a single peptidyl stem, the complexation is 1:1. The complexation is more complicated with an approximately 2 kDa cell wall surrogate (compound 4), which possesses two peptidyl stems. The data were suggestive of interactions between the two vancomycin molecules, with an entropic penalty attributable to restriction of molecular movements within the complex due to restriction of motion of the highly mobile acyl-d-Ala-d-Ala moiety of the peptidyl stems. These data were reconciled with the recently determined NMR solution structure for the peptidoglycan fragment 4 and its implications for the larger cell wall.

  7. Electrostatic interactions between rotor and stator in the bacterial flagellar motor

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jiadong; Lloyd, Scott A.; Blair, David F.

    1998-01-01

    Bacterial flagellar motors rotate, obtaining power from the membrane gradient of protons or, in some species, sodium ions. Torque generation in the flagellar motor must involve interactions between components of the rotor and components of the stator. Sites of interaction between the rotor and stator have not been identified. Mutational studies of the rotor protein FliG and the stator protein MotA showed that both proteins contain charged residues essential for motor rotation. This suggests that functionally important electrostatic interactions might occur between the rotor and stator. To test this proposal, we examined double mutants with charged-residue substitutions in both the rotor protein FliG and the stator protein MotA. Several combinations of FliG mutations with MotA mutations exhibited strong synergism, whereas others showed strong suppression, in a pattern that indicates that the functionally important charged residues of FliG interact with those of MotA. These results identify a functionally important site of interaction between the rotor and stator and suggest a hypothesis for electrostatic interactions at the rotor–stator interface. PMID:9600984

  8. Electrostatic interactions between rotor and stator in the bacterial flagellar motor.

    PubMed

    Zhou, J; Lloyd, S A; Blair, D F

    1998-05-26

    Bacterial flagellar motors rotate, obtaining power from the membrane gradient of protons or, in some species, sodium ions. Torque generation in the flagellar motor must involve interactions between components of the rotor and components of the stator. Sites of interaction between the rotor and stator have not been identified. Mutational studies of the rotor protein FliG and the stator protein MotA showed that both proteins contain charged residues essential for motor rotation. This suggests that functionally important electrostatic interactions might occur between the rotor and stator. To test this proposal, we examined double mutants with charged-residue substitutions in both the rotor protein FliG and the stator protein MotA. Several combinations of FliG mutations with MotA mutations exhibited strong synergism, whereas others showed strong suppression, in a pattern that indicates that the functionally important charged residues of FliG interact with those of MotA. These results identify a functionally important site of interaction between the rotor and stator and suggest a hypothesis for electrostatic interactions at the rotor-stator interface. PMID:9600984

  9. Electrostatic Interactions between Rotor and Stator in the Bacterial Flagellar Motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jiadong; Lloyd, Scott A.; Blair, David F.

    1998-05-01

    Bacterial flagellar motors rotate, obtaining power from the membrane gradient of protons or, in some species, sodium ions. Torque generation in the flagellar motor must involve interactions between components of the rotor and components of the stator. Sites of interaction between the rotor and stator have not been identified. Mutational studies of the rotor protein FliG and the stator protein MotA showed that both proteins contain charged residues essential for motor rotation. This suggests that functionally important electrostatic interactions might occur between the rotor and stator. To test this proposal, we examined double mutants with charged-residue substitutions in both the rotor protein FliG and the stator protein MotA. Several combinations of FliG mutations with MotA mutations exhibited strong synergism, whereas others showed strong suppression, in a pattern that indicates that the functionally important charged residues of FliG interact with those of MotA. These results identify a functionally important site of interaction between the rotor and stator and suggest a hypothesis for electrostatic interactions at the rotor-stator interface.

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

    PubMed

    Alfaro-Espinoza, Gabriela; Ullrich, Matthias S

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Alfaro-Espinoza, Gabriela; Ullrich, Matthias S.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  13. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-03-15

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

  14. Degradation of melanin by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Luther, J P; Lipke, H

    1980-01-01

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

  15. Fluorescence properties of melanins from opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Mosca, L; De Marco, C; Fontana, M; Rosei, M A

    1999-11-01

    Recently our group synthesized a new class of melanins obtained by the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of opioid peptides (opiomelanins). Owing to the presence of the peptide moiety such pigments exhibit high solubility in hydrophilic solvents, which allows spectroscopic investigations. In particular, the absence of solid-state quenching effects enables the study of melanin fluorescence properties, till now poorly investigated due to the complete insolubility of melanins produced from tyrosine or Dopa. Opiomelanins dissolved in aqueous medium show a characteristic emission peaked at 440 and 520 nm when excited around 330 nm, where a maximum is observed in the absorption spectrum. Kinetic measurements performed on the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of opioid peptides show that the 440-nm fluorescence band arises in the early stages of peptide oxidation, whereas the 520-nm band appears in later stages of oxidation, i.e., during the polymerization of indole-quinone units. Moreover, molecular sieve fractionation shows that in the opiomelanin fraction with a molecular weight lower than 10 kDa the 440-nm band is dominant in the fluorescence spectrum. The breakdown of the polymer induced by hydrogen peroxide and light (i.e., the photobleaching of melanin pigments) produces a marked enhancement of the 440-nm fluorescence band while the 520-nm band disappears. Hence, our findings suggest that the observed fluorescence contains contributions from both oligomeric units (440-nm band) and high-molecular-weight polymers (520-nm band). PMID:10525290

  16. Approaches to increasing skin melanin with MSH analogs and synthetic melanins.

    PubMed

    Pawelek, J M

    2001-06-01

    Increased public awareness of ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced skin cancers has lead to new interest in technologies for protection from sun exposure. Although many sun protection formulations are available, few of them attempt to achieve that provided by melanin itself, i.e., wide-spectrum absorbance of radiant energy coupled with anti-oxidant activity from a single product. In that regard, technologies in two separate areas are at or near the commercialization stage: 1) hormonal enhancement of natural skin melanin content, and 2) inclusion of natural and synthetic melanins in cosmetic formulations to impart melanin-like color to the skin. In this article, these approaches are briefly summarized using as examples Melanotans I and II, superpotent analogs of the melanin-stimulating hormone melanocortin (MSH), and Melasyn, a group of plant-derived synthetic melanins that have successfully been incorporated into cosmetic formulations for use as sun protectants and as cover-ups for problems resulting from uneven pigmentation, such as seen in vitiligo.

  17. Characterization of melanin pigment produced by Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, R C R; Lisboa, H C F; Pombeiro-Sponchiado, S R

    2012-04-01

    Although most of the Ascomycetes present DHN-melanin, some reports suggest that A. nidulans does not produce this type of melanin. In this study, we analyzed the pigment extracted from highly melanized strains (MEL1 and MEL2) of Aspergillus nidulans to determine the type of melanin present in this fungus. Our results showed that the pigment produced by MEL1 and MEL2 mutants possesses physical and chemical properties and UV- and IR-spectra very similar to synthetic DOPA-melanin. The characterization of this pigment in terms of its degradation products indicated the presence of indolic units, which were also found in synthetic DOPA-melanin. The analyses of the elemental composition showed that the pigment extracted from these mutants has a high percentage of nitrogen and, therefore, it cannot be DHN-melanin, which presents only trace of nitrogen. This observation was confirmed in the test with tricyclazole because this inhibitor of DHN-melanin biosynthesis did not suppress pigment production in the MEL1 and MEL2 strains. On the other hand, in a medium containing tropolone, an inhibitor of DOPA-melanin biosynthesis, the dark pigmentation of the colonies was not observed indicating that this compound inhibited melanin production in these strains. Taken together, the results obtained in this study indicate that melanin produced by these mutants is DOPA type, representing the first report on characterization of this type of melanin in A. nidulans.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Epidermal melanin absorption in human skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  20. Iridescent structural colour production in male blue-black grassquit feather barbules: the role of keratin and melanin

    PubMed Central

    Maia, Rafael; Caetano, João Victor O.; Báo, Sônia N.; Macedo, Regina H.

    2009-01-01

    Iridescent coloration plays an important role in the visual communication system of many animal taxa. It is known that iridescent structural colours result from layers of materials with different refractive indexes, which in feathers usually are keratin, melanin and air. However, the role of these materials in the production of structural iridescent coloration is still poorly documented. Despite the great interspecific variation in the organization of such structures in bird plumage, melanin layers are usually considered too opaque, suggesting its main role is to delineate the outermost keratin layer and absorb incoherently scattered stray light. We combined spectrometry, electron microscopy and thin-film optical modelling to describe the UV-reflecting iridescent colour of feather barbules of male blue-black grassquits (Volatinia jacarina), characterized by a keratin layer overlying a single melanin layer. Our models indicate that both the keratin and the melanin layers are essential for production of the observed colour, influencing the coherent scattering of light. The melanin layer in some barbules may be thin enough to allow interaction with the underlying keratin; however, individuals usually have, on an average, the minimum number of granules that optimizes absorbance by this layer. Also, we show that altering optical properties of the materials resulted in better-fitting models relative to the empirically measured spectra. These results add to previous findings concerning the influence of melanin in single-layer iridescence, and stress the importance of considering natural variation when characterizing such photonic structures. PMID:19141431

  1. Iridescent structural colour production in male blue-black grassquit feather barbules: the role of keratin and melanin.

    PubMed

    Maia, Rafael; Caetano, João Victor O; Báo, Sônia N; Macedo, Regina H

    2009-04-01

    Iridescent coloration plays an important role in the visual communication system of many animal taxa. It is known that iridescent structural colours result from layers of materials with different refractive indexes, which in feathers usually are keratin, melanin and air. However, the role of these materials in the production of structural iridescent coloration is still poorly documented. Despite the great interspecific variation in the organization of such structures in bird plumage, melanin layers are usually considered too opaque, suggesting its main role is to delineate the outermost keratin layer and absorb incoherently scattered stray light. We combined spectrometry, electron microscopy and thin-film optical modelling to describe the UV-reflecting iridescent colour of feather barbules of male blue-black grassquits (Volatinia jacarina), characterized by a keratin layer overlying a single melanin layer. Our models indicate that both the keratin and the melanin layers are essential for production of the observed colour, influencing the coherent scattering of light. The melanin layer in some barbules may be thin enough to allow interaction with the underlying keratin; however, individuals usually have, on an average, the minimum number of granules that optimizes absorbance by this layer. Also, we show that altering optical properties of the materials resulted in better-fitting models relative to the empirically measured spectra. These results add to previous findings concerning the influence of melanin in single-layer iridescence, and stress the importance of considering natural variation when characterizing such photonic structures.

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

    PubMed

    Richter, Andreas S; Backofen, Rolf

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  5. A functional interaction between ribosomal proteins S7 and S11 within the bacterial ribosome.

    PubMed

    Robert, Francis; Brakier-Gingras, Léa

    2003-11-01

    In this study, we used site-directed mutagenesis to disrupt an interaction that had been detected between ribosomal proteins S7 and S11 in the crystal structure of the bacterial 30 S subunit. This interaction, which is located in the E site, connects the head of the 30 S subunit to the platform and is involved in the formation of the exit channel through which passes the 30 S-bound messenger RNA. Neither mutations in S7 nor mutations in S11 prevented the incorporation of the proteins into the 30 S subunits but they perturbed the function of the ribosome. In vivo assays showed that ribosomes with either mutated S7 or S11 were altered in the control of translational fidelity, having an increased capacity for frameshifting, readthrough of a nonsense codon and codon misreading. Toeprinting and filter-binding assays showed that 30 S subunits with either mutated S7 or S11 have an enhanced capacity to bind mRNA. The effects of the S7 and S11 mutations can be related to an increased flexibility of the head of the 30 S, to an opening of the mRNA exit channel and to a perturbation of the proposed allosteric coupling between the A and E sites. Altogether, our results demonstrate that S7 and S11 interact in a functional manner and support the notion that protein-protein interactions contribute to the dynamics of the ribosome.

  6. A computational exploration of bacterial metabolic diversity identifying metabolic interactions and growth-efficient strain communities

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Metabolic interactions involve the exchange of metabolic products among microbial species. Most microbes live in communities and usually rely on metabolic interactions to increase their supply for nutrients and better exploit a given environment. Constraint-based models have successfully analyzed cellular metabolism and described genotype-phenotype relations. However, there are only a few studies of genome-scale multi-species interactions. Based on genome-scale approaches, we present a graph-theoretic approach together with a metabolic model in order to explore the metabolic variability among bacterial strains and identify and describe metabolically interacting strain communities in a batch culture consisting of two or more strains. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach to the bacterium E. coli across different single-carbon-source conditions. Results A different diversity graph is constructed for each growth condition. The graph-theoretic properties of the constructed graphs reflect the inherent high metabolic redundancy of the cell to single-gene knockouts, reveal mutant-hubs of unique metabolic capabilities regarding by-production, demonstrate consistent metabolic behaviors across conditions and show an evolutionary difficulty towards the establishment of polymorphism, while suggesting that communities consisting of strains specifically adapted to a given condition are more likely to evolve. We reveal several strain communities of improved growth relative to corresponding monocultures, even though strain communities are not modeled to operate towards a collective goal, such as the community growth and we identify the range of metabolites that are exchanged in these batch co-cultures. Conclusions This study provides a genome-scale description of the metabolic variability regarding by-production among E. coli strains under different conditions and shows how metabolic differences can be used to identify metabolically interacting strain

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Melanins and melanogenesis: methods, standards, protocols.

    PubMed

    d'Ischia, Marco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Napolitano, Alessandra; Briganti, Stefania; Garcia-Borron, José-Carlos; Kovacs, Daniela; Meredith, Paul; Pezzella, Alessandro; Picardo, Mauro; Sarna, Tadeusz; Simon, John D; Ito, Shosuke

    2013-09-01

    Despite considerable advances in the past decade, melanin research still suffers from the lack of universally accepted and shared nomenclature, methodologies, and structural models. This paper stems from the joint efforts of chemists, biochemists, physicists, biologists, and physicians with recognized and consolidated expertise in the field of melanins and melanogenesis, who critically reviewed and experimentally revisited methods, standards, and protocols to provide for the first time a consensus set of recommended procedures to be adopted and shared by researchers involved in pigment cell research. The aim of the paper was to define an unprecedented frame of reference built on cutting-edge knowledge and state-of-the-art methodology, to enable reliable comparison of results among laboratories and new progress in the field based on standardized methods and shared information.

  9. Amyloids, melanins and oxidative stress in melanomagenesis.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  10. Structural Studies of a Bacterial Condensin Complex Reveal ATP-Dependent Disruption of Intersubunit Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Woo, J.; Lim, J; Shin, H; Suh, M; Ku, B; Lee, H; Joo, K; Robinson, H; Lee, J; et. al.

    2009-01-01

    Condensins are key mediators of chromosome condensation across organisms. Like other condensins, the bacterial MukBEF condensin complex consists of an SMC family protein dimer containing two ATPase head domains, MukB, and two interacting subunits, MukE and MukF. We report complete structural views of the intersubunit interactions of this condensin along with ensuing studies that reveal a role for the ATPase activity of MukB. MukE and MukF together form an elongated dimeric frame, and MukF's C-terminal winged-helix domains (C-WHDs) bind MukB heads to constitute closed ring-like structures. Surprisingly, one of the two bound C-WHDs is forced to detach upon ATP-mediated engagement of MukB heads. This detachment reaction depends on the linker segment preceding the C-WHD, and mutations on the linker restrict cell growth. Thus ATP-dependent transient disruption of the MukB-MukF interaction, which creates openings in condensin ring structures, is likely to be a critical feature of the functional mechanism of condensins.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

  12. Image-based control of skin melanin texture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted.

  19. Dopamine-melanin nanofilms for biomimetic structural coloration.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tong-Fei; Hong, Jong-Dal

    2015-02-01

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

  20. Binding Interactions of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide and the Cationic Amphiphilic Peptides Polymyxin B and WLBU2

    PubMed Central

    Ryder, Matthew P.; Wu, Xiangming; McKelvey, GregR.; McGuire, Joseph; Schilke, Karl F.

    2014-01-01

    Passage of blood through a sorbent device for removal of bacteria and endotoxin by specific binding with immobilized, membrane-active, bactericidal peptides holds promise for treating severe blood infections. Peptide insertion in the target membrane and rapid/strong binding is desirable, while membrane disruption and release of degradation products to the circulating blood is not. Here we describe interactions between bacterial endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS) and the membrane-active, bactericidal peptides WLBU2 and polymyxin B (PmB). Analysis of the interfacial behavior of mixtures of LPS and peptide using air-water interfacial tensiometry and optical waveguide lightmode spectroscopy strongly suggests insertion of intact LPS vesicles by the peptide WLBU2 without vesicle destabilization. In contrast, dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies show that LPS vesicles appear to undergo peptide-induced destabilization in the presence of PmB. Circular dichroism spectra further confirm that WLBU2, which shows disordered structure in aqueous solution and substantially helical structure in membrane-mimetic environments, is stably located within the LPS membrane in peptide-vesicle mixtures. We therefore expect that presentation of WLBU2 at an interface, if tethered in a fashion which preserves its mobility and solvent accessibility, will enable the capture of bacteria and endotoxin without promoting reintroduction of endotoxin to the circulating blood, thus minimizing adverse clinical outcomes. On the other hand, our results suggest no such favorable outcome of LPS interactions with polymyxin B. PMID:24905681

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

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

  3. Interaction of Enteric Bacterial Pathogens with Murine Embryonic Stem Cells ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jun; Rossi, Raffaella; Hale, Christine; Goulding, David; Dougan, Gordon

    2009-01-01

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells are susceptible to genetic manipulation and retain the potential to differentiate into diverse cell types, which are factors that make them potentially attractive cells for studying host-pathogen interactions. Murine ES cells were found to be susceptible to invasion by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Shigella flexneri and to the formation of attaching and effacing lesions by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli. S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and S. flexneri cell entry was dependent on the Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 and Shigella mxi/spa type III secretion systems, respectively. Microscopy studies indicated that both S. enterica serovar Typhimurium and S. flexneri were located in intracellular niches in ES cells that were similar to the niches occupied in differentiated cells. ES cells were eventually killed following bacterial invasion, but no evidence of activation of classical caspase-associated apoptotic or innate immune pathways was found. To demonstrate the potential of mutant ES cells, we employed an ES cell line defective in cholesterol synthesis and found that the mutant cells were less susceptible to infection by Salmonella and Shigella than the parental ES cells. Thus, we highlighted the practical use of genetically modified ES cells for studying microbe-host interactions. PMID:19029302

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horst, Allison Marie

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

  6. Activity of quinolone CP-115,955 against bacterial and human type II topoisomerases is mediated by different interactions.

    PubMed

    Aldred, Katie J; Schwanz, Heidi A; Li, Gangqin; Williamson, Benjamin H; McPherson, Sylvia A; Turnbough, Charles L; Kerns, Robert J; Osheroff, Neil

    2015-02-10

    CP-115,955 is a quinolone with a 4-hydroxyphenyl at C7 that displays high activity against both bacterial and human type II topoisomerases. To determine the basis for quinolone cross-reactivity between bacterial and human enzymes, the activity of CP-115,955 and a series of related quinolones and quinazolinediones against Bacillus anthracis topoisomerase IV and human topoisomerase IIα was analyzed. Results indicate that the activity of CP-115,955 against the bacterial and human enzymes is mediated by different interactions. On the basis of the decreased activity of quinazolinediones against wild-type and resistant mutant topoisomerase IV and the low activity of quinolones against resistant mutant enzymes, it appears that the primary interaction of CP-115,955 with the bacterial system is mediated through the C3/C4 keto acid and the water-metal ion bridge. In contrast, the drug interacts with the human enzyme primarily through the C7 4-hydroxyphenyl ring and has no requirement for a substituent at C8 in order to attain high activity. Despite the fact that the human type II enzyme is unable to utilize the water-metal ion bridge, quinolones in the CP-115,955 series display higher activity against topoisomerase IIα in vitro and in cultured human cells than the corresponding quinazolinediones. Thus, quinolones may be a viable platform for the development of novel drugs with anticancer potential.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nanda, Arun M.; Thormann, Kai

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-20

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

  11. RNA Tertiary Interactions Mediate Native Collapse of a Bacterial Group I Ribozyme

    SciTech Connect

    Chauhan, Seema; Caliskan, Gokhan; Briber, Robert M.; Perez-Salas, Ursula; Rangan, Prashanth; Thirumalai, D.; Woodson, Sarah A.

    2010-07-13

    Large RNAs collapse into compact intermediates in the presence of counterions before folding to the native state. We previously found that collapse of a bacterial group I ribozyme correlates with the formation of helices within the ribozyme core, but occurs at Mg{sup 2+} concentrations too low to support stable tertiary structure and catalytic activity. Here, using small-angle X-ray scattering, we show that Mg{sup 2+}-induced collapse is a cooperative folding transition that can be fit by a two-state model. The Mg{sup 2+} dependence of collapse is similar to the Mg{sup 2+} dependence of helix assembly measured by partial ribonuclease T{sub 1} digestion and of an unfolding transition measured by UV hypochromicity. The correspondence between multiple probes of RNA structure further supports a two-state model. A mutation that disrupts tertiary contacts between the L9 tetraloop and its helical receptor destabilized the compact state by 0.8 kcal/mol, while mutations in the central triplex were less destabilizing. These results show that native tertiary interactions stabilize the compact folding intermediates under conditions in which the RNA backbone remains accessible to solvent.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, Taesik; Shim, Bong Sub

    2015-04-01

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

  14. Electronic structure calculations of ESR parameters of melanin units.

    PubMed

    Batagin-Neto, Augusto; Bronze-Uhle, Erika Soares; Graeff, Carlos Frederico de Oliveira

    2015-03-21

    Melanins represent an important class of natural pigments present in plants and animals that are currently considered to be promising materials for applications in optic and electronic devices. Despite their interesting properties, some of the basic features of melanins are not satisfactorily understood, including the origin of their intrinsic paramagnetism. A number of experiments have been performed to investigate the electron spin resonance (ESR) response of melanin derivatives, but until now, there has been no consensus regarding the real structure of the paramagnetic centers involved. In this work, we have employed electronic structure calculations to evaluate the ESR parameters of distinct melanin monomers and dimers in order to identify the possible structures associated with unpaired spins in this biopolymer. The g-factors and hyperfine constants of the cationic, anionic and radicalar structures were investigated. The results confirm the existence of at least two distinct paramagnetic centers in melanin structure, identifying the chemical species associated with them and their roles in electrical conductivity.

  15. Characterization of the melanin pigment of a cosmopolitan fungal endophyte.

    PubMed

    Suryanarayanan, Trichur S; Ravishankar, Jagadesa P; Venkatesan, Govindan; Murali, Thokur S

    2004-08-01

    Phyllosticta capitalensis (teleomorph Guignardia mangiferae) occurs as a foliar endophyte in woody trees belonging to different families of both temperate and tropical regions. We isolated this endophyte from plants in different habitats, such as mangroves, dry deciduous forest, moist deciduous forest and semi-evergreen forest. This endophyte was found to produce a black pigment that was characterized to be melanin based on uv-visible, IR and ESR spectra and chemical tests. Tricyclazole, a specific inhibitor of pentaketide melanin biosynthesis, inhibited synthesis of the pigment indicating it is a 1-8, dihydroxynaphthalene. This appears to be the first report of such a melanin in Phyllosticta or other foliar endophytes. Melanin in the hyphae of P. capitalensis may be responsible for the success of this fungus as a cosmopolitan endophyte, since melanin is known to enhance the survival capability of fungi in stressful environments.

  16. Melanin-templated rapid synthesis of silver nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Interaction of Gram-negative bacteria with cationic proteins: Dependence on the surface characteristics of the bacterial cell

    PubMed Central

    Prokhorenko, Isabella R; Zubova, Svetlana V; Ivanov, Alexandr Yu; Grachev, Sergey V

    2009-01-01

    Gram-negative bacteria can enter the bloodstream and interact with serum cationic proteins. The character of interaction will depend on the surface characteristics of bacterial cells, which are determined by bacterial chemotype and density of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) packing in the cell wall. It was shown that the lysozyme treatment resulted in the increase sensitivity to hypotonic shock. Significant differences to this effect were found between Escherichia coli strain D21 and D21f2 under treatment with physiological protein concentration. On the basis of electrokinetic measurements and studies of the interaction of cells with lysozyme, the hypothesis was formed that the cell wall of the E. coli strain D21f2 contains more LPS and has a higher density of their packing than the cell wall of the E. coli D21 cells. The effect of lysozyme and lactoferrin on the viability of E. coli cells of two different strains was examined. Lysozyme was found to more effectively inhibit the growth of the E. coli D21 bacteria, and lactoferrin suppressed mainly the growth of the E. coli D21f2 bacteria. These results indicate that the differences in LPS core structure of bacterial R-chemotype, which determines surface charge and density of LPS packing, plays an essential role in the mechanisms of interaction of the cationic proteins with the cell wall. PMID:20360884

  18. Melanin photosensitization and the effect of visible light on epithelial cells.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Bjorg A.

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

  2. Melanin affinity and its possible role in neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar

    2013-12-01

    Certain drugs with melanin affinity are known to have caused pigmentary lesions in the eye and skin. This was the basis for the hypothesis that compounds with melanin affinity may cause damage also in other melanin-bearing tissues such as the substantia nigra. The heterogeneity of compounds that binds to melanin is large. Toxins, drugs, and several other compounds have melanin affinity. Compounds showing the highest affinity are mainly organic amines and metal ions. The binding of toxicants to melanin probably protects the cells initially. However, the binding is normally, slowly reversible and melanin may accumulate the toxicant and gradually release it into the cytosol. Several studies indicate that neuromelanin may play a significant role both in the initiation and in the progression of neurodegeneration. MPTP/MPP(+) that has been causally linked with Parkinsonism has high affinity for neuromelanin, and the induced dopaminergic denervation correlates with the neuromelanin content in the cells. This shows that the toxicological implications of the accumulation of toxicants in pigmented neurons and its possible role in neurodegeneration should not be neglected. Extracellular neuromelanin has been reported to activate dendritic cells and microglia. An initial neuronal damage induced by a neurotoxicant that leaks neuromelanin from the cells may therefore lead to a vicious cycle of neuroinflammation and further neurodegeneration. Although there are many clues to the particular vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons of substantia nigra in Parkinson's disease, the critical factors are not known. Further studies to determine the importance of neuromelanin in neurodegeneration and Parkinson's disease are warranted.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, José L.; Baquero, Fernando

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Melanin: a photoprotection for Bacillus thuringiensis based biopesticides.

    PubMed

    Sansinenea, Estibaliz; Ortiz, Aurelio

    2015-03-01

    Melanins are negatively-charged, hydrophobic, dark high molecular weight irregular biopolymers, composed of polymerized phenolic and/or indolic compounds. They are produced by most organisms. Bacillus thuringiensis is a Gram-positive, spore-forming, soil bacterium and the most successful biological control agent that produces distinctly shaped crystals during sporulation that have insecticidal activity. However, one of the main disadvantages is that the insecticidal activity of B. thuringiensis formulation is unstable and rapidly loses its activity under field conditions due to UV radiation. Melanin absorbs radiation; therefore photoprotection of B. thuringiensis based on melanin has been studied and is herewith reviewed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Bacterial beta-lactamase fragmentation complementation strategy can be used as a method for identifying interacting protein pairs.

    PubMed

    Park, Jong-Hwa; Back, Jung Ho; Hahm, Soo Hyun; Shim, Hye-Young; Park, Min Ju; Ko, Sung Il; Han, Ye Sun

    2007-10-01

    We investigated the applicability of the TEM-1 beta- lactamase fragment complementation (BFC) system to develop a strategy for the screening of protein-protein interactions in bacteria. A BFC system containing a human Fas-associated death domain (hFADD) and human Fas death domain (hFasDD) was generated. The hFADD-hFasDD interaction was verified by cell survivability in ampicillin-containing medium and the colorimetric change of nitrocefin. It was also confirmed by His pull-down assay using cell lysates obtained in selection steps. A coiled-coil helix coiled-coil domain-containing protein 5 (CHCH5) was identified as an interacting protein of human uracil DNA glycosylase (hUNG) from the bacterial BFC cDNA library strategy. The interaction between hUNG and CHCH5 was further confirmed with immunoprecipitation using a mammalian expression system. CHCH5 enhanced the DNA glycosylase activity of hUNG to remove uracil from DNA duplexes containing a U/G mismatch pair. These results suggest that the bacterial BFC cDNA library strategy can be effectively used to identify interacting protein pairs.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-07-24

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-07-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Meux, Susan C.

    2008-05-12

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

  13. Bdellovibrio predation in the presence of decoys: Three-way bacterial interactions revealed by mathematical and experimental analyses.

    PubMed

    Hobley, Laura; King, John R; Sockett, R Elizabeth

    2006-10-01

    Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is a small, gram-negative, motile bacterium that preys upon other gram-negative bacteria, including several known human pathogens. Its predation efficiency is usually studied in pure cultures containing solely B. bacteriovorus and a suitable prey. However, in natural environments, as well as in any possible biomedical uses as an antimicrobial, Bdellovibrio is predatory in the presence of diverse decoys, including live nonsusceptible bacteria, eukaryotic cells, and cell debris. Here we gathered and mathematically modeled data from three-member cultures containing predator, prey, and nonsusceptible bacterial decoys. Specifically, we studied the rate of predation of planktonic late-log-phase Escherichia coli S17-1 prey by B. bacteriovorus HD100, both in the presence and in the absence of Bacillus subtilis nonsporulating strain 671, which acted as a live bacterial decoy. Interestingly, we found that although addition of the live Bacillus decoy did decrease the rate of Bdellovibrio predation in liquid cultures, this addition also resulted in a partially compensatory enhancement of the availability of prey for predation. This effect resulted in a higher final yield of Bdellovibrio than would be predicted for a simple inert decoy. Our mathematical model accounts for both negative and positive effects of predator-prey-decoy interactions in the closed batch environment. In addition, it informs considerations for predator dosing in any future therapeutic applications and sheds some light on considerations for modeling the massively complex interactions of real mixed bacterial populations in nature.

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

    PubMed

    Saini, Amardeep Singh; Melo, Jose Savio

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway.

    PubMed

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected.

  16. Influence of (bi)carbonate on bacterial interaction with quartz and metal oxide-coated surfaces.

    PubMed

    Park, Seong-Jik; Kim, Song-Bae

    2010-03-01

    This study investigated the influence of (bi)carbonate on the adhesion of bacteria (Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633) to quartz, aluminum oxide-coated, and iron oxide-coated surfaces. Column experiments were conducted at various NaHCO(3) concentrations. Bacterial breakthrough curves were obtained by monitoring effluent, and mass recoveries were quantified from these curves. With NaHCO(3) concentrations varying from 0 to 200mM, the corresponding effective ionic strength varied from 0 to 149.0mM and solution pH from 6.2 to 8.7. Results show that at low and intermediate NaHCO(3) concentrations (1 and 10mM), bacterial adhesion to negatively charged quartz sand increased with increasing NaHCO(3) concentration, due to compression of the electrical double layers. At high NaHCO(3) concentrations (100 and 200mM), however, bacterial attachment to quartz sand decreased compared to the case of 10mM, possibly due to formation of short-range forces (steric repulsion/hydration force) by high ionic strength. In aluminum-coated sand, bacterial adhesion decreased gradually with increasing NaHCO(3) concentrations, due to charge modification from positive to negative by adsorbed (bi)carbonate ions. At low concentrations of 0.1 and 1mM, bacterial attachment to iron-coated sand surfaces decreased with increasing NaHCO(3) concentration, due to charge modification of coated sand surfaces from positive to negative. At intermediate concentration of 10mM, iron-coated sand surfaces were negatively charged like quartz sand, and so the presence of (bi)carbonate ions resulted in the increment of bacterial adhesion due to compression of the electrical double layers. At high concentrations of 100 and 200mM (pH 8.5-8.6), where iron-coated surfaces were negatively charged, bacterial deposition decreased compared to the case of 10mM, possibly due to the same phenomenon observed in quartz sand (short-range forces). This study demonstrates that bacterial adhesions to quartz and metal oxide-coated surfaces

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Bacteria attenuation by iron electrocoagulation governed by interactions between bacterial phosphate groups and Fe(III) precipitates.

    PubMed

    Delaire, Caroline; van Genuchten, Case M; Amrose, Susan E; Gadgil, Ashok J

    2016-10-15

    Iron electrocoagulation (Fe-EC) is a low-cost process in which Fe(II) generated from an Fe(0) anode reacts with dissolved O2 to form (1) Fe(III) precipitates with an affinity for bacterial cell walls and (2) bactericidal reactive oxidants. Previous work suggests that Fe-EC is a promising treatment option for groundwater containing arsenic and bacterial contamination. However, the mechanisms of bacteria attenuation and the impact of major groundwater ions are not well understood. In this work, using the model indicator Escherichia coli (E. coli), we show that physical removal via enmeshment in EC precipitate flocs is the primary process of bacteria attenuation in the presence of HCO3(-), which significantly inhibits inactivation, possibly due to a reduction in the lifetime of reactive oxidants. We demonstrate that the adhesion of EC precipitates to cell walls, which results in bacteria encapsulation in flocs, is driven primarily by interactions between EC precipitates and phosphate functional groups on bacteria surfaces. In single solute electrolytes, both P (0.4 mM) and Ca/Mg (1-13 mM) inhibited the adhesion of EC precipitates to bacterial cell walls, whereas Si (0.4 mM) and ionic strength (2-200 mM) did not impact E. coli attenuation. Interestingly, P (0.4 mM) did not affect E. coli attenuation in electrolytes containing Ca/Mg, consistent with bivalent cation bridging between bacterial phosphate groups and inorganic P sorbed to EC precipitates. Finally, we found that EC precipitate adhesion is largely independent of cell wall composition, consistent with comparable densities of phosphate functional groups on Gram-positive and Gram-negative cells. Our results are critical to predict the performance of Fe-EC to eliminate bacterial contaminants from waters with diverse chemical compositions.

  1. Exploring Bacterial Organelle Interactomes: A Model of the Protein-Protein Interaction Network in the Pdu Microcompartment

    PubMed Central

    Jorda, Julien; Liu, Yu; Bobik, Thomas A.; Yeates, Todd O.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial microcompartments (MCPs) are protein-bound organelles that carry out diverse metabolic pathways in a wide range of bacteria. These supramolecular assemblies consist of a thin outer protein shell, reminiscent of a viral capsid, which encapsulates sequentially acting enzymes. The most complex MCP elucidated so far is the propanediol utilizing (Pdu) microcompartment. It contains the reactions for degrading 1,2-propanediol. While several experimental studies on the Pdu system have provided hints about its organization, a clear picture of how all the individual components interact has not emerged yet. Here we use co-evolution-based methods, involving pairwise comparisons of protein phylogenetic trees, to predict the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network governing the assembly of the Pdu MCP. We propose a model of the Pdu interactome, from which selected PPIs are further inspected via computational docking simulations. We find that shell protein PduA is able to serve as a “universal hub” for targeting an array of enzymes presenting special N-terminal extensions, namely PduC, D, E, L and P. The varied N-terminal peptides are predicted to bind in the same cleft on the presumptive luminal face of the PduA hexamer. We also propose that PduV, a protein of unknown function with remote homology to the Ras-like GTPase superfamily, is likely to localize outside the MCP, interacting with the protruding β-barrel of the hexameric PduU shell protein. Preliminary experiments involving a bacterial two-hybrid assay are presented that corroborate the existence of a PduU-PduV interaction. This first systematic computational study aimed at characterizing the interactome of a bacterial microcompartment provides fresh insight into the organization of the Pdu MCP. PMID:25646976

  2. Melanins and their possible roles through biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Césarini, J. P.

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

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

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Structural modifications in biosynthetic melanins induced by metal ions.

    PubMed

    Palumbo, A; d'Ischia, M; Misuraca, G; Prota, G; Schultz, T M

    1988-02-17

    A number of transition metal ions with a wide distribution in biological systems, e.g., Cu2+, Co2+ and Zn2+, are shown to affect markedly the chemical properties of melanins formed by the tyrosinase-catalysed oxidation of dopa. Acid decarboxylation and permanganate degradation provide evidence that melanins prepared in the presence of metal ions contain a high content of carboxyl groups arising from the incorporation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DICA) into the pigment polymer. Naturally occurring melanins from cephalopod ink and B16 mouse melanoma were found to be much more similar to melanins prepared in the presence of metal ions than to standard melanins prepared in the absence of metal ions. These results suggest that the presence of carboxylated indole units in natural melanins is probably due to the intervention in the biochemical pathway of metal ions which, as recently shown, catalyse the formation of DICA versus 5,6-dihydroxyindole in the rearrangement of dopachrome. PMID:3124888

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; DiMarzio, Charles

    2015-02-01

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

  10. Cd 2+ effect on free radicals in Cladosporium cladosporioides-melanin tested by EPR spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matuszczyk, Magdalena; Buszman, Ewa; Pilawa, Barbara; Witoszyńska, Teresa; Wilczok, Tadeusz

    2004-08-01

    Changes in free radicals system of Cladosporium cladosporioides-melanin and model DOPA-melanin caused by diamagnetic Cd 2+ ions were studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR line of eumelanin was mainly found in the spectrum of Cl.cl.-melanin. Cd 2+ ions increased o-semiquinone free radicals concentration in both natural and synthetic melanins. Cd 2+ broadened EPR lines of Cl.cl.-melanin in mycelium and the ions fastened spin-lattice relaxation processes. The narrower EPR lines and slower spin-lattice relaxation were obtained for DOPA-melanin-Cd 2+ complexes than for DOPA-melanin. Pheomelanin additionally existing in Cl.cl. samples was responsible for differences between the EPR data for Cl.cl. melanin and DOPA-melanin.

  11. Modeling interactions of toxic metals with suspended bacterial cells, extracellular polymer and biofilms in a simulated freshwater environment

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, Y.M.; Lo, W.; Lion, L.W.

    1995-12-01

    The transport of transition metals in aquatic environments is governed by their interactions with suspended and adherent biological materials and with colloidal and deposited metal oxides. These interactions were investigated using a laboratory biofilm reactor system containing a pure culture of a single bacterial species (Pseudomonas cepacia) to exemplify biological factors influencing trace metals. Use of controlled conditions allowed for development of mechanistic models to describe bacterial growth and attachment, extracellular polymer production, and biofilm accumulation as well as the interactions of each of these phases with trace metals (exemplified by lead). Lead binding to each component of the system was characterized by determining adsorption isotherms in separate experiments. Integration of the biological model with lead binding data and a chemical equilibrium program (MINEQL) to determine speciation provided a general mechanistic model to predict lead transport and distribution. The most significant factors influencing lead distribution in these experiments were lead binding to biofilms, which consisted of up to 80% extracellular polymer and lead binding to iron oxide deposits.

  12. The effects of the bacterial interaction with visible-light responsive titania photocatalyst on the bactericidal performance

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Chia-Liang; Sun, Der-Shan; Chu, Wen-Chen; Tseng, Yao-Hsuan; Ho, Han-Chen; Wang, Jia-Bin; Chung, Pei-Hua; Chen, Jiann-Hwa; Tsai, Pei-Jane; Lin, Nien-Tsung; Yu, Mei-Shiuan; Chang, Hsin-Hou

    2009-01-01

    Bactericidal activity of traditional titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalyst is effective only upon irradiation by ultraviolet light, which restricts the potential applications of TiO2 for use in our living environments. Recently carbon-containing TiO2 was found to be photoactive at visible-light illumination that affords the potential to overcome this problem; although, the bactericidal activity of these photocatalysts is relatively lower than conventional disinfectants. Evidenced from scanning electron microscopy and confocal Raman spectral mapping analysis, we found the interaction with bacteria was significantly enhanced in these anatase/rutile mixed-phase carbon-containing TiO2. Bacteria-killing experiments indicate that a significantly higher proportion of all tested pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella flexneri and Acinetobacter baumannii, were eliminated by the new nanoparticle with higher bacterial interaction property. These findings suggest the created materials with high bacterial interaction ability might be a useful strategy to improve the antimicrobial activity of visible-light-activated TiO2. PMID:19272171

  13. The interaction between bacterial transcription factors and RNA polymerase during the transition from initiation to elongation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiao; Lewis, Peter J

    2010-01-01

    There are three stages of transcription: initiation, elongation and termination, and traditionally there has been a clear distinction between the stages. The specificity factor sigma is completely released from bacterial RNA polymerase after initiation, and then recycled for another round of transcription. Elongation factors then associate with the polymerase followed by termination factors (where necessary). These factors dissociate prior to initiation of a new round of transcription. However, there is growing evidence suggesting that sigma factors can be retained in the elongation complex. The structure of bacterial RNAP in complex with an essential elongation factor NusA has recently been published, which suggested rather than competing for the major σ binding site, NusA binds to a discrete region on RNAP. A model was proposed to help explain the way in which both factors could be associated with RNAP during the transition from transcription initiation to elongation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Possible interactions between bacterial diversity, microbial activity and supraglacial hydrology of cryoconite holes in Svalbard

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Arwyn; Anesio, Alexandre M; Rassner, Sara M; Sattler, Birgit; Hubbard, Bryn; Perkins, William T; Young, Michael; Griffith, Gareth W

    2011-01-01

    The diversity of highly active bacterial communities in cryoconite holes on three Arctic glaciers in Svalbard was investigated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the 16S rRNA locus. Construction and sequencing of clone libraries allowed several members of these communities to be identified, with Proteobacteria being the dominant one, followed by Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes. T-RFLP data revealed significantly different communities in holes on the (cold) valley glacier Austre Brøggerbreen relative to two adjacent (polythermal) valley glaciers, Midtre Lovénbreen and Vestre Brøggerbreen. These population compositions correlate with differences in organic matter content, temperature and the metabolic activity of microbial communities concerned. No within-glacier spatial patterns were observed in the communities identified over the 2-year period and with the 1 km-spaced sampling. We infer that surface hydrology is an important factor in the development of cryoconite bacterial communities. PMID:20664552

  16. Possible interactions between bacterial diversity, microbial activity and supraglacial hydrology of cryoconite holes in Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Arwyn; Anesio, Alexandre M; Rassner, Sara M; Sattler, Birgit; Hubbard, Bryn; Perkins, William T; Young, Michael; Griffith, Gareth W

    2011-01-01

    The diversity of highly active bacterial communities in cryoconite holes on three Arctic glaciers in Svalbard was investigated using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the 16S rRNA locus. Construction and sequencing of clone libraries allowed several members of these communities to be identified, with Proteobacteria being the dominant one, followed by Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes. T-RFLP data revealed significantly different communities in holes on the (cold) valley glacier Austre Brøggerbreen relative to two adjacent (polythermal) valley glaciers, Midtre Lovénbreen and Vestre Brøggerbreen. These population compositions correlate with differences in organic matter content, temperature and the metabolic activity of microbial communities concerned. No within-glacier spatial patterns were observed in the communities identified over the 2-year period and with the 1 km-spaced sampling. We infer that surface hydrology is an important factor in the development of cryoconite bacterial communities.

  17. Optical properties of cells with melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  18. Morpho-histology of head kidney of female catfish Heteropneustes fossilis: seasonal variations in melano-macrophage centers, melanin contents and effects of lipopolysaccharide and dexamethasone on melanins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ravi; Joy, K P; Singh, S M

    2016-10-01

    In the catfish Heteropneustes fossilis, the anterior kidney is a hemopoietic tissue which surrounds the adrenal homologues, interrenal (IR) and chromaffin tissues corresponding to the adrenal cortical and adrenal medulla of higher mammals. The IR tissue is arranged in cell cords around the posterior cardinal vein (PCV) and its tributaries and secretes corticosteroids. The chromaffin tissue is scattered singly or in nests of one or more cells around the epithelial lining of the PCV or blood capillaries within the IR tissue. They are ferric ferricyanide-positive. Leukemia-inhibitory factor (LIF)-like reactivity was noticed in the lining of the epithelium of the IR cell cords and around the wall of the PCV and blood capillaries. No staining was observed in the hemopoietic cells. IL-1β- and TNF-α-like immunoreactivity was seen in certain cells in the hemopoietic tissue but not in the IR region. Macrophages were identified with mammalian macrophage-specific MAC387 antibodies and are present in the hemopoietic mass but not in the IR tissue. Pigments accumulate in the hemopoietic mass as melano-macrophage centers (MMCs) and are PAS-, Schmorl's- and Perls'-positive. The pigments contain melanin (black), hemosiderin (blue) and lipofuscin/ceroid (oxidized lipid, yellowish tan), as evident from the Perls' reaction. The MMCs were TUNEL-positive as evident from FITC fluorescence, indicating their apoptotic nature. The MMCs showed significant seasonal variation with their density increasing to the peak in the postspawning phase. Melanins were characterized spectrophotometrically for the first time in fish anterior kidney. The predominant form is pheomelanin (PM), followed by eumelanin (EM) and alkali-soluble melanin (ASM). Melanins showed significant seasonal variations with the level low in the resting phase and increasing to the peak in the postspawning phase. Under in vitro conditions, lipopolysaccharide (10 µg/mL) treatment increased significantly the levels of PM and EM

  19. Viral-bacterial interactions and risk of acute otitis media complicating upper respiratory tract infection.

    PubMed

    Pettigrew, Melinda M; Gent, Janneane F; Pyles, Richard B; Miller, Aaron L; Nokso-Koivisto, Johanna; Chonmaitree, Tasnee

    2011-11-01

    Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common complication of upper respiratory tract infection whose pathogenesis involves both viruses and bacteria. We examined risks of acute otitis media associated with specific combinations of respiratory viruses and acute otitis media bacterial pathogens. Data were from a prospective study of children ages 6 to 36 months and included viral and bacterial culture and quantitative PCR for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human bocavirus, and human metapneumovirus. Repeated-measure logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between specific viruses, bacteria, and the risk of acute otitis media complicating upper respiratory tract infection. In unadjusted analyses of data from 194 children, adenovirus, bocavirus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis were significantly associated with AOM (P < 0.05 by χ(2) test). Children with high respiratory syncytial virus loads (≥3.16 × 10(7) copies/ml) experienced increased acute otitis media risk. Higher viral loads of bocavirus and metapneumovirus were not significantly associated with acute otitis media. In adjusted models controlling for the presence of key viruses, bacteria, and acute otitis media risk factors, acute otitis media risk was independently associated with high RSV viral load with Streptococcus pneumoniae (odds ratio [OR], 4.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.90 and 10.19) and Haemophilus influenzae (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.38 and 3.02). The risk was higher for the presence of bocavirus and H. influenzae together (OR, 3.61; 95% CI, 1.90 and 6.86). Acute otitis media risk differs by the specific viruses and bacteria involved. Acute otitis media prevention efforts should consider methods for reducing infections caused by respiratory syncytial virus, bocavirus, and adenovirus in addition to acute otitis media bacterial pathogens.

  20. Hyperosmotic Stress Reduces Melanin Production by Altering Melanosome Formation

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-28

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

  2. Interactions between Closely Related Bacterial Strains Are Revealed by Deep Transcriptome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    González-Torres, Pedro; Pryszcz, Leszek P.; Santos, Fernando; Martínez-García, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Comparative genomics, metagenomics, and single-cell technologies have shown that populations of microbial species encompass assemblages of closely related strains. This raises the question of whether individual bacterial lineages respond to the presence of their close relatives by modifying their gene expression or, instead, whether assemblages simply act as the arithmetic addition of their individual components. Here, we took advantage of transcriptome sequencing to address this question. For this, we analyzed the transcriptomes of two closely related strains of the extremely halophilic bacterium Salinibacter ruber grown axenically and in coculture. These organisms dominate bacterial assemblages in hypersaline environments worldwide. The strains used here cooccurred in the natural environment and are 100% identical in their 16S rRNA genes, and each strain harbors an accessory genome representing 10% of its complete genome. Overall, transcriptomic patterns from pure cultures were very similar for both strains. Expression was detected along practically the whole genome albeit with some genes at low levels. A subset of genes was very highly expressed in both strains, including genes coding for the light-driven proton pump xanthorhodopsin, genes involved in the stress response, and genes coding for transcriptional regulators. Expression differences between pure cultures affected mainly genes involved in environmental sensing. When the strains were grown in coculture, there was a modest but significant change in their individual transcription patterns compared to those in pure culture. Each strain sensed the presence of the other and responded in a specific manner, which points to fine intraspecific transcriptomic modulation. PMID:26431969

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-28

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

  4. MMS 1001 inhibits melanin synthesis via ERK activation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hyun-E; Song, Jiho; Kim, Su Yeon; Park, Kyoung-Chan; Min, Kyung Hoon; Kim, Dong-Seok

    2013-03-01

    Melanin plays major a role in pigmentation of hair, eyes, and skin in mammals. In this study, the inhibitory effects of MMS 1001 on alpha-MSH-stimulated melanogenesis were investigated in B16F10 melanoma cells. MMS 1001 did not show cytotoxic effects up to 10 microM. Melanin content and intracellular tyrosinase activity were inhibited by MMS 1001 treatment in a dose-dependent manner. In Western blot analysis, MITF expression was decreased by MMS 1001. In addition, tyrosinase expressions were also reduced after MMS 1001 treatment. Further results showed that the phosphorylation of ERK was induced by MMS 1001. Moreover, a specific MEK inhibitor, PD98059, abrogated the inhibitory effects of MMS 1001 on melanin production and tyrosinase expression. These results indicate that the hypopigmentary effects of MMS 1001 resulted from the inhibition of MITF and tyrosinase expression via phosphorylation of ERK. Thus, MMS 1001 could be developed as a new effective skin-whitening agent.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. War of the microbial worlds: who is the beneficiary in Acanthamoeba-bacterial interactions?

    PubMed

    Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2012-04-01

    Acanthamoeba hosts diverse microbial organisms including viruses, bacteria, yeast and protists, some of which are potential human pathogens. The precise nature of this symbiosis is not clear, but it is suggested that such interactions enable pathogenic microbes to survive hostile conditions and lead to their transmission to susceptible hosts to establish infection. In particular, Acanthamoeba-bacteria interactions have gained significant attention by the scientific and the medical community and have led to speculations of employing anti-amoebic approaches in eradicating 'superbugs' from clinical settings. Here, we discuss the nature of these convoluted interactions and the benefit they represent for the symbionts.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-01

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

  17. Disentangling the interactions between photochemical and bacterial degradation of dissolved organic matter: amino acids play a central role.

    PubMed

    Amado, André M; Cotner, James B; Cory, Rose M; Edhlund, Betsy L; McNeill, Kristopher

    2015-04-01

    Photochemical and bacterial degradation are important pathways to carbon mineralization and can be coupled in dissolved organic matter (DOM) decomposition. However, details of several mechanisms of the coupled photochemical and biological processing of DOM remain too poorly understood to achieve accurate predictions of the impact of these processes on DOM fate and reactivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate how photochemical degradation of amino acids affects bacterial metabolism and whether or not photochemical degradation of DOM competes for amino acids with biological processes. We examined the interactions between photochemical and bacterial degradation dynamics using a mixture of 18 amino acids and examined their dynamics and turnover rates within a larger pool of allochthonous or autochthonous DOM. We observed that photochemical exposure of DOM containing amino acids led to delayed biomass production (even though the final biomass did not differ), most likely due to a need for upregulation of biosynthetic pathways for amino acids that were damaged by photochemically produced reactive oxygen species (ROS). This response was most pronounced in bacterial communities where the abundance of photosensitive amino acids was highest (amended treatments and autochthonous DOM) and least pronounced when the abundance of these amino acids was low (unamended and allochthonous DOM), likely because these bacteria already had these biosynthetic pathways functioning. We observed both a cost and benefit associated with photochemical exposure of DOM. We observed a cost associated with photochemically produced ROS that partially degrade key amino acids and a benefit associated with an increase in the availability of other compounds in the DOM. Bacteria growing on DOM sources that are low in labile amino acids, such as those in terrestrially influenced environments, experience more of the benefits associated with photochemical exposure, whereas bacteria growing in more amino

  18. X-ray absorption fine structure determination of pH-dependent U-bacterial cell wall interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, S. D.; Kemner, K. M.; Fein, J. B.; Fowle, D. A.; Boyanov, M. I.; Bunker, B. A.; Yee, N.

    2002-11-01

    X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) measurements was used at the U L3-edge to directly determine the pH dependence of the cell wall functional groups responsible for the absorption of aqueous UO 22+ to Bacillus subtilis from pH 1.67 to 4.80. Surface complexation modeling can be used to predict metal distributions in water-rock systems, and it has been used to quantify bacterial adsorption of metal cations. However, successful application of these models requires a detailed knowledge not only of the type of bacterial surface site involved in metal adsorption/desorption, but also of the binding geometry. Previous acid-base titrations of B. subtilis cells suggested that three surface functional group types are important on the cell wall; these groups have been postulated to correspond to carboxyl, phosphoryl, and hydroxyl sites. When the U(VI) adsorption to B. subtilis is measured, observed is a significant pH-independent absorption at low pH values (<3.0), ascribed to an interaction between the uranyl cation and a neutrally charged phosphoryl group on the cell wall. The present study provides independent quantitative constraints on the types of sites involved in uranyl binding to B. subtilis from pH 1.67 to 4.80. The XAFS results indicate that at extremely low pH (pH 1.67) UO 22+ binds exclusively to phosphoryl functional groups on the cell wall, with an average distance between the U atom and the P atom of 3.64 ± 0.01 Å. This U-P distance indicates an inner-sphere complex with an oxygen atom shared between the UO 22+ and the phosphoryl ligand. The P signal at extremely low pH value is consistent with the UO 22+ binding to a protonated phosphoryl group, as previously ascribed. With increasing pH (3.22 and 4.80), UO 22+ binds increasingly to bacterial surface carboxyl functional groups, with an average distance between the U atom and the C atom of 2.89 ± 0.02 Å. This U-C distance indicates an inner-sphere complex with two oxygen atoms shared between the UO 22

  19. Taking Advantage of Electric Field Induced Bacterial Aggregation for the Study of Interactions between Bacteria and Macromolecules by Capillary Electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Sisavath, Nicolas; Got, Patrice; Charrière, Guillaume M; Destoumieux-Garzon, Delphine; Cottet, Hervé

    2015-07-01

    The quantification of interaction stoichiometry and binding constant between bacteria (or other microorganism) and (macro)molecules remains a challenging issue for which only a few adapted methods are available. In this paper, a new methodology was developed for the determination of the interaction stoichiometry and binding constant between bacteria and (macro)molecules. The originality of this work is to take advantage of the bacterial aggregation phenomenon to directly quantify the free ligand concentration in equilibrated bacteria-ligand mixtures using frontal analysis continuous capillary electrophoresis. The described methodology does not require any sample preparation such as filtration step or centrifugation. It was applied to the study of interactions between Erwinia carotovora and different generations of dendrigraft poly-L-lysines leading to quantitative information (i.e., stoichiometry and binding site constant). High stoichiometries in the order of 10(6)-10(7) were determined between nanometric dendrimer-like ligands and the rod-shaped micrometric bacteria. The effect of the dendrimer generation on the binding constant and the stoichiometry is discussed. Stoichiometries were compared with those obtained by replacing the bacteria by polystyrene microbeads to demonstrate the internalization of the ligands inside the bacteria and the increase of the specific surface via the formation of vesicles. PMID:26086209

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Modulation of Bacterial Pathogenesis by Oppressive Aging Factors: Insights into Host-Pneumococcal Interaction Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Shivshankar, Pooja

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus pneumonia, (Spn, the pneumococcus), is the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and is responsible for 15–40% deaths in the elderly worldwide. A primed inflammatory status is a significant risk factor for the increased severity of infectious diseases among the elderly (≥65 years of age). Studies have shown that expression of host receptors that the pneumococci bind to invade the tissues are increased thereby increasing the susceptibility to pneumococcal challenge in aged mice. Cellular senescence, an age-related phenomenon that leads to cell cycle arrest may also contribute to increased inflammation in aged mice. Evidence of cellular senescence in aged lungs of humans and mice adds credits to the concept of inflammaging and enhanced bacterial ligands expression during aging. Furthermore, cell senescence has been shown to occur in age-associated lung pathologies such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that may predispose the elderly to pathogenic assaults, including S. pneumoniae. This review highlights the aspects of: chronic inflammation in the aged population; contribution of cellular senescence to age-associated inflammation and their impact on host receptor expression; and, increased susceptibility of fibrosis and emphysematous lesions-bearing lungs to microbial infections. PMID:24049644

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kliot, Adi; Cilia, Michelle; Czosnek, Henryk

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Induction by Klebsiella aerogenes of a Melanin-Like Pigment in Cryptococcus neoformans

    PubMed Central

    Frases, Susana; Chaskes, Stuart; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2006-01-01

    While studying the interaction of Cryptococcus neoformans with Dictyostelium discoideum, we noticed that yeast colonies in agar with a feeder lawn of Klebsiella aerogenes were brown. This finding was intriguing because C. neoformans colonies are not pigmented unless they are provided with precursors for melanization. Strains of all C. neoformans serotypes produced brown pigment in response to K. aerogenes at 22, 30, and 37°C. Pigment production required fungal laccase and was suppressed by high concentrations of glucose. Treatment of brown cells with guanidinium isothiocyanate and hot concentrated HCl yielded particulate material that had the physical and chemical characteristics of melanins. No pigment formation was observed when C. neoformans was exposed to live Escherichia coli or heat-killed K. aerogenes. Analysis of K. aerogenes supernatants revealed the presence of dopamine, which can be a substrate for melanin synthesis by C. neoformans. Our findings illustrate a remarkable interaction between a pathogenic fungus and a gram-negative bacterium, in which the bacterium produces a substrate that promotes fungal melanization. This observation provides a precedent that could explain the source of a substrate for C. neoformans melanization in the environment. PMID:16461709

  5. Induction by Klebsiella aerogenes of a melanin-like pigment in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Frases, Susana; Chaskes, Stuart; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2006-02-01

    While studying the interaction of Cryptococcus neoformans with Dictyostelium discoideum, we noticed that yeast colonies in agar with a feeder lawn of Klebsiella aerogenes were brown. This finding was intriguing because C. neoformans colonies are not pigmented unless they are provided with precursors for melanization. Strains of all C. neoformans serotypes produced brown pigment in response to K. aerogenes at 22, 30, and 37 degrees C. Pigment production required fungal laccase and was suppressed by high concentrations of glucose. Treatment of brown cells with guanidinium isothiocyanate and hot concentrated HCl yielded particulate material that had the physical and chemical characteristics of melanins. No pigment formation was observed when C. neoformans was exposed to live Escherichia coli or heat-killed K. aerogenes. Analysis of K. aerogenes supernatants revealed the presence of dopamine, which can be a substrate for melanin synthesis by C. neoformans. Our findings illustrate a remarkable interaction between a pathogenic fungus and a gram-negative bacterium, in which the bacterium produces a substrate that promotes fungal melanization. This observation provides a precedent that could explain the source of a substrate for C. neoformans melanization in the environment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Melanin as a virulence factor of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and other dimorphic pathogenic fungi: a minireview.

    PubMed

    Taborda, Carlos P; da Silva, Marcelo B; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Travassos, Luiz R

    2008-01-01

    Melanin pigments are substances produced by a broad variety of pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and helminths. Microbes predominantly produce melanin pigment via tyrosinases, laccases, catecholases, and the polyketide synthase pathway. In fungi, melanin is deposited in the cell wall and cytoplasm, and melanin particles ("ghosts") can be isolated from these fungi that have the same size and shape of the original cells. Melanin has been reported in several human pathogenic dimorphic fungi including Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Sporothrix schenckii, Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, and Coccidioides posadasii. Melanization appears to contribute to virulence by reducing the susceptibility of melanized fungi to host defense mechanisms and antifungal drugs. PMID:18777637

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are major contributors to acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks. Many aspects of HuNoVs are poorly understood due to both the current inability to culture HuNoVs, and the lack of efficient small animal models. Surrogates for HuNoVs, such as recombinant viral like particles (VLPs) expressed in eukaryotic system or P particles expressed in prokaryotic system, have been used for studies in immunology and interaction between the virus and its receptors. However, it is difficult to use VLPs or P particles to collect or isolate potential ligands binding to these recombinant capsid proteins. In this study, a new strategy was used to collect HuNoVs binding ligands through the use of ice nucleation protein (INP) to display recombinant capsid proteins of HuNoVs on bacterial surfaces. The viral protein-ligand complex could be easily separated by a low speed centrifugation step. This system was also used to explore interaction between recombinant capsid proteins of HuNoVs and their receptors. In this system, the VP1 capsid encoding gene (ORF2) and the protruding domain (P domain) encoding gene (3' terminal fragment of ORF2) of HuNoVs GI.1 and GII.4 were fused with 5' terminal fragment of INP encoding gene (inaQn). The results demonstrated that the recombinant VP1 and P domains of HuNoVs were expressed and anchored on the surface of Escherichia coli BL21 cells after the bacteria were transformed with the corresponding plasmids. Both cell surface displayed VP1 and P domains could be recognized by HuNoVs specific antibodies and interact with the viral histo-blood group antigens receptors. In both cases, displayed P domains had better binding abilities than VP1. This new strategy of using displayed HuNoVs capsid proteins on the bacterial surface could be utilized to separate HuNoVs binding components from complex samples, to investigate interaction between the virus and its receptors, as well as to develop an oral vaccine for HuNoVs. PMID:26733983

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  12. Melanin: the biophysiology of oral melanocytes and physiological oral pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The presence of melanocytes in the oral epithelium is a well-established fact, but their physiological functions are not well defined. Melanin provides protection from environmental stressors such as ultraviolet radiation and reactive oxygen species; and melanocytes function as stress-sensors having the capacity both to react to and to produce a variety of microenvironmental cytokines and growth factors, modulating immune, inflammatory and antibacterial responses. Melanocytes also act as neuroendocrine cells producing local neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, catecholamines and opioids, and hormones of the melanocortin system such as proopiomelanocortin, adrenocorticotropic hormone and α-melanocyte stimulating hormone, that participate in intracellular and in intercellular signalling pathways, thus contributing to tissue homeostasis. There is a wide range of normal variation in melanin pigmentation of the oral mucosa. In general, darker skinned persons more frequently have oral melanin pigmentation than light-skinned persons. Variations in oral physiological pigmentation are genetically determined unless associated with some underlying disease. In this article, we discuss some aspects of the biophysiology of oral melanocytes, of the functions of melanin, and of physiological oral pigmentation. PMID:24661309

  13. Uncovering of melanin fluorescence in human skin tissue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholz, Matthias; Stankovic, Goran; Seewald, Gunter; Leupold, Dieter

    2007-07-01

    Due to its extremely low fluorescence quantum yield, in the conventionally (one-photon) excited autofluorescence of skin tissue, melanin fluorescence is masked by several other endogenous and possibly also exogenous fluorophores (e.g. NADH, FAD, Porphyrins). A first step to enhance the melanin contribution had been realized by two-photon fs-pulse excitation in the red/near IR, based on the fact that melanin can be excited by stepwise two-photon absorption, whereas all other fluorophores in this spectral region allow only simultaneous two-photon excitation. Now, the next and decisive step has been realized: Using an extremely sensitive detection system, for the first time twophoton fluorescence of skin tissue excited with pulses in the ns-range could be measured. The motivation for this step was based on the fact that the population density of the fluorescent level resulting from a stepwise excitation has a different dependence of the pulse duration than that from a simultaneous excitation (Δt2 vs. Δt). Due to this strong discrimination between the fluorophores, practically pure melanin fluorescence can be obtained. Examples for in-vivo, ex-vivo as well as paraffin embedded skin tissue will be shown. The content of information with respect to early diagnosis of skin deseases will be discussed.

  14. Interaction between bacterial outer membrane proteins and periplasmic quality control factors: a kinetic partitioning mechanism.

    PubMed

    Wu, Si; Ge, Xi; Lv, Zhixin; Zhi, Zeyong; Chang, Zengyi; Zhao, Xin Sheng

    2011-09-15

    The OMPs (outer membrane proteins) of Gram-negative bacteria have to be translocated through the periplasmic space before reaching their final destination. The aqueous environment of the periplasmic space and high permeability of the outer membrane engender such a translocation process inevitably challenging. In Escherichia coli, although SurA, Skp and DegP have been identified to function in translocating OMPs across the periplasm, their precise roles and their relationship remain to be elucidated. In the present paper, by using fluorescence resonance energy transfer and single-molecule detection, we have studied the interaction between the OMP OmpC and these periplasmic quality control factors. The results of the present study reveal that the binding rate of OmpC to SurA or Skp is much faster than that to DegP, which may lead to sequential interaction between OMPs and different quality control factors. Such a kinetic partitioning mechanism for the chaperone-substrate interaction may be essential for the quality control of the biogenesis of OMPs.

  15. Biomolecular interactions modulate macromolecular structure and dynamics in atomistic model of a bacterial cytoplasm

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Isseki; Mori, Takaharu; Ando, Tadashi; Harada, Ryuhei; Jung, Jaewoon; Sugita, Yuji; Feig, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Biological macromolecules function in highly crowded cellular environments. The structure and dynamics of proteins and nucleic acids are well characterized in vitro, but in vivo crowding effects remain unclear. Using molecular dynamics simulations of a comprehensive atomistic model cytoplasm we found that protein-protein interactions may destabilize native protein structures, whereas metabolite interactions may induce more compact states due to electrostatic screening. Protein-protein interactions also resulted in significant variations in reduced macromolecular diffusion under crowded conditions, while metabolites exhibited significant two-dimensional surface diffusion and altered protein-ligand binding that may reduce the effective concentration of metabolites and ligands in vivo. Metabolic enzymes showed weak non-specific association in cellular environments attributed to solvation and entropic effects. These effects are expected to have broad implications for the in vivo functioning of biomolecules. This work is a first step towards physically realistic in silico whole-cell models that connect molecular with cellular biology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19274.001 PMID:27801646

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-26

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

  20. Isolation, purification and physicochemical characterization of water-soluble Bacillus thuringiensis melanin.

    PubMed

    Aghajanyan, Armen E; Hambardzumyan, Artur A; Hovsepyan, Anichka S; Asaturian, Rafael A; Vardanyan, Andranik A; Saghiyan, Ashot A

    2005-04-01

    Melanins are widely used in medicine, pharmacology, cosmetics and other fields. Although several technologies for the purification of water-insoluble dioxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanins have been described, a source of water-soluble melanin is highly desirable. Here we describe an effective procedure for the isolation and purification of water-soluble melanin using the culture medium of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. galleriae strain K1. Water-soluble melanin from this organism has an isoelectric point (pI=3.0-3.2) and was purified optimally by adsorbtion using the IA-1r resin and elution as a concentrated solution. The purified melanin obtained exhibited a similar infra-red absorbtion spectrum to synthetic melanin and contained quinolic and phenolic structures and an amino acid content of around 20% after acid hydrolysis. The molecular weight of the purified melanin determined by SDS-PAGE was 4 kDa and the electromagnetic spin resonance spectrum of the purified microbial melanin was a slightly asymmetric singlet without hyperfine structure with about 7 Gauss width of the line between points of the maximum incline and g=2.006. The concentration of paramagnetic centers in melanin is 0.21x10(18) spin/g. The results obtained provide a rapid, simple and inexpensive method for the large scale purification of water soluble melanin that may have widespread applications.

  1. Keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 protein promotes melanin synthesis via regulation of tyrosine uptake.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Khammuang, Saranyu; Sarnthima, Rakrudee

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Protein-Protein Docking and Analysis Reveal That Two Homologous Bacterial Adenylyl Cyclase Toxins Interact with Calmodulin Differently*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Qing; Jureller, Justin E.; Warren, Julia T.; Solomaha, Elena; Florián, Jan; Tang, Wei-Jen

    2008-01-01

    Calmodulin (CaM), a eukaryotic calcium sensor that regulates diverse biological activities, consists of N- and C-terminal globular domains (N-CaM and C-CaM, respectively). CaM serves as the activator of CyaA, a 188-kDa adenylyl cyclase toxin secreted by Bordetella pertussis, which is the etiologic agent for whooping cough. Upon insertion of the N-terminal adenylyl cyclase domain (ACD) of CyaA to its targeted eukaryotic cells, CaM binds to this domain tightly (∼200 pm affinity). This interaction activates the adenylyl cyclase activity of CyaA, leading to a rise in intracellular cAMP levels to disrupt normal cellular signaling. We recently solved the structure of CyaA-ACD in complex with C-CaM to elucidate the mechanism of catalytic activation. However, the structure of the interface between N-CaM and CyaA, the formation of which contributes a 400-fold increase of binding affinity between CyaA and CaM, remains elusive. Here, we used site-directed mutations and molecular dynamic simulations to generate several working models of CaM-bound CyaA-ACD. The validity of these models was evaluated by disulfide bond cross-linking, point mutations, and fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments. Our study reveals that a β-hairpin region (amino acids 259–273) of CyaA-ACD likely makes contacts with the second calcium binding motif of the extended CaM. This mode of interaction differs from the interaction of N-CaM with anthrax edema factor, which binds N-CaM via its helical domain. Thus, two structurally conserved, bacterial adenylyl cyclase toxins have evolved to utilize distinct binding surfaces and modes of activation in their interaction with CaM, a highly conserved eukaryotic signaling protein. PMID:18583346

  4. A Common Theme in Interaction of Bacterial Immunoglobulin-binding Proteins with Immunoglobulins Illustrated in the Equine System*

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meredith, Paul; Sheliakina, Margarita; Mostert, Bernard

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-01

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

  7. Syntrophic Interactions Within a Butane-Oxidizing Bacterial Consortium Isolated from Puguang Gas Field in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Deng, Chun-Ping; Shen, Bin; Yang, Jin-Shui; Wang, En-Tao; Yuan, Hong-Li

    2016-10-01

    Butane oxidation by the hydrocarbon degradation bacteria has long been described, but little is known about the microbial interaction in this process. To investigate this interaction, the efficiency of butane oxidation was estimated in monocultures and co-cultures of six strains of butane-oxidizing bacteria (BOB) and a butanol-oxidizing strain. Results showed that the butane degradation velocity was at least 26 times higher in the co-culture of the seven strains (228.50 nmol h(-1)) than in the six individual monocultures (8.71 nmol h(-1)). Gas chromatographic analysis of metabolites in the cultures revealed the accumulation of butanol in the monocultures of BOB strains but not in the co-culture with the butanol-oxidizing strain. These results evidenced a novel syntrophic association between BOB and butanol-oxidizing bacteria in the butane oxidation. The BOB strains oxidized butane into butanol, but this activity was inhibited by the accumulated butanol in monocultures, whereas the removal of butanol by the butanol-oxidizing strain in co-culture could eliminate the suppression and improve the butane degradation efficiency. In the co-culture, both BOB and butanol-oxidizing bacteria could grow and the time needed for butane complete removal was shortened from more than 192 h to less than 4 h. The unsuppressed effect of the co-culture was also consistent with the results of reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) of bmoX gene because increased expression of this gene was detected during the syntrophic growth compared with that in monoculture, pointing to the upregulation of bmoX in the syntrophic interaction. PMID:27324653

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  11. Modelling the interaction between the host immune response, bacterial dynamics and inflammatory damage in comparison with immunomodulation and vaccination experiments.

    PubMed

    Jarrett, Angela M; Cogan, N G; Shirtliff, M E

    2015-09-01

    The immune system is a complex system of chemical and cellular interactions that responds quickly to queues that signal infection and then reverts to a basal level once the challenge is eliminated. Here, we present a general, four-component model of the immune system's response to a Staphylococcal aureus (S. aureus) infection, using ordinary differential equations. To incorporate both the infection and the immune system, we adopt the style of compartmenting the system to include bacterial dynamics, damage and inflammation to the host, and the host response. We incorporate interactions not previously represented including cross-talk between inflammation/damage and the infection and the suppression of the anti-inflammatory pathway in response to inflammation/damage. As a result, the most relevant equilibrium of the system, representing the health state, is an all-positive basal level. The model is able to capture eight different experimental outcomes for mice challenged with intratibial osteomyelitis due to S. aureus, primarily involving immunomodulation and vaccine therapies. For further validation and parameter exploration, we perform a parameter sensitivity analysis which suggests that the model is very stable with respect to variations in parameters, indicates potential immunomodulation strategies and provides a possible explanation for the difference in immune potential for different mouse strains.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  13. Metabolism, interactions, and bacterial mutagenicity of nitrogen-containing aromatic hydrocarbons and related chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    Donnelly, K.C.

    1988-01-01

    Microbial mutagenicity assays were combined with high pressure liquid chromatography analysis to evaluate the interactions of binary and complex mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and related compounds. The maximum mutagenic response was 2083 net revertants per 50 micrograms induced by the direct-acting 2-nitrofluorene, while benzo(a)pyrene induced 345 net revertants at a dose of 25 micrograms per plate with metabolic activation. The direct-acting 2-nitro-7/8-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin induced 1934 net revertants per 25 micrograms without activation, while 4-nitrobiphenyl induced 1095 net revertants per 250 micrograms with metabolic activation. When binary mixtures of nitro-polychlorinated biphenyls were tested in the mutagenicity assay, the primary interaction observed was inhibition, while synergism was observed with mixtures of nitro-polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins. Binary mixtures of 2-nitro-1,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or pentachlorophenol with benzo(a)pyrene produced synergism, while strictly additive effects were observed with octa- or heptachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and benzo(a)pyrene mixtures. HPLC analysis of the mixtures indicated that pre-incubation of benzo(a)pyrene with 2-nitro-1,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin increased the quantity of benzo(a)pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol-, and 9,10-dihydrodiol metabolites detected.

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

    PubMed Central

    Peláez, Pablo; Sanchez, Federico

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Interactive effects of water stress and xylem-limited bacterial infection on the water relations of a host vine.

    PubMed

    McElrone, Andrew J; Sherald, James L; Forseth, Irwin N

    2003-01-01

    Xylella fastidiosa, a xylem-limited bacterial pathogen that causes bacterial leaf scorch in its hosts, has a diverse and extensive host range among plant species worldwide. Previous work has shown that water stress enhances leaf scorch symptom severity and progression along the stem in Parthenocissus quinquefolia infected by X. fastidiosa. The objective here was to investigate the mechanisms underlying the interaction of water stress and infection by X. fastidiosa. Using the eastern deciduous forest vine, P. quinquefolia, infection and water availability were manipulated while measuring leaf water potentials (psi(L)), stomatal conductance (g(s)), whole shoot hydraulic conductance (K(h)), per cent xylem embolism, and xylem vessel dimensions. No significant differences in any of the physiological measurements were found between control and infected plants prior to drought. Drought treatment significantly reduced psi(L) and g(s) at all leaf positions throughout the day in late summer in both years of the study. In addition, infection significantly reduced psi(L) and g(s) in the most basal leaf positions in late summer in both years. Whole shoot hydraulic conductance was reduced by both low water and infection treatments. However, per cent embolized vessels and mean vessel diameter were affected by drought treatment only. These results imply that the major effect of infection by X. fastidiosa occurs due to reduced hydraulic conductance caused by clogging of the vessels, and not increased cavitation and embolism of xylem elements. The reduced K(h) caused by X. fastidiosa infection acts additively with the water limitation imposed by Drought stress.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Melanin in the dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis: effects on phagocytosis, intracellular resistance and drug susceptibility.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Marcelo B; Marques, Alexandre F; Nosanchuk, Josh D; Casadevall, Arturo; Travassos, Luiz R; Taborda, Carlos P

    2006-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produces a melanin-like pigment in the presence of l-DOPA in vitro. We investigated whether melanization affected yeast uptake by alveolar and peritoneal macrophages, the intracellular resistance of fungal cells and their susceptibility to antifungal drugs. The interactions of melanized and nonmelanized P. brasiliensis with murine primary macrophages and J774.16 and MH-S macrophage-like cell lines were investigated. Melanized yeast cells were poorly phagocytosed by the cells even in the presence of complement. Melanization caused significant interference with the binding of cell wall components to lectin receptors on macrophages. Melanized cells were also more resistant than nonmelanized cells to the antifungal activity of murine macrophages. No difference in the susceptibilities of melanized and nonmelanized P. brasiliensis to antifungal drugs was observed using the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) method. However killing assays showed that melanization significantly reduced fungal susceptibility to amphotericin B and also protected against ketoconazole, fluconazole, itraconazole and sulfamethoxazole. The present results indicate that fungal melanin protects P. brasiliensis from phagocytosis and increases its resistance to antifungal drugs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-12-10

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

  3. Interaction between Polyamines and Bacterial Outer Membranes as Investigated with Ion-Selective Electrodes

    PubMed Central

    Katsu, Takashi; Nakagawa, Hideki; Yasuda, Keiko

    2002-01-01

    We analyzed the interaction between polyamines and the outer membrane of Escherichia coli cells using potentiometric measurements with Ca2+, tetraphenylphosphonium (TPP+), and K+ electrodes. The Ca2+ electrode was used to examine the ability of the polyamines to release Ca2+ from the outer membrane. The TPP+ electrode was used to examine the ability to permeabilize the outer membrane, since the uptake of TPP+ was enhanced when the permeability barrier of the outer membrane was disrupted. The K+ electrode was used to examine permeabilization in the cytoplasmic membrane by monitoring the efflux of K+ in cytosol. Although Ca2+ release was remarkably enhanced by increasing the number of amino groups in polyamines, no TPP+ uptake was observed with polyamines of a simple structure, such as ethylenediamine, spermidine, and spermine. TPP+ uptake was observed when appropriate lipophilic moieties were further attached to the polyamines with three or four amino groups, indicating that the existence of bulky moieties as well as the number of amino groups is important to induce outer membrane permeabilization. Thus, 1-naphthylacetylspermine and N,N′-bis[6-[[(2-methoxyphenyl)methyl]amino]hexyl]-1,8-octanediamine (methoctramine) were especially effective in increasing the permeability of the outer membrane of E. coli cells, being comparable to polymyxin B nonapeptide, a well-known cationic peptide showing such action. PMID:11897592

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

    PubMed Central

    Norsworthy, Allison N.; Visick, Karen L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  9. The effect of melanin on iron associated decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

    PubMed

    Pilas, B; Sarna, T; Kalyanaraman, B; Swartz, H M

    1988-01-01

    The effects of melanin on the iron-catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to hydroxyl radicals and hydroxyl ions have been studied using electron spin resonance, spin trapping and visible light spectrophotometry. Melanin altered these reactions by several different mechanisms and consequently, depending on conditions, can significantly increase or decrease the yield of reactive products, including hydroxyl radicals. For low concentrations of ferrous ions, melanin decreased the yield of hydroxyl radicals due to binding of ferrous ions by melanin; ferrous ions bound to melanin did not decompose H2O2 efficiently. Melanins increased the rate of hydroxyl radical production if the predominant form of iron was ferric, due to the ability of melanin to reduce ferric to ferrous iron. Hydroxyl radical production in the presence of a strong chelator (e.g. EDTA) and melanin was greater than in the presence of a weak chelator (e.g. ADP) and melanin. Melanin also increased the rate of destruction of the DMPO-OH adduct. PMID:2834276

  10. Detection of antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis melanin in in vitro and in vivo studies during infection.

    PubMed

    Urán, Martha E; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Restrepo, Angela; Hamilton, Andrew J; Gómez, Beatriz L; Cano, Luz E

    2011-10-01

    Several cell wall constituents, including melanins or melanin-like compounds, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of microbial diseases caused by diverse species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and helminthes. Among these microorganisms, the dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produces melanin in its conidial and yeast forms. In the present study, melanin particles from P. brasiliensis were injected into BALB/c mice in order to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). We identified five immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) κ-chain and four IgM melanin-binding MAbs. The five IgG1 κ-chain isotypes are the first melanin-binding IgG MAbs ever reported. The nine MAbs labeled P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast cells both in vitro and in pulmonary tissues. The MAbs cross-reacted with melanin-like purified particles from other fungi and also with commercial melanins, such as synthetic and Sepia officinalis melanin. Melanization during paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) was also further supported by the detection of IgG antibodies reactive to melanin from P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast in sera and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from P. brasiliensis-infected mice, as well as in sera from human patients with PCM. Serum specimens from patients with other mycoses were also tested for melanin-binding antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cross-reactivities were detected for melanin particles from different fungal sources. These results suggest that melanin from P. brasiliensis is an immunologically active fungal structure that activates a strong IgG humoral response in humans and mice.

  11. The Siderocalin/Enterobactin Interaction: a Link Between Mammalian Immunity And Bacterial Iron Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Abergel, R.J.; Clifton, M.C.; Pizarro, J.C.; Warner, J.A.; Shuh, D.K.; Strong, R.K.; Raymond, K.N.

    2009-05-12

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

  12. Peptide-lipid interactions of the stress-response peptide TisB that induces bacterial persistence.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-27

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. The inhibitory components from Artocarpus incisus on melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, K; Kondo, R; Sakai, K; Lee, S H; Sato, H

    1998-06-01

    The inhibitory effects of methanol extracts of heartwood of 23 Papua New Guinean wood species on tyrosinase activity were examined. The extract of Artocarpus incisus showed the strongest tyrosinase inhibitory activity which was equivalent to kojic acid. The extract apparently inhibited melanin biosynthesis of both cultured B16 melanoma cells without any cytotoxicity and in the back of a brown guinea pig without skin irritation. Thus, the potentiality of the extracts of heartwood of A. incisus both as material of a useful skin whitening agent and as a remedy for disturbances in pigmentation is evident. Tyrosinase inhibitory activity-guided fractionation led to the isolation of seven active compounds including a new compound which has been characterized as 6-(3"-methyl-1"-butenyl)-5,7,2',4'-tetrahydroxyflavone, named isoartocarpesin. Other active compounds were (+)-dihydromorin, chlorophorin, (+)-norartocarpanone, 4-prenyloxyresveratrol, artocarbene, and artocarpesin, These compounds are probably responsible for the melanin biosynthesis inhibitory effects.

  20. Snapshot RGB mapping of skin melanin and hemoglobin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spigulis, Janis; Oshina, Ilze

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Inhibitory effect of artocarpanone from Artocarpus heterophyllus on melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Arung, Enos Tangke; Shimizu, Kuniyoshi; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2006-09-01

    In our previous efforts to find new tyrosinase inhibitory materials, we investigated 44 Indonesian medicinal plants belonging to 24 families. Among those plants, the extract of Artocarpus heterophyllus was one of the strongest inhibitors of tyrosinase activity. By activity-guided fractionation of A. heterophyllus wood extract, we isolated artocarpanone, which inhibited both mushroom tyrosinase activity and melanin production in B16 melanoma cells. This compound is a strong candidate as a remedy for hyperpigmentation in human skin.

  3. Regulation of melanin synthesis by selenium-containing carbohydrates.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Sang Joon; Koketsu, Mamoru; Ishihara, Hideharu; Lee, Soo Min; Ha, Sang Keun; Lee, Kun Ho; Kang, Tong Ho; Kima, Sun Yeou

    2006-03-01

    This study reports depigmenting potency of selenium-containing carbohydrates, which would be based upon the finding of direct inhibition to mushroom tyrosinase. Two selenoglycosiede, SG-3 (bis(2,3,4-tri-O-acetyl-beta-D-arabinopyranosyl) selenide) and SG-8 (4'-methylbenzoyl 2,3,4,6-tetra-O-acetyl-D-selenomanopyranoside) among eleven selenium-containing compounds examined, were discovered to be effective depigmenting compounds on a mushroom tyrosinase inhibitory assay. SG-3 exhibited a competitive inhibition effect that was similar to kojic acid, well-known tyrosinase inhibitor. At 100 microM and 150 microM, SG-8 had an uncompetitive inhibitory effect that was higher than kojic acid. A study of a melan-a cell originated-tyrosinase inhibition assay showed that SG-8 had a lower inhibitory effect than kojic acid. SG-3 showed a similar inhibition effect to kojic acid on the melan-a cell-originated tyrosinase inhibitory assay. SG-8 showed dose-dependently cytotoxicity in a study of inhibition melanin synthesis by melan-a cells. Most melan-a cells did not survive after being treated with 20 microM of SG-8. At 10 microM, SG-3 inhibited melanin synthesis in the melan-a cells, and the effect was similar to phenylthiourea, which is a well-known inhibitor of melanin synthesis. Therefore, SG-3 is a new candidate for depigmenting reagents.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-10-01

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

  6. Melanin from the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: a spectroscopic characterization.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Aulie; Supakar, Subhrangshu; Banerjee, Raja

    2014-01-01

    Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state (13)C NMR), we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation.

  7. Role of semiconductivity and ion transport in the electrical conduction of melanin.

    PubMed

    Mostert, Albertus B; Powell, Benjamin J; Pratt, Francis L; Hanson, Graeme R; Sarna, Tadeusz; Gentle, Ian R; Meredith, Paul

    2012-06-01

    Melanins are pigmentary macromolecules found throughout the biosphere that, in the 1970s, were discovered to conduct electricity and display bistable switching. Since then, it has been widely believed that melanins are naturally occurring amorphous organic semiconductors. Here, we report electrical conductivity, muon spin relaxation, and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements of melanin as the environmental humidity is varied. We show that hydration of melanin shifts the comproportionation equilibrium so as to dope electrons and protons into the system. This equilibrium defines the relative proportions of hydroxyquinone, semiquinone, and quinone species in the macromolecule. As such, the mechanism explains why melanin at neutral pH only conducts when "wet" and suggests that both carriers play a role in the conductivity. Understanding that melanin is an electronic-ionic hybrid conductor rather than an amorphous organic semiconductor opens exciting possibilities for bioelectronic applications such as ion-to-electron transduction given its biocompatibility.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. Melanin biosynthesis in Madurella mycetomatis and its effect on susceptibility to itraconazole and ketoconazole.

    PubMed

    van de Sande, Wendy W J; de Kat, Johan; Coppens, Jojanneke; Ahmed, Abdalla O A; Fahal, Ahmed; Verbrugh, Henri; van Belkum, Alex

    2007-07-01

    One of the hallmarks of eumycetoma is the formation of fungal grains, which are secreted by multiple sinuses in infected tissues. Madurella mycetomatis grains are black. This black colour was shown to be due to the presence of melanin. Melanin can be produced through various biochemical pathways. It appeared that M. mycetomatis melanisation could be blocked by inhibitors of the pyo- and dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin pathways but not by inhibitors of the dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA)-melanin pathway. Melanin isolated from M. mycetomatis cells provides in vitro protection against the killing effects of the oxidant permanganate and several antifungals. When melanin was added to the culture medium, MICs were found to be 16-fold elevated in the case of itraconazole and 32-fold for ketoconazole. MICs for amphotericin B, fluconazole and voriconazole were not affected. Since itraconazole and ketoconazole are the main antifungal agents used to treat mycetoma, the clinical relevance of the in vitro rise in MIC should be studied further.

  10. Bioinspired Functionalized Melanin Nanovariants with a Range of Properties Provide Effective Color Matched Photoprotection in Skin.

    PubMed

    Vij, Manika; Grover, Ritika; Gotherwal, Vishvabandhu; Wani, Naiem Ahmad; Joshi, Prashant; Gautam, Hemlata; Sharma, Kanupriya; Chandna, Sudhir; Gokhale, Rajesh S; Rai, Rajkishor; Ganguli, Munia; Natarajan, Vivek T

    2016-09-12

    Melanin and related polydopamine hold great promise; however, restricted fine-tunabilility limits their usefulness in biocompatible applications. In the present study, by taking a biomimetic approach, we synthesize peptide-derived melanin with a range of physicochemical properties. Characterization of these melanin polymers indicates that they exist as nanorange materials with distinct size distribution, shapes, and surface charges. These variants demonstrate similar absorption spectra but have different optical properties that correlate with particle size. Our approach enables incorporation of chemical groups to create functionalized polyvalent organic nanomaterials and enables customization of melanin. Further, we establish that these synthetic variants are efficiently taken up by the skin keratinocytes, display appreciable photoprotection with minimal cytotoxicity, and thereby function as effective color matched photoprotective agents. In effect we demonstrate that an array of functionalized melanins with distinct properties could be synthesized using bioinspired green chemistry, and these are of immense utility in generating customized melanin/polydopamine like materials. PMID:27477067

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  12. Role of semiconductivity and ion transport in the electrical conduction of melanin

    PubMed Central

    Mostert, Albertus B.; Powell, Benjamin J.; Pratt, Francis L.; Hanson, Graeme R.; Sarna, Tadeusz; Gentle, Ian R.; Meredith, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Melanins are pigmentary macromolecules found throughout the biosphere that, in the 1970s, were discovered to conduct electricity and display bistable switching. Since then, it has been widely believed that melanins are naturally occurring amorphous organic semiconductors. Here, we report electrical conductivity, muon spin relaxation, and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements of melanin as the environmental humidity is varied. We show that hydration of melanin shifts the comproportionation equilibrium so as to dope electrons and protons into the system. This equilibrium defines the relative proportions of hydroxyquinone, semiquinone, and quinone species in the macromolecule. As such, the mechanism explains why melanin at neutral pH only conducts when “wet” and suggests that both carriers play a role in the conductivity. Understanding that melanin is an electronic-ionic hybrid conductor rather than an amorphous organic semiconductor opens exciting possibilities for bioelectronic applications such as ion-to-electron transduction given its biocompatibility. PMID:22615355

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Soil pH effects on the interactions between dissolved zinc, non-nano- and nano-ZnO with soil bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Read, Daniel S; Matzke, Marianne; Gweon, Hyun S; Newbold, Lindsay K; Heggelund, Laura; Ortiz, Maria Diez; Lahive, Elma; Spurgeon, David; Svendsen, Claus

    2016-03-01

    Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are used in an array of products and processes, ranging from personal care products to antifouling paints, textiles, food additives, antibacterial agents and environmental remediation processes. Soils are an environment likely to be exposed to manmade nanoparticles due to the practice of applying sewage sludge as a fertiliser or as an organic soil improver. However, understanding on the interactions between soil properties, nanoparticles and the organisms that live within soil is lacking, especially with regards to soil bacterial communities. We studied the effects of nanoparticulate, non-nanoparticulate and ionic zinc (in the form of zinc chloride) on the composition of bacterial communities in soil with a modified pH range (from pH 4.5 to pH 7.2). We observed strong pH-dependent effects on the interaction between bacterial communities and all forms of zinc, with the largest changes in bacterial community composition occurring in soils with low and medium pH levels (pH 4.8 and 5.9). The high pH soil (pH 7.2) was less susceptible to the effects of zinc exposure. At the highest doses of zinc (2500 mg/kg dw soil), both nano and non-nano particulate zinc applications elicited a similar response in the soil bacterial community, and this differed significantly to the ionic zinc salt treatment. The results highlight the importance of considering soil pH in nanotoxicology studies, although further work is needed to determine the exact mechanisms controlling the toxicity and fate and interactions of nanoparticles with soil microbial communities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  18. Isolation and characterization of biologically active melanin from Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32.

    PubMed

    Manivasagan, Panchanathan; Venkatesan, Jayachandran; Senthilkumar, Kalimuthu; Sivakumar, Kannan; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-07-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments and biological macromolecules that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of bacteria and fungi. The present study was carried out on isolation and characterization of melanin from marine actinobacteria, Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32. Medium composition and culture conditions for the melanin production by Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32 were optimized using two statistical methods: Plackett-Burman design applied to find the key ingredients and conditions for the best yield of melanin production and central composite design used to optimize the concentration of the four significant variables: glycerol, L-tyrosine, NaCl and trace salt solution. The melanin was optimally active at pH 7-9 and temperature 45-60°C and it was most stable up to pH 11 and 4% of NaCl concentration. Melanin was examined by UV-vis absorption spectroscopy and infrared spectrometry. Melanin has potential antibacterial activity as it showed greater antagonistic and it has a strong antioxidant potential observed in the in vitro evaluation of its DPPH radical-scavenging activity, superoxide radical-scavenging activity, nitric oxide-scavenging activity, reducing power and metal chelating activity. The observed activities indicate that melanin might be a novel potential antioxidant. This study suggested that the melanin could potentially be used as a natural antioxidant in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  20. Production of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula and its physicochemical properties.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shujing; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Chen, Wenxing; Zhang, Liaoyuan; Zhu, Hu

    2016-04-01

    Fermentation conditions of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula were optimized to obtain a high melanin yield and physicochemical properties of melanin were firstly investigated. The results indicated that yeast extract, tyrosine and lactose have significant effects on melanin production. Under the proposed optimized conditions, the melanin experimental yield (2.97 g/L) closely matched the value (3.04 g/L) predicted by the second-order model, which provided a statistically prediction of media in submerged fermentation of A. auricula. The yield achieved was 2.14-fold higher compared to the control. It was firstly revealed that tyrosine could stimulate melanin synthesis in A. auricula. The results showed that this melanin had better thermostability and light resistance, and its solubility was relatively high under alkaline conditions. Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) could result in melanin precipitation. The results should be useful for the efficient production of melanin and enable numerous applications in food, cosmetics, pharmacology, medicines and other fields.

  1. Production of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula and its physicochemical properties.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shujing; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Chen, Wenxing; Zhang, Liaoyuan; Zhu, Hu

    2016-04-01

    Fermentation conditions of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula were optimized to obtain a high melanin yield and physicochemical properties of melanin were firstly investigated. The results indicated that yeast extract, tyrosine and lactose have significant effects on melanin production. Under the proposed optimized conditions, the melanin experimental yield (2.97 g/L) closely matched the value (3.04 g/L) predicted by the second-order model, which provided a statistically prediction of media in submerged fermentation of A. auricula. The yield achieved was 2.14-fold higher compared to the control. It was firstly revealed that tyrosine could stimulate melanin synthesis in A. auricula. The results showed that this melanin had better thermostability and light resistance, and its solubility was relatively high under alkaline conditions. Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) could result in melanin precipitation. The results should be useful for the efficient production of melanin and enable numerous applications in food, cosmetics, pharmacology, medicines and other fields. PMID:26593518

  2. Effect of pH on Paramagnetic Centers in Cladosporium cladosporioides Melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilawa, B.; Buszman, E.; Gondzik, A.; Wilczyński, S.; Zdybel, M.; Witoszyńska, T.; Wilczok, T.

    2006-07-01

    Paramagnetic centers in melanin existing in pigmented soil fungi Cladosporium cladosporioides cultured at acidic (4, 5, 6), neutral (7), and alkaline (8) pH were studied by EPR method. o-semiquinone free radicals (g: 2.0032-2.0040) concentration in melanin biopolymer increased for pH from 4 to 6, decreased at pH 7, and reached the maximum value at pH 8. It may be expected that melanin free radicals reactions with small molecules (metal ions, drugs) are the most effective at pH between 6 and 8. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in the all studied melanin samples.

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

    PubMed Central

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Novel near-infrared BiFC systems from a bacterial phytochrome for imaging protein interactions and drug evaluation under physiological conditions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Minghai; Li, Wei; Zhang, Zhiping; Liu, Sanying; Zhang, Xiaowei; Zhang, Xian-En; Cui, Zongqiang

    2015-04-01

    Monitoring protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in live subjects is critical for understanding these fundamental biological processes. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) provides a good technique for imaging PPIs; however, a BiFC system with a long wavelength remains to be pursued for in vivo imaging. Here, we conducted systematic screening of split reporters from a bacterial phytochrome-based, near-infrared fluorescent protein (iRFP). Several new near-infrared phytochrome BiFC systems were built based on selected split sites including the amino acids residues 97/98, 99/100, 122/123, and 123/124. These new near-infrared BiFC systems from a bacterial phytochrome were verified as powerful tools for imaging PPIs under physiological conditions in live cells and in live mice. The interaction between HIV-1 integrase (IN) and cellular cofactor protein Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF/p75) was visualized in live cells using the newly constructed iRFP BiFC system because of its important roles in HIV-1 integration and replication. Because the HIV IN-LEDGF/p75 interaction is an attractive anti-HIV target, drug evaluation assays to inhibit the HIV IN-LEDGF/p75 interaction were also performed using the newly constructed BiFC system. The results showed that compound 6 and carbidopa inhibit the HIV IN-LEDGF/p75 interaction in a dose-dependent manner under physiological conditions in the BiFC assays. This study provides novel near-infrared BiFC systems for imaging protein interactions under physiological conditions and provides guidance for splitting other bacterial phytochrome-like proteins to construct BiFC systems. The study also provides a new method for drug evaluation in live cells based on iRFP BiFC systems and supplies some new information regarding candidate drugs for anti-HIV therapies.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-10-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Complexation in two-component chlortetracycline-melanin solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Color reduction of melanin by lysosomal and peroxisomal enzymes isolated from mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Dong Jun; Sekhon, Simranjeet Singh; Yoon, Jihee; Kim, Yang-Hoon; Min, Jiho

    2016-02-01

    Lysosomes and peroxisomes are organelles with many functions in all eukaryotic cells. Lysosomes contain hydrolytic enzymes (lysozyme) that degrade molecules, whereas peroxisomes contain enzymes such as catalase that convert hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to water and oxygen and neutralize toxicity. In contrast, melanin is known as a helpful element to protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. However, a high quantity of melanin leads to hyperpigmentation or skin cancer in human. New materials have already been discovered to inhibit tyrosinase in melanogenesis; however, melanin reduction does not suggest their preparation. In this study, we report that the color intensity because of melanin decreased by the cellular activation of lysosomes and peroxisomes. An increase in the superficial intensity of lysosome and peroxisome activities of HeLa cells was observed. In addition, a decrease in the amount of melanin has also been observed in mammalian cells without using any other chemical, showing that the process can work in vivo for treating melanin. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that the amount of melanin decreases by the lysosome and peroxisome activity after entering the cells, and functional organelles are effective in color reduction. This mechanism can be used in vivo for treating melanin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  17. Feasibility of Ionization-Mediated Pathway for Ultraviolet-Induced Melanin Damage.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Mukunda; Das, Tamal; Grewal, Baljinder K; Ghosh, Debashree

    2015-10-22

    Melanin is the pigment found in human skin that is responsible for both photoprotection and photodamage. Recently there have been reports that greater photodamage of DNA occurs when cells containing melanin are irradiated with ultraviolet (UV) radiation, thus suggesting that the photoproducts of melanin cause DNA damage. Photoionization processes have also been implicated in the photodegradation of melanin. However, not much is known about the oxidation potential of melanin and its monomers. In this work we calculate the ionization energies of monomers, dimers, and few oligomers of eumelanin to estimate the threshold energy required for the ionization of eumelanin. We find that this threshold is within the UV-B region for eumelanin. We also look at the charge and spin distributions of the various ionized states of the monomers that are formed to understand which of the ionization channels might favor monomerization from a covalent dimer.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Novel mobilizable prokaryotic two-hybrid system vectors for high-throughput protein interaction mapping in Escherichia coli by bacterial conjugation

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Paul; Cuív, Páraic Ó; O'Connell, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Since its initial description, the yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) system has been widely used for the detection and analysis of protein–protein interactions. Mating-based strategies have been developed permitting its application for automated proteomic interaction mapping projects using both exhaustive and high-throughput strategies. More recently, a number of prokaryotic two-hybrid (P2H) systems have been developed but, despite the many advantages such Escherichia coli-based systems have over the Y2H system, they have not yet been widely implemented for proteomic interaction mapping. This may be largely due to the fact that high-throughput strategies employing bacterial transformation are not as amenable to automation as Y2H mating-based strategies. Here, we describe the construction of novel conjugative P2H system vectors. These vectors carry a mobilization element of the IncPα group plasmid RP4 and can therefore be mobilized with high efficiency from an E.coli donor strain encoding all of the required transport functions in trans. We demonstrate how these vectors permit the exploitation of bacterial conjugation for technically simplified and automated proteomic interaction mapping strategies in E.coli, analogous to the mating-based strategies developed for the Y2H system. PMID:15687376

  2. [Utilization of melanin precursors for experimental chemotherapy of malignant melanoma].

    PubMed

    Jimbow, K; Miura, S; Ito, Y; Kasuga, T; Ito, S

    1984-10-01

    Melanin synthesis is a metabolic pathway unique and specific to melanocytes. It occurs by conversion of tyrosine to dopa and dopaquinone in the presence of tyrosinase. It is highly accelerated in malignant melanoma with a marked increase of tyrosinase activity. This study summarizes the recent progress in experimental chemotherapeutic approaches to malignant melanoma by utilizing melanin precursors, and presents our current results. Our studies indicated (a) that hydroquinone and 4-isopropylcatechol are selectively toxic to melanocytes and melanoma cells, (b) that their actions are mediated through tyrosinase, and (c) that dopa is selectively and highly incorporated into melanoma cells and melanocytes depending on the tyrosinase activity. In addition, our new compounds, i.e., 4-S-cysteinylphenol and 4-S-cysteaminylphenol were highly toxic to melanoma cells, increasing the life span of B16 melanoma bearing mice and decreasing melanoma growth in C57 BL mice. Other synthetic compounds, e.g., cysteinylcatechols and their devivatives, were, however, not toxic to melanoma cells. 4-S-cysteinylphenol and 4-S-cysteaminylphenol appeared to exert their cytotoxicity through the action of tyrosinase present in melanoma cells, thus providing a kind of "guided missile" approach to melanoma chemotherapy. PMID:6435538

  3. Units of plasticity in bacterial genomes: new insight from the comparative genomics of two bacteria interacting with invertebrates, Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Flexible genomes facilitate bacterial evolution and are classically organized into polymorphic strain-specific segments called regions of genomic plasticity (RGPs). Using a new web tool, RGPFinder, we investigated plasticity units in bacterial genomes, by exhaustive description of the RGPs in two Photorhabdus and two Xenorhabdus strains, belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae and interacting with invertebrates (insects and nematodes). Results RGPs account for about 60% of the genome in each of the four genomes studied. We classified RGPs into genomic islands (GIs), prophages and two new classes of RGP without the features of classical mobile genetic elements (MGEs) but harboring genes encoding enzymes catalyzing DNA recombination (RGPmob), or with no remarkable feature (RGPnone). These new classes accounted for most of the RGPs and are probably hypervariable regions, ancient MGEs with degraded mobilization machinery or non canonical MGEs for which the mobility mechanism has yet to be described. We provide evidence that not only the GIs and the prophages, but also RGPmob and RGPnone, have a mosaic structure consisting of modules. A module is a block of genes, 0.5 to 60 kb in length, displaying a conserved genomic organization among the different Enterobacteriaceae. Modules are functional units involved in host/environment interactions (22-31%), metabolism (22-27%), intracellular or intercellular DNA mobility (13-30%), drug resistance (4-5%) and antibiotic synthesis (3-6%). Finally, in silico comparisons and PCR multiplex analysis indicated that these modules served as plasticity units within the bacterial genome during genome speciation and as deletion units in clonal variants of Photorhabdus. Conclusions This led us to consider the modules, rather than the entire RGP, as the true unit of plasticity in bacterial genomes, during both short-term and long-term genome evolution. PMID:20950463

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua

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

  6. Identification of two proteins that interact with the Erp virulence factor from Mycobacterium tuberculosis by using the bacterial two-hybrid system

    PubMed Central

    Klepp, Laura I; Soria, Marcelo; Blanco, Federico C; Bianco, María V; Santangelo, María P; Cataldi, Angel A; Bigi, Fabiana

    2009-01-01

    Background The exported repetitive protein (erp) gene encodes a secreted 36-kDa protein with a central domain containing several proline-glycine-leucine-threonine-serine (PGLTS) repeats. It has been demonstrated that erp is a virulence-associated factor since the disruption of this gene impairs the growth of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mice. Results In order to elucidate the function of Erp we searched for Erp-binding proteins from M. tuberculosis by using a bacterial two-hybrid system. Our results indicate that Erp interacts specifically with two putative membrane proteins, Rv1417 and Rv2617c. Further analysis revealed that the latter two interact with each other, indicating that Rv1417, Rv2617c and Erp are connected through multiple interactions. While Rv1417 is disseminated in several Actinomycetales genera, orthologues of Rv2617c are exclusively present in members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTC). The central and amino-terminal regions of Erp were determined to be involved in the interaction with Rv1417 and Rv2627c. Erp forms from Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium leprae were not able to interact with Rv2617c in two-hybrid assays. Immunolocalization experiments showed that Rv1417 and Rv2617c are found on the cell membrane and Erp on the bacterial cell wall. Finally, comparative genomics and expression studies revealed a possible role of Rv1417 in riboflavin metabolism. Conclusion We identified interactive partners of Erp, an M. tuberculosis protein involved in virulence, which will be the focus of future investigation to decipher the function of the Erp family protein. PMID:19159459

  7. View of the bacterial strains of Escherichia coli M-17 and its interaction with the nanoparticles of zinc oxide by means of atomic force microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagitova, A.; Yaminsky, I.; Meshkov, G.

    2016-08-01

    Visualization of the structure of biological objects plays a key role in medicine, biotechnology, nanotechnology and IT-technology. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a promising method of studying of objects’ morphology and structure. In this work, AFM was used to determine the size and shape of the bacterial strains of Escherichia coli M-17 and visualization its interaction with the nanoparticles of zinc oxide. The suspension of E.coli bacteria was applied to natural mica and studied by contact mode using the FemtoScan multifunctional scanning probe microscope.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Syndecan-2 regulates melanin synthesis via protein kinase C βII-mediated tyrosinase activation.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hyejung; Chung, Heesung; Chang, Sung Eun; Choi, Sora; Han, Inn-Oc; Kang, Duk-Hee; Oh, Eok-Soo

    2014-05-01

    Syndecan-2, a transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan that is highly expressed in melanoma cells, regulates melanoma cell functions (e.g. migration). Since melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes, which largely function to synthesize melanin, we investigated the possible involvement of syndecan-2 in melanogenesis. Syndecan-2 expression was increased in human skin melanoma tissues compared with normal skin. In both mouse and human melanoma cells, siRNA-mediated knockdown of syndecan-2 was associated with reduced melanin synthesis, whereas overexpression of syndecan-2 increased melanin synthesis. Similar effects were also detected in human primary epidermal melanocytes. Syndecan-2 expression did not affect the expression of tyrosinase, a key enzyme in melanin synthesis, but instead enhanced the enzymatic activity of tyrosinase by increasing the membrane and melanosome localization of its regulator, protein kinase CβII. Furthermore, UVB caused increased syndecan-2 expression, and this up-regulation of syndecan-2 was required for UVB-induced melanin synthesis. Taken together, these data suggest that syndecan-2 regulates melanin synthesis and could be a potential therapeutic target for treating melanin-associated diseases.

  10. Production of natural melanin by Auricularia auricula and study on its molecular structure.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shujing; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Sun, Shiwei; Zhang, Liaoyuan; Shan, Shukai; Zhu, Hu

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the production and structure of melanin produced by Auricularia auricula have been determined and analyzed in detail. The results showed that the highest mycelial growth rate was observed in low-carbon and carbon-free medium. In low-nitrogen and nitrogen-free medium, melanin yield was very low. Deficiency of tyrosine in medium led to weak secretion of melanin. The inorganic salt could markedly influence mycelia morphology, but did not obviously impact mycelia growth rate and melanin yield. Meanwhile the condensed molecular formula ([C18(OR)3H7O4N2]n) and structural formula of melanin were concluded based on UV-Vis, HPLC, FTIR, NMR and elemental assay. This is an eumelanin and also a macromolecular polymer of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid. The 6 main components were phenolic hydroxyl, carboxyl, amidogen, carbonyl, methylene, methyne and sulfur. This work testified that nutritional control was very important to promote melanin production, making melanin more affordable as material in food, cosmetics and medicines.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-24

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

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

    PubMed

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; Dimarzio, Charles A

    2013-06-01

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

  14. Fruit over sunbed: carotenoid skin colouration is found more attractive than melanin colouration.

    PubMed

    Lefevre, Carmen E; Perrett, David I

    2015-01-01

    Skin colouration appears to play a pivotal part in facial attractiveness. Skin yellowness contributes to an attractive appearance and is influenced both by dietary carotenoids and by melanin. While both increased carotenoid colouration and increased melanin colouration enhance apparent health in Caucasian faces by increasing skin yellowness, it remains unclear, firstly, whether both pigments contribute to attractiveness judgements, secondly, whether one pigment is clearly preferred over the other, and thirdly, whether these effects depend on the sex of the face. Here, in three studies, we examine these questions using controlled facial stimuli transformed to be either high or low in (a) carotenoid colouration, or (b) melanin colouration. We show, firstly, that both increased carotenoid colouration and increased melanin colouration are found attractive compared to lower levels of these pigments. Secondly, we show that carotenoid colouration is consistently preferred over melanin colouration when levels of colouration are matched. In addition, we find an effect of the sex of stimuli with stronger preferences for carotenoids over melanin in female compared to male faces, irrespective of the sex of the observer. These results are interpreted as reflecting preferences for sex-typical skin colouration: men have darker skin than women and high melanization in male faces may further enhance this masculine trait, thus carotenoid colouration is not less desirable, but melanin colouration is relatively more desirable in males compared to females. Taken together, our findings provide further support for a carotenoid-linked health-signalling system that is highly important in mate choice.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  2. A Molecular-Level Landscape of Diet-Gut Microbiome Interactions: Toward Dietary Interventions Targeting Bacterial Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Yueqiong; Li, Jun

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT As diet is considered the major regulator of the gut ecosystem, the overall objective of this work was to demonstrate that a detailed knowledge of the phytochemical composition of food could add to our understanding of observed changes in functionality and activity of the gut microbiota. We used metatranscriptomic data from a human dietary intervention study to develop a network that consists of >400 compounds present in the administered plant-based diet linked to 609 microbial targets in the gut. Approximately 20% of the targeted bacterial proteins showed significant changes in their gene expression levels, while functional and topology analyses revealed that proteins in metabolic networks with high centrality are the most “vulnerable” targets. This global view and the mechanistic understanding of the associations between microbial gene expression and dietary molecules could be regarded as a promising methodological approach for targeting specific bacterial proteins that impact human health. PMID:26507230

  3. Colourful parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation.

    PubMed

    Burtt, Edward H; Schroeder, Max R; Smith, Lauren A; Sroka, Jenna E; McGraw, Kevin J

    2011-04-23

    The brilliant red, orange and yellow colours of parrot feathers are the product of psittacofulvins, which are synthetic pigments known only from parrots. Recent evidence suggests that some pigments in bird feathers function not just as colour generators, but also preserve plumage integrity by increasing the resistance of feather keratin to bacterial degradation. We exposed a variety of colourful parrot feathers to feather-degrading Bacillus licheniformis and found that feathers with red psittacofulvins degraded at about the same rate as those with melanin and more slowly than white feathers, which lack pigments. Blue feathers, in which colour is based on the microstructural arrangement of keratin, air and melanin granules, and green feathers, which combine structural blue with yellow psittacofulvins, degraded at a rate similar to that of red and black feathers. These differences in resistance to bacterial degradation of differently coloured feathers suggest that colour patterns within the Psittaciformes may have evolved to resist bacterial degradation, in addition to their role in communication and camouflage.

  4. Interrupting peptidoglycan deacetylation during Bdellovibrio predator-prey interaction prevents ultimate destruction of prey wall, liberating bacterial-ghosts

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Carey; Lerner, Thomas R.; Bui, Nhat Khai; Somers, Hannah; Aizawa, Shin-Ichi; Liddell, Susan; Clark, Ana; Vollmer, Waldemar; Lovering, Andrew L.; Sockett, R. Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The peptidoglycan wall, located in the periplasm between the inner and outer membranes of the cell envelope in Gram-negative bacteria, maintains cell shape and endows osmotic robustness. Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteria invade the periplasm of other bacterial prey cells, usually crossing the peptidoglycan layer, forming transient structures called bdelloplasts within which the predators replicate. Prey peptidoglycan remains intact for several hours, but is modified and then degraded by escaping predators. Here we show predation is altered by deleting two Bdellovibrio N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) deacetylases, one of which we show to have a unique two domain structure with a novel regulatory”plug”. Deleting the deacetylases limits peptidoglycan degradation and rounded prey cell “ghosts” persist after mutant-predator exit. Mutant predators can replicate unusually in the periplasmic region between the peptidoglycan wall and the outer membrane rather than between wall and inner-membrane, yet still obtain nutrients from the prey cytoplasm. Deleting two further genes encoding DacB/PBP4 family proteins, known to decrosslink and round prey peptidoglycan, results in a quadruple mutant Bdellovibrio which leaves prey-shaped ghosts upon predation. The resultant bacterial ghosts contain cytoplasmic membrane within bacteria-shaped peptidoglycan surrounded by outer membrane material which could have promise as “bacterial skeletons” for housing artificial chromosomes. PMID:27211869

  5. Interrupting peptidoglycan deacetylation during Bdellovibrio predator-prey interaction prevents ultimate destruction of prey wall, liberating bacterial-ghosts.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Carey; Lerner, Thomas R; Bui, Nhat Khai; Somers, Hannah; Aizawa, Shin-Ichi; Liddell, Susan; Clark, Ana; Vollmer, Waldemar; Lovering, Andrew L; Sockett, R Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The peptidoglycan wall, located in the periplasm between the inner and outer membranes of the cell envelope in Gram-negative bacteria, maintains cell shape and endows osmotic robustness. Predatory Bdellovibrio bacteria invade the periplasm of other bacterial prey cells, usually crossing the peptidoglycan layer, forming transient structures called bdelloplasts within which the predators replicate. Prey peptidoglycan remains intact for several hours, but is modified and then degraded by escaping predators. Here we show predation is altered by deleting two Bdellovibrio N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) deacetylases, one of which we show to have a unique two domain structure with a novel regulatory"plug". Deleting the deacetylases limits peptidoglycan degradation and rounded prey cell "ghosts" persist after mutant-predator exit. Mutant predators can replicate unusually in the periplasmic region between the peptidoglycan wall and the outer membrane rather than between wall and inner-membrane, yet still obtain nutrients from the prey cytoplasm. Deleting two further genes encoding DacB/PBP4 family proteins, known to decrosslink and round prey peptidoglycan, results in a quadruple mutant Bdellovibrio which leaves prey-shaped ghosts upon predation. The resultant bacterial ghosts contain cytoplasmic membrane within bacteria-shaped peptidoglycan surrounded by outer membrane material which could have promise as "bacterial skeletons" for housing artificial chromosomes.

  6. Analysis of the structure of synthetic and natural melanins by solid-phase

    SciTech Connect

    Duff, G.A.; Roberts, J.E.; Foster, N.

    1988-09-06

    The structures of one synthetic and two natural melanins are examined by solid-state NMR using cross polarization, magic angle sample spinning, and high-power proton decoupling. The structural features of synthetic dopa malanin are compared to those of melanin from malignant melanoma cells grown in culture and sepia melanin from squid ink. Natural abundance /sup 13/C and /sup 15/N spectra show resonances consistent with known pyrrolic and indolic structures within the heterogeneous biopolymer; /sup 13/C spectra indicate the presence of aliphatic residues in all three materials. These solid-phase experiments illustrate the promise of solid-phase NMR for elucidating structural from insoluble biomaterials.

  7. Screening of micro-organisms for decolorization of melanins produced by bluestain fungi.

    PubMed

    Rättö, M; Chatani, M; Ritschkoff, A C; Viikari, L

    2001-03-01

    A total of 17 fungi and four bacteria were screened for their ability to decolorize melanin, using isolated extracellular melanin of the bluestain fungus Aureobasidium pullulans as substrate. On agar media, decolorization was observed by four fungal strains: Bjerkandera adusta VTT-D-99746, Galactomyces geotrichum VTT-D-84228, Trametes hirsuta VTT-D-95443 and Trametes versicolor VTT-D-99747. The four fungi were more efficient on nitrogen-limited medium than on complete medium. The melanin-decolorizing activity of G. geotrichum appeared to be located on the mycelium and could be liberated into the medium enzymatically.

  8. Vimentin in Bacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Tim N.; Brüggemann, Holger

    2016-01-01

    Despite well-studied bacterial strategies to target actin to subvert the host cell cytoskeleton, thus promoting bacterial survival, replication, and dissemination, relatively little is known about the bacterial interaction with other components of the host cell cytoskeleton, including intermediate filaments (IFs). IFs have not only roles in maintaining the structural integrity of the cell, but they are also involved in many cellular processes including cell adhesion, immune signaling, and autophagy, processes that are important in the context of bacterial infections. Here, we summarize the knowledge about the role of IFs in bacterial infections, focusing on the type III IF protein vimentin. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of vimentin in host cell defenses, acting as ligand for several pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system. Two main aspects of bacteria-vimentin interactions are presented in this review: the role of vimentin in pathogen-binding on the cell surface and subsequent bacterial invasion and the interaction of cytosolic vimentin and intracellular pathogens with regards to innate immune signaling. Mechanistic insight is presented involving distinct bacterial virulence factors that target vimentin to subvert its function in order to change the host cell fate in the course of a bacterial infection. PMID:27096872

  9. Melanin-concentrating hormone: from fish skin to skinny mammals.

    PubMed

    Pissios, Pavlos; Maratos-Flier, Eleftheria

    2003-07-01

    In recent years, the key role of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) in regulating mammalian energy balance has been confirmed through several lines of evidence. When administered exogenously, MCH leads to a rapid and robust feeding response and chronic infusions result in the development of mild obesity. At the physiological level, it is known that MCH expression changes in states of altered energy balance, such as fasting and obesity. Genetic studies with mice have shown that ablation of either the gene for prepro-MCH or the gene encoding the MCH receptor leads to a lean phenotype. Finally, the administration of MCH antagonists appears to inhibit both feeding and the development of diet-induced obesity. The aim of this article is to review the recent data on MCH and MCH receptors in light of their emerging roles in energy homeostasis.

  10. Melanin Concentration Gradients in Modern and Fossil Feathers

    PubMed Central

    Field, Daniel J.; D’Alba, Liliana; Vinther, Jakob; Webb, Samuel M.; Gearty, William; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    In birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs, within-feather pigmentation patterns range from discrete spots and stripes to more subtle patterns, but the latter remain largely unstudied. A ∼55 million year old fossil contour feather with a dark distal tip grading into a lighter base was recovered from the Fur Formation in Denmark. SEM and synchrotron-based trace metal mapping confirmed that this gradient was caused by differential concentration of melanin. To assess the potential ecological and phylogenetic prevalence of this pattern, we evaluated 321 modern samples from 18 orders within Aves. We observed that the pattern was found most frequently in distantly related groups that share aquatic ecologies (e.g. waterfowl Anseriformes, penguins Sphenisciformes), suggesting a potential adaptive function with ancient origins. PMID:23555675

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Possible interaction between the bacterial transcription factor ArtA and the eukaryotic RNA polymerase III promoter.

    PubMed

    Matsutani, Sachiko

    2016-06-01

    Eukaryotic RNA polymerase III (RNAP III) transcribes tRNA genes and short interspersed elements that have internal promoters consisting of A- and B-blocks. The B-block binding subunit of the transcription initiation factor TFIIIC binds to the B-block. The mobile bacterial insertion sequence (IS) 1 contains a RNAP III promoter-like sequence, which stimulates bacterial transcription along with the bacterial ArtA protein. Here, the DNA-binding ability of ArtA was examined in vitro using a simple, newly developed method. Various DNA fragments, including RNAP III promoter fragments, were separately incubated with purified ArtA, and then loaded onto a polyacrylamide gel. Since DNAs bound by ArtA remain in the gel wells during electrophoresis, SDS was added into the wells at the electrophoresis halfway point. It was hypothesized that SDS would dissociate the DNA-ArtA complexes in the wells, and then the DNAs would begin to migrate. In fact, new bands appeared in all of the lanes at similar intensities, indicating that ArtA binds nonspecifically to DNA. Therefore, labeled wild-type RNAP III promoter fragments were incubated with either the unlabeled wild-type or mutant fragments and ArtA, and electrophoresed. The B-block(-like) sequences of IS1, a human Alu element, and an anuran tRNA gene were important for binding to ArtA. Additionally, in silico analyses revealed the presence of the RNAP III promoter-like structures in the IS1 isoforms and the IS3 family elements. These results suggest the presence of parts of the RNAP III transcription machinery in bacteria, and might imply that its prototype existed in the common ancestor.

  13. Membrane Interaction of Antimicrobial Peptides Using E. coli Lipid Extract as Model Bacterial Cell Membranes and SFG Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Soblosky, Lauren; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy; Chen, Zhan

    2015-01-01

    Supported lipid bilayers are used as a convenient model cell membrane system to study biologically important molecule-lipid interactions in situ. However, the lipid bilayer models are often simple and the acquired results with these models may not provide all pertinent information related to a real cell membrane. In this work, we use sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy to study molecular-level interactions between the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) MSI-594, ovispirin-1 G18, magainin 2 and a simple 1,2-dipalmitoyl-d62-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (dDPPG)-1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (POPG) bilayer. We compared such interactions to those between the AMPs and a more complex dDPPG/E. coli polar lipid extract bilayer. We show that to fully understand more complex aspects of peptide-bilayer interaction, such as interaction kinetics, a heterogeneous lipid composition is required, such as the E. coli polar lipid extract. The discrepancy in peptide-bilayer interaction is likely due in part to the difference in bilayer charge between the two systems since highly negative charged lipids can promote more favorable electrostatic interactions between the peptide and lipid bilayer. Results presented in this paper indicate that more complex model bilayers are needed to accurately analyze peptide-cell membrane interactions and demonstrates the importance of using an appropriate lipid composition to study AMP interaction properties. PMID:25707312

  14. Membrane interaction of antimicrobial peptides using E. coli lipid extract as model bacterial cell membranes and SFG spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Soblosky, Lauren; Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy; Chen, Zhan

    2015-04-01

    Supported lipid bilayers are used as a convenient model cell membrane system to study biologically important molecule-lipid interactions in situ. However, the lipid bilayer models are often simple and the acquired results with these models may not provide all pertinent information related to a real cell membrane. In this work, we use sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy to study molecular-level interactions between the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) MSI-594, ovispirin-1 G18, magainin 2 and a simple 1,2-dipalmitoyl-d62-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (dDPPG)/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol (POPG) bilayer. We compared such interactions to those between the AMPs and a more complex dDPPG/Escherichia coli (E. coli) polar lipid extract bilayer. We show that to fully understand more complex aspects of peptide-bilayer interaction, such as interaction kinetics, a heterogeneous lipid composition is required, such as the E. coli polar lipid extract. The discrepancy in peptide-bilayer interaction is likely due in part to the difference in bilayer charge between the two systems since highly negative charged lipids can promote more favorable electrostatic interactions between the peptide and lipid bilayer. Results presented in this paper indicate that more complex model bilayers are needed to accurately analyze peptide-cell membrane interactions and demonstrates the importance of using an appropriate lipid composition to study AMP interaction properties.

  15. Pigment pattern formation in the quail mutant of the silkworm, Bombyx mori: parallel increase of pteridine biosynthesis and pigmentation of melanin and ommochromes.

    PubMed

    Kato, Tomomi; Sawada, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Takayuki; Mase, Keisuke; Nakagoshi, Motoko

    2006-08-01

    The larval pigment pattern in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, is formed by melanin, ommochromes and pteridines. During development all these pigments are synthesized autonomously, and possibly also with mutual interaction between them, to yield unique pigment patterns. In order to find the key trigger for such pigment pattern formation, developmental changes in pteridine biosynthesis were studied using the quail mutant (q/q), which has darker larval marks formed by melanin and an abundance of ommochromes in the integument. In the current study, emphasis has been placed on the analysis of GTP-cyclohydrolase I (GTP-CH I), which is a key enzyme for the biosynthesis of pteridines, during the development of the silkworm. Results of Northern blotting showed that in the quail mutant strong signals of GTP-CH I mRNA appeared around each period of ecdysis, while no such signals appeared in the background strain (+q/q) used. Also, both GTP-CH I activities and pteridine content were higher in the quail mutant compared with the background strain. These results strongly suggest that pteridine biosynthesis is closely linked to the formation of melanin and ommochromes. It is also suggested here that in the silkworm a recessive gene (q) may be involved in the regulation of its pigment pattern formation.

  16. Melanin and blood concentration in human skin studied by multiple regression analysis: experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimada, M.; Yamada, Y.; Itoh, M.; Yatagai, T.

    2001-09-01

    Knowledge of the mechanism of human skin colour and measurement of melanin and blood concentration in human skin are needed in the medical and cosmetic fields. The absorbance spectrum from reflectance at the visible wavelength of human skin increases under several conditions such as a sunburn or scalding. The change of the absorbance spectrum from reflectance including the scattering effect does not correspond to the molar absorption spectrum of melanin and blood. The modified Beer-Lambert law is applied to the change in the absorbance spectrum from reflectance of human skin as the change in melanin and blood is assumed to be small. The concentration of melanin and blood was estimated from the absorbance spectrum reflectance of human skin using multiple regression analysis. Estimated concentrations were compared with the measured one in a phantom experiment and this method was applied to in vivo skin.

  17. Flux pinning mechanism and Hc2-anisotropy in melanin doped bulk MgB2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahabuddin Shah, M.; Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Alzayed, Nasser S.; Parakkandy, Jafar M.

    2014-06-01

    Flux pinning mechanism in melanin doped MgB2 superconductor has been studied using a scaling law proposed by Dew-Hughes and another method proposed by Eisterer. Our experimental data could be fitted very closely by the aforementioned scaling law. The fitting parameters, the positions of peaks bpeak and k = bpeak/bn confirm a grain-boundary pinning in the 10% melanin doped sample, while the undoped sample consists of mixed pinning. Furthermore, percolation theory was utilized under grain-boundary approximation to investigate the role of Hc2-anisotropy in the critical current density, and its dependence on applied field as well as temperature. The Hc2-anisotropy decreases with melanin doping resulting in the increase of Jc in high field. There is suppression of flux pinning maximum due to melanin doping, which is found to be the main reason for the degradation of low-field Jc.

  18. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-09-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms.

  19. Quick analysis of optical spectra to quantify epidermal melanin and papillary dermal blood content of skin.

    PubMed

    Jacques, Steven L

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents a practical approach for assessing the melanin and blood content of the skin from total diffuse reflectance spectra, R(λ), where λ is wavelength. A quick spectral analysis using just three wavelengths (585 nm, 700 nm and 800 nm) is presented, based on the 1985 work of Kollias and Baquer who documented epidermal melanin of skin using the slope of optical density (OD) between 620 nm and 720 nm. The paper describes the non-rectilinear character of such a quick analysis, and shows that almost any choice of two wavelengths in the 600-900 range can achieve the characterization of melanin. The extrapolation of the melanin slope to 585 nm serves as a baseline for subtraction from the OD (585 nm) to yield a blood perfusion score. Monte Carlo simulations created spectral data for a skin model with epidermis, papillary dermis and reticular dermis to illustrate the analysis.

  20. Gamma-resonance study of the reaction of iron ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Bagirov, R.M.; Stukan, R.A.; Lapina, V.A.; Dontsov, A.E.; Ostrovskii, M.A.

    1986-07-01

    The reaction of Fe/sup 3 +/ and Fe/sup 2 +/ ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin, which is a model compound of natural melanin (the melanoprotein granules in the pigment epithelial cells in vertebrate and human eyes), has been studied by gamma-resonance spectroscopy. The investigations showed that L-dopa melanin is capable of effectively binding iron ions and that it displays oxidative or reducing properties with respect to Fe, depending on the composition of the subsystem of the Fe ions and the ambient pH. Trivalent Fe/sup 3 +/ ions form stronger complexes with L-dopa melanin than do Fe/sup 2 +/ ions. The coordination takes place mainly with the carboxyl groups and the amino and imino groups of the polymer. The conformational state of the polymer apparently changes as the pH is varied.

  1. Lasers in esthetic treatment of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation: a review article.

    PubMed

    Bakhshi, Mahin; Rahmani, Somayeh; Rahmani, Ali

    2015-11-01

    The health and suitability of mouth components play an important role towards defining facial attractiveness. An important component of the oral cavity is the color of the gingival tissue. Gingival melanin hyperpigmentation is caused by several reasons and affects people across ethnicity, race, age, and both gender. Lasers are presently being used for gingival melanin depigmentation. In this article, we reviewed studies on laser parameters, duration of gingival healing, pain perception during and after the operation, scores used for the evaluation of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation, follow-up period, treatment results, and recurrence reports. We conclude that laser ablation for gingival depigmentation is one of the most pleasant, reliable, acceptable, and impressive techniques available for treating gingival melanin hyperpigmentation.

  2. Natural melanin: a potential pH-responsive drug release device.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Marco; Viveiros, Raquel; Correia, Tiago R; Correia, Ilídio J; Bonifácio, Vasco D B; Casimiro, Teresa; Aguiar-Ricardo, Ana

    2014-07-20

    This work proposes melanin as a new nanocarrier for pH-responsive drug release. Melanin is an abundant natural polymer that can be easily extracted from cuttlefish as nanoparticles with a suitable size range for drug delivery. However, despite its high potentiality, the application of this biopolymer in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields is yet to be explored. Herein, melanin nanoparticles were impregnated with metronidazole, chosen as model antibiotic drug, using supercritical carbon dioxide. The drug release profile was investigated at acidic and physiologic pH, and the dominant mechanism was found to follow a non-Fickian transport. Drug release from melanin shows a strong pH dependency, which allied to its biocompatibility and lack of cytotoxicity envisages its potential application as nanocarrier in formulations for colon and intestine targeted drug delivery.

  3. Mechanisms of branching reactions in melanin formation - Ab initio quantum engineering approach -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishida, Ryo; Menez Aspera, Susan; Kasai, Hideaki

    Melanin, a pigment found in animals, consists of two types of oligomeric unit: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The color of the skin, the hair, and the eyes is controlled by the ratio of eumelanin/pheomelanin production. Especially, dopachrome and dopaquinone are the precursor molecules of melanin which directly affect the composition of melanin through their branching reactions. Dopachrome is converted into two possible monomers of eumelanin. Dopaquinone can undergo both eumelanin and pheomelanin synthesis. To understand the mechanisms and controlling factors that govern the conversions, reactions of the two molecules are investigated using density functional theory-based first-principles calculations. Our results deepen mechanistic understanding of the reactions and open possibilities to design properties and functions of melanin. In this talk, we will discuss about the competitions of the branching reactions.

  4. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-01-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms. PMID:27658854

  5. Quantification of melanin and iron content in uveal malignant melanomas and correlation with magnetic resonance image.

    PubMed Central

    Ferris, J D; Bloom, P A; Goddard, P R; Collins, C

    1993-01-01

    Eleven patients with uveal malignant melanomas (MM) were studied by magnetic resonance (MR) imaging before enucleation. The MR appearances varied, but often were different from those previously reported to be characteristic of these tumours. Using an image analyser to assess quantitatively the melanin and iron content of each tumour, a wide range of tumour melanin concentrations was found, but universally low tumour iron concentrations. These values were compared with MR appearances that were quantified and expressed as contrast to noise ratios. The correlation between T1 and T2 shortening and increasing melanin content did not reach statistical significance. There was no correlation between MR appearances and iron content. The theories postulated to explain the diverse MR appearances of uveal MMs are discussed and variations in tumour melanin content and differences in scanner strengths are suggested as the most likely explanations. Images PMID:8318467

  6. Analysis of lysosomal membrane proteins exposed to melanin in HeLa cells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Objectives There have been developed to use targeting ability for antimicrobial, anticancerous, gene therapy and cosmetics through analysis of various membrane proteins isolated from cell organelles. Methods It was examined about the lysosomal membrane protein extracted from lysosome isolated from HeLa cell treated by 100 ppm melanin for 24 hours in order to find associated with targeting ability to melanin using by 2-dimensional electrophoresis. Results The result showed 14 up-regulated (1.5-fold) and 13 down-regulated (2.0-fold) spots in relation to melanin exposure. Conclusions It has been found that lysosomal membrane proteins are associated with melanin to decolorize and quantity through cellular activation of lysosome. PMID:27158002

  7. Inhibition of melanin production by a combination of Siberian larch and pomegranate fruit extracts.

    PubMed

    Diwakar, Ganesh; Rana, Jatinder; Scholten, Jeffrey D

    2012-09-01

    In an effort to find botanicals containing polyphenolic compounds with the capacity to inhibit melanin biosynthesis, we identified a novel combination of Siberian larch (Larix sibirica) extract, standardized to 80% taxifolin, and pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum) extract, containing 20% punicalagins, that demonstrates a synergistic reduction of melanin biosynthesis in Melan-a cells. The combination of Siberian larch and pomegranate extracts (1:1) produced a 2-fold reduction in melanin content compared to Siberian larch or pomegranate extracts alone with no corresponding effect on cell viability. Siberian larch and pomegranate fruit extracts inhibited expression of melanocyte specific genes, tyrosinase (Tyr), microphthalmia transcription factor (Mitf), and melanosome structural proteins (Pmel17 and Mart1) but did not inhibit tyrosinase enzyme activity. These results suggest that the mechanism of inhibition of melanin biosynthesis by Siberian larch and pomegranate extracts, alone and in combination, is through downregulation of melanocyte specific genes and not due to inhibition of tyrosinase enzyme activity.

  8. The role of melanin as protector against free radicals in skin and its role as free radical indicator in hair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrling, Thomas; Jung, Katinka; Fuchs, Jürgen

    2008-05-01

    Throughout the body, melanin is a homogenous biological polymer containing a population of intrinsic, semiquinone-like radicals. Additional extrinsic free radicals are reversibly photo-generated by UV and visible light. Melanin photochemistry, particularly the formation and decay of extrinsic radicals, has been the subject of numerous electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy studies. Several melanin monomers exist, and the predominant monomer in a melanin polymer depends on its location within an organism. In skin and hair, melanin differs in content of eumelanin or pheomelanin. Its bioradical character and its susceptibility to UV irradiation makes melanin an excellent indicator for UV-related processes in both skin and hair. The existence of melanin in skin is strongly correlated with the prevention against free radicals/ROS generated by UV radiation. Especially in the skin melanin (mainly eumelanin) ensures the only natural UV protection by eliminating the generated free radicals/ROS. Melanin in hair can be used as a free radical detector for evaluating the efficacy of hair care products. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of melanin as protector of skin against UV generated free radicals and as free radical indicator in hair.

  9. Examination by EPR spectroscopy of free radicals in melanins isolated from A-375 cells exposed on valproic acid and cisplatin.

    PubMed

    Chodurek, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Dzierzewicz, Zofia

    2012-01-01

    Drug binding by melanin biopolymers influence the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy. Free radicals of melanins take part in formation of their complex with drugs. The aim of this work was to determine the effect of the two compounds: valproic acid (VPA) and cisplatin (CPT) on free radicals properties of melanin isolated from A-375 melanoma cells. Free radicals were examined by an X-band (9.3 GHz) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR spectra were measured for the model synthetic eumelanin - DOPA-melanin, the melanin isolated from the control A-375 cells and these cells treated by VPA, CPT and both VPA and CPT. For all the examined samples broad EPR lines (deltaBpp: 0.48-0.68 mT) with g-factors of 2.0045-2.0060 characteristic for o-semiquinone free radicals were observed. Free radicals concentrations (N) in the tested samples, g-factors, amplitudes (A), integral intensities (I) and linewidths (deltaBpp) of the EPR spectra, were analyzed. The EPR lines were homogeneously broadened. Continuous microwave saturation of the EPR spectra indicated that slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested melanin samples. The relatively slowest spin-lattice relaxation processes characterized melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT. The changes of the EPR spectra with increasing microwave power in the range of 2.2-70 mW were evaluated. Free radicals concentrations in the melanin from A-375 cells were higher than in the synthetic DOPA-melanin. The strong increase of free radicals concentration in the melanin from A-375 cells was observed after their treating by VPA. CPT also caused the increase of free radicals concentrations in the examined natural melanin. The free radicals concentration in melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT was slightly higher than those in melanin from the control cells.

  10. Detection of Antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Melanin in In Vitro and In Vivo Studies during Infection ▿

    PubMed Central

    Urán, Martha E.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Restrepo, Angela; Hamilton, Andrew J.; Gómez, Beatriz L.; Cano, Luz E.

    2011-01-01

    Several cell wall constituents, including melanins or melanin-like compounds, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of microbial diseases caused by diverse species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and helminthes. Among these microorganisms, the dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produces melanin in its conidial and yeast forms. In the present study, melanin particles from P. brasiliensis were injected into BALB/c mice in order to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). We identified five immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) κ-chain and four IgM melanin-binding MAbs. The five IgG1 κ-chain isotypes are the first melanin-binding IgG MAbs ever reported. The nine MAbs labeled P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast cells both in vitro and in pulmonary tissues. The MAbs cross-reacted with melanin-like purified particles from other fungi and also with commercial melanins, such as synthetic and Sepia officinalis melanin. Melanization during paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) was also further supported by the detection of IgG antibodies reactive to melanin from P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast in sera and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from P. brasiliensis-infected mice, as well as in sera from human patients with PCM. Serum specimens from patients with other mycoses were also tested for melanin-binding antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cross-reactivities were detected for melanin particles from different fungal sources. These results suggest that melanin from P. brasiliensis is an immunologically active fungal structure that activates a strong IgG humoral response in humans and mice. PMID:21813659

  11. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon

    PubMed Central

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data. PMID:26882169

  12. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon.

    PubMed

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data.

  13. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon.

    PubMed

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data. PMID:26882169

  14. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: mechanisms of actions in a mice model.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-15

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

  15. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

    PubMed

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin) in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown) and belly (white-to-brownish) feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu) differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations, potentially

  16. An Ultra-Violet Tolerant Wild-Type Strain of Melanin-Producing Bacillus thuringiensis

    PubMed Central

    Sansinenea, Estibaliz; Salazar, Francisco; Ramirez, Melanie; Ortiz, Aurelio

    2015-01-01

    Background: Bacillus thuringiensis is the most successful biological control agent used in agriculture, forestry and mosquito control. However, the insecticidal activity of the B. thuringiensis formulation is not very stable and rapidly loses its biological activity under field conditions, due to the ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Melanin is known to absorb radiation therefore photo protection of B. thuringiensis based on melanin has been extensively studied. Objectives: The aim of this study was to find a wild type strain of naturally melanin-producing B. thuringiensis to avoid any mutation or manipulation that can affect the Cry protein content. Materials and Methods: Bacillus thuringiensis strains were isolated from soils of different States of Mexico and pigment extraction was followed by lowering the pH to 2 using 1N HCl. Pigment was characterized by some chemical tests based on its solubility, bleaching by H2O2 and flocculation with FeCl3, and using an Infrared (IR) spectrum. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation experiment was performed to probe the melanin efficacy. Results: ELI52 strain of B. thuringiensis was confirmed to naturally produce melanin. The Cry protein analysis suggested that ELI52 is probably a B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strain with toxic activity against the Diptera order of insects. Ultra Violet protection efficacy of melanin was probed counting total viable colonies after UV radiation and comparing the results with the non-producing melanin strain L-DOPA (L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) was also detected in the culture. ELI52 strain showed an antagonistic effect over some common bacteria from the environment. Conclusions: ELI52 wild-type strain of B. thuringiensis is a good bio-insecticide that produces melanin with UV-resistance that is probably toxic against the Diptera order of insects and can inhibit the growth of other environmental bacteria. PMID:26421136

  17. Sexual Dimorphism in Melanin Pigmentation, Feather Coloration and Its Heritability in the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

    PubMed Central

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin) in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown) and belly (white-to-brownish) feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu) differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations, potentially

  18. Inhibitory effect of isoprenoid-substituted flavonoids isolated from Artocarpus heterophyllus on melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Arung, Enos Tangke; Shimizu, Kuniyoshi; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2006-07-01

    Isoprenoid-substituted flavonoids were isolated from the wood of Artocarpus heterophyllus by means of activity-guided fractionation. Artocarpin (1), cudraflavone C (2), 6-prenylapigenin (3), kuwanon C (4), norartocarpin (5) and albanin A (6) inhibited melanin biosynthesis in B16 melanoma cells without inhibiting tyrosinase. A structure-activity investigation indicated that the presence of the isoprenoid-substituted moiety enhanced the inhibitory activity on melanin production in B16 melanoma cells.

  19. Ability of melanins to protect against the radiolysis of thymine and thymidine.

    PubMed

    Hill, H Z; Huselton, C; Pilas, B; Hill, G J

    1987-01-01

    Individuals with black skin rarely get skin cancer, and melanomas, tumors arising from pigmented cells, are generally resistant to radiation therapy. The role of melanin in these two phenomena has not been defined, but oxygen-radical species have been implicated in both effects. These studies were undertaken to determine the ability of various melanins to compete for ionizing radiation-produced radicals which destroy nucleic acid bases. The ability of Sigma eumelanin (S-eumelanin) to protect against the radiolysis of thymidine in buffered solutions was compared to the protective ability of seven amino acids, including melanin precursors; bovine serum albumin, as a model protein; ficoll, as a model polysaccharide; and DNA. Both proteins and polysaccharides are known to scavenge hydroxyl radicals in cells. The concentration of thymidine after exposure to gamma radiation was determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis after removal of insoluble melanin by acid precipitation. S-eumelanin was more effective at competing with thymidine for free radicals than bovine serum albumin, Ficoll, or DNA, but less effective than certain of the small molecules. Several of the above compounds were also examined for ability to protect against thymine radiolysis. In addition, melanins from other sources were compared to S-eumelanin. Of these, enzymatically synthesized phaeomelanin was the most effective. The results indicate that melanins can compete for base- and nucleoside-damaging free radicals more effectively than other cellular macromolecules. Of the small molecules, the phenolic compounds had the greatest scavenging ability. In vivo, melanins are found in melanosomes bound to protein. Therefore, the relevance of these findings to the photo- and radiobiology of melanins in vivo has yet to be determined. PMID:3507668

  20. Interaction of bacterial fatty-acid-displaced regulators with DNA is interrupted by tyrosine phosphorylation in the helix-turn-helix domain

    PubMed Central

    Derouiche, Abderahmane; Bidnenko, Vladimir; Grenha, Rosa; Pigonneau, Nathalie; Ventroux, Magali; Franz-Wachtel, Mirita; Nessler, Sylvie; Noirot-Gros, Marie-Françoise; Mijakovic, Ivan

    2013-01-01

    Bacteria possess transcription regulators (of the TetR family) specifically dedicated to repressing genes for cytochrome P450, involved in oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Interaction of these repressors with operator sequences is disrupted in the presence of fatty acids, and they are therefore known as fatty-acid-displaced regulators. Here, we describe a novel mechanism of inactivating the interaction of these proteins with DNA, illustrated by the example of Bacillus subtilis regulator FatR. FatR was found to interact in a two-hybrid assay with TkmA, an activator of the protein-tyrosine kinase PtkA. We show that FatR is phosphorylated specifically at the residue tyrosine 45 in its helix-turn-helix domain by the kinase PtkA. Structural modelling reveals that the hydroxyl group of tyrosine 45 interacts with DNA, and we show that this phosphorylation reduces FatR DNA binding capacity. Point mutants mimicking phosphorylation of FatR in vivo lead to a strong derepression of the fatR operon, indicating that this regulatory mechanism works independently of derepression by polyunsaturated fatty acids. Tyrosine 45 is a highly conserved residue, and PtkA from B. subtilis can phosphorylate FatR homologues from other bacteria. This indicates that phosphorylation of tyrosine 45 may be a general mechanism of switching off bacterial fatty-acid-displaced regulators. PMID:23939619

  1. Influence of melanin on mutation load in Drosophila populations after long-term irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Mosse, I.B.; Lyakh, I.P.

    1994-09-01

    The effect of melanin on the level of mutation load has been studied in experimental Drosophila populations exposed to radiation for 115 generations. Four types of populations have been analyzed: (1) control; (2) treated with melanin; (3) irradiated; (4) irradiated and treated with melanin. Melanin was produced by auto-oxidation of 1-dioxyphenylallanine and was constantly added to food. Populations were X-irradiated twice in each generation (at the larvae stage with 6 Gy and at the imago stage with 9 Gy). The level of recessive mutation on the third chromosome was analyzed by a standard genetic method of balanced lethals. The data obtained have shown that the populations exposed to long-term irradiation have the greatest number of mutations decreasing viability. Melanin exhibited radioprotective properties-it reduced the percentage of lethal, semilethal and subvital mutations. Thus the possibility of effective protection of populations exposed to radiation for many generations by melanin has been shown for the first time. 19 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  2. Preparation of melanin from Catharsius molossus L. and preliminary study on its chemical structure.

    PubMed

    Xin, Chao; Ma, Jia-hua; Tan, Cheng-jia; Yang, Zhou; Ye, Feng; Long, Chan; Ye, Shuang; Hou, Da-bin

    2015-04-01

    A great deal of melanin was found in the waste alkali liquor produced by extraction of chitin from Catharsius molossus L. Discarding the lye could harm the environment and cause waste of resources. In this paper, melanin from C. molossus L. was recovered through acid precipitation and purified by pepsin and so on. The purity, chemical composition and structure of the prepared melanin were explored by UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, high resolution (13)C Cross polarization magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry, X ray diffraction, X ray fluorescence, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight tandem mass spectrometry, thermal analysis, and so on. The results showed that the purity of the prepared melanin was higher than the commercial standard melanin and it was a kind of nanoaggregates composed of a large quantity of 5,6-dihydroxyindole eumelanin and a small amount of phaeomelanin. In addition, the prepared melanin was irregular in shape and its structure could be divided into three levels: advanced structure maintained by polypeptides, substructure maintained by the ferric ion and microstructure. In particular, the smallest structural unit showed the graphite-like layered structure containing five layers linked by non-covalent bonds and each layer mainly consisted of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and its derivatives, which might be connected to each other through various chemical bonds.

  3. Characterization and biological activities of extracellular melanin produced by Schizophyllum commune (Fries).

    PubMed

    Arun, G; Eyini, M; Gunasekaran, P

    2015-06-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Here, we have isolated and characterized extracellular melanin from mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune. The extracellular dark pigment produced by the broth culture of S. commune, after 21 days of incubation was recovered by hot acid-alkali treatment. The melanin nature of the pigment was characterized by biochemical tests and further, confirmed by UV, IR, EPR, NMR and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectra. Extracellular melanin, at 100 μg/ml, showed significant antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas fluorescens and antifungal activity against Trichophyton simii and T. rubrum. At a concentration of 50 μg/ml, melanin showed high free radical scavenging activity of DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) indicating its antioxidant potential. It showed concentration dependent inhibition of cell proliferation of Human Epidermoid Larynx Carcinoma Cell Line (HEP-2). This study has demonstrated characterization of melanin from basidiomycetes mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune and its applications.

  4. Production and Characterization of Melanin by Submerged Culture of Culinary and Medicinal Fungi Auricularia auricula.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Xiao, Gongnian; Thring, Ronald W; Chen, Wan; Zhou, Huabin; Yang, Hailong

    2015-05-01

    Natural melanin is of great potential value and application in the fields of pharmacology, cosmetics, and functional foods. In the present study, statistically designed experiments were conducted for the optimization of the media to enhance the production of melanin by submerged culture of Auricularia auricula. Glucose, tyrosine, peptone, and CaCO3 were found to have significant effects (P < 0.015) on melanin biosynthesis by a Plackett-Burman experimental design and subsequently optimized using response surface methodology. Optimal media were obtained at the following concentrations: glucose, 0.90 g/L; tyrosine, 6.68 g/L; peptone, 6.99 g/L; and CaCO3, 6.75 g/L. The validity of the optimum media was verified in separate experiments in which the melanin yield of 1008.08 mg/L was obtained under optimum conditions, compared with 306.52 mg/L at other conditions, i.e., a 3.29-fold increase. Furthermore, the important physical and chemical properties of A. auricula melanin were determined. The findings from the present study indicate that large-scale production of natural melanin by submerged culture of A. auricular could be a useful approach.

  5. UV-induced Melanin Chemiexcitation: A New Mode of Melanoma Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Brash, Douglas E

    2016-06-01

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), DNA photoproducts usually created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. Surprisingly, we found that, in melanocytes, CPDs were generated for hours after UVA or UVB exposure. These "dark CPDs" constituted the majority of CPDs in cultured human and murine melanocytes and in mouse skin, and they were most prominent in skin containing pheomelanin, the melanin responsible for blonde and red hair. The mechanism was also a surprise. Dark cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) arise when ultraviolet (UV)-induced superoxide and nitric oxide combine to form peroxynitrite, one of the few biological molecules capable of exciting an electron. This process, termed "chemiexcitation," is the source of bioluminescence in lower organisms. Excitation occurred in fragments of melanin, creating a quantum triplet state that had the energy of a UV photon but which induced CPDs by radiationless energy transfer to DNA. UVA and peroxynitrite also solubilized melanin and permeabilized the nuclear membrane, allowing melanin to enter. Melanin is evidently carcinogenic as well as protective. Chemiexcitation may also trigger pathogenesis in internal tissues because the same chemistry should arise wherever superoxide and nitric oxide arise near cells that contain melanin. PMID:26951162

  6. Melanin from the Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: A Spectroscopic Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Raja

    2014-01-01

    Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state 13C NMR), we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation. PMID:24416247

  7. The contribution of the melanin pathway to overall body pigmentation during ontogenesis of Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Lemonds, Thomas R; Liu, Jin; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-08-01

    The most prominent colors observed in insects are black or brown, whose production is attributed to the melanin pathway. At present, though, the contribution of this pathway to overall body pigmentation throughout ontogenesis is still lacking. To address this question we examined the roles of 2 key melanin genes (TH and DDC), in embryonic and postembryonic development of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Our results show that the melanin pathway does not contribute to the light brown coloration observed in the first nymphs. However, the dark brown coloration in mid nymphs and adults is produced solely from the melanin pathway. In addition, the DDC RNAi results reveal that it is dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, acts as the main contributor in this process. Overall, present study provides a new insight into insect pigmentation suggesting that genetic mechanisms of coloration can change during ontogenesis. Future studies of additional basal insect lineages will be required to assess in more details the generality of this phenomenon. PMID:27158782

  8. Melanin-independent accumulation of turgor pressure in appressoria of Phakopsora pachyrhizi.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hao-Xun; Miller, Lou Ann; Hartman, Glen L

    2014-09-01

    Appressoria of some plant-pathogenic fungi accumulate turgor pressure that produces a mechanical force enabling the direct penetration of hyphae through the epidermis. Melanin functions as an impermeable barrier to osmolytes, which allows appressoria to accumulate high turgor pressure. Deficiency of melanin in appressoria reduces turgor pressure and compromises the infection process. In Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the soybean rust pathogen, the appressoria are hyaline. Our objective was to ensure the absence of a melanin layer specifically between the appressorial cell wall and plasma membrane, as well as to determine the turgor pressure of P. pachyrhizi appressoria. We demonstrated that two melanin biosynthesis inhibitors neither reduced turgor pressure nor compromised the infection process. Transmission electron microscopy also showed the absence of a melanin layer between the appressorial cell wall and plasma membrane. In addition, the turgor pressure of P. pachyrhizi appressoria was 5 to 6 MPa, based on extracellular osmolytes used to simulate different osmotic pressures. This is the first report showing that turgor pressure accumulation of P. pachyrhizi appressoria was independent of melanin. PMID:24779353

  9. Tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumholz, Arie; Chavez, Sarah; Yao, Junjie; Fleming, Timothy; Gillanders, William E.; Wang, Lihong V.

    2011-03-01

    It is difficult to distinguish between tumor cells and surrounding cells without staining as is done in histology. We developed tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a reporter gene for photoacoustic tomography. Tyrosinase is the primary enzyme responsible for the production of melanin and alone is sufficient to produce melanin in non-melanogenic cells. Two cell lines were created: a stably transfected HeLa line and a transiently transfected 293 line. A phantom experiment was performed with the 293 transfected cells 48 hours post transfection and the results compared with oxygenated whole blood, B16 melanoma and 293 control cells. An in vivo experiment was performed using the transfected HeLa cells xenografted into a nude mouse ear, and then imaged. The results show strong contrast for tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin in both the 293 cells in the tube phantom as well as the in vivo result showing melanin in a nude mouse ear. Transfection increased expression in 293 cells 159 fold and image contrast compared to blood by as much as 50 fold. Due to the strong signal obtained at longer wavelengths and the decrease of blood signal at the same wavelengths, tyrosinase catalyzed melanin is a good candidate as a molecular imaging contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography.

  10. Melanin-independent accumulation of turgor pressure in appressoria of Phakopsora pachyrhizi.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hao-Xun; Miller, Lou Ann; Hartman, Glen L

    2014-09-01

    Appressoria of some plant-pathogenic fungi accumulate turgor pressure that produces a mechanical force enabling the direct penetration of hyphae through the epidermis. Melanin functions as an impermeable barrier to osmolytes, which allows appressoria to accumulate high turgor pressure. Deficiency of melanin in appressoria reduces turgor pressure and compromises the infection process. In Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the soybean rust pathogen, the appressoria are hyaline. Our objective was to ensure the absence of a melanin layer specifically between the appressorial cell wall and plasma membrane, as well as to determine the turgor pressure of P. pachyrhizi appressoria. We demonstrated that two melanin biosynthesis inhibitors neither reduced turgor pressure nor compromised the infection process. Transmission electron microscopy also showed the absence of a melanin layer between the appressorial cell wall and plasma membrane. In addition, the turgor pressure of P. pachyrhizi appressoria was 5 to 6 MPa, based on extracellular osmolytes used to simulate different osmotic pressures. This is the first report showing that turgor pressure accumulation of P. pachyrhizi appressoria was independent of melanin.

  11. Bacterial Hydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauga, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria predate plants and animals by billions of years. Today, they are the world's smallest cells, yet they represent the bulk of the world's biomass and the main reservoir of nutrients for higher organisms. Most bacteria can move on their own, and the majority of motile bacteria are able to swim in viscous fluids using slender helical appendages called flagella. Low-Reynolds number hydrodynamics is at the heart of the ability of flagella to generate propulsion at the micrometer scale. In fact, fluid dynamic forces impact many aspects of bacteriology, ranging from the ability of cells to reorient and search their surroundings to their interactions within mechanically and chemically complex environments. Using hydrodynamics as an organizing framework, I review the biomechanics of bacterial motility and look ahead to future challenges.

  12. Viral-bacterial pneumonia in calves: duration of the interaction between bovine herpesvirus 1 and Pasteurella haemolytica.

    PubMed Central

    Yates, W D; Babiuk, L A; Jericho, K W

    1983-01-01

    Sixteen six to eight month old beef calves were exposed individually to a five minute aerosol of bovine herpesvirus 1, isolate 108. Aerosol exposure to Pasteurella haemolytica (biotype A, serotype 1) was administered individually for five minutes at either four, ten, 20 or 30 days after the virus. Fibrinous pneumonia and pleuritis occurred in all four groups but were most extensive and severe in those exposed to the virus and bacterium four days apart (the positive controls). Fibrinous pneumonia was associated with persistence of bovine herpesvirus 1 in the respiratory tract despite resolution of virus-induced necrotic lesions of the respiratory mucosa. The results presented here suggest that, although the severity of viral-bacterial synergism may be influenced by virus-induced morphological changes, the continued presence of viral antigens after the resolution of respiratory mucosal lesions may continue to exert some effect on host defenses and disease processes. Images Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. PMID:6315196

  13. Metagenome Survey of a Multispecies and Alga-Associated Biofilm Revealed Key Elements of Bacterial-Algal Interactions in Photobioreactors

    PubMed Central

    Krohn-Molt, Ines; Wemheuer, Bernd; Alawi, Malik; Poehlein, Anja; Güllert, Simon; Schmeisser, Christel; Pommerening-Röser, Andreas; Grundhoff, Adam; Daniel, Rolf; Hanelt, Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Photobioreactors (PBRs) are very attractive for sunlight-driven production of biofuels and capturing of anthropogenic CO2. One major problem associated with PBRs however, is that the bacteria usually associated with microalgae in nonaxenic cultures can lead to biofouling and thereby affect algal productivity. Here, we report on a phylogenetic, metagenome, and functional analysis of a mixed-species bacterial biofilm associated with the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus obliquus in a PBR. The biofilm diversity and population dynamics were examined through 16S rRNA phylogeny. Overall, the diversity was rather limited, with approximately 30 bacterial species associated with the algae. The majority of the observed microorganisms were affiliated with Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. A combined approach of sequencing via GS FLX Titanium from Roche and HiSeq 2000 from Illumina resulted in the overall production of 350 Mbp of sequenced DNA, 165 Mbp of which was assembled in larger contigs with a maximum size of 0.2 Mbp. A KEGG pathway analysis suggested high metabolic diversity with respect to the use of polymers and aromatic and nonaromatic compounds. Genes associated with the biosynthesis of essential B vitamins were highly redundant and functional. Moreover, a relatively high number of predicted and functional lipase and esterase genes indicated that the alga-associated bacteria are possibly a major sink for lipids and fatty acids produced by the microalgae. This is the first metagenome study of microalga- and PBR-associated biofilm bacteria, and it gives new clues for improved biofuel production in PBRs. PMID:23913425

  14. Metagenome survey of a multispecies and alga-associated biofilm revealed key elements of bacterial-algal interactions in photobioreactors.

    PubMed

    Krohn-Molt, Ines; Wemheuer, Bernd; Alawi, Malik; Poehlein, Anja; Güllert, Simon; Schmeisser, Christel; Pommerening-Röser, Andreas; Grundhoff, Adam; Daniel, Rolf; Hanelt, Dieter; Streit, Wolfgang R

    2013-10-01

    Photobioreactors (PBRs) are very attractive for sunlight-driven production of biofuels and capturing of anthropogenic CO2. One major problem associated with PBRs however, is that the bacteria usually associated with microalgae in nonaxenic cultures can lead to biofouling and thereby affect algal productivity. Here, we report on a phylogenetic, metagenome, and functional analysis of a mixed-species bacterial biofilm associated with the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris and Scenedesmus obliquus in a PBR. The biofilm diversity and population dynamics were examined through 16S rRNA phylogeny. Overall, the diversity was rather limited, with approximately 30 bacterial species associated with the algae. The majority of the observed microorganisms were affiliated with Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. A combined approach of sequencing via GS FLX Titanium from Roche and HiSeq 2000 from Illumina resulted in the overall production of 350 Mbp of sequenced DNA, 165 Mbp of which was assembled in larger contigs with a maximum size of 0.2 Mbp. A KEGG pathway analysis suggested high metabolic diversity with respect to the use of polymers and aromatic and nonaromatic compounds. Genes associated with the biosynthesis of essential B vitamins were highly redundant and functional. Moreover, a relatively high number of predicted and functional lipase and esterase genes indicated that the alga-associated bacteria are possibly a major sink for lipids and fatty acids produced by the microalgae. This is the first metagenome study of microalga- and PBR-associated biofilm bacteria, and it gives new clues for improved biofuel production in PBRs.

  15. Neisserial Opa Protein-CEACAM Interactions: Competition for Receptors as a Means of Bacterial Invasion and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jennifer N; Ball, Louise M; Solomon, Tsega L; Dewald, Alison H; Criss, Alison K; Columbus, Linda

    2016-08-01

    Carcino-embryonic antigen-like cellular adhesion molecules (CEACAMs), members of the immunoglobulin superfamily, are responsible for cell-cell interactions and cellular signaling events. Extracellular interactions with CEACAMs have the potential to induce phagocytosis, as is the case with pathogenic Neisseria bacteria. Pathogenic Neisseria species express opacity-associated (Opa) proteins, which interact with a subset of CEACAMs on human cells, and initiate the engulfment of the bacterium. We demonstrate that recombinant Opa proteins reconstituted into liposomes retain the ability to recognize and interact with CEACAMs in vitro but do not maintain receptor specificity compared to that of Opa proteins natively expressed by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. We report that two Opa proteins interact with CEACAMs with nanomolar affinity, and we hypothesize that this high affinity is necessary to compete with the native CEACAM homo- and heterotypic interactions in the host. Understanding the mechanisms of Opa protein-receptor recognition and engulfment enhances our understanding of Neisserial pathogenesis. Additionally, these mechanisms provide insight into how human cells that are typically nonphagocytic can utilize CEACAM receptors to internalize exogenous matter, with implications for the targeted delivery of therapeutics and development of imaging agents.

  16. Neisserial Opa Protein-CEACAM Interactions: Competition for Receptors as a Means of Bacterial Invasion and Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jennifer N; Ball, Louise M; Solomon, Tsega L; Dewald, Alison H; Criss, Alison K; Columbus, Linda

    2016-08-01

    Carcino-embryonic antigen-like cellular adhesion molecules (CEACAMs), members of the immunoglobulin superfamily, are responsible for cell-cell interactions and cellular signaling events. Extracellular interactions with CEACAMs have the potential to induce phagocytosis, as is the case with pathogenic Neisseria bacteria. Pathogenic Neisseria species express opacity-associated (Opa) proteins, which interact with a subset of CEACAMs on human cells, and initiate the engulfment of the bacterium. We demonstrate that recombinant Opa proteins reconstituted into liposomes retain the ability to recognize and interact with CEACAMs in vitro but do not maintain receptor specificity compared to that of Opa proteins natively expressed by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. We report that two Opa proteins interact with CEACAMs with nanomolar affinity, and we hypothesize that this high affinity is necessary to compete with the native CEACAM homo- and heterotypic interactions in the host. Understanding the mechanisms of Opa protein-receptor recognition and engulfment enhances our understanding of Neisserial pathogenesis. Additionally, these mechanisms provide insight into how human cells that are typically nonphagocytic can utilize CEACAM receptors to internalize exogenous matter, with implications for the targeted delivery of therapeutics and development of imaging agents. PMID:27442026

  17. Cooperativity and interaction energy threshold effects in recognition of the -10 promoter element by bacterial RNA polymerase.

    PubMed

    Mekler, Vladimir; Severinov, Konstantin

    2013-08-01

    RNA polymerase (RNAP) melts promoter DNA to form transcription-competent open promoter complex (RPo). Interaction of the RNAP σ subunit with non-template strand bases of a conserved -10 element (consensus sequence T-12A-11T-10A-9A-8T-7) is an important source of energy-driving localized promoter melting. Here, we used an RNAP molecular beacon assay to investigate interdependencies of RNAP interactions with -10 element nucleotides. The results reveal a strong cooperation between RNAP interactions with individual -10 element non-template strand nucleotides and indicate that recognition of the -10 element bases occurs only when free energy of the overall RNAP -10 element binding reaches a certain threshold level. The threshold-like mode of the -10 element recognition may be related to the energetic cost of attaining a conformation of the -10 element that is recognizable by RNAP. The RNAP interaction with T/A-12 base pair was found to be strongly stimulated by RNAP interactions with other -10 element bases and with promoter spacer between the -10 and -35 promoter elements. The data also indicate that unmelted -10 promoter element can impair RNAP interactions with promoter DNA upstream of the -11 position. We suggest that cooperativity and threshold effects are important factors guiding the dynamics and selectivity of RPo formation.

  18. Co-evolution of quaternary organization and novel RNA tertiary interactions revealed in the crystal structure of a bacterial protein–RNA toxin–antitoxin system

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Feng; Short, Francesca L.; Voss, Jarrod E.; Blower, Tim R.; Orme, Anastasia L.; Whittaker, Tom E.; Luisi, Ben F.; Salmond, George P. C.

    2015-01-01

    Genes encoding toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are near ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and they play key roles in important aspects of bacterial physiology, including genomic stability, formation of persister cells under antibiotic stress, and resistance to phage infection. The CptIN locus from Eubacterium rectale is a member of the recently-discovered Type III class of TA systems, defined by a protein toxin suppressed by direct interaction with a structured RNA antitoxin. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CptIN protein–RNA complex to 2.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a new heterotetrameric quaternary organization for the Type III TA class, and the RNA antitoxin bears a novel structural feature of an extended A-twist motif within the pseudoknot fold. The retention of a conserved ribonuclease active site as well as traits normally associated with TA systems, such as plasmid maintenance, implicates a wider functional role for Type III TA systems. We present evidence for the co-variation of the Type III component pair, highlighting a distinctive evolutionary process in which an enzyme and its substrate co-evolve. PMID:26350213

  19. Co-evolution of quaternary organization and novel RNA tertiary interactions revealed in the crystal structure of a bacterial protein-RNA toxin-antitoxin system.

    PubMed

    Rao, Feng; Short, Francesca L; Voss, Jarrod E; Blower, Tim R; Orme, Anastasia L; Whittaker, Tom E; Luisi, Ben F; Salmond, George P C

    2015-10-30

    Genes encoding toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are near ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and they play key roles in important aspects of bacterial physiology, including genomic stability, formation of persister cells under antibiotic stress, and resistance to phage infection. The CptIN locus from Eubacterium rectale is a member of the recently-discovered Type III class of TA systems, defined by a protein toxin suppressed by direct interaction with a structured RNA antitoxin. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CptIN protein-RNA complex to 2.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a new heterotetrameric quaternary organization for the Type III TA class, and the RNA antitoxin bears a novel structural feature of an extended A-twist motif within the pseudoknot fold. The retention of a conserved ribonuclease active site as well as traits normally associated with TA systems, such as plasmid maintenance, implicates a wider functional role for Type III TA systems. We present evidence for the co-variation of the Type III component pair, highlighting a distinctive evolutionary process in which an enzyme and its substrate co-evolve.

  20. Vaccinia virus-mediated melanin production allows MR and optoacoustic deep tissue imaging and laser-induced thermotherapy of cancer.

    PubMed

    Stritzker, Jochen; Kirscher, Lorenz; Scadeng, Miriam; Deliolanis, Nikolaos C; Morscher, Stefan; Symvoulidis, Panagiotis; Schaefer, Karin; Zhang, Qian; Buckel, Lisa; Hess, Michael; Donat, Ulrike; Bradley, William G; Ntziachristos, Vasilis; Szalay, Aladar A

    2013-02-26

    We reported earlier the delivery of antiangiogenic single chain antibodies by using oncolytic vaccinia virus strains to enhance their therapeutic efficacy. Here, we provide evidence that gene-evoked production of melanin can be used as a therapeutic and diagnostic mediator, as exemplified by insertion of only one or two genes into the genome of an oncolytic vaccinia virus strain. We found that produced melanin is an excellent reporter for optical imaging without addition of substrate. Melanin production also facilitated deep tissue optoacoustic imaging as well as MRI. In addition, melanin was shown to be a suitable target for laser-induced thermotherapy and enhanced oncolytic viral therapy. In conclusion, melanin as a mediator for thermotherapy and reporter for different imaging modalities may soon become a versatile alternative to replace fluorescent proteins also in other biological systems. After ongoing extensive preclinical studies, melanin overproducing oncolytic virus strains might be used in clinical trials in patients with cancer.

  1. Melanin-based plumage coloration and flight displays in plovers and allies.

    PubMed Central

    Bókony, Veronika; Liker, András; Székely, Tamás; Kis, János

    2003-01-01

    Plovers and their allies exhibit an impressive diversity of melanin-based plumage patterns ranging from non-melanized to completely melanized species. We use phylogenetic comparative methods to test whether melanization has evolved in relation to sexual selection for attracting mates, to selection for signalling territory defence, or to natural selection for camouflage. First, according to sexual-selection theory, melanized plumage has evolved to amplify the courtship displays of males. As predicted by this hypothesis, we found that males with aerial displays had more melanized plumage than males of ground-displaying species. In addition, sexual dimorphism in melanization was greater in species with display flights than in species with ground displays. Second, melanization may have evolved through social interactions to signal competitive ability in territory defence. We did not find evidence for this hypothesis, since breeding density was unrelated to the melanization of either sex. Finally, melanized plumage may camouflage the incubating parent. The latter hypothesis was not supported, since melanization was unrelated either to the darkness of nest substrate or the extent of vegetation cover. Taken together, our results are most consistent with the sexual-selection hypothesis, and suggest that melanized plumage has evolved to enhance the aerial displays of male plovers. PMID:14667341

  2. Involvement of melanin-concentrating hormone 2 in background color adaptation of barfin flounder Verasper moseri.

    PubMed

    Mizusawa, Kanta; Kawashima, Yusuke; Sunuma, Toshikazu; Hamamoto, Akie; Kobayashi, Yuki; Kodera, Yoshio; Saito, Yumiko; Takahashi, Akiyoshi

    2015-04-01

    In teleosts, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) plays a key role in skin color changes. MCH is released into general circulation from the neurohypophysis, which causes pigment aggregation in the skin chromatophores. Recently, a novel MCH (MCH2) precursor gene, which is orthologous to the mammalian MCH precursor gene, has been identified in some teleosts using genomic data mining. The physiological function of MCH2 remains unclear. In the present study, we cloned the cDNA for MCH2 from barfin flounder, Verasper moseri. The putative prepro-MCH2 contains 25 amino acids of MCH2 peptide region. Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry with a high resolution mass analyzer were used for confirming the amino acid sequences of MCH1 and MCH2 peptides from the pituitary extract. In vitro synthesized MCH1 and MCH2 induced pigment aggregation in a dose-dependent manner. A mammalian cell-based assay indicated that both MCH1 and MCH2 functionally interacted with both the MCH receptor types 1 and 2. Mch1 and mch2 are exclusively expressed in the brain and pituitary. The levels of brain mch2 transcript were three times higher in the fish that were chronically acclimated to a white background than those acclimated to a black background. These results suggest that in V. moseri, MCH1 and MCH2 are involved in the response to changes in background colors, during the process of chromatophore control.

  3. Biodegradation kinetics and interactions of styrene and ethylbenzene as single and dual substrates for a mixed bacterial culture.

    PubMed

    Hazrati, Hossein; Shayegan, Jalal; Seyedi, Seyed Mojtaba

    2015-01-01

    This study examined biodegradation kinetics of styrene and ethylbenzene as representatives of alkenylbenzenes and mono-alkylbenzenes, respectively. The compounds were studied independently and as binary mixtures using a series of aerobic batch degradation experiments introduced by acclimatized mix culture. Initial concentration of styrene and ethylbenzene in the liquid phase vacillated from 0 to 220 mg/l. The Andrew model was applied for the biodegradation of individual substrates and the estimated constants of the equation for styrene and ethylbenzene were μmax = 0.1581, 0.2090 (1/h), KS =25.91, 37.77 (mg/L), KI =13.15, 62.62 (mg/L), respectively. The accomplished parameters from single substrate degradation tests were used to predict possible interaction factors achieved from dual substrate experiments. The Sum Kinetics with Interaction Parameters (SKIP) model and the purely competitive enzyme kinetics model were employed to evaluate any interactions. The SKIP model was found to accurately describe these interactions. Moreover, it was revealed that ethylbenzene plays an influential role on styrene consumption (e.g. IE,S = 1.64) compared to styrene which has insignificant inhibitory effect on ethylbenzene usage (e.g. IS,E =0.4) . The active site differences for styrene and ethylbenzene biodegradation and the pathway variations for biodegradation are among the major potential reasons for failure of the estimation that occurred in purely competitive kinetics model. This study is the first to calculate the interactions between styrene and ethylbenzene.

  4. Effects of interactions of auxin-producing bacteria and bacterial-feeding nematodes on regulation of peanut growths.

    PubMed

    Xu, Li; Xu, Wensi; Jiang, Ying; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    The influences of an IAA (indole-3-acetic acid)-producing bacterium (Bacillus megaterium) and two bacterial-feeding nematodes (Cephalobus sp. or Mesorhabditis sp.) on the growth of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. cv. Haihua 1) after various durations of time were investigated in natural soils. The addition of bacteria and nematodes and incubation time all significantly affected plant growth, plant root growth, plant nutrient concentrations, soil nutrient concentrations, soil microorganisms and soil auxin concentration. The addition of nematodes caused greater increases in these indices than those of bacteria, while the addition of the combination of bacteria and nematodes caused further increases. After 42-day growth, the increases in soil respiration differed between the additions of two kinds of nematodes because of differences in their life strategies. The effects of the bacteria and nematodes on the nutrient and hormone concentrations were responsible for the increases in plant growth. These results indicate the potential for promoting plant growth via the addition of nematodes and bacteria to soil.

  5. Activity of a Bacterial Cell Envelope Stress Response Is Controlled by the Interaction of a Protein Binding Domain with Different Partners*

    PubMed Central

    Flores-Kim, Josué; Darwin, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial phage shock protein (Psp) system is a highly conserved cell envelope stress response required for virulence in Yersinia enterocolitica and Salmonella enterica. In non-inducing conditions the transcription factor PspF is inhibited by an interaction with PspA. In contrast, PspA associates with the cytoplasmic membrane proteins PspBC during inducing conditions. This has led to the proposal that PspBC exists in an OFF state, which cannot recruit PspA, or an ON state, which can. However, nothing was known about the difference between these two states. Here, we provide evidence that it is the C-terminal domain of Y. enterocolitica PspC (PspCCT) that interacts directly with PspA, both in vivo and in vitro. Site-specific photocross-linking revealed that this interaction occurred only during Psp-inducing conditions in vivo. Importantly, we have also discovered that PspCCT can interact with the C-terminal domain of PspB (PspCCT·PspBCT). However, the PspCCT·PspBCT and PspCCT·PspA interactions were mutually exclusive in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo, PspCCT contacted PspBCT in the OFF state, whereas it contacted PspA in the ON state. These findings provide the first description of the previously proposed PspBC OFF and ON states and reveal that the regulatory switch is centered on a PspCCT partner-switching mechanism. PMID:25802329

  6. Root and bacterial secretions regulate the interaction between plants and PGPR leading to distinct plant growth promotion effects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have garnered interest in agriculture due to their ability to influence the growth and production of host plants. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play important roles in plant-microbe interactions by modulating plant root exudation. The present stu...

  7. Redox activity of melanin from the ink sac of Sepia officinalis by means of colorimetric oxidative assay.

    PubMed

    Srisuk, Pathomthat; Correlo, Vitor M; Leonor, Isabel B; Palladino, Pasquale; Reis, Rui L

    2016-01-01

    The redox properties of natural extract from cuttlefish ink sac (Sepia officinalis) and synthetic melanin used as a biomimetic in melanin structural investigation were determined by comparison of this phenol-based heterogeneous pigment with gallic acid used as a standard in Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric assay widely employed for characterisation of oxidative properties of biomaterials. Reactivity of sepia melanin reported here is much higher than previously indicated and this protocol should allow the redox characterisation of all melanins irrespective of their origin and composition. PMID:26299816

  8. Mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, J; Schurr, M; LeBlanc, C; Ramamurthy, R; Buchanan, K; Nickerson, C

    2002-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria utilise a number of mechanisms to cause disease in human hosts. Bacterial pathogens express a wide range of molecules that bind host cell targets to facilitate a variety of different host responses. The molecular strategies used by bacteria to interact with the host can be unique to specific pathogens or conserved across several different species. A key to fighting bacterial disease is the identification and characterisation of all these different strategies. The availability of complete genome sequences for several bacterial pathogens coupled with bioinformatics will lead to significant advances toward this goal. PMID:11930024

  9. Preparation of Thin Melanin-Type Films by Surface-Controlled Oxidation.

    PubMed

    Salomäki, Mikko; Tupala, Matti; Parviainen, Timo; Leiro, Jarkko; Karonen, Maarit; Lukkari, Jukka

    2016-04-26

    The preparation of thin melanin films suitable for applications is challenging. In this work, we present a new alternative approach to thin melanin-type films using oxidative multilayers prepared by the sequential layer-by-layer deposition of cerium(IV) and inorganic polyphosphate. The interfacial reaction between cerium(IV) in the multilayer and 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) in the adjacent aqueous solution leads to the formation of a thin uniform film. The oxidation of DHI by cerium(IV) proceeds via known melanin intermediates. We have characterized the formed DHI-melanin films using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-vis spectroscopy, and spectroelectrochemistry. When a five-bilayer oxidative multilayer is used, the film is uniform with a thickness of ca. 10 nm. Its chemical composition, as determined using XPS, is typical for melanin. It is also redox active, and its oxidation occurs in two steps, which can be assigned to semiquinone and quinone formation within the indole structural motif. Oxidative multilayers can also oxidize dopamine, but the reaction stops at the dopamine quinone stage because of the limited amount of the multilayer-based oxidizing agent. However, dopamine oxidation by Ce(IV) was studied also in solution by UV-vis spectroscopy and mass spectrometry in order to verify the reaction mechanism and the final product. In solution, the oxidation of dopamine by cerium shows that the indole ring formation takes place already at low pH and that the mass spectrum of the final product is practically identical with that of commercial melanin. Therefore, layer-by-layer formed oxidative multilayers can be used to deposit functional melanin-type thin films on arbitrary substrates by a surface-controlled reaction.

  10. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland.

    PubMed

    Drewnowska, Justyna M; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment.

  11. Melanin-Covered Nanoparticles for Protection of Bone Marrow During Radiation Therapy of Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Pazo, Valeria; Friedman, Matthew; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Cahill, Sean; Frases, Susana; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2010-12-01

    Purpose: Protection of bone marrow against radiotoxicity during radioimmunotherapy and in some cases external beam radiation therapy such as hemi-body irradiation would permit administration of significantly higher doses to tumors, resulting in increased efficacy and safety of treatment. Melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, possesses radioprotective properties. We hypothesized that melanin, which is insoluble, could be delivered to the bone marrow by intravenously administrated melanin-covered nanoparticles (MNs) because of the human body's 'self-sieving' ability, protecting it against ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials: The synthesis of MNs was performed via enzymatic polymerization of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and/or 5-S-cysteinyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine on the surface of 20-nm plain silica nanoparticles. The biodistribution of radiolabeled MNs in mice was done at 3 and 24 h. Healthy CD-1 mice (Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., Wilmington, MA) or melanoma tumor-bearing nude mice were given MNs intravenously, 50 mg/kg of body weight, 3 h before either whole-body exposure to 125 cGy or treatment with 1 mCi of {sup 188}Re-labeled 6D2 melanin-binding antibody. Results: Polymerization of melanin precursors on the surface of silica nanoparticles resulted in formation of a 15-nm-thick melanin layer as confirmed by light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence. The biodistribution after intravenous administration showed than MN uptake in bone marrow was 0.3% and 0.2% of injected dose per gram at 3 and 24 h, respectively, whereas pre-injection with pluronic acid increased the uptake to 6% and 3% of injected dose per gram, respectively. Systemic MN administration reduced hematologic toxicity in mice treated with external radiation or radioimmunotherapy, whereas no tumor protection by MNs was observed. Conclusions: MNs or similar structures provide a novel approach to protection of bone marrow from ionizing radiation

  12. MELANIN-COVERED NANOPARTICLES FOR PROTECTION OF BONE MARROW DURING RADIATION THERAPY OF CANCER

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Pazo, Valeria; Friedman, Matthew; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Cahill, Sean; Frases, Susana; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2010-01-01

    Purpose Protection of bone marrow against radiotoxicity during radioimmunotherapy and in some cases external beam radiation therapy such as hemi-body irradiation would permit administration of significantly higher doses to tumors, resulting in increased efficacy and safety of treatment. Melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, possesses radioprotective properties. We hypothesized that melanin, which is insoluble, could be delivered to the bone marrow by intravenously administrated melanin-covered nanoparticles (MNs) because of the human body's “self-sieving” ability, protecting it against ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials The synthesis of MNs was performed via enzymatic polymerization of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and/or 5-S-cysteinyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine on the surface of 20-nm plain silica nanoparticles. The biodistribution of radiolabeled MNs in mice was done at 3 and 24 h. Healthy CD-1 mice (Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., Wilmington, MA) or melanoma tumor–bearing nude mice were given MNs intravenously, 50 mg/kg of body weight, 3 h before either whole-body exposure to 125 cGy or treatment with 1 mCi of 188Re-labeled 6D2 melanin-binding antibody. Results Polymerization of melanin precursors on the surface of silica nanoparticles resulted in formation of a 15-nm-thick melanin layer as confirmed by light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence. The biodistribution after intravenous administration showed than MN uptake in bone marrow was 0.3% and 0.2% of injected dose per gram at 3 and 24 h, respectively, whereas pre-injection with pluronic acid increased the uptake to 6% and 3% of injected dose per gram, respectively. Systemic MN administration reduced hematologic toxicity in mice treated with external radiation or radioimmunotherapy, whereas no tumor protection by MNs was observed. Conclusions MNs or similar structures provide a novel approach to protection of bone marrow from ionizing radiation

  13. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland

    PubMed Central

    Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment. PMID:25909751

  14. Bacterial Sialidase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Data shows that elevated sialidase in bacterial vaginosis patients correlates to premature births in women. Bacterial sialidase also plays a significant role in the unusual colonization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients. Crystals of Salmonella sialidase have been reproduced and are used for studying the inhibitor-enzyme complexes. These inhibitors may also be used to inhibit a trans-sialidase of Trypanosome cruzi, a very similar enzyme to bacterial sialidase, therefore preventing T. cruzi infection, the causitive agent of Chagas' disease. The Center for Macromolecular Crystallography suggests that inhibitors of bacterial sialidases can be used as prophylactic drugs to prevent bacterial infections in these critical cases.

  15. Antibiotic-induced dysbiosis alters host-bacterial interactions and leads to colonic sensory and motor changes in mice.

    PubMed

    Aguilera, M; Cerdà-Cuéllar, M; Martínez, V

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the composition of the commensal microbiota (dysbiosis) seem to be a pathogenic component of functional gastrointestinal disorders, mainly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and might participate in the secretomotor and sensory alterations observed in these patients.We determined if a state antibiotics-induced intestinal dysbiosis is able to modify colonic pain-related and motor responses and characterized the neuro-immune mechanisms implicated in mice. A 2-week antibiotics treatment induced a colonic dysbiosis (increments in Bacteroides spp, Clostridium coccoides and Lactobacillus spp and reduction in Bifidobacterium spp). Bacterial adherence was not affected. Dysbiosis was associated with increased levels of secretory-IgA, up-regulation of the antimicrobial lectin RegIIIγ, and toll-like receptors (TLR) 4 and 7 and down-regulation of the antimicrobial-peptide Resistin-Like Molecule-β and TLR5. Dysbiotic mice showed less goblet cells, without changes in the thickness of the mucus layer. Neither macroscopical nor microscopical signs of inflammation were observed. In dysbiotic mice, expression of the cannabinoid receptor 2 was up-regulated, while the cannabinoid 1 and the mu-opioid receptors were down-regulated. In antibiotic-treated mice, visceral pain-related responses elicited by intraperitoneal acetic acid or intracolonic capsaicin were significantly attenuated. Colonic contractility was enhanced during dysbiosis. Intestinal dysbiosis induce changes in the innate intestinal immune system and modulate the expression of pain-related sensory systems, an effect associated with a reduction in visceral pain-related responses. Commensal microbiota modulates gut neuro-immune sensory systems, leading to functional changes, at least as it relates to viscerosensitivity. Similar mechanisms might explain the beneficial effects of antibiotics or certain probiotics in the treatment of IBS.

  16. Antibiotic-induced dysbiosis alters host-bacterial interactions and leads to colonic sensory and motor changes in mice.

    PubMed

    Aguilera, M; Cerdà-Cuéllar, M; Martínez, V

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the composition of the commensal microbiota (dysbiosis) seem to be a pathogenic component of functional gastrointestinal disorders, mainly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and might participate in the secretomotor and sensory alterations observed in these patients.We determined if a state antibiotics-induced intestinal dysbiosis is able to modify colonic pain-related and motor responses and characterized the neuro-immune mechanisms implicated in mice. A 2-week antibiotics treatment induced a colonic dysbiosis (increments in Bacteroides spp, Clostridium coccoides and Lactobacillus spp and reduction in Bifidobacterium spp). Bacterial adherence was not affected. Dysbiosis was associated with increased levels of secretory-IgA, up-regulation of the antimicrobial lectin RegIIIγ, and toll-like receptors (TLR) 4 and 7 and down-regulation of the antimicrobial-peptide Resistin-Like Molecule-β and TLR5. Dysbiotic mice showed less goblet cells, without changes in the thickness of the mucus layer. Neither macroscopical nor microscopical signs of inflammation were observed. In dysbiotic mice, expression of the cannabinoid receptor 2 was up-regulated, while the cannabinoid 1 and the mu-opioid receptors were down-regulated. In antibiotic-treated mice, visceral pain-related responses elicited by intraperitoneal acetic acid or intracolonic capsaicin were significantly attenuated. Colonic contractility was enhanced during dysbiosis. Intestinal dysbiosis induce changes in the innate intestinal immune system and modulate the expression of pain-related sensory systems, an effect associated with a reduction in visceral pain-related responses. Commensal microbiota modulates gut neuro-immune sensory systems, leading to functional changes, at least as it relates to viscerosensitivity. Similar mechanisms might explain the beneficial effects of antibiotics or certain probiotics in the treatment of IBS. PMID:25531553

  17. Antibiotic-induced dysbiosis alters host-bacterial interactions and leads to colonic sensory and motor changes in mice

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera, M; Cerdà-Cuéllar, M; Martínez, V

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the composition of the commensal microbiota (dysbiosis) seem to be a pathogenic component of functional gastrointestinal disorders, mainly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and might participate in the secretomotor and sensory alterations observed in these patients.We determined if a state antibiotics-induced intestinal dysbiosis is able to modify colonic pain-related and motor responses and characterized the neuro-immune mechanisms implicated in mice. A 2-week antibiotics treatment induced a colonic dysbiosis (increments in Bacteroides spp, Clostridium coccoides and Lactobacillus spp and reduction in Bifidobacterium spp). Bacterial adherence was not affected. Dysbiosis was associated with increased levels of secretory-IgA, up-regulation of the antimicrobial lectin RegIIIγ, and toll-like receptors (TLR) 4 and 7 and down-regulation of the antimicrobial-peptide Resistin-Like Molecule-β and TLR5. Dysbiotic mice showed less goblet cells, without changes in the thickness of the mucus layer. Neither macroscopical nor microscopical signs of inflammation were observed. In dysbiotic mice, expression of the cannabinoid receptor 2 was up-regulated, while the cannabinoid 1 and the mu-opioid receptors were down-regulated. In antibiotic-treated mice, visceral pain-related responses elicited by intraperitoneal acetic acid or intracolonic capsaicin were significantly attenuated. Colonic contractility was enhanced during dysbiosis. Intestinal dysbiosis induce changes in the innate intestinal immune system and modulate the expression of pain-related sensory systems, an effect associated with a reduction in visceral pain-related responses. Commensal microbiota modulates gut neuro-immune sensory systems, leading to functional changes, at least as it relates to viscerosensitivity. Similar mechanisms might explain the beneficial effects of antibiotics or certain probiotics in the treatment of IBS. PMID:25531553

  18. Redox buffering by melanin and Fe(II) in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, E S; Hong, J D

    1997-01-01

    Melanin is a fungal extracellular redox buffer which, in principle, can neutralize antimicrobial oxidants generated by immunologic effector cells, but its source of reducing equivalents is not known. We wondered whether Fe(II) generated by the external ferric reductase of fungi might have the physiologic function of reducing fungal melanin and thereby promoting pathogenesis. We observed that exposure of a melanin film electrode to reductants decreased the open-circuit potential (OCP) and reduced the area of a cyclic voltammetric reduction wave whereas exposure to oxidants produced the opposite effects. Exposure to 10, 100, 1,000 or 10,000 microM Fe(II) decreased the OCP of melanin by 0.015, 0.038, 0.100, and 0.120 V, respectively, relative to a silver-silver chloride standard, and decreased the area of the cyclic voltammetric reduction wave by 27, 35, 50, and 83%, respectively. Moreover, exposure to Fe(II) increased the buffering capacity by 44%, while exposure to millimolar dithionite did not increase the buffering capacity. The ratio of the amount of bound iron to the amount of the incremental increase in the following oxidation wave was approximately 1.0, suggesting that bound iron participates in buffering. Light absorption by melanin suspensions was decreased 14% by treatment with Fe(II), consistent with reduction of melanin. Light absorption by suspensions of melanized Cryptococcus neoformans was decreased 1.3% by treatment with Fe(II) (P < 0.05). Cultures of C. neoformans generated between 2 and 160 microM Fe(II) in culture supernatant, depending upon the strain and the conditions [the higher values were achieved by a constitutive ferric reductase mutant in high concentrations of Fe(III)]. We infer that Fe(II) can reduce melanin under physiologic conditions; moreover, it binds to melanin and cooperatively increases redox buffering. The data support a model for physiologic redox cycling of fungal melanin, whereby electrons exported by the yeast to form

  19. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    2012-05-01

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent. Significant costs imposed by an ornament would ensure that only the highest quality individuals display the most exaggerated forms of the signal. Firm evidence that melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent is still rare in birds. In an experimental test of this central assumption, we report condition-dependent expression of a melanin-based trait in the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus). We manipulated nestling body condition by reducing or increasing the number of nestlings soon after hatching. A few days before fledging, we measured the width of sub-terminal black bands on the tail feathers. Compared to nestlings from enlarged broods, individuals raised in reduced broods were in better condition and thereby developed larger sub-terminal bands. Furthermore, in 2 years, first-born nestlings also developed larger sub-terminal bands than their younger siblings that are in poorer condition. This demonstrates that expression of melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent.

  20. Evolutionary shifts in the melanin-based color system of birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-02-01

    Melanin pigments contained in organelles (melanosomes) impart earthy colors to feathers. Such melanin-based colors are distributed across birds and thought to be the ancestral color-producing mechanism in birds. However, we have had limited data on melanin-based color and melanosome diversity in Palaeognathae, which includes the flighted tinamous and large-bodied, flightless ratites and is the sister taxon to all other extant birds. Here, we use scanning electron microscopy and spectrophotometry to assess melanosome morphology and quantify reflected color for 19 species within this clade. We find that brown colors in ratites are uniquely associated with elongated melanosomes nearly identical in shape to those associated with black colors. Melanosome and color diversity in large-bodied ratites is limited relative to other birds (including flightless penguins) and smaller bodied basal maniraptoran dinosaur outgroups of Aves, whereas tinamous show a wider range of melanosome forms similar to neognaths. The repeated occurrence of novel melanosome forms in the nonmonophyletic ratites suggests that melanin-based color tracks changes in body size, physiology, or other life history traits associated with flight loss, but not feather morphology. We further anticipate these findings will be useful for future color reconstructions in extinct species, as variation in melanosome shape may potentially be linked to a more nuanced palette of melanin-based colors.

  1. Aspergillus Cell Wall Melanin Blocks LC3-Associated Phagocytosis to Promote Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Valsecchi, Isabel; Gresnigt, Mark S; Samonis, George; Drakos, Elias; Boumpas, Dimitrios; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Netea, Mihai G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Brakhage, Axel A; El-Benna, Jamel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul; Chamilos, Georgios

    2016-01-13

    Concealing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) is a principal strategy used by fungi to avoid immune recognition. Surface exposure of PAMPs during germination can leave the pathogen vulnerable. Accordingly, β-glucan surface exposure during Aspergillus fumigatus germination activates an Atg5-dependent autophagy pathway termed LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP), which promotes fungal killing. We found that LAP activation also requires the genetic, biochemical or biological (germination) removal of A. fumigatus cell wall melanin. The attenuated virulence of melanin-deficient A. fumigatus is restored in Atg5-deficient macrophages and in mice upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells. Mechanistically, Aspergillus melanin inhibits NADPH oxidase-dependent activation of LAP by excluding the p22phox subunit from the phagosome. Thus, two events that occur concomitantly during germination of airborne fungi, surface exposure of PAMPs and melanin removal, are necessary for LAP activation and fungal killing. LAP blockade is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications.

  2. Role of GTP-CHI links PAH and TH in melanin synthesis in silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ping; Wang, Jiying; Li, Haiyin; Li, Yan; Chen, Peng; Li, Tian; Chen, Xi; Xiao, Junjie; Zhang, Liang

    2015-08-10

    In insects, pigment patterns are formed by melanin, ommochromes, and pteridines. Here, the effects of pteridine synthesis on melanin formation were studied using 4th instar larvae of a wild-type silkworm strain, dazao (Bombyx mori), with normal color and markings. Results from injected larvae and in vitro integument culture indicated that decreased activity of guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase I (GTP-CH I, a rate-limiting enzyme for pteridine synthesis), lowers BH4 (6R-l-erythro-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin, a production correlated with GTP-CH I activity) levels and eliminates markings and coloration. The conversion of phenylalanine and tyrosine to melanin was prevented when GTP-CH I was inhibited. When BH4 was added, phenylalanine was converted to tyrosine, and the tyrosine concentration increased. Tyrosine was then converted to melanin to create normal markings and coloration. Decreasing GTP-CH I activity did not affect L-DOPA (3,4-l-dihydroxyphenylalanine). GTP-CH I affected melanin synthesis by generating the BH4 used in two key reaction steps: (1) conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine by PAH (phenylalanine hydroxylase) and (2) conversion of tyrosine to L-DOPA by TH (tyrosine hydroxylase). Expression profiles of BmGTPCH Ia, BmGTPCH Ib, BmTH, and BmPAH in the integument were consistent with the current findings.

  3. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    PubMed

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  4. A novel histochemical method for a simultaneous staining of melanin and collagen fibers.

    PubMed

    Carriel, Víctor S; Aneiros-Fernandez, Jose; Arias-Santiago, Salvador; Garzón, Ingrid J; Alaminos, Miguel; Campos, Antonio

    2011-03-01

    For the histopathologic diagnosis of melanocytic lesions, it could be necessary to identify the melanin pigment because its visualization is unspecific with hematoxylin-eosin (HE). The Fontana-Masson (FM) technique is used in histopathology in this type of lesion, which allows the identification of the pigment, but it loses all the morphologic parameters. The authors describe a modification to the FM method, for the evaluation of the morphology, the argentaffin reaction of the melanin, and collagens fibers of the extracellular matrix simultaneously, for which they have developed the Fontana-Masson picrosirius (FMPS) method. Biopsies of different melanocytic lesions were used for the performance of the HE, FM, and FMPS methods. The pixel intensity of the reaction for melanin, collagen, and epithelium was determined with ImageJ software. The FMPS method allows the evaluation of morphological characteristics, identifying the melanin pigment and collagen fibers with high intensity simultaneously. This method does not differ significantly from FM in the identification of melanin, maintaining its sensitivity and specificity. In addition, it does not differ in the demonstration of the morphology with HE. However, FMPS is significantly superior in the identification of collagen fibers. The FMPS method combines morphological and histochemical parameters that could be useful in the study of pigmented lesions of melanocytic origin. PMID:21378281

  5. Melanin pigmentation gives rise to black spots on the wings of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Ito, Katsuhiko; Yoshikawa, Manabu; Fujii, Takeshi; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Several mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori show body color variation at the larval and adult stages. The Wild wing spot (Ws) mutant exhibits a phenotype in which the moth has a spot on the apex of the forewing. In this study, we investigated this trait to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the color pattern. Microscopy of the black spot of Ws mutants showed that the pigment emerges in the scales of the wing, and accumulation of the pigment becomes strong just before eclosion. We next examined the relationship between the black spot of the Ws mutant and melanin. The spectrophotometry using alkaline extracts from the black spot in the wing showed the highest absorption intensity at 405nm, which is the absorbance wavelength of melanin. Moreover, inhibition assays for enzymes implicated in melanin synthesis using 3-iodo-l-tyrosine (a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor) and L-α-methyl-DOPA (a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor) revealed that treatment with each inhibitor disrupted the pigmentation of the wing of the Ws mutant. On the basis of these results, we analyzed the expression pattern of five genes involved in melanin formation, and found that the expression levels of yellow and laccase2 were increased just before pigmentation, whereas those of DDC, tan, and TH were increased when the apex of the wing turned black. These results showed that melanin pigmentation gives rise to the black spot on the wing.

  6. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2013-03-01

    Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo.

  7. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin.

    PubMed

    Serrano, Gabriel; Almudéver, Patricia; Serrano, Juan M; Cortijo, Julio; Faus, Carmen; Reyes, Magda; Expósito, Inmaculada; Torrens, Ana; Millán, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin-fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller). The product was applied by hand massage (A) or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B). An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C). Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin-fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin-fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47%) of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. PMID:26170707

  8. Evolutionary shifts in the melanin-based color system of birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-02-01

    Melanin pigments contained in organelles (melanosomes) impart earthy colors to feathers. Such melanin-based colors are distributed across birds and thought to be the ancestral color-producing mechanism in birds. However, we have had limited data on melanin-based color and melanosome diversity in Palaeognathae, which includes the flighted tinamous and large-bodied, flightless ratites and is the sister taxon to all other extant birds. Here, we use scanning electron microscopy and spectrophotometry to assess melanosome morphology and quantify reflected color for 19 species within this clade. We find that brown colors in ratites are uniquely associated with elongated melanosomes nearly identical in shape to those associated with black colors. Melanosome and color diversity in large-bodied ratites is limited relative to other birds (including flightless penguins) and smaller bodied basal maniraptoran dinosaur outgroups of Aves, whereas tinamous show a wider range of melanosome forms similar to neognaths. The repeated occurrence of novel melanosome forms in the nonmonophyletic ratites suggests that melanin-based color tracks changes in body size, physiology, or other life history traits associated with flight loss, but not feather morphology. We further anticipate these findings will be useful for future color reconstructions in extinct species, as variation in melanosome shape may potentially be linked to a more nuanced palette of melanin-based colors. PMID:26767728

  9. Melanin pigmentation gives rise to black spots on the wings of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Ito, Katsuhiko; Yoshikawa, Manabu; Fujii, Takeshi; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Several mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori show body color variation at the larval and adult stages. The Wild wing spot (Ws) mutant exhibits a phenotype in which the moth has a spot on the apex of the forewing. In this study, we investigated this trait to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the color pattern. Microscopy of the black spot of Ws mutants showed that the pigment emerges in the scales of the wing, and accumulation of the pigment becomes strong just before eclosion. We next examined the relationship between the black spot of the Ws mutant and melanin. The spectrophotometry using alkaline extracts from the black spot in the wing showed the highest absorption intensity at 405nm, which is the absorbance wavelength of melanin. Moreover, inhibition assays for enzymes implicated in melanin synthesis using 3-iodo-l-tyrosine (a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor) and L-α-methyl-DOPA (a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor) revealed that treatment with each inhibitor disrupted the pigmentation of the wing of the Ws mutant. On the basis of these results, we analyzed the expression pattern of five genes involved in melanin formation, and found that the expression levels of yellow and laccase2 were increased just before pigmentation, whereas those of DDC, tan, and TH were increased when the apex of the wing turned black. These results showed that melanin pigmentation gives rise to the black spot on the wing. PMID:27405010

  10. A novel melanin inhibitor: hydroperoxy traxastane-type triterpene from flowers of Arnica montana.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Kazuhisa; Naitou, Tomoko; Umishio, Kenichi; Fukuhara, Tadao; Motoyama, Akira

    2007-05-01

    We isolated a novel inhibitor of melanin biosynthesis from the flowers of Arnica montana L. (Compositae), and identified it as a traxastane-type triterpene (3beta,16beta-dihydroxy-21alpha-hydroperoxy-20(30)-taraxastene) [1] by means of 1D or 2D-NMR and liquid chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HR-MS). Compound [1] at the concentration of 0.53 muM completely inhibited melanin accumulation in cultured B16 melanoma cells. It is one of the most potent among known plant inhibitors of melanin biosynthesis in cultured cells, being 50 times more potent than 4-methoxyphenol, which is used as an anti-pigmentation agent. Its mechanism of action is considered to involve inhibition of transcriptional factor MITF-M (melanocyte-type isoform of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor), which would lead to a decrease of tyrosinase and related genes. We confirmed that compound [1] decreased the protein levels of tyrosinase and its related proteins in B16 melanoma cells. Further study revealed that a similar hydroperoxy triterpene also suppressed the melanin pigment accumulation of B16 melanoma cells. These results indicate that the hydroperoxy group may play an important role in the suppression of the melanin accumulation by compound [1].

  11. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Krasieva, Tatiana B; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L; Gratton, Enrico; Tromberg, Bruce J

    2013-03-01

    Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λ(ex)=1000  nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6 ± 0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5 ± 0.05 and 0.17 ± 0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo.

  12. Interaction of W-Substituted Analogs of Cyclo-RRRWFW with Bacterial Lipopolysaccharides: the Role of the Aromatic Cluster in Antimicrobial Activity ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Bagheri, Mojtaba; Keller, Sandro; Dathe, Margitta

    2011-01-01

    The activity of cyclo-RRRWFW (c-WFW) against Escherichia coli has been shown to be modulated by the aromatic motif and the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in the bacterial outer membrane. To identify interaction sites and to elucidate the mode of c-WFW action, peptides were synthesized by the replacement of tryptophan (W) with analogs having altered hydrophobicity, dipole and quadrupole moments, hydrogen-bonding ability, amphipathicity, and ring size. The peptide activity against Bacillus subtilis and erythrocytes increased with increasing hydrophobicity, whereas the effect on E. coli revealed a more complex pattern. Although they had no effect on the E. coli inner membrane even at concentrations higher than the MIC, peptides permeabilized the outer membrane according to their antimicrobial activity pattern, suggesting a major role of LPS in peptide transport across the wall. For isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) studies of peptide-lipid bilayer interaction, we used POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-choline), either alone or in mixtures with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-rac-(1-glycerol)] (POPG), to mimic the charge properties of eukaryotic and bacterial membranes, respectively, as well as in mixtures with lipid A, rough LPS, and smooth LPS as models of the outer membrane of E. coli. Peptide accumulation was determined by both electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. The susceptibility of the lipid systems followed the order of POPC-smooth LPS >> POPC-rough LPS > POPC-lipid A = POPC-POPG > POPC. Low peptide hydrophobicity and enhanced flexibility reduced binding. The influence of the other properties on the free energy of partitioning was low, but an enhanced hydrogen-bonding ability and dipole moment resulted in remarkable variations in the contribution of enthalpy and entropy. In the presence of rough and smooth LPS, the binding-modulating role of these parameters decreased. The highly differentiated activity pattern against E. coli

  13. Evolution of albinism in cave planthoppers by a convergent defect in the first step of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Cetković, Helena; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    Albinism, the reduction or loss of melanin pigment, is found in many diverse cave-dwelling animals. The mechanisms responsible for loss of melanin pigment are poorly understood. In this study we use a melanogenic substrate assay to determine the position where melanin synthesis is blocked in independently evolved cave planthoppers from Hawaii and Croatia. In this assay, substrates of enzymes responsible for melanin biosynthesis are added to fixed specimens in vitro and their ability to rescue black melanin pigmentation is determined. L-tyrosine, the first substrate in the pathway, did not produce melanin pigment, whereas L-DOPA, the second substrate, restored black pigment. Substrates in combination with enzyme inhibitors were used to test the possibility of additional downstream defects in the pathway. The results showed that downstream reactions leading from L-DOPA and dopamine to DOPA-melanin and dopamine-melanin, the two types of insect melanin, are functional. It is concluded that albinism is caused by a defect in the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway in cave-adapted planthoppers from widely separated parts of the world. However, Western blots indicated that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the only enzyme shown to operate at the first step in insects, is present in Hawaiian cave planthoppers. Thus, an unknown factor(s) operating at this step may be important in the evolution of planthopper albinism. In the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus, a genetic defect has also been described at the first step of melanin synthesis suggesting convergent evolution of albinism in both cave-adapted insects and teleosts.

  14. Evolution of albinism in cave planthoppers by a convergent defect in the first step of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Cetković, Helena; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    Albinism, the reduction or loss of melanin pigment, is found in many diverse cave-dwelling animals. The mechanisms responsible for loss of melanin pigment are poorly understood. In this study we use a melanogenic substrate assay to determine the position where melanin synthesis is blocked in independently evolved cave planthoppers from Hawaii and Croatia. In this assay, substrates of enzymes responsible for melanin biosynthesis are added to fixed specimens in vitro and their ability to rescue black melanin pigmentation is determined. L-tyrosine, the first substrate in the pathway, did not produce melanin pigment, whereas L-DOPA, the second substrate, restored black pigment. Substrates in combination with enzyme inhibitors were used to test the possibility of additional downstream defects in the pathway. The results showed that downstream reactions leading from L-