Science.gov

Sample records for bacterial melanin interacts

  1. Interaction of melanosomal proteins with melanin.

    PubMed

    Donatien, P D; Orlow, S J

    1995-08-15

    Melanin is deposited in melanosomes upon a proteinaceous matrix enveloped by a melanosomal membrane. Since melanin is highly detergent insoluble, we hypothesized that the detergent solubility of proteins of the melanosomal matrix might be inversely related to the state of melanosomal melanization. Immunoblotting analyses were performed on extracts of albino and black melanocytes to test this hypothesis. The protein products of the silver (si) and the pink-eyed-dilution (p) loci as well as other matrix constituents were present at twofold higher levels in extracts of albino cells. When black cells were rendered amelanotic by growing cultures in the presence of the tyrosinase inhibitor phenylthiourea, the apparent levels of these proteins were also increased. To obviate the potential role of different levels of synthesis in contributing to these differences, we developed a cell-free melanosomal melanization assay. Upon incubation of a melanosome-rich fraction with the melanin precursor L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (Dopa) followed by immunoblot analysis, the si locus protein, the p locus protein, and other putative matrix constituents became rapidly insoluble in SDS when compared with the members of the tyrosinase-related family of melanosomal membrane proteins. Our results suggest that melanosomal proteins that interact with melanin may be identified by their relative insolubility in SDS under conditions of increasing melanization. In addition to the si locus protein and other putative melanosomal matrix proteins, the membrane-bound p locus protein may also interact closely with melanin.

  2. Iron, melanin and dopamine interaction: relevance to Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Ben-Shachar, D; Youdim, M B

    1993-01-01

    1. Interaction between iron and melanin may provide a reasonable explanation for the vulnerability of the melanin containing dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). 2. Scatchard analysis of the binding of iron to synthetic dopamine melanin revealed a high-affinity (KD = 13 nM) and a lower affinity (KD = 200 nM) binding sites. 3. The binding of iron to melanin is dependent on the concentration of melanin and on pH. 4. Iron chelators, U74500A, desferrioxamine and to a lesser extent 1,10-phenanthroline and chlorpromazine could displace iron from melanin. In contrast, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and its metabolite 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP+), which cause Parkinsonism, were unable to displace iron. 5. Melanin alone reduced lipid peroxidation in rat cortical membrane preparations. However, iron induced lipid peroxidation, which could be inhibited by desferrioxamine, was potentiated by melanin. 6. Iron bound to neuromelanin in melanized dopamine neurons was detected only in parkinsonian brains and not in controls. The interaction of iron with neuromelanin as identified by x-ray defraction technique was identical to iron interaction with synthetic dopamine melanin. 7. In the absence of an identified exogenous or endogenous neurotoxin in idiopathic Parkinson's disease, iron-melanin interaction in the SN may serve as a candidate for the oxygen-radical induced neurodegeneration of the melanin containing dopaminergic neurons.

  3. Interaction of radicals from water radiolysis with melanin.

    PubMed

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

    1986-08-06

    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.

  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. Interactions between Melanin Enzymes and Their Atypical Recruitment to the Secretory Pathway by Palmitoylation

    PubMed Central

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Xu, Xinping

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Melanins are biopolymers that confer coloration and protection to the host organism against biotic or abiotic insults. The level of protection offered by melanin depends on its biosynthesis and its subcellular localization. Previously, we discovered that Aspergillus fumigatus compartmentalizes melanization in endosomes by recruiting all melanin enzymes to the secretory pathway. Surprisingly, although two laccases involved in the late steps of melanization are conventional secretory proteins, the four enzymes involved in the early steps of melanization lack a signal peptide or a transmembrane domain and are thus considered “atypical” secretory proteins. In this work, we found interactions among melanin enzymes and all melanin enzymes formed protein complexes. Surprisingly, the formation of protein complexes by melanin enzymes was not critical for their trafficking to the endosomal system. By palmitoylation profiling and biochemical analyses, we discovered that all four early melanin enzymes were strongly palmitoylated during conidiation. However, only the polyketide synthase (PKS) Alb1 was strongly palmitoylated during both vegetative hyphal growth and conidiation when constitutively expressed alone. This posttranslational lipid modification correlates the endosomal localization of all early melanin enzymes. Intriguingly, bioinformatic analyses predict that palmitoylation is a common mechanism for potential membrane association of polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) in A. fumigatus. Our findings indicate that protein-protein interactions facilitate melanization by metabolic channeling, while posttranslational lipid modifications help recruit the atypical enzymes to the secretory pathway, which is critical for compartmentalization of secondary metabolism. PMID:27879337

  6. [Generation of superoxides during the interaction of melanins with oxygen].

    PubMed

    Lapina, V A; Dontsov, A E; Ostrovskiĭ, M A

    1984-10-01

    The rate of nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction by dihydroxyphenylalanine-melanin, pheomelanin and retinal pigment epithelium melanosomes under aerobic conditions (pH 7.4) is low both in the dark and upon illumination, but increases drastically in the presence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). Under these conditions, the light insignificantly stimulates NBT reduction (1.3-fold). The reaction is effectively inhibited by superoxide dismutase. This suggests that superoxide anions (O2-. are formed as intermediate reaction products in the course of NBT reduction by melanins. At alkaline values of pH (greater than or equal to 9.0), the O2-.-dependent reduction of NBT can also take place in the absence of CTAB. In contrast with oxidation of photoreduced riboflavin, the melanin oxidation by O2 cannot induce lipid peroxidation. It is concluded that O2-. generation via melanin oxidation of melanosomes occurs only under non-physiological conditions and can hardly take place in vivo.

  7. Modeling drug-melanin interaction with theoretical linear solvation energy relationships.

    PubMed

    Lowrey, A H; Famini, G R; Loumbev, V; Wilson, L Y; Tosk, J M

    1997-10-01

    The affinity of drugs and other xenobiotic agents for melanin is a well-known phenomenon, often occurring with serious physiological consequences. For example, the interaction of anti-psychotic drugs with neuromelanin may play a pivotal role in the induction of extrapyramidal movement disorders associated with the chronic administration of phenothiazine and other neuroleptic agents. Little, however, is known about the complete nature of melanin-drug binding and the impact of these interactions on the physico-chemical properties of melanin. Data, such as binding affinities, can be analyzed using recently developed computational methods that combine mathematical models of chemical structure with statistical analysis. In particular, theoretical linear solvation energy relationships provide a convenient model for understanding and predicting biological, chemical, and physical properties. By using this modeling technique, drug-melanin binding of a set of 16 compounds has been analyzed with correlation analysis and a set of theoretical molecular parameters in order to better understand and characterize drug-melanin interactions. The resulting correlation equation supports a charge transfer model for drug-melanin complex formation and can also be used to estimate binding constants for related compounds.

  8. Melanin or a Melanin-Like Substance Interacts with the N-Terminal Portion of Prion Protein and Inhibits Abnormal Prion Protein Formation in Prion-Infected Cells.

    PubMed

    Hamanaka, Taichi; Nishizawa, Keiko; Sakasegawa, Yuji; Oguma, Ayumi; Teruya, Kenta; Kurahashi, Hiroshi; Hara, Hideyuki; Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Doh-Ura, Katsumi

    2017-03-15

    Prion diseases are progressive fatal neurodegenerative illnesses caused by the accumulation of transmissible abnormal prion protein (PrP). To find treatments for prion diseases, we searched for substances from natural resources that inhibit abnormal PrP formation in prion-infected cells. We found that high-molecular-weight components from insect cuticle extracts reduced abnormal PrP levels. The chemical nature of these components was consistent with that of melanin. In fact, synthetic melanin produced from tyrosine or 3-hydroxy-l-tyrosine inhibited abnormal PrP formation. Melanin did not modify cellular or cell surface PrP levels, nor did it modify lipid raft or cellular cholesterol levels. Neither did it enhance autophagy or lysosomal function. Melanin was capable of interacting with PrP at two N-terminal domains. Specifically, it strongly interacted with the PrP region of amino acids 23 to 50 including a positively charged amino acid cluster and weakly interacted with the PrP octarepeat peptide region of residues 51 to 90. However, the in vitro and in vivo data were inconsistent with those of prion-infected cells. Abnormal PrP formation in protein misfolding cyclic amplification was not inhibited by melanin. Survival after prion infection was not significantly altered in albino mice or exogenously melanin-injected mice compared with that of control mice. These data suggest that melanin, a main determinant of skin color, is not likely to modify prion disease pathogenesis, even though racial differences in the incidence of human prion diseases have been reported. Thus, the findings identify an interaction between melanin and the N terminus of PrP, but the pathophysiological roles of the PrP-melanin interaction remain unclear.IMPORTANCE The N-terminal region of PrP is reportedly important for neuroprotection, neurotoxicity, and abnormal PrP formation, as this region is bound by many factors, such as metal ions, lipids, nucleic acids, antiprion compounds, and several

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Protein adsorption on dopamine-melanin films: role of electrostatic interactions inferred from zeta-potential measurements versus chemisorption.

    PubMed

    Bernsmann, Falk; Frisch, Benoît; Ringwald, Christian; Ball, Vincent

    2010-04-01

    We recently showed the possibility to build dopamine-melanin films of controlled thickness by successive immersions of a substrate in alkaline solutions of dopamine [F. Bernsmann, A. Ponche, C. Ringwald, J. Hemmerlé, J. Raya, B. Bechinger, J.-C. Voegel, P. Schaaf, V. Ball, J. Phys. Chem. C 113 (2009) 8234-8242]. In this work the structure and properties of such films are further explored. The zeta-potential of dopamine-melanin films is measured as a function of the total immersion time to build the film. It appears that the film bears a constant zeta-potential of (-39+/-3) mV after 12 immersion steps. These data are used to calculate the surface density of charged groups of the dopamine-melanin films at pH 8.5 that are mostly catechol or quinone imine chemical groups. Furthermore the zeta-potential is used to explain the adsorption of three model proteins (lysozyme, myoglobin, alpha-lactalbumin), which is monitored by quartz crystal microbalance. We come to the conclusion that protein adsorption on dopamine-melanin is not only determined by possible covalent binding between amino groups of the proteins and catechol groups of dopamine-melanin but that electrostatic interactions contribute to protein binding. Part of the adsorbed proteins can be desorbed by sodium dodecylsulfate solutions at the critical micellar concentration. The fraction of weakly bound proteins decreases with their isoelectric point. Additionally the number of available sites for covalent binding of amino groups on melanin grains is quantified.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24975581

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Bacterial interactions with uranium: An environmental perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merroun, Mohamed L.; Selenska-Pobell, Sonja

    2008-12-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Interactions of Freshwater Cyanobacteria with Bacterial Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Beier, Sara; Grabherr, Manfred

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cyanobacterial and algal mass development, or blooms, have severe effects on freshwater and marine systems around the world. Many of these phototrophs produce a variety of potent toxins, contribute to oxygen depletion, and affect water quality in several ways. Coexisting antagonists, such as cyanolytic bacteria, hold the potential to suppress, or even terminate, such blooms, yet the nature of this interaction is not well studied. We isolated 31 cyanolytic bacteria affiliated with the genera Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Acinetobacter, and Delftia from three eutrophic freshwater lakes in Sweden and selected four phylogenetically diverse bacterial strains with strong-to-moderate lytic activity. To characterize their functional responses to the presence of cyanobacteria, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) experiments on coculture incubations, with an initial predator-prey ratio of 1:1. Genes involved in central cellular pathways, stress-related heat or cold shock proteins, and antitoxin genes were highly expressed in both heterotrophs and cyanobacteria. Heterotrophs in coculture expressed genes involved in cell motility, signal transduction, and putative lytic activity. l,d-Transpeptidase was the only significantly upregulated lytic gene in Stenotrophomonas rhizophila EK20. Heterotrophs also shifted their central metabolism from the tricarboxylic acid cycle to the glyoxylate shunt. Concurrently, cyanobacteria clearly show contrasting antagonistic interactions with the four tested heterotrophic strains, which is also reflected in the physical attachment to their cells. In conclusion, antagonistic interactions with cyanobacteria were initiated within 24 h, and expression profiles suggest varied responses for the different cyanobacteria and studied cyanolytes. IMPORTANCE Here, we present how gene expression profiles can be used to reveal interactions between bloom-forming freshwater cyanobacteria and antagonistic heterotrophic bacteria. Species

  6. Melanins from opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Rosei, M A

    1996-12-01

    Opioid peptides and other Tyr-NH2-terminal peptides are substrates in vitro for mushroom and sepia tyrosine, giving rise to synthetic melanins retaining the peptide moiety (opiomelanins). The melanopeptides are characterized by a total solubility in hydrophylic solvents at neutral and basic pH. Opioid peptides (enkephalins, endorphins, and esorphins), if oxidized by tyrosinase in the presence of Dopa, are easily incorporated into Dopa-melanin, producing mixed-type pigments that can also be solubilized in hydrophylic solvents. Melanins derived from opioid peptides exhibit paramagnetism, as evidenced by an EPR spectrum identical to that of Dopa-melanin. However, the presence of the linked peptide chain is able to influence dramatically the electron transfer properties and the oxidizing behaviour of the melanopeptides, so that whereas Tyr-Gly-melanin appears to behave as Dopa-melanin, Enk-melanin does not exhibit any oxidizing activity. Opiomelanins are characterized by a peculiar UV-VIS spectrum; that is, by the presence of a distinct peak (330 nm) that disappears upon chemical treatment by acid hydrolysis. Opiomelanins are stable pigments at neutral and basic pH in the dark, whereas the addition of H2O2 leads to a 15% degradation. Under stimulated solar illumination, opiomelanins are more easily destroyed with respect to Dopa-melanin, with increasing degradation when exposed to increased hydrogen peroxide concentrations and more alkaline pH. Some speculations on the possible existence and role of opiomelanins have been outlined.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    knockdown of individual enzymes that are specifically involved in melanin biosynthesis phenylalanine hydroxylase , tyrosinase, tyrosine hydroxylase and...with siRNAs directed against melanin biosynthetic enzymes, tyrosinase (siTYR), tyrosine hydroxylase (TYH), phenlyalanine hydroxylase (siPKU), and

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Radicals in melanin biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Riley, P A

    1988-01-01

    Melanins are light-absorbant polymeric pigments found widely dispersed in nature. They possess many interesting physicochemical properties. One of these is the expression in the polymer of stable free radicals which appear to have a protective action in cells, probably by acting as a sink for diffusible free-radical species. Polymer formation is thought to occur by a free-radical process in which semiquinones are added to the chain. Semiquinones are formed by redox equilibration interactions between metabolic intermediates formed during the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation process. In the continued presence of substrate, steady-state concentrations of reactive species are predicted in the reaction system, and the melanogenic pathway may be considered as potentially hazardous for pigment-generating cells. This feature has been exploited by the use of analogue substrates to generate cytotoxic species as a possible rational approach to the treatment of malignant melanoma. One such substance is 4-hydroxyanisole, the oxidation of which gives rise to semiquinone radical species. The possibility that the anisyl semiquinone initiates a mechanism leading to cell damage has not been excluded. However, the current view is that the major cytotoxicity due to the oxidation products of this compound is the result of the action of the corresponding orthoquinone. A number of mechanisms exist for detoxifying quinones if they reach the cytosol such as O-methylation and the formation of thiol adducts with cysteine or glutathione, and these can be used as markers of melanogenesis. In general, however, only small amounts of reactive intermediates of melanogenesis escape from the confines of the melanosome, probably because of their limited lipid solubility. The selective toxic action of anisyl quinone in the treatment of melanoma may, in part, be due to membrane defects in the melanosomes of malignant melanocytes.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baul, Upayan; Kuroda, Kenichi; Vemparala, Satyavani

    2014-08-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Hydrodynamic interaction of bacterial flagella - flagellar bundling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Sookkyung

    2013-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Fluorescence of Melanin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallas, James Martin

    1981-06-01

    Optical fluorescence in aqueous suspensions of synthetic dopa melanin has been detected and investigated. A fluorescence lifetime of 8.3 ns was measured in pulsed laser experiments. Fluorescence was observed for excitation between 290 and 420 nm. The emission as a function of wavelength displayed a single broad maximum falling between 440 and 480 nm, depending on excitation wavelength. The dependence of the quantum efficiency for fluorescence on parameters such as solution temperature, viscosity, pH, and concentration of metal ion, such as copper, has been investigated. The emission intensity decreased at both high and low values of pH, with increasing temperatures, and with increasing metal ion concentration, and decreasing viscosity. The pH dependence of the fluorescence can be related to changes in the ionization state of the various ionizable groups attached to the fluorophores. A self consistent model was developed in which proton transfer from these groups was fast compared with fluorescence rates for one type of fluorophore and slow compared with those for another type. The fluorescence dependence on copper ion concentration is explained in terms of a model invoking a reaction between melanin fluorophores and copper ions leading to the formation of a melanin-copper complex which is itself fluorescent. A model incorporating diffusion controlled chemical reactions between fluorescents groups and quencher groups on the melanin polymer is developed and used to explain the observed dependence of melanin fluorescence on solvent viscosity. Over the temperature range 20(DEGREES)C-70(DEGREES)C, an Arrhenius type behavior was found with an activation enthalpy of 1.3 Kcal/mole. Using the temperature dependence of the viscous quenching model as well as the temperature dependence of the fluorophore-radical equilibrium concentration leads to a temperature dependence which is in reasonable agreement with the observed behavior. Many aspects of the experimental results

  19. 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

  20. Interactive Effects of Viral and Bacterial Production on Marine Bacterial Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Motegi, Chiaki; Nagata, Toshi; Miki, Takeshi; Weinbauer, Markus G.; Legendre, Louis; Rassoulzadegan, Fereidoun

    2013-01-01

    A general model of species diversity predicts that the latter is maximized when productivity and disturbance are balanced. Based on this model, we hypothesized that the response of bacterial diversity to the ratio of viral to bacterial production (VP/BP) would be dome-shaped. In order to test this hypothesis, we obtained data on changes in bacterial communities (determined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism of 16S rRNA gene) along a wide VP/BP gradient (more than two orders of magnitude), using seawater incubations from NW Mediterranean surface waters, i.e., control and treatments with additions of phosphate, viruses, or both. In December, one dominant Operational Taxonomic Unit accounted for the major fraction of total amplified DNA in the phosphate addition treatment (75±20%, ± S.D.), but its contribution was low in the phosphate and virus addition treatment (23±19%), indicating that viruses prevented the prevalence of taxa that were competitively superior in phosphate-replete conditions. In contrast, in February, the single taxon predominance in the community was held in the phosphate addition treatment even with addition of viruses. We observed statistically robust dome-shaped response patterns of bacterial diversity to VP/BP, with significantly high bacterial diversity at intermediate VP/BP. This was consistent with our model-based hypothesis, indicating that bacterial production and viral-induced mortality interactively affect bacterial diversity in seawater. PMID:24244268

  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. Spectroscopic Studies of Melanin.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-01-01

    il), and leading to the production of oxygen radicals (12). Gallas (13) and Kozikowski et al. (14) have studied melanin fluorescence. As part of a...Raman scattering unobservable in aqueous solution by continuous wave techniques. As was also observed by Kozikowski et al. (14), the intrinsic...168B. 14. Kozikowski SD, Wolfram LJ, Alfano RR. Fluorescence spectroscopy of eumelanins. IEEE J Quant Electron 1984;OE20:1379-1382. 15. Slawinski J

  3. Melanin in Fonsecaea pedrosoi: a trap for oxidative radicals

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The pathogenic fungus Fonsecaea pedrosoi constitutively produces the pigment melanin, an important virulence factor in fungi. Melanin is incorporated in the cell wall structure and provides chemical and physical protection for the fungus. We evaluated the production of nitric oxide (NO) in macrophages, the oxidative burst and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (i-NOS) activity in interactions between activated murine macrophages and F. pedrosoi. Experiments were carried out with or without tricyclazole (TC) treatment, a selective inhibitor of the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthesis pathway in F. pedrosoi. The paramagnetisms of melanin and the TC-melanin were analysed by electron spin resonance. The fungal growth responses to H2O2 and to S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), a nitric oxide donor, were also evaluated. Results Melanised F. pedrosoi cells were more resistant to both H2O2 and NO. Nitrite was not detected in the supernatant of macrophages incubated with melanised fungal cells. However, i-NOS expression was unaffected by the presence of either untreated control F. pedrosoi or TC-treated F. pedrosoi. In addition, the inhibition of the DHN-melanin pathway by TC improved the oxidative burst capability of the macrophages. Conclusion The NO-trapping ability of F. pedrosoi melanin is an important mechanism to escape the oxidative burst of macrophages. PMID:20233438

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Host-microbe protein interactions during bacterial infection

    PubMed Central

    Schweppe, Devin K.; Harding, Christopher; Chavez, Juan D.; Wu, Xia; Ramage, Elizabeth; Singh, Pradeep K.; Manoil, Colin; Bruce, James E.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Interspecies protein-protein interactions are essential mediators of infection. While bacterial proteins required for host cell invasion and infection can be identified through bacterial mutant library screens, information about host target proteins and interspecies complex structures has been more difficult to acquire. Using an unbiased chemical cross-linking/mass spectrometry approach, we identified interspecies protein-protein interactions in human lung epithelial cells infected with Acinetobacter baumannii. These efforts resulted in identification of 3076 total cross-linked peptide pairs and 46 interspecies protein-protein interactions. Most notably, the key A. baumannii virulence factor, OmpA, was identified cross-linked to host proteins involved in desmosomes, specialized structures that mediate host cell-to-cell adhesion. Co-immunoprecipitation and transposon mutant experiments were used to verify these interactions and demonstrate relevance for host cell invasion and acute murine lung infection. These results shed new light on A. baumannii-host protein interactions and their structural features and the presented approach is generally applicable to other systems. PMID:26548613

  10. 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

  11. Quorum Sensing and Bacterial Social Interactions in Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yung-Hua; Tian, Xiaolin

    2012-01-01

    Many bacteria are known to regulate their cooperative activities and physiological processes through a mechanism called quorum sensing (QS), in which bacterial cells communicate with each other by releasing, sensing and responding to small diffusible signal molecules. The ability of bacteria to communicate and behave as a group for social interactions like a multi-cellular organism has provided significant benefits to bacteria in host colonization, formation of biofilms, defense against competitors, and adaptation to changing environments. Importantly, many QS-controlled activities have been involved in the virulence and pathogenic potential of bacteria. Therefore, understanding the molecular details of quorum sensing mechanisms and their controlled social activities may open a new avenue for controlling bacterial infections. PMID:22736963

  12. 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

  13. Quorum sensing and bacterial social interactions in biofilms.

    PubMed

    Li, Yung-Hua; Tian, Xiaolin

    2012-01-01

    Many bacteria are known to regulate their cooperative activities and physiological processes through a mechanism called quorum sensing (QS), in which bacterial cells communicate with each other by releasing, sensing and responding to small diffusible signal molecules. The ability of bacteria to communicate and behave as a group for social interactions like a multi-cellular organism has provided significant benefits to bacteria in host colonization, formation of biofilms, defense against competitors, and adaptation to changing environments. Importantly, many QS-controlled activities have been involved in the virulence and pathogenic potential of bacteria. Therefore, understanding the molecular details of quorum sensing mechanisms and their controlled social activities may open a new avenue for controlling bacterial infections.

  14. 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.

  15. Electrostatic sensor for identifying interactions between peptides and bacterial membranes.

    PubMed

    Fitchen, Nicola; O'Shea, Paul; Williams, Paul; Hardie, Kim R

    2003-11-01

    The use of the membrane probe fluorescein phosphatidylethanolamine (FPE) to investigate membrane binding is well established. However, until now, its use has been restricted to studies involving peptides and eukaryotic membranes. This useful tool has been developed to interrogate peptide:prokaryotic membrane interactions by introducing novel methodology to incorporate FPE into the membranes of UV killed, whole bacterial cells. The electrostatic potential of the membrane in the immediate vicinity of the probe affects the protonation state of the xanthene ring system in the fluorescein head group, which is held close to the membrane surface. When altered, e.g. by peptide binding and insertion, a change in fluorescence results, which can be measured spectrophotometrically. Applicability of this technique to bacterial surface interactions was confirmed by production of a binding curve for both a synthetic peptide and a 37kDa protein. Future investigations are anticipated to utilize this technology to characterize interactions of other toxins plus antimicrobial peptides such as lactoferricin and defensins with their target membranes.

  16. Interactions in Bacterial Biofilm Development: A Structural Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Garnett, James A; Matthews, Steve

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Signaling factor interactions with polysaccharide aggregates of bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    DeSalvo, Stephen C; Liu, Yating; Choudhary, Geetika Sanjay; Ren, Dacheng; Nangia, Shikha; Sureshkumar, Radhakrishna

    2015-02-17

    Biofilms are surface-attached colonies of bacteria embedded in an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS). Inside the eukaryotic hosts, bacterial biofilms interact with the host cells through signaling factors (SFs). These signaling processes play important roles in the interaction between bacteria and host cells and the outcome of infections and symbiosis. However, how host immune factors diffuse through biofilms is not well understood. Here, we describe synergistic molecular dynamics and experimental approaches for studying the translocation of signaling factors through polysaccharide chain aggregates present in the extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilms. The effect of polysaccharide chain degradation on the energetics of SF-EPS interactions was examined by simulating an EPS consisting of various polysaccharide chain lengths. It is shown that the SF stabilization energy, defined as the average potential of mean force difference between the environments outside and within the matrix, increases linearly with decreasing chain length. This effect has been explained based on the changes in the polysaccharide configurations around the SF. Specifically, shorter chains are packed tightly around the SF, promoting favorable SF-EPS interactions, while longer chains are packed loosely resulting in screening of interactions with neighboring chains. We further investigated the translocation of SFs through the host cell membrane using molecular dynamics simulations. Further, simulations predict the existence of energy barriers greater than 1000 kJ mol(-1) associated with the translocation of the signaling factors necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) across the lipid bilayer. The agreement of computational and experimental findings motivates future computational studies using a more detailed description of the EPS aimed at understanding the role of the extracellular matrix on biofilm drug resistance.

  18. Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-28

    transient siRNA knockdown of enzymes specifically involved in melanin production- phenylalanine hydroxylase , tyrosinase, tyrosine hydroxylase and...biosynthetic enzymes, tyrosinase (siTYR), tyrosine hydroxylase (TYH), phenlyalanine hydroxylase (siPKU), and dopachrome tautomerase (siDCT). The

  19. 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

  20. Dynamic metabolic exchange governs a marine algal-bacterial interaction

    PubMed Central

    Segev, Einat; Wyche, Thomas P; Kim, Ki Hyun; Petersen, Jörn; Ellebrandt, Claire; Vlamakis, Hera; Barteneva, Natasha; Paulson, Joseph N; Chai, Liraz; Clardy, Jon; Kolter, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Emiliania huxleyi is a model coccolithophore micro-alga that generates vast blooms in the ocean. Bacteria are not considered among the major factors influencing coccolithophore physiology. Here we show through a laboratory model system that the bacterium Phaeobacter inhibens, a well-studied member of the Roseobacter group, intimately interacts with E. huxleyi. While attached to the algal cell, bacteria initially promote algal growth but ultimately kill their algal host. Both algal growth enhancement and algal death are driven by the bacterially-produced phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid. Bacterial production of indole-3-acetic acid and attachment to algae are significantly increased by tryptophan, which is exuded from the algal cell. Algal death triggered by bacteria involves activation of pathways unique to oxidative stress response and programmed cell death. Our observations suggest that bacteria greatly influence the physiology and metabolism of E. huxleyi. Coccolithophore-bacteria interactions should be further studied in the environment to determine whether they impact micro-algal population dynamics on a global scale. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17473.001 PMID:27855786

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Diversity of Streptococcus mutans strains in bacterial interspecies interactions.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaolan; Hoogenkamp, Michel A; Ling, Junqi; Crielaard, Wim; Deng, Dong Mei

    2014-02-01

    Biofilms are matrix-enclosed microbial population adhere to each other and to surfaces. Compared to planktonic bacterial cells, biofilm cells show much higher levels of antimicrobial resistance. We aimed to investigate Streptococcus mutans strain diversity in biofilm formation and chlorhexidine (CHX) resistance of single S. mutans and dual S. mutans-Enterococcus faecalis biofilms. Four clinical S. mutans strains (C180-2, C67-1, HG723 and UA159) formed 24-h biofilms with or without an E. faecalis strain. These biofilms were treated for 10 min with 0.025% CHX. Biofilm formation, CHX resistance and S.mutans-E. faecalis interactions were evaluated by biomass staining, resazurin metabolism, viable count and competition agar assays. The main finding is that the presence of E. faecalis generally reduced all dual-species biofilm formation, but the proportions of S. mutans in the dual-species biofilms as well as CHX resistance displayed a clear S. mutans strain dependence. In particular, decreased resistance against CHX was observed in dual S. mutans C67-1 biofilms, while increased resistance was found in dual S. mutans UA159 biofilms. In conclusion, the interaction of S. mutans with E. faecalis in biofilms varies between strains, which underlines the importance of studying strain diversity in inter-species virulence modulation and biofilm antimicrobial resistance.

  5. Suppression of Melanin Production by Expression of HSP70*

    PubMed Central

    Hoshino, Tatsuya; Matsuda, Minoru; Yamashita, Yasuhiro; Takehara, Masaya; Fukuya, Masayo; Mineda, Kazutaka; Maji, Daisuke; Ihn, Hironobu; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Funasaka, Yoko; Mizushima, Tohru

    2010-01-01

    Skin hyperpigmentation disorders due to abnormal melanin production induced by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation are both a clinical and cosmetic problem. UV irradiation stimulates melanin production in melanocytes by increasing intracellular cAMP. Expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs), especially HSP70, is induced by various stressors, including UV irradiation, to provide cellular resistance to such stressors. In this study we examined the effect of expression of HSP70 on melanin production both in vitro and in vivo. 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), a cAMP-elevating agent, stimulated melanin production in cultured mouse melanoma cells, and this stimulation was suppressed in cells overexpressing HSP70. IBMX-dependent transcriptional activation of the tyrosinase gene was also suppressed in HSP70-overexpressing cells. Expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), which positively regulates transcription of the tyrosinase gene, was up-regulated by IBMX; however, this up-regulation was not suppressed in HSP70-overexpressing cells. On the other hand, immunoprecipitation and immunostaining analyses revealed a physical interaction between and co-localization of MITF and HSP70, respectively. Furthermore, the transcription of tyrosinase gene in nuclear extract was inhibited by HSP70. In vivo, UV irradiation of wild-type mice increased the amount of melanin in the basal layer of the epidermis, and this increase was suppressed in transgenic mice expressing HSP70. This study provides the first evidence of an inhibitory effect of HSP70 on melanin production both in vitro and in vivo. This effect seems to be mediated by modulation of MITF activity through a direct interaction between HSP70 and MITF. PMID:20177067

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Spiders do have melanin after all.

    PubMed

    Hsiung, Bor-Kai; Blackledge, Todd A; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-11-01

    Melanin pigments are broadly distributed in nature - from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals. However, many previous attempts to identify melanins in spiders were unsuccessful, suggesting that these otherwise ubiquitous pigments were lost during spider evolution. Yet, spiders exhibit many dark colours similar to those produced by melanins in other organisms, and the low solubility of melanins makes isolation and characterization difficult. Therefore, whether melanins are truly absent or have simply not yet been detected is an open question. Raman spectroscopy provides a reliable way to detect melanins in situ, without the need for isolation. In this study, we document the presence of eumelanin in diverse species of spiders using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Comparisons of spectra with theoretically calculated data falsify the previous hypothesis that dark colours are produced solely by ommochromes in spiders. Our data indicate that melanins are present in spiders and further supporting that they are present in most living organisms.

  11. Biofilm interactions between distinct bacterial genera isolated from drinking water.

    PubMed

    Simões, Lúcia Chaves; Simões, Manuel; Vieira, Maria João

    2007-10-01

    In the environment, multiple microorganisms coexist as communities, competing for resources and often associated as biofilms. In this study, single- and dual-species biofilm formation by, and specific activities of, six heterotrophic intergeneric bacteria were determined using 96-well polystyrene plates over a 72-h period. These bacteria were isolated from drinking water and identified by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. A series of planktonic studies was also performed, assessing the bacterial growth rate, motility, and production of quorum-sensing inhibitors (QSI). This constituted an attempt to identify key attributes allowing bacteria to effectively interact and coexist in a drinking-water environment. We observed that in both pure and dual cultures, all of the isolates formed stable biofilms within 72 h, with specific metabolic activity decreasing, in most cases, with an increase in biofilm mass. The largest single- and dual-biofilm amounts were found for Methylobacterium sp. and the combination of Methylobacterium sp. and Mycobacterium mucogenicum, respectively. Evidences of microbial interactions in dual-biofilm formation, associated with appreciable biomass variation in comparison with single biofilms, were found for the following cases: synergy/cooperation between Sphingomonas capsulata and Burkholderia cepacia, S. capsulata and Staphylococcus sp., and B. cepacia and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and antagonism between S. capsulata and M. mucogenicum, S. capsulata and A. calcoaceticus, and M. mucogenicum and Staphylococcus sp. A neutral interaction was found for Methylobacterium sp.-M. mucogenicum, S. capsulata-Staphylococcus sp., M. mucogenicum-A. calcoaceticus, and Methylobacterium sp.-A. calcoaceticus biofilms, since the resultant dual biofilms had a mass and specific metabolic activity similar to the average for each single biofilm. B. cepacia had the highest growth rate and motility and produced QSI. Other bacteria producing QSI were Methylobacterium

  12. 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.

  13. Pneumocystis melanins confer enhanced organism viability.

    PubMed

    Icenhour, Crystal R; Kottom, Theodore J; Limper, Andrew H

    2006-06-01

    Pneumocystis continues to represent an important opportunistic fungal pathogen of those with compromised immunity. Thus, it is crucial to identify factors that affect its viability and pathogenicity. We previously reported the first identification of melanins in Pneumocystis. In the present study, we sought to further characterize these components and define the function for these melanins. Melanins extracted from Pneumocystis and melanized Pneumocystis cells were analyzed by electron spin resonance spectroscopy, revealing spectra consistent with melanins from other fungi. Immunofluorescence assays using anti-melanin monoclonal antibodies showed that melanins are widely present across Pneumocystis host species, including mouse-, ferret-, and human-derived Pneumocystis organisms, as well as Pneumocystis carinii derived from rat. Using immunoelectron microscopy, melanins were found to localize to the cell wall and cytoplasm of P. carinii cysts, as well as to intracystic bodies within mature cysts. Next, the role of melanins on the maintenance of Pneumocystis viability was determined by using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR measurement of the heat shock protein mRNA under adverse environmental conditions. Using a new method to promote the melanization of Pneumocystis, we observed that strongly melanized Pneumocystis retained viability to a greater degree when exposed to UV irradiation or desiccation compared to less-pigmented organisms. These studies support our previous identification of Pneumocystis melanins across the genus, further characterize these Pneumocystis components, and demonstrate that melanins protect Pneumocystis from environmental stressors.

  14. 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.

  15. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin

    PubMed Central

    Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Physico-Chemical Evaluation of Rationally Designed Melanins as Novel Nature-Inspired Radioprotectors

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Howell, Robertha C.; Jiang, Zewei; Bryan, Ruth A.; Gerfen, Gary; Chen, Chin-Cheng; Mah, Dennis; Cahill, Sean

    2009-01-01

    Background Melanin, a high-molecular weight pigment that is ubiquitous in nature, protects melanized microorganisms against high doses of ionizing radiation. However, the physics of melanin interaction with ionizing radiation is unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings We rationally designed melanins from either 5-S-cysteinyl-DOPA, L-cysteine/L-DOPA, or L-DOPA with diverse structures as shown by elemental analysis and HPLC. Sulfur-containing melanins had higher predicted attenuation coefficients than non-sulfur-containing melanins. All synthetic melanins displayed strong electron paramagnetic resonance (2.14·1018, 7.09·1018, and 9.05·1017 spins/g, respectively), with sulfur-containing melanins demonstrating more complex spectra and higher numbers of stable free radicals. There was no change in the quality or quantity of the stable free radicals after high-dose (30,000 cGy), high-energy (137Cs, 661.6 keV) irradiation, indicating a high degree of radical stability as well as a robust resistance to the ionizing effects of gamma irradiation. The rationally designed melanins protected mammalian cells against ionizing radiation of different energies. Conclusions/Significance We propose that due to melanin's numerous aromatic oligomers containing multiple π-electron system, a generated Compton recoil electron gradually loses energy while passing through the pigment, until its energy is sufficiently low that it can be trapped by stable free radicals present in the pigment. Controlled dissipation of high-energy recoil electrons by melanin prevents secondary ionizations and the generation of damaging free radical species. PMID:19789711

  17. Importance of secreted bacterial RNA in bacterial-host interactions in the gut.

    PubMed

    Ghosal, Anubrata

    2017-03-01

    Bacteria are ubiquitous in nature and found to be associated with human. Humans are benefited significantly from these associated bacteria. Our understanding is quite limited about these beneficial associations and how bacteria communicate with the host. It is assumed that secreted bacterial products contribute in bacterial-host signaling. A few studies have shown that bacteria secrete RNA into their extracellular medium, and these secreted RNA are capable of altering the host immune response. Multiple studies in eukaryotes have confirmed that secreted RNA can influence the functioning of other cells and their role in the development of several diseases, although not much is known about the composition of secreted bacterial RNA, how they are trafficked and how they impact on the functioning of host cells. By uncovering the beneficial role of secreted bacterial RNA, it would be possible to improve the human health.

  18. The actions of melanin and melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH).

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Natalie; Nelson, Francine; Govitrapong, Piyarat; Ebadi, Manuchair

    1999-01-01

    The skin, the largest organ of the body, plays an important role in the total metabolism of several hormones. Melanin, the major product of the melanocyte, is largely responsible for the coloring of skin. Melanin is a complex of insoluble, polyquinone, brown or red pigment and protein, formed by the oxidation of tyrosine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine in the presence of tyrosinase. There exists two main groups of melanin: the black to dark-brown insoluble eumelanins and the yellow to reddish brown, alkali-soluble pheomelanins. MSH, ACTH and beta-lipoprotein are able to influence skin pigmentation. The functions attributed to melanins are acting as a barrier against ionizing radiation; participating in developmental processes, serving as a cosmetic entity, and scavenging cytotoxic radicals and intermediates. Melanocytes express numerous receptors that allow interaction with other cells in their microenvironment, including keratinocytes and the immune component of the skin Langerhans cells. Albinism represents a group of inherited abnormalities that present with congenital hypopigmentation that can involve the skin, hair, and eyes (oculocutaneous albinism) or be limited primarily to the eyes (ocular albinism). The inherited disorders of keratin include epidermolysis bullosu simplex causing cell degeneration within the basal layer. Sunlight and ultraviolet radiation from artificial light sources could be tonic or toxic to human skin. The harmful effects of solar radiation are skin cancer, photosensitivity diseases, sunburn, photoallergy, photoimmunologic alterations, cataracts, mutations, skin aging and phototoxicity. Sunscreen chemicals protect the skin against ultraviolet radiation.

  19. 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.

  20. Inhibition of melanin synthesis pathway by tricyclazole increases susceptibility of Fonsecaea pedrosoi against mouse macrophages.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Marcel M L; Franzen, Anderson J; Alviano, Daniela S; Zanardi, Erica; Alviano, Celuta S; De Souza, Wanderley; Rozental, Sonia

    2005-12-15

    Fonsecaea pedrosoi produces melanin, a pigment related to virulence in pathogenic fungi. To understand the involvement of melanin in the protection of fungi, the authors used tricyclazole to inhibit the melanin pathway in F. pedrosoi. Experiments of pigmentation suggested that F. pedrosoi uniquely produces dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin. Pigments produced on cultures modified or not with tricyclazole were extracted by an alkali-acid method and submitted to infrared and ion exchange chromatography analysis; also cytochemistry analysis for cationized ferritin of whole cells was carried out. This group of experiments showed that the tricyclazole treatment on F. pedrosoi produced a melanin-like pigment, but less negatively charged and with less affinity for iron ions than that without the tricyclazole treatment, and this in turn lead to a less negatively charge cell wall surface. Scanning electron microscopy of such pigments showed that the melanin from control cultures maintained their hyphae-like structures, which have been described as "melanin-ghosts," whereas the tricyclazole pigment showed an amorphous surface. Interaction of conidia from cultures of F. pedrosoi, modified by tricyclazole or not, with peritoneal activated macrophages suggested that tricyclazole causes higher association of fungus with macrophages, weakens the fungus capacity to destroy the macrophages, and diminishes the resistance to dry fracture procedures on samples prepared for high resolution scanning electron microscopy.

  1. 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.

  2. Breeding lines and host QTL interaction with bacterial strains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Resistance to common bacterial blight (CBB) is controlled by more than 20 QTL (Miklas and Singh, 2007). A QTL on Pv10 linked to SAP6 SCAR markers is derived from common bean. Higher levels of resistance associated with BC420 QTL on Pv06 (Yu et al., 2000) and SU91-CG11 QTL on Pv08 (Pedraza et al., 20...

  3. 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.

  4. Fungal-bacterial interactions and their relevance to oral health: linking the clinic and the bench.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Patricia I; Strausbaugh, Linda D; Dongari-Bagtzoglou, Anna

    2014-01-01

    High throughput sequencing has accelerated knowledge on the oral microbiome. While the bacterial component of oral communities has been extensively characterized, the role of the fungal microbiota in the oral cavity is largely unknown. Interactions among fungi and bacteria are likely to influence oral health as exemplified by the synergistic relationship between Candida albicans and oral streptococci. In this perspective, we discuss the current state of the field of fungal-bacterial interactions in the context of the oral cavity. We highlight the need to conduct longitudinal clinical studies to simultaneously characterize the bacterial and fungal components of the human oral microbiome in health and during disease progression. Such studies need to be coupled with investigations using disease-relevant models to mechanistically test the associations observed in humans and eventually identify fungal-bacterial interactions that could serve as preventive or therapeutic targets for oral diseases.

  5. Fungal-bacterial interactions and their relevance to oral health: linking the clinic and the bench

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, Patricia I.; Strausbaugh, Linda D.; Dongari-Bagtzoglou, Anna

    2014-01-01

    High throughput sequencing has accelerated knowledge on the oral microbiome. While the bacterial component of oral communities has been extensively characterized, the role of the fungal microbiota in the oral cavity is largely unknown. Interactions among fungi and bacteria are likely to influence oral health as exemplified by the synergistic relationship between Candida albicans and oral streptococci. In this perspective, we discuss the current state of the field of fungal-bacterial interactions in the context of the oral cavity. We highlight the need to conduct longitudinal clinical studies to simultaneously characterize the bacterial and fungal components of the human oral microbiome in health and during disease progression. Such studies need to be coupled with investigations using disease-relevant models to mechanistically test the associations observed in humans and eventually identify fungal-bacterial interactions that could serve as preventive or therapeutic targets for oral diseases. PMID:25120959

  6. Synthesis and characterization of melanin in DMSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Some biochemical properties of melanins from opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Rosei, M A; Mosca, L; Coccia, R; Blarzino, C; Musci, G; De Marco, C

    1994-03-02

    Opioid peptides are converted by mushroom tyrosinase into melanin-like compounds retaining the peptide moiety (opio-melanins). Opio-melanins, owing to the presence of the linked aminoacids and in contrast with DOPA-melanin, are soluble compounds. The enkephalin-generated melanins are cleaved by carboxypeptidase A and pronase whereas aminopeptidase M cannot remove aminoacids from the pigment. Enkephalins, as well as other opioid peptides, (alpha-endorphin, kyotorphin, esorphins) if oxidized in presence of DOPA and tyrosinase are readily incorporated into DOPA-melanin. The resulting mixed-melanins (opio-melanin + DOPA-melanin) can be solubilized in hydrophilic solvents. Melanin from leu-enkephalin exhibits paramagnetism as evidenced by an EPR spectrum identical to that of DOPA-melanin, but unlike the latter pigment, it does not appear to oxidize NADH, probably for the presence of the peptide moiety that exerts a hampering effect on the oxidizing capacity.

  10. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-15

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Counter-selectable marker for bacterial-based interaction trap systems.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiangdong; Smith, Robin M; Giesecke, Astrid V; Joung, J Keith; Wolfe, Scot A

    2006-02-01

    Counter-selectable markers can be used in two-hybrid systems to search libraries for a protein or compound that interferes with a macromolecular interaction or to identify macromolecules from a population that cannot mediate a particular interaction. In this report, we describe the adaptation of the yeast URA3/5-FOA counter-selection system for use in bacterial interaction trap experiments. Two different URA3 reporter systems were developed that allow robust counter-selection: (i) a single copy F' episome reporter and (ii) a co-cistronic HIS3-URA3 reporter vector. The HIS3-URA3 reporter can be used for either positive or negative selections in appropriate bacterial strains. These reagents extend the utility of the bacterial two-hybrid system as an alternative to its yeast-based counterpart.

  15. 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.

  16. Effect of oxygen on free radicals in DOPA-melanin complexes with netilmicin, diamagnetic Zn(II), and paramagnetic Cu(II)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was used to examine interactions between molecules of oxygen O2 and free radicals of DOPA-melanin and its complexes with netilmicin, Zn(II) and Cu(II). EPR spectra were measured for evacuated samples and then compared to earlier data for the samples in air. The concentrations of free radicals in the evacuated samples were higher than for samples in air. The strongest effect was observed for DOPA-melanin and melanin samples containing Cu(II). Evacuation of DOPA-melanin and DOPA-melanin-Cu(II) samples causes high EPR line broadening. Faster spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in evacuated melanin samples than in samples in air.

  17. Laboratory Evolution of Microbial Interactions in Bacterial Biofilms.

    PubMed

    Martin, Marivic; Hölscher, Theresa; Dragoš, Anna; Cooper, Vaughn S; Kovács, Ákos T

    2016-10-01

    Microbial adaptation is conspicuous in essentially every environment, but the mechanisms of adaptive evolution are poorly understood. Studying evolution in the laboratory under controlled conditions can be a tractable approach, particularly when new, discernible phenotypes evolve rapidly. This is especially the case in the spatially structured environments of biofilms, which promote the occurrence and stability of new, heritable phenotypes. Further, diversity in biofilms can give rise to nascent social interactions among coexisting mutants and enable the study of the emerging field of sociomicrobiology. Here, we review findings from laboratory evolution experiments with either Pseudomonas fluorescens or Burkholderia cenocepacia in spatially structured environments that promote biofilm formation. In both systems, ecotypes with overlapping niches evolve and produce competitive or facilitative interactions that lead to novel community attributes, demonstrating the parallelism of adaptive processes captured in the lab.

  18. Bacteriophage-encoded bacterial virulence factors and phage-pathogenicity island interactions.

    PubMed

    Boyd, E Fidelma

    2012-01-01

    The role of bacteriophages as natural vectors for some of the most potent bacterial toxins is well recognized and includes classical type I membrane-acting superantigens, type II pore-forming lysins, and type III exotoxins, such as diphtheria and botulinum toxins. Among Gram-negative pathogens, a novel class of bacterial virulence factors called effector proteins (EPs) are phage encoded among pathovars of Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., and Salmonella enterica. This chapter gives an overview of the different types of virulence factors encoded within phage genomes based on their role in bacterial pathogenesis. It also discusses phage-pathogenicity island interactions uncovered from studies of phage-encoded EPs. A detailed examination of the filamentous phage CTXφ that encodes cholera toxin is given as the sole example to date of a single-stranded DNA phage that encodes a bacterial toxin.

  19. Melanin biosynthesis during differentiation of Physarum polycephalum.

    PubMed

    Chet, I; Hüttermann, A

    1977-08-25

    Melanin synthesis in the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum occurs during sporulation but not during spherule formation. Melanin-like pigment was extracted from spores. An almost identical substance of polyphenols was extracted from spherules and characterized by its ultraviolet and infrared absorbance spectra. Polyphenol oxidase activity in spherules was very low and showed only one weak isoenzyme band in isoelectric focusing polyacrylamide gels. A much higher activity, and an increasing number of isoenzymes, were detected in sporulating cultures after illumination during the differentiation process. The addition of melanin precursors resulted in the synthesis of brownish-yellow spherules, probably containing dopachrome, whereas the addition of polyphenol oxidase inhibitors resulted in yellow sporangia. The results indicate that melanin synthesis is probably only a stage in maturation but not an essential part of the morphogenetic process itself.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. A new mathematical model of bacterial interactions in two-species oral biofilms.

    PubMed

    Martin, Bénédicte; Tamanai-Shacoori, Zohreh; Bronsard, Julie; Ginguené, Franck; Meuric, Vincent; Mahé, Fabrice; Bonnaure-Mallet, Martine

    2017-01-01

    Periodontitis are bacterial inflammatory diseases, where the bacterial biofilms present on the tooth-supporting tissues switch from a healthy state towards a pathogenic state. Among bacterial species involved in the disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to induce dysbiosis, and to induce virulence of otherwise healthy bacteria like Streptococcus gordonii. During biofilm development, primary colonizers such as S. gordonii first attach to the surface and allow the subsequent adhesion of periodontal pathogens such as P. gingivalis. Interactions between those two bacteria have been extensively studied during the adhesion step of the biofilm. The aim of the study was to understand interactions of both species during the growing phase of the biofilm, for which little knowledge is available, using a mathematical model. This two-species biofilm model was based on a substrate-dependent growth, implemented with damage parameters, and validated thanks to data obtained on experimental biofilms. Three different hypothesis of interactions were proposed and assayed using this model: independence, competition between both bacteria species, or induction of toxicity by one species for the other species. Adequacy between experimental and simulated biofilms were found with the last hypothetic mathematical model. This new mathematical model of two species bacteria biofilms, dependent on different substrates for growing, can be applied to any bacteria species, environmental conditions, or steps of biofilm development. It will be of great interest for exploring bacterial interactions in biofilm conditions.

  5. A new mathematical model of bacterial interactions in two-species oral biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Bénédicte; Tamanai-Shacoori, Zohreh; Bronsard, Julie; Ginguené, Franck; Meuric, Vincent

    2017-01-01

    Periodontitis are bacterial inflammatory diseases, where the bacterial biofilms present on the tooth-supporting tissues switch from a healthy state towards a pathogenic state. Among bacterial species involved in the disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis has been shown to induce dysbiosis, and to induce virulence of otherwise healthy bacteria like Streptococcus gordonii. During biofilm development, primary colonizers such as S. gordonii first attach to the surface and allow the subsequent adhesion of periodontal pathogens such as P. gingivalis. Interactions between those two bacteria have been extensively studied during the adhesion step of the biofilm. The aim of the study was to understand interactions of both species during the growing phase of the biofilm, for which little knowledge is available, using a mathematical model. This two-species biofilm model was based on a substrate-dependent growth, implemented with damage parameters, and validated thanks to data obtained on experimental biofilms. Three different hypothesis of interactions were proposed and assayed using this model: independence, competition between both bacteria species, or induction of toxicity by one species for the other species. Adequacy between experimental and simulated biofilms were found with the last hypothetic mathematical model. This new mathematical model of two species bacteria biofilms, dependent on different substrates for growing, can be applied to any bacteria species, environmental conditions, or steps of biofilm development. It will be of great interest for exploring bacterial interactions in biofilm conditions. PMID:28253369

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Photoprotective actions of natural and synthetic melanins.

    PubMed

    Krol, E S; Liebler, D C

    1998-12-01

    Melanins are thought to be important modulators of photochemistry in skin. Eumelanin, a black-brown pigment, is believed to protect against UV-induced photodamage, whereas pheomelanin, a red-yellow pigment, is believed to possess photosensitizing properties. To investigate the hypothesized dichotomy of melanins as both photoprotectants and photosensitizers, we examined the effects of melanins on UV-induced liposomal lipid peroxidation. Sepia melanin, a representative eumelanin, and both red hair pheomelanin and synthetic pheomelanin were employed in these studies. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin inhibited UVA/B- and UVA-induced liposomal lipid peroxidation in a concentration-dependent manner as measured by inhibition of conjugated diene formation. No change in protective properties of the melanins was observed in the presence of saturating levels of O2 during UVA irradiation. Pheomelanin irradiated with UVA/B or UVA induced superoxide-catalyzed reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium, whereas eumelanin did not. Melanins are known to bind various metals, and we examined the effect of iron on the photoproperties of melanins. Eumelanin complexed with Fe(III) did not inhibit UVA/B-induced lipid peroxidation, whereas pheomelanin complexed with Fe(III) stimulated UVA/B-induced lipid peroxidation. Thus, complexation with iron reversed the antioxidant effect of eumelanin and converted pheomelanin into a prooxidant. Analysis of lipid peroxidation products indicated that the oxidation was mediated by free radicals rather than by singlet oxygen. These data indicate that both eumelanin and pheomelanin exert antioxidant effects against UV-induced lipid peroxidation but that the prooxidant activities of pheomelanin result from pheomelanin-metal complexation.

  10. 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

  11. The Bacterial Helicase-Primase Interaction: A Common Structural/Functional Module

    PubMed Central

    Soultanas, Panos

    2011-01-01

    The lack of a high-resolution structure for the bacterial helicase-primase complex and the fragmented structural information for the individual proteins have been hindering our detailed understanding of this crucial binary protein interaction. Two new structures for the helicase-interacting domain of the bacterial primases from Escherichia coli and Bacillus stearothermophilus have recently been solved and both revealed a unique and surprising structural similarity to the amino-terminal domain of the helicase itself. In this minireview, the current data are discussed and important new structural and functional aspects of the helicase-primase interaction are highlighted. An attractive structural model with direct biological significance for the function of this complex and also for the development of new antibacterial compounds is examined. PMID:15939015

  12. 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.

  13. Biophysical model of bacterial cell interactions with nanopatterned cicada wing surfaces.

    PubMed

    Pogodin, Sergey; Hasan, Jafar; Baulin, Vladimir A; Webb, Hayden K; Truong, Vi Khanh; Phong Nguyen, The Hong; Boshkovikj, Veselin; Fluke, Christopher J; Watson, Gregory S; Watson, Jolanta A; Crawford, Russell J; Ivanova, Elena P

    2013-02-19

    The nanopattern on the surface of Clanger cicada (Psaltoda claripennis) wings represents the first example of a new class of biomaterials that can kill bacteria on contact based solely on their physical surface structure. The wings provide a model for the development of novel functional surfaces that possess an increased resistance to bacterial contamination and infection. We propose a biophysical model of the interactions between bacterial cells and cicada wing surface structures, and show that mechanical properties, in particular cell rigidity, are key factors in determining bacterial resistance/sensitivity to the bactericidal nature of the wing surface. We confirmed this experimentally by decreasing the rigidity of surface-resistant strains through microwave irradiation of the cells, which renders them susceptible to the wing effects. Our findings demonstrate the potential benefits of incorporating cicada wing nanopatterns into the design of antibacterial nanomaterials.

  14. 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.

  15. Biophysical Model of Bacterial Cell Interactions with Nanopatterned Cicada Wing Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Pogodin, Sergey; Hasan, Jafar; Baulin, Vladimir A.; Webb, Hayden K.; Truong, Vi Khanh; Phong Nguyen, The Hong; Boshkovikj, Veselin; Fluke, Christopher J.; Watson, Gregory S.; Watson, Jolanta A.; Crawford, Russell J.; Ivanova, Elena P.

    2013-01-01

    The nanopattern on the surface of Clanger cicada (Psaltoda claripennis) wings represents the first example of a new class of biomaterials that can kill bacteria on contact based solely on their physical surface structure. The wings provide a model for the development of novel functional surfaces that possess an increased resistance to bacterial contamination and infection. We propose a biophysical model of the interactions between bacterial cells and cicada wing surface structures, and show that mechanical properties, in particular cell rigidity, are key factors in determining bacterial resistance/sensitivity to the bactericidal nature of the wing surface. We confirmed this experimentally by decreasing the rigidity of surface-resistant strains through microwave irradiation of the cells, which renders them susceptible to the wing effects. Our findings demonstrate the potential benefits of incorporating cicada wing nanopatterns into the design of antibacterial nanomaterials. PMID:23442962

  16. 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

  17. Thermohydrogel Containing Melanin for Photothermal Cancer Therapy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Miri; Kim, Hyun Soo; Kim, Min Ah; Ryu, Hyanghwa; Jeong, Hwan-Jeong; Lee, Chang-Moon

    2016-12-01

    Melanin is an effective absorber of light and can extend to near infrared (NIR) regions. In this study, a natural melanin is presented as a photothermal therapeutic agent (PTA) because it provides a good photothermal conversion efficiency, shows biodegradability, and does not induce long-term toxicity during retention in vivo. Poloxamer solution containing melanin (Pol-Mel) does not show any precipitation and shows sol-gel transition at body temperature. After irradiation from 808 nm NIR laser at 1.5 W cm(-2) for 3 min, the photothermal conversion efficiency of Pol-Mel is enough to kill cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The tumor growth of mice bearing CT26 tumors treated with Pol-Mel injection and laser irradiation is suppressed completely without recurrence postirradiation. All these results indicate that Pol-Mel can become an attractive PTA for photothermal cancer therapy.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-02

    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.

  20. Laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry in the study of natural and synthetic melanins. II--Serotonin melanins.

    PubMed

    Bertazzo, A; Biasiolo, M; Costa, C; Allegri, G; Elli, G; Seraglia, R; Traldi, P

    1994-07-01

    Various biosynthetic melanins obtained by enzymic oxidation of serotonin with polyphenol oxidase from Psalliota campestris mushroom or potato, and with tyrosinase from Sepia officinalis or from Sigma were studied by means of laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. Various oligomeric clusters were evidenced, proving that the examined melanins are composed of sets of different oligomers, the production of which strongly depends on the enzyme reaction. While serotonin melanins obtained with polyphenol oxidase from potato showed wide species distribution with molecular weights ranging from 2008 to 13,000 Da, the same melanins obtained from mushroom showed oligomer distributions from 1505 to 9000 Da. Serotonin melanins prepared with tyrosinase from Sepia showed oligomers from 1636 to 18,000 Da. A dopa-melanin obtained with mushroom polyphenol oxidase showed oligomer species from 1709 to 17,874 Da. Comparison of molecular weight distributions of the various oligomer sets in serotonin melanins with those in tyrosine melanins revealed clear differences, which are investigated and discussed.

  1. Melanin: The Effects of Dimethyl Sulfoxide on the Spectral Properties.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-01-01

    Kozikowski et al (14) recently observed fluorescence of melanins from argon ion laser excitation. Infrared absorption spectra of melanin compressed...Photobiol 1978;28:75-81. 13. Gallas JP. Fluorescence of melanin. Dtiss Abstr Int 1982;43:1681. 14. Kozikowski SD, Wolfram LJ, Alfano RR. Fluorescence

  2. Modeling the within-host dynamics of cholera: bacterial-viral interaction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xueying; Wang, Jin

    2016-12-22

    Novel deterministic and stochastic models are proposed in this paper for the within-host dynamics of cholera, with a focus on the bacterial-viral interaction. The deterministic model is a system of differential equations describing the interaction among the two types of vibrios and the viruses. The stochastic model is a system of Markov jump processes that is derived based on the dynamics of the deterministic model. The multitype branching process approximation is applied to estimate the extinction probability of bacteria and viruses within a human host during the early stage of the bacterial-viral infection. Accordingly, a closed-form expression is derived for the disease extinction probability, and analytic estimates are validated with numerical simulations. The local and global dynamics of the bacterial-viral interaction are analysed using the deterministic model, and the result indicates that there is a sharp disease threshold characterized by the basic reproduction number [Formula: see text]: if [Formula: see text], vibrios ingested from the environment into human body will not cause cholera infection; if [Formula: see text], vibrios will grow with increased toxicity and persist within the host, leading to human cholera. In contrast, the stochastic model indicates, more realistically, that there is always a positive probability of disease extinction within the human host.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Amikacin, kanamycin and tobramycin binding to melanin in the presence of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) ions.

    PubMed

    Wrześniok, Dorota; Buszman, Ewa; Miernik-Biela, Ewa

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the presented work was to examine the interaction of amikacin, kanamycin and tobramycin with melanin in the presence of Ca(2+ )and Mg(2+) ions. It has been demonstrated that the analyzed aminoglycosides form complexes with melanin in the presence of metal ions and the amount of drugs bound to the polymer increases with increasing initial antibiotics concentration. It has been also shown that two classes of binding sites participate in the formation of amikacin, kanamycin and tobramycin complexes with melanin containing Ca(2+) or Mg(2+) ions: high affinity binding sites (n1) with the association constant K1 approximately 10(4)-10(5)M(-1) and low affinity binding sites (n2) with K2 approximately 10(3)M(-1). It has been demonstrated that calcium and magnesium significantly decrease the number of total binding sites (ntot) as compared with aminoglycoside-melanin complexes obtained in the absence of metal ions.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. Studies on interaction of colloidal silver nanoparticles (SNPs) with five different bacterial species.

    PubMed

    Khan, S Sudheer; Mukherjee, Amitava; Chandrasekaran, N

    2011-10-01

    Silver nanoparticles (SNPs) are being increasingly used in many consumer products like textile fabrics, cosmetics, washing machines, food and drug products owing to its excellent antimicrobial properties. Here we have studied the adsorption and toxicity of SNPs on bacterial species such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus barbaricus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The influence of zeta potential on the adsorption of SNPs on bacterial cell surface was investigated at acidic, neutral and alkaline pH and with varying salt (NaCl) concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1 and 1.5 M). The survival rate of bacterial species decreased with increase in adsorption of SNPs. Maximum adsorption and toxicity was observed at pH 5, and NaCl concentration of <0.5 M. A very less adsorption was observed at pH 9 and NaCl concentration >0.5 M, there by resulting in less toxicity. The zeta potential study suggests that, the adsorption of SNPs on the cell surface was related to electrostatic force of attraction. The equilibrium and kinetics of the adsorption process were also studied. The adsorption equilibrium isotherms fitted well to the Langmuir model. The kinetics of adsorption fitted best to pseudo-first-order. These findings form a basis for interpreting the interaction of nanoparticles with environmental bacterial species.

  12. 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).

  13. Melanin, Radiation, and Energy Transduction in Fungi.

    PubMed

    Casadevall, Arturo; Cordero, Radames J B; Bryan, Ruth; Nosanchuk, Joshua; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2017-03-01

    Melanin pigments are found in many diverse fungal species, where they serve a variety of functions that promote fitness and cell survival. Melanotic fungi inhabit some of the most extreme habitats on earth such as the damaged nuclear reactor at Chernobyl and the highlands of Antarctica, both of which are high-radiation environments. Melanotic fungi migrate toward radioactive sources, which appear to enhance their growth. This phenomenon, combined with the known capacities of melanin to absorb a broad spectrum of electromagnetic radiation and transduce this radiation into other forms of energy, raises the possibility that melanin also functions in harvesting such energy for biological usage. The ability of melanotic fungi to harness electromagnetic radiation for physiological processes has enormous implications for biological energy flows in the biosphere and for exobiology, since it provides new mechanisms for survival in extraterrestrial conditions. Whereas some features of the way melanin-related energy transduction works can be discerned by linking various observations and circumstantial data, the mechanistic details remain to be discovered.

  14. 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.

  15. Chemical degradation of melanins: application to identification of dopamine-melanin.

    PubMed

    Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K

    1998-04-01

    Melanocytes produce two chemically distinct types of melanin pigments, eumelanins and pheomelanins. These pigments can be quantitatively analyzed by acidic KMnO4 oxidation or reductive hydrolysis with hydriodic acid (HI) to form pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid (PTCA) or aminohydroxyphenylalanine (AHP), respectively. Dark brown melanin-like pigments are also widespread in nature, for example, in the substantia nigra of humans and primates (neuromelanin), in butterfly wings and in the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. To characterize such diverse types of melanins, we have improved the alkaline H2O2 oxidation method of Napolitano et al. (Tetrahedron, 51:5913-5920, 1995) and re-examined the HI hydrolysis method of Wakamatsu et al. (Neurosci. Lett., 131:57-60, 1991). The results obtained with H2O2 oxidation show that 1) pyrrole-2,3-dicarboxylic acid (PDCA), a specific marker of 5,6-dihydroxyindole units in melanins, is produced in yields ten times higher than by acidic KMnO4 oxidation, and 2) PTCA is artificially produced from pheomelanins. The results with HI hydrolysis show that dopamine-melanin produces a 1:1 mixture of 3-amino and 4-amino isomers of aminohydroxyphenylethylamine, while the isomer ratio is about 0.2 in melanins prepared from dopamine and cysteine. These results indicate that alkaline H2O2 oxidation is useful in characterizing synthetic and natural eumelanins and that reductive hydrolysis with HI can be applied to analyzing oxidation products of dopamine such as neuromelanin.

  16. 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.

  17. Parallel changes of taxonomic interaction networks in lacustrine bacterial communities induced by a polymetallic perturbation

    PubMed Central

    Laplante, Karine; Sébastien, Boutin; Derome, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Heavy metals released by anthropogenic activities such as mining trigger profound changes to bacterial communities. In this study we used 16S SSU rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing to characterize the impact of a polymetallic perturbation and other environmental parameters on taxonomic networks within five lacustrine bacterial communities from sites located near Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada. The results showed that community equilibrium was disturbed in terms of both diversity and structure. Moreover, heavy metals, especially cadmium combined with water acidity, induced parallel changes among sites via the selection of resistant OTUs (Operational Taxonomic Unit) and taxonomic dominance perturbations favoring the Alphaproteobacteria. Furthermore, under a similar selective pressure, covariation trends between phyla revealed conservation and parallelism within interphylum interactions. Our study sheds light on the importance of analyzing communities not only from a phylogenetic perspective but also including a quantitative approach to provide significant insights into the evolutionary forces that shape the dynamic of the taxonomic interaction networks in bacterial communities. PMID:23789031

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-07

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. A new common bacterial blight resistance QTL in VAX 1 common bean and interaction of the new QTL, SAP6 and SU91 with bacterial strains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Common bacterial blight (CBB) is a severe disease in common bean. New resistance QTL should facilitate development of cultivars with high levels of resistance. Our objectives were to (i) identify new resistance QTL in VAX 1 and verify presence in VAX 3, (ii) determine interaction of new QTL with exi...

  5. A remorin protein interacts with symbiotic receptors and regulates bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, Benoit; Timmers, Ton; Mbengue, Malick; Moreau, Sandra; Hervé, Christine; Tóth, Katalin; Bittencourt-Silvestre, Joana; Klaus, Dörte; Deslandes, Laurent; Godiard, Laurence; Murray, Jeremy D; Udvardi, Michael K; Raffaele, Sylvain; Mongrand, Sebastien; Cullimore, Julie; Gamas, Pascal; Niebel, Andreas; Ott, Thomas

    2010-02-02

    Remorin proteins have been hypothesized to play important roles during cellular signal transduction processes. Induction of some members of this multigene family has been reported during biotic interactions. However, no roles during host-bacteria interactions have been assigned to remorin proteins until now. We used root nodule symbiosis between Medicago truncatula and Sinorhizobium meliloti to study the roles of a remorin that is specifically induced during nodulation. Here we show that this oligomeric remorin protein attaches to the host plasma membrane surrounding the bacteria and controls infection and release of rhizobia into the host cytoplasm. It interacts with the core set of symbiotic receptors that are essential for perception of bacterial signaling molecules, and thus might represent a plant-specific scaffolding protein.

  6. The interaction of bacterial magnetosomes and human liver cancer cells in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Pingping; Chen, Chuanfang; Chen, Changyou; Li, Yue; Pan, Weidong; Song, Tao

    2017-04-01

    As the biogenic magnetic nanomaterial, bacterial magnetic nanoparticles, namely magnetosomes, provide many advantages for potential biomedical applications. As such, interactions among magnetosomes and target cells should be elucidated to develop their bioapplications and evaluate their biocompatibilities. In this study, the interaction of magnetosomes and human liver cancer HepG2 cells was examined. Prussian blue staining revealed numerous stained particles in or on the cells. Intracellular iron concentrations, measured through inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, increased with the increasing concentration of the magnetosomes. Transmission electron microscopy images showed that magnetosomes could be internalized in cells, mainly encapsulated in membrane vesicles, such as endosomes and lysosomes, and partly found as free particles in the cytosol. Some of the magnetosomes on cellular surfaces were encapsulated through cell membrane ruffling, which is the initiating process of endocytosis. Applying low temperature treatment and using specific endocytic inhibitors, we validated that macropinocytosis and clathrin-mediated endocytosis were involved in magnetosome uptake by HepG2 cells. Consequently, we revealed the interaction and intrinsic endocytic mechanisms of magnetosomes and HepG2 cells. This study provides a basis for the further research on bacterial magnetosome applications in liver diseases.

  7. 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.

  8. Melanin pigmentation in mammalian skin and its hormonal regulation.

    PubMed

    Slominski, Andrzej; Tobin, Desmond J; Shibahara, Shigeki; Wortsman, Jacobo

    2004-10-01

    Cutaneous melanin pigment plays a critical role in camouflage, mimicry, social communication, and protection against harmful effects of solar radiation. Melanogenesis is under complex regulatory control by multiple agents interacting via pathways activated by receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms, in hormonal, auto-, para-, or intracrine fashion. Because of the multidirectional nature and heterogeneous character of the melanogenesis modifying agents, its controlling factors are not organized into simple linear sequences, but they interphase instead in a multidimensional network, with extensive functional overlapping with connections arranged both in series and in parallel. The most important positive regulator of melanogenesis is the MC1 receptor with its ligands melanocortins and ACTH, whereas among the negative regulators agouti protein stands out, determining intensity of melanogenesis and also the type of melanin synthesized. Within the context of the skin as a stress organ, melanogenic activity serves as a unique molecular sensor and transducer of noxious signals and as regulator of local homeostasis. In keeping with these multiple roles, melanogenesis is controlled by a highly structured system, active since early embryogenesis and capable of superselective functional regulation that may reach down to the cellular level represented by single melanocytes. Indeed, the significance of melanogenesis extends beyond the mere assignment of a color trait.

  9. Interactions between plants and beneficial Pseudomonas spp.: exploiting bacterial traits for crop protection.

    PubMed

    Mercado-Blanco, Jesús; Bakker, Peter A H M

    2007-11-01

    Specific strains of fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. inhabit the environment surrounding plant roots and some even the root interior. Introducing such bacterial strains to plant roots can lead to increased plant growth, usually due to suppression of plant pathogenic microorganisms. We review the modes of action and traits of these beneficial Pseudomonas bacteria involved in disease suppression. The complex regulation of biological control traits in relation to the functioning in the root environment is discussed. Understanding the complexity of the interactions is instrumental in the exploitation of beneficial Pseudomonas spp. in controlling plant diseases.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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

  14. Enthalpy of interaction between coaggregating and non-coaggregating oral bacterial pairs--a microcalorimetric study.

    PubMed

    Postollec, Florence; Norde, Willem; van der Mei, Henny C; Busscher, Henk J

    2003-10-01

    Bacterial adhesion and coaggregation are involved in the development of oral biofilms, called dental plaque. Although various techniques have already been used to study different aspects of these bacterial interactions, microcalorimetry has not yet been applied. This paper describes how isothermal reaction calorimetry can be employed to determine the enthalpy of coaggregation between two oral bacterial pairs. For most biological processes, the enthalpy tends to reach a minimum value, reflecting the most stable state, which is directly related to the heat content of the system. The calorimeter consists of four measuring units where reaction ampoules are filled with 1.5 ml of an Actinomyces naeslundii 147 suspension, while reference ampoules are filled with buffer only. After equilibration at 25 degrees C, 80 microl of a streptococcal suspension was titrated into the reaction ampoules. To study possible saturation of the binding sites on the actinomyces surface, three consecutive injections with streptococcal suspensions were done. Following each injection, a 20-microl aliquot was taken from the ampoule kept outside the calorimeter and the number of free (S(f)) and bound (S(b)) streptococci was determined microscopically. Experiments were carried out with a coaggregating streptococcal strain (Streptococcus oralis J22) and a non-coaggregating strain (Streptococcus sanguis PK1889), serving as a control. The coaggregation enthalpy was exothermic, that is, heat was released in the reaction ampoule upon coaggregation and the heat released by the coaggregating pair minus the heat released by the non-coaggregating pair yielded a coaggregation enthalpy of -0.015 x 10(-6) mJ/bound streptococcus for the first injection. Upon consecutive injections, the coaggregation enthalpy decreased to -0.0004 x 10(-6) mJ/bound streptococcus. Comparison with enthalpy changes reported for lectin-carbohydrate binding suggests that a huge number of binding sites are involved in the formation of

  15. 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.

  16. Novel properties of melanins include promotion of DNA strand breaks, impairment of repair, and reduced ability to damage DNA after quenching of singlet oxygen.

    PubMed

    Suzukawa, Andréia Akemi; Vieira, Alessandra; Winnischofer, Sheila Maria Brochado; Scalfo, Alexsandra Cristina; Di Mascio, Paolo; Ferreira, Ana Maria da Costa; Ravanat, Jean-Luc; Martins, Daniela de Luna; Rocha, Maria Eliane Merlin; Martinez, Glaucia Regina

    2012-05-01

    Melanins have been associated with the development of melanoma and its resistance to photodynamic therapy (PDT). Singlet molecular oxygen ((1)O(2)), which is produced by ultraviolet A solar radiation and the PDT system, is also involved. Here, we investigated the effects that these factors have on DNA damage and repair. Our results show that both types of melanin (eumelanin and pheomelanin) lead to DNA breakage in the absence of light irradiation and that eumelanin is more harmful than pheomelanin. Interestingly, melanins were found to bind to the minor grooves of DNA, guaranteeing close proximity to DNA and potentially causing the observed high levels of strand breaks. We also show that the interaction of melanins with DNA can impair the access of repair enzymes to lesions, contributing to the perpetuation of DNA damage. Moreover, we found that after melanins interact with (1)O(2), they exhibit a lower ability to induce DNA breakage; we propose that these effects are due to modifications of their structure. Together, our data highlight the different modes of action of the two types of melanin. Our results may have profound implications for cellular redox homeostasis, under conditions of induced melanin synthesis and irradiation with solar light. These results may also be applied to the development of protocols to sensitize melanoma cells to PDT.

  17. Culturable bacterial communities associated to Brazilian Oscarella species (Porifera: Homoscleromorpha) and their antagonistic interactions.

    PubMed

    Laport, Marinella Silva; Bauwens, Mathieu; de Oliveira Nunes, Suzanne; Willenz, Philippe; George, Isabelle; Muricy, Guilherme

    2017-04-01

    Sponges offer an excellent model to investigate invertebrate-microorganism interactions. Furthermore, bacteria associated with marine sponges represent a rich source of bioactive metabolites. The aim of this study was to characterize the bacteria inhabiting a genus of sponges, Oscarella, and their potentiality for antimicrobial production. Bacterial isolates were recovered from different Oscarella specimens, among which 337 were phylogenetically identified. The culturable community was dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, and Vibrio was the most frequently isolated genus, followed by Shewanella. When tested for antimicrobial production, bacteria of the 12 genera isolated were capable of producing antimicrobial substances. The majority of strains were involved in antagonistic interactions and inhibitory activities were also observed against bacteria of medical importance. It was more pronounced in some isolated genera (Acinetobacter, Bacillus, Photobacterium, Shewanella and Vibrio). These findings suggest that chemical antagonism could play a significant role in shaping bacterial communities within Oscarella, a genus classified as low-microbial abundance sponge. Moreover, the identified strains may contribute to the search for new sources of antimicrobial substances, an important strategy for developing therapies to treat infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. This study was the first to investigate the diversity and antagonistic activity of bacteria isolated from Oscarella spp. It highlights the biotechnological potential of sponge-associated bacteria.

  18. Probing Induced Structural Changes in Biomimetic Bacterial Cell Membrane Interactions with Divalent Cations

    SciTech Connect

    Holt, Allison M; Standaert, Robert F; Jubb, Aaron M; Katsaras, John; Johs, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    Biological membranes, formed primarily by the self-assembly of complex mixtures of phospholipids, provide a structured scaffold for compartmentalization and structural processes in living cells. The specific physical properties of phospholipid species present in a given membrane play a key role in mediating these processes. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a zwitterionic lipid present in bacterial, yeast, and mammalian cell membranes, is exceptional. In addition to undergoing the standard lipid polymorphic transition between the gel and liquid-crystalline phase, it can also assume an unusual polymorphic state, the inverse hexagonal phase (HII). Divalent cations are among the factors that drive the formation of the HII phase, wherein the lipid molecules form stacked tubular structures by burying the hydrophilic head groups and exposing the hydrophobic tails to the bulk solvent. Most biological membranes contain a lipid species capable of forming the HII state suggesting that such lipid polymorphic structural states play an important role in structural biological processes such as membrane fusion. In this study, the interactions between Mg2+ and biomimetic bacterial cell membranes composed of PE and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) were probed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), and fluorescence spectroscopy. The lipid phase transitions were examined at varying ratios of PE to PG and upon exposure to physiologically relevant concentrations of Mg2+. An understanding of these basic interactions enhances our understanding of membrane dynamics and how membrane-mediated structural changes may occur in vivo.

  19. Fluorescence quenching as a tool to investigate quinolone antibiotic interactions with bacterial protein OmpF.

    PubMed

    Neves, Patrícia; Sousa, Isabel; Winterhalter, Mathias; Gameiro, Paula

    2009-02-01

    The outer membrane porin OmpF is an important protein for the uptake of antibiotics through the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria; however, the possible binding sites involved in this uptake are still not recognized. Determination, at the molecular level, of the possible sites of antibiotic interaction is very important, not only to understand their mechanism of action but also to unravel bacterial resistance. Due to the intrinsic OmpF fluorescence, attributed mainly to its tryptophans (Trp(214), Trp(61)), quenching experiments were used to assess the site(s) of interaction of some quinolone antibiotics. OmpF was reconstituted in different organized structures, and the fluorescence quenching results, in the presence of two quenching agents, acrylamide and iodide, certified that acrylamide quenches Trp(61) and iodide Trp(214). Similar data, obtained in presence of the quinolones, revealed distinct behaviors for these antibiotics, with nalidixic acid interacting near Trp(214) and moxifloxacin near Trp(61). These studies, based on straightforward and quick procedures, show the existence of conformational changes in the protein in order to adapt to the different organized structures and to interact with the quinolones. The extent of reorganization of the protein in the presence of the different quinolones allowed an estimate on the sites of protein/quinolone interaction.

  20. Intimate bacterial-fungal interaction triggers biosynthesis of archetypal polyketides in Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed

    Schroeckh, Volker; Scherlach, Kirstin; Nützmann, Hans-Wilhelm; Shelest, Ekaterina; Schmidt-Heck, Wolfgang; Schuemann, Julia; Martin, Karin; Hertweck, Christian; Brakhage, Axel A

    2009-08-25

    Fungi produce numerous low molecular weight molecules endowed with a multitude of biological activities. However, mining the full-genome sequences of fungi indicates that their potential to produce secondary metabolites is greatly underestimated. Because most of the biosynthesis gene clusters are silent under laboratory conditions, one of the major challenges is to understand the physiological conditions under which these genes are activated. Thus, we cocultivated the important model fungus Aspergillus nidulans with a collection of 58 soil-dwelling actinomycetes. By microarray analyses of both Aspergillus secondary metabolism and full-genome arrays and Northern blot and quantitative RT-PCR analyses, we demonstrate at the molecular level that a distinct fungal-bacterial interaction leads to the specific activation of fungal secondary metabolism genes. Most surprisingly, dialysis experiments and electron microscopy indicated that an intimate physical interaction of the bacterial and fungal mycelia is required to elicit the specific response. Gene knockout experiments provided evidence that one induced gene cluster codes for the long-sought after polyketide synthase (PKS) required for the biosynthesis of the archetypal polyketide orsellinic acid, the typical lichen metabolite lecanoric acid, and the cathepsin K inhibitors F-9775A and F-9775B. A phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that orthologs of this PKS are widespread in nature in all major fungal groups, including mycobionts of lichens. These results provide evidence of specific interaction among microorganisms belonging to different domains and support the hypothesis that not only diffusible signals but intimate physical interactions contribute to the communication among microorganisms and induction of otherwise silent biosynthesis genes.

  1. 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.

  2. Dopamine-melanin nanofilms for biomimetic structural coloration.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tong-Fei; Hong, Jong-Dal

    2015-02-09

    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.

  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. Impact and Influence of the Natural Vibrio-Squid Symbiosis in Understanding Bacterial-Animal Interactions.

    PubMed

    Mandel, Mark J; Dunn, Anne K

    2016-01-01

    Animals are colonized by bacteria, and in many cases partners have co-evolved to perform mutually beneficial functions. An exciting and ongoing legacy of the past decade has been an expansion of technology to enable study of natural associations in situ/in vivo. As a result, more symbioses are being examined, and additional details are being revealed for well-studied systems with a focus on the interactions between partners in the native context. With this framing, we review recent literature from the Vibrio fischeri-Euprymna scolopes symbiosis and focus on key studies that have had an impact on understanding bacteria-animal interactions broadly. This is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the system, but rather to focus on particular studies that have excelled at moving from pattern to process in facilitating an understanding of the molecular basis to intriguing observations in the field of host-microbe interactions. In this review we discuss the following topics: processes regulating strain and species specificity; bacterial signaling to host morphogenesis; multiple roles for nitric oxide; flagellar motility and chemotaxis; and efforts to understand unannotated and poorly annotated genes. Overall these studies demonstrate how functional approaches in vivo in a tractable system have provided valuable insight into general principles of microbe-host interactions.

  5. Complete structure of the bacterial flagellar hook reveals extensive set of stabilizing interactions

    PubMed Central

    Matsunami, Hideyuki; Barker, Clive S.; Yoon, Young-Ho; Wolf, Matthias; Samatey, Fadel A.

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial flagellar hook is a tubular helical structure made by the polymerization of multiple copies of a protein, FlgE. Here we report the structure of the hook from Campylobacter jejuni by cryo-electron microscopy at a resolution of 3.5 Å. On the basis of this structure, we show that the hook is stabilized by intricate inter-molecular interactions between FlgE molecules. Extra domains in FlgE, found only in Campylobacter and in related bacteria, bring more stability and robustness to the hook. Functional experiments suggest that Campylobacter requires an unusually strong hook to swim without its flagella being torn off. This structure reveals details of the quaternary organization of the hook that consists of 11 protofilaments. Previous study of the flagellar filament of Campylobacter by electron microscopy showed its quaternary structure made of seven protofilaments. Therefore, this study puts in evidence the difference between the quaternary structures of a bacterial filament and its hook. PMID:27811912

  6. Spectroscopic features of native and bleached opio-melanins.

    PubMed

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

    1995-01-18

    Opioid peptides can be converted by tyrosinase into melanin-like compounds, in which the peptide moiety is retained. Such pigments, named opio-melanins, exhibit a characteristic absorption spectrum with a maximum at about 330 nm and a different solubility behaviour with respect to dopa-melanin, being completely soluble in hydrophylic solvents at neutral and basic pH. Opio-melanins precipitate in aqueous solutions below pH 5.0, and show apparent pKa values of 3.1, 3.6 and 4.4 for Tyr-Gly-melanin, Tyr-Gly-Gly-melanin and leuenk-melanin, respectively. The concomitant oxidation of dopa and opioid peptides by tyrosinase produces mixed polymers, showing the distinctive absorption peak at 330 nm. In the dark, in the pH range 5.5-7.0 the pigments are completely stable, whereas H2O2 addition provokes a slight degradation. At higher pH values or under simulated solar illumination with or without hydrogen peroxide, bleaching occurs more rapidly than in dopa-melanin. Upon photoirradiation the absorption spectrum of opio-melanins undergoes a marked variation, the peak at 330 nm being replaced by a broad shoulder in the range 280-350 nm. The absorption spectra of native and bleached pigments and the extent of opio-melanins degradation by bleaching agents, confirm the hypothesis that the different initial structure of the precursors accounts for a final diverse polymeric architecture of these pigments with respect to dopa-melanin.

  7. Renal excretion of plasma soluble melanins by healthy human adults.

    PubMed

    Hegedus, Z L; Nayak, U

    1993-01-01

    The soluble melanins of blood plasma form in vivo and in vitro from dopa, catecholamines, catechol, hydroquinone, homogentisic acid, 3-hydroxykynurenine, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid, p-aminophenol, p-phenylenediamine and other structurally related end(ex)ogenous compounds by oxidative polymerization. The mean quantity of natural melanins in normal plasma is 1.61 +/- 0.10 (standard deviation) mg/ml, (n = 20) and in uraemic plasma 2.72 +/- 0.38 mg/ml, (n = 16). The plasma melanins (approximately 3%), are associated with proteins (approximately 85%), mucoproteins (approximately 0.25%), lipids (approximately 0.4%), as soluble lipofuscins, and probably are associated with proteins without lipids as soluble melanoproteins. Fluorescence, UV-VIS and IR spectroscopies and the melanin isolation method show the presence of soluble melanins in the urine of healthy people. Soluble melanins can also be formed in vitro in the urine by oxidative polymerization of the precursors. In most of the urine samples we studied, melanins were present in larger amounts than the urinary proteins, indicating that the kidneys can selectively excrete the melanin components of the lipofuscins, and that the solubility of melanins does not depend upon combination with proteins. The quantities of purified melanins precipitated with 6 N HCl at 110 degrees C during 72 h from urine samples collected during 24 h periods ranged from 0.1460 g to 3.7627 g (mean 1.1303 +/- 1.1739 g, n = 8) and the plasma clearance rates ranged from 0.06 ml/min to 1.56 ml/min (mean 0.48 +/- 0.48 ml/min, n = 8). From the individual 24 h urine samples we obtained from 9 to 216 mg/dl of precipitated melanins while the individual plasma samples contained from 145 to 175 mg/dl.

  8. A bacterial siren song: intimate interactions between neutrophils and pathogenic Neisseria

    PubMed Central

    Criss, Alison K.; Seifert, H. Steven

    2012-01-01

    Preface Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis are Gram-negative bacterial pathogens that are exquisitely adapted for growth at human mucosal surfaces and for efficient transmission between hosts. One factor that is essential to neisserial pathogenesis is the interaction between the bacteria and neutrophils, which are recruited in high numbers during infection. Although this vigorous host response could simply reflect effective immune recognition of the bacteria, there is mounting evidence that in fact these obligate human pathogens manipulate the innate immune response to promote infectious processes. This Review summarizes the mechanisms used by pathogenic neisseriae to resist and modulate the antimicrobial activities of neutrophils. It also details some of the major outstanding questions about the Neisseria–neutrophil relationship and proposes potential benefits of this relationship for the pathogen. PMID:22290508

  9. Bacterial interactions and implications for oil biodegradation process in mangrove sediments.

    PubMed

    Grativol, Adriana Daudt; Marchetti, Albany A; Wetler-Tonini, Rita M; Venancio, Thiago M; Gatts, Carlos En; Thompson, Fabiano L; Rezende, Carlos E

    2017-03-01

    Mangrove sediment harbors a unique microbiome and is a hospitable environment for a diverse group of bacteria capable of oil biodegradation. Our goal was to understand bacterial community dynamics from mangrove sediments contaminated with heavy-oil and to evaluate patterns potentially associated with oil biodegradation is such environments. We tested the previously proposed hypothesis of a two-phase pattern of petroleum biodegradation, under which key events in the degradation process take place in the first three weeks after contamination. Two sample sites with different oil pollution histories were compared through T-RFLP analyses and using a pragmatic approach based on the Microbial Resource Management Framework. Our data corroborated the already reported two-phase pattern of oil biodegradation, although the original proposed explanation related to the biophysical properties of the soil is questioned, opening the possibility to consider other plausible hypotheses of microbial interactions as the main drivers of this pattern.

  10. 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

  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. Cloning, expression and interaction of human T-cell receptors with the bacterial superantigen SSA.

    PubMed

    De Marzí, Mauricio C; Fernández, Marisa M; Sundberg, Eric J; Molinero, Luciana; Zwirner, Norberto W; Llera, Andrea S; Mariuzza, Roy A; Malchiodi, Emilio L

    2004-10-01

    Superantigens (SAgs) are a class of disease-causing and immunostimulatory proteins of bacterial or viral origin that activate a large number of T-cells through interaction with the Vbeta domain of T-cell receptors (TCRs). In this study, recombinant TCR beta chains were constructed with human variable domains Vbeta5.2, Vbeta1 and Vbeta2.1, expressed as inclusion bodies, refolded and purified. The Streptococcus pyogenes SAg SSA-1 was cloned and expressed as a soluble periplasmic protein. SSA-1 was obtained both as a monomer and a dimer that has an intermolecular disulfide bond. We analyzed the biological activity of the recombinant SAgs by proliferation assays. The results suggest that SSA dimerization occludes the TCR interaction site. Naturally occurring SSA dimerization was also observed in supernatants of S. pyogenes isolates. An SSA mutant [SSA(C26S)] was produced to eliminate the Cys responsible for dimerization. Affinity assays using a resonant biosensor showed that both the mutant and monomeric wild type SSA have affinity for human Vbeta5.2 and Vbeta1 with Kd of 9-11 microm with a fast kass and a moderately fast kdiss. In spite of the reported stimulation of Vbeta2.1 bearing T-cells by SSA, we observed no measurable interaction.

  13. Bacterial discrimination by Dictyostelid amoebae reveals the complexity of ancient interspecies interactions

    PubMed Central

    Nasser, Waleed; Santhanam, Balaji; Miranda, Edward Roshan; Parikh, Anup; Juneja, Kavina; Rot, Gregor; Dinh, Chris; Chen, Rui; Zupan, Blaz; Shaulsky, Gad; Kuspa, Adam

    2014-01-01

    Background Amoebae and bacteria interact within predator/prey and host/pathogen relationships, but the general response of amoeba to bacteria is not well understood. The amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum feeds on, and is colonized by diverse bacterial species including Gram-positive [Gram(+)] and Gram-negative [Gram(−)] bacteria, two major groups of bacteria that differ in structure and macromolecular composition. Results Transcriptional profiling of D. discoideum revealed sets of genes whose expression is enriched in amoebae interacting with different species of bacteria, including sets that appear specific to amoebae interacting with Gram(+), or with Gram(−) bacteria. In a genetic screen utilizing the growth of mutant amoebae on a variety of bacteria as a phenotypic readout, we identified amoebal genes that are only required for growth on Gram(+) bacteria, including one that encodes the cell surface protein gp130, as well as several genes that are only required for growth on Gram(−) bacteria including one that encodes a putative lysozyme, AlyL. These genes are required for parts of the transcriptional response of wild-type amoebae, and this allowed their classification into potential response pathways. Conclusions We have defined genes that are critical for amoebal survival during feeding on Gram(+), or Gram(−), bacteria which we propose form part of a regulatory network that allows D. discoideum to elicit specific cellular responses to different species of bacteria in order to optimize survival. PMID:23664307

  14. Facing the challenges of multiscale modelling of bacterial and fungal pathogen-host interactions.

    PubMed

    Schleicher, Jana; Conrad, Theresia; Gustafsson, Mika; Cedersund, Gunnar; Guthke, Reinhard; Linde, Jörg

    2016-02-08

    Recent and rapidly evolving progress on high-throughput measurement techniques and computational performance has led to the emergence of new disciplines, such as systems medicine and translational systems biology. At the core of these disciplines lies the desire to produce multiscale models: mathematical models that integrate multiple scales of biological organization, ranging from molecular, cellular and tissue models to organ, whole-organism and population scale models. Using such models, hypotheses can systematically be tested. In this review, we present state-of-the-art multiscale modelling of bacterial and fungal infections, considering both the pathogen and host as well as their interaction. Multiscale modelling of the interactions of bacteria, especially Mycobacterium tuberculosis, with the human host is quite advanced. In contrast, models for fungal infections are still in their infancy, in particular regarding infections with the most important human pathogenic fungi, Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus. We reflect on the current availability of computational approaches for multiscale modelling of host-pathogen interactions and point out current challenges. Finally, we provide an outlook for future requirements of multiscale modelling.

  15. Interactions of a bacterial trehalose lipid with phosphatidylglycerol membranes at low ionic strength.

    PubMed

    Teruel, José A; Ortiz, Antonio; Aranda, Francisco J

    2014-07-01

    Trehalose lipids are bacterial biosurfactants which present interesting physicochemical and biological properties. These glycolipids have a number of different commercial applications and there is an increasing interest in their use as therapeutic agents. The amphiphilic nature of trehalose lipids points to the membrane as their hypothetical site of action and therefore the study of the interaction between these biosurfactants and biological membranes is critical. In this study, we examine the interactions between a trehalose lipid (TL) from Rhodococcus sp. and dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG) membranes at low ionic strength, by means of differential scanning calorimetry, light scattering, fluorescence polarization and infrared spectroscopy. We describe that there are extensive interactions between TL and DMPG involving the perturbation of the thermotropic intermediate phase of the phospholipid, the destabilization and shifting of the DMPG gel to liquid crystalline phase transition to lower temperatures, the perturbation of the sample transparency, and the modification of the order of the phospholipid palisade in the gel phase. We also report an increase of fluidity of the phosphatidylglycerol acyl chains and dehydration of the interfacial region of the bilayer. These changes would increase the monolayer negative spontaneous curvature of the phospholipid explaining the destabilizing effect on the intermediate state exerted by this biosurfactant. The observations contribute to get insight into the biological mechanism of action of the biosurfactant and help to understand the properties of the intermediate phase display by DMPG at low ionic strength.

  16. 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.

  17. Bioproduction, characterization, anticancer and antioxidant activities of extracellular melanin pigment produced by newly isolated microbial cell factories Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H

    PubMed Central

    El-Naggar, Noura El-Ahmady; El-Ewasy, Sara M.

    2017-01-01

    In this present study, a newly isolated strain, Streptomyces sp. NEAE-H, capable of producing high amount of black extracellular melanin pigment on peptone-yeast extract iron agar and identified as Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H. Plackett–Burman statistical design was conducted for initial screening of 17 independent (assigned) variables for their significances on melanin pigment production by Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H. The most significant factors affecting melanin production are incubation period, protease-peptone and ferric ammonium citrate. The levels of these significant variables and their interaction effects were optimized by using face-centered central composite design. The maximum melanin production (31.650 μg/0.1 ml) and tyrosinase activity (6089.10 U/ml) were achieved in the central point runs under the conditions of incubation period (6 days), protease-peptone (5 g/L) and ferric ammonium citrate (0.5 g/L). Melanin pigment was recovered by acid-treatment. Higher absorption of the purified melanin pigment was observed in the UV region at 250 nm. It appeared to have defined small spheres by scanning electron microscopy imaging. The maximum melanin yield was 350 mg dry wt/L of production medium. In vitro anticancer activity of melanin pigment was assayed against skin cancer cell line using MTT assay. The IC50 value was 16.34 ± 1.31 μg/ml for melanin and 8.8 ± 0.5 μg/ml for standard 5-fluorouracil. PMID:28195138

  18. Interaction of Uranium with Bacterial Cell Surfaces: Inferences from Phosphatase-Mediated Uranium Precipitation

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Sayali; Misra, Chitra Seetharam; Gupta, Alka; Ballal, Anand

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Deinococcus radiodurans and Escherichia coli expressing either PhoN, a periplasmic acid phosphatase, or PhoK, an extracellular alkaline phosphatase, were evaluated for uranium (U) bioprecipitation under two specific geochemical conditions (GCs): (i) a carbonate-deficient condition at near-neutral pH (GC1), and (ii) a carbonate-abundant condition at alkaline pH (GC2). Transmission electron microscopy revealed that recombinant cells expressing PhoN/PhoK formed cell-associated uranyl phosphate precipitate under GC1, whereas the same cells displayed extracellular precipitation under GC2. These results implied that the cell-bound or extracellular location of the precipitate was governed by the uranyl species prevalent at that particular GC, rather than the location of phosphatase. MINTEQ modeling predicted the formation of predominantly positively charged uranium hydroxide ions under GC1 and negatively charged uranyl carbonate-hydroxide complexes under GC2. Both microbes adsorbed 6- to 10-fold more U under GC1 than under GC2, suggesting that higher biosorption of U to the bacterial cell surface under GC1 may lead to cell-associated U precipitation. In contrast, at alkaline pH and in the presence of excess carbonate under GC2, poor biosorption of negatively charged uranyl carbonate complexes on the cell surface might have resulted in extracellular precipitation. The toxicity of U observed under GC1 being higher than that under GC2 could also be attributed to the preferential adsorption of U on cell surfaces under GC1. This work provides a vivid description of the interaction of U complexes with bacterial cells. The findings have implications for the toxicity of various U species and for developing biological aqueous effluent waste treatment strategies. IMPORTANCE The present study provides illustrative insights into the interaction of uranium (U) complexes with recombinant bacterial cells overexpressing phosphatases. This work demonstrates the effects of aqueous

  19. A hypothetical structure of melanin and its relation to biology.

    PubMed

    Strzelecka, T

    1982-01-01

    Measurements of optical absorption of synthetic and natural melanins during their degradation in sodium hydroxide establish that from the "optical" point of view these polymers consist of two different parts. An explanation of this result and its possible relation to the biological role of melanin is given.

  20. Temperature-enhanced synthesis of DMSO-Melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. The use of spectrophotometry to estimate melanin density in Caucasians.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, T; Muller, H K; Blizzard, L; Ashbolt, R; Phillips, G

    1998-03-01

    The density of cutaneous melanin may be the property of the skin that protects it from damage by solar radiation, but there is not an accepted, noninvasive method of measuring it. To determine whether the density of cutaneous melanin can be estimated from reflectance of visible light by the skin, reflectance of 15-nm wavebands of light by the skin of the inner upper arm of each of 82 volunteers was measured at 20-nm intervals with a Minolta 508 spectrophotometer. A 3-mm skin biopsy was then taken from the same site, and four nonserial sections of it were stained with Masson Fontana for melanin. The melanin content of the basal area was calculated using the NIH Image analysis system. We show that cutaneous melanin in Caucasians can be estimated by the difference between two measurements of reflectance of visible light by the skin: those at wavelengths 400 and 420 nm. This new spectrophotometric measurement was more highly correlated (r = 0.68) with the histological measurements of cutaneous melanin than was skin reflectance of light of wavelength 680 nm (r = 0.33). Reflectances in the range of 650-700 nm have been used previously in skin cancer research. This relatively accurate measurement of melanin is quick and noninvasive and can be readily used in the field. It should provide improved discrimination of individual susceptibility to epidermal tumors in Caucasians and information about melanin's biological role in the causation of skin cancer.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Matrix assisted pulsed laser deposition of melanin thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloisi, F.; Pezzella, A.; Barra, M.; Chiarella, F.; Cassinese, A.; Vicari, L.

    2011-07-01

    Melanins constitute a very important class of organic pigments, recently emerging as a potential material for a new generation of bioinspired biocompatible electrically active devices. In this paper, we report about the deposition of synthetic melanin films starting from aqueous suspensions by matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE). In particular, we demonstrate that it is possible to deposit melanin films by MAPLE even if melanin (a) is not soluble in water and (b) absorbs light from UV to IR. AFM images reveal that the film surface features are highly depending on the deposition parameters. UV-VIS and FTIR spectra show both the optical properties and the molecular structure typical of melanins are preserved.

  7. Optical properties of melanin in the skin and skinlike phantoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bashkatov, Alexey N.; Genina, Elina A.; Kochubey, Vyacheslav I.; Stolnitz, Mikhail M.; Bashkatova, Tatyana A.; Novikova, Olga V.; Peshkova, Anna Y.; Tuchin, Valery V.

    2000-11-01

    Experimental study and computer modeling were used to investigate the optical properties of melanin in the skin and skin-like phantoms. To investigate light scattering by melanosomes in skin we made skin-like phantoms on the base of gelatin with different content of melanin particles. Spectra of total transmittance and diffuse reflectance of the phantoms were obtained in the wavelength range from 400 to 800 nm. Absorption and reduced scattering coefficients of melanin were calculated. Mie theory was used to estimate the optical properties of melanin particles. Wavelength dependence of refractive indices of eumelanin particles (isolated and purified from the ink of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis) and synthetic melanin particles was estimated.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

    Paramagnetic complexes of DOPA-melanin with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin were studied by EPR spectroscopy. The aim of this work was to determine free radical concentration and properties of these complexes. Free radical concentrations in the studied complexes were ∼1019-1020 spin/g. Relatively lower and similar (5.1-6.6 × 1019 spin/g) free radical concentrations characterized DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, and lomefloxacin. Higher concentrations (0.8-1.2 × 1020 spin/g) were obtained for complexes of norfloxacin and sparfloxacin. Effect of the drug concentration on free radicals in melanin was observed. Strong dipolar spin-spin interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in all of the samples.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Experimental melanin-protein induced uveitis (EMIU) is the sole type of uveitis evoked by a diversity of ocular melanin preparations and melanin-derived soluble polypeptides.

    PubMed

    Broekhuyse, R M; Kuhlmann, E D; Winkens, H J

    1996-01-01

    Experimental melanin-protein induced uveitis (EMIU) is a CD4 T cell-mediated disease involving the choroid and iris, but sparing the retina. The present study was designed to solubilize uveitogenic antigen from melanin granules without enzymatic digestion, and to investigate some of its elements by comparison with different purified melanin preparations. Many melanin surface-derived polypeptides with molecular weights ranging from 1 to > 100 kDa were obtained by extractions of the prepurified granules with hot lithium dodecyl sulfate (LDS). The mixture was electrophoretically separated into seven subfractions, each containing many components and capable of evoking the typical features of EMIU after footpad immunization of Lewis rats. The five low-molecular-weight fractions between M, 1 kDa and 30 kDa exhibited most pathogenicity which was evenly distributed among the fractions. Highly uveitogenic material remained in the melanin preparations even after multiple exhaustive extractions with LDS, and represented about 70% of the detectable protein. The uveal pathogen (UP-X) thus proved to be antigenically stable, and the major part of the pathogenic material was strongly bound to the granule surface layer. Concentrated urea solution was also capable of extracting many uveitogenic melanin polypeptides, but in a different composition than LDS did, and less effectively. Human choroidal melanin provided an LDS-soluble fraction with low pathogenicity. A single intraperitoneal injection of bovine melanin polypeptides together with pertussis toxin, but without footpad immunization in Freund's complete adjuvant, evoked EMIU as well. In all experiments, no uveitis except EMIU was observed, indicating that only one type of uveitogenic epitope was present in a wide variety of carrier molecules. An explanation for this phenomenon is discussed.

  16. 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

  17. Marine hydroid perisarc: a chitin- and melanin-reinforced composite with DOPA-iron(III) complexes.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Dong Soo; Masic, Admir; Prajatelistia, Ekavianty; Iordachescu, Mihaela; Waite, J Herbert

    2013-09-01

    Many marine invertebrates utilize biomacromolecules as building blocks to form their load-bearing tissues. These polymeric tissues are appealing for their unusual physical and mechanical properties, including high hardness and stiffness, toughness and low density. Here, a marine hydroid perisarc of Aglaophenia latirostris was investigated to understand how nature designs a stiff, tough and lightweight sheathing structure. Chitin, protein and a melanin-like pigment, were found to represent 10, 17 and 60 wt.% of the perisarc, respectively. Interestingly, similar to the adhesive and coating of marine mussel byssus, a DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) containing protein and iron were detected in the perisarc. Resonance Raman microprobe analysis of perisarc indicates the presence of catechol-iron(III) complexes in situ, but it remains to be determined whether the DOPA-iron(III) interaction plays a cohesive role in holding the protein, chitin and melanin networks together.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-28

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. An investigation of the interactions between an E. coli bacterial quorum sensing biosensor and chitosan-based nanocapsules.

    PubMed

    Qin, Xiaofei; Engwer, Christoph; Desai, Saaketh; Vila-Sanjurjo, Celina; Goycoolea, Francisco M

    2017-01-01

    We examined the interaction between chitosan-based nanocapsules (NC), with average hydrodynamic diameter ∼114-155nm, polydispersity ∼0.127, and ζ-potential ∼+50mV, and an E. coli bacterial quorum sensing reporter strain. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) allowed full characterization and assessment of the absolute concentration of NC per unit volume in suspension. By centrifugation, DLS, and NTA, we determined experimentally a "stoichiometric" ratio of ∼80 NC/bacterium. By SEM it was possible to image the aggregation between NC and bacteria. Moreover, we developed a custom in silico platform to simulate the behavior of particles with diameters of 150nm and ζ-potential of +50mV on the bacterial surface. We computed the detailed force interactions between NC-NC and NC-bacteria and found that a maximum number of 145 particles might interact at the bacterial surface. Additionally, we found that the "stoichiometric" ratio of NC and bacteria has a strong influence on the bacterial behavior and influences the quorum sensing response, particularly due to the aggregation driven by NC.

  5. The Activity of Quinolone CP-115,955 Against Bacterial and Human Type II Topoisomerases Is Mediated by Different Interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. Based on 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. PMID:25586498

  6. Interactions between specific phytoplankton and bacteria affect lake bacterial community succession.

    PubMed

    Paver, Sara F; Hayek, Kevin R; Gano, Kelsey A; Fagen, Jennie R; Brown, Christopher T; Davis-Richardson, Austin G; Crabb, David B; Rosario-Passapera, Richard; Giongo, Adriana; Triplett, Eric W; Kent, Angela D

    2013-09-01

    Time-series observations and a phytoplankton manipulation experiment were combined to test the hypothesis that phytoplankton succession effects changes in bacterial community composition. Three humic lakes were sampled weekly May-August and correlations between relative abundances of specific phytoplankton and bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in each time series were determined. To experimentally characterize the influence of phytoplankton, bacteria from each lake were incubated with phytoplankton from one of the three lakes or no phytoplankton. Following incubation, variation in bacterial community composition explained by phytoplankton treatment increased 65%, while the variation explained by bacterial source decreased 64%. Free-living bacteria explained, on average, over 60% of the difference between phytoplankton and corresponding no-phytoplankton control treatments. Fourteen out of the 101 bacterial OTUs that exhibited positively correlated patterns of abundance with specific algal populations in time-series observations were enriched in mesocosms following incubation with phytoplankton, and one out of 59 negatively correlated bacterial OTUs was depleted in phytoplankton treatments. Bacterial genera enriched in mesocosms containing specific phytoplankton assemblages included Limnohabitans (clade betI-A), Bdellovibrio and Mitsuaria. These results suggest that effects of phytoplankton on certain bacterial populations, including bacteria tracking seasonal changes in algal-derived organic matter, result in correlations between algal and bacterial community dynamics.

  7. 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

  8. Interaction of bacterial endotoxine (lipopolysaccharide) with latex particles: application to latex agglutination immunoassays.

    PubMed

    Peula-García, J M; Molina-Bolivar, J A; Velasco, J; Rojas, A; Galisteo-González, F

    2002-01-15

    The latex agglutination immunoassay technique uses polymer colloids as carriers for antibodies or antigens to enhance the immunological reaction. In this work, the interaction of a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Brucella Melitensis with two conventional latexes has been studied. Some experiments on the physical adsorption of the LPS onto these polystyrene beads have been performed and several complexes with different coverage degrees were obtained by modifying the incubation conditions. Regarding the application in the development of diagnostic test systems, it is advisable to study the latex-LPS complexes from an electrokinetic and colloidal stability point of view. The complexes were electrokinetically characterized by measuring the electrophoretic mobility under different redispersion conditions. The colloidal stability was determined by simple turbidity measurements. Experimental and theoretical data have been employed to study the molecular disposition of the LPS in the latex particle surface to compare with the outer membrane of bacterial cells. Latex complexes covered by different LPS amounts showed high colloidal stability and adequate immunoreactivity that remains for a long time period.

  9. A bacterial one-hybrid selection system for interrogating zinc finger-DNA interactions.

    PubMed

    Durai, Sundar; Bosley, Allen; Abulencia, Alice Bridgeman; Chandrasegaran, Srinivasan; Ostermeier, Marc

    2006-05-01

    We have developed two bacterial one-hybrid systems for interrogating and selecting zinc finger-DNA interactions. Our systems utilize two plasmids: a zinc finger-plasmid containing the gene for the zinc finger fused to a fragment of the alpha subunit of RNA polymerase and a reporter plasmid where the zinc finger-binding site is located upstream of a reporter gene-either the gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) or chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT). Binding of the zinc finger domain to the target binding site results in a 10-fold increase in chloramphenicol resistance with the CAT reporter and an 8- to 22-fold increase in total cell fluorescence with the GFP reporter. The CAT reporter allows for sequence specific zinc fingers to be isolated in a single selection step whereas the GFP reporter enables quantitative evaluation of libraries using flow cytometry and theoretically allows for both negative and positive selection. Both systems have been used to select for zinc fingers that have affinity for the motif 5'-GGGGCAGAA-3' from a library of approximately 2 x 10(5) variants. The systems have been engineered to report on zinc finger-DNA binding with dissociation constants less than about 1 microM in order to be most applicable for evaluating binding specificity in an in vivo setting.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-22

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-05

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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-06-01

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

  17. Chemical characterization of melanins in sheep wool and human hair.

    PubMed

    Ozeki, H; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K

    1996-04-01

    The color of hair and wool in mammals and feathers in birds is mostly determined by the quantity and quality of melanins that are synthesized in follicular melanocytes and transferred to keratinocytes. These are two chemically distinct types of melanin pigments: the black to brown eumelanins and the yellow to reddish pheomelanins. Melanins in sheep wool and human hair of various colors were characterized by HPLC methods to estimate 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA)-derived units in eumelanins and benzothiazine units in pheomelanins. Melanins were also characterized by spectrophotometric methods after differential solubilization in alkalies. It was demonstrated that 1) black wool in Asiatic sheep contains eumelanin with the DHICA content similar to black mouse melanin, while black to brown melanins from human hair contain much lower ratios of DHICA-derived units, comparable to the slaty mutation in mice, 2) dark brown to brown hair in human contains eumelanin whose chemical properties are indistinguishable from those of black hair; 3) dark red wool and red human hair contain pheomelanic pigments whose chemical properties are rather different from those of yellow pheomelanins in mice, and 4) light brown, blonde, and red hairs in human can be differentiated from each other with this methodology.

  18. UVA phototransduction drives early melanin synthesis in human melanocytes.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-22

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-04-08

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.; ...

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Enhanced biofilm formation and increased resistance to antimicrobial agents and bacterial invasion are caused by synergistic interactions in multispecies biofilms.

    PubMed

    Burmølle, Mette; Webb, Jeremy S; Rao, Dhana; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2006-06-01

    Most biofilms in their natural environments are likely to consist of consortia of species that influence each other in synergistic and antagonistic manners. However, few reports specifically address interactions within multispecies biofilms. In this study, 17 epiphytic bacterial strains, isolated from the surface of the marine alga Ulva australis, were screened for synergistic interactions within biofilms when present together in different combinations. Four isolates, Microbacterium phyllosphaerae, Shewanella japonica, Dokdonia donghaensis, and Acinetobacter lwoffii, were found to interact synergistically in biofilms formed in 96-well microtiter plates: biofilm biomass was observed to increase by >167% in biofilms formed by the four strains compared to biofilms composed of single strains. When exposed to the antibacterial agent hydrogen peroxide or tetracycline, the relative activity (exposed versus nonexposed biofilms) of the four-species biofilm was markedly higher than that in any of the single-species biofilms. Moreover, in biofilms established on glass surfaces in flow cells and subjected to invasion by the antibacterial protein-producing Pseudoalteromonas tunicata, the four-species biofilms resisted invasion to a greater extent than did the biofilms formed by the single species. Replacement of each strain by its cell-free culture supernatant suggested that synergy was dependent both on species-specific physical interactions between cells and on extracellular secreted factors or less specific interactions. In summary, our data strongly indicate that synergistic effects promote biofilm biomass and resistance of the biofilm to antimicrobial agents and bacterial invasion in multispecies biofilms.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Human eccrine sweat gland cells turn into melanin-uptaking keratinocytes in dermo-epidermal skin substitutes.

    PubMed

    Böttcher-Haberzeth, Sophie; Biedermann, Thomas; Pontiggia, Luca; Braziulis, Erik; Schiestl, Clemens; Hendriks, Bart; Eichhoff, Ossia M; Widmer, Daniel S; Meuli-Simmen, Claudia; Meuli, Martin; Reichmann, Ernst

    2013-02-01

    Recently, Biedermann et al. (2010) have demonstrated that human eccrine sweat gland cells can develop a multilayered epidermis. The question still remains whether these cells can fulfill exclusive and very specific functional properties of epidermal keratinocytes, such as the incorporation of melanin, a feature absent in sweat gland cells. We added human melanocytes to eccrine sweat gland cells to let them develop into an epidermal analog in vivo. The interaction between melanocytes and sweat gland-derived keratinocytes was investigated. The following results were gained: (1) macroscopically, a pigmentation of the substitutes was seen 2-3 weeks after transplantation; (2) we confirmed the development of a multilayered, stratified epidermis with melanocytes distributed evenly throughout the basal layer; (3) melanocytic dendrites projected to suprabasal layers; and (4) melanin was observed to be integrated into former eccrine sweat gland cells. These skin substitutes were similar or equal to skin substitutes cultured from human epidermal keratinocytes. The only differences observed were a delay in pigmentation and less melanin uptake. These data suggest that eccrine sweat gland cells can form a functional epidermal melanin unit, thereby providing striking evidence that they can assume one of the most characteristic keratinocyte properties.

  8. 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.

  9. Biosynthesis and Functions of Melanin in Sporothrix schenckii

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Martinez, Rafael; Wheeler, Michael; Guerrero-Plata, Antonieta; Rico, Guadalupe; Torres-Guerrero, Haydée

    2000-01-01

    Sporothrix schenckii is a human pathogen that causes sporotrichosis, an important cutaneous mycosis with a worldwide distribution. It produces dark-brown conidia, which infect the host. We found that S. schenckii synthesizes melanin via the 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene pentaketide pathway. Melanin biosynthesis in the wild type was inhibited by tricyclazole, and colonies of the fungus were reddish brown instead of black on tricyclazole-amended medium. Two melanin-deficient mutant strains were analyzed in this study: an albino that produced normal-appearing melanin on scytalone-amended medium and a reddish brown mutant that accumulated and extruded melanin metabolites into its medium. Scytalone and flaviolin obtained from cultures of the reddish brown mutant were identified by thin-layer chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, and UV spectra. Transmission electron microscopy showed an electron-dense granular material believed to be melanin in wild-type conidial cell walls, and this was absent in conidial walls of the albino mutant unless the albino was grown on a scytalone-amended medium. Melanized cells of wild-type S. schenckii and the albino grown on scytalone-amended medium were less susceptible to killing by chemically generated oxygen- and nitrogen-derived radicals and by UV light than were conidia of the mutant strains. Melanized conidia of the wild type and the scytalone-treated albino were also more resistant to phagocytosis and killing by human monocytes and murine macrophages than were unmelanized conidia of the two mutants. These results demonstrate that melanin protects S. schenckii against certain oxidative antimicrobial compounds and against attack by macrophages. PMID:10816530

  10. C. elegans and its bacterial diet as a model for systems-level understanding of host-microbiota interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jingyan; Holdorf, Amy D; Walhout, Albertha Jm

    2017-02-08

    Resident microbes of the human body, particularly the gut microbiota, provide essential functions for the host, and, therefore, have important roles in human health as well as mitigating disease. It is difficult to study the mechanisms by which the microbiota affect human health, especially at a systems-level, due to heterogeneity of human genomes, the complexity and heterogeneity of the gut microbiota, the challenge of growing these bacteria in the laboratory, and the lack of bacterial genetics in most microbiotal species. In the last few years, the interspecies model of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its bacterial diet has proven powerful for studying host-microbiota interactions, as both the animal and its bacterial diet can be subjected to large-scale and high-throughput genetic screening. The high level of homology between many C. elegans and human genes, as well as extensive similarities between human and C. elegans metabolism, indicates that the findings obtained from this interspecies model may be broadly relevant to understanding how the human microbiota affects physiology and disease. In this review, we summarize recent systems studies on how bacteria interact with C. elegans and affect life history traits.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Interactions of bacterial and amoebal populations in soil microcosms with fluctuating moisture content.

    PubMed

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

    1982-04-01

    Sterilized soil samples (20 g of soil per 50-ml flask), amended with 600 mug of glucose-carbon and 60 mug of NH(4)-N . g of dry soil, 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1982-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Paramagnetic Centers in DOPA-Melanin-Dihydrostreptomycin Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buszman, E.; Pilawa, B.; Zdybel, M.; Wrześniok, D.; Grzegorczyk, A.; Wilczok, T.

    2006-08-01

    DOPA-melanin-dihydrostreptomycin complexes with drug concentrations 1×10-4-1×10-2 M were examined by the use of electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy at X-band (9.3 GHz). Dihydrostreptomycin was chosen for studies, because this aminoglycoside antibiotic causes strong toxic effects in organism. It was stated that dihydrostreptomycin generates o-semiquinone free radicals with g=2.0038 in melanin. Free radicals formation increases with increase in the antibiotic concentration. Changes of EPR lines with microwave powers pointed out that slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in DOPA-melanin and in its complexes with dihydrostreptomycin. The measured EPR lines were homogeneously broadened.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Jain, Aanchal; Bhargava, Richa; Poddar, Pankaj

    2013-04-01

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

  3. Protein-protein interaction network prediction by using rigid-body docking tools: application to bacterial chemotaxis.

    PubMed

    Matsuzaki, Yuri; Ohue, Masahito; Uchikoga, Nobuyuki; Akiyama, Yutaka

    2014-01-01

    Core elements of cell regulation are made up of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks. However, many parts of the cell regulatory systems include unknown PPIs. To approach this problem, we have developed a computational method of high-throughput PPI network prediction based on all-to-all rigid-body docking of protein tertiary structures. The prediction system accepts a set of data comprising protein tertiary structures as input and generates a list of possible interacting pairs from all the combinations as output. A crucial advantage of this docking based method is in providing predictions of protein pairs that increases our understanding of biological pathways by analyzing the structures of candidate complex structures, which gives insight into novel interaction mechanisms. Although such exhaustive docking calculation requires massive computational resources, recent advancements in the computational sciences have made such large-scale calculations feasible. In this study we applied our prediction method to a pathway reconstruction problem of bacterial chemotaxis by using two different rigid-body docking tools with different scoring models. We found that the predicted interactions were different between the results from the two tools. When the positive predictions from both of the docking tools were combined, all the core signaling interactions were correctly predicted with the exception of interactions activated by protein phosphorylation. Large-scale PPI prediction using tertiary structures is an effective approach that has a wide range of potential applications. This method is especially useful for identifying novel PPIs of new pathways that control cellular behavior.

  4. 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...

  5. Carbon source utilization profiles suggest additional metabolic interactions in a synergistic linuron-degrading bacterial consortium.

    PubMed

    Horemans, Benjamin; Smolders, Erik; Springael, Dirk

    2013-04-01

    A bacterial triple-species consortium that synergistically metabolizes the phenylurea herbicide linuron was studied to determine whether synergy is extended toward the metabolism of other C-sources. The metabolic performance and range of the individual consortium members were compared with those of paired and three-species combinations in Biolog GN2 MicroPlate assays. The strain combinations showed an increase in the rate and extent of utilization of 80% of the C-sources that were utilized by either one or more of the individual consortium members and the additional utilization of eight C-sources for which oxidation was not observed for the individual strains. When one of the three strains was replaced by bacterial strains 'foreign' to the consortium, either belonging to the same genus or to other genera, mainly antagonistic effects occurred. The data suggest that the consortium members cooperate in the metabolism of C-sources in addition to linuron. This feature can contribute in consolidating consortium composition when linuron is absent or present at low concentrations.

  6. Spin-label assay for aqueous solutions of transition-metal ions with application to melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froncisz, Wojciech; Lai, Ching-san; Hyde, James S.

    The authors and their colleagues have previously developed the spin-label oximetric method in which bimolecular collisions of dissolved O 2 in water with the spin label CTPO [3-carbomoyl-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-3-pyrroline-1-yloxyl] serve as an assay for [O 2]. This method is, by analogy, here extended to dissolved transition-metal ions with emphasis on Cu(H 2O) 62+, Cu-EDTA, Ni(H 2O) 62+, and Ni-EDTA. Concentrations in the range of 0.05 to 1.0 m M can be determined. Further evidence is supplied that the dominant interaction between CTPO and C 2+ is Heisenberg exchange and that the interaction is of the "strongexchange" type, in agreement with other studies. The method is illustrated by investigation of metal binding to DOPA melanin, which is a model for the biopolymer eumelanin. There is strong discrimination against transition metals that are bound to macromolecules. Melanins are effective ion-exchange resins.

  7. 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.

  8. Melanin as a virulence factor of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and other dimorphic pathogenic fungi

    PubMed Central

    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

  9. [Synthesis of melanin pigments by Antarctic black yeast].

    PubMed

    Tashirev, A B; Romanovskaia, V A; Rokitko, P V; Matveeva, N A; Shilin, S O; Tashireva, A A

    2012-01-01

    Five strains of the black yeast similar to Exophiala nigra (Nadsoniela nigra), which we have isolated from the Antarctic biotopes, are studied. At cultivation in a periodic operation the maximum level of absolutely dry biomass in five tested strains constituted 3.2-7.8 g/l of medium, melanin pigment yield being 6-9% of absolutely dry mass of cells. Two highly productive strains have been selected. Pigments of the studied black yeast are water-insoluble, however dissolve in alkali and concentrated acids. The maximum absorption of the yeast pigments was in the range of 220 nm. The above-stated properties of pigments of the investigated yeast correspond to the description of melanin fractions of Nadsoniela nigra and some microscopic mushrooms. The water-soluble melanin-pigments have been obtained after the dialysis of alkaline solution of the pigment. UV-spectra and visible absorption spectra of water solution of melanin-pigments are almost identical to those of initial alkaline solutions. It is shown that the studied yeast are resistant to high concentrations of toxic metals (Hg2+, Cu2+, Co2+, Cr(VI) and Ni2+), and introduction of Co2+ into the cultivation medium leads to the increase of pigments synthesis.

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

    PubMed

    Feller, Liviu; Masilana, Aubrey; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Jadwat, Yusuf; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-03-24

    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.

  11. The interaction surface of a bacterial transcription elongation factor required for complex formation with an antiterminator during transcription antitermination.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-27

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

  12. Psychrotrophic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica NCYC 789 mediates the synthesis of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles via cell-associated melanin

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    A psychrotrophic marine strain of the ascomycetous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica (NCYC 789) synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in a cell-associated manner. These nanostructures were characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS) analysis. The brown pigment (melanin) involved in metal-interactions was obtained from the cells. This extracted pigment also mediated the synthesis of silver nanoparticles that were characterized by a variety of analytical techniques. The melanin-derived nanoparticles displayed antibiofilm activity. This paper thus reports the synthesis of AgNPs by the biotechnologically important yeast Y. lipolytica; proposes a possible mechanism involved in the synthetic process and describes the use of the bio-inspired nanoparticles as antibiofilm agents. PMID:23758863

  13. Synthesis of melanin-like pigments by Sporothrix schenckii in vitro and during mammalian infection.

    PubMed

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Youngchim, Sirida; Gomez, Beatriz L; Aisen, Phil; Hay, Roderick J; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J

    2003-07-01

    Melanin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human fungal pathogens. Existing data suggest that the conidia of the dimorphic fungal pathogen Sporothrix schenckii produce melanin or melanin-like compounds; in this study we aimed to confirm this suggestion and to demonstrate in vitro and in vivo production of melanin by yeast cells. S. schenckii grown on Mycosel agar produced visibly pigmented conidia, although yeast cells grown in brain heart infusion and minimal medium broth appeared to be nonpigmented macroscopically. However, treatment of both conidia and yeast cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and concentrated hot acid yielded dark particles similar in shape and size to the corresponding propagules, which were stable free radicals consistent with identification as melanins. Melanin particles extracted from S. schenckii yeast cells were used to produce a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which labeled pigmented conidia, yeast cells, and the isolated particles. Tissue from hamster testicles infected with S. schenckii contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAbs, and digestion of infected hamster tissue yielded dark particles that were also reactive. Additionally, sera from humans with sporotrichosis contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. These findings indicate that S. schenckii conidia and yeast cells can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and that yeast cells can synthesize pigment in vivo. Since melanin is an important virulence factor in other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may have a similar role in the pathogenesis of sporotrichosis.

  14. Synthesis of Melanin-Like Pigments by Sporothrix schenckii In Vitro and during Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Youngchim, Sirida; Gomez, Beatriz L.; Aisen, Phil; Hay, Roderick J.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2003-01-01

    Melanin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human fungal pathogens. Existing data suggest that the conidia of the dimorphic fungal pathogen Sporothrix schenckii produce melanin or melanin-like compounds; in this study we aimed to confirm this suggestion and to demonstrate in vitro and in vivo production of melanin by yeast cells. S. schenckii grown on Mycosel agar produced visibly pigmented conidia, although yeast cells grown in brain heart infusion and minimal medium broth appeared to be nonpigmented macroscopically. However, treatment of both conidia and yeast cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and concentrated hot acid yielded dark particles similar in shape and size to the corresponding propagules, which were stable free radicals consistent with identification as melanins. Melanin particles extracted from S. schenckii yeast cells were used to produce a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which labeled pigmented conidia, yeast cells, and the isolated particles. Tissue from hamster testicles infected with S. schenckii contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAbs, and digestion of infected hamster tissue yielded dark particles that were also reactive. Additionally, sera from humans with sporotrichosis contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. These findings indicate that S. schenckii conidia and yeast cells can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and that yeast cells can synthesize pigment in vivo. Since melanin is an important virulence factor in other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may have a similar role in the pathogenesis of sporotrichosis. PMID:12819091

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

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  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. Fluid-mechanical interaction of flexible bacterial flagella by the immersed boundary method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lim, Sookkyung; Peskin, Charles S.

    2012-03-01

    Flagellar bundling is an important aspect of locomotion in bacteria such as Escherichia coli. To study the hydrodynamic behavior of helical flagella, we present a computational model that is based on the geometry of the bacterial flagellar filament at the micrometer scale. We consider two model flagella, each of which has a rotary motor at its base with the rotation rate of the motor set at 100 Hz. Bundling occurs when both flagella are left-handed helices turning counterclockwise (when viewed from the nonmotor end of the flagellum looking back toward the motor) or when both flagella are right-handed helices turning clockwise. Helical flagella of the other combinations of handedness and rotation direction do not bundle.

  3. 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.

  4. Fluid-mechanical interaction of flexible bacterial flagella by the immersed boundary method.

    PubMed

    Lim, Sookkyung; Peskin, Charles S

    2012-03-01

    Flagellar bundling is an important aspect of locomotion in bacteria such as Escherichia coli. To study the hydrodynamic behavior of helical flagella, we present a computational model that is based on the geometry of the bacterial flagellar filament at the micrometer scale. We consider two model flagella, each of which has a rotary motor at its base with the rotation rate of the motor set at 100 Hz. Bundling occurs when both flagella are left-handed helices turning counterclockwise (when viewed from the nonmotor end of the flagellum looking back toward the motor) or when both flagella are right-handed helices turning clockwise. Helical flagella of the other combinations of handedness and rotation direction do not bundle.

  5. The role of intermolecular interactions: studies on model systems for bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Mayer, C; Moritz, R; Kirschner, C; Borchard, W; Maibaum, R; Wingender, J; Flemming, H C

    1999-10-01

    The mechanical stability of biofilms and other microbial aggregates is of great importance for both the maintenance of biofilm processes and the removal of undesired biofilms. The binding forces are weak interactions such as London dispersion forces, electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds. In a first attempt to rank their contribution, the viscosity of solutions of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) from a mucoid strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is measured. In order to distinguish the binding forces, substances are chosen which individually address the different types of bonds. Polyacrylic acid is identified as a suitable model system for EPS when molecular interactions are studied. Electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds are found to be the dominating forces among macromolecules within the biofilm.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Diversity of endophytic bacterial populations and their interaction with Xylella fastidiosa in citrus plants.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Welington L; Marcon, Joelma; Maccheroni, Walter; Van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Van Vuurde, Jim W L; Azevedo, João Lúcio

    2002-10-01

    Citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) is caused by Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium that can infect all Citrus sinensis cultivars. The endophytic bacterial communities of healthy, resistant, and CVC-affected citrus plants were studied by using cultivation as well as cultivation-independent techniques. The endophytic communities were assessed in surface-disinfected citrus branches by plating and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Dominant isolates were characterized by fatty-acid methyl ester analysis as Bacillus pumilus, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter cloacae, Methylobacterium spp. (including Methylobacterium extorquens, M. fujisawaense, M. mesophilicum, M. radiotolerans, and M. zatmanii), Nocardia sp., Pantoea agglomerans, and Xanthomonas campestris. We observed a relationship between CVC symptoms and the frequency of isolation of species of Methylobacterium, the genus that we most frequently isolated from symptomatic plants. In contrast, we isolated C. flaccumfaciens significantly more frequently from asymptomatic plants than from those with symptoms of CVC while P. agglomerans was frequently isolated from tangerine (Citrus reticulata) and sweet-orange (C. sinensis) plants, irrespective of whether the plants were symptomatic or asymptomatic or showed symptoms of CVC. DGGE analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total plant DNA resulted in several bands that matched those from the bacterial isolates, indicating that DGGE profiles can be used to detect some endophytic bacteria of citrus plants. However, some bands had no match with any isolate, suggesting the occurrence of other, nonculturable or as yet uncultured, endophytic bacteria. A specific band with a high G+C ratio was observed only in asymptomatic plants. The higher frequency of C. flaccumfaciens in asymptomatic plants suggests a role for this organism in the resistance of plants to CVC.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Raccoon Dog Skin to Determine Melanin Content in Hair and Melanin Distribution in Skin

    PubMed Central

    Du, Zhanyu; Huang, Kai; Zhao, Jiaping; Song, Xingchao; Xing, Xiumei; Wu, Qiong; Zhang, Linbo; Xu, Chao

    2017-01-01

    The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is an important canid fur-bearing animal species worldwide. Chinese raccoon dogs that present a white mutation, especially those with a white coat. Exploring melanin biosynthesis in the hair and skin of raccoon dogs is important for understanding the survival and evolutionary mechanisms of them. In this study, we measured the content of melanin in the hair of two types of raccoon dog and generated stained slices of skin tissue. The results indicated that melanin biosynthesis occurs in the wild-type (W) and white-type (B) raccoon dog skin, although less melanin is produced in B skin. We then sequenced the skin transcriptomes of W and B, compared the similarities and differences in expressed genes. A comparison of the gene expression showed 60 up-regulated genes and 127 down-regulated genes in B skin. We analyzed the unigenes and pathways related to the melanogenesis pathway and found that TYR, TYRP1, MC1R, SLC24a5, SLC45a2 and OCA2 were significantly down-regulated in B skin and these results were verified via qRT-PCR. We surmised that the phenotypic characteristics of the white mutation might be caused by the reduced expression of these genes and this finding provides new insights for future experiments in raccoon dogs. PMID:28098220

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Interactions of Listeria monocytogenes with mammalian cells during entry and actin-based movement: bacterial factors, cellular ligands and signaling.

    PubMed Central

    Cossart, P; Lecuit, M

    1998-01-01

    Although <50 kb of its 3.3 megabase genome is known, Listeria monocytogenes has received much attention and an impressive amount of data has contributed in raising this bacterium among the best understood intracellular pathogens. The mechanisms that Listeria uses to enter cells, escape from the phagocytic vacuole and spread from one cell to another using an actin-based motility process have been analysed in detail. Several bacterial proteins contributing to these events have been identified, including the invasion proteins internalin A (InlA) and B (InlB), the secreted pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O (LLO) which promotes the escape from the phagocytic vacuole, and the surface protein ActA which is required for actin polymerization and bacterial movement. While LLO and ActA are critical for the infectious process and are not redundant with other listerial proteins, the precise role of InlA and InlB in vivo remains unclear. How InlA, InlB, LLO or ActA interact with the mammalian cells is beginning to be deciphered. The picture that emerges is that this bacterium uses general strategies also used by other invasive bacteria but has evolved a panel of specific tools and tricks to exploit mammalian cell functions. Their study may lead to a better understanding of important questions in cell biology such as ligand receptor signalling and dynamics of actin polymerization in mammalian cells. PMID:9669997

  13. Is there a conserved interaction between cardiolipin and the type II bacterial reaction center?

    PubMed Central

    Wakeham, M C; Sessions, R B; Jones, M R; Fyfe, P K

    2001-01-01

    In a recent publication, the structural details of an interaction between the Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction center and the anionic phospholipid diphosphatidyl glycerol (cardiolipin) were described (K. E. McAuley, P. K. Fyfe, J. P. Ridge, N. W. Isaacs, R. J. Cogdell, and M. R. Jones, 1999, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 96:14706-14711). This was the first crystallographic description of an interaction between this biologically important lipid and an integral membrane protein and was also the first piece of evidence that the reaction center has a specific interaction with cardiolipin. We have examined the extent to which the residues that interact with the cardiolipin are conserved in other species of photosynthetic bacteria with this type of reaction center and discuss the possibility that this cardiolipin binding site is a conserved feature of these reaction centers. We look at how sequence variations that would affect the shape of the cardiolipin binding site might affect the protein-cardiolipin interaction, by modeling the binding of cardiolipin to the reaction center from Rhodopseudomonas viridis. PMID:11222300

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Popoff, Michel R.; Poulain, Bernard

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Action of 2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone in the biosynthesis pathway of melanin.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Jimenez, Antonio; Teruel-Puche, Jose Antonio; Garcia-Ruiz, Pedro Antonio; Berna, Jose; Rodríguez-López, Jose Neptuno; Tudela, Jose; Garcia-Canovas, Francisco

    2017-05-01

    2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone (Uvinul D50), a sunscreen used in cosmetics, has two effects in the melanin biosynthesis pathway. On the one hand, it acts a weak inhibitor of tyrosinase and on the other, it accelerates the conversion of dopachrome to melanin. Uvinul D50 was seen to behave as a weak competitive inhibitor: apparent constant inhibition=2.02±0.09mM and IC50=3.82±0.39mM established in this work. These values are higher than those in the bibliography, which tend to be undersetimated. This discrepancy could be explained by the reaction of Uvinul D50 with the dopachrome produced from l-tyrosine or l-dopa, which would interfere in the measurement. Based on studies of its docking to tyrosinase, it seems that Uvinul D50 interacts with the active site of the enzyme (oxytyrosinase) both in its protonated and deprotonated forms (pKa=7). However, it cannot be hydroxylated, meaning that it acts as a weak inhibitor, not as an alternative substrate, despite its resorcinol structure. Uvinul D50 can be used as sunscreen, in low concentrations without significant adverse effects on melanogenesis.

  18. 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...

  19. Mathematical modeling of bacterial virulence and host-pathogen interactions in the Dictyostelium/Pseudomonas system.

    PubMed

    Fumanelli, Laura; Iannelli, Mimmo; Janjua, Hussnain Ahmed; Jousson, Olivier

    2011-02-07

    We present some studies on the mechanisms of pathogenesis based on experimental work and on its interpretation through a mathematical model. Using a collection of clinical strains of the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we performed co-culture experiments with Dictyostelium amoebae, to investigate the two organisms' interaction, characterized by a cross action between amoeba, feeding on bacteria, and bacteria exerting their pathogenic action against amoeba. In order to classify bacteria virulence, independently of this cross interaction, we have also performed killing experiments of bacteria against the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A mathematical model was developed to infer how the populations of the amoeba-bacteria system evolve according to a number of parameters, taking into account the specific features underlying the interaction. The model does not fall within the class of traditional prey-predator models because not only does an amoeba feed on bacteria, but also it is in turn attacked by them; thus the model must include a feedback term modeling this further interaction aspect. The model shows the existence of multiple steady states and the resulting behavior of the solutions, showing bi-stability of the system, gives a qualitative explanation of the co-culture experiments.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pathogenic infection on plants may affect interactions of the 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, in rice plant...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Isolation and characterization of melanin pigment from yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiujun; Wu, Biao; Zhou, Liqing; Liu, Zhihong; Dong, Yinghui; Yang, Aiguo

    2017-04-01

    Melanin is one of the essential compounds in the pigments of molluscan shells. However, the effects of melanin on color variations in molluscs are largely unknown. Our previous study suggests that Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis might contain melanin pigment in the dark brown shell. We therefore isolated melanin from the pigmented shells using hydrochloric acid method, and characterized the types of melanin pigments by spectrophotometry. The purified melanin, which was verified by spectrophotometry scanning and HPLC analysis, showed the typical characteristics of melanin absorption spectra and HPLC chromatograms. The contents of pheomelanin and eumelanin in pigmented shells, which were determined by the linear standard curve of melanin at 405 nm and 350 nm absorbance, were 48.23 ± 1.350 and 157.65 ± 5.905 mg, respectively. The present results indicate that the brown-pigmented shells of scallops comprise approximately 76.6% of eumelanin and 23.4% of pheomelanin, which supports the presence of eumelanin-rich pigment in scallop shells. Therefore, the combination of hydrochloric acid extraction and spectrophotometric quantification is a rapid and efficient method to isolate and quantify melanin in shells. This will facilitate the melanin studies related to shell color polymorphism and the selective breeding of bivalves with different shell colors.

  5. Direct interaction between sensor kinase proteins mediates acute and chronic disease phenotypes in a bacterial pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Andrew L.; Merighi, Massimo; Hyodo, Mamoru; Ventre, Isabelle; Filloux, Alain; Lory, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    The genome of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa encodes over 60 two-component sensor kinases and uses several (including RetS and GacS) to reciprocally regulate the production of virulence factors involved in the development of acute or chronic infections. We demonstrate that RetS modulates the phosphorylation state of GacS by a direct and specific interaction between these two membrane-bound sensors. The RetS–GacS interaction can be observed in vitro, in heterologous systems in vivo, and in P. aeruginosa. This function does not require the predicted RetS phosphorelay residues and provides a mechanism for integrating multiple signals without cross-phosphorylation from sensors to noncognate response regulators. These results suggest that multiple two-component systems found in a single bacterium can form multisensor signaling networks while maintaining specific phosphorelay pathways that remain insulated from detrimental cross-talk. PMID:19171785

  6. Free Actin Impairs Macrophage Bacterial Defenses via Scavenger Receptor MARCO Interaction, with Reversal by Plasma Gelsolin.

    PubMed

    Ordija, Christine M; Chiou, Terry Ting-Yu; Yang, Zhiping; Deloid, Glen M; de Oliveira Valdo, Melina; Wang, Zhi; Bedugnis, Alice; Noah, Terry L; Jones, Samuel; Koziel, Henry; Kobzik, Lester

    2017-04-06

    Lung injury can release intracellular actin into the alveolar milieu, and is also associated with increased susceptibility to secondary infections. We investigated the effect of free (extracellular) actin on lung macrophage host defense functions. Western blot analysis demonstrated free actin release into the lung lavage fluids of mouse models of ozone injury, influenza infection and secondary pneumococcal pneumonia, and in samples from patients following burn and inhalation injury. Using levels comparable to those observed in lung injury, we found that free actin markedly inhibited murine lung macrophage binding and uptake in vitro of S. pneumoniae, S. aureus and E. coli e.g., S. pneumoniae, mean % inhibition, actin vs vehicle: 85 ± 0.3 (SD), n = 22, p <.001). Similar effects were observed on the ability of primary human macrophages to bind and ingest fluorescent S. aureus (~75 % inhibition). Plasma gelsolin (pGSN), a protein that functions to bind and cleave actin, restored bacterial binding and uptake by both murine and human macrophages. Scavenger receptor inhibitors reduced binding of fluorescent actin by murine macrophages (fluorescence index (x 10-3) after incubation with vehicle, actin, or actin + polyinosinic acid, respectively: 0.8 ± 0.7, 101.7 ± 50.7, 52.7 ± 16.9, n = 5-6, p < 0.05). In addition, actin binding was reduced in a MARCO / SR-AI/II deficient cell line and by normal AMs obtained from MARCO -/- mice. After release from injured cells during lung injury, free actin likely contributes to impaired host defense by blocking scavenger receptor binding of bacteria. This mechanism for increased risk of secondary infections after lung injury or inflammation may represent another target for therapeutic intervention with pGSN.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-20

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

  12. Surface properties of bacterial sulfhydryl-activated cytolytic toxins. Interaction with monomolecular films of phosphatidylcholine and various sterols.

    PubMed

    Alouf, J E; Geoffroy, C; Pattus, F; Verger, R

    1984-05-15

    Sulfhydryl-activated cytolysins are a group of bacterial protein toxins which, in the reduced state, lyse eukaryotic cells by disruption of the cytoplasmic membrane. Cell surface cholesterol is thought to be the target of the toxins. In the present work, the monolayer technique was used to investigate the interaction of four SH-activated toxins (streptolysin 0, alveolysin , perfringolysin 0, pneumolysin ) with various lipid films as a model for studying toxin-induced membrane disruption. A surface pressure increase up to very high values was elicited by reduced toxins (approximately equal to 10 nM) on films of cholesterol, other toxin-binding 3 beta-hydroxy-sterols, thiocholesterol and cholesterol-phosphatidylcholine mixtures suggesting deformation or penetration of the films. The surface-active potency of the toxins was of the same order as that of melittin and snake cardiotoxins at similar concentrations. No pressure increase was observed on films made of pure phosphatidylcholine, lanosterol and other sterols lacking the 3 beta-OH group. Optimal efficiency was at cholesterol/phosphatidylcholine molar ratio of 1 to 1. The critical pressures for toxin interaction with phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol monolayers were 25 mN X m-1 and 45 mN X m-1 respectively. Toxin interaction with phosphatidylcholine [14C]-cholesterol films did not modify monolayer radioactivity, indicating no cholesterol desorption. No pressure increase was elicited by toxins inactivated by SH-group reagents, heating or neutralization with antibody. Toxin effect was dependent temperature and pH. The overall potency of the four toxins tested was streptolysin 0 greater than alveolysin approximately equal to perfringolysin 0 greater than pneumolysin . The monolayer system mimicked in several respects toxin interaction with eukaryotic cells.

  13. Molecular preservation of the pigment melanin in fossil melanosomes.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Johan; Uvdal, Per; Sjövall, Peter; Nilsson, Dan E; Engdahl, Anders; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Thiel, Volker

    2012-05-08

    Fossil feathers, hairs and eyes are regularly preserved as carbonized traces comprised of masses of micrometre-sized bodies that are spherical, oblate or elongate in shape. For a long time, these minute structures were regarded as the remains of biofilms of keratinophilic bacteria, but recently they have been reinterpreted as melanosomes; that is, colour-bearing organelles. Resolving this fundamental difference in interpretation is crucial: if endogenous then the fossil microbodies would represent a significant advancement in the fields of palaeontology and evolutionary biology given, for example, the possibility to reconstruct integumentary colours and plumage colour patterns. It has previously been shown that certain trace elements occur in fossils as organometallic compounds, and hence may be used as biomarkers for melanin pigments. Here we expand this knowledge by demonstrating the presence of molecularly preserved melanin in intimate association with melanosome-like microbodies isolated from an argentinoid fish eye from the early Eocene of Denmark.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-10-26

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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; ...

    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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Shatsky, Maxim; Allen, Simon; Gold, Barbara; Liu, Nancy L.; Juba, Thomas R.; Elias, Dwayne A; Reveco, Sonia 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; Hazen, Terry C.; Wall, Judy D.; Witkowska, Ewa; Biggin, Mark D.; Chandonia, John-Marc; Butland, Gareth

    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 more 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Cibrián-Jaramillo, Angélica; Barona-Gómez, Francisco

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Peláez, Pablo; Sanchez, Federico

    2013-09-05

    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.

  2. Femtosecond two-photon-excited fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teuchner, Klaus; Mueller, Susanne; Freyer, Wolfgang; Leupold, Dieter; Altmeyer, Peter; Stuecker, Markus; Hoffmann, Klaus

    2003-02-01

    Spectral and time-resolved fluorescence studies of different eumelanins (natural, synthetic, enzymatic) in solution have been carried out by two-photon excitation at 800 nm, using 80 fs pulses with photon flux densities <= 1027 cm-2.s-1. Whereas all samples show monotonously decreasing absorption between near UV and near IR, their fluorescence behavior indicates strong heterogeneity. With respect to the also measured one-photon excited fluorescence (OPF) of melanin at 400 nm, the overall spectral shape of the two-photon excited fluorescence (TPF) is red-shifted. Both OPF and TPF exhibit three-exponential decay with a shortest component # 200 ps. As is also shown, the fluorescence properties of melanin are dependent on the micro-environment. This allows the hypothesis, that the process of malignant transformation in skin tissue could be reflected in the fluorescence, provided the melanin in skin is selectively excited. The latter is realized by the described stepwise absorption of two 800 nm photons. In this way, indeed characteristic differences between the TPF spectra of healthy tissue, nevus cell nevi and malignant melanoma have been found.

  3. Imaging melanin by two-photon absorption microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Tong; Yurtsever, Gunay; Fischer, Martin; Simon, John D.; Warren, Warren S.

    2006-02-01

    Multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscopy has proven to be a powerful method for non-invasive, in vivo, thick tissue imaging with molecular specificity. However, many important endogenous biomolecules do not fluoresce (NAD) or fluoresce with low efficiency (Melanin). In this report femtosecond pulse shaping methods are used to measure two-photon absorption (TPA) directly with very high sensitivity. Combining with the laser scanning microscope, this Two-photon Absorption Microscopy (TPAM) retains the penetration and localization advantages of two-photon fluorescence microscopy and permits direct observation of important endogenous molecular markers (melanin or hemoglobin) which are invisible in multiphoton fluorescence microscopy. We have demonstrated here for the first time that TPAM can successfully and more efficiently image melanoma cells and tissues and provide a good melanin contrast in optical sectioning of the melanoma lesions which are comparable to pathological histology. Combining with the two-photon fluorescence images acquired simultaneously, the distribution patterns of the melanocytes and their intratissue behavior could be studied without cutting the lesions from patients. TPAM will undoubtedly find the applications in the clinical diagnosis and biomedical research.

  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. Melanin-Associated Synthesis of SERS-Active Nanostructures and the Application for Monitoring of Intracellular Melanogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Haixin; Liu, Zhiming; Zhong, Huiqing; Yang, Hui; Zhou, Yan; Hou, Yuqing; Long, Jia; Lin, Jin; Guo, Zhouyi

    2017-01-01

    Melanin plays an indispensable role in the human body. It serves as a biological reducer for the green synthesis of precious metal nanoparticles. Melanin–Ag nanocomposites were successfully produced which exhibited very strong surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effect because of the reducibility property of melanin. A melanin–Ag composite structure was synthesized in situ in melanin cells, and SERS technique was performed for the rapid imaging and quantitative assay of intracellular melanin. This imaging technique was also used to successfully trace the formation and secretion of intracellular melanin after stimulation with melanin-stimulating hormones. Based on the self-reducing property of melanin, the proposed SERS imaging method can provide potentially powerful analytical detection tools to study the biological functions of melanin and to prevent and cure melanin-related diseases. PMID:28336903

  6. 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

  7. 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 .

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2012-06-05

    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.

  11. Interactions between bacterial carbon monoxide and hydrogen consumption and plant development on recent volcanic deposits.

    PubMed

    King, Gary M; Weber, Carolyn F

    2008-02-01

    Patterns of microbial colonization and interactions between microbial processes and vascular plants on volcanic deposits have received little attention. Previous reports have shown that atmospheric CO and hydrogen contribute significantly to microbial metabolism on Kilauea volcano (Hawaii) deposits with varied ages and successional development. Relationships between CO oxidation and plant communities were not clear, however, since deposit age and vegetation status covaried. To determine plant-microbe interactions in deposits of uniform ages, CO and hydrogen dynamics have been assayed for unvegetated tephra on a 1959 deposit at Pu'u Puai (PP-bare), at the edge of tree 'islands' within the PP deposit (PP-edge) and within PP tree islands (PP-canopy). Similar assays have been conducted for vegetated and unvegetated sites on a 1969 Mauna Ulu (MU) lava flow. Net in situ atmospheric CO uptake was highest at PP-edge and PP-bare sites (2.2+/-0.5 and 1.3+/-0.1 mg CO m(-2) day(-1), respectively), and least for PP-canopy (-3.2+/-0.9 mg CO m(-2) day(-1), net emission). Respiration rates, microbial biomass and maximum CO uptake potential showed an opposing pattern. Comparisons of atmospheric CO uptake and CO(2) production rates indicate that CO contributes significantly to microbial metabolism in PP-bare and MU-unvegetated sites, but negligibly where vegetation is well developed. Nonetheless, maximum potential CO uptake rates indicate that CO oxidizer populations increase with increasing plant biomass and consume CO actively. Some of these CO oxidizers may contribute to elevated nitrogen fixation rates (acetylene reduction) measured within tree islands, and thus, support plant successional development.

  12. 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 //...

  13. Modeling FtsZ ring formation in the bacterial cell—anisotropic aggregation via mutual interactions of polymer rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer-Friedrich, Elisabeth; Gov, Nir

    2011-04-01

    The cytoskeletal protein FtsZ polymerizes to a ring structure (Z ring) at the inner cytoplasmic membrane that marks the future division site and scaffolds the division machinery in many bacterial species. FtsZ is known to polymerize in the presence of GTP into single-stranded protofilaments. In vivo, FtsZ polymers become associated with the cytoplasmic membrane via interaction with the membrane-binding proteins FtsA and ZipA. The FtsZ ring structure is highly dynamic and undergoes constantly polymerization and depolymerization processes and exchange with the cytoplasmic pool. In this theoretical study, we consider a scenario of Z ring self-organization via self-enhanced attachment of FtsZ polymers due to end-to-end interactions and lateral interactions of FtsZ polymers on the membrane. With the assumption of exclusively circumferential polymer orientations, we derive coarse-grained equations for the dynamics of the pool of cytoplasmic and membrane-bound FtsZ. To capture stochastic effects expected in the system due to low particle numbers, we simulate our computational model using a Gillespie-type algorithm. We obtain ring- and arc-shaped aggregations of FtsZ polymers on the membrane as a function of monomer numbers in the cell. In particular, our model predicts the number of FtsZ rings forming in the cell as a function of cell geometry and FtsZ concentration. We also calculate the time of FtsZ ring localization to the midplane in the presence of Min oscillations. Finally, we demonstrate that the assumptions and results of our model are confirmed by 3D reconstructions of fluorescently-labeled FtsZ structures in E. coli that we obtained.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Nematode-trapping fungi and fungus-associated bacteria interactions: the role of bacterial diketopiperazines and biofilms on Arthrobotrys oligospora surface in hyphal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Lei; Yang, Min; Luo, Jun; Qu, Qing; Chen, Ying; Liang, Lianming; Zhang, Keqin

    2016-11-01

    In soil, nematode-trapping fungi and bacteria often share microhabitats and interact with each other, but effects of fungus-associated bacteria on its trap formation are underestimated. We have ascertained the presence of Stenotrophomonas and Rhizobium genera associated with A. oligospora GJ-1. After A. oligospora GJ-1 without associated bacteria (cured Arthrobotrys) was co-cultivated with Stenotrophomonas and its supernatant extract, microscopic study of hyphae from co-cultivation indicated that bacterial biofilm formation on hyphae was related to trap formation in fungi and Stenotrophomonas supernatant extract. Four diketopiperazines (DKPs) were purified from Stenotrophomonas supernatant extract that could not induce traps in the cured Arthrobotrys. When cured Arthrobotrys was cultured with Stenotrophomonas and one of DKPs, polar attachment, bacterial biofilms on hyphae and trap formation in fungi were observed. After cured Arthrobotrys with bacterial biofilms was consecutively transferred several times on nutrient poor medium, trap formation disappeared with the disappearance of bacterial biofilms on hyphae. DKPs could facilitate chemotaxis of Stenotrophomonas towards fungal extract which was suggested to contribute to bacterial biofilms on hyphae. Furthermore, when cured Arthrobotrys was cultured with Stenotrophomonas and DKPs in soil, trap formation in fungi and bacterial biofilms on hyphae were also observed, and the fungal activity against nematode was enhanced.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Mucin-bacterial interactions in the human oral cavity and digestive tract

    PubMed Central

    van Passel, Mark WJ; van de Bovenkamp, Jeroen HB; Schipper, Raymond G; de Vos, Willem M; Dekker, Jan

    2010-01-01

    Mucins are a family of heavily glycosylated proteins that are the major organic components of the mucus layer, the protective layer covering the epithelial cells in many human and animal organs, including the entire gastro-intestinal tract. Microbes that can associate with mucins benefit from this interaction since they can get available nutrients, experience physico-chemical protection and adhere, resulting in increased residence time. Mucin-degrading microorganisms, which often are found in consortia, have not been extensively characterized as mucins are high molecular weight glycoproteins that are hard to study because of their size, complexity and heterogeneity. The purpose of this review is to discuss how advances in mucus and mucin research, and insight in the microbial ecology promoted our understanding of mucin degradation. Recent insight is presented in mucin structure and organization, the microorganisms known to use mucin as growth substrate, with a specific attention on Akkermansia muciniphila, and the molecular basis of microbial mucin degradation owing to availability of genome sequences. PMID:21327032

  1. Cytochrome c Oxidase Biogenesis and Metallochaperone Interactions: Steps in the Assembly Pathway of a Bacterial Complex

    PubMed Central

    Ludwig, Bernd

    2017-01-01

    Biogenesis of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is a complex process involving the coordinate expression and assembly of numerous subunits (SU) of dual genetic origin. Moreover, several auxiliary factors are required to recruit and insert the redox-active metal compounds, which in most cases are buried in their protein scaffold deep inside the membrane. Here we used a combination of gel electrophoresis and pull-down assay techniques in conjunction with immunostaining as well as complexome profiling to identify and analyze the composition of assembly intermediates in solubilized membranes of the bacterium Paracoccus denitrificans. Our results show that the central SUI passes through at least three intermediate complexes with distinct subunit and cofactor composition before formation of the holoenzyme and its subsequent integration into supercomplexes. We propose a model for COX biogenesis in which maturation of newly translated COX SUI is initially assisted by CtaG, a chaperone implicated in CuB site metallation, followed by the interaction with the heme chaperone Surf1c to populate the redox-active metal-heme centers in SUI. Only then the remaining smaller subunits are recruited to form the mature enzyme which ultimately associates with respiratory complexes I and III into supercomplexes. PMID:28107462

  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. Developing a targeting system for bacterial membranes: measuring receptor-phosphatidylglycerol interactions with (1)H NMR, ITC and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Alliband, Amanda; Wang, Zifan; Thacker, Christopher; English, Douglas S; Burns, Dennis H

    2015-01-14

    An ammonium picket porphyrin that targets bacterial membranes has been prepared and shown to bind to phosphatidylglycerol (PG), a bacterial lipid, when the lipid was in solution, contained within synthetic membrane vesicles, or when in Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial membranes. The multifunctional receptor was designed to interact with both the phosphate anion portion and neutral glycerol portion of the lipid headgroup. The receptor's affinity and selectivity for binding to surfactant vesicles or lipid vesicles that contain PG within their membranes was directly measured using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). FCS demonstrated that the picket porphyrin's binding pocket was complementary for the lipid headgroup, since simple Coulombic interactions alone did not induce binding. (1)H NMR and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) were used to determine the receptor's binding stoichiometry, receptor-lipid complex structure, binding constant, and associated thermodynamic properties of complexation in solution. The lipid-receptor binding motif in solution was shown to mirror the binding motif of membrane-bound PG and receptor. Cell lysis assays with E. coli (Gram-negative) and Bacillus thuringiensis (Gram-positive) probed with UV/Visible spectrophotometry indicated that the receptor was able to penetrate either bacterial cell wall and to bind to the bacterial inner membrane.

  4. Both leaf properties and microbe-microbe interactions influence within-species variation in bacterial population diversity and structure in the lettuce (Lactuca Species) phyllosphere.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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).

  7. Dependence of third-harmonic generation on melanin concentration in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Tung-Yu; Liao, Chien-Sheng; Yang, Chih-Yuan; Zhuo, Zong-Yan; Chen, Szu-Yu; Chu, Shi-Wei

    2011-03-01

    In this study, we performed theoretical analysis and experimental measurement of third harmonic generation (THG) in melanin solution with different concentrations. As predicted by theory, only THG at glass/solution interface was observed due to Guoy phase shift effect. We have shown that this interfacial THG intensity is strongly affected by index matching condition between the two media, leading to minimal THG at a certain melanin concentration. By fitting the dependence of THG intensity versus melanin concentration, linear and nonlinear electric susceptibilities of melanin are obtained, providing a valuable tool to characterize optical properties of biological molecules.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Tet38 Efflux Pump Affects Staphylococcus aureus Internalization by Epithelial Cells through Interaction with CD36 and Contributes to Bacterial Escape from Acidic and Nonacidic Phagolysosomes.

    PubMed

    Truong-Bolduc, Q C; Khan, N S; Vyas, J M; Hooper, D C

    2017-02-01

    We previously reported that the Tet38 efflux pump is involved in internalization of Staphylococcus aureus by A549 lung epithelial cells. A lack of tet38 reduced bacterial uptake by A549 cells to 36% of that of the parental strain RN6390. Using invasion assays coupled with confocal microscopy imaging, we studied the host cell receptor(s) responsible for bacterial uptake via interaction with Tet38. We also assessed the ability of S. aureus to survive following alkalinization of the phagolysosomes by chloroquine. Antibody to the scavenger receptor CD36 reduced the internalization of S. aureus RN6390 by A549 cells, but the dependence on CD36 was reduced in QT7 tet38, suggesting that an interaction between Tet38 and CD36 contributed to S. aureus internalization. Following fusion of the S. aureus-associated endosomes with lysosomes, alkalinization of the acidic environment with chloroquine led to a rapid increase in the number of S. aureus RN6390 bacteria in the cytosol, followed by a decrease shortly thereafter. This effect of chloroquine was not seen in the absence of intact Tet38 in mutant QT7. These data taken together suggest that Tet38 plays a role both in bacterial internalization via interaction with CD36 and in bacterial escape from the phagolysosomes.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Alterations in the virulence potential of enteric pathogens and bacterial-host cell interactions under simulated microgravity conditions.

    PubMed

    Chopra, V; Fadl, A A; Sha, J; Chopra, S; Galindo, C L; Chopra, A K

    2006-07-01

    Host immune mechanisms were proposed to decline under microgravity conditions during spaceflights, which might result in severe infections in astronauts. Therefore, it was important to investigate the effects of microgravity on infecting organisms and their interaction with host cells. Data showed that simulated microgravity (SMG) conditions markedly increased production of the enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) heat-labile enterotoxin, which induced fluid secretory responses in a mouse model. SMG also enhanced production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in murine macrophages infected with enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC). In a similar fashion, simulated microgravity conditions augmented the invasive potential of Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium and enhanced production of tumor necrosis-factor alpha in S. typhimurium-infected epithelial cells. Furthermore, coculturing of macrophages and S. typhimurium in a simulated microgravity environment resulted in activation of stress-associated mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4. Using the antiorthostatic tail suspension mouse model, which simulates some aspects of microgravity, oral inoculation of S. typhimurium markedly reduced the 50% lethal dose compared to mice infected under normal gravitational conditions. Microarray analysis revealed simulated microgravity-induced alterations in the expression of 22 genes in S. typhimurium, and protein expression profiles were altered in both EPEC and S. typhimurium, based on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. These studies indicated alterations in the virulence potential of bacteria and in host responses to these pathogens under simulated microgravity conditions, which may represent an important environmental signal. Such studies are essential for better understanding bacterial-host cell interactions, particularly in the context of spaceflights and space habitations of long duration.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. The Effect of Retinal Melanin on Optical Coherence Tomography Images

    PubMed Central

    Wilk, Melissa A.; Huckenpahler, Alison L.; Collery, Ross F.; Link, Brian A.; Carroll, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    Purpose We assessed the effect of melanin on the appearance of hyperreflective outer retinal bands in optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. Methods A total of 23 normal subjects and 51 patients with albinism were imaged using the Bioptigen high-resolution spectral-domain OCT. In addition, three wild type, three albino (slc45a2b4/b4), and eight tyrosinase mosaic zebrafish were imaged with the hand-held Bioptigen Envisu R2200 OCT. To identify pigmented versus nonpigmented regions in the tyrosinase mosaic zebrafish, en face summed volume projections of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were created from volume scans. Longitudinal reflectivity profiles were generated from B-scans to assess the width and maximum intensity of the RPE band in fish, or the presence of one or two RPE/Bruch's membrane (BrM) bands in humans. Results The foveal RPE/BrM appeared as two bands in 71% of locations in patients with albinism and 45% of locations in normal subjects (P = 0.0003). Pigmented zebrafish retinas had significantly greater RPE reflectance, and pigmented regions of mosaic zebrafish also had significantly broader RPE bands than all other groups. Conclusions The hyperreflective outer retinal bands in OCT images are highly variable in appearance. We showed that melanin is a major contributor to the intensity and width of the RPE band on OCT. One should use caution in extrapolating findings from OCT images of one or even a few individuals to define the absolute anatomic correlates of the hyperreflective outer retinal bands in OCT images. Translational Relevance Melanin affects the appearance of the outer retinal bands in OCT images. Use of animal models may help dissect the anatomic correlates of the complex reflective signals in OCT retinal images. PMID:28392975

  4. Induced melanin reduces mutations and cell killing in mouse melanoma.

    PubMed

    Li, W; Hill, H Z

    1997-03-01

    When melanin absorbs light energy, it can produce potentially damaging active oxygen species. There is little doubt that constitutive pigment in dark-skinned individuals is photoprotective against skin cancer, but induced pigment-as in tanning-may not be. The first step in cancer induction is mutation in DNA. The most suitable systems for evaluating the role of melanin are those in which pigment can be varied and mutations can be measured. Several cell lines from Cloudman S91 mouse melanoma can be induced to form large quantities of melanin pigment after treatment with a number of different agents enabling comparison of mutant yields in the same cells differing principally in pigment concentration. In these studies, melanin was induced with synthetic alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and with isobutyl methyl xanthine in the cell line S91/mel. The former inducer produced about 50% more pigment than the latter. Survival and mutation induction at the Na+/K(+)-ATPase locus were studied using ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS), a standard mutagen and five UV lamps emitting near monochromatic and polychromatic UV light in the three wave-length ranges of UV. There was greater protection against killing and mutation induction in the more heavily pigmented cells after exposure to EMS and after irradiation with monochromatic UVC and UVB. There was significant protection against killing by polychromatic UVB + UVA (FS20), but the small degree of protection against mutation was not significant. No significant change in killing and mutation using the same protocol was seen in S91/amel, a related cell line that does not respond to these inducers. No mutants were produced by either monochromatic or polychromatic UVA at doses that killed 50% of the cells. Our results show that induced pigment-shown earlier to be eumelanin (K. A. Cieszka et al., Exp. Dermatol. 4, 192-198, 1995)-is photo- and chemoprotective, but it is less effective in protection against mutagenesis by polychromatic

  5. Odontogenic Cyst with Verrucous Proliferation Exhibiting Melanin Pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Soni, Krupa Mehta; Ahmed, Junaid; Bhat, Keshava; Kottieth Pallam, Nandita; Lewis, Amitha Juanita

    2017-01-01

    Verrucous proliferation arising from odontogenic cysts is a rare entity. We report an unusual case of an infected odontogenic cyst with verrucous proliferation and melanin pigmentation in a 13-year-old male patient who presented with an intraoral swelling in relation to impacted teeth 26 and 27. The enucleated lesion was diagnosed as an odontogenic keratocyst and the patient died within two years of presentation due to multiple recurrences. The clinical, radiological, and microscopic features of the lesion are presented with an attempt to discuss the etiopathogenesis. The case hereby reported is uncommon with only eight cases reported in the literature.

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

    PubMed

    Foit, Kaarina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Liess, Matthias

    2010-08-15

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Melanostatin, a new melanin synthesis inhibitor. Production, isolation, chemical properties, structure and biological activity.

    PubMed

    Ishihara, Y; Oka, M; Tsunakawa, M; Tomita, K; Hatori, M; Yamamoto, H; Kamei, H; Miyaki, T; Konishi, M; Oki, T

    1991-01-01

    Melanostatin, a new antibiotic with melanin synthesis inhibitor activity, was isolated from the fermentation broth of Streptomyces clavifer No. N924-2. Its structure was determined by spectral analysis and degradation experiments. Melanostatin strongly inhibited melanin formation in Streptomyces bikiniensis NRRL B-1049 and B16 melanoma cells.

  10. Continuous microwave saturation of EPR spectra of melanin complexes at different temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Buszman, Ewa; Wrzesniok, Dorota; Krzyminiewski, Ryszard; Kruczynski, Zdzislaw

    2011-01-01

    Paramagnetic centers in DOPA-melanin and complexes of DOPA-melanin with netilmicin and Cu(II) were studied by the use of an X-band (9.3 GHz) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Measurements of continuous microwave saturation of EPR spectra at temperatures: 125 K, 175 K, 225 K, 275 K, were performed. Homogeneous broadening of all the examined EPR spectra was observed. EPR spectra of DOPA-melanin-Cu(II) complexes saturated at higher microwave powers than the others tested melanin samples. Fast spin-lattice relaxation exists in DOPA-melanin-Cu(II) complexes. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in melanin's paramagnetic centers of DOPA-melanin and its complexes with netilmicin, and its complexes with both netilimicin and Cu(II). EPR spectra of all the tested samples saturated at higher microwave powers with increasing of the measuring temperature. Faster spin-lattice relaxation processes occurs in DOPA-melanin and its complexes with netilmicin and Cu(II) at higher temperature.

  11. 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.

  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. Synthesis of melanin pigment by Candida albicans in vitro and during infection.

    PubMed

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Gomez, Beatriz L; Diez, Soraya; Uran, Martha; Morris-Jones, Stephen D; Casadevall, Arturo; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Hamilton, Andrew J

    2005-09-01

    Melanins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human diseases. This study confirmed the presence of melanin particles in Candida albicans in vitro and during infection. Dark particles were isolated from the digestion of C. albicans cultures and from infected tissue, as established by electron microscopy and immunofluorescence techniques.

  14. Synthesis of Melanin Pigment by Candida albicans In Vitro and during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Gomez, Beatriz L.; Diez, Soraya; Uran, Martha; Morris-Jones, Stephen D.; Casadevall, Arturo; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2005-01-01

    Melanins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human diseases. This study confirmed the presence of melanin particles in Candida albicans in vitro and during infection. Dark particles were isolated from the digestion of C. albicans cultures and from infected tissue, as established by electron microscopy and immunofluorescence techniques. PMID:16113337

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. 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. PMID:26469564

  17. 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.

  18. Melanin: dietary mucosal immune modulator from Echinacea and other botanical supplements.

    PubMed

    Pugh, Nirmal D; Balachandran, Premalatha; Lata, Hemant; Dayan, Franck E; Joshi, Vaishali; Bedir, Erdal; Makino, Toshiaki; Moraes, Rita; Khan, Ikhlas; Pasco, David S

    2005-04-01

    The agents responsible for the therapeutic effects of many botanical supplements have not been established in spite of their popularity. Here we show that melanin is a previously unrecognized immunostimulatory compound that is a major component of botanicals traditionally used to enhance immune function. While melanin is present in commonly consumed vegetables, its specific activity is several orders of magnitude less than melanin extracted from these botanicals. The major reason that this agent has eluded detection is its solvent-specific requirement for extraction/solubility. Melanin activates NF-kappa B in monocytes in vitro through a toll-like receptor 2-dependent process. Ingestion of melanin by mice for four days increases production ex vivo of interferon-gamma by spleen cells and IgA and interleukin-6 by Peyer's patch cells. The identification of this new class of mucosal immune stimulants will allow further characterization of botanical products and advances our understanding of the basis for their traditional use.

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Absorption mechanisms of human melanin in the visible, 400-720 nm.

    PubMed

    Kollias, N; Baqer, A H

    1987-10-01

    In this paper we propose that human melanin absorbs visible radiation through two distinct mechanisms: one that is in effect over the entire visible range and is linear in wavelength, and a second one that is evident at wavelengths in the range 400-500 nm and is exponential in frequency. These mechanisms are apparent in all human diffuse reflectance spectra that we have collected. We show that the absorber is the same in all human volunteer skin samples. By studying the diffuse reflection spectra of DOPA-melanin in solution and DOPA-melanin in powder form, we find that we can correlate the absorption mechanisms, one with melanin in solution (a low molecular weight form) and the other with melanin in powder (a high molecular weight form). Therefore, we propose that melanin exists in two distinct states. This model is of biologic significance, as it provides a reasonable interpretation for the diffuse reflection spectra obtained from delayed pigment (UVB-induced) and immediate pigment (UVA-induced). Delayed pigment appears as an increase of both forms of melanin (neomelanogenesis), whereas immediate pigment appears as an increase in the higher molecular weight form with a commensurate decrease in the lower molecular weight form: the two mechanisms change independently of each other. Finally, we show that we can distinguish spectroscopically between the delayed pigment and the immediate pigment.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Experimental autoimmune anterior uveitis (EAAU): induction by melanin antigen and suppression by various treatments.

    PubMed

    Broekhuyse, R M; Kuhlmann, E D; Winkens, H J

    1993-02-01

    The uveitogenicity of melanin has been a controversial subject for a long time, presumably as a result of the use of ill-defined preparations in the experiments. We have developed procedures for the preparation of purified uveitogenic melanins from the retinal pigment epithelium and choroid that are free from pathogenic retinal photoreceptor proteins. The active melano-antigen is located at the surface of the melanin granules and is probably identical in both tissues. It retains its pathogenicity in hot polar detergent and during in vitro proteolysis, but it is inactivated by macrophage phagocytosis and hydrolysis in hot hydrochloric acid. Lewis rats immunized with microgram doses of bovine retinal pigment epithelial or choroidal melanin develop severe experimental autoimmune anterior uveitis (EAAU) about 10 days later. Retinitis and pinealitis are not observed. Skin melanin prepared in a similar way evokes EAAU as well, but it is only weakly pathogenic. EAAU cannot be transferred by serum, and its development can effectively be inhibited by antibodies to the inciting antigen and by cyclosporin. Vitamin E treatment of the animals causes a delay in its onset. The results indicate that cell-mediated immunity plays a dominant role in the pathogenesis of EAAU. This is the first time it has been shown that purified ocular and skin melanins are able to induce an autoimmune disease. The relevance of this finding for the study of melanin-related immunopathology in man is discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Amoebae as a tool to isolate new bacterial species, to discover new virulence factors and to study the host-pathogen interactions.

    PubMed

    Tosetti, Nicolo; Croxatto, Antony; Greub, Gilbert

    2014-12-01

    Amoebae are unicellular protozoan present worldwide in several environments mainly feeding on bacteria. Some of them, the amoebae-resistant bacteria (ARBs), have evolved mechanisms to survive and replicate inside amoebal species. These mainly include legionella, mycobacteria and Chlamydia-related bacteria. Amoebae can provide a replicative niche, can act as reservoir for bacteria whereas the cystic form can protect the internalized bacteria. Moreover, the amoebae represent a Trojan horse for ARBs to infect animals. The long interaction between amoebae and bacteria has likely selected for bacterial virulence traits leading to the adaptation towards an intracellular lifestyle, and some ARBs have acquired the ability to infect mammals. This review intends to highlight the important uses of amoebae in several fields in microbiology by describing the main tools developed using amoebal cells. First, amoebae such as Acanthamoeba are used to isolate and discover new intracellular bacterial species by two main techniques: the amoebal co-culture and the amoebal enrichment. In the second part, taking Waddlia chondrophila as example, we summarize some important recent applications of amoebae to discover new bacterial virulence factors, in particular thanks to the amoebal plaque assay. Finally, the genetically tractable Dictyostelium discoideum is used as a model organism to study host-pathogen interactions, in particular with the development of several approaches to manipulate its genome that allowed the creation of a wide range of mutated strains largely shared within the Dictyostelium community.

  19. Chemical characterization of hair melanins in various coat-color mutants of mice.

    PubMed

    Ozeki, H; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K; Hirobe, T

    1995-09-01

    Mammalian melanins exist in two chemically distinct forms: the brown to black eumelanins and the yellow to reddish pheomelanins. Melanogenesis is influenced by a number of genes, the levels of whose products determine the quantity and quality of the melanins produced. To examine the effects of various coat-color genes on the chemical properties of melanins synthesized in the follicular melanocytes of mice, we have introduced new methods to solubilize differentially pheomelanins and brown-type eumelanins. We applied these and previously developed high-performance liquid chromatography and spectrophotometric methods for assaying eu- and pheomelanins to characterize melanins in various mutant mice: black, lethal yellow, viable yellow, agouti, brown, light, albino, dilute, recessive yellow, pink-eyed dilution, slaty, and silver. It was demonstrated that 1) complete solubilization of melanins in Soluene-350 is a convenient method to estimate the total amount of eu- and pheomelanins, 2) lethal yellow, viable yellow, and recessive yellow hairs contain almost pure pheomelanins, and 3) melanins from brown, light, silver, and pink-eyed black hairs share chemical properties in common that are characterized by partial solubility in strong alkali. We suggest that 1) the brown-type eumelanins have lower degrees of polymerization than the black-type eumelanins, and 2) slaty hair melanin contains a greatly reduced ratio of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid-derived units as compared with black and other eumelanic hair melanins. These results indicate that our methodology, high-performance liquid chromatography and spectrophotometric methods combined, may be useful in chemically characterizing melanin pigments produced in follicular melanocytes.

  20. Synthesis and characterization of melanins from dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid and dihydroxyindole.

    PubMed

    Orlow, S J; Osber, M P; Pawelek, J M

    1992-09-01

    Several studies have confirmed that a melanocyte-specific enzyme, dopachrome tautomerase (EC 5.3.2.3), catalyzes the isomerization of dopachrome to 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) (Pawelek, 1991). Here we report that DHICA, produced either enzymatically with dopachrome tautomerase or through chemical synthesis, spontaneously polymerized to form brown melanin that was soluble in aqueous solutions above pH 5. Under the same reaction conditions, solutions of either DOPA, DOPAchrome, or 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) formed black, insoluble melanin precipitates. When DHICA and DHI were mixed together, with DHICA in molar excess, little or no precipitation of DHI-melanin occurred and the rate and extent of soluble melanin formation was markedly enhanced over that achieved with DHICA alone, suggesting co-polymerization of DHICA and DHI. With or without DHI, DHICA-melanins absorbed throughout the ultraviolet and visible spectra (200-600 nm). The DHICA-melanins precipitated below pH 5, at least in part because of protonation of the carboxyl groups. DHICA-melanins could be passed through 0.22 micron filters but could not be dialyzed through semi-permeable membranes with exclusion limits of 12,000-14,000 daltons. HPLC/molecular sieve analyses revealed apparent molecular weights ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 daltons, corresponding to 100-1,000 DHICA monomers per molecule of melanin. DHICA-melanins were stable to boiling, lyophilization, freezing and thawing, and incubation at room temperature for more than 1 year. The natural occurrence of oligomers of DHICA was first reported by Ito and Nichol (1974) in their studies of the brown tapetal pigment in the eye of the sea catfish (Arius felis L.).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Melanin concentration gradients in modern and fossil feathers.

    PubMed

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Pseudomonas syringae effector HopQ1 promotes bacterial virulence and interacts with tomato 14-3-3 proteins in a phosphorylation-dependent manner.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Yadeta, Koste A; Elmore, James Mitch; Coaker, Gitta

    2013-04-01

    A key virulence strategy of bacterial pathogens is the delivery of multiple pathogen effector proteins into host cells during infection. The Hrp outer protein Q (HopQ1) effector from Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pto) strain DC3000 is conserved across multiple bacterial plant pathogens. Here, we investigated the virulence function and host targets of HopQ1 in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Transgenic tomato lines expressing dexamethasone-inducible HopQ1 exhibited enhanced disease susceptibility to virulent Pto DC3000, the Pto ΔhrcC mutant, and decreased expression of a pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered marker gene after bacterial inoculation. HopQ1-interacting proteins were coimmunoprecipitated and identified by mass spectrometry. HopQ1 can associate with multiple tomato 14-3-3 proteins, including TFT1 and TFT5. HopQ1 is phosphorylated in tomato, and four phosphorylated peptides were identified by mass spectrometry. HopQ1 possesses a conserved mode I 14-3-3 binding motif whose serine-51 residue is phosphorylated in tomato and regulates its association with TFT1 and TFT5. Confocal microscopy and fractionation reveal that HopQ1 exhibits nucleocytoplasmic localization, while HopQ1 dephosphorylation mimics exhibit more pronounced nuclear localization. HopQ1 delivered from Pto DC3000 was found to promote bacterial virulence in the tomato genotype Rio Grande 76R. However, the HopQ1(S51A) mutant delivered from Pto DC3000 was unable to promote pathogen virulence. Taken together, our data demonstrate that HopQ1 enhances bacterial virulence and associates with tomato 14-3-3 proteins in a phosphorylation-dependent manner that influences HopQ1's subcellular localization and virulence-promoting activities in planta.

  7. 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

  8. Scaffolding bacterial genomes and probing host-virus interactions in gut microbiome by proximity ligation (chromosome capture) assay

    PubMed Central

    Marbouty, Martial; Baudry, Lyam; Cournac, Axel; Koszul, Romain

    2017-01-01

    The biochemical activities of microbial communities, or microbiomes, are essential parts of environmental and animal ecosystems. The dynamics, balance, and effects of these communities are strongly influenced by phages present in the population. Being able to characterize bacterium-phage relationships is therefore essential to investigate these ecosystems to the full extent of their complexity. However, this task is currently limited by (i) the ability to characterize complete bacterial and viral genomes from a complex mix of species and (ii) the difficulty to assign phage sequences to their bacterial hosts. We show that both limitations can be circumvented using meta3C, an experimental and computational approach that exploits the physical contacts between DNA molecules to infer their proximity. In a single experiment, dozens of bacterial and phage genomes present in a complex mouse gut microbiota were assembled and scaffolded de novo. The phage genomes were then assigned to their putative bacterial hosts according to the physical contacts between the different DNA molecules, opening new perspectives for a comprehensive picture of the genomic structure of the gut flora. Therefore, this work holds far-reaching implications for human health studies aiming to bridge the virome to the microbiome. PMID:28232956

  9. Influence of growth phase on bacterial deposition: interaction mechanisms in packed-bed column and radial stagnation point flow systems.

    PubMed

    Walker, Sharon L; Redman, Jeremy A; Elimelech, Menachem

    2005-09-01

    The influence of bacterial growth stage on cell deposition kinetics has been examined using a mutant of Escherichia coli K12. Two experimental techniques--a packed-bed column and a radial stagnation point flow (RSPF) system--were employed to determine bacterial deposition rates onto quartz surfaces over a wide range of solution ionic strengths. Stationary-phase cells were found to be more adhesive than mid-exponential phase cells in both experimental systems. The divergence in deposition behavior was notably more pronounced in the RSPF than in the packed-bed system. For instance, in the RSPF system, the deposition rate of the stationary-phase cells at 0.03 M ionic strength was 14 times greater than that of the mid-exponential cells. The divergence in the packed-bed system was most significant at 0.01 M, where the deposition rate for the stationary-phase cells was nearly 4 times greater than for the mid-exponential cells. To explain the observed adhesion behavior, the stationary and mid-exponential bacterial cells were characterized for their size, surface charge density, electrophoretic mobility, viability, and hydrophobicity. On the basis of this analysis, it is suggested that the stationary cells have a more heterogeneous distribution of charged functional groups on the bacterial surface than the mid-exponential cells, which results in higher deposition kinetics. Furthermore, because the RSPF system enumerates only bacterial cells retained in primary minima, whereas the packed column captures mostly cells deposited in secondary minima, the difference in the stationary and mid-exponential cell deposition kinetics is much more pronounced in the RSPF system.

  10. Royal jelly reduces melanin synthesis through down-regulation of tyrosinase expression.

    PubMed

    Han, Sang Mi; Yeo, Joo Hong; Cho, Yoon Hee; Pak, Sok Cheon

    2011-01-01

    For cosmetic reasons, the demand for effective and safe skin-whitening agents is high. Since the key enzyme in the melanin synthetic pathway is tyrosinase, many depigmenting agents in the treatment of hyperpigmentation act as tyrosinase inhibitors. In this study, we have investigated the hypo-pigmentary mechanism of royal jelly in a mouse melanocyte cell line, B16F1. Treatment of B16F1 cells with royal jelly markedly inhibited melanin biosynthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Decreased melanin content occurred through the decrease of tyrosinase activity. The mRNA levels of tyrosinase were also reduced by royal jelly. These results suggest that royal jelly reduces melanin synthesis by down-regulation of tyrosinase mRNA transcription and serves as a new candidate in the design of new skin-whitening or therapeutic agents.

  11. Melanin and blood concentration in human skin studied by multiple regression analysis: experiments.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Mechanistic insights into the bleaching of melanin by alkaline hydrogen peroxide.

    PubMed

    Smith, R A W; Garrett, B; Naqvi, K R; Fülöp, A; Godfrey, S P; Marsh, J M; Chechik, V

    2017-03-18

    This work aims to determine the roles of reactive oxygen species HO∙ and HO2(-) in the bleaching of melanins by alkaline hydrogen peroxide. Experiments using melanosomes isolated from human hair indicated that the HO∙ radical generated in the outside solution does not contribute significantly to bleaching. However, studies using soluble Sepia melanin demonstrated that both HO2(-) and HO∙ will individually bleach melanin. Additionally, when both oxidants are present, bleaching is increased dramatically in both rate and extent. Careful experimental design enabled the separation of the roles and effects of these key reactive species, HO∙ and HO2(-). Rationalisation of the results presented, and review of previous literature, allowed the postulation of a simplified general scheme whereby the strong oxidant HO∙ is able to pre-oxidise melanin units to o-quinones enabling more facile ring opening by the more nucleophilic HO2(-). In this manner the efficiency of the roles of both species is maximised.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Colourful parrot feathers resist bacterial degradation

    PubMed Central

    Burtt, Edward H.; Schroeder, Max R.; Smith, Lauren A.; Sroka, Jenna E.; McGraw, Kevin J.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:20926430

  4. Roles of reactive oxygen species in UVA-induced oxidation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid-melanin as studied by differential spectrophotometric method.

    PubMed

    Ito, Shosuke; Kikuta, Marina; Koike, Shota; Szewczyk, Grzegorz; Sarna, Michal; Zadlo, Andrzej; Sarna, Tadeusz; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2016-05-01

    Eumelanin photoprotects pigmented tissues from ultraviolet (UV) damage. However, UVA-induced tanning seems to result from the photooxidation of preexisting melanin and does not contribute to photoprotection. We investigated the mechanism of UVA-induced degradation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA)-melanin taking advantage of its solubility in a neutral buffer and using a differential spectrophotometric method to detect subtle changes in its structure. Our methodology is suitable for examining the effects of various agents that interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to determine how ROS is involved in the UVA-induced oxidative modifications. The results show that UVA radiation induces the oxidation of DHICA to indole-5,6-quinone-2-carboxylic acid in eumelanin, which is then cleaved to form a photodegraded, pyrrolic moiety and finally to form free pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid. The possible involvement of superoxide radical and singlet oxygen in the oxidation was suggested. The generation and quenching of singlet oxygen by DHICA-melanin was confirmed by direct measurements of singlet oxygen phosphorescence.

  5. 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.

  6. The role of melanin as protector against free radicals in skin and its role as free radical indicator in hair.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. A proteomics approach to study synergistic and antagonistic interactions of the fungal-bacterial consortium Fusarium oxysporum wild-type MSA 35.

    PubMed

    Moretti, Marino; Grunau, Alexander; Minerdi, Daniela; Gehrig, Peter; Roschitzki, Bernd; Eberl, Leo; Garibaldi, Angelo; Gullino, Maria Lodovica; Riedel, Kathrin

    2010-09-01

    Fusarium oxysporum is an important plant pathogen that causes severe damage of many economically important crop species. Various microorganisms have been shown to inhibit this soil-borne plant pathogen, including non-pathogenic F. oxysporum strains. In this study, F. oxysporum wild-type (WT) MSA 35, a biocontrol multispecies consortium that consists of a fungus and numerous rhizobacteria mainly belonging to gamma-proteobacteria, was analyzed by two complementary metaproteomic approaches (2-DE combined with MALDI-Tof/Tof MS and 1-D PAGE combined with LC-ESI-MS/MS) to identify fungal or bacterial factors potentially involved in antagonistic or synergistic interactions between the consortium members. Moreover, the proteome profiles of F. oxysporum WT MSA 35 and its cured counter-part CU MSA 35 (WT treated with antibiotics) were compared with unravel the bacterial impact on consortium functioning. Our study presents the first proteome mapping of an antagonistic F. oxysporum strain and proposes candidate proteins that might play an important role for the biocontrol activity and the close interrelationship between the fungus and its bacterial partners.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Protein, lipid, and DNA radicals to measure skin UVA damage and modulation by melanin.

    PubMed

    Haywood, Rachel; Rogge, Fabrice; Lee, Martin

    2008-03-15

    Afro-Caribbeans have a lower incidence of skin cancer than Caucasians, but the effectiveness of melanin as a photoprotective pigment is debated. We investigated the UVA and solar irradiation of ex vivo human skin and DMPO using electron spin resonance spectroscopy, to determine whether pigmented skin is protected by melanin against free radical damage. Initial ascorbate radicals in Caucasian skin were superseded by lipid and/or protein radical adducts with isotropic (a(H)=1.8 mT) and anisotropic spectra comparable to spectra in irradiated pig fat (a(H)=1.9 mT) and BSA. DNA carbon-centered radical adducts (a(H)=2.3 mT) and a broad singlet were detected in genomic DNA/melanin but were not distinguishable in irradiated Caucasian skin. Protein and lipid radicals (n=6 in Caucasian skin) were minimal in Afro-Caribbean skin (n=4) and intermediate skin pigmentations were variable (n=3). In irradiated Afro-Caribbean skin a shoulder to the melanin radical (also in UVA-irradiated pigmented melanoma cells and genomic DNA/melanin and intrinsic to pheomelanin) was detected. In this sample group, protein (but not lipid) radical adducts decreased directly with pigmentation. ESR/spin trapping methodology has potential for screening skin susceptibility to aging and cancer-related radical damage and for measuring protection afforded by melanin, sunscreens, and antiaging creams.

  20. UV causation of melanoma in Xiphophorus is dominated by melanin photosensitized oxidant production

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Simon R.; Berwick, Marianne; Ley, Ronald D.; Walter, Ronald B.; Setlow, Richard B.; Timmins, Graham S.

    2006-01-01

    Controversy continues both as to which wavelengths of sunlight cause melanoma and the mechanisms by which these different wavelengths act. Direct absorption of UVB by DNA is central in albino animal models, but melanin-pigmented models have shown major contributions by wavelengths longer than UVB that are thought to be mediated by photosensitized oxidant production. The only model for which the action spectrum of melanoma causation is known is a genetically melanoma-susceptible specific cross of Xiphophorus fish. We used electron paramagnetic resonance to quantitatively detect the UV induction of reactive melanin radicals in situ in the melanin-containing cells in the skin of this model and derived the action spectrum for melanin-photosensitized oxidant production (Φox). This action spectrum was identical to that for melanoma induction (Φmel). These results confirm the hypothesis that melanin-photosensitized radical production is the major causative step of melanoma in this model and demonstrate that the wavelengths and mechanisms of melanoma causation in different models are dependent on the presence of melanin. This approach should be applicable to humans, thus providing an accurate surrogate for Φmel for prevention studies. PMID:16537493

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Manassantin A and B from Saururus chinensis inhibiting cellular melanin production.

    PubMed

    Seo, Chang-Seob; Lee, Won-Hee; Chung, Hee-Wook; Chang, Eun Ju; Lee, Seung Ho; Jahng, Yurngdong; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Son, Jong-Keun; Han, Sang-Bae; Kim, Youngsoo

    2009-11-01

    Hyperpigmentation disorders such as freckles and senile lentigines in the skin are associated with abnormal accumulation of melanin pigments. In this study, two lignan constituents were isolated from Saururus chinensis Baill (Saururaceae) as inhibitors of cellular melanin production by bioassay-guided fractionations. The active constituents were manassantin A and B that dose-dependently inhibited melanin production in alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH)-activated melanoma B16 cells with IC(50) values of 13 nm and 8 nm, respectively. Arbutin as a positive control exhibited an IC(50) value of 96 microm on alpha-MSH-induced melanin production. Further, manassantin A inhibited forskolin- or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)-induced melanin production with IC(50) values of 14 nm or 12 nm, respectively. Manassantin A decreased cellular amounts of IBMX-inducible tyrosinase protein but could not affect the catalytic activity of cell-free tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of melanin pigments. Finally, this study could provide a pharmacological potential of S. chinensis in hyperpigmentation disorders.

  5. 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

  6. A microfluidic device for real-time monitoring of Bacillus subtilis bacterial spores during germination based on non-specific physicochemical interactions on the nanoscale level.

    PubMed

    Zabrocka, L; Langer, K; Michalski, A; Kocik, J; Langer, J J

    2015-01-07

    A microfluidic device for studies on the germination of bacterial spores (e.g. Bacillus subtilis) based on non-specific interactions on the nanoscale is presented. A decrease in the population of spores during germination followed by the appearance of transition forms and an increase in the number of vegetative cells can be registered directly and simultaneously by using the microfluidic device, which is equipped with a conductive polymer layer (polyaniline) in the form of a nano-network. The lab-on-a-chip-type device, operating in a continuous flow regime, allows monitoring of germination of bacterial spores and analysis of the process in detail. The procedure is fast and accurate enough for quantitative real-time monitoring of the main steps of germination, including final transformation of the spores into vegetative cells. All of this is done without the use of biomarkers or any bio-specific materials, such as enzymes, antibodies and aptamers, and is simply based on an analysis of physicochemical interactions on the nanoscale level.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Design of a Monocular Multi-Spectral Skin Detection, Melanin Estimation, and False-Alarm Suppression System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    Design of a Monocular Multi-Spectral Skin Detection, Melanin Estimation, and False-Alarm Suppression System THESIS Keith R. Peskosky, Second...Skin Detection, Melanin Estimation, and False-Alarm Suppression System THESIS Presented to the Faculty Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering...alarm reduction, and melanin estimation system is designed targeting search and rescue (SAR) with application to special operations for manhunting and

  12. Two-color excited-state absorption imaging of melanins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Dan; Ye, Tong; Matthews, Thomas E.; Yurtsever, Gunay; Hong, Lian; Simon, John D.; Warren, Warren S.

    2007-02-01

    We have demonstrated a new method for imaging melanin with two-color excited state absorption microscopy. If one of two synchronized mode-locked pulse trains at different colors is intensity modulated, the modulation transfers to the other pulse train when nonlinear absorption takes place in the medium. We can easily measure 10 -6 absorption changes caused by either instantaneous two-photon absorption or relatively long lived excited state absorption with a RF lock-in amplifier. Eumelanin and pheomelanin exhibit similar excited state dynamics. However, their difference in excited state absorption and ground state absorption leads to change in the phase of the transient absorption signal. Scanning microscopic imaging is performed with B16 cells, melanoma tissue to demonstrate the 3D high resolution imaging capability. Different melanosome samples are also imaged to illustrate the differences between eumelanin and pheomelanin signals. These differences could enable us to image their respective distribution in tissue samples and provide us with valuable information in diagnosing malignant transformation of melanocytes.

  13. Bacterial and plant signal integration via D3-type cyclins enhances symptom development in the Arabidopsis-Rhodococcus fascians interaction.

    PubMed

    Stes, Elisabeth; Biondi, Stefania; Holsters, Marcelle; Vereecke, Danny

    2011-06-01

    The phytopathogenic actinomycete Rhodococcus fascians drives its host to form a nutrient-rich niche by secreting a mixture of cytokinins that triggers plant cell division and shoot formation. The discrepancy between the relatively low amount of secreted cytokinins and the severe impact of R. fascians infection on plant development has puzzled researchers for a long time. Polyamine and transcript profiling of wild-type and cytokinin receptor mutant plants revealed that the bacterial cytokinins directly stimulated the biosynthesis of plant putrescine by activating arginine decarboxylase expression. Pharmacological experiments showed that the increased levels of putrescine contributed to the severity of the symptoms. Thus, putrescine functions as a secondary signal that impinges on the cytokinin-activated pathway, amplifying the hormone-induced changes that lead to the formation of a leafy gall. Exogenous putrescine and treatment with polyamine biosynthesis inhibitors combined with transcript and polyamine analyses of wild-type and mutant plants indicated that the direct target of both the bacterial cytokinins and plant putrescine was the expression of D3-type cyclins. Hence, the activated d-type cyclin/retinoblastoma/E2F transcription factor pathway integrates both external and internal hormonal signals, stimulating mitotic cell divisions and inducing pathological plant organogenesis.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland

    PubMed Central

    Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment. PMID:25909751

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Generation and suppression of singlet oxygen in hair by photosensitization of melanin.

    PubMed

    Chiarelli-Neto, Orlando; Pavani, Christiane; Ferreira, Alan S; Uchoa, Adjaci F; Severino, Divinomar; Baptista, Maurício S

    2011-09-15

    We have studied the spectroscopic properties of hair (white, blond, red, brown, and black) under illumination with visible light, giving special emphasis to the photoinduced generation of singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)). Irradiation of hair shafts (λ(ex)>400 nm) changed their properties by degrading the melanin. Formation of C3 hydroperoxides in the melanin indol groups was proven by (1)H NMR. After 532-nm excitation, all hair shafts presented the characteristic (1)O(2) emission (λ(em)=1270 nm), whose intensity varied inversely with the melanin content. (1)O(2) lifetime was also shown to vary with hair type, being five times shorter in black hair than in blond hair, indicating the role of melanin as a (1)O(2) suppressor. Lifetime ranged from tenths of a nanosecond to a few microseconds, which is much shorter than the lifetime expected for (1)O(2) in the solvents in which the hair shafts were suspended, indicating that (1)O(2) is generated and suppressed inside the hair structure. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin were shown to produce and to suppress (1)O(2), with similar efficiencies. The higher amount of (1)O(2) generated in blond hair and its longer lifetime is compatible with the stronger damage that light exposure causes in blond hair. We propose a model to explain the formation and suppression of (1)O(2) in hair by photosensitization of melanin with visible light and the deleterious effects that an excess of visible light may cause in hair and skin.

  6. Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography of melanin provides intrinsic contrast based on depolarization

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Bernhard; Baumann, Stefan O.; Konegger, Thomas; Pircher, Michael; Götzinger, Erich; Schlanitz, Ferdinand; Schütze, Christopher; Sattmann, Harald; Litschauer, Marco; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula; Hitzenberger, Christoph K.

    2012-01-01

    Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is a functional extension of OCT. In addition to imaging based on tissue reflectivity, PS-OCT also enables depth-resolved mapping of sample polarization properties such as phase-retardation, birefringent axis orientation, Stokes vectors, and degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU). In this study, PS-OCT was used to investigate the polarization properties of melanin. In-vitro measurements in samples with varying melanin concentrations revealed polarization scrambling, i.e. depolarization of backscattered light. Polarization scrambling in the PS-OCT images was more pronounced for higher melanin concentrations and correlated with the concentration of the melanin granules in the phantoms. Moreover, in-vivo PS-OCT was performed in the retinas of normal subjects and individuals with albinism. Unlike in the normal eye, polarization scrambling in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was less pronounced or even not observable in PS-OCT images of albinos. These results indicate that the depolarizing appearance of pigmented structures like, for instance, the RPE is likely to be caused by the melanin granules contained in these cells. PMID:22808437

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Separating melanin from hemodynamics in nevi using multimode hyperspectral dermoscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasefi, Fartash; MacKinnon, Nicholas; Saager, Rolf; Kelly, Kristen M.; Maly, Tyler; Booth, Nicholas; Durkin, Anthony J.; Farkas, Daniel L.

    2016-11-01

    Changes in the pattern and distribution of both melanocytes (pigment producing) and vasculature (hemoglobin containing) are important in distinguishing melanocytic proliferations. The ability to accurately measure melanin distribution at different depths and to distinguish it from hemoglobin is clearly important when assessing pigmented lesions (benign versus malignant). We have developed a multimode hyperspectral dermoscope (SkinSpect™) able to more accurately image both melanin and hemoglobin distribution in skin. SkinSpect uses both hyperspectral and polarization-sensitive measurements. SkinSpect's higher accuracy has been obtained by correcting for the effect of melanin absorption on hemoglobin absorption in measurements of melanocytic nevi. In vivo human skin pigmented nevi (N=20) were evaluated with the SkinSpect, and measured melanin and hemoglobin concentrations were compared with spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) measurements. We confirm that both systems show low correlation of hemoglobin concentrations with regions containing different melanin concentrations (R=0.13 for SFDS, R=0.07 for SkinSpect).

  12. 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.

  13. Melanin-Concentrating Hormone: A New Sleep Factor?

    PubMed Central

    Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia; Monti, Jaime M.

    2011-01-01

    Neurons containing the neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are mainly located in the lateral hypothalamus and the incerto-hypothalamic area, and have widespread projections throughout the brain. While the biological functions of this neuropeptide are exerted in humans through two metabotropic receptors, the MCHR1 and MCHR2, only the MCHR1 is present in rodents. Recently, it has been shown that the MCHergic system is involved in the control of sleep. We can summarize the experimental findings as follows: (1) The areas related to the control of sleep and wakefulness have a high density of MCHergic fibers and receptors. (2) MCHergic neurons are active during sleep, especially during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. (3) MCH knockout mice have less REM sleep, notably under conditions of negative energy balance. Animals with genetically inactivated MCHR1 also exhibit altered vigilance state architecture and sleep homeostasis. (4) Systemically administered MCHR1 antagonists reduce sleep. (5) Intraventricular microinjection of MCH increases both slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep; however, the increment in REM sleep is more pronounced. (6) Microinjection of MCH into the dorsal raphe nucleus increases REM sleep time. REM seep is inhibited by immunoneutralization of MCH within this nucleus. (7) Microinjection of MCH in the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat enhances REM sleep time and reduces REM sleep latency. All these data strongly suggest that MCH has a potent role in the promotion of sleep. Although both SWS and REM sleep are facilitated by MCH, REM sleep seems to be more sensitive to MCH modulation. PMID:21516258

  14. 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

  15. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties of grape melanin. Inhibitory effects on paw edema and adjuvant induced disease.

    PubMed

    Avramidis, N; Kourounakis, A; Hadjipetrou, L; Senchuk, V

    1998-07-01

    Natural or synthetic melanin (CAS 8049-97-6) is a high molecular weight heteropolymer, product of the enzyme tyrosinase, found to possess radical scavenging and antioxidant functions. It was of interest, therefore, to study in detail the possible anti-inflammatory and/or immunosuppressive properties of a melanin isolated from grapes. The inhibitory effect of melanin on carrageenin-induced edema, as well as on edemas produced by other phlogistics, was remarkable suggesting that melanin interferes with the prostaglandin as well as the leukotriene and/or complement system mediated inflammation. Grape melanin showed potent inhibitory effect on adjuvant induced disease (AID) in rat, suppressing significantly the primary inflammation and almost totally the secondary lesions of arthritis. Melanin under the present experimental conditions not only strongly inhibited the in vitro lipid peroxidation of rat liver microsomal membranes, but furthermore protected the in vivo hepatic peroxidation occurring in AID rats, demonstrating its antioxidant and cytoprotective properties. The serum proinflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-a and the serum globulin fraction were elevated in AID rats, parameters which were more or less normalised by melanin treatment in contrast to the reduced serum levels of IL-2 which were not affected. Similarly to other lipoxygenase inhibitors and hydroxyl radical scavenger NSAIDs, melanin treatment did not affect IL-1 neither increased the splenic mitogenic responses, unlike the classical cyclooxygenase inhibitory NSAIDs. The subpopulation Th1 (T4+ or T8+) of lymphocytes is mainly responsible for cellular immune responses and thus their possible inhibition by melanin could lead to suppression of the development of AID, a model for cell-mediated immunity. The effect of melanin on T-cells is exhibited by the reduced spleen mitogenic responses to a T-cell mitogen and the reduced serum levels of IL-2 of treated rats. In conclusion, grape melanin is an

  16. Physicochemical factors associated with binding and retention of compounds in ocular melanin of rats: correlations using data from whole-body autoradiography and molecular modeling for multiple linear regression analyses.

    PubMed

    Zane, P A; Brindle, S D; Gause, D O; O'Buck, A J; Raghavan, P R; Tripp, S L

    1990-09-01

    The relationship between the physicochemical characteristics of 27 new drug candidates and their distribution into the melanin-containing structure of the rat eye, the uveal tract, was examined. Tissue distribution data were obtained from whole-body autoradiograms of pigmented Long-Evans rats sacrificed at 5 min and 96 hr after dosing. The physicochemical parameters considered include molecular weight, pKa, degree of ionization, octanol/water partition coefficient (log Po/w), drug-melanin binding energy, and acid/base status of the functional groups within the molecule. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to describe the best model correlating physicochemical and/or biological characteristics of these compounds to their initial distribution at 5 min and to the retention of residual radioactivity in ocular melanin at 96 hr post-injection. The early distribution was a function primarily of acid/base status, pKa, binding energy, and log P(o/w), whereas uveal tract retention in rats was a function of volume of distribution (V1), log P(o/w), pKa, and binding energy. Further, there was a relationship between the initial distribution of a compound into the uveal tract and its retention 96 hr later. More specifically, the structures most likely to be distributed and ultimately retained at high concentrations were those containing strongly basic functionalities, such as piperidine or piperazine moieties and other amines. Further, the more lipophilic and, hence, widely distributed the basic compound, the greater the likelihood that it interacts with ocular melanin. In summary, the use of multiple linear regression analysis was useful in distinguishing which physicochemical characteristics of a compound or group of compounds contributed to melanin binding in pigmented rats in vivo.

  17. Genetic and biochemical interactions between the bacterial replication initiator DnaA and the nucleoid-associated protein Rok in Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Seid, Charlotte A; Smith, Janet L; Grossman, Alan D

    2017-03-01

    We identified interactions between the conserved bacterial replication initiator and transcription factor DnaA and the nucleoid-associated protein Rok of Bacillus subtilis. DnaA binds directly to clusters of DnaA boxes at the origin of replication and elsewhere, including the promoters of several DnaA-regulated genes. Rok, an analog of H-NS from gamma-proteobacteria that affects chromosome architecture and of Lsr2 from Mycobacteria, binds A+T-rich sequences throughout the genome and represses expression of many genes. Using crosslinking and immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq), we found that DnaA was associated with eight previously identified regions containing clusters of DnaA boxes, plus 36 additional regions that were also bound by Rok. Association of DnaA with these additional regions appeared to be indirect as it was dependent on Rok and independent of the DNA-binding domain of DnaA. Gene expression and mutant analyses support a model in which DnaA and Rok cooperate to repress transcription of yxaJ, the yybNM operon and the sunA-bdbB operon. Our results indicate that DnaA modulates the activity of Rok. We postulate that this interaction might affect nucleoid architecture. Furthermore, DnaA might interact similarly with Rok analogues in other organisms.

  18. The bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP: Probing interactions with protein and RNA binding partners using cyclic dinucleotide analogs

    PubMed Central

    Shanahan, Carly A.; Strobel, Scott A.

    2013-01-01

    The ability of bacteria to adapt to a changing environment is essential for their survival. One mechanism used to facilitate behavioral adaptations is the second messenger signaling molecule bis-(3′-5′)-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP). c-di-GMP is widespread throughout the bacterial domain and plays a vital role in regulating the transition between the motile planktonic lifestyle and the sessile biofilm forming state. This second messenger also controls the virulence response of pathogenic organisms and is thought to be connected to quorum sensing, the process by which bacteria communicate with each other. The intracellular concentration of c-di-GMP is tightly regulated by the opposing enzymatic activities of diguanlyate cyclases and phosphodiesterases, which synthesize and degrade the second messenger, respectively. The change in the intracellular concentration of c-di-GMP is directly sensed by downstream targets of the second messenger, both protein and RNA, which induce the appropriate phenotypic response. This review will summarize our current state of knowledge of c-di-GMP signaling in bacteria with a focus on protein and RNA binding partners of the second messenger. Efforts towards the synthesis of c-di-GMP and its analogs are discussed as well as studies aimed at targeting these macromolecular effectors with chemically synthesized cyclic dinucleotide analogs. PMID:23108253

  19. Effects of Interactions of Auxin-Producing Bacteria and Bacterial-Feeding Nematodes on Regulation of Peanut Growths

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Li; Xu, Wensi; Jiang, Ying; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    The influences of an IAA (indole-3-acetic acid)-producing bacterium (Bacillus megaterium) and two bacterial-feeding nematodes (Cephalobus sp. or Mesorhabditis sp.) on the growth of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. cv. Haihua 1) after various durations of time were investigated in natural soils. The addition of bacteria and nematodes and incubation time all significantly affected plant growth, plant root growth, plant nutrient concentrations, soil nutrient concentrations, soil microorganisms and soil auxin concentration. The addition of nematodes caused greater increases in these indices than those of bacteria, while the addition of the combination of bacteria and nematodes caused further increases. After 42-day growth, the increases in soil respiration differed between the additions of two kinds of nematodes because of differences in their life strategies. The effects of the bacteria and nematodes on the nutrient and hormone concentrations were responsible for the increases in plant growth. These results indicate the potential for promoting plant growth via the addition of nematodes and bacteria to soil. PMID:25867954

  20. The bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP: probing interactions with protein and RNA binding partners using cyclic dinucleotide analogs.

    PubMed

    Shanahan, Carly A; Strobel, Scott A

    2012-12-14

    The ability of bacteria to adapt to a changing environment is essential for their survival. One mechanism used to facilitate behavioral adaptations is the second messenger signaling molecule bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP). c-di-GMP is widespread throughout the bacterial domain and plays a vital role in regulating the transition between the motile planktonic lifestyle and the sessile biofilm forming state. This second messenger also controls the virulence response of pathogenic organisms and is thought to be connected to quorum sensing, the process by which bacteria communicate with each other. The intracellular concentration of c-di-GMP is tightly regulated by the opposing enzymatic activities of diguanlyate cyclases and phosphodiesterases, which synthesize and degrade the second messenger, respectively. The change in the intracellular concentration of c-di-GMP is directly sensed by downstream targets of the second messenger, both protein and RNA, which induce the appropriate phenotypic response. This review will summarize our current state of knowledge of c-di-GMP signaling in bacteria with a focus on protein and RNA binding partners of the second messenger. Efforts towards the synthesis of c-di-GMP and its analogs are discussed as well as studies aimed at targeting these macromolecular effectors with chemically synthesized cyclic dinucleotide analogs.

  1. Characterization of the aggregates formed by various bacterial lipopolysaccharides in solution and upon interaction with antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Bello, Gianluca; Eriksson, Jonny; Terry, Ann; Edwards, Katarina; Lawrence, M Jayne; Barlow, David; Harvey, Richard D

    2015-01-20

    The biophysical analysis of the aggregates formed by different chemotypes of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) before and after challenge by two different antiendotoxic antimicrobial peptides (LL37 and bovine lactoferricin) was performed in order to determine their effect on the morphology of LPS aggregates. Small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryoTEM) were used to examine the structures formed by both smooth and rough LPS chemotypes and the effect of the peptides, by visualization of the aggregates and analysis of the scattering data by means of both mathematical approximations and defined models. The data showed that the structure of LPS determines the morphology of the aggregates and influences the binding activity of both peptides. The morphologies of the worm-like micellar aggregates formed by the smooth LPS were relatively unaltered by the presence of the peptides due to their pre-existing high degree of positive curvature being little affected by their association with either peptide. On the other hand, the aggregates formed by the rough LPS chemotypes showed marked morphological changes from lamellar structures to ordered micellar networks, induced by the increase in positive curvature engendered upon association with the peptides. The combined use of cryoTEM and SANS proved to be a very useful tool for studying the aggregation properties of LPS in solution at biologically relevant concentrations.

  2. Use of Atomic Force Microscopy to Study the Multi-Modular Interaction of Bacterial Adhesins to Mucins

    PubMed Central

    Gunning, A. Patrick; Kavanaugh, Devon; Thursby, Elizabeth; Etzold, Sabrina; MacKenzie, Donald A.; Juge, Nathalie

    2016-01-01

    The mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal (GI) epithelium is critical in selecting and maintaining homeostatic interactions with our gut bacteria. However, the molecular details of these interactions are not well understood. Here, we provide mechanistic insights into the adhesion properties of the canonical mucus-binding protein (MUB), a large multi-repeat cell–surface adhesin found in Lactobacillus inhabiting the GI tract. We used atomic force microscopy to unravel the mechanism driving MUB-mediated adhesion to mucins. Using single-molecule force spectroscopy we showed that MUB displayed remarkable adhesive properties favouring a nanospring-like adhesion model between MUB and mucin mediated by unfolding of the multiple repeats constituting the adhesin. We obtained direct evidence for MUB self-interaction; MUB–MUB followed a similar binding pattern, confirming that MUB modular structure mediated such mechanism. This was in marked contrast with the mucin adhesion behaviour presented by Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a mammalian lectin characterised by a single carbohydrate binding domain (CRD). The binding mechanisms reported here perfectly match the particular structural organization of MUB, which maximizes interactions with the mucin glycan receptors through its long and linear multi-repeat structure, potentiating the retention of bacteria within the outer mucus layer. PMID:27834807

  3. Root and bacterial secretions regulate the interaction between plants and PGPR leading to distinct plant growth promotion effects