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Sample records for iglabcd virulence operon

  1. Identification of an operon, Pil-Chp, that controls twitching motility and virulence in Xylella fastidiosa.

    PubMed

    Cursino, Luciana; Galvani, Cheryl D; Athinuwat, Dusit; Zaini, Paulo A; Li, Yaxin; De La Fuente, Leonardo; Hoch, Harvey C; Burr, Thomas J; Mowery, Patricia

    2011-10-01

    Xylella fastidiosa is an important phytopathogenic bacterium that causes many serious plant diseases, including Pierce's disease of grapevines. Disease manifestation by X. fastidiosa is associated with the expression of several factors, including the type IV pili that are required for twitching motility. We provide evidence that an operon, named Pil-Chp, with genes homologous to those found in chemotaxis systems, regulates twitching motility. Transposon insertion into the pilL gene of the operon resulted in loss of twitching motility (pilL is homologous to cheA genes encoding kinases). The X. fastidiosa mutant maintained the type IV pili, indicating that the disrupted pilL or downstream operon genes are involved in pili function, and not biogenesis. The mutated X. fastidiosa produced less biofilm than wild-type cells, indicating that the operon contributes to biofilm formation. Finally, in planta the mutant produced delayed and less severe disease, indicating that the Pil-Chp operon contributes to the virulence of X. fastidiosa, presumably through its role in twitching motility.

  2. Characterization of a Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium Operon Associated with Virulence and Drug Detoxification

    PubMed Central

    Viale, Mariana Noelia; Imperiale, Belén; Gioffre, Andrea Karina; Colombatti Olivieri, María Alejandra; Moyano, Roberto Damián; Morcillo, Nora; Santangelo, María de la Paz; Davis, William; Romano, María Isabel

    2014-01-01

    The lprG-p55 operon of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis is involved in the transport of toxic compounds. P55 is an efflux pump that provides resistance to several drugs, while LprG is a lipoprotein that modulates the host's immune response against mycobacteria. The knockout mutation of this operon severely reduces the replication of both mycobacterial species during infection in mice and increases susceptibility to toxic compounds. In order to gain insight into the function of LprG in the Mycobacterium avium complex, in this study, we assayed the effect of the deletion of lprG gene in the D4ER strain of Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium. The replacement of lprG gene with a hygromycin cassette caused a polar effect on the expression of p55. Also, a twofold decrease in ethidium bromide susceptibility was observed and the resistance to the antibiotics rifampicin, amikacin, linezolid, and rifabutin was impaired in the mutant strain. In addition, the mutation decreased the virulence of the bacteria in macrophages in vitro and in a mice model in vivo. These findings clearly indicate that functional LprG and P55 are necessary for the correct transport of toxic compounds and for the survival of MAA in vitro and in vivo. PMID:24967408

  3. Characterization of the Operon Encoding the Alternative ςB Factor from Bacillus anthracis and Its Role in Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Fouet, Agnès; Namy, Olivier; Lambert, Guillaume

    2000-01-01

    The operon encoding the general stress transcription factor ςB and two proteins of its regulatory network, RsbV and RsbW, was cloned from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis by PCR amplification of chromosomal DNA with degenerate primers, by inverse PCR, and by direct cloning. The gene cluster was very similar to the Bacillus subtilis sigB operon both in the primary sequences of the gene products and in the order of its three genes. However, the deduced products of sequences upstream and downstream from this operon showed no similarity to other proteins encoded by the B. subtilis sigB operon. Therefore, the B. anthracis sigB operon contains three genes rather than eight as in B. subtilis. The B. anthracis operon is preceded by a ςB-like promoter sequence, the expression of which depends on an intact ςB transcription factor in B. subtilis. It is followed by another open reading frame that is also preceded by a promoter sequence similarly dependent on B. subtilis ςB. We found that in B. anthracis, both these promoters were induced during the stationary phase and induction required an intact sigB gene. The sigB operon was induced by heat shock. Mutants from which sigB was deleted were constructed in a toxinogenic and a plasmidless strain. These mutants differed from the parental strains in terms of morphology. The toxinogenic sigB mutant strain was also less virulent than the parental strain in the mouse model. B. anthracis ςB may therefore be a minor virulence factor. PMID:10960085

  4. The conserved nhaAR operon is drastically divergent between B2 and non-B2 Escherichia coli and is involved in extra-intestinal virulence.

    PubMed

    Lescat, Mathilde; Reibel, Florence; Pintard, Coralie; Dion, Sara; Glodt, Jérémy; Gateau, Cecile; Launay, Adrien; Ledda, Alice; Cruveiller, Stephane; Cruvellier, Stephane; Tourret, Jérôme; Tenaillon, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    The Escherichia coli species is divided in phylogenetic groups that differ in their virulence and commensal distribution. Strains belonging to the B2 group are involved in extra-intestinal pathologies but also appear to be more prevalent as commensals among human occidental populations. To investigate the genetic specificities of B2 sub-group, we used 128 sequenced genomes and identified genes of the core genome that showed marked difference between B2 and non-B2 genomes. We focused on the gene and its surrounding region with the strongest divergence between B2 and non-B2, the antiporter gene nhaA. This gene is part of the nhaAR operon, which is in the core genome but flanked by mobile regions, and is involved in growth at high pH and high sodium concentrations. Consistently, we found that a panel of non-B2 strains grew faster than B2 at high pH and high sodium concentrations. However, we could not identify differences in expression of the nhaAR operon using fluorescence reporter plasmids. Furthermore, the operon deletion had no differential impact between B2 and non-B2 strains, and did not result in a fitness modification in a murine model of gut colonization. Nevertheless, sequence analysis and experiments in a murine model of septicemia revealed that recombination in nhaA among B2 strains was observed in strains with low virulence. Finally, nhaA and nhaAR operon deletions drastically decreased virulence in one B2 strain. This effect of nhaAR deletion appeared to be stronger than deletion of all pathogenicity islands. Thus, a population genetic approach allowed us to identify an operon in the core genome without strong effect in commensalism but with an important role in extra-intestinal virulence, a landmark of the B2 strains.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    In an attempt to dissect the virulence mechanisms of Yersinia ruckeri two adjacent genes, yrpA and yrpB, encoding putative peptidases belonging to the U32 family, were analyzed. Similar genes, with the same genetic organization were identified in genomic analysis of human-pathogenic yersiniae. RT-PCR studies indicated that these genes form an operon in Y. ruckeri. Transcriptional studies using an yrpB::lacZY fusion showed high levels of expression of these genes in the presence of peptone in the culture medium, as well as under oxygen-limited conditions. These two factors had a synergic effect on gene induction when both were present simultaneously during bacterial incubation, which indicates the important role that environmental conditions in the fish gut can play in the regulation of specific genes. LD50 experiments using an yrpA insertional mutant strain demonstrated the participation of this gene in the virulence of Y. ruckeri. PMID:24865652

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

  8. The Haemophilus ducreyi Fis protein is involved in controlling expression of the lspB-lspA2 operon and other virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Labandeira-Rey, Maria; Dodd, Dana A; Brautigam, Chad A; Fortney, Kate R; Spinola, Stanley M; Hansen, Eric J

    2013-11-01

    Expression of the lspB-lspA2 operon encoding a virulence-related two-partner secretion system in Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP is directly regulated by the CpxRA regulatory system (M. Labandeira-Rey, J. R. Mock, and E. J. Hansen, Infect. Immun. 77:3402-3411, 2009). In the present study, we show that this secretion system is also regulated by the small nucleoid-associated protein Fis. Inactivation of the H. ducreyi fis gene resulted in a reduction in expression of both the H. ducreyi LspB and LspA2 proteins. DNA microarray experiments showed that a H. ducreyi fis deletion mutant exhibited altered expression levels of genes encoding other important H. ducreyi virulence factors, including DsrA and Flp1, suggesting a possible global role for Fis in the control of virulence in this obligate human pathogen. While the H. ducreyi Fis protein has a high degree of sequence and structural similarity to the Fis proteins of other bacteria, its temporal pattern of expression was very different from that of enterobacterial Fis proteins. The use of a lacZ-based transcriptional reporter provided evidence which indicated that the H. ducreyi Fis homolog is a positive regulator of gyrB, a gene that is negatively regulated by Fis in enteric bacteria. Taken together, the Fis protein expression data and the observed regulatory effects of Fis in H. ducreyi suggest that this small DNA binding protein has a regulatory role in H. ducreyi which may differ in substantial ways from that of other Fis proteins.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  11. MprA and DosR Coregulate a Mycobacterium tuberculosis Virulence Operon Encoding Rv1813c and Rv1812c

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  13. Temperature Regulation of Shigella Virulence: Identification of Temperature-Regulated Shigella Invasion Genes by the Isolation of inv::lacZ Operon Fusions and the Characterization of the Virulence Gene Regulator virR

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-04-10

    promoters was also isolated and shown to require a virulence plasmid-encoded transcriptional activator for activity . Virulence in both Shigella spp. and...Insertional mutagenesis of this coding sequence caused a loss of VirR* activity . It was concluded that the S. flexneri virR gene is an allele of hns, the...Sereny test 47 iv) Assay for Contact Hemolytic Activity 48 Phage lysates and generalized transduction 49 Western blot 50 ELISA 52 Mutagenesis

  14. Extended virulence genotype of pathogenic Escherichia coli isolates carrying the afa-8 operon: evidence of similarities between isolates from humans and animals with extraintestinal infections.

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Vulnerabilities in Yersinia pestis caf operon are unveiled by a Salmonella vector.

    PubMed

    Cao, Ling; Lim, Timothy; Jun, SangMu; Thornburg, Theresa; Avci, Recep; Yang, Xinghong

    2012-01-01

    During infection, Yersinia pestis uses its F1 capsule to enhance survival and cause virulence to mammalian host. Since F1 is produced in large quantities and secreted into the host tissues, it also serves as a major immune target. To hold this detrimental effect under proper control, Y. pestis expresses the caf operon (encoding the F1 capsule) in a temperature-dependent manner. However, additional properties of the caf operon limit its expression. By overexpressing the caf operon in wild-type Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under a potent promoter, virulence of Salmonella was greatly attenuated both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, expression of the caf operon under the regulation of its native promoter exhibited negligible impairment of Salmonellae virulence. In-depth investigation revealed all individual genes in the caf operon attenuated Salmonella when overexpressed. The deleterious effects of caf operon and the caf individual genes were further confirmed when they were overexpressed in Y. pestis KIM6+. This study suggests that by using a weak inducible promoter, the detrimental effects of the caf operon are minimally manifested in Y. pestis. Thus, through tight regulation of the caf operon, Y. pestis precisely balances its capsular anti-phagocytic properties with the detrimental effects of caf during interaction with mammalian host.

  16. The mbo operon is specific and essential for biosynthesis of mangotoxin in Pseudomonas syringae.

    PubMed

    Carrión, Víctor J; Arrebola, Eva; Cazorla, Francisco M; Murillo, Jesús; de Vicente, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Mangotoxin is an antimetabolite toxin produced by certain Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae strains. This toxin is an oligopeptide that inhibits ornithine N-acetyl transferase, a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of ornithine and arginine. Previous studies have reported the involvement of the putative nonribosomal peptide synthetase MgoA in virulence and mangotoxin production. In this study, we analyse a new chromosomal region of P. syringae pv. syringae UMAF0158, which contains six coding sequences arranged as an operon (mbo operon). The mbo operon was detected in only mangotoxin-producing strains, and it was shown to be essential for the biosynthesis of this toxin. Mutants in each of the six ORFs of the mbo operon were partially or completely impaired in the production of the toxin. In addition, Pseudomonas spp. mangotoxin non-producer strains transformed with the mbo operon gained the ability to produce mangotoxin, indicating that this operon contains all the genetic information necessary for mangotoxin biosynthesis. The generation of a single transcript for the mbo operon was confirmed and supported by the allocation of a unique promoter and Rho-independent terminator. The phylogenetic analysis of the P. syringae strains harbouring the mbo operon revealed that these strains clustered together.

  17. Operon prediction in Pyrococcus furiosus

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Horizontally acquired glycosyltransferase operons drive salmonellae lipopolysaccharide diversity.

    PubMed

    Davies, Mark R; Broadbent, Sarah E; Harris, Simon R; Thomson, Nicholas R; van der Woude, Marjan W

    2013-06-01

    The immunodominant lipopolysaccharide is a key antigenic factor for Gram-negative pathogens such as salmonellae where it plays key roles in host adaptation, virulence, immune evasion, and persistence. Variation in the lipopolysaccharide is also the major differentiating factor that is used to classify Salmonella into over 2600 serovars as part of the Kaufmann-White scheme. While lipopolysaccharide diversity is generally associated with sequence variation in the lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis operon, extraneous genetic factors such as those encoded by the glucosyltransferase (gtr) operons provide further structural heterogeneity by adding additional sugars onto the O-antigen component of the lipopolysaccharide. Here we identify and examine the O-antigen modifying glucosyltransferase genes from the genomes of Salmonella enterica and Salmonella bongori serovars. We show that Salmonella generally carries between 1 and 4 gtr operons that we have classified into 10 families on the basis of gtrC sequence with apparent O-antigen modification detected for five of these families. The gtr operons localize to bacteriophage-associated genomic regions and exhibit a dynamic evolutionary history driven by recombination and gene shuffling events leading to new gene combinations. Furthermore, evidence of Dam- and OxyR-dependent phase variation of gtr gene expression was identified within eight gtr families. Thus, as O-antigen modification generates significant intra- and inter-strain phenotypic diversity, gtr-mediated modification is fundamental in assessing Salmonella strain variability. This will inform appropriate vaccine and diagnostic approaches, in addition to contributing to our understanding of host-pathogen interactions.

  19. The Life-cycle of Operons

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-11-18

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

  20. Transcription termination Within the iron transport-biosynthesis operon of Vibrio anguillarum requires an antisense RNA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The iron transport-biosynthesis (ITB) operon in Vibrio anguillarum includes four genes for ferric-siderophore transport, fatD,C,B,A, and two genes for siderophorebiosynthesis, angR and angT and plays an important role in the virulence mechanism of this bacterium. Despite being part of the same polyc...

  1. Evolution of the capsular operon of Streptococcus iniae in response to vaccination.

    PubMed

    Millard, Candice M; Baiano, Justice C F; Chan, Candy; Yuen, Benedict; Aviles, Fabian; Landos, Matt; Chong, Roger S M; Benedict, Suresh; Barnes, Andrew C

    2012-12-01

    Streptococcus iniae causes severe septicemia and meningitis in farmed fish and is also occasionally zoonotic. Vaccination against S. iniae is problematic, with frequent breakdown of protection in vaccinated fish. The major protective antigens in S. iniae are the polysaccharides of the capsule, which are essential for virulence. Capsular biosynthesis is driven and regulated by a 21-kb operon comprising up to 20 genes. In a long-term study, we have sequenced the capsular operon of strains that have been used in autogenous vaccines across Australia and compared it with the capsular operon sequences of strains subsequently isolated from infected vaccinated fish. Intriguingly, strains isolated from vaccinated fish that subsequently become infected have coding mutations that are confined to a limited number of genes in the cps operon, with the remainder of the genes in the operon remaining stable. Mutations in strains in diseased vaccinated fish occur in key genes in the capsular operon that are associated with polysaccharide configuration (cpsG) and with regulation of biosynthesis (cpsD and cpsE). This, along with high ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous mutations within the cps genes, suggests that immune response directed predominantly against capsular polysaccharide may be driving evolution in a very specific set of genes in the operon. From these data, it may be possible to design a simple polyvalent vaccine with a greater operational life span than the current monovalent killed bacterins.

  2. Evolution of the Capsular Operon of Streptococcus iniae in Response to Vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Millard, Candice M.; Baiano, Justice C. F.; Chan, Candy; Yuen, Benedict; Aviles, Fabian; Landos, Matt; Chong, Roger S. M.; Benedict, Suresh

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus iniae causes severe septicemia and meningitis in farmed fish and is also occasionally zoonotic. Vaccination against S. iniae is problematic, with frequent breakdown of protection in vaccinated fish. The major protective antigens in S. iniae are the polysaccharides of the capsule, which are essential for virulence. Capsular biosynthesis is driven and regulated by a 21-kb operon comprising up to 20 genes. In a long-term study, we have sequenced the capsular operon of strains that have been used in autogenous vaccines across Australia and compared it with the capsular operon sequences of strains subsequently isolated from infected vaccinated fish. Intriguingly, strains isolated from vaccinated fish that subsequently become infected have coding mutations that are confined to a limited number of genes in the cps operon, with the remainder of the genes in the operon remaining stable. Mutations in strains in diseased vaccinated fish occur in key genes in the capsular operon that are associated with polysaccharide configuration (cpsG) and with regulation of biosynthesis (cpsD and cpsE). This, along with high ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous mutations within the cps genes, suggests that immune response directed predominantly against capsular polysaccharide may be driving evolution in a very specific set of genes in the operon. From these data, it may be possible to design a simple polyvalent vaccine with a greater operational life span than the current monovalent killed bacterins. PMID:23001668

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  4. Allostery and the lac Operon.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Mitchell

    2013-07-10

    The ability to regulate gene expression is essential for controlling metabolic events in a cell. Proteins that function like molecular switches respond to fluctuations in the environment to maintain homeostasis. The operon model, proposed by Jacob and Monod, provides a cogent depiction for how gene expression is regulated. A molecular mechanism for the regulation followed shortly with the theory for allosteric transition. Over the past half-century, the details of the lac operon and the allosteric model have been tested using genetic, biochemical, and structural techniques. Remarkably, the principles originally put forward 50 years ago remain essentially unchanged. Models for the operon and the theory of allosteric transitions are two of the most profound discoveries of molecular biology.

  5. Computational identification of operons in microbial genomes.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yu; Szustakowski, Joseph D; Fortnow, Lance; Roberts, Richard J; Kasif, Simon

    2002-08-01

    By applying graph representations to biochemical pathways, a new computational pipeline is proposed to find potential operons in microbial genomes. The algorithm relies on the fact that enzyme genes in operons tend to catalyze successive reactions in metabolic pathways. We applied this algorithm to 42 microbial genomes to identify putative operon structures. The predicted operons from Escherichia coli were compared with a selected metabolism-related operon dataset from the RegulonDB database, yielding a prediction sensitivity (89%) and specificity (87%) relative to this dataset. Several examples of detected operons are given and analyzed. Modular gene cluster transfer and operon fusion are observed. A further use of predicted operon data to assign function to putative genes was suggested and, as an example, a previous putative gene (MJ1604) from Methanococcus jannaschii is now annotated as a phosphofructokinase, which was regarded previously as a missing enzyme in this organism. GC content changes in the operon region and nonoperon region were examined. The results reveal a clear GC content transition at the boundaries of putative operons. We looked further into the conservation of operons across genomes. A trp operon alignment is analyzed in depth to show gene loss and rearrangement in different organisms during operon evolution.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

  7. The Life-cycle of Operons

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-03-15

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

  8. Problem-Solving Test: Tryptophan Operon Mutants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szeberenyi, Jozsef

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Detecting uber-operons in prokaryotic genomes.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Expression of a synthetic pertussis toxin operon in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Pozza, T D; Yan, H; Walker, M J

    1997-06-01

    Bordetella pertussis is the causative agent of whooping cough, a severe disease of infants characterised by repeated of paroxysmal coughing. Pertussis toxin (PT) is a major virulence factor of B. pertussis and is a typical A/B bacterial toxin consisting of five subunits S1-S5 in a ratio of 1:1:1:2:1. The PT subunit genes are organized into an operon which is not expressed in Escherichia coli, thus hampering the use of this organism for vaccine production. We have expressed the five PT subunits individually in E. coli by replacing the wild-type transcriptional and translational signals, and in the case of the S4 subunit the leader peptide has been exchanged with a modified E. coli beta-lactamase leader sequence. We have developed a stepwise cloning method to construct a synthetic PT operon which simultaneously expresses the five PT subunits in E. coli. Western blot analysis indicated that in E. coli KS476 containing the synthetic PT operon, S4 and S5 were completely processed, S1 was partially processed, whilst the majority of S2 and S3 remained unprocessed. Periplasmic extracts contained soluble S1 and S3; however, the processed form of S2, S4 and S5 were not detected, suggesting that these subunits may be membrane associated or in an insoluble form. This work should allow an investigation of the potential of E. coli to produce detoxified PT in a background free of other pertussis virulence factors that may contribute to the side-effects of some vaccine preparations currently in use.

  11. Horizontally Acquired Glycosyltransferase Operons Drive Salmonellae Lipopolysaccharide Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Mark R.; Broadbent, Sarah E.; Harris, Simon R.; Thomson, Nicholas R.; van der Woude, Marjan W.

    2013-01-01

    The immunodominant lipopolysaccharide is a key antigenic factor for Gram-negative pathogens such as salmonellae where it plays key roles in host adaptation, virulence, immune evasion, and persistence. Variation in the lipopolysaccharide is also the major differentiating factor that is used to classify Salmonella into over 2600 serovars as part of the Kaufmann-White scheme. While lipopolysaccharide diversity is generally associated with sequence variation in the lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis operon, extraneous genetic factors such as those encoded by the glucosyltransferase (gtr) operons provide further structural heterogeneity by adding additional sugars onto the O-antigen component of the lipopolysaccharide. Here we identify and examine the O-antigen modifying glucosyltransferase genes from the genomes of Salmonella enterica and Salmonella bongori serovars. We show that Salmonella generally carries between 1 and 4 gtr operons that we have classified into 10 families on the basis of gtrC sequence with apparent O-antigen modification detected for five of these families. The gtr operons localize to bacteriophage-associated genomic regions and exhibit a dynamic evolutionary history driven by recombination and gene shuffling events leading to new gene combinations. Furthermore, evidence of Dam- and OxyR-dependent phase variation of gtr gene expression was identified within eight gtr families. Thus, as O-antigen modification generates significant intra- and inter-strain phenotypic diversity, gtr-mediated modification is fundamental in assessing Salmonella strain variability. This will inform appropriate vaccine and diagnostic approaches, in addition to contributing to our understanding of host-pathogen interactions. PMID:23818865

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  13. Capsule Depolymerase Overexpression Reduces Bacillus anthracis Virulence

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    Friedlander, A. M. (2004). The NheA component of the non- hemolytic enterotoxin of Bacillus cereus is produced by Bacillus anthracis but is not required for...Capsule depolymerase overexpression reduces Bacillus anthracis virulence Angelo Scorpio,3 Donald J. Chabot, William A. Day,4 Timothy A. Hoover and...depolymerase (CapD) is a c-glutamyl transpeptidase and a product of the Bacillus anthracis capsule biosynthesis operon. In this study, we examined the

  14. Transcriptional autoregulation of the Salmonella typhimurium phoPQ operon.

    PubMed

    Soncini, F C; Véscovi, E G; Groisman, E A

    1995-08-01

    The Salmonella typhimurium PhoP-PhoQ two-component regulatory system controls the expression of several genes, some of which are necessary for virulence. During a screening for PhoP-regulated genes, we identified the phoPQ operon as a PhoP-activated locus. beta-Galactosidase activity originating from phoPQ-lac transcriptional fusions required the presence of both the transcriptional regulator PhoP and its cognate sensor-kinase PhoQ. At low concentrations, PhoQ stimulated expression of phoPQ-lac transcriptional fusions. However, larger amounts of PhoQ protein without a concomitant increase in PhoP failed to activate phoPQ-lac fusions. Two different transcripts are produced from the phoPQ operon during exponential growth. These transcripts define two promoters: phoPp1, which requires both PhoP and PhoQ for activity and which is environmentally regulated, and phoPp2, which remains active in the absence of PhoP and PhoQ but which is slightly stimulated by these proteins. The pattern of transcriptional autoregulation was also observed at the protein level with anti-PhoP antibodies. In sum, autoregulation of the phoPQ operon provides several levels of control for the PhoP-PhoQ regulon. First, environmental signals would stimulate PhoQ to phosphorylate the PhoP protein that is produced at basal levels from the PhoP-PhoQ-independent promoter. Then, phospho-PhoP would activate transcription of phoPp1, resulting in larger amounts of PhoP and PhoQ and increased expression of PhoP-activated genes. A return to basal levels could be mediated by a posttranscriptional mechanism by which translation of the mRNA produced from phoPp1 is inhibited.

  15. The lac operon galactoside acetyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Roderick, Steven L

    2005-06-01

    Of the proteins encoded by the three structural genes of the lac operon, the galactoside acetyltransferase (thiogalactoside transacetylase, LacA, GAT) encoded by lacA is the only protein whose biological role remains in doubt. Here, we briefly note the classical literature that led to the identification and initial characterization of GAT, and focus on more recent results which have revealed its chemical mechanism of action and its membership in a large superfamily of structurally similar acyltransferases. The structural and sequence similarities of several members of this superfamily confirm the original claim for GAT as a CoA-dependent acetyltransferase specific for the 6-hydroxyl group of certain pyranosides, but do not yet point to the identity of the natural substrate(s) of the enzyme.

  16. Virulence Determination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Structural Insight into the Gene Expression Profiling of the hcn Operon in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Nilkanta; Bagchi, Angshuman

    2017-01-07

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common opportunistic human pathogen. It generally attacks immunosuppressed patients like AIDS, cancer, cystic fibrosis, etc. The virulence of P. aeruginosa is mediated by various virulence factors. One of such potential virulence factors is HCN synthesized by HCN synthase enzyme, which is encoded by the hcnABC operon. The expressions of the genes of this operon are regulated by three transcriptional regulators, viz., LasR, ANR, and RhlR. In our previous work, we analyzed the molecular details of the functionalities of LasR. In this work, we focused on ANR. ANR is a regulatory protein which belongs to the FNR family and works in anaerobic condition. ANR binds to the promoter DNA, named ANR box, as a dimer. The dimerization of this ANR protein is regulated by Fe4S4, an iron-sulfur cluster. This dimer of ANR (ANR-Fe4S4/ANR-Fe4S4) recognizes and binds the promoter DNA sequence and regulates the transcription of this hcnABC operon. Till date, the biomolecular details of the interactions of ANR dimer with the promoter DNA are not fully understood. Thus, we built the molecular model of ANR-Fe4S4/ANR-Fe4S4. We docked the complex with the corresponding promoter DNA region. We analyzed the mode of interactions with the promoter DNA under different conditions. Thus, we tried to analyze the functionality of the ANR protein during the expressions of the genes of the hcnABC operon. So far, this is the first report to detail the molecular mechanism of the gene expression in P. aeruginosa.

  18. Operon and non-operon gene clusters in the C. elegans genome.

    PubMed

    Blumenthal, Thomas; Davis, Paul; Garrido-Lecca, Alfonso

    2015-04-28

    Nearly 15% of the ~20,000 C. elegans genes are contained in operons, multigene clusters controlled by a single promoter. The vast majority of these are of a type where the genes in the cluster are ~100 bp apart and the pre-mRNA is processed by 3' end formation accompanied by trans-splicing. A spliced leader, SL2, is specialized for operon processing. Here we summarize current knowledge on several variations on this theme including: (1) hybrid operons, which have additional promoters between genes; (2) operons with exceptionally long (> 1 kb) intercistronic regions; (3) operons with a second 3' end formation site close to the trans-splice site; (4) alternative operons, in which the exons are sometimes spliced as a single gene and sometimes as two genes; (5) SL1-type operons, which use SL1 instead of SL2 to trans-splice and in which there is no intercistronic space; (6) operons that make dicistronic mRNAs; and (7) non-operon gene clusters, in which either two genes use a single exon as the 3' end of one and the 5' end of the next, or the 3' UTR of one gene serves as the outron of the next. Each of these variations is relatively infrequent, but together they show a remarkable variety of tight-linkage gene arrangements in the C. elegans genome.

  19. Klebsiella pneumoniae yfiRNB operon affects biofilm formation, polysaccharide production and drug susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Huertas, Mónica G; Zárate, Lina; Acosta, Iván C; Posada, Leonardo; Cruz, Diana P; Lozano, Marcela; Zambrano, María M

    2014-12-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen important in hospital-acquired infections, which are complicated by the rise of drug-resistant strains and the capacity of cells to adhere to surfaces and form biofilms. In this work, we carried out an analysis of the genes in the K. pneumoniae yfiRNB operon, previously implicated in biofilm formation. The results indicated that in addition to the previously reported effect on type 3 fimbriae expression, this operon also affected biofilm formation due to changes in cellulose as part of the extracellular matrix. Deletion of yfiR resulted in enhanced biofilm formation and an altered colony phenotype indicative of cellulose overproduction when grown on solid indicator media. Extraction of polysaccharides and treatment with cellulase were consistent with the presence of cellulose in biofilms. The enhanced cellulose production did not, however, correlate with virulence as assessed using a Caenorhabditis elegans assay. In addition, cells bearing mutations in genes of the yfiRNB operon varied with respect to the WT control in terms of susceptibility to the antibiotics amikacin, ciprofloxacin, imipenem and meropenem. These results indicated that the yfiRNB operon is implicated in the production of exopolysaccharides that alter cell surface characteristics and the capacity to form biofilms--a phenotype that does not necessarily correlate with properties related with survival, such as resistance to antibiotics.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Gene inactivation of a chemotaxis operon in the pathogen Leptospira interrogans.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Ambroise; Wong Ng, Jérôme; Picardeau, Mathieu

    2015-01-01

    Chemotaxis may have an important role in the infection process of pathogenic Leptospira spp.; however, little is known about the regulation of flagellar-based motility in these atypical bacteria. We generated a library of random transposon mutants of the pathogen L. interrogans, which included a mutant with insertion in the first gene of an operon containing the chemotaxis genes cheA, cheW, cheD, cheB, cheY and mcp. The disrupted gene encodes a putative histidine kinase (HK). The HK mutant was motile and virulent, but swarm plate and capillary assays suggested that chemotaxis was reduced in this mutant. Further analysis of bacterial trajectories by videomicroscopy showed that the ability of this mutant to reverse was significantly impaired in comparison to wild-type strain. Our data therefore show that this operon is required for full chemotaxis of Leptospira spp.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. QapR (PA5506) represses an operon that negatively affects the Pseudomonas quinolone signal in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Tipton, Kyle A; Coleman, James P; Pesci, Everett C

    2013-08-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative, opportunistic pathogen that can cause disease in varied sites within the human body and is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in those afflicted with cystic fibrosis. P. aeruginosa is able to coordinate group behaviors, such as virulence factor production, through the process of cell-to-cell signaling. There are three intercellular signaling systems employed by P. aeruginosa, and one of these systems utilizes the small molecule 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone (Pseudomonas quinolone signal [PQS]). PQS is required for virulence in multiple infection models and has been found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients colonized by P. aeruginosa. In this study, we have identified an RpiR family transcriptional regulator, QapR, which is an autoregulatory repressor. We found that mutation of qapR caused overexpression of the qapR operon. We characterized the qapR operon to show that it contains genes qapR, PA5507, PA5508, and PA5509 and that QapR directly controls the transcription of these genes in a negative manner. We also show that derepression of this operon greatly reduces PQS concentration in P. aeruginosa. Our results suggest that qapR affects PQS concentration by repressing an enzymatic pathway that acts on PQS or a PQS precursor to lower the PQS concentration. We believe that this operon comprises a novel mechanism to regulate PQS concentration in P. aeruginosa.

  5. QapR (PA5506) Represses an Operon That Negatively Affects the Pseudomonas Quinolone Signal in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Tipton, Kyle A.; Coleman, James P.

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative, opportunistic pathogen that can cause disease in varied sites within the human body and is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in those afflicted with cystic fibrosis. P. aeruginosa is able to coordinate group behaviors, such as virulence factor production, through the process of cell-to-cell signaling. There are three intercellular signaling systems employed by P. aeruginosa, and one of these systems utilizes the small molecule 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone (Pseudomonas quinolone signal [PQS]). PQS is required for virulence in multiple infection models and has been found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients colonized by P. aeruginosa. In this study, we have identified an RpiR family transcriptional regulator, QapR, which is an autoregulatory repressor. We found that mutation of qapR caused overexpression of the qapR operon. We characterized the qapR operon to show that it contains genes qapR, PA5507, PA5508, and PA5509 and that QapR directly controls the transcription of these genes in a negative manner. We also show that derepression of this operon greatly reduces PQS concentration in P. aeruginosa. Our results suggest that qapR affects PQS concentration by repressing an enzymatic pathway that acts on PQS or a PQS precursor to lower the PQS concentration. We believe that this operon comprises a novel mechanism to regulate PQS concentration in P. aeruginosa. PMID:23708133

  6. Indole and 7‐hydroxyindole diminish Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Teaching the Big Ideas of Biology with Operon Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Origin of bistability in the lac Operon.

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-01

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

  10. Origin of Bistability in the lac Operon

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Detection of pap, sfa and afa adhesin-encoding operons in uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains: relationship with expression of adhesins and production of toxins.

    PubMed

    Blanco, M; Blanco, J E; Alonso, M P; Mora, A; Balsalobre, C; Muñoa, F; Juárez, A; Blanco, J

    1997-12-01

    A total of 243 Escherichia coli strains isolated from patients with urinary tract infections (UTI) were investigated for the presence of pap, sfa and afa adhesin-encoding operons by using the polymerase chain reaction. It was found that 54%, 53% and 2% of the strains exhibited the pap, sfa and afa genotypes, respectively. Pap+ and/or sfa+ strains were more frequent in cases of acute pyelonephritis (94%) than in cases of cystitis (67%) (P < 0.001) and asymptomatic bacteriuria (57%) (P < 0.001). The pap and/or sfa operons were found in 90% of strains expressing mannose-resistant haemagglutination (MRHA) versus 37% of MRHA-negative strains (P < 0.001). The presence of pap and sfa operons was especially significant in strains belonging to MRHA types III (100%) (without P adhesins) and IVa (97%) (expressing the specific Gal-Gal binding typical of P adhesins). Both pap and sfa operons were closely associated with toxigenic E. coli producing alpha-haemolysin (Hly+) and/or the cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1. There was an apparent correlation between the pap and sfa operons and the O serogroups of the strains. Thus, 93% of strains belonging to O1, O2, O4, O6, O7, O14, O15, O18, O22, O75 and O83 possessed pap and/or sfa operons, versus only 32% of strains belonging to other serogroups (P < 0.001). The results obtained in this study confirm the usefulness of our MRHA typing system for presumptive identification of pathogenic E. coli exhibiting different virulence factors. Thus, 85% of strains that possessed both pap and sfa adhesin-encoding operons showed MRHA types III or IVa previously associated with virulence of E. coli strains that cause UTI and bacteraemia.

  12. Overproduction of Type 8 Capsular Polysaccharide Augments Staphylococcus aureus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Luong, Thanh T.; Lee, Chia Y.

    2002-01-01

    Type 8 capsular polysaccharide (CP8) is the most prevalent capsule type in clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. However, its role in virulence has not been clearly defined. CP8 strains such as strain Becker produce a small amount of capsule on their surface in vitro. In contrast, CP1 strains such as strain M produce a large amount of capsule, which has been shown to be an important antiphagocytic virulence factor. The cap8 and cap1 operons, required for the synthesis of CP8 and CP1, respectively, have been cloned and sequenced. To test whether CP8 contributes to the pathogenesis of S. aureus, we replaced the weak native promoter of the cap8 operon in strain Becker with the strong constitutive promoter of the cap1 operon of strain M. The resultant strain, CYL770, synthesized cap8-specific mRNA at a level about sevenfold higher than that in the parent strain. Remarkably, the CYL770 strain produced about 80-fold more CP8. In a mouse infection model of bacteremia, the CP8-overproducing strain persisted longer in the bloodstream, the liver, and the spleen in mice than the parent strain. In addition, strain CYL770 was more resistant to ospsonophagocytosis in vitro by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes. These results indicate that CP8 is an antiphagocytic virulence factor of S. aureus. PMID:12065477

  13. Transcription termination within the iron transport-biosynthesis operon of Vibrio anguillarum requires an antisense RNA.

    PubMed

    Stork, Michiel; Di Lorenzo, Manuela; Welch, Timothy J; Crosa, Jorge H

    2007-05-01

    The iron transport-biosynthesis (ITB) operon in Vibrio anguillarum includes four genes for ferric siderophore transport, fatD, -C, -B, and -A, and two genes for siderophore biosynthesis, angR and angT. This cluster plays an important role in the virulence mechanisms of this bacterium. Despite being part of the same polycistronic mRNA, the relative levels of transcription for the fat portion and for the whole ITB message differ profoundly, the levels of the fat transcript being about 17-fold higher. Using S1 nuclease mapping, lacZ transcriptional fusions, and in vitro studies, we were able to show that the differential gene expression within the ITB operon is due to termination of transcription between the fatA and angR genes, although a few transcripts proceeded beyond the termination site to the end of this operon. This termination process requires a 427-nucleotide antisense RNA that spans the intergenic region and acts as a novel transcriptional terminator.

  14. An operon for production of bioactive gibberellin A4 phytohormone with wide distribution in the bacterial rice leaf streak pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

    PubMed

    Nagel, Raimund; Turrini, Paula C G; Nett, Ryan S; Leach, Jan E; Verdier, Valérie; Van Sluys, Marie-Anne; Peters, Reuben J

    2017-01-30

    Phytopathogens have developed elaborate mechanisms to attenuate the defense response of their host plants, including convergent evolution of complex pathways for production of the GA phytohormones, which were actually first isolated from the rice fungal pathogen Gibberella fujikuroi. The rice bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) has been demonstrated to contain a biosynthetic operon with cyclases capable of producing the universal GA precursor ent-kaurene. Genetic (knock-out) studies indicate that the derived diterpenoid serves as a virulence factor for this rice leaf streak pathogen, serving to reduce the jasmonic acid-mediated defense response. Here the functions of the remaining genes in the Xoc operon are elucidated and the distribution of the operon in X. oryzae is investigated in over 100 isolates. The Xoc operon leads to production of the bioactive GA4 , an additional step beyond production of the penultimate precursor GA9 mediated by the homologous operons recently characterized from rhizobia. Moreover, this GA biosynthetic operon was found to be widespread in Xoc (> 90%), but absent in the other major X. oryzae pathovar. These results indicate selective pressure for production of GA4 in the distinct lifestyle of Xoc, and the importance of GA to both fungal and bacterial pathogens of rice.

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

    PubMed Central

    Römling, Ute; Galperin, Michael Y.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Loughman, Jennifer A; Caparon, Michael G

    2007-04-01

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

  17. Multiple promoters control expression of the Yersinia enterocolitica phage-shock-protein A (pspA) operon.

    PubMed

    Maxson, Michelle E; Darwin, Andrew J

    2006-04-01

    The widely conserved phage-shock-protein A (pspA) operon encodes an extracytoplasmic stress response system that is essential for virulence in Yersinia enterocolitica, and has been linked to other important phenotypes in Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica and Shigella flexneri. Regulation of pspA operon expression is mediated through a promoter upstream of pspA that depends on sigma factor RpoN (sigma(54)) and the enhancer binding protein PspF. PspA, PspB and PspC, encoded within the pspA operon, also regulate expression by participating in a putative signal transduction pathway that probably serves to modulate PspF activity. All of this suggests that appropriate expression of the pspA operon is critical. Previous genetic analysis of the Y. enterocolitica pspA operon suggested that an additional level of complexity might be mediated by PspF/RpoN-independent expression of some psp genes. Here, an rpoN null mutation and interposon analysis were used to confirm that PspF/RpoN-independent gene expression does originate within the psp locus. Molecular genetic approaches were used to systematically analyse the two large non-coding regions within the psp locus. Primer extension, control region deletion and site-directed mutagenesis experiments led to the identification of RpoN-independent promoters both upstream and downstream of pspA. The precise location of the PspF/RpoN-dependent promoter upstream of pspA was also determined. The discovery of these RpoN-independent promoters reveals yet another level of transcriptional complexity for the Y. enterocolitica pspA operon that may function to allow low-level constitutive expression of psp genes and/or additional regulation under some conditions.

  18. A global analysis of adaptive evolution of operons in cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Memon, Danish; Singh, Abhay K; Pakrasi, Himadri B; Wangikar, Pramod P

    2013-02-01

    Operons are an important feature of prokaryotic genomes. Evolution of operons is hypothesized to be adaptive and has contributed significantly towards coordinated optimization of functions. Two conflicting theories, based on (i) in situ formation to achieve co-regulation and (ii) horizontal gene transfer of functionally linked gene clusters, are generally considered to explain why and how operons have evolved. Furthermore, effects of operon evolution on genomic traits such as intergenic spacing, operon size and co-regulation are relatively less explored. Based on the conservation level in a set of diverse prokaryotes, we categorize the operonic gene pair associations and in turn the operons as ancient and recently formed. This allowed us to perform a detailed analysis of operonic structure in cyanobacteria, a morphologically and physiologically diverse group of photoautotrophs. Clustering based on operon conservation showed significant similarity with the 16S rRNA-based phylogeny, which groups the cyanobacterial strains into three clades. Clade C, dominated by strains that are believed to have undergone genome reduction, shows a larger fraction of operonic genes that are tightly packed in larger sized operons. Ancient operons are in general larger, more tightly packed, better optimized for co-regulation and part of key cellular processes. A sub-clade within Clade B, which includes Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, shows a reverse trend in intergenic spacing. Our results suggest that while in situ formation and vertical descent may be a dominant mechanism of operon evolution in cyanobacteria, optimization of intergenic spacing and co-regulation are part of an ongoing process in the life-cycle of operons.

  19. A Novel lux Operon in the Cryptically Bioluminescent Fish Pathogen Vibrio salmonicida Is Associated with Virulence▿

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Eric J.; Tunsjø, Hege S.; Fidopiastis, Pat M.; Sørum, Henning; Ruby, Edward G.

    2007-01-01

    The cold-water-fish pathogen Vibrio salmonicida expresses a functional bacterial luciferase but produces insufficient levels of its aliphatic-aldehyde substrate to be detectably luminous in culture. Our goals were to (i) better explain this cryptic bioluminescence phenotype through molecular characterization of the lux operon and (ii) test whether the bioluminescence gene cluster is associated with virulence. Cloning and sequencing of the V. salmonicida lux operon revealed that homologs of all of the genes required for luminescence are present: luxAB (luciferase) and luxCDE (aliphatic-aldehyde synthesis). The arrangement and sequence of these structural lux genes are conserved compared to those in related species of luminous bacteria. However, V. salmonicida strains have a novel arrangement and number of homologs of the luxR and luxI quorum-sensing regulatory genes. Reverse transcriptase PCR analysis suggests that this novel arrangement of quorum-sensing genes generates antisense transcripts that may be responsible for the reduced production of bioluminescence. In addition, infection with a strain in which the luxA gene was mutated resulted in a marked delay in mortality among Atlantic salmon relative to infection with the wild-type parent in single-strain challenge experiments. In mixed-strain competition between the luxA mutant and the wild type, the mutant was attenuated up to 50-fold. It remains unclear whether the attenuation results from a direct loss of luciferase or a polar disturbance elsewhere in the lux operon. Nevertheless, these findings document for the first time an association between a mutation in a structural lux gene and virulence, as well as provide a new molecular system to study Vibrio pathogenesis in a natural host. PMID:17277225

  20. Escherichia coli fliAZY operon.

    PubMed Central

    Mytelka, D S; Chamberlin, M J

    1996-01-01

    We have cloned the Escherichia coli fliAZY operon, which contains the fliA gene (the alternative sigma factor sigma F) and two novel genes, fliZ and fliY. Transcriptional mapping of this operon shows two start sites, one of which is preceded by a canonical E sigma F-dependent consensus and is dependent on sigma F for expression in vivo and in vitro. We have overexpressed and purified sigma F and demonstrated that it can direct core polymerase to E sigma F-dependent promoters. FliZ and FliY are not required for motility but may regulate sigma F activity, perhaps in response to a putative cell density signal that may be detected by FliY, a member of the bacterial extracellular solute-binding protein family 3. PMID:8550423

  1. ProOpDB: Prokaryotic Operon DataBase.

    PubMed

    Taboada, Blanca; Ciria, Ricardo; Martinez-Guerrero, Cristian E; Merino, Enrique

    2012-01-01

    The Prokaryotic Operon DataBase (ProOpDB, http://operons.ibt.unam.mx/OperonPredictor) constitutes one of the most precise and complete repositories of operon predictions now available. Using our novel and highly accurate operon identification algorithm, we have predicted the operon structures of more than 1200 prokaryotic genomes. ProOpDB offers diverse alternatives by which a set of operon predictions can be retrieved including: (i) organism name, (ii) metabolic pathways, as defined by the KEGG database, (iii) gene orthology, as defined by the COG database, (iv) conserved protein domains, as defined by the Pfam database, (v) reference gene and (vi) reference operon, among others. In order to limit the operon output to non-redundant organisms, ProOpDB offers an efficient method to select the most representative organisms based on a precompiled phylogenetic distances matrix. In addition, the ProOpDB operon predictions are used directly as the input data of our Gene Context Tool to visualize their genomic context and retrieve the sequence of their corresponding 5' regulatory regions, as well as the nucleotide or amino acid sequences of their genes.

  2. Optimal gene partition into operons correlates with gene functional order

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaslaver, Alon; Mayo, Avi; Ronen, Michal; Alon, Uri

    2006-09-01

    Gene arrangement into operons varies between bacterial species. Genes in a given system can be on one operon in some organisms and on several operons in other organisms. Existing theories explain why genes that work together should be on the same operon, since this allows for advantageous lateral gene transfer and accurate stoichiometry. But what causes the frequent separation into multiple operons of co-regulated genes that act together in a pathway? Here we suggest that separation is due to benefits made possible by differential regulation of each operon. We present a simple mathematical model for the optimal distribution of genes into operons based on a balance of the cost of operons and the benefit of regulation that provides 'just-when-needed' temporal order. The analysis predicts that genes are arranged such that genes on the same operon do not skip functional steps in the pathway. This prediction is supported by genomic data from 137 bacterial genomes. Our work suggests that gene arrangement is not only the result of random historical drift, genome re-arrangement and gene transfer, but has elements that are solutions of an evolutionary optimization problem. Thus gene functional order may be inferred by analyzing the operon structure across different genomes.

  3. Association of iss and iucA, but not tsh, with plasmid-mediated virulence of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Tivendale, Kelly A; Allen, Joanne L; Ginns, Carol A; Crabb, Brendan S; Browning, Glenn F

    2004-11-01

    Avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is an economically important respiratory pathogen of chickens worldwide. Factors previously associated with the virulence of APEC include adhesins, iron-scavenging mechanisms, the production of colicin V (ColV), serum resistance, and temperature-sensitive hemagglutination, but virulence has generally been assessed by parenteral inoculation, which does not replicate the normal respiratory route of infection. A large plasmid, pVM01, is essential for virulence in APEC strain E3 in chickens after aerosol exposure. Here we establish the size of pVM01 to be approximately 160 kb and show that the putative virulence genes iss (increased serum survival) and tsh (temperature-sensitive hemagglutinin) and the aerobactin operon are on the plasmid. These genes were not clustered on pVM01 but, rather, were each located in quite distinct regions. Examination of APEC strains with defined levels of respiratory pathogenicity after aerosol exposure showed that both the aerobactin operon and iss were associated with high levels of virulence in APEC but that the possession of either gene was sufficient for intermediate levels of virulence. In contrast, the presence of tsh was not necessary for high levels of virulence. Thus, both the aerobactin operon and iss are associated with virulence in APEC after exposure by the natural route of infection. The similarities between APEC and extraintestinal E. coli infection in other species suggests that they may be useful models for definition of the role of these virulence genes and of other novel virulence genes that may be located on their virulence plasmids.

  4. Novel twin streptolysin S-like peptides encoded in the sag operon homologue of beta-hemolytic Streptococcus anginosus.

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 is a non-virulent strain suitable for mono-rhamnolipids production.

    PubMed

    Grosso-Becerra, María-Victoria; González-Valdez, Abigail; Granados-Martínez, María-Jessica; Morales, Estefanía; Servín-González, Luis; Méndez, José-Luis; Delgado, Gabriela; Morales-Espinosa, Rosario; Ponce-Soto, Gabriel-Yaxal; Cocotl-Yañez, Miguel; Soberón-Chávez, Gloria

    2016-12-01

    Rhamnolipids produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are biosurfactants with a high biotechnological potential, but their extensive commercialization is limited by the potential virulence of P. aeruginosa and by restrictions in producing these surfactants in heterologous hosts. In this work, we report the characterization of P. aeruginosa strain ATCC 9027 in terms of its genome-sequence, virulence, antibiotic resistance, and its ability to produce mono-rhamnolipids when carrying plasmids with different cloned genes from the type strain PAO1. The genes that were expressed from the plasmids are those coding for enzymes involved in the synthesis of this biosurfactant (rhlA and rhlB), as well as the gene that codes for the RhlR transcriptional regulator. We confirm that strain ATCC 9027 forms part of the PA7 clade, but contrary to strain PA7, it is sensitive to antibiotics and is completely avirulent in a mouse model. We also report that strain ATCC 9027 mono-rhamnolipid synthesis is limited by the expression of the rhlAB-R operon. Thus, this strain carrying the rhlAB-R operon produces similar rhamnolipids levels as PAO1 strain. We determined that strain ATCC 9027 with rhlAB-R operon was not virulent to mice. These results show that strain ATCC 9027, expressing PAO1 rhlAB-R operon, has a high biotechnological potential for industrial mono-rhamnolipid production.

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

    PubMed

    Roy, Ajit; Ranjan, Akash

    2016-02-23

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

  8. A long-term epigenetic memory switch controls bacterial virulence bimodality.

    PubMed

    Ronin, Irine; Katsowich, Naama; Rosenshine, Ilan; Balaban, Nathalie Q

    2017-02-07

    When pathogens enter the host, sensing of environmental cues activates the expression of virulence genes. Opposite transition of pathogens from activating to non-activating conditions is poorly understood. Interestingly, variability in the expression of virulence genes upon infection enhances colonization. In order to systematically detect the role of phenotypic variability in enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), an important human pathogen, both in virulence activating and non-activating conditions, we employed the ScanLag methodology. The analysis revealed a bimodal growth rate. Mathematical modeling combined with experimental analysis showed that this bimodality is mediated by a hysteretic memory-switch that results in the stable co-existence of non-virulent and hyper-virulent subpopulations, even after many generations of growth in non-activating conditions. We identified the per operon as the key component of the hysteretic switch. This unique hysteretic memory switch may result in persistent infection and enhanced host-to-host spreading.

  9. Structure of the lac operon galactoside acetyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xing-Guo; Olsen, Laurence R; Roderick, Steven L

    2002-04-01

    The galactoside acetyltransferase (thiogalactoside transacetylase) of Escherichia coli (GAT, LacA, EC 2.3.1.18) is a gene product of the classical lac operon. GAT may assist cellular detoxification by acetylating nonmetabolizable pyranosides, thereby preventing their reentry into the cell. The structure of GAT has been solved in binary complexes with acetyl-CoA or CoA and in ternary complexes with CoA and the nonphysiological acceptor substrates isopropyl beta-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG) or p-nitrophenyl beta-D-galactopyranoside (PNPbetaGal). A hydrophobic cleft that binds the thioisopropyl and p-nitrophenyl aglycones of IPTG and PNPbetaGal may discriminate against substrates with hydrophilic substituents at this position, such as lactose, or inducers of the lac operon. An extended loop projecting from the left-handed parallel beta helix domain contributes His115, which is in position to facilitate attack of the C6-hydroxyl group of the substrate on the thioester.

  10. Genomic rearrangements at rrn operons in Salmonella.

    PubMed

    Helm, R Allen; Lee, Alison G; Christman, Harry D; Maloy, Stanley

    2003-11-01

    Most Salmonella serovars are general pathogens that infect a variety of hosts. These "generalist" serovars cause disease in many animals from reptiles to mammals. In contrast, a few serovars cause disease only in a specific host. Host-specific serovars can cause a systemic, often fatal disease in one species yet remain avirulent in other species. Host-specific Salmonella frequently have large genomic rearrangements due to recombination at the ribosomal RNA (rrn) operons while the generalists consistently have a conserved chromosomal arrangement. To determine whether this is the result of an intrinsic difference in recombination frequency or a consequence of lifestyle difference between generalist and host-specific Salmonella, we determined the frequency of rearrangements in vitro. Using lacZ genes as portable regions of homology for inversion analysis, we found that both generalist and host-specific serovars of Salmonella have similar tolerances to chromosomal rearrangements in vitro. Using PCR and genetic selection, we found that generalist and host-specific serovars also undergo rearrangements at rrn operons at similar frequencies in vitro. These observations indicate that the observed difference in genomic stability between generalist and host-specific serovars is a consequence of their distinct lifestyles, not intrinsic differences in recombination frequencies.

  11. Natural Selection for Operons Depends on Genome Size

    PubMed Central

    Nuñez, Pablo A.; Romero, Héctor; Farber, Marisa D.; Rocha, Eduardo P.C.

    2013-01-01

    In prokaryotes, genome size is associated with metabolic versatility, regulatory complexity, effective population size, and horizontal transfer rates. We therefore analyzed the covariation of genome size and operon conservation to assess the evolutionary models of operon formation and maintenance. In agreement with previous results, intraoperonic pairs of essential and of highly expressed genes are more conserved. Interestingly, intraoperonic pairs of genes are also more conserved when they encode proteins at similar cell concentrations, suggesting a role of cotranscription in diminishing the cost of waste and shortfall in gene expression. Larger genomes have fewer and smaller operons that are also less conserved. Importantly, lower conservation in larger genomes was observed for all classes of operons in terms of gene expression, essentiality, and balanced protein concentration. We reached very similar conclusions in independent analyses of three major bacterial clades (α- and β-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes). Operon conservation is inversely correlated to the abundance of transcription factors in the genome when controlled for genome size. This suggests a negative association between the complexity of genetic networks and operon conservation. These results show that genome size and/or its proxies are key determinants of the intensity of natural selection for operon organization. Our data fit better the evolutionary models based on the advantage of coregulation than those based on genetic linkage or stochastic gene expression. We suggest that larger genomes with highly complex genetic networks and many transcription factors endure weaker selection for operons than smaller genomes with fewer alternative tools for genetic regulation. PMID:24201372

  12. Electron microscopic visualization of trp operon expression in Salmonella typhimurium.

    PubMed

    French, S; Martin, K; Patterson, T; Bauerle, R; Miller, O L

    1985-07-01

    Transcriptional activity of plasmids carrying wild-type and mutant trp operons was visualized in cell lysates of Salmonella typhimurium. Plasmid and transcription-unit sizes varied with the size of the cloned operon. Following 3-(3-indolyl)acrylic acid derepression, all operons of a particular type exhibited the same high level of transcriptional activity. An estimated 11-14 transcripts must be initiated each minute to maintain the 190-base-pair spacing of RNA polymerases observed on the promoter-proximal half of the wild-type trp operon. A decline in RNA polymerase density was observed on promoter-distal portions of cloned trp operons, which may be attributable to premature transcription termination accompanying translation inhibition due to indolylacrylic acid's interference with normal tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase activity.

  13. The fas operon of Rhodococcus fascians encodes new genes required for efficient fasciation of host plants.

    PubMed

    Crespi, M; Vereecke, D; Temmerman, W; Van Montagu, M; Desomer, J

    1994-05-01

    Three virulence loci (fas, att, and hyp) of Rhodococcus fascians D188 have been identified on a 200-kb conjugative linear plasmid (pFiD188). The fas locus was delimited to a 6.5-kb DNA fragment by insertion mutagenesis, single homologous disruptive recombination, and in trans complementation of different avirulent insertion mutants. The locus is arranged as a large operon containing six open reading frames whose expression is specifically induced during the interaction with host plants. One predicted protein is homologous to P-450 cytochromes from actinomycetes. The putative ferredoxin component is of a novel type containing additional domains homologous to transketolases from chemoautotrophic, photosynthetic, and methylotrophic microorganisms. Genetic analysis revealed that fas encodes, in addition to the previously identified ipt, at least two new genes that are involved in fasciation development, one of which is only required on older tobacco plants.

  14. Expression, purification and functional characterization of AmiA of acetamidase operon of Mycobacterium smegmatis.

    PubMed

    Sundararaman, Balaji; Palaniyandi, Kannan; Venkatesan, Arunkumar; Narayanan, Sujatha

    2014-11-01

    Regulation of gene expression is one of the mechanisms of virulence in pathogenic organisms. In this context, we would like to understand the gene regulation of acetamidase enzyme of Mycobacterium smegmatis, which is the first reported inducible enzyme in mycobacteria. The acetamidase is highly inducible and the expression of this enzyme is increased 100-fold when the substrate acetamide is added. The acetamidase structural gene (amiE) is found immediately downstream of three predicted open reading frames (ORFs). Three of these genes along with a divergently expressed ORF are predicted to form an operon and involved in the regulation of acetamidase enzyme. Here we report expression, purification and functional characterization of AmiA which is one of these predicted ORFs. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that AmiA binds to the region between the amiA and amiD near the predicted promoter (P2). Over-expression of AmiA significantly lowered the expression of acetamidase compared to the wild type as demonstrated by qRT-PCR and SDS-PAGE. We conclude that AmiA binds near P2 promoter and acts as a repressor in the regulation of acetamidase operon. The described work is a further step forward toward broadening the knowledge on understanding of the complex gene regulatory mechanism of Mycobacterium sp.

  15. A phylogenomic analysis of the Actinomycetales mce operons

    PubMed Central

    Casali, Nicola; Riley, Lee W

    2007-01-01

    Background The genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis harbors four copies of a cluster of genes termed mce operons. Despite extensive research that has demonstrated the importance of these operons on infection outcome, their physiological function remains obscure. Expanding databases of complete microbial genome sequences facilitate a comparative genomic approach that can provide valuable insight into the role of uncharacterized proteins. Results The M. tuberculosis mce loci each include two yrbE and six mce genes, which have homology to ABC transporter permeases and substrate-binding proteins, respectively. Operons with an identical structure were identified in all Mycobacterium species examined, as well as in five other Actinomycetales genera. Some of the Actinomycetales mce operons include an mkl gene, which encodes an ATPase resembling those of ABC uptake transporters. The phylogenetic profile of Mkl orthologs exactly matched that of the Mce and YrbE proteins. Through topology and motif analyses of YrbE homologs, we identified a region within the penultimate cytoplasmic loop that may serve as the site of interaction with the putative cognate Mkl ATPase. Homologs of the exported proteins encoded adjacent to the M. tuberculosis mce operons were detected in a conserved chromosomal location downstream of the majority of Actinomycetales operons. Operons containing linked mkl, yrbE and mce genes, resembling the classic organization of an ABC importer, were found to be common in Gram-negative bacteria and appear to be associated with changes in properties of the cell surface. Conclusion Evidence presented suggests that the mce operons of Actinomycetales species and related operons in Gram-negative bacteria encode a subfamily of ABC uptake transporters with a possible role in remodeling the cell envelope. PMID:17324287

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

    PubMed

    Taboada, Blanca; Verde, Cristina; Merino, Enrique

    2010-07-01

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

  17. Structure of the Escherichia coli S10 ribosomal protein operon.

    PubMed Central

    Zurawski, G; Zurawski, S M

    1985-01-01

    The complete structure of the Escherichia coli S10 ribosomal protein operon is presented. Based on the DNA sequence, the deduced order of the 11 genes in the operon is rpsJ, rplC, rplD, rplW, rplB, rpsS, rplV, rpsC, rplP, rpmC, rpsQ. The estimated transcribed length of the operon is 5181 base pairs. Putative sequences involved in ribosome binding are discussed. The DNA sequence data corrects several errors in previously determined protein sequence data. PMID:3892488

  18. Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of pst2 operon expression in Vibrio cholerae O1.

    PubMed

    da C Leite, Daniel M; Barbosa, Livia C; Mantuano, Nathalia; Goulart, Carolina L; Veríssimo da Costa, Giovani C; Bisch, Paulo M; von Krüger, Wanda M A

    2017-02-27

    One of the most abundant proteins in V. cholerae O1 cells grown under inorganic phosphate (Pi) limitation is PstS, the periplasmic Pi-binding component of the high-affinity Pi transport system Pst2 (PstSCAB), encoded in pst2 operon (pstS-pstC2-pstA2-pstB2). Besides its role in Pi uptake, Pst2 has been also associated with V. cholerae virulence. However, the mechanisms regulating pst2 expression and the non-stoichiometric production of the Pst2 components under Pi-limitation are unknown. A computational-experimental approach was used to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms behind pst2 expression in V. cholerae O1. Bioinformatics analysis of pst2 operon nucleotide sequence revealed start codons for pstS and pstC genes distinct from those originally annotated, a regulatory region upstream pstS containing potential PhoB-binding sites and a pstS-pstC intergenic region longer than predicted. Analysis of nucleotide sequence between pstS-pstC revealed inverted repeats able to form stem-loop structures followed by a potential RNAse E-cleavage site. Another putative RNase E recognition site was identified within the pstA-pstB intergenic sequence. In silico predictions of pst2 operon expression regulation were subsequently tested using cells grown under Pi limitation by promoter-lacZ fusion, gel electrophoresis mobility shift assay and quantitative RT-PCR. The experimental and in silico results matched very well and led us to propose a pst2 promoter sequence upstream of pstS gene distinct from the previously annotated. Furthermore, V. cholerae O1 pst2 operon transcription is PhoB-dependent and generates a polycistronic mRNA molecule that is rapidly processed into minor transcripts of distinct stabilities. The most stable was the pstS-encoding mRNA, which correlates with PstS higher levels relative to other Pst2 components in Pi-starved cells. The relatively higher stability of pstS and pstB transcripts seems to rely on the secondary structures at their 3' untranslated regions

  19. Evolution and Biophysics of the Escherichia coli lac Operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  20. Bacterial cells carrying synthetic dual-function operon survived starvation.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yuki; Ito, Yoichiro; Tsuru, Saburo; Ying, Bei-Wen; Yomo, Tetsuya

    2011-01-01

    A synthetic dual-function operon with a bistable structure was designed and successfully integrated into the bacterial genome. Bistability was generated by the mutual inhibitory structure comprised of the promoters P(tet) and P(lac) and the repressors LacI and TetR. Dual function essential for cell growth was introduced by replacing the genes (i.e., hisC and leuB) encoding proteins involved in the biosynthesis of histidine and leucine from their native chromosomal locations to the synthetic operon. Both colony formation and population dynamics of the cells carrying this operon showed that the cells survived starvation and the newly formed population transited between the two stable states, representing the induced hisC and leuB levels, in accordance with the nutritional status. The results strongly suggested that the synthetic design of proto-operons sensitive to external perturbations is practical and functional in native cells.

  1. Characterization of the rrnB operon of the plant pathogen Rhodococcus fascians and targeted integrations of exogenous genes at rrn loci.

    PubMed

    Pisabarro, A; Correia, A; Martín, J F

    1998-04-01

    A 6.0-kb SalI DNA fragment containing an entire rRNA operon (rrnB) was cloned from a cosmid gene bank of the phytopathogenic strain Rhodococcus fascians D188. The nucleotide sequence of the 6-kb fragment was determined and had the organization 16S rRNA-spacer-23S rRNA-spacer-5S rRNA without tRNA-encoding genes in the spacer regions. The 5' and 3' ends of the mature 16S, 23S, and 5S rRNAs were determined by alignment with the rrn operons of Bacillus subtilis and other gram-positive bacteria. Four copies of the rrn operons were identified by hybridization with an rrnB probe in R. fascians type strain ATCC 12974 and in the virulent strain R. fascians D188. However, another isolate, CECT 3001 (= NRRL B15096), also classified as R. fascians, produced five rrn-hybridizing bands. An integrative vector containing a 2.5-kb DNA fragment internal to rrnB was constructed for targeted integration of exogenous genes at the rrn loci. Transformants carrying the exogenous chloramphenicol resistance gene (cmr) integrated in different rrn operons were obtained. These transformants had normal growth rates in complex medium and minimal medium and were fully stable for the integrated marker.

  2. Structural Basis for Converting a General Transcription Factor into an Operon-Specific Virulence Regulator

    PubMed Central

    Belogurov, Georgiy A.; Vassylyeva, Marina N.; Svetlov, Vladimir; Klyuyev, Sergiy; Grishin, Nick V.; Vassylyev, Dmitry G.; Artsimovitch, Irina

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY RfaH, a paralog of the general transcription factor NusG, is recruited to elongating RNA polymerase at specific regulatory sites. The X-ray structure of Escherichia coli RfaH reported here reveals two domains. The N-terminal domain displays high similarity to that of NusG. In contrast, the α-helical coiled-coil C domain, while retaining sequence similarity, is strikingly different from the β barrel of NusG. To our knowledge, such an all-β to all-α transition of the entire domain is the most extreme example of protein fold evolution known to date. Both N domains possess a vast hydrophobic cavity that is buried by the C domain in RfaH but is exposed in NusG. We propose that this cavity constitutes the RNA polymerase-binding site, which becomes unmasked in RfaH only upon sequence-specific binding to the nontemplate DNA strand that triggers domain dissociation. Finally, we argue that RfaH binds to the β′ subunit coiled coil, the major target site for the initiation σ factors. PMID:17434131

  3. An ent-kaurene-derived diterpenoid virulence factor from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xuan; Hershey, David M; Wang, Li; Bogdanove, Adam J; Peters, Reuben J

    2015-04-01

    Both plants and fungi produce ent-kaurene as a precursor to the gibberellin plant hormones. A number of rhizobia contain functionally conserved, sequentially acting ent-copalyl diphosphate and ent-kaurene synthases (CPS and KS, respectively), which are found within a well-conserved operon that may lead to the production of gibberellins. Intriguingly, the rice bacterial leaf streak pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) contains a homologous operon. Here, we report biochemical characterization of the encoded CPS and KS, and the impact of insertional mutagenesis on virulence and the plant defense response for these genes, as well as that for one of the cytochromes P450 (CYP112) found in the operon. Activity of the CPS and KS found in this phytopathogen was verified - that is, Xoc is capable of producing ent-kaurene. Moreover, knocking out CPS, KS or CYP112 led to mutant Xoc that exhibited reduced virulence. Investigation of the effect on marker gene transcript levels suggests that the Xoc diterpenoid affects the plant defense response, most directly that mediated by jasmonic acid (JA). Xoc produces an ent-kaurene-derived diterpenoid as a virulence factor, potentially a gibberellin phytohormone, which is antagonistic to JA, consistent with the recent recognition of opposing effects for these phytohormones on the microbial defense response.

  4. Virulence factors and bacteriocins in faecal enterococci of wild boars.

    PubMed

    Poeta, Patricia; Igrejas, Gilberto; Costa, Daniela; Sargo, Roberto; Rodrigues, Jorge; Torres, Carmen

    2008-10-01

    The production of antimicrobial, haemolytic and gelatinase activities was tested in 67 enterococci (39 E. faecium, 24 E. hirae, 2 E. faecalis, and 2 Enterococcus spp.), recovered from faecal samples of wild boars. In addition, the presence of genes encoding bacteriocin and virulence factors was also analysed by PCR and sequencing. Production of antimicrobial activity was checked in all enterococci against 9 indicator bacteria and it was detected in 11 E. faecium isolates (16.5%); eight and two of them harboured the genes encoding enterocin A + enterocin B and enterocin L50A/B, respectively. Sixty-seven per cent of our enterococci harboured different combinations of genes of the cyl operon, but none of them contained the complete cyl L(L)L(S)ABM operon, necessary for cytolysin expression. The presence of gel E gene, associated with the fsr ABC locus, was identified in 4 E. faecium and two E. faecalis isolates, exhibiting all of them gelatinase activity. beta -hemolytic activity was not found in our isolates. Both cpd and ace genes, encoding respectively the accessory colonisation factor and pheromone, were detected in two E. faecalis isolates, and the hyl gene, encoding hyalorunidase, in two E. faecium isolates, one of them gelatinase-positive. Genes encoding bacteriocins and virulence factors are widely disseminated among faecal enterococci of wild boars and more studies should be carried out to know the global distribution of these determinants in enterococci of different ecosystems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Veliz-Cuba, Alan; Stigler, Brandilyn

    2011-06-01

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

  7. Staphylococcus aureus ArcR controls expression of the arginine deiminase operon.

    PubMed

    Makhlin, Julia; Kofman, Tzili; Borovok, Ilya; Kohler, Christian; Engelmann, Susanne; Cohen, Gerald; Aharonowitz, Yair

    2007-08-01

    We identified a single open reading frame that is strongly similar to ArcR, a member of the Crp/Fnr family of bacterial transcriptional regulators, in all sequenced Staphylococcus aureus genomes. The arcR gene encoding ArcR forms an operon with the arginine deiminase (ADI) pathway genes arcABDC that enable the utilization of arginine as a source of energy for growth under anaerobic conditions. In this report, we show that under anaerobic conditions, S. aureus growth is subject to glucose catabolic repression and is enhanced by arginine. Likewise, glucose and arginine have reciprocal effects on the transcription of the arcABDCR genes. Furthermore, we show using a mutant deleted for arcR that the transcription of the arc operon under anaerobic conditions depends strictly on a functional ArcR. These findings are supported by proteome analyses, which showed that under anaerobic conditions the expression of the ADI catabolic proteins depends on ArcR. Bioinformatic analysis of S. aureus ArcR predicts an N-terminal nucleotide binding domain and a C-terminal helix-turn-helix DNA binding motif. ArcR binds to a conserved Crp-like sequence motif, TGTGA-N(6)-TCACA, present in the arc promoter region and thereby activates the expression of the ADI pathway genes. Crp-like sequence motifs were also found in the regulatory regions of some 30 other S. aureus genes mostly encoding anaerobic enzymatic systems, virulence factors, and regulatory systems. ArcR was tested and found to bind to the regulatory regions of four such genes, adh1, lctE, srrAB, and lukM. In one case, for lctE, encoding l-lactate dehydrogenase, ArcR was able to bind only in the presence of cyclic AMP. These observations suggest that ArcR is likely to play an important role in the expression of numerous genes required for anaerobic growth.

  8. Operon Gene Order Is Optimized for Ordered Protein Complex Assembly.

    PubMed

    Wells, Jonathan N; Bergendahl, L Therese; Marsh, Joseph A

    2016-02-02

    The assembly of heteromeric protein complexes is an inherently stochastic process in which multiple genes are expressed separately into proteins, which must then somehow find each other within the cell. Here, we considered one of the ways by which prokaryotic organisms have attempted to maximize the efficiency of protein complex assembly: the organization of subunit-encoding genes into operons. Using structure-based assembly predictions, we show that operon gene order has been optimized to match the order in which protein subunits assemble. Exceptions to this are almost entirely highly expressed proteins for which assembly is less stochastic and for which precisely ordered translation offers less benefit. Overall, these results show that ordered protein complex assembly pathways are of significant biological importance and represent a major evolutionary constraint on operon gene organization.

  9. Cost-benefit tradeoffs in engineered lac operons.

    PubMed

    Eames, Matt; Kortemme, Tanja

    2012-05-18

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

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

    DOE Data Explorer

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

  11. Dynamic model of gene regulation for the lac operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelova, Maia; Ben-Halim, Asma

    2011-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ewing, J

    2005-09-06

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-04-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Modeling network dynamics: the lac operon, a case study.

    PubMed

    Vilar, José M G; Guet, Călin C; Leibler, Stanislas

    2003-05-12

    We use the lac operon in Escherichia coli as a prototype system to illustrate the current state, applicability, and limitations of modeling the dynamics of cellular networks. We integrate three different levels of description (molecular, cellular, and that of cell population) into a single model, which seems to capture many experimental aspects of the system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Prevalence of the ica operon and insertion sequence IS256 among Staphylococcus epidermidis prosthetic joint infection isolates.

    PubMed

    Koskela, A; Nilsdotter-Augustinsson, A; Persson, L; Söderquist, B

    2009-06-01

    Joint replacement surgery has improved the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of patients. However, the infection of a joint implant is an important and serious complication, though the prevalence is low. Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most important pathogen involved in foreign-body infections. S. epidermidis is also a commensal that comprises a substantial part of the normal skin flora of humans. The possibility to demonstrate potential specific virulence markers may facilitate the interpretation of the bacteriological findings, as well as the clinical decision. The prevalence of the ica locus and insertion sequence IS256 by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) among 32 clinical S. epidermidis isolates from prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) and 24 commensal isolates from nares and skin was investigated. Sixteen (50%) of the 32 PJI isolates harbored the ica operon compared with one-third of the commensal isolates obtained from the samples of the skin and nares of healthy individuals. The IS256 was demonstrated in 26 (81%) out of 32 PJI isolates. By contrast, IS256 was found in one of 24 commensal isolates. In conclusion, IS256 may be superior to the ica operon as a marker of the invasive capacity of S. epidermidis, since it was found in most of the PJI isolates, but rarely among commensals.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  20. Cryptosporidium Pathogenicity and Virulence

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. CodY orchestrates the expression of virulence determinants in emetic Bacillus cereus by impacting key regulatory circuits.

    PubMed

    Frenzel, Elrike; Doll, Viktoria; Pauthner, Matthias; Lücking, Genia; Scherer, Siegfried; Ehling-Schulz, Monika

    2012-07-01

    Bacillus cereus causes gastrointestinal diseases and local and systemic infections elicited by the depsipeptide cereulide, enterotoxins, phospholipases, cytolysins and proteases. The PlcR-PapR quorum sensing system activates the expression of several virulence factors, whereas the Spo0A-AbrB regulatory circuit partially controls the plasmid-borne cereulide synthetase (ces) operon. Here, we show that CodY, a nutrient-responsive regulator of Gram-positive bacteria, has a profound effect on both regulatory systems, which have been assumed to operate independently of each other. Deletion of codY resulted in downregulation of virulence genes belonging to the PlcR regulon and a concomitant upregulation of the ces genes. CodY was found to be a repressor of the ces operon, but did not interact with the promoter regions of PlcR-dependent virulence genes in vitro, suggesting an indirect regulation of the latter. Furthermore, CodY binds to the promoter of the immune inhibitor metalloprotease InhA1, demonstrating that CodY directly links B. cereus metabolism to virulence. In vivo studies using a Galleria mellonella infection model, showed that the codY mutant was substantially attenuated, highlighting the importance of CodY as a key regulator of pathogenicity. Our results demonstrate that CodY profoundly modulates the virulence of B. cereus, possibly controlling the development of pathogenic traits in suitable host environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Contribution of Salmonella typhimurium Virulence Factors to Diarrheal Disease in Calves

    PubMed Central

    Tsolis, Renée M.; Adams, L. Garry; Ficht, Thomas A.; Bäumler, Andreas J.

    1999-01-01

    Limited knowledge is available about the virulence mechanisms responsible for diarrheal disease caused by Salmonella typhimurium. To assess the contribution to diarrheal disease of virulence determinants identified in models of infection, we tested a collection of S. typhimurium mutants for their ability to cause enteritis in calves. S. typhimurium strains carrying mutations in the virulence plasmid (spvR), Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2) (spiB), or SPI-5 (sopB) caused mortality and acute diarrhea in calves. An S. typhimurium rfaJ mutant, which is defective for lipopolysaccharide outer core biosynthesis, was of intermediate virulence. Mutations in SPI-1 (hilA and prgH) or aroA markedly reduced virulence and the severity of diarrhea. Furthermore, histopathological examination of calves infected with SPI-1 or aroA mutants revealed a marked reduction or absence of intestinal lesions. These data suggest that virulence factors, such as SPI-1, which are required during intestinal colonization are more important for pathogenicity in calves than are genes required during the systemic phase of S. typhimurium infection, including SPI-2 or the spv operon. This is in contrast to the degree of attenuation caused by these mutations in the mouse. PMID:10456944

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

  6. Fucose-Mediated Transcriptional Activation of the fcs Operon by FcsR in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Manzoor, Irfan; Shafeeq, Sulman; Afzal, Muhammad; Kuipers, Oscar P

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we explore the impact of fucose on the transcriptome of S. pneumoniae D39. The expression of various genes and operons, including the fucose uptake PTS and utilization operon (fcs operon) was altered in the presence of fucose. By means of quantitative RT-PCR and β-galactosidase analysis, we demonstrate the role of the transcriptional regulator FcsR, present upstream of the fcs operon, as a transcriptional activator of the fcs operon. We also predict a 19-bp putative FcsR regulatory site (5'-ATTTGAACATTATTCAAGT-3') in the promoter region of the fcs operon. The functionality of this predicted FcsR regulatory site was further confirmed by promoter-truncation experiments, where deletion of half of the FscR regulatory site or full deletion led to the abolition of expression of the fcs operon.

  7. Salmonella enterica Typhimurium fljBA operon stability: implications regarding the origin of Salmonella enterica I 4,[5],12:i:.

    PubMed

    Tomiyama, M P O; Werle, C H; Milanez, G P; Nóbrega, D B; Pereira, J P; Calarga, A P; Flores, F; Brocchi, M

    2015-12-29

    Salmonella enterica subsp enterica serovar 4,5,12:i:- has been responsible for many recent Salmonella outbreaks worldwide. Several studies indicate that this serovar originated from S. enterica subsp enterica serovar Typhimurium, by the loss of the flagellar phase II gene (fljB) and adjacent sequences. However, at least two different clones of S. enterica 4,5,12:i:- exist that differs in the molecular events responsible for fljB deletion. The aim of this study was to test the stability of the fljBA operon responsible for the flagellar phase variation under different growth conditions in order to verify if its deletion is a frequent event that could explain the origin and dissemination of this serovar. In fact, coding sequences for transposons are present near this operon and in some strains, such as S. enterica Typhimurium LT2, the Fels-2 prophage gene is inserted near this operon. The presence of mobile DNA could confer instability to this region. In order to examine this, the cat (chloramphenicol acetyltransferase) gene was inserted adjacent to the fljBA operon so that deletions involving this genomic region could be identified. After growing S. enterica chloramphenicol-resistant strains under different conditions, more than 104 colonies were tested for the loss of chloramphenicol resistance. However, none of the colonies were sensitive to chloramphenicol. These data suggest that the origin of S. enterica serovar 4,5,12:i:- from Typhimurium by fljBA deletion is not a frequent event. The origin and dissemination of 4,5,12:i:- raise several questions about the role of flagellar phase variation in virulence.

  8. GapA and CrmA Coexpression Is Essential for Mycoplasma gallisepticum Cytadherence and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Papazisi, L.; Frasca Jr., S.; Gladd, M.; Liao, X.; Yogev, D.; Geary, S. J.

    2002-01-01

    It was previously demonstrated that avirulent Mycoplasma gallisepticum strain Rhigh (passage 164) is lacking three proteins that are expressed in its virulent progenitor, strain Rlow (passage 15). These proteins were identified as the cytadhesin molecule GapA, the putative cytadhesin-related molecule CrmA, and a component of a high-affinity transporter system, HatA. Complementation of Rhigh with wild-type gapA restored expression in the transformant (GT5) but did not restore the cytadherence phenotype and maintained avirulence in chickens. These results suggested that CrmA might play an essential role in the M. gallisepticum cytadherence process. CrmA is encoded by the second gene in the gapA operon and shares significant sequence homology to the ORF6 gene of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which has been shown to play an accessory role in the cytadherence process. Complementation of Rhigh with wild-type crmA resulted in the transformant (SDCA) that lacked the cytadherence and virulence phenotype comparable to that found in Rhigh and GT5. In contrast, complementation of Rhigh with the entire wild-type gapA operon resulted in the transformant (GCA1) that restored cytadherence to the level found in wild-type Rlow. In vivo pathogenesis trials revealed that GCA1 had regained virulence, causing airsacculitis in chickens. These results demonstrate that both GapA and CrmA are required for M. gallisepticum cytadherence and pathogenesis. PMID:12438360

  9. Design and characterisation of synthetic operons for biohydrogen technology.

    PubMed

    Lamont, Ciaran M; Sargent, Frank

    2017-04-01

    Biohydrogen is produced by a number of microbial systems and the commonly used host bacterium Escherichia coli naturally produces hydrogen under fermentation conditions. One approach to engineering additional hydrogen production pathways is to introduce non-native hydrogenases into E. coli. An attractive candidate is the soluble [NiFe]-hydrogenase from Ralstonia eutropha, which has been shown to link NADH/NAD(+) biochemistry directly to hydrogen metabolism, an activity that E. coli does not perform. In this work, three synthetic operons were designed that code for the soluble hydrogenase and two different enzyme maturase systems. Interestingly, using this system, the recombinant soluble hydrogenase was found to be assembled by the native E. coli [NiFe]-hydrogenase assembly machinery, and, vice versa, the synthetic maturase operons were able to complement E. coli mutants defective in hydrogenase biosynthesis. The heterologously expressed soluble hydrogenase was found to be active and was shown to produce biohydrogen in vivo.

  10. [UV-inducibility of the LT-toxin operon].

    PubMed

    Tiganova, I G; Rusina, O Iu; Andreeva, I V; Demkin, V V; Brukhanskiĭ, G V; Aleshkin, G I; Skavronskaia, A G

    1989-07-01

    The plasmid elt-operon pVZ14 was constructed by fusing of the eltoperon of the plasmid pVZ357 with the lac-gene of the bacteriophage Mud1 (Amp, Lac). lacZ gene has been proven to be fused with an elt-promoter by the loss of toxin production coded by pVZ357 and acquiring of Lac+ phenotype by pVZ14 containing cells, as well as by HindIII fragments hybridization of pVZ357 and pVZ14 with the labelled elt-probe. The kinetics of beta-galactosidase synthesis in E. coli cells harboring pVZ14 shows an elt-operon promoter to have expressed constitutive activity and to be activated by a SOS-inducing agent, UV-light.

  11. Positive and Negative Control of the Lac Operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-03-01

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

  12. Elucidation of operon structures across closely related bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chuan; Ma, Qin; Li, Guojun

    2014-01-01

    About half of the protein-coding genes in prokaryotic genomes are organized into operons to facilitate co-regulation during transcription. With the evolution of genomes, operon structures are undergoing changes which could coordinate diverse gene expression patterns in response to various stimuli during the life cycle of a bacterial cell. Here we developed a graph-based model to elucidate the diversity of operon structures across a set of closely related bacterial genomes. In the constructed graph, each node represents one orthologous gene group (OGG) and a pair of nodes will be connected if any two genes, from the corresponding two OGGs respectively, are located in the same operon as immediate neighbors in any of the considered genomes. Through identifying the connected components in the above graph, we found that genes in a connected component are likely to be functionally related and these identified components tend to form treelike topology, such as paths and stars, corresponding to different biological mechanisms in transcriptional regulation as follows. Specifically, (i) a path-structure component integrates genes encoding a protein complex, such as ribosome; and (ii) a star-structure component not only groups related genes together, but also reflects the key functional roles of the central node of this component, such as the ABC transporter with a transporter permease and substrate-binding proteins surrounding it. Most interestingly, the genes from organisms with highly diverse living environments, i.e., biomass degraders and animal pathogens of clostridia in our study, can be clearly classified into different topological groups on some connected components.

  13. Structure of the E. coli hisT Operon.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-01-01

    ELEMENT NO. NO. NO. ACCESSION NO ArintoV 221-50061153N IRRO41-05 ]RR041-O5-Oj NR204-123 11. TITLE (include Security Classification) (U) STRUCTURE OF THE E ... Coli hisT OPERON ritpe C., Arps, Peggy J. and Winkler, Malcolm E. 13 YE OF RAPORT 13b. TIME CO VEE 14. DATE OF REPORT (Year Month. Day) 15. PAGE

  14. Structural characterization of the Salmonella typhimurium LT2 umu operon

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, S.M.; Crowne, H.M.; Pidsley, S.C.; Sedgwick, S.G. )

    1990-09-01

    The umuDC operon of Escherichia coli encodes functions required for mutagenesis induced by radiation and a wide variety of chemicals. The closely related organism Salmonella typhimurium is markedly less mutable than E. coli, but a umu homolog has recently been identified and cloned from the LT2 subline. In this study the nucleotide sequence and structure of the S. typhimurium LT2 umu operon have been determined and its gene products have been identified so that the molecular basis of umu activity might be understood more fully. S. typhimurium LT2 umu consists of a smaller 417-base-pair (bp) umuD gene ending 2 bp upstream of a larger 1,266-bp umuC gene. The only apparent structural difference between the two operons is the lack of gene overlap. An SOS box identical to that found in E. coli is present in the promoter region upstream of umuD. The calculated molecular masses of the umuD and umuC gene products were 15.3 and 47.8 kilodaltons, respectively, which agree with figures determined by transpositional disruption and maxicell analysis. The S. typhimurium and E. coli umuD sequences were 68% homologous and encoded products with 71% amino acid identity; the umuC sequences were 71% homologous and encoded products with 83% amino acid identity. Furthermore, the potential UmuD cleavage site and associated catalytic sites could be identified. Thus the very different mutagenic responses of S. typhimurium LT2 and E. coli cannot be accounted for by gross differences in operon structure or gene products. Rather, the ability of the cloned S. typhimurium umuD gene to give stronger complementation of E. coli umuD77 mutants in the absence of a functional umuC gene suggests that Salmonella UmuC protein normally constrains UmuD protein activity.

  15. Transient virulence of emerging pathogens.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-06

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

  16. Growth and sporulation defects in Bacillus subtilis mutants with a single rrn operon can be suppressed by amplification of the rrn operon.

    PubMed

    Yano, Koichi; Masuda, Kenta; Akanuma, Genki; Wada, Tetsuya; Matsumoto, Takashi; Shiwa, Yuh; Ishige, Taichiro; Yoshikawa, Hirofumi; Niki, Hironori; Inaoka, Takashi; Kawamura, Fujio

    2016-01-01

    The genome of Bacillus subtilis strain 168 encodes ten rRNA (rrn) operons. We previously reported that strains with only a single rrn operon had a decreased growth and sporulation frequency. We report here the isolation and characterization of suppressor mutants from seven strains that each have a single rrn operon (rrnO, A, J, I, E, D or B). The suppressor mutants for strain RIK656 with a single rrnO operon had a higher frequency of larger colonies. These suppressor mutants had not only increased growth rates, but also increased sporulation frequencies and ribosome levels compared to the parental mutant strain RIK656. Quantitative PCR analyses showed that all these suppressor mutants had an increased number of copies of the rrnO operon. Suppressor mutants were also isolated from the six other strains with single rrn operons (rrnA, J, I, E, D or B). Next generation and capillary sequencing showed that all of the suppressor mutants had tandem repeats of the chromosomal locus containing the remaining rrn operon (amplicon). These amplicons varied in size from approximately 9 to 179 kb. The amplifications were likely to be initiated by illegitimate recombination between non- or micro-homologous sequences, followed by unequal crossing-over during DNA replication. These results are consistent with our previous report that rrn operon copy number has a major role in cellular processes such as cell growth and sporulation.

  17. The transcription of the cbb operon in Nitrosomonas europaea.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xueming; Sayavedra-Soto, Luis A; Arp, Daniel J

    2004-06-01

    Nitrosomonas europaea is an aerobic ammonia-oxidizing bacterium that participates in the C and N cycles. N. europaea utilizes CO(2) as its predominant carbon source, and is an obligate chemolithotroph, deriving all the reductant required for energy and biosynthesis from the oxidation of ammonia (NH(3)) to nitrite (). This bacterium fixes carbon via the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle via a type I ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). The RubisCO operon is composed of five genes, cbbLSQON. This gene organization is similar to that of the operon for 'green-like' type I RubisCOs in other organisms. The cbbR gene encoding the putative regulatory protein for RubisCO transcription was identified upstream of cbbL. This study showed that transcription of cbb genes was upregulated when the carbon source was limited, while amo, hao and other energy-harvesting-related genes were downregulated. N. europaea responds to carbon limitation by prioritizing resources towards key components for carbon assimilation. Unlike the situation for amo genes, NH(3) was not required for the transcription of the cbb genes. All five cbb genes were only transcribed when an external energy source was provided. In actively growing cells, mRNAs from the five genes in the RubisCO operon were present at different levels, probably due to premature termination of transcription, rapid mRNA processing and mRNA degradation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Activation of CpxRA in Haemophilus ducreyi primarily inhibits the expression of its targets, including major virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Gangaiah, Dharanesh; Zhang, Xinjun; Fortney, Kate R; Baker, Beth; Liu, Yunlong; Munson, Robert S; Spinola, Stanley M

    2013-08-01

    Haemophilus ducreyi causes chancroid, a genital ulcer disease that facilitates the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. In humans, H. ducreyi is surrounded by phagocytes and must adapt to a hostile environment to survive. To sense and respond to environmental cues, bacteria frequently use two-component signal transduction (2CST) systems. The only obvious 2CST system in H. ducreyi is CpxRA; CpxR is a response regulator, and CpxA is a sensor kinase. Previous studies by Hansen and coworkers showed that CpxR directly represses the expression of dsrA, the lspB-lspA2 operon, and the flp operon, which are required for virulence in humans. They further showed that CpxA functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vitro to maintain the expression of virulence determinants. Since a cpxA mutant is avirulent while a cpxR mutant is fully virulent in humans, CpxA also likely functions predominantly as a phosphatase in vivo. To better understand the role of H. ducreyi CpxRA in controlling virulence determinants, here we defined genes potentially regulated by CpxRA by using RNA-Seq. Activation of CpxR by deletion of cpxA repressed nearly 70% of its targets, including seven established virulence determinants. Inactivation of CpxR by deletion of cpxR differentially regulated few genes and increased the expression of one virulence determinant. We identified a CpxR binding motif that was enriched in downregulated but not upregulated targets. These data reinforce the hypothesis that CpxA phosphatase activity plays a critical role in controlling H. ducreyi virulence in vivo. Characterization of the downregulated genes may offer new insights into pathogenesis.

  20. Virulent Clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae: Identification and Evolutionary Scenario Based on Genomic and Phenotypic Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Brisse, Sylvain; Fevre, Cindy; Passet, Virginie; Issenhuth-Jeanjean, Sylvie; Tournebize, Régis; Diancourt, Laure; Grimont, Patrick

    2009-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is found in the environment and as a harmless commensal, but is also a frequent nosocomial pathogen (causing urinary, respiratory and blood infections) and the agent of specific human infections including Friedländer's pneumonia, rhinoscleroma and the emerging disease pyogenic liver abscess (PLA). The identification and precise definition of virulent clones, i.e. groups of strains with a single ancestor that are associated with particular infections, is critical to understand the evolution of pathogenicity from commensalism and for a better control of infections. We analyzed 235 K. pneumoniae isolates of diverse environmental and clinical origins by multilocus sequence typing, virulence gene content, biochemical and capsular profiling and virulence to mice. Phylogenetic analysis of housekeeping genes clearly defined clones that differ sharply by their clinical source and biological features. First, two clones comprising isolates of capsular type K1, clone CC23K1 and clone CC82K1, were strongly associated with PLA and respiratory infection, respectively. Second, only one of the two major disclosed K2 clones was highly virulent to mice. Third, strains associated with the human infections ozena and rhinoscleroma each corresponded to one monomorphic clone. Therefore, K. pneumoniae subsp. ozaenae and K. pneumoniae subsp. rhinoscleromatis should be regarded as virulent clones derived from K. pneumoniae. The lack of strict association of virulent capsular types with clones was explained by horizontal transfer of the cps operon, responsible for the synthesis of the capsular polysaccharide. Finally, the reduction of metabolic versatility observed in clones Rhinoscleromatis, Ozaenae and CC82K1 indicates an evolutionary process of specialization to a pathogenic lifestyle. In contrast, clone CC23K1 remains metabolically versatile, suggesting recent acquisition of invasive potential. In conclusion, our results reveal the existence of important virulent

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  2. The effector overlap between the lac and mel operons of Escherichia coli: Induction of the mel operon with β-galactosides.

    PubMed

    Narang, Atul; Oehler, Stefan

    2017-02-13

    The lac (lactose) operon (processes β-galactosides) and the mel (melibiose) operon (processes α-galactosides) of Escherichia coli have a close historical connection. A number of shared substrates and effectors of the permeases and regulatory proteins has been reported over the years. Up to now, β-thiogalactosides like TMG (methyl-β-D-thiogalactopyranoside) and IPTG (isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactopyranoside) are generally not considered inducers of the mel operon. The same is true for β-galactosides like lactose (β-D-galactopyranosyl-(1→4)-D-glucose), which is a substrate, but itself not an inducer of the lac operon. This report shows that all three sugars can induce the mel operon significantly, when they are accumulated in the cell by Lac permease. Strong induction by the gratuitous β-thiogalactosides is observed in the presence of Lac permease and strong induction by lactose (more than 200-fold) in the absence of β-galactosidase. This finding calls for re-evaluation of TMG uptake experiments as assays for Lac permease that were performed with mel(+) strains.IMPORTANCE The typical textbook picture of bacterial operons is that of stand-alone units of genetic information that perform, in a regulated manner, well-defined cellular functions. Less attention is given to the extensive interactions that can be found between operons. One well-described example of such interactions are the effector molecules shared by the lac and mel operons. It is here shown that this set has to be extended to include β-galactosides, which have been, until now, considered not to effect expression of the mel operon. That they can be inducers of the mel as well as the lac operon has not been noticed in decades of research, because of the E. coli genetic background used in previous studies.

  3. A long-term epigenetic memory switch controls bacterial virulence bimodality

    PubMed Central

    Ronin, Irine; Katsowich, Naama; Rosenshine, Ilan; Balaban, Nathalie Q

    2017-01-01

    When pathogens enter the host, sensing of environmental cues activates the expression of virulence genes. Opposite transition of pathogens from activating to non-activating conditions is poorly understood. Interestingly, variability in the expression of virulence genes upon infection enhances colonization. In order to systematically detect the role of phenotypic variability in enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), an important human pathogen, both in virulence activating and non-activating conditions, we employed the ScanLag methodology. The analysis revealed a bimodal growth rate. Mathematical modeling combined with experimental analysis showed that this bimodality is mediated by a hysteretic memory-switch that results in the stable co-existence of non-virulent and hyper-virulent subpopulations, even after many generations of growth in non-activating conditions. We identified the per operon as the key component of the hysteretic switch. This unique hysteretic memory switch may result in persistent infection and enhanced host-to-host spreading. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19599.001 PMID:28178445

  4. Interplay of Noisy Gene Expression and Dynamics Explains Patterns of Bacterial Operon Organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igoshin, Oleg

    2011-03-01

    Bacterial chromosomes are organized into operons -- sets of genes co-transcribed into polycistronic messenger RNA. Hypotheses explaining the emergence and maintenance of operons include proportional co-regulation, horizontal transfer of intact ``selfish'' operons, emergence via gene duplication, and co-production of physically interacting proteins to speed their association. We hypothesized an alternative: operons can reduce or increase intrinsic gene expression noise in a manner dependent on the post-translational interactions, thereby resulting in selection for or against operons in depending on the network architecture. We devised five classes of two-gene network modules and show that the effects of operons on intrinsic noise depend on class membership. Two classes exhibit decreased noise with co-transcription, two others reveal increased noise, and the remaining one does not show a significant difference. To test our modeling predictions we employed bioinformatic analysis to determine the relationship gene expression noise and operon organization. The results confirm the overrepresentation of noise-minimizing operon architectures and provide evidence against other hypotheses. Our results thereby suggest a central role for gene expression noise in selecting for or maintaining operons in bacterial chromosomes. This demonstrates how post-translational network dynamics may provide selective pressure for organizing bacterial chromosomes, and has practical consequences for designing synthetic gene networks. This work is supported by National Institutes of Health grant 1R01GM096189-01.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-18

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-05-01

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

  7. Operon required for fruiting body development in Myxococcus xanthus.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dohee; Chung, Jinwoo; Hyun, Hyesook; Lee, Chayul; Lee, Kyoung; Cho, Kyungyun

    2009-11-01

    We have used mutational analysis to identify four genes, MXAN3553, MXAN3554, MXAN3555, and MXAN3556, constituting an operon that is essential for normal fruiting body development in Myxococcus xanthus. Deletion of MXAN3553, which encoded a hypothetical protein, resulted in delayed fruiting body development. MXAN3554 was predicted to encode a metallopeptidase, and its deletion caused fruiting body formation to fail. Inactivation of MXAN3555, which encoded a putative NtrC-type response regulator, resulted in delayed aggregation and a severe reduction in sporulation. Fruiting bodies also failed to develop with the deletion of MXAN3556, another gene encoding a hypothetical protein.

  8. Dynamic behavior in mathematical models of the tryptophan operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santillán, Moisés; Mackey, Michael C.

    2001-03-01

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

  9. Regulation of the L-arabinose operon of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Schleif, R

    2000-12-01

    Over forty years of research on the L-arabinose operon of Escherichia coli have provided insights into the mechanism of positive regulation of gene activity. This research also discovered DNA looping and the mechanism by which the regulatory protein changes its DNA-binding properties in response to the presence of arabinose. As is frequently seen in focused research on biological subjects, the initial studies were primarily genetic. Subsequently, the genetic approaches were augmented by physiological and then biochemical studies. Now biophysical studies are being conducted at the atomic level, but genetics still has a crucial role in the study of this system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. A dual-signal regulatory circuit activates transcription of a set of divergent operons in Salmonella typhimurium

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Guang; Weatherspoon, Natasha; Kong, Wei; Curtiss, Roy; Shi, Yixin

    2008-01-01

    We present a molecular mechanism for signal transduction that activates transcription of the SlyA regulon in Salmonella typhimurium. We demonstrate that SlyA mediates transcriptional activation in response to guanosine tetraphosphate, ppGpp, according to the following observations: (i) in vivo transcription of SlyA-dependent genes is repressed when ppGpp is absent; this transcription can be restored by overproducing SlyA; (ii) in vivo dimerization and binding of SlyA to the target promoter are facilitated in the presence of ppGpp; and (iii) in vitro SlyA binding to the target promoter is enhanced when ppGpp is supplemented. Thus, ppGpp must be the cytoplasmic component that stimulates SlyA regulatory function by interacting directly with this regulator in Salmonella. This signaling domain, integrated by the PhoP/PhoQ 2-component system that activates slyA transcription by sensing Mg2+, forms feedforward loops that regulate chromosomal loci identified through a motif search over the S. typhimurium genome. Many such loci are divergent operons, each formed by 2 neighboring genes in which transcription of these 2 loci proceeds in opposite directions. Both genes, however, are controlled by PhoP and SlyA through a single shared PhoP box and SlyA box present in their intergenic regions. A substitution in either box sequence causes a simultaneous cessation of transcription of a divergent operon, pagD-pagC, equivalent to the phenotype in a phoP or slyA mutant. We also identified several chromosomal loci that possess pagC-type genes without the cognate pagD-type genes. Therefore, our results provide a molecular basis for the understanding of SlyA-dependent phenotypes associated with Salmonella virulence. PMID:19091955

  12. Molecular insight into the activity of LasR protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the regulation of virulence gene expression by this organism.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Nilkanta; Bagchi, Angshuman

    2016-04-10

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen. This organism attacks human patients suffering from diseases like AIDS, cancer, cystic fibrosis, etc. One of the important virulent factors produced by this organism is Hydrogen Cyanide. This is expressed from the genes encoded by the hcnABC operon. The expressions of the genes encoded by hcnABC operon are mediated mainly by the interactions of LasR protein with the corresponding promoter region of the hcnABC operon. The LasR protein acts as a dimer and binds to the promoter DNA with the help of an autoinducer ligand. However, till date the detailed molecular mechanism of how the LasR protein interacts with the promoter DNA is not clearly known. Therefore, in this work, an attempt has been made to analyze the mode of interactions of the LasR protein with the promoter DNA region of the hcnABC operon. We analyzed the three dimensional structure of the LasR protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and docked the protein with the autoinducer ligand. We then docked the ligand-bound-LasR-protein as well the LasR-protein-without-the-autoinducer-ligand on to the promoter DNA region of hcnABC operon. We analyzed the details of the interaction profiles of LasR protein with the autoinducer ligand. We also deciphered the details of the LasR promoter-DNA interactions. We compared the modes of DNA bindings by the LasR protein in presence and absence of the autoinducer ligand and tried to analyze the molecular details of the binding of LasR protein with the promoter DNA region of hcnABC operon during hcnABC gene expression. This study may therefore pave the pathway for future experiments to determine the relative effects of the amino acid residues of LasR protein in DNA binding during the transcription of hcnABC operon.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Unprecedented high-resolution view of bacterial operon architecture revealed by RNA sequencing.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Bacterial proteases and virulence.

    PubMed

    Frees, Dorte; Brøndsted, Lone; Ingmer, Hanne

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens rely on proteolysis for variety of purposes during the infection process. In the cytosol, the main proteolytic players are the conserved Clp and Lon proteases that directly contribute to virulence through the timely degradation of virulence regulators and indirectly by providing tolerance to adverse conditions such as those experienced in the host. In the membrane, HtrA performs similar functions whereas the extracellular proteases, in close contact with host components, pave the way for spreading infections by degrading host matrix components or interfering with host cell signalling to short-circuit host cell processes. Common to both intra- and extracellular proteases is the tight control of their proteolytic activities. In general, substrate recognition by the intracellular proteases is highly selective which is, in part, attributed to the chaperone activity associated with the proteases either encoded within the same polypeptide or on separate subunits. In contrast, substrate recognition by extracellular proteases is less selective and therefore these enzymes are generally expressed as zymogens to prevent premature proteolytic activity that would be detrimental to the cell. These extracellular proteases are activated in complex cascades involving auto-processing and proteolytic maturation. Thus, proteolysis has been adopted by bacterial pathogens at multiple levels to ensure the success of the pathogen in contact with the human host.

  17. Virulence of enterococci.

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

  18. Brucella, nitrogen and virulence.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. The molybdenum formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase operon and the tungsten formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase operon from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum. Structures and transcriptional regulation.

    PubMed

    Hochheimer, A; Linder, D; Thauer, R K; Hedderich, R

    1996-11-15

    Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum contains a tungsten formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase (FwdABCD) and a molybdenum formylmethanofuran dehydrogenase (FmdABC). The fwdHFGDACB operon encoding the tungsten enzyme has recently been characterized. We report here on the structure and expression of the gene cluster encoding the molybdenum enzyme. This gene cluster is composed of three open reading frames (fmdECB). The fmdB gene was found to encode the molybdopterin-dinucleotide-binding subunit harboring the enzyme's active site; FmdB is thus functionally equivalent to FwdB. fmdC encodes a protein with sequence similarity to FwdC in its N-terminal part and with sequence similarity to FwdD in its C-terminal part; FmdC is thus functionally equivalent to FwdC and FwdD. Interestingly, the fmd operon lacks a gene fmdA encoding the subunit FmdA of the molybdenum enzyme. FmdA has the same apparent molecular mass and the same N-terminal amino acid sequence as FwdA and only one DNA sequence encoding for this N-terminal amino acid sequence was found in the M. thermoautotrophicum genome. It is therefore proposed that FmdA and FwdA are encoded by the same gene namely fwdA in the fwd operon. In agreement with this proposal is the finding that fwdA is expressed constitutively: northern-blot analysis of RNA from tungstate- and molybdate-grown cells of M. thermo-autotrophicum revealed that the fwdHFGDACB gene cluster is transcribed in the presence of either molybdate or tungstate in the growth medium whereas the fmdECB gene cluster was only transcribed when molybdate was present.

  20. Transcriptional regulation of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans lsrACDBFG and lsrRK operons and their role in biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Torres-Escobar, Ascención; Juárez-Rodríguez, María Dolores; Lamont, Richard J; Demuth, Donald R

    2013-01-01

    Autoinducer-2 (AI-2) is required for biofilm formation and virulence of the oral pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, and we previously showed that lsrB codes for a receptor for AI-2. The lsrB gene is expressed as part of the lsrACDBFG operon, which is divergently transcribed from an adjacent lsrRK operon. In Escherichia coli, lsrRK encodes a repressor and AI-2 kinase that function to regulate lsrACDBFG. To determine if lsrRK controls lsrACDBFG expression and influences biofilm growth of A. actinomycetemcomitans, we first defined the promoters for each operon. Transcriptional reporter plasmids containing the 255-bp lsrACDBFG-lsrRK intergenic region (IGR) fused to lacZ showed that essential elements of lsrR promoter reside 89 to 255 bp upstream from the lsrR start codon. Two inverted repeat sequences that represent potential binding sites for LsrR and two sequences resembling the consensus cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) binding site were identified in this region. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), purified LsrR and CRP proteins were shown to bind probes containing these sequences. Surprisingly, the 255-bp IGR did not contain the lsrA promoter. Instead, a fragment encompassing nucleotides +1 to +159 of lsrA together with the 255-bp IGR was required to promote lsrA transcription. This suggests that a region within the lsrA coding sequence influences transcription, or alternatively that the start codon of A. actinomycetemcomitans lsrA has been incorrectly annotated. Transformation of ΔlsrR, ΔlsrK, ΔlsrRK, and Δcrp deletion mutants with lacZ reporters containing the lsrA or lsrR promoter showed that LsrR negatively regulates and CRP positively regulates both lsrACDBFG and lsrRK. However, in contrast to what occurs in E. coli, deletion of lsrK had no effect on the transcriptional activity of the lsrA or lsrR promoters, suggesting that another kinase may be capable of phosphorylating AI-2 in A. actinomycetemcomitans. Finally, biofilm

  1. The D-allose operon of Escherichia coli K-12.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, C; Song, S; Park, C

    1997-01-01

    Escherichia coli K-12 can utilize D-allose, an all-cis hexose, as a sole carbon source. The operon responsible for D-allose metabolism was localized at 92.8 min of the E. coli linkage map. It consists of six genes, alsRBACEK, which are inducible by D-allose and are under the control of the repressor gene alsR. This operon is also subject to catabolite repression. Three genes, alsB, alsA, and alsC, appear to be necessary for transport of D-allose. D-Allose-binding protein, encoded by alsB, is a periplasmic protein that has an affinity for D-allose, with a Kd of 0.33 microM. As was found for other binding-protein-mediated ABC transporters, the allose transport system includes an ATP-binding component (AlsA) and a transmembrane protein (AlsC). It was found that AlsE (a putative D-allulose-6-phosphate 3-epimerase), but not AlsK (a putative D-allose kinase), is necessary for allose metabolism. During this study, we observed that the D-allose transporter is partially responsible for the low-affinity transport of D-ribose and that strain W3110, an E. coli prototroph, has a defect in the transport of D-allose mediated by the allose permease. PMID:9401019

  2. Wrapped-around models for the lac operon complex.

    PubMed

    La Penna, Giovanni; Perico, Angelo

    2010-06-16

    The protein-DNA complex, involved in the lac operon of enteric bacteria, is paradigmatic in understanding the extent of DNA bending and plasticity due to interactions with protein assemblies acting as DNA regulators. For the lac operon, two classes of structures have been proposed: 1), with the protein tetramer lying away from the DNA loop (wrapped-away model); and 2), with the protein tetramer lying inside the DNA loop (wrapped-around model). A recently developed electrostatic analytical model shows that the size and net charge of the Lac protein tetramer allow the bending of DNA, which is consistent with another wrapped-around model from the literature. Coarse-grained models, designed based on this observation, are extensively investigated and show three kinds of wrapped-around arrangements of DNA and a lower propensity for wrapped-away configurations. Molecular dynamics simulations of an all-atom model, built on the basis of the most tightly collapsed coarse-grained model, show that most of the DNA double-helical architecture is maintained in the region between O3 and O1 DNA operators, that the DNA distortion is concentrated in the chain beyond the O1 operator, and that the protein tetramer can adapt the N-terminal domains to the DNA tension.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Tian; Salis, Howard M.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Functional Operons in Secondary Metabolic Gene Clusters in Glarea lozoyensis (Fungi, Ascomycota, Leotiomycetes)

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Qun; Chen, Li; Li, Yan; Bills, Gerald F.; Zhang, Xinyu; Xiang, Meichun; Li, Shaojie; Che, Yongsheng; Niu, Xuemei

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Operons are multigene transcriptional units which occur mostly in prokaryotes but rarely in eukaryotes. Protein-coding operons have not been reported in the Fungi even though they represent a very diverse kingdom of organisms. Here, we report a functional operon involved in the secondary metabolism of the fungus Glarea lozoyensis belonging to Leotiomycetes (Ascomycota). Two contiguous genes, glpks3 and glnrps7, encoding polyketide synthase and nonribosomal peptide synthetase, respectively, are cotranscribed into one dicistronic mRNA under the control of the same promoter, and the mRNA is then translated into two individual proteins, GLPKS3 and GLNRPS7. Heterologous expression in Aspergillus nidulans shows that the GLPKS3-GLNRPS7 enzyme complex catalyzes the biosynthesis of a novel pyrrolidinedione-containing compound, xenolozoyenone (compound 1), which indicates the operon is functional. Although it is structurally similar to prokaryotic operons, the glpks3-glnrps7 operon locus has a monophylogenic origin from fungi rather than having been horizontally transferred from prokaryotes. Moreover, two additional operons, glpks28-glnrps8 and glpks29-glnrps9, were verified at the transcriptional level in the same fungus. This is the first report of protein-coding operons in a member of the Fungi. PMID:26081635

  6. Thermodynamic modeling of variations in the rate of RNA chain elongation of E. coli rrn operons.

    PubMed

    Fange, David; Mellenius, Harriet; Dennis, Patrick P; Ehrenberg, Måns

    2014-01-07

    Previous electron-microscopic imaging has shown high RNA polymerase occupation densities in the 16S and 23S encoding regions and low occupation densities in the noncoding leader, spacer, and trailer regions of the rRNA (rrn) operons in E. coli. This indicates slower transcript elongation within the coding regions and faster elongation within the noncoding regions of the operon. Inactivation of four of the seven rrn operons increases the transcript initiation frequency at the promoters of the three intact operons and reduces the time for RNA polymerase to traverse the operon. We have used the DNA sequence-dependent standard free energy variation of the transcription complex to model the experimentally observed changes in the elongation rate along the rrnB operon. We also model the stimulation of the average transcription rate over the whole operon by increasing rate of transcript initiation. Monte Carlo simulations, taking into account initiation of transcription, translocation, and backward and forward tracking of RNA polymerase, partially reproduce the observed transcript elongation rate variations along the rrn operon and fully account for the increased average rate in response to increased frequency of transcript initiation.

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

    PubMed

    van Hoek, M J A; Hogeweg, P

    2006-10-15

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

  8. The Virulence Plasmid of Yersinia, an Antihost Genome

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. narI region of the Escherichia coli nitrate reductase (nar) operon contains two genes.

    PubMed Central

    Sodergren, E J; DeMoss, J A

    1988-01-01

    In previous studies it has been established that in Escherichia coli the three known subunits of anaerobic nitrate reductase are encoded by the narGHI operon. From the nucleotide sequence of the narI region of the operon we conclude that, in addition to the narG and narH genes, the nar operon contains two other open reading frames (ORFs), ORF1 and ORF2, that encode proteins of 26.5 and 25.5 kilodaltons, respectively. Protein fusions to each of the genes in the operon showed that expression of all four genes was similarly regulated. The reading frames of ORF1 and ORF2 were verified, and the N-terminal sequence for the ORF1 fusion protein was determined. The nar operon therefore contains four genes designated and ordered as narGHJI. Images PMID:2832376

  10. Priority of pentose utilization at the level of transcription: arabinose, xylose, and ribose operons.

    PubMed

    Kang, H Y; Song, S; Park, C

    1998-06-30

    When E. coli cells were grown in minimal medium supplemented with D-ribose and D-xylose, a diauxic growth preferring D-xylose was observed. Transcription of the ribose (rbs) operon was repressed in the presence of D-xylose, phenotypically similar to catabolite repression by D-glucose, although D-ribose did not affect transcription of the xylose (xyl) operon. Complementation analysis with xylR revealed that the repression of the rbs operon by D-xylose is exerted at the transcriptional level through XylR, suggesting a novel mechanism for catabolite repression. Furthermore, it was shown that L-arabinose reduced transcriptions of both xyl and rbs operons, whereas the arabinose operon was not affected by D-xylose or D-ribose, suggesting a priority mechanism for pentose utilization.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. The Rcs regulon in Proteus mirabilis: implications for motility, biofilm formation, and virulence.

    PubMed

    Howery, Kristen E; Clemmer, Katy M; Rather, Philip N

    2016-11-01

    The overall role of the Rcs phosphorelay in Proteus mirabilis is largely unknown. Previous work had demonstrated that the Rcs phosphorelay represses the flhDC operon and activates the minCDE cell division inhibition system. To identify additional cellular functions regulated by the Rcs phosphorelay, an analysis of RNA-seq data was undertaken. In this report, the results of the RNA-sequencing are discussed with an emphasis on the predicted roles of the Rcs phosphorelay in swarmer cell differentiation, motility, biofilm formation, and virulence. RcsB is shown to activate genes important for differentiation and fimbriae formation, while repressing the expression of genes important for motility and virulence. Additionally, to follow up on the RNA-Seq data, we demonstrate that an rcsB mutant is deficient in its ability to form biofilm and exhibits enhanced virulence in a Galleria mellonella waxworm model. Overall, these results indicate the Rcs regulon in P. mirabilis extends beyond flagellar genes to include those involved in biofilm formation and virulence. Furthermore, the information presented in this study may provide clues to additional roles of the Rcs phosphorelay in other members of the Enterobacteriaceae.

  14. Two non-consensus Clp binding sites are involved in upregulation of the gum operon involved in xanthan polysaccharide synthesis in Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chih-Hua; Lin, Nien-Tsung; Hsiao, Yi-Min; Yang, Chiou-Ying; Tseng, Yi-Hsiung

    2010-09-01

    Biosynthesis of xanthan polysaccharide, a virulence factor of phytopathogenic Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), involves the gum operon and the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) homologue Clp. Clp was shown to have the same DNA binding specificity as the CRP at positions 5, 6, and 7 (GTG motif) of the left arm. Therefore, Clp binding sites (CBSs) have typically been identified by pattern searching of the Xcc genome using the consensus CRP binding sequence. Here, results of a reporter assay and electrophoretic mobility shift assay suggest that Clp upregulates the gum operon by binding to two non-consensus sites, in which a more conserved right arm may compensate for the lack of conservation in the left arm, a high GC content in the central region (6 bp) may be important for binding, and binding may be enhanced if the GC-rich central region is palindromic. These suggest that atypical CBSs exist in Xcc promoters and that Clp, while retaining the capacity to bind typical CBSs, has evolved to bind atypical CBS because: 1) Clp shares only moderate homology with the CRP and is modulated by cyclic di-GMP; and 2) Xcc has a higher GC content (65%) than Escherichia coli (50%).

  15. Virulence Markers of Dengue Viruses

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-06-10

    AD VIRULENCE MARKERS OF DENGUE VIRUSES 00 ANNUAL REPORT 0 James L. Hardy and Srisakul C. Kliks June 10, 1988 Supported by U.S. ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH...Virulence Markers of Dengue Viruses (U) 12. PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) James L. Hardy ind Sriqakul.C. Klik,,q 13a. TYPE OF REPORT 13b. TIME COVERED 14. DATE OF...TERMS (Continue on reverse it necessary and identify by block number) FIELD GROUP SUB-GROUP Dengue viruses, dengue hemorrhagic fever, virulence, U3

  16. Evolution of mal ABC transporter operons in the Thermococcales and Thermotogales

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The mal genes that encode maltose transporters have undergone extensive lateral transfer among ancestors of the archaea Thermococcus litoralis and Pyrococcus furiosus. Bacterial hyperthermophiles of the order Thermotogales live among these archaea and so may have shared in these transfers. The genome sequence of Thermotoga maritima bears evidence of extensive acquisition of archaeal genes, so its ancestors clearly had the capacity to do so. We examined deep phylogenetic relationships among the mal genes of these hyperthermophiles and their close relatives to look for evidence of shared ancestry. Results We demonstrate that the two maltose ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter operons now found in Tc. litoralis and P. furiosus (termed mal and mdx genes, respectively) are not closely related to one another. The Tc. litoralis and P. furiosus mal genes are most closely related to bacterial mal genes while their respective mdx genes are archaeal. The genes of the two mal operons in Tt. maritima are not related to genes in either of these archaeal operons. They are highly similar to one another and belong to a phylogenetic lineage that includes mal genes from the enteric bacteria. A unique domain of the enteric MalF membrane spanning proteins found also in these Thermotogales MalF homologs supports their relatively close relationship with these enteric proteins. Analyses of genome sequence data from other Thermotogales species, Fervidobacterium nodosum, Thermosipho melanesiensis, Thermotoga petrophila, Thermotoga lettingae, and Thermotoga neapolitana, revealed a third apparent mal operon, absent from the published genome sequence of Tt. maritima strain MSB8. This third operon, mal3, is more closely related to the Thermococcales' bacteria-derived mal genes than are mal1 and mal2. F. nodosum, Ts. melanesiensis, and Tt. lettingae have only one of the mal1-mal2 paralogs. The mal2 operon from an unknown species of Thermotoga appears to have been horizontally

  17. RNA polymerase structure and function at lac operon.

    PubMed

    Borukhov, Sergei; Lee, Jookyung

    2005-06-01

    Transcription of E. coli lac operon by RNA polymerase (RNAP) is a classic example of how the basic functions of this enzyme, specifically the ability to recognize/bind promoters, melt the DNA and initiate RNA synthesis, is positively regulated by transcription activators, such as cyclic AMP-receptor protein, CRP, and negatively regulated by lac-repressor, LacI. In this review, we discuss the recent progress in structural and biochemical studies of RNAP and its binary and ternary complexes with CRP and lac promoter. With structural information now available for RNAP and models of binary and ternary elongation complexes, the interaction between these factors and RNAP can be modeled, and possible molecular mechanisms of their action can be inferred.

  18. Engineering adherent bacteria by creating a single synthetic curli operon.

    PubMed

    Drogue, Benoît; Thomas, Philippe; Balvay, Laurent; Prigent-Combaret, Claire; Dorel, Corinne

    2012-11-16

    The method described here consists in redesigning E. coli adherence properties by assembling the minimum number of curli genes under the control of a strong and metal-overinducible promoter, and in visualizing and quantifying the resulting gain of bacterial adherence. This method applies appropriate engineering principles of abstraction and standardization of synthetic biology, and results in the BBa_K540000 Biobrick (Best new Biobrick device, engineered, iGEM 2011). The first step consists in the design of the synthetic operon devoted to curli overproduction in response to metal, and therefore in increasing the adherence abilities of the wild type strain. The original curli operon was modified in silico in order to optimize transcriptional and translational signals and escape the "natural" regulation of curli. This approach allowed to test with success our current understanding of curli production. Moreover, simplifying the curli regulation by switching the endogenous complex promoter (more than 10 transcriptional regulators identified) to a simple metal-regulated promoter makes adherence much easier to control. The second step includes qualitative and quantitative assessment of adherence abilities by implementation of simple methods. These methods are applicable to a large range of adherent bacteria regardless of biological structures involved in biofilm formation. Adherence test in 24-well polystyrene plates provides a quick preliminary visualization of the bacterial biofilm after crystal violet staining. This qualitative test can be sharpened by the quantification of the percentage of adherence. Such a method is very simple but more accurate than only crystal violet staining as described previously with both a good repeatability and reproducibility. Visualization of GFP-tagged bacteria on glass slides by fluorescence or laser confocal microscopy allows to strengthen the results obtained with the 24-well plate test by direct observation of the phenomenon.

  19. Engineering Adherent Bacteria by Creating a Single Synthetic Curli Operon

    PubMed Central

    Drogue, Benoît; Thomas, Philippe; Balvay, Laurent; Prigent-Combaret, Claire; Dorel, Corinne

    2012-01-01

    The method described here consists in redesigning E. coli adherence properties by assembling the minimum number of curli genes under the control of a strong and metal-overinducible promoter, and in visualizing and quantifying the resulting gain of bacterial adherence. This method applies appropriate engineering principles of abstraction and standardization of synthetic biology, and results in the BBa_K540000 Biobrick (Best new Biobrick device, engineered, iGEM 2011). The first step consists in the design of the synthetic operon devoted to curli overproduction in response to metal, and therefore in increasing the adherence abilities of the wild type strain. The original curli operon was modified in silico in order to optimize transcriptional and translational signals and escape the "natural" regulation of curli. This approach allowed to test with success our current understanding of curli production. Moreover, simplifying the curli regulation by switching the endogenous complex promoter (more than 10 transcriptional regulators identified) to a simple metal-regulated promoter makes adherence much easier to control. The second step includes qualitative and quantitative assessment of adherence abilities by implementation of simple methods. These methods are applicable to a large range of adherent bacteria regardless of biological structures involved in biofilm formation. Adherence test in 24-well polystyrene plates provides a quick preliminary visualization of the bacterial biofilm after crystal violet staining. This qualitative test can be sharpened by the quantification of the percentage of adherence. Such a method is very simple but more accurate than only crystal violet staining as described previously 1 with both a good repeatability and reproducibility. Visualization of GFP-tagged bacteria on glass slides by fluorescence or laser confocal microscopy allows to strengthen the results obtained with the 24-well plate test by direct observation of the phenomenon. PMID

  20. Identification and characterization of the fis operon in enteric bacteria.

    PubMed

    Beach, M B; Osuna, R

    1998-11-01

    The small DNA binding protein Fis is involved in several different biological processes in Escherichia coli. It has been shown to stimulate DNA inversion reactions mediated by the Hin family of recombinases, stimulate integration and excision of phage lambda genome, regulate the transcription of several different genes including those of stable RNA operons, and regulate the initiation of DNA replication at oriC. fis has also been isolated from Salmonella typhimurium, and the genomic sequence of Haemophilus influenzae reveals its presence in this bacteria. This work extends the characterization of fis to other organisms. Very similar fis operon structures were identified in the enteric bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens, Erwinia carotovora, and Proteus vulgaris but not in several nonenteric bacteria. We found that the deduced amino acid sequences for Fis are 100% identical in K. pneumoniae, S. marcescens, E. coli, and S. typhimurium and 96 to 98% identical when E. carotovora and P. vulgaris Fis are considered. The deduced amino acid sequence for H. influenzae Fis is about 80% identical and 90% similar to Fis in enteric bacteria. However, in spite of these similarities, the E. carotovora, P. vulgaris, and H. influenzae Fis proteins are not functionally identical. An open reading frame (ORF1) preceding fis in E. coli is also found in all these bacteria, and their deduced amino acid sequences are also very similar. The sequence preceding ORF1 in the enteric bacteria showed a very strong similarity to the E. coli fis P region from -53 to +27 and the region around -116 containing an ihf binding site. Both beta-galactosidase assays and primer extension assays showed that these regions function as promoters in vivo and are subject to growth phase-dependent regulation. However, their promoter strengths vary, as do their responses to Fis autoregulation and integration host factor stimulation.

  1. The Yersinia pestis caf1M1A1 fimbrial capsule operon promotes transmission by flea bite in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2009-03-01

    Plague is a zoonosis transmitted by fleas and caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis. During infection, the plasmidic caf1M1A1 operon that encodes the Y. pestis F1 protein capsule is highly expressed, and anti-F1 antibodies are protective. Surprisingly, the capsule is not required for virulence after injection of cultured bacteria, even though it is an antiphagocytic factor and capsule-deficient Y. pestis strains are rarely isolated. We found that a caf-negative Y. pestis mutant was not impaired in either flea colonization or virulence in mice after intradermal inoculation of cultured bacteria. In contrast, absence of the caf operon decreased bubonic plague incidence after a flea bite. Successful development of plague in mice infected by flea bite with the caf-negative mutant required a higher number of infective bites per challenge. In addition, the mutant displayed a highly autoaggregative phenotype in infected liver and spleen. The results suggest that acquisition of the caf locus via horizontal transfer by an ancestral Y. pestis strain increased transmissibility and the potential for epidemic spread. In addition, our data support a model in which atypical caf-negative strains could emerge during climatic conditions that favor a high flea burden. Human infection with such strains would not be diagnosed by the standard clinical tests that detect F1 antibody or antigen, suggesting that more comprehensive surveillance for atypical Y. pestis strains in plague foci may be necessary. The results also highlight the importance of studying Y. pestis pathogenesis in the natural context of arthropod-borne transmission.

  2. Characterization of the groESL operon in Listeria monocytogenes: utilization of two reporter systems (gfp and hly) for evaluating in vivo expression.

    PubMed

    Gahan, C G; O'Mahony, J; Hill, C

    2001-06-01

    The ability of intracellular pathogens to sense and adapt to the hostile environment of the host is an important factor governing virulence. We have sequenced the operon encoding the major heat shock proteins GroES and GroEL in the gram-positive food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. The operon has a conserved orientation in the order groES groEL. Upstream of groES and in the opposite orientation is a gene encoding a homologue of the Bacillus subtilis protein YdiL, while downstream of groEL is a gene encoding a putative bile hydrolase. We used both reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) and transcriptional fusions to the UV-optimized Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein (GFP(UV)) to analyze expression of groESL under various environmental stress conditions, including heat shock, ethanol stress, and acid shock, and during infection of J774 mouse macrophage cells. Strains harboring GFP(UV) transcriptional fusions to the promoter region of groESL demonstrated a significant increase in fluorescence following heat shock that was detected by both fluorimetry and fluorescence microscopy. Using both RT-PCR and GFP technology we detected expression of groESL following internalization by J774 cells. Increased intracellular expression of dnaK was also determined using RT-PCR. We have recently described a system which utilizes L. monocytogenes hemolysin as an in vivo reporter of gene expression within the host cell phagosome (C. G. M. Gahan and C. Hill, Mol. Microbiol. 36:498-507, 2000). In this study a strain was constructed in which hemolysin expression was placed under the control of the groESL promoter. In this strain hemolysin expression during infection also confirms transcription from the groESL promoter during J774 and murine infection, albeit at lower levels than the known virulence factor plcA.

  3. Gene components responsible for discrete substrate specificity in the metabolism of biphenyl (bph operon) and toluene (tod operon).

    PubMed Central

    Furukawa, K; Hirose, J; Suyama, A; Zaiki, T; Hayashida, S

    1993-01-01

    bph operons coding for biphenyl-polychlorinated biphenyl degradation in Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes KF707 and Pseudomonas putida KF715 and tod operons coding for toluene-benzene metabolism in P. putida F1 are very similar in gene organization as well as size and homology of the corresponding enzymes (G. J. Zylstra and D. T. Gibson, J. Biol. Chem. 264:14940-14946, 1989; K. Taira, J. Hirose, S. Hayashida, and K. Furukawa, J. Biol. Chem. 267:4844-4853, 1992), despite their discrete substrate ranges for metabolism. The gene components responsible for substrate specificity between the bph and tod operons were investigated. The large subunit of the terminal dioxygenase (encoded by bphA1 and todC1) and the ring meta-cleavage compound hydrolase (bphD and todF) were critical for their discrete metabolic specificities, as shown by the following results. (i) Introduction of todC1C2 (coding for the large and small subunits of the terminal dioxygenase in toluene metabolism) or even only todC1 into biphenyl-utilizing P. pseudoalcaligenes KF707 and P. putida KF715 allowed them to grow on toluene-benzene by coupling with the lower benzoate meta-cleavage pathway. Introduction of the bphD gene (coding for 2-hydroxy-6-oxo-6-phenylhexa-2,4-dienoate hydrolase) into toluene-utilizing P. putida F1 permitted growth on biphenyl. (ii) With various bph and tod mutant strains, it was shown that enzyme components of ferredoxin (encoded by bphA3 and todB), ferredoxin reductase (bphA4 and todA), and dihydrodiol dehydrogenase (bphB and todD) were complementary with one another. (iii) Escherichia coli cells carrying a hybrid gene cluster of todClbphA2A3A4BC (constructed by replacing bphA1 with todC1) converted toluene to a ring meta-cleavage 2-hydroxy-6-oxo-hepta-2,4-dienoic acid, indicating that TodC1 formed a functional multicomponent dioxygenase associated with BphA2 (a small subunit of the terminal dioxygenase in biphenyl metabolism), BphA3, and BphA4. PMID:8349562

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

    PubMed

    Harwani, Dharmesh

    2014-01-01

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

  5. An insight into the regulation of mce4 operon of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Rathor, Nisha; Chandolia, Amita; Saini, Neeraj Kumar; Sinha, Rajesh; Pathak, Rakesh; Garima, Kushal; Singh, Satendra; Varma-Basil, Mandira; Bose, Mridula

    2013-07-01

    The mce4 operon is reported to be involved in cholesterol utilization and intracellular survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). The regulatory mechanism of this important operon was unknown so far. Here we report detection of the promoter region and regulatory factors of the mce4 operon. The in silico analyzed putative promoter region was cloned in promoter selection vector and promoter strength was measured by O-Nitrophenyl-β-D-galactopyranosidase (ONPG) assay. The transcription start site was determined by 5' Rapid amplification of C terminal end (5'RACE). Surface stress, hypoxia and presence of cholesterol, were found to be stimulatory for mce4 operon promoter induction. Pull down assay coupled with 2D gel electrophoresis resolved many proteins; few prominent spots were processed for identification. MALDI TOF-TOF identified proteins of M. tuberculosis which supported the regulatory function of the identified promoter region and cholesterol utilization of mce4 operon. Since mce4 operon is involved in cholesterol utilization and intracellular survival of M. tuberculosis in the later phase of infection, identification of the promoter sequence as reported in the present communication may facilitate development of effective inhibitors to regulate expression of mce4 operon which may prove to be a good drug target to prevent latency in tuberculosis.

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-03-01

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

  7. Interplay of gene expression noise and ultrasensitive dynamics affects bacterial operon organization.

    PubMed

    Ray, J Christian J; Igoshin, Oleg A

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial chromosomes are organized into polycistronic cotranscribed operons, but the evolutionary pressures maintaining them are unclear. We hypothesized that operons alter gene expression noise characteristics, resulting in selection for or against maintaining operons depending on network architecture. Mathematical models for 6 functional classes of network modules showed that three classes exhibited decreased noise and 3 exhibited increased noise with same-operon cotranscription of interacting proteins. Noise reduction was often associated with a decreased chance of reaching an ultrasensitive threshold. Stochastic simulations of the lac operon demonstrated that the predicted effects of transcriptional coupling hold for a complex network module. We employed bioinformatic analysis to find overrepresentation of noise-minimizing operon organization compared with randomized controls. Among constitutively expressed physically interacting protein pairs, higher coupling frequencies appeared at lower expression levels, where noise effects are expected to be dominant. Our results thereby suggest an important role for gene expression noise, in many cases interacting with an ultrasensitive switch, in maintaining or selecting for operons in bacterial chromosomes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Ancient Origin of the Tryptophan Operon and the Dynamics of Evolutionary Change†

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Cloning and sequencing of part of the S10 operon from Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans FDC Y4.

    PubMed

    Hayashida, H; Hotokezaka, H; Ohara, N; Kimura, M; Takagi, O; Yamada, T

    1997-06-01

    We have cloned and sequenced the 5.2 kb EcoRI fragment that contained part of the S10 operon from Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans FDC Y4. The order of the ribosomal protein genes was identical to that of the S10 operon of Haemophilus influenzae and Escherichia coli. The deduced amino acid sequences of ribosomal proteins in this operon displayed significant homologies (65.3%-100%) to those of H. influenzae, E. coli, Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Phylogenetic trees obtained for these ribosomal proteins were similar to that obtained for 16S rRNA.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Physiological control and regulation of the Rhodobacter capsulatus cbb operons.

    PubMed

    Paoli, G C; Vichivanives, P; Tabita, F R

    1998-08-01

    The genes encoding enzymes of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) reductive pentose phosphate pathway in Rhodobacter capsulatus are organized in at least two operons, each preceded by a separate cbbR gene, encoding potential LysR-type transcriptional activators. As a prelude to studies of cbb gene regulation in R. capsulatus, the nucleotide sequence of a 4,537-bp region, which included cbbRII, was determined. This region contained the following open reading frames: a partial pgm gene (encoding phosphoglucomutase) and a complete qor gene (encoding NADPH:quinone oxidoreductase), followed by cbbRII, cbbF (encoding fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase), cbbP (encoding phosphoribulokinase), and part of cbbT (encoding transketolase). Physiological control of the CBB pathway and regulation of the R. capsulatus cbb genes were studied by using a combination of mutant strains and promoter fusion constructs. Characterization of mutant strains revealed that either form I or form II ribulose 1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO), encoded by the cbbLS and cbbM genes, respectively, could support photoheterotrophic and autotrophic growth. A strain with disruptions in both cbbL and cbbM could not grow autotrophically and grew photoheterotrophically only when dimethyl sulfoxide was added to the culture medium. Disruption of cbbP resulted in a strain that did not synthesize form II RubisCO and had a phenotype similar to that observed in the RubisCO-minus strain, suggesting that there is only one cbbP gene in R. capsulatus and that this gene is cotranscribed with cbbM. Analysis of RubisCO activity and synthesis in strains with disruptions in either cbbRI or cbbRII, and beta-galactosidase determinations from wild-type and mutant strains containing cbbIp- and cbbIIp-lacZ fusion constructs, indicated that the cbbI and cbbII operons of R. capsulatus are within separate CbbR regulons.

  13. An overlap between operons involved in carotenoid and bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis in Rhodobacter capsulatus.

    PubMed

    Young, D A; Rudzik, M B; Marrs, B L

    1992-08-15

    A new example of superoperonal gene arrangement has been documented in the Rhodobacter capsulatus photosynthetic gene cluster. The promoter for the operon initiated by the bchI gene is embedded within an upstream operon for carotenoid synthesis. The stop codon for the crtA gene, the only gene in the first operon, overlaps the start codon of the downstream bchI gene. As a consequence of this overlap, the promoter(s) for the bch operon must be located within the crtA structural gene. The bchI gene is shown here for the first time to be required for the conversion of protoporphyrin IX to subsequent intermediates in bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Santillán, Moisés; Mackey, Michael C

    2008-08-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. The HD-GYP domain protein RpfG of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola regulates synthesis of extracellular polysaccharides that contribute to biofilm formation and virulence on rice.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutierrez, Natalia A.

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Evolution of a tRNA operon in gamma purple bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Giroux, S; Cedergren, R

    1989-01-01

    Genomic DNA from eubacteria belonging to the gamma-3 subdivision of purple bacteria, as classified by Woese (C.R. Woese, Microbiol. Rev. 51:221-271, 1987), were probed with the argT operon of Escherichia coli encoding 5'-tRNA(Arg)-tRNA(His)-tRNA(Leu)-tRNA(Pro)-3'. The homologous operon from Vibrio harveyi was isolated and sequenced. Comparison of the five available sequences of this tRNA cluster from members of the families Enterobacteriaceae, Aeromonadaceae, and Vibrionaceae led to the conclusion that variations in different versions of this operon arose not only by point mutations but also by duplication and addition-deletion of entire tRNA genes. This data base permitted the formulation of a proposal dealing with the evolutionary history of this operon and suggested that DNA regions containing tRNA genes are active centers (hot spots) of recombination. Finally, since the operon from V. harveyi was not highly repetitive and did not contain tRNA pseudogenes, as in the Photobacterium phosphoreum operon, hybridization of genomic DNAs from different photobacterial strains with probes specific for the repeated pseudogene element was performed. We conclude that the phylogenetic distribution of the repetitive DNA is restricted to strains of P. phosphoreum. Images PMID:2687235

  1. Alternative DNA loops regulate the arabinose operon in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Huo, L; Martin, K J; Schleif, R

    1988-08-01

    The araCBAD regulatory region of Escherichia coli contains two divergently oriented promoters and three sites to which AraC, the regulatory protein of the operon, can bind. This paper presents the results of in vivo dimethyl sulfate "footprinting" experiments to monitor occupancy of the three AraC sites and measurements of activity of the two promoters. These measurements were made both in the absence of the inducer arabinose and at various times after arabinose addition to growing cells containing the wild-type ara regulatory region or the regulatory region containing various deletions and point mutations. The data lead to the conclusion that two different DNA loops can form in the ara regulatory region. These loops are generated by AraC protein molecules binding to two different DNA sites and binding to each other. One of these loops predominates in the absence of arabinose and plays a major role in repressing activity of one of the promoters. Upon the addition of arabinose the amount of the first loop type, the repression loop, decreases and the amount of a second loop increases. Formation of this second loop precludes the counterproductive formation of the repression loop.

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

    PubMed

    Andreini, Claudia; Banci, Lucia; Rosato, Antonio

    2016-04-01

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

  3. Upgrading bioluminescent bacterial bioreporter performance by splitting the lux operon.

    PubMed

    Yagur-Kroll, Sharon; Belkin, Shimshon

    2011-05-01

    Bioluminescent bacterial bioreporters harbor a fusion of bacterial bioluminescence genes (luxCDABE), acting as the reporting element, to a stress-response promoter, serving as the sensing element. Upon exposure to conditions that activate the promoter, such as an environmental stress or the presence of an inducing chemical, the promoter::reporter fusion generates a dose-dependent bioluminescent signal. In order to improve bioluminescent bioreporter performance we have split the luxCDABE genes of Photorhabdus luminescens into two smaller functional units: luxAB, that encode for the luciferase enzyme, which catalyzes the luminescence reaction, and luxCDE that encode for the enzymatic complex responsible for synthesis of the reaction's substrate, a long-chain aldehyde. The expression of each subunit was put under the control of either an inducible stress-responsive promoter or a synthetic constitutive promoter, and different combinations of the two units were tested for their response to selected chemicals in Escherichia coli. In all cases tested, the split combinations proved to be superior to the native luxCDABE configuration, suggesting an improved efficiency in the transcription and/or translation of two small gene units instead of a larger one with the same genes. The best combination was that of an inducible luxAB and a constitutive luxCDE, indicating that aldehyde availability is limited when the five genes are expressed together in E. coli, and demonstrating that improved biosensor performance may be achieved by rearrangement of the lux operon genes.

  4. Anaerobically expressed Escherichia coli genes identified by operon fusion techniques.

    PubMed Central

    Choe, M; Reznikoff, W S

    1991-01-01

    Genes that are expressed under anaerobic conditions were identified by operon fusion techniques with a hybrid bacteriophage of lambda and Mu, lambda placMu53, which creates transcriptional fusions to lacZY. Cells were screened for anaerobic expression on XG medium. Nine strains were selected, and the insertion point of the hybrid phage in each strain was mapped on the Escherichia coli chromosome linkage map. The anaerobic and aerobic expression levels of these genes were measured by beta-galactosidase assays in different medium conditions and in the presence of three regulatory mutations (fnr, narL, and rpoN). The anaerobically expressed genes (aeg) located at minute 99 (aeg-99) and 75 (aeg-75) appeared to be partially regulated by fnr, and aeg-93 is tightly regulated by fnr. aeg-60 requires a functional rpoN gene for its anaerobic expression. aeg-46.5 is repressed by narL. aeg-65A and aeg-65C are partially controlled by fnr but only in media containing nitrate or fumarate. aeg-47.5 and aeg-48.5 were found to be anaerobically induced only in rich media. The effects of a narL mutation on aeg-46.5 expression were observed in all medium conditions regardless of the presence or absence of nitrate. This suggests that narL has a regulatory function in the absence of exogenously added nitrate. PMID:1917846

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  6. Nucleotide sequence and functional analysis of regulatory region of the lumP and the lux operon from Photobacterium leiognathi.

    PubMed

    Lin, J W; Chao, Y F; Weng, S F

    1995-05-25

    The lumP gene is linked to the lux operon, but runs in the opposite direction in Photobacterium leiognathi PL741. The gene order of the lumP and the lux operon is < -lumP-R & R-luxC-luxD-luxA-luxB-luxN-luxE- > (R & R: regulatory region). The nucleotide sequence of the regulatory region (827-bp) between the lumP and the lux operon was determined. Sequence analysis illustrates that the regulatory region includes two divergent promoter systems, PR-promoter system for the lux operon (R-operon) and PL-promoter system for the lumP or lum operon (L-operon). Functional analysis of the regulatory region shows that the PR- and PL-promoter systems both are able to lead the gene expression. The deletion experiment result elicits that the PR- and PL-promoter are coordinatively and negatively regulated; the PR- and PL-promoter might be competing for recognition by RNA polymerase to initiate transcription. The fact of the LumP responsible for the spectral blue shift in P. leiognathi implied that the lumP gene closedly linked to the lux operon is for coordinative regulation with the lux operon. In addition, the glucose repression on the PR-promoter system shows that the expression of the lux operon is regulated by cAMP-CRP induction in E. coli.

  7. Virulence Markers of Dengue Viruses

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-02-20

    Soawy Ca saoouj Virulence Markers of Dengue Viruses (U) 12. PCIRSONAL AUTHORS) James L. Hardy, Ph.D. and Srisakul C. Kliks, Ph.D. 13a. TYPE Of REPORT...17. COSATI COOLS I& S UBiJECT TERMS0,G ’-mPJ!’ iwin.. - fl OV nu0a mef) FIELD I GROUP SUS-GROUIP Dengue viruses, dengue hemorrhagic fever, virulence...serotypes of dengue virus vary from mild forms i.e. pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO) and dengue fever (DF) to severe forms i.e. dengue hemorrhagic fever and

  8. Campylobacter virulence and survival factors.

    PubMed

    Bolton, Declan J

    2015-06-01

    Despite over 30 years of research, campylobacteriosis is the most prevalent foodborne bacterial infection in many countries including in the European Union and the United States of America. However, relatively little is known about the virulence factors in Campylobacter or how an apparently fragile organism can survive in the food chain, often with enhanced pathogenicity. This review collates information on the virulence and survival determinants including motility, chemotaxis, adhesion, invasion, multidrug resistance, bile resistance and stress response factors. It discusses their function in transition through the food processing environment and human infection. In doing so it provides a fundamental understanding of Campylobacter, critical for improved diagnosis, surveillance and control.

  9. Capsular switching as a strategy to increase pneumococcal virulence in experimental otitis media model.

    PubMed

    Sabharwal, Vishakha; Stevenson, Abbie; Figueira, Marisol; Orthopoulos, George; Trzciński, Krzysztof; Pelton, Stephen I

    2014-04-01

    We hypothesized that capsular switch event, in which pneumococcus acquires a new capsule operon by horizontal gene transfer, may result in emergence of strains with increased virulence in acute otitis media. Using serotype 6A strain from a patient with invasive pneumococcal disease and clonally distant serotype 6C strain isolated from asymptomatic carrier we created 6A:6C (6A background with 6C capsule) capsular transformants and applied whole genome macro-restriction analysis to assess conservation of the 6A chassis. Next, we assessed complement (C3) and antibodies deposition on surface of pneumococcal cells and tested capsule recipient, capsule donor and two 6A:6C transformants for virulence in chinchilla experimental otitis media model. Both 6A:6C(1 or 2) transformants bound less C3 compared to 6C capsule-donor strain but more compared to serotype 6A capsule-recipient strain. Pneumococci were present in significantly higher proportion of ears among animals challenged with either of two 6A:6C(1 or 2) transformants compared to chinchillas infected with 6C capsule-donor strain [p < 0.001] whereas a significantly decreased proportion of ears were infected with 6A:6C(1 or 2) transformants as compared to 6A capsule-recipient strain. Our observations though limited to two serotypes demonstrate that capsular switch events can result in Streptococcus pneumoniae strains of enhanced virulence for respiratory tract infection.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-02-01

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

  12. Energetic methods to study bifunctional biotin operon repressor.

    PubMed

    Beckett, D

    1998-01-01

    measurements. The results of quantitative studies of the biotin regulatory system can be interpreted in the context of the biological function of the system. The biotin holoenzyme ligases are a class of enzymes found across the evolutionary spectrum. Only a subset of these enzymes, including BirA, also function as transcriptional repressors. The tight binding of the allosteric effector may be understood in light of the bifunctional nature of the BirA-bio-5'-AMP complex. It is possible that the unusually high thermodynamic and kinetic stability of the complex ensures that the most probable state of the protein in vivo is the adenylate-bound form. This complex, not the unliganded protein, is active in both enzymatic transfer of biotin and site-specific DNA binding. This ensures that on depletion of the intracellular pool of apoBCCP, BirA-bio-5'-AMP accumulates and binds to bioO to repress transcription of the biotin biosynthesis operon. The intracellular demand for and synthesis of biotin are, consequently, tightly coupled in the system. The dimerization that accompanies adenylate binding to BirA appears to be significant for site-specific binding of the protein to bioO. Functionally, the simultaneous binding of the two monomers to the two operator half-sites, regardless of the kinetic mechanism by which it occurs, ensures coordinate regulation of transcription initiation from both biotin operon promoters. The multifaceted approach utilized in studies of the biotin regulatory system can serve as a model for studies of any complex transcriptional regulatory system. It is critical in elucidating the functional energetics of any of these systems that the assembly first be dissected into the constituent interactions and that each of these interactions be studied in isolation. This is not only critical for understanding the physicochemical properties of each individual contributing interaction, but is also a necessary precursor to studies of thermodynamic linkage in the system. (AB

  13. Insights into Entamoeba histolytica virulence modulation.

    PubMed

    Padilla-Vaca, F; Anaya-Velázquez, F

    2010-08-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is able to invade human tissues by means of several molecules and biological properties related to the virulence. Pathogenic amebas use three major virulence factors, Gal/GalNAc lectin, amebapore and proteases, for lyse, phagocytose, kill and destroy a variety of cells and tissues in the host. Responses of the parasite to host components such as mucins and bacterial flora influence the behavior of pathogenic amebas altering their expression of virulence factors. The relative virulence of different strains of E. histolytica has been shown to vary as a consequence of changes in conditions of in vitro cultivation which implies substantial changes in basic metabolic aspects and factors directly and indirectly related to amebic virulence. Comparison of E. histolytica strains with different virulence phenotypes and under different conditions of growth will help to identify new virulence factor candidates and define the interplay between virulence factors and invasive phenotype. Virulence attenuate mutants of E. histolytica are useful also to uncover novel virulence determinants. The comparison of biological properties and virulence factors between E. histolytica and E. dispar, a non-pathogenic species, has been a useful approach to investigate the key factors involved in the experimental presentation of amebiasis and its complex regulation. The molecular mechanisms that regulate these variations in virulence are not yet known. Their elucidation will help us to better understand the gene expression plasticity that enables the effective adaptation of the ameba to changes in growth culture conditions and host factors.

  14. Kinetic approaches to lactose operon induction and bimodality.

    PubMed

    Michel, Denis

    2013-05-21

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

  15. Diverse pathways for salicin utilization in Shigella sonnei and Escherichia coli carrying an impaired bgl operon.

    PubMed

    Desai, Stuti K; Nandimath, Krithi; Mahadevan, S

    2010-10-01

    Utilization of the aryl-β-glucosides salicin or arbutin in most wild-type strains of E. coli is achieved by a single-step mutational activation of the bgl operon. Shigella sonnei, a branch of the diverse E. coli strain tree, requires two sequential mutational steps for achieving salicin utilization as the bglB gene, encoding the phospho-β-glucosidase B, harbors an inactivating insertion. We show that in a natural isolate of S. sonnei, transcriptional activation of the gene SSO1595, encoding a phospho-β-glucosidase, enables salicin utilization with the permease function being provided by the activated bgl operon. SSO1595 is absent in most commensal strains of E. coli, but is present in extra-intestinal pathogens as bgcA, a component of the bgc operon that enables β-glucoside utilization at low temperature. Salicin utilization in an E. coli bglB laboratory strain also requires a two-step activation process leading to expression of BglF, the PTS-associated permease encoded by the bgl operon and AscB, the phospho-β-glucosidase B encoded by the silent asc operon. BglF function is needed since AscF is unable to transport β-glucosides as it lacks the IIA domain involved in phopho-relay. Activation of the asc operon in the Sal(+) mutant is by a promoter-up mutation and the activated operon is subject to induction. The pathway to achieve salicin utilization is therefore diverse in these two evolutionarily related organisms; however, both show cooperation between two silent genetic systems to achieve a new metabolic capability under selection.

  16. The alr-groEL1 operon in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: an interplay of multiple regulatory elements

    PubMed Central

    Bhat, Aadil H.; Pathak, Deepika; Rao, Alka

    2017-01-01

    Threonylcarbamoyladenosine is a universally conserved essential modification of tRNA that ensures translational fidelity in cellular milieu. TsaD, TsaB and TsaE are identified as tRNA-A37-threonylcarbamoyl (t6A)-transferase enzymes that have been reconstituted in vitro, in few bacteria recently. However, transcriptional organization and regulation of these genes are not known in any of these organisms. This study describes the intricate architecture of a complex multicistronic alr-groEL1 operon, harboring essential genes, namely tsaD, tsaB, tsaE, groES, groEL1, and alr (required for cell wall synthesis), and rimI encoding an N-α- acetyltransferase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Using northern blotting, RT-PCR and in vivo fluorescence assays, genes alr to groEL1 were found to constitute an ~6.3 kb heptacistronic operon with multiple internal promoters and an I-shaped intrinsic hairpin-like cis-regulatory element. A strong promoter PtsaD within the coding sequence of rimI gene is identified in M. tuberculosis, in addition. The study further proposes an amendment in the known bicistronic groESL1 operon annotation by providing evidence that groESL1 is co-transcribed as sub-operon of alr-groEL1 operon. The architecture of alr-groEL1 operon, conservation of the genetic context and a mosaic transcriptional profile displayed under various stress conditions convincingly suggest the involvement of this operon in stress adaptation in M. tuberculosis. PMID:28256563

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-23

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

  19. Virulence Mechanisms of Enteroinvasive Pathogens

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-01

    of Plasmid Gene Products otactic response facilitates the establishment of in Virulence a Salmonella infection (47). The action of pan- Anucleate...1967. Electron microscope studies of 36:615-620. experimental salmonella infection . 1. Penetration into 35. Rout, W. R., S. B. Formal, G. J. Dammin

  20. Molecular architecture of the regulatory Locus sae of Staphylococcus aureus and its impact on expression of virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Steinhuber, Andrea; Goerke, Christiane; Bayer, Manfred G; Döring, Gerd; Wolz, Christiane

    2003-11-01

    We characterized the sae operon, a global regulator for virulence gene expression in Staphylococcus aureus. A Tn917 sae mutant was obtained by screening a Tn917 library of the agr mutant ISP479Mu for clones with altered hemolytic activity. Sequence analysis of the sae operon revealed two additional open reading frames (ORFs) (ORF3 and ORF4) upstream of the two-component regulatory genes saeR and saeS. Four overlapping sae-specific transcripts (T1 to T4) were detected by Northern blot analysis, and the transcriptional initiation points were mapped by primer extension analysis. The T1, T2, and T3 mRNAs are probably terminated at the same stem-loop sequence downstream of saeS. The T1 message (3.1 kb) initiates upstream of ORF4, T2 (2.4 kb) initiates upstream of ORF3, and T3 (2.0 kb) initiates in front of saeR. T4 (0.7 kb) represents a monocistronic mRNA encompassing ORF4 only. sae-specific transcripts were detectable in all of the 40 different clinical S. aureus isolates investigated. Transcript levels were at maximum during the post-exponential growth phase. The sae mutant showed a significantly reduced rate of invasion of human endothelial cells, consistent with diminished transcription and expression of fnbA. The expression of type 5 capsular polysaccharide is activated in the sae mutant of strain Newman, as shown by immunofluorescence and promoter-reporter fusion experiments. In summary, the sae operon constitutes a four-component regulator system which acts on virulence gene expression in S. aureus.

  1. Transcriptional activation of virulence genes of Rhizobium etli.

    PubMed

    Wang, Luyao; Lacroix, Benoît; Guo, Jianhua; Citovsky, Vitaly

    2017-01-09

    Recently, Rhizobium etli has emerged, in addition to Agrobacterium spp., as a prokaryotic species that encodes a functional machinery for DNA transfer to plant cells. To understand this R. etli-mediated genetic transformation, it would be useful to define how its vir genes respond to the host plants. Here, we explored the transcriptional activation of the vir genes contained on the R. etli p42a plasmid. Using a reporter construct harboring lacZ under the control of the R. etli virE promoter, we showed that the signal phenolic molecule acetosyringone (AS) induced R. etli vir gene expression both in R. etli and in A. tumefaciens background. Furthermore, in both bacterial backgrounds, the p42a plasmid also promoted plant genetic transformation with a reporter T-DNA. Importantly, the R. etli vir genes were transcriptionally activated by AS in a bacterial species-specific fashion in regard to the VirA/VirG signal sensor system, and this activation was induced by signals from the natural host species of this bacterium, but not from non-host plants. Early kinetics of transcriptional activation of the major vir genes of R. etli also revealed several features distinct from those known for A. tumefaciens: the expression of the virG gene reached saturation relatively quickly, and virB2, which in R. etli is located outside of the virB operon, was expressed only at low levels and did not respond to AS. These differences in vir gene transcription may contribute to the lower efficiency of T-DNA transfer of R. etli p42a versus pTiC58 of A. tumefaciens IMPORTANCE: The region encoding homologs of Agrobacterium tumefaciens virulence genes in the Rhizobium etli CE3 p42a plasmid was the first endogenous virulence system encoded by a non-Agrobacterium species demonstrated to be functional in DNA transfer and stable integration into plant cell genome. In this study, we explore the transcriptional regulation and induction of virulence genes in R. etli and show similarities and differences

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. Analysis of the Rickettsia africae genome reveals that virulence acquisition in Rickettsia species may be explained by genome reduction

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Pierre-Edouard; El Karkouri, Khalid; Leroy, Quentin; Robert, Catherine; Giumelli, Bernadette; Renesto, Patricia; Socolovschi, Cristina; Parola, Philippe; Audic, Stéphane; Raoult, Didier

    2009-01-01

    Background The Rickettsia genus includes 25 validated species, 17 of which are proven human pathogens. Among these, the pathogenicity varies greatly, from the highly virulent R. prowazekii, which causes epidemic typhus and kills its arthropod host, to the mild pathogen R. africae, the agent of African tick-bite fever, which does not affect the fitness of its tick vector. Results We evaluated the clonality of R. africae in 70 patients and 155 ticks, and determined its genome sequence, which comprises a circular chromosome of 1,278,540 bp including a tra operon and an unstable 12,377-bp plasmid. To study the genetic characteristics associated with virulence, we compared this species to R. prowazekii, R. rickettsii and R. conorii. R. africae and R. prowazekii have, respectively, the less and most decayed genomes. Eighteen genes are present only in R. africae including one with a putative protease domain upregulated at 37°C. Conclusion Based on these data, we speculate that a loss of regulatory genes causes an increase of virulence of rickettsial species in ticks and mammals. We also speculate that in Rickettsia species virulence is mostly associated with gene loss. The genome sequence was deposited in GenBank under accession number [GenBank: NZ_AAUY01000001]. PMID:19379498

  6. The Polyamine N-Acetyltransferase-Like Enzyme PmvE Plays a Role in the Virulence of Enterococcus faecalis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    We previously showed that the mutant strain of Enterococcus faecalis lacking the transcriptional regulator SlyA is more virulent than the parental strain. We hypothesized that this phenotype was due to overexpression of the second gene of the slyA operon, ef_3001, renamed pmvE (for polyamine metabolism and virulence of E. faecalis). PmvE shares strong homologies with N1-spermidine/spermine acetyltransferase enzymes involved in the metabolism of polyamines. In this study, we used an E. faecalis strain carrying the recombinant plasmid pMSP3535-pmvE (V19/p3535-pmvE), which allows the induction of pmvE by addition of nisin. Thereby, we showed that the overexpression of PmvE increased the virulence of E. faecalis in the Galleria mellonella infection model, as well as the persistence within peritoneal macrophages. We were also able to show a direct interaction between the His-tagged recombinant PmvE (rPmvE) protein and putrescine by the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) technique on a Biacore instrument. Moreover, biochemical assays showed that PmvE possesses an N-acetyltransferase activity toward polyamine substrates. Our results suggest that PmvE contributes to the virulence of E. faecalis, likely through its involvement in the polyamine metabolism. PMID:25385793

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Phylogeny and virulence of naturally occurring type III secretion system-deficient Pectobacterium strains.

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  10. Burkholderia contaminans Biofilm Regulating Operon and Its Distribution in Bacterial Genomes.

    PubMed

    Voronina, Olga L; Kunda, Marina S; Ryzhova, Natalia N; Aksenova, Ekaterina I; Semenov, Andrey N; Romanova, Yulia M; Gintsburg, Alexandr L

    2016-01-01

    Biofilm formation by Burkholderia spp. is a principal cause of lung chronic infections in cystic fibrosis patients. A "lacking biofilm production" (LBP) strain B. contaminans GIMC4587:Bct370-19 has been obtained by insertion modification of clinical strain with plasposon mutagenesis. It has an interrupted transcriptional response regulator (RR) gene. The focus of our investigation was a two-component signal transduction system determination, including this RR. B. contaminans clinical and LBP strains were analyzed by whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics resources. A four-component operon (BiofilmReg) has a key role in biofilm formation. The relative location (i.e., by being separated by another gene) of RR and histidine kinase genes is unique in BiofilmReg. Orthologs were found in other members of the Burkholderiales order. Phylogenetic analysis of strains containing BiofilmReg operons demonstrated evidence for earlier inheritance of a three-component operon. During further evolution one lineage acquired a fourth gene, whereas others lost the third component of the operon. Mutations in sensor domains have created biodiversity which is advantageous for adaptation to various ecological niches. Different species Burkholderia and Achromobacter strains all demonstrated similar BiofilmReg operon structure. Therefore, there may be an opportunity to develop a common drug which is effective for treating all these causative agents.

  11. A novel marRAB operon contributes to the rifampicin resistance in Mycobacterium smegmatis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haiwei; Gao, Long; Zhang, Jiaoling; Li, Weihui; Yang, Min; Zhang, Hua; Gao, Chunhui; He, Zheng-Guo

    2014-01-01

    The multiple-antibiotic resistance regulator (MarR) plays an important role in modulating bacterial antibiotic resistance. However, the regulatory model of the marRAB operon in mycobacteria remains to be characterized. Here we report that a MarR, encoded by Ms6508, and its marRAB operon specifically contribute to rifampicin (RIF) resistance in Mycobacterium smegmatis. We show that the MarR recognizes a conserved 21-bp palindromic motif and negatively regulates the expression of two ABC transporters in the operon, encoded by Ms6509-6510. Unlike other known drug efflux pumps, overexpression of these two ABC transporters unexpectedly increased RIF sensitivity and deletion of these two genes increased mycobacterial resistance to the antibiotic. No change can be detected for the sensitivity of recombinant mycobacterial strains to three other anti-TB drugs. Furthermore, HPLC experiments suggested that Ms6509-Ms6510 could pump RIF into the mycobacterial cells. These findings indicated that the mycobacterial MarR functions as a repressor and constitutively inhibits the expression of the marRAB operon, which specifically contributes to RIF resistance in M. smegmatis. Therefore, our data suggest a new regulatory mechanism of RIF resistance and also provide the new insight into the regulatory model of a marRAB operon in mycobacteria.

  12. Regulation of fatty acid degradation in Escherichia coli: analysis by operon fusion.

    PubMed

    Clark, D

    1981-11-01

    Fusion of the lacZ gene coding for beta-galactosidase to the fadA,B and fadE operons was accomplished by using the phage Mu d (Apr lac). In such fusion strains, beta-galactosidase was induced by long-chain fatty acids and repressed by glucose, as is the normal pattern of control for the enzymes of the fad regulon. The level of induction seen was approximately 10-fold for both the fadA and fadE operons. These results demonstrate that the previously observed regulation of both the fadA and fadE operons is at the transcriptional level. When an insertion mutation in the fadR (repressor) gene was introduced into the fusion strains, beta-galactosidase was produced constitutively. A series of fatty acids of different chain lengths were tested as inducers. Acids of chain lengths of 10 carbon atoms or less failed to induce, those of 12 carbon atoms induced partly, and those of 14 or more carbon atoms induced fully. Imidazole was found to counteract the glucose repression of the fadA operon as recently demonstrated for the ara operon.

  13. High-affinity L-arabinose transport operon. Gene product expression and mRNAs.

    PubMed

    Horazdovsky, B F; Hogg, R W

    1987-09-05

    Various portions of the "high-affinity" L-arabinose transport operon were cloned into the plasmid expression vector pKK223-3 and the operon-encoded protein products were identified. The results indicate that three proteins are encoded by this operon. The first is a 33,000 Mr protein that is the product of the promoter-proximal L-arabinose binding protein coding sequence, araF. A 52,000 Mr protein is encoded by sequence 3' to araF and has been assigned to the araG locus. The sequence 3' to araG encodes a 31,000 Mr protein that has been assigned to the araH locus. Both the araG and araH gene products are localized in the membrane fraction of the cell, implying a role in the membrane-associated complex of the high-affinity L-arabinose transport system. Nuclease S1 protection studies indicate that two operon message populations are present in the cell, a full-length operon transcript and a seven- to tenfold more abundant binding protein-specific message. The relative abundance of these two message populations correlates with the differential expression of the binding protein and the membrane-associated proteins of the transport system.

  14. Burkholderia contaminans Biofilm Regulating Operon and Its Distribution in Bacterial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Semenov, Andrey N.; Gintsburg, Alexandr L.

    2016-01-01

    Biofilm formation by Burkholderia spp. is a principal cause of lung chronic infections in cystic fibrosis patients. A “lacking biofilm production” (LBP) strain B. contaminans GIMC4587:Bct370-19 has been obtained by insertion modification of clinical strain with plasposon mutagenesis. It has an interrupted transcriptional response regulator (RR) gene. The focus of our investigation was a two-component signal transduction system determination, including this RR. B. contaminans clinical and LBP strains were analyzed by whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics resources. A four-component operon (BiofilmReg) has a key role in biofilm formation. The relative location (i.e., by being separated by another gene) of RR and histidine kinase genes is unique in BiofilmReg. Orthologs were found in other members of the Burkholderiales order. Phylogenetic analysis of strains containing BiofilmReg operons demonstrated evidence for earlier inheritance of a three-component operon. During further evolution one lineage acquired a fourth gene, whereas others lost the third component of the operon. Mutations in sensor domains have created biodiversity which is advantageous for adaptation to various ecological niches. Different species Burkholderia and Achromobacter strains all demonstrated similar BiofilmReg operon structure. Therefore, there may be an opportunity to develop a common drug which is effective for treating all these causative agents. PMID:28070515

  15. HP0197 contributes to CPS synthesis and the virulence of Streptococcus suis via CcpA.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Anding; Chen, Bo; Yuan, Zhengzhi; Li, Ran; Liu, Cheng; Zhou, Hongbo; Chen, Huanchun; Jin, Meilin

    2012-01-01

    Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2), a major swine pathogen and an emerging zoonotic agent, has greatly challenged global public health. The encoding proteins with unknown functions the bacterium encodes are an obstruction to studies of the pathogenesis. A novel surface protective antigen HP0197 is one of these proteins which have no sequence homology to any known protein. In the present study, the protein was determined to be involved in bacterial virulence through an evaluation of the isogenic mutant (Δhp0197) in both mice and pigs. The experimental infection also indicated that Δhp0197 could be cleared easily during infection, which could be attributed to the reduced thickness of the capsular polysaccharides (CPS) and the significantly reduced phagocytotic resistance. Microarrays-based comparative transcriptome analysis suggested that the suppressed expression of the operon responsible for CPS synthesis might be reversed by CcpA activity, which controlled global regulation of carbon catabolite through the binding of the CcpA and HPr-Ser-46-P to the catabolite-responsive elements (cre) of the target operons. The hypothesis was approved by the fact that the purified FLAG-tagged HPr from WT stain exhibited a higher binding activity to cre with CcpA compared to the Δhp0197 by the Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay, suggesting lower level of phosphorylation of the phosphocarrier protein HPr at residue Ser-46 (HPr-Ser-46P) in Δhp0197. These indicated that HP0197 could enhance CcpA activity to control the expression of genes involved in carbohydrate utilization and CPS synthesis, thus contributing to the virulence of S. suis.

  16. Characterization of virulence factor regulation by SrrAB, a two-component system in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Pragman, Alexa A; Yarwood, Jeremy M; Tripp, Timothy J; Schlievert, Patrick M

    2004-04-01

    Workers in our laboratory have previously identified the staphylococcal respiratory response AB (SrrAB), a Staphylococcus aureus two-component system that acts in the global regulation of virulence factors. This system down-regulates production of agr RNAIII, protein A, and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), particularly under low-oxygen conditions. In this study we investigated the localization and membrane orientation of SrrA and SrrB, transcription of the srrAB operon, the DNA-binding properties of SrrA, and the effect of SrrAB expression on S. aureus virulence. We found that SrrA is localized to the S. aureus cytoplasm, while SrrB is localized to the membrane and is properly oriented to function as a histidine kinase. srrAB has one transcriptional start site which results in either an srrA transcript or a full-length srrAB transcript; srrB must be cotranscribed with srrA. Gel shift assays of the agr P2, agr P3, protein A (spa), TSST-1 (tst), and srr promoters revealed SrrA binding at each of these promoters. Analysis of SrrAB-overexpressing strains by using the rabbit model of bacterial endocarditis demonstrated that overexpression of SrrAB decreased the virulence of the organisms compared to the virulence of isogenic strains that do not overexpress SrrAB. We concluded that SrrAB is properly localized and oriented to function as a two-component system. Overexpression of SrrAB, which represses agr RNAIII, TSST-1, and protein A in vitro, decreases virulence in the rabbit endocarditis model. Repression of these virulence factors is likely due to a direct interaction between SrrA and the agr, tst, and spa promoters.

  17. [Virulence determinant of Chromobacterium violaceum].

    PubMed

    Miki, Tsuyoshi

    2014-01-01

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

  18. The fruRBA Operon Is Necessary for Group A Streptococcal Growth in Fructose and for Resistance to Neutrophil Killing during Growth in Whole Human Blood

    PubMed Central

    Valdes, Kayla M.; Sundar, Ganesh S.; Vega, Luis A.; Belew, Ashton T.; Islam, Emrul; Binet, Rachel; El-Sayed, Najib M.

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens rely on the availability of nutrients for survival in the host environment. The phosphoenolpyruvate-phosphotransferase system (PTS) is a global regulatory network connecting sugar uptake with signal transduction. Since the fructose PTS has been shown to impact virulence in several streptococci, including the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (the group A Streptococcus [GAS]), we characterized its role in carbon metabolism and pathogenesis in the M1T1 strain 5448. Growth in fructose as a sole carbon source resulted in 103 genes affected transcriptionally, where the fru locus (fruRBA) was the most induced. Reverse transcriptase PCR showed that fruRBA formed an operon which was repressed by FruR in the absence of fructose, in addition to being under carbon catabolic repression. Growth assays and carbon utilization profiles revealed that although the entire fru operon was required for growth in fructose, FruA was the main transporter for fructose and also was involved in the utilization of three additional PTS sugars: cellobiose, mannitol, and N-acetyl-d-galactosamine. The inactivation of sloR, a fruA homolog that also was upregulated in the presence of fructose, failed to reveal a role as a secondary fructose transporter. Whereas the ability of both ΔfruR and ΔfruB mutants to survive in the presence of whole human blood or neutrophils was impaired, the phenotype was not reproduced in murine whole blood, and those mutants were not attenuated in a mouse intraperitoneal infection. Since the ΔfruA mutant exhibited no phenotype in the human or mouse assays, we propose that FruR and FruB are important for GAS survival in a human-specific environment. PMID:26787724

  19. Compensatory role of PspA, a member of the phage shock protein operon, in rpoE mutant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium.

    PubMed

    Becker, Lynne A; Bang, Iel-Soo; Crouch, Marie-Laure; Fang, Ferric C

    2005-05-01

    Sigma(E) is an alternative sigma factor that responds to and ameliorates extracytoplasmic stress. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), sigma(E) is required for oxidative stress resistance, stationary-phase survival and virulence in mice. Microarray analysis of stationary-phase gene expression in rpoE mutant bacteria revealed a dramatic increase in expression of pspA, a member of the phage shock protein (psp) operon. The psp operon can be induced by filamentous bacteriophages or by perturbations of protein secretion, and is believed to facilitate the maintenance of proton motive force (PMF). We hypothesized that increased pspA expression may represent a compensatory response to the loss of sigma(E) function. Increased pspA expression was confirmed in rpoE mutant Salmonella and also observed in a mutant lacking the F(1)F(0) ATPase. Alternatively, expression of pspA could be induced by exposure to CCCP, a protonophore that disrupts PMF. An rpoE pspA double mutant strain was found to have a stationary-phase survival defect more pronounced than that of isogenic strains harbouring single mutations. The double mutant strains were also more susceptible to killing by CCCP or by a bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI)-derived anti-microbial peptide. Using fluorescence ratio imaging, differences were observed in the Deltapsi of wild-type and rpoE or pspA mutant bacteria. These findings suggest that pspA expression in S. Typhimurium is induced by alterations in PMF and a functional sigma(E) regulon is essential for the maintenance of PMF.

  20. Salmonella enteritidis agfBAC operon encoding thin, aggregative fimbriae.

    PubMed

    Collinson, S K; Clouthier, S C; Doran, J L; Banser, P A; Kay, W W

    1996-02-01

    Salmonella enteritidis produces thin, aggregative fimbriae, named SEF17, which are composed of polymerized AgfA fimbrin proteins. DNA sequence analysis of a 2-kb region of S. enteritidis DNA revealed three contiguous genes, agfBAC. The 453-bp agfA gene encodes the AgfA fimbrin, which was predicted to be 74% identical and 86% similar in primary sequence to the Escherichia coli curli structural protein, CsgA. pHAG, a pUC18 derivative containing a 3.0-kb HindIII fragment encoding agfBAC, directed the in vitro expression of the major AgfA fimbrin, with an M(r) of 17,000, and a minor AgfB protein, with an M(r) of 16,000, encoded by the 453-bp agfB gene. AgfA was not expressed from pDAG, a pUC18 derivative containing a 3.1-kb DraI DNA fragment encoding agfA but not agfB. Primer extension analysis identified two adjacent transcription start sites located immediately upstream of agfB in positions analogous to those of the E. coli curlin csgBA operon. No transcription start sites were located immediately upstream of agfA or agfC. Northern (RNA) blot analysis confirmed that transcription of agfA was initiated from the agfB promoter region. Secondary-structure analysis of the putative mRNA transcript for agfBAC predicted the formation of a stem-loop structure (delta Gzero, -22 kcal/mol [-91 kJ/mol]) in the intercistronic region between agfA and agfC, which may be involved in stabilization of the agfBA portion of the agfBAC transcript. agfBAC and flanking regions had a high degree of sequence similarity with those counterparts of the E. coli curlin csgBA region for which sequence data are available. These data are demonstrative of the high degree of similarity between S. enteritidis SEF17 fimbriae and E. coli curli with respect to fimbrin amino acid sequence and genetic organization and, therefore, are indicative of a common and relatively recent ancestry.

  1. An Escherichia coli chromosomal ars operon homolog is functional in arsenic detoxification and is conserved in gram-negative bacteria.

    PubMed

    Diorio, C; Cai, J; Marmor, J; Shinder, R; DuBow, M S

    1995-04-01

    Arsenic is a known toxic metalloid, whose trivalent and pentavalent ions can inhibit many biochemical processes. Operons which encode arsenic resistance have been found in multicopy plasmids from both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The resistance mechanism is encoded from a single operon which typically consists of an arsenite ion-inducible repressor that regulates expression of an arsenate reductase and inner membrane-associated arsenite export system. Using a lacZ transcriptional gene fusion library, we have identified an Escherichia coli operon whose expression is induced by cellular exposure to sodium arsenite at concentrations as low as 5 micrograms/liter. This chromosomal operon was cloned, sequenced, and found to consist of three cistrons which we named arsR, arsB, and arsC because of their strong homology to plasmid-borne ars operons. Mutants in the chromosomal ars operon were found to be approximately 10- to 100-fold more sensitive to sodium arsenate and arsenite exposure than wild-type E. coli, while wild-type E. coli that contained the operon cloned on a ColE1-based plasmid was found to be at least 2- to 10-fold more resistant to sodium arsenate and arsenite. Moreover, Southern blotting and high-stringency hybridization of this operon with chromosomal DNAs from a number of bacterial species showed homologous sequences among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, and hybridization was detectable even in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These results suggest that the chromosomal ars operon may be the evolutionary precursor of the plasmid-borne operon, as a multicopy plasmid location would allow the operon to be amplified and its products to confer increased resistance to this toxic metalloid.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gourley, Christopher R.

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

  3. Unusual organization, complexity and redundancy at the Escherichia coli hcp-hcr operon promoter.

    PubMed

    Chismon, David L; Browning, Douglas F; Farrant, Gregory K; Busby, Stephen J W

    2010-08-15

    Expression from the Escherichia coli hcp-hcr operon promoter is optimally induced during anaerobic conditions in the presence of nitrite. This expression depends on transcription activation by FNR (fumarate and nitrate reduction regulator), which binds to a target centred at position -72.5 upstream of the transcript start site. Mutational analysis was exploited to identify the corresponding -10 and -35 hexamer elements. A DNA site for NarL and NarP, located at position -104.5, plays only a minor role, whereas NsrR binding to a DNA target centred at position +6 plays a major role in induction of the hcp-hcr operon promoter. Electrophoretic mobility-shift assays show that NsrR binds to this target. The consequences of this for the kinetics of induction of the hcp-hcr operon are discussed.

  4. Footprints of Optimal Protein Assembly Strategies in the Operonic Structure of Prokaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Ewald, Jan; Kötzing, Martin; Bartl, Martin; Kaleta, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    In this work, we investigate optimality principles behind synthesis strategies for protein complexes using a dynamic optimization approach. We show that the cellular capacity of protein synthesis has a strong influence on optimal synthesis strategies reaching from a simultaneous to a sequential synthesis of the subunits of a protein complex. Sequential synthesis is preferred if protein synthesis is strongly limited, whereas a simultaneous synthesis is optimal in situations with a high protein synthesis capacity. We confirm the predictions of our optimization approach through the analysis of the operonic organization of protein complexes in several hundred prokaryotes. Thereby, we are able to show that cellular protein synthesis capacity is a driving force in the dissolution of operons comprising the subunits of a protein complex. Thus, we also provide a tested hypothesis explaining why the subunits of many prokaryotic protein complexes are distributed across several operons despite the presumably less precise co-regulation. PMID:25927816

  5. Molecular analysis of the UV-inducible pili operon from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius.

    PubMed

    van Wolferen, Marleen; Ajon, Małgorzata; Driessen, Arnold J M; Albers, Sonja-Verena

    2013-12-01

    Upon ultraviolet (UV) stress, hyperthermophilic Sulfolobus species show a highly induced transcription of a gene cluster responsible for pili biogenesis: the UV-inducible pili operon (ups operon). This operon is involved in UV-induced pili assembly, cellular aggregation, and subsequent DNA exchange between cells. As the system increases the fitness of Sulfolobus cells after UV light exposure, we assume that transfer of DNA takes place in order to repair UV-induced DNA damages via homologous recombination. Here, we studied all genes present in the ups cluster via gene deletion analysis with a focus on UpsX, a protein that shows no identifiable functional domains. UspX does not seem to be structurally essential for UV-induced pili formation and cellular aggregation, but appears to be important for efficient DNA transfer. In addition, we could show that pilin subunits UpsA and UpsB probably both function as major pilin subunits in the ups pili.

  6. Footprints of optimal protein assembly strategies in the operonic structure of prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Ewald, Jan; Kötzing, Martin; Bartl, Martin; Kaleta, Christoph

    2015-04-28

    In this work, we investigate optimality principles behind synthesis strategies for protein complexes using a dynamic optimization approach. We show that the cellular capacity of protein synthesis has a strong influence on optimal synthesis strategies reaching from a simultaneous to a sequential synthesis of the subunits of a protein complex. Sequential synthesis is preferred if protein synthesis is strongly limited, whereas a simultaneous synthesis is optimal in situations with a high protein synthesis capacity. We confirm the predictions of our optimization approach through the analysis of the operonic organization of protein complexes in several hundred prokaryotes. Thereby, we are able to show that cellular protein synthesis capacity is a driving force in the dissolution of operons comprising the subunits of a protein complex. Thus, we also provide a tested hypothesis explaining why the subunits of many prokaryotic protein complexes are distributed across several operons despite the presumably less precise co-regulation.

  7. Growth rate regulation of lac operon expression in Escherichia coli is cyclic AMP dependent.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Jong-Tar; Chang, Yu-Jen; Tseng, Ching-Ping

    2003-10-23

    In contrast to the ribosomal RNA gene expression increasing with growth rate, transcription of the lac operon is downregulated by cell growth rate. In continuous culture, growth rate regulation of lac promoter was independent of carbon substrate used and its location on the chromosome. Since the lac operon is activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which decreases with increasing cell growth rate, expression of plac-lacZ reporter fusion was analyzed in cya mutant under various growth conditions. The results demonstrated that expression of plac-lacZ in cya mutant was both lower and growth rate independent. In addition, ppGpp (guanosine tetraphosphate) was not involved in the mechanism of growth rate regulation of the lac promoter. Thus, the results of this study indicate that cAMP mediates the growth rate-dependent regulation of lac operon expression in Escherichia coli.

  8. The evolution of tuberculosis virulence.

    PubMed

    Basu, Sanjay; Galvani, Alison P

    2009-07-01

    The evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis presents several challenges for public health. HIV and resistance to antimycobacterial medications have evolutionary implications for how Mycobacterium tuberculosis will evolve, as these factors influence the host environment and transmission dynamics of tuberculosis strains. We present an evolutionary invasion analysis of tuberculosis that characterizes the direction of tuberculosis evolution in the context of different natural and human-driven selective pressures, including changes in tuberculosis treatment and HIV prevalence. We find that the evolution of tuberculosis virulence can be affected by treatment success rates, the relative transmissibility of emerging strains, the rate of reactivation from latency among hosts, and the life expectancy of hosts. We find that the virulence of tuberculosis strains may also increase as a consequence of rising HIV prevalence, requiring faster case detection strategies in areas where the epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis collide.

  9. Manganese uptake and streptococcal virulence.

    PubMed

    Eijkelkamp, Bart A; McDevitt, Christopher A; Kitten, Todd

    2015-06-01

    Streptococcal solute-binding proteins (SBPs) associated with ATP-binding cassette transporters gained widespread attention first as ostensible adhesins, next as virulence determinants, and finally as metal ion transporters. In this mini-review, we will examine our current understanding of the cellular roles of these proteins, their contribution to metal ion homeostasis, and their crucial involvement in mediating streptococcal virulence. There are now more than 35 studies that have collected structural, biochemical and/or physiological data on the functions of SBPs across a broad range of bacteria. This offers a wealth of data to clarify the formerly puzzling and contentious findings regarding the metal specificity amongst this group of essential bacterial transporters. In particular we will focus on recent findings related to biological roles for manganese in streptococci. These advances will inform efforts aimed at exploiting the importance of manganese and manganese acquisition for the design of new approaches to combat serious streptococcal diseases.

  10. Fine-Tuned Transcriptional Regulation of Malate Operons in Enterococcus faecalis

    PubMed Central

    Mortera, Pablo; Espariz, Martín; Suárez, Cristian; Repizo, Guillermo; Deutscher, Josef; Alarcón, Sergio; Blancato, Víctor

    2012-01-01

    In Enterococcus faecalis, the mae locus is constituted by two putative divergent operons, maePE and maeKR. The first operon encodes a putative H+/malate symporter (MaeP) and a malic enzyme (MaeE) previously shown to be essential for malate utilization in this bacterium. The maeKR operon encodes two putative proteins with significant similarity to two-component systems involved in sensing malate and activating its assimilation in bacteria. Our transcriptional and genetic assays showed that maePE and maeKR are induced in response to malate by the response regulator MaeR. In addition, we observed that both operons were partially repressed in the presence of glucose. Accordingly, the cometabolism of this sugar and malate was detected. The binding of the complex formed by CcpA and its corepressor P-Ser-HPr to a cre site located in the mae region was demonstrated in vitro and explains the carbon catabolite repression (CCR) observed for the maePE operon. However, our results also provide evidence for a CcpA-independent CCR mechanism regulating the expression of both operons. Finally, a biomass increment of 40 or 75% was observed compared to the biomass of cells grown only on glucose or malate, respectively. Cells cometabolizing both carbon sources exhibit a higher rate of glucose consumption and a lower rate of malate utilization. The growth improvement achieved by E. faecalis during glucose-malate cometabolism might explain why this microorganism employs different regulatory systems to tightly control the assimilation of both carbon sources. PMID:22247139

  11. Expression and regulation of the ery operon of Brucella melitensis in human trophoblast cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hui; Dou, Xiaoxia; Li, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Jing; Guo, Fei; Wang, Yuanzhi; Wang, Zhen; Li, Tiansen; Gu, Xinli; Chen, Chuangfu

    2016-01-01

    Brucellosis is primarily a disease of domestic animals in which the bacteria localizes to fetal tissues such as embryonic trophoblast cells and fluids containing erythritol, which stimulates Brucella spp. growth. The utilization of erythritol is a characteristic of the genus Brucella. The ery operon contains four genes (eryA, eryB, eryC and eryD) for the utilization of erythritol, and plays a major role in the survival and multiplication of Brucella spp. The objective of the present study was to conduct a preliminary characterization of differential genes expression of the ery operon at several time points after Brucella infected embryonic trophoblast cells (HPT-8 cells). The result showed that the ery operon expression was higher in HPT-8 cells compared with the medium. The relative expression of eryA, eryB and eryC peaked at 2 h post-infection in HPT-8 cells, and eryD expression peaked at 3 h post-infection. The expression of eryA, eryB and eryC may be inhibited by increased eryD expression. However, the expression of the ery operon was stable in the presence of erythritol in cells. 2308Δery and 027Δery mutants of the ery operon were successfully constructed by homologous recombination, which were attenuated in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. The characterization of the ery operon genes and their expression profiles in response to Brucella infection further contributes to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of infection and the pathogenesis of brucellosis. PMID:27698777

  12. Regulation of microcin C51 operon expression: the role of global regulators of transcription.

    PubMed

    Fomenko, D; Veselovskii, A; Khmel, I

    2001-06-01

    Expression of the microcin C51 operon in Escherichia coli cells is regulated as a function of the phase of growth; it is stimulated during the decelerating phase of growth. Using single-copy P(mcc)-lac transcriptional fusion (the promoter region of the microcin C51 operon fused to a promoterless lac operon in lambda phage), we showed that transcription from the microcin operon promoter is dependent on sigma(s) (RpoS) factor. However, some level of P(mcc)-lac expression is possible in rpoS null mutants, indicating that another sigma factor might be involved in transcription of the microcin C51 operon. Overproduction of sigma70 decreased Pmcc-directed transcription, presumably as a result of competition of sigma factors for the limited amount of core RNA polymerase. The cyclic AMP-CRP complex was shown to stimulate transcription from Pmcc: the absence of CRP or cAMP in crp or cya mutant cells strongly decreased the level of P(mcc)-lac expression. The production of C51 microcin decreased or was absent in rpoS, crp and cya mutant cells. Leucine-responsive protein Lrp and histone-like protein H-NS repressed P(mcc)-lac expression in the exponential and decelerating phases of growth. In studies of P(mcc)-lac expression in double mutant cells, we showed that proteins CRP, Lrp and H-NS acted in rpoS-dependent and rpoS-independent ways in transcription of the microcin C51 operon. Mutation hns(-) resulted in an increase in P(mcc)-lac expression in crp, rpoS and lrp mutant cells, as in wild-type cells.

  13. Salmonella-secreted Virulence Factors

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-05-01

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

  14. The mangotoxin biosynthetic operon (mbo) is specifically distributed within Pseudomonas syringae genomospecies 1 and was acquired only once during evolution.

    PubMed

    Carrión, Víctor J; Gutiérrez-Barranquero, José A; Arrebola, Eva; Bardaji, Leire; Codina, Juan C; de Vicente, Antonio; Cazorla, Francisco M; Murillo, Jesús

    2013-02-01

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

  15. Improved system for construction and analysis of single-copy beta-galactosidase operon fusions in Yersinia enterocolitica.

    PubMed

    Maxson, Michelle E; Darwin, Andrew J

    2005-09-01

    We report a significantly improved system for studying single-copy lacZ operon fusions in Yersinia enterocolitica: a simple procedure for the stable integration of lacZ operon fusions into the ara locus and a strain with a deletion mutation that abolishes the low level of endogenous beta-galactosidase activity.

  16. Thermodynamic Modeling of Variations in the Rate of RNA Chain Elongation of E. coli rrn Operons

    PubMed Central

    Fange, David; Mellenius, Harriet; Dennis, Patrick P.; Ehrenberg, Måns

    2014-01-01

    Previous electron-microscopic imaging has shown high RNA polymerase occupation densities in the 16S and 23S encoding regions and low occupation densities in the noncoding leader, spacer, and trailer regions of the rRNA (rrn) operons in E. coli. This indicates slower transcript elongation within the coding regions and faster elongation within the noncoding regions of the operon. Inactivation of four of the seven rrn operons increases the transcript initiation frequency at the promoters of the three intact operons and reduces the time for RNA polymerase to traverse the operon. We have used the DNA sequence-dependent standard free energy variation of the transcription complex to model the experimentally observed changes in the elongation rate along the rrnB operon. We also model the stimulation of the average transcription rate over the whole operon by increasing rate of transcript initiation. Monte Carlo simulations, taking into account initiation of transcription, translocation, and backward and forward tracking of RNA polymerase, partially reproduce the observed transcript elongation rate variations along the rrn operon and fully account for the increased average rate in response to increased frequency of transcript initiation. PMID:24411237

  17. Polyphasic characterization and genetic relatedness of low-virulence and virulent Listeria monocytogenes isolates

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Currently, food regulatory authorities consider all Listeria monocytogenes isolates as equally virulent. However, an increasing number of studies demonstrate extensive variations in virulence and pathogenicity of L. monocytogenes strains. Up to now, there is no comprehensive overview of the population genetic structure of L. monocytogenes taking into account virulence level. We have previously demonstrated that different low-virulence strains exhibit the same mutations in virulence genes suggesting that they could have common evolutionary pathways. New low-virulence strains were identified and assigned to phenotypic and genotypic Groups using cluster analysis. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, virulence gene sequencing and multi-locus sequence typing analyses were performed to study the genetic relatedness and the population structure between the studied low-virulence isolates and virulent strains. Results These methods showed that low-virulence strains are widely distributed in the two major lineages, but some are also clustered according to their genetic mutations. These analyses showed that low-virulence strains initially grouped according to their lineage, then to their serotypes and after which, they lost their virulence suggesting a relatively recent emergence. Conclusions Loss of virulence in lineage II strains was related to point mutation in a few virulence genes (prfA, inlA, inlB, plcA). These strains thus form a tightly clustered, monophyletic group with limited diversity. In contrast, low-virulence strains of lineage I were more dispersed among the virulence strains and the origin of their loss of virulence has not been identified yet, even if some strains exhibited different mutations in prfA or inlA. PMID:23267677

  18. Helicobacter pylori virulence and cancer pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yamaoka, Yoshio; Graham, David Y

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. ppGpp Conjures Bacterial Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Dalebroux, Zachary D.; Svensson, Sarah L.; Gaynor, Erin C.; Swanson, Michele S.

    2010-01-01

    Summary: Like for all microbes, the goal of every pathogen is to survive and replicate. However, to overcome the formidable defenses of their hosts, pathogens are also endowed with traits commonly associated with virulence, such as surface attachment, cell or tissue invasion, and transmission. Numerous pathogens couple their specific virulence pathways with more general adaptations, like stress resistance, by integrating dedicated regulators with global signaling networks. In particular, many of nature's most dreaded bacteria rely on nucleotide alarmones to cue metabolic disturbances and coordinate survival and virulence programs. Here we discuss how components of the stringent response contribute to the virulence of a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria. PMID:20508246

  2. Lines of evidence for horizontal gene transfer of a phenazine producing operon into multiple bacterial species.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, David A

    2009-02-01

    Phenazines are secondary metabolites with broad-spectrum antibiotic activity against bacteria, fungi, and eukaryotes. In pseudomonad species, a conserved seven-gene phenazine operon (phzABCDEFG) is required for the conversion of chorismic acid to the broad-spectrum antibiotic phenazine-1-carboxylate. Previous analyses of genes involved in phenazine production from nonpseudomonad species uncovered a high degree of sequence similarity to pseudomonad homologues. The analyses undertaken in this study wished to eluciadate the evolutionary history of genes involved in the production of phenazines. Furthermore, I wanted to determine if the phenazine operon has been transferred through horizontal gene transfer. Analyses of GC content, codon usage patterns, frequency of 3:1 dinucleotides, sequence similarities, and phylogenetic reconstructions were undertaken to map the evolutionary history of phenazine genes from multiple bacterial species. Patchy phyletic distribution, high sequence similarities, and phylogenetic evidence infer that pseudomonad, Streptomyces cinnamonensis, Pantoea agglomerans, Burkholderia cepacia, Pectobacterium atrosepticum, Brevibacterium linens, and Mycobacterium abscessus species all contain a phenazine operon which has most likely been transferred among these species through horizontal gene transfer. The acquisition of an antibiotic-associated operon is significant, as it may increase the relative fitness of the recipient species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  4. Nucleotide sequence and analysis of the mgl operon of Escherichia coli K12.

    PubMed

    Hogg, R W; Voelker, C; Von Carlowitz, I

    1991-10-01

    The nucleotide sequence of the Escherichia coli K12 beta-methylgalactoside transport operon, mgl, was determined. Primer extension analysis indicated that the synthesis of mRNA initiates at guanine residue 145 of the determined sequence. The operon contains three open reading frames (ORF). The operator proximal ORF, mglB, encodes the galactose binding protein, a periplasmic protein of 332 amino acids including the 23 residue amino-terminal signal peptide. Following a 62 nucleotide spacer, the second ORF, mglA, is capable of encoding a protein of 506 amino acids. The amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal halves of this protein are homologous to each other and each half contains a putative nucleotide binding site. The third ORF, mglC, is capable of encoding a hydrophobic protein of 336 amino acids which is thought to generate the transmembrane pore. The overall organization of the mglBAC operon and its potential to encode three proteins is similar to that of the ara FGH high affinity transport operon, located approximately 1 min away on the E. coli K12 chromosome.

  5. In vitro activation of the transcription of araBAD operon by araC activator.

    PubMed

    Lee, N; Wilcox, G; Gielow, W; Arnold, J; Cleary, P; Englesberg, E

    1974-03-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. RNA polymerase supply and flux through the lac operon in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Sendy, Bandar; Lee, David J.; Bryant, Jack A.

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin immunoprecipitation, followed by quantification of immunoprecipitated DNA, can be used to measure RNA polymerase binding to any DNA segment in Escherichia coli. By calibrating measurements against the signal from a single RNA polymerase bound at a single promoter, we can calculate both promoter occupancy levels and the flux of transcribing RNA polymerase through transcription units. Here, we have applied the methodology to the E. coli lactose operon promoter. We confirm that promoter occupancy is limited by recruitment and that the supply of RNA polymerase to the lactose operon promoter depends on its location in the E. coli chromosome. Measurements of RNA polymerase binding to DNA segments within the lactose operon show that flux of RNA polymerase through the operon is low, with, on average, over 18 s elapsing between the passage of transcribing polymerases. Similar low levels of flux were found when semi-synthetic promoters were used to drive transcript initiation, even when the promoter elements were changed to ensure full occupancy of the promoter by RNA polymerase. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The new bacteriology’. PMID:27672157

  10. Modeling feedback loops in the H-NS-mediated regulation of the Escherichia coli bgl operon.

    PubMed

    Radde, Nicole; Gebert, Jutta; Faigle, Ulrich; Schrader, Rainer; Schnetz, Karin

    2008-01-21

    The histone-like nucleoid-associated protein H-NS is a global transcriptional repressor that controls approximately 5% of all genes in Escherichia coli and other enterobacteria. H-NS binds to DNA with low specificity. Nonetheless, repression of some loci is exceptionally specific. Experimental data for the E. coli bgl operon suggest that highly specific repression is caused by regulatory feedback loops. To analyze whether such feedback loops can account for the observed specificity of repression, here a model was built based on expression data. The model includes several regulatory interactions, which are synergy of repression by binding of H-NS to two regulatory elements, an inverse correlation of the rate of repression by H-NS and transcription, and a threshold for positive regulation by anti-terminator BglG, which is encoded within the operon. The latter two regulatory interactions represent feedback loops in the model. The resulting system of equations was solved for the expression level of the operon and analyzed with respect to different promoter activities. This analysis demonstrates that a small (3-fold) increase of the bgl promoter activity results in a strong (80-fold) enhancement of bgl operon expression. Thus, the parameters included into the model are sufficient to simulate specific repression by H-NS.

  11. Gene expression of the arsenic resistance operon in Chromobacterium violaceum ATCC 12472.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, Juliana Simão Nina de; Silva-Rocha, Rafael; Silva, Artur; Peixe Carepo, Marta Sofia; Cruz Schneider, Maria Paula

    2008-02-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum ATCC 12472 presents an arsRCB-type operon, which is involved in arsenic resistance. The regulating protein of this resistance system (ArsR) does not have the small conserved site (ELCVDCL) to link to the metalloid, as observed in Escherichia coli, and is thus considered to be an atypical ArsR protein, like that observed in Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. In the present study, the gene expression profile of the ars operon under induction at different concentrations of arsenite - As(III) - was obtained via real-time PCR (TaqMan), by correlating the threshold cycle (Ct) values of induced and uninduced (control) samples. Through linear regression analysis (R2 = 0.9926), the gene expression profile of the ars operon showed clearly that the 0.125 micromol/L concentration of As(III) was sufficient to provoke a 4-fold increase in the resistance system, and a further increase in concentration resulted in an increase of up to 53-fold in transcription rates. The relation between resistance and induction of the ars operon indicates that the increased resistance to As(III) is associated with the increase in the number of transcripts.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. The lumazine protein-encoding gene in Photobacterium leiognathi is linked to the lux operon.

    PubMed

    Lin, J W; Chao, Y F; Weng, S F

    1993-04-15

    The nucleotide (nt) sequence of the lumP (EMBL accession No. X65612) gene of Photobacterium leiognathi PL741 was determined and the amino acid (aa) sequence deduced. The encoded aa sequence of lumP was identified as that of the lumazine protein (LumP) by homology with that of Photobacterium phosphoreum (56%). This small protein has a calculated M(r) of 19,997 and comprises 186 aa residues. Biochemical studies suggested that LumP is the protein which, when combined with luciferase, is responsible for the bioluminescent spectrum shift from blue-green light (490-505 nm) to blue (470 nm) in P. leiognathi. The nt sequence of the flanking region showed that lumP is linked to the lux operon but runs in the opposite direction. The gene order of the lumP and lux operon is as follows: <--lumP-R&R-luxC-luxD-luxA-luxB-luxN-lu xE-->; the R&R regulatory region sequence included two promoter systems, PR for the lux operon and PL for the lumP or the lum operon.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. The inhibition of Escherichia coli lac operon gene expression by antigene oligonucleotides-mathematical modeling.

    PubMed

    Cheng, B; Fournier, R L; Relue, P A

    2000-11-20

    Gene transcription is regulated by transcription factors that can bind to specific regions on DNA. Antigene oligonucleotides (oligos) can bind to specific regions on DNA and form a triplex with the double-stranded DNA. The triplex can competitively inhibit the binding of transcription factors and, as a result, transcription can be inhibited. A genetically structured model has been developed to quantitatively describe the inhibition of the Escherichia coli lac operon gene expression by triplex-forming oligos. The model predicts that the effect of triplex-forming oligos on the lac operon gene expression depends on their target sites. Oligonucleotides targeted to the operator are much more effective than those targeted to other regulatory sites on the lac operon. In some cases, the effect of oligo binding is similar to that of a mutation in the lac operon. The model provides insight as to the specific binding site to be targeted to achieve the most effective inhibition of gene expression. The model is also capable of predicting the oligo concentration needed to inhibit gene expression, which is in general agreement with results reported by other investigators.

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

    PubMed

    Santillán, M

    2008-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Stoebel, Daniel M

    2005-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  5. RNA polymerase supply and flux through the lac operon in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Sendy, Bandar; Lee, David J; Busby, Stephen J W; Bryant, Jack A

    2016-11-05

    Chromatin immunoprecipitation, followed by quantification of immunoprecipitated DNA, can be used to measure RNA polymerase binding to any DNA segment in Escherichia coli By calibrating measurements against the signal from a single RNA polymerase bound at a single promoter, we can calculate both promoter occupancy levels and the flux of transcribing RNA polymerase through transcription units. Here, we have applied the methodology to the E. coli lactose operon promoter. We confirm that promoter occupancy is limited by recruitment and that the supply of RNA polymerase to the lactose operon promoter depends on its location in the E. coli chromosome. Measurements of RNA polymerase binding to DNA segments within the lactose operon show that flux of RNA polymerase through the operon is low, with, on average, over 18 s elapsing between the passage of transcribing polymerases. Similar low levels of flux were found when semi-synthetic promoters were used to drive transcript initiation, even when the promoter elements were changed to ensure full occupancy of the promoter by RNA polymerase.This article is part of the themed issue 'The new bacteriology'.

  6. An attenuated mutant of the Rv1747 ATP-binding cassette transporter of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and a mutant of its cognate kinase, PknF, show increased expression of the efflux pump-related iniBAC operon

    PubMed Central

    Spivey, Vicky L; Whalan, Rachael H; Hirst, Elizabeth M A; Smerdon, Stephen J; Buxton, Roger S

    2013-01-01

    The ATP-binding cassette transporter Rv1747 is required for the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in mice and in macrophages. Its structure suggests it is an exporter. Rv1747 forms a two-gene operon with pknF coding for the serine/threonine protein kinase PknF, which positively modulates the function of the transporter. We show that deletion of Rv1747 or pknF results in a number of transcriptional changes which could be complemented by the wild type allele, most significantly up-regulation of the iniBAC genes. This operon is inducible by isoniazid and ethambutol and by a broad range of inhibitors of cell wall biosynthesis and is required for efflux pump functioning. However, neither the Rv1747 or pknF mutant showed increased susceptibility to a range of drugs and cell wall stress reagents including isoniazid and ethambutol, cell wall structure and cell division appear normal by electron microscopy, and no differences in lipoarabinomannan were found. Transcription from the pknF promoter was not induced by a range of stress reagents. We conclude that the loss of Rv1747 affects cell wall biosynthesis leading to the production of intermediates that cause induction of iniBAC transcription and implicates it in exporting a component of the cell wall, which is necessary for virulence. PMID:23915284

  7. An antimicrobial peptide-resistant minor subpopulation of Photorhabdus luminescens is responsible for virulence

    PubMed Central

    Mouammine, Annabelle; Pages, Sylvie; Lanois, Anne; Gaudriault, Sophie; Jubelin, Gregory; Bonabaud, Maurine; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Dubois, Emeric; Roche, David; Legrand, Ludovic; Brillard, Julien; Givaudan, Alain

    2017-01-01

    Some of the bacterial cells in isogenic populations behave differently from others. We describe here how a new type of phenotypic heterogeneity relating to resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) is determinant for the pathogenic infection process of the entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens. We demonstrate that the resistant subpopulation, which accounts for only 0.5% of the wild-type population, causes septicemia in insects. Bacterial heterogeneity is driven by the PhoPQ two-component regulatory system and expression of pbgPE, an operon encoding proteins involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) modifications. We also report the characterization of a core regulon controlled by the DNA-binding PhoP protein, which governs virulence in P. luminescens. Comparative RNAseq analysis revealed an upregulation of marker genes for resistance, virulence and bacterial antagonism in the pre-existing resistant subpopulation, suggesting a greater ability to infect insect prey and to survive in cadavers. Finally, we suggest that the infection process of P. luminescens is based on a bet-hedging strategy to cope with the diverse environmental conditions experienced during the lifecycle. PMID:28252016

  8. Molecular characterization of a genomic region associated with virulence in Dichelobacter nodosus.

    PubMed Central

    Katz, M E; Strugnell, R A; Rood, J I

    1992-01-01

    The major pathogen implicated in footrot, a highly contagious disease of sheep, is the strict anaerobe Dichelobacter nodosus (formerly Bacteroides nodosus). Sequence analysis of a 2,262-bp segment of the D. nodosus genome which is more prevalent in virulent isolates than in other isolates showed the presence of four open reading frames which appeared to have consensus transcriptional and translational start signals. These virulence-associated genes have been designated vapABCD. Two of the three copies of the vap region in the genome of the reference strain D. nodosus A198 were shown to carry all of the vap genes, whereas one copy contained only the vapD gene. The VapD protein was gel purified, shown to contain the predicted amino-terminal sequence, and used to raise rabbit antibodies. Western blots (immunoblots) showed that all of the D. nodosus strains tested that contained the vap region produced the VapD protein. The VapD protein had significant amino acid sequence identity with open reading frame 5 from the cryptic plasmid of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and the vapBC operon had sequence similarity with the trbH region of the Escherichia coli F plasmid. It is proposed that these gene regions evolved from the integration of a conjugative plasmid from another bacterial species into the D. nodosus chromosome. Images PMID:1398971

  9. DNA Adenine Methylation Regulates Virulence Gene Expression in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium▿

    PubMed Central

    Balbontín, Roberto; Rowley, Gary; Pucciarelli, M. Graciela; López-Garrido, Javier; Wormstone, Yvette; Lucchini, Sacha; García-del Portillo, Francisco; Hinton, Jay C. D.; Casadesús, Josep

    2006-01-01

    Transcriptomic analyses during growth in Luria-Bertani medium were performed in strain SL1344 of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and in two isogenic derivatives lacking Dam methylase. More genes were repressed than were activated by Dam methylation (139 versus 37). Key genes that were differentially regulated by Dam methylation were verified independently. The largest classes of Dam-repressed genes included genes belonging to the SOS regulon, as previously described in Escherichia coli, and genes of the SOS-inducible Salmonella prophages ST64B, Gifsy-1, and Fels-2. Dam-dependent virulence-related genes were also identified. Invasion genes in pathogenicity island SPI-1 were activated by Dam methylation, while the fimbrial operon std was repressed by Dam methylation. Certain flagellar genes were repressed by Dam methylation, and Dam− mutants of S. enterica showed reduced motility. Altered expression patterns in the absence of Dam methylation were also found for the chemotaxis genes cheR (repressed by Dam) and STM3216 (activated by Dam) and for the Braun lipoprotein gene, lppB (activated by Dam). The requirement for DNA adenine methylation in the regulation of specific virulence genes suggests that certain defects of Salmonella Dam− mutants in the mouse model may be caused by altered patterns of gene expression. PMID:16997949

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

  11. Removal of the phage-shock protein PspB causes reduction of virulence in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium independently of NRAMP1.

    PubMed

    Wallrodt, Inke; Jelsbak, Lotte; Thomsen, Line E; Brix, Lena; Lemire, Sébastien; Gautier, Laurent; Nielsen, Dennis S; Jovanovic, Goran; Buck, Martin; Olsen, John E

    2014-06-01

    The phage-shock protein (Psp) system is believed to manage membrane stress in all Enterobacteriaceae and has recently emerged as being important for virulence in several pathogenic species of this phylum. The core of the Psp system consists of the pspA-D operon and the distantly located pspG gene. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), it has recently been reported that PspA is essential for systemic infection of mice, but only in NRAMP1(+) mice, signifying that attenuation is related to coping with divalent cation starvation in the intracellular environment. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of individual psp genes to virulence of S. Typhimurium. Interestingly, deletion of the whole pspA-D set of genes caused attenuation in both NRAMP1(+) and NRAMP1(-) mice, indicating that one or more of the psp genes contribute to virulence independently of NRAMP1 expression in the host. Investigations of single gene mutants showed that knock out of pspB reduced virulence in both types of mice, while deletion of pspA only caused attenuation in NRAMP1(+) mice, and deletion of pspD had a minor effect in NRAMP1(-) mice, while deletions of either pspC or pspG did not affect virulence. Experiments addressed at elucidating the role of PspB in virulence revealed that PspB is dispensable for uptake to and intracellular replication in cultured macrophages and resistance to complement-induced killing. Furthermore, the Psp system of S. Typhimurium was dispensable during pIV-induced secretin stress. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that removal of PspB reduces virulence in S. Typhimurium independently of host NRAMP1 expression, demonstrating that PspB has roles in intra-host survival distinct from the reported contributions of PspA.

  12. Co-regulation of Iron Metabolism and Virulence Associated Functions by Iron and XibR, a Novel Iron Binding Transcription Factor, in the Plant Pathogen Xanthomonas.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Sheo Shankar; Patnana, Pradeep Kumar; Lomada, Santosh Kumar; Tomar, Archana; Chatterjee, Subhadeep

    2016-11-01

    Abilities of bacterial pathogens to adapt to the iron limitation present in hosts is critical to their virulence. Bacterial pathogens have evolved diverse strategies to coordinately regulate iron metabolism and virulence associated functions to maintain iron homeostasis in response to changing iron availability in the environment. In many bacteria the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) functions as transcription factor that utilize ferrous form of iron as cofactor to regulate transcription of iron metabolism and many cellular functions. However, mechanisms of fine-tuning and coordinated regulation of virulence associated function beyond iron and Fur-Fe2+ remain undefined. In this study, we show that a novel transcriptional regulator XibR (named Xanthomonas iron binding regulator) of the NtrC family, is required for fine-tuning and co-coordinately regulating the expression of several iron regulated genes and virulence associated functions in phytopathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc). Genome wide expression analysis of iron-starvation stimulon and XibR regulon, GUS assays, genetic and functional studies of xibR mutant revealed that XibR positively regulates functions involved in iron storage and uptake, chemotaxis, motility and negatively regulates siderophore production, in response to iron. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by quantitative real-time PCR indicated that iron promoted binding of the XibR to the upstream regulatory sequence of operon's involved in chemotaxis and motility. Circular dichroism spectroscopy showed that purified XibR bound ferric form of iron. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that iron positively affected the binding of XibR to the upstream regulatory sequences of the target virulence genes, an effect that was reversed by ferric iron chelator deferoxamine. Taken together, these data revealed that how XibR coordinately regulates virulence associated and iron metabolism functions in Xanthomonads in

  13. Regulatory properties of araC(c) mutants in the L-arabinose operon of escherichia coliB/r.

    PubMed

    MacInnes, K R; Sheppard, D E; Falgout, B

    1978-01-01

    Merodiploids containing a high-constitutive and a low-constitutive araC(c) allele were assayed for constitutive expression of the ara operon. Low-constitutive araC(c) alleles either were unable to repress the constitutive rate of ara operon expression exhibited by by high-constitutive araC(c) alleles or achieved a partial repression of the high-constitutive rate of operon expression. Either mutation to a low-constitutive araC(c) mutant resulted in a partial or complete loss of repressor function, or subunit mixing between the two araC(c) mutant proteins resulted in a partial or complete dominance of the high-constitutive araC(c) allele. Five of the six araC(c) alleles tested allowed a partial induction of the ara operon in cya crp background. In general, a higher level of ara operon induction was achieved in the cya crp background by high araC(c) alleles than by low araC(c) alleles. Furthermore, several araC(c) mutants exhibited decreased sensitivity to catabolite repression, particularly in the presence of inducer. The results suggest a model in which certain araC(c) gene products can achieve ara operon induction in the presence of either arabinose (inducer) or catabolite activator protein-cyclic adenosine monophosphate, whereas the wild-type araC gene product requires the presence of both of these factors for operon expression.

  14. Evidence for Direct Control of Virulence and Defense Gene Circuits by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing Regulator, MvfR

    PubMed Central

    Maura, Damien; Hazan, Ronen; Kitao, Tomoe; Ballok, Alicia E.; Rahme, Laurence G.

    2016-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa defies eradication by antibiotics and is responsible for acute and chronic human infections due to a wide variety of virulence factors. Currently, it is believed that MvfR (PqsR) controls the expression of many of these factors indirectly via the pqs and phnAB operons. Here we provide strong evidence that MvfR may also bind and directly regulate the expression of additional 35 loci across the P. aeruginosa genome, including major regulators and virulence factors, such as the quorum sensing (QS) regulators lasR and rhlR, and genes involved in protein secretion, translation, and response to oxidative stress. We show that these anti-oxidant systems, AhpC-F, AhpB-TrxB2 and Dps, are critical for P. aeruginosa survival to reactive oxygen species and antibiotic tolerance. Considering that MvfR regulated compounds generate reactive oxygen species, this indicates a tightly regulated QS self-defense anti-poisoning system. These findings also challenge the current hierarchical regulation model of P. aeruginosa QS systems by revealing new interconnections between them that suggest a circular model. Moreover, they uncover a novel role for MvfR in self-defense that favors antibiotic tolerance and cell survival, further demonstrating MvfR as a highly desirable anti-virulence target. PMID:27678057

  15. TssB is essential for virulence and required for type VI secretion system in Ralstonia solanacearum.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liqing; Xu, Jingsheng; Xu, Jin; Zhang, Hao; He, Liyuan; Feng, Jie

    2014-09-01

    The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is recently discovered machinery in Gram-negative bacteria for translocation of proteins and also is required for full virulence. TssB is a highly conserved protein among the T6SSs, and indispensable for composition and function of T6S. The plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum also harbours T6SS gene clusters, and a homologue of TssB, hereafter designated as TssBRS, but up to date its characterization and function remain unclear. In this study, we showed that TssBRS of R. solanacearum was required for secretion of Hcp, the haemolysin coregulated protein and a hallmark of T6S pathway. Deletion of tssBRS in R. solanacearum GMI1000 strain resulted in defect of biofilm formation, and the expression of the flagella operon is decreased, leading to decreased motility. More importantly, tssBRS mutant strain had significantly attenuated its virulence on tomato plants. TssB is essential for virulence and required for type VI secretion system in R. solanacearum.

  16. Evolution of viral virulence: empirical studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kurath, Gael; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Virulence Evolution Within the Ug99 Lineage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. Insightful directed evolution of Escherichia coli quorum sensing promoter region of the lsrACDBFG operon: a tool for synthetic biology systems and protein expression

    PubMed Central

    Hauk, Pricila; Stephens, Kristina; Mckay, Ryan; Virgile, Chelsea Ryan; Ueda, Hana; Ostermeier, Marc; Ryu, Kyoung-Seok; Sintim, Herman O.; Bentley, William E.

    2016-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) regulates many natural phenotypes (e.q. virulence, biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance), and its components, when incorporated into synthetic genetic circuits, enable user-directed phenotypes. We created a library of Escherichia coli lsr operon promoters using error-prone PCR (ePCR) and selected for promoters that provided E. coli with higher tetracycline resistance over the native promoter when placed upstream of the tet(C) gene. Among the fourteen clones identified, we found several mutations in the binding sites of QS repressor, LsrR. Using site-directed mutagenesis we restored all p-lsrR-box sites to the native sequence in order to maintain LsrR repression of the promoter, preserving the other mutations for analysis. Two promoter variants, EP01rec and EP14rec, were discovered exhibiting enhanced protein expression. In turn, these variants retained their ability to exhibit the LsrR-mediated QS switching activity. Their sequences suggest regulatory linkage between CytR (CRP repressor) and LsrR. These promoters improve upon the native system and exhibit advantages over synthetic QS promoters previously reported. Incorporation of these promoters will facilitate future applications of QS-regulation in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. PMID:27915294

  19. Productive steps toward an antimicrobial targeting virulence

    PubMed Central

    Barczak, Amy K.; Hung, Deborah T.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Targeting virulence factors has gained increasing attention as a potential approach to new antibiotics. Small molecule inhibitors of virulence have been shown to change the course of disease in whole organism infection models. Recently, key advances in the field include the identification of novel targets within cell signaling pathways, a new class of anti-virulence compounds that target bacterial defenses against host immunity, and a growing body of in vivo data to support the general approach of anti-virulence therapies. Additionally, there has been a distinct trend toward developing broader spectrum anti-virulence compounds, in particular agents with activity against diverse Gram-negative organisms. Herein we provide an update on the status of the field with a focus on recent advancements. PMID:19631578

  20. rRNA (rrn) Operon-Engineered Bacillus subtilis as a Feasible Test Organism for Antibiotic Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Yukinori; Nanamiya, Hideaki; Yano, Koichi; Kakugawa, Koji; Kawamura, Fujio

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis contains 10 rRNA (rrn) operons. We found that rRNA operon-engineered B. subtilis strain RIK543, with only the rrnO operon, is specifically hypersensitive to RNA polymerase inhibitors such as rifamycin SV and rifampin (80-fold and 20-fold, respectively). In pilot screening experiments, we found actinomycete isolates successfully at an incidence of 1.9% (18/945) that produced antibacterials that were detectable only with RIK543 as the test organism. Strain RIK543 may be a feasible test organism for the discovery of novel RNA polymerase inhibitors. PMID:23335737

  1. [UV-induction of the LT-toxin operon depending on genes lexA, recA, and umuD].

    PubMed

    Tiganova, I G; Rusina, O Iu; Andreeva, I V; Brukhanskiĭ, G V; Skavronskaia, A G

    1994-06-01

    UV induction of the elt operon (the LT-toxin operon in Escherichia coli) was demonstrated in experiments using fusion of elt::lac operons with the help of Mud1(Ap lac) phage. UV induction of the elt operon is lexA-dependent; thus, the possibility of SOS regulation of this process may be assumed. However, UV induction of the elt operon turned out to be recA-independent, which makes it impossible to consider this induction as a typical SOS response. UV induction of the elt operon is also observed in Salmonella typhimurium, which differs from E. coli in the product of umuD, which suggests that the UV induction of the elt operon is umuD independent.

  2. Proteomic Characterization of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-05

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. ExsB Is Required for Correct Assembly of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Type III Secretion Apparatus in the Bacterial Membrane and Full Virulence In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Perdu, Caroline; Huber, Philippe; Bouillot, Stéphanie; Blocker, Ariel; Elsen, Sylvie; Attrée, Ina

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for high-morbidity infections of cystic fibrosis patients and is a major agent of nosocomial infections. One of its most potent virulence factors is a type III secretion system (T3SS) that injects toxins directly into the host cell cytoplasm. ExsB, a lipoprotein localized in the bacterial outer membrane, is one of the components of this machinery, of which the function remained elusive until now. The localization of the exsB gene within the exsCEBA regulatory gene operon suggested an implication in the T3SS regulation, while its similarity with yscW from Yersinia spp. argued in favor of a role in machinery assembly. The present work shows that ExsB is necessary for full in vivo virulence of P. aeruginosa. Furthermore, the requirement of ExsB for optimal T3SS assembly and activity is demonstrated using eukaryotic cell infection and in vitro assays. In particular, ExsB promotes the assembly of the T3SS secretin in the bacterial outer membrane, highlighting the molecular role of ExsB as a pilotin. This involvement in the regulation of the T3S apparatus assembly may explain the localization of the ExsB-encoding gene within the regulatory gene operon. PMID:25690097

  5. Kin selection and the evolution of virulence.

    PubMed

    Buckling, A; Brockhurst, M A

    2008-05-01

    Social interactions between conspecific parasites are partly dependent on the relatedness of interacting parasites (kin selection), which, in turn, is predicted to affect the extent of damage they cause their hosts (virulence). High relatedness is generally assumed to favour less competitive interactions, but the relationship between relatedness and virulence is crucially dependent on the social behaviour in question. Here, we discuss the rather limited body of experimental work that addresses how kin-selected social behaviours affect virulence. First, if prudent use of host resources (a form of cooperation) maximizes the transmission success of the parasite population, decreased relatedness is predicted to result in increased host exploitation and virulence. Experimental support for this well-established theoretical result is surprisingly limited. Second, if parasite within-host growth rate is a positive function of cooperation (that is, when individuals need to donate public goods, such as extracellular enzymes), virulence is predicted to increase with increasing relatedness. The limited studies testing this hypothesis are broadly consistent with this prediction. Finally, there is some empirical evidence supporting theory that suggests that spiteful behaviours are maximized at intermediate degrees of relatedness, which, in turn, leads to minimal virulence because of the reduced growth rate of the infecting population. We highlight the need for further thorough experimentation on the role of kin selection in the evolution of virulence and identify additional biological complexities to these simple frameworks.

  6. Virulence in malaria: an evolutionary viewpoint.

    PubMed Central

    Mackinnon, Margaret J; Read, Andrew F

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-10-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  10. [Heterologous genes expression on Escherichia coli chromosome lac operon using Red recombination].

    PubMed

    Li, Shanhu; Shi, Qingguo; Huang, Cuifen; Zhou, Jianguang

    2008-04-01

    To achieve efficient and stable expression of heterologous exogenetic protein or antigen in E. coli chromosome, the luciferase report gene was knocked in lacZ site of chromosome lac operon by using Red recombination system and selection-counterselection kan/sacB technology. The quantitative analysis of exogenous gene expression indicated that the target gene could be efficiently expressed at lacZ site of lac operon. The results confirmed the efficient screening and stable expression of heterologous protein or antigen on chromosome by using the recombinant engineering technique. This study demonstrated that the chromosome could be used as a vector for heterologous protein or antigen and the stable expression of exogenous gene on E. coli chromosome had no side effect on the bacterial growth and propagation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Identification of regulatory elements that control expression of the tbpBA operon in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

    PubMed

    Vélez Acevedo, Rosuany N; Ronpirin, Chalinee; Kandler, Justin L; Shafer, William M; Cornelissen, Cynthia Nau

    2014-08-01

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

  13. The Bacillus subtilis L-arabinose (ara) operon: nucleotide sequence, genetic organization and expression.

    PubMed

    Sá-Nogueira, I; Nogueira, T V; Soares, S; de Lencastre, H

    1997-03-01

    The Bacillus subtilis L-arabinose metabolic genes araA, araB and araD, encoding L-arabinose isomerase, L-ribulokinase and L-ribulose-5-phosphate 4-epimerase, respectively, have been cloned previously and the products of araB and araD were shown to be functionally homologous to their Escherichia coli counterparts by complementation experiments. Here we report that araA, araB and araD, whose inactivation leads to an Ara- phenotype, are the first three ORFs of a nine cistron transcriptional unit with a total length of 11 kb. This operon, called ara, is located at about 256 degrees on the B. subtilis genetic map and contains six new genes named araL, araM, araN, araP, araQ and abfA. Expression of the ara operon is directed by a strong sigma A-like promoter identified within a 150 bp DNA fragment upstream from the translation start site of araA. Analysis of the sequence of the ara operon showed that the putative products of araN, araP and araQ are homologous to bacterial components of binding-protein-dependent transport systems and abfA most probably encodes an alpha-L-arabinofuranosidase. The functions of araL and araM are unknown. An in vitro-constructed insertion-deletion mutation in the region downstream from araD allowed us to demonstrate that araL, araM, araN, araP, araQ and abfA are not essential for L-arabinose utilization. Studies with strains bearing transcriptional fusions of the operon to the E. coli lacZ gene revealed that expression from the ara promoter is induced by L-arabinose and repressed by glucose.

  14. Identification of nah-1 genes of the Pseudomonas putida naphthalene-degrading NPL-41 plasmid operon.

    PubMed

    Serebriiskaya, T S; Lenets, A A; Goldenkova, I V; Kobets, N S; Piruzian, E S

    1999-01-01

    Pseudomonas putida BS202 degrades naphthalene via a plasmid-encoded catabolic pathway. The nucleotide sequence of the nahC gene encoding one of this pathway enzymes, 1,2-dihydroxynaphthalene dioxygenase, has been determined. Analysis of nucleotide sequence of its flanking regions identified partially the nahF and putative nahQ genes. Comparison of these three genes with corresponding ones in the NAH7 plasmid and DOX operon showed a high degree of homology.

  15. Influence of catabolite repression and inducer exclusion on the bistable behavior of the lac operon.

    PubMed

    Santillán, Moisés; Mackey, Michael C

    2004-03-01

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

  16. Organization and post-transcriptional processing of the psb B operon from chloroplasts of Populus deltoides.

    PubMed

    Dixit, R; Trivedi, P K; Nath, P; Sane, P V

    1999-09-01

    Chloroplast genes are typically organized into polycistronic transcription units that give rise to complex sets of mono- and oligo-cistronic overlapping RNAs through a series of processing steps. The psbB operon contains genes for the PSII (psbB, psbT, psbH) and cytochrome b(6)f (petB and petD) complexes which are needed in different amounts during chloroplast biogenesis. The functional significance of gene organization in this polycistronic unit, containing information for two different complexes, is not known and is of interest. To determine the organization and expression of these complexes, studies have been carried out on crop plants by different groups, but not much information is known about trees. We present the nucleotide sequences of PSII genes and RNA profiles of the genes located in the psbB operon from Populus deltoides, a tree species. Although the gene organization of this operon in P. deltoides is similar to that in other species, a few variations have been observed in the processing scheme.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Structural and physiological studies of the Escherichia coli histidine operon inserted into plasmid vectors.

    PubMed Central

    Bruni, C B; Musti, A M; Frunzio, R; Blasi, F

    1980-01-01

    A fragment of deoxyribonucleic acid 5,300 base paris long and containing the promoter-proximal portion of the histidine operon of Escherichia coli K-12, has been cloned in plasmid pBR313 (plasmids pCB2 and pCB3). Restriction mapping, partial nucleotide sequencing, and studies on functional expression in vivo and on protein synthesis in minicells have shown that the fragment contains the regulatory region of the operon, the hisG, hisD genes, and part of the hisC gene. Another plasmid (pCB5) contained the hisG gene and part of the hisD gene. Expression of the hisG gene in the latter plasmid was under control of the tetracycline promoter of the pBR313 plasmid. The in vivo expression of the two groups of plasmids described above, as well as their effect on the expression of the histidine genes not carried by the plasmids but present on the host chromosome, has been studied. The presence of multiple copies of pCB2 or pCB3, but not of pCB5, prevented derepression of the chromosomal histidine operon. Possible interpretations of this phenomenon are discussed. Images PMID:6246067

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  3. Structure and regulation of the Escherichia coli ruv operon involved in DNA repair and recombination.

    PubMed Central

    Shinagawa, H; Makino, K; Amemura, M; Kimura, S; Iwasaki, H; Nakata, A

    1988-01-01

    The ruv gene of Escherichia coli, which is involved in DNA repair and recombination, was cloned on a plasmid vector. The DNA of the ruv region was sequenced; it had two open reading frames in tandem that could code for 22- and 37-kilodalton proteins. The proteins encoded by these open reading frames were identified by the maxicell method. The two genes were aligned in the same orientation and regulated by the SOS system, so the two genes probably constitute an operon. The distal one complemented the ruv mutations. Transcription of the operon was studied both in vivo and in vitro. Two transcription initiation sites were identified upstream of the coding frames, and the transcription from both sites was repressed by the LexA repressor. A DNA sequence that is homologous to the SOS box and bound by LexA protein was found in the regulatory region of the operon. The amino acid sequence of Ruv protein deduced from the DNA sequence shows a high degree of homology to the consensus sequence shared by ATP-binding proteins. Images PMID:2842314

  4. Amplification of the groESL operon in Pseudomonas putida increases siderophore gene promoter activity.

    PubMed

    Venturi, V; Wolfs, K; Leong, J; Weisbeek, P J

    1994-10-17

    Pseudobactin 358 is the yellow-green fluorescent siderophore [microbial iron(III) transport agent] produced by Pseudomonas putida WCS358 under iron-limiting conditions. The genes encoding pseudobactin 358 biosynthesis are iron-regulated at the level of transcription. In this study, the molecular characterization is reported of a cosmid clone of WCS358 DNA that can stimulate, in an iron-dependent manner, the activity of a WCS358 siderophore gene promoter in the heterologous Pseudomonas strain A225. The functional region in the clone was identified by subcloning, transposon mutagenesis and DNA sequencing as the groESL operon of strain WCS358. This increase in promoter activity was not observed when the groESL genes of strain WCS358 were integrated via a transposon vector into the genome of Pseudomonas A225, indicating that multiple copies of the operon are necessary for the increase in siderophore gene promoter activity. Amplification of the Escherichia coli and WCS358 groESL genes also increased iron-regulated promoter activity in the parent strain WCS358. The groESL operon codes for the chaperone proteins GroES and GroEL, which are responsible for mediating the folding and assembly of many proteins.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-11-23

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1998-10-01

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

  7. Comparison of deterministic and stochastic models of the lac operon genetic network.

    PubMed

    Stamatakis, Michail; Mantzaris, Nikos V

    2009-02-01

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

  8. A powerful hybrid puc operon promoter tightly regulated by both IPTG and low oxygen level.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zongli; Zhao, Zhiping; Pan, Yu; Tu, Yun; Chen, Guoping

    2010-04-01

    Rhodobacter sphaeroides has been intensively studied and provides an excellent model for studying both photosynthesis and membrane development. The photosynthetic apparatus (LH2 and LH1-RC complexes) can be synthesized in large scale and integrated into the intracytoplasmic membrane system under specific conditions, which thus provides us insight to utilize the puc or(and) puf operon to heterologously express recombinant proteins in the intracytoplasmic membrane using Rb. sphaeroides as a novel expression system. However, basal level of expression of puc and puf promoter is uncontrolled. We report the construction of LH2 polypeptide expression vector that contains a reengineered lacI(q)-puc promoter-lac operator hybrid promoter, which allows the puc operon to be regulated by both IPTG and low oxygen level. Synthesis of LH2 complexes was completely repressed in the absence of isopropyl beta-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG), and the degree of induction was controlled by varying the concentration of IPTG. The optimal concentration of IPTG was determined. SDS-PAGE and Western blot were employed for further analysis. Our results suggest that the reengineered hybrid promoter is efficient to tightly regulate the expression of the puc operon, and our strategy can open up a new approach in the study of the membrane protein expression system.

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

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, J L; Tabita, F R

    1993-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Nebulon: a system for the inference of functional relationships of gene products from the rearrangement of predicted operons

    PubMed Central

    Janga, Sarath Chandra; Collado-Vides, Julio; Moreno-Hagelsieb, Gabriel

    2005-01-01

    Since operons are unstable across Prokaryotes, it has been suggested that perhaps they re-combine in a conservative manner. Thus, genes belonging to a given operon in one genome might re-associate in other genomes revealing functional relationships among gene products. We developed a system to build networks of functional relationships of gene products based on their organization into operons in any available genome. The operon predictions are based on inter-genic distances. Our system can use different kinds of thresholds to accept a functional relationship, either related to the prediction of operons, or to the number of non-redundant genomes that support the associations. We also work by shells, meaning that we decide on the number of linking iterations to allow for the complementation of related gene sets. The method shows high reliability benchmarked against knowledge-bases of functional interactions. We also illustrate the use of Nebulon in finding new members of regulons, and of other functional groups of genes. Operon rearrangements produce thousands of high-quality new interactions per prokaryotic genome, and thousands of confirmations per genome to other predictions, making it another important tool for the inference of functional interactions from genomic context. PMID:15867197

  12. The Burkholderia pseudomallei BpeAB-OprB Efflux Pump: Expression and Impact on Quorum Sensing and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Ying Ying; Chua, Kim Lee

    2005-01-01

    BpeAB-OprB is a multidrug efflux pump of the bacterial pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei and is responsible for conferring antimicrobial resistance to aminoglycosides and macrolides. Expression of bpeAB-oprB is inducible by its substrate erythromycin and upon entry into stationary phase. BpeR, a member of the TetR family, functions as a repressor of the bpeAB-oprB operon. bpeR expression was similarly induced at stationary phase but lagged behind the induction of bpeAB-oprB expression. The induction of bpeAB-oprB expression could be advanced to the early exponential phase by exogenous addition of the B. pseudomallei autoinducers N-octanoyl-homoserine lactone (C8HSL) and N-decanoyl-homoserine lactone (C10HSL), suggesting that the bpeAB-oprB operon may be quorum regulated. On the other hand, acyl-homoserine lactone (acyl-HSL) production was undetectable in the bpeAB-null mutant and strains which overexpress bpeR. The failure of these strains to produce acyl-HSLs seemed to be at the level of synthesis of acyl-HSLs, as growth-phase-dependent expression of the autoinducer synthase BpsI was abolished in the bpeAB-null mutant. bpsI expression remained growth phase dependent in the bpeR mutant which had functional BpeAB-OprB. BpeAB-OprB function is likewise necessary for optimal production of quorum-sensing-controlled virulence factors such as siderophore and phospholipase C and for biofilm formation. Cell invasion and cytotoxicity towards human lung epithelial (A549) and human macrophage (THP-1) cells were also significantly attenuated in both the bpeAB mutant and bpeR-overexpressing strains, thus suggesting the possibility of attenuating B. pseudomallei virulence using inhibitors of the BpeAB-OprB efflux pump. PMID:15995185

  13. The Burkholderia pseudomallei BpeAB-OprB efflux pump: expression and impact on quorum sensing and virulence.

    PubMed

    Chan, Ying Ying; Chua, Kim Lee

    2005-07-01

    BpeAB-OprB is a multidrug efflux pump of the bacterial pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei and is responsible for conferring antimicrobial resistance to aminoglycosides and macrolides. Expression of bpeAB-oprB is inducible by its substrate erythromycin and upon entry into stationary phase. BpeR, a member of the TetR family, functions as a repressor of the bpeAB-oprB operon. bpeR expression was similarly induced at stationary phase but lagged behind the induction of bpeAB-oprB expression. The induction of bpeAB-oprB expression could be advanced to the early exponential phase by exogenous addition of the B. pseudomallei autoinducers N-octanoyl-homoserine lactone (C8HSL) and N-decanoyl-homoserine lactone (C10HSL), suggesting that the bpeAB-oprB operon may be quorum regulated. On the other hand, acyl-homoserine lactone (acyl-HSL) production was undetectable in the bpeAB-null mutant and strains which overexpress bpeR. The failure of these strains to produce acyl-HSLs seemed to be at the level of synthesis of acyl-HSLs, as growth-phase-dependent expression of the autoinducer synthase BpsI was abolished in the bpeAB-null mutant. bpsI expression remained growth phase dependent in the bpeR mutant which had functional BpeAB-OprB. BpeAB-OprB function is likewise necessary for optimal production of quorum-sensing-controlled virulence factors such as siderophore and phospholipase C and for biofilm formation. Cell invasion and cytotoxicity towards human lung epithelial (A549) and human macrophage (THP-1) cells were also significantly attenuated in both the bpeAB mutant and bpeR-overexpressing strains, thus suggesting the possibility of attenuating B. pseudomallei virulence using inhibitors of the BpeAB-OprB efflux pump.

  14. Influence of cAMP receptor protein (CRP) on bacterial virulence and transcriptional regulation of allS by CRP in Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Xue, Jian; Tan, Bin; Yang, Shiya; Luo, Mei; Xia, Huiming; Zhang, Xian; Zhou, Xipeng; Yang, Xianxian; Yang, Ruifu; Li, Yingli; Qiu, Jingfu

    2016-11-15

    cAMP receptor protein (CRP) is one of the most important transcriptional regulators, which can regulate large quantities of operons in different bacteria. The gene allS was well-known as allantoin-utilizing capability and involving in bacterial virulence in Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae). The specific DNA recognition motif of transcription regulator CRP was found in allS promoter region. Therefore, this study is aimed to investigate the function of CRP on virulence and its transcriptional regulation mechanism to gene allS in K. pneumoniae. The wild-type (WT) K. pneumoniae NTUH-2044, crp knockout (Kp-Δcrp) and the complemented knockout (KpC-Δcrp) strains were used to determine the function of crp gene. The lacZ fusion, qRT-PCR, electrophoretic mobility shift and DNase I footprinting assays were performed to study the transcriptional regulation of CRP on allS. The result showed a decreased virulence in crp knockout strain. Complement through supplementing crp fragment in expression plasmid partially restore virulence of knockout bacteria. The CRP could bind to the allS promoter-proximal region and the binding site was further refined to be located from 60bp to 94bp upstream of the allS promoter. Based on these results, we proposed that CRP is an essential virulence regulator and knock out of crp gene will result in reduced virulence in K. pneumoniae. In the meantime, the transcription of gene allS is positively regulated by CRP via directly binding to upstream of allS promoter.

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

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Scott V.; McShan, William M.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Scott V; McShan, William M

    2014-01-01

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

  17. TcpP protein is a positive regulator of virulence gene expression in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Häse, C C; Mekalanos, J J

    1998-01-20

    The production of several virulence factors in Vibrio cholerae O1, including cholera toxin and the pilus colonization factor TCP (toxin-coregulated pilus), is strongly influenced by environmental conditions. To specifically identify membrane proteins involved in these signal transduction events, we examined a transposon library of V. cholerae generated by Tnbla mutagenesis for cells that produce TCP when grown under various nonpermissive conditions. To select for TCP-producing cells we used the recently described bacteriophage CTX phi-Kan, which uses TCP as its receptor and carries a gene encoding resistance to kanamycin. Among the isolated mutants was a transposon insertion in a gene homologous to nqrB from Vibrio alginolyticus, which encodes a subunit of a Na(+)-translocating NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, and tcpI, encoding a chemo-receptor previously implicated in the negative regulation of TCP production. A third transposon mutant had an insertion in tcpP, which is in an operon with tcpH, a known positive regulator of TCP production. However, TcpP was shown to be essential for TCP production in V. cholerae, as a tcpP-deletion strain was deficient in pili production. The amino-terminal region of TcpP shows sequence homology to the DNA-binding domains of several regulatory proteins, including ToxR from V. cholerae and PsaE from Yersinia pestis. Like ToxR, TcpP activates transcription of the toxT gene, an essential activator of tcp operon transcription. Furthermore, TcpH, with its large periplasmic domain and inner membrane anchor, has a structure similar to that of ToxS and was shown to enhance the activity of TcpP. We propose that TcpP/TcpH constitute a pair of regulatory proteins functionally similar to ToxR/ToxS and PsaE/PsaF that are required for toxT transcription in V. cholerae.

  18. A prl Mutation in SecY Suppresses Secretion and Virulence Defects of Listeria monocytogenes secA2 Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Durack, Juliana; Burke, Thomas P.

    2014-01-01

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

  19. CcpA and LacD.1 Affect Temporal Regulation of Streptococcus pyogenes Virulence Genes ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Kietzman, Colin C.; Caparon, Michael G.

    2010-01-01

    Production of H2O2 follows a growth phase-dependent pattern that mimics that of many virulence factors of Streptococcus pyogenes. To gain greater insight into mechanisms coupling virulence factor expression to growth phase, we investigated the molecular basis for H2O2 generation and its regulation. Deletion of the gene encoding lactate oxidase (lctO) or culture in the presence of glucose eliminated H2O2 production, implicating carbohydrate regulation of lctO as a key element of growth phase control. In examining known carbohydrate-responsive regulators, deletion of the gene encoding CcpA but not that encoding LacD.1 resulted in both derepression and an uncoupling of lctO transcription from its growth phase pattern. Expanding this analysis to additional virulence factors demonstrated both negative (cfa, encoding CAMP factor) and positive (speB, encoding a cysteine protease) regulation by CcpA and that CcpA mutants were highly cytotoxic for cultured macrophages. This latter property resulted from enhanced transcription of the streptolysin S biogenesis operon. Examination of CcpA-promoter interactions using a DNA pull-down assay mimicking physiological conditions showed direct binding to the promoters of lctO and speB but not those of sagA. CcpA but not LacD.1 mutants were attenuated in a murine model of soft-tissue infection, and analysis of gene expression in infected tissue indicated that CcpA mutants had altered expression of lctO, cfa, and speB but not the indirectly regulated sagA gene. Taken together, these data show that CcpA regulates virulence genes via at least three distinct mechanisms and that disruption of growth phase regulation alters transcriptional patterns in infected tissues. PMID:19841076

  20. Listeriolysin S Is a Streptolysin S-Like Virulence Factor That Targets Exclusively Prokaryotic Cells In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Quereda, Juan J.; Nahori, Marie A.; Meza-Torres, Jazmín; Sachse, Martin; Titos-Jiménez, Patricia; Gomez-Laguna, Jaime; Dussurget, Olivier; Cossart, Pascale

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Streptolysin S (SLS)-like virulence factors from clinically relevant Gram-positive pathogens have been proposed to behave as potent cytotoxins, playing key roles in tissue infection. Listeriolysin S (LLS) is an SLS-like hemolysin/bacteriocin present among Listeria monocytogenes strains responsible for human listeriosis outbreaks. As LLS cytotoxic activity has been associated with virulence, we investigated the LLS-specific contribution to host tissue infection. Surprisingly, we first show that LLS causes only weak red blood cell (RBC) hemolysis in vitro and neither confers resistance to phagocytic killing nor favors survival of L. monocytogenes within the blood cells or in the extracellular space (in the plasma). We reveal that LLS does not elicit specific immune responses, is not cytotoxic for eukaryotic cells, and does not impact cell infection by L. monocytogenes. Using in vitro cell infection systems and a murine intravenous infection model, we actually demonstrate that LLS expression is undetectable during infection of cells and murine inner organs. Importantly, upon intravenous animal inoculation, L. monocytogenes is found in the gastrointestinal system, and only in this environment LLS expression is detected in vivo. Finally, we confirm that LLS production is associated with destruction of target bacteria. Our results demonstrate therefore that LLS does not contribute to L. monocytogenes tissue injury and virulence in inner host organs as previously reported. Moreover, we describe that LlsB, a putative posttranslational modification enzyme encoded in the LLS operon, is necessary for murine inner organ colonization. Overall, we demonstrate that LLS is the first SLS-like virulence factor targeting exclusively prokaryotic cells during in vivo infections. PMID:28377528

  1. Regulation and secretion of Xanthomonas virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Büttner, Daniela; Bonas, Ulla

    2010-03-01

    Plant pathogenic bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas cause a variety of diseases in economically important monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous crop plants worldwide. Successful infection and bacterial multiplication in the host tissue often depend on the virulence factors secreted including adhesins, polysaccharides, LPS and degradative enzymes. One of the key pathogenicity factors is the type III secretion system, which injects effector proteins into the host cell cytosol to manipulate plant cellular processes such as basal defense to the benefit of the pathogen. The coordinated expression of bacterial virulence factors is orchestrated by quorum-sensing pathways, multiple two-component systems and transcriptional regulators such as Clp, Zur, FhrR, HrpX and HpaR. Furthermore, virulence gene expression is post-transcriptionally controlled by the RNA-binding protein RsmA. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the infection strategies and regulatory networks controlling secreted virulence factors from Xanthomonas species.

  2. Virulence reaction norms across a food gradient.

    PubMed Central

    Bedhomme, Stephanie; Agnew, Philip; Sidobre, Christine; Michalakis, Yannis

    2004-01-01

    Host-parasite interactions involve competition for nutritional resources between hosts and the parasites growing within them. Consuming part of a host's resources is one cause of a parasite's virulence, i.e. part of the fitness cost imposed on the host by the parasite. The influence of a host's nutritional conditions on the virulence of a parasite was experimentally tested using the mosquito Aedes aegypti and the microsporidian parasite Vavraia culicis. A condition-dependent expression of virulence was found and a positive relation between virulence and transmissibility was established. Spore production was positively influenced by host food availability, indicating that the parasite's within-host growth is limited by host condition. We also investigated how the fitness of each partner varied across the nutritional gradient and demonstrated that the sign of the correlation between host fitness and parasite fitness depended on the amount of nutritional resources available to the host. PMID:15209108

  3. Mechanisms and evolution of virulence in oomycetes.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Rays H Y; Tyler, Brett M

    2012-01-01

    Many destructive diseases of plants and animals are caused by oomycetes, a group of eukaryotic pathogens important to agricultural, ornamental, and natural ecosystems. Understanding the mechanisms underlying oomycete virulence and the genomic processes by which those mechanisms rapidly evolve is essential to developing effective long-term control measures for oomycete diseases. Several common mechanisms underlying oomycete virulence, including protein toxins and cell-entering effectors, have emerged from comparing oomycetes with different genome characteristics, parasitic lifestyles, and host ranges. Oomycete genomes display a strongly bipartite organization in which conserved housekeeping genes are concentrated in syntenic gene-rich blocks, whereas virulence genes are dispersed into highly dynamic, repeat-rich regions. There is also evidence that key virulence genes have been acquired by horizontal transfer from other eukaryotic and prokaryotic species.

  4. Plaque assay for virulent Legionella pneumophila.

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, R C; Lee, S H; Haldane, D; Sumarah, R; Rozee, K R

    1989-01-01

    Methods of assessing virulence of Legionella pneumophila, the etiologic agent of Legionnaires disease, include the infection of guinea pigs, fertile chicken eggs, and mammalian and protozoan cell cultures. Guinea pig assays, in particular, are expensive, laborious, or unsuitable for routine screening of Legionella isolates. We have developed a virulence assay that requires the enumeration of viruslike plaques which are the result of virulent L. pneumophila infecting mouse L929 cells. Each plaque is the consequence of the initial infection of an L cell with a single bacterium. A nonvirulent mutant derived from the serial passage of virulent L. pneumophila on Mueller-Hinton agar fails to survive within L cells and consequently fails to produce plaques. Images PMID:2674192

  5. Transcriptional regulation of the Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans ygiW-qseBC operon by QseB and integration host factor proteins.

    PubMed

    Juárez-Rodríguez, María Dolores; Torres-Escobar, Ascención; Demuth, Donald R

    2014-12-01

    The QseBC two-component system plays a pivotal role in regulating virulence and biofilm growth of the oral pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. We previously showed that QseBC autoregulates the ygiW-qseBC operon. In this study, we characterized the promoter that drives ygiW-qseBC expression. Using lacZ transcriptional fusion constructs and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends, we showed that ygiW-qseBC expression is driven by a promoter that initiates transcription 53 bases upstream of ygiW and identified putative cis-acting promoter elements, whose function was confirmed using site-specific mutagenesis. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays, two trans-acting proteins were shown to interact with the ygiW-qseBC promoter. The QseB response regulator bound to probes containing the direct repeat sequence CTTAA-N6-CTTAA, where the CTTAA repeats flank the -35 element of the promoter. The ygiW-qseBC expression could not be detected in A. actinomycetemcomitans ΔqseB or ΔqseBC strains, but was restored to WT levels in the ΔqseBC mutant when complemented by single copy chromosomal insertion of qseBC. Interestingly, qseB partially complemented the ΔqseBC strain, suggesting that QseB could be activated in the absence of QseC. QseB activation required its phosphorylation since complementation did not occur using qseB(pho-), encoding a protein with the active site aspartate substituted with alanine. These results suggest that QseB is a strong positive regulator of ygiW-qseBC expression. In addition, integration host factor (IHF) bound to two sites in the promoter region and an additional site near the 5' end of the ygiW ORF. The expression of ygiW-qseBC was increased by twofold in ΔihfA and ΔihfB strains of A. actinomycetemcomitans, suggesting that IHF is a negative regulator of the ygiW-qseBC operon.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Vibrio parahaemolyticus has a homolog of the Vibrio cholerae toxRS operon that mediates environmentally induced regulation of the thermostable direct hemolysin gene.

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Z; Kumagai, K; Baba, K; Mekalanos, J J; Nishibuchi, M

    1993-01-01

    In an effort to identify the regulatory gene controlling the expression of the tdh gene, encoding the thermostable direct hemolysin of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, we examined total DNA of AQ3815 (a Kanagawa phenomenon-positive strain) for sequences homologous to that of the toxR gene of Vibrio cholerae. The extracted DNA gave a weak hybridization signal under reduced-stringency conditions with a toxR-specific DNA probe. Cloning and sequence analysis of the probe-positive sequence revealed an operon (Vp-toxRS) which was highly similar to the toxRS operon of V. cholerae (Vc-toxRS) (52 and 62% similarities in the two genes, respectively). The deduced amino acid sequences of the Vp-toxRS gene products (Vp-ToxRS) contained regions similar to the proposed transmembrane and activity domains of the Vc-toxRS gene products (Vc-ToxRS). All clinical and environmental strains of V. parahaemolyticus examined possessed the Vp-toxRS genes. In the presence of Vp-ToxS, Vp-ToxR promoted expression of the tdh2 gene, one of two tdh genes (tdh1 and tdh2) carried by Kanagawa phenomenon-positive strains. The DNA sequence located 144 bp upstream of the tdh2 coding region was shown to be important for the Vp-ToxR-stimulated expression of the tdh2 gene in an Escherichia coli background. Comparative analysis of AQ3815 and its isogenic Vp-toxR null mutant gave the following results: (i) Vp-ToxR promoted, in an AQ3815 background, expression of the tdh gene to different degrees in various culture media, with KP broth (2% peptone, 0.5% NaCl, 0.03 M KH2PO4, pH 6.2) being most effective (12-fold); (ii) the promotion of tdh gene expression in KP broth was at the level of transcription; and (iii) Vp-ToxR was essential for demonstration of enterotoxic activity of AQ3815 in the rabbit ileal loop, a model previously used to demonstrate thermostable direct hemolysin-mediated enterotoxic activity of AQ3815. These results demonstrate that Vp-ToxR and Vc-ToxR share a strikingly similar function, i.e., direct

  8. [Proteus bacilli: features and virulence factors].

    PubMed

    Rózalski, Antoni; Kwil, Iwona; Torzewska, Agnieszka; Baranowska, Magdalena; Staczek, Paweł

    2007-01-01

    In this article, different aspects of virulence factors of Proteus bacilii (P. mirabilis, P. vulgaris, P. penneri i P. hauseri) are presented. These are opportunistic pathogens that cause different kinds of infections, most frequently of the urinary tract. These bacteria have developed several virulence factors, such as adherence due to the presence of fimbriae or afimbrial adhesins, invasiveness, swarming phenomenon, hemolytic activity, urea hydrolysis, proteolysis, and endotoxicity. Below we focus on data concerning the molecular basis of the pathogenicity of Proteus bacilli.

  9. Spaceflight Effects on Virulence of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  10. Xanthoferrin, the α-hydroxycarboxylate-type siderophore of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, is required for optimum virulence and growth inside cabbage.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Sheo Shankar; Patnana, Pradeep Kumar; Rai, Rikky; Chatterjee, Subhadeep

    2016-06-27

    Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris causes black rot, a serious disease of crucifers. Xanthomonads encode a siderophore biosynthesis and uptake gene cluster xss (Xanthomonas siderophore synthesis) involved in the production of a vibrioferrin-type siderophore. However, little is known about the role of the siderophore in the iron uptake and virulence of X. campestris pv. campestris. In this study, we show that X. campestris pv. campestris produces an α-hydroxycarboxylate-type siderophore (named xanthoferrin), which is required for growth under low-iron conditions and for optimum virulence. A mutation in the siderophore synthesis xssA gene causes deficiency in siderophore production and growth under low-iron conditions. In contrast, the siderophore utilization ΔxsuA mutant is able to produce siderophore, but exhibits a defect in the utilization of the siderophore-iron complex. Our radiolabelled iron uptake studies confirm that the ΔxssA and ΔxsuA mutants exhibit defects in ferric iron (Fe(3+) ) uptake. The ΔxssA mutant is able to utilize and transport the exogenous xanthoferrin-Fe(3+) complex; in contrast, the siderophore utilization or uptake mutant ΔxsuA exhibits defects in siderophore uptake. Expression analysis of the xss operon using a chromosomal gusA fusion indicates that the xss operon is expressed during in planta growth and under low-iron conditions. Furthermore, exogenous iron supplementation in cabbage leaves rescues the in planta growth deficiency of ΔxssA and ΔxsuA mutants. Our study reveals that the siderophore xanthoferrin is an important virulence factor of X. campestris pv. campestris which promotes in planta growth by the sequestration of Fe(3+) .

  11. Hyperinducibility as a result of mutation in structural genes and self-catabolite repression in the ara operon.

    PubMed

    Katz, L; Englesberg, E

    1971-07-01

    Mutations in gene araB producing an l-arabinose-negative phenotype cause either an increase (hyperinducible), decrease (polar), or have no effect at all on the inducible rate of expression of the l-arabinose operon. Fourteen araB gene mutants exhibiting such effects were shown to be the result of: nonsense, frameshift, or missense mutations. All missense mutants were hyperinducible, exhibiting approximately a twofold increase in rate of l-arabinose isomerase production. All frameshift and most nonsense mutants exhibited polar effect. One nonsense mutant was hyperinducible. The cis-dominant polar effect of nonsense and frameshift mutants (as compared to induced wild type) were more pronounced in arabinose-utilizing merodiploids and in araBaraC(c) double mutants where inducible and constitutive enzyme levels are respectively determined. On the other hand, in arabinose-utilizing merodiploids, missense mutations no longer exhibited hyperinducibility but displayed a wild-type level of operon expression. Increases in the wild type-inducible rate of expression of the operon were found when growth rate was dependent on the concentration of l-arabinose. Cyclic 3',5'-adenosine monophosphate also stimulated expression of the operon with the wild type in a mineral l-arabinose medium. These observations are explained on the basis that the steady-state expression of the l-arabinose operon OIBAD is dependent on the concentration of (i) l-arabinose, the effector of this system, which stimulates the expression of the operon, and (ii) catabolite repressors, produced from l-arabinose, which dampen the expression of the operon. We have termed the latter phenomenon "self-catabolite" repression.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. A Fluorescent Bioreporter for Acetophenone and 1-Phenylethanol derived from a Specifically Induced Catabolic Operon

    PubMed Central

    Muhr, Enrico; Leicht, Oliver; González Sierra, Silvia; Thanbichler, Martin; Heider, Johann

    2016-01-01

    The β-proteobacterium Aromatoleum aromaticum degrades the aromatic ketone acetophenone, a key intermediate of anaerobic ethylbenzene metabolism, either aerobically or anaerobically via a complex ATP-dependent acetophenone carboxylase and a benzoylacetate-CoA ligase. The genes coding for these enzymes (apcABCDE and bal) are organized in an apparent operon and are expressed in the presence of the substrate acetophenone. To study the conditions under which this operon is expressed in more detail, we constructed a reporter strain by inserting a gene fusion of apcA, the first gene of the apc-bal operon, with the gene for the fluorescent protein mCherry into the chromosome of A. aromaticum. The fusion protein indeed accumulated consistently with the expression pattern of the acetophenone-metabolic enzymes under various growth conditions. After evaluating and quantifying the data by fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence-based flow cytometry and immunoblot analysis, mCherry production was found to be proportional to the applied acetophenone concentrations. The reporter strain allowed quantification of acetophenone within a concentration range of 50 μM (detection limit) to 250 μM after 12 and 24 h. Moreover, production of the Apc-mCherry fusion protein in the reporter strain was highly specific and responded to acetophenone and both enantiomers of 1-phenylethanol, which are easily converted to acetophenone. Other analogous substrates showed either a significantly weaker response or none at all. Therefore, the reporter strain provides a basis for the development of a specific bioreporter system for acetophenone with an application potential reaching from environmental monitoring to petroleum prospecting. PMID:26858693

  14. arc-dependent thermal regulation and extragenic suppression of the Escherichia coli cytochrome d operon.

    PubMed

    Wall, D; Delaney, J M; Fayet, O; Lipinska, B; Yamamoto, T; Georgopoulos, C

    1992-10-01

    In a screen for Escherichia coli genes whose products are required for high-temperature growth, we identified and characterized a mini-Tn10 insertion that allows the formation of wild-type-size colonies at 30 degrees C but results in microcolony formation at 36 degrees C and above (Ts- phenotype). Mapping, molecular cloning, and DNA sequencing analyses showed that the mini-Tn10 insertion resides in the cydB gene, the distal gene of the cydAB operon (cytochrome d). The Ts- growth phenotype was also shown to be associated with previously described cyd alleles. In addition, all cyd mutants were found to be extremely sensitive to hydrogen peroxide. Northern (RNA) blot analysis showed that cyd-specific mRNA levels accumulate following a shift to high temperature. Interestingly, this heat shock induction of the cyd operon was not affected in an rpoH delta background but was totally absent in an arcA or arcB mutant background. Extragenic suppressors of the Cyd Ts- phenotype are found at approximately 10(-3). Two extragenic suppressors were shown to be null alleles in either arcA or arcB. One interpretation of our results is that in the absence of ArcA or ArcB, which are required for the repression of the cyo operon (cytochrome o), elevated levels of Cyo are produced, thus compensating for the missing cytochrome d function. Consistent with this interpretation, the presence of the cyo gene on a multicopy plasmid suppressed the Ts- and hydrogen peroxide-sensitive phenotypes of cyd mutants.

  15. The effect of stochasticity on the lac operon: an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    van Hoek, Milan; Hogeweg, Paulien

    2007-06-01

    The role of stochasticity on gene expression is widely discussed. Both potential advantages and disadvantages have been revealed. In some systems, noise in gene expression has been quantified, in among others the lac operon of Escherichia coli. Whether stochastic gene expression in this system is detrimental or beneficial for the cells is, however, still unclear. We are interested in the effects of stochasticity from an evolutionary point of view. We study this question in the lac operon, taking a computational approach: using a detailed, quantitative, spatial model, we evolve through a mutation-selection process the shape of the promoter function and therewith the effective amount of stochasticity. We find that noise values for lactose, the natural inducer, are much lower than for artificial, nonmetabolizable inducers, because these artificial inducers experience a stronger positive feedback. In the evolved promoter functions, noise due to stochasticity in gene expression, when induced by lactose, only plays a very minor role in short-term physiological adaptation, because other sources of population heterogeneity dominate. Finally, promoter functions evolved in the stochastic model evolve to higher repressed transcription rates than those evolved in a deterministic version of the model. This causes these promoter functions to experience less stochasticity in gene expression. We show that a high repression rate and hence high stochasticity increases the delay in lactose uptake in a variable environment. We conclude that the lac operon evolved such that the impact of stochastic gene expression is minor in its natural environment, but happens to respond with much stronger stochasticity when confronted with artificial inducers. In this particular system, we have shown that stochasticity is detrimental. Moreover, we demonstrate that in silico evolution in a quantitative model, by mutating the parameters of interest, is a promising way to unravel the functional

  16. Determinants of bistability in induction of the Escherichia coli lac operon.

    PubMed

    Dreisigmeyer, D W; Stajic, J; Nemenman, I; Hlavacek, W S; Wall, M E

    2008-09-01

    The authors have developed a mathematical model of regulation of expression of the Escherichia coli lac operon, and have investigated bistability in its steady-state induction behaviour in the absence of external glucose. Numerical analysis of equations describing regulation by artificial inducers revealed two natural bistability parameters that can be used to control the range of inducer concentrations over which the model exhibits bistability. By tuning these bistability parameters, the authors found a family of biophysically reasonable systems that are consistent with an experimentally determined bistable region for induction by thio-methylgalactoside (TMG) (in Ozbudak et al. Nature, 2004, 427; p. 737). To model regulation by lactose, the authors developed similar equations in which allolactose, a metabolic intermediate in lactose metabolism and a natural inducer of lac, is the inducer. For biophysically reasonable parameter values, these equations yield no bistability in response to induction by lactose - only systems with an unphysically small permease-dependent export effect can exhibit small amounts of bistability for limited ranges of parameter values. These results cast doubt on the relevance of bistability in the lac operon within the natural context of E. coli, and help shed light on the controversy among existing theoretical studies that address this issue. The results also motivate a deeper experimental characterisation of permease-independent transport of lac inducers, and suggest an experimental approach to address the relevance of bistability in the lac operon within the natural context of E. coli. The sensitivity of lac bistability to the type of inducer emphasises the importance of metabolism in determining the functions of genetic regulatory networks.

  17. Involvement of the ribose operon repressor RbsR in regulation of purine nucleotide synthesis in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Tomohiro; Kori, Ayako; Ishihama, Akira

    2013-07-01

    Escherichia coli is able to utilize d-ribose as its sole carbon source. The genes for the transport and initial-step metabolism of d-ribose form a single rbsDACBK operon. RbsABC forms the ABC-type high-affinity d-ribose transporter, while RbsD and RbsK are involved in the conversion of d-ribose into d-ribose 5-phosphate. In the absence of inducer d-ribose, the ribose operon is repressed by a LacI-type transcription factor RbsR, which is encoded by a gene located downstream of this ribose operon. At present, the rbs operon is believed to be the only target of regulation by RbsR. After Genomic SELEX screening, however, we have identified that RbsR binds not only to the rbs promoter but also to the promoters of a set of genes involved in purine nucleotide metabolism. Northern blotting analysis indicated that RbsR represses the purHD operon for de novo synthesis of purine nucleotide but activates the add and udk genes involved in the salvage pathway of purine nucleotide synthesis. Taken together, we propose that RbsR is a global regulator for switch control between the de novo synthesis of purine nucleotides and its salvage pathway.

  18. Identification of a protein glycosylation operon from Campylobacter jejuni JCM 2013 and its heterologous expression in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Srichaisupakit, Akkaraphol; Ohashi, Takao; Fujiyama, Kazuhito

    2014-09-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is a human enteropathogenic bacterium possessing an N-glycosylation system. In this work, a protein glycosylation (pgl) operon conferring prokaryotic N-glycosylation in C. jejuni JCM 2013 was cloned and identified. Fourteen open reading frames (ORFs) were found in the pgl operon. The operon organization was similar to that of C. jejuni NCTC 11168, with 98% and 99% identities in overall nucleotide sequence and amino acid sequence, respectively. The pgl operon was heterologously co-expressed with model protein CmeA in the Escherichia coli BL21 ΔwaaL mutant. The immuno- and lectin-blotting analysis indicated the protein glycosylation on the recombinant CmeA. In addition, to analyze the glycan composition, the recombinant CmeA was purified and subjected to in-gel trypsin digestion followed by mass spectrometry analysis. The mass spectrometry analysis showed the presence of the N-acetylhexosamine residue at the reducing end but not the predicted di-N-acetylbacillosamine (diNAcBac) residue. Further glycan structural study using the conventional fluorophore-labeling method revealed the GalNAcα-GalNAcα-(Hex-)HexNAc-HexNAc-HexNAc-HexNAc structure. Transcriptional analysis showed that UDP-diNAcBac synthases and diNAcBac transferase are transcribed but might not function in the constructed system. In conclusion, a pgl operon from C. jejuni JCM 2013 successfully functioned in E. coli, resulting in the observed prokaryotic glycosylation.

  19. UlaR activates expression of the ula operon in Streptococcus pneumoniae in the presence of ascorbic acid.

    PubMed

    Afzal, Muhammad; Shafeeq, Sulman; Henriques-Normark, Birgitta; Kuipers, Oscar P

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the regulatory mechanism of the ula (utilization of l-ascorbic acid) operon, putatively responsible for transport and utilization of ascorbic acid in Streptococcus pneumoniae strain D39, is studied. β-Galactosidase assay data demonstrate that expression of the ula operon is increased in the presence of ascorbic acid as compared with the effects of other sugar sources including glucose. The ula operon consists of nine genes, including a transcriptional regulator UlaR, and is transcribed as a single transcriptional unit. We demonstrate the role of the transcriptional regulator UlaR as a transcriptional activator of the ula operon in the presence of ascorbic acid and show that activation of the ula operon genes by UlaR is CcpA-independent. Furthermore, we predict a 16 bp regulatory site (5'-AACAGTCCGCTGTGTA-3') for UlaR in the promoter region of ulaA. Deletion of the half or full UlaR regulatory site in PulaA confirmed that the UlaR regulatory site present in PulaA is functional.

  20. Mutations in the L-arabinose operon of Escherichia coli B-r that result in hypersensitivity to catabolite repression.

    PubMed

    Gendron, R P; Sheppard, D E

    1974-02-01

    Two independent mutants resistant to l-arabinose inhibition only in the presence of d-glucose were isolated from an l-arabinose-sensitive strain containing the araD139 mutation. Preliminary mapping studies indicate that these mutations are closely linked to the araIOC region. Addition of d-glucose to growing cultures of these mutants results in a 95 to 98% repression of ara operon expression, as compared to a 50% repression of the parental control. Since cultures of both mutant and parental strains undergo a 50% repression of lac operon expression upon addition of glucose, the hypersensitivity to catabolite repression exhibited by these mutants is specific for the ara operon. Addition of cyclic adenosine monophosphate reverses the catabolite repression of the ara operon in both mutant and parent strains to 70 to 80% of the control. It is suggested that in these mutants the affinity of the ara operon initiator region for the cAMP-catabolite-activator protein complex may have been altered.

  1. Genetically manipulated virulence of Yersinia enterocolitica.

    PubMed Central

    Heesemann, J; Algermissen, B; Laufs, R

    1984-01-01

    Mobilizable virulence plasmids of Yersinia enterocolitica of serotypes O:3 and O:9 were constructed by cointegration of a mobilizable vector into the virulence plasmids. The obtained cointegrates were mobilized into plasmidless Y. enterocolitica strains of serotypes O:3, O:5, O:8, and O:9. The transfer experiments revealed the existence of two different subgroups of plasmid-associated traits. (i) Animal virulence functions (mouse lethality and conjuctivitis provocation) were only transferable to plasmid-cured derivatives of virulent parent strains (serotypes O:3, O:8, and O:9), but they were not transferable to Y. enterocolitica antigen reference strains (serotypes O:3 and O:8) or to a plasmidless clinical isolate of serotype O:5. A further striking result was that a serotype O:8 strain regained the mouse lethality trait after receipt of a plasmid from a strain not lethal to mice. These results demonstrate that plasmid-mediated animal virulence functions are not uniformly expressed within Y. enterocolitica. (ii) The second subgroup of plasmid-mediated traits (calcium dependency, surface agglutinogens, HEp-2 cell adherence, and protein release) were transferable to all Y. enterocolitica recipient strains tested (serotypes O:3, O:5, O:8, and O:9 of different origin). For the first time HEp-2 cell adherence and temperature-induced release of five major protein species are described as transferable traits. Images PMID:6480101

  2. Hopf Bifurcation and Delay-Induced Turing Instability in a Diffusive lac Operon Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Xin; Song, Yongli; Zhang, Tonghua

    In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of a lac operon model with delayed feedback and diffusion effect. If the system is without delay or the delay is small, the positive equilibrium is stable so that there are no spatial patterns formed; while the time delay is large enough the equilibrium becomes unstable so that rich spatiotemporal dynamics may occur. We have found that time delay can not only incur temporal oscillations but also induce imbalance in space. With different initial values, the system may have different spatial patterns, for instance, spirals with one head, four heads, nine heads, and even microspirals.

  3. The Mercury Resistance Operon: From an Origin in a Geothermal Environment to an Efficient Detoxification Machine

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Eric S.; Barkay, Tamar

    2012-01-01

    Mercuric mercury (Hg[II]) is a highly toxic and mobile element that is likely to have had a pronounced and adverse effect on biology since Earth’s oxygenation ∼2.4 billion years ago due to its high affinity for protein sulfhydryl groups, which upon binding destabilize protein structure and decrease enzyme activity, resulting in a decreased organismal fitness. The central enzyme in the microbial mercury detoxification system is the mercuric reductase (MerA) protein, which catalyzes the reduction of Hg(II) to volatile Hg(0). In addition to MerA, mer operons encode for proteins involved in regulation, Hg binding, and organomercury degradation. Mer-mediated approaches have had broad applications in the bioremediation of mercury-contaminated environments and industrial waste streams. Here, we examine the composition of 272 individual mer operons and quantitatively map the distribution of mer-encoded functions on both taxonomic SSU rRNA gene and MerA phylogenies. The results indicate an origin and early evolution of MerA among thermophilic bacteria and an overall increase in the complexity of mer operons through evolutionary time, suggesting continual gene recruitment and evolution leading to an improved efficiency and functional potential of the Mer detoxification system. Consistent with a positive relationship between the evolutionary history and topology of MerA and SSU rRNA gene phylogenies (Mantel R = 0.81, p < 0.01), the distribution of the majority of mer functions, when mapped on these phylograms, indicates an overall tendency to inherit mer-encoded functions through vertical descent. However, individual mer functions display evidence of a variable degree of vertical inheritance, with several genes exhibiting strong evidence for acquisition via lateral gene transfer and/or gene loss. Collectively, these data suggest that (i) mer has evolved from a simple system in geothermal environments to a widely distributed and more complex and efficient

  4. Involvement of an inducible fructose phosphotransferase operon in Streptococcus gordonii biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Loo, C Y; Mitrakul, K; Voss, I B; Hughes, C V; Ganeshkumar, N

    2003-11-01

    Oral streptococci, such as Streptococcus gordonii, are the predominant early colonizers that initiate biofilm formation on tooth surfaces. Investigation of an S. gordonii::Tn917-lac biofilm-defective mutant isolated by using an in vitro biofilm formation assay showed that the transposon insertion is near the 3' end of an open reading frame (ORF) encoding a protein homologous to Streptococcus mutans FruK. Three genes, fruR, fruK, and fruI, were predicted to encode polypeptides that are part of the fructose phosphotransferase system (PTS) in S. gordonii. These proteins, FruR, FruK, and FruI, are homologous to proteins encoded by the inducible fruRKI operon of S. mutans. In S. mutans, FruR is a transcriptional repressor, FruK is a fructose-1-phosphate kinase, and FruI is the fructose-specific enzyme II (fructose permease) of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent sugar PTS. Reverse transcription-PCR confirmed that fruR, fruK, and fruI are cotranscribed as an operon in S. gordonii, and the transposon insertion in S. gordonii fruK::Tn917-lac resulted in a nonpolar mutation. Nonpolar inactivation of either fruK or fruI generated by allelic replacement resulted in a biofilm-defective phenotype, whereas a nonpolar mutant with an inactivated fruR gene retained the ability to form a biofilm. Expression of fruK, as measured by the beta-galactosidase activity of the fruK::Tn917-lac mutant, was observed to be growth phase dependent and was enhanced when the mutant was grown in media with high levels of fructose, sucrose, xylitol, and human serum, indicating that the fructose PTS operon was fructose and xylitol inducible, similar to the S. mutans fructose PTS. The induction by fructose was inhibited by the presence of glucose, indicating that glucose is able to catabolite repress fruK expression. Nonpolar inactivation of the fruR gene in the fruK::Tn917-lac mutant resulted in a greater increase in beta-galactosidase activity when the organism was grown in media supplemented with

  5. Key role of an ADP - ribose - dependent transcriptional regulator of NAD metabolism for fitness and virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Okon, Elza; Dethlefsen, Sarah; Pelnikevich, Anna; Barneveld, Andrea van; Munder, Antje; Tümmler, Burkhard

    2017-01-01

    NAD is an essential co-factor of redox reactions and metabolic conversions of NAD-dependent enzymes. NAD biosynthesis in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has yet not been experimentally explored. The in silico search for orthologs in the P. aeruginosa PAO1 genome identified the operon pncA - pncB1-nadE (PA4918-PA4920) to encode the nicotinamidase, nicotinate phosporibosyltransferase and Nad synthase of salvage pathway I. The functional role of the preceding genes PA4917 and PA4916 was resolved by the characterization of recombinant protein. PA4917 turned out to encode the nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase NadD2 and PA4916 was determined to encode the transcriptional repressor NrtR that binds to an intergenic sequence between nadD2 and pncA. Complex formation between the catalytically inactive Nudix protein NrtR and its DNA binding site was suppressed by the antirepressor ADP-ribose. NrtR plasposon mutagenesis abrogated virulence of P. aeruginosa TBCF10839 in a murine acute airway infection model and constrained its metabolite profile. When grown together with other isogenic plasposon mutants, the nrtR knock-out was most compromised in competitive fitness to persist in nutrient-rich medium in vitro or murine airways in vivo. This example demonstrates how tightly metabolism and virulence can be intertwined by key elements of metabolic control.

  6. Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces pigment production and enhances virulence in a white phenotypic variant of Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Antonic, Vlado; Stojadinovic, Alexander; Zhang, Binxue; Izadjoo, Mina J; Alavi, Mohammad

    2013-01-01

    Staphyloxanthin is a virulence factor which protects Staphylococcus aureus in stress conditions. We isolated two pigment variants of S. aureus and one strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from a single wound infection. S. aureus variants displayed white and yellow colony phenotypes. The sequence of the operons for staphyloxanthin synthesis indicated that coding and promoter regions were identical between the two pigment variants. Quorum sensing controls pigment synthesis in some bacteria. It is also shown that P. aeruginosa quorum-sensing molecules affect S. aureus transcription. We explored whether the co-infecting P. aeruginosa can affect pigment production in the white S. aureus variant. In co-culture experiments between the white variants and a selected number of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, only P. aeruginosa induced pigment production in the white variant. Gene expression analysis of the white variant did not indicate upregulation of the crtM and other genes known to be involved in pigment production (sigB, sarA, farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase gene [FPP-synthase], hfq). In contrast, transcription of the catalase gene was significantly upregulated after co-culture. P. aeruginosa-induced pigment synthesis and catalase upregulation correlated with increased resistance to polymyxin B, hydrogen peroxide, and the intracellular environment of macrophages. Our data indicate the presence of silent but functional staphyloxanthin synthesis machinery in a white phenotypic variant of S. aureus which is activated by a co-infecting P. aeruginosa via inter-species communication. Another S. aureus virulence factor, catalase is also induced by this co-infecting bacterium. The resulting phenotypic changes are directly correlated with resistance of the white variant to stressful conditions. PMID:24232573

  7. Haemophilus ducreyi SapA contributes to cathelicidin resistance and virulence in humans.

    PubMed

    Mount, Kristy L B; Townsend, Carisa A; Rinker, Sherri D; Gu, Xiaoping; Fortney, Kate R; Zwickl, Beth W; Janowicz, Diane M; Spinola, Stanley M; Katz, Barry P; Bauer, Margaret E

    2010-03-01

    Haemophilus ducreyi is an extracellular pathogen of human epithelial surfaces that resists human antimicrobial peptides (APs). The organism's genome contains homologs of genes sensitive to antimicrobial peptides (sap operon) in nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae. In this study, we characterized the sap-containing loci of H. ducreyi 35000HP and demonstrated that sapA is expressed in broth cultures and H. ducreyi-infected tissue; sapA is also conserved among both class I and class II H. ducreyi strains. We constructed a nonpolar sapA mutant of H. ducreyi 35000HP, designated 35000HPsapA, and compared the percent survival of wild-type 35000HP and 35000HPsapA exposed to several human APs, including alpha-defensins, beta-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Unlike an H. influenzae sapA mutant, strain 35000HPsapA was not more susceptible to defensins than strain 35000HP was. However, we observed a significant decrease in the survival of strain 35000HPsapA after exposure to LL-37, which was complemented by introducing sapA in trans. Thus, the Sap transporter plays a role in resistance of H. ducreyi to LL-37. We next compared mutant strain 35000HPsapA with strain 35000HP for their ability to cause disease in human volunteers. Although both strains caused papules to form at similar rates, the pustule formation rate at sites inoculated with 35000HPsapA was significantly lower than that of sites inoculated with 35000HP (33.3% versus 66.7%; P = 0.007). Together, these data establish that SapA acts as a virulence factor and as one mechanism for H. ducreyi to resist killing by antimicrobial peptides. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that an antimicrobial peptide resistance mechanism contributes to bacterial virulence in humans.

  8. Stabilization of the Virulence Plasmid pSLT of Salmonella Typhimurium by Three Maintenance Systems and Its Evaluation by Using a New Stability Test

    PubMed Central

    Lobato-Márquez, Damián; Molina-García, Laura; Moreno-Córdoba, Inma; García-del Portillo, Francisco; Díaz-Orejas, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    Certain Salmonella enterica serovars belonging to subspecies I carry low-copy-number virulence plasmids of variable size (50–90 kb). All of these plasmids share the spv operon, which is important for systemic infection. Virulence plasmids are present at low copy numbers. Few copies reduce metabolic burden but suppose a risk of plasmid loss during bacterial division. This drawback is counterbalanced by maintenance modules that ensure plasmid stability, including partition systems and toxin-antitoxin (TA) loci. The low-copy number virulence pSLT plasmid of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium encodes three auxiliary maintenance systems: one partition system (parAB) and two TA systems (ccdABST and vapBC2ST). The TA module ccdABST has previously been shown to contribute to pSLT plasmid stability and vapBC2ST to bacterial virulence. Here we describe a novel assay to measure plasmid stability based on the selection of plasmid-free cells following elimination of plasmid-containing cells by ParE toxin, a DNA gyrase inhibitor. Using this new maintenance assay we confirmed a crucial role of parAB in pSLT maintenance. We also showed that vapBC2ST, in addition to contribute to bacterial virulence, is important for plasmid stability. We have previously shown that ccdABST encodes an inactive CcdBST toxin. Using our new stability assay we monitored the contribution to plasmid stability of a ccdABST variant containing a single mutation (R99W) that restores the toxicity of CcdBST. The “activation” of CcdBST (R99W) did not increase pSLT stability by ccdABST. In contrast, ccdABST behaves as a canonical type II TA system in terms of transcriptional regulation. Of interest, ccdABST was shown to control the expression of a polycistronic operon in the pSLT plasmid. Collectively, these results show that the contribution of the CcdBST toxin to pSLT plasmid stability may depend on its role as a co-repressor in coordination with CcdAST antitoxin more than on its toxic activity. PMID

  9. Stabilization of the Virulence Plasmid pSLT of Salmonella Typhimurium by Three Maintenance Systems and Its Evaluation by Using a New Stability Test.

    PubMed

    Lobato-Márquez, Damián; Molina-García, Laura; Moreno-Córdoba, Inma; García-Del Portillo, Francisco; Díaz-Orejas, Ramón

    2016-01-01

    Certain Salmonella enterica serovars belonging to subspecies I carry low-copy-number virulence plasmids of variable size (50-90 kb). All of these plasmids share the spv operon, which is important for systemic infection. Virulence plasmids are present at low copy numbers. Few copies reduce metabolic burden but suppose a risk of plasmid loss during bacterial division. This drawback is counterbalanced by maintenance modules that ensure plasmid stability, including partition systems and toxin-antitoxin (TA) loci. The low-copy number virulence pSLT plasmid of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium encodes three auxiliary maintenance systems: one partition system (parAB) and two TA systems (ccdABST and vapBC2ST). The TA module ccdABST has previously been shown to contribute to pSLT plasmid stability and vapBC2ST to bacterial virulence. Here we describe a novel assay to measure plasmid stability based on the selection of plasmid-free cells following elimination of plasmid-containing cells by ParE toxin, a DNA gyrase inhibitor. Using this new maintenance assay we confirmed a crucial role of parAB in pSLT maintenance. We also showed that vapBC2ST, in addition to contribute to bacterial virulence, is important for plasmid stability. We have previously shown that ccdABST encodes an inactive CcdBST toxin. Using our new stability assay we monitored the contribution to plasmid stability of a ccdABST variant containing a single mutation (R99W) that restores the toxicity of CcdBST. The "activation" of CcdBST (R99W) did not increase pSLT stability by ccdABST. In contrast, ccdABST behaves as a canonical type II TA system in terms of transcriptional regulation. Of interest, ccdABST was shown to control the expression of a polycistronic operon in the pSLT plasmid. Collectively, these results show that the contribution of the CcdBST toxin to pSLT plasmid stability may depend on its role as a co-repressor in coordination with CcdAST antitoxin more than on its toxic activity.

  10. Regulation of the Cobalt/Nickel Efflux Operon dmeRF in Agrobacterium tumefaciens and a Link between the Iron-Sensing Regulator RirA and Cobalt/Nickel Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dokpikul, Thanittra; Chaoprasid, Paweena; Saninjuk, Kritsakorn; Sirirakphaisarn, Sirin; Johnrod, Jaruwan; Nookabkaew, Sumontha; Mongkolsuk, Skorn

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 genome harbors an operon containing the dmeR (Atu0890) and dmeF (Atu0891) genes, which encode a transcriptional regulatory protein belonging to the RcnR/CsoR family and a metal efflux protein belonging to the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) family, respectively. The dmeRF operon is specifically induced by cobalt and nickel, with cobalt being the more potent inducer. Promoter-lacZ transcriptional fusion, an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, and DNase I footprinting assays revealed that DmeR represses dmeRF transcription through direct binding to the promoter region upstream of dmeR. A strain lacking dmeF showed increased accumulation of intracellular cobalt and nickel and exhibited hypersensitivity to these metals; however, this strain displayed full virulence, comparable to that of the wild-type strain, when infecting a Nicotiana benthamiana plant model under the tested conditions. Cobalt, but not nickel, increased the expression of many iron-responsive genes and reduced the induction of the SoxR-regulated gene sodBII. Furthermore, control of iron homeostasis via RirA is important for the ability of A. tumefaciens to cope with cobalt and nickel toxicity. IMPORTANCE The molecular mechanism of the regulation of dmeRF transcription by DmeR was demonstrated. This work provides evidence of a direct interaction of apo-DmeR with the corresponding DNA operator site in vitro. The recognition site for apo-DmeR consists of 10-bp AT-rich inverted repeats separated by six C bases (5′-ATATAGTATACCCCCCTATAGTATAT-3′). Cobalt and nickel cause DmeR to dissociate from the dmeRF promoter, which leads to expression of the metal efflux gene dmeF. This work also revealed a connection between iron homeostasis and cobalt/nickel resistance in A. tumefaciens. PMID:27235438

  11. Organizational requirements of the SaeR binding sites for a functional P1 promoter of the sae operon in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hoonsik; Jeong, Do-Won; Li, Chunling; Bae, Taeok

    2012-06-01

    In Staphylococcus aureus, the SaeRS two-component system controls the expression of multiple virulence factors. Of the two promoters in the sae operon, P1 is autoinduced and has two binding sites for the response regulator SaeR. In this study, we examined the organizational requirements of the SaeR binding sites in P1 for transcription activation. Mutational studies showed that both binding sites are essential for binding to phosphorylated SaeR (P-SaeR) and transcription activation. When the 21-bp distance between the centers of the two SaeR binding sites was altered to 26 bp, 31 bp, 36 bp, or 41 bp, only the 31-bp mutant retained approximately 40% of the original promoter activity. When the -1-bp spacing (i.e.,1-bp overlap) between the primary SaeR binding site and the -35 promoter region was altered, all mutant P1 promoters failed to initiate transcription; however, when the first nucleotide of the -35 region was changed from A to T, the mutants with 0-bp or 22-bp spacing showed detectable promoter activity. Although P-SaeR was essential for the binding of RNA polymerase to P1, it was not essential for the binding of the enzyme to the alpha-hemolysin promoter. When the nonoptimal spacing between promoter elements in P1 or the coagulase promoter was altered to the optimal spacing of 17 bp, both promoters failed to initiate transcription. These results suggest that SaeR binding sites are under rather strict organizational restrictions and provide clues for understanding the molecular mechanism of sae-mediated transcription activation.

  12. A Conserved UDP-Glucose Dehydrogenase Encoded outside the hasABC Operon Contributes to Capsule Biogenesis in Group A Streptococcus

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Jason N.; Aziz, Ramy K.; Kuipers, Kirsten; Timmer, Anjuli M.; Nizet, Victor

    2012-01-01

    Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a human-specific bacterial pathogen responsible for serious morbidity and mortality worldwide. The hyaluronic acid (HA) capsule of GAS is a major virulence factor, contributing to bloodstream survival through resistance to neutrophil and antimicrobial peptide killing and to in vivo pathogenicity. Capsule biosynthesis has been exclusively attributed to the ubiquitous hasABC hyaluronan synthase operon, which is highly conserved across GAS serotypes. Previous reports indicate that hasA, encoding hyaluronan synthase, and hasB, encoding UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase, are essential for capsule production in GAS. Here, we report that precise allelic exchange mutagenesis of hasB in GAS strain 5448, a representative of the globally disseminated M1T1 serotype, did not abolish HA capsule synthesis. In silico whole-genome screening identified a putative HasB paralog, designated HasB2, with 45% amino acid identity to HasB at a distant location in the GAS chromosome. In vitro enzymatic assays demonstrated that recombinant HasB2 is a functional UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase enzyme. Mutagenesis of hasB2 alone slightly decreased capsule abundance; however, a ΔhasB ΔhasB2 double mutant became completely acapsular. We conclude that HasB is not essential for M1T1 GAS capsule biogenesis due to the presence of a newly identified HasB paralog, HasB2, which most likely resulted from gene duplication. The identification of redundant UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenases underscores the importance of HA capsule expression for M1T1 GAS pathogenicity and survival in the human host. PMID:22961854

  13. SPI-9 of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi is constituted by an operon positively regulated by RpoS and contributes to adherence to epithelial cells in culture.

    PubMed

    Velásquez, Juan C; Hidalgo, Alejandro A; Villagra, Nicolás; Santiviago, Carlos A; Mora, Guido C; Fuentes, Juan A

    2016-08-01

    The genomic island 9 (SPI-9) from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) carries three ORFs (STY2876, STY2877, STY2878) presenting 98 % identity with a type 1 secretory apparatus (T1SS), and a single ORF (STY2875) similar to a large RTX-like protein exhibiting repeated Ig domains. BapA, the Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis orthologous to S. Typhi STY2875, has been associated with biofilm formation, and is described as a virulence factor in mice. Preliminary in silico analyses revealed that S. Typhi STY2875 ORF has a 600 bp deletion compared with S. Enteritidis bapA, suggesting that S. Typhi STY2875 might be non-functional. At present, SPI-9 has not been studied in S. Typhi. We found that the genes constituting SPI-9 are arranged in an operon whose promoter was up-regulated in high osmolarity and low pH in a RpoS-dependent manner. All the proteins encoded by S. Typhi SPI-9 were located at the membrane fraction, consistent with their putative role as T1SS. Furthermore, SPI-9 contributed to adherence of S. Typhi to epithelial cells when bacteria were grown under high osmolarity or low pH. Under the test conditions, S. Typhi SPI-9 did not participate in biofilm formation. SPI-9 is functional in S. Typhi and encodes an adhesin induced under conditions normally found in the intestine, such as high osmolarity. Hence, this is an example of a locus that might be designated a pseudogene by computational approaches but not by direct biological assays.

  14. Virulence factors of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex

    PubMed Central

    Forrellad, Marina A.; Klepp, Laura I.; Gioffré, Andrea; Sabio y García, Julia; Morbidoni, Hector R.; Santangelo, María de la Paz; Cataldi, Angel A.; Bigi, Fabiana

    2013-01-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) consists of closely related species that cause tuberculosis in both humans and animals. This illness, still today, remains to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The mycobacteria enter the host by air, and, once in the lungs, are phagocytated by macrophages. This may lead to the rapid elimination of the bacillus or to the triggering of an active tuberculosis infection. A large number of different virulence factors have evolved in MTBC members as a response to the host immune reaction. The aim of this review is to describe the bacterial genes/proteins that are essential for the virulence of MTBC species, and that have been demonstrated in an in vivo model of infection. Knowledge of MTBC virulence factors is essential for the development of new vaccines and drugs to help manage the disease toward an increasingly more tuberculosis-free world. PMID:23076359

  15. Potential drivers of virulence evolution in aquaculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kennedy, David A.; Kurath, Gael; Brito, Ilana L.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Read, Andrew F.; Winton, James R.; Wargo, Andrew R.

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases are economically detrimental to aquaculture, and with continued expansion and intensification of aquaculture, the importance of managing infectious diseases will likely increase in the future. Here, we use evolution of virulence theory, along with examples, to identify aquaculture practices that might lead to the evolution of increased pathogen virulence. We identify eight practices common in aquaculture that theory predicts may favor evolution toward higher pathogen virulence. Four are related to intensive aquaculture operations, and four others are related specifically to infectious disease control. Our intention is to make aquaculture managers aware of these risks, such that with increased vigilance, they might be able to detect and prevent the emergence and spread of increasingly troublesome pathogen strains in the future.

  16. Structure and function of the internal promoter (hisBp) of the Escherichia coli K-12 histidine operon.

    PubMed Central

    Grisolia, V; Riccio, A; Bruni, C B

    1983-01-01

    The entire histidine operon of Escherichia coli K-12 was cloned in the vector plasmid pBR313, and a complete restriction map of the operon was determined. By using subclones, complementation tests, and enzyme assays, we were able to make a correlation between the physical map and the genetic map of the operon. We determined the sequence of a fragment of DNA 665 base pairs long, comprising the distal portion of the hisC gene, the proximal portion of the hisB gene, and the internal transcription initiation site hisBp. The efficiency of this promoter was assessed under different physiological conditions by cloning the DNA fragment in a recombinant vector system used to study transcriptional regulatory signals. The precise point at which transcription initiates was determined by S1 nuclease mapping. Images PMID:6309747

  17. The primary transcriptome of the Escherichia coli O104:H4 pAA plasmid and novel insights into its virulence gene expression and regulation

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Petya; Knödler, Michael; Förstner, Konrad U.; Berger, Michael; Bertling, Christian; Sharma, Cynthia M.; Vogel, Jörg; Karch, Helge; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Mellmann, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Escherichia coli O104:H4 (E. coli O104:H4), which caused a massive outbreak of acute gastroenteritis and hemolytic uremic syndrome in 2011, carries an aggregative adherence fimbriae I (AAF/I) encoding virulence plasmid, pAA. The importance of pAA in host-pathogen interaction and disease severity has been demonstrated, however, not much is known about its transcriptional organization and gene regulation. Here, we analyzed the pAA primary transcriptome using differential RNA sequencing, which allows for the high-throughput mapping of transcription start site (TSS) and non-coding RNA candidates. We identified 248 TSS candidates in the 74-kb pAA and only 21% of them could be assigned as TSS of annotated genes. We detected TSS for the majority of pAA-encoded virulence factors. Interestingly, we mapped TSS, which could allow for the transcriptional uncoupling of the AAF/I operon, and potentially regulatory antisense RNA candidates against the genes encoding dispersin and the serine protease SepA. Moreover, a computational search for transcription factor binding sites suggested for AggR-mediated activation of SepA expression, which was additionally experimentally validated. This work advances our understanding of the molecular basis of E. coli O104:H4 pathogenicity and provides a valuable resource for further characterization of pAA virulence gene regulation. PMID:27748404

  18. Benzyl derivative facilitation of transcription in Escherichia coli at the ara and lac operon promoters: metabolite gene regulation (MGR).

    PubMed

    Kline, E L; West, R W; Ink, B S; Kline, P M; Rodriguez, R L

    1984-01-01

    A number of benzyl derivatives have been tested for their ability to induce the expression of the araBAD operon in an Escherichia coli K-12 strain. Those derivatives shown to be stimulatory include: benzoic acid (BA), para-amino benzoic acid (PABA), para-hydroxy benzoic acid (PHBA), ortho-amino benzoic acid (OABA), 3-hydroxy-4-methoxy phenylethylamine (MTA), and 4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenol acetic acid (HVA). The araC gene product was necessary to facilitate the induction. To further characterize if the inductive effect was mediated at the level of transcription, an araBAD-tetracycline resistant (Tcr) operon fusion plasmid (pAP-B) was employed. Benzyl derivatives which induce expression of the araBAD operon in situ also induced a Tcr phenotype with pAP-B. Both indole acetic acid (IAA) and imidazole (IM), which were previously shown to circumvent the necessity for cAMP in the induction of the araBAD operon, also induced a Tcr phenotype with pAP-B. Induction of lac or other cAMP responding operons with the inducing molecules at the chromosomal level was not detectable when assessed by carbon utilization. However, a lacZYA-Tcr operon fusion plasmid (pLPI) did respond to IAA and several of the inducing benzyl derivatives. Catabolite repression of chromosomal araBAD expression was reversed when the exogenous concentration of OABA was elevated. Similar effects on the Tcr phenotypes conferred by pAP-B and pLP1 were observed when OABA or several other inducing benzyl derivatives were present exogenously.

  19. Complex RNA maturation pathway for a chloroplast ribosomal protein operon with an internal tRNA cistron.

    PubMed Central

    Christopher, D A; Hallick, R B

    1990-01-01

    We have studied the expression of a large chloroplast ribosomal protein operon from Euglena gracilis that resembles the Escherichia coli S10 and spc ribosomal protein operons. We present evidence that 11 ribosomal protein genes, a tRNA gene, and a new locus, orf214/orf302, are expressed as a single transcription unit. The primary transcript also contains at least 15 group II and group III introns. Gene-specific probes for each ribosomal protein gene, orf214/orf302, and for trnl hybridized to a common pre-mRNA of an estimated size of 8.3 kilobases. This is the RNA size predicted for a full-length transcript of the entire operon after splicing of all 15 introns. Polycistronic ribosomal protein mRNAs accumulated primarily as spliced hepta-, hexa-, penta-, tetra-, tri-, and dicistronic mRNAs, which were presumed to arise by stepwise processing of the 8.3-kilobase pre-mRNA. A novel finding was the cotranscription of the trnl gene as an internal cistron within the ribosomal protein operon. Several combined mRNA/tRNA molecules, such as the pentacistronic rpl5-rps8-rpl36-trnl-rps14, were characterized. The occurrence of the orf214/orf302 is a unique feature of the Euglena operon, distinguishing it from all chloroplast and prokaryotic ribosomal protein operons characterized to date. The orf214/orf302 are not similar to any known genes but are cotranscribed with the ribosomal protein loci and encode stable RNA species of 2.4, 1.8, and 1.4 kilobases. PMID:2136640

  20. The lumQ gene is linked to the lumP gene and the lux operon in Photobacterium leiognathi.

    PubMed

    Lin, J W; Yu, K Y; Chao, Y F; Weng, S F

    1995-12-14

    The nucleotide sequence of the designated lumQ gene (EMBL accession No. U35231) from Photobacterium leiognathi PL741 has been determined, and the encoded amino acid sequence is deduced. The LumQ protein has a calculated M(r) of 28,416 and comprises 248 amino acid residues. The lumQ gene is identified as the envY-like gene by significant similarity of the encoded protein with the EnvY and AdiY proteins of E. coli; there the envY gene encodes the porin thermoregulatory protein EnvY, and the adiY gene encodes the putative transcriptional regulator protein AdiY. It suggests that the lumQ gene of P. leiognathi is orthologous to the envY and adiY genes of E. coli. The function of the protein encoded by the lumQ gene from P. leiognathi is not really defined yet, it is likely to be the DNA-binding protein related to the araC and xylS family of transcriptional regulators. The lumQ and lumP genes form the lum operon which linked to the lux operon, but run in the opposite direction. The gene order of the lum and the lux operon is < -ter-lumQ-lumP-R&R-luxC-luxD-luxA-luxB- luxN-luxE- > (R&R: regulatory region; ter: transcriptional terminator); whereas the regulatory region (R&R) includes two promoter systems, PR-promoter for the lux operon and PL-promoter for the lum operon; ter is the transcriptional terminator of the lum operon.

  1. Vfm a new quorum sensing system controls the virulence of Dickeya dadantii.

    PubMed

    Nasser, William; Dorel, Corinne; Wawrzyniak, Julien; Van Gijsegem, Frédérique; Groleau, Marie-Christine; Déziel, Eric; Reverchon, Sylvie

    2013-03-01

    Dickeya dadantii is a plant pathogen that secretes cell wall-degrading enzymes (CWDE) that are responsible for soft-rot symptoms. Virulence genes are expressed in a concerted manner and culminate when bacterial multiplication slows. We identify a 25 kb vfm cluster required for D. dadantii CWDE production and pathogenesis. The vfm cluster encodes proteins displaying similarities both with enzymes involved in amino acid activation and with enzymes involved in fatty acid biosynthesis. These similarities suggest that the vfm genes direct the production of a metabolite. Cell-free supernatant from the D. dadantii wild-type strain restores CWDE production in vfm mutants. Collectively, our results indicate that vfm genes direct the synthesis of an extracellular signal and constitute a new quorum sensing system. Perception of the signal is achieved by the two-component system VfmH-VfmI, which activates the expression of the vfmE gene encoding an AraC regulator. VfmE then activates both the transcription of the CWDE genes and the expression of the vfm operons. The vfm gene cluster does not seem to be widespread among bacterial species but is conserved in other Dickeya species and could have been laterally transferred to Rahnella. This work highlights that entirely new families of bacterial languages remain to be discovered.

  2. The mechanistic-holistic divide revisited: The case of the lac operon.

    PubMed

    Racine, Valérie

    2016-10-01

    In this paper, I revisit the development of the repression model of genetic regulation in the lac operon to challenge a common application of a conceptual framework in the history of biology. I take Allen's (1978) account of the changes in the life sciences during the early and mid-twentieth century as an example of a common application of a framework based on the dichotomy between a mechanistic, or reductionist, approach to science and a holistic one. From this conceptual framework, Allen infers two general claims about the process of science and its goals: (1) that "mechanistic materialism" has often presented a more practical way to begin the study of complex phenomena in the life sciences, and (2) that the approach described as "holistic materialism" provides a more complete or accurate description of the natural world. The development of the lac operon model does not fit Allen's generalizations about scientific developments, and it can be used to cast some doubt on the scope of application of that conceptual framework. I argue that a better framework to interpret particular episodes in the history of molecular biology is to consider the ways in which biologists prioritize and track different aspects of the phenomena under study, rather than to focus on whether certain scientific practices are best described as developing from mechanistic to more holistic approaches. I end with some implications for the historiography of science by considering the appropriateness of different conceptual frameworks for different grains of resolution in the history of biology.

  3. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon.

    PubMed

    Kane, Aunica L; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E; Heinsch, Stephen C; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G; Sarkar, Casim A; Nater, Edward A; Gralnick, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation.

  4. Dynamics and bistability in a reduced model of the lac operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yildirim, Necmettin; Santillán, Moisés; Horike, Daisuke; Mackey, Michael C.

    2004-06-01

    It is known that the lac operon regulatory pathway is capable of showing bistable behavior. This is an important complex feature, arising from the nonlinearity of the involved mechanisms, which is essential to understand the dynamic behavior of this molecular regulatory system. To find which of the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the lac operon is the origin of bistability, we take a previously published model which accounts for the dynamics of mRNA, lactose, allolactose, permease and β-galactosidase involvement and simplify it by ignoring permease dynamics (assuming a constant permease concentration). To test the behavior of the reduced model, three existing sets of data on β-galactosidase levels as a function of time are simulated and we obtain a reasonable agreement between the data and the model predictions. The steady states of the reduced model were numerically and analytically analyzed and it was shown that it may indeed display bistability, depending on the extracellular lactose concentration and growth rate.

  5. Specificity of attenuation control in the ilvGMEDA operon of Escherichia coli K-12.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, J W; Bennett, D C; Umbarger, H E

    1991-01-01

    Three different approaches were used to examine the regulatory effects of the amino acids specified by the peptide-coding region of the leader transcript of the ilvGMEDA operon of Escherichia coli K-12. Gene expression was examined in strains carrying an ilvGMED'-lac operon fusion. In one approach, auxotrophic derivatives were starved of single amino acids for brief periods, and the burst of beta-galactosidase synthesis upon adding the missing amino acid was determined. Auxotrophic derivatives were also grown for brief periods with a limited supply of one amino acid (derepression experiments). Finally, prototrophic strains were grown in minimal medium supplemented with single and multiple supplements of the chosen amino acids. Although codons for arginine, serine, and proline are interspersed among the codons for the three branched-chain (regulatory) amino acids, they appeared to have no effect when added in excess to prototrophs or when supplied in restricted amounts to auxotrophs. Deletions removing the terminator stem from the leader removed all ilv-specific control, indicating that the attenuation mechanism is the sole mechanism for ilv-specific control. PMID:1706705

  6. IHF is required for the transcriptional regulation of the Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough orp operons.

    PubMed

    Fiévet, Anouchka; Cascales, Eric; Valette, Odile; Dolla, Alain; Aubert, Corinne

    2014-01-01

    Transcriptional activation of σ(54)-dependent promoters is usually tightly regulated in response to environmental cues. The high abundance of potential σ(54)-dependent promoters in the anaerobe bacteria, Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough, reflects the high versatility of this bacteria suggesting that σ(54) factor is the nexus of a large regulatory network. Understanding the key players of σ(54)-regulation in this organism is therefore essential to gain insights into the adaptation to anaerobiosis. Recently, the D. vulgaris orp genes, specifically found in anaerobe bacteria, have been shown to be transcribed by the RNA polymerase coupled to the σ(54) alternative sigma factor. In this study, using in vitro binding experiments and in vivo reporter fusion assays in the Escherichia coli heterologous host, we showed that the expression of the divergent orp promoters is strongly dependent on the integration host factor IHF. Bioinformatic and mutational analysis coupled to reporter fusion activities and mobility shift assays identified two functional IHF binding site sequences located between the orp1 and orp2 promoters. We further determined that the D. vulgaris DVU0396 (IHFα) and DVU1864 (IHFβ) subunits are required to control the expression of the orp operons suggesting that they form a functionally active IHF heterodimer. Interestingly results obtained from the in vivo inactivation of DVU0396, which is required for orp operons transcription, suggest that several functionally IHF active homodimer or heterodimer are present in D. vulgaris.

  7. Functional Analysis of the Fructooligosaccharide Utilization Operon in Lactobacillus paracasei 1195▿

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Yong Jun; Lee, Jong-Hwa; Hutkins, Robert W.

    2007-01-01

    The fosABCDXE operon encodes components of a putative fructose/mannose phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system and a β-fructosidase precursor (FosE) that are involved in the fructooligosaccharide (FOS) utilization pathway of Lactobacillus paracasei 1195. The presence of an N-terminal signal peptide sequence and an LPQAG cell wall anchor motif in the C-terminal region of the deduced FosE precursor amino acid sequence predicted that the enzyme is cell wall associated, indicating that FOS may be hydrolyzed extracellularly. In this study, cell fractionation experiments demonstrated that the FOS hydrolysis activity was present exclusively in the cell wall extract of L. paracasei previously grown on FOS. In contrast, no measurable FOS hydrolysis activity was detected in the cell wall extract from the isogenic fosE mutant. Induction of β-fructosidase activity was observed when cells were grown on FOS, inulin, sucrose, or fructose but not when cells were grown on glucose. A diauxic growth pattern was observed when cells were grown on FOS in the presence of limiting glucose (0.1%). Analysis of the culture supernatant revealed that glucose was consumed first, followed by the longer-chain FOS species. Transcription analysis further showed that the fos operon was expressed only after glucose was depleted in the medium. Expression of fosE in a non-FOS-fermenting strain, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, enabled the recombinant strain to metabolize FOS, inulin, sucrose, and levan. PMID:17644636

  8. Functional and comparative genomic analyses of an operon involved in fructooligosaccharide utilization by Lactobacillus acidophilus

    PubMed Central

    Barrangou, Rodolphe; Altermann, Eric; Hutkins, Robert; Cano, Raul; Klaenhammer, Todd R.

    2003-01-01

    Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic organism that displays the ability to use prebiotic compounds such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which stimulate the growth of beneficial commensals in the gastrointestinal tract. However, little is known about the mechanisms and genes involved in FOS utilization by Lactobacillus species. Analysis of the L. acidophilus NCFM genome revealed an msm locus composed of a transcriptional regulator of the LacI family, a four-component ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transport system, a fructosidase, and a sucrose phosphorylase. Transcriptional analysis of this operon demonstrated that gene expression was induced by sucrose and FOS but not by glucose or fructose, suggesting some specificity for nonreadily fermentable sugars. Additionally, expression was repressed by glucose but not by fructose, suggesting catabolite repression via two cre-like sequences identified in the promoter–operator region. Insertional inactivation of the genes encoding the ABC transporter substrate-binding protein and the fructosidase reduced the ability of the mutants to grow on FOS. Comparative analysis of gene architecture within this cluster revealed a high degree of synteny with operons in Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, the association between a fructosidase and an ABC transporter is unusual and may be specific to L. acidophilus. This is a description of a previously undescribed gene locus involved in transport and catabolism of FOS compounds, which can promote competition of beneficial microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract. PMID:12847288

  9. Features of dnaK operon genes of the obligate thermophile Bacillus thermoglucosidasius KP1006.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, K; Iwashiro, T; Suzuki, Y

    2000-04-01

    The dnaK gene was cloned from the obligate thermophile Bacillus thermoglucosidasius KP1006, together with the grpE and dnaJ genes in the same operon. The dnaK, grpE and dnaJ genes showed high identity with those of other bacterial strains, particularly with those of Bacillus stearothermophilus NUB36, despite an extremely low homology for the corresponding total genomic DNA. There were significant differences in the proline content of the DnaK operon proteins which is closely correlated with the thermostability of enzyme proteins. The proline content was higher in the GrpE, DnaK and DnaJ proteins of the thermophilic as opposed to the mesophilic strains. The overexpression of the B. thermoglucosidasius DnaK protein in Escherichia coli MV1184 results in extreme filamentation without inhibition on cell growth. The B. thermoglucosidasius DnaK protein seemed to exclusively disturb septation in E. coli cells which suggests that it interacts with key protein(s) involved in cell septation.

  10. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Aunica L.; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V.; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E.; Heinsch, Stephen C.; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G.; Sarkar, Casim A.; Nater, Edward A.; Gralnick, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation. PMID:26761437

  11. The Brucella suis virB operon is induced intracellularly in macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Boschiroli, Maria Laura; Ouahrani-Bettache, Safia; Foulongne, Vincent; Michaux-Charachon, Sylvie; Bourg, Gisele; Allardet-Servent, Annick; Cazevieille, Chantal; Liautard, Jean Pierre; Ramuz, Michel; O'Callaghan, David

    2002-01-01

    A type IV secretion system similar to the VirB system of the phytopathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens is essential for the intracellular survival and multiplication of the mammalian pathogen Brucella. Reverse transcriptase–PCR showed that the 12 genes encoding the Brucella suis VirB system form an operon. Semiquantitative measurements of virB mRNA levels by slot blotting showed that transcription of the virB operon, but not the flanking genes, is regulated by environmental factors in vitro. Flow cytometry used to measure green fluorescent protein expression from the virB promoter confirmed the data from slot blots. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis and fluorescence microscopy showed that the virB promoter is induced in macrophages within 3 h after infection. Induction only occurred once the bacteria were inside the cells, and phagosome acidification was shown to be the major signal inducing intracellular expression. Because phagosome acidification is essential for the intracellular multiplication of Brucella, we suggest that it is the signal that triggers the secretion of unknown effector molecules. These effector molecules play a role in the remodeling of the phagosome to create the unique intracellular compartment in which Brucella replicates. PMID:11830669

  12. Derepression and repression of the histidine operon: role of the feedback site of the first enzyme.

    PubMed Central

    Fernández, V M; Martíndelrío, R; Tébar, A R; Guisán, J M; Ballesteros, A O

    1975-01-01

    Thiazolealanine, a false feedback inhibitor, causes transient repression of the his operon previously derepressed by a severe histidine limitation in strains with a wild-type or feedback-hypersensitive first enzyme but not in feedback-resistant mutants. Since experiments reported here clearly demonstrate that thiazolealanine is not transferred to tRNAHis, it is proposed that this "transient repression" is effected through the interaction of thiazolealanine with the feedback site of the enzyme. Experiments in the presence of rifampin indicate that this thiazolealanine-mediated effect is exerted at the level of translation. We conclude that histidine (free), in addition to forming co-repressor, also represses the operon at the level of translation through feedback interaction with the first enzyme of the pathway (adenosine 5'-triphosphate phosphoribosyltransferase). Rates of derepression in feedback-resistant strains are roughly half of those observed in controls, suggesting a positive role played by a first enzyme with a normal but unoccupied feedback site. Some feedback-resistant mutants, in contrast to the wild type, were unable to exhibit derepression under histidine limitation caused by aminotriazole. PMID:1104584

  13. Activation of ara operons by a truncated AraC protein does not require inducer.

    PubMed

    Menon, K P; Lee, N L

    1990-05-01

    The araC gene of Escherichia coli encodes a protein that binds the inducer L-arabinose to activate the transcription of three ara operons. In a study to determine the functional domains within the AraC protein, we have generated a set of overlapping deletions from the proximal end of the araC gene. We found that the removal of up to nearly 60% of the coding sequence of this protein still allows transcriptional activation of the ara operons in vivo, up to 27% that of the wild type. These truncated proteins, however, no longer require arabinose for induction. The ligand-induced conformational change apparently either releases or unmasks an existing functional domain within AraC, rather than generating a new conformation that is required for activation of the promoter of araBAD. Since the truncated protein of the mutant C154 (which lacks 153 amino acid residues from the N terminus) retains DNA binding specificity, the DNA-recognition domain is localized in the C-terminal half of the AraC protein. Truncated proteins were unable to repress araBAD or araC in vivo, even though they were able to bind all ara operators. We propose that the N-terminal half of AraC is essential for the formation of the DNA loops that are responsible for repression of araBAD and for autoregulation of araC.

  14. Structure of Intergenic Spacer IGS1 of Ribosomal Operon from Schistidium Mosses.

    PubMed

    Milyutina, I A; Ignatova, E A; Ignatov, M S; Goryunov, D V; Troitsky, A V

    2015-11-01

    The structure of the intergenic spacer 1 (IGS1) of the ribosomal operon from 12 species of Schistidium mosses was studied. In the IGS1 sequences of these species, three conserved regions and two areas of GC- and A-enriched repeats were identified. All of the studied mosses have a conserved pyrimidine-enriched motif at the 5'-end of IGS1. Species-specific nucleotide substitutions and insertions were found in the conserved areas. The repeated units contain single nucleotide substitutions that make unique the majority of repeated units. The positions of such repeats in IGS1 are species-specific, but their number can vary within the species and among operons of the same specimen. The comparison of IGS1 sequences from the Schistidium species and from representatives of ten other moss genera revealed the presence of common conserved motifs with similar localization. Presumably, these motifs are elements of termination of the pre-rRNA transcription and processing of rRNA.

  15. Relationship between the persistence of mer operon sequences in Escherichia coli and their resistance to mercury.

    PubMed

    Murtaza, Imtiyaz; Dutt, Amit; Ali, Arif

    2002-03-01

    Studies related to geographic distribution of E. coli carrying mer operon sequences were carried out on the Indian subcontinent. Out of the 80 E. coli isolates, collected from five geographically distinct regions of India, 68 were found to be resistant to one or the other heavy metal used in the study. Among these isolates, 36 were found to be resistant to the inorganic form (HgCl2) and only 5 to resist both the inorganic and organic forms of mercury. Colony hybridization studies revealed 35 isolates out of 68 to hybridize with the probe. Interestingly, some of the mercury-sensitive isolates (Hgs), especially from the Dal Lake, were found positive in hybridization studies. These findings, supported by mercury volatilization studies, indicate the presence of nonfunctional/vestigial mer sequences in the isolates collected from different environments. On the other hand, few of the mercury-resistant isolates (Hgr) from the Yamuna River did not show any sign of hybridization. Further, volatilization studies also indicated an alternate mode of resistance mechanism operating in them. The studies demonstrate that the mer operon sequences share very high homology among the E. coli isolates collected from different geographical locations, and this metal resistance may be a genetic character that arose from a common ancestral background.

  16. A functional glycogen biosynthesis pathway in Lactobacillus acidophilus: expression and analysis of the glg operon.

    PubMed

    Goh, Yong Jun; Klaenhammer, Todd R

    2013-09-01

    Glycogen metabolism contributes to energy storage and various physiological functions in some prokaryotes, including colonization persistence. A role for glycogen metabolism is proposed on the survival and fitness of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic microbe, in the human gastrointestinal environment. L. acidophilus NCFM possesses a glycogen metabolism (glg) operon consisting of glgBCDAP-amy-pgm genes. Expression of the glg operon and glycogen accumulation were carbon source- and growth phase-dependent, and were repressed by glucose. The highest intracellular glycogen content was observed in early log-phase cells grown on trehalose, which was followed by a drastic decrease of glycogen content prior to entering stationary phase. In raffinose-grown cells, however, glycogen accumulation gradually declined following early log phase and was maintained at stable levels throughout stationary phase. Raffinose also induced an overall higher temporal glg expression throughout growth compared with trehalose. Isogenic ΔglgA (glycogen synthase) and ΔglgB (glycogen-branching enzyme) mutants are glycogen-deficient and exhibited growth defects on raffinose. The latter observation suggests a reciprocal relationship between glycogen synthesis and raffinose metabolism. Deletion of glgB or glgP (glycogen phosphorylase) resulted in defective growth and increased bile sensitivity. The data indicate that glycogen metabolism is involved in growth maintenance, bile tolerance and complex carbohydrate utilization in L. acidophilus.

  17. Dynamics and bistability in a reduced model of the lac operon.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Necmettin; Santillan, Moises; Horike, Daisuke; Mackey, Michael C

    2004-06-01

    It is known that the lac operon regulatory pathway is capable of showing bistable behavior. This is an important complex feature, arising from the nonlinearity of the involved mechanisms, which is essential to understand the dynamic behavior of this molecular regulatory system. To find which of the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the lac operon is the origin of bistability, we take a previously published model which accounts for the dynamics of mRNA, lactose, allolactose, permease and beta-galactosidase involvement and simplify it by ignoring permease dynamics (assuming a constant permease concentration). To test the behavior of the reduced model, three existing sets of data on beta-galactosidase levels as a function of time are simulated and we obtain a reasonable agreement between the data and the model predictions. The steady states of the reduced model were numerically and analytically analyzed and it was shown that it may indeed display bistability, depending on the extracellular lactose concentration and growth rate.

  18. From binary to multivalued to continuous models: the lac operon as a case study.

    PubMed

    Franke, Raimo; Theis, Fabian J; Klamt, Steffen

    2010-12-14

    Using the lac operon as a paradigmatic example for a gene regulatory system in prokaryotes, we demonstrate how qualitative knowledge can be initially captured using simple discrete (Boolean) models and then stepwise refined to multivalued logical models and finally to continuous (ODE) models. At all stages, signal transduction and transcriptional regulation is integrated in the model description. We first show the potential benefit of a discrete binary approach and discuss then problems and limitations due to indeterminacy arising in cyclic networks. These limitations can be partially circumvented by using multilevel logic as generalization of the Boolean framework enabling one to formulate a more realistic model of the lac operon. Ultimately a dynamic description is needed to fully appreciate the potential dynamic behavior that can be induced by regulatory feedback loops. As a very promising method we show how the use of multivariate polynomial interpolation allows transformation of the logical network into a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs), which then enables the analysis of key features of the dynamic behavior.

  19. Repression and catabolite gene activation in the araBAD operon.

    PubMed

    Lichenstein, H S; Hamilton, E P; Lee, N

    1987-02-01

    Catabolite gene activation of the araBAD operon was examined by using catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) site deletion mutants. A high-affinity CAP-binding site between the divergently orientated araBAD and araC operons has been previously identified by DNase I footprinting techniques. Subsequent experiments disagreed as to whether this site is directly involved in stimulating araBAD expression. In this paper, we present data showing that deletions generated by in vitro mutagenesis of the CAP site led to a five- to sixfold reduction in single-copy araBAD promoter activity in vivo. We concluded that catabolite gene activation of araBAD involves this CAP site. The hypothesis that CAP stimulates the araBAD promoter primarily by relieving repression was then tested. The upstream operator araO2 was required for repression, but we observed that the magnitude of CAP stimulation was unaffected by the presence or absence of araO2. We concluded that CAP plays no role in relieving repression. Other experiments showed that when CAP binds it induces a bend in the ara DNA; similar bending has been reported upon CAP binding to lac DNA. This conformational change in the DNA may be essential to the mechanism of CAP activation.

  20. Crystal structure of the lactose operon repressor and its complexes with DNA and inducer

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, M.; Chang, G.; Horton, N.C.

    1996-03-01

    The lac operon of Escherichia coli is the paradigm for gene regulation. Its key component is the lac repressor a product of the lacl gene. The three-dimensional structures of the intact lac repressor, the lac repressor bound to the gratuitous inducer isopropyl-B-D-1thiogalactoside (IPTG) and the lac repressor complexed with a 21 base pair symmetric operator DNA have been determined. These three structures show the conformation of the molecule in both the induced and the repressed states and provide a framework for understanding a wealth of biochemical and genetic information. The DNA sequence of the lac operon has three lac repressor recognition sites in stretch of 500 base pairs. The crystallographic structure of the complex with DNA suggests that the tetrameric repressor functions synergistically with catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) and participates in the quarternary formation of repression loops in which one tetrameric repressor interacts simultaneously with two sites in the genomic DNA. 76 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Operon mRNAs are organized into ORF-centric structures that predict translation efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Burkhardt, David H; Rouskin, Silvi; Zhang, Yan; Li, Gene-Wei; Weissman, Jonathan S; Gross, Carol A

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial mRNAs are organized into operons consisting of discrete open reading frames (ORFs) in a single polycistronic mRNA. Individual ORFs on the mRNA are differentially translated, with rates varying as much as 100-fold. The signals controlling differential translation are poorly understood. Our genome-wide mRNA secondary structure analysis indicated that operonic mRNAs are comprised of ORF-wide units of secondary structure that vary across ORF boundaries such that adjacent ORFs on the same mRNA molecule are structurally distinct. ORF translation rate is strongly correlated with its mRNA structure in vivo, and correlation persists, albeit in a reduced form, with its structure when translation is inhibited and with that of in vitro refolded mRNA. These data suggest that intrinsic ORF mRNA structure encodes a rough blueprint for translation efficiency. This structure is then amplified by translation, in a self-reinforcing loop, to provide the structure that ultimately specifies the translation of each ORF. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22037.001 PMID:28139975

  2. Organization, Structure, and Variability of the rRNA Operon of the Whipple's Disease Bacterium (Tropheryma whippelii)

    PubMed Central

    Maiwald, Matthias; von Herbay, Axel; Lepp, Paul W.; Relman, David A.

    2000-01-01

    Whipple's disease is a systemic disorder associated with a cultivation-resistant, poorly characterized actinomycete, Tropheryma whippelii. We determined a nearly complete rRNA operon sequence of T. whippelii from specimens from 3 patients with Whipple's disease, as well as partial operon sequences from 43 patients. Variability was observed in the 16S-23S rRNA spacer sequences, leading to the description of five distinct sequence types. One specimen contained two spacer sequence types, raising the possibility of a double infection. Secondary structure models for the primary rRNA transcript and mature rRNAs revealed rare or unique features. PMID:10809715

  3. Differential expression of two members of Rv1922-LipD operon in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Does rv1923 qualify for membership?

    PubMed

    Dogra, Nandita; Arya, Stuti; Singh, Kashmir; Kaur, Jagdeep

    2015-07-01

    rv1922 and rv1923 (lipD) are members of Rv1922-LipD operon in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. rv1922 was expressed under aerobic and stress conditions, whereas rv1923 was not expressed in aerobically grown bacteria but expressed moderately under oxidative stress conditions. Different expression of both the operonic genes under normal and stress conditions posed apprehensions for the inclusion of rv1922 and rv1923 in the same operon. The results from this study indicated that although the genes were expressed in an operonic manner, there existed the possibility of differential regulation for rv1923 which has been supported by in silico analysis for the presence of putative internal regulatory sites in the operon.

  4. Novel Strategies to Combat Bacterial Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, S.V.; Wiener-Kronish, J.P.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose of review Incidences of antimicrobial resistant infections have increased dramatically over the past several decades and are associated with adverse patient outcomes. Alternative approaches to combat infection are critical, and have led to the development of more specific drugs targeted at particular bacterial virulence systems or essential regulatory pathways. The purpose of this review is to highlight the recent developments in anti-bacterial therapy and the novel approaches toward increasing our therapeutic armory against bacterial infection. Recent findings Although classic antibiotic development is not occurring rapidly, alternative therapeutics that target specific bacterial virulence systems are progressing from the discovery stage through the FDA approval process. Here we review novel antibodies that target specific virulence systems as well as a variety of newly discovered small molecules that block bacterial attachment, communication systems (quorum sensing) or important regulatory processes associated with virulence gene expression. Summary The success of novel therapeutics could significantly change clinical practice. Furthermore, the complications of collateral damage due to antibiotic administration e.g. suprainfections or decreased host immunity due to loss of synergistic bacterial communities, may be minimized using therapeutics that specifically target pathogenic behavior. PMID:18787455

  5. Virulent Aeromonas hydrophila in channel catfish

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, we investigated factors that predisposed catfish to motile aeromonas septicemia (MAS) caused by virulent Aeromonas hydrophila (vAh). Our results revealed that wounding on fish body surface was a prerequisite for vAh infection and disease development. A reproducible waterborne challeng...

  6. Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence and Pathogenesis Issues

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Regulation of gene expression can occur through cell-cell communication or quorum sensing (QS) via the production of small molecules called autoinducers. QS is known to control expression of a number of virulence factors. Another form of gene regulation which allows the bacteria to rapidly adapt t...

  7. Virulence factors of medically important fungi.

    PubMed Central

    Hogan, L H; Klein, B S; Levitz, S M

    1996-01-01

    Human fungal pathogens have become an increasingly important medical problem with the explosion in the number of immunocompromised patients as a result of cancer, steroid therapy, chemotherapy, and AIDS. Additionally, the globalization of travel and expansion of humankind into previously undisturbed habitats have led to the reemergence of old fungi and new exposure to previously undescribed fungi. Until recently, relatively little was known about virulence factors for the medically important fungi. With the advent of molecular genetics, rapid progress has now been made in understanding the basis of pathogenicity for organisms such as Aspergillus species and Cryptococcus neoformans. The twin technologies of genetic transformation and "knockout" deletion construction allowed for genetic tests of virulence factors in these organisms. Such knowledge will prove invaluable for the rational design of antifungal therapies. Putative virulence factors and attributes are reviewed for Aspergillus species, C. neoformans, the dimorphic fungal pathogens, and others, with a focus upon a molecular genetic approach. Candida species are excluded from coverage, having been the subject of numerous recent reviews. This growing body of knowledge about fungal pathogens and their virulence factors will significantly aid efforts to treat the serious diseases they cause. PMID:8894347

  8. Entamoeba histolytica. Phagocytosis as a virulence factor

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    In this paper, we attempted to define the role of phagocytosis in the virulence of Entamoeba histolytica. We have isolated, from a highly phagocytic and virulent strain, a clone deficient in phagocytosis. Trophozoites of wild-type strain HM1:IMSS were fed with Escherichia coli strain CR34-Thy- grown on 5-bromo,2'-deoxyuridine. The trophozoites that had incorporated the base analog through phagocytosis of the bacteria were killed by irradiation with 310 nm light. The survivors, presumably trophozoites defective in phagocytosis, were grown until log phase and submitted two more times to the selection procedure. Clone L-6, isolated from a subpopulation resulting from this selection procedure, showed 75-85% less erythrophagocytic activity than the wild-type strain. The virulence of clone L-6 and strain HM1:IMSS was measured. The inoculum required to induce liver abscesses in 50% of the newborn hamsters inoculated (AD50) of HM1:IMSS was 1.5 X 10(4) trophozoites. Clone L-6 trophozoites failed to induce liver abscesses in newborn hamsters even with inocula of 5 X 10(5) trophozoites. Virulence revertants were obtained by successive passage of L-6 trophozoites through the liver of young hamsters. The trophozoites that recovered the ability to produce liver abscesses simultaneously recuperate high erythrophagocytic rates. These results show that phagocytosis is involved in the aggressive mechanisms of E. histolytica. PMID:6313842

  9. Rapid Identification of Bacterial Virulence Factors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-04-15

    important to glutamate metabolism, which may be a crucial determinant of M tuberculosis survival and growth within infected cells. M tuberculosis GDH...never be expressed in laboratory-grown cultures or identified in host infected tissue investigations would be available for investigation. The... infected tissue investigations would be available for investigation. The ultimate objective of this project is to identify potential virulence

  10. Are secondary metabolites dispensable for virulence?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The production of toxins by conidial fungal pathogens and their association with virulence has been assumed to occur in vivo and is widely accepted as dogma, but this association has yet to be definitively proven by either genetic or chemical means. Several studies from our labs have used targeted g...

  11. Virulence Factor-activity Relationships: Workshop Summary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concept or notion of virulence factor–activity relationships (VFAR) is an approach for identifying an analogous process to the use of qualitative structure–activity relationships (QSAR) for identifying new microbial contaminants. In QSAR, it is hypothesized that, for new chem...

  12. Listeriolysin S Is a Streptolysin S-Like Virulence Factor That Targets Exclusively Prokaryotic Cells In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Quereda, Juan J; Nahori, Marie A; Meza-Torres, Jazmín; Sachse, Martin; Titos-Jiménez, Patricia; Gomez-Laguna, Jaime; Dussurget, Olivier; Cossart, Pascale; Pizarro-Cerdá, Javier

    2017-04-04

    Streptolysin S (SLS)-like virulence factors from clinically relevant Gram-positive pathogens have been proposed to behave as potent cytotoxins, playing key roles in tissue infection. Listeriolysin S (LLS) is an SLS-like hemolysin/bacteriocin present among Listeria monocytogenes strains responsible for human listeriosis outbreaks. As LLS cytotoxic activity has been associated with virulence, we investigated the LLS-specific contribution to host tissue infection. Surprisingly, we first show that LLS causes only weak red blood cell (RBC) hemolysis in vitro and neither confers resistance to phagocytic killing nor favors survival of L. monocytogenes within the blood cells or in the extracellular space (in the plasma). We reveal that LLS does not elicit specific immune responses, is not cytotoxic for eukaryotic cells, and does not impact cell infection by L. monocytogenes Using in vitro cell infection systems and a murine intravenous infection model, we actually demonstrate that LLS expression is undetectable during infection of cells and murine inner organs. Importantly, upon intravenous animal inoculation, L. monocytogenes is found in the gastrointestinal system, and only in this environment LLS expression is detected in vivo Finally, we confirm that LLS production is associated with destruction of target bacteria. Our results demonstrate therefore that LLS does not contribute to L. monocytogenes tissue injury and virulence in inner host organs as previously reported. Moreover, we describe that LlsB, a putative posttranslational modification enzyme encoded in the LLS operon, is necessary for murine inner organ colonization. Overall, we demonstrate that LLS is the first SLS-like virulence factor targeting exclusively prokaryotic cells during in vivo infections.IMPORTANCE The most severe human listeriosis outbreaks are caused by L. monocytogenes strains harboring listeriolysin S (LLS), previously described as a cytotoxin that plays a critical role in host inner

  13. Cross-Regulation between the phz1 and phz2 Operons Maintain a Balanced Level of Phenazine Biosynthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Bei; Xiao, Bo; Liu, Linde; Ge, Yihe; Hu, Xiaomei

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication often provides selective advantages for the survival of microorganisms in adapting to varying environmental conditions. P. aeruginosa PAO1 possesses two seven-gene operons [phz1 (phzA1B1C1D1E1F1G1) and phz2 (phzA2B2C2D2E2F2G2)] that are involved in the biosynthesis of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and its derivatives. Although the two operons are highly homologous and their functions are well known, it is unclear how the two phz operons coordinate their expressions to maintain the phenazine biosynthesis. By constructing single and double deletion mutants of the two phz operons, we found that the phz1-deletion mutant produced the same or less amount of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and pyocyanin in GA medium than the phz2-knockout mutant while the phz1-phz2 double knockout mutant did not produce any phenazines. By generating phzA1 and phzA2 translational and transcriptional fusions with a truncated lacZ reporter, we found that the expression of the phz1 operon increased significantly at the post-transcriptional level and did not alter at the transcriptional level in the absence of the phz2 operon. Surprisingly, the expression the phz2 operon increased significantly at the post-transcriptional level and only moderately at the transcriptional level in the absence of the phz1 operon. Our findings suggested that a complex cross-regulation existed between the phz1 and phz2 operons. By mediating the upregulation of one phz operon expression while the other was deleted, this crosstalk would maintain the homeostatic balance of phenazine biosynthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1. PMID:26735915

  14. Systemic Approach to Virulence Gene Network Analysis for Gaining New Insight into Cryptococcal Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Malachowski, Antoni N.; Yosri, Mohamed; Park, Goun; Bahn, Yong-Sun; He, Yongqun; Olszewski, Michal A.

    2016-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is pathogenic yeast, responsible for highly lethal infections in compromised patients around the globe. C. neoformans typically initiates infections in mammalian lung tissue and subsequently disseminates to the central nervous system where it causes significant pathologies. Virulence genes of C. neoformans are being characterized at an increasing rate, however, we are far from a comprehensive understanding of their roles and genetic interactions. Some of these reported virulence genes are scattered throughout different databases, while others are not yet included. This study gathered and analyzed 150 reported virulence associated factors (VAFs) of C. neoformans. Using the web resource STRING database, our study identified different interactions between the total VAFs and those involved specifically in lung and brain infections and identified a new strain specific virulence gene, SHO1, involved in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway. As predicted by our analysis, SHO1 expression enhanced C. neoformans virulence in a mouse model of pulmonary infection, contributing to enhanced non-protective immune Th2 bias and progressively enhancing fungal growth in the infected lungs. Sequence analysis indicated 77.4% (116) of total studied VAFs are soluble proteins, and 22.7% (34) are transmembrane proteins. Motifs involved in regulation and signaling such as protein kinases and transcription factors are highly enriched in Cryptococcus VAFs. Altogether, this study represents a pioneering effort in analysis of the virulence composite network of C. neoformans using a systems biology approach. PMID:27833589

  15. Sample collection of virulent and non-virulent B. anthracis and Y. pestis for bioforensics analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Hong-geller, Elizabeth; Valdez, Yolanda E; Shou, Yulin; Yoshida, Thomas M; Marrone, Babetta L; Dunbar, John

    2009-01-01

    Validated sample collection methods are needed for recovery of microbial evidence in the event of accidental or intentional release of biological agents into the environment. To address this need, we evaluated the sample recovery efficiencies of two collection methods -- swabs and wipes -- for both non-virulent and virulent strains of B. anthracis and Y. pestis from four types of non-porous surfaces: two hydrophilic surfaces, stainless steel and glass, and two hydrophobic surfaces, vinyl and plastic. Sample recovery was quantified using Real-time qPCR to assay for intact DNA signatures. We found no consistent difference in collection efficiency between swabs or wipes. Furthermore, collection efficiency was more surface-dependent for virulent strains than non-virulent strains. For the two non-virulent strains, B. anthracis Sterne and Y. pestis A1122, collection efficiency was approximately 100% and 1 %, respectively, from all four surfaces. In contrast, recovery of B. anthracis Ames spores and Y. pestis C092 from vinyl and plastic was generally lower compared to collection from glass or stainless steel, suggesting that surface hydrophobicity may playa role in the strength of pathogen adhesion. The surface-dependent collection efficiencies observed with the virulent strains may arise from strain-specific expression of capsular material or other cell surface receptors that alter cell adhesion to specific surfaces. These findings contribute to validation of standard bioforensics procedures and emphasize the importance of specific strain and surface interactions in pathogen detection.

  16. The GBS PI-2a Pilus Is Required for Virulence in Mice Neonates

    PubMed Central

    Papasergi, Salvatore; Brega, Sara; Mistou, Michel-Yves; Firon, Arnaud; Oxaran, Virginie; Dover, Ron; Teti, Giuseppe; Shai, Yechiel; Trieu-Cuot, Patrick; Dramsi, Shaynoor

    2011-01-01

    Background Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus) is a leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns. Most bacterial pathogens, including gram-positive bacteria, have long filamentous structures known as pili extending from their surface. Although pili are described as adhesive organelles, they have been also implicated in many other functions including thwarting the host immune responses. We previously characterized the pilus-encoding operon PI-2a (gbs1479-1474) in strain NEM316. This pilus is composed of three structural subunit proteins: PilA (Gbs1478), PilB (Gbs1477), and PilC (Gbs1474), and its assembly involves two class C sortases (SrtC3 and SrtC4). PilB, the bona fide pilin, is the major component whereas PilA, the pilus associated adhesin, and PilC the pilus anchor are both accessory proteins incorporated into the pilus backbone. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, the role of the major pilin subunit PilB was tested in systemic virulence using 6-weeks old and newborn mice. Notably, the non-piliated ΔpilB mutant was less virulent than its wild-type counterpart in the newborn mice model. Next, we investigated the possible role(s) of PilB in resistance to innate immune host defenses, i.e. resistance to macrophage killing and to antimicrobial peptides. Phagocytosis and survival of wild-type NEM316 and its isogenic ΔpilB mutant in immortalized RAW 264.7 murine macrophages were not significantly different whereas the isogenic ΔsodA mutant was more susceptible to killing. These results were confirmed using primary peritoneal macrophages. We also tested the activities of five cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMP-1D, LL-37, colistin, polymyxin B, and mCRAMP) and found no significant difference between WT and ΔpilB strains whereas the isogenic dltA mutant showed increased sensitivity. Conclusions/Significance These results question the previously described role of PilB pilus in resistance to the host immune defenses. Interestingly, Pil

  17. IscR Is Essential for Yersinia pseudotuberculosis Type III Secretion and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Halie K.; Kwuan, Laura; Schwiesow, Leah; Bernick, David L.; Mettert, Erin; Ramirez, Hector A.; Ragle, James M.; Chan, Patricia P.; Kiley, Patricia J.; Lowe, Todd M.; Auerbuch, Victoria

    2014-01-01

    Type III secretion systems (T3SS) are essential for virulence in dozens of pathogens, but are not required for growth outside the host. Therefore, the T3SS of many bacterial species are under tight regulatory control. To increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind T3SS regulation, we performed a transposon screen to identify genes important for T3SS function in the food-borne pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. We identified two unique transposon insertions in YPTB2860, a gene that displays 79% identity with the E. coli iron-sulfur cluster regulator, IscR. A Y. pseudotuberculosis iscR in-frame deletion mutant (ΔiscR) was deficient in secretion of Ysc T3SS effector proteins and in targeting macrophages through the T3SS. To determine the mechanism behind IscR control of the Ysc T3SS, we carried out transcriptome and bioinformatic analysis to identify Y. pseudotuberculosis genes regulated by IscR. We discovered a putative IscR binding motif upstream of the Y. pseudotuberculosis yscW-lcrF operon. As LcrF controls transcription of a number of critical T3SS genes in Yersinia, we hypothesized that Yersinia IscR may control the Ysc T3SS through LcrF. Indeed, purified IscR bound to the identified yscW-lcrF promoter motif and mRNA levels of lcrF and 24 other T3SS genes were reduced in Y. pseudotuberculosis in the absence of IscR. Importantly, mice orally infected with the Y. pseudotuberculosis ΔiscR mutant displayed decreased bacterial burden in Peyer's patches, mesenteric lymph nodes, spleens, and livers, indicating an essential role for IscR in Y. pseudotuberculosis virulence. This study presents the first characterization of Yersinia IscR and provides evidence that IscR is critical for virulence and type III secretion through direct regulation of the T3SS master regulator, LcrF. PMID:24945271

  18. Role of the ganSPQAB Operon in Degradation of Galactan by Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Watzlawick, Hildegard; Morabbi Heravi, Kambiz; Altenbuchner, Josef

    2016-10-15

    Bacillus subtilis possesses different enzymes for the utilization of plant cell wall polysaccharides. This includes a gene cluster containing galactan degradation genes (ganA and ganB), two transporter component genes (ganQ and ganP), and the sugar-binding lipoprotein-encoding gene ganS (previously known as cycB). These genes form an operon that is regulated by GanR. The degradation of galactan by B. subtilis begins with the activity of extracellular GanB. GanB is an endo-β-1,4-galactanase and is a member of glycoside hydrolase (GH) family 53. This enzyme was active on high-molecular-weight arabinose-free galactan and mainly produced galactotetraose as well as galactotriose and galactobiose. These galacto-oligosaccharides may enter the cell via the GanQP transmembrane proteins of the galactan ABC transporter. The specificity of the galactan ABC transporter depends on the sugar-binding lipoprotein, GanS. Purified GanS was shown to bind galactotetraose and galactotriose using thermal shift assay. The energy for this transport is provided by MsmX, an ATP-binding protein. The transported galacto-oligosaccharides are further degraded by GanA. GanA is a β-galactosidase that belongs to GH family 42. The GanA enzyme was able to hydrolyze short-chain β-1,4-galacto-oligosaccharides as well as synthetic β-galactopyranosides into galactose. Thermal shift assay as well as electrophoretic mobility shift assay demonstrated that galactobiose is the inducer of the galactan operon regulated by GanR. DNase I footprinting revealed that the GanR protein binds to an operator overlapping the -35 box of the σ(A)-type promoter of Pgan, which is located upstream of ganS IMPORTANCE: Bacillus subtilis is a Gram-positive soil bacterium that utilizes different types of carbohydrates, such as pectin, as carbon sources. So far, most of the pectin degradation systems and enzymes have been thoroughly studied in B. subtilis Nevertheless, the B. subtilis utilization system of galactan, which is

  19. Effect of DNA looping on the induction kinetics of the lac operon.

    PubMed

    Narang, Atul

    2007-08-21

    The induction of the lac operon follows cooperative kinetics. The first mechanistic model of these kinetics is the de facto standard in the modeling literature [Yagil, G., Yagil, E., 1971. On the relation between effector concentration and the rate of induced enzyme synthesis. Biophys. J. 11, 11-17]. Yet, subsequent studies have shown that the model is based on incorrect assumptions. Specifically, the repressor is a tetramer with four (not two) inducer-binding sites, and the operon contains two auxiliary operators (in addition to the main operator). Furthermore, these structural features are crucial for the formation of DNA loops, the key determinants of lac repression and induction. Indeed, the repression is determined almost entirely (>95%) by the looped complexes [Oehler, S., Eismann, E.R., Krämer, H., Müller-Hill, B., 1990. The three operators of the lac operon cooperate in repression. EMBO J. 9(4), 973-979], and the pronounced cooperativity of the induction curve hinges upon the existence of the looped complexes [Oehler, S., Alberti, S., Müller-Hill, B., 2006. Induction of the lac promoter in the absence of DNA loops and the stoichiometry of induction. Nucleic Acids Res. 34(2), 606-612]. Here, we formulate a model of lac induction taking due account of the tetrameric structure of the repressor and the existence of looped complexes. We show that: (1) The kinetics are significantly more cooperative than those predicted by the Yagil and Yagil model. The cooperativity is higher because the formation of looped complexes is easily abolished by repressor-inducer binding. (2) The model provides good fits to the repression data for cells containing wild-type tetrameric or mutant dimeric repressor, as well as the induction curves for 6 different strains of Escherichia coli. It also implies that the ratios of certain looped and non-looped complexes are independent of inducer and repressor levels, a conclusion that can be rigorously tested by gel electrophoresis. (3

  20. A Neisseria meningitidis NMB1966 mutant is impaired for invasion of respiratory epithelial cells, survival in human blood and for virulence in vivo.

    PubMed

    Li, Ming-Shi; Chow, Noel Y S; Sinha, Sunita; Halliwell, Denise; Finney, Michelle; Gorringe, Andrew R; Watson, Mark W; Kroll, J Simon; Langford, Paul R; Webb, Steven A R

    2009-02-01

    We sought to determine whether NMB1966, encoding a putative ABC transporter, has a role in pathogenesis. Compared to its isogenic wild-type parent strain Neisseria meningitidis MC58, the NMB1966 knockout mutant was less adhesive and invasive for human bronchial epithelial cells, had reduced survival in human blood and was attenuated in a systemic mouse model of infection. The transcriptome of the wild-type and the NMB1966 mutant was compared. The data are consistent with a previous functional assignment of NMB1966 being the ABC transporter component of a glutamate transporter operon. Forty-seven percent of all the differentially regulated genes encoded known outer membrane proteins or pathways generating complex surface structures such as adhesins, peptidoglycan and capsule. The data show that NMB1966 has a role in virulence and that remodelling of the outer membrane and surface/structures is associated with attenuation of the NMB1966 mutant.

  1. A Quantitative bgl Operon Model for E. coli Requires BglF Conformational Change for Sugar Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chopra, Paras; Bender, Andreas

    The bgl operon is responsible for the metabolism of β-glucoside sugars such as salicin or arbutin in E. coli. Its regulatory system involves both positive and negative feedback mechanisms and it can be assumed to be more complex than that of the more closely studied lac and trp operons. We have developed a quantitative model for the regulation of the bgl operon which is subject to in silico experiments investigating its behavior under different hypothetical conditions. Upon administration of 5mM salicin as an inducer our model shows 80-fold induction, which compares well with the 60-fold induction measured experimentally. Under practical conditions 5-10mM inducer are employed, which is in line with the minimum inducer concentration of 1mM required by our model. The necessity of BglF conformational change for sugar transport has been hypothesized previously, and in line with those hypotheses our model shows only minor induction if conformational change is not allowed. Overall, this first quantitative model for the bgl operon gives reasonable predictions that are close to experimental results (where measured). It will be further refined as values of the parameters are determined experimentally. The model was developed in Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) and it is available from the authors and from the Biomodels repository [www.ebi.ac.uk/biomodels].

  2. Cyanobacterial flv4-2 Operon-Encoded Proteins Optimize Light Harvesting and Charge Separation in Photosystem II.

    PubMed

    Chukhutsina, Volha; Bersanini, Luca; Aro, Eva-Mari; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2015-05-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) complexes drive the water-splitting reaction necessary to transform sunlight into chemical energy. However, too much light can damage and disrupt PSII. In cyanobacteria, the flv4-2 operon encodes three proteins (Flv2, Flv4, and Sll0218), which safeguard PSII activity under air-level CO2 and in high light conditions. However, the exact mechanism of action of these proteins has not been clarified yet. We demonstrate that the PSII electron transfer properties are influenced by the flv4-2 operon-encoded proteins. Accelerated secondary charge separation kinetics was observed upon expression/overexpression of the flv4-2 operon. This is likely induced by docking of the Flv2/Flv4 heterodimer in the vicinity of the QB pocket of PSII, which, in turn, increases the QB redox potential and consequently stabilizes forward electron transfer. The alternative electron transfer route constituted by Flv2/Flv4 sequesters electrons from QB(-) guaranteeing the dissipation of excess excitation energy in PSII under stressful conditions. In addition, we demonstrate that in the absence of the flv4-2 operon-encoded proteins, about 20% of the phycobilisome antenna becomes detached from the reaction centers, thus decreasing light harvesting. Phycobilisome detachment is a consequence of a decreased relative content of PSII dimers, a feature observed in the absence of the Sll0218 protein.

  3. Functional conservation of the capacity for ent-kaurene biosynthesis and an associated operon in certain rhizobia.

    PubMed

    Hershey, David M; Lu, Xuan; Zi, Jiachen; Peters, Reuben J

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial interactions with plants are accompanied by complex signal exchange processes. Previously, the nitrogen-fixing symbiotic (rhizo)bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum was found to carry adjacent genes encoding two sequentially acting diterpene cyclases that together transform geranylgeranyl diphosphate to ent-kaurene, the olefin precursor to the gibberellin plant hormones. Species from the three other major genera of rhizobia were found to have homologous terpene synthase genes. Cloning and functional characterization of a representative set of these enzymes confirmed the capacity of each genus to produce ent-kaurene. Moreover, comparison of their genomic context revealed that these diterpene synthases are found in a conserved operon which includes an adjacent isoprenyl diphosphate synthase, shown here to produce the geranylgeranyl diphosphate precursor, providing a critical link to central metabolism. In addition, the rest of the operon consists of enzymatic genes that presumably lead to a more elaborated diterpenoid, although the production of gibberellins was not observed. Nevertheless, it has previously been shown that the operon is selectively expressed during nodulation, and the scattered distribution of the operon via independent horizontal gene transfer within the symbiotic plasmid or genomic island shown here suggests that such diterpenoid production may modulate the interaction of these particular symbionts with their host plants.

  4. Free mycolic acid accumulation in the cell wall of the mce1 operon mutant strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Cantrell, Sally A; Leavell, Michael D; Marjanovic, Olivera; Iavarone, Anthony T; Leary, Julie A; Riley, Lee W

    2013-10-01

    The lipid-rich cell wall of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of tuberculosis, serves as an effective barrier against many chemotherapeutic agents and toxic host cell effector molecules, and it may contribute to the mechanism of persistence. Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains mutated in a 13-gene operon called mce1, which encodes a putative ABC lipid transporter, induce aberrant granulomatous response in mouse lungs. Because of the postulated role of the mce1 operon in lipid importation, we compared the cell wall lipid composition of wild type and mce1 operon mutant M. tuberculosis H37Rv strains. High resolution mass spectrometric analyses of the mce1 mutant lipid extracts showed unbound mycolic acids to accumulate in the cell wall. Quantitative analysis revealed a 10.7 fold greater amount of free mycolates in the mutant compared to that of the wild type strain. The free mycolates were comprised of alpha, methoxy and keto mycolates in the ratio 1:0.9:0.6, respectively. Since the mce1 operon is regulated in vivo, the free mycolates that accumulate during infection may serve as a barrier for M. tuberculosis against toxic products and contribute to the pathogen's persistence.

  5. Organization and regulation of the arsenite oxidase operon of the moderately acidophilic and facultative chemoautotrophic Thiomonas arsenitoxydans.

    PubMed

    Slyemi, Djamila; Moinier, Danielle; Talla, Emmanuel; Bonnefoy, Violaine

    2013-11-01

    Thiomonas arsenitoxydans is an acidophilic and facultatively autotrophic bacterium that can grow by oxidizing arsenite to arsenate. A comparative genomic analysis showed that the T. arsenitoxydans aioBA cluster encoding the two subunits of arsenite oxidase is distinct from the other clusters, with two specific genes encoding a cytochrome c and a metalloregulator belonging to the ArsR/SmtB family. These genes are cotranscribed with aioBA, suggesting that these cytochromes c are involved in arsenite oxidation and that this operon is controlled by the metalloregulator. The growth of T. arsenitoxydans in the presence of thiosulfate and arsenite, or arsenate, is biphasic. Real-time PCR experiments showed that the operon is transcribed during the second growth phase in the presence of arsenite or arsenate, whereas antimonite had no effect. These results suggest that the expression of the aioBA operon of T. arsenitoxydans is regulated by the electron donor present in the medium, i.e., is induced in the presence of arsenic but is repressed by more energetic substrates. Our data indicate that the genetic organization and regulation of the aioBA operon of T. arsenitoxydans differ from those of the other arsenite oxidizers.

  6. Functional Conservation of the Capacity for ent-Kaurene Biosynthesis and an Associated Operon in Certain Rhizobia

    PubMed Central

    Hershey, David M.; Lu, Xuan; Zi, Jiachen

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial interactions with plants are accompanied by complex signal exchange processes. Previously, the nitrogen-fixing symbiotic (rhizo)bacterium Bradyrhizobium japonicum was found to carry adjacent genes encoding two sequentially acting diterpene cyclases that together transform geranylgeranyl diphosphate to ent-kaurene, the olefin precursor to the gibberellin plant hormones. Species from the three other major genera of rhizobia were found to have homologous terpene synthase genes. Cloning and functional characterization of a representative set of these enzymes confirmed the capacity of each genus to produce ent-kaurene. Moreover, comparison of their genomic context revealed that these diterpene synthases are found in a conserved operon which includes an adjacent isoprenyl diphosphate synthase, shown here to produce the geranylgeranyl diphosphate precursor, providing a critical link to central metabolism. In addition, the rest of the operon consists of enzymatic genes that presumably lead to a more elaborated diterpenoid, although the production of gibberellins was not observed. Nevertheless, it has previously been shown that the operon is selectively expressed during nodulation, and the scattered distribution of the operon via independent horizontal gene transfer within the symbiotic plasmid or genomic island shown here suggests that such diterpenoid production may modulate the interaction of these particular symbionts with their host plants. PMID:24142247

  7. Mutations in the L-arabinose operon of Escherichia coli B/r with reduced initiator function.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, I L; Sheppard, D E

    1977-05-01

    Partial reversion mutants derived from a strain containing a strongly polar initiator-defective mutation (araI1036) in the L-arabinose operon were found to have several characteristics expected of mutants with reduced initiator function. These reversion mutations are cotransduced with the ara region and are probably within the araI region. Furthermore, they permit induction of the L-arabinose operon to a level only one-third of the normal wild-type level. These partially functional initiator regions reduce the expression of structural genes in the cis position only; they function quite independently of wild-type or defective initiator regions in the trans position. These mutants exhibit a two- to threefold increase in the rate of expression of ara operon genes within one-tenth of a generation after a shift of the growth temperature from 28 to 42 degrees C. This suggests that the temperature optimum for initiation of operon expression is higher for the partial revertant strains than it is for strains containing a wild-type initiator region.

  8. Horizontal transfer of iturin A operon, itu, to Bacillus subtilis 168 and conversion into an iturin A producer.

    PubMed

    Tsuge, Kenji; Inoue, Satoka; Ano, Takashi; Itaya, Mitsuhiro; Shoda, Makoto

    2005-11-01

    Iturin A and its derivatives are lipopeptide antibiotics produced by Bacillus subtilis and several closely related bacteria. Three iturin group operons (i.e., iturin A, mycosubtilin, and bacillomycin D) of those antibiotic-producing strains have been cloned and sequenced thus far, strongly implying the horizontal transfer of these operons. To examine the nature of such horizontal transfer in terms of antibiotic production, a 42-kb region of the B. subtilis RB14 genome, which contains a complete 38-kb iturin A operon, was transferred via competent cell transformation to the genome of a non-iturin A producer, B. subtilis 168, using a method based on double-crossover homologous recombination with two short landing pad sequences (LPSs) in the genome. The recombinant was positively selected by confirming the elimination of the cI repressor gene, which was localized between the two LPSs and substituted by the transferred segment. The iturin A operon-transferred strain 168 was then converted into an iturin A producer by the introduction of an sfp gene, which encodes 4'-phosphopantetheinyl transferase and is mutated in strain 168. By inserting the pleiotropic regulator degQ, the productivity of iturin A increased sevenfold and was restored to about half that of the donor strain RB14, without the transfer of additional genes, such as regulatory or self-resistance genes.

  9. Transformation and characterization of an arsenic gene operon from urease-positive thermophilic Campylobacter (UPTC) in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, M; Kuribayashi, T; Yamamoto, S; Millar, B C; Moore, J E

    2016-01-01

    An arsenate susceptibility test was performed with transformed and cultured Escherichia coli DH5α cells, which carried recombinant DNA of full-length arsenic (ars) operon, namely a putative membrane permease, ArsP; a transcriptional repressor, ArsR; an arsenate reductase, ArsC; and an arsenical-resistance membrane transporter, Acr3, from the Japanese urease-positive thermophilic Campylobacter lari (UPTC) CF89-12. The E. coli DH5α transformant showed reduced susceptibility to arsenate (~1536 μg/mL), compared to the control. Thus, these ars four-genes from the UPTC CF89-12 strain cells could confer a reduced susceptibility to arsenate in the transformed and E. coli DH5α cells. E. coli transformants with truncated ars operons, acr3 (acr3) and arsC-acr3 (∆arsC-acr3), of the ars operon, showed an MIC value of 384 μg/mL (~384 μg/mL), similar to the E. coli cells which carried the pGEM-T vector (control). Reverse transcription PCR confirmed in vivo transcription of recombinant full-length ars operon and deletion variants (∆acr3 and ∆arsC-acr3) in the transformed E. coli cells.

  10. Influence of the feedback loops in the trp operon of B. subtilis on the system dynamic response and noise amplitude.

    PubMed

    Zamora-Chimal, Criseida; Santillán, Moisés; Rodríguez-González, Jesús

    2012-10-07

    In this paper we introduce a mathematical model for the tryptophan operon regulatory pathway in Bacillus subtilis. This model considers the transcription-attenuation, and the enzyme-inhibition regulatory mechanisms. Special attention is paid to the estimation of all the model parameters from reported experimental data. With the aid of this model we investigate, from a mathematical-modeling point of view, whether the existing multiplicity of regulatory feedback loops is advantageous in some sense, regarding the dynamic response and the biochemical noise in the system. The tryptophan operon dynamic behavior is studied by means of deterministic numeric simulations, while the biochemical noise is analyzed with the aid of stochastic simulations. The model feasibility is tested comparing its stochastic and deterministic results with experimental reports. Our results for the wildtype and for a couple of mutant bacterial strains suggest that the enzyme-inhibition feedback loop, dynamically accelerates the operon response, and plays a major role in the reduction of biochemical noise. Also, the transcription-attenuation feedback loop makes the trp operon sensitive to changes in the endogenous tryptophan level, and increases the amplitude of the biochemical noise.

  11. [Activation of the expression of the microcin C51 operon upon glucose starvation of cells at the exponential growth phase].

    PubMed

    Veselovskiĭ, A M; Metlitskaia, A Z; Lipasova, V A; Bass, I A; Khmel', I A

    2005-01-01

    It was earlier shown that expression of the microcin C51 operon in Escherichia coli cells is activated upon decelerated growth of cells during their transition to the stationary growth phase and depends on the sigmaS subunit of RNA polymerase. Using a single-copy construct containing the cloned promoter region of the microcin C51 operon and a promoterless lac operon (P(mcc)-lac), it was shown that the promoter of the microcin operon was also induced by stress caused by the transition of cells at the exponential growth phase into the medium without glucose as a sole carbon source. Activation of P(mcc)-lac expression upon severe glucose starvation occurred in rpoS+ and rpoS- strains. In cells carrying the rpoD800 mutation that renders the sigma70 subunit of RNA polymerase temperature-sensitive, an activation of P(mcc)-lac expression was observed at nonpermissive temperature, in contrast to its complete inhibition in E. coli cells at the phase of delayed growth. Other stressors-nitrogen starvation, high temperatures, osmotic shock, tetracycline and chloramphenicol-did not activate P(mcc)-lac expression in cells at the exponential growth phase.

  12. Evolution of virulence when transmission occurs before disease.

    PubMed

    Osnas, Erik E; Dobson, Andrew P

    2010-08-23

    Most models of virulence evolution assume that transmission and virulence are constant during an infection. In many viral (HIV and influenza), bacterial (TB) and prion (BSE and CWD) systems, disease-induced mortality occurs long after the host becomes infectious. Therefore, we constructed a model with two infected classes that differ in transmission rate and virulence in order to understand how the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) depends on the relative difference in transmission and virulence between classes, on the transition rate between classes and on the recovery rate from the second class. We find that ESS virulence decreases when expressed early in the infection or when transmission occurs late in an infection. When virulence occurred relatively equally in each class and there was disease recovery, ESS virulence increased with increased transition rate. In contrast, ESS virulence first increased and then decreased with transition rate when there was little virulence early in the infection and a rapid recovery rate. This model predicts that ESS virulence is highly dependent on the timing of transmission and pathology after infection; thus, pathogen evolution may either increase or decrease virulence after emergence in a new host.

  13. Candida Virulence Properties and Adverse Clinical Outcomes in Neonatal Candidiasis

    PubMed Central

    Bliss, Joseph M.; Wong, Angela Y.; Bhak, Grace; Laforce-Nesbitt, Sonia S.; Taylor, Sarah; Tan, Sylvia; Stoll, Barbara J.; Higgins, Rosemary D.; Shankaran, Seetha; Benjamin, Daniel K.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To determine if premature infants with invasive Candida infection caused by strains with increased virulence properties have worse clinical outcomes than those infected with less virulent strains. Study design Clinical isolates were studied from 2 populations; premature infants colonized with Candida (commensal, n=27), and those with invasive candidiasis (n=81). Individual isolates of C. albicans and C. parapsilosis were tested for virulence in each of 3 assays: phenotypic switching, adhesion, and cytotoxicity. Invasive isolates were considered to have enhanced virulence if they measured more than 1 SD above the mean for the commensal isolates in at least 1 assay. Outcomes of patients with invasive isolates with enhanced virulence were compared with those with invasive isolates lacking enhanced virulence characteristics. Results 61% of invasive isolates of C. albicans and 42% of invasive isolates of C. parapsilosis had enhanced virulence. All C. albicans cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) isolates (n=6) and 90% of urine isolates (n=10) had enhanced virulence, compared with 48% of blood isolates (n=40). Infants with more virulent isolates were younger at the time of positive culture and had higher serum creatinine. Conclusions Individual isolates of Candida species vary in their virulence properties. Strains with higher virulence are associated with certain clinical outcomes. PMID:22504098

  14. Transcriptional control in the L-arabinose operon of Escherichia coli B-r.

    PubMed

    Cleary, P P; Englesberg, E

    1974-04-01

    The structural genes involved in l-arabinose metabolism are regulated by the protein product of the araC gene. This protein functions as both an activator and repressor of enzyme synthesis in this gene complex. Using lambdah80dara deoxyribonucleic acid in hybridization studies, we have shown that the ara operon, including structural genes araB, araA, and araD, is transcribed in the direction araB to araD and that initiation of transcription of these genes requires an active araC gene. The half-life of this message, approximately 3 min at 30 C, is the same in the presence or absence of the araC protein in the activator state. However, an unexplained 2-min lag in decay of ara messenger ribonucleic acid that does not occur in decay of lac messenger ribonucleic acid is observed. This lag period requires activated araC protein.

  15. Induction of the ara operon of Escherichia coli B-r.

    PubMed

    Doyle, M E; Brown, C; Hogg, R W; Helling, R B

    1972-04-01

    The inducer specificity and kinetics of induction of the ara operon were examined in Escherichia coli B/r. A difference in the kinetics of induction was found between our B/r strains and the K-12 strain previously described by Schleif. The roles of active transport and metabolism of inducer, and of cell density, in induction were studied. d-Fucose and beta-methyl-l-arabinoside were competitive inhibitors of induction. No inducer of the wild-type strain other than l-arabinose was found. However, a procedure for selecting mutants with altered inducer affinity or specificity was developed. The properties of one such mutant (inducible by d-fucose) are described.

  16. Fine-structure deletion map of the Escherichia coli L-arabinose operon.

    PubMed

    Schleif, R

    1972-11-01

    A fine-structure deletion map of the L-arabinose operon of E. coli was constructed by mapping deletion endpoints against point mutations. Of 350 independent deletions with average endpoint separation of ten nucleotides, 51 ended in the control region between the C and B genes, and the rest ended in the structural genes A, B, C, and D. If deletion endpoints are randomly distributed, the C and B genes are separated by about 510 nucleotides. Deletion endpoints and locations of point mutations in fact do appear randomly interspersed in the C and B genes, but no point mutations were found in the control region between them. Deletions were isolated with the aid of a heat-inducible lambda phage inserted into leucine genes adjacent to the arabinose genes. A high-capacity mating technique was developed for rapidly generating fine structure maps from many deletions and point mutations.

  17. Induction kinetics of the L-arabinose operon of Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Schleif, R; Hess, W; Finkelstein, S; Ellis, D

    1973-07-01

    After addition of l-arabinose to growing Escherichia coli, the l-ribulokinase (EC 2.7.1.16) and l-arabinose isomerase (EC 5.3.1.4) first appear at about 0.7 and 1.4 min, respectively. These times are consistent with the distances of the genes from the ribonucleic acid polymerase initiation site in the operon. The kinetics of appearance of these enzymes as well as those of beta-galactosidase (EC 3.2.1.23) in the same strain are consistent with a peptide elongation rate of no less than 14 amino acids per second. A measurement of the average peptide elongation rate made by measuring the kinetics of radioactive amino acid appearance in completed polypeptides yielded a rate of about 12 amino acids per s. Convenient assays of the arabinose isomerase and ribulokinase are also given.

  18. Orf5/SolR: a transcriptional repressor of the sol operon of Clostridium acetobutylicum?

    PubMed

    Thormann, K; Dürre, P

    2001-11-01

    The gene of Orf5 (SolR) of Clostridium acetobutylicum DSM 792 was subcloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The protein was purified with Ni-NTA agarose and used for DNA binding assays. No DNA binding of Orf5 to regions upstream of the sol operon from C. acetobutylicum was observed. Overexpression of Orf5 in C. acetobutylicum led to a change in the organism's pattern of glycosylated exoproteins. The Orf5 protein was localized in the cell membrane fraction and to a small extent in the supernatant medium. Based on these results Orf5 (SolR) appears not to act as a transcriptional repressor in C. acetobutylicum, but instead may be an enzyme involved in glycosylation or deglycosylation.

  19. Analysis of the alcABC operon encoding alcaligin biosynthesis enzymes in Bordetella bronchiseptica.

    PubMed

    Giardina, P C; Foster, L A; Toth, S I; Roe, B A; Dyer, D W

    1997-07-18

    We previously cloned a B. bronchiseptica (Bb) genomic DNA fragment that complements a Bb alcaligin biosynthesis mutant, and reported the identification of a gene, alcA, with predicted protein sequence similarity to siderophore biosynthesis enzymes from other organisms. In the present study we show that further nt sequencing of this region revealed two open reading frames (ORFs) 3' to alcA that encode putative proteins AlcB and AlcC, with significant sequence similarity to the aerobactin biosynthesis enzymes IucB and IucC, respectively. RT-PCR analysis indicated that the three ORFs are encoded on a single transcript, and that this operon is repressed at the transcriptional level by Fe. Primer extension analysis placed the transcriptional start point (tsp) 35 nt from the 5' end of the Fur consensus sequence and 188 nt from the putative start of translation of AlcA.

  20. Sequence of the luxD gene encoding acyltransferase of the lux operon from Photobacterium leiognathi.

    PubMed

    Chao, Y F; Weng, S F; Lin, J W

    1993-04-15

    The nucleotide sequence of luxD (EMBL accession No. X65611), encoding acyltransferase (ACT), of the lux operon from Photobacterium leiognathi PL741 was determined, and the amino acid (aa) sequence was deduced. ACT is a component of the fatty acid reductase complex, which is responsible for converting fatty acid to aldehyde that serves as the substrate in the luciferase-catalyzed bioluminescent reactions. The protein has a calculated M(r) of 34,384 and comprises 305 aa residues. Alignment and comparison of the ACT of P. leiognathi with that of Vibrio fischeri ATCC7744, V. harveyi B392 and Xenorhabdus luminescens Hm shows that there is 66%, 59% and 61% aa identity, respectively.

  1. Modelling gene expression control using P systems: The Lac Operon, a case study.

    PubMed

    Romero-Campero, Francisco José; Pérez-Jiménez, Mario J

    2008-03-01

    In this paper P systems are used as a formal framework for the specification and simulation of biological systems. In particular, we will deal with gene regulation systems consisting of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions that take place in different compartments of the hierarchical structure of the living cell or in different individual cells from a colony. We will explicitly model transcription and translation as concurrent and discrete processes using rewriting rules on multisets of objects and strings. Our approach takes into account the discrete character of the components of the system, its random behaviour and the key role played by membranes in processes involving signalling at the cell surface and selective uptake of substances from the environment. Our systems will evolve according to an extension of Gillespie's algorithm, called Multicompartmental Gillespie's Algorithm. The well known gene regulation system in the Lac Operon in Escherichia coli will be modelled as a case study to benchmark our approach.

  2. Programmed translational frameshift in the bacteriophage P2 FETUD tail gene operon.

    PubMed

    Christie, Gail E; Temple, Louise M; Bartlett, Becky A; Goodwin, Tina S

    2002-12-01

    The major structural components of the P2 contractile tail are encoded in the FETUD tail gene operon. The sequences of genes F(I) and F(II), encoding the major tail sheath and tail tube proteins, have been reported previously (L. M. Temple, S. L. Forsburg, R. Calendar, and G. E. Christie, Virology 181:353-358, 1991). Sequence analysis of the remainder of this operon and the locations of amber mutations Eam30, Tam5, Tam64, Tam215, Uam25, Uam77, Uam92, and Dam6 and missense mutation Ets55 identified the coding regions for genes E, T, U, and D, completing the sequence determination of the P2 genome. Inspection of the DNA sequence revealed a new open reading frame overlapping the end of the essential tail gene E. Lack of an apparent translation initiation site and identification of a putative sequence for a programmed translational frameshift within the E gene suggested that this new reading frame (E') might be translated as an extension of gene E, following a -1 translational frameshift. Complementation analysis demonstrated that E' was essential for P2 lytic growth. Analysis of fusion polypeptides verified that this reading frame was translated as a -1 frameshift extension of gpE, with a frequency of approximately 10%. The arrangement of these two genes within the tail gene cluster of phage P2 and their coupling via a translational frameshift appears to be conserved among P2-related phages. This arrangement shows a striking parallel to the organization in the tail gene cluster of phage lambda, despite a lack of amino acid sequence similarity between the tail gene products of these phage families.

  3. The presence of the glycolysis operon in SAR11 genomes is positively correlated with ocean productivity.

    PubMed

    Schwalbach, M S; Tripp, H J; Steindler, L; Smith, D P; Giovannoni, S J

    2010-02-01

    Bacteria in the SAR11 clade are highly abundant in marine surface waters, but currently little is known about the carbon compounds that support these large heterotrophic populations. To better understand the carbon requirements of these organisms, we conducted a multiphasic exploration of carbohydrate utilization among SAR11 isolates from the Northeast Pacific Ocean and the Sargasso Sea. A comparison of three SAR11 genomes showed they all lacked a recognizable PTS system, the oxidative portion of the pentose phosphate shunt (zwf-, pgl-), genes for the Embden-Meyerhoff-Parnas (pfk-, pyk-) and Entner-Doudoroff (eda-) pathways of glycolysis. Strain HTCC7211, isolated from an ocean gyre, was missing other glycolysis genes as well. Growth assays, radioisotopes, metagenomics and microarrays were used to test the hypothesis that these isolates might be limited in their abilities to transport and oxidize exogenous carbohydrates. Galactose, fucose, rhamnose, arabinose, ribose and mannose could not serve as carbon sources for the isolates tested. However, differences in glucose utilization were detected between coastal and ocean gyre isolates, with the coastal isolates capable of transporting, incorporating and oxidizing glucose while the open ocean isolate could not. Subsequent microarray analysis of a coastal isolate suggested that an operon encoding a variant of the Entner-Doudoroff pathway is likely responsible for the observed differences in glucose utilization. Metagenomic analysis indicated this operon is more commonly found in coastal environments and is positively correlated with chlorophyll a concentrations. Our results indicated that glycolysis is a variable metabolic property of SAR11 metabolism and suggest that glycolytic SAR11 are more common in productive marine environments.

  4. A mutant crp allele that differentially activates the operons of the fuc regulon in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Y; Lin, E C

    1988-05-01

    L-Fucose is used by Escherichia coli through an inducible pathway mediated by a fucP-encoded permease, a fucI-encoded isomerase, a fucK-encoded kinase, and a fucA-encoded aldolase. The adolase catalyzes the formation of dihydroxyacetone phosphate and L-lactaldehyde. Anaerobically, lactaldehyde is converted by a fucO-encoded oxidoreductase to L-1,2-propanediol, which is excreted. The fuc genes belong to a regulon comprising four linked operons: fucO, fucA, fucPIK, and fucR. The positive regulator encoded by fucR responds to fuculose 1-phosphate as the effector. Mutants serially selected for aerobic growth on propanediol became constitutive in fucO and fucA [fucO(Con) fucA(Con)], but noninducible in fucPIK [fucPIK(Non)]. An external suppressor mutation that restored growth on fucose caused constitutive expression of fucPIK. Results from this study indicate that this suppressor mutation occurred in crp, which encodes the cyclic AMP-binding (or receptor) protein. When the suppressor allele (crp-201) was transduced into wild-type strains, the recipient became fucose negative and fucose sensitive (with glycerol as the carbon and energy source) because of impaired expression of fucA. The fucPIK operon became hyperinducible. The growth rate on maltose was significantly reduced, but growth on L-rhamnose, D-galactose, L-arabinose, glycerol, or glycerol 3-phosphate was close to normal. Lysogenization of fuc+ crp-201 cells by a lambda bacteriophage bearing crp+ restored normal growth ability on fucose. In contrast, lysogenization of [fucO(Con)fucA(Con)fucPIK(Non)crp-201] cells by the same phage retarded their growth on fucose.

  5. HIV-1 Tat regulates the expression of the dcw operon and stimulates the proliferation of bacteria.

    PubMed

    Wei, Jinsong; Zhang, Yumin; Knapp, Pamela E; Zhao, Tianyong

    2016-01-01

    Infections of pathogenic bacteria are very common in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. However, the biological effects of HIV-1 Tat on bacteria are incompletely understood. In this study, HIV-1 Tat was expressed in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA01) to investigate its biological effects on bacteria. Bacterial cells expressing either HIV-1 Tat1-86 (Tat1-86) or HIV-1 Tat1-72 (Tat1-72) grow significantly faster than those with either only an empty vector or an unrelated control (GFP or Rluc). Supplementation of purified HIV-1 Tat1-86 or Tat1-101 protein into bacterial culture medium stimulated the growth of both E. coli and PA01. The expression profile of certain cell division-associated genes, such as those in the division cell wall (dcw) operon (ftsA, ftsQ, ftsW and ftsZ), yafO and zipA, was altered in HIV-1 Tat1-86 expressing E. coli BL21(DE3). Furthermore, the expression of firefly luciferase (Fluc) reporter gene, when engineered for control by the dcw promoter and terminator, was enhanced by HIV-1 Tat in E. coli, confirming that HIV-1 Tat transcriptionally regulates the expression of the dcw operon. The finding that HIV-1 Tat stimulates bacterial growth whether it is produced intracellularly or applied extracellularly may have relevance for HIV patients who are highly susceptible to opportunistic bacterial infections. Contents category: Viruses -Retroviruses. The GenBank accession number for the sequence of HIV-1 Tat1-86 is AF324439.1.

  6. Role of Operon aaoSo-mutT in Antioxidant Defense in Streptococcus oligofermentans

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Peng; Liu, Lei; Tong, Huichun; Dong, Xiuzhu

    2012-01-01

    Previously, we have found that an insertional inactivation of aaoSo, a gene encoding L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO), causes marked repression of the growth of Streptococcus oligofermentans. Here, we found that aaoSo and mutT, a homolog of pyrophosphohydrolase gene of Escherichia coli, constituted an operon. Deletion of either gene did not impair the growth of S. oligofermentans, but double deletion of both aaoSo and mutT was lethal. Quantitative PCR showed that the transcript abundance of mutT was reduced for 13-fold in the aaoSo insertional mutant, indicating that gene polarity derived from the inactivation of aaoSo attenuated the expression of mutT. Enzymatic assays were conducted to determine the biochemical functions of LAAO and MutT of S. oligofermentans. The results indicated that LAAO functioned as an aminoacetone oxidase [47.75 nmol H2O2 (min·mg protein)–1]; and MutT showed the pyrophosphohydrolase activity, which removed mutagens such as 8-oxo-dGTP. Like paraquat, aaoSo mutations increased the expression of SOD, and addition of aminoacetone (final concentration, 5 mM) decreased the mutant’s growth by 11%, indicating that the aaoSo mutants are under ROS stress. HPLC did reveal elevated levels of cytoplasmic aminoacetone in both the deletion and insertional gene mutants of aaoSo. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy showed increased hydroxyl radicals in both types of aaoSo mutant. This demonstrated that inactivation of aaoSo caused the elevation of the prooxidant aminoacetone, resulting the cellular ROS stress. Our study indicates that the presence of both LAAO and MutT can prevent endogenous metabolites-generated ROS and mutagens. In this way, we were able to determine the role of the aaoSo-mutT operon in antioxidant defense in S. oligofermentans. PMID:22666463

  7. Genetic analysis of transcriptional activation and repression in the Tn21 mer operon. [Bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, W.; Park, S.J.; Summers, A.O. )

    1989-07-01

    Transcription of the Tn21 mercury resistance operon (mer) is controlled by the toxic metal cation Hg(II). This control is mediated by the product of the merR gene, a 144-amino-acid protein which represses transcription of the structural genes (merTPCAD) in the absence of Hg(II) and activates transcription in the presence of Hg(II). We have used a mer-lac transcriptional fusion to obtain regulatory mutants in this metal-responsive system. Some mutants were defective in Hg(II)-induced activation while retaining repression function, others were defective in repression but not activation, and some had lost both functions. Mutations in three of the four cysteine residues of merR resulted in complete loss of Hg(II)-inducible activation but retention of the repressor function. Other lesions adjacent to or very near these cysteines exhibited severely reduced activation and also retained repressor function. There were two putative helix-turn-helix (HTH) domains in merR, and mutants in each had very different phenotypes. A partially dominant mutation in the more amino-terminal region of the two putative HTH regions resulted in loss of both activation and repression, consistent with a role for this region in DNA binding. Mutations in the more centrally located HTH region resulted only in loss of Hg(II)-induced activation. Lesions in the central and in the carboxy-terminal regions of merR exhibited both Hg(II)-independent and Hg(II)-dependent transcriptional activation. The sole cis-acting mutant obtained with this operon fusion strategy, a down-promoter mutation, lies in a highly conserved base in the -35 region of the merTPCAD promoter.

  8. The use of amino sugars by Bacillus subtilis: presence of a unique operon for the catabolism of glucosamine.

    PubMed

    Gaugué, Isabelle; Oberto, Jacques; Putzer, Harald; Plumbridge, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    B. subtilis grows more rapidly using the amino sugar glucosamine as carbon source, than with N-acetylglucosamine. Genes for the transport and metabolism of N-acetylglucosamine (nagP and nagAB) are found in all the sequenced Bacilli (except Anoxybacillus flavithermus). In B. subtilis there is an additional operon (gamAP) encoding second copies of genes for the transport and catabolism of glucosamine. We have developed a method to make multiple deletion mutations in B. subtilis employing an excisable spectinomycin resistance cassette. Using this method we have analysed the contribution of the different genes of the nag and gam operons for their role in utilization of glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. Faster growth on glucosamine is due to the presence of the gamAP operon, which is strongly induced by glucosamine. Although the gamA and nagB genes encode isozymes of GlcN6P deaminase, catabolism of N-acetylglucosamine relies mostly upon the gamA gene product. The genes for use of N-acetylglucosamine, nagAB and nagP, are repressed by YvoA (NagR), a GntR family regulator, whose gene is part of the nagAB yvoA(nagR) operon. The gamAP operon is repressed by YbgA, another GntR family repressor, whose gene is expressed divergently from gamAP. The nagAB yvoA synton is found throughout the Bacilli and most firmicutes. On the other hand the ybgA-gamAP synton, which includes the ybgB gene for a small protein of unknown provenance, is only found in B. subtilis (and a few very close relatives). The origin of ybgBA-gamAP grouping is unknown but synteny analysis suggests lateral transfer from an unidentified donor. The presence of gamAP has enabled B. subtilis to efficiently use glucosamine as carbon source.

  9. RepA and RepB exert plasmid incompatibility repressing the transcription of the repABC operon.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Oseguera, Angeles; Cevallos, Miguel A

    2013-11-01

    Rhizobium etli CFN42 has a multipartite genome composed of one chromosome and six large plasmids with low copy numbers, all belonging to the repABC plasmid family. All elements essential for replication and segregation of these plasmids are encoded within the repABC operon. RepA and RepB direct plasmid segregation and are involved in the transcriptional regulation of the operon, and RepC is the initiator protein of the plasmid. Here we show that in addition to RepA (repressor) and RepB (corepressor), full transcriptional repression of the operon located in the symbiotic plasmid (pRetCFN42d) of this strain requires parS, the centromere-like sequence, and the operator sequence. However, the co-expression of RepA and RepB is sufficient to induce the displacement of the parental plasmid. RepA is a Walker-type ATPase that self associates in vivo and in vitro and binds specifically to the operator region in its RepA-ADP form. In contrast, RepA-ATP is capable of binding to non-specific DNA. RepA and RepB form high molecular weight DNA-protein complexes in the presence of ATP and ADP. RepA carrying ATP-pocket motif mutations induce full repression of the repABC operon without the participation of RepB and parS. These mutants specifically bind the operator sequence in their ATP or ADP bound forms. In addition, their expression in trans exerts plasmid incompatibility against the parental plasmid. RepA and RepB expressed in trans induce plasmid incompatibility because of their ability to repress the repABC operon and not only by their capacity to distort the plasmid segregation process.

  10. Comparative analysis of the mechanisms of sulfur anion oxidation and reduction by dsr operon to maintain environmental sulfur balance.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Semanti; Bagchi, Angshuman

    2015-12-01

    Sulfur metabolism is one of the oldest known redox geochemical cycles in our atmosphere. These redox processes utilize different sulfur anions and the reactions are performed by the gene products of dsr operon from phylogenetically diverse sets of microorganisms. The operon is involved in the maintenance of environmental sulfur balance. Interestingly, the dsr operon is found to be present in both sulfur anion oxidizing and reducing microorganisms and in both types of organisms DsrAB protein complex plays a vital role. Though there are various reports regarding the genetics of dsr operon there are practically no reports dealing with the structural aspects of sulfur metabolism by dsr operon. In our present study, we tried to compare the mechanisms of sulfur anion oxidation and reduction by Allochromatium vinosum and Desulfovibrio vulgaris respectively through DsrAB protein complex. We analyzed the modes of bindings of sulfur anions to the DsrAB protein complex and observed that for sulfur anion oxidizers, sulfide and thiosulfate are the best substrates whereas for reducers sulfate and sulfite have the best binding abilities. We analyzed the binding interaction pattern of the DsrA and DsrB proteins while forming the DsrAB protein complexes in Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Allochromatium vinosum. To our knowledge this is the first report that analyzes the differences in binding patterns of sulfur substrates with DsrAB protein from these two microorganisms. This study would therefore be essential to predict the biochemical mechanism of sulfur anion oxidation and reduction by these two microorganisms i.e., Desulfovibrio vulgaris (sulfur anion reducer) and Allochromatium vinosum (sulfur anion oxidizer). Our observations also highlight the mechanism of sulfur geochemical cycle which has important implications in future study of sulfur metabolism as it has a huge application in waste remediation and production of industrial bio-products viz. vitamins, bio-polyesters and bio-hydrogen.

  11. Plasmid-Encoded asp Operon Confers a Proton Motive Metabolic Cycle Catalyzed by an Aspartate-Alanine Exchange Reaction

    PubMed Central

    Abe, Keietsu; Ohnishi, Fumito; Yagi, Kyoko; Nakajima, Tasuku; Higuchi, Takeshi; Sano, Motoaki; Machida, Masayuki; Sarker, Rafiquel I.; Maloney, Peter C.

    2002-01-01

    Tetragenococcus halophila D10 catalyzes the decarboxylation of l-aspartate with nearly stoichiometric release of l-alanine and CO2. This trait is encoded on a 25-kb plasmid, pD1. We found in this plasmid a putative asp operon consisting of two genes, which we designated aspD and aspT, encoding an l-aspartate-β-decarboxylase (AspD) and an aspartate-alanine antiporter (AspT), respectively, and determined the nucleotide sequences. The sequence analysis revealed that the genes of the asp operon in pD1 were in the following order: promoter → aspD → aspT. The deduced amino acid sequence of AspD showed similarity to the sequences of two known l-aspartate-β-decarboxylases from Pseudomonas dacunhae and Alcaligenes faecalis. Hydropathy analyses suggested that the aspT gene product encodes a hydrophobic protein with multiple membrane-spanning regions. The operon was subcloned into the Escherichia coli expression vector pTrc99A, and the two genes were cotranscribed in the resulting plasmid, pTrcAsp. Expression of the asp operon in E. coli coincided with appearance of the capacity to catalyze the decarboxylation of aspartate to alanine. Histidine-tagged AspD (AspDHis) was also expressed in E. coli and purified from cell extracts. The purified AspDHis clearly exhibited activity of l-aspartate-β-decarboxylase. Recombinant AspT was solubilized from E. coli membranes and reconstituted in proteoliposomes. The reconstituted AspT catalyzed self-exchange of aspartate and electrogenic heterologous exchange of aspartate with alanine. Thus, the asp operon confers a proton motive metabolic cycle consisting of the electrogenic aspartate-alanine antiporter and the aspartate decarboxylase, which keeps intracellular levels of alanine, the countersubstrate for aspartate, high. PMID:12003930

  12. Plasmid-encoded asp operon confers a proton motive metabolic cycle catalyzed by an aspartate-alanine exchange reaction.

    PubMed

    Abe, Keietsu; Ohnishi, Fumito; Yagi, Kyoko; Nakajima, Tasuku; Higuchi, Takeshi; Sano, Motoaki; Machida, Masayuki; Sarker, Rafiquel I; Maloney, Peter C

    2002-06-01

    Tetragenococcus halophila D10 catalyzes the decarboxylation of L-aspartate with nearly stoichiometric release of L-alanine and CO(2). This trait is encoded on a 25-kb plasmid, pD1. We found in this plasmid a putative asp operon consisting of two genes, which we designated aspD and aspT, encoding an L-aspartate-beta-decarboxylase (AspD) and an aspartate-alanine antiporter (AspT), respectively, and determined the nucleotide sequences. The sequence analysis revealed that the genes of the asp operon in pD1 were in the following order: promoter --> aspD --> aspT. The deduced amino acid sequence of AspD showed similarity to the sequences of two known L-aspartate-beta-decarboxylases from Pseudomonas dacunhae and Alcaligenes faecalis. Hydropathy analyses suggested that the aspT gene product encodes a hydrophobic protein with multiple membrane-spanning regions. The operon was subcloned into the Escherichia coli expression vector pTrc99A, and the two genes were cotranscribed in the resulting plasmid, pTrcAsp. Expression of the asp operon in E. coli coincided with appearance of the capacity to catalyze the decarboxylation of aspartate to alanine. Histidine-tagged AspD (AspDHis) was also expressed in E. coli and purified from cell extracts. The purified AspDHis clearly exhibited activity of L-aspartate-beta-decarboxylase. Recombinant AspT was solubilized from E. coli membranes and reconstituted in proteoliposomes. The reconstituted AspT catalyzed self-exchange of aspartate and electrogenic heterologous exchange of aspartate with alanine. Thus, the asp operon confers a proton motive metabolic cycle consisting of the electrogenic aspartate-alanine antiporter and the aspartate decarboxylase, which keeps intracellular levels of alanine, the countersubstrate for aspartate, high.

  13. An experimental and theoretical study of the inhibition of Escherichia coli lac operon gene expression by antigene oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Cheng, B; Fournier, R L; Relue, P A; Schisler, J

    2001-08-05

    Previously, we have developed a genetically structured mathematical model to describe the inhibition of Escherichia coli lac operon gene expression by antigene oligos. Our model predicted that antigene oligos targeted to the operator region of the lac operon would have a significant inhibitory effect on beta-galactosidase production. In this investigation, the E. coli lac operon gene expression in the presence of antigene oligos was studied experimentally. A 21-mer oligo, which was designed to form a triplex with the operator, was found to be able to specifically inhibit beta-galactosidase production in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast to the 21-mer triplex-forming oligonucleotide (TFO), several control oligos showed no inhibitory effect. The ineffectiveness of the various control oligos, along with the fact that the 21-mer oligo has no homology sequence with lacZYA, and no mRNA is transcribed from the operator, suggests that the 21-mer oligo inhibits target gene expression by an antigene mechanism. To simulate the kinetics of lac operon gene expression in the presence of antigene oligos, a genetically structured kinetic model, which includes transport of oligo into the cell, growth of bacteria cells, and lac operon gene expression, was developed. Predictions of the kinetic model fit the experimental data quite well after adjustment of the value of the oligonucleotide transport rate constant (9.0 x 10(-)(3) min(-)(1)) and oligo binding affinity constant (1.05 x 10(6) M(-)(1)). Our values for these two adjusted parameters are in the range of reported literature values.

  14. Mercuric ion-resistance operons of plasmid R100 and transposon Tn501: the beginning of the operon including the regulatory region and the first two structural genes.

    PubMed Central

    Misra, T K; Brown, N L; Fritzinger, D C; Pridmore, R D; Barnes, W M; Haberstroh, L; Silver, S

    1984-01-01

    The mercuric ion-resistance operons of plasmid R100 (originally from Shigella) and transposon Tn501 (originally from a plasmid isolated in Pseudomonas) have been compared by DNA sequence analysis. The sequences for the first 1340 base pairs of Tn501 are given with the best alignment with the comparable 1319 base pairs of R100. The homology between the two sequences starts at base 58 after the end of the insertion sequence IS-1 of R100. The sequences include the transcriptional regulatory region, and the homology is particularly strong in regions just upstream from potential transcriptional initiation sites. The trans-acting regulatory gene merR consists of 180 base pairs in both cases and codes for a highly basic polypeptide of 60 amino acids, which is also rich in serine. The Tn501 and R100 merR genes differ in 25 of the 180 base positions, and the resulting polypeptides differ in seven amino acids. The regulatory region before the major transcription initiation site contains potential -35 and -10 sequences and dyad symmetrical sequences, which may be the merR binding sites for transcriptional regulation. The first structural gene, merT, encodes a highly hydrophobic polypeptide of 116 amino acids. The R100 and Tn501 merT genes differ in 17% of their positions, leading to 14 (12%) amino acid changes. This region had previously been shown to encode a protein governing membrane transport of mercuric ions. The second structural gene, merC, would give a 91 amino acid polypeptide with a hydrophobic amino-terminal segment. The Tn501 and R100 merC genes differ at 37 base positions, leading to 10 amino acid changes. PMID:6091128

  15. KdgR, an IClR family transcriptional regulator, inhibits virulence mainly by repression of hrp genes in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yao; Rashidul, Islam M; Hirata, Hisae; Tsuyumu, Shinji

    2011-12-01

    KdgR has been reported to negatively regulate the genes involved in degradation and metabolization of pectic acid and other extracellular enzymes in soft-rotting Erwinia spp. through direct binding to their promoters. The possible involvement of a KdgR orthologue in virulence by affecting the expression of extracellular enzymes in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent of rice blight disease, was examined by comparing virulence and regulation of extracellular enzymes between the wild type (WT) and a strain carrying a mutation in putative kdgR (ΔXoo0310 mutant). This putative kdgR mutant of X. oryzae pv. oryzae showed increased pathogenicity on rice without affecting the regulation of extracellular enzymes, such as amylase, cellulase, xylanase, and protease. However, the mutant carrying a mutation in an ortholog of xpsL, which encodes the functional secretion machinery for the extracellular enzymes, showed a dramatic decrease in pathogenicity on rice. Both mutants of kdgR and of xpsL orthologs showed higher expression of two major hrp regulatory genes, hrpG and hrpX, and the genes in the hrp operons when grown in hrp-inducing medium. Thus, both genes were shown to be involved in repression of hrp genes. The kdgR ortholog was thought to suppress virulence mainly by repressing the expression of hrp genes without affecting the expression of extracellular enzymes, unlike findings for the kdgR gene in soft-rotting Erwinia spp. On the other hand, xpsL was confirmed to be involved in virulence by promoting the secretion of extracellular enzymes in spite of repressing the expression of the hrp genes.

  16. Biochemical, Structural and Molecular Dynamics Analyses of the Potential Virulence Factor RipA from Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Rodrigo; Swift, Robert V.; Chim, Nicholas; Wheatley, Nicole; Lan, Benson; Atwood, Brian R.; Pujol, Céline; Sankaran, Banu; Bliska, James B.; Amaro, Rommie E.; Goulding, Celia W.

    2011-01-01

    Human diseases are attributed in part to the ability of pathogens to evade the eukaryotic immune systems. A subset of these pathogens has developed mechanisms to survive in human macrophages. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the bubonic plague, is a predominately extracellular pathogen with the ability to survive and replicate intracellularly. A previous study has shown that a novel rip (required for intracellular proliferation) operon (ripA, ripB and ripC) is essential for replication and survival of Y. pestis in postactivated macrophages, by playing a role in lowering macrophage-produced nitric oxide (NO) levels. A bioinformatics analysis indicates that the rip operon is conserved among a distally related subset of macrophage-residing pathogens, including Burkholderia and Salmonella species, and suggests that this previously uncharacterized pathway is also required for intracellular survival of these pathogens. The focus of this study is ripA, which encodes for a protein highly homologous to 4-hydroxybutyrate-CoA transferase; however, biochemical analysis suggests that RipA functions as a butyryl-CoA transferase. The 1.9 Å X-ray crystal structure reveals that RipA belongs to the class of Family I CoA transferases and exhibits a unique tetrameric state. Molecular dynamics simulations are consistent with RipA tetramer formation and suggest a possible gating mechanism for CoA binding mediated by Val227. Together, our structural characterization and molecular dynamic simulations offer insights into acyl-CoA specificity within the active site binding pocket, and support biochemical results that RipA is a butyryl-CoA transferase. We hypothesize that the end product of the rip operon is butyrate, a known anti-inflammatory, which has been shown to lower NO levels in macrophages. Thus, the results of this molecular study of Y. pestis RipA provide a structural platform for rational inhibitor design, which may lead to a greater understanding of the role of RipA in

  17. Copper tolerance and virulence in bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Ladomersky, Erik; Petris, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for all aerobic organisms. It functions as a cofactor in enzymes that catalyze a wide variety of redox reactions due to its ability to cycle between two oxidation states, Cu(I) and Cu(II). This same redox property of copper has the potential to cause toxicity if copper homeostasis is not maintained. Studies suggest that the toxic properties of copper are harnessed by the innate immune system of the host to kill bacteria. To counter such defenses, bacteria rely on copper tolerance genes for virulence within the host. These discoveries suggest bacterial copper intoxication is a component of host nutritional immunity, thus expanding our knowledge of the roles of copper in biology. This review summarizes our current understanding of copper tolerance in bacteria, and the extent to which these pathways contribute to bacterial virulence within the host. PMID:25652326

  18. Regulation of virulence of Entamoeba histolytica.

    PubMed

    Marie, Chelsea; Petri, William A

    2014-01-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is the third-leading cause of parasitic mortality globally. E. histolytica infection generally does not cause symptoms, but the parasite has potent pathogenic potential. The origins, benefits, and triggers of amoebic virulence are complex. Amoebic pathogenesis entails depletion of the host mucosal barrier, adherence to the colonic lumen, cytotoxicity, and invasion of the colonic epithelium. Parasite damage results in colitis and, in some cases, disseminated disease. Both host and parasite genotypes influence the development of disease, as do the regulatory responses they govern at the host-pathogen interface. Host environmental factors determine parasite transmission and shape the colonic microenvironment E. histolytica infects. Here we highlight research that illuminates novel links between host, parasite, and environmental factors in the regulation of E. histolytica virulence.

  19. Riboregulators: Fine-Tuning Virulence in Shigella.

    PubMed

    Fris, Megan E; Murphy, Erin R

    2016-01-01

    Within the past several years, RNA-mediated regulation (ribo-regulation) has become increasingly recognized for its importance in controlling critical bacterial processes. Regulatory RNA molecules, or riboregulators, are perpetually responsive to changes within the micro-environment of a bacterium. Notably, several characterized riboregulators control virulence in pathogenic bacteria, as is the case for each riboregulator characterized to date in Shigella. The timing of virulence gene expression and the ability of the pathogen to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions is critical to the establishment and progression of infection by Shigella species; ribo-regulators mediate each of these important processes. This mini review will present the current state of knowledge regarding RNA-mediated regulation in Shigella by detailing the characterization and function of each identified riboregulator in these pathogens.

  20. Copper tolerance and virulence in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Ladomersky, Erik; Petris, Michael J

    2015-06-01

    Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for all aerobic organisms. It functions as a cofactor in enzymes that catalyze a wide variety of redox reactions due to its ability to cycle between two oxidation states, Cu(I) and Cu(II). This same redox property of copper has the potential to cause toxicity if copper homeostasis is not maintained. Studies suggest that the toxic properties of copper are harnessed by the innate immune system of the host to kill bacteria. To counter such defenses, bacteria rely on copper tolerance genes for virulence within the host. These discoveries suggest bacterial copper intoxication is a component of host nutritional immunity, thus expanding our knowledge of the roles of copper in biology. This review summarizes our current understanding of copper tolerance in bacteria, and the extent to which these pathways contribute to bacterial virulence within the host.

  1. Virulence Factors of Erwinia amylovora: A Review.

    PubMed

    Piqué, Núria; Miñana-Galbis, David; Merino, Susana; Tomás, Juan M

    2015-06-05

    Erwinia amylovora, a Gram negative bacteria of the Enterobacteriaceae family, is the causal agent of fire blight, a devastating plant disease affecting a wide range of host species within Rosaceae and a major global threat to commercial apple and pear production. Among the limited number of control options currently available, prophylactic application of antibiotics during the bloom period appears the most effective. Pathogen cells enter plants through the nectarthodes of flowers and other natural openings, such as wounds, and are capable of rapid movement within plants and the establishment of systemic infections. Many virulence determinants of E. amylovora have been characterized, including the Type III secretion system (T3SS), the exopolysaccharide (EPS) amylovoran, biofilm formation, and motility. To successfully establish an infection, E. amylovora uses a complex regulatory network to sense the relevant environmental signals and coordinate the expression of early and late stage virulence factors involving two component signal transduction systems, bis-(3'-5')-cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and quorum sensing. The LPS biosynthetic gene cluster is one of the relatively few genetic differences observed between Rubus- and Spiraeoideae-infecting genotypes of E. amylovora. Other differential factors, such as the presence and composition of an integrative conjugative element associated with the Hrp T3SS (hrp genes encoding the T3SS apparatus), have been recently described. In the present review, we present the recent findings on virulence factors research, focusing on their role in bacterial pathogenesis and indicating other virulence factors that deserve future research to characterize them.

  2. Targeted deletion of the ara operon of Salmonella typhimurium enhances L-arabinose accumulation and drives PBAD-promoted expression of anti-cancer toxins and imaging agents.

    PubMed

    Hong, Hyun; Lim, Daejin; Kim, Geun-Joong; Park, Seung-Hwan; Sik Kim, Hyeon; Hong, Yeongjin; Choy, Hyon E; Min, Jung-Joon

    2014-01-01

    Tumor-specific expression of antitumor drugs can be achieved using attenuated Salmonella typhimurium harboring the PBAD promoter, which is induced by L-arabinose. However, L-arabinose does not accumulate because it is metabolized to D-xylulose-5-P by enzymes encoded by the ara operon in Salmonellae. To address this problem, we developed an engineered strain of S. typhimurium in which the ara operon is deleted. Linear DNA transformation was performed using λ red recombinase to exchange the ara operon with linear DNA carrying an antibiotic-resistance gene with homology to regions adjacent to the ara operon. The ara operon-deleted strain and its parental strain were transformed with a plasmid encoding Renilla luciferase variant 8 (RLuc8) or cytolysin A (clyA) under the control of the PBAD promoter. Luciferase assays demonstrated that RLuc8 expression was 49-fold higher in the ara operon-deleted S. typhimurium than in the parental strain after the addition of L-arabinose. In vivo bioluminescence imaging showed that the tumor tissue targeted by the ara operon-deleted Salmonella had a stronger imaging signal (~30-fold) than that targeted by the parental strain. Mice with murine colon cancer (CT26) that had been injected with the ara operon-deleted S. typhimurium expressing clyA showed significant tumor suppression. The present report demonstrates that deletion of the ara operon of S. typhimurium enhances L-arabinose accumulation and thereby drives PBAD-promoted expression of cytotoxic agents and imaging agents. This is a promising approach for tumor therapy and imaging.

  3. Tracking bacterial virulence: global modulators as indicators

    PubMed Central

    Prieto, Alejandro; Urcola, Imanol; Blanco, Jorge; Dahbi, Ghizlane; Muniesa, Maite; Quirós, Pablo; Falgenhauer, Linda; Chakraborty, Trinad; Hüttener, Mário; Juárez, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The genomes of Gram-negative bacteria encode paralogues and/or orthologues of global modulators. The nucleoid-associated H-NS and Hha proteins are an example: several enterobacteria such as Escherichia coli or Salmonella harbor H-NS, Hha and their corresponding paralogues, StpA and YdgT proteins, respectively. Remarkably, the genome of the pathogenic enteroaggregative E. coli strain 042 encodes, in addition to the hha and ydgT genes, two additional hha paralogues, hha2 and hha3. We show in this report that there exists a strong correlation between the presence of these paralogues and the virulence phenotype of several E. coli strains. hha2 and hha3 predominate in some groups of intestinal pathogenic E. coli strains (enteroaggregative and shiga toxin-producing isolates), as well as in the widely distributed extraintestinal ST131 isolates. Because of the relationship between the presence of hha2/hha3 and some virulence factors, we have been able to provide evidence for Hha2/Hha3 modulating the expression of the antigen 43 pathogenic determinants. We show that tracking global modulators or their paralogues/orthologues can be a new strategy to identify bacterial pathogenic clones and propose PCR amplification of hha2 and hha3 as a virulence indicator in environmental and clinical E. coli isolates. PMID:27169404

  4. Hantavirus interferon regulation and virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Mackow, Erich R; Dalrymple, Nadine A; Cimica, Velasco; Matthys, Valery; Gorbunova, Elena; Gavrilovskaya, Irina

    2014-07-17

    Hantaviruses predominantly replicate in primary human endothelial cells and cause 2 diseases characterized by altered barrier functions of vascular endothelium. Most hantaviruses restrict the early induction of interferon-β (IFNβ) and interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) within human endothelial cells to permit their successful replication. PHV fails to regulate IFN induction within human endothelial cells which self-limits PHV replication and its potential as a human pathogen. These findings, and the altered regulation of endothelial cell barrier functions by pathogenic hantaviruses, suggest that virulence is determined by the ability of hantaviruses to alter key signaling pathways within human endothelial cells. Our findings indicate that the Gn protein from ANDV, but not PHV, inhibits TBK1 directed ISRE, kB and IFNβ induction through virulence determinants in the Gn cytoplasmic tail (GnT) that inhibit TBK1 directed IRF3 phosphorylation. Further studies indicate that in response to hypoxia induced VEGF, ANDV infection enhances the permeability and adherens junction internalization of microvascular and lymphatic endothelial cells. These hypoxia/VEGF directed responses are rapamycin sensitive and directed by mTOR signaling pathways. These results demonstrate the presence of at least two hantavirus virulence determinants that act on endothelial cell signaling pathways: one that regulates antiviral IFN signaling responses, and a second that enhances normal hypoxia-VEGF-mTOR signaling pathways to facilitate endothelial cell permeability. These findings suggest signaling pathways as potential targets for therapeutic regulation of vascular deficits that contribute to hantavirus diseases and viral protein targets for attenuating pathogenic hantaviruses.

  5. AraC protein, regulation of the l-arabinose operon in Escherichia coli, and the light switch mechanism of AraC action.

    PubMed

    Schleif, Robert

    2010-09-01

    This review covers the physiological aspects of regulation of the arabinose operon in Escherichia coli and the physical and regulatory properties of the operon's controlling gene, araC. It also describes the light switch mechanism as an explanation for many of the protein's properties. Although many thousands of homologs of AraC exist and regulate many diverse operons in response to many different inducers or physiological states, homologs that regulate arabinose-catabolizing genes in response to arabinose were identified. The sequence similarities among them are discussed in light of the known structure of the dimerization and DNA-binding domains of AraC.

  6. Histidine Operon Deattenuation in dnaA Mutants of Salmonella typhimurium Correlates with a Decrease in the Gene Dosage Ratio between tRNAHis and Histidine Biosynthetic Loci

    PubMed Central

    Blanc-Potard, Anne-Beatrice; Figueroa-Bossi, Nara; Bossi, Lionello

    1999-01-01

    Expression of the histidine operon of Salmonella typhimurium is increased in dnaA(Ts) mutants at 37°C. This effect requires an intact his attenuator and can be suppressed by increasing the gene copy number of the hisR locus, which encodes the tRNAHis. We present data which suggest that the his deattenuation defect in dnaA(Ts) mutants results from the loss of a gene dosage gradient between the hisR locus, close to oriC, and the his operon, far from oriC. Some of the conclusions drawn here may apply to other operons as well. PMID:10217789

  7. Mechanisms Controlling Virulence Thresholds of Mixed Viral Populations ▿

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, Karen Z.; Pfeiffer, Julie K.

    2011-01-01

    The propensity of RNA viruses to revert attenuating mutations contributes to disease and complicates vaccine development. Despite the presence of virulent revertant viruses in some live-attenuated vaccines, disease from vaccination is rare. This suggests that in mixed viral populations, attenuated viruses may limit the pathogenesis of virulent viruses, thus establishing a virulence threshold. Here we examined virulence thresholds using mixtures of virulent and attenuated viruses in a transgenic mouse model of poliovirus infection. We determined that a 1,000-fold excess of the attenuated Sabin strain of poliovirus was protective against disease induced by the virulent Mahoney strain. Protection was induced locally, and inactivated virus conferred protection. Treatment with a poliovirus receptor-blocking antibody phenocopied the protective effect of inactivated viruses in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that one mechanism controlling virulence thresholds may be competition for a viral receptor. Additionally, the type I interferon response reduces poliovirus pathogenesis; therefore, we examined virulence thresholds in mice lacking the alpha/beta interferon receptor. We found that the attenuated virus was virulent in immunodeficient mice due to the enhanced replication and reversion of attenuating mutations. Therefore, while the type I interferon response limits the virulence of the attenuated strain by reducing replication, protection from disease conferred by the attenuated strain in immunocompetent mice can occur independently of replication. Our results identified mechanisms controlling the virulence of mixed viral populations and indicate that live-attenuated vaccines containing virulent virus may be safe, as long as virulent viruses are present at levels below a critical threshold. PMID:21795346

  8. Virulence conversion of Legionella pneumophila: a one-way phenomenon.

    PubMed Central

    Catrenich, C E; Johnson, W

    1988-01-01

    Previous investigations have shown that Legionella pneumophila converts from virulence to avirulence after passage on supplemented Mueller-Hinton (SMH) agar and may convert back to virulence after passage in guinea pigs. However, there is no additional information concerning the apparent interconversion of virulent and avirulent derivatives of L. pneumophila cultures. We investigated the stability of a parental virulent culture and its avirulent derivatives and the growth and viability of these cultures on charcoal-yeast extract (CYE) and SMH agars. Avirulent derivatives of a highly virulent L. pneumophila culture were obtained by passage of the virulent parent culture on SMH agar. The only time a virulent L. pneumophila culture was recoverable from an avirulent culture was when the avirulent culture was derived from a saline suspension of a virulent culture which had been passaged only five times on SMH agar. When an avirulent culture was derived from a virulent culture passaged 25 times on SMH agar or from an isolated colony which grew on a SMH agar plate, we were unable to recover a virulent culture after successive passage through guinea pigs. These results suggest that the conversion process which occurs between virulent and avirulent forms of L. pneumophila is a one-way phenomenon from virulence to avirulence and that stable avirulent derivatives can be isolated. Furthermore, our findings suggest that SMH agar acts as a selective medium for the growth of avirulent L. pneumophila, and growth on SMH agar may be a phenotypic marker for avirulence. Virulent cells, although unable to grow on SMH agar, may remain viable for several passages on SMH agar and propagate when inoculated into guinea pigs. Images PMID:3182073

  9. Virulence factors of the family Legionellaceae.

    PubMed Central

    Dowling, J N; Saha, A K; Glew, R H

    1992-01-01

    Whereas bacteria in the genus Legionella have emerged as relatively frequent causes of pneumonia, the mechanisms underlying their pathogenicity are obscure. The legionellae are facultative intracellular pathogens which multiply within the phagosome of mononuclear phagocytes and are not killed efficiently by polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The functional defects that might permit the intracellular survival of the legionellae have remained an enigma until recently. Phagosome-lysosome fusion is inhibited by a single strain (Philadelphia 1) of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, but not by other strains of L. pneumophila or other species. It has been found that following the ingestion of Legionella organisms, the subsequent activation of neutrophils and monocytes in response to both soluble and particulate stimuli is profoundly impaired and the bactericidal activity of these cells is attenuated, suggesting that Legionella bacterial cell-associated factors have an inhibitory effect on phagocyte activation. Two factors elaborated by the legionellae which inhibit phagocyte activation have been described. First, the Legionella (cyto)toxin blocks neutrophil oxidative metabolism in response to various agonists by an unknown mechanism. Second, L. micdadei bacterial cells contain a phosphatase which blocks superoxide anion production by stimulated neutrophils. The Legionella phosphatase disrupts the formation of critical intracellular second messengers in neutrophils. In addition to the toxin and phosphatase, several other moieties that may serve as virulence factors by promoting cell invasion or intracellular survival and multiplication are elaborated by the legionellae. Molecular biological studies show that a cell surface protein named Mip is necessary for the efficient invasion of monocytes. A possible role for a Legionella phospholipase C as a virulence factor is still largely theoretical. L. micdadei contains an unusual protein kinase which catalyzes the phosphorylation of

  10. Natural merodiploidy of the lux-rib operon of Photobacterium leiognathi from coastal waters of Honshu, Japan.

    PubMed

    Ast, Jennifer C; Urbanczyk, Henryk; Dunlap, Paul V

    2007-09-01

    Sequence analysis of the bacterial luminescence (lux) genes has proven effective in helping resolve evolutionary relationships among luminous bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis using lux genes, however, is based on the assumptions that the lux genes are present as single copies on the bacterial chromosome and are vertically inherited. We report here that certain strains of Photobacterium leiognathi carry multiple phylogenetically distinct copies of the entire operon that codes for luminescence and riboflavin synthesis genes, luxCDABEG-ribEBHA. Merodiploid lux-rib strains of P. leiognathi were detected during sequence analysis of luxA. To define the gene content, organization, and sequence of each lux-rib operon, we constructed a fosmid library of genomic DNA from a representative merodiploid strain, lnuch.13.1. Sequence analysis of fosmid clones and genomic analysis of lnuch.13.1 defined two complete, physically separate, and apparently functional operons, designated lux-rib1 and lux-rib2. P. leiognathi strains lelon.2.1 and lnuch.21.1 were also found to carry lux-rib1 and lux-rib2, whereas ATCC 25521T apparently carries only lux-rib1. In lnuch.13.1, lelon.2.1, lnuch.21.1, and ATCC 25521T, lux-rib1 is flanked upstream by lumQ and putA and downstream by a gene for a hypothetical multidrug efflux pump. In contrast, transposase genes flank lux-rib2 of lnuch.13.1, and the chromosomal location of lux-rib2 apparently differs in lnuch.13.1, lelon.2.1, and lnuch.21.1. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that lux-rib1 and lux-rib2 are more closely related to each other than either one is to the lux and rib genes of other bacterial species, which rules out interspecies lateral gene transfer as the origin of lux-rib2 in P. leiognathi; lux-rib2 apparently arose within a previously unsampled or extinct P. leiognathi lineage. Analysis of 170 additional strains of P. leiognathi, for a total of 174 strains examined from coastal waters of Japan, Taiwan, the Philippine Islands, and

  11. Natural Merodiploidy of the lux-rib Operon of Photobacterium leiognathi from Coastal Waters of Honshu, Japan▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Ast, Jennifer C.; Urbanczyk, Henryk; Dunlap, Paul V.

    2007-01-01

    Sequence analysis of the bacterial luminescence (lux) genes has proven effective in helping resolve evolutionary relationships among luminous bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis using lux genes, however, is based on the assumptions that the lux genes are present as single copies on the bacterial chromosome and are vertically inherited. We report here that certain strains of Photobacterium leiognathi carry multiple phylogenetically distinct copies of the entire operon that codes for luminescence and riboflavin synthesis genes, luxCDABEG-ribEBHA. Merodiploid lux-rib strains of P. leiognathi were detected during sequence analysis of luxA. To define the gene content, organization, and sequence of each lux-rib operon, we constructed a fosmid library of genomic DNA from a representative merodiploid strain, lnuch.13.1. Sequence analysis of fosmid clones and genomic analysis of lnuch.13.1 defined two complete, physically separate, and apparently functional operons, designated lux-rib1 and lux-rib2. P. leiognathi strains lelon.2.1 and lnuch.21.1 were also found to carry lux-rib1 and lux-rib2, whereas ATCC 25521T apparently carries only lux-rib1. In lnuch.13.1, lelon.2.1, lnuch.21.1, and ATCC 25521T, lux-rib1 is flanked upstream by lumQ and putA and downstream by a gene for a hypothetical multidrug efflux pump. In contrast, transposase genes flank lux-rib2 of lnuch.13.1, and the chromosomal location of lux-rib2 apparently differs in lnuch.13.1, lelon.2.1, and lnuch.21.1. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that lux-rib1 and lux-rib2 are more closely related to each other than either one is to the lux and rib genes of other bacterial species, which rules out interspecies lateral gene transfer as the origin of lux-rib2 in P. leiognathi; lux-rib2 apparently arose within a previously unsampled or extinct P. leiognathi lineage. Analysis of 170 additional strains of P. leiognathi, for a total of 174 strains examined from coastal waters of Japan, Taiwan, the Philippine Islands, and

  12. The Spl Serine Proteases Modulate Staphylococcus aureus Protein Production and Virulence in a Rabbit Model of Pneumonia

    PubMed Central

    Salgado-Pabon, Wilmara; Meyerholz, David K.; White, Mark J.; Schlievert, Patrick M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Spl proteases are a group of six serine proteases that are encoded on the νSaβ pathogenicity island and are unique to Staphylococcus aureus. Despite their interesting biochemistry, their biological substrates and functions in virulence have been difficult to elucidate. We found that an spl operon mutant of the community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 strain LAC induced localized lung damage in a rabbit model of pneumonia, characterized by bronchopneumonia observed histologically. Disease in the mutant-infected rabbits was restricted in distribution compared to that in wild-type USA300-infected rabbits. We also found that SplA is able to cleave the mucin 16 glycoprotein from the surface of the CalU-3 lung cell line, suggesting a possible mechanism for wild-type USA300 spreading pneumonia to both lungs. Investigation of the secreted and surface proteomes of wild-type USA300 and the spl mutant revealed multiple alterations in metabolic proteins and virulence factors. This study demonstrates that the Spls modulate S. aureus physiology and virulence, identifies a human target of SplA, and suggests potential S. aureus targets of the Spl proteases. IMPORTANCE Staphylococcus aureus is a versatile human pathogen that produces an array of virulence factors, including several proteases. Of these, six proteases called the Spls are the least characterized. Previous evidence suggests that the Spls are expressed during human infection; however, their function is unknown. Our study shows that the Spls are required for S. aureus to cause disseminated lung damage during pneumonia. Further, we present the first example of a human protein cut by an Spl protease. Although the Spls were predicted not to cut staphylococcal proteins, we also show that an spl mutant has altered abundance of both secreted and surface-associated proteins. This work provides novel insight into the function of Spls during infection and their potential ability to degrade

  13. Correlation between virulence and colony morphology in Vibrio vulnificus.

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, L M; White, V K; Zane, S F; Oliver, J D

    1987-01-01

    Of 38 isolates of Vibrio vulnificus examined, all avirulent strains produced only translucent colonies. All virulent strains, with the exception of biogroup 2 (eel pathogens), exhibited both opaque and translucent colonies. Isogenic morphotypes were examined for a variety of phenotypic and virulence traits. Only the ability to utilize transferrin-bound iron and the presence of a surface polysaccharide were found to correlate with colony opacity and virulence. Images PMID:2432016

  14. Final Report for LDRD Project 02-ERD-069: Discovering the Unknown Mechanism(s) of Virulence in a BW, Class A Select Agent

    SciTech Connect

    Chain, P; Garcia, E

    2003-02-06

    The goal of this proposed effort was to assess the difficulty in identifying and characterizing virulence candidate genes in an organism for which very limited data exists. This was accomplished by first addressing the finishing phase of draft-sequenced F. tularensis genomes and conducting comparative analyses to determine the coding potential of each genome; to discover the differences in genome structure and content, and to identify potential genes whose products may be involved in the F. tularensis virulence process. The project was divided into three parts: (1) Genome finishing: This part involves determining the order and orientation of the consensus sequences of contigs obtained from Phrap assemblies of random draft genomic sequences. This tedious process consists of linking contig ends using information embedded in each sequence file that relates the sequence to the original cloned insert. Since inserts are sequenced from both ends, we can establish a link between these paired-ends in different contigs and thus order and orient contigs. Since these genomes carry numerous copies of insertion sequences, these repeated elements ''confuse'' the Phrap assembly program. It is thus necessary to break these contigs apart at the repeated sequences and individually join the proper flanking regions using paired-end information, or using results of comparisons against a similar genome. Larger repeated elements such as the small subunit ribosomal RNA operon require verification with PCR. Tandem repeats require manual intervention and typically rely on single nucleotide polymorphisms to be resolved. Remaining gaps require PCR reactions and sequencing. Once the genomes have been ''closed'', low quality regions are addressed by resequencing reactions. (2) Genome analysis: The final consensus sequences are processed by combining the results of three gene modelers: Glimmer, Critica and Generation. The final gene models are submitted to a battery of homology searches and

  15. Differential regulation of the leukotoxin operon in highly leukotoxic and minimally leukotoxic strains of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans.

    PubMed Central

    Hritz, M; Fisher, E; Demuth, D R

    1996-01-01

    The expression of the leukotoxin (ltx) operon varies significantly among Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans strains. The dual promoters driving ltx expression in the highly toxic strain JP2 have been previously characterized (J. M. Brogan, E. T. Lally, K. Poulsen, M. Kilian, and D. R. Demuth, Infect. Immun. 62:501-508, 1994), and genetic analyses of A. actinomycetemcomitans suggest that highly toxic strains like JP2 arose from minimally toxic strains, presumably by deletion of a 530-bp domain within the ltx promoter region (K. Poulsen, E. Theilade, E.T. Lally, D. R. Demuth, and M. Kilian, Microbiology 140:2049-2060, 1994). However, the ltx promoter of minimally toxic A. actinomycetemcomitans strains has not been well characterized. In this study, deletion and primer extension analyses showed that the ltx promoter of A. actinomycetemcomitans 652 is situated approximately 150 bp upstream of the ltxC gene and initiates transcription 138 nucleotides upstream of ltxC. In contrast to strain JP2, only a single promoter appears to drive ltx expression in 652. The 652 promoter resides within the 530-bp region that is absent from the JP2 promoter sequence, suggesting that the specific sequences controlling ltx expression differ in highly toxic and minimally toxic A. actinomycetemcomitans strains. In addition, ltx expression in strain 652 was shown to be induced three- to fourfold when cells were grown under anaerobic conditions. The induction of whole cell leukotoxicity, was accompanied by increases in the levels of Ltx polypeptide and the steady-state levels of ltx mRNA, suggesting that regulation occurred at the level of transcription. In contrast, the levels of leukotoxicity, Ltx polypeptide, and fix mRNA in strain JP2 were unaffected by anaerobic growth. These results suggest that the ltx operon is differentially regulated in highly toxic and minimally toxic A. actinomycetemcomitans strains and that the sequences controlling the oxygen-dependent regulation of ltx

  16. Bistability of the lac operon during growth of Escherichia coli on lactose and lactose+glucose.

    PubMed

    Narang, Atul; Pilyugin, Sergei S

    2008-05-01

    The lac operon of Escherichia coli can exhibit bistability. Early studies showed that bistability occurs during growth on TMG/succinate and lactose+glucose, but not during growth on lactose. More recently, studies with lacGFP-transfected cells show bistability during growth on TMG/succinate, but not during growth on lactose and lactose+glucose. In the literature, these results are invariably attributed to variations in the destabilizing effect of the positive feedback generated by induction. Specifically, during growth on TMG/succinate, lac induction generates strong positive feedback because the permease stimulates the accumulation of intracellular TMG, which in turn, promotes the synthesis of even more permease. This positive feedback is attenuated during growth on lactose because hydrolysis of intracellular lactose by beta-galactosidase suppresses the stimulatory effect of the permease. It is attenuated even more during growth on lactose + glucose because glucose inhibits the uptake of lactose. But it is clear that the stabilizing effect of dilution also changes dramatically as a function of the medium composition. For instance, during growth on TMG/succinate, the dilution rate of lac permease is proportional to its activity, e, because the specific growth rate is independent of e (it is completely determined by the concentration of succinate). However, during growth on lactose, the dilution rate of the permease is proportional to e2 because the specific growth rate is proportional to the specific lactose uptake rate, which in turn, proportional to e. We show that: (a) This dependence on e2 creates such a strong stabilizing effect that bistability is virtually impossible during growth on lactose, even in the face of the intense positive feedback generated by induction. (b) This stabilizing effect is weakened during growth on lactose+glucose because the specific growth rate on glucose is independent of e, so that the dilution rate once again contains a term that

  17. A cis/trans Test of the Effect of the First Enzyme for Histidine Biosynthesis on Regulation of the Histidine Operon

    PubMed Central

    Kovach, John S.; Ballesteros, Antonio O.; Meyers, Marilyn; Soria, Marco; Goldberger, Robert F.

    1973-01-01

    Previous studies showed that when triazolalanine was added to a derepressed culture of a histidine auxotroph, repression of the histidine operon occurred as though histidine had been added (6). However, when triazolalanine was added to a derepressed culture of a strain with a mutation in the first gene of the histidine operon which rendered the first enzyme for histidine biosynthesis resistant to inhibition by histidine, repression did not occur. The studies reported here represent a cis/trans test of this effect of mutations to feedback resistance. Using specially constructed merodiploid strains, we were able to show that the wild-type allele is dominant to the mutant (feedback resistant) allele and that the effect operates in trans. We conclude that the enzyme encoded by the first gene of the histidine operon exerts its regulatory effect on the operon not by acting locally at its site of synthesis, but by acting as a freely diffusible protein. PMID:4572718

  18. Fungal virulence genes as targets for antifungal chemotherapy.

    PubMed Central

    Perfect, J R

    1996-01-01

    Fungal virulence genes have now met the age of molecular pathogenesis. The definition of virulence genes needs to be broad so that it encompasses the focus on molecular antifungal targets and vaccine epitopes. However, in the broad but simple definition of a virulence gene, there will be many complex genetic and host interactions which investigators will need to carefully define. Nevertheless, with the increasing numbers of serious fungal infections produced by old and newly reported organisms, the paucity of present antifungal drugs, and the likelihood of increasing drug resistance, the need for investigations into understanding fungal virulence at the molecular level has never been more important. PMID:8807043

  19. Five mutations in the promoter region of the araBAD operon of Escherichia coli B/r.

    PubMed

    Miyada, C G; Sheppard, D E; Wilcox, G

    1983-11-01

    Five mutations that result in reduced expression of the araBAD operon were cloned onto the plasmid pBR322. The position of each mutation was determined by DNA sequence analysis. Three of the mutations were located in the RNA polymerase binding site of the araBAD promoter. The first, ara-1016, was a one-base-pair deletion at position -35; the second, ara-1036, was a transversion at position -13; the third, ara-1027, was a nine-base-pair deletion from +5 to +13. S1 nuclease mapping showed that mutations ara-1016 and ara-1036 greatly reduced transcription and that mutation ara-1027 had little, if any, effect on transcription. Two other mutations resulted from the transposition of the insertion element, IS1, downstream from the transcriptional start site of the operon. Molecular mechanisms for all of the mutations are discussed.

  20. Constructing a recombinant hyaluronic acid biosynthesis operon and producing food-grade hyaluronic acid in Lactococcus lactis.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Juzheng; Ling, Peixue; Wang, Fengshan

    2015-02-01

    Hyaluronic acid (HA), a natural high molecular weight polysaccharide, is produced by Streptococcus zooepidemicus. However, Streptococcus has several drawbacks including its potential to produce exotoxins, so there is demand for an alternative HA source. Here, a recombinant HA biosynthesis operon, as well as the HA biosynthesis operon of S. zooepidemicus were introduced into L. lactis using the nisin-controlled expression system, respectively. HA was successfully synthesized by recombinant L. lactis. Furthermore, overexpression of the endogenous enzymes directing the synthesis of precursor sugars was effective at increasing HA production, and increasing the supply of UDP-activated monosaccharide donors aided synthesis of monodisperse HA polysaccharides. Besides GRAS host strain (L. lactis) and NICE system, the selecting marker (lacF gene) of the recombinant strain is also food grade. Therefore, HA produced by recombinant L. lactis overcomes the problems associated with Streptococcus and provides a source of food-grading HA appropriate for widespread biotechnological applications.

  1. Simple whole-cell biodetection and bioremediation of heavy metals based on an engineered lead-specific operon.

    PubMed

    Wei, Wei; Liu, Xiangzhi; Sun, Peiqing; Wang, Xin; Zhu, Hong; Hong, Mei; Mao, Zong-Wan; Zhao, Jing

    2014-03-18

    A lead-specific binding protein, PbrR, and promoter pbr from the lead resistance operon, pbr, of Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 was incorporated into E. coli in conjunction with an engineered downstream RFP (red fluorescence protein), which allowed for highly sensitive and selective whole-cell detection of lead ions. The subsequent display of PbrR on the E. coli cell surface permitted selective adsorption of lead ions from solution containing various heavy metal ions. The surface-engineered E. coli bacteria effectively protected Arabidopsis thaliana seed germination from the toxicity of lead ions at high concentrations. Engineering the E. coli bacteria harboring these lead-specific elements from the pbr operon may potentially be a valuable general strategy for biodetection and bioremediation of toxic heavy metal ions in the environment.

  2. Bistable behavior of the lac operon in E. coli when induced with a mixture of lactose and TMG.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Hernández, Orlando; Santillán, Moisés

    2010-01-01

    In this work we investigate multistability in the lac operon of Escherichia coli when it is induced by a mixture of lactose and the non-metabolizable thiomethyl galactoside (TMG). In accordance with previously published experimental results and computer simulations, our simulations predict that: (1) when the system is induced by TMG, the system shows a discernible bistable behavior while, (2) when the system is induced by lactose, bistability does not disappear but excessively high concentrations of lactose would be required to observe it. Finally, our simulation results predict that when a mixture of lactose and TMG is used, the bistability region in the extracellular glucose concentration vs. extracellular lactose concentration parameter space changes in such a way that the model predictions regarding bistability could be tested experimentally. These experiments could help to solve a recent controversy regarding the existence of bistability in the lac operon under natural conditions.

  3. Bistable Behavior of the Lac Operon in E. Coli When Induced with a Mixture of Lactose and TMG

    PubMed Central

    Díaz-Hernández, Orlando; Santillán, Moisés

    2010-01-01

    In this work we investigate multistability in the lac operon of Escherichia coli when it is induced by a mixture of lactose and the non-metabolizable thiomethyl galactoside (TMG). In accordance with previously published experimental results and computer simulations, our simulations predict that: (1) when the system is induced by TMG, the system shows a discernible bistable behavior while, (2) when the system is induced by lactose, bistability does not disappear but excessively high concentrations of lactose would be required to observe it. Finally, our simulation results predict that when a mixture of lactose and TMG is used, the bistability region in the extracellular glucose concentration vs. extracellular lactose concentration parameter space changes in such a way that the model predictions regarding bistability could be tested experimentally. These experiments could help to solve a recent controversy regarding the existence of bistability in the lac operon under natural conditions. PMID:21423364

  4. Regulation of the dnaK operon of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) is governed by HspR, an autoregulatory repressor protein.

    PubMed Central

    Bucca, G; Hindle, Z; Smith, C P

    1997-01-01

    The dnaK operon of Streptomyces coelicolor contains four genes (5'-dnaK-grpE-dnaJ-hspR). The fourth gene encodes a novel heat shock protein, HspR, which appears so far to be unique to the high-G+C actinomycete group of bacteria. HspR binds with high specificity to three inverted repeat sequences in the promoter region of the S. coelicolor dnaK operon, strongly suggesting a direct role for HspR in heat shock gene regulation. Here we present genetic and biochemical evidence that HspR is the repressor of the dnaK operon. Disruption of hspR leads to high-level constitutive transcription of the dnaK operon. Parallel transcriptional analyses of groESL1 and groEL2 expression demonstrated that heat shock regulation of the groE genes was essentially unaffected in an hspR null mutant, although the basal (uninduced) level of groEL2 transcription was slightly elevated compared with the wild type. The results of HspR titration experiments, where the dnaK operon promoter region was cloned at ca. 50 copies per chromosome, were consistent with the prediction that HspR functions as a negative autoregulator. His-tagged HspR, overproduced and purified from Escherichia coli, was shown to repress transcription from the dnaK operon promoter in vitro, providing additional evidence for the proposal that HspR directly regulates transcription of the dnaK operon. These studies indicate that there are at least two transcriptional mechanisms for controlling heat shock genes in S. coelicolor--one controlling the dnaK operon and another controlling the groE genes. PMID:9324243

  5. Characterization of PaxA and Its Operon: a Cohemolytic RTX Toxin Determinant from Pathogenic Pasteurella aerogenes

    PubMed Central

    Kuhnert, Peter; Heyberger-Meyer, Bénédicte; Nicolet, Jacques; Frey, Joachim

    2000-01-01

    Pasteurella aerogenes is known as a commensal bacterium or as an opportunistic pathogen, as well as a primary pathogen found to be involved in abortion cases of humans, swine, and other mammals. Using broad-range DNA probes for bacterial RTX toxin genes, we cloned and subsequently sequenced a new operon named paxCABD encoding the RTX toxin PaxA in P. aerogenes. The pax operon is organized analogous to the classical RTX operons containing the activator gene paxC upstream of the structural toxin gene paxA, which is followed by the secretion protein genes paxB and paxD. The highest sequence similarity of paxA with known RTX toxin genes is found with apxIIIA (82%). PaxA is structurally similar to ApxIIIA and also shows functional analogy to ApxIIIA, since it shows cohemolytic activity with the sphingomyelinase of Staphylococcus aureus, known as the CAMP effect, but is devoid of direct hemolytic activity. In addition, it shows to some extent immunological cross-reactions with ApxIIIA. P. aerogenes isolated from various specimens showed that the pax operon was present in about one-third of the strains. All of the pax-positive strains were specifically related to swine abortion cases or septicemia of newborn piglets. These strains were also shown to produce the PaxA toxin as determined by the CAMP phenomenon, whereas none of the pax-negative strains did. This indicated that the PaxA toxin is involved in the pathogenic potential of P. aerogenes. The examined P. aerogenes isolates were phylogenetically analyzed by 16S rRNA gene (rrs) sequencing in order to confirm their species. Only a small heterogeneity (<0.5%) was observed between the rrs genes of the strains originating from geographically distant farms and isolated at different times. PMID:10603361

  6. Deoxyribonucleic acid-ribonucleic acid hybridization studies on the L-Arabinose operon of Escherichia coli B-r.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, G; Singer, J; Heffernan, L

    1971-10-01

    An increase in the rate of synthesis of ara-specific messenger ribonucleic acid as measured by deoxyribonucleic acid-ribonucleic acid hybridization has been detected in the induced wild-type (ara(+)) strain of Escherichia coli B/r as compared with the uninduced control, thus providing evidence that regulation of the positively controlled l-arabinose operon is at the level of transcription.

  7. Role of hha and ler in transcriptional regulation of the esp operon of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Vijay K; Zuerner, Richard L

    2004-11-01

    The locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), which includes five major operons (LEE1 through LEE4 and tir), enables enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 to produce attaching and effacing lesions on host cells. Expression of LEE2, LEE3, and tir is positively regulated by ler, a gene located in LEE1. Transcriptional regulation of the esp operon (LEE4), however, is not well defined. Transposon mutagenesis was used to identify transcriptional regulators of the esp operon by screening for mutants with increased beta-galactosidase activity in an EHEC O157:H7 strain harboring an esp::lac transcriptional fusion. All mutants with significant increases in beta-galactosidase activity had transposon insertions in hha (hha::Tn). Specific complementation of the hha::Tn mutation with a plasmid-encoded copy of hha reduced beta-galactosidase activity to the level expressed in the parental esp::lac strain. Purified Hha, however, bound poorly to the esp promoter, suggesting that Hha might repress the transcription of a positive regulator of esp. Transposon mutagenesis of a Deltahha esp::lac strain expressing elevated levels of beta-galactosidase resulted in ler mutants with reduced beta-galactosidase activity. Purified Hha bound to the ler promoter with a higher affinity, and complementation of a Deltahha mutation in a Deltahha ler::lac strain repressed beta-galactosidase activity to the level expressed in a ler::lac strain. A positive regulatory role of ler in esp expression was demonstrated by specific binding of Ler to the esp promoter, reduced expression of beta-galactosidase in Deltaler esp::lac strains with and without hha, and severalfold-increased transcription of ler and espA in strains lacking hha. These results indicate that hha-mediated repression of ler causes reduced expression of the esp operon.

  8. BadR and BadM Proteins Transcriptionally Regulate Two Operons Needed for Anaerobic Benzoate Degradation by Rhodopseudomonas palustris

    PubMed Central

    Hirakawa, Hidetada; Hirakawa, Yuko; Greenberg, E. Peter

    2015-01-01

    The bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris grows with the aromatic acid benzoate and the alicyclic acid cyclohexanecarboxylate (CHC) as sole carbon sources. The enzymatic steps in an oxygen-independent pathway for CHC degradation have been elucidated, but it was unknown how the CHC operon (badHI aliAB badK) encoding the enzymes for CHC degradation was regulated. aliA and aliB encode enzymes for the conversion of CHC to cyclohex-1-enecarboxyl–coenzyme A (CHene-CoA). At this point, the pathway for CHC degradation merges with the pathway for anaerobic benzoate degradation, as CHene-CoA is an intermediate in both degradation pathways. Three enzymes, encoded by badK, badH, and badI, prepare and cleave the alicyclic ring of CHene-CoA to yield pimelyl-CoA. Here, we show that the MarR transcription factor family member, BadR, represses transcription of the CHC operon by binding near the transcription start site of badH. 2-Ketocyclohexane-1-carboxyl–CoA, an intermediate of CHC and benzoate degradation, interacts with BadR to abrogate repression. We also