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

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Xu, Xinping; Lin, Xiaorong

    2016-11-22

    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. Subcellular compartmentalization is increasingly recognized as an important aspect of fungal secondary metabolism. It facilitates sequential enzymatic reactions, provides

  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. 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.

  12. Comparative EPR studies of free radicals in melanin synthesized by Bacillus weihenstephanensis soil strains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2017-07-01

    EPR spectroscopy was used to examine the properties of and free radical concentrations in atypical water-soluble melanin-like pigments from Bacillus weihenstephanensis strains. The same EPR spectral shape was observed in bacterial melanins as in eumelanin. The EPR lines were homogeneously broadened. Continuous microwave saturation of the EPR lines indicated slow spin-lattice relaxation processes in the samples. Strong dipolar interactions characterized the tested melanin samples. Higher free radical concentrations were found in bacterial melanin than in synthetic melanin. The free radical concentrations in melanin from B. weihenstephanensis increased in the following order: strain JAS 81/4 < JAS 83/3 < JAS 86/1 < JAS 39/1.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Fungal Melanins Differ in Planar Stacking Distances

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22359541

  3. [Features of epithelial-bacterial interactions in bacterial vaginosis].

    PubMed

    Bukharin, O V; Kremleva, E A; Cherkasov, S V

    2012-01-01

    Study of features of interactions of mucosal epitheliocytes of vagina with dominant and associative vaginal microsymbionts in bacterial vaginosis. Changes in growth characteristics and ability to form biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus spp. under the influence of secretory products of vaginal epitheliocytes obtained from 36 women with bacterial vaginosis and 32 practically healthy women were studied. Vaginal epitheliocytes of women with bacterial vaginosis were shown to change their functional activity during contact with microorganisms and their secretory products, causing differential influence on the properties of symbiont bacteria. A suppression of growth of dominant microsymbionts--lactobacilli, mostly their peroxide producing biovars, and a weakening of suppressing effect on the growth of biomass of associative microorganisms accompanied by stimulation of their ability to form biofilms was noted. Preliminary contact of an epitheliocyte with bacterial cell or its supernatant increased the intensity of the changes of properties of bacteria under the influence of secretory products of epitheliocytes. Suppression of growth of lactobacilli (mostly their peroxide producing biovars) and stimulation of the ability to for biofilms of the associative microorganisms as a result of bacterial-epithelial interactions in bacterial vaginosis determine mechanisms of formation and stability of pathomicrobiocenosis and a reduction of colonization resistance of vaginal biotope.

  4. Bacterial interactions in dental biofilm development.

    PubMed

    Hojo, K; Nagaoka, S; Ohshima, T; Maeda, N

    2009-11-01

    Recent analyses with ribosomal RNA-based technologies have revealed the diversity of bacterial populations within dental biofilms, and have highlighted their important contributions to oral health and disease. Dental biofilms are exceedingly complex and multispecies ecosystems, where oral bacteria interact cooperatively or competitively with other members. Bacterial interactions that influence dental biofilm communities include various different mechanisms. During the early stage of biofilm formation, it is known that planktonic bacterial cells directly attach to surfaces of the oral cavity or indirectly bind to other bacterial cells that have already colonized. Adherence through co-aggregation may be critical for the temporary retention of bacteria on dental surfaces, and may facilitate eventual bacterial colonization. It is likely that metabolic communication, genetic exchange, production of inhibitory factors (e.g., bacteriocins, hydrogen peroxide, etc.), and quorum-sensing are pivotal regulatory factors that determine the bacterial composition and/or metabolism. Since each bacterium can easily access a neighboring bacterial cell and its metabolites, genetic exchanges and metabolic communication may occur frequently in dental biofilms. Quorum-sensing is defined as gene regulation in response to cell density, which influences various functions, e.g., virulence and bacteriocin production. In this review, we discuss these important interactions among oral bacteria within the dental biofilm communities.

  5. Volatiles in Inter-Specific Bacterial Interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. Isolation of a novel strain of Aeromonas media producing high levels of DOPA-melanin and assessment of the photoprotective role of the melanin in bioinsecticide applications.

    PubMed

    Wan, X; Liu, H M; Liao, Y; Su, Y; Geng, J; Yang, M Y; Chen, X D; Shen, P

    2007-12-01

    To isolate a bacterium that produces high yield of melanin and to examine the effect of this bacterial pigment on the efficacy of a bioinsecticide. A novel melanin-producing bacterium, designated as strain WS, was isolated from the East Lake, Wuhan, China. Taxonomic studies of this strain indicate that it belongs to Aeromonas media. Physicochemical analysis of the pigment produced by strain WS (melanin WS) suggests that it is the authentic 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)-melanin. This melanin and that produced by Pseudomonas maltophilia P28 (melanin P28) share many biophysical properties, but the yield of the melanin WS is significantly higher than that of the melanin P28. In addition, the melanin WS appears to be more effective in the protection of a bioinsecticide against ultraviolet (UV) or solar radiation. At the concentration of 10 ppm, the melanin P28 exhibited no photoprotective effect on the bioinsecticide against UV radiation; in contrast, 5 ppm of melanin WS displayed an obvious protective effect. Similarly, the melanin WS displayed more protective effect on the bioinsecticide against solar radiation than the melanin P28 did over a 4-day period, with the effect being more dramatic for the last 2 days. We have isolated a novel bacterial strain of A. media that produces high levels of melanin. The melanin produced by this strain offers effective photoprotection of a commercial bioinsecticide BTI against UV and solar radiation. Our study suggests that the melanin produced by our newly isolated A. media strain has the potential to be used as a general photoprotective agent for bioinsecticides.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Interactions of Freshwater Cyanobacteria with Bacterial Antagonists.

    PubMed

    Osman, Omneya Ahmed; Beier, Sara; Grabherr, Manfred; Bertilsson, Stefan

    2017-04-01

    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-specific responses in

  16. Interaction between resource identity and bacterial community composition regulates bacterial respiration in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pires, A P F; Caliman, A; Laque, T; Esteves, F A; Farjalla, V F

    2015-11-01

    Resource identity and composition structure bacterial community, which in turn determines the magnitude of bacterial processes and ecological services. However, the complex interaction between resource identity and bacterial community composition (BCC) has been poorly understood so far. Using aquatic microcosms, we tested whether and how resource identity interacts with BCC in regulating bacterial respiration and bacterial functional diversity. Different aquatic macrophyte leachates were used as different carbon resources while BCC was manipulated through successional changes of bacterial populations in batch cultures. We observed that the same BCC treatment respired differently on each carbon resource; these resources also supported different amounts of bacterial functional diversity. There was no clear linear pattern of bacterial respiration in relation to time succession of bacterial communities in all leachates, i.e. differences on bacterial respiration between different BCC were rather idiosyncratic. Resource identity regulated the magnitude of respiration of each BCC, e.g. Ultricularia foliosa leachate sustained the greatest bacterial functional diversity and lowest rates of bacterial respiration in all BCC. We conclude that both resource identity and the BCC interact affecting the pattern and the magnitude of bacterial respiration in aquatic ecosystems.

  17. Activation of the Alternative Complement Pathway by Fungal Melanins

    PubMed Central

    Rosas, Á. L.; MacGill, R. S.; Nosanchuk, J. D.; Kozel, T. R.; Casadevall, A.

    2002-01-01

    Melanins are complex biological pigments formed by the oxidative polymerization of phenolic and/or indolic compounds. These pigments have been implicated in the pathogenesis of some microbial infections, malignancies, degenerative disorders, and autoimmune diseases. Recent studies have demonstrated that melanins have antigenic and anti-inflammatory properties. These findings led us to further explore the interaction of melanins with the immune system. Melanin particles (“ghosts”) were isolated from in vitro-melanized Cryptococcus neoformans cells and Aspergillus niger conidia and then incubated in normal human serum containing 125I-labeled complement C3. The results demonstrated deposition of C3 fragments onto the melanin ghosts as early as 1 min after incubation, with maximum deposition occurring after 12 min for C. neoformans-derived melanin ghosts and after 25 min for A. niger-derived melanin ghosts. The blocking of classical pathway activation did not affect the kinetics or total deposition of C3 onto the melanin ghosts, indicating that melanins activate complement through the alternative pathway. Immunofluorescence analysis of lungs from BALB/c mice injected intratracheally with C. neoformans-derived melanin ghosts demonstrated deposition of C3 fragments onto the ghosts. Small granulomas were also observed surrounding the ghosts. However, melanization of the C. neoformans cell wall did not alter the kinetics or total deposition of C3 fragments onto the fungal cells. The finding that melanin surfaces can activate the complement system suggests a potential mechanism for the pathogenesis of some degenerative and/or autoimmune processes that involve melanized cells as well as another potential role for melanin in the virulence of melanin-producing microorganisms. PMID:11777844

  18. 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

  19. Chemosorption of radiometals of interest to nuclear medicine by synthetic melanins.

    PubMed

    Howell, Robertha C; Schweitzer, Andrew D; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina A

    2008-04-01

    Melanins are high-molecular-weight pigments that are ubiquitous in nature and can also be synthesized in the laboratory from a variety of precursors. Melanins possess numerous interesting physicochemical characteristics, including electromagnetic radiation absorption properties and ability to chelate metals. We have recently reported that melanin has remarkable ionizing-radiation-shielding properties, possibly because it can interact with photons via Compton scattering. We hypothesized that, if administered internally, melanin could play a beneficial role by scavenging various radionuclides, in addition to radiation shielding. Three melanins were synthesized from dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-Dopa) and a combination of l-cysteine and l-Dopa. For control, synthetic melanin made from tyrosine polymerization (Sigma) was used. Melanins were characterized by elemental analysis. The chemosorption of 111In, 225Ac and 213Bi by melanins was studied at 37 degrees C for up to 48 h. The C-to-N molar ratios for dopamine, l-Dopa and tyrosine melanins were very close at 7.92, 8.39 and 8.48, respectively, while in mixed l-cysteine/l-Dopa melanin, that ratio was much lower at 3.63. This mixed melanin also contained 22.33% sulfur, thus confirming incorporation of S-containing motifs into its structure. Dopamine, l-Dopa and tyrosine melanins were very similar in their abilities to decrease the activity of 111In, 225Ac and 213Bi and their radioactive daughters in supernatants by >10-fold in comparison with the starting levels, while mixed l-cysteine/l-Dopa melanin was able to chemosorb only 111In. We have demonstrated that synthetic melanins made of diverse precursors can chemosorb 111In, 213Bi and 225Ac, with dopamine, l-Dopa and tyrosine melanins being the most efficient towards all three of these radionuclides. Such properties of synthetic melanins can contribute to the development of the novel melanin-based radioprotective materials.

  20. Bacterial mycophagy: definition and diagnosis of a unique bacterial-fungal interaction.

    PubMed

    Leveau, Johan H J; Preston, Gail M

    2008-01-01

    This review analyses the phenomenon of bacterial mycophagy, which we define as a set of phenotypic behaviours that enable bacteria to obtain nutrients from living fungi and thus allow the conversion of fungal into bacterial biomass. We recognize three types of bacterial strategies to derive nutrition from fungi: necrotrophy, extracellular biotrophy and endocellular biotrophy. Each is characterized by a set of uniquely sequential and differently overlapping interactions with the fungal target. We offer a detailed analysis of the nature of these interactions, as well as a comprehensive overview of methodologies for assessing and quantifying their individual contributions to the mycophagy phenotype. Furthermore, we discuss future prospects for the study and exploitation of bacterial mycophagy, including the need for appropriate tools to detect bacterial mycophagy in situ in order to be able to understand, predict and possibly manipulate the way in which mycophagous bacteria affect fungal activity, turnover, and community structure in soils and other ecosystems.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Superior Performance of Polyurethane Based on Natural Melanin Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Li, Ting; Wang, Xuefei; Ma, Piming; Bai, Huiyu; Dong, Weifu; Xie, Yi; Chen, Mingqing

    2016-11-14

    Melanin, a kind of well-known multifunctional biomacromolecules that are widely distributed in natural sources. In this work, polyurethane (PU)/melanin nanocomposites with enhanced tensile strength and toughness were successfully fabricated via in situ polymerization. It was found that the tensile strength (σ), elongation-at-break (εmax), and toughness (W) were improved from 5.6 MPa, 770%, and 33 MJ/m(3) for PU to 51.5 MPa, 1880%, and 413 MJ/m(3) for PU/melanin (2 wt %) nanocomposite, respectively. Micromorphology indicated that individualized melanin nanoparticles were specifically linked to the hard domains of PU chains and fine dispersed in matrix. FTIR, DSC, and AFM results suggested melanin induced an improvement in degree of phase separation, which resulted in remarkable enhancements in mechanical properties of PU. However, with further increasing content of melanin, a relatively large-scale phase separation was formed and led to a decrease in mechanical properties of PU. In addition, interactions between melanin and hard segments of PU were increased, leading to a higher TgHS. Moreover, the dynamic mechanical properties and rheological behavior of PU/melanin nanocomposites were further investigated.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Binding characteristics of fluoroquinolones to synthetic levodopa melanin.

    PubMed

    Ono, Chiho; Tanaka, Makoto

    2003-08-01

    To define the binding characteristics of fluoroquinolones to synthetic levodopa melanin, the binding of various drugs, including levofloxacin and ofloxacin, and positive controls (timolol and chloroquine), was investigated in-vitro. The affinity and capacity of the drug binding were calculated by Langmuir's adsorption isotherm. The affinity constant (K) and the binding capacity (r(max)) of levofloxacin were similar to those of timolol and much lower than those of chloroquine. Racemic ofloxacin and its enantiomers showed similar K and r(max), suggesting that the binding lacked stereoselectivity. The binding experiment with levofloxacin derivatives indicated that the basic nitrogen atom at position 7 of the quinolone ring, but not carboxyl group at position 3, would play a critical role in the interaction of fluoroquinolones with melanin. The melanin-drug complexes of levofloxacin and chloroquine were washed with neutral phosphate buffer, ethanol and 1 M HCl solution to explain the nature of the interaction of melanin with the drugs. Electrostatic forces mainly participate in the formation of the chloroquine-melanin complex, whereas van der Waals' and hydrophobic interactions are involved in the levofloxacin-melanin complex in addition to electrostatic forces. The interactions of various fluoroquinolones such as norfloxacin, enoxacin, sparfloxacin, ciprofloxacin and lomefloxacin with melanin were also studied. The results showed that the relative K value was: chloroquine approximately ciprofloxacin, sparfloxacin >/= lomefloxacin > timolol, levofloxacin approximately enoxacin, norfloxacin, and that the relative r(max) value was: norfloxacin, enoxacin >/= chloroquine, sparfloxacin > levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, timolol, lomefloxacin. The fluoroquinolones vary in their affinity and capacity to bind with melanin, and ciprofloxacin and sparfloxacin showed a stronger interaction with melanin than the other fluoroquinolones studied.

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

    PubMed

    Baul, Upayan; Kuroda, Kenichi; Vemparala, Satyavani

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baul, Upayan; Kuroda, Kenichi; Vemparala, Satyavani

    2014-08-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mathieu, Jacques

    2015-08-04

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

  14. Platelet interaction with bacterial toxins and secreted products.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Oonagh

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria that enter the bloodstream will encounter components of the cellular and soluble immune response. Platelets contribute to this response and have emerged as an important target for bacterial pathogens. Bacteria produce diverse extracellular proteins and toxins that have been reported to modulate platelet function. These interactions can result in complete or incomplete platelet activation or inhibition of platelet activation, depending on the bacteria and bacterial product. The nature of the platelet response may be highly relevant to disease pathogenesis.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. Interactive effects of viral and bacterial production on marine bacterial diversity.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Insights from protein-protein interaction studies on bacterial pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Gagarinova, Alla; Phanse, Sadhna; Cygler, Miroslaw; Babu, Mohan

    2017-09-01

    The threat bacterial pathogens pose to human health is increasing with the number and distribution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, while the rate of discovery of new antimicrobials dwindles. Proteomics is playing key roles in understanding the molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis, and in identifying disease outcome determinants. The physical associations identified by proteomics can provide the means to develop pathogen-specific treatment methods that reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance and alleviate the negative effects of broad-spectrum antibiotics on beneficial bacteria. Areas covered: This review discusses recent trends in proteomics and introduces new and developing approaches that can be applied to the study of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) underlying bacterial pathogenesis. The approaches examined encompass options for mapping proteomes as well as stable and transient interactions in vivo and in vitro. We also explored the coverage of bacterial and human-bacterial PPIs, knowledge gaps in this area, and how they can be filled. Expert commentary: Identifying potential antimicrobial candidates is confounded by the complex molecular biology of bacterial pathogenesis and the lack of knowledge about PPIs underlying this process. Proteomics approaches can offer new perspectives for mechanistic insights and identify essential targets for guiding the discovery of next generation antimicrobials.

  20. Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    AD_________________ Award Number: W81XWH-10-1-0066 TITLE: Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis... Melanin in Oncogenesis 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-10-1-0066 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER Vashisht Gopal Yennu...excess melanin production in melanocytes accumulated in localized areas of the skin, leading to formation of benign nevi and infrequently

  1. Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-28

    1-0066 TITLE: Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Vashisht Gopal Yennu-Nanda CONTRACTING...28-FEB-2011 2. REPORT TYPE FINAL 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 1 Feb 2010 – 31 January 2011 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Role of Melanin in...SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Increased solar radiation and other unknown factors induce excess melanin production in melanocytes accumulated in localized

  2. Assessing Bacterial Interactions Using Carbohydrate-Based Microarrays

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Microarray analysis of human epithelial cell responses to bacterial interaction.

    PubMed

    Mans, Jeffrey J; Lamont, Richard J; Handfield, Martin

    2006-09-01

    Host-pathogen interactions are inherently complex and dynamic. The recent use of human microarrays has been invaluable to monitor the effects of various bacterial and viral pathogens upon host cell gene expression programs. This methodology has allowed the host response transcriptome of several cell lines to be studied on a global scale. To this point, the great majority of reports have focused on the response of immune cells, including macrophages and dendritic cells. These studies revealed that the immune response to microbial pathogens is tailored to different microbial challenges. Conversely, the paradigm for epithelial cells has--until recently--held that the epithelium mostly served as a relatively passive physical barrier to infection. It is now generally accepted that the epithelial barrier contributes more actively to signaling events in the immune response. In light of this shift, this review will compare transcriptional profiling data from studies that involved host-pathogen interactions occurring with epithelial cells. Experiments that defined both a common core response, as well as pathogen-specific host responses will be discussed. This review will also summarize the contributions that transcriptional profiling analysis has made to our understanding of bacterial physio-pathogensis of infection. This will include a discussion of how host transcriptional responses can be used to infer the function of virulence determinants from bacterial pathogens interacting with epithelial mucosa. In particular, we will expand upon the lessons that have been learned from gastro-intestinal and oral pathogens, as well as from members of the commensal flora.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Chemosorption of radiometals of interest to nuclear medicine by synthetic melanins

    PubMed Central

    Howell, R. C.; Schweitzer, A. D.; Casadevall, A.; Dadachova, E. A.

    2008-01-01

    Introduction Melanins are high molecular weight pigments that are ubiquitous in nature and can also be synthesized in the laboratory from the variety of precursors. Melanins possess numerous interesting physico-chemical characteristics including electromagnetic radiation absorption properties and the ability to chelate metals. We have recently reported that melanin has remarkable ionizing radiation shielding properties, possibly because it can interact with photons via Compton scattering. We hypothesized that, if administered internally, in addition to radiation shielding, melanin could play a beneficial role by scavenging various radionuclides. Methods Three melanins were synthesized from dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-Dopa) and from combination of L-Cysteine and L-Dopa. For control synthetic melanin made from tyrosine polymerization (Sigma) was used. Melanins were characterized by elemental analysis. The chemosorption of 111In, 225Ac and 213Bi by melanins was studied at 37°C for up to 48 hrs. Results The C to N molar ratios for dopamine, L-Dopa and tyrosine melanins were very close at 7.92, 8.39, and 8.48, respectively, while in mixed L-cysteine/L-Dopa melanin that ratio was much lower at 3.63. This mixed melanin also contained 22.33% sulfur, thus confirming incorporation of S-containing motifs into its structure. Dopamine, L-Dopa and tyrosine melanins were very similar in their ability to decrease the activity of 111In, 225Ac and 213Bi and their radioactive daughters in the supernatants more than 10-fold in comparison with the starting levels while mixed L-cysteine/L-Dopa melanin was able to chemosorb only 111In. Conclusions We have demonstrated that synthetic melanins made of diverse precursors can chemosorb 111In, 213Bi and 225Ac with dopamine, L-dopa and tyrosine melanins being the most efficient towards all three of these radionuclides. Such properties of synthetic melanins can contribute to the development of the novel melanin

  18. 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.

  19. Exploring bacterial interspecific interactions for discovery of novel antimicrobial compounds.

    PubMed

    Tyc, Olaf; de Jager, Victor C L; van den Berg, Marlies; Gerards, Saskia; Janssens, Thierry K S; Zaagman, Niels; Kai, Marco; Svatos, Ales; Zweers, Hans; Hordijk, Cornelis; Besselink, Harrie; de Boer, Wietse; Garbeva, Paolina

    2017-07-01

    Recent studies indicated that the production of secondary metabolites by soil bacteria can be triggered by interspecific interactions. However, little is known to date about interspecific interactions between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In this study, we aimed to understand how the interspecific interaction between the Gram-positive Paenibacillus sp. AD87 and the Gram-negative Burkholderia sp. AD24 affects the fitness, gene expression and the production of soluble and volatile secondary metabolites of both bacteria. To obtain better insight into this interaction, transcriptome and metabolome analyses were performed. Our results revealed that the interaction between the two bacteria affected their fitness, gene expression and the production of secondary metabolites. During interaction, the growth of Paenibacillus was not affected, whereas the growth of Burkholderia was inhibited at 48 and 72 h. Transcriptome analysis revealed that the interaction between Burkholderia and Paenibacillus caused significant transcriptional changes in both bacteria as compared to the monocultures. The metabolomic analysis revealed that the interaction increased the production of specific volatile and soluble antimicrobial compounds such as 2,5-bis(1-methylethyl)-pyrazine and an unknown Pederin-like compound. The pyrazine volatile compound produced by Paenibacillus was subjected to bioassays and showed strong inhibitory activity against Burkholderia and a range of plant and human pathogens. Moreover, strong additive antimicrobial effects were observed when soluble extracts from the interacting bacteria were combined with the pure 2,5-bis(1-methylethyl)-pyrazine. The results obtained in this study highlight the importance to explore bacterial interspecific interactions to discover novel secondary metabolites and to perform simultaneously metabolomics of both, soluble and volatile compounds. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. New Systems for Studying Intercellular Interactions in Bacterial Vaginosis

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-11-18

    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.

  8. Host-bacterial interactions in inflammatory bowel disease.

    PubMed

    Mahida, Yashwant R; Rolfe, Vivien E

    2004-10-01

    Large numbers of different bacterial species are resident in the lumen of the distal gastrointestinal tract. The normal intestinal host-microbial interactions are not well understood, but the relationship is generally believed to be either mutually beneficial or beneficial to one without disadvantage to the other. Animal model and clinical studies suggest that IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) may develop in a susceptible individual when the normal host-bacterial relationship is dysregulated. In addition to rodent models, this article reviews studies that have investigated the cellular and molecular mechanisms of interactions between intestinal mucosal cells and the resident luminal bacteria in healthy individuals and patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Mechanisms by which the intestinal mucosa is able to avoid pro-inflammatory responses to commensal bacteria (and their products) but able to respond appropriately to luminal pathogens is currently an area of active investigation. Such studies are beginning to provide important clues regarding possible alterations in the mucosa that lead to the development of pro-inflammatory responses to resident bacteria in patients with IBD. Approaches to alter the intestinal microflora for therapeutic purposes and their potential mechanisms of action are also discussed.

  9. 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

  10. Bacterial hybrid histidine kinases in plant-bacteria interactions.

    PubMed

    Borland, Stéphanie; Prigent-Combaret, Claire; Wisniewski-Dyé, Florence

    2016-10-01

    Two-component signal transduction systems are essential for many bacteria to maintain homeostasis and adapt to environmental changes. Two-component signal transduction systems typically involve a membrane-bound histidine kinase that senses stimuli, autophosphorylates in the transmitter region and then transfers the phosphoryl group to the receiver domain of a cytoplasmic response regulator that mediates appropriate changes in bacterial physiology. Although usually found on distinct proteins, the transmitter and receiver modules are sometimes fused into a so-called hybrid histidine kinase (HyHK). Such structure results in multiple phosphate transfers that are believed to provide extra-fine-tuning mechanisms and more regulatory checkpoints than classical phosphotransfers. HyHK-based regulation may be crucial for finely tuning gene expression in a heterogeneous environment such as the rhizosphere, where intricate plant-bacteria interactions occur. In this review, we focus on roles fulfilled by bacterial HyHKs in plant-associated bacteria, providing recent findings on the mechanistic of their signalling properties. Recent insights into understanding additive regulatory properties fulfilled by the tethered receiver domain of HyHKs are also addressed.

  11. 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

  12. Bacterial responses and interactions with plants during rhizoremediation.

    PubMed

    Segura, Ana; Rodríguez-Conde, Sara; Ramos, Cayo; Ramos, Juan L

    2009-07-01

    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. © 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. 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

  14. Melanin and the ecology of southern pine beetle associated fungi

    Treesearch

    Kier D. Klepzig

    2006-01-01

    I report here a series of initial investigations into effects of melanins on the interactions of the three primary species of fungi associated with the southern pine beetle (SPB), and into possible means for mitigating the damaging activities of the melanistic fungus, Ophiostoma minus. Growth of the SPB mutualistic fungus Entomocorticium...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Multifaceted interactions of bacterial toxins with the gastrointestinal mucosa.

    PubMed

    Popoff, M R

    2011-07-01

    The digestive tract is one of the ecosystems that harbors the largest number and greatest variety of bacteria. Among them, certain bacteria have developed various strategies, including the synthesis of virulence factors such as toxins, to interact with the intestinal mucosa, and are responsible for various pathologies. A large variety of bacterial toxins of different sizes, structures and modes of action are able to interact with the gastrointestinal mucosa. Some toxins, termed enterotoxins, directly stimulate fluid secretion in enterocytes or cause their death, whereas other toxins pass through the intestinal barrier and disseminate by the general circulation to remote organs or tissues, where they are active. After recognition of a membrane receptor on target cells, toxins can act at the cell membrane by transducing a signal across the membrane in a hormone-like manner, by pore formation or by damaging membrane compounds. Other toxins can enter the cells and modify an intracellular target leading to a disregulation of certain physiological processes or disorganization of some structural architectures and cell death. Toxins are fascinating molecules, which mimic or interfere with eukaryotic physiological processes. Thereby, they have permitted the identification and characterization of new natural hormones or regulatory pathways. Besides use as protective antigens in vaccines, toxins offer multiple possibilities in pharmacology, such as immune modulation or specific delivery of a protein of interest into target cells.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Plant community richness and microbial interactions structure bacterial communities in soil.

    PubMed

    Schlatter, Daniel C; Bakker, Matthew G; Bradeen, James M; Kinkel, Linda L

    2015-01-01

    Plant species, plant community diversity and microbial interactions can significantly impact soil microbial communities, yet there are few data on the interactive effects of plant species and plant community diversity on soil bacterial communities. We hypothesized that plant species and plant community diversity affect soil bacterial communities by setting the context in which bacterial interactions occur. Specifically, we examined soil bacterial community composition and diversity in relation to plant "host" species, plant community richness, bacterial antagonists, and soil edaphic characteristics. Soil bacterial communities associated with four different prairie plant species (Andropogon gerardii, Schizachyrium scoparium, Lespedeza capitata, and' Lupinus perennis) grown in plant communities of increasing species richness (1, 4, 8, and 16 species) were sequenced. Additionally, soils were evaluated for populations of antagonistic bacteria and edaphic characteristics. Plant species effects on soil bacterial community composition were small and depended on plant community richness. In contrast, increasing plant community richness significantly altered soil bacterial community composition and was negatively correlated with bacterial diversity. Concentrations of soil carbon, organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium were similarly negatively correlated with bacterial diversity, whereas the proportion of antagonistic bacteria was positively correlated with soil bacterial diversity. Results suggest that plant species influences on soil bacterial communities depend on plant community diversity and are mediated through the effects of plant-derived resources on antagonistic soil microbes.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin.

    PubMed

    Eisenman, Helene C; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-02-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Pneumocystis Melanins Confer Enhanced Organism Viability

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    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. PMID:16757739

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Structure and Function of Iron-Loaded Synthetic Melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yiwen; Xie, Yijun; Wang, Zhao; Zang, Nanzhi; Carniato, Fabio; Huang, Yuran; Andolina, Christopher M.; Parent, Lucas R.; Ditri, Treffly B.; Walter, Eric D.; Botta, Mauro; Rinehart, Jeffrey D.; Gianneschi, Nathan C.

    2016-11-22

    We describe a synthetic method for increasing and controlling the iron loading of synthetic melanin nanoparticles and use the resulting materials to perform a systematic quantitative investigation on their structure- property relationship. A comprehensive analysis by magnetometry, electron paramagnetic resonance, and nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion reveals the complexities of their magnetic behavior and how these intraparticle magnetic interactions manifest in useful material properties such as their performance as MRI contrast agents. This analysis allows predictions of the optimal iron loading through a quantitative modeling of antiferromagnetic coupling that arises from proximal iron ions. This study provides a detailed understanding of this complex class of synthetic biomaterials and gives insight into interactions and structures prevalent in naturally occurring melanins.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Breeding lines and host QTL interaction with bacterial strains

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. 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).

  19. An update on the honesty of melanin-based color signals in birds.

    PubMed

    McGraw, Kevin J

    2008-04-01

    The control mechanisms and information content of melanin-based color signals in birds have generated much recent interest and controversy among evolutionary biologists. Initial experimental studies on this topic manipulated coarse metrics of an individual's condition (i.e. food intake, disease state) and failed to detect significant condition-dependence of melanin ornament expression. However, three new lines of research appear profitable and target specific factors associated with the production of melanin pigments. These include the role of (i) metals, (ii) amino acids, and (iii) testosterone and social interactions in shaping the extent and intensity of melanin-colored plumage patches. Here, I review recent studies of and evidence for these honesty-reinforcing mechanisms.

  20. 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.

  1. Actin: Structure, Function, Dynamics, and Interactions with Bacterial Toxins.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Sonja; Mannherz, Hans Georg

    Actin is one of the most abundant proteins in any eukaryotic cell and an indispensable component of the cytoskeleton. In mammalian organisms, six highly conserved actin isoforms can be distinguished, which differ by only a few amino acids. In non-muscle cells, actin polymerizes into actin filaments that form actin structures essential for cell shape stabilization, and participates in a number of motile activities like intracellular vesicle transport, cytokinesis, and also cell locomotion. Here, we describe the structure of monomeric and polymeric actin, the polymerization kinetics, and its regulation by actin-binding proteins. Probably due to its conserved nature and abundance, actin and its regulating factors have emerged as prefered targets of bacterial toxins and effectors, which subvert the host actin cytoskeleton to serve bacterial needs.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Interspecies interaction extends bacterial survival at solid-air interfaces.

    PubMed

    Ronan, Evan; Yeung, C William; Hausner, Martina; Wolfaardt, Gideon M

    2013-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of biofilms in natural and man-made environments, research on surface-associated cells has focused primarily on solid-liquid interfaces. This study evaluated the extent to which bacterial cells persist on inanimate solid-air interfaces. The desiccation tolerance of bacterial strains isolated from indoor air, as well as of a test strain (Pseudomonas aeruginosa), was determined at different levels of relative humidity (RH) using the large droplet inoculation method in an aerosol chamber. The cells survived longer at lower (25 and 42%) than at high RH (95%). Four of the seven indoor strains selected for further study showed extended period of survival following deposition as 0.05-0.1 ml of washed culture followed by desiccation, each with different effects on the survival of the test strain, P. aeruginosa. A strain closely related to Arthrobacter species afforded the highest level of protection to the test strain. Even though the desiccation-tolerant strains survived when they were deposited as bioaerosols, the protective role towards the test strain was not observed when the latter was deposited as a bioaerosol. These, which are often-unculturable, bacteria may go undetected during routine monitoring of biofouling, thereby allowing them to act as reservoirs and extending the habitat range of undesired microorganisms.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Interaction of Francisella tularensis bacterial cells with dynamic speckles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Microbial melanins for radioprotection and bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Cordero, Radames J B; Vij, Raghav; Casadevall, Arturo

    2017-09-01

    Microbial melanins provide a biocompatible and scalable approach for bioremediation and radioprotection technologies due to their physicochemical properties. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  15. Interactions between Biocide Cationic Agents and Bacterial Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Campanac, C.; Pineau, L.; Payard, A.; Baziard-Mouysset, G.; Roques, C.

    2002-01-01

    The resistance of bacterial biofilms to physical and chemical agents is attributed in the literature to various interconnected processes. The limitation of mass transfer alters the growth rate, and physiological changes in the bacteria in the film also appear. The present work describes an approach to determination of the mechanisms involved in the resistance of bacteria to quaternary ammonium compounds (benzalkonium chloride) according to the C-chain lengths of those compounds. For Pseudomonas aeruginosa CIP A 22, the level of resistance of the bacteria in the biofilm relative to that of planktonic bacteria increased with the C-chain length. For cells within the biofilm, the exopolysaccharide induced a characteristic increase in surface hydrophilicity. However, this hydrophilicity was eliminated by simple resuspension and washing. The sensitivity to quaternary ammonium compounds was restored to over 90%. Staphylococcus aureus CIP 53 154 had a very high level of resistance when it was in the biofilm form. A characteristic of bacteria from the biofilm was a reduction in the percent hydrophobicity, but the essential point is that this hydrophobicity was retained after the biofilm bacteria were resuspended and washed. The recovery of sensitivity was thus only partial. These results indicate that the factors involved in biofilm resistance to quaternary ammonium compounds vary according to the bacterial modifications induced by the formation of a biofilm. In the case of P. aeruginosa, we have underlined the involvement of the exopolysaccharide and particularly the three-dimensional structure (water channels). In the case of S. aureus, the role of the three-dimensional structure is limited and drastic physiological changes in the biofilm cells are more highly implicated in resistance. PMID:11959584

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

    PubMed

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavans, Joel; Oppenheim, Amos

    2006-12-01

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

  1. Potential effect of cationic liposomes on interactions with oral bacterial cells and biofilms.

    PubMed

    Sugano, Marika; Morisaki, Hirobumi; Negishi, Yoichi; Endo-Takahashi, Yoko; Kuwata, Hirotaka; Miyazaki, Takashi; Yamamoto, Matsuo

    2016-01-01

    Although oral infectious diseases have been attributed to bacteria, drug treatments remain ineffective because bacteria and their products exist as biofilms. Cationic liposomes have been suggested to electrostatically interact with the negative charge on the bacterial surface, thereby improving the effects of conventional drug therapies. However, the electrostatic interaction between oral bacteria and cationic liposomes has not yet been examined in detail. The aim of the present study was to examine the behavior of cationic liposomes and Streptococcus mutans in planktonic cells and biofilms. Liposomes with or without cationic lipid were prepared using a reverse-phase evaporation method. The zeta potentials of conventional liposomes (without cationic lipid) and cationic liposomes were -13 and 8 mV, respectively, and both had a mean particle size of approximately 180 nm. We first assessed the interaction between liposomes and planktonic bacterial cells with a flow cytometer. We then used a surface plasmon resonance method to examine the binding of liposomes to biofilms. We confirmed the binding behavior of liposomes with biofilms using confocal laser scanning microscopy. The interactions between cationic liposomes and S. mutans cells and biofilms were stronger than those of conventional liposomes. Microscopic observations revealed that many cationic liposomes interacted with the bacterial mass and penetrated the deep layers of biofilms. In this study, we demonstrated that cationic liposomes had higher affinity not only to oral bacterial cells, but also biofilms than conventional liposomes. This electrostatic interaction may be useful as a potential drug delivery system to biofilms.

  2. Beneficial and Deleterious Bacterial - Host Interactions in Chronic Wound Pathophysiology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-02

    The presence of biofilm causes chronic inflammation , leading to impaired healing rates and host mortality. This review describes the deleterious... inflammation , leading to impaired healing rates and host mortality. This review describes the deleterious bacterial–host interactions, as well as the...biofilm causes chronic inflammation , leading to impaired healing rates and host mortality. This review describes the deleterious bacterial–host

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Chromophore/protein interaction in bacterial sensory rhodopsin and bacteriorhodopsin.

    PubMed Central

    Spudich, J L; McCain, D A; Nakanishi, K; Okabe, M; Shimizu, N; Rodman, H; Honig, B; Bogomolni, R A

    1986-01-01

    Retinal analogues with altered conjugated double bond systems or altered stereochemistry were incorporated into the phototaxis receptor sensory rhodopsin (SR) and the light-driven proton pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR) from Halobacterium halobium. Wavelength shifts in absorption ("opsin shifts") due to analogue interaction with the protein microenvironment demonstrate that the same overall electrostatic and steric properties of the retinal binding-site structures exist in both proteins despite their different functions. pi-Electron calculations from the opsin shifts lead to a new description of protein charge distribution that applies to the binding sites of both SR and BR. The new data extends the previously proposed external point charge model for BR to include an ion-pair protein/chromophore interaction near the beta-ionone moiety. The new data modifies the previously proposed external point-charge model, the derivation of which involved an experimentally erroneous opsin shift for one of the BR analogues. PMID:2937462

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Identification of 180 million years old, probably unchanged melanine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beyermann, K.; Hasenmaier, D.

    1977-01-01

    The comparison of the infrared spectra of recent sepia melanine and of the content of the ink sac of fossilized cuttlefish indicates that the 180 million years old substance is unchanged melanine. Both substances behave identically on heating. Other procedures for identification of melanine are surveyed critically.

  2. 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

  3. 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. Copyright © 2013 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Interactive effects of solar radiation and dissolved organic matter on bacterial activity and community structure

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, María Teresa; Sommaruga, Ruben

    2007-01-01

    We studied the interactive effects of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and solar radiation on the activity and community structure of bacteria from an alpine lake. Activity was assessed both at the community level as leucine incorporation rates and at the single-cell level by microautoradiography. Fluorescent in situ hybridization and signal amplification by catalysed reporter deposition (CARD-FISH) was used to track changes in the bacterial community composition. Bacteria-free filtrates of different DOM sources (lake, algae or soil) were incubated either in the dark or exposed to solar radiation. Afterwards, the natural bacterial assemblage was inoculated and the cultures incubated in the dark for 24–48 h. Bacterial activity was enhanced in the first 24 h in the soil and algal DOM amendments kept in the dark. After 48 h, the enhancement effect was greatly reduced. The initial bacterial community was dominated by Betaproteobacteria followed by Actinobacteria. The relative abundance (expressed as a percentage of DAPI-stained cells) of Betaproteobacteria increased first in dark incubated DOM amendments, but after 48 h no significant differences were detected among treatments. In contrast, the relative abundance of Actinobacteria increased in pre-irradiated DOM treatments. Although Betaproteobacteria dominated at the end of the experiment, the relative abundance of their R-BT subgroup differed among treatments. Changes in bacterial community activity were significantly correlated with those of the relative abundance and activity of Betaproteobacteria, whereas the contribution of Actinobacteria to the bulk activity was very modest. Our results indicate a negative effect of DOM photoalteration on the bulk bacterial activity. The magnitude of this effect was time-dependent and related to rapid changes in the bacterial assemblage composition. PMID:17686018

  8. Host-Bacterial Interactions in Post-treatment Apical Periodontitis: A Metaproteome Analysis.

    PubMed

    Provenzano, José Claudio; Antunes, Henrique S; Alves, Flávio R F; Rôças, Isabela N; Alves, Wilber S; Silva, Márcia R S; Siqueira, José F

    2016-06-01

    This study evaluated the bacterial and human metaproteome of root apexes and the matched inflammatory lesions from teeth with post-treatment apical periodontitis. Root apexes and matched inflammatory lesions from root canal-treated teeth with apical periodontitis were obtained during periradicular surgery. All root canal fillings were rated as adequate on the basis of radiographs and cone-beam computed tomography. The specimens were cryopulverized and subjected to metaproteomic analysis for human and bacterial proteins by using a mass spectrometry platform that is based on nanoflow liquid chromatography coupled with linear ion trap quadrupole Velos Orbitrap. The metaproteome analyses revealed the presence of viable and metabolically active human and bacterial cells in both apexes and lesions. Several bacterial proteins of interest for pathogenicity and therapeutics were identified in both apexes and lesions, including proteins related to antibiotic resistance, proteolytic function, stress response, adhesion, and virulence. Many human proteins related to immune defense mechanisms were also detected in both root apex and lesion specimens, including immunoglobulins, complement system, and proteins linked to T-cell and B-cell activation, neutrophil microbicidal processes, antigen recognition/presentation, bone resorption, and protection against tissue damage. Occurrence of host defense factors from the innate and adaptive immune responses and bacterial virulence, survival, and resistance proteins in matched root apexes/periradicular inflammatory lesions indicates a complex and dynamic host-pathogen interaction in teeth with post-treatment apical periodontitis. Copyright © 2016 American Association of Endodontists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-07-01

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

  16. FtsZ Bacterial Cytoskeletal Polymers on Curved Surfaces: The Importance of Lateral Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hörger, Ines; Velasco, Enrique; Rivas, Germán; Vélez, Marisela; Tarazona, Pedro

    2008-01-01

    A recent theoretical article provided a mechanical explanation for the formation of cytoskeletal rings and helices in bacteria assuming that these shapes arise, at least in part, from the interaction of the inherent mechanical properties of the protein polymers and the constraints imposed by the curved cell membrane (Andrews, S., and A. P. Arkin. 2007. Biophys. J. 93:1872–1884). Due to the lack of experimental data regarding the bending rigidity and preferential bond angles of bacterial polymers, the authors explored their model over wide ranges of preferred curvature values. In this letter, we present the shape diagram of the FtsZ bacterial polymer on a curved surface but now including recent experimental data on the in vitro formed FtsZ polymers. The lateral interactions between filaments observed experimentally change qualitatively the shape diagram and indicate that the formation of rings over spirals is more energetically favored than estimated in the above-mentioned article. PMID:18359798

  17. 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.

  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. Atomic-scale simulations of reactive oxygen plasma species interacting with bacterial cell walls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yusupov, M.; Neyts, E. C.; Khalilov, U.; Snoeckx, R.; van Duin, A. C. T.; Bogaerts, A.

    2012-09-01

    In recent years there has been growing interest in the use of low-temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas for biomedical applications. Currently, however, there is very little fundamental knowledge regarding the relevant interaction mechanisms of plasma species with living cells. In this paper, we investigate the interaction of important plasma species, such as O3, O2 and O atoms, with bacterial peptidoglycan (or murein) by means of reactive molecular dynamics simulations. Specifically, we use the peptidoglycan structure to model the gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus murein. Peptidoglycan is the outer protective barrier in bacteria and can therefore interact directly with plasma species. Our results demonstrate that among the species mentioned above, O3 molecules and especially O atoms can break important bonds of the peptidoglycan structure (i.e. C-O, C-N and C-C bonds), which subsequently leads to the destruction of the bacterial cell wall. This study is important for gaining a fundamental insight into the chemical damaging mechanisms of the bacterial peptidoglycan structure on the atomic scale.

  1. 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.

  2. Using ATTO dyes to probe bacterial interactions with the marine diatom Pseudo-nitzschia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehic, S.; Sison-Mangus, M.

    2016-02-01

    Pseudo-nitzschia blooms are known to be highly toxic and detrimental to wildlife. The neurotoxin produced by the algae can ripple through the entire food web creating a direct impact on oceanic life and human-related industries. With coastal blooms increasing in both size and duration in recent years, it is crucial that we uncover more microbial interactions that may affect the toxicity of these blooms. Current harmful algal bloom studies have shown that different bacterial consortia can have a great impact Pseudo-nitzschia physiology. More specifically, research suggests that bacteria affect both growth rates and domoic acid concentrations of laboratory grown cultures. However, these studies do not explore the attachment patterns of these bacteria with the diatom. Bacterial attachment may dictate the different types of interactions between bacteria and the diatoms, a trait that is largely unexplored in the symbiotic interactions between the two organisms. In this study, we seek to identify direct and indirect interactions between four bacteria taxa from different phyla and three different species of Pseudo-nitzschia. Our preliminary scanning electron microscopy and DAPI staining experiments hint at distinct differences in attachment among bacterial taxa. To explore this work further, we aim to employ ATTO dyes and epifluorescent microscopy on both binary and multiple cultures to visualize patterns in attachment. By utilizing ATTO dyes with distinct wavelength emissions, we can perform a series experiment that highlights the interaction between bacteria and diatoms, without inserting a fluorescent reporter gene in the bacteria. Multiple cultures will be used to identify possible cooperative or negative interactive traits between bacteria that can affect diatom host physiology. Implications on both phytoplankton physiology and nutrient cycling will be subsequently discussed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. Bacterial protein interaction networks: puzzle stones from solved complex structures add to a clearer picture.

    PubMed

    Terradot, Laurent; Noirot-Gros, Marie-Francoise

    2011-06-01

    Global scale studies of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks have considerably expanded our view of how proteins act in the cell. In particular, bacterial "interactome" surveys have revealed that proteins can sometimes interact with a large number of protein partners and connect different cellular processes. More targeted, pathway-orientated PPI studies have also helped to propose functions for unknown proteins based on the "guilty by association" principle. However, given the immense repertoire of PPIs generated and the variability of PPI networks, more studies are required to understand the role(s) of these interactions in the cell. With the availability of bioinformatic analysis tools, transcriptomics and co-expression experiments for a given interaction, interactomes are being deciphered. More recently, functional and structural studies have been derived from these PPI networks. In this review, we will give a number of examples of how combining functional and structural studies into PPI networks has contributed to understanding the functions of some of these interactions. We discuss how interactomes now represent a unique opportunity to determine the structures of bacterial protein complexes on a large scale by the integration of multiple technologies. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011

  5. Raman spectroscopy based toolkit for mapping bacterial social interactions relevant to human and plant health

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couvillion, Sheha Polisetti

    Bacteria interact and co-exist with other microbes and with higher organisms like plants and humans, playing a major role in their health and well being. These ubiquitous single celled organisms are so successful, because they can form organized communities, called biofilms, that protect them from environmental stressors and enable communication and cooperation among members of the community. The work described in this thesis develops a toolkit of analytical techniques centered around Raman microspectroscopy and imaging representing a powerful approach to non-invasively investigate bacterial communities, yielding molecular information at the sub-micrometer length scale. Bacterial cellular components of non-pigmented and pigmented rhizosphere strains are characterized, and regiospecific SERS is used for cases where resonantly enhanced background signals obscure the spectra. Silver nanoparticle colloids were synthesized in situ, in the presence of the cells to form a proximal coating and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed features attributed to flavins. SERS enabled in situ acquisition of Raman spectra and chemical images in highly autofluorescent P.aeruginosa biofilms. In combination with PCA, this allowed for non-invasive spatial mapping of bacterial communities and revealed differences between strains and nutrients in the secretion of virulence factor pyocyanin. The rich potential of using Raman microspectroscopy to study plant-microbe interactions is demonstrated. Effect of exposure to oxidative stress, on both the wild type Pantoea sp. YR343 and carotenoid mutant Delta crtB, was assessed by following the intensity of the 1520 cm -1 and 1126 cm-1 Raman bands, respectively, after treatment with various concentrations of H2O2. Significant changes were observed in these marker bands even at concentrations (1 mM) below the point at which the traditional plate-based viability assay shows an effect (5-10 mM), thus establishing the value of Raman

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-11

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

  10. Interactions between accumulated copper, bacterial community structure and histamine levels in crayfish meat during storage.

    PubMed

    Soedarini, Bernadeta; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; van Straalen, Nico M; Widianarko, Budi; Röling, Wilfred F M

    2014-08-01

    Pollution in aquaculture areas may negatively impact edible species and threaten seafood quality and safety. The aim of this study was to determine the interaction between copper and bacteria in the aquatic habitat and their impact upon crustaceans. Marbled crayfish was chosen as a model of aquatic crustaceans and the influence of metal contamination on bacterial community structure in water used to culture crayfish and in crayfish themselves was investigated. Histamine, an allergen commonly formed by certain groups of bacteria in crustacean edible tissue during storage, was also determined. Copper exposure increased its concentration in crayfish meat by 17.4%, but the copper concentration remained within acceptable food safety limits. Elevated copper levels affected the bacterial community both in the water used to cultivate crayfish and in the marbled crayfish themselves. Cluster analysis of 16S rRNA-gene based microbial community fingerprints revealed that copper impacted the bacterial community in the water and in the crayfish meat. However, copper exposure reduced the formation of histamine in crayfish meat during storage by 66.3%. Copper from the habitat appears to reduce histamine accumulation in crayfish meat during storage by affecting the bacterial community structure of the cultivation water and most likely also in the intestine of the crayfish. From a food safety point of view, copper treatment during the aqua culturing of crustaceans has a positive impact on the postharvest stage. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Farinati, Silvia; DalCrso, Giovanni; Panigati, Monica; Furini, Antonella

    2011-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Panigati, Monica; Furini, Antonella

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

  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. Mechanical interactions in bacterial colonies and the surfing probability of beneficial mutations

    PubMed Central

    Farrell, Fred D.

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial conglomerates such as biofilms and microcolonies are ubiquitous in nature and play an important role in industry and medicine. In contrast to well-mixed cultures routinely used in microbial research, bacteria in a microcolony interact mechanically with one another and with the substrate to which they are attached. Here, we use a computer model of a microbial colony of rod-shaped cells to investigate how physical interactions between cells determine their motion in the colony and how this affects biological evolution. We show that the probability that a faster-growing mutant ‘surfs’ at the colony's frontier and creates a macroscopic sector depends on physical properties of cells (shape, elasticity and friction). Although all these factors contribute to the surfing probability in seemingly different ways, their effects can be summarized by two summary statistics that characterize the front roughness and cell alignment. Our predictions are confirmed by experiments in which we measure the surfing probability for colonies of different front roughness. Our results show that physical interactions between bacterial cells play an important role in biological evolution of new traits, and suggest that these interactions may be relevant to processes such as de novo evolution of antibiotic resistance. PMID:28592660

  20. 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.

  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 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. Retention of the cyanobacterial neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-l-alanine in melanin and neuromelanin-containing cells--a possible link between Parkinson-dementia complex and pigmentary retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Berg, Cecilia; Brittebo, Eva B; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar

    2009-02-01

    beta-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic amino acid produced by cyanobacteria, has been suggested to be involved in the etiology of a neurodegenerative disease complex which includes Parkinson-dementia complex (PDC). In PDC, neuromelanin-containing neurons in substantia nigra are degenerated. Many PDC patients also have an uncommon pigmentary retinopathy. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of (3)H-BMAA in mice and frogs, with emphasis on pigment-containing tissues. Using autoradiography, a distinct retention of (3)H-BMAA was observed in melanin-containing tissues such as the eye and neuromelanin-containing neurons in frog brain. Analysis of the binding of (3)H-BMAA to Sepia melanin in vitro demonstrated two apparent binding sites. In vitro-studies with synthetic melanin revealed a stronger interaction of (3)H-BMAA with melanin during synthesis than the binding to preformed melanin. Long-term exposure to BMAA may lead to bioaccumulation in melanin- and neuromelanin-containing cells causing high intracellular levels, and potentially changed melanin characteristics via incorporation of BMAA into the melanin polymer. Interaction of BMAA with melanin may be a possible link between PDC and pigmentary retinopathy.

  5. Physiological and biochemical perspectives of non-salt tolerant plants during bacterial interaction against soil salinity.

    PubMed

    Radhakrishnan, Ramalingam; Baek, Kwang Hyun

    2017-07-01

    Climatic changes on earth affect the soil quality of agricultural lands, especially by increasing salt deposition in soil, which results in soil salinity. Soil salinity is a major challenge to growth and reproduction among glycophytes (including all crop plants). Soil bacteria present in the rhizosphere and/or roots naturally protect plants from the adverse effects of soil salinity by reprogramming the stress-induced physiological changes in plants. Bacteria can enrich the soil with major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) in a form easily available to plants and prevent the transport of excess sodium to roots (exopolysaccharides secreted by bacteria bind with sodium ions) for maintaining ionic balance and water potential in cells. Salinity also affects plant growth regulators and suppresses seed germination and root and shoot growth. Bacterial secretion of indole-3-acetic acid and gibberellins compensates for the salt-induced hormonal decrease in plants, and bacterial 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase synthesis decreases ethylene production to stimulate plant growth. Furthermore, bacteria modulate the redox state of salinity-affected plants by enhancing antioxidants and polyamines, which leads to increased photosynthetic efficiency. Bacteria-induced accumulation of compatible solutes in stressed plants regulates plant cellular activities and prevents salt stress damage. Plant-bacterial interaction reprograms the expression of salt stress-responsive genes and proteins in salinity-affected plants, resulting in a precise stress mitigation metabolism as a defense mechanism. Soil bacteria increase the fertility of soil and regulate the plant functions to prevent the salinity effects in glycophytes. This review explains the current understanding about the physiological changes induced in glycophytes during bacterial interaction to alleviate the adverse effects of soil salinity stress. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights

  6. 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.

  7. Bioinspired bright noniridescent photonic melanin supraballs

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Ming; Hu, Ziying; Wang, Zhao; Li, Yiwen; Tormo, Alejandro Diaz; Le Thomas, Nicolas; Wang, Boxiang; Gianneschi, Nathan C.; Shawkey, Matthew D.; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2017-01-01

    Structural colors enable the creation of a spectrum of nonfading colors without pigments, potentially replacing toxic metal oxides and conjugated organic pigments. However, significant challenges remain to achieve the contrast needed for a complete gamut of colors and a scalable process for industrial application. We demonstrate a feasible solution for producing structural colors inspired by bird feathers. We have designed core-shell nanoparticles using high–refractive index (RI) (~1.74) melanin cores and low-RI (~1.45) silica shells. The design of these nanoparticles was guided by finite-difference time-domain simulations. These nanoparticles were self-assembled using a one-pot reverse emulsion process, which resulted in bright and noniridescent supraballs. With the combination of only two ingredients, synthetic melanin and silica, we can generate a full spectrum of colors. These supraballs could be directly added to paints, plastics, and coatings and also used as ultraviolet-resistant inks or cosmetics. PMID:28929137

  8. Bioinspired bright noniridescent photonic melanin supraballs.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Ming; Hu, Ziying; Wang, Zhao; Li, Yiwen; Tormo, Alejandro Diaz; Le Thomas, Nicolas; Wang, Boxiang; Gianneschi, Nathan C; Shawkey, Matthew D; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2017-09-01

    Structural colors enable the creation of a spectrum of nonfading colors without pigments, potentially replacing toxic metal oxides and conjugated organic pigments. However, significant challenges remain to achieve the contrast needed for a complete gamut of colors and a scalable process for industrial application. We demonstrate a feasible solution for producing structural colors inspired by bird feathers. We have designed core-shell nanoparticles using high-refractive index (RI) (~1.74) melanin cores and low-RI (~1.45) silica shells. The design of these nanoparticles was guided by finite-difference time-domain simulations. These nanoparticles were self-assembled using a one-pot reverse emulsion process, which resulted in bright and noniridescent supraballs. With the combination of only two ingredients, synthetic melanin and silica, we can generate a full spectrum of colors. These supraballs could be directly added to paints, plastics, and coatings and also used as ultraviolet-resistant inks or cosmetics.

  9. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

    van Overbeek, Leonard S; Saikkonen, Kari

    2016-03-01

    Research on different endophyte taxa and the related scientific disciplines have largely developed separately, and comprehensive community-level studies on bacterial and fungal interactions and their importance are lacking. Here, we discuss the transmission modes of bacteria and fungi and the nature of their interactions in the endosphere at both the molecular and physiological level. Mixed-community biofilms in the endosphere may have a role in protecting endophytes against encountered stresses, such as from plant defense systems. However, transmission from static (in biofilms) to free-living (planktonic) forms may be crucial for the exploration of new habitable spaces in plants. Important features previously recognized as plant-microbe interactions or antagonism in endophyte genomes and metagenomes are proposed to have essential roles in the modulation of endophyte communities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Infection Strategies of Bacterial and Viral Pathogens through Pathogen–Human Protein–Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Durmuş Tekir, Saliha; Çakir, Tunahan; Ülgen, Kutlu Ö

    2012-01-01

    Since ancient times, even in today’s modern world, infectious diseases cause lots of people to die. Infectious organisms, pathogens, cause diseases by physical interactions with human proteins. A thorough analysis of these interspecies interactions is required to provide insights about infection strategies of pathogens. Here we analyzed the most comprehensive available pathogen–human protein interaction data including 23,435 interactions, targeting 5,210 human proteins. The data were obtained from the newly developed pathogen–host interaction search tool, PHISTO. This is the first comprehensive attempt to get a comparison between bacterial and viral infections. We investigated human proteins that are targeted by bacteria and viruses to provide an overview of common and special infection strategies used by these pathogen types. We observed that in the human protein interaction network the proteins targeted by pathogens have higher connectivity and betweenness centrality values than those proteins not interacting with pathogens. The preference of interacting with hub and bottleneck proteins is found to be a common infection strategy of all types of pathogens to manipulate essential mechanisms in human. Compared to bacteria, viruses tend to interact with human proteins of much higher connectivity and centrality values in the human network. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis of the human proteins targeted by pathogens indicates crucial clues about the infection mechanisms of bacteria and viruses. As the main infection strategy, bacteria interact with human proteins that function in immune response to disrupt human defense mechanisms. Indispensable viral strategy, on the other hand, is the manipulation of human cellular processes in order to use that transcriptional machinery for their own genetic material transcription. A novel observation about pathogen–human systems is that the human proteins targeted by both pathogens are enriched in the regulation of

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Organomineral interactions as an important mechanism for stabilisation of bacterial residues in soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miltner, Anja; Achtenhagen, Jan; Kästner, Matthias

    2017-04-01

    Although plant material is the original input of organic matter to soils, microbial residues have been identified to contribute to a large extent to soil organic matter. However, until now it is unclear how microbial residues are stabilised in soil and protected from degradation. We hypothesised that organomineral interactions, in particular encrustation by oxides, may play an important role, which might vary depending on environmental conditions, e.g. redox potential. Therefore we produced 14C-labelled Escherichia coli cells and cell envelope fragments and coprecipitated these materials with Fe oxide or Al oxide. Mineral-free (control) and mineral-encrusted bacterial residues were incubated for 345 days at 20˚ C under either oxic or oxygen-limited conditions, and mineralisation was quantified by scintillation counting of the CO2 produced during incubation. Oxygen limitation was achieved by first exchanging the atmosphere in the incubation vessels with dinitrogen gas. After 100 days of incubation, the anoxic treatments were waterlogged to further decrease the redox potential, and after 290 days, glucose and nutrients were supplied to all treatments in order to foster microbial activity and consumption of electron acceptors. The mineralisation curves were fitted by double-exponential (0-100 days), first-order kinetic (100-290 days) and linear (290-345 days) models. The model parameters were tested for significant differences between the treatments by three-way ANOVA with post-hoc Bonferroni t-test. We found that encrustation by the oxides significantly reduced mineralisation of the bacterial residues. This effect was inversed by reductive dissolution of Fe oxides after substrate and nutrient addition to the oxygen-limited treatments, suggesting a significant role of the encrustation in stabilisation of the bacterial residues. We also observed that bacterial cell envelope fragments were generally slightly more resistant to mineralisation than whole cells. The

  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. Extracellular and intracellular melanin in inflammatory middle ear disease.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Mark A; Roehm, Pamela C; Bannan, Michael A; Lalwani, Anil K

    2014-06-01

    Melanin is a pigmented polymer with a known role in dermal solar protection. In vertebrates, melanogenesis has been reported in leukocyte populations, suggesting a potential role in innate immunity. In this study, we report the novel finding of melanin associated with chronic inflammation and speculate on its potential role in the middle ear and mastoid. Retrospective review of case series. Medical records of six patients who demonstrated melanin in the ear were reviewed. Six patients from 1 to 63 years of age were identified with extracellular melanin and melanin-laden histiocytes within the middle ear and/or mastoid air cells at time of surgery. Concurrent intraoperative findings included cholesteatoma (n = 3), chronic suppurative otitis media (n = 2), and coalescent mastoiditis (n = 1). Histologically, extracellular melanin and melanin-laden histiocytes were identified by Fontana-Masson stain; absence of melanocytes was confirmed by the absence of Melan-A staining. One patient had a positive stain for CD163 (a marker for macrophages). This case series is the first demonstration of melanin within middle ear mucosa without melanocytes in immediate proximity or metastatic melanocytic lesions. Melanin's presence in the setting of inflammation suggests that there may be a heretofore unreported link between the pigmentary and immune systems in the middle ear. 4.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Role of the σ54 Activator Interacting Domain in Bacterial Transcription Initiation

    SciTech Connect

    Siegel, Alexander R.; Wemmer, David E.

    2016-10-11

    Bacterial sigma factors are subunits of RNA polymerase that direct the holoenzyme to specific sets of promoters in the genome and are a central element of regulating transcription. Most polymerase holoenzymes open the promoter and initiate transcription rapidly after binding. However, polymerase containing the members of the σ54 family must be acted on by a transcriptional activator before DNA opening and initiation occur. A key domain in these transcriptional activators forms a hexameric AAA + ATPase that acts through conformational changes brought on by ATP hydrolysis. Contacts between the transcriptional activator and σ54 are primarily made through an N-terminal σ54 activator interacting domain (AID). To better understand this mechanism of bacterial transcription initiation, we characterized the σ54 AID by NMR spectroscopy and other biophysical methods and show that it is an intrinsically disordered domain in σ54 alone. In this paper, we identified a minimal construct of the Aquifex aeolicus σ54 AID that consists of two predicted helices and retains native-like binding affinity for the transcriptional activator NtrC1. Using the NtrC1 ATPase domain, bound with the non-hydrolyzable ATP analog ADP-beryllium fluoride, we studied the NtrC1–σ54 AID complex using NMR spectroscopy. We show that the σ54 AID becomes structured after associating with the core loops of the transcriptional activators in their ATP state and that the primary site of the interaction is the first predicted helix. Finally, understanding this complex, formed as the first step toward initiation, will help unravel the mechanism of σ54 bacterial transcription initiation.

  7. Interaction of a synthetic antimicrobial peptide with a model bilayer platform mimicking bacterial membranes.

    PubMed

    Niu, Lifang; Wohland, Thorsten; Knoll, Wolfgang; Köper, Ingo

    2017-08-31

    Tethered bimolecular lipid membranes are solid supported membrane systems, which provide a versatile model platform for the study of many membrane related processes. Here, such an architecture has been used to study the interaction of the small synthetic antimicrobial peptide, V4, with membranes of various mixed lipid compositions, including membranes containing bacterial lipids. By investigating the binding of the peptide using a range of surface analytical techniques such as surface plasmon resonance and surface plasmon field-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, a clear preference of the peptide for negatively charged membranes over zwitterionic ones has been shown. Additionally, the interactions seemed to indicate a cooperative behavior for the peptide binding to a membrane.

  8. Imaging Bacterial Interspecies Chemical Interactions by Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering.

    PubMed

    Bodelón, Gustavo; Montes-García, Verónica; Costas, Celina; Pérez-Juste, Ignacio; Pérez-Juste, Jorge; Pastoriza-Santos, Isabel; Liz-Marzán, Luis M

    2017-05-23

    Microbes produce bioactive chemical compounds to influence the physiology and growth of their neighbors, and our understanding of their biological activities may be enhanced by our ability to visualize such molecules in vivo. We demonstrate here the application of surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy for simultaneous detection of quorum-sensing-regulated pyocyanin and violacein, produced respectively by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum bacterial colonies, grown as a coculture on agar-based plasmonic substrates. Our plasmonic approach allowed us to visualize the expression and spatial distribution of the microbial metabolites in the coculture taking place as a result of interspecies chemical interactions. By combining surface-enhanced Raman scattering spectroscopy with analysis of gene expression we provide insight into the chemical interplay occurring between the interacting bacterial species. This highly sensitive, cost-effective, and easy to implement approach allows spatiotemporal imaging of cellular metabolites in live microbial colonies grown on agar with no need for sample preparation, thereby providing a powerful tool for the analysis of microbial chemotypes.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-28

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Phytoplankton and bacterial community structures and their interaction during red-tide phenomena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ismail, Mona Mohamed; Ibrahim, Hassan Abd Allah

    2017-07-01

    Phytoplankton and bacteria diversity were studied before, during and after red tide phenomena during spring season 2015 in the Eastern Harbour (E.H.) of Alexandria, Egypt. Fifty five species of phytoplankton were identified and represented different distinct classes "Bacillariophyceae; Dinophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Cyanophyceae and Eugelenophyceae". Also, Diatom formed the most dominant group. The average number of the phytoplankton density varied from 4.8 × 104 to 1.1 × 106 cell l-1 during the study period and Skeletonema costatum was the agent causing the red tide. The existence percentages of bacteria ranged from 2.6 to 17.9% on all media tested. The bacterial isolates on the nutrient agar medium represented the highest existence with a total percentage of 43.6%, followed by MSA medium (25.7%), while the lowest percentage was for the AA medium at 7.8%. However, twelve isolates were selected as representative for bacterial community during study interval. Based on the morphological, biochemical, physiological and enzymatic characteristics, the bacterial strains were described. Depending on the 16S rDNA gene sequence, three common antagonists were aligned as: Vibrio toranzoniae strain Vb 10.8, Ruegeria pelagia strain NBRC 102038 and Psychrobacter adeliensis strain DSM 15333. The interaction between these bacteria and S. costatum was studied. The growth of S. costatum was significantly lower whenever each bacterium was present as compared to axenic culture. More specifically, 30% (v/v) of the all tested bacteria showed the strongest algicidal activities, as all S. costatum cells were killed after two days. 10% of R. pelagia and P. adeliensis also showed significant algicidal activities within six days.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Biophysical analysis of the interaction of the serum protein human β2GPI with bacterial lipopolysaccharide

    PubMed Central

    Gries, Anna; Prassl, Ruth; Fukuoka, Satoshi; Rössle, Manfred; Kaconis, Yani; Heinbockel, Lena; Gutsmann, Thomas; Brandenburg, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    There are several human serum proteins for which no clear role is yet known. Among these is the abundant serum protein beta2-glycoprotein-I (β2GPI), which is known to bind to negatively charged phospholipids as well as to bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and was therefore proposed to play a role in the immune response. To understand the details of these interactions, a biophysical analysis of the binding of β2GPI to LPS and phosphatidylserine (PS) was performed. The data indicate only a moderate tendency of the protein (1) to influence the LPS-induced cytokine production in vitro, (2) to react exothermally with LPS in a non-saturable way, and (3) to change its local microenvironment upon LPS association. Additionally, we found that the protein binds more strongly to phosphatidylserine (PS) than to LPS. Furthermore, β2GPI converts the LPS bilayer aggregates into a stronger multilamellar form, and reduces the fluidity of the hydrocarbon moiety of LPS due to a rigidification of the acyl chains. From these data it can be concluded that β2GPI plays a role as an immune-modulating agent, but there is much less evidence for a role in immune defense against bacterial toxins such as LPS. PMID:24918058

  13. A Bacterial Toxin Inhibits DNA Replication Elongation Through a Direct Interaction with the β Sliding Clamp

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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. Melanin-templated rapid synthesis of silver nanostructures.

    PubMed

    Kiran, George Seghal; Dhasayan, Asha; Lipton, Anuj Nishanth; Selvin, Joseph; Arasu, Mariadhas Valan; Al-Dhabi, Naif Abdullah

    2014-05-01

    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. 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. 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 packaging materials and

  16. Link between facultative melanin and tobacco use among African Americans.

    PubMed

    King, Gary; Yerger, Valerie B; Whembolua, Guy-Lucien; Bendel, Robert B; Kittles, Rick; Moolchan, Eric T

    2009-06-01

    Nicotine's affinity for melanin-containing tissues may result from its precursor function in melanin synthesis or the irreversible binding of melanin and nicotine. The objective of this study was to investigate a hypothesized association of tobacco use, dependence, and nicotine exposure with melanin pigmentation among African American smokers. A criterion-based sample was employed to collect data from a study of 147 adult African American current smokers. Carbon monoxide, saliva cotinine samples, and skin reflectance measures were obtained from each participant. Questionnaire data on demographic, sociological and behavioral questions related to smoking and skin color were gathered. The three dependent measures were the average number of cigarettes per day (CPD), Fagerström Test of Nicotine Dependence (FTND) score, and cotinine concentration. Analysis of variance, Pearson Correlations, and Multiple Linear Regression were conducted to analyze findings. The mean constitutive melanin reading was 56.3 and 66.5 for facultative melanin. Respondents on average smoked 19 CPD, had a mean FTND of 5.6, and a cotinine concentration of 435 ng/ml. Facultative melanin level was correlated with CPD and cotinine concentration in the bivariate analysis. The multiple linear regression results revealed that facultative melanin was significantly and positively related to CPD, the FTND, and cotinine. The results of this analysis support the hypothesis of a positive association between melanin levels and tobacco use, dependence, and exposure among African American smokers. This analysis may have important implications for research and interventions on tobacco dependence and disease outcomes. Further research on melanin and nicotine among African Americans as well as other population groups is warranted.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2017-05-15

    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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Green tea catechins inhibit bacterial DNA gyrase by interaction with its ATP binding site.

    PubMed

    Gradisar, Helena; Pristovsek, Primoz; Plaper, Andreja; Jerala, Roman

    2007-01-25

    Catechins are the main ingredients of green tea extracts and have been shown to possess versatile biological activities, including antimicrobial. We determined that the catechins inhibit bacterial DNA gyrase by binding to the ATP binding site of the gyrase B subunit. In the group of four tested catechins, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) had the highest activity, followed by epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin (EGC). Specific binding to the N-terminal 24 kDa fragment of gyrase B was determined by fluorescence spectroscopy and confirmed using heteronuclear two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy of the EGCG-15N-labeled gyrase B fragment complex. Protein residues affected by binding to EGCG were identified through chemical shift perturbation. Molecular docking calculations suggest that the benzopyran ring of EGCG penetrates deeply into the active site while the galloyl moiety anchors it to the cleft through interactions with its hydroxyl groups, which explains the higher activity of EGCG and ECG.

  2. Plutonium interaction with a bacterial strain isolated from the waste isolation pilot plant (WIPP) environment

    SciTech Connect

    Strietelmeier, B.A.; Kraus, S.M.; Leonard, P.A.; Triay, I.R.

    1996-12-31

    This work was conducted as part of a series of experiments to determine the association and interaction of various actinides with bacteria isolated from the WIPP site. The majority of bacteria that exist at the site are expected to be halophiles, or extreme halophiles, due to the high concentration of salt minerals at the location. Experiments were conducted to determine the toxicity of plutonium-n-239, neptunium-237 and americium-243 to several species of these halophiles and the results were reported elsewhere. As an extension of these experiments, we report an investigation of the type of association that occurs between {sup 239}Pu and the isolate WIPP-1A, isolated by staff at Brookhaven National Laboratory, when grown in a high-salt, defined medium. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques, we demonstrate a surface association of the {sup 239}Pu with the bacterial cells.

  3. 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.

  4. Facing the challenges of multiscale modelling of bacterial and fungal pathogen–host interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:26857943

  5. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. 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

    2017-03-01

    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. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Bacterial non-host resistance: interactions of Arabidopsis with non-adapted Pseudomonas syringae strains.

    PubMed

    Mishina, Tatiana E; Zeier, Jürgen

    2007-11-01

    Although interactions of plants with virulent and avirulent host pathogens are under intensive study, relatively little is known about plant interactions with non-adapted pathogens and the molecular events underlying non-host resistance. Here we show that two Pseudomonas syringae strains for which Arabidopsis is a non-host plant, P. syringae pathovar (pv.) glycinea (Psg) and P. syringae pv. phaseolicola (Psp),induce salicylic acid (SA) accumulation and pathogenesis-related gene expression at inoculation sites, and that induction of these defences is largely dependent on bacterial type III secretion. The defence signalling components activated by non-adapted bacteria resemble those initiated by host pathogens, including SA, non-expressor of PR-1, non-race specific disease resistance 1, phytoalexin-deficient 4 and enhanced disease susceptibility 1. However, some differences in individual defence pathways induced by Psg and Psp exist, suggesting that for each strain, distinct sets of type III effectors are recognized by the plant. Although induction of SA-related defences occurs, it does not directly contribute to bacterial non-host resistance, because Arabidopsis mutants compromised in SA signalling and other classical defence pathways do not permit enhanced survival of Psg or Psp in leaves. The finding that numbers of non-adapted bacteria in leaf extracellular spaces rapidly decline after inoculation suggests that they fail to overcome toxic or structural defence barriers preceding SA-related responses. Consistent with this hypothesis, rapid, type III secretion system-independent upregulation of the lignin biosynthesis genes, PAL1 and BCB, which might contribute to an early induced, cell wall-based defence mechanism, occurs in response to non-adapted bacteria. Moreover, knockout of PAL1 permits increased leaf survival of non-host bacteria. In addition, different survival rates of non-adapted bacteria in leaves from Arabidopsis accessions and mutants with distinct

  12. Lack of evidence for a reciprocal interaction between bacterial and cytomegalovirus infection in the allogeneic stem cell transplantation setting.

    PubMed

    Vinuesa, Víctor; Solano, Carlos; Giménez, Estela; Piñana, José L; Boluda, Juan Carlos Hernández; Amat, Paula; Navarro, David

    2016-11-01

    Pathogenic interactions between bacteria and cytomegalovirus (CMV) may potentially occur early after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). This possibility nevertheless has not been investigated in depth. This was a retrospective study that included 170 consecutive patients who underwent 173 allo-SCTs. Both bacterial infection (most of which were bacteremic) and CMV DNAemia were detected in 78 allo-SCTs (62.9%). In total, 51 and 32 episodes of bacterial infection preceded or occurred after CMV DNAemia detection, respectively. Both events were diagnosed concurrently in four allo-SCTs. The cumulative incidence of bacterial infection (of any type) over the study period was comparable in patients with or without a preceding episode of CMV DNAemia (P = 0.321). Cox proportional hazards regression analysis failed to identify CMV DNAemia as a significant risk factor for bacterial infection. Likewise, the cumulative incidence of CMV DNAemia within the study period was not significantly different in patients with or without a preceding episode of bacterial infection (P = 0.189). Furthermore, the occurrence of bacterial infection within episodes of active CMV infection had no apparent impact on the kinetics of CMV DNAemia. Our data, thus, do not support the existence of a bidirectional synergistic effect between bacterial infection and active CMV infection in the allo-SCT setting. © 2016 Steunstichting ESOT.

  13. Binding of betaxolol, metoprolol and oligonucleotides to synthetic and bovine ocular melanin, and prediction of drug binding to melanin in human choroid-retinal pigment epithelium.

    PubMed

    Pitkänen, Leena; Ranta, Veli-Pekka; Moilanen, Hanna; Urtti, Arto

    2007-11-01

    To characterize the binding of betaxolol, metoprolol and oligonucleotides to synthetic and bovine ocular melanin, and to predict the binding to melanin in human choroid-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The shape, size and specific surface area of synthetic melanin and isolated melanin granules from bovine choroid-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were characterized by SEM, laser diffractometry and BET. The binding of betaxolol, metoprolol, fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labeled phosphodiesther oligonucleotides and 6-carboxyfluorescein (6-CF) to melanin was determined. The binding of beta-blockers to melanin in human choroid-RPE was estimated based on binding parameters and the melanin content in human choroid-RPE. Bovine melanin granules were round or oval with a mean diameter of ca. 1 mum. Synthetic granules were slightly smaller and irregular and had a two times higher specific surface area than bovine melanin. Synthetic melanin bound more betaxolol and metoprolol than bovine melanin and both melanin types showed a high affinity and a low affinity binding sites. The human choroid-RPE was predicted to contain 3-19 times more melanin bound drug than unbound drug at typical therapeutic concentrations (1-1,000 ng/ml). FITC-labeled oligonucleotides and 6-CF did not bind to melanin. The binding of lipophilic drugs to biological melanin differs from that of synthetic melanin. Lipophilic beta-blockers are expected to bind significantly to melanin in human choroid-RPE: only a small fraction of the drug being in active free form. In contrast, phosphodiesther oligonucleotides do not seem to bind to melanin.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Interactions between Lactobacillus crispatus and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)-Associated Bacterial Species in Initial Attachment and Biofilm Formation

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Diversity in insect pigmentation, encompassing a wide range of colors and spatial patterns, is among the most noticeable features distinguishing species, individuals, and body regions within individuals. In holometabolous species, a significant portion of such diversity can be attributed to the melanin synthesis genes, but this has not been formally assessed in more basal insect lineages. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of how a set of melanin genes (ebony, black, aaNAT, yellow, and tan) contributes to the pigmentation pattern in a hemipteran, Oncopeltus fasciatus For all five genes, RNA interference depletion caused alteration of black patterning in a region-specific fashion. Furthermore, the presence of distinct nonblack regions in forewings and hindwings coincides with the expression of ebony and aaNAT in these appendages. These findings suggest that the region-specific phenotypes arise from regional employment of various combinations of the melanin genes. Based on this insight, we suggest that melanin genes are used in two distinct ways: a "painting" mode, using predominantly melanin-promoting factors in areas that generally lack black coloration, and, alternatively, an "erasing" mode, using mainly melanin-suppressing factors in regions where black is the dominant pigment. Different combinations of these strategies may account for the vast diversity of melanin patterns observed in insects. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. The bacterial SMC complex displays two distinct modes of interaction with the chromosome.

    PubMed

    Kleine Borgmann, Luise A K; Ries, Jonas; Ewers, Helge; Ulbrich, Maximilian H; Graumann, Peter L

    2013-05-30

    The bacterial SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) complex binds nonspecifically to DNA in vitro and forms two discrete subcellular centers in vivo, one in each cell half. How this distribution is maintained is unclear. We show by time-lapse imaging of single molecules that the localization is achieved through limited, yet rapid movement of the SMC subunits through the nucleoid. Accessory ScpAB subunits mediate the arrest of 20% of SMC molecules at the center of a cell half and do not move together with the 80% mobile SMC molecules. Only free SMC, but not the preformed SMC/ScpAB complex, was able to bind to DNA in vitro, revealing distinct functions of SMC fractions. Thus, whereas SMC alone dynamically interacts with many sites on the chromosome, it forms static assemblies together with ScpAB complex partners. Our findings reveal two distinct modes of interaction of SMC with the chromosome and indicate that limited diffusion within a confined space and transient arrest may be a general mechanism for positioning proteins within a chromosome and within a noncompartmentalized cell. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. Interaction of two photoreceptors in the regulation of bacterial photosynthesis genes

    PubMed Central

    Metz, Sebastian; Haberzettl, Kerstin; Frühwirth, Sebastian; Teich, Kristin; Hasewinkel, Christian; Klug, Gabriele

    2012-01-01

    The expression of photosynthesis genes in the facultatively photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is controlled by the oxygen tension and by light quantity. Two photoreceptor proteins, AppA and CryB, have been identified in the past, which are involved in this regulation. AppA senses light by its N-terminal BLUF domain, its C-terminal part binds heme and is redox-responsive. Through its interaction to the transcriptional repressor PpsR the AppA photoreceptor controls expression of photosynthesis genes. The cryptochrome-like protein CryB was shown to affect regulation of photosynthesis genes, but the underlying signal chain remained unknown. Here we show that CryB interacts with the C-terminal domain of AppA and modulates the binding of AppA to the transcriptional repressor PpsR in a light-dependent manner. Consequently, binding of the transcription factor PpsR to its DNA target is affected by CryB. In agreement with this, all genes of the PpsR regulon showed altered expression levels in a CryB deletion strain after blue-light illumination. These results elucidate for the first time how a bacterial cryptochrome affects gene expression. PMID:22434878

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    In this work we have studied the antagonistic interactions existing among cultivable bacteria isolated from three ecological niches (rhizospheric soil, roots and stem/leaves) of the traditional natural medicinal plant Echinacea purpurea. The three compartments harboured different taxonomic assemblages of strains, which were previously reported to display different antibiotic resistance patterns, suggesting the presence of differential selective pressure due to antagonistic molecules in the three compartments. Antagonistic interactions were assayed by the cross-streak method and interpreted using a network-based analysis. In particular 'within-niche inhibition' and 'cross-niche inhibition' were evaluated among isolates associated with each compartment as well as between isolates retrieved from the three different compartments respectively. Data obtained indicated that bacteria isolated from the stem/leaves compartment were much more sensitive to the antagonistic activity than bacteria from roots and rhizospheric soil. Moreover, both the taxonomical position and the ecological niche might influence the antagonistic ability/sensitivity of different strains. Antagonism could play a significant role in contributing to the differentiation and structuring of plant-associated bacterial communities. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. The Zebrafish as a New Model for the In Vivo Study of Shigella flexneri Interaction with Phagocytes and Bacterial Autophagy

    PubMed Central

    Mostowy, Serge; Boucontet, Laurent; Mazon Moya, Maria J.; Sirianni, Andrea; Boudinot, Pierre; Hollinshead, Michael; Cossart, Pascale; Herbomel, Philippe; Levraud, Jean-Pierre; Colucci-Guyon, Emma

    2013-01-01

    Autophagy, an ancient and highly conserved intracellular degradation process, is viewed as a critical component of innate immunity because of its ability to deliver cytosolic bacteria to the lysosome. However, the role of bacterial autophagy in vivo remains poorly understood. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as a vertebrate model for the study of infections because it is optically accessible at the larval stages when the innate immune system is already functional. Here, we have characterized the susceptibility of zebrafish larvae to Shigella flexneri, a paradigm for bacterial autophagy, and have used this model to study Shigella-phagocyte interactions in vivo. Depending on the dose, S. flexneri injected in zebrafish larvae were either cleared in a few days or resulted in a progressive and ultimately fatal infection. Using high resolution live imaging, we found that S. flexneri were rapidly engulfed by macrophages and neutrophils; moreover we discovered a scavenger role for neutrophils in eliminating infected dead macrophages and non-immune cell types that failed to control Shigella infection. We observed that intracellular S. flexneri could escape to the cytosol, induce septin caging and be targeted to autophagy in vivo. Depletion of p62 (sequestosome 1 or SQSTM1), an adaptor protein critical for bacterial autophagy in vitro, significantly increased bacterial burden and host susceptibility to infection. These results show the zebrafish larva as a new model for the study of S. flexneri interaction with phagocytes, and the manipulation of autophagy for anti-bacterial therapy in vivo. PMID:24039575

  15. Marine Microscale Interactions: Exploring the Ecological Relationships Between a Cosmopolitan Eukaryotic Diatom Thalassiosira rotula and its Associated Heterotrophic Bacterial Assemblage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahern, O. M.; Williams, T.; Whittaker, K. A.; Hunt, D.; Rynearson, T. A.

    2016-02-01

    Interspecies microscale interactions between eukaryotic marine diatoms and heterotrophic bacteria play a role in global oceanic biogeochemical cycling by influencing nutrient and carbon cycling, rates of primary production, and phytoplankton community structure. Studies have shown that marine diatoms carry a specific bacterial assemblage in their phycosphere, but little research has been done to identify these bacterial species and to characterize their ecological relationships despite their strong potential to regulate diatom growth and production. In order to further explore ecological interactions between bacteria and diatoms, we are characterizing the taxonomic composition of phycosphere communities from isolates of the cosmopolitan marine diatom Thalassiosira rotula collected from around the globe and identifying whether environmental factors, different host T. rotula strains, space or season correlate with different phycosphere communities. For our initial analyses, we amplified and sequenced the 16S rDNA v34 region of the phycosphere assemblage of 53 T. rotula isolates from eight locations around the globe and obtained > 420,000 paired-end sequences. We identified > 250 different bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Although many OTUs were shared across populations which identified to members of Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, we identified distinct bacterial assemblages associated with different locations. The presence of distinct phycosphere bacterial communities may regulate diatom growth which potentially affects rates of primary production, nutrient bioavailablity, and, ultimately, energy transfer to higher trophic levels.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Nanda, Arun M.; Thormann, Kai

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Mechanisms of Assembly and Cellular Interactions for the Bacterial Genotoxin CDT

    PubMed Central

    Nesic, Dragana; Stebbins, C. Erec

    2005-01-01

    Many bacterial pathogens that cause different illnesses employ the cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) to induce host cell DNA damage, leading to cell cycle arrest or apoptosis. CDT is a tripartite holotoxin that consists of a DNase I family nuclease (CdtB) bound to two ricin-like lectin domains (CdtA and CdtC). Through the use of structure-based mutagenesis, biochemical and cellular toxicity assays, we have examined several key structural elements of the CdtA and CdtC subunits for their importance to toxin assembly, cell surface binding, and activity. CdtA and CdtC possess N- and C-terminal nonglobular polypeptides that extensively interact with each other and CdtB, and we have determined the contribution of each to toxin stability and activity. We have also functionally characterized two key binding elements of the holotoxin revealed from its crystal structure. One is an aromatic cluster in CdtA, and the other is a long and deep groove that is formed at the interface of CdtA and CdtC. We demonstrate that mutations of the aromatic patch or groove residues impair toxin binding to HeLa cells and that cell surface binding is tightly correlated with intoxication of cultured cells. These results establish several structure-based hypotheses for the assembly and function of this toxin family. PMID:16304609

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-07-13

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

  3. 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.

  4. Carbon utilization profiles of river bacterial strains facing sole carbon sources suggest metabolic interactions.

    PubMed

    Goetghebuer, Lise; Servais, Pierre; George, Isabelle F

    2017-05-01

    Microbial communities play a key role in water self-purification. They are primary drivers of biogenic element cycles and ecosystem processes. However, these communities remain largely uncharacterized. In order to understand the diversity-heterotrophic activity relationship facing sole carbon sources, we assembled a synthetic community composed of 20 'typical' freshwater bacterial species mainly isolated from the Zenne River (Belgium). The carbon source utilization profiles of each individual strain and of the mixed community were measured in Biolog Phenotype MicroArrays PM1 and PM2A microplates that allowed testing 190 different carbon sources. Our results strongly suggest interactions occurring between our planktonic strains as our synthetic community showed metabolic properties that were not displayed by its single components. Finally, the catabolic performances of the synthetic community and a natural community from the same sampling site were compared. The synthetic community behaved like the natural one and was therefore representative of the latter in regard to carbon source consumption. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. 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.

  6. Interaction of a bacterial dirhamnolipid with phosphatidylcholine membranes: a biophysical study.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

    FTIR spectroscopy and fluorescence polarization were used to show that a bacterial dirhamnolipid interacts with phospholipid membranes composed of DPPC, altering both the acyl chain and the interfacial region of the bilayer. Incorporation of increasing amounts of dirhamnolipid into (2)H-DPPC membranes broadened the transition and shifted the transition temperature toward lower values, according to the effect on the CD(2) stretching vibration. Examination of the (13)C=O stretching band of (13)C-DPPC indicated that, both below and above the phase transition, dirhamnolipid produced a shift of the band frequency toward higher values, indicating a strong dehydration of the phospholipid C=O groups, and therefore of the interfacial region of the membrane. The effects on DPH and TMA-DPH fluorescence polarization provided additional support to hypothesize on the location of trehalose lipid within the bilayer. The results shown here could help to explain some of the interesting membrane-related biological actions of rhamnolipids reported before.

  7. Effects of humic acid on the interactions between zinc oxide nanoparticles and bacterial biofilms

    DOE PAGES

    Ouyang, Kai; Yu, Xiao-Ying; Zhu, Yunlin; ...

    2017-08-26

    The effects of humic acid (HA) on interactions between ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) and Pseudomonas putida KT2440 biofilms at different maturity stages were investigated. Three stages of biofilm development were identified according to bacterial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) activity associated with biofilm development process. In the initial biofilm stage 1, the ATP content of bacteria was reduced by more than 90% when biofilms were exposed to ZnO NPs. But, in the mature biofilm stages 2 and 3, the ATP content was only slightly decreased. Biofilms at stage 3 exhibited less susceptibility to ZnO NPs than biofilms at stage 2. These resultsmore » suggest that more mature biofilms have a significantly higher tolerance to ZnO NPs compared to young biofilms. In addition, biofilms with intact extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) showed higher tolerance to ZnO NPs than those without EPS, indicating that EPS play a key role in alleviating the toxic effects of ZnO NPs. In both pure ZnO NPs and ZnO-HA mixtures, dissolved Zn2+ originating from the NPs significantly contributed to the overall toxicity. The presence of HA dramatically decreased the toxicity of ZnO NPs due to the binding of Zn2+ on HA. Furthermore, the combined results from this work suggest that the biofilm maturity stages and environmental constituents (such as humic acid) are important factors to consider when evaluating potential risks of NPs to ecological systems.« less

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. [Intervention of nicotinamide on skin melanin genesis after UVA exposed].

    PubMed

    Patam, Muhammad; Jin, Xi-peng; Zhang, Yu-bin; Pan, Jian-ying; Shen, Guang-zu

    2007-08-01

    To investigate the interference effect of nicotinamide on UVA-induced melanin genesis and melanin transport in human skin melanocyte. The optimum UVA dose expected to cause cell proliferation: 0.2 J/cm(2), nicotinamide was added immediately after the 0.2 J/cm(2) UVA exposure and the melanin content, cell cycles, cell apoptosis and mRNA express level were measured respectively. Melanin content in melanocytes was increased significantly after exposed to 0.2 J/cm(2) UVA. Melanin content in melanocytes was decreased after treatment with 10.0 mmol/ml nicotinamide following UVA exposure, but the cell cycles and the cell apoptosis rate were not significantly altered. mRNA express levels of TYR, TRP-1 were modulated by nicotinamide. Nicotinamide has more effect on decreasing melanin genesis after UVA exposure, nicotinamide also plays a role in modulating the mRNA express of TYR, TRP-1 gene. It is possible to consider nicotinamide as an efficient and safe sun screen to provide a certain level of protection for UVA exposed skin.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-Melanin Biosynthesis Inhibitors Increase Erythritol Production in Torula corallina, and DHN-Melanin Inhibits Erythrose Reductase

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. In vitro pharmacological interaction of caffeine and first-line antibiotics is antagonistic against clinically important bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Olajuyigbe, Olufunmiso O; Adeoye-Isijola, Morenike O; Okon, Victoria; Adedayo, Otunola; Coopoosamy, Roger M

    2017-01-01

    The in vitro antibacterial activity of pure caffeine powder and its interaction with first line antibiotic against bacterial isolates were investigated with the macrobroth dilution and the checkerboard assay methods. This study showed that caffeine and the antibiotics exhibited various degrees of antibacterial activities. While caffeine had MICs ranging between 67.19 and 268.75 µg/ml, chloramphenicol was characterized by MICs between 0.98 and 31.25 µg/ml, kanamycin - 15.63-62.5 µg/ml, nalidixic acid - 0.49-250 µg/ml, erythromycin - 0.49-62.5 µg/ml, tetracycline - 1.99-62.5 µg/ml and metronidazole - 15.63-31.25 µg/ml. Combining ½ MICs and MICs of caffeine with the antibiotics as well as direct combination of caffeine and the antibiotics resulted in significant reduction of antibiotics' effectiveness. The fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) for the combination of ½ MICs of caffeine with different antibiotics showed antagonistic interactions with the antibiotics except kanamycin which had additive and indifferent interactions with caffeine. The FICI of the MICs of caffeine combined with antibiotics showed a reduction in the number of antagonistic interactions as chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid and erythromycin showed some indifferent interactions while kanamycin was the only antibiotic that showed indifferent interaction against all the bacterial isolates. The direct combination of caffeine and the antibiotics resulted in significant antagonistic interactions higher than in the case when caffeine, at the ½ MICs and MICs, was combined with the antibiotics. Although caffeine demonstrated significant antibacterial activity against the selected bacterial isolates, its combination with the selected antibiotics resulted in significant antagonistic interactions. Caffeine should not be combined with antibiotics as this could result in serious therapeutic failure and, possibly, drug toxicity in vivo.

  20. Insight into bacterial virulence mechanisms against host immune response via the Yersinia pestis-human protein-protein interaction network.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huiying; Ke, Yuehua; Wang, Jian; Tan, Yafang; Myeni, Sebenzile K; Li, Dong; Shi, Qinghai; Yan, Yanfeng; Chen, Hui; Guo, Zhaobiao; Yuan, Yanzhi; Yang, Xiaoming; Yang, Ruifu; Du, Zongmin

    2011-11-01

    A Yersinia pestis-human protein interaction network is reported here to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. Up to 204 interactions between 66 Y. pestis bait proteins and 109 human proteins were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay and then combined with 23 previously published interactions to construct a protein-protein interaction network. Topological analysis of the interaction network revealed that human proteins targeted by Y. pestis were significantly enriched in the proteins that are central in the human protein-protein interaction network. Analysis of this network showed that signaling pathways important for host immune responses were preferentially targeted by Y. pestis, including the pathways involved in focal adhesion, regulation of cytoskeleton, leukocyte transendoepithelial migration, and Toll-like receptor (TLR) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling. Cellular pathways targeted by Y. pestis are highly relevant to its pathogenesis. Interactions with host proteins involved in focal adhesion and cytoskeketon regulation pathways could account for resistance of Y. pestis to phagocytosis. Interference with TLR and MAPK signaling pathways by Y. pestis reflects common characteristics of pathogen-host interaction that bacterial pathogens have evolved to evade host innate immune response by interacting with proteins in those signaling pathways. Interestingly, a large portion of human proteins interacting with Y. pestis (16/109) also interacted with viral proteins (Epstein-Barr virus [EBV] and hepatitis C virus [HCV]), suggesting that viral and bacterial pathogens attack common cellular functions to facilitate infections. In addition, we identified vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) as a novel interaction partner of YpkA and showed that YpkA could inhibit in vitro actin assembly mediated by VASP.

  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. BPhyOG: an interactive server for genome-wide inference of bacterial phylogenies based on overlapping genes.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingqin; Fu, Cong; Zhang, Da-Yong; Lin, Kui

    2007-07-25

    Overlapping genes (OGs) in bacterial genomes are pairs of adjacent genes of which the coding sequences overlap partly or entirely. With the rapid accumulation of sequence data, many OGs in bacterial genomes have now been identified. Indeed, these might prove a consistent feature across all microbial genomes. Our previous work suggests that OGs can be considered as robust markers at the whole genome level for the construction of phylogenies. An online, interactive web server for inferring phylogenies is needed for biologists to analyze phylogenetic relationships among a set of bacterial genomes of interest. BPhyOG is an online interactive server for reconstructing the phylogenies of completely sequenced bacterial genomes on the basis of their shared overlapping genes. It provides two tree-reconstruction methods: Neighbor Joining (NJ) and Unweighted Pair-Group Method using Arithmetic averages (UPGMA). Users can apply the desired method to generate phylogenetic trees, which are based on an evolutionary distance matrix for the selected genomes. The distance between two genomes is defined by the normalized number of their shared OG pairs. BPhyOG also allows users to browse the OGs that were used to infer the phylogenetic relationships. It provides detailed annotation for each OG pair and the features of the component genes through hyperlinks. Users can also retrieve each of the homologous OG pairs that have been determined among 177 genomes. It is a useful tool for analyzing the tree of life and overlapping genes from a genomic standpoint. BPhyOG is a useful interactive web server for genome-wide inference of any potential evolutionary relationship among the genomes selected by users. It currently includes 177 completely sequenced bacterial genomes containing 79,855 OG pairs, the annotation and homologous OG pairs of which are integrated comprehensively. The reliability of phylogenies complemented by annotations make BPhyOG a powerful web server for genomic and genetic

  3. 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.

  4. Field melanin mapping of the hairless scalp.

    PubMed

    Piérard, Gérald E; Piérard-Franchimont, Claudine; Quatresooz, Pascale

    2012-11-01

    Mottled subclinical melanoderma (MSM) is frequently seen on facial skin using the ultraviolet light enhanced visualization (ULEV) method. The corresponding aspect on the hairless scalp remains unknown. To explore the field distribution of melanin on the scalp of fair-skinned Caucasian subjects. The scalp was examined in 43 men with androgenic alopecia. The Visioscan(®) camera provided the ULEV pictures. Another optical (Visioface(®) Quick) device was used under white light illumination followed by colour contrast enhancement. This was reached after specific computer filtration of the cyan hue wavelengths. Under white light illumination, the scalp looked normal. MSM patterns were disclosed by both optical procedures as evenly scattered discrete patchy fields of hypermelanosis. The smaller rounded spots were restricted to the lips of the hair infundibula. Larger irregularly shaped spots predominated in the interfollicular areas. A few hypomelanotic spots were scattered over the scalp. The present observations based on dual optical methods possibly provide information about a patterned pathobiology of melanocytes on the scalp. The spotty MSM pattern looked similar to the reported aspects on the face. It somewhat resembled the widespread PUVA-induced lentiginosis. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  5. The expression of melanin-based plumage is separately modulated by exogenous oxidative stress and a melanocortin

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2009-01-01

    Melanin-based traits involved in animal communication have been traditionally viewed as occurring under strict genetic control. However, it is generally accepted that both genetic and environmental factors influence melanin production. Medical studies suggest that, among environmental factors influencing melanization, oxidative stress could play a relevant role. On the other hand, genetic control would be exerted by the melanocortin system, and particularly by the alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), which triggers the production of eumelanins (black pigments). To determine how the melanocortin system and an exogenous source of oxidative stress interact in the expression of melanin-based plumage, developing red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) were manipulated. Some partridges were injected with α-MSH, while other birds received a pro-oxidant molecule (diquat) in drinking water. Controls and birds receiving both treatments were also studied. Both α-MSH- and diquat-treated individuals presented larger eumelanin-based traits than controls, but α-MSH+diquat-treated birds showed the largest traits, suggesting that oxidative stress and melanocortins promote additive but independent effects. Diquat also induced a decline in the level of a key intracellular antioxidant (glutathione), which is associated with high expression of eumelanin-based signals in other bird species. Some scenarios for the evolution of melanin-based traits in relation to oxidative stress are proposed. PMID:19520801

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larson, Bjorg A.

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Quorum sensing is a language of chemical signals and plays an ecological role in algal-bacterial interactions

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Jin; Lyu, Yihua; Richlen, Mindy; Anderson, Donald M.; Cai, Zhonghua

    2017-01-01

    Algae are ubiquitous in the marine environment, and the ways in which they interact with bacteria are of particular interest in marine ecology field. The interactions between primary producers and bacteria impact the physiology of both partners, alter the chemistry of their environment, and shape microbial diversity. Although algal-bacterial interactions are well known and studied, information regarding the chemical-ecological role of this relationship remains limited, particularly with respect to quorum sensing (QS), which is a system of stimuli and response correlated to population density. In the microbial biosphere, QS is pivotal in driving community structure and regulating behavioral ecology, including biofilm formation, virulence, antibiotic resistance, swarming motility, and secondary metabolite production. Many marine habitats, such as the phycosphere, harbour diverse populations of microorganisms and various signal languages (such as QS-based autoinducers). QS-mediated interactions widely influence algal-bacterial symbiotic relationships, which in turn determine community organization, population structure, and ecosystem functioning. Understanding infochemicals-mediated ecological processes may shed light on the symbiotic interactions between algae host and associated microbes. In this review, we summarize current achievements about how QS modulates microbial behavior, affects symbiotic relationships, and regulates phytoplankton chemical ecological processes. Additionally, we present an overview of QS-modulated co-evolutionary relationships between algae and bacterioplankton, and consider the potential applications and future perspectives of QS.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Biochemical characterization of the interactions of the novel pleuromutilin derivative retapamulin with bacterial ribosomes.

    PubMed

    Yan, Kang; Madden, Lenore; Choudhry, Anthony E; Voigt, Christine S; Copeland, Robert A; Gontarek, Richard R

    2006-11-01

    Retapamulin is a semisynthetic pleuromutilin derivative being developed as a topical antibiotic for treating bacterial infections of the skin. It is potent in vitro against susceptible and multidrug-resistant organisms commonly associated with bacterial skin infections. We report detailed mode of action studies demonstrating that retapamulin binds to the bacterial ribosome with high affinity, inhibits ribosomal peptidyl transferase activity, and partially inhibits the binding of the initiator tRNA substrate to the ribosomal P-site. Taken together, these data distinguish the mode of action of retapamulin from that of other classes of antibiotics. This unique mode of action may explain the lack of clinically relevant, target-specific cross-resistance of retapamulin with antibacterials in current use.

  18. Biochemical Characterization of the Interactions of the Novel Pleuromutilin Derivative Retapamulin with Bacterial Ribosomes▿

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Kang ; Madden, Lenore; Choudhry, Anthony E.; Voigt, Christine S.; Copeland, Robert A.; Gontarek, Richard R.

    2006-01-01

    Retapamulin is a semisynthetic pleuromutilin derivative being developed as a topical antibiotic for treating bacterial infections of the skin. It is potent in vitro against susceptible and multidrug-resistant organisms commonly associated with bacterial skin infections. We report detailed mode of action studies demonstrating that retapamulin binds to the bacterial ribosome with high affinity, inhibits ribosomal peptidyl transferase activity, and partially inhibits the binding of the initiator tRNA substrate to the ribosomal P-site. Taken together, these data distinguish the mode of action of retapamulin from that of other classes of antibiotics. This unique mode of action may explain the lack of clinically relevant, target-specific cross-resistance of retapamulin with antibacterials in current use. PMID:16940066

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Aqueous two-phase system-derived biofilms for bacterial interaction studies.

    PubMed

    Yaguchi, Toshiyuki; Dwidar, Mohammed; Byun, Chang Kyu; Leung, Brendan; Lee, Siseon; Cho, Yoon-Kyoung; Mitchell, Robert J; Takayama, Shuichi

    2012-09-10

    We describe patterning of bacterial biofilms using polymer-based aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) microprinting protocols. The fully aqueous but selectively bacteria-partitioning nature of the ATPS allows spatially distinct localization of suspensions of bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli with high precision. The ATPS patterned bacterial suspensions form spatially distinct biofilms over time. Due to the fully aqueous and gentle noncontact printing procedures employed, coculture biofilms composed of multiple types of bacteria could be printed not only adjacent to each other but also directly over another layer of existing biofilm. In addition, the ATPS environment also allows free diffusion of small molecules between spatially distinct and localized bacterial suspensions and biofilms. This enables biofilms to chemically affect or be affected by neighboring biofilms or planktonic cells, even if they consist of different strains or species. We show that a β-lactamase producing biofilm confers ampicillin resistance to neighboring nonresistant planktonic cells, as seen by a 3,600-fold increase in survival of the ampicillin-sensitive strain. These examples demonstrate the ability of ATPS-based biofilm patterning methods to enable unique studies on commensalistic effects between bacterial species.

  6. Differential Antifungal Activity of Human and Cryptococcal Melanins with Structural Discrepancies

    PubMed Central

    Correa, Néstor; Covarrubias, Cristian; Rodas, Paula I.; Hermosilla, Germán; Olate, Verónica R.; Valdés, Cristián; Meyer, Wieland; Magne, Fabien; Tapia, Cecilia V.

    2017-01-01

    Melanin is a pigment found in all biological kingdoms, and plays a key role in protection against ultraviolet radiation, oxidizing agents, and ionizing radiation damage. Melanin exerts an antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, and parasites. We demonstrated an antifungal activity of synthetic and human melanin against Candida sp. The members of the Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii species complexes are capsulated yeasts, which cause cryptococcosis. For both species melanin is an important virulence factor. To evaluate if cryptococcal and human melanins have antifungal activity against Cryptococcus species they both were assayed for their antifungal properties and physico-chemical characters. Melanin extracts from human hair and different strains of C. neoformans (n = 4) and C. gattii (n = 4) were investigated. The following minimum inhibitory concentrations were found for different melanins against C. neoformans and C. gattii were (average/range): 13.7/(7.8–15.6) and 19.5/(15.6–31.2) μg/mL, respectively, for human melanin; 273.4/(125–>500) and 367.2/(125.5–>500) μg/mL for C. neoformans melanin and 125/(62.5–250) and 156.2/(62–250) μg/mL for C. gattii melanin. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we observed that human melanin showed a compact conformation and cryptococcal melanins exposed an amorphous conformation. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) showed some differences in the signals related to C-C bonds of the aromatic ring of the melanin monomers. High Performance Liquid Chromatography established differences in the chromatograms of fungal melanins extracts in comparison with human and synthetic melanin, particularly in the retention time of the main compound of fungal melanin extracts and also in the presence of minor unknown compounds. On the other hand, MALDI-TOF-MS analysis showed slight differences in the spectra, specifically the presence of a minor intensity ion in synthetic and human melanin, as well as in some fungal melanin

  7. Differential Antifungal Activity of Human and Cryptococcal Melanins with Structural Discrepancies.

    PubMed

    Correa, Néstor; Covarrubias, Cristian; Rodas, Paula I; Hermosilla, Germán; Olate, Verónica R; Valdés, Cristián; Meyer, Wieland; Magne, Fabien; Tapia, Cecilia V

    2017-01-01

    Melanin is a pigment found in all biological kingdoms, and plays a key role in protection against ultraviolet radiation, oxidizing agents, and ionizing radiation damage. Melanin exerts an antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, and parasites. We demonstrated an antifungal activity of synthetic and human melanin against Candida sp. The members of the Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii species complexes are capsulated yeasts, which cause cryptococcosis. For both species melanin is an important virulence factor. To evaluate if cryptococcal and human melanins have antifungal activity against Cryptococcus species they both were assayed for their antifungal properties and physico-chemical characters. Melanin extracts from human hair and different strains of C. neoformans (n = 4) and C. gattii (n = 4) were investigated. The following minimum inhibitory concentrations were found for different melanins against C. neoformans and C. gattii were (average/range): 13.7/(7.8-15.6) and 19.5/(15.6-31.2) μg/mL, respectively, for human melanin; 273.4/(125->500) and 367.2/(125.5->500) μg/mL for C. neoformans melanin and 125/(62.5-250) and 156.2/(62-250) μg/mL for C. gattii melanin. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we observed that human melanin showed a compact conformation and cryptococcal melanins exposed an amorphous conformation. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) showed some differences in the signals related to C-C bonds of the aromatic ring of the melanin monomers. High Performance Liquid Chromatography established differences in the chromatograms of fungal melanins extracts in comparison with human and synthetic melanin, particularly in the retention time of the main compound of fungal melanin extracts and also in the presence of minor unknown compounds. On the other hand, MALDI-TOF-MS analysis showed slight differences in the spectra, specifically the presence of a minor intensity ion in synthetic and human melanin, as well as in some fungal melanin extracts. We

  8. Effects of polyphenol compounds melanin on NAFLD/NASH prevention.

    PubMed

    Belemets, Natalia; Kobyliak, Nazarii; Virchenko, Oleksandr; Falalyeyeva, Tetyana; Olena, Tsyryuk; Bodnar, Petro; Savchuk, Oleksiy; Galenova, Tetyana; Caprnda, Martin; Rodrigo, Luis; Skladany, Lubomir; Delev, Delian; Opatrilova, Radka; Kruzliak, Peter; Beregova, Tetyana; Ostapchenko, Lyudmyla

    2017-04-01

    One of the pathogenic mechanisms of the progression non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). So, antioxidant therapy is necessary for successful treatment of the liver injury. We have paid attention to melanin produced by yeast Nadsoniella nigra strain X-1 as novel antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents with low toxicity. In current study we aimed to investigate the preventive effect of melanin on the monosodium glutamate (MSG) induced NAFLD model in rats. The study was carried out on 45 Wistar rats that were divided into 3 groups: intact, MSG- and MSG+melanin groups (n=15 in each group). Newborn rats of MSG- and MSG+melanin groups were administered with MSG (4mg/g, 8μl/g, subcutaneously) at 2nd-10th days of life. Since the age of 1 month, rats of MSG-group were treated with water (0.25ml/100g), rats of MSG+melanin groups-with melanin (1mg/kg) dissolved in water (0.25ml/100g). had been performed intermittently (two-week courses alternated with two-week breaks) for 3 months. In 4-month rats anthropometrical parameters and visceral adipose tissue (VAT) mass were estimated. To assess morphological changes in liver we used NAS (NAFLD activity score). The content of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-12Bp40, interferon (INF)-γ) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-10, tumor growth factor (TGF)-β) were measured by ELISA. We found significantly lower total score (1.0±0.19 vs 3.33±0.36, p<0.001), degree of steatosis (0.73±0.18 vs 1.80±0.17, p<0.001) and manifestation of lobular inflammation (0.27±0.11 vs 1.20±0.17, p<0.001) due to NAFLD activity score in MSG+melanin group compared to MSG-obesity. NASH we confirmed only in 33.3% of rats with MSG-obesity that was significantly higher than after melanin (6.7%) administration (p=0.033). Melanin administration reduce amount of visceral fat on 44.5% (p<0.001) as compared to MSG-obesity group. Melanin reduced

  9. Adaptive Melanin Response of the Soil Fungus Aspergillus niger to UV Radiation Stress at “Evolution Canyon”, Mount Carmel, Israel

    PubMed Central

    Singaravelan, Natarajan; Grishkan, Isabella; Beharav, Alex; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Nevo, Eviatar

    2008-01-01

    Background Adaptation is an evolutionary process in which traits in a population are tailored by natural selection to better meet the challenges presented by the local environment. The major discussion relating to natural selection concerns the portraying of the cause and effect relationship between a presumably adaptive trait and selection agents generating it. Therefore, it is necessary to identify trait(s) that evolve in direct response to selection, enhancing the organism's fitness. “Evolution Canyon” (EC) in Israel mirrors a microcosmic evolutionary system across life and is ideal to study natural selection and local adaptation under sharply, microclimatically divergent environments. The south-facing, tropical, sunny and xeric “African” slope (AS) receives 200%–800% higher solar radiation than the north-facing, temperate, shady and mesic “European” slope (ES), 200 meters apart. Thus, solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a major selection agent in EC influencing the organism-environment interaction. Melanin is a trait postulated to have evolved for UV-screening in microorganisms. Here we investigate the cause and effect relationship between differential UVR on the opposing slopes of EC and the conidial melanin concentration of the filamentous soil fungus Aspergillus niger. We test the working hypothesis that the AS strains exhibit higher melanin content than strains from the ES resulting in higher UV resistance. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured conidial melanin concentration of 80 strains from the EC using a spectrophotometer. The results indicated that mean conidial melanin concentration of AS strains were threefold higher than ES strains and the former resisted UVA irradiation better than the latter. Comparisons of melanin in the conidia of A. niger strains from sunny and shady microniches on the predominantly sunny AS and predominantly shady ES indicated that shady conditions on the AS have no influence on the selection on melanin; in

  10. 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.

  11. The interactions between phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylethanolamines in model bacterial membranes: the effect of the acyl chain length and saturation.

    PubMed

    Wydro, Paweł; Witkowska, Karolina

    2009-08-01

    In this work the Langmuir monolayer technique was applied to study the interactions between phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PEs). Since the technique of monomolecular layers is useful method of modeling of biomembranes and the investigated lipids are the major components of Gram-negative bacteria bilayers the results obtained were discussed in the context of the properties of bacterial membranes. To investigate the influence of the phosphatidylethanolamine acyl chain structure on its miscibility and interactions with dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol (DPPG) the chosen phosphatidylethanolamines differed both in the length (dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DPPE), distearoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DSPE)), and saturation (dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE)) of the hydrocarbon chains. The obtained results prove non ideal behaviour of all of the mixed systems studied. It was found that in monolayers between DPPG and phosphatidylethanolamines with saturated acyl chains (DPPE, DSPE) strong attractions resulting from the formation of hydrogen bonds exist. These attractions are the strongest for equimolar mixtures indicating that PG and PE molecules form the "complexes" of 1:1 proportion. In DOPE/DPPG mixed system the distance between phospholipids is larger, due to the presence of the cis double bonds in the acyl chains of DOPE molecule, which makes the formation of the hydrogen bonds more difficult. The interactions between molecules, the molecular packing and the stability of the investigated mixed systems were thoroughly discussed from the point of view of the effect of polar head and PEs acyl chain structure. Basing on the obtained results it was suggested that PG molecules play in bacterial membranes similar role as cholesterol in mammalian bilayers.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    α-Amyrin (AMalf) and ursolic acid (Urs) are ursane-type pentacyclic triterpenes which exhibit wide spectrum of antibacterial activity. These surface active compounds can be incorporated into bacterial membranes and alter their structure and function; however, the exact mechanism of their action still needs to be elucidated. Thus, we decided to study the interactions of these terpenes with specific anionic phospholipids:cardiolipins and phosphatidylglycerols extracted from Escherichia coli in the model environment of Langmuir monolayers. To characterize the ordering of the terpene molecules in one-component films as well as to study their interactions with the bacterial phospholipids in binary monolayers we applied grazing incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD). It turned out that amyrins and ursolic acid molecules form crystalline hexagonal phases in Langmuir monolayers, in which the molecules are oriented uprightly. Regarding the mixtures, it was found that in the monolayers with Urs crystalline domains are present till moderate or even low Urs proportion. In contrast, in the mixtures with AMalf crystalline domains were observed only at the highest terpene concentration. In the interpretation of our results we underlined the significance of the interactions between the cyclopropane ring present in the hydrophobic part of the bacterial phospholipids and the terminal ring of the terpene structure. We proposed that the significant differences between the systems with AMalf and Urs are connected with the formation of hydrogen bonds between the Urs hydrophobic moieties. It can be inferred from the results that Urs is a more membrane-active agent than AMalf. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Several aerobic bacteria possess unique catabolic pathways enabling them to degrade persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PCDD/Fs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The catabolic activity of aerobic bacteria employed for removal of POPs in the environment may be modulated by several biotic (i.e. fungi, plants, algae, earthworms, and other bacteria) and abiotic (i.e. zero-valent iron, advanced oxidation, and electricity) agents. This review describes the basic biochemistry of the aerobic bacterial catabolism of selected POPs and discusses how biotic and abiotic agents enhance or inhibit the process. Solutions allowing biotic and abiotic agents to exert physical and chemical assistance to aerobic bacterial catabolism of POPs are also discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Altering plant-microbe interaction through artificially manipulating bacterial quorum sensing.

    PubMed

    Fray, Rupert G

    2002-03-01

    Many bacteria regulate diverse physiological processes in concert with their population size. Bacterial cell-to-cell communication utilizes small diffusible signal molecules, which the bacteria both produce and perceive. The bacteria couple gene expression to cell density by eliciting a response only when the signalling molecules reach a critical threshold (a point at which the population is said to be 'quorate'). The population as a whole is thus able to modify its behaviour as a single unit. Amongst Gram-negative bacteria, the quorum sensing signals most commonly used are N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). It is now apparent that AHLs are used for regulating diverse behaviours in epiphytic, rhizosphere-inhabiting and plant pathogenic bacteria and that plants may produce their own metabolites that interfere with this signalling. Transgenic plants that produce high levels of AHLs or which can degrade bacterial-produced AHLs have been made. These plants have dramatically altered susceptibilities to infection by pathogenic Erwinia species. In addition, such plants will prove useful tools in determining the roles of AHL-regulated density-dependent behaviour in growth promoting, biological control and pathogenic plant-associated bacterial species.

  1. [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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Interaction of Biliverdin Chromophore with Near-Infrared Fluorescent Protein BphP1-FP Engineered from Bacterial Phytochrome

    PubMed Central

    Stepanenko, Olesya V.; Stepanenko, Olga V.; Kuznetsova, Irina M.; Shcherbakova, Daria M.; Verkhusha, Vladislav V.; Turoverov, Konstantin K.

    2017-01-01

    Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescent proteins (FPs) designed from PAS (Per-ARNT-Sim repeats) and GAF (cGMP phosphodiesterase/adenylate cyclase/FhlA transcriptional activator) domains of bacterial phytochromes covalently bind biliverdin (BV) chromophore via one or two Cys residues. We studied BV interaction with a series of NIR FP variants derived from the recently reported BphP1-FP protein. The latter was engineered from a bacterial phytochrome RpBphP1, and has two reactive Cys residues (Cys15 in the PAS domain and Cys256 in the GAF domain), whereas its mutants contain single Cys residues either in the PAS domain or in the GAF domain, or no Cys residues. We characterized BphP1-FP and its mutants biochemically and spectroscopically in the absence and in the presence of denaturant. We found that all BphP1-FP variants are monomers. We revealed that spectral properties of the BphP1-FP variants containing either Cys15 or Cys256, or both, are determined by the covalently bound BV chromophore only. Consequently, this suggests an involvement of the inter-monomeric allosteric effects in the BV interaction with monomers in dimeric NIR FPs, such as iRFPs. Likely, insertion of the Cys15 residue, in addition to the Cys256 residue, in dimeric NIR FPs influences BV binding by promoting the BV chromophore covalent cross-linking to both PAS and GAF domains. PMID:28481303

  19. Novel protein interactions with an actin homolog (MreB) of Helicobacter pylori determined by bacterial two-hybrid system.

    PubMed

    Zepeda Gurrola, Reyna Cristina; Fu, Yajuan; Rodríguez Luna, Isabel Cristina; Benítez Cardoza, Claudia Guadalupe; López López, María de Jesús; López Vidal, Yolanda; Gutíerrez, Germán Rubén Aguilar; Rodríguez Pérez, Mario A; Guo, Xianwu

    2017-08-01

    The bacterium Helicobacter pylori infects more than 50% of the world population and causes several gastroduodenal diseases, including gastric cancer. Nevertheless, we still need to explore some protein interactions that may be involved in pathogenesis. MreB, an actin homolog, showed some special characteristics in previous studies, indicating that it could have different functions. Protein functions could be realized via protein-protein interactions. In the present study, the MreB protein from H. pylori 26695 fused with two tags 10×His and GST in tandem was overexpressed and purified from Escherchia coli. The purified recombinant protein was used to perform a pull-down assay with H. pylori 26695 cell lysate. The pulled-down proteins were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF), in which the known important proteins related to morphogenesis were absent but several proteins related to pathogenesis process were observed. The bacterial two-hybrid system was further used to evaluate the protein interactions and showed that new interactions of MreB respectively with VacA, UreB, HydB, HylB and AddA were confirmed but the interaction MreB-MreC was not validated. These results indicated that the protein MreB in H. pylori has a distinct interactome, does not participate in cell morphogenesis via MreB-MreC but could be related to pathogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Beattie, Gwyn A

    2011-01-01

    This review examines the many ways in which water influences the relations between foliar bacterial pathogens and plants. As a limited resource in aerial plant tissues, water is subject to manipulation by both plants and pathogens. A model is emerging that suggests that plants actively promote localized desiccation at the infection site and thus restrict pathogen growth as one component of defense. Similarly, many foliar pathogens manipulate water relations as one component of pathogenesis. Nonvascular pathogens do this using effectors and other molecules to alter hormonal responses and enhance intercellular watersoaking, whereas vascular pathogens use many mechanisms to cause wilt. Because of water limitations on phyllosphere surfaces, bacterial colonists, including pathogens, benefit from the protective effects of cellular aggregation, synthesis of hygroscopic polymers, and uptake and production of osmoprotective compounds. Moreover, these bacteria employ tactics for scavenging and distributing water to overcome water-driven barriers to nutrient acquisition, movement, and signal exchange on plant surfaces. Copyright © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Interactions of antibiotics and methanolic crude extracts of Afzelia Africana (Smith.) against drug resistance bacterial isolates.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Diversity of Endophytic Bacterial Populations and Their Interaction with Xylella fastidiosa in Citrus Plants

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

    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. PMID:12324338

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Laccase Gene Sh-lac Is Involved in the Growth and Melanin Biosynthesis of Scleromitrula shiraiana.

    PubMed

    Lǚ, Zhiyuan; Kang, Xin; Xiang, Zhonghuai; He, Ningjia

    2017-03-01

    Scleromitrula shiraiana causes the popcorn disease in mulberry trees resulting in severe economic losses. Previous studies have shown that melanin may play a vital role in establishing the pathogenicity of fungi. In the present study, we identified the melanin produced in S. shiraiana belongs to DHN melanin by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and cloned the laccase Sh-lac, a potential DHN melanin biosynthesis gene from S. shiraiana. We obtained two stable Sh-lac silenced transformants using RNAi, ilac-4 and 8 to elucidate the DHN melanin biosynthetic pathway in S. shiraiana. The melanin production of ilac-4 and ilac-8 was significantly reduced, and their vegetative growth was also suppressed. Results such as these led to a proposal that Sh-lac played a key role in DHN melanin formation in S. shiraiana and may function differentially with other melanin biosynthetic genes. The inhibition of melanin was accompanied by the decrease of oxalic acid and the adhesion of hyphae was impaired. Our results indicated that laccase was an important enzyme in the synthesis of melanin and might play a critical role in the pathogenicity of S. shiraiana.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    In our present study, the inhibitory effect of brazilein from Caesalpinia sappan on tyrosinase activity was investigated through multi-spectroscopic and molecular docking techniques. The result has shown that brazilein reversibly inhibited tyrosinase in a mixed type manner. The interaction of brazilein with the amino acid residues of tyrosinase has been validated through fluorescence quenching studies. Copper interaction studies suggested that brazilein could bind with copper ions of the enzyme. Circular dichroism analysis confirmed that brazilein induced secondary structural changes in tyrosinase. Docking studies further authenticate that brazilein forms hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding with the active site residues of tyrosinase. Moreover, in vitro studies confirmed that the inhibitory mechanism of cellular tyrosinase and melanin synthesis by brazilein in B16F0 melanoma cells. These results suggested that brazilein act as a potential tyrosinase inhibitor and it would contribute as a of novel tyrosinase inhibitor in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications-Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules.

    PubMed

    Solano, Francisco

    2017-07-18

    The huge development of bioengineering during the last years has boosted the search for new bioinspired materials, with tunable chemical, mechanical, and optoelectronic properties for the design of semiconductors, batteries, biosensors, imaging and therapy probes, adhesive hydrogels, tissue restoration, photoprotectors, etc. These new materials should complement or replace metallic or organic polymers that cause cytotoxicity and some adverse health effects. One of the most interesting biomaterials is melanin and synthetic melanin-related molecules. Melanin has a controversial molecular structure, dependent on the conditions of polymerization, and therefore tunable. It is found in animal hair and skin, although one of the common sources is cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) ink. On the other hand, mussels synthesize adhesive proteins to anchor these marine animals to wet surfaces. Both melanin and mussel foot proteins contain a high number of catecholic residues, and their properties are related to these groups. Dopamine (DA) can easily polymerize to get polydopamine melanin (PDAM), that somehow shares properties with melanin and mussel proteins. Furthermore, PDAM can easily be conjugated with other components. This review accounts for the main aspects of melanin, as well as DA-based melanin-like materials, related to their biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  1. Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications—Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The huge development of bioengineering during the last years has boosted the search for new bioinspired materials, with tunable chemical, mechanical, and optoelectronic properties for the design of semiconductors, batteries, biosensors, imaging and therapy probes, adhesive hydrogels, tissue restoration, photoprotectors, etc. These new materials should complement or replace metallic or organic polymers that cause cytotoxicity and some adverse health effects. One of the most interesting biomaterials is melanin and synthetic melanin-related molecules. Melanin has a controversial molecular structure, dependent on the conditions of polymerization, and therefore tunable. It is found in animal hair and skin, although one of the common sources is cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) ink. On the other hand, mussels synthesize adhesive proteins to anchor these marine animals to wet surfaces. Both melanin and mussel foot proteins contain a high number of catecholic residues, and their properties are related to these groups. Dopamine (DA) can easily polymerize to get polydopamine melanin (PDAM), that somehow shares properties with melanin and mussel proteins. Furthermore, PDAM can easily be conjugated with other components. This review accounts for the main aspects of melanin, as well as DA-based melanin-like materials, related to their biomedical and biotechnological applications. PMID:28718807

  2. 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.

  3. Laccases Involved in 1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin Biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus Are Regulated by Developmental Factors and Copper Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Torres, Guadalupe

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus produces heavily melanized infectious conidia. The conidial melanin is associated with fungal virulence and resistance to various environmental stresses. This 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin is synthesized by enzymes encoded in a gene cluster in A. fumigatus, including two laccases, Abr1 and Abr2. Although this gene cluster is not conserved in all aspergilli, laccases are critical for melanization in all species examined. Here we show that the expression of A. fumigatus laccases Abr1/2 is upregulated upon hyphal competency and drastically increased during conidiation. The Abr1 protein is localized at the surface of stalks and conidiophores, but not in young hyphae, consistent with the gene expression pattern and its predicted role. The induction of Abr1/2 upon hyphal competency is controlled by BrlA, the master regulator of conidiophore development, and is responsive to the copper level in the medium. We identified a developmentally regulated putative copper transporter, CtpA, and found that CtpA is critical for conidial melanization under copper-limiting conditions. Accordingly, disruption of CtpA enhanced the induction of abr1 and abr2, a response similar to that induced by copper starvation. Furthermore, nonpigmented ctpAΔ conidia elicited much stronger immune responses from the infected invertebrate host Galleria mellonella than the pigmented ctpAΔ or wild-type conidia. Such enhancement in eliciting Galleria immune responses was independent of the ctpAΔ conidial viability, as previously observed for the DHN melanin mutants. Taken together, our findings indicate that both copper homeostasis and developmental regulators control melanin biosynthesis, which affects conidial surface properties that shape the interaction between this pathogen and its host. PMID:24123270

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Bacterial toxins and the nervous system: neurotoxins and multipotential toxins interacting with neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Popoff, Michel R; Poulain, Bernard

    2010-04-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Genetic Basis of Melanin Pigmentation in Butterfly Wings.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Linlin; Martin, Arnaud; Perry, Michael W; van der Burg, Karin R L; Matsuoka, Yuji; Monteiro, Antónia; Reed, Robert D

    2017-04-01

    Despite the variety, prominence, and adaptive significance of butterfly wing patterns, surprisingly little is known about the genetic basis of wing color diversity. Even though there is intense interest in wing pattern evolution and development, the technical challenge of genetically manipulating butterflies has slowed efforts to functionally characterize color pattern development genes. To identify candidate wing pigmentation genes, we used RNA sequencing to characterize transcription across multiple stages of butterfly wing development, and between different color pattern elements, in the painted lady butterfly Vanessa cardui This allowed us to pinpoint genes specifically associated with red and black pigment patterns. To test the functions of a subset of genes associated with presumptive melanin pigmentation, we used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 genome editing in four different butterfly genera. pale, Ddc, and yellow knockouts displayed reduction of melanin pigmentation, consistent with previous findings in other insects. Interestingly, however, yellow-d, ebony, and black knockouts revealed that these genes have localized effects on tuning the color of red, brown, and ochre pattern elements. These results point to previously undescribed mechanisms for modulating the color of specific wing pattern elements in butterflies, and provide an expanded portrait of the insect melanin pathway. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  15. 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.

  16. Gut Microbiota, Bacterial Translocation, and Interactions with Diet: Pathophysiological Links between Major Depressive Disorder and Non-Communicable Medical Comorbidities.

    PubMed

    Slyepchenko, Anastasiya; Maes, Michael; Jacka, Felice N; Köhler, Cristiano A; Barichello, Tatiana; McIntyre, Roger S; Berk, Michael; Grande, Iria; Foster, Jane A; Vieta, Eduard; Carvalho, André F

    2017-01-01

    Persistent low-grade immune-inflammatory processes, oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation are integral to the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). The microbiome, intestinal compositional changes, and resultant bacterial translocation add a new element to the bidirectional interactions of the gut-brain axis; new evidence implicates these pathways in the patho-aetiology of MDD. In addition, abnormalities in the gut-brain axis are associated with several chronic non-communicable disorders, which frequently co-occur in individuals with MDD, including but not limited to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We searched the PubMed/MEDLINE database up until May 1, 2016 for studies which investigated intestinal dysbiosis and bacterial translocation (the 'leaky gut') in the pathophysiology of MDD and co-occurring somatic comorbidities with an emphasis on IBS, CFS, obesity, and T2DM. The composition of the gut microbiota is influenced by several genetic and environmental factors (e.g. diet). Several lines of evidence indicate that gut-microbiota-diet interactions play a significant pathophysiological role in MDD and related medical comorbidities. Gut dysbiosis and the leaky gut may influence several pathways implicated in the biology of MDD, including but not limited to immune activation, O&NS, and neuroplasticity cascades. However, methodological inconsistencies and limitations limit comparisons across studies. Intestinal dysbiosis and the leaky gut may constitute a key pathophysiological link between MDD and its medical comorbidities. This emerging literature opens relevant preventative and therapeutic perspectives. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Agrobacterium tumefaciens type II NADH dehydrogenase. Characterization and interactions with bacterial and thylakoid membranes.

    PubMed

    Bernard, Laetitia; Desplats, Carine; Mus, Florence; Cuiné, Stéphan; Cournac, Laurent; Peltier, Gilles

    2006-08-01

    Type II NADH dehydrogenases (NDH-2) are monomeric enzymes that catalyse quinone reduction and allow electrons to enter the respiratory chain in different organisms including higher plant mitochondria, bacteria and yeasts. In this study, an Agrobacterium tumefaciens gene encoding a putative alternative NADH dehydrogenase (AtuNDH-2) was isolated and expressed in Escherichia coli as a (His)6-tagged protein. The purified 46 kDa protein contains FAD as a prosthetic group and oxidizes both NADH and NADPH with similar Vmax values, but with a much higher affinity for NADH than for NADPH. AtuNDH-2 complements the growth (on a minimal medium) of an E. coli mutant strain deficient in both NDH-1 and NDH-2, and is shown to supply electrons to the respiratory chain when incubated with bacterial membranes prepared from this mutant. By measuring photosystem II chlorophyll fluorescence on thylakoid membranes prepared from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we show that AtuNDH-2 is able to stimulate NADH-dependent reduction of the plastoquinone pool. We discuss the possibility of using heterologous expression of NDH-2 enzymes to improve nonphotochemical reduction of plastoquinones and H2 production in C. reinhardtii.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Implication of the bacterial endosymbiont Rickettsia spp. in interactions of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci with tomato yellow leaf curl virus.

    PubMed

    Kliot, Adi; Cilia, Michelle; Czosnek, Henryk; Ghanim, Murad

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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 .

  6. Melanin from the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: a spectroscopic characterization.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Aulie; Supakar, Subhrangshu; Banerjee, Raja

    2014-01-01

    Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state (13)C NMR), we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation.

  7. 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.

  8. Role of semiconductivity and ion transport in the electrical conduction of melanin

    PubMed Central

    Mostert, Albertus B.; Powell, Benjamin J.; Pratt, Francis L.; Hanson, Graeme R.; Sarna, Tadeusz; Gentle, Ian R.; Meredith, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Melanins are pigmentary macromolecules found throughout the biosphere that, in the 1970s, were discovered to conduct electricity and display bistable switching. Since then, it has been widely believed that melanins are naturally occurring amorphous organic semiconductors. Here, we report electrical conductivity, muon spin relaxation, and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements of melanin as the environmental humidity is varied. We show that hydration of melanin shifts the comproportionation equilibrium so as to dope electrons and protons into the system. This equilibrium defines the relative proportions of hydroxyquinone, semiquinone, and quinone species in the macromolecule. As such, the mechanism explains why melanin at neutral pH only conducts when “wet” and suggests that both carriers play a role in the conductivity. Understanding that melanin is an electronic-ionic hybrid conductor rather than an amorphous organic semiconductor opens exciting possibilities for bioelectronic applications such as ion-to-electron transduction given its biocompatibility. PMID:22615355

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Protein-protein docking and analysis reveal that two homologous bacterial adenylyl cyclase toxins interact with calmodulin differently.

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-29

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-20

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    PubMed Central

    Peláez, Pablo; Sanchez, Federico

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. [Identification of proteins interacting with the circadian clock protein PER1 in tumors using bacterial two-hybrid system technique].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Yao, Youlin; Jiang, Siyuan; Lu, Yilu; Liu, Yunqiang; Tao, Dachang; Zhang, Sizhong; Ma, Yongxin

    2015-04-01

    To identify protein-protein interaction partners of PER1 (period circadian protein homolog 1), key component of the molecular oscillation system of the circadian rhythm in tumors using bacterial two-hybrid system technique. Human cervical carcinoma cell Hela library was adopted. Recombinant bait plasmid pBT-PER1 and pTRG cDNA plasmid library were cotransformed into the two-hybrid system reporter strain cultured in a special selective medium. Target clones were screened. After isolating the positive clones, the target clones were sequenced and analyzed. Fourteen protein coding genes were identified, 4 of which were found to contain whole coding regions of genes, which included optic atrophy 3 protein (OPA3) associated with mitochondrial dynamics and homo sapiens cutA divalent cation tolerance homolog of E. coli (CUTA) associated with copper metabolism. There were also cellular events related proteins and proteins which are involved in biochemical reaction and signal transduction-related proteins. Identification of potential interacting proteins with PER1 in tumors may provide us new insights into the functions of the circadian clock protein PER1 during tumorigenesis.

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