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Sample records for molecular virulence determinants

  1. Listeria Pathogenesis and Molecular Virulence Determinants

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez-Boland, José A.; Kuhn, Michael; Berche, Patrick; Chakraborty, Trinad; Domínguez-Bernal, Gustavo; Goebel, Werner; González-Zorn, Bruno; Wehland, Jürgen; Kreft, Jürgen

    2001-01-01

    , rapid intracytoplasmic multiplication, bacterially induced actin-based motility, and direct spread to neighboring cells, in which they reinitiate the cycle. In this way, listeriae disseminate in host tissues sheltered from the humoral arm of the immune system. Over the last 15 years, a number of virulence factors involved in key steps of this intracellular life cycle have been identified. This review describes in detail the molecular determinants of Listeria virulence and their mechanism of action and summarizes the current knowledge on the pathophysiology of listeriosis and the cell biology and host cell responses to Listeria infection. This article provides an updated perspective of the development of our understanding of Listeria pathogenesis from the first molecular genetic analyses of virulence mechanisms reported in 1985 until the start of the genomic era of Listeria research. PMID:11432815

  2. 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....

  3. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Pathogenesis and Molecular Determinants of Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Issar

    2003-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB), one of the oldest known human diseases. is still is one of the major causes of mortality, since two million people die each year from this malady. TB has many manifestations, affecting bone, the central nervous system, and many other organ systems, but it is primarily a pulmonary disease that is initiated by the deposition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, contained in aerosol droplets, onto lung alveolar surfaces. From this point, the progression of the disease can have several outcomes, determined largely by the response of the host immune system. The efficacy of this response is affected by intrinsic factors such as the genetics of the immune system as well as extrinsic factors, e.g., insults to the immune system and the nutritional and physiological state of the host. In addition, the pathogen may play a role in disease progression since some M. tuberculosis strains are reportedly more virulent than others, as defined by increased transmissibility as well as being associated with higher morbidity and mortality in infected individuals. Despite the widespread use of an attenuated live vaccine and several antibiotics, there is more TB than ever before, requiring new vaccines and drugs and more specific and rapid diagnostics. Researchers are utilizing information obtained from the complete sequence of the M. tuberculosis genome and from new genetic and physiological methods to identify targets in M. tuberculosis that will aid in the development of these sorely needed antitubercular agents. PMID:12857778

  4. Antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence determinant carriage and molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolates associated with skin and soft tissue infections.

    PubMed

    Yu, Fangyou; Liu, Yunling; Lv, Jinnan; Qi, Xiuqin; Lu, Chaohui; Ding, Yu; Li, Dan; Liu, Huanle; Wang, Liangxing

    2015-01-01

    A better understanding of the antimicrobial susceptibility, carriage of virulence determinants and molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolates associated with skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) may provide further insights related to clinical outcomes with these infections. From January 2012 to September 2013, a total of 128 non-duplicate S. aureus isolates were recovered from patients with SSTIs. All 128 S. aureus SSTI isolates carried at least five virulence genes tested. Virulence genes detected among at least 70% of all tested isolates included hld (100%), hla (95.3%), icaA (96.9%), clf (99.2%), sdrC (79.7%), sdrD (70.3%), and sdrE (72.7%). The prevalence of MRSA isolates with 10 virulence genes tested (54.4%, 31/56) was significantly higher than that among MSSA isolates (35.2%, 25/71) (p<0.05). The positive rates of seb, sen, sem, sdrE and pvl among MRSA isolates were significantly higher than among MSSA isolates (p<0.05). ST7 and ST630 accounting for 10.9% were found to be the predominant STs. The most prevalent spa type was t091 (8.6%). MRSA-ST59-SCCmec IV was the most common clone (12.3%) among MRSA isolates whereas among MSSA isolates the dominant clone was MSSA-ST7 (15.5%). Six main clonal complexes (CCs) were found, including CC5 (52.3%), CC7 (11.7%), CC59 (8.6%), CC88 (6.3%), CC398 (4.7%), and CC121 (3.1%). A higher carriage of seb and sec was found among CC59 isolates. In comparison to CC5 and CC7 isolates, those with the highest carriage rates (>80.0%) of sdrC and sdrD, CC59 isolates had lower prevalence of these two virulence genes. All CC59 isolates were susceptible to gentamicin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, while CC5 and CC7 isolates had resistance rates to these two antimicrobials of 25.4% and 20.9%, and 40.0% and 40.0%, respectively. The resistance rates for tetracycline, clindamycin, and erythromycin among CC5 isolates were lower than among CC7 and CC59 isolates. In conclusion, the molecular typing of S. aureus SSTI

  5. Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strains from cystic fibrosis patients: genomic variability and molecular characterization of some virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Nicoletti, Mauro; Iacobino, Angelo; Prosseda, Gianni; Fiscarelli, Ersilia; Zarrilli, Raffaele; De Carolis, Elena; Petrucca, Andrea; Nencioni, Lucia; Colonna, Bianca; Casalino, Mariassunta

    2011-01-01

    The genetic relatedness of 52 Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strains, collected from various environmental and clinical sources, including cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, as well as the presence and the expression of some virulence-associated genes were studied. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis identified 47 profiles and three clusters of isolates with an identical PFGE pattern considered to be indistinguishable strains. Restriction fragment length polymorphism of the gyrB gene grouped the 52 strains into nine different profiles. Most CF clinical isolates (29 out of 41) showed profile 1, while the analysis of the hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene revealed five distinct allelic variations, with the majority of CF isolates (23 out of 41) belonging to sequence group 1. Furthermore, the strains were characterized for motility and expression of virulence-associated genes, including genes encoding type-1 fimbriae, proteases (StmPr1 and StmPr2) and esterase. All S. maltophilia strains exhibited a very broad range of swimming and twitching motility, while none showed swarming motility. A complete smf-1 gene was PCR-amplified only from clinically derived S. maltophilia strains. Finally, the virulence of representative S. maltophilia strains impaired in the expression of proteases and esterase activities was evaluated by infecting larvae of the wax moth Galleria mellonella. The results obtained strongly indicate that the major extracellular protease StmPr1 may be a relevant virulence factor of S. maltophilia.

  6. Bluetongue virus genetic and phenotypic diversity: towards identifying the molecular determinants that influence virulence and transmission potential.

    PubMed

    Coetzee, Peter; Van Vuuren, Moritz; Stokstad, Maria; Myrmel, Mette; Venter, Estelle H

    2012-12-28

    Bluetongue virus (BTV) is the prototype member of the Orbivirus genus in the family Reoviridae and is the aetiological agent of the arthropod transmitted disease bluetongue (BT) that affects both ruminant and camelid species. The disease is of significant global importance due to its economic impact and effect on animal welfare. Bluetongue virus, a dsRNA virus, evolves through a process of quasispecies evolution that is driven by genetic drift and shift as well as intragenic recombination. Quasispecies evolution coupled with founder effect and evolutionary selective pressures has over time led to the establishment of genetically distinct strains of the virus in different epidemiological systems throughout the world. Bluetongue virus field strains may differ substantially from each other with regards to their phenotypic properties (i.e. virulence and/or transmission potential). The intrinsic molecular determinants that influence the phenotype of BTV have not clearly been characterized. It is currently unclear what contribution each of the viral genome segments have in determining the phenotypic properties of the virus and it is also unknown how genetic variability in the individual viral genes and their functional domains relate to differences in phenotype. In order to understand how genetic variation in particular viral genes could potentially influence the phenotypic properties of the virus; a closer understanding of the BTV virion, its encoded proteins and the evolutionary mechanisms that shape the diversity of the virus is required. This review provides a synopsis of these issues and highlights some of the studies that have been conducted on BTV and the closely related African horse sickness virus (AHSV) that have contributed to ongoing attempts to identify the molecular determinants that influence the virus' phenotype. Different strategies that can be used to generate BTV mutants in vitro and methods through which the causality between particular genetic

  7. [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.

  8. 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.

  9. Viral determinants of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) virulence in rhesus macaques assessed by using attenuated and pathogenic molecular clones of SIVmac.

    PubMed Central

    Marthas, M L; Ramos, R A; Lohman, B L; Van Rompay, K K; Unger, R E; Miller, C J; Banapour, B; Pedersen, N C; Luciw, P A

    1993-01-01

    To identify viral determinants of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) virulence, two pairs of reciprocal recombinants constructed from a pathogenic (SIVmac239) and a nonpathogenic (SIVmac1A11) molecular clone of SIV were tested in rhesus macaques. A large 6.2-kb fragment containing gag, pol, env, and the regulatory genes from each of the cloned (parental) viruses was exchanged to produce one pair of recombinant viruses (designated SIVmac1A11/239gag-env/1A11 and SIVmac239/1A11gag-env/239 to indicate the genetic origins of the 5'/internal/3' regions, respectively, of the virus). A smaller 1.4-kb fragment containing the external env domain of each of the parental viruses was exchanged to create the second pair (SIVmac1A11/239env/1A11 and SIVmac239/1A11env/239) of recombinant viruses. Each of the two parental and four recombinant viruses was inoculated intravenously into four rhesus macaques, and all 24 animals were viremic by 4 weeks postinoculation (p.i.). Virus could not be isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of any animals infected with SIVmac1A11 after 6 weeks p.i. but was consistently isolated from all macaques inoculated with SIVmac239 for 92 weeks p.i. Virus isolation was variable from animals infected with recombinant viruses; SIVmac1A11/239gag-env/1A11 and SIVmac239/1A11env/239 were isolated most frequently. Animals inoculated with SIVmac239 had 10 to 100 times more virus-infected PBMC than those infected with recombinant viruses. Three animals infected with SIVmac239 died with simian AIDS (SAIDS) during the 2-year observation period after inoculation, and the fourth SIVmac239-infected animal had clinical signs of SAIDS. Two animals infected with recombinant viruses died with SAIDS; one was infected with SIVmac239/1A11gag-env/239, and the other was infected with SIVmac1A11/239gag-env/1A11. The remaining 18 macaques remained healthy by 2 years p.i., and 13 were aviremic. One year after inoculation, peripheral lymph nodes of some of these

  10. Genetic determinants of virulence - Candida parapsilosis.

    PubMed

    Singaravelu, Kumara; Gácser, Attila; Nosanchuk, Joshua D

    2014-01-01

    The global epidemiology of fungal infections is changing. While overall, Candida albicans remains the most common pathogen; several institutions in Europe, Asia and South America have reported the rapid emergence to predominance of Candida parapsilosis. This mini-review examines the impact of gene deletions achieved in C. parapsilosis that have been published to date. The molecular approaches to gene disruption in C. parapsilosis and the molecularly characterized genes to date are reviewed. Similar to C. albicans, factors influencing virulence in C. parapsilosis include adherence, biofilm formation, lipid metabolism, and secretion of hydrolytic enzymes such as lipases, phospholipases and secreted aspartyl proteinases. Development of a targeted gene deletion method has enabled the identification of several unique aspects of C. parapsilosis genes that play a role in host-pathogen interactions - CpLIP1, CpLIP2, SAPP1a, SAPP1b, BCR1, RBT1, CpFAS2, OLE1, FIT-2. This manuscript is part of the series of works presented at the "V International Workshop: Molecular genetic approaches to the study of human pathogenic fungi" (Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012).

  11. Molecular assessment of virulence determinants, hospital associated marker (IS16gene) and prevalence of antibiotic resistance in soil borne Enterococcus species.

    PubMed

    Ali, Syed Abid; Bin-Asif, Hassan; Hasan, Khwaja Ali; Rehman, Marium; Abbasi, Atiya

    2017-04-01

    Enterococci, no more regarded as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) organism, are emerging as an important source of nosocomial infections worldwide. The main contributors in pathogenesis of enterococci are the presence of various virulent factors and antibiotic resistance genes. We aimed to examine the prevalence, dissemination, antibiotic resistance and virulent factors associated with enterococci from bulk soil (BS). A total of 372 enterococci were isolated from 500 soil samples. PCR was used to identify the isolates up to species level and for carriage of 16 virulence genes including hospital associated marker (i.e. IS16). E. faecium (77%), E. faecalis (10%), E. hirae (4%) and E. casseliflavus (1%) were the major species isolated. The efaAfs was the most dominant gene (100%), followed by gelE (78.9%), sprE (76.3%) and esp (13%) in E. faecalis isolates. The E. faecium carried largely efaAfm (86.8%) and acm (50.3%) genes. Presence of entP (10%), entA (8.3%) and entB (6.9%) genes was detected mostly in E. faecium, while enlA (18%) and ef1097 (2.6%) was only detected in E. faecalis isolates. 50% E. faecalis and 2% E. faecium isolates harbored IS16, while five E. faecalis harbored both IS16 and espTIM genes providing strong evidence about the presence of espTIM gene on 64 Kb pathogenicity island. BOX and RAPD PCR analysis revealed high degree of genetic variation within the species. Degree of resistance against 12 major antibiotics showed chloramphenicol as the most effective and meropenom as the least effective antibiotic. Presence of multiple antibiotic resistant, virulent and hospital associated enterococci in bulk soil represents a potential source for further dissemination to humans and animals and poses potential impact on public health.

  12. Identification of Virulence Determinants in Influenza Viruses

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    To date there is no rapid method to screen for highly pathogenic avian influenza strains that may be indicators of future pandemics. We report here the first development of an oligonucleotide-based spectroscopic assay to rapidly and sensitively detect a N66S mutation in the gene coding for the PB1-F2 protein associated with increased virulence in highly pathogenic pandemic influenza viruses. 5′-Thiolated ssDNA oligonucleotides were employed as probes to capture RNA isolated from six influenza viruses, three having N66S mutations, two without the N66S mutation, and one deletion mutant not encoding the PB1-F2 protein. Hybridization was detected without amplification or labeling using the intrinsic surfaced-enhanced Raman spectrum of the DNA-RNA complex. Multivariate analysis identified target RNA binding from noncomplementary sequences with 100% sensitivity, 100% selectivity, and 100% correct classification in the test data set. These results establish that optical-based diagnostic methods are able to directly identify diagnostic indicators of virulence linked to highly pathogenic pandemic influenza viruses without amplification or labeling. PMID:24937567

  13. Enhanced IRES activity by the 3’UTR element determines the virulence of FMDV isolates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A reverse genetics approach was used to identify viral genetic determinants of the differential virulence displayed by two field foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) strains (A/Arg/00 and A/Arg/01) isolated in Argentina during the 2000-2001 epidemics. A molecular clone of A/Arg/01 strain and viral ch...

  14. On the determination of Toxoplasma gondii virulence in mice.

    PubMed

    Saraf, Pooja; Shwab, E Keats; Dubey, Jitender P; Su, Chunlei

    2017-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful pathogens on earth, capable of infecting an extremely broad range of mammals and birds and causing potentially fatal disease in humans. The house mouse (Mus musculus) has been used as the primary laboratory animal model for determining the virulence of T. gondii strains. Epidemiological evidence also suggests a potential association between virulence in mice and disease severity in human toxoplasmosis. However, many factors can affect virulence measurements, including route of infection, life stage of the parasite, number of passages of the parasite in mice or cell culture, and the mouse host line used. Variability among these factors makes it difficult to compare results between different studies in different laboratories. Here, we discuss important factors that should be considered when carrying out T. gondii murine virulence assays and propose a standardized methodology that should facilitate integration of T. gondii virulence data throughout the research community in future studies and thereby enable more efficient and effective analysis of genetic and virulence patterns for this important parasite.

  15. Dissecting novel virulent determinants in the Burkholderia cepacia complex

    PubMed Central

    Tegos, George P.; Haynes, Mark K.; Schweizer, Herbert P.

    2012-01-01

    Prevention and control of infectious diseases remains a major public health challenge and a number of highly virulent pathogens are emerging both in and beyond the hospital setting. Despite beneficial aspects such as use in biocontrol and bioremediation exhibited by members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) some members of this group have recently gained attention as significant bacterial pathogens due to their high levels of intrinsic antibiotic resistance, transmissibility in nosocomial settings, persistence in the presence of antimicrobials and intracellular survival capabilities. The Bcc are opportunistic pathogens and their arsenal of virulence factors includes proteases, lipases and other secreted exoproducts, including secretion system-associated effectors. Deciphering the function of virulence factors and assessment of novel therapeutic strategies has been facilitated by use of diverse non-vertebrate hosts (the fly Drosophila melanogaster, the microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the zebrafish and the greater Galleria mellonella wax moth caterpillar larvae). Researchers are now employing sophisticated approaches to dissect the virulence determinants of Bcc with the ultimate goal being the development of novel anti-infective countermeasures. This editorial will highlight selected recent research endeavors aimed at dissecting adaptive responses and the virulence factor portfolio of Burkholderia species. PMID:22546904

  16. Screening of Molecular Virulence Markers in Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains Isolated from Clinical Infections

    PubMed Central

    Cotar, Ani-Ioana; Chifiriuc, Mariana-Carmen; Dinu, Sorin; Bucur, Marcela; Iordache, Carmen; Banu, Otilia; Dracea, Olguta; Larion, Cristina; Lazar, Veronica

    2010-01-01

    Staphylococcus (S.) aureus and Pseudomonas (Ps.) aeruginosa are two of the most frequently opportunistic pathogens isolated in nosocomial infections, responsible for severe infections in immunocompromised hosts. The frequent emergence of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa strains has determined the development of new strategies in order to elucidate the different mechanisms used by these bacteria at different stages of the infectious process, providing the scientists with new procedures for preventing, or at least improving, the control of S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa infections. The purpose of this study was to characterize the molecular markers of virulence in S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa strains isolated from different clinical specimens. We used multiplex and uniplex PCR assays to detect the genes encoding different cell-wall associated and extracellular virulence factors, in order to evaluate potential associations between the presence of putative virulence genes and the outcome of infections caused by these bacteria. Our results demonstrate that all the studied S. aureus and Ps. aeruginosa strains synthesize the majority of the investigated virulence determinants, probably responsible for different types of infections. PMID:21614207

  17. Virulence and Molecular Characterization of Experimental Isolates of the Stripe Rust Pathogen (Puccinia striiformis) Indicate Somatic Recombination.

    PubMed

    Lei, Yu; Wang, Meinan; Wan, Anmin; Xia, Chongjing; See, Deven R; Zhang, Min; Chen, Xianming

    2017-03-01

    Puccinia striiformis causes stripe rust on wheat, barley, and grasses. Natural population studies have indicated that somatic recombination plays a possible role in P. striiformis variation. To determine whether somatic recombination can occur, susceptible wheat or barley plants were inoculated with mixed urediniospores of paired isolates of P. striiformis. Progeny isolates were selected by passing through a series of inoculations of wheat or barley genotypes. Potential recombinant isolates were compared with the parental isolates on the set of 18 wheat or 12 barley genotypes that are used to differentiate races of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici (the wheat stripe rust pathogen) and P. striiformis f. sp. hordei (the barley stripe rust pathogen), respectively, for virulence changes. They were also tested with 51 simple-sequence repeat and 90 single-nucleotide polymorphism markers for genotype changes. From 68 possible recombinant isolates obtained from nine combinations of isolates based on virulence tests, 66 were proven to be recombinant isolates by molecular markers. Various types of recombinants were determined, including lost virulence from both virulent parental isolates, gained virulence from both avirulent isolates, combined virulences from both parents, and inherited virulence from one parent and avirulence from another. Marker data indicate that most of the recombinants were produced through chromosome reassortment and crossover after the hybridization of two parental isolates. The results demonstrate that somatic recombination is a mechanism by which new variants can be generated in P. striiformis.

  18. Flagellar biosynthesis exerts temporal regulation of secretion of specific Campylobacter jejuni colonization and virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Barrero-Tobon, Angelica M; Hendrixson, David R

    2014-09-01

    The Campylobacter jejuni flagellum exports both proteins that form the flagellar organelle for swimming motility and colonization and virulence factors that promote commensal colonization of the avian intestinal tract or invasion of human intestinal cells respectively. We explored how the C. jejuni flagellum is a versatile secretory organelle by examining molecular determinants that allow colonization and virulence factors to exploit the flagellum for their own secretion. Flagellar biogenesis was observed to exert temporal control of secretion of these proteins, indicating that a bolus of secretion of colonization and virulence factors occurs during hook biogenesis with filament polymerization itself reducing secretion of these factors. Furthermore, we found that intramolecular and intermolecular requirements for flagellar-dependent secretion of these proteins were most reminiscent to those for flagellin secretion. Importantly, we discovered that secretion of one colonization and virulence factor, CiaI, was not required for invasion of human colonic cells, which counters previous hypotheses for how this protein functions during invasion. Instead, secretion of CiaI was essential for C. jejuni to facilitate commensal colonization of the natural avian host. Our work provides insight into the versatility of the bacterial flagellum as a secretory machine that can export proteins promoting diverse biological processes.

  19. Molecular typing and virulence analysis of multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolates recovered from Egyptian hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Wasfi, Reham; Elkhatib, Walid F.; Ashour, Hossam M.

    2016-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumonia infection rates have increased dramatically. Molecular typing and virulence analysis are powerful tools that can shed light on Klebsiella pneumonia infections. Whereas 77.7% (28/36) of clinical isolates indicated multidrug resistant (MDR) patterns, 50% (18/36) indicated carpabenem resistance. Gene prevalence for the AcrAB efflux pump (82.14%) was more than that of the mdtK efflux pump (32.14%) in the MDR isolates. FimH-1 and mrkD genes were prevalent in wound and blood isolates. FimH-1 gene was prevalent in sputum while mrkD gene was prevalent in urine. Serum resistance associated with outer membrane protein coding gene (traT) was found in all blood isolates. IucC, entB, and Irp-1 were detected in 32.14%, 78.5% and 10.7% of MDR isolates, respectively. We used two Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analyses: Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) and Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). ERIC-PCR revealed 21 and RAPD-PCR revealed 18 distinct patterns of isolates with similarity ≥80%. ERIC genotyping significantly correlated with resistance patterns and virulence determinants. RAPD genotyping significantly correlated with resistance patterns but not with virulence determinants. Both RAPD and ERIC genotyping methods had no correlation with the capsule types. These findings can help up better predict MDR Klebsiella pneumoniae outbreaks associated with specific genotyping patterns. PMID:28004732

  20. Drug resistance & virulence determinants in clinical isolatesof Enterococcus species

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Sanal C.; Dhanashree, B.

    2013-01-01

    Background & objectives: Enterococci are the leading cause of nosocomial infections, and are thus a persisting clinical problem globally. We undertook this study to determine the virulence factors and the antibiotic resistance in Enterococcus clinical isolates. Methods: One hundred and fifty Enterococcus isolates obtained from various clinical specimens were speciated biochemically and subjected to antibiotic susceptibility testing using Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. Resistance to vancomycin was determined by using agar screen method. Haemolysin and gelatinase productions were detected using 5 per cent sheep blood agar and 12 per cent gelatin agar, respectively. Results: Among the 150 Enterococcus isolates, 84 (56%) were E. faecalis. 51(34%) E. faecium, and 15 (10%) were other Enterococcus spp. Haemolysin production was seen among 123 (82%) isolates while 61 (40.6%) isolates produced gelatinase. Nearly 50 per cent of the isolates showed high level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR). A total of 13 (8.6%) isolates showed vancomycin resistance, of which 11(7.3%) had an MIC >8 μg/ml. Interpretation & conclusions: Presence of VRE was found to be low among the isolates studied. However, occurrence of VRE along with HLAR calls for regular detection of vancomycin resistance promptly and accurately to recognize VRE colonization and infection. Early detection of VRE and HLAR along with their virulence trait will help in preventing the establishment and spread of multidrug resistant Enterococcus species. PMID:23760387

  1. Molecular characterization of the virulent infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) strain 220-90

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is the type species of the genus Novirhabdovirus, within the family Rhabdoviridae, infecting several species of wild and hatchery reared salmonids. Similar to other rhabdoviruses, IHNV has a linear single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genome of approximately 11,000 nucleotides. The IHNV genome encodes six genes; the nucleocapsid, phosphoprotein, matrix protein, glycoprotein, non-virion protein and polymerase protein genes, respectively. This study describes molecular characterization of the virulent IHNV strain 220-90, belonging to the M genogroup, and its phylogenetic relationships with available sequences of IHNV isolates worldwide. Results The complete genomic sequence of IHNV strain 220-90 was determined from the DNA of six overlapping clones obtained by RT-PCR amplification of genomic RNA. The complete genome sequence of 220-90 comprises 11,133 nucleotides (GenBank GQ413939) with the gene order of 3'-N-P-M-G-NV-L-5'. These genes are separated by conserved gene junctions, with di-nucleotide gene spacers. An additional uracil nucleotide was found at the end of the 5'-trailer region, which was not reported before in other IHNV strains. The first 15 of the 16 nucleotides at the 3'- and 5'-termini of the genome are complementary, and the first 4 nucleotides at 3'-ends of the IHNV are identical to other novirhadoviruses. Sequence homology and phylogenetic analysis of the glycoprotein genes show that 220-90 strain is 97% identical to most of the IHNV strains. Comparison of the virulent 220-90 genomic sequences with less virulent WRAC isolate shows more than 300 nucleotides changes in the genome, which doesn't allow one to speculate putative residues involved in the virulence of IHNV. Conclusion We have molecularly characterized one of the well studied IHNV isolates, 220-90 of genogroup M, which is virulent for rainbow trout, and compared phylogenetic relationship with North American and other strains

  2. Identifying potential virulence determinants in viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) for rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Campbell, S; Collet, B; Einer-Jensen, K; Secombes, C J; Snow, M

    2009-11-09

    We identified viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) isolates classified within Genotype Ib which are genetically similar (>99.4% glycoprotein amino acid identity) yet, based on their isolation history, were suspected to differ in virulence in juvenile rainbow trout. The virulence of an isolate recovered in 2000 from a viral haemorrhagic septicaemia disease episode in a marine rainbow trout farm in Sweden (SE-SVA-1033) was evaluated in juvenile rainbow trout via intraperitoneal injection and immersion challenge alongside 3 isolates recovered from wild-caught marine fish (DK-4p37, DK-5e59 and UKMLA98/6HE1) suspected of being of low pathogenicity to trout. Mortality data revealed that isolate SE-SVA-1033 caused VHSV-specific mortality in both intraperitoneal and immersion challenges (75.0 and 15.4%, respectively). The remaining Genotype Ib isolates caused significantly lower mortalities using the same experimental infection routes (<35.0 and <2.0%, respectively). Having identified VHSV isolates with clear differences in their pathogenicity, coding and inter-genic non-coding regions of 2 isolates (SE-SVA-1033 and DK-4p37) were determined and compared in order to identify potential markers responsible for the observed differences in virulence. Only 4 predicted amino acid substitutions were identified across the genome sequenced; these occurred in the N (R46G), G (S113G), NV (L12F) and L (S56A) proteins. These findings form the basis for further studies aimed at determining the biological significance of these mutations and suggest that small changes at the molecular level can cause significant changes in the virulence properties of VHSV isolates.

  3. 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

  4. Deciphering the Molecular Variations of Pine Wood Nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus with Different Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Xiaolei; Ye, Jianren; Lin, Sixi; Wu, Xiaoqin; Li, Dewei; Nian, Bo

    2016-01-01

    Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is the causative agent of pine wilt disease which has caused huge economic losses in many countries. It has been reported that two forms of pine wood nematodes existed in its native region, i.e., with strong virulence and weak virulence. However, little is known about the molecular differences between the two forms. To better understand their molecular variations, transcriptome and genome sequences of three strongly virulent and one weakly virulent strains were analyzed. We found 238 transcripts and 84 exons which showed notable changes between the two virulent forms. Functional analyses of both differentially expressed transcripts and exons indicated that different virulence strains showed dissimilar nematode growth, reproduction, and oxidoreductase activities. In addition, we also detected a small number of exon-skipping events in B. xylophilus. Meanwhile, 117 SNPs were identified as potential genetic markers in distinguishing the two forms. Four of them were further proved to have undergone allele specific expressions and possibly interrupted the target site of evolutionary conserved B. xylophilus miR-47. These particular SNPs were experimentally verified by including eight additional strains to ensure the validity of our sequencing results. These results could help researchers to better diagnose nematode species with different virulence and facilitate the control of pine wilt disease. PMID:27224277

  5. 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

  6. Determinants for persistence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in hospitals: interplay between resistance, virulence and biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, S J; Mutters, N T; DeRosa, A; Ewers, C; Frank, U; Günther, F

    2017-02-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) is one of the major bacterial pathogens causing nosocomial infections. During the past few decades, multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) lineages of Pa have emerged in hospital settings with increasing numbers. However, it remains unclear which determinants of Pa facilitated this spread. A total of 211 clinical XDR and 38 susceptible clinical Pa isolates (nonXDR), as well as 47 environmental isolates (EI), were collected at the Heidelberg University Hospital. We used RAPD PCR to identify genetic clusters. Carriage of carbapenamases (CPM) and virulence genes were analyzed by PCR, biofilm formation capacity was assessed, in vitro fitness was evaluated using competitive growth assays, and interaction with the host's immune system was analyzed using serum killing and neutrophil killing assays. XDR isolates showed significantly elevated biofilm formation (p < 0.05) and higher competitive fitness compared to nonXDR and EI isolates. Thirty percent (62/205) of the XDR isolates carried a CPM. Similarities in distribution of virulence factors, as well as biofilm formation properties, between CPM+ Pa isolates and EI and between CPM- and nonXDR isolates were detected. Molecular typing revealed two distinct genetic clusters within the XDR population, which were characterized by even higher biofilm formation. In contrast, XDR isolates were more susceptible to the immune response than nonXDR isolates. Our study provides evidence that the ability to form biofilms is an outstanding determinant for persistence and endemic spread of Pa in the hospital setting.

  7. PSM-Mec-A Virulence Determinant that Connects Transcriptional Regulation, Virulence, and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococci.

    PubMed

    Qin, Li; McCausland, Joshua W; Cheung, Gordon Y C; Otto, Michael

    2016-01-01

    PSM-mec is a secreted virulence factor that belongs to the phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) family of amphipathic, alpha-helical peptide toxins produced by Staphylococcus species. All known PSMs are core genome-encoded with the exception of PSM-mec, whose gene is found in specific sub-types of SCCmec methicillin resistance mobile genetic elements present in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci. In addition to the cytolytic translational product, PSM-mec, the psm-mec locus encodes a regulatory RNA. In S. aureus, the psm-mec locus influences cytolytic capacity, methicillin resistance, biofilm formation, cell spreading, and the expression of other virulence factors, such as other PSMs, which results in a significant impact on immune evasion and disease. However, these effects are highly strain-dependent, which is possibly due to differences in PSM-mec peptide vs. psm-mec RNA-controlled effects. Here, we summarize the functional properties of PSM-mec and the psm-mec RNA molecule and their roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis and physiology.

  8. RNAi-Based Functional Genomics Identifies New Virulence Determinants in Mucormycosis

    PubMed Central

    Sanchis, Marta; Lopez-Fernandez, Loida; Torres-Martínez, Santiago; Garre, Victoriano; Ruiz-Vázquez, Rosa María

    2017-01-01

    Mucorales are an emerging group of human pathogens that are responsible for the lethal disease mucormycosis. Unfortunately, functional studies on the genetic factors behind the virulence of these organisms are hampered by their limited genetic tractability, since they are reluctant to classical genetic tools like transposable elements or gene mapping. Here, we describe an RNAi-based functional genomic platform that allows the identification of new virulence factors through a forward genetic approach firstly described in Mucorales. This platform contains a whole-genome collection of Mucor circinelloides silenced transformants that presented a broad assortment of phenotypes related to the main physiological processes in fungi, including virulence, hyphae morphology, mycelial and yeast growth, carotenogenesis and asexual sporulation. Selection of transformants with reduced virulence allowed the identification of mcplD, which encodes a Phospholipase D, and mcmyo5, encoding a probably essential cargo transporter of the Myosin V family, as required for a fully virulent phenotype of M. circinelloides. Knock-out mutants for those genes showed reduced virulence in both Galleria mellonella and Mus musculus models, probably due to a delayed germination and polarized growth within macrophages. This study provides a robust approach to study virulence in Mucorales and as a proof of concept identified new virulence determinants in M. circinelloides that could represent promising targets for future antifungal therapies. PMID:28107502

  9. The Animal Model Determines the Results of Aeromonas Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Alejandro; Saraceni, Paolo R.; Merino, Susana; Figueras, Antonio; Tomás, Juan M.; Novoa, Beatriz

    2016-01-01

    The selection of an experimental animal model is of great importance in the study of bacterial virulence factors. Here, a bath infection of zebrafish larvae is proposed as an alternative model to study the virulence factors of Aeromonas hydrophila. Intraperitoneal infections in mice and trout were compared with bath infections in zebrafish larvae using specific mutants. The great advantage of this model is that bath immersion mimics the natural route of infection, and injury to the tail also provides a natural portal of entry for the bacteria. The implication of T3SS in the virulence of A. hydrophila was analyzed using the AH-1::aopB mutant. This mutant was less virulent than the wild-type strain when inoculated into zebrafish larvae, as described in other vertebrates. However, the zebrafish model exhibited slight differences in mortality kinetics only observed using invertebrate models. Infections using the mutant AH-1ΔvapA lacking the gene coding for the surface S-layer suggested that this protein was not totally necessary to the bacteria once it was inside the host, but it contributed to the inflammatory response. Only when healthy zebrafish larvae were infected did the mutant produce less mortality than the wild-type. Variations between models were evidenced using the AH-1ΔrmlB, which lacks the O-antigen lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the AH-1ΔwahD, which lacks the O-antigen LPS and part of the LPS outer-core. Both mutants showed decreased mortality in all of the animal models, but the differences between them were only observed in injured zebrafish larvae, suggesting that residues from the LPS outer core must be important for virulence. The greatest differences were observed using the AH-1ΔFlaB-J (lacking polar flagella and unable to swim) and the AH-1::motX (non-motile but producing flagella). They were as pathogenic as the wild-type strain when injected into mice and trout, but no mortalities were registered in zebrafish larvae. This study demonstrates

  10. Virulence Phenotypes and Molecular Genotypes of Puccinia triticina Isolates from Italy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Twenty-four isolates of Puccinia triticina from Italy were characterized for virulence to seedlings of 22 common wheat cv. Thatcher isolines each with a different leaf rust resistance gene, and for molecular genotypes at 15 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci. The isolates were compared with a set of ...

  11. Phenol-soluble modulins – critical determinants of staphylococcal virulence

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Gordon Y. C.; Joo, Hwang-Soo; Chatterjee, Som S.; Otto, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) are a recently discovered family of amphipathic, alpha-helical peptides that have multiple roles in staphylococcal pathogenesis and contribute to a large extent to the pathogenic success of virulent staphylococci, such as Staphylococcus aureus. PSMs may cause lysis of many human cell types including leukocytes and erythrocytes, stimulate inflammatory responses, and contribute to biofilm development. PSMs appear to have an original role in the commensal lifestyle of staphylococci, where they facilitate growth and spreading on epithelial surfaces. Aggressive, cytolytic PSMs seem to have evolved from that original role and are mainly expressed in highly virulent S. aureus. Here we will review the biochemistry, genetics and role of PSMs in the commensal and pathogenic lifestyles of staphylococci, discuss how diversification of PSMs defines the aggressiveness of staphylococcal species, and evaluate potential avenues to target PSMs for drug development against staphylococcal infections. PMID:24372362

  12. Molecular basis of reovirus virulence: Role of the S1 gene

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, Howard L.; Drayna, Dennis; Averill, Damon R.; Fields, Bernard N.

    1977-01-01

    A genetic approach has been used to define the molecular basis for the different patterns of virulence and central nervous system cell tropism exhibited by reovirus types 1 and 3. Intracerebral inoculation of reovirus type 3 into newborn mice causes a necrotizing encephalitis (without ependymal damage) that is uniformly fatal. Animal inoculated with reovirus type 1 generally survive and may develop epedymal cell damage (without neuronal necrosis) and hydrocephalus. Using recombinant clones derived from crosses between reovirus types 1 and 3, we have been able to determine that the S1 genome segment is responsible for the differing cell tropism of reovirus serotypes and is the major determinant of neurovirulence. The type 1 S1 genome segment is responsible for ependymal damage with subsequent hydrocephalus; the type 3 S1 genome segment is responsible for neuronal necrosis and neurovirulence. We postulate that these differences are due to the specific interaction of the σ1 outer capsid polypeptide (the protein coded for by the S1 genome segment) with receptors on the surface of either ependymal cells or neuronal cells. Images PMID:271999

  13. Single amino acid substitution in Plasmodium yoelii erythrocyte ligand determines its localization and controls parasite virulence

    PubMed Central

    Otsuki, Hitoshi; Kaneko, Osamu; Thongkukiatkul, Amporn; Tachibana, Mayumi; Iriko, Hideyuki; Takeo, Satoru; Tsuboi, Takafumi; Torii, Motomi

    2009-01-01

    The major virulence determinant of the rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium yoelii, has remained unresolved since the discovery of the lethal line in the 1970s. Because virulence in this parasite correlates with the ability to invade different types of erythrocytes, we evaluated the potential role of the parasite erythrocyte binding ligand, PyEBL. We found 1 amino acid substitution in a domain responsible for intracellular trafficking between the lethal and nonlethal parasite lines and, furthermore, that the intracellular localization of PyEBL was distinct between these lines. Genetic modification showed that this substitution was responsible not only for PyEBL localization but also the erythrocyte-type invasion preference of the parasite and subsequently its virulence in mice. This previously unrecognized mechanism for altering an invasion phenotype indicates that subtle alterations of a malaria parasite ligand can dramatically affect host–pathogen interactions and malaria virulence. PMID:19346470

  14. Molecular signature of differential virulence in natural isolates of Erwinia amylovora.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dongping; Korban, Schuyler S; Zhao, Youfu

    2010-02-01

    ABSTRACT Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight, is considered to be a genetically homogeneous species based on physiological, biochemical, phylogenetic, and genetic analysis. However, E. amylovora strains exhibiting differential virulence are isolated from nature. The exopolysaccharide amylovoran and type III secretion system (T3SS) are two major yet separate virulence factors in E. amylovora. The objective of this study was to investigate whether there is a correlation between E. amylovora virulence and levels of virulence gene expression. Four wild-type strains (Ea1189, Ea273, Ea110, and CFBP1430), widely used in studies of E. amylovora pathogenesis, have been analyzed and compared. E. amylovora strains Ea273 and Ea110 elicited higher severity of disease symptoms than those of Ea1189 and CFBP1430 on apple cv. Golden Delicious and G16 apple root stock plants but not on susceptible Gala plants. In addition, Ea273 and Ea110 elicited severe hypersensitive responses within shorter periods of time at lower inoculum concentrations than those of Ea1189 and CFBP1430 on tobacco plants. Further molecular analyses have revealed that amylovoran production and expression of both amylovoran (amsG) and T3SS (dspE and hrpL) genes were significantly higher in Ea273 and Ea110 than those in Ea1189 and CFBP1430. Other phenotypes such as swarming motility in these four strains also differed significantly. These results indicate that E. amylovora strains of different origin can be divided into subgroups based on molecular signatures of virulence gene expression. Therefore, these molecular signatures may be used to differentiate E. amylovora strains, which may have taxonomical and evolutionary implications.

  15. Use of signature-tagged mutagenesis to identify virulence determinants in Haemophilus ducreyi responsible for ulcer formation.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Angela; Cameron, D William; Desjardins, Marc; Lee, B Craig

    2011-02-01

    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for chancroid, a genital ulcer disease caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, has been hampered in part by the relative genetic intractability of the organism. A whole genome screen using signature-tagged mutagenesis in the temperature-dependent rabbit model (TDRM) of H. ducreyi infection uncovered 26 mutants with a presumptive attenuated phenotype. Insertions in two previously recognized virulence determinants, hgbA and lspA1, validated this genome scanning technique. Database interrogation allowed assignment of 24 mutants to several functional classes, including transport, metabolism, DNA repair, stress response and gene regulation. The attenuated virulence for a 3 strain with a mutation in hicB was confirmed by individual infection in the TDRM. The results from this preliminary study indicate that this high throughput strategy will further the understanding of the pathogenesis of H. ducreyi infection.

  16. Molecular mechanisms of hookworm disease: stealth, virulence, and vaccines.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Mark S; Tribolet, Leon; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Periago, Maria Victoria; Valero, Maria Adela; Valerio, Maria Adela; Jariwala, Amar R; Hotez, Peter; Diemert, David; Loukas, Alex; Bethony, Jeffrey

    2012-07-01

    Hookworms produce a vast repertoire of structurally and functionally diverse molecules that mediate their long-term survival and pathogenesis within a human host. Many of these molecules are secreted by the parasite, after which they interact with critical components of host biology, including processes that are key to host survival. The most important of these interactions is the hookworm's interruption of nutrient acquisition by the host through its ingestion and digestion of host blood. This results in iron deficiency and eventually the microcytic hypochromic anemia or iron deficiency anemia that is the clinical hallmark of hookworm infection. Other molecular mechanisms of hookworm infection cause a systematic suppression of the host immune response to both the parasite and to bystander antigens (eg, vaccines or allergens). This is achieved by a series of molecules that assist the parasite in the stealthy evasion of the host immune response. This review will summarize the current knowledge of the molecular mechanisms used by hookworms to survive for extended periods in the human host (up to 7 years or longer) and examine the pivotal contributions of these molecular mechanisms to chronic hookworm parasitism and host clinical outcomes.

  17. Virulence and Molecular Analyses Support Asexual Reproduction of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

    PubMed

    Cheng, P; Chen, X M

    2014-11-01

    Wheat stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, occurs every year and causes significant yield losses in the U.S. Pacific Northwest (PNW). A large number of P. striiformis f. tritici races are identified every year and predominant races have changed rapidly. Barberry and mahonia plants, which have been identified under controlled conditions as alternate hosts for the fungus, are found in the region. However, whether sexual reproduction occurs in the P. striiformis f. sp. tritici population under natural conditions is not clear. To determine the reproduction mode of the P. striiformis f. sp. tritici population using virulence and molecular markers, a systematic collection of leaf samples with a single stripe of uredia was made in 26 fields in the PNW in 2010. In total, 270 isolates obtained from the PNW collection, together with 66 isolates from 20 other states collected in the same year, were characterized by virulence tests and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. In total, 21 races and 66 multilocus genotypes (MLGs) were detected, of which 15 races and 32 MLGs were found in the PNW. Cluster analysis with the SSR marker data revealed two genetic groups, which were significantly correlated to the two virulence groups. The analyses of genotype/individual ratio, multilocus linkage disequilibrium, and heterozygosity strongly supported asexual reproduction for the pathogen population in the PNW, as well as other regions of the United States.

  18. Identification of Virulence Determinants for Endocarditis in Streptococcus sanguinis by Signature-Tagged Mutagenesis†

    PubMed Central

    Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C.; Munro, Cindy L.; Kitten, Todd

    2005-01-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobe and a normal inhabitant of the human oral cavity. It is also one of the most common agents of infective endocarditis, a serious endovascular infection. To identify virulence factors for infective endocarditis, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was applied to the SK36 strain of S. sanguinis, whose genome is being sequenced. STM allows the large-scale creation, in vivo screening, and recovery of a series of mutants with altered virulence. Screening of 800 mutants by STM identified 38 putative avirulent and 5 putative hypervirulent mutants. Subsequent molecular analysis of a subset of these mutants identified genes encoding undecaprenol kinase, homoserine kinase, anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase, adenylosuccinate lyase, and a hypothetical protein. Virulence reductions ranging from 2-to 150-fold were confirmed by competitive index assays. One putatively hypervirulent strain with a transposon insertion in an intergenic region was identified, though increased virulence was not confirmed in competitive index assays. All mutants grew comparably to SK36 in aerobic broth culture except for the homoserine kinase mutant. Growth of this mutant was restored by the addition of threonine to the medium. Mutants containing an insertion or in-frame deletion in the anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase gene failed to grow under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results suggest that housekeeping functions such as cell wall synthesis, amino acid and nucleic acid synthesis, and the ability to survive under anaerobic conditions are important virulence factors in S. sanguinis endocarditis. PMID:16113327

  19. Identification of virulence determinants for endocarditis in Streptococcus sanguinis by signature-tagged mutagenesis.

    PubMed

    Paik, Sehmi; Senty, Lauren; Das, Sankar; Noe, Jody C; Munro, Cindy L; Kitten, Todd

    2005-09-01

    Streptococcus sanguinis is a gram-positive, facultative anaerobe and a normal inhabitant of the human oral cavity. It is also one of the most common agents of infective endocarditis, a serious endovascular infection. To identify virulence factors for infective endocarditis, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM) was applied to the SK36 strain of S. sanguinis, whose genome is being sequenced. STM allows the large-scale creation, in vivo screening, and recovery of a series of mutants with altered virulence. Screening of 800 mutants by STM identified 38 putative avirulent and 5 putative hypervirulent mutants. Subsequent molecular analysis of a subset of these mutants identified genes encoding undecaprenol kinase, homoserine kinase, anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase, adenylosuccinate lyase, and a hypothetical protein. Virulence reductions ranging from 2-to 150-fold were confirmed by competitive index assays. One putatively hypervirulent strain with a transposon insertion in an intergenic region was identified, though increased virulence was not confirmed in competitive index assays. All mutants grew comparably to SK36 in aerobic broth culture except for the homoserine kinase mutant. Growth of this mutant was restored by the addition of threonine to the medium. Mutants containing an insertion or in-frame deletion in the anaerobic ribonucleotide reductase gene failed to grow under strictly anaerobic conditions. The results suggest that housekeeping functions such as cell wall synthesis, amino acid and nucleic acid synthesis, and the ability to survive under anaerobic conditions are important virulence factors in S. sanguinis endocarditis.

  20. Antibiotic resistance, efflux pump genes and virulence determinants in Enterococcus spp. from surface water systems.

    PubMed

    Molale, L G; Bezuidenhout, Cornelius Carlos

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to report on antibiotic susceptibility patterns as well as highlight the presence of efflux pump genes and virulence genetic determinants in Enterococcus spp. isolated from South African surface water systems. One hundred and twenty-four Enterococcus isolates consisting of seven species were identified. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed a high percentage of isolates was resistant to β-lactams and vancomycin. Many were also resistant to other antibiotic groups. These isolates were screened by PCR, for the presence of four efflux pump genes (mefA, tetK, tetL and msrC). Efflux genes mefA and tetK were not detected in any of the Enterococcus spp. However, tetL and msrC were detected in 17 % of the Enterococcus spp. The presence of virulence factors in the Enterococcus spp. harbouring efflux pump genes was determined. Virulence determinants were detected in 86 % of the Enterococcus spp. harbouring efflux pump genes. Four (asa1, cylA, gel and hyl) of the five virulence factors were detected. The findings of this study have demonstrated that Enterococcus from South African surface water systems are resistant to multiple antibiotics, some of which are frequently used for therapy. Furthermore, these isolates harbour efflux pump genes coding for resistance to antibiotics and virulence factors which enhance their pathogenic potential.

  1. Virulence determinants and production of extracellular enzymes in Enterococcus spp. from surface water sources.

    PubMed

    Molale, Lesego Gertrude; Bezuidenhout, Cornelius Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Virulence factors in Enterococcus may be indicative of potential pathogenicity. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the presence of clinically relevant virulence genes, in Enterococcus spp. from environmental water, and their in vitro expression. One hundred and twenty-four Enterococcus isolates (seven species), from five surface water systems in the North West Province, South Africa, were screened for the presence of asa1, cylA, esp, gelE and hyl using polymerase chain reaction. The expression of cylA, hyl and gelE was determined by phenotypic assessments. Sixty-five percent of the isolates were positive for one virulence gene and 13% for two or more. Most frequently detected genes were gelE (32%) and cylA (28%). Enterococcal surface protein was absent in all isolates screened. The presence of virulence genes was correlated with their extracellular enzyme production. The results show that a large percentage of these environmental Enterococcus spp. possess virulence factors that could be expressed in vitro. This is a cause for concern and could have implications for individuals using this water for recreational and cultural purposes. Further investigation is required into the sources of these potential pathogenic Enterococcus isolates and measures to minimize their presence in water sources.

  2. First Streptococcus pyogenes signature-tagged mutagenesis screen identifies novel virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Kizy, Anne E; Neely, Melody N

    2009-05-01

    The virulence of bacterial pathogens is a complex process that requires the dynamic expression of many genes for the pathogens to invade and circumvent host defenses, as well as to proliferate in vivo. In this study, we employed a large-scale screen, signature-tagged mutagenesis (STM), to identify Streptococcus pyogenes virulence genes important for pathogenesis within the host. Approximately 1,200 STM mutants were created and screened using the zebrafish infectious disease model. The transposon insertion site was identified for 29 of the 150 mutants that were considered attenuated for virulence. Previously reported streptococcal virulence genes, such as mga, hasA, amrA, smeZ, and two genes in the sil locus, were identified, confirming the utility of the model for revealing genes important for virulence. Multiple genes not previously implicated in virulence were also identified, including genes encoding putative transporters, hypothetical cytosolic proteins, and macrolide efflux pumps. The STM mutant strains display various levels of attenuation, and multiple separate insertions were identified in either the same gene or the same locus, suggesting that these factors are important for this type of acute, invasive infection. We further examined two such genes, silB and silC of a putative quorum-sensing regulon, and determined that they are significant virulence factors in our model of necrotizing fasciitis. sil locus promoter expression was examined under various in vitro conditions, as well as in zebrafish tissues, and was found to be differentially induced. This study was a unique investigation of S. pyogenes factors required for successful invasive infection.

  3. VIRULENCE RELATIONSHIPS OF AEROMONAS SPECIES AS DETERMINED BY EXPOSURES TO IMMUNOCOMPROMISED MICE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Our laboratory is currently determining the virulence of opportunistic pathogens reported in treated drinking water and drinking water sources. Aeromonas hydrophila is currently on the EPA's Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) and is an example of those types of bacteria that conta...

  4. Low-shear modelled microgravity alters expression of virulence determinants of Staphylococcus aureus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosado, Helena; Doyle, Marie; Hinds, Jason; Taylor, Peter W.

    2010-02-01

    Microbiological monitoring of air and surfaces within the ISS indicate that bacteria of the genus Staphylococcus are found with high frequency. Staphylococcus aureus, an opportunistic pathogen with the capacity to cause severe debilitating infection, constitutes a significant proportion of these isolates. Experiments conducted during short-term flight suggest that growth in microgravity leads to increases in bacterial antibiotic resistance and to cell wall changes. Growth under low-shear modelled microgravity (LSMMG) indicated that a reduced gravitational field acts as an environmental signal for expression of enhanced bacterial virulence in gram-negative pathogens. We therefore examined the effect of simulated microgravity on parameters of antibiotic susceptibility and virulence in methicillin-susceptible S. aureus isolates RF1, RF6 and RF11; these strains were grown in a high aspect ratio vessel under LSMMG and compared with cells grown under normal gravity (NG). There were no significant differences in antibiotic susceptibility of staphylococci grown under LSMMG compared to NG. LSMMG-induced reductions in synthesis of the pigment staphyloxanthin and the major virulence determinant α-toxin were noted. Significant changes in global gene expression were identified by DNA microarray analysis; with isolate RF6, the expression of hla and genes of the regulatory system saeR/saeS were reduced approximately two-fold. These data provide strong evidence that growth of S. aureus under modelled microgravity leads to a reduction in expression of virulence determinants.

  5. Molecular Typing and Virulence Characteristic of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Isolates from Pediatric Patients in Bucaramanga, Colombia

    PubMed Central

    Machuca, Mayra Alejandra; Sosa, Luis Miguel; González, Clara Isabel

    2013-01-01

    Background Staphylococcus aureus is among the most common global nosocomial pathogens. The emergence and spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a public health problem worldwide that causes nosocomial and community infections. The goals of this study were to establish the clonal complexes (CC) of the isolates of MRSA obtained from pediatric patients in a university hospital in Colombia and to investigate its molecular characteristics based on the virulence genes and the genes of staphylococcal toxins and adhesins. Methods A total of 53 MRSA isolates from pediatric patients with local or systemic infections were collected. The MRSA isolates were typed based on the SCCmec, MLST, spa and agr genes. The molecular characterization included the detection of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin, superantigenic and exfoliative toxins, and adhesin genes. The correlation between the molecular types identified and the profile of virulence factors was determined for all isolates. Results Four CC were identified, including CC8, CC5, CC80 and CC78. The ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI was the predominant clone among the isolates, followed by the ST5-MRSA-I-agrII and ST5-MRSA-IVc-agrII clones. Twelve spa types were identified, of which t10796 and t10799 were new repeat sequences. The isolates were carriers of toxin genes, and hlg (100%), sek (92%) and pvl (88%) were the most frequent. Ten toxin gene profiles were observed, and the most frequent were seq-sek-hlg (22.6%), sek-hlg (22.6%), seb-seq-sek-hlg (18.9%) and seb-sek-hlg (15.1%). The adhesion genes were present in most of the MRSA isolates, including the following: clf-A (89%), clf-B (87%), fnb-A (83%) and ica (83%). The majority of the strains carried SCCmec-IVc and were identified as causing nosocomial infection. No significant association between a molecular type and the virulence factors was found. Conclusion Four major MRSA clone complexes were identified among the isolates. ST8-MRSA-IVc-agrI pvl+ (USA300-LV) was the

  6. Molecular identification, antifungal resistance and virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus deneoformans isolated in Seville, Spain.

    PubMed

    Gago, Sara; Serrano, Carmen; Alastruey-Izquierdo, Ana; Cuesta, Isabel; Martín-Mazuelos, Estrella; Aller, Ana Isabel; Gómez-López, Alicia; Mellado, Emilia

    2017-01-01

    Cryptococcal meningitis is one of the leading causes of death in HIV/AIDS patients. Our aim was to in order to characterise the epidemiology, antifungal susceptibility pattern and virulence of 28 Cyptococcus sp. strains recovered from 12 AIDS patients during two years in a Spanish single institution. Antifungal susceptibility testing was performed according to the CLSI protocols. Clinical strains were molecularly characterised by serotyping, mating type, PCR fingerprinting (M13 and GACA4 microsatellites) and analysis of two rDNA regions (IGS1 and ITS). Sequencing of the ERG11 gene was used to explore mechanisms of fluconazole resistance. Differences in virulence between species were studied in a Galleria mellonella infection model. Cryptococcus deneoformans and C. deneoformans x Cryptococcus neoformans hybrids were the most frequent variety (65%) followed by C. neoformans (35%). Strains were categorised according to 13 microsatellite genotypes and mixed infections could be detected in three patients. Twenty-nine per cent of the strains were fluconazole resistant. In one of the patients, the fluconazole resistance phenotype was associated with a point mutation in the ERG11 gene responsible for the amino acid substitution G470R. C. neoformans strains were able to kill G. mellonella larvae more efficiently than C. deneoformans and hybrids between both species. Precisely molecular characterisation of C. neoformans species is important for an accurate patient's management.

  7. 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.

  8. Characterization of virulence-associated determinants in the envelope glycoprotein of Pichinde virus.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Naveen; Wang, Jialong; Lan, Shuiyun; Danzy, Shamika; McLay Schelde, Lisa; Seladi-Schulman, Jill; Ly, Hinh; Liang, Yuying

    2012-11-10

    We use a small animal model, based on guinea pigs infected with a non-pathogenic Pichinde virus (PICV), to understand the virulence mechanisms of arenavirus infections in the hosts. PICV P2 strain causes a mild febrile reaction in guinea pigs, while P18 causes severe disease with clinical and pathological features reminiscent of Lassa hemorrhagic fever in humans. The envelope glycoproteins (GPC) of P2 and P18 viruses differ at positions 119, 140, and 164, all localized to the receptor-binding G1 subunit. We found that lentiviral pseudotyped virions (VLPs) bearing P18 GPC show more efficient cell entry than those with P2 GPC, and that the E140 residue plays a critical role in this process. Infection of guinea pigs with the recombinant viruses containing the E140K change demonstrated that E140 of GPC is a necessary virulence determinant of P18 infections, possibly by enhancing the ability of virus to enter target cells.

  9. Quantitative Trait Locus Based Virulence Determinant Mapping of the HSV-1 Genome in Murine Ocular Infection: Genes Involved in Viral Regulatory and Innate Immune Networks Contribute to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Inna; Craven, Mark; Brandt, Curtis R.

    2016-01-01

    Herpes simplex virus type 1 causes mucocutaneous lesions, and is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the United States. Animal studies have shown that the severity of HSV-1 ocular disease is influenced by three main factors; innate immunity, host immune response and viral strain. We previously showed that mixed infection with two avirulent HSV-1 strains (OD4 and CJ994) resulted in recombinants that exhibit a range of disease phenotypes from severe to avirulent, suggesting epistatic interactions were involved. The goal of this study was to develop a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of HSV-1 ocular virulence determinants and to identify virulence associated SNPs. Blepharitis and stromal keratitis quantitative scores were characterized for 40 OD4:CJ994 recombinants. Viral titers in the eye were also measured. Virulence quantitative trait locus mapping (vQTLmap) was performed using the Lasso, Random Forest, and Ridge regression methods to identify significant phenotypically meaningful regions for each ocular disease parameter. The most predictive Ridge regression model identified several phenotypically meaningful SNPs for blepharitis and stromal keratitis. Notably, phenotypically meaningful nonsynonymous variations were detected in the UL24, UL29 (ICP8), UL41 (VHS), UL53 (gK), UL54 (ICP27), UL56, ICP4, US1 (ICP22), US3 and gG genes. Network analysis revealed that many of these variations were in HSV-1 regulatory networks and viral genes that affect innate immunity. Several genes previously implicated in virulence were identified, validating this approach, while other genes were novel. Several novel polymorphisms were also identified in these genes. This approach provides a framework that will be useful for identifying virulence genes in other pathogenic viruses, as well as epistatic effects that affect HSV-1 ocular virulence. PMID:26962864

  10. Transcriptional regulation of bacterial virulence gene expression by molecular oxygen and nitric oxide

    PubMed Central

    Green, Jeffrey; Rolfe, Matthew D; Smith, Laura J

    2014-01-01

    Molecular oxygen (O2) and nitric oxide (NO) are diatomic gases that play major roles in infection. The host innate immune system generates reactive oxygen species and NO as bacteriocidal agents and both require O2 for their production. Furthermore, the ability to adapt to changes in O2 availability is crucial for many bacterial pathogens, as many niches within a host are hypoxic. Pathogenic bacteria have evolved transcriptional regulatory systems that perceive these gases and respond by reprogramming gene expression. Direct sensors possess iron-containing co-factors (iron–sulfur clusters, mononuclear iron, heme) or reactive cysteine thiols that react with O2 and/or NO. Indirect sensors perceive the physiological effects of O2 starvation. Thus, O2 and NO act as environmental cues that trigger the coordinated expression of virulence genes and metabolic adaptations necessary for survival within a host. Here, the mechanisms of signal perception by key O2- and NO-responsive bacterial transcription factors and the effects on virulence gene expression are reviewed, followed by consideration of these aspects of gene regulation in two major pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PMID:25603427

  11. Low-Molecular-Weight Metabolites Secreted by Paenibacillus larvae as Potential Virulence Factors of American Foulbrood

    PubMed Central

    Schild, Hedwig-Annabell; Fuchs, Sebastian W.

    2014-01-01

    The spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae causes a severe and highly infective bee disease, American foulbrood (AFB). Despite the large economic losses induced by AFB, the virulence factors produced by P. larvae are as yet unknown. To identify such virulence factors, we experimentally infected young, susceptible larvae of the honeybee, Apis mellifera carnica, with different P. larvae isolates. Honeybee larvae were reared in vitro in 24-well plates in the laboratory after isolation from the brood comb. We identified genotype-specific differences in the etiopathology of AFB between the tested isolates of P. larvae, which were revealed by differences in the median lethal times. Furthermore, we confirmed that extracts of P. larvae cultures contain low-molecular-weight compounds, which are toxic to honeybee larvae. Our data indicate that P. larvae secretes metabolites into the medium with a potent honeybee toxic activity pointing to a novel pathogenic factor(s) of P. larvae. Genome mining of P. larvae subsp. larvae BRL-230010 led to the identification of several biosynthesis gene clusters putatively involved in natural product biosynthesis, highlighting the potential of P. larvae to produce such compounds. PMID:24509920

  12. Temperature control of molecular circuit switch responsible for virulent phenotype expression in uropathogenic Escherichia coli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samoilov, Michael

    2010-03-01

    The behavior and fate of biological organisms are to a large extent dictated by their environment, which can be often viewed as a collection of features and constraints governed by physics laws. Since biological systems comprise networks of molecular interactions, one such key physical property is temperature, whose variations directly affect the rates of biochemical reactions involved. For instance, temperature is known to control many gene regulatory circuits responsible for pathogenicity in bacteria. One such example is type 1 fimbriae (T1F) -- the foremost virulence factor in uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), which accounts for 80-90% of all community-acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs). The expression of T1F is randomly `phase variable', i.e. individual cells switch between virulent/fimbriate and avirulent/afimbriate phenotypes, with rates regulated by temperature. Our computational investigation of this process, which is based on FimB/FimE recombinase-mediated inversion of fimS DNA element, offers new insights into its discrete-stochastic kinetics. In particular, it elucidates the logic of T1F control optimization to the host temperature and contributes further understanding toward the development of novel therapeutic approaches to UPEC-caused UTIs.

  13. The SCID Mouse Model for Identifying Virulence Determinants in Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    van Schaik, Erin J.; Case, Elizabeth D.; Martinez, Eric; Bonazzi, Matteo; Samuel, James E.

    2017-01-01

    Coxiella burnetii is an intracellular, zoonotic pathogen that is the causative agent of Q fever. Infection most frequently occurs after inhalation of contaminated aerosols, which can lead to acute, self-limiting febrile illness or more serve chronic infections such as hepatitis or endocarditis. Macrophages are the principal target cells during infection where C. burnetii resides and replicates within a unique phagolysosome-like compartment, the Coxiella-containing vacuole (CCV). The first virulence determinant described as necessary for infection was full-length lipopolysaccarride (LPS); spontaneous rough mutants (phase II) arise after passage in immuno-incompetent hosts. Phase II C. burnetii are attenuated in immuno-competent animals, but are fully capable of infecting a variety of host cells in vitro. A clonal strain of the Nine Mile isolate (RSA439, clone 4), has a 26 KDa chromosomal deletion that includes LPS biosynthetic genes and is uniquely approved for use in BL2/ABL2 conditions. With the advances of axenic media and genetic tools for C. burnetii research, the characterization of novel virulence determinants is ongoing and almost exclusively performed using this attenuated clone. A major problem with predicting essential virulence loci with RSA439 is that, although some cell-autonomous phenotypes can be assessed in tissue culture, no animal model for assessing pathogenesis has been defined. Here we describe the use of SCID mice for predicting virulence factors of C. burnetii, in either independent or competitive infections. We propose that this model allows for the identification of mutations that are competent for intracellular replication in vitro, but attenuated for growth in vivo and predict essential innate immune responses modulated by the pathogen during infection as a central pathogenic strategy. PMID:28217558

  14. Comparative Whole-Genome Mapping To Determine Staphylococcus aureus Genome Size, Virulence Motifs, and Clonality

    PubMed Central

    Pantrang, Madhulatha; Stahl, Buffy; Briska, Adam M.; Stemper, Mary E.; Wagner, Trevor K.; Zentz, Emily B.; Callister, Steven M.; Lovrich, Steven D.; Henkhaus, John K.; Dykes, Colin W.

    2012-01-01

    Despite being a clonal pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus continues to acquire virulence and antibiotic-resistant genes located on mobile genetic elements such as genomic islands, prophages, pathogenicity islands, and the staphylococcal chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) by horizontal gene transfer from other staphylococci. The potential virulence of a S. aureus strain is often determined by comparing its pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) or multilocus sequence typing profiles to that of known epidemic or virulent clones and by PCR of the toxin genes. Whole-genome mapping (formerly optical mapping), which is a high-resolution ordered restriction mapping of a bacterial genome, is a relatively new genomic tool that allows comparative analysis across entire bacterial genomes to identify regions of genomic similarities and dissimilarities, including small and large insertions and deletions. We explored whether whole-genome maps (WGMs) of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) could be used to predict the presence of methicillin resistance, SCCmec type, and Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL)-producing genes on an S. aureus genome. We determined the WGMs of 47 diverse clinical isolates of S. aureus, including well-characterized reference MRSA strains, and annotated the signature restriction pattern in SCCmec types, arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME), and PVL-carrying prophage, PhiSa2 or PhiSa2-like regions on the genome. WGMs of these isolates accurately characterized them as MRSA or methicillin-sensitive S. aureus based on the presence or absence of the SCCmec motif, ACME and the unique signature pattern for the prophage insertion that harbored the PVL genes. Susceptibility to methicillin resistance and the presence of mecA, SCCmec types, and PVL genes were confirmed by PCR. A WGM clustering approach was further able to discriminate isolates within the same PFGE clonal group. These results showed that WGMs could be used not only to genotype S. aureus but also to

  15. Detection of virulence factors and molecular typing of pathogenic Leptospira from capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris).

    PubMed

    Jorge, Sérgio; Monte, Leonardo G; Coimbra, Marco Antonio; Albano, Ana Paula; Hartwig, Daiane D; Lucas, Caroline; Seixas, Fabiana K; Dellagostin, Odir A; Hartleben, Cláudia P

    2012-10-01

    Leptospirosis is a globally prevalent zoonosis caused by pathogenic Leptospira spp.; several serologic variants have reservoirs in synanthropic rodents. The capybara is the largest living rodent in the world, and it has a wide geographical distribution in Central and South America. This rodent is a significant source of Leptospira since the agent is shed via urine into the environment and is a potential public health threat. In this study, we isolated and identified by molecular techniques a pathogenic Leptospira from capybara in southern Brazil. The isolated strain was characterized by partial rpoB gene sequencing and variable-number tandem-repeats analysis as L. interrogans, serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae. In addition, to confirm the expression of virulence factors, the bacterial immunoglobulin-like proteins A and B expression was detected by indirect immunofluorescence using leptospiral specific monoclonal antibodies. This report identifies capybaras as an important source of infection and provides insight into the epidemiology of leptospirosis.

  16. Virulence and plasmidic resistance determinants of Escherichia coli isolated from municipal and hospital wastewater treatment plants.

    PubMed

    Calhau, Vera; Mendes, Catarina; Pena, Angelina; Mendonça, Nuno; Da Silva, Gabriela Jorge

    2015-06-01

    Escherichia coli is simultaneously an indicator of water contamination and a human pathogen. This study aimed to characterize the virulence and resistance of E. coli from municipal and hospital wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in central Portugal. From a total of 193 isolates showing reduced susceptibility to cefotaxime and/or nalidixic acid, 20 E. coli with genetically distinct fingerprint profiles were selected and characterized. Resistance to antimicrobials was determined using the disc diffusion method. Extended spectrum β-lactamase and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes, phylogroups, pathogenicity islands (PAIs) and virulence genes were screened by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). CTX-M producers were typed by multilocus sequence typing. Resistance to beta-lactams was associated with the presence of bla(TEM), bla(SHV), bla(CTX-M-15) and bla(CTX-M-32). Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance was associated with qnrA, qnrS and aac(6')-Ib-cr. Aminoglycoside resistance and multidrug-resistant phenotypes were also detected. PAI IV(536), PAI II(CFT073), PAI II(536) and PAI I(CFT073), and uropathogenic genes iutA, papAH and sfa/foc were detected. With regard to the clinical ST131 clone, it carried bla(CTX-M-15), blaTEM-type, qnrS and aac(6')-lb-cr; IncF and IncP plasmids, and virulence factors PAI IV(536), PAI I(CFT073), PAI II(CFT073), iutA, sfa/foc and papAH were identified in the effluent of a hospital plant. WWTPs contribute to the dissemination of virulent and resistant bacteria in water ecosystems, constituting an environmental and public health risk.

  17. Comparative virulence and molecular diversity of stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) collections from Pakistan and United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Information on virulence and molecular diversity of Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst) is a pre-requisite for mitigating the substantial yield losses caused by the stripe rust pathogen in Pakistan, the United States and other countries of the world. This study was undertaken to analyze both v...

  18. Molecular characterization of virulence genes of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi and Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus in equines

    PubMed Central

    Javed, R.; Taku, A. K.; Gangil, Rakhi; Sharma, R. K.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The aim was to determine the occurrence of streptococci in equines in Jammu (R. S. Pura, Katra), characterization of Streptococci equi subsp. equi and Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus with respect to their virulence traits and to determine antibiotic sensitivity pattern of virulent Streptococcus isolates. Materials and Methods: A total of 96 samples were collected from both clinically affected animals (exhibiting signs of respiratory tract disease) and apparently healthy animals and were sent to laboratory. The organisms were isolated on Columbia nalidixic acid agar containing 5% sheep blood as well as on sheep blood agar and confirmed by cultural characteristics and biochemical tests. Molecular detection of Streptococcus was done directly from cultures using sodA and seM gene-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Antibiogram was performed against five antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin G, streptomycin, rifampicin, and methicillin. Results: During this study, a total 40 streptococcal isolates were obtained out of which 2 isolates were of S. equi subsp. equi, 12 isolates were from S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus. In the PCR-based detection, we revealed amplicons of 235 bp and 679 bp for confirmation of sodA and seM gene, respectively. In antibiogram, two isolates of S. equi subsp. equi were found resistant to penicillin G, and all other isolates were found sensitive to amoxicillin and streptomycin. Conclusion: The majority of streptococcal infections was due to S. equi subsp. Zooepidemicus, and thus was recognized as a potential pathogen of diseases of equines besides S. equi subsp. equi. PMID:27651677

  19. Intracellular membrane association of the N-terminal domain of classical swine fever virus NS4B determines viral genome replication and virulence.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Tomokazu; Ruggli, Nicolas; Nagashima, Naofumi; Okamatsu, Masatoshi; Igarashi, Manabu; Mine, Junki; Hofmann, Martin A; Liniger, Matthias; Summerfield, Artur; Kida, Hiroshi; Sakoda, Yoshihiro

    2015-09-01

    Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) causes a highly contagious disease in pigs that can range from a severe haemorrhagic fever to a nearly unapparent disease, depending on the virulence of the virus strain. Little is known about the viral molecular determinants of CSFV virulence. The nonstructural protein NS4B is essential for viral replication. However, the roles of CSFV NS4B in viral genome replication and pathogenesis have not yet been elucidated. NS4B of the GPE-  vaccine strain and of the highly virulent Eystrup strain differ by a total of seven amino acid residues, two of which are located in the predicted trans-membrane domains of NS4B and were described previously to relate to virulence, and five residues clustering in the N-terminal part. In the present study, we examined the potential role of these five amino acids in modulating genome replication and determining pathogenicity in pigs. A chimeric low virulent GPE- -derived virus carrying the complete Eystrup NS4B showed enhanced pathogenicity in pigs. The in vitro replication efficiency of the NS4B chimeric GPE-  replicon was significantly higher than that of the replicon carrying only the two Eystrup-specific amino acids in NS4B. In silico and in vitro data suggest that the N-terminal part of NS4B forms an amphipathic α-helix structure. The N-terminal NS4B with these five amino acid residues is associated with the intracellular membranes. Taken together, this is the first gain-of-function study showing that the N-terminal domain of NS4B can determine CSFV genome replication in cell culture and viral pathogenicity in pigs.

  20. Virulence factors, antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular characterization of Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Beigverdi, Reza; Jabalameli, Fereshteh; Mirsalehian, Akbar; Hantoushzadeh, Sedigheh; Boroumandi, Shahram; Taherikalani, Morovat; Emaneini, Mohammad

    2014-12-01

    Forty-one Streptococcus agalactiae isolates collected from pregnant women at 35-37 weeks of gestation were analysed for their capsular types, antimicrobial resistance determinants, distribution of virulence factors and genetic relatedness using PCR and multiplex PCR. Capsular type III was predominant (65.8%), followed by capsular type II (14.6%), Ib (7.3%), and V(4.9%). All isolates were susceptible to penicillin, vancomycin, linezolid and quinupristin-dalfopristin. Resistance to tetracycline, erythromycin and clindamycin were found in 97.6%, 24.4%, and 14.6% of isolates, respectively. The most common antimicrobial resistance gene was tetM found in 97.6% of the isolates followed by ermTR and ermB found in 12% and 7.3% of isolates, respectively. The most common virulence gene was hly (100%), followed by scpB (97.6%), bca (97.6%), rib (53.65%) and bac (4.9%). The insertion sequence IS1548 was found in 63.4% of isolates. By multi locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) typing, 30 different allelic profiles or MLVA types (MTs) were identified. The most frequent was the MT1 (5/41, 12.2%) and followed by MT2 (4/41, 9.75%). Our data revealed that population structure of these isolates is highly diverse and indicates different MLVA types.

  1. Molecular epidemiology and virulence factors of pyogenic liver abscess causing Klebsiella pneumoniae in China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Y; Wang, Y; Ye, L; Yang, J

    2014-11-01

    The molecular epidemiology and prevalence of virulence factors of isolates from patients with Klebsiella pneumoniae liver abscess (KLA) in mainland China are unknown. Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates were obtained from drainage samples aseptically collected from patients with pyogenic liver abscess (PLA). The genetic similarity of KLA isolates was analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The hypermucoviscosity (HV) phenotype was identified by a positive string test. The K1 and K2 genotypes, the pLVPK-derived genetic loci, aerobactin gene, kfu and alls were detected by PCR amplification. The sequence types (STs) were identified by multilocus sequence typing. Among the 51 non-repetitive KLA isolates, 49 PFGE types have been identified. In total, 19 (37.2%) and 14 (27.4%) of the 51 KLA isolates belonged to clonal complex (CC) 23 and CC65, respectively, while the other 18 isolates (35.3%) were defined as other STs. CC23 consisted of only K1 strains, while CC65 included only K2 strains. All non-K1/K2 strains were classified as STs other than CC23 and CC65. Approximately 70.6% (36/51) of KLA isolates exhibited an HV phenotype. Both K1 and K2 isolates presented significantly higher prevalence of the pLVPK-derived loci than non-K1/K2 isolates. The K1 isolates had a significantly higher prevalence of the kfu and allS genes than K2 and non-K1/K2 isolates, while the K2 isolates exhibited higher repA prevalence than K1 and non-K1/K2 isolates. The majority of KLA isolates belonged to CC23K1 and CC65K2, while other STs with non-K1/K2 capsular types have also been identified. The virulent factors exhibited diverse distribution among the different clones of KLA isolates.

  2. Molecular determinants of alphavirus neuropathogenesis in mice.

    PubMed

    Atkins, Gregory J; Sheahan, Brian J

    2016-06-01

    Alphaviruses are enveloped viruses with a positive-stranded RNA genome, of the family Togaviridae. In mammals and birds they are mosquito-transmitted and are of veterinary and medical importance. They cause primarily two types of disease: encephalitis and polyarthritis. Here we review attempts to understand the molecular basis of encephalitis and virulence for the central nervous system (CNS) in mouse models. Sindbis virus (SINV) was the first virus to be studied in this way. Other viruses analysed are Semliki Forest virus (SFV), Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus and Western equine encephalitis virus. Neurovirulence was found to be associated with damage to neurons in the CNS. It mapped mainly to the E2 region of the genome, and to the nsP3 gene. Also, avirulent natural isolates of both SINV and SFV have been found to have more rapid cleavage of nonstructural proteins due to mutations in the nsP1-nsP2 cleavage site. Immune-mediated demyelination for avirulent SFV has been shown to be associated with infection of oligodendrocytes. For Chikungunya virus, an emerging alphavirus that uncommonly causes encephalitis, analysis of the molecular basis of CNS pathogenicity is beginning. Experiments on SINV and SFV have indicated that virulence may be related to the resistance of virulent virus to interferon action. Although the E2 protein may be involved in tropism for neurons and passage across the blood-brain barrier, the role of the nsP3 protein during infection of neurons is unknown. More information in these areas may help to further explain the neurovirulence of alphaviruses.

  3. Antimicrobial resistance, virulence determinants and genetic profiles of clinical and nonclinical Enterococcus cecorum from poultry.

    PubMed

    Jackson, C R; Kariyawasam, S; Borst, L B; Frye, J G; Barrett, J B; Hiott, L M; Woodley, T A

    2015-02-01

    Enterococcus cecorum has been implicated as a possible cause of disease in poultry. However, the characteristics that contribute to pathogenesis of Ent. cecorum in poultry have not been defined. In this study, Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates (n = 75) and diseased broilers and broiler breeders (n = 30) were compared based upon antimicrobial resistance phenotype, the presence of virulence determinants and genetic relatedness using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Of the 16 antimicrobials tested, Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates and clinical cases were resistant to ten and six of the antimicrobials, respectively. The majority of Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates was resistant to lincomycin (54/75; 72%) and tetracycline (46/75; 61.3%) while the highest level of resistance among clinical Ent. cecorum was to tetracycline (22/30; 73.3%) and erythromycin (11/30; 36.7%). Multidrug resistance (resistance to ≥2 antimicrobials) was identified in Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates (53/75; 70.7%) and diseased poultry (18/30; 60%). Of the virulence determinants tested, efaAfm was present in almost all of the isolates (104/105; 99%). Using PFGE, the majority of clinical isolates clustered together; however, a few clinical isolates grouped with Ent. cecorum from carcass rinsates. These data suggest that distinguishing the two groups of isolates is difficult based upon the characterization criteria used.

  4. Metal binding spectrum and model structure of the Bacillus anthracis virulence determinant MntA.

    PubMed

    Vigonsky, Elena; Fish, Inbar; Livnat-Levanon, Nurit; Ovcharenko, Elena; Ben-Tal, Nir; Lewinson, Oded

    2015-10-01

    The potentially lethal human pathogen Bacillus anthracis expresses a putative metal import system, MntBCA, which belongs to the large family of ABC transporters. MntBCA is essential for virulence of Bacillus anthracis: deletion of MntA, the system's substrate binding protein, yields a completely non-virulent strain. Here we determined the metal binding spectrum of MntA. In contrast to what can be inferred from growth complementation studies we find no evidence that MntA binds Fe(2+) or Fe(3+). Rather, MntA binds a variety of other metal ions, including Mn(2+), Zn(2+), Cd(2+), Co(2+), and Ni(2+) with affinities ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-8) M. Binding of Zn(2+) and Co(2+) have a pronounced thermo-stabilizing effect on MntA, with Mn(2+) having a milder effect. The thermodynamic stability of MntA, competition experiments, and metal binding and release experiments all suggest that Mn(2+) is the metal that is likely transported by MntBCA and is therefore the limiting factor for virulence of Bacillus anthracis. A homology-model of MntA shows a single, highly conserved metal binding site, with four residues that participate in metal coordination: two histidines, a glutamate, and an aspartate. The metals bind to this site in a mutually exclusive manner, yet surprisingly, mutational analysis shows that for proper coordination each metal requires a different subset of these four residues. ConSurf evolutionary analysis and structural comparison of MntA and its homologues suggest that substrate binding proteins (SBPs) of metal ions use a pair of highly conserved prolines to interact with their cognate ABC transporters. This proline pair is found exclusively in ABC import systems of metal ions.

  5. A study on association of virulence determinants of verotoxic Escherichia coli isolated from cattle calves

    PubMed Central

    Parul, Singh; Bist, Basanti; Sharma, Barkha; Jain, Udit; Yadav, Janardan K.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The present study was conducted to find the association among virulence determinants of verotoxic Escherichia coli (VTEC) isolated from cattle calf feces. Materials and Methods: A total of 216 cattle calf fecal samples were collected aseptically and processed under required conditions for the isolation of E. coli. The isolates were further subjected to multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) for the detection of virulent genes. All the VTEC isolates were serotyped at the Central Research Institute, Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. The VTEC isolates were observed for the enterohemolysin production on washed sheep blood agar (wSBA). Results: A total of 177 presumptive E. coli were isolated from 216 calf fecal samples revealing an overall prevalence of E. coli to be 81.94%. A total of 32 (14.81%) isolates were detected as VTEC through mPCR. The prevalence of verotoxin genes vt1, vt2, and combination of vt1+vt2 in the VTEC isolates was found to be 12 (37.5%), 14 (43.75%), and 6 (18.75%), respectively. Other virulent genes eaeA and hlyA were found in 6 and 11 VTEC strains with prevalence values of 18.75% and 34.37%, respectively. A total of 13 different O serogroups were revealed in serotyping of 32 VTEC isolates. Out of 32 VTEC strains, only 26 (81.25%) were enterohemolytic on wSBA as they produced the characteristic small, turbid zone of hemolysis around the streaking line. Although enterohemolysin production has been attributed to the presence of hlyA gene, only 11 of 26 enterohemolysin producing VTEC were found to be harboring the hlyA gene (11/26) 42.03%. Conclusion: The present study concludes that there might be an association between the presence of verotoxin genes and enterohemolysin production in VTEC group of E. coli. PMID:27651684

  6. RpiRc Is a Pleiotropic Effector of Virulence Determinant Synthesis and Attenuates Pathogenicity in Staphylococcus aureus

    PubMed Central

    Wirf, Jessica; Wonnenberg, B.; Biegel, Tanja; Eisenbeis, J.; Graham, J.; Herrmann, M.; Lee, C. Y.; Beisswenger, C.; Wolz, C.; Tschernig, T.; Bischoff, M.; Somerville, G. A.

    2016-01-01

    In Staphylococcus aureus, metabolism is intimately linked with virulence determinant biosynthesis, and several metabolite-responsive regulators have been reported to mediate this linkage. S. aureus possesses at least three members of the RpiR family of transcriptional regulators. Of the three RpiR homologs, RpiRc is a potential regulator of the pentose phosphate pathway, which also regulates RNAIII levels. RNAIII is the regulatory RNA of the agr quorum-sensing system that controls virulence determinant synthesis. The effect of RpiRc on RNAIII likely involves other regulators, as the regulators that bind the RNAIII promoter have been intensely studied. To determine which regulators might bridge the gap between RpiRc and RNAIII, sarA, sigB, mgrA, and acnA mutations were introduced into an rpiRc mutant background, and the effects on RNAIII were determined. Additionally, phenotypic and genotypic differences were examined in the single and double mutant strains, and the virulence of select strains was examined using two different murine infection models. The data suggest that RpiRc affects RNAIII transcription and the synthesis of virulence determinants in concert with σB, SarA, and the bacterial metabolic status to negatively affect virulence. PMID:27113358

  7. 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.

  8. Molecular and virulence characterization of Toxoplasma gondii strains isolated from humans in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Vilares, Anabela; Gargaté, Maria João; Ferreira, Idalina; Martins, Susana; Gomes, João Paulo

    2017-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis which infects all warm-blooded vertebrates, including mammals and birds. The majority of studies conducted in Europe have revealed that more than 80 % of strains isolated from human infections belong to genotype II, whereas genotypes I and III are responsible for a small number of cases. Atypical and recombinant strains are generally associated with more severe infections. In Portugal, there is a lack of data concerning genetic diversity as the classical typing studies in humans have never been performed. We aimed to determine the Sag2 and microsatellite-based (TUB2, TgM-A, W35, B17, B18) genotypes of T. gondii isolated from humans in Portugal, as well as to study their virulence in mice. We analyzed 48 strains from congenital and acquired toxoplasmosis collected during the last two decades. Sag2-based genotyping of T. gondii was achieved in all 48 strains where 35 (73 %) were classified as type II and 13 (27 %) were type I. The multilocus PCR of five microsatellites allowed the classification of 10 strains (21 %) as recombinant strains that had been previously identified as type II or I by Sag2 typing. Seven out of the 48 strains, including three type I, three recombinant, and one type I, were virulent in mice. This study constitutes the first evidence of recombinant strains circulating in Portugal in humans from congenital infection, highlighting the need for a better evaluation of these strains as their phenotype is still barely understood.

  9. NMR Structure of Francisella tularensis Virulence Determinant Reveals Structural Homology to Bet v1 Allergen Proteins.

    PubMed

    Zook, James; Mo, Gina; Sisco, Nicholas J; Craciunescu, Felicia M; Hansen, Debra T; Baravati, Bobby; Cherry, Brian R; Sykes, Kathryn; Wachter, Rebekka; Van Horn, Wade D; Fromme, Petra

    2015-06-02

    Tularemia is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by Francisella tularensis, and is endemic to North America and many parts of northern Europe and Asia. The outer membrane lipoprotein, Flpp3, has been identified as a virulence determinant as well as a potential subunit template for vaccine development. Here we present the first structure for the soluble domain of Flpp3 from the highly infectious Type A SCHU S4 strain, derived through high-resolution solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy; the first structure of a lipoprotein from the genus Francisella. The Flpp3 structure demonstrates a globular protein with an electrostatically polarized surface containing an internal cavity-a putative binding site based on the structurally homologous Bet v1 protein family of allergens. NMR-based relaxation studies suggest loop regions that potentially modulate access to the internal cavity. The Flpp3 structure may add to the understanding of F. tularensis virulence and contribute to the development of effective vaccines.

  10. Streptococcus pneumoniae in biofilms are unable to cause invasive disease due to altered virulence determinant production.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Carlos J; Kumar, Nikhil; Lizcano, Anel; Shivshankar, Pooja; Dunning Hotopp, Julie C; Jorgensen, James H; Tettelin, Hervé; Orihuela, Carlos J

    2011-01-01

    It is unclear whether Streptococcus pneumoniae in biofilms are virulent and contribute to development of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Using electron microscopy we confirmed the development of mature pneumococcal biofilms in a continuous-flow-through line model and determined that biofilm formation occurred in discrete stages with mature biofilms composed primarily of dead pneumococci. Challenge of mice with equal colony forming units of biofilm and planktonic pneumococci determined that biofilm bacteria were highly attenuated for invasive disease but not nasopharyngeal colonization. Biofilm pneumococci of numerous serotypes were hyper-adhesive and bound to A549 type II pneumocytes and Detroit 562 pharyngeal epithelial cells at levels 2 to 11-fold greater than planktonic counterparts. Using genomic microarrays we examined the pneumococcal transcriptome and determined that during biofilm formation S. pneumoniae down-regulated genes involved in protein synthesis, energy production, metabolism, capsular polysaccharide (CPS) production, and virulence. We confirmed these changes by measuring CPS by ELISA and immunoblotting for the toxin pneumolysin and the bacterial adhesins phosphorylcholine (ChoP), choline-binding protein A (CbpA), and Pneumococcal serine-rich repeat protein (PsrP). We conclude that biofilm pneumococci were avirulent due to reduced CPS and pneumolysin production along with increased ChoP, which is known to bind C-reactive protein and is opsonizing. Likewise, biofilm pneumococci were hyper-adhesive due to selection for the transparent phase variant, reduced CPS, and enhanced production of PsrP, CbpA, and ChoP. These studies suggest that biofilms do not directly contribute to development of IPD and may instead confer a quiescent mode of growth during colonization.

  11. Molecular detection of virulence genes as markers in Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from urinary tract infections.

    PubMed

    Sabharwal, Neha; Dhall, Shriya; Chhibber, Sanjay; Harjai, Kusum

    2014-01-01

    Catheter associated urinary tract infections by P. aeruginosa are related to variety of complications. Quorum sensing and related circuitry guard its virulence potential. Though P. aeruginosa accounts for an appreciable amount of virulence factors, this organism is highly unstable phenotypically. Thus, genotyping of clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa is of utmost importance for understanding the epidemiology of infection. This may contribute towards development of immunotherapeutic approaches against this multi drug resistant pathogen. Moreover, no epidemiological study has been reported yet on uroisolates of P. aeruginosa. Thus this study was planned to obtain information regarding presence, distribution and rate of occurrence of quorum sensing and some associated virulence genes at genetic level. The profiling of quorum sensing genes lasI, lasR, rhlI, rhlR and virulence genes like toxA, aprA, rhlAB, plcH, lasB and fliC of twelve strains of P. aeruginosa isolated from patients with UTIs was done by direct PCR. The results showed variable distribution of quorum sensing genes and virulence genes. Their percentage occurrence may be specifically associated with different levels of intrinsic virulence and pathogenicity in urinary tract. Such information can help in identifying these virulence genes as useful diagnostic markers for clinical P. aeruginosa strains isolated from UTIs.

  12. Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Pomegranate Fruit Rot Pathogen, Chaetomella raphigera, and its Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Gajbhiye, Milind; Sathe, Shivaji; Shinde, Vikas; Kapadnis, Balu

    2016-03-01

    A new fungal pathogen was isolated from rotten pomegranates collected from the orchards of different parts of Maharashtra. The pathogen was morphologically identified as Chaetomella raphigera followed by sequencing of ITS and D1/D2 hypervariable region of LSU (28S) of rRNA gene. The pathogen produced pectinase, cellulase, xylanase and protease in liquid medium at a concentration of 71, 13.8, 54.3 and 7 U/ml respectively. Enzyme activity was also determined during pathogenesis in the tissues artificially infected by C. raphigera. Xylanase activity was maximum (25.1 U/g) followed by pectinase (19.2 U/g) and cellulase (1.5 U/g), whereas, protease activity was unnoticed. There was significant correlation (P < 0.05) between disease rating scale and pectinase, xylanase and cellulase activity in infected tissues. This indicates the simultaneous production of hydrolytic enzymes that aids in necrosis of fruit tissues. The elevated levels of these enzymes in infected tissues as compared with control suggest their possible role in pathogenesis. Thus, pectinase, cellulase and xylanase produced by C. raphigera acts as major virulence factors in the development of fruit rot in pomegranates. This is a first report of fungal fruit rot caused by C. raphigera in pomegranate.

  13. Streptococcus suis in invasive human infections in Poland: clonality and determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance.

    PubMed

    Bojarska, A; Molska, E; Janas, K; Skoczyńska, A; Stefaniuk, E; Hryniewicz, W; Sadowy, E

    2016-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to perform an analysis of Streptococcus suis human invasive isolates, collected in Poland by the National Reference Centre for Bacterial Meningitis. Isolates obtained from 21 patients during 2000-2013 were investigated by phenotypic tests, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), analysis of the TR9 locus from the multilocus variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) scheme and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of SmaI-digested DNA. Determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and analysed by sequencing. All isolates represented sequence type 1 (ST1) and were suggested to be serotype 2. PFGE and analysis of the TR9 locus allowed the discrimination of four and 17 types, respectively. Most of the isolates were haemolysis- and DNase-positive, and around half of them formed biofilm. Genes encoding suilysin, extracellular protein factor, fibronectin-binding protein, muramidase-released protein, surface antigen one, enolase, serum opacity factor and pili were ubiquitous in the studied group, while none of the isolates carried sequences characteristic for the 89K pathogenicity island. All isolates were susceptible to penicillin, cefotaxime, imipenem, moxifloxacin, chloramphenicol, rifampicin, gentamicin, linezolid, vancomycin and daptomycin. Five isolates (24 %) were concomitantly non-susceptible to erythromycin, clindamycin and tetracycline, and harboured the tet(O) and erm(B) genes; for one isolate, lsa(E) and lnu(B) were additionally detected. Streptococcus suis isolated in Poland from human invasive infections belongs to a globally distributed clonal complex of this pathogen, enriched in virulence markers. This is the first report of the lsa(E) and lnu(B) resistance genes in S. suis.

  14. A Novel Enterovirus 71 (EV71) Virulence Determinant: The 69th Residue of 3C Protease Modulates Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Li, Bingqing; Yue, Yingying; Zhang, Yajie; Yuan, Zenglin; Li, Peng; Song, Nannan; Lin, Wei; Liu, Yan; Gu, Lichuan; Meng, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Human enterovirus type 71 (EV71), the major causative agent of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, has been known to cause fatal neurological complications. Unfortunately, the reason for neurological complications that have been seen in fatal cases of the disease and the relationship between EV71 virulence and viral genetic sequences remains largely undefined. The 3C protease (3C(pro)) of EV71 plays an irreplaceable role in segmenting the precursor polyprotein during viral replication, and intervening with host life activity during viral infection. In this study, for the first time, the 69th residue of 3C protease has been identified as a novel virulence determinant of EV71. The recombinant virus with single point variation, in the 69th of 3C(pro), exhibited obvious decline in replication, and virulence. We further determined the crystal structure of 3C N69D at 1.39 Ǻ resolution and found that conformation of 3C N69D demonstrated significant changes compared with a normal 3C protein, in the substrate-binding site and catalytic active site. Strikingly, one of the switch loops, essential in fixing substrates, adopts an open conformation in the 3C N69D-rupintrivir complex. Consistent with this apparent structural disruption, the catalytic activity of 3C N69D decreased sharply for host derived and viral derived substrates, detected for both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, in addition to EV71, Asp69 was also found in 3C proteases of other virus strains, such as CAV16, and was conserved in nearly all C type human rhinovirus. Overall, we identified a natural virulence determinant of 3C protease and revealed the mechanism of attenuated virulence is mediated by N69D substitution. Our data provides new insight into the enzymatic mechanism of a subdued 3C protease and suggests a theoretical basis for virulence determinantion of picornaviridae.

  15. A Novel Enterovirus 71 (EV71) Virulence Determinant: The 69th Residue of 3C Protease Modulates Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bingqing; Yue, Yingying; Zhang, Yajie; Yuan, Zenglin; Li, Peng; Song, Nannan; Lin, Wei; Liu, Yan; Gu, Lichuan; Meng, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Human enterovirus type 71 (EV71), the major causative agent of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, has been known to cause fatal neurological complications. Unfortunately, the reason for neurological complications that have been seen in fatal cases of the disease and the relationship between EV71 virulence and viral genetic sequences remains largely undefined. The 3C protease (3Cpro) of EV71 plays an irreplaceable role in segmenting the precursor polyprotein during viral replication, and intervening with host life activity during viral infection. In this study, for the first time, the 69th residue of 3C protease has been identified as a novel virulence determinant of EV71. The recombinant virus with single point variation, in the 69th of 3Cpro, exhibited obvious decline in replication, and virulence. We further determined the crystal structure of 3C N69D at 1.39 Ǻ resolution and found that conformation of 3C N69D demonstrated significant changes compared with a normal 3C protein, in the substrate-binding site and catalytic active site. Strikingly, one of the switch loops, essential in fixing substrates, adopts an open conformation in the 3C N69D-rupintrivir complex. Consistent with this apparent structural disruption, the catalytic activity of 3C N69D decreased sharply for host derived and viral derived substrates, detected for both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, in addition to EV71, Asp69 was also found in 3C proteases of other virus strains, such as CAV16, and was conserved in nearly all C type human rhinovirus. Overall, we identified a natural virulence determinant of 3C protease and revealed the mechanism of attenuated virulence is mediated by N69D substitution. Our data provides new insight into the enzymatic mechanism of a subdued 3C protease and suggests a theoretical basis for virulence determinantion of picornaviridae. PMID:28217559

  16. Enterococci from Tolminc cheese: population structure, antibiotic susceptibility and incidence of virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Canzek Majhenic, Andreja; Rogelj, Irena; Perko, Bogdan

    2005-07-15

    Microbiological analysis of ripened artisanal Tolminc cheese revealed the presence of an enterococcal population in numbers of up to 10(6) per g. All colonies, isolated from the citrate azide tween carbonate (CATC) enterococcal selective medium were Gram positive and coccal-shaped and were analysed with PhenePlate FS system. This system discriminated 10 PhP clusters among the 90 enterococcal isolates. From each cluster the most representative isolate for that particular type was selected for further study. The 10 representative enterococci were catalase negative and grew in the presence of NaCl (2%, 4% and 6.5%) and bile salts (0.06%). Genus specific primers confirmed all 10 enterococcal representatives as Enterococcus members, while species specific primers determined them further as strains of Enterococcus faecalis species. PCR for vanA and vanB genes detection, respectively, amplified no PCR products. The absence of van genes was confirmed with both disc and E-test, as isolates were susceptible to vancomycin according to the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS). The results of disc tests with other antimicrobial agents (ampicillin, vancomycin, kanamycin, penicillin, erythromycin, neomycin, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, rifampin) did not differ much among the tested enterococci: they were all very resistant to clindamycin only. The incidence of enterococcus virulence determinants was as expected: all of the 10 E. faecalis strains tested possessed multiple determinants (between 7 and 11).

  17. Differences in accumulation and virulence determine the outcome of competition during Tobacco etch virus coinfection.

    PubMed

    Lafforgue, Guillaume; Sardanyés, Josep; Elena, Santiago F

    2011-03-15

    Understanding the evolution of virulence for RNA viruses is essential for developing appropriate control strategies. Although it has been usually assumed that virulence is a consequence of within-host replication of the parasite, viral strains may be highly virulent without experiencing large accumulation as a consequence of immunopathological host responses. Using two strains of Tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) that show a negative relationship between virulence and accumulation rate, we first explored the evolution of virulence and fitness traits during simple and mixed infections. Short-term evolution experiments initiated with each strain independently confirmed the genetic and evolutionary stability of virulence and viral load, although infectivity significantly increased for both strains. Second, competition experiments between hypo- and hypervirulent TEV strains have shown that the outcome of competition is driven by differences in replication rate. A simple mathematical model has been developed to analyze the dynamics of these two strains during coinfection. The model qualitatively reproduced the experimental results using biologically meaningful parameters. Further analyses of the model also revealed a wide parametric region in which a low-fitness but hypovirulent virus can still outcompete a high-fitness but hypervirulent one. These results provide additional support to the observation that virulence and within-host replication may not necessarily be strongly tied in plant RNA viruses.

  18. Pathogen virulence factors as molecular probes of basic plant cellular functions

    PubMed Central

    Speth, Elena Bray; Lee, Young Nam; He, Sheng Yang

    2007-01-01

    Summary To successfully colonize plants, pathogens have evolved a myriad of virulence factors that allow them to manipulate host cellular pathways in order to gain entry into, multiply and move within, and eventually exit the host for a new infection cycle. In the past few years, substantial progress has been made in characterizing the host targets of viral and bacterial virulence factors, providing unique insights into basic plant cellular processes such as gene silencing, vesicle trafficking, hormone signaling, and innate immunity. Identification of the host targets of additional pathogen virulence factors promises to continue shedding light on fundamental cellular mechanisms in plants, thus enhancing our understanding of plant signaling, metabolism and cell biology. PMID:17884715

  19. 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

  20. Virulence and molecular variation of Flavobacterium columnare affecting rainbow trout in ID, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Columnaris disease is an emerging problem in the rainbow trout (Oncorhychus mykiss) aquaculture industry of Idaho. The epidemiology of this pathogen in the area, and for rainbow trout, is all isolates taken from disease outbreaks are genomovar I and similar based on basic typing protocols. Virulence...

  1. Virulence and molecular genotyping studies of Sporisorium reilianum isolates in sorghum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Head smut, caused by the fungal pathogen Sporisorium reilianum, has been reported with increasing frequency in the grain sorghum growing areas of Texas. To facilitate analysis of changes in pathogen virulence, four inoculation techniques were examined: soil and teliospore mixture, seed coating, me...

  2. Baculovirus-encoded protein BV/ODV-E26 determines tissue tropism and virulence in lepidopteran insects.

    PubMed

    Katsuma, Susumu; Kobayashi, Jun; Koyano, Yasue; Matsuda-Imai, Noriko; Kang, WonKyung; Shimada, Toru

    2012-03-01

    Lepidopteran nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPVs) show distinct tissue tropism in host insect larvae. However, the molecular mechanism of this tropism is largely unknown. We quantitatively investigated NPV tissue tropism by measuring mRNA levels of viral genes in 16 tissues from Bombyx mori NPV (BmNPV)-infected B. mori larvae and found clear tissue tropism, i.e., BmNPV replicates poorly in the silk glands, midgut, and Malpighian tubule compared with other larval tissues. We next identified the viral genes determining tissue tropism in NPV infection by investigating the phenotypes of larvae infected with 44 BmNPV mutants in which one gene was functionally disrupted by a LacZ cassette insertion. We found that occlusion body (OB) production was markedly enhanced compared with that of the wild type in the middle silk glands (MSGs) of larvae infected with three mutants in which one of three tandemly arrayed genes (Bm7, Bm8, and Bm9) was disrupted. We generated additional mutants in which one or two genes of this gene cluster were partially deleted and showed that Bm8, also known as BV/ODV-E26, was solely required for the suppression of OB production in the MSGs of BmNPV-infected B. mori larvae. Western blotting showed that a LacZ cassette insertion in Bm7 or Bm9 resulted in aberrant expression of Bm8, presumably leading to abnormal OB production in the MSGs. Larval bioassays also revealed that disruption of Bm8 accelerated the death of B. mori larvae. These results suggest that the group I NPV-specific protein BV/ODV-E26 determines tissue tropism and virulence in host lepidopteran insects.

  3. Comparison of guinea pig and protozoan models for determining virulence of Legionella species.

    PubMed Central

    Fields, B S; Barbaree, J M; Shotts, E B; Feeley, J C; Morrill, W E; Sanden, G N; Dykstra, M J

    1986-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila organisms are able to infect and multiply within the ciliated protozoan Tetrahymena pyriformis. This ability may be associated with virulence, because an attenuated strain of L. pneumophila fails to multiply within this protozoan, whereas a virulent strain increases 10,000-fold in number when coincubated with T. pyriformis. Seventeen strains (11 species) of legionellae were evaluated for virulence by intraperitoneal injection of guinea pigs and inoculation of protozoan cultures. Analysis of the data indicates that there are four categories of legionellae with respect to virulence as follows: organisms that infect and kill guinea pigs and multiply in T. pyriformis; organisms that infect but do not kill guinea pigs and multiply in T. pyriformis; organisms that do not infect guinea pigs but are lethal at high concentrations and multiply in T. pyriformis; and organisms that neither infect nor kill guinea pigs and fail to multiply in T. pyriformis. Evidence suggests that these distinctions are based on two virulence factors: intracellular multiplication in a host and toxic activity. Images PMID:3744550

  4. Revised Phylogeny and Novel Horizontally Acquired Virulence Determinants of the Model Soft Rot Phytopathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae SCC3193

    PubMed Central

    Koskinen, Patrik; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Pasanen, Miia; Broberg, Martin; Plyusnin, Ilja; Törönen, Petri; Holm, Liisa; Pirhonen, Minna; Palva, E. Tapio

    2012-01-01

    Soft rot disease is economically one of the most devastating bacterial diseases affecting plants worldwide. In this study, we present novel insights into the phylogeny and virulence of the soft rot model Pectobacterium sp. SCC3193, which was isolated from a diseased potato stem in Finland in the early 1980s. Genomic approaches, including proteome and genome comparisons of all sequenced soft rot bacteria, revealed that SCC3193, previously included in the species Pectobacterium carotovorum, can now be more accurately classified as Pectobacterium wasabiae. Together with the recently revised phylogeny of a few P. carotovorum strains and an increasing number of studies on P. wasabiae, our work indicates that P. wasabiae has been unnoticed but present in potato fields worldwide. A combination of genomic approaches and in planta experiments identified features that separate SCC3193 and other P. wasabiae strains from the rest of soft rot bacteria, such as the absence of a type III secretion system that contributes to virulence of other soft rot species. Experimentally established virulence determinants include the putative transcriptional regulator SirB, two partially redundant type VI secretion systems and two horizontally acquired clusters (Vic1 and Vic2), which contain predicted virulence genes. Genome comparison also revealed other interesting traits that may be related to life in planta or other specific environmental conditions. These traits include a predicted benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase of eukaryotic origin. The novelties found in this work indicate that soft rot bacteria have a reservoir of unknown traits that may be utilized in the poorly understood latent stage in planta. The genomic approaches and the comparison of the model strain SCC3193 to other sequenced Pectobacterium strains, including the type strain of P. wasabiae, provides a solid basis for further investigation of the virulence, distribution and phylogeny of soft rot

  5. Revised phylogeny and novel horizontally acquired virulence determinants of the model soft rot phytopathogen Pectobacterium wasabiae SCC3193.

    PubMed

    Nykyri, Johanna; Niemi, Outi; Koskinen, Patrik; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Pasanen, Miia; Broberg, Martin; Plyusnin, Ilja; Törönen, Petri; Holm, Liisa; Pirhonen, Minna; Palva, E Tapio

    2012-01-01

    Soft rot disease is economically one of the most devastating bacterial diseases affecting plants worldwide. In this study, we present novel insights into the phylogeny and virulence of the soft rot model Pectobacterium sp. SCC3193, which was isolated from a diseased potato stem in Finland in the early 1980s. Genomic approaches, including proteome and genome comparisons of all sequenced soft rot bacteria, revealed that SCC3193, previously included in the species Pectobacterium carotovorum, can now be more accurately classified as Pectobacterium wasabiae. Together with the recently revised phylogeny of a few P. carotovorum strains and an increasing number of studies on P. wasabiae, our work indicates that P. wasabiae has been unnoticed but present in potato fields worldwide. A combination of genomic approaches and in planta experiments identified features that separate SCC3193 and other P. wasabiae strains from the rest of soft rot bacteria, such as the absence of a type III secretion system that contributes to virulence of other soft rot species. Experimentally established virulence determinants include the putative transcriptional regulator SirB, two partially redundant type VI secretion systems and two horizontally acquired clusters (Vic1 and Vic2), which contain predicted virulence genes. Genome comparison also revealed other interesting traits that may be related to life in planta or other specific environmental conditions. These traits include a predicted benzoic acid/salicylic acid carboxyl methyltransferase of eukaryotic origin. The novelties found in this work indicate that soft rot bacteria have a reservoir of unknown traits that may be utilized in the poorly understood latent stage in planta. The genomic approaches and the comparison of the model strain SCC3193 to other sequenced Pectobacterium strains, including the type strain of P. wasabiae, provides a solid basis for further investigation of the virulence, distribution and phylogeny of soft rot

  6. Production of monoclonal antibodies to Listeria monocytogenes and their application to determine the virulence of isolates from channel catfish.

    PubMed

    Erdenlig, S; Ainsworth, A J; Austin, F W

    1999-07-01

    We produced monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the extracellular proteins of Listeria monocytogenes EGD grown in Chelex-treated improved minimal medium. Ten of the positive hybridomas generated were chosen for further characterization. Seven of the MAbs reacted with a protein having a molecular mass of 60 kDa. These MAbs inhibited listeriolysin (LLO)-mediated hemolysis, and two of them were specific for LLO and none of the other thiol-activated toxins tested. In an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot analysis, five of the anti-LLO MAbs reacted with ivanolysin from Listeria ivanovii. Three of the 10 MAbs reacted with a 29-kDa protein on Western blots and neutralized the phosphatidylcholine-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC) activity of L. monocytogenes. These three anti-PC-PLC MAbs did not react with phospholipases from five different gram-positive bacteria. However, the anti-PC-PLC MAbs recognized a 27-kDa extracellular protein from L. ivanovii and neutralized sphingomyelinase activity in a hemolysis test that demonstrates the antigenic relatedness of listerial phospholipases. These data indicate that listerial thiol-activated toxins possess species-specific epitopes and share group-specific epitopes. This is the first description of MAbs that neutralize listerial PC-PLC, and the data suggest that there is antigenic similarity between L. monocytogenes PC-PLC and L. ivanovii sphingomyelinase. The reactions of the MAbs with catfish isolates of L. monocytogenes suggested that some of the isolates examined lack the LLO and/or PC-PLC required for pathogenicity. The MAbs described here differentiated some catfish isolates from previously described type strain-pathogenic isolates and could be useful for detecting and determining the virulence of L. monocytogenes in food and clinical samples and for detecting L. ivanovii in veterinary clinical samples.

  7. Molecular characterization of a lipid-modified virulence-associated protein of Rhodococcus equi and its potential in protective immunity.

    PubMed Central

    Tan, C; Prescott, J F; Patterson, M C; Nicholson, V M

    1995-01-01

    Virulent strains of Rhodococcus equi produce plasmid-mediated 15- and 17-kDa proteins, which are thermoregulated and apparently surface-expressed. We demonstrated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) that R. equi produce three antigenically-related virulence-associated proteins, a diffuse 18-22-kDa, a 17.5-kDa and a 15-kDa protein. Phase partitioning of whole cells of R. equi strain 103 with Triton X-114 (TX-114) and labelling with [3H]-labelled palmitic acid showed that the two higher molecular weight proteins are hydrophobic and lipid modified. The 15-kDa protein did not partition into TX-114 and was not lipid modified. Cloning and expression of a fragment of the R. equi virulence plasmid in Escherichia coli showed that the three proteins were expressed from a single gene. Sequence analysis of this gene (designated vapA) revealed a 570-bp open reading frame encoding a polypeptide of 189 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 19,175 Da. The mature, nonlipid modified protein had a calculated mass of 16,246 Da. The 17.5- and 18-22-kDa forms of the protein are therefore due to lipid modification. No significant sequence homology of the vapA gene with other reported nucleotide sequences were found. Opsonization of virulent R. equi with an IgG1 mouse monoclonal antibody (MAb103) to the VapA protein significantly enhanced uptake in the murine macrophage cell line IC-21. Intraperitoneal injection of mice with Mab103 enhanced initial clearance from the liver of mice challenged intravenously with R. equi. Immunization of mice with the lipid-modified VapA purified by SDS-PAGE fractionation or with acetone precipitated VapA protein following TX-114 extraction resulted in significantly enhanced clearance from the liver and spleen following intravenous challenge. The VapA protein of R. equi appears therefore to be a protective immunogen. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 4. PMID:7704843

  8. Determining the Overpotential for a Molecular Electrocatalyst

    SciTech Connect

    Appel, Aaron M.; Helm, Monte L.

    2014-02-07

    “The additional potential (beyond the thermodynamic requirement) needed to drive a reaction at a certain rate is called the overpotential.”1 Over the last decade there has been considerable interest in the design and testing of molecular electrocatalysis for the interconversion of renewable energy and chemical fuels.2-5 One of the primary motivations for such research is the replacement of expensive and rare precious metal catalysts, such as platinum, with cheaper, more abundant metals.2,6-8 To become competitive with current electrocatalytic energy conversion technologies, new catalysts must be robust, fast, and energy-efficient. This last feature, the energy-efficiency, is dependent upon the overpotential. For molecular catalysts, the determination and reporting of overpotentials can be complicated by the frequent dependence on assumptions, especially when working in nonaqueous solvents. As overpotentials become lower, the meaningful comparison of molecular catalysts will require improved accuracy and precision. The intended purpose of this viewpoint is to provide a clear and concise description of overpotential and recommendation for its determination in molecular electrocatalysis. This material is based upon work supported as part of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

  9. Molecular population genetic analysis differentiates two virulence mechanisms of the fungal avirulence gene NIP1.

    PubMed

    Schürch, Stéphanie; Linde, Celeste C; Knogge, Wolfgang; Jackson, Lee F; McDonald, Bruce A

    2004-10-01

    Deletion or alteration of an avirulence gene are two mechanisms that allow pathogens to escape recognition mediated by the corresponding resistance gene in the host. We studied these two mechanisms for the NIP1 avirulence gene in field populations of the fungal barley pathogen Rhynchosporium secalis. The product of the avirulence gene, NIP1, causes leaf necrosis and elicits a defense response on plants with the Rrs1 resistance gene. A high NIP1 deletion frequency (45%) was found among 614 isolates from different geographic populations on four continents. NIP1 was also sequenced for 196 isolates, to identify DNA polymorphisms and corresponding NIP1 types. Positive diversifying selection was found to act on NIP1. A total of 14 NIP1 types were found, 11 of which had not been described previously. The virulence of the NIP1 types was tested on Rrs1 and rrs1 barley lines. Isolates carrying three of these types were virulent on the Rrs1 cultivar. One type each was found in California, Western Europe, and Jordan. Additionally, a field experiment with one pair of near-isogenic lines was conducted to study the selection pressure imposed by Rrs1 on field populations of R. secalis. Deletion of NIP1 was the only mechanism used to infect the Rrs1 cultivar in the field experiment. In this first comprehensive study on the population genetics of a fungal avirulence gene, virulence to Rrs1 in R. secalis was commonly achieved through deletion of the NIP1 avirulence gene but rarely also through point mutations in NIP1.

  10. Carriage of Staphylococcus species in the veterinary visiting dog population in mainland UK: molecular characterisation of resistance and virulence.

    PubMed

    Wedley, Amy L; Dawson, Susan; Maddox, Thomas W; Coyne, Karen P; Pinchbeck, Gina L; Clegg, Peter; Jamrozy, Dorota; Fielder, Mark D; Donovan, David; Nuttall, Tim; Williams, Nicola J

    2014-05-14

    This study investigated the prevalence of nasal carriage of staphylococci in dogs and determined the characteristics of the isolates. A total of 724 dogs from 87 veterinary practices across the mainland UK were screened for carriage of Staphylococcus spp. All isolates were examined for meticillin resistance (MR) and the presence of the mecA gene investigated in those isolates showing resistance. All coagulase-positive staphylococci and MR coagulase-negative staphylococci (MRCoNS) were subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Spa typing and DNA microarray analysis of resistance and virulence genes was carried out on all MR S. aureus (MRSA) and a subset of meticillin susceptible S. aureus (MSSA). Staphylococci were isolated from 399 (55.1%) of the dogs; only seven (1%) carried MRSA, all of which were identified as the dominant UK healthcare-associated strain (EMRSA-15, ST22). MSSA was identified in 47 (6.5%) dogs, the sequence types of which have been suggested as precursors to successful MRSA clones. Forty (5.5%) dogs carried MRCoNS, while no dogs carried MR S. pseudintermedius, although this is increasingly reported in mainland Europe. Resistance to antimicrobials among the isolates varied between species, with multidrug resistance (MDR) in 87.5% of MRCoNS and 21.8% of coagulase positive staphylococci. Microarray analysis of MRSA and a subset of MSSA isolates identified numerous virulence genes associated with pathogenesis, which are commonly identified in isolates of human origin. However, no isolates carried Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) genes. This study suggests that MRSA carriage is low in the vet visiting dog population, but there is a diverse range of virulence and resistance determinants in canine S. aureus and MRCoNS isolates.

  11. Molecular characterization of the putative transcription factor SebA involved in virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S; de Castro, Patrícia Alves; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Ramalho, Leandra Naira Zambelli; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique

    2012-04-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses.

  12. 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

  13. Molecular Characterization of the Putative Transcription Factor SebA Involved in Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dinamarco, Taísa Magnani; Almeida, Ricardo S.; Alves de Castro, Patrícia; Brown, Neil Andrew; dos Reis, Thaila Fernanda; Zambelli Ramalho, Leandra Naira; Savoldi, Marcela; Goldman, Maria Helena S.

    2012-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is a major opportunistic pathogen and allergen of mammals. Nutrient sensing and acquisition mechanisms, as well as the capability to cope with different stressing conditions, are essential for A. fumigatus virulence and survival in the mammalian host. This study characterized the A. fumigatus SebA transcription factor, which is the putative homologue of the factor encoded by Trichoderma atroviride seb1. The ΔsebA mutant demonstrated reduced growth in the presence of paraquat, hydrogen peroxide, CaCl2, and poor nutritional conditions, while viability associated with sebA was also affected by heat shock exposure. Accordingly, SebA::GFP (SebA::green fluorescent protein) was shown to accumulate in the nucleus upon exposure to oxidative stress and heat shock conditions. In addition, genes involved in either the oxidative stress or heat shock response had reduced transcription in the ΔsebA mutant. The A. fumigatus ΔsebA strain was attenuated in virulence in a murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. Furthermore, killing of the ΔsebA mutant by murine alveolar macrophages was increased compared to killing of the wild-type strain. A. fumigatus SebA plays a complex role, contributing to several stress tolerance pathways and growth under poor nutritional conditions, and seems to be integrated into different stress responses. PMID:22345349

  14. Variations in Virulence and Molecular Biology among Emerging Strains of Clostridium difficile

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Jonathan J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming organism which infects and colonizes the large intestine, produces potent toxins, triggers inflammation, and causes significant systemic complications. Treating C. difficile infection (CDI) has always been difficult, because the disease is both caused and resolved by antibiotic treatment. For three and a half decades, C. difficile has presented a treatment challenge to clinicians, and the situation took a turn for the worse about 10 years ago. An increase in epidemic outbreaks related to CDI was first noticed around 2003, and these outbreaks correlated with a sudden increase in the mortality rate of this illness. Further studies discovered that these changes in CDI epidemiology were associated with the rapid emergence of hypervirulent strains of C. difficile, now collectively referred to as NAP1/BI/027 strains. The discovery of new epidemic strains of C. difficile has provided a unique opportunity for retrospective and prospective studies that have sought to understand how these strains have essentially replaced more historical strains as a major cause of CDI. Moreover, detailed studies on the pathogenesis of NAP1/BI/027 strains are leading to new hypotheses on how this emerging strain causes severe disease and is more commonly associated with epidemics. In this review, we provide an overview of CDI, discuss critical mechanisms of C. difficile virulence, and explain how differences in virulence-associated factors between historical and newly emerging strains might explain the hypervirulence exhibited by this pathogen during the past decade. PMID:24296572

  15. Human Hemorrhagic Fever Causing Arenaviruses: Molecular Mechanisms Contributing to Virus Virulence and Disease Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Junjie; Liang, Yuying; Ly, Hinh

    2015-01-01

    Arenaviruses include multiple human pathogens ranging from the low-risk lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) to highly virulent hemorrhagic fever (HF) causing viruses such as Lassa (LASV), Junin (JUNV), Machupo (MACV), Lujo (LUJV), Sabia (SABV), Guanarito (GTOV), and Chapare (CHPV), for which there are limited preventative and therapeutic measures. Why some arenaviruses can cause virulent human infections while others cannot, even though they are isolated from the same rodent hosts, is an enigma. Recent studies have revealed several potential pathogenic mechanisms of arenaviruses, including factors that increase viral replication capacity and suppress host innate immunity, which leads to high viremia and generalized immune suppression as the hallmarks of severe and lethal arenaviral HF diseases. This review summarizes current knowledge of the roles of each of the four viral proteins and some known cellular factors in the pathogenesis of arenaviral HF as well as of some human primary cell-culture and animal models that lend themselves to studying arenavirus-induced HF disease pathogenesis. Knowledge gained from these studies can be applied towards the development of novel therapeutics and vaccines against these deadly human pathogens. PMID:26011826

  16. Deletion analysis of Streptococcus pneumoniae late competence genes distinguishes virulence determinants that are dependent or independent of competence induction

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Luchang; Lin, Jingjun; Kuang, Zhizhou; Vidal, Jorge E.; Lau, Gee W.

    2015-01-01

    virulence determinants regulated by ComX. PMID:25846124

  17. Virulence determinants in clinical Staphylococcus aureus from monomicrobial and polymicrobial infections of diabetic foot ulcers.

    PubMed

    Shettigar, Kavitha; Jain, Spoorthi; Bhat, Deepika V; Acharya, Raviraj; Ramachandra, Lingadakai; Satyamoorthy, Kapaettu; Murali, Thokur Sreepathy

    2016-12-01

    Antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is a major public health concern, and methicillin-resistant S. aureus has emerged as an important pathogen. We characterized S. aureus isolates from monomicrobial and polymicrobial wound infections from 200 diabetic individuals with foot ulcers to understand their underlying diversity and pathogenicity. Staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec typing was performed, and genes coding for production of biofilm, Panton-Valentine leukocidin, toxic shock syndrome toxin and leukotoxins DE and M were screened. Biofilm production was also quantified by the tissue culture plate method. Strains were genotyped using multilocus sequence typing, multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis and repetitive sequence PCR methods. Polymicrobial infections were present in 115 samples, 61 samples showed monomicrobial infection and 24 samples were culture negative. Polymicrobial infections were significantly higher in patients with previous amputation history. Of the 86 samples infected with S. aureus, virulence genes were found in 81 isolates, and 41 isolates possessed more than one virulence gene. Strains which contained pvl gene alone or luk-DE alone were significantly higher in polymicrobial wounds. Based on biofilm production, 18.6 % of isolates were classified as high, 24.4 % as moderate and 57 % as low biofilm producers. Genotyping of 30 strains revealed 10 different sequence types with a strong association among sequence types, specific virulence markers and antibiotic resistance profiles. Moreover, isolates from monomicrobial and polymicrobial wounds differed significantly in their virulence potential and the sequence types to which they belonged, and these are helpful in mapping the evolution of the identified strains of S. aureus.

  18. Probing the molecular determinants of fluorinase specificity.

    PubMed

    Yeo, W L; Chew, X; Smith, D J; Chan, K P; Sun, H; Zhao, H; Lim, Y H; Ang, E L

    2017-02-23

    Molecular determinants of FlA1 fluorinase specificity were probed using 5'-chloro-5'-deoxyadenosine (5'-ClDA) analogs as substrates and FlA1 active site mutants. Modifications at F213 or A279 residues are beneficial towards these modified substrates, including 5'-chloro-5'-deoxy-2-ethynyladenosine, ClDEA (>10-fold activity improvement), and conferred novel activity towards substrates not readily accepted by wild-type FlA1.

  19. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators.

  20. Evaluation of the experimental inoculation of Cryptococcus albidus and Cryptococcus laurentii in normal mice: virulence factors and molecular profile before and after animal passage.

    PubMed

    Pedroso, Reginaldo dos Santos; Ferreira, Joseane Cristina; Lavrador, Marco Aurélio Sicchiroli; Maffei, Claudia Maria Leite; Candido, Regina Celia

    2009-08-01

    The genus Cryptococcus includes free-developing species, a few of which are of medical importance. Some, such as C. neoformans and C. gattii, cause infections in man frequently and C. albidus and C. laurentii cause less so. The aims of this study were to evaluate organ colonization after inoculation of C. albidus and C. laurentii isolates in normal BALB/c mice, the virulence factors (growth at 37 degrees C, capsule, melanin, proteinase, and phospholipase production) and the molecular profile (PCR-fingerprinting) of the yeasts before and after infection. The importance of different profiles (virulence and molecular) was considered in relation to the distribution in different organs and to the time intervals of isolation from organs. C. albidus was isolated from animal organs 2 to 10 days after inoculation and C. laurentii from 2 to 120 days. Most isolates of the two species kept the virulence factors showed before inoculation. The high homogeneity of the molecular profile of C. albidus and the high heterogeneity of C. laurentii were kept through the passages in animals. It is concluded that most isolates of both species were recovered from the animal organs after 5 or more days, and phenotypes were not altered by inoculation. No molecular alteration was detected and the virulence factors were not related to the time intervals before isolation from organs.

  1. Molecular determinants for a cardiovascular collapse in anthrax.

    PubMed

    Brojatsch, Jurgen; Casadevall, Arturo; Goldman, David L

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis releases two bipartite proteins, lethal toxin and edema factor, that contribute significantly to the progression of anthrax-associated shock. As blocking the anthrax toxins prevents disease, the toxins are considered the main virulence factors of the bacterium. The anthrax bacterium and the anthrax toxins trigger multi-organ failure associated with enhanced vascular permeability, hemorrhage and cardiac dysfunction in animal challenge models. A recent study using mice that either lacked the anthrax toxin receptor in specific cells and corresponding mice expressing the receptor in specific cell types demonstrated that cardiovascular cells are critical for disease mediated by anthrax lethal toxin. These studies are consistent with involvement of the cardiovascular system, and with an increase of cardiac failure markers observed in human anthrax and in animal models using B. anthracis and anthrax toxins. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding the pathophysiology of anthrax and tries to provide a mechanistic model and molecular determinants for the circulatory shock in anthrax.

  2. Molecular Mechanisms of Sex Determination in Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Rhen, T.; Schroeder, A.

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques. PMID:20145384

  3. Molecular mechanisms of sex determination in reptiles.

    PubMed

    Rhen, T; Schroeder, A

    2010-01-01

    Charles Darwin first provided a lucid explanation of how gender differences evolve nearly 140 years ago. Yet, a disconnect remains between his theory of sexual selection and the mechanisms that underlie the development of males and females. In particular, comparisons between representatives of different phyla (i.e., flies and mice) reveal distinct genetic mechanisms for sexual differentiation. Such differences are hard to comprehend unless we study organisms that bridge the phylogenetic gap. Analysis of variation within monophyletic groups (i.e., amniotes) is just as important if we hope to elucidate the evolution of mechanisms underlying sexual differentiation. Here we review the molecular, cellular, morphological, and physiological changes associated with sex determination in reptiles. Most research on the molecular biology of sex determination in reptiles describes expression patterns for orthologs of mammalian sex-determining genes. Many of these genes have evolutionarily conserved expression profiles (i.e., DMRT1 and SOX9 are expressed at a higher level in developing testes vs. developing ovaries in all species), which suggests functional conservation. However, expression profiling alone does not test gene function and will not identify novel sex-determining genes or gene interactions. For that reason, we provide a prospectus on various techniques that promise to reveal new sex-determining genes and regulatory interactions among these genes. We offer specific examples of novel candidate genes and a new signaling pathway in support of these techniques.

  4. Serogroup, virulence, and molecular traits of Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolated from clinical and cockle sources in northeastern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Mala, Wanida; Alam, Munirul; Angkititrakul, Sunpetch; Wongwajana, Suwin; Lulitanond, Viraphong; Huttayananont, Sriwanna; Kaewkes, Wanlop; Faksri, Kiatichai; Chomvarin, Chariya

    2016-04-01

    Vibrio parahaemolyticus is responsible for seafood-borne gastroenteritis worldwide. Isolates of V. parahaemolyticus from clinical samples (n=74) and cockles (Anadara granosa) (n=74) in Thailand were analyzed by serotyping, determination of virulence and related marker genes present, response to antimicrobial agents, and genetic relatedness. Serological analysis revealed 31 different serotypes, 10 of which occurred among both clinical and cockle samples. The clinical isolates commonly included the pandemic serogroup O3:K6, while a few of the cockle isolates exhibited likely pandemic serovariants such as O3:KUT and O4:KUT, but not O3:K6. The pandemic (orf8 gene-positive) strains were more frequently found among clinical isolates (78.4%) than cockle isolates (28.4%) (p<0.001). Likewise, the virulence and related marker genes were more commonly detected among clinical than cockle isolates; i.e., tdh gene (93.2% versus 29.7%), vcrD2 (97.3% versus 23.0%), vopB2 (89.2% versus 13.5%), vopT (98.6% versus 36.5%) (all p<0.001) and trh (10.8% versus 1.4%) (p<0.05). Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of NotI-digested genomic DNA of 41 randomly selected V. parahaemolyticus isolates representing different serotypes produced 33 pulsotypes that formed 5 different clusters (clonal complexes) (A-E) in a dendrogram. Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 and likely related pandemic serotypes were especially common among the numerous clinical isolates in cluster C, suggesting a close clonal link among many of these isolates. Most clinical and cockle isolates were resistant to ampicillin. This study indicates that O3:K6 and its likely serovariants based on the PFGE clusters, are causative agents. Seafoods such as cockles potentially serve as a source of virulent V. parahaemolyticus, but further work is required to identify possible additional sources.

  5. Regulation of virulence in Staphylococcus aureus: molecular mechanisms and remaining puzzles

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Boyuan; Muir, Tom W.

    2016-01-01

    Summary The agr locus encodes a quorum sensing (QS) circuit required for the virulence of a spectrum of gram-positive pathogens and is, therefore, regarded as an important target for the development of chemotherapeutics. In recent years, many of the biochemical events in the Staphylococcus aureus agr circuit have been reconstituted and subject to quantitative analysis in vitro. This work, in conjunction with structural studies on several key players in the signaling circuit, has furnished mechanistic insights into the regulation and evolution of the agr quorum sensing system. Herein, we review this progress and discuss the remaining open questions in the area. We also highlight advances in the discovery of small-molecule agr modulators and how the newly available biochemical and structural information might be leveraged for the design of next generation therapeutics targeting the agr system. PMID:26971873

  6. The Molecular Circuitry Governing Retinal Determination

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Justin P.

    2009-01-01

    The developing eye of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has become a premier model system for studying the genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern tissue determination. Over the last fifteen years a regulatory circuit consisting of the members of the Pax, Six, Eya and Dach gene families has been identified and shown to govern the specification of a wide range of tissues including the retina of both insects and mammals. These genes are not organized in a simple developmental pathway or cascade in which there is a unidirectional flow of information. Rather, there are multiple feedback loops built into the system rendering its appearance and functionality more in line with the workings of a network. In this review I will attempt to describe the genetic, molecular and biochemical interactions that govern the specification of the Drosophila compound eye. In particular, the primary focus will be on the interactions that have been experimentally verified at the molecular and biochemical levels. During the course of this description I will also attempt to place each discovery in its own historical context. While a number of signaling pathways play significant roles in early eye development this review will focus on the network of nuclear factors that promote retinal determination. PMID:19013263

  7. Virulence plasmid (pYV)-associated expression of phenotypic virulent determinants in pathogenic Yersinia species: a convenient method for monitoring the presence of pYV under culture conditions and its application for....food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y, enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of several virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb)-associated genetic determinants may include low calcium response (Lcr, pin point colony, size = 0.36 mm), colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm), crystal violet (CV) binding...

  8. Virulence plasmid (pYV)-associated expression of phenotypic virulent determinants in pathogenic Yersinia species: a convenient method for monitoring the presence of pYV under culture conditions and its application for...food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y, enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb)-associated genetic determinants may include low calcium response (Lcr, pin point colony, size = 0.36 mm), colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm), crystal violet (CV) binding (dark-v...

  9. Physiological and molecular determinants of embryo implantation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shuang; Lin, Haiyan; Kong, Shuangbo; Wang, Shumin; Wang, Hongmei; Wang, Haibin; Armant, D. Randall

    2014-01-01

    Embryo implantation involves the intimate interaction between an implantation-competent blastocyst and a receptive uterus, which occurs in a limited time period known as the window of implantation. Emerging evidence shows that defects originating during embryo implantation induce ripple effects with adverse consequences on later gestation events, highlighting the significance of this event for pregnancy success. Although a multitude of cellular events and molecular pathways involved in embryo-uterine crosstalk during implantation have been identified through gene expression studies and genetically engineered mouse models, a comprehensive understanding of the nature of embryo implantation is still missing. This review focuses on recent progress with particular attention to physiological and molecular determinants of blastocyst activation, uterine receptivity, blastocyst attachment and uterine decidualization. A better understanding of underlying mechanisms governing embryo implantation should generate new strategies to rectify implantation failure and improve pregnancy rates in women. PMID:23290997

  10. Modulation of virulence factors in Francisella tularensis determines human macrophage responses

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Paul E.; Carroll, James A.; O’Dee, Dawn M.; Nau, Gerard J.

    2009-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia and Category A biodefense agent, is known to replicate within host macrophages, though the pathogenesis of this organism is incompletely understood. We have isolated a variant of F. tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS) based on colony morphology and its effect on macrophages. Human monocyte-derived macrophages produced more tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-12 p40 following exposure to the variant, designated the activating variant (ACV). The immunoreactivity of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from both LVS and ACV was comparable to the previously described blue variant and was distinct from the gray variant of LVS. We found, however, the soluble protein fractions of LVS and ACV differed. Further investigation using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis demonstrated higher levels of several proteins in the parental LVS isolate. The differentially-expressed proteins featured several associated with virulence in F. tularensis and other pathogens, including intracellular growth locus C (IglC), a σ54 modulation protein family member (YhbH), and aconitase. ACV reverted to the LVS phenotype, indicated by low cytokine induction and high IglC expression, after growth in a chemically-defined media. These data provide evidence that the levels of virulence factors in F. tularensis are modulated based on culture conditions and that this modulation impacts host responses. This work provides a basis for investigation of Francisella virulence factor regulation and the identification of additional factors, co-regulated with IglC, that affect macrophage responses. PMID:17369012

  11. A Molecular Study on the Prevalence and Virulence Potential of Aeromonas spp. Recovered from Patients Suffering from Diarrhea in Israel

    PubMed Central

    Senderovich, Yigal; Ken-Dror, Shifra; Vainblat, Irina; Blau, Dvora; Izhaki, Ido; Halpern, Malka

    2012-01-01

    Background Species of the genus Aeromonas are native inhabitants of aquatic environments and have recently been considered emerging human pathogens. Although the gastrointestinal tract is by far the most common anatomic site from which aeromonads are recovered, their role as etiologic agents of bacterial diarrhea is still disputed. Aeromonas-associated diarrhea is a phenomenon occurring worldwide; however, the exact prevalence of Aeromonas infections on a global scale is unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings The prevalence and virulence potential of Aeromonas in patients suffering from diarrhea in Israel was studied using molecular methods. 1,033 diarrheal stools were sampled between April and September 2010 and Aeromonas species were identified in 17 (∼2%) patients by sequencing the rpoD gene. Aeromonas species identity and abundance was: A. caviae (65%), A. veronii (29%) and Aeromonas taiwanensis (6%). This is the first clinical record of A. taiwanensis as a diarrheal causative since its recent discovery from a wound infection in a patient in Taiwan. Most of the patients (77%) from which Aeromonas species were isolated were negative for any other pathogens. The patients ranged from 1 to 92 years in age. Aeromonas isolates were found to possess different virulence-associated genes: ahpB (88%), pla/lip/lipH3/apl-1 (71%), act/hlyA/aerA (35%), alt (18%), ast (6%), fla (65%), lafA (41%), TTSS ascV (12%), TTSS ascF-ascG (12%), TTSS-dependent ADP-ribosylating toxins aexU (41%) and aexT (6%) in various combinations. Most of the identified strains were resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics but susceptible to third-generation cephalosporin antibiotics. Conclusions Aeromonas may be a causative agent of diarrhea in patients in Israel and therefore should be included in routine bacteriological screenings. PMID:22355306

  12. Virulence Attributes and Host Response Assays for Determining Pathogenic Potential of Pseudomonas Strains Used in Biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Tayabali, Azam F; Coleman, Gordon; Nguyen, Kathy C

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas species are opportunistically pathogenic to humans, yet closely related species are used in biotechnology applications. In order to screen for the pathogenic potential of strains considered for biotechnology applications, several Pseudomonas strains (P.aeruginosa (Pa), P.fluorescens (Pf), P.putida (Pp), P.stutzeri (Ps)) were compared using functional virulence and toxicity assays. Most Pa strains and Ps grew at temperatures between 28°C and 42°C. However, Pf and Pp strains were the most antibiotic resistant, with ciprofloxacin and colistin being the most effective of those tested. No strain was haemolytic on sheep blood agar. Almost all Pa, but not other test strains, produced a pyocyanin-like chromophore, and caused cytotoxicity towards cultured human HT29 cells. Murine endotracheal exposures indicated that the laboratory reference strain, PAO1, was most persistent in the lungs. Only Pa strains induced pro-inflammatory and inflammatory responses, as measured by elevated cytokines and pulmonary Gr-1 -positive cells. Serum amyloid A was elevated at ≥ 48 h post-exposure by only some Pa strains. No relationship was observed between strains and levels of peripheral leukocytes. The species designation or isolation source may not accurately reflect pathogenic potential, since the clinical strain Pa10752 was relatively nonvirulent, but the industrial strain Pa31480 showed comparable virulence to PAO1. Functional assays involving microbial growth, cytotoxicity and murine immunological responses may be most useful for identifying problematic Pseudomonas strains being considered for biotechnology applications.

  13. Identification of Virulence Determinants within the L Genomic Segment of the Pichinde Arenavirus

    PubMed Central

    McLay, Lisa; Lan, Shuiyun; Ansari, Aftab

    2013-01-01

    Several arenaviruses are responsible for causing viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) in humans. Lassa virus (LASV), the causative agent of Lassa fever, is a biosafety level 4 (BSL4) pathogen that requires handling in BSL4 facilities. In contrast, the Pichinde arenavirus (PICV) is a BSL2 pathogen that can cause hemorrhagic fever-like symptoms in guinea pigs that resemble those observed in human Lassa fever. Comparative sequence analysis of the avirulent P2 strain of PICV and the virulent P18 strain shows a high degree of sequence homology in the bisegmented genome between the two strains despite the polarized clinical outcomes noted for the infected animals. Using reverse genetics systems that we have recently developed, we have mapped the sequence changes in the large (L) segment of the PICV genome that are responsible for the heightened virulence phenotype of the P18 strain. By monitoring the degree of disease severity and lethality caused by the different mutant viruses, we have identified specific residues located within the viral L polymerase gene encoded on the L segment essential for mediating disease pathogenesis. Through quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analysis, we have confirmed that the same set of residues is responsible for the increased viral replicative potential of the P18 strain and its heightened disease severity in vivo. Our laboratory findings serve to reinforce field observations that a high level of viremia often correlates with severe disease outcomes in LASV-infected patients. PMID:23552411

  14. Virulence Attributes and Host Response Assays for Determining Pathogenic Potential of Pseudomonas Strains Used in Biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Tayabali, Azam F.; Coleman, Gordon; Nguyen, Kathy C.

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas species are opportunistically pathogenic to humans, yet closely related species are used in biotechnology applications. In order to screen for the pathogenic potential of strains considered for biotechnology applications, several Pseudomonas strains (P.aeruginosa (Pa), P.fluorescens (Pf), P.putida (Pp), P.stutzeri (Ps)) were compared using functional virulence and toxicity assays. Most Pa strains and Ps grew at temperatures between 28°C and 42°C. However, Pf and Pp strains were the most antibiotic resistant, with ciprofloxacin and colistin being the most effective of those tested. No strain was haemolytic on sheep blood agar. Almost all Pa, but not other test strains, produced a pyocyanin-like chromophore, and caused cytotoxicity towards cultured human HT29 cells. Murine endotracheal exposures indicated that the laboratory reference strain, PAO1, was most persistent in the lungs. Only Pa strains induced pro-inflammatory and inflammatory responses, as measured by elevated cytokines and pulmonary Gr-1 -positive cells. Serum amyloid A was elevated at ≥ 48 h post-exposure by only some Pa strains. No relationship was observed between strains and levels of peripheral leukocytes. The species designation or isolation source may not accurately reflect pathogenic potential, since the clinical strain Pa10752 was relatively nonvirulent, but the industrial strain Pa31480 showed comparable virulence to PAO1. Functional assays involving microbial growth, cytotoxicity and murine immunological responses may be most useful for identifying problematic Pseudomonas strains being considered for biotechnology applications. PMID:26619347

  15. Identification of Pectin Degrading Enzymes Secreted by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and Determination of Their Role in Virulence on Rice

    PubMed Central

    Tayi, Lavanya; Maku, Roshan V.; Patel, Hitendra Kumar; Sonti, Ramesh V.

    2016-01-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv.oryzae (Xoo) causes the serious bacterial blight disease of rice. Xoo secretes a repertoire of plant cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs) like cellulases, xylanases, esterases etc., which act on various components of the rice cell wall. The major cellulases and xylanases secreted by Xoo have been identified and their role in virulence has been determined. In this study, we have identified some of the pectin degrading enzymes of Xoo and assessed their role in virulence. Bioinformatics analysis indicated the presence of four pectin homogalacturonan (HG) degrading genes in the genome of Xoo. The four HG degrading genes include one polygalacturonase (pglA), one pectin methyl esterase (pmt) and two pectate lyases (pel and pelL). There was no difference in the expression of pglA, pmt and pel genes by laboratory wild type Xoo strain (BXO43) grown in either nutrient rich PS medium or in plant mimic XOM2 medium whereas the expression of pelL gene was induced in XOM2 medium as indicated by qRT-PCR experiments. Gene disruption mutations were generated in each of these four genes. The polygalacturonase mutant pglA- was completely deficient in degrading the substrate Na-polygalacturonicacid (PGA). Strains carrying mutations in the pmt, pel and pelL genes were as efficient as wild type Xoo (BXO43) in cleaving PGA. These observations clearly indicate that PglA is the major pectin degrading enzyme produced by Xoo. The pectin methyl esterase, Pmt, is the pectin de-esterifying enzyme secreted by Xoo as evident from the enzymatic activity assay performed using pectin as the substrate. Mutations in the pglA, pmt, pel and pelL genes have minimal effects on virulence. This suggests that, as compared to cellulases and xylanases, the HG degrading enzymes may not have a major role in the pathogenicity of Xoo. PMID:27907079

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Computational Analysis Reveals a Key Regulator of Cryptococcal Virulence and Determinant of Host Response

    PubMed Central

    Gish, Stacey R.; Maier, Ezekiel J.; Haynes, Brian C.; Santiago-Tirado, Felipe H.; Srikanta, Deepa L.; Ma, Cynthia Z.; Li, Lucy X.; Williams, Matthew; Crouch, Erika C.; Khader, Shabaana A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitous, opportunistic fungal pathogen that kills over 600,000 people annually. Here, we report integrated computational and experimental investigations of the role and mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in cryptococcal infection. Major cryptococcal virulence traits include melanin production and the development of a large polysaccharide capsule upon host entry; shed capsule polysaccharides also impair host defenses. We found that both transcription and translation are required for capsule growth and that Usv101 is a master regulator of pathogenesis, regulating melanin production, capsule growth, and capsule shedding. It does this by directly regulating genes encoding glycoactive enzymes and genes encoding three other transcription factors that are essential for capsule growth: GAT201, RIM101, and SP1. Murine infection with cryptococci lacking Usv101 significantly alters the kinetics and pathogenesis of disease, with extended survival and, unexpectedly, death by pneumonia rather than meningitis. Our approaches and findings will inform studies of other pathogenic microbes. PMID:27094327

  19. Identification of Klebsiella pneumoniae virulence determinants using an intranasal infection model.

    PubMed

    Lawlor, Matthew S; Hsu, James; Rick, Paul D; Miller, Virginia L

    2005-11-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative enterobacterium that has historically been, and currently remains, a significant cause of human disease. It is a frequent cause of urinary tract infections and pneumonia, and subsequent systemic infections can have mortality rates as high as 60%. Despite its clinical significance, few virulence factors of K. pneumoniae have been identified or characterized. In this study we present a mouse model of acute K. pneumoniae respiratory infection using an intranasal inoculation method, and examine the progression of both pulmonary and systemic disease. Wild-type infection recapitulates many aspects of clinical disease, including significant bacterial growth in both the trachea and lungs, an inflammatory immune response characterized by dramatic neutrophil influx, and a steady progression to systemic disease with ensuing mortality. These observations are contrasted with an infection by an isogenic capsule-deficient strain that shows an inability to cause disease in either pulmonary or systemic tissues. The consistency and clinical accuracy of the intranasal mouse model proved to be a useful tool as we conducted a genetic screen to identify novel virulence factors of K. pneumoniae. A total of 4800 independent insertional mutants were evaluated using a signature-tagged mutagenesis protocol. A total of 106 independent mutants failed to be recovered from either the lungs or spleens of infected mice. Small scale independent infections proved to be helpful as a secondary screening method, as opposed to the more traditional competitive index assay. Those mutants showing verified attenuation contained insertions in loci with a variety of putative functions, including a large number of hypothetical open reading frames. Subsequent experiments support the premise that the central mechanism of K. pneumoniae pathogenesis is the production of a polysaccharide-rich cell surface that provides protection from the inflammatory response.

  20. Approaches to define the viral genetic basis of classical swine fever virus virulence.

    PubMed

    Leifer, Immanuel; Ruggli, Nicolas; Blome, Sandra

    2013-04-10

    Classical swine fever (CSF), a highly contagious disease of pigs caused by the classical swine fever virus (CSFV), can lead to important economic losses in the pig industry. Numerous CSFV isolates with various degrees of virulence have been isolated worldwide, ranging from low virulent strains that do not result in any apparent clinical signs to highly virulent strains that cause a severe peracute hemorrhagic fever with nearly 100% mortality. Knowledge of the molecular determinants of CSFV virulence is an important issue for effective disease control and development of safe and effective marker vaccines. In this review, the latest studies in the field of CSFV virulence are discussed. The topic of virulence is addressed from different angles; nonconventional approaches like codon pair usage and quasispecies are considered. Future research approaches in the field of CSFV virulence are proposed.

  1. Molecular Characterization of Gβ-Like Protein CpcB Involved in Antifungal Drug Susceptibility and Virulence in A. fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Zhendong; Chai, Yanfei; Zhang, Caiyun; Feng, Ruoyun; Sang, Hong; Lu, Ling

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is an airborne human fungal pathogen that can survive in a wide range of environmental condition. G protein complex transduces external signals from a variety of stimuli outside a cell to its interior effectors in all eukaryotes. Gβ-like CpcB (cross pathway control B) belongs to a WD40 repeat protein family with the conserved G–H and W–D residues. Previous studies have demonstrated that Gβ-like proteins cooperate with related signal transduction proteins to function during many important developmental processes in A. fumigatus. However, the molecular characteristics of Gβ-like CpcB have not yet been identified. In this study, we demonstrated that the G–H residues in WD repeat 1, 2, 3, and the W–D residue in WD repeat 2 of CpcB are required not only to control normal hyphal growth and conidiation but also to affect antifungal drug susceptibility. The enhanced drug resistance might be due to reduced intracellular drug accumulation and altered ergosterol component. Moreover, we find that the first G–H residue of CpcB plays an important role in the virulence of A. fumigatus. To our knowledge, this is the first report for finding the importance of the conserved G–H and W–D residues for a Gβ-like protein in understanding of G protein functions. PMID:26903985

  2. Heterodimerization of the Entamoeba histolytica EhCPADH virulence complex through molecular dynamics and protein-protein docking.

    PubMed

    Montaño, Sarita; Orozco, Esther; Correa-Basurto, José; Bello, Martiniano; Chávez-Munguía, Bibiana; Betanzos, Abigail

    2017-02-01

    EhCPADH is a protein complex involved in the virulence of Entamoeba histolytica, the protozoan responsible for human amebiasis. It is formed by the EhCP112 cysteine protease and the EhADH adhesin. To explore the molecular basis of the complex formation, three-dimensional models were built for both proteins and molecular dynamics simulations (MDS) and docking calculations were performed. Results predicted that the pEhCP112 proenzyme and the mEhCP112 mature enzyme were globular and peripheral membrane proteins. Interestingly, in pEhCP112, the propeptide appeared hiding the catalytic site (C167, H329, N348); while in mEhCP112, this site was exposed and its residues were found structurally closer than in pEhCP112. EhADH emerged as an extended peripheral membrane protein with high fluctuation in Bro1 and V shape domains. 500 ns-long MDS and protein-protein docking predictions evidenced different heterodimeric complexes with the lowest free energy. pEhCP112 interacted with EhADH by the propeptide and C-terminal regions and mEhCP112 by the C-terminal through hydrogen bonds. In contrast, EhADH bound to mEhCP112 by 442-479 residues, adjacent to the target cell-adherence region (480-600 residues), and by the Bro1 domain (9-349 residues). Calculations of the effective binding free energy and per residue free energy decomposition showed that EhADH binds to mEhCP112 with a higher binding energy than to pEhCP112, mainly through van der Waals interactions and the nonpolar part of solvation energy. The EhADH and EhCP112 structural relationship was validated in trophozoites by immunofluorescence, TEM, and immunoprecipitation assays. Experimental findings fair agreed with in silico results.

  3. Molecular method for determining sex of walruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, A.S.; Jay, C.V.; Jackson, J.V.; Andersen, L.W.; Sage, G.K.; Talbot, S.L.

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the ability of a set of published trans-species molecular sexing primers and a set of walrus-specific primers, which we developed, to accurately identify sex of 235 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The trans-species primers were developed for mammals and targeted the X- and Y-gametologs of the zinc finger protein genes (ZFX, ZFY). We extended this method by using these primers to obtain sequence from Pacific and Atlantic walrus (0. r. rosmarus) ZFX and ZFY genes to develop new walrus-specific primers, which yield polymerase chain reaction products of distinct lengths (327 and 288 base pairs from the X- and Y-chromosome, respectively), allowing them to be used for sex determination. Both methods yielded a determination of sex in all but 1-2% of samples with an accuracy of 99.6-100%. Our walrus-specific primers offer the advantage of small fragment size and facile application to automated electrophoresis and visualization.

  4. Recognition of Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Virulence Determinants by Human Colostrum and Serum Antibodies

    PubMed Central

    Parissi-Crivelli, Aurora; Parissi-Crivelli, Joaquín M.; Girón, Jorge A.

    2000-01-01

    Human colostra and sera collected from Mexican mothers and their children at birth and 6 months thereafter were studied for the presence of antibodies against the bundle-forming pilus and several chromosomal virulence gene products (intimin and secreted proteins EspA and EspB) of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC). Among 21 colostrum samples studied, 76, 71.5, 57, and 47% of them contained immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies against EspA, intimin, EspB, and BfpA, respectively. Interestingly, there was a difference in IgG response to EPEC antigens between the sera from neonates and sera from the same children 6 months later. While the number of neonates reacting to Esps and intimin diminished when they reached 6 months of age, those reacting with BfpA increased from 9 to 71%. Intimin from an enterohemorrhagic E. coli strain was also recognized by most of the samples reacting with EPEC intimin. These data suggest that Bfp and Esps elicit an antibody response during the early days of life of neonates and support the value of breast-feeding in areas of the world where bacterial diarrheal infections are endemic. PMID:10878066

  5. Prevalence of Virulence-Related Determinants in Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus epidermidis

    PubMed Central

    Najar Peerayeh, Shahin; Jazayeri Moghadas, Ali; Behmanesh, Mehrdad

    2016-01-01

    Background Staphylococcus epidermidis, a member of the human flora, is recognized as an opportunistic pathogen and cause of nosocomial infections. Staphylococcus epidermidis surface components are able to establish bacteria on the host surface, and cause infection. Objectives The frequency of icaA, IS256, aap, fbe and bhp in clinical isolates of S. epidermidis were investigated in this study. Materials and Methods Fifty-nine S. epidermidis isolates were collected from blood (50), wound (1), urine (4) and tracheal (4) samples (Tehran, Iran). Staphylococcus epidermidis isolates were identified with conventional bacteriological tests. Virulence-associated genes were detected by specific polymerase chain reactions (PCRs). Results Of the 59 S. epidermidis, fbe was found in 89.8%, while aap and bhp were observed in 64.4% and 15.3% of the samples, respectively. Coexistence of aap and fbe was found in 32 isolates, while coexistence of bhp and fbe was observed in five isolates. Two isolates were negative for the investigated genes. Conclusions Prevalence of fbe and aap was significantly different from similar studies, yet frequency of bhp was in accordance with other studies. Prevalence of icaA and IS256 was not significantly different from some studies while a significant difference was observed when results were compared with some other studies. PMID:27800129

  6. Determination of Helicobacter pylori virulence by analysis of the cag pathogenicity island isolated from Iranian population

    PubMed Central

    Baghaei, Kaveh; Shokrzadeh, Leila; Jafari, Fereshteh; Dabiri, Hossein; Yamaoka, Yoshio; Bolfion, Mehdi; Zojaji, Homayon; Aslani, Mehdi; Zali, Mohammad Reza

    2009-01-01

    Background The cag pathogenicity island (PAI), which can divide into two parts: cagI and cagII, is the most well-known virulence factor of Helicobacter pylori. Aims We investigated the association between genetic variations within the cag PAI (cagA and cagE in the cagI and cagT in the cagII) and clinical outcomes in Iranian population. Subjects A total of 231 patients including 182 patients with gastritis, 41 with peptic ulcer and 8 with gastric cancer. Methods The presences of the cagA, cagE and cagT genes were measured by polymerase chain reaction and the results were compared with clinical outcomes and gastric histology. Results The cagA, cagE and cagT genes were found in 154 (66.7%), 90 (39.0%) and 70 (30.3%) of clinical isolates. At least 144 (62.3%) strains possessed partially deleted cag PAI (e.g., 69 [29.9%] strains were cagA-positive, but cagE and cagT-negative). Conclusion The simple gene as well as the combination of the genes in the cag PAI appeared not to be useful markers to predict H. pylori-related diseases in Iranian population. The genomic sequences of the cag PAI in Iranian strains might be considerably different from those in other geographic locations. PMID:19261552

  7. Sample pooling for real-time PCR detection and virulence determination of the footrot pathogen Dichelobacter nodosus.

    PubMed

    Frosth, Sara; König, Ulrika; Nyman, Ann-Kristin; Aspán, Anna

    2017-03-25

    Dichelobacter nodosus is the principal cause of ovine footrot and strain virulence is an important factor in disease severity. Therefore, detection and virulence determination of D. nodosus is important for proper diagnosis of the disease. Today this is possible by real-time PCR analysis. Analysis of large numbers of samples is costly and laborious; therefore, pooling of individual samples is common in surveillance programs. However, pooling can reduce the sensitivity of the method. The aim of this study was to develop a pooling method for real-time PCR analysis that would allow sensitive detection and simultaneous virulence determination of D. nodosus. A total of 225 sheep from 17 flocks were sampled using ESwabs within the Swedish Footrot Control Program in 2014. Samples were first analysed individually and then in pools of five by real-time PCR assays targeting the 16S rRNA and aprV2/B2 genes of D. nodosus. Each pool consisted of four negative and one positive D. nodosus samples with varying amounts of the bacterium. In the individual analysis, 61 (27.1%) samples were positive in the 16S rRNA and the aprV2/B2 PCR assays and 164 (72.9%) samples were negative. All samples positive in the aprV2/B2 PCR-assay were of aprB2 variant. The pooled analysis showed that all 41 pools were also positive for D. nodosus 16S rRNA and the aprB2 variant. The diagnostic sensitivity for pooled and individual samples was therefore similar. Our method includes concentration of the bacteria before DNA-extraction. This may account for the maintenance of diagnostic sensitivity. Diagnostic sensitivity in the real-time PCR assays of the pooled samples were comparable to the sensitivity obtained for individually analysed samples. Even sub-clinical infections were able to be detected in the pooled PCR samples which is important for control of the disease. This method may therefore be implemented in footrot control programs where it can replace analysis of individual samples.

  8. Oligonucleotide microarrays for identification of microbial pathogens and detection of their virulence-associated or drug-resistance determinants.

    PubMed

    Volokhov, Dmitriy V; Kong, Hyesuk; Herold, Keith; Chizhikov, Vladimir E; Rasooly, Avraham

    2011-01-01

    Microarrays are spatially ordered arrays with ligands chemically immobilized in discrete spots on a solid matrix, usually a microscope slide. Microarrays are a high-throughput large-scale screening system enabling simultaneous identification of a large number of labeled target molecules (up to several hundred thousand) that bind specifically to the immobilized ligands of the array. DNA microarrays represent a promising tool for clinical, environmental, and industrial microbiology since the technology allows relatively rapid identification of large number of genetic determinants simultaneously, providing detailed genomic level information regarding the pathogen species, including identification of their virulence-associated factors and the presence of antibiotic resistance genes. In this chapter, we describe key aspects and methodologies important for the development and use of DNA microarrays for microbial diagnostics.

  9. Russian populations of Puccinia triticina in distant regions are not differentiated for virulence and molecular genotype

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to determine whether genetically distinct groups of Puccinia triticina are present in four regions of Russia. Collections of P. triticina were obtained from the Central, North Caucasus, Volga, and West Siberia regions of Russia from 2006 to 2010. Ninety-nine single ur...

  10. Antifungal Susceptibility in Serum and Virulence Determinants of Candida Bloodstream Isolates from Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Seneviratne, Chaminda J.; Rajan, Suhasini; Wong, Sarah S. W.; Tsang, Dominic N. C.; Lai, Christopher K. C.; Samaranayake, Lakshman P.; Jin, Lijian

    2016-01-01

    Candida bloodstream infections (CBI) are one of the most common nosocomial infections globally, and they account for a high mortality rate. The increasing global prevalence of drug-resistant Candida strains has also been posing a challenge to clinicians. In this study, we comprehensively evaluated the biofilm formation and production of hemolysin and proteinase of 63 CBI isolates derived from a hospital setting in Hong Kong as well as their antifungal susceptibility both in the presence and in the absence of human serum, using standard methodology. Candida albicans was the predominant species among the 63 CBI isolates collected, and non-albicans Candida species accounted for approximately one third of the isolates (36.5%). Of them, Candida tropicalis was the most common non-albicans Candida species. A high proportion (31.7%) of the CBI isolates (40% of C. albicans isolates, 10% of C. tropicalis isolates, 11% of C. parapsilosis isolates, and 100% of C. glabrata isolates) were found to be resistant to fluconazole. One of the isolates (C. tropicalis) was resistant to amphotericin B. A rising prevalence of drug-resistance CBI isolates in Hong Kong was observed with reference to a previous study. Notably, all non-albicans Candida species, showed increased hemolytic activity relative to C. albicans, whilst C. albicans, C. tropicalis, and C. parapsilosis exhibited proteinase activities. Majority of the isolates were capable of forming mature biofilms. Interestingly, the presence of serum distorted the yeast sensitivity to fluconazole, but not amphotericin B. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that CBI isolates of Candida have the potential to express to varying extent their virulence attributes (e.g., biofilm formation, hemolysin production, and proteinase activity) and these, together with perturbations in their antifungal sensitivity in the presence of serum, may contribute to treatment complication in candidemia. The effect of serum on antifungal activity

  11. Amino acid sequence of bacterial microbe-associated molecular pattern flg22 is required for virulence.

    PubMed

    Naito, Kana; Taguchi, Fumiko; Suzuki, Tomoko; Inagaki, Yoshishige; Toyoda, Kazuhiro; Shiraishi, Tomonori; Ichinose, Yuki

    2008-09-01

    Flagellin proteins derived from Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci 6605 and flg22Pa (QRLSTGSRINSAKDDAAGLQIA), one of the microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMP) in bacterial flagellin, induce cell death and growth inhibition in Arabidopsis thaliana. To examine the importance of aspartic acid (D) at position 43 from the N-terminus of a flagellin in its elicitor activity, D43 was replaced with valine (V) and alanine (A) in P. syringae pv. tabaci flagellin and flg22Pta. The abilities of flagellins from P. syringae pv. tabaci D43V and D43A to induce cell death and growth inhibition were reduced, whereas the abilities of flg22PtaD43V and flg22PtaD43A were abolished. These results indicate that D43 is important for elicitor activity in P. syringae pv. tabaci. When tobacco plants were inoculated with each bacterium by the spray method, both P. syringae pv. tabaci D43V and D43A mutants had remarkably reduced ability to cause disease symptoms. Both mutants had reduced or no swimming and swarming motilities and adhesion ability. In P. syringae pv. tabaci D43V, little flagellin protein was detected and few flagella were observed by electron microscopy. These results indicate that mutant flagella are unstable and that flagellar motility is impaired. Thus, the amino acid residue required for MAMP activity is important for the intrinsic flagellar function.

  12. Antimicrobial resistance, virulence profiles and molecular subtypes of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A blood isolates from Kolkata, India during 2009-2013.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Shanta; Das, Surojit; Mitra, Utpala; Jain, Priyanka; Roy, Indranil; Ganguly, Shelley S; Ray, Ujjwayini; Dutta, Phalguni; Paul, Dilip Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Enteric fever, caused by Salmonella enterica, remains an unresolved public health problem in India and antimicrobial therapy is the main mode of treatment. The objective of this study was to characterize the Salmonella enterica isolates from Kolkata with respect to their antimicrobial resistance (AMR), virulence profiles and molecular subtypes. Salmonella enterica blood isolates were collected from clinically suspected enteric fever patients attending various hospitals in Kolkata, India from January 2009 to June 2013 and were tested for AMR profiles by standard protocols; for resistance gene transfer by conjugation; for resistance and virulence genes profiles by PCR; and for molecular subtypes by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). A total of 77 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) and 25 Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A (S. Paratyphi A) from Kolkata were included in this study. Although multidrug resistance (resistance to chloramphenicol, ampicillin, co-trimoxazole) was decreasing in S. Typhi (18.2%) and absent in S. Paratyphi A, increased resistance to fluoroquinolone, the current drug of choice, caused growing concern for typhoid treatment. A single, non-conjugative non-IncHI1 plasmid of 180 kb was found in 71.4% multidrug resistant (MDR) S. Typhi; the remaining 28.6% isolates were without plasmid. Various AMR markers (blaTEM-1, catA, sul1, sul2, dfrA15, strA-strB) and class 1 integron with dfrA7 gene were detected in MDR S. Typhi by PCR and sequencing. Most of the study isolates were likely to be virulent due to the presence of virulence markers. Major diversity was not noticed among S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A from Kolkata by PFGE. The observed association between AMR profiles and S. Typhi pulsotypes might be useful in controlling the spread of the organism by appropriate intervention. The study reiterated the importance of continuous monitoring of AMR and molecular subtypes of Salmonella isolates from endemic regions for better

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Prevalence of Virulence Determinants and Antimicrobial Resistance among Commensal Escherichia coli Derived from Dairy and Beef Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Bok, Ewa; Mazurek, Justyna; Stosik, Michał; Wojciech, Magdalena; Baldy-Chudzik, Katarzyna

    2015-01-01

    Cattle is a reservoir of potentially pathogenic E. coli, bacteria that can represent a significant threat to public health, hence it is crucial to monitor the prevalence of the genetic determinants of virulence and antimicrobial resistance among the E. coli population. The aim of this study was the analysis of the phylogenetic structure, distribution of virulence factors (VFs) and prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E. coli isolated from two groups of healthy cattle: 50 cows housed in the conventional barn (147 isolates) and 42 cows living on the ecological pasture (118 isolates). The phylogenetic analysis, identification of VFs and antimicrobial resistance genes were based on either multiplex or simplex PCR. The antimicrobial susceptibilities of E. coli were examined using the broth microdilution method. Two statistical approaches were used to analyse the results obtained for two groups of cattle. The relations between the dependent (VFs profiles, antibiotics) and the independent variables were described using the two models. The mixed logit model was used to characterise the prevalence of the analysed factors in the sets of isolates. The univariate logistic regression model was used to characterise the prevalence of these factors in particular animals. Given each model, the odds ratio (OR) and the 95% confidence interval for the population were estimated. The phylogroup B1 was predominant among isolates from beef cattle, while the phylogroups A, B1 and D occurred with equal frequency among isolates from dairy cattle. The frequency of VFs-positive isolates was significantly higher among isolates from beef cattle. E. coli from dairy cattle revealed significantly higher resistance to antibiotics. Some of the tested resistance genes were present among isolates from dairy cattle. Our study showed that the habitat and diet may affect the genetic diversity of commensal E. coli in the cattle. The results suggest that the ecological pasture habitat is related to

  16. Fob1 and Fob2 Proteins Are Virulence Determinants of Rhizopus oryzae via Facilitating Iron Uptake from Ferrioxamine

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Mingfu; Lin, Lin; Gebremariam, Teclegiorgis; Luo, Guanpingsheng; Skory, Christopher D.; French, Samuel W.; Chou, Tsui-Fen; Edwards, John E.; Ibrahim, Ashraf S.

    2015-01-01

    Dialysis patients with chronic renal failure receiving deferoxamine for treating iron overload are uniquely predisposed for mucormycosis, which is most often caused by Rhizopus oryzae. Although the deferoxamine siderophore is not secreted by Mucorales, previous studies established that Rhizopus species utilize iron from ferrioxamine (iron-rich form of deferoxamine). Here we determined that the CBS domain proteins of Fob1 and Fob2 act as receptors on the cell surface of R. oryzae during iron uptake from ferrioxamine. Fob1 and Fob2 cell surface expression was induced in the presence of ferrioxamine and bound radiolabeled ferrioxamine. A R. oryzae strain with targeted reduced Fob1/Fob2 expression was impaired for iron uptake, germinating, and growing on medium with ferrioxamine as the sole source of iron. This strain also exhibited reduced virulence in a deferoxamine-treated, but not the diabetic ketoacidotic (DKA), mouse model of mucormycosis. The mechanism by which R. oryzae obtains iron from ferrioxamine involves the reductase/permease uptake system since the growth on ferrioxamine supplemented medium is associated with elevated reductase activity and the use of the ferrous chelator bathophenanthroline disulfonate abrogates iron uptake and growth on medium supplemented with ferrioxamine as a sole source of iron. Finally, R. oryzae mutants with reduced copies of the high affinity iron permease (FTR1) or with decreased FTR1 expression had an impaired iron uptake from ferrioxamine in vitro and reduced virulence in the deferoxamine-treated mouse model of mucormycosis. These two receptors appear to be conserved in Mucorales, and can be the subject of future novel therapy to maintain the use of deferoxamine for treating iron-overload. PMID:25974051

  17. Fob1 and Fob2 Proteins Are Virulence Determinants of Rhizopus oryzae via Facilitating Iron Uptake from Ferrioxamine.

    PubMed

    Liu, Mingfu; Lin, Lin; Gebremariam, Teclegiorgis; Luo, Guanpingsheng; Skory, Christopher D; French, Samuel W; Chou, Tsui-Fen; Edwards, John E; Ibrahim, Ashraf S

    2015-05-01

    Dialysis patients with chronic renal failure receiving deferoxamine for treating iron overload are uniquely predisposed for mucormycosis, which is most often caused by Rhizopus oryzae. Although the deferoxamine siderophore is not secreted by Mucorales, previous studies established that Rhizopus species utilize iron from ferrioxamine (iron-rich form of deferoxamine). Here we determined that the CBS domain proteins of Fob1 and Fob2 act as receptors on the cell surface of R. oryzae during iron uptake from ferrioxamine. Fob1 and Fob2 cell surface expression was induced in the presence of ferrioxamine and bound radiolabeled ferrioxamine. A R. oryzae strain with targeted reduced Fob1/Fob2 expression was impaired for iron uptake, germinating, and growing on medium with ferrioxamine as the sole source of iron. This strain also exhibited reduced virulence in a deferoxamine-treated, but not the diabetic ketoacidotic (DKA), mouse model of mucormycosis. The mechanism by which R. oryzae obtains iron from ferrioxamine involves the reductase/permease uptake system since the growth on ferrioxamine supplemented medium is associated with elevated reductase activity and the use of the ferrous chelator bathophenanthroline disulfonate abrogates iron uptake and growth on medium supplemented with ferrioxamine as a sole source of iron. Finally, R. oryzae mutants with reduced copies of the high affinity iron permease (FTR1) or with decreased FTR1 expression had an impaired iron uptake from ferrioxamine in vitro and reduced virulence in the deferoxamine-treated mouse model of mucormycosis. These two receptors appear to be conserved in Mucorales, and can be the subject of future novel therapy to maintain the use of deferoxamine for treating iron-overload.

  18. A link between gut community metabolism and pathogenesis: molecular hydrogen-stimulated glucarate catabolism aids Salmonella virulence.

    PubMed

    Lamichhane-Khadka, Reena; Benoit, Stéphane L; Maier, Susan E; Maier, Robert J

    2013-12-04

    Glucarate, an oxidized product of glucose, is a major serum organic acid in humans. Still, its role as a carbon source for a pathogen colonizing hosts has not been studied. We detected high-level expression of a potential glucarate permease encoding gene gudT when Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium are exposed to hydrogen gas (H(2)), a gaseous by-product of gut commensal metabolism. A gudT strain of Salmonella is deficient in glucarate-dependent growth, however, it can still use other monosaccharides, such as glucose or galactose. Complementation of the gudT mutant with a plasmid harbouring gudT restored glucarate-dependent growth to wild-type (WT) levels. The gudT mutant exhibits attenuated virulence: the mean time of death for mice inoculated with WT strain was 2 days earlier than for mice inoculated with the gudT strain. At 4 days postinoculation, liver and spleen homogenates from mice inoculated with a gudT strain contained significantly fewer viable Salmonella than homogenates from animals inoculated with the parent. The parent strain grew well H(2)-dependently in a minimal medium with amino acids and glucarate provided as the sole carbon sources, whereas the gudT strain achieved approximately 30% of the parent strain's yield. Glucarate-mediated growth of a mutant strain unable to produce H(2) was stimulated by H(2) addition, presumably owing to the positive transcriptional response to H(2). Gut microbiota-produced molecular hydrogen apparently signals Salmonella to catabolize an alternative carbon source available in the host. Our results link a gut microbiome-produced diffusible metabolite to augmenting bacterial pathogenesis.

  19. A link between gut community metabolism and pathogenesis: molecular hydrogen-stimulated glucarate catabolism aids Salmonella virulence

    PubMed Central

    Lamichhane-Khadka, Reena; Benoit, Stéphane L.; Maier, Susan E.; Maier, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Glucarate, an oxidized product of glucose, is a major serum organic acid in humans. Still, its role as a carbon source for a pathogen colonizing hosts has not been studied. We detected high-level expression of a potential glucarate permease encoding gene gudT when Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium are exposed to hydrogen gas (H2), a gaseous by-product of gut commensal metabolism. A gudT strain of Salmonella is deficient in glucarate-dependent growth, however, it can still use other monosaccharides, such as glucose or galactose. Complementation of the gudT mutant with a plasmid harbouring gudT restored glucarate-dependent growth to wild-type (WT) levels. The gudT mutant exhibits attenuated virulence: the mean time of death for mice inoculated with WT strain was 2 days earlier than for mice inoculated with the gudT strain. At 4 days postinoculation, liver and spleen homogenates from mice inoculated with a gudT strain contained significantly fewer viable Salmonella than homogenates from animals inoculated with the parent. The parent strain grew well H2-dependently in a minimal medium with amino acids and glucarate provided as the sole carbon sources, whereas the gudT strain achieved approximately 30% of the parent strain's yield. Glucarate-mediated growth of a mutant strain unable to produce H2 was stimulated by H2 addition, presumably owing to the positive transcriptional response to H2. Gut microbiota-produced molecular hydrogen apparently signals Salmonella to catabolize an alternative carbon source available in the host. Our results link a gut microbiome-produced diffusible metabolite to augmenting bacterial pathogenesis. PMID:24307595

  20. Aquabirnavirus polyploidy: A new strategy to modulate virulence?

    PubMed

    Lago, M; Rodríguez, José F; Bandín, I; Dopazo, C P

    2016-05-01

    One of the main research issues regarding the infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) is its virulence mechanisms. The bases for understanding the molecular virulence determinants of this virus were established over the last decade when it was demonstrated that certain aa domains in the VP2 and VP2-NS inter-region determined the level of virulence of IPNV. However, certain variability was still inexplicable and, therefore, other factors might also have been involved. To this regard, it has recently been demonstrated that the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a virus of a different genus of the same family as IPNV, can package more than 2 dsRNA segments, and that polyploidy may be associated to virulence. In the present report, we analyze the viral fractions obtained after gradient centrifugation to demonstrate that IPNV virions can also package more than 2 segments, thus indicating that polyploidy is a common birnavirus trait. The differential replication ex vivo and virulence in vivo additionally suggest that such a characteristic is involved in the modulation of viral infectivity. However, although the ex vivo results clearly demonstrated that the replication capacity is enhanced as the viral ploidy increases, the in vivo results could not strongly support a direct relationship between ploidy and virulence to the host, thus suggesting that other virulence determinants are also involved.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Molecular characterization of mammalian-adapted Korean-type avian H9N2 virus and evaluation of its virulence in mice.

    PubMed

    Park, Kuk Jin; Song, Min-Suk; Kim, Eun-Ha; Kwon, Hyeok-Il; Baek, Yun Hee; Choi, Eun-Hye; Park, Su-Jin; Kim, Se Mi; Kim, Young-Il; Choi, Won-Suk; Yoo, Dae-Won; Kim, Chul-Joong; Choi, Young Ki

    2015-08-01

    Avian influenza A virus (AIV) is commonly isolated from domestic poultry and wild migratory birds, and the H9N2 subtype is the most prevalent and the major cause of severe disease in poultry in Korea. In addition to the veterinary concerns regarding the H9N2 subtype, it is also considered to be the next potential human pandemic strain due to its rapid evolution and interspecies transmission. In this study, we utilize serial lung-to-lung passage of a low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAI) H9N2 (A/Ck/Korea/163/04, WT163) (Y439-lineage) in mice to increase pathogenicity and investigate the potential virulence marker. Mouse-adapted H9N2 virus obtained high virulence (100% mortality) in mice after 98 serial passages. Sequence results show that the mouse adaptation (ma163) possesses several mutations within seven gene segments (PB2, PA, HA, NP, NA, M, and NS) relative to the wild-type strain. The HA gene showed the most mutations (at least 11) with one resulting in the loss of an N-glycosylation site (at amino acid 166). Moreover, reverse genetic studies established that an E627K substitution in PB2 and the loss of the N-glycosylation site in the HA protein (aa166) are critical virulence markers in the mouse-adapted H9N2 virus. Thus, these results add to the increasing body of mutational analysis data defining the function of the viral polymerase and HA genes and their roles in mammalian host adaptation. To our knowledge, this is first report of the generation of a mammalian-adapted Korea H9N2 virus (Y493-lineages). Therefore, this study offers valuable insights into the molecular evolution of the LPAI Korean H9N2 in a new host and adds to the current knowledge of the molecular markers associated with increased virulence.

  3. Comparative analysis of virulence determinants, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and serogrouping of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli versus typical enteropathogenic E. coli in India.

    PubMed

    Malvi, Supriya; Appannanavar, Suma; Mohan, Balvinder; Kaur, Harsimran; Gautam, Neha; Bharti, Bhavneet; Kumar, Yashwant; Taneja, Neelam

    2015-10-01

    The epidemiology of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and the significance of isolation of atypical EPEC (aEPEC) in childhood diarrhoea have not been well studied in an Indian context. A comparative study was undertaken to investigate virulence determinants, antibiotic susceptibility patterns and serogrouping of typical EPEC (tEPEC) versus aEPEC causing diarrhoea in children. A total of 400 prospective and 500 retrospective E. coli isolates were included. PCR was performed for eae, bfpA, efa, nleB, nleE, cdt, ehxA and paa genes. The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute's disc diffusion test was used to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility. Phenotypic screening of extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), AmpC and Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) production, and molecular detection of bla(NDM-1), bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15), bla(IMP) and bla(KPC) were performed. aEPEC (57.6 %) were more common as compared with tEPEC (42.3 %). The occurrence of virulence genes was observed to be three times higher in aEPEC as compared with tEPEC, efa1 (14.7 % of aEPEC, 4 % of tEPEC) being the most common. Most of the isolates did not belong to the classical EPEC O-serogroups. The highest resistance was observed against amoxicillin (93.22 %) followed by quinolones (83 %), cephalosporins (37.28 %), cotrimoxazole (35.59 %) and carbapenems (30.5 %). Overall equal numbers of aEPEC (41.17 %) and tEPEC (40 %) were observed to be multidrug-resistant. Fifteen EPEC strains demonstrated presence of ESBLs, five produced AmpC and four each produced metallo-β-lactamases and KPC-type carbapenemases; eight, seven and one isolate(s) each were positive for bla(VIM), bla(CTX-M-15) and bla(NDM-1), respectively. Here, to the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time on carbapenem resistance and the presence of bla(NDM-1) and bla(CTX-M-15) in EPEC isolates from India.

  4. Molecular Characterization, Morphological Characteristics, Virulence, and Geographic Distribution of Rhizoctonia spp. in Washington State.

    PubMed

    Jaaffar, Ahmad Kamil Mohd; Paulitz, Timothy C; Schroeder, Kurtis L; Thomashow, Linda S; Weller, David M

    2016-05-01

    Rhizoctonia root rot and bare patch, caused by Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group (AG)-8 and R. oryzae, are chronic and important yield-limiting diseases of wheat and barley in the Inland Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States. Major gaps remain in our understanding of the epidemiology of these diseases, in part because multiple Rhizoctonia AGs and species can be isolated from the same cereal roots from the field, contributing to the challenge of identifying the causal agents correctly. In this study, a collection totaling 498 isolates of Rhizoctonia was assembled from surveys conducted from 2000 to 2009, 2010, and 2011 over a wide range of cereal production fields throughout Washington State in the PNW. To determine the identity of the isolates, PCR with AG- or species-specific primers and/or DNA sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacers was performed. R. solani AG-2-1, AG-8, AG-10, AG-3, AG-4, and AG-11 comprised 157 (32%), 70 (14%), 21 (4%), 20 (4%), 1 (0.2%), and 1 (0.2%), respectively, of the total isolates. AG-I-like binucleate Rhizoctonia sp. comprised 44 (9%) of the total; and 53 (11%), 80 (16%), and 51 (10%) were identified as R. oryzae genotypes I, II, and III, respectively. Isolates of AG-2-1, the dominant Rhizoctonia, occurred in all six agronomic zones defined by annual precipitation and temperature within the region sampled. Isolates of AG-8 also were cosmopolitan in their distribution but the frequency of isolation varied among years, and they were most abundant in zones of low and moderate precipitation. R. oryzae was cosmopolitan, and collectively the three genotypes comprised 37% of the isolates. Only isolates of R. solani AG-8 and R. oryzae genotypes II and III (but not genotype I) caused symptoms typically associated with Rhizoctonia root rot and bare patch of wheat. Isolates of AG-2-1 caused only mild root rot and AG-I-like binucleate isolates and members of groups AG-3, AG-4, and AG-11 showed only slight or no discoloration

  5. Systematic Mutational Analysis of the Putative Hydrolase PqsE: Toward a Deeper Molecular Understanding of Virulence Acquisition in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Folch, Benjamin; Déziel, Eric; Doucet, Nicolas

    2013-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic human pathogen that can establish bacterial communication by synchronizing the behavior of individual cells in a molecular phenomenon known as “quorum sensing”. Through an elusive mechanism involving gene products of the pqs operon, the PqsE enzyme is absolutely required for the synthesis of extracellular phenazines, including the toxic blue pigment pyocyanin, effectively allowing cells to achieve full-fledged virulence. Despite several functional and structural attempts at deciphering the role of this relevant enzymatic drug target, no molecular function has yet been ascribed to PqsE. In the present study, we report a series of alanine scanning experiments aimed at altering the biological function of PqsE, allowing us to uncover key amino acid positions involved in the molecular function of this enzyme. We use sequence analysis and structural overlays with members of homologous folds to pinpoint critical positions located in the vicinity of the ligand binding cleft and surrounding environment, revealing the importance of a unique C-terminal α-helical motif in the molecular function of PqsE. Our results suggest that the active site of the enzyme involves residues that extend further into the hydrophobic core of the protein, advocating for a lid-like movement of the two terminal helices. This information should help design virtual libraries of PqsE inhibitors, providing means to counter P. aeruginosa virulence acquisition and helping to reduce nosocomial infections. PMID:24040042

  6. Virulence determinants invA and spvC in salmonellae isolated from poultry products, wastewater, and human sources.

    PubMed Central

    Swamy, S C; Barnhart, H M; Lee, M D; Dreesen, D W

    1996-01-01

    The presence of two virulence foci, invA and spvC, in Salmonella isolates obtained from poultry, wastewater, and human sources was determined. All isolates (n = 245) were positive for the invA gene sequence. Differences in degree of invasiveness were apparent with the Madin Darby canine kidney cell line, as only 79 of 159 randomly selected isolates (49.7%) tested were invasive at > 0.1% of the inoculum. 25% were invasive between 0.1 and 1.0% of the inoculum, and 24.5% were invasive at > 1.0% of the inoculum. There was a significant correlation between degree of invasion and source from which the isolate was recovered but no correlation between geographic origin of poultry isolates and degree of invasion. Only 37 of 245 isolates (15.1%) hybridized with the spvC DNA probe. All isolates that were recovered from a commercial egg production environment and chicken eggs and whose sequences exhibited homology with the spvC gene sequence were determined to be either Salmonella enteritidis PT 23 or PT 13. The sequences of few isolates from ceca and none from wastewater or humans demonstrated homology with the spvC gene. PMID:8837432

  7. The Determination of Molecular Structure from Rotational Spectra

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Laurie, V. W.; Herschbach, D. R.

    1962-07-01

    An analysis is presented concerning the average molecular configuration variations and their effects on molecular structure determinations. It is noted that the isotopic dependence of the zero-point is often primarily governed by the isotopic variation of the average molecular configuration. (J.R.D.)

  8. Genitourinary cancers: molecular determinants for personalized therapies.

    PubMed

    Mazzucchelli, Roberta; Gasparrini, Silvia; Galosi, Andrea B; Massari, Francesco; Raspollini, Maria Rosaria; Scarpelli, Marina; Lopez-Beltran, Antonio; Cheng, Liang; Montironi, Rodolfo

    2016-09-26

    Recent insights and emerging strategies for individualized therapeutic approaches in patients with genitourinary (GU) cancers are based on patient's genomic and cancer's molecular profiles. This depends on the significant advances made in molecular biology technologies, such as next-generation sequencing and whole-exome sequencing. The rise of such novel techniques has grayly increased our knowledge on cancer cell biology and development, thus allowing to identify complex abnormalities at the genomic level. These findings have paved the way toward what is called precision medicine, thus providing healthcare from an individual perspective in patients with GU tumors.

  9. Evaluation of ultrafiltration for determining molecular weight of fulvic acid

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aiken, G.R.

    1984-01-01

    Two commonly used ultrafiltration membranes are evaluated for the determination of molecular weights of humic substances. Polyacrylic acids of Mr 2000 and 5000 and two well-characterized fulvic acids are used as standards. Molecular size characteristics of standards, as determined by small-angle X-ray scattering, are presented. Great care in evaluating molecular weight data obtained by ultrafiltration is needed because of broad nominal cutoffs and membrane-solute interactions.

  10. Anthrax SET protein: a potential virulence determinant that epigenetically represses NF-κB activation in infected macrophages.

    PubMed

    Mujtaba, Shiraz; Winer, Benjamin Y; Jaganathan, Anbalagan; Patel, Jigneshkumar; Sgobba, Miriam; Schuch, Raymond; Gupta, Yogesh K; Haider, Shozeb; Wang, Rong; Fischetti, Vincent A

    2013-08-09

    Toxins play a major role in the pathogenesis of Bacillus anthracis by subverting the host defenses. However, besides toxins, B. anthracis expresses effector proteins, whose role in pathogenesis are yet to be investigated. Here we present that suppressor-of-variegation, enhancer-of-zeste, trithorax protein from B. anthracis (BaSET) methylates human histone H1, resulting in repression of NF-κB functions. Notably, BaSET is secreted and undergoes nuclear translocation to enhance H1 methylation in B. anthracis-infected macrophages. Compared with wild type Sterne, delayed growth kinetics and altered septum formation were observed in the BaSET knock-out (BaΔSET) bacilli. Uncontrolled BaSET expression during complementation of the BaSET gene in BaΔSET partially restored growth during stationary phase but resulted in substantially shorter bacilli throughout the growth cycle. Importantly, in contrast to Sterne, the BaΔSET B. anthracis is avirulent in a lethal murine bacteremia model of infection. Collectively, BaSET is required for repression of host transcription as well as proper B. anthracis growth, making it a potentially unique virulence determinant.

  11. Molecular prevalence of putative virulence-associated genes in Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus isolates from human and livestock specimens in Iran.

    PubMed

    Hashemifar, Iman; Yadegar, Abbas; Jazi, Faramarz Masjedian; Amirmozafari, Nour

    2017-04-01

    Molecular prevalence of nine putative virulence factors in two more prevalent Brucella species in Iranian patients and livestock was investigated. During five years (2010-2015), 120 human and animal specimens were collected from three geographical areas of Iran. All samples were cultured in blood culture media and subcultured into Brucella agar medium. Nine primer pairs were designed for detection of VirB2, VirB5, VceC, BtpA, BtpB, PrpA, BetB, BPE275 and BSPB virulence factors using PCR and sequence analysis. Totally, 68 Brucella isolates including 60 B. melitensis and 8 B. abortus were isolated from the human and animal specimens examined. Approximately, all B. melitensis and B. abortus strains were positive (100%) regarding btpA, btpB, virB5, vceC, bpe275, bspB, and virB2 genes except for prpA and betB that were detected in 86% and 97% of the strains, respectively. Significant relationships were found between the presence of prpA and human B. melitensis isolates (P = 0.04), and also between the presence of betB and human isolates of B. abortus (P = 0.03). In conclusion, our results revealed that Iranian Brucella strains, regardless of human or animal sources, are extremely virulent due to high prevalence of virulence attributes in almost all strains studied.

  12. Vru (Sub0144) controls expression of proven and putative virulence determinants and alters the ability of Streptococcus uberis to cause disease in dairy cattle

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Sharon A.; Ward, Philip N.; Watson, Michael; Field, Terence R.

    2012-01-01

    The regulation and control of gene expression in response to differing environmental stimuli is crucial for successful pathogen adaptation and persistence. The regulatory gene vru of Streptococcus uberis encodes a stand-alone response regulator with similarity to the Mga of group A Streptococcus. Mga controls expression of a number of important virulence determinants. Experimental intramammary challenge of dairy cattle with a mutant of S. uberis carrying an inactivating lesion in vru showed reduced ability to colonize the mammary gland and an inability to induce clinical signs of mastitis compared with the wild-type strain. Analysis of transcriptional differences of gene expression in the mutant, determined by microarray analysis, identified a number of coding sequences with altered expression in the absence of Vru. These consisted of known and putative virulence determinants, including Lbp (Sub0145), SclB (Sub1095), PauA (Sub1785) and hasA (Sub1696). PMID:22383474

  13. Distribution of genes encoding virulence factors and molecular analysis of Shigella spp. isolated from patients with diarrhea in Kerman, Iran.

    PubMed

    Hosseini Nave, Hossein; Mansouri, Shahla; Emaneini, Mohammad; Moradi, Mohammad

    2016-03-01

    Shigella is one of the important causes of diarrhea worldwide. Shigella has several virulence factors contributing in colonization and invasion of epithelial cells and eventually death of host cells. The present study was performed in order to investigate the distribution of virulence factors genes in Shigella spp. isolated from patients with acute diarrhea in Kerman, Iran as well as the genetic relationship of these isolates. A total of 56 isolates including 31 S. flexneri, 18 S. sonnei and 7 S. boydii were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of 11 virulence genes (ipaH, ial, set1A, set1B, sen, virF, invE, sat, sigA, pic and sepA). Then, the clonal relationship of these strains was analyzed by multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) method. All isolates were positive for ipaH gene. The other genes include ial, invE and virF were found in 80.4%, 60.7% and 67.9% of the isolates, respectively. Both set1A and set1B were detected in 32.3% of S. flexneri isolates, whereas 66.1% of the isolates belonging to different serogroup carried sen gene. The sat gene was present in all S. flexneri isolates, but not in the S. sonnei and S. boydii isolates. The result showed, 30.4% of isolates were simultaneously positive and the rest of the isolates were negative for sepA and pic genes. The Shigella isolates were divided into 29 MLVA types. This study, for the first time, investigated distribution of 11 virulence genes in Shigella spp. Our results revealed heterogeneity of virulence genes in different Shigella serogroups. Furthermore, the strains belonging to the same species had little diversity.

  14. Bacterial virulence phenotypes of Escherichia coli and host susceptibility determine risk for urinary tract infections.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Henry L; Conover, Matt S; Chou, Wen-Chi; Hibbing, Michael E; Manson, Abigail L; Dodson, Karen W; Hannan, Thomas J; Roberts, Pacita L; Stapleton, Ann E; Hooton, Thomas M; Livny, Jonathan; Earl, Ashlee M; Hultgren, Scott J

    2017-03-22

    Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strains. In contrast to many enteric E. coli pathogroups, no genetic signature has been identified for UPEC strains. We conducted a high-resolution comparative genomic study using E. coli isolates collected from the urine of women suffering from frequent recurrent UTIs. These isolates were genetically diverse and varied in their urovirulence, that is, their ability to infect the bladder in a mouse model of cystitis. We found no set of genes, including previously defined putative urovirulence factors (PUFs), that were predictive of urovirulence. In addition, in some patients, the E. coli strain causing a recurrent UTI had fewer PUFs than the supplanted strain. In competitive experimental infections in mice, the supplanting strain was more efficient at colonizing the mouse bladder than the supplanted strain. Despite the lack of a clear genomic signature for urovirulence, comparative transcriptomic and phenotypic analyses revealed that the expression of key conserved functions during culture, such as motility and metabolism, could be used to predict subsequent colonization of the mouse bladder. Together, our findings suggest that UTI risk and outcome may be determined by complex interactions between host susceptibility and the urovirulence potential of diverse bacterial strains.

  15. Molecular mechanisms involved in mammalian primary sex determination.

    PubMed

    She, Zhen-Yu; Yang, Wan-Xi

    2014-08-01

    Sex determination refers to the developmental decision that directs the bipotential genital ridge to develop as a testis or an ovary. Genetic studies on mice and humans have led to crucial advances in understanding the molecular fundamentals of sex determination and the mutually antagonistic signaling pathway. In this review, we summarize the current molecular mechanisms of sex determination by focusing on the known critical sex determining genes and their related signaling pathways in mammalian vertebrates from mice to humans. We also discuss the underlying delicate balance between testis and ovary sex determination pathways, concentrating on the antagonisms between major sex determining genes.

  16. CovRS-Regulated Transcriptome Analysis of a Hypervirulent M23 Strain of Group A Streptococcus pyogenes Provides New Insights into Virulence Determinants

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Yun-Juan; Liang, Zhong; Mayfield, Jeffrey A.; Lee, Shaun W.; Ploplis, Victoria A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The two-component control of virulence (Cov) regulator (R)-sensor (S) (CovRS) regulates the virulence of Streptococcus pyogenes (group A Streptococcus [GAS]). Inactivation of CovS during infection switches the pathogenicity of GAS to a more invasive form by regulating transcription of diverse virulence genes via CovR. However, the manner in which CovRS controls virulence through expression of extended gene families has not been fully determined. In the current study, the CovS-regulated gene expression profiles of a hypervirulent emm23 GAS strain (M23ND/CovS negative [M23ND/CovS−]) and a noninvasive isogenic strain (M23ND/CovS+), under different growth conditions, were investigated. RNA sequencing identified altered expression of ∼349 genes (18% of the chromosome). The data demonstrated that M23ND/CovS− achieved hypervirulence by allowing enhanced expression of genes responsible for antiphagocytosis (e.g., hasABC), by abrogating expression of toxin genes (e.g., speB), and by compromising gene products with dispensable functions (e.g., sfb1). Among these genes, several (e.g., parE and parC) were not previously reported to be regulated by CovRS. Furthermore, the study revealed that CovS also modulated the expression of a broad spectrum of metabolic genes that maximized nutrient utilization and energy metabolism during growth and dissemination, where the bacteria encounter large variations in available nutrients, thus restructuring metabolism of GAS for adaption to diverse growth environments. From constructing a genome-scale metabolic model, we identified 16 nonredundant metabolic gene modules that constitute unique nutrient sources. These genes were proposed to be essential for pathogen growth and are likely associated with GAS virulence. The genome-wide prediction of genes associated with virulence identifies new candidate genes that potentially contribute to GAS virulence. IMPORTANCE The CovRS system modulates transcription of ∼18% of the genes in

  17. 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.

  18. Development of a DNA Microarray for Enterococcal Species, Virulence, and Antibiotic Resistance Gene Determinations among Isolates from Poultry▿

    PubMed Central

    Champagne, J.; Diarra, M. S.; Rempel, H.; Topp, E.; Greer, C. W.; Harel, J.; Masson, L.

    2011-01-01

    A DNA microarray (Enteroarray) was designed with probes targeting four species-specific taxonomic identifiers to discriminate among 18 different enterococcal species, while other probes were designed to identify 18 virulence factors and 174 antibiotic resistance genes. In total, 262 genes were utilized for rapid species identification of enterococcal isolates, while characterizing their virulence potential through the simultaneous identification of endogenous antibiotic resistance and virulence genes. Enterococcal isolates from broiler chicken farms were initially identified by using the API 20 Strep system, and the results were compared to those obtained with the taxonomic genes atpA, recA, pheS, and ddl represented on our microarray. Among the 171 isolates studied, five different enterococcal species were identified by using the API 20 Strep system: Enterococcus faecium, E. faecalis, E. durans, E. gallinarum, and E. avium. The Enteroarray detected the same species as API 20 Strep, as well as two more: E. casseliflavus and E. hirae. Species comparisons resulted in 15% (27 isolates) disagreement between the two methods among the five API 20 Strep identifiable species and 24% (42 isolates) disagreement when considering the seven Enteroarray identified species. The species specificity of key antibiotic and virulence genes identified by the Enteroarray were consistent with the literature adding further robustness to the redundant taxonomic probe data. Sequencing of the cpn60 gene further confirmed the complete accuracy of the microarray results. The new Enteroarray should prove to be a useful tool to accurately genotype strains of enterococci and assess their virulence potential. PMID:21335389

  19. Molecular Characteristic and Virulence Gene Profiles of Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Pediatric Patients in Shanghai, China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xing; Li, Xia; Liu, Wei; Huang, Weichun; Fu, Qihua; Li, Min

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a globally important human pathogen, especially among children and immunocompromised patients. The emergence and spread of community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) has become a serious public health problem worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence, molecular characteristics and virulence profiles of CA-MRSA infections from pediatric patients in a university hospital in Shanghai, China. A total of 80 CA-MRSA isolates were collected from July 2012 to December 2013 in Shanghai Children's Medical Center and analyzed by multilocus sequence typing, staphylococcus chromosomal cassette mec (SCCmec) typing, and spa typing. The detection of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (pvl), superantigenic and exfoliative toxins, and adhesin genes was also performed. Overall, 16 distinct sequence types (STs) were identified among the 80 isolates. Among them, ST59 was found to be the most prevalent, followed by ST398 (11.3%, 9/80) and ST88 (8.8%, 7/80). SCCmec types IV and V were observed, at 60 and 40%, respectively. Thirty spa types were identified, spa t437 (23.8%) was the most predominant type. All 80 isolates exhibited carriage of at least four virulence genes. Thirty-four (42.5%, 34/80) isolates harbored ≥10 tested virulence genes. Adhesion genes were present in most of the MRSA isolates, including the following: icaA (100%), clfA (100%), sdrC (95%), and sdrE (63.8%). The prevalence of pvl gene was 20%, and multidrug resistance was observed in 36% of all strains. In addition, ST59-MRSA-IV with t437 accounted for 21.3% of occurrences, making it the most prevalent clone. Isolates that were carriers of toxin genes, and hla (100%) and hlg (87.5%) were the most frequent. In conclusion, simultaneous carriage of multiple virulence genes and genetically considerable diversity were very common among CA-MRSA from pediatric patients in Shanghai. ST59-MRSA-IV with t437 was still the most predominant type. The combination of

  20. Virulence determinants, antimicrobial susceptibility, and molecular profiles of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains isolated from China

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Yi; Zhu, Dongmei; Zhang, Jianmin; Yang, Longsheng; Wang, Xiangru; Chen, Huanchun; Tan, Chen

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the epidemiology, serotype, antibiotic sensitivity, and clonal structure of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains in China. Forty-eight strains were collected from seven provinces during the period from 2012 to 2013. Pulse-field electrophoresis identified 32 different patterns which were classified into clonal groups A–D. Most pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns were observed in clonal complex A and B, suggesting high diversity of genetic characterization in these two predominant clonal complexes. Antibiotic sensitivity test shows that all the stains were susceptible to ampicillin, erythromycin, and cefotaxime, and resistant to kanamycin, cefazolin, sulfadiazine, and amikacin. Erythromycin and ampicillin are recommended as first-line antibiotics for treatment of E. rhusiopathiae in China. The high variation in PFGE pattern among the main clonal groups shows that the E. rhusiopathiae in China may originate from different lineages and sources instead of from expansion of a single clonal lineage across different regions. PMID:26975059

  1. Virulence determinants, antimicrobial susceptibility, and molecular profiles of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains isolated from China.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yi; Zhu, Dongmei; Zhang, Jianmin; Yang, Longsheng; Wang, Xiangru; Chen, Huanchun; Tan, Chen

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to understand the epidemiology, serotype, antibiotic sensitivity, and clonal structure of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae strains in China. Forty-eight strains were collected from seven provinces during the period from 2012 to 2013. Pulse-field electrophoresis identified 32 different patterns which were classified into clonal groups A–D. Most pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns were observed in clonal complex A and B, suggesting high diversity of genetic characterization in these two predominant clonal complexes. Antibiotic sensitivity test shows that all the stains were susceptible to ampicillin, erythromycin, and cefotaxime, and resistant to kanamycin, cefazolin, sulfadiazine, and amikacin. Erythromycin and ampicillin are recommended as first-line antibiotics for treatment of E. rhusiopathiae in China. The high variation in PFGE pattern among the main clonal groups shows that the E. rhusiopathiae in China may originate from different lineages and sources instead of from expansion of a single clonal lineage across different regions.

  2. Tobacco etch virus infectivity in Capsicum spp. is determined by a maximum of three amino acids in the viral virulence determinant VPg.

    PubMed

    Perez, Kari; Yeam, Inhwa; Kang, Byoung-Cheorl; Ripoll, Daniel R; Kim, Jinhee; Murphy, John F; Jahn, Molly M

    2012-12-01

    Potyvirus resistance in Capsicum spp. has been attributed to amino acid substitutions at the pvr1 locus that cause conformational shifts in eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E. The viral genome-linked protein (VPg) sequence was isolated and compared from three Tobacco etch virus (TEV) strains, highly aphid-transmissible (HAT), Mex21, and N, which differentially infect Capsicum genotypes encoding Pvr1(+), pvr1, and pvr1(2). Viral chimeras were synthesized using the TEV-HAT genome, replacing HAT VPg with Mex21 or N VPg. TEV HAT did not infect pepper plants homozygous for either the pvr1 or pvr1(2) allele. However, the novel chimeric TEV strains, TEVHAT(Mex21-VPg) and TEV-HAT(N-VPg), infected pvr1 and pvr1(2) pepper plants, respectively, demonstrating that VPg is the virulence determinant in this pathosystem. Three dimensional structural models predicted interaction between VPg and the susceptible eIF4E genotype in every case, while resistant genotypes were never predicted to interact. To determine whether there is a correlation between physical interaction of VPg with eIF4E and infectivity, the effects of amino acid variation within VPg were assessed. Interaction between pvr1(2) eIF4E and N VPg was detected in planta, implying that the six amino acid differences in N VPg relative to HAT VPg are responsible for restoring the physical interaction and infectivity.

  3. 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

  4. Proteomic profiling of Pseudomonas aeruginosa AES-1R, PAO1 and PA14 reveals potential virulence determinants associated with a transmissible cystic fibrosis-associated strain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). While most CF patients are thought to acquire P. aeruginosa from the environment, person-person transmissible strains have been identified in CF clinics worldwide. The molecular basis for transmissibility and colonization of the CF lung remains poorly understood. Results A dual proteomics approach consisting of gel-based and gel-free comparisons were undertaken to analyse protein profiles in a transmissible, early (acute) isolate of the Australian epidemic strain 1 (AES-1R), the virulent burns/wound isolate PA14, and the poorly virulent, laboratory-associated strain PAO1. Over 1700 P. aeruginosa proteins were confidently identified. AES-1R protein profiles revealed elevated abundance of proteins associated with virulence and siderophore biosynthesis and acquisition, antibiotic resistance and lipopolysaccharide and fatty acid biosynthesis. The most abundant protein in AES-1R was confirmed as a previously hypothetical protein with sequence similarity to carbohydrate-binding proteins and database search revealed this gene is only found in the CF-associated strain PA2192. The link with CF infection may suggest that transmissible strains have acquired an ability to rapidly interact with host mucosal glycoproteins. Conclusions Our data suggest that AES-1R expresses higher levels of proteins, such as those involved in antibiotic resistance, iron acquisition and virulence that may provide a competitive advantage during early infection in the CF lung. Identification of novel proteins associated with transmissibility and acute infection may aid in deciphering new strategies for intervention to limit P. aeruginosa infections in CF patients. PMID:22264352

  5. NDV HN gene C-terminal extension is not the determinant of the enteric tropism but influences the virus virulence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many asymptomatic enteric Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains contain a larger hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein (616 amino acids, aa) than that (571 aa) of virulent respirotropic NDV strains. Therefore, it has been suspected that the 45 aa extension at the C-terminus of HN influences the v...

  6. Complete genome sequence of hypervirulent and outbreak-associated Acinetobacter baumannii strain LAC-4: epidemiology, resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Hong-Yu; Kuang, Shan N.; He, Xinyi; Molgora, Brenda M.; Ewing, Peter J.; Deng, Zixin; Osby, Melanie; Chen, Wangxue; Xu, H. Howard

    2015-01-01

    Acinetobacter baumannii is an important human pathogen due to its multi-drug resistance. In this study, the genome of an ST10 outbreak A. baumannii isolate LAC-4 was completely sequenced to better understand its epidemiology, antibiotic resistance genetic determinants and potential virulence factors. Compared with 20 other complete genomes of A. baumannii, LAC-4 genome harbors at least 12 copies of five distinct insertion sequences. It contains 12 and 14 copies of two novel IS elements, ISAba25 and ISAba26, respectively. Additionally, three novel composite transposons were identified: Tn6250, Tn6251 and Tn6252, two of which contain resistance genes. The antibiotic resistance genetic determinants on the LAC-4 genome correlate well with observed antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Moreover, twelve genomic islands (GI) were identified in LAC-4 genome. Among them, the 33.4-kb GI12 contains a large number of genes which constitute the K (capsule) locus. LAC-4 harbors several unique putative virulence factor loci. Furthermore, LAC-4 and all 19 other outbreak isolates were found to harbor a heme oxygenase gene (hemO)-containing gene cluster. The sequencing of the first complete genome of an ST10 A. baumannii clinical strain should accelerate our understanding of the epidemiology, mechanisms of resistance and virulence of A. baumannii. PMID:25728466

  7. Molecular characterization of resistance, virulence and clonality in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis: A hospital-based study in Beijing, China.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jing-xian; Li, Tong; Ning, Yong-zhong; Shao, Dong-hua; Liu, Jing; Wang, Shu-qin; Liang, Guo-wei

    2015-07-01

    The incidence of vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) in China is increasing, the molecular epidemiology of VRE in China is only partly known. This study was conducted to assess the molecular characterization of resistance, virulence and clonality of 69 vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) and seven vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VREfs) isolates obtained from a Chinese hospital between July 2011 and July 2013. The glycopeptide resistance genes (VanA and VanB) were screened by multiplex PCR. The presence of five putative virulence genes (esp, gelE, asa1, hyl and cylA) were evaluated by another multiplex PCR. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme was used to assess the clonality. All 76 VRE isolates exhibited VanA phenotype and harbored VanA gene. Esp was the only gene detected both in VREfm and VREfs strains, accounting for 89.9% and 42.9%, respectively. The hyl gene was merely positive in 27.5% of VREfm strains. MLST analysis demonstrated three STs (ST6, ST4 and ST470) in VREfs and twelve STs (ST78, ST571, ST17, ST564, ST389, ST18, ST547, ST341, ST414, ST343, ST262 and ST203) in VREfm, which were all designated as CC17 by eBURST algorithm. An outbreak of VREfm belonging to ST571 was found to happen within the neurology ward in this hospital. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ST6 (CC2) VREfs strains in China and the first outbreak report of VREfm strains belonging to ST571 around the world. Our data could offer important information for understanding the molecular features of VRE in China.

  8. Molecular architecture of Streptococcus pneumoniae surface thioredoxin-fold lipoproteins crucial for extracellular oxidative stress resistance and maintenance of virulence

    PubMed Central

    Saleh, Malek; Bartual, Sergio G; Abdullah, Mohammed R; Jensch, Inga; Asmat, Tauseef M; Petruschka, Lothar; Pribyl, Thomas; Gellert, Manuela; Lillig, Christopher H; Antelmann, Haike; Hermoso, Juan A; Hammerschmidt, Sven

    2013-01-01

    The respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae has evolved efficient mechanisms to resist oxidative stress conditions and to displace other bacteria in the nasopharynx. Here we characterize at physiological, functional and structural levels two novel surface-exposed thioredoxin-family lipoproteins, Etrx1 and Etrx2. The impact of both Etrx proteins and their redox partner methionine sulfoxide reductase SpMsrAB2 on pneumococcal pathogenesis was assessed in mouse virulence studies and phagocytosis assays. The results demonstrate that loss of function of either both Etrx proteins or SpMsrAB2 dramatically attenuated pneumococcal virulence in the acute mouse pneumonia model and that Etrx proteins compensate each other. The deficiency of Etrx proteins or SpMsrAB2 further enhanced bacterial uptake by macrophages, and accelerated pneumococcal killing by H2O2 or free methionine sulfoxides (MetSO). Moreover, the absence of both Etrx redox pathways provokes an accumulation of oxidized SpMsrAB2 in vivo. Taken together our results reveal insights into the role of two extracellular electron pathways required for reduction of SpMsrAB2 and surface-exposed MetSO. Identification of this system and its target proteins paves the way for the design of novel antimicrobials. PMID:24136784

  9. MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF VIRULENCE AND ANTIMICROBIAL SUSCEPTIBILITY PROFILES OF UROPATHOGENIC ESCHERICHIA COLI FROM PATIENTS IN A TERTIARY HOSPITAL, SOUTHERN THAILAND.

    PubMed

    Themphachanal, Monchanok; Kongpheng, Suttiporn; Rattanachuay, Pattamarat; Khianngam, Saowapar; Singkhamanan, Kamonnut; Sukhumungoon, Pharanai

    2015-11-01

    Among uropathogens, uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) is the most common cause of urinary tract infection (UTI) worldwide, but clinical aspects due to this bacterial species is not fully understood in southern Thailand. Two hundred fifty-four UPEC isolates from patients admitted to Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital, southern Thailand were examined for crucial virulence genes, showing that 33.5% contained at least one of the virulence, genes tested. Genes encoding P fimbria, cytotoxic necrotizing factor-1 and α-hemolysin constituted the majority (15.8%) carried by UPEC isolates. Phylogenetic group classification revealed that 57.5% of UPEC belonged to group D. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests showed that 70.5% and 65.1% of the isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin, respectively. Moreover, 50.0% of UPEC were capable of producing extended spectrum beta-lactamases. These findings should be of benefit for more appropriate treatment of UTI patients in this region of Thailand. Keywords: uropathogenic Escherichia coli, antibiotics resistance, cnfl, hlyA, pap, Thailand

  10. Exploration of Sulfur Assimilation of Aspergillus fumigatus Reveals Biosynthesis of Sulfur-Containing Amino Acids as a Virulence Determinant

    PubMed Central

    Dümig, Michaela; O'Keeffe, Gráinne; Binder, Jasmin; Doyle, Sean; Beilhack, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Fungal infections are of major relevance due to the increased numbers of immunocompromised patients, frequently delayed diagnosis, and limited therapeutics. To date, the growth and nutritional requirements of fungi during infection, which are relevant for invasion of the host, are poorly understood. This is particularly true for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, as so far, sources of (macro)elements that are exploited during infection have been identified to only a limited extent. Here, we have investigated sulfur (S) utilization by the human-pathogenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus during invasive growth. Our data reveal that inorganic S compounds or taurine is unlikely to serve as an S source during invasive pulmonary aspergillosis since a sulfate transporter mutant strain and a sulfite reductase mutant strain are fully virulent. In contrast, the S-containing amino acid cysteine is limiting for fungal growth, as proven by the reduced virulence of a cysteine auxotroph. Moreover, phenotypic characterization of this strain further revealed the robustness of the subordinate glutathione redox system. Interestingly, we demonstrate that methionine synthase is essential for A. fumigatus virulence, defining the biosynthetic route of this proteinogenic amino acid as a potential antifungal target. In conclusion, we provide novel insights into the nutritional requirements of A. fumigatus during pathogenesis, a prerequisite to understanding and fighting infection. PMID:26787716

  11. A simplified electrophoretic system for determining molecular weights of proteins.

    PubMed

    Manwell, C

    1977-09-01

    Electrophoresis of 31 different proteins in commercially prepared polyacrylamide gradient gels, Gradipore, yields a linear relationship between a hypothetical limiting pore size (the reciprocal of a limiting gel concentration, GL) and the cube root of the mol.wt., over the range 13 500-9000 000. A regression analysis of these data reveals that 98.6% of all variability in 1/GL is explained by the molecular weight, and this degree of accuracy compares favourably with existing methods for the determination of molecular weight by retardation of mobility in polyacrylamide. This new procedure has the additional advantages that molecular-weight standards can be obtained from readily available body fluids or tissue extracts by localizing enzymes and other proteins by standard histochemical methods, and that the same electrophoretic system can be used in determining molecular weights as is used in routine surveys of populations for individual and species variation in protein heterogeneity.

  12. Molecular Characterization of N-glycan Degradation and Transport in Streptococcus pneumoniae and Its Contribution to Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Robb, Melissa; Hobbs, Joanne K.; Suits, Michael D. L.; McGregor, Nicholas; Brumer, Harry; Yesilkaya, Hasan; Boraston, Alisdair B.

    2017-01-01

    The carbohydrate-rich coating of human tissues and cells provide a first point of contact for colonizing and invading bacteria. Commensurate with N-glycosylation being an abundant form of protein glycosylation that has critical functional roles in the host, some host-adapted bacteria possess the machinery to process N-linked glycans. The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae depolymerizes complex N-glycans with enzymes that sequentially trim a complex N-glycan down to the Man3GlcNAc2 core prior to the release of the glycan from the protein by endo-β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (EndoD), which cleaves between the two GlcNAc residues. Here we examine the capacity of S. pneumoniae to process high-mannose N-glycans and transport the products. Through biochemical and structural analyses we demonstrate that S. pneumoniae also possesses an α-(1,2)-mannosidase (SpGH92). This enzyme has the ability to trim the terminal α-(1,2)-linked mannose residues of high-mannose N-glycans to generate Man5GlcNAc2. Through this activity SpGH92 is able to produce a substrate for EndoD, which is not active on high-mannose glycans with α-(1,2)-linked mannose residues. Binding studies and X-ray crystallography show that NgtS, the solute binding protein of an ABC transporter (ABCNG), is able to bind Man5GlcNAc, a product of EndoD activity, with high affinity. Finally, we evaluated the contribution of EndoD and ABCNG to growth of S. pneumoniae on a model N-glycosylated glycoprotein, and the contribution of these enzymes and SpGH92 to virulence in a mouse model. We found that both EndoD and ABCNG contribute to growth of S. pneumoniae, but that only SpGH92 and EndoD contribute to virulence. Therefore, N-glycan processing, but not transport of the released glycan, is required for full virulence in S. pneumoniae. To conclude, we synthesize our findings into a model of N-glycan processing by S. pneumoniae in which both complex and high-mannose N-glycans are targeted, and in which the two arms of

  13. Distribution of Virulence Factors and Molecular Fingerprinting of Aeromonas Species Isolates from Water and Clinical Samples: Suggestive Evidence of Water-to-Human Transmission ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Khajanchi, Bijay K.; Fadl, Amin A.; Borchardt, Mark A.; Berg, Richard L.; Horneman, Amy J.; Stemper, Mary E.; Joseph, Sam W.; Moyer, Nelson P.; Sha, Jian; Chopra, Ashok K.

    2010-01-01

    A total of 227 isolates of Aeromonas obtained from different geographical locations in the United States and different parts of the world, including 28 reference strains, were analyzed to determine the presence of various virulence factors. These isolates were also fingerprinted using biochemical identification and pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Of these 227 isolates, 199 that were collected from water and clinical samples belonged to three major groups or complexes, namely, the A. hydrophila group, the A. caviae-A. media group, and the A. veronii-A. sobria group, based on biochemical profiles, and they had various pulsotypes. When virulence factor activities were examined, Aeromonas isolates obtained from clinical sources had higher cytotoxic activities than isolates obtained from water sources for all three Aeromonas species groups. Likewise, the production of quorum-sensing signaling molecules, such as N-acyl homoserine lactone, was greater in clinical isolates than in isolates from water for the A. caviae-A. media and A. hydrophila groups. Based on colony blot DNA hybridization, the heat-labile cytotonic enterotoxin gene and the DNA adenosine methyltransferase gene were more prevalent in clinical isolates than in water isolates for all three Aeromonas groups. Using colony blot DNA hybridization and PFGE, we obtained three sets of water and clinical isolates that had the same virulence signature and had indistinguishable PFGE patterns. In addition, all of these isolates belonged to the A. caviae-A. media group. The findings of the present study provide the first suggestive evidence of successful colonization and infection by particular strains of certain Aeromonas species after transmission from water to humans. PMID:20154106

  14. 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.

  15. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium poxA Gene: Effect on Attenuation of Virulence and Protection

    PubMed Central

    Kaniga, Koné; Compton, Melissa S.; Curtiss, Roy; Sundaram, Preeti

    1998-01-01

    Salmonella enterica poxA mutants exhibit a pleiotropic phenotype, including reduced pyruvate oxidase activity; reduced growth rate; and hypersensitivity to the herbicide sulfometuron methyl, α-ketobutyrate, and amino acid analogs. These mutants also failed to grow in the presence of the host antimicrobial peptide, protamine. In this study, PoxA− mutants of S. enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) were found to be 10,000-fold attenuated in orally inoculated BALB/c mice and 1,000-fold attenuated in intraperitoneally inoculated BALB/c mice, compared to wild-type S. typhimurium UK-1. In addition, poxA mutants were found to be capable of colonizing the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, and Peyer’s patches; to induce strong humoral immune responses; and to protect mice against a lethal wild-type Salmonella challenge. A 2-kb DNA fragment was isolated from wild-type S. typhimurium UK-1 based on its ability to complement an isogenic poxA mutant. The nucleotide sequence of this DNA fragment revealed an open reading frame of 325 amino acids capable of encoding a polypeptide of 36.8 kDa that was confirmed in the bacteriophage T7 expression system. Comparison of the translated sequence to the available databases indicated high homology to a family of lysyl-tRNA synthetases. Our results indicate that a mutation of poxA has an attenuating effect on Salmonella virulence. Further, poxA mutants are immunogenic and could be useful in designing live vaccines with a variety of bacterial species. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the effect of poxA mutation on bacterial virulence. PMID:9826331

  16. Structural and Molecular Mechanism of CdpR Involved in Quorum-Sensing and Bacterial Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Miao; Kang, Huaping; Ma, Jinbiao; Wu, Min; Gan, Jianhua; Deng, Xin; Liang, Haihua

    2016-01-01

    Although quorum-sensing (QS) systems are important regulators of virulence gene expression in the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, their detailed regulatory mechanisms have not been fully characterized. Here, we show that deletion of PA2588 resulted in increased production of pyocyanin and biofilm, as well as enhanced pathogenicity in a mouse model. To gain insights into the function of PA2588, we performed a ChIP-seq assay and identified 28 targets of PA2588, including the intergenic region between PA2588 and pqsH, which encodes the key synthase of Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). Though the C-terminal domain was similar to DNA-binding regions of other AraC family members, structural studies revealed that PA2588 has a novel fold at the N-terminal region (NTR), and its C-terminal HTH (helix-turn-helix) domain is also unique in DNA recognition. We also demonstrated that the adaptor protein ClpS, an essential regulator of ATP-dependent protease ClpAP, directly interacted with PA2588 before delivering CdpR to ClpAP for degradation. We named PA2588 as CdpR (ClpAP-degradation and pathogenicity Regulator). Moreover, deletion of clpP or clpS/clpA promotes bacterial survival in a mouse model of acute pneumonia infection. Taken together, this study uncovered that CdpR is an important QS regulator, which can interact with the ClpAS-P system to regulate the expression of virulence factors and pathogenicity. PMID:27119725

  17. Molecular evolution of the substrate utilization strategies and putative virulence factors in mosquito-associated Spiroplasma species.

    PubMed

    Chang, Tean-Hsu; Lo, Wen-Sui; Ku, Chuan; Chen, Ling-Ling; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2014-03-01

    Comparative genomics provides a powerful tool to characterize the genetic differences among species that may be linked to their phenotypic variations. In the case of mosquito-associated Spiroplasma species, such approach is useful for the investigation of their differentiations in substrate utilization strategies and putative virulence factors. Among the four species that have been assessed for pathogenicity by artificial infection experiments, Spiroplasma culicicola and S. taiwanense were found to be pathogenic, whereas S. diminutum and S. sabaudiense were not. Intriguingly, based on the species phylogeny, the association with mosquito hosts and the gain or loss of pathogenicity in these species appears to have evolved independently. Through comparison of their complete genome sequences, we identified the genes and pathways that are shared by all or specific to one of these four species. Notably, we found that a glycerol-3-phosphate oxidase gene (glpO) is present in S. culicicola and S. taiwanense but not in S. diminutum or S. sabaudiense. Because this gene is involved in the production of reactive oxygen species and has been demonstrated as a major virulence factor in Mycoplasma, this distribution pattern suggests that it may be linked to the observed differences in pathogenicity among these species as well. Moreover, through comparative analysis with other Spiroplasma, Mycoplasma, and Mesoplasma species, we found that the absence of glpO in S. diminutum and S. sabaudiense is best explained by independent losses. Finally, our phylogenetic analyses revealed possible recombination of glpO between distantly related lineages and local rearrangements of adjacent genes.

  18. Modulation of HIV-1 virulence via the host glucocorticoid receptor: towards further understanding the molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hapgood, Janet Patricia; Tomasicchio, Michele

    2010-07-01

    The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a steroid receptor that regulates diverse functions, which include the immune response. In humans, the GR acts via binding to cortisol, resulting in the transcriptional modulation of key host genes. Several lines of evidence suggest that the host GR could be a key protein exploited by HIV at multiple levels to ensure its pathogenic success. Endogenous and therapeutic glucocorticoids play important roles in patients with HIV due to their well-established effects on immune function. AIDS patients develop glucocorticoid hypersensitivity, consistent with a mechanism involving an HIV-1-induced increase in expression or activity of the GR. Both the HIV-1 accessory protein Vpr and the host GR affect transcription of viral proteins from the long terminal repeat (LTR) region of the HIV-1 promoter. In addition, Vpr modulates host GR function to affect transcription of host genes, most likely via direct interaction with the GR. Vpr appears to regulate GR function by acting as a co-activator for the GR. Since both the GR and Vpr are involved in apoptosis in T cells and dendritic cells, crosstalk between these proteins may also regulate apoptosis in these and other cells. Given that cortisol is not the only ligand that activates the GR, other endogenous as well as synthetic GR ligands such as progestins may also modulate HIV pathogenesis, in particular in the cervicovaginal environment. Investigating the molecular determinants, ligand-selectivity and role in HIV pathogenesis of the GR-Vpr interaction may lead to new strategies for development of anti-HIV drugs.

  19. Absolute configuration determination using enantiomeric pairs of molecularly imprinted polymers.

    PubMed

    Meador, Danielle S; Spivak, David A

    2014-03-07

    A new method for determination of absolute configuration (AC) is demonstrated using an enantiomeric pair of molecularly imprinted polymers, referred to as "DuoMIPs". The ratio of HPLC capacity factors (k') for the analyte on each of the DuoMIPs is defined as the γ factor and can be used to determine AC when above 1.2. A mnemonic based on the complementary binding geometry of the DuoMIPs was used to aid in understanding and prediction of AC.

  20. Bacillus anthracis-Like Bacteria and Other B. cereus Group Members in a Microbial Community Within the International Space Station: A Challenge for Rapid and Easy Molecular Detection of Virulent B. anthracis

    PubMed Central

    van Tongeren, Sandra P.; Roest, Hendrik I. J.; Degener, John E.; Harmsen, Hermie J. M.

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods. PMID:24945323

  1. Bacillus anthracis-like bacteria and other B. cereus group members in a microbial community within the International Space Station: a challenge for rapid and easy molecular detection of virulent B. anthracis.

    PubMed

    van Tongeren, Sandra P; Roest, Hendrik I J; Degener, John E; Harmsen, Hermie J M

    2014-01-01

    For some microbial species, such as Bacillus anthracis, the etiologic agent of the disease anthrax, correct detection and identification by molecular methods can be problematic. The detection of virulent B. anthracis is challenging due to multiple virulence markers that need to be present in order for B. anthracis to be virulent and its close relationship to Bacillus cereus and other members of the B. cereus group. This is especially the case in environments where build-up of Bacillus spores can occur and several representatives of the B. cereus group may be present, which increases the chance for false-positives. In this study we show the presence of B. anthracis-like bacteria and other members of the B. cereus group in a microbial community within the human environment of the International Space Station and their preliminary identification by using conventional culturing as well as molecular techniques including 16S rDNA sequencing, PCR and real-time PCR. Our study shows that when monitoring the microbial hygiene in a given human environment, health risk assessment is troublesome in the case of virulent B. anthracis, especially if this should be done with rapid, easy to apply and on-site molecular methods.

  2. Genomics-Based Exploration of Virulence Determinants and Host-Specific Adaptations of Pseudomonas syringae Strains Isolated from Grasses

    PubMed Central

    Dudnik, Alexey; Dudler, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The Pseudomonas syringae species complex has recently been named the number one plant pathogen, due to its economic and environmental impacts, as well as for its role in scientific research. The bacterium has been repeatedly reported to cause outbreaks on bean, cucumber, stone fruit, kiwi and olive tree, as well as on other crop and non-crop plants. It also serves as a model organism for research on the Type III secretion system (T3SS) and plant-pathogen interactions. While most of the current work on this pathogen is either carried out on one of three model strains found on dicot plants with completely sequenced genomes or on isolates obtained from recent outbreaks, not much is known about strains isolated from grasses (Poaceae). Here, we use comparative genomics in order to identify putative virulence-associated genes and other Poaceae-specific adaptations in several newly available genome sequences of strains isolated from grass species. All strains possess only a small number of known Type III effectors, therefore pointing to the importance of non-Type III secreted virulence factors. The implications of this finding are discussed. PMID:25437611

  3. Molecular epidemiology of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in Tunisia and characterization of their virulence factors and plasmid addiction systems

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs), particularly CTX-M- type ESBLs, are among the most important resistance determinants spreading worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae. The aim of this study was to characterize a collection of 163 ESBL-producing Escherichia coli collected in Tunisia, their ESBL-encoding plasmids and plasmid associated addiction systems. Results The collection comprised 163 ESBL producers collected from two university hospitals of Sfax between 1989 and 2009. 118 isolates harbored blaCTX-M gene (101 blaCTX-M-15 gene and 17 blaCTX-M-14 gene). 49 isolates carried blaSHV-12 gene, 9 blaSHV-2a gene and only 3 blaTEM-26 gene. 16 isolates produced both CTX-M and SHV-12. The 101 CTX-M-15-producing isolates were significantly associated to phylogroup B2 and exhibiting a high number of virulence factors. 24 (23.7%) of the group B2 isolates belonged to clonal complex ST131. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) typing revealed a genetic diversity of the isolates. 144 ESBL determinants were transferable mostly by conjugation. The majority of plasmid carrying blaCTX-M-15 genes (72/88) were assigned to various single replicon or multireplicon IncF types and had significantly a higher frequency of addiction systems, notably the VagCD module. Conclusion This study demonstrates that the dissemination of CTX-M-15 producing E. coli in our setting was due to the spread of various IncF-type plasmids harboring multiple addiction systems, into related clones with high frequency of virulence determinants. PMID:23800277

  4. Molecular Interaction of the Shigella Flexneri Protein H-NS and Its Significance in the Temperature Regulation of Virulence

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-01-22

    many bacteria. In E. coli, Proteus vulgaris , S. typhimurium, Serratia marcescens and S. flexneri, there is a high degree of homology both at the...seems to increase as we learn more about the biochemistry and molecular biology of this protein. Thus, we know that hn s is a highly conserved...implications for bac terial pathogens. In C. E. Hormaeche, C. w. 56 Penn, and C. J. Smyth, (eds.), Molecular Biology of Bacterial Infection: Current

  5. SarA, a global regulator of virulence determinants in Staphylococcus aureus, binds to a conserved motif essential for sar-dependent gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Chien, Y; Manna, A C; Projan, S J; Cheung, A L

    1999-12-24

    The expression of many virulence determinants in Staphylococcus aureus including alpha-hemolysin-, protein A-, and fibronectin-binding proteins is controlled by global regulatory loci such as sar and agr. In addition to controlling target gene expression via agr (e.g. alpha-hemolysin), the sar locus can also regulate target gene transcription via agr-independent mechanisms. In particular, we have found that SarA, the major regulatory protein encoded within sar, binds to a conserved sequence, homologous to the SarA-binding site on the agr promoter, upstream of the -35 promoter boxes of several target genes including hla (alpha-hemolysin gene), spa (protein A gene), fnb (fibronectin-binding protein genes), and sec (enterotoxin C gene). Deletion of the SarA recognition motif in the promoter regions of agr and hla in shuttle plasmids rendered the transcription of these genes undetectable in agr and hla mutants, respectively. Likewise, the transcription activity of spa (a gene normally repressed by sar), as measured by a XylE reporter fusion assay, became derepressed in a wild type strain containing a shuttle plasmid in which the SarA recognition site had been deleted from the spa promoter region. However, DNase I footprinting assays demonstrated that the SarA-binding region on the spa and hla promoter is more extensive than the predicted consensus sequence, thus raising the possibility that the consensus sequence is an activation site within a larger binding region. Because the sar and agr regulate an assortment of virulence factors in S. aureus, we propose, based on our data, a unifying hypothesis for virulence gene activation in S. aureus whereby SarA is a regulatory protein that binds to its consensus SarA recognition motif to activate (e.g. hla) or repress (e.g. spa) the transcription of sar target genes, thus accounting for both agr-dependent and agr-independent mode of regulation.

  6. A low-virulence Eimeria intestinalis isolate from rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in China: molecular identification, pathogenicity, and immunogenicity.

    PubMed

    Shi, Tuanyuan; Bao, Guolian; Fu, Yuan; Suo, Xun; Hao, Lili

    2014-03-01

    An Eimeria intestinalis isolated from a rabbit in China was first identified by amplifying the 18S small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA gene. The size of the amplified fragment was 1521 bp. The 18S SSU RNA gene of the E. intestinalis isolate shared 99% sequence identity with E. intestinalis isolates from France and the Czech Republic, with 100 and 96% coverage, respectively. Then, the pathogenicity and immunogenicity of the E. intestinalis isolate were evaluated in specific pathogen free (SPF) rabbits. In the pathogenicity assay, SPF rabbits in four groups were infected with 5 × 10(3), 5 × 10(4), 5 × 10(5), and 0 sporulated oocysts, respectively. Clinical signs including diarrhoea, constipation, loss of appetite, and reduction of body weight gain were observed in rabbits inoculated with 5 × 10(4) and 5 × 10(5) oocysts. And one rabbit (25 %) inoculated with 5 × 10(5) oocysts died 15 days after the inoculation. In the immunogenicity assay, SPF rabbits in five groups (named B1, B2, B3, B4, and B5) were immunised with 5 × 10(1), 5 × 10(2), 5 × 10(3), 0, and 0 sporulated oocysts, respectively. All rabbits but the B5 group were challenged with 1 × 10(6) oocysts. After the challenge, no or slight clinical signs were seen in rabbits of the B2 and B3 groups. Compared with the control, a 69.6 and 84.5% reduction of oocyst output was observed in the B2 and B3 groups, respectively. The body weight gain of the two groups was obviously higher than that of the challenge control group. All the results show that the E. intestinalis isolate has low virulence but immunogenicity in rabbit.

  7. Identification of Brucella melitensis Rev.1 vaccine-strain genetic markers: Towards understanding the molecular mechanism behind virulence attenuation.

    PubMed

    Issa, Mohammad Nouh; Ashhab, Yaqoub

    2016-09-22

    Brucella melitensis Rev.1 is an avirulent strain that is widely used as a live vaccine to control brucellosis in small ruminants. Although an assembled draft version of Rev.1 genome has been available since 2009, this genome has not been investigated to characterize this important vaccine. In the present work, we used the draft genome of Rev.1 to perform a thorough genomic comparison and sequence analysis to identify and characterize the panel of its unique genetic markers. The draft genome of Rev.1 was compared with genome sequences of 36 different Brucella melitensis strains from the Brucella project of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The comparative analyses revealed 32 genetic alterations (30 SNPs, 1 single-bp insertion and 1 single-bp deletion) that are exclusively present in the Rev.1 genome. In silico analyses showed that 9 out of the 17 non-synonymous mutations are deleterious. Three ABC transporters are among the disrupted genes that can be linked to virulence attenuation. Out of the 32 mutations, 11 Rev.1 specific markers were selected to test their potential to discriminate Rev.1 using a bi-directional allele-specific PCR assay. Six markers were able to distinguish between Rev.1 and a set of control strains. We succeeded in identifying a panel of 32 genome-specific markers of the B. melitensis Rev.1 vaccine strain. Extensive in silico analysis showed that a considerable number of these mutations could severely affect the function of the associated genes. In addition, some of the discovered markers were able to discriminate Rev.1 strain from a group of control strains using practical PCR tests that can be applied in resource-limited settings.

  8. Determination of the distribution of lentogenic vaccine and virulent Newcastle disease virus antigen in the oviduct of SPF and commercial hen using immunohistochemistry.

    PubMed

    Bwala, Dauda G; Clift, Sarah; Duncan, Neil M; Bisschop, Shahn P R; Oludayo, Fasina F

    2012-08-01

    The control of Newcastle disease (ND) in South Africa has proved difficult since 2002 following the introduction of lineage 5d/VIId Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain ("goose paramyxovirus" - GPMV) to which commercially available ND vaccines appeared less effective. Most of the ND infections, even in fully vaccinated hens were characterized consistently by a drop in egg production. In this study, commercial and SPF hens-in-lay were vaccinated with La Sota vaccine and challenged with a GPMV isolate. Immunohistochemical labeling was used to determine the distribution of viral antigen in the oviduct of the hens. Following reports that cloacal vaccination offered better protection against egg production losses than the oro-nasal route, the efficacy of cloacal and ocular routes of vaccination against challenge were compared. Results showed that La Sota vaccine offered birds 100% protection against the virulent ND (GPMV) virus challenge from clinical disease and death, but not against infection and replication of the GPMV, as birds showed varying degrees of macropathology. Histopathology of the oviduct of infected birds revealed multifocal lymphocytic inflammation in the interstitium as well as mild glandular ectasia and mild edema. Finely granular NDV-specific immunolabeling was demonstrated in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells and mononuclear (lymphohistiocytic) cells in the interstitium of the oviduct. Both vaccine and virulent GPMV showed greatest tropism for the uterus (versus the magnum and isthmus). There was no clear difference in the protection of the oviduct and in the distribution of oviductal GPMV antigens between the two routes of vaccination.

  9. Chromobacterium pathogenicity island 1 type III secretion system is a major virulence determinant for Chromobacterium violaceum-induced cell death in hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Miki, Tsuyoshi; Iguchi, Mirei; Akiba, Kinari; Hosono, Masato; Sobue, Tomoyoshi; Danbara, Hirofumi; Okada, Nobuhiko

    2010-08-01

    Chromobacterium violaceum is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes fatal septicaemia in humans and animals. C. violaceum ATCC 12472 possesses genes associated with two distinct type III secretion systems (T3SSs). One of these systems is encoded by Chromobacterium pathogenicity islands 1 and 1a (Cpi-1/-1a), another is encoded by Chromobacterium pathogenicity island 2 (Cpi-2). Here we show that C. violaceum causes fulminant hepatitis in a mouse infection model, and Cpi-1/-1a-encoded T3SS is required for its virulence. In addition, using C. violaceum strains with defined mutations in the genes that encode the Cpi-1/-1a or Cpi-2 locus in combination with cultured mammalian cell lines, we found that C. violaceum is able to induce cytotoxicity in a Cpi-1/-1a-dependent manner. Characterization of Chromobacterium-induced cytotoxicity revealed that cell lysis by C. violaceum infection involves the formation of pore structures on the host cell membrane, as demonstrated by protection by cytotoxicity in the presence of osmoprotectants. Finally, we demonstrated that CipB, a Cpi-1/-1a effector, is implicated in translocator-mediated pore formation and the ability of CipB to form a pore is essential for Chromobacterium-induced cytotoxicity. These results strongly suggest that Cpi-1/-1a-encoded T3SS is a virulence determinant that causes fatal infection by the induction of cell death in hepatocytes.

  10. Evaluation of North American isolates of Soybean mosaic virus for gain of virulence on Rsv-genotype soybeans with special emphasis on resistance-breaking determinants on Rsv4.

    PubMed

    Khatabi, B; Fajolu, O L; Wen, R-H; Hajimorad, M R

    2012-12-01

    Resistance to Soybean mosaic virus (SMV) in soybean is conferred by three dominant genes: Rsv1, Rsv3 and Rsv4. Over the years, scientists in the USA have utilized a set of standard pathotypes, SMV-G1 to SMV-G7, to study interaction with Rsv-genotype soybeans. However, these pathotypes were isolated from a collection of imported soybean germplasm over 30 years ago. In this study, 35 SMV field isolates collected in recent years from 11 states were evaluated for gain of virulence on soybean genotypes containing individual Rsv genes. All isolates were avirulent on L78-379 (Rsv1), whereas 19 were virulent on L29 (Rsv3). On PI88788 (Rsv4), 14 of 15 isolates tested were virulent; however, only one was capable of systemically infecting all of the inoculated V94-5152 (Rsv4). Nevertheless, virulent variants from 11 other field isolates were rapidly selected on initial inoculation onto V94-5152 (Rsv4). The P3 cistrons of the original isolates and their variants on Rsv4-genotype soybeans were sequenced. Analysis showed that virulence on PI88788 (Rsv4) was not associated, in general, with selection of any new amino acid, whereas Q1033K and G1054R substitutions were consistently selected on V94-5152 (Rsv4). The role of Q1033K and G1054R substitutions, individually or in combination, in virulence on V94-5152 (Rsv4) was confirmed on reconstruction in the P3 cistron of avirulent SMV-N, followed by biolistic inoculation. Collectively, our data demonstrate that SMV has evolved virulence towards Rsv3 and Rsv4, but not Rsv1, in the USA. Furthermore, they confirm that SMV virulence determinants on V94-5152 (Rsv4) reside on P3.

  11. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration after SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-01

    adult zebrafish (Specific Aim 1). We also will examine in vivo the role of PTP σ in inhibition of axon regeneration (Specific Aim 2). In addition, we...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-11-1-0645 TITLE: Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration ... Regeneration after SCI 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-11-1-0645 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER Jeffrey Alan Plunkett, Ph.D

  12. Antimicrobial resistance and molecular characterization of virulence genes, phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheic and healthy camel-calves in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Bessalah, Salma; Fairbrother, John Morris; Salhi, Imed; Vanier, Ghyslaine; Khorchani, Touhami; Seddik, Mouldi Mabrouk; Hammadi, Mohamed

    2016-12-01

    This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of virulence genes, serogroups, antimicrobial resistance and phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli strains isolated from diarrheic and healthy camel calves in Tunisia. From 120 fecal samples (62 healthy and 58 diarrheic camel calves aged less than 3 months), 70 E. coli isolates (53 from diarrheic herds and 17 from healthy herds) were examined by PCR for detection of the virulence genes associated with pathogenic E. coli in animals. A significantly greater frequency of the f17 gene was observed in individual camels and in herds with diarrhea, this gene being found in 44.7% and 41.5% of isolates from camels and herds with diarrhea versus 22.5% and 11.7% in camels (p=0.05) and herds without diarrhea (p=0.02). The aida, cnf1/2, f18, stx2 and paa genes were found only in isolates from camels with diarrhea, although at a low prevalence, 1.8%, 3.7%, 1.8%, 3.7% and 11.3%, respectively. Prevalence of afa8, cdtB, eae, east1, iroN, iss, kpsMTII, paa, sfa, tsh and papC genes did not differ significantly between herds with or without diarrhea. Genes coding for faeG, fanC, f41, estI, estII, CS31a and eltA were not detected in any isolates. All isolates were sensitive to amikacin, chloramphenicol, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and ceftiofur and the highest frequency of resistance was observed to tetracycline, and ampicillin (52.8% and 37.1% respectively). The phylogenetic groups were identified by conventional triplex PCR. Results showed that E. coli strains segregated mainly in phylogenetic group B1, 52.8% in diarrheic herds and 52.9% in healthy herds.

  13. Poxvirus targeting of E3 ligase β-TrCP by molecular mimicry: a mechanism to inhibit NF-κB activation and promote immune evasion and virulence.

    PubMed

    Mansur, Daniel S; Maluquer de Motes, Carlos; Unterholzner, Leonie; Sumner, Rebecca P; Ferguson, Brian J; Ren, Hongwei; Strnadova, Pavla; Bowie, Andrew G; Smith, Geoffrey L

    2013-02-01

    The transcription factor NF-κB is essential for immune responses against pathogens and its activation requires the phosphorylation, ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of IκBα. Here we describe an inhibitor of NF-κB from vaccinia virus that has a closely related counterpart in variola virus, the cause of smallpox, and mechanistic similarity with the HIV protein Vpu. Protein A49 blocks NF-κB activation by molecular mimicry and contains a motif conserved in IκBα which, in IκBα, is phosphorylated by IKKβ causing ubiquitination and degradation. Like IκBα, A49 binds the E3 ligase β-TrCP, thereby preventing ubiquitination and degradation of IκBα. Consequently, A49 stabilised phosphorylated IκBα (p-IκBα) and its interaction with p65, so preventing p65 nuclear translocation. Serine-to-alanine mutagenesis within the IκBα-like motif of A49 abolished β-TrCP binding, stabilisation of p-IκBα and inhibition of NF-κB activation. Remarkably, despite encoding nine other inhibitors of NF-κB, a VACV lacking A49 showed reduced virulence in vivo.

  14. The Classical Lancefield Antigen of Group A Streptococcus is a Virulence Determinant with Implications for Vaccine Design

    PubMed Central

    Kuipers, Kirsten; Henningham, Anna; Aziz, Ramy K.; Kasirer-Friede, Ana; Lin, Leo; Berends, Evelien T.M.; Davies, Mark R.; Dougan, Gordon; Zhang, Fan; Dahesh, Samira; Shaw, Laura; Gin, Jennifer; Cunningham, Madeleine; Merriman, Joseph A.; Hütter, Julia; Lepenies, Bernd; Rooijakkers, Suzan H.M.; Malley, Richard; Walker, Mark J.; Shattil, Sanford J.; Schlievert, Patrick M.; Choudhury, Biswa; Nizet, Victor

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is a leading cause of infection-related mortality in humans. All GAS serotypes express the Lancefield group A carbohydrate (GAC), comprising a polyrhamnose backbone with an immunodominant N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) side chain, which is the basis of rapid diagnostic tests. No biological function has been attributed to this conserved antigen. Here we identify and characterize the GAC biosynthesis genes,gacA-L. An isogenic mutant of the glycosyltransferase gacI, which is defective for GlcNAcside chain addition, is attenuated for virulence in two infection models, in association with increased sensitivity to neutrophil killing, platelet-derived antimicrobials in serum and the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide LL-37. Antibodies to GAC lacking the GlcNAc side chain and containing only polyrhamnose promoted opsonophagocytic killing of multiple GAS serotypes and protected against systemic GAS challenge after passive immunization. Thus, the Lancefield antigen plays a functional role in GAS pathogenesis and its understanding has implications for vaccine development. PMID:24922575

  15. Lack of a type-2 glycosyltransferase in the fish pathogen Flavobacterium psychrophilum determines pleiotropic changes and loss of virulence.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Pascual, David; Gómez, Esther; Guijarro, José A

    2015-01-13

    Flavobacterium psychrophilum is an important fish pathogen, responsible for Cold Water Disease, with a significant economic impact on salmonid farms worldwide. In spite of this, little is known about the bacterial physiology and pathogenesis mechanisms, maybe because it is difficult to manipulate, being considered a fastidious microorganism. Mutants obtained using a Tn4351 transposon were screened in order to identify those with alteration in colony morphology, colony spreading and extracellular proteolytic activity, amongst other phenotypes. A F. psychrophilum mutant lacking gliding motility showed interruption of the FP1638 locus that encodes a putative type-2 glycosyltransferase (from here on referred to as fpgA gene, Flavobacterium psychrophilum glycosyltransferase). Additionally, the mutant also showed a decrease in the extracellular proteolytic activity as a consequence of down regulation in the fpgA mutant background of the fpp2-fpp1 operon promoter, responsible for the major extracellular proteolytic activity of the bacterium. The protein glycosylation profile of the parental strain showed the presence of a 22 kDa glycosylated protein which is lost in the mutant. Complementation with the fpgA gene led to the recovery of the wild-type phenotype. LD50 experiments in the rainbow trout infection model show that the mutant was highly attenuated. The pleiotropic phenotype of the mutant demonstrated the importance of this glycosyltranferase in the physiology and virulence of the bacterium. Moreover, the fpgA mutant strain could be considered a good candidate for the design of an attenuated vaccine.

  16. Molecular determinants of pathogenesis and clinical phenotype in myeloproliferative neoplasms

    PubMed Central

    Grinfeld, Jacob; Nangalia, Jyoti; Green, Anthony R.

    2017-01-01

    The myeloproliferative neoplasms are a heterogeneous group of clonal disorders characterized by the overproduction of mature cells in the peripheral blood, together with an increased risk of thrombosis and progression to acute myeloid leukemia. The majority of patients with Philadelphia-chromosome negative myeloproliferative neoplasms harbor somatic mutations in Janus kinase 2, leading to constitutive activation. Acquired mutations in calreticulin or myeloproliferative leukemia virus oncogene are found in a significant number of patients with essential thrombocythemia or myelofibrosis, and mutations in numerous epigenetic regulators and spliceosome components are also seen. Although the cellular and molecular consequences of many of these mutations remain unclear, it seems likely that they interact with germline and microenvironmental factors to influence disease pathogenesis. This review will focus on the determinants of specific myeloproliferative neoplasm phenotypes as well as on how an improved understanding of molecular mechanisms can inform our understanding of the disease entities themselves. PMID:27909216

  17. Direct experimental determination of spectral densities of molecular complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Pachón, Leonardo A.; Brumer, Paul

    2014-11-07

    Determining the spectral density of a molecular system immersed in a proteomic scaffold and in contact to a solvent is a fundamental challenge in the coarse-grained description of, e.g., electron and energy transfer dynamics. Once the spectral density is characterized, all the time scales are captured and no artificial separation between fast and slow processes need to be invoked. Based on the fluorescence Stokes shift function, we utilize a simple and robust strategy to extract the spectral density of a number of molecular complexes from available experimental data. Specifically, we show that experimental data for dye molecules in several solvents, amino acid proteins in water, and some photochemical systems (e.g., rhodopsin and green fluorescence proteins), are well described by a three-parameter family of sub-Ohmic spectral densities that are characterized by a fast initial Gaussian-like decay followed by a slow algebraic-like decay rate at long times.

  18. Virulence and Genomic Feature of a Virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae Sequence Type 14 Strain of Serotype K2 Harboring blaNDM-5 in China.

    PubMed

    Mei, Yan-Fang; Liu, Pan-Pan; Wan, La-Gen; Liu, Yang; Wang, Lian-Hui; Wei, Dan-Dan; Deng, Qiong; Cao, Xian-Wei

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in carbapenem resistance and virulence of a K2 Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolate 24835. The virulence of the strain was determined by in vitro and in vivo methods. The de novo whole-genome sequencing technology and molecular biology methods were used to analyze the genomic features associated with the carbapenem resistance and virulence of K. pneumoniae 24835. Strain 24835 was highly resistant to carbapenems and belonged to ST14, exhibited hypermucoviscous and unique K2-aerobactin-kfu-rmpA positive phenotype. As the only carbapenemase gene in strain 24835, blaNDM-5 was located on a 46-kb IncX3 self-transmissible plasmid, which is a very close relation of pNDM-MGR194 from India. Genetic context of blaNDM-5 in strain 24835 was closely related to those on IncX3 plasmids in various Enterobacteriaceae species in China. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in K. pneumoniae 24835. Significantly increased resistance to serum killing and mice mortality were found in the virulent New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)-producing K. pneumoniae strain compared to the other NDM-producing K. pneumoniae strain. Our study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of K. pneumoniae 24835, a strain displaying carbapenem resistance and relatively high level of virulence. These findings are concerning for the potential of NDM-like genes to disseminate among virulent K. pneumoniae isolates.

  19. Virulence and Genomic Feature of a Virulent Klebsiella pneumoniae Sequence Type 14 Strain of Serotype K2 Harboring blaNDM–5 in China

    PubMed Central

    Mei, Yan-fang; Liu, Pan-pan; Wan, La-Gen; Liu, Yang; Wang, Lian-hui; Wei, Dan-dan; Deng, Qiong; Cao, Xian-wei

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in carbapenem resistance and virulence of a K2 Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical isolate 24835. The virulence of the strain was determined by in vitro and in vivo methods. The de novo whole-genome sequencing technology and molecular biology methods were used to analyze the genomic features associated with the carbapenem resistance and virulence of K. pneumoniae 24835. Strain 24835 was highly resistant to carbapenems and belonged to ST14, exhibited hypermucoviscous and unique K2-aerobactin-kfu-rmpA positive phenotype. As the only carbapenemase gene in strain 24835, blaNDM–5 was located on a 46-kb IncX3 self-transmissible plasmid, which is a very close relation of pNDM-MGR194 from India. Genetic context of blaNDM–5 in strain 24835 was closely related to those on IncX3 plasmids in various Enterobacteriaceae species in China. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in K. pneumoniae 24835. Significantly increased resistance to serum killing and mice mortality were found in the virulent New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM)-producing K. pneumoniae strain compared to the other NDM-producing K. pneumoniae strain. Our study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of K. pneumoniae 24835, a strain displaying carbapenem resistance and relatively high level of virulence. These findings are concerning for the potential of NDM-like genes to disseminate among virulent K. pneumoniae isolates. PMID:28386246

  20. Modulation of the enterohemorrhagic E. coli virulence program through the human gastrointestinal tract

    PubMed Central

    Barnett Foster, Debora

    2013-01-01

    Enteric pathogens must not only survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract but must also coordinate expression of virulence determinants in response to localized microenvironments with the host. Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), a serious food and waterborne human pathogen, is well equipped with an arsenal of molecular factors that allows it to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract and successfully colonize the large intestine. This review will explore how EHEC responds to various environmental cues associated with particular microenvironments within the host and how it employs these cues to modulate virulence factor expression, with a view to developing a conceptual framework for understanding modulation of EHEC’s virulence program in response to the host. In vitro studies offer significant insights into the role of individual environmental cues but in vivo studies using animal models as well as data from natural infections will ultimately provide a more comprehensive picture of the highly regulated virulence program of this pathogen. PMID:23552827

  1. Virulence determinants of pandemic A(H1N1)2009 influenza virus in a mouse model.

    PubMed

    Uraki, Ryuta; Kiso, Maki; Shinya, Kyoko; Goto, Hideo; Takano, Ryo; Iwatsuki-Horimoto, Kiyoko; Takahashi, Kazuo; Daniels, Rod S; Hungnes, Olav; Watanabe, Tokiko; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2013-02-01

    A novel swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus [A(H1N1)pdm09 virus] caused the 2009 influenza pandemic. Most patients exhibited mild symptoms similar to seasonal influenza, but some experienced severe clinical signs and, in the worst cases, died. Such differences in symptoms are generally associated with preexisting medical conditions, but recent reports indicate the possible involvement of viral factors in clinical severity. To better understand the mechanism of pathogenicity of the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus, here, we compared five viruses that are genetically similar but were isolated from patients with either severe or mild symptoms. In a mouse model, A/Norway/3487/2009 (Norway3487) virus exhibited greater pathogenicity than did A/Osaka/164/2009 (Osaka164) virus. By exploiting reassortant viruses between these two viruses, we found that viruses possessing the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of Norway3487 in the genetic background of Osaka164 were more pathogenic in mice than other reassortant viruses, indicating a role for HA in the high virulence of Norway3487 virus. Intriguingly, a virus possessing HA, NA, and NS derived from Norway3487 exhibited greater pathogenicity in mice in concert with PB2 and PB1 derived from Osaka164 than did the parental Norway3487 virus. These findings demonstrate that reassortment between A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses can lead to increased pathogenicity and highlight the need for continued surveillance of A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses.

  2. A nine-base nucleotide sequence in the porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) nucleocapsid gene determines viral replication and virulence.

    PubMed

    Krakowka, Steven; Allan, Gordon; Ellis, John; Hamberg, Alexander; Charreyre, Catherine; Kaufmann, Eva; Brooks, Charles; Meehan, Brian

    2012-03-01

    Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) was retrospectively identified by serology in swine populations as an asymptomatic infection at least 25 years prior to the first reported case of PCV2-associated postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). To investigate the sudden emergence of PMWS, viral sequences were amplified from frozen archived (1970-1971) porcine tissues and the complete genome of archival PCV2 was determined. The ORF1 gene product (viral DNA replicase) was homologous to contemporary PCV2 ORF1. In ORF2 (viral nucleocapsid gene) archival PCV2, a consistent linear nine-base sequence difference at base positions 1331 through 1339 was observed. The deduced amino acid sequence from these base changes alters the nucleocapsid conformation within the second immunogenic epitope from a hydrophobic (contemporary PCV2) to a hydrophilic (archival PCV2) configuration. To test the hypothesis that archival PCV2 was avirulent, cloned engineered archival and contemporary PCV2 genomes were constructed wherein the ORF1 gene was identical in each clone and the ORF2 gene (nucleocapsid protein) was sequence-identical in both clones except for the nine-base difference (bases 1331-1339), corresponding to archival and contemporary PCV2 viruses respectively. Clones were transfected into porcine kidney (PK) 15 cells and, after sequence confirmation, further passed in PK15 and 3D4/2 porcine alveolar macrophage cell cultures. Virulence trials in gnotobiotic piglets were conducted with cloned PCV2s. The data show that archival PCV2 is avirulent when compared to contemporary PCV2 and supports the hypothesis that the emergence of virulent contemporary PCV2 was a result of mutational events within this critical epitope after 1971.

  3. Virulence and Genomic Feature of Multidrug Resistant Campylobacter jejuni Isolated from Broiler Chicken

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Haihong; Ren, Ni; Han, Jing; Foley, Steven L.; Iqbal, Zahid; Cheng, Guyue; Kuang, Xiuhua; Liu, Jie; Liu, Zhenli; Dai, Menghong; Wang, Yulian; Yuan, Zonghui

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to reveal the molecular mechanism involved in multidrug resistance and virulence of Campylobacter jejuni isolated from broiler chickens. The virulence of six multidrug resistant C. jejuni was determined by in vitro and in vivo methods. The de novo whole genome sequencing technology and molecular biology methods were used to analyze the genomic features associated with the multidrug resistance and virulence of a selected isolate (C. jejuni 1655). The comparative genomic analyses revealed a large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms, deletions, rearrangements, and inversions in C. jejuni 1655 compared to reference C. jejuni genomes. The co-emergence of Thr-86-Ile mutation in gyrA gene, A2075G mutation in 23S rRNA gene, tetO, aphA and aadE genes and pTet plasmid in C. jejuni 1655 contributed its multidrug resistance to fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tetracycline, and aminoglycosides. The combination of multiple virulence genes may work together to confer the relative higher virulence in C. jejuni 1655. The co-existence of mobile gene elements (e.g., pTet) and CRISPR-Cas system in C. jejuni 1655 may play an important role in the gene transfer and immune defense. The present study provides basic information of phenotypic and genomic features of C. jejuni 1655, a strain recently isolated from a chicken displaying multidrug resistance and relatively high level of virulence. PMID:27790202

  4. Morphological, molecular and virulence characterization of three Lencanicillium species infecting Asian citrus psyllids in Huangyan citrus groves.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lianming; Cheng, Baoping; Du, Danchao; Hu, Xiurong; Peng, Aitian; Pu, Zhanxu; Zhang, Xiaoya; Huang, Zhendong; Chen, Guoqing

    2015-02-01

    Citrus greening or Huanglongbing (HLB) is caused by the infection of Candidatus Liberibacter spp. in citrus plants. Since Asian citrus psyllid is the primary vector of this bacterial pathogen, the spread of HLB can be mitigated by suppressing Asian citrus psyllid populations in citrus groves using entomopathogens. To expand the current data on entomopathogens infecting Asian citrus psyllids, we isolated and characterized three different entomopathogens. Strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08, and ZJLP09 infected the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, in Huangyan citrus groves. Based on molecular and morphological analyses, two were identified as Lecanicillium attenuatum and Lecanicillium psalliotae, and the third was recognized as an unidentified species of the genus, Lecanicillium. The corrected mortalities caused by strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08 were 100% at 7days post-inoculation, while by ZJLP09 complete mortality occurred at 6days after inoculation, with 1.0×10(8)conidia/ml at 25°C and a relative humidity of 90% in the laboratory. Under the same condition, the corrected mortalities caused by strains ZJLSP07, ZJLA08 and ZJLP09 were 100%, 92.55% and 100%, respectively at 9days post-inoculation in the greenhouse. Our findings also revealed that these fungal strains infected D. citri using hyphae that penetrated deep into the insect tissues. Further, all three strains secreted the enzymes proteinases, chitinases and lipases with a potential to destroy insect tissues. Interestingly, strain ZJLP09 had an earlier invasion time and the highest levels of enzyme activities when compared to the other two strains. These findings have expanded the existing pool of entomopathogenic fungi that infect D. citri and can be potentially used for the management of D. citri populations.

  5. XacFhaB adhesin, an important Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri virulence factor, is recognized as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern.

    PubMed

    Garavaglia, Betiana S; Zimaro, Tamara; Abriata, Luciano A; Ottado, Jorgelina; Gottig, Natalia

    2016-12-01

    Adhesion to host tissue is one of the key steps of the bacterial pathogenic process. Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri possesses a non-fimbrial adhesin protein, XacFhaB, required for bacterial attachment, which we have previously demonstrated to be an important virulence factor for the development of citrus canker. XacFhaB is a 4753-residue-long protein with a predicted β-helical fold structure, involved in bacterial aggregation, biofilm formation and adhesion to the host. In this work, to further characterize this protein and considering its large size, XacFhaB was dissected into three regions based on bioinformatic and structural analyses for functional studies. First, the capacity of these protein regions to aggregate bacterial cells was analysed. Two of these regions were able to form bacterial aggregates, with the most amino-terminal region being dispensable for this activity. Moreover, XacFhaB shows features resembling pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which are recognized by plants. As PAMPs activate plant basal immune responses, the role of the three XacFhaB regions as elicitors of these responses was investigated. All adhesin regions were able to induce basal immune responses in host and non-host plants, with a stronger activation by the carboxyl-terminal region. Furthermore, pre-infiltration of citrus leaves with XacFhaB regions impaired X. citri ssp. citri growth, confirming the induction of defence responses and restraint of citrus canker. This work reveals that adhesins from plant pathogens trigger plant defence responses, opening up new pathways for the development of protective strategies for disease control.

  6. Molecular characterization and virus neutralization patterns of severe, non-epizootic forms of feline calicivirus infections resembling virulent systemic disease in cats in Switzerland and in Liechtenstein.

    PubMed

    Willi, Barbara; Spiri, Andrea M; Meli, Marina L; Samman, Ayman; Hoffmann, Karolin; Sydler, Titus; Cattori, Valentino; Graf, Felix; Diserens, Kevin A; Padrutt, Isabelle; Nesina, Stefanie; Berger, Alice; Ruetten, Maja; Riond, Barbara; Hosie, Margaret J; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2016-01-15

    Feline calicivirus (FCV) infections are associated with oral ulceration, chronic stomatitis and a limping syndrome. Epizootic outbreaks of virulent systemic disease (VSD) have been reported in the USA and Europe. Here, the molecular characterization and neutralization patterns of FCV isolates from cases of severe, non-epizootic infection associated with skin ulceration and edema are presented. Samples from eleven symptomatic cats, four in-contact cats and 27 cats with no contact with symptomatic cats were collected and tested for FCV, feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Phylogenetic analyses based on the capsid (VP1) gene of FCV and virus neutralization with antisera raised against four FCV vaccine strains were performed. Nine kittens and two adult cats in two shelters and two veterinary clinics in four geographically distinct locations in Switzerland and Liechtenstein were affected. The cats showed fever, tongue and skin ulceration, head and paw edema, and occasionally jaundice, generalized edema and dyspnea. All symptomatic cats tested FCV-positive but were negative for FHV-1, FeLV and FIV, with the exception of one FIV-positive kitten. All kittens of one litter and both adult cats died. The disease did not spread to cats in the environment. Cats in the environment displayed phylogenetically distinct, but related, FCV strains. Virus neutralization patterns suggested that some cases might have been potentially prevented by vaccination with the optimal vaccine strain. In conclusion, clinicians should be aware of severe, non-epizootic forms of FCV infections with initial clinical presentations similar to VSD.

  7. Determinations of molecular weight and molecular weight distribution of high polymers by the rheological properties

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huang, J. Y.; Hou, T. H.; Tiwari, S. N.

    1989-01-01

    Several methods are reviewed by which the molecular weight (MW) and the molecular weight distribution (MWD) of polymeric material were determined from the rheological properties. A poly(arylene ether) polymer with six different molecular weights was used in this investigation. Experimentally measured MW and MWD were conducted by GPC/LALLS (gel permeation chromatography/low angle laser light scattering), and the rheological properties of the melts were measured by a Rheometric System Four rheometer. It was found that qualitative information of the MW and MWD of these polymers could be derived from the viscoelastic properties, with the methods proposed by Zeichner and Patel, and by Dormier et al., by shifting the master curves of the dynamic storage modulus, G', and the loss modulus, G'', along the frequency axis. Efforts were also made to calculate quantitative profiles of MW and MWD for these polymers from their rheological properties. The technique recently proposed by Wu was evaluated. It was found that satisfactory results could only be obtained for polymers with single modal distribution in the molecular weight.

  8. 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

  9. Determining equilibrium constants for dimerization reactions from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    De Jong, Djurre H; Schäfer, Lars V; De Vries, Alex H; Marrink, Siewert J; Berendsen, Herman J C; Grubmüller, Helmut

    2011-07-15

    With today's available computer power, free energy calculations from equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations "via counting" become feasible for an increasing number of reactions. An example is the dimerization reaction of transmembrane alpha-helices. If an extended simulation of the two helices covers sufficiently many dimerization and dissociation events, their binding free energy is readily derived from the fraction of time during which the two helices are observed in dimeric form. Exactly how the correct value for the free energy is to be calculated, however, is unclear, and indeed several different and contradictory approaches have been used. In particular, results obtained via Boltzmann statistics differ from those determined via the law of mass action. Here, we develop a theory that resolves this discrepancy. We show that for simulation systems containing two molecules, the dimerization free energy is given by a formula of the form ΔG ∝ ln(P(1) /P(0) ). Our theory is also applicable to high concentrations that typically have to be used in molecular dynamics simulations to keep the simulation system small, where the textbook dilute approximations fail. It also covers simulations with an arbitrary number of monomers and dimers and provides rigorous error estimates. Comparison with test simulations of a simple Lennard Jones system with various particle numbers as well as with reference free energy values obtained from radial distribution functions show full agreement for both binding free energies and dimerization statistics.

  10. Determination of molecular weight distributions in native and pretreated wood.

    PubMed

    Leskinen, Timo; Kelley, Stephen S; Argyropoulos, Dimitris S

    2015-03-30

    The analysis of native wood components by size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) is challenging. Isolation, derivatization and solubilization of wood polymers is required prior to the analysis. The present approach allowed the determination of molecular weight distributions of the carbohydrates and of lignin in native and processed woods, without preparative component isolation steps. For the first time a component selective SEC analysis of sawdust preparations was made possible by the combination of two selective derivatization methods, namely; ionic liquid assisted benzoylation of the carbohydrate fraction and acetobromination of the lignin in acetic acid media. These were optimized for wood samples. The developed method was thus used to examine changes in softwood samples after degradative mechanical and/or chemical treatments, such as ball milling, steam explosion, green liquor pulping, and chemical oxidation with 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-1,4-benzoquinone (DDQ). The methodology can also be applied to examine changes in molecular weight and lignin-carbohydrate linkages that occur during wood-based biorefinery operations, such as pretreatments, and enzymatic saccharification.

  11. Apparatus and method of determining molecular weight of large molecules

    DOEpatents

    Fuerstenau, S.; Benner, W.H.; Madden, N.M.; Searles, W.

    1998-06-23

    A mass spectrometer determines the mass of multiply charged high molecular weight molecules. This spectrometer utilizes an ion detector which is capable of simultaneously measuring the charge z and transit time of a single ion as it passes through the detector. From this transit time, the velocity of the single ion may then be derived, thus providing the mass-to-charge ratio m/z for a single ion which has been accelerated through a known potential. Given z and m/z, the mass m of the single ion can then be calculated. Electrospray ions with masses in excess of 1 MDa and charge numbers greater than 425 e{sup {minus}} are readily detected. The on-axis single ion detection configuration enables a duty cycle of nearly 100% and extends the practical application of electrospray mass spectrometry to the analysis of very large molecules with relatively inexpensive instrumentation. 14 figs.

  12. Apparatus and method of determining molecular weight of large molecules

    DOEpatents

    Fuerstenau, Stephen; Benner, W. Henry; Madden, Norman; Searles, William

    1998-01-01

    A mass spectrometer determines the mass of multiply charged high molecular weight molecules. This spectrometer utilizes an ion detector which is capable of simultaneously measuring the charge z and transit time of a single ion as it passes through the detector. From this transit time, the velocity of the single ion may then be derived, thus providing the mass-to-charge ratio m/z for a single ion which has been accelerated through a known potential. Given z and m/z, the mass m of the single ion can then be calculated. Electrospray ions with masses in excess of 1 MDa and charge numbers greater than 425 e.sup.- are readily detected. The on-axis single ion detection configuration enables a duty cycle of nearly 100% and extends the practical application of electrospray mass spectrometry to the analysis of very large molecules with relatively inexpensive instrumentation.

  13. A single nucleotide polymorphism at the right terminal region of Mexican papita viroid is a virulent determinant factor on tomato

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mexican papita viroid (MPVd), a pospiviroid, causes serious disease outbreaks on greenhouse tomato in North America. Two dominant genotypes (MPV-S and MPV-M), sharing 93.8% sequence identity, incited striking different symptom expression (severe and mild) on tomato ‘Rutgers’. To determine genetic ...

  14. The Pathogenicity Island-Associated K15 Capsule Determinant Exhibits a Novel Genetic Structure and Correlates with Virulence in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli Strain 536

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, György; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Brüggemann, Holger; Nagy, Gábor; Janke, Britta; Blum-Oehler, Gabriele; Buchrieser, Carmen; Gottschalk, Gerhard; Emödy, Levente; Hacker, Jörg

    2004-01-01

    The K15 capsule determinant of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain 536 (O6:K15:H31) is part of a novel 79.6-kb pathogenicity island (PAI) designated PAI V536 that is absent from the genome of nonpathogenic E. coli K-12 strain MG1655. PAI V536 shows typical characteristics of a composite PAI that is associated with the pheV tRNA gene and contains the pix fimbriae determinant as well as genes coding for a putative phosphoglycerate transport system, an autotransporter protein, and hypothetical open reading frames. A gene cluster coding for a putative general secretion pathway system, together with a kpsK15 determinant, is localized downstream of a truncated pheV gene (′pheV) also present in this chromosomal region. The distribution of genes present on PAI V536 was studied by PCR in different pathogenic and nonpathogenic E. coli isolates of various sources. Analysis of the 20-kb kps locus revealed a so far unknown genetic organization. Generally, the kpsK15 gene cluster resembles that of group 2 and 3 capsules, where two conserved regions (regions 1 and 3) are located up- or downstream of a highly variable serotype-specific region (region 2). Interestingly, recombination of a group 2 and 3 determinant may have been involved in the evolution of the K15 capsule-encoding gene cluster. Expression of the K15 capsule is important for virulence in a murine model of ascending urinary tract infection but not for serum resistance of E. coli strain 536. PMID:15385503

  15. Determination of the infectious titer and virulence of an original US porcine epidemic diarrhea virus PC22A strain.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinsheng; Lin, Chun-Ming; Annamalai, Thavamathi; Gao, Xiang; Lu, Zhongyan; Esseili, Malak A; Jung, Kwonil; El-Tholoth, Mohamed; Saif, Linda J; Wang, Qiuhong

    2015-09-25

    The infectious dose of a virus pool of original US PEDV strain PC22A was determined in 4-day-old, cesarean-derived, colostrum-deprived (CDCD) piglets. The median pig diarrhea dose (PDD50) of the virus pool was determined as 7.35 log10 PDD50/mL, similar to the cell culture infectious titer, 7.75 log10 plaque-forming units (PFU)/mL. 100 PDD50 caused watery diarrhea in all conventional suckling piglets (n = 12) derived from a PEDV-naive sow, whereas 1000 and 10 000 PDD50 did not cause diarrhea in piglets derived from two PEDV-field exposed-recovered sows. This information is important for future PEDV challenge studies and validation of PEDV vaccines.

  16. Molecular determinants of disease in Coxsackievirus B1 murine infection

    PubMed Central

    Cifuente, Javier O.; Ferrer, María F.; de Giusti, Carolina Jaquenod; Song, Wen-Chao; Romanowski, Víctor; Hafenstein, Susan L.; Gómez, Ricardo M.

    2013-01-01

    To understand better how different genomic regions may confer pathogenicity for the coxsackievirus B (CVB), two intratypic CVB1 variants and a number of recombinant viruses were studied. Sequencing analysis showed 23 nucleotide changes between the parental non-pathogenic CVB1N and the pathogenic CVB1Nm. Mutations present in CVB1Nm were more conserved than those in CVB1N when compared to other CVB sequences. Inoculation in C3H/HeJ mice showed that the P1 region is critical for pathogenicity in murine pancreas and heart. The molecular determinants of disease for these organs partially overlap. Several P1 region amino acid differences appear to be located in the decay accelerating factor (DAF) footprint CVBs. CVB1N and CVB1Nm interacted with human CAR, but only CVB1N seemed to interact with human DAF, as determined using soluble receptors in a plaque reduction assay. However, the murine homologue Daf-1 did not interact with any virus assessed by haemagglutination. The results of this study suggest that an unknown receptor interaction with the virus play an important role in the pathogenicity of CVB1Nm. Further in vivo studies may clarify this issue. PMID:21739448

  17. Molecular determinants of disease in coxsackievirus B1 murine infection.

    PubMed

    Cifuente, Javier O; Ferrer, María F; Jaquenod de Giusti, Carolina; Song, Wen-Chao; Romanowski, Víctor; Hafenstein, Susan L; Gómez, Ricardo M

    2011-09-01

    To understand better how different genomic regions may confer pathogenicity for the coxsackievirus B (CVB), two intratypic CVB1 variants, and a number of recombinant viruses were studied. Sequencing analysis showed 23 nucleotide changes between the parental non-pathogenic CVB1N and the pathogenic CVB1Nm. Mutations present in CVB1Nm were more conserved than those in CVB1N when compared to other CVB sequences. Inoculation in C3H/HeJ mice showed that the P1 region is critical for pathogenicity in murine pancreas and heart. The molecular determinants of disease for these organs partially overlap. Several P1 region amino acid differences appear to be located in the decay-accelerating factor (DAF) footprint CVBs. CVB1N and CVB1Nm interacted with human CAR, but only CVB1N seemed to interact with human DAF, as determined using soluble receptors in a plaque-reduction assay. However, the murine homolog Daf-1 did not interact with any virus assessed by hemagglutination. The results of this study suggest that an unknown receptor interaction with the virus play an important role in the pathogenicity of CVB1Nm. Further in vivo studies may clarify this issue.

  18. [Investigation of pathogenic phenotypes and virulence determinants of food-borne Salmonella enterica strains in Caenorhabditis elegans animal model].

    PubMed

    Aksoy, Deniz; Şen, Ece

    2015-10-01

    Salmonellosis, caused by non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica serovars with the consumption of contaminated food, is one of the leading food-borne disease that makes microbial food safety an important public health issue. This study was performed in order to determine the antibiotic resistance, serotyping, plasmid profiles and pathogenicity potentials of food-borne Salmonella isolates in Caenorhabditis elegans animal model system in Edirne province, located at Thrace region of Turkey. In this study, 32 Salmonella isolates, of which 26 belonged to Infantis, four to Enteritidis, one to Telaviv and one to Kentucky serovars, isolated from chicken carcasses were used. Antibiotic resistance profiles were determined by disc diffusion and broth microdilution methods. A new C.elegans nematode animal model system was used to determine the pathogenicity potential of the isolates. The antibiotic resistance profiles revealed that one (3.1%) isolate was resistant to gentamicin, two (6.2%) to ciprofloxacin, three (9.4%) to ampicillin, 18 (56.3%) to kanamycin, 19 (60.8%) to neomycin, 25 (78.1%) to tetracycline, 25 (78.1%) to trimethoprim, 26 (81.25%) to nalidixic acid, 27 (84.4%) to streptomycin and 32 (100%) to sulfonamide. All of the 32 strains were susceptible to chloramphenicol and ampicillin/sulbactam. High levels of resistance to streptomycin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, trimethoprim, sulfonamide, kanamycin and neomycin was determined. According to the plasmid analysis, six isolates (18.75%) harboured 1-3 plasmids with sizes between 1.2 and 42.4 kb. In C.elegans nematode animal model system, the time (in days) required to kill 50% (TD50) of nematodes was calculated for each experimental group. TD50 values of the nematode group fed with S.Typhimurium ATCC 14028 that was used as the positive control and another group fed with E.coli OP50 as the negative control were 4.2 ± 0.5 days and 8.0 ± 0.02 days, respectively. TD50 of the groups fed with Salmonella isolates ranged

  19. Molecular and phylogenetic characterization based on the complete genome of a virulent pathotype of Newcastle disease virus isolated in the 1970s in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Camila C; Varani, Alessandro M; Lemos, Eliana G M; de Miranda, Vitor Fernandes O; Silva, Ketherson R; Fernando, Filipe S; Montassier, Maria F S; Montassier, Helio J

    2014-08-01

    Newcastle disease (ND) is caused by the avian paramyxovirus type 1 (APMV-1) or Newcastle disease virus (NDV) that comprises a diverse group of viruses with a single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genome. ND is one of the most important diseases of chickens, because it severely affects poultry production worldwide. In the 1970s, outbreaks of virulent ND were recorded in Brazil, and the strain APMV-1/Chicken/Brazil/SJM/75 (SJM) of NDV was isolated. This strain was characterized as highly pathogenic for chickens but not pathogenic for other bird species. Here we present the complete genome of NDV strain SJM and investigate the phylogenetic relationships of this virus with other NDV strains in terms of genome and proteins composition, as well as characterizing its evolution process. The NDV strain SJM is categorized as a velogenic virus and the complete genome is 15,192 nucleotides in length, consisting of six genes in the order 3'-NP-P-M-F-HN-L-5'. The presence of the major pathogenic determinant of NDV strains ((112)R-R-Q-K-R↓F(117)) was identified in the Fusion protein of the NDV strain SJM. In addition, phylogenetic analysis classified the NDV strain SJM as a member of class II, genotype V, and indicates that this virus help us in the understanding of the evolutionary process of strains belonging to this genotype. This study contributes to the growing interest involving the characterization of NDV isolates to improve our current understanding about the epidemiology, surveillance and evolution of the pathogenic strains.

  20. Klebsiella pneumoniae Asparagine tDNAs Are Integration Hotspots for Different Genomic Islands Encoding Microcin E492 Production Determinants and Other Putative Virulence Factors Present in Hypervirulent Strains.

    PubMed

    Marcoleta, Andrés E; Berríos-Pastén, Camilo; Nuñez, Gonzalo; Monasterio, Octavio; Lagos, Rosalba

    2016-01-01

    Due to the developing of multi-resistant and invasive hypervirulent strains, Klebsiella pneumoniae has become one of the most urgent bacterial pathogen threats in the last years. Genomic comparison of a growing number of sequenced isolates has allowed the identification of putative virulence factors, proposed to be acquirable mainly through horizontal gene transfer. In particular, those related with synthesizing the antibacterial peptide microcin E492 (MccE492) and salmochelin siderophores were found to be highly prevalent among hypervirulent strains. The determinants for the production of both molecules were first reported as part of a 13-kbp segment of K. pneumoniae RYC492 chromosome, and were cloned and characterized in E. coli. However, the genomic context of this segment in K. pneumoniae remained uncharacterized. In this work, we provided experimental and bioinformatics evidence indicating that the MccE492 cluster is part of a highly conserved 23-kbp genomic island (GI) named GIE492, that was integrated in a specific asparagine-tRNA gene (asn-tDNA) and was found in a high proportion of isolates from liver abscesses sampled around the world. This element resulted to be unstable and its excision frequency increased after treating bacteria with mitomycin C and upon the overexpression of the island-encoded integrase. Besides the MccE492 genetic cluster, it invariably included an integrase-coding gene, at least seven protein-coding genes of unknown function, and a putative transfer origin that possibly allows this GI to be mobilized through conjugation. In addition, we analyzed the asn-tDNA loci of all the available K. pneumoniae assembled chromosomes to evaluate them as GI-integration sites. Remarkably, 73% of the strains harbored at least one GI integrated in one of the four asn-tDNA present in this species, confirming them as integration hotspots. Each of these tDNAs was occupied with different frequencies, although they were 100% identical. Also, we identified

  1. Klebsiella pneumoniae Asparagine tDNAs Are Integration Hotspots for Different Genomic Islands Encoding Microcin E492 Production Determinants and Other Putative Virulence Factors Present in Hypervirulent Strains

    PubMed Central

    Marcoleta, Andrés E.; Berríos-Pastén, Camilo; Nuñez, Gonzalo; Monasterio, Octavio; Lagos, Rosalba

    2016-01-01

    Due to the developing of multi-resistant and invasive hypervirulent strains, Klebsiella pneumoniae has become one of the most urgent bacterial pathogen threats in the last years. Genomic comparison of a growing number of sequenced isolates has allowed the identification of putative virulence factors, proposed to be acquirable mainly through horizontal gene transfer. In particular, those related with synthesizing the antibacterial peptide microcin E492 (MccE492) and salmochelin siderophores were found to be highly prevalent among hypervirulent strains. The determinants for the production of both molecules were first reported as part of a 13-kbp segment of K. pneumoniae RYC492 chromosome, and were cloned and characterized in E. coli. However, the genomic context of this segment in K. pneumoniae remained uncharacterized. In this work, we provided experimental and bioinformatics evidence indicating that the MccE492 cluster is part of a highly conserved 23-kbp genomic island (GI) named GIE492, that was integrated in a specific asparagine-tRNA gene (asn-tDNA) and was found in a high proportion of isolates from liver abscesses sampled around the world. This element resulted to be unstable and its excision frequency increased after treating bacteria with mitomycin C and upon the overexpression of the island-encoded integrase. Besides the MccE492 genetic cluster, it invariably included an integrase-coding gene, at least seven protein-coding genes of unknown function, and a putative transfer origin that possibly allows this GI to be mobilized through conjugation. In addition, we analyzed the asn-tDNA loci of all the available K. pneumoniae assembled chromosomes to evaluate them as GI-integration sites. Remarkably, 73% of the strains harbored at least one GI integrated in one of the four asn-tDNA present in this species, confirming them as integration hotspots. Each of these tDNAs was occupied with different frequencies, although they were 100% identical. Also, we identified

  2. Genome-Wide Gene Expression Analysis Identifies the Proto-oncogene Tyrosine-Protein Kinase Src as a Crucial Virulence Determinant of Infectious Laryngotracheitis Virus in Chicken Cells

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hai; Wang, Fengjie; Han, Zongxi; Gao, Qi; Li, Huixin; Shao, Yuhao; Sun, Nana

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Given the side effects of vaccination against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), novel strategies for ILT control and therapy are urgently needed. The modulation of host-virus interactions is a promising strategy to combat the virus; however, the interactions between the host and avian ILT herpesvirus (ILTV) are unclear. Using genome-wide transcriptome studies in combination with a bioinformatic analysis, we identified proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (Src) to be an important modulator of ILTV infection. Src controls the virulence of ILTV and is phosphorylated upon ILTV infection. Functional studies revealed that Src prolongs the survival of host cells by increasing the threshold of virus-induced cell death. Therefore, Src is essential for viral replication in vitro and in ovo but is not required for ILTV-induced cell death. Furthermore, our results identify a positive-feedback loop between Src and the tyrosine kinase focal adhesion kinase (FAK), which is necessary for the phosphorylation of either Src or FAK and is required for Src to modulate ILTV infection. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to identify a key host regulator controlling host-ILTV interactions. We believe that our findings have revealed a new potential therapeutic target for ILT control and therapy. IMPORTANCE Despite the extensive administration of live attenuated vaccines starting from the mid-20th century and the administration of recombinant vaccines in recent years, infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) outbreaks due to avian ILT herpesvirus (ILTV) occur worldwide annually. Presently, there are no drugs or control strategies that effectively treat ILT. Targeting of host-virus interactions is considered to be a promising strategy for controlling ILTV infections. However, little is known about the mechanisms governing host-ILTV interactions. The results from our study advance our understanding of host-ILTV interactions on a molecular level and provide experimental

  3. Molecular determinants of emerging excitability in rat embryonic motoneurons

    PubMed Central

    Alessandri-Haber, Nicole; Alcaraz, Giséle; Deleuze, Charlotte; Jullien, Florence; Manrique, Christine; Couraud, François; Crest, Marcel; Giraud, Pierre

    2002-01-01

    Molecular determinants of excitability were studied in pure cultures of rat embryonic motoneurons. Using RT-PCR, we have shown here that the spike-generating Na+ current is supported by Nav1.2 and/or Nav1.3 α-subunits. Nav1.1 and Nav1.6 transcripts were also identified. We have demonstrated that alternatively spliced isoforms of Nav1.1 and Nav1.6, resulting in truncated proteins, were predominant during the first week in culture. However, Nav1.6 protein could be detected after 12 days in vitro. The Navβ2.1 transcript was not detected, whereas the Nav β1.1 transcript was present. Even in the absence of Navβ2.1, α-subunits were correctly inserted into the initial segment. RT-PCR (at semi-quantitative and single-cell levels) and immunocytochemistry showed that transient K+ currents result from the expression of Kv4.2 and Kv4.3 subunits. This is the first identification of subunits responsible for a transient K+ current in spinal motoneurons. The blockage of Kv4.2/Kv4.3 using a specific toxin modified the shape of the action potential demonstrating the involvement of these conductance channels in regulating spike repolarization and the discharge frequency. Among the other Kv α-subunits (Kv1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.1, 3.1 and 3.3), we showed that the Kv1.6 subunit was partly responsible for the sustained K+ current. In conclusion, this study has established the first correlation between the molecular nature of voltage-dependent Na+ and K+ channels expressed in embryonic rat motoneurons in culture and their electrophysiological characteristics in the period when excitability appears. PMID:12015418

  4. Comparative genomic analysis of Brucella abortus vaccine strain 104M reveals a set of candidate genes associated with its virulence attenuation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Dong; Hui, Yiming; Zai, Xiaodong; Xu, Junjie; Liang, Long; Wang, Bingxiang; Yue, Junjie; Li, Shanhu

    2015-01-01

    The Brucella abortus strain 104M, a spontaneously attenuated strain, has been used as a vaccine strain in humans against brucellosis for 6 decades in China. Despite many studies, the molecular mechanisms that cause the attenuation are still unclear. Here, we determined the whole-genome sequence of 104M and conducted a comprehensive comparative analysis against the whole genome sequences of the virulent strain, A13334, and other reference strains. This analysis revealed a highly similar genome structure between 104M and A13334. The further comparative genomic analysis between 104M and A13334 revealed a set of genes missing in 104M. Some of these genes were identified to be directly or indirectly associated with virulence. Similarly, a set of mutations in the virulence-related genes was also identified, which may be related to virulence alteration. This study provides a set of candidate genes associated with virulence attenuation in B.abortus vaccine strain 104M.

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. Integrating historical, clinical and molecular genetic data in order to explain the origin and virulence of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus.

    PubMed

    Taubenberger, J K; Reid, A H; Janczewski, T A; Fanning, T G

    2001-12-29

    The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 caused acute illness in 25-30% of the world's population and resulted in the death of 40 million people. The complete genomic sequence of the 1918 influenza virus will be deduced using fixed and frozen tissues of 1918 influenza victims. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the complete 1918 haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes show them to be the most avian-like of mammalian sequences and support the hypothesis that the pandemic virus contained surface protein-encoding genes derived from an avian influenza strain and that the 1918 virus is very similar to the common ancestor of human and classical swine H1N1 influenza strains. Neither the 1918 HA genes nor the NA genes possessed mutations that are known to increase tissue tropicity, which accounts for the virulence of other influenza strains such as A/WSN/33 or fowl plague viruses. The complete sequence of the nonstructural (NS) gene segment of the 1918 virus was deduced and tested for the hypothesis that the enhanced virulence in 1918 could have been due to type I interferon inhibition by the NS1 protein. The results from these experiments were inconclusive. Sequence analysis of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus is allowing us to test hypotheses as to the origin and virulence of this strain. This information should help to elucidate how pandemic influenza strains emerge and what genetic features contribute to their virulence.

  8. Integrating historical, clinical and molecular genetic data in order to explain the origin and virulence of the 1918 Spanish influenza virus.

    PubMed Central

    Taubenberger, J K; Reid, A H; Janczewski, T A; Fanning, T G

    2001-01-01

    The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 caused acute illness in 25-30% of the world's population and resulted in the death of 40 million people. The complete genomic sequence of the 1918 influenza virus will be deduced using fixed and frozen tissues of 1918 influenza victims. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the complete 1918 haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes show them to be the most avian-like of mammalian sequences and support the hypothesis that the pandemic virus contained surface protein-encoding genes derived from an avian influenza strain and that the 1918 virus is very similar to the common ancestor of human and classical swine H1N1 influenza strains. Neither the 1918 HA genes nor the NA genes possessed mutations that are known to increase tissue tropicity, which accounts for the virulence of other influenza strains such as A/WSN/33 or fowl plague viruses. The complete sequence of the nonstructural (NS) gene segment of the 1918 virus was deduced and tested for the hypothesis that the enhanced virulence in 1918 could have been due to type I interferon inhibition by the NS1 protein. The results from these experiments were inconclusive. Sequence analysis of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus is allowing us to test hypotheses as to the origin and virulence of this strain. This information should help to elucidate how pandemic influenza strains emerge and what genetic features contribute to their virulence. PMID:11779381

  9. A Rapid Molecular Test for Determining Yersinia pestis Susceptibility to Ciprofloxacin by the Quantification of Differentially Expressed Marker Genes

    PubMed Central

    Steinberger-Levy, Ida; Shifman, Ohad; Zvi, Anat; Ariel, Naomi; Beth-Din, Adi; Israeli, Ofir; Gur, David; Aftalion, Moshe; Maoz, Sharon; Ber, Raphael

    2016-01-01

    Standard antimicrobial susceptibility tests used to determine bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics are growth dependent and time consuming. The long incubation time required for standard tests may render susceptibility results irrelevant, particularly for patients infected with lethal bacteria that are slow growing on agar but progress rapidly in vivo, such as Yersinia pestis. Here, we present an alternative approach for the rapid determination of antimicrobial susceptibility, based on the quantification of the changes in the expression levels of specific marker genes following exposure to growth-inhibiting concentrations of the antibiotic, using Y. pestis and ciprofloxacin as a model. The marker genes were identified by transcriptomic DNA microarray analysis of the virulent Y. pestis Kimberley53 strain after exposure to specific concentrations of ciprofloxacin for various time periods. We identified several marker genes that were induced following exposure to growth-inhibitory concentrations of ciprofloxacin, and we confirmed the marker expression profiles at additional ciprofloxacin concentrations using quantitative RT-PCR. Eleven candidate marker transcripts were identified, of which four mRNA markers were selected for a rapid quantitative RT-PCR susceptibility test that correctly determined the Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) values and the categories of susceptibility of several Y. pestis strains and isolates harboring various ciprofloxacin MIC values. The novel molecular susceptibility test requires just 2 h of antibiotic exposure in a 7-h overall test time, in contrast to the 24 h of antibiotic exposure required for a standard microdilution test. PMID:27242774

  10. Molecular factors that determine Curie spin relaxation in dysprosium complexes.

    PubMed

    Caravan, P; Greenfield, M T; Bulte, J W

    2001-11-01

    Dysprosium complexes can serve as transverse relaxation (T(2)) agents for water protons through chemical exchange and the Curie spin relaxation mechanism. Using a pair of matched dysprosium(III) complexes, Dy-L1 (contains one inner-sphere water) and Dy-L2 (no inner-sphere water), it is shown that the transverse relaxation of bulk water is predominantly an inner-sphere effect. The kinetics of water exchange at Dy-L1 were determined by (17)O NMR. Proton transverse relaxation by Dy-L1 at high fields is governed primarily through a large chemical shift difference between free and bound water. Dy-L1 forms a noncovalent adduct with human serum albumin which dramatically lengthens the rotational correlation time, tau(R), causing the dipole-dipole component of the Curie spin mechanism to become significant and transverse relaxivity to increase by 3-8 times that of the unbound chelate. These findings aid in the design of new molecular species as efficient r(2) agents.

  11. Mechanical Properties of Nanostructured Materials Determined Through Molecular Modeling Techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2005-01-01

    The potential for gains in material properties over conventional materials has motivated an effort to develop novel nanostructured materials for aerospace applications. These novel materials typically consist of a polymer matrix reinforced with particles on the nanometer length scale. In this study, molecular modeling is used to construct fully atomistic models of a carbon nanotube embedded in an epoxy polymer matrix. Functionalization of the nanotube which consists of the introduction of direct chemical bonding between the polymer matrix and the nanotube, hence providing a load transfer mechanism, is systematically varied. The relative effectiveness of functionalization in a nanostructured material may depend on a variety of factors related to the details of the chemical bonding and the polymer structure at the nanotube-polymer interface. The objective of this modeling is to determine what influence the details of functionalization of the carbon nanotube with the polymer matrix has on the resulting mechanical properties. By considering a range of degree of functionalization, the structure-property relationships of these materials is examined and mechanical properties of these models are calculated using standard techniques.

  12. Method for determination of polyethylene glycol molecular weight.

    PubMed

    Pihlasalo, Sari; Hänninen, Pekka; Härmä, Harri

    2015-04-07

    A method utilizing competitive adsorption between polyethylene glycols (PEGs) and labeled protein to nanoparticles was developed for the determination of PEG molecular weight (MW) in a microtiter plate format. Two mix-and-measure systems, time-resolved luminescence resonance energy transfer (TR-LRET) with donor europium(III) polystyrene nanoparticles and acceptor-labeled protein and quenching with quencher gold nanoparticles and fluorescently labeled protein were compared for their performance. MW is estimated from the PEG MW dependent changes in the competitive adsorption properties, which are presented as the luminescence signal vs PEG mass concentration. The curves obtained with the TR-LRET system overlapped for PEGs larger than 400 g/mol providing no information on MW. Distinctly different curves were obtained with the quenching system enabling the assessment of PEG MW within a broad dynamic range. The data was processed with and without prior knowledge of the PEG concentration to measure PEGs over a MW range from 62 to 35,000 g/mol. The demonstration of the measurement independent of the PEG concentration suggests that the estimation of MW is possible with quenching nanoparticle system for neutrally charged and relatively hydrophilic polymeric molecules widening the applicability of the simple and cost-effective nanoparticle-based methods.

  13. Sensitive determination of citrinin based on molecular imprinted electrochemical sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atar, Necip; Yola, Mehmet Lütfi; Eren, Tanju

    2016-01-01

    In this report, a novel molecular imprinted voltammetric sensor based on glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) involved in a polyoxometalate (H3PW12O40, POM) functionalized reduced graphene oxide (rGO) was prepared for the determination of citrinin (CIT). The developed surfaces were characterized by using scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) method. CIT imprinted GCE was prepared via electropolymerization process of 80.0 mM pyrrole as monomer in the presence of phosphate buffer solution (pH 6.0) containing 20.0 mM CIT. The linearity range and the detection limit of the developed method were calculated as 1.0 × 10-12-1.0 × 10-10 M and 2.0 × 10-13 M, respectively. In addition, the voltammetric sensor was applied to rye samples. The stability and selectivity of the voltammetric sensor were also reported.

  14. Cocaine abuse determination by ion mobility spectrometry using molecular imprinting.

    PubMed

    Sorribes-Soriano, A; Esteve-Turrillas, F A; Armenta, S; de la Guardia, M; Herrero-Martínez, J M

    2017-01-20

    A cocaine-based molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) has been produced by bulk polymerization and employed as selective solid-phase extraction support for the determination of cocaine in saliva samples by ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The most appropriate conditions for washing and elution of cocaine from MIPs were studied and MIPs were characterized in terms of analyte binding capacity, reusability in water and saliva analysis, imprinting factor and selectivity were established and compared with non-imprinted polymers. The proposed MIP-IMS method provided a LOD of 18μgL(-1) and quantitative recoveries for blank saliva samples spiked from 75 to 500μgL(-1) cocaine. Oral fluid samples were collected from cocaine consumers and analysed by the proposed MIP-IMS methodology. Results, ranging from below the LOD to 51±2mgL(-1), were statistically comparable to those obtained by a confirmatory gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. Moreover, results were compared to a qualitative lateral flow immunoassay procedure providing similar classification of the samples. Thus, MIP-IMS can be considered an useful alternative that provided fast, selective and sensitive results with a cost affordable instrumentation that does not require skilled operators.

  15. Molecular determinants of nucleolar translocation of RNA helicase A

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Zhe; Kenworthy, Rachael; Green, Christopher; Tang, Hengli

    2007-10-15

    RNA helicase A (RHA) is a member of the DEAH-box family of DNA/RNA helicases involved in multiple cellular processes and the life cycles of many viruses. The subcellular localization of RHA is dynamic despite its steady-state concentration in the nucleoplasm. We have previously shown that it shuttles rapidly between the nucleus and the cytoplasm by virtue of a bidirectional nuclear transport domain (NTD) located in its carboxyl terminus. Here, we investigate the molecular determinants for its translocation within the nucleus and, more specifically, its redistribution from the nucleoplasm to nucleolus or the perinucleolar region. We found that low temperature treatment, transcription inhibition or replication of hepatitis C virus caused the intranuclear redistribution of the protein, suggesting that RHA shuttles between the nucleolus and nucleoplasm and becomes trapped in the nucleolus or the perinucleolar region upon blockade of transport to the nucleoplasm. Both the NTD and ATPase activity were essential for RHA's transport to the nucleolus or perinucleolar region. One of the double-stranded RNA binding domains (dsRBD II) was also required for this nucleolar translocation (NoT) phenotype. RNA interference studies revealed that RHA is essential for survival of cultured hepatoma cells and the ATPase activity appears to be important for this critical role.

  16. Crustacean muscle plasticity: molecular mechanisms determining mass and contractile properties.

    PubMed

    Mykles, D L

    1997-07-01

    Two crustacean models for understanding molecular mechanisms of muscle plasticity are reviewed. Metabolic changes underlying muscle protein synthesis and degradation have been examined in the Bermuda land crab, Gecarcinus lateralis. During proecdysis, the claw closer muscle undergoes a programmed atrophy, which results from a highly controlled breakdown of myofibrillar proteins by Ca(2+)-dependent and, possibly, ATP/ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic enzymes. The advantage of this model is that there is neither fiber degeneration nor contractile-type switching, which often occurs in mammalian skeletal muscles. The second model uses American lobster, Homarus americanus, to understand the genetic regulation of fiber-type switching. Fibers in the claw closer muscles undergo a developmentally-regulated transformation as the isomorphic claws of larvae and juveniles differentiate into the heteromorphic cutter and crusher claws of adults. This switching occurs at the boundary between fast- and slow-fiber regions, and thus the transformation of a specific fiber is determined by its position within the muscle. The ability to predict fiber switching can be exploited to isolate and identify putative master regulatory factors that initiate and coordinate the expression of contractile proteins.

  17. Map-Based Comparative Genomic Analysis of Virulent Haemophilus Parasuis Serovars 4 and 5

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Paulraj; Bey, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Haemophilus parasuis is a commensal bacterium of the upper respiratory tract of healthy pigs. However, in conjunction with viral infections in immunocompromised animals H. parasuis can transform into a pathogen that is responsible for causing Glasser's disease which is typically characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, polyarthritis, meningitis and sometimes acute pneumonia and septicemia in pigs. Haemophilus parasuis serovar 5 is highly virulent and more frequently isolated from respiratory and systemic infection in pigs. Recently a highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 was isolated from the tissues of diseased pigs. To understand the differences in virulence and virulence-associated genes between H. parasuis serovar 5 and highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 strains, a genomic library was generated by TruSeq preparation and sequenced on Illumina HiSeq 2000 obtaining 50 bp PE reads. A three-way comparative genomic analysis was conducted between two highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 strains and H. parasuis serovar 5. Haemophilus parasuis serovar 5 GenBank isolate SH0165 (GenBank accession number CP001321.1) was used as reference strain for assembly. Results of these analysis revealed the highly virulent H. parasuis serovar 4 lacks genes encoding for, glycosyl transferases, polysaccharide biosynthesis protein capD, spore coat polysaccharide biosynthesis protein C, polysaccharide export protein and sialyltransferase which can modify the lipopolysaccharide forming a short-chain LPS lacking O-specific polysaccharide chains often referred to as lipooligosaccharide (LOS). In addition, it can modify the outer membrane protein (OMP) structure. The lack of sialyltransferase significantly reduced the amount of sialic acid incorporated into LOS, a major and essential component of the cell wall and an important virulence determinant. These molecules may be involved in various stages of pathogenesis through molecular mimicry and by causing host cell cytotoxicity, reduced

  18. P3N-PIPO, a Frameshift Product from the P3 Gene, Pleiotropically Determines the Virulence of Clover Yellow Vein Virus in both Resistant and Susceptible Peas

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Haruka; Miyashita, Yuri; Choi, Sun Hee; Hisa, Yusuke; Rihei, Shunsuke; Shimada, Ryoko; Jeon, Eun Jin; Abe, Junya; Uyeda, Ichiro

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Peas carrying the cyv1 recessive resistance gene are resistant to clover yellow vein virus (ClYVV) isolates No.30 (Cl-No.30) and 90-1 (Cl-90-1) but can be infected by a derivative of Cl-90-1 (Cl-90-1 Br2). The main determinant for the breaking of cyv1 resistance by Cl-90-1 Br2 is P3N-PIPO produced from the P3 gene via transcriptional slippage, and the higher level of P3N-PIPO produced by Cl-90-1 Br2 than by Cl-No.30 contributes to the breaking of resistance. Here we show that P3N-PIPO is also a major virulence determinant in susceptible peas that possess another resistance gene, Cyn1, which does not inhibit systemic infection with ClYVV but causes hypersensitive reaction-like lethal systemic cell death. We previously assumed that the susceptible pea cultivar PI 226564 has a weak allele of Cyn1. Cl-No.30 did not induce cell death, but Cl-90-1 Br2 killed the plants. Our results suggest that P3N-PIPO is recognized by Cyn1 and induces cell death. Unexpectedly, heterologously strongly expressed P3N-PIPO of Cl-No.30 appears to be recognized by Cyn1 in PI 226564. The level of P3N-PIPO accumulation from the P3 gene of Cl-No.30 was significantly lower than that of Cl-90-1 Br2 in a Nicotiana benthamiana transient assay. Therefore, Cyn1-mediated cell death also appears to be determined by the level of P3N-PIPO. The more efficiently a ClYVV isolate broke cyv1 resistance, the more it induced cell death systemically (resulting in a loss of the environment for virus accumulation) in susceptible peas carrying Cyn1, suggesting that antagonistic pleiotropy of P3N-PIPO controls the resistance breaking of ClYVV. IMPORTANCE Control of plant viral disease has relied on the use of resistant cultivars; however, emerging mutant viruses have broken many types of resistance. Recently, we revealed that Cl-90-1 Br2 breaks the recessive resistance conferred by cyv1, mainly by accumulating a higher level of P3N-PIPO than that of the nonbreaking isolate Cl-No.30. Here we show that a

  19. Molecular Determinants of Epidermal Growth Factor Binding: A Molecular Dynamics Study

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Jeffrey M.; Wampole, Matthew E.; Thakur, Mathew L.; Wickstrom, Eric

    2013-01-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase family that plays a role in multiple cellular processes. Activation of EGFR requires binding of a ligand on the extracellular domain to promote conformational changes leading to dimerization and transphosphorylation of intracellular kinase domains. Seven ligands are known to bind EGFR with affinities ranging from sub-nanomolar to near micromolar dissociation constants. In the case of EGFR, distinct conformational states assumed upon binding a ligand is thought to be a determining factor in activation of a downstream signaling network. Previous biochemical studies suggest the existence of both low affinity and high affinity EGFR ligands. While these studies have identified functional effects of ligand binding, high-resolution structural data are lacking. To gain a better understanding of the molecular basis of EGFR binding affinities, we docked each EGFR ligand to the putative active state extracellular domain dimer and 25.0 ns molecular dynamics simulations were performed. MM-PBSA/GBSA are efficient computational approaches to approximate free energies of protein-protein interactions and decompose the free energy at the amino acid level. We applied these methods to the last 6.0 ns of each ligand-receptor simulation. MM-PBSA calculations were able to successfully rank all seven of the EGFR ligands based on the two affinity classes: EGF>HB-EGF>TGF-α>BTC>EPR>EPG>AR. Results from energy decomposition identified several interactions that are common among binding ligands. These findings reveal that while several residues are conserved among the EGFR ligand family, no single set of residues determines the affinity class. Instead we found heterogeneous sets of interactions that were driven primarily by electrostatic and Van der Waals forces. These results not only illustrate the complexity of EGFR dynamics but also pave the way for structure-based design of therapeutics targeting EGF

  20. Internal photoemission in molecular junctions: parameters for interfacial barrier determinations.

    PubMed

    Fereiro, Jerry A; Kondratenko, Mykola; Bergren, Adam Johan; McCreery, Richard L

    2015-01-28

    The photocurrent spectra for large-area molecular junctions are reported, where partially transparent copper top contacts permit illumination by UV-vis light. The effect of variation of the molecular structure and thickness are discussed. Internal photoemission (IPE), a process involving optical excitation of hot carriers in the contacts followed by transport across internal system barriers, is dominant when the molecular component does not absorb light. The IPE spectrum contains information regarding energy level alignment within a complete, working molecular junction, with the photocurrent sign indicating transport through either the occupied or unoccupied molecular orbitals. At photon energies where the molecular layer absorbs, a secondary phenomenon is operative in addition to IPE. In order to distinguish IPE from this secondary mechanism, we show the effect of the source intensity as well as the thickness of the molecular layer on the observed photocurrent. Our results clearly show that the IPE mechanism can be differentiated from the secondary mechanism by the effects of variation of experimental parameters. We conclude that IPE can provide valuable information regarding interfacial energetics in intact, working molecular junctions, including clear discrimination of charge transport mediated by electrons through unoccupied system orbitals from that mediated by hole transport through occupied system orbitals.

  1. The effect of milk components and storage conditions on the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes as determined by a Caco-2 cell assay.

    PubMed

    Pricope-Ciolacu, Luminita; Nicolau, Anca Ioana; Wagner, Martin; Rychli, Kathrin

    2013-08-16

    Nearly all cases of human listeriosis have been associated with consumption of contaminated food, therefore the investigation of the virulence of Listeria (L.) monocytogenes after exposure to environmental conditions in food matrices is critical in order to understand and control its impact on public health. As milk and dairy products have been implicated in more than half of the listeriosis outbreaks, we investigated the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes incubated in different milk types at various storage conditions. Incubation in pasteurized milk at refrigeration conditions (4°C) revealed a higher invasion and intracellular proliferation of four different L. monocytogenes strains compared to raw milk using human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. Furthermore the period of storage, which increased L. monocytogenes cell numbers, decreased in vitro virulence. However, L. monocytogenes stored for 3weeks at 4°C in milk are still able to invade and proliferate into the host cell. Interestingly abused storage temperatures (25°C and 30°C) for a short time period (2h) revealed an attenuated impact on the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes compared to the storage temperature of 4°C. Regarding the major milk compounds, the level of milk fat significantly affected the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes. Pre-incubation in milk with high fat content (3.6%) resulted in a lower invasion capability compared to milk with low fat content. In contrast casein and lactose did not influence the invasiveness of L. monocytogenes into the host cell. In conclusion our study shows that the milk environment and different storage conditions influence the in vitro virulence of L. monocytogenes, both of which have to be considered in the risk assessment of contaminated food.

  2. 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

  3. The Main Virulence Determinant of Yersinia entomophaga MH96 Is a Broad-Host-Range Toxin Complex Active against Insects▿†

    PubMed Central

    Hurst, Mark R. H.; Jones, Sandra A.; Binglin, Tan; Harper, Lincoln A.; Jackson, Trevor A.; Glare, Travis R.

    2011-01-01

    Through transposon mutagenesis and DNA sequence analysis, the main disease determinant of the entomopathogenic bacterium Yersinia entomophaga MH96 was localized to an ∼32-kb pathogenicity island (PAI) designated PAIYe96. Residing within PAIYe96 are seven open reading frames that encode an insecticidal toxin complex (TC), comprising not only the readily recognized toxin complex A (TCA), TCB, and TCC components but also two chitinase proteins that form a composite TC molecule. The central TC gene-associated region (∼19 kb) of PAIYe96 was deleted from the Y. entomophaga MH96 genome, and a subsequent bioassay of the ΔTC derivative toward Costelytra zealandica larvae showed it to be innocuous. Virulence of the ΔTC mutant strain could be restored by the introduction of a clone containing the entire PAIYe96 TC gene region. As much as 0.5 mg of the TC is released per 100 ml of Luria-Bertani broth at 25°C, while at 30 or 37°C, no TC could be detected in the culture supernatant. Filter-sterilized culture supernatants derived from Y. entomophaga MH96, but not from the ΔTC strain grown at temperatures of 25°C or less, were able to cause mortality. The 50% lethal doses (LD50s) of the TC toward diamondback moth Plutella xylostella and C. zealandica larvae were defined as 30 ng and 50 ng, respectively, at 5 days after ingestion. Histological analysis of the effect of the TC toward P. xylostella larva showed that within 48 h after ingestion of the TC, there was a general dissolution of the larval midgut. PMID:21278295

  4. Characterization of virulence factors and phylogenetic group determination of Escherichia coli isolated from diarrheic and non-diarrheic calves from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Coura, Fernanda Morcatti; de Araújo Diniz, Soraia; Mussi, Jamili Maria Suhet; Silva, Marcos Xavier; Lage, Andrey Pereira; Heinemann, Marcos Bryan

    2017-03-01

    This study aimed to detect virulence factors, pathovars, and phylogenetic groups of Escherichia coli strains obtained from feces of calves with and without diarrhea up to 70 days old and to determine the association between occurrence of diarrhea, phylogenetic groups, and pathovars. Phylo-typing analysis of the 336 E. coli strains isolated from calves with Clermont method showed that 21 (6.25 %) belong to phylogroup A, 228 (67.85 %) to phylogroup B1, 2 (0.6 %) to phylogroup B2, 5 (1.49 %) to phylogroup C, 57 (16.96 %) to phylogroup E, and 3 (0.9 %) to phylogroup F. Phylogroup D was not identified and 20 strains (5.95 %) were assigned as "unknown." The distribution of phylogenetic groups among pathovars showed that NTEC belong to phylogroups B1 (17) and C (4); EPEC to phylogroups B1 (6) and E (8); STEC to phylogroups A (5), B1 (56), B2 (2), C (1), and E (15); EHEC to phylogroups B1 (95) and E (5); and ETEC to phylogroups A (3), B1 (7), and E (10). The EAST-1 strains were phylogroups A (13), B1 (47), E (19), and F (3); E. coli strains of "unknown" phylogroups belonged to pathovars EPEC (1), EHEC (2), STEC (7), and EAST-1 strains (6). ETEC was associated with diarrhea (P = 0.002). Our study did not find association between the phylogenetic background and occurrence of diarrhea (P = 0.164) but did find some relationship in phylogenetic group and pathovar. The study showed that EHEC and STEC are classified as phylogroup B1, EAST-1 phylogroup A, ETEC, and EPEC phylogroup E.

  5. Determination of molecular contamination performance for space chamber tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scialdone, J. J.

    1973-01-01

    The limitations of chamber tests with regard to the molecular contamination of a spacecraft undergoing vacuum test were examined. The molecular flow conditions existing in the chamber and the parameters dictating the degree of contamination were analyzed. Equations and graphs were developed to show the fraction of molecules returning to the spacecraft out of those emitted and to show other chamber flow parameters as a function of chamber and spacecraft surface molecular pumping and geometric configuration. Type and location of instruments required to measure the outgassing, the degree of contamination, and the returning flows are also discussed.

  6. Phase equilibrium calculations of ternary liquid mixtures with binary interaction parameters and molecular size parameters determined from molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Oh, Suk Yung; Bae, Young Chan

    2010-07-15

    The method presented in this paper was developed to predict liquid-liquid equilibria in ternary liquid mixtures by using a combination of a thermodynamic model and molecular dynamics simulations. In general, common classical thermodynamic models have many parameters which are determined by fitting a model with experimental data. This proposed method, however, provides a simple procedure for calculating liquid-liquid equilibria utilizing binary interaction parameters and molecular size parameters determined from molecular dynamics simulations. This method was applied to mixtures containing water, hydrocarbons, alcohols, chlorides, ketones, acids, and other organic liquids over various temperature ranges. The predicted results agree well with the experimental data without the use of adjustable parameters.

  7. Development of Infectious Clones for Virulent and Avirulent Pichinde Viruses: a Model Virus To Study Arenavirus-Induced Hemorrhagic Fevers ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Lan, Shuiyun; McLay Schelde, Lisa; Wang, Jialong; Kumar, Naveen; Ly, Hinh; Liang, Yuying

    2009-01-01

    Several arenaviruses can cause hemorrhagic fever diseases (VHFs) in humans, the pathogenic mechanism of which is poorly understood due to their virulent nature and the lack of molecular clones. A safe, convenient, and economical small animal model of arenavirus hemorrhagic fever is based on guinea pigs infected by the arenavirus Pichinde (PICV). PICV does not cause disease in humans, but an adapted strain of PICV (P18) causes a disease in guinea pigs that mimics arenavirus hemorrhagic fever in humans in many aspects, while a low-passaged strain (P2) remains avirulent in infected animals. In order to identify the virulence determinants within the PICV genome, we developed the molecular clones for both the avirulent P2 and virulent P18 viruses. Recombinant viruses were generated by transfecting plasmids that contain the antigenomic L and S RNA segments of PICV under the control of the T7 promoter into BSRT7-5 cells, which constitutively express T7 RNA polymerase. By analyzing viral growth kinetics in vitro and virulence in vivo, we show that the recombinant viruses accurately recapitulate the replication and virulence natures of their respective parental viruses. Both parental and recombinant virulent viruses led to high levels of viremia and titers in different organs of the infected animals, whereas the avirulent viruses were effectively controlled and cleared by the hosts. These novel infectious clones for the PICV provide essential tools to identify the virulence factors that are responsible for the severe VHF-like disease in infected animals. PMID:19386714

  8. The hexA gene of Erwinia carotovora encodes a LysR homologue and regulates motility and the expression of multiple virulence determinants.

    PubMed

    Harris, S J; Shih, Y L; Bentley, S D; Salmond, G P

    1998-05-01

    We have identified a gene important for the regulation of exoenzyme virulence factor synthesis in the plant pathogen Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora (Ecc) and virulence and motility in Erwinia carotovora ssp. atroseptica (Eca). This gene, hexA (hyperproduction of exoenzymes), is a close relative of the Erwinia chrysanthemi (Echr) gene pecT and encodes a member of the LysR family of transcriptional regulators. hexA mutants in both Ecc and Eca produce abnormally high levels of the exoenzyme virulence factors pectate lyase, cellulase and protease. In addition, Eca hexA mutants show increased expression of the fliA and fliC genes and hypermotility. Consistent with a role as a global regulator, expression of hexA from even a low-copy plasmid can suppress exoenzyme production in Ecc and Eca and motility in Eca. Production of the quorum-sensing pheromone OHHL in Ecc hexA is higher throughout the growth curve compared with the wild-type strain. Overexpression of Ecc hexA also caused widespread effects in several strains of the opportunistic human pathogen, Serratia. Low-copy hexA expression resulted in repression of exoenzyme, pigment and antibiotic production and repression of the spreading phenotype. Finally, mutations in hexA were shown to increase Ecc or Eca virulence in planta.

  9. The vacuolar-sorting protein Snf7 is required for export of virulence determinants in members of the Cryptococcus neoformans complex.

    PubMed Central

    da C. Godinho, Rodrigo M.; Crestani, Juliana; Kmetzsch, Lívia; de S. Araujo, Glauber; Frases, Susana; Staats, Charley C.; Schrank, Augusto; Vainstein, Marilene H.; Rodrigues, Marcio L.

    2014-01-01

    Fungal pathogenesis requires a number of extracellularly released virulence factors. Recent studies demonstrating that most fungal extracellular molecules lack secretory tags suggest that unconventional secretion mechanisms and fungal virulence are strictly connected. Proteins of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) have been recently associated with polysaccharide export in the yeast-like human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Snf7 is a key ESCRT operator required for unconventional secretion in Eukaryotes. In this study we generated snf7Δ mutant strains of C. neoformans and its sibling species C. gattii. Lack of Snf7 resulted in important alterations in polysaccharide secretion, capsular formation and pigmentation. This phenotype culminated with loss of virulence in an intranasal model of murine infection in both species. Our data support the notion that Snf7 expression regulates virulence in C. neoformans and C. gattii by ablating polysaccharide and melanin traffic. These results are in agreement with the observation that unconventional secretion is essential for cryptococcal pathogenesis and strongly suggest the occurrence of still obscure mechanisms of exportation of non-protein molecules in Eukaryotes. PMID:25178636

  10. Molecular determinants of the platelet aggregation inhibitory activity of carbamoylpiperidines.

    PubMed

    Feng, Z; Gollamudi, R; Dillingham, E O; Bond, S E; Lyman, B A; Purcell, W P; Hill, R J; Korfmacher, W A

    1992-08-07

    A series of alpha,alpha'-bis[3-(N,N-dialkylcarbamoyl)piperidino]-p- xylenes were synthesized and tested for their inhibitory activity on ADP-induced aggregation of human platelets. A parabolic curve was obtained when log 1/C (activity) was plotted against log P (octanol/water partition coefficient). Using this as a model, a new analogue, alpha,alpha'-bis-[3-(N-methyl-N-butylcarbamoyl)piperidino]-p-xylen e (3g), was synthesized with a predicted IC50 of 25 microM. When this compound was subsequently evaluated, the IC50 was 22.1 +/- 5.5 microM, demonstrating the applicability of this model. The amide oxygen of the carbamoyl substituent appeared necessary for activity. Thus, for example, when the amide carbonyl group of 3a (IC50 = 44.5 microM) was reduced to CH2, the resulting compound 4 had a dramatically reduced activity, IC50 = 1565 microM. Compound 3a was resolved into (+) and (-) enantiomers and a meso (0) diastereomer using fractional crystallization, diastereomeric tartrate formation, and chiral HPLC. Compared to (-)-3a, the (+) isomer was 15 times more potent when ADP was the agonist and 19 times more active when collagen was used as the agonist. Molecular modeling of R,R- and S,S-3a using the SYBYL program was used to examine their interactions with phosphatidylinositol (PI). There was a better fit between PI and the R,R-3a with the energy of interaction being 17.6 kcal/mol less than that of the S,S-3a/PI complex. Although the absolute stereochemistry of individual enantiomers is not known, this study shows that R,R-3a interacts more favorably with PI than does S,S-3a and that (+)-3a is a more potent inhibitor of human platelet aggregation than (-)-3a. It is postulated that because of their lipophilicity, these compounds penetrate the platelet membrane and are then protonated at the pH of the cytosol. The protonated N then neutralizes the anionic charge on the membrane phosphoinositides, thereby rendering them less susceptible to hydrolysis by phospholipase C

  11. 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.

  12. Molecular Determinants of Radio Resistance in Prostate Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-01

    their p53 gene status for all 11 exons and all patients are wild -type for p53. Immunohistochemistry for p53, p21, TUNNEL, Bax, Bcl-2, BRCAI/2/Rad51/DNA...M, Stratford 1, Bristow RG, Iwakawa M, Imai T, Zingde S, Anscher M, Bourhis J, Begg A, Haustermans K, Bentzen S and Hendry J. Molecular Markers...6, SP 111.2:2005. (Senior Responsible Author) 22. Hendry JH, Bristow RG, West CM, Begg A, McKay M, Baumann and IAEA Consultant Group. "Molecular

  13. Molecular determinants of glucocorticoid actions in inflammatory joint diseases.

    PubMed

    Baschant, Ulrike; Culemann, Stephan; Tuckermann, Jan

    2013-11-05

    Since their discovery in 1948, glucocorticoids have been widely used clinically to treat inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. However, their usefulness, especially in rheumatoid arthritis therapy, is hampered by severe side effects on bone leading to glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. The molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating the beneficial and adverse effects remain poorly understood. Nevertheless, advanced molecular biological analyses and in vivo approaches using conditional mutant mice have helped to unravel in part the underlying mechanisms of immunosuppression and side effects of glucocorticoid therapy in arthritis, thereby contributing to an improved understanding of these therapeutically important hormones.

  14. Determination of Molecular Size and Avogadro's Number: A Student Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alexandrakis, George C.

    1978-01-01

    Describes an experiment for estimating molecular size and Avogadro's number. Uses the diffusion length of iodine in air at 100 degrees Celsius as a function of time, and the change in volume of a small quantity of carbon dioxide as it goes from the solid to the gaseous state. (GA)

  15. Virulence and antimicrobial resistance determinants of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) and of multidrug-resistant E. coli from foods of animal origin illegally imported to the EU by flight passengers.

    PubMed

    Nagy, B; Szmolka, A; Smole Možina, S; Kovač, J; Strauss, A; Schlager, S; Beutlich, J; Appel, B; Lušicky, M; Aprikian, P; Pászti, J; Tóth, I; Kugler, R; Wagner, M

    2015-09-16

    The aim of this study was to reveal phenotype/genotype characteristics of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) and multidrug resistant E. coli in food products of animal origin confiscated as illegal import at Austrian, German and Slovenian airports. VTEC isolates were obtained by using ISO guidelines 16654:2001 for O157 VTEC or ISO/ TS13136:2012 for non-O157 VTEC, with additional use of the RIDASCREEN® Verotoxin immunoassay. The testing of 1526 samples resulted in 15 VTEC isolates (1.0%) primarily isolated from hard cheese from Turkey and Balkan countries. Genotyping for virulence by using a miniaturized microarray identified a wide range of virulence determinants. One VTEC isolate (O26:H46) possessing intimin (eae) and all other essential genes of Locus of Enterocyte Effacement (LEE) was designated as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC). None of the other VTEC strains belonged to serogroups O157, O145, O111, O104 or O103. VTEC strains harbored either stx(1) (variants stx1(a) or stx(1c)) or st(x2) (variants stx(2a), stx(2b), stx(2a/d) or stx(2c/d)) genes. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) demonstrated high genetic diversity and identified three new sequence types (STs): 4505, 4506 and 4507. Food samples collected from the Vienna airport were also tested for E. coli quantities using the ISO 16649:2001, and for detection of multidrug resistant phenotypes and genotypes. The resulting 113 commensal E. coli isolates were first tested in a pre-screening against 6 selected antimicrobials to demonstrate multidrug resistance. The resulting 14 multidrug resistant (MDR) E. coli isolates, representing 0.9% of the samples, were subjected to further resistance phenotyping and to microarray analyses targeting genetic markers of antimicrobial resistance and virulence. Genotyping revealed various combinations of resistance determinants as well as the presence of class 1, class 2 integrons. The isolates harbored 6 to 11 antibiotic

  16. Screening of virulence-associated genes as a molecular typing method for characterization of Streptococcus suis isolates recovered from wild boars and pigs.

    PubMed

    Sánchez del Rey, Verónica; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F; Domínguez, Lucas; Gottschalk, Marcelo; Vela, Ana I

    2016-03-01

    Streptococcus suis is an important zoonotic pathogen associated with a wide range of diseases in pigs, but has also been isolated from wild animals such as rabbits and wild boars. In the current study, 126 S. suis isolates recovered from pigs (n = 85) and wild boars (n = 41) were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of nine virulence-associated genes. S. suis isolates from wild boars were differentiated by the lower detection rates of the epf, sly, mrp, sao and dltA genes (0%, 2.4%, 2.4%, 4.8% and 21.9%, respectively) compared with the isolates from pigs (56.5%, 75.3%, 56.5%, 88.2.0% and 88.2%, respectively). The differences in the content of these virulence-associated genes were statistically significant (P < 0.05). There was a correlation between the variants saoM and saoL and serotypes 2 and 9, respectively (P < 0.05). Isolates were classified into 31 virulence-associated gene profiles (VPs). Ten VPs were detected among wild boar isolates and 22 VPs among pig isolates, with only two VPs common to wild boars and pigs. The predominant VPs among isolates from wild boars (VP1, VP7) were different from those observed in pig isolates (VP16 and VP26). VP16 was detected exclusively in clinical pig isolates of serotype 9 and VP26 was detected in 71.4% of the serotype 2 clinical pig isolates. Further multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis showed a significant correlation association between certain VPs and STs (VP16 and VP17 with ST123 and ST125 and VP26 with ST1). In conclusion, the current study showed that combination of virulence-associated gene profiling and MLST analysis may provide more information of the relatedness of the S. suis strains from different animal species that could be useful for epidemiological purposes.

  17. Molecular Weight Determination by an Improved Temperature-Monitored Vapor-Density Method.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grider, Douglas J.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Recommends determining molecular weights of liquids by use of a thermocouple. Utilizing a mathematical gas equation, the molecular weight can be determined from the measurement of the vapor temperature upon complete evaporation. Lists benefits as reduced time and cost, and improved safety factors. (ML)

  18. Determining the Molecular and Genetic Basis for Diabetes in Navy Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-01-12

    3. DATES COVERED (From Jul 2012-Sep 2013 To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Determining the molecular and genetic basis for diabetes in Navy bottlenose...thereby reduces hepatic glucose production. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Gluconeogenesis, CREB ZF, Fasting, Diabetes 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: a...Number: N000141210617 Award Title: Determining the molecular and genetic basis for diabetes in Navy bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates

  19. Virulence determinants in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium vanB: clonal distribution, prevalence and significance of esp and hyl in Australian patients with haematological disorders.

    PubMed

    Worth, L J; Slavin, M A; Vankerckhoven, V; Goossens, H; Grabsch, E A; Thursky, K A

    2008-02-01

    European studies have suggested that the esp gene and other virulence factors have roles in vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) infections. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the spectrum of clinical disease and putative virulence factors in vanB VREfm isolates. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify potential virulence genes (asa1, gel E, cylA, esp and hyl) in VREfm isolates obtained from an Australian population of haematology patients. Clonality was assessed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and automated ribotyping. Infection, requirement for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and all-cause 30-day mortality were used as clinical indicators of organism virulence. Forty-one VREfm vanB isolates (41 patients; 14 infected and 27 colonised only) were analysed. Thirty-five of these isolates were typed by PFGE, 31 of which were represented by three clusters. The esp gene was identified in 22 of 27 (81.5%) screening and 11 of 14 (78.6%) infection-associated isolates. One isolate was hyl gene positive, and no isolate contained asa1, gel E or cylA genes. VREfm infection was independently associated with host factors (underlying diagnosis of acute myeloid leukaemia, age

  20. Molecular characterization of the virulent microorganisms along with their drug-resistance traits associated with the export quality frozen shrimps in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Noor, Rashed; Hasan, Md Faqrul; Rahman, M Majibur

    2014-01-01

    Current investigation characterized export quality shrimp samples in terms of pathogenic load along with the drug-resistance traits of the isolates, and detected the major virulent genes present in those isolates. Among the 30 such shrimp samples (15 each of Macrobrachium rosenbergi or Golda and Penaeus monodon or Bagda) studied, almost all were found to be contaminated with a huge load of bacteria (10(6)-10(8) cfu/g) and fungi (10(4)-10(5) cfu/g). Among the specific pathogens, presence of Escherichia coli, Vibrio spp., Aeromonas spp., Klebsiella spp., Shigella spp., Staphylococcus spp. and Listeria spp. were detected, of which most were likely to be resistant against commonly used antibiotics. Gene specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) study revealed the presence of eae gene in E. coli, aero specific gene in Aeromonas spp., and sodB gene in Vibrio spp. Together with the huge extent of microbial contamination with a drug-resistance attribute, presence of such virulent genes further projects the probable public health risk upon consumption of the export quality shrimps.

  1. Cranberry-derived proanthocyanidins impair virulence and inhibit quorum sensing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Maisuria, Vimal B.; Los Santos, Yossef Lopez-de; Tufenkji, Nathalie; Déziel, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria have evolved multiple strategies for causing infections that include producing virulence factors, undertaking motility, developing biofilms, and invading host cells. N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-mediated quorum sensing (QS) tightly regulates the expression of multiple virulence factors in the opportunistic pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thus, inhibiting QS could lead to health benefits. In this study, we demonstrate an anti-virulence activity of a cranberry extract rich in proanthocyanidins (cerPAC) against P. aeruginosa in the model host Drosophila melanogaster and show this is mediated by QS interference. cerPAC reduced the production of QS-regulated virulence determinants and protected D. melanogaster from fatal infection by P. aeruginosa PA14. Quantification of AHL production using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry confirmed that cerPAC effectively reduced the level of AHLs produced by the bacteria. Furthermore, monitoring QS signaling gene expression revealed that AHL synthases LasI/RhlI and QS transcriptional regulators LasR/RhlR genes were inhibited and antagonized, respectively, by cerPAC. Molecular docking studies suggest that cranberry-derived proanthocyanidin binds to QS transcriptional regulators, mainly interacting with their ligand binding sites. These findings provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of action of a cerPAC to restrict the virulence of P. aeruginosa and can have implications in the development of alternative approaches to control infections. PMID:27503003

  2. 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

  3. Role of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli virulence factors in uropathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Boll, Erik J; Struve, Carsten; Boisen, Nadia; Olesen, Bente; Stahlhut, Steen G; Krogfelt, Karen A

    2013-04-01

    A multiresistant clonal Escherichia coli O78:H10 strain qualifying molecularly as enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) was recently shown to be the cause of a community-acquired outbreak of urinary tract infection (UTI) in greater Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1991. This marks the first time EAEC has been associated with an extraintestinal disease outbreak. Importantly, the outbreak isolates were recovered from the urine of patients with symptomatic UTI, strongly implying urovirulence. Here, we sought to determine the uropathogenic properties of the Copenhagen outbreak strain and whether these properties are conferred by the EAEC-specific virulence factors. We demonstrated that through expression of aggregative adherence fimbriae, the principal adhesins of EAEC, the outbreak strain exhibited pronouncedly increased adherence to human bladder epithelial cells compared to prototype uropathogenic strains. Moreover, the strain was able to produce distinct biofilms on abiotic surfaces, including urethral catheters. These findings suggest that EAEC-specific virulence factors increase uropathogenicity and may have played a significant role in the ability of the strain to cause a community-acquired outbreak of UTI. Thus, inclusion of EAEC-specific virulence factors is warranted in future detection and characterization of uropathogenic E. coli.

  4. 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

  5. Virulence Gene Profiles and Clonal Relationships of Escherichia coli O26:H11 Isolates from Feedlot Cattle as Determined by Whole-Genome Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Rump, Lydia V.; Cao, Guojie; Nagaraja, T. G.; Meng, Jianghong

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxigenic (STEC) carrying the stx gene, responsible for more severe outcomes. However, there are currently problems in distinguishing one group from the other. Furthermore, several O26 stx-negative strains are consistently misidentified as either EHEC-like or EPEC. The use of whole-genome sequence (WGS) analysis of O26 strains from cattle in the United States (i) allowed identification of O26 strains present in U.S. cattle, (ii) determined O26 strain diversity, (iii) solved the misidentification problem, and (iv) screened for the presence of antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes in the strains. This study provided a framework showing how to easily and rapidly use WGS information to identify and genetically characterize E. coli O26:H11, which is important for food safety and public health. PMID:27107118

  6. Molecular determinants of odorant receptor function in insects.

    PubMed

    Ray, Anandasankar; van Naters, Wynand Goes; Carlson, John R

    2014-09-01

    The olfactory system of Drosophila melanogaster provides a powerful model to study molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying function of a sensory system. In the 1970s Siddiqi and colleagues pioneered the application of genetics to olfactory research and isolated several mutant Drosophila with odorant-specific defects in olfactory behaviour, suggesting that odorants are detected differentially by the olfactory system. Since then basic principles of olfactory system function and development have emerged using Drosophila as a model. Nearly four decades later we can add computational methods to further our understanding of how specific odorants are detected by receptors. Using a comparative approach we identify two categories of short amino acid sequence motifs: ones that are conserved family-wide predominantly in the C-terminal half of most receptors, and ones that are present in receptors that detect a specific odorant, 4-methylphenol, found predominantly in the N-terminal half. The odorant-specific sequence motifs are predictors of phenol detection in Anopheles gambiae and other insects, suggesting they are likely to participate in odorant binding. Conversely, the family-wide motifs are expected to participate in shared functions across all receptors and a mutation in the most conserved motif leads to a reduction in odor response. These findings lay a foundation for investigating functional domains within odorant receptors that can lead to a molecular understanding of odor detection.

  7. Molecular Determinants Fundamental to Axon Regeneration after SCI

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-06-01

    will determine the relationship between L1.1 and neurocan and its role in axon regeneration from adult zebrafish brainstem neurons in vitro. The...determine the relationship between L1.1 and neurocan and its role in axon regeneration from adult zebrafish brainstem neurons in vitro. Increased...concerning the potential interactions between neurocan and L1 and the role they play in axonal regeneration seen in the zebrafish . 18 Figure

  8. 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.

  9. Characterization of Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor biotype variant clinical isolates from Bangladesh and Haiti, including a molecular genetic analysis of virulence genes.

    PubMed

    Son, Mike S; Megli, Christina J; Kovacikova, Gabriela; Qadri, Firdausi; Taylor, Ronald K

    2011-11-01

    Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1, the causative agent of the diarrheal disease cholera, is divided into two biotypes: classical and El Tor. Both biotypes produce the major virulence factors toxin-coregulated pilus (TCP) and cholera toxin (CT). Although possessing genotypic and phenotypic differences, El Tor biotype strains displaying classical biotype traits have been reported and subsequently were dubbed El Tor variants. Of particular interest are reports of El Tor variants that produce various levels of CT, including levels typical of classical biotype strains. Here, we report the characterization of 10 clinical isolates from the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, and a representative strain from the 2010 Haiti cholera outbreak. We observed that all 11 strains produced increased CT (2- to 10-fold) compared to that of wild-type El Tor strains under in vitro inducing conditions, but they possessed various TcpA and ToxT expression profiles. Particularly, El Tor variant MQ1795, which produced the highest level of CT and very high levels of TcpA and ToxT, demonstrated hypervirulence compared to the virulence of El Tor wild-type strains in the infant mouse cholera model. Additional genotypic and phenotypic tests were conducted to characterize the variants, including an assessment of biotype-distinguishing characteristics. Notably, the sequencing of ctxB in some El Tor variants revealed two copies of classical ctxB, one per chromosome, contrary to previous reports that located ctxAB only on the large chromosome of El Tor biotype strains.

  10. Determinant molecular markers for peri-gastrulating bovine embryo development.

    PubMed

    Hue, Isabelle

    2016-01-01

    Peri-gastrulation defines the time frame between blastocyst formation and implantation that also corresponds in cattle to elongation, pregnancy recognition and uterine secretion. Optimally, this developmental window prepares the conceptus for implantation, placenta formation and fetal development. However, this is a highly sensitive period, as evidenced by the incidence of embryo loss or early post-implantation mortality after AI, embryo transfer or somatic cell nuclear transfer. Elongation markers have often been used within this time frame to assess developmental defects or delays, originating either from the embryo, the uterus or the dam. Comparatively, gastrulation markers have not received great attention, although elongation and gastrulation are linked by reciprocal interactions at the molecular and cellular levels. To make this clearer, this peri-gastrulating period is described herein with a focus on its main developmental landmarks, and the resilience of the landmarks in the face of biotechnologies is questioned.

  11. Cyclic AMP Signaling: A Molecular Determinant of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Knott, Eric P.; Assi, Mazen; Pearse, Damien D.

    2014-01-01

    Disruption of axonal integrity during injury to the peripheral nerve system (PNS) sets into motion a cascade of responses that includes inflammation, Schwann cell mobilization, and the degeneration of the nerve fibers distal to the injury site. Yet, the injured PNS differentiates itself from the injured central nervous system (CNS) in its remarkable capacity for self-recovery, which, depending upon the length and type of nerve injury, involves a series of molecular events in both the injured neuron and associated Schwann cells that leads to axon regeneration, remyelination repair, and functional restitution. Herein we discuss the essential function of the second messenger, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cyclic AMP), in the PNS repair process, highlighting the important role the conditioning lesion paradigm has played in understanding the mechanism(s) by which cyclic AMP exerts its proregenerative action. Furthermore, we review the studies that have therapeutically targeted cyclic AMP to enhance endogenous nerve repair. PMID:25177696

  12. Molecular basis of NDM-1, a new antibiotic resistance determinant.

    PubMed

    Liang, Zhongjie; Li, Lianchun; Wang, Yuanyuan; Chen, Limin; Kong, Xiangqian; Hong, Yao; Lan, Lefu; Zheng, Mingyue; Guang-Yang, Cai; Liu, Hong; Shen, Xu; Luo, Cheng; Li, Keqin Kathy; Chen, Kaixian; Jiang, Hualiang

    2011-01-01

    The New Delhi Metallo-β-lactamase (NDM-1) was first reported in 2009 in a Swedish patient. A recent study reported that Klebsiella pneumonia NDM-1 positive strain or Escherichia coli NDM-1 positive strain was highly resistant to all antibiotics tested except tigecycline and colistin. These can no longer be relied on to treat infections and therefore, NDM-1 now becomes potentially a major global health threat.In this study, we performed modeling studies to obtain its 3D structure and NDM-1/antibiotics complex. It revealed that the hydrolytic mechanisms are highly conserved. In addition, the detailed analysis indicates that the more flexible and hydrophobic loop1, together with the evolution of more positive-charged loop2 leads to NDM-1 positive strain more potent and extensive in antibiotics resistance compared with other MBLs. Furthermore, through biological experiments, we revealed the molecular basis for antibiotics catalysis of NDM-1 on the enzymatic level. We found that NDM-1 enzyme was highly potent to degrade carbapenem antibiotics, while mostly susceptible to tigecycline, which had the ability to slow down the hydrolysis velocity of meropenem by NDM-1. Meanwhile, the mutagenesis experiments, including D124A, C208A, K211A and K211E, which displayed down-regulation on meropenem catalysis, proved the accuracy of our model.At present, there are no effective antibiotics against NDM-1 positive pathogen. Our study will provide clues to investigate the molecular basis of extended antibiotics resistance of NDM-1 and then accelerate the search for new antibiotics against NDM-1 positive strain in clinical studies.

  13. Molecular determinants of blood–brain barrier permeation

    PubMed Central

    Geldenhuys, Werner J; Mohammad, Afroz S; Adkins, Chris E; Lockman, Paul R

    2015-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a microvascular unit which selectively regulates the permeability of drugs to the brain. With the rise in CNS drug targets and diseases, there is a need to be able to accurately predict a priori which compounds in a company database should be pursued for favorable properties. In this review, we will explore the different computational tools available today, as well as underpin these to the experimental methods used to determine BBB permeability. These include in vitro models and the in vivo models that yield the dataset we use to generate predictive models. Understanding of how these models were experimentally derived determines our accurate and predicted use for determining a balance between activity and BBB distribution. PMID:26305616

  14. Determining the Molecular Growth Mechanisms of Tetragonal Lysozyme Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Huayu; Nadarajah, Arunan; Konnert, John H.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    Studies of the growth of tetragonal lysozyme crystals employing atomic force microscopy (AFM) have shown the advantages of this technique in investigating the growth mechanisms of protein crystals [1]. The resolution of these studies was in the micron range, which revealed surface features such as the occurrence of dislocations and 2D nucleation islands, similar to those found in inorganic systems. They clearly showed that the crystals grew by these surface growth mechanisms. However, the studies also revealed some surprising features, such as bimolecular growth step heights and pronounced growth anisotropies on the (110) face, which could not be explained. In previous studies we employed Periodic Bond Chain (PBC) theory to tetragonal lysozyme crystal growth and found that the crystals were constructed by strongly bonded molecular chains forming helices about the 43 axes [2,3]. The helices were connected to each other with weaker bonds. The growth process was shown to proceed by the formation of these 43 helices, resulting in bimolecular growth steps on the (110) face. It was also shown to explain many other observations on tetragonal lysozyme crystal growth. Although PBC analysis is not a new technique [4], it has not been widely used as the mechanisms predicted from it could not be experimentally verified. In this study the growth process of these crystals was investigated, particularly for the (110) face, employing some newly developed high resolution AFM techniques. These techniques allowed individual lysozyme molecules on the crystal faces to be resolved and predictions from PBC analyses to be tested. The analyses had shown that of the two possible packing arrangements on (110) faces, only one would actually occur. Employing the first of the newly developed techniques, these faces were scanned by high resolution AFM. The resulting images were then compared with the theoretically constructed images for the two possible packing arrangements on the (110) face

  15. The ROP18 and ROP5 gene allele types are highly predictive of virulence in mice across globally distributed strains of Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Shwab, Elliot Keats; Jiang, Tiantian; Pena, Hilda F J; Gennari, Solange M; Dubey, Jitender P; Su, Chunlei

    2016-02-01

    The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful known eukaryotic pathogens on Earth. Virulence of T. gondii strains varies greatly in mice, and mounting evidence suggests that such variations may be relevant to the manifestation of human toxoplasmosis. Polymorphic rhoptry-secreted kinases and pseudokinases (ROP) have been demonstrated to account for murine virulence among the archetypal clonal parasite lineages that dominate the populations of North America and Europe. However, the distribution of virulence gene alleles in natural populations and the broad influence of these allele combinations on T. gondii virulence have not been examined in depth. In the present study, we performed PCR-RFLP genotyping analysis on a diverse array of globally distributed T. gondii strains at four ROP gene loci including ROP18, ROP5, ROP16 and ROP17 that were previously implicated in influencing T. gondii virulence and pathogenesis. We demonstrated through correlation with published virulence data that the combination of ROP18 and ROP5 allele types is highly predictive of T. gondii virulence across a broad range of global T. gondii isolates. These findings indicate that the importance of ROP18 and ROP5 in determining strain virulence is not limited to the North American/European archetypal lineages most commonly used in molecular studies, but also appears to apply to diverse isolates from South/central America and Asia. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of these loci may thus serve as a valuable tool in determining the potential virulence of uncharacterized T. gondii strains in future studies.

  16. Determination of Hyaluronan Molecular Mass Distribution in Human Breast Milk

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Han; Amin, Ripal; Ye, Xin; De La Motte, Carol A.; Cowman, Mary K.

    2015-01-01

    Hyaluronan (HA) in human milk mediates host responses to microbial infection, via TLR4- and CD44-dependent signaling. Signaling by HA is generally size-specific. Because pure HA with average molecular mass (M) of 35 kDa can elicit a protective response in intestinal epithelial cells, it has been proposed that human milk HA may have a bioactive low M component. Here we report the size distribution of HA in human milk samples from twenty unique donors. A new method for HA analysis, employingion exchange (IEX) chromatography to fractionate HA by size, and specific quantification of each size fraction by competitive Enzyme Linked Sorbent Assay (ELSA), was developed. When separated into four fractions, milk HA with M ≤ 20 kDa, M ≈20-60 kDa, and M ≈ 60-110 kDa comprised an average of 1.5%, 1.4% and 2% of the total HA, respectively. The remaining 95% was HA with M≥110 kDa. Electrophoretic analysis of the higher M HA from thirteen samples showed nearly identical M distributions, with an average M of ∼440 kDa. This higher M HA component in human milk is proposed to bind to CD44 and to enhance human beta defensin 2 (HBD2) induction by the low M HA components. PMID:25579786

  17. Molecular determinants of phospholipid synergy in blood clotting.

    PubMed

    Tavoosi, Narjes; Davis-Harrison, Rebecca L; Pogorelov, Taras V; Ohkubo, Y Zenmei; Arcario, Mark J; Clay, Mary C; Rienstra, Chad M; Tajkhorshid, Emad; Morrissey, James H

    2011-07-01

    Many regulatory processes in biology involve reversible association of proteins with membranes. Clotting proteins bind to phosphatidylserine (PS) on cell surfaces, but a clear picture of this interaction has yet to emerge. We present a novel explanation for membrane binding by GLA domains of clotting proteins, supported by biochemical studies, solid-state NMR analyses, and molecular dynamics simulations. The model invokes a single "phospho-L-serine-specific" interaction and multiple "phosphate-specific" interactions. In the latter, the phosphates in phospholipids interact with tightly bound Ca(2+) in GLA domains. We show that phospholipids with any headgroup other than choline strongly synergize with PS to enhance factor X activation. We propose that phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin (the major external phospholipids of healthy cells) are anticoagulant primarily because their bulky choline headgroups sterically hinder access to their phosphates. Following cell damage or activation, exposed PS and phosphatidylethanolamine collaborate to bind GLA domains by providing phospho-L-serine-specific and phosphate-specific interactions, respectively.

  18. Evaluation of Jacobian determinants by Monte Carlo methods - Application to the quasiclassical approximation in molecular scattering.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    La Budde, R. A.

    1972-01-01

    Sampling techniques have been used previously to evaluate Jacobian determinants that occur in classical mechanical descriptions of molecular scattering. These determinants also occur in the quasiclassical approximation. A new technique is described which can be used to evaluate Jacobian determinants which occur in either description. This method is expected to be valuable in the study of reactive scattering using the quasiclassical approximation.

  19. Determination of shear viscosity of molecular nitrogen (N2): molecular dynamic hard rotor methodology and the results.

    PubMed

    Strak, Paweł; Krukowski, Stanisław

    2011-04-21

    Determination of shear viscosity of molecular nitrogen (N(2)) by molecular dynamics (MD) in the high density range needs explicit incorporation of the rotational motion and therefore precise knowledge of angular dependence of N(2)-N(2) intermolecular potential. Newly designed Couette flow nonequilibrium molecular dynamic (NEMD) simulation procedure employs corrugated moving boundary, coupling the moving walls to translational and rotational motion exactly. Low density data on nitrogen viscosity show good agreement between MD data and experiment, confirming the radial dependence of the potential derived from quantum mechanical (QM) high precision calculations (coupled-cluster singles-and-doubles with a perturbative triples corrections [CCSD(T)]). Additionally, the angular dependence of the potential is verified using shear viscosity data for high density region, obtained from newly developed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. It was demonstrated that the corrugated wall flow simulations provide results that are independent of the details of wall potential, fulfilling a basic requirement for application of MD simulations. These results are in good agreement with the equilibrium molecular dynamics (EMD) viscosity, derived from the Green-Kubo formula. Derived analytical dependence of the shear viscosity on the density and temperature shows that the MD data are in good agreement with experiment. Thus, MD simulations indicate that the CCSD(T) potential angular form is sufficiently precise for determination of the viscosity in a wide range of temperature and pressure.

  20. Molecular Determinants of BK Channel Functional Diversity and Functioning.

    PubMed

    Latorre, Ramon; Castillo, Karen; Carrasquel-Ursulaez, Willy; Sepulveda, Romina V; Gonzalez-Nilo, Fernando; Gonzalez, Carlos; Alvarez, Osvaldo

    2017-01-01

    Large-conductance Ca(2+)- and voltage-activated K(+) (BK) channels play many physiological roles ranging from the maintenance of smooth muscle tone to hearing and neurosecretion. BK channels are tetramers in which the pore-forming α subunit is coded by a single gene (Slowpoke, KCNMA1). In this review, we first highlight the physiological importance of this ubiquitous channel, emphasizing the role that BK channels play in different channelopathies. We next discuss the modular nature of BK channel-forming protein, in which the different modules (the voltage sensor and the Ca(2+) binding sites) communicate with the pore gates allosterically. In this regard, we review in detail the allosteric models proposed to explain channel activation and how the models are related to channel structure. Considering their extremely large conductance and unique selectivity to K(+), we also offer an account of how these two apparently paradoxical characteristics can be understood consistently in unison, and what we have learned about the conduction system and the activation gates using ions, blockers, and toxins. Attention is paid here to the molecular nature of the voltage sensor and the Ca(2+) binding sites that are located in a gating ring of known crystal structure and constituted by four COOH termini. Despite the fact that BK channels are coded by a single gene, diversity is obtained by means of alternative splicing and modulatory β and γ subunits. We finish this review by describing how the association of the α subunit with β or with γ subunits can change the BK channel phenotype and pharmacology.

  1. A comparison of molecular mass determination of hyaluronic acid using SEC/MALLS and sedimentation equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Hokputsa, Sanya; Jumel, Kornelia; Alexander, Catherine; Harding, Stephen E

    2003-08-01

    Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural polysaccharide with importance in the pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetic industries. Determining factors in its final applications are its physicochemical properties, particularly molecular mass. A high molecular mass HA was degraded using five different hydroxyl free-radical starting concentrations chemically produced from ascorbic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The aims of the study were to investigate the effect of different hydroxyl free-radical concentrations on the chain length of HA and compare the molecular masses obtained from analytical ultracentrifugation using sedimentation equilibrium experiments and size exclusion chromatography/multi-angle laser light scattering (SEC/MALLS). The results indicated that their molecular masses varied, depending on the degree of hydroxyl free-radical starting concentration. Molecular mass values obtained from sedimentation equilibrium experiments for each sample showed the same trend as those obtained from the SEC/MALLS in the range of molecular masses studied. The molecular masses obtained from sedimentation equilibrium for high molecular mass samples from reciprocal plots of apparent weight average molecular mass against concentration gave values similar to those obtained by SEC/MALLS. In contrast, the molecular mass from conventional plots for high molecular mass samples were much lower than those from SEC/MALLS, even when high ionic strength buffers were used.

  2. Molecular Determinants of Prostate Cancer Progression Across Race-Ethnicity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-05-01

    angiogenesis, and the ability of a tumor to enter the cell death (apoptotic) pathway. Similarly, inactivation of cdk-inhibitors (p27, p21, p16 ) is...analysis due to technical issues. The additional markers that we still plan to assess include bcl-2, E-cadherin p53, Rb, CD34, p21, p16 , Ki67, PCNA...to suit each individual antibody used in this study. This system can determine the percentage and intensity of immuno -positivity in specific areas

  3. A molecular determinant of phosphoinositide affinity in mammalian TRPV channels

    PubMed Central

    Velisetty, Phanindra; Borbiro, Istvan; Kasimova, Marina A.; Liu, Luyu; Badheka, Doreen; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Rohacs, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] is an important cofactor for ion channels. Affinity for this lipid is a major determinant of channel inhibition by depletion of PI(4,5)P2 upon phospholipase C (PLC) activation. Little is known about what determines PI(4,5)P2 affinity in mammalian ion channels. Here we report that two members of the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) ion channel family, TRPV5 and TRPV6 lack a positively charged residue in the TM4-TM5 loop that was shown to interact with PI(4,5)P2 in TRPV1, which shows high affinity for this lipid. When this positively charged residue was introduced to either TRPV6 or TRPV5, they displayed markedly higher affinities for PI(4,5)P2, and were largely resistant to inhibition by PI(4,5)P2 depletion. Furthermore, Ca2+-induced inactivation of TRPV6 was essentially eliminated in the G488R mutant, showing the importance of PLC-mediated PI(4,5)P2 depletion in this process. Computational modeling shows that the introduced positive charge interacts with PI(4,5)P2 in TRPV6. PMID:27291418

  4. A molecular determinant of phosphoinositide affinity in mammalian TRPV channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velisetty, Phanindra; Borbiro, Istvan; Kasimova, Marina A.; Liu, Luyu; Badheka, Doreen; Carnevale, Vincenzo; Rohacs, Tibor

    2016-06-01

    Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2] is an important cofactor for ion channels. Affinity for this lipid is a major determinant of channel inhibition by depletion of PI(4,5)P2 upon phospholipase C (PLC) activation. Little is known about what determines PI(4,5)P2 affinity in mammalian ion channels. Here we report that two members of the Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV) ion channel family, TRPV5 and TRPV6 lack a positively charged residue in the TM4-TM5 loop that was shown to interact with PI(4,5)P2 in TRPV1, which shows high affinity for this lipid. When this positively charged residue was introduced to either TRPV6 or TRPV5, they displayed markedly higher affinities for PI(4,5)P2, and were largely resistant to inhibition by PI(4,5)P2 depletion. Furthermore, Ca2+-induced inactivation of TRPV6 was essentially eliminated in the G488R mutant, showing the importance of PLC-mediated PI(4,5)P2 depletion in this process. Computational modeling shows that the introduced positive charge interacts with PI(4,5)P2 in TRPV6.

  5. The Molecular Structure of a Phosphatidylserine Bilayer Determined by Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Jianjun; Cheng, Xiaolin; Monticelli, Luca; Heberle, Frederick A; Kucerka, Norbert; Tieleman, D. Peter; Katsaras, John

    2014-01-01

    Phosphatidylserine (PS) lipids play essential roles in biological processes, including enzyme activation and apoptosis. We report on the molecular structure and atomic scale interactions of a fluid bilayer composed of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylserine (POPS). A scattering density profile model, aided by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, was developed to jointly refine different contrast small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering data, which yielded a lipid area of 62.7 A2 at 25 C. MD simulations with POPS lipid area constrained at different values were also performed using all-atom and aliphatic united-atom models. The optimal simulated bilayer was obtained using a model-free comparison approach. Examination of the simulated bilayer, which agrees best with the experimental scattering data, reveals a preferential interaction between Na+ ions and the terminal serine and phosphate moieties. Long-range inter-lipid interactions were identified, primarily between the positively charged ammonium, and the negatively charged carboxylic and phosphate oxygens. The area compressibility modulus KA of the POPS bilayer was derived by quantifying lipid area as a function of surface tension from area-constrained MD simulations. It was found that POPS bilayers possess a much larger KA than that of neutral phosphatidylcholine lipid bilayers. We propose that the unique molecular features of POPS bilayers may play an important role in certain physiological functions.

  6. Molecular Determinants of Mutant Phenotypes, Inferred from Saturation Mutagenesis Data

    PubMed Central

    Tripathi, Arti; Gupta, Kritika; Khare, Shruti; Jain, Pankaj C.; Patel, Siddharth; Kumar, Prasanth; Pulianmackal, Ajai J.; Aghera, Nilesh; Varadarajan, Raghavan

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how mutations affect protein activity and organismal fitness is a major challenge. We used saturation mutagenesis combined with deep sequencing to determine mutational sensitivity scores for 1,664 single-site mutants of the 101 residue Escherichia coli cytotoxin, CcdB at seven different expression levels. Active-site residues could be distinguished from buried ones, based on their differential tolerance to aliphatic and charged amino acid substitutions. At nonactive-site positions, the average mutational tolerance correlated better with depth from the protein surface than with accessibility. Remarkably, similar results were observed for two other small proteins, PDZ domain (PSD95pdz3) and IgG-binding domain of protein G (GB1). Mutational sensitivity data obtained with CcdB were used to derive a procedure for predicting functional effects of mutations. Results compared favorably with those of two widely used computational predictors. In vitro characterization of 80 single, nonactive-site mutants of CcdB showed that activity in vivo correlates moderately with thermal stability and solubility. The inability to refold reversibly, as well as a decreased folding rate in vitro, is associated with decreased activity in vivo. Upon probing the effect of modulating expression of various proteases and chaperones on mutant phenotypes, most deleterious mutants showed an increased in vivo activity and solubility only upon over-expression of either Trigger factor or SecB ATP-independent chaperones. Collectively, these data suggest that folding kinetics rather than protein stability is the primary determinant of activity in vivo. This study enhances our understanding of how mutations affect phenotype, as well as the ability to predict fitness effects of point mutations. PMID:27563054

  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. A Francisella virulence factor catalyses an essential reaction of biotin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Feng, Youjun; Napier, Brooke A; Manandhar, Miglena; Henke, Sarah K; Weiss, David S; Cronan, John E

    2014-01-01

    We recently identified a gene (FTN_0818) required for Francisella virulence that seemed likely involved in biotin metabolism. However, the molecular function of this virulence determinant was unclear. Here we show that this protein named BioJ is the enzyme of the biotin biosynthesis pathway that determines the chain length of the biotin valeryl side-chain. Expression of bioJ allows growth of an Escherichia coli bioH strain on biotin-free medium, indicating functional equivalence of BioJ to the paradigm pimeloyl-ACP methyl ester carboxyl-esterase, BioH. BioJ was purified to homogeneity, shown to be monomeric and capable of hydrolysis of its physiological substrate methyl pimeloyl-ACP to pimeloyl-ACP, the precursor required to begin formation of the fused heterocyclic rings of biotin. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that distinct from BioH, BioJ represents a novel subclade of the α/β-hydrolase family. Structure-guided mapping combined with site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the BioJ catalytic triad consists of Ser151, Asp248 and His278, all of which are essential for activity and virulence. The biotin synthesis pathway was reconstituted reaction in vitro and the physiological role of BioJ directly assayed. To the best of our knowledge, these data represent further evidence linking biotin synthesis to bacterial virulence.

  9. A Francisella Virulence Factor Catalyzes an Essential Reaction of Biotin Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Youjun; Napier, Brooke A.; Manandhar, Miglena; Henke, Sarah K; Weiss, David S.; Cronan, John E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary We recently identified a gene (FTN_0818) required for Francisella virulence that seemed likely involved in biotin metabolism. However, the molecular function of this virulence determinant was unclear. Here we show that this protein named BioJ is the enzyme of the biotin biosynthesis pathway that determines the chain length of the biotin valeryl side chain. Expression of bioJ allows growth of an E. coli bioH strain on biotin-free medium, indicating functional equivalence of BioJ to the paradigm pimeloyl-ACP methyl ester carboxyl-esterase, BioH. BioJ was purified to homogeneity, shown to be monomeric and capable of hydrolysis of its physiological substrate methyl pimeloyl-ACP to pimeloyl-ACP, the precursor required to begin formation of the fused heterocyclic rings of biotin. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed that distinct from BioH, BioJ represents a novel sub-clade of the α/β-hydrolase family. Structure-guided mapping combined with site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the BioJ catalytic triad consists of Ser151, Asp248 and His278, all of which are essential for activity and virulence. The biotin synthesis pathway was reconstituted in vitro and the physiological role of BioJ directly assayed. To the best of our knowledge, these data represent further evidence linking biotin synthesis to bacterial virulence. PMID:24313380

  10. Molecular Determinants of Substrate Specificity in Plant 5-Methylthioadenosine Nucleosidases

    SciTech Connect

    Siu,K.; Lee, J.; Sufrin, J.; Moffatt, B.; McMillan, M.; Cornell, K.; Isom, C.; Howell, L.

    2008-01-01

    5?-Methylthioadenosine (MTA)/S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) nucleosidase (MTAN) is essential for cellular metabolism and development in many bacterial species. While the enzyme is found in plants, plant MTANs appear to select for MTA preferentially, with little or no affinity for SAH. To understand what determines substrate specificity in this enzyme, MTAN homologues from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtMTAN1 and AtMTAN2, which are referred to as AtMTN1 and AtMTN2 in the plant literature) have been characterized kinetically. While both homologues hydrolyze MTA with comparable kinetic parameters, only AtMTAN2 shows activity towards SAH. AtMTAN2 also has higher catalytic activity towards other substrate analogues with longer 5?-substituents. The structures of apo AtMTAN1 and its complexes with the substrate- and transition-state-analogues, 5?-methylthiotubercidin and formycin A, respectively, have been determined at 2.0-1.8 Angstroms resolution. A homology model of AtMTAN2 was generated using the AtMTAN1 structures. Comparison of the AtMTAN1 and AtMTAN2 structures reveals that only three residues in the active site differ between the two enzymes. Our analysis suggests that two of these residues, Leu181/Met168 and Phe148/Leu135 in AtMTAN1/AtMTAN2, likely account for the divergence in specificity of the enzymes. Comparison of the AtMTAN1 and available Escherichia coli MTAN (EcMTAN) structures suggests that a combination of differences in the 5?-alkylthio binding region and reduced conformational flexibility in the AtMTAN1 active site likely contribute to its reduced efficiency in binding substrate analogues with longer 5?-substituents. In addition, in contrast to EcMTAN, the active site of AtMTAN1 remains solvated in its ligand-bound forms. As the apparent pKa of an amino acid depends on its local environment, the putative catalytic acid Asp225 in AtMTAN1 may not be protonated at physiological pH and this suggests the transition state of AtMTAN1, like human MTA phosphorylase and

  11. Molecular determinants of bacterial adhesion monitored by atomic force microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Razatos, Anneta; Ong, Yea-Ling; Sharma, Mukul M.; Georgiou, George

    1998-01-01

    Bacterial adhesion and the subsequent formation of biofilm are major concerns in biotechnology and medicine. The initial step in bacterial adhesion is the interaction of cells with a surface, a process governed by long-range forces, primarily van der Waals and electrostatic interactions. The precise manner in which the force of interaction is affected by cell surface components and by the physiochemical properties of materials is not well understood. Here, we show that atomic force microscopy can be used to analyze the initial events in bacterial adhesion with unprecedented resolution. Interactions between the cantilever tip and confluent monolayers of isogenic strains of Escherichia coli mutants exhibiting subtle differences in cell surface composition were measured. It was shown that the adhesion force is affected by the length of core lipopolysaccharide molecules on the E. coli cell surface and by the production of the capsular polysaccharide, colanic acid. Furthermore, by modifying the atomic force microscope tip we developed a method for determining whether bacteria are attracted or repelled by virtually any biomaterial of interest. This information will be critical for the design of materials that are resistant to bacterial adhesion. PMID:9736689

  12. Simple nanoparticle-based luminometric method for molecular weight determination of polymeric compounds.

    PubMed

    Pihlasalo, Sari; Virtamo, Maria; Legrand, Nicolas; Hänninen, Pekka; Härmä, Harri

    2014-01-21

    A nanoparticle-based method utilizing time-resolved luminescence resonance energy transfer (TR-LRET) was developed for molecular weight determination. This mix-and-measure nanoparticle method is based on the competitive adsorption between the analyte and the acceptor-labeled protein to donor Eu(III) nanoparticles. The size-dependent adsorption of molecules enables the molecular weight determination of differently sized polymeric compounds down to a concentration level of micrograms per liter. The molecular weight determination from 1 to 10 kDa for polyamino acids and from 0.3 to 70 kDa for polyethylene imines is demonstrated. The simple and cost-effective nanoparticle method as microtiter plate assay format shows great potential for the detection of the changes in molecular weight or for quantification of differently sized molecules in biochemical laboratories and in industrial polymeric processes.

  13. Determination of the experimental equilibrium structure of solid nitromethane using path-integral molecular dynamics simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reilly, Anthony M.; Habershon, Scott; Morrison, Carole A.; Rankin, David W. H.

    2010-03-01

    Path-integral molecular dynamics (PIMD) simulations with an empirical interaction potential have been used to determine the experimental equilibrium structure of solid nitromethane at 4.2 and 15 K. By comparing the time-averaged molecular structure determined in a PIMD simulation to the calculated minimum-energy (zero-temperature) molecular structure, we have derived structural corrections that describe the effects of thermal motion. These corrections were subsequently used to determine the equilibrium structure of nitromethane from the experimental time-averaged structure. We find that the corrections to the intramolecular and intermolecular bond distances, as well as to the torsion angles, are quite significant, particularly for those atoms participating in the anharmonic motion of the methyl group. Our results demonstrate that simple harmonic models of thermal motion may not be sufficiently accurate, even at low temperatures, while molecular simulations employing more realistic potential-energy surfaces can provide important insight into the role and magnitude of anharmonic atomic motions.

  14. Determination of a PAF antagonist pharmacophore using combined Molecular Electrostatic Potential and Molecular Lipophilicity Potential.

    PubMed

    Le Solleu, H; Langlois, M H; Kummer, E; Dubost, J P

    1994-11-01

    PAF is a potent lipid mediator involved in many pathological disorders, such as platelet aggregation, immuno-inflammatory reactions, vascular disorders, septic shock and bronchoconstriction. We chose to study the electronic and lipophilic properties of eleven PAF antagonists, comprising five tetrahydrofuran derivatives, four hetrazepines, the ginkgolide BN-52021 and the pyrrolo-thiazole derivative RP-59227. A Molecular Electrostatic Potential (MEP) contour drawn at -25 kCal/Mol shows three electronegative areas in most compounds. Two areas can be considered as analogous to those described in the so-called "Cache-Oreille" (Earmuff) Model. Molecular Lipophilicity Potential (MLP) analysis allows us to characterise one hydrophilic area, localised at the same place as one of the electronegative areas, and two lipophilic areas, of which the biggest draws a typical "sock" contour. These three areas represent the minimal requirements for a high affinity to the PAF receptor. MEP and MLP results are here combined to propose a pharmacophore for PAF antagonists, including two lipophilic areas, two hydrophilic and electronegative areas and an electronegative zone with no particular hydrophilic behaviour.

  15. A Longitudinal Study Simultaneously Exploring the Carriage of APEC Virulence Associated Genes and the Molecular Epidemiology of Faecal and Systemic E. coli in Commercial Broiler Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Kemmett, Kirsty; Humphrey, Tom; Rushton, Steven; Close, Andrew; Wigley, Paul; Williams, Nicola J.

    2013-01-01

    Colibacillosis is an economically important syndromic disease of poultry caused by extra-intestinal avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) but the pathotype remains poorly defined. Combinations of virulence-associated genes (VAGs) have aided APEC identification. The intestinal microbiota is a potential APEC reservoir. Broiler chickens are selectively bred for fast, uniform growth. Here we simultaneously investigate intestinal E. coli VAG carriage in apparently healthy birds and characterise systemic E. coli from diseased broiler chickens from the same flocks. Four flocks were sampled longitudinally from chick placement until slaughter. Phylogrouping, macro-restriction pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) were performed on an isolate subset from one flock to investigate the population structure of faecal and systemic E. coli. Early in production, VAG carriage among chick intestinal E. coli populations was diverse (average Simpson's D value  = 0.73); 24.05% of intestinal E. coli (n = 160) from 1 day old chicks were carrying ≥5 VAGs. Generalised Linear models demonstrated VAG prevalence in potential APEC populations declined with age; 1% of E. coli carrying ≥5 VAGs at slaughter and demonstrated high strain diversity. A variety of VAG profiles and high strain diversity were observed among systemic E. coli. Thirty three new MLST sequence types were identified among 50 isolates and a new sequence type representing 22.2% (ST-2999) of the systemic population was found, differing from the pre-defined pathogenic ST-117 at a single locus. For the first time, this study takes a longitudinal approach to unravelling the APEC paradigm. Our findings, supported by other studies, highlight the difficulty in defining the APEC pathotype. Here we report a high genetic diversity among systemic E. coli between and within diseased broilers, harbouring diverse VAG profiles rather than single and/or highly related pathogenic clones

  16. Regulatory principles governing Salmonella and Yersinia virulence

    PubMed Central

    Erhardt, Marc; Dersch, Petra

    2015-01-01

    Enteric pathogens such as Salmonella and Yersinia evolved numerous strategies to survive and proliferate in different environmental reservoirs and mammalian hosts. Deciphering common and pathogen-specific principles for how these bacteria adjust and coordinate spatiotemporal expression of virulence determinants, stress adaptation, and metabolic functions is fundamental to understand microbial pathogenesis. In order to manage sudden environmental changes, attacks by the host immune systems and microbial competition, the pathogens employ a plethora of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control elements, including transcription factors, sensory and regulatory RNAs, RNAses, and proteases, to fine-tune and control complex gene regulatory networks. Many of the contributing global regulators and the molecular mechanisms of regulation are frequently conserved between Yersinia and Salmonella. However, the interplay, arrangement, and composition of the control elements vary between these closely related enteric pathogens, which generate phenotypic differences leading to distinct pathogenic properties. In this overview we present common and different regulatory networks used by Salmonella and Yersinia to coordinate the expression of crucial motility, cell adhesion and invasion determinants, immune defense strategies, and metabolic adaptation processes. We highlight evolutionary changes of the gene regulatory circuits that result in different properties of the regulatory elements and how this influences the overall outcome of the infection process. PMID:26441883

  17. 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

  18. Internal Energy Dependence of Molecular Condensation Coefficients Determined from Molecular Beam Surface Scattering Experiments

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Sibener, S. J.; Lee, Y. T.

    1978-05-01

    An experiment was performed which confirms the existence of an internal mode dependence of molecular sticking probabilities for collisions of molecules with a cold surface. The scattering of a velocity selected effusive beam of CCl{sub 4} from a 90 K CC1{sub 4} ice surface has been studied at five translational velocities and for two different internal temperatures. At a surface temperature of 90 K (approx. 99% sticking probability) a four fold increase in reflected intensity was observed for the internally excited (560 K) CC1{sub 4} relative to the room temperature (298 K) CC1{sub 4} at a translational velocity of 2.5 X 10{sup 4} cm/sec. For a surface temperature of 90 K all angular distributions were found to peak 15{sup 0} superspecularly independent of incident velocity.

  19. Cellulose production, activated by cyclic di-GMP through BcsA and BcsZ, is a virulence factor and an essential determinant of the three-dimensional architectures of biofilms formed by Erwinia amylovora Ea1189.

    PubMed

    Castiblanco, Luisa F; Sundin, George W

    2016-10-18

    Bacterial biofilms are multicellular aggregates encased in an extracellular matrix mainly composed of exopolysaccharides (EPSs), protein and nucleic acids, which determines the architecture of the biofilm. Erwinia amylovora Ea1189 forms a biofilm inside the xylem of its host, which results in vessel plugging and water transport impairment. The production of the EPSs amylovoran and levan is critical for the formation of a mature biofilm. In addition, cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) has been reported to positively regulate amylovoran biosynthesis and biofilm formation in E. amylovora Ea1189. In this study, we demonstrate that cellulose is synthesized by E. amylovora Ea1189 and is a major modulator of the three-dimensional characteristics of biofilms formed by this bacterium, and also contributes to virulence during systemic host invasion. In addition, we demonstrate that the activation of cellulose biosynthesis in E. amylovora is a c-di-GMP-dependent process, through allosteric binding to the cellulose catalytic subunit BcsA. We also report that the endoglucanase BcsZ is a key player in c-di-GMP activation of cellulose biosynthesis. Our results provide evidence of the complex composition of the extracellular matrix produced by E. amylovora and the implications of cellulose biosynthesis in shaping the architecture of the biofilm and in the expression of one of the main virulence phenotypes of this pathogen.

  20. Determination of the presence of hyaluronic acid in preparations containing amino acids: the molecular weight characterization.

    PubMed

    Bellomaria, A; Nepravishta, R; Mazzanti, U; Marchetti, M; Piccioli, P; Paci, M

    2014-10-15

    Several pharmaceutical preparations contain hyaluronic acid in the presence of a large variety of low molecular weight charged molecules like amino acids. In these mixtures, it is particularly difficult to determine the concentration and the molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid fragments. In fact zwitterionic compounds in high concentration behave by masking the hyaluronic acid due to the electrostatic interactions between amino acids and hyaluronic acid. In such conditions the common colorimetric test of the hyaluronic acid determination appears ineffective and in the (1)H NMR spectra the peaks of the polymer disappear completely. By a simple separation procedure the presence of hyaluronic acid was revealed by the DMAB test and (1)H NMR while its average molecular weight in the final product was determined by DOSY NMR spectroscopy alone. The latter determination is very important due to the healthy effects of some sizes of this polymer's fragments.

  1. Manipulation of arthropod sex determination by endosymbionts: diversity and molecular mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Ma, W-J; Vavre, F; Beukeboom, L W

    2014-01-01

    Arthropods exhibit a large variety of sex determination systems both at the chromosomal and molecular level. Male heterogamety, female heterogamety, and haplodiploidy occur frequently, but partially different genes are involved. Endosymbionts, such as Wolbachia, Cardinium,Rickettsia, and Spiroplasma, can manipulate host reproduction and sex determination. Four major reproductive manipulation types are distinguished: cytoplasmic incompatibility, thelytokous parthenogenesis, male killing, and feminization. In this review, the effects of these manipulation types and how they interfere with arthropod sex determination in terms of host developmental timing, alteration of sex determination, and modification of sexual differentiation pathways are summarized. Transitions between different manipulation types occur frequently which suggests that they are based on similar molecular processes. It is also discussed how mechanisms of reproductive manipulation and host sex determination can be informative on each other, with a special focus on haplodiploidy. Future directions on how the study of endosymbiotic manipulation of host reproduction can be key to further studies of arthropod sex determination are shown.

  2. Development of a multiplex PCR for the detection of asa1, gelE, cylA, esp, and hyl genes in enterococci and survey for virulence determinants among European hospital isolates of Enterococcus faecium.

    PubMed

    Vankerckhoven, Vanessa; Van Autgaerden, Tim; Vael, Carl; Lammens, Christine; Chapelle, Sabine; Rossi, Rosaria; Jabes, Daniela; Goossens, Herman

    2004-10-01

    A multiplex PCR for the simultaneous detection of five virulence genes (asa1, gelE, cylA, esp, and hyl) in enterococci was developed. The presence of these genes was investigated in 153 clinical and 118 fecal Enterococcus faecium isolates from inpatients at an increased risk of developing infections (such as patients in intensive care units and hematology wards) from 13 hospitals in eight European countries. Of the 271 E. faecium isolates, 135 were vancomycin resistant E. faecium (VREF) isolates and 136 were vancomycin susceptible E. faecium (VSEF) isolates. Susceptibilities to ampicillin, gentamicin, streptomycin, vancomycin, teicoplanin, ramoplanin, quinupristin-dalfopristin, and linezolid were tested by the microdilution method. Overall, the prevalence of esp was significantly higher (P = 0.03) in clinical VREF isolates (92%) than in fecal VREF isolates (73%). In Italy, the prevalence of esp was significantly higher (P = 0.02) in VREF isolates (91%) than in VSEF isolates (68%), whereas in the United Kingdom, hyl was significantly more prevalent (P = 0.01) in VREF isolates (71%) than in VSEF isolates (29%). No significant differences were found for the other countries. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used to check the clonality among the strains tested and showed the spread of two center-specific (esp-positive) VREF clones in Italy and one center-specific (hyl-positive) clone in the United Kingdom. These clones were resistant to ampicillin, gentamicin, and streptomycin. The multiplex PCR reported in this study is a convenient and rapid method for the simultaneous detection of the virulence genes asa1, gelE, cylA, esp, and hyl in enterococci. Molecular analysis showed the intrahospital spread of esp-positive VREF clones (in Italy) and hyl-positive VREF clones (in the United Kingdom); the role of hyl remains to be elucidated.

  3. Increased expression of virulence attributes in oral Candida albicans isolates from human immunodeficiency virus-positive individuals.

    PubMed

    Mane, Arati; Gaikwad, Shraddha; Bembalkar, Shilpa; Risbud, Arun

    2012-02-01

    strain selection with altered virulence determinants in HIV-infected individuals and emphasize the need for further molecular genetic linkage studies that could be helpful in dissecting the molecular causes of preferential strain selection, which may lead to new approaches for therapeutic intervention.

  4. Direct optical determination of interfacial transport barriers in molecular tunnel junctions.

    PubMed

    Fereiro, Jerry A; McCreery, Richard L; Bergren, Adam Johan

    2013-07-03

    Molecular electronics seeks to build circuitry using organic components with at least one dimension in the nanoscale domain. Progress in the field has been inhibited by the difficulty in determining the energy levels of molecules after being perturbed by interactions with the conducting contacts. We measured the photocurrent spectra for large-area aliphatic and aromatic molecular tunnel junctions with partially transparent copper top contacts. Where no molecular absorption takes place, the photocurrent is dominated by internal photoemission, which exhibits energy thresholds corresponding to interfacial transport barriers, enabling their direct measurement in a functioning junction.

  5. The highly virulent variola and monkeypox viruses express secreted inhibitors of type I interferon.

    PubMed

    Fernández de Marco, María del Mar; Alejo, Alí; Hudson, Paul; Damon, Inger K; Alcami, Antonio

    2010-05-01

    Variola virus (VARV) caused smallpox, one of the most devastating human diseases and the first to be eradicated, but its deliberate release represents a dangerous threat. Virulent orthopoxviruses infecting humans, such as monkeypox virus (MPXV), could fill the niche left by smallpox eradication and the cessation of vaccination. However, immunomodulatory activities and virulence determinants of VARV and MPXV remain largely unexplored. We report the molecular characterization of the VARV- and MPXV-secreted type I interferon-binding proteins, which interact with the cell surface after secretion and prevent type I interferon responses. The proteins expressed in the baculovirus system have been purified, and their interferon-binding properties characterized by surface plasmon resonance. The ability of these proteins to inhibit a broad range of interferons was investigated to identify potential adaptation to the human immune system. Furthermore, we demonstrate by Western blot and activity assays the expression of the type I interferon inhibitor during VARV and MPXV infections. These findings are relevant for the design of new vaccines and therapeutics to smallpox and emergent virulent orthopoxviruses because the type I interferon-binding protein is a major virulence factor in animal models, vaccination with this protein induces protective immunity, and its neutralization prevents disease progression.

  6. A sensitive and selective molecularly imprinted sensor combined with magnetic molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction for determination of dibutyl phthalate.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhaohui; Luo, Lijuan; Cai, Rong; Chen, Hongjun

    2013-11-15

    A highly sensitive and selective molecularly imprinted (MIP) sensor combined with magnetic molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction (MMISPE) was developed for the determination of dibutyl phthalate (DBP) in complex matrixes. The magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer (MMIP) was synthesized as solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbet to extract DBP from complex matrixes and as sensing element to improve the selectivity of the imprinted sensor. The morphologies of MMIP and MIP-sensor were characterized by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The electrochemical performances of MIP-sensor were investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). The conditions of preconcentration, elution and electrochemical determination were studied in detail. Under the optimized experimental conditions, the response currents of the MIP-sensor exhibited a linear relationship towards DBP concentrations ranging from 1.0 × 10(-8)g/L to 1.0 × 10(-3)g/L. The limit of detection of the MMIP-sensor coupled with the MMISPE was calculated as 0.052 ng/L. The MMIP-sensor coupled with the MMISPE was applied to detect DBP in complex samples successfully.

  7. The RNA-binding protein CsrA plays a central role in positively regulating virulence factors in Erwinia amylovora.

    PubMed

    Ancona, Veronica; Lee, Jae Hoon; Zhao, Youfu

    2016-11-15

    The GacS/GacA two-component system (also called GrrS/GrrA) is a global regulatory system which is highly conserved among gamma-proteobacteria. This system positively regulates non-coding small regulatory RNA csrB, which in turn binds to the RNA-binding protein CsrA. However, how GacS/GacA-Csr system regulates virulence traits in E. amylovora remains unknown. Results from mutant characterization showed that the csrB mutant was hypermotile, produced higher amount of exopolysaccharide amylovoran, and had increased expression of type III secretion (T3SS) genes in vitro. In contrast, the csrA mutant exhibited complete opposite phenotypes, including non-motile, reduced amylovoran production and expression of T3SS genes. Furthermore, the csrA mutant did not induce hypersensitive response on tobacco or cause disease on immature pear fruits, indicating that CsrA is a positive regulator of virulence factors. These findings demonstrated that CsrA plays a critical role in E. amylovora virulence and suggested that negative regulation of virulence by GacS/GacA acts through csrB sRNA, which binds to CsrA and neutralizes its positive effect on T3SS gene expression, flagellar formation and amylovoran production. Future research will be focused on determining the molecular mechanism underlying the positive regulation of virulence traits by CsrA.

  8. The RNA-binding protein CsrA plays a central role in positively regulating virulence factors in Erwinia amylovora

    PubMed Central

    Ancona, Veronica; Lee, Jae Hoon; Zhao, Youfu

    2016-01-01

    The GacS/GacA two-component system (also called GrrS/GrrA) is a global regulatory system which is highly conserved among gamma-proteobacteria. This system positively regulates non-coding small regulatory RNA csrB, which in turn binds to the RNA-binding protein CsrA. However, how GacS/GacA-Csr system regulates virulence traits in E. amylovora remains unknown. Results from mutant characterization showed that the csrB mutant was hypermotile, produced higher amount of exopolysaccharide amylovoran, and had increased expression of type III secretion (T3SS) genes in vitro. In contrast, the csrA mutant exhibited complete opposite phenotypes, including non-motile, reduced amylovoran production and expression of T3SS genes. Furthermore, the csrA mutant did not induce hypersensitive response on tobacco or cause disease on immature pear fruits, indicating that CsrA is a positive regulator of virulence factors. These findings demonstrated that CsrA plays a critical role in E. amylovora virulence and suggested that negative regulation of virulence by GacS/GacA acts through csrB sRNA, which binds to CsrA and neutralizes its positive effect on T3SS gene expression, flagellar formation and amylovoran production. Future research will be focused on determining the molecular mechanism underlying the positive regulation of virulence traits by CsrA. PMID:27845410

  9. Foot-and-mouth disease virus virulence in cattle is co-determined by viral replication dynamics and route of infection.

    PubMed

    Arzt, Jonathan; Pacheco, Juan M; Smoliga, George R; Tucker, Meghan T; Bishop, Elizabeth; Pauszek, Steven J; Hartwig, Ethan J; de los Santos, Teresa; Rodriguez, Luis L

    2014-03-01

    Early events in the pathogenesis of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infection in cattle were investigated through aerosol and intraepithelial lingual (IEL) inoculations of a cDNA-derived FMDV-A24 wild type virus (FMDV-WT) or a mutant derived from the same clone (FMDV-Mut). After aerosolization of FMDV-WT, primary infection sites had significantly greater quantities of FMDV, viral RNA, and type I/III interferon (IFN) activity compared to corresponding tissues from cattle infected with FMDV-Mut. Additionally, FMDV-WT-infected cattle had marked induction of systemic IFN activity in serum. In contrast, FMDV-Mut aerosol-infected cattle did not manifest systemic IFN response nor had viremia. Interestingly, IEL inoculation of FMDV-Mut in cattle restored the virulent phenotype and systemic IFN response. These data indicate that the attenuated phenotype in cattle is associated with decreased replicative efficiency, reflected by decreased innate response. However, attenuation is abrogated by bypassing the common primary infection sites, inducing accelerated viral replication at the inoculation site.

  10. pap-and pil-related DNA sequences and other virulence determinants associated with Escherichia coli isolated from septicemic chickens and turkeys.

    PubMed Central

    Dozois, C M; Fairbrother, J M; Harel, J; Bossé, M

    1992-01-01

    Escherichia coli isolates from septicemic or healthy chickens and turkeys from Quebec were serotyped, examined genotypically by using DNA probes specific for the pil and pap fimbrial systems and the aerobactin siderophore system, and examined phenotypically for lethality in day-old chicks, hemagglutination, serum resistance, and aerobactin production. Serogroups O78 and O1 were most common in septicemic chickens and turkeys. pap+ isolates from chickens were associated with septicemia, and pap+ isolates from turkeys were associated with lethality in day-old chicks. Four of nine pap+ isolates from septicemic turkeys expressed P adhesin, whereas all pap+ isolates from septicemic chickens were negative for P adhesin. The pil+ genotype was associated with septicemia in chickens and with serum resistance in isolates from turkeys. Mannose-sensitive hemagglutination of guinea pig erythrocytes was associated with septicemia in chickens and turkeys, although this phenotype was not associated with pil+ isolates from turkeys. Serum resistance was associated with isolates from septicemic turkeys and with lethality in isolates from chickens. The aerobactin system was associated with isolates from septicemic chickens and turkeys. Overall, results indicated that (i) genotypic examination may reveal virulence-associated traits which differ from the typically expected phenotype and/or are not readily expressed in vitro, and (ii) certain phenotypic and genotypic traits associated with E. coli causing extraintestinal disease in humans and animals are also associated with E. coli causing avian septicemia. PMID:1351879

  11. Live Imaging of Host-Parasite Interactions in a Zebrafish Infection Model Reveals Cryptococcal Determinants of Virulence and Central Nervous System Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Tenor, Jennifer L.; Oehlers, Stefan H.; Yang, Jialu L.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans is capable of infecting a broad range of hosts, from invertebrates like amoebas and nematodes to standard vertebrate models such as mice and rabbits. Here we have taken advantage of a zebrafish model to investigate host-pathogen interactions of Cryptococcus with the zebrafish innate immune system, which shares a highly conserved framework with that of mammals. Through live-imaging observations and genetic knockdown, we establish that macrophages are the primary immune cells responsible for responding to and containing acute cryptococcal infections. By interrogating survival and cryptococcal burden following infection with a panel of Cryptococcus mutants, we find that virulence factors initially identified as important in causing disease in mice are also necessary for pathogenesis in zebrafish larvae. Live imaging of the cranial blood vessels of infected larvae reveals that C. neoformans is able to penetrate the zebrafish brain following intravenous infection. By studying a C. neoformans FNX1 gene mutant, we find that blood-brain barrier invasion is dependent on a known cryptococcal invasion-promoting pathway previously identified in a murine model of central nervous system invasion. The zebrafish-C. neoformans platform provides a visually and genetically accessible vertebrate model system for cryptococcal pathogenesis with many of the advantages of small invertebrates. This model is well suited for higher-throughput screening of mutants, mechanistic dissection of cryptococcal pathogenesis in live animals, and use in the evaluation of therapeutic agents. PMID:26419880

  12. 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

  13. Molecular evolution of Dmrt1 accompanies change of sex-determining mechanisms in reptilia

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Daniel E.; Organ, Christopher L.; Stiglec, Rami; O'Meally, Denis; Sarre, Stephen D.; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A. M.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Literman, Robert A.; Rutherford, Kim; Gemmell, Neil; Iverson, John B.; Tamplin, Jeffrey W.; Edwards, Scott V.; Ezaz, Tariq

    2014-01-01

    In reptiles, sex-determining mechanisms have evolved repeatedly and reversibly between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. The gene Dmrt1 directs male determination in chicken (and presumably other birds), and regulates sex differentiation in animals as distantly related as fruit flies, nematodes and humans. Here, we show a consistent molecular difference in Dmrt1 between reptiles with genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. Among 34 non-avian reptiles, a convergently evolved pair of amino acids encoded by sequence within exon 2 near the DM-binding domain of Dmrt1 distinguishes species with either type of sex determination. We suggest that this amino acid shift accompanied the evolution of genotypic sex determination from an ancestral condition of temperature-dependent sex determination at least three times among reptiles, as evident in turtles, birds and squamates. This novel hypothesis describes the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms as turnover events accompanied by one or two small mutations. PMID:25540158

  14. Molecular evolution of Dmrt1 accompanies change of sex-determining mechanisms in reptilia.

    PubMed

    Janes, Daniel E; Organ, Christopher L; Stiglec, Rami; O'Meally, Denis; Sarre, Stephen D; Georges, Arthur; Graves, Jennifer A M; Valenzuela, Nicole; Literman, Robert A; Rutherford, Kim; Gemmell, Neil; Iverson, John B; Tamplin, Jeffrey W; Edwards, Scott V; Ezaz, Tariq

    2014-12-01

    In reptiles, sex-determining mechanisms have evolved repeatedly and reversibly between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. The gene Dmrt1 directs male determination in chicken (and presumably other birds), and regulates sex differentiation in animals as distantly related as fruit flies, nematodes and humans. Here, we show a consistent molecular difference in Dmrt1 between reptiles with genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination. Among 34 non-avian reptiles, a convergently evolved pair of amino acids encoded by sequence within exon 2 near the DM-binding domain of Dmrt1 distinguishes species with either type of sex determination. We suggest that this amino acid shift accompanied the evolution of genotypic sex determination from an ancestral condition of temperature-dependent sex determination at least three times among reptiles, as evident in turtles, birds and squamates. This novel hypothesis describes the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms as turnover events accompanied by one or two small mutations.

  15. Ralstonia solanacearum RSc0411 (lptC) is a determinant for full virulence and has a strain-specific novel function in the T3SS activity.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen-Chieh; Lin, Yu-Mei; Cheng, Yi-Sheng; Cheng, Chiu-Ping

    2013-06-01

    Previously, we have identified an avirulent Ralstonia solanacearum mutant carrying a transposon insertion in RSc0411, a gene homologous to the Escherichia coli LPS-transporting protein LptC. However, how the disruption of RSc0411 affects the bacterium-plant interactions and leads to decreased pathogenicity was not known. Here we show that the disruption of RSc0411 leads to pleiotropic defects, including reducing bacterial motility, biofilm formation, root attachment, rough-form LPS production and virulence in tomato and increasing membrane permeability. Disruption of the orthologous RSc0411 present in other R. solanacearum strains proves that most of these functions are conserved in the species. In contrast, trans-complementation analyses show that only RSc0411 orthologues from closely related bacteria can rescue the defects of the disruption mutant. These results enable us to propose a function for RSc0411, and for the clustered genes, in LPS biogenesis, and for the first time, to our knowledge, also a role of a gene from the DUF1239 gene family in bacterial pathogenicity. In addition and notably, the RSc0411 mutant displays a strain-specific phenotype for hypersensitive response (HR), in which the RSc0411 disruption impairs the HR caused by strain Pss190 but not that by strain Pss1308. Consistent with this strain-specific defect, the mutation clearly affects expression of the type III secretion system (T3SS) in Pss190 but not in other strains, suggesting that the HR-deficient phenotype of the RSc0411 mutant in Pss190 is due to impairment of the T3SS and thus RSc0411 has a strain-specific role in the T3SS activity of R. solanacearum.

  16. Raoult's law-based method for determination of coal tar average molecular weight

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, D.G.; Gupta, L.; Horace, H.K.; Coleman, A.J.

    2005-08-01

    A Raoult's law-based method for determining the number average molecular weight of coal tars is presented. The method requires data from two-phase coal tar/water equilibrium experiments, which readily are performed in environmental laboratories. An advantage of this method for environmental samples is that it is not impacted by the small amount of inert debris often present in coal tar samples obtained from contaminated sites. Results are presented for 10 coal tars from nine former manufactured gas plants located in the eastern United States. Vapor pressure osmometry (VPO) analysis provided similar average molecular weights to those determined with the Raoult's law-based method, except for one highly viscous coal tar sample. Use of the VPO-based average molecular weight for this coal tar resulted in underprediction of the coal tar constituents' aqueous concentrations. Additionally, one other coal tar was not completely soluble in solvents used for VPO analysis. The results indicate that the Raoult's law-based method is able to provide an average molecular weight that is consistent with the intended application of the data (e.g., modeling the dissolution of coal tar constituents into surrounding waters), and this method can be applied to coal tars that may be incompatible with other commonly used methods for determining average molecular weight, such as vapor pressure osmometry.

  17. Determination of glyphosate in foodstuff by one novel chemiluminescence-molecular imprinting sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Peini; Yan, Mei; Zhang, Congcong; Peng, Ruixue; Ma, Dongsheng; Yu, Jinghua

    2011-05-01

    A novel chemiluminescence (CL) sensor for the determination of glyphosate (GLY) was made up based on molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP). The molecularly imprinted microspheres (MIMs) with a small dimension which possess extremely high surface-to-volume ratio were synthesized using precipitation polymerization with GLY as template. And then the MIMs were modified on glass sheets, which were placed at the bottom of wells of microplate as the recognizer. Subsequently, a highly selective and high throughput chemiluminescence (CL)-molecular imprinting (MI) sensor for detection of GLY was achieved. Influencing factors were investigated and optimized in detail. The method can perform 96 independent measurements sequentially in 10 min and the limit of detection (LOD) for GLY was 0.046 μg mL -1. The relative standard deviation (RSD) for 11 parallel measurements of GLY was 4.68%. The results show that CL-MI sensor can become a useful analytical technology for quick molecular recognition.

  18. Molecular Basis of Ligand-Dependent Regulation of NadR, the Transcriptional Repressor of Meningococcal Virulence Factor NadA

    PubMed Central

    Liguori, Alessia; Malito, Enrico; Lo Surdo, Paola; Fagnocchi, Luca; Cantini, Francesca; Haag, Andreas F.; Brier, Sébastien; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Delany, Isabel; Bottomley, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    Neisseria adhesin A (NadA) is present on the meningococcal surface and contributes to adhesion to and invasion of human cells. NadA is also one of three recombinant antigens in the recently-approved Bexsero vaccine, which protects against serogroup B meningococcus. The amount of NadA on the bacterial surface is of direct relevance in the constant battle of host-pathogen interactions: it influences the ability of the pathogen to engage human cell surface-exposed receptors and, conversely, the bacterial susceptibility to the antibody-mediated immune response. It is therefore important to understand the mechanisms which regulate nadA expression levels, which are predominantly controlled by the transcriptional regulator NadR (Neisseria adhesin A Regulator) both in vitro and in vivo. NadR binds the nadA promoter and represses gene transcription. In the presence of 4-hydroxyphenylacetate (4-HPA), a catabolite present in human saliva both under physiological conditions and during bacterial infection, the binding of NadR to the nadA promoter is attenuated and nadA expression is induced. NadR also mediates ligand-dependent regulation of many other meningococcal genes, for example the highly-conserved multiple adhesin family (maf) genes, which encode proteins emerging with important roles in host-pathogen interactions, immune evasion and niche adaptation. To gain insights into the regulation of NadR mediated by 4-HPA, we combined structural, biochemical, and mutagenesis studies. In particular, two new crystal structures of ligand-free and ligand-bound NadR revealed (i) the molecular basis of ‘conformational selection’ by which a single molecule of 4-HPA binds and stabilizes dimeric NadR in a conformation unsuitable for DNA-binding, (ii) molecular explanations for the binding specificities of different hydroxyphenylacetate ligands, including 3Cl,4-HPA which is produced during inflammation, (iii) the presence of a leucine residue essential for dimerization and conserved in

  19. 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.

  20. Molecular effects in the neutrino mass determination from beta-decay of the tritium molecule

    SciTech Connect

    Fackler, O.; Jeziorski, B.; Kolos, W.; Szalewicz, K.; Monkhorst, H.J.; Mugge, M.

    1986-03-01

    Molecular final state energies and transition probabilities have been computed for beta-decay of the tritium molecule. The results are of sufficient accuracy to make a determination of the electron neutrino rest mass with an error not exceeding a few tenths of an electron volt. Effects of approximate models of tritium beta-decay on the neutrino mass determination are discussed. 14 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Microfluidics Meets Dilute Solution Viscometry: An Undergraduate Laboratory to Determine Polymer Molecular Weight Using a Microviscometer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pety, Stephen J.; Lu, Hang; Thio, Yonathan S.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a student laboratory experiment to determine the molecular weight of a polymer sample by measuring the viscosity of dilute polymer solutions in a PDMS microfluidic viscometer. Sample data are given for aqueous solutions of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO). A demonstration of shear thinning behavior using the microviscometer is…

  2. Determination of the Subunit Molecular Mass and Composition of Alcohol Dehydrogenase by SDS-PAGE

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nash, Barbara T.

    2007-01-01

    SDS-PAGE is a simple, rapid technique that has many uses in biochemistry and is readily adaptable to the undergraduate laboratory. It is, however, a technique prone to several types of procedural pitfalls. This article describes the use of SDS-PAGE to determine the subunit molecular mass and composition of yeast alcohol dehydrogenase employing…

  3. Role of transition metal exporters in virulence: the example of Neisseria meningitidis.

    PubMed

    Guilhen, Cyril; Taha, Muhamed-Kheir; Veyrier, Frédéric J

    2013-01-01

    Transition metals such as iron, manganese, and zinc are essential micronutrients for bacteria. However, at high concentration, they can generate non-functional proteins or toxic compounds. Metal metabolism is therefore regulated to prevent shortage or overload, both of which can impair cell survival. In addition, equilibrium among these metals has to be tightly controlled to avoid molecular replacement in the active site of enzymes. Bacteria must actively maintain intracellular metal concentrations to meet physiological needs within the context of the local environment. When intracellular buffering capacity is reached, they rely primarily on membrane-localized exporters to maintain metal homeostasis. Recently, several groups have characterized new export systems and emphasized their importance in the virulence of several pathogens. This article discusses the role of export systems as general virulence determinants. Furthermore, it highlights the contribution of these exporters in pathogens emergence with emphasis on the human nasopharyngeal colonizer Neisseria meningitidis.

  4. Virulence and molecular diversity of the Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici population in Xinjiang in relation to other regions of western China

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In recent years, wheat stripe rust caused severe yield losses in western China, especially the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The population of the stripe rust fungus, Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), in the vast region had not been well studied. To determine the population structure and comp...

  5. The ubiquitous cellular transcriptional factor USF targets the varicella-zoster virus open reading frame 10 promoter and determines virulence in human skin xenografts in SCIDhu mice in vivo.

    PubMed

    Che, Xibing; Berarducci, Barbara; Sommer, Marvin; Ruyechan, William T; Arvin, Ann M

    2007-04-01

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) open reading frame 10 (ORF10) is a determinant of virulence in SCIDhu skin xenografts but not in human T cells in vivo. In this analysis of the regulation of ORF10 transcription, we have identified four ORF10-related transcripts, including a major 1.3-kb RNA spanning ORF10 only and three other read-through transcripts. Rapid-amplification-of-cDNA-ends experiments indicated that the 1.3-kb transcript of ORF10 has single initiation and termination sites. In transient expression assays, the ORF10 promoter was strongly stimulated by the major VZV transactivator, IE62. Deletion analyses revealed approximate boundaries for the full ORF10 promoter activity between -75 and -45 and between +5 and -8, relative to the ORF10 transcription start site. The recombinant virus POKA10-Deltapro, with the ORF10 promoter deletion, blocked transcription of ORF10 and also of ORF9A and ORF9 mRNAs, whereas expression of read-through ORF9A/9/10 and ORF9/10 transcripts was increased, compensating for the loss of the monocistronic mRNAs. The cellular factor USF bound specifically to its consensus site within the ORF10 promoter and was required for IE62 transactivation, whereas disrupting the predicted TATA boxes or Oct-1 binding elements had no effect. The USF binding site was disrupted in the recombinant virus, POKA10-proDeltaUSF, and no ORF10 protein was produced. Both ORF10 promoter mutants reduced VZV replication in SCIDhu skin xenografts. These observations provided further evidence of the contribution of the ORF10 protein to VZV pathogenesis in skin and demonstrated that VZV depends upon the cellular transcriptional factor USF to support its virulence in human skin in vivo.

  6. Structural and functional analysis of RopB: a major virulence regulator in S treptococcus pyogenes

    PubMed Central

    Makthal, Nishanth; Gavagan, Maire; Do, Hackwon; Olsen, Randall J.; Musser, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is an exclusive human pathogen that causes significant disease burden. Global regulator RopB of GAS controls the expression of several major virulence factors including secreted protease SpeB during high cell density. However, the molecular mechanism for RopB‐dependent speB expression remains unclear. To understand the mechanism of transcription activation by RopB, we determined the crystal structure of the C‐terminal domain of RopB. RopB‐CTD has the TPR motif, a signature motif involved in protein–peptide interactions and shares significant structural homology with the quorum sensing RRNPP family regulators. Characterization of the high cell density‐specific cell‐free growth medium demonstrated the presence of a low molecular weight proteinaceous secreted factor that upregulates RopB‐dependent speB expression. Together, these results suggest that RopB and its cognate peptide signals constitute an intercellular signalling machinery that controls the virulence gene expression in concert with population density. Structure‐guided mutational analyses of RopB dimer interface demonstrated that single alanine substitutions at this critical interface significantly altered RopB‐dependent speB expression and attenuated GAS virulence. Results presented here suggested that a properly aligned RopB dimer interface is important for GAS pathogenesis and highlighted the dimerization interactions as a plausible therapeutic target for the development of novel antimicrobials. PMID:26714274

  7. Structural and functional analysis of RopB: A major virulence regulator in Streptococcus pyogenes

    DOE PAGES

    Makthal, Nishanth; Gavagan, Maire; Do, Hackwon; ...

    2016-02-19

    Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is an exclusive human pathogen that causes significant disease burden. Global regulator RopB of GAS controls the expression of several major virulence factors including secreted protease SpeB during high cell density. However, the molecular mechanism for RopB-dependent speB expression remains unclear. To understand the mechanism of transcription activation by RopB, we determined the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of RopB. RopB-CTD has the TPR motif, a signature motif involved in protein-peptide interactions and shares significant structural homology with the quorum sensing RRNPP family regulators. Characterization of the high cell density-specific cell-free growth medium demonstrated themore » presence of a low molecular weight proteinaceous secreted factor that upregulates RopB-dependent speB expression. Together, these results suggest that RopB and its cognate peptide signals constitute an intercellular signalling machinery that controls the virulence gene expression in concert with population density. Structure-guided mutational analyses of RopB dimer interface demonstrated that single alanine substitutions at this critical interface significantly altered RopB-dependent speB expression and attenuated GAS virulence. Finally, results presented here suggested that a properly aligned RopB dimer interface is important for GAS pathogenesis and highlighted the dimerization interactions as a plausible therapeutic target for the development of novel antimicrobials.« less

  8. Regulation of virulence: The rise and fall of gastrointestinal pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Kitamoto, Sho; Nagao-Kitamoto, Hiroko; Kuffa, Peter; Kamada, Nobuhiko

    2015-01-01

    Colonization resistance by the commensal microbiota is a key defense against infectious pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. The microbiota directly competes with incoming pathogens by occupying the colonization niche, depleting nutrients in the gut lumen as well as indirectly inhibiting the growth of pathogens through activation of host immunity. Enteric pathogens have evolved strategies to cope with microbiota-mediated colonization resistance. Pathogens utilize a wide array of virulence factors to outcompete their commensal rivals in the gut. However, since the expression of virulence factors is costly to maintain and reduces bacterial fitness, pathogens need to regulate their virulence properly in order to maximize their fitness. To this end, most pathogens use environmental cues to regulate their virulence gene expression. Thus, a dynamic regulation of virulence factor expression is a key invasion strategy utilized by enteric pathogens. On the other hand, host immunity selectively targets virulent pathogens in order to counter infection in the gut. The host immune system is generally tolerant of harmless microorganisms, such as the commensal microbiota. Moreover, the host relies on its commensal microbiota to contribute, in concert with its immune system, to the elimination of pathogens. Collectively, regulation of virulence determines the fate of enteric pathogens, from the establishment of infection to the eventual elimination. Here, we will review the dynamics of virulence and its role in infection. PMID:26553054

  9. Growth rate, transmission mode and virulence in human pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Cornwallis, Charlie K.; Buckling, Angus; West, Stuart A.

    2017-01-01

    The harm that pathogens cause to hosts during infection, termed virulence, varies across species from negligible to a high likelihood of rapid death. Classic theory for the evolution of virulence is based on a trade-off between pathogen growth, transmission and host survival, which predicts that higher within-host growth causes increased transmission and higher virulence. However, using data from 61 human pathogens, we found the opposite correlation to the expected positive correlation between pathogen growth rate and virulence. We found that (i) slower growing pathogens are significantly more virulent than faster growing pathogens, (ii) inhaled pathogens and pathogens that infect via skin wounds are significantly more virulent than pathogens that are ingested, but (iii) there is no correlation between symptoms of infection that aid transmission (such as diarrhoea and coughing) and virulence. Overall, our results emphasize how virulence can be influenced by mechanistic life-history details, especially transmission mode, that determine how parasites infect and exploit their hosts. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Opening the black box: re-examining the ecology and evolution of parasite transmission’. PMID:28289261

  10. Quantitative proteomics of microbes: Principles and applications to virulence.

    PubMed

    Malmström, Lars; Malmström, Johan; Aebersold, Ruedi

    2011-08-01

    The rapidly increasing ability to sequence complete genomes of different microbial species and strains provides us with information regarding their genetic variability. Genetic variability is a mechanism for human pathogens to adapt to and avoid the immune system and to also develop resistance to antibiotics. However, the assessment of the contributions of individual genetic differences to resistance or other phenotypes is not a priori apparent from the genomic variability. Quantitative proteomics can provide accurate molecular phenotypes of microbes that are difficult to determine using alternative technologies. Over the recent few years we and others have developed a range of proteomic technologies for the quantitative analysis of microbial proteomes. Here, we describe the most commonly used techniques and discuss their strengths and weaknesses and illustrate their respective performance for the identification of virulence factors in Streptococcus pyogenes.

  11. ALMOST: an all atom molecular simulation toolkit for protein structure determination.

    PubMed

    Fu, Biao; Sahakyan, Aleksandr B; Camilloni, Carlo; Tartaglia, Gian Gaetano; Paci, Emanuele; Caflisch, Amedeo; Vendruscolo, Michele; Cavalli, Andrea

    2014-05-30

    Almost (all atom molecular simulation toolkit) is an open source computational package for structure determination and analysis of complex molecular systems including proteins, and nucleic acids. Almost has been designed with two primary goals: to provide tools for molecular structure determination using various types of experimental measurements as conformational restraints, and to provide methods for the analysis and assessment of structural and dynamical properties of complex molecular systems. The methods incorporated in Almost include the determination of structural and dynamical features of proteins using distance restraints derived from nuclear Overhauser effect measurements, orientational restraints obtained from residual dipolar couplings and the structural restraints from chemical shifts. Here, we present the first public release of Almost, highlight the key aspects of its computational design and discuss the main features currently implemented. Almost is available for the most common Unix-based operating systems, including Linux and Mac OS X. Almost is distributed free of charge under the GNU Public License, and is available both as a source code and as a binary executable from the project web site at http://www.open-almost.org. Interested users can follow and contribute to the further development of Almost on http://sourceforge.net/projects/almost.

  12. A molecular-gap device for specific determination of mercury ions

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Zheng; Liu, Zhong-Gang; Yao, Xian-Zhi; Zhang, Kai-Sheng; Chen, Xing; Liu, Jin-Huai; Huang, Xing-Jiu

    2013-01-01

    Specific determination/monitoring of trace mercury ions (Hg2+) in environmental water is of significant importance for drinking safety. Complementarily to conventional inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and atomic emission/absorption spectroscopy, several methods, i.e., electrochemical, fluorescent, colorimetric, and surface enhanced Raman scattering approaches, have been developed recently. Despite great success, many inevitably encounter the interferences from other metal ions besides the complicated procedures and sophisticated equipments. Here we present a molecular-gap device for specific determination of trace Hg2+ in both standardized solutions and environmental samples based on conductivity-modulated glutathione dimer. Through a self-assembling technique, a thin film of glutathione monolayer capped Au nanoparticles is introduced into 2.5 μm-gap-electrodes, forming numerous double molecular layer gaps. Notably, the fabricated molecular-gap device shows a specific response toward Hg2+ with a low detection limit actually measured down to 1 nM. Theoretical calculations demonstrate that the specific sensing mechanism greatly depends on the electron transport ability of glutathione dimer bridged by heavy metal ions, which is determined by its frontier molecular orbital, not the binding energy. PMID:24178058

  13. A molecular-gap device for specific determination of mercury ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Zheng; Liu, Zhong-Gang; Yao, Xian-Zhi; Zhang, Kai-Sheng; Chen, Xing; Liu, Jin-Huai; Huang, Xing-Jiu

    2013-11-01

    Specific determination/monitoring of trace mercury ions (Hg2+) in environmental water is of significant importance for drinking safety. Complementarily to conventional inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and atomic emission/absorption spectroscopy, several methods, i.e., electrochemical, fluorescent, colorimetric, and surface enhanced Raman scattering approaches, have been developed recently. Despite great success, many inevitably encounter the interferences from other metal ions besides the complicated procedures and sophisticated equipments. Here we present a molecular-gap device for specific determination of trace Hg2+ in both standardized solutions and environmental samples based on conductivity-modulated glutathione dimer. Through a self-assembling technique, a thin film of glutathione monolayer capped Au nanoparticles is introduced into 2.5 μm-gap-electrodes, forming numerous double molecular layer gaps. Notably, the fabricated molecular-gap device shows a specific response toward Hg2+ with a low detection limit actually measured down to 1 nM. Theoretical calculations demonstrate that the specific sensing mechanism greatly depends on the electron transport ability of glutathione dimer bridged by heavy metal ions, which is determined by its frontier molecular orbital, not the binding energy.

  14. Ginzburg-Landau free energy for molecular fluids: Determination and coarse-graining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desgranges, Caroline; Delhommelle, Jerome

    2017-02-01

    Using molecular simulation, we determine Ginzburg-Landau free energy functions for molecular fluids. To this aim, we extend the Expanded Wang-Landau method to calculate the partition functions, number distributions and Landau free energies for Ar,CO2 and H2O . We then parametrize a coarse-grained free energy function of the density order parameter and assess the performance of this free energy function on its ability to model the onset of criticality in these systems. The resulting parameters can be readily used in hybrid atomistic/continuum simulations that connect the microscopic and mesoscopic length scales.

  15. Determination of rotary diffusivity of poly(n-propyl isocyanate) by molecular dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laso, M.; Jimeno, N.; Muneta, L. M.; Müller, M.

    2006-12-01

    The rotational dynamics of a nondilute solution of the rodlike polymer poly(n-propyl isocyanate) (PPIC) has been studied on an atomistic model by means of a large-scale classical molecular dynamics investigation. The rotary diffusivity of PPIC in toluene solution has been determined from the Einsteinian diffusion regime of the end-to-end vector on the surface of the unit sphere and has been found to be Dr=10.5×105(±2.7)s-1, which falls in the range of the experimental data available. A comparison of molecular dynamics predictions with theoretical and perturbation expansion predictions has also been performed.

  16. Determination of rotary diffusivity of poly(n-propyl isocyanate) by molecular dynamics.

    PubMed

    Laso, M; Jimeno, N; Muneta, L M; Müller, M

    2006-12-28

    The rotational dynamics of a nondilute solution of the rodlike polymer poly(n-propyl isocyanate) (PPIC) has been studied on an atomistic model by means of a large-scale classical molecular dynamics investigation. The rotary diffusivity of PPIC in toluene solution has been determined from the Einsteinian diffusion regime of the end-to-end vector on the surface of the unit sphere and has been found to be Dr=10.5x10(5)(+/-2.7) s-1, which falls in the range of the experimental data available. A comparison of molecular dynamics predictions with theoretical and perturbation expansion predictions has also been performed.

  17. 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

  18. Incidence and Virulence Determinants of Verocytotoxin-Producing Escherichia coli Infections in the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium, in 2008–2010

    PubMed Central

    De Gheldre, Yves; Dediste, Anne; de Moreau, Anne-Isabelle; Mascart, Georges; Simon, Anne; Allemeersch, Daniël; Scheutz, Flemming; Lauwers, Sabine; Piérard, Denis

    2012-01-01

    The incidence of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) was investigated by PCR in all human stools from Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZB) and in selected stools from six other hospital laboratories in the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium, collected between April 2008 and October 2010. The stools selected to be included in this study were those from patients with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), patients with a history of bloody diarrhea, patients linked to clusters of diarrhea, children up to the age of 6 years, and stools containing macroscopic blood. Verocytotoxin genes (vtx) were detected significantly more frequently in stools from patients with the selected conditions (2.04%) than in unselected stools from UZB (1.20%) (P = 0.001). VTEC was detected most frequently in patients with HUS (35.3%), a history of bloody diarrhea (5.15%), or stools containing macroscopic blood (1.85%). Stools from patients up to the age of 17 years were significantly more frequently vtx positive than those from adult patients between the ages of 18 and 65 years (P = 0.022). Although stools from patients older than 65 years were also more frequently positive for vtx than those from patients between 18 and 65 years, this trend was not significant. VTEC was isolated from 140 (67.9%) vtx-positive stools. One sample yielded two different serotypes; thus, 141 isolates could be characterized. Sixty different O:H serotypes harboring 85 different virulence profiles were identified. Serotypes O157:H7/H− (n = 34), O26:H11/H− (n = 21), O63:H6 (n = 8), O111:H8/H− (n = 7), and O146:H21/H− (n = 6) accounted for 53.9% of isolates. All O157 isolates carried vtx2, eae, and a complete O island 122 (COI-122); 15 also carried vtx1. Non-O157 isolates (n = 107), however, accounted for the bulk (75.9%) of isolates. Fifty-nine (55.1%) isolates were positive for vtx1, 36 (33.6%) were positive for vtx2, and 12 (11.2%) carried both vtx1 and vtx2. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis revealed

  19. Fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis for the determination of molecular mass of heparins and low-molecular-weight (LMW) heparins.

    PubMed

    Buzzega, Dania; Maccari, Francesca; Volpi, Nicola

    2008-11-01

    We report the use of fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis (FACE) to determine the molecular mass (M) values of heparins (Heps) and low-molecular-weight (LMW)-Hep derivatives. Hep are labeled with 8-aminonaphthalene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid and FACE is able to resolve each fraction as a discrete band depending on their M. After densitometric acquisition, the migration distance of each Hep standard is acquired and the third-grade polynomial calibration standard curve is determined by plotting the logarithms of the M values as a function of migration ratio. Purified Hep samples having different properties, pharmaceutical Heps and various LMW-Heps were analyzed by both FACE and conventional high-performance size-exclusion liquid chromatography (HPSEC) methods. The molecular weight value on the top of the chromatographic peak (Mp), the number-average Mn, weight-average Mw and polydispersity (Mw/Mn) were examined by both techniques and found to be similar. This approach offers certain advantages over the HPSEC method. The derivatization process with 8-aminonaphthalene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid is complete after 4 h so that many samples may be analyzed in a day also considering that multiple samples can be run simultaneously and in parallel and that a single FACE analysis requires approx. 15 min. Furthermore, FACE is a very sensitive method as it requires approx. 5-10 microg of Heps, about 10-100-fold lower than samples and standards used in HPSEC evaluation. Finally, the utilization of mini-gels allows the use of very low amounts of reagents with neither expensive equipment nor any complicated procedures having to be applied. This study demonstrates that FACE analysis is a sensitive method for the determination of the M values of Heps and LMW-Heps with possible utilization in virtually any kind of research and development such as quality control laboratories due to its rapid, parallel analysis of multiple samples by means of common and simple largely used

  20. A molecular ruler determines the repeat length in eukaryotic cilia and flagella.

    PubMed

    Oda, Toshiyuki; Yanagisawa, Haruaki; Kamiya, Ritsu; Kikkawa, Masahide

    2014-11-14

    Existence of cellular structures with specific size raises a fundamental question in biology: How do cells measure length? One conceptual answer to this question is by a molecular ruler, but examples of such rulers in eukaryotes are lacking. In this work, we identified a molecular ruler in eukaryotic cilia and flagella. Using cryo-electron tomography, we found that FAP59 and FAP172 form a 96-nanometer (nm)-long complex in Chlamydomonas flagella and that the absence of the complex disrupted 96-nm repeats of axonemes. Furthermore, lengthening of the FAP59/172 complex by domain duplication resulted in extension of the repeats up to 128 nm, as well as duplication of specific axonemal components. Thus, the FAP59/172 complex is the molecular ruler that determines the 96-nm repeat length and arrangements of components in cilia and flagella.

  1. Identification of a nucleotide in 5′ untranslated region contributing to virus replication and virulence of Coxsackievirus A16

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhaolong; Liu, Xin; Wang, Shaohua; Li, Jingliang; Hou, Min; Liu, Guanchen; Zhang, Wenyan; Yu, Xiao-Fang

    2016-01-01

    Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) are two main causative pathogens of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Unlike EV71, virulence determinants of CA16, particularly within 5′ untranslated region (5′UTR), have not been investigated until now. Here, a series of nucleotides present in 5′UTR of lethal but not in non-lethal CA16 strains were screened by aligning nucleotide sequences of lethal circulating Changchun CA16 and the prototype G10 as well as non-lethal SHZH05 strains. A representative infectious clone based on a lethal Changchun024 sequence and infectious mutants with various nucleotide alterations in 5′UTR were constructed and further investigated by assessing virus replication in vitro and virulence in neonatal mice. Compared to the lethal infectious clone, the M2 mutant with a change from cytosine to uracil at nucleotide 104 showed weaker virulence and lower replication capacity. The predicted secondary structure of the 5′UTR of CA16 RNA showed that M2 mutant located between the cloverleaf and stem-loop II, affected interactions between the 5′UTR and the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP K) and A1 (hnRNP A1) that are important for translational activity. Thus, our research determined a virulence-associated site in the 5′UTR of CA16, providing a crucial molecular target for antiviral drug development. PMID:26861413

  2. Are molecular weights of proteins determined by superose 12 column chromatography correct?

    PubMed

    Lee, Shih-Chieh; Whitaker, John R

    2004-08-11

    Our research on several proteins indicates that accurate molecular weights cannot be determined by Superose 12 column chromatography. In support of this statement, we present data on molecular weights of purified red kidney bean alpha-amylase inhibitor (RKB alphaAI) and white kidney bean alpha-amylase inhibitor (WKB alphaAI) to document this problem. The molecular weight of purified RKB alphaAI determined by Sephadex G-100 gel filtration, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Superose 12 gel filtration and cDNA were 49.0, 51.0, 22.9, and 49.805 kDa (not glycosylated), respectively. The molecular weights of WKB alphaAI by several methods were as follows: Sephadex G-100 gel filtration, 51.0 kDa; Superose 12 gel filtration in 0.2 M NaCl buffer, 23.1 kDa; polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), 51.0 kDa; sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), 45.0 kDa; multiangle laser light scattering (MALLS), 49.940 kDa; laser-assisted time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LATOFMS), 56.714 kDa; and cDNA sequence (with 12.2% carbohydrate), 55.9 kDa. The data indicate there is ionic interaction between proteins and the matrix of Superose 12 in low ionic strength buffers and hydrophobic interaction at higher ionic strength buffers. Researchers should be cautious when using Superose 12 columns for molecular weight determinations.

  3. Electrochemical Molecular Imprinted Sensors Based on Electrospun Nanofiber and Determination of Ascorbic Acid.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Yunyun; Wang, Dandan; Liu, Haiqing; Zeng, Yanbo; Yin, Zhengzhi; Li, Lei

    2015-01-01

    In this study, electrochemical molecularly imprinted sensors were fabricated and used for the determination of ascorbic acid (AA). Nanofiber membranes of cellulose acetate (CA)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) (CA/MWCNTs/PVP) were prepared by electrospinning technique. After being transferred to a glass carbon electrode (GC), the nanofiber interface was further polymerized with pyrrole through electrochemical cyclic voltammetry (CV) technique. Meanwhile, target molecules (such as AA) were embedded into the polypyrrole through the hydrogen bond. The effects of monomer concentration (pyrrole), the number of scan cycles and scan rates of polymerization were optimized. Differential pulse voltammetry (DPV) tests indicated that the oxidation current of AA (the selected target) were higher than that of the structural analogues, which illustrated the selective recognition of AA by molecularly imprinted sensors. Simultaneously, the molecularly imprinted sensors had larger oxidation current of AA than non-imprinted sensors in the processes of rebinding. The electrochemical measurements showed that the molecularly imprinted sensors demonstrated good identification behavior for the detection of AA with a linear range of 10.0 - 1000 μM, a low detection limit down to 3 μM (S/N = 3), and a recovery rate range from 94.0 to 108.8%. Therefore, the electrochemical molecularly imprinted sensors can be used for the recognition and detection of AA without any time-consuming elution. The method presented here demonstrates the great potential for electrospun nanofibers and MWCNTs to construct electrochemical sensors.

  4. Determining the Molecular Packing Arrangements on Protein Crystal Faces by Atomic Force Microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Li, Huayu; Perozzo, Mary A.; Konnert, John H.; Nadarajan, Arunan; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    Periodic Bond Chain (PBC) analysis of the packing of tetragonal lysozyme crystals have revealed that there are two possible molecular packing arrangements for the crystal faces. The analysis also predicted that only one of these, involving the formation of helices about the 4(sub 3) axes, would prevail during crystal growth. In this study high resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to verify these predictions for the (110) crystal face. A computer program was developed which constructs the expected AFM image for a given tip shape for each possible molecular packing arrangement. By comparing the actual AFM image with the predicted images the correct packing arrangement was determined. The prediction of an arrangement involving 4(sub 3) helices was confirmed in this manner,"while the alternate arrangement was not observed. The investigation also showed the protein molecules were packed slightly closer about the 4(sub 3) axes than in the crystallographic arrangement of the crystal interior. This study demonstrates a new approach for determining the molecular packing arrangements on protein crystal faces. It also shows the power of combining a theoretical PBC analysis with experimental high resolution AFM techniques in probing protein crystal growth processes at the molecular level.

  5. Use of X-ray diffraction, molecular simulations, and spectroscopy to determine the molecular packing in a polymer-fullerene bimolecular crystal.

    PubMed

    Miller, Nichole Cates; Cho, Eunkyung; Junk, Matthias J N; Gysel, Roman; Risko, Chad; Kim, Dongwook; Sweetnam, Sean; Miller, Chad E; Richter, Lee J; Kline, R Joseph; Heeney, Martin; McCulloch, Iain; Amassian, Aram; Acevedo-Feliz, Daniel; Knox, Christopher; Hansen, Michael Ryan; Dudenko, Dmytro; Chmelka, Bradley F; Toney, Michael F; Brédas, Jean-Luc; McGehee, Michael D

    2012-11-27

    The molecular packing in a polymer: fullerene bimolecular crystal is determined using X-ray diffraction (XRD), molecular mechanics (MM) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, 2D solid-state NMR spectroscopy, and IR absorption spectroscopy. The conformation of the electron-donating polymer is significantly disrupted by the incorporation of the electron-accepting fullerene molecules, which introduce twists and bends along the polymer backbone and 1D electron-conducting fullerene channels.

  6. New studies on molecular chirality in the gas phase: enantiomer differentiation and determination of enantiomeric excess.

    PubMed

    Patterson, David; Schnell, Melanie

    2014-06-21

    Chirality plays a fundamental role in the activity of biological molecules and broad classes of chemical reactions. The chemistry of life is built almost exclusively on left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars, a phenomenon known as "homochirality of life". Furthermore, most drugs developed in the last decade are of specified chirality. Thus, fast and reliable methods that can differentiate molecules of different handedness, determine the enantiomeric excess of even molecular mixtures, and allow for an unambiguous determination of molecular handedness are of great interest, in particular with respect to complex mixtures. In this perspective article, we discuss the recent developments, with an emphasis on modern spectroscopic methods using gas-phase samples, such as photoelectron circular dichroism, Coulomb explosion imaging, and microwave three-wave mixing.

  7. A molecularly imprinted sensor based on an electrochemiluminescent membrane for ultratrace doxycycline determination.

    PubMed

    Li, Shuhuai; Li, Jianping; Lin, Qingyu; Wei, Xiaoping

    2015-07-07

    A new molecularly imprinted sensor was developed based on an electroluminescent molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) membrane and used for doxycycline determination. The MIP was prepared by electropolymerization of pyrogallol doped with alizarin red. An electrochemiluminescence (ECL) signal was produced by the oxidation of the poly-pyrogallol polymer and reaction with alizarin red. The luminescence intensity was enhanced by doxycycline molecules which were re-adsorbed in cavities in MIP due to the energy transfer of the doxycycline oxidized intermediate to alizarin red. The changes of ECL intensities were linear with the concentrations of doxycycline in the range of 2 × 10(-10) to 5 × 10(-8) mol L(-1). The detection limit was 5.17 × 10(-11) mol L(-1). This method was utilized to determine doxycycline residuals in fish muscles with satisfactory results.

  8. Gradual molecular evolution of a sex determination switch through incomplete penetrance of femaleness.

    PubMed

    Beye, Martin; Seelmann, Christine; Gempe, Tanja; Hasselmann, Martin; Vekemans, Xavier; Fondrk, M Kim; Page, Robert E

    2013-12-16

    Some genes regulate phenotypes that are either present or absent. They are often important regulators of developmental switches and are involved in morphological evolution. We have little understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which these absence/presence gene functions have evolved, because the phenotype and fitness of molecular intermediate forms are unknown. Here, we studied the sex-determining switch of 14 natural sequence variants of the csd gene among 76 genotypes of the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Heterozygous genotypes (different specificities) of the csd gene determine femaleness, while hemizygous genotypes (single specificity) determine maleness. Homozygous genotypes of the csd gene (same specificity) are lethal. We found that at least five amino acid differences and length variation between Csd specificities in the specifying domain (PSD) were sufficient to regularly induce femaleness. We estimated that, on average, six pairwise amino acid differences evolved under positive selection. We also identified a natural evolutionary intermediate that showed only three amino acid length differences in the PSD relative to its parental allele. This genotype showed an intermediate fitness because it implemented lethality regularly and induced femaleness infrequently (i.e., incomplete penetrance). We suggest incomplete penetrance as a mechanism through which new molecular switches can gradually and adaptively evolve.

  9. Interactions between Ether Phospholipids and Cholesterol as Determined by Scattering and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Jianjun; Cheng, Xiaolin; Heberle, Frederick A; Mostofian, Barmak; Kucerka, Norbert; Drazba, Paul; Katsaras, John

    2012-01-01

    Cholesterol and ether lipids are ubiquitous in mammalian cell membranes, and their interactions are crucial in ether lipid mediated cholesterol trafficking. We report on cholesterol s molecular interactions with ether lipids as determined using a combination of small-angle neutron and Xray scattering, and all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. A scattering density profile model for an ether lipid bilayer was developed using MD simulations, which was then used to simultaneously fit the different experimental scattering data. From analysis of the data the various bilayer structural parameters were obtained. Surface area constrained MD simulations were also performed to reproduce the experimental data. This iterative analysis approach resulted in good agreement between the experimental and simulated form factors. The molecular interactions taking place between cholesterol and ether lipids were then determined from the validated MD simulations. We found that in ether membranes cholesterol primarily hydrogen bonds with the lipid headgroup phosphate oxygen, while in their ester membrane counterparts cholesterol hydrogen bonds with the backbone ester carbonyls. This different mode of interaction between ether lipids and cholesterol induces cholesterol to reside closer to the bilayer surface, dehydrating the headgroup s phosphate moiety. Moreover, the three-dimensional lipid chain spatial density distribution around cholesterol indicates anisotropic chain packing, causing cholesterol to tilt. These insights lend a better understanding of ether lipid-mediated cholesterol trafficking and the roles that the different lipid species have in determining the structural and dynamical properties of membrane associated biomolecules.

  10. Molecular Evolutionary Constraints that Determine the Avirulence State of Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    PubMed

    Prisilla, A; Prathiviraj, R; Chellapandi, P

    2017-04-05

    Clostridium botulinum (group-III) is an anaerobic bacterium producing C2 toxin along with botulinum neurotoxins. C2 toxin is belonged to binary toxin A family in bacterial ADP-ribosylation superfamily. A structural and functional diversity of binary toxin A family was inferred from different evolutionary constraints to determine the avirulence state of C2 toxin. Evolutionary genetic analyses revealed evidence of C2 toxin cluster evolution through horizontal gene transfer from the phage or plasmid origins, site-specific insertion by gene divergence, and homologous recombination event. It has also described that residue in conserved NAD-binding core, family-specific domain structure, and functional motifs found to predetermine its virulence state. Any mutational changes in these residues destabilized its structure-function relationship. Avirulent mutants of C2 toxin were screened and selected from a crucial site required for catalytic function of C2I and pore-forming function of C2II. We found coevolved amino acid pairs contributing an essential role in stabilization of its local structural environment. Avirulent toxins selected in this study were evaluated by detecting evolutionary constraints in stability of protein backbone structure, folding and conformational dynamic space, and antigenic peptides. We found 4 avirulent mutants of C2I and 5 mutants of C2II showing more stability in their local structural environment and backbone structure with rapid fold rate, and low conformational flexibility at mutated sites. Since, evolutionary constraints-free mutants with lack of catalytic and pore-forming function suggested as potential immunogenic candidates for treating C. botulinum infected poultry and veterinary animals. Single amino acid substitution in C2 toxin thus provides a major importance to understand its structure-function link, not only of a molecule but also of the pathogenesis.

  11. Determination of molecular weight of heparin by size exclusion chromatography with universal calibration.

    PubMed

    Guo, X; Condra, M; Kimura, K; Berth, G; Dautzenberg, H; Dubin, P L

    2003-01-01

    The molecular weight (MW) of heparin can be accurately determined by size exclusion chromatography using "universal calibration." A universal calibration curve was constructed for Superose 12 with standard pullulan samples and verified using characterized ficoll fractions. This calibration yielded the correct MW of heparin as determined by light scattering, when the ionic strength of the mobile phase was maintained over 1.0M. Sodium poly(styrenesulfonate) samples were not suitable standards because of adsorption at high salt concentration and repulsion from the packing material at low ionic strength. The extraordinarily high charge density of heparin leads to the need for high salt concentration to screen such repulsions.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. In vivo evolution of tigecycline-non-susceptible Klebsiella pneumoniae strains in patients: relationship between virulence and resistance.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yi-Tsung; Huang, Yi-Wei; Huang, Hsin-Hui; Yang, Tsuey-Ching; Wang, Fu-Der; Fung, Chang-Phone

    2016-11-01

    Tigecycline resistance among Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates has been increasingly reported. We aimed to investigate the relationship among in vivo acquisition of tigecycline resistance in K. pneumoniae clinical isolates, the underlying molecular mechanisms and bacterial virulence. Clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae from the same patient in a medical centre in Taiwan that were initially tigecycline-susceptible (TS) and then became tigecycline-non-susceptible (TNS) were identified. Clinical data were collected. All isolates were subjected to MIC determination by Etest, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), virulence factor determination, and growth rate and mouse lethality studies. Quantitative RT-PCR was performed to analyse acrA, oqxA, ramA and rarA expressions. The presence of mutations in acrR, ramR, oqxR and rpsJ were analysed by DNA sequencing. Five isogenic paired isolates were determined by PFGE fingerprinting. TNS K. pneumoniae appeared after treatment with a variety of antibiotics among patients infected with TS K. pneumoniae. TNS K. pneumoniae isolates were associated with upregulation of RamA and/or RarA and the corresponding AcrAB and/or OqxAB efflux pump(s), respectively. Various mutations in negative regulatory genes (ramR and oqxR) accounted for overexpression of ramA and rarA, respectively. Three of the five paired isolates showed similar growth rates and virulence between TS and TNS isolates. Two TNS K. pneumoniae strains belonging to capsular types K1 and K20 retained their high virulence. In conclusion, some TNS K. pneumoniae strains derived from TS isolates did not compromise their virulence. Dissemination of these highly pathogenic and resistant strains would be of major concern in the future.

  16. Nonencapsulated Variant of Cryptococcus neoformans I. Virulence Studies and Characterization of Soluble Polysaccharide

    PubMed Central

    Kozel, Thomas R.; Cazin, John

    1971-01-01

    A weakly virulent nonencapsulated variant of Cryptococcus neoformans is described. The chemical structure and antigenicity of the soluble polysaccharides produced by the variant strain and a typical virulent strain were compared. The soluble polysaccharides produced by both strains were composed of the same constituent monosaccharides; however, the virulent strain produced a polysaccharide having a greater uronic acid content and a larger molecular size than that of the variant strain. Soluble polysaccharides from the two strains are not closely related immunologically. Soluble polysaccharide obtained from the virulent strain did not affect persistence of the variant strain in mice. PMID:16557967

  17. Oligomeric cationic polymethacrylates: a comparison of methods for determining molecular weight.

    PubMed

    Locock, Katherine E S; Meagher, Laurence; Haeussler, Matthias

    2014-02-18

    This study compares three common laboratory methods, size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF), to determine the molecular weight of oligomeric cationic copolymers. The potential bias for each method was examined across a series of polymers that varied in molecular weight and cationic character (both choice of cation (amine versus guanidine) and relative proportion present). SEC was found to be the least accurate, overestimating Mn by an average of 140%, owing to the lack of appropriate cationic standards available, and the complexity involved in estimating the hydrodynamic volume of copolymers. MALDI-TOF approximated Mn well for the highly monodisperse (Đ < 1.1), low molecular weight (degree of polymerization (DP) <50) species but appeared unsuitable for the largest polymers in the series due to the mass bias associated with the technique. (1)H NMR was found to most accurately estimate Mn in this study, differing to theoretical values by only 5.2%. (1)H NMR end-group analysis is therefore an inexpensive and facile, primary quantitative method to estimate the molecular weight of oliogomeric cationic polymethacrylates if suitably distinct end-groups signals are present in the spectrum.

  18. Determination of melamine in aquaculture feed samples based on molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction.

    PubMed

    Lian, Ziru; Liang, Zhenlin; Wang, Jiangtao

    2015-10-01

    This research highlights the application of highly efficient molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction for the preconcentration and analysis of melamine in aquaculture feed samples. Melamine-imprinted polymers were synthesized employing methacrylic acid and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as functional monomer and cross-linker, respectively. The characteristics of obtained polymers were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and binding experiments. The imprinted polymers showed an excellent adsorption ability for melamine and were applied as special solid-phase extraction sorbents for the selective cleanup of melamine. An off-line molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction procedure was developed for the separation and enrichment of melamine from aquaculture feed samples prior to high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. Optimum molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction conditions led to recoveries of the target in spiked feed samples in the range 84.6-96.6% and the relative standard deviation less than 3.38% (n = 3). The aquaculture feed sample was determined, and there was no melamine found. The results showed that the molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction protocols permitted the sensitive, uncomplicated and inexpensive separation and pre-treatment of melamine in aquaculture feed samples.

  19. Candida albicans Secreted Aspartyl Proteinases in Virulence and Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Naglik, Julian R.; Challacombe, Stephen J.; Hube, Bernhard

    2003-01-01

    Candida albicans is the most common fungal pathogen of humans and has developed an extensive repertoire of putative virulence mechanisms that allows successful colonization and infection of the host under suitable predisposing conditions. Extracellular proteolytic activity plays a central role in Candida pathogenicity and is produced by a family of 10 secreted aspartyl proteinases (Sap proteins). Although the consequences of proteinase secretion during human infections is not precisely known, in vitro, animal, and human studies have implicated the proteinases in C. albicans virulence in one of the following seven ways: (i) correlation between Sap production in vitro and Candida virulence, (ii) degradation of human proteins and structural analysis in determining Sap substrate specificity, (iii) association of Sap production with other virulence processes of C. albicans, (iv) Sap protein production and Sap immune responses in animal and human infections, (v) SAP gene expression during Candida infections, (vi) modulation of C. albicans virulence by aspartyl proteinase inhibitors, and (vii) the use of SAP-disrupted mutants to analyze C. albicans virulence. Sap proteins fulfill a number of specialized functions during the infective process, which include the simple role of digesting molecules for nutrient acquisition, digesting or distorting host cell membranes to facilitate adhesion and tissue invasion, and digesting cells and molecules of the host immune system to avoid or resist antimicrobial attack by the host. We have critically discussed the data relevant to each of these seven criteria, with specific emphasis on how this proteinase family could contribute to Candida virulence and pathogenesis. PMID:12966142

  20. Mapping Murine Corneal Neovascularization and Weight Loss Virulence Determinants in the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Genome and the Detection of an Epistatic Interaction between the UL and IRS/US Regions

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kyubin; Kolb, Aaron W.; Larsen, Inna; Craven, Mark

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) most commonly causes recrudescent labial ulcers; however, it is also the leading cause of infectious blindness in developed countries. Previous research in animal models has demonstrated that the severity of HSV-1 ocular disease is influenced by three main factors: host innate immunity, host immune response, and viral strain. We have previously shown that mixed infection with two avirulent HSV-1 strains (OD4 and CJ994) results in recombinants with a wide range of ocular disease phenotype severity. Recently, we developed a quantitative trait locus (QTL)-based computational approach (vQTLmap) to identify viral single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) predicted to influence the severity of the ocular disease phenotypes. We have now applied vQTLmap to identify HSV-1 SNPs associated with corneal neovascularization and mean peak percentage weight loss (MPWL) using 65 HSV-1 OD4-CJ994 recombinants. The vQTLmap analysis using Random Forest for neovascularization identified phenotypically meaningful nonsynonymous SNPs in the ICP4, UL41 (VHS), UL42, UL46 (VP11/12), UL47 (VP13/14), UL48 (VP22), US3, US4 (gG), US6 (gD), and US7 (gI) coding regions. The ICP4 gene was previously identified as a corneal neovascularization determinant, validating the vQTLmap method. Further analysis detected an epistatic interaction for neovascularization between a segment of the unique long (UL) region and a segment of the inverted repeat short (IRS)/unique short (US) region. Ridge regression was used to identify MPWL-associated nonsynonymous SNPs in the UL1 (gL), UL2, UL4, UL49 (VP22), UL50, and ICP4 coding regions. The data provide additional insights into virulence gene and epistatic interaction discovery in HSV-1. IMPORTANCE Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) typically causes recurrent cold sores; however, it is also the leading source of infectious blindness in developed countries. Corneal neovascularization is critical for the progression of blinding ocular

  1. Molecular characterization of multidrug resistant hospital isolates using the antimicrobial resistance determinant microarray.

    PubMed

    Leski, Tomasz A; Vora, Gary J; Barrows, Brian R; Pimentel, Guillermo; House, Brent L; Nicklasson, Matilda; Wasfy, Momtaz; Abdel-Maksoud, Mohamed; Taitt, Chris Rowe

    2013-01-01

    Molecular methods that enable the detection of antimicrobial resistance determinants are critical surveillance tools that are necessary to aid in curbing the spread of antibiotic resistance. In this study, we describe the use of the Antimicrobial Resistance Determinant Microarray (ARDM) that targets 239 unique genes that confer resistance to 12 classes of antimicrobial compounds, quaternary amines and streptothricin for the determination of multidrug resistance (MDR) gene profiles. Fourteen reference MDR strains, which either were genome, sequenced or possessed well characterized drug resistance profiles were used to optimize detection algorithms and threshold criteria to ensure the microarray's effectiveness for unbiased characterization of antimicrobial resistance determinants in MDR strains. The subsequent testing of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae hospital isolates revealed the presence of several antibiotic resistance genes [e.g. belonging to TEM, SHV, OXA and CTX-M classes (and OXA and CTX-M subfamilies) of β-lactamases] and their assemblages which were confirmed by PCR and DNA sequence analysis. When combined with results from the reference strains, ~25% of the ARDM content was confirmed as effective for representing allelic content from both Gram-positive and -negative species. Taken together, the ARDM identified MDR assemblages containing six to 18 unique resistance genes in each strain tested, demonstrating its utility as a powerful tool for molecular epidemiological investigations of antimicrobial resistance in clinically relevant bacterial pathogens.

  2. Molecular Characterization of Multidrug Resistant Hospital Isolates Using the Antimicrobial Resistance Determinant Microarray

    PubMed Central

    Leski, Tomasz A.; Vora, Gary J.; Barrows, Brian R.; Pimentel, Guillermo; House, Brent L.; Nicklasson, Matilda; Wasfy, Momtaz; Abdel-Maksoud, Mohamed; Taitt, Chris Rowe

    2013-01-01

    Molecular methods that enable the detection of antimicrobial resistance determinants are critical surveillance tools that are necessary to aid in curbing the spread of antibiotic resistance. In this study, we describe the use of the Antimicrobial Resistance Determinant Microarray (ARDM) that targets 239 unique genes that confer resistance to 12 classes of antimicrobial compounds, quaternary amines and streptothricin for the determination of multidrug resistance (MDR) gene profiles. Fourteen reference MDR strains, which either were genome, sequenced or possessed well characterized drug resistance profiles were used to optimize detection algorithms and threshold criteria to ensure the microarray's effectiveness for unbiased characterization of antimicrobial resistance determinants in MDR strains. The subsequent testing of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae hospital isolates revealed the presence of several antibiotic resistance genes [e.g. belonging to TEM, SHV, OXA and CTX-M classes (and OXA and CTX-M subfamilies) of β-lactamases] and their assemblages which were confirmed by PCR and DNA sequence analysis. When combined with results from the reference strains, ∼25% of the ARDM content was confirmed as effective for representing allelic content from both Gram-positive and –negative species. Taken together, the ARDM identified MDR assemblages containing six to 18 unique resistance genes in each strain tested, demonstrating its utility as a powerful tool for molecular epidemiological investigations of antimicrobial resistance in clinically relevant bacterial pathogens. PMID:23936031

  3. Virulence Plasmid (pYV)-Associated Expression of Phenotypic Virulent Determinants in Pathogenic Yersinia Species: A Convenient Method for Monitoring the Presence of pYV under Culture Conditions and Its Application for Isolation/Detection of Yersinia pestis in Food

    PubMed Central

    Bhaduri, Saumya; Smith, James L.

    2011-01-01

    In Yersinia pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica, phenotypic expression of virulence plasmid (pYV: 70-kb)-associated genetic determinants may include low-calcium response (Lcr, pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm), colony morphology (size = 1.13 mm), crystal violet (CV) binding (dark-violet colony), Congo Red (CR) uptake (red pinpoint colony, size = 0.36 mm), autoagglutination (AA = cells agglutinate), and hydrophobicity (HP = clumping of cells). Y. pseudotuberculosis is chromosomally closely related to Y. pestis; whereas, Y. enterocolitica is chromosomally more distantly related to Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. All three species demonstrate Lcr, CV binding, and CR uptake. The colony morphology/size, AA, and HP characteristics are expressed in both Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica but not in Y. pestis. Congo red uptake in Y. pestis was demonstrated only on calcium-deficient CR magnesium oxalate tryptic soy agar (CR-MOX), whereas this phenotype was expressed on both CR-MOX and low-calcium agarose media in Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica. These phenotypes were detectable at 37°C within 24 h in Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis but did not appear until 48 h in Y. pestis due to its slower growth rate at 37°C. The pYV is unstable (i.e., easily lost under a variety of culture conditions) in all three species but is more unstable in Y. pestis. The specific CR uptake by Y. pestis in CR-MOX and the delayed time interval to express Lcr and CR uptake provide a means to differentiate Y. pestis from Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. These differences in pYV expression in Y. pestis can be used for its isolation and detection in food. PMID:22567340

  4. Poxviruses and the Evolution of Host Range and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Haller, Sherry L.; Peng, Chen; McFadden, Grant; Rothenburg, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Poxviruses as a group can infect a large number of animals. However, at the level of individual viruses, even closely related poxviruses display highly diverse host ranges and virulence. For example, variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, is human-specific and highly virulent only to humans, whereas related cowpox viruses naturally infect a broad spectrum of animals and only cause relatively mild disease in humans. The successful replication of poxviruses depends on their effective manipulation of the host antiviral responses, at the cellular-, tissue- and species-specific levels, which constitutes a molecular basis for differences in poxvirus host range and virulence. A number of poxvirus genes have been identified that possess host range function in experimental settings, and many of these host range genes target specific antiviral host pathways. Herein, we review the biology of poxviruses with a focus on host range, zoonotic infections, virulence, genomics and host range genes as well as the current knowledge about the function of poxvirus host range factors and how their interaction with the host innate immune system contributes to poxvirus host range and virulence. We further discuss the evolution of host range and virulence in poxviruses as well as host switches and potential poxvirus threats for human and animal health. PMID:24161410

  5. Genes similar to the Vibrio parahaemolyticus virulence-related genes tdh, tlh, and vscC2 occur in other vibrionaceae species isolated from a pristine estuary.

    PubMed

    Klein, Savannah L; Gutierrez West, Casandra K; Mejia, Diana M; Lovell, Charles R

    2014-01-01

    Detection of the human pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus often relies on molecular biological analysis of species-specific virulence factor genes. These genes have been employed in determinations of V. parahaemolyticus population numbers and the prevalence of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains. Strains of the Vibrionaceae species Photobacterium damselae, Vibrio diabolicus, Vibrio harveyi, and Vibrio natriegens, as well as strains similar to Vibrio tubiashii, were isolated from a pristine salt marsh estuary. These strains were examined for the V. parahaemolyticus hemolysin genes tdh, trh, and tlh and for the V. parahaemolyticus type III secretion system 2α gene vscC2 using established PCR primers and protocols. Virulence-related genes occurred at high frequencies in non-V. parahaemolyticus Vibrionaceae species. V. diabolicus was of particular interest, as several strains were recovered, and the large majority (>83%) contained virulence-related genes. It is clear that detection of these genes does not ensure correct identification of virulent V. parahaemolyticus. Further, the occurrence of V. parahaemolyticus-like virulence factors in other vibrios potentially complicates tracking of outbreaks of V. parahaemolyticus infections.

  6. Genes Similar to the Vibrio parahaemolyticus Virulence-Related Genes tdh, tlh, and vscC2 Occur in Other Vibrionaceae Species Isolated from a Pristine Estuary

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Savannah L.; Gutierrez West, Casandra K.; Mejia, Diana M.

    2014-01-01

    Detection of the human pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus often relies on molecular biological analysis of species-specific virulence factor genes. These genes have been employed in determinations of V. parahaemolyticus population numbers and the prevalence of pathogenic V. parahaemolyticus strains. Strains of the Vibrionaceae species Photobacterium damselae, Vibrio diabolicus, Vibrio harveyi, and Vibrio natriegens, as well as strains similar to Vibrio tubiashii, were isolated from a pristine salt marsh estuary. These strains were examined for the V. parahaemolyticus hemolysin genes tdh, trh, and tlh and for the V. parahaemolyticus type III secretion system 2α gene vscC2 using established PCR primers and protocols. Virulence-related genes occurred at high frequencies in non-V. parahaemolyticus Vibrionaceae species. V. diabolicus was of particular interest, as several strains were recovered, and the large majority (>83%) contained virulence-related genes. It is clear that detection of these genes does not ensure correct identification of virulent V. parahaemolyticus. Further, the occurrence of V. parahaemolyticus-like virulence factors in other vibrios potentially complicates tracking of outbreaks of V. parahaemolyticus infections. PMID:24212573

  7. Molecular determinant of the effects of hydrostatic pressure on protein folding stability

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Calvin R.; Makhatadze, George I.

    2017-01-01

    Hydrostatic pressure is an important environmental variable that plays an essential role in biological adaptation for many extremophilic organisms (for example, piezophiles). Increase in hydrostatic pressure, much like increase in temperature, perturbs the thermodynamic equilibrium between native and unfolded states of proteins. Experimentally, it has been observed that increase in hydrostatic pressure can both increase and decrease protein stability. These observations suggest that volume changes upon protein unfolding can be both positive and negative. The molecular details of this difference in sign of volume changes have been puzzling the field for the past 50 years. Here we present a comprehensive thermodynamic model that provides in-depth analysis of the contribution of various molecular determinants to the volume changes upon protein unfolding. Comparison with experimental data shows that the model allows quantitative predictions of volume changes upon protein unfolding, thus paving the way to proteome-wide computational comparison of proteins from different extremophilic organisms. PMID:28169271

  8. Molecular ruler determines needle length for the Salmonella Spi-1 injectisome

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Kelly T.

    2015-01-01

    The type-III secretion (T3S) systems of bacteria are part of self-assembling nanomachines: the bacterial flagellum that enables cells to propel themselves through liquid and across hydrated surfaces, and the injectisome that delivers pathogenic effector proteins into eukaryotic host cells. Although the flagellum and injectisome serve different purposes, they are evolutionarily related and share many structural similarities. Core features to these T3S systems are intrinsic length control mechanisms for external cellular projections: the hook of the flagellum and the injectisome needle. We present evidence that the Spi-1 injectisome, like the Salmonella flagellar hook, uses a secreted molecular ruler, InvJ, to determine needle length. This result supports a universal length control mechanism using molecular rulers for T3S systems. PMID:25775540

  9. Determination of Quantum Chemistry Based Force Fields for Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Aromatic Polymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, Richard; Langhoff, Stephen R. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    Ab initio quantum chemistry calculations for model molecules can be used to parameterize force fields for molecular dynamics simulations of polymers. Emphasis in our research group is on using quantum chemistry-based force fields for molecular dynamics simulations of organic polymers in the melt and glassy states, but the methodology is applicable to simulations of small molecules, multicomponent systems and solutions. Special attention is paid to deriving reliable descriptions of the non-bonded and electrostatic interactions. Several procedures have been developed for deriving and calibrating these parameters. Our force fields for aromatic polyimide simulations will be described. In this application, the intermolecular interactions are the critical factor in determining many properties of the polymer (including its color).

  10. Determination of ractopamine in pork using a magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer as adsorbent followed by HPLC.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yiwei; Gao, Jingwen; Liu, Xiuying; Lan, Jianxing; Gao, Xue; Ma, Yong; Li, Min; Li, Jianrong

    2016-06-15

    A new magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIPs) for separation and concentration of ractopamine (RAC) were prepared using surface molecular imprinting technique with methacryloyl chloride as functional monomer and RAC as template. The MMIPs were characterized using transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and vibrating sample magnetometer. The results of re-binding experiments indicated that the MMIPs had fast adsorption kinetics and could reach binding equilibrium within 20 min, and the adsorption capacity of the MMIPs was 2.87-fold higher than that of the corresponding non-imprinted polymer. The selectivity of the MMIPs was evaluated according to its recognition to RAC and its analogues. The synthesized MMIPs were successfully applied to extraction, followed by high performance liquid chromatography to determine RAC in real food samples. Spiked recoveries ranged from 73.60% to 94.5%, with relative standard deviations of <11.17%.

  11. Investigating the ?Trojan Horse? Mechanism of Yersinia pestis Virulence

    SciTech Connect

    McCutchen-Maloney, S L; Fitch, J P

    2005-02-08

    Yersinia pestis, the etiological agent of plague, is a Gram-negative, highly communicable, enteric bacterium that has been responsible for three historic plague pandemics. Currently, several thousand cases of plague are reported worldwide annually, and Y. pestis remains a considerable threat from a biodefense perspective. Y. pestis infection can manifest in three forms: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. Of these three forms, pneumonic plague has the highest fatality rate ({approx}100% if left untreated), the shortest intervention time ({approx}24 hours), and is highly contagious. Currently, there are no rapid, widely available vaccines for plague and though plague may be treated with antibiotics, the emergence of both naturally occurring and potentially engineered antibiotic resistant strains makes the search for more effective therapies and vaccines for plague of pressing concern. The virulence mechanism of this deadly bacterium involves induction of a Type III secretion system, a syringe-like apparatus that facilitates the injection of virulence factors, termed Yersinia outer membrane proteins (Yops), into the host cell. These virulence factors inhibit phagocytosis and cytokine secretion, and trigger apoptosis of the host cell. Y. pestis virulence factors and the Type III secretion system are induced thermally, when the bacterium enters the mammalian host from the flea vector, and through host cell contact (or conditions of low Ca{sup 2+} in vitro). Apart from the temperature increase from 26 C to 37 C and host cell contact (or low Ca{sup 2+} conditions), other molecular mechanisms that influence virulence induction in Y. pestis are largely uncharacterized. This project focused on characterizing two novel mechanisms that regulate virulence factor induction in Y. pestis, immunoglobulin G (IgG) binding and quorum sensing, using a real-time reporter system to monitor induction of virulence. Incorporating a better understanding of the mechanisms of virulence

  12. Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance Patterns and Detection of Virulence Genes in Campylobacter Isolates in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Di Giannatale, Elisabetta; Di Serafino, Gabriella; Zilli, Katiuscia; Alessiani, Alessandra; Sacchini, Lorena; Garofolo, Giuliano; Aprea, Giuseppe; Marotta, Francesca

    2014-01-01

    Campylobacter has developed resistance to several antimicrobial agents over the years, including macrolides, quinolones and fluoroquinolones, becoming a significant public health hazard. A total of 145 strains derived from raw milk, chicken faeces, chicken carcasses, cattle faeces and human faeces collected from various Italian regions, were screened for antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular characterization (SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) and detection of virulence genes (sequencing and DNA microarray analysis). The prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli was 62.75% and 37.24% respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility revealed a high level of resistance for ciprofloxacin (62.76%), tetracycline (55.86%) and nalidixic acid (55.17%). Genotyping of Campylobacter isolates using PFGE revealed a total of 86 unique SmaI patterns. Virulence gene profiles were determined using a new microbial diagnostic microarray composed of 70-mer oligonucleotide probes targeting genes implicated in Campylobacter pathogenicity. Correspondence between PFGE and microarray clusters was observed. Comparisons of PFGE and virulence profiles reflected the high genetic diversity of the strains examined, leading us to speculate different degrees of pathogenicity inside Campylobacter populations. PMID:24556669

  13. Characterization of antimicrobial resistance patterns and detection of virulence genes in Campylobacter isolates in Italy.

    PubMed

    Di Giannatale, Elisabetta; Di Serafino, Gabriella; Zilli, Katiuscia; Alessiani, Alessandra; Sacchini, Lorena; Garofolo, Giuliano; Aprea, Giuseppe; Marotta, Francesca

    2014-02-19

    Campylobacter has developed resistance to several antimicrobial agents over the years, including macrolides, quinolones and fluoroquinolones, becoming a significant public health hazard. A total of 145 strains derived from raw milk, chicken faeces, chicken carcasses, cattle faeces and human faeces collected from various Italian regions, were screened for antimicrobial susceptibility, molecular characterization (SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) and detection of virulence genes (sequencing and DNA microarray analysis). The prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli was 62.75% and 37.24% respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility revealed a high level of resistance for ciprofloxacin (62.76%), tetracycline (55.86%) and nalidixic acid (55.17%). Genotyping of Campylobacter isolates using PFGE revealed a total of 86 unique SmaI patterns. Virulence gene profiles were determined using a new microbial diagnostic microarray composed of 70-mer oligonucleotide probes targeting genes implicated in Campylobacter pathogenicity. Correspondence between PFGE and microarray clusters was observed. Comparisons of PFGE and virulence profiles reflected the high genetic diversity of the strains examined, leading us to speculate different degrees of pathogenicity inside Campylobacter populations.

  14. Joint Transcriptional Control of Virulence and Resistance to Antibiotic and Environmental Stress in Acinetobacter baumannii

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Larry A.; Jacobson, Rachael K.; Usacheva, Elena A.; Peterson, Lance R.; Zurawski, Daniel V.; Shuman, Howard A.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens represents a serious risk to human health and the entire health care system. Many currently circulating strains of Acinetobacter baumannii exhibit resistance to multiple antibiotics. A key limitation in combating A. baumannii is that our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of A. baumannii is lacking. To identify potential virulence determinants of a contemporary multidrug-resistant isolate of A. baumannii, we used transposon insertion sequencing (TnSeq) of strain AB5075. A collection of 250,000 A. baumannii transposon mutants was analyzed for growth within Galleria mellonella larvae, an insect-based infection model. The screen identified 300 genes that were specifically required for survival and/or growth of A. baumannii inside G. mellonella larvae. These genes encompass both known, established virulence factors and several novel genes. Among these were more than 30 transcription factors required for growth in G. mellonella. A subset of the transcription factors was also found to be required for resistance to antibiotics and environmental stress. This work thus establishes a novel connection between virulence and resistance to both antibiotics and environmental stress in A. baumannii. PMID:26556274

  15. Bacteriological and virulence study of a Mycobacterium chimaera isolate from a patient in China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guan; Chen, Su-Ting; Yu, Xia; Li, Yu-Xun; Ling, Ying; Dong, Ling-Ling; Zheng, Su-Hua; Huang, Hai-Rong

    2015-04-01

    A clinical isolate from a patient was identified as Mycobacterium chimaera, a recently identified species of nontuberculous Mycobacteria. The biochemical and molecular identity, drug sensitivity and virulence of this isolated strain were investigated. 16S rRNA, the 16S-23S ITS, hsp65 and rpoB were amplified, and their sequence similarities with other mycobacteria were analyzed. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of 22 anti-microbial agents against this isolate were established, and the virulence of the isolate was evaluated by intravenous injection into C57BL/6 mice using Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv as a control strain. Growth and morphological characteristics and mycolic acid profile analysis revealed that this isolated strain was a member of the Mycobacterium avium complex. BLAST analysis of the amplified sequences showed that the isolated strain was closely related to M. chimaera. Susceptibility testing showed that the isolate was sensitive to rifabutin, rifapentine, clarithromycin, azithromycin, imipenem and cefoxitin. Bacterial load determination and tissue histopathology of the infected mice indicated that the isolate was highly virulent. The first case of M. chimaera infection in China was evaluated. The information derived from this case may offer valuable guidance for clinical diagnosis and treatment.

  16. Molecular Machines Determining the Fate of Endocytosed Synaptic Vesicles in Nerve Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Fassio, Anna; Fadda, Manuela; Benfenati, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The cycle of a synaptic vesicle (SV) within the nerve terminal is a step-by-step journey with the final goal of ensuring the proper synaptic strength under changing environmental conditions. The SV cycle is a precisely regulated membrane traffic event in cells and, because of this, a plethora of membrane-bound and cytosolic proteins are devoted to assist SVs in each step of the journey. The cycling fate of endocytosed SVs determines both the availability for subsequent rounds of release and the lifetime of SVs in the terminal and is therefore crucial for synaptic function and plasticity. Molecular players that determine the destiny of SVs in nerve terminals after a round of exo-endocytosis are largely unknown. Here we review the functional role in SV fate of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation of SV proteins and of small GTPases acting on membrane trafficking at the synapse, as they are emerging as key molecules in determining the recycling route of SVs within the nerve terminal. In particular, we focus on: (i) the cyclin-dependent kinase-5 (cdk5) and calcineurin (CN) control of the recycling pool of SVs; (ii) the role of small GTPases of the Rab and ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf) families in defining the route followed by SV in their nerve terminal cycle. These regulatory proteins together with their synaptic regulators and effectors, are molecular nanomachines mediating homeostatic responses in synaptic plasticity and potential targets of drugs modulating the efficiency of synaptic transmission. PMID:27242505

  17. Sex determination of Pohnpei Micronesian kingfishers using morphological and molecular genetic techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kesler, Dylan C.; Lopes, I.F.; Haig, Susan M.

    2006-01-01

    Conservation-oriented studies of Micronesian Kingfishers (Todiramphus cinnamominus) have been hindered by a lack of basic natural history information, despite the status of the Guam subspecies (T. c. cinnamominus) as one of the most endangered species in the world. We used tissue samples and morphometric measures from museum specimens and wild-captured Pohnpei Micronesian Kingfishers (T. c. reichenbachii) to develop methods for sex determination. We present a modified molecular protocol and a discriminant function that yields the probability that a particular individual is male or female. Our results revealed that females were significantly larger than males, and the discriminant function correctly predicted sex in 73% (30/41) of the individuals. The sex of 86% (18/21) of individuals was correctly assigned when a moderate reliability threshold was set. Sex determination using molecular genetic techniques was more reliable than methods based on morphology. Our results will facilitate recovery efforts for the critically endangered Guam Micronesian Kingfisher and provide a basis for sex determination in the 11 other endangered congeners in the Pacific Basin.

  18. Proposed Molecular Beam Determination of Energy Partition in the Photodissociation of Polyatomic Molecules

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    Zare, P. N.; Herschbach, D. R.

    1964-01-29

    Conventional photochemical experiments give no information about the partitioning of energy between translational recoil and internal excitation of the fragment molecules formed in photodissociation of a polyatomic molecule. In a molecular beam experiment, it becomes possible to determine the energy partition from the form of the laboratory angular distribution of one of the photodissociation products. A general kinematic analysis is worked out in detail, and the uncertainty introduced by the finite angular resolution of the apparatus and the velocity spread in the parent beam is examined. The experimental requirements are evaluated for he photolysis of methyl iodide by the 2537 angstrom Hg line.

  19. Direct determination of discrete harmonic bath parameters from molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Walters, Peter L; Allen, Thomas C; Makri, Nancy

    2017-01-15

    We present a direct procedure for determining the parameters of a discrete harmonic bath modeling the influence of a complex condensed phase environment on the system of interest. The procedure employs an efficient discretization of the spectral density into modes that correspond to equal fractions of the reorganization energy. The new procedure uses directly the classical correlation function (available from molecular dynamics calculations) as input, avoiding numerical computation of the spectral density by means of a discrete Fourier transform. Convergence is obtained using a shorter time length of the correlation function, leading to significant computational savings. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Uterine leiomyomas: effects on architectural, cellular, and molecular determinants of endometrial receptivity.

    PubMed

    Makker, Annu; Goel, Madhu Mati

    2013-06-01

    Impaired endometrial receptivity is an important contributing factor to implantation failure. Uterine leiomyomas are widely prevalent steroid hormone-dependent benign tumors that act as a restraint to conception and successful outcome of pregnancies. Reports are available, which suggest that leiomyomas have negative influence on endometrial receptivity to blastocyst implantation. The aim of the present review is to provide a comprehensive picture of the current knowledge of the effect of uterine leiomyomas on the architectural, cellular, and molecular determinants of endometrial receptivity. Understanding the potential role of these factors will provide insight into the underlying mechanisms of leiomyoma-associated infertility and provide new areas for basic and translational research.

  1. [The determination of molecular sulphur in Matsesta mineral water and its analog Novonukutskaya mineral water].

    PubMed

    Khutorianskiĭ, V A; Smirnov, A I; Matveev, D A

    2014-01-01

    The method of microcolumn reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (rp-HPLC) was employed to determine the content of elemental sulphur in mineral waters. The study envisaged the analysis of the samples of sulphide-containing mineral waters Novonukutskaya and Matsesta obtained by the solid phase extraction technique. Based on these data, the authors discuss the origin and the circulation of sulphur in the hydrogen sulphide sources. The elution conditions selected in this study ensured the high-resolution separation of the octasulphur peak from the peaks of allotropic components of the extract whereas the two-wave detection technique allowed to identify the peaks of molecular sulphur.

  2. Some observations on the pathogenicity of a molecular clone of a very virulent strain of Marek’s disease virus containing an insert of long terminal repeat of reticuloendotheliosis virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We recently artificially inserted REV LTR into a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone of a very virulent strain of Marek’s disease (MD) virus (MDV), Md5; the virus was designated rMd5-RM1-LTR (Kim et al., 2011). In the present study, susceptible chickens of ADOL line 15I5 X 71 with and witho...

  3. Correlation between antimicrobial resistance and virulence in Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    PubMed

    Hennequin, C; Robin, F

    2016-03-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is responsible for a wide range of infections, including urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bacteremia, and liver abscesses. In addition to susceptible clinical isolates involved in nosocomial infections, multidrug-resistant (MDR) and hypervirulent (hvKP) strains have evolved separately in distinct clonal groups. The rapid geographic spread of these isolates is of particular concern. However, we still know little about the virulence of K. pneumoniae except for hvKP, whose secrets are beginning to be revealed. The treatment of K. pneumoniae infections is threatened by the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. The dissemination of resistance is associated with genetic mobile elements, such as plasmids that may also carry virulence determinants. A proficient pathogen should be virulent, resistant to antibiotics, and epidemic. However, the interplay between resistance and virulence is poorly understood. Here, we review current knowledge on the topic.

  4. 6-Gingerol reduces Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation and virulence via quorum sensing inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Han-Shin; Lee, Sang-Hoon; Byun, Youngjoo; Park, Hee-Deung

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a well-known pathogenic bacterium that forms biofilms and produces virulence factors via quorum sensing (QS). Interfering with normal QS interactions between signal molecules and their cognate receptors is a developing strategy for attenuating its virulence. Here we tested the hypothesis that 6-gingerol, a pungent oil of fresh ginger, reduces biofilm formation and virulence by antagonistically binding to P. aeruginosa QS receptors. In silico studies demonstrated molecular binding occurs between 6-gingerol and the QS receptor LasR through hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions. Experimentally 6-gingerol reduced biofilm formation, several virulence factors (e.g., exoprotease, rhamnolipid, and pyocyanin), and mice mortality. Further transcriptome analyses demonstrated that 6-gingerol successfully repressed QS-induced genes, specifically those related to the production of virulence factors. These results strongly support our hypothesis and offer insight into the molecular mechanism that caused QS gene repression. PMID:25728862

  5. 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.

  6. Molecular features determining different partitioning patterns of papain and bromelain in aqueous two-phase systems.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Maria Victoria; Nerli, Bibiana Beatriz

    2013-10-01

    The partitioning patterns of papain (PAP) and bromelain (BR), two well-known cysteine-proteases, in polyethyleneglycol/sodium citrate aqueous two-phase systems (ATPSs) were determined. Polyethyleneglycols of different molecular weight (600, 1000, 2000, 4600 and 8000) were assayed. Thermodynamic characterization of partitioning process, spectroscopy measurements and computational calculations of protein surface properties were also carried out in order to explain their differential partitioning behavior. PAP was observed to be displaced to the salt-enriched phase in all the assayed systems with partition coefficients (KpPAP) values between 0.2 and 0.9, while BR exhibited a high affinity for the polymer phase in systems formed by PEGs of low molecular weight (600 and 1000) with partition coefficients (KpBR) values close to 3. KpBR values resulted higher than KpPAP in all the cases. This difference could be assigned neither to the charge nor to the size of the partitioned biomolecules since PAP and BR possess similar molecular weight (23,000) and isoelectric point (9.60). The presence of highly exposed tryptophans and positively charged residues (Lys, Arg and His) in BR molecule would be responsible for a charge transfer interaction between PEG and the protein and, therefore, the uneven distribution of BR in these systems.

  7. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering sensor for theophylline determination by molecular imprinting on silver nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ping; Liu, Renyong; Guan, Guijian; Jiang, Changlong; Wang, Suhua; Zhang, Zhongping

    2011-10-21

    A surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based sensor for the determination of theophylline (THO) has been developed by imprinting the target molecules on the surface of silver nanoparticles. The desired recognition sites are generated after template removal and homogeneous distribution on the silver nanoparticles that have been incorporated within polymer matrix by the in situ reduction of theophylline-silver complexes, providing molecular recognition ability and SERS active surfaces. The theophylline molecules, complementary to the shape, size, and functionality of the recognition cavities, can selectively bind to the recognition sites at the surface of silver nanoparticles driven by the formation of hydrogen bonding and surface coordination. It has been demonstrated that the SERS signals of the theophylline molecules captured on the surface of the silver nanoparticles have a good reproducibility and a dose-response relationship to the target analytes, showing the potential for reliable identification and quantification of the bioactive compound. The molecular imprinting-based SERS sensor, like antibodies or enzymes, also possesses the ability to distinguish theophylline from the closely related structure caffeine due to the variations of molecular size and shape as well as the different affinity to silver ions.

  8. Molecularly imprinted polymers: an analytical tool for the determination of benzimidazole compounds in water samples.

    PubMed

    Cacho, Carmen; Turiel, Esther; Pérez-Conde, Concepción

    2009-05-15

    Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) for benzimidazole compounds have been synthesized by precipitation polymerization using thiabendazole (TBZ) as template, methacrylic acid as functional monomer, ethyleneglycol dimethacrylate (EDMA) and divinylbenzene (DVB) as cross-linkers and a mixture of acetonitrile and toluene as porogen. The experiments carried out by molecularly imprinted solid phase extraction (MISPE) in cartridges demonstrated the imprint effect in both imprinted polymers. MIP-DVB enabled a much higher breakthrough volume than MIP-EDMA, and thus was selected for further experiments. The ability of this MIP for the selective recognition of other benzimidazole compounds (albendazole, benomyl, carbendazim, fenbendazole, flubendazole and fuberidazole) was evaluated. The obtained results revealed the high selectivity of the imprinted polymer towards all the selected benzimidazole compounds. An off-line analytical methodology based on a MISPE procedure has been developed for the determination of benzimidazole compounds in tap, river and well water samples at concentration levels below the legislated maximum concentration levels (MCLs) with quantitative recoveries. Additionally, an on-line preconcentration procedure based on the use of a molecularly imprinted polymer as selective stationary phase in HPLC is proposed as a fast screening method for the evaluation of the presence of benzimidazole compounds in water samples.

  9. Challenge of investigating biologically relevant functions of virulence factors in bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed Central

    Moxon, R; Tang, C

    2000-01-01

    Recent innovations have increased enormously the opportunities for investigating the molecular basis of bacterial pathogenicity, including the availability of whole-genome sequences, techniques for identifying key virulence genes, and the use of microarrays and proteomics. These methods should provide powerful tools for analysing the patterns of gene expression and function required for investigating host-microbe interactions in vivo. But, the challenge is exacting. Pathogenicity is a complex phenotype and the reductionist approach does not adequately address the eclectic and variable outcomes of host-microbe interactions, including evolutionary dynamics and ecological factors. There are difficulties in distinguishing bacterial 'virulence' factors from the many determinants that are permissive for pathogenicity, for example those promoting general fitness. A further practical problem for some of the major bacterial pathogens is that there are no satisfactory animal models or experimental assays that adequately reflect the infection under investigation. In this review, we give a personal perspective on the challenge of characterizing how bacterial pathogens behave in vivo and discuss some of the methods that might be most relevant for understanding the molecular basis of the diseases for which they are responsible. Despite the powerful genomic, molecular, cellular and structural technologies available to us, we are still struggling to come to grips with the question of 'What is a pathogen?' PMID:10874737

  10. Proteomics Analysis Reveals Previously Uncharacterized Virulence Factors in Vibrio proteolyticus

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Ann; Kinch, Lisa N.; de Souza Santos, Marcela; Grishin, Nick V.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Members of the genus Vibrio include many pathogens of humans and marine animals that share genetic information via horizontal gene transfer. Hence, the Vibrio pan-genome carries the potential to establish new pathogenic strains by sharing virulence determinants, many of which have yet to be characterized. Here, we investigated the virulence properties of Vibrio proteolyticus, a Gram-negative marine bacterium previously identified as part of the Vibrio consortium isolated from diseased corals. We found that V. proteolyticus causes actin cytoskeleton rearrangements followed by cell lysis in HeLa cells in a contact-independent manner. In search of the responsible virulence factor involved, we determined the V. proteolyticus secretome. This proteomics approach revealed various putative virulence factors, including active type VI secretion systems and effectors with virulence toxin domains; however, these type VI secretion systems were not responsible for the observed cytotoxic effects. Further examination of the V. proteolyticus secretome led us to hypothesize and subsequently demonstrate that a secreted hemolysin, belonging to a previously uncharacterized clan of the leukocidin superfamily, was the toxin responsible for the V. proteolyticus-mediated cytotoxicity in both HeLa cells and macrophages. Clearly, there remains an armory of yet-to-be-discovered virulence factors in the Vibrio pan-genome that will undoubtedly provide a wealth of knowledge on how a pathogen can manipulate host cells. PMID:27460800

  11. Determination of bismuth in pharmaceutical products using phosphoric acid as molecular probe by resonance light scattering.

    PubMed

    Yun, Yanru; Cui, Fengling; Geng, Shaoguang; Jin, Jianhua

    2012-01-01

    A novel method for the sensitive determination of bismuth(III) in pharmaceutical products using phosphoric acid as a molecular probe by resonance light scattering (RLS) is discussed. In 0.5 mol/L phosphoric acid (H3 PO4) medium, bismuth(III) reacted with PO4 (3-) to form an ion association compound, which resulted in the significant enhancement of RLS intensity and the appearance of the corresponding RLS spectral characteristics. The maximum scattering peak of the system existed at 364 nm. Under optimal conditions, there was linear relationship between the relative intensity of RLS and concentration of bismuth(III) in the range of 0.06-10.0 µg/mL for the system. A low detection limit for bismuth(III) of 3.22 ng/mL was achieved. The relative standard deviations (RSD) for the determination of 0.40 and 0.80 µg/mL bismuth(III) were 2.1% and 1.1%, respectively, for five determinations. Based on this fact, a simple, rapid, and sensitive method was developed for the determination of bismuth(III) at nanogram level by RLS technique with a common spectrofluorimeter. This analytical system was successfully applied to determine the trace amounts of bismuth(III) in pharmaceutical products, which was in good agreement with the results obtained by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS).

  12. Determination of fluorine in milk samples via calcium-monofluoride by electrothermal molecular absorption spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Ozbek, Nil; Akman, Suleyman

    2013-05-01

    The determination of fluorine in milk samples via the molecular absorption of calcium mono-fluoride (CaF) was performed using a HR-CS-ETAAS. For this purpose, calcium was pipetted to graphite furnace together with samples. The amount of Ca and the graphite furnace program were optimised. Fluorine was determined in pyrolytically coated platforms at 606.440 nm applying a pyrolysis temperature of 700 °C and a molecule forming temperature of 2250 °C. Finally, applying standard addition technique, F contents of several milk samples were determined. The results obtained by linear calibration and standard addition techniques were significantly different which can be attributed to non-spectral interferences in milk due to matrix concomitants. Therefore, in order to tolerate the errors, the F contents of several milk samples were determined applying standard addition technique. However, since the ingredients of milk samples change for different kinds, the F in each sample was determined from its own standard addition curve. The range of F content for the milk samples were 0.027-0.543 μg mL(-1). The limit of detection and characteristic mass of the method were 0.26 and 0.13 ng of F, respectively.

  13. 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

  14. A Molecularly Imprinted Polymer with Incorporated Graphene Oxide for Electrochemical Determination of Quercetin

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Si; Zhang, Mengqi; Li, Yijun; He, Xiwen

    2013-01-01

    The molecularly imprinted polymer based on polypyrrole film with incorporated graphene oxide was fabricated and used for electrochemical determination of quercetin. The electrochemical behavior of quercetin on the modified electrode was studied in detail using differential pulse voltammetry. The oxidation peak current of quercetin in B-R buffer solution (pH = 3.5) at the modified electrode was regressed with the concentration in the range from 6.0 × 10−7 to 1.5 × 10−5 mol/L (r2 = 0.997) with a detection limit of 4.8 × 10−8 mol/L (S/N = 3). This electrode showed good stability and reproducibility. In the above mentioned range, rutin or morin which has similar structures and at the same concentration as quercetin did not interfere with the determination of quercetin. The applicability of the method for complex matrix analysis was also evaluated. PMID:23698263

  15. Characterization of molecular determinants for nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of PRV UL54

    SciTech Connect

    Li Meili; Wang Shuai; Cai Mingsheng; Guo Hong; Zheng Chunfu

    2011-09-01

    The pseudorabies virus (PRV) early protein UL54 is a homologue of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) immediate-early protein ICP27, which is a multifunctional protein and essential for HSV-1 infection. To determine if UL54 might shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm, as has been shown for its homologues in human herpesviruses, the molecular determinants for its nucleocytoplasmic shuttling were investigated. Heterokaryon assays demonstrated that UL54 was a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein and this property could not be blocked by leptomycin B, an inhibitor of chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1). However, TAP/NXF1 promoted the nuclear export of UL54 and interacted with UL54, suggesting that UL54 shuttles between the nucleus and the cytoplasm via a TAP/NXF1, but not CRM1, dependent nuclear export pathway. Furthermore, UL54 was demonstrated to target to the nucleus through a classic Ran-, importin {beta}1- and {alpha}5-dependent nuclear import mechanism.

  16. Direct determination of three-phase contact line properties on nearly molecular scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, P. M.; McGraw, R. L.; Bauer, P. S.; Rentenberger, C.; Wagner, P. E.

    2016-05-01

    Wetting phenomena in multi-phase systems govern the shape of the contact line which separates the different phases. For liquids in contact with solid surfaces wetting is typically described in terms of contact angle. While in macroscopic systems the contact angle can be determined experimentally, on the molecular scale contact angles are hardly accessible. Here we report the first direct experimental determination of contact angles as well as contact line curvature on a scale of the order of 1nm. For water nucleating heterogeneously on Ag nanoparticles we find contact angles around 15 degrees compared to 90 degrees for the corresponding macroscopically measured equilibrium angle. The obtained microscopic contact angles can be attributed to negative line tension in the order of ‑10‑10 J/m that becomes increasingly dominant with increasing curvature of the contact line. These results enable a consistent theoretical description of heterogeneous nucleation and provide firm insight to the wetting of nanosized objects.

  17. Synthesis and application of a molecularly imprinted polymer for the voltammetric determination of famciclovir.

    PubMed

    El Gohary, Nesrine Abdelrehim; Madbouly, Adel; El Nashar, Rasha Mohamed; Mizaikoff, Boris

    2015-03-15

    A molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) was synthesized and applied as additive within a carbon paste electrode for the cyclic voltammetric determination of famciclovir (FCV). Complementary computational studies were performed to study the intermolecular interactions in the pre-polymerization mixture. Derived from the computational studies, four MIP ratios were synthesized and their performance was evaluated using equilibrium rebinding assays. The MIP with the highest binding capacity was selected. A linear response was obtained in the range of 2.5×10(-6)-1.0×10(-3)M with a limit of detection at 7.5×10(-7)M. Finally, the developed MIP-voltammetry system was successfully applied for the determination of FCV in pure solutions and pharmaceutical preparations.

  18. Accurate determination of plasmonic fields in molecular junctions by current rectification at optical frequencies.

    PubMed

    Arielly, Rani; Ofarim, Ayelet; Noy, Gilad; Selzer, Yoram

    2011-07-13

    Current rectification, i.e., induction of dc current by oscillating electromagnetic fields, is demonstrated in molecular junctions at an optical frequency. The magnitude of rectification is used to accurately determine the effective oscillating potentials in the junctions induced by the irradiating laser. Since the gap size of the junctions used in this study is precisely determined by the length of the embedded molecules, the oscillating potential can be used to calculate the plasmonic enhancement of the electromagnetic field in the junctions. With a set of junctions based on alkyl thiolated molecules with identical HOMO-LUMO gap and different lengths, an exponential dependence of the plasmonic field enhancement on gap size is observed.

  19. Direct determination of three-phase contact line properties on nearly molecular scale.

    PubMed

    Winkler, P M; McGraw, R L; Bauer, P S; Rentenberger, C; Wagner, P E

    2016-05-17

    Wetting phenomena in multi-phase systems govern the shape of the contact line which separates the different phases. For liquids in contact with solid surfaces wetting is typically described in terms of contact angle. While in macroscopic systems the contact angle can be determined experimentally, on the molecular scale contact angles are hardly accessible. Here we report the first direct experimental determination of contact angles as well as contact line curvature on a scale of the order of 1nm. For water nucleating heterogeneously on Ag nanoparticles we find contact angles around 15 degrees compared to 90 degrees for the corresponding macroscopically measured equilibrium angle. The obtained microscopic contact angles can be attributed to negative line tension in the order of -10(-10) J/m that becomes increasingly dominant with increasing curvature of the contact line. These results enable a consistent theoretical description of heterogeneous nucleation and provide firm insight to the wetting of nanosized objects.

  20. Direct determination of three-phase contact line properties on nearly molecular scale

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, P. M.; McGraw, R. L.; Bauer, P. S.; Rentenberger, C.; Wagner, P. E.

    2016-01-01

    Wetting phenomena in multi-phase systems govern the shape of the contact line which separates the different phases. For liquids in contact with solid surfaces wetting is typically described in terms of contact angle. While in macroscopic systems the contact angle can be determined experimentally, on the molecular scale contact angles are hardly accessible. Here we report the first direct experimental determination of contact angles as well as contact line curvature on a scale of the order of 1nm. For water nucleating heterogeneously on Ag nanoparticles we find contact angles around 15 degrees compared to 90 degrees for the corresponding macroscopically measured equilibrium angle. The obtained microscopic contact angles can be attributed to negative line tension in the order of −10−10 J/m that becomes increasingly dominant with increasing curvature of the contact line. These results enable a consistent theoretical description of heterogeneous nucleation and provide firm insight to the wetting of nanosized objects. PMID:27183880

  1. A molecularly imprinted polymer with incorporated graphene oxide for electrochemical determination of quercetin.

    PubMed

    Sun, Si; Zhang, Mengqi; Li, Yijun; He, Xiwen

    2013-04-25

    The molecularly imprinted polymer based on polypyrrole film with incorporated graphene oxide was fabricated and used for electrochemical determination of quercetin. The electrochemical behavior of quercetin on the modified electrode was studied in detail using differential pulse voltammetry. The oxidation peak current of quercetin in B-R buffer solution (pH = 3.5) at the modified electrode was regressed with the concentration in the range from 6.0 × 10(-7) to 1.5 × 10(-5) mol/L (r2 = 0.997) with a detection limit of 4.8 × 10(-8) mol/L (S/N = 3). This electrode showed good stability and reproducibility. In the above mentioned range, rutin or morin which has similar structures and at the same concentration as quercetin did not interfere with the determination of quercetin. The applicability of the method for complex matrix analysis was also evaluated.

  2. Structure determination of an 11-subunit exosome in complex with RNA by molecular replacement

    SciTech Connect

    Makino, Debora Lika Conti, Elena

    2013-11-01

    The crystallographic steps towards the structure determination of a complete eukaryotic exosome complex bound to RNA are presented. Phasing of this 11-protein subunit complex was carried out via molecular replacement. The RNA exosome is an evolutionarily conserved multi-protein complex involved in the 3′ degradation of a variety of RNA transcripts. In the nucleus, the exosome participates in the maturation of structured RNAs, in the surveillance of pre-mRNAs and in the decay of a variety of noncoding transcripts. In the cytoplasm, the exosome degrades mRNAs in constitutive and regulated turnover pathways. Several structures of subcomplexes of eukaryotic exosomes or related prokaryotic exosome-like complexes are known, but how the complete assembly is organized to fulfil processive RNA degradation has been unclear. An atomic snapshot of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae 420 kDa exosome complex bound to an RNA substrate in the pre-cleavage state of a hydrolytic reaction has been determined. Here, the crystallographic steps towards the structural elucidation, which was carried out by molecular replacement, are presented.

  3. Determination of molecular weight of hyaluronic acid by near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Dong, Qin; Zang, Hengchang; Liu, Aihua; Yang, Guilan; Sun, Chunxiao; Sui, Linyan; Wang, Pei; Li, Lian

    2010-11-02

    This paper attempted the feasibility to determine the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid with near-infrared (NIR) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. In this work, 46 experimental samples of hyaluronic acid powder were analyzed by partial least square (PLS) regression multivariate calibration method in the selected region of NIR spectra. The leave-one-out cross-validation method was used for the PLS model selection criterion. The accuracy of the final model was evaluated according to correlation coefficient of prediction set (Rp) and root mean square error of prediction set (RMSEP). The repeatability was verified through repeated measurement of spectra coupled with an appropriate chi-square test. Finally, the optimal calibration model was obtained with Rp=0.9814 and RMSEP=88.32 when using Savitzky-Golay first (SG-1st) derivative with 9 smoothing points spectral preprocessing method. The parameters above and repeatability of NIR spectroscopy obtained from chi-square test were both within the range of permissible error in factories. This study demonstrated that NIR spectroscopy was superior to conventional methods for the fast determination of molecular weight of hyaluronic acid.

  4. Electrochemical sensor based on magnetic molecularly imprinted nanoparticles modified magnetic electrode for determination of Hb.

    PubMed

    Sun, Binghua; Ni, Xinjiong; Cao, Yuhua; Cao, Guangqun

    2017-05-15

    A fast and selective electrochemical sensor for determination of hemoglobin (Hb) was developed based on magnetic molecularly imprinted nanoparticles modified on the magnetic glassy carbon electrode. The nanoparticles Fe3O4@SiO2 with a magnetic core and a molecularly imprinted shell had regular structures and good monodispersity. Hb could be determined directly by electrochemical oxidization with the modified electrode. A magnetic field increased electrochemical response to Hb by two times. Imprinting Hb on the surface of Fe3O4@SiO2 shortened the response time within 7min. Under optimum conditions, the imprinting factor toward the non-imprinted sensor was 2.8, and the separation factor of Hb to horseradish peroxidase was 2.6. The oxidation peak current had a linear relationship with Hb concentration ranged from 0.005mg/ml to 0.1mg/ml with a detection limit (S/N =3) of 0.0010mg/ml. The sensors were successfully applied to analysis of Hb in whole blood samples with recoveries between 95.7% and 105%.

  5. Phylogeny and virulence divergency analyses of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from China

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a very successful parasite that can infect virtually all warm blooded animals with a worldwide distribution. It causes a large range of clinical manifestations in both humans and domesticated animals. In addition, marked biological differences exist among T. gondii strains in the pathogenicity and geographical distribution. Molecular epidemiology studies primarily based on restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method revealed that three main types are predominant in North America and Europe, whereas other diverse genotypes are found in other parts of the world. Microsatellite (MS) as a type of genetic marker has been widely used in many organisms. Limited MS genotyping, however, to fingerprint T. gondii isolates has been reported and little is known about the MS data of the strains predominantly prevalent in China. Methods Genotyping of twenty-eight Chinese T. gondii isolates were performed using 15 MS markers located on 12 different chromosomes. Results were analyzed in terms of population structure by a Bayesian statistical approach. Phylogenetic analysis was obtained from a Neighbor-Net phylogenetic network. The virulence analyses of some representative isolates were determined by inoculation of mice and cell invasion assays. The gene expressions of some virulence-associated factors (VFs) were performed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT- PCR). Results Three haplogroups were clustered among the 28 isolates although minor genetic differences were found within haplogroups. The majority of strains belong to one haplogroup corresponding to the previously described Chinese 1 type (ToxoDB#9). Phylogenetic networks uncovered a limited diversity of T. gondii strains and the virulence differs in the strains sharing the same genotype. No remarkable difference, however, was noted in the tested VFs except for dense granule protein3 (GRA3), which was found to have a higher expression in low virulent TgCtwh6 (Wh6) strain

  6. Identification of regions affecting virulence, RNA processing and infectivity in the virulent satellite of turnip crinkle virus.

    PubMed Central

    Simon, A E; Engel, H; Johnson, R P; Howell, S H

    1988-01-01

    Turnip crinkle virus (TCV) supports a small family of satellite RNAs (RNAs C, D and F). RNA C is a virulent satellite, producing severe symptoms in host plants, while RNAs D and F are avirulent satellites. The virulent satellite (RNA C) has two major domains--a 5'-domain similar to the avirulent satellites and a 3'-domain similar to the 3'-end of the TCV genome. To demonstrate that the 3'-domain of RNA C determines virulence, a chimeric satellite was constructed composed mostly of the 5'-domain of the avirulent satellite (RNA F) and the 3'-domain of the virulent satellite (RNA C). To locate other functional regions, small DNA fragments were inserted or deleted at various sites in the cDNA of virulent satellite (RNA C). Most small internal deletions and insertions in the midsection of the molecule had no detectable effects while those near the 3'-end of RNA C destroyed infectivity. Modifications in a small region centering on an AGCAGC repeat in the domain of satellite homology blocked the accumulation of monomers and presumably the processing of RNA C. Other modifications in this region produced more intense symptoms. Hence, these experiments reveal regions of the satellite which determine virulence, are essential for infectivity, affect monomer accumulation (RNA processing) and modulate symptom expression. Images PMID:3181135

  7. 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

  8. Molecular determinants of affinity for aminoglycoside binding to the aminoglycoside nucleotidyltransferase(2'')-Ia.

    PubMed

    Wright, Edward; Serpersu, Engin H

    2006-08-29

    One of the most commonly occurring aminoglycoside resistance enzymes is aminoglycoside 2''-O-nucleotidyltransferase [ANT(2'')]. In the present study molecular determinants of affinity and specificity for aminoglycoside binding to this enzyme are investigated using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). Binding of aminoglycosides is enthalpically driven accompanied by negative entropy changes. The presence of metal-nucleotide increases the affinity for all but one of the aminoglycosides studied but has no effect on specificity. The substituents at positions 1, 2', and 6' are important determinants of substrate specificity. An amino group at these positions leads to greater affinity. No correlation is observed between the change in affinity and enthalpy. At the 2' position greater affinity results from a more negative enthalpy for an aminoglycoside containing an amino rather than a hydroxyl at that position. At the 6' position the greater affinity for an aminoglycoside containing an amino substituent results from a less disfavorable entropic contribution. The thermodynamic basis for the change in affinity at position 1 could not be determined because of the weak binding of one of the aminoglycoside substrates, amikacin. The effect of increasing osmotic stress on affinity was used to determine that a net release of approximately four water molecules occurs when tobramycin binds to ANT(2''). No measurable net change in the number of bound water molecules is observed when neomycin binds the enzyme. Data acquired in this work provide the rationale for the ability of ANT(2'') to confer resistance against kanamycins but not neomycins.

  9. Molecular determinants of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 transmission and spread.

    PubMed

    Lairmore, Michael D; Anupam, Rajaneesh; Bowden, Nadine; Haines, Robyn; Haynes, Rashade A H; Ratner, Lee; Green, Patrick L

    2011-07-01

    Human T-lymphotrophic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infects approximately 15 to 20 million people worldwide, with endemic areas in Japan, the Caribbean, and Africa. The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids containing infected cells, most often from mother to child through breast milk or via blood transfusion. After prolonged latency periods, approximately 3 to 5% of HTLV-1 infected individuals will develop either adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), or other lymphocyte-mediated disorders such as HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The genome of this complex retrovirus contains typical gag, pol, and env genes, but also unique nonstructural proteins encoded from the pX region. These nonstructural genes encode the Tax and Rex regulatory proteins, as well as novel proteins essential for viral spread in vivo such as, p30, p12, p13 and the antisense encoded HBZ. While progress has been made in the understanding of viral determinants of cell transformation and host immune responses, host and viral determinants of HTLV-1 transmission and spread during the early phases of infection are unclear. Improvements in the molecular tools to test these viral determinants in cellular and animal models have provided new insights into the early events of HTLV-1 infection. This review will focus on studies that test HTLV-1 determinants in context to full length infectious clones of the virus providing insights into the mechanisms of transmission and spread of HTLV-1.

  10. Virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance of escherichia coli isolated from urinary tract of swine in southern of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    da Costa, Mateus Matiuzzi; Drescher, Guilherme; Maboni, Franciele; Weber, Shana; de Avila Botton, Sônia; Vainstein, Marilene Henning; Schrank, Irene Silveira; de Vargas, Agueda Castagna

    2008-01-01

    The present study determined the molecular and resistance patterns of E. coli isolates from urinary tract of swine in Southern of Brazil. Molecular characterization of urinary vesicle samples was performed by PCR detection of virulence factors from ETEC, STEC and UPEC. From a total of 82 E. coli isolates, 34 (38.63%) harbored one or more virulence factors. The frequency of virulence factors genes detected by PCR were: pap (10.97%), hlyA (10.97%), iha (9.75%), lt (8.53%), sta (7.31%) sfa (6.09%), f4 (4.87%), f5 (4.87%), stb (4.87%), f6 (1.21%) and f41 (1.21%). Isolates were resistant to penicillin (95.12%), lincomycin (93.9%), erythromycin (92.68%), tetracycline (90.24%), amoxicillin (82.92%), ampicillin (74.39%), josamycin (79.26%), norfloxacin (58.53%), enrofloxacin (57.31%), gentamicin (39.02%), neomycin (37.8%), apramycin (30.48%), colistine (30.48%) and cefalexin (6.09%). A number of 32 (39.02%) E. coli isolates harbored plasmids. PMID:24031300

  11. Structural and functional analysis of RopB: A major virulence regulator in Streptococcus pyogenes

    SciTech Connect

    Makthal, Nishanth; Gavagan, Maire; Do, Hackwon; Olsen, Randall J.; Musser, James M.; Kumaraswami, Muthiah

    2016-02-19

    Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is an exclusive human pathogen that causes significant disease burden. Global regulator RopB of GAS controls the expression of several major virulence factors including secreted protease SpeB during high cell density. However, the molecular mechanism for RopB-dependent speB expression remains unclear. To understand the mechanism of transcription activation by RopB, we determined the crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of RopB. RopB-CTD has the TPR motif, a signature motif involved in protein-peptide interactions and shares significant structural homology with the quorum sensing RRNPP family regulators. Characterization of the high cell density-specific cell-free growth medium demonstrated the presence of a low molecular weight proteinaceous secreted factor that upregulates RopB-dependent speB expression. Together, these results suggest that RopB and its cognate peptide signals constitute an intercellular signalling machinery that controls the virulence gene expression in concert with population density. Structure-guided mutational analyses of RopB dimer interface demonstrated that single alanine substitutions at this critical interface significantly altered RopB-dependent speB expression and attenuated GAS virulence. Finally, results presented here suggested that a properly aligned RopB dimer interface is important for GAS pathogenesis and highlighted the dimerization interactions as a plausible therapeutic target for the development of novel antimicrobials.

  12. Determination of sulfur in food by high resolution continuum source flame molecular absorption spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zambrzycka, Elżbieta; Godlewska-Żyłkiewicz, Beata

    2014-11-01

    In the present work, a fast, simple and sensitive analytical method for determination of sulfur in food and beverages by high resolution continuum source flame molecular absorption spectrometry was developed. The determination was performed via molecular absorption of carbon monosulfide, CS. Different CS rotational lines (257.959 nm, 258.033 nm, 258.055 nm), number of pixels and types of standard solution of sulfur, namely: sulfuric acid, sodium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, sodium sulfite, sodium sulfide, DL-cysteine, and L-cystine, were studied in terms of sensitivity, repeatability of results as well as limit of detection and limit of quantification. The best results were obtained for measurements of absorption of the CS molecule at 258.055 nm at the wavelength range covering 3 pixels and DL-cysteine in 0.2 mol L- 1 HNO3 solution as a calibration standard. Under optimized conditions the limit of detection and the limit of quantification achieved for sulfur were 10.9 mg L- 1 and 36.4 mg L- 1, respectively. The repeatability of the results expressed as relative standard deviation was typically < 5%. The accuracy of the method was tested by analysis of digested biological certified reference materials (soya bean flour, corn flour and herbs) and recovery experiment for beverage samples with added known amount of sulfur standard. The recovery of analyte from such samples was in the range of 93-105% with the repeatability in the range of 4.1-5.0%. The developed method was applied for the determination of sulfur in milk (194 ± 10 mg kg- 1), egg white (2188 ± 29 mg kg- 1), mineral water (31.0 ± 0.9 mg L- 1), white wine (260 ± 4 mg L- 1) and red wine (82 ± 2 mg L- 1), as well as in sample rich in ions, such as bitter mineral water (6900 ± 100 mg L- 1).

  13. Determinants of the bronchial response to high molecular weight occupational agents in a dry aerosol form.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, B; Weytjens, K; Cloutier, Y; Ghezzo, H; Malo, J L

    1998-10-01

    In occupational challenge tests with isocyanate vapours, bronchial responsiveness is determined by the total dose rather than the concentration or duration of exposure. Whether the same applies for high molecular weight (HMW) agents in powder form is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether the total dose of HMW agents in powder form is responsible for the immediate reaction documented in specific challenge tests. Included in the study were nine subjects (seven males and two females) with a diagnosis of occupational asthma proved by specific challenge tests carried out on a preliminary visit. Two challenge tests (using a closed-circuit exposure chamber) were performed at an interval of 2 weeks; the concentrations administered in a random order on these two visits were half and double the one that had caused a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) on a preliminary visit. The duration of exposure was adjusted until a significant fall in FEV1 (target of 20%) occurred. The two concentrations obtained were significantly different, by 2.07+/-0.36-fold (SD). The observed durations of exposure leading to a 20% fall in FEV1 on the two visits also differed significantly by 0.46+/-0.32-fold. Consequently, the cumulative efficient doses were not significantly different between the two visits: 12+/-5.4 and 9+/-5 mg x mL(-1) x min(-1), respectively. The corresponding cumulative dose ratio was 0.96+/-0.61. The expected duration of exposure (10.8+/-24 min) was not significantly different from the observed duration (5.4+/-9 min). The mean and 95% confidence interval for the difference in concentration between the two visits was 1.83-fold (1.48-2.21). In conclusion, the total dose rather than the concentration or duration of exposure per se determines bronchial responsiveness to high molecular weight agents in powder form.

  14. Towards the elucidation of molecular determinants of cooperativity in the liver bile acid binding protein.

    PubMed

    Pedò, Massimo; D'Onofrio, Mariapina; Ferranti, Pasquale; Molinari, Henriette; Assfalg, Michael

    2009-11-15

    Bile acid binding proteins (BABPs) are cytosolic lipid chaperones contributing to the maintenance of bile acid homeostasis and functional distribution within the cell. Liver BABPs act in parallel with ileal transporters to ensure vectorial transport of bile salts in hepatocytes and enterocytes, respectively. We describe the investigation of ligand binding to liver BABP, an essential step in the understanding of intracellular bile salt transport. Binding site occupancies were monitored in NMR titration experiments using (15)N-labelled ligand, while the relative populations of differently bound BABP forms were assessed by mass spectrometry. This site-specific information allowed the determination of intrinsic thermodynamic parameters and the identification of an extremely high cooperativity between two binding sites. Protein-observed NMR experiments revealed a global structural rearrangement which suggests an allosteric mechanism at the basis of the observed cooperativity. The view of a molecular tool capable of buffering against significant concentrations of free bile salts in a large range of solution conditions emerges from the observed pH-dependence of binding. We set to determine the molecular determinants of cooperativity by analysing the binding properties of a protein containing a mutated internal histidine. Both mass spectrometry and NMR experiments are consistent with an overall decreased binding affinity of the mutant, while the measured diffusion coefficients of ligand species reveal that the affinity loss concerns essentially one of the two binding sites. We therefore identified a mutation able to disrupt energetic communication functional to efficient binding and conclude that the buried histidine establishes contacts that stabilize the ternary complex.

  15. Importance of Molecular Methods to Determine Whether a Probiotic is the Source of Lactobacillus Bacteremia.

    PubMed

    Aroutcheva, Alla; Auclair, Julie; Frappier, Martin; Millette, Mathieu; Lolans, Karen; de Montigny, Danielle; Carrière, Serge; Sokalski, Stephen; Trick, William E; Weinstein, Robert A

    2016-03-01

    There has been an increasing interest in the use of probiotic products for the prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Bio-K+(®) is a commercial probiotic product comprising three strains of lactobacilli--Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285(®), Lact. casei LBC80R(®) and Lact. rhamnosus CLR2(®)--that have been applied to prevent CDI. Generally considered as safe, lactobacilli have potential to cause bacteremia, endocarditis and other infections. The source of Lactobacillus bacteremia can be normal human flora or lactobacilli-containing probiotic. The aim of this study was to assess whether probiotic lactobacilli caused bacteremia and to show the value of molecular identification and typing techniques to determine probiotic and patient strain relatedness. We report an episode of Lactobacillus bacteremia in a 69-year-old man admitted to a hospital with severe congestive heart failure. During his hospitalization, he required long-term antibiotic therapy. Additionally, the patient received Bio-K+(®) probiotic as part of a quality improvement project to prevent CDI. Subsequently, Lactobacillus bacteremia occurred. Two independent blinded laboratory evaluations, using pulse field gel electrophoresis, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and DNA fingerprint analysis (rep-PCR), were performed to determine whether the recovered Lact. acidophilus originated from the probiotic product. Ultimately, the patient strain was identified as Lact. casei and both laboratories found no genetic relation between the patient's strain and any of the probiotic lactobacilli. This clinical case of lactobacillus bacteremia in the setting of probiotic exposure demonstrates the value of using discriminatory molecular methods to clearly determine whether there were a link between the patient's isolate and the probiotic strains.

  16. 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

  17. The evolution and maintenance of virulence in microparasites.

    PubMed Central

    Levin, B. R.

    1996-01-01

    In recent years, population and evolutionary biologists have questioned the traditional view that parasite-mediated morbidity and mortality¿virulence¿is a primitive character and an artifact of recent associations between parasites and their hosts. A number of hypotheses have been proposed that favor virulence and suggest that it will be maintained by natural selection. According to some of these hypotheses, the pathogenicity of HIV, Vibrio cholerae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis,theShigella,as well as Plasmodium falciparum,and many other microparasites, are not only maintained by natural selection, but their virulence increases or decreases as an evolutionary response to changes in environmental conditions or the density and/or behavior of the human population. Other hypotheses propose that the virulence of microparasites is not directly favored by natural selection; rather, microparasite-mediated morbidity and mortality are either coincidental to parasite-expressed characters (virulence determinants that evolved for other functions) or the product of short-sighted evolution in infected hosts. These hypotheses for the evolution and maintenance of microparasite virulence are critically reviewed, and suggestions are made for testing them experimentally. PMID:8903208

  18. The Multiple Signaling Systems Regulating Virulence in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Nadal Jimenez, Pol; Koch, Gudrun; Thompson, Jessica A.; Xavier, Karina B.; Cool, Robbert H.

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Cell-to-cell communication is a major process that allows bacteria to sense and coordinately react to the fluctuating conditions of the surrounding environment. In several pathogens, this process triggers the production of virulence factors and/or a switch in bacterial lifestyle that is a major determining factor in the outcome and severity of the infection. Understanding how bacteria control these signaling systems is crucial to the development of novel antimicrobial agents capable of reducing virulence while allowing the immune system of the host to clear bacterial infection, an approach likely to reduce the selective pressures for development of resistance. We provide here an up-to-date overview of the molecular basis and physiological implications of cell-to-cell signaling systems in Gram-negative bacteria, focusing on the well-studied bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All of the known cell-to-cell signaling systems in this bacterium are described, from the most-studied systems, i.e., N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs), the 4-quinolones, the global activator of antibiotic and cyanide synthesis (GAC), the cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) and cyclic AMP (cAMP) systems, and the alarmones guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp) and guanosine pentaphosphate (pppGpp), to less-well-studied signaling molecules, including diketopiperazines, fatty acids (diffusible signal factor [DSF]-like factors), pyoverdine, and pyocyanin. This overview clearly illustrates that bacterial communication is far more complex than initially thought and delivers a clear distinction between signals that are quorum sensing dependent and those relying on alternative factors for their production. PMID:22390972

  19. 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.

  20. Antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence genes, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analysis of Staphylococcus aureus recovered from bovine mastitis in Ningxia, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Zhang, Limei; Zhou, Xuezhang; He, Yulong; Yong, Changfu; Shen, Mingliang; Szenci, Otto; Han, Bo

    2016-12-01

    Staphylococcus aureusis the leading pathogen involved inbovine mastitis, but knowledgeabout antimicrobial resistance, virulence factors, and genotypes of Staphylococcus aureus resulting in bovine mastitis in Ningxia, China, is limited. Therefore, antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence gene, and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses of Staph. aureus were carried out. A total of 327 milk samples from cows with clinical and subclinical mastitis in 4 regions of Ningxia were used for the isolation and identification of pathogens according to phenotypic and molecular characteristics. Antimicrobial susceptibility against 22 antimicrobial agents was determined by disk diffusion. The presence of 8 virulence genes in Staph. aureus isolates was tested by PCR. Genotypes of isolates were investigated based on RAPD. Results showed that 35 isolates obtained from mastitis milk samples were identified as Staph. aureus. The isolates were resistant to sulfamethoxazole (100%), penicillin G (94.3%), ampicillin (94.3%), erythromycin (68.6%), azithromycin (68.6%), clindamycin (25.7%), amoxicillin (11.4%), and tetracycline (5.7%). All of the isolates contained one or more virulence genes with average (standard deviation) of 6.6±1.6. The most prevalent virulence genes were hlb (97.1%), followed by fnbpA, hla, coa (94.3% each), nuc (85.7%), fnbpB (80%), clfA (77.1%), and tsst-1 (40%). Nine different gene patterns were found and 3 of them were the dominant gene combinations (77.1%). Staphylococcus aureus isolates (n=35) were divided into 6 genotypes by RAPD tying, the genotypes III and VI were the most prevalent genotypes. There was greatvariation in genotypes of Staph. aureus isolates, not only among different farms, but also within the same herd in Ningxia province. The study showed a high incidence of Staph. aureus with genomic variation of resistance genes, which is matter of great concern in public and animal health in Ningxia province of China.

  1. Specific and functional diversity of endophytic bacteria from pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus with different virulence.

    PubMed

    Wu, Xiao-Qin; Yuan, Wei-Min; Tian, Xiao-Jing; Fan, Ben; Fang, Xin; Ye, Jian-Ren; Ding, Xiao-Lei

    2013-01-01

    Pine wilt disease (PWD) caused by the pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is one of the most devastating diseases of Pinus spp. The PWN was therefore listed as one of the most dangerous forest pests in China meriting quarantine. Virulence of the PWN is closely linked with the spread of PWD. However, main factors responsible for the virulence of PWNs are still unclear. Recently epiphytic bacteria carried by PWNs have drawn much attention. But little is known about the relationship between endophytic bacteria and virulence of B. xylophilus. In this research, virulence of ten strains of B. xylophilus from different geographical areas in six provinces of China and four pine species were tested with 2-year-old seedlings of Pinus thunbergii. Endophytic bacteria were isolated from PWNs with different virulence to investigate the relationship between the bacteria and PWN virulence. Meanwhile, the carbon metabolism of endophytic bacteria from highly and low virulent B. xylophilus was analyzed using Biolog plates (ECO). The results indicated that ten strains of PWNs showed a wide range of virulence. Simultaneously, endophytic bacteria were isolated from 90% of the B. xylophilus strains. The dominant endophytic bacteria in the nematodes were identified as species of Stenotrophomonas, Achromobacter, Ewingella, Leifsonia, Rhizobium, and Pseudomonas using molecular and biochemical methods. Moreover, S. maltophilia, and A. xylosoxidans subsp. xylosoxidans were the predominant strains. Most of the strains (80%) from P. massoniana contained either S. maltophilia, A. xylosoxidans, or both species. There was a difference between the abilities of the endophytic bacteria to utilize carbon sources. Endophytic bacteria from highly virulent B. xylophilus had a relatively high utilization rate of carbohydrate and carboxylic acids, while bacteria from low virulent B. xylophilus made better use of amino acids. In conclusion, endophytic bacteria widely exist in B. xylophilus

  2. Molecular Determinants Defining the Triggering Range of Prefusion F Complexes of Canine Distemper Virus

    PubMed Central

    Avila, Mislay; Alves, Lisa; Khosravi, Mojtaba; Ader-Ebert, Nadine; Origgi, Francesco; Schneider-Schaulies, Jürgen; Zurbriggen, Andreas; Plemper, Richard K.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The morbillivirus cell entry machinery consists of a fusion (F) protein trimer that refolds to mediate membrane fusion following receptor-induced conformational changes in its binding partner, the tetrameric attachment (H) protein. To identify molecular determinants that control F refolding, we generated F chimeras between measles virus (MeV) and canine distemper virus (CDV). We located a central pocket in the globular head domain of CDV F that regulates the stability of the metastable, prefusion conformational state of the F trimer. Most mutations introduced into this “pocket'” appeared to mediate a destabilizing effect, a phenotype associated with enhanced membrane fusion activity. Strikingly, under specific triggering conditions (i.e., variation of receptor type and H protein origin), some F mutants also exhibited resistance to a potent morbillivirus entry inhibitor, which is known to block F triggering by enhancing the stability of prefusion F trimers. Our data reveal that the molecular nature of the F stimulus and the intrinsic stability of metastable prefusion F both regulate the efficiency of F refolding and escape from small-molecule refolding blockers. IMPORTANCE With the aim to better characterize the thermodynamic basis of morbillivirus membrane fusion for cell entry and spread, we report here that the activation energy barrier of prefusion F trimers together with the molecular nature of the triggering “stimulus” (attachment protein and receptor types) define a “triggering range,” which governs the initiation of the membrane fusion process. A central “pocket” microdomain in the globular F head contributes substantially to the regulation of the conformational stability of the prefusion complexes. The triggering range also defines the mechanism of viral escape from entry inhibitors and describes how the cellular environment can affect membrane fusion efficiency. PMID:24371057

  3. Molecular weight determination of an active photosystem I preparation from a thermophilic cyanobacterium, Synechococcus elongatus

    SciTech Connect

    Schafheutle, M.E.; Setlikova, E.; Timmins, P.A.; Johner, H.; Gutgesell, P.; Setlik, I.; Welte, W. )

    1990-02-06

    An active photosystem I (PSI) complex was isolated from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus by a procedure consisting of three steps: First, extraction of photosystem II from the thylakoids by a sulfobetaine detergent yields PSI-enriched membranes. Second, the latter are treated with Triton X-100 to extract PSI particles, which are further purified by preparative isoelectric focusing. Third, anion-exchange chromatography is used to remove contaminating phycobilisome polypeptides. The purified particles show three major bands in sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis of apparent molecular mass of 110, 15, and 10 kDa. Charge separation was monitored by the kinetics of flash-induced absorption changes at 820 nm. A chlorophyll/P700 ratio of 60 was found. When the particles are stored at 4 degrees C, charge separation was stable for weeks. The molecular mass of the PSI particles, determined by measurement of zero-angle neutron scattering intensity, was 217,000 Da. The PSI particles thus consist of one heterodimer of the 60-80-kDa polypeptides and presumably one copy of the 15- and 10-kDa polypeptides, respectively.

  4. Molecular weight determination of block copolymers by pulsed gradient spin echo NMR.

    PubMed

    Barrère, Caroline; Mazarin, Michaël; Giordanengo, Rémi; Phan, Trang N T; Thévand, André; Viel, Stéphane; Charles, Laurence

    2009-10-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) is the technique of choice to achieve molecular weight data for synthetic polymers. Because the success of a MALDI-MS analysis critically depends on a proper matrix and cation selection, which in turn relates closely to the polymer chemical nature and size, prior estimation of the polymer size range strongly helps in rationalizing MALDI sample preparation. We recently showed how pulsed gradient spin echo (PGSE) nuclear magnetic resonance could be used as an advantageous alternative to size exclusion chromatography, to rationalize MALDI sample preparation and confidently interpret MALDI mass spectra for homopolymers. Our aim here is to extend this methodology to the demanding case of amphiphilic block copolymers, for which obtaining prior estimates on the Mw values appears as an even more stringent prerequisite. Specifically, by studying poly(ethylene oxide) polystyrene block copolymers of distinct molecular weights and relative block weight fractions, we show how PGSE data can be used to derive the block Mw values. In contrast to homopolymers, such determination requires not only properly recorded calibration curves for each of the polymers constituting the block copolymers but also an appropriate hydrodynamic model to correctly interpret the diffusion data.

  5. Determination triazine pesticides in cereal samples based on single-hole hollow molecularly imprinted microspheres.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qi; Li, Huiyu; Xu, Yang; Zhang, Fengshuang; Zhao, Jiahui; Wang, Long; Hou, Juan; Ding, Hong; Li, Yi; Jin, Haiyan; Ding, Lan

    2015-01-09

    Single-hole hollow molecularly imprinted microspheres (h-MIMs) were prepared by hard template method and applied to extract six triazine pesticides in cereal samples, followed by HPLC-MS/MS detection. The synthesis mechanism of the h-MIMs has been studied. The h-MIMs exhibited bigger specific surface area and much higher binding capacity than the molecularly imprinted polymers prepared by precipitation polymerization (p-MIPs) and surface polymerization (s-MIPs). Besides, the adsorption rate of h-MIMs to prometryn was significantly higher than that of p-MIPs and s-MIPs. Owing to the hollow structure of the h-MIMs, more binding cavities were located on the inner and outer surfaces of the h-MIMs, which could facilitate the removal of template molecules from the polymers and the rebinding of the target molecules to the polymers. Under the optimal conditions, the detection limits of triazines are in the range of 0.08-0.16ngg(-1). At the spiked level (5ngg(-1)), the recoveries of triazines are in the range of 81±4% to 96±4%. The proposed method was successfully applied to determine six triazines in five cereal samples. Atrazine was found in two rice samples and a wheat sample with the contents of 5.1, 6.7 and 5.6ngg(-1), respectively. Ametryn and prometryn were found in a maize sample with the contents of 7.6 and 7.3ngg(-1), respectively.

  6. Determination of cyproheptadine in feeds using molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction coupled with HPLC.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianwen; Wang, Zongnan; Zhou, Tong; Song, Xuqin; Liu, Qingyong; Zhang, Yuman; He, Limin

    2015-05-15

    A novel method was developed for the determination of cyproheptadine in feeds using molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography. The polymers were prepared using cyproheptadine as a template molecule, methacrylic acid as a functional monomer, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as a cross-linking agent, and dichloromethane as a solvent by bulk polymerization. Under the optimum solid-phase extraction conditions, the molecular imprinting cartridge can selectively extract and enrich cyproheptadine from a variety of feeds. Mean recoveries of cyproheptadine from four kinds of feeds spiked at 0.1, 1.0 and 10mgkg(-1) ranged from 85.5% to 96.2%, with intra-day and inter-day relative standard deviation less than 10%. The calibration curve of cyproheptadine was good linear relationship (r>0.9993) within the range of 0.1-50μgmL(-1). The limit of detection (LOD) and the limit of quantification (LOQ) were 0.04 and 0.1mgkg(-1), respectively.

  7. Molecularly imprinted capillary electrochromatography for selective determination of thiabendazole in citrus samples.

    PubMed

    Cacho, Carmen; Schweitz, Leif; Turiel, Esther; Pérez-Conde, Concepción

    2008-02-01

    In this work, the suitability of the combination of molecular imprinting and capillary electrochromatography (MIP-CEC) to be used as powerful tool in environmental or food analysis has been for the first time studied and successfully demonstrated. A molecularly imprinted monolith (MIM) has been synthesised and evaluated as stationary phase for the selective determination of the fungicide thiabendazole (TBZ) in citrus samples by non-aqueous capillary electrochromatography. The influence of the mobile phase composition, the voltage of the power supply and the separation temperature on the recognition of TBZ by the imprinted polymer has been evaluated, and the imprint effect in the MIM was clearly demonstrated. Once optimum recognition conditions were established, other variables affecting mechanical properties and chromatographic performance of MIM were adjusted using computational approach. The high selectivity achieved by the MIP-CEC developed procedure allowed unambiguous detection and quantification of TBZ in citrus samples by direct injection of the crude sample extracts, without any previous clean-up, in less than 6 min. The developed method was properly validated and the calculated detection limits were below the established maximum residue limits (MRLs), clearly demonstrating the suitability of the method to be used for the control of the selected fungicide.

  8. [Genetic singularity coefficients of common vetch Vicia sativa L. accessions determined with molecular markers].

    PubMed

    Potokina, E K; Aleksandrova, T G

    2008-11-01

    Organization and practical application of ex situ collections require estimation of genetic differences between numerous accessions of local cultivars and field weed forms collected from the same ecological and geographical region and similar in their morphophysiological characteristics. A mathematical algorithm for estimating the degree of genetic singularity of a specimen in the system of local gene pool determined with the help of molecular markers is described. The utility of this algorithm is demonstrated by the example of classification of 677 common vetch accessions from the collection of the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry from 11 ecological-geographic regions of Russia analyzed using AFLP. The proposed classification of accessions is the result of processing the AFLP data by weighting the marker traits based on their frequency in particular regions. This allowed each accession to be characterized according to the ratio of rare and frequent alleles as a genetic singularity coefficient. The proposed method is appropriate for any types of molecular markers. A practical result of its application is the classification of accessions using a five-point score scale, which can be added to descriptors of certificate databases and used for optimization of the work with collections.

  9. Determination of malachite green in fish based on magnetic molecularly imprinted polymer extraction followed by electrochemiluminescence.

    PubMed

    Huang, Baomei; Zhou, Xibin; Chen, Jing; Wu, Guofan; Lu, Xiaoquan

    2015-09-01

    A novel procedure for selective extraction of malachite green (MG) from fish samples was set up by using magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIP) as the solid phase extraction material followed by electrochemiluminescence (ECL) determination. MMIP was prepared by using Fe3O4 magnetite as magnetic component, MG as template molecule, methacrylic acid (MAA) as functional monomer and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as crosslinking agent. MMIP was characterized by SEM, TEM, FT-IR, VSM and XRD. Leucomalachite green (LMG) was oxidized in situ to MG by 2,3-dichloro-5,6-dicyano-1,4-benzoquinone (DDQ). And then MMIP was successfully used to selectively enrich MG from fish samples. Adsorbed MG was desorbed and determined by ECL. Under the optimal conditions, calibration curve was good linear in the range of 0.29-290 μg/kg and the limit of detection (LOD) was 7.3 ng/kg (S/N=3). The recoveries of MMIP extraction were 77.1-101.2%. In addition, MMIP could be regenerated. To the best of our knowledge, MMIP coupling with ECL quenching of Ru(bpy)3(2+)/TPA for the determination of MG has not yet been developed.

  10. Molecular determinants of plaque size as an indicator of dengue virus attenuation

    PubMed Central

    Goh, Kenneth Choon Meng; Tang, Choon Kit; Norton, Diana Catherine; Gan, Esther Shuyi; Tan, Hwee Cheng; Sun, Bo; Syenina, Ayesa; Yousuf, Amjad; Ong, Xin Mei; Kamaraj, Uma Sangumathi; Cheung, Yin Bun; Gubler, Duane J; Davidson, Andrew; St John, Ashley Lauren; Sessions, October Michael; Ooi, Eng Eong

    2016-01-01

    The development of live viral vaccines relies on empirically derived phenotypic criteria, especially small plaque sizes, to indicate attenuation. However, while some candidate vaccines successfully translated into licensed applications, others have failed safety trials, placing vaccine development on a hit-or-miss trajectory. We examined the determinants of small plaque phenotype in two dengue virus (DENV) vaccine candidates, DENV-3 PGMK30FRhL3, which produced acute febrile illness in vaccine recipients, and DENV-2 PDK53, which has a good clinical safety profile. The reasons behind the failure of PGMK30FRhL3 during phase 1 clinical trial, despite meeting the empirically derived criteria of attenuation, have never been systematically investigated. Using in vitro, in vivo and functional genomics approaches, we examined infections by the vaccine and wild-type DENVs, in order to ascertain the different determinants of plaque size. We show that PGMK30FRhL3 produces small plaques on BHK-21 cells due to its slow in vitro growth rate. In contrast, PDK53 replicates rapidly, but is unable to evade antiviral responses that constrain its spread hence also giving rise to small plaques. Therefore, at least two different molecular mechanisms govern the plaque phenotype; determining which mechanism operates to constrain plaque size may be more informative on the safety of live-attenuated vaccines. PMID:27185466

  11. A novel electrochemical sensor based on a molecularly imprinted polymer for the determination of epigallocatechin gallate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanrui; Zhu, Lili; Hu, Yue; Peng, Xinsheng; Du, Jiangyan

    2017-04-15

    A novel electrochemical sensor based on the molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) was fabricated by electrochemical polymerization of β-cyclodextrins (β-CD) and epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG) on the graphene oxide (GO) modified glassy carbon (GO/GC) electrode for the first time. The MIP/GO/GC electrode exhibits an excellent ability of specific binding of EGCG and a rapid electrochemical response, high sensitivity and selectivity for determination of EGCG. This prepared MIP sensor presents distinct advantages over conventional electrochemical methods for EGCG determination because it is a one-step preparation and the template molecule can be easily removed by cyclic voltammetry scans, and no elution reagent is required. Under the optimal experimental conditions, the linear response range for EGCG concentrations by the sensor was 3×10(-8)mol/L to 1×10(-5)mol/L and the detection limit was 8.78×10(-9)mol/L(S/N=3). The results demonstrate that the proposed MIP sensor can be a potential alternative for the determination of EGCG in tea samples.

  12. Determination of Molecular Structure of Bisphenylene Homologues of BINOL-Based Phosphoramidites by Chiroptical Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julínek, Ondřej; Setnička, Vladimír; Miklášová, Natalia; Putala, Martin; Ruud, Kenneth; Urbanová, Marie

    2009-09-01

    Vibrational (VCD), electronic circular dichroism (ECD), and IR absorption spectra together with transparent spectral region optical rotation (OR) of two derivatives of bisphenylene 1,1'-binaphthyl-based phosphoramidites containing three stereogenic axes were measured and the results were compared with simulated data obtained by ab initio calculations with density functional theory. An excellent agreement between experimental and predicted B3LYP/6-31G** and BPW91/6-31G** VCD spectra enabled the assignment of all VCD bands in the experimental spectra, while the Gibbs free energy of all the conformers allowed the determination of their relative populations. The calculation of ECD spectra showed that CAM-B3LYP/6-311G** provided results superior to those of B3LYP/6-311G**. The theoretical results for the OR at the B3LYP/6-311G** and CAM-B3LYP/6-311G** levels were in good agreement with experimental optical rotations, but exhibited lower sensitivity in determining particular conformers than VCD and ECD. By a careful comparison of experimental VCD, IR, and ECD spectra and OR with calculated data, it was possible to assign the absolute configuration of all three stereogenic axes and to determine the molecular structure of the studied bisphenylene 1,1'-binaphthyl-based phosphoramidites in solution with a high degree of confidence.

  13. Determination of the protonation state of the Asp dyad: conventional molecular dynamics versus thermodynamic integration.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jinfeng; Zhu, Yali; Sun, Bin; Yao, Yuan; Liu, Junjun

    2016-03-01

    The protonation state of the Asp dyad is important as it can reveal enzymatic mechanisms, and the information this provides can be used in the development of drugs for proteins such as memapsin 2 (BACE-1), HIV-1 protease, and rennin. Conventional molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been successfully used to determine the preferred protonation state of the Asp dyad. In the present work, we demonstrate that the results obtained from conventional MD simulations can be greatly influenced by the particular force field applied or the values used for control parameters. In principle, free-energy changes between possible protonation states can be used to determine the protonation state. We show that protonation state prediction by the thermodynamic integration (TI) method is insensitive to force field version or to the cutoff for calculating nonbonded interactions (a control parameter). In the present study, the protonation state of the Asp dyad predicted by TI calculations was the same regardless of the force field and cutoff value applied. Contrary to the intuition that conventional MD is more efficient, our results clearly show that the TI method is actually more efficient and more reliable for determining the protonation state of the Asp dyad.

  14. Determination of sulphur in various vegetables by solid sampling high-resolution electrothermal molecular absorption spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gunduz, Sema; Akman, Suleyman

    2015-04-01

    Sulphur was determined in various vegetables via molecular absorption of carbon monosulphide (CS) at 258.056 nm using a solid sampling high resolution continuum source electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometer (SS HR-CS ETAAS). Samples were dried, ground and directly introduced into the ruthenium coated graphite furnace as 0.05 to 0.50mg. All determinations were performed using palladium+citric acid modifier and applying a pyrolysis temperature of 1000 °C and a volatilisation temperature of 2400 °C. The results were in good agreement with certified sulphur concentrations of various vegetal CRM samples applying linear calibration technique prepared from thioacetamide. The limit of detection and characteristic mass of the method were 7.5 and 8.7 ng of S, respectively. The concentrations of S in various spinach, leek, lettuce, radish, Brussels sprouts, zucchini and chard samples were determined. It was showed that distribution of sulphur in CRM and grinded food samples were homogeneous even in micro-scale.

  15. Role of dupA in virulence of Helicobacter pylori.

    PubMed

    Talebi Bezmin Abadi, Amin; Perez-Perez, Guillermo

    2016-12-14

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a gastric human pathogen associated with acute and chronic gastritis, 70% of all gastric ulcers, 85% of all duodenal ulcers, and both forms of stomach cancer, mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and adenocarcinoma. Recently, attention has focused on possible relationship between presence of certain virulence factor and H. pylori-associated diseases. Some contradictory data between this bacterium and related disorders has been observed since not all the colonized individuals develop to severe disease. The reported diseases plausibility related to H. pylori specific virulence factors became an interesting story about this organism. Although a number of putative virulence factors have been identified including cytotoxin-associated gene a (cagA) and vacA, there are conflicting data about their actual participation as specific risk factor for H. pylori-related diseases. Duodenal ulcer promoting gene a (dupA) is a virulence factor of H. pylori that is highly associated with duodenal ulcer development and reduced risk of gastric cancer. The prevalence of dupA in H. pylori strains isolated from western countries is relatively higher than in H. pylori strains from Asian countries. Current confusing epidemiological reports will continue unless future sophisticated and molecular studies provide data on functional and complete dupA cluster in H. pylori infected individuals. This paper elucidates available knowledge concerning role of dupA in virulence of H. pylori after a decade of its discovery.

  16. Role of dupA in virulence of Helicobacter pylori

    PubMed Central

    Talebi Bezmin Abadi, Amin; Perez-Perez, Guillermo

    2016-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a gastric human pathogen associated with acute and chronic gastritis, 70% of all gastric ulcers, 85% of all duodenal ulcers, and both forms of stomach cancer, mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and adenocarcinoma. Recently, attention has focused on possible relationship between presence of certain virulence factor and H. pylori-associated diseases. Some contradictory data between this bacterium and related disorders has been observed since not all the colonized individuals develop to severe disease. The reported diseases plausibility related to H. pylori specific virulence factors became an interesting story about this organism. Although a number of putative virulence factors have been identified including cytotoxin-associated gene a (cagA) and vacA, there are conflicting data about their actual participation as specific risk factor for H. pylori-related diseases. Duodenal ulcer promoting gene a (dupA) is a virulence factor of H. pylori that is highly associated with duodenal ulcer development and reduced risk of gastric cancer. The prevalence of dupA in H. pylori strains isolated from western countries is relatively higher than in H. pylori strains from Asian countries. Current confusing epidemiological reports will continue unless future sophisticated and molecular studies provide data on functional and complete dupA cluster in H. pylori infected individuals. This paper elucidates available knowledge concerning role of dupA in virulence of H. pylori after a decade of its discovery. PMID:28028359

  17. Molecular Mechanisms of Sulbactam Antibacterial Activity and Resistance Determinants in Acinetobacter baumannii

    PubMed Central

    Penwell, William F.; Shapiro, Adam B.; Giacobbe, Robert A.; Gu, Rong-Fang; Gao, Ning; Thresher, Jason; McLaughlin, Robert E.; Huband, Michael D.; DeJonge, Boudewijn L. M.; Ehmann, David E.

    2015-01-01

    Sulbactam is a class A β-lactamase inhibitor with intrinsic whole-cell activity against certain bacterial species, including Acinetobacter baumannii. The clinical use of sulbactam for A. baumannii infections is of interest due to increasing multidrug resistance in this pathogen. However, the molecular drivers of its antibacterial activity and resistance determinants have yet to be precisely defined. Here we show that the antibacterial activities of sulbactam vary widely across contemporary A. baumannii clinical isolates and are mediated through inhibition of the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) PBP1 and PBP3, with very low frequency of resistance; the rare pbp3 mutants with high levels of resistance to sulbactam are attenuated in fitness. These results support further investigation of the potential clinical utility of sulbactam. PMID:25561334

  18. Molecular mechanisms of sulbactam antibacterial activity and resistance determinants in Acinetobacter baumannii.

    PubMed

    Penwell, William F; Shapiro, Adam B; Giacobbe, Robert A; Gu, Rong-Fang; Gao, Ning; Thresher, Jason; McLaughlin, Robert E; Huband, Michael D; DeJonge, Boudewijn L M; Ehmann, David E; Miller, Alita A

    2015-03-01

    Sulbactam is a class A β-lactamase inhibitor with intrinsic whole-cell activity against certain bacterial species, including Acinetobacter baumannii. The clinical use of sulbactam for A. baumannii infections is of interest due to increasing multidrug resistance in this pathogen. However, the molecular drivers of its antibacterial activity and resistance determinants have yet to be precisely defined. Here we show that the antibacterial activities of sulbactam vary widely across contemporary A. baumannii clinical isolates and are mediated through inhibition of the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) PBP1 and PBP3, with very low frequency of resistance; the rare pbp3 mutants with high levels of resistance to sulbactam are attenuated in fitness. These results support further investigation of the potential clinical utility of sulbactam.

  19. Voltammetric Determination of Flunixin on Molecularly Imprinted Polypyrrole Modified Glassy Carbon Electrode.

    PubMed

    Radi, Abd-Elgawad; Abd El-Ghany, Nadia; Wahdan, Tarek

    2016-01-01

    A novel electrochemical sensing approach, based on electropolymerization of a molecularly imprinted polypyrrole (MIPpy) film onto a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) surface, was developed for the detection of flunixin (FXN). The sensing conditions and the performance of the constructed sensor were assessed by cyclic, differential pulse and (DPV) square wave voltammetry (SWV). The sensor exhibited high sensitivity, with linear responses in the range of 5.0 to 50.0 µM with detection limits of 1.5 and 1.0 µM for DPV and SWV, respectively. In addition, the sensor showed high selectivity towards FXN in comparison to other interferents. The sensor was successfully utilized for the direct determination of FXN in buffalo raw milk samples.

  20. Voltammetric Determination of Flunixin on Molecularly Imprinted Polypyrrole Modified Glassy Carbon Electrode

    PubMed Central

    Radi, Abd-Elgawad; Abd El-Ghany, Nadia; Wahdan, Tarek

    2016-01-01

    A novel electrochemical sensing approach, based on electropolymerization of a molecularly imprinted polypyrrole (MIPpy) film onto a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) surface, was developed for the detection of flunixin (FXN). The sensing conditions and the performance of the constructed sensor were assessed by cyclic, differential pulse and (DPV) square wave voltammetry (SWV). The sensor exhibited high sensitivity, with linear responses in the range of 5.0 to 50.0 µM with detection limits of 1.5 and 1.0 µM for DPV and SWV, respectively. In addition, the sensor showed high selectivity towards FXN in comparison to other interferents. The sensor was successfully utilized for the direct determination of FXN in buffalo raw milk samples. PMID:27242945

  1. Rapid Virulence Annotation (RVA): identification of virulence factors using a bacterial genome library and multiple invertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Waterfield, Nicholas R; Sanchez-Contreras, Maria; Eleftherianos, Ioannis; Dowling, Andrea; Yang, Guowei; Wilkinson, Paul; Parkhill, Julian; Thomson, Nicholas; Reynolds, Stuart E; Bode, Helge B; Dorus, Steven; Ffrench-Constant, Richard H

    2008-10-14

    Current sequence databases now contain numerous whole genome sequences of pathogenic bacteria. However, many of the predicted genes lack any functional annotation. We describe an assumption-free approach, Rapid Virulence Annotation (RVA), for the high-throughput parallel screening of genomic libraries against four different taxa: insects, nematodes, amoeba, and mammalian macrophages. These hosts represent different aspects of both the vertebrate and invertebrate immune system. Here, we apply RVA to the emerging human pathogen Photorhabdus asymbiotica using "gain of toxicity" assays of recombinant Escherichia coli clones. We describe a wealth of potential virulence loci and attribute biological function to several putative genomic islands, which may then be further characterized using conventional molecular techniques. The application of RVA to other pathogen genomes promises to ascribe biological function to otherwise uncharacterized virulence genes.

  2. Determination of phosphorus using high-resolution diphosphorus molecular absorption spectra produced in the graphite furnace

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Mao Dong; Becker-Ross, Helmut; Okruss, Michael; Geisler, Sebastian; Florek, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Molecular absorption of diphosphorus was produced in a graphite furnace and evaluated in view of its suitability for phosphorus determination. Measurements were performed with two different high-resolution continuum source absorption spectrometers. The first system is a newly in-house developed simultaneous broad-range spectrograph, which was mainly used for recording overview absorption spectra of P2 between 193 nm and 245 nm. The region covers the main part of the C 1Σu+ ← X 1Σg+ electronic transition and shows a complex structure with many vibrational bands, each consisting of a multitude of sharp rotational lines. With the help of molecular data available for P2, an assignment of the vibrational bands was possible and the rotational structure could be compared with simulated spectra. The second system is a commercial sequential continuum source spectrometer, which was used for the basic analytical measurements. The P2 rotational line at 204.205 nm was selected and systematically evaluated with regard to phosphorus determination. The conditions for P2 generation were optimized and it was found that the combination of a ZrC modified graphite tube and borate as a chemical modifier were essential for a good production of P2. Serious interferences were found in the case of nitrate and sulfuric acid, although the nitrate interference can be eliminated by a higher pyrolysis temperature. The reliability of the method was proved by analysis of certified samples. Using standard tubes, a characteristic mass of 10 ng and a limit of detection of 7 ng were found. The values could further be improved by a factor of ten using a miniaturized tube with an internal diameter of 2 mm. Compared to the conventional method based on the phosphorus absorption line at 213.618 nm, the advantages of using P2 are the gentle temperature conditions and the potential of performing a simultaneous multi-line evaluation to further improve the limit of detection.

  3. The History of Molecular Structure Determination Viewed through the Nobel Prizes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jensen, William P.; Palenik, Gus J.; Suh, Il-Hwan

    2003-07-01

    For the past 100 years, with only a few exceptions during war times, Nobel Prizes have been awarded annually to men and women who have made exceptionally important discoveries in science. In thirteen of those years, prizes were awarded to individuals whose contributions helped explain the molecular world of matter through interactions of waves or particles with atoms. From William C. Röntgen, who received the very first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for his work with X-rays, to von Laue and the father-and-son Bragg team in the second decade of the century, who used X-rays to understand atomic arrangements, much progress had been made revealing secrets at the molecular level of matter. In the 1930s Debye, Davisson, and Thomson revealed further information using, among other techniques, diffraction of electrons by matter. In the 1960s Crick, Watson, Wilkins, Perutz, Kendrew, and Hodgkin received Nobel Prizes for revealing structures of significantly more complex molecules including the DNA double helix, myoglobin, hemoglobin, and vitamin B12. In the 1970s and 1980s Lipscomb would be recognized for organizing our picture of boron hydrides, Klug would use electron diffraction to determine structures of important nucleic acid protein complexes, Hauptman and Karle would bring us a powerful new way to solve structures, and Deisenhofer, Huber, and Michel would determine the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction center. Finally, in 1994 Brockhouse and Shull were recognized for their work with neutrons. Crystallography has been used to answer increasingly complex questions in the past, and will certainly remain an important tool in the future.

  4. Molecular determinants for ATP-binding in proteins: a data mining and quantum chemical analysis.

    PubMed

    Mao, Lisong; Wang, Yanli; Liu, Yuemin; Hu, Xiche

    2004-02-20

    Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) plays an essential role in all forms of life. Molecular recognition of ATP in proteins is a subject of great importance for understanding enzymatic mechanism and for drug design. We have carried out a large-scale data mining of the Protein Data Bank (PDB) to analyze molecular determinants for recognition of the adenine moiety of ATP by proteins. Non-bonded intermolecular interactions (hydrogen bonding, pi-pi stacking interactions, and cation-pi interactions) between adenine base and surrounding residues in its binding pockets are systematically analyzed for 68 non-redundant, high-resolution crystal structures of adenylate-binding proteins. In addition to confirming the importance of the widely known hydrogen bonding, we found out that cation-pi interactions between adenine base and positively charged residues (Lys and Arg) and pi-pi stacking interactions between adenine base and surrounding aromatic residues (Phe, Tyr, Trp) are also crucial for adenine binding in proteins. On average, there exist 2.7 hydrogen bonding interactions, 1.0 pi-pi stacking interactions, and 0.8 cation-pi interactions in each adenylate-binding protein complex. Furthermore, a high-level quantum chemical analysis was performed to analyze contributions of each of the three forms of intermolecular interactions (i.e. hydrogen bonding, pi-pi stacking interactions, and cation-pi interactions) to the overall binding force of the adenine moiety of ATP in proteins. Intermolecular interaction energies for representative configurations of intermolecular complexes were analyzed using the supermolecular approach at the MP2/6-311 + G* level, which resulted in substantial interaction strengths for all the three forms of intermolecular interactions. This work represents a timely undertaking at a historical moment when a large number of X-ray crystallographic structures of proteins with bound ATP ligands have become available, and when high-level quantum chemical analysis of

  5. Roles of the Polymerase-Associated Protein Genes in Newcastle Disease Virus Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiao-hui; Cheng, Jin-long; Xue, Jia; Jin, Ji-hui; Song, Yang; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Guo-zhong

    2017-01-01

    The virulence of Newcastle disease virus varies greatly and is determined by multiple genetic factors. In this study, we systematically evaluated the roles of the polymerase-associated (NP, P and L) protein genes in genotype VII NDV virulence after confirming the envelope-associated (F and HN) proteins contributed greatly to NDV virulence. The results revealed that the polymerase-associated protein genes individually had certain effect on virulence, while transfer of these three genes in combination significantly affected the chimeric virus virulence, especially when the L gene was involved. These results indicated that the L protein was a major contributor to NDV virulence when combined with the homologous NP and P proteins. We also investigated viral RNA synthesis using NDV minigenome systems to assess the interaction between the NP, P, and L proteins, which showed that the activity of the polymerase-associated proteins were directly related to viral RNA transcription and replication. PMID:28220114

  6. The causes and consequences of changes in virulence following pathogen host shifts.

    PubMed

    Longdon, Ben; Hadfield, Jarrod D; Day, Jonathan P; Smith, Sophia C L; McGonigle, John E; Cogni, Rodrigo; Cao, Chuan; Jiggins, Francis M

    2015-03-01

    Emerging infectious diseases are often the result of a host shift, where the pathogen originates from a different host species. Virulence--the harm a pathogen does to its host-can be extremely high following a host shift (for example Ebola, HIV, and SARs), while other host shifts may go undetected as they cause few symptoms in the new host. Here we examine how virulence varies across host species by carrying out a large cross infection experiment using 48 species of Drosophilidae and an RNA virus. Host shifts resulted in dramatic variation in virulence, with benign infections in some species and rapid death in others. The change in virulence was highly predictable from the host phylogeny, with hosts clustering together in distinct clades displaying high or low virulence. High levels of virulence are associated with high viral loads, and this may determine the transmission rate of the virus.

  7. Preparation, Purification, and Secondary Structure Determination of Bacillus Circulans Xylanase. A Molecular Laboratory Incorporating Aspects of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Biophysical Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russo, Sal; Gentile, Lisa

    2006-01-01

    A project module designed for biochemistry or cellular and molecular biology student which involves determining the secondary structure of Bacillus circulans xylanase (BCX) by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy under conditions that compromise its stabilizing intramolecular forces is described. The lab model enhanced students knowledge of the…

  8. Determination of specific molecular markers of biomass burning in lake sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirchgeorg, Torben; Schüpbach, Simon; Kehrwald, Natalie; McWethy, David; Barbante, Carlo

    2014-05-01

    Fire influences regional to global atmospheric chemistry and climate. Molecular markers of biomass burning archived in lake sediments are becoming increasingly important in paleoenvironmental reconstruction and may help determine interactions between climate and fire activity. One group of these molecular markers is the monosaccharide anhydrides levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan. Several aerosol studies and recent ice core research use these compounds as a marker for biomass burning, but studies from lake sediment cores are rare. Previous sediment methods used gas chromatography - mass spectrometry and required derivatization of samples. Here, we present a high performance anion exchange chromatography-mass spectrometry method to allow separation and detection of the three monosaccharide anhydrides in lake sediments with implications for reconstructing past biomass burning events. We validated the method by quantifying levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan in selected sediment core samples from Lake Kirkpatrick, New Zealand. The freeze-dried, milled and homogenized sediment samples were first extracted with methanol by pressurized solvent extraction, pre-concentrated and finally separated and analyzed by high performance anion exchange chromatography-mass spectrometry. We compared these isomers with macroscopic charcoal concentrations, as charcoal is a well-known proxy for biomass burning. In addition, we applied the method to a sediment core from Lake Petén Itzá, Guatemala to prove the suitability of these markers for reconstructing biomass burning history over the entire Holocene. In the Lake Kirkpatrick samples, levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan concentrations significantly correlate with macroscopic charcoal concentrations. The three isomers are present in samples without any macroscopic charcoal, and may reflect the presence of microscopic charcoal. Levoglucosan/mannosan and levoglucosan/(mannosan+galactosan) ratios differ between samples with high

  9. Molecular Structure and Chirality Determination from Pulsed-Jet Fourier Transform Microwave Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobsiger, Simon; Perez, Cristobal; Evangelisti, Luca; Seifert, Nathan A.; Pate, Brooks; Lehmann, Kevin

    2014-06-01

    Fourier transform microwave (FTMW) spectroscopy has been used for many years as one of the most accurate methods to determine gas-phase structures of molecules and small molecular clusters. In the last years two pioneering works ushered in a new era applications. First, by exploiting the reduced measurement time and the high sensitivity, the development of chirped-pulse CP-FTMW spectrometers enabled the full structural determination of molecules of increasing size as well as molecular clusters. Second, and more recently, Patterson et al. showed that rotational spectroscopy can also be used for enantiomer-specific detection. Here we present an experimental approach that combines both in a single spectrometer. This set-up is capable to rapidly obtain the full heavy-atom substitution structure using the CP-FTMW features. The inclusion of an extra set of broadband horns allows for a chirality-sensitive measurement of the sample. The measurement we implement is a three-wave mixing experiment that uses time-separated pulses to optimally create the chiral coherence - an approach that was proposed recently. Using samples of R-, S- and racemic Solketal, the physical properties of the three-wave mixing experiment were studied. This involved the measurement of the corresponding nutation curves (molecular signal intensity vs excitation pulse duration) to demonstrate the optimal pulse sequence. The phase stability of the chiral signal, required to assign the absolute stereochemistry, has been studied as a function of the measurement signal-to-noise ratio using a "phasogram" method. G. G. Brown, B. C. Dian, K. O. Douglass, S. M. Geyer, S. T. Shipman, B. H. Pate, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 2008, 79, 053103. D. Patterson, M. Schnell, J. M. Doyle, Nature 2013, 497, 475-477. D. Patterson, J. M. Doyle, Phys. Rev. Lett. 2013, 111, 023008. V. A. Shubert, D. Schmitz, D. Patterson, J. M. Doyle, M. Schnell, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 1152-1155. J.-U. Grabow, Angew. Chem. 2013, 125, 11914

  10. Final Report: Tolerance to phytoalexins and its implication for the evolution of host specific virulence traits, July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1998

    SciTech Connect

    VanEtten, Hans

    1998-06-30

    This research focused on determining the importance of non-degradative tolerance (NDT) to pisatin for the virulence of N. haematococca MPVI on pea. An attempt was also made to determine the importance of pda for virulence of F. oxysporum f.sp.pisi,A. pisi and M. pinodes. This research aided in refining the author's understanding of those characteristics of the pda genes that contribute to virulence and the role of non-degradative tolerance in the virulence of other pea pathogens.

  11. A colorimetric method for the molecular weight determination of polyethylene glycol using gold nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    A gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-based colorimetric method was developed for the molecular weight (MW) determination of polyethylene glycol (PEG), a commonly used hydrophilic polymer. Addition of a salt solution to PEG-coated AuNP solutions helps in screening the electrostatic repulsion between nanoparticles and generating a color change of the solutions from wine red to blue in 10 min in accordance with the MW of PEG, which illustrates the different stability degrees (SDs) of the AuNPs. The SDs are calculated by the absorbance ratios of the stable to the aggregated AuNPs in the solution. The root mean square end-to-end length (〈h2〉1/2) of PEG molecules shows a linear fit to the SDs of the PEG-coated AuNPs in a range of 1.938 ± 0.156 to 10.151 ± 0.176 nm. According to the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory, the reason for this linear relationship is that the thickness of the PEG adlayer is roughly equivalent to the 〈h2〉1/2 of the PEG molecules in solution, which determines the SDs of the AuNPs. Subsequently, the MW of the PEG can be obtained from its 〈h2〉1/2 using a mathematical relationship between 〈h2〉1/2 and MW of PEG molecule. Applying this approach, we determined the 〈h2〉1/2 and the MW of four PEG samples according to their absorbance values from the ordinary ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometric measurements. Therefore, the MW of PEG can be distinguished straightforwardly by visual inspection and determined by spectrophotometry. This novel approach is simple, rapid, and sensitive. PMID:24359120

  12. A colorimetric method for the molecular weight determination of polyethylene glycol using gold nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, Kai; Jiang, Hongyan; Zhang, Qiqing

    2013-12-01

    A gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-based colorimetric method was developed for the molecular weight (MW) determination of polyethylene glycol (PEG), a commonly used hydrophilic polymer. Addition of a salt solution to PEG-coated AuNP solutions helps in screening the electrostatic repulsion between nanoparticles and generating a color change of the solutions from wine red to blue in 10 min in accordance with the MW of PEG, which illustrates the different stability degrees (SDs) of the AuNPs. The SDs are calculated by the absorbance ratios of the stable to the aggregated AuNPs in the solution. The root mean square end-to-end length (< h 2>1/2) of PEG molecules shows a linear fit to the SDs of the PEG-coated AuNPs in a range of 1.938 ± 0.156 to 10.151 ± 0.176 nm. According to the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory, the reason for this linear relationship is that the thickness of the PEG adlayer is roughly equivalent to the < h 2>1/2 of the PEG molecules in solution, which determines the SDs of the AuNPs. Subsequently, the MW of the PEG can be obtained from its < h 2>1/2 using a mathematical relationship between < h 2>1/2 and MW of PEG molecule. Applying this approach, we determined the < h 2>1/2 and the MW of four PEG samples according to their absorbance values from the ordinary ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometric measurements. Therefore, the MW of PEG can be distinguished straightforwardly by visual inspection and determined by spectrophotometry. This novel approach is simple, rapid, and sensitive.

  13. Clinical and Genomic Analysis of Liver Abscess-Causing Klebsiella pneumoniae Identifies New Liver Abscess-Associated Virulence Genes

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Meiping; Tu, Jianfei; Jiang, Jianping; Bi, Yingmin; You, Weibo; Zhang, Yanliang; Ren, Jianmin; Zhu, Taohui; Cao, Zhuo; Yu, Zuochun; Shao, Chuxiao; Shen, Zhen; Ding, Baixing; Yuan, Jinyi; Zhao, Xu; Guo, Qinglan; Xu, Xiaogang; Huang, Jinwei; Wang, Minggui

    2016-01-01

    Hypervirulent variants of Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) that cause invasive community-acquired pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) have emerged globally. Little is known about the virulence determinants associated with hvKp, except for the virulence genes rmpA/A2 and siderophores (iroBCD/iucABCD) carried by the pK2044-like large virulence plasmid. Here, we collected most recent clinical isolates of hvKp from PLA samples in China, and performed clinical, molecular, and genomic sequencing analyses. We found that 90.9% (40/44) of the pathogens causing PLA were K. pneumoniae. Among the 40 LA-Kp, K1 (62.5%), and K2 (17.5%) were the dominant serotypes, and ST23 (47.5%) was the major sequence type. S1-PFGE analyses demonstrated that although 77.5% (31/40) of the LA-Kp isolates harbored a single large virulence plasmid varied in size, 5 (12.5%) isolates had no plasmid and 4 (10%) had two or three plasmids. Whole genome sequencing and comparative analysis of 3 LA-Kp and 3 non-LA-Kp identified 133 genes present only in LA-Kp. Further, large scale screening of the 133 genes in 45 LA-Kp and 103 non-LA-Kp genome sequences from public databases identified 30 genes that were highly associated with LA-Kp, including iroBCD, iucABCD and rmpA/A2 and 21 new genes. Then, these 21 new genes were analyzed in 40 LA-Kp and 86 non-LA-Kp clinical isolates collected in this study by PCR, showing that new genes were present 80–100% among LA-Kp isolates while 2–11% in K. pneumoniae isolates from sputum and urine. Several of the 21 genes have been proposed as virulence factors in other bacteria, such as the gene encoding SAM-dependent methyltransferase and pagO which protects bacteria from phagocytosis. Taken together, these genes are likely new virulence factors contributing to the hypervirulence phenotype of hvKp, and may deepen our understanding of virulence mechanism of hvKp. PMID:27965935

  14. Clinical and Genomic Analysis of Liver Abscess-Causing Klebsiella pneumoniae Identifies New Liver Abscess-Associated Virulence Genes.

    PubMed

    Ye, Meiping; Tu, Jianfei; Jiang, Jianping; Bi, Yingmin; You, Weibo; Zhang, Yanliang; Ren, Jianmin; Zhu, Taohui; Cao, Zhuo; Yu, Zuochun; Shao, Chuxiao; Shen, Zhen; Ding, Baixing; Yuan, Jinyi; Zhao, Xu; Guo, Qinglan; Xu, Xiaogang; Huang, Jinwei; Wang, Minggui

    2016-01-01

    Hypervirulent variants of Klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKp) that cause invasive community-acquired pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) have emerged globally. Little is known about the virulence determinants associated with hvKp, except for the virulence genes rmpA/A2 and siderophores (iroBCD/iucABCD) carried by the pK2044-like large virulence plasmid. Here, we collected most recent clinical isolates of hvKp from PLA samples in China, and performed clinical, molecular, and genomic sequencing analyses. We found that 90.9% (40/44) of the pathogens causing PLA were K. pneumoniae. Among the 40 LA-Kp, K1 (62.5%), and K2 (17.5%) were the dominant serotypes, and ST23 (47.5%) was the major sequence type. S1-PFGE analyses demonstrated that although 77.5% (31/40) of the LA-Kp isolates harbored a single large virulence plasmid varied in size, 5 (12.5%) isolates had no plasmid and 4 (10%) had two or three plasmids. Whole genome sequencing and comparative analysis of 3 LA-Kp and 3 non-LA-Kp identified 133 genes present only in LA-Kp. Further, large scale screening of the 133 genes in 45 LA-Kp and 103 non-LA-Kp genome sequences from public databases identified 30 genes that were highly associated with LA-Kp, including iroBCD, iucABCD and rmpA/A2 and 21 new genes. Then, these 21 new genes were analyzed in 40 LA-Kp and 86 non-LA-Kp clinical isolates collected in this study by PCR, showing that new genes were present 80-100% among LA-Kp isolates while 2-11% in K. pneumoniae isolates from sputum and urine. Several of the 21 genes have been proposed as virulence factors in other bacteria, such as the gene encoding SAM-dependent methyltransferase and pagO which protects bacteria from phagocytosis. Taken together, these genes are likely new virulence factors contributing to the hypervirulence phenotype of hvKp, and may deepen our understanding of virulence mechanism of hvKp.

  15. Virulence Plasmids of Spore-Forming Bacteria.